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23 233 


V, I 

Cornell University 

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the Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 

' No. I. 


During the Years 1823 and 1824. 



Groton Historical Series. 






Vol. I. 




John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 

I PURPOSE some time to write a history of my native town, 
beginning with her earliest settlement and coming down to 
the present day ; and to this end I have collected many 
Papers. During a long period she stood in the midst of a 
wilderness, and was exposed to all the trials of frontier life. 
She suffered much from hardships and want, as well as from 
the savage warfare of the Indians. Her original territory 
has been cut up, and now she is a mother of towns. In 
former years she exerted great influence in the neighborhood, 
and her experiences make a story worth telling. 

In order to get this historical material under cover, where 
it may be preserved, and in the meanwhile accessible to 
others, I have published this Series, which, perhaps, will be 
continued at some future day. 

S. A. G. 

March i6, 1887. 


No. I. 
Reminiscences of Groton during the Years 1823 and 1824. 

No. II. 
Reminiscences of Groton during the Years 1826 and 1827. 

No. III. 
Groton during Shays's Rebellion. 

No. IV. 

Groton as a Shire Town. — Destructive Tornado. — Two 
Groton Conventions. — The Soapstone Quarry. 

No. V. 

The Western Society of Middlesex Husbandmen. — Railroads 
and other Corporations, etc. — Miss Prescott's School. — 
Groton Newspapers. — Groton Bakery. — Revolutionary 
Items. — An Old Wall. — "The Neck." 

No. VI. 

The Functions of New England Academies : An Address de- 
livered AT the Dedication of Lawrj:nce Academy, Groton, 
June 29, 1871, by the Rev. Charles Hammond. With an 
■ Appendix, containing Act of Incorporation, etc. 


No. VII. 
The Old Stores and the Post-Office of Groton 

No. VIII. 
The Old Taverns and Stage- Coaches of Groton. 

No. IX. 
District Schools. - Public Librarv. - Military Matters. - 
Fires occurring in 1829. — The Ringing of the Nine o'clock 
Bell. —Mistake in the Spelling of a Name. 

No. X. 

The Earliest Church Records in Groton. 

No. XI. 

Reminiscences of Groton during the Years 1839, 1840, and 
1841 ; with an Appendix. 

No. XII. 

Groton during the Indian Wars. — John Prescott's Agreement 
WITH the Town. — Simon Willard and Nonacoicus Farm. — 
Samuel Carter, Fourth Minister of Groton. 

No. XIII. 

A Register of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Groton, 
1664-1693, and of Marriages, 1713-1793, as Copied from the 
Middlesex County Records ; also a List of Marriages sent 
to the Town Clerk of Groton, under Chapter LXXXIV 
Section 4, of the Acts of 1857, and some from other 
Sources ; with an Appendix. 

No. XIV. 

Revolutionary Items Boston Port Bill, Minute-Men, etc. • 
Powder-mill at Pepperell; Rev. Samuel Dana; Abraham 

Childs, a Revolutionary Officer ; A Singular Petition ; 
Absentees; An !^xception. — The Presbyterian Controversy 
in Groton. — President Dwight's Description of Groton. — 
Memoranda by Joseph Farwell. — The First Operation 
UNDER Ether. — A January Thaw. — The New Testament in 
A. Bale of Cotton. 

No. XV. 

The Geography of Groton. — A List of the Town-Clerks of 
Groton. — Station-Masters. 

No. XVI. 

New Chapter in the History of the Concord Ficpx. — List of 
Groton Subscribers to Important Book.s, etc. — Pepperell 
Fever. — Naomi Farwell, the Hermitess. — The Gilson Fam- 
ily. — The Town-Clock. — Life in the Wilderness. — A Stray 

No. XVII. 

An Old House, and Some of its Occupants. — Two Balloon 
Descents IN Groton. — Tunes called "Groton."-— John Bulk- 
ley's Death. — Dr. Wm. Douglass's Summary. — The South 
Military Company. — A Provincial Note-Forger. — Commo- 
dore Bainbridge and the Lakin Farm. — Miss Clarissa But- 
ler. — Revolutionary Soldiers. — The Indian Attack of 
July 27, 1694. 


The Groton Bi-Centennial Celebration- — A Commemoration, 
July 4, 1876: Groton Burned by the Indians, 1676; Decla- 
ration of Independence, 1776. — Samuel Laurence's Recollec- 
tions. — Tax on Unappropriated Lands. — John Derbyshire. 
— Chaises and "Chairs" in Groton. — Slavery in Groton, — 
Items from Various Sources. — Deaths, 

No. XIX. 
General Grant's Visit to Groton. — Old Mill-Sites in Groton. 
— BiLLERicA Bridge. — William Nutting. — The First Church 
AT West Groton. — Daniel Farmer and Eleazer Priest. 
The Farrington Family. — Burning of Judge Dana's Barn. 

No. XX. 
Two Chapters in the Early History of Groton. 


Historical Series, No. I. 


During the Years 1823 and 1824. 

Dr. Samuel A. Green. 

My dear Sir, — To one so familiar with the history of 
Groton, in all its departments and records, from the founda- 
tion of the town, I am aware that no slipshod reminiscences 
of my short visit to that place so long ago, can be of much 
interest or of any use ; and without the pen of Sir Walter 
or the mallet and chisel of Old Mortality to scrape off the 
moss and to restore the inscriptions in the churchyard of my 
memory, any attempt will be in vain. 

But, in compliance with your request of yesterday, to make 
some memoranda of my experiences and observations at 
Groton during a short residence of about five months in 
the winter of 1823 and 1824, I will try, though in nearly the 
eightieth year of my age, and after the expiration of sixty 
years, without the assistance of any diary, and with a mem- 
ory materially impaired by age, to furnish, as briefly as I can, 
the few reminiscences I am able to recall. 

Arrival in Groton. 

Early in the winter of 1823-24, after my dismission from 
Harvard College, with about half my classmates, in conse- 

quence of the rebellion of the class of 1823, and after enter- 
ing my name as a law student in the office of a distinguished 
lawyer in Boston, I was induced, partly for the purpose of 
superintending the education of a younger brother, in whom 1 
felt a great interest, to go to Groton, and there, still pursuing 
the study of the law, to remain for about five months. 

Groton was then a town of about two thousand inhabitants, 
famous as the birthplace of the distinguished and numerous 
family of the Lawrences, and Colonel William Prescott, of 
Bunker Hill memory ; and possessing many advantages, from 
the beauty of its scenery, the loveliness of its situation, and 
its social attractions as a place of residence. 

But, remaining there so short a time, it necessarily offered 
but few opportunities to collect many reminiscences valuable 
to an author of a history of that town. A few, however, I will 
attempt to supply, leaving it to your discretion to adopt, re- 
ject, or alter as much or little as you please ; presuming that 
after such a space of time it is impossible to recall, with any 
degree of exactness, dates, events, and persons with which 
you will have to deal in your book. 

At that time the two most prominent men in Groton were 
Mr. Luther Lawrence and Judge Dana, to both of whom I 
was introduced by the honorable and eminent lawyer, Judge 
Prescott, of Boston. They received us with hospitality and 
kindness, and contributed much to the pleasure of our short 
stay in that town. On our arrival we found comfortable 
rooms and good board in a large house, standing high on 
the east side of the main street, or stage road, in a central 
situation, belonging to Mr. William F. Brazer, and directly 
opposite to the dwelling of Mr. Butler, a most excellent and 
estimable man, at that time, I believe, the town clerk, and 
since then the postmaster and historian of Groton. At 
Mr. Brazer's two young men, Mr. Norman Seaver and Mr. 
Charles Butterfield, both graduates of Harvard College and 
students at law, were our fellow -boarders and agreeable 
companions. Thus began my first experience of country life 
in New England. 

Thanksgiving Day. 

On Thanksgiving day we were hospitably invited to dine 
and spend the day with the family of Mr. Butler, our opposite 
neighbor, where we were inducted into the mysteries of that 
New England festival, with all its games and frolics in the 
evening, after a generous supply of turkey, mince and pump- 
kin pies at dinner, with the welcome exchange of appropriate 
customary presents. The party was composed of Mr., Mrs., 
and Miss Butler, and we had a first-rate time. The daughter, 
Miss Susan Butler, then about sixteen, would, by Washington 
Irving, have been called the " Pride of the Village." She was 
bright, pretty, and graceful, full of animation, and the best of 
company for such an occasion. With a face full of expression 
and a mind well stored, for her age, with knowledge, with a 
figure tall and straight, and manner simple and attractive, 
she would have done credit to any society. Added to all this, 
she wrote poetry of much more than ordinary merit. She was 
of an age when coasting was good fun ; and I regretted not a 
little that my brother anticipated me in securing the best sled 
and the best girl for this exhilarating winter amusement, 
which, considering that he was younger, better-looking, and 
more skilful in steering, was not surprising. About two 
years afterward, while in Europe, I heard with deepest sorrow, 
that this child, only sixteen when I knew her, — already then 
the pride of her parents, the idol of her companions, and the 
favorite of all who knew her, and, as I was told, still improving 
in person and character, surrounded by every blessing in pos- 
session and prospect to make life happy, — had fallen a victim 
to some fatal malady, and had been followed to her early grave 
in Groton, with aching hearts and streaming eyes, by her fond 
parents and admiring friends. Who, after an interval of 
nearly sixty years, is now left to tell how much of youthful 
promise, purity, grace, and sweetness of character lies buried 
in that grave, with the crushed hopes and fond wishes of those 
who loved her .■" 

s* Securities Shall give in on oath what they gave for the same and 
Shall Eeceive no more of the publick Treasurer Including Interest. 

14'?' To see if the Town will Vote to open our Ports to all nations 
that a free trade may commence to the Good of the Community at 

15'.y To see if the Town will Vote to Chose a Committee of safety 
to see that there is no more Infringements made on our Injured Rights 
and previledges — and act [on] any thing Relative to the above Articles 
or any other things which may be Necessary for the good of the Publick 
at Large. 

Benj? Page 
EplH" Ward 
Stephen Munroe 
Jabez HoMen 
Eben Tarbell 
John Moors 
Amos Stone 
John Park 
Eben"' Earns worth 
Jonas Stone 
Jon» Stone 
Asa Stone 
Thomas Hubbard 
Jon° Lawrence 
Eobart Ames 
Amos Ames 
Oliver Shed 
John Fiske 
Asahel "Wyman 
Joh Sartell 
■Jonathan Eiske 
Amos Lawrence 
Enoch Cook 

Peletiah Russell 
Thomas Earwell 
Richard Sawtell 
Samuel Kemp Jr. 
Epiiraim Kemp 
Amos Adams 
Caleb Blood 
Benj« Tarbell 
Sam^ Hemenway 
Zech^ Fitch 
James Shiple 
Joseph Shed 
Oliver Fletcher 
Josiah Hobart 
Oliver Parker 
Royal Blood 
Phinehas Parker 
Jon" Worster 
Ephraini Nutting 
James Wood 
Nath" Sartell 
Jacob Patch 
Sam" Chamberlin 

David Woods 
John Woods 
Benj» Hazen 
Jason Williams 
Daniel Williams 
Jacob Williams 
Shattuck Blood 
David Blodget 
James Bennet 
Isaac Lakia 
Sam'l Hartwell 


John X Lawrance 


John Gragg 
Job Shattuck 
Job Shattuck Jr. 
Benj'; Lawrance 
Samuel Gragg 
Jacob Lakin Parker 
Jacob Gragg 
Oliver Blood 
Levi Kemp 
Timothy Woods 

And you are to make return of this Warrant with your doings therein 
to the Town Clerk of said Town or to some one of the Selectmen of the 
s* Town by Tuesday next [June 27,] at Eight o Clock beforenoon 
hereof you will not fail at the peril of the Law. Given under my hand 
& seal this 24'!' day of June A. D. 1786. 

By order of the Selectmen of said Town. 

Isaac Faknswoeth Town Clerk 

These several articles were referred to a committee, chosen 
at the meeting, consisting of Dr. Benjamin Morse, Captain Job 
Shattuck, Ensign Moses Childs, Captain Asa Lawrence, and 
Captain Zechariah Fitch, to whom " Discretionary power " was 
given to act as they thought best. They were requested to 

correspond with the committees of other towns in the Com- 
monwealth, in relation to their public grievances, and to peti- 
tion the General Court for redress. 

The " request " contained in the warrant shows clearly the 
utter want of appreciation of the true causes of their troubles, 
on the part of the signers, as well as the proper remedies for 
relief. Their political notions were crude in the extreme, and 
in many respects agree well 'with the views of those who now 
advocate free trade and fiat money. 

Committees from Groton, Pepperell,'Shirley, Townsend, and 
Ashby met at Groton on June 29, 1786, two days after the 
town-meeting, in order to make preparations for calling a 
county convention. At this preliminary meeting a committee 
was appointed, of which Captain John Nutting, of Pepperell, 
was the chairman, who addressed a circular letter to the select- 
men of the other towns in Middlesex County. They were 
invited to send delegates to a convention, to be holden at 
Concord, " to consult on matters of public grievances and 
embarrassments, and devise a remedy therefor." At Newtoa 
a town-meeting was held expressly for the purpose of consid- 
ering this letter, when a very sharp and decisive answer was 
sent by that town to Captain Nutting, declining to take part 
in the affair. Extracts from the reply are found in Francis 
Jackson's " History of Newton " (pp. 211-213). 

The county convention was afterward held at Concord, on 
August 23, — the immediate result of the meeting of the town 
committees at Groton. Its object was to consult on public 
grievances ; and one such grievance was the Court of Common 
Pleas, which was to sit on the 12th of the following month. 
The malcontents felt a special spite against this court, some- 
times called the Inferior Court, as it was the principal source 
of the executions by which property was sold to satisfy the 
demands of the tax-gatherer. The convention voted ten arti- 
cles of grievance, and adopted an address to the public, which 
was ordered to be printed, when it adjourned to meet again on 
the first Tuesday of October. 

Trouble was now feared, and means were taken to prevent it. 
But notwithstanding these measures, a mob of about a hun- 
dred men from Groton and its neighborhood, under the com- 
mand of Job Shattuck, assembled at Concord, on the afternoon 
of September 12, in order to prevent the session of the court. 

They lodged that night in the court-house, and under such other 
temporary shelter as they could find, and on the next day took 
possession of the ground in front of the court-house. Strength- 
ened by considerable accessions to their numbers, they suc- 
ceeded in their aim so far as to prevent the sitting of the 
court ; and this produced a great excitement, not only in Mid- 
dlesex, but throughout the State. Flushed with success, the 
rioters were now determined to suppress the session of the 
court to be held at Cambridge on November 28, though some 
of them were inclined to go no further against the govern- 
ment, but in this were overruled by the leaders. As the 
day drew near, there were unpleasant rumors of a probable 
collision between the authorities and the rebels, and due care 
was taken to avert it. The show of strength on the part of 
the government, and the want of discipline among the insur- 
gents, prevented the disaster. 

John Quincy Adams, then a young man in college, writes 
in his journal, under the date of November 27, 1786, — as 
quoted by the Hon. Charles Francis Adams in his Phi Beta 
Kappa address, at Cambridge, on June 26, 1873 : — 

" This evening, just before prayers, about forty horsemen arrived here, 
under the command of Judge [Oliver] Prescott, of Groton, in order to 
protect the court to-morrow from the rioters. We hear of nothing but 
Shays and Shattuck. Two of the most despicable characters in the 
community now make themselves of great consequence." (Page 6.) 

General John Brooks, afterward the Governor of the Com- 
monwealth, writes from Medford, under the date of November 
27, 1786, to Commissary-General Richard Devens, that " one 
hundred Volunteers are expected in this town every moment 
from Groton to support the Court at Cambridge tomorrow." ^ 
This is, undoubtedly, an allusion to the force under Judge 
Prescott, who was a prominent military character in the 
county. He had previously held in the militia the respective 
commissions of major, lieutenant-colonel, colonel, brigadier- 
general, and major-general. 

On November 27 a small party of insurgents, headed by 
Oliver Parker, of Groton, marched into Concord, on their 
way to Cambridge with the intention of suppressing the court. 

1 Massachusetts Archives, vol. clxxxix. p. 35. 

This movement created fresh excitement, as the Middlesex 
leaders had indeed promised to remain quiet, and their appear- 
ance now was quite unexpected. Job Shattuck joined them 
later, coming in a more secret manner. It was intended that 
he should have command of the party, and act with the rebel 
force from Worcester County ; but, owing to some want of 
co-operation between them, their plan fell through. At this 
failure the ringleaders became disheartened and scattered, 
when most of them returned to their homes. Warrants were 
at once issued for the arrest of the principal offenders. Execu- 
tive action was based on the following communication:^ — 


I hereby certify that Job Shattuck & Oliver Parker Gentlemen & 
Benj'- Page Yeoman all of Groton & Nathan Smith & John Kelsey of 
Shirley Gentlemen, all in the County of Middlesex & Commonwealth 
aforesaid have been active in the late rebellion & stirring up the people 
to oppose Government, are therefore dangerous persons & pray a 
Warrant may be issued to restrain them of their personal Liberty. 

Oliver Prescott. 

Boston Nov? 28'.'' 1786 

A company of horsemen, under the command of Colonel 
Benjamin Hichborn, aided by another party under Captain 
Henry Woods, of Pepperell, was sent from Boston to secure 
the subjects of the warrant. 

George R. Minot, in " The History of the Insurrection in 
Massachusetts " (pp. 77-79), gives the following account of 
the affair : — 

"The execution of these warrants was committed to the Sheriff of 
Middlesex [Loammi Baldwin], and others, to whose aid, a party of horse, 
who had voluntarily associated for the support of government, under 
Colonel Benjamin Hichhurn, was ordered from Boston, early in the 
morning of [Wednesday] the 29th of November. They were joined by 
a party from Groton, under the command of Colonel Henry Wood, and 
the whole consisting of more than 100, proceeded immediately for Con- 
cord. On their arrival there, the Groton horse, as being best acquainted 
with the country, and least liable to excite an alarm from an unfa- 
miliar appearance to the inhabitants, were despatched to secure the 
subjects of the warrant. These returned at night, with two prisoners, 
Parker and Page, but Shattuck, the principal leader, had taken an 

' Massachusetts Archives, vol. clxxxix. p. 40. 


alarm and escaped. Under this disappointment, at midnight, in the 
midst of a violent snow storm, the whole party were ordered on to 
Shattuch's house in Groton, where they did not arrive till late in the 
morning. Here they found that ShaUuck had fled to the woods. A 
search was immediately commenced, and a judicious pursuit discovered 
him to a party of a few persons, led by Colonel Wood himself. ShaUuck 
obstinately resisted, and was not taken until he had received several 
wounds, one of which was exceedingly dangerous, and which he re- 
turned, though without much injury. The three principal objects of the 
warrant being thus apprehended, the party returned to Boston, on the 
next day but one after their departure, having pervaded the country for 
near fifty miles. The short time in which this excursion was performed 
with so large a body, and the extreme severity of the weather, ren- 
dered the execution of this service as honourable to the gentlemen who 
subjected themselves to it, as their motives in the undertaking were 

Job Shattuck lived near Wattle's Pond, in a house which 
he built about the year 1782, still standing, and occupied by 
Harrison Holmes when the map in Mr. Butler's History was 
made. He is supposed to have passed the night before his 
arrest at the house of Samuel Gragg, two miles away from 
his own dwelling. When the company failed to find him at his 
home on the morning of Thursday, November 30, twelve men, 
under Sampson Reed, of Boston, proceeded at once to Gragg's 
residence, where there was reason to think he was hiding. 
They learned that he had been there, but had just left ; and 
by the tracks in a light snow which had fallen during the 
previous night, they traced him to the neighborhood of his 
own house. Here he was taken by his pursuers, after a des- 
perate resistance, on the banks of the Nashua River, almost 
within sight of his dwelling. A blow from the broadsword of 
F. C. Varnum, of Boston, made a fearful wound in Shattuck's 
knee, dividing the capsular ligament. 

Another account of the arrests is found in " The Massachu- 
setts Gazette," December 5, 1786, as follows: — 

" We have the pleasure of announcing to the publick the very agree- 
able and authentick information of the safe return of the corps of 
volunteer hbrse, under the command of Col. Hichborn, after havinw 
achieved the object of their exped.ition, by the capture of ShaUuck, 
Parker and Page, who have been the indefatigable fomenters of 
sedition in the county of Middlesex. 

" Too much credit cannot be given the officers and men on this occa- 
sion, who performed a long and disagreeable march, a great part of the 
way in the night, in a heavy snow-storm, and in a very short period. — 
The people every where in the country, through which they passed, so 
far from the opposition which the rioters threatened, cheerfully gave 
them every assistance that was wanted. A company of horse, under 
Col. Wood, of Pepperell, were particularly active, and had the honour 
of securing two of the prisoners before the party arrived at Groton. — 
Shattuck, however, had found the means of eluding their vigilance — 
but upon the arrival of the troop in the vicinit}' of his house, a second 
search commenced with renewed ardour — until he was finally discovered, 
pursued and apprehended — though not without a sharp conflict with 
one of the horse, in which much personal bravery was displayed — but 
upon two others coming up, he was obliged to surrender. — Shattuck was 
badly wounded in the knee, and the gentleman immediately engaged 
received a slight cut on his face. — These deluded and daring violaters 
of the publick peace had been in arms the day before in Concord, on 
their way to Cambridge, to stop the Court of Common Pleas, which is 
now sitting unmolested in that town. 

" The most absurd and contradictory stories have been circulated 
throughout the country ; and it may be truly said, that they have sup- 
ported a bad cause by the most scandalous deception, as well to their 
own strength, as to the views of government. 

" Every body joins in giving praise to the volunteers, who have done 
honour to their characters, and rendered the most essential benefit to 
the State by this achievement. 

" Groton is about 43 [33 ?] miles from this town, so that what with 
the direct course, and the chase which they had before the seizure of 
Shattuck, who immediately fled to the woods, upon being discovered 
behind a barn, many of the company must have rode near one hundred 
miles from Wednesday morning to Thursday evening, and were some 
of them nine hours on horse-back, without scarcely dismounting in that 
time. There was not a gun fired at the horse, in the whole expedition, 
though it was generally believed that Shattuck had fortified his house 
in order to a vigorous opposition : This, however, proved not to be 
the case, for he had endeavoui'ed to abscond, after trying in vain to 
raise a party for his protection. — The troop went in aid of the Sher- 
iff, by order of his Excellency, when it was found that the late am- 
nesty of government was without effect, in reclaiming these hardened 

Captain Shattuck was carried to Boston on December 1, and 
committed to jail with Page and Parker, though these last two 
were soon afterward released on bail. Page's liberation was 


due, doubtless, to the following letter from Judge Oliver Pres- 
cott, one of the selectmen at that time : ^ — 

Gkoton Jany. 1'.' 1787. 

Sib Mr Benit Page the State Prisoner with his Wife, beggs to 
know of your Excellency, whither he can be admitted to Bail before 
the sitting of the General Court ; as he has a large young Family suf- 
fering by his absence. Mf Page is a man of property & Mess'.' Joseph 
Allen & Jonathan Lawrence of Groton, men of property, will appear 
as sureties. Mf Levi Kemp the bearer, went with s* Page on the 27'^ 
of NovF last, to Carry a Letter from the Malcontents, to Capt. Pratt in 
Bristol County, & will inform you of their Conduct in that Journey. 
Your Excellency will be pleased to inform Mf Kemp whither Page 
can be admitted to Bail, & what are the necessary requisites for that 

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect Esteem, 

Your Excellencies most Obedient, Hum! Servant ; 

Oliver Peescott. 
The Goveknok. 

While in confinement Shattuck was treated kindly, and 
had the best of medical skill. " The Massachusetts Gazette," 
December 12, says : — 

" Shattuck, the state prisoner now in this town, is amply provided 
with all the necessaries and conveniences proper for any person labour- 
ing under such a wound, as he. received in his violent and obstinate 
resistance to the gentlemen who apprehended him ; he is constantly 
attended by a number of respectable gentlemen of the Faculty, and 
treated with all the humanity that could possibly be shewn to any person 

He remained in jail more than four months, but was finally 
released on April 6, under bonds of X200, and allowed to return 
to his family. The following letter relating to his son is ou 
file : 2 — 

Groton, JanT 9'.^ 1787 
Sir Job Shattuck Juf son of Capt. Shattuck the State Prisoner, ear- 
nestly requests your Excellency' permission to see his Father. — he 
hath been in Arms twice ; & after his father was apprehended absconded 
& went into the Western Counties, but after his return came & Volun- 

1 Massachusetts Archives, vol. clxxxix. p. 67. ^ Jm., p. 71. 

tarily took the oath of Allegiance a Certificate of which I have sent to 
the Seoretaryf office, & believe he will be a good Subject & I desire he 
may be allowed to return to his Family & Business. He will give an 
account of his discoveries in his Journey if interrogated. 

I have the honor to be with the most perfect Esteem & respect, 

Your Excellency? most Ob? Hie S! 

Oliver Pkescott. 
The Goveenok. 

The following account of Shattuck's wounds is found in 
" The Massachusetts Gazette," January 5, 1787 : — 

" As the curiosity of the publick has been excited by the situation of 
Job Shattuck, now confined in the jail in this town ; and as it is not 
improbable his real condition may have been wilfully misrepresented 
in different parts of the country, it is thought expedient to publish the 
following, which may be relied on as a true state of facts. 

" About 10 o'clock in the morning of the 30th of November, he was 
overtaken by a party of the posse who attended the Sheriff". Being 
armed with a broad sword, he assaulted the party, and before he could 
be made a prisoner, and disarmed, he received several slight cuts in his 
face and hands, and a wound in the joint of his right knee, from a broad 
sword. His hands and face were soon healed. 

" By the wound in the knee, the capsular ligament was divided in an 
oblique direction, on the anteriour and external part. As soon as he 
could be brought to an house, his wounds were dressed ; and as he was 
to be conveyed immediately to Boston, it was judged expedient to close 
the gaping wound by three stitches through the cellular membrane. In 
this state he was conveyed to town in a sleigh, the most easy mode of 
conveyance at this season of the year. On the first of December, he 
was lodged in Boston jail. Having lain a few hours in a room on the 
first floor, he was removed on the same day into an upper-chamber, 
warm and comfortable, with a good fire-place, and capable of free ven- 
tilation, a room usually appropriated for debtors, and accommodated with 
glass-windows, where he was provided with suitable bedding, fireing, 
and a faithful nurse, and every other necessary, attended by a number 
of the faculty of the town. 

" The great degree of inflammation usually brought on by a wound 
on this part, and of such a nature, was in a considerable degree pre- 
vented by bleeding, cooling medicines, anodyne and sedative applica- 
tions, and by keeping the limb in an easy posture, and for the first 
week, the wound wore as favourable an appearance as, from the nature 
of it, could be expected. 


" A degree of pain and inflammation, however, continued, particularly 
on the external and upper part of the joint ; and on Friday the 8th 
December, it was found necessary to open a sinus which had formed 
from the upper lip of the wound, and a little above the joint, which 
discharged a considerable quantity of matter. Notwithstanding this 
discharge, and the constant use of autiphlogistick applications, and a 
total abstinence from animal food, and every thing of a spirituous kind, 
and inflammation of all the parts about the'joint continued, and did not 
begin to subside until Tuesday the 12th, when they became less turgid, 
and the wound, with the parts adjacent, assumed a more agreeable as- 
pect, the matter discharged was of a good quality, the patient was in 
general free from pain, rested well at night, and discovered that incli- 
nation for food which proves the system to be at ease. 

" The inflammation having now subsided, it was thought proper to 
give the bark and wine, in order to restore the strength of the patient, 
which had been much impaired by the fever and discharges of matter ; 
and there was a pleasure in observing the agreeable appearance and im- 
provement of the wound from day to day under this course. His recov- 
ery was evident, not only to the gentlemen who attended him, but was 
experienced by the patient, and drew from him his approbation and 
acknowl edgment. 

"Notwithstanding these promising circumstances, he was indulged, 
by government, in the privilege, enjoyed by every other citizen, to 
choose his own physician and surgeon, and according to his own request, 
was delivered into the care of Mr. Kitteredge, of Tewksbury, on 
Wednesday the 20th ; since which time, neither of the gentlemen, who 
had attended, have seen him, or been consulted in his case. 

" [It is to be remarked, that the patient at this time acknowledged, 
and Mr. Kitteredge declared the wound to be in good order, and that 
it ' run good matter.'] " 

" The Massachusetts Gazette," January 26, 1787, announces 
that — 

"A report having been circulated in the country, that Mr..Shattuck, 
one of the state prisoners, had died in jail, it is proper to inform the 
publick, that he was last evening as well as he has been for three weeks 
past ; and that his recovery is not improbable." 

In the month of May, Captain Shattuck was tried and con- 
victed before the Supreme Judicial Court, and sentenced to 
be hanged on June 28 ; but, the day before this, a reprieve 
was granted to July 26 ; then, on the day preceding this, the 
execution of the sentence was again postponed to September 20, 


but on the 12th of that month he received a full and uncondi- 
tional pardon. 

Job Shattuck's life was one of large experiences. He was 
born on February 11, 1736, and at the early age of nineteen 
took part in the French War, serving through the campaign of 
1755 under General Monckton in Nova Scotia ; and later he 
was present at the battle of Bunker Hill. In the year 1776 
he was lieutenant of a company that went to Boston after 
that town was evacuated by the British, and the next year 
he commanded a company raised in Groton, that marched to 
Fort Ticonderoga. During the whole period of the Revolu- 
tion he gave freely of his time and money to promote the 
popular cause. 

In the autumn of 1781, Shattuck was engaged in what were 
then known as the Groton riots, incited by the opposition to 
the silver-money tax. He and sixteen other citizens of the 
town threatened and bullied William Nutting and Benjamin 
Stone, while attending to their duties as constables in collect- 
ing taxes. It was an affair that created a good deal of excite- 
ment in its day. At the trial he. pleaded guilty, and was 
fined £10 and the cost of prosecution. 

It is but just to the memory of Captain Shattuck to say 
that he was a member of the church and much respected by 
his townsmen. At the time of the rebellion he was near the 
middle age of life, and a man of great bodily vigor. He was 
the son of a respectable farmer, and himself a large land- 
owner. Strong and athletic in person, skilled in the use of 
the broadsword and proud of the accomplishment, utterly 
insensible to fear and having a good war-record, — all these 
qualities, aided by his position and means, gave him great 
influence among his neighbors. He paid dearly for his errors, 
as the crutch which he used until the day of his death, January 
13, 1819, would testify; and we can well afford to be charitable 
now to the poor misguided men who took part in that needless 
and wicked rebellion. 

It should not be supposed, however, that the whole town of 
Groton sympathized with the insurrectionary proceedings, as 
there were many law-abiding citizens still remaining. The 
following extract is taken from " The Massachusetts Gazette," 
December 12, 1786 : — 


" It may serve, says a correspondent, to give information to the pub- 
lick, with respect to the importance of the mob in Middlesex, to know, 
that all the independent farmers, and all the sober, thinking people in 
that county, discovered the highest approbation of the measures lately 
taken to put a stop to all future tumults there ; hoping, as they declared, 
that they should now hear and suffer no more from such infamous do- 
ings, and that the neck of sedition was broken. The people of Groton 
provided every refreshment, for the men and horse who went out to 
apprehend the leaders of the mob, and refused to receive one farthing's 
recompence, though ample pay was urged upon them." 

During the period of Shays's EebelUon Groton was one of 
the three towns in Middlesex County where the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas used to sit, Cambridge and Concord being the other 
tvfo. In the spring of 1787 its sessions were removed by an 
act of the Legislature, presumably on account of the part 
taken by the town in this uprising. 

In the year 1835 there was published anonymously at Phil- 
adelphia, a work entitled " The Insurgents : An Historical 
Novel," in two volumes. It is based on Shays's Rebellion, 
and the scene is laid mainly in the Connecticut valley. In the 
second volume is an account of Shattuck's capture, which is 
given with all the freedom of a novelist's pen. 

During the excitement of the rebellion Aaron Brown's pot- 
ash works at Groton were burned, on November 30, by some 
of the insurgents. Brown was one of the two constables who 
served the warrants against the leaders on that very day, and 
the feeling toward him was bitter. The establishment was 
situated on the south side of the Broad Meadow road, near 
the village, just before you come to the meadow. " The Mas- 
sachusetts Gazette," December 8, says : — 

"On Thursday night [November 30], last week, the Pot- Ash works 
belonging to Mr. Brown, of Groton, together with several tuns of Pot- 
Ashes, were destroyed by fire. The loss to Mr. Brown is very consid- 
erable ; and we are well informed, that there is great reason to conclude 
it was occasioned by the malice of one or more of the insurgents belong- 
ing to Middlesex." 

It appears from the General Court Records (vol. xlvii. 
p. 426), May 1, 1787, that Mr. Brown subsequently received 
some compensation for his losses. The entry is as follows : — 


In the House of Eepresentatives . . . Whereas Aaron Brown of 
Groton has represented to this Court, that his pot and pearl ash works 
were destroyed by fire, and also exhibited evidence which affords good 
reason to believe that the same were destroyed by some unknown and 
wicked incendiary, in consequence of his great exertions in the support 
of good Government. 

And whereas it is incumbent on the Legislature of this Common- 
wealth, to encourage the manufacture of pot & pearl ash, as well as to 
provide, as far as consistently may be, that no person shall suffer injury 
in consequence of his exertions to support and defend the Govern- 
ment : — 

Resolved That there be paid out of the Treasury of this Common- 
wealth to Aaron Brown from the money arising from the fines which 
are or shall be paid by persons who have been or shall be convicted of 
being concerned in the late rebellion, the sum of one hundred pounds, 
to enable him to" rebuild his pot and pearl ash works — Provided not- 
withstanding if the said Brown shall hereafter discover the perpetra- 
tors of the aforesaid wicked act, and shall recover the damage he has 
sustained, he shall in that case repay the said' sum of one hundred 
pounds, into the Treasury, taking duplicate receipts, one of which he 
shall lodge in the Secretary's office. 

In Senate read & concurred 

Approved by the Governor 

The works were subsequently re-established on the same 
site, and the building was standing as late as 1820. Some of 
the old iron kettles, used in the manufacture of potash, were 
lying behind Major Gardner's store at a period many years 

[Republished from the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 
November, 1884.] 


No. IV. 






Historical Series, No. IV. 


[The following articles have appeared at different times either in 
" The Groton Landmark ""or the " Groton Citizen," and are now revised 
and reprinted in this Series. — S. A. G.] 


In the year 1729 an attempt was made to divide Middlesex 
and form a new county from its northwestern section. The 
matter is referred to in the Reverend Wilkes Allen's History 
of Chelmsford (page 44), where it says that a committee was 
appointed in Chelmsford, during that year and the four fol- 
lowing ones, to meet with committees from other places in 
order to carry out the scheme. The author gives a list of the 
towns to be embraced in the new county, which were Groton, 
Townsend, Pepperell, Dunstable, Merrimack, Dracut, Litch- 
field, Chelmsford, Westford, Littleton, Concord, Bedford, 
Billerica, and Tewksbury. At that time Merrimack and 
Litchfield were considered as belonging to Massachusetts ; 
but after the running of the provincial line in the spring of 
1 741, they fell on the New Hampshire side of the boundary. 
It is a mistake, however, to include Pepperell in the list, as 

that town was not incorporated for many years after this 
period, either as a precinct or as a district. Bedford and 
Westford were both set off as towns on September 23, 1729, 
and doubtless, as new settlements, were interested in the pro- 
ject ; but Townsend, not incorporated until June 29, 1732, 
and Tewksbury, not until December 23, 1734, could have 
taken no part in the movement. 

Rufus C. Torrey, Esq., in his History of Fitchburg, Massa- 
chusetts (1865 edition), refers to the same subject, and says 
that the inhabitants of Lunenburg in 1729 chose Captain 
Josiah Willard as their agent to join with others to consider 
what may be best in order to divide the county of Middlesex. 
This scheme resulted in the formation of Worcester County, 
on April 2, 1731, which took eight towns from Middlesex, 
besides others from Suffolk and Hampshire. It was a dis- 
tinct affair from the one mentioned in the History of Chelms- 
ford. Mr. Torrey furthermore says : — 

In a little more than two years after this, attempts were made 
to form a new county out of the counties of Worcester and 
Middlesex, of which Groton was to be the shire town. These at- 
tempts in a short time were abandoned. (Page 39.) 

Further particulars are given in the following extracts from 
the Journal of the House of Representatives, under the re- 
spective dates of June 15 and 17, 1736. 

On a motion made and seconded by divers members, Ordered, 
That the House will enter into the consideration of the Petition of 
Benjamin Prescot, Esq ; and Capt. yoseph Blanchard, for them- 
selves and others, praying for a division of the Countys of Middlesex 
and Worcester on Thursday next the -i.'jth. currant in the forenoon. 
(Page 49.) 

According to the order of Tuesday last the House enter'd into 
the consideration of the Petition of Benjamin Prescot, Esq ; and 
Capt. Joseph Blanchard, Agents for Groton, Dunstable, &c. praying 
for a new County to be erected partly out of Middlesex and partly 
out of Worcester Q,o\xti\.-^?,, as entred the xZth. of June last, and idth. 

of March and referred ; the same being read, with* the respective 
answers thereto, and some debate being had, the following Vote 
passed, viz. In answer to the within Petition, Ordered, That the 
prayer thereof be so far granted as that the Towns of Groton, Dun- 
stable, Littleton, Wesford, Dracut, Nottingham, Townshend, Lunen- 
burgh, and Harvard, with the Towns lately granted, and lying 
Northerly and Westerly of the Towns afore enumerated, and not 
already included in any County, be and hereby are erected into a 
seperate and distinct County by themselves, to all intents and pur- 
poses in the Law, and that the Petitioners have leave to bring in a 
Bill accordingly. Sent up for Concurrence. (Page 51.) 

The question of dividing the county does not appear to 
have been brought forward again for nearly thirty years. In 
the Journal of the House of Representatives, June 6, 1764, 
the following entry is found : — 

A Petition of Capt. Abel Lawrence and others, Agents for several 
Towns in the County of Middlesex, praying that sundry Towns in 
the County of Middlesex and Worcester as mentioned, may be 
erected into a seperate County. 

Read and Ordered, That the Petitioners insert Copies of this 
Petition in all the Boston News-Papers three Weeks successively, 
that so the several Towns in the Counties of Middlesex and Worces- 
ter, may shew Cause, if any they have, on the second Wednesday of 
the next Session of this Court, why the Prayer thereof should not 
be granted. Sent up for Concurrence. (Page 39.) 

The petition is given in "The Massachusetts Gazette and 
Boston News-Letter," August 23, 1764, and sets forth the 
reasons for the division. It is as follows : — 

Province of the Massachusetts-Bay. 


Captain-General and Governor in Chief in and over His MAJ- 
ESTY'S said Province ; and to the Honorable His Majesty's 
Council, and House of Representatives, in General Court as- 
sembled at Boston, December, A. D. 1763. 

The PetitioJt of the Subscribers, Agents for the several Towns 
and Districts, viz. of Groton, and District of Shirley, and Pepper- 
rell, as also the Towns of Westford, Lyttleton and Townshend, in 
the County of Middlesex, and the Town of Lunenburg, and the 
Township oilpswich-Canada [Winchendon], and Dorchester-Canada 
(so called) [Ashburnham] in the County of Worcester. Humbly 


That your Petitioners and their Predecessors, inhabiting the 
several Towns and Districts aforesaid, from the first Settlements of 
said Towns and Districts have, and still do labour under great 
Difficulty and Burthen, by Reason of the great Distance they live 
from the usual Place of holding the several Courts of Justice within 
the Counties aforesaid, as well as the Courts of Probate in the same 
Counties ; many of the Inhabitants living fifty, some forty, and few 
less than thirty Miles from the Courts of Probate aforesaid, which 
renders it at all Times very difficult and sometimes impossible, for 
poor Widows and others to attend the Probate Courts, and other 
Courts of Justice, without great Expence ; by Means whereof, many 
times Actions are and necessarily must be continued, to the great 
Cost and Charge, oftentimes, to poor Orphan Children, and others 
who are necessarily obliged to attend said Courts ; and this almost 
inconceivable Difficulty and Burden daily increases, in Proportion 
to the Increase of the Inhabitants of said Counties, which are now 
so large, that the Inferior as well as Superior Courts are frequently 
obliged to adjourn over Sundays, in order to finish the necessary 
Business of said Courts, to the great Cost and Damages of many 
poor Witnesses and Jurymen, and others who are obliged to attend, 
&c. Wherefore your Petitioners, in behalf of themselves and the 
several Towns and Districts aforesaid, most earnestly pray Your 
Excellency and Honors to take their difficult Case under your wise 
Consideration, and pass such Acts and Laws, as that the Towns 
and Districts aforesaid, together with the Towns of Chelmsford, 
Dracut, Dunstable, and Stow, in the County of Middlesex, and the 
towns of Harvard and Leominster, in the county of Worcester (or 
such of said Towns and Plantations, or any others, as your Excel- 
lency and Honors shall think fit) may be erected and incorporated 
into a separate and distinct County, and that the same may be in- 
vested with all the Privileges that other Counties have and enjoy 
in this Province ; or otherwise grant Relief as Your Excellency and 
Honors, in Your known Wisdom and Goodness shall see meet, and 

Your Petitioners in behalf of themselves and the several Towns theiy 
represent, as in Duty bound, shall ever pray. 

Abel Lawrence 

Oliver Prescott 

Jonas Cutler )> Agents for Groton. 

James Prescot 

Josiah Sartell 

Jonath. Lawrence \ 

Thomas Warren \ Agents for Lyitleton. 

Joseph Harwood ) 

Jonas Prescott \ 

William Fletcher > Agents 'for Westford. 

Jabez Peep [Keep'] ) 

Benjamin Brooks, Agent for Townshend. 

William Prescott, Agent for Pepperrell. 

Hezekiah Sawtell, Agent for Shirley. 

In the House of Representatives, 

June the 14th. 1764. 
Read, and ordered, That the Petitioners insert Copies of this 
Petition in all the Boston News Papers, three Weeks successively, 
that so the several Towns in the Counties oi Middlesex and Worces- 
ter may shew Cause (if any they have) on the Second Wednesday of 
the next Session of this Court, why the Prayer thereof should not 
be granted. 

Sent up for Concurrence, 

Thos. Clapp, Speak'r, Pro Tempr. 
In Council, yune 14. 1764, read and concurred. 

A. Oliver, Sec'ry. 

It will be seen that the spelling of some of the names of 
these towns differs from the modern method. Lyttleton, 
Townshend, and Pepperrell were formerly common ways of 
writing them. It is somewhat doubtful how Littleton got its 
name ; but Townsend was so called from Viscount Towns- 
hend, a member of the Privy Council, and Pepperell from Sir 
William Pepperrell, the hero of the capture of Louisburg, who 
always wrote his surname with a double " r." While, therefore, 
these forms were correct more than a century ago, long and 
good usage has decided against them. 

It is useless now to speculate on what might have been, if 
the prayer of the petitioners had been granted. It would 

have materially changed the destiny of Groton, which was to 
be the shire town of the new county. 

On February 6, J776, an Act was passed removing the No- 
vember term of the Court of General Sessions of the Peace 
and Court of Common Pleas from Charlestown to Groton, 
presumably on account of the disturbances of the War. Two 
years later, on September 23, 1778, this November term was 
transferred to Cambridge, to take the place of the May term, 
which in turn was brought to Groton, where it remained till 
the spring of 1787. The sessions of the Court were held in 
the First Parish Meeting-house; and the Court ,was sitting 
here during the famous dark day of May 19, 1780, when can- 
dles had to be used. 

It is highly probable that Shays's Rebellion, which occurred 
during the summer and autumn of 1786, had some connection 
with the removal of these sessions from Groton. The uprising 
in Middlesex County was confined exclusively to this neigh- 
borhood, and the insurgents always felt a bitter spite against 
the Court of Common Pleas, which they tried to abolish. The 
action of the Legislature in making the change seems to have 
been in part retributive. 

The Court House at Concord was burned down early on 
the morning of June 20, 1849, during a session of the Court. 
The County Commissioners declined to rebuild, and left the 
matter to the next General Court. On February 13, 1850, 
Mr. Boutwell, then a member of the Legislature, presented to 
that body a petition of Nathaniel P. Smith and others, that 
the terms of the Court of Common Pleas ordered to be held 
at Concord, should be held at Groton ; and the question was 
duly referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The sub- 
ject was followed up, on March 18, by petitions from Pepper- 
ell, Townsend, Shirley, Littleton, and other neighboring towns, 
in aid of Mr. Smith's petition, which all took the same course. 
On March 26 the committee reported leave to withdraw, which 
recommendation was carried on April 8, after a long debate. 
The matter again came up in another form on the 15th, when 
the project for a change was defeated for the last time. 

Some years ago, the late Ellis Ames, Esq., of Canton, Mas- 

sachusetts, by my request furnished the following account of 

the Probate Courts held here, which forms a fit supplement to 

this article. 

Groton Probate Court. 

No statute in the Provincial period regulated the times and places 
of holding Probate Courts. I suppose the Probate Judges held 
their Courts at the Court House on days of which they had before 
given notice to the public. 

By the Constitution of Massachusetts, which went into effect on 
October 25, 1780, the Judges of Probate were required to hold their 
Courts at such places, on fixed days, as the convenience of the 
people should demand, and the General Court was required from 
time to time thereafter to appoint times and places for holding 
Probate Courts, until which appointments the Courts were to be 
holden at such times and places as the respective Judges of Pro- 
bate should direct. 

The General Court did not, by any law, fix times or places for 
holding Probate Courts in Middlesex County until, by a statute 
passed June 14, 1813, a Probate Court was ordered to be held 
at Groton on the first Tuesday in March, on the second Tuesday in 
May, and on the third Tuesday in October. 

A change was made in the law by statute passed February 14, 
1822, when the Probate Courts in Groton were required to be held 
on the first Tuesday of May, the last Tuesday of September, and 
the last Tuesday of December. 

By a law passed on March 20, 1832, the Probate Courts at 
Groton were required to be held on the first Tuesdays of May and 
November, which was continued by the Revised Statutes of 1836. 

By statute of 1856, Chap. 273, the first Tuesday of November 
was changed to the third Tuesday of October. By statute of 1857, 
Chap. 78, the Probate Courts at Groton were required to be held 
on the fourth Tuesdays of May and September, which last provision 
was carried into the General Statutes, and by the statute of March 
30, 1866, these two Groton Probate Courts were removed to be 
held at Cambridge, since which time no Probate Court has been 
held at Groton. 

October 20, 1877. 

An Act was passed by the Legislature, on June 15, 1821, 
authorizing the Judge of Probate to hold a special Court at 
Groton, on the second Tuesday of August of that year. 


The following description of a destructive tornado in War- 
wick, Massachusetts, on September 9, 1821, was written by 
the postmaster of that town. It is given in a letter addressed 
to the late Caleb Butler, Esq., under these circumstances. 

An account book had been picked up by the wayside near 
Sandy Pond, in the south part of Groton. It was found by 
the late Eliab G. Bolton, who judged, from the pieces of 
shingles and other rubbish scattered about, that there had 
been a severe gale in the neighborhood, and the fragments 
brought here by the wind. The book was fourteen inches in 
length, five and a half in width, and nearly half an inch in 
thickness. It had a pasteboard cover, on which was written, 
in a large and clear handwriting, " Blotter, 1802." The book 
was given to Mr. Butler, who, on hearing of 'the tornado at 
Warwick, wrote to the postmaster of that town about it, and 
received in reply the following letter. By a coincidence the 
postmaster happened to be the very man who had made and 
lettered the Blotter nearly twenty years before. The shortest 
distance between Warwick and Groton is forty-five miles, and 
the fragments, carried at a great height, must have gone much 
farther even than this. The exact time of their falling is not 
known, as it occurred after dark. 

Warwick October 1821 — 
Caleb Butler Esq. 

Sir — Yours of the 24* Ult. was received in due course of mail 
— stating that clapboards shingles books &c. had been found in the 
fields in Groton, which were supposed to be carried from Warwick 
by the wind in the late Tornado. There is no doubt of the fact, as 
there has been found in Winchendon and Fitchburg large quantities 
of the ruins of buildings that went from this place. 

The daybook mentioned in your letter was the property of Eben- 
ezer Willson, who at the time of the dates, kept a tavern in this 

place. — He commenced business on the i£ day of April 1802 

about which time it is probable, the accounts in the book begin 

according to the description you give of the book, it was made & 
letter'd on the cover, by my own hand. A leaf of Willson's Ledger 
was picked up in Winchendon containing an account against my- 
self & James Ball in the year 1802, which is probably posted 
from the daybook in your possession — If so, you will find me 
charged with i cwt. hay April 5^ — 50 — [cents] May 6* 74"" hay, 
34 & August 12"' 2 Pts brandy, 58. — 

I am well acquainted with all the names you mention, and the 
charges against them will give you a very good idea of the char- 
acter & habits of some of them. Said Willson removed from this 
place to Upper Canada, and left his accounts & papers with his 
father (Jonathan Willson) in this town, whose Dwelling-house, Barn 
& out Buildings were all demolished, and the greatest part of their 
contents carried away by the late Tornado. Those buildings in the 
centre of the track of the Whirlwind, were more exposed to its rava- 
ges, than any others in its whole extent. I visited this place about 
an hour after the wind had passed, but have it not in my power to 
picture to your view, this field of desolation — everything was swept 
close to the ground, and that considerably torn up. The orchard 
was carried all away — scarcely a tree within sight, and the heavy 
stone walls were level with the earth. From the best information 
I can obtain, those buildings we[re] demolished in less than 10 sec- 
onds of time. The family, six in number, who were all in the 
house, were providentially saved from instant death. Two boys 
escaped without injury, the other four were taken up much bruised 
and wounded — one was found in the cellar, one was taken up in the 
wind, and after being knocked about by the flying timbers, fell a 
little distance from where the house stood — the other two were 
found in different directions, among the small quantity of ruins that 
remained on the ground. Their confinement is a very great addi- 
tion to their other sufferings. Many others have suffered severely, 
and some have lost, perhaps, a greater amount of property, but no 
others have suffered the loss of every thing that is necessary for up- 
holding life, and at the same time deprived of their own exertions 
to save the scatter'd remnants, or provide a shelter for the ap- 
proaching inclement season. When we look for the Buildings & 
conveniences of 50 years industry and prudence, and find noth- 
ing, and when we enquire for the subjects of this calamity and are 
conducted to their beds where they are confined to pain & anxious 
solicitude, the stoutest heart withdraws in tears, to wash away an 
accumulated load of sympathetic sorrows. 


The people in this place are doing what, they can, to repair the 
loss of all the sufferers. The town has appropriated J 700, for their 
immediate necessities; but the loss is so extensive, that it seems 
impossible for the people here, to grant the relief which their situa- 
tions require, and repair the damages which the sufferers have sus- 
tained. We count five Dwelling houses and thirteen Barns, together 
with a great number of other buildings, which were demolished, and 
their contents broken to pieces and scattered over a vast extent of 
territory : to this calamity we may add, a very great amount of Prop- 
erty destroyed, in wood, timber, orchards, fences and domestic 
animals. If any of the calamities to which the human family are 
subject, ever demanded the charity of the Public, I think this is one 
of the number ; and I am requested by the Central Committee 
in this town, viz. Justus Russell Esq. Joshua Atwood & Josiah 
Procter, thro this medium, to solicit of the inhabitants of the town 
of Groton such assistance as they may feel disposed to grant to the 
sufferers in this place. You, sir, will have the goodness to commu- 
nicate to the Selectmen, or other proper persons, the desire of the 
aforesaid Committee. Your compliance will confer a signal favour 
upon your friend & Very Humble Servant, 

Wm Cobb 

The letter is addressed on the outside to 

Caleb Butler Esq' 
Groton Ms. 

and franked in the right-hand upper corner thus: — 

Free — Wm. Cobb P. M. 

Warwick Ms c^ 
The tornado happened on a Sunday afternoon, between five 
and six o'clock; and the dark, heavy cloud betokening the 
event was noticed by several persons at Groton. I was told by 
the late Dr. Amos B. Bancroft, that Mr. Butler himself saw the 
cloud from Walter Dickson's house on Farmers' Row, where he 
and others were engaged at the time in practising singing for 
the Sunday evening exercises. The Blotter and Mr. Cobb's 
letter are now deposited in the library of the Essex Institute 
at Salem, where it is filed among the manuscripts, and marked 
"Blotter— 1802." An account of this tornado is found in 
Blake's History of Warwick, which says that " a part of a 
leaf [.?] of an account-book was found in Groton, about sixty 


miles from the house where it was deposited in a chamber" 
(page 107). The distance, however, as given by Mr. Blake, is 
somewhat exaggerated. 

"The Massachusetts Spy" (Worcester), September 12, 
gives the following description of the gale : — 

On Sunday afternoon last [September 9], about 6 o'clock, a 
most destructive tornado was experienced in Northfield, Warwick 
and Orange, in the County of Franklin. It commenced near the 
middle of the town of Northfield, passing with desolating fury, in a 
direction nearly east, until it was arrested by " Tully's Mountain," 
about two miles north of Athol Meeting-House. It first struck and 
demolished a house and barn in Northfield — and thence passed to 
the easterly part of that town, and destroyed the house of Chapin 
Holton, seriously injuring him. From Northfield it passed into 
Warwick, completely demolishing, in its course, the house of a Mr. 
Brown, a daughter of whom, about fourteen years of age, perished 
in its ruins — and the barn and out-buildings of a Mr. Ball. A little 
distance east of Mr. Ball's, in Orange, a house, two barns, and a 
blacksmith's shop, all belonging to Mr. Smith, fell prostrate before 
the blast. The family, consisting of eleven individuals, escaped 
death by retreating to the cellar — all, save one, a young woman 
by the name of Stearns, who was crushed to death by the falling 
timber. Several others were, however, so seriously injured that 
their lives are despaired of. 

We have not room nor time, at the late hour at which we write, 
to detail the numerous circumstances which, we learn, attended this 
desolating whirlwind. The width of its ravages was from 40 to 60 
rods — its length about ten miles. So resistless was its force that 
the stoutest trees were up-rooted, stone fences removed, immense 
rocks torn from their beds, and even the surface of the earth itself 
broken up, as if with "the plough-share of destruction." 

" The Massachusetts Spy," September 26, contains an ac- 
count, taken from the Concord (N. H.) Patriot, of another 
violent hurricane that swept through the towns of Croydon, 
Wendell, New London, Sutton, and Warner, New Hampshire, 
at nearly the same hour this tornado burst forth in Franklin 
County. They lie about fifty miles away, in a northerly 
direction from Warwick. 


During the preceding century a severe hurricane occurred 
in the West Parish of Groton, now known as Pepperell, of 
which an account appears in "The Boston Weekly Post-Boy," 
August IS, 1748. It is as follows: — 

Groton, West-Parish, July 30, 1748. 

We had here, last Thursday, the 28th Instant, a terrible Hurri- 
cane, with shocking Thunder. The Course of the Whirlwind was 
from South to North, tho' often varying, sometimes bearing to the 
East and sometimes to the West. It has torn up a vast number of 
large Trees by the Roots, twisted others off in the midst, took up 
and carry'd away some Apple Trees to such a Distance that they 
could not readily be found, removed some large Logs from the 
Ground, and carry'd them to some Distance from the Place where 
they lay ; entirely demolishing two or three Buildings, taking off 
part of the Roofs of some, moving others a Foot or two from the 
Foundation : It hath carried away a considerable part of the Roof 
of the Meeting-House, threw down the Fences, Stone-Walls, laid 
the Corn even with the Ground; the Air was fiU'd with Leaves, 
Hay, Dust, Pieces of Timber, and Boughs of Trees of considerable 
bigness, for a Quarter of an Hour, which was the Time it was in 
passing thro' the Parish ; one House which it took in its Way was 
garrison'd ; one Side of the Garrison was thrown with great Vio- 
lence against the House, the other Sides levell'd with the Ground, 
and part of the House carry'd away: There was a Woman and 
three small Children in the House, who were all wonderfully pre- 
served, from receiving the least Hurt. Notwithstanding the great 
Desolation made among us, there was not Life lost, thro' the divine 
Goodness, tho' many Persons were in imminent Danger. We have 
not yet heard where it began ; it went quite thro' the Parish ; it's 
Impetuosity ceased near the Line between Hampshire and this 
Province, which is not far from us. Damage sustain'd by one man 
is very considerable, what in the Destruction of his Buildings, Corn, 
Hay, Fences, &c. he has lost above 500/. 

This description was written, undoubtedly, by the Reverend 
Joseph Emerson, the minister of the West Parish at that time, 
as it is substantially the same as the one given in the parish 
records, according to Mr. Butler's History (pages 347, 348). 



A Convention was held in the Orthodox Meeting-house 
at Groton, on October i and 2, 1834, for the purpose of organ- 
izing a County Anti-slavery Society. It was noted for the 
presence of the English abolitionist, George Thompson, and 
other well-known reformers. It was at this meeting that Mr. 
Thompson made his first public appearance in America, and 
this fact gave the Convention a certain notoriety. To his 
logic and eloquence Lord Brougham had attributed the tri- 
umph of the anti-slavery cause in England, saying to the 
House of Lords, " I rise to take the crown of the most 
glorious victory from every other head, and place it on George 
Thompson's. He has done more than any other man to 
achieve it." It can readily be understood that such a person 
would produce an impression in any assembly. He had just 
arrived in Boston, and it was arranged by William Lloyd 
Garrison and the Reverend Samuel J. May that he should 
accompany them to the Convention, then about to take place 
at Groton. 

In Mr. May's book, entitled " Some Recollections of our 
Anti-slavery Conflict'' (Boston, 1869), is an account of their 
trip, as follows: — 

At that time I was devoting a few weeks of permitted absence 
from my church in [Brooklyn] Connecticut to a lecturing tour in 
the anti-slavery cause, and came to Mr. Garrison's house in Rox- 
bury an hour after the arrival of Mr. Thompson. He readily 
consented to go with us the next day to Groton, there to attend 
a county convention. We gladly spent the remainder of the day 
together, in an earnest and prayerful communion over the great 
work in which we had engaged ; and at night repaired to lodge at 
the Earl Hotel in Hanover Street, that we might not fail to be off 
for Groton the next morning at four o'clock, in the first stage-coach, 
no conveyance thither by railroad being extant then. 

At the appointed hour, the house being well filled, the meeting 
was called to order, and business commenced. As all were eager 


to see and hear the great English orator, preliminary matters were 
disposed of as soon as practicable. Then Mr. Thompson was 
called up by a resolution, enthusiastically passed, declaring our 
appreciation of the inestimable value of his anti-slavery labors in 
England, our joy that he had come to aid us to deliver our country 
from the dominion of slaveholders, and our wish that he would 
occupy as much of the time of the convention as his inclination 
might prompt and his strength would enable him to do. He rose, 
and soon enchained the attention of all present. He set forth the 
essential immitigable sin of holding human beings as slaves in a 
light, if possible, more vivid, more intense, than even Mr. Garrison 
had thrown upon that "sum of all villanies." He illustrated and 
sustained his assertions by the most pertinent facts in the history 
of West India slavery. He inculcated the spirit in which we ought 
to prosecute our endeavor to emancipate the bondmen, — a spirit 
of compassion for the masters as well as their slaves, — a compas- 
sion too considerate of the harm which the slaveholder suffers, as 
well as inflicts, to consent to any continuance of the iniquity. He 
most solemnly enjoined the use of only moral and political means 
and instrumentalities to effect the subversion and extermination of 
the gigantic system of iniquity, although it seemed to tower above 
and overshadow the civil and religious institutions of our country. 
He showed us that he justly appreciated the greater difficulties of 
the work to be done in our land, than of that which had just been 
so gloriously accomplished in England, but exhorted us to trust 
undoubtedly in "the might of the right," — the mercy, the justice, 
the power of God, — and to go forward in the full assurance that 
He, who had crowned the labors of the British Abolitionists with 
such a triumph, would enable us in a like manner to accomplish the 
greater work he had given us to do. 

Mr. Thompson then went on to give us a graphic, glowing 
account of the long and fierce conflict they had had in England for 
the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies. His eloquence 
rose to a still higher order. His narrative became a continuous 
metaphor, admirably sustained. He represented the anti-slavery 
enterprise in which he had been so long engaged as a stout, 
well-built ship, manned by a noble-hearted crew, launched upon 
a stormy ocean, bound to carry inestimable relief to 800,000 
sufferers in a far distant land. He clothed all the kinds of oppo- 
sition they had met, all the difficulties they had contended with 


in imagery suggested by the observation and experience of the 
voyager across the Atlantic in the most tempestuous season of the 
year. In the height of his descriptions, my attention was withdi^wn 
from the emotions enkindled in my own bosom sufficiently to 
observe the effect |of his eloquence upon half a dozen boys, of 
twelve or fourteen years of age, sitting together not far from the 
platform. They were completely possessed by it. When the ship 
reeled or plunged or staggered in the storms, they unconsciously 
went through the same motions. When the enemy attacked her, 
the boys took the liveliest part in battle, — manning the guns, or 
handing shot or shell, or pressing forward to repulse the boarders. 
When the ship struck upon an iceberg, the boys almost fell from 
their seats in the recoil. When the sails and topmasts were well- 
nigh carried away by the gale, they seemed to be straining them- 
selves to prevent the damage ; and when at length the ship 
triumphantly sailed into her destined port with colors flying and 
signals of glad tidings floating from her topmast, and the shout of 
welcome rose from thousands of expectant freedmen on the shore, 
the boys gave three loud cheers, " Hurrah ! Hurrah ! ! Hurrah ! ! ! " 
This irrepressible explosion of their feelings brought them to them- 
selves at once. They blushed, covered their faces, sank down on 
their seats, one of them upon the floor. It was an ingenuous, thrill- 
ing tribute to the surpassing power of the orator, and only added to 
the zest and heartiness with which the whole audience applauded 
(to use the words of another at the time) " the persuasive reason- 
ings, the earnest appeals, the melting pathos, the delightful but 
caustic irony and enrapturing eloquence of Mr. Thompson." 

Thus commenced his brilliant career in this country. The 
Groton Convention lasted two days, the ist and 2d of October. 
Mr. Thompson went thence immediately to Lowell, where he spoke 
to a delighted crowd on the 5th. Four days after, on the 9th of 
October, he gave his first address in Boston. (Pages ii6-iig.) 

A report of the proceedings is found in " The Liberator " 
(Boston), October 11, 1834. In a notice of the meeting, Mr. 
Garrison, the editor, says : — 

We were enabled providentially to attend the Convention, in 
company with Prof. [Elizur] Wright of New York, Rev. Mr. May 
of Brooklyn [Connecticut], and our distinguished coadjutor from 
abroad, George Thompson, Esq. As no reporter was present, the 
very able and eloquent speeches of these gentlemen, as also those 


of Rev. Messrs. Rand and Pease of Lowell, and Rev. Mr. Wood- 
bury of Acton, must be lost to the public, although we trust the 
effects of these speeches will never cease to be felt. Mr. Thompson 
was received with that hospitality and attention which are justly his 
due. His addresses were most happily conceived, and most felici- 
tously spoken, much to the admiration and edification of his spell- 
bound audience. He stood sublimely upon the apex of Christianity, 
and brought within the scope of his vision every tribe and nation 
on the face of the globe. 

Another noted meeting in Groton was the Christian Union 
Convention, held on August 12, 13, and 14, 1840. The call 
for it vvras issued by Come-outers, so called, and Second 
Adventists, and had attracted the notice of Theodore Parker, 
at that time a young man of thirty. He proposed to some 
of his friends, among them Christopher P. Cranch and George 
Ripley, that they should walk to Groton and attend the 
Convention, which suggestion was readily taken up. In his 
journal, Mr. Parker wrote an account of the trip and the 
meeting, which is given in Weiss's " Life and Correspondence 
of Theodore Parker" (London, 1863). He says: — 

At Groton we went to reconnoitre, and find Mr. , the person 

who called the Convention which we went to attend. Our host 
directed us to a certain house, which we could not find, so we ac- 
costed a man in the street, — 

" Can you tell us where Mr. lives ? " 

" He boards witlt Brother Hall, about a mile and a half ofif; but 
his wife is up there in that house." 

Ripley replied, " It is , sir, and not his wife we want to see." 

" Oh, you will find him down at Brother Rugg's, just behind the 

Thither we went, and found a body of men gathered about the 

door of the Brother. We were introduced to Mr. and found 

that dignified personage a youngster about four-and-twenty, about 
the middle size, with a countenance pleasant rather than otherwise. 
He had a cunning look, appeared designing and ambitious. His 
natural language was not prepossessing. It said to me, "Take 
care — take care ! " (I. 125, 126.) 

"Brother Hall" was Benjamin Hall, who lived at what is 
now known as the Community. " Brother Rugg " was Deacon 


Abel Rugg, the tinman, who lived on Hollis Street, near the 
Orthodox Meeting-house. Mr. Garrison, the editor of " The 
Liberator," in his issue of August 21, 1840, gives a notice 
of the gathering, and says that "a band of choicer spirits, we 
venture to say, has not been brought together within the last 
century." There were about two hundred and seventy-five 
members of the Convention from different parts of New 
England and New York, not including those of the towns- 
people who naturally would be attracted to such an assembly. 

Among the persons present was " Parker of Roxbury ; " 

as the young minister who afterward became so famous as a 
writer and thinker, was styled in The Liberator's notice. 

The Convention was held in a large hall, situated on the 
east side of Hollis Street. The building was afterward moved 
to Main Street, and known as Liberty Hall, but subsequently 
burned on March 31, 1878. Dr. Amos Farnsworth, of Groton, 
was the presiding officer of this meeting, as he was of the 
previous one in the autumn of 1834. The hall on Hollis 
Street was built by the Second Adventists, or Millerites, as 
they were called in this neighborhood after William Miller, 
one of the founders of the sect. The Reverend Silas Hawley, 
the minister of the society which used to meet in this building, 
was the ruling spirit of the Convention. It is probably to 
him that Mr. Parker refers as the person who called the Con- 
vention. Mr. Hawley at one time was the editor of "The 
Church Reformer," a semi-monthly newspaper printed in 
Boston and devoted to various so-called reforms. It was 
published in part as an outcome of the Convention, which 
warmly recommended it to the public for their support. 



This quarry was discovered, in the year 1828, by John 
Fitch on his farm in Groton, situated a mile north of the 
village. He worked it in a small way for several subsequent 
years, sawing the stone by hand at a shop by the roadside, 
near his house ; but afterward he built a steam mill at the 
quarry, forty or fifty rods away. In the year 1855 the estab- 
lishment was bought of the Fitch heirs by the Honorable 
Samuel Adams, of Townsend, and Daniel McCaine, and dur- 
ing 1857 the quarry was worked by Mr. Adams. 

In May, 1858, Mr. McCaine, with his twin brother, David, 
and another brother, William, removed from Francestown, 
New Hampshire, to Groton, and took charge of the business, 
Mr. Adams having died on April 5 of that year. They en- 
larged the shop, improved the machinery, and worked the 
quarry on a grand scale. In the spring of 1859 the building 
was burned down, and on the same site another and larger one 
was put up. 

In 1 86 1 the Adams heirs sold out their interest to the 
McCaine brothers, who continued the business till September, 
1864, when the mill was again burned. The next month the 
property was sold to a stock company, known as the Groton 
Soapstone Company, which represented a capital of ;^ 100,000. 
Just before the formation of this company, a " Statement " 
regarding the location and value of the property was printed, 
accompanied by reports from the Superintendent, Daniel 
McCaine, and the State Assayer, Dr. Charles Tracy Jackson, 
on the resources of the quarry. Their estimates were liberal, 
and showed, on paper, that large profits would result from 
investments in the company. 

In the summer of 1865 the new company completed their 
mill, which was 80 by 50 feet in dimensions, with engine- 
house attached. It was run by a Corliss engine of 75 horse- 
power, and contained six gangs of saws. It had the latest 


improvements in machinery, and was considered the best- 
equipped and largest factory of its kind in the country. 

During the year 1867 the McCaine brothers, who were 
still in charge of the quarry, invented and patented a process 
for making artificial stone. The patent was subsequently 
sold to the Groton Soapstone Company, which soon afterward 
became the Union Stone Company. For a while the new 
process was considerably used in connection with the soap- 
stone, and finally became the exclusive business of the com- 
pany. The affairs of the corporation, however, did not seem 
to prosper, and, dividends not forthcoming, the establishment 
was abandoned and dismantled. The capital stock was then 
increased, and another mill built at Revere, near Boston, 
where artificial stone was made under the patent. 

The following account is taken from " The Groton Herald," 
May 29, 1830: — 

Groton Soap-Stone Quarry. — An extensive quarry of Soap- 
stone was discovered in this town, about two years since. It is on 
the land of Mr. J. Fitch, who was led to the discovery by accident, 
and commenced penetrating into it immediately, with considerable 
success. We have seen some specimens of the stone, that has 
been wrought into hearths, which retains a beautiful polish — and 
we understand that while the workmen penetrate deeper into the 
rocky caverns, the stone becomes more pure and valuable, and 
promises an inexhaustible supply. The quarry is opened on the 
side of a hill, in two or three places, and the descent from the top 
is about forty feet, over projecting crags and huge blocks of stone, 
above which stands a forest of tall trees — ■ the whole forming a 
grand and pleasing scene. The trees are seldom felled, and as 
farther researches are made into the earth, they often fall to the 
bottom of the cavitj' and are drawn out in the manner that stone 
is taken from the opening of the quarry. New discoveries are 
made almost daily, and we should judge from the appearance of 
what has already been done, that it is but a slight introduction to a 
vast territory of stone, of a very valuable kind. 

Some minerals have also been found in this place." Particles of 
iron ore may be seen among the stones, and black lead has been 
picked up in considerable quantities — and minerals of different 
colors, sparkling among the rocks and waters, can be distinctly 


discerned. Several springs gush from between the crags, and the 
water has filled the bottom of the quarry so as to delay the work, 
in one or two places ; but this obstruction is shortly to be remedied 
by fixing pumps to take away the water, and greater progress will 
doubtless be made the ensuing Summer, than formerly. 

The situation of this quarry is remarkable for its beautiful and 
romantic scenery — the wildness of nature which presents itself in 
varying scenes, and the rich groves and forests that appear on 
every side. After leaving the road we are led about a half mile, 
over valleys and variegated hills, till the path begins to be lined by 
huge pieces of Stone that have been drawn from their bed in im- 
mense quantities, and thrown aside like the worthless covering of 
a more valuable substance. The quarry is hidden from the view 
by towering trees that overshadow it, until winding along the rocky 
path, we stand before a damp and craggy place that opens at once 
upon us ; here are heard the sounds of workmen, who are employed 
in purging from the bowels of the earth this stony substance — 
some of which is so soft as to yield to the pressure of the fingers, 
while other kinds are of a much harder nature. The whole is 
remarkably smooth and soap-like, and Mr. Fitch owes his discovery 
to the fact that a part of a stone adhered to his axe, as he struck 
it inadvertently, while cutting wood on his farm. Many fragments 
were scattered over the surface of the ground at the time, but 
they had never excited attention until this late period. 

An attempt was made, about thirty years ago, to dig down 
on Mr. Needham's land eighty or ninety rods to the south- 
ward of the quarry, in order to strike the vein of soapstone. 
Many days of fruitless labor were thus spent, but the dip of 
the stone was too deep to be reached. 

Mr. Fitch's first shop by the roadside was originally 
attached to Major William Swan's house, — which is now 
occupied by Charles Woolley, Jr., on the north side of the 
Common near the burying-ground, — and at the end of the 
last century was used as a store. 

No. V. 








Historical Series, No. V. 


[The following articles, with the exception of the last three, have 
appeared at different times either in " The Groton Landmark " or the 
" Groton Citizen," and are now revised and reprinted in this Series. — 
S. A. G.] 


A FEW gentlemen, living in the westerly parts of Middlesex 
County and interested in farming, met at Chelmsford, on 
January 6, 1794, and formed a Society for the "promotion of 
useful improvements in agriculture ; " and subsequently, on 
February 28, 1803, they were incorporated by an Act of the 
Legislature, under the name of " The Western Society of 
Middlesex Husbandmen." The various presidents of the 
organizatioii have been the Reverend Jonathan Newell, of 
Stow ; the Reverend Phineas Whitney, of Shirley ; the Rev- 
erend Edmund Foster, of Littleton ; the Honorable Ebenezer 
Bridge, of Chelmsford ; Dr. Oliver Prescott, of Groton ; 
Colonel Benjamin Osgood, of Westford ; Wallis Tuttle, Esq., 
of Littleton ; and the Honorable Samuel Dana, of Groton. 
Since the date of its incorporation, and probably before that 
time, the Society met annually at Westford, Littleton, and 
Groton, in rotation, but held no public exhibition. 

The following Act is found among the laws of the State : 

An act to incorporate and establish a society by the name of 
The Western Society of Middlesex Husbandmen. 

Sec. I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, 
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same. That 
Ebenezer Bridge, Joseph B. Varnum, Phineas Whitney, Jonathan 
Newell, Solomon Aiken, John Bullard, Daniel Chaflin [Chaplin ?], 
Edmund Foster, John Pitts, Parker Varnum, Samuel Pitts, Henry 
Woods, Timothy Bigelow, Abel Fletcher, Oliver Crosby, Thomas 
Clarke, Joshua Longley, Ebenezer Bancroft, Timothy Jones, Oliver 
Prescot, jun. Sampson Tuttle, Zacheus Wright, Abijah Wyman, 
Jonathan Fletcher, John Farwell, Francis Kidder, Cornelius Waters, 
William Tuttle, Benjamin Osgood, Benjamin Fletcher, Benjamin 
Bowers, Paul Howard, John Wood, John Egerton, Samuel Stone, 
David Lawrence, Samuel Fletcher, S?imuel Lawrence, Jonathan 
Bancroft, Ephraim Russell, Jonathan Lawrence, Ebenezer Ban- 
croft, jun. Thomas Russell, together with such others who shall 
become members thereof, be, and they are hereby incorporated 
into, and made a body politic and corporate, by the name of The 
Western Society of Middlesex Husbandmen. 

Sec. 2. ^^ zVy^r/z^^r (f«(j:r/^(/. That the said corporation shall be 
capable of taking and holding in fee simple, or in any less estate, 
by gift, grant, devise or otherwise, any estate, real or personal, the 
annual income whereof shall not exceed one thousand dollars, and 
they may sell or dispose thereof at pleasure, not using the same in 

Sec. 3. Be it further enacted. That the said corporation may 
have and use a common seal, and the same may alter or change at 
pleasure, and shall be capable of suing or being sued in any actions 
real, personal or mixed, in any court proper to try the same. 

Sec. 4. Be it further enacted. That the said corporation may 
establish and put in execution such bye-laws and rules for the gov- 
ernment thereof, as they may think proper, not repugnant to the 
laws of this commonwealth ; and they may appoint such officers as 
they think proper, who shall be capable of exercising such power 
for the' well governing of said corporation as shall be authorized 
by the bye-laws thereof: And furthermore said corporation may 
from time to time admit new members thereunto, when, and in 
what manner they may think best : Provided however. That every 
person being a member of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting 

Agriculture, shall be considered as an honorary member of the 
Western Society of Middlesex Husbandmen, and shall have a right 
to assemble and vote at all meetings thereof. ' 

Sec. 5. Be it further enacted. That the end and design of the 
institution hereby incorporated is to promote useful improvements 
in agriculture. 

Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That Ebenezer Bridge, Esq. be, 
and he hereby is authorized to appoint the time and place for hold- 
ing the first meeting of said society, and to notify the members 
thereof, by publishing the same in one or more newspapers printed 
in Boston, fourteen days at least before the time of such meeting. 
[This act passed Feb. 28, 1803.J 

I do not find any notice of the first meeting printed in a 
Boston newspaper of that period ; but among the societies 
given in The Massachusetts Register for 1805 (page 51) is 
the following : — 

Western Society of Middlesex Husbandmen. 
Incorporated Feb. 28, 1803. 
Yearly Meeting for choice of Offi,cers, is held on the 1st Tuesday in 
September, at Westford, Littleton, and Groton, in rotation, at 10 
o'clock A. M. 

President, Hon. Ebenezer Bridge. 
First Vice-President, Zaccheus Wright, Esq. 
Second Vice-President, Rev. John Bullardr 
Recording Secretary, Mr. David Lawrence. 
Corresponding Secretary, Rev. Edmund Foster. 
Treasurer, Capt. Francis Kidder. 

(Who are Trustees ex officio^ 
Trustees, Oliver Prescott, Esq. Hon. Timothy Bigelow, Mr. 
Ebenezer Bancroft. 

In the Register for 1806 (pages 46, 47) the list of officers 
was again published, though remaining the same with this 
exception, that Oliver Prescott's name is left off from the 
Board of Trustees and Deacon Abel • Fletcher's added. The 
list continued to be printed in the Register until 18 10, when 
the names of the officers are dropped from the notice, and the 
heading only appears ; and this continued till 181 5, when 
the name of the society alone is given, together with the date 

of incorporation and the day of the annual meeting. In 1818 
the notice disappears entirely, and before this time probably 
the society had ceased to exist. 

In the "Columbian Centinel," August 21, 1805, an advertise- 
ment appears which gives the place of meeting for that year. 
It is as follows : — 


The Members of the Western Society of Middlesex Husbandmen 
are hereby notified, that their annual meeting for the choice of 
Officers, will be holden at Mr. HaWs tavern, in Groton, on the first 
Tuesday of September next, at ten of the clock, A. M. 

David Lawrence, Sec'ry. 

Littleton, August 5th, 1805. 

This meeting was duly held, and a reference to it is made 
in " The Medical and Agricultural Register for the years 
1806 and 1807" (page 175), edited by Daniel Adams, M. B., 
when a vote was passed, expressing an approval of the 
editor's proposals to publish a " Medical and Agricultural 

Dr. Adams was a well-known physician of Boston, who had 
just previously to this time lived at Leominster, and was dis- 
tinguished as the author of several text-books for schools. 
He was born at Townsend on September 29, 1773, and died 
at Keene, New Hampshire, on June 8, 1864, nearly ninety- 
one years of age. He was an elder brother of the late 
Deacon Jonathan Stow Adams, of Groton. 

In its day, The Western Society of Middlesex Husbandmen 
was considered a permanent institution, and its full history 
would now be interesting. 


Forty years ago several railroad schemes were stirring 
the people of Groton, and now the very recollection of them 
has nearly passed away. The earliest one was the Groton 
Branch Railroad Company, chartered on March 16, 1844, 

which authorized Benjamin M. Farley, Nathaniel P. Smith, 
and John G. Park to form a corporation for the purpose 
of building a branch railroad from what is now Ayer to the 
centre of Groton, and thence "to some convenient point upon 
the road leading from Pepperell to Dunstable, between Jewett's 
Bridge and the house of John Shattuck in said Groton." Its 
capital stock was to be ^125,000, in shares of ^50 each. 

The next project was the Groton and Nashua Railroad 
Corporation, chartered by the New Hampshire Legislature 
on December 24, 1844. The company was authorized to 
build a railroad from a point in the southern boundary line 
of New Hampshire, within one hundred rods of the Nashua ' 
River, to any convenient point in the present city of 
Nashua. A few months later, on March 5, 1845, the Gen- 
eral Court of Massachusetts passed An Act to Incorporate 
the Worcester and Nashua Railroad Company, which em- 
powered the corporators to build a road in a northerly 
direction from Worcester toward Nashua as far as the 
State line. It also authorized the Company to unite at any 
time with the Groton and Nashua Corporation. In accord- 
ance with this provision, and a similar one in a special Act 
passed by the New Hampshire Legislature on June 26, 1845, 
the two companies were united on November 6, 1846, so as 
to form one corporation, under the name of the Worcester 
and Nashua Railroad Company. The building of this road 
began on December i, 1846, and was finished in a little more 
than two years. The road was opened for regular business, 
through its entire length, on December 18, 1848, — though 
the section from Groton Junction, now Ayer, to Clinton had 
previously been opened on July 3, 1848, and from Clinton 
to Worcester on November 22. 

The Groton and East Wilton Railroad Company was 
another scheme, incorporated March 25, 1845. It author- 
ized Lemuel W. Blake, Asa F. Lawrence, Abraham Whitte- 
more, James Parker, and Joseph Tucker to form a company 
to build the road. It was to begin " at the southerly line of 
said State of New Hampshire, at a point in Pepperell, in the 
county of Middlesex, within one mile of the Nissittisit River, 

where it can be best united with a rail-road from East Wilton 
to the said State line ; and thence in a southeasterly direction 
in said Pepperell, to the Worcester and Nashua Rail-road, at 
the most convenient point for a connection therewith, in 
either of the towns of Pepperell or Groton, in the valley of 
the Nashua River." 

In connection with these railroad schemes, it may be of 
sufficient interest to go back to an earlier period and give the 
following Act for a turnpike. It suggests a contrast between 
the conveniences for traveUing at the beginning of the cen- 
tury and the present day. It will be noticed that Pepperell 
is spelled with two " r's," formerly a common way of writing 
the word, and agreeing with that of Sir William Pepperrell. 
after whom the town was named. 

An act to establish a Corporation by the name of the Groton 
and Pepperrell Turnpike Corporation. 

Sect, i Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, 
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That 
Oliver Prescott, James Brazer, Thomas Gardner, Joseph Moors, 
Aaron Brown, Luther Lawrence, William Merchant Richardson, 
esq. Benjamin Woods Parker, William Nutting, Jacob Lakin Par- 
ker, James Lewis, jun. and Joseph Fletcher Hall, all of Groton 
aforesaid, the Rev. John Bullard, Joseph Heald, esq. Simeon 
Green, and Lemuel Parker, all of Pepperrell aforesaid, together 
with such other persons as may hereafter associate with them, be, 
and they hereby are made a corporation and body politick, by the 
name and style of the Groton and Pepperrell Turnpike Corpora- 
tion, for the purpose of laying out and making a turnpike road 
from the first parish meeting-house in Groton in the county of 
Middlesex, or from the burying ground to the west of the same, 
as the locating committee may judge will best promote the publick 
interest, to such point in the line of the state of Newhampshire, as 
will be, in the nearest convenient rout from the place of departure 
in Groton aforesaid, to the meeting-house in Milford in said state 
of New-Hampshire, and for this purpose shall have all the powers, 
and privileges, and be subject to all the duties, requirements, and 
penalties, contained in an act, entided an act defining the general 
powers, and duties of turnpike corporations, made and passed the 
sixteenth day of March in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight 

hundred and five, and any acts which have been made in addition 

Sect. 2. Be it further enacted, That when the road aforesaid, 
shall be laid out, made, completed and shall be approved by the 
Court of Common Pleas for said county of Middlesex, the said 
corporation shall have power to erect one gate thereon, at such 
place as the said court may order, and shall be entitled to receive 
toll thereat, any thing in the act aforesaid notwithstanding. 
[This act passed March 3, 1809.J 

The following Act for an Insurance Company may be 
added to the foregoing list of corporations : — 

An Act to incorporate the Nashua River Mutual Fire Insurance 

» Be // enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in Gen- 
eral Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows : 

David Child, Thomas A. Staples, and Oliver Sheple, their asso- 
ciates and successors, are hereby made a corporation, by the name 
of Nashua River Mutual Fire Insurance Company, in the town of 
Groton, in the county of Middlesex, with all the powers and privi- 
leges, and subject to all the duties, restrictions and liabilities set 
forth in the thirty-seventh and forty-fourth chapters of the Revised 
Statutes, passed on the fourth day of November, in the year one 
thousand eight hundred and thirty-five, for the term of twenty-eight 

[Approved by the Governor, March 31, 1836.] 

These several enterprises are now nearly forgotten, though 
the bare mention of them may revive the memory of a few 
persons. They show the supposed needs of the town at 
various times, as well as some of the changes continually 
taking place among its citizens. In their day these schemes 
were the subject of much discussion, and attracted a good 
deal of attention. 

The following Act is so recent as to be within the recollec- 
tion of most persons, but I give it with this explanation. 
A joint resolution had passed both branches of Congress, 
and was duly approved on March 13, 1876, recommending a 
due observance of the centennial anniversary of American 
independence, on the part of the several counties and towns 
throughout the country. In accordance with fhe recommen- 


dation, the town took action, and appropriated five hundred 
dollars (^500) for the purpose, but subsequently, owing to 
some informality, this was found to be illegal. In order to 
correct the difficulty, an appeal was made to the Legislature. 
An Act to legalize certain doings of the town of 


Be it enacted, &fc., as follows : 

Section i. The action of the town of Groton at its meeting 
held on the third day of April, eighteen hundred and seventy-six, 
in appropriating five hundred dollars to defray the expenses 
to be incurred in celebrating the centennial anniversary of our 
national independence on the fourth day of July next, is confirmed, 
legalized and made valid. 

Section 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

Approved April 28, 1876. 

The celebration duly took place, when an historical address 
was delivered by Samuel A. Green, a native of the town and 
a resident of Boston, and a poem was read by the Reverend 
John Martin Luther Babcock, at that time the minister of 
the First Parish Church. Both productions have since been 


More than sixty years ago, there was a famous school at 
Groton, kept by Miss Susan Prescott. It was established 
about 1820, and continued for perhaps ten years. It was first 
opened in the house occupied by Charles Gerrish, but was 
soon afterward transferred to a building put up expressly for 
the purpose, near Miss Prescott's own residence. She was 
the daughter of Judge James Prescott, who lived on the east 
side of Main Street, toward the southerly end of the village. 

The school building was subsequently removed to what is 
now HoUis Street, near the southeast corner of the old 
burying-ground, and occupied as a dwelling-house by Mrs. 
Mansfield. The school had a wide reputation and a large 
number of scholars. In the library of Harvard College there 

is a catalogue of the institution for the year ending November, 
1826, — probably the only year when one was printed, — which 
gives the names of 102 pupils. Miss Mary Oliver Prescott, a 
sister of the principal, was the assistant teacher ; Miss Ann 
Catherine Reed was the teacher in drawing, painting, and 
needlework; and Miss Eliza H. Hewitt the teacher in music. 

The following advertisement appeared in the " Columbian 
Centinel," April 25, 1829, and soon after this time the school 
was given up : — 


MISS PRESCOTT informs her friends and the public, that the 
summer term in her Seminary will commence the third Wednesday 
in May next. All the solid and ornamental branches of female 
education are taught in this school, and every attention given to 
the health, manners, and morals of the pupils. 

Groton, April \i,th, 1829. 

Miss Prescott was married, on May 13, 1829, to John Wright, 
Esq., of Lowell, a graduate of Harvard College in the class 
of 1823, who had studied law in the office of Judge Dana. 

It was at this school that Margaret Fuller passed two years 
of her girlhood, having been under Miss Prescott's instruc- 
tion during 1824 and 1825. Her life here has been described 
by herself with touching truthfulness, in the story of Mariana, 
in a book entitled " Summer on the Lakes, in 1843." A 
recently published biography, written by Mrs. Julia Ward 
Howe, says that Margaret's experience at the school, though 
painful in some respects, exerted a strong influence on her 
subsequent life. 

In the early part of 1833 her father, the Honorable Tim- 
othy Fuller, impressed with the natural attractions of the 
town, came here from Cambridge to live. He bought the 
fine estate of Judge Samuel Dana, situated on Farmers' Row, 
where he passed the remainder of his days. He had pre- 
viously been a prominent Democrat, having served two terms 
as Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, 
and as a member of the State Senate, as well as of the 
House of Representatives at Washington. 


He died in this town on October 2, 1835, and his family 
continued to live here until the year 1839. Mrs. Howe 
writes : — 

In the spring of 1833 Margaret found herself obliged to leave 
the academic shades of Cambridge for the country retirement of 
Groton. Her father, wearied with a long practice of the law, had 
removed his resMence to the latter place, intending to devote his 
later years to literary labor and the education of his younger chil- 
dren. To Margaret this change was unwelcome, and the result 
showed it, at a later day, to have been unfortunate for the family. 
She did not, however, take here the position of a malcontent, but 
that of one who, finding herself removed from congenial surround- 
ings, knows how to summon to her aid the hosts of noble minds 
with which study has made her familiar. Her German books go 
with her, and Goethe, Schiller, and Jean Paul solace her lonely 
hours. She reads works on architecture, and books of travel in 
Italy, while sympathy with her father's pursuits leads her to inter- 
est herself in American history, concerning which he had collected 
much information with a view to historical composition. (Pages 

49, 5°-) 

Margaret's remaining days in Groton were passed in assiduous 

reading, and her letters and journals make suggestive comments on 
Goethe, Shelley, Sir James Mackintosh, Herschel, Wordsworth, and 
others. Her scheme of culture was what we should now call ency- 
clopedic, and embraced most, if not all, departments of human 
knowledge. If she was at all mistaken in her scope, it was in this, 
that she did not sufficiently appreciate the inevitable limitations 
of brain power and of bodily strength. Her impatience of such 
considerations led her to an habitual over-use of her brilliant facul- 
ties which resulted in an impaired state of health. 

In the autumn of 1836 Margaret left Groton, not without 
acknowledgment of " many precious lessons given there in faith, 
fortitude, self-command, and unselfish love.'' (Pages 59, 60.) 

In later years Margaret Fuller passed some time in Italy, 
and while there married the Marquis d'Ossoli ; subsequently, 
when returning to her native land, the vessel was wrecked, 
during a severe storm, on the coast of New Jersey, and she, 
with her husband and infant son, perished in the waves, on the 
afternoon of July 19, 1850. 


