(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "A History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut"

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 



at |http : //books . google . com/ 



■':^-''- 



LIBRARY OF THE 
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA 




PRESENTED BY 



William W. Hoberts 



p-^^ 









.v-^- 



vj\f^' 



A HISTORY 



OF THE 



mm Cicikiiti 



OF 



STRATFORD 



AND THE CITY OK 

BRIDGEPORT 



CONNECTICUT. 



BY 

Rev. SAMUEL ORCUTT, 

AUTHOR OF THE HISTORIES OP WOLCOTT, TORRINGTON, NEW MILFORD, 
DERBY AND INDIANS OF THE HOUSATONIC VALLEY. 



PAJ^T /. 



prnLisHFi) rNDKk tiik Ai:hi'iri> or riir 
FAIRFIEJ.D COrXTV HISTORKWL SOCIICrV. 

1886. 



F 

I 



! ! • • 

• • • • 

- • • • 

• • •• 



PRESS OF TUTTLE, MOREHOUSE & TAYLOR, 
NEW HAVEN, CONN. 



QIFT 

FEE 9 fl 




PREFACE. 

HE task of making this book, such as it is, is 
ended. The work upon it as the history of 
one of the oldest towns in the State, includ- 
ing one of the youngest \nd most pros- 
perous cities, has been very attractive and 
entertaining, and the only regret the author 
has concerning it is that the income from the 
sale of the work would not pay for another year's labor, by 
which a degree of completeness, somewhat satisfactory, 
might have been attained. This is especially applicable to 
the genealogies, which in their present state are only the 
beginning of what might have been secured ; which is true, 
after all the gratuitious labor, put upon them for several 
years, contributed by the Rev. B. L. Swan, formerly pastor 
in Stratford, Bridgeport and Monroe, in which he collected 
a large amount of historical facts which have made the work 
much more complete than it otherwise would have been. 

The author has also profited very much from the re- 
search and historical collections made, during many years 
of thoughtful gathering by R. B. Lacey, Esq., Major W. 
B. Hincks and George C. Waldo, Esq. Many items which 
they had gathered were as seed producing a hundred fold, 
yhen improved. This is particularly true of Mr. Lacey as to 
his collections and memory concerning old Stratfield Soci- 
ety and the city of Bridgeport, and the public are to be con- 
gratulated upon the fact that this part of the book was written 
largely under his eye, while yet his memory was in its sun- 



iv Preface, 

niest noontide and his physical strength nothing abated. 
It is also probable that but for his interest in the matter of 
local history, this work would not have been commenced, 
and certainly without his counsel and aid at various points 
in its progress it would have been very difficult to have 
gone on with the work to its completion. 

The aid received by the most cordial and continuous 
commendatory support of the Fairfield County Historical 
Society, and the financial support rendered by several of 
its members, have been, not only greatly helpful to the 
work, but without these the enterprise would have gone 
no further than the publication of the first one hundred 
and eighty pages. Much cordial friendly aid has been 
rendered by the town clerks, Mr. Henry P. Stagg of 
Stratford, and Mr. Daniel Maloney of Fairfield, they hav- 
ing spared no effort for the success of the work. 

The author has great pleasure in acknowledging the 
honor and value bestowed upon the work by those persons 
who have contributed illustrations to it, especially the steel 
plate prints, which are first-class in respect to the art of en- 
graving and of very great satisfaction in such a historical book. 
It is due also to say that, with a few exceptions of no 
particular importance, whatever errors may be found in 
the book the fault lies with the author and not with the 
proof-readers at the office of publication. 

It is a matter of some considerable satisfaction that 
such a memorial work, although costing the untiring effort 
of three years of most diligent labor, however imperfect it 
may be, is a realized fact. 

The Author. 



^ 



ERRATA. 



Page 20 and 157 — C. " H." Hoadley should be C. J. Hoadley. 

Page 152 — Bottom of the page the date " 1662," should be 1692. 

Page 157 — •• Winfield " Benham should be Winifred and her daughter Winifred. 

Page 135 — ** Robert," should be Thomas Tomlinson. 

Page 223 — Rev. "Jackson," should be Rev. Joshua and Sarah Leavitt. 

Page 226 — The name " Patterson " should be Batterson. 

Page 390 — Mrs. Benjamin Fairchild died 1874, aged 88. 

Page 454 — The Lasper K. ** Whitney" should be Whiting. 

Page 454 — ^J. W. '* Dufow," should be Dufour. 

Page 454 — ^The name ** Hendric" should be Hendee. 

Page 454— Lasper K. ** Whitman," should be Whiting. 

Page 455 — " A. W." Lewis, should be W. A. Lewis. 

Page 505 — Under the title Benjamin Hubbell should read, Polly, who m. Gale 

Ensign and had Howell. 
Page 535 — The record should be Abigail Hurd, not *' Rebecca." 
Page 550 — " Charles H." should be Charles R. Broth well. 
Page 601 — I2th line from bottom ** 1692 " should be 1792. 
Page 627 — Thaddeus " Barr" should be Burr. 
Page 642 — ** Billings," should be Phillips Academy. 
Page 675 — "Harwinton" should be Rev. Daniel Harrington. 
Page 704— The title should be Parallel Railroad Company, and H. R. Parroit, 

president of the company as well as of the directors. 
Page 754— "Griffin" should be Grippin. 
Page 721 — " Northnagle " should be Nothnagle. 
Page 791 — *' Both sides of Wall and State " should be both sides of Bank and 

State streets. 
Page 1166 — Brown, Dea. "Isaiah," should be Josiah. 
Page 1247— L. N. Middlebrook was graduated in 1848, not " 1828." 
Page 125 1 — The name Nicoll, should be Nicolls, making it Sir Richard Nicolls ; 

but on page 1258, the name is correct as Nicoll. 



CONTENTS. 



I- 

II- 
III- 

IV- 

V- 

VI- 

VII- 



Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 
Chapter 

Chapter VIII- 

Chapter IX- 
Chapter X- 

Chapter XI- 

Chapter XII- 

Chapter XIII- 

Chapter XIV- 

Chapter XV- 

Chapter XVI- 

Chapter XVII- 

Chapter XVIII- 

Chapter XIX- 

Chapter XX- 

Chapter XXI- 

Chapter XXII- 

Chaptrr XXIII- 

Chapter XXIV- 

Chaptbr XXV- 

Chapter XXVI- 



-Stratford Indians, 

-Indian Deeds and Reservations, 

-Indian Deeds, Wars and Relics, 

-Cupheag Plantation, 

-The First Planters. 

-The First Planters (continued), 

-Conflicts, Wars, Witchcraft, . 

-The Church of Christ in Stratford, 

-Progress Amidst Difficulties, . 

-New Settlers and Enterprises, 

-Pushing into the Wilderness, 

-Beginning the Eighteenth Century, 

-Eighteenth Century (continued), 

-Ecclesiastical Progress . 

-The Revolutionary War, . 

-After the War, 

-Stratfield Society, ... 

-Stratfield's Early Settlers, 

-The Borough of Bridgeport, . 

-Ecclesiastical History, 

-The City of Bridgeport, . 

-The City of Bridgeport (continued), 

-Huntington 

-The Town of Trumbull, . 
•The Town of Monroe, 
-Stratford Concluded, 
Genealogies, .... 



Page 
I 

20 
44 
71 
84 
107 
137 
164 
181 
239 
269 
292 
314 
347 
370 
404 
465 
504 
585 
620 

693 

796 

955 
1007 
1083 
1097 
1115 



STEEL PLATES. 



George B. Hawley, 

Isaac Sherman, 

Nathaniel Hewit. 

John Brooks 

Alfred Bishop, 

Nathan Buckingham, 

Hanpord Lyon. 

Whbblbr & Wilson Company, 

Nathaniel Wheeler, 

I. DeVer Warner, 

Eaton, Cole and Burnham Company 

Frederick W. Parrott, 

Julius W. Knowlton, 

James W. Beardsley, 

Daniel N. Morgan, 

Phineas T. Barnum, 

William H. Noble, 

E. Ferris Bishop, . 

Robert Hubbard, . 

William B. Hall, 

Alfred C. Hobbs, 

Rowland B. Lacey, 

Henry R. Parroit, 

Sidney B. Beardsley, 

Philo C. Calhoun, 

Civilian Fones, 

Jacob Kiefer, 

David B. Lockwood, 

James Staples, 

William H. Stevenson. 

Thomas J. Synnott, 

Curtis Thompson, 

Russell Tomlinson, 

Amos S. Treat. 

Thomas L. Watson, 

Andrew L. Winton, 

Nathaniel S. Wordin, 

Thomas C. Wordin, 

Peter W. Wren, . 

Thomas Punderson, 

Plumb N. Fairchild, 

John W. Sterling, 



Pace 

536 
594 
648 
650 
696 
708 
716 
724 
728 
740 
764 
766 

774 
800 
806 
840 
856 
863 
868 
869 
872 
892 
896 
900 
902 

904 
906 
908 
910 
912 
914 
918 
920 
922 
923 
924 
926 
928 
930 
998 
1060 

IIOO 



ENGRAVINGS ON WOOD. 



Page 

Falls Mountain 26 

Warhaumaug's Monument, 28 

Junction of Housatonic and Naugatuck, ... 33 

Indian Field, at New Milford 37 

William Sherman 42 

Stratford Village Lots 105 

Stratford Village, First Lots 185 

Pews in the Stratford Episc. Church 352 

Interior, Cong. Church, Stratford 411 

Log-House of 1665 466 

Historic Oak, Bridgeport, 468 

Stratfield Second Meetinghouse, 482 

Porter Property, 489 

Old Mile Stone, 521 

Bridgeport First Bank, . 596 

Bridgeport Second Bank, 598 

United Bank Building, 606 

Bridgeport's First Churches 632 

First Cong. Church, Bridgeport 638 

Silver Tankard, 640 

Second Cong. Church, Bridgeport 644 

St. Augustine's Church 668 

High School Building, -682 

Public School Buildings 684 

Plan of School Buildings , . 686 

Public Library Building, 689 

Map of Bridgeport, 1824 692 

EuAs Howe, Jr 735 

Howe Machine Company, 737 

Warner's Manufactory, 740 

Residence of Doct. Warner 742 



viii Engravings on Wood. 

Bridgeport Knife Company 748 

Bridgeport Organ Company 754 

Pembroke Iron Foundry 758 

Bridgeport Burnt District, 769 

Seaside Park 796 

People's Savings Bank, 802 

Bridgeport Savings Bank, . 804 

Connecticut Bank, 808 

Monumental Bronze Company 813 

Atlantic House, 818 

Elm House 818 

Evening Post Building 825 

Bridgeport Hospital 834 

Gate of Mt. Grove Cemetery. 836 

Iranistan 838 

Royal Honors to Tom Thumb, 842 

Tok Thumb before the Queen, 842 

Castle Garden, 844 

Elephant Ploughing, 844 

Marriage of Tom Thumb, 846 

Waldrmere 848 

Barnum's Winter Quarters 850 

East Bridgeport, 852 

Telford Premium, 886 

Residence of F. J. Lockwood, 908 

Sterung Residence (Heliotype) 1102 

Residence of Israel Beach, 1124 

Residence of Eli as Welles 1329 



HISTORY OF STRATFORD. 



CHAPTER I. 




STRATFORD INDIANS. 

NDIAN history, under whatever circum- 
stances found, excites a melancholy sympa- 
thy, which partakes of extreme loneliness as 
if one were lost in an interminable wilder- 
ness from which there could be no escape 
by the ingenuity or power of man. As we 
pass over the site of their ancient wigwams, 
although not a stick or stone is left to mark 
the place, we seem to be traveling amid the 
ruins of some ancient Persian or Egyptian 
city, long celebrated for its beauty and mag- 
nificence and from which, although the glory 
has all faded or crumbled to dust, we hesi- 
tate to depart, as though expecting still to 
see the forms of the long-departed coming 
forth to newness of life, to exhibit the wonders of ancient 
days. Occasionally we discover about traditional localities, 
some stone implement, arrow-head, pestle or axe, that seems 
as a spirit resurrected by enchantment to portray the marvel- 
ous, wild life that wrought it, for the severest needs of earth, 
which is like the recovery of some long-lost painting of 
kingly banquet or national pride and glory. The hatchet^ 
although of stone, was the Indian's ensign of renown; the 
bow and arrow, his national flag of wild but unconquerable 
liberty, and his tent, because it was not immovable, declared 



2 History of Stratford, 

an inheritance in a vast continent ralher than a few circum- 
scribed acres of walled distributions. 

Sometimes the rolling waters of a mighty river, or the 
heights of immense mountain ranges barred his progress for 
a time, but no mountain was too high and no valley too low 
for the unwearied feet of the Red man in the greatness of 
his freedom and the inexhaustible resources of his physical 
strength. Nothing but the mighty ocean ever stayed his 
wandering footsteps, until the white man took possession of 
the rocky and sandy shores of the Algonkin country, after- 
wards called New England; when "the poor Indian'* fled to 
the inland wilderness as if pursued by a devastating pesti- 
lence ; nor has he yet, after nearlj' three hundred years, found 
a sure resting place. To him the shores of Long Island 
Sound were an enchanted country, in the abundance it gave 
to supply his wants, and the beauty of its climate and scenery 
reminding him of the native tropical clime of his ancestors. 

Here on these shores he had dwelt many ages, when the 
glittering sails of the white man came bearing the pilgrim 
planters to their new life of freedom. In the winter many of 
them had retired to the sheltered valleys of the inland wilder- 
ness, where they secured their daily food by the hunter's 
sport, and then in the spring they returned to their old sea- 
side haunts, just as their white successors now, in the same 
season of the year, flee from the hot breath of the inland val- 
leys to the cool breezes of the New England coast. These 
** children of the wilderness" have been called "Red men,'* 
** wild Indians," ** savage beasts,'* but with all, they have 
exhibited a manliness of character and rectitude of life, ac- 
cording to the instructions received, that leaves no room for 
boasting by those who now inhabit the same beautiful coun- 
try. To these untutored inhabitants the pilgrim immigrants 
were rather unceremoniously introduced, and to them in 
turn they gave a cordial welcome, not knowing what the final 
result would be. And now, after the lapse of ages, the pen 
of the historian is importuned for some memorial record, 
which, although inadequate to the object sought, shall be as 
a brief epitaph to commemorate the greatness of those, of 
whom there is now nothing but ashes and fragments left. 



Pootatuck River. 3 

On the shores of Long Island Sound various clans or 
-settlements of these Indians were found by the incoming 
English, which belonged to the same general class, — the Mo- 
hicans, the name having been localized or modified to Mohe- 
-gans in the south-eastern part of the state. Those on the 
Housatonic river appear to have retained a system of general 
government, with head-quarters at New Milford, and when 
their lands further south had been sold they gradually re- 
turned thither, and thence to Scatacook and to Pennsylvania. 
Tradition and implements found, indicate that at first the 
Indians came from the Hudson river — the Mohicans — to the 
valley of the Housatonic in the vicinity of the town of Kent, 
and finding several falls in the river, to them of unusual 
grandeur, they named it Pootatuck, meaning ' falls river.* 
This was the only name to the river when the first white set- 
tlers came, and those natives inhabiting its valley, were the 
Pootatuck Indians,* but being settled at that time in quite 
large numbers at various places, were spoken of by their 
local names. There are also evidences that these local clans 
retained the general name of Mohegan Indians, specially 
as this is the tradition now among the intelligent survivors 
of all these clans. 

The first Indian settlement on this river, south of the 
Massachusetts line, seems to have been in the southern part 
of Kent, near what is now called Bull's Bridge, and after- 
wards, two or three miles north where a few families still 
reside. This locality they named Scatacook, or Schaghti- 
coke, signifying the confluence of two streams,* which is true 
where what is now called Ten Mile River comes into the 
Housatonic a little below Bull's Bridge. 

The second settlement was made, probably, at New Mil- 
ford, called Weantinock, which remained the capital, or place 
of the great council-fire for the whole tribe (or all the clans) 
on the river, until that territory was sold to the New Milford 
company in 1703. Thus gradually the Indians made their 



' Indians of the Housatonic Valley, 6 to 12. 

' See Indian Names of Conn., by J. H. Trumbull, and Indians of the Housa- 



tonic. 



4 History of Stratford. 

settlements down the river until they reached Long Island 
Sound ; and afterwards they dwelt on the Sound more largely 
in the summer than in the winter on account of fish, oysters- 
and clams, and of the hunting inland in the winter. 

Tke Cupheags and Pequannocks. 

When the English first came to Stratford they found 
there a settlement of Indians, their local name being Cuph- 
eags, the name denoting * a harbor ' or * a place of shelter/ 
literally, * a place shut in.** The clan was small, and was 
governed by Okenuck, who soon after, if not at that time, 
resided at Pootatuck — now Shelton — whither his people re-- 
moved soon after Stratford village was settled. Okenuck 
was the son of Ansantaway of Milford, and his brother 
Towtanimow, son of Ansantaway, was sachem or chief at 
Paugasitt. 

The name Pequannock* means 'cleared field,' land 
• opened ' or * broken open,' and was applied by the Indians- 
to the tract of land on the east side of Uncaway rivier (which 
river is now called Ash creek) extending northward to the 
old King's Highway and southward to the Sound, including 
two or three hundred acres of land, on which were probably 
several pieces of a kind of open woods, as well as the Indians'^ 
planting ground. This name was not applied to the water 
now called Pequannock river, but to the beautiful plain as 
above described and now constituting the -western portion of 
the city of Bridgeport. On this plain " at the north end of 
the cove in the Black Rock harbor" was the old Indian 
planting field, limited to about one hundred acres, and on this 
field was the old Indian Fort, standing near the end of the 
cove where now is the flower garden of Mr. James Horan. 
In 1752, the General Assembly in describing the boundaries 
of the Stratfield Society gives the precise location of this 
fort.' 

' Indian Names. J. H. Trumbull. 
^ Indian Names, J. H. Trumbull. 

* *' General Court, October, 1752. Whereas, in the setting off the parish of 
Stratfield, it so happened that the act of this 'Assembly setting off said parish did 



The Pequannock Indians, 5 

The Pequannock Indians were more numerous than any 
other clan from New London west, on the shore of the Sound. 
They had three encampments or villages of wigwams; one 
-on the west bank of the Uncoway river, as we may hereafter 
see in the testimony of Thomas Wheeler, one at the Old 
Fort, and one at the foot of Oolden Hill on the south side; 
the last, some years later, is said to have contained about one 
hundred wigwams. The one on the west side of Uncoway 
river was at the head of a cove near a fresh water pond, just 
south of the old King's Highway, and a few rods west of the 
mile-stone which is standing one mile east from Fairfield vil- 
lage, on that old highway, south of which the Indians had a 
planting field which afterwards constituted a part of the terri- 
tory called by the first settlers the Concord field. This place 
we are told in a future chapter by Thomas Wheeler, was the 
old established place of residence for the Sachem of the 
Pequannock tribe many generations. 

There seems to have been, at first, no reservations of land 
for the Indians at Cupheag, or Stratford village, and none 
elsewhere in the town except at Golden Hill, and this was 
not measured to them until twenty years after the first set- 
tlers came, or until 1659. The planting ground ^t the Old 
Fort, in the edge of Fairfield, was retained by the Indians as 
their planting ground until 168 1, when it was sold, and after 
that the field at the Old Fort was called the Old Indian field, 
and is so referred lo frequently on the Fairfield records. 

Stratford and Fairfield Conquered and Ceded Territory. 

It appears by various authorized records, that the terri- 
tory of Stratford and Fairfield was not at first purchased of 



not settle and fix the line dividing between the said first society and said parish 
any nearer the south-westerly extent of both said societies than where said line 
intersects the country road [the King's highway] near Jackson's mill, so-called 
[now, 1884, Moody's mill] . . . which line runs from said country road southerly 
as the river or creek runs on which Jackson's mill stood, commonly known by 
the name of Uncoway River or creek, till it comes due west from the north end 
of the cove in the Black Rock harbor, which said cove heads or terminates at, or 
near the place called the Old Fort, and then to run straight from said creek to the 
liead of said cove, and so straight to the sea or Sound." Col. Rec, x. 147. 



6 History of Stratford, 

the Indians, as has been asserted by all historians, but was 
held nearly twenty years as conquered and ceded territory,, 
and so declared by the General Court, but afterwards, as' a 
matter of friendliness to the Indians, was purchased by vari« 
ous agreements and deeds. 

At the time the whites came, Queriheag was Sachem of 
the Pequannocks, with his dwelling-place on the west side of 
Uncoway river, but a large part of his people were dwelling 
on the east side of that river — at the "old field " and at the 
foot of Golden Hill. 

The settlements of Stratford and Fairfield were com- 
menced under the supervision of the Connecticut, in distinc- 
tion from the New Haven Colony, and the territory was 
granted to them by the General Court to which the Indians 
had previously given it in regular form in 1638. On neither 
of the town records are there any Indian deeds recorded 
earlier than 1656, and in 168 1 when all former deeds are men- 
tioned in the final sale, no reference is made to any as having 
been given earlier than 1656. Nothing is said in the records 
in regard to the purchase of this territory, until 1656, when 
we find the following statement made by the court at Hart- 
ford : 

** This Court, at the request of Stratford, do grant that 
theire bounds shall be 12 myle northward, by Paugusitt 
River, if it be att the dispose, by right, of this Jurisdiction.*" 

This action of the Court was soon proclaimed, and the 
Pequannock Indians denied the right of Stratford to the ter- 
ritory as thus described, as the Court intimated would prob- 
ably be the case. The immediate cause for the desire that 
the Court should fix the boundary of the Stratford plantation,, 
was the fact that a tract of land had just been sold by the 
Indians in the Western part of Fairfield, and considerable 
trouble had arisen between the settlers and the Indians, in 
consequence of the cattle and swine of the whites trespassing 
on the Indians' corn at Pequannock. One item is thus re- 
corded : 

"General Court, October, 165 1. Upon the complaint of 
the Deputies of Stratford to this Court, in behalf of Richard 

• Col. Rec, i. 281. 



Stratford Bounds. 7 

Buttler, against an Indian named Nimrod, that wilfully killed 
some swine of said Buttler*s, this Court consenteth that Mr. 
Ludlow may prosecute the said Indian according to order 
made by the commissioners in that respect.'*' 

Another reason for this desire by the Stratford planters 
was that the Indians being quite numerous at Fairfield, the 
settlers there were pushing them over on the Stratford terri- 
tory as much as possible to make room for themselves, as was 
acknowledged afterwards. There had been several efforts 
made by the General Court to settle the boundaries between 
Stratford and Fairfield and the Indians at Pequannock com- 
mencing soon after these places began to be settled ; and 
also it is shown that these Indians having agreed to pay 
tribute to the Connecticut Court, as conquered and protected 
subjects, as appears from the records, neglected to fulfill their 
agreement. 

"General Court, February, 1640. It is ordered that Mr. 
Haynes, Mr. Wells, and Capt. Mason shall go down to Paqua- 
nucke to settle the bounds betwixt them and the plantations 
on both sides of them, according as they judge equal, as also 
to hear and determin the difference betwixt the inhabitants 
of Cupheag amongst themselves. They also with Mr. Lud- 
low, are to require the tribute ot the Indians about those 
parts that is behind unpaid, due by articles formerly agreed 
upon, as also to inquire out the particular Indians that are 
under engagement, within the limit of the ground belonging 
to them, and upon refusal, to proceed with them as they shall 
see cause."* The next June the Court ordered that "the 
magistrates shall send for the tribute of the Indians about 
Cupheag, Uncoway and there about." and that another com- 
mittee should survey between the two plantations. Again in 
General Court, 1648: "It is ordered, that Capt. Mason shall 
go to Long Island and to such Indians upon the mayne as are 
tributaries to the English, and require the tribute of them, 
long behind and yet unpaid, and to take some strict and 
righteous course for the speedy recovering thereof, and it is 



i\ 



' Col. Rcc, i. 226. * Col. Rec. i. 62. 



1 



8 History of Stratford. 

judged equall and allowed that he shall have the one-half for 
his paynes." 

Not only did the Indians neglect to pay their tribute, but 
they committed depredations in many ways and manifested 
so much hostility, from 1643 to 1655, that the plantations on 
different occasions kept soldiers on watch nights and Sun- 
days, and at several times called out the militia. Also, the 
Indians made continued trouble by their demands for pay for 
their lands, for after the Court had given its decision, in 1656, 
the Milford Indians made a claim to some of the land within 
the Stratford territory. Ansantaway was chief then at Mil- 
ford, and he gave a deed* for all the land his people claimed 
on the west side of the Housatonic river, and leaves the Eng- 
lish to give him whatever they should see fit, thus indicating 
that his claim had but little real merit. 

In order to secure satisfaction among the Indians, and 
quiet to their English neighbors, the Connecticut Colony 
made another effort to settle the matter among all parties, by 
the following order: 

" Hartford, March 7, 1658-59. By the Court of Magis- 
trates. This Court having taken into consideration the busi- 
ness respecting the Indians pertayning to the plantations of 
Stratford and Fayrefeyld and finding in the last agreement 
made with the Indians while Mr. Willis and Mr. Allin were 

• Ansantaway^ s Deed to Stratford. 

"This present writing declareth, we Ansaniaway and my wife do make over 
and alienate unto the Inhabitants of Stratford all our right in a tract of land being 
as far as the River called the further milne river by Woronoke and westward as 
far as the bounds of us our Paugusit Indians lies, with the English of the afore- 
sayd Town and mark the trees as our bounds did goe before it was alienated to 
the English as abovesayd. We also do engadge that no other Indians shall Uy 
any charge unto any of the aforesayd lands, and we doe leave it to the town afore- 
sayd to give us for (his land as they shall see good and meet. And we doe give 
free liberty for the aforesayd Town their cattle to go beyond that further milne 
River northward and north-west as they did, peaceably and quietly; we and Pau- 
gusit Indians doe thus agree as witness our hands in the name of the rest. This 
Febu. 22, 1658." 

The recorder of this deed says: " This is a true copy of a bill of sale signed 
by Ansantaway, his wife and Towtanamy the chief Sagamore," but he was mis- 
taken, for he did not transcribe the Indian names, for the deed is without any sig- 
natures. 



New Indian Papers. 9 

clown there, that those two plantations aforementioned are 
in&aged to asure and alow unto those respective Indians per- 
layning to each town sufitient land to plant on for their 
^ubsistance and so to their heayres and sucsessors: 

"It is therefore ordered by this Court, and required that 
«ach plantation forementioned exercise due care that the 
agreement made by the magistrates be fully attended without 
unnecessary delay, that so the Indians may have no just 
cause to complayne agaynst the English, but rather may be 
incourag^d to attend and observe the agreement on their 
parts, that peace may be continued on both sides ; and further 
it is desired that the Indians may be allowed to improve 
theire antient fishing place which they desire. 

" To the Constables of Stratford to be forthwith published 
and sent to Fayrfiyld to be published and recorded by the 
Register."" 

Three days after the above record the Court took further 
action : 

" March 10, i65§-59. This Court having considered the 
agreement with the Indians as also for other reasons as par- 
ticularly that which the town of Fayrfe\'ld pleaded why their 
bounds should be enlarged was because they might provide 
for theire Indians which were many, do therefore order that 
the towne of Fayrfeyld shall forthwith attend the order as 
above sent from the magistrates and alow and lay out unto 
theire Indians that formerly did and now do belong unto 
that plantation, sufitient planting land for the present and 
future, that so there ma)' be no disturbance twixt the Indians 
and the town of Stratford about any former improprieties 
which we find are renownced for the future by the last agree- 
ment. And the Court judges that the Indians that. have for 
so many and several years been inhabitants of Fayrfeyld 
bounds shall now and for future be acounted as those that do 
properly belong to that plantation. 

** Mr. Camfield and the deputies of Norwoke are apointed 
to sec this efected by Fayrfeyld men or do it themselves. 

Daniel Clarke, Secretary." 



^0 Stratford Records. 



I 



lO History of Stratford. 

About a month later a paper was recorded giving the 
agreement made between the two towns as above referred to. 

The great hindrance in settling the boundaries between 
these two plantations and the Indians was the open or cleared 
land on the east side of what is now called Ash Creek, form- 
erly Uncoway River. It was good soil, and probably much 
of it cleared besides the portion which the Indians had 
planted for many years, called afterwards the Indian field. 
This is revealed in part by a paper from John Strickland," 
giving the reason that Fairfield wanted more room, and so 
desired the Indians pushed over east on Stratford territory^ 
but the old line was retained while a tract of land was set oft 
for the Indians on Golden Hill, and they retained their old field 
at the head of Black Rock Cove until 1681, when they sold it 
to Fairfield. There were, probably, several hundred acres of 
partially cleared land, now constituting the western part of 
the city of Bridgeport and Sea-Side Park, of which the 
Indian field containing about one hundred acres, with their 
fort, formed a central part. 

In the spring of 1659, the question of title or right to the 
land in the plantations of Stratford and Fairfield was brought 
before the General Court at Hartford and settled. The 
Indians agreed that if the English could prove that they had 
received the land by purchase, gift or conquest, it should be 
theirs; whereupon a number of men gave their testimony in 
writing under oath on the subject, and the Court decided in 
favor of the plantations, and the affidavits were recorded in 
the town book, and they are here produced in foot-notes 
because of various items of historical interest. These papers 
are prefaced on the records with the statement : ** A Rec- 



" Tke Testimofiy of John Strickland, ** I John Strickland, of Huntington 
Long Island having formerly lived at Uncoway now called Fayrfeyld do remem- 
ber that I was deputed with some others to treat with Stratford men about the 
bounds of those towns and accordingly we melt, we of Uncoway desired some 
inlargement of our bounds towards Stratford because we were burdened with 
many Indians, and to my best remembrance it was by Stratford men granted and 
by us all concluded that we of Uncoway should keep our Indians upon our own 
bounds. John Strickling, his mark. 

April 23, 1659. 

Taken upon oath before me. Thomas Benedict." 



New Indian Papers. i r 

ord of several letters presented to the Court of Hartford, 
whereby together with other evidences the town of Stratford 
proved, and the Court granted a clear right to their land 
in reference to Paquannock Indians with whom they had 
to do." 

The first paper is by the Rev. John Higginson," of Guil- 



11 CI ^ Testimony of Mr, Higison late pastor of the church at Guilford. 

"Being desired to expose wt I remember concerning the transaction between 
the English at Conneckticott and the Indians along the Coast from Quilipioke to 
the Manhatoes about the land, the substance of it I can say is briefly this : 

"That in the beginning of the year 1638, the last week in March Mr. Hop- 
kins and Mr. Goodwin,* being employed to treat with the Indians and to make 
sure of that whole tract of land in order to prevent the dutch and to accommodate 
the English who might after come to inhabit there, I was sent with them as an 
interpreter (for want of a better) we having an Indian with us for a guide, acquainted 
the Indians as we passed with our purpose and went as far as about Narwoke 
before we stayed. Coming thither on the first day we gave notice to the Sachem 
and the Indians to meet there on the second day that we might treat with them aU 
together about the business. Accordingly on the second day there was a full 
meeting (as themselves sayd) of all the Sachems, old rnen and Captaynes from 
about Milford to Hudson's River. After they had understood the cause of our 
coming and had consulted with us and amongst themselves, and in as solemn a 
maner as Indians used to do in such cases they did with an unanimous consent 
approve their desire of the English friendship, their willingness the English 
should come to dwell amongst them and professed that they did give and surren- 
der up all their land to the English Sachems at Coneckticott and hereupon pre- 
sented us with two parcells of wampem the lesser they would give us for our 
mesage, the greater they would send as a present to the Sachims at Coneckticott, 
it being not long after the English conquest and the fame of the English being 
then upon them. 

"It being moved among them which of them would go up with us to signifie 
this agreement and to present their wampem to the Sachem at Coneckticott, at 
last Waunetan and Wouwequock Paranoket'i offered themselves, and were much 
applauded by the rest for it. Accordingly those two Indians went up with us to 
Harford. Not long after there was a comitee in Mr. Hooker's barne, the meeting 
bouse then not buylded, where they two did apeare and presented their wampum, 
(but ould Mr. Pinchin one of ye magistrates there then) taking him to be the inter- 
preter, then I remember I went out and attended the business no farther, so that 
what was further done or what writings there were about the buysness I cannot 
now say, but I supose if search be made something of the business may be found 
in the records of the Court, and I supose if Mr. Goodwin be inquired of he can 

*Mr. Edward Hopkins and Mr. William Goodwin were among the principal 
planters at Hartford. 



12 History of Stratford, 

ford, Conn., in which he states that the land was given to the 
Connecticut Colony in 1638, and gives the reaisons why the 
Indians did it, namely, for the security thereby obtained. 
These are corroborated by the fact that Towtanemow, Saga- 
more at Paugassett, gave to Lieut. Thomas Wheeler of Fair- 
field, about forty acres of land, what is now the southern part 
of Birmingham village, in Derby, if he would come and 
reside upon it, which he did some five or six years; then sold 
the land and improvements for two hundred pounds money. 

This paper of Mr. Higginson informs that a convention 
was held with the Indians from New Haven to the Hudson 
river, at Norwalk in the last week in March (as we now reckon 
time), 1638, he himself being interpreter, when the Indians 
gave this territory to Connecticut, reserving only room to 
plant, and the treaty was ratified with due solemnity at Nor- 
walk and at Hartford, the council being held in Mr. Hooker's 
barn at Hartford because the meeting-house was not then 
completed. 

The date of this Norwalk Indian council shows it to have 
been held about fifteen days before the New Haven company 
landed at Quinnipiac. 

The next testimony is that of Thomas Stanton," who was 

-say the same for substance as I doe and William Cornwell at Sebrook who was 
there." 

Mr. Nicholas Knell [one of the first settlers at Stratford] testifies to ye same 
with Mr. Higgison as respecting ye Indians giving ye land to ye English, and 
recommended payment of money to ye Indians as gratuity for ye gifts. 

Taken this 3d Aprill Nicholas Knell 

-Guilford May 5, 1659 John Higgison." 

'* Testimony of Thomas Stanton. 

"Loving friends I received yDur's dated may the 4ih 1659, by John Minor 
therein I understand of the insolent and unreasonable behavior and demands of 
the natives in your parts as chalenging all or the greatest part of your land so 
long since by you possest. Their chalenge is that if the English can prove the 
lands they possess were ever sould them or given them or conquered by them. 

I much wonder at these times ; this lesson they have leayrned but of late 
years certainly. They well know the English did possess all these parts as Con- 
•quered lands for from Newhaven to Sashquaket we did pursue the Pequeis, killed 
divers at Newhaven and at Cupheag, only one house, or the knrkise of one, we 
tfound at Milford without inhabitants. At the cuiing [ofT] of the Pequets all 



New Indian Papers. 15 

tor many years the Indian interpreter at Hartford, which. 
informs us that Connecticut Colony conquered the Pequots 
and Pequannocks at the same time — 1637 — took hostages ol 
the Pequannock Indians and sold some of their women inta 
servitude into Massachusetts. He also says the Pequots had 
conquered the tribes along the Sound west of Quinnipiac, and 
made them tributary before the English came, and states that 
the Pequannocks engaged with the Pequots, as their allies, in 
the fight at Cupheag, and also at the swamp on the western 
boundary of Fairfield. The fight said to be at Cupheag was 
probably at Pequannock river where afterwards a gun was 
found as shown by the following record. 

" General Court, April, 1639. Thomas Bull informed the 

their friends and confederates fled also being under the same condemnation with 
them. Tis true some at Paquannocke did formerly stand out but the Pequets did 
kill severell of them [t. e. in previous wars,] and conquered the country, [and] so 
brought all the Indians at [on] I^ng Island and the mayne [land] their tributaries 
from Pequet to Accomket beyond Hudson River. The English conquering the 
Pequets conquered them also and took Captains from Sashquaket [and] Poquan- 
ocke, for they several of them lived with the Pequets in time of their prosperitie 
and fought against the English also at Sashquaket, Poqnanocke Indians fought 
against us, likewise some of those women are at J Ci \ ^^ e s e /^ and the Bay 
[Massachusetts] as captives to this day. I have informed some of the most 
Rational Pequets of this and they say that if the English do grant that the western 
Indians may sell their land, they [the Pequots] may do the like, for they say their 
land [the Pequannocks] is conquered as well as ours. Several 1 of themselves 
debate the poynt with them and prove it to the English before their faces. Also 
since the wars I can testify that the Indians at Paquanock did intreat Mr. Haynes 
and Mr. Hopkins [then Magistrates] that some (?) of the English would dwell by 
them that so they might not be in fear of their enemies, the uplanders, and that 
the English should have all their land only providing them some place for plant- 
ing ; which I think is but a reasonable request, and I hope, you will atend rules 
of mercie in that case ; not that they shall be their own carvers what they will and 
where for exhorbitant humor will cary them to disposes you of your houses. 
Experience proves it ; give an Indian an inch and he will take an ell. I will 
Ingage myself to prove the land as before sayd conquered, and if I mistake not 
very much the English by gift firstlie from themselves desiring as above sayd the 
English to come and sit down upon it. I could wish this matter had been in 
question in Mr. Haynes days and Mr. Hopkins, but the commanders of the Bay 
[Massachusetts] soldiers, and commanders of Coneckticott, the antient Pequets,. 
will prove it Conquered land, and I never heard of other ground by which the 
English did posses it but by Conquest and gift . . . Not else at present to trouble 
you I comit you to God and rest your's, to love and serve as God shall enable. 

Thomas Stanton. Stratford Records." 



'' x^- 



14 History of Stratford, 

Court that a musket with two letters, J. W., was taken up at 
Pequannocke in pursuit of the Pequatts, which was conceived 
to be John Woods who was killed at the River's mouth. It 
was ordered for the present [that] the musket should be 
delivered to John Woods friends until other appear.'*" 

It has been generally maintained that at the time the 
English came here these Indians were tributary to the 
Mohawks, which has been an error according to this paper. 

Mr. Stanton also says "only one house or the karkise of 
one we found at Milford without inhabitants." This was the 
last week in March, 1637, two weeks before the New Haven 
and the Milford companies arrived on what is now Connecti- 
cut territory. The question arises, who built this frame of a 
house at Milford in, or before 1638, before any of the Milford 
people came there? 

Another paper was given by Lieut. Thomas Wheeler.** 
> -- one of the first settlers at Fairfield, with his fathefas he hira- 
rv"^ self informs, and as the records show, from which place he 

»* Col. Rec. i. 29. 
\ " Lieutenant Thomas Wkeelet's Testimony. 

N "That in the time of his being an inhabitant of the town of Fayrefeyld and 

having several times in discourse ocation to speake with some of the cheife of 
that company which are now caled Uncaway Indians as Matawmuck, Nimrod 
and Anthony the Sagamore's brother of Unco way, men well known to themselves, 
did relate to him concerning the land now in controversie as followeth : 

''That they could lay no clayme or chalenge to any of the land on the east side 
[of] Hawkins' Brooke only they had liberty to hunt and fish. 

"The ground of this discourse partly came from this the Lieutenant. having a 
farm on the east side of this Hawkins Brooke and fearing least the Indians should 
lay clayme to it as well as to the land on the west side of the aforesayd named 
Broke did inquire of aforesayd named Indians concerning it. This the Lieutenant 
will take his oath to, it being legaly demanded. 

**This Deponent further sayth, that Paquanock Sachem, the chief of the Paqua- 
nock Indians had his place of residence on the west side of the River com- 
only called Unkcaway River and that it was the proper wright of their pre- 
disesours from generation to generation. This was afirmed to this deponent 
by Queriheag the cheefe Sagamore of the Indians at the English first coming here. 
To this the deponent Lieutenant Wheeler offers to take his oath legally caled 
thereto. 

Thomas Wheeler. Stratford Rec." 

No date, but it was probably given in 1659, i^ following directly Mr. Higgin- 
son's letter. 



*• See Fairfield Indian Deed dated Mar. 20, 1656, hereafter. -^ 
" " The Testimony of John Minor taken upon oath. 

"Being desired to speake to what I remember in order to what was spoken 
and acted by the Indians or English about Captain Beebee's action commenced 
against the town of Stratford at Fayrfeyld about Lands. The substance of what 
I can say is briefly thus without any correction or bias of affection contrary to 
truth and equity. 

'•Being desired by the Court then at Fayrfeyld with James Beers to treat with 
the Indians of Pequanocke who in regard of the present contagion* were not 
admited into the meeting house when the Court sate about the land then in 
debate. At our first coming to them the Indians there present did all agree in 
one that they had never given any land particularly to Captain Beebee but that 
the}' gave it to Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Haynes and the other comtee of Conecticoate 
Generally. Having received this answer we went a little remote from the 
Indians. 

**The better to certifie each other how we understood them, several words 
passed between us but at last I related to the aforesayd Beers what I understood 
as above sayd. James Beers contradicted me saying he understood it otherways, 
whereupon we went to the Indians a second time before we went into the Court 
and they confirmed the same and sayed Captain Beebee had no particular interest 

♦The contagion was a severe sickness in the winter or spring of 1663. 



New Indian Papers, 15 

removed about 1657 to Derby, where the Indians gave him 
land, as heretofore stated. Mr. Wheeler says, the Pequan- 
nock sachem, whose name was Queriheag, being chief saga- 
more, when the English first came, had his residence on the 
west side of Uncaway river, and that it was the home and 
inheritance of his predecessors from generation to generation, ( j 
giving us some idea of the importance and antiquity ot" this 
tribe. Hence it appears that the Pequannock Indians pos- 
sessed the territory from what is now the Pequannock river 
to Sasqua swamp.*' 

These Indians were numerous as appears from the many 
names attached to deeds, and as we are informed by Squire 
Isaac Sherman, that twenty years later, when some of them 
had removed farther north, there were one hundred wigwams 
occupied by them at Golden Hill. This on a medium esti- 
mate would give from five to eight hundred persons when 
the English first came here, and they were all Pequannock 
Indians, as shown by the names attached to Fairfield Indian 
deeds. 

Another testimony is that of John Minor," one of the 



i.'"-^ 



1 6 History of Stratford. 

a 

early settlers and prominent men of Stratford, for many 
years an interpreter between the English and Indians and he 
was also town clerk of Stratford. His statement was taken 
for the particular purpose of disproving the claims of one 
Captain Beebe, in 1662, but it also shows that the Indians 
declared, at that time, that the land was given to Mr. 
Hopkins and Mr. Haynes twenty-four years previous, as 
stated by Rev. John Higginson. In this paper, also, Mr. 
Minor states incidentally, that there was then a " contagion '^ 
among the Indians, in consequence of which they were not 
permitted to go into the church at Fairfield, where the Court 
held its proceedings, and he also reveals the efforts made by 
unprincipled men to turn the Indians from truth and right, 
for selfish purposes. 

The decision of the Court was rendered in 1659, and 
Golden Hill reservation was then laid out. 

Golden Hill Reservation^^ 

** General Court, May, 1659. This Court having consid- 
ered the business respecting the Indians at Paquanack, and 
the difference twixt Stratford and Fairfield about the said 

in any land from them but they gave it as above sayd. Several questions I pro- 
pounded to the Indians at this time so that now James Beers sayd I understood 
them well enough and as we were going from the Indians, as before Captain 
Beebee being a little ways from us James Beers caled to him, Captayne said he 
the land is gone, the Indians Yiow uterly disown any perticular gift to you. Then 
gone it is says he. 

"We now both agreeing that we understood the Indians aright went into the 
Court house to return our answer to the Court. Whilst we were abroad before 
we went into Court Captayne' Beebee went to the Indians and the Captayne's 
Sonn. What they sayd to the Indians I know not but presently before we had 
delivered to the Court what the Indians had sayd there was a caling out that the 
Indians had something more to say. Upon which the Court desired us to go 
forth agayne and be fuly resolved what their minds were. At which then coming 
to them we found them of another turn, as may apear by our testimony upon 
oath. 

This shall legally if called thereto to take my oath of 8th, 3d, 1663. 

John Minor. 

This action was tried about Michelmas, Anno, 1662. 

Taken upon oath this nth, 3d, 1663. 

Samuel Sherman. Stratford Records."^ 
»• Col. Rec, i. 335. 



Golden Hill Reservation. 17 

Indians ; do see cause to order that according unto the desire 
of the Indians they may quickly possess and enjoy from 
henceforth and for the future, that parcel of land called Gold 
Hill; and there shall be forthwith so much land laid out 
within the liberties of Fairfield as the Committee appointed 
by the Court shall judge fit, and in as convenient a place as 
raay best answer the desire and benefit of the Indians fore- 
mentioned, for the future. And the said committee is to see 
so much land laid out within the bounds of Fairfield, for the 
use and accommodation of Stratford as that Golden Hill fore- 
mentioned is, for quantify and quality, and as may be most 
convenient for the neighbors of Stratford. And in case Strat- 
ford men are unwilling to accept of land, then the committee 
shall appoint how much and in what kind the inhabitants of 
Fairfield shall pay unto Stratford, in way of satisfaction. And 
it is ordered that this parcel of land called Gold Hill, sur- 
rendered by Stratford unto Paquanack Indians, according to 
the premises, shall be full satisfaction from them unto the 
Indians forenamed, and that neither they nor their successors 
shall make any further claims or demands of land from Strat- 
ford, but shall henceforth be accounted as Fairfield Indians, 
or belonging to Fairfield, to be provided for by them for 
future as is forementioned in the order. And it is ordered 
that in case these Indians shall wholly at any time relinquish 
and desert Gold Hill, that then it shall remain to Stratford 
plantation, they repaying to Fairfield the one half of that 
which they received in consideration of the said land. 

** The committee appointed by the Court to see this order 
put into execution are, of Norwalk, Mr. Camfield, Mr. Fitch, 
Richard Olmstead, Nathaniel Elye, who are to bound out the 
lands at Gold Hill, about 80 acres, beginning at the foot of 
the hill where the wigwams stood, and to run upwards on the 
hill and within Fairfield bounds, as is above mentioned. And 
the said committee is to make return to the Court in October, 
what they do in reference to this order.** 

The Report of the Committee, 

'* Loving neighbors of Stratford we whose names are 
underwritten have according to the order we had from Gen- 



1 8 History of Stratford, 

eral Court, without any respect to persons considered of the 
value that Fairfield men shall pay to Stratford for the 80 acres 
of land that the Indians do possess at Paquanocke with a due 
consideration of the land and the place where it lies, wherein 
we are agreed and do appoint that the Fairfield men shall pay 
to the Stratford men for the 80 acres of land that the Indians 
do possess at Paquanocke, twenty pound ; this to be paid in 
beefe, porke, wheat and pease. Of beefe 2 barrels, [and] of 
porke, good and merchantable, which we value at twelve 
pound, and 8 pounds to be payd in wheat and pease; — wheat 
at 4 shillings 6 pense the bushill, pease 3 shillings 6 pense the 
bushell, good and merchantable, and this to be payed of Fair- 
field to Stratford men betwixt this and the first day of March 
next ensuing. This being our agreement we have set to our 
hands 
Narwoke May 2, 1660. 

Matthew Camfeyld 
Thomas Fitch.'* 

When this settlement was effected in obedience to the 
directions of the Court, an arrangement was made directly 
with the Indians. 

Agreement betzueen the Indians of Pequannock and the inhabit- 

ants of Stratford. 

" Whereas there hath been a difference between the 
Indians of Pequanack and the inhabitants of Stratford, for the 
issuing of which it is agreed the Indians aforesayd acknowl- 
edging their former irregular carriage and misdemeanor and 
promising reformation in the particulars hereafter mentioned, 
it is then agreed that the aforesaid Indians shall have liberty 
to plant and improve the land between the fence that the 
Indians made and the bounds which the committee laid for 
the aforesaid Indians, till they shall forfeit the same in the 
apprehension of the inhabitants of Stratford by breaking 
their engagement in the particulars following : 

** The Indians do hereby ingage not to kill or any way 
molest our cattle and swine. 



I 



Indian Obligations, 19 

" They ingadge to medle with none of our corn or pease 
to steale from us. ^ 

'* They do ingadge so to mayntayne their fence which 
joynes to the fence of the Inhabitants of Stratford that the 
corn may be secured, and if any damage comes through any 
defect in their fence they are to make satisfaction. 

** They are further, to keep up their fence winter and 
summer to prevent damaging either them or us. 

" They do further engadge to suffer none of the in- 
habitants of Fayrefeyld and those of the farmers to get in 
or drive any cattle through the aforesaid ground which the 
Indians improve, that is to say the whole bounds layed out 
by the committee upon and about Golden Hill. 

** The Indians aforesaid are well satisfied with what the 
committee had done, every particular, and concerning the two 
highways likewise. 

"These Indians have subscribed in the name of all the 
rest, this 24th Aprill 1660. 

Musquattat's mark Nimrod's mark 

Nesuposu's mark Nomledge's mark 

Pechekin's mark." 

Thus rested the question of the ownership of the Soil of 
the Stratford township at the end of twenty years of occu- 
pancy by the English. It had not been purchased by the 
whites, not a rod square of it so far as has been ascertained 
unless it had been one piece bought by Moses Wheeler — deed 
dated April 12, 1659 — as he alleged in 1684, but which was 
never recorded on Stratford records, although he said he 
made the purchase at the request of the principal men of the 
town ; and therefore all the statements by historians that 
Stratford territory was purchased in 1639, by Mr. Thomas 
Fairchild or any others were made for want of information, 
which might easily have been obtained from the Stratford 
first book of Town Records. 



M' ' 



CHAPTER II. 




INDIAN DEEDS AND RESERVATIONS. 



CARCELY had the proceedings instituted 
^before the General Court come to a close 
declaring that Stratford, in 1659, already 
owned the land it claimed, before the In- 
dians began to clamor for pay for their long 
possessed inheritance, and the people of the 
town began to yield in hope of obtaining a 
peaceful end, and to buy the land at the 
most favorable terms possible. 

The first deed of purchase which has 
come to light was recorded in the first book 
of land records for the Colony at Hartford 
and was received by Moses Wheeler and 
dated April 12, 1659, and seems to have been 
executed while the question of title was before the Court at 
Hartford. It was a deed of **a parcel of ground lying along 
the side of Potatuck river, the east end of it being on a 
small river, which they say is Nayump, the west end bound- 
ing to a great rock [from which the name — nauompsk * point 
of rock * was derived] which reacheth the full length of 
all that plain piece of ground, and also to have two miles 
and a half of ground on the upland and all the meadow 
within that bounds."* ** Moses Wheeler alleged that the pur- 
chase was made at the solicitation of the principal inhabitants 
of Stratford, to prevent it from falling into other hands and 
that it cost him upwards of forty pounds."* After the Court 
in 1659 decided that the territory belonged to Stratford with- 



^ Col. Land Rec, i. 213. 214. 

« Mr. C. H. Hoadly in Col. Rec, iii. 1&4. 



• Indian Deeds of Stratford. 21 

out paying for it, the town allowed Moses Wheeler to keep 
his land twenty-five years and then began to lay it into divis- 
ion lots among its own members without regard to Moses 
Wheeler, although he was one of their own citizens. But 
they were brought to time by the General Court in October, 
1684, by a profitable suggestion, thus: ** This Court do rec- 
ommend it to the town of Stratford to come to an agreement 
with Moses Wheeler, sen. about the purchase he made of the 
Indians of a tract of land within their bounds,'* and some of 
the townsmen were required to appear at the next court and 
report the proposition of settlement to be ratified by the 
Court, which they did by giving Mr. Wheeler half of the 
land. Charity suggests that possibly these brethren of Moses 
Wheeler had forgotten, or were taking a little nap oa, the 
subject of the golden rule as the reason why they left him 
with the expense of the land for twenty-five years, without 
fulfilling their agreement. 

On June 5, 1660, a little over one year after the Court 
rendered its decision in favor of Stratford, a deed from the 
Indians for Stratford land was received by Bray Rossiter of 
Guilford," and this act by one outside of the town, set the ball 



'"June 5, 1660. An agreement betwixt Wampeagy, Ansutu, Wampeug, 
Aquiump and Onepenny, Indians of ye one party and Bray Rosseter of Guilford 
jre other party as foUovveth : All the afores'd Indians do passover, assign and sell 
(for a debt due) unto ye sd. Bray Rosseter one hundred acres of land on ye west 
^ideof ye river yt passeth up by Stratford ferry, (a little below ye land of Milford 
men at Paugesutt) the said hundred acres to begin at ye River and to take all 
jre breadth betwixt two small brooks and soe backward until ye said sume be 
noadcupp, with all ye privileges ot ye River for fishing lying before ye said land, 
^nd ye sd Indians doe further promise and ingage to sell what other lands ye sd 
Bray Rosseter shall desire to buy behind ye same father in ye woods uppon like 
indifferent terms, in witness our hands. 

A marke of Wampeagy. 

A marke of Aquiump. 

The marke of Wompeug. 

The marke of Nansuty. 

The marke of Onepenny. 
V^ampeagy, Nansutu and Onepenny desired to set down ye names of Wum- 
peug and Aquiump, Sagemes, affirming yt they consented unto ye same in pres- 
-ence of, etc. 

Wampeagy approved the above before Andrew Leete, Assistant at Guilford 
Feb. 28, 1684." 



22 History of Stratford. 

moving, or rather set the Indians crazy to sell the land they 
had just been told they did not own. This piece of land 
seems to have been on the west side of the Housatonic about 
one mile above the two mile Island in that river, but whether 
Mr. Rossiter held it or not after 1684 has not been ascer- 
tained. 

Another deed* was given by the Indians of land called by 
the English at the time Mohegan Hills, bounded on the west 
with the ** near sprayne " (or stream, or branch) of the Farmill 
rivef, the date being 1661, but the name of the month being 
obliterated. The peculiar item in this deed is the informa- 
tion that there was then ** a hop garden hard by ye River 
though on ye other side." In 1654 Edward Wooster was the 
first settler in Derby for the special purpose of raising hops 



* This writing made ye 1661. 

" For and upon good consideration moving me thereunto 1 make over alienate 
and freely give to my loving friend Joseph Judson of Stratford in ye jurisdiction 
of Connccticot, to him, his heirs and assigns (to have and to hold without molesta- 
tion or trouble from any Indian or Indians whatsoever la^nngclayme or challenge^ 
forever a parcell of land bounded on the northwest by ye lower part of Moose hill, 
on ye west with ye nere sprayne of ye far Mill River, on ye south at j'C parting of 
ye spray nes of ye far Mill River called by ye English ye Trapfalls, and on ye east 
by ye northwest spraine of ye far Mill River, soe running to )'e pine swamp at ye 
head of ' ye River. This parcell of land called by ye English ye Mohegan Hills 
and by ye Indians Ackquunokquahou I Amantaneag doc give as aforesd with all 
ye privileges and appertenances, the meadow or what else belongs thereto as wit- 
ness my hand and seale ye day and date above written. 

There is also a hop garden hard by ye River, though on ye other side, which. 
I doe also freely give to aforesaid Joseph Judson and his forever. 

The mark of Amantaneag. 
The mark of Akenotch, 

Sagamore of Pagasett. 
The mark of Ansantaway. 
Acquiumps his mark. 

Acquiumps doth hereby confirm this act of Amantaneag's witness his hand 
the 4th of loth, 1663. 

Per me John Minor. 

Poidge, his mark. 

Patequeno, his mark. 

Chepon, his mark." 

Witnesses : 

The mark of Suchsquoke. 
The mark of Wunnubber, 



Indian Deeds of Stratford. 23 

on the bottom land now a little way below Ansonia, and here 
in what is now Huntington was another hop garden only 
seven years later, and may have been there several years 
earlier than 1661. 

There are also in this deed as well as others that follow 
several local names of interest. 

A second deed* was given the same year, probably a 



• ** This present writing witnesseth yt I Wampegan who am ye lawful heir to all 
ye Indian Rights and privileges yt did aforetime belong to ye Sachems and my 
grandfather and since to other Sachems my uncles who were ye legall proprietors 
of a great tract of land lying west from ye farr mill River at Woronoke bounded 
on ye east with a pine swamp at ye east spraine of ye far mill River bounded on 
ye west wi^h ye west spraine of Paquannuck River, on ye South with ye lower 
part of Moose hill and bounded on ye north with ye Assuntokereag a place soe 
named about a mile and a half north from ye upper part of Moose hill, 
and norwest with a place called Manantock running as far as Pootatuck 
path ; I say I Wampegan doe not only hereby confirm what hath been form- 
erly granted and freely bequeathed to Joseph Judson of Stratford in ye Jurisdic- 
tion of Connecticut by Weenepes my uncle, I being a witness to what he did and 
it being for substance ye same which I do at present, but also I doe hereby give 
and freely bequeath to ye aforesaid Joseph Judson ye aforementioned tract of land, 
to him his heires and assignes forever to have and to hould without molestation 
or trouble from any person or persons Indian or Indians whatsoever yt shall lay 
clayme or challenge to any part of ye sd land by virtue of any title or interest 
whatsoever therein ; I say I give and freely bequeath the aforesaid Innd with all 
ye appurtenances and privileges belonging, as hunting, &c.. with all dues 
to said land as if I were personnlly to enjoy the customs thereto belonging 
myself. The aforesaid Joseph Judson promising yt upon this consideration 
Wompegan his first cousins named Poidge, Heenummojeck, Momowetah shsAl 
have free liberty to hunt for deare, &c.. uppon ye aforesd tract of land. For ye 
assurance hereof yt this is my act and deed is written freely and subscribed, this 
ninth of September one thousand six hundred and sixty-one, 9th Sept., 1661. 

Wampegan, his mark. 
The mark of Akenotch the 

Sagamore of Pagusett. 
The mark of Ansantaway. 

"This writing made )'e 14th May, 1662, witnesseth yt I Acquiumph upon good 
consideration doe confirm ye abovesd gift by Wompegan or any before, to Joseph 
Judson of Stratford. I Acquiumph Sachem of Pootatuck doe confirm ye same in 
every particular by subscribing ye day and date above written. 

The mark of Quiump, Sachem of 

Pootatuck being related to Wampegan. 
Poidge, his mark. 

Chepeneti, his mark." 



24 History of Stratford, 

month or two later, of land lying west from the Far-mill 
river, extending west to the west branch of the Pequannock 
river. " There was a Pootatuck path '* bounding the land on 
the northwest. Pootatuck was at that time the name of the 
Indian settlement occupying land now covered by the south- 
ern part ot the village of Shelton in Huntington, the place 
of the same name in "Newtown not being then established. 
This deed was given by another party than the latter previ- 
ous one, and was confirmatory of the other, yet the same 
Sachem signed both. This strikingly illustrates the separate 
interests in the lands by the Indians and also the relation 
between the Pequannocks or Stratford Indians and the Pau- 
gasetts, the Paugasett chief signed both deeds. 

A third deed* Was given in the year i66i, which was by 
Towtanimow and his mother the wife of Ansantaway, the 
old chief of Milford, who also signed the deed. Towtanimow 
was the chief Sachem at Paugassett at that time, but died 
that same winter, for in the spring — April, 1662 — Okenuck 



*" This indenture made the 4th day of December, in the year of our Lord 
Christ one thousand six hundred and sixtie one between Towtanamy and his 
mother the wife of Ansantaway being the Chief Sagamore of Pagusit on the one 
parte and Samuel Sherman and John Hurd and Caleb Nichols, Townsmen in the 
name of the inhabitants of the town of Stratford in the colony of connecticoute 
on the other part : Whereas the said Towtanimy is now lawfully seized to him 
and his heayers and asigns forever of and in all that plat of land lying and being 
between the nerer Milne River and the father Milne River comonly so caled by 
the English and being the bounds south and northeast upon Stratford River and 
west with the bare swamp caled by the Indians Makoron, northwest on black 
brook's mouth : now this indenture witnesseth that the sayd tantanimy and in the 
name of all the rest of the Indians of pawgasit for and in consideration of twelve 
pound [worth] of trading cloath and one biankit to him in hand payd before the 
writing hereof by the say*d Samuel Sherman, John Hurd and Caleb Nichcols 
and for other considerations him the sayd lowtanamy thereunto moving hath 
given, granted, bargained, sould enfeoffed and confirmed by these presents do 
give .... 10 Samuel Sherman, John Hurd and Caleb Nichcols and the inhabi- 
tants of Stratford aforesayd for ever all and every part of the sayd parcell of land 
above written being between the Mill Rivers ; and all the sayd To wtan amy's right 

and interest thereunto. 

Towtanomow, Sagamore, his mark. 

Ansantaway, his mark. 

Uncktine, his mark. 

Chi pes, his mark." 
Dec. 4, 1661. 



Indian Deeds of Stratford, 25 

-signs a deed in which he states that he is the only Sachem of 
Paugassett. 

In April, 1662, a deed'^ was given by Okenonge (more com- 
monly called Okenuck, on Derby deeds) of land at the western 
boundary of Paugassett lands, which is a matter of interest 
•although not quite explainable. West and northwest of this 
land is met the territory controlled and deeded by Pocono, 
then the Sachem at Weantinock (New Milford), for he gave 
a deed in 1671 to Henry Tomlinson for more than twenty 
thousand acres apparently extending to or into Newtown. 
This deed to" Henry Tomlinson was secured upon a permit 
by the General Court for establishing a plantation, and was 
recorded in Stratford, where Mr. Tomlinson resided, claim- 
ing seven miles iii length, three miles wide from the river on 
each side, or six miles in breadth, which was to be three 
miles up, and three down the river from Goodyear's Island in 
the Housatonic just below Falls Mountain in New Milford. 
This locality, if not the most, is one of the most sublime, on 
the Housatonic river, but the lower half of the territory 
covered by the deed was of small value in consequence of the 
steep rocky hills along the river. 

The accompanying cut is a good representation of Falls 



"^ " Know all men by these presents yt I Okenonge ye only Sachem of Pagasitt 
-doe freely give and bequeath unto my loving friends Ensign Joseph Judson and 
Joseph Hawley and John Minor of Stratford in ye Colony of Connecticott a 
parcell of Land bee it more or less lying on ye west of ye land w*''» ye aforesd 
Town of Stratford hath purchased of mee and it being all yt lyes on ye west of 
w* is already purchased yt belongs to me aqd Pagassett Indians. That I give the 
above sd tract of land to ye aforenamed persons to have and to hold w^^out 
molestation or trouble by any Indian or Indians w^soever: I say to them and 
iheire Heires forever as witness my hand this 22d April 1662. 

Witnessed by us Okenonge his marke." 

Nansanta way's marke 

Chipps his marke " 

• Deed to Henry Tomlinson for 26,880 acres signed by the following Indians: 



Pocono, 


his mark. 


Mataret, the Sachem's 


Toto. 


his mark 


Ocomunhed, 


his mark. 


eldest son. 


Mohemat, 


his mark, 


Wesonco, 


his mark. 


Tomo, his mark, the sec- 


Cheiemhehu, 


his mark, 


Pomuntock« 


his mark. 


ond Son of Mataret. 


Othoron, 


his mark. 


Ringo. 


his mark. 


Quocanoco, his mark. 


Papisconas, 


his mark, 


Ooshushamock 


, his mark. 


Weekpenos, his mark. 








z 

o 

< 
xn 

O 



O 



Indian Deeds of Stratford, 2J 

Mountain at the gorge looking up stream from the northern 
extremity of Goodyear's Island. The river just below the 
gorge has been called the Cove and Fishing Place since the 
first settlement of New Milford, because here the shad and 
herring were stopped in their progress up the river, and 
hence afforded a great supply of fish for the whole region of 
country — shad having been sold there many times at one 
pennj' each ; and the most advanfiigeous part of the west 
shore having been rented in the early settlement of the town, 
for 999 years, for one shad of ^s^ry thirteen that should be 
caught there. The gorge is over half a mile long, at the 
upper end of which are the Great Falls where now is located 
the large Wood-finishing Mill built by Bridgeport men, and 
where in olden times were caught by Indians and whites 
immense numbers of lamprey-eels. These falls are not very 
high but are called the great falls in comparison with smaller 
ones two miles further up the river. The Island was named 
Goodyear's Island from the fact that Mr. Stephen Goodyear 
of New Haven about the year 1642 built a trading house . 
upon it or near it, for purposes of commerce with the Indians. 

The point of rocks on the right hand in the picture is 
called Lover's Leap from a legend said to have been historic 
of an ancient chiefs daughter, but the legend being about the 
same in all its parts as is told of several other localities in 
Connecticut, receives but little credence. 

The Indian name of the Great Falls was Metichawan, 
denoting an " obstruction " or ** turning backi^' and hence 
since the fish stopped at the cove except the eels, the name 
may have been applied more immediately to the cove by the 
Indians. 

The falls are celebrated as having been the locality — 
adjacent on the west bank — where was built the wonderfully 
ornamented bark tent of the renowned chief Warhaumaug, 
the last but one of all the chiefs of the Indians of Western 
Connecticut, or of the original Footatuck tribe." 

The old chief Warhaumaug's monument stands on the 



* See Trumbull's Indian Names. 

^^S<$e "Indians of the Housatonic Valley.' 



28 



History of Stratford. 



hill a little to the east of Lover's Leap. Sometime within 
later years the white people have piled the stones, which lay- 
scattered about for one hundred years at the old chiefs grave, 
into a monumental pile, as represented in the accompanying 
cut. From it there is a beautiful outlook over the surround- 
ing country, for which reason the old chief requested to be 
buried there. 




WARHAUMAUG S MONUMENT. 



The gathering of the Indian tribes from the south and 
•east with the old chief VVarhaumaug at the falls was the last 
of any considerable number until they concentrated at Scata- 
cook, where now only a few families are left. 



Indian Deeds of Stratford, 29^ 

VVarhaumaug seems to have been the chief ** Tom King" 
of Turkey Hills in Milford and of Coram in Stratford, in 
1714, who coming to this locality took his name, which 
means "good fishing place," from the place. He died about 
1735, being attended in his last sickness by the Rev. Daniel 
Boardman of New Milford. 

Henry Tomlinson's deed was reaffirmed" with an addi- 
tional grant in 1702 extending it northward "five miles and a 
half in length .from the Still River, to run southwest to a 
small brook called Susumene Brook and so in breadth three 
miles on both sides the great river." This was given to 
Richard Blackleach and Daniel Shelton, who had probably 
inherited or purchased it from Henry Tomlinson or his heirs. 
This was the land that John Read was heir to from his father 
who resided in Stratford as one of its first settlers. Mr. 
Read, who afterwards settled at Reading, Conn., and from 
whose family that town took its name, and who became very 
celebrated in the profession of law in Boston, sued the New 
Milford company for trespass when they settled there ; gained 
his suit before the Hartford Court fifteen times but lost it on 
the sixteenth, and then surrendered his claim.^' 

In the year 1671, the inhabitants of Stratford having 
become tired of purchasing the .soil by piecemeal which they 
already owned, entered into an agreement to purchase all the 
claims of the Indians, within the town, except the reserva- 
tions sanctioned by the Court, and in order to make a full 
end of the matter brought it before the General Court, by 
their deputies, and the Court ordered a full settlement, 



" Henry Tomlinson's deed confirmed with addition to Richard Blackleach 
and Daniel Shelton, August 9, 1702, and signed by the following : 

Poconos, his mark. 

Indian witnesses. Werneitt, his mark. 

Papepetito, his mark, Cush, his mark. 

Sachem of Oantenocke. Paquahim, his mark. 

Siccus, his mark. Nunhotuho, his mark, the 

Metacfa, his mark. Indian interpreter. 
Mattecus, his mark, 
Poconos* son. 

" Sec History of New Milford, Conn. 



30 History of Stratford, 

appointing the deputies to attend the execution of the matter 
and make report. The agreement with the Indians, and the 
deed are both recorded. In this deed" they acknowledge all 
previous agreements and confirm all sales. They restate the 
boundaries as follows : 

**The line running from ye southward to ye northward 
\ twelve miles as it is now settled by ye court and from that 

^ north line, ye north end of it to runn away easterly to a pine 

^^ swamp and so to a little River commonly called ye halfway 

^ \ River and soe to ye g* River called Stratford River — the 

"^ north bounds being ye half-way River, ye east bounds Strat- 

^ ford River and ye South bounds ye Sound on ye Sea, ye west 

bounds Fayrefeyld as aforesd." 
\ "* , It was agreed that the Town of Stratford shall pay or 

V NA cause to be paid for and in consideration of the premises of 

Musquatt or his assigns, ten coats and five pounds of powder 
\ and twenty pound of lead. By this purchase was secured, or 

rather the Indians released from any claims, a large propor- 
tion of what is now the northern half of the township of 
Huntington in which there were some sandy hills of light 
color, and hence the name " White Hills Purchase," by 
. which the territory was designated on the town records, and 
the name is still retained in the White Hills school districts. 
This purchase, which cost the town of Stratford accord- 
ing to the tax list made specially for this purpose, over ^£'40, 
quieted the Indians just thirteen years, when another squad 
of claimants had grown up, or at least made their appearance, 
and doubtless for a consideration — as whenever did they with- 
out — confirmed the previous sale, thus: ** We whose names 
are hereunto subscribed have had a full understanding of the 
contents of the above written bill of sales, — we do fully con- 
cur with those that formerly signed the same, and do approve 



a 



"This deed which secured 


particularly 


the While Hills 


was dated May 25, 


J671, and signed by the folloiving 


Indians : 






Indian witnesses. 




Musquatt, 


his mark. 


Sucksquo, his mark. 




Nesumpaw, 


his mark. 


Susqua James, his mark. 




Sasapaqun, 


his mark. 


Peonseck, his mark. 




Shoron, 


his mark. 


Totoquan, his mark. 




Tackymo, 


his mark. 



Indian Deeds of Stratford, 31 

thereof and do oblige ourselves and our heirs to stand 
thereto, Golden Hill as stated by the Court excepted.**^* 

Thus ended apparently all Indian claims to Stratford 
lands, except in the reservations at Golden Hill and Coram. 
Of those who signed this last release two deserve a passing 
notice. Siacus, who signed a deed in Fairfield, retired to 
Gaylordsville in New Milford where he resided some years 
after the Gaylord family settled there about 1724, and where 
the site of his hut is still pointed out, as having stood in the 
midst of an orchard of apple-trees. He was a kindly remem- 
bered old Indian. 

Chickens was also of the Pequannock tribe, and* removed, 
probably, first to the Newtown or southern part of New 
Milford, thence to Reading, where he claimed and held a res- 
ervation, and after some years traded his reservation there 
. for land at Ten Mile River near Kent, with John Read, and 
became one of the Kent tribe. His grandson, Tom Warrups, 
figured somewhat amusingly as well as patriotically during 
the Revolution at Reading,^* and after some years he removed 
and settled on the east side of Mount Tom in New Milford, 
where he enjoyed much liberty, lived cheerfully, loved strong 
water, had a wife who was a complete slave in waiting on 
him, but quite content in her home. Nothing is known of his 
death and hence probably he removed to Kent about 18 10. 

The local name Pootatuck, where the southern part oi 
the village of Shelton now stands in the town of Huntington, 

*^ Confirmation of the White Hills sale, April 28, 1684. 

Indian witness. 
Nasumpaives, his mark. 



Papuree, 


his mark. 


Ponamscut, 


his mark. 


Acunhe, 


his mark. 


Robin, 


his mark. 


Matach, 


his mark. 


Siacus, 


his mark. 


Chickens, 


his mark. 


Sashwake James, 


his mark. 


Crehero, 


his mark. 


Nasqurro, 


his mark. 


Cheroromogg, 


his mark. 



'* Hist, of Redding, 65. Indians of Housatonic, Hist. New Milford. 



32 History of Stratford, 

was within the original limits of the town of Stratford, and 
was occupied by Indians, apparently, until 1684, some forty 
years after the town began to be settled, although it was not 
a reservation. It was probably the most ancient settlement 
on that river below Weantinock and retained the original 
name of the river, which was Pootatuck, meaning ** falls 
river ** or the river with many falls. From the distribution of 
relics as well as the name of the river it is suggested that the 
Mohican, or Hudson river Indians, came through the opening 
of the mountains a little below the present town of Kent, 
Conn., and finding the magnificent cascade or falls at the 
place now* called Bull's Bridge, and on ascertaining the falls 
at New Milford and at Canaan, they named the river Poota- 
tuck, * falls river.* So far as ascertained, this was the only 
name applied by the Indians to this river when the whites 
first came here," and from it came the general classification 
of Pootatuck Indians to all who resided upon it ; except that 
they always retained — even to this day — the ancestral origin 
of Mohegans (usually pronounced by the Indians, Mohegans.) 
The first settlement they made on the river of any considerable 
account was at New Milford which was retained as the Council- 
fireplace, or the capital, until the locality was sold in 1705. A 
small settlement was perhaps first made at Kent called Scata- 
cook (Pish-gach-tigok) signifying 'the confluence of two 
streams,* for here were found by the first settlers such imple- 
ments as were not made in this part of the country, as 
described by Dr. Trumbull and as have been ascertained at 
more recent dates, but the favoring circumstances at that 
locality for a large and permanent settlement were almost noth- 
ing compared to New Milford, where were the richest bottom 
lands and greatest in extent of any place on the river, besides 
the great abundance offish and eels two miles below, at Falls 
Mountain. Then, also, it has been handed down from the Rev. 
Daniel Boardman the first minister at New Milford, by his 



^* On Stratford and Derby records the only Indian name for this river at first 
was Pootatuck, with various spellings, and as late as 1723 in Newtown in a pub- 
lie vote they say, " the Great or Potatuck River," in a proposition to purchase the 
Indian claims of Quiomph and his tribe then residing there, thus showing that 
the Indians still retained their old name for the river. 



Indian Deeds of Stratford, 



33 



son Sherman Boardman in writing that New Milford was the 
chief seat of government for all the tribes or clans on the 
Housatonic river. The only locality that retained the origi- 
nal name was at Shelton, and the extensiveness of the burials 
made there indicates greater antiquity than elsewhere except 
at New Milford. There was here also at the old Pootatuck 
village, an old fort when the English first came, and a new 
one had been built, just before, or was built soon after, at 
what is still called Fort Hill on the west side a little further 
up the river. 




CONFLUENCE OF THE HOUSATONIC WITH THE NAUGATUCK. 



The accompanying illustration represents the Naugatuck 
river coming from the north, at the right hand, into the 
Housatonic. The cove at the north end of the fields opposite 
the old Leman Stone store and shipping house, was known 
many years as Huntington Landing (belonging to Stratford 
150 years); and about half a mile up the river on the west 
side was the old Pootatuck settlement and fort; and a mile 

3 



34 History of Stratford. 

above it on the same side of the river was the new fort on 
what is still Fort Hill, while about a mile further up is the 
Indian Well, This Huntington and Derby Landing was a 
great shipping port for about one hundred years. 

It was at this place, being within the bounds of Stratford^ 
that the Indians in 1663 agreed to abandon their old planting 
field for the sake of peace, and probably for the purpose of 
being allowed to occupy the locality longer as a settlement 
or residence, after the land had been turned over to the Eng- 
lish more than twenty years, in the following language : 

" Upon consideration of friendly and loving correspond- 
ence between us and the town of Stratford, we will no more 
plant on the south side of the Great River at Paugusitt to 
prevent a ground of future variance between us, in order to 
avoid any damage that might be done to corn."" The cattle 
and swine of the English were pastured in the wilderness^ 
and if the Indians planted corn without making substantial 
fences about it, damage would be the inevitable result ; there- 
fore rather than build a fence around land they could not 
legally hold, they concluded not to plant at that place. A 
large proportion of the Paugasitt tribe were residing then on 
Derby Neck, a mile north of the present village of Birming- 
ham, where they had a large planting field. 

The relics found at Pootatuck have been numerous and 
some of them very fine in workmanship. Two pestles dug 
up in excavating for a cellar in 1879, '^^^i'" ^^e river, in the 
lower part of Shelton, were the most perfect of any seen in 
this part of the country. 

The Indian Well is the only remaining monument or 
visible reminder of the old Pootatuck tribe. This was located 
on the west side of the river about a niile above the dam 
across the Housatonic. A stream of water pours through 
the opening of the rocks and descends about twenty feet into 
a deep pool or well, said to have been measured to the depth 

" The agreement between Okenunge and Stratford, May 28, 1663, was signed 
by the following names : 

Okenunge, his mark. Ansantaway, his mark. 

Amantaneage, his mark. Mansuck, his mark. 

Asquetmougu, his mark. Nomponucke, his mark. 



Indian Deeds of Newtown, 35 

of one hundred feet without finding the bottom. It is said 
that the Indians held some superstition of awe or veneration 
for the place, but the appearance would indicate the awe to 
have partaken more of th^ nature of thankfulness for the 
coolness and agreeableness of the place and the abundance 
of good water. It is a pleasing resort for visitors in the sum- 
mer, and many improve its inviting shades and romantic 
scenery. Whether the Indians had as much or more pleasure 
in the locality than the whites have since may be a question, 
of doubt, but certain it is that the name is the Indian Well. 

Pootatuck in Newtown. 

About 1680 the Indians on the lower part of the Housa- 
tonic made a considerable migration with their wigwams up 
the Housatonic river, those on the south side to Pootatuck 
in Newtown and those on the east side to the mouth of the 
Shepaug on the north side. In i68i,the Pequannock Indians 
sold their old planting field in Fairfield, and in 1685, '^^^ ^^^ 
1687 they completed the sale of all their claims in that town- 
Golden Hill and Coram in Stratford were left, but Coram 
they never liked as a place for wigwams and but few dwelt 
there, and the whites had already settled to the north of that 
place, so that game was scarce, the forests were disappearing, 
and they felt compelled to move West, as many of their suc- 
cessors have done since. 

Newtown and New Milford became the points of rendez- 
vous from 1680 until about 1705, when they sold again and 
moved on west. 

Newtown from 1680 until 1705 must have been the home 
of several hundred natives. In the latter year they sold the 
territory for that township," making some reservation and in 



*^The deed for the purchase of Newtown is dated July 25, 1705, and was for a 
' ' tract of land bounded south on a Pine Swamp and land of Mr. Sherman and Mr. 
Rossiter, Southwest upon Fairfield bounds. Northwest upon the bounds of Dan- 
bury, Northeast on land purchased by Milford men at or near Caentonoack, and 
Southeast on land of Nannawaug, an Indian, the line running two miles from the 
river right against Potatuck, the said tract of land containing in length, eight 
miles and in breadth six miles in consideration of four guns, four Broad- 
cloth coats, four Blanketts. four Buffalo Coats, four Kettles, ten shirts, ten pair of 



36 



History of Stratford, 



1723, they by their chief, Quiumph, sold all their claims in 
that town ** except a corner of intervale lying by ye River 
where Cocksures fence" is." The Newtown deed of 1705, 
contains the names of several Indians who signed deeds in 
Fairfield and Stratford, showing that they retired from their 
old wigwams along the coast to Pootatuck in Newtown. New 
Milford and Newtown were purchased at nearly the same 
time. At New Milford they sold their last land, which was 
their old planting field, in 1705, and with those from Newtown 
and Shepaug in Woodbury began to center in considerable 
numbers at Kent. There is a sense of sadness connected 
with their leaving Weantinock, their old council-fire place, 
where their warriors had gathered during many generations 
to decide the great questions of peace or war, and where 
their wigwams and fort had stood, perhaps hundreds of 
years, and where also they had buried a large number of 
their kindred ancestors. It was a beautiful locality, with 



Stockings, fortie pound of Lead, ten Hatchetts, ten pound of powder and fortie 
knives." 

Macroremee, his mark. Siams, his mark. 

Wachunaman, his mark. Sudragumqua, his mark. 

Walwaiup, his mark. Wompenoch, his mark. 

Martenech, his mark. Wachunanee, his mark. 

Awashkeran, his mark. Saununtawan, his mark. 

Ammeruetas, his mark. Manapok, his mark. 

Mattouchsqua, his mark. Magusquo, his mark. 

Gonnehampishe» his mark, Tarrosque, his mark. 

Wompeowash, his mark. Meramoe, his mark. 

Murapash, his mark. Sosauso, his mark. 

Punnauta, his mark. Wamatup, his mark. 

Wannome, his mark. Materook, hi6 mark. 

Mesaukseo, his mark; Awashkeram, his mark. 

Taroosh, his mark. Mattoacksqua, his mark. 

Merammoe, his mark. Mauquash, his mark. 

Sachamoque, his mark. Massumpo, his mark. 

Sassousoon. his mark. Nannawaug, his mark. 

" Newtown deed^ called Second Purchase^ dated Aug, 7, iy2j, 

Indian Witnesses. Quiumph, his mark. 

Manchero, his mark. 

Nalumkeotunk, his mark. 

Machekomp, his mark. 

Mansumpus, his mark. 



38 History of Stratford. 

most charming surroundings. Their wigwams stood on the 
high bluff, seen in the accompanying picture, with the 
mountain in the rear stretching to the north, and their rich 
planting field at the foot of the bluflf stretching eastward to 
the river and along its shore for a mile or more. On the 
edge of the bluff, now covered with a beautiful chestnut and 
oak grove, was their burying place, where now after one hun- 
dred and eighty years, fifty mounds may be counted ; it 
being, probably, the most perfect native memorial place that 
can be seen in all New England. The accompanj^ing cut 
shows first, beyond the bridge, the old field, then the bluff 
where a dwelling stands ; a little to the left of which are the 
mounds, in the grove, and beyond these the mountains. In 
front of all these, flowing beneath the bridge is the Indians* 
grand old Pootatuck river. iVll these are but memorial of 
these native children of America. 

Notwithstanding there were only eighty acres of land 
reserved for the Indians on Golden Hill, the white settlers 
were unwilling to allow them even these acres, but the 
General Court faithfully tried to protect them, as seen in the 
following record : 

" May, 1678. Whereas this Court have been informed 
that some of Stratford have been claiming and laying out 
land upon Golden Hill to themselves, which hath been settled 
upon the Indians by agreement in this Court about nineteen 
years since, the Indians having not relinquished their right in 
the said Golden Hill, the Court confirms the same to the 
said Indians, according to former grant, without molestation ; 
^nd this Court orders that the said Indians shall not be 
molested or interrupted in their right there until they do 
wholly relinquish their right publicly, and come and record 
the same before this Court. This Court allows the Indians 
two coats to be delivered them by Stratford for their 
trouble." »• 

In May, 1680, Ackenach, Sachem of Milford and Pau- 
gassett Indians asked for more land for the support of his 
people ; in reply to which the Court appointed two commit- 



» Col. Rec, iii. 



Indian Reservations. 39 

tees, one to lay out one hundred acres at Turkey Hill, for 
Milford Indians, — which accomplished its work — and the 
other to lay out one hundred acres at Corum hill. The latter 
say in their report : " We have been at Corum hill and have 
laid out one hundred acres of land, be it more or less, for the 
use of those Indians that properly belong to Stratford to 
provide land for, by the law of this Colony, bounded with 
marked trees and Stratford River and Samuel Judson's 
ground; sufficient highways and conveniences for fishing on 
that side the river to be allowed in that said land when and 
where occasion shall require from time to time. 
Oct. 3, 6, 1680. 

William Fowler. 
Jehu Burr." 

This Coram land the Indians did not like, reporting it as 
very stoney and poor, but they occupied it many years, 
although not in large numbers. In 1714, they sold about 
twenty acres of it," for the sum of nine pounds and other 
land. This .other land is described as "in Stratford town- 
ship near a place called Quorum, bounded on the east partly 
on the river and on the. north with a brook called Quorum 
brook." 

In the deed to Harger is the name Tom, whom Harger 
in his deed to the Indians says was son of Cockapotane, who 
was the last chief at Paugassett, about 1730, and Tom in sign- 
ing the deed made the same mark Antsantaway had used a 
number of times, namely, the bow and arrow. 

Tom was somewhat accustomed to high times when 
young, as appears from the sale of a piece of the Coram 
reservation in 1724. The following is the record: 

** Know all men by these presents, that whereas certain 

^ The 4f)(sd_to Abraham Harger, dated May 31, 1714, was signed by ten 



Indians as follows : 




Windham, 


his mark. 


Ackomie, 


his mark. 


Tom, 


his mark. 


Tackamore. 


his mark. 


Pequet, 


his mark. 



Mishallin, 


his mark. 


Robin, 


his mark, 


Curan, 


his mark, 


Rauneton, 


his mark, 


Chips, 


his mark. 



40 History of Stratford. 

Turkey Hill Indians upon Stratford River did about May 
last and before, steal sundry sheep from Stratford side out of 
Quorum plain and being convicted of the same before 
Authority — the Indians were these : Montigue, Tom Will,. 
Ponocurate, Chashamon, Mojono, Chipunch, Nenoco, Peico- 
curet, — their Sachem Tomtonee or Munshanges, engaging to 
pay eleven pounds ten shillings in money which the said 
Indians promised to pay for the damage in stealing of sheep, 
and not having money to pay, the aforesaid Tomtonee, Saga- 
more, in the behalf of all the other Indians doth make over 
two parcels of land ; the one being about two acres called by 
the name of lower Quorum upon the great River, that they 
had of Abraham Harger, the other ten acres of land near the 
Narrows, bounded with the land of Daniel Shelton. north, 
south and easterly by the Indians' land in ye bounds of Strat- 
ford for the aforesaid sum of eleven pound ten shillings, and 
forty shillings more in money which we do own to have 
received already, in all being thirteen pounds ten shillings; 
all the aforesaid land with all the privileges, etc., hath made 
over unto Daniel Shelton of Stratford in the Colony of Con- 
necticut, to quitclaim unto the said Daniel Shelton and his 
heirs forever, or so long as he the said Shelton or his heirs 
shall own that they are paid by the improvement of said 
land. The said Shelton of his own accord doth say that if 
the General Court or the town of Stratford saith he hath 
done amiss, he will relinquish the land. The aforesaid Tom- 
tonee paying the sum of thirteen pounds ten shillings to 

aforesaid Shelton and the said Tomtonee, Sagamore, 

does promise for himself and the rest of said Indians that if 
ever the land is taken out of the hand of Daniel Shelton or 
his heirs, that the said Tomtonee will pay back the aforesaid 
thirteen pounds ten shillings to the aforesaid Shelton or his 
heirs."" 

The special reason why Mr. Shelton so freely offered to 



" Derby, Jan. 7, 1723-4, Tomtonee's deed for stealing sheep. 

Mashages, his mark. Tomtonee, his mark. 

Tom Will, his mark. Cheponan, his mark. 

Punto, his mark. 



y/ 



Indian Reservations, 41 

restore the land if called upon was that it was unlawful for 
any person or company to purchase land of the Indians with- 
out a permit from the Court. 

It has been reported that the Indians had a reservation 
at Oronoque, or Woronoque, as the early Stratford town 
clerks wrote it, but no record of such reservation has been 
seen by the author of these pages. They may have resided 
there, or occupied a particular locality for many years by 
sufferance from the town, as they did at Pootatuck, but there 
was no reservation in the town but at Golden Hill, at first, , .| 

and then at Coram afterwards, and the wood lot at Rocky /' 

Hill. r 

Golden Hill Reservation Sold. A^J \ 

The settlement made with the Pequannock Indians in / ^. 
1659, in the appropriation of eighty acres of land on Golden ■' . 
Hill, by the General Court through the towns of Stratforc^'^ I 

and Fairfield, remained in force nearly one hundred years, ;e)'r ^ ^j^ 

until October, 1763, when three Indians — Tom Shernikn, (|lri Jv 
Eunice Shoran his wife, and Sarah Shoran, petitione^^JJ»#-^>l {/^ 
General Court for redress, claiming th^Hirey^pd their ^ 
ancestors " had quietly enjoyed saM.J«iids till \vithin a few 
years last past, Gamaliel FrenQJj<^dow Sarah ^ooth, Elihu 
Burret, Joseph Booth, Maryjmurret, the Rev. Robert Ross, 
Ezra Kirtland, Aaron Havvley and Samuel Porter, all of said 
Stratford, and Daniel Morriss, John Burr, Jr., and Richard — 
Hall, all of Fairfield, have entirely ejected and put the 
memorialists out of the whol^ of said lands and pulled down 
their wigwam without right.** Upon this complaint, Jabez 
Hamlin, Benjamin Hall and Robert Treat, Esqrs., were 
appointed a committee to inquire into the matter and report, 
which report was made the next May, but the Court was 
wholly dissatisfied with it and appointed Jabez Hamlin, 
Elisha Sheldon and Robert Treat, Esqrs., a second committee 
** with full power and authority to examine into and discover 
said matters of grievance.** This committee reported the next 
October, 1765, an agreement with the Indians to sell all the 
eighty acres except " a certain piece or parcel of land called . 



42 History of Stratford. 

Nimrod lot, containing about twelve acres, with the spring at 
the point of Golden Hill aforesaid, bounded westerly by an 
highway, eastwardly by Poquorinuck River, northerly by 
Jabez Summer's land, and southerly by the Cove and com- 
mon land, also about eight acres of wood-land at Rocky Hill, 
to be purchased for them by the petitioners, they also paying 
to them the said Indians, thirty bushels of Indian corn and 
three pounds worth of blankets.**" This report and agree- 
ment was accepted and ordered by the Court to be executed, 
and to be in full for all demands by the Indians. 

Besides the thirty bushels of Indian corn and three 
pounds worth of blankets, those who had trespassed on the 
rights of the Indians were ordered by the Court to pay to 
Thomas Hill, the Indian agent, £^^2 ii' 2**, to defray the 
expenses of the Indians in the suit. 

In the agreement with Fairfield in 1659, this land upon 
the Indians leaving it, was to revert to the town of Stratford, 
upon their returning half the amount of money that Fairfield 
paid for it. If this was carried out, then these trespassers 
must have paid this item also to the town of Stratford, if no 
more, provided they retained the land. It is probable, how- 
ever, that they paid a still further charge to Stratford for the 
land. 

It will be seen by the above quotation that the wood 
land was not an original reservation but a purchase at this 
time. 

The Last Families. 

Tom Sherman, the last owner of the Golden Hill reserva- 
tion, married, in the Indian way, Eunice Shoran, and had 
children: I, Tom ; II, Eunice; III, Sarah. 

I. Tom 2\ m. Sarah (?) and had IV Ruby. 

II. Eunice, m. Mack or Mansfield, formerly of Kent, and 
had V, Jim, Garry and Eunice. 

III. Sarah, m. Ben Roberts, a negro, and lived at the 
Eagles* Nest at Stratford Tide Mill. Some of their descend- 

^ Conn. Col. Records, xH. 




^^^tz^f^ ^^e^t^^nu^ 



The Last Families. 43 

ants still reside in Orange, Conn., but are not claimants on 
the Indian funds of Stratford. 

V. Jim Mansfield, son of Eunice Shoran, m. his cousin 
Ruby, dau. of Tom 2^, and had Nancy, who had VI, William 
Sherman ; after which she m. John Sharpe, and had Beecher, 
Nancy and Charles, and Sharpe being sent to State's Prison, 
she lived with a man Rensler, and had Olive. 

VI. William Sherman, son of Nancy and grand-son of 
Tom 2*^ and Ruby, was born in 1825 in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., 
and is still living at Nichols Farms in Trumbull, Conn., being 
the sole claimant on the Indian money from the sale of Golden 
Hill. He m. Nancy Hopkins of New London, and was a 
sailor in a whaling ship seventeen years; has been Vound the 
world nine times ; was first mate of the ship five years and 
■earned an honorable standing and reputation, which he has 
retained to the present time. He educated himself, and 
could perform the full services of a first mate on a ves- 
sel correctly as well as intelligently. He has long been a 
respected farm laborer at Nichols Farms, and long trusted 
with considerable responsibility in the management of the 
ifarm and properties of Mr. F. P. Ambler and Sons, while they 
were engaged in the business of Saddletree manufacturing at 
that place. He has been the Sexton of the Cemetery at 
Nichols Farms about thirty years and performed the work of 
liis position with much satisfaction to the community. He 
and his wife have acted in the capacity of nurses in severe 
sicknesses in the community for many years, and as such won 
many expressions of thankfulness and confidence. The tradi- 
tion is that he is a descendant of Molly Hatchet of Derby ; 
and in the healthy locality where he resides has attained 
to the standard weight of about three hundred and sixty 
pounds. 

His children are: I, William; II, Henry, died aged 17 
years; III, George, who m. Mary A. Hamilton; IV, Mary 
Olive, who died young; V, Caroline; VI, Huldah ; VII, 
Mary Olive ; VIII, Charles ; IX, child that died. 



CHAPTER III. 



\ 




INDIAN DEEDS, WARS AND RELICS. 






AIRFIELD and Stratford were both held 
by the Connecticut Colony as conquered 
and ceded territory when these settlements 
were first commenced, and for ten years 
they were treated in several respects as one 
plantation. They were taxed as one; they 
were served with magistrates as one, and 
jointly they provided for the Pequannock 
Indians after 1659 until 1680; Stratford 
furnishing the land for the Golden Hill 
reservation in part and Fairfield contribut- 
ing something towards the supply of the 
land, and also the agents to oversee the 
Indians were appointed from Fairfield. 

In order, therefore, to understand the 
whole history of this tribe of Indians it is important to refer 
to the deeds they gave of land in Fairfield, and to preserve 
their names the same as the signers of Stratford deeds. 

The division line between Stratford and Fairfield passed 
through, north and south, the territory which these Indians 
had long cultivated, whigh constituted the open plains that the 
new settlers so much desired, that they could not settle the 
boundary line themselves and hence called on the General 
Court to do it. This they did by retaining the old line, 
nearly through the centre of the plain, allowing the Indians 
to still cultivate about eighty acres, called the old Indian 
field, near Uncoway River, in Fairfield, and appropriating 
eighty more on Golden Hill in Stratford, but making Goldea 
Hill the place of residence for all of them. 




Indian Deeds, 45 

The first deed* is a quitclaim of a large part of the orig- 
inal town of Fairfield, and is given by Pequannock Indians in 
1656, nearly seventeen years after Mr. Ludlowe took posses- 
sion of the territory. In this deed they reserve the ** pro- 
priety " or ownership of the Indian field, which they, being 
at Fairfield say, " is a small neck of land on y® other side of 
ye creeke ;" meaning Uncoway creek as elsewhere explained. 
That was the neck where the Gentlemen's Trotting Park is 
now located, the original field extending northward some 
distance from the present park. At the time the deed was 
given they were about to build a fort, and the only considera- 
tion that they received at the time, apparently, was an agree- 



* Fairfield Indian Deed^ dated March 20, 16^6. 

'• Whereas several Indians have made claim 10 much of y* land y* ye Town of 
Fairfield have and do possess, ye Town of Fairfield having taken ye matter 
into consideration, ordered and appointed Alexander Knowles, Henry Jackson, 
Francis Purdy with several others to treat with Poquanuck Indians concerning 
and upon y* treaty with those Indians whose names are under written in y behalf 
of all y« Pequannock Indians they have agreed as followeth : 

"First they owne y* ye land y* ye Town is built upon from ye Creeke y' ye 
tide mill of Fairfield souihwesiward is called Sasqua which they owne has been 
purchased* from ye Indians and is now y* English land. 

"2. Secondly y* sd. Indians have acknowledged, consented to and granted 
y* all that tract of land which they call Uncoway and which is from y* above sd 
Creek eastward unto ye bounds between Fairfield and Stratford, from y^ See to 
run into y* country seven or eight miles, for y* future it shall be y* land and 
propriety of y« inhabitants of y* Town of Fairfield, giving and granting to ye sd 
Town all ye above sd tract of land called Uncoway with all creeks rivers etc. . . 
. . only it is to be noticed that the field which y* Indians now possess called y" 
Indian field, which is a small neck of land on y* other side of y* creeke is 
excepted, y* Indians still keeping their propriety in that small neck or field. Ye 
Indians are to have y* privilege of killing deer within y* aboves<^ tract of land, 
only they are not to set any traps within y* sd tract of land. 

In witness, 20th March, 1656. 

" Whereas ye above said land is granted to ye Town of Fairfield by ye sd 
Indians: We also manifest our respect unto them y^ wee doe engage upon suflS- 
cient warning to cart their stuff for them to erect and build a fort yr. Upon this 
consideration y* sd Indians have acknowledged y* abovesd grant. 

Umpeter Noset, marke. Nimrod or Pocunnoc, marke. 

Matamuck, marke. Anthonyes, alias Lotashun, marke. 

Weshun, marke." 

* " Purchased," means obtained, for in a later deed where all previous deeds 
are referred to, this one is the first mentioned. 



46 History of Stratford. 

ment on the part of the English to " draw the stufFe," with 
which to build this fort, but this may have taken time suffi- 
cient to balance quite a sum of money. Whether there had 
been a fort there or anywhere within Fairfield bounds is not 
stated, but a fort was at some time here, for in 1752, in giving 
the bounds of the Stratfield Society at this place, they say,. 
" which said cove heads or terminates at or near the place 
called the Old. Fort."" 

Another deed* of the same date — March 20, 1656 — was 
given for " land commonly called Sasqua, lying west of 
Sasqua swamp, or on the west side of the present Mill River r 
Musquat, the first name on this deed, is the same as that on a 
deed in Stratford in 1671. 

The third deed* was given to cover this same territory or 
a part of it because the Indians at Norwalk claimed an 
interest in it. 

' Col. Rec, X. 147. 

' Second Indian Deed in Fairfield^ date March 20^ i6j6. 

** This was a deed of " land commonly called Susqua, . . . bounded on y* north- 
east with y* land called Uncaway. on y* southwest with ye land at Maximus, ye 
line on ye southwest runs close to ye English farms at Maximus, .... from th& 
sea Straight up into ye country six miles at y* least." 



Musquatt, his mark. 


Santamartous poppoos, 


his mark. 


Taspee, his mark. 


Willecon, 


his mark. 


Ponuncamo, his mark. 


James, alias Watusewa- 




Cramkeago's Squaw, 


satum, 


his mark. 


Selamartous' Sister 


Wompegan, 


his mark. 


Wissashoes, her mark. 






The following signed October 16, 


1679. 




Creconoe's mark. 


Chickens' mark." 




Indian Witnesses. 






Nimrod's mark. Antony 


s mark." 





* Fairfield Indian Deed of Land claimed by Indians of Norwalk, in which it 
is said " Susqua did run west as far as Muddy Creek." 
Dated April 11, 1661. 
Momechemen, mark. Wenam, mark. 

Tolpee, mark. Quanumsooe, mark. 

Aucan, mark. Panoucamus, mark. 

Maskot, mark. James, marke." 

Indian Witnesses. 
Mamachim's mark. Weenam's mark." 



Indian Deeds. 



47 



The next deed* here noticed — for the deed given in 1670 
has not been seen — was given for claims, again, on the whole 
township, and a large part of it is given in the note to show 
the inside track of the business of buying lands of the Indians, 
and also because it was the final one, except for reservations, 
for the southern part of the township. 

The interpreter in these sales was John Minor of Strat- 
ford, and several of these deeds are recorded on Eai'rlield 



* Fairfield Indian Deed, quitclaim^ date October 6, j68o, ■ 

" Know all men by these presents y^ whereas y* towne of Fairfield hath form- 
erly bought of y* true Indian proprietors all ye lands contained within their 
township bounds which is seven miles broad upon ye sea coast and from ye sea 
at least twelve miles into ye country to y* northward of their bounds, bounded on 
y* east with y* sd. Town bounds as y* Court hath settled, on ye west with ye 
town bounds of Norwake, also Compaw Neck from ye old road to Norwake to 
Sagatttck River on ye west, and to ye sea on ye south, for which lands ye Indian 
proprietors have given ye sd Towne severall bills of sale—one bill bearing date 
20th March, 1656, another bill dated 21 March, i6tf . ye 3d bill bearing date ye 19th 
Jan., 1670, by all which bills of sale ye above lands are made over to ye Towne, 
Yet for ye maintenance of love and peace between ye sd Towne and us ye Indians 
y* wee may prevent trouble, y^ neither we nor our heirs nor successors shall make 

any further claims We the surviving Indians, inhabitants of Poquanock, 

Uncoway, Susqua and Aspetuck do covenant, etc for a valuable considera- 
tion do alienate, etc [In this deed the old Indian field was still reserved.] 

Witness this 6th day of October, 1680. 

T t- ou * J r Witnesses and Interpreter. 
John Sherwood, ) "^ 



Old Anthony, 


his mark. 


Panumset, 


his mark. 


Nimrod, 


his mark. 


Pupurah, 


his mark. 


Woywegun Nasq 


ue, his mark. 


Mamarashock, 


his mark. 


Yeerusqua, 


her mark. 


Nausouate, 


his mark. 


Washannaesuck, 


his mark. 


Sasqua James, 


his mark. 


Koewop, 


his mark. 


Nusenpawes, 


his mark. 


Cooreco, 


his mark. 


Creconoc, 


his mark. 


Weequombe, 


his mark. 


Norwake James 


1, his mark. 


Poueri, 


his mark. 


Capl. Witree, 


his mark. 


Youyowwhy, 


his mark. 


Iletorow, 


his mark. 


Patchcock, 


his mark. 


Nasacoe, 


his mark. 


Sasapequun, 


his mark. 


Quatiart, 


his mark. 


Aquonke, 


his marke. 


Siacus, 


his mark.* 


October 13, 1680, the following names were added. 




" Hassahan, 


marke. 


Wampum, 


marke. 


Mittacke, 


marke. 


Warenet, 


marke. 


Womsoncowe, 


marke. 


Choromoke, 


marke. 


Chickins, 


marke." 







48 History of Stratford, 

book in John Minor's handwriting, but testified to by Fair- 
field town clerk. 

On this last deed are many names, some of which we 
find on Stratford deeds, and also on deeds given some years 
later further up the Housatonic river. Old Anthony, whose 
Indian name was Lotashun, was, we imagine, a noble old 
Indian, and really very old. Nimrod, whose Indian name 
was Pocunnoe, had been prosecuted thirty years before for 
killing a Mr. Buttler's hogs, being then a prominent man, 
and must have been quite old, and he it was who had his 
wigwam on the eastern part of the Golden Hill reservation, 
and after whom the lot was named, and known man)' years, 
near where the Bridgeport Gas Works now stand, and in his 
honor also was named a steamboat sailing from Bridgeport 
nearly two hundred years after Pocunnoe was named Nim- 
rod. Quite a number of these names with variations of 
spelling are to be seen several times in other deeds hereafter 
noticed.. 

Only one year after the date of the last deed the Pequan- 
nock Indians prevailed with Fairfield men to buy their old 
field near Uncoway creek, although the Fairfield people urged 
them to keep it, as the bill of sale says, and on the i8th of 
May, 1681, the deed was signed ; the deed saying, ** the Old 
Indian field on ye east side of Uncoway River."' 

It is conclusive from the few names attached to this deed 

• Fairfield Indian Deed for the Indian field, dated May j8^ j68i, 
'* This sale we have made for a valuable consideration." 
Mamerushee Umperenoset's Cape, his mark. 

Sowwahose squaw, her mark. 

Naushuta's squaw, her mark. 

Nassansumk Young, 

Anthony's son, his mark. 

Choraromokes, his mark." 

** Indian Witnesses. 
Sasqua James, his mark. Ru.nsh squa, her mark. 

Crovecoe, his mark. Pascoe, his mark. 

Rorocway^ his mark. 

"Trushee an Indian who speaks very good English" was employed by both 
parties and signed this deed. 

Trushe/e's mark." 



son. 


mark. 


Ponees, 


his mark. 


Old Anthony, 


his mark. 


Washaganoset, 


his mark. 


Wissawahem squa%v. 


her mark. 



Fairfield Indian Deeds, 49 

that quite many of the natives had removed, and we find also 
that during the previous year the Paugassett chief petitioned 
the General Court for more land to plant, and in October the 
Court ordered, and the reservation called Coram was devoted 
to their use, so that probably about this time a considerable 
emigration occurred to Pootatuck in Huntington, Pompe- 
raug on the Housatonic and to Pootatuck in Newtown. 

Several other Indian deeds are recorded on Fairfield 
books ; one of a piece of land called Wolf Pit Neck, in the 
southeast part of the town joining Stratford line, dated Feb- 
ruary 12, 1685, and sold to Fairfield town/ 

This deed and several others are signed by John Burr as 
Commissioner, and since it was unlawful for any persons or 
towns to purchase lands of the Indians without an order 
from the General Court, probably he was appointed to act 
in that capacity, and hence may have effected the purchase 
under the great oak tree, as tradition has reported, on the 
plain about a mile west of the wigwams at the foot of Golden 
Hill and in the northern part of the old open field. 

This was a grand ancient tree, celebrated as such for the 
last two hundred years, but like all the lords of this earth, it 
had its day when it flourished and extended its branches to a 
great distance, and then came the processes of decay which 
were in operation probably more than one hundred years 
before the great monarch bowed his proud head and yielded 
to inevitable fate. It had attained to about six feet in diam- 
eter two feet above ground, and by actual count of the layers 
of wood so far as decay would permit, it must have attained 
to about four hundred years of age ; when in a strong east- 



■» FairJUld Indian Deed dated Feb. 12, idSj, 

" We Indians sell ... for a valuable consideration ... a neck of land called 
Wolf Pitt Neck ... on Stratford bounding line on ye northeast, on ye other 
sides with ye land of ye inhabitants of Fairfield 

The mark of Penomscot. The mark of Matamhe. 

Cheroramag, his mark. The mark of Kahaco. 

The mark of Asoraimpom. The mark of Shaganoset. 

The markof Machoka, acunk's Daughter. The mark of Old Anthony. 

The mark of Pony. The mark of Matamhe. 

The mark of Pascog, Interpreter." 

4 



50 History of Stratford. 

erly storm in the spring of 1884, it was blown down, and 
^* great was the fall of it," and then by the fiat of the world- 
renowned showman* whose tender mercies and great respect 
for old age allowed it standing room in a most beautiful field 
for a number of years, although unfruitful, it was hewn in 
pieces and disappeared forever. 

It is probable, that this celebrated ceremony took place 
under the branches of this great spreading oak, when the 
old Indian field was sold, which occurred in the balmy 
weather of spring on the i8th of May, 1681, just two hun- 
dred and three years before it fell by the strong winds from- 
the great sea. Col. John Burr who held the council with the 
Indians and his descendants, owned the land on which this 
tree stood nearly two hundred years, their dwelling standing 
but a little distance from it. Miss Polly Burr, the last owner 
in the family name died in 1874, but had sold it to Hon. P. T. 
Barnum previous to her decease. 

Another deed* was signed by the Indians for a highway 
through their reservation on Golden Hill in June, 1686, which 
was very nearly what is now Washington avenue, and this 
highwa)^ was for the convenience of the English and Indians. 
There were residing here then several English families, John 
Beardsley, Samuel Gregory, Henry Summers and others, on 
and near the old division line between Fairfield and Strat- 
ford, which was afterwards called Division street, and now 
Park avenue. 

The next spring (in 1687) the General Court ordered the 
old King's highway laid out from Stratford to Fairfield, which 
highway^ after nearly two hundred years, was so unfortunate 
as to have its name changed to the insignificant name of 



8 The Hon. P. T. Barnum. 

• Fairfield Indian Deed for highway^ dated June <P, 1686, 

" A highway from the highway between Fairfield and Stratford [now Park 

avenue] into the Indian field called Golden Hill, near where the path 

lieth from Samuel Gregory's across the Indian field that goeth toward Stratford." 

John Beardsley. 

Wowompon, his mark. Pascob, his mark. 

Panomscot, his mark. Pany, his mark. 

Siacus, his mark. Robin, his mark. 



Fairfield Indian Deeds. 51 

^orth avenue, thereby losing all its ancient renown and 
honor. 

Two other deeds are recorded on the Fairfield book ; one 
of land " called Umpawage lying westward from Fairfield in 
the wilderness ;" the other" " a piece of land about eighteen 
or twenty miles from the town of Fairfield ... to the west- 
ward of north Fairfield in the woods, called Ompaquag, a 
mile square.** All the Indians signing these deeds were prob- 
ably of the Pequannock tribe, and the last witness to this last 
deed — Cashesamay — was the Sachem at Pootatuck (Shelton) 
and afterwards at Newtown. 

Trouble with the Indians, 

The Indians made much trouble and brought many diffi- 
culties to the English settlers of Connecticut. The expendi- 
tures by the latter to defend themselves from the hostilities 
and trespasses of the former were more than a fair or proper 
value of the land as it was purchased from time to time until 
it was all secured by honorable deeds. There were two wars 
between the English and Indians in Connecticut ; the one in 
1637, and the other in 1675 and 1676, and both, under the cir- 
cumstances then existing, were great wars with heavy ezpend- 

^« Fairfield Indian Deed dated Dec, zg, j686. 

*' This land is by estimation about two miles square, northwest bounds is by 

Sagatuck River which runeth by the path that goeth from Paquiag the 

English plantateon." 

Nanascrow, his mark. Mattake, his mark. 

Crekano, his mark. Mamorussuck, his mark. 

Tontasonahas, his mark. Washogenoset, his mark. 

Womumkaway, his mark. Aquetwake, his mark. 

Taquoshe, his mark. 

** Indian Witnesses. 

Sasco James, his mark. Panomscot, his mark. 

Roben, his mark. Messhawmish, his mark." 

" Fairfield Indian Deed dated Sept, 12, 1687, 

** A parcel of land in Connecticut called Ompaquag, it being a mile square." 
Monaquitarah, Sen., his mark. Wamouncaway, his mark. 

Nathascon, his mark. Wukerowam, his mark. 

" Indian Witnesses. 
Mamoroset, Sagawtn. his mark. Robben, his mark. 

IVanachecompum, his mark. Cashesamay, Sachem, his mark.*' 



52 History of Stratford, 

itures and terrible consequences. The first of these was the 
Pequot war which began in May, 1637, and closed in June the 
same year in a swamp near what is now the village of South- 
port, in the town of Fairfield. The attack on the fort of the 
Pequots was made by Capt. John Mason and his ninety men 
about day-break in the morning of June sth, and a great vic- 
tory was gained, resulting in the killing of many of the Indi- 
ans, and the remainder fleeing westward in great haste. 
These were pursued by the soldiers, crossing the Connecticut 
river and continuing along the shore of the Sound. At New 
Haven a number of Indians were killed in a skirmish or bat- 
tle, and the same in Stratford where the fugitives were joined 
by the Pequannock Indians; and finally the flying Indians 
took refuge in a swamp, now located a little north of the vil- 
lage of Southport, where they were surrounded, and after 
hard fighting some escaped with their lives. 

At this time some hostages were taken of the Pequan- 
nock Indians and some of their women were sold to servitude 
in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Pequot and Pequan- 
nock women and children taken in this war numbering two 
hundred" were all devoted to slavery for life, being distribu- 
ted, probably, sold by the governments of Connecticut and 
Massachusetts to pay expenses of the war, to the inhabitants 
of these commonwealths, and many of them, especially the 
male children, according to Governor Winthrop,*' were sold 
as slaves at the Bermuda Islands. This Pequot war was a 
savage war on the part of the English and produced terrible 
results. The historians have apparently nearly always 
avoided the full particulars and the disgrace of its barbarity. 
Even Dr. Trumbull either was ignorant of the aggravating 
facts or passed over them too lightly for a historian of high 
integrity. The slaughter of so many Indians — six or seven 
hundred — besides those assigned to slavery, produced on the 
minds of those who remained in the tribes, savages though 
they were, a terrible fear, a shudder of horror, but the reac- 
tion in their minds was an almost insatiable thirst for revenge, 
and this the colonists understood, and so dreaded that it is 

W Morton, 114. 
» Ibid, T13. 



The Pequot War. 53 

apparent on almost every movement they made for self-pro- 
tection, for fifty years, and the Narraganset, or King Phillip's 
War, was planned and carried on by the Indians with double 
secrecy and energy by the remembrance of this Pequot 
slaughter, for without it King Phillip could never have 
formed the combination of tribes which he did. Also from 
the day the Pequots were slain the western Connecticut 
Indians had no faith in the white man's religion. Think of 
it! There were at the time in the Housatonic valley, from 
Long Island Sound northward, between two and three thous- 
and docile, friendly Indians, but a dozen reported conversions 
to Christianity were not made until the Moravian Mission- 
aries came to Scatacook in 1743, and yet these natives mingled 
freely and in scores of cases, familiarly with the white set- 
tlers during all these one hundred years. 

As has been stated, the colonists dreaded and expected 
retaliation. Several times during the next seventy-five years 
it was rumored, with no foundation for the rumor but the 
fears of the whites or the threats of a few irritated natives, 
that the Indians of Fairfield county had joined with the 
Mohawks in a war of extermination ; and the General Court 
sent out companies of soldiers, into Fairfield and Litchfield 
counties, to detect, and resist such a combination, even as 
late as 1724. As late as during the French and Indian wars 
in 1758, this dread and expectation were still cherished and 
acted upon all along the western boundaries of Connecticut. 

The destruction of the Pequots was ended in the town of 
Fairfield, and the Pequannocks were allies and joined in the 
fight against the whites, thus connecting Stratford and Fair- 
field with that war. 

The causes which have been set forth by Dr. Trumbull 
for this war were entirely inadequate to the terrible mas- 
sacre of seven or eight hundred men, women and children, 
even in an Indian fort, and the enslaving of two hundred 
other women and children, and the only excuse for the 
persons who did it lies in the fact that they had just emigra- 
ted from England where such barbarity was the sentiment of 
the people, as was clearly exhibited by that people in the- 
American Revolutionary War. 



54' History of Stratford, 

Until the year 1643, following the Pequot war, the- 
Indians were comparatively quiet and friendly, and the Gen- 
eral Court saw the need of making but few restrictions and 
regulations in regard to them, and what they did enact had 
as much, or more reference to the conduct of the English than 
to the Indians, but in this year and several following, the 
doings of the Indians in what is now Fairfield County were^ 
such as to awaken great apprehension for the safety of the 
people. 

Five plantations were seriously in danger; Stratford, 
Fairfield, Norwalk, Stamford and Greenwich, but the last of 
these was at the time under the jurisdiction of the New York 
Governor. The settlers in each of these localities were not 
numerous, and they had had but little time or means to make 
preparations against any Indian hostilities. The settlement 
at Stratford had been in progress four years, that of Fairfield, 
four years, that of Norwalk, three, that of Stamford, two, and 
that of Greenwich, three. The number of the Indians then, 
within the five plantations and their vicinities were, proba- 
bly, four or five to every whitfe person, and they had all 
advantageous facilities for a complete massacre, or destruc- 
tion of the white people. The immediate cause for this dis- 
turbance was the war between the Hudson River Indians 
and the Dutch at New York. Dr. Trumbull" gives the fol- 
lowing account of the origin of this Indian and Dutch War: 

" The war between the Dutch and Indians l^egan in this^ 
manner. A drunken Indian, in his intoxication, killed a 
Dutchman. The Dutch demanded the murderer, but he was 
not to be found. They then made application to their gov- 
ernor to avenge the murderer. He, judging it would be 
unjust or unsafe, considering the numbers of the Indians, and 
the weak and scattered state of the Dutch settlements, neg- 
lected to comply with their repeated solicitations. In the 
mean time the Mohawks, as the report was, excited by the 
Dutch, fell suddenly on the Indians, in the vicinity of the 
Dutch settlements and killed nearly thiriy of them. Others, 
fled to the Dutch for protection. One Marine, a Dutch cap- 

" Vol. i. 138. 



Dutch and Indian War. 55 

tain, getting intelligence of their state, made application to 
the Dutch Governor, and obtained a commission to kill as 
many of them as it should be in his power. Collecting a com- 
pany of armed men, he fell suddenly upon the Indians, while 
they were unapprehensive of danger, and made a promiscu- 
ous slaughter of men, women and children, to the number of 
seventy or eighty. This instantly roused the Indians, in that 
part of the country, to a furious, obstinate and bloody war. 

" In the spring, and beginning of the summer, they burnt 
the Dutch out-houses; and driving their cattle into their 
barns, they burned the barns and cattle together. They killed 
twenty or more of the Dutch people, and pressed so hard 
upon them that they were obliged to take refuge in their 
fort, and to seek help of the English. The Indians upon 
Long Island united in the war with those on the main, and 
burned the Dutch houses and barns. The Dutch governor, 
in this situation, invited captain Underhill from Stamford to 
assist him in the war. Marine, the Dutch captain, was so 
exasperated with this proceeding that he presented his pistol 
at the governor, and would have shot him, but was prevented 
by one who stood by him. Upon this one of Marine's tenants 
discharged his musket at the governor, and the ball but just 
missed him. The governor's sentinel shot the tenant and 
killed him on the spot. The Dutch, who at first were so for- 
ward for a war with the Indians, were now, when they 
experienced the loss and dangers of it, so irritated at the gov- 
ernor, for the orders which he had given, that he could not 
trust himself among them. He was obliged to keep a con- 
stant guard of fifty Englishmen about his person. In the sum- 
mer and fall the Indians killed fifteen more of the Dutch 
people, and drove in all the inhabitants of the English and 
Dutch settlements west of Stamford. 

" In the prosecution of their works of destruction, they 
made a visit to the neighborhood where Mrs. Hutchinson, 
who had been so famous, at Boston, for her Antinomian and 
familistical tenets, had made a settlement. The Indians, at 
first, appeared with the same friendship with which they used 
to frequent her house ; but they murdered her and all her 



56 History of Stratford. 

family, Mr. Collins her son-in-law, and several other persons 
belonging to other families in the neighborhood. Eighteen 
persons were killed in the whole. The Indians, with an im- 
placable fury, prosecuted the destruction of the Dutch, and 
of their property, in all that part of the country. They killed 
and burned their cattle, horses and barns without resistance. 
Their case was truly distressing." 

Notwithstanding these calamitous circumstances the gov- 
ernor and Court at New Haven felt that they were not at lib- 
erty to go to the relief of the Dutch with an armed force 
until consultation could be had with the Commissioners of 
the other colonies. 

" The war was continued several years, and was bloody 
and destructive both to the Dutch and Indians. Captain 
Underbill had the .principal management of it, and was of 
great service to the Dutch. He collected a flying army of a 
hundred and fifty men, English and Dutch, by which he pre- 
served the Dutch settlements from total destruction. It was 
supposed, that, upon Long Island and on the main, he killed 
between four and five hundred Indians. 

"The Indians at Stamford too much caught the spirit of 
the western Indians in their vicinity, who were at war with 
the Dutch. They appeared so tumultuous and hostile, that 
the people of Stamford were in great fear, that they should 
soon share the fate of ihe settlements at the westward of 
them. They wrote to the general court at New Haven, that 
in their apprehensions there were just grounds of a war with 
those Indians, and that if their houses should be burned, be- 
cause the other plantations would not consent to war, they 
ought to bear the damage. 

" At the same time the Narraganset Indians were enraged 
at the death of their sachem. The English were universally 
armed. The strictest watch and guard was kept in all the 
plantations. In Connecticut, every family, in which there 
was a man capable of bearing arms, was obliged to send one 
complete in arms, every Lord's day, to defend the places of 
public worship. Indeed all places wore the aspect of a gen- 
eral war. 



Dutch and Indian War, 57 

'* In the year of 1644 the Indians were no more peacea- 
ble than they were the year before. Those in the western 
part of Connecticut still conducted themselves in a hostile 
manner. In the spring they murdered a man, belonging to 
Massachusetts, between Fairfield and Stamford. About six 
or eight weeks after the murder was discovered, the Indians 
promised to deliver the murderer, at Uncoway [Fairfield], if 
Mr. Ludlow would appoint men to receive him. Mr. Lud- 
low sent ten men for that purpose ; but as soon as the Indians 
came within sight of the town, they, by general consent, un- 
bound the prisoner and suffered him to escape. The English 
were so exasperated at this insult that they immediately 
seized on eight or ten of the Indians, and committed them to 
prison. There was among them not less than one or two 
Sachems. Upon this, the Indians arose in great numbers 
about the town, and exceedingly alarmed the people, both at 
Fairfield and Stamford. Mr. Ludlow wrote to New Haven 
for advice. The court desired him to keep the Indians in 
durance, and assured him of immediate assistance, should it 
be necessary and desired ; and a party of twenty men were 
draughted forthwith, and prepared to march to Stamford at 
the shortest notice. The Indians were held in custody until 
four Sachems, in those parts, appeared and interceded for 
them, promising that if the English would release them, they 
would, within a month, deliver the murderer to justice." 

'* Not more than a month after their release, an Indian 
went boldly into the town of Stamford, and made a murder- 
ous assault upon a woman, in her house. Finding no man at 
home, he took a lathing hammer, and approached her as 
though he were about to put it into her hand ; but, as she was 
stooping down to take her child from the cradle, he struck 
her upon her head. She fell instantly with the blow; he then 
struck her twice, with the sharp part of the hammer, which 
penetrated her skull. Supposing her to be dead, he plun- 
<lered the house, and made his escape ; but soon after, the 
woman so far recovered, as to be able to describe the Indian, 
and his manner of dress. Her wounds, which at first appeared 



« N. H. Col. Rcc, i. 134. 



58 History of Stratford. 

to be mortal, were finally healed ; but her brain was so 
affected that she lost her reason. 

** At the same time, the Indians rose in those parts, with 
the most tumultuous and hostile appearances. They refused 
to come to the English, or to have any treaty with them, and 
appeared in a very alarming manner about several of the 
plantations, firing their pieces, and exceedingly terrifying 
the inhabitants. They deserted their wigwams, and neg- 
lected to weed their corn. The English had intelligence that 
the Indians designed to cut them off, and therefore many 
judged it unsafe to travel by land, and some of the planta- 
tions were obliged to keep a strong guard and watch, night 
and day. And as they had not numbers sufficient to defend 
themselves, they made application to Hartford and New 
Haven for assistance,, and they both sent aid to the weaker 
parts of their respective colonies. New Haven sent help to 
Fairfield and Stamford, as they were much nearer to them 
than to Connecticut. 