A second edition of the " Memoirs of Margaret Fuller 
Ossoli," in two volumes, was published at Boston in 1881 ; 
and the work contains many references to Miss Fuller's 
Groton life, which was tinged with sorrow and sadness. 

The Reverend Arthur Buckminster Fuller, her brother, 
delivered the historical address at the bi-centennial celebra- 
tion of this town, on October 31, 1855. It was afterward 
printed in the "Weekly PubUc Spirit" (Groton Junction), 
beginning with the issue of March 31, 1870, and continuing 
through the next three numbers of that newspaper. 

During the last century Groton was the home of another 
noted character. In the spring of 1778 Judge James SulHvan 
bought the farm situated on the north side of the present 
Lowell road, about three-quarters of a mile east of the First 
Parish Church. The house, still standing, is on an elevated site 
which commands a beautiful landscape. During the Revolu- 
tion it was a place of much resort for his associates on the 
bench, as well as other distinguished men. In the year 1779 
Judge Sullivan was a delegate from this town to the Conven- 
tion which formed the State constitution. He left Groton in 
the spring of 1782, removing with his family to Menotomy, 
since known as West Cambridge, but now as Arlington, and 
opened an ofBce in Boston, having previously resigned his 
seat on the bench. Afterward he was the Governor of the 
Commonwealth during the years 1807 and 1808, and died 
on December 10 of the latter year, while in office. 


The average newspaper represents the enterprise and re- 
flects the character of the community where it is published. 
A good journal is a great benefit to the neighborhood, and 
goes far toward educating the people. The various news- 
papers printed at Groton are intimately connected with the 
history of the town, and deserve a record in this Series. The 
list is as follows : — 


The Groton Herald, published by Stacy and Rogers, "next 
door to the Post Office," was first issued on December 5, 1829, 
and appeared regularly every Saturday until September 4, 
1830, when it was merged in The Lowell Weekly Journal. 
The post-office at that time was in the north end of the 
building now known as Gerrish's Block. James F. Rogers, 
the editor, came from Newburyport, and died a long while 
ago ; but the senior member of the firm, George Whittemore 
Stacy, is now living at Milford, Massachusetts. They were 
the pioneer printers and publishers of the town. 

One number of the Groton Post and Business Advertiser 
was printed in June, 1843, and one number of The Golden 
Rule in May, 1846. The Spirit of the Times, a paper ad- 
vocating the election of General Taylor to the presidency, 
appeared on July 26, 1848 ; and twelve numbers were printed, 
the last one on December 30. The prospectus announcing 
this publication was dated February, 1848, and styled it 
the Middlesex Spirit of the Times. The Groton Mercury, 
monthly, was first issued in June, 185 1, and continued two 
years, when it was removed to Groton Junction, and after- 
wards took at different times the name of Railroad Mercury, 
and Brown's Railroad Mercury. The last number (Vol. IV. 
No. 10) appeared on June 27, 1857. Three numbers of a 
campaign paper, entitled " Give 'em Jessie," were printed at 
the Junction, the first one appearing on August 25, 1856, 
and the last on November i. This paper supported for the 
presidency General Fremont, whose wife's given name was 
Jessie. All these publications were printed by George Henry 
Brown, at one time the postmaster of Groton and afterward 
of Ayer. On September 15, 1859, he established at the 
Junction .the Railroad Mercury, a weekly journal, which was 
kept up until September 26, 1861. On May 13, 1869, John 
Henry Turner, a son-in-law of Mr. Brown, began the publi- 
cation of The Public Spirit, which after the fifth number 
was called The Weekly Public Spirit. From November 3, 
1870, to January 11, 1872, it was called the Groton Public 
Spirit, but on January 18, 1872, the name was again changed 
to the Public Spirit. In the meantime the village was set off 


as a separate town, on February 14, 1871, under the name of 
Ayer. The newspaper on March 13, 1875, took the title of 
Turner's Pubhc Spirit, and is now a well-known journal, cir- 
culating widely in northern Middlesex. On August 23, 1884, 
Mr. Turner issued the first number of The Groton Landmark, 
which is made up of the same matter as his Public Spirit, 
though with a different heading. Similar editions, with a 
changed title, are printed for other towns in the neighbor- 

One number (No. 3) of the Olive Branch was published 
at Groton by the "Good Will Society," on April 2, 1869, and 
probably the only one printed. One number of The Centen- 
nial Record was issued on February 22, 1876, and devoted 
principally to the history of the town during the Revolution. 

The following papers have been edited at different times 
by the scholars of Lawrence Academy : The Groton Literary 
Journal, the only number printed, appeared in May, 1843 ; 
The Gleaner, November, 1850, published monthly during term 
time for two years, nineteen numbers ; The Echo of the 
Lawrence Academy, February and March, 1853, two num- 
bers only; the Literary Gazette of Lawrence Academy, 
July, 1853, and July, 1854, two numbers ; and The Groton 
Gem, a monthly, appeared in May, June, September, and 
October, 1859 (four numbers). The first number of The 
Student's Aid was issued on November 27, 1877, and the 
second on March 12, 1878, both appearing as folio sheets. 
The third number was published in a pamphlet form as "Vol. 
L No. i" of a new series, but the next number was called 
"Vol. IL No. I." This periodical is still kept up, and three 
numbers are issued annually, — one at the end of each term. 
The title is very slightly changed, being now called The 
Students' Aid. 

I have seen one number of The Star, which was printed 
in April, 1859. It is a very small sheet, and evidently the 
work of an enterprising boy. The name of William H. Hard 
appears as the publisher. 

The latest addition to the list of local journals is the Groton 
Citizen, which began in January, 1884, as a monthly publica- 


tion, but was changed on September 3 to a weekly. It is 
printed at Marlborough by the Pratt Brothers, in connection 
with several other newspapers intended for this neighborhood, 
and " edited by a syndicate of ladies and gentlemen." These 
papers contain the same matter; but their heading varies 
according to the towns in which they are circulated. 

The Church Reformer was a weekly newspaper published 
at Boston in the autumn of 1840, and edited by the Reverend 
Silas Hawley, of Groton. The editor at that time was con- 
nected with the society known as the Second Adventists, or 
" Millerites," who worshipped in the hall on Hollis Street. 


The first baker in town was Charles Quails, who lived 
many years ago where Eliel Shumway's house now stands. 
Charles Woolley, an octogenarian of Waltham, still remem- 
bers him and his sign, which used to read — " Gingerbread, 
Cake and Bisket sold here." 

The following facts connected with the business have been 
furnished me by George S. Gates. The bakery at the corner 
of Main Street and Fagot Lane, as it was called in my boy- 
hood, though now known as West Street, was established 
about the year 1825 by James Minot Colburn and Daniel 
Shattuck. Soon afterward Mr. Colburn sold out, leaving 
Mr. Shattuck alone in the business ; he continued it for 
a short time only, when George Green was admitted as a 
partner, and the style of the firm was Shattuck and Green. 
About 1833 the partnership was dissolved, and Francis 
Champney took the place and carried it on during one year. 
He was followed by the firm of Green and Remington, who 
conducted the business for about two years, at the end of 
which time Remington gave up his connection and Green 
went on with it until about 1839. He was succeeded by the 
firm of George Green & Co., who carried on the business 
until about 1844. During the next year the proprietor was 
George Green, and during 1846 it was George S. Gates, after 


which time the bakery was shut up for three years and never 
much used afterward. 

About 1838, and the two subsequent years, the business of 
the estabhshment was transferred to the opposite side of the 
street, after which time it was carried back to the original 
building, in the meanwhile changed and enlarged. 

About 185 1 another bakery was built on Elm Street, and 
the business conducted by Boynton and Brown, and afterward 
by Mr. Gates, though he left it ten or a dozen years ago. 
The building was burned down on April 24, 1874, and in just 
two months to a day from that time another one of brick was 
put up in its place, where an extensive business is now carried 
on by William J. Boynton. 


Several days before the Battle of Lexington, a hostile 
incursion by the English soldiers stationed in Boston was 
expected by the patriots. Its aim was the destruction of stores 
collected for the use of the Provincial cause ; and on this 
account every movement of the British troops was closely 
watched. At this time the Committees of Safety and of 
Supplies voted that some of the stores should be kept at Gro- 
ton ; and, if their plan had been fully carried out, it is among 
the possibilities of the War that another battle might have 
been fought in Middlesex County, and Groton have been the 
scene of the action. But open hostilities began so soon after- 
ward, that no time was given to make the removal of the 
stores. It was ordered by these Committees, April 17, 1775, 
that the four six-pounders be transported from Concord to 
Groton, and put under the care of Colonel Oliver Prescott. On 
the next day it was voted that all the ammunition should be 
deposited in nine different towns of the Province, of which 
Groton was one, and that one-half of the musket cartridges 
be removed from Stow to Groton. It was also voted that two 
" medicinal chests " should be kept at different places in the 


own, and that eleven hundred tents be deposited in equal 
quantities in Groton and six other towns.^ 

During this period a committee was appointed to inspect 
the stock of powder in the Province, and report the amount 
on hand in the various towns. This they did on May 25, 1775, 
when there was, according to the Report, a barrel of powder in 
Groton, — kept probably in the magazine which, two years later, 
was enlarged by the Board of War. This magazine was built 
on the land of Benjamin Bancroft, afterward owned by the 
Honorable James Prescott, Jr., and is still remembered by some 
of the older inhabitants of the town. It was situated in the 
roadway of the present High Street, ^ — which at that time was 
not laid out, — perhaps thirty-five rods from its north end. 
It was a stone building, about twelve feet square, and taken 
down, probably in the summer of 1829. For a long time pre- 
viously it was not used for any purpose, and became much 
dilapidated. Some of the material from the building was used 
in stoning a well, dug near the Meeting-house in order to 
supply in part Mr. Hoar's tavern with water. 

The following papers, found at the State House, relate to 
the magazine, as well as to the Guard having it in charge : — 

State of Massachusetts Bay Council Chamber July 10. 1777. 

Whereas it appears that it is absolutely necessary that a Magazine 
for powder should be erected in some Interior part of this State 
the other Magazines being insufficient or unsafe 

Therefore Voted that it be and hereby is recommended to the 
Board of War to Enlarge the Magazine at Groton in the County of 
Middlesex Sufficient to Contain five hundred barrels of Powder. 

Read & Accepted Jn° Avery Dp'' Sec^ 

[Massachusetts Archives, CLXXIII. 274.] 

State of the Massachusetts Bay Council Chamber July 17'? 1777. 

Whereas the Board of Warr have deposited five hundred Barrills 
of powder in the magazine in Groton in the County of Middlesex 
for the use of this State and it appears necessary that a Guard be 
Constantly kept at s'? magazine for the Security thereof, 

1 Journals of the Committee of Safety and of the Committee of Supplies of 
the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, 1774-1775, pages 516-518. 

Therefore ordered that one Corporal and four privates be ap- 
pointed by the Brigadier of the County of Middlesex afores"? from 
the militia in the s'' Town of Groton for that purpose, who shall 
be allowed such pay and Subsistance as the General Court shall here- 
after order ; And the said Brigadeer is also ordered to take special 
care that no person be inlisted into said Guard that is not known to 
be attached to the American Cause. 

Read & Accepted Jn? Avery Dp^ Sec" 

[Massachusetts Archives, CLXXIII. 29O:] 

State of the Massachusetts Bay Council Chamber NovT 7'? 1777. 

Whereas it hath been represented to this Board that the Guard 
which hath been kept at the Magazine in Groton in the County of 
Middlesex in consequence of an order of Council passed July 1 7* 
1777, is not Sufficient for the Security of the Stores deposited 
therein for the use of this State. 

Therefore ordered that the Brigadier of the County of Middlesex 
be & hereby is directed to inlist or Cause to be Drafted from the 
militia in the Town of Groton afores? one Sergeant & nine privates, 
to serve as a Guard for the afores'^ Stores, untill the further order 
of Council, who shall be allowed such pay & subsistance as the 
General Court shall hereafter order 

read & Accepted Jn9 Avery D" Sec'' 

[Massachusetts Archives, CLXXIII. 549.] 

Subsequently, on February 3, 1778, the General Court 
passed a Resolve " That there be allowed and paid out of the 
public treasury of this State unto the men stationed at Groton, 
for a guard, the same wages and rations that are allowed to 
the sea-coast men." 

Two years later, on January 13, 1780, another Resolve was 
passed, directing Joseph Hosmer — 

forthwith to remove all the powder in the magazine at Groton, to the 
following towns, viz. one third of it to Concord, one third to BiUerka, 
and one third to Woburn, to be delivered into the care of the Select- 
men of said towns, he taking their receipt therefor, which he is 
directed to lodge with the Board of War, and as soon as said powder 
is removed that the guards now doing duty at said magazine in 
Groton, be discharged from any further service there, and that said 
Joseph Hosmer, Esq ; lay his account of the expence of removing 
the same before the Committee on accounts for allowance and 


This Resolve was afterward so far modified by the General 
Court, on May 4, that Joseph Hosmer was ordered " to deliver 
one third part of the powder aforesaid to the care of the 
Selectmen of Groton, and take their receipt for the same, 
the Resolve of the 12th [13th?] o{ January to the contrary 

The following application to the Council, from Dr. Oliver 
Prescott, relates to the Revolutionary period, and will explain 
itself: — 

May it please your Hon''? 

The windows of the Publick meeting House & School house 
in the Town of Groton are very much broken and it is not in the 
power of the Selectmen to purchase a Box of Glass Unless it be 
from the Board of Warr, who have been so obliging as to inform 
me they would Sell a Box for that purpose by your Hon'? permission. 
Therefore [I] earnestly request an order for that purpose which 
will much oblige the Town & your 

Honour? most ob' & very Hm' Sert 
OcK 16* 1779 Oliver Prescott 

To the Hon'? Council Massachusetts-Bay 

Underneath is written the action of the Council, as fol- 
lows : — 

In Council Octy 16'.'' 1779 
Read & Ordered that the Board of War be and they are 
directed to deliver the Honble Oliver Prescott Esq^ One Box of 
Glass, he paying for the same. 

Attest John Avery D Se" 

[Massachusetts Archives, CLXXV. 647.] 

Such papers give us a glimpse of some of the privations 
and annoyances to which the people were subjected during 
the Revolution. 



Jonas Prescott, the progenitor of the numerous families 
of the name in thi^ neighborhood, was a blacksmith by trade, 
and owned the mill in the south pkrt of Groton, now within 
the limits of Harvard. It is said that a grant of land, made 
in the spring of 1678, by the town when it was much in need 
of a blacksmith, induced him to remove nearer to the village. 
He built a house and shop on the lot, which was situated on 
the easterly side of James's Brook, perhaps a third of a mile 
south of Lawrence Academy. He bought lands, until he 
became one of the largest owners of real estate in the town. 
In the year 1876 a piece of stone wall was removed, which 
separated a part of his house-lot from the highway, — near 
where it forks from the Boston road, — and which contained 
a small boulder, bearing this inscription : 

I P 

Rebuilt by 

O P 

rebuilt by 
S. J. Park 


The initials I. P. are those of Jonas Prescott, — rudely cut, 
undoubtedly by himself, — and O. P. are those of his grand- 
son. Dr. Oliver Prescott. 

Three years after this part of the wall was taken away, I 
endeavored to find the stone, then to all intents and purposes 
lost, and it was a long while before I got any trace of it. 
Willard H. Giles, the owner of the farm at that time, knew 
nothing about it, and in fact had never seen it. I was told, 
however, that it might have been used in stoning up the cellar 
of a barn built in 1876, and here I directed my attention. 
With Mr. Giles's permission I employed two men for two days 
to take out and replace various stones, until the missing one 


was found. Subsequently I gave the memorial to James 
Lawrence, a lineal descendant of Jonas Prescott, who has 
had it set in the wall on the north side of his front gate, 
where it is likely to remain for many years. 


In the town-records, as early as February 17, 1670, a refers 
ence is made " to the neck vpon the riuer." This is an allu- 
sion to a peninsula that once belonged to Amos Farnsworth's 
farm. It was formed by a long bend in the Nashua River, — 
perhaps a hundred and thirty rods around, — and joined to the 
main land by a neck, probably not more than thirty rods wide. 
At a period near the middle of the last century, very likely 
during a spring freshet, it was entirely severed from the farm, 
by the river's breaking through the neck, thus leaving an 
island of several acres, now partially covered with a growth 
of pines. The Honorable Claudius Buchanan Farnsworth, 
of Fawtucket, Rhode Island, who was born and passed his 
early life in the immediate neighborhood of this particular 
place, tells me that, during his boyhood, his grandfather, 
Major Amos Farnsworth, used to relate how the affair hap- 
pened, though it was before his grandfather's recollection, 
and he was born on April 28, 1754. The Major's father, 
Amos, Senior, had previously owned the neck or peninsula, 
and it was during his ownership that the new channel was 
formed. He continued to hold it, until the day of his death, 
which occurred on December 5, 1775, by the upsetting of a 
boat, in which he and his youngest son, Benjamin, were 
crossing over the river to this very island, when both were 

No. VI. 

Eije jFunctiong of Ncto lEnslanD ^caUemtfS: 


June 29, 1871. 

OTttl) an appentiti, 




' -- ^i^" 

Historical Series, No. VI. 


An Address delivered at the Dedication of Lawrence 
Academy, Groton, June 29, 1871. 

By the Rev. Charles Hammond. . 


The main building of Lawrence Academy was burned 
down in the afternoon of July 4, 1868, during the summer 
vacation. The fire was first seen on the roof, and is supposed 
to have caught from the use of fire-crackers by some boys 
playing in the yard. Bigelow Hall, at one time in great 
danger, was with difficulty saved from the flames. The 
Academy was built of wood in the autumn of 1793, though 
it had been twice remodelled since that time : first, in the 
summer of 1841 ; and secondly, in the autumn of 1846, 
when it was much enlarged. The destruction of the building 
was complete, and swept away the last trace of the original 
structure. After the fire the regular exercises of the school 
were held in Bigelow Hall, where they were continued till 
the end of the summer term of 1869, when there was an in- 
termission of eighteen months, lasting until March, 1871. 

The new building, a handsome edifice of brick and stone, 
was erected on the same site, and dedicated with appropriate 
services on June 29, 1871, when an historical address was 
delivered by the Reverend Charles Hammond, of Monson, a 
former Principal of the Academy. Owing to various circum- 
stances, it was not printed at the time, as was intended by 
the Trustees ; but subsequently Mr. Hammond lent me the 

manuscript with authority to use it, and I had it published 
in the "Public Spirit'' (Ayer), January i, 1874, from which 
newspaper this copy is taken. In accordance with his per- 
mission, I have made some slight changes and corrections. 

Mr. Hammond was the Preceptor of the school from 1852 
to 1863, a period of eleven years, thus filling a longer term of 
continued service than any other teacher. He was enthusiastic 
in his profession and always interested in educational methods. 
Before coming to Lawrence Academy Mr. Hammond had been 
the Principal of Monson Academy for nine years, though not 
continuously ; and on leaving Groton he went back to Monson 
to take his former position. He was a keen lover of antiqua- 
rian studies, and had at his command a rare knowledge of 
New England history. On several occasions he delivered 
historical addresses, which have since been printed. He 
wrote a sketch of Lawrence Academy, which appeared in 
Barnard's " American Journal of Education " (ii. 49-60) for 
August, 1856, and another which was published in a pamphlet 
entitled " New England Academies and Classical Schools " 
(Boston, 1877). A native of Union, Connecticut, where he 
was born on June 15, 1813, he graduated at Yale College in 
the class of 1839, and died at Monson on November 7, 1878. 
At the Commencement of 1877, Iowa College conferred on 
him the honorary degree of LL.D. 

Mr. Elbridge Smith, master of the Dorchester High School, 
dehvered a memorial discourse on his Hfe and character before 
the Massachusetts Teachers' Association at Boston, on Wed- 
nesday, December 31, 1879, which was published by a vote 
of the Association. Mr. Smith says : — 

" When the Trustees of Monson Academy would celebrate their 
semi-centennial anniversary, they recalled Mr. Hammond from 
Groton to review its history. When the Trustees at Groton would 
dedicate their new Academy building, they sent to Monson for 
Mr. Hammond to come and teach them the history of academic 
education in New England." 

S. A. G. 


It is a real pleasure to visit once more this town, which 
was for eleven years my home. I am glad to greet again, 
after long absence, many of my former neighbors and friends. 
The place is familiar to my recollection, as it was before the 
work of renovation had so much changed the scenes of former 
days. There are yet remaining many vivid reminders of past 
associations, pleasant indeed to recall, though not unmixed 
with sad reminiscences ; for forms of persons once visible and 
active here are seen only in the mind's eye to-day, and many 
of them we shall meet on earth no more. 

The present occasion is one which properly directs our 
thoughts to the future, while it reminds us of the past. It 
is indeed gratifying to join with you in these services by 
which this new building is specially devoted to its most im- 
portant uses. It is certainly a marked event in the history 
of Lawrence Academy. 

The building which occupied the site of this new structure 
was identified wholly or in part with the experiences of all 
who have been educated on this ground. All the teachers 
employed since the school was founded in 1793 performed 
their work within the walls of the ancient structure. An 
edifice long devoted to the purposes of education may become 
antique and inconvenient, and yet claim respect, and even 
veneration, at least as a memorial of those by whom it 
was erected and as an object of interest to pupils of former 

A regard for the ancient as against what is convenient and 
elegant in school buildings is not so profound a sentiment in 
New England, at least, as in some other lands. I remember 
meeting in this town an intelHgent Scotch woman who 
prided herself on having learned the rudiments in the school- 

house, still standing in Ayrshire, where William Wallace 
was a pupil. It is a plain stone building, and its furniture 
is simple and rude. The memory of Wallace is a bar to 
improvement, the villagers being quite willing that the house 
should remain as it was when Wallace went to school, more 
than six hundred years ago. However disposed some of us 
may be to respect the past, we all, I am sure, feel alike in not 
wishing to see the old Academy back again in the place of 
the fine building we this day behold. We must all regard 
the erection of this edifice as a most fortunate event in its 
relations to the future welfare of the seminary, although its 
substantial prosperity must depend on other conditions than 
the advantage of new and commodious school-rooms. 

Indeed, the general character and influence of such a school 
as this was designed to be by its founders depend on con- 
siderations nearly independent of its material form and de- 
velopment, although it must have, indeed, a local habitation, 
as well as a name, in order to live and thrive. 

Standing here as we do to-day, and regarding with deep 
interest the work here wrought with beautiful designs and 
skilful hands for the benefit of generations to come, what 
topic can be more appropriate for us than to consider some 
of the conditions on which the future prosperity of this 
institution must depend ? For with that prosperity in view as 
an end, all your contributions have been made, and all the 
work of the architect and the artisans in the erection of this 
building has been so fitly done. 

In forecasting the future, it is obvious that the general 
character of this seminary will remain unchanged. It will 
continue to belong to that class of secondary or middle schools 
designated as academies. Its character in this respect was 
determined long ago by its founders, in accordance with a 
policy or system of secondary education, which was new in 
their times, and is, I think, strictly American in its origin. 

A New England academy of the primitive type is a founda- 
tion or incorporated school, and hence, in a legal sense, a 
private school, as distinguished from a public school, sup- 
ported by a pubUc or municipal corporation, as a town, city. 


or State. Although an academy is a private school in the 
legal sense, yet its uses are wholly and altogether public. Its « 
aim is not the benefit of one locality only and exclusively : its 
domain of influence and patronage is unlimited and universal. 
Its object is to meet the wants of the community at large in 
the same manner as a college or a hospital does, with a view 
to public utility. 

The academy, as a private school, differs from a common, 
or community school, supported by taxation, — as a railroad, 
which is corporate and private, differs from a common road, 
which is municipal and public ; and yet both kinds of ways 
are indispensable in their popular uses. In one important 
respect an institution of learning, such as a college or an 
academy, differs from a railroad corporation ; for all the in- 
come of rich schools must be devoted by the trustees to the 
public good, — not a cent of it to their own advantage ; while 
railroads and bank corporations, in consideration of their 
service to the public, have liberty to serve themselves. 

This view of the New England academy shows us how it 
differs in its nature and design from the ancient grammar 
schools of England and the few grammar schools early estab- 
lished in this country, at Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury, and 
from the Dummer School at Byfield before it became an acad- 
emy in 1782. The old grammar schools of England and this 
country, all of them being Latin schools, were established as 
local institutions, although pupils outside of the town or pre- 
cinct might be admitted by paying tuition. Not until a com- 
paratively recent period did the term " free," as applied to any 
grade of schools, have the modern sense of " gratuitous." So 
careful were the founders of the Phillips Academies at An- 
dover and Exeter to prevent localization that provision is 
made in their charters for their removal to other places when- 
ever the Trustees shall judge that the prosperity of those sem- 
inaries requires a change of location. For the same reason a 
majority of the Trustees of this Academy must, by its charter, 
be non-residents of Groton. 

In my search for facts some years since relating to the 
early history of New England academies, I found in the 

Library of Harvard College a manuscript copy of the "solemn 
charge" of Benjamin Thurston, an original Trustee of Exeter, 
to the first Preceptor, William Woodbridge, at his induction 
into office, on the day when that academy was formally opened 
to the public, May i, 1783, — ten years before Groton Acad- 
emy was founded. It was delivered, doubtless, in the presence 
of Dr. John Phillips and Lieutenant-Governor Samuel Phil- 
lips, both founders and Trustees of Andover and Exeter. I 
will read a part of this " charge," to show the policy on which 
those noble men laid the foundations of the oldest, and ranked 
as among the best, schools yet established of their class. 

"You will make no discrimination," said Mr. Thurston, "in 
favor of any particular State, town, or family on account of 
parentage, wealth, or sentiments of religion, as the institution 
is founded on principles of the most extensive liberality." 
The word " liberality " here used meant unrestricted privi- 
leges and opportunities of education. It had at that period 
no trace of any technical sense as a symbol of party or opin- 
ion. The comprehensive liberality of the Phillips family was 
blended with the profoundest convictions and principles of 
religion, as the constitutions and early laws of Andover and 
Exeter both alike most clearly prove. The Exeter constitu- 
tion, drafted by the hand of Dr. John Phillips, contains the 
following sentence : — 

" It is expected that the attention of instructors to the minds and 
morals of the youlh under their cha'rge will exceed every other care, 
well considering that, though goodness without knowledge is weak 
and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous, and that 
both united form the noblest character, and lay the surest founda- 
tion of usefulness to mankind. The first and principal design of 
this institution is the promotion of virtue and true piety, useful 
knowledge being subservient thereto." 

The founders of Groton Academy were contemporaries of 
the founders of Andover, Exeter, and Leicester ; and there is 
no doubt whatever that such men as Samuel Lawrence and 
the Rev. Dr. Chaplin, of Groton, coincided in their views per- 

fectly as to the ends and uses of all higher education. This 
Academy was not favored with princely endowments, as were 
Andover and Exeter at their very origin ; but the first build- 
ing erected here, and which long remained unchanged in 
form, was equal in size and appearance to the first buildings 
erected at either of the Phillips Academies. Whatever we 
might think of them now as compared with modern struc- 
tures, so spacious and finely furnished, it is yet an incontro- 
vertible fact that the founders of this Academy had as good 
reason to be satisfied with what they did in their times 
and with their means for education, as we have with all our 
boasted outlay in splendid buildings and apparatus. 

The first edifice here — which many now living can re- 
member in its primitive form — was indeed unpretending ; 
and yet in that plain building a good work was wrought dur- 
ing that early period in the history of this institution, so 
well termed by Mr. Means, in his Jubilee discourse, as the 
age of faith. 

Soon after the Revolution a general interest began to pre- 
vail among the leading minds of New England in the cause 
of education. Compared with the long period of indifference 
which preceded it, this impulse in favor of a higher standard 
of culture in th6 colleges, and of improvement in popular 
education, was as remarkable and hopeful as any which has 
since occurred. It was a period prolific of good teachers in 
the colleges and in the newly established academies. 

Among the few to initiate the " new education " of that 
period was Dr. Dwight, of Yale College, who began the reform 
of the ancient curriculum of study long before his accession to 
the presidency in 1795. While he was tutor in the college, 
from 1771 to 1777, he and his distinguished associates, Trum- 
bull and Howe, first introduced the proper study of the Eng- 
lish language and literature.^ From 1783 to 1795 he had the 

1 Professor Olmstead, of Yale, in an article on " Timothy Dwight as 
a Teacher," published in " The American Journal of Education," (v. 572) says : 
"Through the influence of three contemporary tutors, — Howe, Trumbull, and 
Dwight, — a taste for literary pursuits was excited, and the art of speaking 
began, for the first time in the history of the college, to be cultivated. Dwight, 
especially, both by his example and instructions, produced a great reform in the 

charge of a classical school of wide repute, and open to both 
sexes, during his pastorate at Greenfield ' Hill, a parish of 
Fairfield, Connecticut. President Dwight was an intimate 
friend of Judge Phillips, of Andover, and in his " Travels " 
has left on record a remarkable tribute to his character. 

Another leading mind in all the educational movements 
of that day was Dr. Eliphalet Pearson, the first Principal 
of Phillips Academy at Andover, afterwards Professor and 
Fellow at Harvard College, and then the first Professor 
of Sacred Literature at Andover Theological Seminary. 
Though a professor of Hebrew at Cambridge and Andover, 
he was interested in every branch of academical instruction. 
Like Dr. Dwight at Yale, he gave lectures on English gram- 
mar and rhetoric at Cambridge, and, by his taste and skill 
and severe criticism, had a most beneficial efifect on the style 
of composition at the college. 

President Quincy — who was twelve years his pupil, eight 
at Andover and four at Cambridge — spoke of Dr. Pearson,^ 
at the Andover semi-centennial celebration, August S, 1858, 
as a teacher of the highest ability, and as having labored for 
the institution founded by the Phillips family with a zeal and 
perseverance that were irresistible. 

These historical references reveal the leading objects of the 
founders of the oldest New England academies. They were 
designed to subserve the wants of colleges by providing bet- 
ter-fitted candidates for admission, and also to make the 
advantages of a college education accrue to the advancement 
of popular education. In the best secondary schools those 
studies were introduced, which had previously formed an im- 
portant part of the course of college instruction. At the 

style of writing and speaking. He delivered to the students a series of lectures 
on style and composition, on a plan very similar to that contained in Blair's 
Lectures, which was not published until a considerable time afterwards.'' 
Trumbull, the author of " McFingal," awakened an interest in poetical studies. 
Rev. Joseph Howe was a minister of Boston, of unequalled elocution. He died 
August 25, 1775, aged twenty-eight years. 

1 Professor Quincy's remarks and Professor Park's tribute to the memory of 
Dr. Pearson were published in the memorial of the semi-centennial celebration 
of the Theological Seminary. 


beginning of this century there was hardly a college in New 
England in which arithmetic, English grammar, and geography 
did not form a part of the course of study during the Fresh- 
man year. Very soon, however, they were dropped from 
the curriculum and made the condition of admission. They 
were transferred to the academies, and thence everywhere 
to the common schools, although they continued to be, as 
they ever ought, the staples of instruction in secondary 
schools. They are needed as the essential conditions of all 
culture to be superadded, whether classical or scientific. The 
founding of academies rendered it possible for those who had 
natural gifts and tastes for teaching to enter upon that work 
as a permanent profession. It is certain that, near the begin- 
ning of the present century, graduates of Harvard, Yale, 
and Dartmouth of the highest rank and talents did become 
teachers of unsurpassed excellence in the newly established 

It was then that the valedictorian of the class of 1800 at 
Dartmouth, after one year's service at Moor's Charity School, 
came to Groton, and began his long and successful career. 
Nearly contemporary with Mr. Butler at Groton were Ebenezer 
Adams, of Leicester, John Adams, of Andover, Benjamin 
Abbott, of Exeter, John Vose, of Atkinson and Pembroke, and 
Simeon Colton, of Monson and Leicester. Though all these 
teachers were honored in their day, no one had a higher claim 
to respect than the Preceptor of Groton Academy. The 
school then had no fund, except the State endowment ; but it 
had the cordial support of a very able Board of Trust.^ The 
pupils at that time were not so numerous as in some other 
schools ; but their quality was good. 

1 On the Board of Trust, during Mr. Butler's administration, there were some 
persons of wide celebrity. The names of Prescott, father and son, of Adams, of 
Bigelow and Lawrence, of Thayer and Chaplin, are historic in the learned pro- 
fessions and the annals of the State. Dr. Chaplin had rare qualifications for the 
trusteeship. After his settlement in Groton, he was elected the first Preceptor 
of Phillips Academy at Exeter, but declined. This appointment is evidence of 
his high scholarship and character, in the opinion of the Phillips family, with 
whom he was on intimate terms. He was a fellow-student with Judge Phillips 
and Eliphalet Pearson at Dummer Academy, under the famous Master Moody, 
and afterwards at Harvard College, where they graduated in successive classes, 
— Phillips in 1771, Chaplin in 1772, and Pearson in 1773. 


Some of us, I am sure, remember the Jubilee of July 12, 
1854, with Mr. Butler as the central object of interest. We 
remember how his pupils came from all parts of the land, 
and from places of the highest position in the State, the 
university, the learned professions, and all useful and honor- 
able occupations, in order to honor him who had been their 

No more impressive demonstration of the value of such 
an institution as this in its broad relations and far-reaching 
influence throughout our land could be given than what we 
then saw in the "array "^ of eminent men, who stood up in 
that great assembly to receive from their revered preceptor 
his last benediction.^ 

The plan of administration long ago adopted at Exeter, and 
doubtless the best for that institution, — to admit no one who 
does not intend to pursue a course of study preparatory for 
college, — has never been established here. Though this 
Academy was designed primarily to fit candidates for college, 
yet it has also in view the training of that class of young 
men — some of them having the best minds and hearts — 
whose talents and tastes fit them for active business rather 
than for the so-called learned professions ; and it is a great 
advantage for this class of men to enjoy to some extent the 
advantages of a classical course of study. A good foundation 
for liberal culture can be laid in the best secondary schools ; 
and it is well for those whose term of education is necessarily 
brief to pursue those studies they need in association with 
those destined to a longer course. It is well also for those 

1 " And these young men on my left, if they are Academy boys, as I take it 
they are, I congratulate them on their opportunity. It will be their fault if they 
do not make a better show when they come up here fifty years hence, in their six- 
ties and seventies, to keep the next Jubilee. And yet the old set have done pretty 
well. Look along down the table, boys. Here is a Governor of the State, a 
Mayor of Boston, a Judge of a Supreme Court, a Postmaster-General, a law pro- 
fessor of Harvard, a Pi-esident of Harvard, a Minister to the Court of London, 
and others, if untitled, yet as worthy, I am sure. Upon my word, it is rather a 
goodly array.'' — Rev. Dr. George Putnam's speech at the " Jubilee " dittner, July 
12, 1854. 

2 Mr. Butler died at Groton, on October 7, 1854, aged 78, less than three 
months after the Jubilee. 


who are to be ministers and lawyers to be educated as far as 
possible with those who are to be merchants, manufacturers, 
engineers, and farmers. During their brief course the latter 
class often learn to appreciate the value of high education, 
and so become the most liberal patrons of literary institutions 
and schools of every grade. There have been many such 
among the graduates of Lawrence Academy. 

The relation of this seminary to popular education deserves 
special attention. It is certain that the founders and early 
patrons of this class of schools regarded the service rendered 
in preparing teachers of common schools for their work as 
one of their most important functions.^ There is no doubt 
whatever that it was because of their direct relations to the 
popular schools that the State endowments were given to 
the early incorporated academies ; and provision was made 
by the law of 1797 (proposed by Nathan Dane, of Beverly), 
whereby the advantage of an academy might be enjoyed in 
all sections of the State. We hope the ancient public policy 
of Massachusetts will be revived in favor of those academies 
that make special provision in their courses of instruction for 
the training of teachers in the primary schools. This work 
can be done in academies at a cheap rate, and in a way which 
is convenient, efficient, and satisfactory to the people. This 
measure has been repeatedly proposed to the Legislature by 
Governor Claflin, and approved by the Secretary of the Board 
of Education in his recent annual reports. 

The history of popular education includes more than what 
relates to school architecture or the increase of teachers' 
wages ; it embraces improvements in the courses and methods 
of instruction. But this part of the history of American 
education is as yet in a great measure unwritten. 

The beginning of progress was from a low condition of the 
public schools at a period not very remote. When this Acad- 
emy was founded the teacher of a common school was deemed 

1 Judge Phillips, of Andover, was a most devoted friend of common schools. 
He left a fund in charge of the Trustees of Phillips Academy, the income of which 
was forever to be applied in part to enable female teachers employed in the 
district schools of Andover to qualify themselves for their delicate and important 


qualified, if he could instruct in reading, spelling, penmanship, 
and in arithmetic as far as "the Golden Rule of Three." But 
when Ebenezer Adams became Preceptor at Leicester in 
1792 a revolution was near at hand ; and at the close of his 
fourteen years' administration there was not a district school 
in the central and southern towns of Worcester County 
which had not felt his influence. A like influence emanated 
from this very spot, and spread through all the surrounding 
region. Mr. Adams and Mr. Butler were good mathemati- 
cians and excellent teachers of advanced arithmetic, which 
was then studied in all the colleges, and is really a very high 
branch in all secondary schools when properly taught. 

It was then that Dr. Daniel Adams, a recent graduate of 
Dartmouth in the class of 1797, printed his first arithmetic, 
with his "block demonstration" of the dread mysteries of 
the cube root, and other originalities. The first edition was 
pubHshed in the year 1801, under the sanction of William 
M. Richardson, " the Preceptor of Groton Academy ; " and 
the recommendation was retained in subsequent editions, 
long after the preceptor had become the Chief Justice of New 

Caleb Bingham, another graduate of Dartmouth, and Noah 
Webster, a graduate of Yale and a pupil of Dr. Dwight when 
a tutor, had begun their mission of preparing spelling-books 
and reading-books in countless thousands. And the mar- 
vellous educational power of Webster is yet undiminished ; 
for his spelling-book is still published at the annual rate of a 
million copies, and his dictionaries are used wherever the 
English language is spoken. 

The early editions of Webster's spelling-book contained a 
compend of English grammar ; and thus the attention of pupils 
was directed to- the so-called second part of his " Grammatical 
Institute," — a text-book formerly used in the colleges, which 
was never popular, being superseded by the better works of 
Caleb Alexander and Bishop South. I have already referred 
to influences which led to an increased interest in the study 
of the English language at the colleges. It is certain that 
the study of grammar became popular in the secondary and 


primary schools, through the influence of college graduates 
at that period in charge of the academies. 

The study of English grammar as taught formerly was 
introductory to the criticism of written or spoken language. 
It related to the forms and laws and figures of thought, as 
expressed in words of proper use. The minute analysis of 
propositions, according to the old logical distinctions or the 
" objective " relations of words as symbols of ideas, are repul- 
sive to most young minds ; for they belong to the department 
of mental philosophy and logic, the last studies of a complete 
course of education. 

The stimulus given to popular education by these academies 
soon led to the multiplication of schools under that general 
name. But they were mostly without endowments, and had 
of course a limited range of patronage. Hence they became 
local schools, and their nearly sole purpose was to supplement 
the range of the primary schools in the neighborhood. 

By the influence of Horace Mann and others, the system of 
public instruction was soon enlarged so as to embrace them 
as high schools, so called from their relation to those lower in 
the grade. The principle of gradation as applied to public 
schools is certainly the greatest improvement in modern 
education ; and hence it is not strange that many persons, 
realizing the transcendent value of graded schools for the 
people at large, should call in question the need of academies, 
on the ground that high schools can be established in almost 
any town. 

I propose not to argue this question here, where it has 
been so long the subject of earnest discussion and conflicting 
opinions ; for it is vain to refer to the relations of the Acad- 
emy to the system of instruction here, if we must admit a 
necessary conflict. But believing, now and always, that no 
conflict need to exist, and that entire harmony is possible, — 
that the academy may subserve the welfare of all grades of 
the public schools, and that the highest prosperity of the 
schools will accrue to the benefit of the academy, — I will 
venture to refer to the grounds and condition of mutual 
advantage and good will. 


If two institutions resting on different foundations endeavor 
to perform the same class of duties for the same persons, then 
indeed competition and opposition is inevitable ; but if they 
revolve in different orbits, they may belong to one system, 
and each have a sphere of most useful service. The academy 
ought not to do the work which may be done better by schools 
of a lower grade. The distinctions of grade in schools are 
not those of honor or dignity, but of function. All are equally 
worthy of interest and regard. The high schools and gram- 
mar schools are complements of the lower grades ; and a 
pupil is assigned his place in them with a view solely to his 

The academy is related to the colleges by reason of the 
studies taught in them. The scholarships founded by Amos 
Lawrence, and the charitable provisions in the will of Wil- 
liam Lawrence, relate to candidates for a collegiate education 
fitted here on foundations for those purposes ; and the Trus- 
tees are forever bound to see that the intent of the donors is 

But the town of Groton, as the patron of the public schools, 
had not the same sort of obligations to meet. Its range of 
duties is different, and yet vital to the public welfare. If by 
any arrangement the Academy may serve as a high school for 
the town in its public uses, it will be an institution with a 
range of studies equal to that of a high school in cities and 
the largest towns, and not one of the second class. If the 
Academy secures, by able administration, the favor and patron- 
age of the public at large, it will be likely to meet the wishes 
and the wants of this neighborhood. In order to meet the 
claims of the public at large, the Academy must be furnished 
with apparatus and means of instruction in the natural sci- 
ences. When thus equipped, it will stand in intimate rela- 
tions to the Scientific School at Cambridge, as preparatory 
thereto ; and the amount of training for such preparation 
will soon be equal in amount to that required for admission 
to the academical department at the University. We have 
the authority of President Eliot in favor of the study of 
classics as a needed discipline for success in scientific in- 


vestigation. Especially is there need of linguistic culture to 
impart scientific instruction in the best modes and forms. 

If this Academy fulfils its duty to the public at large, it may 
reasonably be expected that every year some young men will 
be sent from this institution to the school of science at Cam- 
bridge. The benefactors, of kindred blood, had a kindred 
aim in the endowment of the two schools under a common 

The Trustees will do their utmost to meet all the claims 
upon the institution in its relations to higher seminaries 
and to the public at large. At the same time, they will not 
overlook, I am sure, the intimate relation of the Academy to 
the town of Groton, especially when we consider the new 
position of hope and promise in which the institution stands 

The policy of harmony and co-operation with the public- 
school system was long since recommended here. Sixteen 
years ago a paper was read to the Trustees, recommending the 
purchase of apparatus for teaching natural science. In that 
paper allusion was made to the legal obligation of the town to 
provide high-school instruction, and thus to grade the public 
system. Regarding that event as certain to happen, it was 
suggested to the Trustees, before the town had taken any 
action in the matter, that a more comprehensive range of 
studies should be pursued at the Academy, and thus compe- 
tition with the proposed high school would be avoided, and 
the Academy would meet the claims of the public in providing 
facilities for education in branches not ordinarily taught with 
advantage in schools of a low grade. 

It was observed " that if the rank of the Academy was ad- 
vanced to its proper position, the improvement of public 
schools would eventually increase the patronage of the Acad- 
emy ; for as the quality of scholarship improved in the lower 
grades of schools there would be a demand for a higher course 
of studies, which the Academy ought to furnish. Therefore 
the people of the town should be encouraged to perform their 
duty. The burden of their duty would become a blessing to 
them and to the institution." 


Such for substance was the argument offered many years 
ago in favor of improvements in the course of academical in- 
struction here and in favor of a proper gradation of the pop- 
ular schools. The Trustees favored the suggestions then 
made for procuring philosophical apparatus, by appropriating 
a part of the Brazer Fund for that purpose. 

If we might plead so long ago for co-operation iri promoting 
the cause of education by all proper forms and methods and 
institutions, much more may we make such a plea now, when 
we see what the friends and helpers of so good a cause have 
done, — for different projects indeed, but all acting for a com- 
mon end. This noble building, on this matchless site, for the 
use of the Academy, and that fine structure designed for the 
use of the public schools, erected simultaneously, are both in 
happy accordance with the historical associations, the social 
culture, and the natural beauty of this peerless old town. 

If a careful system of gradation is formed for each of these 
institutions, then every advantage which both in turn can 
furnish will be enjoyed by all the young whose lot shall be to 
have a home on these healthy hills and live in sight of those 
delectable mountains. 

It is the grandest function of all our New England towns 
to raise money by taxation and spend it for the education of 
the young. Whenever a town fails to fulfil this, — the high- 
est end of its corporate being, — it should cease to exist. 
Such a town has really no right to be in the old Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts. 

But while I say this, I do not hold to the obligation of 
every town as large as Groton, or even a great deal larger, to 
sustain all the grades of schools which a perfect system of 
education demands. It cannot be done, and ought not to be 
attempted. Very few towns, or cities even, should be obliged 
to fit boys for college as a municipal duty ; for there is a 
cheaper and a great deal better mode of providing such in- 
struction. The best education for the candidate is deter- 
mined by its quality, not its place. But few towns or cities 
have candidates enough to provide the best school for them ; 


for there is not one boy in a thousand of all enrolled in the 
public schools that is destined ever to enter the university. 

Some towns as large as this do not furnish a candidate once 
in five years ; and the ratio of supply from the cities is less 
even than from the country. Hence towns, as such, ought not 
to provide so liberally for the contingent wants of one boy, 
and neglect the certain wants of nine hundred and ninety- 
nine. The aim of the best local system of public instruction 
is to provide impartially for the average necessities of all, and 
raise the average standard of opportunity and attainment to 
the highest limit the people will allow and bear. But they 
w^ill not bear the burden of supporting colleges or academies 
in their best estate ; for but few out of the whole number of 
the people will ever enter them. 

The lower grades of schools bring their blessings of 
priceless value to every man's door, and hence their cost 
must be met as a common or public advantage directly re- 
ceived. The schools for the people demand the oversight of 
the Government ; and no functionary has an office higher in 
honor or dignity than the minister or secretary of public 
instruction. If the State will sustain the public schools in 
their best possible condition, then the colleges and schools 
of a high grade, and many of the best secondary schools, will 
look chiefly for their support to their graduates and friends. 
They can claim from the State its fostering care and pro- 
tection, and occasional benefactions ; but beyond this they 
can look for little more. The history of advanced education 
in this country and England shows that the higher semina- 
ries have been supported mainly by individual founders and 
patrons, and only partially by the State. 

It has been an objection to the constitution of colleges and 
academies established for unlimited uses that the Government 
does not directly control them. This objection is giving 
way. The State has voluntarily sundered its connection with 
Harvard and Yale, and no detriment to the cause of good 
learning is likely to ensue from the want of benefactions. 
The academies have not been so fortunate as the colleges. 
We trust, however, that the day of their enlargement is at 

hand. When their true position as secondary schools is bet- 
ter understood, they will find patrons and benefactors. We 
need in this country but few academies ; but they must be 
well endowed in order to meet all the demands of the colleges 
and the public at large. According to President McCosh, of 
Princeton, the great educational defect in America is the 
want of vigorous secondary schools. We have no such insti- 
tutions as the great public schools of England, — as Rugby 
and Winchester and Eton, — where young men are fitted for 
Oxford and Cambridge. Throughout Europe they are con- 
sidered as important as the universities, being closely con- 
nected with them ; yet only a small part of the students of the 
great schools of England enter the university. The greater 
number leave them for business occupations, as boys do in 
our American academies. 

The foundations of this Academy are too surely laid ever to 
be broken up. We trust they will be enlarged, as well as en- 
dure forever. " My desire," said William Lawrence, " is that 
this Academy may be equal to any in the State." An acad- 
emy must keep pace with the progress of the times, if it is to 
live and thrive. On the graduates and friends of this institu- 
tion rests the responsibility of realizing the desire of its 
principal benefactor. 

The two chief donors did nobly for this and other institu- 
tions in their day ; but they could not and ought not to pro- 
vide for all future times. Other benefactors must build on 
the strong foundations laid by those who have gone to their 
reward. Education is an ever-progressive, never-completed 
enterprise for the "glory of God and the relief of man's 
estate." It is a debt which each generation must pay, 
according to its ability, to that which is its successor ; and 
its magnitude increases with the demands of our advancing 

In times to come, as in those gone by, there will be those 
who will rejoice " to rise and build," in addition to the beauti- 
ful structure we consecrate to-day. The patrons, trustees, 
and teachers of former days are passing away ; but their works 
remain ; and their example of faith and devotion will live 


forever. Their memory will be cherished by the pupils that 
shall throng these halls, and look out, as we so often have, 
upon this far-reaching, ravishing landscape, from this " beau- 
tiful Mount Zion of the mind," so beautiful for situation, the 
joy of generations past, and to be the joy of generations long 
to come. 


An Act to establish an Academy in the Town of Groton, by the 
Name of Groton Acade7ny. 

Whereas the encouragement of Literature among the rising genera- 
tion has ever leen considered by the wise and good, as an object worthy 
the most serious attention, and the happiness of the community requires 
the dissemination of knowledge and learning among all classes of citi- 
zens : And whereas it appears from a petition of a large number of 
the inhabitants of the town of Groton, and its vicinity, that a sum of 
money has been subscribed towards erecting a suitable building for, 
and supporting an Academy in the said town ; and as such an Institu- 
tion, besides encouraging the interest of Literature and the Sciences, and 
diffusing useful knowledge in that part of the Commonwealth, may 
otherwise essentially promote the interest thereof: Therefore, 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General 
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same. That there be, and 
hereby is established in the town of Groton, in the county of Mid- 
dlesex, an Academy, by the name of Groton Academy, for the purpose 
of promoting Piety and Virtue, and for the education of youth in 
such languages, and such of the liberal Arts and Sciences as the 
Trustees shall direct: And the Hon. Oliver Prescott, Esq. Rev. 
Daniel Chaplin, Rev. Zabdiel Adams, Rev. Phineas Whitney, Rev. 
John Bullard, Rev. William Emerson, Hon. Josiah Stearns, Esq. 
Col. Hemy Broomfield, James Winthrop, Henry Woods, Joseph 
Moors, Oliver Prescott, jun. Samuel Dana, Timothy Bigelow, and 
Aaron Brown, Esquires, be, and they hereby are nominated and 
appointed Trustees of the said Academy ; and they are hereby in- 
corporated into a body politic, by the name of The Trustees of 
Groton Academy, and they, and their successors shall be, and con- 
tinue a body politic and corporate, by the same name forever. 

And be it further enacted, That all the lands and monies hereto- 
fore given or subscribed, or which for the purpose aforesaid, shall 


be hereafter given, granted and assigned unto the said Trustees, 
shall be confirmed to the said Trustees, and their successors, in that 
trust forever, for the uses which in such instruments shall be ex- 
pressed ; and they the said Trustees shall be further capable of 
having, holding, and taking in fee simple, by gift, grant, devise or 
otherwise, any lands, tenements, or other estate, real or personal ; 
provided the annual income of the same shall not exceed five 
thousand dollars, and shall apply the rents and profits thereof, in 
such manner as that the end and design of the Institution may be 
most effectually promoted. 

Be it further enacted. That the said Trustees shall have full power 
from time to time, as they shall determine, to elect such Officers of 
the said Academy, as they shall judge necessary and convenient, 
and fix the tenures of their respective offices ; to remove any Trus- 
tee from the Corporation when in their opinion he shall be incapa- 
ble, through age or otherwise, of discharging the duties of his office ; 
to fill all vacancies by electing such persons for Trustees, as they 
shall judge best ; to determine the times and places of their meetings ; 
the manner of notifying the said Trustees ; the method of electing 
or removing Trustees ; to ascertain the powers and duties of their 
several Officers ; to elect Preceptors and Teachers of said Academy ; 
to determine the duties and tenures of their officers ; to ordain 
reasonable rules, orders and bye-laws, not repugnant to the laws of 
the Commonwealth, with reasonable penalties for the good govern- 
ment of the Academy, as to them the said Trustees and their suc- 
cessors, shall, from time to time, according to the various occasions 
and circumstances, seem most fit and requisite ; all which shall be 
observed by the officers, scholars and servants of the said Academy, 
upon the penalties therein contained. 

Be it further enacted. That the Trustees of the said Academy may 
have one Common Seal, which they may change at pleasure ; and 
that all deeds, made, signed and sealed with said Common Seal, 
and duly executed by the Treasurer or Secretary of said Trustees, 
by their order, shall be considered valid in law, as good deeds of 
bargain and sale : And that the Trustees of said Academy may sue 
and be sued, in all actions real, personal and mixed, and prosecute 
and defend the same until final judgment and execution, by the 
name of The Trustees of Groton Academy. 

Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That the number 
of said Trustees shall not, at any one time, be more than fifteen, nor 
less than nine, five of whom shall constitute a quorum for doing 


business, and a majority of the members present at any legal meet- 
ing, shall decide all questions proper to come before the Trustees ; 
that the major part of them shall consist of men who are not 
inhabitants of the town of Groton. 

And it is further enacted. That Aaron Brown, Esq. be, and he 
hereby is authorized and empowered to fix the time and place of 
holding the first meeting of the said Trustees, and to notify them 

[This Act passed September 28, 1793-] 

Resolve granting half a township to certain Academies, to be laid out 
under the direction of the Committee for the sale of Eastern lands. 
Feb. 27, 1797. 

Resolved, That in pursuance of a report of a joint Committee 
which has been accepted by both branches of the Legislature, there 
be, and hereby is granted to the Trustees of Dummer Academy, to 
the Trustees of Phillip's Academy, to the Trustees of Groton Acad- 
emy, and to the Trustees of Westford Academy, respectively, and to 
their respective successors, one half township of six miles square, 
for each of their Academies, to be laid out or assigned by the Com- 
mittee for the sale of Eastern lands, in some of the unappropriated 
lands in the district of Maine, belonging to this Commonwealth, 
excepting all lands within six miles of Penobscot River, with the 
reservations and conditions of settlement, which have usually been 
made in cases of similar grants, which tracts the said Trustees, re- 
spectively, are hereby empowered to use, sell or dispose of as they 
may think most for the benefit of their respective institutions. 

The land given to the Academy under this Resolve was situ- 
ated in Washington County, District of Maine. It comes 
now in Hodgdon, Aroostook County, and lies on the eastern 
frontier of the State, just south of Houlton. The grant 
consisted of half a township, equal to 1 1,520 acres, which 
afterward was sold by the Trustees to John Hodgdon, of 
Weare, New Hampshire, at fifty cents an acre. The early 


settlers of this territory obtained the title to their lands from 
Mr. Hodgdon ; and the town was named after him. The 
northern half of the township was given to Groton Academy, 
and the southern half to Westford Academy. 

During the summer of 1841 the Academy building was re- 
modelled for the first time and somewhat enlarged by an 
addition to the rear, at a cost of $2,000, generously given 
for the purpose by Amos Lawrence, Esq., of Boston. The 
grounds also were improved, and a fence, consisting of stone 
posts and chains, placed in front of the yard, — as well as on 
the south side, separating it from the Brazer estate. Before this 
time there was a travelled way to the Brazer house, diagonally 
across the grounds in front of the Academy. While the 
building was undergoing this alteration, the regular exercises 
of the school were held in the town hall, at that time in the 
lower story of the Unitarian Meeting-house. The annual 
catalogue of the institution, printed in the autumn of 1841, 
thus refers to these changes : 

During the past summer alterations and improvements have been 
made in the Academy building, to the amount of two thousand dollars. 
The number of rooms has been increased, and the old ones have been 
thoroughly repaired. The room appropriated to the young ladies 
is now handsomely carpeted and the whole furnished in a con- 
venient and tasteful manner. The building is warmed throughout 
by a furnace, thus affording an agreeable summer atmosphere with- 
out subjecting the students to those sudden variations of temperature 
equally deleterious to comfort and health. The grounds around 
have also been greatly improved. 

In the spring of 1844 William Lawrence, Esq., of Boston, 
an elder brother of Amos, gave the sum of ^10,000 to be 
added to the permanent funds of the institution. In conse- 
quence of this liberal gift, and other manifestations of their 


interest in the school, on the part of the two brothers, the 
Trustees voted at the annual meeting, on August 20, 1845, 
to petition the General Court to change the corporate name 
of the school to " The Lawrence Academy of Groton." At 
the next session of the Legislature, the petition was duly 
presented and resulted in the following: 

An Act to change the Name of the Trustees of the Groton 

Be // enacted by the Senate (Aid House of Representatives, in General 
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows : 

From and after the passing of this act, the corporate name of 
" The Trustees of the Groton Academy " shall be changed, and the 
said corporation shall be known and called by the name of " The 
Trustees of the Lawrence Academy at Groton," any thing in the act 
incorporating the same to the contrary notwithstanding. [4/*- 
proved by the Governor, Feb. 28, 1846.] 

The benefactions of the Lawrence brothers did not cease 
with the change of name in the school. During the month 
of July, 1846, Amos Lawrence, Esq., bought the Brazer es- 
tate, so called, — adjoining the Academy lot on the south, 
and formerly belonging to James Brazer, Esq., — for the 
sum of ;^4,400, and soon afterward conveyed it by deed to 
the Trustees of Lawrence Academy. He also requested that 
all the buildings and fences on the place should be put in 
complete repair at his expense, which was accordingly done 
at a cost of more than ;^ 1,200. During the next month 
William Lawrence, Esq., wrote to the Trustees, offering to 
give ^S,ooo to be used for the enlargement of the Academy 
building ; for the erection of a substantial stone and iron fence 
in front of the grounds, including the Dana and Brazer estates ; 
and for the purchase of another bell for the school. The 
Dana estate, adjoining the Academy lot on the north, had for- 
merly belonged to the Honorable Samuel Dana, and was bought 
by the Trustees in the summer of 1836. With this sum, thus 
generously placed in their hands, the Trustees during- the 
ensuing autumn enlarged the Academy by an extension on its 


north side, and very soon afterward carried out Mr. Lawrence's 
wishes in the other matters. While these changes were mak- 
ing in the building, the regular exercises of the school were 
again conducted in the town hall, in the lower story of the 
Unitarian Meeting-house. The annual catalogue of the insti- 
tution, printed in the autumn of 1846, says that " the elegant 
mansion adjoining the Academy has been purchased and pre- 
sented to the Trustees ; the Academy building has been doub- 
led in capacity and convenience and more than doubled in 
good looks ; and the front is to^ be enclosed by an elegant 
iron fence." At his death, which occurred on October 14, 
1848, Mr. Lawrence left by will the sum of ;^20,ooo to the 

The original Academy building was square, with the en- 
trance at the north front corner. The school-room was in the 
lower story, where the boys and girls were " co-educated," as 
the modern expression is ; and the upper room, known as the 
Hall, was used for exhibitions and declamations. Subsequently 
this was fitted up for school purposes, and at one time was 
used by Miss Susan Prescott, for her private school for girls, 
a somewhat noted institution in its day. After the changes of 
1846 the old entrance came in the centre of the building. 

A lithograph representation of the original structure and of 
the Brazer house, as they appeared in the year 1820, is given 
opposite to page 15 in " The Jubilee of Lawrence Academy, at 
Groton, Mass., July 12, 1854" (New York, 1855). The draw- 
ing was made by Miss Henrietta Butler, afterward Mrs. At- 
kinson, and a daughter of the former preceptor. The original 
copy is now in the possession of her sister, Mrs. Francis A. 
Brooks, of Boston. Another representation of the Academy, 
and also of the Dana house, as well as the Unitarian Meeting- 
house,'is found on page 391 of John Warner Barber's " His- 
torical Collections " (Worcester, 1839). The drawing was made 
by Mr. Barber in the year 1838 ; and as a small boy I remem- 
ber well when he came to Groton and did it. This cut has 
been reproduced and appears in the Appendix to a private 
edition of " The Early Records of Groton " (page 200). Both 
these copies are considered correct views of the building, 
as it formerly appeared. 


After the alterations during the autumn of 1846 the Brazer 
house was occupied by the principal as his place of residence, 
and the Dana mansion was used as a boarding-house for 
scholars. An engraved plate was made, — representing these 
buildings with the Academy in the centre, — which appears 
in the several issues of the annual catalogue up to the time 
of the burning on July 4, 1868, as well as in the frontispiece of 
the account of the " Jubilee." When the new structure was 
finished in the summer of 1871, another plate was engraved, 
representing the present appearance of the buildings and 
grounds, which is the one now used in the annual catalogues. 

The Honorable William Adams Richardson, Chief Justice of 
the Court of Claims at Washington, D. C, at one time had a 
sketch of the Academy, as it was in 1839, drawn by Stillman 
S. H. Parker, of Shirley, then a fellow-student with him pre- 
paring for college, but who died two years later, before entering 
Harvard as he had intended to do. 

Bigelow Hall, seen in the engraving now used, is a large dor- 
mitory, built during the autumn of 1 863, and first occupied at the 
beginning of the term, which opened on March 23, 1864. The 
Hall was so named after the Honorable John Prescott Bigelow, 
a native of Groton, whose father, the Honorable Timothy Bige- 
low, served as one of the original Trustees of the institution, 
through a period of twenty years. The annual catalogue of 
the Academy, published in the month of November, 1864, says 
of this Hall that it " is an elegant brick building erected for 
a dormitory. It has a fine situation, commanding delightful 
views from nearly every window. Each suite of rooms con- 
sists of a study-room and two bed-rooms, and they are fur- 
nished with every thing essential, except bedding. A superior 
system of ventilation runs through the entire building. A 
teacher rooms in the building, and has special charge of the 

The oldest graduate of the Academy at the present time is 
Mrs. Sarah (Chaplin) Rockwood, who is living in Cortland, 
Cortland County, New York. She was born at Groton, on No- 
vember 8, 1785, and consequently is now in the one hundredth 
year of her age. She is a daughter of the Reverend Daniel and 


Susanna (Prescott) Chaplin, and first attended tiie school, then 
known as Groton Academy, in the autumn of 1797, while it was 
under the mastership of Asahel Stearns. Her father was the 
minister of the town during more than half a century, and 
her mother was a niece of Colonel William Prescott, the com- 
mander of the American Forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill. 
She is still able to sew and read the newspapers, and continues 
to take an active interest in passing events. I am informed 
by her that the Academy, when first opened in the spring of 
1793, was kept for a while in the District school-house on 
Farmers' Row. 

A celebration in connection with the history of Lawrence 
Academy took place on July 12, 1854, when an address was de- 
Hvered by the Reverend James Means, a former principal of the 
institution. It was a distinguished gathering, and known at 
that time as the " Jubilee." A full account of the proceed- 
ings was afterward published, with a general catalogue of the 
school from its beginning. Another reunion was held on 
June 21, 1883, when a dinner was given in the town hall to 
the old pupils. The assemblage was not so large as the pre- 
vious one, but quite as enthusiastic. The wish was generally 
expressed that the centennial anniversary of the school, 
which comes in the year 1893, should be duly celebrated. 
The proceedings on this occasion also were printed in a 
pamphlet form. 

S. A. G. 

No. VII. 




Historical Series, No. VH. 


By Samuel A. Green. 

Tradition has preserved little or nothing in regard to the 
earliest trading stores of Groton. It is probable, however, 
that they were kept in dwelling-houses by the occupants, 
who sold articles in common use for the convenience of the 
neighborhood, and at the same time pursued their regular 

Jonas Cutler was keeping a shop on the site of Mr. Ger- 
rish's store, before the Revolution ; and the following notice, 
signed by him, appears in The Massachusetts Gazette (Boston), 
November 28, 1 768 : — 


Whereas on the 19th or 20th Night of November Instant, the 
Shop of the Subscriber was broke open in Groton^ and from thence 
was stollen a large Sum of Cash, viz. four Half Johannes, two 
Guineas, Two Half Ditto, One Pistole mill'd, nine Crowns, a Con- 
siderable Number of Dollars, with a considerable Quantity of 
small Silver & Copper, together with one Bever Hat, about 
fifteen Yards of Holland, eleven Bandannas, blue Ground with 
white, twelve red ditto with white, Part of a Piece of Silk Romails, 

I Pair black Worsted Hose, i strip'd Cap, 8 or lo black barcelona 
Handkerchiefs, Part of a Piece of red silver'd Ribband, blue & 
white do. Part of three Pieces of black Sattin Ribband, Part of 
three Pieces of black Tafferty ditto, two bundles of Razors, Part 
of 2 Dozen Penknives, Part of 2 Dozen ditto with Seals, Part of 
I Dozen Snuff Boxes, Part of 3 Dozen Shoe Buckels, Part of sev- 
eral Groce of Buttons, one Piece of gellow [yellow?] Ribband, 
with sundry Articles not yet known of Whoever will appre- 
hend the said Thief or Thieves, so that he or they may be brought 
to Justice, shall receive TEN DOLLARS Reward and all neces- 
sary Charges paid. 

Jonas Cutler. 

Groion, Ncm. 22, 1763 [8 ?]. 

If any of the above mentioned Articles are offered to Sail, 
it is desired they may be stop'd with the Thief, and Notice given 
to said Cutler or to the Printers. 

On October 21, 1773, a noted burglar was hanged in Bos- 
ton for various robberies committed in different parts of the 
State, and covering a period of some years. The unfortunate 
man was present at the delivery of a sermon by the Reverend 
Samuel Stillman, preached at his own request, on the Sunday 
before his execution ; and to many of the printed copies is 
appended an account of his life. In it the poor fellow states 
that he was only twenty-one years old, and that he was born 
at Groton of a respectable family. He confesses that he 
broke into Mr. Cutler's shop, and took away " a good piece 
of broad-cloth, a quantity of silk mitts, and several pieces of 
silk handkerchiefs." He was hardly seventeen years of age 
at the time of this burglary. To the present generation it 
would seem cruel and wicked to hang a misguided youth for 
offences of this character. 

Mr. Cutler died on December 19, 1782; and he was suc- 
ceeded in business by Major Thomas Gardner, who erected 
the present building known as Gerrish's block, which is soon 
to be removed. Major Gardner lived in the house now owned 
by the Waters family. 

Near the end of the last century a store, situated a little 
north of the late Benjamin Perkins Dix's house, was kept by 

James Brazer, which had an extensive trade for twenty miles 
in different directions. It was here that the late Amos Law- 
rence served an apprenticeship of seven years, which ended 
on April 22, 1807 ; and he often spoke of his success in busi- 
ness as due, in part, to the experience in this store. Late in 
life he wrote that " the knowledge of every-day affairs which 
I acquired in my business apprenticeship at Groton has been 
a source of pleasure and profit even in my last ten years' 

The quantity of New-England rum and other liquors sold 
at that period would astonish the temperance people of the 
present day. Social drinking was then a common practice, 
and each forenoon some stimulating beverage was served up 
to the customers in order to keep their trade. There were 
five clerks employed in the establishment ; and many years 
later Mr. Lawrence, in giving advice to a young student in 
college, wrote : — 

" In the first place, take this for your motto at the commence- 
ment of your journey, that the difference of going just right, or a 
little wrong, will be the difference of finding yourself in good quar- 
ters, or in a miserable bog or slough, at the end of it. Of the whole 
number educated in the Groton stores for some years before and 
after myself, no one else, to my knowledge, escaped the bog or 
slough J and my escape I trace to the simple fact of having put a 
restraint upon my appetite. We five boys were in the habit, every 
forenoon, of making a drink compounded of rum, raisins, sugar, 
nutmeg, &c., with biscuit, — all palatable to eat and drink. After 
being in the store four weeks, I found myself admonished by my 
appetite of the approach of the hour for indulgence. Thinking the 
habit might make trouble if allowed to grow stronger, without fur- 
ther apology to my seniors I declined partaking with them. My 
first resolution was to abstain for a week, and, when the week was 
out, for a month, and then for a year. Finally, I resolved to abstain 
for the rest of my apprenticeship, which was for five years longer. 
During that whole period, I never drank a spoonful, though I mixed 
gallons daily for my old master and his customers."-' 

1 Diary and Correspondence of Amos Lawrence, pages 34, 25. 

The following advertisement is found in the Columbian 
Centinel (Boston), June 8, 1805 : — 

James Brazer, 

Would inform the public that having dissolved the Copartnership 
lately subsisting between AARON BROWN, Esq. SAMUEL 
HALE and the Subscriber; he has taken into Copartnership his 
son WILLIAM F. BRAZER, and the business in future will be 
transacted under the firm of 

James Brazer & Son ; 

They will offer for sale, at their store in Groton, within six days a 
complete assortment of English, India, and W. India GOODS, 
which they will sell for ready pay, at as low a rate as any store in 
the Country. 

James Brazer. 

Groton, May 29, 1805. 

" Squire Brazer," as he was generally called, was a man of 
wealth and position. He was one of the founders of Groton 
Academy, and his subscription of £ii, to the building fund 
in the year 1792 was as large as that given by any other per- 
son. In the early part of this century he built the house now 
belonging to the Academy and situated just south of it, where 
he lived until his death, which occurred on November 10, 
1 818. His widow, also, took a deep interest in the institu- 
tion, and at her decease, April 14, 1826, bequeathed to it 
nearly five thousand dollars. 

After Mr. Brazer's death the store was moved across the 
street, where it still remains, forming the wing of Gerrish's 
block. The post-office was in the north end of it during 
Mr. Butler's term as postmaster. About this time the son, 
William Farwell Brazer, built a store nearly opposite to the 
Academy, which he kept during some years. It was made 
finally into a dwelling-house, and occupied by the late Jere- 
miah Kilbourn, whose family have recently sold it to Charles 

James Brazer's house was built on the site of one burnt 
down during the winter season a year or two previously. At 

that time there was no fire-engine in town, and the neighbors 
had to fight the flames, as best they could, with snow as well 
as water. Loammi Baldwin, Jr., a graduate of Harvard Col- 
lege in the class of 1800, was then a law student in Timothy 
Bigelow's office, and had a natural taste for mechanics. He 
was so impressed with the need of an engine that with his 
own hands he constructed the first one the town ever had. 
This identical machine, known as Torrent, No. i, is still 
serviceable after a use of more than eighty years, and will 
thfow a stream of water over the highest roof in the village. 
It was made in Jonathan Loring's shop, then opposite to Mr. 
Boynton's blacksmith shop, where the iron work was done. 
The tub is of copper, and bears the date of 1802. Mr. Bald- 
win, soon after this time, gave up the profession of law, and 
became, like his father, a distinguished civil engineer. 

At two different times within a few years, Torrent, No. i, 
has done most excellent service in putting out fires, and it 
is the testimony of all acquainted with the facts, that on 
each of these occasions it prevented a serious conflagration. 
Notably this was so at a recent fire which took place early on 
Sunday morning, October 26, 1884, when a dwelling-house, 
owned by Andrew Robbins, was burned down. At this fire 
Mr. Dix's buildings, in very close proximity, were in great 
danger, but they were saved through the efforts of the fire 
department and the use of the old machine, which was worked 
to good advantage in narrow quarters, where the other engine 
could not be taken. 

The brick store, opposite to the High School, was built 
about the year 1835 by Henry Woods, for his own place of 
business, and afterward kept by him and George S. Boutwell, 
the style of the firm being Woods and Boutwell. Mr. Woods 
died on January 12, 1841 ; and he was succeeded by his sur- 
viving partner, who carried on the store for a long time, even 
while holding the highest executive position in the State. 
In the spring of 1855, when he began to practise law. Gov- 
ernor Boutwell sold out the business to Brigham and Parker. 
The post-office was in this building during the years 1839 
and 1840, and until April, 1841. For the past thirty years it 

has been occupied by various firms, and now is kept by David 
Herbert Shattuck and Company. 

During the last war with England, Eliphalet Wheeler had 
a store where Miss Betsey Capell, and her sisters, Sarah and 
Catherine, in more modern times, kept a haberdasher's shop. 
It is situated opposite to the Common, and is now used as a 
dwelling-house. They were daughters of John Capell, who 
owned the saw-mill and grist-mill, which formerly stood on the 
present site of the Tileston and Hollingsworth paper-mills, on 
the Great Road, north of the village. Afterward Wheeler 
and his brother, Abner, took Major Thomas Gardner's store, 
where he was followed by William F. Brazer, Park and Woods, 
Park and Potter, Potter and Gerrish, and lastly by Charles 
Gerrish, who kept it for more than thirty years. It was given 
up as a store in July, 1884, and at the present time is vacant. 
Soon it will make way for modern improvements. 

Near the beginning of the present century there were three 
military companies in town : the Artillery company, com- 
manded at one time by Captain James Lewis ; the North 
company by Captain Jonas Gilson ; and the South company 
by Captain Abel Tarbell. Two of these officers were soon 
promoted in the regimental service : Captain Tarbell to a 
colonelcy, and Captain Lewis to a majorate. Captain Gilson 
resigned, and was succeeded by Captain Noah Shattuck. They 
had their spring and fall training-days, when they drilled as a 
battalion on the Common, — there were no trees there then, 
— and marched through the village. They formed a very 
respectable command, and sometimes would be drawn up be- 
fore Squire Brazer's store, and at other times before Major 
Gardner's, to be treated with toddy, which was then considered 
a harmless drink. 

David Child had a store, about the beginning of the cen- 
tury, at the south corner of Main and Pleasant Streets, nearly 
opposite to the site of the Orthodox Meeting-house, though 
Pleasant Street was not then laid out. It was subsequently 
occupied by Deacon Jonathan Stow Adams, then by Artemas 
Wood, and lastly by Milo H. Shattuck. This was moved off 
twelve or fifteen years ago, and a spacious building put up. 

a few rods north, on the old tavern site across the way, by 
Mr. Shattuck, who still carries on a large business. 

Alpheus Richardson kept a book-store, about the year 
1815, in his dwelling, at the south corner of Main and Elm 
Streets, besides having a book-bindery in the same building. 
Soon afterward an L was added to the house, and for a short 
time he carried on a country variety store in connection with 
his other business. The book-store and binder's shop were 
continued until about 1850. It is said that this house was 
built originally by Colonel James Prescott, for the use of his 
son, Abijah, as a store ; but it never was so occupied by him. 

Joseph and Phineas Hemenway, uncles of the late Augustus 
Hemenway, of Boston, built a store on the north corner of 
Main and Elm Streets, about the year 181 5, where they car- 
ried on a trading business. They were succeeded by one 
Richardson, then by David Childs ; and finally by John 
Hamilton Spalter, who had for many years a book-store and 
binder's shop in the building, which is now used as a dwelling- 
house. At the present time Mr. Spalter is living in Keene, 
New Hampshire. 

About the year 1826, General Thomas Adams Staples built 
and kept a store on Main Street, directly north of the Ortho- 
dox Meeting-house. He was followed successively by Ben- 
jamin Franklin Lawrence, Henry Hill, and Walter Shattuck. 
At one time the style of the firm was Shattuck, Brown and 
Company. The building was burned down very early on 
Tuesday morning, November 17, 1874, and its site is now 
occupied by Dr. David Roscoe Steere's house. 

In November, 1844, a large building was moved from Hollis 
Street to the corner of Main and Court Streets. It was put 
up originally as a meeting-house for the Second Adventists, 
or Millerites as they were called in this neighborhood, after 
William Miller, one of the founders of the sect ; and during 
the following winter and spring, it was fitted up in a commo- 
dious manner, with shops in the basement and a spacious hall 
in the second story. The building was known as Liberty 
Hall, and formed a conspicuous structure in the village. It 
was first occupied by tenants in July, 1845. The post-office 

was kept there while Mr. Lothrop and Mr. Andruss were the 
postmasters. It was used as a shoe-store, a grocery, and a 
bakery, when, on Sunday, March 31, 1878, it was burned to 
the ground. 

The brick store, owned by the Dix family, was built and 
kept by Aaron Brown, near the beginning of the centuiry. 

He was followed by Moses Carleton, and after him came 

and Merriam, and then Benjamin P. Dix. It is situated at 
the corner of Main Street and Broad-Meadow Road, and is 
now used as a dwelling-house. A very good engraving of this 
building is given in The Groton Herald, May 8, 1830, which 
is regarded by persons who remember it at that time as a 
faithful representation, though it has since undergone some 

Near the end of the last century Major William Swan 
traded in the house now occupied by Charles Woolley, Jr., 
north of the Common, near the old burying-ground. It was 
Major Swan who set out the elms in front of this house, which 
was the Reverend Dr. Chaplin's dwelling for many years. 

At the beginning of this century two daughters of Isaac 
Bowers, a son of Landlord Bowers, had a dry-goods shop in 
the house owned and occupied by the late Samuel William 
Rowe, Esq. About the year 1825, Walter Shattuck opened 
a store in the building originally intended for the Presbyterian 
Church, opposite to the present entrance of the Groton Cem- 
etery. There was formerly a store kept by one Mr. Lewis, 
near the site of Captain Asa Stillman Lawrence's house, north 
of the Town Hall. There was a trader in town, Thomas 
Sackville Tufton by name, who died in the year 1778, though 
I do not know the site of his shop. Captain Samuel Ward, a 
native of Worcester, and an officer in the French and Indian 
War, was engaged in business at Groton some time before the 
Revolution. He removed to Lancaster, where at one time 
he was the town-clerk, and died there on August 14, 1826. 


The Groton post-office was established at the very begin- 
ning of the present century, and before that time letters in- 
tended for this town were sent through private hands. Previous 
to the Revolution there were only a few post-offices in the 
Province, and often persons in distant parts of Massachusetts 
received their correspondence at Boston. In the Supplement 
to The Boston Gazette, February 9, 1756, letters are advertised 
as remaining uncalled for, at the Boston office, addressed to 
William Lakin and Abigail Parker, both of Groton, as well as 
to Samuel Manning, Townsend, William Gleany, Dunstable, 
and Jonathan Lawrence, Littleton. Nearly five months after- 
ward letters — and perhaps these identical ones — are adver- 
tised for the same persons in The Boston Weekly News-Letter, 
July I, 1756, as still uncalled for. The name of David Far- 
num, America, appears also in this list, and it is hoped that 
wherever he was he received the missive. The names of 
Oliver Lack (probably intended for Lakin) and Ebenezer 
Parker, both of this town, are given in another list printed in 
the Gazette of June 28, 1762 ; and in the same issue one is 
advertised for Samuel Starling, America. In the Supplement 
to the Gazette, October 10, 1768, Ebenezer Farnsworth, Jr., 
and George Peirce, of Groton, had letters advertised ; and in 
the Gazette, October 18, 1773, the names of Amos Farnsworth, 
Jonas Farnsworth, and William Lawrence, all of this town, 
appear in the list. 

I find no record of a post-rider passing through Groton, 
during the period immediately preceding the establishment of 
the post-office ; but there was doubtless such a person who 
used to ride on horseback, equipped with saddle-bags, and 
delivered at regular intervals the weekly newspapers and let- 
ters along the way. In the year 1794, according to the His- 
tory of New Ipswich, New Hampshire (page 129), a post-rider, 
by the name of Balch, rode from Boston to Keene one week 
and back the next. Probably he passed through this town, 
and served the inhabitants with his favors^ 


Several years ago I procured, through the kindness of Gen- 
eral Charles Devens, at that time a member of President 
Hayes's Cabinet, some statistics of the Groton post-office, 
which are contained in the following letter: — 

Post-Office Department, Appointment Office, 

Washington, D. C, September 3, 1877. 

Hon. Charles Devens, Attorney- General, Department of Justice. 

Sir, — I have to acknowledge the receipt of a communication 
from Samuel A. Green, of Boston, Massachusetts, with your indorse- 
ment thereon, requesting to be furnished with a list of postmasters 
at the office of Groton, in that State, from the date of its establish- 
ment to the present time. 

In reply, I have the honor to inform you, that the fire which con- 
sumed the department building, on the night of the fifteenth of 
December, 1836, destroyed three of the earliest record-books of this 
office ; but by the aid of the auditor's ledger-books, it is ascertained 
that the office began to render accounts on the first of January, 
1801, but the exact day is not known. Samuel Dana was the first 
postmaster, and the following list furnishes the history of the office, 
as shown by the old records. 

Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Office probably 
established in November, 1800. Samuel Dana began rendering 
accounts January i, 1801. Wm. M. Richardson, October i, 1804. 
From this time the exact dates are known. 

Abraham Moore, appointed postmaster January 31, 1812 

Eliphalet Wheeler, August 20, 1815. 

James Lewis, September 9, 1815. 

Caleb Butler, July i, 1826. 

Henry Woods, January 15, 1839. 

George S. Boutwell, January 22, 1841. 

Caleb Butler, April 15, 1841. 

Welcome Lothrop, December 21, 1846. 

Artemas Wood, February 22, 1849. 

George H. Brown, May 4, 1849. 

Theodore Andruss, April ii, 1853. 

George W. Fiske, April 22, 1861. 

Henry Woodcock, February 13, 1867. 

Miss Hattie E. Farnsworth, June 11, 1869, who is the 
present incumbent. 


Each postmaster held the office up to the appointment of his 
successor, but it is probable that Mr. Boutwell and Mr. A. Wood, 
although regularly appointed, did not accept, judging by the dates 
of the next postmasters. 

As to the " income " of the office, to which allusion is made, it is 
very difficult to obtain any of the amounts ; but the first year and 
the last year are herewith appended, as follows : — ■ 

(1801) Fiscal Year (1876) 

First quarter, $1.91 First quarter, ^314.15 

Second „ 2.13 Second „ 296.94 

Third „ 2.93 Third „ 3oS-7i 

Fourth „ 5.29 Fourth „ 294.28 

For the year, $12. 26 For the year, ^1,211.08 

Trusting the foregoing, which is believed to be correct, will be 
acceptable to you, I am, sir, respectfully, 

Your ob't serv't, 

James H. Marr, 

Acting rirst Ass't P.M. General. 

It will be seen that the net income of the office, during the 
first seventy-five years of its existence, increased one hundred 

This letter of the Acting First Assistant Postmaster-General 
supplements the account in Butler's Historyof Groton (pages 
249-251). According to Mr. Butler's statement, the post- 
office was established on September 29, 1800, and the Honor- 
able Samuel Dana was appointed the first postmaster. No 
mail, however, was delivered at the office until the last week 
in November. For a while it came to Groton by the way of 
Leominster, certainly a very indirect route. This fact appears 
from a letter written to Judge Dana, by the Postmaster-General, 
under the date of December 18, 1800, apparently in answer to 
a request to have the mail brought directly from Boston. In 
this communication the writer says: — 

It appears to me, that the arrangement which has been made for 
carrying the mail to Groton is sufficient for the accommodation of 
the inha'bitants, as it gives them the opportunity of receiving their 


letters regularly, and with despatch, once a week. The route from 
Boston, by Leominster, to Groton is only twenty miles farther than 
by the direct route, and the delay of half a day, which is occasioned 
thereby, is not of much consequence to the inhabitants of Groton. 
If it should prove that Groton produces as much postage as Lan- 
caster and Leominster, the new contract for carrying the mail, which 
is to be in operation on the first of October next, will be made by 
Concord and Groton to Walpole, and a branch from Concord to 

I am, respectfully, sir, your obedient servant, 

Jos. Habersham. 

The amount of postage received from the office, after de- 
ducting the necessary expenses, including the postmaster's 
salary, was, for the first year after its establishment, about 
twelve dollars, or three dollars for three months. In the year 
1802 it was thirty-six dollars, or nine dollars for three months, 
a large proportional increase. At this time the mail came 
once a week only, and was brought by the stage-coach. 

Samuel Dana, the first postmaster, was a prominent lawyer 
at the time of his appointment. He was the son of the Rev- 
erend Samuel Dana, of Groton, and born in this town, June 
26, 1767. He occupied a high position in the community, 
and exerted a wide influence in the neighborhood. At a 
later period he was President of the Massachusetts Senate, a 
member of Congress, and finally Chief-Justice of the Circuit 
Court of Common Pleas. He died at Charlestown, on No- 
vember 20, 1835. 

Judge Dana kept the post-office in his own office, which 
was in the same building as that of the Honorable Timothy 
Bigelow, another noted lawyer. These eminent men were on 
opposite sides of the same entry, and generally on opposite 
sides of all important cases in the northern part of Mid- 
dlesex County. The building stood on the site of Governor 
Boutwell's house, and is still remembered as the medical 
office of the venerable Dr. Amos Bancroft. It was afterward 
moved away, and now stands near the railway-station, where 
it is occupied as a dwelling-house. Judge Dana held the 
position during four years, and he was succeeded by William 


Merchant Richardson, Esq., afterward the Chief -Justice of the 
Superior Court of New Hampshire. Mr. Richardson was a 
graduate of Harvard College in the class of 1797, and at the 
time of his appointment as postmaster had recently finished 
his professional studies in Groton, under the guidance of 
Judge Dana. After his admission to the bar, Mr. Richardson 
entered into partnership with his former instructor, succeed- 
ing him as postmaster in July, 1804; and the office was still 
kept in the same building. During Judge Richardson's term, 
the net revenue to the department rose from nine dollars to 
about twenty-eight dollars for three months. He held the 
position nearly eight years, and was followed by Abraham 
Moore, who was appointed on January 31, 1812. 

Mr. Moore was a native of Bolton, Massachusetts, where he 
was born on January 5, 1785. He graduated at Harvard Col- 
lege in the class of 1806, and studied law at Groton with the 
Honorable Timothy Bigelow, and after his admission to the 
bar settled here as a lawyer. His office was on the site of 
the north end of Gerrish's block, and it was here that the 
post-office was kept. During his administration the average 
income from the office was about thirty-three dollars for the 
quarter. In the summer of 181 5, Mr. Moore resigned the 
position and removed to Boston. 

Eliphalet Wheeler, who kept the store lately occupied by 
Mr. Gerrish, was appointed in Mr. Moore's stead, and the 
post-office was transferred to his place of business. He, how- 
ever, was not commissioned, owing, it is thought, to his politi- 
cal views ; and Major James Lewis, who was sound in his 
politics, received the appointment in his stead. Major Lewis 
retained Mr. Wheeler for a short time as his assistant, and 
during this period the duties were performed by him in his 
own store. Shortly afterward Caleb Butler, Esq., was ap- 
pointed the assistant, and he continued to hold the position 
for eight years. During this time the business was carried 
on in Mr. Butler's law office, and the revenue to the govern- 
ment reached the sum of fifty dollars a quarter. His office 
was then in a small building, — just south of Mr. Hoars 
tavern, — which was moved away about the year 1820, and 


taken to the lot where Colonel Needham's house now stands, 
at the corner of Main and Hollis Streets. It was fitted up 
as a dwelling, and subsequently moved away again. At this 
time the old store of Mr. Brazer, who had previously died, 
was brought from over the way, and occupied by Mr. Butler, 
on the site of his former office. 

On July I, 1826, Mr. Butler, who had been Major Lewis's 
assistant for many years, and performed most of the duties of 
the office, was appointed postmaster. 

Mr. Butler was a native of Pelham, New Hampshire, where he 
was born on September 13, 1776, and a graduate of Dartmouth 
College in the class of 1800. He had been the preceptor of 
Groton Academy for some years, and was widely known as a 
critical scholar. He had previously studied law with the Honor- 
able Luther Lawrence, of Groton, though his subsequent prac- 
tice was more in drawing up papers and settling estates than 
in attendance at courts. His name is now identified with the 
town as its historian. During his term of office as postmaster, 
the revenue rose from fifty dollars to one hundred and ten 
dollars a quarter. He held the position nearly thirteen years, 
to the entire satisfaction of the public ; but for political heresy 
he was removed on January 15, 1839, when Henry Woods was 
appointed his successor. 

Mr. Woods held the office until his death, which occurred 
on January 12, 1841 ; and he was followed by the Honorable 
George S. Boutwell, since the Governor of the Commonwealth 
and a member of the United States Senate. During the 
administration of Mr. Woods and Mr. Boutwell, the office 
was kept in the brick store, opposite to the present High 

Upon the change in the administration of the National Gov- 
ernment, Mr. Butler was reinstated in office, on April 15, 
1841. He continued to hold the position until December 21, 
1846, when he was again removed for political reasons. Mr. 
Butler was a most obliging man, and his removal was re- 
ceived by the public with general regret. During his two 
terms he filled the office for more than eighteen years, a longer 
period than has fallen to the lot of any other postmaster of 


the town. Near the end of his service a material change 
was made in the rate of postage on letters ; and in his His- 
tory (page 251) he thus comments on it : — 

" The experiment of a cheap rate was put upon trial. From May 
14, 1841, to December 31, 1844, the net revenue averaged one 
hundred and twenty-four dollars and seventy-one cents per quarter. 
Under the new law, for the first year and a half, the revenue has 
been one hundred and four dollars and seventy-seven cents per 
quarter. Had the former rates remained, the natural increase of 
business should have raised it to one hundred and fifty dollars per 
quarter. The department, which for some years before had fallen 
short of supporting itself, now became a heavy charge upon the 
treasury. Whether the present rates will eventually raise a sufficient 
revenue to meet the expenditures, remains to be seen. The greatest 
difficulty to be overcome is evasion of the post-office laws and fraud 
upon the department." 

Like many other persons of that period, Mr. Butler did not 
appreciate the fact that the best way to prevent evasions of 
the law is to reduce the rates of postage so low that it will 
not pay to run the risk of fraud. 