" After a great deal of alarm and trouble, the Indian who- 
had attempted the murder of the woman, was delivered up 
and condemned to death, and was executed at New Haven. 
The executioner cut off his head with a falchion, but it was 
cruelly done. He gave the Indian eight blows before he 
effected the execution ; yet the Indian sat erect and motion- 
less, until his head was severed from his body."** 

** The Indians this year were almost everywhere trouble- 
some, and in some places in a state of high hostility. In Vir- 
ginia they rose and made a most horrible massacre of the 
English. The Narragansets, regardless of all their convenants 
with the English and with Uncas, continued in such hostili- 
ties that a party of soldiers were sent to preserve the peace 
and security of the people." 

Under such circumstances these small plantations on the 
shore of the Sound, now within Fairfield county, made but 
slow progress. Greenwich was nearly, if not entirely^ 
deserted, and but for Captain Underbill, Stamford, Norwalk, 



** See Records of the Colonies, and Winthrop's Journal, p. 352. 



Consequences of the ^ War. . 59* 

Fairfield and Stratford must have been given up for a time. 
And as it was, what a living death it must have been ta 
remain steadfast and not desert the localities. Every family 
that could raise a soldier as a watchman, must bring hin> 
forth, if it was the last and only man in the family. What 
sleepless nights in those homes; what anxiety if a member 
of a family, being out at work, did not return home at the 
expected or appointed time. What a war-like appearance 
was witnessed every " Lord's day " at the meeting-house,, 
with one soldier from every family, armed and equipped with 
a gun and sword, and all possible war implements. 

The cost of this Indian war to the seven plantations 
along the Sound was sufficient to have purchased, established, 
and perpetuated a separate plantation, if there had been no 
Indians. The court at New Haven assessed fines almost 
weekly, on persons who were found delinquent in watching 
at their posts, or insufficiently provided with arms or ammuni- 
tion, as the following items from the New Haven records 
most fully show. At a Court holden March 7, 1643 : 

Matthew Hitchcock, for a willful neglect to walk the 
round when the officers called him, was fined $■. 

James Haward, Joseph Thompson, William Bassett, 
Anthony Thompson, David Evance, Samuel Wilson and Sam-' 
uel Haskins, [were] fined, each man, 6* '* for foole guns." 

" Thomas Yale and Jonathan Marsh for the same, 6* a 
piece. 

" Richard Perry and his 2 men, William Gibbard and 
James Stewart and William Ball, for late coming fined each, 
man i*. 

" Roger Knapp, defective, all except gun, fined 5'. 

" Brother Lamson, defective gun, fined 4*. 

"Thomas Higginson, James Stewart and James Haward, 
defective belt, fined 6^ 

** Mr. Eaton's 3 men, Thomas Higinson and his man, for , 
coming without arms on the Lord's day, fined each man 2*. 

** Matthew Crowder, Thomas Caffins, Theodore Higgin • 
son, James Stewart, Thomas Meaks, Isaac Whitehead, Mat- 
thew Row, Richard Mansfield, Thomas lies, Lawrence Wade,. 
John Hill, John Cooper, Jarvice Boykin, and Mr. Eaton's 



<o History of Stratford. 

3 men, fined each man 6*, for late coming to the meeting with 
their arms, Feb. i8, 1643. 

** It was ordered that the 2^ drum shall be the period of 
the soldiers coming on the Lord's day. 

** Court holden, May i, 1644. 

Brother Perry, being master of a watch and willfully neg- 
lecting it, was fined 40*. 

" Matthew Row, for sitting down to sleep when he 
should have stood sentinel, was fined 5*. Brother Nichols, 
brother Gibbert, Richard Webb, Thomas Wheeler, Henrj^ 
Lendell and William Bassett, fined each man i* for late com- 
ing on the Lord's day with their arms." 

Court held June 5, 1644. 

** John Chapman being master of a watch and neglecting 
it, was fined lo'. 

** Mr. Gilbert's man, being absent at his watch, was 
fined 5». 

** George Larry more for neglecting his watch, fined 2^6^y 

Court held at New Haven June 23, 1644. 

** It was ordered that the night -watches be carefully 
attended, and the ward of the Sabbath days be dilligently 
observed, and that every one of the trainband bring their 
arms to the meeting every Lord's day ; also that the great 
guns be put in readiness for service ; also that the drum be 
beaten every morning by break of day, and at the setting of 
the sun. 

** It was ordered that every Lord's day 2 men shall go 
with every heard of cattle, with their arms fitted for service 
until these dangers be over. 

" It was ordered that the farmers shall be freed from 
watching at the town while there is need of watch at the 
farms, provided they keep a dilligent watch there," 

New Haven and Milford were much less exposed to the 
hostilities of the Indians than the plantations west of them, 
and if they needed so great diligence and strictness, how 
much more must have been needed by the others? 

The troubles resulting from the Dutch and Indian war 
^quieted down to a considerable extent, after three or four 



Consequences of the War, 6r 

years, but the Indians of Fairfield County continued to indi- 
cate hostile feelings, and committed various depredations, 
and some acts of personal violence. In 1649, this spirit 
became so threatening, in connection with a murder com- 
mitted by an Indian, that the General Court felt compelled 
to take definite action," and did in effect declare war against 
them, but by a committee consisting of Mr. Ludlow and Mr. 
Talcott, the matter was quieted and a siege of war avoided. 

During all these efforts for peace and safety, great pains 
were taken to keep the Indians from obtaining guns and 
ammunition, or means for making war upon the English. In 
securing obedience to these regulations they had occasion to 
pass a somewhat unusual sentence in 1648, upon David 
Provost, a Dutchman, that if he repeated the offence he 
should be ** shipped for Ireland and sent to the Parliament."** 

Again in 1652, fears concerning the Indians were aroused 
anew, in consequence of the declaration of war between 
England and Holland, and it was expected that the war 
would be extended to America and assume serious propor- 
tions between New England and the Dutch at New Amster- 
dam, but after great preparations by the colonies, the war 
closed without any serious collisions here, between the 
whites, or damages done by the Indians. 



**"This Courte taking into serious consideration what may be done accord- 
ing to God in way of revenge of the bloude of John Whittmore. late of Stanford, 
and well weighing all circumstances, together with the carriages of the Indians 
(bordering thereupon) in and about the premises, do declare themselves that they 
do judge it lawful and according to God to make war upon them. 

•*This Courte desires Mr. Deputy, Mr. Ludlow and Mr. Taylccoate [Talcott] 
to ride to-morrow to New Haven, and confer with Mr. Eaton and the rest of the 
magistrates there about sending out against the Indians, and to make return of 
their apprehensions with what convenient speed they may." 

General Court, May. 1648. 
^' " Whereas, David Provost and other Dutchmen (as the Court is informed) 
have sould powder and shotte to Several Indeans, against the express Lawes both 
of the Inglishe and Dutch, It is now Ordered, that if upon examination of wit- 
nesses the said defaulte shall fully appeare, the penalty of the lawes of this Com- 
monwealth shallbe laid upon such as shallbe found guilty of such transgression^ 
the which if such delinquents shall not subject unto thtem shall be shipped for 
Ingland and sent to the Parliament." Col. Rec, i. 163. 



^2 History of Stratford. 

" May 1707 This' Assembly judgeth it expedient that the 
Indian murderer in durance at Fairfield shall and may be 
returned to the Indians, that so the Indians may have the 
opportunity to execute on him as they shall determine."" 

It is a matter of conjecture that this Indian was hung at 
a place called Gallows Hill, in the southwestern part of the 
present town of New Milford, for such an occurrence took 
place there, probably, by which the name is found there 
when that town was first settled about 1710. 

The Golden Hill Indian Fund, 

In 1802 on the petition of Tom Sherman, Eunice Sherman 
and others of the Golden Hill Indians, the State appointed 
an agent or overseer to administer their affairs. Abraham Y. 
De Witt held this office first, and after him were Josiah 
Lacey, Elijah Burritt, Smith Tweedy, Daniel O. Wheeler, 
Dwight Morris and Russell Tomlinson, the present incum- 
bent.' 

Besides the dwelling and land at Nichols Farms now 
occupied by William Sherman, the Golden Hill fund amounts 
to about three hundred dollars. 

The Samp Mortar Rock is a peculiarity and mystery. It 
is located about three miles north of Fairfield village, in the 
town of Fairfield, and is so called, or was so named because 
it was supposed that the Indians ground their corn in it. It 
is on the very verge of overhanging rocks of about fifty or 
sixty feet in height, and consists of a cavity in the top of the 
rock about thirteen inches in diameter and ten in depth, and 
has been pronounced by the younger Professor Dana, of Yale 
College, who has seen it, a " Pot-hole " or cavity worn there 
by the action of water and small cobble stones at some period 
far back in the ages. The rocky ridge on which it is located 
is of several miles in extent, and has been a place of frequent 
resort for pic-nics and visiting parties for many years. The 
locality forbids the idea of its being constructed there by the 
Indians and it is seemingly equally unreasonable that it should 
have been made where it is by the action of water, even were 

" Col. Rec, V. 28. 



Remarkable Indian Relics, 63 

the valleys around it filled. It is a curiosity. There is no 
evidence that the Indians had any encampment of conse- 
quence, nearer than three miles from it. 

A Powwow or Medicine Camp, 

A few years after the New York and New Haven rail- 
road was completed, or about twenty-five years ago, Mr. 
Thomas B. Fairchild of Stratford saw a number of stone posts 
standing like hitching posts on a line with the sidewalk 
in front of the premises of Mr. William Tuttle, near the 
lower wharf in Stratford village, and the novelty and peculiar 
appearance of them attracted his attention. Mr. Tuttle had 
set them, a few years previous, and left the place, and all that 
could be learned as to them by careful inquiry was that they 
were dug up in making the railroad between Stratford and 
Bridgeport, and Mr. Tuttle had brought them to his home and 
placed them along the sidewalk as hitching posts and novel 
ornaments. Thus the matter passed some years, but Mr. 
Fairchild, whose business was in Bridgeport, while in a 
state of mysterious inquiry as to these stones, frequently 
looked along the road, to ascertain, if possible, where they 
were found, and to learn who made them and for what pur- 
pose. About two years since, with increasing inquiry as to 
these posts, while passing along the road near Pembroke 
Pond where some men were excavating by the railroad bank 
to lay some pipe to secure fresh water for the Holmes and 
Edward's Silver Works, in West Stratford, he saw one of these 
posts, but wondered why it should be at that place as consti- 
tuting a part of the railroad embankment. On meeting a cart- 
man employed at the Cartridge Works, he pointed out the 
post and requested him to bring it in the cart to the office, for 
it was a peculiar stone and he wanted to preserve it. Upon 
which Mr. Bernard Judge said, " Don't I know all about the 
posts, and how this post got where it is ? Didn't I do the first 
work that ever I did in America on the railroad at this very 
place a few rods east of the iron bridge here in West Strat- 
ford? We dug out loads and loads of these posts, and 
threw them into the mill pond on the brush and limbs and 



64 History of Stratford. 

then heaped the dirt upon them. These posts lay in heaps^ 
partly covered, or under the ground, when we found them^ 
and we talked about them a good deal, some saying they 
were put there by the Indians." 

The larger number of these posts are nearly round, six 
and seven feet long, from seven to eight inches in diameter; 
one that is nearly square, only the corners rounded, being 
now in the possession of Mr. Thomas B. Fairchild, at Strat- 
ford, has a slot from the top downwards about eight inches 
deep and half an inch wide, on the side, as if to let in a wide 
band surrounding a sacred inclosure to keep out intruders. 
One of these posts is much larger than any of the others, and 
is of oval shape, from ten to twelve inches wide and about 
seven thick. Some are broken in pieces, but probably the 
larger number of them are still under the railroad bed. They 
were found on ground nearly level, at the foot of the hill, near a 
large, fine spring of water, and were thrown together, or near 
each other as if taken from their original positions and placed 
aside, to be out of the way ; and are supposed to have been 
used to protect a powwow ground or a medicine camp. 

The following is a description of a powwow place found 
among the Mandan Indians in Dakota Territory, published 
recently in London, in the " North American Indians:" 

** In the centre of the village is an open space or public square, 150 feet in 
diameter and circular in form, which is used for all public games and festivals^ 
shows and exhibitions. The lodges around this open space fronts in, with their 
doors toward the centre ; and in the middle of this stands an object of great relig- 
ious veneration, on account of the importance it has in connection with the annual 
religious cerem'onies. This object is in the form of a large hogshead, some eight 
or ten feet high, made of planks and hoops, containing within it some of their 
choicest mysteries or medicines. They call it the Big Csnioe.'*— A t/antis^ by Igna- 
tius Donnelly, ill. 

In the present town of Stratford there are but few relics 
of the natives to be seen, except quantities of oyster and clam 
shells in three localities. At the edge of the marsh west 
of the Lordship farm and a hundred rods north of the dwell- 
ing on that farm, is still a quantity of clam shells probably 
left there by the Indians, but it is not extensive. At a small 
fresh water pond on the northern part of the Lordship farm 
on the north side of the pound the oyster shells, many of large 



Indian Burying Places. 65 

size, are in considerable quantities. They are largely cov- 
ered by the soil but are in some places nearly two feet deep. 
On the east side of the great neck in several places are beds 
of oyster shells left by the Indians, which indicate a long 
occupation of the region in order to make the accumulations. 
In some historical notes by Major W. B. Hinks, published 
in 1871, the following note is found : ** Several interesting rel- 
ics of the Indians were discovered in Stratford a few years 
since by the Rev. B. L. Swan. They consisted of a fire-place, 
and mortar for grinding corn, excavated in a ledge of rock 
near the house recently occupied by Mr. William Strong, 
which was built on the site of an ancient inn, kept during and 
before the Revolutionary War by George Benjamin. The 
fire-place was a semi-cylindrical upright hollow in the rock, 
several feet in height, from the top of which a pot could be 
suspended by a cross bar. Below it was the mortar with a 
rounded stone peslle, as large as a man's head, still lying in 
it. Unfortunately these relics were destroyed before meas- 
ures could be taken for their preservation. 

** Arrow heads in considerable numbers have also been 
found at the foot of another ledge a little west of the town on 
the lower road to Bridgeport, and it is believed that this was 
the place of their manufacture." ' 

Indian Burying Places, 

In three places have Indian skeletons been exhumed in 
considerable numbers within the territory now covered by 
the city of Bridgeport; one in or near what was the old Nim- 
rod field near the present Gas Works, one where the Pros- 
pect Street School building now stands and the other on the 
bluff or hill as it was. South of State street and east of Main. 
The one at the Gas Works was greatly disturbed when the 
railroad was constructed, and quite a number of skeletons 
were taken out, but no implements of any considerable 
amount were found, at least none are reported, but this 
seems to have been the burial place for the Indians more 
largely after the whites came here. 

As to the place where the Prospect Street School build- 
ing now stands a paragraph from the Bridgeport Standard 
5 



66 History of Stratford. 

for October 28, 1870, is given: ** The frequent finding of 
Indian bones and skulls in different places about the city sug- 
gests the question whether Bridgeport may not have been at 
some remote period in the past, one immense Indian hunting 
and burying ground. Every few days these bones are being 
brought to light by excavation, and now we find by digging 
for the new wing of the Prospect Street school house that the 
ground there was once quite a large burying place. Some 
fifty graves have been exposed and a large number of human 
bones and skulls are found buried a few feet below the sur- 
face. In some instances these skull bones are perfect, the 
jaws with full sets of teeth, being also found in sound condi- 
tion. Tobacco pipes have been discovered buried in the 
same graves, also a genuine Indian dinner pot, and other 
signs and evidences that the bones of many aborigines have 
been for many long years quietly resting there, are found. 
In each case the body was probably buried in a sitting pos- 
ture." 

Sacrificed Indian Implements. 

In the autumn of 1883, Mr. L. B. Beers and Mr. Robert 
W. Curtis, of Stratford, were hunting for Indian relics on the 
bank, near the mouth of the Housatonic river, when coming 
to a place of clean loam ground Mr. Beers picked up a small 
piece of soapstone pot or dish, and Mr. Curtis soon found 
another stone that had the appearance of being worked out, 
but on examination it was thrown away as of no value. The 
hunt being continued Mr. Curtis found a broken piece of 
spear head, and directly Mr. Beers picked up a poll or head 
of a stone axe and called for the piece that had been thrown 
away, which being secured fitted to the head of the axe 
perfectly. The idea then came to Mr. Curtis that Indians 
would be likely to bury in light loamy earth, and that this 
place would be favorable in that respect, and proposed to his 
fellow laborer to dig up the ground, and thereupon went to 
work with his cane. Soon he struck something hard and 
dug it out with his hands and found it to be a large spear 
head. After working a little time longer Mr. Beers pro- 
posed to look elsewhere, but Mr. Curtis continued the work 



Indian Burnt Offerings. 6f 

and soon found a small nest of implements, all broken, appar- 
ently, by fire heat. On further digging the articles found at 
this time were pieces of two axes, two chisels and a few 
pieces of other implements. 

The search has been continued with intervals to the 
present time, and the result is the following, all the articles 
being in small pieces in consequence of fire heat : 

One axe lo^ inches long, 6 wide, nicely worked ; one axe 
7}i inches long and 4^ wide, approaching round in form ; 
one axe 8 inches long and 5 wide, nearly entire and nicely 
worked ; one tomahawk 45^ inches by 2^ ; one pestle 11% 
inches long, nicely worked ; one pestle 12 inches long, rough ; 
one 9 inches long, rough ; eighteen pieces of other pestles ; 
nineteen chisels from 3^ inches to 9 in length, some of them 
very fine grain stones, some of them coarse ; one soapstone 
food dish 1 1 inches long, 8 inches wide, 4 in depth, nearly 
complete and ornamented with notches on the edge, the 
shape is triangular, oval; one soapstone food dish 12 inches 
long, 7 inches in width and 3 in depth ; five rubbing stones ; 
one drill 2^ inches in length, very delicate; one coarse 
triangular, cone shaped stone about 4 pounds in weight, use 
not known ; 75 pieces of different sizes, comprising knives, 
spear and arrow heads; 1,000 pieces of small implements 
broken beyond designation. 

The supposition is that these implements were from time 
to time thrown into sacrificial fires as offerings in worship, 
and afterwards buried with quantities of hickory nuts which 
were found as charred ashes in great numbers. This subject 
may be further treated in a following part of this book ia 
regard to Indian worship. 



ENGLISH HISTORY 



CHAPTER IV. 



THE CUPHEAG PLANTATION. 

1639-1645. 

BEAUTIFUL township, inhabited by a 
.noble people, is the theme of discourse in the 
following pages. Antiquity has a charm 
for many thousands of persons whose lives 
never reach the half of three-score years 
and ten, while equally as many, as the 
allotted years are added, grow pathetic by 
the increasing remembrance of the halcyon 
days which will never more return ; and yet 
we love to linger in our thoughts amidst the 
realities of early years and the recollection 
of those, the number of whose years were 
long since inscribed on marble tablets in the 
cemetery. Almost two hundred and fifty 
years — or from the year 1639 to that of 1884 
— ^is the measure of the period which is to pass in review, as 
compassing the history of this locality, to the present time. 

Stratford was, and is, a beautiful spot of earth, and they 
who have wandered from it have looked back with pride as 
well as with longing hearts, and have almost wished that the 
destinies of men would have allowed them to tarry by the 
old hearthstones of their ancestors until the work of life 
should have been accomplished ; and many more will look 
back from far distant countries and proclaim with joy that 
they descended from the early planters of this good old town. 
'^ Beautiful for situation" was written thousands of years ago, 
and yet it is equally applicable to this distinguished locality. 
'**01d Stratford" was a name fondly cherished, while yet it 
was young in yearSy by those who had gone forth to establish 
tiew plantations, and " Old Stratford *' is still a sound of joy 




^2 History of Stratford, 

and pride to a great circle of its acquaintances as well as its 
descendants. Its situation, being bounded toward the sun- 
rising by the placid Housatonic, and on the south by the 
ever charming Long Island Sound, was, and is, one of remark- 
able attractiveness, and such as never to be forgotten by any 
of its wandering sons and daughters. By the side of the 
great sea where the tide of the mighty ocean, ever obedient 
to the nod of the queen of night, ceases not its life-giving 
toil, Stratford sat down as a child in 1639, and thereafter 
grew towards maturer years. In historic time, it is still 
young, but compared with many of its inland neighbors it is 
truly old ; and, as the tale of its legends pass in review, the 
ages will seem to have greatly multiplied, and its multitude 
of descendants indefinitely extended from ocean to ocean. 

Stratford village is located on the Housatonic river 
about one and a half miles from Long Island Sound, in Fair^ 
field county, Connecticut, fourteen miles from New Haven 
and fifty-eight miles from New York- City. The original 
township, being twelve miles in length north and south, and 
about seven'Imiles wide east and west, comprised most of the 
territory now included in the five townships of Stratford,. 
Bridgeport, Huntington, Trumbull and Monroe ; and in this 
history it is proposed to complete the record of the whole 
of this territory, in uniform style, from the commencement 
down to the present time, and as each town is organized out 
of the old territory, to lay its history aside until the original 
township by name shall have been completed, and then to- 
take up again each of the new towns in the order of the date 
of their organization, and thus complete the work. 

The picturesqueness of the locality is remarkable. The^ 
general slope of the land is towards the Housatonic on the 
east and the Sound on the south, and the face of the country 
is divided with small elevations of land, called hills, but 
scarcely equal to the name, such as Old Mill Hill, Toilsome 
Hill, Chestnut Hill, Long Hill, Coram Hill, and the White 
Hills ; rising only to such a height as to afford numerous 
sites for dwellings, in full view of many miles of water 
scenery of the Sound and landscape on Long Island beyond^ 
and such as to guarantee a high degree of health from the 



First Patent of Connecticut, 73 

balmy breezes of the Atlantic and the bracing, if not some- 
times the biting winds from the hills at the west and north. 
Great vigor of health, longevity of life, and beauty of locality, 
have been characteristic of the region, until the fame thereof 
has reached from ocean to ocean, and is likely never to grow 
less. 

Stratford was the seventh plantation settled within the 
present territory of Connecticut. Windsor, Hartford and 
Wethersfield, the three first, were commenced in the years 
1635 and 6; Say brook was commenced under John Winthrop, 
the younger, in 1635, although but few families had arrived 
there in 1636. Mr. Davenport's company from London, with 
Mr. Pruden's, arrived at New Haven the middle of April, 
1638, and the next spring Mr. Pruden and his people who 
had remained all winter at New Haven, settled at Milford ; 
and in the spring of 1639, ^ number of families settled at 
Stratford, then known by the Indian name of Cupheag. 

The right of soil and manner of settlement. 

The Patent^ for the territory of Connecticut, given by 
the Earl of Warwick in 163 1, under King Charles I., included 

' The first Patent of Connecticut^ given under King Charles I, 

"To all people, unto whom this present writing Shall come, Robert, Earl of 
Warwick, sendeth greeting, in our Lord God everlasting. 

Know ye, that the said Robert, Earl of Warwick, for divers good causes and 
considerations him thereunto moving, hath given, granted, bargained, sold, 
enfeoffed, alienated, and confirmed, and by these presents doth give, grant, bar- 
gain, sell, enfeoff, aliene, and oonfirm, unto the right honorable William. Viscount 
Say and Seal, the right honorable Robert, Lord Brook, the right honorable Lord 
Rich, and the honorable Charles Fiennes, Esq., Sir Nathaniel Rich, Knt.. Sir 
Richard Saltonstall, Knt., Richard Knightly, Esq., John Pym, Esq., John Hamp- 
den, John Humphrey, Esq., and Herbert Pelham, Esq., their heirs and assigns, 
and their associates forever, all that part of New England, in America, which lies 
and extends itself from a river there called Narraganset river, the space of forty 
leagues upon a straight line near the sea shore towards the southwest, west and 
by south, or west as the coast lieth towards Virginia, accounting three English 
miles to the league ; and also all and singular the lands and hereditaments what- 
soever, lying and being within the lands aforesaid, north and south in latitude 
and breadth, and length and longitude of and within, all the breadth aforesaid, 
throughout the main lands there, from the western ocean to the south sea, and all 
lands and grounds, place and places, soil, wood, and woods, grounds, havens. 



74 History of Stratford. 

'* all that part of New England, in America, which lies and 
extends itself from a river there called Narraganset river, 
the space of forty leagues upon a straight line near the sea 
shore towards the southwest, west and south, or west as the 
coast lieth towards Virginia," and therefore covered more 
area than the present State of Connecticut. President Clap 
of Yale College described it thus: "All that part of New 
England which lies west from Narraganset river, a hundred 
and twenty miles on the sea coast ; and from thence in lati- 
tude and breadth aforesaid to the sea, which grant extended 



ports, creeks and rivers, waters, fishings, and hereditaments whatsoever, lying 
within the said space, and every part and parcel thereof. And also all islands 
lying in America aforesaid, in the said seas, or either of them, on the western 
coasts, or parts of the said tracts of lands, by these presents mentioned to be given, 
granted, bargained, sold, enfeoffed, aliened, and confirmed, and also all mines 
and minerals, as well, royall mines of gold and silver, as other mines and min- 
erals, whatsoever, in the said land and premises, or any part thereof, and also the 
several rivers within the said limits, by what name or names soever called or 
known, and all jurisdictions, rights, and royalties, liberties, freedoms, immuni- 
ties, powers, privileges, franches, preeminences, and commodities whatsoever, 
which the said Robert, Earl of Warwick, now hath or had, or might use, exercise, 
or enjoy, in or within any part or parcel thereof, excepting and reserving to his 
majesty, his heirs, and successors the fifth part of all gold and silver ore, that 
shall be found within the said premises, or any part or parcel thereof: To have 
and to hold the said part of New-England in America, which lies and extends and 
is abutted as aforesaid. And the said several rivers and every parcel thereof, and 
all the said islands, rivers, ports, havens, waters, fishings, mines, minerals, juris- 
dictions, powers, franchises, royalties, liberties, privileges, commodities, heredita- 
ments and premises, whatsoever with the appurtenances, unto the said William, 
Viscount Say and Seal, Robert, Lord Brook, Robert, Lord Rich, Charles Fiennes, 
Sir Nathaniel Rich. Sir Richard Saltonstall, Richard Knightly, John Pym, John 
Hampden, John Humphrey and Herbert Pelham, their heirs and assigns and their 
associates, to the only proper and absolute use and behoof of them the said Wil- 
liam, Viscount Say and Seal, Robert, Lord Brook, Robert, Lord Rich, Charles 
Fiennes, Sir Nathaniel Rich, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Richard Knightly, John 
Pym, John Hampden, John Humphrey and Herbert Pelham, their heirs and 
assignes, and their associates for ever more. In witness whereof the said Robert 
Earl of Warwick, hath hereunto set his hand and seal, the ninteenth day of 
March, in the seventh year of the reign of our sovereign Lord Charles, by the 
Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the 
faith, &c. Annoq. Domini, 1631. 

Signed, sealed, and delivered, Robert Warwick." 

in the presence of 

Walter Williams 

Thomas Howson 



First Patent of Connecticut. 75 

from Point Judith to New York ; and from thence in a west 
line to the South Sea : and if we take Narraganset river in 
its whole length, this tract will extend as far as Worcester, 
and comprehends the whole of the colony of Connecticut 
and much more."' 

The title to this land was given to the Earl of Warwick by 
the Plymouth Company of England. On " the 3d of Novem- 
ber, 1620, just before the arrival of Mr. Robbinson's people in 
New England, King James 1., by letters patent, under the 
great seal of England, incorporated the Duke of Lenox, the 
Marquis of Buckingham and Hamilton, the Earls of Arundel 
and Warwick, and others, to the number of forty noblemen, 
knights and gentlemen, by the name ' of the Council estab- 
lished at Plymouth in the county of Devon, for the planting, 
ruling and governing of New England in America,* — *and 
granted unto them and their successors and assigns, all that 
part of America, lying and being in breadth from forty de- 
grees of north latitude from the equinoctial line, to the forty- 
eighth degree of said northerly latitude inclusively, and in 
length of and within all the breadth aforesaid, throughout 
the main lands from sea to sea.' The patent ordained that^ 
this tract of country should be called New England in 
America, and by that name have continuance forever.'*" In 
1630, this Plymouth Company conveyed to the Earl of War- 
wick the territory named in the Connecticut Patent, and 
which he sold, as above, to the parties named in that Patent 
to the number of eleven persons. 

When the companies settled at Windsor and Hartford, 
they supposed they were within the jurisdiction of the Mas- 
sachusetts Bay company, but soon became aware of their 
mistake, and on the arrival of the younger Governor Win- 
throp soon after to make a settlement at Saybrook and to be 
governor of Connecticut one year, there was talk of removing 
from Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield, but finally the 
two governments were united at Hartford. 

It was in the latter part of the year 1636 that trouble 

' Manuscripts of President Clap. Trumbull, p. 28. 
'Trumbull, p. 20. 



76 History of Stratford, 

began between the Pequots and the Connecticut settlements^ 
•which resulted in the annihilation of that tribe in June of the 
next year, and by which the English took the Pequot coun- 
try as conquered territory; and by which also they took 
possession in March, 1638, of the country west of the Quinni- 
piac to the Hudson river, as conquered country, in conse- 
quence of the Indians of this territory being allies of the 
Pequots, and joining with thenn in the fight. 

Before giving proof of the above statements some notice 
must be taken of the declarations of historians, that the first 
planters at Stratford and Fairfield bought these townships of 
the Indians, in favor of which there is scarcely a scrap of 
record to be found, except in the publications hereafter men- 
tioned. 

Dr. Trumbull, who was a very careful collector of his- 
tory — although he made a decided mistake this once, at least 
— says : 

" The whole township [Stratford] was purchased of the 
natives; but first Cupheag and Pughquonnuck only, where 
the settlements began.*** The settlement did not begin at 
Pequannock, within Stratford bounds, until twenty years 
after that at Cupheag; besides, in the Colonial records the 
Indian name Pequannuck was sometimes applied in a gen- 
eral way to the settlement at Cupheag, or Stratford village,^ 
but generally to the open country in Fairfield adjoining 
Stratford line and including a part of Stratford territory at 
that place. Of Fairfield he says: "The first adventures 
^ purchased a large tract of land of the natives/* — which was^ 
as will be seen, wholly erroneous, so far as any records show. 

Noah Webster, LL.D., in his History of the United States^ 
printed in 1842, says: *5y 

** Mr. Ludlow, of Windsor, who had traversed the lan^s 
west of Quinnipiac, in pursuit of the Pequots in 1637, was sa 
well pleased with their fertility, that he and a few friends 
purchased a large tract at Unquoway, and began a settlement 
in 1639, called Fairfield. In the same year a company of 

* Dr. Trumbull, I. no, Ibid., 109. 



The First Settlement. TJ 

men from England and Massachusetts purchased Cupheag 
and Poquonnoc, and began the town of Stratford."* 

Mr. J. W. Barber and others have followed this sam^ 
-erroneous supposition concerning the purchase of these 
plantations of the Indians before 1659, for which there was 
never a scrap of record or an authenticated tradition until 
these historians made them, as far as can be ascertained. 
Every Indian deed of lands in Stratford bears a date of more 
than twenty years later than the first settlement of the town 
and the deeds were then made more as a mutual friendship 
act than for any other reason. The truth is — and it only 
illustrates, that historians have too little time to bestow on 
.their work — that Dr. Trumbull and all the other writers 
wholly overlooked certain papers recorded in the first vol- 
ume of Stratford records, which give a clear elucidation of 
this subject. Indeed, the Indian deeds of later years prove, 
in their statements, that there were no purchases of these 
lands before 1656. 

The plantations of Stratford and Fairfield were always 
under the government of the Connecticut Colony and never 
under or connected with the New Haven Colony. The 
cause securing this relation was the possession of this terri- 
tory by Connecticut and the direction given by that Colony 
in the settlement of these localities. The claim to this terri- 
tory was based on the acquisition of it as conquered country, 
and, in addition, a treaty was made with the Indians for the 
specific purpose of settlement. The evidence of these facts 
is contained in several papers, made under oath, and recorded 
at Stratford in 1659, twenty years after the whites first came,, 
by which the Court at Hartford decided that the lands then 
occupied by Stratford and Fairfield rightly belonged to those 
towns. 

These papers may be seen in full on pages 10 to 15 of this 
book, as a part of the Indian history ; and as authority they 
are important documents. These persons were : the Rev. 
John Higginson, a prominent minister living at Guilford at 
the time, Thomas Stanton, of Hertford, Indian interpreter, 

•Webster's Hist. U. S., 97. 



78 History of Stratford. 

Lieut. Thomas Wheeler, at first of Fairfield but afterwards 
of Milford, and John Minor, interpreter to the Indians 
and for some years town clerk at Stratford before his removal 
to Woodbury. The items given by these persons are the fol- 
lowing. Mr. Edward Hopkins and Mr. William Goodwin, 
then prominent men, were employed by the Court at Hart- 
ford to ** treat with the Indians in regard to the land from 
Quinnipiac to the Manhattoes** (New York), and that Mr. 
Higginson accompanied them, as interpreter : that after giv- 
ing notice to, and inviting the sachems and principal men of 
the tribes from Quinnipiac to the Hudson river, they met at 
Norwalk in the last week in March in 1638 (really the begin- 
ning of the year 1638), not quite a year after the conquest o£ 
the Pequots, and after a day's consultation in full council, all 
the tribes being well represented, the Indians gave the land 
to the English, without consideration except the protection 
they should thereby secure against other Indians. In this 
surrender they reserved only their planting grounds, which 
were located at that time on the Pequannock plain. 

In these papers it is also claimed that the territory, 
specially of Stratford and Fairfield, was conquered country, 
for the reason that the tribes inhabiting it were tributary to 
the Pequots at the time, and that they being led specially by 
the Pequannock tribe, which was the most numerous, joined 
with the Pequots as they fled, the year previous, and aided 
them in the battles or skirmishes at Quinnipiac, Cupheag, 
Pequannock and Sashquaket swamp. It was claimed, and it 
is said that the Indians acknowledged, that if the Pequot 
country was conquered territory and not to be paid for, so 
also was that owned by those who joined them in the fight. 
Mr. Higginson states that the object of this treaty was par- 
ticularly to secure the land for future settlements, and keep 
it from the possession of the Dutch ; and that a deputation 
of Indians returned with the commissioners to Hartford and 
did ratify the agreement with a meeting of the Court, held 
in Mr. Hooker's barn. 

Mr. Nicholas Knell, ^prominent planter at Stratford, 
confirmed the testimony of Mr. Higginson, and it is said that 
numbers of persons would do the same, and that it was upoa 



The First Settlement. 79 

the right to the soil thus obtained that the Connecticut 
Colony proceeded to induce settlers to locate upon these 
lands, beginning in 1638, probably within two months after 
the council held with the Indians at Norwalk. 

The New Haven and Milford companies, not being 
aware of this acquisition by the cost of many lives, and the 
treaty, took possession of the Quinnipiac lands about fifteen 
days after the treaty was ratified, and afterwards purchased 
the same of the natives ; but they were, as appears from these 
papers, as to the right of the soil obtained from the Indians, 
squatters on Connecticut territory. Also the planters at 
Norwalk, Stamford and Greenwich, not being aware of the 
acquisition and treaty, and the General Court not urging its 
claims, purchased their lands of the tribes living aft those 
places. 

The Connecticut Court, however, proceeded at once to 
induce settlers to establish themselves at Stratford and Fair- 
field, and probably succeeded in directing a few families to 
locate in each place in the year 1638, and several more in 
1639. 

On the loth of October, 1639, Mr. Ludlow then residing 
at Windsor, and being Deputy Governor, made a journey to 
New Haven and thence to Pequinnock and Uncoway, where 
he located some cattle for the winter, and laid out lots of 
land *• for himself and others." Upon his return to Hartford, 
there arose some misunderstanding as to what he had 
done, and the Governor — Mr. Haynes — and Mr. Wells 
were appointed a commission to visit these places, already 
inhabited by a number of settlers, under the following direc- 
tions:* 

"They are desired to confer with the planters at Pequan- 
nocke [Fairfield and Stratford], to give them the oath of 
fidelity, make such free as they see fit, order them to send 
one or two deputies to the two General Courts in September 
and April, and for deciding of differences and controversies 
under 40' among them, to propound to them and give them 
power to choose seven men frqjp among themselves, with 

• Conn. Col. Records, 36. 



8o History of Stratford. 

liberty of appeal to the Court here; and also to assign Ser- 
geant Nichols for the present to train the men and exercise 
them in military discipline ; and they are farther desired to 
speak with Mr. Pruden and that Plantation, that the differ- 
ence between them and Pequannocke plantation [Stratford] 
may be peaceably decided, and to this end that indifferent 
men may be chosen to judge who have most .right to the 
places in controversy and most need of them, and accord- 
ingly determined as shall be most agreeable to equity and 
reason/" 

This act of the Court in October, 1639, to make freemen 
in addition to some who already resided here, who should 
vote in the election of representatives, was the legal recog- 
nition of these plantations as a part of the Government of 
Connecticut ; and the fulfillment of these orders constituted 
the organization of the towns, but this was done only in part 
according to the acceptance of the report of the Governor 
and Mr. Wells the following i6th of January, 1639 ;• and the 
commission was renewed the next April (9, 1640), as follows : 

**It is ordered that Mr. Haynes, Mr. Ludlow and Mr. 
Welles shall settle the division of the bounds betwixt 
Pequannocke and Uncowaye, by the 24th day of June next, 
according to their former Commission: And also that they 
tender the Oath of Fidelity to the Inhabitants of the said 
Townes, and make such free as they shall approve of.*'* 

But before the date specified had arrived, namely, the 
15th of June, 1640, other persons were appointed to attend 
this work, as follows : 

** It is Ordered, that Mr. Ludlow, Mr. Hopkins and Mr. 
Blakeman shall survey and divide and set out the bounds 
betwixt the Plantations of Cupheag and Uncoway, provided 
if they cannot accord, Mr. Welles at his next coming to those 
parts shall issue it."'" 



•» Col. Rec. i. 36. 

'The year ending the 25th of March, 1639 ; but 1640 as we now begin the 
year. ^ 

• Conn. Col. Rec, 47. 
*®Conn. Col. Records, 53. 



f 
The First Settlement, 8i 

In the order for April 9, 1640, these plantations are called 
towns^ indicating their standing as incorporated parts of the 
government ; and the same, with other items may be seen 
in another order of the ♦Court in June 15, 1640," when Mr. 
William Hopkins of Cu^heag is appointed and sworn as the 
first Magistrate of that town. On the 13th of April, 1643, it 
was " Ordered, that one or two of the Magistrates shall be 
sent to Stratford and Uncoway, to join with Mr. Ludlow for 
the execution of justice, twice this year, namely, the last 
Thursday in April and the last in September. Captain 
Mason and Mr. Wells are appointed for the last in April."" 

Stratford does not appear to have sent representatives to 
the General Court until 1642, when Philip Groves filled that 
position. The taxes for Stratford and Fairfield were col- 
lected together as one plantation until 1647, when they were 
ordered by the Court to be divided. Also their courts were 
held jointly some years by magistrates appointed for the 
purpose. 

The diflSculty of ascertaining the date when Stratford 
was made a town, with many other items as to its organiza- 
tion and first settlement, is in consequence of the town 
records for ten of the first years having disappeared. These 
records probably consisted of a volume or small book, fools- 
cap size, about half an inch thick, which was called "folio.*' 

Not only were the plantations of Stratford and Fairfield 
called towns in April, 1640, but they had freemen who no 
doubt voted in the adoption of the first constitution, in Jan- 
uary, 1638 (O. S.), they being a part of the government at the 
time, and hence in no great hurry to effect an organization of 
the town which would be burdensome to maintain ; for dur- 

" " Whereas by an Order the 14th of January 1638', none is to be chosen a 
Magistrate but such as are propounded in some General Court before, yet not- 
withstanding, as Cupheag and Uncoway are somewhat far distant from this Courts 
and there is a necessity for the dispensation of justice in those Towns, therefore 
in the m6an and until the next General Court of Election, that it is thought meet 
and so ordered, that Mr. WiUiam Hopkins of Cupheag be a Commissioner to 
join with Mr. Ludlow in all Executions in their particular Court or otherwise, 
and is now sworn to that purpose." Col. Rec, 53. • 

» Col. Rec, 86. 
6 



82 History of Stratford, 

ing several years after the commencement of the settlement 
they seem to have been released from taxes, and perhaps this 
is the reason why representatives were not sent earlier than 
they were. 

This first Constitution of Connecticut was a remarkable 
paper, and ever will be a great honor to Roger Ludlow, then of 
Fairfield, who drew it, as well as to the men who adopted it. 
The basis of this paper was an independent republic, there 
being in it no reference to king or queen or monarchy or any 
other government except itself, which is very remarkable 
when remembering that all those who were then to act as 
freemen under it were just come from a kingdom of remarka- 
ble dignity and renown. 

Dr. Trumbull, in his History of Connecticut, remarks 
upon this instrument as follows : 

" This probably is one of the most free and happy con- 
stitutions of civil government which has ever been formed. 
The formation of it, at so early a period, when the light of 
liberty was wholly darkened in most parts of the earth, and 
the rights of men were so little understood in others, does 
great honor to their ability, integrity and love to mankind. 
To posterity indeed, it exhibited a most benevolent regard. 
It has been continued, with little alteration, to the present 
time [i8i8]. The happy consequences of it, which, for more 
than a century and a half, the people of Connecticut have 
experienced, are without description."" 

A recent writer** has the following passage in regard to 
this constitution as formulated by Mr. Ludlowe : 

'* The salient feature of Ludlowe's career, the grand 
achievement of his life, was his large share in originating and 
putting into practical operation the original laws of Con- 
necticut. When, after the Pequot war, the General Court 
met to decide upon a frame of government, he was unani- 
mously appointed to make the draft. Of this great paper it 
is not too much to say, briefly, that in its immediate applica- 

»• Trumbull, I03. 

*^ Mr. Wm. A. Beers, in Magazine of American History, April, 1882. 



The First Constitution, 83 

^ion and far-reaching results it ranks with the best that have 
been fornaulated by the profoundest statesmen. It was not 
perfect: Ludlowe was not a perfect legislator; but it ap- 
proached so near completeness that Dr. Leonard Bacon said 
of it: * It is the first example in history of a written Constitu- 
tion — a distinct organic law, and defining its powers.* " 



CHAPTER V. 



THE FIRST PLANTERS. 

1639-165 1. 

EGINNING in a wilderness, bordering o» 
the great sea, a settlement of English inhab- 
itants, for the perpetuation of posterity 
under the broad principles of religious free- 
dom and uprightness, as well as an enlarged 
perception of civil rights, was the honored 
privilege of the first planters of Stratford. 
Admitting that their opinions of religious 
and civil liberty were not equal to those 
entertained two hundred years later, yet, the 
advanced position which they took upon 
emigrating from the terrible restrictions 
placed by their native country, upon the 
ideas which they did entertain, was and is 
still, a marvel in itself; and it has proved 
already to be the germinating seed which has been scattered 
to a joyful extent to nearly every nation under the sun. 
Notwithstanding some odium of Blue Laws, the originating 
point of liberty in its best applications, for two hundred and 
fifty years, has been the State of Connecticut; and, among 
the very earliest prot6stants against restrictions upon such 
freedom were found prominent planters at Stratford. Dark- 
ness in the thought-world as well as in the physical, is only 
dispelled by the incoming of light ; and as light penetrates, 
the mental soil becomes prolific, the same as the physical, 
and hence America has grown from its small beginnings at 
the germ principles of mighty freedom, to its present mar- 
velously grand proportions of national liberty and government. 
In the history of the world, nothing has ever half equaled 




The name of the Township. 85 

t.his growth, nor the completeness, and marvelous develop- 
ments of national government and freedom. 

Stratford began with a few families ; grew and prospered 
until it surpassed many of its neighbors and thereafter sent 
forth an innumerable number of families to establish and 
replenish other plantations in the exercise of the same energy 
and expanding thought that marked its own early history, 
and which have secured for it a fame highly honorable to any 
people. It was recognized first as an established plantation, 
in 1639, although tradition reports that one family — William 
Judson — if not more, settled here in the year 1638. 

That it was settled by a number of inhabitants in 1639, ^s 
evident not only from tradition, but from the following 
extracts from the records of the General Court, October 10, 
1639:* "And Mr. Governor [John Haynes] and Mr. Wells 
[Thomas Wells, afterwards Governor] were intreated to 
attend this service, [to view the plantation laid out by Mr. 
Ludlow], and they are desired to confer with the planters at 
Pequannocke, to give them the oath of fidelity, make such 
free as they see fit, order them to send one or two deputies 
to the General Courts of September and April, and for 
deciding of differences and controversies under 40% among 
them, to propound to them and give them power to choose 
7 men from among themselves, with liberty of appeal to 
the Court here ; as also to assign Sergent Nichols for the 
present to train the men and exercise them in military disci- 
pline: and they are further desired to speak with Mr. 
Prudden, and that plantation that the difference between 
them and Pequannocke plantation may be peaceably decided, 
and to this end that different men may be chosen to judge 
who have most right to the places in controversy and most 
need of them, and accordingly determine as shall be most 
agreeable to equity and' reason." 

According to this the plantation was settled so far as to 
have men enough to be exercised in training, and so as to 
choose seven men as a court for matters under 40* of value ; 
and also there was a difference as to boundaries between the 



» Col. Rec, i. 36. 



86 History of Stratford. 

two plantations, Stratford being called Pequannock; and the^ 
Court sought to have them send deputies, as a township. 

This indicates that Mr. Blakeman and his company had 
arrived from Wethersfield, for without them there would 
have been too few to meet the supposition of the Court. 

At this time the plantation is called Pequonnocke, by the 
Court, and in June 1640, it is called Cupheag, and the same 
the next September, and in April, 1643, it is called Stratford. 
The name therefore, must have been changed between 
September, 1640, and April, 1643. 

As to the name, Stratford, and how it became the name 
of this locality, there are some interesting items. Hon. 
James Savage, author of a Genealogical Dictionary, speaking 
of Thomas Alsop and his brother Joseph Alsop at New 
Haven, says : ** It may be that the father of these youth 
was that of John Alsop, rated for a subsidy in 1598, to the 
same parish and at the same time with William Shakespear, 
nor would it be very extravagant to suppose, that he too went 
up to London from Stratford on Avon," and thence came to 
America, and also to Stratford among the first settlers, per- 
haps in 1639, and that through him the name was thought of 
and used. It has been suggested that since Samuel Sherman, 
an early settler at Stratford, came from near Stratford, Essex 
county, England, quite another place from that where Shakes- 
pear was born, the place may have been named after this 
town in Essex by the suggestion of Mr. Sherman ; but it 
should be remembered that the Connecticut Stratford was 
so named ten years or more before Samuel Sherman settled 
in it, and therefore he had nothing to do with naming it.* 

A company, it is said, was organized at Wethersfield 
with Mr. Adam Blakeman . as minister, for the purpose of 
settlement at Cupheag. Some of this company were persons 
who had been connected in church relations with Mr. 
Blakeman in England and had accompained him thither, and 
others joined him at Wethersfield. Tradition says there 
were fourteen or fifteen in this company, and it has appeared 
in print that there were seventeen, but it is impossible, now,. 



* See Biographical Sketch of Wm. Beardsley. 



First Settlers of Stratford, 87 

to fix the number. Several of the first planters had grown- 
up sons, over twenty-one years of age, and if these were 
counted, the number, apparently, must have been over seven- 
teen. 

The location at first of quite a number of families in the 
southern part of the present village of Stratford, near the 
site of the first meeting house, may indicate that they came 
to the place at the same time and made their homes near 
each other for better protection against the Indians. 

It is also improbable that a company of families with Mr. 
Blakeman as their minister, should come from Wethersfield 
to settle at Stratford without some agreement or specific 
understanding about the ownership of the land, as it was then 
not only under the supervision of the Court, but claimed by 
it as conquered and ceded territory. Hence we find in 1656 
the General Court confirms the boundaries and consequently 
the right of the soil to the inhabitants then residing here, in 
these words: "This Court, at the request of Stratford, doe 
graunt that their bounds shall be 12 myle northward, by 
Paugasitt River, if it be att the dispose by right of this 
Jurisdiction ;" and therefore the inhabitants then in the town, 
some of them or all, were the owners of this territory, by 
agreement with the Court. 

All the proceedings of the town, from the first record 
now remaining, are founded upon the implied ownership by a 
company of first settlers. It appears by the records, and 
tradition confirms the same, that about the year 1650 the 
records, then kept in a private house, were accidentally 
burned, destroying every entry made from 1639 to that time, 
and then the claims of the settlers, most of them, were 
reentered by the town clerk, as the parties described them 
and as was generally known to be the facts. After this, when 
new parties came into the town, they were granted a home 
lot of about two acres free, upon condition that they would 
build upon and improve it for three years, after which they 
could sell it to their own profit if they desired so to do. 
Hence most of the entries are dated in 165 1 or later; one 
land record bears the date of 1648, and one town meeting act 
bears that of 1650. 



88 History of Stratford. 

If a definite authoritative account or biographical sketch 
of each of these original first settlers could be given, in- 
cluding the place of birth, social and civil relations and a 
statement of the leading occurrences which drove them to 
emiffrate to this country, it would be a portion of history of 
much value as well as of decided interest. We know in a 
general way the causes of this emigration, but as to individu- 
als we have no particulars except those of Mrs. Mirable, the 
wife of John Thompson. In the absence of such information 
as we would be delighted to obtain, we must be content with 
the few items which can now be gleaned from the desolated 
and long neglected field. 

The settlement of Stratford was not made by a company 
organized for the purpose in England as was the case with 
several other towns, but by individuals, in a kind of inde- 
pendent or isolated way, except those who came in company 
with Mr. Blakeman, These seem to have been more numer- 
ous than has been generally conceded. Of some of the 
families settled here it is stated that they came direct from 
England, but as no vessels landed at Stratford these must 
have come through Massachusetts, and hence may have 
joined Mr. Blakeman's company at Wethersfield, or, under 
a concert of arrangement, joined him at Stratford in the 
Spring of 1639. The fact that there were a certain number 
of proprietors, or patentees, or owners of the whole territory, 
necessarily requires concert of action under some specific 
agreement with the General Court, and that, too, for some 
consideration of value, else they could have had no right to 
the exclusion of others. These were 15, perhaps 17, and if 
any others came they were required to buy land of these 17, 
individually or collectively, or receive it by gift from the 
town. Dr. Trumbull's statements, for want of thoroughness 
of research as to the purchase of the township of the natives, 
are so erroneous that his other statements may be taken with 
some doubt, yet in regard to the coming of the first principal 
settlers he may be nearly correct, for he probably obtained 
his information in this particular from aged living persons 
who at that date would be likely to retain the facts. He 
says: 



First Settlers of Stratford, 89 

'* Mr. Fairchild, who was a principal planter, and the first gentleman in the 
town vested with civil authority.' came directly from England. Mr. John and Mr. 
William Curtiss and Mr. Samuel [should be Joseph] Hawley were from Roxbury, 
and Mr. Joseph [should be William] Judson and Mr. Timothy [should be William] 
Willcozson from Concord in Massachusetts. These were the first principal ^en- 
tlenaen in the town and church of Stratford. A few years after the settlement 
conamenced, Mr. John Birdseye removed from Milford and became a man of emi- 
nence both in the town and church. There were also several of the chief planters 
from Boston, and Mr. Samuel Wells, with his three sons, John, Thomas and 
Samuel, from Wethersfield, Mr. Adam Blakeman, who had been episcopally 
ordained in England, and a preacher of some note, first at Leicester and after- 
wards in Derbyshire, was their minister, and one of the first planters. It is said 
that he was followed by a number of the faithful into this country, to whom he was 
so dear, that they said, in the language of Ruth, ' In treat us not to leave thee, for 
whither thou goest we will go ; thy people shall be our people, and thy God our 
'God !' These, doubtless, collected about him in this infant settlement." 

Mr. John W. Barber, writing in 1836, says: 

"The first settlers appear to have located themselves about one hundred and 
fifty rods south of the Episcopal Church, the first chimney being erected near that 
-spot ; it was taken down about two years since. The first burying ground was 
near that spot. Mr. William Judson, one of the first settlers, came into Stratford 
in 1638. He lived at the southwest corner of Meetinghouse hill or green, in a 
house constructed of stone. Mr. Abner Judson, his descendant, lives on the same 
spot, in a house which has stood one hundred and thirteen years, and is still in 
good repair." 

The fact, repeatedly recorded, of the divisions of the 
common land proves that the town was owned by a certain 
number oif persons, who, as proprietors of the whole (and if 
so then these persons obtained these shares or rights of the 
General Court which claimed the ownership at the time), 
secured the same for some consideration or stipulation, which 
was, probably, the simple fact of taking possession by actual 
settlement by a certain number of inhabitants within a speci- 
fied time; for this was a method pursued in other towns at 
the time and soon after. 

Common land, or "the commons," was land not divided 
or disposed of; "sequestered" was that given away, either 



•This is an error according to the Conn. Col. Records, i. 53, "Gcnl. Court, 
June 15, 1640, ... It is so ordered that Mr. William Hopkins of Cupheage be a 
commissioner to join with Mr. Ludlowe in all Executions in their particular court 
or otherwise and is now sworn to that purpose." This was for Cupheag and Un- 
<oway, before Mr. Fairchild was elected magistrate. 



90 History of Stratford. 

for public or private use, but generally for public ; " divis- 
ions " were a certain number of acres surveyed to each and 
every proprietor, which sometimes were measured into lots 
which were numbered and the numbers being put on paper 
and into a hat or box were drawn out, one to each proprie- 
tor; this was called drawing lots. 

The "Common Field" was land for cultivation, owned 
by several or all of the proprietors, and a fence made around 
the whole instead of each making a fence around his own, for 
which latter work too much time would be required. There 
were two of these common fields. The first was constructed 
by making a fence from the brook on the west side of Little 
Neck to the swamp west and then down to the marsh, and 
thus shutting all the cattle and swine out into the forests 
northward. When the present records begin this first com- 
mon field is frequently called the Old Field, and this name is 
still applied to a considerable part of the territory imme- 
diately south of Stratford. village. 

The second common field was made before the year 1648, 
since that is the date when Robert Rice has land recorded as 
being in that field. This was called the New Field, and was 
made by a fence running west across Claboard hill to what is 
now Buce's brook or still further to Mill creek. This is 
indicated by a record made March 5, 1665-6, locating a part 
of the fence at the northeast corner of the field and south* 
ward." This field was then reserved for a " winter field ;" 
that is, the fence was kept up and gates closed in order to 
leave the corn and stacks of hay and grain in that field secure 
from the cattle during the winter. Some years the Old Field 
was kept for the same purpose — a ** winter field."* 

A few years later, that is before 1652, another field was 
constructed by a fence across the neck about where Old Mill 
Green now is, from Mill Creek to Pequannock River, which 

'*' It was agreed at a lawful [town] meeting that the New field shall be kept 
for a winter field the two following years and liberty for a fence to be drawn along 
the swamp on the east side of Claboard Hill and so down to the old swamp land 
to the creek." 

^ ** Oct. 10, 1664. It was agreed that the Great Neck shall be kept this year 
for a winter field." 



First Settlers of Stratford. 9E 

was called the ** New Pasture/' and afterwards the southern^ 
part of this field was called " New Pasture Point." About 
the same time, perhaps a little earlier, another field was made 
up the Housatonic river, called the " Oxe Pasture," which 
is frequently mentioned on the records. 

It should be remembered that these fields were largely 
without forests when the white settlers first came. Probably 
the Old Field, and perhaps some part of the land where 
Stratford village was located had been somewhat cultivated 
by the Indians before the settlers came, at least it was largely 
cleared from forests, for if it had not been, so few inhabitants 
could not have cleared it and laid out a village with such 
regularity, to such an extent, as was done within four or five 
years. For in 1639 or 1640 the principal company of settlers 
came from Wethersfield, and in 1648 the village plot was all 
laid out, and, apparently, had been for several years. The 
tradition is that they came on foot and horseback, and forded 
the river to reach the west side, which seems almost if not 
quite incredible since the depth of the river at present pre- 
cludes a supposition of fording it. The strong indications 
are that they came by boat, and if they did not their house- 
hold goods did, and were landed at the mouth of Mack's 
creek, where they made their first tents or huts, houses, and 
meeting house, and afterwards laid out their village upon a 
very appropriate and beautiful plan, and thus it remains to- 
day with but few changes as to its principal streets. When 
they had laid the highways they proceeded to make the first 
division, which was a home lot, a piece of meadow, and a 
piece of upland for planting; the home lot containing usually 
two and a half acres, and the other pieces varying according 
to quality ; all distribution of lands being passed by vote at 
the town meetings. When after planters came a grant of 
two and a half acres was made to them free of cost upon con- 
dition that they should build a dwelling upon it and improve 
it during three years, after which they could keep it or sell 
it at their own pleasure. These grants were called " home 
lots," but when a dwelling had been erected upon them they 
were called ** house lots." * 

The oldest date of such a lot or of anything, now upoft 



92 History of Stratford, 

record, is that of Robert Rice's lands, Sept. i6, 1648 ; all 
previous to this having been lost or destroyed ; — said to have 
been burned, probably by accident, they having been kept in 
a private house. 

It is quite certain that dwellings were not builded upon 
every home lot granted, but in some cases they were sold 
and united to other lots, as in the case of John Birdseye at 
the south end of the village, who purchased several. 

Running through the New Field was a stream called 
Nesumpaw's Creek, and a portion of the territory in the 
New Field was called Nesurapaws' ; which title was first the 
name of an Indian and applied to a tract of land on which 
his wigwam stood. The name is spelled at first on the town 
records Nesingpaws or Neesingpaws, and later Nesumpaws. 

** Claboard Hill " lay at the north of the New Field, a part 
of the hill being included in that field. Stony Brook Hill was 
afterwards called Old Mill Hill. 

The Pequannock field was constructed, probably, about 
1655, for it had been sometime established according to a 
town vote in January, 166 1. It was on the Pequannock plain 
south of Golden Hill, east of Fairfield bounds. 

The Calf-pen plain or Upper plain was north of, and, 
probably, included a part of, the Golden Hill Reservation, as 
the Reservation was laid out in 1659.' This plain was estab- 
lished for young cattle very early, probably before 1650. 
This locality was afterwards and even yet is known as Bull's 
head. It was here probably where Richard Butler's swine 
were pastured when Nimrod ** willfully killed some of them," 
and a law suit followed, or at least was granted to follow, by 
the Court. 

The following is the list of the owners of fence about 
the first common field, the fence being a little over 353 rods 
in length, which if it surrounded the entire field inclosed 
nearly fifty acres, but if it was a fence direct across the neck 
to Fresh Pond it would have inclosed several hundred acres, 
or all of Great Neck as well as Little Neck. 

This list is without date but must have been recorded 
before 165 1, since William Burritt's name is on it and he died 
that year. 



First Settlers of Stratford. 



9J 



" A noi€ of every man*s 
several rods, 

rods. 

1 Thomas Skidmore, 12 

2 John Wells. 6 

3 John Reader 10 

4 Adam Blakcman, iz 

5 Richard Harvey, 9 

6 John Peacock, 5 

7 William Quenby, 4 

8 Robert Rice, 13 

9 William Burritt, 5 

10 Mr. Knell, 5 

11 John Peatite, 10 

12 John Brownsmayd, 9 

13 William WiIcoxson,..i2 

14 Richard Butler 6 

15 John Peake, 10 

16 Thomas Fayrchild,... 6 

17 Joseph Judson, 4 

18 Adam Hurd 4 

TQ Daniell Titierton, 11 

20 Philip Groves, 9 

21 Francis Peacocke, -- -5 



fence in the old field with what numbers and the 



rods. feet. inch. 

William Crooker,.-. 2 lo 2 

John Hurd, 43 8 o 

Arthur Bosiicke,.... 690 

John Tomson, 10 9 o 

Robert Cooe o 10 2 

Thomas Ufford, 12 6 3 

Joseph Hawley, 6. 9 o 

Jeremiah Judson,. ..11 14 o 

Joshua Judson 

Mr. Seabrook 4 00 o 

Henry Gregory 8 00 o 

Richard Booth, 8 00 o 

Mr. Waklin, 2 10 o 

Widow Curtis,-. 2 10 2 

Thomas Sherwood,.. 546 

Francis Hall, 18 3 o 

William Beardsley,.. 24 6 o 

John Curtis, 4 10 o 

John Birdzie, 10 9 o 

Isack Nickoles, 2 10 o" 



feet. 


inch. 




3 





22 








23 


9 


° i 


24 


14 


1 


25 


I 


6 


26 


4 


6 


27 








28 


8 


, 


29 


4 


6 


30 


4 


6 1 


31 


9 





32 


I 


6 1 


33 


3 





34 


9 


1 


35 


9 





36 


9 


1 


37 








38 





1 


39 


14 


! 


40 


I 


^ 1 


41 


4 


6 1 





It is probable that this is not a complete list of the 
original company. Robert Cooe — number 26 — was Robert, 
Junior, and just twenty-three years of age, and hence was not 
an original proprietor, yet his father, who was at Wethers- 
field at the time, may have been. Thomas Alsop appears 
to have been one of the original company, but his name is 
not on this list. 

The following sketches of the first settlers at Stratford are 
much less complete than they would be if written at the 
end of the work. It is probable that these men had not the 
least surmise or apprehension of the relation they were to 
occupy in regard to a free people for many centuries to 
come. Each supposed himself to be simply an individual, 
seeking the prosperity of himself and family, but time has 
revealed that each was a pillar in a great temple of human 



94 History of Stratford. 

government, for freedom and marvelous success. They 
sought, modestly and mainly, .a simple home of personal 
possession and comforts, and in securing these, laid, in con- 
nection with other like plantations which were as independent 
republics, the foundations for a government which, after a 
little less than two centuries and a half, is, for the elevation of 
mankind, the most sublime the sun ever shone upon. It is 
often the case that the most perfectly carved marble statue 
occupies but an unobtrusive corner in a great temple, so the 
work and life of each family in such a plantation may seem 
at the time but an insignificant space partially filled, yet in 
the ages to follow, that which was the obscure germ will 
bloom into the crowning national glory ; even as accom- 
plished Presidents of the United States from the back-woods 
log cabins. Under such possibilities no family is too obscure 
to be noticed in a work like the present; and even if it 
were, the fact of a faithful mention of all, may prove a stim- 
ulant to high ambition and success in a most obscure corner ; 
and therefore, so far as time and cost will allow, it is the pur- 
pose to mention in a historical manner as far as possible, 
every person that has had a residence in the good old town 
of Stratford. But few books if any in the English language 
have had greater influence to incite noble ambition and histori- 
cal culture than PlutarcJis Lives, and following in this same 
line America has already an unprecedented number of large 
volumes of Biographical Dictionaries and Cyclopedias. It is 
not then unseemly or aside from good historic order to allow 
local history to partake largely of the biographical style. 

When the years are counted over, and the generations 
numbered who have already passed away since Stratford was 
first settled, the time seems long, and the various paths 
through which its citizens have journeyed seem wearisome to 
think of, but when we bring to mind the courage, endurance, 
toil and enjoyments which were the portion of these citizens 
we are both sad and delighted. Two hundred and thirty- 
four years have passed since the date of the paper which 
contains the forty-one names of whom we give, first, a brief 
outline of their remarkable lives — remarkable, if for nothing 
else, yet for the circumstances which surrounded them, and 



First Settlers of Stratford. 95 

for the nation planted by them, and for that which has grown 
from their intellectual and religious planting. And what 
changes have taken place since those forty-one built their 
rude log houses at or near Sandy Hollow Banks, where the)' 
erected their first meeting-house! Some years since while 
digging near the site of the old meeting-house a party ex- 
humed a skull-bone : that was a representative of one of these 
early settlers, which one it matters not ; it was one of them ; 
— all gone to dust but one bone — and so are they all. 

** Two hundred years ago ! how strange 
To look back o'er the way 
And think of the great, amazing change 
From that until th' present time. 

Slow rising in the eastern sky, 
Our fathers hailed the rising sun ; 
But saw not in the western skies 
What wonders should be done." 

The old meeting-house, after about forty years' service, 
disappeared in 1683, but some of the timbers were used as 
sills and sleepers in a house now standing a little way west 
from the site of the old meeting-house, on the north side of 
the street, which is now occupied by Mr. Joseph Savage. 
These timbers having been in use about two hundred and 
forty years, are interesting as showing the work of human 
hands which have slept in the dust two centuries. 

A barn now stands on the site of the old meeting-house, 
with a stone cellar which was long used as a kind of store or 
storage house, and is rather an unseemly sentinel to tell 
where the first bell that called worshipers together in the 
state of Connecticut was suspended to perform its weekly 
musical task. There Goodman Peat stood for ten or fifteen 
years pulling the rope that caused the sound of the bell to 
echo across the placid waters of the old Pootatuck, but now 
Housatonic river; and after him Goodman Pickett performed 
the same duties to save Stratford from being in fashion in 
coming to the meeting at the beat of the drum. 



g6 History of Stratford, 

1 — Thomas 8kidm%are was of Cambridge, Mass., in- 
1642; in 1636 he had been engaged for John Winthrop in his 
preparation for planting Saybrook, Conn. He was early in 
Stratford, with his son-in-law Edward Higby, probably before 
1649, when they had a suit in law tried before the Court at 
Hartford. He was in Stratford in 1659, but appears to have 
removed not long after to Fairfield, where his descendants 
continued many years. His will was dated April 20, 1684, 
and proved soon after. Judge Savage says he had a wife 
Ellen, but in his will he speaks of his wife Sarah, which may 
have been a second. He had two sons and several daughters. 

2— John WeUa, son of Gov. Thomas Wells of Wethers- 
field, was probably one of the original proprietors of Strat- 
ford, or sent there by his father to occupy the lands which he, 
the father, owned as one of the proprietors of the plantation, 
and he afterwards received considerable land in Stratford 
from his father. John Wells was made a freeman in 1645, 
perhaps in Stratford, but was here in 1650; was made an 
Assistant in 1656 and again in 1658 and 1659. He was a 
prominent man while he lived, but died in 1660, or in 1661, 
about the same time his father did, a comparatively young 
man, not far from thirty -five years of age. 

Governor Thomas Wells, the father of John Wells, 
above, was an original proprietor at Hartford and Wethers- 
field ; appears there on the records first as the Secretary 
Magistrate at the General Court, May i, 1637, when war was 
declared against the Pequots. It is uncertain when he came 
from England and whether he brought a wife or not, but he 
brought three sons and three daughters. He married a sec- 
ond wife Elizabeth, widow of Nathaniel Foot of Wethers- 
field. In 1654, he was chosen Deputy Governor, and Gov- 
ernor Hopkins being in England, he acted as Governor all 
the year, and in 1655 he was elected Governor of Connecti- 
cut, and then re-elected again in 1658. Governor Wells died 
in Wethersfield Jan. 14, 1660. 

3 — John Reader, of New Haven, 1643, came to Strat- 
ford among the first settlers. His home lot, No. 10, he sold 



First Settlers of Stratford. 97 

with several pieces of land in 1659, to David Mitchell, and 
appears to have removed from the town. 

4— JBew. Adam BlakemaUf was the son of a private 
citizen of Staffordshire, Eng.; born in 1598, and entered 
Christ College, Oxford, May 23, 161 7, when nineteen years of 
age,' where he wrote his own name, Blakeman.* Mather says 
of him: "He was a useful preacher of the gospel, first in 
Leicestershire, then in Derbyshire, England." Mather also 
gives the impression that he was attended to this country by 
several families of his parish, but in what year he came over 
or by whom accompanied he does not say. Allen, Hinman 
and other writers have asserted that he first preached a while 
in Scituate, Mass., but they were led into this error by 
Deane's History of Scituate, the author of which afterward 
acknowledged that he had mistaken the name of ** Mr. Black- 
man" for that of Rev. Christopher ** Blackwell." Cotton 
Mather also represents him as having preached in Guilford 
before Stratford, but of this no evidence appears, nor could 
it have been, since Guilford was settled not a year before 
Stratford, and its people had with them their minister, Mr. 
Henry Whitfield. In June, 1640, the General Court appointed 
him with Mr. Ludlow of Uncoway and William Hopkins of 
Cupheag to run the line between these two plantations, and 
from this it is concluded he was already settled at Cupheag. 

On May 17, 1649, the Court directed : ** Concerning Mr. 
Blakeman's maintenance, Mr. Ludlowe is directed, both for 
what is behind as also for the future, to take care that it be 
levied according to the several seasons as is provided by the 
order of the country." This indicates that his salary was so 
long in arrears as to make it important for the Court to take 
action in regard to it. In 165 1, " by the town in public meet- 
ing it was agreed that Mr. Blakeman shall have 63 pounds 
and pay part of his own rate." His name occurs only a few 
times on the existing town records. In 1660, he is named 

' Taken largely from MS. of Rev. B. L. Swan. 

* Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. viii. 249. 

' His sons James and Benjamin wrote their names Blakeman and Blackeman. 
7 



98 History of Stratford. 

as executor of William Beardsley's will, and on April 20, 
1665,. he is named in a vote inviting Mr. Chauncey to help 
him in the ministry for one year. Mr. Blakeman died Mon- 
day, Sept. 1665, ae. 67 years." His home lot was number 20 
on the plan of the village of Stratford. 

From Mather's brief notice of him Mr. Blakeman appears 
to have been a man of learning, prudence and fervent piety. 
The famous Rev. Thomas Hooker said of him : ** for the sake 
of the sacred and solemn simplicity of the discourse of this 
worthy man, if I might have my choice, I would choose to 
live and die under Mr. Blakeman's ministry." 

Nothing remains of Mr. Blakeman's writings except his 
will on the Fairfield probate records and his autograph in the 
Connecticut Historical Society's Collections, at the bottom 
of a document in Mr. Chauncey's handwriting, and dated in 
the spring of 1665. It is the answer of the Church of Strat- 
ford to questions by the General Court of the preceding 
year, relating to the matters transacted in the Synod at Bos- 
ton in 1662; chiefly respecting the membership and rights of 
baptized persons. 

A paragraph in Mr. Blakeman's will indicates that he 
was a member of the Synod from 1646 to 1648 which drew 
up the Cambridge platform. 

Extracts from Rev, Adam Blakeman s WilL 
The will was dated March 16, 1665-66. 

" Item. Concerning my books which I intended for my son Benjamin, seeing 
his thoughts are after another course of life — that his thoughts be not to attend 
the work of Christ in the ministry, my wish is that my son Atwater [son-in-law] 
make his son Joshua a scholar and fit him for that work. I give unto him all my 
Latin books ; but if not they shall be put into my estate and disposed of as my 
wife any my overseers shall think fit. 

'* Item. Because many of God's servants have been falsely accused concern- 
ing the judgment of the kingly power of Christ, though I have cause to bewail 
my great ignorance and weakness in acting, yet I do hope I shall, through the 
strength of Christ to my dying day, adhere to that form of Church discipline 
agreed upon by the honored Elders and Brethren, now in print, and to the truth 
of God concernii^g that point left on record by that famous and Reverend Servant 
of God, of blessed Memory. Mr. Thomas Hooker, in his elaborate work called 

* Savage, vol. ii. 472. 



First Settlers of Stratford, 99 

The Survey of Church Discipline, to which most in all the churches of Christ 
then gathered in this Colony gave their consent as appears in the Rev. Author's 
Epistle — so at Milford, New Haven, Guilford, and those in the Bay who could 
be come at in that stress of time. And being one who in the name of our church 
subscribed that copy, could never (through the Grace of Christ) see cause to 
receive any other in judgment, nor fall from those principles so solemnly backed 
with Scripture, and arguments which none yet could overturn." 

Mr. Blakeman is described by Mr. Mather as having been 
attended on his departure for New England with a consid- 
erable and ** desirable company of the faithful " who would 
not be separated from him. He also describes him as a very 
"holy man" and as greatly beloved by his people. 

Mr. Blakeman's death should have been on Stratford 
town records, but is found only on his tombstone, which was 
removed to the second grave yard. There is a pretence (in 
accordance with repeated orders of the Court) of keeping a 
burial record, which begins (p. 49) with John, son of Nicho- 
las Knell, January, 165 1, and ends with Elizabeth Porter in 
1683, but in these thirty-two years only twenty-four names — 
and one or two infants without names — are recorded. Mr. 
Blakeman had five sons and one daughter, all except perhaps, 
Benjamin, were born in England. 

Mrs. Jane Blakemanf widow of the Rev. Adam, 
appears to have been sister to Moses Wheeler of Stratford, 
for her son John in his will dated in 1662, mentions his 
*• Uncle Wheeler." Moses Wheeler was born in 1598, and if 
she was next younger, and born in 1600, she was two years 
younger than her husband, and at her death in 1674, was 74 
years of age. Her name appears several times on the Colo- 
nial and Town records, in consequence of the misconduct of 
her son Deliverance, in whose behalf she was obliged to 
intercede more than once with the Colonial authorities, but 
who afterwards retrieved himself from his former life, mar- 
ried and settled in Stonington about 1685, where he died in 
April, 1702. Her will is on the Fairfield Probate records. 

John Blakeman, son of the Rev. Adam Blakeman, 
juarried Dorothy, daughter of the Rev. Henry Smith of 
Wethersfield about 1653, removed to Fairfield where he died 



lOO History of Stratford. 

in 1662, leaving a widow and three sons, Joseph, John and 
Ebenezer ; from the last of these, who married a Willcoxson,, 
descended the Blakeman families of Newtown and Monroe. 

The widow Dorothy (Smith) Blakeman appears to have 
possessed remarkable charms', either of person, intellect or 
heart, for besides passing through a case of litigation in 
Court for her hand, she was married four times, twice after 
she was over fifty years of age.. Rev. Adam Blakeman, who 
survived his son John, in his will — 1665 — says: *' I give to my 
daughter [Dorothy] Blakeman, if she marry not John Thomas, 
and shall take her friends' consent in the matter, or continue 
a widow, five pounds," and the General Court, Oct. 10, 1665, 
recorded : " The magistrates do order that in case John 
Thomas and the widow Blakeman do not issue their differ- 
ence by reference now concluded on, that the said Thomas 
shall make good his claim to that woman at the next Court 
at Fairfield, otherwise the widow shall have liberty to marry.** 
Upon this John Thomas seems to have abandoned his claims 
instanter, for Francis Hall of Stratlord, who had been the 
attorney for the widow of Rev. Mr. Blakeman in this case 
before the Court, became charmed with his opponent and 
married her that same month, October 31, 1665, his for- 
mer wife having died on July 6th previous. Twenty-two 
years afterwards, before the decease of Francis Hall, his son 
Isaac Hall entered a claim in Fairfield to recover certain 
amount of money which was his own mother's estate at mar- 
riage, and guaranteed to her in writing by her husband 
Francis Hall, when he sold the estate in England, in 1664, the 
apparent object being to keep it from the possession of this 
brilliant step-mother. Francis Hall died, apparently, in 
Stratford, but this is not certain, in 1690, and his widow 
Dorothy still possessing charms too attractive to be confined 
to widowhood, married Mark Sension (St. John) of Norwalk, 
who died in 1693, alter which she married Dea. Isaac Moore 
of Farmington. 

Samttel JBlakeman, son of Rev. Adam Blakeman, mar- 
ried Elizabeth, daughter of Moses Wheeler in 1660, and died in 
1668, leaving several children. His widow married Jacob 



First Settlers of Stratford. lOi 

^Walker, a lawyer, in 1670. He was the son of Robert 
Walker of Boston and brother of the Rev. Zachariah Walker, 
pastor of the Second Congregational Church in Stratford, 
and which removed to Woodbury. Samuel Blakeman was 
only forty-eight years of age. 

Mary Blakeman, the daughter of the Rev. Adam 
Blakeman, was born in 1636, and when fifteen years of age — 
in 165 1 — married Joshua Atwater of New Haven, who 
seems to have resided for a time in Stratford, purchasing a 
considerable estate here, and then removed to Boston where 
he died in 1676, leaving several children. After his death she 
married the Rev. John Higginson, then of Salem, Mass., but 
formerly assistant minister to Rev. Henry Whitfield of Eng- 
land and Guilford, Conn., whose daughter was his first wife. 
Mr. Higginson was an interpreter of the Indian language 
while in Connecticut, and gave a valuable paper in the settle- 
ment of the claims of Stratford territory in 1659, in which 
year he removed to Salem. He died in 1708, and his widow 
Mrs. Mary Higginson died March 9, 1709. Her character is 
finely set forth by Cotton Mather as illustrative of the noble 
women of that age.* 

5—jRicha/rd Marvey, 2l tailor by trade, came from 
Great St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, in the ship Planter, 
in which also came Rev. Mr. Blakeman and William Will- 
coxson, in 1635 ; was probably among the first settlers in 
Stratford in 1639. He appears to have had no sons but three 
daughters. His home lot was number 43. If this was his 
first lot, then either he did not come as early as is supposed 
above, or did not obtain one until some years after he came. 

6— John Peacocke, was of New Haven in 1638, Mil- 
ford, 1642, and came to Stratford before 165 1. He had a 
home lot in the southern part of the village on Main street, 
and died in 1670. He had four children born before he came 
to Stratford, and his only son died while a child and hence 
his descendants of the name soon became extinct in the town. 



'Thoughts on the Sleep of Death, by Cotton Mather, D.D. 1712. Pp. 4» 5, 
^, 7, 8. MS. Rev, B. L. Swan. 



I02 History of Stratford. 

l—Wmiia/m Qtienby was one of the first proprietors^ 
in Stratford territory, his lands being re-entered on the town 
books in 1652 ; a house lot, two pieces of land in the New 
field, and three acres on the Neck. These possessions he 
sold April i, 1657, to Henry Tomlinson. William Quenby, 
probably, was a resident of Stratford only about four years. 

8 — Robert Mice was not of the original proprietors, 
but came soon after them and was granted land from the 
town which was recorded Sept. 16, 1648, which is the earliest 
record now on the town books. Hence the plan or plot for 
the village was laid before this date, else the lot could not 
have been bounded on the highway. The record says : " One 
house lot, two acres, more or less, butting south upon the 
highway, north upon William Beardsley, west upon Mr. 
Knell and east upon John Brownsmayd." He had also 
** meadow and upland in the Old Field, 8 acres in the New- 
fey Id upon Mr. Waklin's Neck,** and other pieces elsewhere. 
On February 6, 1660, Mr. Rice sold these parcels of land, 
including "one house lot, one dwelling house upon it and 
barn " to ** Thomas Wheeler now of Paugusit,*' and removed 
to New London. A family of the same name have been resi- 
dent on the south side of Long Island for many years to the 
present time, in the vicinity of Bellville. This dwelling and 
lot was afterwards owned by Richard Beach, and then Rev. 
Israel Chauncey. 

O^WiUiam Burritt came from England with wife 
Elizabeth and settled in Stratford among the first planters 
and died in 165 1, the inventory of his estate is dated May 28, 
165 1. His home lot was at the south end of the village, west 
side of Main street. He left two sons and one daughter, and 
the name has been perpetuated with honor in the line of 
blacksmiths as well as in other pursuits, in various interior 
towns of Connecticut, as well as in the person of the ** learned 
blacksmith,*' the late Elihu Burritt of New Britain, Conn. 

10 — Nicholas KfneU^ married in 1650, Elizabeth, widow 
of Thomas Knowles and daughter of Francis Newman of 
New Haven. He was in Stratford probably before his. 
marriage and appears to have been an original proprietor- 



First Settlers of Stratford. 103 

The record of his land that is preserved is without date, but 
was made soon after 1650. Besides his house lot and other 
pieces of meadow and upland there was given to him by the 
town as a part of his first division ** One Island of meadow 
lying in the midst of our harbor, lying for five acres and a 
half;" and hence the island has always borne his name — 
Knell's Island — and should never be spelled without the K. 
Mr. Knell seems to have been an influential man as to char- 
acter and public efficiency and work. He died April 2, 1675, 
and the town clerk added to the record : " that aged bene- 
factor in ye county." He had four children — one died an 
infant, and the family name continued in the town quite a 
number of years, but has long since disappeared. 

JEleazer Knowles was the son of Mrs. Elizabeth Knell. 
His father, Thomas Knowles, was in New Haven in 1645, and 
died before 1648, leaving widow Elizabeth and sons Thomas 
and Eleazer. The widow married Mr. Knell as above, but 
what became of Thomas Knowles, Jr., does not appear; 
probably he died young. Eleazer Knowles settled in Strat- 
ford, married Jane Porter and had two sons, Eleazer and 
Thomas, and Eleazer removed to Woodbury, Conn., where 
his descendants still continue. Thomas Knowles, the first 
in New Haven, was one of a company of seventy who sailed 
in a new ship from New Haven for Liverpool in January, 
1646, of whom nothing was ever heard. 

11 — John JPetUt was in Roxbury in 1639, and was at 
Stratford in 1651, removed soon, probably to Stamford and 
thence to Newtown, Long Island. 

12— John Brinsnko^de united with the church at 
Charlestown, Mass., in March, 1638, and in October, 1639, 
his wife Mary joined also; but he seems to have removed 
that year to Dorchester, Mass., where in 1640 his son John 
was born. He settled in Stratford before 1650, and became 
prominent in the town. He has been reported as a Ruling 
Elder in Stratford church, which is an error arising from the 
fact of his name being on the town records as John Brins- 
made the elder,y,that is, not the younger, who was his son. 
The only Ruling Elder this church had was Philip Groves. 



I04 



History of Stratford. 



First Inhabitants and their Home Lots? 



Home 


Home 


Lota 




Lots. 


I -a 


John Birdsey, 
Thomas Sherwood, 




William Judson, then 
Joseph Judson, 
First Parsonage Lot 
taken from Public Green. 


3 


41 


4 


Wid. Elizabeth Beardsley. 


42 


5-8 


eremiah Judson, 


43 


6 


" ohn Minor. 1667, 




Hugh Griffin, then 
John Wheeler, 
Richard Harvey, 


7 


'ViUiamBurritt. 


44 


9 


Nathaniel Porter, 


45 




j John Reader, then 
\ David Mitchell. 

John Hurd, 

Robert Seabrook, 


46 


Francis Hall, 


10 

II 


47 
47a 


j John Blakeman, 


ia-i3 


.48 


. Wid. A. Kiroberly, 1680, 


14 


John Peacock, 
Henry Wakelyn, 


49 


David Sherman, 1686, 


15 


50 


Common, 


i6 


Thomas Uflfoot. 


51 


Land of L Nichols, 


17 


Robert Coe. 


52 


Samuel Sherman, Jr.. 1665, 


i8 


Samuel Sherman, 1652, 


53 


Street. 


IQ 


Philip Groves, 


54 


John Beers, 
Nathaniel Foot, 


20 


Rev. Adam Blakeman, 


55 




John Barlow, then 
'ohn Hurd, 


56 


Burial Place, 1678. 


'21 


57 


Daniel Tiilerton, Jr., 


22 


\ ames Harwood, 


58 


Timothy Willcoxson. 
abez Harger, 


23 


Ldward Higby, 


59 


24 


John Jenner, 


60 


ohn Hull, 


35 


Arthur Bostwick, 


61 


ohn Pickett, 


26 


eremiah Judson, 


62 


lobert Lane, 


27 


oshua Judson, 


63 


ohn Young, 
Thomas Wells. 


28 


Thomas Fairchild, Sen., 


64 


29 


Richard Booth, 


65 


ohn Thompson's 2d lot. 


30 


Isaac Nichols, Sen., 


66 


"ohn Wells, 
>aniel Titterton, Sen.. 


31 


Adam Hurd, 


66a 




Francis Nichols, then 
Caleb Nichols. 


66b 


ohn Wilcoxson, Sen., 


32 


67 


\ ohn Peake, [Peal], 




Thomas Quenby, then 


68 


looses Wheeler, 


33 


Joshua Atwaier, then 
Henry Tomlinson, 


69 


Thomas Curtis, 




70 


William Wilcoxson, 


34 


William Curtis, 


71 


William Beardsley, ist, 


35 


Adam Hurd. 


72 


John Brinsmade, 
Nicholas Knell, 


36 


John Beach, 1660, 
bought of A. Bryan, 


73 


74 


Robert Rice, 




Richard Miles, then 
Joseph Havvley, 


75 


First Meetinghouse, 


37 


76 


Thomas Uffooi, 


38 


[ohn Thompson, 


77 




38a 


"rancis Jfcockes, 


. 78 


Jehiel Preston. 1662, 


39 


William Read, 


79 


Second Meetinghouse, 1678, 


40 


William Crooker, 


80 


Third Meetinghouse, 1743, 








Burned by lightning, 1785. 



* This Map was first constructed by the Rev. B. L. Swan, and has been care- 
fully revised by the deeds of the first settlers. It is intended to have a map 
double this size in a future part of the book. The numbers have no significance, 
except for convenience in referring to the Map. For want of room lots 57, 58, 59, 
60, 61, 62 and 63 are not designated on the map. 













4X 


43 


43 





3« 




34 




3a 




30 1 




a8 




35 




34 





x6 



z 

^ 


ao 






ax 




S 


s 


33 


^ 
U 


15 




xa 


»3 






N. 



STRATFORD 

IN 1660. 



-I 



io6 History of Stratford, 

Hence, with the fiction of Mr. Brinsmade's office as Elder 
goes also the silly story of the leather mitten ordination. 

John Brinsmade died in 1673 leaving an estate valued at 
jCsig. He had a brother William who entered Harvard 
College in 1644, and was settled minister in Marlborough 
from 1660 to 1701.* 

By a town vote in 1664, it is ascertained that the Indian 
wigwams, some of them at least, were located in the south- 
west part of what is now Stratford village, west of Main 
street, along the path that went to the first mill at the 
** Eagle's Nest.*** A tract of land there was called .Wigwam 
Meadow, in consequence of the wigwams having stood there. 
It may not have been the only place where wigwams were 
located. 

13 — WUdiaifn WiUcoai^on came from England in April, 
1635, in the ship Planter, in company with Richard Harvey 
and William Beardsley who settled in Stratford. He was 
made freeman in Massachusetts in 1636, and came from 
Concord, Mass., to Stratford, probably, in 1639, and hence 
was one of the first proprietors and a prominent man of the 
township. In his will, dated May, 165 1, he gave ;£'40 to the 
church in Concord. He left a widow and five sons, through 
whom the descendants of his name are widely scattered in 
the nation. The name has become contracted in some 
localities to that of Willcox. 

* See Allen's Biog. Dictionary. 

* " Oct. 10, 1664. In consideration of some meadow being not answerable 
to the grant given to Goodman Brinsmade the town at a lawful meeting gave him 
a little island below the ferry being south of the ferry, and one acre of land in the 
swamp on the right hand of the path as they go from Beardsley Gate to the 
meadow called by the place where the wigwams used to be and three, more or 
less, on the other side of the path by the swamp side, John Hurd's ground on 
the west side of it." 



CHAPTER VI. 



THE FIRST PLANTERS. 

{Continued.) 
1639-1651. 

OMMONS or ** commoning *' was land not 
^deeded from the toWn to any purposes. 
Hence in their deeds parties frequently sold 
their '* commoning *' or interest in the undi- 
vided lands. Rights of this kind are said to- 
exist still in the town. 

Sequestered land was that given away 
or devoted to some specific public purpose, 
but when given to settlers, as many of the 
home lots were, it was not called seques- 
tered land. When the first parsonage lot 
was given by the town, which comprised 
the two lots 42 and 43 in the map on page 
105, it was taken out of sequestered land, 
that is out of the public highway or green, and probably the 
highway now called Elm street was proportionally wide as 
these lots would make it at that place. Many changes have 
occurred in regard to the topography of the place since the 
first settlement. A brook once crossing where the railroad 
and the Old Mill road intersect and known as Gallows brook, 
has disappeared. Tanner's brook, so called from the earliest 
settlement, was then a larger stream than now, having one 
tannery, probably the oldest, standing on it where Dorman's. 
blacksmith shop now stands. 

The salt meadow and sedge on the west and south of the 
creek below New Lane were largely covered with water, 
and the point where the shipyard is, being then described as 
bounded east, south and west by the river, cove and beach*^ 




io8 History of Stratford. 

Knell's island contained five or six acres. An island just 
below the old Washington bridge, once known as Brinsmade's' 
island, has, the last of it, disappeared within the memory of 
persons now living. 

The creek setting back from the river into Sandy Hollow 
and now almost choked up was two hundred years ago open 
and navigable. At the elbow of that creek where the barn 
now stands was the center of the first settlement, and the 
meeting-house and the burying ground. 

14 — Si'Chard Butter was a proprietor in Stratford and 
received his divisions of lands as others, but may not have 
resided here until after 1660. He was a juryman in Hartford 
in 1643, and in 1648 was made executor of his brother Wil- 
liam's estate at Hartford, who seems to have had no heirs 
but this brother Richard and two sisters in England. In 
1651 the General Court granted him liberty to prosecute the 
Indian Nimrod at Pequannock who .had " willfully killed 
some of his swyne." In 1659 he is appointed Custom officer 
at Stratford and allowed for his duty as collector 2s. for every 
butt of wine entered, and I2d. for every anker of liquor, and 
in proportion for other casks ; and the Colonial Records 
make him one of the grand jury for Hartford in 1660. He 
died in Stratford in 1676, having an estate of ;^350. His 
home lot was the southern part of lot number 68 on the dia- 
gram of home lots in this book. He was prominent in the 
organization of the Second Church from 1666 to 1670. 

15 — tfohn JPeake, afterward written Peat and then Feet, 
is said to have come from Duffield Parish, county of Derby, 
England, in the Hopewell, Capt. Bundock, master, in 1635. 
He had a wife, Sarah, but whose daughter she was is not cer- 
tain, although the Fairfield Brand book* in 1669, styles 
Richard Osborn, John Feat's father, which in modern terms 
would be father-in-law. He may have been one of the orig- 
inal proprietors in Stratford ; had his house lot. No. 67, on 
Front street, now Elm, bordering on Salt Fond, and died in 
1678, aged 81 years. His descendants have been and are still 
quite numerous, and scattered in the States. He was sexton, 



^ Manuscript of the Rev. B. L. Swan. 



First Settlers of Stratford. lo^ 

and rang the bell of the first meeting-house some years^ 
giving up his position in 1660, in consequence of age. 

Thomas FairchUd, Sen., was among the first settlers 
of Stratford, but whether he came here in 1638 or 1639 is not 
known. He was a merchant and may have come with his 
brother-in-law Thomas Sherwood, and with William Judson 
in 1638, for the purpose, principally, of trading with the 
Indians, or he may have joined Mr. Blakeman*s company at 
Wethersfield and come in 1639. Mr. Fairchild's wife was the 
daughter of Robert Seabrook, and therefore sister to the 
wives of Thomas Sherwood, William Preston, of New 
Haven, and Lieut. Thomas Wheeler, of Milford. Mrs. Sher- 
wood was much older than her sisters, she having been 
married twenty-one or twenty-two years when she came 
here, and probably two of her sisters were married after they 
came, about 1640. In what year Mrs. Fairchild died is not 
known, but her last child was born in 1653, and Mr. Fairchild 
married, 2d, Catharine Craigg, of London, a relative of Mrs. 
Elizabeth Whiting, of Hartford, to whom he secured in writ- 
ing'' ;£'200 out of his estate, but he died without fulfilling 
the agreement, and the matter being brought before the 
General Court with the contract in writing, that body 
ordered it paid, but that she must support her three children 
by Mr. Fairchild. He died, Dec. 14, 1670, and the select- 
men reported his inventory at ;^3SO. He had four sons 
by his first wife and two by his second, and the descendants 
are numerous. 

The family name is of long standing in England, the 
coat-of-arms indicating that members of it were in the Cru- 
sades from (A. D. 1096 to 1400). The name is said to have 
been Fairbairn in Scotland, whence the family passed into 
England. 

* A foot note in the Col. Rec. ii. 199, gives the following facts : "A copy of 
the marriage contract between Thomas Fairchild of Stratford, merchant, and 
Katharine Craigg, a sister of Elizabeth Whiting, widow, of London (executed 
in England, Dec. 22, 1662, is in Priv. Controv., Vol. I, Doc. 20), in which Mr. 
Fairchild binds himself to convey to the said Katharine a life estate in his lands 
at Stratford, or, in case of his death before his arrival in New England, to cause 
to be paid to the said Katharine the sum of ;f 200* 



I lo History of Stratford, 

Mr. Fairchild was one of the most prominent and 
respected men of Stratford. He was appointed by the 
Oeneral Court, with Thomas Sherwood and the Constables 
of Stratford, to draft men in 1654 for the then proclaimed 
Narraganset war ; and again on a committee with Philip 
Groves, as leather sealer of Fairfield county. In 1654 he was 
elected Deputy, and a number of times after that, and in 1663 
he was nominated for an Assistant, and the same for three 
successive years, but was not elected. As these nominations 
were made at or by the General Court, this shows the 
estimation of him by that body. In 1664 he was appointed 
a Commissioner, which was a Justice of the Peace, for Strat- 
ford and was reappointed afterwards. 

Dr. Trumbull's statement, repeated by Mr. J. W. Barber, 
that " Mr. Fairchild was the first gentleman vested with civil 
authority,*** appears to be erroneous, since the Colonial Rec- 
ords state that William Hopkins was appointed in 1640 Assist- 
ant, which must have been the first ; and that Philip Groves 
was appointed several successive years from 1654. 

It—IAeut. Joseph JudsoUf son of William, was born 
in 1619 in England, and died in 1690, aged 71 years. He 
became so prominent in the town, and his name so frequent 
in the records, that he was supposed by Dr. Trumbull and 
others to have been the first of the name in Stratford, but he 
came with his father, probably among the first settlers, and 
married Sarah, daughter of John Porter of Windsor, about 
1644. He was made a freeman in 1658, elected a Deputy 
the next year, and was one of the foremost men in the work 
and offices of the town about thirty years. He died in 1690, 
aged 71 years, having been for quite a number of years the 
highest military officer in the town. 

WiUiam Judson, born in Yorkshire, England, emigra- 
ted to Concord, Mass., in 1634, and settled in Stratford in 
163*8, the first inhabitant in the place, if here in that year; 
and the only one unless Thomas Fairchild or Thomas Sher- 
wood, one or both of them, were with him. 

• Trumbull, i. 109. 



First Settlers of Stratford. 1 1 1 

After residing in Stratford some years he became an 
owner in the iron works in East Haven and made his resi- 
dence in New Haven, where he died July 29, 1662. 

His will, recorded in New Haven, was dated 20th of 
ninth month, 1661, in which he gives to his son Joseph 
twenty pounds, and to his sons Joseph and Jeremiah Judson 
** all my part in the iron works (and the privilege I have in 
it) which are near Stony river, belonging to New Haven." 
He says also : " I give to my wife's daughter, Hannah Will- 
mott, five pounds ; to my wife's daughter, Mercy Willmott, 
five pounds ; and to my wife's daughter, Elizabeth Willmott, 
five pounds ; and the remaining time of service of my servant 
Peter Simson 1 give to my wife, and for his encouragement 
therein, he being a diligent servant to his dame, I give unto 
him five pounds, to be paid him when he hath served out his 
time according to his indenture ; and the residue I give unto 
my loving and beloved wife Elizabeth Judson." 

The inventory of his estate was taken Dec. 15, 1662, and 
amounted to ;^369, i6s. 6d. 

Widow Elizabeth^s will was made in January or Febru- 
ary, 1685, and the inventory of her estate was taken Nov. 10, 
1685, amounting to £67,, 8s. id. 

18— Adam Surdf son of John Hurd, Sen., came with 
his father from Windsor, Conn., where they had been among 
the first settlers, to Stratford, before or not later than the 
spring of 1644. Instead of there being two brothers, it is 
quite evident that there were the father and two sons, and 
yet it is not certain. A clause in the will of John Thompson, 
who was brother to Sarah, the wife of John Hurd (168 1), 
represents said John Hurd as having become senior by the 
death of his father, and if so, his father came to Stratford and 
was one of the first settlers there. The town records style 
this John brother of Adam, uncle to Adam's son John, and 
yet Adam's son John styles him cousin. 

Adam Hurd had two house lots, Nos. 31 and 35, and 
other lands, but his name, while prominent on the records, 
is not as much so as his supposed brother John's. 

19 — Daniel Titterton (also spelled Titharton) appears 
to have been in Boston in 1643, removed to Stratford before 



112 History of Stratford: 

1647, for he was Representative from Stratford in 1647 and 
also in 1649, 1652 and 1654. He died in 1661, his will being 
proved July 6, 1661, in which he mentions three sons, Daniel/ 
Samuel and Timothy, the last being the only one whose birth 
is recorded in Stratford, which was March 25, 1651. To 
these he gave his estate and lands in England, besides some 
in New England. He mentions three daughters; one, name 
not given, had married John Wilcoxson, and Mary and 
Elizabeth, to whom he gave £10 each, and besides £\o for 
marriage dresses. His wife Jane outlived him, and two sons 
may have returned to England to enjoy the estate there, yet 
Timothy and Samuel are here in the year 1700. 

^0 — JPhilip Groves was among the first settlers at 
Stratford and was early appointed the Ruling Elder, and the 
only one, of the Stratford church. He seems to have mar- 
ried Ann, the daughter of the Rev. Henry Smith of Wethers- 
field, for John Blakeman, Jr., who married another daugh- 
ter calls Philip Groves ** brother." Mr. Groves was prom- 
inent in the town. He was, in 1642, the first Deputy of 
this town, and in 1647 a juryman at Hartford, but living at 
Stratford ; in 1653 he was appointed with William Beardsley 
by the General Court to settle a question of boundaries 
between Fairfield and Norwalk ; and the same year, was 
directed as ** Goodman Groves with Goodman Thornton," 
both of Stratford, to assist the Constables in making the draft 
of soldiers and provisions for the supposed impending war 
against the Dutch at New York ; in 1654 he was appointed 
by the Court, with others, an Assistant to the Magistrates,* 

^ General Court, May 1654. 

" It is ordered by this Court, that Mr. George Hull and Alexander Knowles 
of Fairfield, Philip Groves of Stratford, and Matthew Camfield of Norwalk, shall 
be Assistant to such Magistrates as the Court shall at any time send among them» 
in the execution of justice, and they hereby empower them to examine mis- 
demeanors, to grant out summons, or bind over delinquents to Court, in this 
Jurisdiction, for either of them to marry persons, to press horses by warrant 
from them as the public welfare of this Comonwealth and their particular Towns 
may or shall at any time require ; they giving an account to this Court of the 
same when required thereunto." In 1658 this office was further defined and 
restricted in (he following language : " to assist Mr. John Wells and Assistant 
Camfield in procuring wills and taking inventories, and distributing estates of 



Fifst Settlers of Stratford. 113 

which might be sent to execute justice in the town, and 
reappointed in 1655 and '56, thus showing that at this date 
this town had no regularly elected Magistrate. In 1655 he 
was elected Deputy ; in 1656 he was again appointed Assist- 
ant; in October, 1656, he, with Robert Rice, was appointed 
leather sealer for Stratford, perhaps the first in that office; 
and in May, 1660, he was appointed one of the grand jury for 
the Colony. He died in 1675, having been a useful, promi- 
nent man in the church, town and state. 

21— Francis Peacock, supposed brother of John Pea- 
cock, was a land owner in Stratford, but no further account 
of him has been seen. 

22 — Wmiam Croaker was a land owner in Stratford, 
but probably did not reside here, or if he did it was but a 
short time. His wife was the daughter of Henry Gregory. 
William Crooker, an original proprietor, deeded his land in 
Stratford to Henry Wakeley, and probably went to Norwalk, 
1654, and thence to Newtown, L. I. 

23 — JTohn Surd, 8en*9 the emigrant, among the first 
settlers in Windsor, Conn., was in Stratford in October, 1644, 
when he and William Judson were appointed by the General 
Court to solicit subscriptions in the town of Stratford for the 
maintenance of scholars at Cambridge, and this collection 
was " to continue yearly," such being the enterprise of that 
day in behalf of education. In May, 1649, he was a chosen 
deputy to the General Court, and was appointed by that 
Court on a committee with Daniel Titterton to view land 
desired by the town of Fairfield for an enlargement of their 
territory, and in May, 1650, the report being favorable, the 
request of Fairfield was allowed, which extended their 
bounds to the Saugatuck river. He was deputy also at other 
times. Hence it seems that this John must have been an 
older man than the John who was married in 1662, and is 
credited with being the first of the name at Stratford. 



persons that died intestate, and to appoint administrators. . . . This order 
respects Stratford, Fairfield and Norwalk." Hence the origin of the Probate 
Court. Col. Rec. i. 257, 323. 
8 



114 History of Stratford, 

A grave-stone of "John Hurd, 1681, aged 68/* taken from 
the old burying-ground, is probably his, and hence he was 
born in 161 3, seven years before the landing at what we now 
know as the old Plymouth* Rock. Stratford should be proud 
of such a monument as this stone, for, although naught but a 
rude field stone, yet what visions of long years gone by are 
brought to our minds by it. Two hundred and three years 
this plain and often unnoticed stone has borne its unpreten- 
tious title — !^oAn Hurd, 1681, aged 68— 2i fitting monument for 
the plain, earnest life he and his associated brethren lived, as 
emigrants to the then New World, for the sake of the truth 
as they viewed it, in obedience to the Gospel of the Son of 
God. Standing by such a stone in the light of two hundred 
years is sufficient inspiration to cause every man to defy 
religious proscription, bigotry or oppression. 

John Hurd was a miller, and in connection with Thomas 
Sherwood built the first mill at Old Mill Green, in 1653, 
where he himself probably was the first or among the first 
residents in that part of the town. He and Thomas Sher- 
wood, or one of Sherwood's sons, may have located there 
together. 

24 — Arthur Bostwtck, came from Cheshire, county 
of Chester, England, with son John, and probably a wife, and 
was an early settler in Stratford, before 1650, and probably in 
1639. In 1659 he had a second wife, a widow Ellen Johnson, 
who petitioned the General Court in regard to her husband's 
lands, and by the order of the Court their united property 
was divided equally between them, and in the same year 
Arthur gave the most, if not all of his estate, to his son John, 
by contract, in which John agrees to maintain his father with 
whatever he shall need for his comfort, and among other 
things " to find him wines and spirituous liquors, and a horse 
when he shall wish to ride forth." The widow, Ellen, in 
after years gave a portion of her property to her son Johnson 
by a former husband. The reason for dividing the property 
appears from the use they made of it, in each bestowing it on 
children by their former marriage ; a matter of no surprise. 
Arthur was in the list of freemen in 1669, and probably died 
within four vears thereafter. 



First Settlers of Stratford. 1 1 5 

His home lot, 25, indicates him to have been among the 
lirst settlers. His descendants have been numerous in New 
Milford as well as in Fairfield county. 

25— John Thompson^ being a little over twenty-one 
years of age, came. to New England on a visit of inspection, 
and being satisfied with its appearance returned home to 
dispose of his property and come here for life. From the 
seaport where he landed in England to his home in the inte- 
rior was a distance of many miles, which he journeyed on 
foot. While passing at early morn a farm-house where the 
daughters were bringing the milk, he stopped for some 
refreshments, and disclosing the fact that he was from New 
England, he found himself among ardent friends of the Puritan 
Colonies. Conversation grew earnest and he was urged to 
stay. Many questions were asked in regard to the land of the 
exiles. " It is a goodly land," said he, " but as yet full of 
wild beasts and savage men, but a place where we may wor- 
ship God with a true conscience." " Would God 1 Were 
there," said Mirable, a younger daughter of the farmer, pro- 
testing that for love of Christ and to be free from the severe 
restrictions then laid upon Puritan worship, she would 
gladly endure the hardships and peril in order to attain that 
end. Not long before this she had been imprisoned for 
attending a conventicle. Thompson's stay was prolonged ; 
the interest between him and Mirable increased and they 
were engaged to be married. He went home, closed his 
business affairs, returned, married her, and they came to 
New England. • It is thought that his first coming was in the 
Elizabeth and Ann in 1635, he being then twenty-two years of 
age, yet this is not certain, nor is it certain in what year he 
came the second time, nor what year he arrived at Stratford, 
although he was there before 1646. 

This sketch is taken from the narrative of these events 
by the Rev. Nathan Birdseye who died in 1818, aged 103 
years, who relates among other things that Mr. Thompson 
brought to Stratford some of the first fruit trees introduced 
there, and also that he harvested the first wheat raised there. 



* From the manuscript of Mr. Cunis Thompson. 



1 16 History of Stratford. 

The family tradition was that he and his wife, walking in the 
field by the Fresh Pond, found that numerous heads of wheat 
had already become yellow, whereupon he gathered hand- 
fulls of these heads and she rubbed out the wheat until nearly 
a peck was secured, which they dried, and probably pounded 
in a mortar, and made bread from it, the first made from 
wheat grown in the town. 

Mr. Thompson died in July or August, 1678 ; his will 
being drawn in July and the inventory was made in August, 
and he is supposed to have been 65 )fears of age. His widow, 
Mirable, died April 13, 1690. The story is related that on a 
certain day soon after their settlement in Stratford, while 
engaged in her house with her face from the door two 
Indians rushed in, the one giving a fearful yell, and the other 
just then buried his tomahawk in the head of the first, who 
fell dead across the table. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson had two 
sons and four daughters, whose descendants still abide 
within the limits of the old town. 

26—Itohert Coe^ Jr., settled in Stratford before 165 1, 
where he purchased of widow Ramble (?) a house lot recorded 
in 1652, bounded **east upon the highway, west upon the 
swamp, Samuel Sherman on the north and Thomas UfFoot 
on the south ; with land in the New Field, at Carman's Neck, 
at Nesurapaws and in the great meadows.'* Previous to this 
purchase he held land in the Old Field, and hence was one of 
those who kept up the fence around it, and therefore it is 
probable that his father was one of the original owners of 
Stratford and afterwards gave his share to this son Robert, 
else why should he have left Hempstead to settle at Strat- 
ford? He died in 1659, at the age of 32, leaving a widow, 
three daughters and one son, among whom his estate, amount- 
ing to £i7g, 1 8s. was divided, the daughters receiving £1^^ 
each. The widow, Susannah Coe, married, 2d, Nicholas 
Elsey of New Haven, and upon her son John^ becoming of 
age she, with her husband, made over to him the homestead 
of his father, December, 1682. 

The following verses were made by the Rev. Abraham 
Pierson, pastor at Branford, on the death of Robert Coe : 



First Settlers of Stratford. 117 

" Rest blessed Coe, upon thy bed of ease ; 
Tthe quiat grave with the is no desease. 
all, all our anguish hath its perod fixt, 
Err hens we goe : not any joy but mixt. 
Raer grace which males the life of man the best, 
this young man lived to God and now is blest. 
Come parallel this saint : now far exceed : 
Omit no means that may true goodness breed, 
are tryals come, bestowed for days of need ? 
the Lord his widow bless, and take his seed." 

Cooe or Ck>e. It is ?^n interesting fact that during Queen 
Mary's reign, in the year 1555, Roger Cooe, of Suffolk county, 
England, the section of the country whence the family came 
to America, was burned at the stake, in his extreme old age, 
a martyr to the truths of the gospel. His trial is related by 
Fox in the Book of Martyrs, where it is represented that he 
most decidedly and faithfully testified to the truth and 
suffered patiently but firmly for Christ and his teachings. 

Robert Cooe, Sen., the first in America, who is said to 
have been born in Suffolkshire, England, in 1596, sailed from 
Ipswich in the ship Frances in 1634 with his wife Anna, who 
was born in 1591, and three children. He was made freeman 
in Watertown, Mass., in 1634, and tarried there about two 
years, but was among the first at Hartford, Conn, (then 
called Newtown), where in 1636, at the first Court held there, 
he and others presented their certificates of dismission from 
the church at Watertown, dated in the March previous, to 
form anew in church covenant " on the River of Connecticot." 
He and others settled at Wethersfield, where he with others, 
afte^ about four years, formed a company and bought of 
New Haven colony, the plantation of Ripowams (now Stam- 
ford), where they settled in 1641. For this territory they 
agreed to pay 100 bushels of corn, and Robert Cooe's pro- 
portion was four bushels and one peck. In 1644, Robert 
Coe, with other inhabitants, removed with their minister, 
Mr. Richard Denton, to Hempstead, L. I., at which date, 
Robert, Jr. was seventeen years of age. In 1652, Robert, 
Sen., removed to Middlebury, now Newtown, L. I., where 
he was made sheriff in 1669, which office he held until 1672. 



Ii8 History of Stratford. 

27— Thomas Uffoot came from England in the ship 
Lion in 1632, with William Curtis ; was made freeman in 
Boston that same year: may have lived in Roxbury ; came, 
probably, in 1639 to Stratford, and may have been related to 
the Curtis family by marriage. His house lot was No. 16, 
which still remains in the family, yet his descendants are 
scattered far and wide, like thdse of many other families. 
He was a juryman at Hartford as early as 1643 and again in 
1644; was in Milford in 1646, when he and his wife joined 
the church there, and is said to have been there in 1654. 
He died in 1660, and as the inventory of his property is at 
New Haven, he may have been residing at Milford at his 
decease. 

28 — Joseph Hawley was in Stratford a proprietor as 
early as 1650 and probably a few years earlier. His home lot 
was No. 37, which he purchased of Richard Miles in or 
before the year 1650. The tradition in Stratford has been 
and is that he married Catharine Birdseye, a niece of John 
Birdseye, her father residing first in New Haven and then in 
Wethersfield. He was prominent in the town and a more 
than usually energetic business man. He purchased of the 
Indians a large tract of land in Derby, of which that town 
allowed him to retain the old Indian planting field, and also 
another tract which joined it, including Great Hill. He was 
chosen Deputy in 1665 and many times thereafter until near 
his decease. He made his will in 1689 and died the next 
year. His descendants are numerous and a genealogy of 
them is largely collected and nearly ready for publication by 
Mr. Elias S. Hawley, of Buffalo. N. Y. 

29—Sergt. Jeremiah Judsorif son of William, born 
in England in 162 1, and hence was 16 years of age when he 
came to Stratford ; married about 1652, and was a prominent 
man in the business transactions of the town. He died in 
1700, aged 79. 

30 — Joshua JuAson^ third son of William Judson, born 
in England in 1623, came to Stratford with his father; mar- 
ried Ann Porter of Windsor about 1656, and died in i66i> 
aged 38, leaving two sons and a widow, who married John. 
Hurd, Jr. 



First Settlers of Stratford. 1 19 

SI— Mr. Mohevt Seabrook came to this country, prob- 
ably with two daughters unmarried, in company with his 
son-in-law, Thomas Sherwood, and came to Stratford, proba- 
bly, with the same. One daughter married Thomas Fairchild, 
perhaps before they came to Stratford. In 165 1 he must have 
been about 85 years of agq or more. In 1634 his daughter 
Alice, who was the wife of Thomas Sherwood, was 47 years 
of age. He was also the father of William Preston's wife, of 
New Haven, and in his will gave his home lot in Stratford 
to his grandsons, Jehiel Preston of New Haven and Thomas 
Fairchild, Jr., of Stratford. He is also supposed to have 
been the father of Lieut. Thomas Wheeler's wife, who was 
married, probably, in this country. 

32 — Henry Gregory was in Stratford in 1647, when he 
is described in the New Haven Records as having sons 
Judah and John and a daughter who was the wife of William 
Crooker of Stratford. 

The Probate Court, June 19, 1655, orders administration 
on Henry Gregorey's estate, giving the eldest-' son, John, 
a double portion and making him the distributer of the estate. 
It mentions the children, but names only John. In 1647 the 
son John testified that his father was old and that his Sight 
had failed him. The descendants remained in the town 
many years, but were not numerous. 

33 — Michard Boothe, was born in England in 1607, 
for in an affidavit, March 15, 1687-8, he describes himself as 
about 81 years of age. From what part of England he came, 
or in what year is not fully known, nor is there certain evi- 
dence of his immediate ancestors, but his name — Richard — 
and those of John and Robert, are family names in the line of 
the Boothe families of Cheshire, England, an ancient house, 
connected also by marriage with several families of distinc- 
tion. If, as is not improbable, Richard, of Stratford, were of 
that stock, the relationship, it is supposed, would be estab- 
lished through Richard, of Coggshill, and Baron in Cheshire, 
who was son of Sir William Boothe, by his wife Elizabeth, 
daughter of Sir John Warburton, and was born about 1570, 
and died in 1628.** 



^^ See Booth Genealogy. 



120 History of Stratford, 

Richard Boothe's name and those of his descendants are 
prominent on Stratford records. His home lot, 29, indicates 
his settlement there among the earliest, but probably not 
before his marriage in 1640. He married, ist, Elizabeth, the 
sister of Joseph Havvley," for his son Ephraim, in his will 
styles Samuel Hawley (son of Joseph) cousin. He was one 
of the proprietors of the township and received divisions of 
land located in various parts of the town, as did also the 
other proprietors. He was probably married twice and had 
eight children. The latest mention of him extant is in 
March, 1688-9, i" l^is 82d year. 

34— ^^Jff. WakHn.^^ Henry Wakclee, was, probably, 
an original proprietor of Stratford, and was there before 1650. 
His home lot was No. 15, indicating him to have been among 
the first settlers. In 1663 he was attorney before the General 
Court in behalf of his son James, but the matter was with- 
drawn from court. 

Ebenezer Wakelee went from Stratford to Waterbury, 
the part of the town now Wolcott, where his descendants 
still reside. The name is now generally spelled Wakelee, 
but at first it was generally written Wakelyn, and sometimes 
Weaklin and Waklin. The family have not been numerous. 

35 — Widow Curtis was Elizabeth Curtis, the mother of 
William and John, with whom she came to Stratford, leaving, 
apparently, three of her children at Roxbury, Massachusetts. 
The reason for the separation of the members of the family 
may have been the fact that the father, now deceased, had 
acquired a considerable property in land at Roxbury which 
could not readily be disposed of to advantage, and hence 
three stayed to care for it and three came to Stratford. 
Widow Curtis*s home lot was near or joining Rev. Mr. 
Blakeman's. She* died in June, 1658, and her estate was 
apprised at ;{^ioo, 3s. 6d. (See sketch of \Villiam Curtis.) 

36 — Thomas Sherwood came from England in the 
ship Frances from Ipswich, in 1634, aged 48 years, with wife 



" Rev. B. L. Swan makes a note as follows: "There Is more than a proba- 
bility that Jane, wife of Rev. Adam Blakeraan, Ann, wife of Philip Groves, and 
Miriam, wife of Moses Wheeler, were also sisters of Joseph Hawley. 



First Settlers of Stratford, 121 

Alice, aged 47 years, and four children. His wife Alice was 
the daughter of Robert Seabrook and sister of the wife of 
Thomas Fairchild, and hence in all probability these two 
families came in each other's company to Stratford. 

In June, 1645, he had four suits for slander, in three of 
which he was plaintiff and in one defendant, and he gained 
the four with costs of the suits and thirty-nine pounds money 
as damages. He, in the autumn of the same year, was elected 
deputy with William Beardsly, the first sent from Stratford, 
to the General Court. In October, 1654, when a draft was 
made for an expected war with the Narraganset Indians, 
Thomas Sherwood and Thomas Fairchild were appointed 
with the constables to " press men and necessaries " for the 
war, from Stratford. In this same year, 1654, John Hurd and 
Thomas Sherwood received from the town of Stratford forty 
acres of land and three pieces of meadow in the New Pas- 
ture in consideration of the expenses of building a corn-mill 
'•to grind the town's corn," at what is now the east end of 
Old Mill Green. The amount of toll they were to have for 
grinding was one-sixteenth of a bushel, and the town was to 
furnish a correct measure for the purpose of taking the exact 
amount. Thomas Sherwood did not remove to Fairfield, as 
stated by some, but died in Stratford in 1656, where his death 
is recorded. 

In 1645, in his suits at law, he is called " Thomas Sher- 
wood the elder," in every case, showing that there was then 
a Thomas Sherwood the younger. The story of the three 
brothers who came over has been historical in this family, 
and is true, for Thomas Sherwood, Jr., Stephen Sherwood 
and Matthew Sherwood, sons of Thomas Sherwood, Sen., 
were made freemen in the town of Fairfield in th^ year 1664, 
where they and their descendants were. prominent, influen- 
tial citizens for two hundred years. The family has been also 
considerably numerous in the interior towns and in New 
York State. 

37 — Francis SaU, a professional lawyer, was of New 
Haven, in 1639, and came to Stratford before 165 1 ; his dwel- 
ling-house seems to have been west of Main street, on what 
was afterwards called Lundy's Lane, being the old road 



122 History of Stratford. 

through the village to Fairfield. He and his family removed 
to Fairfield, where he purchased considerable land, and i» 
1687 a paper was recorded showing that his wife possessed a 
house and lands in England when she was married, and 
which he had sold and for which he gave the paper signed 
by himself securing the amount to her from his prop- 
erty." In 1654 he and his wife bought of Thomas Wheeler, 
of Fairfield, " all that mesuage or tenement with ye apperte- 
nances," or a house and lot, and he may have resided in it 
thereafter a part of the time, for his residence was in Strat- 
ford years after. His wife Elizabeth died July 6, 1665, and 
he being an attorney at law was employed by Mrs.' Jane, 
widow of Rev. Adam Blakeman, against her daughter-in-law, 
then widow Dorothy, and became charmed with his oppo- 
nent in the case, and married her Oct. 31, 1665, just twenty- 
one days after the suit was tried in court, and six days less 
than four months after the decease of his first wife. Francis 
Hall died March 5, 1689-90. His* widow, Dorothy, married 
3d Mark Sehsion, of Norwalk, who died in 1693, after which 
she married 4th, Dea. Isaac Moore, of Farraington. 

38 — WUliam Beardsley came from England in the 
ship Planter," Capt. Travice commander, he being then 30 



" Isaac Halts Caveat against his father's property, 

"Whereas my Honored Father Francis Hall hath formerly sould a house 
and land in England which was my mother's at her marriage with him and foi' 
which he hath acknowledged himself Ingaged to make her as good a right in ye 
like kind in sum other place by a writing under his hand bearing date ye 9th day 
of March, 1664, may more fully appear and for ye performance of sd. Ingagement 
hee hath nominated all ye housing and land he hass had in the libarties of Fair- 
field as in ye sd writing is expressed. 

I Isaac Hall as heir to my Honoured Mother Elizabeth Hall deceased enter 
CaVeate against ye sd housing and lands yt they may be responsible to ye aforesd 
Ingagement and for yt time this cavet is to stand according as ye law directs \xk 
such cas. 

Dated Fayrfeild This 27 of Septem. 1687." 

" The following is the list of the vessel in which William Willcoxson and several other 
families came to America who settled in Stratford^ and it is given here to show the 
method of emigration. 

" 2 Aprilis 1635. These under written names are to be transported to New Eng-- 
land imbarqued in the Planter, Nico : Travice Mr. bound thither the parlies have 



First Settlers of Stratford, 12 J 

years of age, his wife Marie 26, his daughter Marie 4, son 
John 2, and Joseph 6 months. They embarked in April, 
163s, on the same vessel with Richard Harvie and William 
Wilcoxson, both of whom settled in Stratford. He was a 
mason by trade and it is claimed very emphatically by his 
descendants that he was also a Freemason — a remarkable fact, 
if true — and that he came from Stratford on the river Avon, 
in Warwickshire, the birth-place of William Shakespeare. 
This tradition has been confirmed (it is said by good author- 
ity), by some of the Beardsley family, residing at Avon^ 
N., Y., who have visited England and Stratford-on-Avon, and 
made a careful search for the facts, and which were satisfac- 
factory to this effect. The town of Avon, N. Y., was 
named by descendants of William Beardsley of Stratford, 
Conn., and thus named in honor of the old river in England. 
Some of the members of the Avon, N. Y., family have been 
very distinguished, specially Judge Samuel Beardsley, many 
years Chief Justice of the State of New York. The Beards- 
ley family have claimed the honor of securing to the town of 

brought Certificates from the minister of St. Albons in Hertfordshire and 

attestations from the justice of the peace according to the Lord's order. 

years. years. 

A Mercer, Jo: Tuttell, 39 ' Tho : Savage, a Taylor, 20 

John Tultell, 42 A Taylor, Richard Harvie, 23 

John Lawrence, 17 1 Husbandman, Francis Pebody 21 

YTm. Lawrence,- -12 Lynen Weaver, Wm. Wilcockson, --34 

Marie Lawrence, 9 | Margaret Wilcockson, 24 

Abegall Tuttell 6 Jo: Willcockson 2 

Symon Tuttell. 4 I Ann Harvie, 22 

Sarah Tuttell, 2 A Mason, Wm. Beardsley, 30 • 

Jo: Tuttell, I I Marie Beardsley, 26 

Joan Antrobuss, 65 1 Marie Beardslie, 4 



Marie Wrast. 24 

Tho: Green 15 

servant to 

Jo: Tuttell 16 



John Beardslie, - 2 

Joseph Beardslie 6 mo. 

Husbandman, Allin Perley, 27 

Shoemaker, Willm Felloe, 24 



}se 
To 

Marie Chittwood 24 j A Taylor, Francis Baker, 24 

Shoemaker, Tho : Olney 35 ! Tho: Carter, 25] servantsto 



Michell Williamson, 30 > George 
Elizabeth Morrison, 12 Giddins.' 



Marie Olney 30 

Tho: Olney. 3 

Epenetus Olney, i 

Husbandman, Geo: Giddins 20 . See Hotten's List of Emigrants. 



124 History of Stratford. 

Stratford, Conn., its name, in honor of their old native place 
in their mother country, with much credible evidence. 