Captain Welcome Lothrop succeeded Mr. Butler as post- 
master, and during his administration the office was kept in 
Liberty Hall. Captain Lothrop was a native of Easton, Mas- 
sachusetts, and a land-surveyor of some repute in this neigh- 
borhood. Artemas Wood followed him by appointment on 
February 22, 1849; but he never entered upon the duties of 
his office. He was succeeded by George Henry Brown, who 
had published The Spirit of the Times — a political news- 
paper — during the presidential canvass of 1848, and in this 
way had become somewhat prominent as a local politician. 
Mr. Brown was appointed on May 4, 1849; and during his 
term the office was kept in an L of his dwelling, situated 
nearly opposite to the Orthodox Meeting-house. He was 
afterward the postmaster of Ayer. Mr. Brown was followed 
by Theodore Andruss, a native of Orford, New Hampshire, 
who was appointed on April 11, 1853. Mr. Andruss brought 
the office back to Liberty Hall, and continued to be the 
incumbent until April 22, 1861, when he was succeeded 


by George Washington Fiske. On February 13, 1867, Henry 
Woodcock was appointed to the position, and the office was 
then removed to the Town House, where most excellent ac- 
commodations were given to the public. He was followed on 
June II, 1869, by Miss Harriet E. Farnsworth, now Mrs. 
Marion Putnam ; and she in turn was succeeded on July 2, 
1880, by Mrs. Christina Dakin (Caryl) Fosdick, the widow of 
Samuel Woodbury Fosdick, and the present incumbent. Few 
towns in the Commonwealth can present such an array of 
distinguished men among their postmasters as that of Groton, 
including, as it does, the names of Judge Dana, Judge Rich- 
ardson, Mr. Butler, and Governor Boutwell. 

The office is still kept in the Town House, and there is no 
reason to think that it will be removed from the spacious and 
commodious quarters it now occupies, for a long time to come. 
This public building was erected in 1859, ^^^ the first town- 
meeting was held within its walls, on Tuesday, November 8, 
of that year. The High School was first opened in the lower 
hall on Monday, December 5, and the examination of classes 
for admission took place three days previously, on Friday, 
December 2. 

West Groton is a small settlement that has sprung up in 
the western part of the town, dating back in its history to the 
last century. It is pleasantly situated on the banks of the 
Squannacook River, and in my boyhood was known as Squan- 
nacook, a much better name than the present one. It is to 
be regretted that so many of the old Indian words, which have 
a local significance and smack of the region, should have been 
crowded out of the list of our geographical names. There is a 
small water-power here, and formerly a saw-mill, grist-mill, and 
a paper-mill were in operation ; but these have now given way 
to a factory where leather-board is made. The Peterborough 
and Shirley branch of the Fitchburg Railroad passes through 
the place, and some local business is transacted in the neigh- 
borhood. As a matter of course, a post-office was needed in 
the village, and one was established on March 19, 1850. The 
first person to fill the office was Adams Archibald, a native of 
Truro, Nova Scotia, who kept it in the railway-station. 


The following is a list of the postmasters, with the dates of 
their appointment : — 

Adams Archibald, March 19, 1850. 
Edmund Blood, May 25, 1868. 
Charles Henry Hill, July 31, 18 71. 
George Henry Bixby, July 11, 1878. 

During the postmastership of Mr. Blood, and since that 
time, the office has been kept in a store near the station, and 
for a long while the only one in the place. 

A post-office was established at South Groton, on June i, 
1849, ^^'^ the first postmaster was Andrew Boynton Gardner. 
The village was widely known as Groton Junction, and 
resulted from the intersection of several railroads. Here six 
passenger-trains coming from different points were due in 
the same station at the same time, and they all were supposed 
to leave as punctually. 

The trains on the Fitchburg Railroad, arriving from each 
direction, and likewise the trains on the Worcester and 
Nashua Road from the north and the south, passed each other 
at this place. There was also a train from Lowell, on the 
Stony Brook Railroad, and another on the Peterborough and 
Shirley branch, coming at that time from West Townsend. 

A busy settlement grew up, which was incorporated as a 
distinct town under the name of Ayer, on February 14, 1871, 
so called after the late James Cook Ayer, of Lowell. 

The following is a list of the postmasters, with the dates of 
their appointment : — 

Andrew Boynton Gardner, June i, 1849. 
Harvey Alpheias Woods, August 11, 1853. 
George Henry Brown, December 30, 1861. 
William Holmes Harlow, December 5, 1862. 
George Henry Brown, January 15, 1863. 
William Holmes Harlow, July 18, 1865. 

The name of the post-office was changed by the Department 
at Washington, from South Groton to Groton Junction, on 
March i, 1862 ; and subsequently this again was changed to 


Ayer, on March 22, 1871, soon after the incorporation of the 
town, during the postmastership of Mr. Harlow. 

By the postal law which went into operation on October i, 
1883, the postage is now two cents to any part of the United 
States, on all letters not exceeding half an ounce in weight. 
This rate certainly seems cheap enough, but in time the public 
will demand the same service for a cent. Less than forty 
years ago the charge was five cents for any distance not ex- 
ceeding three hundred miles, and ten cents for any greater 
distance. This was the rate established by the law which 
took effect on July i, 1845 ; and it was not changed until 
July I, 185 1, when it was reduced to three cents on single 
letters, prepaid, or five cents, if not prepaid, for all distances 
under three thousand miles. By the law which went into 
operation on July i, 1863, prepayment by stamps was made 
compulsory, the rate remaining at three cents ; though a 
special clause was inserted, by which the letters of soldiers 
or sailors, tbsn fighting for the Union in the army or navy, 
might go without prepayment. 

Closely akin to the post-ofi&ce in its functions is the service 
of the telegraph and the telephone, and for that reason I add 
the following facts : — 

The telegraph office was opened in the village of Groton 
on Saturday, March 20, 1880, mainly through the exertions 
of the late Charles Harrison Waters and of Francis Marion 
Boutwell, Esq.; and the first message was sent to Nashua. 
The office was established in the railway-station, where it has 
since remained, and the first operator was Miss Etta Augusta 

The telephone office was opened in the village on Friday, 
April 29, 1 88 1. It was in the building at the south corner 
of Main Street and Station Avenue, and under the manage- 
ment of Appleton Howe Torrey, who still has charge of it. 

No. VIII. 



Historical Series, No. VIH. 


By Samuel A. Green. 

It has been said that there is nothing contrived by man 
which has produced so much happiness as a good tavern. 
Without granting or denying the statement, all will agree that 
many good times have been passed around the cheerful hearth 
of the old-fashioned inn. 

The sites of the earliest taverns of Groton cannot easily be 
identified, but the names of some of the landlords are found 
in the records of the Middlesex Court of Sessions, — now at 
East Cambridge, — when they were licensed as inn-holders. 
At that period no great preparations were made in the small 
towns for lodging strangers, beyond obtaining the necessary 
license, and guests were treated like members of the family. 
Occasionally a farmer would keep a tavern for a while, and 
thus make a market for his home products. For a long time 
Groton was a frontier settlement, and all beyond it was a 
wilderness. The travel through the place was mainly along 
the circumference of civilization, from one out-lying town to 
another, and there was but little patronage for public houses. 
The following list of early landlords and retailers of spirits 
is taken from the Court records, and the entries are made 
during the months of July, August, and September in the 
respective years. 

1699- Joseph Cady. 

1700. Probably no license granted. 

1701. Joseph Cady. 

1702. Probably no license granted. 

1703. Samuel Parker, Nathan Mors. 

1704. Samuel Parker. 

1705. Samuel Parker. 

1706. Samuel Parker. 

1707. Samuel Parker. 
1 70S. Samuel Parker. 

1709. Probably no license granted. 

1 710. Samuel Woods. 

171 1. Mr. Samuel Woods. 

1712. Probably no license granted. 

1713. Nathaniel Woods. 

1714. Nathaniel Woods. 

1715. Nathaniel Woods. 

1 7 16. Nathaniel Woods. 

1717. Nathaniel Woods, Eleazer Robbins, Eleazer Green; 

James Patterson, retailer. 

1 7 18. Mr. Nathaniel Woods, Mr. Eleazer Robbins, Mr. Elea- 

zer Green. 

1719. Mr. Eleazer Green, Mr. Nathaniel Woods. 

1720. Mr. Eleazer Green. 

1 72 1. Mr. David Whetcomb, Mr. Eleazer Green, Mr. Jona- 

than Hubbart. 

1722. Mr. Eleazer Green, Mr. Jonathan Hubbard. 

1723. Mr. Jonathan Hubbard. 

1724. Mr. Jonathan Hubbart, Mr. Joseph Spaulding. 

1725. Mr. William Tarbell. 

1726. Mr. Jonathan Hubbard, Mr. WilHam Tarbell. 

1727. Mr. Jonathan Hubbard, Mr. William Tarbell, Mr. 

Josiah Sautell. 

1728. Mr. Jonathan Hubbard. 

1729. Mr. Jonathan Hubbard. 

1730. Mr. Jonathan Hubbard, Mr. Josiah Sartel, Nathaniel 

Sartel, Esq. 

1731. Nathaniel Sartel, Esq., Mr. Jonathan Hubbard. 
• 1732. Nathaniel Sartel, Esq., Mr. James Parker. 

1733. Nathaniel Sartel, Esq., Mr. John Bulkley. 

1734- Nathaniel Sartell, Esq., Mr. John Bulkley, Mr. Benja- 
min Bancroft. 

1735. Nathaniel Sartell, Esq., Mr. Benjamin Bancroft, Mr. 

John Bulkley. 

1736. Nathaniel Sartle, Esq., Mr. Benjamin Bancroft, Mr. 

John Bulkley. 

1737. Mr. Benjamin Bancroft, Mr. John Bulkely. 

1738. John Bulkeley, Captain Samuel Parker, Jonathan 


1739. Captain Samuel Parker, John Bulkeley ; Jonathan 

Sheple, Abraham Moores, retailers. 

1740. John Bulkeley, Abraham Moores, William Lawrence, 


1741. Samuel Parker, John Bulkley; William Lawrence, Esq., 

Abraham Moores, retailers. 

1742. Samuel Parker, John Bulkley, Abraham Moores ; Will- 

iam Lawrence, Esq., Thomas Tarbell, retailers. 

1743. Samuel Parker, John Bulkley, Abraham Moores, James 

Lawrence; William Lawrence, Esq., Thomas Tarbell, 

1744. Caleb Trowbridge, Jr., Isaac Farnsworth, Benjamin 

Bancroft, John Bulkley, Samuel Parker. 

1745. Isaac Green, John Bulkley, Abraham Moores, James 

Lawrence ; William Lawrence, Esq., Benjamin Chase, 

1746. Caleb Trowbridge, Jr., Benjamin Bancroft, John Bulk- 

ley, Samuel Parker, Amos Lawrence. 

1747. Isaac Greene, John Bulkley, Abraham Moores, James 

Lawrence; John Sheple, Ezra Farnsworth, retailers. 

1748. Capt. Benjamin Bancroft, Capt. John Bulkley, Abra- 

ham Moores, Caleb Trowbridge, Jr., Amos Lawrence. 

1749. John Bulkley, Abraham Moores, James Lawrence; 

Ezra Farnsworth, retailer. 

175°- John Bulkley, Abraham Moores, James Lawrence ; Ezra 
Farnsworth, retailer. 

1751- John Bulkley, Abraham Moores, James Lawrence ; Ezra 
Farnsworth, retailer. 

1752. John Bulkley, Abraham Moores, James Lawrence, 
James Colburn, Jr., William White ; Caleb Trow- 
bridge, Jr., retailer. 

1753- John Bulkley, Abraham Moores, Thomas White, Caleb 
Trowbridge, Jr. ; Josiah Sartell, retailer. 

175^. John Bulkley, Abraham Moores, Thomas White, Caleb 
Trowbridge, Jr. ; Josiah Sartell, John Stevens, Esq., 

1755- John Bulkeley, Abraham Moores, Samuel Bowers, 
Thomas White ; John Stevens, Esq., Jonathan Sar- 
tell, retailers. 

In the Journal of the House of Representatives (page 96), 
December 21, 1752, is a petition of Caleb Trowbridge, Jr., 
of Groton, stating that — 

He lives upon a publick Road leading from Dunstable to Harvard, 
which is frequented by many Travellers ; that the publick Houses 
on said Road are fifteen Miles distant from each other ; that he 
has only Liberty to Retail, yet is often crowded with People who 
want necessary Refreshment, but is not allowed to sell it to them ; 
he therefore prays he may now obtain a Licence as an Innholder. 

Pass'd in Council, viz. In Council, December 21st 1752. Read 
and Ordered, That the Justices of the General Sessions of the Peace 
for the County of Middlesex, be and they hereby are allowed to 
grant the Petitioner a License to be an Innholder, if they see Cause, 
at their Adjournment on Saturday the 23d Instant, the Time for 
granting Licences being elapsed notwithstanding, provided the 
Petitioner first obtains the Approbation of the Select-Men of 
Groton for that Purpose. 

Sent down for Concurrence. Read and concur'd. 

The Trowbridge tavern cannot now be identified with 
certainty ; but it is highly probable that it was the same 
as the Bowers inn, mentioned in the next paragraph. 

The earliest tavern in Groton, of which there is any posi- 
tive record or knowledge, was kept by Samuel Bowers, Jr., in 
the house lately and for a long time occupied by the Champ- 
ney family. Mr. Bowers was born in Groton on December 
21, 171 1, and, according to his tombstone, died on "the 
Sixteenth Day of December Anno Domini 1768. Half a 
hour after Three of the Clock in y* Afternoon, and in the 


Fifty Eight year of his age." He was first licensed in 
the year 1755, and was known in the neighborhood as 
" Land'urd Bowers," — the innkeeper of that period being 
generally addressed by the title of landlord. I do not know 
who succeeded him in his useful and important functions. 

The next tavern of which I have any knowledge was the 
one kept by Captain Jonathan Keep, during the latter part 
of the Revolution. In " The Independent Chronicle " (Boston), 
February 15, 1781, the committee of the General Court for 
the sale of confiscated property in Middlesex County adver- 
tise the estate of Dr. Joseph Adams, of Townsend, to be sold 
" at Mr. Keeps, innholder in Groton." This tavern has now 
been kept as an inn during more than a century. It was 
originally built for a dwelling-house, and, before the Revolu- 
tion, was occupied by the Reverend Samuel Dana ; but since 
that time it has been lengthened in front and otherwise con- 
siderably enlarged. Captain Keep was followed by the 
brothers Isaiah and Joseph Hall, who were the landlords 
as early as the year 1798. They were succeeded in 1825 
by Joseph Hoar, who had just sold the Emerson tavern, 
at the other end of the village street. Excepting the year 
1836, when Moses Gill and his brother-in-law, Henry Lewis 
Lawrence, were the landlords, Mr. Hoar kept it until the 
spring of 1843, when he sold out to Thomas Tread well Farns- 
worth. It was then conducted as a temperance house, at 
that time considered a great innovation on former customs. 
After a short period it was sold to Daniel Hunt, who kept it 
until 1852; and he was followed by James Minot Colburn, who 
had it for two years. It then came into the possession of 
Joseph Nelson Hoar, a son of the former landlord, who took 
it in 1854, and in whose family it has since remained. Lat- 
terly it has been managed by three of his daughters, and is 
known now as the Central House. It is the only tavern in 
the village, and for neatness and comfort cannot easily be 

In a list of innholders printed near the end of Isaiah 
Thomas's Almanack for 1785, appears the name of Richard- 
son, whose tavern stood on the present site of the Baptist 

church. It was originally the house owned and occupied by 
the Reverend Gershom Hobart, which had been considerably 
enlarged by additions on the north and east sides, in order 
to make it more suitable for its new purposes. Mine host 
was Captain Jephthah Richardson, who died on October 9, 
1806. His father was Converse Richardson, who had pre- 
viously kept a small inn on the present Elm Street, near the 
corner of Pleasant. It was in this Elm Street house that 
Timothy Bigelow, the rising young lawyer, lived, when he 
first came to Groton. Within a few years this building has 
been moved away. Soon after the death of Captain Jephthah 
Richardson, the tavern was sold to Timothy Spaulding, who 
carried on the business until his death, which occurred on 
February 19, 1808. Spaulding's widow subsequently married 
John Spalter, who was the landlord for a short time. About 
1 8 12 the house was rented to Dearborn Emerson, who had 
been a driver of a stage-coach, as well as the owner of a line. 
He remained in possession of it for a few years. 

During the War of 1812 it was an inn of local renown; and 
a Lieutenant Chase had his headquarters here for a while, 
when recruiting for the army. He raised a company in the 
neighborhood, which was ordered to Sackett's Harbor, near 
the foot of Lake Ontario. The men were put into uniforms 
as they enlisted, and drilled daily. They were in the habit 
of marching through the village streets to the music of the 
spirit-stirring drum and the ear-piercing fife; and occasionally 
they were invited into the yard of some hospitable citizen, who 
would treat them to " the cups that cheer but not inebriate," 
when taken in moderation. William Kemp was the drummer, 
and Wilder Shepley the fifer, bpth noted musicians in their 
day. Sometimes Moses Kemp, a brother, would act as 
fifer. William is still alive, at the advanced age of ninety- 
six years, and gives many reminiscences of that period. 
He lives with his son James, near Squannacook, in the house 
used as a tavern by Amos Adams more than a hundred years 
ago. Mr. Kemp was born at Groton on May 8, 1789, and 
began to drum in early boyhood. His first appearance in 
the public service was during the year 1805, as drummer of 

the South Company of Groton, commanded by Luther Law- 
rence, Esq., afterward the mayor of Lowell. He has been 
the father of nine children, and has had thirty grand-children, 
thirty-three great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grand- 
child. Even now he can handle the drumsticks with a dex- 
terity rarely equalled ; and within a short time I have seen 
him give an exhibition of his skill which would reflect credit 
on a much younger person. Among the men enlisted here 
during that campaign were Marquis D. Farnsworth, Aaron 
Lewis, William Shepley, and John Woodward, of this town ; 
and James Adams, and his son, James, Jr., of Pepperell. 

During his boyhood Mr. Kemp knew Major Daniel Simpson, 
now the veteran drummer of Boston, whose mother was Sarah," 
daughter of Job and Sarah (Hartwell) Shattuck, of Groton. 
The Major was born in Boston, on September 29, 1790, and 
for one of his age is still quite active. In former years he 
used to spend considerable time at Groton, where many a 
trial of skill between the two drummers has taken place. 
May they both live to be a hundred ! 

It was about the year 18 15 that Dearborn Emerson left the 
Richardson tavern, and moved down the street, perhaps thirty 
rods, where he opened another public house on the present 
site of Milo H. Shattuck's store. The old tavern, in the 
meantime, passed into the hands of Daniel Shattuck, who 
kept it until the year before his death, which occurred on 
April 8, 1 83 1. The business was then carried on during a 
short time by Samuel Clark Tenny, who has the following 
advertisement in "The Groton Herald," June 12, 1830: — 


npHE Subscriber would respectfully inform his friends and the 
public generally, that he has taken the Tavern lately occupied 
by Mr. Daniel Shattuck, in Groton ; and having thoroughly fitted 
up the same for the reception and accommodation of travellers, he 
flatters himself he shall obtain a share of their custom. 

No pains shall be spared to give satisfaction to all those who may 

be disposed to patronize him. 

Samuel C. T£nny. 

Groton, June 12, 1830. 

The next landlord was Lemuel Lakin, and after him Fran- 
cis Shattuck, a son of Daniel, for another brief period. About 
the year 1833 it was given up entirely as a public house, and 
thus passed away an old landmark widely known in those 
times. It stood well out on the present road, the front door 
facing down what is now Main Street, the upper end of which 
then had no existence. In approaching the tavern from the 
south, the road went up Hollis Street and turned to the left 
somewhere south of the Burying-Ground. The house after- 
ward was cut up and moved off, just before the Baptist meeting- 
house was built. My earliest recollections carry me back 
faintly to the time when it was last used as a tavern, though 
•I remember distinctly the building as it looked before it was 
taken away. 

Dearborn Emerson married a sister of Daniel Brooks, a 
large owner in the line of stage-coaches running through 
Groton from Boston to the northward ; and this family con- 
nection was of great service to him. Jonas Parker, commonly 
known as " Tecumseh " Parker, was now associated with 
Emerson in keeping the new hotel. The stage business was 
taken away from the Richardson tavern, and transferred to 
this one. The house was enlarged, spacious barns and stables 
were erected, and better accommodations given to man and 
beast, — on too large a scale for profit, it seems, as Parker 
and Emerson failed shortly afterward. This was in the spring 
of 1 81 8, during which year the tavern was purchased by 
Joseph Hoar, who kept it a little more than six years, when 
he sold it to Amos Alexander. This landlord, after a long 
time, was succeeded in turn by Isaac J. Fox, Horace Brown, 
William Childs, Artemas Brown, John McGilson, Abijah 
Wright, and Moses Gill. It was given up as a hotel in 1854, 
and made into a shoe-factory, owned by Messrs. Bigelow and 
Randall ; and finally it was burned on Wednesday evening, 
December 19, 1855. Mr. Gill had the house for seven years, 
and was the last landlord. He then opened a public house 
directly opposite to the Orthodox church, and called it The 
Globe, which he kept for two years. He was succeeded by 

Stephen Woods, who remained only one year, after which 
time this also was given up as a public house. 

The following advertisement in "The Groton Herald," 
March 13, 1830, shows that the selectmen of the town at that 
time, wishing to be impartial in distributing their official 
patronage, used to meet equally at all the taverns in- the vil- 
lage for the transaction of public business : — 

Stated meetings of the Selectmen. 

npHE Selectmen of Groton will meet on the last Saturdays of 
■^ each month the present municipal year, at 3 o'clock, p.m- 
viz : — At Hoat's Tavern in March, April, May, and June ; at 
Alexander's in July, August, September, and October ; and at 
Shattuck's in November, December, January, and February. 

Caleb Butler, Chairman. 

Another hostelry was the Ridge Hill tavern, situated at 
the Ridges, three miles from the village, on the Great Road 
to Boston. This was built about the year 1805, and much 
frequented by travellers and teamsters. At this point the 
roads diverge and come together again in Lexington, making 
two routes to Boston. It was claimed by interested persons 
that one was considerably shorter than the other, — though 
the actual difference was less than a mile. In the year 1824 
a guide-board was set up at the crotch of the roads, proclaim- 
ing the fact that the distance to Lexington through Concord 
was two miles longer than through Carlisle. Straightway the 
storekeepers and innholders along the Concord road published 
a counter-statement, that it had been measured by sworn 
surveyors, and the distance found to be only two hundred and 
and thirty-six rods further than by the other way. 

The first landlord of the Ridge Hill tavern was Levi Par- 
ker, noted for his hearty hospitality. He was afterward 
deputy-sheriff of Middlesex County, and lived at Westford. 
He was followed, for a short time, by John Stevens, and then 
by John Hancock Loring, who conducted the house during 
many years, and was succeeded by his son Jefferson. After 


him came Henry Lewis Lawrence, who kept it during one 
year ; he was followed by his brother-in-law, Moses Gill, who 
took the tavern in April, 1837, and kept it just five years. 
When Mr. Gill gave up the house, he was followed by one 
Langdon for a short time, and he in turn by Kimball Farr as 
the landlord, who had bought it the year previously, and who 
remained in charge until 1868. During a part of the time 
when the place was managed by Mr. Farr, his son Augustus 
was associated with him. Mr. Farr sold the tavern to John 
Fuzzard, a native of Brighton, England, who kept it as the 
landlord for a while, and is still the owner of the property. 
He was followed by Newell M. Jewett, and he in turn by 
Stephen Perkins, a native of York, Maine, who took it in 
1880. The building had been vacant for some years before 
that time. It was given up by Mr. Perkins in the spring of 
1884, when it ceased to be a public house, and was occupied 
again by Mr. Fuzzard as his dwelling. A fair used to be held 
here on the first Tuesday of every month for the sale of 
horses, and buyers were attracted from a long distance. At 
one time this property was owned by Judge Samuel Dana, 
who sold it to John H. Loring. 

As early as the year 1798, there was a tavern about a mile 
from the Ridges, toward Groton. It was kept by Stephen 
Farrar, in the house now standing near where the brook 
crosses the Great Road. Afterward one Green was the land- 
lord. The house known as the " Levi Tufts place," in the 
same neighborhood, was an inn during the early part of this 
century, conducted by Tilly Buttrick. Also about this time, 
or previously, the house situated south of Indian Hill, and oc- 
cupied by Charles Prescott, — when the map in Mr. Butler's 
History was made, — was an inn. There was a tavern kept 
from about the year 18 12 to 1818 by a Mr. Page, in Mr. Ger- 
rish's house, — near the Unitarian church in the village, — 
which was built by Martin Jennison, about 1803. There was 
also a tavern, near the present paper-mills of Tileston and Hol- 
lingsworth, kept for many years (1820-45) by Aaron Lewis, 
and after him for a short time by A. M. Veazie. It was 
originally the house of John Capell, who owned the saw-mill 


and grist-mill in the immediate neighborhood. Amos Adams 
had an inn near Sqi:annacook, a hundred years ago, in a house 
now owned by James Kemp. 

Just before and during the Revolution, a tavern was kept 
by George Peirce, in the south part of the town, within the 
present limits of Ayer. This landlord was perhaps the inn- 
holder of Littleton, whose name appears in an advertisement 
printed on the first page of " The Massachusetts Gazette 
and Boston News-Letter," August 8, 1765. Peirce's house 
was advertised for sale, according to the following advertise- 
ment in "The Boston Gazette," September 27, 1773 : — 

To be Sold at PUBLIC VENDUE, to the highest Bidder, on 
Wednesday the 3d Day of November next, at four o'Clock in the 
Afternoon (if not Sold before at Private Sale) by me the Subscriber, 
A valuable FARM in Groton, in the County of Middlesex, pleas- 
antly situated on the great County Road, leading from Crown Point 
and No. 4 to Boston : Said Farm contains 172 Acres of Upland 
and Meadow, with the bigger Part under improvement, with a large 
Dwelling House and Barn, and Out Houses, together with a good 
Grist Mill and Saw Mill, the latter new last Year, both in good 
Repair, and on a good Stream, and within a few Rods of the House. 
Said Farm would make two good Livings, and wovild sell it in two 
Divisions, or together, as it would best suit the Purchaser. Said 
House is situated very conveniently for a Tavern, and has been 
improved as such for Ten Years past, with a Number of other Con- 
veniences, too many to enumerate. And the Purchaser may depend 
upon having a good warrantee Deed of the same, and the bigger 
Part of the Pay made very easy, on good Security. The whole of 
the Farming Tools, and Part of the Stock, will be sold as above- 
mentioned, at the Subscriber's House on said Farm. 

George Peirce. 
Groton, Aug. 30, 1773. 

The grist-mill and saw-mill mentioned in the advertisement 
were on Nonacoicus Brook. In the Gazette, November 15, 
1773, another notice appears, which shows that the tavern 
was not sold at the time originally appointed. It is as 
follows : — 


The Publick are hereby Notified that iil^l ^^'^ °^ ^^e FARM 
in Groton, which was to have been the 3d l-"^^'^"*^. °" ^^^ P'"^™" 
isses, at the House of Mr. George Peirce, is'^^J,^^^ *° ^^^ 
house of Mr. Joseph Moulton, Innholder in Boston, wTi€f£-il^^}J 
certainly be Sold to the highest Bidder, on Wednesday the ist 
Day of December next, at 4 o'Clock, p.m. 

The following advertisement is found in " The Independent 
Chronicle" (Boston), September 19, 1808. The site of the 
farm comes now within the limits of Ayer ; Stone's tavern 
was afterward kept by Moses Day, and subsequently burned, 
in the spring of 1836. 

A FARM — for Sale, 

CONTAINING 140 acres of Land, situated in the South part of 
Groton, {Mass.) with a new and well-finished House, Barn, & Out- 
Houses, and Aqueduct, pleasantly situated, where a Tavern has 
been kept for the last seven years ; — a part or the whole will be 
sold, as best suits the purchaser. For further particulars, inquire 
of THo's B. RAND of Charkstowti, or the Subscriber, living on the 

Sept. 12. 

About a generation ago an attempt was made to organize 
a company for the purpose of carrying on a hotel in the vil- 
lage, and a charter was obtained from the Legislature. The 
stock, however, was not fully taken up, and the project fell 
through. Of the corporators, Mr. Potter was the last survivor, 
and he died in Cincinnati, on December 2, 1884. Below is 
a copy of the Act : — 

An Act to incorporate the Groton Hotel Company. 

BE it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General 
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows : 

Sect. i. Luther F. Potter, Nathaniel P. Smith, Simeon Ames, 
their associates and successors, are hereby made a corporation, by 
the name of the Groton Hotel Company, for the purpose of erecting, 
in the town of Groton, buildings necessary and convenient for a 
public house, with all the powers and privileges, and subject to all 


the liabilities, duties and restrictions, set forth in the forty-fourth 
chapter of the Revised Statutes. 

Sect. 2. Said corporation may hold such real and personal 
property, as may be necessary and convenient for the purposes 
aforesaid, not exceeding in amount twenty thousand dollars : pro- 
vided, that no shares in the capital stock of said corporation shall 
be issued for a less sum or amount, to be actually paid in on each, 
than the par value of the shares which shall be first issued. And 
if any ardent spirits, or intoxicating drinks of any kind whatever, 
shall be sold by said company, or by their agents, lessees, or persons 
in their employ, contrary to law, in any of said buildings, then this 
act shall be void. \_Approved by the Governor, May 2, 1850.] 

In the spring of 1852, a charter was given to Benjamin 
Webb, Daniel D. R. Bowker, and their associates, for the pur- 
pose of forming a corporation to carry on a hotel at the Mas- 
sapoag Springs, in the eastern part of this town ; but the 
project fell through. It was to be called the Massapoag 
Spring Hotel, and its capital stock was limited to $30,000. 
The Act was approved by the Governor, on May 18, 1852 ; and 
it contained similar conditions to those mentioned above in 
regard to the sale of liquors. In the spring of 1859, an Act 
was passed by the Legislature, and approved by the Governor 
on April i, incorporating Abel Prescott, Harvey A. Woods, 
Levi W. Woods, Stephen Roberts, and Levi W. Phelps, their 
associates and successors, under the name of the Groton Junc- 
tion Hotel Company, for the purpose of erecting a hotel at 
Groton Junction, now known as Ayer. The capital of the 
Company was limited to $15,000, but the stock was never 
taken. These enterprises are now nearly forgotten, though 
the mention of them may revive the recollections of elderly 



During the first half of the present century, Groton had one 
characteristic mark,, closely connected with the old taverns, 
which it no longer possesses. It was a radiating centre for 
different lines of stage-coaches, until this mode of travel was 
superseded by the swifter one of the railroad. Wayfarers from 
the surrounding towns off the line of travel came hither daily 
in private vehicles to engage their seats and take their pas- 
sage. During many years the stage-coaches were a distinct- 
ive feature of the place ; and their coming and going were 
watched with great interest, and created the excitement of 
the day. In early times the drivers, as they approached the 
village, would blow a bugle in order to give notice of their 
arrival ; and this blast was the signal at the taverns to put 
the food on the table. More than a generation has now passed 
away since these coaches were wont to be seen in the village 
streets. They were drawn usually by four horses, and in bad 
going by six. Here a change of coaches, horses, and drivers 
was made. 

The stage-driver of former times belonged to a class of men 
that has now disappeared from the community. His posi- 
tion was one of considerable responsibility. This important 
personage was well known along the route, and his opinions 
were always quoted with respect. I easily recall the familiar 
face of Aaron Corey, who drove the accommodation stage to 
Boston for so many years. He was a careful and skilful 
driver, and a man of most obliging disposition. He would go 
out of his way to bear a message or leave a newspaper ; but his 
specialty was to look after women and children committed to 
his charge. He carried also packages and parcels, and largely 
what to-day is intrusted to the express. I recall, too, with 
pleasure Horace George, another driver, popular with all the 
boys, because in sleighing time he would let us ride on the rack 
behind, and even slacken the speed of his horses so as to 
allow us to catch hold of the straps. In youthful dialect, the 
practice was called " ketching on behind." 


Some people now remember the scenes of life and activity 
that used to be witnessed in the town on the arrival and de- 
parture of the stages. Some remember, too, the loud snap 
of the whip which gave increased speed to the horses, as they 
dashed up in approved style to the stopping-place, where the 
loungers were collected to see the travellers, and listen to the 
gossip which fell from their lips. There were no telegraphs 
then, and but few railroads in the country. The papers did 
not gather the news so eagerly, nor spread it abroad so 
promptly, as they do now ; and items of intelligence were 
carried largely by word of mouth. 

The earliest line of stage-coaches between Boston and 
Groton was the one mentioned in the " Columbian Centinel," 
April 6, 1793. The advertisement is headed "New Line of 
Stages," and gives notice that — 

A Stage-Carriage drives from Robbins' Tavern, at Charles-River 
Bridge, on Monday and Friday, in each week, and passing through 
Concord and Groton, arrives at Wyman's tavern in Ashley [Ashby ?] 
in the evening of the same days ; and after exchanging passengers 
there, with the Stage-Carriage from Walpole, it returns on Tuesdays 
and Saturdays, by the same route to Robbins' s. 

The Charlestown Carriage drives also from Robbins' on Wednes- 
day in each week, and passing through Concord arrives at Richard- 
son's tavern, in Groton, on the evening of the same day, and from 
thence returns on Thursday to Robbins' . 

Another Carriage drives from Richardson' s tavern in Groton, on 
Monday in each week, at six o'clock in the morning, and passing by 
Richardsoti! s tavern in Concord, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, arrives 
at Charlestown at three o'clock in the afternoon. From Charlestown 
it drives on Tuesday and Thursday in each week, at three o'clock 
in the afternoon, and returns back as far as Richardson's tavern 
in Concord — and from that place it starts at 8 o'clock in the morn- 
ings, of Wednesday and Friday, and runs again to Charlestown. 
From there it moves at six o'clock on Saturday morning, and returns 
to Richardson' s tavern in Groton, in the evening of the same day. 


It was probably one of these " Carriages," to which allusion 
is made in Mr. Winthrop's Memoir of the Honorable Nathan 
Appleton, as follows : — 

At early dusk on some October or November evening, in the year 
1794, a fresh, vigorous, bright-eyed lad, just turned of fifteen, might 
have been seen alighting from a stage-coach near Quaker Lane,^ as 
it was then called, in the old town of Boston. He had been two days 
on the road from his home in the town of New Ipswich, in the State 
of New Hampshire. On the last of the two days, the stage-coach 
had brought him all the way from Groton in Massachusetts ; starting 
for that purpose early in the morning, stopping at Concord for the 
passengers to dine, trundling them through Charlestown about the 
time the evening lamps were lighted, and finishing the whole distance 
of rather more than thirty miles in season for supper. For his first 
day's journey, there had been no such eligible and expeditious con- 
veyance. The Boston stage-coach, in those days, went no farther 
than Groton in that direction. His father's farm-horse, or perhaps 
that of one of the neighbors, had served his turn for the first six or 
seven miles ; his little brother of ten years old having followed him 
as far as Townsend, to ride the horse home again. But from there 
he had trudged along to Groton on foot, with a bundle-handkerchief 
in his hand, which contained all the wearing apparel he had, except 
what was on his back. 

[Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, v. 249, 250.] 

It has been said that the first public conveyance between 
Boston and Groton was a covered wagon, hung on chains for 
thoroughbraces ; but this was probably subsequent to the 
time of the advertisement. It was owned and driven by 
Lemuel Lakin, but after a few years the owner sold out to 
Dearborn Emerson. 

The following advertisement from the "Columbian Centi- 
nel," June 25, 1800, will give a notion of what an undertaking 
a trip to Boston was at the beginning of the century : — 

' Now Congress Street. 



The subscriber respectfully informs the public that he drives the 
Stage from Boston to Groton, running through Lexington, Concord, 
and Littleton, to Groton : Starts from Boston every Wednesday 
morning, at 5 o'clock, and arrives at Groton the same day ; Starts 
from Groton every Monday morning, at 7 o'clock, and arrives at 
Boston the same day at*4 o'clock. Passage through, 2 dols. per 
mile, 4(f 

Danborn Emerson. 

Seats taken at Mr. Silas Dutton's in Royal Exchange Lane. 
Newspapers supplied on the road, and every attention paid to con- 

The given-nanne of Emerson was Dearborn, and not " Dan- 
born," which is a misprint. Two years later he was running 
a stage-coach from Groton to New Ipswich, New Hampshire; 
and on the first return trip he brought three passengers, — 
according to the "History of New Ipswich" (page 129). Emer- 
son was a noted driver in his day ; and he is mentioned with 
pleasant recollections by the Honorable Abbott Lawrence, in 
an after-dinner speech at the jubilee of Lawrence Academy? 
on July 12, 1854, as appears from the published account of the 
celebration. Subsequently he was the landlord of one of the 
local taverns. 

It is advertised in " The Massachusetts Register," for the 
year 1802, that the — 

GROTON Stage sets ofJ from J. and S. Wheelock's [Indian 
Queen Inn], No. 37, Marlboro'-Street [now a part of Washington 
Street, Boston], every Wednesday at 4 o'clock in the morning, and 
arrives at Groton at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, same day ; leaves 
Groton every Monday at 4 o'clock in the morning, and arrives in 
Boston at 6 o'clock in the afternoon, same day. (Pages 19, 20.) 

It seems from this notice that it took three hours longer to 
make the trip down to Boston than up to Groton, — of which 
the explanation is not clear. In the Register for 1803, a semi- , 


weekly line is advertised, and the same length of time is given 
for making the trip each way as is mentioned in the Register 
of the preceding year. 

About the year 1807 there was a tri-weekly line of coaches 
to Boston, and as early as 1820 a daily line, which connected 
at Groton with others extending into New Hampshire and 
Vermont. Soon after this time there were two lines to Bos- 
ton, running in opposition to each othsr, — one known as the 
Union and Accommodation Line, and the other as the Tele- 
graph and Despatch. 

One of the drivers for the Telegraph and Despatch line was 
Phineas Harrington, popularly known along the road as "Phin" 
Harrington. He had orders to take but eight passengers in his 
coach, and the trip was made with remarkable speed for that 
period. " Phin " was a man of small size ; and the story used 
to be told of him that, on cold and stormy nights, he would 
get inside of one of the lamps fixed to the box, in order to 
warm his feet by the lighted wick ! He passed almost his 
whole life as a stage-man, and it is said that he drove for 
nearly forty years. He could handle the reins of six horses 
with more skill than any other driver in town. 

William Shepard and Company advertise in "The Groton 
Herald," April 10, 1830, their accommodation stage. "Good 
Teams and Coaches with careful and obliging drivers will be 
provided by the subscribers." Books were kept in Boston 
at A. M. Brigham's, No. 42 Hanover Street, and in Groton at 
the taverns of Amos Alexander and Joseph Hoar. The fare 
was one dollar, and the coach went three times a week. 

About this time George Flint had a line to Nashua, and 
John Holt another to Fitchburg. They advertise together in 
the Herald, May i, 1830, that "no pains shall be spared 
to accommodate those who shall favor them with their cus- 
tom, and all business intrusted to their care will be faithfully 
attended to." The first stage-coach from this town to 
Lowell began to run about the year 1829, and John Austin 
was the driver. An opposition line was established soon 
afterward, and kept up during a short time, until a com- 
promise was made between them. Later, John Russ was 


the owner and driver of the line to Lowell, and still later, 
John M. Maynard the owner. Near this period there was a 
coach running to Worcester, and previously one to Amherst, 
New Hampshire. 

Fifty years ago General Thomas Adams Staples was a 
well-known stage-proprietor. He was a man of large frame 
and fine proportions, and is still remembered by many resi- 
dents of the town. He was born in Boston, on July 20, 1S04, 
and died at Machias, Maine, on November 13, 1880. 

The following is a list of some of the old drivers, who were 
well known along their respective routes. It is arranged in 
no particular order and is by no means complete ; and the 
dates against a few of the names are only approximations to 
the time when each one sat on the box. 

Lemuel Lakin was among the earliest, ; and he was fol- 
lowed by Dearborn Emerson. Daniel Brooks drove to Boston 
during the period of the last war with England, and probably 

Aaron Corey drove the accommodation stage to Boston, 
through Carlisle, Bedford, and Lexington, for a long time, and 
he had previously driven the mail-coach. He was succeeded 
by his son, Calvin, the driver for a few years, until the line 
was given up in 1850. Mr. Corey, the father, was one of the 
veterans, having held the reins during thirty-two years ; he 
died March 15, 1857, at the age of seventy-three. 

Isaac Bullard (1817-30), *William Smart (1825-30), George 
Hunt, Jonathan Buttrick, Obadiah Kendall, Albert Hayden, 
Charles Briggs, Levi Robbins, James Lord, Frank Brown, Silas 
Burgess, Augustus Adams, William Dana, Horace Brown, 

Levi Wheeler, Timothy Underwood, Bacon, Horace 

George (1838-45), Lyman William Cushing (1842-45), and 
Joseph Stewart, — these drove to Boston. After the stages 
were taken off, "Joe" Stewart was the driver of the passenger- 
coach from the village to the station on the Fitchburg Rail- 
road, which ran to connect with the three daily trains for 
Boston. The station was three miles away, and now within 
the limits of Ayer. 

Among the drivers to Keene, New Hampshire, were 


Kimball Danforth (1817-40), Ira Brown, Oliver Scales, 
Amos Nicholas, Otis Bardwell, Abel Marshall, the brothers 
Ira and Hiram Hodgkins, George Brown, Houghton Law- 
rence, Palmer Thomas, Ira Green, Barney Pike, William 
Johnson, Walter Carleton, and John Carleton. There were 
two stage routes to Keene, both going as far as West Towns- 
end in common, and then separating, one passing through 
New Ipswich and Jaffrey, a northerly route, while the other 
went through Ashby, Rindge, and Fitzwilliam, a southerly 

Anson Johnson and Beriah Curtis drove to Worcester ; 
Addison Parker, Henry Lewis Lawrence, Stephen Corbin, 
John Webber, and his son, Ward, drove to Lowell ; the broth- 
ers Abiel and Nathan Fawcett, Wilder Proctor, and Abel 
Hamilton Fuller, to Nashua. 

Micah Ball, who came from Leominster about the year 1824, 
drove to Amherst, New Hampshire, and after him Benjamin 
Lewis, who continued to drive as long as he lived, and at his 
death the line was given up. The route lay through Pepperell, 
Hollis, and Milford. 

The forerunner of this Amherst stage was a one-horse ve- 
hicle, which used to go over the road each way two or three 
times a week, and carry the mail. It began to run about the 
year 1820, and took passengers as occasion required. 

Other reins-men were John Chase, Joel Shattuck, William 

Shattuck, Moses Titus, Frank Shattuck, David Coburn, 

Chickering, Thomas Emory, and William Kemp, Jr. 

The sad recollection of an accident at Littleton, resulting 
in the death of Silas BuUard, is occasionally revived by some 
of the older people. It occurred on February 3, 1835, and 
was caused by the upsetting of the Groton coach, driven by 
Samuel Stone, and at the time just descending the hill be- 
tween Littleton Common and Nagog Pond, then known as 
Kimball's Hill. Mr. Bullard was one of the owners of the 
line, and a brother of Isaac, the veteran driver. The " Colum- 
bian Centinel," February 5, 1835, contains the following ac- 
count of the affair : — 


From £?'iggs^s News Room Bulletin. 

On Tuesday afternoon [February 3], as the Groton and Keene 
mail stage was returning to this city, in a narrow pass of the road 
in Littleton, one of the fore wheels of the stage came in contact 
with the hind wheel of a wagon, which suddenly overturned the 
stage. — There were eleven passengers in the vehicle at the time, 
who, with the exception of Mr. Silas Bullard, of this city, and Mr. 
Washington Shepley, of Groton, escaped uninjured. Mr. Bullard 
was seated with the driver at the time of the accident, and was 
thrown, with great violence, to the ground, the stage falling imme- 
diately upon him. His collar-bone and two of his ribs were broken, 
shoulder blade dislocated, and otherwise injured. He was con- 
veyed to a private dwelling, where he has the best medical aid, but 
his recovery is very doubtful. Mr. Shepley's injuries were of, an 
internal nature, but not such as to prevent his immediate return to 
Groton. A passenger states that no blame can be attached to the 

Mr. Bullard died on February 5, and the Centinel of the 
next day pays a worthy tribute to his character. 

Besides the stage-coaches the carrier wagons added to the 
business of Groton, and helped largely to support the taverns. 
The town was situated on one of the main thoroughfares lead- 
ing from Boston to the northern country, comprising an im- 
portant part of New Hampshire and Vermont, and extending 
into Canada. This road was traversed by a great number of 
wagons, drawn by four or six horses, carrying to the city the 
various products of the country, such as grain, pork, butter, 
cheese, eggs, venison, hides ; and returning with goods found 
in the city, such as molasses, sugar,, New-England rum, coffee, 
tea, nails, iron, cloths, and the innumerable articles found in 
the country stores, to be distributed among the towns above 
here. In some seasons it was no uncommon sight to see 
forty such wagons passing through the village in one day. 

In addition to these were many smaller vehicles, drawn by 
one or two horses, to say nothing of the private carriages of 
individuals who were travelling for business or pleasure. 

For many of the facts given in this paper I am indebted 


to Moses Gill, an octogenarian of Groton, whose mind is cjear 
and body active for a man of his years. Mr. Gill is a grand- 
son of Lieutenant-Governor Moses Gill, and was born at 
Princeton, on March 6, 1800. He has kept several public 
houses in Groton, already mentioned, besides the old brick 
tavern situated on the Lowell road, near Long-sought-for 
Pond, and formerly known as the Half-way House. This 
hotel came within the limits of Westford, and was kept by 
Mr. Gill from the year 1842 to 1847. In his day he has 
known personally seventy-five landlords doing business be- 
tween Davenport's tavern in Cambridge, — which formerly 
stood opposite to the once celebrated Porter's hotel, — and 
Keene, New Hampshire ; and of this number, only seven 
are thought to be living at the present time. 

No. IX. 







Historical Series, No. IX. 


The earliest public document of the town is a pamphlet en- 
titled : Bye Laws | of | Groton | relative to Schools ; | and | 
Instructions | of | the School Committee. | 1805. || Cambridge 
printed by William Hilliard. 1806. pp. 12 ; to which are 
appended the " Committee's Instructions." pp. 3. It appears 
to be in the nature of a report, which was accepted at a town- 
meeting held on November 18, 1805. It is drawn up with 
considerable care, and comprises thirteen Articles for the gen- 
eral guidance of the School Committee. Article i describes 
the various Districts, and gives the names ofso many house- 
holders at the beginning of the present century, — of which a 
few are now wholly forgotten, — that I print the entire Article 
in order to revive the recollection in regard to the others. It 
is given line for line with the original. 

The sites of some of these houses may be learned by an 
examination of Mr. Butler's Map of Groton, made from a sur- 
vey during the years 1828 and 1829, and published in 1830. 
The dwellings of Abel Prescott, Jonas Gilson, Nehemiah 
Whitman, Joseph Sawtell, and William Bancroft all appear, 
while Joseph Bennet's house is represented on the map by 
" Wid. Bennett" northwesterly of Baddacook Pond; Elisha 
Young's by Widow Young, who lived easterly of Long Pond ; 
and Peter Ames's by Bulkley Ames, Esq., near Brown Loaf. 
John Fisk dwelt where Stephen Kendall did, when the Map 

was made. " The causeway, called Swill Bridge," was between 
the homesteads of Eber Woods, Jr., and Joel Davis, a short 
distance west of the present railroad bridge ; " Capell's mills" 
were near the site of the Tileston and Hollingsworth paper- 
mills ; Nod-road led from Capell's mills to the district known 
as Nod, in the vicinity of the cross-roads below the soapstone 
quarry ; " Naumox place" is in the neighborhood of a long, low 
hill or ridge, known as Naumox, west of the road to East Pep- 
perell, near the Longley monument, and running parallel with 
the road; "the Presbyterian Meeting house " stood opposite 
to the present entrance of the Cemetery, where Walter Shat- 
tuck lived. The site of "the brickyard, near Abel Prescott's 
land," is unknown to the present generation. 

Twelve Article i. That there shall continue to be twelve School 

defined & Districts in the town, except as herein after mentioned, de- 
numbered, fjnedby the limits and boundaries herein after expressed, and 
to be henceforward called and known by the numerical de- 
nominations following. 

School District No. I. Beginning at the Causeway near 
to and northerly of Capt. Jephthah Richardson's tavern, 
thence running southerly and southeastwardly, as the Coun- 
ty road goes, to the brickyard, near Abel Prescott's land ; 
extending northerly to the guide post in the crotch of the 
roads northerly of the house, where Isaac Bowers now lives ; 
westerly towards Jonathan Farwell's to the northeast corner 
of the Farnsworths' land; easterly to the crotch of the 
roads, ^ where Jonas Gilson now lives ; also down the back 
road from the Meeting house by Peter Ames' house to Ne- 
hemiah Whitman's farm, and on the Harvard road to the 
lane south of the dwelling house of Joseph Sawtell 2d, and 
on the road by the dwelling house of Rufus Moors to Jon- 
athan Fisk's farm ; including the inhabitants on both sides 
of said roads except Joel Lawrence. 

No. II. Beginning at the crotch of the roads near the 
dwelling house of Ebenezer Hopkins, thence running west- 
erly by Deacon Amos Farnsworth's house to Page's bridge, 
so called ; thence, as the County road goes, to the crotch 

i The word near is interlined before " where Jonas Gilson now lives." — Ed. 

of the roads near Morgan place, so called ; thence by Ma- 
jor Moors' and Levi Stone's to the crotch of the roads south 
of John Fisk's house ; thence towards Groton Meeting 
house, as the road goes till it comes to the lane, north of 
Joseph Allen's house, called Russell's lane ; including the 
inhabitants on both sides of said roads and within said lim- 
its, and also the occupants of the farm owned by Joel Law- 
rence, where he now lives. 

No. III. Beginning at the crotch of the roads westerly 
of William Bancroft's house, near where Ebenezer Hopkins 
now lives ; thence running northerly, as the road goes, to 
Capt. Levi Kemp's, including said Kemp's farm, and ex- 
tending from said William Bancroft's house to the cause- 
way, called Swill Bridge, and thence, as the road goes, by 
Amos Davis' to the road aforesaid, and extending easterly 
by Ezra Farnsworth's to Broad meadow, and from Jonathan 
Farwell's towards Capt. Richardson's to the northeast cor- 
ner of the Farnsworths' land ; and from said Kemp's to 
Timothy H. Newman's shop ; including all the inhabitants 
on both sides of said roads and within said limits, except 
said Newman. 

No. IV. Including that whole section of the town, which 
lies on the westerly side of Nashua river. 

No. V. Beginning at the guide post in the crotch of the 
roads between Silas Parker's and Isaac Bowers', thence run- 
ning northerly, as the road goes, by Job Shattuck's to Nau- 
mox place, where Jonathan Pratt lately lived, and from the 
causeway, near Capt. Richardson's tavern, by Wilder She- 
pie's to Capell's mills, at the bridge over Nashua river ; 
and so down the river to include William Nutting's farm, 
and the inhabitants on the Nod-road, so called, and on the 
road from said William Nutting's to Silas Parker's, and 
thence by James Sheple's to Martin's Pond, inclufling the in- 
habitants on both sides of said roads and within said limits, 
and also William Farwell's farm, and the farm, where Oli- 
ver Lakin lately lived, lying easterly of said limits. 

No. VI. Beginning at Naumox place, so called, and 
thence running northerly, as the County road goes, by John 
Lawrence's to the river, and thence, as the road goes, by 
Lemuel Lakin's and Ebenezer Procter's to Dunstable line, 

and so by Dunstable line to Thomas Bennet's, and by the 
road leading- over Cold spring, so called, to said Naumox 
place ; including Capt. Simeon Williams' farm, lying near 
said limits, and all the inhabitants on both sides of said roads, 
and within the limits aforesaid. 

No. VII. Beginning at the gravelly hill on Dunstable 
road, near the Presbyterian Meeting house, thence running 
easterly, as said road goes, to Dunstable line, and bounding 
northerly on the limits of School District No. VI, and in- 
cluding all the inhabitants on both sides of said road, and 
within the limits aforesaid; and also including Ezekiel 
Fletcher's farm, so called, lying southerly of said road. 

No. VIII. Beginning at a little brook, or stream, be- 
tween Joseph Bennet's house and the house of Job Shat- 
tuck 3d, thence running easterly and northerly, as the road 
goes, by the farm, where Oliver Fletcher lately lived, to 
Dunstable line ; thence running easterly by Dunstable line, 
southerly by Tyngsborough line, and westerly by Westford 
line, to the road leading by David Prescott's house, and so 
on by said road leading by Timothy Woods' house to Bad- 
dacook brook ; including all the inhabitants on both sides 
of said roads and within said limits, and also including Eber 
Woods' farm on the north, and Jotham Woods' farm on the 
south, of said limits. 

No. IX. Beginning at the crotch of the roads west of 
Jonas Gilson's house, thence running northerly, as the road 
goes, to Martin's pond ; thence running easterly, as the 
road goes, by the Widow Susannah Shed's house to the little 
brook, or stream, between the houses of Joseph Bennet and 
Job Shattuck 3d ; thence running southerly by the house 
of Phinehas Parker over Baddacook brook to Nahum Woods' 
house, including said Parker's farm, and said Woods' farm ; 
thence to Jonas Green's house, including the land, whereon 
he now lives ; thence to Amos Ames' house ; thence to 
Nehemiah Whitman's house, as the road goes, including 
said Ames' farm and said Whitman's farm ; thence to the 
place of beginning, including all the inhabitants on both 
sides of said roads, and within said limits. 

No. X. Beginning at the brickyard, near Abel Prescott's 
land, thence running southeasterly, as the County road goes, 


to Littleton line, and easterly, as the County road goes, to 
Westford line, and northerly down Boiden's lane to Amos 
Ames' farm, and northeasterly, as the town way goes, by 
the widow Nash's house, and the house, where John E. Ross 
now lives, over Brownloaf brook to a place, called the Saw- 
mill dam ; and running from said County road at Stephen 
Farrar's tavern southerly and southwesterly, as the road goes, 
till it comes to Rufus Moors' farm ; including all the in- 
habitants on both sides of said roads and within said limits. 
No. XI. Beginning at Snake hill, so called, thence run- 
ning southeasterly, as the road goes, by Sandy pond, till it 
comestotheCounty road near AaronBigelow's, thence running 
westerly, as said County road goes, to a small house, where 
Oliver Blood 3d now lives, including the land, which he 
now occupies, and running from said Bigelow's easterly, as 
the County road goes, to Littleton line, and running north- 
erly from the school house at said County road, near where 
Caleb Symmes now lives, as the town way goes by Elisha 
Young's to Rocky hill, so called, near Tobacco pipe plain ; 
including all the inhabitants on both sides of said roads and 
within said limits ; and also including the occupants of 
the farm lying easterly thereof, formerly owned by Daniel 
Farwell ; and also including all the inhabitants living south- 
erly of the County road aforesaid to Harvard line. 

No. XII. Beginning at the crotch of the roads near 
Morgan place, so called, thence running southeasterly, as 
the County road goes, by Stone's sawmill, so called, to the 
small house, where Oliver Blood 3d now lives ; and from 
said sawmill southerly, as the County road goes, to Harvard 
line ; including all the inhabitants on both sides of said 
roads, and living southerly and westerly thereof to the lines 
of Harvard and Shirley ; and also including all the inhabi- 
tants living on the road leading from the crotch of the roads 
south of John Fisk's house to Stone's mill, and on the road 
leading from the crotch of the roads aforesaid to John Park's 
house, and all within the limits aforesaid. 


AT a meeting of Groton School Committee Nov. 30th 
A. D. 1805, 

Voted to adopt the following instructions, viz. 

Preamble. 1 HE school committee of Groton, deeply im- 

pressed with the importance of proper instruction and gov- 
ernment in the schools in this town to the rising genera- 
tion, and to the community at large, considering their re- 
sponsibility for the promotion of the most useful knowl- 
edge and correct morals among those, who attend our 
schools, and having a due predilection for ancient sentiments, 
manners, and customs, which, in the opinion of the great- 
est and wisest men, are built on the soundest principles of 
reason and morality, and have a powerful tendency to make 
society virtuous and happy, as well as feeling an abhorrence 
of the absurdities of infidelity and the spirit of innovation, 
which threaten ruin to all social order and religion, think it 
necessary, in discharge of their duty, to give the following 
instructions to the several teachers of the schools in said 
town, which they require them strictly to observe, viz. 
The bible I. The bible, which affords the best lessons of morality 
in schcrais. ^"^ religion, must be read in all the schools, at least a por- 
tion of it, in the forenoon, and another, in the afternoon, ei- 
ther by the Instructor, or by a class of such scholars, as can 
read with propriety, according to his discretion. All those, 
who can read well enough to belong to the bible class, must 
be required to supply themselves with bibles for their use 
in schools. 
Instructors 2. The Instructors are all required to pray with their 
° P'^Y' respective schools at the opening of the school exercises, in 
the morning, and at the close of those exercises in the even- 
ing, immediately after reading the holy scriptures, either 
extemporaneously, or by deliberately and solemnly reading 
a suitable form of their own composition, or taken from 
books on the subject of prayer, and to require their scholars 
to rise and attend with sobriety during that religious ser- 

3. The Schoolmasters are carefully to inspect the man- instruc- 
ners of their pupils, frequently inculcating lessons of virtue ^"Jl mo'-"'^" 
and wisdom, humanity and benevolence, upon them, and "'''y- 
constantly correcting all the vices, which they perceive in 

them ; always considering, that morality is the only solid 
basis of a good education. 

4. Next to morality in point of importance is the knowl- 
edge of the English language, or the art of reading, then 
writing, and the knowledge of figures, all which must be 
attended to and pursued according to their respective utili- 
ty. And those, who write, must be required to furnish Pupils to 

' ' *■ be suppli- 

themselves with proper books, and carefully preserve their edwith 
books for inspection at the time of examination, that the ^q"]j'"5 
committee may be able to judge of the improvements, which 
they have severally made. 

5. Those, intrusted with the care of schools, are remind- Subordi- 
ed, that due subordination must be established in their res- j^o^i^'^J ™" 
pective schools, in order to their being useful and respecta- 
ble. Lenient measures will be preferred to coercive and 
severe ; but if the former do not avail, the latter must be ^"JJ[^ " 
adopted. " Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, 

but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." 

6. Uniformity of books in all the schools would contribute Uniformi- 
to the interest of learning, as well as to the convenience recom-° 
and relief of the Instructors. The committee, therefore, ™™ded. 
recommend the following, as the most eligible, viz ; Per- 
ry's Spelling book and Dictionary, Dana's Selections, A- 
merican Preceptor, Beauties of the Bible, Adams' Correct 
Reader, and his Arithmetic (2d or 3d edit.), Pike's A- 
bridgement, and Alexander's English Grammar.^ 

7. The Schoolmasters are all directed to read these in- instruc- 

. . . .11 1 tions to be 

structions to their respective schools, as soon as may be con- read, 
venient after receiving them, and are strictly enjoined to re- 
turn the copies immediately after the expiration of their and re- 
term of service to the town clerk, in order to be entitled to 
their wages. 

A true copy, 


Clerk of 
sd. comm. 

1 Constitutions, &=€. interlined. — Ed. 

The copy of this edition of the By-laws, in my possession, 
is bound up at the beginning of a blank book, in which are 
kept the school records of District No. ii, from March 25, 
1806, to January 25, 1838. This District lay in the southerly 
quarter of Groton, and constitutes now a part of the township 
of Ayer. The book contains the proceedings of the various 
school meetings held in the District, and gives a few statistics 
in regard to the number of scholars, etc. There is a second 
volume, covering the period from March 7, 1838, to March 3, 
1869, which contains similar matter to the first. At the be- 
ginning of the book is bound up a pamphlet entitled : Ex- 
tracts I from the | Revised Statutes | of the | Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts, | Chap. XXIII. | together with the By-laws 
of the I Town of Groton, | in relation to Schools. || Lowell 
Journal Press, 1837. pp. 17. This pamphlet also describes 
the limits of the several Districts in town, as they existed at 
the time, and mentions the names of many householders. 
These two volumes will soon be placed in the Library of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society. As a sample of their 
contents, I print from Volume I. the proceedings of several 
meetings, as follows: — 

At a School Meeting at the School-house in District N° 1 1 in the 
Southerly part of Groton legally warned & assembled this 25"" day 
of March 1806. The following Votes were passed. Viz. 

ist. Voted & Chose M' Saml Farnsworth Moderator. 

2d. Voted & Chose Caleb Symmes Clerk. 

3d. Voted & Chose Capt Samson Farnsworth a Committee to 
hire a School Mistress. 

4'i Voted that the Mistress' board be put up to the lowest bidder 
— M' Sam! Peirce being the lowest bidder the Mistress board was 
struck off to him at Ninety Nine Cents a Week. 

5* Voted that the school begin the first Monday in May next. 

6"' Voted that Capt. Samson Farnsworth be a Committee to 
warn the next School meeting. 

7"' Voted that four days at least shall be a legal warning : for 
next School Meeting. 

8th Voted that the meeting be dissolved & it is dissolved 

Attest. Caleb Symmes, Clerk. 

At a School Meeting at the School House in District N° ii in 
the Southerly part of Groton legally warned and Assembled this 
twenty fifth day of August 1806, the following Votes were passed. 

ist. Voted & Chose Capt. Samson Farnsworth Moderator. 

2. Voted that the old School House be sold at Auction to the 
highest bidder. M' Elijah Peirce being the highest bidder it was 
struck off to him at thirty two Dollars. 

3. Voted that the building a new School house be put up at 
Auction to the lowest bidder. M' Samuel Peirce being the lowest 
bidder it was struck off to him at one hundred & Ninety eight 

4* Voted & Chose M' Elisha Young & M' Thomas Gass a Com- 
mittee to hire a School Master. 

5* Voted that the Master's Board be put up at Auction to the 
lowest Bidder. 

M' Elijah Peirce being the lowest bidder the Master's Board was 
struck of to him at eight shillings & six pence a Week. 

6* Voted that the Wood be put up at Auction to. the lowest 

Caleb Symmes being the lowest bidder it was struck off to him at 
eight shillings & six pence a Cord. 

7"? Voted that M' Elisha Young be a Committee to measure the 

8* Voted that the School begin the first Monday in January 

9'!" Voted that this Meeting be dissolved & it is dissolved 

Attest Caleb Symmes, Clerk. 

September I5"> 1806. 

This day I sent to Oliver Prescott Esq the names of 52 Children 
whose Parents belong to this district to be recorded. & 1 Death. 

The following is the number of Children resident in School dis- 
trict N° II in the southerly part of Groton the first day of Septem- 
ber 1806. that are upwards of 4 & under 18 & twenty one Years of 
Age taken in the Month of September Agreeable to the bye Laws 
of said Town by Caleb Symmes, Clerk, of Said District. 


Girls. Boys. 

Elisha Young . . . ... . . 4 

Samuel Peirce ... . ■ i i 

Elijah Peirce ... .... 2 

Henry Farwell . . . 2 

Joseph Abbot 3 

Samuel Farnsworth 2 2 

Caleb Symmes ... 3 3 

Capt. Samson Farnsworth .... ... 2 

Aaron Williams . . i i 

Wido' Phebe Crouch i 2 

Abel Sawtel 3 2 

Oliver Blood i 

John Boit i 

Thomas Gass . . 2 

Joseph Wyeth _£ _2^ 

23 19 



At a School meeting at the School House in District N° 11 in the 
Southerly part of Groton legally warned & assembled this twenty 
seventh day of March 1807. the following Votes were passed. Viz. 

I St. Voted & Chose M' Elisha Young, Moderator. 

2d. Voted & Chose Caleb Symmes, Clerk. 

3d. Voted & Chose Caleb Symmes a Committee to hire a School 

4* Voted that the Mistress' board be put up to the lowest bidder. 
M' Elijah Peirce being the lowest bidder it was struck off to him at 
one Dollar a Week. 

5* Voted that the School begin the first monday in may next. 

6'!" Voted that this meeting be dissolved & it is dissolved 

Attest, Caleb Symmes, Clerk. 

The following is the number of Children resident in School Dis- 
trict N° 1 1 in the southerly part of Groton the first day of Septem- 
ber, A. D. 1807 that are upwards of 4 and under 18 & 21 Years of 
age taken in the month of September agreeably to the bye Laws of 
said Town by Caleb Symmes, Clerk of s'' District. 


Girls. Boys. 


Samuel Farnsworth i 

Caleb Syitimes 3 2 

Capt. Samson Farnsworth 2 

Aaron Williams i i 

Thomas Gass 2 

Joseph Wyeth .... . . . . . i 2 

Oliver Blood . . .2 

Abel Sawtel 3 i 

Wid° Phebe Crouch i 2 

Elijah Peirce . . . . i 2 

Samuel Peirce i i 

Elisha Young . . 4 

18 16 

Total 34 

At a School meeting at the house in District N° 11 in the south- 
erly part of Groton Legally warned and assembled this third day of 
December 1807 the following Votes were passed Viz 

ist Voted and Chos Elisha young moderator 

2 Voted and Chos Samuel Farnsworth Clark 

3 Voted and Chos Elisha young and Elijah parce a Commitee 
to hire a master 

4 Voted that the massters board be put up at auction to the 
lowest bidder Elijah Parce being the lowist bidder the masters 
board was struck of to him at one Dollar and fifty Cents a week 

5 Voted that the School should begin the first monday in 

6 Voted that the squadron would find thar one wood 

7 Voted that the meeting bee dissolved and it is dissolved 

atest Samuel Farnsworth Clerk pro tern 

At a School meeting in the School House in district N°, in the 
Southerly part of Groton legally warned & assembled this twenty 
third day of March 1808 the following Votes were passed, viz. 

ist. Voted & Chose Capt. Samson Farnsworth Moderator. 
2dly. Voted & Chose Caleb Symmes, Clerk. 
3d Voted & chose M' Sam! Farnsworth a Committee to hire a 
School Mistress. 


4"' Voted that the Mistress' board be put up at auction to the 
lowest bidder M' Samuel Peirce being the lowest Bidder it was 
struck o& to him at Ninety nine Cents a Week 

5th Voted that the School begin the first monday in May next 

6* Voted & Chose Caleb Symmes & M' Samuel Farnsworth a 
Committee to find out if possible, who it is that has damaged the 
School House & report 

7* Voted that this meeting be dissolved & it is dissolved 

Attest Caleb Symmes, Clerk. 

The following is a list of the Number of Children resident in 
School-District No. 11. in the Southerly part of Groton, the ist Day 
of September 1808 ; that are above 4 years of age & under the age 
of 21 & 18. taken in the month of September agreeably to the bye 
laws of said Town, by Caleb Symmes Cl'k of said District. 

Samuel Farnsworth . 
Caleb vSymmes .... 
Capt. Samson Farnsworth 
Aaron Williams 
Thomas Gass . 
Thomas Wood . 
Joseph Wyeth . 
Oliver Blood . . 
WidP Phebe Crouc 
Adam Hill . 
Abel Sawtel . . 
Elijah Peirce 
Samuel Peirce . 
Elisha Youne 































At a School meeting in the School House in District No. 11, in 
the Southerly part of Groton legally warn'd and assembled this 
13* day of October, A. D. 1808. the following Votes were passed, 

ist. Voted & chose Capt. Samson Farnsworth, Moderator. 

2'^ Voted to have but one person for a Committee to hire a 

3^ Voted & chose Mr. Samuel Farnsworth a Committee to hire 
a School-master. 


4* Voted that the Master's board be put up at Auction to the 
lowest bidder. 

Mr Samuel Peirce being the lowest bidder it was struck off to 
him at one Dollar & fifty Cents a week. 

5th. Voted that the School begin the second Monday in Novem- 
ber next. 

6th. Voted that each one bring a load of Wood to the School 
House in three Weeks from this day & that each one cut the Wood 
he brings 

7"'- Voted that this Meeting be dissolved, and it is dissolved 

Attest. Caleb Symmes, Clerk. 

In the year 1823 District No. 10 was divided, forming a 
new district, No. 13; and in 1828 District No. i was also 
divided, making No. 14, — the line of division being James's 
Brook. The territory north of the brook constituted District 
No. 14, while the part south of it continued as No. i. On 
March 7, 1870, the Selectmen were "directed to dispose of 
School Houses Nos. 3 and 5, according to their discretion." 
Under this authority No. 5 was sold, but No. 3 was kept, and 
of late has been called the Lawrence School, whenever it has 
been used. 

The town of Ayer was incorporated on February 14, 1871, 
and taken for the most part from the town of Groton. The 
new township included Districts Nos. 11 and 12; and soon 
afterward the method of designating the several schools by 
numbers was discontinued. On March 3, 1873, a committee 
was appointed to suggest suitable names for the different dis- 
tricts, and on April 7, 1873, they made a report, which was 
adopted by the town. The next year, however, the plan was 
slightly modified, and on March 2, 1874, the town voted to 
change the names so as to read as follows : — 

No. I, Butler School. No. 8, Trowbridge School. 

No. 2, Moors School. No. 9, Willard School. 

No. 4, Dana School. No. 10, Prescott School. 

No. 6, Hobart School. No. 13, Chaplin School. 

No. 7, Chicopee School. No. 14, Winthrop School. 

West Groton, Tarbell School. 


These names were all closely connected either with the his- 
tory of the town or with the neighborhood of the schools. In 
this list five of the early ministers of the town — viz., Willard, 
Hobart, Trowbridge, Dana, and Chaplin — are represented, 
but the names are applied without any special reference to 
locality. With the two exceptions of John Miller and Dudley 
Bradstreet, the list includes all the ministers of the town 
during the time it formed a single parish, a period of one hun- 
dred and seventy years. It was fit that Mr. Butler's name 
should be associated with one of the school Districts. The 
historian of the town had been the principal of the Academy 
during eleven years, though not in continuous succession. 
The family of Moors had lived for a long time in the neigh- 
borhood of Schoolhouse No. 2, and the family of Tarbell was 
closely identified with the village of West Groton. Deane 
Winthrop, a son of Governor John, was one of the original 
grantees of the town, and his name stands at the head of the 
earliest list of Selectmen appointed by the General Court. 
Colonel William Prescott, the commander of the American 
forces at the battle of Bunker Hill, was born in Groton, and 
his family name has always been a distinguished one in its 
annals. Chicopee is an old and familiar designation of a 
district in the north part of the town. 

It is worthy of note that, in the early town-records, the 
terms " angles " and " squadrons " were, for many years, used 
for what are now called school districts. This use of them 
did not disappear until the latter part of the last century. 

The following subscription paper, among the manuscripts 
of the Massachusetts Historical Society, is of some interest, 
in connection with the account of the schools given by Mr. 
Butler on page 219 of his History: — 

Groton Janf yf 10* 1739. 

Wee the Subscribers Do Joyntly & Severally Promis To pay 

or Cause to be paid the Severall Sum or Sums of money Perfixt or 

Anex'd to Each of our Names : Respectively To be Expended 

towards the Building Finishing Compleating or Erecting of a 


Schoole house att the North East Corner of the Town of Groton : 
as Witnes our hands the Day & year first above written. 

John Lakin 
John Sheple 
Dudley Bradstreet : 
William Nutting : 
Jason Williams 

2 : 

3 : 
I : 




- 0- 

- 0- 





Peter hobart 


- 0- 


Nathaniel Larence Junior 




Jonas Varnum 

I — 



Nathaniel Blood 




Jeremiah Shattuck 


- o- 




The Groton Public Library was established in the year 
1854, and started at the suggestion of the Honorable Abbott 
Lawrence, who offered to give the sum of five hundred dol- 
lars for that purpose, on condition the town would appropriate 
the same amount. The following letters, found among the 
papers of Mr. Lawrence after his death, and now among the 
manuscripts of the Boston Public Library, are connected with 
its history, and have a local interest. They tell their own 
story, and need no further introduction from me. The first 
letter is in Mr. Butler's handwriting, and, from the style, 
evidently his composition. 

Groton, February 13, 1854. 
Honored Sir, — 

Your communication of the 3d instant, in relation to establishing 
a town library in the place of your nativity, has been received and 

Knowledge and virtue generally diffused among the mass of the 
people, are elements necessary to the support and maintenance of 
our New England institutions, — civil, moral, ecclesiastical, and 
social. Books are the customary vehicles of conveying knowledge 
to the mind. Hence, in order to perpetuate the institutions, privi- 
leges, and advantages of which we find ourselves in the possession, 
to improve, enlarge, and transmit them to generations yet to come, 
in purity, books best adapted to the purpose should be made acces- 
sible to all, and all should be encouraged toljse and improve them. 
Indeed, if a well-selected public library could effect nothing more 
than to divert the minds of youth from the mischievous products of 
morbid imaginations which at present load the shelves and coun- 
ters of our book-shops, and to give a taste for truthful history, biog- 
raphy, morality, and science, as in progress they might be able to 
comprehend, an invaluable object would be obtained by it. 

Individually entertaining these views on the subject, your gen- 
erous proposal cannot but be to us otherwise than most accept- 
able ; and we hope and trust that a majority at least of our fellow- 
townsmen, entertaining the same or similar views, will accept your 


munificence, and in good faith fulfil the conditions you have annexed. 
The earliest opportunity shall be embraced to lay the matter before 
the people in their municipal capacity, and of the result you shall 
be duly apprised. 

We deem the present inhabitants of Groton very fortunate in 
having contemporary natives of the place so abundantly able and 
so generously disposed to afford them the means and facilities 
of acquiring useful knowledge themselves, and of educating the 
generations which are to follow. 

With sentiments of high esteem, and of grateful acknowledg- 
ments for your beneficent offer, we subscribe ourselves 
Your most obedient and humble servants, 

Geo. S. Boutwell, 
John Boynton, 
Noah Shattuck, 
Caleb Butler, 

Joshua Green. 
Hon. Abbott Lawrence. 

Groton, March 13, 1854. 
Sir, — 

I have the honor, in pursuance of the unanimous vote of the 
inhabitants of Groton, to enclose a copy of the proceedings in re- 
lation to your proposition for a public library in this town. 
I am, with much respect, 

Your obedient servant, 

John W. Parker, 

Town Clerk. 
To the Honorable Abbott Lawrence, Boston. 

In Town Meeting, Groton, March 6, 1854. 
Whereas, the Honorable Abbott Lawrence has generously pro- 
posed to present to this town the sum of five hundred dollars 
for the purpose of establishing a public library, and whereas it 
is believed that such an institution will be of eminent advantage 
to this and succeeding generations : therefore — 
Resolved, That the cordial thanks of the inhabitants of Groton 
be presented to the Honorable Abbott Lawrence for his liberal 
proposition in aid of the cause of education and good morals. 

Resolved, That the Town Clerk furnish Mr. Lawrence with a copy 
of the proceedings of the town. 

In Town Meeting, Groton, March 6, 1854. 

Resolved, That George S. Boutwell, George F. Farley, Joshua 
Green, David Fosdick, and John Boynton be a committee with 
authority to appropriate the sum of five hundred dollars, if they see 
fit, for the foundation of a public library, for the benefit of all the 
inhabitants of the town. 

Resolved, That said library be subject to such rules and regula- 
tions as the town may from time to time establish, not contrary to 
the Laws of the Commonwealth. 

Resolved, That said committee confer with Mr. Lawrence in rela- 
tion to his proposed donation, to the selection of books, and to 
such other matters as may be for the interest of the library; and 
that said committee be authorized to expend the money appropri- 
ated to this object, to procure a suitable room for the accommoda- 
tion of the library, and also to prepare and present to the town 
such by-laws as they may deem necessary for the government of 
said library. 

Groton, April 17, 1855. 
Honorable Abbott Lavi^rence, — 

Sir, — Agreeably to your generous proposition of February 3, 
1854, to present to the town of Groton the sum of five hundred 
dollars, to establish and maintain a public library, upon condition 
that the town shall raise a like sum for the same purpose, the un- 
dersigned have the pleasure to inform you that the town unani- 
mously voted to accept the condition, and appropriated five hundred 
dollars for that object. This sum has now been expended, and the 
library nearly completed. The committee, therefore, take the lib- 
erty to draw on you for five hundred dollars ; and they have no 
doubt that the town will accept your further proposition, " that at 
any time within three years from this date, I [you] will pay another 
sum of five hundred dollars, upon condition that the town raise the 
same amount, to be applied to the purchase of books for the said 

With great respect and esteem. 

Your obedient servants, 

Geo. F. Farley, \ 

Geo. S. Boutwell, f- Committee on the 

Joshua Green, ) ^'^'"'^''-^ "f *^' ^own. 


Mr. Lawrence's death took place on August i8, 1855, — ^ 
few months after the date of this letter, — which event pre- 
vented the town from accepting his second offer of another 
sum of the same amount, under a similar condition. 

The library now contains more than four thousand volumes, 
and circulates annually not far from ten thousand books. Its 
first catalogue was printed in the year 1855, a second in 1862, 
and a third in 1875, — supplementary to which there appeared 
later a " List of New Books for 1875 and 1876" (pp. 12), and 
a "List of New Books for 1877 and 1878 " (pp. 15). 

The last catalogue was published in 1885, making a volume, 
of 192 pages, which contains this article as an Introduction. 

The late Willard Dalrymple, Esq., of Charlestown, is an- 
other man who remembered the place of his birth. He died 
on July 26, 1884, and a clause in his will reads as follows : — 

To my native Town of Groton aforesaid, I give the sum of four 
thousand (4,000) dollars, to be known as the '' Dalrymple Fund," 
of which the income only of two thousand (2,000) dollars shall be 
applied to the purchase of books for its Public Library, and the 
income only, of two thousand (2,000) dollars shall be applied, un- 
der the direction of the Overseers of the Poor of said town, to the 
treatment of worthy American citizens of said town, suffering from 
disease of or injury to the eye. 

Akin to the subject of the Public Library, I make an 
extract from Mr. Butler's History of Groton, as follows : — 

About the year 1796, a number of individuals associated for the 
purpose of establishing a Social Library [in Groton]. What the 
number of the associates was, or of the books with which they com- 
menced, is not known ; but they both must have been very small, 
for in the year 18 10, when they assumed a corporate form under 
the statute of March 3, 1798, there were less than forty members, 
and only one hundred and thirty volumes. This association never 
after received any material increase of members or addition to 
their books. 

In the year 1828, a second social library association was formed, 
and a subscription for the purchase of books made, which amounted 
to about $185. Of this sum Luther Lawrence, Esq., and his four 


brothers, though not at the time residents in Groton, contributed 
about one half. The selection of books for this library was judi- 
cious, embracing more modern publications, and those better adapted 
to the taste and instruction of readers generally, than those of the 
first library. 

The proprietors of the second were mostly proprietors of the first 
also ; and the natural consequence was, the first was almost entirely 
neglected, while the second received some considerable addition in 
members and volumes. Under these circumstances committees 
were chosen by each association, in 1830, to take measures to unite 
the two. This was harmoniously effected, the rights and privileges 
of all to use the books being justly and equitably preserved. (Pages 
225, 226.) 



[This article and the two following ones appeared originally in " The 
Groton Landmark,'' and now, somewhat revised, they are reprinted in this 
Series.— S. A. G.] 

From the earliest period of our Colonial history training- 
days were appointed by the General Court for the drilling of 
soldiers ; and at intervals the companies used to come to- 
gether as a regiment and practise military exercises. From 
this custom arose the modern militia muster. 

During a long time, and particularly in the early part of 
the present century, many such musters were held at Groton. 
A training-field often used for the purpose was the plain, sit- 
uated near Capell's Mills, a mile and a half north of the vil- 
lage. Sometimes they were held on the easterly side of the 
Great Road, and at other times on the westerly side. During 
my boyhood musters took place, twice certainly, on the east- 
ern slope of the hill on the south side of the Broad Meadow 
Road near Farmers' Row ; and also, once certainly, in the 
field lying southeast of Lawrence Academy, where High 
Street now runs, though it occurred before that street was 
laid out. Musters have been held on land back of Charles 
Jacobs's house, and in a field near the dwelling where Benja- 
min Moors used to live, close by James's Brook in the south 
part of the town. 

A well-known military company of the Volunteer Militia, 
and one of the oldest in the State, was the Groton Artillery, 
organized on October 19, 1778, with William Swan as its first 
captain. In later times, known as Co. B, Sixth Massachu- 
setts Militia Regiment of Infantry, it took part in the War of 
the Rebellion. It went into the public service on the memo- 
rable occasion when Governor John A. Andrew called for 
three-months men to go to Washington, and it was one of 
the companies forming the Sixth Massachusetts MiHtia Regi- 
ment which passed through Baltimore on April 19, 1861. 


After an eventful experience at the outset, the regiment re- 
turned to Boston on August i. In the autumn of the same 
year the Twenty-Sixth was recruited in Lowell, the Old Sixth 
furnishing the nucleus, and they left Boston for Ship Island, 
Mississippi Sound, on November 21. The officers in the two 
regiments were for the most part the same ; and again the 
Groton Artillery company shared the lot and fortune of the 
new organization. It formed Co. B, and served with dis- 
tinction during three years. In the summer of 1862, after a 
call for nine-months men, the Sixth Regiment was ordered 
into camp at Lowell, and recruited to its full strength. When 
it left for Washington on September i, a company went with 
it which was an offshoot of the Groton Artillery. And still 
later the same regiment was mustered into service for one 
hundred days, on July 20, 1864, and left for Washington on 
the same day, again accompanied by the representatives of 
the old Artillery. 

Upon the re-organization of the Massachusetts Volunteer 
Militia, under Chapter 204, Acts of 1876, by an order dated 
July 14, 1876, this historic organization was designated Co. F, 
Tenth Regiment. For one reason or another its former life 
and prosperity now seemed to desert it, and by an order 
from the Adjutant General's ofi&ce, under date of August 15, 
1878, the company, with several others at the same time, was 

Near the beginning of the present century the Governor of 
the Commonwealth visited Groton, and was received with 
military honors by this same company. The fact is given in 
the "Columbian Centinel," July 10, 1802, as follows: — 

His Excellency Governor Strong, and Lady, are on a tour to 
the western part of the State of New-Hampshire. 

We hear from Groton, that on Thursday last [July 8], upon the 
departure of Governor Strong from that place, where he had tar- 
ried the preceding night, the artillery company in that town, com- 
manded by Capt. [James] Lewis fired a salute of sixteen guns in 
honor of the Commander in Chief. 


By a coincidence, just one hundred years before this time, 
Joseph Dudley, Governor of the Province, visited Groton, and 
was wrelcomed with a military reception. In the autumn of 
1702, Chief Justice Samuel Sewall accompanied Governor 
Dudley through Middlesex County on a tour of inspection ; 
and in his Diary, under date of October 28, he writes : — 

Went to Groton, saw Capt. [Jonas] Prescot and his company in 
Arms. (Gov' had sent to them from Dunstable that [he] would 
visit them.) Lancaster is about 12 Miles Southward from Groton. 
Concord is 16 Miles f and Ten-Rod from Groton. 

[Massachusetts Historical Collections, VI. fifth series, 67.] 

Captain Prescott was a blacksmith, and the ancestor of a 
long hne of distinguished families. He was the grandfather 
of Colonel William Prescott, the commander of the American 
forces at Bunker Hill, who was himself the father of William 
Prescott, the lawyer and jurist, and the grandfather of Wil- 
liam Hickling Prescott, the historian. 



In the year 1829 several barns were burned by incendiaries 
at Groton. The fires all occurred at different times during 
the early part of the evening, at intervals of about a month ; 
and the excitement ran so high over the matter that a public 
meeting of citizens was held, in order to take some action in 
regard to it. In the village and neighborhood the town was 
divided into districts ; and watchmen were appointed to patrol 
the streets during the night time. 

For the following facts I am indebted to Mr. George 
Dexter Brigham, the town clerk, who distinctly remembers 
the events. 

Judge James Prescott's barn, situated in the south part of 
the village, was burned on the evening of May 4, which was 
the first Monday of the month ; and the fire broke out just 
after the monthly meeting of the Torrent engine company, 
No. I. 

John Peabody's barn, near the Unitarian meeting-house, 
was burned on the evening of June i, — again the first Mon- 
day of the month, just after the monthly meeting of the engine 

Judge Samuel Dana's barn near the north end of Farmers' 
Row, Major Samuel Lawrence's two barns on Farmers' Row, 
and Sewall Rockwood's at Squannacook — or West Groton, 
as it is now called — were also burned within the next three 
or four months, Mr. Rockwood's in October. The third fire, 
which is the one probably that burned Judge Dana's barn, 
took place on the Sunday evening before the first Monday in 
July, which evening came on the 5th of the month. 



The custom of ringing a nine-o'clock bell in the evening 
was kept up at Groton for many years, and it was not finally 
discontinued until May, i860. During a considerable period 
before its discontinuance, the bell in the Unitarian meeting- 
house was rung one year, and then the bell in the Ortho- 
dox meeting-house the next year, thus alternating with each 
other. The usage started at a time when watches were 
scarce and clocks not common, and the ringing was the signal, 
among those who heard it, for going to bed. The inhabitants 
in general had no other means of telling the time, and they 
were wont to keep early hours. Sun-dials were not in com- 
mon use, but often a noon-mark was found cut in the floor of 
many a kitchen. In the early days of our Colonial history 
there was a law against the selling of liquor " after nine of 
the Clock at night ; " and this fact may have had some con- 
nection with the custom. 

The practice of tolling the bell on the death of a person is 
also passing into disuse. After the bell had ceased to toll, the 
age of the decedent was struck by rapid blows in succession. 
This frequently gave to the neighborhood a clew as to the 
person who had died, as it is generally known in a small 
community who is seriously ill. 

Of the old bell in the Unitarian meeting-house a story is 
told, which is without doubt apocryphal. It is found in 
Charles James Smith's Annals of Hillsborough, New Hamp- 
shire (Sanbornton, 1841), and is as follows : — 

An excellent church bell designed for this forest girt sanctuary 
was purchased by Col. Hill [about the year 1745], but was never 
brought here as the settlement was soon after abandoned, and the 
Meeting house burned. The chime of this same bell has long 
echoed among other hills than these, and summoned another people 
than this, to worship the God of their fathers. It is now upon one 
of the churches in Groton, Mass. Page 12.) 



John M. Gilson of Groton, Mass. — The name of Mr. Gilson 
having been printed McGilson in the Groton Landmark, his son 
furnishes an item to that newspaper, May 2, 1885, stating that 
" through the mistake of a sign painter when he was in the livery 
business over thirty years ago, he got the prefix of 'Mc' to his 
name. His name," he adds, " is not MeGilson nor McGilson, but 
John Mekeen Gilson.'' 

The editor of the Register has been informed that the mistake 
of the sign painter caused many of his friends to suppose his name 
was McGilson, and that he was afterwards generally called and 
addressed as McGilson. 

IFrom The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (XXXIX. 
287), for July, 1885.] 

So general was the impression that Mr. Gilson's name was 
McGilson, I gave it as such in a list of tavern-keepers printed 
in the last number of this Series. 

S. A. G. 

No. X. 





Historical Series, No. X. 



The earliest book of church records in Groton was begun 
by the Reverend Dudley Bradstreet, fourth minister of the 
town. The volume was missing for a long while, though the 
date of its loss is unknown. Three years ago I succeeded in 
finding it many miles away, in the possession of a family of 
Groton origin, from whom I procured it. It is certain that 
Mr. Butler used it when he wrote his History. It is a small 
quarto volume, with a parchment cover, containing now 
55 pages. Some of the leaves have been cut out, and 
others have been badly mutilated. The early marriages, bap- 
tisms, and admissions to the church are entered for the most 
part in Latin, but the remainder of the record is mainly in 
English. The various entries have not been made in regular 
order, but for the convenience of use they are now arranged 
in chronological sequence. The large figures enclosed within 
brackets indicate the pages of the record-book, which were not 
originally numbered ; but in arranging the entries they are 
sometimes, particularly near the end, thrown out of place. 
Occasionally I have inserted in the text the names of persons 
or places, in order to identify them ; but in all cases such 
additions are given in brackets. 

The Reverend Dudley Bradstreet was the son of Dudley 
Bradstreet, of Andover, and the grandson of Governor Simon 

Bradstreet. He was born at Andover on April 27, 1678, and 
graduated at Harvard College in the class of 1698. He was 
the first master of the grammar school in his native town, 
where he was teaching as early as the year 1704, and perhaps 
earlier. It is highly probable that he was connected with this 
school when he received his call to Groton. Miss Sarah 
Loring Bailey, in her " Historical Sketches of Andover," 
gives some facts concerning his family. 

At the town meeting in Woburn, March, 1 703-4, — accord- 
ing to the Reverend Samuel Sewall's History of that town 
(pages 213, 214), — a committee were chosen to provide a 
teacher, as was required in all towns, who subsequently re- 
ported to the Selectmen that they had made an unsuccessful 
application to the College authorities for a candidate, and 
then had gone to Andover in order to propose to Mr. 
Bradstreet, who had agreed to come until they could procure 
another teacher. He afterward certified that he had been 
" personally at Wooburne at the time of Charlestown Court," 
and no scholars appearing he had returned home. For this 
service they paid him his expenses, and eighteen shillings in 
silver as a gratuity. The proceeding was an artifice on the 
part of the town to save the cost of a schoolmaster and yet 
to avoid a legal presentment. 

Mr. Bradstreet married Mary Wainwright on May 4, 1704, 
and had three sons, Simon, Dudley, and Samuel, and perhaps 
other children ; of these Dudley and Samuel were born at 
Groton. He was preaching here as early as March, 1706, 
and was ordained on November 27 of the same year. 

The following references to Mr. Bradstreet's settlement 
are found in "The Early Records of Groton, Massachusetts, 
1662-1707" (pages 128-130). 

At a town meting leagly warned in Aprell the 9 1 706 this town 
did by uot ass you may see on the othar side of this Leafe and all 
so did uot that they would giue mr Bradstret one hondred pounds 
mor as money to satell him selfe in this towne our minister during 
life Joseph Lakin Town Clark for Groton 

The following entry contains the paragraph referred to, as 
"on the othar side of this Leafe." 

Groton At a town meting legally warned this Aprell the 9 1706 
the town ded By uot giue Mr bradstret thre scoar pounds thirty 
pounds in money and thirty pounds ass money in priuison ass 
foloeth indon come 2 shilings one bushil and ry 3 shilings one 
bushil and Wheat 4 shilings and Porke 2 Pance a Pound and Beef 
ox beef a 3 hapenc a pound and i fard[ing] a bound for cowbeefe 
for Peeas 3 shilin . . . bushil 

and at the same meting thay did all so chose Insin farnsworth 
Simon Stone Joseph lakin to discorse mr bradstret ass the town 
consarnin his sattlement with us this year 

Joseph lakin dark 

Groton May the aight day 1706 At a town meting legally 
worned for to see consarning M' brodstreets settlement the town ded 
by uot declare that thay would make a good house of 38 foot long 
and 18 foot wide and a leantow of 11 foot wide all the langht of 
the house and they will finish it comfortably this house to be of 
14 foot betwen iants Joseph lakin Clarck 

and the same meting ded all so by uot declare thay would buld a 
good letell barne for a mr brodsteret 

Groton May the aight 1706 at the same meting the towne did 
by uot chuse a comity to lat out M' brodstreets hous and barne and 
to by a place for the minister to build 
the men chose for the same 
Thomas tarbol 
Joseph lakin 
Danil Cady 
Samuell Parkar 
Nathanil Wods 

Joseph lakin Clark 

Groton June the 20 day 1706 at a town meting leagaly warned 
the toown did declear by uot that thay would cleare and pay with 
and to m' Brodstret this halfe year Joseph Lakin clarck 

Groton June the 20 day 1706 At a town meting legaly worned 
the towne did declear by note that thay woud pay the one halfe of 
the purch of that place which We are about to by of Captin Parker 

Joseph Lakin Town Clarcke 

a comity for 1706 

this towne 

Groton June the 20 day 1706 at a town meting legaly worned 
the town did agre with Zachariah Sawtell and Sargent lawrnc for 
12 thousand of marchiantabel brick and 3 thousand of samman 
brick the 12 thousand at 18 shilins par thousand and the 3 thousand 
at half prise 

Groton June y" 20 1706 at a town meting legaly warned this 
towne did by uot giu to Jonathan Kamp that contribuchan money 
which m' Bradstrat hath now in hand 

Joseph lakin dark 

The house " of 38 foot long and 18 foot wide," built under 
the vote of May 8, 1706, for Mr. Bradstreet's occupation, is 
still standing and in a state of good preservation. It is situ- 
ated on Hollis Street, southeasterly of the Burying Ground, 
and was occupied by A. W. Churchill when the map — oppo- 
site to page 247 — in Mr. Butler's History was made. The 
bricks ordered by the town on June 20 were intended, doubt- 
less, for this dwelling. The house is now owned by Charles 
Bradstreet Baldwin, and its present measurements conform 
very nearly to the dimensions, as given in the records ; but 
the lean-to has long since disappeared. 

In the summer of 17 12 Mr. Bradstreet was dismissed from 
his charge in this town, presumably for his Episcopal tenden- 
cies ; and soon afterward he went to England to apply for 
orders in the Anglican Church. It appears from a copy of 
the original document in Latin, made in a manuscript volume 
by President John Leverett (page 90), now deposited among 
the archives of Harvard University in the College Library, 
that he was ordained a deacon by the Bishop of London, on 
April 18, 1714, and a priest one week later, on April 25. 
He died during the next month, only two or three weeks 
after receiving priestly orders, and tidings of his death 
reached this country in the following summer Chief Jus- 
tice Samuel Sewall writes in his Diary, under the date of 
August 5, 1714, — when the ship arrived, bringing the news, 
— that " Mr. Dudley Bradstreet quickly after he had received 
Orders, dy'd of the small Pocks." An allusion to Mr. Brad- 
street is found in Wilkins Updike's " History of the Episcopal 


Church, in Narragansett, Rhode Island " (page 450), where 
an abstract of the Proceedings o-f the Society for the Propa- 
gation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts is given. It is there 
stated : — 

From 1 7 13 to 171 4. — "For Marblehead or Narragansett was 
designed the Rev. Mr. Dudley Bradstreet, a native of the country, 
and a proselyte of their way by education, grandson of Governor 

The Reverend Gershom Rawlins, a graduate of Harvard 
College in the class of 1705, officiated at Mr. Bradstreet's 
funeral. May 16, 1714 ; and on the next day he wrote to the 
Bishop of London, mentioning the fact. The letter is found 
in the " Historical Collections relating to the American 
Church " (III. 98, 99), and begins : — 

Sidney Street, near Leicester Fields 
May 17, 1714. 

My Lord, — The uneasiness which my personal address seemed 
to give your Lordship yestermorn has obliged me to take this 
method to acquaint your Lordship that I last night performed y' 
last office for my late friend and countryman M' Bradstreet who I 
may venture to say was very deserving of the favour and esteem 
wherewith your Lordship was pleased to honour him whilst alive. 
Your Lordship not being at leisure to hear me explain myself 
upon the favour I came yesterday to entreat for him since his death, 
I beg leave to do it here. There are people my Lord in New Eng- 
land who will not fail to say (perhaps from the pulpit) when they 
hear of Mf Bradstreet's death, that it was a Judgment on him for 
his Apostasy ; for so they qualify conformity. . . . 

Mr. Bradstreet died of small-pox, which was the reason why 
he was buried at night. His family were with him in London 
at the time, and were left in destitute circumstances. Accord- 
ing to Mr. Rawlins's letter, they were probably helped by the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 
under whose auspices Mr. Bradstreet had gone to England. 

S. A. G. 



Dudley Bradstreet was married to Mary 
Wainwright May 4° 1704. 

[First Page.] 

Simon Bradstreet borne March 1° IJOSjG 
Friday at Andover 

Baptizd by m\ Barnard March 10° following 

Dudley Bradstreet borne at Groton March 
12° friday 170718 Baptized 14° Inst 

D. Bradstreet 
Anno EpochcB Christiance 

Caleb Trowbridge 

His Book 

Thomas Tarbell 

Townsend Catharine 

Amen ampng y' heathen 



[2] 1706 

D. Bradstreet in officium Pastorale apud Grotonenses 
Nov, 27° inauguratus. 


Dec. 21. Lydia Farnesworth, filia Benj. & Maria Farnesworth 
Sarah Longly filia Joannis & Sarase Longly. 

Jan. 12. Benj. Stone filius Simonis & Saraa Stone 

Unice Gilson filia Joseph! & Elizabethse Gilson 

Feb. 16. * Abigail Green filia Eleaz' & Elizabethae Green 

March 2. Elizabetha Holdin Filia Stephani ac Hanna Holdin 
Hannah Shattock Filia Joannis & Mariae Shattock 
30 Timothaeus Barron Filius Mosis & Sarase Barron 
Jacobus Scripture filius Samuelis & Saraae Scripture 
Samuel Barron filius Samuelis & Abigail Barron 

April. 13 Isaac Robbins filius Roberti & Marise Robbins 
Amoz Cady filius Danielis & Abigail Cady 
Jonathan filius Ephraim & Maria Pierce 
Jonathan Fisk filius Jacobi & Tabithae Fisk 
Aaron Woods filius Nathanaelis"& Eleonorse Woods 
Eleazer Tarbol filius Thomae & Eliz- Tarbol — 
Abigail Filia Samuelis & Hannae Woods 
Joseph Filius Samuelis &c Hannse Woods 
Thomas Woods Filius Thomae & Hanna Woods. 
Ebenezer filius Abrahee & Abigail Lakin 
Henricus, filius Henrici & Abigail Willard Lancastriae 
Phineas Farnesworth filius Jonathae & Ruth Farnes- 



. 2. 













Oct". 5 Jeremias filius Danielis & Saraae Lawrance 

26 Simon Filius Ephraimi & Mariae Pierce. 
Nov. 16. Faith Page Filia Jonath£e& Mariae Page. 


Feb. 15 Guilielmus Longly Filius Joannis & Saraae Longly 
Eleonora Davis Filia Nathanielis & Rosse Davis 

— 29 Ebenezer Gilson, fil, Joannis Gilson (defuncti) & Sara« 

March 14. Dudleiius Bradstreet fil, Dudleij & Mariae Bradstreet 

— 20 Susannah Filia Samuelis & Susannae Fisk. 

April ii.° Sarah Farnesworth Filia Joannis & Hannae Farnesworth. 
May 9° Experientia filia Samuelis & Susannas Fisk. 
June 6 Hezekiah Whetcomb filius Hezekiae & Hannse Whetcomb 

Ruth Shattock filia Guil. Shattock {Suo yure) 
July 4 Hannah Shattock filia Guil. Shattock (suo Jure) 
Augt 22. Lydia Stone filia Simonis & Saras Stone 
Sep''.' 5. Isaac Gilson, filius Josephi & Elizabeths Gilson 

— 19 Elizabeth Farnesworth Filia Ebenez. & Eliz^ Farnesworth 

Elisabetha Bennet filia Jacobi & Hannas Bennet 

Januar 30. Jacobus Green filius Eleaz. & Elisabeths Green 
Feb. 27 Patientia filia Joannis et Mariae Shattock 

Ruth filia Samuelis & Elisabeths Shattock 
March 20 Maria Derbyshire filia Joannis & Maris Darbyshire 

Oliver filius Joannis & Maris Derbyshire (jure Maris 
April 10. Hannah filia Samuelis & Abigail Barron 

24. Samuel Filius Samuelis & Eliz'= Cummins. (Illegit.) 
May 8. Joseph Blood filius Josephi & Hanns Blood (Illegit : jure 
Maria Blood filia Josephi & Hanns Blood, (jure Matris) 
15. Zerubbabel Kemp filius Zerubbabel & Maris Kemp 

Joannes Kemp filius Zerubbabel & Maris Kemp 
22 Isaaicus Parker filus Isaaici & Ruths Parker (Illegit.) 
Martha Woods fiha Samuelis & Hanns Woods. 
Unice Scripture fiha Samuelis & Saras Scripture. 
29 Rachel filia Nathanielis & Ross Davis. 
July 10 Moses filius Nathanielis & Eleanors Woods. 

[4] 1709 

July 17 Elizabetha Filia Benjaminis & Elizabetha Lakin (Illegit) 

Sep' 4 Aaron Farnesworth filius Benj? et Mariae Farnesworth 

Nathan Barron filius Mosis & Sarase Barron 
Oct. 2. Matthias Farnesworth filius Ebenez'se & Eliz^ Farns- 
9 Priscilla Farnesworth filia Jonathas & Ruthae Farnes- 
1710. worth 

Jan. 8. Joannes Longly filius Johannis & Saraae Longly 
March 26. Jonathan Page fil= Jonathae & Mariae Page 
Richardus fiP Rich"* & Saraae Warner 

Catalog^ Infantium q. apud Dunstable S. Baptismate in 
Ecclesiam admissi fuere April, 22? 17 10 

April 23° Samuel Cummins fil, Joannis & Priscillae Cummins 

Oliver^ Cobourne filius Thomae & Marise Cobourne 

Susannah Blanchard ) j^,. t u- » «i-- t>i i_ j 
\ filiae Josephi & Abiae Blanchard 
Jane Blanchard ) 

Abigail Harrod filius \_sic\ Guilielmi & Esther Harrod. 


Feb. II. Dorothea Kemp, Filia Zerubbabel & Mariae Kemp. 

March 4° Wilhelmus Parker filius Isaaici & Ruthse Parker. 

April. 15. Reuben filius Nathanielis & Eleonorae Woods 

22. Stephen Barron filius Samuelis & Abigail Barron 
29. Maria Prescot Filia Jonae, & Thankfull Prescot 

May 27 Martha Farneworth Filia Benjf & Mariae Farneworth 

June 10. Samuel Bradstreet filius Dudleij & Mariae Bradstreet 






► Farwell fil'. Josephi & Hannaae Farwell 


July 22. Jonathan Boyden filius Jonathae & Elizabethae Boyden 
Elizabetha Boyden filia Jonathae & Elizabethae Boyden 
Joannes Farwell filius Josephi & Hannae Farwell 

1 712 Martha Davis filia Nathanielis & Rosse Davis. 

Jan. 27 Jonas Longly filius Joannis & Saraae Longly. 



March 2'? 1714'' Caleb Trowbridge In Officium Pastorale fuit apud 
Grotonenses Inauguratus 


Aprill 10: Josephus Page filius Jonath'* & Marise Page 
Sarah Sawtell filia Zechar? & Merciae Sawtell 


Aprill 1 7 : Abigail filia Mosis & Saraae Barron 


May 22 Sarah Sanders & 2 Liberi Johannes & Elizebethg Prior" 

Marit"' Johan: Page 


Jun 12"" Jonathan Filius NatW & Alis Woods 

Martha Filia Jonath-'" & Elizab= Boyden 

Guilielmus Filius GuilielT & Elizabeths Farewell 

Sarah Filia Jonath'" & Marise Nutting 
June 26 Jemima filia Johanis Frost & uxoris 

[Ruth, daughter of] Ebener Nutting & Uxoris [Ruth] 


T ( Abigail Filia Roberti & Marise Robbins 

Tune 10 -{ ^ „ 

^ I Natha'-' Filius Nath!' & Rosae Davis 

August 14 Hezekiah Filius Zorrubbabeli & Marias Kamp 

Octob 9* Prudentia Filia Thomae & Prudf Lawrence 

Octob 23 Esther Filia Sam" & Esther Bowers 

T-, br f th ( Dorcas Filia Benoni & Annee Boynton 

g 1 Dorothy Filia Dorothse Varnum Vidua 


Jan: i? Shebuell Filius Shebi' & Marthse Hobart 

Jan'y 8* Ephaim Filius Simonis & [Sarah] Stone 
March 25* Isaacus Fihus Eleaz: & Elizab"',"^ Green 
Aprill 15 Sam'.' filius Sam" & Dorothae Kemp 
Aprill 29 Sam? filius Saml' & Deborah Parker 

[7] 1716 

May 2o'l' Oliver Filius Calebi & Saraae Trowbridge 
June 3: Hannah Filia Danielis & Hannae Nutting 
June 10 Miriam Filia Sam"i' & Susannse Fisk 
July I Phebe Filia Abrahae & Abigailis Lakain 

Lydia Filia Johannis & Saraae Longley 
July 15 David & Jonathan filii Jacobi & Marias Pattison Gemini 

1 1 

Sep': 13 

Sep'. 16 
Sep' 30 


Apud Dunstable Bap[t]ist 
Eleazer Filius Joseph! & Abias Blanchard 
Josephus Filius Abr"'" & Marise Taylor 
Sarah Filia Johannis & Saraae Taylor 
Margaret Filia Jon'? & Margart Robbins 
Martha Filia Thomae & Martha Jewell 
Submitt Filia Jacobi & Abig" Parker 
Lydia Filia Johannis & Ruthae Frost 
Uriah Filius Ephr"? & [Abigail] Sawtell 

r Nath'^ \ 
1 1 ■< Jacobus V- Filii 

( Enosh ) Nath':' & [Anna (Scripture)] Law- 

■ Annah \ rence 

Sarah >- Filise 
Marth ) 
Novem^'iS':'" William Filius Lydiae Parker vidT uxoris Nath" Park 


March 3'' 
March 17 

Nehemiah Filius Josephi & [Jane] Jewett 
Nehemiah Filius Shebu'l & Marthse Hobart : 
(■ Josiah Filius Jacobi & Blood 

1 Susannah Filia Samuelis & Deborae Parker 
r Guilielmus Shattuck Jun' 
Aprill 14"^ } Seth Phillips Ambo Suo Jure 

( Daniel Filius Dan" & Hannas Nutting 
Daniel Filius Josephi & [Hannah] Farewell 
Sarah Filia Gu' & Tarbell 

Jerathmiel Filius Sam" & Esther Bowers 
Gershom Filius Gershomi & [Lydia (Nutting)] Hobart 
. John Filius Johannis & Ruthse Bush 

Apud Dunstab" Baptism' 
Gvi!' Filius Moses & Sarae Barron 
Dan':' Filius Dan'/ & Abigl' Shed 
Filius Dan" & Abig'J Shed 
Seth Phillips & Willf Shattuck Jun : 

Aprill 7'? 

June 30" 

Augv! 18'" . 



Nov*;' 24" 


t Abig':' 

Fill : Sam':' & [Elizabeth] Shed 
Josiah son to Joseph & Abigail Parker 


Jan7 12 

Feb. 2'': Johannes Filius Gulielmi & MargarJ Whittney 


( Simeon filius Jona"?'^ & Ruthas Farnworth 
Aprill 20? < Abigail Filia Eben^ & Ruthse Nutting 

( Maria Filia Josephi & Mariae Gilson 

May 11*: Zecharias Filius Nath"!' & Eleonorae Davis 

„ ,h ( Elizebetha Filia Phinehas & [Abigail] Parker 

^^'' ^^ i Sarah Filia Sam'!= & [Martha ?] Shedd Junf 

T d ( Leonardus Filius Phin*"? & [Abigail] Parker 

June 22" < ■ . -,° .,,. 

(. Isaacus Films Beth'* & [Lydia] Phulips 

T 1 fith / Sarah & Unice Filiae Josiae & [Sarah] Lakin 
^ ^ ' I Dan'! Shattuck Filius Gvi": Shattuck 
July 27* Sarah Filia Petri & Saraae Hobart Suo Jure 

August 3? Sarah Filia Zorrob''.' & Mariae Kemp 
Sep^ 28* [Mary] Fil Thomae & Pruds Lawrence 
Octob^ 1 2'!' Martha Filia Shebl' & Marthae Hobart 

r Filii Benjamini & [Mehitabel] Hedley 

May 3 if I Mehetabe" Filia Benja;" Hedley & [Mehitabel] his wife 

( Elizabeth Filia Abrahae & Elizebethae Mor's 
[9] 1719 
August 9':" Caleb Filius Caleb : & Hanns Trowbridge 

Petrus Filius Jacobi & Abiga! Parker 
August 16* Elizabeth Fiha Guilielmi & Margarettae Whitney 

Aprill 24* I ^^^^^^ Filius Simonis & [Sarah] Stone 
1 Amos Filius Seth: & [Lydia] Phillips 
Nehemiah & Sarah Trowbridge 
Novemb' 27* Ann Filia Jacobi & Abigl' Parker 
[10] 1723/4 

Feb' 23'' Isaac son of Simon & Sarah Stone Jun' 

Mary y= Daughter of Benj'! & Mary Parker 
David y° son of Eben' & Hannah Prescott 
Jemima y= Daughter of Moses & Susanna Willard 
Abigail y^ Daughter of Dudley & Abigail Bradstreet 
[11] 1728/9 
Feb7 23'' Silas Filius Jacobi & Abiga! Parker 

June 30: 



Fil: <^ 

Abraha & Eliz*? Mores 1 
Obadise & Rach! Sawtell I 
Luce ""• 1 Benjf & Abig! Prescott f Infantes 
Eunice L Sam! & Patience Woods J 

& Ruth The Daughter of Zechar!' & Abig! Lawrence (Suo 


/C12] I73I 
ADrill "■ I Mary Fil: Benj^ & Annae Bancroft 
1 Eunice Fil: Benj* & Annse Bennit 


Nouem''f' 14'^ John ; The Son of Gershom & Lydiffi Hobart 

Maria filia Caleb & Hannae Trowbridge 
[13] 1731/2 
Feb"^ 13 Nehem^ y= Son of Isaac & Abigail Woods 

Sam'" son of Jacob & Ruth Ames 
Feb7 27'!' Nathl Shepley y= son of Jonathan & Lydia Shepley 
March 5* Jn° y= son of Josiah & Eunice Boyden 

John y'' son of Jn? Prat & Mihittabel his Wife 

1732/3 Sybill y^ Daughter of Sam^' & Lydia Tarbell 

July 3°'? 
JanT 28' 


May 27*!' 1733 

June 3? 

June 10* 
August 19* 

[15] 1733 

Octobr 21 , 

NovT as"" 
Decf 30* 

JanT 6'? 

Jan7 13* 

Joseph son of Joseph Gilson Jun5 & Mary his Wife 
Eunice Daughter of Josiah Boyden & Eunice his 

Mary Daughter of Josiah Tucker & Abigail his 
( Eleazer Filius Gvilielmi & Hepzib";'^ Spaldin 
1 Sarah Filia Samuelis & Saraae Hartwell 
j Ruth Filia Jacobi & Sarase Shattuck 
I Mary The Daughter of Jn? & Mary Scott 
Alithea & Esther Fil: Benjf & Elizeb* Martin 
Jonathan Filius Mossis & Annae Bennit 

Oliver son of Obadiah & Hannah Parker 
Henry y° son of Isaac & Abigail Woods 
Sam" son of Sam" & Annah Wright 
Sybill y° daughter of Joseph & Mary Stone 
f Will"" son of Jonathan & Lydia Shepley 
Lois Daughter of John & Sarah Holdin 
Dorothy the Daughter of Isaac & Dorothy Gilson 
. Elizabeth y'' Daughter of John & Elizabeth Shead 

Nath'.' son of Nath" & Dorothy Lawrence 

Annas Searl suo Jure 

Jain & Rachel Lakin suo Jure — also Robert son of 

Robert & Sarah Blood 
Mary y' Daughter of Jn? Williams & [Margaret] his wife 


Jan''' 20* Margaret y^ Servant of Sam" Scripture Jun^ Suo Jure 
( Subraitt y" Daughter Edward & [Anna] Farwell 
j Abigail y= Daughter of Nathan & [Abial (Yarrow)] 

Jan? 27' 
Feb? 3" 

Ruth Fil: of Isaac Parker Junf [and Mary, his wife.] 
Zechariah & Jer^ Lawrence & Simon Laltin 
[William ? son] of James Stone /// Also Joseph son of 
Joseph Wilson 
March 10* Mary filia Johannis & [Elizabeth] Ames /// Also Sarah 

Daught of Sam' & Clark of Townshend 

March 17 Robertus Filius Johanis & Sarah Longley /// also 

Hannah filia Guil & [Mary (Farnsworth)] Tarbel 
March 24 Mary The Daughter of James & Mary Lawrence 
Aprill 28'!" Mary y" daughter of Sam!' & Prudence Cummins 
1* Dom : Sterns &c 

Ebenezer & Hannah & Ann Fil : Benj'^ Hadley 

& [Mehitabel] his wife 
Sam? son of Jonathan Shead & Sarah his wife 

Feb? lo'l 
March 3? 

May 5':" 1734 



August 25 

Sep' if 

Sep! S* 
Sep! 22? 
Sept 29 





James son of John Pratt & [Mehitable ?] his Wife 
Susannah Daghter of Cornelius & [Sarah] Whittney 
Elizabeth daughter of Sam'.' Shattuck JunT & 
his Wife 
*■ Jain Daughter of Stephen & Jain Ames 

{Deliveranc y" Wife of William Shattuck suo Jure 
Thomas son of Nath" Jr & Dorothy Lawrence Jun! 
Oliuer son of Elias & Ruth Eliot 
Dan!' son of Dan!' & [Esther] Sawtell 
- Aaron son of Ebenezer & Ruth Nutting 
Richard son of Will? & Holdin 

David son of Jonathan & Mary Pratt 
Elizabeth y= Daughter of John & [Abigail] Buckley 
Elizabeth daughter of Ebenezer & [Abigail] Blood 
( [Daniel] son of David & [Elizabeth] Sawtell 
( Phebe daughtf of Will" & Susannah Lawrence 
Annas Daughter of Ebenezer & Anias Gilson 
Thomas Trowbridge /// & /// Patience y" Daugh! of Jn» 

& Ruth Frost 
Deborah Tarbel Daughter of Sam!' & Lydia Tarbell 
MoUe y° Daugh" of John & Mary Page 


Deer i!' Nehem? son of Nath'J & Elizabeth Nutting 

Zech :^on of Zechf & [Abigail] Sawtell Jun' 
Abigail DaughV of Matthias & Abig! Farnwth 

Dec' 15* Caleb son of John & Joanna Blood 

[17] Feb 2^ William son of Wijlf & Mary'Longley 

Feb7 9'? 1734/s Lemuel son of Sam'J & Sarah Parker 

-. V, fith J David son of Jer!" & Sarah Shattuck 

(. Rachell Daughter of Stephen & Mary Pierce 


March 30* Ephr? son of Hezekiah & Joanna Sawtell 
Benj!^ son of Michael & Susannah Gilson 
Bathsheba daughter of Benj? & Mary Bennit 
Sarah Daughter of Nath" & Joanna Parker 

A '11 6"" I Hannah Fil. Nath'! & Jain Sawtell 

(Hanna Fil: Gulielmi & Hepzibethae Spauldin 

Aprill 27* Ruth Daughter of Jacob & Ruth Ames 

Abigail Daughf of Flag & of Dunstabl 

May 1 1* Isaiah son of Jason & Mary Williams 

May 18')" Jabez son of Nath & Abigail Holdin 

Eunice ( Jacobi & Katharinae Blood 

June 29* Olive Fil : < Josephi & Mari» Farwell 
Luce V. Johannis & Saraae Woods 

July 6'!" Sarah Fil Gvilielmi & Simons 

July 13"" Jonas Fil Isac & Abigalae Woods 



( Jacob son of Obad'J & Joanna Parker 

Octobr 12 < Lydia -p-, Eleazer & Hanns 

( Lydia Jonae & Lydiae Varnum 

Thomas Trowbridge son of Caleb & Hannah Trow- 
janry — John son of John & Elizabeth Burt 
Janry 25* 1735/6 Oliver son of Jonathan & Lydia Shepley 

John son of Josiah & Eunice Boyden 
Feb! i':' Thomas son of James & Sarah Shattuck 

j^ f Mary Daughter of Benj? & Anna Bancroft 

~ ^'^ I Rachel Daughter of John & Elizabeth Shead 


March 28* 


Sep! 5 ■■ 

Octr, 3" 

- 17" 


Octob' 3 1 

Novr 1 4'!" 

Deer s* 

— 19 

— 26 

Febr 6'^ 

- 13': 

— 20 

March 20"" 

April 12* 

April 14* 

, Dan!' Joseph! & Mariee Gilson 

I Jonathan Fil Jacobi & Wilson 

\ George Georgii & Lesly 

V Lucy Daughf of Jonathan & Sarah Green 
Calebs Wife & Neh^ Trowbridge before 
Cap' Thomas Tarbel & Abigail his Wife Admitted to 
full Communion — Also Sam" Hobart - Oliver Pres- 
cott Jonathan Farwel & Triphena his Wife 

Abigail Daughter of 
( Benjamin son of Will'? & Mary Tarbel 
\ Will" son of Jonathan & Sarah Shead 
(. Hannah Daughter of Edward & [Anna] Farwel 
r Solomon Son of Nathan & [Hannah (Boynton)] 
< Whipple 

(. Mary Daughter of Sam" & Elizabeth Fisk 
Jacob son of Stephen & [Rachel] Pierce 
Mary Daughter of Will" & Mary Longley 
Sarah Daughter of Amos & Lydia Farnworth 
Joanna Daughter of Nath" & Joanna Parker 

f Mary Daughter of Matthias & Abigail Farnworth 
I Dinah Daughter of Jonathan & Mary Pratt 
Phinehas son of Phinehas & [Mary (Hubbard)] Wait 
Elizabeth Daughter of John & [Margaret] Williams 
Jn? son of John & Mary Scott 
Submit Daughter of Jn? & Mary Page 
Isaac son of Nath" & Dorothy Lawrence 
Martha Daughter of Will'? & Martha Blood 
Abigail Daught' of James & Mary Stone 
AHs Daught' of Ebenezer & Elizabeth Jefts 
John son of John & [Abigail] Buckley 
Susannah Daught! of Willf & Susannah Parker 
r Solomon son of Thomas & Abigail Tarbell 
J Joseph son of Nath'.' & Susannah Smith 
I Caleb son of Isaac & Abigail Woods 
L John son of John & Sarah Cummins 

Hannah Daughter of Jonathan & Russell 

James son of James & Mary Lawrence 


May 2 2? Abigail & Elizabeth Daughters of Zechr Lawrence suo 
Mary Daughter of Josiah & Mary Farnworth 

— 29* Hannah Daughter of Caleb & Hannah Trowbridge 

June 12'!' Solomon son of Jeremiah & Sarah [(Parker) Shattuck.] 
Abel son of Benjt & Emme Stone 
Paul son of John & Lydia Fletcher 

— 19* Phebe Daugh' of Eben^ & Ruth Nutting 

July 7'!" 1737 John son of John & Sarah Woods 
Josiah son of Sam" & Anna Wright 
Sarah Daughter of Phinehas & Sarah Burt 

— 14* - Abigail Daughter of Will" & Simonds 
March s* Simon sori of Simon & Susannah Pierce 
March 12* Sybill Daughter of Joseph & Abigail Parker 

May 28* I ^'^^"^ ^°^ °^ ^'^^"^ ^ ^^'■y Longley 

( Mary Daught' of George & Lesley 

June 4? Margaret & 

{Abiah — Daughters of James & Irvine 

Mary Daughter of Abraham & Elizabeth Moar's 
Jonathan son of Jonathan & Elizabeth Gates 
Mary Daughter of Josiah & Mary Sawtell 

August 2'? Oliver Trowbridge 2'' son of Caleb & Hannae 

i'" June abig^ Filia Caleb & Hannae Trowbridge 

( David son of Jonathan & Sarah Green 
May lo* 1741 ) David son of David & Abigail Blood 

( Will" Son of Thomas & [Lydia] Smith 
June Johannes son of Caleb Trowbridge Jun' & Elizabeth &c 

Hannah also daghter &c 
Feb? 28'!' 1741/2 Jonathan 

John I Fil : Jonathse & Elizabethse Shattuck 

Elizabeth \ Qvis q^ suo Jure 



& Sarah — Filia Johannae & Sarse Lakin suo Jure 
also David — Filius Edvarda; & Hannae Farwell 
& Deborah Filia Simonis & Susannas Pierce 



Catalogus eorum q Fcedus Bap. Recognovere. 

Deer 21. 

Joannes & Sarah Longly 

Benja & Maria' Fames worth 

Jan 12. 

Joseph & Elizabetha Gilson 

Feb 1 6 

Eleaz' Green 

Mart. 2 

Joannes Shattock 


Mart. 30 

Samuel & Sarah Scripture 


Moses & Sarah Barron 


Samuel Barron 

April 13 

Robert* Robbins. 

■ — 27 

Ephraim Peirce 

June 2 

Jacobus & Tabitha Fisk 

Nathanael Woods. — 


Thomas & Ehz^ Tarbel 

July 13 

Thomas & Hannah Woods 

— 27. 

Abraham Lakin 

Sep^ 21. 

Jonathan Farnesworth. 

Oct? 5. 

Daniel & Sarah Lawrance 

Nov. 16. 

Jonathan Page 

Feb. IS 

Nathanael & Rosa Davis. 

— 29 

Sarah Gilson, vidua Joannis Gilson 

March 20 Samuel & Susannah Fisk. 

June 6 Hezekiah & Hannah Whetcomb. 

Ruth Shattock. 
July 4° Hannah Shattock 
Sept. 19. Jacobus Bennet 

Ebenezer & Ehzabetha Farnesworth 
Feb 27. Samuel Shattock 

April 24. Samuel & Elizabetha Cummins 
May 15. Zerubbabel & Maria Kemp. 
— 22. Isaaicus & Ruth Parkerus. 


[19] I7I0 

March 26. Richardus Warner. 

June 10. Josephus & Hannah Farwell 
Hi sub Dom: Bradstreet 

1^ me C Trowbridge 

Marc 22 Sarah Sanders 
June 26 John Frost & Ruth his Wife 
August 2 1 Cornelius Whittney & Sarah his Wife 
Octob' g'!" Thomas Lawrence & Prudence his Wife 

Jan I? Shebuell Hobart & Martha his Wife 
Aprill 29* Sam" Parker & Deborah his Wife 
June 3 Daniell Nutting Cum Hannah ; Uxore Ejus 

Novem*" 11 Nath" Lawrence & [Anna] his Wife 
( William Tarbell & Mary his Wife 
I Seth Phillips & Will? Shattuck Juf 
Novem'^' 17 Daniell Shed & Abigail his Wife 

Aprill 20'? Josephus Gilson & Maria Ejus Uxor 
May 20* Sam" Shed JunT & [Martha ?] his Wife 
June 22'* The Wife of Seth Phillips 

T 1 ^th f Josiah Lakin & [Lucy] his Wife 
••"^ 1 Dan" Shattuck 

July 2 7* Petrus Hobart & Sarah Ejus Uxor 

May 31 Abraham Mores & Elizabeth his Wife 
August 16 Benj" Parker & Mary his Wife 

Eleazr Gilson & his wife Nath Holdin & Wife 
[20] Stephen Holdin & his wife [Hannah.] 

John Green & wife [Hannah.] 

Eleazer Green Junf & his wife 

Dan'.' Boynton 

Benjamin Bennitt & his Wife 

Stephen Boynton 

March 3'' James Stone 

John Wood & his Wife Sarah 

David Pierce & Wife Elizabeth 


Thomas Farwell & Elizabeth his Wife 

Moses Bennit & Anna his Wife 

Michael Gilson & wife — Gibson & wife 

Sam" Fisk — wife before 

John Shepley & wife — John Burt & his Wife — Jer^ 
Shattuck & Wife 

John B 

Dudley Bradstreet 

Hepzebeth Bush 

Hannah y^ Wife of Timothy Barron 
June 30'^ Moses Willard Wife After 
[21] 1728/9 
March 2'' i Eleazer Tarbell & Elizabeth his Wife 

(, Ruth Lawrence y" Daughter of Zechar^ 

1730 Reuben Farnworth & his Wife — Also Phinehas & Wife 

— Edward Farwell 

Jacob Lakin & Wife &c Josiah Boyden & Wife 

Will"? Spaldin & Wife 

Ebenezer Lakin 


May the 20* Mary y'^ Wife of Jn° Nutting Jun^ 

June lo'!" Jn? Scott & Mary his Wife 

[26] Ownd Cov* 

Nov' 18'!' 1733 John Shead & Elizabeth his Wife 

Dec' 30* Annas Searl 


Jan'?' e* Jain & Rachell Lakin 

Jan'? 20'!' Margaret The Servant of Sam" Scripture Junf 

Feb? 10* Zech!- & Jer!" Lawrence & Simon Lakin & James Law- 
rence & his wife 

May 31 Joseph Wilson 

March 27 Sam" Cummins & Prudence his wife 

May 12* Stephen Ames & Jain his wife 

John Fletcher & his wife 

May 22 Abigail & Elizabeth y= Daughters of ZecW Lawrence 

1741 David Blood & wife 


[24] i7o6 

Confessiones Src. — 
Jan 12? 1706/7 
I. Maria Parker vidua (nunc Joannis Nutting Vxor) 
no/Dvias rea, Sequentem in Ecclesia Confessionem exhibuit : 

In quantum magnam perpetravi nequitiam, & Scortatione nefaria 
in Deum atrociter peccavi baud Sine magno religionis Christians 
dedecore, necnon Suino Animae meae discrimine, Simul ac Dei 
aperto Populorum Scandalo, ac dolore : Spero Ecquidem, peccati 
ac Amentiae istius nequissimi Contritione vera Cor meum affectum 
esse. Anima mea Onere gravissimo deprimitur, quod in Dei 
foedere Sanctissimo tam false praevaricarem. Deum Coeli ac 
Terrae Effectorem quam Ardentissime quam diutissime precibus 
petivi Supplex quod veram, piamq^ in Animam meam Tristitiam 
infunderet, Et ut vitae Novitate, ac nova obedientia illi obediam, ope 
Sua divina me peccatorem feliciter Secundaret. 

Mihi maxime est in Consolatium fontem esse apertum pro pec- 
cato, Et pro Seperatione Ex imunditia, Et obnixfe precor quod in isto 
fonte me purum ex imunditia reddat Dominus. In quantum Lapsu 
meo religionem veram Contumelia affici Populoq^ ac Ecclesiae Dei fui 
offendiculo humilem me reddat Deus. Imprimis ac Prae caeteris a 
Deo quem contumelia affici deinde ab Ecclesia, populoq, Dei quibus 
fui offendiculo Condemnationem impetro et imploro. Deniq, enixfe 
rogo ut pro me Deum oretis quod (divina Aspirante Gratia) Malas 
omnes derelinquam vias et ad Jehovam revertar, ut misereatur mei ; 
& ad Deum quia plurimum Condonat. 


Octobr 8'^ 1728 

Thos : Pa — ' Ward by Eben' Farnworth & Mores Refusd to 
come to Ch Meting at my house 

Octobr 11'" 1728 Suspended / L' Hubb'^ LJ Gilson & Will? Law- 
rence appointed to Enquire in y^ Reports & Notifie him &c 

They Reported refused to Come — the Suspension Renewd 

I Desired to come to meet — but would not 
May 11* 1729 y= Same Committe appointed to notifie him to appear 

after lecture 14* 

Reported not at home / he Told Dea? Longley would not 



At Church Meeting at Pages November e'^iyso Jn° Stone & L' Boy- 
den Appointed to Notifie him to atttend y"= next meeting after Lec- 
ture ; who y" Reported they had seen him & y' s"! he would come — 
but did not (was desired to go again) he Told deac" Farwoth often 
should not put by any business to wait upon y" Church, & y' had 
done y" no harm & yy had no business with him &c 

The same Committee Reported y'^ next Lecture y' had been 
Again — but did not come however after Came & made Satis- 

[30] 1706/7 

Dec. 12. Sam! Farnesworth de Grotonia Mariae Willard de Lan- 

Jan. 3. Johannes Nutting Mariae Parker (Ambo de Grotonia 

April 17. Ebenezer Farnesworth Elizabeths Whitney. Ambo 
— 24 Daniel Cade — Abigaili Cade, Ambo de Grotonia 
1708. 1707/8. 

March 2. Abraham Byam de Chelmesfordia & Maria Fisk de 

April 19? Joannes Kitteridge de Billericai Mariae Abbott de An- 

Sepf 28 Stephanus Farr de Stow, Saraae Stone de Grotonia 

Febr. j? Isaaicus Williams de Newtonise Marthse Whitney de 

May 17. Ricardus Warnerus Saraae Gilson (Ambo de Grotonia) 

March 7° Samuel Chamberlain de Chelmsfordia Annas Gilson de 
— 15 Guil. Shattock, Abigaili Shattock. Ambo de Grotonia. 
Ambo Bastardi. 
Nov. 20 Joannes Gosse de Lancastria Maris Woods de Grotonia 
Dec' 13 Ebenezer Nutting Ruths Shattock. Ambo de Grotonia. 

July 13. Johannes Blood Joanns Nutting Ambo de Grotonia 


March 24. Jonathan Lakin Grotonise Saras Coree (vid; de Concord 


Oct? 13 Joannes Chamberlain Abagaili Woods ambo de Gro- 

Hi Per Dom : Bradstreet 

Nupt : Celebr : &c Per me C Trowbridge 

Novem'i''29* Johannes Parker Mariae Bradstreet ambo De Grotonia 

Jan7 24? Josephus Parker Abigail! Sawtell Ambo De Grotonia 
May 15 Jonathan Whitcomb Delivf Nutting Ambo De Grotonia 
Nov 22 Johannes Holding Saraa Davis ambo De Grotonia 

1716 1716 

Decem'^''2o*Guil™r Lun De Dunstable Rach" Holding De Grotonia 
Jan? if Thomas Tarbell Abigaili Parker Ambo De Grotonia 

July 25 Benj" Hazen Elizabe"^ Blanchard Ambo De Grotonia 
Novem'f 2 iV Abraham Mores Elizebe""^ Gilson Ambo De Grotonia 
Jan 14"" Josias Sawtell De Lancastria Lydiae Parker Vi'? De Gro- 

Febf 12* James Lakin to Elizabeth William both of Groton 

Aprill 30"' Jonas Prescott Jun5 Mariae Page Ambo De Grotonia 
Octob? 23'? Benj" Parker Mariae Sawtell Ambo de Grotonia 
Decern'^' 1 1 Nath" Holdin Abigail Stone Ambo De grotonia 

March 24 Guilielmus Shattuck Deliv' Pee's Ambo de Grotonia 

May 6"" Eleazer Gilson Hannse Farewell Ambo de Grotonia 
May 22 Johannes Parker Joanns Am's Ambo de Grotonia 

/■ Eleazer Nutting Abigaili Davis Ambo De Grotonia 
June 23'? -< Jona* Shattuck Elizabeths Chamberlain Ambo De 

( Grotonia 
August 1 1* Moses Bennit Annae Blanchard Ambo De Grotonia 
Sep: 2'^ Stephanus Houldin Hanns Sawtell ambo de Grotonia 
Nov*' 12* Johannes Spencer Bethis Kemp Ambo De Grotonia 
Dec*;' 9t Daniell Pierce Eleonorae Boynton Ambo de Grotonia 
dec: 24 Joseph Farwell Maria Gilson Ambo de grotonia 
March Josias Farnworth Mariae Pierce ambo de Grotonia 



Octo*" 27 
Nov : 29"" 
Jan7 3'^ 

May 22"^ 

May 24^ 
June if 

July 3I 


Ocf^' 30'^ 
Nov'!' 16* 
Febr if 
Feb: 7* 
March S'!- 
Aprill 3"^ 
May 2^ 

May 30'!' 
June 27* 

Jona'l' Parker Sarge Pierce Ambo de Grotonia 
Sam" Wood to Patience Biggelo Ambo de Grotonia 
Robert Robbins of Littleton to Elizabeth Cummins of 
Groton widdow 

Zechf Maynard of Sudbury to Hannah Waters of Gro- 
ton widow 
Eben" Prescott to Hannah Farnworth both of Groton 
Dan" Boynton to [Jemima] Brown ambo de grotonia 
Nath" Woods of Groton to Sarah Brown of Stow : 

Ephraim Pierce to Esther Sheadd Both of Groton 
Obadiali Sawtell to Rachell Parker both of Groton 

Richard Price to Sarah Coree both of Groton 

Robert Dixson to Abigail Parker Widdow both of Groton 

Eleazer Green JunT Annse Tarbell Am"?" de Groton"" 

Jonathan Shead to Sarah Barron both of Groton 
Collins Mores of Oxford to Bathsheba Woods of Groton 

These Sent to y^ Clark 
John Blanchard of Dunstable to Mary Sawtell of 

William Lawrence to Susannah Prescot Ambo de Gro- 
Joshua Hutchins to Sarah Shead both of Groton 
' John Gilson to Mary Shattuck both of Groton 

July 12'!' 
Decem'5'' 8 

Decern*;' 26* John Stone Junr To Elizabeth Farwell both of Groton 

sent to Clark 

March 27* 
Aprill 30'!' 
May 22'? 
June 13* 
Dec'!' 24'^ 

July 7t 
Febry 25 

1723 Benj? Bennitt to Mary Lakin both of Groton 
Thomas Woods to Abigail Chamberlain both of Groton 
Isaac Williams to Lydia Shattuck 
Johannes Davis Rebeccae Burt ambo de Grotonia 
Thomas Farwell to Elizabeth Pierce both of Groton 

sent to Clark 

Jerem? Shattuck to Sarah Parker both of Groton 
Jonathan Green to Sarah Lakin both of Groton 



April 27* John Farmer of Billerica to Hannah Woods of Groton 
June 3'' Johannes Woods Saraas Longley ambo de Grotonia 
June 15 David Pierce to Elizabeth Bowers both of Groton 
Sep' 14^ Nath'! Woods to y= widdow mary Derbeshire both of 

Sepf 2 if Isaac Woods to Abigail Stevens both of Groton 
Octobr 20 Dan" Farneworth to y" Widdow Abigail Shead both of 

Decern*" 29"" Sam" Tarbell to Lydia Farnworth both of Groton 
Janry 13* 1725^ Timothy Barron of Groton to hannah Fletcher of 


Jan7 27* Sam^ Shattuck Junr to Anna Williams both of Groton 
Jan7 27':'' Isaac Lakin to Elizabeth Shattuck ambo de Grotonia 
Feb? i6'? Johannes Shepley Elizabeths Boyden ambo de Gro- 
March g'J' Johannes Burt Elizabethse Nutting ambo de Grotonia 
Aprill 26*!' Ezra Farnworth to Elizabeth Lakin 

Aprill 28'!" Michael Gilson to Susanna Sawtell both of Groton 
May 3if Tim"'f>' Spaldin of Chelmsford to Thank^f Prescot of 

Nov*!' 22? Jacobus Shattuck Sarase Chamberlain Ambo de Grotonia 
Decern*;' 28'!" Jacobus Stone Mariae Farwell Ambo de Grotonia 
Jan7 12"' / 1726^7 Sam'J Fisk to Elizabeth Parker both of Groton 
March 9'!' Will"? Green to Hannah Holdin both of Groton 
March 21^' Danl' Davis to Lydia Am's Ambo de Gro? 
Aprill 2ot Dudley Bradstreet to Abigail Lakin both of Groton 
August 4* Ebenezer Hartwell of Concord to Rach" Farnworth of 

Sept: 28* Samf Cummins to Sarah Hastins // also Moses Willard 

to Susannah Hastins All of Turkey Hills [Lunenburg] 
Nov";' St Jonas Gilson to Han"? Goodridge /// also Jona*^" Page 

to Mary Farnw* all of Turkey Hills 
Nov*;' 14'!' Jacob Ames to Ruth Shattuck both of Groton 
Novem*;' 23'* Jn? Grout to Joanna Boynton both of Turkey Hills 
Dec*;' 20!'' Ebenf Tarb'f to Eliza''?' Bowers both of Groton 
Feb? 27'!' 1727/8 Sam" Davis to Sarah Boynton both of Turkey 




Feb? 28'^ Dan!' Sawtell of Groton to Esther Heald of Concord 
May 9* 1728 Joseph Stone to Mary Prescott ambo de Grotonia 
Sep? 26'!' Joseph Blanchard of Dunstab" to Rebeccah Huburd of 

Octobr 11'!' Jn° Stevens to Martha Farnworth both of Groton 
Decern'?' 26* Jonathan Shepley to Lydia Lakin ambo de Grotonia 
Feb?' 4t Nath'l Lawrence Junf to Dorothy Chamberlain both of 

March 24" 1729 Aaron Farnworth to Hannah Barron both of 


Octohf: 27'!' Jn? Lakin to Lydia Parker both of Groton 
Deer i8'I' Elias Eliot to Ruth Lawrence both of Groton 
Dec';'' 30"' Ebenezer Jefts to Elizabeth Far-worth both of Groton 
Jan? 7* 1729/30 Josiah Boyden to Eunice Parker ambo de Grotonia 
Jan? 13'!" Isaac Gilson to Dorothy Kemp both of Groton. 
Jan 28'!" Jacob Lakin to Eunice Lakin both of Groton 
Feb? 2'! Nathan Barron to Abial Yarrow ambo de Grotonia. 
Febry: 24"' Matthias Farworth to Abigail Shead both of Groton 
May 7* 1730 Nathan Whipple to Hannah Boynton both of Groton 
Janry 12"" 1 730/1 Jonathan Gates of Stow to Elizabeth Farwel of 

Jan7 28'!' Jonas Varnum to Mary Shepley both of Groton 
Feb7 9* Jer'; Norcross of Lunenburg to Faith Page of Groton 
Febr? 11* Phihf Parker Junf to Mary Kemp both of Groton 
March 26'!' 1731 Nath'J Nutting to Elizabeth Page ambo de Grotonia 
Apri'J 14'? Stephen Ames to Jane Robbins both of Groton 
April 22'' Jn? Fife to Jain Irvine both of Groton 
Aprill 27':'' David Russell to Mary Clark both of Littleton 
May is^f Ephrf Nutting to Lydia Spaldin both of Groton 
June is'!' Eleazer Lawrence Junf of Littleton to Lucy Tuttle of 

s*) Town 
Novf 4'? Jn° Kemp to Sarah Holdin Ambo De Grotonia 
Novf 30'!] Sam'J Randal of Stow to Priscilla Farnworth of Groton 
Jan? 5'!' 1 73 1/2 Shadrach Whitney of North Town [Townsend] 

to Prudence Lawrence of Groton wid. 
Jan: 6 Will^ Spaldin to Hepsibah Blood both of Groton 

Jan 13 Ebenez' Lakin to Lydia Lakin both of Groton 



March 14: 1731/2 Phinehas Wait to Mary Hubbard both of Groton 
Aprill 4* 1732 James Horesley of North Town to Exercise Jewet of 


Aprill 19'^ — Jnf Scott to Mary Chamberlain both of Groton 
Aprill 25"' — Jn? Albee to Abigail Searl both of Northtown 
Aprill 26 — Jonathan Pratt to Mary Bowers both of Groton 
July 12* Thomas Merrifield to Mary Anderson both of Groton 
Octob' 26* Ephraim Cady of Killingley to Abigail Barron of Groton 
Ditto M' Solomon Prentice of Hassanamisco [Grafton] to M" 

[Miss ?] Sarah Sawtell of Groton 
NovT 2? Dan" Farmer of Lunenburg to Elizabeth Wood of 

Novr 14'? Jn? Shead to Elizabeth Shattuck both of Groton 
Nov' 23? Josiah Willard Jun' of Lunenburg to Hannah Hubbard 

of Groton 
Jan? 4'? i732\3 Will"? Longley to Mary Parker both of Groton 
Jan? 18* 1732/3 Sam" Rite to Annah Lawrence both of Groton 
JanT3o* Sam" Cummins to Prudence Lawrence both of Groton 
Feb"^ 20'!* James Lawrence to Mary Martin both of Groton 
June 2 if 1733 John Goodridge of Lunenburg to Eunice Scripture 

of Groton sent Clark 
July s'!" 1733 Amos Woods to Hannah Nutting both of Groton 
SepI 12* Jn? Page to Mary Parker both of Groton 
Octob^ 25"" James Tufts of Medford to Phebee Woods of Groton 
Novr I? Jonathan Lampson of Concord to Elinor Blood of 

Novf 22"* Moses Woods to Esther Houghton both of Groton 
Decf 6f Nath" Parker to Joanna Stephens both of Groton 
Jan7 23'? 1733/4 Ebenez' Gilson to Annas Searl both of Groton 
[54] 1733/4 
Jan7 29* Enoch Lawrence to Sarah Stevens both of Groton 

sent to Clark 
Feb? 28'!" Will" Blanchard of Dunstable to Deliverance Parker of 

SepJ 1 8'!' Sam':' Cummings of New-Sherbourn' [Douglas] to Sarah 

Robbins of Groton 
Nov!; 7* Simon Lakin to Hannah Butler both of Groton 


Decf 5t Zecher'? Lawrence Jun^ to Sarah Lawrence both of 



Febry 12* Jonas Varnum to Lydia Boyden both of Groton 

Sent to Town Clark 
March 19'!" Sam? Bowers Jun' to Deborah Farnworth ■) ,, , „ 
March 20* Amos Farnworth to Lydia Longley — ) 
Apill if^ St.[ephen] Barron to Sybill Parker both of Groton 
Novf 25* Ebenr Procter of Dunstable to Elizabeth Blood of Groton 
Jan"? 2i'f 1735/6 Phinehas Burts to Sarah Bush both of Groton 
Jan7 28* — John Cummins of Groton to Sarah Lawrence of 

Feb? 1 1* Will"? Blood to Martha Lawrence both of Groton 
Feb? 25^ David Shattuck to Dorothy Varnum both of Groton 

march so'!" Will? Parker to Susannah Kemp both of Groton 
may 13"" Benjf Stone to Emme Parker both of Groton 
June 23? John Fletcher to Lydia Patch both of Groton 

Jan? 13"* Isaac Nutting to Lydia Nutting both of Groton 
FebT 2? Sam!' Kemp iii"^ to Elizabeth Gilson both of Groton 

Sent to Clerk 

Capl Jonathan Boyden to Widdow Lydia Shep- 

( James Fisk to Lydia Bennit }- ^ 

( Jerem!' Lawrence to Elizabeth Chamberlain 
— 24 Will" Farnworth to Ruth Hobart 
April 13"" Josiah Blogget of Dunstable to Jemima Nutting of 


May 26* 1737 Simon Pierce to Susannah Parker both of Groton 
June 2? — Joseph Sanderson to Ruth Parker both of Groton 

— 9* * — Sam^ Hartwell to Sarah Holdin both of Groton 
June 23? Sam" Farwell to Elizabeth Moors both of Groton 
July s'!' — Joseph Priest Jun' of Harvard to Elizabeth Atkin- 
son of Groton 

— 2i=? — John Kelsey to Elizabeth Russel Both of Groton 
Nov' i" Nehem^ Goold to Esther Bowers Ambo de Grotonia 
Nov'^ 23'' — Zorrob'. Kemp Jun' to Abigail Lawrence both of 



all of 


Decf 6"" — Joseph Whittney to Abigail Nutting both of Groton 
Dec' 22'? Benjf Chandler of Suncook to Phaebe Lakin of Groton 


JanT iS"" Will" Nutting to Jain Boynton both of Groton 

Feb? 22*? James Hartwell of Littleton to Jemima Frost of Groton 

M rch "^ -1 ^^'"'^ Parker Jun' to Mary Lakin both of Groton 

1 WillT Knox of Suncook to Lydia Irvine of Groton 
April 19* David Sanderson to Eunice Warner both of Groton 
August 29"" Nehem"? Jewet to Lydia Blood : both of Groton 
Sep? 18'!" Caleb Trowbridge JunT to Elizab* Houghton both of 

— 28'? Benjt Wilson to Ruth Bush both of Groton 
Decf 5 - John Irvine to Mary Gilson Ambo de Grotonia 


Feb if John Longley Junf to Mary Lawrence both of Groton 

March e'!" Robert Camell of Roxbury to Elizabeth McDonnell of 

April 3'? Aaron Woods to Sarah Boynton both of Groton 

Sent to Clerk 
April 26* James Green to Sarah Shattuck both of Groton 
June: 7'!" Shebuel Hobart Jun' to Esther Parker both of Groton 
June 26'!" Isaac Colburn of Dunstable to Abigail Shattuck of 

,[34] 1739 

Oct' II* James Park to Jain Riche both of Groton 
Novf 2 if Joseph Page to Abigail Shead both of Groton 
Decf II* John Shattuck to Sarah Hobart both of Groton 

sent to Clerk & Paid for 

ApH 2'? Benj? Hazen to Bette Nutting both of Groton 
May I? David Blood to Abigail Farnworth both of Groton 
July 23" Sam" Bason to Sarah Rice vid".' both of Groton 
August 4* Daniel Dugless to Lydia Lakin both of Groton 
Sep' 17* Zech' Lawrence to Lucy Lakin both of Groton 
Novf II* Willf Kemp to Patience Nutting both of Groton 

Sent to Clerk 
March 5'!' 1 740/1 John Burt to Barbara Farmer both of Groton 
May s* John WilHams Junf of Groton to Elizabeth Cutter of 


— 13* Uriah Sawtel to Sarah Martin both of Groton 


— 2st Nath'J Parker Jun' to Eleoner Walker both of Groton 
June I iS Reuben Woods to y= Widdow Submit Whitney both of 

Sepf i6* Isaac Phillips to Abigail Nutting both of Groton 
octr 6 Dan" Shead to Mary Tarbel both of Groton Wednesday 

Nov? ii* Josiah Brown of Littleton to Anna Farwell of Groton 

— 12* Nathan Rugg of Lancaster to Zeruiah Frost of Groton 

John Moshier to Elizabeth Lawrence both of Groton 
Novf 26'^ Elnathan Blood to Elizabeth Boynton both of Groton 

Court week 
Deer 8 John Blood Jun; to Abigail Parker both of Groton 

Jan7 14* 1741/2 Seth Walker Junr to Abig! Holdin both of Groton 

— 19* Thomas Tarbel Junr to Esther Smith both of Groton 

•p , ^ th \ Ephraim Divol of Lancast' to Elizabeth Woods of Groton 

1 James Blood Jun' to Mary Gilson both of Groton 
March 4* Peter Parker of Groton to Prudence Lawrence of Lit- 

— II Thof Fisk to Mary Parker both of Groton 

— 25 Thof Patch to Anna Gilson both of Groton 
May 6 Will™ Sanderson to Sarah Russel both of Boston 
July 15 Jn? Farwel of Harvard to Sarah Sawtell of Groton 

— 22 Oliv" Farwel to Rejoice Preston both of Groton 
Sep' 9* 1742 Jos^ Blood Jun to Hannah Blood both of Groton 


DeC; 9* 1742 Will™ Richardson of Townshend to Mary Hobart of 

Dec 28* Priamus (Cap' Boydens Negro man servant to Margr| 

Molatto formerly servant to S.[amuel] S.[cripture] 

both of Groton 
Jan7 27')' Jonathan Shattuck Jun To Keziah Farnworth both of 


Feb? 8 Nathl' Bowers to Elizab'." Blood 1 „ r ^ 

o T , x^ 1 ,„■ , , ,, T . /■ all of Groton 

— 28 Joseph Dodge to Widd" Mary Irvine J 


Aprill 26 { J"^'^; «°ldi" t° Debor^ Houghton ) ^^ ^^ ^^^^^^ 

C Timothy Mores to Lydia Nutting ) 
July i2"> Jonath" Parker to Elen Hunt both of Groton 
July 27 Josiah Farnworth Jun' to Hannah Buttrick both of 


Joseph Stephens of New Ipswich so called to Elizab* 
Sawtell of Groton 
DecT 2? Sam'; Phillips to Abig! Frost both of Groton 

— 8* Sam'.' Flood Resident in Andover to Triphena Powers 

of Groton 

— 13 Josiah Nutting to Mary Blood both of Groton 


Janry 5* David Kemp to Hannah Sawtel both of Groton 

April 2j? Thof Jewett of Boxford to Martha Hale of Groton 

June 12"' Jn° Courtney to Dorcas Barney both Resident in Groton 

— 20 Benj? Lawrence to Ruth Dodge both of Groton 
July sf Tho? Lawrence to Sarah Houghton botlj of Groton 
Nov^ 22'' Willf Williams to Mary Perkins both of Groton 
Decf 4* Isaac Farnworth to Anna Green both of Groton 

— 6* Sam" Bloget of Westford to Sarah Spencer of Groton 

— 18 Eph'? Whitney to Esther Woods both of Groton 
JanT i;"" James Paterson to WiddT Elizabeth Bartlett 1 all of 

Jeded*! Jewet to Elizab'? Shattuck j Groton 

sent to Clark 

march 19 Phinhf Chamberlain to Lidia Willm? both of Groton 


April 2 Nathan Hubburd to Mary Paterson both of Groton 

May 22'' Will? Tarbal JunT to Sarah Woods both of Groton 

June 27"" Moses Blood to Elizabeth Stone both of Groton 


Jan7 29 Tho= Williams to Mary Rolf both of Groton 

Febf Jn° Pratt to Hannah Bowers both of Groton 

ap? I si" Robin : Lakin to Han? Dodge of Gro' 

Jun: 17 Simeon Blood to Sar"? Gilson of Gr! 

Sept 17"' Amos Sawtel to Elizabeth Fletcher both of Groton 

Octr g'!- Sam" Scripf Jun' to Mary Green // 

nov: 4 W" Deramp'! to Eliz'I" Shead both of Groton 

— S Jn? Russell to Mary Cranson both of Groton 
Nov' 20"" Benj^ Swallow to Widd" Hannah Green 

Dec' 3'' Jn° Chamberlain Jun' to Rachel Lawrence ) all of 
Josiah Lawrence to Elizabeth Lakin J Grot" 

Jan? 8'!' Benj^ Bennt Junf to Sar"? Lakin both of Grot 
Febf 17 Mos. Ben' Jun' to Sar? Blood both of Groton 

sent to Clark 

July 7* 







■ — 










April 2? 1747 WillT Wallis of Townshend to Eunice Nutting of 
_ 20* — Jn° Darby of Harvard to Widd" Elizabeth Holdin 
of Groton 

— 23? — WillT Scott of Dunstable to Mary Derumple of 

June 25* — Hezek"? Sawtel Junf of Groton to Margaret Dodge 
of Lunenburg 

- - Jn° Stone Junr to Anna Pratt both of Groton 

- David Nutting to Rachel Lakin both of Groton 

- Will? Holdin to Annis Nutting both of Groton 

- Oliver Wheeler of Acton to Abig! Woods of Groton 

- Benj? Wilson to Sarah Whitney both Groton 

- Abijah Willard of Lancaster to Eliz'? Prescott of 

- David Sawtd Jun' to Rebeckah Prat both of Groton 

- Moses Wheeler Late of Lunenburg now resident in 

Groton to Elizabeth Holdin of Groton 

— 30 — Edmund Bancroft to Elizabeth atherton both of 

Feb7 3 — Moses Wentworth to Mindwel Stone both of Groton 
Feb? 16 — Ephraim Chandler of Westford to Wid^ Abigail 

Blood of Groton 
May 12 1748 Josiah Conant to Rachel Hobart of Grotc^n 
July 7 — Isr'J Hobart & Anna Lawrence both of Groton 

Sep' 13 — James Stone Jun' & Deborah Nutting both of 

Feb? 9 — Jerahmeel Powers & Eunice Bennit both of Groton 
March if — William Bush & Abial Bennit both of Groton 
April: 5 1749 Jason Williams & Jemima Nutting 
— 26 — Johua Bowers & Sarah Earn worth 

James Robbinson 
Sent to Clark 
Octf 4t — Joseph Fairbanks of Harvard & Abigail Tarbel of 


— 18 — Benjt Bancroft Jun' & Allis Tarbel both of Groton 
Dec: 6"^ — Henry Farwell & Lydia Tarbel ) , 

13 — Jonath"; Sawtel & Mary Holdin >- of Groton 

14 — Oliver Farnworth & Sarah Tarbel ) 

— Sent to Clark — 

March 22? 














Feb? 5 




Eleaz' Nutting & Sarah Farnworth both of Groton 
1750 Artemas Ward of Shrewsbury & Sarah Trowbridge 
of Groton 

— Jonath" Pierce & Ruth Gilson both of Groton 

— Josiah Williams & Prudence Nutting both of Groton 

— Eleazer Green Jun' & Sarah Parker both of Groton 

— Will'? Green to Ruth Colburn 
1 750/1 Philemon Holdin & Lucy Walker 

Jonath? Longley & Anna Bancroft 
Bode to By [negro servants ?] 
Amos Holdin to Prudence Holdin . 

of Groton 

sent to Clark 
9' 6'* 
March 6* 1750/1 Jonathan Gilson & Susanna Pierce both of Groton 
— 13 — Jonas Prescott Jun' of Westford & y" WiddT Re- 
becah Parker of Groton 

1751 Moses Haskel of Harvard & Anna Tarbel of Groton 

— Floyd Pratt of Maldin & Lydia Coffin of Groton 

— Abel Lawrence & Mary Buckley both of Groton 

— Jonas Longley & Esther Paterson both of Groton 

— Bezaleel Sawyer of Lancaster & Lois Lawrence of 

1752 Ambros Lakin & Dorothy Gilson of Groton 

— Benj? Brooks Jun' of Townsend & Elizabeth 
Green "of Groton 

— Jeri" Hobart & Hannah Green "\ 

— Elnath? Sawtel & Mary Stone I of Groton 

— David Stone & Lydia Pratt ) 

— Jonathan Adams of Concord & Submitt Farwel of 

— Joseph Parkhurst & Deborah Spaulding both of 

Jos!" Bennit & Margaret Shattuck of Groton 
Josiah Chamberlain & Hebsibah Crecee of Groton 

Sent to Clark 

[Ju]ne 17? 1752 John Solindine & Dorcas Whipple ) all of Gro- 
James Prescott & Susanna Lawrence > ton 
Peter Hobart & Abigail Lakin Junr ) 
Jonath? Farwell & Triphena Frost > 
Micah Crecee of Groton & Catharine Weatherbee 
of Bolton 
















march 4* 













[Ju]ne 17 










March 7* 
Sep' 4* 

Oct' 24 
Novr I'? 

— 22 
Dec' 17 

Jan'^ 3" 

- IS* 

March 7*'" — 

— 19 — 

April 2° — 

— i lO — 

May 29 — 

Dec' 12 — 

Jan"' 9 1755 

— 23 
Feb?' 20 

March 26 — 

— 27 — 

April 16 — 

May 29* 

July 9 — 
Sep' 9 

1753 Zechar^ Longley & Jemima Moor's both of Groton 

— Sam" Sawtel & widd'? Lydia Douglas both of 


— John Tarbel & Sarah Parker 

— Caleb Blood & Hannah Holdin ) , p^f-^^Qj^ 

— John Cragg & the wid^ Jemima Fisk i 

— James Lock Jun' of Townshed & Hannah Farn- 

worth of Groton 

1754 David Bennit of shirly & Elizabeth Wait of Groton 

— David Gilson of Groton to Annis Gilson of Pep- 

perrill Distirct 

sent to y° Clark 

Benaiah Hutson of Peppril & Dorothy Lawrence 

of Groton 
Isaac Lakin Jun' of Groton & Mary Lawrence 

of Pepperrell 
Ebenez' Severance & Widd" Sarah Bason ■ 
Jonath" Moor's & Sybil Tarbel I all of 

Eph™ Nutting & Jerusha Parker ( Groton 

Jonathan Tarbel & Lydia Farnworth 
Will-" Parker of Groton to Widdr Sarah Richard- 
son of Pepperrell district 

Joseph Bruce of Mendon to Elizabeth Farn- 
worth of Groton 
Nath" Lakin of Pepperrill District to Sybil 
Parker of Groton 
Ebenezer Farnworth Junf & Mary Nickols both 
of Groton 

sent to Clark 

Cap' Ephr"" Sawtel & widdr Hannah 

all of 

i Sam" Cragg & Mary Conn 
( Sam" Hobart & Ann Bradstreet 
John Stevens of Townshend & Susanah Tarbel of 

i Jonas Sawtel of Groton & Elizabeth Albe of 
-; Townshend 

( Amos Dole of Littleton to Molle Page of Groton 
Jonath" Stone & Susanna Moor's 
John Shepley & Abigail Green - wils 

all of 

> all of Groton 


Oct' 23 Rev'! M' Joseph Perry of Windsor [Conn.j & 

M" Sarah Lawrence of Groton all paid 

Jan? 22: 1756 Joshua Nevers Resident in Groton & y" WiddT 
abigl Sawtel, of y' Same Town 

Feb''' 26 — Jonathan Pratt & Lucy Bradstreet ") n f p j. 

— 27 — Will? Lakin, & Priscilla Am's ) 

Sent to y= Clark 
March i" — Shattuck Blood & Lydia Nutijng 
— II — . Jonath" Shepley & Sarah Green 
april 13 — Henry Woods & Deborah Parker 

may 6 — John Ames & Susannah Nutting 

— 26 — Obadiah Sawtel of Groton & Mary Gould of Shirly 


— 27 — Peter Gilson & Sybil Whitney both of Groton 
Sep' 30 — Jona" Bancroft of Danvers to Phebe Lawrence of 

. . . Harris .... Bula Cory both of Shirley all 
Paid &c 
April 17* 1760 John Page & Widd'T Martha Green — i D-r 

— 23 — Doct' Phinehas Phelps of Lancaster & Sarah Green 

of Groton — Do 

— 24 — Jonath" Pratt & widd'T Rachel Nutting Do 

Sent to the Clark 
May 29 — Joseph Sawtel & Lydia Jenkins both of Groton 29' 
June 4 — Silas Barron & Rebekah Parker both of Groton i D-r 
June 26 — Will"? Farwel & Esther Woods both of Groton — \ 
August 20* — Paul Fletcher of Groton & Anna wilerd of Lan- 

chester 4 : D 
[42] 1707 _ 

Catalogus eorum q. ad Ccenam dominicam fu^re admiss. 
June 8° Samuel Woods & Hannah Woods, uxor ej= Sam' 
May 9- Maria Bradstreet 

Thomas & Elizabetha Tarbel 

Jonas Prescott. 

May 8. Hannah Blood, Uxor Josephi Blood. 
Oct? 9 Zerubabel Kemp & Maria Kemp. 

June. 17. Jonathan Boyden, & Elizabetha Boyden Vx. Ej? 

36 ~ 

May i'? 17 
June 16 

August 14 

Octob' gf 

August 5* 

oct";' 7 

Decem'5'^ 2 
Jan7 27"- 
Aprill 6* 

July 27? 


15 Sarah Trowbridge 
James Robinson 

( Ephraim Sawtell & Elizabeth his Wife & 
1 Mercy The Wife of John Hall 
/ Moses Barron & Sarah his Wife 
1 Jonath" Farnworth & Ruth his Wife 
Lydia Whittney y= Wife of Will'? Whitney 
( Sam" Fisk & Susannah his Wife 
< Richard Warner 

C Elizabeth The Wife of Benjamin Lakin 
The Wife of Ep*" Philbrick 
The Wife of Richard Warner 
Esther The Wife of Sam" Bowers 
Abigail Uxor Gvilf Shattuck's Jun 

The Wife of Nathl' Lawrence 

Elizab'!" Uxor Ebenf Farnworth 

Maria Farthworth Uxor Benj""!" Farnworth 
Elizabeth Uxor Eleaz' Green 
Maria Uxor Jon: Prescott 
Sam" Farworth 
James Mirick 

Abigail The Wife of Benjaf Prescott 
Obediah Sawtell 
Uxor Josephi Gilson 

Sept 24 

The Widdow Mary Shattuck 
Danjl ^ 
Joseph V Farnworth 
& Isaac ) 

r The Wife of Joseph Farwell 
November ■} The Wife of James Parker 
( The Wife of John Frost 
Nathl' Smith & 
Jonath" Farnworth Jun' 


May 13 
Jan? i722\ 

John Longley 

23 Ensign Joseph Gilson 


Feb' i7'N Ebenezer Prescott & Hantiah his Wife 
March 24"" William Lawrence & Susannah his Wife 
Novem'i' 3'' Susannah y° wife of John Solindine 
Novem*;' 17'!' Jerem'; Farnworth 
January 12"^ Rachell Farnworth 


March 3'? John Stone Junf & [Elizabeth (Farwell)] his wife 
Steven Holdin & [Hannah (Sawtell)] his wife 
The wife of Benj? Martin Ebenezer Farnworth 
Simon Stone Jun' & [Sarah] his Wife 


Nov: 8'!" John Blood & Joanna his wife 

Febf 28'? The Widdow Shead The Younger 

1726 Hannah Fisk 

Aprill 24* Abigail Lakin Ensigns Daughter 


( Shebuel Hobart & [Martha] his wife 
' "^ ( The wife of Joseph Farnworth 


March 3"* Persons Viz Ensig" Lakin Benjf Parker & Mary his Wife 
Abr!" Moors & his wife y" wife of Dudley Bradstreet 
— of Ezra Farnworth — of Eleazer Nutting of Gibson 
of Joseph Gilson also Sarah Farnworth 


Aprill 28 Eleazer Gilson & Wife Jn° Williams & his wife Ensign 
Page & his wife Eleazer Nutting, y" wifes of Jonathan 
Nutting Ebenzf Blood Eleazer Green Jun Dauid 
Pierce Jn° Chamberlain. // 12 in all 

June 23'^ Thomas Hubburd Dan? Nutting Peter Hobart & y' 
Wives Jonathan Nutting : y" Wives of Ebenezer Nut- 
ting & Jn? Shipley Jun & Nath!' Blood Jun' Sarah 

August 18'!' James Nutting & Ephraim Pierce The Wives of Will? 
Green & Jnf Green & of Joseph Sanders 

Octob^ 13* James Blood & his Wife 

Feb: 2 David Sawtell 

March 23^ The Wives of Isaac Parker & John Bush & Nath'J 
Woods Jun' 

May iS'j- Mich'J Gilson & Wife 

July 13* The Wifes of Jn° Hold^ of Jn'J Woods & of Jona*," Shead 


Gershum Hobart & Wife 
Thomas Farwel & his Wife 

Sam" Scripture Sen' 

Benj? Bennit 
James Stone & Wife 
The Wife of Doctr Chase 

Janry 2^ Jonas Varnum — Moses Woods — and the Wife of 
Nathan Whipple 
Bancroft & S! Pierce & Obad!" Parker & y' Wives from 
other Churches Embody'd with us 
October 29 Isaac Parker & Jn? Swallow 

Joseph Stone & Mary his Wife 
Cap' Shepley & Wife 

Will"? Tarbell & Mary his Wife & David Miriam 
Moses Woods his Wife Will"" Longley Ebenezer Sprague 
& Wife from Dedham Chh 


March 30* Aaron Whittemore // Pedagogue 

Nicholas Bartlett 


Octob' 10* John Scott & [Mary his] Wife // & Jonas Longley 
John Longley Jun' 


At an Associacon of Churches at Marlborough July 16 : 1707 
To the Church of Christ at Groton 

The Consociation of Churches is a Doctrine, own'd and pleaded 
by the Rev? Elders Whome God honoured greatly by making them 
the Happy Instruments of Laying the foundations of the Constitu- 
tions of the Churches in this American World. The Associated 
Pastors of 13 churches have out of a zeal for Gods glory and their 
owne and their churches Good and benefit Resolved by Divine 
Assistance to pursue the holy instructions left them by those wor- 
thy and Learned persons, and to that end have determin'd not to 
manage any thing in their respective churches which may tend to 
produce any Embroilment in them without the Advice of those 
Pastors with whome they are Associated ; and accordingly desire 


the Consent of the Several • Churches that the Council to advise in 
and about such Cases shall be call'd out of those Churches to which 
the Pastors with whome their Pastor is associated doth belong ; 
theref[ore] it is with you tO' Signifie your Consent hereto. 

Joseph Estabrook 

At a Church meeting at Groton July 21? 1707 
The aboves? Determination was then Voted in this Church 
Nemine Contradicente D. Bradstreet 


At a Church meeting February 2? 1707/8 — 
John Farnesworth was duly Elected a Deacon for the Church at 
Groton. D. Bradstreet. 

At a Church meeting May 14. 1708. 
Whereas Some wei-e dissatisfied at the Election of John Farnes- 
worth as Deacon I gave liberty of a new Choyce by Papers and 
s? Farnesworth was Elected by a Majority of three Voices and 
accordingly Confirm'd 

Voted that if Deacon Whitney cannot Serve at y" next Sacram' 
that he deliver the Church Vessells to Deacon Farnesworth for the 
Churches use. 

At a Church meeting March 10. 1708/9 
Voted that Deacon Farnesworth do by the first opportunity pro- 
vide a Table Cloth, and Platter, for y" more decent Celebration of 
the holy Coinunion. 

At a church meeting Decemb!' 16. r7og. 
Groton Aprill 22'? 17 15 : At a Church Meeting 

Wheras Dec" Whittney is old, & Desirous of y° Choice of An- 
other to Officiate in his Place ; & Whereas Dec" John Farnsworth 
is Desirous of a New Choice ; Unless he were more Unanimously 

The Church Did Thereupon Unanimously Elect or make Choice 
of Simon Stone Sen- & Thomas Tarbell Sen : To Officiate as Dea- 
cons in y' Church of Groton 

Caleb Trowbribge Pastor 

1=' Sacrament May y= i" 1718 

[A half-page here in the original left blank.] 


at a Church Meeting (Partly for y' Purpose) in Groton 1722 
John Longley was Chosen Deacon 

Caleb Trowbridge Pastor 

Att a Church Meeting May 14* 1729 Dan" Farworth was Chosen 
Deacon by a Great Majority 

Caleb Trowbridge Pastor of y" Church 

At a Chii Meeting in Groton on y= 14"" of Sep' 1733 

Voted — That Deac" Longley & Brother Ephr'" Pierce, be a 
Committee, as Trustees for this Church ; to Call for, & to Receiue 
of Brother Will? Lawrence {& to give him a discharge upon 
Receiving) the 40-^ Legacy y' was given by Mf Jonathan Lawrence 
in his last Will & Testament to this Church (for y° Procuring Some 
Silver Vessell or vessels for y° Lords Table) and That they Lay 
out y'= s? 40^ in Such Manner or According to Such Instructions as 
this Church shall give Them : Agreable to s? Will. 

And That Brother Will" Lawrence Joyn w* s? Committee in TAus 
Laying it out 

Caleb Trowbridge Pasto[r] 

The Same Meeting Put to Vote by hand whether y= Brethren 
were free y' Dan" Farnworth should officiate as Deac" in this 
Church : Past in y= Affirmative 

Caleb Trowbridge 


at y' same meeting Rachell Hartwell Enquir'd of why so Long 
Absent from Communion of this Church : & advised Reform by 
me &c Caleb Trowbridge &c 

At y' Meeting Last mentiond 

Put to Vote Whither y" Brethren y" Present were free, y' Jonathan 
Farnworth & his son Jonathan & Simon Stone Jun' should be Dis- 
missed from this Cht ; in order to Lie in the foundation of a Ch£ 
in Harvard or Embody w' other Christian brethren & Professors 
There. It Past in the Affirmative 

Caleb Trowbridge Pastor 

At a Church Meeting in Groton, Jan7 ii'!" 1733/4 Voted That 
y' Persons appointed (by this Church at y' meeting the 14* of 
Sep^ Last) to Lay out the 40^ Legacy given to this Church by 
m^ Jonathan Lawrence in his Last Will — do Lay out y= s"" 40^ for 
Procuring some Silver Vessel or Vessels, according to y' Best Pru- 
dence ; or as upon Proper Enquiry they shall think will be most 
for y' honour of y-^ Donor : as well as of the Lords Table, And 


Deliver s^ Vessel or Vessels to this Church as soon as they can 
with Conveniency. 

memorand" y' Churches vote ab^ y= ministerial Legacy given by 
s"" Lawrence was Put into W" Lawrences hand by the Churche 
order: I gave Bond for s° Legacy to y= Deacon as Trustees &c 

Caleb Trowbridge Pastor 

After some time The Above appointed brought 2 Silver Tankards 
to y' Churches Acceptance & frely giving in y' time & Trouble 
Rec? y= Churches Thanks 

Caleb Trowbridge Pastor 

Deac" Farnworth only Surviving of y" Trustees to whom I gave 
the Bond above-mentioned y= Church in y= Year 1759 added Decon 
Farwel & Deac" Stone to Deac? Farnworth as trustees in y" Room 
of Deac" Stone & Deac" Longley deceas'd 

Caleb Trowbridge Pastor 

m' Aaron Whittemore Dismis' from y= Church & Recomended &c 

C. T. Pastor 

March g'f 1737/8 at a Church Meeting in Groton Voted y" y' y= 
Deacons of s"" Church be Allow'd for y' Trouble in Providing for 
y' Lords table five shillings for Each time of Providing for y-^ time 
past : & seven shillings & six pence a time for y" future ; till fur- 
ther order Caleb Trowbridge Pastor 

At a Cth meet? in Groton at y'= House of Jonath" Page Feb7 29'? 
1739/40 Voted That Whereas it has been (for a Considerable time) 
a Sort of Rule : & the Practice in this Clit : respecting Persons 
Suspected of Fornication : That such of them as had been married 
seven months before they \manuscript here torn and illegible'] Infants) 
had been by the Pastor admitted to Covfa?iXit[torn and illegiblel 
[48] y? to one, or other, of yf methods, before admission &c And it 
heing feared by me that this Custom, has (on the one hand) Proved 
(with some of the less Conscient;ious) a Prevailing Temptation to 
belye y' Consciences, adding Sin to Sin : and being thought by some 
an Hardship (on the other hand) upon the more Consciencious (and 
Doubted at least whither it be Right) to Compel them Publickly to 
acknowledge, what is, (if not absolutely yet) next to Impossible to 
Convict y? of : Therefore tis desired y' for y" future (till further 
Light be afforded) in such like Cases ; the Pastor of this Church, 
admitt'them to desired Priveledges : without Compelling y" to Either 
(Provided in the Judgement of Charity they are otherwise Qualified) 
Desiring & Trusting y' he will Exhort y"" to Serious Repentance 



(in Case they are Conscious to yllselves of Guilt) and That he will 
bring them to declare y! they have Humbly Begg'd of god y° Pardon 
of all known Sins : & Promise that they will by the help of god 
be upon their watch against sins of Uncleaness in Particular ; as 
well as all Sins in General — and That they will Study to know : 
& sett themselves to -f Practice of all that they do, or shall know, to 
be their duty. 

Caleb Trowbridge Pastor 
at a meeting of y" iV Cliti in Groton Voted to give w' Church 
stock y>' had (viz? 1 6^-8^-3 '') to y= 2'? Chi ^ in s? Town towards fur- 
nishing y' Commun" Table 

also voted to allow y° Deacons &c. i-^-o'-o'' old tenor for y' 
Trouble for Each time of Providing for the Sacrament for y° future 
till further order 

at same time I. S satisfied &c as to all articled against him 
Exhib : Causes : 
Chi Meefs^ Sep! 23'? 1742 James Stone Chosen Deacon 
A. D. 1748 voted Each Communicant Contribute is"* old Tenor 

Dismist to other Churches — Cap' Prescot & his son Eben' & f 

Wives Capt Jonath" Hobart & his Wife — Jona- 

th!" Farnwth & his son Jonathan & Simon Stone 

Jun;^ y= Wives of sf Jonath? Farnorth & s? Stone 

A. D. 1759 Groton Church voted y' Each Communicant should 

allow 4 Coppers for Evry Sacrament for i year — not Exceding 6 

months, before they Pay Part 

Caleb Trowbridge 
Jan'f 25* 1760 Jn? Cummings Dismis'd to Littleton Church (,& 
his Wife sometime before) 

C Trowbridge 

June 22'* — Hannah y° wife of Ebenezf Gilson Dismis'd to 
Peppf Church 

C. Trowbridge 

1 A Second Church was organized in the West Parish of Groton, now Pep- 
perell, in the year 1742. 


No. XI. 


During the Years 1839, 1840, and 1841. 
Wiit\i an ^ppentiii. 


Historical Series, No. XI. 


During the Years 1839, 1840, and 1841. 

Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, January 25, 1886. 

My dear Dr. Green : 

I first saw Groton in the autumn of 1839. Though a 
native of the grand old Puritan State, it had not been my 
good fortune to see any of its Eastern towns or cities. My 
parents, in my boyhood, moved from Amherst, Massachu- 
setts, the place of my birth, to Central New York. Setting 
foot in Groton, the very last of September of that year, I 
found a town 180 or more years old; population upwards of 
2,000. And it had the prestige of being originally a grant 
by the General Court — in part, at least — to a son of the 
first Governor of the Massachusetts Colony ; also the added 
prestige of bearing the name of the home-town of the Win- 
throps in England. I liked it. Though irregular, and set- 
ting at defiance all laws of order, — though antique and 
quaint in its architecture, — though contrasting strangely, in 
nearly every particular, with Western places, yet it pleased 
me. Its position was elevated, its natural charms were 
many ; and there was on all sides an air of solidity and com- 
fort. There was too, in its way, a fair show of the aesthetic. 
It hdd three churches, — Unitarian, Orthodox, and Baptist ; 
and, for pastors, the Reverend Messrs. Wells, Phelps, and San- 
derson. Besides, it had a structure called the Hall, used for 
lectures on various subjects. It was by itself, quite unpre- 

tentious, still roomy and pleasant. Groton Academy, now 
known as Lawrence Academy, a creditable building, and 
beautifully situated, Was deservedly a pet of the town. I say 
I liked it; I felt at home; and this is saying not a httle for 
a strange place. 

My special mission, at the time, was in the interest of anti- 
slavery. It was in the dark' and trying days of the cause. 
Late in the preceding summer, the Massachusetts Anti-slav- 
ery Society sent an agent to Central New York, to procure 
two lecturers. They desired a layman and a clergyman of 
the Orthodox faith. The agent, as directed, went with the 
proper papers to the Hon. Gerrit Smith, of Peterboro', N. Y., 
and he, after due consideration, recommended James C. Jack- 
son and myself. Mr. Smith and I were neighbors — that 
is, of neighboring towns ; and, if I may assume so much, 
co-workers. And yet I was much earlier in the cause than 
he. When a student, and before Wm. Lloyd Garrison 
started "The Liberator," — a mere boy so to speak, — I took 
a stand for the enslaved. A little work, styled " Six Months' 
Residence in Jamaica," by an English physician, first opened 
to me the enormities of slavery. I hated it from that hour ; 
fought it from that hour. My father, however, was intensely 
devoted to Colonization. So, at the time, was Mr. Smith, 
who, afterwards, was Vice-President of the American Society. 
It was not until the fall of 1835 that he left that Society. 
The circumstances were not a little thrilling ; they revealed 
the nobility of the man. A large Convention, in pursuance 
of a call, met at the city of Utica, the 21st day of October, 
1835, — the self-same day the great and heroic Garrison was 
mobbed in Boston, — to form a New York State Anti-slavery 
Society. The whole State was represented, and by some of 
its best and ablest men. Clergymen, I think, predominated ; 
and many of these were veterans. It was my privilege to be 
among them, though one of the youngest of the number. 
Gerrit Smith was there, and yet as an outsider. His noble 
figure was in the assemblage. Not long, however ; for, while 
the meeting was organizing, a mob entered the church, led on 
by a Committee of twenty-five leading citizens with Congress- 

man Beardsley at the head, and assaulted officers and mem- 
bers, not sparing the old and gray-headed, and brutally drove 
them from the church. Nor was this all. They hunted the 
flying delegates in every part of the city, inflicting upon them 
many indignities and cruelties. Mr. Smith saw all ; it was 
a revelation to him. He saw, and with startled eye, the real 
situation ; and, like himself, he said to the hunted and suf- 
fering delegates, with tremulous tones: "Gentlemen, go to 
my Peterboro', and complete your organization ; I will see 
that you are protected." 

They went — gladly, gratefully went; and yet, all through 
the several towns passed — the distance was some thirty-five 
miles — they were pelted with brickbats and addled eggs. And 
when gathered, the next morning, in the Presbyterian Church 
of that rural village, — the home of the great-hearted philan- 
thropist, — the spectacle presented was a strange, not to say a 
sad one. The church was packed with the fugitive delegates. 
And numbers of them were seen with bandaged faces ; while 
others, cut and bruised, made no attempt at concealment. 
It was an unwonted scene. All felt that martyr-times had 
returned ; and no one could forecast what was to follow. 
Every hour there were startling rumors that the baser sort of 
other towns were to make a combined assault upon us. It 
was expected. Such a thing was certainly planned ; yet it 
failed in the execution. Mr. Smith was too strong in his own 
section of the State. There was no farther disturbance. The 
organization was effected. The State Society was an actual- 
ity ; and, more than this, Gerrit Smith pledged it his full 
and hearty support. He was a convert ; and his speech, 
announcing the change, was one of surpassing power. It 
was, of course, the speech of the occasion. There was every- 
thing lifting it above all others. The speaker, with his grand 
and handsome personahty ; his deep, rich, musical voice ; his 
pure, Addisonian style, and marvellous magnetism, was sure 
not to be second in that or any other Convention. And 
then the circumstances raised him above himself. His great 
soul, by what he had seen, had been stirred to its very depths. 
He had come to see slavery as it was ; that its terrible grip 

was on the North, as well as on the South ; that we were all 
slaves ; that our boasted Freedom was nothing but a myth ; 
that the right to assemble, — a first right of freemen, — and 
in the supposed Free State of New York, was stricken down ; 
and with it, of course, the right of Free Speech. And all at 
the behest of slavery. Slavery was all and in all. The whole 
nation was at its feet ! He saw this ; it terrified him ; it 
converted him. Of course, at such a time, he not only ex- 
celled others, but excelled himself : no words can describe it ; 
no words can set forth its effects. It was simply overwhelm- 
ing ; and, as might have been expected of the man, he at 
once resigned his office in the American Colonization So- 
ciety, and at the same time sent a check of ;^ 10,000, to pay 
the sum he had before pledged to promote its objects. Such 
was his high sense of honor ; and let it be added that Mr. 
Smith was much older in Temperance than in Anti^slavery. 
Among the earliest was he in this great reform. Nor was he 
much behind in Church reform, — in the work of restoring 
Primitive Unity. In a large Convention, held at Syracuse in 
1838, he read a paper on the subject of great ability and 
force. It fell to me to draw up, and present to the same 
meeting, the Declaration of Principles. A broad man was 
Mr. Smith ; hence a comprehensive reformer. He set him- 
self, with all his great strength and great wealth, against 
social evils, church evils, and national evils. Grandly good 
and great was he in his day. 