William Beardsley was among the first settlers of Strat- 
ford in 1639. He was made freeman in Massachusetts, Dec. 7, 
1636, but where he then resided is not known. He was a 
substantial, prominent man in the new plantation, but died in 
1660 at the early age of 56, leaving property inventoried at 

£iiz. 15s. 

He was elected deputy for Stratford in 1645, with Thomas 
Sherwood. In 1649 he was appointed with Mr. Hull, of 
Fairfield, to assist Roger Ludlow in securing provisions for 
the soldiers then drafted for the war against the Dutch at 
New York; and in 165 1 he was propounded for an "Assistant 
to join with the magistrates for the execution of justice in the 
towns by the sea side.*' 

There was a Thomas Beardsley who died in Stratford in 
1667, who is said to have been son of Thomas, of Milford. 
He had a home lot near William Burritt. 

39— John Curtis. The Curtis family in Stratford has 
been curiously represented as to the first settlers, in which 
confusion rather than history has prevailed. 

John and William Curtis, with their mother Elizabeth, 
appear at Stratford among the first settlers; the brothers 
have each the birth of a child recorded in 1642, but that does 
not prove that the children were born in Stratford, since such 
records were sometimes transferred from one town to 
another; but these brothers probably came here in 1639, or 
with those who came in company with Mr. Blakeman, and 
the record shows that at that time, 1642, they were of age, 
and married, which could not have been the case according 
to the account given in the Woodbury History, which makes 
William at that time not more than ten years of age. The 
Curtises of Scituate and Roxbury, Mass., were different fam- 
ilies, and remained with their descendants in and about each 
of those places except those who came to- Stratford. 

William Curtis, who came in the ship Lion in 1632, was ■ 
the settler at Roxbury and father of William and John who 
settled in Stratford, and he died at Roxbury near the end of 
the year 1634. He came to America, leaving his family for 



First Settlers of Stratford, 125 

the time, as did many others, in England, and in the spring^ 
of 1634 they came and joined him at Roxbury, where his 
name appears frequently in the records as a land holder, and 
he died about eight months after they came. His children 
were William, Thomas, Mary, John and Philip ; William and 
John with their mother Elizabeth, came to Stratford, the 
others appear to have remained at Roxbury, where are still 
their descendants. 

Thomas Uffoot came in the ship Lion in 1632, with William 
Curtis, Sen., and he and the Curtises probably came in com- 
pany to Stratford. 

John Curtis was made freeman in 1658 ; had his home» 
perhaps, with his mother, bought the shares of the other 
heirs after her death, and gave it to his son Israel in 1660. 
John and William Curtis had each a home lot at No. 69 (on 
diagram). William had the east half, John the west. This 
was before 1660. 

John Curtis was prominent as a citizen and in the work 
of settling the township, but he was not as much in public 
life as his brother William. 

WiUiam Curtis, son of William, came to Stratford 
with his widowed mother Elizabeth, and his brother John 
Curtis, probably in the spring of the year, 1640, where he 
died in I7d2, full of years and honors. 

Much effort has been made to ascertain the relation of 
several families of this name at Roxbury, Mass., and Strat- 
ford, Conn., with little success, except by the Rev. B. L. 
Swan, who succeeded finely. 

A paper has come to light since the commencement of 
this bdok, which has been preserved with great care about 
200 years, which makes the matter quite definite. This 
paper reads : *' William Curtis came to this land in the year 
1632, and soon after joined the church ; he brought four chil- 
dren with him — Thomas, Mary, John and Philip, and his 
eldest son William came the year before ; he was a hopeful 
scholar, but God took him in the end of the year 1634. 
Sarah Curtis, wife of William Curtis." This is all there was 
on the original paper except a description of the coat-of-arms,. 
a painted copy of which has been preserved with the paper,. 



1 26 History of Stratford. 

both being the property of the late Samuel Curtis Trubee, of 
Fairfield, and which had been preserved very carefully by his 
mother Elizabeth (Curtis) Trubee, who was born in Stratford 
Dec. 2$, 1788. 

This paper was evidently written by some member of 
the family at Stratford about the year 1700, or earlier, for it 
must have been William Curtis the father who died at Rox- 
bury in 1634, since the five children of that family were then 
born, and the William Curtis of Stratford had a family of 
nine children, all born after 1641, and also since Elizabeth 
Curtis, widow, and mother of William and John, came to 
Stratford with the first settlers, probably, in 1639, and died 
there. And also the Sarah Curtis mentioned on the old 
paper was the second wife of the second William Curtis, or 
the one who came to Stratford. 

Further : The high standing of William Curtis of Strat- 
fort as a military officer corresponds to the description 
given : ** he was a hopeful scholar;" for education above the 
ordinary ability to read and write was greatly appreciated 
and honored in those days. His standing in this respect, 
having been Sergeant as early as 1650, as well as the military 
affairs of Stratford, are somewhat revealed in the following 
extracts and facts : "June, 1672. This Court confirms Will- 
iam Curtis, Captain, and Joseph Judson, Lieutenant, and 
Stephen Burritt, Ensign, of the Train Band of Stratford.** 

At the same time the General Court declared that " until 
further order be taken, Capt. Nathan Gold [of Fairfield] shall 
be deemed chief military officer of the county of Fairfield, 
and Capt. William Curtis, his second.'* 

In August, 1672, Capt. William Curtis was appointed 
by the General Court one of six commissioners, with the 
Governor, Deputy Governor and Assistants, as a war council 
against the Dutch at New York, "to act as the Grand 
Committee of the Colony in establishing and commissionating 
military officers, in pressing men, horses, ships, barques or 
other vessels, arms, ammunition, provision, carriages or 
whatever they judge needful for our defence, and to manage, 
order and dispose of the militia of the Colony in the best 
way and manner they can for our defence and safety.'* 



First Settlers of Stratford. 1 27 

In the next November, Captain Curtis was appointed 
Captain "for such forces as shall be sent from Fairfield 
County " against the Dutch at New York, and in 1675 his 
commission in the same position was renewed ; this showing 
that he stood the highest in the county as a military officer, 
except field officers. 

While he was thus engaged in military affairs he was for 
some years regularly elected Deputy to the General Court, 
his election being repeated, sometimes after intervals, sixteen 
times. 

His home lot was No. 34, but he owned a part of No. 69, 
and his name does not occur on the list of fence about the 
old field, probably because his cultivated land was in or 
nearer the village or in the new field. Several of these 
planters had land to cultivate, at first, from two to six acres, 
near or adjoining their home lots. 

40 — John Birdseye came to Stratford among the 
earliest settlers. According to his age at death, he was 
born in 1616, since he died in 1690, aged 74 years. The Rev. 
Samuel Peters, who married into the family, says he came 
from Reading in Berkshire, England, emigrated to America 
in 1636; came to New Haven, thence to Milford in 1639, and 
thence to Stratford. Mr. Peters says, also, he came to New 
Haven with his two sons, and one of them settled in Middle- 
town and the other in Stratford. This is an error, for 
Middletown was not commenced as a settlement until 1650, 
and this John Birdseye's children were not born when he 
came to America. If this tradition. is true, it must have been 
another John Birdseye, father of this John, which may have 
been the case. The tradition still in the family is that two 
brothers came to New Haven, one settled in Wethersfield, 
who had a family of daughters, and that Joseph Hawley, the 
first of the name at Stratford, married Catharine, one of 
those daughters; and that John came to Milford and thence 
to Stratford, but the precise year is not known. The births 
of his only children are recorded in Stratford, John in 1641 
and Joanna in 1642, but their baptisms are recorded in 
Milford ; and he and his wife Phillis (Phillipa) were dis- 
missed from the Milford church to Stratford church in 1649. 



1 28 History of Stratford. 

It seems very improbable that he would, under the circum- 
stances and customs of- those days, remain at Stratford eight 
years and continue his membership at Milford, and therefore 
it is more probable that he remained at Milford until 1649 
and had his children's births recorded in Stratford after he 
came here. The time of her death is not known, but he 
married a second wife, Alice, widow of Robert Tomlinson, 
about 1688. An agreement between himself and her in 1688 
respecting property is on the probate records. 

Both of his children survived him. Joanna married 
Timothy, son of William Willcoxson ; the latter in his will 
in 165 1 refers to his "brother Birdseye," whence it may be 
inferred that either William Willcoxson's wife was Birdseye's 
sister or Birdseye's wife was Phillis Willcoxson, and in either 
case John Birdseye's children married their cousins, for John 
Birdseye, Jr., married Phebe, daughter of William Willcoxson. 

John Birdseye is said to have been one of the first dea- 
cons in the Congregational Church of Stratford. His 
descendants have been considerably numerous, widely scat- 
tered and of honorable position and standing as citizens. 
Victory Birdseye of Onondaga county, N. Y., son of the 
Rev. Nathan Birdseye, became a member of the Congress 
of the United States. 

John Birdseye seems to have married Phillipa, daughter 
of Rev. Henry Smith of Wethersfield, for John Blakeman, 
Jr., who married Dorothy, daughter of Rev. Henry Smith, 
called Birdseye ** brother." It is true that the term " broth- 
er '* was used in those times familiarly in public documents, 
among the members of the church, to designate, simply, that 
relation, but it is not certain that it was used in this sense in 
wills, where definite terms are supposed to have been used. 

41 — IsaciC Nichols f son of Francis, one of the first com- 
pany of settlers in Stratford, came from England with his father 
and became a prominent citizen in the town, where he died in 
1695. He was a deputy to the General Court three sessions in 
1662 and 1665. He was a farmer but seems to have dealt some- 
what in merchandise. In his will he says : ** Concerning my In- 
dian servant George, I give him to my wife, during her natural 
life.** His descendants are scattered far and wide in the land ot 



First Settlers of Stratford. 129 

freedom and prosperity. Of the brothers Caleb and John a 
notice will be made further on in this book. 

Francis Nichols from England was in Stratford among 
the very first settlers. The General Court, on October 
10, 1639, directed "Mr. Governor and Mr. Wells to con- 
fer with the planters at Pequannocke [Stratford], to give 
them the oath of Fidelity, make such free as they see fit, 
order them to send one or two deputies to the General Courts 
in September and April, and for deciding of differences and 
controversies under 40 s. among them, to propound to them 
and give them power to choose 7 men from among them- 
selves, with liberty of appeal to the Court here ; as also to 
assign Sergeant Nicholls for the present to train the men and 
exercise them in military discipline.** This establishes the 
fact that Francis Nichols was in Stratford with several other 
families in 1639, and that he was the first military officer in 
the plantation, which was a matter of considerable distinction 
in those days, and it indicates that he had become somewhat 
acquainted with military matters before coming to this 
country. 

He died in 1650 and the inventory of his estate in 1655, 
on Stratford records, was ;f29, 9s. His sons were Isaac, 
Caleb and John, all born in England. His widow Anne was 
the daughter of Barnabas Wines of Southold, L. I., and she 
married, 2d, Johfli Elton of that place, and found a home on 
one of the most healthy islands, with the most charming 
climate in the world. 

ThanuKS Alsop, born in 161 5, came to America in the 
Elizabeth and Ann in 1635, aged 20 years, and evidently was 
one of the first settlers in Stratford, where he died 1650-1, 
leaving property which went to Joseph Alsop of New Haven, 
probably a brother. Judge Savage thinks that John Alsop, 
who is found on a tax-list with Edward Jackson and Thomas 
Child, who came to New England, and William Shakespeare, 
at Stratford on the river Avon, England, in 1598, was the 
father of Thomas Alsop of Stratford, and from this supposi- 
tion it has been claimed that the new plantation in Connecti- 
cut received the name of Stratford. 

9 



130 History of Stratford. 

WiUiatn Hopkins was a resident in Stratford in 1640, 
and in 1641-2 was one of the magistrates at the General 
Court ; then he disappears and nothing further is known of 
him. 

Thomcis Thornton was a business man early at Wind- 
sor and served on a jury at Hartford in 1643. I" 1646 there 
was a motion before the General Court to excuse him and 
his men from training because " by having his men suddenly 
taken ofT' from work ** he might sustain great loss;" but we 
have no information what his trade or business was. In the 
spring of 165 1 he seems to have been at Stratford and become 
acquainted with business matters in Fairfield, for he 
** afBrmed in court that it was reported there were a hundred 
beeves killed in Fairfield last year." He was on a committee 
for Stratford in 1653, with Goodman Groves to draft soldiers. 
Lands were granted to him by the town in September, 165 1. 

Robert Rose was of Wethersfield in 1639. He came 
from Ipswich, county Suffolk, in the ship Frances in 1634, 
aged 40, with wife Margery, aged 40; children, John, 15; 
Elizabeth, 13; Mary, 11; Samuel, 9; Sarah, 7; Daniel, 3; 
and Dorcas, 2. He was residing in Wethersfield in 1639, and 
was constable in 1640; representative in 1641, '42 and '43; 
removed, says Savage, before 1648 to Stratford, which is 
probable. He, and not his son Robert, purchased a home 
lot and several pieces of land in Stratford, April 3, 1668, of 
the town, which had been John Young's. Nov. 3, 1685, 
Robert Rose, of Stratford, gives his son-in-law Moses John- 
son, of Woodbury, ** fifty or sixty acres of land granted to me 
by the General Court for gratification for services done by 
me, the said Rose, in the Pequot wars." It is probable that 
his son, Robert Rose, settled at East Hampton, L. I., in 1650. 

John Jenner had land recorded to him in 1652, in 
Stratford ; a home lot, land in the Old field, New field, 
Nesumpaws and in the great meadow. Having land in the 
Old field it is a little surprising that his name does not appear 
among those who made the fence around that field. He soon 
disappeared from Stratford, but his name is found with 
others on a petition to the General Court from Cromwell 



First Settlers of Stratford. 131 

Bay, now Setauket, L. I., in 1659, asking to be admitted into 
Connecticut colony. 

Mdse8 Wheeler was at New Haven and had land pro- 
portioned to him in the first division that was made in that 
town, which occurred between *the years 1641 and 1643. At 
that time his family consisted of two persons, which must 
have been himself and wife, and his estate was fifty-eight 
pounds. 

There is nothing definite as to when he came to America 
or from what part of England, but the Wheeler family have 
been residents several hundred years in the county of Kent, 
southeast of and adjoining to London, and it would seem 
probable that he came with the New Haven Company which 
came from London ; yet, if his sister married the Rev. Adam 
Blakeman, as believed, it would indicate that possibly he may 
have come from another county than that of Kent. 

In May, 1648, Moses Wheeler was an inhabitant of Strat- 
ford, for at that time Roger Ludlow presented to the General 
Court a request that Mr. Wheeler should be allowed to keep 
a ferry at Stratford, and the decision of the matter being 
referred to the next Fairfield Court, the request was granted. 
It appears from these records that the ferry was then already 
established, and the application to the court was to secure 
the privilege as legal property. ^ 

What the conditions for the privilege .of the ferry were 
is not stated, but seventeen years later, Nov. 21, 1670, the 
town saw fit to lease to " Moses Wheeler, ship carpenter, the 
ferry with thirty or forty acres of upland and six of meadow 
joining to the ferry for twenty-one years, without tax or rate 
except six pence per annum during said lease." The inhabit- 
ants were to be *' ferried over for one half-penny per person, 
two pence per horse or beast." If he should leave the ferry 
at the end of twenty -one years, the town agreed to pay him 
for his improvements and take the property. By the will of 
Moses Wheeler, Jr., proved Jan. 23, 1724-5, it is ascertained 
that he received the ferry from his father and left it to his 
own son Elnathan Wheeler, and therefore the ferry contin- 
ued in the same family, at least three generations, or nearly 
one hundred years. 



132 History of Stratford. 

It is probable that Moses Wheeler was the first ship^ 
carpenter in Stratford, and that he continued to work at his 
trade, then much needed, and to cultivate his forty-six acres 
or more of land, while he attended the duties of the, ferry 
many years. He died in 1698; having been born in 1598, 
therefore may have been the first centenarian white man in 
New England. 

Jfr. Samuel Sherman purchased in Stratford of 
Caleb Nichols a house and lot and other land in about 1650, 
and became one of the substantial, prominent men of the 
town. The family is traced back into England by the Rev. 
Henry Beers Sherman, of Esopus, N. Y., and the Rev. 
David Sherman, D.D.,' of Hopkinton, Mass., in regular suc- 
cession, to the beginning of the sixteenth century, with inter- 
esting notes of the family a number of generations anterior to 
that. 

" The family is of German extraction. In the fatherland 
the name Sherman, Schurman, Schearmaun, Scherman often 
occurs, and was doubtless transferred, many centuries ago, to 
the vicinity of London by the Saxon emigration, where it still 
remains. From this metropolitan stock a scion was trans- 
planted to Dedham, county of Essex, England, which long 
flourished and sent forth other shoots. The name is derived 
from the original occupation of the family, for they were 
.cloth dressers, or shearers of cloth. The family at Dedham 
retained the same occupation and also the same coat-of-arms 
as worn by those in and about London. 

** There are found in New England two distinct families, 
one of them descending from William Sherman, who came to 
Plymouth with the Pilgrims about 1630, and settled at 
Marshfield, where some of his descendants still remain, but of 
his place of birth or immediate ancestry nothing is known. 

** The other is the Dedham family, a branch of which 
emigrated to America and settled in the vicinity of Boston. 
Of this family, the first in the line, and perhaps the one who 
emigrated to Dedham, was Henry Sherman, of whom but 
few dates or facts are known, except that he bore the Suffolk 

' See New England Genealogical Register for January and May, 1870. 



First Settlers of Stratford. 133 

-<oat-otarms and died in 1589. His son Henry was the father 
of Edmund, the first emigrant of this line to America. He 
was born in Dedham, and married in England, in 161 1, Judith 
Angier, and came to America about 1632, and settled in 
Watertown, Mass., whence they removed to Wethersfield, 
Conn., and thence to New Haven, where he died." 

Samuel Sherman, born in Dedham, England, in 1618, son 
of the above Edward, came to this country with his father 
and was in Wethersfield as early as 1637, for in May of that 
year he was a member of the Committee which acted as the 
Court when war was declared against the Pequots, before the 
General Court was organized. The position he thus occu- 
pied was that afterwards denominated an assistant, and now a 
senator; the title he bore was that of ** Mr.*' and this when, 
according to the dates given, he was only nineteen years of 
age; but he was probably twenty-one, and his being elected 
or appointed to that office even at twenty-one, assures that 
he possessed superior education, or he would not have been 
so selected from a score of others capable and older, his own 
father among the number. 

Mr. Samuel Sherman was elected an assistant three suc- 
cessive years from 1662, and he served the State in this or 
some other capacity so profitably that the court granted him ' 
**a farm of two hundred and fifty acres of land upon New 
Haven river whereof fifty acres may be meadow, so it be out 
of the bounds of the town.'* 

His next service was upon an important war committee 
♦consisting of Mr. Gould, Mr. Camfield, Ens. Judson, Mr. 
Lawes, Lt. Olmstead or any three of them, for, war between 
England and the Dutch States general having been declared 
Feb. 22, 1665, and the news of it having reached the colonies 
in June of that year with the information that DeRuyter, the 
Dutch admiral, with a considerable force was to visit New 
York City, the coast on Long Island Sound was divided into 
three districts for self-defence. But the Dutch admiral did 
not come. This news of war dangers produced great excite- 
ment among the people on the coast. 

Liberty was granted by the General Court May 9, 1672, to 
^' Mr. Samuel Sherman, Lt. Wm. Curtis, Ens. Joseph Judson 



134 History of Stratford. 

and John Minor, themselves and their associates, to erect a: 
plantation at Pomperaug,** which grant eventuated in the set- 
tlement of Woodbury. 

Mr. Sherman was thus a valuable as well as a prominent 
member of the early township of Stratford. He died in the 
year 1700. 

Henry TomHnson was in Milford as early as 1652 ; 
removed to Stratford in the autumn of 1656, where, April i^ 
1657, he purchased of Joshua Atwater a house and lot and 
several pieces of land and became a permanent inhabitant. 
Before coming to Stratford, in June, 1656, the town of Mil- 
ford brought a complaint against him and he against it, as to 
the ownership of a house, both claiming it, as an ordinary or 
tavern which he had conducted one or more years as a town 
officer, and the town charged him with ** breaking the juris- 
diction order in selling strong water at a greater price than 
is allowed, and wine and dyet at (as is conceived) immoderate 
prices., whereby the town suffers, and some have said they 
never came at the like place for dearness." Soon after this 
Mr. Tomlinson removed to Stratford, but the suit was 
brought in court several times until the spring of 1659, when 
it was again put over until the next October, and that is the 
last that is recorded concerning it except as it came up in 
another form. The Governor of New Haven had rendered a 
decision of small penalty against Mr. Tomlinson, and he in 
turn arrested the governor, by legal process, as having done 
him a personal injury. This arrest of the chief magistrate of 
the colony created much excitement, and after two hearings 
in court Mr. Tomlinson was fined ;^ioo, and required to give 
bonds in that sum with the assurance that the court would 
"call for the ;^ioo when it should see cause," and there the 
matter stands to the present time, so far as the records show. 
In Milford he was not a member of the church and hence not 
a voter, and this may have had something to do with the 
lawsuit. 

Henry Tomlinson came from England with a wife, two 
sons, Jonas and Abraham, and several daughters. His son 
Abraham died on the passage hither, and his son Agur was- 
born in Stratford.- The tradition is that his nephew came 



First Settlers of Stratford, 135 

i/irith him to this country, and there was a Robert Tomlinson 
in Milford whose wife was dismissed from the church in Mil- 
ford to Stratford Church in 1653, and who died in Stratford, 
and his widow married John Birdsey, Sen., about 1688. 

William Tomlinson was accepted an inhabitant in Derby 
in December, 1677, who is supposed, in consequence of 
several favoring facts, to have been the son of this Robert 
of Milford and Stratford. 

Henry Tomlinson was one of the most active business 
men of Stratford and known as such in the Colony. He 
was not a military man ; he had no title to his name, but 
was a farmer, buying, selling and cultivating land. In 1668 
he and Joseph Hawley — another land buyer — purchased a 
large tract of land in Derby — "all that tract of land lying 
upon the Great Neck near unto Pawgassett, .... for 
the consideration of i^'d. los.,"* and in 1671 he and others by 
permission of the General Court purchased a large tract of 
land of the Indians of Weantinock — New Milford. 

His will was dated in the winter of 1680-81 and proved 
April 28, 1681, and his inventory amounted to ;£^5i8 i6s. 2d., 
besides his tract of land at Weantinock, which he gave to his 
"two sons," Jonas and Agur. 

The old Bible, printed in 1599, which Henry Tomlinson 
brought to this country, is still preserved, although it has 
removed west to the state of Michigan. The coat-of-arms 
in a painting of the family has been preserved many years 
through the care of Governor Gideon Tomlinson and his 
descendants. 

The descendants of Henry Tomlinson have been promi- 
nent in business enterprises and professions in many parts 
of the country. 

Hfugh Ortffln became an inhabitant probably about 
1654, and purchased of the town a house and lot. 

John Ferguson purchased land in Stratford of Jartes 
Blakeman, Nov. 28, 1660, and appears to have been a resident, 
and in October, 1664, sold his estate to Abraham Wakeman 
and removed from the town. 

* Col. K.CC,, ii. 303. 



136 History of Stratford. 

Thomas Beardsley purchased in Stratford, Feb. 7, 
1661, a house and lot of land amounting to ten acres or 
more, became an inhabitant, and died Feb, 13, 1688. How 
he was related to the other Beardsley family, if at all, has 
not been ascertained. 

John Beach, son of Richard of New Haven (says Sav- 
age), perhaps a brother, came to Stratford and bought his 
first land here May 21, 1660, of Ens. Bryan of Milford, "one 
house lot 2 acres." He had then a wife and four children. 

In January, 1671, he was made an auctioneer by the 
following vote : **John Beach was chosen crier for the town, 
and to be allowed four pence for* every thing he cries ; that 
is to say for all sorts of cattle and all other things of smaller 
value, two years.'* 

Benjamin Bea^h, son of Richard of New Haven, came 
to Stratford a single man. 1 

Thomas Quenhy may have been a son of William 
Quenby, had a home lot and was a land owner in Stratford 
about 1660, and removed to West Chester, N. Y., about 1664. 

Francis Jacoekes had a home lot in Stratford about 
1660, but disappeared soon. He may. have been the father 
of William and Joshua, who were in Hempstead, L. I., in 
1682. His descendants are said to be still in New Haven, 
Conn. 

Jonas Salstead was among the early dwellers of Strat- 
ford, went to Jamaica, L. I., before 1660. 

JEdward Highee had a home lot in Stratford, but 
removed to Jamaica, L. 1., before 1660. 

John Barlow had a home lot in Stratford about 1660 
and removed to Fairfield. 



CHAPTER VI I. 




CONFLICTS, WARS, WITCHCRAFT. 



ONCERNING the toil, endurances and 
hope through which the settlers of Strat- 
ford, as well as those of neighboring plan- 
tations, passed the first stage of their pro- 
gress, it is difficult to -write without com- 
miseration, gloom and indignation. Com- 
miseration for them as separated from their 
native land and kindred, the greatness of their 
privations and toils, and the enmity with 
which they were watched by the natives 
around them ; gloom in view of their early 
dead, and general want of knowledge in 
order to adapt themselves to the untried 
conditions of life to which they were sub- 
ject ; and of indignation at the outrage of 
the civil and ecclesiastical governments which drove 
them to renounce their manhood as . to conscience and 
reason, or flee from their native land into an untried, unset- 
tled and uncivilized wilderness; and finally, indignation that 
these commonly intelligent and Christianized men should 
have brought with them so much of the superstition, bigotry 
and stupid foolishness of the old country as they did, by 
which they were lead to treat the natives of the land in a 
barbarous manner, and to hang poor innocent old women as 
supposed witches. However execrable some of their beliefs 
and practices were, they brought them all with them from 
Old England with the exception of a very few items taken up 
anew from the law of Moses. They came here with the. 
same minds and principles with which they and their neigh- 
bors were possessed in England, with one grand and noble ex- 



138 History of Stratford. 

ception. which was that they had scarcely put their feet upon 
American soil before a great light of freedom shone around 
them and at once transformed them into independent repub- 
lics; the like of which had never yet been conceived by 
mortal man. Suddenly, as the comet dashes into sight from its 
trackless journey, the new earth spread its wide and fertile 
domain to a coming nation of liberated and enlightened free- 
men ; and such was the amazement to the awakened mind 
that they scarcely dreamed to what end it would come, only 
that they were defiant to tyrants, and pledged to the 
improvement of the grand opportunities spread before them 
until '^ further light should come y 

With such a comprehensive view of practical life, destiny 
spread before them the grand achievements which they in 
due time organized and established, and into the glory of 
which we have already in part, entered. Hence,* in view of 
the reward we now possess as to a largely enlightened nation, 
it is unfitting that we should cast a disparaging reflection 
upon those through whom we possess so advantageous an 
inheritance. No greater eulogy can be set forth concerning^ 
any one than the actualities of life, for anything beyond this 
dwindles into insignificance. Therefore we proceed to 
gather the items now scattered far and wide in hundreds of 
family Bibles, stacks of town records and personal manu- 
scripts, and place them in book form for the perusal of 
thousands of interested readers, and as the starting point for 
future and further research and collections. 

How, then, did these wilderness planters make such 
steady and marvelous progress under the new, varied and 
difficult, as well as discouraging circumstances around them^ 
during the first twenty years of their' Stratford plantation? 

Wars and Rumors of Wars, 

In a preceding chapter, pages 55-60, the effects upon 
Stratford and neighboring towns of the Indian war with the 
Dutch at New York, which began in 1643, has been carefully 
narrated, and only a few things remain to be written. The 
settlers did not come to this country prepared for war, but 
were almost wholly without implements and materials for 



Wars and Rumors of Wars. 139^ 

such a conflict. Neither had they the means or necessary 
appliances for making war materials to any considerable 
extent, and therefore they were to a great degree defenceless. 
One of the first things they did in Stratford, after fitting up 
the few g<uns they possessed, was, according to tradition, the 
fortifying the village against the Indians, by building 
palisades. This was done by setting into the ground wide 
slab-like stakes or split logs and posts close together, from 
eight to twelve feet high, making a palisade fence, from the 
Housatonic river across the north part of what was soon 
afterwards known as Watch-house Hill, and still later 
Academy Hill, to the swamp on the west side of the village,, 
and then southward as far as was necessary to secure the 
settlers from a sudden attack by the Indians. In later years 
these palisades were renewed and the place further secured 
as directed by the General Court and attended to by a Strat- 
ford town vote. 

In providing for the safety of the community, soldiers 
were drafted and placed on watch during the nights, and at 
particularly alarming times, during the day, and for the con- 
venience of these soldiers a house was built on the hill, and 
hence the name Watch-house Hill. From this hill, when the 
trees were not half or a quarter as numerous as now, the 
whole village and far beyond it, could be overlooked and a 
careful watch kept by a few men. 

It is possible that as early as 1643 the palisades were 
built so as to inclose a small territory at the mouth of the 
creek where the first meeting-house stood, for the hill a little 
to the east was called Guard Hill because of the soldiers 
keeping guard there at a very early period. From this hill, in 
1643, a careful watch could have been kept over a few families 
— perhaps twenty or twenty-five — who were then dwelling 
there. 

In 1649, new difficulties arose with Indians about Stam- 
ford and adjoining plantations. Forty-five soldiers were 
ordered by the General Court to be drafted and placed under 
Roger Ludlow, with William Hull and William Beardsfey ta 
assist, but the war passed off without bloodshed, although- 
with a great fright to the people. 



I40 History of Stratford, 

Added to this at this time was the great Revolution in 
England which resulted in the execution of Charles I. and 
the military dictatorship of Cromwell, which in eflFect threw 
the Colonies upon their own resources of sustenance and 
military defence, and furthered their ideas of personal and 
Colonial freedom, although they had not the least thought of 
independency from the mother country. Stratford above all 
the plantations was loyal although some of its citizens were 
among the most pronounced opponents to the political 
claim that none but church members should be freemen so 
far as to be allowed to vote ; for, in 1663, after the restoration 
of Charles II. to the throne and the officers were sent to this 
colony to arrest Messrs. Goff and Whalley, the Regicides, 
Stratford Constables obeyed the order of search, while other 
towns refused, and presented a bill to the General Court for 
£6, 17" I**, which the Court refused to allow,* and probably 
the bill is still unpaid. 

In the year 1652 war broke out between England and 
Holland, and it at once was expected that the conflict would 
be extended to America and prosecuted between the Dutch 
possessions at New Amsterdam, afterwards New York, and 
the New England Colonies. Trumbull says : •* The com- 
mencement of hostilities this year between England and 
Holland, the perfidious management of the Dutch Governor, 
with apprehensions of the rising of the Indians, spread a 
general alarm through the Colony.**" 

In May, 1653, "the Commissioners of the United Col- 
onies, who were at this time in session at Boston, having 
'considered what number of soldiers might be requisite if 
God call the Colonies to make war against the Dutch, con- 
cluded that five hundred for the first expedition shall be 
the number out of the four jurisdictions, and apportioned 
this number to the several Colonies as follows: to Massa- 
chusetts, 333; to Plymouth, 60; to Connecticut, 65; to New 
Haven, 42.*'* At this time also England sent over **a par- 
cel of arms and ammunition, as a supply, and for the con- 
venience of the United Colonies, and ordered **that the 

* Col. Rec. i. 393. • Trumbull, i. 201. • Col. Rec, i. 241. 



Wars and Rumors of Wars. 141 

same should be divided as follows: to the Massachusetts^ 
£log, 17', 8^; to Plymouth, £$7, 14', 10**; to Connecticut, 
;^6o, 6', 10*; and to New Haven, £^0^ 4S" the division being 
made according to tax lists of the several Colonies. 

The part which Connecticut was to bear in this cam- 
paign is indicated by the record of the General Court, May 
21, 1653. "The Court having received orders from the 
Commissioners that there are to be sixty-five men to be 
prepared forthwith, to be at a day's warning with provisions 
suitable; the. Court raiseth the men out of the several towns 
of this Jurisdiction as followeth, who are to be forthwith 
impressed to be at a day's warning or call, as also that suita- 
ble provisions and ammunition shall be forthwith prepai'ed : — 

Windsor, 12 Norwack, i Farmington, 5 

Pequett, 5 Hartford, 15 Seabrook, 5 

Mattebezek, i Wethersfield, 8 Fairfield, 8 

Stratford. 6 = 64.* 

''The officers of this Company that the Court requires 
to be over them, are as follows: Lieut. Cooke is to be Com- 
mander in Chief; Lieut. Bull to be their Lieutenant; Lieut. 
Thomas Wheeler, of Fairfield, to be their Ensign ; Richard 
Olmstead, of Norwocke, to be a Sergeant; and the other is 
to be chosen by the officers of this Company ; Hugh Wells 
to be their drummer." 

In drafting men for this war a committee was appointed 
in each town to act with the constable, to fill which Goodman 
Groves and Goodman Thornton were appointed for Stratford. 

The tax list for Stratford for the year 1654, only one year 
later, as rendered to the General Court, contained seventy- 
four tax payers, who were the owners of land or heads of 
families, but not the entire number of the inhabitants. Hence 
this draft took one in twelve of the men, and this while a 
home guard or watch was kept for self-defence, just in plant- 
ing time in the spring. The calamity of the time is indicated 
by the General Court, June 25, 1653, thus: '* It is ordered 
by this Court that there shall forthwith be presented to the 
Bay the present distresses, fears and dangers that the English 

* Ibid. 242. 



142 ' History of Stratford. 

TDordering upon the Dutch, both upon the Main [land] and 
Long Island are in." 

After these preparations for war had continued from 
May until September, the news came that Massachusetts 
would take no part in the proposed war against the Dutch, 
which decision gave great offense to Connecticut and New 
Haven, because they were greatly exposed to injury by the 
Dutch, and had already made large expenditures for the war, 
while Massachusetts was not, and had not. The Court of 
New Haven convened October 12, and that of Connecticut 
November 25, both considering that the Court of Massachu- 
setts had willfully violated the articles of union. The people 
at Stamford and Fairfield became much agitated and Capt. 
Underbill, of Greenwich, sent to his friends at Rhode Island 
for assistance "and with such Englishmen as he could obtain 
made the best defence in his power.'*' 

Trumbull says : " The Dutch at New Netherlands waited 
only for a reinforcement from Holland to attack and reduce 
the English colonies. Of this both they and the English 
were in constant expectation. It was reported and feared 
that when the signals should be given from the Dutch ships 
the Indians would rise, fire the English buildings and make 
destructive work.*' If such had been the case no plantations 
would have suffered more than Stratford, Fairfield and Derby, 
for here were by far the greatest number of Indians except 
east of New London. But fortunately the Dutch fleet of 
reinforcement was defeated by the English at sea, and the 
Indians remained friends to the settlers. 

It was from the midst of these times of peril that some 
trouble arose concerning Mr. Roger Ludlow, the staunchest 
and ablest man as a lawyer and statesman that was at the 
time in Connecticut. Trumbull says : " Stamford complained 
that the government was bad, and the charges unreasonable, 
and that they were neglected and deprived of their just 
privileges. They sent to the General Court at New Haven 
desiring them to prosecute the war against the Dutch, re- 
solved to raise a number of men among themselves, and 
prayed for permission to enlist volunters in the several towns. 

* Trumbull, i. 213. 



Wars and Rumors of Wars. 143 

'* The town of Fairfield held a meeting ort the subject, 
and determined to prosecute the war. They appointed Mr. 
Ludlow commander-in-chief. He was in the centre of the 
evidence against the Dutch, had been one. of the commission- 
ers at the several meetings at Boston relative to the affair, 
had been zealous and active for the war, and conceiving 
himself and the town in imminent dangeV unless the Dutch 
could be removed from the neighborhood, too hastily accepted 
of the appointment. Robert Bassett and John Chapman 
were at the head of this party. They attempted to foment 
insurrections and, without any instructions from authority, 
to raise volunteers for an expedition against the Nether- 
lands." 

This insurrection business was moonshine in the eye of 
the historian, of which there probably never was a particle 
of evidence. Robert Bassett and John Chapman with the 
others had been arraigned before the New Haven Court 
about eight months previous for speaking against the New 
Haven Colony law that none should vote except church 
members, which was, in the minds of some of those in au- 
thority at that time, a terrible wickedness, and now, when 
they again moved with energy to protect the plantations to 
which they belonged from slaughter, after Massachusetts had 
broken its agreement and left these towns to take care of 
themselves or be annihilated, it was thought noble to make 
Roger Ludlow, Robert Bassett and John Chapman the scape- 
goats for the perfidy of others, who, although vested with 
authority to protect the people and ordered to it by the home 
government with war material furnished to hand, saw fit to 
sit down in their chairs of state and take their ease at the 
peril of the whole coast of Long Island Sound. Had the 
Dutch fleet escaped the English on the ocean, as was intended, 
there might not have been left a living man on the coast from 
Rhode Island to the New Netherlands. 

No wonder Mr. Ludlow sailed the next spring for Vir- 
ginia, and Robert Bassett soon removed to Hempstead, L. I. 

All these things added to the calamities which hindered 
the toiling planters at Stratford as well as elsewhere through- 



144 History of Stratford. 

out one whole year, during which fortifications were estab- 
lished along the Sound at considerable expense of money 
and time, worked discouragement in the minds of the people^ 
when in September, 1654, the Commissioners resolved on 
war with the Indian Chief Ninigret, or the Narraganset na- 
tion, and for this expedition soldiers were drafted from the 
several plantations in the following October: Windsor, 8; 
Pequot, 4; Mattabeseck, i ;' Norwalk, o; Hartford, 9; Weth- 
ersfield, 6; Farmington, 2; Seabrook, 4; Fairfield, 6; Strat- 
ford, 5 = 45. The other colonies were to provide as follows: 
"Massachusetts, 40 horsemen and 153 foot; Plymouth, 41; 
and New Haven, 31.*' A part of this force was to be "dis- 
patched with all expedition tp the Niantic country, and the 
remainder to hold themselves in readiness to march on notice 
from the commander in chief.*' But as in the previous case 
the Massachusetts General Court when it came together, 
refused to take any part in this war. The committee to draft 
the men in Stratford to fill this order was Thomas Sherwood 
and Thomas Fairchild, with the Assistant and Constables. 

At this time (October, 1654) Connecticut and New Haven 
fitted a frigate of ten or twelve guns with forty men, to- 
defend the coast against the Dutch (whom they had so def- 
erentially declined to fight the year before), and to prevent 
Ninigret and his Indians from crossing the Sound to prose- 
cute his hostile designs against the Indians in alliance with 
Connecticut. After considerable playing war by the Massa- 
chusetts Major VVillard. who finally came with troops as 
commanding general in this expedition, the whole display 
ended without so much as any smoke of battle, and the brave 
troops returned home, while Ninigret flaunted his colors 
more lively than ever. 

The Connecticut Court allowed its soldiers in this expe- 
dition pay as follows: common soldiers, 16* per day; drum- 
mers, 20*; sergeants, 2'; ensigns, 2», 6*; lieutenants. 3'; and 
stewards, 2» per day.' 

This proposed Indian war again awakened fear of a rising 
or at least hostile conduct of^the Indians still residing in for- 

• Middletown, ' Col. Rec, i. 273. 



Witches and Witchcraft 145 

midable numbers in and near Stratford. Probably not less 
than one thousand Indians were residing in Stratford, Mil- 
ford, Fairfield and Derby, if not fifteen hundred ; and it was 
not an infrequent thing for individuals and families to have 
some difficulty with the Indians. 

Thus matters continued as to the outside world with 
only now and then a report of trouble with Ninigret's people, 
until into the year 1656, when " The Protector, Oliver 
Cromwell, having conquered Jamaica, made it a favorite 
object to remove the people of New England to that island ; 
but while this proposition made some commotion as to its 
importance and desirability and the contrary, it soon ceased 
to excite interest, and the people remained on their several 
plantations to improve them as best they could. 

Witches and Witchcraft, 

Historically speaking, the topics of witches and witch- 
craft are to-day treated as questions of undoubted absurdity, 
demanding only pity for their unfortunate victims. They 
are also often ignorantly spoken of as the inventions of the 
early settlers of New England, whereas they had been more 
strongly believed and cherished in England hundreds of 
years before New England was discovered, and always main- 
tained as doctrines taught in the Bible. The New England 
people revived a few old Mosaic laws and teachings, but 
witches and witchcraft were none of them. Two eras for the 
mania of treating these matters by severe penalties of law, 
passed over New England, but suddenly disappeared ; the 
one about 1650, the other in 1692 ; but the influence of a 
sentiment or legendary stories of witches, still lives through- 
out the United States as well as England, Germany and other 
countries on the globe. Among the first impressions of fear 
produced upon the mind of the author of this book, were 
those resulting from seeing ** witch marks " in the unfinished 
chambers of dwellings in the western part of Albany county, 
N. Y. — his native place — which region was settled first by 
the Dutch, and afterwards by New England people, in the 
latter part of the seventeenth century. He does not remem- 
ber having ever seen a dwelling (and he saw many) built by 

10 



146 History of Stratford. 

the Dutch, that had not these marks on the inside of the roof 
to prevent witches from troubling the family ; and the witch 
stories of his boyhood days, represented as actual transac- 
tions in that region, were almost without number. This 
belief as developed in that part of the country did not origin 
nate in" New England but came with the Dutch from their 
native land. The following is one of those stories related 
about fifty years ago, as stated above, and is given as illustra- 
tive of the beliefs of those times, and also as showing that 
witch troubles existed elsewhere besides in Connecticut and 
Massachusetts. 

A farmer's wife in churning cream to secure butter, spent 
several hours without success, and gave up the effort as use- 
less. Upon her husband coming into the house, she related 
her fruitless toil of the morning, when he, being strongly 
impressed with the thought that some one had bewitched the 
cream out of envy toward his family, took his old musket 
and fired a full charge through the cream and the bottom of 
the churn. He then stopped the hole made through the bot« 
tom of the churn and his wife with a few minutes* labor fin- 
ished the churning, securing the proper amount of butter; but 
that day, at the time of the shooting an old woman of the 
place was taken suddenly with a fit and died without any 
apparent cause, and the matter was talked of as though the 
community was rid of one witch. Many stories were told, 
particularly to the effect, that children and young people 
were prostrated by sickness for weeks and years by the envy 
and spite of witches, who were always represented as being 
old women. 

The following account of witch troubles in Fairfield 
County having been collected with great carefulness and 
expense of time by Major W. B. Hinks and the Rev. B. L. 
Swan in some " Historical Sketches," printed in 1871, is so 
complete that it is here given as a proper historical summary 
of this lamentable delusion. 

** It will doubtless be a matter of surprise to many to 
learn that any trials and executions for this imaginary crime 
ever took place outside of the State of Massachusetts, and 



Witches and Witchcraft, 147 

.particularly in this vicinity, historians generally being silent 
upon the subject. Dr. Trumbull indeed, in the preface to his 
history of Connecticut, says that one or two executions at 
Stratford were reported by an obscure tradition, and that this 
tradition together with a minute in GofTs Journal by Gov- 
ernor Hutchinson, respecting the execution of Ann Coles,* 
• is all the information to be found * on this subject. He also 
adds that 'after the most careful research, no indictment of 
any person for that crime nor any process' relative thereto 
can be found. 

Omitting all mention of cases in other parts of the State, 
let us inquire respecting the executions stated by Dr. Trum- 
bull, to have taken place in Stratford. 

We have here something more trustworthy than obscure 
tradition to guide us, for in the month of May, 165 1, the fol- 
lowing order was passed by the General Court, in session at 
Hartford : 

''The Governor, Mr. CuUick and Mr. Clarke, are desired 
to goe down to Stratford to keep Courte upon the tryal of 
Goody Bassett for her life, and if the Governor cannott goe, 
then Mr. Wells is to go in his room.'* 

That the Goody Bassett mentioned in this entry was put 
to death as a witch, cannot perhaps be positively demon- 
strated ; but there is strong indirect evidence to show that 
such was the case, contained in the minutes of a trial pre- 
served in the New Haven records. In this trial, which took 
place in 165 1, one of the witnesses in the course of her testi- 
mony referred to a goodwife Bassett who had been con- 
denaned for witchcraft at Stratford, and another alluded to 
the confession of the witch at that place.' 

"The place of her execution is pointed by tradition to 
this day, and would seem to be determined by the names 
" Gallows Brook " and " Gallows Swamp " in the first vol- 
ume of Stratford town records. The former was a small 

*AnD Coles, is the case supposed to be referred to in Mather's Magnalia, 
book vi. ch. vii. 

• Col. Rec. i. 220. » New Haven Col. Rec. ii. 77-88. 



148 History of ^Stratford. 

stream, long since dried up or diverted into another channel^, 
emptying into the swamp, a portion of which yet remains, a 
little south of the present railroad depot. A rude bridge 
stoned up at the sides, crossed this brook, just where the Old 
Mill road and the railway intersect. The remains of the 
bridge were exhumed by the workmen about thirty years 
since, when the railroad was graded at that point. At 
that bridge, uniform tradition states the execution of the 
witch by hanging to have taken place. Near by where 
the street from the village turns off toward the depot, was, 
until quite recently, a small quartz boulder, with hornblende 
streaks like finger marks upon it, \Hiich was connected with 
the fate of Goody Bassett, by an ancient and superstitious 
tradition. The story was, that on her way to the place of 
execution, while struggling against the officers of the law, 
the witch grasped this stone and left these finger marks upon 
it. The stone, with its legend, came down to our day, but a 
few years since an unromantic individual used it in building 
a cellar wall, not far from the place where it had been lying. 

*• In October, 1653, about two and a half years after the 
event just narrated, the General Court passed another resolu- 
tion in the following words: ** Mr. Ludlow, Mr. Wells, Mr. 
Westwood and Mr. Hull, are desired to keep a perticulier 
Courteat Fairfield, before winter to execute justice there as 
cause shall require.* 

**The unfortunate person on whose account justice was 
to be executed was, as before, a woman, charged with witch- 
craft. She is designated simply as * Knapp's wife,' or * good- 
wife Knapp,' in the only account we have of the proceedings ; 
namely, a number of depositions in the case of Thomas Staples 
of Fairfield, who in the spring of 1654, sued Roger Ludlow 
of that place, for calling his wile a witch. It is not impossi- 
ble that goody Knapp may have been the wife of Roger 
Knapp of New Haven, who removed to Fairfield, although 
his name is not mentioned among the residents there until 
1656, His son, Nathaniel, lived in Pequannock fn 1690, and 
joined the church afterwards organized there, his name occur- 

^ Col. Rec, i. 249. 



Witches and Witchcraft. 149 

ring frequently upon the early records of the North Church 
in Bridgeport. 

"The trial took place in the autumn of 1653, before a 
jury and several 'godly magistrates' (the same probably that 
are named in the order of the General Court), and doubtless 
lasted several days. There were many witnesses, but the 
indictment and the substance of the greater part of their tes- 
timony are wanting. We learn, however, that a strong and 
perhaps decisive point against the accused, was the evidence 
of Mrs. Lucy Pell and Goody Odell, the midwife, who by 
direction of the Court had examined the person of the pris- 
oner, and testified to finding upon it certain witch marks, 
which were regarded as proof positive of intimacies. Mrs. 
Jones, wife of the Fairfield minister, was also present at this 
examination, but whether as a spectator or as one of the 
examiners, is not clearly stated. 

"The jury brought in a verdict of guilty, and goodwife 
Knapp was sentenced to death. After her condemnation she 
was visited by numbers o! the towns-people, who constantly 
urged her to confess herself a witch and betray her accompli- 
ces, on the ground that it would be for the benefit of her soul ; 
and that while there might have been some reason for her 
silence before the trial, since a confession then might have 
prejudiced her case, there could be none now, for the reason 
that she was sure to die in any event. The pains of perdition 
were held up to her as sure to be her portion, in case of a 
refusal. 

•* Upon one of these occasions, the minister and a number 
of the towns-people being present, the poor woman replied to 
her well-meaning tormentors that she ' must not say anything 
that was not true,' she * must not wrong anybody,' but that 
if she had anything to say before she went out of the world 
she would reveal it to Mr. Ludlow, at the gallows. Elizabeth 
Brewster, a bystander, answered coarsely, * if you keep it a 
little longer till you come to the ladder, the devil will have 
you quick, if you reveal it not till then.' * Take care,' replied 
the prisoner indignantly, * that the devil have not you ; for 
you cannot tell how soon you may be my companion.' * The. 



ISO History of Stratford, 

truth is/ she added, *you would have me to say that good- 
wife Staples is a witch, but I have sins enough to answer for 
already, and I hope that I shall not add to my condemnation; 
I know nothing against good wife Staples, and I hope she is 
an honest woman.' She was sharply rebuked by Richard 
Lyon, one of her keepers, for this language, as tending to- 
create discord between neighbors after she should be dead, 
but she answered, *goodman Lyon, hold your tongue, you 
know not what I know; I have been fished withall in private 
more than you are aware of. I apprehend that good wife 
Staples hath done me wrong in her testimony, but 1 must not 
return evil for evil.' When further urged, and reminded that 
she was now to die, and therefore should deal truly, she burst 
into tears, and desired her persecutors to cease, saying, in 
words that must have lingered long in the memory of those 
who heard, and which it is impossible now to read without 
emotion, — * never, never, poor creature was tempted as I am 
tempted ; pray, pray for me.' 

Yet it appears that her fortitude sometimes gave way, 
and that she was induced to make a frivolous confession to 
the effect that Mrs. Staples once told her that an Indian had 
brought to her several little objects brighter than the light of 
day, telling her that they were Indian gods, and would cer- 
tainly render their possessor rich and powerful ; but that 
Mrs. Staples had refused to receive them. This story she 
subsequently retracted. 

** The procession to the place of execution, which is 
stated by an eye-witness to have been * between the house of 
Michael Try and the mill/ or a little west ot Stratfield bound- 
ary, included magistrates and ministers, young persons and 
those of maturer years, doubtless nearly the entire popula- 
tion of Fairfield. On the way to the fatal spot the clergyman* 
again exhorted the poor woman to confess, but was rebuked 
by her companion Mrs. Staples, who cried, * Why bid her con- 
fess what she is not ? I make no doubt, but that if she were a 
witch she would confess." 

*' Under the shadow of the gallows the heart of Goody 
Knapp must again have failed her, for being allowed a 

* Rev. John Jones, who came from England in 1635. 



Witches and WitcJicraft. 151 

moment's grace after she had mounted the ladder, . she 
descended and repeated her former trifling story respecting 
Mrs. Staples, in the ear of Mr. Ludlow, her magistrate. If 
this was done in hope of obtaining a reprieve, as seems likely, 
the poor creature was disappointed, for she was speedily 
turned off by the executioner, and hung suspended until life 
was extinct. 

" When the body had been cut down and laid upon the 
green turf beside the grave, a number of women crowded 
about it eager to examine the witch signs. In the foreground 
we see Mrs. Staples kneeling beside the corpse, and in the 
language of one of the witnesses, * wringing her hands and 
taking ye Lord's name in her mouth,* as she asseverates the 
innocence of the murdered woman. Calling upon her com- 
panions to look at the supposed witch-marks, she declares that 
they were naught but such as she herself or any woman had. 
* Aye, and be hanged for them, and deserve it too,' was the 
reply of one of the older women present. Whereupon a 
general clamor ensued, and seeing that there was now noth- 
ing to be gained, and much to be apprehended if she persisted, 
Mrs. Staples yielded, and returned home. 

Among the names occurring in that narrative are some 
like Gould, Buckly and Lyon, that are common in Fairfield 
to this day. The Odells and Sherwoods may have been resi- 
dents of Pequannock.' Mr. Ludlow saw fit to repeat the story 
told him by the dying woman, and to further assert that Mrs. 
Staples had not only laid herself under the suspicion of being 
a witch, but ** made a trade of lying." Hence the suit already 
mentioned, in which the New Haven Court had the good sense 
to give a decision in favor of the plaintiff, and allow him fifteen 
pounds damages. 

The last trial in the State of Connecticut for the crime of 
witchcraft took place in Fairfield in 1692, the same year in 
which the delusion rose to such a fearful height in Salem, 
Massachusetts. Capt. John Burr, one of the magistrates in 
this trial, was the father of the principal founder of St. John's 
Church, Bridgeport, and the name of Isaac Wheeler, a jury- 



* There were no settlers at Pequannock as early as 1654. 



152 . History of Stratford. 

man, may be seen upon the records of the North Congrega- 
tional Church in Bridgeport. 

Mercy Disborough, one of the accused persons was 
from Compo or Westport. Three others, Elizabeth Clawson, 
goody Miller, and the widow Staples were indicted at the 
same time. The last named may have been the same person 
who, as we have seen, was suspected of being a witch nearly 
forty years before. The following extracts show the compo- 
sition of the Court, and the manner of conducting the trial. 

" At a special court of Oyer and Terminer, held at Fayre- 
field, September 19th. 1692. Present, Robert Treat, Esq., 
Govenour, William Jones, Esq., Deputy Govenour, John 
AUyn, Secretary, Mr. Andrew Leete, Capt. John Bur, Mr. 
William Pitkin, Capt. Moses Mansfield, (composing the 
Court.) 

" ' The Grand Jurors impaneled were Mr. Joseph Bay-, 
ard, Sam'l Ward, Edward Hay ward, Peter Ferris, Jonas 
Waterbury, John Bowers, Samuel Sherman, Samuel Galpin, 
Ebenezer Booth, John Piatt, Christopher Comstock, Wm. 
Reed; who presented a bill of indictment against Mercy Dis- 
borough, in the words following, to wit: 

***Abill exhibited against Mercy Disborough, wife of 
Thomas Disborough, of Compo, in county of Fayrefield, in 
colony of Connecticut. 

** * Mercy Disborough, wife of Thomas Disborough, of 
Compo in Fayrefield, thou art here indicted by the name of 
Mercy Disborough, that not having the fear of God before 
thine eyes, thou hast had familiarity with Satan the grand 
enemy of God and man, and that by his instigation and help, 
thou hast in a preternatural way afflicted and done harm to 
the bodyes and estates of sundry of their Majestie*s Subjects, 
or to some of them, contrary to the peace of our sovereign 
Lord and Ladie, the King and Queen, their crown and digni- 
tie ; and on the 25th of April of their majestie's reigns, and at 
sundry other times, for which by the laws of God and this 
colony, thou deservest to die.' John Allvn, Secretary. 

Fayrefield, 15th September, 1662. 



Witches and Witchcraft. 153 

" * The indictment having been read, the prisoner pleaded 
not guilty ; and referred herself to tryal by God and her 
-countrie, which countrie was the jury after written/ 

Names of the petit jury : — James Beers, Isaac Wheeler, 
John Osborn, John Miles, Ambrose Thompson, John Hubby, 
John Bowton, Samuel Hayes, Eleazer Slawson, John Belden, 
John Wakeman, Joseph Rowland,* 

The depositions of nearly two hundred witnesses were 
taken in this case. That their evidence was of triflng charac- 
ter, will be inferred from the annexed specimens, and these 
clearly show the excited state of public feeling at the time, 
that such accusations were the means of putting in jeopardy 
the lives of several innocent persons, and of causing the sen- 
tence of death to be passed upon one. Two of the deposi- 
tions copied here relate to the water ordeal, and there is also 
evidence to show that the persons of the accused were exam- 
ined lor proofs of guilt.* 

" * At a Court held at Fayrefield ye 15th day of Septem- 
ber, 1692. The testimony of Hester Groment, aged thirty- 
five .years or thereabouts, testifieth ; that when she lay sick 
some time in May last she saw, about midnight or past, the 
widow Staples, that is, the shape of her person, and the shape 
of Mercy Disborough, sitting upon the floor by the two chests 
that stand by the side of the house in the iner rume, and Mrs. 
Staples' shape dancing upon the bed's feet with a white cup 
in her hand, and performed some three times. Sworn in 
Court, September 15th, 1692. 

Attest : John Allyn, Secretary. 

"* Edward Jesop, aged about twenty-nine years, testi- 
fieth; that being at Thomas Disburow's house at Compoh, 
sometime in ye beginnihg of last winter in the evening, he 
asked me to tarry and sup with him ; and there 1 saw a pig 
roasted that looked very well, but when it came to ye table 
{where we had a very good lite) it seemed to me to have no 
skin upon it, and looked very strangely ; but when ye sd. Dis- 

^ Conn. Col. Rec, iv. 76, note. Samuel Sherman and Samuel Galpin of Strat- 
ford were on the Grand Jury which found a true bill for witchcraft against Mercy 
Disborough in September, 1692. 



1 54 History of Stratford. 

burrow began to eat it, ye skin (to my apprehension) came- 
upon it, and it seemed to be as it was when it was upon the 
spit, at which strange alteration of ye pigg I was much con- 
cerned. However, fearing to displease his wife by refus- 
ing to eat, I did eat some of ye pig ; and the same time Isaac 
Sherwood being there, and Disburrow's wife and he discours- 
ing concerning a certain place of Scripture, and I being of 
ye same minde that Sherwood was concerning ye place of 
Scripture, and Sherwood telling her where ye place of Scrip- 
ture was, she brought a bible (that was of very large print,) 
but though I had a good light and looked directly upon the 
book I could not see one letter; but looking upon it while in 
her hands, after she had turned over a few leaves, I could see 
to read it above a yard off. 

** Ye same night going home, and coming to Compoh 
creek, it seemed to be high water, whereupon I went to a can- 
nooe that was about ten rods off (which lay upon such a bank 
as ordinarily I could have shoved it into ye creek with ease),, 
though 1 lifted with all my might and lift<'d one end from the 
ground, I could by no means push it into ye creek; and then 
the water seemed so loe y* I might ride over, whereupon I 
went again to the water side, but then it appeared as at first, 
very high ; and then going to ye canooe again, and finding I 
could not get it into ye creek I thought to ride round to- 
where I had often been, and knew ye way as well as before 
my own dore, and had my old cart horse ; yet I could not 
keep him in ye road, do what I could, but he often turned 
aside into ye bushes, and then went backwards, so that though 
I kept upon my horse and did my best endeavour to get 
home, 1 was ye greater part of ye night wandering before I 
got home, altho' it was not much more than two miles-. 

Fayrefield, September 15th, 1692. Sworn in Court Sep- 
tember 15, 1692. 

Attest : John Allyn, Secretary. 

** Mr. John Wakeman, aged thirty-two years, and Samuel 
Squire, made oath that they saw Mercy Disburrow put inta 
the water, and that she swam upon the water. This done, ia 
Court, September 15th, 1692. 

Test : John Allyn, Secretary. 



Witches and Witchcraft. 15 J 

** The testimony of Abraham Adams and Jonathan Squire 
also is, that when Mercy Disburrow and Elizabeth Clawson 
were bound hand and foot and put into the water, they swam 
like cork; and one labored to press them into the water, and 
they buoyed up like cork/ 

Sworn in Court, September 15th, 1692. 

Attest: John Allyn, Secretary. 

"Catharine Beach, aged seventeen years or thereabouts,, 
testifieth and saith, that sometime this last Somer She saw 
and felt good wife Clawson and Mercy Disborough afflict her,^ 
not together, but apart, by scratching and pinching and 
wringing her body ; and farther, saith that good wife Clawson 
was the first that did afflict her, and afterward Mercy Dis- 
borough •, and after that sometimes one of them, and some- 
times the other of them; and in her afflictions though it was- 
night, yet it appeared as light as noone day. 

Sworn in Court, September 19th, 1692. 

Attest : John Allyn, Secretary. 

" Having taken this testimony and much more of a sim- 
ilar character, the court adjourned for several weeks. On 
the 28th of October, 1692, it assembled again at the same 
place, and after taking further evidence, the case was sub- 
mitted to the jury. Elizabeth Clawson, goody Miller, and 
the widow Staples were acquitted, but a verdict was returned 
against Mercy Disborough of * guilty,' according to the 
indictment, of familiarity with Satan. Being sent forth to 
consider their verdict, the jury returned saying they saw no 
cause to alter it, but found her guilty as before. Their ver- 
dict was approved by the court, and sentence of death passed 
upon the prisoner by the Governor. It seems probable, how- 
ever, that she escaped this fate, and was pardoned, with the 
return to reason which followed the collapse of the Salem 
delusion, for a woman named Mercy Disborough was living 



*Tbe water test was the process of bin(Jing the hands and feet and putting 
tbem in sufficient water upon the supposition that if they were witches they 
would float upon the water, but if they were not witches they would sink, and 
thus prove their innocence. 



156 History of Stratford. 

in Fairfield in 1707, and is named as one of the executors 
upon the estate of her husband Thomas.** 

Witchcraft in Connecticut, — Authentic Records. 

1648-9. Mary Johnson of Windsor was executed at Hart- 
ford, which was the fir^tcase in New England.* 
165 1. Goody Bassett executed at Stratford.*^ 
1653. Good wife Knapp executed at Fairfield.® 
1653. Elizabeth Goodman of New Haven accused.** 

1657. Thomas MuUener of New Haven accused.* 

1658. Goodwife Garlick of East Hampton, L. I. was 
tried at that place and sent to and tried at Hartford and 
acquitted.' 

1659. Mr. Willis and Dept. Governor Mason are ordered 
by the Court to investigate a case of " witchery " at Say- 
brook.« 

1662. Greensmith and his wife executed at Hartford and 
two others fly from the country.^ 

1663. Elizabeth Seager was indicted in Hartford for 
witchcraft, but convicted of adultery on another count in the 
indictment. She was tried again in June, 1665, and found 
guilty, but the court set aside the verdict, for informality.* 

1670. Catharine Harrison of Wethersfield tried and con- 
victed of witchcraft at Hartford, but allowed to pay costs 
and leave the town.^ 

* Winthrop, vol. ii. 374. Col. Rec. i. 143, 171, and Savage's Genealogical 
Dictionary, article Johnson. ^t 

^ Conn. Col. Rec, i. 220. New Haven Col. Rec, ii. 81. 

^ New Haven Col. Rec, ii. 77-84. Conn. Col. Rec. i. 249. Kingsley's Hist. 
Discourse. 

* New Haven Col. Rec. ii. 29, 151. 

* New Haven Col. Rec, ii. 224. 

' Conn. Col. Rec, i. 573. Doc. Hisi. of New York, i. 683. 

« Conn. Col. Rec, i. 338. 

^ Mather's Magnalia, ii. book 6, p. 390 ; Remark Prov. Chap. 5, 

^ Winthrop, ii. 374. 

^Conn. Col. Rec, ii. 132, note. 



Something besides Witches, 157 

167 1. False accusations made by Elizabeth Knapp of 
Groton.* 

1692. Trial of Disborough, Clason, Miller and Staples at 
Fairfield, and the first convicted and sentenced." 

1694. ** Winfield Benham, Sen. and his son Winfield 
Benham, Jr. were charged with witchcraft at Wallingford^ 
but the Grand Jury refused to find an inditement.*'** 

Improvements for the Public. 

Public improvements, in the early settlement were con- 
fined more strictly to the things absolutely needful for the 
general success and advantage, and this not because the 
settlers could not appreciate the artistic and beautiful but 
because of the straitened circumstances in which they were 
placed. Of their ability to appreciate elegance and culti- 
vated taste there is sufficient evidence in the laying out the 
village plot and its subsequent improvement. The first loca- 
tion of the company which came from Wethersfield, consist- 
ing according to tradition, of fourteen or fifteen families, was 
around or near Sandy Hollow where the first meeting-house 
was erected; then with much deliberation,. apparently, they 
arranged and laid out the plan of the village by opening the 
highways, very much as they are to-day, only the streets at 
first were somewhat wider; especially Front street, now Elm. 

The first record found in regard to public convenience, 
is concerning a ferry: "The motion made by Mr. Ludlow, 
concerning Moses Wheeler for keeping the Ferry at Strat- 
ford, is referred to such as shall keep the next court at Fayer- 
field, both in the behalf of the Country and the Town of 
Stratford.'*** The Fairfield Court gave a favorable order, for 
the ferry was established, and running as appears by the fol- 

' Mather's Magnalia, ii. book 6, p. 390. 

"* Conn. Col. Rec. iv. 76 note, and 79. T. Lord's Scrap-book. 

° The authority for this reported case has not been seen. Mr. C. H. Hoadly, 
in preface to Col. Rec, vol. vi. says, there was but one subsequent indictment, 
namely, that of two females in Wallingford in October, 1697, upon which the 
Grand Jury returned, " ignoramus." 

• Col. Rec, i. 163. 



158 History of Stratford. 

lowing town record : "April 14, 1653. In consideration that 
the passage to the ferry was stopped up the town gave order 
to the townsmen to pull up the fence and make way for pas- 
sengers where they had laid out the way formerly and they 
promised to bear them out in that act.** The ferry continued 
in the Wheeler family three generations at least. 

A mill to grind grains was one of the first public improve- 
ments, and being attended to before the year 1650, the present 
records contain no account of the time, or manner of building 
it, but a record of Nov. 7, 167 1, informs us that it was in 
existence, for a division of the land between the mile-path 
and the fence *' was ordered. The mill was a tidewater mill 
and stood on Nesumpaws creek, southwest of the village of 
Stratford, probably, on the east side of the creek. 

In 1652, the town by vote made a proposition for another 
mill, and John Hurd and Thomas Sherwood entered upon the 
work, and two years later the enterprise was established as 
follows: "Jan. 5, 1654. John Hurd and Thomas Sherwood in 
<:onsideration of the expense laid out for the making and 
keeping a mill to grind the town's corn, do require the town 
to give them forty acres of upland lying as near the mill as 
may be, bounded as followeth ; the creek eastward of it, the 
common highway on the north, the commons west and south- 
ward ; and three spots of meadow a little below the mill ; all 
which is granted by the said townsmen. 

Philip Groves, 1 JOHN HURD, 

Thomas Fairchild. ThOMAS SheRWOGD.** 

Richard Butler, r Jowmmen, 

John Wells. 

These items were all according to the proposition made 
by the town, in 1652, and the mill stood at what is now the 
«ast end of Old Mill Green. The town required that the 
land should not be sold from the mill ; that if either partner 
desired to sell the property, he should give the town the first 
chance to buy ; and that the millers who were to have the 
sixteenth part of the corn they should grind, should use a 
measure provided by the town — " an even and just measure," 
so that " when it was stricken it may be just the sixteenth 
part of a bushel.*' 



Improvements for the Public. 159 

Ptiblic School was another enterprise entered upon by 
town vote to the following eflFect : 

" 1650. It was agreed by the town that they would give 
JC36 by the year to a schoolmaster, the town to bear one-half 
and the parents of the children the other half." The same 
vote was passed the next year, and the same enterprise has 
characterized the township to the present day. 

A proposition having been presented to the Commission- 
■ers of the United Colonies in 1644 to take collections yearly 
for the " poor scholars at Cambridge," it was approved by 
all, and committees were appointed for each town in Con- 
necticut, and that for Stratford consisted of William Judson 
and John Hurd. Thus early and benevolently did the plan- 
tations unite in efforts for general education ; and the higher, 
classical schools as well, for where these latter are neglected 
,the others are. 

The first select school of the place -was inaugurated, 
probably, in obedience to a town vote, March 17, 1670, "that 
the present townsmen shall endeavor by inquiry to see if 
there be children sufficient in the town whose parents are 
free to place them to school, that there may be encourage- 
ment to endeavor the obtaining a schoolmaster and endeavor 
to procure either Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Benj. Blakeman, John 
Minor, or any other suitable person." 

Taxes were of small amount compared with those of the 
present day, but were very burdensome at the time'; and 
were paid in produce and not in money ; the produce was 
shipped to Boston, New York, Barbados and the West 
Indies. Barbados was the principal market for grains out- 
side of the coast, and Alexander Bryan, of Milford, was the 
great shipping merchant for thirty or more years from the 
settlement of Milford in 1639. There was no leading shipping 
merchant at Stratford ; the man who approached nearest to \ 
it was Joseph Hawley, followed more prominently by his I 
son, Samuel Hawley, a few years later. 

The taxes were accepted in grains, and hence the gov- 
crnment fixed the price of each yearly, and that price was 
the standard for exchange and private dealings. 



l6o History of Stratford, 

Stratford was not taxed, probably, for the general gov- 
ernment until 1645, and for several years afterwards Stratford 
and Fairfield rates were collected together, or as of one plan- 
tation. The General Court order in 1646, that the rates of 
Stratford and Fairfield should be divided, but they were 
reported together after that.* 

The assessment for Taxes by the Connecticut Colony, May 9, 1647, was for 
jf'iSO, and Hartford, Windsor, Wethersfield. Seabrook and Farroington, only, are- 
mentioned in the list. 

Grand List of Connecticut^ Jan, aj^ 1648, 

Hartford, ;f35 : to Farmington, £ 8 : 00 

Windsor 24:10 Long Island 5:00 

Wethersfield, 24 : 00 Fairfield and Stratford,... 20 : oo- 

Seabrook, -'...-... 8:00 

Grand List of Connecticut^ October^ 1651. 

Hartford, ;f22404 : 19 Seabrooke, .£4150. • 

Windsor, 15435 Fairfield 8895:3 

Wethersfield, 12748 Stratford 7118:8:6 

Farmington, 4741 

;f 75492 : 10 : 6 

Grand List of Connecticut for the year 16^2^ October, 

Hartford ;f 19733 : *9 Seabrooke, £'b^7f^ : 00 

Wyndsor, 14093:00 Stratford 7040:19 

Wethersfield. 11499:00 Fairfield 8850:1$ 



Farmington 5164:00 

;f700ii : 13 

Grand List of Connecticut for October^ ^^S3* 

Hartford ;fi9749 Norwake £^^^ 

Windsor 15084 Matabezek, 1501 

Wethersfield 12243 Pequet 3334 

Farmington, 5157 Fairfield, 8822 

Seabrook 4268 . Stratford, 7450:19 

Stratford Harbor^ or, according to the more recent 
name. Mack's Creek, from a negro of that name who made it his 
business to gather and sell oyster shells to make lime — there 
being no stone lime in that place at that time. His daily 
work was to go down the harbor and obtain a canoe load of 
shells and return, and in this way keep a supply for sale on 



*For comparison, the Grand Lists of Connecticut for a few years are her& 
given. 



Improvements for the Public, i6i 

the north point at the mouth of this creek, and hence the 
name Shellkeep Point, as the locality is still called. 

At first there was deep water at the mouth of this creek, 
but the building of the wharf into the channel of the river, a 
quarter of a mile north, turned the current so that it became 
muddy south of the wharf down to the mouth of the creek, 
and hence all the sedge grass land at that place has been 
made since the settlement began. This creek was once so 
deep that Capt. Gorham used to winter his schooner ot 
200 tons burthen in it. He lived on the corner of the 
high ground a few rods north of the creek, the point now 
called Prospect Hill. On this site Mr. Nathan B. McEwen,'* 
a descendant of Capt. Gorham, was born April 23, 1806, and 
from whom a number of interesting facts and historical 
narratives have been obtained. 

Sometime before the year 1800 a dyke was made across 
this creek so that the water could not pass, but so much 
sickness of dysentery and typhus fever followed, that in 1805 
the town voted to remove it, and leave the creek open. 
After it was opened and the salt water let in, there came to 
the surface out of this ground great quantities of worms, and 
their decay caused more sickness than had been before, but 
after that year the sickness ceased. In i860 the dyke was 
again built and afterwards in dry summers there was consid- 
erable sickness as before, for a few years, along the line of 
the creek. 

This harbor was a place of great importance for many 
years, it being the only place along the river where vessels 
could find a safe retreat in an easterly storm. The Housa- 
tonic river (Indian name was Pootatuck) was a broad sheet 
of water, with very little if any meadow or sedge grass along 
its banks, and one island in it, which was granted by the town 
to Nicholas Knell, for meadow, in about 1650, and which still 
bears his name, but it was then much smaller than now, 
according to tradition. It has been stated that the island 
was not there when the whites first came, but that is suffi- 
ciently refuted by the town record of its grant to Mr. Knell 

*^ Manuscript of Mr. Nathan B. McEwen. 

IX 



1 62 History of Stratford, 

This harbor was particularly advantageous in consequence of 
the small sized boats used at first and for nearly two hundred 
years. Boats were very few for many years, but canoes were 
common, being made of one pine log, the inside being cut out, 
sometimes three feet wide and from fifteen to thirty feet in 
length. These canoes were quite convenient as oyster boats 
and for fishing, and were in demand until fifty years ago. As 
late as 1825 many were made in the northern and western 
part of the State of New York and floated down the Erie 
canal and Hudson river and brought to New Haven where 
they brought from sixty to one hundred dollars each, some of 
them being thirty feet in length and without a knot in them. 
The oysters were very plenty in the Housatonic river from 
where the old Washington bridge stood to the Sound, in 
water from twelve to twenty feet deep, the longest handles 
to the rakes being twenty-two feet, and the number of bush- 
els taken out in a day being sometimes fifty. Mr. Nathan B. 
McEwen remembers that one man made a bet that he could 
take out, in twelve feet of water, in a day, one hundred bush- 
els, but lost his bet by only a few bushels. The oysters then 
were very large and of rare quality. The shells still dug up 
from two feet under ground, where they were deposited by 
the Indians, show their very large size and the gravelly 
bottom on which they grew, for sonje of them are very 
rough or full of indentures made by growing on a gravelly 
bed. The oysters from here were sold in Boston, New York 
and other cities as of the best quality. The immense quanti- 
ties of shells left by the Indians in the fields a little back from 
the western shore near the mouth of the river indicate tlie 
Indian's appreciation of oysters for many generations, but the 
oysters now opened in one year at Stratford leave more 
shells, probably, than all left in all past time by the Indians. 

Sandy SolloWf near Mack's Creek, was quite a hollow 
extending west some distance, which is called Sandy Hollow 
because the sand was deep, at first, and the tide came up the 
hollow, frequently, some distance. This has been filled by 
taking off the hill east during the many years that have 
passed since the first settlement. 



Improvements for the Public, 163 

Guard Sill, directly in front of South avenue, on the east 
side of Front, or Elm street, was quite a hill, higher than at 
present, which was called Guard Hill at the time of the first 
settlement because it was the parade ground or rendezvous 
for the guards or soldiers on watch against any attacks by 
the Indians. The hill extended north some distance from the 
creek, forming quite a plateau, terminating at the creek in a 
high blufiF of soft sand, which was a noted place for athletic 
sports, specially of running and jumping, and for children to 
ride down on sleds. The first meeting house stood at the 
west end of this high bank, as elsewhere described. 

IMUe Neck lay at the south of Mack's Creek, and was 
formed by a tide creek on the west which was originally of 
considerable depth. The north end of this neck was owned, 
at first, so far as the records now show, by Thomas Uffoot 
and by him was sold in 1661 to Nicholas Gray, from Flush- 
ing, Long Island, who had a tide-mill where the lane or 
highway crosses Little Neck creek, and to him the town 
granted, in 167 1, another piece of land adjoining on the south 
if he should maintain his dam wide enough for a passable 
highway. 



\ 



CHAPTER VIII. 



THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN 
STRATFORD. 



I HE earliest mention of this Church now dis- 
^^coverable is in a vote by the Milford Church 
" to invite the attendance of the Stratford 
Church and its aid on the occasion of ordain- 
ing " Bro. Whitman " as a ruling elder. 
The elders of the Church in New 
Haven were also invited and were pres- 
ent at the ordination, June 26, 1645, ^t 
which time Stratford Church was repre- 
sented by its " pastor and another messen- 
ger." It is most probable that this Church 
was organized in the summer of 1639, the 
year when Mr. Blakeman and his followers 
came to the place, and if not, they began 
their work that year as a company of believ- 
ers devoted to the Christian cause. The 
Rev. Adam Blakeman, who had labored as an ordained min- 
ister in England, was their pastor and served them about 
twenty-six years. Whatever church records he kept must 
have remained among his private papers, and are lost, and 
tKe same was true with the Rev. Israel Chauncey's records 
until 1675, with which year the existing volume commences. 
Nothing of Mr. Blakeman's writing is known to be ertant 
except a paper drawn in 1665 by the Rev. Israel Chauncey as 
his assistant minister, which he subscribed. 

No list of the membership, nor of the officers are found 
but the following names as the Deacons have been ascertained. 




First Church tn Stratford, 165 

The Rultng Elder and Deacons^ of the Congregational Church 

of Stratford. 

Philip Groves was the first and only Ruling Elder in 
this Church from 1640 to his death in 1675. 

Deacons : 

John Birdseye. Ebenezer Coe. 

John Wilcoxson. Nathan McEwen. 

Thomas Wells. Samuel Ufibot. 

Robert Walker. Agur Curtis. 

John Thompson. Philo Curtis. 

Ephraim Judson. Agur Curtis 2d. 



Peat. David P. Judson. 

Einathan Wheeler. Agur Treat Curtis. 

Israhiah Brown. Lewis Beers. 

The first sexton and bell-ringer was John Peat, the first 
of the name in Stratford, called in those days in a friendly 
way Goodman Peat. He held this office until 1660, when 
John Pickett was elected by the town to fill the place. 

The First Meeting houae stood on the east side of 
Front, now Elm street, at Sandy Hollow, on the southeast 
corner. This house must have been very plain, and of small 
dimensions, but there are no records by which its size or 
height can be ascertained. It was built without a gallery at 
first, for the following vote is recorded: " Feb. 4, 1661. It 
was agreed that there shall be a gallery builded in the meet- 
ing house in the convenient place." 

The first burial ground was adjoining the meeting house 
and burials were probably made there until the new ground, 
which was laid by the town in 1677, was opened where it now 
is, in 1678, west of Main street. The grave stones standing 
at the old place were removed to the new. In the excava- 
tions made at the old ground since it was abandoned several 
skeletons have been exhumed. Quite many graves were made 
without head stones and no traces of them were to be seen 
when the removals were made, and hence after more than a 
hundred years some bones were found in digging a well that 
is still in existence near the barn standing on the old site. 



> Manuscript of the Rev. B. L. Swan, 
la 



1 66 History of Stratford. 

The almost total obliteration of this burying place is 
symbolical of the life of man, and our reflections, while mel- 
ancholy, may be instructive. In the graveyard are still a few 
plain stones which were removed from the old ground, with 
rude inscriptions, consisting simply of initials of a name with 
a date such as, ** E. B., March 9, 1652." Whom did men bear 
to his lowly rest beneath this monument, two hundred and 
fifty-two years ago ? Was it a stranger, or did he or she 
belong to one of the families of Blakeman, Burritt, Booth, 
Bostwick, Beardsley, or Beach? Another is **J. H. 1690, 
M, too." Who was this, born in 1590, somewhere amid the 
troublous times of the Mother Country, when the fires around 
the martyrs' stake had but just gone out? And yet another 
— "J. H., June 25, 1691," without the age. Others have no 
monumental letters, — only the date, as: " March, 1684," and 
'* January, 1691 ;** and others there were, barely a stone, 
weather-chafed, shapeless, and yielding to most curious inqui- 
sition only defaced particles of an inscription, in which no 
letter or figure can be determined.' How much is it to be 
regretted that these stones do not tell us more about those 
who fell in a strange land, the first sacrifices for a liberated 
conscience and an enlarged freedom. How pleasing the 
thought that man but begins, in this life the high and noble 
purpose for which he is created, and looks forward to a 
larger sphere of activities and enjoyments, as set forth in the 
beautiful words of Everett in his commemoration of the 
decease of the great Webster : ** The wakeful eyes are closed, 
the feverish pulse is still, the tired and trembling limbs are 
relieved from their labors, and the aching head is laid to rest 
upon the lap of its Mother Earth, like a play-worn child at 
the close of a summer's day; but all that we honored and 
loved in the living man begins to live again in a new and 
higher being of influence and fame." 

What Happened in the first Meeting House, 

The first sexton, so far as known, w^as John Peat, called 
" Goodman Peake," and " Goodman Pickett" was elected by 

* Manuscript of the Rev. B. L. Swan. 



First Church in Stratford. 167 

the town in 1660, to fill the place which Mr. Peat had resigned 
and a part of the instructions given hira, besides ringing the 
bell, were these: "And also to watch over the disorderly 
persons in the meeting and use his discretion in striking any 
person whom he finds so disorderly." In this they had con- 
ferred two offices upon him, for in November the year before 
the town appointed Henry Wakelee to ** watch over the 
youths or any disorderly carriages in the time of public exer- 
cises on the Lord's day or other times and see that they 
behave themselves comely, and note any disorderly persons 
by such raps or blows as he in his discretion shall see meet/* 

In 1666, Hugh Griffin was appointed to oversee the 
youth in the gallery or without doors,** and if any did con- 
duct disorderly he was to report the same ** to the parents 
and masters;** and the next year Esbon Wakeman was 
appointed to this difficult office. 

In December, 1678, when they had commenced to build 
a new meeting house Thomas Jefery was chosen to keep 
order in the time of public service. 

The bell spoken of above was in use in 1660, but how 
much earlier is not known. It is said to have been the first 
church bell in the State, and must have been brought from 
England, since it could not have been made at that day in this 
country. It would be an item of history of much interest 
and some curiosity to know how it was secured and when 
brought here. 

Progress in the Settlement of the Township, 

After the settlement of the right to the soil in the town 
in 1659, and some satisfaction made to the Indians the next 
year, the settlers of Stratford extended their work of division, 
laying out and settlement of the township with, apparently, 
new energy and enterprise. In view of this a town meeting 
was called and the following was a part of its doing : 

•* Jan. 3, 1661. It was voted that all the inhabitants shall 
have liberty to take up a whole division of land in the woods 
for planting land anywhere within the bounds of Stratford 
^here he can find fit land, provided it be not within two miles 



i68 History of Stratford. 

of the town, and also all such who do take up land in thi& 
way are prohibited from making it their dwelling place, but 
by the consent of the town ; and they have chosen by a vote 
Philip Groves, William Curtis and Joseph Judson to lay it 
out unto particular men according as they desire it.'* 

It is probable that at this time there were no families 
residing two miles from the village of Stratford, in the town, 
unless it was at Farmill river, and it is quite uncertain if any 
were there. The hop garden had been cultivated in that 
vicinity but probably by persons residing in the village. 

Neither were there any residents at Pequannock, or 
Stratford land on the west side of the Pequannock river. A 
family or two were residing probably at the mill at what is 
now the east end of Old Mill Green, and also at the tide mill 
at the Eagle's Nest, or as it was frequently called in those 
days. Old Squaws. There may have been, also, a few families 
residing out of the village a short distance north or upon 
Clapboard Oak Hill, but it is quite doubtful; yet within 
eight or nine years after 1661, the residences beyond two 
miles from the village had become quite numerous. 

In January, 1664, the town voted that the ** land between 
Pequannock river and the bounds between Fairfield and 
Stratford shall be laid out by division to the inhabitants of 
the town, fronting on the country highway." This highway 
was on the line, now Park avenue and the road up Toilsome 
Hill ; and it is said " the lots to run three or four miles ;" 
that is, extend along the road northward that distance. 
Previous to this there had been many pieces of land laid out 
to different men in the Pequannock field which lay south of 
Golden Hill, there having been a fence made along the 
boundary line, and hence the above division was largely if 
not wholly northward of what is now Fairfield avenue. 
Parcels of land had been laid to a number of individuals 
before 1661, at Oronoke and at Farmill river, but very few if 
any residences had been erected upon them. 

The town having had considerable prosperity, and hav-. 
ing made good progress as to the laying out and clearing up 
land, and establishing additional settlers, turned its attention, 
to the needs of the Church, in the winter of 1665-6. 



First Church in Stratford, 169 

" March 5, 1665-5. "^^^ town being together at a lawful meeting, propounded 
^whether or no the town will lay out a house lot out of the sequestered land, and 
^ence it and build a comfortable house upon it and lay a considerable quantity of 
meadow and upland to it, as need shall require, for the use of the ministry to 
continue for ever for that end and use ; and this was the vote of the town that it 
should be so performed.'* 

An entry, afterwards erased, adds "there was a clear 
vote, for there was not one blank, yet a considerable part of 
the town would not vote, not that they were against the min- 
istry but the arabiguousness of the vote." 

Since Mr. Blakeman had his house and land, which he 
had possessed more than twenty years, this vote could have 
no purpose but that of obtaining another minister, although 
as yet they had not voted to secure one. 

This parsonage lot was taken out of the highway or 
public green at the southeast corner of Watchhouse Hill, 
near the site afterwards of the second meeting house. 

The Rev. Adam Blakeman had served this church from 
its settlement here in 1639. until the end of the year 1665 — a 
pastorate of 26 years — without intermission or failure of 
health, apparently, unless just at the last, and without diffi- 
culty or trouble in his office. At this time the town saw fit 
to move in the direction of relief to their aged minister and 
a more ample supply of their needs aS a parish or society. 
It was the movement of the town and not the Church, and 
hence the following vote : 

** April 20, 1665. At a lawful meeting the town did consider the giving Mr. 
'Cbauncey a call to help Mr. Blackman in the ministry for a year; and they 
agreed by vote. The word given was to draw to the west side of the meeting 
house, and it was clearly manifest to be the major part to give him a call for a 
yeaf." 

Tiiere is no evidence that he had been in the 'place betore 
this vote, or that anything had been done previously to 
secure any other man as a supply. Mr. Chauncey was 
obtained and after about two months we find another record : 

"June I, 1666. At a lawful town meeting, the inhabitants being generally 
•present, a paper was offered containing divers propositions to Mr. Israel Chauncy 
in order to a mutual agreement for his settling amongst us in Stratford ; the paper 
•being dated with this present meeting, June i, 1666. It was voted and agreed 
that the said paper should by the townsmen of Stratford be subscribed in the 
4iame of the town and presented to Mr. Chauncy." 



I/O History of Stratford. 

This proceeding was in perfect harmony with the prac- 
tice of other towns at that time, for the town employed and 
paid the ministers. If the records of this Church were pre- 
served, we should find a vote by it, on the question of settling 
a pastor but not as to hiring him as a supply. 

The paper addressed to Mr. Chauncey by the town, 
signed by the selectmen, is as follows :* 

"Mr. Chancy: We. a Christian people, by the providence of God settled 
together in this plantation of Stratford, judging it our duty, as from the command 
of God, so from our own necessary spiritual and eternal good, to endeavor after, 
maintain and uphold a minister orthodox in doctrine and practice that the word 
of life and salvation may be held forth unto us, and all the ordinance of God dis- 
pensed among us : and whereas you have been some time amongst us, we 
accounting it reasonable, very necessary, and equal that some mutual agreement 
be made in a Christian way between you and us, we hereupon think to propound 
to you for your settling and continuing with us as followeth. We desire that you 
would perform the work of a minister of the gospel unto us in the preaching of 
the word and administering of the sacraments. More particularly we desire if all 
they that profess faith and obedience to the rules of Christ, not scandalous in life* 
and do present themselves in owning the Covenant, when they have given them- 
selves unto the Lord in baptism, may be admitted and accounted members of the 
church, and under the care and discipline thereof as other members, and have 
their children baptized. Notwithstanding we desire not that any thus admitted 
may approach unto the Lord's Table till on and by examination and due trial* 
they make testimony unto the judgment of Charity of their fitness thereunto. 
Moreover as God owneth the infant children of believers of the Covenant of 
Grace, neither doth exclude the same children when grown up from having their 
standing in the Covenant while they do so walk as they do not reject it. God 
owneth ihem and would not have the grace of His Covenant shortened or straight- 
ened nor put them from under the dispensation of His grace, giving His ministers 
a solemn charge to take care of and train up such as a part of their flock : We 
desiring also that the children of Church members may be accounted Church 
members as well as their parents, and that they do not cease to be members by 
being grown up, but that they do stilL. continue in the Church successively until, 
according to the rules of Christ, they be cast out ; and that they are the subjects 



Hn the Woodbury History, i. 119, the date of this paper is given as 1669, 
whereas on the town record it is plainly written as here rendered, 1666. But 
what is still more surprising is that this paper is used in that work to prove that 
the Stratford Church did not practice the Halfway Covenant, yet that was the very 
ont particular thing it bound Mr. Chauncey to do. The labored effort made in that 
book to show that Stratford Church had a very wicked feud between i'666 and 
1670, would have been commendable, if the author had possessed genius enough. 
to have known or comprehended what the real questions of division were, but as. 
it was, nothing is left to us but simple astonishment. 



First Church in Stratford, 171 

of Church discipline even as other members, and they should have their children 
baptized, notwithstanding their present unfitness for partalcing of the Lord's 
Supper. 

And further we assure you that without the least suspicion you may credit us 
that upon your accepting said propositions and granting them unto us we shall, 
according to our abilities, contribute to your comfortable subsistence amongst us. 
Expecting an answer from you in time convenient (we) ** Subscribe " in the name 
of the town. 

Thomas Fayrechilde. 

Joseph Judson. 

Henry Wakelyn,' 

Thomas Uffoot." 

"This is a true copy taken out of the original and compared this 25th June, 
1666. by me. John Minor, Recorder" 

It may be observed that this proposition to Mr. Chauncey 
was made after he had been hired two months and five days ; 
that, by town vote — apparently without dissent — it was 
ordered to be signed by the selectmen and presented to him ; 
and that it stated plainly the methods of church work and 
discipline which would be expected of him; and upon this 
Mr. Chauncey was settled in the town and church as pastor. 

The letter shows definitely that the church practiced the 
Half-way Covenant and intended so to practice. This 
method of discipline arose thus: The Puritans in England 
had adopted the principle not to baptize children unless one 
or both of the parents were members of the church. Soon 
after settlement at Windsor, Conn., parents were found there 
who were not members of that church, but were members of 
the Episcopal Church in England, who desired to have their 
children baptized here since they could not go to England 
for it. This question came before the court at Hartford, and 
finally the practice was adopted to allow persons who were 
not members of these churches or any others, to have their 
children baptized upon certain conditions. These were, as 
stated in this paper to Mr. Chauncey, ** not scandalous in life," 
and who believed the doctrines of these churches — " professed 
faith and obedience to the rules of Christ." Such parents 
and their children were taken under the ** watch and care of the 
church," and the children were baptized ; but the parents 
were not to partake of the Communion. Two sacraments 



1/2 History of Stratford. 

were acknowledged — Baptism and the Lord's Supper, and as 
in this covenant one only was included, the church relation 
was expressed by the words ** Half-way Covenant." In this 
relation all that was prohibited from such persons was the 
Lord's Supper, as is evident from the following, in this paper 
from the parish to Mr. Chauncey, viz: " Notwithstanding we 
desire not that any thus admitted may approach unto the 
Lord's Table till on and by examination and due trial they 
make testimony unto the judgment of Charity of their fitness 
thereto." That is, until by examination and a knowledge of 
their lives it should be evident that they were proper persons 
to come to the Lord's Table. 

This Half-way Covenant method ot membership, then, 
was in practice and had been for years in the Stratford 
church when Mr. Chauncey came here, and the whole expres- 
sion of the church and the town so far as appears in any 
record or intimation, was to have it continued. 

Soon after Mr. Chauncey was settled as pastor a question 
of difference arose in his parish which eventuated in the for- 
jmation of a second church in the town and that church, 
largely, removed afterwards and settled at Woodbury. The 
inquiry is, what were the questions which caused the division 
and trouble? Evidently these, and only these, that the Half- 
way Covenant members should be allowed to come to the 
Lord's Table, and that the minister alone should examine the 
candidates, and receive them into the church. The church 
hitherto refused these. A small minority now demanded 
them. The minority were all members in Half-way Cove- 
nant, and hence were denied but one privilege ^ and therefore 
could complain of nothing else, for in their letter to Mr. 
Chauncey and the Church they say, speaking of what God 
had done for them,' "and hath given us an interest in himseit 
to be our God, and taken us to be his own, giving us his own 
discipline and ordinances for our spiritual and eternal good, 
and owning us hath given us equal right with yourselves in 
all his ordinances." 



• See Woodbury History, vol. i, 115. ii8. 



First Church in Stratford. ^. 173 

This letter not being answered as the parties desired, 
they wrote another in which they say :* 

•* Whereas we have formerly made known our minds 
unto you in writing, as concerning our desire of communion 
in all God's ordinances with you, holding forth unto you by 
way of preface, our right unto them, from the free grace of 
God owning us externally sealing the privileges of the Cove- 

* The Minority s First Letter, 
"To Mr. Chancy and the rest of the Church at Stratford. 

" LoTtng brethren and friends, God by his good providence having brought us 
hither, who are of his church and people, and separated us from the world, and of 
his free and abundant grace hath taicen us and our seed into covenant with him- 
self and with his church and people, and hath given us an interest in himself to be 
our God, and taken us to be his own, giving us his own discipline and ordinances 
for our spiritual and eternal good, and owning us hath given us equal right with 
yourselves in all his ordinances, his providence also having setled us together in 
this plantation that we might jointly together worshipp him in all his ordinances, 
and that we should be mutuall helpers of one another in our Christian race. 
These few lines are to informe you that wee whose names are underwritten doo 
declare to you our earnest desire to enjoy communion in all God's ordinances 
with you, that we may together worshipp him according to his holy will ; desiring 
also that wee and our posterity may be owned as immediate members of the 
Church of Christ by you ; as Christ owneth us and ours by his own institution, 
taking us into covenant, and solemnly setting his own seal upon us. We further 
declare, that owning it to be our duty, and hoping it to be our desire to account 
you our best friends, who shall use means to convince us wherein we have sinned, 
and bring us to the sight of our evils; we desire that if any man being converted 
according to God's rules, and do not hold forth repentance, then no such person 
so remaining may be admitted to communion, till he hold forth repentance. And 
whereas there hath beene difference about the calling of Mr. Chancy, and severall 
of us have declared our objections against his setling amongst us till those objec- 
tions were answered, and we judge they never were unto satisfaction ; yet if you 
shall see cause to answer our earnest and reall desires in the premises, as we 
hope you will, wee shall pass by what hath been, and endeavor lovingly to close 
together and walke together according to the rules of Gad's holy word, hoping 
and desiring you will so farr respect us as to give us an answer hereunto in writ- 
ing as soon as you conveniently can. 

Yours in all due respects and desireous of unity according to the rules of 
Christ. 

January 16, 1665-6. 

Joseph Judson, John Minor, 
Richard Butler, James Blackman, 
David Mitchell, Samuel Sherman, 
Henry Wakelyn, Daniel Titterton." 

Woodbury History, i. 115. 



174 History of Stratford. 

nant unto us." Thus, clearly, they state the question to be 
" communion in all God's ordinances with you.** In the second 
letter they state another point, not introduced in the firsts 
thus: 

" And if anything did on our part lie in the way, have 
seriously appointed us a time for examining of us in respect 
of our faith and knowledge : accounting it requisite that the 
Minister may take particular knowledge of all those that are 
to have Communion in the whole worship of God : And 
herein (to deal plainly) that nothing may hereafter be laid as 
a block in our way^ we desire that in this examination by the 
Minister or Ministers and Elder we may issue in their ques- 
tioning and examining only."' 



» The Minority's Second Letter, 
"Whereas we have formerly made known our mindes unto you in writing, as 
concerning our desire of communion in all God's ordinances with you; holding 
forth unto you by way of preface, our right unto them, from the free grace of God 
owning us and externally sealing the privileges of y* Covenant unto us ; have also 
declared our mindes concerning such letts as may hinder us ifrom proceeding 
unto such attaynments mentioned in some clauses thereof; and comeing together 
to know how you stood affected to our desires, hoped you might have seen good 
soe farr to have betrusted those y^.were to declare your ncinde unto us as in con- 
feering with us to take farther knowledge of our desire propounded ; and to putt 
us in a way of farther proceeding ; should have bin glad soe farr to have bin ten* 
der by you that they might have took it into consideration. And if anything did 
on our part lye in y* way, have seriously appointed us a time for examining of us 
in respect of our fayth and knowledge: Accounting it requisite y* y* Minister 
may take particular knowledge of all those y* are to have communion in the 
whole worshipp of God ; And herein (to d^ plainly) y^ nothing may hereafter bee 
latd as a block in our way ; we desire that in this examination by y* Minister or 
Ministers and Elder wee may issue in their questioning and examining only» 
And whereas we have openly, solemnly, wholly and only ingaged ourselves to be 
the Lord's, who hath graciously taken us into Covenant with himself and Ais 
faithful people ; we desire, y^ in the owning hereof, wee may not be further 
trouble with any imposition of that nature. The exercise of your tenderness unto- 
us wee cannot but hope for, according as you are allowed. Ro. 14:1. 

February 9th, 1665-6. 

Joseph Judson, John Minor, 

Richard Butler, James Blackman, 

David Mitchell. Samuel Sherman, 

Henry Wakelyn, Daniel Titterton."^ 

Woodbury History, i. 116. 



First Church in Stratford. 17S 

Here they make a condition or demand, that in owning 
the Covenant the minister or ministers and elder shall be the 
only parties admitted to the examination. They go further 
and with scorn stigmatize the examination before the Church,, 
which was the custom then, an "imposition," thus: 

**And whereas we have openly, solemnly, wholly and 
only engaged ourselves to be the Lord's, who hath graciously 
taken us into Covenant with himself and his faithful people; 
we desire that in the owning hereof, we may not be further 
troubled with any imposition of that nature."* 

These letters were written in January, 1665-6, a short 
time after Mr. Chauncey's settlement, and to them a reply 
was sent the next April which shows that the particular 
questions at issue were the communion and examination of 
candidates by the minister alone : 

*• Whereas we received from you two writings, the sum 
of both which was to hold forth your earnest desire as to 
communion in all the ordinances of Christ with us. These are 
to give you to understand that our apprehension concerning 
the order of discipline is the same that we have formerly 
manifested it to be, both by our practice and answer to your 
proposals. And whereas you apprehend you have equal 
right with ourselves in all the ordinances of Christ in this 
place, these may certify you at present that we are of a 
diflFerent apprehension from you in that matter."* 



^ The italics are in the original. 

» " Church Answer to the Men" 

'* Neighbors, whereas wee received from you two writings the sum of both 
which was to hold forth your earnest desire as to communion in all the ordinances 
of Christ with us. These are to give you to understand that our apprehension 
concerning the order of discipline is the same that we have formerly manifested 
it to bee, both by our practice, and answer to your proposalls. And whereas you 
apprehend you have equall right with ourselves in all the ordinances of Christ in 
this place, these may certifie you at present that we are of a different apprehensioQ 
from you in that matter. And whereas you desire that your posterity may: etc 
wee would put you in mind that as yet the matter is in controversie among the 
learned and godly. Likewise whereas you seem to intimnte in the close of your 
first page that you have taken offence at our late proceedings, but as you say upon 
the granting of the premises are willing to pass it by ; we return no more at pres- 



t76 History of Stratford. 

The minority mention only one condition as ground of 
reception, viz: that of repentance, in their first letter, but 
■claim membership by virtue of birth-right: "desiring also 
that wee and our posterity may be owned as immediate 
members of the Church of Christ by you." 

Hence their views of membership were those, very 
nearly, of the Episcopal Church, except as to confirmation, 
and this they doubtless would have accepted very readily at 
the hands of a Bishop. 

The Rev. Adam Blakeman died somewhere between 
April, 1665, and the next January, and hence Mr. Israel 
Chauncey was installed that year as pastor, and on Dec. 18, 
1666, by town vote, his salary was fixed at sixty pounds per 
annum. 

At the same time the town voted to divide the parsonage 
lot which had been appropriated according to a previous vote 



ent but this, viz: wee hope if you had sufficient ground so to doo, the godly and 
learned would have spied it out, and have endeavored to convince us of our evills 
herein. Lastly, whereas in your latter page you prescribe the way wherein you 
desired to be attended : viz: you account it requisite: etc: To which we answer 
in the words of Paul in another case, wee have no such custom nor the churches 
of Christ with whom we hold communion, and moreover it is practised you know 
by those whose principles in discipline are farr diflferent from ours. And truly 
neighbours, as it relates to your case, (notwithstanding wee gladly and heartily 
desire ye increase and enlargement of y* Church when it may be attained in a 
rulable and satisfactory way yet) we must plainly tell }'ou that we cannot at pres- 
ent see how it will stand with the glory of God, the peace of y* Church and our 
and your mutuall edification (which ought to bee deare unto us, and earnestly 
sought by us) for you it embody with us in this society: The Apostle Paule 
exhorts the Corinthians, and so all that walk together in church fellowship : x 
Romans 10, to avoid divisions and to be perfectly joined together in the same 
mind and in the same judgment, otherwise it is not likely we should keepe the 
unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, to which we are exhorted, Eph. 4:3. And 
notwithstanding wee give this answer in generall to you all that were concerned 
in the pages presented to us ; yet you may easily imagine that we have particular 
•exertions as it relates to particular persons whereof we find that we are thereunto 
-called, wee shall manage and desire satisfaction in before they are admitted to 
^communion in all the ordinances. 

April 16, 1666. 

This is a true Coppe of y* answer 

given unto us as it was tryed by both papers. 

Church Answer to the men." 

Woodbury History, i. 117. 



First Church in Stratford, 177 

and to give ** one quarter part of it to Mr. Chauncey and a 
quarter part of it to Mr. Peter Bulkley or any other man by 
that party obtained that now endeavors for Mr. Bulkley.'* 

This is the first record that indicates a division of effort, 
in the form of another or second church ; but the further 
statement of the vote at this time shows that the matter had 
matured to a large degree, for it says: 

" And that which shall be laid out to Mr. Chauncy, shall 
by him be improved as his during his life or continuance in 
Stratford, and in case of removal the said land is to return to 

the town again It is also agreed in case Mr. Bulkley 

or any other minister be obtained, he shall have, hold and 
enjoy his part in every respect as Mr. Chauncy doth. 

" It is further agreed respecting a house lot, the reserved 
land for that purpose shall be equally divided into two lots 
and Mr. Chauncy is to have his choice which of the two he 
will please to have.'* 

Upon this agreement of the two parties application was 
made to the General Court to sanction the division, if there 
was nothing in the law against it ; and the Court granted the 
request, and directed that ** from henceforth they shall all 
jointly make payment of their proportions towards the main- 
tenance of Mr. Chauncy till there be another minister at 
Stratford there cohabiting.*' 

During the year 1667 the division made further progress, 
but as far as any records show took no new form, no violent 
conflict, other than that given above ; and the representations 
other than here given seem wholly gratuitous. There was a 
division of sentiment as to church relations and privileges, 
brought out upon the settlement of Mr. Chauncey and at the 
decease of their former minister, and it took the form of a 
separate church within one year, but no legal organization 
was secured. Had there been any way for the dissehting 
party to have connected themselves with the Episcopal 
Church there can be no doubt but they would have done so, 
for their views were in accord with that Church, and it is 
probable that something of these views, after this discussion^ 



1/8 History of Stratford. 

remained in the community until 1706, when they began to 
secure services by the Episcopal Church. 

The matter of dissention having been brought before 
the General Court, the advice of that body was rendered, 
probably, in the latter part of the year 1667, and on March 27, 
1668, at a lawful town meeting the advice was ** in every 
particular voted and accepted," and ordered recorded. It 
had reference not onXy to Church matters but also to civil 
rights and liberties ; and occurring as it did directly after the 
union of the New Haven and Connecticut Colonies, it was of 
importance to the whole united Colony. 

Early in the year 1668, the minority engaged Mr. Zecha- 
riah Walker of Jamaica, L. L, to preach to them ; and as Mr. 
Israel Chauncey had signed a paper accepting the land prof- 
fered by the town upon the conditions stipulated ; Mr. Walker 
also signed a like agreement and acceptance. 

These facts placed the two ministers and their parties on 
equal rights and privileges in law and worship; but they 
were very differently situated as to advantages, for the 
minority had no organization and no meeting house. 

The next trouble arose from the application of Mr. 
Walker and his adherents, for the use of the meeting house 
during some portion of each Sabbath day, as a place of wor- 
ship, under the proposition that the two congregations should 
use the same house, but meet at different hours on the same 
day. This created more division and excited feeling, appar- 
ently, than had been experienced before, for the old congre- 
gation declined to grant the request, and that apparently by 
a large majority. 

In accordance with the recommendation of the Court, a 
complete list of the proprietors of the town was made, on the 
27th of March, 1668, just in the midst of these difficulties, and 
by it and Mr. Walker's report of the organization of his 
church the relative strength of the parties may be seen. 

The Inhabitants of Stratford in 1668. 

" A list of the Inhabitants of Stratford^ drawn up by the townsmen and 
recorded by order from the Govenor and Mr. Jones and Mr. Stowe 27th March* 
1668, as followeth and diligently recorded by order from the present townsmen 
this 28th March, 1668 : 



Proprietors of Stratford. 



179 



T. Mr. [Samuel] Sherman. 


49. 


2. Mr. [Thomas] Fairchild. 


50. 


3. Mr. [Israel] Chauncey. 


51. 


4. Mr. IZech.] Walker. 


52. 


5. Lieut. Wm. Curtis. 


53- 


6. Elder [Philip] Graves. 


54. 


7. Ensign Jos. Judson. 


55. 


8. John Birdseye, Sen'. 


56. 


Q. John Minor. 


57. 


TO. Nath* Porter. 


58. 


II. John Birdseye, Jun'. 


59. 


12. Henry Wakelyn. 


60. 


13. Jehlel Preston. 


61. 


14. Mr. Nicholas Knell. 


62. 


15. John Brinsmayd, Sen'. 


63. 


16. Richard Butler. 


64. 


17. Benjamin Peak. 


65. 


18. John Curtis. 


66. 


19. John Peck, Jr. 


67. 


-20. Timothy Wilcockson. 


68. 


91. Joseph Bearslye 


69. 


92. Israel Curtis. 


70. 


93. Arthur Bostick^ 




24. Caleb Nichols. 


71. 


95. John Beach. ' 


72. 


96. John Wells. ,^ 


73. 


27. James Blackman. 


74. 


28. John Pickett, Jr. . 


75. 


99. Robert Lane. 


76. 


30. John Hull. 


77. 


31. Jabez Harger. 




32. Daniel Titterton. 




33. Robert Rose. 




34. Robert Clark. 


78. 


35. John Wilcockson. 


79. 


36. Hugh Griffin. 


80. 


37. Richard Hurd. 


81. 


38. Edward Hinman. 


82. 


39. John Thompson, Sen'. 


83. 


40. John Thompson, Jr. 


84. 


41. Moses Wheeler. 


. 85. 


42. Francis HaH. 


86. 


43- Esbon Wakeman. 


87. 


44. Samuel Sherman. 


88. 


45. Joseph Hawley. 


89. 


46. Adam Hurd. 




47. Henry Tomlinson. 




48. Richard Boothe. 





Outlivers^ 
i, e, out 
of the 
village. 



John Hurd, Jr. 
Isaac Nichols. 
Serg*. Jeremie Judson. 
Samuel Bearslye. 
John Pickett, Sen'. 
Thomas Uffoot. 
James Clark. 
John Peacock. 
John Hurd, Sen'. 
Mr. David Mitchell. 
Stephen Burritt. 
Samuel Blackman. 
John Bearslye. 
Samuel Stiles. 
Ephraim Stiles.' 
Tho». Sherwood's children 
Thomas Wells.. 
John Wheeler, 
Obadiah Wheeler,- 
Hope Washburn, 
Theophilus Sherman, 
Matt. Sherman, 

Admitted freeholders Jan. i, 1668. 
Thomas Kimberly. 
Samuel Fairchild. ^ 
Tho". Fairchild, Jr. 
John Brinsmade, Jr. 
Daniel Bearslye. 
Jonathan Curtis. . 
John Judson. 

Were by the townsmen ordered 
to be recorded Outlivers, 
March 3, i6jf. 
Samuel Gregory. 
James Pickett. 
Benjamin Beach. 
John Bostick. 
Henry Summers. 
Jonas Tomlinson. 
Dan^ Brinsmade. 
John Burritt. 

Widow Bearsley wife of Thomas B, 
Mrs. [Adam] Blackman. 
Widow Titterton. 

Widow Bearslye, wife of William, 
half proprietor of house lot 
and accommodations." 



i8o History of Stratford. 

This list gives 85 men, and if all were allowed to vote itt 
a Society meeting, then the list includes both parties as ta 
legal votes. 

In the Woodbury History is an account given by the 
Rev. Mr. Walker of the organization of his Church at Strat- 
ford, May I, 1670, and according to it the Covenant was taken 
that day by 20 persons, to whom 7 were added in a few days,, 
making 27 in all, and omitting Mr. Walker himself, 26. Of 
the whole number 7 were not inhabitants, and could not vote 
in town meeting. Hence the number of Mr. Walker's voters 
to those opposed was 19 to 65. 

Two years Mr. Walker and his people continued their 
work in Stratford under great difficulties, when the project 
of colonization to Woodbury arose and was soon after effected 
in a very commendable and successful manner. When set- 
tled in Woodbury they adopted the Halfway Covenant sys- 
tem ot church relations and government, the same as the 
Stratford Church had pursued, probably, all the years of its 
existence before 1670, and which it followed, probably, about 
one hundred years later. 



CHAPTER IX. 




PROGRESS AMIDST DIFFICULTIES. 



URING the years from 1650 to 1670, great 
changes took place in the town of Stratford. 
The purchasing of the lands from the Indians 
and the consequent proposition for extend- 
ing the settlement; the decease of several 
prominent men and the incoming of new 
settlers; the differences which arose as to 
the privileges of the halfway covenant 
church members, resulting in the organiza_ 
tion of a second society for public wor- 
ship; the union of Connecticut and New 
Haven Colonies, and the taking of New 
York from the Dutch ; — all these had placed 
the community upon a new stage of social, 
religious and civil life. 
The territory opened for settlement by paying the In- 
dians for various tracts of land extended north into what is 
now Huntington and Trumbull, and west to Fairfield bounds. 
Different parties had become interested in these purchases 
by paying the Indians, in behalf of the town, and they desired 
to secure the return of their money by the division and sale 
of the land to old and new settlers, and this awakened a spirit 
of enterprise and progress to the extent that new settlers 
were not only made welcome but invited to come in, and the 
territory seemed so large that a proposition was made in 1670, 
and a petition presented to the General Court, to organize a 
separate plantation at Farmill river within the bounds of 
Stratford.' 



^ " October, 1670. Whereas, Mr. Sherman hath motioned to this Court in the 
behalf of some of the inhabitants of Stratford, that they might have liberty and 
13 



1 82 History of Stratford. 

The Stratford company was organized at Wethersfield 
and Hartford in the beginning of the year 1639, and tradition 
says it contained fifteen or seventeen families. They began 
the settlement that Spring at what was afterwards called the 
harbor, in Stratford village, and in the Autumn of that year 
military drill was established under the command of Francis 
Nichols, acting as captain. 

The land records as they now exist were commenced, 
probably, in 1652, and all dates prior to that were entered at 
that time or later. It is quite doubtful as to there having 
been any records in this town previous to that date, but if 
there were they have been lost or destroyed. 

The law providing for such records and a town clerk to 
keep them was enacted in 1639, and provided such penalties 
as to make it hazardous for any town to neglect the matter 
twelve years, as must have been the case if Stratford made 
none but those now possessed. 

The record of each proprietor's surveyed land, being 
entered in 1652, there are two forms of expression used which 
designate the first proprietors from those who came after. Of 
the first of these it is said he " hath a home lot," but of the 
second it is said, " hath purchased a home lot." Hence when 
the town clerk recorded his own lot, probably in 1652, he 
said : "Joseph Hawley hath purchased of Richard Mills, a 
home lot, 2 acres, bounded with the street on the east, John 
Blakeman west, Adam Hurd on the south, and a highway 
north.'* In this case Mr. Hawley appears to have purchased 
the whole Right of Mr. Mills as well as the home lot. 

This was the only form of land records in the early 
settlement of the place. 

Besides the above evidence as to the first families, nearly 



encouragement to erect a plantation at or near a river called the Farmill river, 
and the lands adjacent, this Court refers the consideration of thi« motion to Capt. 
Nathan Gold, Mr. James Bishop, Mr. Thomas Fitch, and Mr. John Holly, and 
they are desired and appointed to view the said lands, and to meet sometime in 
November next, to consider of the aforesaid motion, and to labor to work a com- 
pliance between those two parties in Stratford ; and if their endeavors prove 
unsuccessful then they are desired and ordered to make return to the Court in 
May next what they judge expedient to be attended in the case." Col. Rec, ii. 141. 



Emigration to Stratford. 183 

all other early settlers in this town are found residing else- 
where in the year 1639. In a previous part of this book, all 
settlers before 165 1 are spoken of as first settlers, but those 
included more than the first company formed at Wethersfield. 

Most of these seventeen families had been in America 
four or five years, looking for a final location as a home for 
life, and it must have afforded a sense of rest and satis- 
faction when they planted themselves on the western shore of 
the great river, then known only as the Pootatuck, as their 
final earthly home. And yet it was not like home to them, 
but as unlike as was possible to be. 

Apparently they had all left many friends and kindred 
whose faces they would have been glad to have seen after these 
several years of wandering in the new world instead of stop- 
ping among the Indians. Some of them, if not all had relin- 
quished comfortable homes and possessions, but when landed 
at Stratford they had not a shelter nor a covering for the 
night, probably, unless they accepted hospitality in the 
Indian wigwams, of which there is no tradition. They may 
have sent on a part of their company early in the Spring to 
prepare some houses or places for temporary dwelling, but 
the company was organized so late in the winter that there 
was but little time before the important work of planting de- 
manded all their labor and skill, and therefore but small 
preparations could have been made, however diligent and 
energetic their efforts. 

And all this, for what? . To escape religious oppression. 
Much has been written with a purpose to indicate that that 
oppression was of little consequence — largely imaginary, and 
soon forgotten, but no unprejudiced mind can read a tenth 
part of the historical proof of the trerribleness of that op- 
pression without a shudder of horror and wonder. 

But in their minds at least there must have been a great 
pressure, to drive them 3000 miles across a mighty ocean, 
with families of children, into a wilderness country such as 
they knew this was. If the emigrating companies had con- 
sisted only of men, as in the recent exodus to California in 
1849, ^^^ c^se would have been very different and might havo 
been stimulated solely for gain. 



1 84 



History of Stratford. 



Fortunately, however, for the world, whatever the sad or 
hopeful experiences through which they had previously 
passed, they came, and through them the nations have been 
and are honored. 



The First Families of Stratford, Connecticut, 



1 JSev. Adam Blakeman. 

2 William Beardsley. 

3 William WiUcoxson. 
4: Miehard Harvey. 

5 Elizabeth Curtiss. 

6 Thomas Fairchild. 

7 JPhUip Groves. 
S John Hurd. 

9 Michard Mills. 



10 William Jiidson. 

11 Francis Nichols. 

12 John JPeaU 

13 JBobert Seabrook. 

14 Thomas Sherwood. 
16 William Crooker. 

16 William Qtiemby. 

17 Arthur Bostwick. 



It is possible that this list should be varied a little, but 
from the best light after very close study, it seems to be 
correct. 

There were no settlers here in 1638, as supposed by 
Dr. Trumbull. 

These seventeen families consisted of the following 
persons : 

1 Rev. Adam Blakeman, his wife and six children, 8 persons. 

2 William Beardsley, his wife and four young children, 6 persons. 

3 Wiliam Willcoxson, his wife and three young children, 5 persons. 

4 Richard Harvey and his wife, 2 persons. 

5 Widow Elizabeth Curtiss and two sons, young men, 3 persons. 

6 Thomas Fairchild and his young wife, 2 persons. 

7 Philip Groves and wife, 2 persons. 

8 John Hurd, probably his wife and son Adam, 3 persons. 

9 Richard Mills, his wife, sister of Caleb Nichols, and son Samuel, 3 persons. 

10 William Judson, his wife and three sons. 5 persons. 

11 Francis Nichols and his three sons, 4 persons. 

12 John Peat, his wife and two children, 4 persons. 

13 Robert Seabrook, probably no wife, i person. 

14 Thomas Sherwood, his wife and six children, 8 persons. 

15 William Crooker and wife, perhaps children, 2 persons. 

16 William Quemby, his wife, two children, perhaps others, 4 persons. 

17 Arthur Bostwick, probably his wife and one son, 3 persons. 



Richard Mills. 



John Hurd, Sen. 



William Queaby. 



a 

I 



Philip Groves. 



16 




a 

1 s 





Wid. Elizabeth Curtiss. 

5 



Francis Nichols. 



Thos. Fairchild. 

6 



Arthur Best wick. 
7 



ReV. Adam Blakeman. 



William Crooker. 
£5 



Robert Seabrook« 
13 





STRATFORD VILLAGE IN 1689, 
Containing only Seventeen Families. 



1 86 History of Stratford. 

This was the company that came from Wethersfield 
through the wilderness to Stratford on foot and horseback, 
and tradition says, forded the Housatonic river somewhere 
above Stratford village. What few articles of household 
goods, if any, which were too heavy to bring on horseback 
were doubtless sent around by water. 

Their encampment on the plain — then an Indian field — 
near the harbor must have been picturesque as compared 
with the present. Possibly they had some tents for tempo- 
rary shelter and then built themselves wigwams or l6g houses. 
What they suffered in the chilly Spring winds and rains has 
not been recorded although, no doubt, it was often repeated 
to their successors for many years following. 

Probably new planters came the next year; and there- 
after, nearly every year, until 1675. In 1650 there were about 
fifty families in the town, several others having come and 
removed. 

These families were all, probably communicants in the 
English or Episcopal Church when they left their native 
land, and brought their certificates as such, with them to 
America. In the list of the ship that brought three families 
that settled in Stratford— William Beardsley, William Will- 
coxson and Richard Harvie, it is said : ♦* the parties have cer- 
tificates from the minister of St. Albans in Hertfordshire, and 
attestations from the justice of the peace according to the 
Lord's order.'* " These certificates as communicants, and at- 
testations of loyalty — they having taken the oath of loyalty — 
by the justice, were a prerequisite to the privilege of emigra- 
tion. The Rev. Adam Blakeman himself was not only a com- 
municant, but a regularly ordained minister of the English 
Church in good standing, having been suspended from officiat- 
ing as a clergyman, for nonconformity to a few particular 
forms of service, then not in the prayer-book. One of these 
was the requirement that persons while partaking of the sac- 
rament should be in a kneeling position. This kneeling was 
the form of the Roman Catholic Church in which they taught 



* Page 122 of this book. 



Many Changes. 187 

the ** Worshiping of the Host.** This form, the Puritans 
thought, was idolatry, and therefore refused to observe it. 

There were no Presbyterians in Stratford, not even in 
1708, when the Say brook Platform was adopted, so far as any 
indications set forth. 

When, therefore, these first families reached Stratford 
they organized themselves into a Church with the recogni- 
tion of neighboring Churches, and called themselves, as did 
their neighbors also, '* a Church of Christ," and these bodies 
worshiping together as congregations separate from each 
other, were after about thirty years, in 1669, styled •* Congre- 
gational Churches." * 

Richard Booth is not included as one of the first com- 
pan}', because the indications are that he came with his 
brother-in-law, Joseph Hawley, who came and purchased 
his first land here about 1650. 

William Burritt seems not to have been among the first 
settlers, in 1639. 

Richard Butler, the brother of William, of Hartford, as 
given on page 108, in .this book, lived and died at Hartford, 
and the Richard Butler of Stratford, was here probably 
several years before 165 1, and was another person than 
Richard of Hartford. 

John Birdseye, in all probability, did not come to Strat- 
ford until 1649, as stated in Barber's Historical Collections, 
since he did not become a land holder here until 1654. 

The list of deaths and removals between 1650 and 1670, 
is as follows, nearly, there having been some deaths, doubt- 
less, before 1650, of which there are no records. 

Francis Nichols, William Burritt, John Alsop and Wil- 
liam Willcoxson died in 1650 and 165 1. Henry Gregory died 
in 1655, Thomas Sherwood, Sen., in 1655, Robert Coe, Jr., in 
1659, William Beardsley in 1660, John Wells, Sen., in 1660 or 
1661, Joshua Judson, in 1661, Thomas UfFoot removed to 
Milford and died in 1660; William Judson removed to New 
Haven and died in 1662. The Rev. Adam Blakeman died in 
1665 ; Samuel Blakeman died in 1668 ; Thomas Fairchild, 

* Col. Rec, ii, 109. 



1 88 History of Stratford. 

Sen., and John Peacock, Hugh Griffin and his wife Dorothy 
Griffin, died in 1670. 

Edmund Harvey from Milford, resided a short time in 
Stratford and removed to Fairfield, where he died in 1648. 
John Pettit, probably from Roxbury, Mass., was here about 
165 1, removed to Fairfield, and he and his wife were deceased 
in 1684, leaving children, Sarah, John and three younger. 
Edward Higby was a resident here a short time about 1654, 
and soon removed. John Reader, John Ferguson, William 
Read, and John Blakeman, were here but soon removed. 

Some sketches of new settlers will be found in the next 
chapter of this book, the number being about 30 before 1680. 

The difficulties which arose in the first church in Strat- 
ford, in 1666, in regard to the privileges of the halfway cove- 
nant members, resulted in the organization of a second eccle- 
siastical society in 1668, and a second Church in March, 1670. 

The question as to a second ecclesiastical society and 
church was settled in a most generous and Christian manner 
by the old society, which was a large majority of the voters 
of the town, notwithstanding all that has been published to 
the contrary. 