Recommendation by such a man was something. So, with 
me, felt my friend Jackson. He was a Christian layman, a 
student of medicine, and highly gifted as a speaker. Few 
could hold and stir an audience as he. He was early in 
the cause of the slave, and did it grand service ; so in the 
cause of Church Unity. We had toiled much together in both 
lines of reform. He is now the celebrated Dr. Jackson, of the 
Dansville (N. Y.) Water-Cure. A most enviable mark has 
he made in this department, as in the advocacy of the cause 
of the enslaved, and of Primitive Unity. As for myself, I had 
been pastor for some time of the Congregational Church of 
Cazenovia, a gem of a town, ten miles west of the home of 

Mr. Smith: had, from broken health, resigned. The duties 
at home, and much lecturing abroad, prostrated me ; my phy- 
sician enjoined rest. I, however, chose an active rest. Hence 
travelled much, speaking almost incessantly on church and 
national reform : saw, too, both causes advancing. The 
leaven, as to each, was working. Whole churches took 
the primitive basis, and an entire Association, which was my 
own. And, at this time, a grand impetus was given to the 
movement by the appearance of the "Fraternal Appeal" of the 
Reverend Professor Schmucker, a work of masterly power, 
the substance of which found its way into the Comprehensive 
Commentary, edited by the Reverend Dr. William Jenks, of 
Boston ; even in the Baptist edition. There it stands to-day. 
An organ, too, was created ; a paper of quite an extensive 
circulation. This was known as "The Union Herald ;" pub- 
lished at Cazenovia. Its editor, the Reverend Luther Myrick, 
was an evangelist of the class of the distinguished Charles G. 
Finney, and a most successful one. He was a preacher of 
rare power ; and rich spiritual harvests were gathered by him. 
His " Herald " had no uncertain voice ; and it spoke as 
fearlessly for Freedom as for Unity. Hence, and naturally, 
the friends of Church Unity were the friends of National 

And it is due here to say, and I take profound pleasure in 
saying, that we were nobly aided, especially in the anti-slavery 
reform, by Wm. L. Chaplin, Esq., a native of Groton, and a 
son of its seventh pastor. An able man was he, and fearless 
as able. He treated the question from the standpoint of a 
lawyer, and with marked effectiveness. His blows were 
heavy. I first knew of him in the county of Wm. H. Seward, 
— the county of Cayuga ; the home of the great Senator, the 
first advocate of the Higher Law, and the masterly Secretary 
of State during the Rebellion. It had been mine to break 
ground on the subject in the southern portion of the county, 
and narrowly to escape mobbing in one of its towns. Most 
welcome, then, was the presence of such an ally. He did 
right good work. And who will say how much the labor, 
thus early done, and at his very door, had to do with the 


making, in this matter, of Wm. H. Seward ? Be this as it 
may, special thanks were due Mr. Chaplin for his efificient 
aid, and to Groton for giving the country so strong and fear- 
less an advocate of Freedom.-' 

Mr. Jackson and I decided to go East ; and yet only for 
three months. Our young families were left behind. After 
reaching Boston, and speaking in a oonvention at Taunton, 
we were assigned our particular fields ; more properly, per- 
haps, our head-quarters. He was to go to the County of 
Essex, and I to that of Middlesex. This brought me for- 
tunately to Groton, and to the charming home of Dr. Amos 
Farnsworth. I was his guest by virtue of his membership 
in the Executive Committee of the State Society. And, as 
intimated, a high favor it was. A home, indeed, was his. 
While there was nothing pretentious about it, everything was 
in taste. All was solidly sensible. He had buried his wife, 
and yet his home had the light and cheer of a lovely daugh- 
ter. There were two sons also, and of promise ; one of them 
a student at Cambridge. Still, he himself was the central 
charm. He was tall and symmetrically built ; with large head, 
mild eye, broad, expressive, pleasant face, and compressed lips. 
Every thing indicated strength and good-nature. Brain and 
heart were manifest. With the elements of a commander, he 
had the gentleness of a woman. He was one of the sunniest 
of men. Though impressing you with his superiority, you 
felt wholly at ease in his presence. You knew him at once ; 
could trust him at sight. And greatly was I struck with his 
originality. It cropped out in everything. He could not 
think in a groove, or act in a groove ; no copyist could he be. 
In the rig of his horse, and the way of treating him on a trip, 
you saw it. So, and more strikingly, in his treatment of vines 
and fruit-trees, and the preservation of their products. He 
had Cato's love of these things ; had means, too. Retired 
from a long and lucrative practice in Boston, he was able to 
work out his ideal. Of course, he had the best. And he had 
a method, it seemed, strictly his own of preserving the same. 
I own I was not a little irked when I could not draw from 
1 See Appendix, page 19. 

him the secret of this, to me, surprising preservation. At a 
select party at his house, as late as February, I think, he had 
on his table watermelons seemingly as fresh as when taken 
from the vines, also choice varieties of grapes in a like state. 
Pressing him for the secret, I got this in reply : " The Hon. 
George Thompson " — alluding to the great English anti- 
slavery orator — " occupying the very seat you occupy, put to 
me the same question ; and he went back to England just as 
wise on the subject as when he came." This, I knew, was 
decisive. Still, it did not seem to justify the withholding of 
so valuable a secret.^ 

The same was sure to mark him in the treatment of disease. 
Though of the regular school, he came to see, in the latter 
part of his practice at least, that no medicine should be given 
in fevers. He almost startled me with this declaration, on our 
first acquaintance. I thought, indeed said, that, if his fine 
daughter, or gifted sister, or cherished brother, were down 
with the typhoid, he would give some medicine. Quickly, and 
somewhat impatiently, he said he should not. Well, he was 
soon put to the test. A young man brought the disease from 
Boston, and into the very neighborhood of his brother Luke. 
The young man died — his mother died ; and, immediately 
after, that brother was down. The attack was a severe one. 
And, to my eye, the case for days seemed hopeless. I said as 
much to the Doctor. I told him, and with emotion, that with- 
out medicine, and the most active medicine, his brother would 
die. He said, with an emphasis all his own, he would not. 
And he did not. He kept up his negative treatment, and the 
brother recovered. He treated some other cases the same, and 
with a like result. He did this, though retired from practice ; 
Drs. Green, the Bancrofts, father and son, and Stearns, 
were the regular and able practising physicians at the time. 

Needless is it to add, that my esteemed host was a man of 
positive convictions, and was loyal to them. He could not be 
anything else. When he took a stand, he was fixed in it ; 
when he set his foot down, it was down. And this fitted him 
for his time. It made him the stalwart reformer he was. 
1 See Appendix, page 20. 


Now, with such a host, I was sure to lack nothing in my 
work. He not only arranged my places and times of speak- 
ing, but dropped me down at the several points. He was 
ever alert ; preparing, helping, encouraging. So when called 
to other parts of the State. His optimism never failed. His 
helpfulness never flagged. It was easy to work ; did not seem 
like work. The time passed — the period of my engagement 
— almost unconsciously. Though far away from loved, ones, 
the three months quickly sped. I may not go into the details 
of this labor, — wish I might ; it had some marked incidents. 
SufiSce it to say, it seemed quite satisfactory to my host and 
to the Society employing me. 

And here a Second Act begins. As my special mission to 
Groton was now full, another was suggested and urged. I 
had incidentally, and perhaps on several occasions, given 
some hints as to the Unity of the Church. My heart was 
full of it. And I did this the more freely, the more earnestly, 
from the fact that numbers in the several churches, and, as it 
seemed to me, their best members, were alienated from the 
same, because of their position on the slavery question. The 
tie, binding them, was exceedingly loose, and growing daily 
looser. It was getting to be a serious question whether they 
could continue to walk with them. Conscience was awake ; 
the ethical was at work. But what could they do ? Where 
go ? They could not cut themselves off from all churches — 
all ordinances — all the institutions of religion. They could 
not do this. What, then, could they do .' Every church in 
the place, as such, was in the wrong on the question. Hence 
no door was open to them. They must be true to the slave — 
consistently true ; but they could not be with any extant church 
organization. Here they stood ; here they stood, longingly 
casting about for a church home where they might dwell in 
peace, and consistently with their most sacred convictions. 
My hints, therefore, were eagerly seized as pointers to the 
thing needed ; so eagerly, that they insisted upon my giv- 
ing, before leaving for my home, some lectures on the sub- 
ject. I compHed ; I lectured an entire week. First looking 
at the Church, as it came from the hand of its Divine Founder ; 


then at the inspired injunctions as to unity ; then at the exam- 
ple of the Apostles, and the first Christians ; then at the dire 
evils of sectarian divisions ; and, finally, answering the objec- 
tions to a return to Primitive Unity. The whole ground was 
thus covered. 

The lectures were given in the Hall, before noticed. The 
place had become familiar to me. There the cause of the 
slave could have a hearing, when no church was open for 
the purpose. Indeed, I was assured that the place was spe- 
cially erected on this account. The building, during the de- 
livery of the lectures, was crowded. All classes heard. The 
clergymen were out, and seemed eager, and even approving, 
listeners. There might have been dissenting voices, but I 
heard none. It was approval on all sides. And why .' The 
principles themselves admit of no dissent. Dissent comes in, 
if at all, when a serious attempt is made to carry them out. 
Here the trouble begins. Unity is a nice thing — a beautiful 
thing — a very Christian thing — everybody likes it ; but seek 
to merge the churches into one, to bring about a visible unity, 
a tangible unity, a unity the world can see, a real unity, and 
the whole thing is changed. They want oneness, but no 
visible oneness ; unity, but no organic unity. Still, every one 
knows, every one admits, that such was the unity of the 
Primitive Church. 

Well, the lectures meeting with so wide a favor, it was 
natural that the large numbers seeking a new ecclesiastical 
home should rally at once, and gratefully, to the Apostolic 
basis. It was doubly welcome. They could, on such a founda- 
tion, be true to their convictions touching slavery, and to their 
new convictions touching the unity of the Christian Church. 
It was, in this view, a supremely happy hour to them. 

But as to the future. Resolved to take this stand, to 
plant themselves on this high basis, the question as to a 
leader was at once started. A leader, a pastor, they must 
have ; and, to my great surprise, they approached me on 
the subject. I had not dreamed of such a thing. My field, 
I had felt, was at the West. There I had grown up ; there 
been trained ; there were the loved ones ; there the noble 



associates in Christian and reform work ; there, really, all my 
cherished ties. But the demand was imperative ; I must re- 
turn. I did return, and with my family : it was in January, 

The church was at once organized. It had, for materials, 
the Farnsworths, the Cragins, the Dicksons, the Boutelles, the 
Wheelers, the Ruggs, the Needhams, the Halls, with many 
others. Mrs. Rockwood, daughter of Pastor Chaplin and sis- 
ter of William L., now living at Cortland, Cortland County, 
New York, upwards of one hundred years old, was with us, 
though I cannot positively say she was a member. The basis 
of the church has already been foreshadowed. It was the 
agreements of Christians, with a toleration of their differences. 
No narrower, no broader. And by Christians were under- 
stood those who were evangelical. It stopped where the 
Apostolic Church stopped. Whatever made a man a Chris- 
tian ; whatever entered essentially into Christian character ; 
whatever was so as understood by the Evangelical Churches, 
went into the basis of that church, and nothing more. There 
was no attempt to cut down, or to modify, in the slightest 
degree, the system known as Evangelical. This was accepted 
in its entirety. Is one a Christian ; is he one as understood 
by the Evangelical Communions .' — ^^«^, just that, and only 
that, was the condition of admission. It was really the same 
as that of the Evangelical Alliance ; the same, too, as that of 
the Young Men's Christian Association. And in these, we 
are sure, we see the Church of the Future. Such was the 
basis. Planted on the essentials of the Christian faith, receiv- 
ing one another as Christ received them, love was to pervade 
all, and fuse all ; to be, too, the bond of perfectness. All felt 
we might sing with Cowper — 

" Were love, in these the world's last doting years, 
As frequent as the want of it appears. 
The churches warm'd, they would no longer hold 
Such frozen figures, stiff as they are cold ; 
Relenting forms would lose their power, or cease ; 
And e'en the dipped and sprinkled live in peace : 
Each heart would quit its prison in the breast. 
And flow in free communion with the rest.'' 


The church thus started, earnest work began. A powerful 
revival soon followed ; large numbers were added. The 
church, at the dawn of spring, was something near a hundred 
strong ; and, of the new recruits, there were not a few of 
interest. I wish space admitted of extended mention. I 
must note a few. 

There were the two Bancrofts, — George and Henry. These 
brothers interested me at first sight. As in the case of our 
Lord, on meeting the young man in the Gospel, I loved them. 
There was a nobility about them, an affability as well, that in- 
stantly won my heart. George was cut out for an orator ; had 
the elements for one. A juster self-estimation and the proper 
training would have made him eminent as such. Henry had 
fine gifts, though different. These brothers, together with their 
excellent wives, — and it was my privilege to make them such, 
— were among the first to give in their adhesion to the cause. 
So another choice young man, and related by marriage, John 
Robbins ; he really was slightly in advance in the matter. 
There, too, was George Green, the baker, an avowed sceptic, 
who entered the ranks. And another George, quite young, 
and yet of promise, — George S. Gates. Besides, if I mistake 
not, a sprightly young man, with high and generous aspira- 
tions, a son of parents referred to, — Daniel Needham. There 
were others deserving of mention. The work was far-reach- 
ing. It attracted many from neighboring towns, especially 
from Lowell ; and an interest appearing in that city, I was 
invited to spend there some two weeks. Most satisfactory 
results followed. In the meantime a large meeting was held 
at Groton in the church of the Reverend Mr. Phelps, with 
some of the ablest men in the State as preachers. It was a 
meeting of interest. 

Some of the actors in those scenes come back to me with 
great freshness. Still, nearly all are dead. Deacon Cragin, 
with his winning face, is one: a true man, and Christian, 
was he. Luther Boutelle is another of them ; he, at the 
time, was a man of the last. So was Henry Wilson, of 
Natick. But he was before his Natick brother in the cause 
of the slave, — some time before. He was, like Wilson, a 


good workman ; so as a reformer ; was his equal in devotion 
to the cause. He seemed more eager to mend the nation 
than to mend boots and shoes. A vast deal of this mend- 
ing did he ; he was ever at it. So when his eyes were 
opened to the sin and evils of a divided Church ; here the 
same earnestness was shown. He was one of the most hope- 
ful of men. Better than medicine was it to go into his shop ; 
his large hope was a sure cure for despondency : I speak 
from experience. Fitly was he named ; for he had the hope, 
the firmness, the persistence, of the great German reformer. 
Nothing could dampen his ardor or shake his purpose ; and, 
in the power of speech, he developed surprisingly. He con- 
tinues to work ; seems to know nothing of age. He is ever 
moving, — keeps all the wheels of life running. My early 
love for this man, early esteem, abides the same ; though, in 
later years, we have been somewhat divergent in view and 
method. I love him, esteem him, for his sterling qualities, 
and high and varied work. 

The Wheelers are others. Early and ardent were they 
in the work, and in its several lines. The older, however, 
charming in aspect and sweet in spirit, early fell a victim 
to consumption ; but Samuel C. was spared, and rendered 
good service. Cheerful and earnest was he. His face was 
an inspiration ; he kept all in heart. He once visited me 
in after years ; and our correspondence, as in the case of 
Henry Bancroft, was long kept up. 

But one of the most marked of these is Elizabeth Farns- 
worth; she would be marked anywhere. Remarkable was 
her brain-power and force of character. Physically, much like 
her brother the Doctor ; mentally, if anything, his superior. 
She was capable of filling any position, and with honor. Her 
mind was decidedly of a philosophical cast ; broad, deep, and 
intensely clear. She was quick to detect error and to see 
truth, and grandly able to expose the one and defend the 
other. Her pen was keen, incisive, strong ; so to the last. I 
have scores of her letters, which, if printed in a volume, would 
attract wide attention ; and age, as hinted, had no power to 
impair that pen. Her last letters to me. and when she was 


along in the nineties, are as racy, trenchant, and nervous as 
any I ever received from her. Her penmanship, too, held 
much the same. I have surprised and delighted numbers of 
my friends by showing them these letters. The like none of 
them had ever seen. She was early a Christian, and of the 
Puritan stamp. Hers was the faith brought in the " May- 
flower." She, too, was among the very first for Freedom and 
Church Unity. And, in keeping with her character, near 
the close of her life she generously remembered Lawrence 
Academy, the institution to which she felt so much indebted. 
All honor to a town, giving birth, rearing, culture, even 
limited scope, to such a woman as Elizabeth Farnsworth ! 
Would that some able pen might do itself the credit, the 
town" the favor, and the subject the justice, to write her full 
history ! ^ 

It was somewhere, in this connection, I first made the ac- 
quaintance of David Fosdick, who had, I believe, previously 
graduated at Amherst and Andover. He favorably impressed 
me ; his face amply recommended him. Unlike most of 
his rearing and culture, he seemed in sympathy with my 
work. Though not making himself at all prominent, he was 
affording quiet proof of his good-will. This was help ; a 
stimulus indeed. And when, after me and on the same field, 
he made a most worthy attempt against sects, and in behalf 
of unity, my love and admiration of the man were greatly 
increased. True, from the force of early training, and subse- 
quent culture, his plan of union differed from mine ; yet I 
honored and admired him for so noble an attempt in his own 
line of thought and belief. It was eminently praiseworthy. 
Besides, the few discourses he kindly sent me, so able and 
scholarly, afforded me much pleasure and profit. 

In my first audiences in Groton, I noticed a young man 
who attracted my attention. He was, I should say, about 
twenty-two years of age, — perhaps slightly older; of medium 
height, spare, erect, trim, dark, with a well-formed head, and 
a thoughtful face. He was serious, always attentive, ever 
observant of the proprieties of the place. He was evidently 
1 See Appendix, page 20. 


present to hear ; to get light, if it was to be shed. These 
traits so impressed me, that I early inquired who he was. I 
was told he was a clerk in a certain store. I confess to a 
little surprise ; for I had thought that studious face marked 
him as a member of one of the professions, and most likely 
that of the law. But I found that my information was cor- 
rect. I met him often afterwards at his place of business. 
He seemed different from most young men. He was not, as 
I remember, very much in society; his tastes not seeming to 
run that way. He moved more by himself ; so it struck me. 
He was evidently a young man of books ; a close student. I 
could lay no claim to intimacy. We had little in common, as 
I conceived, either in politics, ethics, or religion. Still, I felt 
an interest in him, a drawing towards him, because of the 
qualities stated ; and this was increased by the sad death of 
his employer, in the fall of 1840. Disappointment as to the 
result of the election, in that memorable struggle, so wrought 
upon him as to lead him to end his own days. This sad 
event drew to the young man more attention, and, as I think, 
more sympathy. 

But for a season I lost sight of him. His time had not yet 
come. Things were shaping to bring him to the surface, but 
the process was slow. The leaven of anti-slavery was silently 
at work in the Church and in the State — potentially at work ; 
and yet there was little to evidence it. God was preparing 
his men for the grand struggle coming ; but it was quite away 
from the public eye. He had purposed the downfall of sla- 
very, and he had his chief agents in a course of training. 
They would appear in due time ; indeed, surprise the nation 
and the world when the crisis came. This is the Divine way 
of working. He knows what he will do, and by what agen- 
cies he will do it, and prepares them for it. When needed, 
they are brought forth. They are no accidents ; they are 
picked and trained agents, to work out his designs, to 
achieve grand and beneficent results. Lincoln was no ac- 
cident ; Grant was none ; Seward was none ; Sumner was 
none ; Henry Wilson none ; neither was George S. Boutwell. 
They were chosen men, divinely chosen, and fitted before- 


hand for their high work. All went to the anti-slavery 
school ; all learned in that school the high lesson of true 
Liberty. Without such a school, the country and the world 
would have been without such men. 

In the summer of 1840, a Convention was held at Gro- 
ton in the interest of Evangelical Unity. It was, I think, in 
August ; it was held in the Hall. The plan was early formed. 
It was intended to be like that already noticed at Syracuse, 
N. Y., in 1838. And, to prepare the way, as well as to pro- 
mote the general cause, a little paper was started, styled " The 
Church Reformer." It did not, as I remember, aim at per- 
manence ; nor was it entirely regular in its appearance. The 
first issue was devoted largely to a Plea for Unity and the 
Apostolic Basis of such Unity. It contained, I believe, The 
Declaration of Principles adopted at Syracuse. In it, of 
course, was the Call. Not a copy of it, to my great regret, 
can be found ; nor of any subsequent issue. But the paper, 
especially the first issue, attracted wide attention. It drew 
forth many able letters, and nearly all commendatory, which 
appeared in after issues.^ 

The Convention promised to be a large one, and so it 
proved. The season was charming ; Groton appeared at its 
best. Representatives gathered from most, if not all, of the 
New England States. New York was represented. Gerrit 
Smith was expected, but was prevented. The Reverend 
Luther Myrick, editor of " The Union Herald " was present, 
and did himself and the cause great credit. The Reverend 
A. C. Lord, who was my successor, was also there, and shared 
creditably in the proceedings. Boston, of course, was present 
in the persons of some of its stalwarts. I recall Oliver Johnson, 
the anti-slavery veteran ; Mrs. Chapman, one of the foremost 
women in the great movement, and one of the most gifted ; 
and John A. Collins, general agent of the State Society. 
Theodore Parker was present, but only as an on-looker. 

The Convention was enthusiastic as well as large. It con- 
tinued for three days. It was not, as expected, entirely harmo- 
nious. The Basis of Unity was the matter of disagreement ; 
1 See Appendix, page 23. 


the one bone of contention. But, after a long and earnest 
discussion, — a good-spirited one, too, — it was overwhelmingly 
settled that the movement contemplated only a union on the 
Evangelical Basis ; that it simply proposed a return to the 
Apostolic model ; that it was not to alter the basis of that 
church, or to widen its door, or to modify its doctrines oi 
its ritual or even its polity ; that it was not a reform in any 
of these senses; that its sole object was the restoration ol 
Original Church Unity ; that it was broad in this sense, and 
no broader; that this was its purpose, justification, commen- 
dation. Such was the decision reached, and by a most deci- 
sive vote. The proceedings were published, as reported by 
Mrs. Chapman, in "The Church Reformer;" but, as I have 
said, not a copy have I been able to find. 

I will add — yet I need not — that this was no Anti-Church 
movement. There was, and nearly synchronizing with it, such 
a movement. It was provoked, and not a little palliated, by 
the attitude of the Church toward the slave. It was the un- 
churchly position of the Church that occasioned it. And it 
went farther — went farther on the same principle. It struck 
at the State. It was Anti-State, as well as Anti-Church. It 
struck at both, and logically at what was cherished by both. 
Even the Bible did not escape. It was, I said, provoked, 
and in a degree extenuated. Not justified ; for the abuse ot 
a thing does not justify its destruction. This principle car- 
ried out would leave us nothing ; everything would perish. 
The movement at Groton had no manner of connection with 
this. It was as far from it — using the Miltonic measure- 
ment — 

" As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole." 

The idea of these grand but mistaken men was to crush 
slavery by crushing the Church and the State. My idea was 
to crush it through them, by first bringing them back to their 
normal position. Hence, through all the bitter struggle, I 
stood by the Church and the State; stood by the Church to 
reconstruct it after the pattern of its Divine Founder, and by 
the State to reconstruct it after the pattern of its founders. 


I stood by both for reconstruction after the original models. 
Such was my position. Such the position of the Church at 
the Hall. 

The Convention naturally gave a new impetus to the cause ; 
gave it character and standing, too. There were calls for lec- 
tures on all sides. They were given — given very exten- 
sively. And so continued until late in the summer of 1841. 
At that period, two gentlemen appeared at the hotel. One 
was the Hon. Wm. H. Stowell, of New Bedford. The North 
Christian Church of that city, and the largest one there, had, 
after serious trouble, dismissed its pastor, and not only desired 
a new one, but was intent upon a new departure. It desired an 
Orthodox man ; I was the one sought. I assured them the 
thing was out of the question ; that I could not possibly leave 
my position and work. Then they said they would stay the 
remainder of the season. They did stay several days. Finally 
they pressed me to spend a single Sabbath there ; I reluct- 
antly consented. After the Sabbath, a unanimous call was 
extended. Taking two weeks to consider, I at last accepted 
on the express conditions that the new departure should be 
actualized, and that I should have the cordial co-operation of 
the church in my two lines of reform. The Reverend A. C. 
Lord, as stated, was brought to take my place. He was a 
native of Rome, N. Y. ; a man of good culture, excellent 
spirit, and earnestly devoted to Freedom in the State and 
Unity in the Church. 

I left Groton regretfully in September, 1841. Many ties 
and tender bound me to the place. It will ever have a charm 
— a special one — as the birthplace of my oldest daughter, 
now Mrs. Stafford, of Chicago. As to my work there, I did 
what I could. There were faults and youthful indiscretions ; 
were many. Yet I have nothing to take back, nothing to 
modify, as to principles or even methods. I feel, after the 
lapse of forty-five years, that they were right. Nor does the 
seeming failure, in the slightest degree, lessen this conviction, 
Whittier is right — 



" Thy task may well seem over-hard, 
Who scatterest in a thankless soil 
Thy life as seed, with no reward 
Save that which duty gives to toil. 
Vel do thy work ; it shall succeed 
In thine or in another's day; 
And if denied the victor's meed. 
Thou shalt not lack the toiler's pay." 

I have much more to add ; but your space and patience 
have already been sorely taxed. 

Faithfully yours, 

Silas Hawley. 


William Lawrence Chaplin was a prominent Abolition- 
ist in the early days of Anti-slavery agitation. On August 8, 
1850, he was thrown into prison at Washington, D. C, and 
treated with great cruelty and indignity, for helping two run- 
away slaves to escape, who belonged to Messrs. Toombs and 
Stephens, representatives in Congress from Georgia. He was 
subsequently given up to the Maryland authorities, and then 
confined in the jail at Rockville, the shire-town of Montgomery 
County, where he was treated with much kindness. It hap- 
pened, fortunately for him, that the sheriff of this county was 
a gentleman and a Christian, and the jailer a man of good 
feelings and humanity. He was finally released on very heavy 
bail, provided by his friends and of course forfeited by him. 
A pamphlet was published soon afterward, giving a full his- 
tory of the case, which was entitled : The Case | of | William 
L. Chaplin ; | being | an Appeal | to all | Respecters of Law 
and Justice, | against | the cruel and oppressive treatment to 
which, under color | of legal proceedings, he has been sub- 
jected, in the | District of Columbia and the State of | Mary- 
land. || Boston : Published by the Chaplin Committee 185 1. 
pp. 54. 

The following extract is taken from it : — 

Thus, after an imprisonment of six weeks at AVashington, and of 
thirteen weeks more at Rockville, was Mr. Chaplin delivered out of 
the hands of the Philistines ; not, however, till his friends had paid 
for him the enormous ransom of $25,000. (Page 49.) 

Mr, Chaplin was the son of the Reverend Daniel and 
Susanna (Prescott) Chaplin, and born at Groton on Octo- 


ber 27, 1796. He died at Cortland, Cortland County, New 
York, on April 28, 1871. In speaking of him, the Reverend 
John Todd, D.D., who was the colleague and successor of his 
father, writes : — 

He was the youngest son, — the staff of the old man's age. He 
relinquished all hopes and openings in his profession, — the law, — 
that he might comfort and support his aged parents on their way to 
the grave. Most dutifully did he perform every filial duty till he 
had seen his parents laid in the tomb. Dr. James P. Chaplin, of 
Cambridge, so successful in the treatment of the insane, was an 
older brother; and his grandfather [great-uncle?]. Col. Prescott, 
was a commander at the battle of Bunker Hill. {Ibid., page 15.) 

Dr. Amos Farnsworth was the son of Major Amos and 
Elizabeth (Rockwood) Farnsworth, and born at Groton on 
August 30, 1788. He graduated at the Harvard Medical 
School in the class of 1813, and died at Roxbury on July 31, 
1 86 1. He was a man of marked ability, and Mr. Hawley's 
appreciation of his character is eminently just. At an early 
period he espoused the cause of the slave, when it cost a man 
his social position and popularity to take the side of that 
unfortunate class. He was with Mr. Garrison at the time 
of the "Garrison Mob" in Boston, October 21, 1835, and he 
also helped largely to furnish the means for starting the 
"National Anti-Slavery Standard" at New York. Dr. Farns- 
worth's labors in the anti-slavery cause are noticed in the 
second volume of Mr. Garrison's Life, recently published. 

The following tributes to Miss Farnsworth's character 
appeared soon after her death, the first one in the " Boston 
Commonwealth," February 23, 1884, and the other in the 
"Groton Citizen," March, 1884: — 

In Groton, 2d inst.. Miss Elizabeth Farnsworth, aged 91 yrs. 3 
mos., daughter of Major Amos Farnsworth, who fought at Bunker 


This lady was a rare specimen of a genuine New England wo- 
man — strong in intellect, decided and independent in character, of 
great energy, and firm in her religious faith, and a constant reader 
of the best books, having a tenacious memory and keeping herself 
well informed of things occurring all over the world, in which she 
retained the vivid interest of a young person. An early Garrison 
abolitionist (as were her whole family), she was in sympathy with 
all reformatory efforts, including those to secure larger rights for 
women, and herself voted at the town election for school committee 
when 86. She excelled as a most ready letter-writer, and wrote a 
long letter the very morning of her death, which occurred suddenly 
of heart disease, while her mind was bright as ever. Among her 
papers has been found the following letter from Mr. Garrison, writ- 
ten her about five weeks before his death, dated Roxbury, April 19, 
1879. After acknowledging some gifts for the suffering colored 
people in Kansas, he says : — 

" It would be indeed a most pleasing occurrence to me if I could 
have the opportunity of seeing you face to face and conversing with 
you in regard to things past and present ; but, though I am at least 
twelve years your junior, my health is so far affected that I am 
obliged to keep very closely to my home, though none the less in 
favor of 'immediate and unconditional emancipation' from all 'the 
ills that flesh is heir to ; ' but happily that will be realized at no dis- 
tant day, in accordance with the law of mortality. I bear in affec- 
tionate remembrance your deceased brother. Dr. Amos Farnsworth, 
whose friendship I greatly prized, and who brought to the support 
of the anti-slavery cause an inflexible purpose, a whole-souled con- 
secration, a warmly sympathetic spirit, and a noble disregard of 
that ' fear of man, which bringeth a snare.' I hope to clasp hands 
with him on another plane of existence, and with many other dear 
friends and co-workers, who have preceded me in the matter of 
translation to a higher life. May the remainder of your days be 
without any drawback and yet extended to a centennial period. 
" Yours with profound respect, 

"William Lloyd Garrison." 



a well-known resident of Groton, died of old age on Saturday, 
February 2. She was the daughter of Major Amos and Eliza- 
beth (Rockwood) Farnsworth, and born on October 19, 1792. She 
came from a sturdy stock, both physically and mentally; and rep- 
resentatives of her family not infrequently have reached an age 
upwards of ninety years. 

Her father died October 19, 1847, aged 93 years, 6 months and 
1 day; and her mother died December 11, 1847, aged 90 years, 7 
months and 24 days, each one at the time of death the oldest person 
in town. 

Her brother Luke lived to be over 90, and she herself at the 
time of decease was 91 years, 3 months and 14 days. Her ancestry 
was peculiarly of Groton origin, having descended from families who 
belonged to the very earliest settlers of the place, including among 
them the Rockwoods, Longleys, and Prescotts. She was the last 
member of her immediate branch, bearing the name, who lived in 
the town. She was more familiar with the old traditions of Groton 
than any person living at the present time. 

Miss Farnsworth was a woman of strong mental qualities, and 
took active interest in all the social and political questions of the 
day. She was a constant reader of the newspapers, and kept her- 
self informed with regard to current news. She was an ardent 
advocate of temperance, and a firm believer in the literal inter- 
pretation of the Scriptures. It was always pleasant to talk with 
her on these subjects, as she was so familiar with them, and ever 
ready with apt quotations. 

In her girlhood Miss Farnsworth was a scholar at the Academy, 
having attended in the year 1804, while under the preceptorship of 
Mr. Butler. At that time the institution was known as Groton 
Academy. She always took a deep interest in the welfare of the 
school ; and only last October she sent for the writer of these lines 
and told him that she did not expect to live through the winter, and 
desired to add her name to the list of subscribers, in aid of the 
Academy fund. She then gave him the sum of five hundred dollars 
for that object, and told him to say nothing about it during her 
life-time, and this is the first public announcement of the fact. 

S. A, G, 


The following reference to the Convention is found in the 
Life of William Lloyd Garrison, written by his sons, and 
published last year in New York. A fuller account is given 
in No. IV. of this Historical Series (page 13), under the head 
of "Two Groton Conventions." 

The year 1840 was, in a fermenting period, distinguished for the 
number of conventions, of every species, looking to the ameliora- 
tion of human society. One, which made much stir, was held at 
Groton, Mass., on August 12 (while Mr. Garrison was on the 
water), being called by the friends of Christian Union, who in- 
quired : " Is the outward organization of the Church a human or 
a divine institution ? " Amos Farnsworth was in the chair, and 
among other Abolitionists who participated were A. B. Alcott, J. V. 
Himes, and Cyrus M. Burleigh. But also one remarked the Rev. 
George Ripley, the future founder of the Brook Farm Commun- 
ity ; Christopher Pearce Cranch ; and (as the report read in the 

Liberator) " Parker, of Roxbury," with little-known Second 

Adventists and " Come-outers " (II. 421). 


By the kindness of Mr. Hawley I am allowed to make an 
extract from a letter, dated Stevens Point, Wisconsin, February 
19, 1886, and written to him by the Reverend Jacob Patch, a 
native of Groton, which gives some of his early recollections 
of the town. 

I have no recollections of Groton that would not probably be 
far better recollected by mfiny who are now living there, and have 
kept their memory fresh by passing places associated with interest- 
ing events, and by hearing over and over again a recital of the 
otherwise fading scraps of history." "Leaving the State at sixteen, I 
had only a boy's interest in passing events. Dr. Chaplin had grown 


old, and as the art of dentistry was not then perfected, old people 
often were very slow and measured in speech, and we boys were in 
the habit of doing some thinking between the Doctor's utterances, 
until we were forced to sleep by being compelled to sit still ; and 
hence when John Todd came, with his sparkling thoughts and ear- 
nest gestures, we children became his followers. Dr. Chaplin seems 
to have been of the Orthodox faith, and so he was in heart sym- 
pathy with Mr. Todd and his followers. But the women and chil- 
dren could not vote in church matters, and the poor men going 
with the Todd party were out-voted, and voted out of the meeting- 
house by those who had adopted the Unitarian views, and hence 
were obliged, though not well able, to meet the cost of building a 
house, and sustain the work incident to the separate congregation. 
Those were times of highly excited feelings ; and then, as at other 
times, there were men of the baser sort, who had not intellect and 
good taste enough to devise any better way to express their zeal, 
who would take out the linchpins (they did not have burrs or nuts 
then to hold the wheels on their carriages) and make other dis- 
arrangement of harness and carriages at the evening meetings, — 
and these feats of foolishness and danger were practised upon the 
Todd party without retaliation. The most impressive event of the 
year 1829 or about that time was the burning of barns.^ I do not 
remember how many, but at least seven valuable barns were burned 
within a few months, and there seemed to be no discrimination of 
party in politics or church. The whole matter, as far as I can 
remember, was without explanation. All such events, you readily 
see, would be the things remembered by a boy, and better remem- 
bered, perhaps, by people who were of more mature age at the time, 
and are still living with their faculties unimpaired ; so please do not 
let Dr. Green expect me to contribute anything connected with 
the history of dear old Groton. It is a pleasure to see the name 
of a son of our physician of olden time in honor. 

1 See No. IX. of this Historical Series, page 24. 

• No. XII. 






Historical Series, No. XH. 


The following article contains certain facts not mentioned 
in " Groton during the Indian Wars," and is intended to 
supplenient the incidents given in that book. 

The fullest account of the burning of Groton by the In- 
dians, on March 13, 1676, is found in the Reverend William 
Hubbard's Narrative ; ttiougR there is a good deal of con- 
fusion and uncertainty in the dates, so far as they relate to the 
relief sent to the town and the removal of the inhabitants at 
that time. Various attempts have been made by different 
writers to reconcile these inconsistencies, but without success. 
The following extracts from manuscripts, hitherto unpublished, 
throw a little light on the subject, but unfortunately do not 
solve all the doubts. The first one is from a paper among the 
Middlesex Court files at East Cambridge. 

It seems that Thomas Danforth, Register, had issued a 
summons to the constable at Watertown to warn the freemen 
of that town to choose three able and meet men to serve on 
the jury of trials ; and a return is made by William Bond, 
constable, certifying that John Bright was one of the three 
men, but he " is now since his choyce Impressed to helpe 
fetch ye poore desstresed people from Groatne." The cer- 
tificate is dated "151 7S-6," — the same as March 15, 1676, 
— and found in File 27, No. 2, Paper 6. 

The other extract is taken from a letter written by the 
Council to Major Savage, on April i, 1676, and now among 
the Massachusetts Archives (LXVIII. 192) at the State 
House. The extract is as follows : — 

The Towne of Lancaster is wholy deserted Groton can abide 
no longer y° Vntill carts bee sent To bring y*" wch wilbe next weeke, 
Chelmsfored wee fearre will bee soone nessecated to do y' like and 
what Meadfeld and other froneters towns may short bee put vpon 
ye Lord know 

This agrees with one of the accounts that has come down 
from early times. It is highly probable, however, that some 
of the families left the place immediately after the destruction 
of their homes. 

At this assault John Morse was carried off by the Indians, 
as a prisoner, and taken to the neighborhood of Wachusett 
mountain, but he was ransomed soon afterward on the payment 
of five pounds by John Hubbard, of Boston. The following 
extract from a letter, written by Daniel Henchman, June 2, 
1676, helps to fix the date of his release. Probably he was 
not delivered up until the money was forthcoming, as prison- 
ers were a cash article, worth at that time about four pounds ; 
and the rum, doubtless, hastened the bargain. Tom Dublet, 
the agent in the affair, was a friendly Indian, with several 
"aliases," who lived at Wamesit on the Merrimack River. 

Captain Daniel Henchman writes, under the date of June 2, 
1676: — 

Tom. Dublet went a way soone after Mf Clark and with him 
Jonathan Prescott, Daniel Champney & Josiah White carrying 
the pay for Goodman Moss & 3 gallons of rum. 

[Massachusetts Archives, LXIX. ii.] 

In the spring of 1684, eight years afterward, Prescott and 
Champney signed a certificate to the Council, setting forth 
the valuable services of the Indian in securing Morse's free- 
dom, and recommending him for a gratuity, which was accord- 
ingly granted by that body, in the shape of two coats. The 
certificate is as follows : — 

, April the second 1684 

Whereas wee Peeter Gardner, Daniel Chamney & Jonathan 
Prescot were Imployed By the Hono'ed Council somtime in May or 
June 1677 [1676 ?] To goe vp among The enimy Indians that then 
quartered in the woods About Watchuset in order to procure the 
deliuery of Inglish Captiues. Wee doe Certify that Thomas Dublet 
alius Nepanet was our interp'ter & helper in that Affayre ; And 
that hee hadlaeene a jorney before that time to treat w* the enimy 
& had procured them to meet vs, aboue twenty miles from ther 
quarters for the sachem met vs betwene Concord & Groaten ; And 
at that time old Goodman Moss of Waterton [Groton ?] was de- 
liuerd to vs & brought home & haueing By order paid fower pounds 
for his redempti[on] w'^'' Thomas Nepan[et] had bargaind for in his 
forme [r] jorney, And wee further say y' the said Tom Nepanet 
carried it faithfully in that matter & Deserues satisfaction for his 
Trauile & Adventure in y' dificult time & wee vnderstand hee hath 
receiued no satisfaction for that seruice hitherto, therefore wee 
humble conceue the Honored Councill should consider, him & order 
him to receue thirty or forty shillings for that Hazardoes seruice : 
And In testimony of the Truth of this certificate wee whose names 
are aboue exp'sed haue hervnto sett o' hands, the day & yeare 
aboue written. 

To bee p'sented To the Honble Gouerno' & Councill of the Mas- 
sachusetts Colony ; by the pson Concerned. 

Jonathan Prescott 
Danil Chamne 

Edward Rawson, the Secretary of the Colony, writes under 
the certificate the action in regard to it, as follows : — 

At a Council held at Boston the 8* May 1684 In Answer to the 
petition of Tho Dublett Indian & in sattisfaction for his paynes & 
trauile about y' procurme' of Goodman Morses freedom from y° 
Indians Its ordered that y' Tresurer Giue him two Coates 


E R S 
[Massachusetts Archives, XXX. 279.] 

The Colonial authorities had full knowledge of the intended 
attacks on the several towns of Lancaster, Groton, Marl- 
borough, Sudbury, and Medfield, during Philip's War ; and 


their slow action in meeting the danger is not ''asy to ex- 
plain. Rumors had been rife among the settlers that dan- 
ger was threatening, and, in order to learn' the truth of these 
stories. Governor Leverett concluded to send out spies. For 
this purpose he selected James Quanapaug and Job Katena- 
nit, two friendly Indians, who were as well known for their 
personal bravery as for their fidelity to the English. They 
started at once on the service, at the great risk of their lives, 
" through the Woods in the depth of Winter," says Hubbard, 
in his Narrative, "when the wayes were impassable for any 
other sort of people : these two, by name Raines and J^ob or- 
dered their business so prudently, as that they were admitted 
into those Indian habitations, as Friends, and had free liberty 
of Discourse with them " (page 76). Quanapaug returned 
some time before the other spy, and reported to the Council 
the result of his hazardous journey, which is found in a com- 
munication, dated January 24, 1675-6, and now in the posses- 
sion of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He says : — 

And this Indian [One-eyed John, or Monaco] told mee, they 
would fall upon Lancast', Groton, Malborough, Sudbury, & Mead- 
feild ; & that the 1° thing they would do should bee to cut down 
Lancaster bridge, so to hinder theire flight, & assistance coming to 
them ; & that they intended to fall upon them in about 20 dayes 
time from wedensday last. 

The manuscript is printed in the " Collections " (VI. 205- 
208), and is entitled " James Quanapaug's Information." 

This intelligence was of the utmost importance to the in- 
habitants of these outlying towns, but the authorities do not 
appear to have heeded it. If prompt action had been taken, 
some of the bloody massacres of that period might have been 
averted. Quanabaug foretold, almost to a day, the attack 
on Lancaster, and it was carried out exactly as he predicted. 
His paper was dated January 24, 1675-6, which day fell on a 
Monday, and the preceding Wednesday came on January 19 ; 
twenty days from that Wednesday would bring the time to 
February 8. The attack came on the loth, which would be 
"about twenty days" from the date he mentioned. 

No attention seems to have been paid to Quanabaug's 
timely information, until the return of Job, the other spy, 
who reached Major Gookin's house at Cambridge, completely 
exhausted after a fatiguing march of eighty miles through the 
wilderness, on the day before the fatal blow was struck, and 
confirmed the fearful news. Then, and not till then, was 
help sent to the beleaguered garrison at Lancaster, where 
in one house fourteen persons were killed and twenty taken 
prisoners during this assault, though the relief arrived in sea- 
son to recapture another garrison house. 

The leader of this attack was One-eyed John, the same 
Indian who commanded a few weeks later at the assault 
on Groton. He was a vile wretch, who met his well-merited 
fate on the gallows at Boston, on September 26, 1676. In 
a letter from the Reverend Thomas Gobbet, of Ipswich, to 
Dr. Increase Mather, dated March 28, 1677, the writer thus 
alludes to his jeers : — 

y° blasphemous speeches of one eyed John vttered at Groton to 
Capt. Parker in y'^ heareing of Diuerse : Boasting how many places 
he had Burned, & sayeing he would burne Concord, Watertowne 
Charlestowne &c Adding : And Me will doe, what me will : 

[Hutchinson Papers, II. leaf 288 verso, in the office of the Secretary of State.] 

At this period, Captain James Parker, of Groton, was the 
most prominent man in town, filling many civil and military 
positions. Mr. Butler, in his History, says of him : — 

He was successively chosen a selectman of Groton in most of Ihe 
years from 1662 to 1699, when chosen for the last time. During 
this period he was moderator of most of the town meetings, a mem- 
ber and chairman of all important committees, chosen to locate 
highways, lay out land, establish boundaries of the town, and in 
fine, to transact all business of a municipal, parochial, or public 
nature. He was a very active, noted, and, as is presumed, a very 
brave officer, in the wars with the Indians. (Pages 281, 282.) 

It appears by the following extract from a letter dated 
April 12, 1692, that he at this time had charge of the public 


ammunition stored in Groton. Major Tiiomas Hinchman 
writing to the Council from Chelmsford, says : — 

I desier an ordf to Cap^ Parker for some shott who hath a Quan- 
tity of y" Cuntrys stock in his hand. I am Advised y' Lancaster 
hunters have lately been w'^ a copany of Indians near wachusett, 
y= number of y" is Reported to be about 300. yy Report them- 
selves to be Albanians Senecas Maquas w* y'= western or Connect- 
icut Indians, This vnusuall Confluenc of so many Indians makes 
many to suspect & fear a design ag=' us. I doubt not but y° Coun- 
cil! will satisfy Themselves about it. The sould" y' I Desier will be 
needed in Chelmsf Groton & Lancaster : 

[Massachusetts Archives, XXXVII. 340. ] 

The following extract is taken from an undated letter, writ- 
ten by John Cotton, the minister of Plymouth, to his wife, 
Mrs. Joanna Cotton, then visiting at Sandwich. It contains 
an interesting reference to the Reverend Mr. Hobart's son, 
who was carried off from Groton by the Indians, on July 27, 
1694. There has long been a tradition that one of Mr. Ho- 
bart's children lay concealed, during the assault, under a tub 
in the cellar, and thus was saved from the fury of the savages. 
This story is in part confirmed by the letter, though it turns 
out to have been the maidservant, and not one of the children. 
Mr. Cotton writes : — 

I thinke I forgot to tell you that M' Hobarts lost son & a woman 
ran away & gat home, the Indians being drunk, she sayes they were 
30 & the English were neere them, had they come a little further 
they might easily have taken & killed them all ; Mr. Hob's maid hid 
herselfe under a tub in the cellar, the Indians were there, laid their 
guns on the tub, smelt her not. 

At the bottom of the letter the following note is appended, 
in the Reverend Thomas Prince's well-known handwriting : — 

July 27. 94. Y° Ind"^ sett on Groton ; killed more y" 20 carried 
away more y" 12 — took 2 sons of y'' R M' Gershom Hobart, y° 
min' &c. 

Mr. Prince adds, also, that the supposed date of' the letter is 
August, 1694, — which conjecture in connection with another 

letter from Mr. Cotton, dated, appears to be confirmed. If 
this supposition is correct, the report that Mr. Hobart's cap- 
tured son had run away from the Indians was probably false, 
as Chief Justice Samuel Sewall, in his Diary, under the date 
of May I, 1695, says that young Hobart was then still held a 
prisoner by them. 

The original letter is found among the manuscripts of 
the Massachusetts Historical Society, in the volume marked 
"Prince Papers" 61. D, leaf 23. Another undated letter, 
written by Mr. Cotton, in the same volume of manuscripts, 
leaf 33, contains an allusion to Bomazeen, who led the Indian 
forces against Groton at this assault. It is addressed to his 
son Rowland, the minister of Sandwich, and, according to Mr. 
Prince, was written on June 10, 1695. The reference is as 
follows : — 

The 8 captives come [torn and illegible] g" Bumbazeen to his 
face in court as a capt in murthers etc at Groton. 

At the bottom of this letter Mr. Prince has written: "95. 
May. 20. y" Indians bring 8 captives to Pemaquid-Fort & obt' 
a Truce for 30 Days." 

All the contemporary accounts of the attack of July 27, 
1694, state that thirteen prisoners were taken and carried 
off, but Ann Jenkins, in her deposition, printed on page 73 of 
" Groton during the Indian Wars," says that only twelve cap- 
tives were brought back by the Indian leader. It is highly 
probable that little Betty Longley was the thirteenth.; and 
tradition says that she perished from exposure, soon after 
she was taken. 

During the early period of Massachusetts history there were 
" wars and rumors of wars," and sometimes the rumors pro- 
duced almost as much consternation as the actual hostilities. 
In common with other outlying places, Groton had her share 
of vague reports, and the inhabitants were often disturbed b^ 
their circulation. General Wait Winthrop, a nephew of Deane 
Winthrop, who was one of the founders of this town, writes 


from Boston, June 13, 1698, to his brother John, in New Lon- 
don, Connecticut, as follows : — 


We haue a report from Hadly of Indians and French coming 
upon Deerfield, Lancaster, and Groton ; and orders are giuen to 
send men for there defence. 

[Massachusetts Historical Collections, VIII. fifth series, 530.] 

Fortunately, however, there does not seem to have been any 
good foundation for the report. 

A few years after this time, according to the town records, a 
garrison was needed at Thomas Chamberlain's mill, situated 
in the northerly part of Groton. Thomas was the father of 
John Chamberlain, who was noted as the man who killed 
Paugus in Lovewell's Fight at Pigwacket, on May 8, 1725. 
The entry in the records is as follow^s : — 

Groton may the 8 1706 At a town Meting legaly woned thay 
ded by uot declare thay would and doe desire that Thomas Cham- 
berill mill may bee up helde by a solgar or solgars for die good of 
the town by a patition to the cort or athoratie 

Joseph lakin town dark 

Thomas Chamberlain was a carpenter and miller, and lived 
about a quarter of a mile northerly of Wattle's Pond, on the 
west side of the road to East Pepperell. He is supposed to 
have died about the year 1709. 

If Chamberlain's mill was defended by a garrison at this 
period, it was probably there that the two Newton soldiers 
were killed on July 21, 1706, and another Newton soldier was 
captured at the same time. The account is given on page 92 
of " Groton during the Indian Wars." Two of these men 
were brothers by the name of Seager, and the third one was 
Nathaniel Healy. It was Ebenezer Seager who was killed, 
and probably Henry Seager, Jr., who was taken prisoner. 
They had been dining with one Blood, and families of this 
name were then living in the neighborhood. Mr. Butler, in 
Ifis History (page 265), mentions the fact that there was a 
large number of persons by the name of Blood in Groton, and 
that " they resided in the north part of the town." 


The Reverend Wilkes Allen, in his History of Chelmsford 
(page 35, note), states that Major Tyng was wounded by the 
Indians between Groton and Concord some time during the 
year 171 1, and taken to the latter town, where he died; and 
further on in the same work (page 129, note) he gives the 
Christian name of Major Tyng, which was William, and cor- 
rects the date, which should be 1710. 

The following article contains an allusion to one of the Tar- 
bell captives, and is found in " The Massachusetts Gazette : 
and The Boston Weekly News-Letter," October 15, 1772. It 
is the account from which the abridgment was made that ap- 
pears in Farmer and Moore's " Collections " (Concord, New 
Hampshire, 1822), and quoted on page 121 of " Groton during 
the Indian Wars." 

Dartmouth-College in New-Hampshire ; 
September 21, 1772. 

THIS Day Mr. Silvanus Ripley, and his Companion, and Inter- 
preter, Lieut. Joseph Taylor, returned from their Mission to 
the Indian Tribes in Canada, and brought with them ten Children 
from those Tribes, to receive an Education in this School ; two of 
which are Children of English Captives, who were taken by the 
Indians in former Wars, while they were young, and naturalized ; 
and these Children are brought up in the Language, and Customs 
of the Indians. The great forwardness and unanimity of their chief 
Men, when they were called in Council on the occasion, to have 
their Children come, and their final resolution to send them, not- 
withstanding the most forceable opposition their Priest made to it, 
the Chearfulness, orderly and good Behaviour of the Lads on their 
Way, and intire satisfaction on their arrival Home (as they called 
it) and the Accounts they give of Numbers of their Acquaintance 
which they have left behind, who desired to come with them for an 
Education, and may be expected in due time, and all this from a 
Thirst for Learning, founded partly on a Conviction of the Utility 
of it, which they have got by observing the great Advantage which 
the Learned have, above others they have lived amongst, and only 
thro' their superior Learning, also the great and general Veneration 
the Chiefs expressed towards the benevolent, and charitable Design 
of this Indian School, exhibit a truly encouraging Prospect that 


God yet mercifully designs something shall be done in that Quar- 
ter for the Honor of his great Name. Among these Children, 
is a Grandson about 8 Years old, of Mr. Tarbull, who was taken 
from Groton in the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay, about 68 
Years ago, when he was about lo Years old ; he greatly rejoiced 
to see them on this Occasion, and earnestly encouraged his Grand- 
son's coming : the old Gentleman is hearty, and well, and is the 
eldest Chief of that Village, — he expressed great Affection to his 
Relations in New-England, and desired they might be informed of 
his Welfare, and also that he had a Grandson at this School, — also 
a Grandson of Mrs. Eunice Williams, who was captivated with her 
Father, the Rev. Mr. Williams of Deerfield, in the Year 1704, would 
have come with them ; but was sick with the Measels ; but may be 
expected in the Spring, if they meet with nothing discouraging. 

N. B. The Number of Indian Children now in this School, is 
17, besides one that is put out to a private Family, on account of 
his being too young for the School. 

Naumox is an additional word to the list of local Indian 
names printed on page 189 of "Groton during the Indian 
Wars." It is applied to a long low hill or ridge, a short dis- 
tance west of the road to East Pepperell, near the Longley 
monument, and running parallel with the road. It is also 
used in connection with the neighborhood. Shepley Hill is 
another long low ridge in close proximity to Naumox, and 
lying to the west of it. The name is rarely heard at the 
present time, though it was in use, according to the town 
records, as far back as February 28, 1670 ; and I mention the 
fact here, in order to extend its survival. 

The inscriptions on the three monuments erected by the 
town in the autumn of 1879, and formally dedicated on Feb- 
ruary 20, 1880, were written by President Eliot, of Harvard 
University. The original draft of these inscriptions, and 
various other papers connected with them, are now preserved 
in the Boston Public Library, bound up with a printed copy of 
the Address delivered on the occasion by Samuel A. Green. 

1 1 



The following Agreement made between John Prescott, of 
Lancaster, and a committee of the town of Groton, concern- 
ing a grist-mill, is found in the Middlesex Registry of Deeds 
(HI. 399, 400) at East Cambridge. My attention was first 
called to it by the Honorable Henry S. Nourse, of Lancaster. 
The committee was appointed on August 6, 1667, and author- 
ized to make "a firme bargaine" with Prescott. See the 
printed edition of " The Early Records of Groton, Massachu- 
setts. 1662-1707 " (pages 20, 2i). 

This Indenture made the twentyninth day of Sep' In the yeare of 
our Lord, one thousand six hundred sixty & seaven. Between 
John Prescott Sen' of Lanchaster in the Coun of Midlesex in the 
Mattachusets Colony in New England Blackesmith on the one party, 
and James Parker, James Knap, John Page, and EUiz Barnes, agents 
& ffeoffees in trust in the behalfe of the Inhabitants of Grotton in the 
above named County on the other party, Witnesseth that the above 
named John Prescott Senf hath covenanted, granted & Comissoned, 
and by these presents for him the said John Prescott, his heyers, 
executors, and administrate", doth fully, clearly, & absolutely, 
coven', grant, and condition to and with the said James Parker, 
James Knap, John Page, and Elliz Barnes to Build and errect in 
some meet place, within the bounds of the abovenamed Towne of 
Grotton, a good & sufficient corne mill or mills, and the same to 
finish so as may be fitting to grind the corne of the said Towne, by 
the 2g'^ of SeptemB next, next ensueing the date hereof or within 
foureteen dayes after, and from time to time and at all times after 
the errection or building thereof to keep and maineteyne the said 
towne mill in good & sufficient repayre, and therewith to grind the 
corne all and eure part thereof, that shall from time to time be 
thither brought by the Inhabitants of the said Towne for such a 
reasonable allowance and towle as the law of the Country doth 


pmitt, and at such seasonable times, as shall be orderly agreed 
upon for the mutuall accomodation of both partyes [inevitable 
causaltyes by fire, water, or other sudden exegences always ex- 
cepted] in wch case or cases the sa"" John Prescott Senf his heyres, 
executors, adinstrators, & assignes of the said mill shall from time 
to time and at all times make reparation of any such breach 
or breaches as may so happen, without any unnecessary delay or 

In consideration whereof the above named James Parker, James 
Knap, John Page, & EUiz Barnes, by the appoyntm', and in the be- 
halfe of the Inhabitants of the abovesaid Towne of Grotton, and by 
the Power to them betrusted and given, do give and grant unto the 
said John Prescott his heyres and assignes five hundred acres of 
Lands with in the lirnitts of the abovesaid Grotton Towne, to be 
layd out in any place or places as may best accomodate the said 
mill, and also twenty acres of meadow land in any place not yet in 
propriety at the choyce of the said John Prescott, also free liberty to 
vse and improve any streame, or streames of water within the said 
Towne, and to raise the same to such height as may be for the best 
good of the said mill or mills, provided he destroy not any mans 
property already layd out, Also towards the building of the said 
mills or mill, two dayes worke of a man for every house lott or 
family within the lirnitts of the said Towne, and at such time or 
times to be done and performed, as the said John Prescott shall see 
meete, to call for the same, upon reasonable notice given, also free- 
dome and release from all taxes and rates that the said mill and 
accomodations of lands above granted may at any time be lyable 
vnto for the vse of the said Towne, for the terme of Twenty years 
next ensueing the time of the first grinding of the said mill, and 
finally that no other person or persons whatsoever shall be allowed 
or prmitted to build any other corne mill within the said Towne, 
unless he will do it for his owne private use only and on his owne 
propriety. To haue and to hold the above granted lands and 
premisses, and eurie pt and parcell thereof vnto him the said John 
Prescott Senf his heyres and assignes forever to his and their only 
propper vse & behooffe. And to the true performance hereof both 
partyes do mutually bynd themselves their executo'" & adminis- 
trator each to other firnly by these p'sents. 

In Witnes whereof the abovenamed partyes haue interchangeably 
put their hands and Seales the day and yeare first above written. 


In line ye 25 the word (one) was defaced, before this Covenant 
was signed as these witnesses can testifie 

Sealed & deliu"* John Prescott 

In p'sence off his marke & a Scale 

Samuel Willard James Parker 

William Lakin James Knap 

John Page 
Elliz. Barron 

This Covenant was owned by the partyes Conc'ned herein the i'.' 
of the s'l" mo. 1668. 

Before mee Simon Willaud Assist' 

Entred and Recorded Decemb. 30* 1669. 
By Thomas Danforth Recordf 



One of the most prominent men in the early history of the 
Massachusetts Colony was Major Simon Willard, a Kentish 
man from England. He had lived at Concord, Lancaster, and 
Groton, and in all these places exerted a wide influence. He 
had filled various civil offices, and in his day was a noted 
military man. For his public services the General Court, at 
the session beginning May 6, 1657, granted him five hundred 
acres of unappropriated land, wherever he could find it. One 
year later, at the session beginning May 19, 1658, after the 
tract had been selected, a definite grant was rnade, — though 
under a misapprehension, — which appears to have been in 
satisfaction, in part at least, of a debt due Major Willard from 
John Sagamore, an Indian living at Pawtucket, in the neigh- 
borhood of the present city of Lowell, though sometimes 
mentioned as of Groton. The land lay in the south part of 
Groton, and is now included within the town of Ayer. The 
entry in the General Court Records is as follows : — 

In Answer to the petition of Majo' Symon Willard The Court 
Judgeth it meete to graunt his Request viz a farme of five hundred 
Courts Graunt to a-crcs on the south side of the Riuer that Runneth 
Majo' Sy- from Nashaway [Lancaster] to Merremack betweene 

mon I ar . Lancaster & Groten & is In satisfaction of a debt of 
forty fewer pounds Jn° Sagamore of Patuckett doth owe to him 
Provided he make ouer all his Right title & Interest in the execu- 
tion . obtayned agt the sajd Sagamore to the countrje wch was 
donne. (IV. 281.) 

In making this extract and the next one, I have followed 
the General Court Records in the office of the Secretary of 
State. The volume has been paged differently at three sep- 
arate times, and I have taken the paging marked with red 


Major Willard's petition for five hundred acres in this par- 
ticular locality was granted by the General Court through a 
mistake, as the tract of land had been previously taken up by 
the proprietors of Groton Plantation, though no proper return 
had been made to the Court. This neglect or oversight led 
to the mistake, which was recognized years later and rectified 
by the Legislature. See " The Boundary Lines of Old Gro- 
ton " (pages 32, 33), for a fuller account of the case. 

At the session beginning October 18, 1659, the survey of 
the tract was returned, and duly approved by the Court, as 
follows : — 

In Obedience to the act or Graunt of the Honnored Generall 
Court of the Massachusett, in New England lajd out & exactly meas- 
Major Wiilards farme """^d ™ajor Symon willards farme . conteyning 
of 500 acres fiue hundred acres scittuate lying and being for 

by Groaten &c. ^^le most part, On the East side of Groaten Riuer 

:^ betwixt the plantation . graunled to the Inhabitants of Lancaster 
and the now Inhabitants of Groten at the place wch is Called by 
the Indians nanajcoyijcus . begining at the great riuer side . about 
one hundred rodds to the Nortward of nanajcoyijcus brooke be- 
gining wee say at the riuers side runing a due east Ijne ninety 
fewer rodds there making an angle varying forty fiue degrees . 
to the southward then Runing one mile and a halfe and forty 
Rods . vpon a southeast point there making an Angle varying 
twenty degrees from the old Ljne . Runing on that point sixty 
Rodds . there making an Acute Angle of sixty degrees . Runing 
on a west & by South point halfe a mile there making an angle 
varying two & twenty degrees . to the Northward Runing on a 
west & by North point one mile . there making an Angle . vary- 
ing thirty three degrees from the old ljne . Runing on a north- 
west point to the Riuer It being seven Score Rods . and from 
thence vpon a streight line to the place . where wee begann . wch 
last ljne doth Crosse Groten Riuer twice . 

this by me Thomas Nojes 

The Court Allowes & Approoves of this Returne provided the 
thirtje acres lajd out ouer the North East side of the Riuer be left 
out & taken on some other part of the Ijnes & that there be 
not . aboue one hundred acres of meadow lajd out in this farme. 
(IV. 334-) 


About the year 1671, Major Willard removed to Groton from 
Lancaster, where he bad previously lived for ten or twelve 
years, and built a house on this tract of land, — now situated 
in the town of Ayer, and then known as Nonacoicus, — which 
he continued to occupy until it was burnt by the Indians 
during Philip's War. It is said to have been the first house 
destroyed in the assault on the town. At a town meeting, 
held on October 14, 1672, Major Willard was made a free 
commoner for feed for cattle and for wood and timber, and he 
must have been a resident at that time. His place was 
well known, and often the rendezvous of troops employed in 
military expeditions. Soon after the destruction of his house 
he removed to Charlestown, where he died on April 24, 1676, 
only a few weeks after Groton was abandoned. The outlines 
of his farm, according to Noyes's survey, were somewhat 
irregular, but they can still be traced, in part, by the angular 
boundary of the town of Ayer, along the western half of its 
southern border. Originally Nonacoicus included the district 
now known as the Old Mill, in Harvard, — two miles away 
from Willard's farm, — where Jonas Prescott had his grist- 
mill. John Prescott, of Lancaster, in his will, dated October 
8, 1673, and on file in the Middlesex Probate Office at East 
Cambridge, says, in reference to his third son, Jonas, that 
" he hath Receiued a full Childs portion at nonecoicus in a 
Come mill and Lands and other goods." Singularly enough, 
Mr. Butler, who was familiar with the word, called it Mona- 
focus, and in his History (page 287) so prints it. The name 
of Nonacoicus is still kept up in the neighborhood, as applied 
to a brook, though it is frequently contracted to Coicus. 

In the summer of 1674, Major Willard conveyed one quarter 
part of the Nonacoicus grant to his son Henry, and in the fol- 
lowing year another quarter to his son Simon. Both these sons 
afterward reconveyed their respective interests to the mother, 
then a widow and administratrix of her husband's estate. 
The original deed of Major Simon Willard to his son Henry 
is now in my possession, given to me more than thirty-five 
years ago by the late Honorable John Boynton, of Groton. 
A copy of it was printed in " The New England Historical 


and Genealogical Register" {VII. 114), for April, 1S52; and 
soon afterward, at the suggestion of the late Joseph Willard, 
Esq., it was recorded in the Middlesex Registry of Deeds 
at East Cambridge. The deed is in the handwriting of 
the Reverend Samuel Willard, then of Groton, and is as 
follows : — 

Wheras upon a contract, between my son Henry Willard, & 
Mary Lakin daughter of sergeant Jno Lakin, both of Groton, I 
thought meet to settle somthing upon him for his outward subsist- 
ence : I doe therfpre, by these presents, give, grant, aliene, & con- 
firme, as a free deed of gift, without any entaile, one quartar part 
of my farm at Nonacoiacus in an equal portion & proportion to 
meadow, entervaile, & upland, with all the appurtenances therto 
belonging : excepting any part of the broken up land from coming 
into the division of the said quarter, only four acres of broken land 
hee shall have freely to improve for a yeer or two, or till hee bring 
some of his own into tillage : reserving also to my selfe during my 
life all the ponds & swamps, with free egresse & regresse,: & for 
his quartar part of meadow, hee shall not have liberty, during my 
life, to hire to any other, till I have the forsaking it, on reasonable 
terms . & in answer to his desire, I grant him the liberty of taking 
up sixty acres of his proportion of upland, entervail & meadow neere 
the river in an entire & formable body : also, as to that part of his 
meadow w'"" shall fall to be above the bridge, I reserve liberty of 
flowing, & damming the brooke, for the subduing of meadow, unto 
which worke hee shall contribute proportionably : 

To the said Henry Willard, his heirs, execute", administrate", 
& assignes, to have, & to hold, to occupye & possesse for ever, 
without any just molestation, encumbrance, lawsuit, whatsoever, 
from mee, my heirs, execute" & assignes for ever, or from any 
former alienation, mortgaze, deed of gift, or sale, or obligation to 
any person, or persons whatsoever. 

In Testimony wherof I here set to my hand & scale, this six- 
teenth day of July : 1674. 

Signed, sealed, dehvered 
In presence of: Simon Willard 

Cyprian Steevens 
Beniamen Allen 

Joseph Willard, Esq., in the " Willard Memoir ; or, Life 
and Times of Major Simon Willard : " (Boston, 1858), says : — 

A plan of Danforth's survey, drawn upon parchment, is still in 
existence, the property of a citizen of Groton. It gives the position 
of Major Willard's house, the course of Nashaway River, and 
Nonaicoicus Brook ; but these courses are laid down very in- 
accurately. This "Nonaicoicus Farm" — at a distance from any 
village, and, until recently, having but few inhabitants — is now a 
very valuable territory, in the course of rapid development in 
population and wealth. It is an important point in our extended 
net-work of railroads. The station-house at "Groton Junction" 
[now AyerJ is upon this land, and it is the centre of a growing busi- 
ness. (Page 329.) 

Perhaps the plan of Danforth's survey, here referred to, is 
the one given in " The Boundary Lines of Old Groton," and 
described on page 13 of that book, though the site of Wil- 
lard's house and the course of the Nonacoicus Brook are not 
shown in the reproduction. 

At the time of his death. Major Willard owed the es- 
tate of Hezekiah Usher, a merchant of Boston, the sum of 
;^272 2.S. 3^/. ; and on June 20, 1679, the widow Willard, in 
payment of the debt, sold the farm to the Usher heirs, — 
three quarters to Hezekiah Usher, Jr., and one quarter to 
Samuel Nowell, who had married the widow of the elder 
Usher. The record of the deed reads " of all that farme or 
Tract of Land commonly called & knowne by the Name of 
NONAICOICUS farme." Both these parcels of land were 
afterward conveyed, on May 11, 1687, to Jonathan Tyng, of 
Dunstable, in trust for his son John, a nephew of Hezekiah. On 
December 3, 1713, Tyng in his own name transferred the farm 
to William Farwell and John Sollendine, both of Dunstable. 

Mr. Butler, in his History (page 91), mentions, among the 
garrisons at Groton in the year 1692, one " at Mr. Hezekiah 
Usher's farm," where there were stationed three soldiers, be- 
sides Samuel Bennett and Bennett, in all five men. 

He says further, that " the location of Mr. Usher's farm and 
the Bennett's is not known," but he inclines to the opinion 
that it was in that part of Groton now included in Littleton. 


It was, in fact, the Nonacoicus farm, which then belonged to 
the Usher family ; and the Bennetts undoubtedly lived in the 
neighborhood. There is a brook rising near the Shaker 
Village in Harvard, and running into Spectacle Pond, which 
has been known for a long period as Bennett's Brook ; and it 
is highly probable that it took its name from this family. 

Hezekiah Usher, Jr., who owned for a while the Willard 
farm, married Bridget Hoar, the widow of President Leonard 
Hoar of Harvard College, who was a daughter of John Lisle, 
one of the Commissioners of the Great Seal under Cromwell ; 
but the marriage was not a happy one. She left him and 
went to England in the year 1687, and did not return until 
after his death, which took place at Lynn on July 11, 1697. 
Usher's will is dated Nonacoicus, August 17, 1689, and in it 
he refers very plainly to his domestic troubles, and bitterly 
blames his absent wife. Usher was a man of morbid temper- 
ament and hardly responsible for what he wrote. He says 
himself, that some people may attribute his will " to melan- 
choly or distractedness," which is probably the correct way of 
judging him. The document is a long one and published in 
full in " The Historical Magazine " (Morrisania, N. Y.) for 
September, 1868 (pages 120-122). The following is an extract 
taken from the will, on file in the Suffolk County Probate 
Office, and numbered 2382 : — 

And when it Shall please God to bring my change on me, As for 
my body I desier it may be decently buried. And not much Spent 
on my funirall, for I haue Seene Some that haue bene Soe Expen- 
ciue at there funiralls that the Living haue Suffered, for the burieing 
of the Deceased — And as to the Dispose of my outward Es- 
tate — in the first place I desier that all my due debts Should be 
payd as Soone as posibly may — And unto my Deere wife whome 
I may count very deere to me, by her Loue to what I had, But not 
a Reale Loue to me — which Should a counted it more worth then 
Anny Other outward Enjoym' — And for her coveteosnes — And 
over Reaching — and cuning — Impresion — That hath almost 
Ruinated me, by a Gentele Behavior hauing Oyly words but as Sharp 
Swords to me, whose cuning is like those to be as a Angle of light 
to Others, but wanting Loue and charity for me. And like S' Edm° 


to oprese the people, And his hand not to be Seene in it and don by 
his counsell —And — therfor — I doe cut her off from y= bene- 
fit of all my Estate, and doe not bestow any thing upon her, but 
what the Law doth allow. Because I Looke at her as deceauable in 
her goeing over for Engl"*, geeting & grasping all her Estate into 
her hand and of mine. And what Euer don for her by me to be 
ungratefuU — And her Staying away to be a Implicit divorce, which 
Looke at it worse then a pubhck Divorce, And giues the power, 
in to y': hands of women, to Userpe the power out of y" hands of 
y".' husbands — And Rather then in a way of Humillity— to Seek 
there husband's good, if they can Hue comfortably abroad without 
them — they Regard not the troubles or Temptations of there hus- 
bands at home. And Soe become Seperate, which is far worse then 

the Doctrin of Divills — which forbid to Marry But as to her 

Daughter Bridget, if her Mother had not bene Soe Undermining 
and over Reaching for her, I Should abene willing to haue done 
what I could for her, — And doe giue her the Tumbler with the 
Armes of a Spread Eagle w* two heads — but — I think one head 
for a Body is Enough — And the Table Cloth of the best Damaske 
And the Napknies there too, — And this my will I make to be a 
warning to those women that haue noe Loue for there Husbands — 
but to what they haue which one had better had a wife that had not 
bene worth a groat, then to haue one that hath noe Loue for him — 
And doe desier those many papers y' I haue write as to the Evill of 
hauing a wife only in Name, And to Seeke them Selves in a way of 
Seperation from there husbands — or y" Goverm' of wiues to there 
husbands — and the Duty of wiues to there husbands &c that they 
— and all my Lett's — Sent to Madam Bridget &c that they might 
be perused by Some wise Understanding pious person — that wher 
any thing hath bene' Acted by my Selfe — that is not convenient, 
And Something may be aded for a Suply — but let it be one that 
is for men to beare Rule in y" owne howses — that it may be 
matter of Benefit, to Some that may follow affter me, for which 
Ende doe propose, that he or they might have, ;£'^o or ^^40 allowed 
him or them, for y" compyling of y° Same, As to her that is Reputed 
my wife if She acknowliges any thing where in She hath don amise, 
I freely forgiue her — I doe not Excuse my Selfe altogether, — But 
my Loue to her & Admiring of her gentele cariage &c — it 
Occasioned her and her complyces to Userp y' power over me, 
whereby I haue bene cuningly over Reached, in, and abused Sever- 
all wayes — And therefor propose this for warning to others. 



About the year 1690, according to the town records, 
there was considerable dissension in the church at Groton, 
though little is known in regard to the details or merits of the 
trouble. The Reverend Gershom Hobart, who had been the 
minister of the town since its re-settlement in 1678, appears 
to have lived unhappily with his parishioners ; and near this 
time he gave up his charge, though he subsequently came 
back again. The want of harmony between him and his 
flock apparently had some connection with the amount of his 
salary and the manner of paying it. During this period a 
committee was appointed by the town, on December 21, 1691, 
to " go down & fach up som meet parsan to preach to us & 
the town is to bare the charg." One week afterward, on 
December 28, the town voted that " thay would giue to the 
minister m' hancock aight pounds money for the first quarter 
of the yere and pay for his bord besides & this to be payed 
by way of Raate." Again, three months later, on March 21, 
1692, they voted to give " to master hancock the full som of 
sixtey pound one fourth part siluer for a yers salarey for 
Preaching in order to ordnation in dew time and the other 
three parts in pay corn or prouishon at comon prys & mr 
hancocock bord himsalf." 

Nearly two months after this date, on May 16, 1692, 

the inhabitants of the town being mat togather this day to con- 
sider of som tarmes Rafaring to mr hancock wadges for praching the 
word of god to us & thay did this day by uoat datarman to giue mr 
hancock fiue pounds in money for his praching 8 sabath days be- 
fore the comminsment and pay for his hording and then if he pleas 
to acsapt of the towns proposishans in order to satlment in dew 
time wt the inhabitants of this town shall Radely acsapt of him for 
our minister &c. 

Jonas Prescott town dark 


The minister referred to in these several votes was the 
Reverend John Hancock, sixth child of Nathaniel Hancock, 
of Cambridge, shoemaker. He graduated at Harvard Col- 
lege in the class of 1689, and was teaching the Cambridge 
grammar school in the year 1 691, just before he began to 
preach in Groton. It is evident that he declined the invi- 
tation given him by the town, though there is no record of 
it. He was the grandfather of John Hancock, Governor of 
Massachusetts and signer of the Declaration of Indepen- 

During the next autumn the town invited the Reverend 
Samuel Carter to be their settled minister, and he appears 
to have accepted the offer. He was the eldest son of Thomas 
Carter, first minister of Woburn, born on August 8, 1640, — 
though there is some doubt as to the place of his birth, — and a 
graduate of Harvard College in the class of 1660. On the 
resettlement of Lancaster in the year 1679, after its destruc- 
tion by the Indians, he supplied the pulpit in that town for a 
considerable length of time, and from Lancaster he came 
to Groton. The entry in the town records relating to his 
invitation is as follows : — 

the same day the maiger part of the town did by uoat daclare that 
thay ware wiling for mr carter to com forth with to be our sailed 
minister in order to ordanation in dew time ockt : 21 : 1692 

At the same meeting the town did agree to giue mr Carter for 
this prasant yere the som of sixty pounds in manar as foloweth one 
fourth money the other part in corn and prouisione at town pryse to 
be payed the one half by the first of march and before as he need- 
eth it and the other half by the 16. of saptem naxt insewing after 
the dat hereof ockt 2 : 1692 

Mr. Carter removed to Groton soon after receiving this call, 
but did not remain long over his pastoral charge, as he died in 
the autumn of 1693. According to papers on file in the Mid- 
dlesex Probate Office at East Cambridge, administration on 
his estate was granted on October 30, 1693 ; and in the in- 
ventory of his property, dated a few days previously, on 
October 17, he is spoken of as Mr. Samuel Carter, late of 


Groton, deceased. Among the items is "Bookes'' to the 
value of ;^i5 los., which was a large library for that period ; 
and among the debts owed by the estate is one " To widow 
Locar of Groton," who was without doubt the mother-in-law 
of Jonas Prescott, a former townsman of Mr. Carter at 

Mr. Carter's name appears but twice in the town records, — 
the two instances just given, — and nothing whatever is 
known concerning his brief ministry in Groton ; but, as one 
of the pioneer preachers in the early days of New England 
life, his memory deserves to be cherished. 

S. A. G. 

No. XIII. 





1664 — 1693, 








Historical Series, No. XHI. 


At a very early period in the history of the Colony of 
Massachusetts Bay, the registration of births, deaths, and 
marriages was required by law. At the session of the Gen- 
eral Court, beginning May 6, 1657, it was voted that : — 

This Court taking into theire Consideracon the great damage 
that will vnavoydeably Acrue to the Posteritje of this Comon wealth 
by the generall neglect of observing, the lawe Jnjoyning a Record 
of all births deaths & marriages w'hin this Collony doe therfore 
Order that hencforth the Clarks of the writts in each Toune respec- 
tively take due Care for effecting the same according to the Intent 
of the aforesajd lawe ; And In Case any person or persons shall 
neglect theire duty required by the sajd lawe, more then one month 
after any birth Death or marriage, the clarke of the writts shall de- 
mand the same w* twelve pence a name for his Care and paynes 
and in Case any shall refuse to sattisfy him he shall then Retourne 
the names of such person, or persons to the next magistrate or 
Comissione's of the Toune where such persons dwell who shall 
send for the party so Refusing and in Case he shall persist therein 
shall give order to the counstable to levy the same. And if any 
Clarke of the writts shall neglect his duty hereby Injoyned him he 
shall pay the following pcenalty. i e for neglect of a yearly Retourne 
to the County Court five pounds and for neglect of Retourning the 
name of any person Retburneable by this lawe, whither borne mar- 
rjed or Dead more than thirty dajes before his Retourne to the 
County Court five shillings. 

[General Court Records, IV. 245.] 

In accordance with this requirement the births, deaths, and 
marriages occurring at Groton were duly recorded in the 
Middlesex County records ; and, as many of them do not 
appear in the town records, they are now printed for the con- 
venience of genealogical students. It will be noticed that 
the earlier ones were sent to the recorder by James Fiske, 
" clerk," which stands for clerk of the writs, as he was not 
the town clerk during all of the period when he so signs 
himself, though he was for the year 1665. 

Marriages were performed, in the early days of New Eng- 
land, by magistrates only, and other officers appointed for 
that particular purpose. It was many years before ministers 
of the Gospel were allowed to take part in the ceremony. At 
a town meeting held in Groton, on December 15, 1669, the 
Selectmen were authorized " to petition to the [General] Court 
for one to marry persons in our towne" ; and it is probable 
that, before this time, persons wishing to be joined in wed- 
lock were obliged either to go elsewhere in order to carry out 
their intention, or a magistrate was brought for the occasion. 
The population of the town was small, and the marriages were 
few ; and before this date only eight couples are found re- 
corded as of Groton. Presumably these marriages took place 
in the town where the brides severally lived. 

The following list of early births, deaths, and marriages is 
taken from two record books, bound in parchment, now in the 
office of the clerk of Middlesex County Court at East Cam- 
bridge, and marked respectively Volumes III. and IV. The 
returns for the years 1690-1693 are found in the Probate 
Records, at the end of Volume VI. The marriages after 
January, 1745, are recorded in two volumes, lettered on the 
back "Marriages. No. i." and "Marriages. No. 2." These 
entries come down to 1793, though during the later years the 
list is not complete. After each return I have given within 
brackets the particular volume as well as the page, where 
it is found in the original record. In all the other instances 
an exact reference is made to the various sources whence 
they are derived. 

S. A. G. 








OCTOB. 3. 1664. 

Sarah daughter of Jn? Laken borne february. 4* 1661. 
Sarah daughter of Jn? Nutting borne March. 29'^ 1663. 
Thomas sonne of Samuel Woodes borne March. 9'^ 1663. 
W" Sonne of Jn° Lakin borne May. 12* 1664. 

daughter of Samuel Daves borne January. 31. 1662. 

Hannah daughter of Nathaniel Lauarnce borne July. 3* 1664. 
M'' Jn°. Miller, minister of Gods holy word died. June 12'!" 1663. 
Marah daughter of Richard Bloud died Aprill. 19* 1662. 
Elizabeth the wife of Jn°. Laurance died August. 29* 1663. 
Jn° Page & Faith Dunster were marled May 12'!" 1664. 
M' Samuel Willard & Abigail Shearman were marled. August. 
8* 1664. 

Receiued. August. 8. 1664. and here entred 

By Tho : Danforth. Record'' 

Abigaill daughter of M' Samuel Willard borne July 5* 1665. 
Abraham sonne of William Laken borne January, lo'? 1664. 
John sonne of Samuel Davis borne March. 10* 1664=1665 

John Sonne of Jn° Barron Aprill. 4* 1665. 

Elizabeth daughter of Daniel Peirce borne May. 16'!' 1665. 

Grace daughter of Elliz Barron, borne July. 29'^ 1665. 

Elizabeth daughter of Samuel Woods Septemft. i;'.*" 1665. 

William sonne of William Greene July. 13* 1665. 

Jonathan Sawtle, & Mary his wife were marled. July. 3"? 1665. 

By James fiske darke. 
Abigail daughter of Jn° Laurance senf borne January. 9* 1666. 
Sarah daughter of Joseph Parker borne Noveraf I6'^ 1666. 
Joshua sonne of Joshua Whitney borne. June. 14* 1666. 
Thomas Williams and Mary [Holden] his wife maried August. 

ii'!- 1666. 
Thomas Tarbole & Hannah [Longley] his wife maried. June. 30* 

By James fiske. dark. 
15. 9. 1666. 

Entred by Thomas Danforth. Record''. 

[III. 45^7.] 

Thomas Williams & Mary [Holden] his wife was maried 

vpon the 11'" day of July, 1666. Manages 

Thomas Tarbole & Hannah [Longley] his wife was maried July. 
31. 1666. 

Abigail daughter of John Laurance Senf & Susanna Birthes 

his wife, borne. January. 11* 1666. S iiS'Ll! 

Sarah daughter of Joseph Parker borne, novemB & these should be 

,^^ ^ , , entred 1665. 

16* 1666. 

Joshua sonne of Joshua Whitney borne June I4'^ 1666. 

"4 James fiske dark. 
Octob. I. 66. 

Entred by Tho : Danforth Record" 

It will be noticed that these returns are duplicated among 
those which immediately precede them, though the dates do 
not always agree. The recorder's supposition is undoubtedly 
correct, that the births belong to the year 1665. As it 
stands, the record of Sarah Parker's birth was made six 
weeks before the event took place. 

[III. 74, 75.] 


Daniel Peirce, sonne of Daniel Peirce, & Eliza15. his wife was 

borne. 28. 9* 1666. 
Joseph Gelson sonne of Joseph Gelson & Mary his wife borne. 

8. I. i66f 
Ebenezer sonne of Jn° & Sarah Nutting, borne. 23. 8. 1666. 
Anna daughter of Wiiim Greene, & Mary his wife borne. 12. 3. 

Abigail daughter of Jn? Lakin & Marcy his wife borne. 13. i. 

Samuel sonne of Samuel Leamond & Marcy his wife, borne. 29. 

2. 67. 
Thomas sonne of Thomas Tarbole, & Anna his wife, borne July. 

6* 1667. 
Susanna daughter of Jn° Laurance, & Susanna his wife, borne 

July. 3"? 1667. 
John Sonne of Nathaniel Laurance, & Sarah his wife, borne July, 

29* 1667. 
Sarah daughter of Samuel Davis, & Mary his wife, borne. 12. 6. 

Thomas sonne of Thomas Williams, & Mary his wife, borne 17. 

I. m° 6f 
Jn° Laurance. Sen' died. July. 11. 1667. 
By James fiske darke 

Entred by Tho : Danforth R. 

[III. 104.] 

Elizabeth Baron daughter of Jn? Baron borne Sep' 28* 1667. 
Mary daughter of Jonath. Sawtle, & Mary his wife borne. Octoft. 

16. 1667. ^ 
Joseph sonne of Joseph Morss, & Susanna his wife borne. Novem^. 

II. 1667. 
Mary daughter of Robert Parish, & Mary his wife borne Jan. 5. 

Nathaniel sonne of Samuel Woods, & Ales his wife borne. March. 

25, i66|. 
Mehetabel Barron daughter of EHz Barron borne June. 22. 1668. 
John Sonne of Daniel Pearse borne August. 18. 1668. 
Samuel sonne of M' Samuel Willard borne January. 25. 1667. 
Abraham sonne of WiHm Leakin, borne Sep' 11. 1667. 

James Roberson, & Elizat. [Farnsworth ?] his wife was maryed 

January. 16. 1667, 
Grotton. novemtt. 16. 1668. f James ffiske 

Entred by Thomas Danforth Record"' 

[III. 144.] 

Sarah Whitney daughter of Joshua Whitney borne. 10. of Octob. 

Elizabeth daughter of James Roberson. borne. OctoB. 3. 1668 
Jonathan sonne of Jn° Nutting borne 17. 8. 68. 
Elizabeth Sawtell daughter of Jonathan Sautle borne, febr. 3. 1668 
John Williams sonne of Thomas Williams borne Novemft. 3. 1668. 
Jonathan sonne of Samuel Kemp borne Aprill. 6'!' 1668. 
Sarah daughter of Joseph Gilson borne June 25* 1669. 
Anna daughter of Robert Parish borne Aprill 2. 1669. 
John Sonne of William Greene, borne in march. 1669. 
Timothy Cooper, & Sarah Morss was maryed June. 2. i66g, 
James Bloud, & Elizabeth Longly was maryed SeptemB. 7* 1669. 
Mary Martinn wife of Wilim Martin deced, August. 14* 1669, 

Entred by Thomas Danforth Record"' 

[III. 154.] 


John Prage [Page], sonne of John and faith ) ^ii^^^xn' ^^.h jggo 

Prage was borne. j 

Samuel farneworth, sonne of Mathias & Mary his 1 ^ , , „ ,, 
.^ , \ Octob. 8. i66g. 

wife, borne ) ^ 

ElizaB. sonne [sic'X of Peleg, & Elizabeth his wife ) t ^r 

borne ^} Janu : 9. 1669. 

ElizaB : Lakin sonne [«V] of W" Lakin, and Lidea) ^ a rr 

, -' . > Janu : 8. 1660. 

was borne ) ■' ^ 

Mary daughter of M' Samuel Willard and Abigail) „ , ,^ 

,. °., , ° V Octo: 10. i66q. 

his tvife, borne ) ^ 

W" Longly sonne of Jn" Longly, and Scisely his > ^ 1 . ^^ 

wife borne * | • • 9- 

Hannah daughter of Walter Skenn' and Hannah ) n, , 

borne } ^^'""^ "• '^^9- 

Moses sonne of Jn° Barron borne. March 26. 1669 

Mary daughter of Nathaniel Laurance borne March 3. i6^§ 

Samuel sonne of Samuel Davis borne Janu. 8. i66g. 

Timothy Sonne of Timothy Cooper, & of Sarah his | j^ , „. 

wife borne j " 

Joseph Sonne of John Lakin borne Aprill. 14. 1670 

Mary daughtr of Samuel Woods & of Ales > , . ^ . 

, . ° Y borne August. 2. 1670. 

his wife ) 

Anna daughter of Thomas Tarbole, and of Anna | , . 

his wife borne I 

Richard sonne of James Bloud & Elizabeth his wife ) ^^^ , 

borne | May. 29. 1670. 

Robert sonne of Robert Parish borne NovemB. 20. 1670. 

Samuel sonne of Joseph Morss. borne Septem. 4. 1670. 

Hannah daughter of Jonathan Sawtle, and of Mary \r\ ^ \. (^ ^ 
his wife borne I 

Manages. Cornelius Church and Mary his wife) -, , 

° , ^ > June. 4. 1670. 

were maryed ) 

Nathaniel Bloud, & Hannah fParkerl ) t ^ 

. . ' ^ -I Hune. 13. 1670. 

his wife were maryed ) 

Deaths. Richard Bloud, sonne of James Bloud died. July. 8. 1670. 
Thomas Parish sonne of Robert Parish died Aprill. 18. 

By James fiske clarke. 
[III. 194, 195.] 

Margarett Longly daughter of John Longly. borne. Decemli. 28. 

Abigail farnworth daughter of Mathyas borne January. 17* 1671. 
Anna daughter of Nathaniel bloud borne. March, i. 1671. 
John Cooper sonne of Timothy was borne March. 5. 167 1. 
Abigail daughter of Jonathan Sawtell borne. March. 5* 1671. 
Anna daughter of Thomas Smith borne. Aprill. 17* 1672. 
Samuel sonne of John Prage [Page] borne June. 4. 1672. 
Eleazer sonne of Wiilm Greene May 20* 1672. 
Elliz. Barron sonne of John Barron borne June 14* 1672. 
Barnabas Davis, sonne of Samuel Davis borne. Aprill. 17* 1672. 
Sarah daughter of Nathaniel Laurance borne May. 16. 1672 
Abigail Woods, daughter of Samuel Woods borne August 19* 1672. 
Mary Bloud daughf of James Bloud borne Sept. i. 1672. 
Wiiim Tarbole sonne of Thomas Tarbole borne Octo'B. i. 1672. 


WiHm Longley & Lidea his wife were maryed May. 15. 1672. 
Alexand' Rouse, & Judah [Cady] his wife were maryed. May 15. 

John Sonne of Timothy Cooper, died. Died Aprill 28. 1672. 

Grotton. 10* of Decem15. 1672. 

By James ffiske CI : 

Anna Parris daughter of Robert Parris borne. Sep' lo'!" 1672. 
Benjamin Laken. sonne of John Laken borne, Novemli. 6* 1672. 
Grace Hall, daught' of Christopher Hall borne. novemB. 25'^ 1672. 
Mary Williams, daughter of Thomas Williams borne, febr. 3* 1672. 
Mary Morss, daught' of Joseph Morss borne febr. 11* 1672. 
John Boyden sonne of Thomas Boyden borne Decem'B. 6* 1672. 
Veseulah Coles, daughter of John Coles february. 20* 1672. 
Judeth Rouss ) daught" of Alexandf Rouss. 
Elizabeth Rouss ) borne, febr. 2. 1672. 

Timothy Barron sonne of Elliz Barron borne. Aprill. 18* 1673. 
Sarah daughter of Timothy Cooper borne. March. 20* 167! 
John Willard sonne of M' Samuel Willard SeptemB. 8* 1673. 
ElizaB: Bloud, daughtr of Nathaniel Bloud, borne OctoB. 7* 1673. 
Mehettabell Kemp, daught' of Samuel Kemp, borne June 4* 1673, 
Ephraim Peirce sonne of Daniel Peirce, borne Octo : 15* 1673. 
WiHm Martinn, aged ab' 76. yeares died March 26* 1672. 
Wiiim Lakin aged ab' 9 : yeares died Decemft. lo'^ 1672. 
Judeth Rouss, ) daughters of Alexand': Rouss 
ElizaB. Rouss j died, in Aprill. & June. 1673. 

By James fiske. d. 
16. 10. 73. Entred by Thomas Danforth Record" 

[III. 221-223.] 


Hannah daught' of Tho : Williams born . . i. 12. 74 Born 

Lidea daught' of W" Longley born. . 

Elizaft. daught' of M' Sam' Willard born. 

Mary daught' of Jonas Prescott born.- 

Mary daught^ of Tho : Tarbole born. 

Sarah daught' of Nath'J Bloud born . 

Elizal). daught' of James Bloud born. 

John son of Timothy Cooper born. . 

Hen : son of Hen : Willard born. . . 

ElizaB. daught' of Alexander Rouss born. 































Jonathan fEarnworth. son of Mathias Born . . 

Josiah son of Daniel Peirce born 

Samuel son of Sam! Scripture born .... 

Borne. Josiah son of Jn°. Leakin born. . . . 
William son of W"" Longley born. . . 
Eleazer son of Phebe Laurance born. . 
Mary daught' of Joshua Whitney born. 


Dyed. ElizaB. Lawrence aged one yeare . . . 
Elizal5. Rouss ab! 5 : yeare old . . . 
Hannah Bloud aged one yeare .... 
^ James ffisk ( 

Born. Mary Longley daught' of John Longley. 
Sarah daught' of Jonath. Sawtell born . 
Hannah daughf of Joseph Morss born . 
Annah daught' of Zach. Sawtell born 
Steeven daught' [sic] of Sam! Davis bom. 
James son of Thomas Smith born . . 
Dorathy Baron, daught' of Elliz Baron born 
John son of Joseph Gilson born . 
Eliza^. daught' of Nath" Laurance. 
Hannah daught' of W™ Sanders. 
Mary daught' of Robert Parris. 
Annah daught' of Sam! Woods . . 
Mary daught' of John Page . . . 


Dyed. Mary Tarbole, aged 54 deced 

Anna wife of Elliz Barron, aged 37. 
Mary wife of Tho : Parish, aged. 23. dyed 


Maryed. Hen: Willard& Mary [Lakin] his wife maryed 18. 5:74 
John Nuttin, & Mary his wife maryed 11. 10. 74 

f James ffisk cl : of f writts, 
Enti by T. D. R. 

[IV. 56, 56.] 


4- 75 

2- 3- 75 

4- 8. 75 

. . 14. 

7- 75 

. . 17. 

12. 75 

. . 24. 

12. 75 

. . I. 

5- 75 

. . 10. 

8. 75 

. . 10. 

8. 75 

. . 6. 


II. 75 

. . 10. 

II- 73 


12. 73 

• . 


2. 74 





2. 74 


2. 74 



I. 74 



2. 74 



7- 74 



3- 74 



7- 74 



7- 74 


• 9- 

II. 74 


2. 74 


II- 73 


8 74 


Sam' son of Peleg Laurance and Elizab. his wife born. 

Octo. i6. ^671 

Eleazer son of Peleg Laurance, & ElizaB. his wife born 


febr.28. ^. ., ^ ^^74- 

Jonath : son of Peleg Laurance & Elizaft. his wife born 

March. 29. ^^79- 

Elizaft. daught' of Josiah Parker and ElizalS. his wife, 

born. Aug. 31. ^ ''9' 

Marah daught' of Just. Holden, & Marah his wife born. 

A/r 1680. 

May 20. 

Mary daught' of Nath'! Bloud, and Anna his wife born. 

A 1678. 

Apr. 17. ' 

Nath" son of Nath'! Bloud, and Anna his wife born Jan. 16. 1679. 

Mary Parker daughf^ of James Parker and Mary his wife, 

born. Sep' 21. 

John son of Christopt. Hall, & Sarah his wife was born. 

Apr. 9* 

Daniel son of Enosh Laurance, & Ruth his wife was born, 

March. 7. 1681 

Sarah daught' of James Nutting, and Lidea his wife, born, 

March. II. 1681. 

Abigail daught' of Peleg Laurance, and Eliza^. his wife, 

born. OctoB. 6* 1681. 

John son of Josiah Parker, & Elizaft. his wife born. Apr. 13. 1681. 

Joseph son of Nath'! Bloud, & Anna his wife, born, feb- 

ruary 3. 1681. 

Anna daught' of SamH Holden, and Anna his wife. born. 

March i. 1682 

Joseph farnuth son of Mathias farnuth & Sarah his wife. 

born. Jan. 7. 1682. And dyed ffebr. 2. 1682. 

Mary Scripture, daught' of Sam! & Elizali. his wife, born. 

feb. 7. 1680. 

Sarah daught' of Sam! Scripture and Elizati. his wife bom. 

feb. 8. 1682. 

Samuel son of James Parker, & Mary his wife born Sep' 22. 

Sarah daught' of Josiah Parker & Elizafe. his wife born 

May. I. 1683. 

Elnathan son of Obadiah Sawtell and Hannah his wife, 

born. March 27, 1683. 




Deborah daught' of Nath" Laurance & Sarah his wife born 

March. 24. 1683 : 

Simon son of Hen : Willard, & Mary his wife born. OctoB. 8. 1678. 

Mary daughf of Hen. Willard born Aug : 3. 1680. 

John son of Hen : Willard, & Mary his wife born Sept. 3. 1682. 

Deaced W" Longly sen"; dyed. Nov. 29. 1680. 

Anna wife of Tho : Tarbole JunT dyed Dec. 29. 1680. 

Sarah wife of Chf Hall, dyedj. Aug^iS. j.682^- 

Nath" Butterworth dyed Decern^. 29. 1682. 

By James Parker cl. 
Grotton. June 16. 1683. 

[IV. 75-77.] 

Births & Deaths 1683. 

Zechariah Son of Enos & Ruth Lawrance 

born. 16. 5. 83 

Darkis daughter of Adam & Rebecca Gold born. 8. 7. 83 

Elizabeth of Will: & Mary Green born. 11. i. 80 

Hannah of Willyam & Mary Green dyed 28. 11. 82 

Hannah daughter of William & Mary Green 

born. 10. 2. 83 

Richard husband of Issable Blood dyed 7. 10. 83 

Bethiah daughter of Samuel & Sarah Kemp born. 9. 5.83 
June. 16. 84. James Parker Clericus 
[IV. 88.] 

Births Sarah, Daughter of Jonah & Mary Prescot, born May. 3? 

Sarah, Daughter of Alexander & Judith Roues, borh July 

26'" 86. 
Lydia, Daughter of James & Lydia Nutting, born June. 

3' 86. 
Jeremiah, son of Enosh & Ruth Laurence, born May. 

I. 86. 
Anna, Daughter of Elizer & Mehetabel Parker, born April 

17* 86. 
Moses, son of Joshua Wheat & Elizabeth his wife, born 

Sep. 86. 
James, son of Samuel & Abigail Parker, born April 28"* 86. 


Elizabeth, Daughter of ZecSi. & Elizabeth Parker, born 

April 10* 86. 
Elizabeth, Daughter of James & Hannah Cady, born April 

lo'" 86. 
Ezekiel son of Daniel & Mary Cady, born Sep' iS* 86. 

Deaths. Dorothy, Daughter of Gershom & Sarah Hobart, Dyed 
June lo* 1 686 
Jonathan Mors dyed July 31* 86 

JosiAH Parker Ckr. 
Red Decemfe 21? 86 
A true Coppy Entred & Examin'd By Laur. Hammond Record: 

Marriages Thomas Tarball & Elizabeth Wood, both of Groton, 
Joyned together in Marriage before M'. Ja Russell Justice, 
Decern^. 1=.' 1686. 

Recorded By L. Hammond Rec. 

[For other marriages of this period, see page 24 near the bottom.] 

Births Joseph sonne of W" & Deliverance Langly, borne Janua. 6. 
Jeremiah, son of Peleg & Elizabeth Lawrence, borne Janua. 

Abigail, Daughter of Samuel & Elizabeth Scripture borne 

Janua. 28. 8f 
Abigail, Daughter of Ephra : & Elizab* Philbrook, borne 

March. 6. 8f 
Jonathan, son of Samuel & Elizab"' Church, borne Febru. 

12. 8f 
James, sonne of James & Marah Parker, borne March 24. 

Lidia, Daught' of John & Marah Paresh borne April 20. 

Hannah Daught' of Nathaniel & Hannah Laurence, borne 

April 26. 87 

Deaths Joseph, sonne of Mathias Farnworth Dyed Febru. 20. 8f 
Jeremiah, son of Peleg Laurence Dyed April 26. 87 


Births. Simon, sonne of Josiah & Elizabeth Parker borne Aug^' 
Josiah, Sonne of Obadiah & Hannah Sawtell borne Aug^.' 

^ me Josiah Parker Cler for Groton.j 
Red & Recorded Sep! 6. 87. By L. Hammond Cler. 

[IV. 127.] 

Births Thomas, sonne of Thomas & Elizabeth Tarbal, borne 

September 13, 1687 
Abigail, Daughter of John & Hannah Farnworth, borne. 

October 17, 87 
Nehemiah, sonne of M' Gersham & Sarah Hubbert, borne 

October. 24, 87 
Elizabeth, Daughter of Elias & Sarah Barron, borne 

October 26, 87 
Josiah, Sonne, of Mathias & Sarah Farnworth, borne Feb- 
ruary 24, 1687 
Robert, sonne of Samuel & Abigail Parker, borne April 

2, 1688 
Aaron sonne. of James & Hannah Cadey, borne April 7, 

Edward, sonne. of Zechariah & Elizabeth Parker, born 

April 23, 88 
Abigail, Daughter, of Jonah & Mary Prescot, born May 

8, 88 
Joseph, Sonne of Peleg & Elizabeth Lawrence, born June 

12, 88. 
Daniel, sonne of Justin & Mary Holden, born July 11, 88. 
Margaret, Daughter of Zechariah & Anna Sawtel, born 

July 19, 88. 

Deaths Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Woods, Dyed April 21, 88. 
John sonne of Thomas Woods, Dyed May i, 88 
Samuel sonne of Samuel Holden, Dyed June 6, 88. 
Stephen sonne of Stephen Holden, Dyed July 28, 88. 
Amos Sonne of John Cadey, Dyed August 3, 88. 
Rec^. & Recorded, Sep. 4. 1688. 

^ L. Hammond Cler. 
[IV. 168.] 



Hannah Daughter of John and Elisabeth Comins born. May: 20* 

Benjamin son of Zechariah & Elisabeth Parker born. Aug^.' 18* 

Mathias son of Mathias & Sarah flarnworth born Aug':' 6"" 1690 
Mary of James and Tabitha ffisk born Sep' ii"" 1690 
Joseph of Joseph and Sarah Cady born Octobf 3'' 1690 
Mara of Nathan" and Anna Laurance born OctobT 16"" 1690 
Anna of Joseph and Elisabeth Gilson born OctobT 2 2d 1690 
Mary of John and Mary Green born Novemb? 3'^ 1690 
Jolin of John and Mary Shadduck born Jan. 6"' 1690 
Abraham of James and Mary Parker born Jan. 4"^ 1690 
Joanna of James and Lydia Nutting born. Febr. 21. 1690/1. 
Elisabeth of John & Mary Parrish born. March : 13 1690/1 


Joshua Parker and Abigail Mors married together Septemb' 22 : 

James Dutten and Mary Robin married together Decembf 9"" 1690 


Jonathan Sawtell Dyed: July. 6"^ 1690 

Barnabas Dauis Dyed Aug=.' 12"' 1690 

Josiah son of Obadiah Sawtell Dyed Octobf 4"' 1690 

James Cadey Dyed : Decemb"^ 2"! 1690 

Receiued of Josiah Parker Clerk of f writts for Groton 16"' 
Ap'ill. 91 And Entered by SaM^'- Phipps Record". 

1692 . 1693 BIRTHS 

Ruth Daughter of James and Lydia Nutting Born. Ap'ill : 7"- 1693. 
Jonathan Son of John & Joanna- Cady Born Jan. 22 : 1693 
Elisabeth of Ephraim & Elisabeth ffilbrick Born Novembf 18"- 1693 
Daniel Son of John & Hannah ffarnworth Born. May: ii"> 1692 



John Barron sen' Died Jan : i° 1693 1693 

July : 4'^ Reced of W"^ Longly Town Clerk of Groton & Entered 

By Sam'^l Phipps Record'- 
[Probate Records VI. 18, at the end of the original volume.] 

Middlesex in Groton 

The accot. of Marriages from Justice Prescott, as ffollows 

Sam" Winter of Killingsly [Conn.j and Elisabeth Philbrook of 
Groton were married the 16* Day of ffebruary 1713 

Gershom Hobart and Lydia Nutting both of Groton were married 
y^ 26* Day of ffebru'^ in the year 1713 

W" Powers of Concord & Lydia Parham of Groton were married 
y° 16 Day of March in y° year 17 13/4 

Thomas Farr & Elisabeth Powers both of Nashobah were mar- 
ried y= 16 Day of March in y° year 1713/4 

Joseph Powers and Hannah Whetcom both of Nashoba were mar- 
ried y" 16 Day of March in -f year ^T^sIa- 

Joseph Sanderson & Sarah Page both of Groton were married 

the 30 Day of July in y" year 1714 

Reced from Joseph Lakin, Town Clerk for Groton — 

Reced Decem' : lo'!" 1717 & Recorded 

by Sam':^ Phipps. Reg- or Record'' 

Jt : The acco' of Marriages by M' Trowbridge 

John Parker and Mary Bradstreet both of Groton were married the 

29 Day of Nouember. in y" year 1715 

Joseph Parker ju : and Abigail Sawtell both of Groton were married 

the 24 Day of January in y" year 17 15/16 

Jonathan Whetcomb and Deliverance Nutting both of Groton were 

married the 15 Day of May in y^ year 1716. 

John Holdin & Sarah Davis both of Groton were married the 22d 

Day of November in y° year 1716. 

William Lun of Dunstable and Rachel Holdin of Groton were mar- 
ried the 20 Day of Decern' in y" year 17 16 
Thomas Tarbell and Abigail [Parker] both of Groton were married 

the first Day of January in y° year 1716/17 

Att : Joseph Lakin Clerk 
se*" 10/1717/ Reced & accordingly Entered 

By Sam^^ Phipps Cler &' Reg"- 



17 18 October 23"^ 
Decemb"' ii'l' 
March 24* 

17 19 May 6* 
May: 22"* 
June 23'' 
Augst. II* 
Septem' 2? 
Novemb' 12','' 
Decern'. 9"" 
Decembf 24"" 

1720. Octobr 27"" 
Novemb' 29"* 
January 23"^ 

1721. May 22^ 
May 24* 
June 1=.' 

July 3? 

Octob' 3ot 

Novembf le* 

Febru': 1=' 
Febr. 7* 

March S'!' 

1722 April 3'} 

of Marriages Celebrated By M' Caleb Trow- 

Benjamin Parker to Mary Sawtell 
Nathan" Holding to Abigail Stone 
William Shattuck to Deliverance 

Eleazer Gilson to Hannah Farwell 
John Parker to Joanna Am's I all of 

Eleazer Nutting to Abigail Davis f Groton 
Moses Bennit to Anna Blanchard 
Stephen Holdin to Hannah Sawtell 
John Spencer to Bethiah Kemp 
Daniel Pierce to Elenor Boynton 
Joseph Farwell to Mary Gilson 

Jonathan Parker to Sarah Pierce both of 

Sam" Woods to Patience Biggelow both of 

Robert Robins, of Littleton to y" widow Elisa- 
beth Cummins of Groton ' — 1721 — 
ZechT Maynard To the Widow Waters of 

Ebenezer Prescott to Hannah Farnworth both 

of Groton 
Daniel Boynton to Jemimah Brown both of 

Nathn" Woods of Groton to Sarah Brown 

of Stow 
Ephraim Pierce to Easther [Shedd] both of 

Obadiah Sawtle to Rachel Parker both of 

Richard Rice to Sarah Caree both of Groton 
Robert Dickson to Abigail Parker. Widow 

both of Groton 
Eleazer Green to Annah Tarbell both of 

Jonathan Shead to Sarah Farnworth both of 



May 2"! Collins Mores of Oxford to Bathsheba Woods 

of Groton 
p'sons married by Mr Caleb Trowbridge 
John Blanchard of Dunstable to Mary Sawtell 

of Groton 
William Lawrence to Susanna Prescott both 

of Groton 
Joshua Hutchins to Sarah Shead both of 

John Gilson to Mary Shattuck both of Groton. 
Decemb'. 26"' John Stone Jun' to Elisabeth Farwell both of 


May 30* 
June 27"" 
July 12* 
Decemb' 8* 

Groton Decem' 21/1719 
These may Certifie to whome it may Concern, That William 
Banks of Groton, and Hannah Wansamug late of Lancaster both in 
y° County of Midd" were Joyned in marriage the 21''' day of De- 

cemb' 1719/ at Groton 

p' Fra : FuLLAM Justice of Peace. 

All these marriages Returned June 11* 1723, By Joseph Lakin 

late Town Clerk for Groton being entered by him And accordingly 


p' Sam'-'- Phipps Cler Pac" 

These p'sons whose names are hereafter mentioned were Joyned 
in njarriage by the Rev'* M' Caleb Tro" Bridge of Groton in y° year 
1723 . . vizt 

Benj" Bennit to Mary Lakin 
Thomas Wood To Abigail Cham- 

Isaac Williams To Lydia Shattuck 
John Davis to Rebeckah Burt 
Thomas Farwell to Elisabeth Pierce, 

March y'= 27'!" 
April 30* 

May the 22"! 
June 13* 
Decembr 24* 

all of Groton 
in the County 
of Mida^ 

A true Coppy Attest : John Longley, Town Clerk 
Midd" : July : q'?" 1724 Reced & accordingly Entered 

By Sam'-'- Phipps Cler PaC. 

These following persons were Joyned in Marriage by the Rev- 
erend M' Caleb Trowbridge of Groton, viz' 


1724. July 7* Jeremiah Shattuck & Sarah Parker both of Groton 

were married 
Feb-^y 25 : Jonathan Green & Sarah Lakin both of Groton 
were married 

1725. April. 27 : John Farmer of Billerica to Hanah Woods of 

Groton were married 
June : 3 : John Woods & Sarah Longley both of Groton 

were married 
June : 15 : David Peace & Elizebeth Bowers both of Groton 
were married 

Entered by John Longley Town Clerk 
Received & Entered by Sam'- Phipps Cler Pac' 

[IV. 193, 194.] 


These persons hereafter named were Joyned in Marriage at the 
respective times herein mentioned by the Reverend M' Caleb 
Trowbridge of Groton 

Nathaniel Woods to the Widow Mary Derbeshere both of Groton 

June. 5* 1725. 
Isaac Woods to Abigail Stevens both of Groton Sep! 21. 1725. 

Daniel Farnsworth to the Widow Abigail Shead both of Groton 

Octy 20. 1725 
Sam' Tarbel to Lydia Farnsworth both of Groton 

December . 19. 1725 
Timothy Barron to Hafiah Fletcher both of Groton 

Jan'y - 13. 1725/6 
Sam' Shattuck Jun' to Anna Williams both of Groton 

Jan'y . 27. 1725/6 
Isaac Lakin to Elizebeth Shattuck both of Groton Jan'y . 27. 1725/6 
John Shipley to Eliz'.'' Boiden both of Groton Febru'y . 16. 1725/6 
John Burt Jun' to Eliz* Nutting both of Groton March. 9. 1725/6 
Ezra Farnsworth to Elizebeth Lakin both of Groton April . 26. 1726 
A true Copy Att' John Longley Town Clerk 

Rec'' May : 1726 & Entered By Sam'- Phipps Cler PaC 


1726. April. 28* 

May. 31=.' 

Nov^ 22? 

Dec' 28* 

Jan'y. 12. 1726/7. 

March. 9* 

March. 21=? 

1727. April 2o'^ 

August 4. 
Novem' 14. 
Deem' 20. 
Feb'y. 27* 1727/8, 
Feb'y 28* 

1728. May 9* 

Sepe 26* 

Octobr ii'? 

Decern'' 26. 

Feb'y. 4'l' 1728/9. 

March 24. 

1729. Octo' 27* 
Decern^ 18'!' 
Decemb' 30. 

Michael Gibson to Susannah Sawtel both 
of Groton 

Timothy Spaulding of Chelmsford to 
Thankfull Prescot of Groton 

James Shattuck to Sarah Cham- 

James Stone to Mary Farwell 

Samuel Fisk to Elizabeth Par- 
ker I all of 

William Green to Hannah ( Groton 

Daniel Davis to Lydia Ames 

Dudley Bradstreet to Abigail 
Lakin y^ 4* 

Eben' Hartwell of Concord to Rachael 
Farnsworth of Groton 

Jacob Ames to Ruth Shattuck both of 

Eleazer Tarbel to Elizebeth Bowers both 
of Groton 

Samuel Davis to Sarah Boynton both of 
Turkey Hills [Lunenburg] 

Daniel Sawtel of Groton to Esther Heald 
of Concord 

Josseph Stone to Mary Prescot both of 

Joseph Blanchard of Dunstable to Re- 
becca Hubbard of Groton 

John Stevens to Martha Farns- 

Jonathan Shepley to Lydia 

Nath" Lawrence Jun' to Doro- 
thy Chamberlin . all of 

Aaron Farnsworth to Hannah (Groton 

John Lakin to Lydia Parker 

Elias Elliot to Ruth Laurence 

Ebenezer Jefts to Elizabeth 


Jan'y. 7. 1729/30 Josiah Boyden to Eunice Parker ^ ^jj ^£ 
Jan'y. 13. Isaac Gilson to Dorothy Kemp >- Qj-oton 

Jan'y 28 Jacob Lakin to Eunice Lakin ) 

Feb'y. 2? . Nathan Barron to Abigail Yar- 1 

row I all of 

Feb'y. 24. . Mathias Farnsworth to Abigail | Groton 

Shead J 

March. 4. 1729/30. The foregoing is the list of names of the Per- 
sons that were joyned in marriage By the Rev"* M' Caleb Trow- 
bridge Pastor of the Church in Groton as appears by certificate 
under his hand 

A true Copy Att' John Langley Town Clerk 

The Persons hereafter named were joyned in marriage By Benjamin 
Prescot Esq' as appears by Certificate under his hand Viz' 

, Hezekiah Usher & Abigail Cleveland both of Charlestown 

June 20* 1728 
Thomas Warlley & Mehetable Yarrow both of Dunstable on 

the 11* of May 1729 

John Wheelock & Martha Woods both of Lancaster 

Septm' II. 1729 

A true Copy Att' John Longley Town Clerk 

Rec* & Entered By Sam^ Phipps Cler Pa(f 

May. 7'f' 1730. Nathan Whipple to Hannah Boynton both of 

Jan'y 12 1730/1 Jonathan Gates of Stow to Elizebeth Farwell of 

Jan'y 28* Jonas Varnum to Mary Shepley both of Groton 

Feb'y- 9"" Jeremiah Norcross of Lunenburgh to Faith Page 

of Groton 
Feb'y. 11* Phinehas Parker Jun' to Mary Kemp both of 

March 26* 1731. Nathanel Nutting to Elizebeth Page both of 

April. 14* Stephen Ames to Jane Robbins both of Groton 

April 22? John Fife to Jane Irvine both of Groton 

April 27* ■ David Russel to Mary Clark both of Littleton 


May. 13* [1^31.] Ephraim Nutting to Lydia Spaulding both of 

June 25"" Eleazer Lawrence Jun' to Lucy Tuttle both of 

Novem''4* John Kemp to Sarah Holding both of Groton 

Novem' 30"" Sam' Randal of Stow to Priscilla Farnworth of 

Jan'y 5* 1731/ ; Shadrich Whitney of North Town [Townsend] 

\ to Prudence Lawrence of Groton 

Jan'y 6"" William Spaulding to Hepsibah Blood both of 

1 Groton 

Jan'y 13* ' Ebenezer Lakin to Lydia Lakin both of Groton 

March 14. 1731/2 I Phinehas Wait to Mary Hubbard both of Groton 
April 4* 1732 J^mes Horsley of North Town to Experience 

\ Jewit of Groton 

These were Joyned inVMarriage by the Reverend M' Caleb Trow- 
bridge of Groton as by his Certificate to me appears as Att^ 
Tho' Tarbel Town\p/erk. 

Repd & Entered By Sam^ Phipps C/er Fa" 

April. 19* 1732 John Scott to'jvlary Chamberlin both of Groton 
April 25* John Albee to Abigail Searl both of North Town 

April 26"" Jonathan Prat to Mary Bowers both of Groton 

July 12* Thomas Merryfiel^ to Mary Anderson both of 

M' Solomon Prenticd, of Hassnamisco to M" Sarah 

Sawtel of Groton 
Ephraim Cady of Killingsly [Conn.] to Abigail 
Barron of Groton 
Nov' 2'' Daniel Farmer of Lunenburgh to Elizebeth Woods 

of Groton 
Nov' 1 4"' John Shead to Elizebeth Shattuckboth of Groton 

Nov' 23'^ Josiah Willard Jun' of Lunenburgh to Hannah 

Hubbard of Groton 
Jan'y 4. 1732/3 William Longley to Mary Parker both of Groton 
Jan'y 18* 1732/3. Samuel Wright to Annah Lawrence both of 

Jan'y 30 1732/3. Samuel Cummings to Prudence Lawrence both 
of Groton 

Octob' 26" 


Jany 7. 1729/30 Josiah Boyden to Eunice Parker \ ^jj ^^ 
Jan'y. 13. Isaac Gilson to Dorothy Kemp V Qj.^^^^ 

Jan'y 28 Jacob Lakin to Eunice Lakin ) 

Feb'y. 2'? . Nathan Barron to Abigail Yar- 

Feb'y. 24. . Mathias Farnsworth to Abigail 


all of 

March. 4. 1729/30. The foregoing is the list of names of the Per- 
sons that were joyned in marriage By the Rev" M' Caleb Trow- 
bridge Pastor of the Church in Groton as appears by certificate 
under his hand 

A true Copy Att' John Langley Town Clerk 

The Persons hereafter named were joyned in marriage By Benjamin 
Prescot Esq' as appears by Certificate under his hand Viz' 

Hezekiah Usher & Abigail Cleveland both of Charlestown 

June 20* 1728 
Thomas Warlley & Mehetable Yarrow both of Dunstable on 

the ii"" of May 1729 

John Wheelock & Martha Woods both of Lancaster 

Septm' II. 1729 

A true Copy Att' John Longley Town Clerk 

Rec'' & Entered By Sam'- Phipps Cler Pac" 

May. 7* 1730. Nathan Whipple to Hannah Boynton both of 

Jan'y 12 1 730/1 Jonathan Gates of Stow to Elizebeth Farwell of 

Jan'y 28* Jonas Varnum to Mary Shepley both of Groton 

Feb'y. g* Jeremiah Norcross of Lunenburgh to Faith Page 

of Groton 
Feb^y. ii"- Phinehas Parker Jun' to Mary Kemp both of 

March 26* 1731. Nathanel Nutting to Elizebeth Page both of 

April. 14'^ Stephen Ames to Jane Robbins both of Groton 

April 22? John Fife to Jane Irvine both of Groton 

April 27'." David Russel to Mary Clark both of Littleton 


June 25* 

Novem' 4* 
Novem' 30' 


Jan'y 6'" 

Jan'y 13* 


'ys'- 1731/ \ 

May. iV*" [i/7'i'-5^'J Ephraim Nutting to Lydia Spaulding both of 
Eleazer Lawrence Jun' to Lucy Tuttle both of 

John Kemp to Sarah Holding both of Groton 
Sam' Randal of Stow to Priscilla Farnworth of 

Shadrich Whitney of North Town [Townsend] 

to Prudence Lawrence of Groton 
William Spaulding to Hepsibah Blood both of 
; Ebenezer Lakin to Lydia Lakin both of Groton 
March 14. i7'?i/2 IPhinehas Wait to Mary Hubbard both of Groton 
Aoril A* 17^2 fcames Horsley of North Town to Experience 

"t Jewit of Groton 
These were Joyned in -j^Marriage by the Reverend M' Caleb Trow- 
bridge of Groton aJjJ by his Certificate to me appears as Atf 
Tho' Tarbel Town ^ierk. 

gj^d & Entered By Sam'- Phipps Cler Pa" 

April. 19* 1732 John Scott toV^ary Chamberlin both of Groton 
April 25* John Albee to SPjigail Searl both of North Town 

Jonathan Prat to V^ary Bowers both of Groton 
Thomas Merryfiel^ to Mary Anderson both of 

M' Solomon PrenticA of Hassnamisco to M'= Sarah 

Sawtel of Grotoi! 
Ephraim Cady of Ki\[lingsly [Conn.J to Abigail 

Barron of Groton 
Daniel Farmer of Lunejnburgh to Elizebeth Woods 

of Groton \ 

John Shead to Elizebettj Shattuck'both of Groton 
Josiah Willard Jun' o^ Lunenburgh to Hannah 
Hubbard of Groton\ 
Jan'y 4. 1732/3 William Longley to MarV Parker both of Groton 
Jan'y 18* 1732/3. Samuel Wright to Annah Lawrence both of 

Groton 1 

Jan'y 30 1732/3. Samuel Cummings toi Prudence Lawrence both 
of Groton 

April 26'" 
July 12* 

Octob' 26" 

Nov^ 2.^ 

Nov' 14"" 
Nov" 23" 


Feb'y. 20. 1732/3. James Lawrence to Mary Martin bth of Groton 
June 21. 1733. John Goodridge of Lunenburgh to junice ript- 

ure of Groton 
The Persons afore named were Joyned in marriage b^the Reverend 
M' Caleb Trowbridge of Groton at the times ab-ve mentioned 
as by his Certificate thereof appears. 

Tho^ TaRjEL Town Clerk 

July 5. 1733. Amos Woods to Hannah 1 Atting both of 

Sepf 12* John Page to Mary Parker bofi of Groton 

October 25* James Tufts of Medford to Phebe Woods of 

Novem' i"' Jonathan Larapson of Concord to Elinor Blood 

of Groton 
Novemb' 22". Moses Woods to Esther Houghton both of Groton 

Decm^ 6. Nathaniel Parker to Joanna Stephens both of 

Jan'y 23'! 1733/4. Ebenezer Gilson to Annas Searl both of Groton 
Jan'y 29. 173/4. Enoch Lawrence to Sarali Stephens both of 

The Persons above named were joyned in Marriage by the Rev'^ M' 
Caleb Trowbridge of Groton at y*" several times above men- 
tioned as by his Certificate to me appears 

' Thomas Tarbel Town Clerk 

The aforegoing Marriages Rec'^ & Entred 

f Sam"- Phipps Cler Pa(f 

[I^. 217-219.] 


Groton Febr 21 : 1744/5. i.To M' Tho= Tarbel Clerk for s? Town 
Sir, That the Persons hereafter named were (at the several Times 
Set against their respfective names) joyned in marriage by me 
the Subscriber is hereby certified to you Caleb Trowbridge 
Pastor of the CM inf. s<i Town 
Viz! \ 

March 5* 1740/1. John Bjfurt to Barbara Farmer both of Groton 
May 5 : — John ^^iHiams jun5 of Groton to Eliz^ Cutter of 
Q .harlestown 



— 25- -- 

June II. — , 

SepK 1 6. — 
Oct" 6. — 
NovT II. — 

— 26. — 
Dec? 8 : — 
Janut 14 1 741/2 

— 19 — 
Febru^ 4. — 

March 4. — 

— II. — 

— 25- — 
May 6. — 

July 15- — 

— 22^! — 

Septf 9. — 

Dec' 9. — 

— 28. — 
Janul 27. — 

Febr 8. — 

— 21. — 
April. 26. 1743. 

July 12. — 

— 27. — 

all of 

all of 


Uriah Sartle to Sarah Martin 
Nathaniel Parker. Ju' to Eleanor 

Reuben Woods to Widow Submit 

Isaac Phillips to Abig! Nutting 
Daniel Shed to Mary Tarbel 
Josiah Brown of Littleton to Anna Farwell of 

Nathan Rugg of Lancaster to Zeruiah Frost of 

John Moshier to Elisabeth Lawrence 
Elnathan Blood to Elizt Boynton 
John Blood to Abigail Parker 
Seta Walker Junf to Abigail Holdin 
Thomas Tarbel Junr to Esther Smith 
Ephraim Divol of Lancaster to Eliz^ Woods of 

James Blood Jun' to Mary Gilson both of Groton 
Peter Parker of Groton to Prudence Lawrence 

of Littreton 
Thomas Fisk to Mary Parker 
Thomas Patch to Anna Gillson 
William Sanderson to Sarah Russell 
John Farwell of Harvard to Sarah Sawtle of 

Oliver Farwell to Rejoyce Preston 
Joseph Blood Jun' to Hannah Blood 
William Richardson of Townshend 

Hobart of Groton. 
Priamus Negro (Cap' Boydens Slave) to Mar^ 

garet Molatto both of Groton. 
Jonathan Shattuck Junf to Kezia Farns- 

Nathaniel Bowers to Elizabeth Blood 
Joseph Dodge to y" Widow Mary Irvine 
Jonathan Holdin to Deborah Houghton. 
Timothy Moore to Lydia Nutting 
Jonathan Parker to Eleanor Hunt 
Josiah Farnsworth Jun' to Hannah 


all of 

I all of 
i Groton 
to Mary 

all of 

all of 


Novf 10. [1743.J Joseph Stephens of New Ipswich (sp called) to 

Elisabeth Sawtle of Groton 
Deer 2. — Samuel Phillips to Abigail Frost both of Groton 

— 8 — Samuel Flood resident in Andover to Triphena 
— . Powers of Groton. 

— 13. — Josiah Nutting to Mary Blood both of Groton. 
Janut 5 : 1743/4. David Kemp to Hannah Sawtle both of 

April 2. — Thomas Jewett of Boxford to Martha Hale of 

June 12. — John Courtney to Dorcas Barney both resident 

in Groton. 

— 20. — Benjamin Lawrence to Ruth Dodge 
July 3. — Thomas Lawrence to Sarah Houghton 
Novl 22. — William Williams to Mary, Perkins 
Deer 4. — Isaac Farnsworth to Anna Green 

— 6. — Samuel Bloget of Westford to Sarah Spencer 

— of Groton. 

— 18. — Ephraim Whitney to Esther Woods 
Jan'J 17 : 1744/5. James Paterson to the Widow ( 

^- Elisabeth Battlet J 

— — Jedediah Jewett to Elisabeth Shattuck . 
March 19. — Phinehas Chamberlain to Lydia Wil- >| 

April 2. — Nathan Hubburd to Mary Paterson V' 

May 22. — William Tarbel Junr to Sarah Woods ) 

June 27. — Moses Blood to Elisabeth Stone J 

Rec'' August 29* 1745 

and Entered ? Thad Mason C/er Pad 
[IV. 283-285.] 

John Fanworth of Groton & Hannah Aldis of Dedham, were 
joyned in marriage December 8'!' 1686./ 

James Blood & Abigail Kemp, both of Groton, were joyned in 
marriage December 20* 1686./ 

James Fisk & Tabitha Butterick, both of Groton, were joyned in 
marriage February 2^. i68f./ 

John Laurance & Hannah Tarbal, both of Groton, were joyned in 
marriage November 9* 1687. 

By Gersham Hubert Minisr of Groton 
[IV. 154.J 

all of 

all of 


The remaining records from Volume IV. are found under 
the headings of different towns, and in every instance the 
page is given within the brackets. 

Christopher Hall of Groton & Ruth Garfield of Watertowne were 
Joyned in marriage February 2'! i68|. 
— [154.] W" Bond Esq justice of p. ■ 

William Shattuck Junf of Groton & Hannah Underwood of Water- 
town, were Joined in Marriage by Justice Wili? Bond March 19''' 
1687/8 — [164.] 

Adam Goold of Groton, & Hannah Knight of Wooburn, were 
joyned in marriage by y" same Minister [Jabez Fox, of Woburn,] 
September. 28. 1687./ — [165.J 

John Green of Groton, & Mary Pierce of Watertown, were joyned 
in Marriage by y'' same Minister [Joseph Estabrook, of Concord,] 
December 25* 1688.— [166.] 

John Greene of Charlestown, & Patience Daughter of Samuel 
Davis of Groton joyned in Marriage before M' Minot of Concord. 
Jonathan Kemp of Chelmsford and Sarah Gil- \ 

son of Groton were Married by Justice \ Novem' 19* 17 18 

Minott — [200.] ) 

Joseph Farnsworth of Groton & Rebecca Gibson [of Sudbury] May. 

4. 1727. —[207 .J 
Samuel Parker of Groton and Sarah Houghton ) t r o .. / 

of Lancaster were married — [2 12. J ) 

Joshua Wheeler of Townshend & Mehetabel Hadley of Groton 

were Married Jan'^ 4'!' 1737/8 by Phinehas Hemenway Pastor 

of the C— in Townshend. — [290-] 
Timothy Whitney lately an Inhabitent of Townshend & Submit 

Parker of Groton were married by the Rev* M'' Phinehas 

Hemenway May 24'!' 1738.— [290.] 
On April. 14: 1747 were lawfully married Jacob Byam of Groton & 

Sarah Avery of Townshend. as attf Phinehas Hemenway Pastor 

of Townshend. — [291-] 
Benjamin Farnsworth of Groton & Rebekah Pratt of Maldon were 

married by Mf Jos : Emerson the 19'? of May 1736. — [303.] 

After this date the list of marriages is found in the two 
volumes marked respectively " Marriages. No. i." and " Mar- 
riages. No. 2." 



Groton March 2'? 1746 To Mf: Tho^ Tarbell Clerk of Said Town. 
I do hereby certifie you that the Persons under-named were joyned 
together in Marriage (at the Several Times affixed to their names) 

by me Caleb Trowbridge Pastor of a Church in s'? Town 
January 29'?" 1745 Tho^ Williams & Mercy Rolf 
John Pratt & Hannah Bowers 
Robinson Lakin & Hannah Dodge 
Simeon Blood & Sarah Gillson 
Amos Sawtell & Elisabeth Fletcher 
Samuel Scripture Jun' & Mary Green 
William Derumple & Elisabeth Shead 
John Russell & Mary Cranson 
Benj'^ Swallow &y^WidT Hannah Green. 
John Chamberlain Junf & Rachel Law- 
Jon"! Lawrence & Elisabeth I^akin 
Benjamin Bennet JunT & Sarah Lakin 
Moses Bennet Junf & Sarah Blood 
The Persons above named are recorded by me as they stand 
entred in Groton Town Book for Marriages &c. 

Tho^ Tarbell Town Clerk 

Febr^ 5 : 

April 15: 1746. 

June 17 : 

Sept? 17 : 

OcX". 9 : 

Nov! 4 : 

Nov? S : 

Novf 20. 

Dec; 3? 

Dec' f. 

Januf 8 : 

Februf 1 7. 

all of 

March 3? 1746/7 
May 12* 1747 
May 14: 1747 
May 21 : 1747 
July 16 : 1747 

Zachariah Shattuck, Elisabeth Fisk 
Silas Blood, Alathea Martin 
Nathaniel Shattuck, Hannah Simonds 
Amos Taylor, Bridget Martin 
John Green Kezia Shattuck 

Stephen Foster Sarah Blood AugV 5'/" 1 747 

Married ^ me Joseph Emerson. 
The within Persons are recorded by me in Groton Town Book 
for marriages &c. Thq-^. Tarbell Town-Clerk 

Groton Februf 21: 1747. To M' Tho= Tarbell Clerk of said 

Town this may certifie you that the following Couples 

were joyned in Marriage at the times set against their 

Names) by me Caleb Trowbridge 

Pastor of the C."; in Said Town 

April 2^ 1747 William Wallis of Townshend & Eunice Nutting of 



I : 
10 : 
















[April] 20: [1747.] John Derby of Harvard & Wid" Elisabeth Holdin 
of Groton. 
23'? — William Scott of Dunstable & Mary Derumple of 
June 25 : Hezek^ Sawtell Junf of Groton & Margaret Dodge 

of Lunenburgh. 
John Stone JunT & Anna Pratt ) 11 f 

David Nutting & Rachel Lakin > p 
William Holding & Annis Nutting ) 
Oliver Wheeler of Acton & Abigail Woods of Groton 
Benj'; Willson & Sarah Whitney both of Groton 
Abijah Willard of Lancaster & Elisabeth Prescott 
of Groton. 
• David Sawtell Junr & Rebekah Pratt both of Groton 
Moses Wheeler resident in Groton & Elisabeth 

Holdin of the same Town. 
Edmund Bancroft & Elisabeth Atherton ■» all of 
Moses Wentworth & Mindwell Stone | Groton 
Ephraim Chandler of Westford & Widow Abigail 
Blood of Groton. 
The Persons above named are recorded by me as they Stand 
entered in Groton Town Book for Marriages &c 

Tho^ Tarbell Town Clerk 
All the foregoing were rec"! May 3"? 1 749 

and recorded by me Thad Mason Cler PaC. 

Groton April 28'!' 1749. To Cap^ Tho! Tarbell Clerk of said Town 
I do certifie you that the Several Couples hereafter named were 
J03med together in Marriage (at the Several Times Set against their 
respective Names) by me Caleb Trowbridge 

Pastor of the first Church in said Town 

May 12 : 1748. Josiah Conant & Rachel Hobart 
July 7. — Israel Hobart & Anna Lawrence 
Septr 13. — Jam? Stone Junf & Deborah Nutting 
Febru'! 9 : — Jerahmeel Bowers & Eunice Bennit 
March i : — William Bush & Abiel Bennit 
April 5 : 1749. Jason Williams Jun' & Jemima Nutting 
April 26 : — Joshua Bowers & Sarah Farnsworth 

A true Copy from Groton Town Book of Records for Marriages. 

Tho^ Tarbell Town Clerk 

all of 


Groton Febru? 24'^ 1749. To Mf Tho? Tarbell Town Clerk &c 
I do hereby certifie that the following Couples were joyned in mar- 
riage (at the Several Times Set against their Names by me 

Caleb Trowbridge Pastor of the 1? C';'' in Said Town 



Oct°4: 1749. Joseph Fairbanks of Harvard & Abigail Tarbell of 

Oct" 18. — Benj^ Bancroft Jun": & Alls Tarbell ^ 
Dec' 6 : — Henry Farwell & Lydia Tarbell I all of 

13 — Jonathan Sawtell & Mary Holdin [ Groton 
1 4'!' — Oliver Farnsworth & Sarah Tarbell J 
A true Copy from the Town of Groton Book of Records for Mar- 
riages, Tho^ Tarbell Town Clerk 


William Blood to Lucy Fletcher Janul 5* 1747/8 

Eleazer Gillson to Mary Hall July 21:1 748 

Zachariah Withe to Esther Kemp July 21 : 1748 

Samuel Foster [of Boxfprd] to Jane Boynton Nov' 24 : 1 748 

James Parker to Rebekah Bulkley Decern? 22 : 1748 

Abraham Parker to Lois Blood March 16 : 1749. 

Jeremiah Shattuck Jun' to Lydia Lakin, Augs' 10 : 1749 

A true Copy from Groton Town Book of Records for Marriages. 

Tho^ Tarbell Town Clerk 
All the foregoing were rec'! Februf 14 : 1750. and recorded by me 

Thad Mason Cler Pac". 

Groton Februf 8* 1750. To Cap! Thof Tarbell Clerk &c 

I do hereby certifie you, that I Caleb Trowbridge have joyned in 

Marriage the following Couples at the several Times set against 

their respective Names, Viz' 

March 22I 1749. Ebenezer Nutting & Sarah Farnsworth both of 

July 31? 1750. Artemas Ward of Shrewsbury & Sarah Trow- 
bridge of Groton. 
Nov; if Jonathan Peirce & Ruth Gillson 1 

^g? — Josiah Williams & Prudence Nutting I all of 

Dec! 19. — Eleazer Green Jun! & Sarah Parker [ Groton 

26* — William Green Jun' & Ruth Colburn J 


Janutio'J" [1750/1] Philemon Holdin & Lucy Walker ") ,, , 

30* — Jonathan Longley& Anna Bancroft >■ 

Febru? 6* — Amos Holdin & Prudence Holdin ) "^^^o" 

Entred in Groton Town Book of Records Tho? Tarbell 

Groton June 11* 1752. To M^ Tho^ Tarbell Town Clerk for 
said Town, I do hereby certifie that the following Couples were 
joyned in marriage to each other at the Several Times Set against 
their Names, by me Caleb Trowbridge Pastor of the first Church 
in Groton, — Viz.' 

March 6 : 1750/1. Jonathan Gilson & Susannah Peirce both of 
13* Jonas Prescott Jun' of Westford & the Wid" 

Rebekah Parker of Groton. 
Sept 4: 175 1. Moses Haskel of Harvard & Anna Tarbel of 

OctoJ 14. — Floyd Pratt of Maiden & Lydia Coffin of 

Novf 14 : — Abel Lawrence & Mary Buckley ) all of 

20 — Joseph Longley & Esther Paterson J Groton 

Decf 17: — Bezaleel Sawyer of Lancaster & Lois Lawrence 

of Groton. 
Janu? 16 : 1752. Ambrose Lakin & Dorothy Gillson of Groton 
22. Benj? Brooks Jun' of Townshend & Elisabeth 

Green of Groton. 
March 4 : — Jerem!" Hobart & Hannah Green \ ,, , 

5'f' — Elnathan Sawtell & Mary Stone V- q^qj^jj 

April i^' David Stone & Lydia Pratt ) 

April 30 : — Jonathan Adams of Concord & Submit Farwell 

of Groton. 
May 19 : — Joseph Parkhurst & Deborah Spaul- 

26; — Joseph Bennit& Margaret Shattuck 

June 10 : — Josiah Chamberlain & Hepzibah 

Entred in Groton Town Book of Records 

Tho? Tarbell 

Groton Febru': 25^ 1754. To Capt Tho! Tarbell Town Clerk 
&c This is to certifie that I Caleb Trowbridge (Pastor of the 

all of 


Church in said Town) did joyn in Marriage the following Couples 
at the Times set against their respective Names Viz? 









March 7 








Deer. 17 : — 
Januf 3? 1754 



1752. John Sollendine & Dorcas Whipple 

— James Prescott & Susanna Lawrence 

— Peter Hobart & Abigail Lakin 

— Jonathan Farwell & Triphena Frost 

— Micah Crecee of Groton & Catharine Wether- 

bee of Bolton 
1753. Zachariah Longley & Jemima Moors 

— Samuel Sawtell & yf Wid'T Lydia 

Douglas ! of 

— John Tarbell & Sarah Parker ( Groton 
Caleb Blood & Hannah Holden 
John Craig & the WidY Jemima Fisk 
James Lock Jun5 of Townshend & Hannah 

Farnsworth of Groton. 
David Bennit of the District of Shirley and 

Elisabeth Wait of Groton. 
David Gilson of Groton & Anna Gilson of 

Pepperrill District 

Entred in Groton Town Book of Records 

Tho? Tarbell 

Married in the year 1750. 

Abel Parker to Esther Shattuck 
Jonathan Shattuck to Elisabeth Shattuck 

In the year 175 i 

John Green to Susanna Wood 

Richard Adams [of Dunstable] to Lydia Phillips 

Jacob Ames to Sarah Parker 

Amosa Turner [of Lancaster] to Eunice Sanderson 

James Green to Elisabeth Sheple 

John Longley to Elisabeth Paterson 

Oliver Blood to Sarah Darlin 





Jan : 


Jan : 













In the year 1752 

Samuel Gilson to Elisabeth Shed Feb : 20. 

William Elliot to Elisabeth Williams Mar: 19. 

^ me Joseph Emerson 
Entred in Groton Book of Records Tho^ Tarbell 

All the foregoing were reef May le* 1754 

& Recorded % 

Thad Mason Cler Pac'. 

Groton FebT 24'^ 1755 To Cap! Tho= Tarbell Town Clerk These 
are to certifie that the following Couples were joyned together in 
Marriage at the Time Set against their respective Names (by me 
Caleb Trowbridge Pastor of the Church in Said Town Viz' 

May 29. 
Deer 12* 
Janu* 9'f 

all of 

March 7 : 1754. Benaiah Hutson of Pepperrill District & Dorothy 

Lawrence of Groton 
19':'' — Isaac Lakin Jun' of Groton & Mary Lawrence of 

Pepperrill &c* 
April 2"! — Ebenezer Severance & y1 Wid" Sarah 


— Jonathan Morse & Sybil Tarbell 

— Ephraim Nutting & Jerusha Parker 

— Jonathan Tarbell & Lydia Farnsworth 
175s William Parker of Groton & y". WidT Sarah Rich- 
ardson of Pepperrill &c^ 

' Joseph Bruce of Mendon & Elisabeth Farnsworth 
of Groton. 
Nathaniel Lakin of Pepperrill & Sybil Parker of 

Febr^ 20 : — Eben' Farnsworth Junf & Mary Nickolls both of 


To Thadf Mason Esqr This may certifie you that the Persons 
above named stand recorded with me as they are above entered 

Tho^ Tarbell Town Clerk 

Groton Febru^ 28'!' 1756. To Cap' Thof Tarbell Town Clerk 
This is to certifie you that the following Couples were joyned in 
Marriage (at the Several Times Set against their respective Names) 
by me Caleb Trowbridge Pastor of the C'n^ in Said Town. Viz' 

all of 


March 26* 1755. Cap' Eph"? Sawtell & y". WidT Han' 

27. Samuel Cragge & Mary Conn 

Samuel Hobart & Ann Bradstreet 
April 16 : John Stevens of Townshend & Susanna Tarbell 

of Groton. 
May 29 : Jonas Sawtell of Groton & Elisabeth Albee of 

Amos Dole of Littleton & Molly Page of Groton. 
July 9 : Jonathan Stone & Susannah Mores } all of 

Sept' 9 John Sheple & Abigail Green Junf J Groton 

Octor s^- Rev"! My Joseph Perry of Windsor [Conn.] & 

M'f Sarah Lawrence of Groton 
Janu* 22f 1756. Joshua Nevers resident in Groton & the Wid" 

Abigail Sawtell of Groton. 
Feb'5 26 : — Jonathan Pratt & Lucy Bradstreet ) all of 
Febr^ 27 : — William Lakin & Priscilla Ames j Groton 

To Thad? Mason Esq' This may certifie that the Persons above 
named Stand recorded upon my Book as they are entred above 

Tho^. Tarbell Town Clerk. 

Decembf 10. 1755. This may certifie that I married Timothy Stew- 
ard & Esther Taylor both of Westford on the Day 

John Stevens yus^.. Peace 

The above written stands entred with me as above 

Tho! Tarbell Town Clerk 

All the foregoing were received March 11'!' 1756 & recorded 

f Thad Mason Cler Facf. 

To Doct"; Oliver Prescott Town Clerk, 

Sir, I have Married the Persons hereafter named at the Times 
specified. SamV Dana 

1765. Sepf: 26. William Shed to Lydia Farnsworth both of 

Octr 9. Samuel Nutting of Waltham to Olive Ames 

of Groton. 
Nov: 26. John Peirce of Groton to Sarah Biers of 



Decf s- 


1766. Janu? 30 : 

March 1 1 : 


Dec! 23. 
1767 Janu^ 6. 

Febru! 2. 



Marcdi 19. 


June 16. 

July 23'? 

Octof 29. 

NovT 1 1 


Decembr 10. 

1768. Febru^9. 

Samuel Reed Jun' of Lunenburgh to Mary 

Tarbell of Groton. 
Edward Phelps of Leominster to Martha 

Farnsworth of Groton. 
Joseph Rockwood to Sarah Richardson both 

of Groton. 
Ephraim Peirce to Esther Stone both of 

Nathan Whipple to Abigail Bowers both of 

Nathan Ball of Northborough to Elisabeth 

Reed of Groton. 
John Whitaker Juf to Thankful Peirce both 

of Groton. 
James Adams to Susanna Jenkins both of 

Simon Page Junf of Shirley to Elisabeth 

Moores of Groton. 
Jonathan Harris of Leominster to Hannah 

Robbins of Groton. 
Zachariah Fitch to Sybill Lakin both of 

Ebenezer Farnsworth to Sarah Nicholls both 

of Groton 
Joseph Hartwell of Littleton to Elisabeth 

Peirce of Groton 
Jonathan Farnsworth of Harvard to Hannah 

Farwell of Groton. 
Aaron Farnsworth to Sarah Bennet both of 

David Taylor of Concord to Sarah Parker of 

John Page to Esther Lawrence both of Groton. 
Salmon Stone to Susa Page both of Groton. 
Caleb Woods of Groton to Betty Cumings of 

Thomas Smith of Westford to Hannah Saund- 
ers of Groton. 
Daniel Page to Abigail Johnson both of 




Jonas Martial of Chelmsford to Mary Parker 

of Groton. 
Joseph Korey to Catharine Perry both of 

Jonathan Lakin to Jemima Williams both of 

Thomas Farrington to Betty Woods both of 
Novembr lo. John Woods Junf of Groton to Hannah Good- 
hue of Westford. 
John Bancroft of Woodstock to Eunice Blood 

of Groton 
Thomas Gragg to Eunice Lakin both of 

Samuel Parker Jun' of Groton to Rebekah 

Hunt of Westford 
James Blood Junf of Groton to Elisabeth 

Jewett of Pepperrill. 
Phinehas Page of Shirley to Hannah Stone 

of Groton 
Thomas Chamberlain to Lydia Adams both 
of Groton. 
To Thaddeus Mason Esq Clerk for the County of Middlesex &c, 
Sir. the within is a List of Marriages returned to me by the 
Rev"? Samuel Dana of Groton and they are entered upon the 
Town Book for Groton 

Att^ Oliver Prescott Town Clerk 
Middlesex ss : March 9 : 1773. Rec'} & recorded 

by Thad Mason Cler Pac'. 

[1768. Feb.] 10. 
March 9. 
August I : 
Octob": 6. 

Decembr i. 
1769. Janu': 12. 
Febru^ 2"! 
May 9. 

To the Town Clerk of Groton, Sir, I have Married the following 
Persons at the Times here Specified. 

1769. July 6. 

Augsl 31- 
Sept? 28. 

October 3. 

Cap: Joseph Sheple to Deborah Bowers both 

of Groton. 
Israel Hobart to Sarah Nutting both of Groton 
Levi Kemp to Rebekah Nevers both of 

Peter Fisk to Rachel Kemp both of Groton 
Isaac Nutting Ju^ to Mary Nutting both of 



Novembr 15. 
DecembT 12. 
1770. Febru? 8. 
June 6. 
Octo^ 10. 
November 20 
Decemb' 6 

1770. Decemb' 27. 

1771. May 7. 

June 4. 

July 24'!' 

August 13. 


October. 3. 

1772 Janu!' 9. 
March 26. 

May 7. 

Jonathan Boyden to Elisabeth Sawtell both of 

Benjamin Lawrence of Pepperrill to Sybill 

Parker of Groton. 
William Button of New Ipswich to Martha 

Parker of Groton. 
Peter Swallow of Dunstable to Prudence Stiles 

of Groton. 
Samuel Kemp, 3"^ of Groton 10 Elisabeth Kezer 

of Shirley. 
Joseph Simonds to Mitty Cummings both of 

, Benjamin Hazen to Lydia Woods both of 

Isaac Farwell to Lucy Page both of Groton 
Solomon Farnsworth to Lucy Farnsworth both 

of Groton 
Nathaniel Melvin of New Ipswich to Abigail 

Lakin of Groton 
Nathan Korey to Molly Green both of Groton. 
Zachariah Nutting to Eunice Nutting Daugh- 
ter to Nathaniel Nutting both of Groton. 
Thomas White Junl to Ruth Farnsworth both 

of Groton . 
Elisha Rockwood to Abigail Stone both of 

Reuben Tucker of Townshend to Relief 

Farnsworth of Groton. 
Timothy Woods to Elisabeth Derumple both 

of Groton 
Samuel Woods Jun' of Littleton to Rebecca 

Brooks of Groton. 
Stephen Lunn of New Ipswich to Sybill 

Whitney of Pepperrill. 
Timothy Farwell to Sarah Page both of 

Jacob Patch to Mary Hazen both of Groton 
Josiah Warren to Sarah Tarbell both of 

William Beals of Westford to Anna Woods of 



[i772- May] ii- Jonathan Wetherbee of Harvard to Abigail 
Farwell of Groton. 
20. K Samuel Tuttle of Littleton to Mary Law- 
rence of Groton. 

To Thaddeus Mason Esqf Cler. Pac? for the County of Middle- 
sex, Sir, The within is a Return of Marriages by the Rev? Samuel 
Dana of Groton & they are entered upon the Town Book for 

Att' Oliver Prescott Town Clerk 

Middlesex ss : Rec? May \<f^ 1773. and recorded 

by Thad Mason Cler Pad 

A Return of Marriages Solemnized by the Rev"! Daniel Chaplin of 

Isaac Green of Ashby to Prudence Ames of 

Eenr Parkhurst to Elisabeth Kendall both of 

John Bowers to Lucy Wheeler both of Groton 
Ephraim Stone to Sarah Ames both of Groton. 
Abel Stevens to Deborah Trufant both of 

William Sheple Junf to Lydia Tarbell both of 

Joseph Moores of Ringe to Emme Hubbard of 

Jonathan Stevens to Tryphena Hobart both of 
Decembf 25. Asa Shattuck of Pepperrill to Anna Wright of 
1788. Febru' 14: John Hadley of Gardner to Abig". Prescott of 
18. John Scott to Bethia Ames both of Groton. 
22'J Joseph Sawtell ■f. to Hannah Kemp both of 
Febru^ 28 : Thomas Farwell Junf of Washington to Sally 

Wait of Groton. 
28. Aaron Burdo of Reading to Phebe Leu of 


Dec' 27. 


Febru'. 8 : 

April 12. 

June 18 : 

Septr 13. 

Sept' 20 : 

Oct" II. 

Novr 2. 


April 8. William Tarbell to Molly Simonds both of 


A true Copy tes' Joseph Shed Town Clerk 
Groton May 23 : 1788. 
Middlesex ss : May 27 : 1788, Received & Recorded 

by Thad Mason Cler Fatf. 
[Marriages, No. i, pages 104-115.] 

A List of Marriages returned by the Rev? Daniel Chaplin 

1788. July 10* Benjamin Morse jun' to Susanna Trusant both 

of Groton. 
Sept' 10. Samuel Blood to Sarah Bartlet both of Groton. 

Novemb' 15 : Ezekiel Nutting Jun' to Elisabeth Holdin both 

of Groton. 
Ditto 25. Samuel Farnsworth to Bettsy Fitch both of 

Decemb! 25 : John White of Pepperrill to Lydia Farwell 

of Groton • 

A true Copy Test Joseph Shed Town Clerk 

A List of Marriages returned by Ebenezer Champney Esqf 

1788. June 25? Jonathan Blood to Mary Gragg both of 


1789. March 27!' Oliver Hartwell to Rachel Shattuck both of 

1789 Janu? 6 : Ebenezer Pratt Jun^ to Eunice Hartwell both 

of Shirley 
March 28 : Oliver Fletcher to Mary Parker both of 

A true Copy. Tes' Joseph Shed Town Clerk 

A List of Marriages returned by Israel Hobart Esq' 

Novemb^ 18 : 1788. Abel Patch of Groton to Rebekah Nutting of 

Groton May yf S- 1789 A true Copy Tes' Joseph Shed 2"own 
Middlesex ss : May 5 : 1789 Received & Recorded 

by Thad Mason Cler Facf 



The following is a Copy of a Return of Marriages Solemnized by , 

the Rev? Daniel Chaplin ', 

April. i6 : 1789 Richard Briant to Mary Whitney. 

Ditto y= 30* D? Ephraim Lawrence to Sally Sartell. 

May y? 7 : D." Samuel Bancroft to Abigail Child j 

Ditto y": II : D° Amos Shed to Lucy Tarbell 

Ditto y' 28. D° Israel Shattuck to Ede Patch. 

June 7 : 1789. Imlah Parker to Anna Ames. 

July I. Ditto Thomas Tarbell to Molly Farnsworth. 

Aug' 20. D' Moses Stone to Polly Hamlen. 

D° D° D° Abel Dinsmore to Rachel Fisk 

Septr 29'^ D° Jonas Baker to Susanna Simonds. 

Novemb' 3. D? James Ralph to Lucy Kemp. 

D° y= 9 : D°. Abel Sartell to Sarah Nutting. 

Janu' 13 : 1790. Jonathan Lawrence to Lydia Tarbell 

D° y*; 17 : D° Jacob Rodiman to Abigail Lawrence. 

D° y": 25 : D° Reuben Rice to Susanna Craigg 

Febru'^ y": 4* D° Benjamin Swan to Mary Wait 

A true Copy tes! Joseph Shed Town Clerk 
Groton May 4'? 1790. 

N. B. No return from any Justice of the Peace 
Middlesex ss: May 7* 1790 Received & recorded 

by Thad Mason Cler Pad 

A list of the Persons returned by the Rev"! Daniel Chaplin 

1790. Apr. 12. Oliver Kemp to Lydia Blood 

25. Joseph Trusant Ju' to Anna Bennett 

May 2. Jonas Gilson to Nabby Green 

12 Eben. Wood JuT to Sarah Farwell 

14. Henry Blood to Nabby Lakin 

20*" Eleazer Davis to Betsy Parker 

June 22. Colson Trusant to Maria Page 

July 6. David Davis to Lucy Farwell 

Sep' 16. Sam'. Dodge to Polly Farnsworth 

30. John Lawrence J' to Esther Nutting 

Oct 17 Jotham Woods to Mary Gilson 

Nov 25 Eph. Nutting jr to Polly Woods 

Dec. 14. Joel Lawrence to Ruth Collier 


1791 Feb. I. Jonathan Shed to Nabby Allen 

Mar. 29. Eleazer Hamlen to Sarah Bancroft 
30. Oliver Page to Esther Kemp 

A true Copy Att? Joseph Shed To Clerk 

Dec. 2^. 1790 W? Blood to Elizabeth Ames, were married by W- 
Swan EsqT 

A true Copy Att? Joseph Shed To Clerk 

Middlesex ss Groton March 26. 1793. Then was joined in mar- 
riage by me the Subscriber 

Asa Bigsby Jun of Westford & Lucy Gillson of Groton which are 
all the persons I Have married the year past 

W?? Swan Just of the Peace 
A true Copy Test 

Joseph Shed Town Clerk 
[Marriages, No. 2, pages 104-106.] 

The remaining records of marriages are found under the 
headings of the different towns where they took place. 


Rev? Mf Samuel Dana of Groton & Miss Anna Kenrick of Newton 
were married May 6 : 1762 
[Marriages, No. i, page 15.J 


Nathaniel Harris of Groton & Anna Mead of Watertown were 
joyned in Marriage on the 27* day of Octof 1748 by the 
Rev"? W. Seth Storer Minister of y1 Gospel 
[Marriages, No. i, page 31.J 

Nathaniel Smith of Groton & Priscilla Harris of Watertown were 
joyned in marriage the 17* day of Decf 1751 1* the Rev"! W. 
Seth Storer Minister of y' Gospel. 
[Marriages, No. i, page 33.] 


Oliver Prescott of Groton & Lydia Baldwin of Watertown were 
joyned in marriage on the I9'^ day of Febru^ 1756, ^ Seth 
Storer Minister of the Gospel 
[Marriages, No. i, page 37.] 


Ephraim Robbins of Groton & Thankful Ball of Concord Decembr 
19: 1777. 
[Marriages, No. i, page 64.J 


Peter Parker JunT of Groton & Mary Butterfield of Dunstable 
Janu>: 3 : 1769 
[Marriages, No. 1, page 119. J 


Jonathan Lawrence of Littleton & Lydia Fletcher of Groton were 
joyned in marriage by the Revl M' Dan! Rogers of Littleton 
by his Certificate under his hand Oct" 10 : 1754. 
[Marriages, No. i, page 133.J 

Littleton December y= i8* 1760 Then Joseph Hoar of Littleton & 
Mary Farwell of Groton were joyned in Marriage by the Rev"? 
M^ Daniel Rogers as by Certificate under his hand. 
[Marriages, No. i, page 138.] 


Octob' 25 : 1774. Nehemiah Lawrence of Groton and Esther Fitch 
of Bedford married. 
[Marriages, No. i, page 190.J 


On December is'/- 1750 William Stevens of Townshend and Sybill 
Farnsworth of Groton were lawfully married by Phinehas 
Hemmenway Pastor of Townshend 

Samuel Manning Town Clerk 


Townshend December is'!" 1750. then was lawfully married Josiah 
Farwell & Lydia Farnsworth both of Groton, by John Stevens 
Justice of Peace 

Samuel Manning Town Clerk 

On January 9* 1752. were lawfully Married Jonathan Avery of 
Townshend & Mary Farnsworth of Groton by the Rev'? Phin': 
Hemmenway Pastor of Townshend 
[Marriages, No.i, page 198.] Samuel Manning Town Clerk 

Mr. Sawtelle, in his History of Townsend (pages 386, 387) 
gives the last two marriages as follows : — 

1750. December 15, Jonah Farwell, Groton, Lydia Farnsworth, 

1752. January 9, John Avery, Townsend, Mary Farnsworth, Groton. 


Daniel Stone of Groton & Martha Lawrence of Littleton on the 
2/1^ day of Janu'y 1769 were joyned in marriage by me 

Daniel Rogers Clerk. 

Matthias Farnsworth of Groton & Sarah Farnsworth of Harvard on 
the 1 6* day of Febru? 1769 were joyned in Marriage, by me 

J. D. Rogers yust. Pa<f. 
[Marriages, No. i, page 273.] 

Littleton February 15 : 1770 Then Mf Ephraim Kimball of Little- 
ton & M" Mary Sartell of Groton were joyned in marriage by 
the Revi M' Daniel Rogers, as by a certificate under his hand 
[Marriages, No. i, page 274.J 

January yf 5? 1773 Then W. Isaac Stone of Groton & Mf Hannah 
Leighton of Littleton were joyned in marriage by the Revi M' 
Daniel Rogers, as appears by his Certificate 
[Marriages, No. i, page 277.J 


Jonas Priest of Groton & Martha Durant of Billerica were married 
by Mr Cumings Janut 17 : 1769 
[Marriages, No. 1, page 343.J 




David Woods of Groton & Deborah Swallow of Dunstable De- 

cembf y": 14'!' 1769. 
Solomon Woods of Groton & Mary Taylor of Dunstable April y' 

19. 1770. 
[Marriages, No. i, page 418.] 


September 26 : [1784.] Isaac Fletcher of Westford to Ruth Peirce 
of Groton 
[Marriages, No. r, page 422.J 

Joseph Rockwood Junr of Groton & Lucy Fletcher of Westford 
Novr 26 : 1789 
[Marriages, No. i, page 42 4. J 

Amos Read of Westford & Rachael Prescott of Groton Febf 22 : 

Enoch Cook of Groton & Abigail Butterfield of Westford Septf 

26 : 1790 
[Marriages, No. i, page 425. J 


This may certify that Henry Davis of Groton & Mary Tuttle of 
Littleton were joined in marriage by 

EDMiisfD Foster C. 
Littleton 12 Febru^ 1782 
[Marriages, No. 2, page 51. J 

This may certify that James Pool of Hollis & Mary Richardson of 
Grotori were joined in marriage by 

Edmund Foster C. 
Littleton 24. Nov5 1784 
[Marriages, No. 2, page 52.J 


Febru°. 5 : [1789.] Abijah Nutting of Groton & Eunice Page of 
[Marriages, No. 2, page 91. J 



Oct 14. [1773.] Phinehas Hemenway with Elizabeth Taylor, both 

of Groton 
Ap! [1776.J Abel Shattuck of Pepperrell with Hannah Hobart of 

[Dec] 19 [1776.] Nehemiah Tarbell with Martha Dodge, both of 

[April] 29. [1777.J Mf Robert Ames with Mrs Susanna Warren 

both of Groton 
July, [1778.] Benj° Lawrence Junf with Rebeccah Woods, both of 

[Marriages, No. 2, page 178.] 

AD. 1779. "I Benj Hobart of Groton with Eliz. Brooks of Towns- 
Jan 21. ) hend 
June. 17. [1779. J Isaac Warren with Eunice Farnsworth, both of 

Mar. 22. [1781.J Caleb Blood 3'' of Groton, with Hepzibah Jewett 
of Pepperrell 
[Marriages, No. 2, page 179.] 




An Act was passed by the General Court of Massachusetts 
on April 24, 1857, which required every town clerk in the 
Commonwealth to make a certified copy of the record of all 
marriages occurring before the year 1800 in his town, when- 
ever either of the contracting parties lived in any other town, 
and to send such copy to the clerk of that town to be duly re- 
corded in a book kept for the purpose. The following list of 
marriages is taken from the book (pages 128-163) kept by 
the town clerk of Groton in accordance with the requirements 
of this law, and marked on the back, " Births & Deaths." It 
is by no means complete, as many marriages not recorded here 
are entered in the county records during the same period, and 
vice versa. Whenever the record is duplicated, I have omitted 
the entry found in the town book, for the reason that this 
copy was made at a much later date, and consequently is 
more liable to error. In a few instances, where the names 
or dates differ, I have given both forms ; but in such cases 
I have mentioned the fact. For the sake of convenience I 
have arranged the names of the towns alphabetically. 


1713, Feb. 12. Samuel Kemp of Groton and Sarah Lacey of 
Andover were married. 

1739. July 3'! Daniel Farwell of Groton and Mary More of 
Andover, by Rev. Samuel Phillips. 

1758, March 28. William Benit of Groton and Mrs. Hannah 
Perrey of Andover, by Rev. Samuel Phillips. 



Abel Prescott of Groton and Hannah Spaulding of Ashburnham 
were married Oct. 7, 1794, by Rev. John Gushing. 


Nehemiah Lawrence of Groton & Elizebeth Fitch of Bedford 
were Married by the Rev. Joseph Penniman, October 25*, 1774. 

The county records give her name as Esther. 


Joseph Jewell of Groton and Mary Saunders of Billerica, Joined 
in marriage before Mr. Samuel Ruggles, Sept. 25, 1738. 


Stephen Holden of Groton and Sarah Wheeler of Lunenburg 
were joined in marriage before David Wood, Esq., March 21, 


Mr. Benj. Prescott of Grouten & Mrs. Abigail Oliver of Cam- 
bridge were married 12 June, 1718, per Jonathan Pool, Esq. 

1785, Oct. 13. Dr. Eph" Ware of Groton & Mrs. Abigail Gamage, 
By Rev. Timothy Willard. 


William Green & Mary Barron of Groton, joyned in marriage 
befor the Hon. James Russell, Esq., Justice of the peace, June the 
20'", 1705. 

Samuel Comings & Elizabeth Shed, both of Groton, married 
before Edward Emerson, Esq., Justice of the peace, January 14*, 

Jonathan Nuttin and Mary Green, both of Groton, joyned in 
marriage before Mr. Justice Emerson, June i", 1710. 

Stephen Holden of Groton & Sarah Cressy of this Town were 
joyned in marriage by the Rev. Mr. Hull Abbot, July 4"" 1749. 



Daniel Cadye and Mary Green, both of Groton, entered a cove- 
nant of Marriage the : 6* ; day of July : 1683, before Samuel Adams, 

John Parise of Groton and Mary the daughter of John Wattel of 
Chelmsford were married the 129: December: 1685, as witness 
Samuel Adams, Commissioner. 

Samuel the son of Samuel Wood of Groton and Hannah the 
daughter [of] Joseph Farwell were married the 30 day of Decem- 
ber, 1685, as witness Samuel Adams, Commissioner. 

William Lakin of Groton and Elizabeth the daughter of James 
Robinson of Groton were married the 4 January, 1685, before 
Samuel Adams, Commissioner. 

Nicolas Cady, the son of Nicolas of Groton, entered a covenant 
of Marriage with Porcine the daughter of William Redland of Gro- 
ton, the 20 of March, 1685, before Samuel Adams, Commissioner. 

Thomas Blodget of Chelmsford and Mary Druse of Groton en- 
tered into a covenant of marriage the 8 of July, 1696, before M' 
Thomas Clark. 

Robert Robbins and Mary Dill entered into a covenant of mar- 
riage before Mr. Thomas Clark, ye 27 of March, 1697. 

William Whitney of Groton and Lydia Perham of Chelmsford 
entered into a covenant of Marriage before Mr. Thomas Clark, 
March the 

The rest of the date is wanting ; but it is supposed to be 
1699 or 1700. 

Nathan Ames [of Groton &] Lydia Goodhue was married April 
10, 1788. Returned by Abisha Grossman. 

Obediah Parker [of Groton] & Ruth Stevens, Oct. 17, 1752 
New Style [by the Reverend Ebenezer Bridge]. 

Jeremiah Hobart & Rebecca Saunders, March 4, 1776 [by the 
Reverend Ebenezer Bridge]. 

Dec. 7* 1698. John Stone. Groton. 

Sarah Farnsworth. " Justice Minot. 

Aug. 16*, 1699. Thomas Chamberlain. | Groton. 

Abigail Nutting. j " do. 

April 8* 1702. Moses Barrow. ) Groton. 


Oct. 5, 1699. Jonas Prescott. ] Groton. 

Thankful Wheeler. | Concord. Rev. Jo'. Easterbrook. 
Feb. 8'!-, ifU. Samuel Scripture. Groton. 

Mary Green. Watertown. Justice Minot. 

oton. 1 

Sarah Power. | " ) do. 

April 8*, 1702. Daniel Power. Groton. 

Elizebeth Whitcomb. Lancaster. do. 

April 15* 1706. Joseph Blood | Groton. ■» 

Hannah Sawyer ) Lancaster, j do. 

Aug. 24*, 1706. Thomas Porter. ■» Billerica. 

Hepsibah Sawtell. ) Groton. do. 

Sept. 23^., 1706. Benjamin Lakin. ■> Groton. 

Elizebeth Lakin. j " do. 

Oct. 15, 1706. Samuel Warner. Groton. 

Hannah Cady. " do. 

Sept. 4*, 17 10. Jonathan Whitcomb. Groton. 

Deborah Scripture. " do. 

April 10, 17 13. Ephraim Sawtell. Groton. 

Abigail Farnsworth. " do. 

. I Grotc 

Abigail Pierce. ) " do. 

Nov. 27'!', 1754. Nathan Wood. Groton. 

Ann Parker. " do. 

Dec. 25*, 1760. Nathaniel Blood. | Groton. 

Hannah Shattuck. j " do. 

May 10*, 1762. • Ebenezer Parker. Groton. 

Susanna Loper. Concord. Rev. Mr. Bliss. 
Aug. 2, 1763. John Robbins. Groton. 

Sarah Gilson. " Ths. Whiting, Esq. 

Nov. 9% 1 769. David Archibald | Groton. ) 

Hannah Patch j " ) * 

March 5*, 1777- Thomas Bond. | Groton. 

Esther Merriam. j Concord. Rev. Jos. Penniman. 
April 2"!, 1786. Samuel Bowers. "> Groton. 

Sept. 19'!", 1733. Ezra Farnsworth. ■» Groton. 


Lucy Allen. j Concord. J. Cummings, Esq. 


Married by ye Rev. Mr. Sam! Dexter 
Hezekiah Sprague of Groton & Elizebeth Avery of Dedham. 
Oct. 30* 1729. 



John Varnum of Dracut & Dorathy Prescout of Groton were 
lawfully married in November, in the 13* day in the year 1700. 


David Woods of Groton & Deborah Swallow of Dunstable, 
April 19, 1770. 

The county records give the date of this marriage as De- 
cember 14, 1769. 

James Pike of Groton & Ruth Ingolls of Dunstable, March 3'', 


Jonathan Bancroft of Dunstable & Martha Green of Groton, 

May 20, 1773. 


Samuel Dowse of Fitchburg and Eunice Wentworth of Groton 
were married Jan'', i'.', 1771, by Rev. John Payson. 


William Bennet of Groton, Mary Atherton of Harvard, by Rev. 
John Seccomb, Nov. ye 26, 1741. 

John Frost, Jr., of Groton, Mindwill Bigelow of Harvard, by 
Rev. John Seccomb, Sept. 6, 1750. 

Ephraim Read of Harvard, Elizebeth Pierce of Groton, by Rev. 
John Seccomb, May 4, 1757. 

Thomas Farewell of Groton, Sarah Davis of Harvard, by Rev. 
Joseph Wheeler, Jan'! 3'', 1760. 

Silas Rand of Harvard, Sarah Farwell of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Wheeler, Feb''. 22, 1763. 

Paul Fletcher of Groton, Abigail Willard of Harvard, by Rev. 
Joseph Wheeler, March 8, 1764. 

William Farwell of Groton, Sybil Farwell of Harvard, by Rev. 
Joseph Wheeler, Dec. 5, 1765. 

Silas Stone of Groton, Eunice Fairbank of Harvard, by Rev. 
Joseph Wheeler, June 1% 1767. 

Thomas Park of Groton, Rosanna Conn of Harvard, by Rev. 
Joseph Wheeler, May 3, 1768. 


Edmund Farwell of Groton, Mary Russell of Harvard, by Rev. 
Dana Johnson, July 15, 1773. 

Mathias Farnsworth of Groton, Azuba Farnsworth of Harvard, 
by Rev. Dana Johnson, Feb. 21, 1776. 

Moses Hale of Harvard, Molly Farwell of Groton, by Rev. 
Dana Johnson, April 10, 1776. 

Harbour Farnsworth of Groton, Lucy Heald of Harvard, by 
Joseph Wheeler, Justice of the peace, March 12, 1778. 

Samuel Finney of Harvard, Rhoda Park of Groton, by Isaiah 
Parker, April 24, 1780. 

Jonathan Stone, Jr., of Groton, Catherine Willard of Harvard, 
by Rev. Ebenezer Grosvenor, July 2, 1786. 

John Blanchard of Sutton, Hulda Carrol of Groton, by Josiah 
Whitney, Esq., Sept. 26, 1786. 

Joshua Davis of Groton, Sybil Patterson of Harvard, by the 
Reverend William Emerson, August 3, 1793. 

Joseph Sawtell of Groton, Lucy Farnsworth of Harvard, by the 
Reverend W" Emerson, July i, 1794. 


Francis Worster of Groton & Mary Simmons of Haverhill, mar- 
ried April II, 1775. 


1744, June 5. Ezra Hale of Leominster and Lydia Frost of 

1757, April 6. Edward Phelps of Leominster and Martha 
Tarbell of Groton. 

Both by the Reverend John Rodgers. 


Elisha Corey of Groton & Mary Munroe of Lexington were 
Married April 18, 1780. 

Samuel Pierce of Groton & Sally Farmer of Lexington were 
joined in marriage February 12, 1794. 

Both by the Reverend Jonas Clark. 




Israel Hinds of Littleton & Sarah Foster of Groton, by J. 
Dummer Rogers, Jus. Peace, Aug. 17, 1768. 

Benj. Bancroft of Groton & Mrs. Mary Tuttle of Littleton, by 
Rev. Edmund Foster, Oct. 18, 1785. 

John Farnsworth of Groton & Nancy Baker of Littleton, by 
Rev. Edmund Foster, Dec. 29, 1789. 

Solomon Stone of Groton & Hepsabah Treadwell of Littleton, 
by Rev. Edmund Foster, Nov. 20, 1790. 

Jonathan Wythe of Groton & Betsey Warren of Groton, by 
Sampson Tuttle, Esq., Dec. 3! 1799. 


Jonathan Bennett of Groton and Mary Going of Lunenburg 
were married October yf is* 1755, by the Rev. Mr. David Stearns, 
Minster of Lunenburg. 

Timothy Darling of Lunenburg and Joanna Blood of Groton 
were married FeW 8*, 1753, by the Rev. Mr. David Stearns, 
Minister of Lunenburg. 

John Kelsey of Groton and Martha Mc Farlen of Lunenburg 
was married by the Rev. Mr. David Stearns, Minister of Lunen- 
burg, January the 10"', 1739/40. 

Samuel Larrabee of Lunenburg and Anne Williams of Groton 
were married December 7, 1752, by the Rev. Mr. David Stearns, 
Minister of Lunenburg. 

Benj. Larrabee of Lunenburg and Margaret Williams of Groton 
were married December 7, 1752, by the Rev. Mr. David Stearns, 
Minister of Lunenburg. 

Nehemiah Lane of Lunenburg & Sarah Fletcher of Groton were 
Married April 17*, 1760, by the Rev. Mr. David Stearns, Minister 
of Lunenburg. 

William Larkin of Lunenburg & Hannah Farce of Groton were 
Married May y" 7, 1761, by Edward Hartwell, Justice of the Peace. 

John Larrabee of Lunenburg & Abiel Arvern of Groton were 
Married June yf ig'\ 1760, by the Rev. Mr. David Stearns, Minis- 
ter of Lunenburg. 

Ebenezer Pratt of Lunenburg & Lydia Stone of Groton were 
married by Edward Hartwell, Justice of ye Peace, September ye 
22'', 1761. 


Silas Snow of Lunenburg & Anna Farwell of Groton were 
Married November ye 20* 1760, by the Rev. Mr. David Stearns, 
Minister of Lunenburg. 

Isaac Forster, JunI:, & Rachel Fisk, Groton, Sept. 10, 1778. 

Daniel Hart, Jun^, of Groton & Polly Marshall, Lun., Sept. 13, 

Levi Carlisle of Groton & Polly Billings, Lunen., Octo. 7, 1798. 
[The last three by the Reverend Zabdiel Adams.] 


John Bush and Ruth Nutting of Groton were married Oct. 29'^ 


June 30, 1725. Jonathan Farnsworth and Mary Burt, both of 


Doctor Ezekiel Chase of Groton & Priscila Merrill of Newbury 
were joyned together in marriage May ye 20* 1729, by ye Rev. Mr. 
John Tufts. 


June, 26 day, 1733. Thomas Cimber of Groton and Abigail 
Willis of Taunton were Joined together in marriage by George 
Leonard, Justice. 


1748. Jan'; 5. William Blood & Lucy Fletcher of Groton, by 
Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

July 21. Eleazer Gilson & Mary Hall of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

July 21. Zachariah Weath & Esther Kemp of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

Nov. 24. Samuel Foster of Boxford & Jane Boynton of Groton, 
by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

Dec. 22. James Parker & Rebeckah Bulkley of Groton, by 
Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1749. March 10. Abraham Parker & Lois Blood of Groton, by 
Rev. Joseph Emerson. 


Aug. 10. Jeremiah Shattuck & Lidia Lakin of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

1750. Aug. 16. John Shattuck & Elizebelh Shattuck of Groton, 
by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1752. June 25. Ebenezer Woods & Eunice Boyden of Groton, 
by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

Dec. 12. Solomon Parker & Hepzibeth Longlie of Groton, by 
Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1753. Feb. I. Simon Blood & Anna Shattuck of Groton. 

Feb. 8. George Camel of Townsend & Mary White of Groton, 
by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

Feb. 15. John Wallis of Townsend & Mary White of Groton, 
by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

Sept. 13. Simon Green of Groton & Mary Shattuck of Groton, 
by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1756. June 17. John Woods & Jerusha Smith of Groton, by 
Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1757. April 13. Edmund Parker of Pepperell & Elizebeth 
Green of Groton, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1758. April 25. John Chamberlain of Pepperell & Mary Patch 
of Groton, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

May 25. Job Shattuck & Sarah Hartwell of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

1759. May 10. Josiah Boyden of Groton & Sarah Nutting of 
Pepperell, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

June 26. Sam! Kemp & Lydia Phillips of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

July 12. Ebenezer Gilson of Pepperel & Hannah Darley of 
Groton, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1760. Nov. 27. Isaac Baldwin of Groton & Elizebeth Shattuck 
of Pepperell, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

Dec. II. Ebenezer Lakin & Eunice Lakin of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

1765. Mar. 14. Isaac Corey of Groton & Lydia Jewett of 
Pepperell, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1767. Jan'; 22. Simeon Nutting of Pepperell & Dorothy Kemp 
of Groton, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

Jan': 22. Eleazer Parker of Groton [&] Abigail Lawrence of 
Pepperell, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1772. June 22. William Colburn of Hollis & Anna Farnsworth 
of Groton, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 


July 2. David Tarbell to Esther Kemp of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

July 15. Samuel Stills of Lyndboro & Susannah Lakin of 
Groton, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1773. Feb. 4. David Shedd & Lucy Blood of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

1774. Feb. I. Jeremiah Lawrence of Peppl & Anna Woods of 
Groton, by Rev. Joseph Emerson. 

1775. May 4. Abel Kemp & Lucy Pratt of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

Sept. 5. John Pierce & Tabatha Porter of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

Sept. 5. Thadeus Bancroft & Bular Foster of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

Sept. 26. John Fisk & Anna Blood of Groton, by Rev. Joseph 

Oct. 5. Ezra Pierce & Rebecca Lawrence of Groton, by Rev. 
Joseph Emerson. 

1780. Jan'; 18. Zacheus Farwell of Groton & Lydia Gilson of 
Pepperell, by Rev. John Bullard. 

Oct. 31. Robinson Lakin of Pepperell & Hepzibeth Lakin of 
Groton, by Rev. John Bullard. 

1783. May 13. Amaziah Blood of Groton & Hannah Green of 
Pepperell, by Rev. John Bullard. 

May 2 1. John Nutting, teftius, Pepperell, & Sarah Fisk of 
Groton, by Rev. John Bullard. 

1784. Nov. 17. Benjamin Woodward of Dunstable & Mary Blood 
of Groton, by Rev. John Bullard. 

Nov. 23. Edward Jewett of Pepperell & Maria Blood of Groton, 
by Rev. John Bullard. 

1786. June I. John Park, Jun', of Groton & Lydia Hamlin of 
Howard, by Rev. John Bullard. 

1788. Sept. 25. Ezkiel Shattuck & Prudence Blood of Groton, 
by Rev. John Bullard. 

1789. June 25. Caleb Woods, Jun', of Groton & Abig! Woods of 
Pepperell, by Rev. John Bullard. 

1791. Dec. 29. Sam! Kemp of Groton & Hepz"; Shattuck of 
Pepperell, by Rev. John Bullard. 

1792. Feb. 21. Nathaniel Flitcher of Dunstable & Submit 
Blood of Groton, by Rev. John Bullard. 


June 3. Eben. Blood of Groton & Sarah Pierce of Pepperell, by 
Rev. John Bullard. 

June 20. Henry Blood of Groton & Polly Fisk of Pepperell, by 
Rev. John Bullard. 

1794. Mar. 5. Lieut. Benji' Whitney of Pepperell & Olive Farns- 
worth of Groton, by Rev. John Bullard. 

Oct. I. Jonas Lawrence of Pepperell & Betsey Hazen of Groton, 
by Rev. John Bullard. 

1796. March 10. Richard Sawtell, Jun':, of Groton & Sally 
Wear of Pepperell, by Rev. John Bullard. 

May II. Cor^ Simon Gilson of Pepperell & Mindwell Frost of 
Groton, by Rev. John Bullard. 

1797. Sam! Cook of Groton & Sarah Jewett of Pepperell, by 
Rev. John Bullard. 

1798. April 10. John Kemp of Groton & Sally Shattuck of 
Groton, by Rev. John Bullard. 

1798. Nov. 8. Sewell Tarbell of Pepperell & Ruth Kemp of 
Groton, by Rev. John Bullard. 

Nov. 15. Tim>'. Blood of Groton & Sibbel Woods of Pepperell, 
by Rev. John Bullard. 

1799. Jan*; 28. Ebenezer Pierce of Pepperell & Assineth Blood 
of Groton, by Rev. John Bullard. 


Joseph Croswell of Groton & Jerusha Bartlet of Plymouth were 
married at Plymouth March 14"", 1744. 


James Benit & Hannah Baret, boath of Groaten, were married 
March the 23'', 1703, by John Brown, Esq., one of her Majesties' 
Justices of the Peace, Reading. 

The Rev. Joseph Emerson of Groton & Miss Abigail Hays of 
Reading were married December 12"*, 1750. 


Jan. 27, 1763. Samuel Nichols of Groton to Elizebeth Patterson 
of Shirley, by Rev. P. Whitney. 