The law of the Colony did not allow an ecclesiastical 
society to be organized in any plantation, except by permis- 
sion of the General Court. When the difference of opinion 
had continued in Stratford a little more than a year, the 
voters of the town, being most of them members of or in 
covenant with the old church, made a proposition for settle- 
ment with the minority, or those who proposed a second 
society, which was accepted, and was to take effect at once if 
the General Court should approve it, and this they did 
promptly.** ' It gave one fourth of the sequestered ministry 



" " Dec. 18, 1666, Voted and agreed that there shall be (in case it be found no 
ways contradictory to a Court order to have another minister here in Stratford) a 
laying out of the sequestered land reserved for the ministry — viz : one-quarter part 
of it to Mr. Chauncy and a quarter part of it to Mr. Peter Bulkley or any other 
man by that party obtained that now endeavors for Mr. Bulkley ; and that which 
shall be laid out to Mr. Chauncey shall by him be improved as his during his life 
or continuance in Stratford ; and in case of removal the said land is to return to 
the town again ; provided always that the town pay him for what it is bettered by 



Reasons for a new Plantation. 189 

land to Mr, Chauncey and the other fourth to the minister, 
whoever he might be, — for one had not then been secured, — 
of the second society, and that, too, when the voters of that 
society numbered 19, and those of the old society 65. 

All this was done by the parties interested, without any 
governmental authority .whatever. 

The Woodbury History opens one of its chapters thus: 

" The settlement of Woodbury was the result of differ- 
ence in religious opinions, among the inhabitants of Stratford. 
It was ushered in by * thunderings and lightnings, and earth- 
quakes ecclesiastical.* *' 

There were no ** thunderings and lightnings " nor 
" earthquakes ecclesiastical,*' in the matter, except such as 
may have occurred in Woodbury years after. 

There were no ecclesiastical or General Court threaten- 
ings or fulminations heard of in those days, for the whole 
arrangement was completed by amicable vote in the town 
meeting without any outside force or urgency whatever ; and 
was fully settled before Mr. Zecharia Walker preached a ser- 
mon in Stratford. 

The Woodbury History says Mr. Chauncey " was or- 
dained in the independent mode," which means, if anything, 
chat he rejected the advice and aid of the Association of Min- 
isters, which was then the only ecclesiastical body known in 
the Colony except the local churches. This statement is 
wholly without foundation, as is shown by his own letter to 
the minority, April 16, 1666, in these words: " We have no 
such custom nor the churches of Christ with whom we hold 
communion" thus showing that he held in highest estimation 
his relation to the Association, which was the only formal 
communion of the " Churches of Christ " at that day. 



his improvement, according as ye town and Mr. Chauncey shall agree, . . . and 
in case of decease the town is to pay Mr. Chauncy, his heirs, what the whole ac- 
commodation, together with the improvement shall be judged, at his decease. 

It is further agreed on, in case Mr. Buckley or any other minister be obtained 
he shall have, hold and enjoy his part in every respect the same as Mr. Chauncy. 

It is further agreed on that as respecting a house) ot, the reserved land for that 
purpose shall be equally divided into two lots, and Mr. Chauncy is to have his 
choice which of the two he will please to have." 



I go History of Stratford. 

It is quite evident that after this arrangement had been 
made and the minority had secured half of the ministerial 
lands and the sanction of the Court to be a separate society, 
that their demand to occupy the meeting house as well as the 
old society some portion of Sunday, increased very decidedly 
the difficulties and controversies in the town. 

In the next March, 1668, the town "Voted and unani- 
mously agreed on the advice presented to us by our Honored 
Governor, the Worshipful Mr. Jones [an Assistant], and Mr. 
Stone, and our respected friends, Mr. Jehu Burr and Mr. 
John Burr, bearing date the 26th of March, 1668, for our 
present and future direction, as to inhabitants and their privi- 
leges (as also their explication of the first particular, sub- 
scribed by the honored Governor and Mr. Jones), every 
particular b%ing particularly voted and agreed on, every par- 
ticular was accepted and should be recorded. 

John Minor, Recorder'' 

This advice, given* the day before this town meeting was 
held, consisted of four items and an after explanation, the 



• Advice of the Governor and his Associates, 

*' I. That the present freeholders, dwelling upon or possessing allowed home 
lots in propriety be allowed as free planters, and have the privilege of vote in all 
town affairs ; and the present outlivers on propriety, have the like liberty of vote 
so far as may properly concern them in point of interest in town affairs, as choice 
of constable and townsmen, &c., but not in granting of home lots and receiving 
inhabitants, or the like where they are not concerned. 

" 2. That for the future none be admitted to privilege of vote as free planters 
but such as shall be orderly admitted by the town's consent upon certificate and 
testimony according to law. 

" 3. That the sons of settled and approved planters be not capable of vote in 
town affairs until of lawful age and distinct proprietors and planters themselves. 

" 4. That no transient person or persons, admitted for habitation only or mere 
tenantship be allowed the privilege of vote in the plantation until orderly approved 
to be free planters by the town's consent. 

•* And whereas persons have built upon division land contrary to the town's 
order, it is nof our intent in any thing by us propounded to justify their so doing, 
but leave the case to the town's consideration, to provide for their own good and 
to add such penalty for the future to their above said confirmation thereof as they 
shall see cause. 

••26th March, 1668. The contents of this writing we present as our advice to 



Regulations for Inhabitants. 191 

vrhole established certain rules to settle the question of legal 
voters in town matters, and as proprietors in the township. 
One of these had become an important question in view of 
the voting in ecclesiastical or society matters, and the other 
from the fact that some persons had settled on lands which 
were not yet divided or if divided were not their own. 

By these rules some persons were allowed, apparently, 
to vote in ecclesiastical matters who could not vote in receiv- 
ing inhabitants or disposing of land. 

The practical illustration of these rules may be seen in 
the following town acts : 

'* Nov. 22, 1667. Voted and agreed that Thomas Kimberly, 
sen., may come and dwell in said town after the manner of a 
sojourner." 

*• Feb. 5, 1671, William Roberts, by a certificate under 
the townsmen's hands is ordered to be enrolled as an inhab- 
itant." 

" Whereas, John Wheeler hath let his accommodations in 
Stratford, unto John Levens, and presenting his desire to ye 
town this 1st January, 1674, that the said Levens be accepted, 
presenting also a certificate of his blameless conversation 
according to law ; The town voted and consented the same 
day to his admittance as a tenant." 

Soon after or about the time this advice of the Governor 
and his associates was accepted, the second society secured 



the inhabitants for their future settlement and peace, and to that end to be 

confirmed by vote at their next town meeting. 

John Winthrop, 
Wm. Jones, 
Benjamin Stone, 
Jehu Burr, 
John Burr. 
** An explication added to the paper of advice^ &*c, 

**lt is declared that the inhabitants of the Mill lots are to be accounted and 
enrolled in the number of the freeholders and not to be looked upon as those who 
are named outlivers, in the paper presented to the town ; and those that are of the 
outlivers who have al/o other town proprietors are to be also looked upon and 
esteemed freeholders. 

John Winthrop, 

March 27. 1668. William Jones. 



192 History of Stratford. 

the services of Mr. Zecharia Walker as their preacher and 
established regular services; and having no meeting house, 
they applied to the first society for the use of their house 
some part of each Sunday. This was the first house of wor- 
ship which stood at the Harbor. 

The request was rejected at first, and the division in the 
community became greater than ever; but afterward it was 
granted, and in 1669, still further granted.' 

In May, 1669, one year later, the matter went to the 
General Court by petition, and the Court requested that 
" till October Court there may be liberty for Mr. Walker to 
preach once in the day, as they have hitherto done by their 
agreement, the Church allowing him full three hours between 
the Church two meetings for the same ;"' and at the October 
meeting of the Court the same recommendation was contin- 
ued, but liberty given for Mr. Walker's people to provide • 
another place for meeting if it should be found necessary. 

Connecticut and New Haven (Colonies were united 
in one by a new charter granted by King Charles IL dated 
April 23, 1662 ; under which the freemen of the jurisdiction, 
the "one body corporate and politic in fact and in name," by 
their representatives, were "annually to hold two general 
assemblies — one on the second Thursday in May, and the 
other on the second Thursday in October — to consist of the 
governor, deputy governor and twelve assistants, with the 
more popular element of two deputies from every town or 
city."" 

"^ ** May, 1669, GenI Court. Upon the petition of the church at Stratford, this 
court doth declare that whereas ye church have settled Mr. Chauncey their officer 
and doe desire that they may peaceably injoy the full improvement of their 
minister and administrations without hindrance or disturbance, the Court grants 
their petition therein, only the Court seriously adviseth both parties to choose 
some indifferent persons of piety and learning to compose their differences and 
settle an agreement among them, and that till October Court there may be liberty 
for Mr. Walker to preach once in the day, as they have hitherto done by their 
agreement, the church allowing him full three hours between the church two meet- 
ings for the same." 

^ Conn. Col. Rec, i. in. 

' Hollister*s Conn. History, i. 209. 



Colonial Surroundings. 193 

This established the General Assembly in place of the old 
General Court, and constituted a popular government of 
gre^t constructive force and executive ability ; and was the 
second " key note " to the government afterwards established 
for the United States; Ludlow's first constitution of Con- 
necticut being the first. This union affected Stratford but 
little, since it had been under the Connecticut Colony from 
the first, but it created some considerable excitement and 
trouble in New Haven and the plantations in union with it. 

New Amsterdam — now New York — had been a trou- 
blesome neighbor to the Connecticut and New Haven people, 
and whoever was most in fault, it is certain that the needless 
Dutch and Indian war in 1643, was the cause of great excite- 
ment, some loss of life and much expense to these two Col- 
onies. This old calamity had not been forgotten in 1653, 
when by the irritating conduct of the Dutch Governor, the 
Commissioners of the United Colonies determined on an 
expedition with 500 soldiers against that government, and of 
this number of men Stratford was to furnish six and Fairfield 
eight. After the Commissioners had voted for the war and 
ordered and proportioned the men and war provisions among 
the Colonies, the Massachusetts General Court refused to 
cooperate in prosecuting the war, and the expedition was 
delayed and finally failed. This was the occasion of some 
irruption between Stamford and New Haven, because of this 
delay and failure, and because only church members were 
allowed to vote in those plantations; and also when Mr. 
Ludlow — by far the most capable statesman then within the 
two Colonies, determined to leave the jurisdictions. 

When King Charles IL was restored, he gave to his 
brother, the Duke of York, large possessions in America, and 
the Duke proceeded to secure possession of his territory by 
sending in the summer of 1664, Col. Richard Nicolls to take 
possession of them, and his appearance at Boston created 
great excitement, the colonists fearing there might be some 
new trouble, but the only demand that was made was for 
soldiers to go against New Amsterdam. Col. Nicolls, how- 
ever, proceeded to his place of destination, and in August ot 



194 History of Stratford, 

that year the city surrendered, without bloodshed, and it was 
named New York in honor of the Duke of York," 

Woodbury JPlantatton was settled by a company 
organized for the purpose at Stratford in the year 1672. The 
Woodbury History says this settlement *' was the result of 
difference in religious opinions among the inhabitants of 
Stratford," but it seems to have been the result rather of a 
spirit of enterprise, progress and ambition to secure comfort- 
able homes and inheritances for their descendants. 

The plantation at Derby had been commenced in 1654 by 
Milford people, and several men in Stratford, namely : Joseph 
Hawley, Henry Tomlinson, Ebenezer Johnson, Doct. John 
Hull and Jabez Harger, had become interested in the settle- 
ment of that place, by purchases of land from the Indians of 
the Paugasset tribe. 

In 1666, a company had been organized, principally from 
Milford and Branford, for a settlement at Newark, N. J., and 
with this movement some of the inhabitants of Stratford had 
joined. 

Individual families had removed at various times from 
Stratford to Fairfield, Long Island, Westchester, N. Y., New 
London, Durham and Stonington. 

In 1667, Mr. Samuel Sherman, Mr. Thomas Fairchild, 
Lieut. William Curtis, Ens. Joseph Judson, Mr. Joseph 
Hawley, John Minor and others had received liberty to 
establish a plantation at Potatuck, afterwards Newtown, but 
the enterprise was soon abandoned, for in 1670, the same 
parties nearly, led by the then comparatively wealthy Mr. 
Samuel Sherman, petitioned the General Court for liberty to 
make a plantation at Farmill river, then within the territory 
of Stratford, which failed, apparently, for want of room. 

In 1671, Mr. Henry Tomlinson and others of Stratford, 
purchased, under a grant from the General Court, territory 
of nearly 30,000 acres of land for a plantation, at what after- 
wards became the town of New Milford. 

The next plantation proposition was a grant by the Gen- 
eral Court, in May, 1672, to " Mr. Samuel Sherman, Lt. Wm. 

^^ See Hollister's History, i. 228. 



Woodbury Planters. 195 

Curtice, Ens. Joseph Judson and John Minor, themselves and 
associates, liberty to erect a plantation at Pomperoage," 
which was made a grand success in a very short time. 

" Early the next spring," fifteen of Mr. Walker's congre- 
gation started with their families for the wilderness of 
Pomperaug." Seventeen had signed the " Fundamental 
Articles** for the settlement, but two, Mr. Samuel Sherman 
and Thomas Fairchild, did not remove thither. 

The signers were : 

Samuel Sherman, Sen., Samuel Styles, 

Joseph Judson, Sen., Titus Hinman, 

John Minor, David Jenkins, 

Israel Curtiss, Moses Johnson, 

John Wheeler, Samuel Munn, 

John Wyatt, Roger Terrill, 

John Sherman, Eleazer Knowles, 

John Judson, Thomas Fairchild. 
Joshua Curtiss, 

By this list it may be seen that only two of the original 
minority of eight" who inaugurated the division of th^e 
church at Stratford — Joseph Judson and John Minor — re- 
moved to Woodbury, and hence that the removal was more a 
question of personal interest and civil advantage than of 
church division. 

Other families soon removed from Stratford to Wood- 
bury, and the emigration continued many years. In King 
Philip*s and the Narragansett war, several of the families 
returned to Stratford for temporary protection until the close 
of the war, when they again took possession of their home- 
steads in Woodbury. 

This temporary return is proved by a town vote of Strat- 
ford in the autumn of 1675, when several of the leading 
Woodbury men were appointed on the committee to attend 



" Woodbury History, i. 35. 
*' See page 173 of this book. 



196 History of Stratford. 

to the fortification of the village of Stratford." These men — 
Lt. Joseph Judson and Sergt. John Minor, who was reelected 
town clerk and served two years, were among the most 
prominent of the Woodbury company, and they with others 
of their number were here in Stratford in the autumn of 1675, 
and doubtless remained all winter and the next summer, for 
in October, 1676, Rev. Zechariah Walker himself being then 
at Stratford, with several other of his parishioners addressed 
a letter to the General Court seeking special protection if 
they should at that time return to Woodbury ; but they did 
not all return that year, for some of them remained until into 
the year 1678.** 

King PhUip^s War^ which became largely a war 
with the Narragansett Indians, then much the most numerous 
tribe in Connecticut and Rhode Island, if not in all New 
England, broke out in July, 1675, and continued one year or 
a little more. 

It was fortunate that the military forces of the Colony 
had been well organized during the previous nine years, for 
otherwise there probably would have been great slaughter of 
the whites in New England. 

In May, 1666, the General Court organized the four 
counties of Hartford, New London, New Haven and Fair- 
field, they being the first in the Colony.'* 

IS •< ^}ov. I, 1675. At a lawful town meeting at Stratford, It was voted and 
agreed to, and Capt. [Wm.] Curtiss, Left. Joseph Judson, Sergt. Jere. Judson, 
Sergt. John Minor, Sergt. Jehiel Preston, Robert Clark, John Pickett, Sen., were 
chosen a Committee to act according to ye order of ye General Court respecting 
fortification. John Minor, Recorder." 

14 «• Nov. 18, 1678. It was voted that that society formerly contributing to ye 
maintaining of Mr. Chauncey should as formerly allow him seventy pounds, the 
other inhabitants that have neglected to contribute to the maintenance of the min- 
istry should pay to Mr. Chauncey in proportion with the rest of that society, to be 
aded to the seventy pounds, the others that have yearly payed to Mr. Walker have 
their liberty to pay to Mr. Chauncey as much as they please for the year past." 

15 " May, 1666. This Court orders that from the east bounds of Stratford to 
the west bounds of Rye shall be for future one County which shall be called the 
County of Fairfield. And it is ordered that the County Court shall be held at 
Fairfield on the Second Tuesday in March, and the first Tuesday in November 
yearly." Col. Rec, ii. 35. 



The Narragansttt War* 197 

In May, 1673, the militia companies of the towns were 
placed into county organizations, and a Major appointed for 
each county, and these were the highest officers in the mili- 
tary ranks at the time, except the Governor. Capt. Robert 
Treat of Milford, was chosen Major of New Haven county 
and Capt. Nathan Gold, of Fairfield, Major for Fairfield 
county. 

The train band of Stratford had officers appointed June, 
1672, as follows: William Curtiss, Captain; Joseph Judson, 
Lieutenant, and Stephen Burritt, Ensign ; and at the same 
Court William Curtiss was appointed one of the " Committee 
for the well ordering of the militia in case of any sudden exi- 
gency," for the Colony. 

At the same Court it was "hereby declared that till 
farther order be taken, Captain Nathan Gold shall be deemed 
chief military officer of the county of Fairfield, and Capt. 
William Curtice his second." 

Also, at the same time, the Court "ordered that 500 
dragoons should be forthwith raised; the proportion for 
Fairfield county was fixed at 120, thus: Fairfield, 38; Strat- 
ford, 33; Stamford, 24; Greenwich, 8; Norwalk, 7; Rye 
being near*' is excused ; the officers being Thomas Fitch, 
Captain ; Jehu Burr, Lieutenant ; Matthew Sherwood, Ensign. 
Each dragoon was provided with a sword and belt, a " ser- 
viceable musket with a shott powch and powder and buUitts." 

All these military organizations were preparatory in 
view of self-defence against any emergency. During the 
last few days of July, 1675, the disturbances by King Philip's 
men which had commenced in Massachusetts in the early part 
of the month, rapidly increased, and on the 6th of August the 
first draft of soldiers was made — one hundred dragoons from 
Hartford, sixty from New Haven, and seventy from Fairfield 
counties, to be ready *' at an hour's warning." Drafting men 
for the militia and collecting provisions, ammunition and arms 
was continued from this time forward for several weeks. 
Confusing reports of the hostilt movements and the depreda- 
tions of the Indians near Norwich, Connecticut, and up the 

'• This is obscure. 
14 



198 . History of Stratford. 

Connecticut river, reached the war council, and small parties 
of soldiers were sent in di&rent directions. Major Treat, 
with an army of about two hundred men was sent into Massa- 
chusetts to aid the forces in that Colony, when an alarming 
report was circulated that the Paugasset Indians at Derby 
'' were with their arms prepared in a hostile manner^'* and Mn 
Alexander Bryan, of Milford, sent to Hartford for protection, 
in consequence of which Major Treat was recalled from 
Massachusetts. 

At this time the greatest alarm prevailed throughout the 
Colonies, and great military exertions were made. 

The war Council, Sept. 3, 1675, ordered, "that in the 
several plantations of this Colony there be kept a sufficient 
watch in the night, which watch is to be continued from the 
shutting in of the evening till the sun rise; and that one- 
fourth part of each town be in arms every day by turns, to 
be a guard in their respective plantations ; to be ordered and 
disposed as the chief military officers shall appoint ; and all 
soldiers from sixteen to seventy years of age (magistrates, 
commissioners, ministers, commission officers, school masters, 
physicians and millers excepted) are to attend their course of 
watch and ward as they shall be appointed. It is also order- 
ed that, during these present commotions with the Indians, 
such persons as have occasion to work in the fields shall work 
in companies ; if they be half a mile from the town, not less 
than six in a company, with their armes and ammunition well 
fixed and fitted for service." " 

This put all the capable men of the Colony into the ranks 
and into the service, and the excitement and calamity were 
great. One event of war followed another in quick succes- 
sion. On the 19th of September, the Fairfield dragoons, 
under Ens. Stephen Burritt of Stratford reported at Hartford 
and were sent north, the regular army having preceded them ; 
and about fifteen days later while Major Treat and his army 
were at Westfield, Mass., Springfield was attacked by the 
Indians, but the Major and his «forces arrived in time to save 
the lives of the people and abou.t half of the buildings of the 
town ; the rest were burned. 

" Conn. Col. Record, ii. 361. 



The Narragansett War, 199 

Thus continued the war, the troops marching to New 
London and Norwich and back, and into Massachusetts and 
i3ack, great fear and startling reports prevailing. Simsbury 
was burned, private houses were burned and the families 
killed, and companies of white people while traveling were 
massacred in the eastern part of the Colony and in Massa- 
chusetts. 

Frequent drafts were made for wheat in quantities of one 
and two hundred bushels from a county ; and for January 
and February, 1676, the amount for Fairfield county was 120 
bushels each month. 

In October, 1675, upon the reports of the Indians being 
ready at Narragansett to attack Connecticut, Major Treat was 
sent in haste to Norwich to take charge of the forces raised 
in that vicinity and act in defence of the people until other 
troops should arrive ; and each county was required to " raise 
sixty soldiers, well fitted with horses, arms and ammunition, 
as dragoons who shall be imbodied for motion in their several 
counties for the defence of the Colony;*' and Capt. Wra. 
Curtiss was to command, those raised in Fairfield, and appoint 
his inferior officers. 

At this time the war cloud thickened fast over the Nar- 
ragansett Indians, they having, after some hesitancy con- 
cluded to join King Philip, and venture their all on the field 
of war. 

On the 23d of November the draft from Fairfield county 
was 100 bushels of wheat, and 72 soldiers, to be at New Lon- 
don before the loth of December, the plan being to make an 
attack on the Narragansett fort in the winter, and thereby 
make a more complete destruction of the enemy than could 
be effected at any other season. 

The Narragansett "swamp fight" or **fort fight," oc- 
curred on the 19th day of December, 1675, when there had 
just been a great snow fall and the weather was severely cold. 
The Indian fort was situated in the midst of a dense swamp, 
but it was finally reached and entered, captured and burned, 
and 1000 Indians and 200 English were killed and wounded. 
The Connecticut troops suffered more than the Massachusetts 
because they entered the fort at the place of the greatest re- 



200 History of Stratford, 

sistance. Of these forces three of their five captains, Seeley, 
Marshall and Gallop were killed and one other, Mason, mor- 
tally wounded ; and 40 men were killed or died of their 
wounds. 

The next month a new army was raised and Fairfield 
county was called upon for 37 men, which were sent forward ; 
and the next May. of an army of 300 soldiers, Fairfield was 
required to furnish 82, and of wheat 400 bushels. 

The draft for meats was in proportion ; and the taxes 
were raised from a penny and a half to twelve pence on the 
pound throughout the Colony. 

Fortunately the war terminated in June and July of that 
year, king Philip and his brave, terrible warriors haying 
been exterminated.** 

Of those who distinguished themselves as officers from 
Stratford, in this Indian War, were Capt. William Curtiss, a 
faithful, reliable officer; Lieut. Joseph Joudson, mentioned 
specially as a capable field officer; and Ensign, afterwards 
Lieutenant Stephen Burritt, who became a distinguished 
Indian fighter, and was kept much of the time in the saddle 
with small squads of men hunting roving parties of Indians 
intent on depredations, along the Connecticut river. 

The calamity of such a war falling upon new settlements 
in a wilderness country may be estimated somewhat from the 
number of freemen in the Colony. This, in 1669, was only 
790." Besides these the number of men from 16 years of age 



'8 For a carefully prepared, although abbreviated and beautifully written ac- 
count of King Philip's War, see HoUister's History of Connecticut, vol. i. 253. 

" The number of Freemen in each of the towns of Connecticut, then incor- 
porated, reported in October, 1669, except Middletown, Lyme and Rye, from 
which no report is recorded. Col. Rec, ii. 518. 



Branford, 


8 


Killingwonh, 


19 


Stamford, 8 


Fairfield, 


45 


Milford, 


46 


Stonington, 17 


Farmington, 


43 


New London, 


21 


Stratford, 64 


Guilford, 


56 


New Haven, 


91 


Wethersfield, 58 


Haddam, 


9 


Nor walk, 


33 


Windsor, 126 


Hartford, 


iiS 


Norwich, 
Saybrook, 


25 
23 


790 



A New Meeting-house. 



201 



to 70, subject to military duty who were not yet made free- 
men, may have been equal to this, but then ^ draft of 300 
would be a very serious matter from 1600 men. .but there 
were more than double that number called out within the 
year the war continued ; probably more than 1000 different 
men went out in the service. 

But this was six years before the war. The list for Oct., 
1676, gives 2303, which was a prosperous increase, notwith- 
standing the war,** and by the grand list for that year it may 
be seen how burdensome a tax of 12 pence on the pound 
must have been. 

Such were some of the interests and calamities which 
occupied the attention of the people of Stratford for twenty 
years previous to 1680, during which, notwithstanding all the 
depletions from various causes, the numbers increased, and 
general prosperity attended their labors. 

A New Meeting-house was resolved upon only two 
years after the close of the Narragansett war, by a town 
vote, Nov. 18, 1678, "as soon as may be, for the use of the 
town." Several sites were proposed," and at a meeting one 



^ The list of persons and estates for purposes of taxation in each town, in 
October, 1676, was as follows : 



Penoos. Esutes. 



Persons. Estates. 



Hartford. 


241 


14559 


New Haven, 


237 


12993 


Farmington, 


loa 


6128 


Milford, 


151 


8524 


Wethersfield. 


141 


10082 


Branford, 


48 


2579 


Windsor, 


204 


13053 


Guilford, 


98 


6215 


Middletown, 


94 


481 1 


Wallingford, 


43 


1660 


Haddam, 


29 


1690 


Fayrefield. 


152 


9428 


New London, 


153 


9061 


Stratford, 


78 


5522 


Norwich, 


71 


4598 


Norwalke, 


65 


4073 


Stonington. 


79 


6016 


Stanford, 


.8r 


4673 


Lyme, 


45 


2846 


Greenwich, 


36 


1719 


Saybrook. 


85 


5041 


Rye. 


32 


1 591 


Kenilworth, 


38 


2342 


Col. Rec, 


, ii. 518. 





91 •« ^Qy, ig^ j5yg. Voted that there should be a new meeting-house built as 
soon as maybe, for ye use of ye town/' Five places were mentioned "for ye set- 
ting of the meeting-house upon." First, in the street by the pond ; 2dly, in the 
street by the north-west comer of widow Peat's lot; 3dly, in the street between 
••Mr. Hawley and John Beach, their home lots; 4ly, in ye street between Caleb 
Nichols and Daniel Beardsley ; 5th, upon the hill called Watch-house hill." 

The same day it was voted that these places should be decided by lot. 



202 History of Stratford. 

year later, Nov. 25, 1679, they settled the question to build it 
on Watch-house hill, facing South down Front street, as then 
called. This site was, as it is still, on the public commons. 
The dimensions of the house were voted to be " 48 feet in 
length, 42 feet in breadth and 16 feet between joints;" and 
the building committee were '* Capt. [Wm.] Curtiss, Sergt. 
Jerem. Judson, John Curtiss, Sergt. Jehiel Preston and John 
Birdsey, Jr." 

On the loth of December, 1678, they voted to raise a tax 
of one hundred pounds " to pay charges about the building of 
a new meeting-house." 

This meeting-house was built in the summer of 1680, for 
the site was not established until November, 1679," and in 
September, 1680, it was approaching completion so far that 
they proceeded to fix the rules by which it should be seated 
as follows : 

First, that " every inhabitant in Stratford, both men and 
women, shall be seated and placed in the proper seats in the 
new meeting-house," and Mr. Samuel Sherman, Sen., Capt. 
Wm. Curtiss and Mr. Joseph Hawley, were appointed to seat 
the inhabitants. The rules of dignity were established : 

" First, Magistrates and Commission officers according 
to their place of dignity. 

" 2ly, that all persons past the age of sixty years should 
be accounted honorable, notwithstanding their payments and 
be seated accordingly. 

3ly, that all other persons under the age of sixty years 
should be seated according to their disbursements and pay- 
ments to the new meeting-house which has been according to 
law." 

It was, however, nearly three months before the place of 



^ ** Nov. 25, 1678. It was voted that the new meeting-house should be built 
and settled upon the hill commonly called the Watch-house hill. 

" At the same time Mr. Israel Chauncey's proposal to the town was that if 
they sett the meeting-house upon the hill bee would consent thereto with this pro- 
visal that they would allow him one hundred pounds within the compass of two 
years after the first meeting in the new meeting-house, and there was good encour- 
agement given him by the town in answer to his proposal." Since Mr. Chauncey's 
yearly salary was ;^8o or more, he contributed so much to the building of the 
meeting-house. 



Burying^Uues. 203 

worship could be seated, there being some delay in finishing 
the work. 

As to the expenses of the house of worship, there is a bill 
of items entered upon the town records which includes only 
a part of its cost, the full sum not being found. The items 
consist mostly of an account of days' work rendered and 
wheat received on account. One entry is made that was one 
of the heavy items at the time : " Due to Mr. Richard Bryan 
for glass and box ;^i9-i4-8.'' 

Wheat was received at the time at five shillings a bushel, 
and the work of a man was credited two shillings and six 
pence and three shillings a day. 

This meeting-house was afterwards prepared for other 
purposes than those of worship, as indicated by the following 
town meeting record : 

" Feb. 19, 1689. Voted that the present meeting-house 
shall be fortified for use as a place of security for women and 
children in all times of danger by any enemy." This was in 
obedience to the direction of the General Court the previous 
year. 

Burying-^aces. — Before the second meeting-house 
was built or any action taken to secure that end, it became 
apparent to the people of the town that the first burying- 
ground was in the wrong place, — could not be extended to 
meet the wants of the community and that another must be 
secured. Hence in 1676, the town appointed a committee to 
select and lay out such a place, but the work was delayed 
until February, 1677-8, when it was completed. 

Of those who died before the new ground began to be 
occupied, the town records furnish only the following list : 

John Knell, son of Nicholas, died Jan. 16, 165 1. 

[Thomas Sherwood died in 1656.]" 

John Young departed this life Apr. 7, 1661. 

Samuel Blakeman (an infant) died January, 1661. 

Samuel Blackeman died Nov. 27, 1668. 

Abram Tomlinson, son of Henry, died May 30, 1662. 

^ This has been placed on record not by the town clerk of that time. 



204 History of Stratford, 

Samuel Biackeman's infant buried January, 1664. 

Hannah Griffin, dau. of Hugh, Sen., was buried Apr. 30, 
1670. 

Dorothy Griffin, wife of Hugh, Sen., was buried Apr. 30, 
1670. 

Robert Lane, son of Robert and Sarah Lane, died 17th, 
ist, 1673-4. 

Mary Harger, dau. of Jabez, died Apr. 17, 1673. 

Mr. Nicholas Knell died April 2, 1675. 

Mr. Thomas Fairchild died Dec. 14, 1670. 

Mr. Philip Groves died loth Feb., 1675. 

Joseph Judson, son of Joseph, died Feb. i, 1677. 

James Levens, son of John, died Apr. 23, 1678. 

John Peat, Jr., died January 28, 1677-8. 

Esther Gelpin, wife of Samuel, died Aug. 27, 1678. 

Sarah Birdsey, dau. of John, Jr., died Jan. 21, 1678. 

Sergt. Nathaniel Porter died Jan. 14, 1679. 

Henry Tomlinson died March 16, 1680-1. 

Elizabeth Curtiss, wife of John, Jr., died March 9, 168 1-2. 

John Hurd, Sen., died Feb. 4, 1681-2. 

Elizabeth Porter died Feb. 6, 1683. 

" Feb. 13, 1677-8. The townsmen according to town act 
Feb. 12, 1676, and by town order have laid out. one acre of 
land on the west end of John Beers his home lot for the use 
of a burying place, bounded east with John Beers, his home 
lot and common land, South, West, and North with common 
land." 

This was the place which is now, and for more than a 
hundred years, has been commonly called the Congrega- 
tional burying ground. When laid out it was, doubtless, 
intended for all the people of the town, but many years after- 
ward, when the Episcopal Church was established, another 
place was laid out which has always been called the Episco- 
pal Burying Ground. Both of these grounds are well filled, " 
and but seldom in these days is a new grave made in them. 
To walk through them and read the inscriptions is something 
like a visit to the hearthstones of long remembered kindred, 
where the house is left vacant. There is a melancholy sad- 



Burying-^ptaces. 205 

ness, and yet a pathetic loveliness about the places where 
kindred dust sleeps its long and peaceful sleep ; and it is not 
the purpose in transcribing these records, to keep any from 
these sacred inclosures where lessons of wisdom may be 
learned, but to place them where they may be the more fre- 
quently consulted, and where the rain drops will not oblit- 
erate forever the record. Already some of them cannot be 
wholly read, while others have been deciphered by the assist- 
ance of various methods, at the expense of half an hour's time 
on a single stone. 

What a pity there is not a grave-stone for every person 
that ever died in the town. What a pity, and a shame that 
such matters are, and have been* neglected, as demonstration 
now proclaims. 

Much ridicule has been made of eulogistic epitaphs, but 
how much more to be commended such pathetic praise, 
as if the memory of the departed was not at once forgotten, 
than not even to mark the place where kindred bodies have 
been laid. 

*• Honor thy father and mother," being a precept suffi- 
ciently ancient and authoritative, why should children consign 
to oblivion the names of once fond and idolizing parents ? 

In the following record very great care has been exer- 
cised in going over the whole ground three times, with the 
intention and diligent effort to present the lettering of every 
tnscr ipt ion ]Mst as it is on the stone. The record may not be 
perfect but is very nearly so. 



2o6 



History of Stratford. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-place in Stratford. 



Alice Ambler died 185 1. 
SSLixfar Andrews died May 30, 1753. 

iE.83. 
Sarah MorioUf Wife of Elezer An- 
drews, Died Oct. 24. 1868, iE. 95 yrs. 
Htn'tensia E. Armsirong, died 
Sept. 5t 1854. -*^. 45. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. mizabeth Baldwin, Relict 
of Nathaniel Baldwin, who died July 
30, 1 82 1, aged 52. 
In calm repoM her body lies, 
When ChilBt appears her duet ihall nae. 

Laura Maria, Wife of Charles Bar- 
ker and daughter of Thomas M. and 
Harriet M. Rogers. Born at Strat- 
ford, Ct., Sept. ao, 1823. Died at 
West Farms, N. Y.. Dec 18, 1853, 
Aged 31 years 2 months and 26 days. 
The memory of other days 



When thy loved form was by. 
Will guide thy dear ones to the 
In thy house beyond the sky. 



In Memory of 
Capt. John Barlow, who died May 
the 4. 1786, in the 37tb year of his Age. 
Tho* Borea's Blasts and Neptune's Waves 
Have toseed me to and fro 
In spite of Death by God's Decree 
I harbor here below. 

Where I do now at anchor ride, 
With many of our fleet. 
Yet once again I must make sail 
Our admiral Christ to meet. 

In Memory of 
Capt. IHivid Barlow, who died 

Oct. 6, 1820, aged 59 years. 
Helen T., wife of Edward Batterson, 
died Feb. 5, 1848, iE. 21 yrs. and 6 
mo. Also their 
Infant daughter, died Jan. 31, 1848. 

i£. 2 ds. 
Hiranh, son of Sillick & Emma Bat- 
terson. died, Sept. 6. 1814, -*. i yr. i 
mo. & 2 ds. 
Isabella and Helen J*, daughters 
of Edward & Mary H. Batterson, JE, 
S}i mos. Died Feb. 5, 1848. 
Here Lyes Buried the Body of 
Ephraim Beach, Who Deceas* 
March the I5*\ 1716-17 in y' 30*** 
year of his age. 



Here lies Buried je Body of 
Mr. Isaac Beach, who Died April 
30«>». Anno Dom»», I74ii Aged 71 
years & 10 mos. 

Here lies Buried the Body of 
Lieut. James Beach, he died Sep- 
tember ye 16, 175a, aged 44 years. 
Here lyes ye Body of 
Jerusha Beach, Daug. of Mr. 
Jeames Beach & Mrn. Sarah his wife, 
who died Jany. y« 20, 1760, in y* 19 
year of her age. 

Here Lyes ye Body of 
Jerusha Beach, Dau** of Mr. James 
and Mrs. Sarah Beach, who died Aug*^ 
27**». 1738, Aged 5 years, 10 months 
& II Days. 

Here lyes ye Body of 
Nehemiah Beach, Son of Mr. 
James and Mrs. Sarah Beach, Who 
Died Aug»« 7***. J738, Aged 5 years 10 
mos. & II Days. 

Here lyes y* Body of 
LietU. Joseph Beach, Who De- 
parted this life December ye 17**, 
Anno Dom"^ I737 »n y« 66*^ Year of 
His Age. 

Here Lyes Buried j* Body of 
Mr. Nathaniel Beach, Who Died 
Aug. 20**», Ann. Dom. I734 hi ye 38th 
Year of his age. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mr. Nathaniel Beach, Who De- 
parted this life July 24*^. Anno Doro"^ 
1747. Aged 84 years & 3 raos. 
Here lyes Buried ye Body of 
Mrs. Sarah Beach, Wife to M' 
Nathaniel Beach. Who Died March 
y* 2s^, A.D. 1738. Aged 70 years. 
Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mr. Nehemiah Beach, Who de. 
parted this life March ye 5**^. i770. in 
y« 30** year of His Age. 
In Memory of 
Eunica Beach, Wife of Mr. Nchc- 
miah Beach, who departed this Life 
November nth, A. D. 17—. in.«hc 4- 
year of her Age. [This stone is bro. 
ken and two dates destroyed.] 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-place. 207 



In Memory of 

Eunica Beach, Daughter of Mr. 

Nehemiah and Mrs. Eunica Beach, 

who departed this Life Aug. 24^, 

A. D. 1775 in the 6*^ year of Her Age. 

In Memory of 
Sarah, Daut' of Mr. Nehemiah Beach 

Who died May 2, 1770 in y« 3* year 

of Her Age. 
Ransom Beach, Died Oct. 4, 1859, 

Aged 75. 
Susan Beach, Daughter of Ransom 

& Lucy F. Beach. Died July 28, 

1882, Aged 74. 
Lucy Frost, Wife of Ransom Beach, 

died Aug. 17, 1849, i£. 63. 

Elijah W., Son of Ransom & Lucy 

F. Beach, died July 2$, 1832. JE. 22. 

Here lyes y* Body of 

Buth Beardsiee, Relict of Daniel 

Beardslee, Died May ye 4*^, 1732 in 

y* 71 year of her age. 

Here lyes ye Body of 
Mr. I>aniel Beardsiee, died Oct' 
ye 7* 1730, in ye 86 year of his age. 
Here lyes y* Body of 
Mr. John Beardsley, Died No- 
vember I7**», 1739. Jn ye 52 Year of 
his age. 

Here lyes v* Body of 
Mr, John Beardsiee, Died Novem- 
ber y* 7, 1702 in ye 52^ year of his age. 

John Bea/rdsley, Died Nov. 20, 

1^33, aged 30 years. 
Sidney J. Beardsley, Died May 

19, 1852, iE. 54. 

Mary Ann Thompson, Wife of 
Sidney J. Beardsley, Died Aug. 16, 
1844, ^' 45. 

In Memory of 

Helen Jtvdson, who died May 26, 
1825, aged 26 years. 
Also of 

JEdtvin Judson, son of Sidney J. 
& Mary Ann Beardsley, who died 
Sept. 25, 1825, aged 5 months. 

Charles JP. Beers, Died Oct. 7, 
1850, iE. 27 yrs. 

Josiah, son of Nathan and Hannah 
Beers, died June 22^ 1752 aged 13 
mos. & 4 ds. 

Josiah Beers, son of Ensn. Josiah 
and Mrs. Elizabeth Beers, died Janry, 
y* y**. 1750-51. aged 27 years. 

Lewis Beers, Died April 12, 1851, 
iE. 52 Yrs. 



Susan, Wife of Lewis Beers, Died 

Dec. 23, 1881. iE. 80. 
Margaret, daughter of Lewis & Susan 

Beers, died Junes©, i83i,aged i year 

and II months. 

The Remains of 

Samuel Beers, who departed this 
life October 17, 1798, aged 70 years 
& 4 months^ 

In Memory of 

John BeU, from London, late mer- 
chant of the City of New York ; who 
died Sept' 21st, 1798 in the 44 year of 
his age. He was son-in-law to John 
Brooks, Esquire, of Stratford. 

(Our Father & Mother) 
TTm. H. Benjainin, Died Feb. 10, 

i860, M. 63. Also 
Cynthia A., His Wife, Died Sept. 

28, 1866, M. 60. 

George F., Son of William H. & 
Cynthia A. Benjamin, died Oct. 13, 
1848, iE. 3 yrs. & 6 mo. 

George, son of William H. & Cynthia 
A. Benjamin, died Feb. 14, 1838, aged 
5 yrs. & 2 mo's. 

In Memoiy of 

Mrs. Hannah Belts, the Wife of 
Mr. Moses Betts, who died December 
24*^ A.D. 1782, in y* 22 year of her 
Age. 

Sacred to the memory of 

Benjamin Bigelow, . who died, 
Sept. 25. 18 1 5, aged 70 years. 

Sacred to the memory of 
Catharine Bigelow, who died Aug. 
I, 1 82 1, aged 73. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
LietU. Abel Birdsey, who depart- 
ed this life May 14th, Anno Domni, 
1747, in ye 68*"* year of His Age. 

In Memory of 
Nathan Birdsey, who died Aug. 5, 
1832, aged 88 years, & 3 mo. 

In memory of 
Abigail Birdseye, who died May 
i 4, 1827, aged 72 years. 

Sacred to the memory of the 
Bev. Nathan Birdsey e, A.M. 

He was born Aug. 19, 1714 ; Gradu- 
ated at Yale College, 1736. Ordained 
at West Haven, 1742 ; Dismissed & 
recommended by the Consociation, 
1758, and departed this life Jan. 28, 
18 1 8. aged 103 years 5 months & 9 
days. 

The memory of the just is blessed. 



<.' 



2o8 



History of Stratford. 



Sacred to the memory of 
Mrs. I>oroihy Birdseye, Con- 
sort of the Rev. Nathaniel Birdseye, 
who died Sept. 21 st, 1807, In the 88*^ 
year of her age. 

In memory of 
Miss Lucp, daughter of the Rev. 
Nathan Birdsey, 'who died much la- 
mented, Dec. 24, 1823 ; aged 64 years. 

In memory of 
Mr, FhUo Birdseye, who died 
Jan. 6, 1814. in the 30 year of his age. 
He was intered in Masonic Order. 

Mrs. Betsey Birdsey , His Relict 

Died Feb. i, 1814 ; in the 27 year of 

her age. 
This stone was erected by Mrs. Helen 

Birdseve in memory of her husband, 
Mr. Thadeus Birdseve, who ^\ed 

Feb. 23, 1800 in the 47** year of his 

Age. 

Helen, Widow of Thaddeus Birdseye, 
Died April 26, 1856, M. 94 yrs. ii mo. 
& 13 Days. 

Here Lyes the Body of 

Richard Blackleach, Esq., Deed. 
Sept. the 4^^ 1731. ;n the 78"' year of 
his Age. 

Here Lyes Body of 

Mrs, Abigail Blackleach, Wife 
to Richard Blachleach. Esq. Aged 
60 years. Died March y« 10, 1712-13. 

Frederick, son of James & Fanny 
Blackman, was drowned Aug. 10, 
1826, aged 19. 

In Memory of 

Capt. Abijah Blaketnan, Who 
was lost at Sea on his passage from 
Bermuda to Newprovidence, In Au- 
gust 1807, aged 29 years. 

Here lyes the Body of 
Anna, Wife of Zachariah Blakeman, 
who departed this life March 23' 17S9, 
in the 32^' year of her age. 

Here lyes y* Body of 
Mrs, Elizabeth Blekman, Wife 
to Mr. Zechariah Blekman, Who Died 
March 23**, 1732, in y* 52** year of her 
age. 
Miss Anne Blakeman, Daughter 
of Mr. James & Mrs. Anne Blake- 
man. died March 3, 1809, in the 22 
year of her age. 

In Memory of 
Mr. James Blakeman, who died 
Novem^" I2*'», 1791, In the 79**' year 
of his age. Also, 



Mrs. Sarah, his Wife, died Decern^' 
iS^^f I793i In the 73'* year of her age. 
In memory of 
Sarah, the wife of Mr. James Blake- 
man, Jun*^, Who Died December the 
12 A. U. 1775, in the 26 year of her age. 
In Memory of 
Miller Blakeman, son of James 
Blakeman, Jun', who departed this 
Life, May 27, 1781, in the 8th year of 
his age. 

In Memory of 
Capt. Agur Booth, who died Oct. 

29, 18x8, aged 70 years. 
Mrs. Anna^ his relict, died Nov. 26, 
1 8 18, aged 66. 

In Memory of 
Baniel Booth, who departed this 
Life May 8, i8ox In the 77 year of 
his Age. 

Here lieth the Body of 
Mrs. Elizabeth Booth, Who died 
in the 21*' year of her age, July 29, 
1702. 

[MONUMBMT.] 

Elizabeth PraU, wife of Charles 
H. Booth, Died in New York, Dec. 
29. 1844, M, 33 yrs. 

*'For if we believe that Jesus died and rose 
a£ain« even so Uiem also which sleep in Jesus 
will God brin^r with him." 

Charles E., son of Charles H. & Eliz- 
abeth P. Booth, Born March 27, 1843, 
Died Sept. x8, 1870. 

"We know that when he shall appear we 
shall be like him ; for we shall see Him as 
he to." 

In Memory of 
Edward Wainwright, infant son 
of Charles H. & Elizabeth P. Booth, 
who died July 17, 1835, aged 6 months. 
In Memory of 
Eli Booth, son of Abijah L. & Abby 
B. Booth, who was killed by fall of a 
tree April 15, 1823, aged 14 years. 

Eli Booth, Died Feb. i, 1864, JE. 76 

yrs. & 10 mos. 

Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. 
Mary, Wife of Eli Booth, Died Sept. 

13, 1 86s, ^* 78- 

For they rest from their labors and their 
worlcs do follow them. 

Frederick Leavenworth, son of 

John C. & Margaret J. Booth, died 
Dec. 29, 1852. i£. 7 months. 
In Memory of 
Capt. Jam^es Booth, who died 
March 19, 1809, In the 75^ year of his 
age. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-place. 209 



Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mr. James Booth, Who departed 
this life, August the 20, 1766, Aged 
78 years. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. AbigaU, wife of Mr. James 
Booth, who died Aug. 10, 1817, ^. 79. 

In Memory of the Children of 

Capt. James & Mrs. Abigail Booth. 

Abel Booth, who died April 15, 1777, 

in the 20^ year of his Age. 
James Booth, who died March 30^, 
1766, in the 2^ year of his Age. 
Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mrs. Martha Booth, 2^ wife to 
Mr. James Booth. Who Departed this 
Life Dccem. 3<*, 1747, in 52^* Year of 
Her Age. 

In Memory of 
Mr. John Booth, who died Dec. 2. 
1822, aged 86 years. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Jjucy Booth, wife of Mr. John 
Booth, who died Sept. 17, A. D. 181 7, 
in the 77 year of her age. 
In Memory of 
Mary Booth, who died Nov. 24, 
I77?i in y* 3** year of her age. 
In memory of 
Josiah Booth, who died Dec. 30^, 

1772, in y* 5 year of his age. 

The Children of John and Mrs. Lucy 

Booth. 

In Memory of 

Joh9h Booth, who died Aug. xo, 1825, 

aged 61 years. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Sarah Booth, the wife of John 
Booth, who died March 24, 1826, aged 
60 years. 

In memory of 
Mrs. Jertisha Booth & her two 
babies. Wife of Mr. John Booth, Jur. 
& Daughter of Mr. Eli Lewis, who 
died Nov' 10, 1796, Aged 31 years. 

[A MoMUMBNT. West Side.] 

Erected over the f^nves of 

Joseph Booth, Son of Richard Booth, 

who died Sept. i, 1703, JE. 46. And 
Hannah, Wife of Joseph Booth & 
daughter of John & Elizabeth Will- 
coxson,who died July 10, 1701, JE. 38. 
TA^r Children were : 
James, Born 1688, Died 1766. 
Joseph, Born 1687, Died 1763. 

Bobert, Born , Died . 

Nathan, Born , Died . 

Zechariah, Born , Died 1762. 



Bavid, Born 1679. Died 1753. 
JBCannah, Born , Died . 

[North Side.] 

James Booth, son of Joseph Booth, 
died Aug. 20, 1766, M, 78. 

Martha Clark, wife of James Booth, 
died Dec. 3, 1747, ^. 52. 

TAeir Ckilfiren were: 

Sarah, Bom 1732, Died 1786. 

James, Bom 1735. Died 1809. 

John, Born 1736, Died 1822. 

Mezekiah, Born 1739, Died 1761. 

Josiah, Born 1742, Died 1767. 

James Booth, son of James Booth, 
died March 19, 1809, JE., 75. 

Ahiga/U Ann, wife of James Booth, 
died August 11, 1817, M, 78. 
Their Children were : 

Abel, Born 1757, Died 1777. 

Sarah, Born 1759, Died 1841. 

Hezekiah, Born 1762, Died 1814. 

SUas, Born 1763. Died 18 19. 

James. Born 1765, Died 1766. 

Abigail Ann, Bora 1766, Died . 

Betsey, Bom, 1768, Died 1825. 

Charity, Bom 1771, Died 1810. 

Amy, Born 1773, Died 1844. 

James, Born 1776. Died . 

Abel, Born 1780, Died . 

[South Side.] 

John Booth, son of James Booth, 
Bom Aug. 3, 1736. Died Dec. 2. 1822. 

JLucy, Wife of John Booth, & Daugh- 
ter of Henry & Ann Curtiss, Born 
March 1, 1741, Died Sept. 17, 1817. 
Their Children were : 

John, Born 1764, Died 1825. 

WiUiam.Boxn 1765, Drowned 18 10. 

Josiah, Born 1768, Died 1772. 

Mary, Born 1770, Died 1772. 

Bavia, Born 1771, Died 1792. 

Josiah, Bom 1773, Died 1852. 

Elijah, Born 1776. 

Isaa^:, Born 1783. Drowned 18 10. 
[East Side.] 

Bichard Booth, From England, one 
of the first settlers in this town in 
1639, Bom 1606, Aged 82 years in 
1688. Date of death unknown. 
Their Children were : 

Blizabeth, Born 1641. 

Ann, Born 1643. 

J^hraiin, Born 1648. 

Ebenezer, Born 165 1. 

John, Born 1653. 

Joseph, Born 1656. 

Befhf/a, Born 1658. 

Johanna, Born 1661. 

Sarah A., The Wife of John C. 
Booth, died March 8, 1849, iE. 39 yrs. 



2IO 



History of Stratford. 



John Henry f the »on of John C. & 
Sarah A. Booth, died Dec. 6, 1848. i£. 
2 yrs. & 7 mo. 

[A Monumbnt]. 

Capt. WiUiam Booth, was drown- 
ed off Cape Cod, Oct. 18, 1810, aged 
45 yrs. 

Mary Ann, Wife of Capt. Wm. 
Booth. Died July 22, 1851, aged 83 
yrs. 

David, son of Wm. & Mary Ann 
Booth, was drowned off Cape Cod, 
Oct. 18, 1810, aged 18 yrs. 
In Memory. of 

Capt. WiUiam Booth, aged 45 
years, and his son 

Bavid Booth, Aged 17 years; and of 

I»a4ic Booth, Aged 27 years. Who 
were all drowned in Boston-Bay on 
the i8th day of Oct. A.D. 1810. 
Also in memory of 

David Boothf who died at New 
York, Dec. 23^ 1792, Aged 21 years. 

Mr. Zechariah Booth, 1762. [This 
is the foot-stone, of fine slate. The 
head-stone has been broken off at the 
ground, and is not to be found. 
Here lyes ye Body of 

Mr8. Ann Booth, Wife to Mr. Zech- 
ariah Booth. Who died May i8th, 
1733, in y* 37 Year of her Age. 
In Memory of 

Zechariah Brinmnade, died No- 
vember y« 22^ 1 741 in y* 56 year of 
his age. 

Here lyes y« Body of 

Sarah Brinsma^de, Wife to Mr. 
Zechariah Brinsmade, Aged 48 Years 
6 months. Died June ye 9. 1736. 

Hannah Brinsmade, Dau. to Mr. 
Zechariah & Hannah Brinsmade, 
Aged 3 years & 4 mo. Died Sept. ye 
2**, 1736. 

Here lyes Buried ye Body of 

Mr. Benjamin Brooks ; Who De- 
parted this life Dec. 30. Anno Domini, 
1745, in y« 6ist Year of His age. 
Here lyes Buried y« Body of 

Mrs. Mary Brooks, Wife to Mr. 
Benjamin Brooks, Who died Nov»'f 
2°*, A.D. 1740, in y* 4g^ Year of Her 
Age. 

Here lyes y* Body of 

Huldah Brooks, Daut' of Mr. Ben- 
jamin & M" Mary Brooks, Who Died 
Janua'^y 2°** 1737 in y* 12*^ Year of 
her Age. 



Sacred to the memory of 
Capt. y. Birdsey Brooks, who 
with his Crew was lost at Sea, Sept. 
1789 ; In the 22*^ year of his Age. 

Stern Neptune nods, the bUIows rise, 
In vain the Sesmen raise their cries ; 
Bach in a moment know their dom, 
And share alike a watery tomb. 

David Brooks, died Mar. 16, 1S62, 

aged 65 years. 
Anna, Daughter of David & Anna 

Brooks, died February ye 13, 1755, 

Aged i6-». 

In memory of 
David Brooks, who died Apr. 26, 

i860. M, 87 yrs. & II mo's. 
In memory of 
Abigail Broods, wife of David 

Brooks, Esq., who died Feb. 13, 1839, 

aged 66 years. 

Sacred to the memory of 
Edward Brooks, son of David & 

Abigail Brooks, who died Apr. z, 

1822, aged 7 years and 7 days. 

Here lies inter'd the Remains of 
Eli Brooks, Esq., son of John 
Brooks & Anna his Wife who Depart- 
ed this Life Oct**' 25*^, 1775. -^tai 19. 

A youth of a promising (reniua &. an oblif^ing 
disposition, desirous of makinir all around him 
happy. Just as he had entered upon bis Colle- 
giate studies, and ffiven hit Friends and Ac- 
quaintance raised Expectations of his future 
usefulness, Death marked him for his Prey, & 
in the morning of Life called him to the grave. 

Here lies entered the Body of 
Eli, son of Cap*. Benjamin & Rebekah 
Brooks, who died March 4*'', 1777 in 
the 7^ Year of his age. 

Here lies Buried the Body of 
Isaac Brooks, son of M'. Isaac & 
Mrs. Temperance Brooks who depan- 
ed this life, July 23^ 1777. Aged I 
year & 7 months. 
Sleep lovely Babe and take thy peaceful Rest, 
God called the hence Because he thought it 
best. 

In memory of 
Maria Brooks, daughter of David 
& Abigail Brooks, who died Jan, 12, 
1834, aged 22 years & 8 mo. 

John Brooks, Son of John & Polly 

Brooks, died Aug. 22, 1794. in his 4*^ 

year. 

Here lies intered the Body of 
John Brooks, Esq., who departed 

this Life March 7*'*, A.D. 1777 in the 

63* year of his age. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-place. 21 1 



In Memory of 
Anna Brooks, Relict of John Brooks 
Esq., who died March 19, 1804, ^^^ 
89 years. 

Here lies the remains of 
JTohn Brooks, Esq., who departed 
this Life October 22\ 1788, Aged 49 
Years. 

Farewell bright soul a short fiurewell 
Till we shall meet again Above, 



In the sweet groyes where pleasures dwell 
And tean of life bear fruits of loye, 
There glory sits on every face. 
There friendship smiles in every eye. 
There shall our tongues relate the grace 
That led us homeward to the sky. 

John Brooks, Esqr. and Mrs. Dorothy 

Brooks, his Wife, have erected this 

stone in memory of their Son 

EH, who died August 29, 1783, Aged 

4 Years 4 months & 25 days. 

Likewise in memory of another infant 

son, named also 

Eli, who died the 11 of August, 1785 

aged I week & 7 hours. 

In memory of 
Theodosia Brooks* Daur. of Mr. 
John Brooks, Junr & Mrs. Dorothy 
his wife ; who died Nov. 15*', 1773. 
Aged 4 years & «2 Days. 
Beneath this scattered dust here's silent laid 
the Father's Comfort ft Mothers Aid. 
Cropt like a flower she fell a victim soon 
tho fliatterlng life had promised years to come. 

Nathan Brooks, Son of Mr. David 
& Mrs. Ann Brooks, who Died Nov^' 
2^, 1746 Aged 13 months and 7 Days. 

In memory of 
Wiiliant Brooks, who departed 
this life August 11, 1804, in the 50 
year of his age. 

In Memory of 
JPhebe, relect of William Brooks, who 
died July 6, 182a, aged 66. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
WiUiam Brooks, who departed this 
life July 24*", 1809, aged 30 years. 

Kathan, son of Cap. Isaiah & Mrs. 
Ann Brown, died Nov. 23'**, 1753, 
aged 4 months. 

Bhoda, Daughter of Capt. Isaiah & 

Mrs. Ann Brown, died Jany24, A. D. 

1754. aged 3 years. 
John Bruce, Died May 10. 1870, 

JE,. 82 yrs. 8 mo. 

In memory of 
{yOmphy, Wife of John Bruce, died 

Sept. 17, 1849, '^' ^* 



Sarah Bureh, Daughter of Mr. 

ieremiah & Mrs. Sarah Burch, Died 
fay. ye 14^, 1738, aged 2 years 9 mo. 
&12 Da. 

In Memory of 
Hezekiah BurriU^ who departed 
this Life, June z, 1809; In the 70^ 
year of his Age. , 

In Memory of 
Mr. John BurriU, Who departed 
this Life, June 29, 1787, in y« 77 Year 
of his Age. 

Redeemed from Berth and Pain 
Oh when shall we assend 
And all in Tesus presence reign 
With our departed Friends. 

Here lyes the body of 
Mrs. Bhebe Btirritt, formerly Wife 
to Mr. John Burritt, who departed 
this Life, March 22, 1789, in y* 83 
Year of her Age. 

Redeemed from Earth and Pain 
And all in Jesus presence reign 
With our departed friends. 

In memory of 
Nathan W. Burritt, who died, 
Aug. 4. 1838 ; i£. 40 years. 

In memory of 
Robert, Son of Nathan & Sarah Bur. 
ritt, who died Aug** 18, 1803, aged 3 
years. 

Here lieth the Body of 
Capt. Stephen Burritt, who de- 

parted this Life in the 57 year of his 
age, January 24***, 169^.* 

In memory of 

Mrs. Mary, the Wife of Mr. Charles 

Burroughs, Who departed this life 

April the 13. A. D. 1777, With the 

small pox in the 62 ^ear of her age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Bette Burton, Wife to Mr. 

Ephriam Burton, departed this life, 

Aug. 10, 1783 in the 55 Year of Her 

Age. 

Erected by Robert Coldwell, in mem- 
ory of his mother, 
Jane Coidweli, and sister of Joseph 

Jamieson, who died Mar. 23* 185 1, 

^.53. 



* Mr. Robert H. Russell found this stone, 
recently, in the foot-path from his house to his 
inirden. It was several inches under the sur- 
face of the ground, and about aoo feet from the 
southeast corner ot the cemetery. There is no 
knowledge of, nor conjecture how it came 
there. It was probably first erected at the old 
cemetery. 



212 



History of Stratford. 



Here lyes interred the Body of 

Samuel Ca^rell, who died April ye 
2^, Z707, in y* 29 year of his age. 
Here lyeth y* body of 

Mr. l9r€teU Chauncey, Who was 

minister of y* Gospell in this place 

upwards of 38 years & dyed March 

y* 14^ 170} in ye 59^ year of his age. 

Here lyes ye Body of 

Sarah Clark, wife to David Clark. 
Aged 18 years & 12 Ds. Died March 
ye 12, 1743. 

Carrie Clark, daughter of Myron 
& Jane £. Jurson. 

Here lyeth the Body of 

Deborah Clarke, Wife to J. C. Senr. 
who departed this life in the 61*' year 
of her Age, December 14, 1705. 
In Memory of 

Iklward Lawarence, Son of John 
W. and Susana A. Close, who died 
May 12^ 1843, aged 6 months and 14 
days. , 

J>avid Coe, Died Oct. 6, 1842, aged 
30 years. 
Blessed are the deed who die in the Lord. 

Mary Elizabeth, Wife of David 
Coe, Died Aug. 27, 1849, i£. 37 yrs. 

Into thy hand I commit my spirit : thou hast 
redeemed me, O Lord God of Israel. 

In Memory of 
Capt. Ebenezer Coe, Who depart- 
ed this life March the 26^ 1766, Aged 
62 years. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Mary Coe, Wife of Capt. 
Ebenezer Coe, who departed this life, 
May the 23* 1773, in ye 68 year of Her 
Age. 

In Memory of 
I>eae. Ebenezer . Coe, who died 
Aug. !•*, 1820. Aged 85 years. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Sarah Coe, Wife of Deac*" 
Ebenezer Coe, who died Oct. 15*** 
1S02, aged 67 years. 

In Memory of 
Sar€ih Coe, Dautr. of Mr. Ebenezer 
& Mrs. Sarah Coe. who died Nov. 29^, 
1772 in y* 6*'' year of her age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs, Esther Coe, Wife of Mr. Josiah 
Coe, who departed this life, Oct' it^^, 
1794, In the 26*^ year of her age. 

Isfiac Thompson, son of James and 
Sally Coe, died Dec. 6, 1822 ; aged 12 
yrs. 



In Memory of 
tFfMmes Coe, Who died May 12, 1851, 

iE. 70. 
Sarah T., ilife of James Coe, Died 
Oct. 5, zS68, Aged 87. 

In Memorv of 
James Coe, Jr.f who died, Dec. 18, 
1848, i£. 33 yrs. 

The sweet remembereooe of the just 
Shall flourish when they sleep in dust. 

Jam,es B,., son of James & Helen 
Coe, died Sept. 10, 1852, aged 4 yrs 
& 9 mos. 
Suffer little children to come unto me. 
In Memo^ of 
Mr. James Coe, Who departed this 
life July 31, 1790. In the 50*** Year of 
his age. 

In Memory of 
JEEvldah Coe, wife of James Coe, 
who died Nov. 10, 1814, aged 75 years. 
In Memory of 
Jam>es Coe, the son of James & HuU 
dah Coe, who Departed this Life Sep- 
tember 18, A. D. 1778, Aged 6 months 
& 9 days. 

Here lyes Buried v* Body of 
Capt. John Coe, Who Died April 
19. Anno Domni 1741, in y* 83*^ year 
of His Age. 

Here lies Buried y* Body of 
Mrs. Mary Coe, Wife to Capt. John 
Coe, Who died September y« 9**, 1731, 
in y* 69*** year of Her Age. 
In Memory of 
John E. Coe, who died Nov. 8, 1827, 
^gc<i 59 years. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Eunica Coe, Wife of Mr. 
John E. Coe. who died Aug. 3, 181 5 ; 
Aged 43 years. 

In Memory of three children of John 

Ebenezer & Eunice Coe, 

SiUly Coe, died Oct. 31", 180- [1801 

or 2], aged 6 years. 
Mary Coe, died Oct. 10^, 1802, aged 

2 years & 6 months. 
Robert Coe, died April 4*^ 179- [per- 
haps 1796] aged 3 months. 
John Wm., son of John & Anna Coe, 
died Aug. 4, 1826, aged 6 months. 
Sacred to the memory of 
Deacon Zechariah Coe, Who died 
Aug. 8«\ 1805, JE. 73. 

Also of his wife 
Levinia Coe, who died July loth, 
1805, JE. 71. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-place. 213 



Charles Mortimer Cook, son of 

Joseph & Mary Cook, died June 4, 
1809. aged 7 years & 25 days. 
In Memory of 
Heien Louisa, only child of Joseph 
H. and Susan T. Cowdry. who was 
born in New York, Feb. 26, 1839, and 
died in New York. Dec. 4. 1840, Aged 
I year 9 months and 18 days. 
In Memory of 
Helen Louisa, second child of Jo- 
seph H. and Susan T. Cowdry, who 
was born in New York, Oct. 16, 1842, 
and died in. New York, Nov. 21, 1844, 
Aged 2 years i month and 5 days. 
Here lyes Buried y« Body of 
Mrs. Abigail Curtis, Wife to M' 
Ebenezer Curtis. Who Departed his 
life Novi>' 29*^. A. D. 1746, Aged 32 
years 10 months & 25 Days. 
In Memory of 
Mr. Abner Curtiss, who departed 
this LIFE December 19*^, 1779 in the 
48**» year of his age. 
O reader stop and cast an eye 
As thou art now so once was I. 
As I am now soon thou must bee, 
Prepare for death and follow me. 

Here lies the Body of 
Mr. Abram Curtiss, Who depart- 
ed this Life September y* 7»'», A. D. 
1779. Aged 79 years. 

Here lyes ye Body of 
Mrs. Elizaheth Curtiss, Wife to 
Mr. Abraham Curtiss, Who departed 
this Life, August y* 31'*, 1770 in y* 
68 year of her Age. 

Anna Curtis, died Jan. 4, 1871, JE. 
86 yrs. 

Sacred To the Memory of 
I>ea. Agur Curtis, who died April 
22, 1844, in the 84*^' year of his age. 
In memory of 
Huldah Curtis, wife of Agur Cur- 
tis, & Mother of Lewis & Benjamin 
Curtis, who died on the 6*^ day of 
June, 1858, Aged 92. 

In Memory of 
Augur Curtiss, who died Nov. 10, 
1838. aged 81 yis. 

In Memory of 
Mercy, wife of Agur Curtiss, who 
died Dec. 17, 1850, JE. 90 yrs. & 7 mo. 
Agur Beck, son of David & Amy Cur- 
tiss. died Oct.i,i8io;aged 2 yVs & 3 mo. 
Here lyes y* body of 
Mrs. Bethsheba Curtiss, formerly 
wife to Mr. Ephriam Stiles, Aged 74 
years. Died Febuary y« 9^i», 1735. 

15 



In memorj' of 
Betsey Curtiss, who died March 21 
1843. aged 52 years, 

Catharine, Wife of Marcus Curtiss 
died June 17, 1855, JE, 61 years. 
In Memory of 

Charlotte Curtis, 'who died Mar 
13. 1866, iE. 67 yrs. 

In Memory of 
David Curtiss, who died Nov. i 
1819, in his 81 year, * 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Sarah Curtiss, Wife of Mr. 
David Curtiss. who departed this life 
March 6^^, 1801, in the 60*'' year of her 
age. 

Agur, The son of Mr. David & Mrs. 
Sarah Curtiss. who died October ye 9, 
1776, in y« 5 year of his age. 

Vour moans fond parents cease 
and let this hope suffice 
Your babe shall sleep in peace 
till Jesus bid it rise. 

BoUy Curtis, died Feb, 27, 1875, JE, 
75 yrs. 10 mo. 

In Memory of 
Ebenezer Curtiss, who died, May 
19, 1819. JE. 42. 

Here Ives )•• Body of 

Mrs. BtUh Curtis, wife to Mr. Eben- 

ezer Curtis, Departed this life. May y* 

28*^ 1739 in y 7o«i» year of her age. 

In memory of 

Mr. Elihu Curtiss, who died, Aug. 

9, 1820, aged 79 years. 

Elihu, son of Daniel Curtis, died 
Sept. 23, 1820, JE. 73. 

Aner, wife of Elihu Curtis & daughter 

of Lewis Nodine, died 1804, JE. 47. 

This stone erected to their memory by 

their son Alfred. 

In Memorv of 
Mr. Elijah Curtis, Son of Mr. 

Henr}*^ « Mrs. Anne Curtiss, who died 
Sept. 23d. A. D. 1776, in the 35t»' year 
of his Age. 

Here lies inter'd the Body of 
Ephraim Curtiss, Esqr., who de- 
parted this Life, May 9t'», 1775, in the 
92*^ Year of his Age. & 
Elizabeth, his wife, who departed 
this Life, October 5*^, in the 91" year 
of her age.* 



* No year is riven to the death of Mrs. Eliz- 
abeth ; but probably she died in 1775. 



214 



History of Stratford. 



Here lyes ye Body of 
J^hrainn Curtiss, son of Ephraim 
Curtiss, Esq., & Mrs. Elizabeth his 
Wife, Who Died Decembr 2, 1737, 
Aged 20 years 3 months & 2 Days. 

Here lyes y* Body of 
Eliztibeth CurtisSf Daughter of 
Ephraim Curtiss. Esq., & Mrs. Eliza- 
beth his Wife, Who Died July 31, 178S. 
aged 8 years 8 months & 15 Days. 
In Memory of 
JDr» Ezra CnrfisH^ who died & was 
buried at Litchfield. Nov. 17, 1797, in 
the 33d year of his age. 
In Memory of 
Hannah Curtift, wife of Samuel 
Curtis, who died Jan. 7, 1822, aged 74 
years & i month. 

In Memory of 
'Hann€ih Curtis, wife of Stiles Cur- 
tis, of Norwalk, & daughter of Sey- 
mour C. & Hannah Whiting, who 
died Feb. 8, 1838 ; aged 35 years. 

Here lyes y* Body of 
Mrs. Hannah Curtis^ Wife to Mr. 

Zechariah Cunis, Aged 73 years. 

Died Feby I4»^ X73i [or I75i]. 
Henrietta Curtiss, Born Jan. 25, 

181 1. Died April 30, 1874. 

In Memory of 
Mr» Henry Curtiss^ who departed 
this life. May 23*^, 1804, in the 95th 
Year of his Age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Ann^. Curtiss, the wife of Mr. 
Henry Curtiss. who Departed this 
Life September I4^\ A. D. 1783, in 
the eS*"* Year of her Age. 
In Memory of 
Mr, Henry Curtiss, who died April 
18, 1 8 14, aged 63 years. 

In Memory of 

Phebe Cut^iss, wife of Henry Cur- 
tiss, who died Feb. 5, 1826. Aged 67 
years, also 

George Curtis, their son, died in 
the Slate of Illinois. Sept. 18, 1S22, 
JE. 24. 

Harriet, Daughter of Mr. Henry & 
Mrs. Phebe Curtiss, died June 20*'', 
1793, aged 5 months. 

Eliza, their Daughter, died March 7*^^, 
1800, aged 15 days. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Ilepsy Curtis, who died, Feb. 
10, 1S32, aged 54. 



Here lyes buried the Body of 
Mr. Hezekiah Curtiss, Who de- 

parted this life Oct. y« 9**», 1771, in y* 
64*** year of His Age. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mrs. Bulah Curtiss, Dau. of Mr. 
Hezekiah Curtiss & Nlrs. Mehetable 
Curtiss. Who departed this life Sep- 
tember y* 16, 1 77 1, in y« 17*'* year of 
her age. 

In memory of 
Mrs. Huidah, Late Consort of Mr. 
Samuel Curtiss, who was born April 
15*^, 1738, & died April 28, 1765. 

Huidah, Dau. of the above Parents, 
who was born March 16*"*, 1765, & 
died in July, A. D. 1765. 

In calm repose 
Their body lies 
When Christ appears 
Their dust shall rise. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Isaac Curtiss, Son of Mr. Sam- 
uel & Mrs. Hannah Curtiss, who died 
Jan. 17. 1796, iEtat, 21. 

Behold and see as you pass bv 
As you are now so once was I 
As I am now so you musl be 
Prepare fur deatn and follow me. 

Elezabeth Curtiss, wife of Isaac 

Curtiss. died July i, 1797, aged 26. 

In Memory of 

Mr. Jiibez Curtiss, who departed 

this life, Jan. ib"*. 1829. in the ^^ 

year of his .age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Hetty Curtis, wife of Mr. Jabez 
Curtis, who departed this life, Oct. i, 
1818, in the 75^** year of her age. 
In memory of 
James Curtis, who died March 22, 
1821, Aged 41 Years. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mrs. Jerusha Curtiss,^ \it to Mf. 

Stephen Curtiss, Who Departed this 
Life Dec. 24*'*. A. D. 1747, in ye 21 
Year of her Age. 

Abrahatn Curtiss, .Son of Mr. Ste- 
phen & Mrs. Jerusha Curtiss. Died 
Janry 23**, 174J. Aged 2 months & 
12 Ds. 

In memory of 

John Curtiss, who died Aug. 31, 

1825, aged 80 years. 

Also of 

Mary, his wife, who died the same 

day & hour, aged 78. 

They were both deposited in the 

same grave. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying^place. 



215 



Mr. Jfkseph CurHas, died Mar. 15, 
. 1 801, aged 8oyrs. 

Here lyes enter'd the Body of 
Mr. Josiah Curtiss^ who died May 
26»^, 1773. in the 7ft year of his Age. 
In Memory of 
Mi98 Eunice Curtis, daughter of 
Mr. Josiah Curiiss, who died Oct. 21- 
181 7, in the 53 year of her age. 
In Memory of 
Mr. fTosiah Curti88f who departed 
this life, Feb. 6^^^, 1804, in the ^o^^ 
year of his age. 

In Memorv of 
Mr8. Mary CuHiss, Wife of Mr. 
Josiah Curtiss, who died May 20-1817, 
in the 80 year of her age. 

In Memor)' of 
Liewis Curtis^ who died, March 5, 
^834, Aged 89 years. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Hepsa Curtiss, the wife of 
Mr. Lewis Curtiss, who died April 16, 
1819, aged 71 years. 

Mrs. Martha Curtiss, died Aug. 
26, 1790, aged 77. 

Mar^y, wife of Judson Curtiss, died 
Feb. 23. 1 814 ; aged 42 years. 

J'uilstm Curtis, Son of Mr. Judson 
& Mrs. Mary Curtiss. was killed by a 
Cart wheel going over him Octo 4**», 
X 805. aged 5 years & 10 days. 

In Memory of 
Neheniiah Curtiss, who died May 
13, 1 8 10, aged 69 years. 

Bhehe Curtiss, Died Jan. 2. 1864, JE, 
76 yrs. & 7 mo. 

Here lies iniered the Body of 
Mrs. I*h^e, Wife to Mr. Nehemiah 
Curtiss, who departed this life, July 
24, 1770, in the 32'"» Year of her age. 
No jrfft of nature, Art, or Grace, 
Exempteth from the Burying place. 
All must obey the solemn call, 
Before that Tyrant all must fall. 

In Memory of 
JPolly, wife of Nehemiah Cunis, who 

died Sept. 17, i8i7,aged 34 years. 
Also of three Children of Nehemiah & 

Polly Curtis: 
Stiles, died Sept. 15, 1808, aged 15 

months. 
Betsey Ann, died Sept. 11, 1813 ; 

aged 6 months. 
yeh^miah, died Sept. 25, 1817 ; aged 

17 months. 



In memory of 
N^miah Curtis, who departed 
this life, Sept. 30, 1835, ^. 61. 
Sacred to the Memory of 
Anne Curtiss, Wife of Nehemiah 
Curtis, Junr., who died March 3, 1864 
in the 22'! year of her age. 
And of their Infant. 
She lived much esteemed 
And died much lamented. 
r^r nxlee. Son of Mr. Daniel & 
Mrs. Betsey Curiiss. died May 10, 
1817. aged 3 months. 

l>ea. Bhilo Curtis, Died May k 
1852, M, 78. "^ •• 

In Memory of 
Betsey Curtis^ wife of Dea Philo 
Curtis, who died Feb. 1 1. 1844, aged 68. 
In memory of 
Rebecca, Consort of William Curtiss 
Deceased, Dec. 3. 1823. aged 41 years! 
In Memory of 
Mejoice CuHiss, who died Oct 11 
1S61, ^. 74 y'rs. 

In memory of 
SaUy Curtis,Vf\io Died May 2, 1831 
Aged 39 years. * 

Eliza Curtis, Died fan. 11, 1831. 
aged 28 Yrs. » ^ . 

In Memorv of 
Capt. Samuel CuHiss, who died 
Feb. 15, 1833, aged 63 years. ' 
In Memory of 
Alice, Wife of Capt. Samuel Curtiss 
& daughter of Elisha & Sarah De 
Forest. Who died Dec. 13. 1859.^. 74. 
Mary Ann, daughter of Capt. Sam- 
uel & Mrs. Alice Curtiss, died June 
14. 18 14, aged 5 months. 
Erected by Capt. Curtiss In Memory 
of his Daughter 
Menrietta, who died Aug* 26^, 1803 
in the y^ Year of her age, & of his 
son Saml. J., who died Aug* 28*J» 
1803, aged 5 yeats. 

Miss Mary Ann, daughter of Capt 
Samuel & Mrs. Temperence A. Cur- 
tiss, died April i, iSi4,aged 19 years. 
Erected by Capt. Sam^ Curtiss, In 
memory of his Wife, 

Temperence Anna CuHiss, who 
departed this life, Aug* 3o**», A. D. 
1800, aged 30 Years. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Samuel Curtiss,vfho died Sept. 
S'\ 1802, in the 68 year of his age. 



2l6 



History of Stratford. 



In Memoir of 
Samuel Curtiss, who died May 19, 
1826, aged 69 years. 

In Memory of 
DoUy Ourtiss, wife of Samuel Cur- 
tis, who died. Sept. 19, 1829. M. 66 yrs. 
In Memory of 
Charles Curtiss, the beloved son of 
Mr. Samuel Curtiss, Jr.. & Mrs. Dolly 
Curtiss, who died Janu'y 8**^, 1793, 
In the 4 year of his age. 
Sleep, sweet Babe and take thy rest 
God call'd tbee Home he thous^ht it best 
Though to thy parents dear. 

Sarah, Wife of Charles Curtiss, Died 
Nov. 25, 1877. Aged 85 yrs. 4 mo. 
In memory of 
Mary J., who died May 12, 1831, 

aged 3 yrs. Also 
Samuel H., died April 16, 1831, aged 
I y. & 3 mo., daughter & son of Charles 
& Sarah Curtis. 
As you stand by this fp^ssy tomb 

In silent sorrow weep, 
For two sweet infants side by side 

In death's cold slumbers sleep. 
So fades the lovely blooming flower 

Frail smilling solace of an hour 
So soon our transient comforts fly 
And pleasures only bloom to die. 

Charles, son of Charles & Sarah Cur- 
tiss. died Sept. 3, i833. aged 5 mo. & 
23 ds. 
Emily, daughter of Charles & Sarah 
Curtis, Died Feb, 11, 1832, jE. 8 mos. 
Adieu sweet baby thy stay was short 
Just looked about and caliM away. 

Raacana Peck, Adopted Daughter 
of Charles & Sarah Curtis, Died April 
16, 1848, JE. 23. 
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 
In memory of 
Sarah, Dr of Mr. Curtiss & Mrs. 
Mary. 

In memory of 
Jfcfr. Silas Curtis f who died Aug. 5, 
1822, Aged 72 years. 

In memory of 
Jftfr. SHas Curtiss, who died Jan. 
15, 1 8 16, in the 74 year of his age. 
In memory of 
Mary, wife of Silas Curtiss, who died 
April II, 1805 ; in the 50 year of her 
age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Helen Curtiss, Wife of Silas 
Curtiss, Ters. Daughter of Stiles & 
Naomi Judson, who died April 2'*, 
1 801, Aged 21 years. 



In Memory of 
Hannah, Wife of Silas Curtiss, who 
died Nov. 25, 181 1, in the 65 year of 
her age. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
SoUnnan Curtis, who departed this 
life, July 13, 1824, M. 76 years & 11 
months. 

Blessed are the dead who die in the T^rd. 
Sacred to the Memory of 
Jerusha Curtis, relict of Solomon 
Curtis, who died Aug. 29. 1834, aged 
76 years. 

O Death ! where is thy sting ? 
O Grave ! where is thy victory ! 

In Memory of 
tlabez Curtis, son of Mr. Solomon 
& Mrs. Jerusha Curtis, who died Feb. 
8, 1797, .^tat. 8 years, 
rhy flesh disolv'd in sorrow must appear. 
While here we drop ye sympathetic tear : 
The tomb shall safe retain its sacred trust, 
Till life divine reanimates thy dust. 

In memory of 
Stephen Curtis, who died May 8*', 
1806, aged 79 years. 

In memory of 
Mrs. Sarah Curtiss, Wife of Mr. 
Stephen Curtiss, who departed this 
Life, November 2^, 1794, Aged 64 yrs. 
Here lyes ye Bodv of 
Stephen Jetson Curtiss, Son of 
Mr. Stephen & Mrs. Sarah Curtiss 
Who died June 17, 1760, Aged 3 
Years. 

Sarah Curtiss, died April 9, 1766, 

Aged 2 Years & 8 months. 
Stephen Jetson Curtiss died April 

18, 1766, Aged 5 years & 6 mos. 

Children ol Mr. Stephen Curtis, Junr 

& Sarah his Wife. 
In Remembrance of 2 Children of Mr. 

Stephen & Mrs. Sarah Curtiss : 
Abram Curtiss, Departed this Life 

at New York, September 4^, A. D. 

1776, & Buried in Harlem Burying 

place, in the 23'^ year of his age. 
Betty Curtiss Departed this Life, 

October 9*^, A. D. 1777, in the 11*^ 

Year of her age. 

In Memor>' of 
Capt. Stiles Curtiss, who departed 

this Life the 22** Day of April, A. D. 

1785, in the 78 year of his age. 
In Memory of 
Mrs. Bebekah Curtiss, Relict of 

Capt. Stiles Curtiss, who departed 

this Lif'-, July I'S 1798, In the S<)^ 

Year of her Age. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Bur ying-place. 217 



In memory of 
Mr. Thaddeus Curtis, Who died 

Septr. 23**, 1776, in the 30*^ Year of 

his age. 
Mr» Thaddstis Curtias, who died 

on his passage from Exuma and was 

buried in the Sea Dec. 25, 1801, in the 

22*^ year of his age. 

In memory of 
Saily Curti8, Who Died, May 2, 
1 83 1. Aged 39 yrs. 

Elizaheih Curtis Died Jan. 11. 1831, 
aged 28 yrs. 

Andrew I>ayton, died Feb. 11, 
1807 ; aged 53. 

Annal>aytan, Died March 23, 1869. 
Aged 81 yrs. & 8 Mos. 

John I>af/tan, Died June 16, 1819, 
j£. 35 years. 

Betsey I>ayton, died Sept. 9, 181 5, 
ae 21 yrs. 

tlerusha, widow of Andrew Dayton, 
died Jan. 7, 1847. iE. 91 Yrs. 

Bobert I>ayton died June 16. 1816. 
aged 24. 

Mrs. Ruth Daf/ton, Wife of Mr. 
Brewster Dayton & Daughter of Mr. 
Abner Judson, died June 15, 1788, 
Aged 26 years & ii months. 
Sarahf Wife of Wm. S. DeForest, 
died March 16, 1848, i£. 30 y'rs. 
Our Little 
WiUi^, only son of A. E. & M. L. 
Dudly, died Feb. 20, 1856. M, 3 mos. 
MOW many hopes lie buried here. 
Here lyes the body of 
Mr. ArchaMe I>unlap, who de- 
ceased Sept*»' 24, J71 3, in ye 35*^ year 
of his age. 

Here lies Interr'd the Body of 
Mrs. Sarah JSastan, Wid» of M' 
John Easton, of Hartford, who died 
March y* io"», 1750. In the 59 year 
of her age. 

Charles S., son of Charles & Sarah 
M. Edmoni Died Oct. i, 1843, M. 3 
and a half mos. 

Sarah M., Wife of Charles Edmond 
Died Sept. i. 1881. aged 80 years. 

JBetsey. daughter of William & Han- 
nah Edwards, died Nov. 13, 1825. 
Mi, 28. 

Sacred to the Memory of 

Anne Fairchild, Wife of Robert 
Fairchild, Esqr.. who departed this 
Life, August 29*^, 1796, in the Ss^^ 
Year of her Age. 



Benjamin Fairchild, Died April 
14, 1865, JE. 83 yrs. 9 mo. 

Eunice Fairchild, Died Feb. 10, 
1874. -^- 88 yrs. lo mo. 

Charles C. Fairchild, Died April 
30, 1849, ^^' 30 yrs. & II mo. 
In Memory of 

Cornelia, Daughter of Robert & Es- 
ther Fairchild, who died April 11, 
1836, JE, 22 yrs. 

In Memory of 
Frederick, son of Robert & Esther 

Fairchild, who died May 9, 1862. JE, 

50 yrs. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Hamlet Fairchild, Son of 

Capt. John Fairchild. of Durham, 

who departed this life, January the 13, 

1773. in y l^^ Year of His Age. 
In Memory of 
Jane Emetine, daughter of Robert 

& Esther Fairchild, who died, Nov. 

25, 1835, M, 30 yrs. 10 mo. & 4 ds. 
John C. Fairchild, Died Feb. 27. 

1873. J^. 67 Yrs. 
Mdbel, Wife of J. C. Fairchild, Died 

May 16, 1880, M. 77 Yrs. . 

Here lyes the Body of 
Mr. Joseph Fairchild, Who Died 

April y« 20'^, 1727, in y« 37*'* year of 

His Aged. 

Julia A., Died July lo, 1809, ^. 9 
yrs. 

Maria, Died Sept. 5, 1882, JE. 83 yrs. 
Daughters of Robert & Esther Fair- 
child. 

Esther Fairchild, wife of Robert 
Fairchild, Esq., died Dec. 19, 1819 ; 
aged 43. 

In memory of 
LeuHs Fairchild, who died Sept. 
4, 1826, aged 32. 
Give joy or erief, give ease or pain. 
Take life or friends away ; 
But let me find them all again 
In that eternal day. 

Louisa, wife of Lewis Fairchild, Died 
Oct. 16, 1867. Aged 71. 

Mariah, Daughter ofThomas& Susan 

Fairchild, Died May 19, 1849, JE, i ) r. 

& II mo. 

In Memory of 
Martha, wife of John Fairchild, who 

died Nov. 25, 1834, -^. 79 yrs. 7 mo. 

& 24 days. 

Here lyes y* Body of 
Mr. Nathan Fairchild, Who died 

Jany, y* cjf^, i730-ri Aged 38 years. 



2l8 



History of Stratford. 



In memory of 
Thilip Fairchild, who died, Nov. 

8, 1830, aged 64 years. 
rhilip, son of Mr. Philip & Mrs. 
Charry Fairchild. died Jany 2I*S 1803. 
Aged 9 months. 

In Memory of 
Bobert Fairchild^ Born Jan. 19, 
1775, died July 11, 1835, -^- 60 yrs. 5 
mo. & 22 ds. 

*' Requiescat in pace." 
Bobert J?. Fairchild, Died Nov. 
I, 1849. ^' 34 yrs. & 6 mo. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Bobert Fairchild, Esqr., who de- 
parted this Lile January 20^. 1793. In 
the 90^ year of his age. 
In memory of 
Mr. Bobert' Fairchild, only son 
of Robert Fairchild. Esq., and Mrs. 
Anne Fairchild, his wife, who deceasd. 
April 12*^, 1765, in 1 7^^ year of his age. 
In Memorv of 
Elizabetfi Fairchild^ the only 
daughter of the same Parents, who 
deceased July 19. 1745 in the 2^ year 
of Her Age. 
Sarah Fairchild, daughter of Cur- 
tis & Mary Fairchild. died Oct. 1756, 
aged 9 yrs. 

In Memory of 
Samuel A, Fairchild, who died 

Nov. 1, 1844, JE. 24 y'rs & 10 mo. 
Sanitiel William, son of Benjamin 
& Eunice Fairchild. Born in Stratford, 
March 30, 181 1. Who was lost at sea, 
on his passage in Steam Ship Pacific, 
which left Liverpool for New York, 
Jan. 23, 1856. 
Siisan E; daughter of Robert & 
Sarah M. Fairchild, Born July 25, 
1854, Died March 19, i860. 
He is tittinK up my mansion. 
Which eternally snail stand. 
For my stay shall not be transient 
In that holy, happy land. 

Here lyes ye Body of 
Tim>othy Fairchild, Aged 39 years. 

Died November 23. 1728. 
Joseph Farrand, Died Sept. 26, 

i860, iE. 64. 
Anna, His Wife, Died Aug. 19, 1863, 
^.76. 

In Memory of 
Mr, fTehiel Foot, who died Novbr. 
16, 1754, In His 31" Year. 

Here lies the Body of 

Mr. Jehiel Foot, who died Sept. y 

2*. 1740, in the 55 year of His Age, 



Joseph Foot, son of Miller & Mary 
Foot; Dec* March 2tl^, 1726, in y« 
17*^ year of his age. 

Here lies the Body of 

Mr. Feter Foot, who died Decemb' 

y* 8, 1753, in y* 56 year of His Age. 

Sarah Foot, wife to D Foot, 

sen. died Mar. 26, 1704. in her 46*^ year. 
Eugenia, daughter of John & Han- 
nah Ford, Died Aug. 23, 1851, JE. 12 
yrs. 10 mo. & 17 ds. 

Bud of promise early taken, 

To a more congenial clime. 

Oh ! how soon thou hast forsaken. 

Those who loved thee here in time. 

In memory of 

Mr. Stephen Frost, who died Aug. 
3, 1807, in the 61" year of his age. 
In memory of 

Eunice Frost, Wife of Stephen 
Frost, who died Jan. 14*^, 1807, aged 
63 years. 

Joseph Frost, son of Miller & Mary 
Frost, Died March 26'^. 1726, in y* 
17*^ year of his Age. 

Wheeler Frost, Died March 2, 1852, 
iE. 79. 
Here Lyes Interred the Body of 

Samuel Gaskill, Who died April y* 
2<*, 1707, in y" 29 Year of his Age. 

Christopher Qodfree, aged 58. 
Died November 26, 1715. 

Mrs. Amy Goodwin. [This is on 
the fool stone ; the head stone, a fine 
brown stone, is broken off and the 
inscription entirely gone.] 

In Memory of the • 

Bev. Hezekiah Gold, Who depart- 
ed this mortal Life April the 22'*, A. 
D. 1761, in y* 67 Year of His Age. 
He was the 4*^ Settled Minister in 
the first Society of Stratford of the 
. Presbyterian & Congregational De- 
nomination, & executed the Ministe- 
rial office in Sd Place for more than 30 
years, which he performed with Dili- 
gance & an honest heart to the end of 
his Ministry. 

Here lies Interr'd the Body of 

Mrs. Mary Gold, Consort to the 
Rev<». Mr. Hezekiah Gold, who De- 
parted this Life July the 2'*. 1750. In 
the 48*'* year of her Age. 

Here Ives y« Body of 

Anna Gold, Daughter 10 y« Rev. Mr. 
Hezekiah & Mary Gold, who died 
April 9"^, Anno Dom. I739» Aged 
about 4 years & 4 Mo. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Bury ing-place, 219 



Here lyes ye Body of 
Caiee Gold, Daughter of y* Revd. 

Mr. Hezekiah & Mrs. Mary Gold, who 

died Sept. 30***, Anno Dom. 1742, in 

ye 18 year of her Age. 

Here lyes y« Body of 
Catharine Ooldf Daughter of y« 

Revd Hezekiah & Mrs. Mary Gold, 

Who died Oct. 23'*. 1743, Aged i 3»ear 

&7 Ds. 
Ann OorJhani, Died May 2, 1878, 

Aged 87. 
Charles It. Gorham, Died Feb. 

25, 1 881, Aged 83 years & 4 mos. 
Eliza JR; Daughter of Charles R. & 

Sarah Gorham, Died June 3, 1862. M. 

25 yrs. & 6 mo. 

In Memory of 
Eliza, Wife of Charles R. Gorham. & 
daughter of the late Isaac Brooks, 
who died May 2, 1835, aged 27 years 
& 10 months. 

In memory of 
Capt, Isaac Gorham, who died 

Feb. 14, 1820, aged 8i. 
Capt. Nehetniah Gorham, died 
Feb 17, 1836, aged 83. 

He was an officer in the army of the 
Revolution, and served his country 
faithfully through the war which estab- 
lished the Independence of his countr}'. 

Joseph Gorham, died April 24, 

1742, aged 60 years. 
Sarah, his wife, died April 18, 1822, 

in y« 37th year of her age. 
Mary Gorham, Wife of Capt. Ne- 

hemiah Gorham, died Jan. 2, 1837, 

aged 74. 

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 

Lewis Walker, son of Lewis W. & 
Louisa M. Gorham, died July 17, 1852, 
M. 8 mos. & 16 d's. 

In Memory of 

JtUia Elizabeth, wife of Judson 
Gorham, who died Oct. 7, 1832, aged 

26 years. 

Judson Gorham,, Died March 29. 
1848. JE. 44. 

In midst of life we are in death. 

Nancy Gorham, Relict of Judson 
Gorham, Died Apr. 24, 1878, ^. 65 
y'rs. 

In the midst of life we are in death. 

In Memory of 
Miss Mary Gorhatn, daughter of 
Mr. George Gorham, who died Dec. 

26, 181 3, in the 70 year of her age. 



In memory of 
:Phebe Gorham, who died July 6, 
1824, i£. 65. 

Also 
Charity Gorham,, who died Dec. 
14, 1833.^.78: 

And 
George Gorham, who died Oct. 21, 

1837. JE. 77. 
SaUy Gorluim, Died April 28, 1872. 
Aged 66. 

Blessed Rest. 

James, son of Jeremiah & Sarah 
Greemman, died Mar. 29, 1726, Aged 
I year 7 mo. & 20 ds. 

Here Lyes the Body of 
Joseph GHmes, Died March y« 4*'', 
1 716. in J'* 25**» Year of his age. 
Here lyes the Body of 
Hannah Grimes, Wife to Joseph 
Grimes, Died January >'• 4***, 1715-6 
in ye 22 Year of Her Age. 
[A Monument.] 

Mer^vin Hale, aged 58, Died at 
Elizabethtown, N. J.. Aug. 13, 1847, 
From injuries received on the Rail 
Road. 

Mary, Wife of Merwin Hale, Died 
Aug. 30, 1870, Aged 70. 
In Memory of 

Asael Hawley, who died Jan. 23, 
1820, aged 25 years. 

In Memory of 

Mrs. Abigail Hawley, Relict of 
Mr. Edward Hawley. who died Aug. 
3i»S 1803, in the 72* year of her age. 
In Memory of 

Mr. Edward Hawley, who de- 
parted this Life January the ii**», A. 
D. 1732, in the 62 Year of his Age. 

Catrin Hawley, Daughter of Mr. 
Samuel & Mrs. Patience Hawley, who 
died in the 2^ year of her age, Febru- 
ary. 1696. 

J. H., May 20, 1690.* 

J. if., June 25, 1691. 

M. Hawley, 1693. 

Here Lyes Buried the Body of 

Mr. I>aniel Hawley, who departed 
this life July y* 28*^, Anno Domini, 
1750 in y* 66^'» year of His Age. 
Here lyes ye Body of 

Mrs. I>ebordh Hawley, Wife to 
John Hawley, Esq., Who died Decem- 
ber 3'*, Anno Domni, 1739, in ye 73* 
year of Her Age. 

• Probably the monument of Joseph Hawley, 
the first of the name In Stratford. 



220 



History of Stratford. 



In Memory of 
Mr. Edmund Hawley, who died 
March 21'*, 1810, Aged 55 years. 
Here lyes ye Body of 
Mrs. Elizabeth Hatvley, Wife to 
Mr. Daniel Hawley, who departed 
this life, Tan. the 6. 1763. in y« 7<)^ 
Year of Her Age. 

Here lyes the Body of 
tTohn Hatvley, Esq., aged 68 years 
and I mo. Died July 27, 1729. 
In Memory of 
Lucy Hawley, Relect of Kdmund 
Hawley, who died Aug. 31, 1840, JE. 
82 years. 
This stone is erected by her son Lewis 

Hawley. 
Lucy, Daughter of Edmond & Lucy 
Hawley, Died Nov. 6, 1822. aged 25 
yrs. 

Here Lyes Buried the Body of 
Mr. Nathaniel Hawley, Who De- 
parted this Life, Janry 7"*, Anno Dom. 
1754 in y* 52** Year of His Age. 
In Memor}* of 
Pairsan Hawley, who departed 
this Life, August 27, A. D. 1795, in 
the 65 year of his age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs, Abiah Hawley, widow and 
Relect of Mr. Pairson Hawley, who 
departed this Life. Oct. 10. A. D. 
1795, in the 60*^ year of her age. 
Here lyes Buried y« Body of 
Mr. Samuel Hawley, Who De- 
parted this Life, Aug. 24^**. A. D. 
1734 in y* 87*'* year of His Age. 
Wmr. Hatvley, Killed Nov. 26, 1842. 

i£. 22. 

Charles HiU, son of Charles & Sarah 
Tomlinson, Died Jan. 19, 18 14, Aged 

5 months & 5 days. 

I>nniel Holmes, Son of Mr. Daniel 

6 Mrs. Mary Holmes, Died May 3, 
A. D., 1738, Aged I year 6 months & 
21 Days. 

Here lyes ye Body of 
Mary Holtnes, Dau*' of M' Daniel 

& Mrs. Maiy Holmes, who Died May 

5*\ 1738, Aged 6 years 7 months 5 

days. 
Mehetabel Holmes, Dau*' of Mr. 

Daniel & Mrs. Mar>' Holmes, Died 

April 25*^. 1733, Aged 4 years & 5 

Days. 

Here lieth \'* Body of 
Mr. X€it/ianiel ilodson. aged 27 

years. Deceased May the 6^, 1701. 



Mr. Eliahim, Hotigh, died Jan. 

3, 1822, aged 53 Years. 
Sarah LeuHs, widow of Eliakim 
Hough, Died Dec. 9, 1858, aged 88 
yrs. 2 mos. & 24 days. 
This stone is erected in memory of 
Aner Howes, Wife of Eben« Howes, 
who died Oct. 2o"», 1803, in the 47** 
year of her Age. 

In memory ot 
Ebenezer Howe, who died Jan. 16, 

1832, aged 90 years. 
Mary Howe, Died Sept. 5, 1863, 

i£. S4. 
Sarah Howe, Died Oct. 2, 1861, 

^.85. 
Emily Hoyt, Born Feb. 17, 1800, 
died Sept. 28, 1862. 

** He ffivcth his beloved sleep." 
In memory of 
Mrs. Betsey HtMieU, Wife of Mr. 
David Hubbell, who died March 4^, 
181 1, aged 23 Years. 
Hannah Hubbard, Widow of Dan- 
iel Hubbard, Died Aug. i, 1855, M. 73, 
In memory of 
Mrs. Mary HvbbeU, wife of Mr. 
Ebenezer Hubbell, who died Sept' 
i8**», 1790, M. 67. 
Sarah Mariah, daughter of Lewis 
S. & Julia Ann Hubbell. died July 22, 
1835, aged 4 yrs. and 4 mos. 
In Memory of 
JLovisa, wife of Roswell Humiston, 
who died March 11, 1831, aged 29 
years. 
Sleep on dear wife &. take thy rest. 
Thy God has called, he thousht it best. 
Sleep calmly with the silent dead, 
For thy blest spirit now has fled. 
No joys on earth were worth thy stay. 
They'll soon forever pass away, 
Hut joys eternal now are thine 
Far. far beyond the bounds of time 
Lovisa I hope to meet you there 
And in God's kingdom have a share 
I hope to sing with you above 
The notes of everlasting^ love. 

Miss Sibel Huntington, of Nor- 
wich. Conn.. Died April ii, 1820, iE. 

78. 
Erected by Jedediah Huntington. 

In Memory of 
Josephine^ daugh*' of Frederick & 
Delia C. Hunt, who died July 7, 1834, 
iE. 2 y'rs. & I mo. Also 
FredeiHca, died July 20, 1834, M. 1 
year. 
Suffer little children to come unto me. and 
forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of 
Heaven. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Bury ing^place. 221 



' In Memory of 
I>elia C Hunt, widow of the late 
Capl. Frederick Hunt, of New Ha- 
ven ; & dau*' of John Thompson, 
dec'd ; who died April 16, 1842 ; aged 
39 years. 

In thee O Lord, do I put my trust ; let me 
never be ashamed ; deliver me in thy righteous- 
ness. Into thy hand I commit my spint ; thou 
hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. I will 
be glad and rejoice in thy mercy ; for thou hast 
considered my trouble ; thou nast known my 
soul in adversities. 

Here lyes y* body of 
tTohn Hurdf deceased in y« 68 year 

of his Age. 

In memory of 
Naomi f the wife of James Hurl hurt 

and daughter of Stiles & Naomi Jud- 

son. who died. March 6, 1845, Aged 

50 yrs. 

In Memory of 
Z>arothy Ives, formerly wife of John 

Brooks, Esq., dec'd. and late widow 

of Thomas Ives, Esqr., who died Sept. 

12. 1834, aged 92. 

Here Iveth the Body of 
Alice Jenkins f the Daughter of D. 

J., Who departed this life in the 20 

year of her age. January 9**', lyof. 
Abel Judeson^ son to David & 

Phebe Judeson. Aged about 7 mo. 

Died Sept. y* i8»»', 1721. 
Mr. Abner Judson^ died July 16, 

18 14. ^t. 49. 
F€inny Juds€nh, daughter of Abner 

& Elizabeth A. Judson ; died Dec. 29, 

1812, Mi, 14. 

In memory of My beloved husband, 
Abner Judsoti^ who departed Nov. 

22, 1867, M, 76 yrs. & 10 mo. 
Maria, Wife of Abner Judson, Died 

July 31, i88i, M. 85 yrs. & 9 mo. 
Here lies inter'd the Remains of 
Mr, Abner Judson, who Departed 

this Life February y« i8**», A. D. 1774 

in }'• 43** Year of his Age. 

Here lyes the Body of 
Mrs* Ann Judson, wife to Mr. 

Samuel Judson, Aged 19 Years & 6 

months 14 days. Died March 14, 1729. 
In Memory of 
Aaron Judson, who died Jan. 31, 

1835, aged 75 years. 

In Memory of 
Metty Judson, who died Oct. 2, 

181 5 ; in the 59. year of her age. 
In Memory of 
Clarissa, wife of Isaac Judson, who 

died Oct. 29. 1822, aged 39 years. 



[A MONUMBNT.] 

I>avid P. Judson, Died May 24, 
1869, JE. 60. 

WiUiatn Judson, Died Aug. 30, 
1868. JE, 55. 



KtUe Hidden, Died Oct. 5, 1857, M. 

5 mos. 

William, Died Mar. 5, 1869, JE. 7 
mos. 

Children of D. P. & E. S. Judson. 
Here lyes Buried the Body of 

Capt, I>avid Judson, Who De- 
parted this life May the 5*^, 1761, 
Aged 07 years & 9 months. 
Here lyes y* Body of 

Mrs, JPhebe Judson, formerly Wife 
to Capt. David Judson, Who departed 
this life May y* 20**», 1765, Aged 69 
years & 2 months. 

I>afUel Judson, Esq., Deceased 

Nov. 4, 1813 ; in the 86 year of his age. 

I>aniel Judson, the son of Daniel 

6 Sarah Judson ; died SepL 14, 18 '5 ; 
in the 14 year of his age. 

Death called Daniel long before his hour ; 
(How immature this sacred marble tells) 
It called his tender soul, by break of bliss. 
From the first blossom, from the buds of j03r ; 
To join the dull mass, increase the trodden soil. 
And sleep till earth herself shall be no more. 

I>aniel, son of Daniel & Sarah Jud- 
son, died Dec. 6, 1823, aged 7 years. 
So break our glittering shaddows, human joys. 
The faithless morning smiled, he takes his leave. 

[A MONUMBNT.] 

jDaniel Judson, Died Oct. 4, 1847, 

Aged 84. 
Sarah, Wife of Daniel Judson, Died 
Aug. 14, 1857, Aged 82. 
The Children of Daniel and Sarah 
Judson. 
Daniel, Died SepL 7, 181 5, Aged 14. 
Daniel, Died Dec. 6, 1823, aged 7. 

In memory of 

Mrs. Eliz€tbeth Abigail Judson, 

who died Aug. 3Z*^ aged 38 years ; 

Also their Daughter 

Betsey Judson, who died Sept. 21**, 

aged 15 years ; 

Also their Son 
David Judson, who died Sept. 3<^, 
aged 8 months : 

All in the year 1803. 
Elizaheth Ann Mills Judson, 
daughter of Rosswell & Sarah Judson, 
died March 12'*', 1806, M, 22 months 
& II days. 

Alas ! how transient all our earthly store ; 
To-day we bloom to-morrow are no more. 



222 



History of Stratford. 



[MONUMKNT.] _, , 

H. T. Jud»on, M.D., Died Feb. 

23, 1851, M. 50- 
Nancy T. Jtidaon, died Sept. 27, 

1864. iE. 69. 
Siirah Judson, died April 18, 1859. 

iE. 83. 
Miss Hannah Jndsim^ Daughter 
' of Mr. Abner & Mrs. Hannah Judson, 
died Sept' 17, I795, Aged 21 years & 
5 munths. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Hannah Judson^ formerly 
Wife to Mr. Abner Judson Who dc 
parted this Life May y^ 15, A. D. 1777. 
in the 41 Year of her Age. 
In Memory of 
Helen Judson^ wife of Aaron Jud- 
son, who died May 26, 1S25, aged 56 1 
years. Also of 
Edwin Jtidsonf son of Sidney I. & 
Mary Ann Beardsley, who died Sept. 
25, 1825, aged 5 months. 
In Memory of 
Isaac tTudsonf son of Mr. Abner & 
Mrs. Hannah Judson : Who died July 
y* 26^^, 1772. Aged 4 years & 6 months. 
In memory of 
Abfied* Judson, son of Mr. Abner & 
Mrs. Hannah Judson, Who died May 
17, 1764. Aged 2 monihs & 17 Ds. 
Here lyes Huried ye Body of 
Joshua Judson, who departed this 
Life. Nov. 27, Anno Dorani, 1735. in 
y* 58*^ year of his age. 

Here lyes the Body of 
Capt. Jaines Judson, Esq., Who 
dyed Feby y* 25*N 1721, Aged 71 yrs. 
Here lyes y* Body of 
Mrs. Rebekah Judson, Who Dyed 
Nov. y« 5**^, 171 7, Aged 62 Years. 
In Memory of 
Isaac Judson, who died Nov. 5, 
i83i» Aged 46 years. 

Here lyeth the Body of 
Mr. Jeremiah Judson, Who died 
in the 79 year of His Age, May i?. 
1700. 

Here lyes Buried ye Body of 
Mr. Jeretniah Judson, who de- 
parted this life, Decern. ii*»», 1759. »« 
ye 26 Year of His Age. 

Here lyes Burried y" Body of 
Capt. Jeremixih Judson, Who de- 
parted this life Feb. 9. 1734. aged 63 
years. 



Sacred to the memory of 
Joseph Judson, and Sarah, his 

wife : Joseph died Oct. 8, 1690. aged 
71 years. 

Sarah died March 16. 1696, aged 70 
years. Joseph came from England 
when 13 Years old in 1634 with his 
father Wm. and two brothers and re- 
sided in this Town : 

The old monument being so effaced by 
lime as 10 be scarcely ledgible his de- 
scendants have erected this to perpet- 
uate his memory, in the year 1812. 

In memory of 
Letvis Judson , son of Stiles & Charry 
Judson, who died Mar. 25, 1837. aged 
21. 

In memory of 
Charity Judson, daughter of Stiles 
& Naomi Judson. who died Feb. 26, 
1 81 7, aged 29 years. 

In Memory of 
Lewis Judson, Son of Stiles & 
Naomi Judson, who died July 9, 1815, 
aged 25 years. 

In memory of 
Naomi, wife of Stiles Judson, who 

died June 4, 1850, JE. 91 yrs. 
Stiles Judsmi, Died, March 10, 1834, 
aged 81 years. 

Sacred to the memory of 
Sarah Judson, Consort of Daniel 
Judson, Esq., Who died May 30***, 
A.D. 1 80S. Aged 77 years. 
Here lyeth Burried the Body of 
Mr. Isaac Knell, sen., who depart- 
ed this life in the 57 year of his age. 
November 2, 1708. 

Here lieth the Body of 
Lieut. Thomas Knofvles, Who 
Departed this Life. November y* 17*^, 
in the 57^'* Year cf his Age, 1705. 
B. L., March 30, 1691. 
Cornelia Auffusta, Daughter of 
David & Laura Lacy. Died April 24. 
1850. iE. 18 Y'rs & 6 mo. 
'* Come, dear Saviour take me home." 
I long to see thy blessed face. 
To hear thy voice and wear thy crown. 
The gift of thy free grace. 

Short from the cradle to the grave. 
Christine S., Daughter of Francis 

B. & Cathrine A. Lacy, Died Aug. 22, 

1844, iE. 17 mo. 2 daV 
David Lacy, Born Dec. 4. 1785. 

died Feb. 9. 1862. iE. 76 Y rs, 2 mo. 

& 5 d's- 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Bury ing-place, 223 



!>• Augtutus JLcbcyf Died at Vicks- 
burg. Miss., October 6, 185s, -£. 26 
y'rs & 4 mo. 

His remains were removed to this 

place, Apr. 7. 1856. 
Beneath this silent marble sweetly sleeps 
A Farther, friend, and husband, loved. 
The memory of whose bright virtues keeps 
Fond hearts prepared to meet above. 

Little 
Laura, daughter of D. Augustus & 
Eliza D. Lacy. Born Aug. 22, 1852, 
Died Dec. i, 1S60, iE. 8 Yrs. 3 mo. Sc 
9 d's. 

A flower transplanted. 

In Memory of 

Francis B* Lacy, who died Dec. 

26, 1847, in the 29^^ Y'r of his age. 

Mother 
Laura Burr, Wife of David Lacy, 
Born Apr. 25, 1793, Died Nov. 5, 1869. 
M. 76 Y'rs 6 mo. 10 d's. 

jPeter Labor ee, the son of James & 
Abigail Laboree, died March 11, 1721. 

Here Lyes Buried y* Body of 
Mary Latnson, Daughter of Wil- 
liam & Elizabeth Lamson, Who De- 
parted This life March the 30*'*, 1727, 
Aged 2 Years, 3 months & 20 Days. 

tTacob Lattin, Son of Benjamin & 
Mary Lattin.Dec* Novb'. y* 23. 1724. 
Aged 3 months & 25 Ds. 

tfahn looker, son of Rev. Jackson 
& Sarah Leavitt. died July 11, 1828, 
aged 3 yrs. 8 ds. 

In memory of 
Abram C, LewiSf who died Dec. 9, 
1845, ^. 68 Yrs. 

In memory of 
JEHzabeth Letvis, Wife of Abram 
C. Lewis, who departed this life Oct. 
30. 1804, aged 26 years. 

In Memory of Two Children of Abram 

C. & Elizabeth Lewis, 
Caty, died Sept. 12*^, 1803, aged 3 
years & 5 months. 

Charles, died Sept. 5*^, 1803, aged i 
year & 10 months. 

JtUiana, wife of Abram C. Lewis. 

died May 16, 1849, M, 65. 
Edward C, Son of A. C. & J. Lewis, 

died in California. Sept. 29. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mr. Benjamin Lewis, who depart- 
ed this life, July y* ^^, 1759, in y« 63* 
Year of His Age. 



Here lyes ye Body of 
Mrs. Sarah Lewis, Wife of Mr. 
Benjamin Lewis, Who departed this 
Life, June y 8, 1765, in y« 66 Year of 
Her Age. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Benjamin Lewis, who de- 
parted this life, May 2, 1800, aged 71 
years. 

O ! welcome, welcome Death. 
In Memory of 
Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis, Relict of 
Mr. Benjamin Lewis, who died Oct. 
29*'», 1802, aged'64 years. 
Befijamin Birdsey Lewis, son 
of Mr. Agur & Mrs. Charily Lewis, 
died Sept. 13**", 1305, aged 11 months. 
Vouth's forward slips 
Death soonest nips. 

Here lies intered the Body of 
Daniel Lewis, Son of Mr. Joseph 
Lewis, who departed this Life, April 
9"', A. D^ 1775. aged 21 years ii 
months & 22 Days. 

No grift of Nature, art or Grace, 
Exempteth from the burying place, 
All must obey the solemn C all. 
Before that tyrant all must Fall. 

In Memoty of 
Mr. George Lexvis, who died Nov. 

13, 1815, in the 81 Year of his age. 
Mrs. Mary Lewis, wife of Mr. 
George Lewis, died May 24^^, 1814, 
Aged 76 Years. 

In Memor}' of 
Jerusha Lewis, wife of Stephen 
Lewis, who died Feb. 12, 1838 ; in 
the 86 year of her age. 
J'erusha, daughter of Mr. Stephen 
C. & Mrs. Hannah Lewis, died Nov. 
4, 1 814, aged 7 months. 

Here lyeth y« Body of 
Hannah Lewis, the Daughter of 
Mr. E. L., Who Departed this Life in 
y* 3 Year of her age, April 10, 1700. 
In memory of 
Mr. Joseph Lewis, who died Oct. 
7, 1797, In y« 77 Year of His Age. 
In memory of 
Behecca J., daughter of Abram C. 
& Juliana Lewis, who died Feb. 14. 
1835, i£. 9 years 8 months. 

In memory of 
Sarah Lewis, the beloved Consort 
of Mr. Joseph Lewis, who died Feb. 
20*^, 1789, in the 63 year of her age. 
In memory of 
St^hen Lewis, who died July 18, 
1839, aged 91 yr?. 



224 



History of Stratford. 



Charlotte A.^ only Daughter of Ben- 
edict & Manila Lillingstone, Died 
July 6, 1861, iE. 24 yrs. 3 mo. & 16 Ds. 
This is ip'ound 
which no rude footstqs should impress. 

Mary H., Wife of David W. Lilling- 
stone, Died Oct. 13. 1863, M. 22 yrs. 
2 mo. & II Ds. 

Tread softly stranger. 

In memory of Four Infant children of 
Ezekiel & Hannah Lov^oy. 

They died in the year of 1793, I794. 
1795 & 1805. 
JLUUe Carrie 

In memory of 
Ezekiel Laveilopf who died April 

20, 1837 ; aged 77 years. 
In memory of 
Clarissa Lovejoy, relict of Ezekiel 

Love joy, who died March 31, 1839, 

aged 46 years. 
Theodora, daughter of Ezekiel & 

Clarissa Lovejoy, died Sept. 27. 1824, 

aged 3 years « 7 months. 
Mrs* Hannah Lov^tfoy, wife of 

Mr. Ezekiel Lovejoy ; died Dec. 15. 

1813 ; aged 48 years. 

In memory of 
Mrs. Susannah Lov^oy, wife of 
Capl. Phineas Lovejov.who departed 
this life, April 6»^ A.D. x8o6,iEt. 76. 
Behold and see, you who pass by. 
As you are now so once was I ; 
As I am now so vou must be. 
Prepare for death and follow me. 

Capt. I^hineas Lovejoy , died Sept. 
21, 1812. in the 81 year of his age. 
Farewell, my offspring, left on shore. 
You soon must pass this dangerous deep ; 
Where all our ancestors are gone before ; 
I hope in heaven we all shall meet. 

The Grave of two sisters, only children 

of DeForest and Catharine Maria 

Manice, died in New York of 

scarlet fever. 

Catharine Maria, born in New 

York, Jan. 26. 1828, died Feb. 11, 

1830, aged 2 years & 16 days. 

Mary Anne, born in Hartford. Jan. 
6, 1826, died March 8, 1830, aged 4 
years 2 months & 2 days. 

In Memory of 
Samuel McAlister, Born 1803. Died 
May 12, X852. 

And also 
Harriet, his wife, Bom 1783, Died 
Sept. 13, 1863. 



Samuel Ufford McAUster, Aged 
10 yrs. 1843. 

A blighted flower, 
A bud of fairest promise pipped 
In early morning hour. 
Ahijah McEwen, Esq., died Dec. 
I. 1812, aged 70. 

In memory of 
Mrs. Catee, the virtuous and beloved 
Consort of Abijah McEwen, & Daugh- 
ter of Agur Tomlinson. Esqr.^ who 
departed this Life in a glorious pros- 
pect of a better ; December 28**, A. 
D., 1774, iEiat. 28. 
O just beloved and lost, O ever dear ! 
Thy memory still shall prompt the tender tear 
With every virtue, every Grace adorn'd 
Whatever in life is Loved, in Death is mourned. 

Charles McEwen, Died January 6«», 

1836. Aged 56. 

Sarah McEwen, wife of Charles 

McEwen. died Sept. 17, 1847. aged 68. 

Wm. Wallace, son of Charles & 

Sally McEwen. died Aug. 25. i8i5» 

aged 4 years. 

George V. T. McEwen, Died Sept. 

10, 1882, Aged 63 years. 
Jane Elizalpeth, dsLxxghier of Charles 
and Sally McEwan, died Nov*' i6»N 
1804, aged 10 months. 
Jerusha McEwen, Died April 6, 

1839, Aged 82 years and 7 months. 
Dr. John Betts McEwen, born in 
Stratford. March 31, 1S08, and died 
in New York October 7, 1867. 
Maria Catharine McEwen, Died 
Dec. 16, 1843. Aged 62. 
In Memory of 
Mary Alice McEwen, Dau*' of 
Mr. Abijah & Mrs. Catey McEwen. 
who died April 7^. I77a. Aged 5 
months. 
' In Memory of 

j Buth McEwen, wife of Samuel 
McEwen, who died June 22**, 1836, 
Aged 55. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
SaJly McEuen, Wife of Samuel 
McEuen. who died Oct. 20. 1802, Mi. 
23. and of their 
Daughter, who died Oct. 17**^, 1802. iEt. 
17 hours. 

In memory of 
Samnel McEwen, who died March 
2. 1S49, iE. 74. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Timothy McEuen, who died 
Feby 9*^. 1788. aged 84 years. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Durying-place. 225 



In Memon* of 
Wiiiian 8. W. McEwen, who died 
Aug. 17, 1833, Aged 34. 
In Memory of 
Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of 
William S. & Sarah M. M«E\ven, Who 
died Sept. 4, 1828. ^E 13 Months. 
This lovely bird so vounR and fair, 
Called hence by early doom. 
Just come to show how sweet a flower. 
In Paridise would bloom. 

In Memory of 
Samuel Curtiss, son of William S. 
& Sarah M. M«Ewen. who died July 
6, 1836, JE 7 yrs. 
Wm, Samuel, son of Abijah & Mary 
Ann M«£wen, died Oct. 14, 1845, 
aged 7 years. 

In Memory 
George McCune, Son of Mr. Timo- 
thy & Mrs. Abigail M^Cune. who 
Departed this Life April y« 6***, 1768, 
in y* 16"* year df His Age. 

Here lies inter'd the Body of 

Mrs. Abigail Mc eune, Wife ot 

Mr. Timothy M«Eune, Who died Aut. 

17*^. I775» in the db*** year of Her Age. 

Jane Mills, Died April 12, 1849, JE 

Si- 
Mr. William. Morehouse, died of 
consumption, Sept. 11, 1832, aged 34 
years. 
Farewell my dear husband, he's gone 
And we are destined for a while to part 
I am left for to yreto and to mourn^ 
The wound has sunk deep in my heart. 

To the Memory of 
Mary Mumford, d&ughter of B M. 

& Harriet Mumford, of New York, 
died 31 July, 1814. aged i year & 29 
days. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 

Mr. HowJcins Nichols, Who De- 
parted this Life Sept. y* I3**», 1757, 
Aged 29 Years, 11 months & 29 Days. 
Here lyes Buried the Body of 

Mr» Jonathan Nichols, Who de- 
parted this Life November y* 6^, 1760, 
in y« 73 year of His Age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Susan Nichols, who departed 

this life, Jan'y 13*^, 1792, In the 35*^ 

year of her Age. 
Josiah Nicols, June 25, 1692, [Aged] 

39 7- 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Richard Nichols, Who departed 

this life, Sept. y* 20, 1756, in y* 78 

of His Age. 



In Memory of 
Mr. Silas Nichols, who departed 
this Life Jany. 13, 1792, in the 55 Year 
of his age. 

[A Monument.] 
Sacred to the Memory of 
Mrs. Ann Nichols, wife of George 
K. Nichols, and daughter of Jabez H. 
Tomlinson, Esqr., born on the 23*^ 
day of January, 1785. She died deep- 
ly lamented, on the 26 day of Febru- 
ary, 1812, aged XXVII. 
She was a dutiful Child, an affectionate Sis- 
ter, a constant Friend, a loving Wife, and a ten- 
der Mother. 

PossessiDij^ an elevating and descriminatinfr 
mind, Sh« RratefuUy embraced the religion of 

iesus, andnving in the exercise of the Christian 
I'aitli, she resiened tliis life with a well found- 
ed hope of a blessed immortality, through the 
divine Redeemer. 

In Memory of 
Mr. George K, Nichols, who was 

born Dec. 26, 1776; died Sept. i, 

1 82 1, near Natchez, where his remains 

were buried. 

An amiable and generous heart, enlivened by 
the love of the divine Redeemer, endeared 
himself to his numerous friends and relatives. 

Elizabeth Huntington Nichols 

was born on the 3** day of February, 
1809, and died on the 9^ day of July, 
1812. 

She was a lovely child. She was committed 
to our care, and we watched over her with the 
tenderest affection, but we loved her, perhaps, 
too well, and she was talcen from us in mercy. 

Here lies the body of 
Josiah, Son to Mr. Thomas & M" 

Sarah Olcott, who died Msiy y* 3'*, 

1747, in the 10 year of his Age. 
Sarah Olcott, wife of Thomas Olcott, 

died May 11. 181 1, in the 89 year of 

her age.' 

In Memory of 
Mr, Thomas Olcott, who died May 

3, 179s ; In y* 82 year of his Age. 

Here lies Interred the Body of 

Mrs. Sarah Ollcott, wife of Mr. 

Thomas Ollcott, who Departed this 

Life March y* 30*'', A.D. 1756, In y* 

40*^ Year of Her Age. 

In Memory of 
Frederick Olmstead, who died 

Nov. 9. 1826, aged 39 years. 
In Memory of 
Mary J. wife of Frederick Olmstead, 

Born Nov. 20, 1792, Died Jan. 10, 

18S2. 
William Pixlee, son of Frederick 

and Mary J. Olmstead, died Jan. 21, 

1S23, aged 17 months. 



226 



History of Stratford. 



Mr. Nortnand Oifnsiead, died 
March 28. 1819 ; aged 43 years. 
In Memory of 

Marther Osborfif wife of Nathan 
Osborn. who died Oct. $^, 1803, aged 

54- 

Here lyes Buried y* Body of 
Mr, Andrew JPeUtersan, Who de- 
parted this Life December y* 2*, An- 
no Domni 1746, Aged 87 years. 
Isaac Patterson, Son of M' fohn & 
M" Mary Patterson : Died Feb'>' 13»J», 
A.D. 1749, aged i year & 8 Monihs. 
Helen T*, wife of Edward Patterson, 
died Feb. 5. 1S48. M 21 y" «& 6 Mo. 
Also their Infant daughter died Jan. 31, 

1848, M 2 ds. 
Isabella iS^ Helen T.9 Daughters of 
Edward and Mary H. Patterson, M 
S'A mo. 

Here lyes y* body of 
I^arthenia TattersoHf Daugh' of 
M' John & M" Mary Patterson, Who 
Died J.'»n'y 26*\ 174^, Aged 16 Years 
I mo. & 27 d'. 
Here lies Interr*d the Body of 
Lieut. Samuel Peat, who Dec'd 
Sepr the I4»^, 1747, in the 84*^ Year 
of his age. 
In Memory of two Children of Capt. 

John & Mrs. Mary Peck. 
EHzaoeth Peck, departed this Life, 
Janry 30***, 17S5, in the 5 Year of her 
age. 
Davi€l Brooks Peck, departed this 
Life, Febry 4**'. 17S5, in the 2 year of 
his Age. 
Your moans fond parents cease & Let this 

hope suffice. 
Your babies shall sleep in peace till Jesus bids 
them rise. 

In memonr of 
Hannah, wife of Thaddeus Peck, 
who died Oct. 5, 1815, aged 33 years. 
In memory of 
James Peck, Son of De.in Job & 
Mrs. Bettee Peck. Who died Oct»". 8, 
A.D. 1776, in the 18*^ Year of his 
Age. 

In memory of 
I>ea€on Job Peck, who departed 
this Life, September the g^^, A. D. 
1782, in the 62** Year of his Age, and 
also of 
Hetty Peck, his wife, who departed 
this Life, december the 2i»S A. D. 
1780, in the 56*'* Yc.ir of her Age. 
Redeemed from Earth & pain 
Ah when shall we ascend 
And all m Jesus presence reign 
With our departed friends. 



In Memory of 
Mr. Job Peek, who died Fcby 3, 
1797, in the 44*^ Year of his age. 
Redeemed from earth and pain 

O when shall we assend 
And all in Jesus presence reign 
With our departed friends. 

In memory of 
Mrs. Martha Peck, Wife of Mr. 
Job Peck. She died Sept. 13, 1798, 
iEtat. 42- 

In memory of 
Josiah Peck, Jun^ who died at St. 
Christopher's August 27^, 1809. In 
the 23** year of his age. 
Also, 
Sally Peck, Daughter of Mr. Joseph 
Peck, who died Sept. 17"*, 1809. In 
the 17**' year Of her age. 
While our departed friends are gone. 
To join the Church above. 
May We Prepare to foltow them, 
Ana sine Redeeming Love. 

In memory of 
lewis Peck, Son to Mr. Job & Mrs. 

Martha Peck, who died June 3, 1796, 

in the 12 year of his Age. 
Alice, widow of Isaac Pendleton. Died 

Dec. 10, 1868 ; Aged 88yrs. 
Isaac Pendleton, deceased, Nov. 

10. 1824. aged 46 years. 
William Pendleton, Died Sept. 

14. 1883, SD 78 yrs. 9 mos. 
J. P., S. P. 

Here lyes Buried y* Body of 
Mr. David Pixley, Who Died 

August y* I'S A.D. 1742, in y* sS*"* 

year of his Age. 

Memory of 
Mr. Peter Pixlee, Who Departed 

this Life, Aug. 2**, 1788, In the 86*^ 

Year of his age. 

David Pixlee, son of Peter & Mary 
Pixlee, died Sept. y* 18, 1751. in his 
9*^ year. 

In memory of 
Mrs. Mary Pixlee, Relict of Mr. 
Peter Pixlee, who died June 13, 1799, 
aged 92 Years. 

In Memory of 
Mr. William Pixlee, who died 
May 8*^, 1800, aged 66 years. 
In memory of 
Bette Pixlee, Wife of Mr, William 
Pixlee. who died Sepf 27*\ 1776, in 
the 40*'' Year of her Age. 

And also two Children. 
Bette, died Sept. 28, 1776, in the 8*^ 

Ye.ir of her Age. 
William, died Oct' 16, 1776, in the 
6*'* Year of his Age. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-placc, 227 



Sacred to the Memory of 
Mr»* Bathshebah Plant, Relict 

of Mr. James Plant, late of Branford, 

who died Jany S***, 1803, in the 87**» 

year of her age. 

In Memoiy of 
Cathrine, wife of David Plant & 

Daughter of William & Phebe Tom- 

linson. who was born Oct. 9, 1787, & 

died June 2. 1835. 
J>avid Plant f born March 29, 1783, 

died Oct, i8. 1851. 
Edward, son of David & Cathrtne 

Plant, died May 14. 1826, as 10 months. 
Mary, Wife of Henry Plant, Died ^ 

Nov. 7, i860, aged 38 years. 
Mary B,f Wife of Henry Plant, Died 

Nov. 7, 1862. aged 38 years. 
John Henry, son of David & Cath- 

rine Plant, died Sept. 7**», 181 5, aged 

I year & 7 months. 

In Memory of 
Sarah, wife of Solomon Plant, who 

died Sept. is**^. 1815 ; aged 68 years. 
In Memory of 
Mr. Solomon Plant, who died, 

May 20, 1822, aged 81 years. 
Justus Plumb, Died March 17, 1845, 

Aged 81. 
Hwdah, His Wife, Died Sept. 19, 

1853. Aged 88. 

In memory of 
Rebecca Poore, wife of Dr. Joshua 

Poore. who died July 8, 1838, aged 

Si years. 
Joshua Poor, M.I>., Died 1792, 

Aged 42. 
Catharine, Daughter of Joshua & 

Rebecca Poor, Died Sept. 7, 1868, 

Aged 80. 

In Memory of 
Mrs* Charity Porter^ wife of ' 

Stephen Porter, who died Oct. 12, I 

1 81 7, aged 63 Years. j 

In Memory of 1 

Mr. Steplien Porter, who died 

September 7, 18 17, aged 81 years. 1 

In Memory of ' 

Charlotte Prince, widow of WiU 

liam Prince, who died Dec. 17, 1841, 

aged 79 years. I 

James Prince, Son of William & 

Grandson of Joseph Prince, of Strat- 
ford, Died Aug. 4. 1876. JE.. 88 y'rs. ' 

6 mo. 
Jerusha, Wife of James Prince, Died 

Dec. 29. 1873, /E. 82 yrs. 5 mo. 



Charlotte Augusta, Daughter of 
James & Jerusha Prince. Horn May 
17, 1829, Died Julv 10, 1033. 
Love to her Savior, love to all 
She knew, were her last accents. 

To the lovely and much lamented 

Mary Abigail, Daughter of lames 
and Jerusha Prince, who died Sep- 
tember 12*'', 1827, aged 3 months and 
8 days. 

John Prince, Son of Mr. Joseph & 
Mrs. Hannah Prince, Died Feb. 13, 
1740-1. Aged 4 Yeais 4 months & 8 
Days. 

Here lie the Remains of 

Mr. Joseph Prince, 4*** Son of 
Samuel Prince. Esq',, by Mary his 2* 
Wife of Sandwich, where he was born 
April i'\ 1695, and Died here Decem*" 
4, 1747. in the 53'^** year of his Age, 
Much beloved and lamented. 
Here lyes the Body of 

Samnel Pitman^ Son of Mr. Jona- 
than Pitman, Deceased. May y* 18*''. 
1717, Aged 25 years, 3 Mo. & 13 Ds. 

Mary Eexford, daughter of Hezc- 

. kiah & .Maria Rudd, died .^ug. 17, 
1817, Aged I year 8 mo. 

Mary L. JReocford, died Jan. 18, 
1869, aged 80 y'rs. 

Mrs, Sarah JRexford, died Aug. 

11, 1831, aged 8o}'ears. 
Charles JET. Rogers, Died March 

10, 1864, iE. 48 yrs. 3 mos. 

Harriet Maria Rogers, relict of 
T. M. Rogdrs, daughter of Robert 
died Mar. 19, 1847. aged 60 years. 

Laura M. Rogers, Born Oct. 13, 
1855, Died, Dec. 25. 1880. 

Sophronia E. Rogers^ Born June 
14, 1854, Died June 9. 1S75. 

Thomas Mntnford Rogers, aged 
63 Years. 

Here L}'es Burried y* Body of 

Abigail llumsey^ Daughter of Mr. 
Benj"" & Mrs. Rebeck.i Rumsey, of 
Fairfield. Who Died Ocib' 14, 1743, 
Aged 16 years & 7 months. 

Wasting sickness spoiled ye beauteous form 

And Death C unsigned her to her kindred Worm. 

The Day Advances When ye s.iints shall Rise 

With Sparklinp Glory & Ascend ye skyes. 

Aldeu Rtissell, Died Dec. 26, 1863, 

Aj;ed 77 years. 
Sarah A., Wife of Alden Russell, 

Died Feb. 21, 1S65. jE. 70. 
** The morning Cometh." 
Jul9€i E, liussell. Died Oct. 26, i860. 

Aged 21 yrs. 4 mos. & 15 ds. 



228 



History of Stratford. 



In Memory of 
Eliphaiei Bussell, son of Doci. 
Win. & Hannah Russell who departed 
this Life Mrch 26, 1776. in the 21 year 
of his age. 

In memory of 
Betsy Russell, Daughter of Mr. Wil- 
liam & Mrs. Jerusha Russell, who 
died Sept. 28, 1790, aged i year & 11 
mo. 

In memory of 
WUliam Russell, son of Mr. Wil- 
liam & Jerusha Russell, who died 
Dec. 2, 1792, aged i year & 3 months. 
Sleep, lovely Babe and Uke thy rest 
God called thee home as he thought best. 
Though to thy Parents dear. 

From the affectionate desire of a Father 

let this Stone remain Sacred to the 

memory of his son, 

James Saidler, Jun,, Student of 
Columbia College. New York, Aged 
14 Years & 9 months, who, after three 
days' illness, died on his arrival here 
from that city of the Pestilential dis- 
disease on the 11*^ day of August, 
1798. 

Here lieth The Body of 

Sarah Foot, Wife to D. F. Senior, 
Who died in the 46*** year of her age, 
March 26, 1704. 

Elijah Sharman, died August y* 
I5**», 1751, aged 9 months. 

Mr. Benjamin Sherman. 

Mrs. Bebeckah Sherman. 

Walker f the Son of Mr. Enos & Mrs. 
Abigail Sharman, April y* 6, 1751 
in the 19**^ year of his age. 

In Memory of 
Charles B. Sm^ith, who died Nov. 
3, 1822. M. 29. 

In Memory of 
George Sm>Uh, who died Oct. 13. 
1822, JE, 73. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Lucy Sm,iUif wife of George Smith, 
deceased June 26, 1813 ; iEiat. 53 
. years. 

And of 
Sarah Anna, their daughter, who 
died at Huntington, Long Island, 
Feb. 19, 1785 ; M\. 6 months & 4 dys. 
Here silence dwells with all her solemn train 
And secrecy holds her Court explored by man 
in vain. 

George B. Smith, son of George & 
Lucy Smith, was killed at Stratford 
tide mill, Nov. 17, 1796, M. 15. 



Grace, Daughter of L. D. & Julia £. 
Smith, Died Apr. 20, 1882, Aged 4 
years. 

Here lies Buried the Body of 
Mrs. Charity, wife of Mr. William 
Southworth. who departed this Life, 
August 15*^, 1773, in the 39*^ year of 
her age. ' 

In calm repose her Body lies. 
When Chnst appears, her dust shall rise. 

In Memory of 
Mercy, widow of Samuel W. South- 
worth, who died Dec. 24, 1842, M. 80 
yrs. 

In Memor)' of 
Sam^uel Wells Southworth, who 
died Aug. 17, 1S37. aged 80 yrs. 
Also his son 
Samuel Wells Southworth, Jr., 
who died at sea, A. D. 1818, aged 30 
yrs. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Bobert Southworthf who died May 
17, 1814 ; aged 29 years. 
Also of 
Edward Southworth, who died 
Sept. 18,1815, aged 8 years & 6 months. 
In Memory of 
Mr. Bobert Southworth, who died 
October 23**, A. D. 1770 in the 22'* 
year of his Age. 
Miss Abigail Southworth, dsLugh- 
ter of Mr. Samuel W. Southworth, 
died May 5. 181 7 ; Aged 22 years. 

In memoo' of 
Bhebe Spratt, wife of Capt. Wm. 
Spratt, formerly the wife of Abijah 
Curtiss, who died June 28, 1834, aged 
79. 
Eiinecia, daughter of Revd. Stephen 
W. & Mrs. Eunecia Stebbins; de- 
parted this life July 4, 181 1 ; in the 
27 year of her age. 
Let me but hear my Saviour say 
StreniFth shall be equal to the day 
Then I rejoice In deep distress 
Leaning on all sufficient grace. 
I g^lory in intirmity 
That Christs own power may rest on me. 
When I am weak, then am I strong, 
Grace is my shield & Christ my song. 
Eunice Sophia, Daughter of Re vd. 
Stephen W. & Mrs. Eunecia Stebbins, 
departed this life May 4*^, 1806, in the 
19"^ year of her age. 
To a tender and benevolent heart, expanding 
with those virtues which endear & strengthen 
every social tie ; She united an apparent sub- 
mission to God, & an humble trust in Jesus 
I Christ, which cherish In surviving friends, the 
, hopes of her blessed immoitality. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-place. 229 



[A MONUMBNT.] 

J'chn W. sterling, Born Sept. 4, 

1796, Died Feb. 13, 1866. iE.69. 
{A Monument.] 
Mary JR. Sterling, wife of John W. 

Sterling and daughter of Daniel & 

Sarah Judson, Died June 2^, 1838. 

aged 31 years. 
Mary Judson, daughter of John 

W.& Mary R.Sterling, Died Sept. 14, 

1838, M. 7 months. 

Here lyes y* body of 
Mr. Ephraim Stiles, Aged 69 

years, died June y* 21, 1745. 
Trances Ives, Daughter of G. W. & 

S. A. Stow, Died Mar. i. 1859, M, 8 

mos. 23 Ds. 

JFrederick H. Stow, Died July 18, 
1872, iE, 58 yrs. 

Susan A. FairchUd, Wife of 
George W. Stowr, Born Aug. 12, 1823, 
Died Dec. 6, 1S73. 

Susan FairchUd, Daughter of F. 

H. & S. B. Stow. Died June ii, 1858, 

-^.11 Years. 3 mos. & 20 Days. 
Here lyes Buried y« Body of 
Mr. Joseph Strong, Who departed 

this Life Sept. 22. Ann Domni, 1741. 

Aged 24 Years. 
Mrs. PrisciUa StraUon, died 

April II, 1738, aged 86 years. 
In memoiy of two Children of Mr. John 

& Mrs. Mehetable Thacher. 
Anthony, died the 3* of February, 

1779* aged 7 days. 
Mehet€Uple, died the le*** of July, 1780, 

aged 30 hours. 

Solomon Thomas, Aged about 61 

years. Died April 16, 1729. 
In Memory of 
Mr. Ahijah Thoinpson, who died 

Oct. 5. 1799, in the 6i»* year of his 

age. 

In Memory of 
John Thofnpson, Who died July 
i6, 1836, M. 73 y'rs. 

In Memory of 
Alice Thompson, relict of John 
Thompson, who died May 14, 1862, 
J^, 97 y'rs & 8 mo. 

Here lyes Burried y® Body of 
Mr. Ambrose Thompson, Who 

Departed this Life, Sept. 7»'». Anno 
Dom. 1742, in the 92«»^ Year of his 
age. 
Precious io ye sight of ye Lord is ye death of 
his saints. 

16 



In Memory of 
Mr. Ambrose Thompson, who de- 
parted this Life the 3^ day of May 
1768. In the 86»'» Year of his age. 
In Memory of 
Mrs. Ann Thompson, Wife of Mr. 
Ambrose Thompson, who departed 
this Life, Sept. 22, 1774, in the 86 
Year of her age. 

Mrs. Bathsheba Thompson, re- 
lict of Mr. Abijah Thompson, died 
Feb. 12, 1814, in the 70 year of her 
age. 

Bathsh^a Thompson, died Aug. 
27, 1815, aged 87. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Betty Thompson, wife of 
Mr. David Thompson, who died Jan. 
18, 1800. Aged 44 Years. 
In Memory of 
Mr. David Thompson, who died 
April 8, 1800, In y« 82 Year of his 
age. 

Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord. 
David Thompson died Aug. 4, 
1817, Aged 67 vears, 

And his wife, 
Sarah, died Dec. 12, 1815 ; aged 64 
years. 

Sacred to in the Memory of 
Delia Thompson, Daughter of John 
& Ellis Thompson, who died Oct. 5**», 
1790. aged 12 years. 

She is not lost, but only gone • 

To realms of Glory A celestfa) peace. 

Harriet Thompson, Died Sept. 21. 
1874. ^. 89 Y'rsf 

Jonathan, son of Ambrose Thomp- 
son, Junr.. & Ann, his wife, Dec* 
June y« 28, 1726, Aged 3 years & 5 mo. 
Here lies the Body of 

Mrs. Elizabeth, Wife of Mr. Eben- 
ezer Thompson, who died Nov. 28^, 
1747. in her 40*^ year. 

Here lyes Burried y« Body of 

Mr. Ephraim Thompson, Who 
departed this Life June 18, Anno 
Domni, 1746, Aged 26 years. 

Maria Tliompson, widow of the 
late Enoch St. John, of New Canaan, 
Died March 3, 1873, JE, 83 Y'rs. 
In Memory of 

Mrs. Martha Tliompson, the Be- 
loved wife of Mr. David Thompson, 
who departed this Life January 26^**, 
1792, In the 74t»» Year of'^her age. 

She lived much esteemed and died much la- 
mented. 



230 



History of Stratford. 



Here lyes Buried y« Body of 
Mrs. Martha Thfnnpson, wife to 
Dea**° John Thompson, who departed 
this life Feb'y 7**' Anno Dom>, 1740. 
in ye 63* Year of his age. 

Here lyes buried the Body of 
I>eac<m John Thompson, Esq., 

who departed this life July y* 20»^, 
1765, in y« 85 Year of His Age. 

Here lyes y* Body of 
Samuel Tom^pson, Son of Mr. Am- 
brose & Mrs. Anne Tompson, Who 
Departed this life, Feby 19*", Anno 
Dom 1749-50, in y* 2g^ Year of his 
age. 

Here lyes y« Body of 
Mrs. Sarah Thompson, Wife 10 
Mr. Ambrose Thompson, Who De- 
parted this Life Mar. 23*. 1730. Aged 
About 71 Years. 

Sacred To the Memory of 
lAeut. Wiiliam Thompson, Who 

fell in battle, bravly fighting for the 
liberties of his country, in the mem- 
orable action at Ridgefield, on the 
27**» of April, 1777, where a handful 
of entrepid Americans withstood some 
thousands of British troop till over- 
powered by numbers, he fell a victim 
to the British tyranny, and more than 
savage cruelty in the 35*^ year of his 
age. He lived greatly beloved, and 
died universally lamented, and his 
body being removed from the place of 
action, was here deposited with mili- 
tary honors. 
Relettered in 1864. 

In Memory of 
Capt. William Thompson, who 

died at sea. Dec. 14. 1812, aged 47 
years. Also of 
Edward, son of Capt. William & Mrs. 
Phebe Thompson, died, Sept. 30, 1815, 
aged 10 years. 

Isaac, son of Mr. William & Mrs, 

Mehetable Thompson, who departed 

this Life Aug. 20^. A.D. 1775, aged 

7 years 5 months. 

Ye YouDE, ye gay, attend this speaking stone, 

Think onTils fate and tremble at your own. 

In memory of 
JPhebe, widow of the late Capt. Wil- 
liam Thompson, who died April 27, 
1844, in the 80^^ yr. of her age. 

Mary Thompson, daughter of Wil- 
liam & Phebe Thompson, died Oct. 
28, i860, i£. 69. 



Miss HtUdah Tibbals, died Oct. 
22, 1823. aged 58 years. 

The soul of a sister is ffone 

To brighten the triumph above ; 

Exalted to Jesus' throne. 

And clasped in the arms of his love. 

Abraham Tomlinson, died April, 
1 82 1, aged 88 Years. 

Anna Tomlinson, relect of Abra- 
ham Tomlinson, died May 5, 1827, 
Aged 85. 

In Memory of 

Anna Tomlinson^ daughter of 
Abraham & Anna Tomlinson, who 
died July 28. 1799, aged 17 years. 

In Memory of 
Sarah Tomlinson, daughter of 

Abraham & Rebecca Tomlinson, who 

died March 24, 181 3, in the 53 year of 

her age. 
Ba;thsh^a Tomlinson, died Aug. 

27. 1815, aged 87. 

Here lyes Buried y* Body of 
Lieut. Agur Tomlinson, Died 

March 5. 172! in y* 70 year of his age. 

Here lies Intered the Remains of 
Agur Tomlinson, Esq., who de- 
parted this Life, February the 15*^, 
A. D. 1774. in the 53** year of his age. 
You pass with melancholy state 
By all tnese solemn heaps of fate. 
And think as soft as sad you tread above 

the Venerable Dead, 
Time was like you Life possessed 
And lime will be when you shall rest. 

I>0€t. Charles Tomlinson, died 

July 10, 1830, aged-55. 
Sarah H. Tmnlinson, Wife of Dr. 

Charles Tomlinson, Died March i, 

1858, aged 77. 
* Otiarles Hill, son of Charles & Sarah 

Tomlinson, died Jan. 19, 1814, aged 5 

mos. & 5 ds. 

In Memory of 
Mr. George Tomlinson, who was 

born June 29, 1796, and died June 19, 

1824. . 
Gideon Tomlinson, was born in 

Stratford, December 31, 1780, and 

died at Greenfield, October 8, 1854. 

He was admitted to the Bar and commenced 
the practice of Law at Greenfield in x8o7 ; was 
successively a member of the Sute Legislature ; 
Speaker of the House of Representatives: 
Member of Congress, Governor of the State of 
Connecticut, and United States Senator ; at the 
close of the last named term of office he volun- 
tarily retired to private life. Amiable and up- 
right, an affectionate husband and fond father, 
happily exemplifsring Christian piety in life, 
and dying, supported by the hope which it in- 
spirea. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-place, 231 



Sarah, the beloved wife of Gideon 
Tomlinson, died December 25, 184a, 
in the 56 year of her age. 
Her mffectionate kindness, enlightened mind, 

Sood principals, sincerity & many endearments 
: virtues, made her worthy of love, respect Sl 
confidence. The loss of her endeared society 
was deeply felt and lamented by her bereaved 
husband, but he derived comfort from the hope 
and evidence that, while she realized the decay 
of her body & mourned for their darling son, 
in devout submislon to the will of God, she 
was mercifully brought to exercise faith A trust 
in Christ. 

Jiibez Huntington TonUinson, 

the beloved, loving & only son of 
Gideon and Sarah Tomliiison, was 
born June 38, 1818, and died of con- 
sumption, April 21, 1838 in New York, 
where he had recently arrived from 
Charleston with his deeply afflicted 
parents. 

The rememberance of his promising and im- 
proved talents amiable disposition, sound judg- 
ment, exemplary virtues and endearing deport- 
ment, is warmly cherished, while his patience 
in a long sickness and the disappointment of 
earthly expectations, his solicitune for the hap- 
piness of others* penitence.and faith, hope and 
trust In God afford consolation, under the 
mournful &. trying dispensation of an all-wise 
just, merciful and noly Providence. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Hannah TanUinsan, Con- 
sort of Capt. Gideon Tomlinson, & 
Dautr. of Colo. Jabez Huntington, of 
Windham, Who departed this Life, 
December y« 26. 1762. in y« 27*^ Year 
of Her Age. 

In Memory of 
Capt. CHdeon Tomlinson, Who 
departed this Life January the 19*^, 
1766, in y« 35*'' Year of His Age. 
He was an officer in y« army & fought 
in y* battle at y« Narrows ; was at y* 
Taking Ticonderoga, Crown Point, 
La Callette and Montreal. 

In Memory of 
Miss Hannah Tomlinson, who 

was born Jan. 16, 1783. and Died 

April 2, 1827. 
Huidah Tomlinson, Born May i, 

1766, Died Sept. 16, 1844. 
Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when 
he cometh shall find watching. 

In Memor>' of 
I>r» Hex* Tomlinson, A^M., a 

learned and eminent Physician, who 
departed this Life on the 12*^ day of 
May, A. D. 178 1, in the 34 year of his 
Age. 

He lived much esteemed and died greatly 
lamented. Vain World, farewell to you. Heav- 
en Is my native Air, I bid my friends a short 
Adieu, Impatient to be there. 



In memory of 
Anna, the Daughter of Dr. Hezekiah 
& Mrs. Sarah Tomlinson, who de- 
ceased July 2. 1781 in the 3* year of 
her age. 

Happy the Babe 
Who's priviledged by Fate 
To shorten labor 
And lighten weight. 

In memory of 
Jabez H. Tomlinson, Esq., who 

died January 14, 1849, M, 80. 

He was highly respected as a patriotic officer 
of the revolutionary army and an experienced, 
able and upright legislator and magistrate; 
and deservedly honored and beloved as a friend, 
husband, father & Christian. 

In memory of 
Rebecca Tomlinson, the Wife of 
Jabez H. Tomlinson, who was born 
on the 3 day of Dec. 1761, & died on 
the I day of Jan. 1823, deeply & justly 
lamented by her afflicted husband k 
bereaved children,. 

Let those who delight to cherish the remem- 
berence of her unwearied and constant affec- 
tion, imitate the pious example of one, whose 
active and unshaken faith, in the Divine Re- 
deemer, affords just ground of confidence that 
she has gone to possess an inheritance incorrupt- 
ible 8l eternal in the heavens. 

In Memory of 
Capt, Joseph Tomlinson, who 

departed this Life Oct. "5*^ 1774, 

Aged 50 years. 

In Memory of 
Elizaheth Tomlinson, Relict of 

Capt. Joseph Tomlinson, who died 

July 28^**, 1809, aged 80 years. 
Mary Tomlinson^ Born Jan. 27, 

1772, Died Dec. 19, i86r, Ninty Years. 
' We know that when he shall appear, we 
shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 

In memon^ of 
Mrs, Mary Tomlinson, Consort 
of Capt. Gideon Tomlinson, Who De- 
parted this Life, June y* 7***, 1758, in 
y^ 26*^ Year of Her Age. 
In Memory of 
Mrs, Mary Tomlinson, Relect of 
Augur Tomlinson, Esq., who died 
June 23^*, 1802, in the 79 year of her 
age. 

In Memory of 
William Agur Tomlinson, an 
eminent Physician who Departed this 
Life on the 20^^ day of August, A. D. 
1789 in the 27*** Year of his Age. He 
lived much esteemed and greatly la- 
mented. 

Christ my Redeemer lives 
And freely I can trust 
My naked soul into his hands 
When parted from ita dust. 



332 



History of Stratford. 



g: 



In Memory of 
Mary Alace, the Daughter of Agur 
Tomlinson, Esq' and M» Mary his 
Wife, who died October 8*^. A. D. 
177I1 Aged 5 years and i month, & 5 
other infant children of the above 
Parents, Who lie here interr'd. 
Ileep lovely Babes and Uke your perfect rest, 
"rod called you home because he thought It 
right. 

In memory of 

rhebe TonUinnan, widow of Dr. 

William Agnr Tomlinson, who died 

March 11. 1842. Aged 76 years. 

Here lies Hid in this Grave the Body of 

Mrs. Bebekah, the amiable Consort 

of Abraham Tomlinson, Esqr., who 

Departed this Life on the first Day of 

Novem^^ 1774. in the 39**» year of her 

age. 
I have been what thou art now, fcod arc what 

thou Shalt shortly be. 
How Loved thou valued once, avail me not to 
whom Related or by whom begot, a 
heap of Drift alone .. ^ 

Remains of me, 'tis all I am, and aU that you 
must be. 

In memory of 
Rachel E.f widow of John Tomlin- 
son, who died Sept. ai. 1841, aged 74. 
Susan TonUinsan, wife of William 
A. Tomlinson. and daughter of Joseph 
& Susannah Walker, died May 5, 1826, 
aged 33 years. 

In memory of 
Mr. Stephen Tamlinsan, son of 
Capt. Joseph & Mrs. E. Tomlinson, 
who departed this Life Oct, 27, i774. 
Aged 35 Years. 
Susan Walker, daughter of William' 
A. & Susan Tomlinson, died Sept. 23, 
1822, aged I year & 6 months. 

[MONUMBNT.] 

Williani A. TanUinson, died in 
New York, Dec. 19, 1837, in the 49''' 
Year of his age. 

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, 
for the end of that man is peace. 

Susan Walker, Wife of Wm. A. 
Tomlinson, died May 5, 1826, JE. 33. 

Susan Walker, daughter of W. A. 
& S. W. Tomlinson, died Sept. 23, 
1822, Aged 1 y*r & 6 mo. 

Eliza Russell, wife of Wm. A. Tom- 
linson, died Sept. 13. 1862, JE. 74. 
In Memory of 

Mr. Zachariah Tomlinson, who 
Departed this Life on y 15*^ day of 
April, Anno Domni, 1768, in y« 75*^ 
Year of His Age. 



Here lyes y« Bodv of 
Mrs. Hannah TonUinson, Wife 
of M' Zachariah Tomlinson, who de- 
parted this life, Octo»" 5*^, I740 in y* 
37 year of her age. 

Elijah Uffootf died March 38, 1814, 
aged 68 years. 

Here lies the Bodv of 
lAeut. Samuel Uffwd, who died 
Dec y« 30, A. D. 1746, in y 77 year 
of his Age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Abigail Ufford, wife of Mr. 
Samuel Ufford ; who died Dec. 3, 
1817 ; aged 73 years. 

In memory of 

Anne, Wife of Elijah Ufford. Who 

died April 34, 18 10, aged 62 years. 

In memory of 
Alice Ufford, wife of William Uff- 
ord, who died Oct. 37, 18x9, aged 36 
years. 

In Memory of 
Be^famin Ufford, who died March, 
1 8 10, aged 68 years. 

And of his wife, 
Elizabeth, who died July 1824, aged 

78. 
Betsey Ufford, Died August 20. 

1837. Aged 35 years. 
Catharine Ufford, Died Oct. 21, 
1866, Aged 85 yrs & 6 mos. 

In Memory of 
Bef0amin Ufford, who died July 

IS, 1844. Aged 73 yr». 

In Memory of 
Caty, wife of Benjamin Ufford. who 

died Sept. 22, i83i,in her 61 year. 
Henry Ufford, Died Nov. 30. 1831, 

M, 44 Yrs. 4 mo. 
Hannah Jerome, His Wife, Died 

Feb. 2, 1879, iE. 81 yrs. 5 Mo. 

Rev. Hezekiah GddUfford, Died 

January 23, 1863. Aged 84 yrs. 
'*Be thou faithful unto death, and I will {rive 
thee a crown of life." 

Julia, Wife of Hezekiah Gold Ufford. 
Died May 5. 1864, M, 76 yrs. 
" Blessed are the pure in heart, for they 
shall see God." 

Isaac Ufford, Died Dec. 18, 1836, 

iE. 52 years. 
JPhebe Dayton, wife of Isaac Ufford, 

Born Aug. 8, 1785. Died Aug. n, 

1872. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-place. 233 



Louisa J*9 Daughter of Henry J. & 
Lucy L. UflFord, died April 13, 1863, 
aged 15 yrs. & 6 mo. 

Too fondly loved 
Too early lost. 

Ijuey L.f Wife of Henry J. Ufford, 
Died April 8, 1861, M. 41. 
O Mother dear thy pains are o*er 
Thou ne'er shall sigh nor weep no more, 
Thy spjrit dwells anions the blest, 
In lieaven thou shalt forever rest. 
We've laid thee in thy narrow home. 
Until the resurrection morn, 
. Till Christ shall bid the sleepers rise. 
To dwell in mansions in the skies. 

In memory of 
IPhebef wife of Benjamin UfFord, who 

died Sept. 2i»*, A. D. 1810, aged 37. 
Caroline, their daughter, died Sept. 

3<>, 1803, aged i year & 8 months. 
CatharinCf Daughter of Benjamin & 

Phebe Ufford, Born Dec. 9, i8oi, 

Died Mar. 21, 1880. 

In memory of 
Samuel Ufford, who died Dec. 21, 
1824 ; in his 54 Year. 

In memory of 
Mrs, Susannah l/fford, wife of 
Samuel Ufford, Jur., who died Dec. 
29, 1817, iEt. 43. 

In Memory of 
Dea, Samuel Ufford, Who was 

born Feb. 27, 1749, ^^^ deceased Dec. 
10, 1822 ; in the 74 year of his age. 

In Memory of 
Sophia, Daughter of Elijah Ufford, 
Jun., who died Sept. 18, 1803, aged i 
year & 4 months. 
Susannah & Hezekiah, Children of 

Samuel & Susanna Ufford. 
Susannah, died Dec. 23, 1801, in 
the 4*^ year of her age. 

Hezekiah, died June 3, iSoi, in the 
4*^ day of his age. 

In memory of 
WUliam, Ufford, who died May 29, 
1848, M. 70 yrs. 

In Memory of 
Abigail, wife of William Ufford, who 
died Dec. 5, 1848, M. 62. 

Here lyes the Remains of 
I>eliverance Waklin, who departed 
this life in the 57 year of his age, 
November 6, 1707. 

Sacred to the memory of 
Ann Brasher Walker, who de- 

parted this life Jan. 12, 1837, aged 46. 



[A MONUMBNT.] 

Joseph Walker, Died Aug. 12, 1810, 

Aged 55 Years. 

He entered the American Army In the year 
X777, 8l served his country in the several grades 
of office, from a Captain to a Major General. 

Jonathan Otis Walker died Oct. 
27, 1 82 1, aged 36 years. 

Mary Ann, Wife of Jonn. Otis Wal- 
ker, Died Nov. 23, 1867, Aged 72. 

Susanna, relict of Gen. Joseph Wal- 
ker, died Oct. 20, 1822, aged 70 years. 

Joseph Walker, son of Joseph & 
Susannah Walker, died on the 18^^ of 
March, 1803, in the 13*** year of his 
age, of a fracture in his scull, occas- 
ioned by a fall from a horse, Jan. io**», 
1803. 

Here lyes Buried ye Bodv of 

Mrs. Mary Walker, Wife to Mr. 

{osiah Walker, who departed this Life 
any y* 5*^ A. D. 1745, or 6 in y« 24*^ 
year of Her Age. 
Mrs* Eunice, Relect of Capt. Wil- 
liam Walker, died Dec. 28, 1832 aged 
64 years. 

Capt. William Walker, died Dec. 
5*^, 1830, aged 62 years. 

[A MONUMBNT.] 

Robert Wcuker, Esq., Died Novem- 
ber 7, A.D. 18 10, Aged 64 years. 
In private life his deportment was in the high- 
est degree exemplary. The urbanity of nls 
manners, the amiableness of his Disposition, 
and the benevolence of his character, were pre- 
eminently conspicuous. He was kind, courte- 
ous and charluble ; ardent in his friendships, 
and forgiving in his resentments. To his strong 
intellectual powers, were united a quick dis- 
cernment and a discriminating judgment He 
. was honored with many civil offices, the duties 
of which he discharged with an unwavering 
fidelity. He was a firm believer in Christianity 
and a powerful advocate for good morals. An 
affectionate Husband and tender Parent. 
Here also lies mingled with the same 
earth the dust of 
Mrs. Margaret Walker, relict of 
Robert Walker, Esq., who died Feb. 
6, 1 8 19. aged 66 years. 

[A Tablet of sandstone with slatestooe 

inlaid.] 

In Memory of the 

Honble. Robert Walker, Esq., 

Who departed this Life, July 13, A.D. 

1772, -^tal 68. 

He sustained many Important offices in civil 
Life. For many Years before and at the time 
of his Death, He was one of his Majesty's 
Council for the Colony of Connecticut, one of 
the J udges of the Superior Court, and a Colo- 
nel of the Militia ; all which offices he discharg- 
ed with Fidelity and honor. He firmly believed 
and Conscientiously Practiced the Christian 
Religion ; was a kind Husband, a Tender Pa- 
rent, and faithful Friend. 



234 



History of Stratford. 



Mrs. Bebeckah WfUker. Relict of 

Honble Robert Walker, £sqr., died 

Feby 28*^, 1805, in the Sg**^ Year of 

her age. 
Robert Wm. Walker, Died May 

8. 1853 ; Aged 59. 

Here Lyes Buried Ye Body of 
Mr. Bobert Walker, Who Depart- 

ed this Life, April y* ist Anno Domni, 

1743, in y* 75*^ Year of His Age. 
In memory of 
Mrs, Abigail Walker, the beloved 

Consort of Mr. Robert Walker. Junr., 

Who departed this Life June 2%^, 

1769 in the 25*'' year of her Age. 
Joseph Walker, Son of Robert 

Walker, Esqr.. by his wife Rebeckah, 

who died the 8'*' day of May. A. D. 

1752. aged 9 years, five months & 37 

Days'. 
Capt. Williatn Walker, died in 

the service of the United States at 

Burlington, Vt., Dec. 31, 1812, aged 

29. 

In Memory of 
Antta Wells, Wife of James Wells, 

who died April q, i83i.aged 77 years. 
Two Children, daughters of Nathan and 

Mary R. Wells. 
Catharine Jane, died March i, 

1806, aged 16 days. 
Mary Haggles, died Sept. 2, 1813, 

aged 2 years & 5 months. 
In Memory of 
Mrs* Charity Wells, y« daug' of 

Mrs. Comfort Wells, and Sister to the 

wife of Jabez Curtis. She Departed 

this Life July 29***, 1783, in the 42* 

Year of her Age. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mr» David WellSf Who Departed 

this life April 25^, Anno Domni, 

1742. Aged 43 Years. 

In memory of 
Hannah WeUs, who died April 19, 

1806, aged 55 years. 
Mrs* Hepsa Wells, wife of Mr. 

John Wells, died Sept. 9, 1815, in the 

26 year of her age. 
Nathaniel B.flheir son, died August 

30, 1 81 5, ^t. S weeks. 

In memory of 
Mr* Isaac Jutlson Wells* Who 

Departed this Life, April 19*^, 1772, 

in y* 62 Year of his Age. 
Mr* Isaac Wells died Feb. 27, 1814, 

in the 62 year of his age. 



In Memory of 
James Wells, who died August 2, 
1821, in his 74**» year. 

Here lyes Buried y* Body of 
Capt* John Wells, Who Departed 
this Life February 17*^, Anno Domnt 
'735. Aged 59 Years. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mr* John Wells, Who Departed 
this Life February y« 8"*, Anno Dom- 
nii 1753. »n y 40 Year of his Age. 

In Memorv of 

Mrs. Comfort Wells, Wife to Mr. 
John Wells, who departed this Life, 
February 9, 1790, In the 73 Year of 
her Age. 

In memory of 

Mr* John Wells, Son of Mrs. Com- 
fort Wells and only Brother of the 
Wife of Jabez Curtis & beloved friend 
of Phebe Gorham, who Departed this 
Life, Jany 14*^. A. D. 1789, in the 4i«* 
Year of his Age. 

Here lyes Buried y* Body of 
Mrs. May Wells, Widow of Capt. 

John Wells, Who Departed this life 

Jany 6^, Anno Domni 1743. Aged 64 

Years. 

In memory of 
Mary Wells, Relict of Benjamin 

Wells, who died May 24, 1796, aged 

68 Years. 
Mrs. Molly WeUs, wife of Mr. 

John Wells ; died Jan. 39, 1814 ; aged 

46. 

In memory of 
Nancy WeUs, who died Nov. 29, 

1835, in the 60 year of her age. 
Mrs* Eunice WeUs, relict of Mr. 

Nathan Wells, died April 12, 1816, 

aged 87 years. 

In memory of 
Lieut. Nathan WeUs, Who De- 
parted this mortal life on the 20^ of 
May, Anno Dom. 1776, in the 49*^ 
year of his Age. 

Think of your friend lies buried here, 

And view your transient sUte ; 

Besiow at least one pious Tear, 

And with Submission wait. 

E'er long this melancholy scene, 

Shall on your hearse attend ; 

With haste employ the Space between, 

To make of God a Friend. 

In Memory of 
Miss Phebe, Daughr of Mr. Stephen 
& Mrs. Mary Wells. Who Departed 
this Life, Sept. 9, 1775, in the 10** 
Year of her age. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Bur ying-place. 235 



In memory of 
Mr. Satnuel WeUs, J'r., ii^ho de- 
parted this life, Sept. 9^, 1804, aged 
39 years. 

In memory of 
I4eut» Stephen Weils, who depart- 
ed this life April 4, 1799, in y« 58 year 
of his age. 

In memory of 
Mr. Thomas WeUs, who departed 
this Life, Sept. 23*, 1791, In the 74^ 
year of his Age. 

Here lyes Buried y« Body of 
Mr. William WeUs, Who depart- 
ed this life Nov. i, Anno Domni, 174s, 
in y« 30*^ Year of his age. 

[A Monument.] 
This monument, erected bv Robert M. 

Weiman, of New York. 
Sacred to the memory of his much be- 
loved wife, 
Catharine Bebeeca Weiman, 
who left this sublunary sphere July 
2^, 1804, JE, 32 years, 7 months and 
II days. 
Pause Gentle traveler, 

Was her matchless worth 
To thee in happier moments known ? 
Then pour the tide of sorrow forth, 
And in her fate lament thine own. 

But didst thou not her virtue Icnow, 
Still let thy tears her death attend 
And mourn that midst a world of woe 
Thou wert not lovely Catharine's friend. 
Deep the sleep of death f low the pillow of dust. 

Catharine M. Wetm^are, relict of 
Victory Wetmore, died Oct. 14, 1859, 
iE. 86. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Victory Wetmore, Esq., who De- 
parted this life, March 10, 1817 ; ^t. 
50. 

In Memory of 
Charles Joseph Jretn^ore, who 
died the 17 of July, A. D. 1816, in the 
37 year of his age. 

Mev, Izrahiah Wetmore, died 
Augt. 3*. 1798. in the 70*** Year of 
his age, and 45^^ year of his ministry. 

Mrs. JPhebe Wetmore, Consort of 
Revd Izh. Wetmore, and Daughter of 
Robert Walker, Esq., died Septr. 12**', 
1784, in the 45*^ year of her age. 

In Memory of 
Victory, son of the Revd Izrahiah 
Wetmore, and Phebe Wetmore, his 
wife, who Deceased Novem' 1762, in 
the 3* Year of his Age. 



In Memory of 
Bebeeca, Daughter of the Revd. Izra- 
hiah Wetmore, and Phebe Wetmore, 
his wife, who deceased Deer, i, 1760, 
Aged about 10 months. 
Llffht as the Summer's dust we take in air 
A moment's giddy flight and fall again 
Join the dull mass, increase the trodden soil. 
And sleep till earth herself shall be no more. 

In Me mory of 
Mrs. Tryphena Whetmore, Dau*' 
of Cap^ Hezekiah Wetmore, of Mid- 
dletown (Deceas*d), Who departed 
this mortal life on the 11*^ day of July, 
1772, in y* 22* year of her age. 
The Soufs the only thing we have 
Worth an important thought. 
The soul is or the immortal kind 
Ne'er formed of Fire, or Earth, or Wind 
outlives ye mouldering corpse A leaves 
ye globe behind. 

Mrs. Charity, relect of Mr. Elna- 
than Wheeler, died March 6, 18 16, in 
77 year of her age. 

In Memory of 
Miss Charity Wheeler, Daughter 

of Mr. Elnathan and Mrs. Charity 

Wheeler. Who died May V\ 1797, in 

the 28»^ Year of her Age. 
Charles H., died June 17, 1812, i£. 

7 years & 5 months. 
Nelson, died June 28, 181 7, ^. 8 years, 

Sons of John & Avis Wheeler. 
Elisha Wheeler, died May 5, 1853, 

Aged 81 years. 

In memory of 
Dorothy, Wife of Elisha Wheeler, 
who died Jan. 12, 1847, iE. 71 Years. 
Here lyes Buried y* Body of 
Mrs. Elizabeth Wheeler, Wife to 
Nathan Wheeler, Who Died Jan. 22, * 
Anno Domini, 1739-40, in y* 51** 
Year of Her Age. 

In memory of 
Elnathan Wheeler, Jr. He died 
Nov. I'*, 1805, aged 39 years. 
The sweet memory of the just 
Shall flourish when he sleeps in dust. 

In Memory of 
Mr, Elnathan Wheeler, who died 

Feb. 14, 1809, In the 69*^ year of his 

age. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
I>eacon Elnathan Wheeler, Who 

Departed this Life, March the 14^, 

1761, Aged 58 Years. 
Emily Curtis, Daughter of Ezra & 

Emily Wheeler, Born Oct. 4» i853> 

Died Aug. 28, 1872. 



236 



History of Stratford. 



EdwardfSon of Ezra & Emily Wheel- 
er, Died Nov. 10, 1865, iE. i yr. & 6 
mos. 

George Wheeier,6ied July 16,1835, 
aged 35t also, 

Mary ۥ, daughter of George & Bet- 
sey C. Wheeler, died July 29, 1833. 
iE. 2 yrs. and 7 mo. 

J. W., 1694. [Perhaps Joanna Wheel- 
er, youngest dau. of the !•' Moses.] 
In memory of 

Mrs. Jennet, wife of Mr. David 
Wheeler and daughter of Capt.. Dan- 
iel and Mrs. Betsey Booth, who died 
Oct. 29, 18 1 7, aged 23 years. 



Here lyes intered The Body of 
Mary Wheeler, Who Departed this 
Life in March the 4**^ day in the year 
1726, and in I7**» year of her age. 
Here lyes y* Body of 
Mrs. Martha fFheeter, Wife to 
Mr. Elnathan Wheeler. Who departed 
this life August the 5*^, 1764. Aged 
64 Years. 

In Memory of 

Miss Martha Wheeler, who died 

Aug. 14, 1827, aged 63. 

1694 

J. W. 

February y* I7.* 




Nathaniel Wheeler*, died May 19, 

1819, JE. 85. 
Mrs. Rachel Wheeler, wife of Mr.. 

Nathaniel Wheeler, Died Sept, 15, 

1814 ; aged 81 years. 

Here layes the Body of 
Nathan Wheeler, Who Departed 
this life, January the 31, 172}, In 19 
year of his Age. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mr. Natulan Wheeler, Who de- 
parted this life Nov. y« 7*\ 1765, in 
ye 86tH Year of his Age. 



In Memory of 
Ca'^. Samuel Wheeler, who died 
June 2. 1815, in the 57 year of his 
age. 

Our Mother Rests. 
Betsey Hawley Wheaton, Died 
Aug. 17, 1872, In Her 85*^ year. 

Anna M., Daughter of David & Jane 
E. Wheaton, died June 20, 1863. iE. 
16 yrs. & I mo. 



• This Stone is at the left side of Moses Wheel- 
er's. 



Inscriptions in the Congregational Burying-place. 237 




In memory of 

Mary Whippo, who died Jan. 23, 
18 1 2, aged 53 years, and of her late 
husband, Isaac H hippo, who 
died in New York, July 6, 1807, aged 
— years, also of their two sons John 
& Charles. 

J'ohn died in the Island of New Prov- 
idence, June 30, 1799, aged 17. 

diaries went to sea Aug. 1807. at 23 
years of age and has not since been 
heard from. 

In Memory of 
Mr, Ephraim WiUcockson, Who 

died July 21, 1806, Aged 78. 
In memory of three Children of Elna- 

than & Sarah Willcoxson. 
Isaac, died July 14, 1783, iEt. 5 years. 
JElitis, died July 3, 1783, ^Et. 3 years. 
Sara^, died July 12, 1783. ^t. 8 

months. 



Here Lyes Buried y* Body of 
lAeut, John WiUcockson, Who 

Departed this Life, Sept. 12**', Anno 

Domni, 1748, in y« 65*^ Year of His 

Age. 

Here lies the Body of 
Luci/ WiUcochson, Daughter of 

Lieut. Ephraim & Ruth Willcockson. 

died June g***, A.D. 1784, in the 28*** 

Year of her age. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Mrs. Ruth Willcockson, Consort 

of Lieut. Ephraim Willcockson, Who 

departed this Life, July 30, 1801, In 

the 74**» Year of her Age. 
In memory of 
Ruth Ann, daughter of Col. Ephraim 

J. & Mrs. Mary Wilcoxson, who died 

Sept. 22, 181 5. aged 6 years. 
In memorj' of 
Samtiel O. WiUcockson, who died 

June 7, 1804, ^t. 34. 



238 



History of Stratford. 



Here lies the Body of 
SavMX^WUlcochwn^f who departed 
this Life August 19, A. D. 1783, in 
the 59^ year of his Age. 
The Woman's Seed shall bnilse the Serpent's 

Head« 
And Christ shall raise his servants from the 
Dead. 

In Memory of 
Chester O. WhUing, who died 

Aug. 19, 1847, iE. as yrs. & 6 ms. 
Hannah f wife of Seymour Whiting, 

Died Sept. ^5, 18415, M, 78 yrs. & 3 

mo. 
Mr$. Mary Ann, widow of Ezra 

C. Whiting, Died Dec. 16, 1866, ^. 

67 vrs. 1 1 mos. 

**I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy 
likeness." 

In Memory of 

Ezra C Whiting, who died April 
10, 1824, in his 32 year ; And of 2 in- 
fant Children by his wife Mary Ann : 

Elbert, died Sept. 7, 18 19, aged i year 
& 17 days. 

lUbert, 2d, died Aug. 27, 1821, aged 
I year & 10 days. 

In Memory of 

Coi. Samtiel Whiting, who died 

Feb. 15, 1803, aged 82 yrs. 

Also of 

Elizabethm his wife, who died Dec. 5, 

1793. aged 70 yrs. 



In memory of 
Seynumr Conway WhUing, who 

departed this life July 26, 1841, aged 
74 years. 

Here lies Interred the Body of 

Mr. Stintuel Whitney, who De- . 
parted this life December y« 6^, 1753, 
in y* 66^ Year of his Age. 

Sacred to the memory of 

Mrs. Abigail M. Woodbridge, 
the amiable Consort of Samuel Wood- 
bridge, Esqr., and eldest daughter of 
Robert & Margaret Walker, who de- 
parted this life, Aug. 15, A. D. 1814, 
Aged 34 Years. 

In memory of 

Euth Woosier, widow of the late 
Col. Joseph Wooster, who died March 
23^ 1 80 1, aged 86 years. 



ERRATA. 

reter rixiey, son of Mr. David & 
Mrs. Betsey Curtiss, died May 10, 
1817, aged 3 months.* 

* This inscription should have been 
in the Curtiss families, but was entered 
in the wrong place. 

The date of death of John Hurd on 
page 221 was 1681. but it is not legible 
on the grave-stone. 



Note. — The author has had the privilege, after copying the above list from the 
stones, of comparing it with the manuscript copy of these names and dates, made 
with great care and labor by Mr. Abraham W. Morehouse, of Bridgeport, at the 
request of the Fairfield County Historical Society, which has contributed much to 
the present state of perfectness of the list. 



CHAPTER X. 



NEW SETTLERS AND ENTERPRISES. 



XCELLENCE of character is one of the 
most valuable qualities in the establishment 
of a new plantation in the wilderness. In 
the settlement of Stratford the planters pos- 
sessed, not only this quality in a marked 
degree, but there was almost a complete 
absence of those of an opposite kind during 
the first fifty years, and largely so the next 
fifty. 

The early settlers in all New England 
were a select class, from the best stock of 
England, France and Scotland, in the sense 
of a well-informed, thinking, energetic peo- 
ple. Many of them were of the homes of the 
commoners of England, sometimes termed 
Landed Gentry, and most of them were ac- 
customed to honorable daily employment, 
although some of them could trace their 
ancestry back to royal blood. This pride in 
ancestry, although often the topic of ridicule, is nevertheless 
of much value and satisfaction, for, while royal blood — or any 
blood — may not always exhibit itself in the most perfect man- 
ner, nor prove itself worthy of the highest honor, yet it has 
represented the very best qualities of which the old nations 
can boast ; and every child in America that can trace its line 
of inheritance back to such an origin, may well claim it as a 
high honor. 

It has been a practice to laugh at those who, not 
being third-rate mechanics when they came to^ this coun- 
try, pretended to be descended from royalty; but only 




240 History of Stratford. 

novices would indulge in such sourness of mind, for it is be- 
yond controversy that quite a number of the planters were 
not far enough removed from royalty and wealth to have had 
need of mechanical trades, and therefore had not such 
knowledge. 

A large proportion of the settlers at Stratford were by 
occupation farmers, called planters here because they were 
of a company which established a plantation. A few had 
other trades, as ship builders, tailors, stone masons, and mer- 
chants, or traders. Several had estates which they left in 
England, but which they retained in their right and posses- 
sion many years after leaving them. 

The prominent object in these planters in coming here 
was that they might enjoy church privileges in accord with 
the teachings of the Bible, as they understood them, and this 
they proposed to enjoy under the English Constitution. 
They evidently had no thought of independency from that 
constitution, and for one hundred years did not dream of 
such a thing. 

This company of seventeen, after becoming located,imme- 
diately invited others to join them upon certain liberal, but 
substantial terms, and at the year 1650 about thirty-five had 
accepted those terms. 

The township, being twelve miles long and ten miles 
wide, contained 120 square miles, or 76,000 acres of land; 
giving to each of the 17 families over four thousand acres. 
The company disposed of their lands in various ways. A 
few acres were sequestered for public use ; some for individ- 
ual use and ownership. To new settlers they gave a home 
lot, a piece for meadow and another piece of upland for culti- 
vation, upon condition that the party should build a house 
and improve the few acres thus donated during four years, 
at the end of which the land became their own and was so 
recorded. Individual proprietors sold fractional parts of 
their Rights, so that at the end of about fifty years the pro- 
prietors numbered one hundred instead of seventeen, and in 
1699 the number was 143. 

The proprietors, for themselves, voted at first, to divide 
to each Right a certain number of acres, and the owner 



Biographical Sketches. 241 

selected the land, or located it, wherever he pleased, subject 
to the sanction of the division committee, only that he could 
take up but *a few acres in one place, about 18 or 20 at most. 

After some years certain tracts of land were laid into plots 
one for each proprietor, and then they drew lots for them as 
the most impartial way of locating each man's land. 

Having heretofore given some personal account or bio- 
graphical sketches of nearly seventy persons, some further 
items in the same direction will illustrate the work of the 
settlement of the town. 

Edward Katcham died in Stratford, and his will was 
proved June 17, 1655. The inventory of his estate amounted 
t0;^90-ii-6. In his will, dated June 1655, he names three 
daughters, Mary, Hannah and Hester. 

Michard MiUs, to all appearance, was one of the first 
/* » company at Stratford. He married the daughter of Francis 
, B Nichols, and probably came with the Nichols family to Strat- 
ford in 1639. He sold much, perhaps all of his estate to 
/Joseph Hawley in 1650, and removed, it is said, to Westches- 
^V ter, N. Y. 
^ It is in connection with his name that the term " Lordship " 

^ ^ is first found, as applied to a meadow, on what is still known 
as the Lordship farm.^ It is said in the deeds of land — 1650 
to 1660 — several times, " Mill's Lordship " and the " Lord- 
ship meadow." 

No explanation of the term is found or known, but was 
doubtless wholly connected with Mr. Mills or his family ; 
and hence the name did not originate with the Nicoll family 
who owned the Lordship farm many years. The term was at 
first applied to the salt meadow at that ptece. 

Samuel Mills, believed to be the son of Richard, came 
to Stratford, and on Dec. 24, 1666, purchased land of Hope 
Washburn, and was one of the earliest settlers at Oronoke, 
soon after this purchase, where he resided nearly twenty 
years, being quite active as a citizen of the town. One 
record says, " Samuel Mills purchased from his uncle Caleb 
Nichols, six acres of land, 29th loth month, 1668." 

He sold his estate here in 1670, to " Hugh Makie," but 



342 History of Stratford. 

the next year he took it back and Mr. Makie removed from 
the town. 

Samuel Mills died at Southampton, L. I., in 1685, leaving 
a widow and an only heir Richard Mills, who disposed of the 
Stratford property soon after. 

David MUcheU, son of Matthew, and brother of the 
wife of Mr. Samuel Sherman, sen., came to Stratford and pur- 
chased the "accommodations" of John Reader, Feb. 26, 
1659, consisting of a house lot and several pieces of land. 

David Mitchell became quife prominent in the town as a 
land owner and farmer. 

tTohn Washburn was at Stratford and married Mary, 
daughter of Richard Butler, June 7, 1655, and probably re- 
moved to Hempstead, L. I., with his father, William Wash- 
burn. 

Hope Washburn^ son of William of Mass., and per- 
haps of Stratford a short time, was made a freeman here at 
or before 1669. He purchased land at Oronoke in 1666, and 
was one of the three earliest settlers at that place, probably 
the next year. He purchased several pieces of land at that 
place, but soon removed to Derby, where his descendants 
continued many years. 

On the Stratford records is an agreement of the widow 
Mary and children, William, Samuel, Sarah and Jane, to di- 
vide the estate of Hope Washburn, dated Nov. 16, 1696. 

• 

James Clarke Jr., son of James of New Haven, came 
to Stratford and married Deborah, daughter of John Peacock, 
about 1662. He was a farmer and received considerable land 
by his wife ; had a family of five sons and three daughters, 
and the descendants were quite numerous and active citizens 
for many years. He purchased land of Joseph Judson " near 
unto Nesumpaws creek," Nov. 25, 1667, and several other 
pieces soon after. 

Jahe» Harger, said to have been a Huguenot, from 
Westchester, N. Y., came to Stratford and married Margaret 
the daughter of Henry Tomlinson in 1662, and settled in 
Derby about 1670. He had a house lot recorded to him in 



Biographical Sketches. 243 

1669 in Stratford, and the same year seems to have had land 
recorded to him in Derby, where he lived, and died in 1678. 
He had a family of three sons and six daughters. He resided 
in Stratford several years and bought land of the Indians at 
Oronoke, on which one of his sons settled many years after- 
wards. 

John JBmU, son of Richard of Dorchester, Mass., and 
New Haven, came to Stratford, and received in 1662, the 
grant of a "home lot on the north side of Jabez Harger, pro- 
vided he build on it and improve it three years." This was 
only a home lot without other land. He was accepted as, an 
inhabitant at Derby in 1668, but seems to have resided at 
Stratford until 1675. He was successful at Derby in accumu- 
lating property, but removed to Wallingford in 1687,. where 
he is called Doctor, — received a mile square of land from the 
town, and where he died Dec. 6, T711, leaving a numerous 
family. Three of his sons remained in Derby and their de- 
scendants became greatly celebrated. 

John Pickett was of Salem, Mass., in 1648, and came 
to Stratford in 1660, with a family of four sons and two 
daughters. He had a home lot granted him by the town, 
Apr. I, 1665, and was a permanent citizen. His wife died 
Oct. 6, 1683, and he died Apr. ii> 1684. His son Daniel set- 
tled at Danbury about the year 1700, and Daniel, junior, was 
one of the early settlers in New Milford. John, sen., was 
constable at Stratford in 1667, townsman in 1669, and repre- 
sentative in 1673. 

JRobert Lane, from Derbyshire, England, first located 
at Killingworth, Conn., came to Stratford and was granted a 
home lot, two acres, April i, 1665, "on the same terms as 
John Hull and Jabez Harger." On the 19th of December he 
married Sarah, the daughter of John Pickett, and became a 
successful farmer in the township. On February 21, 1676, he 
was chosen ** burier," or sexton for the graveyard. 

Robert Clark, from New Haven, married Sarah, the 
widow of Francis Stiles of Windsor some years before 1665, 
and probably after he came to Stratford. 



244 History of Stratford. 

He became an influential citizen ; was successful as a far- 
mer, and gave considerable land to each of the sons of his 
wife, Ephraim, Samuel and Thomas Stiles. 

ISicholas Gr-ray came from Flushing, L. 1., and pur- 
chased land in Stratford in 1661 ; remained here 12 or 14 
years and returned to Flushing. In 1676, he was in Flush- 
ing, and in 1678 he rented " his dwelling house, land and 
orchard in Stratford to Joseph Blakeman, but in 1680, his 
taxes remaining unpaid for several years the constable took 
possession of his estate, which matter he seems to have set- 
tled by the sale of the land. 

John Cook seems to have come to Stratford as servant 
to Richard Butler, perhaps when quite young. His first land 
is thus : " John Cook by gift from his Master Richard Butler, 
two acres of upland in the Neck,'* and "by gift from the 
town two acres, Feb. i, 1667." 

Henry Summers came to Stratford, apparently in 
company with Samuel Gregory, who was his brother-in-law,, 
before 1668. Whether they were just come from England or 
not has not been ascertained. The town records say that 
Samuel Summers purchased of his uncle Samuel Gregory^ 
four acres of land, in 1696, near Golden Hill. 

Henry Summers purchased his first land in Stratford, 
" 27th of 1st month, 1668 ; land lying at Pequonnock, bounded 
east with the great river called Pequonnock river, and south 
with the Indians' land, north on common." This he sold the 
same day to Samuel Gregory. 

In 1686, he was living at Pequonnock, his dwelling being 
located, as near as can be ascertained, a little way south of 
what is now the junction of Park and Washington avenues. 
Here he was residing, apparently, in 1707, but in 1710 he was 
residing in Milford, for at that time, he deeded, as he says : 
** to my son John Summers, one-half of my house lot in Strat- 
field, a dwelling house, barn and orchard," it being eleven 
acres, " the half of the home lot on which the building 
stands." He owned several pieces of land in the vicinity — 
one of 16 acres, purchased in 1686, " lying on a hill west of 
Ireland's brook between the wolf-pits." 



Biographical Sketches. 245 

Henry Oregary was in Stratford as early as 1647, as 
recorded in the New Haven records, where he is represented 
as having sons Judah and John and a daughter, tho wife of 
William Crooker. Henry Gregory died before 1655. 

Samuel Oregary, probably the son of the above Henry, 
was one of the first settlers at Pequonnock, now Bridgeport, 
where he was residing in 1686, at what is now the junction of 
Park and Washington avenues, for the highway now Wash- 
ington avenue was laid out through the Indians' land, begin- 
ning at Samuel's Gregory's house. He settled at Pequon- 
nock about 1665. 

Richard Beach was of New Haven in 1639, and one of 
the original signers of the compact. He married there about 
1640, and came to Stratford with a family of four children, 
where he purchased his first land February 6, 1660, of Thomas 
Wheeler ; " one house lot with all the buildings upon it." In 
1662, he purchased other pieces of land — one of five acres 
*• on west point of the Neck, butted south upon the meadow 
called Mills' Lordship." 

He and his descendants became substantial and influen- 
tial inhabitants of the town. 

JRev. Israel Chauncey, youngest son of the Rev. Charles 
Chauncey, president of Harvard College, was born in 1644, 
at Scituate, Massachusetts, where his father was then preach- 
ing. He was graduated at Harvard in 1661, in the class with 
his older brothers Nathaniel and Elnathan. 

In 1663, he compiled and edited the New England Alma- 
nac, on the title page of which is, Israel Chauncey. On the 
last two pages he states **The Theory of Planetary Orbs 
and the natural portents of eclipses." 

He preached in Stratford from April, 1665, to June, 1666, 
as assistant to the Rey. Adam Blakeman, when he received a 
call to settle as pastor over this church and society, and was 
soon after ordained as such, he being then but 22 years of 
age. He was made freeman in the town in 1667, and married 
Mary, the daughter of Isaac Nichols, senior, one of his most 
prominent parishioners. His first wife died and he married 
2d Sarah Hodson of New Haven in 1684. 

17 



246 History of Stratford. 

In 1666, upon his settlement as pastor, his salary was fixed 
at ;f6o per annum, and one-fourth of the sequestered minis- 
try land was given him for his use, and a house soon after 
built on the home lot for him to reside in and improve as his 
own property, but in case of death or removal these were to 
revert to the town. In 1677, however, the house and land 
was fully deeded to him, as was a like estate to the Rev. 
Zechariah Walker, pastor of the Woodbury Church. 

Mr. Israel Chauncey studied medicine and was a. practic- 
ing physician of eminence as well as a divine, and hence he 
was an important personage in the Council of War, in the 
Narragansett Indian troubles. 

On the 9th of March, 1675-6, the authority at Hartford 
make this record : " The Council also ordered the Secretary 
to write to Mr. Israel Chauncey to hasten up to Hartford to 
attend the Council's orders, with an order to impress men, 
horses, and accommodations for his coming up.'" 

Two days later a further record was made. 

** March 11, 1675-6. The Council appointed Mr. Chaun- 
cey to be one of the Council of the army in room of Mr. 
Hooker, and also that he should now go forth with the army 
as their chirurgion," [surgeon]. 

Upon the breaking out of the King Philip or Narragan- 
sett War, in July, 1675, a ** Council " of War was appointed by 
the General Court, consisting of the Governor, Lieut Gov- 
ernor, Assistants and a few others named, and Mr. Israel 
Chauncey being appointed a member of that body shows the 
estimation in which he was held, but this act brought the 
calamity to the heart of Stratford by taking their minister from 
them a number of months, in the midst of the most distress- 
ing anxieties, for the war created great fear and excitement. 

The destination of the army under Major Robert Treat, 
when Mr. Chauncey was ordered to go with them as their 
Surgeon, was Norwich, and if he went, he soon returned, for 
the burning of Simsbury, Connecticut, the following Sunday, 
caused the Council to recall Major Treat and a part of his 
forces and send them north, to protect the settlements in that 
direction. 

^ Conn. Col. Rec, ii. 415. 



The Rev. Israel Chauncey. 247 

On the 27lh of the same month, Mr. Chauncey being at 
Hartford as a member of the Council, having received intel- 
ligence "of the death of his child and the dangerous sickness 
of his wife, was permitted to return home ; but before leav- 
ing he addressed a letter* to the Council which shows a little 
further his influence and public relations to the Common- 
wealth. 

His brother, the Rev. Nathaniel Chauncey, was the pastor 
at Windsor, and had been with the army as chaplain, ap- 
parently, on its first expedition to Norwich, in this war. 

His brother Bulkly, whom he mentions in his letter, was 
the Rev. Gershom Bulkley, pastor at Wethersfield, and had 
married Sarah, the eldest sister of Mr. Chauncey, and the 
occasion for his having an ** easy horse*' was from the fact 
that he had accompanied Major Treat's forces northward 
two weeks previous, and was wounded by a shot from the 
enemy, in a sudden assault made upon the English by a small 
party of Indians. 

Mr. Chauncey was successful in his pastorate at Stratford, 
beginning in the Spring of 1665 and ending at his decease, 
March 14, 1702-3, a term of thirty-seven years. He con- 
ducted his church through the troublous time which re- 
sulted in the organization of a second church and its removal 
to Woodbury, with dignity of character in apparently a large 
Christian spirit, securing to himself great respect and honor 
during his subsequent life. 

* Mr. Chauncey*s letter. 

** Much honoured : I am truly sorry that I am necessitated to trouble you. I 
have lately received a letter from some friends, who doe acquaint me with the 
afflicted state of my family ; my wife being very lately delivered, the child dead, 
and my wife in danger of death, by reason of weakness prevailing upon her. I 
doe therefore humbly entreat your Worships to grant me a release to visit my 
afflicted family, and dear wife, if living. Excuse my boldness and troublesome- 
ness, and consider my condition. I hope my brother Bulkly, provided he have an 
able and easy horse, will attend the army, upon their present motion ; only, if it 
be expected, he doth desire care may be taken for an easy horse, and that it may 
be sent him this night. I have not further to adde but my hearty prayers for the 
presence of the great and wonderful Counsellor with you, in your solerane convuU 
tations, and to subscribe myselfe Your Worships reall servant, 

Stratford, Mar. ayth, '76. . Is : Chauncey. 

(Conn. Col. Rec, ii. 424). 



248 History of Stratford. 

Notwithstanding the calamity of King Philip's War, two 
years later they commenced the building of a new meeting- 
house and completed it in 1680. 

After the death of his brother, the Rev. Nathaniel Chaun- 
cey of Windsor and Hatfield, Mr. Chauncey took, in 1686, the 
son Nathaniel, of that brother, to bring up until of age, for the 
use of the Rev. Nathaniel's library during that time. This 
library was valued in the inventory of the estate at ;f8s, and 
comprised, probably, says Prof. Fowler, a large part of Pres, 
Charles Chauncey's library. 

Mr. Israel Chauncey was one of the founders of Yale 
College, and probably presided over the first meeting of its 
projectors, his name being first on the list of their names ; 
and on November 11, 1701, he was chosen Rector, or Presi- 
dent of the Institution, but declined the labor and honor, 
probably because of a sense of failing health, as he lived but 
about a year and a half after. 

Dr. Charles Chauncey, a nephew, of Boston, said of him : 
" He spent his days among that people [Stratford] in great 
reputation as a physician as well as a divine." 

Mrs. Sarah (Chauncey) Whittelsey, who lived in his fam- 
ily when a young woman, said, " he was one of the most 
hospitable, benevolent old gentlemen she ever knew." 

Nathaniel Chauncey, nephew of the Rev. Israel Chaun- 
cey, was settled in Durham. He began preaching there in 
1706, but was not ordained before 171 1. In 1708, he was 
called with but one dissenting vote to become pastor of the 
Stratford Church. Five candidates had been previously tried 
without success. He declined and Mr. Cutler was secured. 

Mohert McBwen came from Dundee, Scotland. He 
early in life attached himself to the sect called from their 
leader, Cameronians, and at the age of eighteen, in 1679, was 
engaged in a battle against the King. In 1685 niany of the 
persecuted Christians being in bonds and imprisonment, were 
sent by the government of Scotland on board of a ship of 
War of fifty guns, to colonize the isthmus of Darien. The 
commander of the ship dying a few days after they were at 
sea the passengers brought the ship toward New York and 
ran her ashore at Amboy, N. J. 



Biographical Sketc/ies. 249 

Robert McEwen wrote in his account book the fol- 
lowing: "In June 18, 1679, I was in one engagement in 
Scotland at Bothwell's Bridge, 1 then being the age of 18 
years. The 5th of September, 1685, we set sail from Scot- 
land to come to America, and we landed at Amboy the i8th 
of December. The i8th of February I came to Stratford in 
New England, 1686." 

"June 30, 1695, I was married to Sarah Willcoxson in 
Stratford." 

Robert McEwen died in 1740 aged 78 years. Tradition in 
the family says that after being landed at Amboy, eleven of 
the passengers having heard of the freedom of the people in 
Connecticut, came on foot to Stratford. 

James Slakeman^ son of the Rev. Adam Blakeman, 
married Mirriam, daughter of Moses Wheeler in 1657, and 
died in 1689. He and his brother Samuel married cousins. 
He was a farmer and miller, purchasing first the tide mill at 
the Eagle's Nest, next the one at Old Mill green, which he 
sold and went to the Near-Mill river and built the first mill 
there, receiving considerable land from the town to aid, or 
remunerate him in part for the expense of building the mill, 
at the place now called Peck's Mill. He was one of the most 
active business men in the town, in his day. 

Sev. Benjamin Blakeman, son of the Rev. Adam 
Blakeman, after his father's decease chose to seek an education 
in accordance with his father's previous wishes, and was grad- 
uated at Harvard College in 1663. He resided at Stratford a 
few years as a teacher, then entered the ministry. In 1674, he 
removed to Maiden, Massachusetts, and in 1675 married Re- 
becca, daughter of Joshua Scottow, merchant of Boston. He 
preached at Maiden until 1678, and afterward he preached at 
Scarborough. He represented Saco in the General Court of 
Massachusetts, and was a large land holder in that town. He 
died before 1698. 

Thomas Kiniberly was received in Stratford as an out- 
liver in 1667. He was probably Thomas of New Haven in 
1643, and purchased land of Joseph Hawley on " i8th, loth, 
1668," and in 1670-71 he bought a part of a house lot of James 



250 History of Stratford. 

Blakeman, and died about one year afterward. Some of his 
sons were quite influential, successful men in after years. 

JerevfiAah Judson^ son of William ist, born in England, 
came with his father to Stratford in 1639, when eighteen years 
of age, and soon became a land owner and prominent citizen. 
He married, ist, in 1652, Sarah, daughter of Nathaniel Foot 
then of Stratford, who died about 1672, and he married Cath- 
arine, the widow of Thomas Fairchild, senior. 

He mas made a freeman in May, 1658, was a Sergeant in 
the Militia; a justice of the peace, a large land owner and 
farmer, and died May 15, 1700, in his 79th year. He made 
one mistake in business transaction, as indicated and explained 
in the following record : 

** General Court, May, 1669. This Court remitts Jeremy 
Judson the remaynder of the fine that is unpayd, which fine 
was imposed upon him by the County Court, March last, at 
Fayrefield, for selling Cider to the Indians." 

His son, Jeremiah, when sixteen years of age, with Wil- 
liam Hunnywell, had a little court business, which indicates 
that they were like some other young men since that day. 

" These lads, with two others, were prosecuted at the 
Fairfield county court, August, 1685, for 'stealing water mil- 
ions, the last Thursday in the night about the going down of 
the mone/ from Benjamin Lewis's yard. They confessed 
having taken two melons, — for which they were fined eleven 
shillings, cost and damage; and for 'night walking' were 
fined in addition, ten shillings each, or in default of payment, 
to sit in the stocks. They petitioned for a remission of the 
latter penalty, which was granted."* 

lAeut. Joseph Judson^ son of William ist, born in 
England in 1619, came with his father and two brothers to 
America, at the age of 15 years, in 1634. The family remained 
at Roxbury, Massachusetts, four years, came to Hartford or 
Wethersfield in 1638, and, with Mr. Blakeman's company, to 
Stratford in the spring of 1639.* 

Joseph Judson was made a freeman in May, 1658, when 

• Col. Rec. iii. 197. 

^ See inscription on his tombstone, p. 



Biographical Sketches. 251 

39 years of age, and was elected a representative the next 
October. 

He was made a Lieutenant of the Train Band of Strat- 
ford in June, 1672, and was engaged in the Narragansett War 
in 1676. 

In his time he was one of the most active, and well-known 
business men in the county, but was not the highest military 
officer, as stated on page no. 

In May, 1673, a petition was presented by Stratford 
townsmen to the General Court, to confirm the bounds of 
their plantation, and " for adjudication of the claim of Lieut. 
Joseph Judson to a large tract of land alleged to be within 
Stratford bounds.'" 

This was a tract of land purchased by Joseph Judson of 
the Indians in 1661, twelve years before the petition, called 
Mohegan Hills, and contained over 5,000 acres of land, lying 
between the two branches of the'Farmill river, including the 
present Walnut Tree Hill School district of Huntington, a 
part of two other districts and extending into Monroe, nearly 
to the place called East Village;' it being a territory averag- 
ing about two miles wide and five in length. This land was 
wholly within the township of Stratford, and they could claim 
it under their grant, but Joseph Judson had paid the Indians 
for it and hence he had a good claim. No record has been 
seen as to how the matter was s.ettled, but it was doubtless 
done, as in several other cases in which the individual parties 
retained land sufficient to remunerate them fully, and the 
town took the remainder. 

Joseph Judson removed with the Woodbury company to 
that town, where he was a leader among the people, a deputy 
to the General Assembly a number of years, and also a com- 
missioner of the town, but he was buried in Stratford. 

Fra/ncis BaU was of New Haven in 1639. He pur- 
chased land in Fairfield in 1654, where he seems to have re- 
sided a number of years. He bought of James Rogers of New 
London, as the agreement says: ** All my debts that appear 

* Col. Rec, ii. 195. 

* See Indian deed on page 22 of this book. 



252 History of Stratford. 

by account, or otherwise due to me, that is to say at Nor- 
wolke, Fayrfeyld, Stratford, Milford and New Haven, with 
my lands at Stratford, houses, commons belonging to those 
lands, with a little house by the water's side at Milford, Aug- 
ust I, 1659." Not long after this he settled in Stratford, 
where he died ; his will being proved March 14, 1689-90. He 
was a practicing lawyer while in Stratford ; was employed 
quite a number of times by the town, and by the proprietors 
of the common lands. He was influential in ecclesiastical 
affairs, and appears to have been a useful, good, and honored 
citizen. 

Tiphraim Stiles, whose mother married Robert Clarke, 
came to Stratford about 1660, received land from his step- 
father in 1667, at Oronoke, where he settled and became a 
thriving, valuable citizen. He was considerably active in 
town matters, had a gristmill at Farmill river, *'a little below 
Black Brook, near the place called the Plum trees," and in 
character and standing appears to have been among the first 
of the town. His children being three, and all daughters, his 
family name ceased with himself when he departed this life. 

Samuel Stiles, brother of Ephraim, was equally fortu- 
nate in receiving land by gift from his step-father Robert 
Clark, and thus had a more advantageous start in the world 
than many others. All persons of this name have disap- 
peared from the old town of Stratford some years ago, but 
there are a few in Bridgeport. 

"June II, 1667, Samuel Stiles, by way of gift from his 
father Robert Clarke, hath a dwelling house and the home 
lot thereto adjoining, lying at Woronoke, bounded east with 
the great river, south with the land of John Wheeler, north 
with the Farmill river, and west with a creek." 

He and his brother Ephraim received twenty acres to be 
divided between them, from Mr. Clark. 

Thomas Stiles, brother of Ephraim and Samuel, re- 
ceived land from his step-father Robert Clark, ** fifteen acres 
in the woods by the river called Stratford river on the south 
side of Joseph brook." 

Considerable search has been made by different parties 



Biographical Sketches. 253 

to ascertain if Francis Stiles, the father of the above three 
sons, came to Stratford with his family before his decease, 
without success, but the following record $eems to give some 
light on the question, and is the only item of the kind that 
hae been seen. 

" Caleb Nichols purchased of Mr. Stilles one house lot, 
one acre and a quarter, bounded with Mr. Fayrechild on the 
south, Isaac Nichols on the west, my own lot, that was 
Francis Nichols* on the north, and the street on the east/' 
No date is given to this purchase, but it being in the hand- 
writing of the town clerk, Joseph Hawley, it must have been 
made before 1666, and was probably made about 1^0. Mr. 
Stiles* purchase of it was not recorded, as far as can be ascer- 
tained. The record of this sale was made in 1664. 

Besides this, the fact that Robert Clark gave to the 
three sons of his wife, formerly widow of Francis Stiles, about 
fifty acres of land, when he had several children of his own, 
indicates that he received this land from his wife, and deeded 
it to its rightful owners, her three sons. By these items it 
seems quite evident that Francis Stiles resided here several 
years, was the owner of considerable land and a homestead. 
Also no record is found showing that Robert Clark pur- 
chased the land he gave to his step-sons. 

Captain John Minor was a valuable inhabitant of 
Stratford nearly twenty years. He was a native of New 
London or that vicinity; was educated at Hartford at the 
expense of the Colony for an interpreter to the Indians, and 
came to Stratford in 1659, or before. He was town clerk ten 
or twelve years from 1666 until his final removal to Wood- 
bury in 1677. He was in demand as interpreter very fre- 
quently during most of his life. After settlement in Wood- 
bury he was appointed captain of the train band, served many 
years as representative and departed this life with many hon- 
ors, September 17, 1719, aged 85 years. 

Samuel Oalpin, from New Haven, came to Stratford 
about 1675, bought land here September 6, 1681, which was 
laid out in the Newpasture in 1682, and he may have made 
his home at Old Mill green. He married Esther, the daugh- 



254 History of Stratford. 

ter of John Thompson, in 1676-7, and died before 1701, leav- 
ing several children, two sons, whose descendants soon dis* 
appeared from the town. 

John FryoTf became a land owner and inhabitant in 
Stratford in 1686, but soon removed. 

Richard MaunesfeM became a proprietor and inhabit- 
ant in 1687, but remained but a short time. 

Jacob Walker^ son of Robert of Boston and brother of 
the Rev. Zechariah, came to Stratford about 1667, and mar- 
ried Elizabeth, widow of Samuel Blakeman, December 6, 
1670. He is said to have been a weaver by trade, and his 
wife had considerable property left her by her husband at 
Old Mill Green. They prospered, accumulated property and 
became prominent citizens, but his descendants of his name 
soon became extinct in Stratford. His daughter Mary mar- 
ried Abraham Wooster and was the mother of General David 
Wooster, of imperishable fame. 

Joseph WalkeTf son of Robert of Boston, and brother, 
also, of the Rev. Zechariah and Jacob, came to Stratford 
about 1667. He married Abigail, daughter of the Rev. Peter 
Prudden of Milford in 1667. His life work in Stratford was 
soon finished, for he died in 1687, leaving one son and four 
daughters. His son Robert was deacon of the church eleven 
years, and died, aged 75 years. The grand-son, Robert, be- 
came Judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut, and is re- 
ported as one of the most capable men, of irreproachable 
character, that Connecticut had produced to that day. He is 
said to have been the equal of Hon. William Samuel John- 
son, in many respects. The name of Walker has been cele- 
brated above most names in Fairfield County. 

John Brooks, a young man from New Haven, bought 
his first land in Stratford March 18, 1679-80. He married 
here and had one son. His wife, who was widow of John 
Peat, died in 1694, and he in 1695. 

This Brooks family became quite numerous in the west 
ern part of the town, in Stratfield Society. 



Biographical Sketches. 255 

WiUiam Soberts became a land owner and inhabitant 
of this town in 1668. His fiamily, consisting of one daughter 
and two sons, seems to have left the town about the year 1700. 

Benjanitn Lewis was first in New Haven, from which 
place he removed to Wallingford and thence to Stratford, 
where he purchased his first land March i, 1679, a house and 
lot bounded west with the Congregational burying place, and 
east on Main street. This has been a numerous, successful 
and influential family — several descendants still residing in 
the town. 

JRiBV. Zechariah Walker, son of Robert of Boston, was 
preaching at Jamaica, L. L, from 1663 to 1668. He was or- 
dained pastor over the second church in Stratford May 5, 
1670; went with the company to Woodbury, whither he re- 
moved his family in 1678. He, after a laborious and suc- 
cessful pastorate at that place, died January 20, 1699-1700. 

The coming of this man to Stratford was of great honor, 
for although he soon removed to Woodbury, yet, through his 
being here for a time, probably, his brothers became inhabit- 
ants here and their descendants, some of them, were among 
the most noted persons in the State. 

JRobert Sassettf son of John the first, was in New Haven 
with his fathar in 1643. He was a shoemaker, and served the 
plantation as drummer a number of years. He removed to, 
and was an inhabitant at Stamford, in March, 1653. 

While in Stamford Robert Bassett had a difficulty with 
the civil authority, which made a great commotion, with con- 
siderable remarks against himself. 

The difficulty arose out of the proposition to go to war 
against the Dutch, in 1653 ; and in this matter Roger Ludlow 
and several others were involved. What were the facts ? 

In the spring of 1653, while the Commissioners of the 
United Colonies were in session at Boston, they decided that 
500 soldiers should be raised for an expedition against the 
Dutch at New Amsterdam, and proportioned the soldiers to 
be drafted, to the Colonies as follows: Massachusetts, 333; 
Plymouth, 60; Connecticut, 65 ; New Haven, 42.' 



' Conn. Col. Rec, i. 241. 



256 History of Stratford. 

Upon the receipt of this action, Connecticut proportioned 
her number among her plantations : " Windsor, 12 ; Pequett, 
5; Mattabezek, i; Norwalk, i; Hartford, 15; Wethersfield, 
8 ; Farmington, 3 ; Seabrook 5 ; Fairfield, 8 ; Stratford, 6." 
The order of the General Court, May 21, 1653, was, that these 
soldiers should ** be forthwith impressed, to be at a day's 
warning, or call, as also that suitable provisions and amuni- 
tion shall be forthwith prepared.** 

The colony of New Haven took favorable action in re- 
gard to the war and sent commissioners special to urge upon 
Massachusetts the necessity of united and energetic action; 
the 42 soldiers were proportioned, and in June of that year 
Stamford, then under the jurisdiction ot New Haven, reported 
her soldiers raised and under pay, and that they were put to 
the service of watching for the protection of the town until 
ordered forward. 

Immediately after the act of the Commissioners inaugu- 
ratingthe war, Massachusetts as a colony declined to be gov- 
erned by that act, pretending that the Commissioners had not 
power to such an extent. 

Roger Ludlow was one of the Commissioners when the 
expedition was decided upon, and the trouble which arose 
out of this proposed expedition, in addition to some other 
matters, is said to have led him to leave the country in dis- 
gust ; and it is not much wonder ; for, after the soldiers had 
been in arms drilling and wasting their time some months at 
a heavy cost to the plantations along the Sound, and the 
Dutch, meanwhile making their trespasses at Greenwich and 
threatening Stamford and Norwalk. the expedition was de- 
layed by Connecticut and New Haven until late in the 
autumn of that year, in consequence of the inaction of Massa- 
chusetts. Then it was that Stamford men, with other planta- 
tions, proposed to go against the Dutch, without Massachu- 
setts. 

It was at this point that Robert Bassett was brought be- 
fore the agents sent to Stamford from New Haven to settle 
these difficulties, charged as the leader of the disturbances. 

The particular items in this matter are revealed in the 
record of the New Haven Court, November 22, 1653 : 



Commotions in Stamford. 257 

" The Governor acquainted the court with a letter he 
had received which had been sent to Robert Bassett without 
date or name subscribed, which is to stir up to stand for the 
State of England, as they pretend, and to stand for their lib- 
erties, that they may all have their votes and shake off the 
yoke of government they have been under in this jurisdiction ; 
also with a letter from the town of Stamford, making com- 
plaints of their rates and other grievances as they pretend ; 
also another writing from Stamford, stirring up to raise volun- 
teers to go against the Dutch, and that themselves will send 
forth ten men well furnished for the war ; also a letter from 
Mr. Ludlow, informing of a meeting they have had at Fairfield, 
at which they have concluded to go against the Dutch, and 
have chosen him for their chief, and he hath accepted it ; all 
which writings were read to the Court, after which the Court 
considered whether they were called at this time to send forth 
men against the Dutch, and after much debate and consultation 
had with most of the elders in the jurisdiction, the issue was, 
which the Court by vote declared, that considering the haz- 
ards and danger attending such a design, especially now, it 
being so near winter, and the want of suitable vessels and the 
like, they see not themselves called to vote for a present war, 
but to suspend a full issue till Connecticut jurisdiction be 
acquainted with it and give notice what they will do; but if 
they agree to carry it on now, then this Court agrees to join 
with them and to meet again to consider and order, as the 
case may require/'* 

It may be seen that all the above items enumerated were 
in harmony with the laws and usage of the times and the pro- 
ceedings of the General Courts except the opposition of 
Stamford men to the law of New Haven Colony that none 
should vote but members of the church ; and this they — the 
Stamford men — claimed a violation of the English Constitu- 
tion. 

These plantations, west of Milford, had raised the num- 
ber of soldiers proportioned to them, and kept them in read- 
iness at a day's call, nothing more, except they now proposed 
to raise and equip more than the number called for. The 

* New Haven Col. Rec, ii. 47-48. 



258 History of Stratford. 

nomination or choice of Mr. Ludlow at Fairfield was in har- 
mony with both, the Connecticut and New Haven Courts. 
Twenty years later the General Court refused twice to con- 
firm John Beardsley of Stratford as lieutenant until every 
voter of the town had had an opportunity to vote in his nom- 
ination. 

During this delay of the expedition, Stamford, having 
promptly equiped its soldiers at considerable expense, seeing 
that the whole expense was likely to fall on that town, if the 
war did not go on, demanded that those expenses,* even some 
damage to the meeting house (probably in consequence of the 
soldiers having occupied it), should be borne by the Colony 
of New Haven ; ** and that they might have twelve men sent 
them at the jurisdiction charge to lie there all winter for their 
defence." ** Defence " against the Dutch, whose trespasses 
and depredations had been going on all summer, and for 
years ; and this request was according to the pledge of the 
New Haven Colony, to protect the plantations under its jur- 
isdiction. 

Under these circumstances Mr. Goodyear and Mr. New- 
man were sent by New Haven Court to quiet matters at 
Stamford, but finding much more commotion than they ex- 
pected, they called the whole town together; and at this 
meeting Robert Bassett and John Chapman were the chief 
speakers against the proceedings of the New Haven Court, 
and in consequence of it Robert Bassett was summoned before 
the New Haven Court to answer. On his way to Court he 
said : ** This is the thing that troubles me, that we have not 
our vote in our jurisdiction [New Haven] as others have, and 
instanced Connecticut jurisdiction." 

Connecticut Colony never had any law excluding per- 
sons from voting because they were not members of the 
churches, but New Haven Colony always had. 

Here, then, in Stamford, in the person of Robert Bassett, 
was the second contest held in New England in favor oi civil 
liberty against church dictation and control ; the first having 
taken place in Massachusetts with Roger Williams, who fled 
to Rhode Island. 

• New Haven Col. Rec, i. 48. 



Commotions in Stamford. 259 

In this conflict Robert Bassett made one speech worthy 
of the American Revolution which occurred one hundred 
and twenty years later, and sounds very much like Patrick 
Henry and other of his associates. In a town meeting in 
Stamford March 7, 1653, after he had been once before the 
Court at New Haven to answer in this matter, the record 
says :" 

" Robert Bassett stood up and asked what the meeting 
was for, Richard Law, the constable, answered there was a 
general court to be at New Haven, and deputies were sent to 
go thither ; Robert Bassett replied, they would obey no 
authority but that which was from the State of England ; the 
constable answered, this authority is the authority of Eng- 
land ; that he denied and said, then let us have English laws, 
for England does not prohibit us from our votes and liber- 
ties, and here we are cut off from all appeals to England, and 
we can have no justice here. Further, he said, they were 
made asses of, and their backs were almost broke, and it is 
time for them to look to themselves and to throw their bur- 
den oCF, for they shall be made very fools. And he spake 
against the justice of the authority of this jurisdiction ; a 
reply being by some in defence thereof, he said, is that author- 
ity just, that makes what laws they please, executes them as 
they please, calls for rates when they please, and never so 
much as give them a reason?" Francis Bell told him that 
this should be declared at the Court ; he answered, yes, it 
was his mind it should be, and therefore saith he 1 will say it 
again, is that authority just that makes what laws they please, 
executes them as they please, calls for rates when they please 
and never so much as give them a reason.** 

For these things Robert Bassett was imprisoned nearly 
two months, then again brought before the Court, and under 
the pressure of the courts, prisons and public sentiment 
largely against him, he confessed, not only that he had done 
these things, with one exception, but that he had done wrong 
and the Court released him on bonds of " one hundred 
pounds sterling." ^*r-^ 

Three other men as leaders in this contest for the right 

" New Haven Col. Rec, i. 59. 



26o History of Stratford. 

to vote, were arrested, tried, fined and placed under bonds of 
fidelity to the New Haven Court. 

Roger Imdlota's part in this matter seems to have been 
perfectly honorable and loyal so far as he acted in it ; and 
this contrary to the generally received opinion of him. So 
far as any and all records show, no soldiers were raised in 
Fairfield but those ordered to be raised by Connecticut Gen- 
eral Court. The vote to nominate him as their chief or cap- 
tain, by the town, was in perfect keeping with the usage of 
the Court ; and all of these things were done while the New 
Haven Court itself was preparing for the war and urging 
Massachusetts to fulfill her engagements in the same direc- 
tion. That Ludlow, Fairfield and Stamford had no idea of 
going to war without New Haven and Connecticut is evi- 
denced by the fact that as soon as the report of the proposed 
additional volunteers was offered, the New Haven Court at 
once — November 22, 1653, — took counsel as to ** whether they 
were called at this time to send forth men against the Dutch, 
[that is, without Massachusetts], and after much debate and 
consultation had with most of the elders in the jurisdiction,'* 
the decision was against it, but even then they voted that if 
Connecticut would go, New Haven would. 

Immediately upon this decision Fairfield and Stamford 
acquiesced, without a word of complaint, except as to paying 
the bill of expenses caused by raising the soldiers and keep- 
ing them all summer, as ordered by the Court ; and the ques- 
tion as to the right of voting. 

Such, in brief, were the doings in this matter, and such 
the result. 

The particular offence, as claimed by the New Haven 
authorities, was, that the New Haven government being a 
government of God, any person opposing it as a government, 
sinned against God, his own soul, and the authority, a claim 
as arbitrary and self-conceited as Arch Bishop Laud, of Eng- 
land, ever proclaimed or acted upon. 

The above items are taken from the New Haven records, 
they being the only authority as to the trial of these persons. 

Robert Bassett came to Stratford and purchased his first 
land here November 10, 168 1 ; and the next February he pur- 



Biographical Sketches. 261 

chased a home lot of John Wells, and the next year he built a 
house on this lot, placing a stone over the mantel piece in the 
cellar with the following letters and figures : " R. B. 1683." 
These were cut in large size. When that house was torn 
down by John McEwen and another built on the same site in 
1723, or soon after, this stone was placed in the cellar wall, 
where it may still be seen, the house having been owned and 
occupied many years by the late Nathan B. McEwen. 

Robert Bassett was a peaceable, acceptable inhabitant in 
Stratford ; wa:s quite prosperous in worldly things, especially 
in possessing lands. 

It was his grand-son Samuel, son of Robert, Jr., who set- 
tled in Derby in 1716 and became one of the most prominent 
citizens of that town. 

No near relation existed between this Robert Bassett 
and the Goody Bassett executed at Stratford in 1651, for the 
wills of both his father and mother, John and Mary Bassett, 
were dated one and two years after the execution* 

Arfhwt Ferry came to Stratford and married Anna, 
only daughter of Joshua Judson, about 1675. He had a large 
femily, but most of his children removed early from the town. 
It is possible that he traded somewhat as a merchant, for 
there is a due bill recorded, signed by him in 1678, and se- 
cured by sixteen acres of land, to Henry Powning of Boston, 
which bill was to be paid in money or merchantable provis- 
ion, at Boston. It is difficult to imagine the reason or cause 
of such a debt, unless he was a trader in some way. 

Samuel Blagge came from New York to Stratford with 
a family about 1685, ^^^ continued here as a merchant ten or 
twelve years. He had a number of children, several sons, but 
the name disappears from the town after about fifty years. 

Richard BlacMach from Guilford, came to Stratford, 
probably in the spring ,of 1686, and established himself 
as a merchant, and thus continued about thirty years. He 
was successful, and became very prominent as a business 
man; bought considerable land, leased the Stratford ferry 
some years, interested himself in public matters ; was the first 
one to build a box pew in the meeting house, which he did 
18 



262 History of Stratford. 

about 1710, at his own expense, upon a vote of permission by 
the town. 

Upon his first coming here the town passed the follow- 
ing: "May 6, 1686. It was voted and granted unto Mr. 
Richard Blacklach and Mr. Daniel Shilton to build each of 
them a warehouse and wharf in some convenient place where 
it is judged most suitable by the selectmen of the town, pro- 
vided the proprietors of Stratford forever have free wharfage." 

Daniel Shelton having received permission in May, 
1686, to build a ware house and wharf, as well as Richard 
Blacklach, he went forward with much success as a merchant, 
about twenty years, when he had not only married a fine young 
lady, but changed his business to farming and buying and 
selling land. After some years he removed to Ripton, where 
he died. A further account of him will be found in the his- 
tory of the town of Huntington in this book. 

Joseph Curtiss, son of the first John, was among the 
most prominent citizens of Stratford for many years. He 
was town clerk fifty successive years, and did the work in a 
creditable manner, to himself and the town. He always 
wrote the name Curtiss with two esses, and another name he 
always wrote Blakeman and never Blackman. 

Mr. Curtiss was elected an Assistant, an office now called 
Senator, of the State, first in May, 1698, and elected after 
that 22 successive years, making in all 23 years. He was 
several years Judge of the County Court ; and was appointed 
on several state committees of importance ; one ia 1710 with 
Hon. Nathan Gold and Peter Burr with a committee of New 
York State to locate the boundary line between these States, 
as settled by the authorities in 1700. 

He is reported to have secured the slip of paper and coat of 
arms referred to in this book on page 125, which paper was an 
exact copy of the church record at Roxbury, Massachusetts, 
and he had the opportunity to know whether he belonged 
to that family or not. He was cotemporary with his father, 
John, thirty years, and with his uncle William fifty years, and 
therefore he knew whether Thomas, Philip and Mary Curtiss 
of Roxbury, Massachusetts, were his uncles and aunt, or not. 



Biographical Sketches. 263 

Further, it is possible that this slip of paper was not secure 
until about 1760, thirty years after Joseph Curtiss died, but 
there were living then from twenty to fifty persons in Strat- 
ford, if not many more, who knew what William and John 
Curtiss had told as to the family in Massachusetts. 

The same is true in regard to several families of Stratford, 
who made records one way and another about 1760, when a 
number of persons obtained samples of the coat-of-arms be- 
longing to their family in England. 

Joseph Curtiss, in 1727 declined to serve longer as town 
clerk and another was appointed, and soon after he departed 
this life. For many years his descendants gloried in the 
honorable title applied to him frequently while living — "the 
Worshipful Joseph Curtiss." 

CapU WiUiani Curtis, sketched somewhat on pages 
125-6, was the most prominent military man in Stratford until 
1700. Next to him were Capt. Stephen Burritt and Lieut. 
Joseph Judson, but both of these were younger, not less noted. 
He served the town in many offices, on many committees ; 
and for eighteen years he was representative with only one 
or two exceptions. 

A lAst of the proprietors of all common or undivided 
lands in the township was recorded in 1699, and is valuable 
as showing who were proprietors and what their relative 
proportioned interest was. The list does not show how 
many acres each owned but simply his proportion ; that is, as 
often as Jere Judson had 48 acres, Joseph Hawley had 14,* 
Jonathan Smith 15, and so to the end of the list." Also, it 
does not show the relative wealth of the families named. 

" **A record of each and every particular proprietor's Rights in future com- 
monage in Stratford adjusted by the Committee Chosen and appointed for that 
work and by them ordered to be Recorded for the future benefit and peace of the 
town, January 13, 1699, by which Rule all future Divisions are to be laid out. 



Mr. Jere Judson, sen 48 acres. 

Joseph Hawley 14 

Jonathan Smith 15 

Eben' Booth i8>i 

John Booth i8ji 

Ephraim Booth's heirs 14 



Samuel Judson 24}^ acres. 

Jacob Walker 12 " 

Isaac J udson's heirs 12 " 

Abraham Kimberly 6 *' 

Mr. Samuel Blagg 6 " 

Joseph Blakeman 6 ** 



264 



History of Stratford. 



Various Items Worth Recording. 

"At about the latter end of July, 1671, there being four 
Indians complained of for being drunk and disorderly, they 
were brought before ye authority in ye Town and there fined 
tenn shillings apiece. 

Item. Ye charges in apprehending them and keeping 
them in Custody till a hearing and ye tryall, five and twenty 
shillings. This entered for memoranda. Jno. Minor, re- 
corder. To Left[enant] 6»; To ye Constable I2»; To Inter- 
preter 7'.** 



JohD Blakeman. deceased.. 20 : 

Daniel Foot 6 

Samuel Gal pin, deceased... 12 

Samuel Mil 14 

Benj» Nicolls 19^ 

Jonathan Nicolls %% 

Josiah Nicolls, sen 17 

John Hawley 21 

Mr. Samuel Hawley 39 

Ephraim Hawley 21 

Eben' Bawl ey's heirs sji 

Samuel Beacher 6 

Benj» Lewis 24 

John Wilcoxson 393i^ 

Timothy Titharton iSji 

Joseph Booth 6 

Daniel Curtiss 6 

Daniel Titharton 14 

Eben' Blakeman 6 

Samuel Titharton. I5>i 

Jonathan Curtiss 14 

Nicolas Huse 6 

Jon. Bostick, deceased 19^^ 

Benj" Sherman 6 

Joseph Watkins lo 

James Phippeny 6 

Mr. D. Mitchell, deceased ..47 

Abraham Mitchell 6 

Nathaniel Sherman 6 

Samuel Beard si ee, sen 14 

John Hurd, senr's heirs 36 

Henery Summers 14 

Samuel Wells xtyi, 

and 8 acres 6 miles distant 



John Peat 7 acres. 

Jacob Weaklin 18 " 

Edmon Sherman's heirs 12 " 

John Hurd, junr 6 ** 

Capt. Jon. Beardslee 22 *' 

Zechariah Fairchild 20 " 

Capt. James J udson '^2% " 

Mr. John J ud son 34^^ " 

John Curtiss, sen 12^ ** 

Benj» Curtiss 934 '• 

Lieut. Israel Curtiss 14 " 

Richard Butler's heirs 22 " 

Caleb Nicholls, deceased... 24 " 

Abraham Nicolls 6 " 

Joseph Fairechild 4 •* 

Mist. Katharine I udson ....18 " 
Sergt. Samuel Fairechild... 14 

Edward Hinman 18 " 

John Gilbert 6 

IsaacStiles 6 " 

Arthur Perry 12X 

Mr. Bcnj" Blakeman 14 " 

Mrs. Jane Blakeman... i8>i *' 

Isaac Bennit 6 ** 

Robert Rose 12 

Francis Griffin 7 ** 

Hugh Griffin 7 

Thomas Griffin 6 

James Blakeman 18 " 

Capt. John Minor 14 " 

John Wheeler 15 •' 

Joshua Curtiss 14 " 

Samuel Gregory 14 ** 

Samuel Stiles 20 ** 



List of Proprietors, 



265 



Four pounds and a half, money, for Indians to pay, who 
probably had not a penny in possession, was a costly drunk, 
but white people can throw such a spree all into the shade. 



Selling their services for a passage to America, 

** Be it known to all men by these presents that 1, Andrew 
Alexander now of new east Jersey in America have bargained 
and sold and do hereby sell and alienate unto Andrew Winton 
of Fairfield in New England, his heirs and assigns, two servants 
called Duncan Garnoch and Margaret his wife lately come 
out of Scotland, which are indebted to me for indenture; 



John Brooks 6 acres. 

Robert Lane 14 

John Burroughs 6 " 

John Porter 15 

Isaac Knell 35>i " | 

John Johnson 6 

Mr. J onath. Pitman 20 " 

Daniel Weaklin 20X 

John Sherwood 28 

Robert Basset - 6 " 

Deacon Wells 31 " I 

Samll Peat, sen' 14 " I 

Joseph Beardslee I9>i " 

Daniel Beard si ee 36X 

Robert Walker 12 " 

Sam"Wat, jun' 6 

John Beach 12 " | 

and 8 acres within 5 miles ' 

George Searles 6 " j 

Robert Clarke 28 

Nathaniel Beach tyi " ' 

Serg* Eben' Curtiss I2>i " 1 

Zecharlah Curtiss i^yi " I 

Benj» Beach 14 

Sergt. Daniel Picket 12 " 

John Picket's heirs 12 *' , 

Nathaniel Porter 6 '* I 

John Peacock's heirs 14 *' 

Jonas Tomlinson 14 " 

M' Samuel Wheeler, deceased 27 >i " 

Moses Wheeler 31% " 

M' Sam* Sherman, senr iT% " 

Matthew Sherman's heirs... 12 " 



Lieut. John Hubbel's heirs .18 

Mr. Zecheriah Walker 30 

Mr. Elizer Kimberly 12 

Mr. Alex**' Bryan 14 

John Hurd Woodbery 28 

Mr. Samuel Preston 22 

Ambrose Tompson and ) 

John Tompson ) 

Francis Hall, deceased 18 

Mr. Daniel Shelton 28 

Mr. Richard Blacklack 50^ 

Mr. Joseph Curtiss 34 

Mr. Ephraim Stiles 30 

Mr. Samuel Sherman, jun...20 

Capt. Stephen Burritt 20 

Mr. Israel Chancey 32 

Mr. John Wells 30 

Benj" Peat, senr 8 

Deacon Tim.*Wiicoxson ...29>i 
Daniel Brinsmead's heirs... 28^ 

Capt. W"* Curtiss 26 

Josiah Curtiss 6 

Lieut. Thomas Knowles 12 

Lieu^ Agur Tomlinson 14 

Ensign John Coe 21 

James Clarke, senr 14 

Sam" Uffoott ^ 35 

John Birdsey, senr 21 

John Birdsey, junr. 12 

John Burritt 19 

James Weaklin 20^ 

Samuel Beers in Right of his 
farther John Beers, deceased 6 



266 History of Stratford. 

and assigned by George Tomson to John Swinton, by John 
Swinton to Mr. Francis Scott, by Mr. Scott to Mr. George 
Alexander, and by Mr. George Alexander to me the said 
Andrew Alexander by facture and his full power whereby I 
the said Andrew Alexander do dispose and sell the two ser-* 
vants, my full power, title and right as is above expressed to 
the said Andrew Winton his heirs and asigns and obliged me 
to warrant the said Andrew Winton at the house of the fore- 
named persons that they shall not molest nor trouble the said 
Duncan or his master Andrew Winton through my seal of 
this indenture being made at Edinburgh the 29 day of May 
1684, which remains for the space of four years after their 
arrival at east Jersey being the first of November, 1684, and 
from that time they are to serve the said Andrew according to 
the time of said indenture, and I oblige also me to warrant this 
indenture from the above named persons, George Tomson, Mr. 
Francis Scott, John Swinton and the said George Alexander. 

In witness hereof 1 have written and subscribed obliga- 
tory with my hand before these witnesses, Josiah Harvey, 
Thomas Murrin indweller in Fairfield." 

Ye 13*^ April, 1684. Andrew Alexander. 

Signed in presence of us ) * 

Josiah Harvey, Thomas Murrin. f 

" These may certify whom it shall or may concern that I 
Andrew Winton doth discharge and set at liberty to their 
own will and pleasure the within mentioned Dunkin Gardner 
and Margaret Gardner of and from the within servitude an^r 
time within expressed and from all dues, debts and demands, 
as witness my hand this 2^ day of July, Anoque Dom. 1685." 

A Ladder Company, 

1686. ** It was voted that every householder in Stratford 
shall provide a suitable lather to his house that will reach the 
top of his house at least within — feet of the top, and what- 
soever householder shall neglect providing a suitable lather 
as aforesaid, above one month from this date, shall forfeit five 
shillings, the one half to the complainer, the other half to the 
town treasurer." 



Items from the Town Records. 267 

MoMifif the French girl. ** This indenture made the 24^ 
of June, 1662, witnesseth that we the townsmen of Stratford 
upon good and serious considerations moving us thereunto 
doe bind out one Modlin a little girl about six years of age, 
that formerly did belong to a Frenchman that was in neces- 
sity upon the town of Stratford ; we say, to John Minor of 
Stratford, to him, his heirs and assigns, till the aforesaid girl 
shall attayne the age of twenty-one years ; we say we bind 
her with her father's consent ; also a lawful apprentice to the 
aforesaid John Minor till the aforesaid term of tyrae shall be 
fully and completely ended. 

The aforesaid John Minor engages to provide her with 
apparel and diet and bedding as may be suitable for such an 
apprentice. 

That this is our act and deed, and witnessed by subscrib- 
ing the day and date above written. 

Richard Booth, John Brinsmade, \ 
William Curtis, Caleb Nichols, (-Townsmen." 
Jeremiah Judson. ) 

^•Memoranda, that upon the 29*^ day of September, 
1679, Sergt. Jeremiah Judson, constable, by order of the 
selectmen was sent and forewarned Phillip Denman and his 
mate Collins out of the town or from settling or abiding in 
any part of our bounds. 

And upon the 12*^ of November, 1679, Phillip Denman 
and Daniel Collins by the townsmen, were warned as above.'* 

Serders were employed to take care of the cattle which 
were pastured in the woods. It was employment without as 
'much amusement, even as working in the harvest field 
afforded, and hence men sometimes played truants. 

" February 18, 1662. Samuel Fayrechild and Robert Lane, 
Cow keepers for the year 1662, being detected of unfaithful- 
ness in keeping the heard, the sayed Samuel and Robert doe 
owne they did leave the heard in the woods and come home 
several days. This was owned in a public town meeting 
before Mr. Sharman, February 18, 1662. Mr. Sharman hath 
adjudged the above said Robert Lane and Samuel Fayrchild 
to pay to the townsmen twenty shillings use." 



268 History of Stratford. 

Town Boundaries were intelligible to those who estab- 
lished them, but are now a little indefinite and amusing. The 
following is a sample. 

"An agreement of ye agents of ye two towns of Stratford 
and Fairfield this 2^ of Aprill 1679, about ye bound between 
ye two towns from ye Cheritree Southerly to ye Sea as itt 
used to bee, and northerly from ye Cherytree to a stone 
whereabouts a walnut tree growed, and from thence to a 
rock by Henry Summer's fence, from thence to a tree near 
ye path marked of ould with a cross south and north, from 
thence to a heap of stones nearer ye path upon ye hill of 
rocks in sight of ye rode, and from thence to the next marked 
bound and so to Continue ye ould marked bound to ye extent 
of our twelve miles. That this is our agreement wee attest 
bjr subscribing our names, Joseph Hawley, Jehu Burr, 
Francis Hall, John Wheeler, Samuel Morehouse.'' 

This cherry tree stood in what is now Park Avenue near 
the junction of *that and Fairfield Avenue. 



CHAPTER XL 




PUSHING INTO THE WILDERNESS. 



ROM cultivated fields to the wilderness was 
the change in the lives of the first settlers 
when they came to Stratford, and their 
children, while yet some of the fathers were 
living, pushed into the wilderness with a 
courage and heroism equal to that which the 
fathers themselves had shown. The spirit 
of enterprise sent the planters to Stratford, 
as well as to all New England, and when 
once these planters had secured the proprie- 
torship in something near 75,000 acres of 
land, called Stratford township, there was 
no diminution of the spirit of enterprise; 
and following them, their sons and daugh- 
ters moved forward in the laborious work of 
settling a great country in the rights and privileges of freedom. 
These men took great care to secure the right to the soil 
by fair, impartial, and even generous purchase from the native 
owners. This done, they proceeded to divide, fairly, and 
"even benevolently the domain thus equitably obtained. 

When the company took possession of this territory they 
evidently believed that the Connecticut Colony had secured 
the right of soil as well as title to it, and proceeded upon that 
understanding to divide the same to themselves and new set- 
tlers as they came in. But after twelve or fifteen years, 
when the settlement had assumed formidable proportions, the 
Indians began to clamor for pay for the land which lay north 
of an east and west line about six miles from the Sound, to 
which the inhabitants agreed, and hence the several different 
purchases made, as heretofore represented by the Indian 



deeds, on page 22, and following. 



270 History of Stratford. 

Ansantaway/ the chief of Milford, presenting a claim, it 
was payed in 1658, and then followed several others. Bray 
Rossiter, of Guilford, secured 100 acres in payment of a debt. 

In 1661 Joseph Judson made a purchase of a large tract 
known as the Mohegan Hills, lying between the two bran- 
ches of the Fa<paill river, containing about 5,000 acres. In 
1673 the townsmen applied to the General Court to settle the 
differences between the town and Joseph Judson as to the 
ownership of this land. The Court appointed a time for 
hearing the claims in the matter, but it seems to have been 
amicably settled without the help of the Court ; probably 
about as the town had agreed before,' and a division of this 
tract was some years later made among the proprietors, 
Joseph Judson retaining such a proportion as satisfied him 
for the outlay in the purchase. 

Another purchase was made in 1661, **a large tract of 
land lying west from the Farmill river at Woronoke,*' it being 
made by Joseph Judson, but probably in behalf of the town. 

The tract of land between the Nearmill and Farmill 
rivers was purchased in December, 1661, by Mr. Samuel 
Sherman, John Hurd and Caleb Nichols — townsmen for the 
town, and all proprietors had their proportion of it, in after 
years. 

On the 22d of April, 1662, was received a deed for the ter- 
ritory of a considerable part of what is now the townships of 
Trumbull, Monroe and Easton, ** lying west of the land which 
the town of Stratford had previously purchased," or west of 

^ The frame of a house spoken of in a foot note on page 12 of this book as being . 
at Milford when the whites first came, was the frame of Ansantaway's large wig- 
wam. In the summer the old chief occupied this tent, covering it with bark and 
matting. The matting he took off and carried with him to his residence at Pau- 
gasset for the winter. 

* •* The Town uppon y* 6th December. 1672, sufficient consideration moving 
thereunto doe give grant and allow to Leif^ Joseph Judson the peacable improve- 
ment of so much land, good and bad altogether lying at y* place commonly called 
y* Mohegin Hills, ye hop-garden, meadow and lowland on both sides y* East 
Spraine of y« Far Mill Riveras high on that Sprayne as this accommodation reach- 
eih, as is the proportion of an eight acre meadowed inhabitant to y* whole bounds, 
with this proviso y^ it shall not be expected to be all laid out at present but suc- 
cessively as other proprietors." 



Purchase of Territory. 271 

the Pequonnock river, extending to Fairfield line and from a 
line crossing the township east and west about at the Trum- 
bull Church, or possibly a little further south, north to New- 
town. This was the Long Hill purchase. 

The last large tract was bought May 25, 1671, called the 
White Hills purchase, and the agreement wjth the Indians 
was, that this purchase should cover " all lands within the 
bounds of Stratford," and no reservations whatever were 
made— not even the usual "hunting and fishing." 

There was no exceptions, not even the reservations at 
Golden Hill or Coram, which had in all other deeds been 
made, and there is reason for supposing that the inhabitants 
believed these reservations were included, so that when the 
Indians died or deserted them, there would be no more pur- 
chasing of Indian claims. This is evident from the amount 
paid — £so-i^-6 — and the specific terms of the deed in which 
the boundaries of the territory included are definitely given ; 
— ** Stratford river on the east, Fairfield on the west, and from 
the sea twelve miles northward, as it is now settled by the 
Court ; . . . with all rights, titles, privileges, and appertenan- 
ces thereunto belonging or in any manner of ways apper- 
taining, which we do freely and absolutely resign and make 
over unto the aforesaid inhabitants." 

A tax was levied on the inhabitants of the town to raise 
this purchase money and the record of it specifies that it was 
for the ** White Hills purchase, together with the expenses, 
both to English and Indians, in and to the sale of all land 
within the bounds of Stratford." In another record, as to the 
expenses of this transaction, it is said : " all the charges and 
expense of the White Hills and the confirmation of lands 
within the bounds of Stratford."* 

* "A memorandum of all the Charges and Expenses about ye purchase of ye 
White Hills and ye Confirmation of all lands within ye Bounds of Stratford : 

To Mr. Richard Bryan for cloth coats, . . ;f 16-00-00 

Mr. Alexander Bryan for goods to ye Indians for ye same 

land, ....... 2-11-00 

Mr. Hawley for goods to ye Indians for ye White Hills pur- 
chase, ....... 3-10-00 

Mr. Hawley for entertainment of ye Indians at y* time with 

his own time, ... . i-oo-oo 



272 History of Stratford. 

This tax list is interesting, not only as showing the pro- 
portion of each man's proprietorship — not each man's wealth 
— but the number of, and who were the inhabitants of the 
town at the time, it being just two years before the Wood- 
bury company removed. 

It is further evident that the inhabitants supposed they 
settled all claims from the Indians, on the reservations, 
from the fact that the town voted, February 8, 1674, to lay 
out Golden Hill " by way of division to every proprietor 
according to his proportion," and appointed a committee to 
do the work; and in 1677, this reservation was divided to the 
proprietors of the town, then numbering just 100, and they 
" drew lots" to effect an impartial distribution. 

This is not all, for in the settlement of the question of 
the support or location of the Indians in 1659, on the 80 
acres on Golden Hill, the Court directed, ** that in case these 
Indians shall wholly, at any time, relinquish and desert Gold 
Hill, that then it shall remain to Stratford plantation, they 
repaying to Fairfield the one-half of that which they re- 
ceived in consideration of the said land. They had received 
from Fairfield twenty pounds and therefore should have paid 
ten pounds only. 

The next year, 1678, the Indians — there being a tew 
left — made complaint, or some whites for them, to the General 
Court, and that authority prohibited the Stratford men from 
taking or using any of the 80 acres or reservation. Thus the 

Mr. Fayrechild for his entertainment of ye Indians at ye 

same time with his own time, . . . * £ o-io-oo 

Ensign Judson for his time about that purchase, . 0-18-00 

Thos. Uffoot for expenses to ye Indians, . . . o-io-oo 

John Minor for interpreting, and his time about Pequonnuck 

Indians in order to what was done at ye General Court, 

Sunreying whole Bounds of ye town May. '71, . 
To Mr. East for trading cloth. 
To Mr. Bryan for goods upon ye same account. 
To Mr. Hawley for one coat upon that account, 
To Mr. Benjamin Black for goods to pay ye Indians, 
To Mr. Henman credit for his time, 

[Records effaced] 



8-08-08 
7-13-00 
1-12-06 

I-OO-OO 

2-10-00 
0-05-00 
1-16-00 
3-13-06 
2-06-00" 



Extending the Settlement. 273 

matter was left nearly one hundred years, until 1765, when 70 
acres of this land cost the town of Stratford nearly one hun- 
dred pounds, a part of which was placed as a fund for the 
support of the three Indian claimants, then the only remain- 
ing ones known. 

The equity of this cost is doubtful, since the land had, in 
fact, been paid for one hundred years before, as all the people 
of Stratford understood the matter ; but it is probable that 
some persons outside of the town of Stratford feared that 
these Indians might need support from the state, and if a 
fund could be raised by Stratford paying twice, or thrice, for 
this land it would save other people from bearing the ex- 
pense. 

From this time — 1671 — foward the proprietors proceeded 
to divide their entire territory, except the two Indian reser- 
vations, and clear and improve the same with great rapidity, 
securing abundant remuneration. The soil was rich, the pro- 
duce abundant, and although money was scarce, nobody 
suffered for want of food, unless they deserved it, because too 
lazy to work ; but now days it is not so, for often hard-work- 
ing persons do suffer because of want. 

During all this time, and the work of extending the pur- 
chased territory, most of the inhabitants were residing in the 
village of Stratford, within a distance of two miles from the 
meeting-house.* 

In the list of the inhabitants for March,* 1668, there 
were recorded five '* outlivers," or persons living beyond the 
two mile limits. 

These were John Wheeler, Obadiah Wheeler and Hope 
Washburn, at Oronoke, and Theophilus Sherman and Mat- 
thew Sherman, at the east end of Old Mill Green. 

It is quite certain that the three families were at Oro- 
noke, for Hope Washburn sold, in 1668, to Samuel Mills, a 

* January, 1685. Whereas, several town acts have been passed for granting 
lands to the proprietors, but not to come within two miles of the town, and there 
being no particular place stated where to begin the measure for the two miles, it 
is, therefore, voted that the meeting-house shall be the place stated to begin at for 
the future," 

' See page 179 of this book. 



2/4 History of Stratford. 

new man in the town, three acres of land, and in 1670, Samuel 
Mills sold his ** house, barn and home lot lying at Woronoke," 
to Hugh Makie. 

On the 24th of June, 1678, Nathaniel Foot, another new 
man, received liberty from the town to settle at Oronoke. 

At that time there were probably scattering settlers along 
the main road from Stratford village northward as far as 
Peck's Mills, and a few at Oronoke, and six years later — Feb- 
ruary, 1684, — an agreement was made by James Blakeman, 
with a committee of the town, to build '*a corn mill at the 
mouth of the Nearmill river, and he doth engage to grind 
their wheat and rye for a sixteenth part, and their corn for a 
twelfth part, and all malt for a thirtieth part, provided there 
is brought five bushels at a time. He also engageth to bring 
the black brook to run into the Nearmill river to feed it, if 
it may be done with three pounds charges. 

" For which the committee gave the stream and 15 acres 
of land to build on, as near the mill as may be." 

James Blakeman, in i66o, was the miller, and owned the 
property at the tide mill near the eagle's nest, and in 1663 he 
sold the mill property at Old Mill Green to Mr. Samuel Sher- 
man, having conducted it, probably, three or four years; and 
hence the town knew the man they trusted to build a new 
mill at the place now called Peck's Mills. 

la 1676 the town gave liberty Jto James Blakeman to 
build a saw mill at the mouth of Farmill river, which was, 
probably, the first mill there. 

JPequonnocK' was the Indian name applied by the 
English to the territory where the city of Bridgeport now 
stands. The township of Stratford was bounded on the west 
by the Fairfield line, and that line was to be the center of a 
highway, and this road to be eight rods wide, for in some of 
the deeds of land given by the town, it specified carefully 
that four rods on the Stratford side should be reserved for a 
highway, and the same reservation was made by the town of 
Fairfield on its side of the line. It is a misfortune that that 

"^ This spelling has become established by use in the locality and hence is 
here continued. 