Aug. 1793. Phineas Nutting of Groton to Susa Page of 


Nov. 1796. Phineas Wait of Groton to Ruth Bicknell of 

June ye 16, 1796. Mr. Thomas Hobart, Jr., of Groton to Susanna 
Patterson of Shirley, by Joshua Longley, Esq. 


Thomas Burbank of Groton and Abigail Woodbury of [Sutton] 
were joined together in marriage April 5, 1780, by the Rev. David 
Hall, Pastor of the first Chh. in Sutton. 


Joshua Chatman of Groton and Jemima Slade of Swanzey was 
married, January ye 27, 1783, by me, Russell Mason, Pastor of a 
church of christ in Swanzey. 

Jacob Avery of Groton, Sylva Eddy of Swanzey, was married 
June the 4, 1753, by me, Russell Mason, Elder of a church of 
Christ in Swanzey. 


Jan. 4*, 1737. John Wheeler of Townsend & Mehitable Hadley 
of Groton. 

March i, 1737. Jonathan Stearns of Townsend & Anna Sawtell 
of Groton. 

Mr. Sawtelle, in his History of Townsend (page 386), has 
this marriage as follows : " 1738. March i, Jonathan Stevens, 
Townsend, Sarah Sartell, Groton." 

May 24, 1738. Timothy Whitney of Townsend & Submit Parker, 

April 12, 1762. Ephraim Warner of Townsend & Sarah Keazer 
of Groton. 

June 13, 1765. David Brown of Groton & Lydia Stevens of 
Townsend, by Rev. Sam". Dix. 

Oct. 14, 1773. Phineas Hemingway with Elizebeth Taylor, both 
of Groton, by Rev. Sam! Dix. 

April 19, 1776. Abel Shattuck of Pepperell & Hannah Hobart 
of Groton, by Rev. S. Dix. 

Dec. 3, 1776. Nehemiah Tarbell & Martha Dodge, both of 
Groton, by Rev. S. Dix. 


The County records do not give the date of the last two 
marriages recorded on the previous page. 

April 29, ,1777. Robert Ames & Susanna Warren, both of 
Groton, by Rev. S. Dix. 

April 29, 1778. Benj. Lawrence, Jr., with Rebeckah Woods, both 
of Groton, by Rev. Sam! Dix. 

June 7, 1779. Isaac Warren & Eunice Farnsworth, both of Gro- 
ton, by Rev. Sam! Dix. 

March 22, 1792. Reuben Stevens of Groton with ThankfuU 
Rumrill of Townsend, by Rev. Sam! Dix. 

Aug. 15, 1792. Parker Wetherbee of Townsend with Roda 
Adams of Groton. 

Jan'; 5, 1797. Uzriel Withee, resident in Groton, & Elizebeth 
Stevens of this Town, by Rev. Sam! Dix. 


17 1 1, Dec^ 5. Eben'. Prescott of Lancaster & Ruth Hobart of 
Groton, by Jonas Bond, Jus. of Peace. 

17 12, Oct. 24. John Thatcher of Groton & Elizebeth Morse of 
Watertown, by Rev. Samuel Angier. 


1733, September 11* Zecheriah Sartel of Groton to Abigail 
Bigsby of Westford by Willard Hall, Pastor. 

1741, May 20. Lenard Parker to Abigail Parker, both of Gro- 
ton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1741, October 8. Simon Page to Hannah Gilson, both of Groton, 
by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1742, February 18. Isaac Green to Marthy Boyden, both of 
Groton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1743, January 11. Gershom Huboard and Mary Townsend, both 
of Groton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1744, March 22"! Mr. David Hubbard and Mrs. Sarah Parker, 
both of Groton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1744, May 30. John Cowdry of Billerica and Hannah Davis of 
Groton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1744, June 27. Joseph Shepley and Eunice Parker, both of Gro- 
ton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 


1745) June 13. William Preson of Groton and Ann Gamble of 
Winham, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1745, August 13* Robert Parker and Deborah Hubbard, both of 
Groton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1746, February 19. Ebenezer Prescott of Westford to Elizebeth 
Sprague of Groton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1746, May 29* Clement Blood and Eunice Gilson, both of Gro- 
ton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the piece. 

1746, June 4. Ebenezer Patch of Groton to Sarah Wright of 
Westford, by Willard Hall, Pastor. 

1747, September 22. Samuel Wood, Jr., and Tabitha Wheeler, 
both of Groton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1747, October 20. John Gilson, Jr., and Hannah Green, both of 
Groton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1748, May 26. Isaac Patch of Groton and Mary Hastin of Dun- 
stable, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1748, June 29. Col. John Bulkley of Groton and Mrs. Mary 
Underwood of Westford, by Willard Hall, Pastor. 

1749, February 16. Jacob Ames and Olive Davise, both of Gro- 
ton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1749, April 12. Josiah Boyden of Groton to Jane Read of West- 
ford, by Willard Hall, Pastor. 

1749, October 31. Ebenezer Kemp and Marah Broadstreet, both 
of Groton, by Jonas Prescott, Justice of the peace. 

1760, November 27. Daniel Gilson of Groton, and Apphia Kent 
of Westford, by Willard Hall, Pastor. 

1765, May 23. Jonas Stone of Groton to Rebecca Fletcher of 
Westford, by Willard Hall, Pastor. 

1769, July II. Gershom Hubbart of Groton to Phebe Patch of 
Westford, by Willard Hall, Pastor. 

1784, January 20. Lieut. Thomas Reed of Westford to Widr 
Phebe Proctor of Groton, by Mathew Scribner, Minister. 

1786, May 18. Elijah Nutting of Groton to Susanna Foster of 
Westford, by Mathew Scribner, Minister. 

1786, April 28. James Snow of Westford to Sukey Gilson of 
Groton, by Caleb Blake, Pastor. 

1788, March 18. Jonathan Swallow of Groton to Jemima Wil- 
son of Westford, by Mathew Scribner, Minister. 

1788, May 12. Isaiah Hall of Groton to Hannah Keep of West- 
ford, by Mathew Scribner, Minister. 


1797. August 24. Thaddeus Carter of Sandy Streem, County of 
Lincoln, and Betsy Derumple of Groton, by Zac! Wright, Justice of 
the peace. 

1799, September 22. Bulkley Ames of Groton to Lydia Prescott 
of Westford, by Caleb Blake, Pastor. 


Phineas Parker of Groton and Elizebeth Bowers of Lancaster 
were Married June 14, 1722. 

Mousall Wright of Woburn and Susanna Spaulding of Groton 
were married April 5*, 1733. 

Joseph Lakin [of Groton] was married to Jerusha Simonds Oct. 
23'' 1770. 


Aaron Farnsworth of Groton & Abigail Johnson of Worcester 
were joyned in marriage by me, Thaddeus Maccarty, minister of 
Worcester. Sept. 17, 1767. 


On page 33 of No. X. of this Historical Series, a query 
was raised in regard to the meaning of the following entry 
among the marriages, under the date of February 5, 1750-51, 
" Bode to By ; " and it was suggested that they were negro 
servants. This is probably the true explanation, as a short 
time previously — according to John B. Hill's History of 
Mason, New Hampshire — there was a negro slave in Groton 
by the name of Boad. See "The Boundary Lines of Old 
Groton " (page 37). 

In No. Xn. of this Series (page 21), an article appears on 
the Reverend Samuel Carter of Groton ; and akin to him and 
Captain James Parker, who is also mentioned in the same 
number (page 5), the following extract is made from " The 
New England Historical and Genealogical Register" (XXX. 
236) for April, 1876. It was written by the late Thomas Bel- 
lows Wyman, and is given in a note on Captain Parker. 

After the death of his first wife, Elizabeth Long, who long con- 
tinued with him till about the golden period of wedded life, he mar- 
ried Eunice Carter, formerly Brooks, the widow of Samuel Carter, 
son of Rev. Thomas Carter, of Woburn. This fact is developed by 
a clause in the will of Sarah Mousal, her relative, widow of John 
Mousal, Jr., in 1702. Soon after this date, Capt. Parker having 
died in 1701, she became the third wife of John Kendall and was 
surviving him in 1706. 

Thursday last [August 3] died at his Seat in Groton, after three or 
four Days Illness, the Hon. Benjamin Prescot, Esq ; Representative 
for that Town, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the 
County of Middlesex, and a Special Justice of the Superiour Court of 
Judicature ; a Gentleman greatly lamented by all that knew him. 

"The Boston Evening-Post," August 7, 1738. 


Boston, Dec. 14. 

On Monday the 27th ult died at Groton, after a few days 
illness, in the 42d year of his age, William Bant, Esq ; formerly 
an inhabitant of this town. In this gentleman were united an un- 
common assemblage of amiable qualities. — In his family, he was 
a most affectionate and tender husband — the kindest master, and 
most affable and obliging friend. He possessed that share of good- 
nature and ease of manners, which rendered him agreeable at the 
very first acquaintance ; and by a sincerity — a frankness, and 
generosity of mind, he in an unusual degree, won the hearts of 
those who more particularly knew him. — His actions were regulated 
by the strictest rules of honor & integrity. He used not to turn 
aside from beholding the sorrows of those around him. From his 
table, the poor were often supplied with bread, and by his purse, the 
wants of the distressed were relieved. — He was a firm and zealous 
friend to the liberties and independence of America ; and was much 
respected in that part of the country, where for the last eighteen 
months of his life, he has resided. 

His death is a momento [memento ?] of the shortness and un- 
certainty of human life, and should teach us who are the living, 
'' so to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wis- 
dom." He was taken away suddenly & in the prime of life. 
There is this consolation left his friends, that he did not live un- 
mindful of another state ; but to those who were connected with 
him he made the concerns of his immortal part, the subject of 
much conversation. — ■ 

His remains were intered the 29th ult. and followed to the 
grave by a large concourse of people who appeared to be deeply 
affected on the melancholy occasion. It may indeed be said, that 
as in life he was beloved, so at his death, he is lamented by all 
who knew him. — He has left behind him an amiable widow, 
whose loss is inexpressible, & can only be made up by a participa- 
tion of that good which religion affords. 

O thou ! whose sovereign balm, heals ev'ry smart, 

Pity the achings of a widow's heart ; 

And to thy mercies so direct her mind, 

That what she wants on earth, she may in heaven find. 

" The Continental Journal, and Weekly Advertiser," December 14, 1780. 


Married — At Groton, on Wednesday the 20th ult. the Hon. 
Caleb Davis, Esq ; to Mrs. Mary Anne Bant, Widow of the late 
Mr. Wm. Bant, and Daughter of Ezekiel Lewis, Esq ; of this 

"The Boston Gazette, and the Country Journal," September i, 1783. 

Died] — In this town, on Friday last [January 12], Mrs. Mary- 
Anna Davis, Consort of the Hon. Caleb Davis, Esq. 
"The Massachusetts Gazette " (Boston), January 16, 1787. 

The following death is found, according to " The New 
England Historical and Genealogical Register" (XIII. 56) 
for January, 1859, in the Danvers Church Records : — 

Oct. II, 1694. Eliz : wife to Timothy Allen of Groton [aged] 70 

At Concord, in the Province of New-Hampshire, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Green, aged 22 Years, Wife of Peter Green, Esq; of that Place, 
and Youngest Daughter of the late Col. John Bulkley, of 

" The Massachusetts Gazette : and the Boston Weekly News-Letter," Sep- 
tember 8, 1774. 

The following item is recorded under " Deaths " in the 
"Columbian Centinel," March 16, 1793, though perhaps it 
refers to Groton, Connecticut : — 

At Groton, Mrs. Smith, MX. 88 — her offspring are, 10 chil- 
dren, 84 grand do. 222 g»eat-grarid do. and 14 of the fifth genera- 
tion — in all, 330. 

At Sudbury, Lieutenant David How, to Miss Sibbil Rockwood, 
of Groton. 

"The Independent Chronicle: and the Universal Advertiser" (Boston), 
March 14, 1796. 

The following record of marriages is taken from the Rev- 
erend Edwin R. Hodgman's History of Westford (Lowell, 
1883), and found between pages 385 and 401 of that book. 


By Caleb Blake, Pastor. 
1800. May 18, David Patch, Groton, S^lly Heald, Westford. 
1805. March 3, Theophilus Bixby, Westford, Anna Fisk, Groton. 
1817. July 3, Asa Bixby, Jr., Mary Gilson, Groton. 

1821. August 19, Nathaniel S. Gilson, Groton, Nancy B. Hildreth, 


1822. February 11, Luther Gilson, Groton, Patty Blake, Westford. 

By Leonard Luce, Pastor. 
1832. December 20, Henry L. Lawrence, Groton, Martha H. 

Leighton, Westford. 
1841. July 15, John H. Spalter, Groton, Martha Ann Hildreth, 


By Benjamin Osgood, Justice of the Peace. 
1822. December 9, Henry Mier, Westford, Elizabeth Nutting, 

By Ephraim Abbot, as Justice of the Peace. 
1841. October 31, Amos Bancroft, M.D., Groton, Mary Kneeland, 

Dr. Bancroft's first marriage also is recorded (page 402), as 
he was at that time a resident of Westford, as follows : " 1796. 
August 29, Dr. Amos Bancroft, Westford, Abigail Whiting, 
Hollis ; by Oliver Prescott, Jr., Esq." 

By the Reverend Daniel Chaplin, of Groton. 
1780. January 29, Ezra Prescott, Groton, Dolly Wright, Westford. 
1786. April 19, Joseph Keyes, Westford, Sarah Derumple, Groton. 
1792. November 22, Philip Robbins, Westford, Ruth Pierce, Groton. 
1795. February 16, Robert Wilkinson, 'Westford, Lydia Sawtell, 
March 10, Abel Wright, Westford, Lefe Trowbridge, Groton. 
December 29, Samuel Reed, Jr., Westford, Polly Fitch, 
resident in Groton. 

The following list of marriage intentions is found on pages 
406-413, though the marriages are not entered in the town 
records as having taken place at Westford. The first two 
couples certainly were married at Groton, and presumably 
some of the others were. 


I7SO- February i6, Jonas Prescott, Jr., and Rebecca Parker, 

1762. April 10, Lieut. Joseph Boynton and Sarah Tarbel, Groton. 
1766. June 21, Benjamin Green, Groton, and Ruth Keep. 

July 25, Ezekiel Fletcher, Groton, and Bridget Parker. 

1779. April 8, Stephen Read and Mary Derumple, Groton. 

1780. April 24, Ezra Jewett, Groton, and Wid, Rebecca Button. 
1792. April 4, Phillip Robins and Wid. Ruth Peirce, Groton. 
1804. December 22, Timothy Cummings, Jr., and Betsey Whitman, 

1806. January 2, John Blodgett and Mary Prescott, Groton. 
1808. April 22, Ephraim Heald, Jr., and Lydia Patch, Groton. 
18 13. June 24, Roswell Read and Sybil Gilson, Groton. 

The following record of marriages is taken from Samuel T. 
Worcester's History of Hollis, New Hampshire (Boston, 1879), 
scattered along between pages 343 and 361. 

1756, Apr. 20, Nehemiah Woods of Hollis and Sarah Lakin of 

1772, Dec. 24, John Phelps, Jun., of Hollis and Mary Lakin of 

1776, Sept. 10, Josiah Hobart of Groton and Lucy Kendall of Hollis. 

1790, July 2S, Shubael Hobart of Hollis and Wid. Prudence 

Parker of Groton. 

1791, Feb. 22, Oliver Prescott, Jun., of Groton and Nancy Whiting 

of Hollis. 
1824, May 13, Samuel Colburn of Groton and Sarah Woods of 

1827, July 13, Leonard Chafin of Groton and Mary Wright of 


1828, Apr. 8, Henry Woods of Groton and Hannah M. Thayer 

of Hollis. 
1837, Oct. 12, Rev. Dudley Phelps of Groton and Lucretia G. 

Farley of Hollis. 
187 1, June 14, Norman F. Blood of Groton and Helen A. Smith of 

1877, Sept. 3, Albert Kemp of Groton and Clara M. Truell of Hollis. 


The following list of marriages, taken from John Boynton 
Hill's History of Mason, New Hampshire (Boston, 1858), is 
found between pages 166 and 171 of that book. 

By the Reverend Ebenezer Hill. 
1792. Feb. 16. Jonas Tarbell, Groton, Abigail Hodgman. 
1817. Nov. 25. Amos Davis, Groton, Hannah Barrett. 
1822. May 6. Curtis Lawrence, Groton, Lucy Merriam. 

Also, on page 212 of the same History, the following one 
is given: "May 1841. Oliver H. Pratt. Catharine War- 
ner, at Groton, Ms." by the Reverend Joseph Bancroft Hill. 

The following record of marriages is taken from Ithamar 
Bard Sawtelle's History of Townsend, scattered along be- 
tween pages 385 and 427; and they do not appear either in 
the County records or the Groton records. 

1737. January 4, Joshua Wheeler, Townsend, Mehitabel Hadley, 

Groton. [By the Reverend Phinehas Hemenway.J 
1777. May 6, Joseph Cummings, Swansea, N. H., Lucy Warren, 

Groton. [By the Reverend Samuel Dix.J 
1792. August 15, Parker Weatherbee, Townsend, Rhoda Adams, 

Groton. [By the Reverend Samuel Dix.J 
i8o3. May 25, David Hazen, Groton, Jane Turner. [By the 

Reverend David Palmer.] 
1818. November 12, John Adams, Groton, Sally Searle. [By the 

Reverend David Palmer.] 
1830. October 14, Luther Boutelle, Groton, Hannah Conant. [By 

the Reverend David Palmer.] 

1798. Andrew Dodge, Groton, Sally Bowers, Townsend. 
1798. James Giles, Jr., Townsend, Nabby Fitch, Groton. 
[The last two by the Reverend Daniel Chaplin.] 

1753. George Campbell, Townsend, Mary Wheeler, Groton. 
John Wallis, Jr., Townsend, Mary White, Groton. 
[The last two by the Reverend Joseph Emerson.] 

No. XIV. 


Boston Port Bill, Minute-Men, &c. Powder-Mill at Pepperell. 
Rev. Samuel Dana. Abraham Childs, a Revolutionary Officer. 
A Singular Petition. Absentees. An Exception. 








Historical Series, No. XIV. 



After the passage of the bill, in the spring of 1774, which 
shut up the port of Boston, the eyes of all New England 
were turned toward that town, and in her needs she received 
the warm sympathy of the whole country. Material aid came 
to her relief in many forms ; and the following letter from the 
town clerk shows what the people of Groton did. The letter 
and answer are found in the Collections of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, fourth series, IV. 7-10. 

Groton, June 28th, 1774. 

Gentlemen, — The inhabitants of the Town of Groton, in 
general, are deeply affected with a sense of our public calamities, 
and more especially the distresses of our brethren in the Capital 
of the Province, as we esteem the act of blocking up the harbor 
of Boston replete with injustice and cruelty, and evidently designed 
to compel the inhabitants thereof to submission of taxes imposed 
upon them without their consent, and threatens the total destruc- 
tion of the liberties of all British America. We ardently desire a 
happy union with Great Britain and the Colonies, and shall gladly 
adopt every measure consistent with the dignity and safety of 
British subjects for that purpose. 

In full confidence that the inhabitants of the Town of Boston 
will, in general, exhibit examples of patience, fortitude and per- 
severance, while they are called to endure this oppression for the 
preservation of the liberties of their country, and in token of our 

willingness to afford all suitable relief to them in our power, a 
number of the inhabitants of this Town have subscribed, and this 
day sent forty bushels of grain, part rye and part Indian corn, to 
be delivered to the Overseers of the Poor of said Town of Boston, 
not doubting but the same will be suitably applied for that pur- 
pose ; and we earnestly desire you virill use your utmost endeavor to 
prevent and avoid all mobs, riots, and tumults, and the insulting of 
private persons and property. And while the farmers are cheer- 
fully resigning part of their substance for your relief, we trust the 
merchants will not oppress them by raising upon the goods which 
they have now on hand and heretofore purchased. And may God 
prosper every undertaking which tends to the salvation of the 

We are, Gentlemen, your friends and fellow-countrymen. In 
the name and by order of the Committee of Correspondence for 
the Town of Groton. 

Oliver Prescott, Clerk. 
To THE Overseers of the Town of Boston. 

The reply is as follows : — 

Boston, July 5th, 1774. 

Sir, — Your obliging letter directed to the Overseers of the 
Poor of this Town, together with a generous present from a num- 
ber of the inhabitants of the Town of Groton, for the relief of such 
inhabitants of this Town as may be sufferers by the Port Bill, is 
come to hand. In behalf of the Committee of this Town, ap- 
pointed for the reception of such kind donations, I am now to 
return to you and the rest of our benefactors the most sincere 
thanks. The gentlemen may be assured their donations will be 
applied to the purpose they intend. We are much obliged to you 
for the wise cautions given in your letter, and we shall use our 
best endeavors that the inhabitants of this Town may endure their 
sufferings with dignity, that the glorious cause for which they suf- 
fer may not be reproached. We trust that the non-consumption 
agreement, which we hear is making progress in the country, will 
put it out of the power of any of the merchants to take unreason- 
able advantage of raising the prices of their goods. You will 
however, remember, that many heavy articles, such as nails, Uc., 
will be attended with considerable charge in transporting 'them' 
from Salem. As the bearer is in haste, I must conclude, with 

great regard for your Committee of Correspondence and the in- 
habitants of the Town of Groton. 

Sir, your friend and fellow-countryman, 

Signed by order of the Overseers of the Poor, 

Sam. Partridge. 

To THE Committee of the Town of Groton, 
IN Massachusetts. 

Before the beginning of actual hostilities during the Revo- 
lution, two companies of minute-men had been organized in 
Groton ; and, at the desire of the ofHcers, the Reverend 
Samuel Webster, of Temple, New Hampshire, preached a 
sermon before them, which was afterward printed. Its title 
runs thus: — 

Rabshakeh's Proposals | Considered, | in a | SERMON, | De- 
livered at Groton \ February 21, 1775. | At the Desire of the 
Officers of the | Companies of Minute Men in that | Town. | By 
I Samuel Webster, A. M. | Pastor of the Church at Temple, | 
in New-Hampshire. || Boston : Printed and Sold by Edes | and 
Gill, in Queen-Street. 1775. 8vo. pp. 30. 

The sermon is singularly meagre in details, and made up 
largely of theological opinion, perhaps as valuable now as 
then, but not so highly prized. It is there said that a large 
majority of the town, agreeably to the plan of the Provincial 
Council, had promised to hold themselves in prompt readi- 
ness to act in the service of their country. 

The Reverend Dr. Jeremy Belknap, of Boston, makes the 
following entry in his note-book, which is printed in the 
Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society (XIV. 
93) for June, 1875: — 

A negro man belonging to Groton, took aim at Major Pitcairne, 
as he was rallying the dispersed British Troops, & shot him thro' 
the head, he was brought over to Boston & died as he was landing 
on the ferry ways. 

According to the Proceedings of the same Society (XV. 
loi) for October, 1876, the parole at the camp in Cambridge 

on the night of May 21, 1775, was " Groton," and the counter- 
sign, " Pepperell." This was, undoubtedly, in compliment to 
Colonel William Prescott, a native of Groton and a resident 
of Pepperell, who was then commanding a regiment in the 
Provincial Army. 


The following letters, written during the Revolution by the 
Honorable James Prescott, of Groton, are found among the 
Massachusetts Archives at the State House, and have some 
local interest. At that period Mr. Prescott was a prominent 
character in the affairs of the town, and, whatever may have 
been his accomplishments in the way of spelling, he exerted 
a wide influence in all public matters. He filled many im- 
portant offices ; and at the beginning of the Revolution he 
was a member of the Provincial Congress and of the Board 
of War. His dwelling stood on the knoll, perhaps half a 
mile southeast of the village, on the Boston road, near the 
house of the late Phineas Gilman Prescott. 

Groton Apriel 2? 1778. 
Dear Sir 

Yesterday I received yours of the 26 : of March, There is now 
in the House 159 bb'? of Powder, it will hold about 100 bb'? more, 
the Powder you mentiond is not yet arived, the Snow fell this week 
with us 8 Inches Deep, which makes it Exceding Bad Carting. 

I have Got 50 or 60 Shirts on hand, Several webbs out in Doing, 
but when they will be Done is Very uncertain, also about thirty p' 
of Shoes — labour is so Dear now I have Come to a Stand un- 
till I have further Directions from yf Board, I will Send what is 
on hand if yf Board think Best, But it will be Very Expencive to 
Send on purpose, therefore Should Chuse to wait for a Convenient 

I am Still lame, But Gitting Better, (Very unhappy night to me) 
the Bisness of the Board is Very Extencive & Important, I know 
your unwearied pains & Labour by night & Day to Serve both 
Publick & private, without Even the prospeck of reward. 


hope I shall Soon be able to attend the Board, it would Give me 
Grate Pleasuer, if by any thing I Can Do, it would Contribet to 
the Publick Good, or in any measuer Serve to liten your heavy 

I am Gen' with Sincear regard 

your most obediant Hum' Ser! 

James Prescott 

[Superscribed] Hon'? Presedent of the Board of War 

[Massachusetts Archives, CCV. 324.] 

Groton 24 : of July 1778 
Sir Abner Whitney a young Gent" Brought up by M' Lewis ^ 

in his Shop & Counting room applied to me for Some Imployment 
& mentioned that he had heard there was a Vacancy at the Board — 
he is Desireous of making tryal — I Can recommend him as Very 
Honest faithfuU young man may be Depended upon in anything 
he undertaks if it is agreeable to the Board to take him into there 
Service upon tryal they will oblige him & I hope he may Serve 
them to acceptance 

I am very lame again the old wound is Broke out — when I shall 
be able to ride to Boston is uncertain 

I am with respect your most 

obediant Ser' 

James Prescott 
Hon'. Sam: Phil: Savage Esq^ 

[Superscribed] The Hon'. Presedent of the Board of War 
[Massachusetts Archives, CCV. 407.] 

Groton i6 : of Octo^ 1778 

I have Sent 15 Barrils Powder that Quantity I Judged a full 
load for the Horses — I beleve they will meet with Difficulty to git 
along with it — 

agreeable to your Desire have Cautioned the Gard not to leave 
one momint hope it will arrive safe — 

1 Mr. Lewis was a trader of Groton, whose shop was situated a short distance 
north of the site of the Town House. See No. VH. of this Historical Series 
(page 8). 

you have Sent me a wag? But no tacklin to Draw with therefore it 
will be useless till I am furnisht no Such tackin Can be got here — 

There is about go bar'' of forrain powder left & 40 of Andover 
no news here, am Very lame, unable to ride or walk, have set still 
almost yf whole of yf time since I Came home 

my Comple'f to the Board 

I am with respect your Hum'^ Ser! 

James Prescott 
The Hon. Sam. Phps Savage Esq^ 

[Superscribed] Hon'. Sam. Phips Savage Esq^ . 

Presedent of the Board War 

[Massachusetts Archives, CCV. 422.] 

Groton 5: of June 1779. 
Dear Sir 

I rec'? yours this morning at three o'Clock by M'. Wendel wherein 
you request me to Send one Hundred Barrils of powder — I have 
procuer"! most of the teems, you may Expect the Powder in next 
Wensday morning very Early, the teemsters will Expect their 
money paid them on Delivering the powder as they turn out at 
such Season & no warning. 

I am with Grate respect your most 

Obediant Ser! 

James Prescott 
Sam. P: Savage Esq^ 

[Superscribed] Sam. P. Savage Esq^ 

Presedent of the Board of War 
[Massachusetts Archives, CCV. 473.] 

Groton 5: of June 1779 

I Send you 100 Barrils of powder — the teemsters will Expect 
their money if it will be Conveniant for the Board to pay them as 
they turn out in this Extraordinry Bissey Season — the lowest Sum 
I Could agree for the Jorney is twenty Shillings p: mile the amount 
is 40;^ Each — 

I have Exerted myself & hope it will acceptable — in Grate hast 
am your 

most Obediant Ser' 

James Prescott 

N B: I have given in Charge if it rains to Secure y' powed in 
y? Best manner they Can & if they are Detained a Day on their 
Jorney by reason of rain they are to have the addition of their 
Expenses while they are Detained 

The Presedent of the Board of War 

pray yf Board to give order for my Bag of Coffee & Caug of Rum 

[Massachusetts Archives, CCV. 480.] 

Groton 14: of July 1779 

You write me that one Barril in Bartlets Cart was Broke,- 
and was one thurd out when it arived, and Chuse to know the 
State of facts before you pay him — I was present when the ■ 
powder was loaded, & took all the Care I Could in that Hurry 
there was one Barril put into the Cart that was tender, Bartlet was 
Sum Consernd about it when it was put into the Cart, it was well 
Stowed, I was not apprized of its Being so week, the Barrils have 
Stood So long that the hoops want Driveing, But at that time 
Could not Git a Cooper to assist, I have Sent by him all the pow- 
der heretofore, know him to be an Honest faithful! man. I Do not 
think he was Negligent or Carless, as to the Barrils not being 
full, is no rule to Judge by, for when I opened & Shifted the pow- 
der, some of the Barrils wanted about 1-3"! & 1-4 of being full, I 
am Informed the Sittuation of the Bar! in the Cart was Such, that 
the Barl Did not Burst, but one head Sprung out on one Side, So 
that the loss of the powder was not very Considerable, I shall not 
be at Boston Soon is accation of my Giveing you the trouble of this 
letter, the man is poor & wants his money, if you Gentlemen are 
Satisfied that he was not in fault hope you will Send him the money 
by the Barer hereof — Doer Prescott — 

I am with real Regard your Frind 
& very Hum' Ser! 

James Prescott 
The Board of War 

[Superscribed] The Presedent of the Board of War Boston 
[Massachusetts Archives, CCV. 484.] 

Groton 20; of July 1779 
Gentle" » 

I Red your favour of the 19* Instant at Nine o'Clock in the 
Evening, agreeable to your Desire Send you a return of the powder 


in the magasine^ at Groton, there is 33 Barrels of foreign & 16 of 
american powder, in the whole 49, it is very rainny this morning ; 
Shall Dispatch the messenger as soon as he Can ride, am much 
obliged to you for the Newspaper, 

I Rejoyce to here the fleet have Sail^ Sincerely hope they will 
meet with the Desired Suckcess 

I am with Gratest respect 

Gen' your most obliged Hum' Ser! 

James Prescott 
The Board of War 
[Massachusetts Archives, CCV. 485.] 

Groton g: of August 1779 

You wrote me to Send you a load of powder in the Cover''. 
Wagon now with me, which I Cant Complie with, for I have no 
tacklin Sent with it to Draw by, therefore if I Send the powder as 
you propose I must Git Some Horse tackin fitted for that purpose 
only which will be an Expence I wish to avoide, I suppose you may 
Send two of Co'-' Revers Soldiers with 4: or 5 of your Horses, let 
them ride two & lead the others with Sutable tackin to Draw by in 
a bagg &c. I have Got the Sadie for the Horse that Goes behind 
only Bring the tackin for the other Horses, this I think will be the 
Best way & most Saving to the publick, But you are Good Judges 
of this matter & will Direct as you think proper, if you think Best 
not to Send for it in the way I have propose? Give me a line & I 
will Send you the powder without delay — Doer Lawrence has De- 
liver'' the fifteen Barr's you mention"! in your last Shall send your 
letter now rel Immediatly agreeable to your request — 

I hope with you we Shall Soon hear Good news from Penobscot, 
I sincerely wish Suckcess to American Arms which way So ever 
they are turn"? 

I am with real resp! 

Your most obediant Ser' 

James Prescott 
Sam. P. Savage Esqr 

[Superscribed] Sam' P. Savage Esq^ 

Presedent of the Board War 

[Massachusetts Archives, CGV. 493.] 

1 For an account of the magazine, see No. V. of this Historical Series 
(pages 16-1S) 


State of the powder mill at Pepperrell is as follows Built on a 
Large Stream, a full Supply of Water — goes with sixty Pestles — 
said mill is thirty Eight feet in length & twenty Eight feet in wedth 
well Covered : now fitt for use with a little repairing of the Sives 
&c and some other of its Utenciles ; A Drying House built near 
by ; prepaired for Clarifying yf Nitre & Drying & Stoaring yf Pow- 
der &c. Have made only about two Tuns of powder for this State 
IS? of which I deposited in the Magaziene last Week at Groton ac- 
cording to order of Board of War. about 25? now at y' mill not 
proof, by reason of )'f Nitre & Sulpher not being pure, as Colo: 
Burbeek Certifies : (tho well made & dryed) For further Informa- 
tion See General Prescotts Letter. 

Gentm. Your most Obed' hum'' Serv! 
to Serve You in what I may 

Ephm Lawrence 
Pepperrell Aug' 12. 1779. 

To Honrab' Sam'.' Phil: Savage Prest. to Communicate 
[Massachusetts Archives, CCV. 501.] 

This powder-mil] was situated near the west end of the 
upper bridge over the Nashua River in the village of East 
Pepperell. It stood close to the present site of the brick 
counting-house of the paper-mills, and the water power was 
afterward used for a fulling-mill. The drying-house was on 
the opposite side of the road. Ephraim Lawrence, who signs 
the statement, was a physician at Pepperell, and probably in 
charge of the mill. He was a son of Deacon Peleg and Ruth 
Lawrence ; and at his death he left a large family of children, 
among whom was the late Dr. Ebenezer Lawrence, of Hamp- 
ton, New Hampshire. 

When the Revolution broke out. Dr. Oliver Prescott, the 
youngest brother of James, who wrote the preceding letters, 
and of William, the hero of Bunker Hill, was perhaps the 
most noted as well as the most influential man in Groton. 
He was a graduate of Harvard College in the class of 1750, 
and a member of various scientific societies. The following 
suggestion made by him to the Committee of Safety is found 
in Peter Force's "American Archives," fourth series (H. 


Groton, April 24, 1775. 

Gentlemen : I think if an order should pass for the establish- 
ment of a Town Guard, to be kept in a prudent manner, in every 
Town in this Province, it would have a great tendency to deter and 
detect villains and their accomplices. The passes that people bring 
this way are generally without date, or assignment to any person or 
place, so that a man may pass to Africa with the same order. Par- 
don my freedom, and allow me to subscribe, gentlemen, your most 
obedient, very humble servant, 

Oliver Prescott. 

To THE Committee of Safety. 

Another letter written by Dr. Prescott, who at this time 
was a Brigadier General, is preserved among the Shattuck 
Manuscripts of the New England Historic, Genealogical Soci- 
ety. It gives some interesting facts concerning the Middlesex 
militia, and is as follows : — 


In persuance of your orders Rec"! the 14* I have caused the 
militia of the County of Middlesex to be mustered and have 
caused to be Drafted therefrom every fifth able bodied man under 
fifty years of age &c agreeable to the Resolves of the Gen! Assem- 
bly of this State of the 12* instant, and formed the s"! men into 
Companies and appointed their Respective Officers in the following 
manner, viz. 

N° I. Cambridge 33 men Cap! John Walton of Cambridge 

Charlestown 7 i^' L' 

Maiden 9 2"? D° 

Medford 13 


N° 2. Watertown 15 Cap! Edward Fuller of Newton 

Newton 19 i« L! Josiah Capen of Watertown 

Waltham 13 2". D° Isaac Hager of Waltham 

Weston 18 





















Cap' Samuel Belnap of Woburn 


Cap' Simon Hunt of Acton 

i'^' L' Samuel Heald of Concord 

2"! D? Eben' White of Lexington 


N". s- Sudbury 35 
Marlboro 3 1 
Stow 16 


N° 6. Framingham 27 
Sherburn 15 

Hopkinston 20 
HoUiston 15 
Natick 9 


Cap' Amasa Cranson of Marlboro 
i" U Nath'.' Sergeant of Stow 
2I D° NathV Smith of Sudbury 

Cap' Aaron Gardner of Sherburn 
i^' L' Lawssen Buckminister of Fra- 
2I D? Isaac Clark of Hopkinton. 

N° 7. Groton 27 

Pepperrell 1 7 
Townshend 15 
Ashby 8 


N". 8. Chelmsford 21 

Dunstable 12 

Dracutt 18 

Westford 18 

Cap' Thomas Warren of Townshend 
i^' L' James Lawrance of Pepperrell 
2"^ D? Joseph Rockwood of Groton 

Cap^ Zach. Wright of Westford 
1=' L' Nath".' Holden of Dunstable 
2=! D'; Rob' Spaulding of Chelmsford 



N° 9. Billerica 22 Cap' Solomon Kidder of Billerica 

Tukesbury 12 i'^' L' Daniel Kimball of Littleton 

Bedford 10 2^ Df Tim° Rogers of Tukesbury 

Littleton 12 
Shirley 9 


I have also formed the afores'! Companies into one Reg! and 

Eleazer Brooks Esq' of Lincoln to be the Col? 
Micah Stone Esqf of Framingham L! Col? 
Eben' Bancroft Esq' of Dunstable Major 
Mi: Moses Adams of Framingham Chaplain 
M' Joseph Hunt of Acton Surgeon 

Daniel Loring of Sudbury Adjut. 
Samuel Hartwell of Lincoln Quartermaster 

I have directed the s'! Col? Brooks to order the several Captains 
afores*! td march their Respective Companies, as soon as possible, in 
the best & most proper Road, to Horse Neck [West Greenwich, 
Connecticut], according to the Resolves of the GenI Assembly of 
this State, & agreeable to the Directions and for the purposes 
therein Expressed. Col? Brooks informs me this day that he hath 
given marching orders for Saturday next for the whole Regt 

I am, Sir, with the greatest Respect, your most obedient and very 

hbl Ser! 

Oliver Prescott 
Groton SepU 26* 1776. 

N. B. Col? Thatcher & Col? Fox Engaged to fill up their Com- 
panies and Return the Names of the Lieut? before the Time 
appointed to march. 

[To] Generall [James] Warren 



It is well known that the Reverend Samuel Dana, minister 
of Groton from the year 1761 to 1775, at the outbreak of the 
Revolution, was in sympathy with the Crown. His political 
views made him unpopular, and caused his dismissal from the 
parish. An account of the difificulties is given in Mr. Butler's 
History (pages 179-181). The following notice, by no means 
clearly expressed, is found in " The New-England Chronicle : 
or, the Essex Gazette," June 8, 1775 : — 

Groton, May 15th, 1775. 
The Inhabitants of Groton in Town-Meeting assembled, the 
Rev. Samuel Dana offered that to the Town with Regard to his 
polidcal Principles and Conduct, with which the Town voted them- 
selves fully satisfied, and that he ought to enjoy the Privileges 
of Society in common with other Members, and we hope this, with 
the following by him subscribed, will be fully satisfactory to the 

Oliver Frescott, ") 

<v n ..j ■ Committee of 

James Frescott, -^ 

Josiah Sartell, I Correspondence 
Isaac Farnsworth, 
Moses Child, J 

I The Subscriber, being deeply affected with the Miseries bro't 
on this Country, by a horrid Thirst for ill-got Wealth and uncon- 
stitutional Power — and lamenting my Unhappiness, in being left 
to adopt Principles in Politics different from the Generality of my 
Countrymen ; and thence to conduct in a Manner that has but too 
justly excited the Jealousy and Resentment of the true Sons of 
Liberty against me, earnestly desirous, at the same Time, to give 
them all the Satisfaction in my Power; do hereby sincerely ask 
Forgiveness of all such for whatever I have said or done, that had 
the least Tendency to the Injury of my Country, assuring them that 
it is my full Purpose, in my proper Sphere, to unite with them, in all 
those laudable andfit Measures, that have been recommended by 
the Continental and Provincial Congresses, for the Salvation of 



this Country, hoping my future Conversation and Conduct will 
fully prove the Uprightness of my present Professions. 

Groton, May 22, 1775. 

" The Essex Gazette " newspaper, at the beginning of the 
Revolution, wras removed from Salem to Cambridge, where it 
was published under the name of " The New-England Chron- 
icle : or, the Essex Gazette." It was printed in Stoughton 
Hall, Harvard College, and the first number under its new 
title appeared on May 12, 1775. 

The following paper is found in Peter Force's " American 
Archives," fourth series (H. 11 09) : — 

To the Honourable Gentlejnen of the Provincial Congress of New- 
Hampshire ; 

That whereas, Jason Russell and John Tarbell, both of Mason, 
in said Province, did, in a felonious manner, on or about the 20th 
of May last, retire to a pasture in said Town belonging to Samuel 
Dana, of Groton, and took from thence a three year heifer, and 
killed and converted it to their own use ; whereupon, early notice 
being given to the Committee for said Town, they met, and required 
of the offenders full satisfaction therefor, but each of them per- 
emptorily refusing to comply therewith : The advice of Committees 
from the neighbouring Towns being called in, viz : New-Ipswich 
and Temple, and the criminals being cited to appear before said 
Committees, not only neglected to make their appearance before 
us, but, as we learn, have fled to the Army; and finding ourselves 
unable to settle the unhappy difficulty by reason of their escape, 
came into the following Resolution, viz : 

Resolved, To refer the matter to your judicious consideration, 

begging that you will, in your wisdom, take cognizance of the 

offence, and deal with them in this and in such like case for the 


Ephraim Adams, Chairman. 

David Blodgett, Scribe. 
Mason, June 26, 1775- 

It is probable that Mr. Dana's tory proclivities at this period 
had some connection with the affair ; John Tarbell, who is 
mentioned in the preamble, was of Groton descent. 



The following notice of an old citizen appeared in the " Co- 
lumbian Centinel," January ii, 1834. Captain Childs built 
during the last century and occupied the house in Groton 
where Charles Woolley, now of Waltham, lived for so long 
a time, situated on School Street, near Hollis Street. He 
bought the parcel of land of Jephtha Richardson, a tavern- 
keeper and son of Converse Richardson, a blacksmith, who 
before this time had a shop on it, nearly opposite to the 
site of Nathaniel Livermore's house. Captain Childs's eldest 
son, David, married Mrs. Susanna (Bentley) Woolley, widow 
of the late Captain Charles Woolley, as her second husband. 

There are still a few persons in town who remember the 
subject of this article, which was written by the late George 
Fowle, a schoolmaster of Boston, from facts furnished by the 
present Mr. Woolley. Such biographical sketches of Revo- 
lutionary characters are always of value, inasmuch as they 
have an interest for the inhabitants of the town as well as 
for the local historian. Captain Childs's wife was Rebecca 
Stowell, of Waltham, who died on November 14, 1830. He 
spelled his surname with a final " s," but the children 
dropped it. 

The following very interesting sketch of one of our Revolution- 
ary heroes, from a correspondent, will be read with great interest. 
Such characters add a degree of romance to the history of the 

Biographical Sketch of Capt. Abraham Child. 

Died, at Groton, (Mass) on Friday, the 3d inst., after a short 
indisposition, Capt. Abraham Child, aged 92. The remnant of 
our revolutionary worthies is fast disappearing, and it is useful 
to collect their testimony of the ' heroic age ' of our fathers, as each 
assists in bringing the struggle more home to our bosoms. The 
subject of this sketch was born at Waltham, August 12, 1741. 
The estate on which he was born, has been in the possession of the 


same family for more than a century — a fact worthy of notice, as 
evincing the sound judgment and untiring industry, which are pecu- 
liar traits of their character. 

At the age of fifteen, Abraham was apprenticed to a blacksmith, 
with whom he continued 2 years ; when, no longer controlling his 
patriotic ardor, he joined the company of Capt. William Jones, of 
Medford, in the regiment of Col. Saltonstall, of Haverhill, and 
marched to join the army under General Amherst, appointed to 
invade Canada. After aiding in the captures of Ticonderoga and 
Crown Point, and being engaged in several skirmishes, he wintered 
with the army at Crown Point, 1760. Marching in the spring upon 
Montreal, they were compelled, after a severe action at Silsery, to 
fall back upon Quebec ; from whence, finally concentrating their 
forces und«r Amherst, upon Montreal, the reduction of Canada was 
effected, and our soldier enabled to resume his trade, at which he 
continued until 1762, when he again entered the service under Capt. 
William Baldwin, of Chelmsford, of Col. Hoar's regiment, marched 
to Boston, took shipping to Halifax, and thence sailed to aid in the 
reduction of some French posts in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Upon 
the accomplishment of which, returning to Halifax, he there spent 
the winter, working at his trade. At the peace of '63, he returned 
home. In 1767, he married one, whose subsequent conduct proved 
her a fit partner for a " Son of Liberty." In 1774, when the Pro- 
vincial Congress deemed it necessary to organize more thoroughly 
a military force, he was appointed Lieutenant of Capt. Abijah's 
Child's company of ' Minute Men.' In the following year he 
warmly engaged in the pursuit of the English at the battle of Lex^ 
ington. Then entering the States' service for 8 months, as Lieuten- 
ant of Captain J. Williams's company, in Col. Baldwin's regiment, 
he assisted in proving " Yankee Cowardice " upon Bunker's Hill, 
At the expiration of his time lie enlisted for one year. After the 
evacuation of Boston he marched to New York, and suffered at the 
defeat of Long Island, in the summer of '76, Retreating with 
the main army through the Jerseys, into Pennsylvania, he was one of 
that determined band, which, headed by Washington, resolved to 
turn the current of success, or perish ere their country's chains were 
rivetted. Victory at Trenton crowning the endeavor, our soldier 
returned home with the rank of Captain in Colonel Western's 
regiment. In 1777 he took command of 300 men, whom he had 
assisted in recruiting, and joined General Gates in time to aid 


at the capture of Burgoyne. Returning to the main army, he 
passed the winter at Valley Forge, where he endured hardships, 
compared with which, his former sufferings were pleasures. But 
the following summer, as he stated, he thoroughly warmed himself 
at Monmouth. Water not being attainable, his soldiers stove in a 
hogshead of brandy, and madly assuaged their overpowering thirst, 
without more effect arising therefrom, than if it had been so much 

In 1779 he was appointed to the command of a company of Light 
Infantry, under Major William Hull ; and on the 15th July, as 
senior Captain of the Infantry, he headed the assault at the storm- 
ing of Stoney Point. General Wayne, to prevent the possibility of 
early discovery, ordered the muskets to be unloaded, and the flints 
withdrawn. Advancing thus in solid columns to the assault, they 
suddenly displayed [deployed ?] to the right and left, sprang boldly 
to the walls, under a murderous fire of grape and musketry from the 
now aroused Britons, and gained the ramparts with the exulting 
shout of " Hurrah ! the fort is ours ! " We have the authority of 
the late General Hull, to state, that the first man who gained the 
rampart and raised the cry of victory, was our enthusiastic Captain. 
In the act of parrying a thrust from a British officer, Captain Child 
received a slight wound in the hand, which was the only injury 
he received through all his campaigns. 

Soon after this, domestic affairs imperiously calling for his pres- 
ence, he bade a final adieu to the army. His wife, meanwhile, had 
nobly proved herself the virtuous and patriotic matron. She had 
almost, through her own exertions, (her husband's pay being almost 
nominal,) clothed and maintained her children comfortably — had 
educated them as well as the times admitted, (several of them in 
after years taught our country schools,) and indeed, to the time of 
her death, in 183 1, proved herself worthy of those times of closest 
trial. After residing several years in Wendall, he removed in 1795, 
to Groton, Mass. In 1818 he applied for, and received, the half- 
pay pension. During the remainder of his eventful life, beloved 
and respected, he calmly pursued his course, retaining all his facul- 
ties and strength to the last, and finally expired — 

" Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
" About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." 


The following paper is found among the manuscripts of 
the Massachusetts Historical Society: — 


Wbereas we your unworthy Petitioners, having Sometime since 
made choice of a Number of Persons for officers in this 2- Company 
in your Hon" Rigem^nt ; and having Since, been more fully ac- 
quainted with Said Persons conduct, & capacities for Such offices ; 
we beg Leave to Inform your Honf that it is our oppinion, that 
Some of Said men who have been unadvisedly chosen by this com- 
pany, are men of Such Low, and week capacities, that they are 
neither capable of doing Service to your Honour, or of diseplining 
of us, (their Soldiers,) Neither of advancing the Noble cause of 
Liberty, (in which we voluntarily & chearfully engage ;) we there- 
fore humbly confess, we have chosen men to Stand in offices, in 
your Hon'? Regiment, which (upon further consideration) we think, 
are not Suitable Persons for Such offices : — Therefore, may it Please 
your Honnour, to grant this company the liberty of a New choice 
of officers in this company : (viz) the North-end company of Gro- 
ton) — For in So doing your Hon' will much Gratifie us your un- 
worthy Petitioners of S"? Company ; and Shall have our best endeav- 
ours to Promote & advance your Honour ; and the Noble Cause of 
Liberty in which we chearfully Engage — 

Jacob Parker Jacob Williams 

Nathaniel Shattuck Levi Parker 

John Hazen Dauid Woods 

William Farwell William Derumple 

Benj* Hazen Jonathan Woods 

Dauid Hazen Reuben Cumings 

Ezekiel Nutting Samuel Boyden 

EzEKiEL Nutting Ju^ Bejamin Simson 
Asa Porter 

Groten may y= p.' 1776 



Notice is hereby given, that on Monday the 27th day of March 
next, at i o'clock afternoonj will be leased at public auction, by the 
committee of safety, &c. for the town of Groton, to the highest 
bidder, for one year, from the ist day of April next, all the real 

estate of Mn Martin, an absentee, lying in the said town of 

Groton jthe vendu tobe at the dwelling house on the premises. 

Groton, Feb. 23d, 1780. 

" The Boston Gazette, and the Country Journal," February 28, 1780. 

This farm is advertised again in the same newspaper of 
February 26, 1781, to be leased for one year ; and Martin's 
Christian name is given as William. 

Charles Ward Apthorp, of New York, was another absen- 
tee, who owned real estate in Groton, which is advertised in 
the same journal of December 24, 178 1. It is described as 
"A messuage and tract of land situate in Groton, in said 
[Middlesex] County, containing about one hundred and seven 
acres, with the houses, barns, and buildings thereon, being 
bounded southwesterly on Samuel Farw'elFs land, northerly 
on land of Matthias Farnsworth, easterly' on Little Pond, 
southerly by Common Land." 


The record of Groton men who enlisted during the Revo- 
lution was highly creditable to the town, and there is no rea- 
son why the exceptions should be kept back. Her soldiers 
served throughout the war with honor and distinction ; and 
the following item from " The Independent Chronicle, and 
the Universal Advertiser" (Boston), May 22, 1777, does not 
materially affect their good name and reputation : — 

At a General Court Martial, held in this Town last Week, by 
Order of General Heath, Lieut. Col. Thomas Farrington, of Groton, 


State of Massachusetts, being found guilty of receiving and passing 
counterfeit Money, knowing it to be such, was unanimously ad- 
judged to be discharged from the Army, and rendered incapable 
of acting any more as an Officer in the Continental Service. He 
was committed to Goal on Monday last, to be dealt with by the 
Civil Law, according to his atrocious Crime. 

Farrington, I fear, was a man of bad reputation ; and the 
following declaration, found in " The Boston-Gazette, and 
Country Journal," July 7, 1777, does not add to his character: 

Boston, July 5, 1777. 

I THOMAS FARRINGTON, of Groton, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex, and State of the Massachusetts-Bay, in New- England, 
Esquire, of lawful age, testify and declare. That whereas it hath 
been publicly, and by many persons reported, that William Smith, 
of Fish-Kills, in the State of New- York, Esquire, lately employed 
in the Continental service As an engineer, hath been concerned, 
either in counterfeiting, altering, or passing bills in imitation of 
bills of the Continental currency, and that I know him to be, in 
some way or other, concerned as aforesaid. I hereby publish to 
the world, that I never ^knew the said William Smith concerned 
either in counterfeiting, altering, or passing any such bills, or any 
other, but such as he might lawfully pass to any person whatsoever ; 
and that I never had any reason to think that he hath been con- 
cerned in any such mal-practices, either directly or indirectly : And 
I further declare, that I cannot account for the forementioned report, 
concerning said Smith's being any way concerned with counterfeit 
money than this, viz. I was once in company with said Smith at a 
public house in Medford, in the County of Middlesex aforesaid, and 
when the said Smith there opened his pocket-book to pay his reck- 
oning, I thought I saw one or more bills therein of the Continental 
currency, which at the distance I stood from him appeared to me 
to have a pale complexion, which made me suspect them to be 
counterfeits ; but I have no reason to think that the said Smith 
knew them to be so, or that the said Smith was ever concerned 
either directly or indirectly, in counterfeiting, altering or passing 
any bill or bills in imitation of any bill or bills of public credit 
whatsoever, as before by me declared, 



Mass. State, Suffolk County, \ ' I "Homas Farrington personally 
Boston, July 5, 1777. ! L appeared, and made oath to 

the truth of the within written declaration by him subscribed : 
Taken at the request of the within-named William Smith, Esq ; 
in perpetuam rei meroriam [memoriam ?]. 

r~ , Sam. Pemberton, > Justices of the Peace 
Cor m. ' y •" 

Joseph Gardner, j and of the Quorum. 


An attempt was made more than a century ago to form a 
second religious society in Groton. A considerable number 
of persons who had become dissatisfied with Dr. Chaplin's 
preaching wished to establish a society of the Presbyterian 
denomination. The movement naturally met with a good 
deal of opposition on the part of the First Parish, but in 
due time the seceders were incorporated by the General 
Court as a distinct society. In the Act of incorporation 
fifty-eight persons are mentioned by name, who probably 
represented nearly as many families, from which fact it may 
be inferred that they constituted no mere faction of the First 
Parish, but were highly respectable in numbers. 

A few years ago Mr. Jeremiah Colburn, of Boston, kindly 
gave me some papers connected with this controversy, which 
have since been placed in the library of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society. Among them is a fragment of a petition 
addressed to the "Rev? Nat" Whittaker D.D. Pastor of a 
Church in Salem and Moderator of the Salem Presbytery. 
To be communicated," and ending in these words : — 

We therefore humbly request the candid attention of the Pres- 
bitery, of which you are Moderator, to our circumstances; that we 
may be received, (if we have done nothing to bar our admission) 


under their Care and be directed in the ways of Peace, and har- 
mony and enabled; henceforward to walk, not only in the faith, but 
in the Order of the gospel ; till we shall' happily arrive to that 
blessed place where all will live and all love thro' the Influence of 
the Spirit of that dread being who is the God of Order and not of 
Confusion and the Merit of that divine person who is the Prince 
of peace and head over all things to the Church, and your Peti- 
tioners as in duty bound shall ever pray. 

JosiAH Sartell (and others.) 

Mr. Butler, in his History (page 187), gives the copy of a 
paper, dated Salem, September 11, 1783, which is without 
doubt the answer to this petition. 

Another document among these manuscripts is an attested 
extract from the minutes of the Presbytery. The resolution 
and vote, given in the History of Groton (pages 190, 191), 
were passed without doubt in consequence of the action taken 
by that body. The following is a copy : ■ — 

The Presbytery Commonly Called the Salem Presbytery being 
met at the Presbyterian Meeting house in Groton June 9* 1784 
Took into Consideration the request of a Society in Groton accord- 
ing to appointment at a former Meeting, and upon a review of the 
Minutes made at said former meeting find that there is an Error 
inadvertently made in S'' Minute as it may import that the Presby- 
tery Recieved Said Society under their Care and Patronage When 
the Whole Society was Confessed under the Censure of the C- 
in Groton at the time of there being recived by the Presbytery. 
Whereas the fact was that Three only of S*? Society were at that 
time under the Censure of Said C'^i, and now the Presbytery after 
Mature Consideration of the Circumstances and Situation of S"" 
Society Do adjudge them a regular Presbyterian Society, Confirm 
them as part of this Body and Recommend them as Such to all 
our Presbyterian Brethren with Whom they may in the Course of 
Providence have Concern. 

And with Regard to the Three members who were under Cen- 
sure of the S'3 C-i! in Groton The Presbytery Considered their Case 
and the Said C"-i altho Desird thereto by Letter to them addressed 
from the Presbytery haueing declined to give the Presbytery any 
light respecting the Ground of their Censure and the Presbytery 


not being able to Discover any Ground Pretended for the Same Ex- 
cept their having Used their Christian Liberty in joining Said Society 
Do Judge that the Said Censured Members ought to be Consid- 
ered by Said Society as in Good Standing in the Church of Christ 
and Treated by them and all other Christian Professors accordingly. 

And ,as the Said Society will have a right to Admit members 
of their Communion in future according to the rules of the Gospel 
We recommend to them to Cultivate a harmony with our Congre- 
gational Brethren to be Cautious of Recieving any unless to occa- 
sional Commuinion Who are not of the Presbyterian Perswasion and 
Espacially to reject all Whose moral Charactor is Such as to bring 
Discredit on Religion in General or to the Presbyterian Interest in 

order that the Rev- M' Chaplin be Served with a Copy of this 
Minute as Soon as may be. 

Extracted from the Minutes 

a true Copy Test Jn? Strickland, Pres". Clk 

Groton June 25"> 1784 

The following is a copy of the enactment previously al- 
luded to : — 

An Act for incorporating a Number of the Inhabitants of the 
Town of Groton, in the County of Middlesex, of the Presbyterian 
Denomination, into a separate Parish. 

Whereas a number of the inhabitants of the town of Groton, 
have petitioned this Court to be incorporated, for the reasons expressed 
in their petition, and it appearing to this Court reasonable that the 
prayer be granted : 

Be it therefore enacted by the Senate, and House of Representatives 
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same. That 
jFoseph Sheple, yason Williams, Daniel Williams, Lemuel Blood, 
Moses Child, Amasa Gillson, David Hazen, Ezekiel Nutting, jun. 
Solomon Gillson, Thomas Gragg, Levi Lakin, David Lakin, fob 
Shattuck, jun. Isaac Lakin, Isaac Lakin, jun. Ezekiel Nutting, Ben- 
jamin Lawrence, Andrew Dodge, Samuel Gragg, Caleb A. Willard, 
Oliver Fletcher, John Nutting, Amos Woods, Levi Barker, Silas 
Blood, Oliver Patch, jfohn Lawrence, yohn Gragg, Jonathan Pratt, 
Oliver Lakin, Benjamin Hazen, Nehemiah Gillson, John Hazen, 
Nathaniel Green, Jonas Green, John Woods, Jacob Lakin Parker, 


Oliver Fletcher, jun. Jacob Gragg, James Sheple, Wilder Sheple, John 
Trowbridge, Isaac Lawrence, Elisha Hoit, Thomas Trowbridge, John 
Johnson, Simeon Williams, Ezra Farnsworth, Royal Blood, James 
Woods, Ebenezer Stacy, Sadoc Fletcher, Jonathan Sheple, Nathaniel 
Sartell, Thomas Nutting, Oliver Lakin, jun. Salmon Lawrence and 
Benjamin Parker petitioners, and inhabitants of the said town of 
Groton, together with their polls and estates, be, and hereby are 
incorporated into a seperate parish, or society, by the name of the 
presbyterian parish or society, in the said town of Groton, with all 
the priviledges, powers and immunities which other parishes in this 
Commonwealth, are intitled to by law ; they the said parish or 
society making provision for, and maintaining the public worship of 
God, in the said parish or society, according to the presbyterian 
rules and discipline. 

And be it fjurther enacted by the authority aforesaid. That when 
any person or persons in either parish of the said town of Groton, 
shall be inclined to join with his or their families, to the other 
parish in said town, he or they shall have full liberty so to do : 
Provided he or they signify the same. in writing, lodged with the 
Town Clerk, three months before he or they, and their estates, 
shall be considered as belonging to such parish as aforesaid. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That the 
members of each respective parish, and their families, shall be 
deemed and considered as continuing members of their respective 
parishes, until they shall signify their determination to the contrary 
in manner as above expressed. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That Israel 
Hobart, Esq. be, and hereby is authorized to issue his warrant 
directed to some principal member of the said presbyterian parish 
or society, requiring him to warn the members of the said parish or 
society, qualified to vote in parish affairs, to assemble at some 
suitable time and place in the said town, to choose such officers as 
parishes are by law required to choose in the month of March or 
April, annually, and to transact all matters and things necessary to 
be done in the said parish. 

[This act passed November 19, 1788.] 

In the earlier days of the Presbyterian Society, the Rev- 
erend Samuel Dana, who had previously been settled over 
the First Parish, was the minister for a year and a half. 


After he gave up the charge, the Society does not appear to 
have had any regular preacher. During its existence the 
treasurers were Captain Joseph Sheple, Oliver Fletcher, 
Samuel Gragg, and Jacob Lakin Parker. As late as April 
27, 1799, a committee was appointed to audit the accounts of 
the last-named treasurer, and probably soon afterward the 
parish dissolved. Their place of worship was situated at the 
fork of the roads, opposite to the entrance of the Cemetery. 


In the autumn of 1797 President Timothy Dwight of Yale 
College made a journey to the White Mountains, which at 
that time was a considerable undertaking. Some years later 
an account of the trip was published in his " Travels in New- 
England and New- York" (London, 1823), a work of four vol- 
umes. On his return from the White Mountains he passed 
through Groton, and the following is his account of the 
town : — 

After dinner, we rode through a part of Dunstable (Mass.), and 
arrived at Groton in the beginning of the evening [October 12]. 

Dunstable is a small town, near the noi»th-west corner of Mid- 
dlesex County, which contained, in 1790, 59 houses, and 380 in- 
habitants ; in 1800, 75 houses, and 485 inhabitants; and, in 1810, 
475 inhabitants. The surface here began to swell, and to be cov- 
ered with oak, walnut, and chestnut. A better husbandry soon 
appeared, exhibiting proofs of thrift and prosperity. These appear- 
ances increased till we arrived at Groton, where we found again the 
good land, and the substantial farming character, so remarkable in 
the county of Worcester. 

Groton, in the early periods of its settlement, experienced its 
share of Indian depredations. It was incorporated in 1655. In 
1676, a body of savages entered it on the 2d of March, plundered 
several houses, and carried off a number of cattle. On the 9th 



they ambushed four men, who were driving their carts, killed one, 
and took a second; but, while they were disputing about the manner 
of putting him to death, he escaped. On the 13th about four hun- 
dred of these people assaulted Groton again. The inhabitants, 
alarmed by the recent destruction of Lancaster, had retreated into 
five garrisoned houses. Four of these were within musket shot of 
each other. The fifth stood at a distance of a mile. Between the 
four neighbouring ones were gathered all the cattle belonging to the 

In the morning two of the Indians showed themselves behind a 
hill, near one of the four garrisons, with an intention to decoy the 
inhabitants out of their fortifications. The alarm was immediately 
given. A considerable part of the men in this garrison, and several 
from the next, imprudently went out to surprise them ; when a 
large body, who had been lying in ambush for this purpose, arose 
instantaneously, and fired upon them. The English fled. An- 
other party of the Indians, at the same time, came upon the rear of 
the nearest garrison, thus deprived of its defence, and began to 
pull down the palisades. The flying English retreated to the next 
garrison ; and the women and children, forsaken as they were, 
escaped, under the protection of Providence, to the same place of 
safety. The ungarrisoned houses in the town were then set on fire 
by the savages. 

In a similar manner they attempted to surprise the solitary gar- 
rison ; one of their people being employed to decoy the English out 
of it into an ambush in the neighbourhood. The watch, however, 
discovering the ambush, gave the alarm, and prevented the mis- 
chief intended. The next day the Indians withdrew, having burnt 
about forty dwelling houses, and the church, together with barns 
and out-houses. John Monoco, their leader, during the preceding 
day, with the same spirit, which is exhibited with so much vanity 
and haughtiness in the proclamations of General Burgoyne, the 
Duke of Brunswick when entering France, and General Le Clerc 
when attacking St. Domingo, insulted the inhabitants of Groton with 
his former exploits in burning Lancaster and Medfield ; threatened 
that he would burn Groton, Chelmsford, Concord, and Boston ; 
and declared, amid many taunts and blasphemies, that he could do 
whatever he pleased. His threatening against Groton he executed ; 
but, instead of burning the other towns, he was taken a prisoner 
a few months afterwards, led through the streets of Boston with a 


halter about his neck, and hanged. His three compeers in haughti- 
ness met with a fate, differing in form from his ; but, by the inglo- 
rious and miserable end of their efforts, are exhibited to mankind 
as solemn monitions of the madness, as well as impiety, of arrogat- 
ing to a human arm that disposal of events, which belongs only to 
God. One would think, that Sennacherib and Rabshakeh had long 
since taught this lesson effectually. For Monoco ignorance may be 
pleaded ; for the Christian boasters there is no excuse. 

As we arrived at Groton in the evening, and left it early in the 
morning, and as our road passed by the body of the town at some 
distance on the right, we had no opportunity of observing it par- 
ticularly. As we saw it, it appeared to be a very pretty village, 
pleasantly situated on an easy slope, and containing a considerable 
number of good houses, a church, and an academy. The country 
around it was apparently fertile. In 1790, the number of inhabit- 
ants was 1,840 ; in 1800, 1,802 ; and, in 1810, 1,886. The number 
of houses, in 1800, was 230. It includes two congregations ; one 
of them a Presbyterian proper. (II. 237-239.) 

President Dwight left Groton on the morning of October 
13, and journeyed through Shirley, Lancaster, Sterling, and 
Princeton to Rutland in Worcester County, where he passed 
the night ; and he writes that he " found much less agreeable 
fare in our inn, than we had met with at Groton the preceding 
evening." While in this town he probably tarried at Richard- 
son's tavern,! g^ noted public house of that day, situated where 
the Baptist Meeting-house now stands, and on leaving the 
village he passed along Pleasant Street and Farmers' Row ; 
and this would agree with his description of the road that it 
went to the right of " the body of the town." A brief ac- 
count of the Presbyterian congregation, alluded to in President 
Dwight's last paragraph, is given in the present Number of 
this Series (pages 21-25). 

1 See No. VIII. of this Historical Series (pages 5, 6), for an account of the 



The following memoranda are taken from a note-book kept 
by Joseph Farwell, of Groton, and now in the possession of 
one of his descendants, Deacon Joseph Farwell, of Hyde Park, 
Massachusetts. They have previously been copied by me 
and printed in " The New England Historical and Genealogical 
Register" (XXXV. 275, 276), for July, 1881. The first entries 
were made in the year 1710, and relate to work done by 
Farwell. On the fly-leaf is written, "Joseph ffarwell his book 
if I it luse and you it find giue it me for it is mine." The 
next leaf contains "An acompt of y^ Berth of Joseph farwells 
Childeren," as follows : — 

Joseph farwell Born August : 5 : 1696 
Thomas farwell Born October : 11 : 1698 
Hannah farwell Born May : 6: 1701 
Elisabeth farwell Born December : 31 : 1704 
Edward farwell Born July : 12 : 1706 
Mary farwell Born Feb'^ : 1 : 1 709 
John farwell Born June : 23: 17 11 

Sarah farwell born ieh'^ the 26"" and died July the 4* 172 1 
Joseph Farwell the son of Joseph and Hannah Farwell was born 
the : 24 : 5 ; 1670 

Near the middle of the book the following record is found, 
in another handwriting : — 

The Birth of the Children of Joseph Farwell and Mary Farwell 
who wear Married Dece"' y'= 24: 1719. 

Anna Farwell Born February y'' 19* 1721 
Isaac Farwell Born March y' 6* 1723 
Joseph Farwell Born September y'= 20* 1725 
Jonathan Farwell Born May y'' 15* 1730 
Thomas Farwell Born July y" 31* 1733 
Olive Farwell Born June y" 24"' 1735 
Mary Farwell Born September y' 4"" 1738 
Susannah Farwell Born August y" 8* 1742 


Jon' Farwell Departed Life Nou'" y" 29 1761 being 30 years & 
14 Days old 

Isaac Farwell son of Joseph and Mary Farwell Dep"" May y° 18* 
1740 Being 17 year two months and 12 Days old 

Joseph Farwell Juner son of Jo^ & Mary Dep' August, y" 27. 
1758 being 32 years 11 months and 7 Days old 

The following notes are found on different leaves, scattered 
throughout the book, as they were left blank by the original 
writer : — 

Joseph Farwell his Book 1745 

March y" 10* 1745 Our men went out of Groton for Cap Prtoon 
and the City was taken y" 18 day of June 1745 

August y° 4* 1745 We Began to sing the psalms in the meeting 
house by Course [subsequently the following was written underneath'\ 
and sang them throw August y° 30"" 1752 and began and sung the 
first psalm the first Sabbath in September 1752 \_and in another 
place"] And sung the Last psalm the Last Sabbath in March 1760 
and began and sang the first psalm y° first Sabbath in April 1760 

May 10* 1749 pece was proclam*" in Boston in New England 

Groton June y'= 29 1750 I was c[h]ose in'° the office of a deacon 
in the first Church in Groton a for said' and on the first Sabath 
July 1750 waited on that Duty 

in Groton January the 22, 1750-1 their was a grate storm of Rain 
and wind to that Degree that it Blew down 4 Barns and one house 
and Rent a Grate Number of Barns and other Buldings to that 
Degree that the oldest person Now Living Cant Rember the Like 

May the 22'' 1754 we Began to Rais our New meeting House 
and finished it on Satterday the 25* 

May y*^ 30"^ ^754 Our Solders went out of Groton to Boston in 
order forts Cumber Land 

August y° 18 1754 vpon the Lords Day mrs Sarah Dicxinson. 
was taken into our Church the first person that was taken into the 
Church in the New meeting House 

November y' 15 1754 the first Sacrement of the Lords supper 
was Administred in the New meeting House 

November : y" 18"' 1755. their was a tearable Earth quake about 
20 minets after 4 in the morning. 

on Munday the 26 of July 1756 my house was burnt down and the 
most of my house hold s[t]uff burnt up [subsequently the following 


was written] and on Wedensday the 24 of Nouember we mov"* into 
the New house 

May y= 24 1758 Cap' thomas Lawrance went out of groton in 
order for Canada and was slain in battle the 20. Day of July 1758 

August. y= 10 1763 peace was proclaimed in Boston with the 

March -f 28. 1766 Zachariah Longley was chosen a Deacon in 
y° first Church in Groton. 

December y= 30. 1773 Isaac Farnsworth and Ben= Bancroft wear 
chosen Deacons in the Church of Groton. 

Apriel y" 19* 1775, the Reggulars Came to Concord & kil"* two 
men & our men followed them to Charlstown & kil" and wounded 
and took Captive Betwen three & 400 


A LTFE of Dr. Wm. T. G. Morton, of Boston, the discoverer 
of the anaesthetic properties of sulphuric ether, was published 
at New York in the year 1859.- I* was written by Dr. Nathan 
Payson Rice, and is entitled " Trials of a Public Benefactor, as 
illustrated in the Discovery of Etherization." In this book is 
given an account of the first operation ever performed on a 
patient, while under the influence of ether, which was the 
extraction of a tooth. The subject was Ebenezer Hopkins 
Frost, a native of Groton now dead, who is still remembered 
by many persons. He was a son of Solomon and Dorcas 
(Hopkins) Frost, and born on December 7, 1824. He became 
quite noted as a singer and teacher of music, and was a 
member of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. 

Dr. Morton tried first on himself the experiment of inhaling 
ether, and after describing the effect it produced, he goes on 
to say : — 

Delighted with the success of this experiment, I immediately 
announced the result to the persons employed in my establishment, 
and waited impatiently for some one upon whom I could make a 


fuller trial. Toward evening, a man, residing in Boston, came in, 
suffering great pain, and wishing to have a tooth extracted. He 
was afraid of the operation, and asked if he could be mesmerized. 
I told him I had something better, and saturating my handkerchief, 
gave it to him to inhale. He became unconscious almost im- 
mediately. It was dark, and Dr. Hayden held the lamp, while I 
extracted a firmly-rooted bicuspid tooth. There was not much altera- 
tion in the pulse, and no relaxation of the muscles. He recovered 
in a minute, and knew nothing of what had been done to him. He 
remained for some time talking about the experiment. This was 
on the 30th of September, 1846. This I consider to be the first 
demonstration of this new fact in science. I have heard of no one 
who can prove an earlier demonstration. If any one can do so, 
I yield to him the point of priority of time (pages 62, 63). 

Immediately after the operation Frost gave a certificate 
corroborating these statements, which is printed in the book, 
and signed by him as then living at No. 42 Prince Street, 
Boston. Nearly twenty years afterward he died at Fitchburg, 
on September 7, 1865. 


Since our last we have receiv'd further Accounts of the Damges 
sustain'd in the last Storm, 

Particularly from Westerly in Rhode Island Colony, we hear a 
house was blown down, and one Man kill'd ; and from Lancaster, 
that a Barn there was blown down, and a Horse and six Sheep 

Also from Groton in the County of Middlesex, that on [Wednes- 
day] the 1 6th Instant, there was a very great Flood, such as not 
been known for several Years past, and that many Hundred Pounds 
Damage has been done thereby to the Bridges, &c. it took the 
Bridge which stood a cross Lancaster-River, so called, intirely off ; 
which is the fourth Bridge the Town of Groton has built in about 
28 Years last past. 

" The Boston Weekly News-Letter," January 31, 1751. 


It is highly probable that it was during this freshet that 
the " neck " on the Nashua River was broken through. See 
No. V. of this Historical Series (page 20), for an account of 
the disaster ; and see also page 29 of the present Number 
for a' contemporary reference to the storm, where the date is 
given as January 22, but this perhaps was the time of entry in 
the note-book. The island made by the cutting contains not 
far from twenty acres of land ; and it is now owned by Colo- 
nel Daniel Needham, who bought it, on August 10, 1885, of 
John MeKeen Gilson, who in his turn bought it, on June i, 
1855, of the late Miss Elizabeth Farnsworth, who had in- 
herited it from her father, Major Amos Farnsworth. 


I HAVE lately seen a copy of the New Testament that was 
published at Groton in the year 1846, by Alpheus Richardson. 
It was found, during the summer of i860, in a bale of cotton 
at the Penacook Mills in Fisherville (now Penacook), New 
Hampshire. The question naturally arises. How did the book 
get there ? Slavery then prevailed at the South where the 
cotton was grown ; and perhaps some poor negro left it in 
his basket, — but this is all conjecture. The little volume 
now belongs to Miss Lilian Lawrence Richardson, of Jamaica 
Plain, a daughter of the late William Henry Richardson, who 
was a son of the publisher. The following is a copy of the 
titlepage : the | NEW TESTAMENT | OF OUR | lord and 

Luther Roby, Concord, N. H. \ GROTON, MS. published 

BY A. RICHARDSON. 1846. l6m0, pp. 254. 

A letter from Fisherville on the fourth page of the " Boston 
Daily Journal," September 3, i860, mentions the finding of 
this stray volume. 

No. XV. 





Historical Series, No. XV. 


[The following paper was prepared for the use of the members of 
The Appalachian Mountain Club, on their visit to Groton, Saturday, 
September 18, 1886.] 


In early times, before the original Plantation had been cut 
up in order to form other towns, the Nashua River flowed 
through the township of Groton for a distance of ten miles 
or more, and nearly bisected its territory ; while to-day its 
course within the town's limits is hardly more than three 
miles. This river is formed by the union of two branches, 
known respectively as the North Branch and the South 
Branch, which come together at Lancaster. The former has 
its source in Ashburnham, near the foot of the Watatuck 
Mountain, and in Westminster, and passes through Fitchburg 
and Leominster ; while the latter rises, in the neighborhood 
of the Wachusett Mountain, at Princeton, and among the hills 
of Rutland and Holden, and passes through West Boylston 
and Clinton. Both these branches for a considerable distance 
above their confluence are known also as the Nashua. The 
stream at Groton is about one hundred feet above tide-water. 

At a very early period the Nashua River was sometimes 
called the Penacook, and at other times the Groton River. 
In Thomas Noyes's survey of the grant of Major Simon 
Willard's farm in the autumn of 1659, the land is described 
as " lying and being for the most part on the east side of 

Groaten Riuer." And, again, at the session beginning on 
September 6, 1676, the approval of the General Court was 
given to Jonathan Danforth's survey of lands laid out to 
William Hauthorne, " lying in the wilderness ; on the North 
of Groaten Riuer at a place called by the Indians Wistequas- 
suck," now within the limits of Townsend. At a later period it 
was more frequently referred to as the Lancaster River ; and 
it is likely that the stream bore different names at different 
places along its course even at the same time. In the record 
of " The lands of Mr. Samuell Willard, which is layd out to 
him in the towne of Grotten," on September 29, 1680, reference 
is made to the Nashawag River, — another form of spelling. 

The Squannacook River forms the divisional line with 
Shirley for perhaps four miles, which is the whole distance of 
contact with that town. This stream rises in Ashby and 
flows through Townsend and by West Groton, emptying into 
the Nashua. The name is found in the Proprietors' records 
as early as the spring of 1684. 


Baddacook Pond — lies about two miles from the village 
near the Lowell road. It covers an area of 103 acres, and is 
the largest pond in the town. It is mentioned in the record 
of James Parker's land under the date of July 6, 1666. 

Outlet : Baddacook Brook, which flows into Cow Pond. 

Cady Pond — a small and deep pond, covering perhaps two 
acres, lying less than a mile from the village in a southeasterly 
direction, near the Boston road. It was named after Nicolas 
Cady, one of the early settlers, who owned land in the 
neighborhood. This pond and Flat Pond, both very small, 
are the only ones in the town whose waters ultimately reach 
the Nashua River. 

Outlet : a small unnamed brook running southwesterly 
into James's Brook. 

Cow Pond — sometimes called Whitney's Pond, in the 
easterly part of the town, covering an area of 71 acres. Cow 

Pond Meadow is mentioned in the record of Ralph Reed's 
land before the year 1664. 

Outlet: Cow Pond Brook, which flows into Massapoag Pond. 

Duck Pond — near the Ridges, east of Knop's Pond, and 
separated from it by a ridge only — lies perhaps half a mile 
south of Cow Pond. It covers 55 acres, and has no outlet. 

Flat Pond — a small sheet of water near the Throne, in 
the west part of the town. 

Outlet : a small unnamed brook into the Squannacook River. 

Forge Pond — in Westford, covering an area of 143 acres. 
In very early times it was called Stony Brook Pond. 

Outlet : Stony Brook, which empties into the Merrimack 
River at North Chelmsford. 

Half-Moon Pond — a small pond in the upper part of the 
meadow, which lies south of the Hillside Road. 

Knop's Pond — near the Ridges, west of Duck Pond, and 
is of the same size as that pond, covering 55 acres. So called 
from James Knapp, or Knop, an early settler who owned land 
in the neighborhood. 

Outlet : a brook into Cow Pond. 

Long Pond — lies on the southern border of the town, 
partly in Groton, but mostly in Ayer, covering 45 acres. 
Outlet : a brook into Sandy Pond. 

Martin's Pond — near the foot of Gibbet Hill, on its 
northerly side — covers i6f acres ; it was named after William 
Martin, an early settler. In the record of James Parker's 
land, on July 6, 1666, " the pond called Goodman Martin's 
Pond " is mentioned. The following Article, found in the war- 
rant for the town-meeting held on September 17, 1792, seems 
to show that the outlet of the pond was formerly through Hog 
Swamp and Half-Moon Meadow into James's Brook, though 
there is now no other evidence to confirm this view. 

Art. 8. To see if the Town will order the water running from 
Martin's Pond to be turned into the old Channel as it formerly 
used to run, through the Town, and appoint some proper person or 
persons to remove the obstructions and Effect the Business. 

In the proceedings of the meeting, it is recorded that 
this Article was " Past in the Negative." A measurement of 
the pond was lately made, when frozen over, which proves it 
to be much smaller than it was a half century ago. 

Outlet : Martin's Pond Brook into the outlet of Knop's 
Pond, half way between that pond and Cow Pond. 

Massapoag Pond — on the eastern border of the town, but 
lies mostly in Dunstable and Tyngsborough, covering an 
area of 56 acres. It is now used as a storage basin of water 
by the Vale Mills Manufacturing Company of Nashua, New 
Hampshire, and in dry seasons it is drawn upon for a supply. 

Outlet : Salmon Brook, which empties into the Merrimack 
River at Nashua. 

Sandy Pond — lying wholly in Ayer, and covering 80 
acres. A large quantity of ice is taken from its surface in 
the winter, the ice-houses on its borders being connected 
with the Fitchburg Railroad by a branch road. 

Outlet: Sandy Pond Brook, which flows into Nonacoicus 

Springy Pond — a small sheet of water connected with 
Knop's Pond by a brook. 

Wattle's Pond — three miles north of the village, on the 
road to East Pepperell, with no outlet. The origin of the 
name is unknown. 

In this list of ponds I have included two or three which 
now lie wholly in other towns, inasmuch as they are fre- 
quently mentioned in the Groton records. The area of the 
ponds, with the exception of Martin's Pond, is taken from the 


Fourth Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Massa- 
chusetts (January, 1873), as given on pages 124 and 125. 

A story is told relative to Massapoag Pond, based on tradi- 
tion, which probably has no real foundation. It is said 
that — 

Its outlet was on the easterly side, and as it was the reservoir 
into which Cowpond brook poured its waters, a considerable mill- 
stream issued from it. The waters passed without any rapids for a 
considerable distance, affording no favorable site for a mill. The 
north end of the pond was bounded by a ridge of loose sand, rising 
but little above the surface of the water, and being about six rods 
only in width ; on the opposite side of which was a descent of about 
forty feet. Here then, was an eligible spot for an overshot mill. 
At a town meeting held May 21, 1688, a grant was made to Sam- 
uel Adams of a small pond near Buck meadow, and leave given 
to drain it by a brook running into " Tyng's cove." At the same 
meeting, for the encouragement of any who would set up iron-works 
at Massapoag, a grant was offered of the wood on the easterly side 
of Unquetenassett brook. It is said that Adams, who is supposed 
to have accepted the grant, erected a grist-mill at the site above- 
mentioned, conducting the water across the sand-bank to the flume 
of his mill. At the time of a flood about the year 1700, (the pre- 
cise time is not known,) a breach was made across the sand-bank, 
and it being very loose and moveable, the whole bank was soon torn 
down by the water to the depth of more than thirty feet : and con- 
sequently a sheet of water of that depth, where the pond was so 
deep, and where of less depth the whole water upon the surface, 
flowed suddenly off (all in one night,) with irresistible violence. 
The mill of course was demolished, and the stones, though dili- 
gently sought for, and even the skill of the famous Moll Pitcher, of 
Lynn, employed in the search, have never yet been found. The 
bottom of the pond being uneven, fish in abundance were left in the 
cavities, which were easily taken, and the inhabitants of the neigh- 
boring towns, as well as of Groton, came and carried off loads of 
them. Where the water formerly issued from the pond, a small 
brook now runs in, and the outlet is, at the place of disruption, 
called the "gulf." The water finds its way into the old channel, 
two or three miles from the pond, in a north-westerly direction from 
Dunstable meeting-house. 

[Butler's History of Groton, pages 246, 247.] 

The name of Buck Meadow, which has been in use for 
more than two centuries, is firmly established, and the site 
well known. The meadow lies near Lovewell's Pond, for- 
merly within the limits of Groton, but now in Nashua; and 
Adams's mill stood undoubtedly at the outlet of this pond, 
where there is a small water-power. This theory would tally 
with the town-records ; and furthermore a tradition is still 
extant that there was once a mill in the neighborhood. Love- 
well's Pond is much smaller than Massapoag, and at that time 
probably had no designation. It was named after Captain 
John Lovewell, who was killed by the Indians on May 8, 1725. 
The following is the entry in the records : — 

May: 21. 1688 The inhabitants of Groton Granted to Samull 
Adams y" pond that lyes neare buck medow which hath its outlet 
into the medow known by y" name of Tyngs Couee and the 
swampy land adioyeng ther to prouided y° sd land do not exceed 
fifteen accers ; 

atest ; Josiah Parker Clarke 
and sd adams hath liberty to drean the s"* pond at y" small brook 
that unes in to Tyng's Coue prouided sd Adames macks good all 
daraeges that shall be don ther by 


There are now three small brooks running into Massapoag 
Pond on the easterly side, and their fall is too great for any 
one of them ever to have been the old outlet of the pond. 
Furthermore, it would have been impossible by any of these 
brooks to drain the pond (which even at the present time cov- 
ers 56 acres) without causing too great damage for Adams to 
make good. There is no indication along their banks that 
they have been much larger streams than they are to-day. 
While the formation of the banks at the mouth of the pond, 
or the "gulf," so called, is peculiar, there are no signs that the 
water-line was ever any higher than it is at the present time. 
None of the local antiquaries are able to identify Tyng's 
Cove, which is a name undoubtedly derived from Jonathan 
Tyng, one of the earliest settlers of Dunstable. 

At the same town-meeting, held on May 21, 1688, the 
inhabitants of Groton — 

Deed then by the maior uoat grant for the incoregment of such 
men as will set up loran works at masabog pond ; that thay shall 
haue y" ues & improument of the woods and timbr y' is now com- 
mon one the est sid of uncuttanaset brook and so to nashua riuer 
and groton line est ward & south ward to good man greens' 
masabog medow. . . . 

I give this extract from the town-records in order to show 
that the inhabitants at that period knew the pond by its 
present name ; and if they had seen fit then to grant Adams 
any special privilege connected with it, they would have called 
it " Massapoag," and would not have said "y° pond that lyes 
neare buck medow." 


Barralock Hill — is mentioned in the record of Samuel 
Woods's lands ; but I am unable to identify it. Perhaps it is 
the hill due north of Baddacook Pond. 

Brown Loaf Hill — commonly called Brown Loaf — is 
a handsome, symmetrical hill standing alone, more than a mile 
from the village, near the Lowell road. Brown Loaf Hill 
Meadow is mentioned in the description of Joseph Parker's 
lands, December 2, 1664, which would imply that the hill was 
so named before that time. Brown Loaf Hill is also men- 
tioned in the record of James Parker's lands made on July 6, 
1666; and Brownloafe Playne and Brownloaf Hill are given 
in the record of James Fisk's lands in John Morse's hand- 
writing, of which the date is absent, but which was certainly 
made at a very early period. 

Chestnut Hills — the range lying northerly of Martin's 
Pond ; so called from the abundant growth of chestnut-trees 
on its sides. 

Clay- Pit Hill — the small hill at the corner of the East 
Pepperell road and Break Neck. 

Gibbet Hill — a noted landmark, overlooking the village 
on its easterly side. It is mentioned in the land-grant of 
Sergeant James Parker, which was entered in the town- 
records by Richard Sawtell, the first town-clerk who filled 
the office, from June, 1662, to January, 1664-65. The tradi- 
tion is that the hill was so called from the fact that once an 
Indian was gibbeted on its top. If this ever occurred, it must 
have happened before Sawtell's term of office. The town 
was incorporated by the General Court on May 25, 1655. but 
no public records are known to have been kept before June 
23, 1662. 

Horse Hill — in the eastern part of the town, nearMassa- 
poag Pond. It lies partly in Dunstable, and is covered with 

Indian Hill, or Hills — the range beginning near James's 
Brook, a mile south of the village, and running in an easterly 
direction on the south side of the Great Road to Boston. 

Naumox — a low hill or ridge a short distance west of the 
road to East Pepperell, near the Longley monument, and run- 
ning parallel with the road. The name is also used in con- 
nection with the neighborhood. 

Prospect Hill — very near Cady Pond, and east of it; 
perhaps 250 feet or more above the Nashua, and said to be 
the highest elevation in the town. 

Ridge Hill, or The Ridges — the name of a peculiar 
ridge, three miles southeasterly from the village, along which 
the Great Road runs. It also gave the name to a tavern for- 
merly kept in the immediate neighborhood. 

Rocky Hill— there are two hills of this name, one lying 
northeasterly of Baddacook Pond, near the old District School- 
house No. VIII. (now the Trowbridge School), which is also 
known as the Rocky Hill School ; and the other situated in 
he southeast part of the town, between Long Pond and the 

Ridges. A visit to either of these hills will show why it 
was so called. 

Sand Hill — a small elevation on the road to East Pep- 
perell, below the Longley monument, near the place where 
the Nashua road branches off. 

Shepley Hill — lies west of the East Pepperell road, near 
Naumox. The name is rarely heard now, though it was in 
use as far back as February 28, 1670, — evidently so called 
from the Shepley family. 

Snake Hill — in the south part of the town, but lies 
mostly in Ayer. Rattlesnakes have been killed on it within 
the memory of the present generation. 

The Throne — a high hill in the western part of the town, 
— on the summit of which is a level field of perhaps sixty 
acres, containing a small pond, — near the Townsend line. 
A map of Groton resembles a tea-kettle, the portion west of 
the Nashua River forming the spout ; and the Throne comes 
in the spout. 