Pequonnock Fields, 275 

highway, now the magnificent Park Avenue of Bridgeport, 
had not been retained 132 feet wide. 

As the Indian name Pequonnock indicates, there was a 
large cleared field or fields in the western and northern parts 
of this territory when the English first came here. The 
cleared land southwest of Golden Hill was called Pequon- 
nock field, and was divided by the boundary line between 
Fairfield and Stratford, and that part of it belonging to 
Stratford was fenced, in one enclosure, and still called 
Pequonnock field, and was used for raising grain. In 1657 it 
was laid out to the proprietors in such a manner that each 
proprietor's proportion is said to have been ** two-thirds of 
a division, and in William Beardsley's case and others, 
amounted to eighteen acres for each. 

The Indian reservation contained 80 acres laying in 
nearly a square plot, the boundary line passing from the river 
west nearly on the present Elm street to Courtland street, or 
a little further west and thence northward about 150 rods, 
thence east crossing Main street about where now Washing- 
ton avenue crosses it. 

North of this reservation were two plains, called fre- 
quently the upper and lower plains, but the upper one was 
more frequently called the Calf-pens plain, because the cattle 
were pastured in that region and the calves put in pens while 
young. These two plains were early — from 1657 to 1665 — 
divided into plots for meadow and farming, and in several of 
the deeds occurs the name "Ireland's Brook" — now degraded 
to Island Brook — but whence the name is not known, indicat- 
ing that the first settlers may have located in that vicinity. 

The first settlers west of Pequonnock river, in Stratford, 
were Henry Summers, Sen., and his two sons Henry and 
Samuel, and Samuel Gregory; and they seem to have come 
here in the year 1665, and some years later Samuel Gregory's 
house stood near the junction of the present Washington and 
Park avenues. 

Soon after these came John Beardsley and his brother 
Samuel Beardsley, and Henry Summers, Sen., removed to 
Milford, but his two sons remained here on the homestead, it 
being divided to them. 



276 History of Stratford. 

Slowly the settlement increased, spreading northward 
along what was afterwards known far and near as Toilsome 
Hill road, the land having been laid out for the distance of 
three miles at one time, which probably reached nearly to the 
long hill purchase. The name Toilsome Hill, arose from the 
steepness of several portions of it, and the winding of the 
road in order to effect the ascent. When the height is 
reached it affords a beautiful and extensive view over the 
Sound and along the Long Island coast. 

When the settlers first made their dwellings here there 
were several hundred Indians resident on the reservation, for 
it is said by Dea. Isaac Sherman in his manuscript notes, that 
the wigwams numbered at least one hundred when the whites 
began to settle here, that is, about 1670. There may have 
been three or four families here as early as 1665. 

Gradually the settlement grew and prospered, the inhab- 
itants attending church at Stratford, a distance of three miles, 
nearly thirty years, when in 1695 the ecclesiastical society of 
Stratfield was organized and a church established. 

Old MiU Chreen was a flourishing and an aristocratic 
part of the town of Stratford from about the year 1700 until 
after 1800. It is at the present time a beautiful part of the 
city of Bridgeport, but was a wild wilderness country when 
first traveled by white men. The land was a plain, and rich, 
and hence the trees were large and tall. 

The first white persons who traveled through the forests 
here were in pursuit of the Pequots who fled from their 
burned forts near Norwich, Connecticut, and who doubtless 
were conducted by friendly Indians along an Indian path in 
the summer of 1637. This Indian path was continued, being 
used by the English at Stratford to reach their fields at 
Pequonnock, about forty years before it was made a legal 
highway ; the path crossing the Pequonnock river about 
where the Old Mill Green road does now. 

In 1679 the General Court ordered certain roads to be 
constructed in the Colony, as " Country roads or King's 
highways;"* and such ways were for more than a hundred 

* ** May, 1679. This Court orders that the present roads from plantation to 



Old Mill Green. 277 

3'ears known by these names. The town act establishing this 
as a' highway, was passed in 1685, in the following words: 
" All the uplands and marshes lying southward of the road 
leading to Fairfield, between the physicall spring and the 
uppermost cartway over Brook shall be left for a per- 
petual common,* and twenty rods in breadth shall be left for 
a road to Fairfield bounds." 

The "physical spring" is that lately called the sulphur 
springs, about which some considerable excitement was 
raised a few years since, but no successful effort has been 
made to make a medical resort. 

The intention of the above vote, doubtless, was to have 
the highway twenty rods wide from its commencement to 
Fairfield line, and it was probably so laid out in 1687, as they 
were that year required to do it by the Court; but some 
years later the proprietors of the town sold much of the land 
in the wide highways and reduced their width. It is also 
said that Theophilus Nichols, a little after 1700, then living 
at Old Mill Green, was largely influential in preserving the 
green at its present width, which is twelve rods at the west 
end and fifteen at the school house. The road was continued 
in Fairfield at an unusual width as it still remains. It has 
been known in name as the Old King's highway just two 
hundred years, but is in danger of losing its monarchical title 
for one more in harmony with the government of the country 
in which it is located. 

This Old Mill Green is the part of the Old King's high- 
way from Mill brook, westward to the Pequonnock river, and 
was so called from the mill which was built on Mill brook in 
1654, by John Hurd, Sen., and Thomas Sherwood, Sen., and 
by the time there were such a number of settlers along this 

plantation shall be reputed the country roads or King's highway, and so to remain 
until the Court do see good reason to make alteration of the same. And whereas, 
each plantation is by law required once a year to work a day in clearing the brush, 
it is by this Court recommended to the townsmen of the several plantations to 
improve their inhabitants in clearing the common roads, in the first place, that lie 
between town and town, until the said roads are cleared at least one rod wide." 
Coll. Rec. iii. 30. 

* This included a large part of Clapboar Hill. 

19 






278 History of Stratford. 

road as to form a community of social life, the first mill had 
become old, and hence the name, Old Mill Hill and Old Mill 
Green. 

The old mill was called a corn mill, but all kinds of grain 
were ground by it. It had several owners. Thomas Sher- 
wood, who was partner in building it, soon sold his share to 
John Hurd, who sold it to Alexander Bryan of Milford, and 
he to James Blakeman, who sold half of it to his brother, 
Samuel Blakeman, in 1662, who settled here, probably in the 
house, or built him a house on the south side of the highway 
near the brook, as this land with quite a number of acres, 
belonged to the mill property. Here he died in 1668, and his 
widow afterwards married Jacob Walker. She had only two 
children living, both daughters, one five years of age and the 
other, one, when her husband died, but had considerable 
property. Her mother-in-law, Mrs. Jane Blakeman, resided 
with her in March, 1668-9, and hence she is recorded that 
year as an ** outliver."" 

James Blakeman sold his half of the old mill Dec. 4, 1663, 
with considerable land, to Samuel Sherman, Sen., who soon 
purchased more land here, and placed his three sons, Edward, 
Matthew and Samuel as residents in this vicinity. In 1680 
Edward and Matthew were living on the east side of the 
brook, north of the highway, and Samuel west of the brook, 
south of the highway. 

Various mills have been in use at this old mill place, the 
first one standing probably on the north side of the highway. 
For some years before 1800, a bark mill and tannery were in 
operation here. The last was a wool carding mill in 1818." 

^^ See pa^e 179 of this book. 

" From the Republican Farmer^ Oct. 17. 18 18. 

"WOOL CARDINCf." 

The subscribers have their machine in complete operation. Wool broughrto 
the machine will meet with immediate despatch, and wool left at Burritt*s and 
Sherman's, Bridgeport and at Daniel DeForest's, Stratford, will be attended to 
once or twice a week. The subscribers feel thankful for past favors and solicit a 
continuance of them. 

B. & M. SiLLIMAN & Co. 

Old Mill. 8th June, 1818." 



Old Mill Green. 



279 



The point of land south of Old Mill Green, reaching to 
the Sound, lying between Mill brook on the east, and the 
Pequonnock river west was known from about 1650, for two 
hundred 3'ears, as New Pasture field, and the southern end 
of it New Pasture point. It was fenced into one field for a 
pasture, but not long after became a field for raising grain, in 
which case the cattle were excluded by the fence which had 
before kept them in. When used as a pasture it may have 
been much smaller, the fence crossing the neck further south, 
but later, the fence ran on the south side of the green, appa- 
rently, and was divided anew in 1692, into 46 sections in pro- 
portion to the number of acres each person owned within the 
inclosure," but these owners did not all nor half of them, 
reside at the green. 

The first movement made, that finally resulted in a mill 



'^ ** A record of the general fence for the new pasture from y* mill brook to 
Paquanock river being just eleven foott to one acre of land ; the first lot 
begining at y* %^ mill brook, and being measured by a pole eleven foott long 
which is for one Acre of land — first lott Daniell Mitchell for 22 acres 22 pole. 



1 Daniell Mitchell 22 

2 Ebenezer Booth 24 >j 

3 Nathaniel Sherman 21 

4 Benjamin Sherman .. 21 

5 John Bostick 04 

6 Stephen and John Burritt.ii 

7 Samuel Sherman 05 

8 Ebenezer Blakeman 06 

q Thomas Knowles 04 

10 Ebenezer Hubbell \oyi 

11 Widow Rayner -12 

12 Samuel Peat 07 

13 Samuel Galpin 09 

14 John Wells 02^ 

15 Jonathan Nicolls --.06 

16 Mr. Samuel Sherman, sen. 13)^ 

17 Daniell Pickett 03 >i 

18 Deacon Wilcockson 05 

19 James Judson 03 

20 John Brooks 04 

21 John Pickett 03^ 

22 Thomas Pickett 03 

23 Ambross Thompson 20 

Recorded April 28. 1692." 



pole. 



24 John Hubbell 06 

25 The Hawleys 36 

26 AgurTomlinson 11 

27 Daniel Brinsmead 07 >{ 

28 Paul Brinsmead -io|i 

29 John Hurd 18 

30 Joseph Curtiss 0^% 

31 Isaac Hurd 03 

32 Benjn and Hannah Nicolls 07)^ 

33 William Piglee [Pixlee]..i5 

34 Charles Dugles 12^ 

35 Capt. Curtiss 12 

36 John Birdsey 04 

37 Joseph Blakeman 06 

38 Joseph Watkins 13 

39 Nicolas Huse 10 

40 Joseph Booth 04 

41 Weaklins, Dil and James .05^ 

42 Benjamin Curtiss 04^ 

43 Thomas Wells 08 

44 John Coe 03 

45 Ephraim Booth.... 04 

46 Thomas Pickett — 03 



pole. 



f 



280 History of Stratford. 

on the Pequonnbck river a little way above the old King's 
highway, began in May, 1691, when the town granted liberty 
to Matthew Sherwood, John and Matthew Sherwood, Jr., 
"to set up a gristmill and sawmill on Pequonnock river 
above the road where it may be thought most convenient ;" 
but the mill was not built until a number of years after that 
time. The next grant was to John Seeley in 1697. 

The river at this place was without a bridge, at least, 

juntil the date of the following town vote : 

/^ "Third Tuesday, Dec. 1736. Sergt. Richard NicoUs, 

/ Nathaniel Sherman and Peter Pixlee were chosen a coramit- 

/ tee to endeavor that a cart bridge be built over Pequonnock 

I river in the Grand Country Road at the town's charge, pro- 

\ vided that particular persons do appear to build the butments, 

\ in the whole, thirty feet free of any town charge." 

> The committee to take the oversight of the New pasture 

field in 1718, consisted of Capt. John Hawley, Mr. Benjamin 
Sherman and Sergt. Richard Nichols, and the pound keeper 
was John Hurd, all residing at Old Mill Green. 

The large rude mile-stone standing on this green, was 
set there by the direction of Benjamin Franklin, while he was 
Colonial Postmaster, between the years. 1753 and 1774, a most 
interesting monument of the days when public improvements 
began at a great venture as well as enterprise. Many 
of these stones are still standing along this ancient highway 
between New York and New Haven. 

The beginning of a separate school in this locality was 
inaugurated by a town vote in 1717, to allow them *• their 
part of the 40 shillings per thousand allowed by law and the 
appointment of Sergt. John Hurd, and Sergt. Andrew Patter- 
son, as committee. This seems to be the first occurrence of 
the name Pembroke, spelled then Pembrook. 

OronoJce began to be settled about 1665, the first inhab- 
itants, John Wheeler, Obadiah Wheeler and Hope Washburn 
settled at Farmill river, and a little way south of it. In 1666 
Samuel Mills settled there, and in 1667 Ephraim Stiles and 
Samuel Stiles became land owners there and soon made it 
their place of residence. 



Prominent Men of Oronoke. 281 

Other inhabitants soon followed, and in January, 1705-6, 
the town granted Ephraim Stiles the privilege of setting up 
a gristmill at Farmill river, a little below Black brook, and 
granted liberty to Lt. Agur Tomlinson to maintain a fulling- 
mill there. At that time the inhabitants at that place had 
become quite numerous, and it was an influential part of the 
town. 

General David Wooster was born there in 1710, and in 
the Revolution it was a center of much public influence and 
activity, while for fifty or more years afterwards some of the 
most noted families of the town resided there. It is still a 
most beautiful locality, even from Stratford village to Farmill 
river ; the residences are beautifully located along the river 
banks, and are kept in fine style, so that a five mile drive 
along the old Oronoke road is one of the most attractive of 
which the town can boast. 

The spirit of Education began to be fostered at that place 
by the following vote : 

"January 11, 1716-17. Voted, that the farmers at Long 
hill, Oronoke, Putnee, Mohegin hill. Trap falls, Fairchilds and 
Nichols lakes and Pambrook, shall have the use of their part 
of the 40 shillings per thousand allowed by law for seven 
years ensuing, providing they educate their children accor- 
ding to law.** 

Several men raised at this place — including what is now 
Oronoke and Putney school districts — were graduated at 
college and did honor to the world and their day and gene- 
ration. One, David Wooster, became a General in the United 
States army ; another, Gideon Tomlinson, became a Governor 
of the State and then a Representative and also a Senator in 
Congress; another, Nathan Birdseye, became a clergyman 
and lived to be over one hundred years of age ; several be- 
came officers in the militia and served in the French War 
and in the Revolution. 

"May, 1727. Upon the petition to Thomas_Gilbert of 
Oronoque in the township of Stratford, for liberty to set up a 
ferry at the said Oronoque, about four miles northward of the 
fer^y called Stratford ferry : This Court grant unto the said 
Thomas Gilbert the liberty or privilege of setting up a ferry 



282 History of Stratford. 

for the transportation of passengers across the river called 
Oronoque River, during the pleasure of this Court, and order 
that the fare shall be the same with the fare appointed for 
Stratford ferry."" 

In 1759 the like privilege was granted by the same 
authority to Zechariah Blakcman, Jr. 

I>ivision of the common lands was a matter of great 
difficulty, expense and dissatisfaction in Stratford, which con- 
tinued until after the year 1800. 

Up to about 1670 persons selected their lands wherever 
they desired, subject to the sanction of the committee or 
townsmen. In the Spring of 1680, **the town agreed to lay 
out all lands within six miles of the town" [meetinghouse], 
and appointed a committee to do it. In the autumn of the 
same year " the town voted to lay out one hundred or one 
hundred and six score acres, as may be found convenient, at 
the north and northwest end of the town," and appointed a 
committee to ascertain ** what land might be convenient for 
such a division." 

In 1687, a tract of land within two miles of tKe meeting 
house, lying, apparently, north of the Fairfield road, was 
ordered to be laid in lots, yet kept in common, ** in a general 
way Only for herbage for the proper use and benefit of the 
town in general and poor of the place, for them and their 
heirs forever; timber, wood, clay and stone to be free for 
each inhabitant, to be taken off the land without molestation 
from any person. Also, it is voted that the land lying south- 
ward of Fairfield road between the place called Ireland's 
Brook and Snake Brook hill, shall be laid out and improved 
in the same way and manner. 

The lots north of the Fairfield road were laid in strips 
the whole length of the tract, and hence was called the 
"Slip, or pasture division." After many years it was also 
called the Farm, for in remeasuring the lots in 171 1, many of 
them are said to be bounded on the " Farm Highway." 

The acts of the proprietors of common lands were per- 
formed in the town meetings, non-proprietors not being 

" Col. Rec, vii. 102. 



Land Divisions. 283 

allowed to vote until March, 1723-4, when the proprietors 
met according to notification and organized into a separate 
body ; appointed a committee to ascertain all the claimants 
of these lands in order to a complete adjustment of all rights 
in the matter. They voted, also, to lay out a division of all 
their undivided lands in the township, six miles from town,** 
with the allowance of sufficient highways and commons; and 
appointed a committee to do it. 

This placed the whole north end of the township, beyond 
six miles, into one plot to be divided, and on May 18, 1724, 
having ascertained, as they supposed, the names of all par- 
ties, they voted to divide the whole plot into 144 lots, that 
being the whole number ; drew a plan of every lot and placed 
it on record in the town book. In this plan there are twelve 
ranges of lots, each range 160 rods wide, running north and 
south, six miles long, and the lots running east and west 
across the range of lots. 

The peculiarity of this proposition is that they voted to 
have **a highway twenty rods wide between each range of 
lots;" with cross highways in every range eight rods wide. 
This would have been a picturesque township — eleven high- 
ways, six miles long, twenty rods wide, within the distance of 
about ten miles. But the early settlers were not accustomed 
to such an estimate of the picturesque as to throw away 440 
acres of land in half a township, not by a very great difference. 
What, then, was the idea in making such wide highways? 
One and only one : common pasturage for sheep and cattle. 

But this plan of this great ** North Division " was not 
carried into effect, although the lots were actually drawn for 
144 proprietors, on the i8th of May, 1724, by Capt. Edmund 
Lewis; for it was soon found that the number of proprietors 
was considerably larger than had been obtained, and that 
other obstacles were more effectual against it than had been 
supposed, especially that a considerable portion of this land 
had been already taken up and some of it occupied by actual 
settlers. 

Thus the matter stood until Jan., 1732-3, when ** the 

" The word town was often used to designate the village. 



284 



History of Stratford. 



proprietors voted to lay out first the highways in the land 
six miles distant from the old meeting house," these high- 
ways " running northerly and southerly from the end of six 
miles to the northerly part of Stratford bounds, as wide as b)*^ 
said committee may be thought needful," and the cross high- 
ways the same. In this final draft there were 199 claimants, 
and Capt. Edmund Lewis drew the lots." 



" " At a Proprietors meeting of y* proprietors of Common undivided Land 
in Stratford held by adjournment on the last Monday of November A. D. 1738. 

Here followeth an account of 3^ draught of 3^ Lots voted to be drawn at the 
proprietors meeting October 3 Monday 1738." 



1 Nathan Hawley. 

2 Heirs of Samuel Wheeler. 

3 Elisebeth Curtiss. 

4 Heirs of Benj. Blakeman. 
3 Zachariah Curtiss, Jr. 

6 Nathan Beach. 

7 James Booth. 

8 Heirs of W" Jeans. 

9 Jonathan Beard siee. 

10 Sarah Beach. 

11 Heirs of Joseph Fairchild. r- 

12 Israel Beardslee. 

13 Capt. Richard Hubbell, 

14 Samuel French, Joiner. 

15 Eben. Hurd. 

16 Capt. John Coe. 

17 William Standard and wife. 

18 Nathan Curtis and Eunice his wife. 

19 Heirs of Isaac Stiles. 

20 David Hubbell. 

21 Samuel Hall. 

22 John Oatman. 

23 Ephraim Clark. 

24 Nathaniel Hawley. 

25 Samuel DeForest. 

26 Capt. David Sherman. 

27 Daniel Shelion's heirs. 

28 Jonadab Bassett. « 

29 Jose Seele. 

30 Samuel Blagge. 

31 Elnathan Wheeter. 

32 Dea. Ephraim Judson. 

33 Wid. Joanna Hawley. 

34 James Fairchild. 



35 Timothy Titharton. 

36 Zach. Beardslee. 

37 Thaddeus Gregory. 

38 Thomas Beardslee. 

39 Zach. Booth. 

40 Joseph Nichols, Jr. 

41 Robert Walker. 

42 Benjamin Lewis. 

43 Mr. Eph" Curtiss and wife. 

44 Heirs of Jose Blakeman. 

45 Jonathan Curtiss. 

46 Caleb Beardslee. 

47 Tim. Wheler. 

48 Ephraim Bennett. 

49 John Curtiss. 

50 Heirs of Jose Beardslee. 

51 Samuel Uffoot. 

52 Ens. Jonas Wooster. 

53 Enoch Gregory. 

54 Heirs of David Wakelin. 

55 Zachariah Tomlinson. 

56 Samuel French, Jr. 

57 James Hubbell. 

58 Heirs of Daniel Beardslee, Straifield. 

59 Josiah Gilbert. 

60 Heirs of Abel Curtiss. 

61 David Sherman, Jr. 

62 Mary and Jeremiah Judson. 

63 Samuel Hawley and wife. 

64 Heirs of Arthur Perry. 

65 Jose Hawley, 

66 John Fairchild. - 

67 Joseph Booth. 

68 Daniel Hyde. 



Proprietors of Common Lands. 



285 



Sequestered lands, so called, were laid out at various 
times for pasture lands, and when the plan of wide highways 
failed at the north end of the town, they then set apart sev- 
eral hundred acres for the purpose of pasturage for sheep. 

** March, 1734-5. Voted that all the common lands 
within two miles distance from the old society meeting-house 
shall be, and is, sequestered a perpetual common for the use 



6q William Peat, 
70 Mrs. Theophilus Nichols. 
7Z Zachariah Blakeman. 
72 Benjamin Burton. 
. 73 Heirs of Timothy Fairchild. 

74 Nathaniel Sherman. ^ 

75 Daniel Brinsmade. 

76 Enos Sherman. 

77 John Levensworth. 

78 Nathi Wakelee. 

79 Edward Lacee and wife. 
So John Clark, Jr. 

Si Gideon Hawley's heirs. 

82 John Thompson. 

83 Josiah Beardslee. 

84 Richard Nichols. 

85 Matthew Curtiss. 

86 Ebenezer Beach. 

87 Daniel Curtiss. 

88 Nathan Bennett, 

89 Mr. John Edwards. 

90 Ens. Samuel Gregory. 

91 Robert McEwen. 

92 Heirs of John Cluckstone. 

93 Heirs of Marcy Rose. 

94 Nathan Wheeler. 

95 Stephen Burroughs. 

96 Heirs of James Selee. 

97 Hezekiah Gold. 

98 Thomas Gilbert. 

99 Comfort wife of David Latten. 

100 James Levensworth. 
loi Jonathan Nichols. 
Z02 Henry Hawley. 

103 Heirs of Capt. John Wells. 

104 Stiles Curtiss. 

105 Heirs of Jacob Wakelee. 

106 William Fanton. 

107 Heirs of Nathan Fairchild. 



108 John Hubbell. 

109 Nathan Curtiss and wife, 
no David Beardslee. 

111 Edward Lacee. 

112 John Nichols. 

113 Heirs of Nat. Shearman. "- 

114 Capt. Jose Judson. 

115 Seign' Lewis. 

116 Daniel Porter. 

117 Heirs of Nathan Porter. 

118 John Patterson. f 

119 Charles Burritt. 

120 Capt. Jose Nichols. 

121 Thomas Latten. 

122 Daniel Pickett. 

123 Capt. James Judson. 

124 Thomas Wells and wife. 

125 Daniel Hawley. ^ 

126 James Laboree. 

127 Benjamin Booth. 

128 Capt. James 1 ewis. 

129 Heirs of Thomas Knowles. 

130 Jonathan Nichols. 

131 Samuel Osborn's heirs. 

132 Mr. Samuel Cook, 

133 Heirs of Mr. Joseph Blacklach. 

134 Robert Walker. Jr. 

135 Jo*c Birdsey. 

136 Jose Beardslee. 

137 Ebenezer Blackman. 

138 Nathan Blackman. 

139 Heirs of Samuel Judson. 

140 Ebenezer Thompson. 

141 Mr. Jedidiah Mills. 

142 Joseph Burritt. 

143 Heirs of Thomas Hawley. "" 

144 Zachariah Curtiss, sen. 

145 Jose Lewis. 

146 Ephraim Watkins. 



286 



History of Stratford. 



and benefit of the proprietors according to their propriety, as 
formerly fixed by the selectmen in 1689; and also 100 acres 
in Bear Swamp Rocks, 100 acres near Broad Bridge. Voted 
that 800 acres of ruff land be surveyed, and is sequestered . . , 
in the parish of Ripton for a perpetual common ... at the 
places hereafter named : by the Farmill river, at Corum 
burying place, Knell's Rocks, Quimbie's Hill, about Moose 
hill, by Barn hill, north by Bagburn, by the Great river south 
of Pine Swamp on both sides the east Sprain of the far mill 
river. 

" Voted that three hundred acres of RufF land are sequest- 
ered in the parish of Unity — by Turkey meadow Sprains, by 
saw mill, by Butternut swamp, by Walker's hill west of 
Daniel's Farm. 

" Voted that 300 acres in the parish of Stratfield — at the 
place below Qx hill, west of Rocky hill near Canoe brook. 



147 David Booth. 

148 John Willcockson and wife. 

149 Capt. David Jodson and wife. 

150 Nathan Beardsley of Stratfield. 

151 Ens. Samuel Fairchild. 

152 Joseph Wells. 

153 Peter Pixlee. 

154 John Hawley. 

155 Zach. Clark. 

156 Benjamin Beach. 

157 Nathan Wheeler. 

158 Heirs of John Bostwick. 

159 Heirs of George Searls. 

160 Ens. John Porter. 
i6i Peter Curtiss. 

162 Robert Wells. 

163 Heirs of Jose Beach. 

164 James Sherman. 

165 Jonathan Wakelee and wife. 

166 David and Sarah Wells. 

167 William Curtiss. 

168 Timo. Sherman. 

169 Heirs of Jacob Walker. 

170 Ebenezer Gregory. 

171 James Wakelee. 

172 John Beardslee's heirs. 

173 Heirs of Thomas Sherwood. 

Town Acts. B. i. 78. 



174 Capt. Abraham Wooster. 

175 Sarah, Jon. Clark's wife. 

176 Heirs of Samuel Summers. 

177 Samuel Sherman. 

178 Heirs of John Blackman. 

179 Lt. Abel Birdsey. 

180 Zechariah Brinsmade. 

181 Eben. Curtis. 

182 Joshua Judson's heirs. 

183 Heirs of Theoph. Sherman. 

184 Joseph Curtiss. 

T85 Edmund Lewis, Esq. 

186 Sarah Everitt. 

187 Ambrose Thompson, Jr. 

188 Andrew Patterson. 

189 Jonas Curtiss. 

190 William Patterson. 

191 Abram Nichols, Jr. 

192 John Beardsle of Stratfield. 

193 William Beach. 

194 Benjamin Brooks. 

195 Daniel Nichols. 

196 Judson Burton. 

197 Heirs of Robert Wells. 

198 Heirs of Eben. Hawley. 

199 Elisha Blagge. 



Names of Localities. 287 

"The whole to remain common until the proprietors 
agree to the contrary." 

In October, 1738, they voted that the sequestered lands 
should ** lie in common for the use of the proprietors so long 
as the neat [net] earnings of the flock or flocks of sheep in 
Stratford going and feeding thereon, shall be paid to the pro- 
prietors of the said land.*' 

IJoedl names are mentioned in laying out highways, in 
deeds of land, in wills, and divisions of land. 

** January, 1691. Richard Blacklach hath a parcel of 
land in the woods at Ocquanquage, bounded on the south 
with the west sprain of the Farmill river, on the east with a 
highway that runs on the easterly side of Ocquanquage 
plains, on the west with a rock at the southwest corner, and 
on the west with a high hill." And in March, 1723, a high- 
way laid out ** the whole length of Ocquanquage plain, on 
the easterly side of it, beginning by the side of the west sprain 
of the Farmill river, northward, full 16 rods wide, then east 
full 18 rods wide." 

** In June, 1727, a highway was recorded as lying " upon 
Pissepunk hill; and about 1710, John Pickett had land laid to 
him 'lying on the southwesterly side of Pissepunk brook.'" 
Pissepunk is an Indian name. ** It doubtless came from an 
Indian *hot house,* somewhere on or near this hill. 'This 
hot house is a kind of little cell or cave, six or eight feet over, 
round, made on the side of the hill, commonly by some rivu- 
let or brook ; into this frequently the men enter alter they 
have exceedingly heated it with store of wood, laid upon an 
heap of stones in the middle."" 

*' 1676. Thomas Clark hath 4 acres near the nearmill 
river commonly called Scutt's spring." 

"April, 1711. A lot of land was laid to Josiah Curtiss 
lying on Wigwam hill." 

About 1714, land was laid to John Hurd " on the plain 
called Weeping plain, part on both sides of the west sprain of 
the Farmill river, on the west side of the Hundred hills . . . 

" J. H. Trumbuirs Indian Names. 



288 History of Stratford. 

lying on the west side of the hundred hills on the east side of 
a swamp called weeping plain swamp." 

April, 1714, "a lot of land, originally laid out to Mr. 
Samuel Sherman, sen., 55 acres, at a place called tilesom, 
bounded southwest with highway between Fairfield and 
Stratford." This ** Tilesom " was afterwards written and 
pronounced Toilsome. 

** 1714, one piece of land southward of Castle hill." 
In February, 1691-2, Robert Bassett bought land on Tur- 
key Hill at Coram; and the next June he had laid out " 100 
acres, by way of division, lying in the woods on the east of 
Paquannock river against Mount Moriah, bounded on the 
west with that sprain of Paquannock river that runs east of 
Rock-house Hill and a great plain on the east side of Paquan- 
nock river that lyeth southward of the sprain of said river." 

Tanneries for making leather were not numerous dur- 
ing the first fifty years of plantation life at Stratford. No 
record of any has been seen before 1690, except the name 
Tanner's brook in the northern part of Stratford village, 
which name implies that some tanning enterprise may have 
been conducted upon it at a very early period, as the name 
occurs early, about 1660. 

The following are town records on this subject : 

** January 20, 1691. The town, by vote, gave unto Joseph 
Booth three rods square of land for a tan-yard, lying on both 
sides the run of water near his dwelling house to be for him 
the said Booth, his heirs and assigns, so long as they shall 
keep and maintain the trade of tanning." 

** January 13, 1696. Mr. Eph/aim Stiles requested the 
town that they would be pleased to grant him about forty 
feet of ground at Woronock, lying between the home that 
was Hope Washborn's, and the house belonging to the heirs 
of James Blakeman, in order for the setting up of tan-fats, 
and the town granted his request." 

Another enterprise, the first of the kind that has been 
seen as recorded in the town books explains itself. 

Wolves were a great annoyance and an expensive crea- 
ture in the vicinitv of Stratford. Premiums of various 



A Great Wolf Hunt. 289 

amounts were oflFered by the town, at different times, in addi- 
tion to the premiums offered by the Colony or county ; yet 
the animals rather increased than diminished. 

In 1687 the premium stood at thirty-two shillings for 
each one killed, and that figure seeming too expensive, it was 
reduced to twelve shillings. 

Thus it seems to have stood a number of years, when the 
creatures so increased that a monster wolf hunt was organized. 

** April 17, 1693. Voted that all persons ratable should 
be allowed for man and horse in this service of destroying 
wolves, three shillings per day out of the town treasury." 

•* It was voted and agreed that the next Thursday shall 
be the day to goe upon this business of killing wolves, if the 
weather permit, or the next fair day ; all persons to be ready 
by seven of the clock in the morning, and meet upon the hill 
at the meeting-house, by the beat of the drum. 

" The town, by vote, made choice of Captain Burritt, 
Lieut. Beardslee, Ens. Judson, Mr. Samuel Sherman [Jr.], 
Ephraim Stiles, Daniel Beardslee, Daniel Curtiss, Ebenezer 
Curtiss, Sergt. Knowles, Joseph Curtiss, .Benjamin Curtiss, 
Lieut. Tomlinson, Nathaniel Sherman and Joseph Curtiss to 
be overseers of this affayre, and authorized them with full 
power to order, dispose and direct all and every person that 
shall goe upon this work from time to time, and all persons 
are to observe and attend their directions." 

How much this expedition cost the town, or how many 
wolves were killed, has not been ascertained, but it must have 
been such an imposing, formidable war-like demonstration as 
to indicate considerable vengeance on the wolves. By another 
vote in 1696, when each person was to receive only six pence 
every time he went out in a certain expedition, the cost to 
the town was fourteen pound, nineteen shillings and six 
pence. 

Hence, the expense of killing wolves, and the value of 
the creatures destroyed by the wolves, was quite an item of 
yearly loss to the toiling citizens of those early days. 

Between 1690 and 1700, specially, and largely thereafter 
for many years, town meetings were held frequently, trans- 
actions of much importance in the settlement of the town- 



290 



History of Stratford. 



ship enacted and a list of officers elected." The business of 
the town meetings occupied so much time that often the 
meeting was adjourned to a second day. 

The town clerks, in recording the proceedings of the meet- 
ings, were very careful to give the title to every man's name 
as regularly as the name occurred. The list of town officers 
was, at first, very short, but it had the energy of increase to 
marvelous proportions. When the law giving ecclesiastical 
societies separate offices and officers, the town list was some- 
what shortened, but if there was more than one such society 
within a township, the list was kept about the same. In 
Stratford, for some years, there were four Congregational 
societies and three, if not four. Episcopal. 

A TowTi^house for the accommodation of the town 
meetings was built between the years 1752 and 1758; for the 
town meeting of December, 1758 was held in the new town 
house. 

.The movement began January, 1749-50. "Voted to 
build a town house, and that the same shall not, any part 
thereof, be used for a school house, under any pretence what- 
soever, and to set the house upon the hill just south of Tan- 
ner's brook, called the Smith shop hill ; the house to be 45 
feet long, 32 feet wide, and ten feet between joints. 

** Voted the same to be furnished with seats and chim- 
ney.*' This they proposed to build by subscription, but they 



^ Election at town meeting December 29, 1675. 



"John Minor. I Constables, 

Jehiel Preston, ) 

Thomas Uffoot, 

John Wells, 

Sergt. John Curtiss, 

Henry Wakelyn, 

John Pickett, sen., 

John Minor, recorder. 

Sergt. John Curtiss, town treasurer. 

Thomas Fayrechild, ; 

£11. Knowles, 

Robert Lane, ) , 

„ . . « . f fence viewers. 

Benjamm Beach, > 



townsmen. 



' j. Hay wardens. 



Edward Hinman, packer. 
John Peak, Jr., marshal. 
Nathaniel Parker, ) surveyors of high- 
James Clark, ) ways. 
Mr. Hawley, ordinary keeper. 
John Pickett. Jr., sealer of weights and 

measures. 
James Clark, pound keeper. 
John Peck, custom master. 
Robert Rose, cryex, 
Capt. Curtiss, Mr. Mitchell, Jehiel 

Preston and John Minor to audit 

the town's accounts." 



A Town House, 291 

also voted a tax for the same purpose, and, although they 
appointed a committee to do the work, yet it was delayed. 

In 1752 they appointed a committee, consisting of one 
man from each society in the town, to consult about the best 
way to build the town house ; and the town meeting was held 
in it in December, 1758. 

Previous to this the town meeting is mentioned several 
times as having been held in the school house. 

A JfesinliMMse was voted to be built in December, 1760. 
The year previous to this Daniel Nichols had the small-pox 
and the town voted him four pounds, if he recovered of his 
distemper. 



CHAPTER XII. 



BEGINNING THE EIGHTEENTH 
CENTURY. 

I REAT was the spirit of enterprise in Strat- 
|L ford when the eighteenth century was intro- 
duced by the opening of the year 1701. 
Sixty-one years had passed since the first 
seventeen families established the plantation 
as new settlers in .the wilderness. At the 
end of the first age, of thirty years, many of 
the persons in these families, and of all the 
families that came before 1650, had passed 
away, and only a few dwellings — perhaps 
a half dozen — had been extended beyond 
the limits of the village of Stratford ; while 
the families had reached the number of a 
little over one hundred, in 1677; the pro- 
prietors of the township being just one hun- 
dred. 

During the second age, thirty years, great progress had 
been made in laying out the lands northward into the wilder- 
ness preparatory to their occupancy by resident farmers : 
and quite a number of the young men had established their 
homes on these farms. The monotony and loneliness of their 
locations were greatly relieved by the animation of the nat- 
ural scenery and the spirit of enterprise and progress in the 
further settlement of the country. The woods were full of 
birds and animals — quite too much so, as to wolves and bears 
— and the courage and ambition of the young people were 
exercised, equally, with any succeeding age. 

In 1699, the proprietors or owners of the undivided land, 
numbered one hundred and forty-three, and the families, about 
two hundred. 




First Merchants. 293 

An ecclesiastical society and a church had been organ- 
ized at Pequonnock, called Stratfield, which at first included 
twelve or fourteen of the Stratford families, and those all 
residing west of the Pequonnock river. 

There may have bee'h three or four families residing in 
what is now Huntington, but it is doubtful if there were 
more than two who were located at Shelton, unless there 
were others in the southeastern corner of that town. 

There were about a dozen families in the vicinity of 
Oronoke, and as many more along Old Mill Green and on 
Old Mill hill. 

Such was the field of operations, the center or headquar- 
ters being at Stratford village, which had become a place of 
considerable mercantile business and social enterprise. The 
meeting-house had been removed from the harbor and a new 
one built on Watch^ouse Hill. Two ware-houses had been 
built, one by Richard Blackleach, the other by Daniel Shelton,' 
perhaps one of them on the site of the old meeting-house at 
the harbor, for one was built there very early, the stone base- 
ment story of which is the foundation of the barn now stand- 
ing upon it. The merchandise consisted largely of grains, 
beef and pork and live horses ; the last for the West Indies, 
the others for Boston and New York. There was no trade 
in articles of wood, for in 1690 the town, by vote, forbid 
the transportation of any timber for clapboards, pipe staves, 
hoops, heading, rails or building lumber, from the place, 
because of its scarcity. 

It has been difficult to ascertain in what hands the mer- 
cantile business was held previous to this time, except that, 
from the first, or about 1650, until 1680, or near that time, 
Joseph Hawley and Isaac Nichols, sen., had some, consider- 
able, probably the leading part in such trade. Joseph Haw- 
ley built vessels, here and at Derby, and also sold foreign 
cloths and other mercantile goods. He was also, some of the 
time, the ordinary, or tavern keeper, and in those days, and 

^ *' May 6, 1686. Voted and granted unto Mr. Richard Blacklach and Mr. 
Daniel Shiiton to build each of them a warehouse in some convenient place where 
it may be judged most suitable by the selectmen of the town and the wharfe pre- 
sented them as proprietors of Stratford, for ever, free wharfage." ^ 



294 History of Stratford, 

many years later, not only liquors were sold, but teas, sugar, 
molasses, indigo, logwood, nails of all kinds, made in Eng- 
land and at home, at such places of public entertainment. 
Isaac Nichols, sen., seems, from certain records, to have con- 
ducted a like business, later, perhaps after Mr. Hawley re- 
tired. 

AleocandeT Bryant of Milford, was the great merchant 
for the whole region of country, and his son Richard with 
him for more than half a century. They bought and sold 
land in almost, or quite, every town from New London to 
New York. They furnished goods to pay the Indians for 
nearly all the townships in the region. Their vessels traded, 
not only at home, but in foreign ports, England, Holland and 
Spain. Their bills passed in exchange, in all parts of the 
country, and particularly in England. It is doubtful if there 
was another merchant, out of Boston, on the American coast, 
that did as large a business as Alexander Bryan from 1639 
to 1670. 

Isaac Nichols, sen., as seen by the records, obtained con- 
siderable supplies from Alexander Bryan, and hence the in- 
formation as to his mercantile business. 

Samuel Blagge, from New York, Richard Blacklach, 
from Guilford, and Daniel Shelton from England, came to 
Stratford, as merchants, about 1686; Samuel Blagge, per- 
haps, several years earlier than the other two. 

The farmers of Stratford resided in the village, and went 
out to their farms, from one to three miles, in the true oriental 
style, to do the work of the farm. In the morning they were 
seen going out with their teams, many of them to the south, 
to the Old Field, and the Great Neck, all of which was put 
into one great field, about 1693, the fence crossing from the 
rocks on Little Neck, west to mill brook, and all the land 
south of it, being in the field. The Old Field, at first did not 
include the Great Neck. Other of the farmers went to the 
New Field, joining the village on the southwest, between it 
and the swamp. Then there was a field called Nesingpaws, 
on the west side of Mill brook, as called in the deeds about 
1700, and after, or west of the swamp extending to Bruce*s 
Brook; and from this field, or Bruce's Brook to the old 



Grants of Mill Privileges. 295 

yellow mill, was the Far-field; then the Newpasture field 
south of Old Mill Green, and Pequonnock field south of 
Golden Hill. There was also a common field — not very 
large — at Oronoke, besides what was called the great meadow 
at that place. 



Gristmills^ SawmillSy and Fullingmills, 

As the families settled back into the wilderness, they 
needed mills of various kinds to facilitate the work and com- 
fort of life. To build a small saw mill was an enterprise of 
venture, requiring much energy and considerable money, as 
then money was estimated. The town owned all the mill- 
sites, as well as the land around them, and therefore none of 
them could be used without a grant from the town. At first, 
besides granting the privilege of the mill, the town gave to 
the person who should build a gristmill several acres of land, 
upon condition that the party "should grind the town's 
corn," for a sixteenth or twelfth or an eighth part of the 
grain brought to the mill. 

At this time, 1700, there had been two gristmills and two 
fulling mills built, and soon after several other mills were 
erected, as the following records show : 

"January 26, 1702-3, the town granted liberty to Eben- 
ezer Curtiss, James Lewis and Edmund Lewis, to erect a 
sawmill near Misha hill." 

"December 25, 1704, Benjamin Sherman, John Williams, 
and John Seeley were granted liberty to erect a gristmill 
upon Pequonnock river at the narrows below Essay's pond." 
Upon securing this site they were to sign certain articles of 
agreement with the selectmen. 

"January 11, 1705-6, the town granted liberty to Mr. 
Ephraim Stiles to set up a gristmill at Farmill river, a little 
below Black brook, near the place called the Plum-trees." 
At the same time the town granted full liberty to Lt. Tomlin- 
son to maintain his fulling mill on Farmill river. 

"February 14, 1721-2, Mr. John Edwards requested lib- 
erty to " erect a fulling mill upon the river on the west side 
of Ox hill," and in 1724 Mr. Edwards and Lt. Richard Hub- 



296 History of Stratford. 

bell, erected a fulling millat the same place, then called Jack- 
son's river, it being near Fairfield line. 

** December 5, 1725. Upon the request of Zechariah 
Beardslee, Charles Lane and Ephraim Judson, to erect a saw- 
mill and make a dam for said mill at the south corner of 
Acquanquedy plain on the west sprain of the Farmill river, 
the town grants their request, with this proviso, that they 
satisfy for all damage that their dam may cause in any par- 
ticular person's land." 

** December 29, 1725. Liberty was granted Captain 
Josiah Curtiss and Mr. John Willcoxson, Jr., to erect a saw- 
mill on the halfway river," at the north end of the town. 

Ecclesiastical Progress and Prosperity, 

The Rev. Israel Chauncey died at Stratford March 14, 
1702-3, in the 39th year of his ministry, and the 59th yeaf of 
his age ; which appears to have been an unexpected event 
without forewarning, as he was not aged, or in any way en- 
feebled. He had been a successful, faithful minister, and 
seems to have been very acceptable in the parish, his salary 
having been increased at several times, being the highest, and 
standing at ;f 112, and hjs yearly allowance of wood, al his 
decease. 

Two candidates for the supply of the pulpit were soon 
secured; Mr. Nathaniel Hubbard, of the class of Harvard, 
1698, and Mr. Joseph Morgan. Upon this the town came 
together pn May 7, 1703, and voted to buy a house "of Dan- 
iel Shelton for £\QO cash, for the minister in Stratford," but 
"after the vote was recorded, Isaac Knell, Joseph Fairchild,^ j 
Edward Hinman, Samuel Peat, sen., and Timothy Titharton, " 
did protest against buying Mr. Shelton's house." This is the 
first intimation of trouble that the records aflFord, nor is there 
any reason stated for the opposition. 

The next proceeding, at the same meeting, was to apply 
for Mr. Reed to preach, and " Nathaniel Sherman was by vote 
chosen as agent for the town, forthwith with all convenrent 
speed to go to Hartford and endeavor, by all lawful means, 
the obtaining of Mr. Reed for the work above said." Mr. 



Mr. Reed*s Ministry. 297 

Reed was secured and preached, and the August following 
the town voted him ** £^ pay in provision and £6 for fire- 
wood for half a year, and Mr. Nathaniel Sherman, Sergt. 
John Hawley, Mr. Jeremiah Judson, were appointed a com- 
mittee to ** take care of transporting Mr. Reed's family from 
Hartford, and providing a suitable habitation for him." The 
next February — 8, 1703-4 — on a proposition for settling a 
minister, Mr. Reed received 96 votes; Mr. Hubbard, 18; and 
Mr. Morgan, 15. 

Mr. Reed continued to preach regularly until November 
14, 1704, when he received 70 votes, and there were " 14 
votes to the contrary." On the 24lh of April, 1705, "there 
being some persons dissatisfied with the former vote," 
another was taken, and Mr. Reed received 67, for settlement, 
there being "43 otherwise," and 32 not voting. The last 
vote taken to settle him was on September 25, 1706, in which 
the whole number of votes was much smaller, he having 63 
votes. 

Very soon, following this last vote, perhaps before, some 
talk was indulged in by the public, which Mr. Reed resented 
and demanded inquiry, and hence the following action by the 
town-; 

** November 20, 1706. Whereas', the Revd. Elders in 
their advice to the town of Stratford, recommended to take 
all suitable care to purge and vindicate Mr. Reed from such 
scurrilous and abusive reflections (if any be) that such senti- 
ments may reasonably be supposed to being upon him ; and 
Mr. Reed in order thereto, having laid before the town his 
request that the town would be pleased to call a Council of 
Elders to hear what shall be proper to lay before them in 
order for a clearing of his name from those abusive reflec- 
tions that he is apprehensive have been put upon him." 

In harmony with this request choice was made of the 
"Revds. Mr. Andrews, Mr. Pierpont, Mr. Webb and Mr. 
Chauncey, by the town, to be a committee for that end ;" and 
a day of fasting and prayer was appointed. 

No indicatidn as to what was said offensive to Mr. Reed 
or to his parish, has been found, except the intimation that he 
had made overtures to join the Episcopal Church ; but what- 



298 History of Stratford. 

ever it was, it is certain that he declared the matter to be 
'* scurrilous and abusive reflections." 

It has been represented, also, that Mr. Reed was unkindly 
and almost uncivilly treated by his parish, in an effort to 
deprive him of his salary ; and that they were countenanced 
in it by the neighboring ministers. This is a wholly gratui- 
tous reflection, since his salary was continued regularly by 
town vote at one hundred pounds a year — ^a salary nearly equal 
to that of the preceding minister, and also to that of Mr. 
Cutler, who followed him, and this salary was as regularly 
paid, probably, as that of any minister in the Colony ; as 
exhibited in the records in the book of town acts for those cur- 
rent years of his service.* Mr. Reed regularly resigned his 
ministerial relations to the town on the 27th of March, 1707^ 
and a full settlement was made Mrith him. 

Following Mr. Reed, Mr. Francis Goodhue was a candi- 
date, and on July 18, 1707, he had 41 votes for settlement, 
with quite a number of persons present not voting. The 
meeting was adjourned one week when he had 42 votes, out 
83 cast, and the town voted to allow him one hundred pounds 
a year while he should preach here ; but he continued only a 
short time and Mi*. James Hale preached for a time in the 
latter part of the year 1707. 

The next candidate for settlement seems to have been Mr. 
Azariah Mather who, August 24, 1708, had a vote favorable 

^ "April I, 1708. Then upon the adjustment of accounts with Mr. Reed, wee 
find as foUoweth : 

" In ye )'ear I704» ye rate fell short of ye 100'**'. Mr. Samuel 

Hawley collector, ..... ;^oo-x7-9i 

" In ye year 1705, ye rate fell short of the loo^**', sundry per- 
sons being non-solvent, ..... 1-15-01 

•*In ye year 1706 ye rate fell short of ye loo***', several per- 
sons being non-solvent, allowed, . . s-oo-kx) 



4-12-2 



" In 1702, due to Mr. Reed to a quarter of ye year 25^**', agreed. 

"Of which sums remains due from ye collector to Mr. Reed, 14-15-10 

"Francis Griffin, Dr., upon arrears of his rate 1700 yet to 

see pay'd to Mr. Reed, ;f 3-00-0 i>i 

" Richard Nicolls, Dr. upon his arrears of his rate 1706, yet 

to see pay'd to Mr. Reed, . 7-i2-6)<." 



Mr. Cutler's Settlement. 



299 



" not one vote against or for any other person, but the vote 
was so small that nothing was done further until January fol- 
lowing, when he had 55 votes in favor, and 38 for others. 
The next June they voted to seek for a stranger, and ap- 
pointed seven prominent men to obtain one ; the result being 
that, on September 16, 1709, action of the town was taken 
'* for the continuance of Mr. Cutler amongst us in the work 
of the ministry in order for a settlement, of 103 in favor and 
none against;** and he was offered £%o, yearly salary, which 
was less than they had paid, during several years previous, 
but it was afterwards raised. 

They next proposed a settlement, and September 30, 
1709, "voted to give Mr. Cutler a home lot of one or two 
acres, to build a house on it of forty-two feet in length and 
twenty in breadth, a girt house, two story high with a suita- 
ble porch, every way well finished, and one hundred acres of 
land in the six-mile division, to be his own, his heirs, execu- 
tors forever, provided he settle with us and continue in the 
work of the ministry, and to give him the use of eight acres 
pasture and four or five of meadow, and after two years to 
pay him yearly £\^o country pay as salary. This amount 
was afterwards changed to ;^93hd6-8, current money, instead 
of ** produce at fixed prices." ** All, provided his disciplin- 
ing be agreeable with the way of the Colony or country at 
present or future.** 

During these years of progress from 1680, the meeting 
house, from which the old bell rang out a cheerful sound 
every day at nine o'clock in the evening>* became crowded, 
and on January 22, 1700-1, the town voted that there should 
be a gallery built in the meeting house, and a committee was 
appointed to proceed with the work, which they did, for the 
remaining expense of it was ordered paid the next January. 
This was an end gallery, for in 1715 "two side galleries*' 
were built " at the charge of the town,**' and on March 2, 

* "Dec. 29, 1691. The present townsmen by vote were impowered to hire 
some suitable person or persons to sweep the meeting house and ring the bell on 
all public days and at nine of the clock every evening. 

• **J*nuary. 1715-16. The committee of the Meetinghouse gallery then agreed 
and bargained with Josiah Hubbell and Israel Burritt to build the flank galleries 



3CX> History of Stratford. 

1 718, they "voted that the seats of each gallery shall be 
seated, the west side gallery with married men, the east gal- 
lery with married women, and antiant bachelors and antiant 
maides the second seats." 

In May, 1713, the town voted liberty to Doctor Laboree 
to "erect and build a pew on the south side of the west door 
of the meeting house at his own expense/' A few years 
previous to this, Richard Blackleach had made a pew for his 
family in this house, and these probably were all the pews 
then in the house; the other seats were high backed slips 
like other meeting houses at that day. 

In 1715, "liberty was granted to the farmers to erect 
suitable shelter for their horses on all public days at some 
convenient place, with the advice of the selectmen." 

The Rev. Timothy Cutler had preached in Stratford just 
ten years, when the trustees of Yale College invited him to 
become Rector of that institution, and Stratford reluctantly 
consented to the change. The town, in response to the 
desire of the trustees, communicated to it, July 31, 1719, ap- 
pointed a committee to hear the propositions which might be 
made, and adjourned to a specified day, to hear the report ; 
which was communicated at the time and action taken : 

"At a town meeting in Stratford, September 7, 1719, 
several proposals presented by the Rev. Trustees Respecting 
Mr. Cutler's Remove from us to the Great work of a Rector 
of Yale College being laid before the town for further 
thought and consideration, and the town seriously consider- 
ing thereof did unanimously signify their great grief and 
sorrow Respecting Mr. Cutler's Remove from" us who under 
God hath been the happy instrument of uniting us in love 
and peace after so many years of contention. However, if 
the Rev^ Mr. Cutler and Trustees are fully satisfied that Mr. 
Cutler hath a warrantable Call of God to Remove from us, 
we desire passively to submit to Divine providence. 

"And as to the proposals made by the Rev** Trustees, 
the town for peace and to maintain their good affections to 

of the meeting house — both the joiner's and the carpenter's work to be done well 
according to rule, and finish the said gallery by the first of June next, and for their 
labor the committee promises to pay them thirty-three pounds in money." 



Mr. Cutler's Dismission. 301 

Mr. Cutler Do allow to him the hundred acres of woodland 
to be his own according to his desire ; the said Mr. Cutler 
returning the house and home lott which he received of the 
town, to the town again in the capacity it now is, with all 
betterments, fences, &c. — always provided that the Rev. 
Trustees or General Court allow to the town of Stratford 
one hundred pounds money for and towards the charge of 
settling another minister among us. 

Test, Jos. CuRTiss, Town Clerk." 

Mr. Cutler went to Yale College, but there was much 
trouble in settling money matters between him and the town 
of Stratford, for one or two years afterward. 

The trouble anticipated by a town vote in settling an- 
other minister, when they consented to allow Mr. Cutler to 
remove, was more than realized. They soon found a candi- 
date, Mr. Samuel Russell, and took a vote on his settlement, 
October i, 1719, but the numbers present being small, the 
matter was deferred, although there were no votes against 
him. The n^xt March — 1720 — the vote stood 83 for him and 
41 against and 8 scattering. In the April following a council 
was called for advice, and the next month the matter went to 
the General Court, who advised a delegated council from all 
tlxe ministerial assemblies of the State, if Stratford would pay 
the expense. This created much greater excitement and 
difficulty, and many names were entered on the records as 
protesting against making any expense in that way. Trouble 
increased during two years, Mr. Russell continuing to preach, 
until quite a number of inhabitants recorded their names as 
refusing to pay to his support, November 2, 1721, when it 
was concluded to seek another candidate. 

The next February they held a day of fasting and prayer 
in view of their trouble in calling a minister, and they soon 
after found a preacher upon whom they could fully unite, as 
seen by the town record : 

"April 16, 1722. Whereas, the society at a lawful meet- 
ing March i, 1721-2, by a unanimous vote called Mr. Heze- 
kiah Gold to the work of the ministry in Stratford in order 
for a settlement among us, and having ever since sat under 
his ministry with great satisfaction and delight; and for his 



302 History of Stratford. 

incouragement to settle with us in the work of the ministry, 
it was this day voted and granted ^o allow him 130 pounds 
per annum as his yearly salary in money so long as the pub- 
lic good requires his labors among us. And for his settlement 
to give him the town house [probably the one built for Mr. 
Cutler] and home lot of one acre and a half to be his own 
forever, provided he settles with us and continue with us in 
the work till death ; also the barn and half the land adjoining 
to the home lot." 

To this he made the following reply : 

** To ye old Society and Church of Christ in Stratford, 
to whom Grace and Peace be multiplied from God our father 
and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Dearly beloved, these may 
inform you of my greatful and thankful acceptance of your 
generous and honorable proposals for my incouragement in 
ye great work of ye ministry among you in which I purpose 
to continue as God in his providence shall permit, your faith- 
ful servant in Christ during life. Hez. Gold." 

Stratford April 23, 1722. 

May 8, 1722. The Society appointed the first Wednesday 
in June next to be the day for the ordination of Mr. Gold. 

Jan. 6, 1723-4. Mr. Gold's request of the town, ** liberty 
to erect a pew at some convenient place in the meeting house 
for his family ** was granted. A few years later his salary 
was fixed at one hundred and fifty pounds a year and so con- 
tinued many years, but when the inflation of State bills went 
on a few years, his salary — about 1750 — was considerably 
over two hundred pounds old tenor. 

It is during the transactions for securing and settling 
Mr. Gold, that the distinction between the acts of the town 
and the ecclesiastical society, are first noticed on the records. 
The General Court in 1717 passed an act defining the powers 
and jurisdiction of such a society ;* and in 1723 added the liq- 
erty for each society in every town to have its own clerk. 

• An Act for the better Ordering and Regulating Parishes or Societies^ and for their 

Supporting the Ministry and Schools there. 

That the settled and approved inhabitants in each respective parish or society 
within this Colony, shall annually meet together in December, at some time and 
place, according to the notice thereof to be given them at least five days before 



Dr. Cutler's Ministry. 303 

During Mr. Cutler's pastorate, in 1717, when harmony 
and prosperity prevailed tJiroughout the township, the move- 
ment began, which resulted in the organization of the parish 
or society of Ripton, of which a careful and full account will 
be given further on in this book in the history of the town of 
Huntington. 

Timothy Cutler, D. D., son of Major John Cutler, of 
Charlestown, Massachusetts, was born June i, 1684, and was 
graduated at Harvard College in 1701. A call was extended 
to him by the Stratford Church September 16, 1709, and near 
or in the following December he was ordained pastor of this 
Church and congregation. 

He served the parish acceptably ten years, but without 
any marked success, except as a pleasing and entertaining 
preacher. He was held in high esteem by the parish, was 
** reputed as a man of profound and general learning," but his 
letter of resignation, herewith printed, if such it may' be 

such meeting, by the committee for ordering the affairs of the society, or for want 
of such committee, by the clerk of the same. And the said inhabitants thus met 
and convened together are hereby fully impowered by their major vote, to choose 
a clerk for their society, and three or more discreet, able inhabitants to be a com- 
mittee to order the affairs of the society for the year ensuing. And also the said 
inhabitants assembled as above, or the major part of them, shall have power to 
grant and levy such rates and taxes on the inhabitants for the advancing such sum 
or sums of money for the support of the ministry and school there, as the law 
directs, and to appoint a collector or collectors for gathering thereof, who are 
hereby ordered and impowered to proceed in collecting the same, according to the 
direction of the law to collectors chosen for gathering the town and minister's 
rates. And in case the collector or collectors shall not perform the trust hereby 
committed to him or them, he or they shall be accountable for such arrearages by 
him or them neglected to be gathered, to the committee of such society, who are 
impowered to demand or distrain for the same, according to the direction of said 
law. 

To this was added, in October, 1723, " That where there are more societies 
than one in any town in this govemmnent, every such society are enabled, and 
they hereby have full power, to choose their own clerk." Col. Records, vi. 33. 

^ Mr. Cutler's resignation was as follows, dated September 14, 17 19: 
" Brethren and Friends : 

I hope I have, with seriousness and solemnity considered the invitation made 
to me for a removal from you to the Collegiate School at New Haven, and can 
look upon it as nothing less than a call of providence which I am obliged to obey. 

I do. therefore, by these lines, give you this signification, giving you my hearty 



304 History of Stratford^ 

called, does not sustain the reputation thus given him. A 
brief letter of this description, in which the pronoun of the 
first person nominative occurs nine times, and six times in the 
possessive, is doubtless a literary production, but not of a 
very highly cultivated style; and, instead of resigning his 
office, he discharges the parish from further service to him, 
in these words, ** and discharging you from the date of this 
letter forever." 

In the summer of 17 19 he accepted the presidency of 
Yale College, which office he discharged acceptably three 
years, when, professing a preference for the Church of Eng- 
land and renouncing his connection with the churches of the 
Colony, he, upon request, resigned the presidency of the Col- 
lege ; went to England in 1723, where he was ordained priest 
and honored with the title of D. D., by Oxford University ; 
returned to America and became pastor of Christ Church 
in Boston. He died in that city in 1765, aged 82 years. 

Hev. Hezekiah Gold, son of Hon. Nathan Gold, Jr., of 
Fairfield, was born in 1794; graduated at Harvard College in 
1 7 19, and was ordained pastor of the Stratford Church on the 
first Wednesday in June, 1722. Within the first year of his 
ministry his labors were honored by the accession of sixty 
persons to membership of his Church ; and from that time 
forward a good degree of prosperity attended his ministra- 



thanks for all that respect and kindness I have found with you and praying God abun- 
dantly to reward you for it — and discharging you from the date of this letter for- 
ever — and praying you to apply yourselves with all convenient speed, to the set- 
tling of another minister with you. 

1 intend, if it be not unacceptable to you, to visit you and take my farewell of 
you as soon as I can conveniently in some Lord's day after my return from Boston, 
where I am now going, if it please God. When I am bodily absent from you my 
affections shall persevere towards you and my hearty desires and prayers shall be 
to God for you, that he would preserve you in his favour and in peace among 
yourselves ; direct your endeavours for the settlement of another to break the 
bread of life with you and make your way prosperous, and abundantly make up 
my removal from you by his gifts and his painful and successful endeavours for 
the good of your souls and your children after you. Thus, I leave you to the care 
of the Great Shepherd of the sheep always remaining an earnest well-wisher to 
your souls and all your concerns. 

Timothy Cutler." 



Mr. Gold's Ministry. 305 

tions. From 1731 to 1746, 260 persons became members of 
his church ; among whom were the Rev. Nathan Birdseye, 
who died in 1818, in his 104th year, and David Wooster, after- 
wards General in the army of the Revolution. 

Mr. Gold was dismissed from the pastorate of the Strat- 
ford parish July 3, 1752, and died in 1761.^ 

Mr. Gold was placed in unusual circumstances in his 
ministry from 1740, to his dismission. From the beginning of 
his labors his zeal and spirit was in harmony with the gospel idea 
of saving sinners as well as to teach the church, and hence 
many were converted and added to the church. When in 
1735 an unusual religious interest was developed under the 
Rev. Jonathan Edwards, at Northampton, Mass., it was in 
harmony with Mr. Gold's labors as much, probably, as those 
of any minister in Connecticut ; and it was the same when the 
Rev. George Whitefield of England came. 

The Rev. Benjamin L. Swan made the following notes 
concerning the Rev. George Whitefield's visit to Stratford. 

" Mr. Whitefield preached here Monday afternoon Octo- 
ber 27, 1740, on his way from New Haven, where he preached 
on Sunday the 26th, and on the three days preceding. He 
records an interview at New Haven with the Rev. Jedediah 
Mills of Ripton parish in Stratford, whom he calls a * dear 
man of God. My soul was much united to him.' 

'* That Mr. Gold, then pastor in Stratford, was cordially 
interested in the work of grace attending Mr. Whitefield's 
preaching, is evident from his signature to the testimony of 
of the Fairfield County ministers in favor of the revival, given 
in October, 1743. Of the eleven signers of that paper, there 
were of ministers in Stratford, Mr. Cook, of Stratfield, Mr. 
Gold of Stratford, and Mr. Mills of Ripton. 

** The sermon by Mr. Whitefield was heard by Mrs. 
Ann, wife of John Brooks, grand-daughter of post-master 
Daniel Brooks, who, herself, narrated the matter to Miss 
Polly Tomlinson, who related it to me in 1859, ^md she was 
so much interested that, with her infant in her arms, she went 
to Fairfield to hear him again the same day. 

^ Manual of the Stratford Congregational Church 9. 



3o6 History of Stratford, 

** Mrs. Brooks was probably a subject of grace on that 
occasion, for in the January following, she united with the 
church. 

" Mr. Whitefield certainly had access to the Church, but 
a tradition preserved by Mrs. Victory Wetmore — daughter- 
in-law of the Rev. Izrahiah Wetmore, and given me by her in 
1859, represents a Mrs. Burritt who lived on the wood end 
road below Main street, as being in the yard of her dwelling, 
farther down, than any house now stands, and a mile nearly 
from the Meeting House Hill, where she distinctly heard Mr. 
Whitfield name his text from Zechariah ix. 12 : * Turn ye to 
the stronghold ye prisoners of hope ;* and repeated it to her 
husband on his return home. Hence, it is probable that,this 
sermon was delivered in the open air. 

** Mr. Whitefield, after preaching, was the guest of Mr. 
Gold, who lived on the spot now occupied by Captain Ster- 
ling's house. 

" Dr. Johnson is said to have called on Mr. Whitefield 
here, and desired some account of his principles, but he 
declined any discussion, saying he had already announced his 
principles in his sermon, and speedily departed for Fairfield. 

" Mrs. Wetmore relates that a daughter of Mr. Jeremiah 
' Green, who lived on Old Mill road, just beyond the railroad 
crossing, heard Whitfield preach, was convicted, and in the 
overwhelming excitement of her mind, swooned and fell into 
a sort of trance, or insensible state, which lasted one or two 
days." 

In the winter following, Mr. Gold's settlement in Strat- 
ford a movement commenced, which resulted in securing a 
parsonage for the first society, for the use of the minister. 
The deed for the property so purchased was dated February 
8, 1722-3, and was in consideration of ;^67. The money was 
secured by voluntary subscription, the largest amount paid 
by one person being £\, los., there being 123 subscribers to 
the fund." 

^ " Stratford, November, 1722. We, the subscribers hereunto being desirous 
to propagate the gospel by the Presbyterian ministry among us ; and in order there- 
unto, being sensible that it may be of great service to purchase a parsonage lot, 
and sequester it forever to remain a parsonage lot for the use of a Presbyterian 



Mr. GolcCs Ministry. 307 

A New Meeting house was built during Mr. Gold's 
ministry according to the following directions of the society : 

"Second Monday, February, 1742-3. Voted that it was 
necessary to build a meeting house for said society for the 
carrying on the public worship, by more than two-thirds of 
voters present. 

" Voted, that Captain Theophilus Nichols, Mr. Robert 
Walker, Jr., Sergeant Daniel Porter, make application to the 
General Assembly in May next to appoint a committee to 
aflBx a place where the said society shall erect their meeting 
house." 

"February 21, 1742-3. Voted that the meeting house 
shall be sixty feet in length, forty feet in width, and the posts 
twenty-six feet in length. 

"Voted that the society will build a steeple, 130 feet 
high. 

"June 27, 1743. Voted that Capt. David Judson, Lt, 
John Wilcockson and Sergt. Daniel Porter shall be the com- 
mittee for building and furnishing the meeting-house on the 
place appointed by said society by the General Assembly m 
May last.'* 

The location of this house was a few rods west of the old 
one, on the public green, where the academy afterwards 
stood, and was the one burned by lightning in 1785. 

Mr. Gold/8 2X«wi««/on was a serious matter, although 
it had been sought by some parties in the church and par- 
ish several years. 

Mrs. Nancy Wells, widow of John Wells, and previously 
of Doctor Ezra Curtis, was the daughter of Samuel Ufford, 
and born in 1772. She was living in 1862, in her 89th year, 
and gave to the Rev. B. L. Swan some ministerial reminis- 
cences. **She wasagrand-daughter of the Rev. HezekiahGold. 
but was born under Rev. Izrahiah Wetmore's ministry and 
baptized by him. She said Mr. Gold's first wife was a Ru^- 
gles, of Guilford, who died, and Mr. Gold married the widow 

ministry in Stratford for the benefit of succeeding generations ; do freely give iht^ 
particular sums prefixed to our names for the purchasing of Captain David Bos- 
tick's lot, called Harvey's lot, for the use aforesaid, and for no other." 



3o8 History of Stratford. 

of John Prynn, who came from the West Indies to Stratford, 
where he resided some years [and died November 23, 175 1, 
ae. 51]. He brought some negroes with him and practiced 
the breeding of them for sale, 

" He and his wife were Episcopal Church people of very 
high pretentions. 

" After Mr. Gold married the widow Prynn, he was com- 
pelled to wait on her to the door of the Episcopal Church ; 
and after his own. service in the Congregational Church was 
out to return thither and receive her at the door, into his car- 
riage again. 

" This marriage and her conduct offended many in Mr. 
Gold's church — among them Colonel Robert Walker — a man 
who came to Stratford as a weaver, but married Rebecca 
Lewis of Old Mill Green, who had property, and he soon 
rose to be Justice of the Peace, then Judge of the County 
Court, and became an influential man. 

*' Through his instrumentality Mr. Gold was dismissed 
from the service of his church, and Mr. Wetmore became 
pastor. He was a young man, and married Colonel Walker's 
daughter. Mrs. Wells' remembrance of Mr. Wetmore was 
very distinct. He was very tall, with colorless, inexpressive 
eyes, red and close curling hair — the homeliest man, she said, 
she ever saw. He was the tallest man, except one, in the 
place. 

** Mrs. Wells remembered well when wooden trenchers 
and wooden tea-cups and saucers were used. 

**A Miss Tomlinson living at the same time with Mrs. 
Nancy Wells, said that the marriage of Mr. Gold, and the 
aversion of a party to his evangelical preaching — in which 
party Colonel Walker was prominent, were, together, the 
occasion of his being dismissed. She said, also, that this dis- 
mission caused the elderly Mr. Hezekiah DeForest, and 
others, to remove from Strattord to Huntington, New Haven, 
and other places." 

There is an error in the above statement concerning the 
Walker family. Hon. Robert Walker, whose daughter Mr. 
Wetmore married, was born in Stratford, in 1705, and was not 
a weaver. It was his great uncle, Jacob Walker, brother of 



The Great Revival. 309 

the Rev. Zechariah, who married the widow Elizabeth Blake- 
man and who may have been a weaver, but became a large 
farmer in Stratford. 

The excitement in Stratford, as well as throughout New 
England, was very great, for several years following Mr. 
Whitfield's preaching. That preaching was very severe as to 
true conversion. Those persons, members of any and all 
churches, who had not experienced definite and remarkable 
exercises at the time of their professed conversion were rep- 
resented as never having been converted, and as having no 
assurance of heaven. Mr. Gold, who had had an unusual 
revival for those days, soon after his settlement here, the 
spirit of which still continued, received Mr. Whitfield as a 
brother minister, and favored the public interest taken in the 
revival of religious interests in New England in 1741, 2 and 
3. This season of unusual religious interest has since been 
termed ** The Great Awakening." Many persons became 
greatly interested in religion in the specific form of a wonder- 
ful, or miraculous conversion, claiming that it was directly 
accomplished by the invisible power of God ; and that this 
power was exerted upon those only who were the elect. 
Hence, in this movement, there was the revival of the CaU 
vinistic doctrines. There grew out of it, also, a strong 
sentiment against the union of church and state as it then 
existed in New England ; and hence there were two parties 
in the Congregational Churches, which resulted a few years 
later in the organization of what were called New Light 
Churches, but these churches called themselves Strict Con- 
gregational Churches. 

There was another influence which affected Mr. Gold's 
parish very seriously. The Rev. Richardson Miner, settled 
pastor at Unity (now Trumbull), was a very successful phy- 
sician as well as pastor, and practiced throughout Stratford, 
and largely in Stratford village, and hence attained a large 
popular influence. He, it is said, and with corroborating evi- 
dences, held more to the old ways of religious life than Mr. 
Gold, and hence, a movement sprang up about 1742 and 3, to 
have Mr. Gold dismissed and Mr. Miner called to Stratford ; 
but when, in 1744, Mr. Miner joined the Episcopal Church, 
21 



310 History of Stratford, 

there was great disappointment and great excitement in this 
region of country, and quite a number of influential families 
withdrew from the Congregational communion and united 
with the Episcopal Church. The same was true in several 
adjoining parishes. 

In the parish of Stratfleld, although there was an Epis- 
copal Church at Fairfield, some persons in 175 1, under the 
New Light teachings, objecting to the levying of taxes to 
support the gospel, withdrew and organized a Baptist Church 
at Stratfield. 

Some further notice of Mr. Gold's controversy with the 
Rev. Samuel Johnson, D.D., may be found in the next chapter 
of this book, in the biographical sketch of Dr. Johnson. 



Presbyterians in Stratford. 

As far as has been ascertained by careful search, Presby- 
terians have existed in Stratford only in the name as applied 
to Congregationalists, after the establishment of the Saybrook 
platform of ecclesiastical government. 

When in October, 1666, the General Court of the Colony 
ordered all the ministers to meet in convention to discuss and 
settle a number of ecclesiastical matters, it gave the name 
ynod to that meeting, but this term was so unwelcome, as 
being a Presbyterian name, that the Court changed it the 
next May, and styled the meeting ** an assembly of the min- 
isters of this Colony." 

The order of the Court in May, 1708, in decreeing the 
delegated convention at Saybrook to remedy " the defects of 
the discipline of the churches of this government,'* used no 
terms that were Presbyterian or that indicated that form of 
government ;' nor did the convention itself, except in the title 

'' "May. 1708. This Assembly, from their own observation and from the complaint 
of many others, being made sensible of the defects of the disciplme of the churches 
of this government, arising from the want of more explicit asserting the rules given 
for that end in the holy scriptures, from which would rise a firm establishment 
amongst us, a good and regular issue in cases subject to ecclesiastical discipline, 
glory to Christ our head, and edification to his members, haih seen fit to ordain 
and require, and it is by authority of the same ordained and required, that the 



The Say brook Platform, 311 

given to the Articles of Discipline, in which it said the minis- 
ters were " formerly called Presbyterian and Congrega- 
tional." 

In 1679, the Governor of the Colony and his Assistants, 
in answer to inquiries made by the King's Council Chamber 
as to what persuasion in religious matters is most prevalent,*' 
said : " Our people in this Colony are, some strict Congrega- 
tional men, others more large Congregational men, and some 
moderate Presbyterians; and take the Congregational men of 
both sorts they are the greatest part of the people in the 
Colony." 

Therefore, there were, probably, at that and up to 1708, 
a few *' Moderate Presbyterians " in the Colony of Connec- 
ticut. 

The result of these conventions was the formation and 
adoption of the Say brook platform, or system of church gov- 
ernment. 

Upon the adoption of the Say brook platform in 1708 it 
became the custom to call these churches Presbyterian, which 
term grew more and more acceptable until the New Light 
movement began in 1741, when the name became objection- 
able; quite a number of churches refusing to be known as 
Presbyterian. 

The Consociations established by the Saybrook Plat- 
form — being composed of ministers and laymen — and the 
authority which they were intended to exercise, were the 
only principles which conformed to the government of the 
Presbyterian Church. The Halfway Covenant, which was 

ministers of the churches in the several counties of this government shall meet 
together at their respective countie towns, with such messengers as the churches to 
which they belong shall see cause to send with them, on the last Monday in June 
next, there to consider and agree upon those methods and rules for the manage- 
ment of ecclesiastical discipline, which by them shall be judged agreeable and 
conformable to the word of God, and shall, at the same meeting, appoint two or 
more of their number to be their delegates, who shall all meet together at Say- 
brook, at the next Commencement to be held there, where they shall compare the 
results of the ministers of the several counties, and out of and from them to draw 
a form of ecclesiastical discipline, which by two or more persons delegated by 
them shall be offered to this Court at their sessions at New Haven in October 
next, to be considered oi and confirmed by them, and that the expenses of the 
above mentioned meetings be defrayed out of the public treasury of this Colonic." 



312 



History of Stratford. 



only confirmed, not instituted by that Platform, had nothing 
Presbyterian in it, but was clearly in harmony with the 
usages of the Episcopal Church, in as much as it opened the 
way for the baptism of all children, by the parents becoming 
sponsors for their own children, in the form denominated 
owning the covenant. 

The specific object of the Saybrook convention was to 
establish a more thorough system of ecclesiastical govern- 
ment; or in the words of the call for that meeting, to remedy 
" the defects of the discipline of the churches of this govern- 
ment." 

When the Consociations were organized under it, in the 
western part of the State, at least, this matter was carefully 
confirmed and authorized, so far as those bodies could do it.* 
This was the action taken by the ministers of Fairfield County, 
and the form of this Consociation government was strongly 
Presbyterian.' 

^'*Sigillum 1 At a Consociation or meeting of the Elders and Messengers 
Consociaiionis > of the County of Fairfield at Stratfield March i6. 1708-9. 

Fairfieldensis. J The Revd. Mr. John Davenport chosen Moderator. 



Present from y* 

Chh. of Fairfield 

The Rev* Mr. Joseph Webb. 

Messenge'*. 
Deacon John Thomson 
Mr. Samuel Cobbet. 

From y* Chh. of Stratford. 

Messenge'*. 
Joseph Curtiss Esqr. 
Mt. Samuel Sherman. 

From y* Chh. of Stratfield. 
The Revd. Mr. Charles 
Cauncey 

Messenger. 
Lieut. James Bennet. 



From y* Chh. of Stamford. 
The Revd. Mr. J no. Davenport, 

Messengers. 
Deacon Sam" Hoit 
Mr. Jos. Bishop. 



The Revd. Mr. Charles Chauncey Scribe. 
I After Solemn Seeking of God for divine guid- 
I ance, direction and blessing the Councill convened, 
j The Acts of y* Councill at Saybrook, September 
9, 1708 were read the first time as also y* general 
J Assembly's approbation and sanction thereof, Oc- 
tober 1708. 

Voted in Council to adjourn till 8 of y* clock in y* 
morning. 

The Consociation being met according to adjourn- 
ment, after prayer made it was agreed 

Imps. That all the Chhs. in y« County of Fairfield 
be one Consociation. 

2. That y* Pastors met in our Consociation have 
power with y* Consent of the Messengers of our 
Chhs. chosen and attending. Authoritatively Judi- 
cially and Decisively to determine ecclesiastically 
affairs br6t to their Cognizance according to the 
Word of God and that our Pastors with the 
concurrence and consent of the Messengers of 
our Chhes. to be chosen and that shall attend 
upon all future occasions, have like Authorita* 
tive, Judicial and Decisive power of Determin- 
ation of affairs ecclesiasticall, and that in further 



The Fairfield Consociation. 313 



From y* Chh. of Danbury. 
The Rev<* Mr. Seth Shove. 

Messengers. 
Lieut. James Beebee 
Mr. James Benedict. 



and fuller meetings of two Consociations together 
compliant with the conclusions of y^ sd Councill at 
Saybrook, there is the like Authoritative, Judiciall 
and Decisive power of Determination of Ecclesias- 
tical affairs according to y* word of God. 
3. That by Elder or Elders of a particular Chh in 



From y* Chh. of Norwalk. 
The Rev<i Mr. Stephen Buckingham. 

Messenger. 
Deacon Zerubbabel Hoit. 



From y« Chh. of Woodbury. 
The Revd. Mr. Anthony Stoddard. 

Messengers. 
Deacon John Sherman, 
Deacon Matthew Mitchell. 



said Saybrook conclusions mentioned in 
Paragraph y« first is understood only in y« 
teaching Elder or teaching Elders. 

4. That in y* 6*** Paragraph of sd Con- 
clusions we do not hold ourselves obliged 



in our practice to use y« phrase of y* sentence 
of Non Communion but in y** stead thereof 
to use y« phrase of y* sentence of Excom- 
munication which may in our judgment be 
formally applied in y* Cases expressed in 
said Paragraph. 
The Councill adjourned till half an hour past two oclock in y« afternoon. 

5. That to y* orderly begining of a case before a Councill of our Chhes. y* 
aggrieved member shall make application unto y* moderator of the Councill or 
Consociation for y« time being or in case of y« moderator's death to y* free Sen' 
Pastor of y* Consociation who upon his desire shall receive attested copies of y* 
Chhs. proceedings with y« aggrieved member from their minister and y* sd. Mod- 
erator with the two free senr. Pastors of y« Circuit or in y* Case premised of y« 
death of y* Moderator y* sd 2 senr. pastors of y* circuit being satisfied there is 
sufficient cause shall warn y* convening of the Consociation. 

6. That a Copy of a Warning to appear before y« Councill the time and place 
being notified being read in the hearing or left in y* house of the ordinary abode of 
a scandalous member or witness concerning the case depending before two mem- 
bers of the designation of the Scribe for y* time being and signed by the sd Scribe 
be adjudged a regular notification. 

7. That a copy of a Warning to appear before y* Pastor or Chh. y« place and 
time notified being read in y* hearing or left in the ordinary abode of an ofifending 
member or witness needfull in the case before two members appointed by the 
pastor and signed by him shall be a fair notification y^ neglect whereof unless 
upon sufficient reason shall be reputed a scandalous contempt in our respective 
Chhes 

8. That all persons that are known to be Baptized shall in y* places where 
they dwell be subject to y* Censures of admonition and excommunication in case 
of scandall committed and obstinately persisted in. 

9. That the Moderator and Scribe now chosen be accounted to stand in y* 
same respective capacities for 3^* time being untill a new regular choice be made, 
and so for the future. 

10. That y* Judgment of y* Consociation or Councill be executed by any 
Pastor appointed thereto by y« Councill when y« Pastor that hath- already dealt in 
y* case hath not a freedome of Conscience to execute y« same. 

The above Acts and Conclusions of the present Consociation unanimously 
Voted March 17, 1708-9. 

Signed Charles Chauncey, Scribe. 
The above and foregoing is a true Copy of the Originall Compared. 

pr. Samuel Cooke." 



CHAPTER XIII. 




THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY CON- 
TINUED. 

ISTORY in church matters for many years 
in Connecticut, is very largely the history of 
the people, socially and politically. There 
is no nation in which religion had a larger 
part in its formation than the American 
nation of the United States, and the ecclesi- 
astical form in which this religious influence 
and teaching were prominently and success- 
fully propagated for nearly one hundred 
years, was Congregational. Whether right 
or wrong, better or worse, or whatever the 
final result, this is historical fact, so widely 
recorded as to be beyond the possibility of 
change. 

It is, therefore, proper, in the further 
delineations of history, to recognize the religious element, in 
its movings and effect, in such a degree as to show its force 
in the formation of the national life and character. In local 
history especially is this true, for in it is seen more directly 
the democratic elements of a free people. 

Some notice of the churches in Connecticut, and espe- 
cially as developed in Stratford, under the name of Congrega- 
tional and Presbyterian has been given, as constituting largely 
the settlement and organization of the place. 

The second denomination recognized by law and largely 
by the people of the state, was the Protestant Episcopal, at 
that day denominated the Church of England, and the place 
of its first organization in this State was Stratford. 



Ecclesiastical Relations. 315 

The Episcopal Church in Stratford. 

* Stratford was settled by persons who had been commu- 
nicants in the Church of England to the time of their sailing* 
for America. The Rev. Adam Blakeman had been regularly 
ordained in that church, and had served in it as priest for 
several years under the Bishop, but had been silenced for 
non-conformity. He and his associates dissented from sev- 
eral requirements of the Bishop ; not from the doctrines or 
existing ritual of the Church ;* and as regular members of that 
church received their certificates from the minister of the 
parish where they had resided and ** attestations from the 
Justice of the Peace," according to the order of the govern- 
ment, upon which they were allowed to sail as emigrants to 
America. 

They came to America with no other name than dissent- 
ing members of the Church of England, and as such were 
organized into a local body and called the " Church of Christ 
in Stratford." 

It is not a supposable thing that these persons, although 
placed in church organization, without the approbation of a 
Bishop, could at once forget, or wholly forsake the religious 
training received, or their affection for the church and its 
usages, from which they were separated. Hence, in 1666, 
when some questions of church discipline arose there were 
found those who desired to maintain and be governed by 
rules which had been familiar to them in England. 

The eight persons who were the minority in the division 
which finally went to Woodbury, were all born in England, 
with only one exception, if any, and four of them — Richard 
Butler, Henry Wakelyn, Samu el Sh erman and Daniel Tith- 
arton, had been, probably, communicants in the Church of 
England before coming to this country. They desired, when 
received under the Halfway Covenant, to be examined 

^ Those who fled from England to this country were compelled to do so or ob- 
serve certain rites and ceremonies of the English Church, which they believed un- 
scriptural, and therefore wrong. They objected to the cap and surplice, the ring 
in marriage, the cross in baptism, the rite of confirmation, kneeling at the Lord's 
supper, etc," — New Haven Historical Society Papers, iii. 307. 



3l6 History of Stratford, 

alone by the minister— or minister and elder — and to be al- 
lowed to partake of the Lord's Supper, and their children, 
when baptized, to be members of the church in the sense 
entertained then in the English Church. Hence, this church 
at Woodbury did admit the halfway covenant members to the 
communion for many years after its organization. 

Nor is it to be supposed that all kindly remembrances and 
feelings of attachment for the Episcopal Church had died 
out in Stratford at the year 1700, while their numbers had 
been increased frequently by emigrants from the Church of 
England, yet it is doubtful if before 1706 there were any fam- 
ilies in Stratford who stood aloof from the Congregational 
Church, claiming to be adherents of the Episcopal Church. 
This is ax:onclusion, after careful examination, of every fam- 
ily name, as to births, baptisms, civil and social relations and 
owners of property, to that date. It has been claimed that 
Daniel Shelton was an Episcopalian from 1687, onward, but if 
so, he was, as may hereafter be seen, a very good " pillar " in 
the Congregational Society as late as 1717, for his name was 
the first on the petition in that year for society privileges in 
Ripton for the Congregational Church. 

Isaac Knell has been represented by the Rev. Samuel 
Peters as an Episcopalian as early as ** about 1690," but he 
was a Congregationalist and took an active part in that soci- 
ety's proceedings, in settling a minister in 1698; and ten 
years later he was so much attached to Mr. John Reed when 
he had closed his labors in Stratford, that the following deed 
is found in the land records: "July 13, 1708, Isaac Knell and 
John Clark for good will and affection," deeded to " Mr. 
John Reed for the space of ten thousand years, the day of 
this date forward ... all our undivided lands in Stratford.** 
Mr. Peters calls him ** Mr. Knell,** but there was no other 
Mr. Knell than Isaac, in the town, at that time ; and he died 
only a few months later — November 2, 1708. He was a prom- 
inent, active man in the town, but probably was never an 
Episcopalian. 

Doctor James Laborie, son of the Rev. James Laborie, 
an Episcopal clergyman and a physician, was born in 1691, 
and settled in Stratford as a physician, where, in 1714, he 



The Episcopal Church. 317 

was granted liberty, by a town vote, to build a pew in the 
Congregational meeting-house, at his own expense, it being 
the second pew in that house, the other seats being high-back 
slips. 

The Episcopal Church was introduced, in form, into 
Connecticut at Stratford in the summer of 1706, by the Rev. 
George Muirson, in the use of the church service, preaching, 
and the baptism of " about twenty-four, mostly grown 
people."* His visits, as a missionary for the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts, stationed at Rye, 
N. Y., were repeated, and the "churchmen of Stratford were 
organized into a parish, with Wardens and Vestrymen, at the 
visit of Mr. Muirson, in April, 1707.''* 

**Mr. Muirson died in October, 1708," and hence "the 
parish, with about thirty communicants and a respectable num- 
ber of families, was left to the occasional services of mission- 
aries who chanced to visit this and the neighboring towns.*" 

The circumstances in Stratford at Mr. Muirson's intro- 
duction of the church service were favdrable for such an ob- 
ject. The community had been divided in sentiment, as to the 
settlement of a minister, nearly four years. Two candidates 
had preached, some months each, before Mr. Reed, who was 
called on probation in view of a settlement, with much enthu- 
siasm, by about a two-thirds majority of voters in the town ; 
became a resident in the town, and held a fair majority 
until he resigned. The votes in opposition to him, at any 
time, were very few, but these, with those in favor of other 
candidates, ranged from thirty to fifty during his stay in the 
place. It was during his fourth year, in the summer of 1706, 
that Mr. Muirson first came to the place and held services, 
they being quite opportune under the unsettled state of relig- 
ious sentiment as to the minister. 

The same trouble occurred again just before the Rev. Sam- 
uel Johnson was appointed missionary to Stratford. The divis- 
ion as to the settlement of a minister after Mr. Cutler left, in 

* Hist of the Church in Connecticut by Rev, E. E. Beardsley, D.D., i. 20. 

Ibid. 
» Ibid, i. 23. I 



3l8 History of Stratford. 

1719, was much greater than when Mr. Reed ministered here, 
until Mr. Gold became a candidate, and when he was settled, 
there were some apparently who were ready to go elsewhere 
as soon as opportunity favored, but the greatest accessions of 
substantial value to the Episcopal Church occurred between 
the years 1740 and 1750. 

Another missionary, the Rev. Francis Philips, was sent 
to Stratford in 1712, who remained about five months and de- 
parted. 

In the spring of 1714, the churchmen of Stratford began 
the work of building a church edifice, but discouragements 
were so many that only little progress was made. 

The next missionary who visited them was the Rev. 
George Pigot, in the spring of 1722, he having been recently 
sent as missionary to New York. After his visits had contin- 
ued about one year, proceedings were revived to build a 
church and the first important item was to secure a site on 
which to place it, and they made application to the town 
for a certain specified locality. 

Very much has been said about the persecution they 
received in obtaining a site and erecting a house of wor- 
ship, and it is probable that in a community entertaining 
some considerable conflicting religious sentiments, as was 
the case in Stratford at the time, some persons would do 
things of such a character, but that the general public senti- 
ment favored such proceedings is not warranted by any reli- 
able evidence, and is also refuted by the following town 
record : 

**At a lawful town meeting in Stratford, June 21, 1723, 
voted : Whereas, Mr. George Pigott and his associates peti- 
tioned the town of Stratford to give them land to erect a 
church on and land for a church yard, and in their petition 
fixed upon two certain places, the one by Mr. Gold's house, 
and the other on the north side of the Town's meeting-house 
near widow Titharton's land, the town considering their pro- 
posals and the two places they had pitched upon, and found 
them clogged with great difficulties, and that it would be as 
they apprehend, greatly to the damage of the town in general, 
to build on either of those places, however nominated some 



The Episcopal Church. 319 

other places which, as they thought, might be convenient for 
them ; yet, notwithstanding, they went and purchased, of 
John Outman, thirty-six rods of land of his lot next to our 
meeting-house, within some four rods of said house, and gave, 
as appears of record, thirty pounds for the same where they 
designed to erect said church as they say, which, in the judg- 
ment of all thinking persons, may be very inconvenient and a 
great disturbance to each society, the houses being so near 
together, if erected there ; the town, therefore, propose and 
offer to Mr. George Pigott and his associates aforesaid, to 
change with them, and for the thirty-six rods of land pur- 
chased of said Outman, and to allow them for it forty rods of 
land at the place they desired in their petition (namely, by 
the widow Titharton's) on the north side of the meeting-house ; 
or in lieu of said thirty -six rods of land to let them have the 
forty rods aforesaid at a reasonable rate and price to erect 
their church on and church yard, and the town made choice 
of Mr. Joseph Curtis, Capt. John Hawley, Ens. Edmund 
Lewis and Ens. John Porter, or any of them, a committee in 
behalf of the town to present the above proposals and oflFers 
of the town to the said Mr. George Pigott and his associates, 
petitioners, etc. Test, Joseph Curtiss, Town Clerk." 

Five days after this meeting a record of opposition was 
made, it being the only one, although the accommodating 
town clerk left half a page blank for others, but it has not yet 
been filled : 

"June 26, 1723. Lieut. Joseph Beach entered his dissent 
against the town disposing of any land of the commons on 
the north of the meeting-house hill by widow Titharton's, for 
the erecting of a church on, or church yard upon. 

Test: Joseph Curtiss, Town Clerk." 

The lot near the widow Titharton's was accepted, which 
was the one where the Episcopal burying place now is, and 
upon it was erected the first church edifice for this society, 
and the first for the Church of England in the Connecticut 
Colony ; and the lot purchased of Mr. Outman was sold some 
years later.* 

* Mr. George Pigot quit claimed ihis land to the church, March i^, 172}. 



320 History of Stratford. 

The Rev. Samuel Johnson arrived at Stratford Novem- 
ber 4, 1723, being commissioned as a missionary to this place 
by the society in England, at which time the frame of the 
church edifice could scarcely have been set up, since the site 
was not determined upon until in July or August of that year, 
if as early as that time. 

This building has been described as '* a neat, small 
wooden building, forty-five feet and a half long, thirty and a 
half wide, and twenty-two between joints, or up to the roof," 
and was built, partly, at the expense of the members of the 
Church of England, in Stratford, and partly by the liberal 
contributions of several pious and generous gentlemen of the 
neighboring provinces, and sometimes of travelers who occa- 
sionally passed through the town.*" 

It was opened for divine service on Christmas day, 1724. 

Mr. Johnson's missionary field was very large ; for, be- 
sides occasional visits to a greater distance, his labors were 
distributed among the following places : Fairfield, Norwalk, 
Newtown, Ripton, West Haven, and New Haven. 

Success to a good degree attended the labors of the mis- 
sionaries in this place. At Mr, Muirson's death, in 1708, it is 
said: "The parish, with about thirty communicants and a 
respectable number of families, was now left to the occasional 
services of missionaries who chanced to visit this and the 
neighboring towns."* 

The Vestry and Wardens quit claimed the same April 4, 1729. 

Nehemiah Lorin, ) Church 
Richard Rogers, ) Wardens. 
WiUiam Smith. 
James Lahore, 
John Benjamin, 
Samuel French, . 

This land was sold by quit claim to Mr. Joseph Brown, April 19, 1731. by 

John Benjamin, Church Warden. 
William Smith. 
Thomas Latten. 
John.Kee. 
Francis Barlow. 

* The Church in Conn., i. 

^ Dr. Beardsley's Hist, of the Church in Conn., i. 24. 



Vestry. 



The Episcopal Church. 321 

In 1723, it is said: "The parish of Stratford, when he 
[Mr. Johnson] came to it, numbered about thirty families ; 
and forty more — to say nothing of the few churchmen farther 
eastward — might be included in the neighboring towns and 
districts."' In 1727, Mr. Johnson, in writing to the Honora- 
ble Society, represented " that he had then in his parish fifty 
families, or about one-seventh of the whole number of families 
in the town." 

The fact that the supporters of the Episcopal Church in 
Stratford and in Connecticut were required by law to pay 
taxes for the support of the Congregational churches, was the 
one most irritating and distressing difficulty with which they 
had to contend. It was a sore trial, and was all wrong, but 
was just what dissenting bodies were undergoing in England 
at the same time, and this is the only excuse, that a law had 
been established in this respect, in harmony with the law in 
England, and to it the English government made no objec- 
tion. The law in Connecticut was in favor of the Congrega- 
tional churches; the law in England was in favor of the 
Church of England. 

The law in Connecticut was enforced, in regard to the 
organization of new Congregational parishes, in that the par- 
ties were required to pay to the old society until recognized 
by the General Court as a new society, for a part or the 
whole of the year. 

A close examination of the record of town acts between 
1706, and 1730, reveals no vote in Stratford to release the 
supporters of the Episcopal Church from paying taxes to the 
established church ; and it would have been contrary to the 
law to pass such a vote. 

In 1727, upon the petition of the Episcopal people of 
Fairfield, an act was passed by the legislature to relieve the 
members of the Episcopal Church from paying to the support 
of the Congregational churches.* 

^ Ibid, 54. Ibid, 60. 

® " May, 1727. Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Representatives^ in Gen- 
eral Court assembUii^ and by the authority of the same. 
That all persons who are of the Church of England, and those who are of the 

churches established by the laws of this government, that live in the bounds of 



322 History of Stratfora. 

After this, no vote of the town of Stratford has been 
seen, recognizing this act, until January, 1737-8, when, in- 
stead of saying, as usual, that the tax was for the salary of 
the minister, it says '' to defray ministerial salaries and 
charges.*' Hence, the tax was laid on all persons alike, in 
the society, but that collected from Episcopalians was paid 
to the Episcopal minister or Church. 

It further appears that the Episcopal Church and people 
of Stratford were treated in a friendly manner by the voters 
and proprietors of the common lands in the town. 

Dr. Samuel Johnson was greatly in favor of education in 
higher branches as well as the lower. His influence at Yale 
College was decidedly helpful and notedly generous. The 
following record in Stratford was a movement projected by 
himself: 

" At a town meeting ist Monday in February, 1733-4, 
the Rev. Samuel Johnson, in behalf of the members of the 
Church of England in Stratford, requesting the liberty of 
erecting and setting up a School House on the Common, 
near the southeast corner of Lieut. Joseph Beach's house lot ; 
on consideration thereof Edmund Lewis, John Thompson, 
Esq., and Captain John Wells were chosen a committee to 
view and consider the most important and convenient place, 
and where said committee shall fix the place that they shall 

any parish allowed by this Assembly, shall be taxed by the parishioners of the 
said parish by the same rule and in the same proportion, for the support of the 
ministry in such parish : but if it so happen that there be a society of the Church 
of England, where there is a person in orders according to the canons of the 
Church of England, settled and abiding among them, and performing divine ser- 
vice, so near to any person that hath declared himself of the Church of England 
that he can conveniently and doth attend the public worship there, then the col- 
lectors, having first indiferently levied the tax as above said, shall deliver the taxes 
collected of such persons declaring themselves and attending aforesaid, unto the 
minister of the Church of England living near unto such persons ; which minister 
shall have full power to receive and recover the same, in order to his support in 
the place assigned to him. But if such proportion of taxes be not sufficient in 
any society of the Church of England, to support the incumbent there, then such 
society may levy and collect of them, who profess and attend as aforesaid, greater 
taxes at their own discretion, for the support of their minister. And the parish- 
loners of the Church of England, attending as aforesaid, are hereby excused from 
paying any taxes for building meeiing-houses for the present e«tablisht churches 
of this government.*' 



The Episcopal Church. 323 

think most convenient, liberty is granted for said persons 
there to erect and set up said school house." 

This was about seventy years before the building was 
erected on the green, still remembered as the Academy, and 
whether Dr. Johnson secured the erection of a school house 
as proposed, has not been ascertained. 

Another item indicates this spirit of friendliness and also 
equity toward the members of the Episcopal Church, as well 
as all others; it was the granting of land to those members 
for their church or minister in proportion as the town or pro- 
prietors had granted to the Congregational ministers. When 
Mr. Chauncey was settled here, some land was given him, as 
a settlement. When Mr. Cutler was settled, one hundred 
acres, besides a house lot, were given to him, and one hun- 
dred acres were given to Mr. J'edediah Mills on his settle- 
ment at Ripton ; and a number of acres were given to Mr. 
Richardson Minor, upon his settlement at Unity. 

In the winter of 1735-6, the supporters of the Episcopal 
Church petitioned the proprietors of the common lands in 
the town to grant them land for their church in proportion to 
what had been granted to the Congregational ministers of the 
town, and a committee was appointed by the proprietors to 
ascertain how much land should in equity be thus sequest- 
ered. Upon that committee's report the following action 
was taken by the proprietors* meeting : 

" March, 1736. Whereas, several persons belonging to 
the Church of England in Stratford for themselves and the 
rest of their brethren proprietors in said Stratford belonging 
to said Church of England, making request and desiring an 
equivalent of land may be allowed them for the lands form- 
erly given to several Presbyterian ministers in fee and some 
given the use in said Stratford, in consideration whereof it 
was voted that our friends and neighbors in Stratford belong- 
ing to the Church of England, and being also proprietors in 
the common and undivided land in said Stratford, shall have 
the liberty of having laid out to them, collectively considered, 
ten acres of land in any of the common and undivided land 
six miles distant, provided it be in full satisfaction for their 
proportion in all lands formerly given to the Presbyterian 



324 History of Stratford. 

ministry in said Stratford, either for use or in fee, said land 
to be taken up in one entire piece in the six-mile division, so 
called. Said vote passed nemine contradicente.*** 

Four years later another request made, was as readily 
granted : 

•' To the moderator of the Proprietors* meeting in Strat- 
ford the nth day of instant, February, A. D., 1739-40, and 
the proprietors of Stratford of the common and undivided 
land, the humble request of us, the subscribers for ourselves, 
and on behalf of the rest of our brethren members of the 
Episcopal Church of England in Stratford, that, whereas sun- 
dry persons have subscribed to an instrument of equal date 
of these presents to give out of our rights of land in the last 
six-mile division granted the first Tuesday of instant, Febru- 
ary, for the proper use, benefit and behoof of the Episcopal 
Church of England in Stratford, this is, therefore, to request 
that we, the subscribers, may have the liberty to take up the 
same land subscribed adjoining to a tract lately laid out [the 
ten acres] for the use of the Church of England, or if that 
cannot be, we may have liberty to take the whole of the sub- 
scription in one piece, if that may be found convenient. 
Subscribed by Samuel Blagge. 
Samuel French. 
William Beach. 
Francis Haw ley. 
Joseph Brown. 

** Which above said request, at said meeting, was granted, 
provided they lay not out above twenty acres, as aforesaid." 
These petitioners were the officers of the church. 

The restriction to twenty acres, limited only the laying 
twenty acres in one piece. They might have given hundreds 
of acres, in various places, if they had chosen. 

^''Church's land : 

Laid out ten acres by the proprietors* Committee — adjoining to the 
South end of Menhantuck Swamp, so called — beginning at a pond of water on the 
east side of Newiown road. 

** May 6. 1736. Edmund Lewis, 

Jose Blacklach, 
Theoph. Nicolls, 

Proprietors'* Com." 



The Episcopal Church. 325 

It should be remembered that proprietors of common, or 
undivided lands, were a diflFerent class from freeholders, for 
there were some freeholders who had no rights in common 
lands, but the number was small. 

There were seventeen names attached to the paper re- 
ferred to in the above petition, and the number of acres given 
are recorded, except in the case of the two last names, one of 
which the figures are not intelligible, the other has no figure 
attached, probably by the carelessness of the recorder." 

The owners of the common land, at this time, numbered 
199, holding rights, claiming from a small fraction of an acre 
to nearly fifty acres, according as each held a greater or less 
proportion of one of the original seventeen rights. There 
were at this time a number of thousand acres of land undi- 
vided, but lying in smaller pieces in many portions or parts 
of the township. 

So far then as the actions of the citizens, in town meeting 
assembled, and those of the proprietors of the common lands 
are concerned, there seems to have been a spirit of equity 
and neighborly conduct manifested, throughout, toward the 
supporters of the Episcopal Church in Stratford. 

Some misapprehension seems to have been entertained as 
to the relation of the Connecticut government to other denom- 
inations than the legally established churches. The early set- 
tlers were very nearly unanimous in their religious prefer- 

^^ ** To all whom these presents shall come, Greeting — Know ye that we 
whose names are under written. Do give unto the Episcopal Church of England 
in Stratford, the several parcels of land affixed to our names .... for the only 
use, benefit, and behoof of ye s*^ Church of England and their successors forever. 

Feb. II, 1739-40. 



William Beach, 


3 s 


icres. 


Samuel French, 


I 


•• 


Samuel French. Jr., 


X 


•• 


Samuel Blagge, 


% 


u 


Francis Hawley, 


yi 


** 


James Fairchild, 


X 


•» 


Caleb Beardslee, 


I 


1* 


Joseph Shelton, 


3 


•• 



Elephalet Curtiss, 


I acres. 


Joseph Lewis, 


% " 


Benjamin Lewis, 


yi " 


Elisha Blagge, 


f '• 


James Bears, 


% " 


Jonathan Curtiss, 60 Rods. 


Richard Blacklach. 




Edmund Lewis." 





Israel Beardslee, }( ^nd yi quarter. 
Land Records, B. 9, page 132. 
This land was laid next to Newtown line, April 4, 1743. 



22 



326 History of Stratford. 

ences and ideas of church government ; but soon persons be- 
gan to settle here, holding different views in these matters, 
and as soon as these persons became sufficient in number to 
indicate the propriety of toleration, the General Court con- 
ceded the question, and acted accordingly. 



The Connecticut Act of Toleration. 

" General Court, May, 1669. 

This Court having seriously considered the great divis- 
ions that arise amongst us about matters of church govern- 
ment, for the honor of God, wellfare of the churches, and 
preservation of the publique peace so greatly hazarded, doe 
declare that, whereas the Congregationall churches in these 
parts for the generall of their profession and practice, have 
hitherto been approved, we can doe no less than still ap- 
prove and countenance the same to be without disturbance 
until better light in an orderly way doth appeare ; but, yet, 
for as much as sundry persons of worth for prudence and piety 
amongst us are otherwise persuaded (whose wellfare and 
peaceable sattisfaction we desire to accommodate). This 
Court doth declare that all such persons being allso approved 
according to lawe as orthodox and sownd in the fundamen- 
talls of [the] Christian religion may have allowance of their 
persuasion and profession in church wayes or assemblies 
without disturbance."" 

This did not include Quakers, for they were regarded, in 
those days, as not orthodox, but light was springing as if from 
a hundred hamlets and spreading like the rays of the rising 
sun, and hence, six years later, in 1675, the Quakers were re- 
lieved from persecution, in the following act, although not 
allowed to meet in separate assemblies. " This Court being 
moved to consider of the law respecting Quakers, doe see 
cause at present to suspend the penalty for absence from our 
publique assemblies or imprisonment of those of that perswa- 
sion, provided they do not gather into assemblies in this Col- 
ony or make any disturbance." 

" Col. Rec, ii. 109. 



Connecticut Toleration. 327 

The act of 1669 allowed persons of every persuasion, if 
orthodox in faith, to hold public worship — or, in its own 
words, ** that all such persons being also approved, according 
to law as orthodox, and sound in the fundamentals of [the] 
Christian religion, may have allowance of their persuasion 
and profession in church ways, or assemblies, without dis- 
turbance." 

Although these acts did not secure full liberty of con- 
science — a thing then unknown to law in the world — yet, how 
great was the contrast between the religious liberties of Con- 
necticut at that time, and those of England, the mother coun- 
try whence the pilgrims came, where the Church of England 
was then in the ascendancy, and her Bishops held full sway. 
King Charles II. was restored to authority in 1660, and soon 
after a convocation of divines changed various parts of the 
Prayer Book, and added severe terms of conformity ; and it has 
been said it *' was the study of the Bishops to make the terms 
of conformity as hard as possible;" and, "on St. Bartholo- 
mew's day, August the twenty-fourth, in the year 1662, the 
act of uniformity expelled from the establishment [the Eng- 
lish Church] all ministers who would not swear their un- 
feigned assent and consent to everything in the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer. In many parts of the kingdom, the ministers 
could not procure the book before the time within which the 
law required them to swear to it or resign their livings, so 
that, in their farewell sermons, they told their flocks, that they 
were obliged to leave them for not swearing to a book which 
they had not been able to see. 

** Two thousand ministers resigned their livings in the 
establishment, and exposed themselves to the loss of all things, 
rather than submit to these new terms of conformity, which 
their consciences condemned. 

** The great Mr. Locke styled these two thousand ejected 
ministers, learned, pious, orthodox divines." 

But this was not the severest part of the persecutions 
which then reigned with a high and severe hand. 

'* The conventicle act was passed, decreeing, that if any 
person, above the age of sixteen years be present at any 
meeting for worship, different from the Church of England, 



328 History of Stratford, 

where there shall be more than five persons more than the 
household, they shall, for th^ first offence, suffer three months 
imprisonment, or pay five pounds ; for the second, the pun- 
ishment was doubled; and for the third, they shall be ban- 
ished to America, or pay a hundred pounds ; and if they re- 
turn from banishment, suffer death.** 

** The oath of an informer was sufficient to inflict all the 
severity of this statute, and thus, while many of the best men 
filled the jails, the vilest of the human race rioted in debauch- 
ery by informing for the sake of the reward.'"* 

A few years later and further measures were taken against 
the non-conforming ministers. " An act of passive obedience, 
and non-resistance was enacted ; and all who refused it, were 
prohibited from coming within five miles of any corporate 
town where they formerly preached ; or from keeping schools, 
or taking boarders, under a penalty of forty pounds. Thus, 
though they were not actually burnt alive, they were inten- 
tionally starved to death.**" 

Twenty years did these proceedings continue under the 
reign of Charles II., even until his deith in 1680. 

Such is the contrast between England and the Connecti- 
cut Colony, from 1660 to 1680. Connecticut, it is true, did 
enact a severe law against the Quakers, Ranters, Adamites 
and such like notorious Heretics,*' a^s styled in the language 
of that day ; and did hang a few witches, which is, and ever 
will be, greatly to her dishonor, but her colonists brought the 
laws, sentiments, usages and customs, by which these things 
were done, with them from England, adhered to them a few 
years only, and then in the grandeur of the freedom of which 
they just began to taste, threw off the yoke of bondage and 
religious persecution, and established a platform of civil free- 
dom such as the sun had never before shone upon, and such 
that the English government sought, for nearly one hundred 
years, with many inventions, to deprive them of, but failed, 
and that failure established the nation called the United 
States of America. 



*^ History of Dissenters, i. 98, and following. 
>* Ibid, 100. 



Toleration in England. 329 

The Act of Toleration^ under King James II. of Eng- 
land was established in 1687, eighteen years after the like act 
was made a law in Connecticut. " It suspended all penal 
laws against all classes of non-conformists ; authorized Roman 
Catholics and Protestant dissenters to perform public wor- 
ship; forbade the molestation of any religious assembly; 
abrogated all laws imposing religious test as a qualification 
for office ; and granted entire liberty of conscience, to all the 
King's subjects/*" 

This act, although planned and executed by the King for 
another end than freedom, was, nevertheless, a law of great 
progress and value, compared with the terrible laws of relig- 
ious persecution which had been in existence unto that day ; 
but Connecticut had already adopted like regulations, and 
these from England were readily accepted by her. 

One thing has been charged to the discredit of the fore- 
fathers of Connecticut with less consideration and with 
greater censure than all others put together ; namely, the 
union of church and state, and thereby the levying of taxes 
by law to support the ministry. 

To this but two things need be named in reply ; one, that 
they knew no other way : and the other, that it seemed to 
them a self-evident law, that those who were benefited, should, 
in. proportion to their ability, pay for the benefits received. 

As to the first it was the law of the land whence they 
came, all their experiences had been under that discipline, and 
when they left their mother country they had made no com- 
plaint whatever at being required by law to support the 
preaching of the gospel. 

When they had effected a settlement in the wilderness, 
and the question of permanency arose as to the life they were 
to live, and the characters they hoped and proposed to form, 
of right and righteousness, they judged the preaching of the 
gospel the most important agent to be used, and for that 
reason made the most equitable provision for that end, of 
which they had any knowledge. 

They stated their own case by the action of the Commis- 

»* Hume. 



330 History of Stratford. 

sioners for the United Colonies, September 5, 1644, which 
was adopted by Connecticut, thus: 

** Whereas, the most considerable persons in these col- 
onies came into these parts of America that they might injoye 
Christ in his ordinances, without disturbance; And, whereas, 
among many other precious mercyes, the ordinances are, and 
have been, dispensed among us with much purity and power: 
The Commissioners took it into serious consideration, how 
some due mayntenance according to God might be provided 
and settled, both for the present and future, for the encourage- 
ment of the ministers who labour therein, and concluded to 
propound and commend it to each General Court, that those 
that are taught in the word in the several plantations, be 
called together, that every man voluntarily set down what he 
is willing to allow to that end and use ; and if any man re- 
fuse to pay a meet proportion, that then he be rated by au- 
thority in some just and equal way ; and if after this, any 
man withold or delay due payment, the civil power to be 
exercised as in other just debts."" 

This was the beginning of the law which, a few years 
later, required every taxpayer to pay to the support of the 
church or churches in his plantation or town.'* When the 
law was enacted to allow freedom or choice as to church pref- 
erences, and worship in 1669, it did not release the citizen from 
paying tax for the support of the legally established church 

"Col. Rec. i. 112. 

" Law of Connecticut Published in 16^0. 

" It is ordered by this Court and Authority thereof, that every inhabitant shall 
henceforth contribute to all charges, both in Church and Commonwealth, whereof 
he doth or may receive benefit, and ever>' such inhabitant who doth not voluntarily 
contribute proportionally to his ability with the rest of the same Towne to all com- 
mon charges, both Civil and Ecclesiastical, shall be compelled thereunto by assess- 
ments and distress, to be levied by the Constable or other officer of the Towne as 
in other cases ; And, that the Lands and Estates of all men, wherever they dwell, 
shall be rated for all Towne Charges, both Civil and Ecclesiastical, as aforesaid, 
where the Lands and Estates shall lie, and their persons, where they shall dwell." 

At this time all persons from 16 yeais old and upwards, were taxed [ist] 
"every person, except Magistrates and Elders of Churches, two shillings six 
pence per head, and [2d] all estates, bothe real and personal, at one penny for 
every twenty shillings." Conn. Col. Rec. i., 547. 



Ecclesiastical Taxation, 331 

of his community. Nor did the act of toleration in England 
release any one from paying to the support of the ministry in 
the English Church. So far had the idea of freedom in re- 
ligious matters advanced in America, that, when from 1706, 
to 1727, the communicants of the Episcopal Church were re- 
quired by law, as all others, to pay to the support of the Con- 
gregational Churches, they judged it a very grievous oppres- 
sion, and some refused to do it and were imprisoned just as 
Congregationalists would have been if they had refused ; but 
at the same time all denominations were taxed in England for 
the support of the ministers of the Episcopal Church. 

There was also a great difference between the union of 
Church and State in England and that in Connecticut. In 
the former the layity had nothing to do in calling a minister 
or the salary paid him, while in Connecticut they controlled 
both, in the most democratic form then known, and the tax 
collected for the minister was kept separate from all others, 
and applied yearly, only upon the vote of the parish. 

Such are some of the historical facts from which the 
early settlers of Connecticut had come and through which 
they had passed, and by which they were surrounded when 
a second denomination of Christians had become established 
by law in their territory. 

The following extract is taken from a book called A Gen- 
eral History of Connecticut^ by the Rev. Samuel Peters, pub- 
lished first in London, England, in 1781, and at New Haven 
in 1829, page 166: 

Mr. Peters, being a very strong loyalist in the time of the 
Revolution, found it to his comfort to go to England, where 
he published this book, in which are many things of true his- 
tory and also many things without a shadow of truth, and 
which have the appearance of being published for the pur- 
pose of defaming the people of Connecticut. 

He married in Stratford, Mary, only daughter of William 
Birdseye, April 20, 1773, and hence was acquainted in Strat- 
ford. 

The story which he relates concerning the Indian pow- 
wow, had some foundation in tradition, and historical fact. 
The Indians held yearly powwows, and held ceremonies with 



332 History of Stratford. 

extreme fanatical bodily exercises, but of this particular occa- 
sion we have no account only this given by Mr. Peters. 

" Stratford lies on the west bank of Osootonoc river, hav- 
ing the sea or sound on the south. 

There are three streets running north and south and ten 
east and west. The best is one mile long. On the centre 
square stand a meeting with a steeple and a bell, and a church 
with a steeple, bell, clock, and organ. 

It is a beautiful place, and from the water has an appear- 
ance not inferior to that of Canterbury*. Of six parishes con- 
tained in it, three are Episcopal. 

The people are said to be the most polite of any in the 
colony, owing to the singular moderation of the town in ad- 
mitting latterly, Europeans to settle among them. Many 
persons come also from the islands, and southern provinces, 
for the benefit of their health. 

Here was erected the first Episcopal Church in Connec- 
ticut. 

A very extraordinary story is told concerning the occa- 
sion of it, which I shall give the reader the particulars of, the 
people being as sanguine in their belief of it as they are of 
the ship's sailing over New Haven. 

An ancient religious rite called the Pawwaw, was annu- 
ally celebrated by the Indians; and commonly lasted several 
hours every night for two or three weeks. About 1690, they 
convented to perform it on Stratford point near the town. 
During the nocturnal ceremony the English saw, or imagined 
they saw, devils rise out of the sea, wrapped up in sheets of 
flame, and flying round the Indian camp, while the Indians 
were screaming, cutting, and prostrating themselves before 
their supposed fiery gods. In the midst of the tumult the devils 
darted in among them, seized several, and mounted with 
them into the air; the cries and groans issuing from whom 
quieted the rest. In the morning, the limbs of Indians, all 
shrivelled, and covered with sulphur, were found in different 
parts of the town. Astonished at these spectacles, the people 
of Stratford began to think the devils would take up their abode 
among them, and called together all the ministers in the 
neighborhood, to exorcise and lay them. The ministers be- 



An Indian Powwow. 333 

l^an and carried on their warfare with prayer, hymns, and ad- 
juration : but the pawwaws continued, and the devils would 
not obey. 

The inhabitants were about to quit the town, when Mr. 
Nell spoke and said : ** I would to God that Mr. Visey, the 
Episcopal minister at New York, was here ; for he would ex- 
pel these evil spirits." They laughed at his advice; but, on 
his reminding them of the little maid who directed Naaman 
to a cure for his leprosy, they voted him their permission to 
bring Mr. Visey at the next pawwaw. 

Mr. Visey attended, accordingly, and as the pawwaw 
commenced with bowlings and whoops, Mr. Visey read por- 
tions of the holy scripture, litany, etc. The sea was put into 
great motion; the pawwaw stopped; the Indians dispersed 
and never more held a pawwaw in Stratford. 

The inhabitants were struck with wonder at this event, 
and held a conference to discover the reason why the devils 
and pawwawers had obeyed the prayers of one minister, and 
had paid no regard to those of fifty. Some thought that the 
reading of the holy scripture, others that the Litany and 
Lord's prayer; some, again, that the Episcopal power of the 
minister, and others, all united were the means of obtaining 
the heavenly blessing they had received. 

Those who believed that the holy scriptures and litany 
were effectual against the devil and his legions, declared for 
the Church of England ; while the majority ascribed their 
deliverance to a complot between the devil and the Episco- 
pal minister, with a view to overthrow Christ's vine planted 
in New England. Each party acted with more zeal than 
prudence." 

This story of expelling the devils from Stratford has 
about as much force against the Congregationalists as the 
story still told as to the cause of the mosquitoes in Stratford. 
That cause, it is well known, is the great salt meadow of 1,500 
or 2,000 agres below Stratford on the Sound, yet a jocose 
story is told of another cause. • 

It is said, when the Rev. George Whitefield preached in 
Stratford, he represented all the Episcopal people as never 
having been converted, and they, in turn, were very severe 



334 History of Stratford. 

in remarks on Mr. Whitefield ; and that when he left Strat- 
ford he shook off the dust of his feet against them, saying, the 
curse of God would come upon them. That curse, it has 
been said, was the coming of the mosquitoes. 



The Episcopal Burying Place. Established in 172J, 

• 

The purpose in copying these inscriptions, has been to 
present every one just as it is on the stone — the names, dates, 
verses and spelling, every word and letter on each and every 
stone to the date of June loth, 1885 ; and much care and 
effort have been employed to make this record correct. 
There are four or five inscriptions so effaced that they could 
not be copied. 



TJte Episcopal Burying-place. 



335 



Inscriptions in the Episcopal Burying-place in Stratford. 



Sacred to the Memory of 
Clarissa f wife of the Rev. Ashbel 
Baldwin, & Daughter of Mr. Samuel 
& Mrs. Margaret Johnson of Guilford: 
born July 7, 1761, & departed this 
Life April 16, 1823, aged 62. 
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 

Anne Narrows, of New York, died 
March 16, 1844, JE, 88. 

JLettyis Stairr, son of Samuel & Har- 
riet Barnum, died Jan. 6, 1830, JE, 
4yrs. 

When the Arch Anf^el's trump shall sound 
And souls to bodies join, 
What crowds shall wish their lives below 
Had been as short as theirs. 

A.nn JRebecca, daughter of Samuel 

& Harriet Barnum, died Aug. 29, 

1837, JE, 2 yrs. 

Also 
J'uUtis Curtiss, Died Aug. 20, 1834: 

^. 7 mos. & 14 ds. 

Suffer little children to come unto me & forbid 
them not. 

Aaron Beard, Died Jan. 11, 1853, 

M. 59. 
Beneath this stone repose the remains of 
Francis M. Beard, who died May 

5, 1843 : Aged 19 years. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Abijah BeardMee, who died 
Sept. 3, 1839, *" ih® 1^^^ year of his 
age. 

In Memory of 

Mr, Abraham Beardslee, who 

died Feb. 13, 1815. Aged 88 Years. 

In Memory of 
Mixjar B. Beardsiey, who died 
Nov. 14, 1847, Aged 38. 

In memory of 
Charles JFrederick Beardslee, 

son of Wilson & Louisa Beardslee, 
who died Oct. 13, 1843, in 20 year of 
his age. 

Dearest son since thou hast left us 
Here thy loss we deeply feel. 
But 'tis God that hath bereft us. 
He can all our sorrows heal. 
Vet again we hope to meet thbe 
When the days of life are fled, 
Then in heaven we hope to greet thee. 
Where no farewell tear is shed. 



In Memory of 
Mrs* Bethia Beardslee, wife of 
Mr. Abraham Beardslee, who died 
Aug. 4***, 1801, In the 71"* Year of her 
age. 

In Memory of 
Caroline, daughter of Ephraim & Sa- 
rah Beardsley, who died Jan. 24, 
1827, -^ 3 yr. 6 mo. 

In Memory of 
Christana, wife of Henry Beardsley, 
who died Feb. 27**^, 1823, aged 89 
years. 

In Memory of 
Curtiss Beardeslee, who departed 
this Life Sept. l3*^ 1796, in the 43'* 
Year of his age. 

In Memory of 
Mary, wife of Curtiss Beardsley, who 

died Oct. 15, 1822, aged 62 years. 
Ephriam, their son, died Jan. 10, 
1793 : aged 16. Two Infant children 
of David & Rebecca Beardsley, one 
died 1817, the other June, 1822. 
In memory of 
Henry Beardslee, who died Aug. 
13, 1806, aged 69 years. 

weeping friends your tears withold. 
Nor mourn me as forever gone : 

1 eo as God himself has told. 
To wake at resurrection morn. 

In Memory of 
Nancy, wife of Abijah Beardsley, who 

died Oct. 8, 181 1 : iE. 45 
diver Beardsley, died Dec. 30, 
1793, iE. 3. 
Six children she has left 
To mourn and lament her death. 

The God that made her called her home 
Because he thought it best. 

In Memory of 
JPhUo Beardslee, who died^ Feb. 20, 
1846, iE 80 years. 

In Memory of 
WiUiam Beardsley, who died 

August 21, 1841, aged 73 years. 
Mr* Abel Beach, Departed this life 

December i6*'», 1768, In the 38*^ year 

of his a|^e. 

His affectionate Sister Ann Johnson, erected 
this Stone to the Memory of a Brother whom 
she tenderly loved and lamented. 



336 



History of Stratford. 



Here lies Inier*d the Body of 
Mrs. Hannah Bea^hf Relict of 
Mr. Isaac Beach, who Departed this 
life Oci'r y* is"'. A.D. 1750, in the 
79*** year of her age. 

LA Tablet.] 
[The first or uppermost inscription on 
this tablet is gone by the slate-stone 
being removed. It was that of Wil- 
liam Beach, who m. Sarah Hull, and 
died in 1751.] 

His worthy Relict 
Mrs. Sarah Beach, was afterwards 
married to the Reverend Dr. Johnson, 
President of Kings College at New 
York: and died of the small-pox 
with much patience. Faith and Resig- 
nation, Feb^y 9*^, 1763, ^lai. 61 : And 
lies interred under the Chancel of 
Trinity Church there. 
Cdo. Aaron Benjamin, Nov. 23, 
182S. Aged 72 years. 
He was an officer of the Revolution and serv- 
ed his country faithfully throufrh the whole of 
that struggle for freedom which resulted in the 
complete establishment of our National Inde- 
pendence. He also had command of the im- 
portant post of New London during the sd war 
with Great BriUin. 

He was a firm friend, a true patriot and an 
honest man. 

I>arothy Benjamin, wife of Col. 
Aaron Benjamin, Born March 3, 1768, 
Died Oct. 4, 1853. 
Precious are the memories of the Home 
that was blessed with her love and virtue. 
Sacred is the grave of our Mother. 

tTohn Beniffimin, Son of the late 
Col. Aaron Benjamin, died Sept. 22, 
1816, aged 43. 
He was a man beloved by all who knew him 

for his benevolence, strict integrity and christian 

character. 

Olivia Eloiza Benjamin, Daugh- 
ter of Col. Aaron Benjamin, Born 
March 7, 1792, Died January 6, 1853. 

Adeie, Daughter of John & Hannah S. 
Benjamin, died Oct. 22, 1871, Aged 
10 years & 9.mos. 

"Abide with me." 

Alexr. Gillon Benjamin, son of 

John & Anna Maria Benjamin, died 
Dec. 6, 1840, aged i year, 9 mo. & 8 
days. 

We shall go to him but he will not come back 
to us. 

Capt. B. I*tUaski Benjamin, 

son of Col. Aaron Benjamin, died 

Oct. 27, 1883. in his 88*^ year. 
Sttsan Curtis, his wife, died Nov. 27, 

1835, inlher 38*^ year. 
William, Benjamin, Aged 79, 

Born March, 1773, Died May, 1852. 



In Memory of 
Colo. John Bet^am^in, who de- 
parted this life Sept. 14, 179^. >" the 
66^ year of his age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs, Lucretia Benjam^in, Wife 
of tne late Colo. John Benjamin, who 
died March 22**, 1803, Aged 69 Years. 
John Packinson, son of John & 
Hannah S. Benjamin, Died Aug. 7, 
1870, aged I year & 6 mos. 

Here lies Buried the Body of 
Mr. John Benjamin, who depart- 
ed this Life April the I3*^ 1773. >n 
y« 73 Year of His Age. 
Laura Gertrude, Daughter of W. 
M. & S. J. Benjamin, died Sept. 5, 
1848. iE. 4 yrs. & 4 wio- 
Oh not in cruelty, not in wrath 

The reaper came that day ; 
'Twas an angel visited the green earth. 
And bore our child away. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Philip Benjamin, who died 
Feb. 20, A. D. 1815 : in the 86 year of 
his age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Prudence Benjamin, Wife 
of Mr. Philip Benjamin, who died 
Febr. 19*'*, 1795 : in the 64^^ year of 
her age. 

In Memory of 
Gideon Benjamin, who died Nov. 
5, 1846, Aged 87 yrs. 

In memory of 
Sarah Benjamin, wife of Gideon 
Benjamin, who died Jan. 16, 1841, in 
the 81 year of her age. 
Sarah 3£aHe, wife of William Ben- 
jamin, Aged 71, Born Oct. 1782, Died 
April, 1853. 

[Monument.] 

Sacred to the memory of 

William Benjamin, Born Januarj- 

I, 1800. Died March 2, 1862. 

Mark the perfect man, and behold the 

upright for the end of that man is peace. 

In Memory of 
William Benfa^nih, son of Capt. 
D. Pulaski & Susan Benjamin, who 
died Dec. 16, 1835, Aged 4 years. 
God took him away from mortal sorrow 
Before his little heart was ripen, 
For a bright long day without a morrow, 
To join his mother in the songs of heaven. 

Here lies intered the Body of 
Mr. Boger Bessin (?), late of An- 
tigua, who departed this life Oct. 3^ 
26^. 1743, Aeiaiis 47, Having given a 
100 pounds to the Church of England 
in this town. 



Inscriptions in the Episcopal Burying-place. 



337 



Here lie y* remains of 
'Eunice Anne Birdsey, Dau' of 
Mr. Evereii & Mr«. Phcbe Birdsey, 
who died Sept. 19, 1773, Aged 3 years 
& 2 Months. » 

In Memory of 
Everett Birdsey, who died Oct. 30, 
1845, ^. 68. 

In Memory of 
Mary, wife of Everett Birdsey, who 
died Oct. 4. 1830, Aged 54 years. 

In Memory of 

Sarah Birdsey , Daug' of Mr. Ever- 
ett & Mrs. Phoebe Birdsey, who de- 
parted this Life May 9*^, 1773, Aged 
9 Months. 

In memory of 

William Birdsey, Son of Mr. Ev- 
erett & Mrs. Phebe Birdsey, who died 
August the 12, A.D. 1776, in the 2^ 
Year of His Age. 

Here lie the remains of 
Mr, WiUiam Birdsey, who died 

Sept. 10*^, 1795, Aged 76 Years. 
Reader, reflect when you these lines peruse 
On thy own self, What thou art & Wiien 
The grim triumphant tyrant Death may come 
Oh I be then like to him, & meet it, good. 

In Memory of 
Mary Blakeman, Wife of Elijah 
Blakeman, & Daughtei of Samuel 
Hubbell, who died Novr. 22<*, 1809, 
Aged 30 years & 8 months. 

Wiiliam Hubbell, Died in Wash- 
ington, North Carolina, Oct. !•*, 1809 

iEi. 32. 

Behold and see as you pass by, 
As you are now so once was I, 
As I am now soon you will be. 
Prepare for death and follow me. 

Mr. JPhinehas Blakeman, Died 

Nov. 28, i8ia ; aged 66 yrs. 
Caroline E* Bowdin, Daughter of 

Rev. John Bowden, D.D.,LL.D. died 

Jan. 22, 1877. 

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 

Margaret, Daughter of Rev. John 
Bowden, D.D., died March 19, 1880. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Mrs» Mary Bowden, Relict of the 
late Rev. John Bowden, D.D., who 
died Dec. 29, 1819 : aged 64 years. 
The kind friend. 
The affectionate Mother, 
The faithful Wife, 
The exemplary Christian. 

An^ia cT. Bowden, Died Jan. 21, 
1872. 



Here lyes y* Body of 
Mrs. Anne Brooks, Wife of Mr. 
David Brooks, Who Departed this 
life October y* 6***, 1766, in y* 47 year 
of Her Age. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mr. David Brooks, Who departed 
this Life June y* 11*^, 1766, in y* 47*** 
year of His Age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs, Elizabeth Brooks, the Belov- 
ed Consort of Mr. Benjamin Brooks, 
who departed this Mortal life on the 
9**» of October, 1773, in y« 28 year of 
Her Age. 

In Memory of 
Isaac Brooks, who died July 11, 
1797. aged 17 years. 

In memory of 
Joseph Brooks, who died Oct. 22, 
1787. aged 39 years. 

» Here lyes y* Body of 
Dinah Browne, Daut' to James & 
Elizabeth Browne, Died Jan' y« 5"*, 
1739, in y* 24**» Year of Her Age. 

In Memory of 
Joseph Brown, who Died Octbr. y« 
25, A.D. 1757, Aged 70 [?] yrs. & 6 
Months. 

Sacred To the memory of 
Buth Brown, who was born in this 
town October 10, 1779, and died in 
New York, March 6^*», 1846 : in the 
67*^ year of her age. 

Also of her daughter 
Susan A. Chamberlin, who was 
born March 3**, 1804, and died Janu- 
ary 26*^ 1826, in the 23* year of her 
age. 

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 
Rev. XIV. 13. 

In Memory of 
Mary, Daughter of Mr. Joseph & Mrs. 
Mehetable Bryan, who died Novem- 
ber I, A.D. 1753, aged 3 Years & ten 
days. 

In Memory of 
Ann, wife of Ephraim Burritt, who 
died Mar. 19, 1846. i£. 80. 

This stone is erected in memory of 
Mr, Ephraim Burrett, Junr., 

who departed this life Oct. 26^\ 1802, 
in the 40*** year of his age. 
And in memory of 
Abel Burritt, a child 6 weeks old, 
son of Ephraim Burritt, Jur. & Ann 
his Wife. 



338 



History of Stratford. 



In Memory of 
3fr. JE5pikraii» l^urriUj who died 
August i8*»^. 1807, in the 77**^ year of 
his age. 

Here lie? Buried the body of 
Mrs. JPhebe BurrUt, wife of Mr. 
Ephraim Burritt, Who died Oct. 26*>', 
1708, in the 67'*' Year of her Age. 
In Memory of 
Lewis BurrUtf Who died Jan. 8, 
1839, in the 67 Year of his age. 
In Memory of 
Esther Burritt, Wife of Lewis Bur- 
ritt, who died Oct. lo, 1839 : in the 
61 year of her age. 

Here lies Buried the Body of 
Mr. Charles Bwmmghs^ Junr.. 
Who Departed this Life July the I2*^ 
A. D. 1770, in the40*'» year of his age. 
Here lyes y* Body of 
Mrs. BliTtabeth Burroughs, Wife 
to Mr. Stephen Burroughs. Dautr. of 
Mr. Joseph & Mrs. Parnai Brown, 
Who died December 4**«, 1764, in y* 
36*J» Year of Her Age. 

In Memory of 
JLettice, Wife of Charles Burroughs, 
who died July 16, 1802, aged 64 years. 



Behold and se« as you pass by, 
once was I. 
I you must be. 
Prepare for death and follow me. 



As you are now so once was 
As 1 am now so you must be, 



WUliam Butter, Died Feb. 5. 1857. 
iE68. 
•'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." 

Mary Ann, Relict of William But- 
ler, Died July 30, 1866, M. 57 yrs. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Leg rand Cannon, who de- 
parted this Life June 2**, 1789, in the 
57*'» Year of his Age. 

Here lies intered 
LeG-rand, son to LeGrand and Char- 
ity Cannon, Who departed this Life 
y« 3o'*» of Aug'S A. D. 1775, Aged 4 
years. 

Kind Reader, 

A youthful Soul Solaced on high. 

Think thou on thy Mortality. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Mrs. Francis Chapman, who ex- 
changed this Life in hope of a better 
one the 30^'* of December, A.D. 1783, 
in the 80^ Year of her Age. 
Sacred to the Memory of 
Mr. George Chapman, who ex- 
changed this Life in hopes of a better 
on the 6**' June, A. D. 1777, in the 
forty eighth Year of his Age. 



Bessie Coteman, Born May 30, 

1875, Died April 11, 1882. 
iMther Copiey, Died March 28, 

1846, i£. 64. 
Betsey, Wife of -Luther Copley, Died 

Sept. 2. 1852, iE. 68. 
Asa Curtis, died Feb. 11, 1850, -/E. 

76 y*rs. 
Susan, the wife of Asa Curtis, died 

Feb. 2, A.D. 1859, aged 85. 
Mary Eliza, daughter of Asa & 
Susanna Curtis, died Oct. 28, 1722, 
aged 20 years. 

In Memory of 
Chloe, Wife of Hannibal Curtiss, who 
died April 24, 1828, Aged 72. 
God has bereaved me of My wife, 
His will for him 1 stood. 
It was God and he is Kind, 
He does what seemeth him good. 

In Memory of 

Mr. William Curtis, who died 
Aug. u*^, 1803, in the 40*^ Year of 
his Age. 

Francis, Wife of William Curtis, 
Died Feb. 7, 1854. -«. 85, 

Freddie, son of Claudus B. & Har- 
riet Curtis, died Apr. 5, 1854, iE 2 
y'rs & 8 mo. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 

Mrs. Hannah Curtiss, Wife to Mr. 
Ephraim Curtiss, Who Departed this 
life Feb. y 2\ 1761, in y t^^ Year 
of Her Age. 

In Memory of 

Isaac J. Curtiss, who died July 17. 
1815, JE 78 yrs. & 4 mo. 

In Memory of 
Charity, wife of Isaac Curtiss, who 

died Dec. 16, 1846, J£, 75 Years. 
Charity, Daughter of Isaac J. & 

Charily Curtis, died Aug. 19. 1801. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Jeremiah Judson Curtiss, 

who Departed this Life Sept. y* 4^, 
A.D. 1782, in y» 67^ year of his Age. 

In memory of 
Thomas Curtis, Who died May 25*^ 

1787, M 47. Also of three Children 

of Thomas & Anna Curtis. 
Benjamin, died at Sea Sept. 1789, 

iEt 19. 
Catharine, Died at N. York, Jan. 

17.*^. 1798. ^t. 21. 
Beiiben, Died at Sea, Feb. 8*', 1802, 

Mu 23. 



Inscriptions in the Episcopal Burying-place. 



339 



[A Broken Stone.] 
May 21, 1815, aged 36 years. [£. C. on 
the foot stone.] 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Mliaabeth AnneJ^avies, Daughter 

of Henry Davies, Esqr., late of New 
York, who died on the23<^ of Dec. 1799, 

in the 19*^ Year of her Age. 
Rich in every Virtue & directed by a sound 
understanding, she was ever in pursuit of use- 
ful knowledge while the cheerfulness with 
which she discharged her duty endeared 
her to all her Relatives and Friends : having a 
mind stored with ever useful & ornamented ac- 
quirements, she seemed fitted for an example 
for the voung & beautiful, & a Comfort to the 
Aged, When by a momentary stroke of Death 
she was called from health and Youth to a life 
of everlasting felicity. [Several lines effaced.] 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Henry Davies, Esqr., late of New 
Yorlc, and formerly of his Britanic 
Majesty's Navy in which he discharg- 
ed many offices of trust and import- 
ance with honor to himself and integ- 
rity to his Country. After living in 
the constant practice of piety toward 
God and benevolence to MEN; after 
fulfilling every duly in social and do- 
mestic Life, died at this place on the 
28*'* day of April, 1802, in the 57 year 
of his age in full hope of receiving 
that reward which a redeemer hath 
purchased for all who trust in him. 

Charles S., son of Garry & Sally 
Dayton, died Aug. 8, 1825, aged I 
year and 10 months. 

Betsef/f daughter of Garry & Sally 
Dayton, died Dec. 18, 1827, aged 9 
years and 9 Mo. 
So fades the lovely blooming flower, 
Frail smiling solace of an hour. 

Sarah Dayton, Died Aug. 4, 1846, 

JE 49 years. 

In Memory of 
JPeggy, wife of Henry Dean, who died 

Feb. 10, 1822, in her 28 year. 
Albert DeForest, died Sept. 9, 1826, 

aged 25 years. 
SamtielJE., died Sept. 11, 1810, aged 

16 Mos. 
Samuel 2d, died Jan. 1814, aged 2 

years. 
Children of Daniel & Phebe De Forest. 
JEphrian 'DeForest, Died Oct. 27, 

1848, M 61 yrs. 
JPhebe, wife of Daniel DeForest, Died 

March 18, 1852, M, 82. 
JDaniel DeForest, Died July 30, 

1^33) aged 62 years. 



David, son of Mr. Samuel & Mrs. 
Ruth Edwards, died Oct. 6, 1815, 
aged 7 years. 

John C. Fairchild, died Feb. 22, 

1825, Aged 79- 
Muth, His Wife, Died Oct. 28, 1804, 

Aged 56. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Sarah Avery, Daughter of John C. 

& Ruth Fairchild, Born in this town 

Feb. 28*^, 1773. Died in New York, 

May 6^\ 1837, Aged 64 years, 2 

months & 6 days. 

Respected and beloved by all ; a most brill- 
iant example of virtue and loveliness she de- 
parted this life rejoicing in the hope of a 
glorious immortality. 

Thou hast taught us to live and for death to 
prepare. 

By example and precepts most true, 

ftlay we copy thy virtues, thy glory to share. 

Adieu dearest Sister, adieu. 

Thou lived'st but to merit life better than this 

Where the righteous ever shall dwell ; 

Thou art gone to those mansions of heavenly 
bliss 

Farewell dearest mother, farewell. 

In Memory of 
JRobert Wells, son of William and 
Hannah Fairchild, who departed this 
life Sept. 18, 1805. 
Lewis ۥ, son of Benjamin & Eunice 
Fairchild, died April 22, 1829, aged 
7 yrs. & 8 mo. 

Dear little boy thy years were few. 
And suffering was thy lot below. 
Jesus called, thou hast obey'd 
And left a world of pain and wo. 

Faiher 

Dennis Fitch, Born Nov. 19, 1798, 
Died Jan. 25, 1827. 

Sarah Francis f Daughter of Den- 
nis & Eunice Fitch, Born Nov. 9, 
1825, Died Aug. 18, 1827. 

Mother 
Eunice Birdsey, Wife of Dennis 

Fitch, Born Aug. 25, 1799, Died Jan. 

18, 1877. 
Herona, Wife of Edmond Freeman. 

Died Aug. 4, 1855, JE 38. 

In memory of 

Esther, y* Wife of Mr. Stephen Frost, 
who died Novem*" y® 2<*, 1753, Ji* >'* 
30**» year of Her Age. 

Elizabeth Cannon, Wife of Alex- 
ander S. Gorden, Died April 7, 1876, 
Aged 84 yrs. 7 mo. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Frederick Hawley, who De- 
parted this life March y* i6*^, 1774, 
in y* 39*^ )'ear of his age. 



340 



History of Stratford, 



Charity Hubheil^ Died March 21, 
i866, M 88. Erccied by the Wardens 
of Christ Church. 

In Memory of 
Elizabeth Hubbeiif wife of Silas 
Hubbell, died Feb. 5, 1829, iEt. 74 
yrs. 

In Memory of 
Capi* Ezra HtMpeU, who was lost 
at sea Sept. 1801, in the 35 Year of 
his Age. 
Mrs. Mary Alice, Wife of Capt 
Ezra Hubbell, Died August 11, 1811, 
Aged 28 Years. 

In Memory of 
Mr* Joseph Hubbell, who departed 
this life May 9*^, 1804, in the 26"^ year 
of his age. 
This mortal shall put on immortality. 
And of 
Benjamin [out — stone broken.] 
Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mrs. Sarah Hubbell, Wife of Mr. 
Joseph Hubbell, who died March 9^, 
1790, Aged 56 Years. 

In Memory of 
Silas Htibbell, who died Nov. 30, 

1812, Aged 60 years. 
WiUiam Hubbell, Died Feb. 1856, 

^55. 

In Memorv of 
Mrs. Elizabeth Htird, Wife of Mr. 
Gilead Hurd, who departed this life 
Aug. 8, 1787, in the [out] year of her 
Age. 

In Memory of 
J'ane, wife of Jacob Hurd, who died 
May 2, 1825, aged 63 Years. 
In Memory of 
Daniel J'ackson, a Revolutionary 
pensioner, who died Aug. 25, 1841, 
aged 78 yrs. 

In Memory of 
Elizabeth, Wife of Daniel Jackson, 
who died March 17, 1839, Aged 78 
yrs. 

In Memory of 

Haniel Jackson, who died Aug. 16, 

1829, Aged 38 years. 

Ah 'tis a holy rite remembrance of the dead. 

That will not oblivion blight around the grave 

be shed. 

In Memory of 
Frederick, Son of Whitney & Clem- 
tine Jackson, who died July 5, 1836, 
i£ 7 years & 9 mo. 

In Memory of 
Charles Jarvis, late of London, 
who died Oct. 8, 1840, aged 76. 



Here lyes ye Body of 
Mrs. Sarah Jeans, Deceased Octo- 
ber y* 16. 1739, »»> y* 72 year of her 
age. 

Here lyes ye Body of 

Mr. WiUiatn Jeans, Deceased 

Nov'r y* 17^, 1726, in y* 79* Year of 

His Age. 

Sacred to the Memory of three most 

affectionate Sisters, The daughters of 

• W". Samuel Johnson, Esqr. And 
Anne his Wife. 

Sarah Johnson, Nata April 8^^, 
A. D. 1754 ; Obiit 20^ June, A. D. 
1782. 

Mary Johnson^ Nata April 1^'^, A. 
D. 1759 ; Obiit. December 23*, A. D. 
1783. 

CHoriana Anne Alden, the affec- 
tionate Wile of Roger Alden, Esqr. 
Nata March if^, A. D. 1757, Obiit. 
March 4*^, 1785. 

M. S. Samudis Johnson, H.H., 

CoUegii Regalis Novi Eboraci Pnesi- 
dis prmi ec hujus Ecclesix nuper 
Rectoris. Nacus Die 14 to. Octob. 
1696, Obit. 6 to. Tan. 1772 • 
In decent dignity andf modest mien. 
The cheerful heart and countenance serene 
If pure religion and unsullied truth, 
His age*s solace, and his search in youth. 
If piety in all the paths he trod 
Still rising vigorous to his Lord and God ; 
If Charity thro' all the race he ran. 
Still willing well, and doing good to man : 
If learning, free from pedantry and pride ; 
If Faith and Virtue, walking side by side ; 
If well to mark his being's aim and end. 
To shine thro' life a Husband, Father, Friend, 
If these ambition in thy soul can raise. 
Excite thy reverence, or demand thy praise ; 
Reader, ere yet thou quit this earthly scene. 
Revere his name, and be whiit he has been. 
Myles Cooper. 

Here lyes the body of 
Mr. John Johnson, who dec<^ 
Febu' y* 8»^, 1725, Aged 75. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Archibald Jones, Who died 
May 24, 1800, Aged 60 years. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Sarah, consort of Mr. Archi- 
bald Jones, Who died June 8*^, 1792, 
Aged 53 years. 

Hannah Jones, Died Sept. 8, 1855 , 
^81. 

♦ This inscription is taken from Mr. J. W. 
Barber's Historical Collections, for the reason 
that the slate-stone inlaid on the tablet, on 
which the lettering was placed, is entirely gone. 
The same is true as to the slate-stone on seve- 
ral other tablets in this burying-place. 



Inscriptions in the Episcopal Burying-place. 



341 



J^a/mes Jones, Bom March 24, 1775, 
Died April 6. 1853. 

Esther, wife of James Jones, Born 
Sept. 25. 1782, Died May 5, 1854. 

In Memory of 
John Jones, who died Aug. i, 1852, 

A^ed 34 years. 
Hannah Jones, wife of John Jones, 

Died Oct. 21, 1884, Aged 85 yrs. 

Joseph Jones, Died Nov. 25, 1845, 
^.76. 

[Tablet.] 
In Memory of 
Mrs. Mary Jones, consort of Joel 
Jones and eldest daughter of Isaac J. 
Curtis, who departed this life Jan. 15, 
1817 ; in the 25 year of her age ; leav- 
ing with her afflicted friends a tender 
infant which survived until April 21, 
1817, when it declined the bitter cup 
of life and joined its departed Moth- 
er; aged 4 months & 22 days. 
Also in Memory of 
Julius Curtis, son of Joel & Mary 
Jones, who departed this life Sept. 20, 
181 5. aged 3 years and 5 months. 
Unerring wisdom drew the awful yell 
Bade the eye lan^ish and the cheek grow pale, 
From lips beloved the vital warmpth retired, 
And life's faint lustre silently expired ; 
The immortal spirit reached its destined height, 
A star forever in the realms of light 
Here also lies entombed the remains of 
DiiUssenea, eldest son of Isaac J. & 
Charity Curtis, who after long and 
distressing illness which he bore with 
Christian fortitude, resigned his soul 
to God who gave it, on the 11 of June, 
1817, in the 21 year of his age. 
When tides of youthful blood run high, 
And promised scenes of joy draw nigh, 
Youtn presuming, beauty blooming, 
O ! how dreadful 'tis to die. 

Wodsey S., son of John & H'annah 

Jones, Died May 16, 1849, Aged 4 

years & 4 mo. 
George F*, Son of Samuel & Betsey 

Judson, died Aug. 16, 1820, aged 7 

years & 4 months. 

Here are Intered the Remains of 
Mr, John Keyes, who departed this 
Life March 29*^, A. D, 1753. in his 
50*^ year. 

Here lyes y* Body of 
I>r, James Laborie, Physician, 
Died Dec'r y* 26, 1739, in y« 48*^ 
Year of His Age. 

George Lampson, Died May 22, 
1870, M. 70 yrs. 

23 



Here lyes Buried the Body of 
William La/mson, Who Departed 
this Life Jany. y« 2i«*, A. D. 1755, 
Aged 60 Years, 2 Months & 27 Ds. 

Charles T., Died Dec. 21, 1838, Aged 
14 yrs. & II Mos. 

Be ye also ready. 

Caroline L*, Died July 1. 1844, Aged 
id yrs. & 5 Mos, 

In the midst of life we are in death. 

Children of George & Betsey M. Lam- 
son. 

George Henry, infant son of Capt. 
L. H. & A. E. Layfield, died Nov. 9, 
1852. 

In Memory of 
Capt* Agtir TonUinson Lewis, 

who died March 12, 18 15, Aged 38 
Years. 

Peace to his ashes, and eternal rest to his 
departed spirit. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
CoUo* Eamond Lends, Who De- 
parted this life May 14*^, 1757, in ye 
78 Year of his Age. 
Calm he commits his flesh to Dust, 
'Till the last trumpet wakes the Just, 
And he immortalized shall Rise 
To mansions far beyond the skies. 

Here lyes Buried y« Body of 
Mrs* Hannah Lewis, wife to Colo. 
Edmond Lewis, who Departed this 
life July y« 13*^, 1756, in y* ^^'^ Year 
of Her Age. 

In Memory of 
Daniel A* LevHs, son of Alpheus 
& Phebe Lewis, who died March 31, 
1831, aged II yrs. & i mo. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Mr* David Lewis, who departed 
this Life the is*** day of November, 
1783, in the 74*^ Year of his Age. 

Mr* Eli Lewis, died Dec. 24, 18 18, 
Aged 80. 

Mrs. Naomi Lewis, wife of Mr. 

Eli Lewis, died Feb. 3, 1 814, aged 70 

years. 

Here lyes y« Body of 
James Walker Lewis, Son of Mr. 

Eli Lewis, who departed this life May 

II, 1772, in y« s*** Year of his Age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs* Hannah Lewis, Wife of 
Capt. James Lewis, Who died July 2**, 
1756, Aged 75 Years. 

Mr* Isaac Lewis 9 died August 31, 
1804, in the 70 Year of his Age. 



342 



History of Stratford. 



In memory jof 3 Children of Mr. James 

& Mrs. Sarah Lewis. 
James, died Sep. la, I777i >n his 5*^ 

Year. 
David Booth, died Sept. 22, 1777, in 

his 3** Year. 
Rebecca, died Sep. 24, 1777. Aged 6 

Months. 

In Memory of 
Capt. James Lewis, Who departed 

this life Jan', the 2<jf^, 1766, Aged 89 

Years. 

In Memory of 
Mr. Jam>es Lewis, Who departed 

this life August 13"*, I779. Aged 39 

Years. 



Just as he arrived, to those scenes 
where pleasures seemed to flow, 
Just as oe tasted those sweet charmes 



Vhere pleasures seemed to flow 

iust as he tasted those swec 
)eath struck the faul blow 

Here Lies intered 
Mr* Joseph Letvis, who died July 
3*, A. D. 1756. -^t- 74. 

Here lies the Body of 
Mrs. JPhebe Lewis, wife of Mr. Jo- 
seph Lewis, who died Septr. y» ii, 
1753, Aged 62 Years. 

In Memory of 
Thebe Lewis, Daut'. of Mr. David & 
Mrs. Phebe Lewis, who died October 
y« 2*, A. D. 1764. Aged 9 years. 
Pheneas <& Phebe, Son & Daughter 
of Mr. David & Mrs. Phebe Lewis, 
died Sept. y* 7, 1751. Pheneas in the 
I7"» Year of his Age: Phebe aged 3 
Years. 
Col* Philo Lewis, departed this life 
Nov. 7, 1836, Aged 78 years & 3 Mo. 
Mrs. Charity Lewis, wife of Col. 
Philo Lewis, died Dec. 21, 1842, aged 
82 Years. 

In Memory of 
Cant. Nathl. SFiei^man Lewis, 

who died Feb. 14, 1812, aged 82. 
Mary, Wife of Capt. N. S. Lewis, 

died April 10, 1819, age 83. 
Francis, their daughter, died July i, 

1804, aged 37. 
James, son of James & Hannah Lock- 
wood, Died Febr. 21, 1818, Aged lo 
yrs. & 9 ds. 

Here lies the Body of 
Mr. Nehemiah Loring, Aged 44 
Years, 6 Mo. & 29 Ds. Departed 
this Life January the 9^^ I730-3I- 
Here lyes the Body of 
Mrs. Elizabeth Loring, wife of 
Mr. Nehemiah Loring, Aged 57 
Years, i m. & 6 days. Died July 20, 
1797. 



In Memory of 
Capt. Phinehas Lov^oy, Juwr. 

who departed this life Sept. 26, 1803, 

i£t. 41. 
Death like an overflowins: stream. 
Sweeps us away, our lifers a dream. 
An empty tale : a morning flower. 
Cut down and withered in and hour. 

In Memory of 

Anna PUiberts Lynus. Daughter 

of Mr. Robert & Mrs. Mary Linus, 

who departed this Life May 5*^, 1786, 

Aged I year 6 months & 18 days. 

Henry Lundy, died June 14, 1879, 

Aged 70. 
Charlotte, wife of Henry Lundy, died 
Nov. 17, 1857, Aged 50, 
And now she lies with folded hands 

In an untroubled sleep ; 
With tearless eyes and peaceful heart. 
Where none can make her weep. 

In Memory of 
Elijah Marshall, who died May 3, 
1839, aged 57. 

In Memory of 
Lucy, wife of Elijah Marshall, who 
died April i, 1840, aged 56. 
Here lieth the Body of 
Mr. Paul Maverick, who Departed 
this Life Janry. the 20**», Anno Dom 
1745-6 in the sa"** year of his age. 

In Memory of 
Ann, wife of John McEwen, who died 

Dec. 4, 1824, Aged 72 Years. 
In Memory of 
John McEwefiy a Revolutionary sol- 
dier who died Sept. 29, 1842, aged 98 

years. 

In Memory of 
Nancy McEwen, who departed this 

life Feb. 7, 1831, M 45. 
William McEwen, Died Aug. 18, 

1851, iE. 40. 
William, McEwen, Died Nov. 10. 

1 87 1, Aged 96. 

In Memory of 
Mary McEwen, wife of William 

McEwen. who died Dec. 28, 1842, 

Aged 62 Yrs. 
Sarah Maria, Daughter of William 

& Mary McEwen, died Nov. 11, 1836, 

JE. 18 yrs. & 8 mo. 
Two children of Mr. Aaron & Mrs. 

Chloe Nichols, 
Proctor Thomas, died August a6, 

1 81 5. aged 2 yrs. & 8 mo. 
Isabella, died August 30, 1815, aged 

II months. 



Inscriptions in the Episcopal Burying-place. 



343 



[The followini; 33 inscriptions are found in the 
NicoH*8 plot.] 

[MONUMBNT.J 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Francis H. Nicoll, son of the late 

Gen. Matthias Nicoll, who died Sept. 

24, 1842. aged 57 years. 

It may be truly said of him that he was a 
lather to the fatherless, a friend to the widow, 
kind and benevolent to the poor. 

This stone is erected by his surviving brother 
and sisters, who live to mourn his loss. 

Our Mather^s Grave. 

[Monument— West side.] 

Geni. Matthias Nicolif Born ii**' 
October, 1758, Died 11*^ February, 
1830. 

At Peace with his God, 
Himself and the world. 
He died lamented, 
By all who knew him. 
[South side.] 
Sarah, Relict of Genl. Matthias 
Nicoll, Deed. Jan. 6, 1848, Aged 90 
Years. 

The righteous shall be had in everlasting 
remembrance. 
[East side.] 
Died at Canton, in China, on the first 
day of November, 1829, where his 
remains are interred. 
George Robert Drnvdali, Son-in- 
law of Genl. Matthias Nicoll, in the 
47*^ year of his age. 
^ Commander of the ship Ajax. In his profes- 
sion he was inferior to none. And in the dis- 
charge of all Social duties as Husband, Father, 
Friend and Citizen, few excelled him. 
[North side.] 
Also Died at Canton, on the 27*^ of 
October, 1829, in the 3i«» year of his 
age. 
JSdfvard NicM, First officer of the 
ship Ajax, And Son of Genl. Mat- 
thias Nicoll. 
He was beloved by all who knew him. 
In Memory of 
Mary MagcUene Nicoll Clinch, 
died Sept. 3, 1822, aged 9 months and 
II days. 
J>avid Toore, Died April 5, 1853, 
M, 70. 

In Memory of 
Louisa, t^e wife of David Poore and 
daughter of General Matthias Nicoll, 
who departed this life January 19*'*, 
1832 ; Aged 34 Years. 
She sleeps but to wake at the call of her God. 

In Memory of 
Sff^muel Charles Nicoll, Infant son 
of David & Louisa Poore, who de- 
parted this life June 5, 1833, Aged 17 
Months and 11 days. 
^*I ^all go to him, but he shall not return to 
me." 9 Samuel, la C, 35 V. 



[MONUMBNT.] 

Francis Holland. 
Fanny, 

Children of J. L. & A. F. Hubbard. 

Anna G. ChevaUie, wife of the late 
Henry Chevallie, of Richmond, Va. 
Died June 8, 1870. 

Edward H. Turk, died March 4, 
1841, aged 16 yrs. 

In Memory of 

Catharine Jones, late wife of David 
Jones, of New York, Merchant, who 
departed this life in this town on the 
2i-t day of April. 1798, in the 63 year 
of her Age. 
Beloved while living by all her Relatives and 

acquamtence, and much Uimented by them at 

ner death. 

Elizaheth H., Daughter of the late 
A. H. Turk, died Jan. 9, 1847, ^ 
17 yrs. 
In death as well as in life she was truly a 

lovely character, a flower unfaded yet prepared 

» Sacred to the Memory of 
David Jones, late of New York, 
Merchant, A Man who to the keenest 
Sensibility to the Distresses of others, 
possessed the greatest Fortitude in 
supporting his own. 

Placed in the most trying Situa- 
tions of life no murmur at the Dis- 
pensations of Providence passed his 
Lips. After a Life of strict Integrity, 
he met Death with that cheerful Res- 
ignation which true Christianity alone 
can inspire. 

He died at this place on the ii^^^ 
day of October, i8o6, in the 73* Year 
of his Age. 

Elizah, Widow of Geo. R. Dowdall 

Died Sept. 7, 1851, JE 65. 
A devoted Mother, a kind friend, a sbicere 
Christian. Her record is on high. 

[Monument.] 

Samuel C NicoU, Bom May « 

1782, Died May i, 1850. 
In full communion with the Christian Church, 
he died lamented as he had lived beloved. 

Elvira NicoU, wife of Samuel C. 

Nicoll, and daughter of Col. Aaron 

Benjamin, Born Feb. 8, 1794, Died 

April 9, 1851. 

As wife, daughter, sister, woman, a light and 
blessing in our pathway which even death can- 
not exUnguWh. She yet Uvea in our Memory 



344 



YidUtta SeaJbury Gore, Widow of 
Richard Gore, and eldest daughter of 
the late Genl. Matthias Nicoll, Born 
in Stratford, 29*^ December. 1783; 
Died in New York. 5"* November, 

1854. 
O may I find in death 



History of Stratford. 



A hidlne place with God,^^ 
re fro 



Secure from woe and sin till called 
To share his blessed abode. 



Elizabeth Nicoll, Widow of John 
Springs, of South Carolina, and 
daughter of the late Genl. Matthias 
Nicoll. of Stratford. Born Sept. 21, 
i8oo, Deed, in Petersburgh. Va., 

March 13. 1872. „ .. ^ »k- 

"I know that my Redeemer llvetn, and that 
He shall Sund at the latter day upon the Earth, 
uid though after my skm worms destroy this 
body, yet in my flesh shall 1 sec Ood. 
Sacred to the Memory of 
Maria Nicoll, wife of Ahasucrus 
Turk, deceased : Born Mar. 30, 1791. 
Died April 17. 1882. 

In Memory of 
Tsaac Nichols, who died May 22, 
A. D. 1776, in the 41" Year of his 
Age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Sarah Nichols, Relict of Mr. 
Isaac Nichols, who died Oct. 5. 1815, 
Aged 81 years. 

Here lies Buried the Body of 
TheophUus Nichols, Esqr.. Who 
departed this Life April the 7*^. 1774» 
Aged 71 Years. 

Here lies Buried the Body of 
Sarah Nichols, Wife to Theophilus 
Nichols. Esqr., Who departed this 
Life sept, the 26*'*, 1769, in the 68"» 
Year of Her Age. 

Here Lyes Buried the Body of 
Mrs. MeJietoMe Nichols, Wife of 
Theophilus Nichols, Esq. Who died 
September ye 20*\ 177*. Aged 52 
Years. 

[Tablet.] 
In Memory of 
Mrs. Abigail Norris, Wife of Rob- 
ert Norris, who departed this life 
August 19**', 1805, aged 26 Years, 2 
Months & 9 Days. 

I shall be satisfied When I awake with thy 
likeness. 

In Memory of 

Betsey, wife of Capi. Samuel Peck, 

who died Jan. 4, 1835. M 54 yrs. 

In Memory of 

Capt. Samuel Feck, who died 

Aug. II. 1837.-^- 59 yrs. 



In Memory of 
JDelia, dau. of Capt. Samuel Peck, who 

died March 21, 1835. Aged 14 Years 

and 5 Months. 
Henry, son of Capt. Samuel & Betsey 

Peck, died May 7, 1826, aged 9 years. 
Here lyes Buried y« Body of 
Mr. Jonathan ritman, Who died 

December isi. 1731, Aged 91 Years. 
J>avid, the Son of Mr. Peter & Mrs. 

Mary Pixlee, Died Sept. the i8, 1751, 

in y* 9 year of his age. 

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. 
Emetine A., Daughter of Samuel & 

Eliza Plumb, died Jan. 8, 1851, M, 

20 yrs. 

The Choir of Christ Church erect this stone 
to the memory of their late associate. 

Frederick F. Flumb, Son of Sam- 
uel & Eliza Plumb, died Feb. 14, 
1862, iE. 19. 

In Memory of 
Lucius Flumb, who died June 7, 
1862. iE. 70. 

Rest in Peace. 

Our Mother. 
Julia, wife of Lucius Plumb, died 
Oct. 12, 1857, M. 55 yrs. & 6 Mo. 
^'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." 

In Memory of 
Miss Mary Porter, who died Jan. 
7. 1829, Aged 28 years. 

Here lies Interr'd the Body of 
Mr. John Fryn, late of Antigua, 
who Departed this Life November the 
23'**, 1 75 1. Aged 51 Years. 
Harriet E., Relict of James E. Rich- 
ardson, Died Oct. 5, 1858, In the 41** 
I year of her age. 

I John NisbU, son of James E. & Har- 

i riet E. Richardson, died Oct. 31, 1854, 

I M. 8 yrs. & 9 mo. 

James, son of Patrick & Catharine 

Riley, Died Oct. 25, 1845 : aged 13 

Months, 

In Memory of 
Obed JRobeHs, who died Dec. i, 1824: 

Aged 72. • 

Alfred, son of John & Mary Roose- 
velt. Died Sept. 27. 1810, aged 71 
years. 

In Memory of 
John Boosevelt, who died Nov. i^, 
1810, aged 57 years. 
I In Memory of 

Ann Boosevelt, wife of John Roose- 
I velt, who died Feb. 15. 1834: JE 78. 



Inscriptions in the Episcopal Burying-place. 



345 



Here rests in Peace the body of 
Elizabeth, wife of Jacob June, who 
departed this life the 2^ day of Sep- 
tember, A. D. 1799. of the then pre- 
vailing Epidemic: Aged 39 years, 
6 mo. and 26 days. 

To her Memorv this token of affectionate 
esteem is dedicated by^ her surviving partner. 
Of lovely form, kind and sincere, 
Was she that now reposes here. 
In her each milder virtue met. 
Virtues that I can never forget, 
But patiently those joys resifj^o. 
Which heaven decreed no longer mine. 

Mary Wells, the wife of John Roose- 
velt, died March i, 1863, JE. 82 Years. 

In Memory of 
Mary E», daughter of John & Mary 
Roosevelt, who died March 9, 1839, 
aged 24 years. 

In Memory of 
Ann SaUerly, who died June 2, 
1828, in the 32 year of her age. 

Here lies the Body of 
Mr. Thomas StUman, who was 

born in Chippenham, in England, 
was a worthy member of y* Church 
of England here, & y* ingenious 
Architect of the Church, & Departed 
this Life J any. 20*'», 1749-50, in y* 57"' 
year of his age. 

Here lies y* Body of 
Mrs. Sarah Salnbon, the wife of 
Mr. Thos. Salmon, who departed this 
life March y« 15*^, 1750, aged 55 
Years. 

Charles Scott, died Dec. 21, 1827, 
-^.13. 

Here lies the Body of 
Mr. Ebenezer Sherman, Junr., 

who departed this life January 14*^, 
A. D. 1764, in the 44*'* Year of His 
Age. 

Here lyes Buried y* Body of 
Mrs. Mary Slierman, Wife to Mr. 
Ebenezer Sherman, Who Departed 
this Life March y* 30*^ A. D. 1752, 
Aged 35 years & 4 mo. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. JElizabeth Sherman, Wife to 
Mr. Timothy Sherman : who died 
December lo*'*, 1766, in y* 52** Year 
of Her Age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Naomi Sherman, Wife to 
Mr. Timothy Sherman, who departed 
this life Tany. 27"*, 1797, In the Ss^ 
Year of her Age. 



WiUiam E., son of John & Mariah 
Sherman, Died April 7, 1833, M 2yrs. 
& 3 mo. 

In Memory of 

Capt. John Silhy, who died May i, 
1825, aged 55 years. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Betsey Silby, wife of Mr. John 

Silbey; who died Feb. 4, 1822, aged 44 

years & 9 months. 

This Stone is erected by John Silby, 

Jr., In Memory of his Father, 
Mr. John SUhy, who died Deer. 

25 th, 1800. 

Everett Davis^ Son of Isaac & Sarah 

C. SniflSn, Died Jan. 14, 1843, Aged 

8 mo. 
John Stratton, Died Nov. 22, 1850, 

^.79. 
Charity, Wife of John Stratton, Died 

Nov. 15, 1871, Aged 89. 

In Memory of 

Elizabeth Thatcher, who died 
April 10, 1817, JE, 70 yrs. 
In Memory of 2 Children of Mr. Jo- 
seph & Mrs. Mary Thompson, viz : 

Isaac, who died Octr. 17*^, 1776, aged 
3 years, 4 months & 18 days, & also 

Joel, who died October 17 16, aged i 
Year. 

In Memory of 

Mr. Joseph Thompson, Junr., 
who departed this Life Octr. 17, A. D. 
1776, Aged 29 years & 19 days. 

Mrs. Temperance Thompson, 

Wife of Mr. Joseph Thompson, De- 
parted this Life Jany 8*^, 1790, In 
the 70 Year of her Age. 

In Memory of 
Mrs. Esther, relict of Doct. Abraham 

Tomlinson, who died Dec. 28, 1831, 

aged 66 yrs. & 4 mo. 
John, Son of W"*. & Diana Vance, 

died Mar. 18, 1828, iEt. 2 yrs. 
Here lies Intered the Body of 
Mr. Peter Viou, who Departed this 

life November the 11*^, 1751, in the 

25*^ year of his age. 
Miss Frances Waldecker, died 

Sept. 22, 1813, aged 67 years. 
Miss Sarah Waldecker, died 

April 10, 1812, aged 58 years. 

In Memory of 
James Walker, Esar., Who de- 
parted this Life June 9"*, 1796, In the 
8i«» Year of his Age. 



346 



History of Stratford. 



Mrs. Jerusha WcUkeVf Relict of 
James Walker, Esq'. Died July 8*\ 
1803, in the 8 7*** year of her ago. 

In Memory of 
Benjamin Weils, who died June 8, 
18 18, age 73 years. 

In Memory of 
JEliZ€tbeih, wife of Benjam'in Wells, 
who died Oct. 29, 1823, aged 71 years. 

In Memory of 
Curiiss J. Wells, who died June 4, 

1847, -/E. 77 years. 

Muth Hawley, the wife of Curtiss T. 
Wells, died April 24, 1863. iE. 86 
Years. 

In Memory of 
Legrand Wells, who died April 15, 

1848, i£. 84. 

In Memory of 

^hebe, wife of Legrand Wells, who 

died Oct. 23, 1810, Aged 76 Years. 

In Memory of Two Children of Le- 

Grand & Gate Wells, 
Busana, died Oct. 8^^, 1803, aged 9 

years. 
Martha Carllne, died August 29^, 

1803, aged 2 Years. 

In Memory of 
JLewis Wells, 3rd, who died April 
3"», 1841, iE. 41. 

Jvlia, Wife of Lewis Wells, 3'*, Died 
Jan. 20, 1850, M. 50. 

Meuhen Wells, died June 12, 1859, 
iE. 85. 



In Memory of 

Samuel W. Wells, who died June 

zi, 1822, Aged 54. 

Also 

Mary E. WeUs, Wife of Samuel W. 

Wells, died July I. 1850, aged 81. 
Charles S. Whiting, Died Nov. 7, 

1845, -*:. 65. 

SaUy, his wife, Died Nov. 20, 1842, 
iE. 62. 

Chirtis J. Whiting, Died June 14, 
1854. M, 76 yrs. 

Fanny Mott, Wife of Curtis J. Whit- 
ing, Died Aug. 22. 1872, M. 80 Yrs., 
6 Mo. 

Catharine A., Daughter of Curtis 
J. & Fannie M. Whiting, Died Aug. 
12, 1874. M, 65 Yrs., 6 Mo. 

Here lyes Buried the Body of 
Mrs* Sarah Wilcox, Wife to Mr. 
Elisha Wilcox, who died Feb. lo**", 
1788, in the 43^ Year of her Age. 

Sacred to the Memory of 
Mrs. Sarah Ann, the wife of Mr. 
Daniel Worden, of Goshen, N. Y., 
who died August 4, 1835, aged 32. 
Here lyes Buried y* Body of 
Capi. Abram Wooster. Died Sept. 
y« I, 1 741 (?), In y* 70 Year of his 
Age. 

[Tablet.] 
Sacred to the Memory of 
Colonel Joseph Wooster, who died 
December 30", 1791, Aged 89 Years. 
Also of 
Mrs. Jjucy Wooster, Wife of Colo- 
nel Joseph Wooster, who died Octo- 
ber i8*'», 1760, Aged 32 Years. 
And I heard a voice from Heaven Baying un- 
to me, Write Blessed are the dead who die in 
in the Lord. 



CHAPTER XIV. 




ECCLESIASTICAL PROGRESS. 

N the great excitement and religious con- 
troversy following Whitefield's visit to 
Stratford, considerable changes occurred, 
some in favor of, and others against, the 
prosperity of the place. Those things 
which resulted in renewed religious activity 
by which two new houses of worship were 
erected, were in favor, and those which 
caused the removal from the town of a num- 
ber of first-class citizens were against the 
best interests of the place. 

Whitefield's stay in Stratford extended 
to a few hours only. He preached in New 
Haven on Sunday, and on Monday morn- 
ing came to Stratford, preached at the 
meeting-house, probably outside, in the 
open air; dined with the Rev. Mr. Gold, then went to Fair- 
field, where he preached in the afternoon of the same day. 

The idea of charging Whitefield with extravagancies 
and turning " the world upside down," in one sermon or in 
a few hours, is too simple, unless there was something more 
than human in his preaching, in which case it would be still 
niore dishonorable to make the charge. There had been an 
unusual revival of religious interest in New England for sev- 
eral years, and Whitefield's preaching was in accord with 
that revival. After Mr. Whitefield's departure, unlettered, 
and unlearned men, as well as some who were learned, made 
vastly more trouble by extravagancies and unwise proceed- 
ings than Whitefield ever countenanced, or probably ever 
dreamed of. 

There was great excitement in Stratford, unquestionably, 
and the one thought or doctrine that produced it, was the 



348 



History of Stratford. 



question of a decided, definite, clear understanding, as to a 
personal experience, or ** change of heart" in religious things. 
This was an old orthodox doctrine, then revived, especially 
in the Calvinistic form. In the Congregational churches 
some accepted this doctrine as the only assurance of heaven, 
while others held more to the efficiency of a careful, dutiful 
life of obedience to, and support of, Bible teachings, to secure 
the same end. Mr. Gold held to the former — which view has 
been termed in Congregational churches, as well as others, 
for over one hundred years, the evangelical— and some of Mr. 
Gold's leading men held to the latter ; and hence, desired and 
finally secured Mr. Gold's dismission. 

In the midst of this controversy and excitement, which 
lasted ten years, the Rev. Richardson Miner of Unity, an 
acceptable Congregational minister, and a much esteemed 
practising physician, resigned his pastorate and joined the 
Church of England, in 1744. Several families in Stratford 
had made a like change previous to this, and some followed. 
The result is seen in the officers of the Episcopal Church. 

From 1725, until 1737 or 8, a few men had served in those 
offices, so far as the records show ; namely, John Benjamin, 
John Kee, Nehemiah Loring and Richard Rogers. In 1739, 
a much longer list is recorded,* indicating, either the increase 

^ "Easter Monday, 1739. Church Wardens chosen and appointed to gather 
the minister's rate and to give our account of it to the Commissar)' for the year 



For Stratford j J"''" ^°j*'"'° 



For Ripton 



Zachary Clarke, 
j Joseph Shelton 
( John Beard sley. 



Vestry 



' William Smith. 

Samuel French. 

Samuel Blagge. 

William Beach. 

Joseph Brown. 

Gershom Edwards. 

Captain Hubbell. 

Ephraim Curtiss. 

Lieutenant Fairchild. ^ 

Doctor Laborie. 

Millar Frost. 

Thomas Lattin. 

Hugh Curland. 

" The same day. Voted that we pay this year towards the support of our minis- 
ter 4 pence farthing upon the pound of our Ratable Estate." In 1748 the Vestry 
* Voted the same Rate to Dr. Johnson that the Dissenters pay to Mr. Gold.** 



The Episcopal Church. 349 

of numbers or a more complete organization and the keeping 
of a full record. 

In 1741, others appear, as: "Edmund Lewis, Esq., Mr. 
Joseph Lewis, Mr. Jonathan Curtiss, Capt. James Lewis, Mr. 
Ebenezer Hurd and Dr. William Russell;" and in 1746, 
Capt. Theophilus Nichols ; all but Dr. Russell were of the 
old Stratford families. 

Several of these men had been members in full commun- 
ion in the Congregational Church from fifteen to twenty 
years — Edmund Lewis, Esq., and Capt. James Lewis, from 
fifteen to eighteen, and Capt. Theophilus Nichols and his wife 
over twenty years. 

Hence, it appears that a number of persons of the old 
way of thinking or the conservative element, who were op- 
posed to the New Light movement, left the Congregational 
and joined the Episcopal Church, while Mr. Gold continued 
to preach, and when he was dismissed in 1752, a number of 
leading men in favor of his preaching, removed from the par- 
ish, to North Stratford, Ripton, New Haven; and others 
went further — to Waterbury, Newtown and New Milford ; 
thus affecting, decidedly, the strength and numbers of the old 
church and society. 

But the increased interest in religion, soon led to new 
efibrts to promote the cause, and hence, as has been recorded, 
in a previous chapter, the Congregational people built them 
a new house of worship in 1743, raising the money by a tax 
on the property held by the members of the society. 

The Episcopal Society built a house also in 1743 ; but on 
the principle of stock ownership, and not by a public tax ; and 
so far as the author of this history has learned, it was the first 
house of worship built on this plan in this region of country. 

The subscription' to secure the money to build this house 

* " We whose names are hereunto subscribed being convinced that it is our duty 
to contribute what we are able towards building a Church for y* Honour and 
Glory of God in this town to be set apart for his worship and service according to 
the excellent method of the Church of England Do hereby cheerfully and seriously 
devote to God the following sums (in the old tenor) annexed to our several names 
to be employed for the promoting of that pious undertaking. 

Stratford February )'• 2<*, 1742-3. 



350 



History of Stratford, 



is dated in February, 1742-3, and gives the names, probably, 
of nearly all the contributors at that time. 

The money to build the church being secured, the next 
great question was where to locate it. Two deeds for sites 
were recorded ; one, of a lot on Watch-house hill, and the 
other near that of the present church, in both of which it is 



Sm. Johnson, a bell, ;f300 

Wm. Beach 250 

Wm. Russell 5 

Abm. Savage... 5 

Charles Curtiss 30 

Rich* Salmon 3 

Israel Curtiss 4 

Joseph Lewis, J r a 

Samuel Thompson 3 

Peter Foot 15 

s^ Ephraim Fairchild 10 

John Barly 5 

Jeremiah French. 10 

George Ty ley 10 

Joseph Lamson... . 2 

John Brooks 5 

Daniel Munson 3 

By a person unknown lo 

John Kiely 2 

David Lewis «.... 20 

Eliezer Newhall 20 

Timo. Bontecou 15 

Edmond Booth • 10 

David Brooks 4 

Ephraim Burrit 10 

;- Ebenezer Sherman 5 

' Joseph Burdsey 12 

Ebenezer Hurd 30 

Josh. Foot 00 

John Arnold 00 

James Beach 5 

Wm. Lamson 40 

Nehemiah Beard slee 7 

Sam" Benjamin- 20 

Wm Leese 5 

, Elnathan Peet 60 

i Nathan Peet 20 

Edward Allen 25 



00 00 Bemslee Peters ....;^io 

00 00 Sam" Preston 10 

0000 Sam" Folsom 12 

00 00 j Eph. Osburn 10 

00 00 Edmond Lewis 70 

00 00 Ephra"* Curtiss... 50 

00 00 James Lewis 30 

00 00 Abel Burdsey 60 

00 00 Daniel Hawley 40 

00 00 Joseph Lewis 40 

0000 Ambrous Thompson 30 

00 00 Gersh" Edwards 50 

00 00 John Benjamin ... . 50 

00 00 Joseph Browne 30 

00 00 James Dunlop...... 40 

00 00 Benjamin Peirce 8 

00 00 Paul Maverick 10 

00 00 Joseph Prince -. 20 

00 00 Ebenezer Curtiss .. 15 

00 00 Eliphelet Curtiss 60 

00 00 Joseph Thompson 20 

00 00 James Lewis, J un 15 

0000 Sam" Jones 10 

00 00 Tim® Sherman 35 

0000 Hew Curland • 3 

00 00 Ephraim Hawley 15 

0000 Ephraim Lewis .15 

0000 David Fansher 5 

10 00 Abra™ Blackman 6 

10 00 James Frost 3 

00 00 Tho» Stratton 4 

00 00 Joseph Laine 5 

00 00 Edmund Lewis 20 

0000 William Wells 10 

0505 Joseph Go rham 5 

00 00 Daniel Foot 3 

00 00 Natl" Lamson 2 

00 00 William Beach 750 

A true copy. John Benjamin, Clerk.' 



00 


00 


00 


00 


00 00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


GO 


00 


GO 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


02 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 


00 



J 



Second Episcopal Church. 351 

stated that the purpose was to erect a church upon them, and 
the latter one was retained and occupied, while the other was 
sold. 

Tradition says, as well as the Rev. Samuel Peters, that 
there was much excitement about securing this site; that the 
Congregationalists opposed the proposition of locating it on 
the hill near the meeting-house. It is said, the site on the 
hill was secured first and afterwards the one on Main street, 
but the deeds are dated quite the reverse — the one on Main 
street, April 16, 1743, and the one on the hill. May 24, 1743. 

The building committee were as follows: 

** February y* 2, 1742-3. Unanimously chosen by y* 
members of the Church of England in Stratford Town a 
committee to take care for y* building a new church in 
Stratford. 

Coll. Edmond Lewis. John Benjamin. 

Capt. James Lewis. Mr. Ambrose Thompson. 

Mr. Ephraim Curtiss. Capt. Gershom Edwards. 

Mr. Daniel Hawley. Mr. Joseph Lewis. 

Mr. Joseph Brown. Mr. Thomas Lattin. 

July, 1744. Voted that Theo'. Nickols, Esqr., also be one 
ot the committee, and Mr. Wm. Lamson. 

" Voted the same time that whatsoever shall be done by 
the Church Wardens for y* time being, and any five of the 
Com*, shall be held valid by y* whole community." 

The seating of the church was arranged according to the 
following : ** It was unanimously voted y* ist day of Jan- 
uary, 1744-5, that the proprietors of y* church should chuse 
^heir ground for their pews according to what they have 
given towards building the same." 

The property was secured to the church by the following : 

"January ye 14, 1744-5. It w*as unanimously voted by 
y® minister and Church Wardens and committee of y* new 
church in Stratford, called Christ'^ Church, that if any per- 
sons that have or ever hereafter shall have Rights in pews in 
sd. Church, that if they shall leave sd. Church, they and their 
heirs ; that in that case y* Rights they have in said Church 
shall be Resigned for the Benefit of sd. Church ; to be dis- 



Titherton and 
Wm. Smith. 



B 



•3 



I I 



s 
.3 









4 

s 



o 
O 



o 2 5 

CQCQ 



IS I 
Is S 



Timo. 
Bountecou. 



V 



^ 


? 




s§ 


•5 




IS 


5 




g 




« o* 






9^ 


no 




5 


S 




a 


r 




Wm. Smith. 


David Lewis. Mr. French. 


.Richd. 


Bphm. 1 Blackleach. 


Burnt. BothBlaggs. 
Capt. Hubbil. 


1 M. Porter. 


Ebenr. Hurd. 






Eliph. 




Curtiss. 


Mr. Newhall. 




Mr. Joseph 


Charles 


Lewis.! Curti8S.| 


Bcnjm. Lewis 


Jerh. French. 


Abrm. 


Thomas 


Savage. 


LatUn. 


Mrs. Tree. 


Mr. Pryn. 


Samuel 


Mr. Joseph 


Preston. 


Shelton. 


Ebenr. 

Sherman. 


Capt. Jos. 
Woostcr. 


John Hurd. 


Thos. 

Stratton. 


Thos. Lalcc. 


Thos.Daskem 


Benj. Pierce. 


Ricd. Burton. 



James 
Frost. 



Doct. 
Benjm. 
Warner. 



J 



Minister*s 
Pew. 


Ambs. 

Thompson. 

Doct. 

Munson. 

Capt. 

Coldwell. 


Coll. Lewis 

and 
Capt. Lewis. 


Mr. Abel and 

Joseph 

Burdsey, 


Paul 

Maverick. 


Capt. Joseph 
Prince. 

Mra. Series. 


Rev. Dr. 
S. Johnson. 


John 

Benjamin. 


Capt, 
Gershom 
Edwards. 


Timothy 

Sherman. 

Samll. 

Benjamin. 


Peter Foot 

Samuel 

Folsom. 


Thompson. 

Neh. 

Beardslee. 

Jos. Nichols, 


Thos. Salmon 

Mrs. Loring 
and family. 


C. Burroughs 
Stephen Frost 


Abraham 
Patterson. 

William 

Watkins. 


Samuel 

FairchUd. 




Mrs. 

Laborie. 

Benjm. 
Arnold. 

Mrs. 

Whitnee. 













o 
8- 



K 



OS. A 

IB* • 



II 



Capt. Theoa. 
Nickoto. 



Pews and occupants in the Episcopal Chxtbch, Steatfobd, in 1745. 



Second Episcopal Church. 353 

posed of as y* minister, Church Wardens and vestry then in 
being shall think most for the advantage of the same Church." 

Some of the material for this church may have been, 
brought from England, but it was only a small proportion 
if any (the pulpit, and perhaps the chancel ornaments), 
as the Warden's record book now shows. A credit to Colonel 
Edmund Lewis stands: ** about 12 loads of timber got in his 
land, 34 trees, ;^03-o8." Lieut. Joseph Wooster furnished in 
'•July, 1743, 12,000 feet of pine siding at ten pounds per thous- 
and, and 2,000 feet of sash plank at £1^ per thousand ; 244 
feet of pine boards at 20 s. per thousand ; and '* iron for y® 
spindle for y* weathercock." In AugCist, 1744, Capt. James 
Lewis is credited, by ** John rending 3400 lath for the church, 
y4-os ;" and soon after to 1250 more lath ; which shows that 
the edifice was not completed until the autumn of 1744. 

Several items of credit on the account book show that 
the workmen were engaged nine days in raising the frame of 
this church ; and from many items recorded it is certain that 
the amount of timber in it was very great. 

The Rev. Samuel Peters, in connection with his account 
of the Indian powwow on Stratford point, makes the follow- 
ing record in reference to the building of this church, or the 
one preceding it, for it is difficult to determine which he in- 
tended : 

** When the Episcopalians had collected timber for a 
church, they found the devils had not left the town, but only 
changed their habitations— ^had left the savages and entered 
into fanatics and wood. In the night before the church was 
to be begun, the timber set up a country dance, skipping 
about, and flying in the air, with as much agility and sul- 
phurous stench as ever the devils had exhibited around the 
camp of the Indian pawwawers. This alarming circumstance 
would have ruined the credit of the church, had not the Epis- 
copalians ventured to look into the phenomenon, and found 
the timber to have been bored with augurs, charged with gun 
powder, and fired off by matches : — a discovery, however, of 
bad consequence in one respect — it has prevented the annal- 
ists of New England from publishing this among the rest of 
their miracles."' 

• History of Connecticut by the Rev. Samuel Peters. 



354 History of Stratford. 

This sketch, with many others in Mr. Peters* book, might 
easily be taken for a moderately good burlesque but for the 
fact that some historians quote the book seriously as authentic 
history. 

The following record concerning the clock is of interest, 
although it is unfortunate that they did not write more par- 
ticulars about it : 

"An agreement made this 25th day of Feb^ 1750-51, be- 
tween the Church Wardens of Christ Church in Stratford, and 
John Davis, clock maker, a stranger, and is as followeth : 

** That the said Davis is to keep the clock of said church 
in good repair for two years from the date hereof and to have 
for his labour five pounds for each year, provided the said 
clock goes well the said time; if not, he is to have nothing 
for his labor, and the first five pounds to be paid at the end 
of the first year, and the other five pounds at the second year ; 
and that the Church Wardens are not to be put to more 
trouble about paying the money than to pay it either in Strat- 
ford or Fairfield ; and to be paid in old tenor money." 

Two full years were occupied, apparently, in building 
and finishing this church edifice; for much, if not all the 
lathing and plastering were done in the summer of 1744, and 
the regulations for seating the church were not made until 
January, 1744-5. The work for obtaining lime, is indicated 
by charges for drawing loads of wood for burning loads of 
shells, and was no small item in the finishing of such an edifice. 

When the church was completed and the clock placed in 
the tower, there was one thing lacking, the privation of which 
they endured until the beginning of the year 1756, when they 
undertook the enterprise of securing an organ for their house 
of worship. A subscription* was raised for annual payments 



" Stratford, February it^, 1756. 
^ " The following proposals for the purchase of an organ for the use of Christ 
Church in this town are offered by Mr. Gilbert Deblois of Boston, Merchant 
'*That the price of the said organ is to be fixed at Sixty pounds sterling. 
"That the time allowed for the payment of the said sum be six years from the 
time of its being delivered, and this to.be made in the six equal payments of ton 
pounds sterling per annum, without any demand of interest. That the said organ 
be delivered at Stratford by the last of April next, if it can be completed by that 



Second Episcopal Church, 



355 



during six successive years, at ten pound a year, and by it 
the instrument was obtained, and was in its place in the 
"organ loft," March 27, 1758, when the officers of the church 
appointed Mr. John Benjamin, organist, and from that time 
he was yearly elected by the same authority to the same office 
until 1773 ; serving the church in that capacity sixteen years, 



time and there should be a convenient opportunity for shipping it. That the said 
Mr. Gilbert Doblois do take upon himself all the risque in transporting the s<^ 
organ round from Boston to Stratford. 

** We the subscribers do hereby accept the above mentioned proposals, and 
do hereby oblige ourselves and our heirs to the just payment of the respective 
sums yearly which are with our names herein expressed, to continue during the 
term of the six next succeeding years. 

" Witness our hands. The money to be collected above, we also agree to pay 
into the hands of Mr. John Benjamin. 



Lawful Money. 
Edmund Lewis two dollars and a 

half ;fo-i5 

David Lewis five dollars a year ...i-io 
David Brooks three dollars a year.o-iS 
JamesWilloughby one dollar a year o- 6 
Nathaniel Curtis of N. Stratford one 

dollar pr. year o- 6 

Charles Curtis two dollars pr. year 0-12 
Jere Judson Curiiss two dollars pr. 

year -.-0-12 

W" Samuel Johnson 20/ per ann.-i-oo 
John Benjamin twelve shillings pr. 

year -0-12 

Gershom Edwards one dollar and 

half _ o- 9 

Madam Beach a sett of Curtains 

and fringes for the Organ loft 

Edward Winslow two dollars pr. 

annum 0-12 

Joseph Lewis two dollars pr. annum 0-12 
Joseph Lewis, Jr. one dollar pr. 

annum.. o- 6 

Watman Duncan ope dollar pr. 

annum o- 6 

Timothy Sherman three dollars pr. 

annum 0-18 

Joseph Nickols three dollars pr. 

annum 0-18 



Lawful Money. 

Andrew Hurd one dollar pr. an- 
num ;^o- 6 

Alexander Zuill o- 8 

Abijah Beach twenty shillings pr. 
annum ..i-oo 

John Backus one and a half dollars 
pr. annum. o- 9 

John Robertson three dollars pr. 
annum 0-18 

Abraham Patterson one dollar pr. 
year .--o- 6 

Abel Beach four dollars pr. annum i- 4 

Samuel Jones two dollars pr. an- 
num 0-12 

LeGrand Cannon two dollars and 
half - ^ 0-12* 

Edward Hawley one dollar and half 
pr. annum o- 9 

Theophilus NicuUs three dollars 
pr. year 0-18 

Edmund Burrltt half a dollar 0-03 

Ambrose Thompson two dollars pr. 
annum .-0-12 

Edward Allen two dollars pr. an- 
num 0-12 

Harpin Jr. one dollar pr. an- 
num -.0- 6 



Jean Harpin two dollars 0-12 

* This is so carried out on the record. 



3S6 History of Stratford. 

and perhaps several years longer^ since the records make no 
mention of an organist from 1773 to 1779, when Capt. George 
Benjamin is appointed to that service. So far as seen, no 
mention is made of remuneration to the organist until 1786. 
In 1780 Philip Benjamin was appointed organist; and in 
1783, Asa Benjamin was elected to that place. In 1786 they 
voted to give the organist twenty dollars per year for his 
services. 

On the 8th of July, 1744, the new church was opened 
with a sermon by Dr. Johnson, although it was not then 
plastered, and probably the pews were not then made. 

Ten years he preached in this church, seeing large and 
encouraging results from his own labors and those of his 
brethren, and then he accepted the presidency of the college 
at New York. He neither resigned his parish at Stratford 
nor removed his family. The parish continued to raise his 
salary and when he could not hold service with them he 
secured one to do it. Alter some years this course secured 
the following entry in the Warden's record book : 

" Stratford April 8, 1765. 
" To prevent misunderstanding what I propose with 
regard to the money rates is this ; not to take any of it to 
m3'self but after crossing out the names of such as I think 
subjects of Charity, to order the Church wardens to see that 
it be punctually collected and let out at interest and pre- 
served to the sole purpose of establishing a fund towards the 
better support of my successor excepting only so much as 
from time to time shall be found needful to use in rewarding 
any gentleman whom I shall need to call to assist me in cases 
of infirmity. Samuel Johnson." 



The Episcopal Church. 357 

Judging from the history of one hundred and forty years, 
the sudden and rapid progress of the Episcopal Church in 
Stratford, for about ten years, resulting in the completion of 
a new Church about 1750, was of very great importance to 
the success of that denomination in America. The accession 
of a few prominent citizens of Stratford to this church added 
greatly to the prominence of Dr. Johnson and his people in 
the Colonies, and the more than ordinary elegance of the new 
church edifice contributed also to the same result. 

Dr. Johnson seems to have appreciated these facts in his 
l€tter to the Society, September 29, 1748, when he says: 

** As to the Church in this town, it is in a flourishing con- 
dition, one family having been added, and more looking for- 
ward, and thirty-one have been baptized, and eight added to 
the communion, since my last; our new Church is almost fin- 
ished, in a very neat and elegant manner, the architecture 
being allowed in some things to exceed anything done before 
in New England. We have had some valuable contributions, 
and my people have done as well as could be expected from 
their circumstances, which are generally but slender; but 
there is one of them who deserves to be mentioned in partic- 
ular for his generosity, — Mr. Beach, brother of the Reverend 
Mr. Beach, who, though he has a considerable family, has 
contributed above three thousand pounds, our currency, to it 
already, and is daily doing more, and designs to leave an 
annuity, in perpetuum, toward keeping it in repair."* 

This edifice was not only remarkable in its architecture 
and finish, but also returned a full compensation for all the 
expense put upon it, in its durability, for it continued in use 
until the present Church was opened on the 29th of July, 1858, 
having served the purpose of its construction one hundred 
and fourteen years. 

The height of the progress of this Church, for many 
years, seems to have been attained about the time Dr. John- 
son became president of the College at New York. Having 
attained a good degree of strength and numbers it did well 
until the opening of the Revolutionary War, when all out- 

• History of the Church in Conn., i. 157. 
34 



358 History of Stratford. 

ward circumstances were against its progress, yet it continued 
its services probably until July, 1776. 

Dr. Johnson remained the Rector until his decease in 
1772 ; but his strength failed him somewhat so that an assistant 
became necessary and was secured, as shown by the parish 
vote, January 6, 1768, when "it was unanimously voted that 
the Rev. Mr. Ebenezer Kneeland be an assistant to the Rev. 
Doct' Johnson our pastor, and also our missionary during his 
natural life." 

Mev. JEJbenefter Kneelo/nd was a graduate of Yale 
College in 1761 ; went to England for ordination three years 
later, returned to this country and served for a time as 
chaplain in a British regiment, and settled in Stratford ac- 
cording to the above vote.' 

Upon the decease of Dr. Johnson, Mr. Kneeland suc- 
ceeded to the Mission in Stratford, with all the emoluments 
of his predecessor. The church wardens and others, in re- 
questing his appointment, gave these reasons for claiming a 
continuance of the Society's bounty : 

'* As Stratford is situate upon the great road from Boston 
to New York, Mr. Kneeland must inevitably be at a greater 
expense than any Missionary in the interior towns ; so that 
from the decline of trade, the death and failure of several of 
our principal members, from the increasing price of the 
necessaries of life, the scarcity of money, and the extraordi- 
nary expenses a missionary must be at here, we may truly say 
we have not needed the assistance of the Venerable Society 
more for fifteen years past than we do at present. . . . We 
are now endeavoring to raise money to enlarge the glebe, but, 
for the reasons before mentioned, fear we shall meet with 
little success ; however, our best endeavors shall not be want- 
ing to complete the same."* 

Mr. Kneeland served the parish until his decease, April 

17» ^777- 

Bev. Samuel Johnson, I>J>.y was bom in Guilford, 

^ History of the Church, i. 369. 
8 Dr. Beardsley's History of the Church, i. 297. 

* This sketch of Dr. Johnson is taken largely from the Rev. Dr. £. £. Beards- 
ley's " Life and Correspondence of Samuel Johnson." 



Dr. Samuel Johnson, 359 

Connecticut, Oct. 14, 1696, and was the son of Dea, Samuel 
and Mary (Sage) Johnson ; the grandson of Dea. William 
Johnson, — and his wife Elizabeth Bushnell, — who came to 
America when twelve years of age, with his father, Robert 
Johnson, from Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire, England, 
and was at New Haven in 1641. 

Samuel Johnson passed his preparatory studies largely by 
private instruction and entered Yale College and was gradu- 
ated in 1 714, the college then being at Saybrook. He soon 
after commenced -teaching in his native town, where he re- 
ceived, the next year, some of the Yale students and acted as 
their tutor until the college was settled at New Haven, when 
he was elected one of the tutors for that institution, and 
served until the election of the Rev. Timothy Cutler to the 
rectorship or presidency of that institution in 1719. March 
20, 1720, he was ordained pastor of the Congregational Church 
at West Haven, where he continued to serve two years when 
he with three others — Mr. Timothy Cutler, Mr. Daniel 
Brown, and Mr. James Wetmore declared themselves in favor 
of the Episcopal Church. The same year they went to Eng- 
land for ordination, and Mr. Johnson, after securing it, and 
the honorary degree of Master of Arts bestowed by Oxford 
University, returned to his native land under a commission 
from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in For- 
eign Parts as a missionary to Stratford, where he arrived, 
November 4, 1723. 

Here he found a few communicants of his church and a 
number of others in adjoining towns, looking to him for oc- 
casional services, and that therefore the work was great and 
laborious. This would have been true if there had been no 
opposition to the introduction and success of another denom- 
ination, but as it was, the difficulties and labor were great and 
for a time almost insurmountable and disheartening, but Mr. 
Johnson was just the man for the place ; patient, not particu- 
larly sensitive, not enthusiastic, but enduring in hope and 
devoted to his work. He very soon saw evidences of suc- 
cess, indeed no faithful pastor could labor under like circum- 
stances without success, and therefore as he had been sent 
here to establish and build a Church, and had a heart to do 



360 History of Stratford. 

it, at just that time and place, he was successful in a very 
honorable degree. He had a decided literary and educa- 
tional taste, and therefore not only found employment as a 
minister, but also in efforts to lift up the masses in intellectual 
attainments and enterprises. He continued to exert a helpful 
influence at Yale College, which fact gave him a much larger 
influence in the State than he otherwise could have had. He 
found not only satisfaction in high educational attainments, 
but a force or popular influence which always reacted for his 
success as a minister, even though not put*forth for that end» 
but in a spirit of general benevolence. 

On the 26th of September, 1725, he married Charity 
NicoU, widow of Benjamin NicoU, of Islip, L. I., and daugh- 
ter of Col. Richard Floyd, of Brookhaven, L. I. She had by 
her former husband two sons and one daughter, and he at 
once began to prepare the sons for Yale College, where they 
were both graduated in 1734, and he doubtless had other 
students much if not all of the time he could devote to such 
work. There are evidences that his higher ambition and 
tastes in learning won for him and his church much favor 
even under the adverse circumstances in which he was 
placed. The record given on page 322 of this book as to the 
liberty to erect a school-house, indicates a public sentiment 
to this effect. 

Mr. Johnson's labors as a missionary extended to several 
towns in the State, whenever occasion required. He visited 
Ripton, Newtown, Reading, Fairfield, Stamford, and as far 
east as New London, and occasionally Rhode Island. Besides 
his labors in preaching and administering the sacraments, he 
had of necessity, as the first and most prominent clergyman 
in his church, a general oversight of the interests of that 
body in Connecticut; in correspondence, in commending 
men who went to England to receive orders, and in con- 
sulting with companies in various places who desired to 
organize churches and secure the services of ministers. All 
these he attended with great fidelity and discretion, and his 
labors were accompanied by a large degree of success, but 
nothing very especially satisfactory until about 1740, when 
the great religious interests and controversies of the New 
Light movement occurred in the Congregational churches. 



Dr. Samuel Johnson. 361 

At the Rev. George Whitefield's first visit in Connecti- 
cut, in 1740, there was but little opposition to him from the 
Congregational people. Very many went to hear him preach, 
and also many were very much stirred in their religious 
thoughts on the subject of being saved through Jesus, the 
only Saviour. And it is very certain there was great need of 
such awakening to the subject. The Rev. Mr. Gold had 
pursued a course of pastoral labor and preaching for eighteen 
years that readily accepted Mr. Whitefield's preaching, and 
many in his own congregation were awakened to, and greatly 
interested in the subject. 

Some way, how is not clearly revealed, Mr. Johnson and 
Mr. Gold became involved in a controversial correspondence. 
To illustrate the character of that controversy, and the 
excited, deep, sincere feeling on both sides, and as revealing 
some history of the times, a letter from each is here pro- 
duced, with the assurance that it is no fault of the historian 
that Mr. Johnson's letter is twice as long as Mr. Gold^s. 

Mr. Johnsons Letter.^'' 

"July 6, 1741. 

" Sir, — . . . I thought it my duty to write a few lines to 
you, in the spirit of Christian meekness, on this subject. 
And I assure you I am nothing exasperated at these hard 
censures, much less will I return them upon you. No, Sir! 
God forbid I should censure you as you censure me ! I have 
not so learned Christ ! I will rather use the words of my 
dear Saviour concerning those that censure so, and say, 
^ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' 

** As to my having no business here, I will only say that 
to me it appears most evident that I have as much business 
here at least as you have, — being appointed by a Society in 
England incorporated by Royal Charter to provide ministers 
for the Church people in America ; nor does his Majesty 
allow of any establishment here, exclusive of the Church, 
much less of anything that should preclude the Society he 
has incorporated from providing and sending ministers to 

'^ These letters are taken from the '* Life and Correspondence of Samuel 
Johnson," by the Rev. E. E. Beardsley. D.D. 



362 History of Stratford. 

the Church people in these countries. And as to my being^ 
' a robber of churches, I appeal to God and all his people, of 
both denominations, whether 1 have ever uncharitably cen- 
sured you, or said or done anything to disafiect or disunite 
your people from you, as on many occasions I might have 
done ; on the other hand, whether I have not on all occasions 
put people upon making the kindest constructions possible 
upon your proceedings, and whether there has ever been 
anything in mine or my people's conduct that could be justly 
interpreted to savor of spite or malice, though we have met 
with much of it from some of our neighbors. 

" If any of your people have left you, I appeal to them 
whether it has been owing to any insinuations of mine, and 
whether it has not been many times owing to your own 
conducting otherwise than in prudence you might have 
done, that they have been led to inquire, and upon inquiring 
to conform to this Church. And pray why have not Dis- 
senters here as much liberty to go to church, if they see 
good reason for it (as they will soon do if they seriously 
inquire), as Church people to go to meeting if they see fit, 
as some have done, without my charging you so highly? 
In short, all I have done which could be the occasion of any 
people leaving you, has been to vindicate our best of 
churches from injurious misrepresentations she has labored 
under from you and others; and this it was my bounden 
duty to do. 

" And indeed I shall think myself obliged in conscience 
to take yet more pains with Dissenters as well as Church 
people than I have ever yet done, if I see them in danger of 
being misled by doctrines so contrary to the very truth and 
spirit of the Gospel as have lately been preached among us 
up and down in this country. 

** And as to my Church being open to all wickedness, I 
appeal to God and all that know me and my proceedings 
whether I have not as constantly borne witness against all 
kinds of wickedness as you have, and been as far from pat- 
ronizing it as you have been, and must think my people are 
generally as serious and virtuous as yours. And lastly as to 
your censuring me and my people as being unconverted^ 



Dr. Samuel Johnson. 363 

etc., I will only beg you to consider whether yeu act the 
truly Christian part in thus endeavoring to disafFect my 
people towards my ministrations, and weaken and render 
abortive my endeavors for the good of their souls, when I 
know not that I have given you any occasion to judge me 
unconverted, — much less to set me out in such a formidable 
light to them. However, I leave these things. Sir, to your 
serious consideration, and beg you will either take an oppor- 
tunity to converse with me where and when you please, or 
rather return me a few lines, wherein (as you have judged 
me unconverted, etc.) I entreat you will plainly give me 
your reasons why you think me so; for as bad as I am, I 
hope I am open to conviction, and earnestly desirous not to 
be mistaken in an affair of so great importance, and the 
rather because I have not only my own, but many other 
souls to answer for, whom I shall doubtless mislead if I am 
misled myself. In compassion, therefore, to them and me, 
pray be so kind as to give us your reasons why you think us 
in such a deplorable condition. 

** In hopes of which I remain, Sir, your real well-wisher 
and humble servant S. J." 

The immediate reply to the above letter is not at hand, 
but another in reply to others is available. It is stated that 
Mr. Gold denied having made the severe statements alleged 
in the above letter. 

Mr. Gold's Letter. 

" Sir, — I don't wonder that a man is not afraid of sinning 
that believes he has power in himself to repent whenever he 
pleases, nor is it strange for one who dares to utter falsehoods 
of others to be ready at any time to confirm them with the 
solemnity of an oath, — especially since he adheres to a min- 
ister whom he believes has power to wash him from all his 
sins by a full and final absolution upon his saying he is sorry 
for them, etc. ; and as for the pleas which you make for Col. 
Lewis, and others that have broke away disorderly from our 
Church, I think there's neither weight nor truth in them ; 
nor do I believe such poor shifts will stand them nor you in 
any stead in the awful day of account; and as for your 



364 History of Stratford. 

saying that as bad as you are yet you lie open to conviction, 
— ^for my part I find no reason to think you do, seeing you 
are so free and full in denying plain matters of fact; and as 
for your notion about charity from that I Cor. xiii., my 
opinion is that a man may abound with love to God and 
man, and yet bear tesijimony against disorderly walkers, 
without being in the least guilty of the want of charity 
towards them. What! must a man be judged uncharitable 
because he don't think well nor uphold the willful miscar- 
riages and evil doings of others? This is surely a perverse 
interpretation of the Apostle's meaning. I don't think it 
worth my while to say anything further in the affair, and as 
you began the controversy against rule or justice, so I hope 
modesty will induce you to desist; and do assure you that if 
you see cause to make any more replies, my purpose is, 
without reading them, to put them under the pot among 
my other thorns and there let one flame quench the matter. 
These, sir, from your sincere friend and servant in all things 
lawful and laudable. Hez. Gold." 

** Stratford, July 21, 1741." 

In February, 1743, Mr. Johnson and his people began the 
proceedings which secured, within two years, a new church 
edifice; and shortly alter commencing this work he learned 
that in that same month the University of Oxford, England, 
had conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. 

The new Church was opened, though unfinished, by a 
sermon from Doctor Johnson, July 8, 1744, and he enjoyed the 
privilege of preaching in it regularly ten years, when in 1754 
he accepted the presidency of the New York College, al- 
though he neither resigned his pastorate nor removed his 
family from Stratford. 

His wife Charity died June i, 1758, and while in the col- 
lege in 1761, he married Mrs. Sarah, widow of William Beach 
of Stratford. She was the daughter of Capt. Joseph Hull, of 
Derby, born in 1701, and was great aunt to Gen. William 
Hull. She died of the small pox Feb. 9, 1763, in New York. 
Soon after this Dr. Johnson returned to Stratford where he 
had a home with his son Wm. Samuel until his decease, Jan. 
6, 1772. 



Biographical Sketches, 365 

The interesting details of the ministerial, religious, and 
literary life and character of Dr. Johnson are well portra)'ed 
in his ** Life and Correspondence,** by the Rev. E. E. Beards- 
ley, D.D,, of New Haven, Conn., in a volume of 380 pages, 
with a fine steel portrait. 

In the history of the Colony and State of Connecticut, 
he will ever hold a prominent place, and in that of the 
Episcopal Church in America it would be ingratitude not 
to accord him the honor of being its founder, and earliest 
as well as most successful champion and builder. 

Thomas Salmon, born in Chippenham, England, came 
from London to Stratford, and married Sarah, daughter of 
William Jeans, about 1719. He was an architect and super- 
intended the building of the first Episcopal Church at Strat- 
ford. The tradition in the family says, he brought the ceil- 
ing, the sounding-board, the pulpit, and other ornamental 
work in that Church with him from England." If this was 
so, then it seems that there must have been some move- 
ment or efforts in Stratford to build a Church in 1718 or 
1719, of which there is no record so far as known, or Mr. 
Salmon was sent to England for them. His gravestone, 
which, with that of his wife, is in the Episcopal burying- 
place, says he was '*a worthy member of the Church of 
England here, and the ingenius architect of the Church 
and departed this life January 20, 1749-50, in the 57th year 
of his age.*' From this it may be inferred that he was the 
architect of the second Church, built in 1743, and if so he 
was "an ingenius** and superior builder. 

John BenjanUn came to Stratford about 1726, and in 
Jan. 1726-7, purchased " a certain messuage tenement and shop 
.... at a place called Pond brook, and one-quarter of an acre 
of land whereon the house and shop stand, the land being 
' bounded all round with highways and common land.* " This 
property he exchanged in 1736 with Richard Rogers of New 
London, for a dwelling house near Stratford Ferry, and this 
he exchanged with Josiah Curtiss for land and a dwelling 
house and barn, " lying near the said Stratford Old Society's 

" Giddings Family, by Mr. M. S. Giddings, 49. 



366 History of Stratford. 

meeting-house/' and six acres of land '' lying at a place called 
Intact." 

Mr. Benjamin at once united in the support of the Epis- 
copal Church and his name is prominent among its officers 
nearly to his decease, April 13, 1773, in the 73d year of his 
age. His descendants are still prominent in the town. His 
grandson Aaron entered the Revolutionary Army when quite 
young, and served his country as a brave soldier and Colonel 
through that war, and lived over forty years to enjoy the 
honor and privileges of the national liberty secured by that 
great conflict. 

Col. John Benjamin^ Jr.j was a prominent citizen, 
and served as organist in the Episcopal Church about sixteen 
years, most of the time, apparently, without compensation. 
He was prominent in sustaining the Revolutionary War, 
serving some of the time in the army, and in some of the 
most important committees and public positions at home dur- 
ing the contest. He was captain of the train band or militia, 
made Colonel of the same after the Revolution. It is said he 
was a goldsmith and made the weather-cock still standing on 
the Episcopal Church. He was town treasurer in 1777. 

WiUiam Beachf son of Isaac, the son of John, the first 
of the name in Stratford, was born in 1694, and died July 
26. 175 1. He married Sarah, the daughter of Capt. Joseph 
Hull in 1725. Her father belonged to one of the wealthiest 
and most influential families in Derby. After the death of 
Mr. Beach she married Dr. Samuel Johnson and died in New 
York in 1763. 

William Beach was the brother of the Rev. John Beach, 
a Congregational and afterwards an Episoopal clergyman of 
prominence, and he became a prominent citizen in this his 
native town. His father, Isaac Beach, was a tailor by trade 
and does not appear largely in the offices of the town or as a 
land holder. He married Hannah, daughter of John Birdsey, 
Jr., in 1693, and died in 1750, in his 71st year. 

William Beach joined the Episcopal Church not long 
after his brother's ordination in that Church in 1732. In the 
building of the second Episcopal house of worship he was 
the largest contributor, and in that relation did a very impor- 



Biographical Sketches. 367 

tant and benevolent work. Dr. Johnson said he " contributed 
above three thousand pounds, our currency ;" and although 
the Connecticut currency was at that time a great way below 
par, yet the contribution was a very large one for those days ; 
and represents him as the foremost person in the town at that 
time, in giving to such an enterprise, including the Congre- 
gationalists, who built a meeting-house the same year. 

Some extracts are here introduced from the ^^Hisiorical 
Discourse, delivered in Christ Church, Stratford, Conn., on 
the fifth Sunday in Lent, March 28th, 1855, by the Rev. John 
A. Paddock, M.A., Rector." 

This discourse was prepared with much care, research 
and unbiassed fidelity to historic truth, and was a very honor- 
able production." 

** There is no record of the baptismal, or other offices 
being performed here from the beginning of the Revolution 
till after the close 'of the war." But there seems reason for 

*' Mr. Paddock's discourse furnishes the following as to the first efforts of the 
Episcopal people of Stratford to secure a minister. 

" A petition from the parish for a clergyman, addressed to the Bishop of Lon- 
don on the first of April, 1707, bears the signature of the following nineteen men, 
acting 'in behalf of the rest:' Richard Blacklatch, Isaac Knell, Daniel Shelton, 
Wm. Rawlinson, Jonathan Pitman, John Peat, Samuel Gaskill, Samuel Hawley, 
William Smith, John Skidmore, Timothy Titharton, Archibald Dunlop, Thomas 
Edwards, Isaac Brim, Daniel Bennett, Richard Blacklatch, Jr., Thomas Brooks, 
Isaac Stiles, Samuel Henry. (Sermon, page 8). 

"Letter from the Wardens and Vestry to the Venerable Society. 1713. The 
names of the Wardens and Vestry first appear this year. Wardens : Timothy 
Titharton, William Smith. Vestry: William Rawlinson, William Jeanes, John 
Johnson, Richard Blacklatch, Daniel Shelton, Archibald Dunlop, James Hum- 
phreys, James Clarke, Edward Borroughs." (Sermon, page 9.) 

" In 1724, the wardens and vestry were chosen from Stratford, Fairfield, New- 
town, and Ripton, as follows : Wardens for Stratford, Nehemiah Loring, Thomas 
Salmon ; for Fairfield, Dougal Mackenzie ; for Newtown, John Glover ; for Ripton, 
Daniel Shelton. Charles Lane. Vestry for Stratford, Wm. Jeanes, Jonathan Pit- 
man, John Johnson, Richard Blacklatch, William Smith, Samuel French, Samuel 
Watkins, Samuel Blagg, James Laborie, Jr.; for Fairfield, James Laborie, Sen., 
Benjamin Sturgis; for Newtown, Samuel Beers, Robert Seeley ; for Ripton, James 
Wakelee, Richard Blacklatch, Nathaniel Cogswell." 

" A little before the war there is this record, April 20, 1772 : ** Voted that the 
pew next to the pulpit be given to Capt. Philip Nichols, he building the Christen- 
ing pew." 

**The last record is the baptism of Asa, son of Thomas and Ann Curtiss on 
the 3d of February, 1776. 



368 History of Stratford. 

supposing that the churchmen of this town were generally 
patriots. 

** The parish seems to have been destitute of clerical ser- 
vices for some time after Mr. Kneeland's death. In April, 
1778, the use of the glebe was granted to his widow until the 
appointment of another incumbent to the parish. 

" In 1783, the Independence of the United States was 
acknowledged by Great Britain, and with this ended the aid 
extended to the parish by the society in England, it being 
deemed incompatible with their charter to carry on mission- 
ary operations beyond the dominions of the British crown. 

** The parish was now thrown entirely upon its own re- 
sources, and, notwithstanding the trials of the previous ten 
years, it soon gave proofs of life and vigor. On the i8th of 
April, 1784, the Rev. Jeremiah Leaming, D.D., was called to 
the Rectorship and immediately entered upon his duties, 
which he continued until Easter, 1790, when, suffering from 
the infirmities of age, he resigned his position. 

"An aged communicant, Mrs. Susan Johnson, of the 
parish, who received the statement from members of the fam- 
ily of a former generation, informs me that Bishop Seabury's 
first confirmation, and hence the first administration of the 
rite in America, was in this church in which we are now 
worshiping. 

"On the first of April, 1793, the Rev. Ashbel Baldwin, 
then of Litchfield, was called to the rectorship to officiate 
here two-thirds of the time. He accepted the call, devoting 
to the Church at Tashua the remaining Sundays." 

Mev. Aslibel JBaldwin was born in Litchfield on the 
7th of March, 1757, of Congregational parents, and was grad- 
uated at Yale College in 1776. He held for some' time, dur- 
ing the Revolutionary War, the appointment of a quarter- 
master in the Continental Army and received a pension from 
the Government, which was his principal means of support 
in his latter days. 

He became a clergyman of the Episcopal Church and 
the change of denomination is accounted for as follows : 

" After leaving college, he engaged himself, temporarily, 
as a private tutor in the family of a gentleman on Long Island. 



Biographical Sketches. 369 

The family belonged to the Church of England, and, at that 
date, where the Episcopal house of worship was, for any 
cause, closed on Sunday, it was customary for the stanchest 
churchmen to turn their parlors into chapels and have the 
regular morning service. Mr. Baldwin, being the educated 
member of the household, was required to act as the family 
lay reader, and, ashamed to confess his ignorance of the 
Prayer Book, he sought the aid and friendship of the gar- 
dener, who instructed him in the use of the * Order for Morn- 
ing Prayre;* and soon his love and admiration of the Liturgy 
and conversion to the Church followed."" 

He was one of the first four candidates at the first ordi- 
nation by Bishop Seabury at Middletown in 1785, and after 
preaching at Litchfield nearly eight years, was invited to the 
rectorship of the Church in Stratford, April i, 1793, which 
he accepted, the parish then including the Church at Tashua, 
This position he held until his resignation in 1824. He served 
the Church in other offices most efficiently many years and 
departed this hfe February 27, 1825, and was buried in the 
Episcopal burying place. 

The Rev. Edward Rutledge succeeded Mr. Baldwin, and 
served until the spring of 1829, when he accepted a situation 
as professor in the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia. 

For a short time after Mr. Rutledge, the Rev. Ashbel 
Steele officiated in this Church, but was not rector. 

The Rev. George C. Shephard followed him from Nov. i, 
1829, until Easter, 1839. 

Several other clergymen followed these in succession, 
the Rev. Edwin W. VViltbank, the Rev. Alfred A. Miller, the 
■Rev. John Morgan, the Rev. James Scott, and on the 28th of 
October, 1849, the Rev. John A. Paddock commenced his 
labors here, and the next April 30th was admitted to the 
order of priests by Bishop Brownell. 

^* History of the Church in Connecticut, ii. 345 and 425. 



CHAPTER XV. 




THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. 



INGS and monarchs have nearly always 
estimated too lightly the power of the com- 
mon people they pretended and sought to 
govern, until it was too late to govern at all. 
King George III. of Great Britain, and his 
Ministers of State, were no exceptions to 
this law or want of wisdom, in 1776, and 
hence the American Revolution and the 
Independence of the United States. 

The loyalty of New England had been 
exhibited previously, by its aid in the war 
between England and France, by the num- 
ber, energy and success of volunteers and 
the expenses borne. In the capture of 
Louisburgh the Connecticut soldiers under 
Capt. David Wooster bore an honorable part; there being, 
however, only one memorandum concerning it on the Strat- 
ford town records, so far as seen. 

** Zebulon Lorin of Stratford having been a soldier in the 
reduction of Louisburgh and the Island of Cape Brittain, in 
the Col. Goreham Regiment and in Capt. Lumber's Com- 
pany, sold for ten pounds current money to Capt. David 
Wooster of New Haven, all title to his right in * Plunder, 
stock of plunder, captures, stock of captures and all my right, 
title, interest and claim to the soil, land and appertenances 
upon or in the said Island of Cape Brittain and parts adjoin- 
ing.' March 27, 1746, — 19th year of the Reign of Our Sover- 
eign Lord George II. King, &c." 

No account of the part Stratford had in the French war 
has been obtained except that which appears incidentally in 
the following record of the acts of the General Assembly, but 



Revolutionary War, 371 

a careful perusal of the colony records shows Connecticut to 
have done grandly in soldiers and money in that war. 

The following is one item only, amounting in the aggre- 
gate to ;f 2376-1 1»-6*. 

"October 1758. On the memorial of the inhabitants of 
the towns of Fairfield, Milford, Stratford, Norwalk and 
Stanford, praying for the reimbursement of the charge and 
expense for quartering Col. Frasiers Highland Battalion the 
last winter ; Resolved by this Assembly that the treasurer of 
this Colony be and hereby is ordered and directed to pay out 
the Colony treasury to the inhabitants of the town of Fairfield 
the sum of ;f449-i6»-3*; Milford the sum of ;f 429-1 2"-4>^*; 
Stratford ;^435-io*-ii%*; Norwalk, ;^349-7*-2>^*; Stanford, 
jf 369-1 3»-45^*, for charges and expenses referred to." 

But these appropriations did not settle the matter, for it 
came before the Assembly the next spring, and a committee 
was appointed to investigate the expenses and make report, 
and the next October another committee was appointed to 
complete the examination of the matter, but the towns pre- 
ferred to bring the matter before that body at that time, and 
it ordered the following sums paid: Fairfield, ;£^49i-i5*-7*; 
Milford, ;^49i-io*-9* ; Stratford, ;f472-5»-ii*; Norwalk, ;£^487 
-S'-6*; and Stanford, ;C433-I3•-II^ in full satisfaction of their 
said respective accounts." 

The Regiment of Col. Frasier or a part of it lay encamped 
in Stratford, during the winter of 1757 and 8, on the common 
east of the old Episcopal burying-ground. He and his com- 
missioned officers occupied the house then recently built, but 
never occupied, by the Rev. Izrahiah Wetmore.* Col. Frasier 
was he who said that with one regiment he could march 
through North America. 

The Rev. I. Wetmore recorded Jan. 29, 1758, the baptism 
of Bettee the daughter of Daniel Gunn, drum Major in CoU 
Frasier's regiment. 

He also records: "On October 6, 1760, baptised Victory 
the son of Iz. Wetmore, born the 8th of September previous, 
the day Montreal was taken." 

» Vol. ii. Town Records. 



372 History of Stratford. 

It is said that Col. Frasier's men amused themselves at 
times in shooting at the weather-cock at the top of the 
Episcopal Church spire, which they pierced several times, 
as may still be witnessed by climbing to it.* 

The records of Stratford introduce us to the part which 
that town was to take in the Revolution by three votes in 
town meeting. 

** December 19, 1774, Ichabod Lewis moderator. In the 
meeting were read the proceedings of the Continental Con- 
gress, and the association therein recommended, and unani- 
mously appeared as the most peaceable and likely method to 
be pursued at present, and that we will firmly adhere to the 
measures proposed in said association until the next General 
Congress, unless we obtain redress of our grievances before 
that time. Passed without contradiction. 

** Voted N. C. D.' that a committee be chosen in the 
several parts of this town to observe the conduct of all per- 
sons relative to said association and proceed thereon accord- 
ing to the advice therein given : and Mess. Robert Fairchild, 
Deacon Johnson, John Brooks, Esqr., Capt. Isaiah Brown, 
Capt. Samuel Whiting, Capt. Daniel Judson, Isaac Nichols, 
William Pixlee, Mr. Nathan Birdsey, Mr. Joseph Curtiss, 
Maj. Agur Judson, Ichabod Lewis, Daniel Fairchild, Esqr., 
Capt. Abraham Brinsmade, Capt. Nathan Booth, Capt. Sam- 
uel Blakeman, Capt. Stephen Burroughs, Elnathan Curtiss 
and Abijah Starling were chosen a committee for the purpose 
abovesaid.*' 

The first great overt war act of the British government 
towards the colonies was the blockading of Boston. No act 

' The officers of Col. Frasier's Highland Regiment quartered in Stratford and 
Milford in 1757 and 8 were : 

Hon. Col. Simon Frasier, Lieut. Alexander McLoud, 

Capt. John McPherson, Lieut. Simon Frasier, 

Capt. John Campbell, Lieut. William McDonald, 

Capt. Charles Bailey, Lieut. Hector McDonald, 

Lieut. John Cuthbert, Ensign Simon Frasier, 

Lieut. Charles McDonald, Ensign John Chisholm, 

Lieut. John Frasier, Adjutant Hugh Frasier. 

In 1759, Sergt. William Young and Captain Gordon of the 48th Regiment. 

^ Nemine contra dicente. Without one dissenting voice. 



Revolutionary War. 373 

could have been more fortunate for America and unfortunate 
for England, since nothing could move the sympathies of the 
people throughout the country as the causing of indiscrimin- 
ate suflFering of helpless women and children of the poorer 
classes. This is clearly set forth in the resolution of the town 
when assembled, December 19, 1774. 

" The meeting then took into their serious consideration 
of the unhappy circumstances of the poor people of Boston, 
now suffering in the common cause of American liberty under 
the oppressive acts of the British Parliament called the Bos- 
ton Post Bill ; and thereupon unanimously voted, that a 
subscription be immediately opened, and collection be made 
and sent as soon as may be, for the relief of the poor sufferers 
in that town; and Mess*. Philip Nichols, Josiah Hubbell, 
David Hawley, Nathan Bennitt, Stephen Burroughs and 
Legrand Cannon, are appointed a committee to solicit and 
transmit to Boston such donations as they shall receive, by 
any safe opportunity, addressed to the committee appointed 
to take care of, and employ the poor of that place. 

"Attest, Robert Fairchild, Town Clerk." 

In this list of names may be seen Episcopalians as well as 
Congregationalists ; and the same is true throughout the 
struggle to the end of the war. 

The next year — Dec. 18, 1775 — the town appointed as a 
" Committee of Observation," the following persons : 

** Robert Fairchild, Daniel Fairchild, Esqr., 

John Brooks, Esq., Capt. Abram Brinsmade, 

Capt. Isaiah Brown, Capt. Nathan Booth, 

Col. Samuel Whiting. Capt. Lemuel Blackman, 

Daniel Judson, Esq., Capt. Stephen Burroughs, 

Mr. William Pixlee, Mr. Elnathan Curtiss, 

Mr. Isaac Nichols, Mr. Abijah Starling, 

Mr. Joseph Curtiss, David Wilcockson, Esq., 

Maj. Agur Judson, Mr. George Thompson." 
Col. Ichabod Lewis, 

The battle of Lexington, Mass., occurred on the 19th of 
April, 1775, and the above seems to be the first vote of Strat- 
ford in sustaining the war. The next year, in December, 
25 



374 History of Stratford. 

1776, after the Declaration of Independence, a like committee 
was appointed, but it was called the "Committee of Inspec- 
tion,*' and consisted of the following persons : 

" Capt. Ebenezer Coe, Daniel Bennitt, 

Capt. Nathaniel Wheeler, Benjamin Deforest, 

John Benjamin, Maj. Agur Judson, 

William Thompson, Edmund Leavenworth, 

Capt. Isaiah Brown, Capt.Abraham Brinsmade, 

William Pixley, Stephen Middlebrook, 

Capt. Samuel Beers, David Wells, 

Abijah Sterling, Thomas Hawley, 

Nehemiah Deforest" 

At the same time they passed the following: 

" Voted, that watch and ward be kept in this town at the 
discretion of civil authority and selectmen as to the number 
from time to time, and to appoint a grand officer or officers 
to superintend said watch who shall be under the discretion 
of said authority and selectmen, and obey their instructions, 
and said grand officers shall be rewarded for their time while 
on duty not exceeding soldier's wages. 

"January 13, 1777, Messrs. Joseph Curtiss, Capt. John 
Sherwood, John Hinman, William Wordin and Aaron Haw- 
ley, were added to the above committee of inspection." 

A special town meeting was called, and met at Trumbull, 
probably, as being more central and convenient for the whole 
township, since no part of the original township had then 
been taken from it by the formation of any other town ; and 
decided action was taken. 

" At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Strat- 
ford, holden at North Stratford Parish at said Parish meeting 
house, on Monday the 7th of April, 1777, in consequence of 
an order or requisition made by his honor the Governor and 
Council of Safety holden at Lebanon on ye i8th March, ult, 
said meeting being duly warned, chosen Mr. Nathan Birdsey, 
moderator, and John Brooks, clerk. Committees chosen: for 
the old society, Capt. Samuel Beers, Lieut. Ephraim Will- 
cockson and William Pixlee ; for Ripton, Maj. Agur Judson 
and Elisha Mills ; for North Stratford, Stephen Middlebrook 



Revolutionary War, 375 

and Eliakim Walker; for Stratfield, Nathan Nichols and 
Jabez Summers ; for New Stratford, Capt. Nathan Booth and 
Dea. John Judson ; for New Stratford, west part, Benjamin 
Beardsley. 

"The meeting proceeded to vote unanimously that they 
will give as an additional bounty to all such as shall or have 
inlisted themselves into the Continental service for the time 
of three years or during the war, the sum of ten pounds law- 
ful money, and that this donation shall be paid to such only 
as are inlisted to it and belong to the quota of men this town 
is to raise. 

" Voted, also a tax or rate on the pound of eight pence 
for the purpose abovesaid, on the list for the year 1776, and 
that Capt. John Benjamin collect the same, and that the col- 
lector pay the same into the hands of the selectmen from time 
to time for the purpose above mentioned." 

The following is a sample of the drafting and of paying 
fines at the early stage of the war, as shown by the dates. It 
is said that Daniel McEwen was a locksmith and his trade at 
this time in making and repairing guns was so profitable that 
he could afford to pay his fine every few months, besides 
remaining at home, somewhat shielded from danger. 

" Stratford, May 14, 1777. 
** To Mr. Daniel McEwen, Sen. 

In pursuance of Regimental Orders after a fair Lot drawn ; you are to equip 
yourself; and you are detached to serve as a guard under the Command of Coh 
Samuel Whiting until January next unless sooner discharged. 

John Benjamin. Captain.'' 

"Stratford, May 15, 1777. 
Then Received of Mr. Daniel McEwen, five pounds lawful money in full for a 
fine for not serving until January next under the command of Col. Samuel Whit- 
ing, when drafted. Reed per me 

John Benjamin, Town Treasurer.'' 

"Stratford, Sept. 30, 1777. 
Reed of Mr. Daniel McEwen, five pounds L. Money for a fine for neglect of 
duty when drafted to serve under Col. John Mead. 

Reed per me 

John Benjamin, T. Treasurer." 

At another special meeting held Nov. 10, 1777, they made 
the following record : 



376 History of Stratford. 

" The laws were read in said meeting respecting the pro- 
viding of necessaries for the Continental soldiers, &c., and 
were of opinion it ought to be done, and thereupon appointed 
Messrs. Mr. Joseph Curtiss, Capt. John Benjamin, Capt. 
Joseph Birdsey, Mr. Zechariah Lewis, Capt. Joseph Burton,. 
Daniel Fairchild, Esqr., Mr. David Wells, Nehemiah Deforest, 
Capt. Robert Hawley, and Capt. John Sherwood, a commit- 
tee to provide immediately all those necessaries for said sol- 
diers as the law directs. 

" Voted in said meeting that Messrs. Ephraim Willcock- 
son, William Pixlee, Maj. Agur Judson, Elisha Mills, Esqr., 
Stephen Middlebrook, Eliakim Walker, Nathan Nichols,. 
Jabez Summers, Capt. Nathan Booth, Dea. John Judson, and 
Benjamin Beardslee are reappointed a committee for the pur- 
pose of supplying the families of such soldiers as are in the 
Continental service, as the law directs." 

One month later, Dec. 22, 1777, a committee was ap- 
pointed to receive all provisions the people were disposed to 
give for the support of the soldiers* families, and another was 
appointed to distribute the same; and a tax was laid of six- 
pence on the pound. This made two taxes voted in one year,, 
amounting to fourteen pence per pound. 

Also, a committee of inspection was appointed as usual 
for the year. 

Capt. JEbenexer Coe, who was elected deacon in the 
Congregational Church in 1784, was a captain in the Ameri« 
can army and left the following brief record of his service 
and misfortunes in that war. 

** An account of the singular misfortune and deliverances 
which befel me during the contest. 

" Aug. 13, 1776, marched to New York with my company 
as Lieutenant at the time, and on the 15th of September, pro- 
videntially escaped from the enemy to Harlem hills and 
arrived home on the 17th, after which I was sick some months. 

"On the 25th of April, 1777, twelve o'clock at night, 
marched to Fairfield. The next day to Danbury ; 27th to 
Ridgefield, it being Lord's day ; attacked the enemy ; re- 
ceived a musket ball through my head, cutting oflF a part of 
my right ear and carrying away my right eye. I fell, as 



Revolutionary War. 377 

dead, lay a time, but recovered to my thoughts, after being 
inhumanly stabbed with a bayonet in my side and right hand 
while 1 lay unfeelingly as dead ; which perhaps was the 
means, by turning the stream of blood another way, of saving 
iny life. 

" At this time, being come to my thoughts, was abused, 
robbed, and repeatedly threatened with instant death. But 
blessed be the name of the Lord, who delivered me from 
death and from the hand of my enemies, who heard my cry 
in the night of distress, as in the I42d Psalm, and brought 
me to my house, the 21st day of May. * Bless the Lord, O 
my soul and forget not all his benefits.* " 

Tradition explains further, that while Captain Coe lay on 
the field wounded a British soldier was about to pierce him 
with a bayonet when a superior oflBcer severely reprimanded 
him, took up Captain Coe, carried him to a school house near 
by, examined his commission which was in his pocket, ex- 
pressed his sorrow at being unable to give him further aid 
and withdrew. 

The Captain recovered and lived many years afterwards. 

"Dec. 31, 1781. On motion in town meeting, it was 
voted that the house purchased by the selectmen from Mr. 
Silas Nichols for the horse-neck service, be given and granted 
as a free donation to Capt. Ebenezer Coe, as a compensation 
in part for his suffering and loss occasioned by the enemy 
landing on Stratford Point last summer. 

** William Thompson was also present from Stratford at 
the fight at Danbury. At Ridgefield he was wounded, and 
while in that condition a British soldier stepped up and blew 
out his brains with his gun." 

The following resolves sent to Stratford for their consid- 
eration and adoption, manifest a remarkable degree of clear 
perception and discriminating judgment, precisely as to what 
the people intended to secure by their resistance to England ; 
and the people of Stratford on hearing them read, quickly 
decided to pass them without alteration ; and here is a for- 
cible illustration that the people understood that they were 
contending for great principles of government that were 
worthy of the efforts and sacrifices they were making to 
secure them. 



378 History of Stratford. 

** Stratford, Second Monday of January, 1778. 

The meeting took into consideration the Articles of Con- 
federation proposed and recommended by the Continental 
Congress, and being read and deliberately considered, para- 
graph by paragraph, and were adopted and approved by said 
meeting, and the Representatives be instructed to give their 
voice for the approbation in General Assembly. 

" The meeting then proceeded to adopt several resolves 
of the town of Norwich which was thought of such impor- 
tance to the privileges of the people, and so seasonably pre- 
sented to the meeting as to need no emendation. 

** First. The Representatives of the freemen of this 
town, use their utmost influence in the General Assembly to 
have the Delegates in Congress chosen by the freemen of this 
State in the same manner as the Assistants in this State are 
chosen, 

" 2dly. That they use their influence to procure an alter- 
ation of the mode of taxation in such a manner that the same 
may be levied on the inhabitants in proportion to the worth 
of their whole estate, which method alone we conceive to be 
equitable. 

** Sdly. That they endeavor to procure an act to be 
made and passed that all male persons in this State who are 
obliged by law to give in their list and able to pay taxes and 
are of sober life and conversation, and have taken the oath to 
the State (and of Freemen) may have the privilege of voting 
in all Freemen's Towns and Societies meetings, when they 
are liable to pay taxes in consequence of those votes. 

**4thly. That they also endeavor to have the debates in 
the Assembly be made as public as may be, and that the yeas 
and nays in every important question be noted in the Journal 
and published that the towns may have them. 

" 5thly. That they use their influence that the Delegates 
of this State in Congress be instructed to transmit to the 
Assembly a list of the yeas and nays in every important 
question, and that the publication of the Journal of Congress 
may be printed with the greatest dispatch and sent to the 
different States. 

" The foregoing several Resolves the Clerk is directed 
to give in writing to the Representatives of this Town. 



Revolutionary War, 379 

*• The several matters, causes and complaints of several 
persons who, deserted from the Fish Kills and Peeks Kills in 
the company in October last, for which desertion they have 
been prosecuted and fined, and said fine secured or to be 
secured in the town treasury : On motion, voted, that Samuel 
Whiting, Abraham Brinsmade, Esqr., Mr. Nathan Birdsey, 
and Deacon Daniel Bennitt be and are hereby appointed a 
committee to hear and enquire into the causes of their said 
desertion, and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of said 
committee that the aforesaid deserters have reason sufficient 
to excuse themselves from said fine the committee are accord- 
ingly to make their report to proper authority, and the town 
voted to give up their fines, yet not so as to make this a pre- 
cedent or to countenance desertion in future/* 

" Mar. 20, 1778. The meeting proceeded, as was designed 
in the warning, to read, particularly and distinctly the present 
act of the General Assembly made at Hartford on the 12th 
day of February, 1778, entitled an act for the regulation of 
the prices of labour, produce, manufactures, and commodities 
within this State ; likewise the doings, requisitions and stat- 
ings of civil authority and selectmen of this town, on the 
several articles, &c., &c., not particularly enumerated in said 
act, which duty as aforesaid, the said act does enjoin ; at the 
same time also was laid and read before said meeting a 
Resolve of the General Assembly of this State at their session 
in Hartford on the 2d Tuesday of January, 1778, requiring 
this town to procure a quantity of clothing for the Continen- 
tal troops, &c., as per sd Resolve. 

** The meeting after hearing the foregoing act. Stating of 
the town and Resolves of the Assembly ; and approved there- 
of, did proceed to vote, ist, that this meeting does recom- 
mend that a suitable number of men in each society of the 
Town do enter into an association and mutual engagement 
with each other, to assist the civil magistrate and all inform- 
ing officers, to carry effectually into execution all breaches of 
the present regulating act of Assembly, and the doings and 
statings of the civil authority and selectmen of this town 
thereon, and this meeting by their vote also do earnestly 
recommend that the members of which this association may 



38o 



History of Stratford. 



be composed, be vigilant in complaining of and prosecuting 
all breaches of this act, which shall be considered by this 
meeting as rendering (not only this town) but the public the 
most essential service. 

** Voted secondly, that Mr. Joseph Curtiss, Mr. Nathan 
Birdsey and Capt. Benjamin of this Society ; Capt. Joseph 
Burton and Mr. Daniel Hawley, of North Stratford parish, 
Woolcot Hawley of Stratfield parish, Zechariah Lewis and 
Samuel Beard of Ripton parish, Nehemiah DeForest and 
Lieut. David Wells of New Stratford parish, and Capt. John 
Sherwood of North Fairfield parish, be and they are each 
and every of them appointed as a committee in behalf of this 
town to purchase and procure clothing, Ac," for the Conti- 
nental troops agreeable to the directions of the aforesaid re- 
solve of Assembly. 



' North Stratford, March ii, 1778. 

The following is an exact account of the donations of the parish of North 
Stratford, for the Continental soldiers in the southern army, Valley Ford, belong- 
ing to this place, sent down by Lieut. Beebe, being fifteen in number, to be divided 
equally between them, viz : the following persons : John Downs, Jeames Downs, 
AorSham Hawley, Truman French, William Dascom, Daniel Evis, Nathan Haw- 
ley, Reuben Beach, Joel Mosher, John Craford, Samuel Henman, Daniel Sher- 
wood, Toney Turney, Caesar Edwards, and Nero Hawley. 

The following persons were the donors : 



Daniel Beers o 

Jonathan Beers, o 

Nathaniel Mosour, o 

David Stratton, o 

Hawkins Nichols, o 

Daniel Turney o 

David Turney o 

Elnathan Turney, o 

John Turney, o 

Robert Turney o 

Gideon Peet, o 

David Edwards, J r o 

John Hains, o 

David Barsley, o 

Thaddeus Barsley, o 

James Barsley o 

David French, o 

John Burton,-- o 



s. 


d. 


I 


10 


3 


00 


3 





3 





3 





3 





2 





3 





12 





5 


6 


5 





2 





3 





3 





I 


9 


3 





4 





6 






! ;f 8. d. 

Ichabod Hawley, 050 

Eliakim Beach 060 

Daniel Beach, - 020 

Thomas Edward's wife, .... o 3 9 

Joshua Henman, 060 

John Beach, o 5 o 

Reuben Sherwood 060 

Enoch Henman,- 060 

Josiah Henman 060 

Samuel Turney o 3 o 

Joseph Burroughs, 050 

Samuel Edwards, 030 

Edmon Curtis, o 3 o 

Gershom Turney, 030 

Ephraim Sterling, o 12 o 

Peter Beers, 010 

Stephen Middlebrook 060 



Revolutionary War, 



381 



" On representation made to this meeting by Col. Whit- 
ing and Capt. Joseph Birdsey, that the lines at the Sawpitts 
were in a defenceless condition for want of men, and much 
exposed to the enemy and that although there had been a late 
draft from the militia and alarm list companies of this town, 
and regimental orders issued to them to march, join and take 
part at the said Saw-Pitts under the command of said Capt. 
Joseph Birdsey, notwithstanding which order many had re- 
fused to join said Captain as aforesaid, in consequence of 
which default orders were now issuing for a new draft to 
supply the deficiency aforesaid. Therefore, in order to en- 
courage the soldiery, on motion it was voted that this town 
will give a bounty of five pounds to the non-commissioned 
officers and soldiers that have joined or shall speedily join 
said company at said post under the command of said Joseph 



The subscribers that gave cheese, 
lbs. oz. 



David Salmon 5 4 

Jabez Beach 3 12 

Mrs. Starling 4 4 

Mrs. Beach, 4 12 

Joseph Burton, 7 4 

Benjamin Burton, 6 o 

John French, 6 8 

I«hn Wheeler,-. 6 o 



Josiah Henman...... 5 

John Edwards, 3d, 6 

David Edwards, 3d,. 6 

John Edwards, 4th, 5 

Abigail Mosour,. 4 

Eliakim Walker 5 



lbs. oz. 
o 
o 
o 
o 



70 10 



Subscribers for gammon, 
lbs. 



Andrew Beach, i 

Abel Beach 4 

William Burritt, neat tongue,... 

Mrs, Hinman, 2 

Josiah Hinman, 4 

Small packs sent — 

By Elnathan Seeley 15 

By Daniel Hawley, 6 



oz. 
8 



lbs. 



John Hinman 4 

Reuben Sherwood, i. 5 

JohnTurney 4 

Agur Beach 4 



oz. 
12 

8 
o 
4 



By Andrew Hawley 8 8 

By Peter Lewis, 4 8 



North SxRAxroRD, 12th March, 1778. 
Then received of Mr. Stephen Middlebrook, the sum of seven pounds, three 
shillings and ten pence, lawful money, for the purpose of paying the expenses 
of transporting a donation in provisions, from the parish of North Stratford to the 
Continental soldiers of that parish, Genl. Washington's Headquarters. 

pr. James Beebee, Captain'* * 
* Manuscript of Major L. N. Middlebrook of Bridgeport. 



382 History of Stratford, 

Birdsey ; provided they thus continue on duty the terra of 
two months, or are sooner discharged, and that the fines 
drawn from the delinquents or to be recovered from them be 
appropriated for the aforementioned purpose. 

October 12, 1778. Voted that Mess* Capt. Samuel Beers 
and John Brooks Esq r. be ahd they are hereby appointed a 
committee to receive and take into their stores and keeping a 
certain quantity of salt, supposed to be about seventy-five 
bushels, the property of the town, and hold and dispose of 
same in the following way and manner (viz:) to deal and 
deliver out said salt to every society as nearly as may be 
according to their respective lists, and that a committee be 
appointed in each society to receive their proportion of said 
salt, barter and exchange the same to the inhabitants of said 
societies respectively for necessary provisions, &c., and no 
man shall be allowed to purchase by exchange more than half 
a bushel of said salt, and some less as their circumstances may 
be, at the discretion of the committee who deal out and 
exchange said salt ; and the avails of said salt shall be appro- 
priated to the support of the soldiers* families and poor of 
the town as the law requires; and said committees to render 
their accounts to the next town meeting of their doings 
thereon. 

** And for the first society, John Brooks, Esqr., for the 
society of Ripton Mr. Ebenezer Blackman, for North Strat- 
ford Mr. Sylvanus Starling, for Stratfield Mr. Wm. Wardon^ 
for New Stratford Capt. Samuel Blackman, and for North 
Fairfield, part, Capt. John Sherwood, are chosen a committee 
to receive the proportionable part of salt belonging to each 
society according to their respective list." 

The year 1779 was one of great discouragement to the 
Colonies because many things seemed to forebode defeat to- 
the objects for which the strife had continued for four years. 
In July Governor Tryon came up the Sound with several 
hundred soldiers to burn and destroy the villages along the 
shore. On the 7th of that month they plundered New Haven 
and on the nth burned Fairfield. 

Some of the Stratford people were greatly frightened, 
and engaged in an effort to secure the place against future 



Revolutionary War. 383 

calamity, by entreaty, by circulating a subscription paper, 
with the following heading : 

" We, the subscribers, being exceedingly desirous, if 
possible, to save the town from the destruction it is now 
threatened with by the invasion of the British fleet and army, 
do hereby request and desire Doctor William Samuel John- 
son, Captain Philip Nichols, Captain George Benjamin, and 
Mr. Ebenezer Allen to use their influence, either in person or 
by letter, with the British Admiral and General to save the 
town. And we do her'eby promise and most sacredly engage 
to support them in the execution of their design, and to 
protect and defend them from any insult, injury, or abuse, 
either in their persons, properties, or families, on account of 
their making such application : as witness our hands this 12th 
day of July, I779-'** 

Intelligence of these proceedings soon reached General 
Oliver Wolcott's headquarters at Horseneck, who sent Col. 
Jonathan Dimon to Stratford to make inquiry, and upon his 
report the General gave him the following order: 

''Sir, — Your favour of yesterday is received. I shall 
make no observations upon the tendency, or rather the 
conclusive effect of those men's conduct who could wish to 
supplicate the clemency of an enemy whose unparalleled 
barbarity has put a dishonor on human nature. To a mind 
enlightened by science, and which views acts with their 
consequences, it is impossible that it should not comprehend 
that the step which was intended to be taken must, by 
inevitable consequences, involve in it the most abject sub- 
mission to a tyranny rendered, if possible, ten times more 
detestable than it was before, by the very means by which it 
was designed to be established. These are times when the 
usual forms of proceeding are to give place to a regard for 
the public safety, and the love of country is to be preferred 
at all times to the friendship of youth. 

" You are therefore, Sir, directed to send, under guard or 
Qtherwise, Dr. William Samuel Johnson, of Stratford, to the 
town of Farmington, and deliver him to the care and custody 

^ Life and Times of Wm. Samuel Johnson, 113. 



384 History of Stratford. 

of the civil authority of that town, and request of them that 
they would secure or keep him under such proper restraints 
as to prevent his having any correspondence with the enemy." 

The further record of this matter is as follows,' as given 
by the Rev. Dr. Beardsley : 

"A detachment of troops was sent to carry out this 
order, and Johnson was made a prisoner, but conscious of 
his innocence, and wishing to avoid a public disturbance, he 
persuaded the officer to accept his word of honor that he 
would proceed at once to Farmington, and place himself 
voluntarily in the custody of the selectmen. One of that 
board was John Tread well, an acquaintance of his, who 
declared, after consultation with his colleagues, that they 
had no business with him, and that if they put him under 
any restraint it would be a false imprisonment. Johnson 
said he knew this, but suggested that, for their sakes and 
his, it was necessary that they should do something; and 
proposed that they should permit him to pass to the Gov- 
ernor and Council of Safety, in whose hands at that time was 
lodged the military authority of the Colony, and whose 
decision alone would quiet the people.** 

" Having given his parole* and received his pass, he 
started on his solitary journey, and arriving at Norwich, 
where the Council of Safety sat, unfortunately found that 
body not in session. But he proceeded to Lebanon, the 
residence of Governor Trumbull, and stated his condition 

* Life and Times of Wm. Samuel Johnson, by the Rev. E. E. Beardsley, D.D., 
"5. 

• William Samuel Johnson* s Parole, 

*' Farmington, July 23, A. D. 1779. 
"I, the subscriber, having been sent by order from Major General Oliver 
Wolcott, as a prisoner to the care of the civil authority of the town of Farmington, 
and by them permitted to go from thence to Lebanon on business with his 
Excellency the Governor and Council of Safety, do pass my word that on said 
journey and business I will do nothing directly or indirectly against the interest 
and welfare of the United States ; and that, on my having accomplished 8ai$i 
business, will return and put myself under the immediate care of said authority, 
unless his Excellency the Governor and Council of Safety, or his Excellency' the 
Governor only, shall direct otherwise. 

*' Wm. Samuel Johnson." 



Revolutionary War, 385 

and the object of his appearing in his presence. As his 
Excellency knew his character well, and the principles on 
which he had acted from the. beginning of the war, it did not 
require any urgent entreaty to enlist his sympathy and gain 
his favor. He informed Dr. Johnson that the Council would 
meet again in two days, when he could appear, and the 
matter would be laid before them, and the result commu- 
nicated. The Council met, and his own statement went to 
show that he had no inclination to aid the enemy ; that he 
had encouraged the enlistment of soldiers ; contributed of 
his property for that purpose, hired his man to serve for him 
during the war, and was ready to take the oath of fidelity 
required by law. 

" After hearing the case, the Governor was advised to 
permit him, until further orders, to return and remain in 
Stratford, which place he speedily reached to the great joy 
of his family and friends." 

While Dr. Johnson was on his journey to the Governor 
and returning, the town of Stratford was also in great com- 
motion, as seen in the following records : 

" At a town meeting specially warned and convened at 
the town-house in Stratford July 21, 1779, for the purpose of 
exculpating the town from thie imputations of some scandal- 
ous reports spread abroad to the disadvantage of the town, 
purporting that the people were about carrying on a traitor- 
ous correspondence with the enemy, and laying down their 
arms and submitting to the British Government, &c., Daniel 
Fairchild Esqr. moderator of said meeting : 

** Voted unanimously that an address be made to the 
public for the purpose abovesaid, — and Capt. Ebenezer Coe, 
Samuel Adams, Esqr. Stephen Burroughs, Esqr. Abraham 
Brinsmade, Esqr. and Capt. Blakman were appointed a 
committee to prepare a draft for that purpose and lay it 
before the meeting in their next adjournment. The meeting 
adjourned to the 29th instant one o'clock afternoon to North 
Stratford meeting-house. Test Robert Fairchild, Clerk. 

July 29, 1779. The meeting convened and opened at 
North Stratford meeting-house. Daniel Fairchild, Esqr. 
moderator. The above committee made their Report which 



.386 History of Stratford. 

was read, received and approved and ordered to be published 
in New Haven paper with the names of those who had sub- 
scribed a certain subscription paper as recited in said report 
now on file, and on motion suggesting that Daniel Judson, 
Esqr., John Brooks, Esqr. and Mr. George Lewis had so far 
encouraged the signing said paper recited in said report that 
their names ought to be inserted in the paper, the said 
Brooks and Lewis shewed to the meeting to their satisfac- 
tion, that they were not at all concerned in procuring said 
paper, nor encouraging the signing thereof, and were dis- 
charged by the meeting. 

The said Judson acknowledged that he had been too 
forward in encouraging people to sign, but without any 
design of making a confession to the prejudice of his country, 
but was innocent of any ill design, and was still a fast friend 
of the cause of America; and desired the town would over- 
look his misconduct and receive him into friendship again. 

Whereupon voted that the said Daniel Judson, Esqr. 
should have liberty to insert his name in said paper, and his 
reflection or leave it out at his election, and Stephen Bur- 
roughs, Esqr. was desired to fit said report and address for 
the press, and procure the same to be published.^ 

Test, Robert Fairchild, T. Clerk. 

Other Town Acts during the Revolution. 

"Town meeting at the Town-house July 29, 1779. In 
said meeting Elisha Mills, Esqr., Daniel Bennitt, Esqr., Ste- 
phen Burroughs, Esqr. and Capt. John Benjamin were ap- 
pointed a committee to meet the county committee, at a time 
and place to be agreed upon by other towns in this county to 
consult and devise some proper method to prevent a further 
depreciation, to retrieve and establish the credit of our 
currency. 

** Resolved in said meeting that Isaac Wells Shelton shall 
not reside in this town, and Robert Fairchild, Esqr. is desired 
to inform Hartford County Sheriff* thereof. 

** Resolved that no inimical person now with the enemy 

^ See Appendix for a copy of this address. 



Revolutionary War, 387 

shall return and reside in the town, unless they have the 
approbation of the town in their meeting." 

** Sept. 21, 1779. In said meeting the regulation of prices 
stated by Reading committee were read. The meeting then 
chose Capt. Isaiah Brown, Capt. Ebenezer Coe, William 
Pixlee, Capt. Nathaniel Wheeler, Sylvanus Starling, Stephen 
Middlebrook, Capt. Zechariah Coe, Capt. Wm. Worden, 
Abram Hubbell, Capt. Edmund Leavenworth, Benjamin 
Mallory, James Blakman, Ebenezer Blakman, Samuel Beard, 
Capt. Phineas Sherman, David Wells, Elijah Curtiss and 
Elle Curtiss a committee to assist and inform the informing 
officers of all breaches of laws that shall come to their knowl- 
edge, that all the wicked tribe of monopolizers, engrossers, 
forestallers and stock-jobbers who enhance the prices of the 
necessaries of life, and depreciate our currency, may be 
brought to condign punishment, that their pernicious prac- 
tices may be prevented. 

" Test, Robert Fairchild, T. Clerk." 

In June, 1780, the town in a meeting offered a bounty of 
**ten pounds lawful silver money, or gold, or provisions 
equivalent, to each eflFective man who would enlist and 
serve, for the town, in the Continental army until the last 
day of the next December. 

** Voted, that each able bodied man who shall enlist to 
serve in the Continental army for three years or during the 
war shall receive a bounty, over and above the said ten 
pounds, of six pounds lawful silver money annually so long 
as he shall continue in said service." 

"On November 20, 1780, the town voted, in addition to 
other taxes and supplies called for, "to provid 100 shirts, 100 
pair of mittens, 100 pair of stockings and 100 pair of shoes, 
for our soldiers belonging to this town who are now in the 
service in the Connecticut lines." 

In June, 1781, the town authorized the Recruiting com- 
mittee to fill the quota required ** for six months or twelve 
months on the best terms they can ;" and the same directions 
were given the next year, and at this time — 1782 — for the 
first time the town votedj to borrow money to pay the 
bounties. 



388 History of Stratford. 

At the same meeting a tax of four pence hard money on 
the pound was voted, to raise beef supplies for the army, and 
the town appointed William Pixlee as collector to seize the 
cattle and have them estimated and delivered to the receiver,, 
and give credit for them, or pay for them from the town 
treasury. 

**Dec. 31, 1 78 1. On motion it was voted that the select- 
men be directed carefully to inspect all persons who shall 
come into this town, and such as do not come well recom- 
mended as being friends to this country, or do not manifest 
the same to their satisfaction, they do forthwith warn out^ 
and if need be prosecute them." 

"December 31, 1781. On motion it was voted that the 
town treasurer be directed to pay unto John Daskum as a 
gratuity for his former service in the Continental army from 
the commencement of the war to the present day, the sum of 
six pounds, hard money, and to be paid as soon as may be/* 

Capt. Joseph HuUf* whose son Isaac in 18 12 became 
Commodore in the American Navy, was a native of Derby in 
this state, and commanded one of the light crafts known as 
" Commission boats," which were employed in privateering 
service against the British and Tories. Upon one occasion 
he ran down to an inlet or arm of the sound near Throg's 
Neck, where the British, then occupying New York, were 
accustomed to send vessels for firewood. He found there, 
under convoy of a schooner mounting ten guns, and of ninety 
tons burthen, which lay at anchor in the stream, a number of 
these wood vessels loading, and surprised and captured one 
of them that night. The two sailors who composed her crew, 
he caused to be secured below, and with his own men num- 
bering about fifty, carefully concealed on board, he weighed 
anchor with the captured craft, a little after midnight, and 
bore down upon the British gunboat. 

When hailed his reply disarmed suspicion, although he 
was warned by the sentry to have a care or he would run 
foul of them. *' No, no ! room enough !" he replied, still 
keeping on his course till he ran under the bows of the 

' Maj. W. B. H ink's Historical Sketches, 42. 



Revolutionary War, 389 

schooner, and then with all his men leaped on board. After 
a short but fierce struggle, the schooner was taken; when, 
with the two vessels, both under British colors, and his own 
boat hoisted upon the deck of one of them, Captain Hull set 
out upon his return, passed unsuspected three armed vessels 
of the enemy lying at anchor off Eaton's Neck, and brought 
his prizes safely into Black Rock harbor. 

David Blakeman, of Monroe, a descendant of the Rev. 
Adam Blakeman, the first minister at Stratford, was among 
Captain Hull's crew upon this occasion. In the act of board- 
ing he was wounded across the abdomen by a cutlass so that 
his bowels protruded, but he held the wound together, laying 
quietly upon his back until the vessel was captured, when the 
British surgeon dressed his wound. He recovered and lived 
to be an old man. He, in consequence of a peculiarity of 
voice, was known as " Squeaking David. "• 

Zecharidh Blakeman, of Stratford, another descend- 
ant from the same clergyman, was killed by the British on 
the day* when Fairfield was burned, July 11, 1779. His body 
was brought to Stratford and laid under the shade of an old 
buttonwood tree on the green, where numbers of people 
flocked to view it. It was afterward buried in the graveyard 
near the place where a stone still bears the name of his son 
Abijah, who was lost at sea. The story goes that when Mr. 
Blakeman heard that the British had landed at Fairfield, he 
with others hurried to the scene of action, saying as he did so 
that he would bring down at least one red-coat, but was shot 
through the body by one of the enemy's sentinels while in 
the act of taking aim. 

Washington passing through Stratford. 

There are related" two incidents connected with Wash- 
ington's progress through this part of the country during and 
subsequent to the Revolution. The first was related by Mrs. 
Alice Thompson, daughter of George Benjamin, of Stratford, 

• Manuscript of the Rev. B. L. Swan. 
'» Maj. W. B. Hink's Historical Sketches, 44. 
26 



390 History of Stratford. 

who died in May, 1862, aged nearly ninety-eight years. She 
was eleven years of age in 1775, and may have been thirteen 
or fourteen when she saw Washington. On that occasion she 
with other girls were picking berries on the banks of the 
Housatonic near the ferry, when suddenly a cry was heard 
that soldiers were crossing the river, and presently an officer 
with a number of others landed and asked the ferryman to 
direct them to the tavern. He replied : ** Yonder is the 
tavern-keeper's daughter," and calling Alice bade her show 
General Lafayette the way to her father's house. She walked 
beside his horse on their way to the village, Lafayette talking 
to her in his charming broken English, telling her of his chil- 
dren and asking if she would not like to go to France with 
him to see them. On reaching home she found that General 
Washington had arrived by the western road. Her mother 
thus unexpectedly called upon to provide a dinner for two 
such distinguished guests would have apologized^ for her fare, 
but was reassured by Washington, who told her that all he 
wanted was simple food, and that what was good enough for 
her family was good enough for him. 

Mrs. Benjamin happened to have some potatoes, then a 
great rarity, and Alice obtained leave to place them upon 'the 
table. In doing this she stepped between Washington and 
Lafayette, when the former, placing his hand on her head and 
turning her face toward him asked her name, and after some 
other questions told her to be a good girl and gave her his 
blessing. It may easily be supposed that she never forgot 
the circumstances. 

The late Mrs. Benjamin Fairchild, who died a few years 
since aged over eighty, well remembered another visit made 
by Washington to Stratford while on his tour through New 
England in October, 1789. At that time Capt. Alison Benja- 
min lived at Old Mill, about half-way down the western slope 
of the hill; the house is still standing and is owned by Mr. 
Judson. This Capt. Benjamin built a sloop of forty-five tons 
burthen called the " Hunter of Berkshire,'* in a field south 
of the road, just opposite his own door, although there was 
no water in sight. It was nearly completed when Washington 
passed, and surprised at the sight, he alighted, went over to 



Revolutionary War. 391 

the place and questioned the workmen as to how they ex- 
pected to get the vessel to the water. In reply, he was told 
that strong ways were to be built beneath the craft, to serve 
as a sled, upon which when winter came it would glide down 
hill to the creek, a branch of Yellow Mill stream, fully a 
quarter of a mile away, and in the spring would settle 
through the ice into the water, and by this plan it was sub- 
sequently launched. 

A Midnight Party of Regulars, 

In the winter of 1777 or 1778, the house of Joseph Lewis 
on Old Mill Hill was visited by a party of British soldiers on 
one of their plundering expeditions from Long Island. The 
family being roused at dead of night by the crashing in of the 
door, were unable to offer the slightest resistance, and there- 
fore the soldiers not only stripped the house of all supplies of 
food stored for the winter, but, taking the quilts and cover- 
ings from the beds, spread them on the floor and emptied 
into them the contents of all the drawers and chests, and 
even the wearing apparel in daily use, tied them and carried 
all away. 

Mr. Lewis besought them to leave for his use the Conti- 
nental bills found in the till of one of the chests, as they could 
be no service to the regulars, but the officer in command 
tauntingly answered that they ** would serve for a bonfire," 
and carried them with the rest of the booty. 

Phebe Lewis, a girl of twelve years, had that winter fin- 
ished her first spinning stint. As she lay in her trundle-bed 
while the soldiers were collecting the goods, she saw the 
large roll of wool, dyed dark blue, ready for the weaving, 
tossed upon the heap of plunder. It rolled to the edge near- 
est her bed, and as the soldier on guard turned his back for 
an instant, she grasped it, drew it into the bed and lay upon 
it. Of all the family stores and supplies this was the only 
article saved. The occupants of the beds were left shivering 
under a single sheet, and in the morning were fed and clothed 
by the charity of their neighbors. 

Jabez Huntington Tomlinson, a student of Yale, and 
engaged to be married to Rebecca Lewis, was spending the 



392 History of Stratford. 

night at the house. The soldiers on leaving ordered him to 
rise, dress and accompany them. He was taken to Long 
Island, thence to New York, and imprisoned in the Old Sugar 
House. After a confinement of nearly two years, he suc- 
ceeded, through the connivance of a guard, in sending a letter 
to Sir Henry Clinton, detailing the circumstances of his cap- 
ture and imprisonment, and praying for release. Clinton, 
surprised to receive so scholarly an epistle from one of the 
despised Yankees, granted the young man an interview and 
subsequently allowed him to return to his friends." 

Gen. David Wooster, son of Abraham and grandson 
of Edward Wooster, one of the first settlers of Derby, was 
born at Oronoke, in Stratford, March 2d, 1710-1 1. His father, 
Abraham Wooster, from Derby, settled at Stratford about 
1706, in the southeast corner of what is now Huntington, 
where he remained until about 1720, when he settled at 
Quaker's Farms, in Derby, where he died. 

David Wooster was graduated at Yale College in 1738. 
Something more would probably have been known of his 
early life but for the burning of all his family papers by the 
British when they pillaged New Haven in 1779. 

When the Spanish war broke out in 1739 he was em- 
ployed as first lieutenant, and in 1745 as captain of a coast 
guard. 

In 1746, he married, in New Haven, the beautiful and 
accomplisned daughter of Thomas Clapp, president of Yale 
College ; but neither the society of a charming companion, 
his love of classic lore, nor his youthful inclination for a 
learned profession could restrain his devotion to the interests 
of his country. He continued in the service and was ap- 
pointed captain in Colonel Burr's regiment, which formed a 
part of the troops sent by Connecticut in the celebrated suc- 
cessful expedition against Louisburg in 1745. 

For a time he was retained among the colonial troops to 
keep possession of the conquest he had assisted in eflFecting, 
and he was soon after elected among the American officers to 
take charge of a cartel ship for France and England. He was 

>^ Manuscript of Mrs. Rufus W. Bunnell. 



Revolutionary War. 393 

not permitted to land in France, but was received in England 
with distinguished honor. 

The young American officer, as he was called, was pre- 
sented to the King and became a favorite of the court and 
people. The King admitted him into the regular service and 
presented him with a captaincy in Sir William Pepperell's 
regiment, with half-pay for life. His likeness at full length 
was taken and transferred to the periodicals of that day. 
The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, which took place in 1748, re- 
stored Louisburg to France, and the young American officer 
to his home and family. 

In the French war of 1756, he was appointed colonel of 
a regiment raised in Connecticut, and afterwards to the com- 
mand of a brigade, in which station he remained until the 
peace of 1763, when he returned again to his family. 

Soon after this he engaged in mercantile business in New 
Haven, and held the office of his majesty's collector of the 
customs of that port. 

When the Revolutionary troubles began, although an 
officer in the British regular army, entitled to half-pay for 
life, he did not hesitate to take sides with his native country, 
and his pen and sword were actively employed in the defense 
of its rights. 

After the battle of Lexington, he, with a few others, 
while engaged in the General Assembly in May, 1775, planned 
the expedition from Connecticut to seize and retain the fort 
at Ticonderoga, and to enable them to carry their plans into 
execution they privately obtained a loan of eighteen hundred 
dollars from the treasury of the state, for which they became 
personally responsible ; the result being that on the loth of 
May, this font was surprised and delivered up to Allen and 
Arnold, and their brave followers. 

Congress, when informed of this transaction, recom- 
mended that an inventory of the cannon and military stores 
found in the fort should be taken, ** in order," as they say, 
** that they may be safely returned when the restoration of 
the former harmony between Great Britain and these colonies 
shall render it prudent and consistent with the overruling 
care of self-preservation." 



394 History of Stratford, 

The military experience, as well as the daring spirit of 
General Wooster, recommended him to Congress when rais- 
ing an army of defence, and among the eight brigadier gen- 
erals appointed by that body on the 22d of June, 1775, he was 
the third in rank. 

During the campaign of 1776 General Wooster was em- 
ployed principally along the Canada line, and at one time he 
had the command of the Continental troops in that quarter. 

After this expedition he returned home and was ap- 
pointed first major-general of the militia of his state. During 
the winter of 1776 and 1777 he was employed in protecting 
Connecticut against the enemy, and particularly the neigh- 
borhood of Danbury, where large magazines of provisions 
and other articles had been collected by the Americans. He 
had just returned to New Haven from one of his tours when 
he heard on Friday, the 15th of April, 1777, that a body of 
two thousand men, sent from New York on the preceding 
day, had effected a landing at Norwalk and Fairfield for the 
purpose of destroying the magazines at Danbury, which ob- 
ject they accomplished the next day. 

On hearing this news Generals Wooster and Arnold set 
off from New Haven to join the militia hastily collected by 
General Silliman, who numbered about six hundred, and with 
this small force it was determined to attack the enemy on 
their retreat, and a part of the men were put under General 
Wooster and a part under General Arnold. General Wooster 
with his men pursued the enemy the next morning, but he 
having inexperienced militia and the enemy having several 
field-pieces, his men, after doing considerable execution, were 
broken and gave way. The General was rallying them when 
he received a mortal wound. A musket ball hit him obliquely, 
broke his backbone, lodged within him and could not be ex- 
tracted. He was removed from the field, his wounds dressed 
and he was conveyed to Danbury where all possible care was 
taken of him. His wife and son were sent for and came, but 
skill and kindness could not save him, for he died on the sec- 
ond day of May, 1777, at the age of sixty-six years. 

Much care has been exercised to secure lists of Revolu- 
tionary soldiers from Stratford, with very little success. If 



Revolutionary War. 395 

anything further shall te obtained it will be placed in the 
Appendix of this book. In another town of this State, some 
years since, an aged woman was asked who of the town went 
to the war as soldiers. Her answer was: •* Who went? 
They all went." This answer, apparently, is appropriate to 
Stratford. 

Gen* Joseph Walker. The inscription on his tomb- 
stone says: "He entered the American Army in the year 
1777, served his country in the several grades of office, from 
a Captain to a Major General." 

Capt. Hbenezer Coe, wounded at Ridgefield, April 27^ 
1777. 

Capt. Nehemiah Garham served through the war. 
He died Feb. 17, 1836, aged 83 years. 

Capt. Beach Tomlinson, of Ripton, was in the army. 

WiUiam Thompson was killed at Ridgefield, April 27, 
1777; and on May 4, .1777, the Sunday after his death, the 
Rev. Izrahiah Wetmore preached his funeral sermon at Strat- 
ford. Text, Isaiah ix. 5. The manuscript sermon is still pre- 
served by the Wetmore family. 

George Thompson^ son of Daniel, is recorded in Rip- 
ton, in 1776, as "died in the army." 

Agur Tomlinson^ of Ripton, son of Capt. Beach Tom- 
linson, was in the army. 

Savfiuel DeForestf born in July, 1758, 

Abel DeForest, born in April, 1761, 

Mills DeForest, born in May. 1763, 

Gideon DeForest, born in September, 1765 ; all sons of 
Joseph DeForest of Stratford, were in the war; all drew 
pensions many years, and all met in a reunion at Gideon's 
home at Edmeston, Otsego County, N. Y., in 1835, fifty-four 
years after the war closed, when the youngest was 70 years 
of age and the eldest 77. 

Capt. Stephen Middlebroofc and his company were in 
the war as represented by receipts. 



396 History of Stratford. 

"Received, March 15, 1779, of Silvanus Starling, one of 
the Selectmen of Stratford, Fifty-seven pounds, twelve shil- 
lings lawful money, which is in full for my services, and the 
persons under my command, in keeping guard at North Fair- 
field in April, 1777. 

Rec* per Stephen Middlebrook." 

Nathan Oorham was born in 1751 and died May 28, 
1839, aged 88 years. 

Before the Revolution he and John Barlow sailed to- 
gether in the West India trade, but when the war broke 
out, they discontinued the business through fear of the Brit- 
ish war vessels by whom they might be captured. After a 
little time Barlow obtained command of an American priv- 
ateer, to sail from Boston, and engaged Gorham as his mate 
and sail maker. 

•* Rtde and Tie:' 

Their journey to Boston was accomplished in the follow- 
ing manner, called " Ride and Tie.'* They purchased an old 
horse for seven dollars, with which they started, one riding 
and going ahead a number of miles then tying the horse so it 
could eat grass, pursued his journey on foot. When the 
other came to the horse he rode him, and passing his fellow 
traveler continued his stipulated number of miles then tied 
the horse to eat and took his journey on foot as before. 
When they had in this nianner reached near Boston they 
turned the horse into the highway to care for himself, and 
went to their boat. 

They sailed with the purpose of capturing vessels from 
England with supplies for British troops in America. After 
sailing around about ten days, they sighted a ship and giving 
chase, she made more sail as if trying to escape being cap- 
tured, and the privateer being a fast sailer soon came up, 
and running along side, commanded her to strike — or in 
other words, to surrender. Upon this she opened her ports, 
showing herself a man of war, and being so near, the privateer 
could only surrender, and the men were taken as prisoners of 
war. They were all sent to New York and put on board the 
Jersey, a prison ship lying in the East river. 



Revolutionary War. 397 

Camp disorder (which was diarrhoea), soon broke out 
among the prisoners, carrying- off from ten to fifteen a day. 
Mr. Gorham being a good oarsman was detailed as one of the 
boatmen to take the dead ashore and bury them, and thereby 
he escaped severe illness. This burying was performed 
where the Navy Yard is now in the city of Brooklyn. A 
large excavation was made and when a corpse was put in 
some earth was thrown upon it, and thus one after another, 
until the place was filled, and then another excavation was 
made. All were taken ill, but many not severely, enlisted 
in the British service as the only way to escape death, as 
they were immediately transferred to healthy quarters. As 
soon as Mr. Gorham was taken ill he enlisted and was put on 
board a war vessel, in which they sailed to the southward. 
One morning they fell in with a privateer and tried to decoy 
her alongside, but did not succeed. The privateer was armed 
with a long 32 pounder, while the war vessel had short guns, 
and the firing of the former was very dangerous to the latter, 
but she kept at a distance, and at evening disappeared. To 
repair damages the war vessel put into St. Augustine, Flor- 
ida, that being then a Spanish port, and while repairing, the 
soldiers were at liberty in the port. Mr. Gorham and two 
others finding an old canoe agreed to try to make their 
escape, although at great hazard. They saved from their 
rations enough to last them two or three days. The canoe 
being leaky Gorham stole a calking iron to make it tight 
when they should reach a place out of danger of being cap- 
tured. They coasted the canoe most of the way in sounds 
and inland waters to the north part of North Carolina, going 
ashore nights and begging what they needed to eat, in which 
effort they would have had but little difficulty had it not 
been for the savage dogs, which were so fierce that they 
several times feared being torn in pieces. When they left 
the canoe to come on land Mr. Gorham put the calking iron 
in his pocket thinking he might sell it for a few pennies or 
something to eat. He did not part with it, however, but 
brought it to Stratford and kept it. About 1830 Mr. Nathan 
Birdsey McEwen, grand-son of Nathan Gorham, had built a 
boat and desiring to calk it went to his grandfather to borrow 



398 History of Stratford. 

a calking iron, upon which he gave him this iron that he 
stole from the British war ship and told him this history 
how he came by it, and Mr. McEwen named it '* The Story 
of the Calking Iron." In the year 1884, Mr. McEwen being 
eighty years of age, and the iron having been in possession of 
himself and his grandfather over one hundred years, he gave 
it and its history to his nephew, Robert W. Curtis, for trans- 
mission as a relic of the hardships of the American Revolution. 
The iron has a stamp of the British crown upon it." 

Nathan Gorham was in active service in the Revolution, 
at New York City, and told the following story, a part of 
which has already been published as Revolutionary history: 

** I was in the retreat from Long Island and barely 
escaped with life. The Stratford Company was the last. to 
leave, and just as the last boat was leaving the British Light- 
horse were coming down upon it, and it was so loaded that 
three men were left — John Benjamin, myself and another. 
We ran up the river where the Navy Yard now is, and find- 
ing a small boat, although dried and leaky, we launched it 
and jumped in and with pieces of a rail rowed as well as we 
could for the New York shore, bailing with our hats. We 
drifted with the tide up to a place called Corlear's Hook and 
almost to where the British had commenced crossing, our 
boat sinking under us as we struck the shore. We started on 
a run fearing we would be cut oflF. The day being very hot 
we suffered dreadfully with thirst, when seeing a well the 
third man said he must have some water or he should die. 
Benjamin and myself, not daring to go, advised him not to, 
but he went. Benjamin, and myself narrowly escaped being 
cut off, but the man who went to the well was never heard of 
again. In Frost's History of the United States (II. 211), the 
three are reported as staying behind for plunder, but after- 
wards returning to their ranks, which is a decided error.'* 

Nathan Gorham, although three years in the service, 
enlisted only three months at a time, and therefore received 
only a pension of thirty-six dollars per year. He died May 
28, 1839, ^g^d 88 years. 

'^ Manuscript of Nathan B. McEwen. 



Revolutionary War. 399 

"John Barlow died May 4, 1786, in the 37th year of his 
age. His tombstone is in the Congregational Cemetery, on 
which is the following inscription, which he copied from the 
monument of an English Admiral's tomb in the West Indies: 

"Though Boreas' blasts and Neptune*s waves 
Have tossed me to and fro ; 
In spite of death, by God's decree 
I harbor here below, 
Where I do now at anchor ride 
With many of our fleet. 
Yet once again I must set sail 
Our Admiral Christ to meet." 

The following is a copy of the Roll of Lieut. William 
Hairs Company of Guard, stationed for four years — from 
1777 to 1782 — in the old Borroughs store building on the 
wharf of Bridgeport, furnished by Wildman Hall, one of the 
members of the company and its last survivor, to Dea. Isaac 
Sherman. The said Wildman Hall died July 10, 185 1. 

Officers in lySi, 

Lieut. William Hall, Sargt. Isaac Patchen, 

Corpl. Joel Parish. 

Privates. 

Thomas Cooke, Samuel French, clerk, 

Ebenezer Hawley, . Lyman Hall, 

Samuel Wheeler, Ichabod Beardsley, 

Zachariah Wheeler, Salmon Patchin, 

Gideon Wells, James Gregory, 

James Crawford, Josiah Burritt, 

John Porter, Sherman Burritt, 

William Hubbell, Denton Seeley, 

, Lyman Knapp, John McEnzie, 

Ebenezer Gregory, Seth Bulkley, 

Wildman Hall, Joseph Hawes. 

A Substitute Paid for, 

** Stratford in Connecticut, Febru'' 20*^, 1778. 
" This may certify that Phillip Benjamin and Stephen 
Beers, both of the town of Stratford in Fairfield County, 
have hired Joel Beers, an able bodied Man, to Inlist himself 



400 History of Stratford, 

to serve during the present war between the American States 
and Great Britain, in one of the sixteen Battallions raised and 
commanded by Samuel B. Webb, Esqr. 

" per me Joseph Walker, Lieu. Sd. Reg." 

Mr. Nathan B. McEwen gave the following, told to him 
by his father: 

" In the war of the Revolution my grandfather and great 
uncle Daniel McEwen owned land in the Great Neck, near 
Stratford Point, and fearing they might be taken prisoners, 
when British vessels were on the Sound or by boats coming 
from Long Island for that purpose, they placed my father, 
then a small boy, on Round Hill — the highest land on the 
Neck — to watch for any vessel that might land, and give the 
alarm. Many a tedious hour, he said, he spent there for that 
purpose. 

*' At one time there came two vessels and cruised off and 
on most of the day. The town was alarmed and the militia 
were called out, and a small gun which in derision was called 
the Glister pipe, was taken down the neck to oppose the land- 
ing of the British. 

** While there a squall came up sudden and struck the 
brig Kingfisher, which immediately sank. Then a great 
shout went up from those on shore. Her masts being out of 
water the crew took refuge in the riging. It was not known 
whether any were lost except two men they had taken pris- 
oners at Branford, and their bodies drifted ashore near where 
they were taken prisoners." 

A Traditionary Story well autheniicated. 

During the Revolution there was much contraband traffic 
between Connecticut and Long Island, where the British sol- 
diers were quartered much of the time, which was very profit- 
able if the parties were not detected, and so much so that 
loyal men would sometimes engage in it. Many fast rowing 
boats were kept for this purpose, so many that it was difficult 
to obtain witnesses against anyone, because nearly all boat- 
men were interested, and they were seldom caught except by 
government boats employed for that purpose. 



Revolutionary War, 40 1 

In one case," in the month of March, the weather being 
fine, several young men — John Thompson, William South- 
worth, William Beers, and others, hired a sailor by the name 
of Crowell, who came in with a boat of codfish from the east, 
and Nathan Gorham, another sailor, and started on a trip, of 
the kind which was called Corderoy. The name was in con- 
sequence of the kind of cloth obtained in exchange for the 
truck carried over. 

They went over in the night and did their trading in the 
forenoon of the next day, and came back in the afternoon near 
evening. Arriving near the north shore of the Sound, they 
saw a government boat beating off and on at the mouth of 
Stratford harbor, and therefore kept off in the Sound waiting 
to run in under cover of darkness. But unfortunately, a 
snow squall came up, and they were compelled to run before 
it, the wind blowing very hard, the sea high and frequently 
breaking into the boat. 

Crowell and Gorham, clothed with heavy pea jackets, sat 
in the stern of the boat and thereby breaking off much of the 
sea, each holding an oar to steer the boat, soon became coated 
with ice which kept them warm, while the others bailed the 
boat, suffering with the cold. 

They thus scud the boat nearly to the east end of Long 
Island, where they run ashore. Some of them went for a 
light and on returning found Beers frozen to death. Crowell's 
and Gorham's pea-jackets were so frozen that it was neces- 
sary for them to get out of and leave them where they sat. 
The snow having become deep there were only two of them 
able to reach a house, where they found a gang of men on a 
carouse, who at once went and helped bring in the others, 
safely, although some had frozen hands, except Beers, who 
was dead. 

After staying there until they were in condition to return 
home, and having rewarded their preservers with goods they 
had purchased, they returned home safely, but found their 
friends had given them up as lost. 

William Beers was a young man, just out of his appren- 

" Manuscript of the late Nathan B. McEwen. 



402 History of Stratford, 

ticeship, but twenty-one years of age, having worked in a 
warm shoe shop all winter and therefore could not endure 
the cold. 

John Thompson, the father of Joseph Thompson, lost the 
ends of his thumb and fingers. 

A Great Jubilee Day in North Stratford. 

*'The 26th day of May, 1783, the inhabitants of North 
Stratford set apart as a day of Public Rejoicing for the late 
publications of peace. At one o'clock, P. M., the people be- 
ing convened at the Meeting House, public worship was 
opened by singing. The Rev. Mr. Beebee then made a 
prayer well adapted and suitable for the occasion. They 
then sung a .Psalm. Mr. Lewis Beebee, a student in Yale 
College, made an oration with great propriety. The congre- 
gation then sung an anthem. The Rev. Mr. Beebee, then re- 
quested the Ladies to take their seats prepared on an emi- 
nence for their reception when they walked in procession, 
and upwards of 300 being seated the committee who were 
appointed to wait on them supplied their table with neces- 
saries for refreshments. In the meantime the two companies 
of malitia being drawn up performed many maneuvers, and 
firing by plattoons, genl* volleys and street firing, and the 
artillery discharging their cannon between each volley with 
much regularity and accuracy. After which a stage was pre- 
pared in the center and the following toasts were given : 

1st. The United States in Congress Assembled. 

2d. Gen^ Washington and the brave OflScers and soldiers 
of his command. 

3d. Our Faithful and Illustrious Allies. 

4th. The Friendly Powers of Europe. 

5th. The Governor and Company of the State of Connect- 
icut. 

6th. May the present peace prove a glorious one and last 
forever. 

7th. May tyranny and despotism sink, and rise no more. 

8th. May the late war prove an admonition to Great 
Britain, and the present peace teach its inhabitants their true 
interests. 



Revolutionary"^ War, 403 

9th. The Navy of the United States of America, 

loth. May the Union of these States be perpetual and 
uninterrupted. 

nth. May our Trade and Navigation Extend to both 
Indies and the Balance be found in our favour. 

I2th. May the American Flag always be a scourge to 
tyrants. 

13th. May the Virtuous Daughters of America bestow 
their favours only on those who have Courage to defend 
them. 

14th. May Vermont be received into the Federal Union 
and the Green Mountain Boys flourish." 

'* At the end of each toast a cannon was discharged. 
•* The whole was conducted with the greatest decency 
and every mind seemed to show satisfaction." 



CHAPTER XVI. 




AFTER THE WAR. 



ONG was the struggle for the Independence 
of the United States, and immensely great 
was the victory. Lord Cornwallis surren- 
dered his army and navy on the 19th of 
October, 1781, which was the virtual close 
of the war, although peace was not lawfully 
proclaimed until after the treaty was signed 
by the King, September 3, 1783, a prelim- 
inary treaty having been signed November 
30, 1782. 

Naturally it might be expected that the 
spirit and enterprise of the people, by such 
a seven years* struggle, would be broken and 
greatly reduced, but the contrary were the 
precise facts, notwithstanding the fact that 
the waste and death resulting from the war 
had been very great. This statement is warranted by the 
doings of the inhabitants in the town meeting, and by subse- 
quent history. Before the war closed, the increase of num- 
bers and the prosperity of the people are manifested in the 
following action to divide the township: 

** March 20, 1780. The meeting then took into considera- 
tion the expediency of dividing the town into two townships, 
and voted that on condition that they could agree on a proper 
line of division they would apply to the General Assembly 
for the privilege of being made and established into two 
townships, and thereupon Messrs. Mr. Nathan Birdsey, Dan- 
iel Judson, Esqr., Mr. Joseph Curtiss, Col. Samuel Whiting, 
Samuel Adams, Esqr., Maj. Agur Judson, Elisha Mills, Esqr., 
Capt. Nathan Booth, Capt. Samuel Blakeman, Capt. Benja- 



w. 



Dividing- the Township, 405 

min Nichols^ Abraham Brinsniade, Esqr., Mr. Stephen Mid- 
dlebrook, Capt. John Sherwood, Capt. Zechariah Coe, Stephen 
Burroughs, Esqr., Daniel Bennitt^ Esqr., Mr. Silas Nichols, 
Mr. Judson Curtiss, and Mr. Zechariah Summers were ap- 
pointed a committee to view and affix a line where it shall be 
most convenient to divide the town into two townships and 
make report to this meeting at their next adjournment." 

The next year another committee was appointed for the 
same purpose, and upon their report, which was to divide the 
town by a line running east and west, setting off six miles in 
width of the north end of the township for a new town, a 
protest was made, and a delegation was appointed to go to 
the General Assembly and oppose the petition prepared to 
be sent to that body, and here the matter ended. 

Soon after the surrender of Cornwallis, that is, December 
31, 1781, another effort was made for a new township. 

" After much debate it was finally motioned and unani- 
mously voted that the parish of New Stratford and that part 
of North Fairfield parish that belongs to Stratford and such 
part of the Northerly part of North Stratford parish as may 
be agreed on by and between the said parishes aforesaid, be 
set oflF for a separate distinct town." 

This proposition was not granted by the Legislature, but 
it reveals the spirit and courage of progress. 

The next year a proposition was brought before the town 
to allow a dam and mill to be built on the Pequonnock river, 
which resulted, some years later, in the establishment of the 
Berkshire mills.* 

WiUiam JPixlee, the son of Peter and grandson of 
William, one of the early settlers on Old Mill green, was a 
man of good standing, owned the old Pixlee homestead, and 



' Dec. 30, 1782. On motion made by William Pixlee, showing to this meet- 
ing that there was a very convenient place to erect a tide mill on Pequonnock 
River, joining his home lot, which would be very serviceable to the town and at 
Great service to the public in general ; and asked the advice and approbation of 
this meeting in said motion ; Voted that they have no objections against the erect- 
ing a mill at the place proposed in case no damage be done thereby to the public 
by obstructing the navigation in said river ; nor any private injury to the property 
of any private person. 

a? 



406 History of Stratford, 

in the proposition to build this mill was following out the 
enterprise of his grandfather, who was a spirited, energetic 
man. 

Mr. Pixlee built his mill, in all probability, and a bridge 
across the Pequonnock river, and opened a road or highway 
from near his dwelling at Old Mill Green down to it, it being 
the street now known as the Huntington road, for, in a town 
vote in March, 1792, the selectmen were authorized "to em- 
ploy persons to keep in good repair the bridges called Pixlee's 
Bridge and Benjamin's Bridge;" Pixlee's bridge being at 
what has been since called Berkshire Mills. 

On January 9, 1786, another proposition for town im- 
provement was accepted by the town, which was known 
several years as Benjamin's Bridge. 

" Voted, that upon consideration that a highway is 
opened through the Newfield to the Old Mill Creek and a 
good substantial cart-bridge erected across said creek and a 
highway opened to New Pasture Point by John Benjamin 
and others by the last day of December next, then said Ben- 
jamin and others shall be entitled to receive one-half penny on 
the pound out of the 2^ tax laid on the list of 1785, of the 
town treasurer." 

The bridge was built and the road opened, which is now 
the Stratford road, and after six years the town, in March, 
1792, granted another privilege in conjunction with it. 

" Upon application of Joseph Walker of Stratford, pray- 
ing liberty for the exclusive privilege of the salt water River 
or Creek running on the east side of New Pasture Point, 
being the same over which Benjamin's Bridge so-called is 
erected, for the purpose of building a Grist Mill: 

Voted, That liberty is granted the said Walker, his heirs 
and assigns forever, for the purpose aforesaid ; provided that 
said mill and dam be erected within seven years from this 
date ; and also provided the mill dam does not injure the 
bridge erected across said river or creek ; and also provided 
he makes all damages good to private property," 

Three years later, some of the people of Stratford insti- 
tuted measures for depriving General Walker of this privi- 
lege, and he being an old Revolutionary soldier, and having a 



The Old Yellow Mill. 407 

will of his own, determined not to be defeated. He had then 
expended much money and time, and therefore petitioned the 
legislature, at the October session of 1795, for action on the 
matter, with advantageous result: 

*• Upon the petition of Joseph Walker of Stratford, in the 
County of Fairfield, showing to this Assembly that the inhab- 
itants of the town of Stratford at a legal town meeting held 
on the 5th day of March, 1792, granted to him, his heirs and 
assigns the exclusive privilege of a certain salt water creek or 
arm of the sea on the easterly side of the Newfield Harbour 
in said town, being known and called by the name of Old 
Mill Creek, for the purpose of erecting a tide mill, and that 
he has proceeded to improve "said grant, and laid out and 
expended large sums of money in prosecuting said business, 
and that he now finds some individuals in said town object to 
his proceedings to improve said grant, praying relief as per 
petition on file : 

Resolved by this Assembly, That said grant of said town 
of Stratford, as aforesaid, made to the petitioner be and the 
same is hereby ratified and confirmed ; and liberty is hereby 
granted to the petitioner, his heirs and assigns to erect and 
build a dam across said creek or river, at or near Benjamin's 
Bridge, in such manner as to use and employ the mill or mills 
that may be there erected to the greatest advantage ; pro- 
vided, nevertheless, that nothing in said resolve shall be con- 
strued to bar said town of Stratford from compelling the 
petitioner, his heirs and assigns, to repair any injury he or 
they may do said Benjamin's Bridge by erecting said mill- 
dam ; and also provided that nothing in this resolve contained 
shall be construed to bar or affect the right which any indi- 
vidual may have to any action against the petitioner, his heirs 
and assigns in case they are damnified by the overflowing of 
the waters occasioned by said dam." 

Old Mill creek is what is now called the Yellow Mill- 
pond and Pembroke lake, and extended northward to Old 
Mill Green. The elder residents of Stratford remember 
when vessels of considerable size were built at the head of 
the creek and floated down and over the causeway, at high 
water, to the harbor. 



4o8 History of Stratford. 

The tide in this creek always set back to Old Mill uatil 
the railroad culvert was built» which stopped the water from 
flowing above that point. 

This mill, built by Gen. Joseph Walker, had a number of 
owners, the last of whom was Mr. George F. Cook, and he 
was the unfortunate loser when it was set afire and burned 
down in 1884. 

The mill was painted yellow, and had been known many 
years as the Yellow Mill. 

The desire for a new township or townships continued 
with increased interest and effort and in 1786, in town meet- 
ing, they gave consent that Ripton, North Stratford and New 
Stratford might become separate towns, and in 1789, Ripton 
and New Stratford were made a separate township. 

In August, 1787, the following action as to the ferry road 
was taken : " Voted, that the selectmen procure an highway 
at New Pasture Point to accommodate the Ferry, and if they 
cannot agree with the owners of the land, to apply to the 
County Court for the purpose aforesaid." 

The road was secured, and passed around the point from 
where the Steel Works now stand, along the shore to Benja- 
min's Bridge. 

The only public road or highway coming to this Point 
was what is now Pembroke street, which had been in use 
probably more than one hundred years. 

The Congregational Church and Meeting-house. 

The third meeting-house in Stratford village had served 
the congregation well about forty years, was in good repair^ 
when, on the afternoon of June 17, 1785, it was burned to the 
ground, being struck by lightning. This edifice stood on 
Watch-house Hill, and the destruction of it, so soon after the 
Revolutionary War, was a great calamity to the society and 
people. 

Some description of this unfortunate occurrence, and the 
building of a new house, has been preserved by the thought- 
fulness of one of Stratford's own citizens, having been writ- 
ten in an Almanac for that same year, which is now just one 
hundred years ago ; and it is here produced with pleasure. 



Burning the Meeting-house, 409 

In this house Mr. Gold had preached about eight years, 
and Mr. Izrahiah Wetmore twenty-seven years, but had re- 
signed his pastorate five years before, and Mr. Stephen W. 
Stebbins had preached in it about one year when it was 
burned. 

The burning of the Stratford Meeting-house as recorded by 
John Brooks, 

"On Friday, the 17th day of June, 1785, at about 6 o'clock 
in the afternoon, Stratford meeting-house was struck with 
lightning and within about one hour and a half it was totally 
reduced to ashes. The fire broke out from the steeple, round 
the plate on the south side, all in an instant. The house on 
that side was one continued blaze instantaneously. The 
quantity of fire contained in the clap or explosion, was sup- 
posed to be very great, and all efforts to save the house was 
in vain. 

" The Society having collected timber and other materials 
erected another house of the same dimensions as the former 
and placed it on Hiell's hill, so-called. The frame of this 
new house they commenced raising on Friday, the 17th of 
May, 1786, and finished it on Saturday the i8th at about sun- 
down. 

•* The society with united zeal proceeded with this build- 
ing and completed, painted, glazed and plastered it on Satur- 
day, the nth day of November, in just 25 weeks after it was 
erected; and on the Sunday following, Nov. 12, 1786, the 
congregation met in it in the forenoon for the purpose of 
public worship which was conducted by the Rev. Stephen 
W. Sebbins, who introduced the services by singing the I02d 
Psalm, 2d part. Next in succession followed a very pertinent 
extempore prayer suitable to the occasion and dedication of 
said house. The ist text was from the 107 psalm at the 7th 
verse. The subject matter of the sermon was upon the duty 
of attending the public worship and other ordinances of 
Christ's Church, with becoming reverance and fear; and the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered the same 
forenoon. 

" In the afternoon the service began at 3 o'clock, intro- 



410 History of Stratford^ 

duced in the usual manner, and a sermon delivered by the 
Rev, Mr. Stebbins before a very numerous audience composed 
of the two Societies, in this place, unitedly convened with 
their respective pastors — the Rev. Mr. Learning, the Episco- 
pal Rector — ^and a number of gentlemen from the other 
parishes of the town. The sermon was on the subject of 
God's recording his name in his temple ; and William Brooks 
had a child baptized by the name of Anna,* the first to whom 
that ordinance was administered in said house."* 

This was a commodious edifice, located near the site of 
the present house of worship of the same society, and it con- 
tinued in use until the one now standijig was built in 1858. 
Of this building a good picture is preserved, showing it to 
have been an imposing structure for the times, built with 
much skill of "architecture and workmanship. This is espe- 
cially exhibited by the representation of the interior of the 
house. There were doors on the south side and the two ends^ 
it being the same style of meeting-house that prevailed for a 
hundred years or more in this State, the first one of the kind 
having been built at Farmington. 

When this house was to be torn down, and the carpen- 
ters had commenced their work, Mr. Rufus W. Bunnell, on 
the morning of November i, 1858, stepped into the front door 
to take a last look at the familiar seats and walls, when the 
thought struck him — yes, struck him — to make a drawing as 
it then appeared. This he did, on an old scrap of paper, so 
perfectly that the wood engraver* has produced the accom- 
panying finely-finished illustration of the sacred old inclosure* 
The paneling, table, carpet, windows, pulpit and sounding- 
board over it are to be seen in life-like vividness, as they 
were when the congregation last departed from that long 
familiar place. The sounding-board was finished in a more 
ornamental style than was usual, by the dome-like paneling 

' The family record says Polly. 

* This record was made by John Brooks in the back part of a Connecticut 
Register for 1785 — Green's first Register — the calculations being made by Nathaa 
Daboll, of the academy in Plainfield. (Manuscript of the Rev. B. L. Swan.) 

^ Mr. John E. Sweet, of Bridgeport. 



The Sounding-board, 



411 




INTERIOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH TAKEN NOVEMBER I. 1858. 



4 1 2 History of Stratford, 

above it, forming a much more imposing appearance than 
was customary in the meeting-houses of that day. It was not 
the intention of the artist to represent the pews, but only the 
main aisle and the side of the house on which the pulpit 
stood. 

It is with much satisfaction that the accompanying cut is 
secured for this work. 

This was the fourth house of worship for this, the old 
society, and in 1858 they commenced the fifth, which was 
completed in modern style inside and out, and was dedicated 
on the 27th of October, 1859, ^" ornament to the village, and 
a pleasant house of worship. 

The Mantial of this Congregational Church of Strat- 
ford is a more than usually historical, extensive and val- 
uable work of the kind, having been published in 1881, con- 
taining 84 pages. From it are taken the following sketches 
of Ministers and list of Deacons: 

"JSev. Izrahiah Wetmore,* the third son of Rev. Izra- 
hiah and Sarah (Booth) Wet more, born August 30, 1729, at 
Stratford, was graduated at Yale College in 1748, received 
the degree of A.M. from the same institution in 175 1 ; studied 
theology and entered the ministry ; was settled pastor at 
Stratford from May, 1753, until 1780, at Trumbull from 1785 
until 1798. 

** He preached the Election Sermon before the Legisla- 
ture of Connecticut in 1773 ; also a sermon in pamphlet form 
at the ordination of David Lewis Beebe to the pastorate of 
the first Church of Christ at Woodbridge, February 23, 1791 : 
and other autograph sermons still preserved. 

** He was warmly attached to the cause of Independence, 
and it is related of him that, *When the news of the surren- 
der of Lord Cornwallis to General Washington reached 
Stratford it was on Sunday and during worship. Word was 
immediately taken to the pulpit, while parson Wetmore was 
delivering his discourse. Straightening himself to his full 
height, and making known the intelligence, he said : It is no 

^ This sketch is taken from the Wetmore Genealogy, 



Biographical Sketches. 413 

place for boisterous demonstrations in the house of God, but 
we may, in giving three cheers, only go through with the 
motions.' " 

^^Itevm Stephen WUHam Stebbins, son of Stephen 
Stebbins, was born in East Long Meadow, Mass., June 26, 
1758, graduated at Yale College in 1781, and ordained pastor 
of this Church, July 7, 1784. Just before his ordination, the 
Church made declaration of independency and reaffirmed the 
half-way covenant He was dismissed in August, 181 3, and 
afterwards settled in West Haven. 

*^Mev. Matthew JB. Dutton was born in Watertown, 
Conn., June 3, 1783, graduated at Yale College in 1808, and 
was ordained in Stratford, September 20, 18 14, having de- 
clined an urgent call from the Church in Portsmouth, N. H., 
Mr. Dutton continued pastor, universally esteemed and be- 
loved, until the autumn of 1821, when he accepted the appoint- 
ment of Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy 
in Yale College. He died July 17, 1825. 

*• When Mr. Dutton was called to the Church, its spiritual 
condition was very low. Various causes, long operating, had 
greatly adulterated the doctrinal belief of many members. 
Some of the most prominent had become believers in Univer- 
salism. The enforcement of discipline, for errors in belief, 
had become wholly impracticable. Mr. Dutton, as a condi- 
tion of accepting the call, stipulated for an open, thorough 
re-confession by the Church, of sound doctrine, and an assent 
to a solemn covenant to enforce discipline. The Confession 
of Faith and the Covenant now in use were, at that time, 
adopted, and only those who would assent to it were enrolled 
as members of the Church. 

*' Mr. Dutton*s ministry was blessed to the spiritual life 
and efficiency of the Church. In 1821, on one Sunday, seventy 
persons were added to the Church. 

^^JRev. Joshua Leavittf D.D.9 was born in Heth, 
Franklin county, Mass., Sept. 8, 1794, graduated at Yale Col- 
lege, in September, 1814, and ordained pastor of this Church 
in February, 1825. He was dismissed in 1828, to become the 
Agent of the American Seamen's Friend Society in New 



414 History of Stratford. 

York. After that he was connected with the religious and 
secular press, and also with several institutions of Christian 
benevolence and moral reform. He died in 1873. 

^^Rev. Thoni€t8 Robhins was born in Norfolk, Conn., 
August II, 1777, entered Yale College in 1792, and at the 
close of the Junior year he left and joined the Senior class in 
Williams College, where he was graduated in August, 1796. 
In September following he took the same degree, B.A., in 
his former class at Yale. In 1803 he was ordained Missionary 
of the Home Missionary Society, to the northern part of 
Ohio, where he labored until impaired health obliged him to 
return East. In May, 1809, he was installed pastor over the 
Church in East Windsor, Conn., where he continued until 
1827, when he was dismissed at his own request. . In Febru- 
ary, 1830, he was installed pastor of this Church, and on 
September 9th, the following year, he was dismissed. He 
removed to Metapoisett, Mass., where for fourteen years he 
labored as pastor, and then resigning his charge became 
librarian of the Connecticut Historical Society at Hartford. 
He died at Colebrook, September 13, 1856, in the 8oth year 
of his age. 

^^Mev. Frederick W. Chap-man was born in Canfield, 
Trumbull county, Ohio, November 17, 1806; graduated at 
Yale College in 1828, and ordained pastor of this Church, 
September 5, 1832. He was dismissed April 16, 1839, ^"^ 
subsequently settled over the Church at Glastonbury. He 
died in 1876. 

**Itev* WUliam Bouton Weed was born in Canaan, 
March 22, 181 1, graduated at Yale College in 1830, and for 
several years devoted himself to teaching. He was converted 
under a sermon which he heard at Chilicothe, Ohio, from the 
text, ' Be ye thankful.' In 1836, he began the study of the 
law, but abandoned it for the ministry and was ordained at 
Stratford pastor of this Church, December 4, 1839. 

'' During his ministry, which was a most successful one, 
Mr. Weed received many flattering calls to other pastorates. 
At length, thinking that a new field of labor might conduce 
to the invigoration of his enfeebled health, he accepted the 



Biographical Sketches. 415 

invitation of the First Church in Norwalk, Conn., where he 
was installed June 27, 1855. He died December 3, i860. 

Mr. Weed was held in prominent regard by the ministers 
and churches of the State, as a man of eminent ability, and 
his teachings are gratefully remembered by those who were 
permitted to receive them. A book of his sermons, to which 
is prefixed a biographical notice, has been published. 

'^Mev. Joseph M. Page was born in New Brunswick, 
N. J., and was ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church in 
Perry, Wyoming county, N. Y., February 6, 1839, ^''^m which 
place he came tQ Stratford, where he was installed pastor 
February 11, 1857. In October, 1858, he was dismissed, and 
soon assumed again the pastoral charge of his former Church 
at Perry. In June, 1868, he removed to East Avon, where, 
for about five years, he was acting pastor of the Presbyterian 
Church. In November, 1872, he removed to Rochester, 
where he served as missionary of the Rochester Presbytery. 
In February, 1875, he was installed pastor of the Presbyterian 
Church in Brighton, N. Y. In 1876, the degree of D.D. was 
conferred on him by Hamilton College. 

Rev* Benjamin L. Swan was born in Medford, Mass., 
July 31, 1813; entered College in the Junior Class, but was 
providentially hindered from completing the course. He 
received the honorary degree of A.M. from Yale in 1844. 
He was ordained pastor of the Church in Fair Haven, Conn., 
in 1836; was installed pastor of the Church in Litchfield, 
Conn., in 1846. He was acting pastor at the South Church 
in Bridgeport, from June, 1856, to November, 1858. In 
September, 1858, he accepted the invitation of this Church, 
and was installed in October, 1858, and dismissed in 1863. 
In the spring of 1866, he became pastor of the Presbyterian 
Church in Oyster Bay, N. Y., where he labored until the 
Autumn of 1875, when domestic bereavement and ill health 
obliged him to resign his pastorate. 

Rev. Lewis Charpiot was installed pastor of this 
Church May 25, 1864, and dismissed April 12, 1866. 

Rev. William K. HaU was born in Boston, Mass., 
Nov. 4, 1836, was graduated at Yale College in 1859; pursued 



4i6 History of Stratford. 

his theological studies in New Haven and Berlin, Germany, 
and was ordained October 17, 1862, chaplain of the Connecti- 
cut Volunteers. He was installed pastor of this Church, 
October 24, 1866, and the relation was dissolved at his request 
in May, 1872. In January, 1873, he accepted a call from the 
First Presbyterian Church in Newburgh, N. Y. He was 
chosen moderator of the New York Synod in 1878, and in 
the following year was appointed by the Secretary of War 
as one of the Board of Visitors at West Point. 

Mev. Frank 8. Fitch was born in Geneva, Ohio, Feb- 
ruary 24, 1846. He was graduated at Oberlin College in 
1870, and at Yale Divinity School in 1873. He was ordained 
pastor of this Church June 17, 1873, and resigned in October, 
1878, and on November 21st of the same year was installed 
pastor of the Seventh Street Congregational Church, Cincin- 
nati, Ohio. 

Mev. 8. H. Dana was installed pastor March 12, 1879, 
and dismissed December 31, 1881. 

Mev. Joel 8tone Ives, son of the Rev. Alfred E., and 
Harriet P. (Stone) Ives, was born in Colebrook, Conn., Dec. 
5» 1847; graduated at Amherst College, July 16, 1870, and 
from Yale Divinity School, May 14, 1874; licensed to preach 
by the New Haven Centre Association, May 4, 1873, and or- 
dained the tenth pastor of the first church in East Hampton, 
September 29, 1874. From this church he was dismissed 
October 31, 1883; began to preach in Stratford November i, 
and was installed pastor November 20, 1883. 

He married, July 15, 1874, Emma S., daughter of Mr. 
Joel Ives Butler, of Meriden, Conn. Their children are 
Anne Emma, Mabel Sarah, died in 1879, ^°d Joel Butler. 

This Church has given to the Ministry the following named 
persons from her members : 

'^Itev. Benjamin Blakeman^ son of the first pastor, 
was graduated at Harvard College in 1663. Closed a min- 
istry at Maiden, Mass., in 1678. He afterwards preached at 
Scarborough, and was subsequently in secular business. 



Biographical Sketches. 417 

TEtev. Charles Cha/unceyf son of the pastor Israel, was 
the first pastor ot the Stratfield Church and Society from 
1695 to 1714, he having preached for that people considerably if 
not regularly two or more years before 1695. He died in 1714. 

Rev. Isaac Chauncey^ son of the pastor Israel 
Chauncey, was pastor at Hadley, Mass., from 1696 to 1745, 
when he died. 

Rev. Nathaniel Chauncey, nephew of Israel Chaun- 
cey, the pastor, was the first recorded graduate of Yale 
College, and was pastor at Durham, Conn., from 171 1 to 1756, 
when he died. 

Rev. John Beach, son of Isaac Beach, of Stratford, 
was the pastor of the Congregational Church at Newtown 
from 1725 to 1732, and Rector of the Episcopal Church of the 
same place from 1732 to 1782, when he died. 

Rev. John GoodseU, first pastor of the Church on 
Greenfield Hill from 1726 to 1756, when he died. He was 
only twenty years of age when he settled in the parish, the 
Church being organized at the time of his settlement, with 
twenty-six members, and at the close of the year 1741 the 
number was one hundred and sixty. 

Rev. Jeremiah Curtis was the first pastor at South- 
ington, and labored there from 1728 to 1755. He died there 
in 1795, aged eighty-nine years. 

Rev. Jonathan IngersoU was pastor at Ridgefield, 
from 1740 to 1778, when he died. 

Rev. Mark Leavenworth was pastor at Waterbury 
from 1740 to 1797, when he died. 

Rev. Nathan Bi/rdsey was pastor at West Haven 
from 1742 to 1758. when from domestic considerations he 
retired to his homestead at Oronoke in Stratford, where he 
died in 1818, aged 103 years 5 months and 9 days. When one 
hundred years old he made the prayer at the ordination of 
Mr. Button. He had twelve children, and at his death his 
grandchildren had numbered seventy-six, his great grand- 
children one hundred and sixty-three. The Rev. Joseph P. 
Thompson, D.D., was a descendant. 



41 8 History of Stratford. 

Hev. David Judsan was pastor of the Congregational 
Church at Newtown from 1743 until 1776, when he died. 

Rev. Hezekiah Gold, the son of the pastor, was pastor 
at Cornwall from 1755 until 1790, when he died. 

Hev* Mden Burroughs was pastor ot a Church at 
South Killingly, from 1760 until 1763, then pastor at Hanover, 
N. H., from 1772 until 1809. He preached at Hartford, Vt., 
from 1809 until 1813, when he died, aged seventy-five years. 
The Rev. E. B. Foster was a descendant. 

Mev. Andrew Judson was pastor at Eastford from 
1778 until 1804, when he died. 

JRev. Nehetniah Beach Beardaley was ordained in 
1 8 16 and died in 1868. 

Rev. Spencer F* Beard was ordained in 1829, and 
died at Andover, Mass. in 1876. The Rev. William H. Beard 
and the Rev. Edwin S. Beard are his sons. 

Bev. WiUiam BusseU, son of Alden and Sarah (Nor- 
ton) Russell, was born in Stratford, February 15, 1815, grad- 
uated at Yale College in 1837, and Yale Divinity School in 
1 841. In 1842 he was settled in Wakeman, Ohio, where he 
remained three years. In January, 1846, he commenced 
preaching for the Congregational Church at Easthampton, 
Conn., and on October 14th was settled there as the seventh 
pastor of that Church, remaining until October 11, 1855, when 
he was dismissed. The next year he was installed pastor of 
the Second Congregational Church of New Ipswicb, N. H., 
where after remaining three years he found the climate too 
severe for his health and was dismissed. In i860, he became 
pastor of the Church in Sherman, Conn., and remained three 
years, at which time an asthmatic affection of long standing 
obliged him to relinquish the pulpit. 

Since that time he has redded in Washington, D. C, in 
the service of the Government. 

He married. May 10, 1842, Sarah Elizabeth Brown, of 
New Haven. Their children are Hattie Hamlin, b. Mar. i, 
1844; Sarah Norton, b. July 6, i947, and Minnie Williams, b. 
Nov. 22, 1851. 



Biographical Sketches, 419 

JRev. Phin€€LS Blakemafif ordained in 1843. 

Sev. Charles Henry MuaseU, ordained in 1859. 

Mev. Henry Samuel Barnum was graduated at Yale 
College in 1862 and became a Missionary of the A. B. C. F. M. 
in Persia in 1867. 

Bev. Samtiel F. Bmerson was graduated at Yale Col- 
lege in 1872 and Union Theological Seminary in 1879. 

Bev. Joyce Curtis^ son of Solomon and Jerusha (Walk- 
er) Curtis, was born in 1787 and died in 1861. 

Bev. Hezekiah Gold Vfford, son of Samuel and Abi- 
gail (Gold) Ufford, was born in 1779, graduated at Yale Col- 
lege in 1806, and died, January 23, 1863, aged 84 years. 

George Wm* Judson, son of George T. Judson, was 
graduated at Yale College in 1884, and is now in Yale Divinity 
School. 

Elder and Deacons of this Church, 

" Philip Groves was the only Ruling Elder in this Church 
from near its organization to his death in 1676. He was Dep-, 
uty to the General Court from this town as early as 1652, and 
in 1654 was chosen Assistant and as such was * empowered to 
marry persons.' 

** John Birdsey is referred to as Deacon in 1678. He 
died in 1690. 

** Timothy Wilcockson is referred to as a Deacon in 1678. 
He died in 1714. 

"Thomas Welles is mentioned as Deacon in 1707. He 
died in 1721. 

" Robert Walker is named as a Deacon in 1722. He died 
in 1743. 

" John Thompson is also ftentioned as a Deacon in 1722. 
He died in 1765. 

" Job Peck is styled Deacon on his grave stone, although 
no record of his appointment has been seen. He died in 
1782. * 



420 History of Stratford. 

EInathan Wheeler, appointed in 175 1, and died in 1761. 
Isaiah Brown, appointed in 1755, and died in 1793. 
Ebenezer Coe, appointed in 1784, and died in 1820. 
Nathan McEwen, appointed in 1791, and died in 1810. 
Samuel Ufford, appointed in 1801, and died in 1821. 
Agur Curtiss, appointed in 1801, and died in 1838. 

Philo Curtiss, appointed in , and died in 1852. 

Agur Curtiss, appointed in , and died in 1868. 

David P. Judson, appointed in 1837, and died in 1869. 

Agur T. Curtiss, appointed in 1858. 

Lewis Beers, appointed in 1858, and died in 1870. 

Charles C. Welles, appointed in 1867. 

Samuel T. Houghton, appointed in 1877. 

Samuel E. Curtis, appointed in 1877. 

Sketches of Prominent Men, 

Hon. WiUiam Samuel Johnson, son of the Rev. 

Samuel Johnson, D.D., was born in Stratford, October 7, 
1727, and died November 14th, 1819, aged 92 years and two 
months. His mother was Charity, widow of Benjamin Nicoll, 
of Islip, L. I., and daughter of Richard Floyd, of Brookhaven, 
L. I. He was fitted for college by his father and was grad- 
uated at Yale in 1744. 

After this he pursued his studies in several classical lines 
while fitting himself for the profession of the law, upon which 
he soon entered, and gave, at once, much promise of a re- 
markably successful and honorable life work. 

He married, at the age of twenty-two years, Ann, 
daughter of William Beach, of Stratford, in 1749, and made 
his residence in his native town. 

In 1754, he was commissioned as lieutenant in the Strat- 
ford militia company. 

In 1 761, he was chosen Representative for Stratford, and 
again in 1765 ; and the next year he was elected an Assistant 
at the General Court. 

When the first Continental Congress assembled in New 
York City in 1765, the representatives in that body, from 
Connecticut, were William Samuel Johnson, Eliphalet Dyer 
and David Rowland. 



Biographical Sketches. 421 

The next January 23, 1766, the University of Oxford, 
England, conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws. 

His next service to the Colony of Connecticut was in 
reference to its title to land obtained of the Mohegan Indians, 
concerning which the Rev. E. E. Beardsley, D.D., makes the 
following brief statement :' 

** In February, 1766, Connecticut was cited to appear 
before the King and Lords in Council, to answer in a matter 
which had been kept in agitation for nearly seventy years, 
and concerned the title to a large tract of land that Lieut. 
Governor Mason was appointed to obtain for the Colony, 
from the Mohegan Indians. He took the deed to himself, 
and the fact remained unnoticed until after his death, when 
the property was claimed by his heirs for services rendered 
to the Indians, as their agent. It was a part of their suit, 
too, to oppose the claim of Connecticut under pretense of 
protecting the rights of the Indians; and they appealed from 
the legal decisions against them in this country to the highest 
tribunal in England : while the title of the land was valuable, 
the most important question was one which aflFected the char- 
tered rights of the Colony ; for had they succeeded, * the 
conduct of Mason would have been adjudged fraudulent, and 
the British Government would have made it a ground for 
taking away the charter.' 

" Dr. Johnson was appointed by the General Assembly 
at its October session in 1766, to proceed to England and 
defend in that case. In obedience to this direction he arrived 
in London on the 8th of February," expecting to remain 
there a few months at longest; but it was nearly five years 
before he returned to his home. 

His long stay in England, in which he was largely suc- 
cessful in retaining for the Colony the right of soil to the 
Mohegan lands, enabled him to become thoroughly ac- 
quainted with the public sentiment in that country towards 
the Colonies, which knowledge was of great service to this 
country after his return, when the Revolutionary conflict 
began. 

• Life and Times of William Samuel Johnson, 35. 
28 



422 History of Stratford. 

At the May session of the General Assembly, in 1772, 
Dr. Johnson was appointed one of the Judges of the Superior 
Court, which position allowed him favorable opportunities to 
continue his literary pursuits and correspondences which he 
had industriously improved up to this time, and which course 
he followed to the close of life. 

In 1774, he was elected one of three to represent Connec- 
ticut in the Congress of the Colonies to meet in Philadelphia 
on the 5th of September, but having accepted previously an 
appointment as arbitrator on the estate of Van Renselaer of 
Albany, he was excused from serving and his place was filled 
by Silas Deane.» 

After the Declaration of Independence he remained at 
home most of the time except as related on page 421 of 
this book, maintaining, in regard to public acts, neutral 
ground to a considerable extent in relation to the great con- 
flict for the liberty of the United States, until peace was 
declared. 

In 1782, he came prominently before the public in his 
profession as an advocate in behalf of the State of Connecti- 
cut, in the great trial of the claims of this State to the Sus- 
quehanna lands in Pennsylvania. 

From November, 1784, until May, 1787, he was a repre- 
sentative in Congress, from his native State. 

The delegates sent by the Connecticut Legislature to 
form the Constitution of the United States, in 1787, consisted 
of William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman, a signer of the 
Declaration of Independence, and Oliver Ellsworth ; and in 
this great work each of these men rendered distinguished 
service. 

While thus serving his country he was elected, on the 
2 1st of May, 1787, president of Columbia College in New 
York City, which he accepted and removed his residence to 
that place where he remained, serving with much honor, 
until his resignation in the year 1800, when he retired to his 
old home in Stratford. 

Dr. Johnson was reared in the Episcopal Church and to 
it he maintained his loyalty and devotion to the last, and as 
such exerted a large influence in behalf of that Church in the 
Colony and State of Connecticut and in the United States. 



Biographical Sketches, 423 

His literary attainments and culture were among the 
most complete and attractive of any among Americans, and 
his elegance of diction and charm of delivery were in few 
cases, if any, surpassed in his day. 



Adopting the Constitution, 

The question of adopting the Constitution of the United 
States excited great interest in Stratford, and at the town 
meeting held to elect delegates to a State convention to rat- 
ify or reject that instrument, there was much excitement, 
debate and anxiety, there being considerable strong opposi- 
tion to it. The town meeting meet in the town house but 
adjourned to the meeting house, probably because of the 
great number present. 

By the favor of Professor Charles F. Johnson, of Trinity 
College, Hartford, the following letter of Robert Charles 
Johnson, son of Dr. Wm. Samuel Johnson, to his father, is, 
upon solicitation, submitted to be published. This letter, 
although from a young man of only twenty-one years, gives 
some insight into the excitement and contest of that occasion, 
and of what a sincere, earnest young person can do if wisely 
trained, for it must be remembered that he had been greatly 
favored in his advantages of education and in public society. 
The letter was written to his father with no idea that it 
would ever be seen by any other person. 

** Stratford November 1787. 
Honored Sir: This afternoon I spoke in the town meet- 
ing. I observed the outlines of the declamation you read, 
and chained down the attention of a numerous audience for 
upwards of three-quarters of an hour. Silas Hubbell at the 
begining of the debate made a motion, that as I had been 
much with you, I should be requested to deliver my senti- 
ments of the Constitution. The proposition was laughed at 
and rejected. I was then determined I would speak. Major 
[Joseph] Walker held me by the arm and said I should ruin 
everything. I waited till the moderator called for the votes, 
and then broke from him, jumped over the seats, mounted 
the pulpit stairs and succeeded beyond my expectations. 



424 History of Stratford, 

equal to my wishes, and closed, with launching an empire on 
the sea of glory,' amidst a general clap of hands. Every one 
I met shook me by the hand and told me I was an honor to 
Stratford. [Indeed he was.] Then I went to hand in my 
vote, and the moderator — Major Judson — rose from his seat, 
shook me by the hand, and said, he * publickly thanked me 
for the information and pleasure I had given, and that I was 
an honor to Stratford.* The Selectmen unitedly requested 
that I would preserve the train of my arguments, that they 
might print it, for that * it was a pitty that they should be 
lost after making such an impression.* Can I not now by 
working the outlines of the declamation, and by close logical 
reasons intermingled submit it to men of sense and confirm 
my reputation? Sir, please write me as soon as cdnvenient, 
as the Selectmen have already called on me for a copy of my 
speech. You, sir,* and Esquire Mills are chosen. I should 
certainly have been elected had not every one been per- 
suaded from my information that yoii would attend. Esquire 
Bennett and myself were equally balanced, and had I had 
intriguing on ftiy side should have carried it against Esquire 
Mills. Forgive me this effusion of vanity.*' 

In another letter to his brother who was in the Bermudas, 
a few days later, Dec. 3d, he further reveals the spirit of the 
occasion : " The new Constitution is almost the only subject 
of conversation. A town meeting was called at Stratford for 
the choice of delegates to the Constitutional Convention. 
All our Stratford orators spoke and were heard with impa- 
tience by a powerful opposition. Deacon Bennet was to be 
the man known to be a violent opposer of the Constitution. 

.... After I sat down the temper of the house seemed to 
be changed, and they almost unanimously voted in my father 
and Esquire Mills. The Constitution, we flatter ourselves, 
will be adopted. The Pennsylvania convention is in favor of it. 
In Connecticut a decided superiority. General Parsons says 
he can engage to raise 15,000 volunteers who will stake their 
lives and fortunes on the event. Delaware, it is thought, 

^ Dr. Johnson was then President of Columbia College, and hence was in 
New York City. 



Biographical Sketches. 425 

will follow Pennsylvania, Massachusetts doubtful, but expect- 
ed in favour. Virginia and Georgia in all probability, will 
adopt. New York against. Rhode Island out of the ques- 
tion ; as much the scorn and derision of America as America 
is of the rest of the world. 

" If not accepted, America will in all probability be a 
scene of anarchy and confusion. If adopted it will be some 
time before peace and serenity prevail. I will sacrifice my 
life in defence of it. I will wade up to my knees in blood 
that it may be established." 

Such were the perils over which sailed the ship of state, 
and such the spirit of the young men who manned her ; a 
spirit which has been manifested more grandly, if possible, in 
recent days, in preserving the Union, for which the Fore- 
fathers suffered so much. 

CapU WiUiam Birdsey, previous to 1762, owned and 
lived in a house that had been his father's, which stood at the 
foot of Main street, facing up the street. It was an old house. 

In this year Mr. Birdsey then built a fine house on the 
northeast corner of the streets where now resides Dea. Sam- 
uel E. Curtis. 

Capt. William Birdsey married in 1745, Eunice Benjamin, 
and was a wealthy, prosperous farmer, and not far from the 
time the new house was built, the Rev. Samuel Peters married 
his daughter. 

Mr. Birdsey lived in this house until 1779 or '80, when the 
discouragements as to the success of the Revolution were 
very many and great; he, fearing if the British won the day 
he should lose all his property, went over and joined the 
British army on Long Island, where he remained until the 
war was over. Then he returned to Stratford to find that the 
government had confiscated his property, and that it was to 
be sold at auction. 

The people of Stratford, knowing him to have been a 
very fine citizen, and true several years to the cause of Amer- 
ican freedom, pitied him, and agreed among themselves not 
to bid on certain portions of the property, at the sale, so as 
to allow him to bid it in at a low price. This was done and 
he secured and retained the old house, and much of his land 



426 History of Stratford. 

which had been in the family from the first. It is said that at 
the sale, one of his neighbors, Samuel UflFord, bid on one 
piece of land that seemed quite desirable, but this created 
such excitement that he came near being mobbed. Mr. Bird- 
sey lived in the old house until his death. 

In 1802, his son Everit Birdsey started to build a house 
on the site of the old house fronting up Main street. But as 
soon as he had removed the old building, the town authori- 
ties appeared and laid the highway directly over the site 
through the field southward, as it is at present, and in 1808, 
Everit Birdsey built his house on the corner directly east of 
the old site. 

Abel Beachf in 1767, built the first house and barn on 
Stratford Point. It stood about twenty rods west of the 
lighthouse. His own residence was in the village across the 
street from the site of the first meeting-house at Sandy- 
Hollow. He was a prominent man in business and enter- 
prise. 

JLegrand Cannon, a merchant from New York Gity, 
bought the house and estate of Abel Beach at Stratford Point, 
about 1768, and Mr. Beach's homestead in the village east of 
Sandy Hollow opposite the site of the first meeting-house. 
This house was built by Nathan Beach, father of Abel, in 
1722, who left it to his son Abel. Mr. Cannon bought also a 
brig of Abel Beach, which he run to the West Indies. 

Edward DeForest married a daughter of Legrand Can- 
non, and to this daughter the father gave the house and land 
at the Point, and Mr. DeForest lived there several years 
until he killed his wife's slave-woman by stabbing her with a 
pitchfork, which created much talk, but nothing was done 
about it." 

Old Time Hospitality runs some risks not to be cov- 
eted. The late Nathan B. McEwen left the following record 
connected with his grandmother: 

" The house known on Lindsley's Map as the Hon. 
Robert Fairchild's was built, in 1770, by my great-grand- 
father, Josiah Beers, for a good size homestead. 

* Manuscript of Nathan B. McEwen. 



Biographical Sketches, 427 

" Tramps and travellers in those days had to find lodging 
and food in private families when too poor to pay for them 
at the Inn, which was easy to do, as it was considered an act 
of charity to care for such. 

** A poor man called on Mr. Beers, late in the day, for food 
and lodging, saying he was sick and unable to go any further, 
and Mr. Beers took him into his home. The next morning 
he was much worse and could not go. He had a fever and at 
the end of about two weeks he died. Both Beers and his 
wife took the fever, and died leaving four young children, 
one son and three daughters. 

" They had three uncles in good circumstances ; each took 
a girl to bring up, and the boy was put out to work, being 
old enough to earn his living. The house and land were sold 
to maintain and bring up the girls. 

" My grandmother was taken by Stephen Porter, who 
lived on the Qorner of Elm street and MichelTs Lane in the 
lower part of the village. The other girls were taken by 
their uncles to Stepney in Monroe. Eunice married Stephen 
French, and the other married John Summers Hawley, and 
both raised a family. 

" My grandmother, Sally, married Nathan Gorham. The 
son William Beers, married and had children, Lewis and 
Mary. He was a sailor and acquired some property." 

JS'on. Robert Walker was one of the most noted men 
that Stratford ever produced. He was born in 1704 and died 
in 1772, aged 68 years. The brief summary of his life as given 
on his tombstone appears to have been very true and appro- 
priate. " He sustained many important offices in civil life, 
for many years before and at the time of his death. He was 
one of his Majesty's Council for the Colony of Connecticut, 
one of the Judges of the Superior Court, and a Colonel of 
the Militia; all which offices he discharged with fidelity and 
honor. He firmly believed and conscientiously practiced the 
Christian religion ; was a kind husband, a tender parent, and 
faithful friend." 

This inscription was doubtless written by his pastor and 
son-in-law, the Rev. Izrahiah Wetmore, who had known him 
intimately nineteen years', and it would be difficult to improve 
the epitaph. 



428 History of Stratford, 

Hon. Robert Walker was the son of Robert and Ruth 
(Wilcoxson) Walker, who was the son of Joseph and Abigail 
(Prudden) Walker, the son of Robert Walker, one of the 
founders of the Old South Church of Boston, Mass., and 
could therefore boast of as staunch puritan blood as any. 
His father was deacon in the Congregational Church, a man 
of influence and high standing in the town as well as in the 
Church, who died in 1743. 

Robert, the son, after graduation at Yale College in 1730, 
became a lawyer, and as such was quite celebrated, having 
but few equals in his day, not excepting his rival the Hon. 
William Samuel Johnson, between whom and himself there 
was great friendship. He was first sent to the legislature in 
1745, and served in that body fourteen sessions, and where he 
is styled first Mr., then Captain, and then Colonel, and in 
1766, he was chosen an Assistant or member of the upper 
house in which position he served two years. 

He was appointed Judge of the Superior Court first in 
1762, and held that position five years. He was also Justice 
of the peace in his own township several years. 

Sobert Walker, Jr., son of the above, was also a 
prominent citizen, a lawyer, judge and influential man. He 
was graduated at Yale College in 1765, and was appointed by 
the General Court, October, 1766, ** Surveyor of lands for the 
county of Fairfield, in the room of Mr. Judah Kellogg, re- 
signed."" This was a fine beginning for a young man not 
twenty-one years of age. What position he took in the Rev- 
olution is not known, but soon after he became prominent as 
a lawyer, became Judge of Probate, serving a number of 
years ; Justice of the peace, and a well known and well tried 
public citizen. He died in 1810, and his epitaph, found on 
page 233 of this work, and probably written by his pastor 
the Rev. Timothy Cutler, gives high praise to his life and 
character. He was town clerk from 1789 to 1804. 

Gen. Joseph Walker^ brother of Robert, Jr., above, 
was born in 1756; graduated at Yale College in 1774, served 

• Coll. Rec, xii, 502. 



Biographical Sketches, 429 

through the Revolution, beginning in 1777 as captain and 
closed a Major General. He was a number of times a repre- 
sentative to the legislature ; was a prominent business man 
after the war. He built the first mill at Benjamin's Bridge, 
known for many years lately as the Yellow Mill at Pembroke 
Pond or Lake. His dwelling house, which he may have built, 
stands a few doors north of the railroad, on Main street in 
Stratford village. It is the old style of a long-roofed house 
with the end to the road and two immense elm trees in front 
of the lot in the street. There was a stone in the front, near 
the top of the chimney with the date, no doubt, on it, but this 
stone long since disappeared, very much to the regret of the 
historian if no one else. 

Mohert FairchUd^ JEaqr., was born in 1703 and died in 
I793» " 1^ the 90th year of his age,'* says his tombstone. He 
was one of the remarkable men of Stratford. 

He probably practiced law, but held the office of Probate 
Judge many years. His house, which was built by Josiah 
Beers, in 1770, is still standing by a well of most delicious 
water, on Main street, first one south of the railroad, with the 
little office still attached where he spent much of his time for 
many years. He was town clerk from 1759 until 1789, and 
during the Revolution he was a firm patriot, and some of the 
resolutions recorded and printed in this book were probably 
the work of his pen, and if so, they show the energy, decision 
and earnestness with which he labored and used his pen during 
that great conflict. His fame as town clerk and probate 
judge is still spoken of as remarkable, and very honorable 
to the town, as well as to himself. 

Hev. Nathan Birdsey died in Stratford, Jan. 28, 18 18, 
aged 103 yrs. 5 months and 9 days. He was born Aug. 19, 
1714; took his degree in Yale College in 1736, was settled as 
a minister in West Haven, 1742; preached there 16 years, 
then removed to his patrimonial estate at Oronoque in this 
town where he resided until his death. He married but once 
and lived with his wife 69 yrs. She died at the age of 88 yrs. 
He had 12 children, 76 grandchildren, 103 great-grand- 
children, and 7 of the 5th generation at his decease. Of his 



430 History of Stratford, 

12 children 6 were sons and 6 daughters, a daughter being 
born next after a son in every instance. His funeral was 
attended by a large concourse of people, among whom were 
about ICO of his posterity. A sermon was delivered on the 
occasion by the Rev. Stephen W. Stebbins from the text, 
*'AI1 the days of Methuselah were," etc. 

Mr. Birdsey. after he left West Haven, continued to 
preach occasionally for many years. When he was over loo 
years he officiated in the pulpit in Stratford. (See Sprague's 
Annals.) He retained his mental faculties in a remarkable 
degree until his death, although nearly blind and quite deaf 
at the last. (From Sprague's Annals.) 

Mr. Birdsey married Dolly Hawley of Ridgefield, who 
was brought up by her aunt Cheney in Boston, of whom she 
learned to make wax figures or statuary. Some of her pro- 
ductions in this line are still preserved among her descendants, 
by the family of Aaron Benjamin. 

Mr. Birdsey attended personally the ordination in Strat- 
ford of Rev. Hez. Gold in 1722 ; the Rev. Izrahiah Wetmorein 
1753; the Rev. S. W. Stebbins in 1784; the Rev. Matthew R. 
Button in 1814, at the last, he being then 100 years old, offered 
the ordaining prayer, and afterwards dined with the council. 

It is stated as tradition, that' Mr. Birdsey, when a young 
and single man, dreamed that he should pass the night some- 
where in his travels where the supper table would be set by 
a young lady wearing on her neck a blue bandanna handker- 
chief with white spots, and that he should marry her. This 
all came to pass at Mr. Hawley's in the person of Dorothy, 
whom he married. 

There is preserved an account of the finding of a very 
good spring of water by the Rev. Nathan Birdsey in answer 
to prayer. While the question of his piety and true Christian 
life is not doubted, it is nevertheless true that if he had looked 
for a spring of water with the same earnestness any other 
time he would have found it just the same. One effect of 
prayer is to move persons to do their own duty and work, 
and then the Great Ruler of the Universe does his, or has it 
already done, long before the prayer is made. 



Biographical Sketches, 431 



The War of 1812. 

No town acts are recorded in reference to this war. A 
few items have been gathered, while hurriedly collecting the 
the material for this work. 

During this war against England, the United States 
employed vessels owned by individuals as privateers, or 
in other words, granted Letters of Marque to capture Eng- 
lish vessels wherever found. Capt. Samuel C. Nicoll being 
a qualified person was thus engaged and some account of 
his services are here given. In such cases the engaging in 
this kind of employment is regarded the same as going to the 
field of battle in the army. The work of a privateer is very 
different from that of pirates. The following brief account 
of Capt. Nicoll is taken from Cogshall's History of the Amer- 
ican Privateers, chapter vii.; published in 1856. 

" The privateers Scourge and Rattlesnake appear to 
merit something more than a passing remark, as they were 
often in company in a distant sea, on the same cruising 
ground, and as they were very fortunate in capturing and 
annoying the enemy's trade and commerce, I shall devote a 
separate notice to them as their just due. 

Though the worthy captains of both these vessels have 
passed away from earthly scenes, I hope their acts and deeds 
in their country's service will ever be appreciated, while 
bravery and patriotism are held in high regard by civilized 
nations. 

" The Scourge was owned in New York, and commanded 
by Capt. Samuel Nicoll, a native of Stratford, Conn. He was 
a worthy, intelligent, enterprising man, and a good patriot. 

*' The Scourge was a large schooner privateer, mounting 
15 guns, with musketry, etc., and suitably officered and 
manned for a long cruise. She sailed from New York in 
April, 181 3, for the north coast of England and Norway. 

" Captain Nicoll was a man of sound judgment, and a 
good financier. After he had made one or two successful 
cruises, he found it more to his advantage to remain on shore 
in the different parts of Norway, where he sent in most of his 
prizes, and attend to the sale of them than to go to sea, and 



432 History of Stratford. 

leave the management of his rich prizes in the hands of dis- 
honest or incompetent persons. 

" On the 19th of July, while Captain Nicoll was off the 
North Cape in the Scourge, he fell in with and cruised for 
several days in company with Commodore Rodgers, in the 
United States frigate President, who was then cruising in 
those high northern latitudes. 

** After Commodore Rodgers left that region for a more 
southerly one, the Scourge proceeded off the coast of Nor- 
way, and alternately off the North Cape, to intercept British 
ships sailing to and from Archangel. 

" The following list comprises a portion, but by no means 
all the prizes captured by the Scourge. A great number 
were sent into the different ports in the United States and 
Norway, particularly into the harbor of Drontheim, and 
many others were disposed of in various ways. 

** Brigs Nottingham, 266 tons and 4 guns, and Britania, 
4 guns, both from Onega, Russia, for Hull, cargoes lumber; 
after an action of fifteen minutes, no lives lost; taken by the 
Scourge. * 

*' Prosperous, 260 tons and 4 guns, in ballast, from New-, 
castle ; given up to dispose of the prisoners by the Scourge. 

** Latona, of Shields, by the Scourge. 

** Experiment, of Aberdeen, by the Scourge. 

"Ship Brutus, taken by the Scourge and Rattlesnake; 
given up to dispose of the prisoners. 

** Westmoreland, from London, partly laden with sugars; 
taken by the Scourge. 

"The Brothers, of 126 tons, from Lancaster; by the 
Scourge. 

" Brig. Burton, Ludlin, of 266 tons, and 4 guns, from 
Onega for Hull ; by the Scourge. » 

" Brig Hope, 260 tons, 4 guns, cargo of linseed ; also the 
Economy, of 181 tons, and 2 guns, with tar; both from 
Archangel for England ; by the Scourge. 

" After these captures the Scourge was refitted, at Dron- 
theim, and rigged into a brig, for a new cruise under the 
command of Capt. J. R. Perry, Captain Nicoll remained in 
Drontheim to look after the prizes. 



Biographical Sketches, 433 



The Chandelier, 

It is said that during these cruising voyages as a pri- 
vateer, Captain Nicoll obtained the very elegant chandelier 
which he gave to the Episcopal Church of Stratford, and 
which was used many years for lighting the Church. It was 
a richly ornamented article, for which he was offered in New 
York eighteen hundred dollars, and if it was still preserved 
whole would be worth a large sum of money, but it was dis- 
tributed some years since in pieces, to any who desired. 



Scatter, Men^ Scatter,^^ 

In this conflict of 18 12, with Great Britain, vessels of war 
frequently came up the Sound and lay off Stratford to obtain 
supplies from the Housatonic river ; and their presence was 
alarming to the people of Stratford, they fearing the soldiers 
would land, plunder or burn the town or carry off men as 
prisoners X)f war. To prevent such calamities a guard of sol- 
diers was stationed at the mouth of the river to keep watch 
and give alarm, should there be any occasion. 

One afternoon such a war vessel came and lay off the 
harbor late in the afternoon, and just at night Sergeant James 
Coe, with several soldiers under his command, was sent as a 
guard to watch the movements of the enemy. It being near 
dark when they took their post of observation, and hence 
they thought they saw several men, in groups, slightly mov- 
ing, as if in consultation, ready to move forward. Charles 
Burritt, who had worked about there in the day time, and 
had guarded there in the night, knew that what seemed 
to be groups of soldiers were only bunches of thistles which 
grew there and were moved by the wind, said softly to Ser- 
geant Coe, "Shall I shoot? I have two in range; 1 can kill 
them both." ** No, no !** said the sergeant, " don't fire, but 
Scatter boys ! Scatter ! or we shall all be killed.** And scatter 
they did, in double quick, still carrying on the joke. Soon 

^^ Manuscript of Nathan B. McEwen. 



434 History of Stratford. 

the story was taken up by the younger men, and the ser- 
geant being a man easily teased, did not soon hear the last of 
" Scatter, men! scatter!** which was the proper command to 
be given had there been real danger. 

The Old Pump of the Cedar of Lebanon would furnish 
quite a history if it could reveal secrets. 

Capt. Samuel C. Nicoll built the dyke at the Lordship farm 
about 1815. In 1818, the dwelling and barns were built. 
That year he brought from New York a red or Spanish cedar 
pump, some say a cedar of Lebanon, taken from a Spanish 
vessel that was being repaired at that port ; the pump being 
old and hence unfit for further service. He set it in his yard 
for watering his cattle at the Lordship farm. 

After standing there about forty-three years, it was taken 
out, somewhat rotten at the lower end, but was afterwards 
used by the Spiritualists to pump water from the hole at the 
gold diggings about a mile east from the Lordship farm, near 
the shore. 

The old pump was made of two pieces bound together 
with iron hoops. After a time it was brought to the village 
and became the property of Nathan B. McEwen for some 
work he did in pay. 

So the old pump, after being transported in active ser- 
vice over the great seas, many years, did about sixty years 
service on land, and then, although much of the wood was 
filled with nails yet Mr. McEwen secured quite a number 
of beautiful canes, and thus, in parts, the old cedar pump 
travels on. 

Mosquitoes sure. It is said mosketoes are not as plen- 
tiful as they were fifty years ago. 

In 1822, the lighthouse keeper lost a cow by the mos- 
quitoes. He shut the cow in the barn, but the mosquitoes 
attacked her so numerously that she broke out of the barn in 
order to get away from the torment. Then they came in 
clouds and stung her so that she swelled as large as a hogs- 
head and died from the effect." 

" Manuscript of Nathan B. McEwen. 



Biographical Sketches, 435 

John SeUby lived near the lower wharf in Stratford. 
He was a young man who had worked his way to the com- 
mand of a brig running to the West Indies. In an evil hour 
he was tempted to smuggle a few hogsheads of rum, the do- 
ing of which proved his ruin. 

He commanded a brig built all of mahogany in the West 
Indies, with which he came into and went up the Housatonic 
river to Friar's Head, where in the night he unloaded some 
casks of rum and put them into a building to save the tariff 
or duties. A young man being near, courting late in the 
night, discovered the transaction and complained to the au- 
thorities that he might get the reward, which was half the 
vessel and half the cargo. The vessel was seized by the gov- 
ernment, condemned and sold. Capt. Selby was fined and 
imprisoned. After lying in prison a long time, his wife 
smuggled a saw in to him with which he broke jail and went 
pirating, and was gone several years. 

Finally, becoming tired of the business, and desiring to 
see his family, which consisted of a wife and three children, 
he, through agents, made a compromise with the government 
and was pardoned by paying nine thousand dollars. He 
came home a dissipated, wretched man." 

Oysters are now a commodity of large growth and 
commerce. 

When the white settlers first came they found piles of 
oyster shells in various places on Great Neck and where now 
the village of Stratford is located. These beds of oyster 
shells when now dug up as they frequently are, reveal the 
fact that many of the oysters that the Indians gathered were 
remarkably large, and probably very rich as food. 

There has been found no town acts for the first one 
hundred years restricting the taking of oysters by the Indians 
or inhabitants of the town. 

In December, 1764, for the first is found a vote of the 
town restricting the time for taking oysters, thus : " That if 
any parties should take oysters between April 20th and the 
loth day of September they should pay a fine of ten shillings," 
and a committee was appointed to prosecute if necessary. 

" Manuscript of Nathan B. McEwen. 



436 History of Stratford. 

From 1790, to 18 10, the matter received considerable 
attention, restricting not only the time for taking them but 
also the instruments with which the work should be done. 

At present the territory for oyster beds is mapped out, 
bought and sold, and deeded with as much precision as the 
cultivated land on the shore, and every year the matter 
assumes new interest and additional proportions. 



Ferries in Stratford, 

The Ferry was started by Moses Wheeler, as heretofore 
stated, but while the ferry property belonged to Mr. Wheeler 
the privilege of conducting a ferry across the river did not. 
This privilege was given to Mr. Wheeler for the first twenty- 
one years, and afterwards leased to him and other parties. 

In January, 1690, a committee of the town was appointed, 
who leased " the Stratford Ferry to Samuel Wheeler, son of 
Moses Wheeler for 21 years from the i8th of November next." 

To this record Moses Wheeler appended the following, 
he being then ninety-two years of age. 

" To y' Committee of y* town of Stratford, Gent"'. These 
may inform you that for the natural love and affection y* I 
have to my dearly beloved son Samuel Wheeler, I doe by 
these presents transmit all my right, title and interest of y* 
ferry in the bounds aforesaid with all benefits and profitable 
improvements accrewing thereunto by virtue of any gift, 
grant or lease whatsoever in as full and ample manner as ever 
it was made to me or intended, as witness my hand this 6^ 
day of January, 1690. 

Moses Wheeler. 

Signed in presence of ) 
Thomas Hicks. ) 

Previous to 17 19, Richard Blackleach had leased and 
conducted the ferry some years, and a town committee was 
appointed to lease it twenty-one years longer. 

In 1727 the Assembly granted the liberty to the town of 
Milford to establish a ferry and keep a boat on the east 
side of the river. Whether the ferry on the east side was 



Ferries and Bridges, 437 

established or not, or how long it continued, if at all, is not 
known, but in May, 1758, the subject came up again before 
the Assembly and they gave notice for the towns and ferry- 
man — Josiah Curtiss of the Stratford side — to appear in the 
next October session and give their reasons, if any, why a 
ferry should not be established on the east side, and at that 
session they ordered that " there be a boat kept on the east 
side of Stratford Ferry River for transporting passengers, 
etc.;" and the privilege was granted to the town of Milford, 
upon the condition of their erecting a dwelling house at or 
near said ferry place, commodious for the reception and en- 
tertainment of travellers, and procuring and keeping a good 
boat, etc/* 

In May, 1761, Peter Hepburn, of Milford, having taken 
the ferry on the east side, petitioned the Assembly and re- 
ceived liberty ** to keep a house of public entertainment at 
said ferry the year ensuing.** 

In this way the ferry was continued until a little after the 
year 1800. 

In 1802, the Legislature, upon the petition of Jonathan 
Sturges and others, incorporated a company to build a bridge 
across the Housatonic river at or near the ferry place between 
Stratford and Milford, by the name of The Milford and Strat- 
ford Bridge Company, and in 1803, the same body changed 
the name to that of Washington Bridge. 

In 1807, the company were released from building the 
bridge on "stone abutments and stone piers,** and were 
allowed to build it '* on piers and abutments constructed 
with wood and stone, in a substantial and workmanlike man- 
ner; and the privilege of a lottery was granted to raise 
money in aid of building the bridge, provided the bridge 
should be built within five years. 

In 1813 the bridge was standing, and rates of toll were 
established. 

This Washington Bridge is still a standing institution of 
very complete and substantial construction, but how many 
times it has been rebuilt is not known. 

The Zoar Bridge Company was granted incorpora- 
tion in May, 1807, and rates of toll established. This was 

29 



438 History of Stratford. 

then at the northern extremity of Huntington, but before 
1789 the place was at the north end of Stratford. 

In 1762, the privilege was granted to Edmund Leaven- 
worth to establish a ferry "at the narrows a little above 
Derby Neck." 

In May, 1716, Sergt. Joseph Hawkins was granted liberty 
by the Assembly to establish a ferry across the Housatonic 
river at what is now Birmingham Point, and also to run 
across the mouth of the Naugatuck river a little below, when- 
ever he had occasion. 

In 1737, the Assembly granted this privilege to Moses 
Hawkins, son of Sergt. Joseph, he having the exclusive right 
at that place. 

In 1745, Capt. Moses Hawkins being deceased, the Assem- 
bly granted this ferry privilege to Joseph Hawkins. 

In 1763, John Stephens had a ferry at Derby Narrows, 
across to Stratford side. When this ferry was removed from 
Hawkins Point down to the Narrows, the Leavenworth ferry 
was established above Derby Neck. 

The ferry at Derby Narrows continued many years after 
the year 1800, and was often called the Huntington ferry, as 
it landed passengers on the west side of the river, in the town 
of Huntington. 



More about Mills. 

In 1730, Robert Wheeler was granted liberty to " set up 
a grist mill on the east sprain of the Farmill river below Pine 
Swamp, a little below the beaver dam." 

" December 31, 1739. Voted liberty to Mr. Nathan Cur- 
tiss and Judson Burton to make a dam and erect a sawmill 
over Unkaway mill river, so-called, being west of Tashua on 
their own land," 

The Tide Mill at the Eagle's Nest was built first on the 
east side of Nesumpaws creek, and was the first flouring mill 
in Stratford, and was probably conducted by the Hurd family 
at first ; then some years by the Blakeroan families, the two 
sons of Rev, Adam, James and Samuel. After that it is prob- 



Mills and Sailing Vessels. 439 

able that this mill was left and went to decay, and no mill 
was there for nearly one hundred years. To this first mill 
there seems to have been a road or horse path from the 
southern end of Stratford village, southwest across the 
swamp, perhaps near or in the path still called Chauncey's 
Lane ; the Rev. Mr. Chauncey having owned land on that 
lane it was called after his name. 

In .1765, a new mill was built on the old site, still on the 
€ast side of the stream, and a house was also built the same 
year on Eagles' Nest, the highest land in that vicinity, by 
Samuel Judson; the cellar of which was plainly to be seen a 
few years since. 

Afterwards the mill was kept for a time by Nicholas 
Darrow. About the year 1800 a great freshet carried away 
the foundations, the mill and several rods of earth where it 
stood, making the stream much wider. There was a dike 
about three feet high around the mill inclosing considerable 
land, to keep out the high tide, which was also destroyed, and 
drowned all the miller's hogs and poultry. 

After a short time a large mill was built at the same 
place, on the west side of the stream, but using the same dam. 
This mill was four and a half stories high, about 60 feet in 
length and 40 in width. It was built of very heavy timber, 
the posts being twelve inches square, for the purpose of stor- 
ing corn, which was ground, kiln-dried and shipped to the 
West Indies, packed in large hogsheads. Within the mem- 
ory of the late Nathan B. McEwen, William S. Johnson and 
William A. Tomlinson were engaged in this enterprise. The 
mill was also used to grind wheat and rye, as a grist mill. 

The mill was owned and kept by William Samuel John- 
son and afterwards by his son Edward, as a grist mill, until 
August 30, 1851, when it was consumed by fire. 

The water was so deep that large sloops came to the side 
of the mill and took on their loads for the West Indies. 

Vessels were owned, built and sailed from Stratford. 
Many have been the men who were owners and part owners, 
sailors and masters of vessels which sailed from Stratford, 
and the list of the sons of Stratford whose dust was buried in 
the deep, deep sea is a long one. The items or particulars, 



440 History of Stratford. 

and names of these which have been gathered for record here 
are scarcely worth mentioning, yet by time and search much 
fuller record could be secured. 

Among the first ship owners and ship builders at Strat- 
ford was Joseph Hawley. 

" October 27, 1678. This writing witnesseth that I, John 
Rogers, of New London, in the Colony of Connecticut, doe 
acknowledge that I have received of Joseph Hawley of Strat- 
ford the full and just sum of fifty-eight pounds one shilling 
two pence ; which said money was improved in the building 
of a ship, which said ship now rideth in Fairfield harbor, 
called the John and Esther." 

In the remainder of the record, this sum is said to be 
one-eighth of the value of the ship. 

In 1680 John Prentice bought of Joseph Hawley one- 
eighth part of this ship. 

In 1679, Richard Blackleach bought one-eighth part of a 
vessel called the *' Katch Tryall of Milford," for sixty pounds 
money. 

James Bennitt, a shipwright, built a vessel at Stratford in 
1696. 

. Stratford was among the established ports of entry in 
1702, but had been the same many years before, probably 
from the first, since there was a collector of customs here 
soon after the settlement.*" 

**"May, 1702. Be it enacted by the Deputy Governor, Council, and Repre- 
sentatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same: That 
the maritime towns and places hereafter named and no others shall be held, 
deemed and adjudged to be Lawful Ports within this Colony, that is to say, New 
London, Saybrook, Gilford. Newhaven, Miiford, Stratford, Fairfield and Stamford, 
at every of which aforesaid pozts an officer shall be held and kept for the entring 
and clearing of all ships and other vessels trading to or from this Colony, to be 
called and known by the name of the Navall Office, with such fees as have been 
accustomed ; and at one of the ports aforesaid and not elsewhere, all ships or 
other vessells is trading to or from this Colony shall lade and unlade all goods» 
commodities, wares and merchandise whatsoever, which they shall import or 
export." 

Col. Rec, vi. 374. 



Stratford Churches, 441 



The Umversalist Church of Stratford. 

A church of this denomination was built in Stratford, as 
appears from the following* extract from the paper of that 
day called the " Universalist Union/* 

" The Cl^urch recently completed at Stratford by the 
First Society of Universalists in that place was solemnly ded- 
icated to the service of * God the Saviour of all men, espe- 
cially those that believe,* on the 24*** of November, 1837. 
The day was unusually fine and the house well filled with 
attentive worshippers. This small, but neat and commodious 
edifice has been tastefully planned and finished in a style 
which does great credit to the architect. It is thirty by forty 
feet, has a gallery at one end, the pews are arranged in the 
modern style and it will seat comfortably from 200 to 250 
persons. It does not stand on so high ground as the other 
churches of the place, nor reach quite so high towards 
heaven, but we are fully justified in the belief that its propri- 
etors and attendants rank as high in point of moral worth, 
sincerity, zeal, and pious devotion as any church in Stratford. 

" The order of exercises on the occasion were : Voluntary 
by the choir; Reading the Scriptures by Br. F. Hitchcock; 
Hymn ; Introductory prayer by Br. F. Hitchcock ; Hymn ; 
Sermon by Br. S. J. Hillyer, text I. Chron. xvi. 29; Dedica- 
tory prayer by Br. B. B. Hallock; Hymn; Benediction. 

** The morning, afternoon and evening services were 
attended by large congregations." Mr. F. Hitchcock was the 
pastor of this Church. 

In the Manual of the Congregational Church of this 
place it is stated that " when Mr. Button was called to this 
Church, its spiritual condition was very low. Various 
causes, long operating, had greatly adulterated the doctrinal 
belief of many members. Some of the most prominent had 
become believers in Universalism.** 

This belief resulted in a new society and a church edifice 
in 1837, 21s recorded above. 



442 History of Stratford. 



The Methodist Episcopal Church in Stratford.^* 

Tradition says that the Rev. Jesse Lee preached in Strat- 
ford on the 4th of July, 1789, it being the first sermon 
preached here by a Methodist minister. The first Methodist 
class was organized here on the 19th of May, 1790, by Mr. 
Lee, consisting of John Smith, John Peck, and Margaret and 
Amy Plumb. Bishop Asbury preached in the town house on 
June 7, 1 791, and met the class, which, organized only a little 
over one year before, now numbered twenty members. From 
this time to about 1810, when the first house of worship was# 
erected, the preaching services were held in private houses ; 
much of the time in the residences of Capt. John Peck and 
Elnathan Wheeler. No record is known to be preserved of 
the precise date when the first church was built, nor of the 
names of the first officers and members. The Conference 
records show that in 1810, Nathan Emery and John Russell 
were preachers on the Stratford Circuit, and Joseph Crawford 
was the presiding elder ; in 181 1, Aaron Hunt, Oliver Sykes 
and J. Reynolds were preachers, and William Anson was 
presiding elder ; in 1812, Seth Crowell, Gilbert Lyon and S. 
Beach were the preachers, and Elijah Hawley was presiding 
elder; in 1813, E. Washburn, James Coleman were preachers, 
and Nathan Bangs, presiding elder. 

The preachers from 1814 to 1879 were as follows: 1814, 
E. Wolsey and H. Ames ; in 1815, E. Hibbard and B. English ; 

in 1816, R. Harris and Dickerson ; in 1817, R. Harris 

and E. Canfield ; in 1818, S. Bushnell and A. Pierce; in 1819, 
B. Northrop and D. Miller; in 1820, Bela Smith and D. 
Miller; in 1821, Bela Smith and James Coleman; in 1822, 
Laban Clark and Eli Bennett; in 1823, Laban Clark and John 
Nixon; in 1824, E. Denniston and William Pease; in 1825, E. 
Denniston and Julius Field; in 1826, S. D. Ferguson and V 
Buck; in 1827, E. Bennett and V. Buck; in 1828-9, John 
Lovejoy and J. H. Romer; in 1830-31, H. Bartlett and Charles 
Sherman; in 1832, S. Martindale and L. C. Cheney; in 1833, 

J. P. Youngs and J. Tackaberry ; in 1834, R. Gilbert; in 1835^ 

k 

** Compiled for the Fairfield County History by Mr. H. A. Sutton. 



Churches in West Stratford, 443 

D. Miller; in 1836, D. Miller; in 1837. C W. Turner; in 
1838, Clark Fuller a part of the year, and Asahel Brons the 
other part; in 1839-40, Abram S. Francis, during whose pas- 
torate the present church was built; in 1841-42, Paul R. 
Brown, under whose labors a number were added to the 
Church ; in 1843-44, Daniel Smith, a successful laborer ; in 

1845-46, Harvey H listed ; 1847, Frost; in 1848-9, C. 

Kelsey; in 1850-51, Morris Hill; 1852-53, Jacob Shaw; in 
1854, G. C. Creevy ; in 1855-56, L. D. Nickerson ; in 1857-58, 
William T. Hill; in 1859-60, S. A. Seaman; in 1861-62, J. 
W. Simpson; in 1863-65, Bennett T. Abbott; in 1866-67, T. 
^ D. Littlewood; in 1868-70, Joseph Smith; in 1871-73, Joseph 
Vinton; in 1874-76, A. V. R. Abbott ; in 1877-79, Benjamin 
Pillsbury ; in 1880, S. A. Seaman. 



Summerfield M, E, Church in Stratford.^* 

About the ist of January, 1871, the following persons met 
in a room on Barnum street. West Stratford, and established 
a mission: Rev. W. W. Bowditch, pastor of Washington Park 
M. E. Church, Rev. George A. Parkington, George W. 
Bacon, Solomon Bachelor, W. W. Stannard, and a number of 
others. 

Rev. George A. Parkington, then a local preacher, but 
since a member of the New York East Conference, was se- 
lected to preach in the mission. He preached his first sermon 
here January 15, 1871, and on January 29, 1871, a Sunday- 
school was organized, with Wesley W. Botsford, Superin- 
tendent ; Frank N. Cox, Secretary and Treasurer, and David 
Clark, Librarian. The school began with thirty members, 
and in due time a membership class and regular prayer meet- 
ing were established, with Solomon Batchelor as class leader. 

Soon after a committee was chosen to proceed in prepar- 
ing for and building a church, consisting of George W, Bacon, 
Solomon Batchelor, Calvin Hall, 1. Hurd and L. B. Vaill; 
and George A. Parkington, having joined the Conference in 

'* Fairfield County History, 765. 



444 History of Stratford, 

April, 1872, was sent to the Summerfield Church, this being 
the name selected for the new enterprise. 

The subscription list commenced with the name of Susan 
Hubbell, who gave five hundred dollars, and George W. 
Bacon gave the same amount, which were followed by Solo- 
mon Batchelor, Isaac Hurd. P. T. Barnum and Francis Ford, 
who each gave one hundred dollars. A site was selected, the 
building commenced, and on March 16, 1873, the edifice was 
dedicated by Bishop Edmund S. Janes. 

The Trustees elected June 3, 1872, were Solomon Batch- 
elor, L. B. Vaill, James Lobdell, Calvin Hall, Smith Lewis, 
Sylvester Bradley, Gilead L. Andrews, Emmanuel Sciviter 
and Frank Fairchild. 

The pastors have been : 1872-73, George A. Parkington ; 
1874-76, A. P. Chapman ; 1876-78, Larmon W, Abbott; 1878, 
Edward L. Bray. 



Trinity Memorial Church in West Stratford.^* 

On the 20th of September, 1871, the first of a series of 
Wednesday evening services was held in West Stratford, at 
the house of Silas Scofield, Esq., in Rivere Place, by the Rev. 
Sylvester Clarke, Rector of Trinity Church, Bridgeport. 
On the following Sunday, September 24th, a Sunday-school 
was begun in the school house of the same Newfield district. 
The corner-stone of a chapel was laid by the Rt. Rev. Bishop 
Williams, of Connecticut, on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 1871. The 
building, after being inclosed, waited through the winter 
before it was plastered. 

The first service in it was the celebration of the holy 
communion on Sunday morning. May 19, 1872. 

The chapel is in memory of the Rev. Gurdon Saltonstall 
Coit, D.D., rector for nearly thirty years of St. John's 
Church, Bridgeport, who died in Southport, Conn., Nov. 10, 
1869, 

This parish is a mission of Trinity Church, Bridgeport. 

'• From Fairfield County History, page 766, 



Churches in West Stratford, 445 



Newfield M, E. Church in West Stratford,^'' 

On the second Sunday of May, 1871, D. W. Currier and 
Theodore Courtright called on the neighbors of Newfield 
School District, and gave notice that they would open a 
Sunday-school on the following Sunday afternoon in the barn 
of Nirum Hawley. At the appointed time two children met, 
and the next Sunday there were fifteen present. Mr. Court- 
right was elected superintendent. The school increased in 
numbers and interest until the barn became too small, when 
they removed to a more commodious place in a store building 
owned by John French. 

In the mean time a society was established, and a Sunday- 
school organized on Sunday, September 24, 1871, called a 
Union Sunday-school. This school met in the district school 
house until the completion of a chapel, which was erected 
and ready for use on the 3d day of March, 1872. 

These two schools united in one, August 18, 1872, and 
the whole was turned over to the Rev. A. C. Eggleston, pas- 
tor of the Washington Park M. E. Church. 

This organization was called the Newfield Methodist 
Episcopal Society, which assumed all debts and purchased 
the property, securing the chapel and the site. 

The following spring, 1873, they applied to the Confer- 
ence, and the Rev. R. S. Eldridge was sent to them as their 
pastor, who labored successfully one year. The next year 
the Rev. E. A. Blake was appointed as their pastor, who 
served one year. Since that time the church has had no reg- 
ular pastor, but has been supplied from other churches. 



Schools in Stratford, 

Teaching children to read and write was attended to in 
the families by the first settlers. Very soon the Colony made 
some provisions for educating children. 

The town of Stratford gave early attention to providing 
schooling for the children in it. 

" From Fairfield County History, page 766. 



446 History of Stratford. 

In October, 1678, the town voted twenty pounds of 
money " for maintainance of a school master, the rest of the 
money to be levied upon the children privileged by the 
school." In December of the same year they voted a school 
master " to teach small children to read and write." 

A special provision was made by the town as follows : 

** October 31, 1687. Also it was voted at the same meet- 
ing that what land the town hath at or near the ferry, upland 
and meadow now in the possession of Moses Wheeler, sen'., 
that the produce and benefit thereof shall henceforth forever 
be paid and improved for and towards the maintaining of a 
publique school for and in the town of Stratford." 

This was land the use of which was granted to Moses 
Wheeler twenty-one years, gratuitously in view of his main- 
taining a ferry across the Housatonic river, and his twenty- 
one years having expired they thenceforward devoted the 
income to the support of '* a publique school." That is, it 
was so much towards a free school, which is the earliest pro- 
vision of the kind seen on record by the author of this work. 

So far as seen there was but one school in the town until 
December 13, 1715, when it was voted that "our neighbors 
north of Tanner's Brook, may set up a school house at the 
north end of the town, they doing it at their own expense." 

The next year there were two schools in the village, and 
in January, 1716-17, they voted that **the farmers at Long 
hill, Oronock, Putnee, Mohegin hills, Trapfalls, Fairchilds, 
and Nicholas Lakes and Pambrook, shall have the use of their 
part of the 40 shillings pr. thousand allowed by law for seven 
years ensuing, provided they educate their children accord- 
ing to law," and Sergt. John Hurd and Sergt. Andrew Pat- 
terson were chosen a committee for Pembroke. 

This shows that there were forty shillings drawn from 
the Colony upon each one thousand pounds on the town list 
for schools. 

In 1722, Capt. Josiah Curtiss, Samuel UfFoot and Abel 
Birdsey were the committee for the South School, and 
Thomas Welles, James Judson and Ephraim Clark for the 
North ^hool. Hence, Thomas Welles was living within 
this district, and possibly on what is now the Elias Welles 



Schools in Stratford, 447 

place, where the great elm tree stands; and that tree was in 
all probability set there about twenty years later. 

In 1740, the schools being under the care of the Ecclesi- 
astical Society, were named the South School, North School, 
Pembrook School and Putnee School. In 1741, the names 
were a little changed and they were called the South End 
School, the North End School, Oronoke and Putnee and 
Pembrook School. 

After this period schools increased, new districts were 
organized until the whole town was under a thorough system 
of common school education. Those young men who desired 
to go to college were prepared in their education by the 
parish ministers, until the erection of the Academy. 



The Stratford Academy. 

"Town Meeting December 17, 1804. Whereas, Samuel 
W. Johnson, Ezekiel Lovejoy and other inhabitants of this 
town have subscribed one thousand dollars for the building of 
a school house or academy for the education of youth, and 
have applied to this town for liberty to erect the same on the 
public square called the Meetinghouse Hill. 

** Voted, that the applicants have liberty to erect a house 

for the purpose aforesaid on the Meetinghouse Hill, where 

the old meetinghouse formerly stood, with the privilege of 

enclosing the same with a fence suitable for ornament and 

convenience not exceeding three rods from each side of said 

house. 

Test, Aaron Benjamin, Town Clerk." 

In May, 1806, the proprietors were made a corporate 
body, by the following declaration : " Resolved by this Assem- 
bly, That Samuel Wm. Johnson, Jabez H. Tomlinson, Stephen 
W. Stebbins, Ashbel Baldwin, Robert Fairchild, Roswell 
Judson and Solomon Curtis, the present trustees of said 
Academy, and others who now or hereafter may be proprie- 
tors of said Academy, be, and they are hereb}' created and 
made a body corporate, by the name of " The Proprifptors of 
the Stratford Academy." 



448 History of Stratford. 

In 1836, this Academy was still standing, and the hill had 
become known as Academy Hill, which name is still fre- 
quently used. 

Stratford Union School. 

The year 1883 marks a new era in educational enterprise, 
spirit and accomplishments, for in that year a union of four 
districts was formed ; and a new, two-story brick school house 
was built in 1884-85, at a cost of $20,000, and the school was 
opened in it with a full complement of teachers, September 
i4, 1885. 

The following was the first School Committee after the 
consolidation ; George H. Spall, Howard J. Curtis and Chas. 
B. Curtis; and Edwin F. Hall, Clerk, and Albert Wilcoxson, 
Treasurer. 

The following are the names of the Building Committee: 
Robert H. Russell, Rufus W. Bunnell, Charles B. Curtis, 
Charles D. Curtiss, and David W. Judson. 

The school opened with the following list of teachers: 
Mr. Wilfred M. Peck, Principal; Miss Addie T. Oilman, Miss 
Mary E. Cable, Miss H. Lina Lobdell, Miss Eleanor A. Peck, 
and Miss Minnie Judson. 

8a/m/ael Fulsam came from Windham, Conn., to Strat- 
ford, probably in the spring of 1743, he having then a wife 
Ann, and two children. His descendants have the tradition 
that he came specially to do the iron work on the Episcopal 
Church then to be built, he being a blacksmith. It is also 
said that he brought other blacksmiths with him to work, 
and who did work in his shop. 

He became a communicant in the Episcopal Church here 
in 1743, and purchased his first land in Stratford in 1745, it 
being the corner where now Mrs. Hudson's dwelling stands. 
This lot of one acre had been owned some years by John 
Moss, who had died, leaving it with a house and barn on it, 
to his two children Joseph and Mary Moss. After Mary's 
part was taken off, Joseph sold his right to John Benjamin 
and Samuel Fulsom, who afterwards divided it, Mr. Fulsom 
retaining the corner. On this homestead lived the Fulsom 
family, the father continuing many years the work of a black- 
smith. 



History and not Fiction. 449 

GloHanna Fulsoni, the last but one of this family of 
nine children, was born December 24, 1753, and grew to be a 
very beautiful young lady at the age of sixteen years, the 
charming companion of many like her in Stratford at that 
day, only she is said to have been more beautiful than any 
other. She possessed light brown hair, bright, sparkling 
blue eyes, a fine personal figure with a lively, entertaining 
manner, and all the modest culture of those frugal days. 

In the autumn of the year 1770, when the beauty of the 
country was all aglow with preparations for the coming win- 
ter, there came into Stratford a stranger, of rather remarkable 
appearance, who stopped at Benjamin's tavern, then located 
where the dwelling of Mr. Frederick A. Benjamin now stands. 
He was John Sterling, from Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of 
a Baronet, and he had been sent out by his father on a visiting 
tour to America, going first to Canada and thence to New 
York. By what fatality he came to Stratford is not known, 
nor can it be guessed unless it was to find the very cradle of 
liberty, which it has always been understood he did find, both 
in politics and marriage. His manner was pleasant and enter- 
taining, but he seemed to be a person without any object of 
worldly or religious business, and therefore was viewed as a 
suspicious character. 

He saw the beautiful Glorianna in church, he saw her in 
singing-school; he went wherever he could see her, became 
acquainted with her, and sought her in marriage. This prop- 
osition all opposed except the father and ** sweet sixteen." 
The mother imposed every opposition, so did Anna, the eld- 
est sister, but Johnny won the race, and came out Mr. Sterling 
with Mrs. Glorianna Sterling as mate, March 10, 1771. 

He then tarried in Stratford, and after a time wrote home 
for money. The father sent some, and wrote him to return 
home, but he wrote that he was married and could not come, 
so say the descendants of the Fulsom family ; others say, he 
did not write home, which is improbable, but that his father 
heard of his son's marriage and the beauty of his wife, by 
some mariners, who were there from Stratford. 

When funds ran low again, Mr. Sterling, like a true 
Yankee, engaged in teaching school, ** in the old Pendleton 
house," where he continued several months, if not more than 
a year. 



450 History of Stratford, 

In December, 1771, the daughter Mary Glorianna was 
baptized, and a pupil was taken in charge, to board in the 
family. 

In the autumn of 1772, the Baronet in Edinburgh, became 
impatient at the stay of his son in America and wrote a per- 
emptory requirement for his son to come home and bring his 
wife with him, but this latter seemed impossible then, and he 
departed alone, assuring her he would send for her as soon as 
possible. 

When he had departed, the- whole town was musical with 
whisperings, suspicions and reports that the great Mr. Ster- 
ling had deserted his wife and that she would see and hear no 
more of him. 

On March 14, 1773, another daughter, named Maria Jane 
was baptized in Stratford. 

Soon a l