The early settlers of Groton, according to the town-records, 
had many parcels of meadow allotted to them in the assign- 
ment of land. Sergeant James Parker owned in twenty differ- 
ent meadows, and the other settlers also were large owners. 
It is probable that they did not attach the same signification 
to the word " meadow " which now belongs to it in New Eng- 
land, where it means low, swampy land, without regard to the 
mowing. They called by this name all grass-land that was 
annually mown for hay, and especially that by the side of 
a river or brook ; and this meaning of the word was and still is 
the common one in England, whence they brought their lan- 
guage. They sometimes spoke of a " swamp," meaning by it 
what we call a " bog ; " but much of this kind of land has since 
been reclaimed, and is known with us as " meadow." As a mat- 


ter of fact it happened that the lands which could be mown 
for the fodder were low lands, and it would require perhaps 
less than a generation to transfer the meaning of mowing 
lands to the low lands, which were nearly the only ones that 
could be mown in the early days of the Colony. This expla- 
nation will make clear the following vote of the town, passed 
on February i8, 1 680-81 : — 

At the same meeting it was agreed vpon and voted that M' Hub- 
berd should haue all the comon which was capable to mak medow 
in swan pond medow vp to the vpland for seauen acre and a halfe 
for to mak vp his fifteen acres of medow 

The following names of meadows are found in the town- 
records, and in a few instances I have indicated their locality : 

Accident ; Angle, in the northerly part of the town ; Big 
Spring, in the neighborhood of Hawtree Brook ; Broad, imme- 
diately west of the village ; Brook ; Brown Loaf, east of the 
hill ; Buck, now lying within the limits of Nashua, New 
Hampshire ; Burnt, in the vicinity of Baddacook Pond ; Cow 
Pond, near the pond of that name ; East ; Ferney, near Brown 
Loaf ; Flaggy, to the southward of the Baddacook road, near 
the pond ; Flax ; Great Flaggy, presumably near Flaggy, and 
perhaps the same ; Great Half-Moon, the same as Half-Moon, 
which lies east of the village ; Little Buck, probably a part 
of Buck Meadow ; Little Half-Moon, a part of Half-Moon, 
being an offshoot from it ; Lodge ; Long ; Maple ; Massapoag, 
evidently near Massapoag Pond ; New Angle ; Pine ; Plain ; 
Pretty ; Providence ; Quasoponagon, " on the other sid of the 
riuer," near the Red Bridge, through which Wrangling Brook 
runs ; Reedy, known by this name to-day, lying north of the 
Reedy Meadow Road ; Rock, south of Snake Hill ; Sallo, per- 
haps Sallow, a kind of willow ; Sedge ; Skull, through which 
Unquetenassett Brook runs, near the Dunstable line ; Sledge, 
north of Reedy Meadow, near the Sledges ; South ; South 
Brook ; Spang ; Spot ; Spring ; Spruce ; Swamp ; Swan Pond ; 
and Weavers. 

In the record of Daniel Pearse's land, by William Longley, 
town-clerk, on July 6, 1666, reference is made to "the iland 


lying within the meadow called Litle Halfe Moone Meadow." 
This land now belongs to Governor Boutwell ; and I am in- 
formed by his son, Francis M. Boutwell, Esq., that there is 
upon it a small elevation, which is always spoken of as the 
island, — undoubtedly a survival of the expression applied to 
it when more or less surrounded by water. 


Cold Spring Brook — a small brook, rising in Cold Spring 
" on y° Left hand of the high way that goe to Reedy medow." 
It runs across the Nashua road, the East Pepperell road, 
through Hazen Swamp and Libby Lobby Moat, into the 
Nashua River. 

Cow Pond Brook — has its source in Cow Pond Meadows 
and Cow Pond, and empties into Massapoag Pond. Formerly 
there was a dam between the meadows and the pond, where 
there was a saw-mill ; and later on the same site a paper-mill, 
which disappeared about thirty-five years ago. 

James's Brook — one of the longest brooks within the 
limits of the town. It takes its rise in Half-Moon Meadow, 
crosses Main Street in the village, and runs southerly and 
westerly for three or four miles into the Nashua River. At 
its mouth is the beginning of the line separating the town of 
Ayer from Groton. Formerly there was a tannery on the 
banks of the brook, near Indian Hill, known as Dix's tan- 
nery ; and a mile below, on land of the late Benjamin Moors, 
east of the road, at one time there was a mill, — but now 
no traces of either are left. The stream took its name from 
Captain James Parker, one of the early settlers. It empties 
into the Nashua River, nearly opposite to the mouth of the 

Hawtree Brook — in the northerly part of the town, near 
Chicopee Row; after it unites with Walnut Run and two 
or three other small streams, it forms Unquetenassett Brook. 


In the early records of the town the Hawtrees are frequently 
spoken of, which refer to the neighborhood of this brook. 

NoNACOicus Brook — frequently contracted into Coicus — 
was formerly a noted stream in Groton ; but now no part of it 
comes within the limits of the town. It has its source in Har- 
vard, and runs northerly and then westerly, passing through 
the village of Ayer, and emptying into the Nashua. It receives 
as a tributary, Sandy Pond Brook. On this stream John 
Prescott, about the year 1667, built his mill for grinding and 
sawing, of which the site was originally in Groton, but is now 
in Harvard. The neighborhood is still called the Old Mill. 

Reedy Meadow Brook — rises in Reedy Meadow and 
flows northerly, emptying into the Nashua River below East 
Pepperell. It is sometimes called Johnson's Brook. 

Sandy Pond Brook — wholly in Ayer, the outlet of Sandy 
Pond, flowing into Nonacoicus Brook. 

Sedge Brook — a small brook from Sedge Meadow, run- 
ning into Reedy Meadow Brook. 

Stony Brook — in Westford, the outlet of Forge Pond. 
It was on this stream that John Prescott built a mill about 
the year 1683. See "The Early Records of Groton" under 
the dates of June 15, 1680, June 13, 1681, and April 25, 1682 ; 
also the agreement following the record of the meeting held 
on June 25, 1683. 

Swan Brook — mentioned in the early records, but I can- 
not identify it beyond a doubt. Perhaps it was the brook 
near the divisional line between Groton and Westford, which 
flows into Forge Pond. See the record of James Knop's 
lands, made on January 3, 1669. 

TuiTY Brook — contracted from Gratuity — a very small 
stream which rises near the head of Farmers' Row and runs 


through Hazle Grove into the Nashua River below Fitch's 

Unquetenassett Brook — often called Unkety — a stream 
formed by the union of Walnut Run, Hawtree Brook, and 
one or two small tributaries, and running northerly through 
Skull Meadow and that part of Dunstable formerly Groton 
into the Nashua. 

Waii^nut Run — a brook issuing from the sides of the 
Chestnut Hills, and uniting with Hawtree Brook and one or 
two other streams, forms the Unquetenassett. 

Also the name of a place — perhaps it was the mouth of a 
stream — on the Nashua River where in olden times there 
was a bridge. It stood farther up the river than Fitch's 

Wrangling Brook — in West Groton, a mile and a half 
in length — meanders through Quasoponagon Meadow, and 
then empties into the Nashua a short distance below the Red 


Baddacook Pond Road — a continuation of the Martin's 
Pond Road to the neighborhood of the pond. 

Break Neck — the short strip of road from the East Pep- 
perell road to Common Street, south of the soapstone quarry. 

Chicopee Row, or Road — running north for three miles 
from the Cemetery. This district is known as Chicopee, a 
name given long ago. 

Farmers' Row — applied to the road on the height of land 
west of the village. It begins at the west end of Pleasant 
Street and runs in a southerly direction for two miles, passing 
by the Groton School. 


Great Road — one of the principal thoroughfares between 
Boston and parts of New Hampshire and Vermont. The 
section of the road through the village is known as Main 

Hillside Road — the highway along the southern slope 
of the Indian Hills. 

Love Lane — the highway from the Lowell road, near the 
First Parish Meeting-house, to the Great Road near Cady 

Martin's Pond Road — the highway from the site of the 
first meeting-house to the neighborhood of the pond, where 
it becomes the Baddacook Pond Road. 

Reedy Meadow Road — from the Nashua road to Chico- 
pee Row, immediately south of Reedy Meadow. 

Squash Path — through the woods from the East Pep- 
perell road to the Nashua road — a short distance beyond 
Cold Spring Brook. 

Tuity Road — a contraction of Gratuity Road — the road 
leading to Fitch's Bridge from the Great Road near the Rail- 
road Bridge, half a mile north of the village. The name had 
its origin in the early history of the town, when grants of 
land were made to the inhabitants as gratuities. Tuity 
Brook, a very small stream, crosses this road and empties 
into the Nashua River, below Fitch's Bridge. 


Blood's Fordway — near the covered bridge in East Pep- 
perell, which is often called Jewett's Bridge. 

Brickyard — on the north side of the Great Road, about 
a mile from the First Parish Meeting-house. It was much 


used during the last century ; and probably was the place 
where the bricks were made for the parsonage, as mentioned 
in the town-records, June 20, 1706. Only a few traces of it 
are now left, though a clump of elms by the roadside is a 
good guide to the site. 

Brown Loaf Plain — to the west of Brown Loaf. 

Community — the name of a district or neighborhood be- 
yond the Groton School, where many of the residents for- 
merly held similar religious views. It had its origin about 
forty years ago, when the Second Adventists, or " Millerites," 
gave up their regular services in the village. 

Dead River — the old course of the Nashua River, around 
the island which was formed by the cutting through of the 
" neck." See No. V. of this Historical Series (page 20), also 
No. XIV (page 31). 

Deep Soil — in the neighborhood of the race-course, in 
Hazle Grove ; so called on the lucus a non lucendo principle. 

Fitch's Bridge — over the Nashua River, a mile and a 
quarter below the Red Bridge. 

General Field — often mentioned in the early town- 
records, refers to land owned in severalty by the proprietors 
of Groton, who kept it as one field, for reasons not now under- 
stood. It was upland, and lay in the southwest part of the 
town, near the river. It appears to have been allotted to the 
proprietors, according to the number of acre-rights which each 
one owned. Perhaps it was land already cleared when the 
first settlers came. 

The Gift ^^ a parcel of land near Reedy Meadow, not 
accurately identified. 

The Hawtrees — mentioned several times in the early 
records, and referring, doubtless, to some native shrubs or 


trees ; for instance, Zachery Sawtell had meadow-land " Neare 
the hawtrees" confirmed to him on November i8, 1670. It 
evidently became the name of a limited district or neighbor- 
hood in the north part of the town, and from it undoubtedly 
Hawtree Brook was named. Professor Asa Gray, the dis- 
tinguished botanist, writes me that there are three or four 
species of wild hawthorn in Massachusetts. He says : " One 
of the forms of the Black or Pear Thorn {Cratcsgus tomentosd) 
would be the likeliest for Groton, or perhaps the Cockspur 
Thorn. The former has the more edible fruit, and would be 
sure to attract attention." 

Hazen Swamp — near the mouth of Cold Spring Brook. 

Hazle Grove — the neighborhood of the east bank of the 
Nashua River above Fitch's Bridge. 

HicKs's Hole — a small piece of meadow, lying north of 
Reedy Meadow. 

High Plain — on the north side of the Baddacook road, 
in the neighborhood of the pond. It lies in the angle of the 
roads, west of the house of John Johnson, Jr., as laid down on 
the map of Groton, made from a survey during the years 1828 
and 1829. 

Hog Swamp — lying between the westerly side of Martin's 
Pond and Martin's Pond Road. Governor Boutwell's private 
way to the Chestnut Hills passes through it. 

Hoyt's Wharf — the name of a place on Cow Pond Brook 
where one Hoyt formerly kept his boat. It was near the 
house of Samuel Hazen, — as laid down on Mr. Butler's map 
of Groton, made from a survey during the years 1828 and 
1829, — nearly a mile north of Cow Pond. 

The Island — a small, though prominent, hill in the meadow 
south of Hillside Road ; undoubtedly once surrounded by 


Jamaica — the name of a small patch of meadow behind 
the hills on the west side of Chicopee Row. 

LiBBY Lobby Moat — below the Ox Bow, opening into 
the Nashua River. This word is probably another form of 
Loblolly, in use at the South, and denoting wet land. 

Lily Moat — on the east side of the Nashua and south of 
the road, near the Red Bridge. 

Madagascar — the name of the district where the paper- 
mill formerly stood on the brook, between Cow Pond and 
Knop's Pond. 

Nod — the district lying in the neighborhood of the four 
corners, below the soapstone quarry. The road from the 
Hollingsworth Paper-mills to this place is called the Nod 

Ox Bow — the bend of the Nashua River, in the northerly 
part of the town, below the Lawrence pasture. 

Paugus Hole — in Paugus Brook, on the west side of 
Brown Loaf, where, it is said, the body of Paugus's descend- 
ant, who came to kill Chamberlain, was sunk, after he himself 
was killed. 

Pine Plain — probably near the Nashua River, and perhaps 
on the westerly side. In December, 1673, Joseph Morse had 
meadow-lands on the Pine Plain, " neare the fordway." 

Punch Bowl — one of several natural depressions near 
the Lowell road, below Brown Loaf. The name is also ap- 
plied to the neighborhood. 

Red Bridge — over the Nashua River, on the road to 
West Groton. 

Sledges — the name of a meadow northeast of Reedy 
Meadow, mentioned in the early records, where John Lakin 
owned land. Mr. Butler, in his History (page 273), says that 
" this word seems to signify strips of meadow or parcels of 
low lands abounding in iron ore." Bog-iron is found in that 
quarter of the town, and in old times was worked by a com- 
pany formed for that purpose. 

Sodom — the district in the northeast part of the town, 
near the Townsend line. The name refers to the quality of 
the soil, and not to the character of the inhabitants. 

Squannacook — an Indian word, the old name of West 

Stony Fordway, or Wading-Place — near the site of the 
HoUingsworth Paper-mills, on the Nashua River, a mile and 
a half northwesterly of the village. 

Swill Bridge — was between the homesteads of Eber 
Woods, Jr., and Joel Davis, — as given on Mr. Butler's map 
of Groton, from a survey made in the years 1828 and 1829, — 
a short distance west of the present railroad bridge. Origi- 
nally it was a causeway, perhaps twenty rods in length, over 
the southerly end of Broad Meadow, though now it is a solid 

Thomas Tarbell's Fordway — was between where the 
Red Bridge now stands, and Fitch's Bridge, which is a mile 
and a quarter below. 

Tobacco Pipe Plain — on both sides of the road from the 
Ridges to Sandy Pond, near Rocky Hill. It is mentioned in 
the " Bye-Laws of Groton relative to Schools ; and Instruc- 
tions of the School Committee, 1805," and in old deeds. 




In this list the years are given according to the new style 
of reckoning, and in specifying dates, small fractions of years 
are overlooked. The town was attacked by the Indians in 
the spring of 1676, and abandoned by the inhabitants until 
March, 1678. 

The earliest records of the town were written by Richard 
Sawtell, and begin on June 23, 1662, though his election as 
town-clerk was not recorded until December 24, 1662. During 
the period since that date, there have been thirty-four town- 
clerks, of whom four, namely, Jonathan Morse, William Long- 
ley, Jr., James Blanchard, and Samuel Rockwood, died while 
in office, — Longley being killed by the Indians, on July 27, 
1694. During the early part of 1682 Captain James Parker, 
Richard Blood, and Jonas Prescott made entries in the records, 
though no one of them appears to have been at the time town- 
clerk. Jonathan Morse was the first who signed the records 
with his name, though the practice with him was not con- 
stant. William Longley, William Longley, Jr., and John 
Longley were representatives of three successive generations 
in the same family, being father, son, and grandson. On 
December g, 1687, William Longley, Jr., was chosen clerk, but 
he acted as such during only a part of the next town-meeting 
on May 21, 1688, when he was followed by Josiah Parker, 
who made the entry for so much of that meeting as occurred 
after his election. Mr. Brigham, the present occupant, has 


filled the position for more than thirty-one years continuously, 
— by far the longest term of service of any town-clerk. Joseph 
Lakin, with a record of seventeen years, comes next to him 
in length of time. Of all the persons mentioned in the list, 
only the last three are now living, namely, Mr. Boutwell, Mr. 
Parker, and Mr. Brigham ; and their combined term of ser- 
vice covers just forty years. Since the death of Mr. Park, 
which took place on September 23, 1875, these three have 
been the only survivors. Mr. Butler died on October 7, 1854, 
and Mr. Boynton on November 30, 1854, — less than eight 
weeks apart. 

December 24, 1662 
January 27, 1665 
December 2, 1665 

" II, 1667 

November 11, 1668 

" 10, 1669 


December 23, 1679 


December 10, 1686 

9, 1687 

May 21, 1688 . . 

December 10, 1691 

" 12, 1692 

March 4, 1695 . . 

" 3i 1696 • • 
December 10, 1696 
March 8, 1 704 . 

" 5, 1706 . 

" 5> 1723 ■ 

" 7, 1727 . 

" 5,1728. 

" 3> '73° • 

" 2, 1731 . 

" 5, 1734 ■ 

" 5, 1745 • 

" I, 1757 

" 5, 1765 . 

" 3, 1778 • 

Richard Sawtell 

James Fisk . 

William Longley 

John Page . . 

Richard Blood . 

John Morse 

(Town abandoned 

James Parker 

John Morse 

Jonathan Morse (died July 31, 1686) 

Josiah Parker 
William Longley, 
Josiah Parker . 
Jonas Prescott 
William Longley, 

1694) . . . 
James Blanchard 
Jonas Prescott 
James Blanchard 
Thomas Tarbell 
Joseph Lakin . 
John Longley . 
Joseph Lakin . 
John Longley . . 
Jonathan Sheple 
Thomas Tarbell, Jr. 
Jonathan Sheple . 
Thomas Tarbell, Jr. 
Abel Lawrence 
Oliver Prescott . 
Isaac Farnsworth 

during two years 


1678, 1679. 
1680, 1681. 
1 682-1 686. 
1686, 1687. 
Jr., 1688 (a short time only). 

Jr. (killed July 27 

(died Feb., 1704) 

1 662- 1 664. 


1666, 1667. 




1693, 1694. 



1 697- 1 704. 

1704, 1705. 

1 706-1 722. 



1728, 1729. 




































March 5, 
































Abel Bancroft 1782, 1783. 

Jonathan Keep 1784. 

Abel Bancroft was chosen, but declined. 

Isaac Farnsworth 1 785-1 787. 

Nathaniel Sartel was chosen, but declined. 

Joseph Shed 1788-1794. 

Samuel Lawrence 1 795-1798 

Samuel Rockwood (died May 29, 1804) 1799-1804, 

Oliver Prescott, Jr 1804-1810 

Joseph Mansfield 1811-1814. 

Caleb Butler 1815-1817, 

Joseph Mansfield 1818. 

Noah Shattuck 1819-1822, 

Caleb Butler 1823-1831 

John Boynton 1832, 1833 

John Gray Park 1834- 1836. 

, John Boynton 1837-1845 

. George Sewall Boutwell .... 1846-1850. 

. John Warren Parker 1851-1854, 

. George Dexter Brigham .... 1855- 

An Alphabetical List of the Town- Clerks, with the Dates of 
their First Election and their Terms of Service. 

March 5, 1782 . . 

" 4- 169s • • 

November 1 1, 1668 

March 3, 1846 . . 
" 6, 1832 . . 
" 5,1855- • 
" 7, 181S ■ ■ 
" 3, 1778 . • 

January 27, 1665 . 

March 2, 1784 . . 
" 5, 1706 . . 
" I, 1757 ■ 
" 3. 1795 ■ • 
" S, 1723 • • 

December 2, 1665 
" 9, 1687 

March 5, 181 1 . . 

November 10, 1669 

Bancroft, Abel 1782, 1783. 

Blanchard, James .... 1695, 1697-1704. 

Blood, Richard 1669. 

Boutwell, George Sewall 1846-1850. 

Boynton, John . . . 1832, i§63, 1837-1845. 
Brigham, George Dexter .... 1855- 
Butler, Caleb .... 1815-1817, 1823-1831. 
Farnsworth, Isaac . . 1778-1781, 1785-1787. 

Fisk, James 1665. 

Keep, Jonathan 1784. 

Lakin, Joseph 1706-1722,1727. 

Lawrence, Abel 1757-1764. 

Lawrence, Samuel 1 795-1798. 

Longley, John . . . . 1723-1726,1728,1729. 

Longley, WilUam 1666, 1667. 

Longley, William, Jr. . . . 1688, 1693, 1694. 
Mansfield, Joseph .... 1811-1814, 1818. 
Morse, John .... 1670-1676, 1680, 1681. 
Morse, Jonathan 1682-1686. 


December ii, 1667 
March 4, 1834 . . 
1678 . . 
March 4, 1851 . . 
December 10, 1686 
" 10, 1691 

March ;, 1765 
June 18, 1804 
March 5, 1799 

" 4, 1788 
December 24, 1662 
March 2, 1819 

" 10, 1788 

" 3, 1730 
•' 8, 1704 
" 2, 1731 

Page, John . . 1668. 

Park, John Gray 1834-1836, 

Parker, James 1678, 1679 

Parker, John Warren 1851-1854, 

Parker, Josiah 1686-1691 

Prescott, Jonas 1692, 1696, 

Prescott, Oliver 1 765-1777 

Prescott, Oliver, Jr 1804-1810 

Rockwood, Samuel 1799-1804 

Sartel, Nathaniel . . . Dechned to serve 
Sawtell, Richard ....... 1662-1664, 

Shattuck, Noah 1819-1822, 

Shed, Joseph 1 788-1 794, 

Sheple, Jonathan 1730,1734-1744. 

Tarbell, Thomas 1704,1705 

Tarbell, Thomas, Jr. . 1731-1733, 1745-1756 


The first station-master of the Worcester and Nashua 
Railroad, in the village of Groton, was Artemas Wood, who 
served in that capacity from the opening of the road on 
December 18, 1848,, till September i, 1862, when he was suc- 
ceeded by John Warren Parker, who held the position until 
August 16, 1886, — a period of nearly twenty-four years. 


Page 8, line 17 from the bottom, for " 9 : yeares " read " 91 . yeares." 
Page 46, line 15 from the top, for " Porcine " read " Parcime." 

No. XVI. 









Historical Series, No. XVI. 


APRIL 19, 1775. 

[The following paper, by William Willder Wheildon, Esq., of 
Concord, was read at a meeting of The Bostonian Society, on April 14, 
1885. It is now, with his permission, reprinted in this Historical Series. 

S. A. G.] 

It is not very remarkable, perhaps, that the centennial 
period since the beginning of the Revolutionary War should 
be the occasion of bringing to light some new matter in rela- 
tion to its early incidents, in regard to which more or less 
secrecy w^as preserved and names withheld at the time. It 
seems, from evidence which has lately come to the knowledge 
of the writer, by a casually dropped remark concerning the 
Concord fight, that the alarm of the movement of General 
Gage to seize the cannon, stores, and ammunition in Concord 
was more widely known in Middlesex County than heretofore 
supposed. It appears, from the testimony of Mr. Artemas 
Wright, of Ayer, who is a grandson of Mr. Nathan Corey, 
of Groton, that there were several members of the Groton 
company of minute-men at Concord, on the morning of the 
19th of April, who were in the fight at the North Bridge, and 
joined in the pursuit of the British troops in the retreat to 


Mr. Wright says, his grandfather repeatedly told him the 
story, and often talked of the scenes of that day. A part of 
his narration was, that on the day before the Concord fight, 
April 1 8, while he was ploughing in his field, some distance 
from the middle of the town, he received notice of a meeting 
of the minute-men, which, of course, demanded immediate 
attention. It was in the afternoon, toward evening, when he 
received the notification. He at once unhitched his plough, 
drove his oxen home, took down his gun and belt, told his 
wife Molly, as he called her, that he was going away and could 
not tell when he should come back, and that she must take 
care of the oxen. He then hastened to the middle of the 
town and joined his comrades who had assembled there. 

The circumstance which had induced them to call the meet- 
ing was the arrival of some brass cannon from Concord. Of 
course the presence of these immediately gave rise to discus- 
sion and speculation as to the cause and the reason of their 
being sent to Groton from Concord. Various suggestions 
were made, the most prominent of which was a proposition 
that the company should proceed at once to Concord ; but 
this, when put to vote, was determined in the negative, most 
of the members preferring to wait for further intelligence. 

This conclusion, it seems, was not entirely satisfactory to 
all the members of the company, and some of them determined 
to go at once ; so that, as the story is related to the writer, 
nine of them, with young Corey among the number, started 
for Concord the same evening. They travelled all night, 
carrying lighted pine torches a part of the way, and reached 
Concord at an early hour in the morning, entering one side of 
the town some hours before the British troops entered upon 
the other. Mr. Corey said they all went and got some break- 
fast at the house of Colonel Barrett, which was afterwards 
visited by the British troops in search of the cannon, ammuni- 
tion, and stores, most of which had been fortunately removed, 
the day before, to places of safety. After getting somethihg 
to eat they proceeded toward the centre of the town, and soon 

joined the men of Concord, and finally were in the ranks of 
the minute-men, at or near the North Bridge, where the fight 
with the British troops occurred. They continued with the 
minute-men, and followed the retreating troops to Lexington, 
or beyond. 

This is the story related by Mr. Wright, as often repeated 
to him by his grandfather Corey ; and this, according to the 
accepted history of the time, and as at present understood, 
appeared to the writer, on the instant, as wholly improbable. 
It must still remain so, unless it can be explained and ac- 
counted for in the transactions and events of the period. 

The objection to be met and answered is, How could the 
people of Groton, thirty miles from Boston, at about the time 
the British troops were moving toward their boats, on the 
evening of the i8th, know anything of General Gage's purpose 
or design to visit Concord .-' Of course they knew nothing, 
excepting such information as the presence of the brass can- 
non, which had arrived among them, indicated. Probably the 
men who conveyed the cannon from Concord could not ex- 
plain the matter, and yet it may possibly be true that they 
had learned before they left Concord, or suspected, the reason 
why they were sent ; and, if so, would be sure to communicate 
it to the people of Groton. This, when we come to think of 
it, is not very improbable, although no reason is given in the 
votes of the Committee for their action. However this may 
be, the improbable story of Mr. Wright may possibly be ex- 
plained and accounted for by the action of the Committee of 
Safety in the matter, by showing that the cannon were sent 
to Groton, and why they came to be sent there at that par- 
ticular time. 


Almost every person familiar with the history of this pe- 
riod would, on the instant, reject the story as a fiction, and 
nothing but entire confidence in the truthfulness of the 
party referred to, and the little probability there is of his 
being able to invent such a relation, induced the writer to 
give it a moment's consideration. Turning the history of 

the period over in our mind, the points of which were very 
familiar, we thought we could see a possible explanation of 
the matter, as a consequence of the cautionary action of 
Warren, and the important services rendered at this time by 
Paul Revere. 

It is well known to most readers and students, who are 
familiar with the history of this period, that Doctor Warren, 
so far as is known by his own inclination, remained in Boston 
while the Provincial Congress was in session at Concord, ex- 
pressly to observe the action and movements of General Gage 
in this trying period. In consequence of some of these move- 
ments, especially that of launching the transport boats pre- 
paratory for use, and taking the Grenadiers and Light 
Infantry off duty, Warren determined to send notice of them, 
and of the preparations being made, as he believed, to cap- 
ture the stores at Concord, to Hancock and Adams, then at 

This message was sent by Paul Revere, on Sunday, the 
i6th of April, 1775, to the effect that the British were pre- 
paring for an excursion into the country, and it was at once 
understood that the stores and ammunition collected at Con- 
cord were the object. Revere delivered his message promptly 
at Lexington, and returned in the afternoon, when, before 
going across the river from Charlestown, he made his ar- 
rangements about the signal-lanterns with Colonel Conant, — 
a matter which, no doubt, he had determined and arranged 
in his own mind during his solitary ride from Lexington. 


The Provincial Congress, which had been in session at 
Concord, adjourned on Saturday, the 15th of April, but the 
Committees of Safety and Supplies, who had control of the 
military, and other public matters pertaining thereto, did not 
adjourn finally on that day. They remained at Concord, and 
held an important meeting on Monday morning, the 17th, 
and, no doubt, commenced their proceedings without waiting 
for the arrival of Hancock from Lexington, where he had 


gone with Sam Adams each night during the session of 

The first votes which the Committees passed, according to 
the record of their meetings, were as follows : — 

Voted, that two four-pounders, now at Concord, be mounted by 
the Committee of Supplies, and that Colonel Barrett be desired to 
raise an Artillery Company, to join the Army when raised, etc. ; 
and, also, that an instructor for the use of the cannon be appointed, 
to be put directly in pay. 

Voted, unanimously, that £6, lawful money, be a Captain's pay 
in an Artillery Company ; that the ist and 2d Lieutenants have 
£4. 5s. ; that the Sergeants have 42s. per month, etc. 

Voted, that when these Committees adjourn, it be to Mr. 
Wetherby's, at the Black Horse, Menotomy, on Wednesday, at 
10 o'clock. 

After these votes were passed, it is supposed and believed 
John Hancock arrived from Lexington and joined the Com- 
mittee in their meeting. Of course he immediately communi- 
cated to them the important intelligence which he had received 
from Dr. Warren the day before, so that, without any recon- 
sideration of the votes just passed, any adjournment or recess, 
the record shows that they continued the meeting and passed 
the following votes : — 

Voted, that the four six-pounders be transported to Groton, and 
put under the care of Colonel Prescott. 

Voted, that two seven-inch brass mortars be transported to 

Voted, that the two Committees adjourn to Mr. Wetherby's, at 
Menotomy, [at] ten o'clock. [Not Wednesday, as first voted.] 

The next day (Tuesday) a meeting was held, and it was 
voted that " the two brass two-pounders, and two brass three- 
pounders, be under the care of the Boston Company of 
Artillery, and of Captain Robinson's (Company)." 

What finally was the disposition of these cannon we have 
no means of knowing ; but, when the approach of the British 

troops became known, Dr. Ripley, in his " History of the 
Fight at Concord," says : — 

A considerable number of them (Concord minute-men) were 
ordered to assist the citizens who were actively engaged in remov- 
ing and secreting cannon, military stores, and provisions. The 
cannon were nearly all conveyed to a distance, some to adjacent 
towns, and some were buried in the ground, and some under heaps 
of manure. 

Numerous other votes wrere passed for the removal and 
secretion of ammunition, provisions, etc., and the Committee 
adjourned to the next day. 

On Wednesday (19th) the Committee continued its session, 
at Menotomy (West Cambridge, now Arlington), and passed 
additional votes on the same subject. 

Thus were the votes first passed, before the arrival of John 
Hancock, rescinded ; and, of course, the cannon were not 
mounted, no Artillery Company was formed, nor teacher 
employed for their instruction. 

All this was the result of the information from Dr. Warren, 
brought to Lexington by Paul Revere ; to Concord by John 
Hancock, and, we may almost say, carried to Groton by the 
cannon ! It is believed that no other explanation can be given 
of the discrepancies in these votes, so entirely different and 
adverse to each other, than that which has been suggested ; 
namely, the arrival of Mr. Hancock after the passage of the 
first-named votes, and the intelligence brought by him of 
General Gage's movements at Boston. 


In accordance with the final votes of the Committee, the 
next morning (Tuesday i8th) the cannon were promptly on 
their way to Groton, and arrived there late in the afternoon, 
while at Boston the British troops were getting ready to em- 
bark in their boats for the opposite side of the river, on their 
way to Concord. 

In view of what has been said, it may now be pretty con- 
fidently asked. What information did the appearance of these 

cannon at Groton communicate to the people, and especially 
the minute-men of that town ? It will be recollected that 
only a short time before this (26th of February), General Gage 
had sent Colonel Leslie to Salem to seize some pieces of 
cannon there, which he failed to secure, and this was probably 
known to the people of Groton at this time. There cannot be 
a doubt, therefore, putting these two things together, as to the 
story the presence of these cannon told, even if the men who 
carried them had been speechless. 


The proceedings and action which followed, on the part of 
the Groton minute-men, were both natural and reasonable, 
and fully authorized the action of the volunteers, even suppos- 
ing they were moved by curiosity alone, — a mere desire to 
see British soldiers. The minute-men, as we have stated, 
were promptly called together, and some of them determined 
to go to Concord that night ; and, while Colonel Smith was 
moving his troops over the Cambridge marshes and swamps, 
these patriots were on their way to meet them at Concord 
bridge, without knowing who they were to meet or what was 
in store for them. What followed has been stated. The 
Groton minute-men arrived, and were among their brethren 
of Concord, Acton, Carlisle, Lincoln, and Bedford, in follow- 
ing and harassing the retreating troops; and it would seem, 
from the relation which we have given, that the improbability 
of Mr. Wright's story has been removed : the cannon certainly 
went to Groton, and almost as certainly the Groton minute- 
men came to Concord. The minute-men of the other towns 
named were notified of the coming of the British troops by 
special messengers. The cannon sent to Acton, no doubt, 
upon their arrival there on Tuesday (i8th), told the same story 
as did the cannon at Groton ; but, being so near to Concord, 
the citizens very naturally concluded that if they were wanted 
word would be sent to them at the earliest moment, is was 
the case ; but the Groton men, though few in number, were 
the first to arrive. 

Mr. Corey, who used to tell his story in relation to the 
Concord fight to his grandchildren in his talk about the war, 
continued in the service of his country, and prior to his death 
a pension was granted to him (or aftei'wards to his widow) ; 
but nothing was ever received by either of them. 


Since the first mention of this subject by the writer. Dr. 
Samuel A. Green, a native of Groton, has published a hand- 
some volume, entitled " Epitaphs from the Old Burying 
Ground in Groton, Mass." One of the inscriptions, found 
upon the monument to the memory of Captain Abraham 
Child, contains the following sentence : " He was a Lieutenant 
among the minute men, and aided in the Concord fight 
and the battle of Bunker Hill, 1775." The remainder of the 
inscription shows that Captain Child went through the war 
with Washington, and was the oldest Captain in the service 
at the capture of Stony Point, in 1779. He was just the man 
for a night expedition to Concord. 

Mr. George William Curtis, in speaking of this incident in 
the history of the Concord fight, in a letter to the writer, says : 
" Your new chapter throws light upon the tradition of the 
horsemen at Acton rousing the house with the news after 
midnight on the i8th. The whole legend is very interesting." 
And, we may add, seems to be confirmed most unexpectedly 
from various quarters. The Groton men, of course, came 
down through Acton, probably after midnight, and no doubt, 
with or without their burning torches, produced some excite- 
ment on the road. 


One result of this story is particularly worthy of notice, since 
it shows very clearly what has scarcely ever been considered, 
or, in fact, alluded to, and that is the importance of the ser- 
vice rendered by Paul Revere in his journey to Lexington, on 
Sunday prior to the much more celebrated midnight ride 

which followed it. The story of this ride, quiet and peaceful 
as it was, has never been immortalized in the lines of the poet ; 
yet it shows very clearly that the preservation of the cannon, 
— nearly all that the Colony possessed at that time, — and 
probably the largest portion of the ammunition and stores 
at Concord, were saved, as we have seen, by the cautionary 
measures of Dr. Warren, and the essential service of Paul 
Revere, on the Sunday previous to the fight at Concord 

Revere himself makes but very slight mention of this Sun- 
day ride. He simply says : — 

The Sunday before, by desire of Dr. Warren, I had been to 
Lexington, to Messrs. Hancock and Adams, who were at the Rev. 
Mr. Clark's. I returned at night through Charlestown ; there I 
agreed with a Colonel Conant, and other gentlemen, that if the Brit- 
ish went out by water, we would show two lanterns in the North 
Church Steeple, and if by land, one, as a signal; for we were appre- 
hensive it would be difficult to cross the Charles River, or get over 
Boston Neck. 

[Revere's letter to Dr. Belknap.] 

We see now more clearly than ever before, the importance 
of Paul Revere's first ride to Lexington. 


Since this paper was read before the Bostonian Society, Mr. 
Wright has informed the writer that his grandfather, after he had 
told him the story about the Concord fight, gave to him an old 
powder-horn which he had used during the war. This powder- 
horn, he said, he took from a British soldier who had been shot on 
the retreat to Lexington, and whose body was lying by the roadside 
in Lincoln. Some of the other men, he said, took off his boots and 
some of his clothes. The powder-horn, Mr. Wright says, was quite 
a nice piece of work, and held just one pound of powder. It had a 
peculiar stopper (probably a spring snapper, like some now known), 
and at the larger end, on the under side (when hung over the 
shoulder), was engraved the English coat of arms, and on the upper 


side, what Mr. Wright says they call the British Ensign. The bot- 
tom of the horn was made of brass, saucer-shaped, with a hole half 
an inch in diameter, in the centre, serving as a tunnel to pour in 
the powder, with a wooden stopper. The horn had been used by 
Mr. Wright and his brother, in their hunting excursions, for many 
years, and they agree perfectly in the description of it. It was 
finally lost, by the brother who owned it, in the burning of his house 
some years ago. 

After having written the above, the writer was informed by Mr. 
Winsor, librarian of Harvard College, that there was a powder-horn 
somewhat answering the above description in possession of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society. The next day (June ii, 1885) 
the writer visited the rooms of the Society, in Boston, and was 
shown by Dr. Green, the librarian, several old powder-horns of a 
similar character, all of them quite elaborately engraved and similar 
in many respects apparently to that described by Mr. Wright, with 
the exception that these all appeared to be American powder-horns, 
as one of them seemed to say, " To be used in the cause of liberty." 
Mr. Wright's story of this old powder-horn which he had, and the 
way his grandfather came into possession of it, and its distinct 
resemblance to those in use at the time, give additional weight and 
interest to the original story that the Groton men were in the Con- 
cord fight on the 19th of April, 1775. The dead soldier was prob- 
ably one of those buried in the Lincoln graveyard. 




In the year 1736 the Reverend Thomas Prince, of Boston, 
published " A Chronological History of New-England in the 
Form of Annals :" to which the Introduction alone, "Contain- 
ing a brief Epitome of the most remarkable Transactions and 
Events Abroad, from the Creation : " comprises more than a 
third of the volume. This book was followed by three thin 
numbers, which form a second volume. The work began 
with Adam ; but so much space was devoted to the Greek and 
Roman empires and to Great Britain that the Annals come 
down only to the year 1733. It was evidently the intention 
of the author to give some account of the older New England 
towns. In an advertisement on the last page of Number 2, 
Volume II., he says : ■ — 

Having no Accounts from those ancient Towns, viz. Newtown, 
Groton, Chelmsford, Billerica, Woburn, Dunstable and Manchester, 
in the Massachusetts; nor of Saybrook, New-Haven, Fairfield nor 
Stamford in Connecticut ; nor of Bristol in the ancient Plimouth 
Patent ; The Rev. Ministers of those Towns are earnestly intreated 
to Enquire of their Records, Grave-Stones and ancient People, and send 
the Remarkables of their History from the Beginning in a Crono- 
logical Order ; to the Compiler of these Annals with all convenient 

Mr. Prince was eminent as a preacher and a man of learn- 
ing, and for many years the minister of the Old South 
Church. A list of the subscribers is printed at the beginning 
of the book ; and these names may justly be regarded as rep- 
resenting at that period the literary class of New England. 
Among them are those of "Benjamin Prescot of Groton, 
Esq ; " and '' Nathanael Sartle ^Groton, Esg ; ." 


Brief notices of some of these subscribers appeared many- 
years ago in " The New England Historical and Genealogical 
Register;" and I copy from Volume VI. (July, 1852) of that 
periodical the following sketches then given of Mr. Prescott 
and Mr. Sartle: — 

Prescott, Hon. Benjamin, born in Groton, 4 Jan. 1695-6, mar. 
II June, 1 7 18, Abigail, dau. of Hon. Thomas Oliver of Cambridge, 
and died 3 Aug. 1738, aged 43 years. He was the third son 
(twelfth child) of Jonas Prescott of Groton, who, born in Lancas- 
ter, Mass. June, 1648 — was the third son (seventh child) of John 
Prescott of Lancashire, England, who married in England, Mary 
Platts of Yorkshire, and in England several of their children were 
born. John Prescott went first to Barbadoes, (it is said) and 
owned lands there in 1638. About 1640 he came to New England, 
and after remaining some time in Charlestown and Watertown, set- 
tled in Lancaster, where he had a good estate. He was one of the 
first settlers of Lancaster, which is said to have been so named in 
compliment to him. 

Benjamin Prescott, the subject of this sketch was in 1717 ap- 
pointed a lieutenant of the first company of foot; in 1723, being 
then 27 years of age, he first represented the town of Groton in the 
General Court, where he remained eight years. In 1724, he was 
commissioned a Justice of the Peace, and afterward Quorum unus ; 
in 1732 a Lieutenant Colonel in a Middlesex and Worcester regi- 
ment ; in 1735 a Justice of the Superior Court, and in 1738, the 
year of his death, he was chosen to represent the Province at the 
Court of Great Britain, which office he declined, giving as a reason, 
that he had never had the small pox. The Hon. Edmund Quincy 
was chosen in his stead, and died on his Mission, of the disease 
which Mr. Prescott feared would prove fatal to himself. 

Hon. Benjamin P. wa? father of the Hon. James, Col. William, 
and the Hon. Oliver Prescott, M. D. He was grandfather of the 
late Judge William Prescott of Boston, and great-grandfather of 
W. H. P., the historian. f. w. p. 

Another notice of Benjamin Prescott, Esq., has been received, 
and though a very good one, this is considered as preferable, 
the principal early fact[s] being from original MSS. preserved in 
that branch of the family represented by the above subscriber 
(page 274). j3_ 


The initials F. W. P. are those of Frederick Wilham 
Prescott, a grandson of Dr. Oliver Prescott, Senior, and D. is 
the signature of Samuel G. Drake. 

Sartle, (properly Sartell) Nathaniel, of Groton, Esq. — was 
born in Scotland or England. He came over, with his wife Sarah 
and several children, about 1720. He was probably master and 
owner of his vessel. By his will, made in 1710, at Gosport, Eng., 
in favor of his wife, it appears that he was then about to proceed 
on one of his trips to America. In his will, he is called of Gosport, 
sometime of Charlestown in the Colony of N. E. The notary 
wrote his name Nathaniel Sattle, and he so signed it, perhaps to 
avoid a new copy, or thinking the will would probably never be 
used. When offered for probate it was opposed by his son Josiah, 
on account of its signature and old date ; but he finally withdrew 
his objections. On a voyage in 17 18, he was shipwrecked, and 
wrote the following memorandum in his Bible: — "Feb. ye 14, 
1 7 18, 1 was cast on the rocks of Quibberone, near Bellisle, in the bay 
of Resimea, all my men lost. N. Sartell." — Expecting that all 
hands would be lost, and wishing to inform his family of his fate, 
he headed up the Bible in a cask, and threw it overboard. When 
the vessel went in pieces, he took the cabin boy on his back, and 
swam to a rock. The boy perished in the night, but he was taken 
the next morning, nearly exhausted, from the rock, by some fisher- 
men. The Bible also was saved, and is now in the possession of 
Charles J. F. Binney, Esq. It is a large Bible, with oak covers half 
an inch thick, covered with embossed leather, and having thick 
wrought brass clasps. His wife sent a vessel in search of him. 
Mr. Sartell was wealthy, and seems to have been a leading man in 
the town of Groton. He d. Jan. i6th, 1741, ae. 60. Though he lost 
large quantities of silver and merchandize by the wreck, he left at 
his death a valuable property. He left vyarehouses, houses, lands 
and other property at Charlestown, valued at ;^ii2o; property in 
Groton ;^3848 ; silver ^47 ; 14 gilt leather chair bottoms; books; 
surveying instruments etc. 

There was early at Watertown a Richard Sawtell. His will, 
dated 1692, mentions lands in Watertown and Groton. He was 
probably related to the Groton Sazc/tells, who are said to have been 
a distinct family from the Sartells of that place. 

Nathaniel and Sarah Sartell had ch. : — I. Nathaniel, who was 
lost at sea before 1742, leaving 2 children, viz: i. Nathaniel, 


whose descendants reside in Groton and Pepperell, and 2, Hannah, 
who m. Hercules Bacon of Charlestown ; H. yosiah, who m. Mary 
Green, and lived in Groton ; his children, two sons and two daugh- 
ters, died young, and he left a considerable estate to the church 
and town of Groton; HI. Margaret, m. Gibbs, of Charles- 
town ; IV. Sarah, m. Rev. Solomon Prentice, of Grafton, and after- 
wards of Hull, and had ten children. — Compiled from memoranda, 
by C. y. F. Binney, Esq. and Miss \Clarissd\ Butler of Groton. 

Nathaniel Sartle, Esq., of Groton, was very probably a grandson 
of Richard Sawtell, an early settler of Watertown, and probably a 
son of Zachariah Sawtel of Groton. \Dr. H. Bond's Ms. Letteri] 
He was a representative in the Gen. Court in 1733, 1739, and 1741, 
and is often mentioned in the journals of that body (pages 274, 
27s). D. 


The Rev. Samuel Willard, minister of Groton before its 
destruction by the Indians in March, 1676, wrote a book, 
which was not published until the year 1726, long after the 
author's death. It is a heavy theological work entitled "A 
Compleat Body of Divinity " (Boston), which no one of the 
present century, probably, ever read. It is a folio (pp. 914), 
and the largest volume which at that time had been printed 
in America. In the list of subscribers at the beginning of 
the book appears the name of the " Rev. Mr. Caleb Trow- 
bridge, of Groton" one of Mr. Willard's successors in the 


In " A Catalogue of Subscribers " to Belknap's History, as 
printed at the end of the third volume of that work (Bos- 
ton, 1792), Oliver Prescott's name appears; and in a manu- 
script list, made by Belknap and now in the Library of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society, of the subscribers to his 
" American Biography," are given the following : — 

Timothy Bigelow, Groton. Samuel Dana, Groton. 


The name of S. Jackson Prescott, Harvard College (class of 
1795), a native of Groton and a son of Dr. Oliver Prescott 
(H. C. 1750), also appears in the list. 


In the year 1804 the first Boston edition of Shakespeare's 
" Dramatic Works " was completed, in eight volumes, of 
which Volume I. appeared in 1802. At the end of the last 
one is printed a list of the subscribers to the work, in which 
are the following names : — 

Caleb Butler, Precept. Groton Acad. Stephen Minott, Groton. 

Martin Jenison, Groton. Dr. Oliver Prescott, jun. Esq. Groton. 

Luther Lawrence, Groton. Alpheus Richardson, Groton. 


At the end of the second volume of Dr. James Thacher's 
American Medical Biography (Boston, 1828) are printed the 
names of the subscribers ; and among them are the following 
Groton physicians : Amos Bancroft, Micah Eldredge, and 
Joshua Green. 


In the year 1824 the Bunker Hill Monument Association 
issued an address to the different towns of the Commonwealth, 
calling for subscriptions in aid of their undertaking. It set 
forth the fact that all persons who subscribed five dollars or 
more would become members of the Society, and receive a 
certificate containing an engraved sketch of the Battle of 
Bunker Hill. In a pamphlet entitled an " Act of Incorpora- 
tion, By-laws, and a List of the Original Members of the 
Bunker Hill Monument Association : with a statement, shew- 
ing the magnitude and progress of the work, and a copy of 
the original estimate. Compiled for the use of the Members " 
(Boston : 1830), — a list is printed of all who subscribed, with 
the amount given. The Groton names are found on pages 
49 and 50, as follows : — 


Bancroft, Amos . . . . 


Lewis, James 


Butler, Caleb 


Moors, Benjamin . 


Chase, William .... 


Prescott, Susan . . . 


Dickson, Walter . . . 


Peabody, John 


Dana, Samuel .... 

• 9 

Park, Stuart J. . . . 


Dana, Rebecca .... 


Park, John, jr 


Farnsworth, James . . . 


Russell, Bradford . . . 


Farnsworth, Ezra . . 


Richardson, Alpheus 


Farnsworth, Thomas . . 


Rockwood, Samuel . . 


Farnsworth, Amos . . 


Rockwood, Sewall . . 


Jacobs, Sylvester . . . 


Seaver, Norman . . . 


Lawrence, L. . . . 


Shattuck, Noah . . . 


Lawrence, Luther - . . 


Shaw, Mary B 

• S 

Lawrence, Lucy . . . 


Tarbel, Abel .... 

■ 5 

Lawrence, Rufus B. . . 


Woods, Henry .... 

• S 

Lawrence, Samuel . . 

■ 5 

Woods, Samson . . . 


Lawrence, Susanna . . 


Amos Farnsworth and Samuel Lawrence were in the battle 
as soldiers ; and Samson Woods was also present, as a boy 
of fourteen years, in attendance on his father, Henry Woods, 
who was the major of Colonel Prescott's regiment. Samson 
died on February 8, 1826, — which, perhaps, gives an approxi- 
mation to the time when these subscriptions were made. 


Many years ago there prevailed in Pepperell an intermittent 
fever which was exceedingly fatal. Mr. Butler in his History 
(pages 349-351) refers to the sickness, and gives some facts 
concerning it. The disease broke out in the year 1755, and 
raged during the summer and autumn for several years. It 
seemed to bafHe the skill of the physicians, and all attempts 
to subdue it were fruitless. It was caused, probably, by a 
dam built across the Nissitissett River in order to overflow 
a swamp and kill some dogwood ; the water being afterward 
drawn off, the vegetable matter was left to decompose under 


the hot rays of the sun, and to taint the air with malaria. It 
is said that during the four years while the epidemic pre- 
vailed, no fewer than 540 persons were taken down with the 
disease, of whom 103 died, including 64 adults. 

In the year 1838 there was published at Boston a volume 
entitled " Boylston Prize Dissertations for the Years 1836 and 
1837," by Oliver Wendell Holmes, M. D. One of these dis- 
sertations related to indigenous intermittent fever in New 
England, — a disease known popularly as fever and ague, — 
concerning which the author had collected many interesting 
facts and traditions. Among them is the following account 
by Dr. Samuel Emerson, of Kennebunk, Maine, which was 
furnished one of Dr. Holmes's correspondents, in consequence 
of inquiries relating to the subject. 

Your request brings to my recollection an important historical 
fact, which ought not to be suffered to go down to the shades of 
oblivion. When I was a pupil of old Doctor Oliver Prescott, in 
Groton, in the county of Middlesex, when visiting a patient in 
Pepperell, the next town to Groton, and bordering on the State 
line, we passed a small river, called Nissitisset by the Indians, 
and which still keeps the name. This beautiful stream has its 
rise in a pond on the northern side of the above-mentioned State 
line, in the town of Brookline, in N. H., called Mosquatannipus, 
meanders through a very rich valley seven or eight miles, and pours 
its limpid waters into the Nashua. 'I his short description of 
the geography of that little stream, though apparently irrelevant 
to the answer to your letter, yet will be explained in the sequel as 
necessary and important. In the course of our professional ride, 
the Doctor entertained me highly by the following account : — 
When I was a young man, and but just commenced practice, I 
visited an old and highly respectable physician, then living in 
Concord. Being a distant relative, by the name of Abel Prescott, 
he was kind enough to take a deep interest in my success in ac- 
quiring medical eminence and prosperity. He says to me, " Kins- 
man, a great proportion of my practice has been in intermittent 
fevers, for thirty or forty years ; one third part of your business, at 
least, is the same; but the time is not far distant when this section 
of the country will be visited by a very fatal malignant fever, after 
which, the fever and ague will quit this part, and probably all New 

England, for ever." The event proved the prediction to be history. 
A man lived upon Nissitisset river, about the central point from 
its source in the pond, and its exit in the Nashua. He owned 
a rich tract of intervale land covered with a poisonous shrub called 
dogwood, or white sumach (the Linnsean name I do not recollect). 
The proprietor being subject to eruptions, from working among ivy 
or dogwood, built a dam across the river, in order to flow this in- 
tervale, and clear it from the deleterious vegetable he so much 
feared. The flowing was continued long enough to effect his 
purpose, and then drawn off early in summer. The dead brush 
was cleared away, and the sun let in upon the rich soil. In a 
short time after this, the man, his wife, and several children were 
attacked by a disease which the Doctor called a putrid malignant 
nervous fever ; the vulgar name was the Pepperell fever, from the 
place of its origin. This horrid distemper began its attack with 
a high degree of inflammation of the brain, and raving delirium, 
which made short work of every member of the above family, 
spread rapidly in the vicinity with equal fatality, and extended 
through a great part of Middlesex [County] in Mass. and Hills- 
borough [County] in N. H. The Doctor informed me that he 
had lost every patient for some time, and nothing that he could 
oppose to the progress of the deadly ravager had any effect, till, 
being called to a girl about fourteen, he applied a large epispastic 
to the back of her neck ; her tossing and struggling through the 
night, notwithstanding the best exertions of faithful watchers, kept a 
constant motion from evening, when it was applied, till near morn- 
ing, when she lay still and fell asleep. Upon examining the blister 
in the morning, the Doctor found a complete vesication the whole 
length of the spine. This was the first patient that recovered. 
From this the Doctor shaped his course, and lost few or none 
afterwards. My father's house is only three miles from the spot 
where this disease originated, and I have his testimony to the 
above facts, which took place in the year 1760, which was four 
years before my birth ; and from that period the object of our 
inquiry has never appeared, and I can truly assert that I have 
never seen a case of pure intermittent except those which have 
been imported from a warmer climate. 

I urged Dr. Prescott to write and preserve a faithful detail of 
this interesting piece of medical history before his death ; but he 
never did. After his death, I repeatedly requested his son 
[Dr. Oliver Prescott, Jr.], who was two years my senior, but never 


could induce him to undertake the work, though he felt the im- 
portance of it as much as I did. After the death of my very dear 
friend and fellow student, there remained no one but myself; and 
I am very glad that you, my dear sir, have put me up to my duty, 
and I wish it was done in a better style, though not much ought 
to be expected from an old man of seventy-two. There is nothing 
to recommend this relation of facts but truth, which I have as 
carefully adhered to as the strong impressions upon my memory 
would enable me to do (pages 112-115). 

The following statement is found in a letter written to 
Dr. Holmes by Dr. James Jackson, of Boston : — 

The late Judge Samuel Dana, of Groton, stated to me about 
five years ago, that he had received from his father,^ or possibly 
his grandfather, who, as I understood, was formerly a clergyman 
in that place, the following information. He stated that when he 
first settled in Groton, intermittent fevers prevailed in a certain 
part of the town, which was described as being at that time wet, 
but subsequently drained and cultivated. Judge Dana entered into 
some particulars on this point, and he evidently understood the 
subject of which he was speaking, so that it left no doubt in my 
mind as to the nature of the disease (pages 115, 116). 

On January 3, 1760, a day of thanksgiving was set apart at 
Pepperell by the Reverend Joseph Emerson and his church 
"to commemorate the goodness of God to them the year past, 
especially in the removal of sickness and the return of so many 
soldiers from the army." In the sermon preached on this 
occasion Mr. Emerson says : " It pleased God, in the summer 
of I7$S, to visit us with that grievous fever, by which we have 
suffered so much, and which hath, from its beginning with us, 
obtained the name of the Pepperell fever!' After enumerating 
its ravages, he sums up the whole in these words : 

In the four years above mentioned, there were about 540 persons 
sick; 103 died, of whom 16 were soldiers from home, or just after 
their return ; no less than 48 heads of families ; 64 grown persons. 
How great was our distress for two years, especially in the height of 
the sickness, and we, notwithstanding, obliged to find our quota for 

1 The Reverend Samuel Dana, of Groton, was the father, and not the grand- 
father, of Judge Samuel Dana. 


the war ! I know not that we were eased more than a single man, 
excepting the time of the general alarm, when fort William Henry 
was besieged, in 1757, when our proportion was above twenty men, 
at which time there were not so many able to bear arms in the 
place, besides those who were necessarily taken up in attending on 
the sick in their own families, the field officers were so good as not 
to call for any. One of the years, there were near 200 confined at 
the same time. Your pastor at the point of death, and then con- 
fined from the house of God for four months. And of this large 
number who have been sick, I know not of ten persons who have 
been visited with the same distemper twice. Nor should we forget 
the bounty we received by order of authority, namely, fifty pounds, 
to be distributed amongst the greatest sufferers. (History of Groton, 
page 35°-) 

It is now difficult to appreciate fully all the hardships of 
the early settlers ; besides other dangers, they were exposed 
to certain forms of insidious disease, happily little known to 
the present generation of this neighborhood. 


Fifty years ago Naomi Farwell lived on the farm now 
adjoining the south side of the Groton Cemetery. The 
mere mention of her name will call up many associations in 
the minds of a few survivors who long since used to go 
"a-chestnutting" on her grounds. She was a daughter of 
William and Esther (Woods) Farwell, and born on August 16, 
1769. Mr. Butler, referring to her in his History (page 269), 
says that she "' sustained a character somewhat noted, on 
account of her solitary and unsocial habits and manners, 
which gave her the title of hermitess. She lived with her 
father and mother, while they lived, in a poor small house, 
about a mile north of the village, and after their decease 
entirely alone, in the same place. She inherited from her 
father, of whom she was the sole heir, a farm of about eighty 
acres of good land, upon and at the foot of ' Chestnut Hills,' 


a large portion of which had never been stripped of its native 
forest trees." Her death took place on Monday, January i, 
1838, and, owing to the peculiar circumstances attending it, 
caused considerable excitement in town. The following obitu- 
ary notice in the Saturday " Evening Gazette " (Boston), Jan- 
uary 20, 1838, gives a few facts concerning her life that have 
long been forgotten by most persons, though the statement 
there made, that her house was half a mile distant from any 
other dwelling, is somewhat inaccurate. 

Miss Naomi Farwell, the celebrated Hermitess, died at Groton, 
CMass.) on the ist instant, aged 68 years. Since the death of her 
father, William Farwell, in 1819, this eccentric woman had lived 
entirely secluded from the world ; no other human being dwelt 
beneath her roof, for her cold and decided reply to a female who 
offered the services of a companion, put to flight even the affection 
of friendship — "I'll keep no one for their pretty looks," drily 
adding, "friends have large mouths!" The estate which she in- 
herited consists of about seventy acres of excellent land in the 
bosom of " Chestnut Hills," together with fifteen acres of meadow 
in the vicinity of " Half Moon." She has kept usually about ten 
head of neat cattle, and other stock in proportion, of all which and 
other domestic concerns she had the sole care. Her agricultural 
labors were constant and unremitting, hiring no aid but at the 
season of ploughing and mowing. The seclusion of her abode, 
being half a mile distant from any other dwelling, her eccentric 
habits, and the romantic beauty of the walks over her domain, 
altogether rendered a stroll through harmonious grounds the favor- 
ite promenade of all the sentimental lads and lasses of Groton 
Academy. It was seldom she noticed any one, farther than by a 
cold glance from beneath her brows. 

The writer of this sketch well remembers the first visit which he 
paid her. In an unwonted fit of kindness, she invited him into her 
kitchen, and as an inestimable favor, bestowed upon him a handful 
of chestnuts ! Long did the writer's grinders give twinges of keen 
remembrance of (hat gift, for the nuts were "veterans of half a 
century ! " Still, down they must go, and down they went, though 
" with many a dreary pause between." She would hardly be con- 
sidered as miserly in her disposition, but rather strictly economical, 
by which means she soon cleared her estate from the mortgages 


with which it was embarrassed at the death of her father. She 
seldom left her own premises, having never been out of Groton 
but once, when she was persuaded to visit a cousin in Harvard ; 
and but once only had she seen the Nashua river, although within 
two miles of her cottage. Her reverence for the memory of her 
father almost approached the superstitious. By her desire, his 
remains were buried under a favorite peach tree, within a rod of 
her dwelling ; yet still, as if in strict keeping with her odd character, 
the fragrance of her pig-stye breathed forth from the one side, 
while the odors of her cow-yard were wafted from the other — both 
in immediate contiguity with her hallowed spot ! Thus she lived 
until the last severe winter, when not having been seen for many 
days, her cottage was forcibly entered, and she was found to be 
ill and helpless ; and in this condition her extremities were so 
frozen, that she would have died, had not aid arrived. From this 
exposure she never fully recovered. Her broken constitution 
yielded to a late attack of cold, and her days of cheerless solitude 
are ended. — Poor Naomi ! You rejoiced many young hearts with 
fancied views into futurity; — may your now actual view be the 
fullness of rejoicing ! 



Michael Gilson, mentioned in the paragraph below, a 
son of Michael and Susannah (Sawtell) Gilson, of Groton, 
was born on February 24, 1730-31. His father removed to 
the Connecticut Valley, now the neighborhood of Charlestown, 
New Hampshire, probably during the period when several 
Groton families, including the Farnsworths, the Parkers, and 
the Sawtells, went to that remote frontier, — which was about 
the year 1740. It is a curious fact to note that the name of 
Sawtell has there since become Sartwell. On May 9, 1750, 
young Michael chose his mother for a guardian, when, accord- 
ing to the Hampshire County Probate Records, he was living 
in the Province of New Hampshire, above Northfield ; and pre- 
sumably at that time his father was dead. See David Jillson's 
" Genealogy of the Gillson and Jillson Family " (page 246;. 


Fort Dummer was situated on the west bank of the Con- 
necticut River, now within the limits of Brattleborough, Ver- 
mont. The four townships in this neighborhood, on the east 
bank of the river, before they received their names, were num- 
bered in their geographical order, and known by their numbers 
alone. They come now within the State of New Hampshire, 
— Township No. i being known as Chesterfield; No. 2, as 
Westmoreland ; No. 3, as Walpole ; and No. 4, as Charles- 

Last Monday Se'nnight [March 6], as one Michael Gilson was 
going from Fort-Dummer to Numb. 2 [Westmoreland], when he 
came to the House of Mr. Moore, at a Place called West-River, 
about three Miles above Fort-Dummer, he found Capt. Fairbanks 
Moore and his Son Benjamin dead, and saw the House near where 
they lay, on Fire ; when the said Gilson immediately returned back 
to the Fort to acquaint them of the Affair ; upon which two Men 
went with him to the Place where the said Moore lay, to see if they 
could discover the Enemy, but the Snow being hard, they could not 
track them. The Wife and Children of the said Benjamin are 
missing, and suppos'd either to be burnt in the House, or carried 
off by the Enemy. 

[The Boston News-Letter, March 16, 1758.] 


The old town-clock on the First Parish Meeting-house, so 
familiar to every man, woman, and child in Groton, was made 
by James Ridgway, and placed in the tower some time dur- 
ing the spring of 1809. Mr. Ridgway was a silversmith and 
clockmaker, who during the period of the War with England 
carried on a large business in this neighborhood. His shop 
was situated on Main Street, nearly opposite to the present 
tavern ; but it has long since disappeared. He subsequently 
removed to Keene, New Hampshire, where he lived for many 


Article VII. in the warrant for the March town meeting, 
dated February 20, 1809, is : 

To grant so much money as the town shall think fit towards 
providing a Clock to be put up in the Meeting-house, in addition to 
what has already been subscribed for that purpose, & to order a 
suitable room to be prepared for it, & to act thereon as the town 
shall think proper. 

The action taken on this Article at the town-meeting held 
on March 7, was : 

Voted that a sum not exceeding seventy Dollars be granted 
for the purpose of erecting a Town Clock, to be paid after the 
s'? Clock is Compleated to the satisfaction of the Selectmen. The 
latter part of this Article was passed over, it being considered 
more proper for the Parish to prepare a suitable room for s'^ Clock, 
and an Article having been Inserted in their Warrant for this 

The bell on the same church was made in the year 1819 by 
Revere and Son, Boston, and, according to an inscription cast 
on its surface, the weight is 1128 pounds. 


The late John Langdon Sibley, for many years the Librarian 
of Harvard College, wrote a History of Union, Maine, his 
native town ; and, in it, he thus refers to a Groton family : 

There was also engaged in the business [of making shingles] 
a family named Lakin, from Groton, Mass. The husband and the 
wife, in the winter season, would go into the woods, and, one at 
each handle of a long saw, work hard through the day, cutting 
trees into blocks. It may be doubted which of the two was the 
most expert in splitting and finishing them. And often has the 
wife come to the Common — eight miles — on horseback, with a 
child in her arms, and a heavy bunch of shingles on each side of 
her horse, balanced by means of ropes and withes across the beast's 


back. Under the ropes and withes, to prevent them from cutting 
the horse, was a bag of hay. To all these was superadded a meal- 
bag, containing a jug for rum or molasses, or some other articles 
then deemed necessary for a family (pages loo, loi). 


The customs and habits of the last century are well depicted 
in the newspapers of that period. The following advertise- 
ment in "The Boston Gazette,' or Weekly Journal," March i8, 
1746, shows that the owner of a stray cow had some hopes of 
finding her, nine months after she was lost, — which to the 
present generation would seem a rather futile chance. The 
two persons mentioned in the notice were brothers probably, 
and sons of Joseph Priest, of Waltham. See Dr. Henry Bond's 
History of Watertown (page 408). In December, 1747, Joseph 
Priest appears to have been living at Groton, according to a 
"covenant" printed in "The Boundary Lines of Old Groton" 
(pages 82-84). 

Stray'd last July from Mr. John Priest of Groton, a large brindle 
Cow, with some white Spots about her, having the Letter W mark'd 
with an hot Iron on one Horn, about 7 Years old. Whoever shall 
give Information of her, either to yohn Priest aforesaid, or to jFonas 
Priest of Waltham shall be well rewarded. 

No. XVII. 








Historical Series, No. XVII. 


During the summer of 1876 there was printed for private 
circulation a book entitled "Journal of a Tour to Niagara 
Falls in the year 1805," by Timothy Bigelow. (Boston : octavo, 
pp. XX, 121.) It is an interesting volume, with an introduc- 
tion by Abbott Lawrence, a grandson of Mr. Bigelow. The 
writer of the Journal was a distinguished lawyer, living in 
Groton at the time, and he tells how he set out from Boston, 
on July 8, 1805, with four companions, and travelled through 
the interior of the State of New York, then almost a wil- 
derness, but now teeming with thrifty towns and cities. The 
party returned by the way of Montreal, having been absent 
just six weeks and having travelled 1355 miles during the 
trip. Mr. Bigelow makes the following entry near the end of 
the Journal : — 

To Batchelder's in New Ipswich [New HampshireJ, a very good 
house, to sleep, ten miles. We arrived here between four and five 
o'clock ; and, as we were now within twenty miles of Groton, we 
had sufficient time to have gone there this afternoon. But this was 
the place established for the stage to stop at over night ; and, as 
the horses were tired, we could not persuade the driver to proceed. 
Not being able to procure any other conveyance, we submitted to 
the necessity of passing the night here. 

Sunday, August i8th. Regularly, the stage does not go from this 
place till Monday morning ; but, impatient of being longer detained 

here, we prevailed on the driver for some additional fare to proceed 
with us this morning, and we arrived at my house in Groton in con- 
venient season to dine. Here we adjusted our money concerns, 
which we effected with great facility, in consequence of the simple 
method which we had adopted at first. This was no other than to 
take an account of the sum which each one had, deducting from 
that the sum each now had left, and adding all the balances to- 
gether gave the whole expense, and enabled us to complete a settle- 
ment in a few minutes. The expense to each one was short of one 
hundred and seventy dollars (pages 120, 121). 

Timothy Bigelow was the eldest son of Timothy and Anna 
(Andrews) Bigelow,^ and born at Worcester, on April 30, 1767. 
He was fitted for Harvard College under the tuition of Ben- 
jamin Lincoln and of the celebrated Samuel Dexter, then a 
law-student at Worcester. He graduated with high rank at 
Cambridge in the class of 1786, and entered at once upon the 
study of his profession, in the office of Levi Lincoln, the elder. 
Admitted to the bar in the year 1789, he began the practice 
of law at Groton, living in the house then occupied by Mrs. 
Converse Richardson, where he also had his office. The dwell- 
ing was situated on the south side of what is now Elm Street, 
near the corner of Pleasant Street, though it was moved away 
in the autumn of i86o, to a lot near the head of the old Jen- 
kins road, recently discontinued. It is said that he sat in his 
office six weeks without taking a fee, and then he received a 
pistareen! He was married on September 3, 1791, to Lucy, 
daughter of Dr. Oliver and Lydia (Baldwin) Prescott, who was 
born on March 13, 1771. After his marriage he removed to the 
house standing, until the summer of 1875, between Governor 
Boutwell's dwelling and Mr. Graves's. Mr. Bigelow soon ac- 
quired a wide reputation and a large practice, by no means con- 
fined to Middlesex County. Many young men came to Groton, 
in order to study law under his tuition, and not a few of 
them afterward became eminent in their profession. Among 
them were the following: John Harris, Judge of the Supreme 

1 Mr. Bigelow's father died at Worcester on March 31, 1790, aged 50 years- 
his mother died at Groton on August 2, 1809, aged 69, and lies buried in the 
Lawrence lot at the Groton Cemetery. 

Court of New Hampshire ; Thomas Rice, of Winslow, Maine, 
Member of Congress ; John Locke, of Ashby, Member of 
Congress ; Joseph Locke, Judge of the PoHce Court of Low- 
ell for thirteen years ; John Leighton Tuttle ; Asahel Stearns, 
University Professor of Law in the Harvard Law School ; 
John Varnum, of Haverhill, Member of Congress ; Loammi 
Baldwin, who afterward became a distinguished civil engi- 
neer ; John Park Little, of Gorham, Maine ; Tyler Bigelow, 
of Watertown ; Luther Lawrence, of Groton, and afterward 
of Lowell, where he died as Mayor of the city April 17, 
1839; John Stuart and Augustus Peabody, both of the Suf- 
folk Bar ; and Abraham Moore, of Groton. 

Mr. Bigelow took an active part in politics, and for many 
years was a member of the Massachusetts House of Repre- 
sentatives, chosen first by the town of Groton, and afterward 
the town of Medford, where he was then living. During 
eleven years at different times, he was Speaker of this branch 
of the Legislature, the longest term of service in that capacity 
ever held by one person. 

Amid the engrossing duties of his profession Mr. Bigelow 
found time for occasional literary work. While living at 
Groton he delivered the Oration before the Phi Beta Kappa 
Society at Cambridge, July 21, 1796; a Funeral Oration 
on Samuel Dana, at one time minister of Groton, before the 
Benevolent Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, at Amherst, 
New Hampshire, April 4, 1798 ; and a Eulogy on Wash- 
ington before the Columbian Lodge of Masons, at Boston, 
February II, 1800, — all which addresses have been printed. 
In the year 1806 he removed to Medford, where he died on 
May 18, 1821. 

The house at Groton, in which Mr. Bigelow lived after his 
marriage, was built probably before the Revolution, and moved 
from its old site during the summer of 1875, when it was 
made into two dwellings, now standing on the southerly side 
of Court Street, near its western end, though one is around 
the corner. It was known to the present generation as the 
Dr. Amos Bancroft house ; and I remember distinctly, as a 
boy more than forty years ago, that it took fire very early one 

morning, and came near being burnt to the ground. Nothing 
but the active and intelligent service of the two engine com- 
panies and the Groton Fire Club saved it from utter destruc- 
tion. It has been occupied by so many notable families, that a 
few facts concerning them may be deemed worthy of record. 

The first occupant of this historical building, of whom I 
can find any trace, was Ebenezer Champney, a descendant of 
Richard, who came from Lancashire in England during the 
early days of the Colony, and settled at Cambridge. Ebenezer 
was born at Cambridge in April, 1744, and graduated at Har- 
vard College in the class of 1762. He at first thought of 
entering the ministry, and to that end studied under the 
direction of Parson Trowbridge, of Groton, whose daughter 
he subsequently married. Soon afterward leaving this pro- 
fession he took up the study of law, and in the year 1764 was 
admitted to the bar at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He 
then opened an office at New Ipswich, where he began to 
practise; and in the year 1775 he was appointed Judge of 
Probate for Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. In the 
spring of 1783 he came back to Groton and remained until 
1 789, when he again returned to New Ipswich. 

During the excitement of Shays's Rebellion in the year 
1786, owing to some spite which the insurgents had against 
Judge Champney, an attempt was made to burn his office. 
Combustibles ready for use were found concealed under the 
building ; but fortunately the plot was discovered in time to 
defeat its object. The office stood on the south side of the 
house, and was afterward used by Mr. Bigelow and Mr. Law- 
rence, and later by Dr. Amos Bancroft. Subsequently it 
was moved across the street, and placed in a corner of Dr. 
Amos B. Bancroft's garden, a short distance north of the 
present Town House; after which it was again moved to 
the rear of his dwelling, and still later to the neighborhood 
of the railroad station, where it now stands. 

According to the town-records, Mr. Champney was married 
on October 9, 1764, to Abigail, daughter of the Reverend 
Caleb and Hannah (Walter) Trowbridge ; and they had seven 
children, of whom three died during infancy. By this mar- 

riage he became connected with the distinguished families of 
the Cottons and the Mathers. His wife was born on Novem- 
ber 30, 1740, and died on October 23, 1775. In November, 
1778, he was married, secondly, to Abigail Parker, a daughter 
of Samuel Parker, who had gone from Groton to New Ipswich 
as early as the year 1760; and by this marriage he had four 
children. The second wife died in the year 1 790 ; and in 
March, 1796, he was married, thirdly, to Susan Wyman, who 
died in the following September. Hannah, a daughter by the 
first wife, married the Honorable James Prescott, Jr. Ben- 
jamin, Judge Champney's eldest child, — who was born on 
August 20, 1764, according to the History of New Ipswich 
(page 347), — studied law with his father, and after his admis- 
sion to the bar opened an office with him at Groton, during 
the year 1786. Here the son remained until 1792, when he 
joined his father at New Ipswich, who had removed there 
three years previously. 

Judge Champney had a large practice and exercised a wide 
influence in this neighborhood. During the earlier years of 
his professional life, while living at New Ipswich, he was the 
only lawyer between Groton and Keene. He died on Septem- 
ber 10, 1810, at the age of 66 years. 

The house was next occupied by Mr. Bigelow ; and here 
his children were born, including the late Reverend Andrew 
Bigelow, D.D., and the late Honorable John Prescott Bigelow, 
both graduates of Harvard College, and distinguished men 
in their respective callings. The latter son was the Secre- 
tary of the Commonwealth during seven years from 1836 to 
1843 inclusive, and the Mayor of Boston during three years 
from 1849 to 185 1 inclusive. Two of the former Mayors of 
Boston have been natives of Groton, and their birthplaces 
were within a few rods of each other. 

Mr. Bigelow was followed by Luther Lawrence, Esq., who 
lived in the house until November, 181 1, when his new dwell- 
ing was completed, which is the one now owned and occupied 
by Eliel Shumway. Mr. Lawrence was a native of Groton, 
where he was born on September 28, 1778, and a graduate 
of Harvard College in the class of 1801. He studied law 

with Mr. Bigelow, and afterward, on June 2, 1805, married 
Mr. Bigelow's younger sister, Lucy, who was born at Wor- 
cester, on May 13, 1774, and died in Boston, on October 6, 
1856. For many years he was a member of the Legislature, 
and at one time Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

It is somewhat remarkable that two Speakers of the Massa- 
chusetts House should have been residents of Groton, and 
still more so that both should have lived here in the same 
dwelling. The coincidence is by no means weakened by 
the fact that Governor Boutwell, the present owner of the 
place, was once the democratic candidate for the same office, 
when the Legislature met on January 6, 1847, and he also was 
a resident of the town at that time. It may be worthy of 
note that another Speaker, the Honorable Timothy Fuller, 
the father of Margaret, who is known as the Countess d' Ossoli, 
was a citizen of Groton for some years before his death, which 
took place on October i, 1835. 

Mr. Lawrence had a large and successful practice in Groton, 
and among the students who read law in his office may be 
mentioned : Henry Adams Bullard, and his brother Royal, — 
sons of the Reverend John Bullard, of Pepperell, — Jonathan 
Porter, George Frederick Farley, Augustus Thorndike, Ed- 
ward St. Loe Livermore, Jr., Norman Seaver, and William 
Amory. Subsequently, during the spring of 183 1, he removed 
to Lowell, then recently incorporated, where seven years later 
he became the Mayor of the city. He was killed on April 17, 
1839, by falling into a wheel-pit, while showing the large mill 
of the Middlesex Company to his friend and kinsman, Tyler 
Bigelow, Esq., of Watertown. 

The next occupant of the house was Dr. Amos Bancroft, 
a physician widely known in Middlesex County. He was 
the son of Edmund and Rachel (Howard | Barron) Ban- 
croft, of Pepperell, where he was born on May 23, 1767. He 
graduated at Harvard College in the class of 1791, and studied 
medicine with Dr. Isaac Hurd, of Concord, and Dr. Oliver 
Prescott, Jr., of Groton. He began the practice of his profes- 
sion at Westford, but soon afterward went to Weston, where 
he remained until the year 181 1, when he removed to Groton. 

He was married on August 29, 1796, to Abigail Whiting, of 
HoUis, New Hampshire. After her death which occurred at 
Weston, on December 4, 1799, when she was 28 years old, 
he was married, secondly, on October 7, 1800, to Sarah, 
daughter of Henry and Faith (Savage) Bass, of Boston, who 
was born on April 21, 1768, and died on April 30, 1837. 

He was married, thirdly, on October 17, 1839, to Eliza 
Doane, of Boston, who died on November 11, 1840; and 
on October 31, 1841, he was married, fourthly, to Mary 
Kneeland, of Westford, a cousin of his first wife, who sur- 
vived him many years. She was born at Westford on Febru- 
ary 25, 1789, and died at Groton on April 22, 1862, aged 73 

Dr. Bancroft had a large practice and at various times a 
considerable number of medical students under his charge, 
including among them James Freeman Dana and Samuel 
Luther Dana, grandsons of the Reverend Samuel Dana, a 
former minister of the town. He was frequently called in 
consultation, sometimes at a long distance from home. In 
those days there were no railroads, and travelling was at- 
tended with many difficulties. During the winter, when the 
roads were blocked up with snow, sometimes he was obliged 
to travel on snow-shoes ; and often, his patients living many 
miles apart, he would be absent from home several days at a 
time. To add to his discomfort on such occasions, it was 
difficult to obtain proper food, though there were at that 
period but few dwellings where he could not procure some 
New England rum or other spirit to help restore exhausted 

His intimacy with some of the physicians of Boston and 
its neighborhood, and his punctual attendance at the meet- 
ings of the Massachusetts Medical Society, of which asso- 
ciation he was a Councillor, obliged him to make frequent 
journeys to that city, which were always taken with his own 
horse and chaise or sulky. 

A story is told of him that he stopped late one evening 
at the Ridge Hill tavern, in order to see a patient. Passing 
through the bar-room he noticed two evil-looking men, who 


eyed him suspiciously, and when going out, after his visit was 
made, he looked for them, but they were gone. The road 
from the tavern was lonely, and the village three miles away. 
As he had considerable money about him, he felt some mis- 
givings, which proved not to be groundless, for he had no 
sooner reached a particularly secluded spot, when these very 
men stepped out of the undergrowth by the roadside and 
tried to stop his horse. One of them snatched at the bridle, 
but missed it, as the horse threw up his head at the time ; 
and Dr. Bancroft, whipping the animal, left the men far behind, 
but not before a bullet had pierced the back of the sulky, and 
whizzed close by his ear. 

Dr. Bancroft rarely left home for pleasure, but in the year 
1829 his health demanded a change, and in company with a 
brother he went West in order to visit a half-sister, Mrs. Mary 
(Bancroft) Dana, then living at Marietta, Ohio. It was a 
long and tedious journey, but the trip benefited him. 

Dr. Bancroft was a member of the First Parish Church 
(Unitarian) in Groton, and one of the eight mentioned in Mr. 
Butler's History (page 197), who received a note of pretended 
excommunication from the seceders. He was a constant 
attendant on the Sunday exercises until his hearing became 
much impaired. His health was never strong; but the severe 
attacks of illness to which he was subject decreased in fre- 
quency as his years advanced. On July 12, 1848, while 
walking down State Street in Boston, he stepped from the 
sidewalk in order to cross the way, when a wagon coming 
rapidly knocked him down, and injured him so severely that 
he died a few hours later. The following account of the 
mishap appears in the "Daily Evening Transcript" of that 

Serious Accident. As the venerable Dr. Amos Bancroft, of 
Groton, was crossing State street this morning at 11 o'clock' he 
was struck in the head by the shaft of a wagon driven through' the 
street by D. Lawrence, Dover, N. H., knocked down, and ren- 
dered senseless by the shock. He was taken up and carried to 
the apothecary shop of Dr. Brown by police officer Whiting, and 
Dr. Shattuck and other physicians who happened to be near were 


promptly on hand to render aid and assistance. He was taken to 
No. I Crescent Place, where every aid possible for his relief will be 
administered. He bled profusely from the ear, and it is feared he 
is fatally injured. Dr. Bancroft is 77 years of age, and partially 
deaf, and of defective eye sight. The last information we had. Dr. 
B. had partially recovered his senses, but was very weak from the 
great loss of blood. 

The homestead passed next into the hands of Dr. Ban- 
croft's eldest son, Charles, who lived there until his death, 
which took place on July 22, 1873. Charles was the father 
of Colonel William Amos Bancroft, a graduate of Harvard 
College in the class of 1878, who a few years ago was some- 
what noted in college circles as an oarsman, and who at 
the present time is the Superintendent of the Cambridge 
Railroad Company. 

Amos Bigelow Bancroft was another son of Dr. Arnos ; he 
was born at Groton, on April 3, 181 1, and graduated at Har- 
vard College in the class of 1831. He studied medicine 
with Dr. George Cheyne Shattuck, of Boston, and in the 
year 1834 began the practice of his profession at Groton. 
Here he remained until the spring of 1853, when he removed 
to Charlestown, and became associated with Dr. Jonathan 
Wheeler Bemis. While living in Charlestown he was physi- 
cian to the State Prison during more than ten years. Under 
the administration of General Grant he was appointed Super- 
intendent and Surgeon in charge of the Marine Hospital at 
Chelsea, which position he held from August i, 1869, to June 
30, 1877, when he took up his residence in Boston. While 
travelling abroad with his family, he died in Florence, Italy, 
on November 8, 1879, much lamented by a wide circle of 
friends and patients at home, — leaving a widow and two 
daughters to mourn his loss. 

The estate was then bought by the Honorable George S. 
Boutwell, in whose possession it now remains, though the 
house was moved away, as before stated, during the summer 
of 1875. The large barn on the place was burned in the 
afternoon of May 8, 1876, and thus disappeared the last 
vestige of an interesting old landmark of Groton. 



It is said that lightning never strikes twice in the same 
place ; but from the following it seems that balloons some- 
times come down in the same neighborhood. 

On July 4, i860, as a part of the usual city celebration on 
that day, a balloon ascension was made from Boston Common 
by Samuel King, in company with his sister Mrs. Porter, and 
Edwin Bradbury Haskell, of " The Boston Herald " newspaper. 
The party left the Common, shortly after six o'clock in the 
afternoon, in the balloon known as " The Queen of the Air ; " 
and the descent was made a little after one o'clock in the 
morning, on the hill, immediately south of Snake Hill and 
contiguous to it, in the open field behind Sumner Graves's 
house, in the south part of Groton. The "Boston Daily 
Advertiser," July 6, i860, gives the following account of 
the trip : — 

" The Queen of the Air " went over the harbor, Charlestown, 
Cambridge, through the valley of Charles river, touching a ledge 
in Waltham, and finally landed in Groton, at one o'clock yesterday 
morning. At the time they landed, it was rainy and uncomfortable. 
The aeronauts were unfortunate in getting shelter. After applying 
to several of the residents, finally they found a good Samaritan in 
the person of Mr. Valencourt Stone, who came out with a lantern, 
and piloted the balloonists to his house, and paid them great 

Eleven years later, the same aeronaut made an ascent from 
Fitchburg, on September 27, 1871, under the patronage of 
the Worcester North Agricultural Society, and came down 
on this identical hill. The landing was made near Mr. 
Graves's house, on the west side of the road to Harvard, while 
the previous landing was on the east side of the road, nearer 
the summit. His descent at this particular spot was not influ- 
enced by design, any further than that it was a cleared field, 
and a good place to alight. On the first occasion Mr. King 
came down in the night time, and, of course, received no clear 


impressions of the neighborhood. Approaching the hill during 
the second trip, he did not recognize it as the place of his 
former landing; nor was he aware of the fact, until told by 
one of the bystanders, after the descent. 

I remember seeing the balloon, on the afternoon in ques- 
tion, floating along through the air, just before the descent, 
at which time Mr. King was busily engaged in waving the 
American flag, distinctly visible to a large number of be- 
holders gazing at the novel sight. 

"The Fitchburg Reveille," September 28, 1871, has the 
following account of the start : — 

The Balloon Ascension, which had been announced for Tues- 
day [September 26], but failed to come off, took place at a quarter 
to five o'clock [on Wednesday]. The airship, with its solitary 
passenger, rose gracefully and sailed rapidly away in an easterly 
direction, wafted by the light, west wind, which was blowing at the 
time. We learn by telegraph, that Prof. King landed safely near 
Groton Junction. 

"The Fitchburg Sentinel," September 30, gives this ver- 
sion : — 

The balloon ascension which had been postponed from the 
previous day [Tuesday] on account of the rain, took place at a 
quarter to five [on Wednesday]. Prof. King, the aeronaut, after 
leaving terra firma in his Air-ship " Aurora," rose to the height 
of about half a mile, and then borne by a slight breeze, floated 
slowly off to the eastward, and after an hour's sail, landed in the 
town of Ayer, without mishap. 

It is certainly a singular coincidence that an aeronaut, 
going up from Boston Common, and sailing westward, in a 
circuitous direction, should make a descent on a hill thirty 
miles away ; and that the same man, some years later, going 
up from Fitchburg and sailing eastward, should come down 
on that identical hill, twelve miles away from the starting- 
point, — and this without any design or intention on his part. 
It seems to have been one of those accidents, which illustrate 
the French proverb that " Nothing is more probable than the 



A SINGING-BOOK, entitled " Indian Melodies," was published 
at New York, in the year 1845, containing a tune called 
" Groton." The compiler of the work was Thomas Commock, 
a Narragansett Indian, then living at Manchester, Wisconsin 
Territory ; and, in a note after the Preface, he says that all 
the tunes mentioned in the book, as well as their names, are 
Indian, which is a mistake. Groton is an old English word, 
in use more than eight hundred years ago, and its Latin form 
is found in Domesday Book. 

There are several tunes called " Groton," given in different 
singing-books, but the earliest one that I can find is in " The 
Rural Harmony," by Jacob Kimball, Jr., published at Bos- 
ton, in the year 1793. It is in common metre; and I am 
inclined to think that the author of the work wrote it himself. 
Mr. Kimball was born at Topsfield, Massachusetts, on Feb- 
ruary 15, 1761, and graduated at Harvard College in the class 
of 1780. He read law with Judge William Wetmore, of 
Salem, and was admitted to the bar in the year 1795. Before 
studying his profession he was a school-master and a some- 
what noted composer of music. He wrote quite a number of 
tunes, and a few of them were named after the towns where 
he taught singing. At one time he lived in Amherst, New 
Hampshire; and perhaps while there he named this tune 
after the town of Groton. He died at Topsfield, on July 24, 

In Andrew Law's " Harmonic Companion " (Philadelphia, 
copyrighted 1807) is a long metre tune called " Groton." In 
"The Choir" (Boston, 1833), second edition, by Lowell Ma- 
son, another one, in particular metre, is given; and in "The 
Massachusetts Collection of Psalmody" (Boston, 1840), second 
edition, by George James Webb, is still another, in long 



On Thursday the 3d Instant died, of the Strangury, Colonel John 
BuLKLEY of Groton, JEt. 69, — having suffered with surprizing 
Fortitude that most painful Disease upwards of eleven Days. 

" The Massachusetts Gazette : and the Boston Weekly News-Letter," De- 
cember 17, 1772. 


Many plants were brought originally to New England 
'from other countries for their medical virtues, and many were 
introduced by chance. Some have multiplied so rapidly and 
grown so plentifully in the fields and by the roadside, that 
they are now considered common weeds. Wormwood, tansy, 
chamomile, yarrow, dandelion, burdock, plantain, catnip, and 
mint, all came here by importation. These foreign plants 
made their way into the interior, as fast as civilization ex- 
tended in that direction. Dr. William Douglass, in "A Sum- 
mary, Historical and Political, Of the first Planting, progressive 
Improvements, and present State of the British Settlements 
in North- America," first published at Boston, — Volume I. 
in the year 1749, and Volume II. in 1753, — says : — 

Near Boston and other great Towns, some Field Plants which 
accidentally have been imported from Europe, spread much, and 
are a great Nusance in Pastures, ... at present they have spread 
Inland from Boston, about 30 Miles (II. 207). 

According to this statement, the pioneers of some of these 
foreign weeds had reached Groton near the middle of the last 
century. Dr. Douglass gives another fact about the town, 
which is worth preserving. He says : — 

There are some actual Surveys of Extents which ought not to be 
lost in Oblivion ; as for Instance, from Merrimack River due West 


to Groton Meeting-House are 12 miles ; from Groton Meeting 
House (as surveyed by Col. Stoddard, Major Fulham, and Mr. 
Dwight, by Order of the General Assembly) to Northfield Meeting- 
House W. 16 d. N. by Compass, are 41 Miles and half ; from Deer- 
field Meeting-House near Connecticut River, a little higher [lower ?], 
to Albany Church upon the West Side of Hudson's river, W. 12 and 
half d. N. are 57 Miles 20 Rod. From such actual Surveys the 
publick Roads may be laid out to better Advantage than at pres- 
ent : For Instance, the present Road from Boston to Albany (this is 
the Road to Monreal in Canada) by Way of Springfield, the Hous- 
atonicks, and Kinderhook is about 200 miles ; a new and better 
Road, but not as yet well improv'd, is via Lancaster and Nichawog 
[Petersham] to Sunderland upon Connecticut River 84 Miles, and 
from Deerfield a little higher to Albany are 57 Miles, being in all 
only about 150 Miles (I. 425 note). 

Such surveys, as those mentioned in this extract, were o& 
more value to the public, before the days of railroads, than 
they are now ; but, as the author says, they " ought not to be 
lost in Oblivion." 


The following copies of original papers were given me, 
some years ago, by Dr. John S. H. Fogg, of South Boston, in 
whose possession they were at that time. They relate to the 
South Company of Groton, then commanded by Captain 
Timothy Bigelow, who afterward became Speaker of the 
Massachusetts House of Representatives, as also did Luther 
Lawrence, to whom one of the warrants is addressed. Tyler 
Bigelow, one of the private soldiers, was a cousin and subse- 
quently a brother-in-law of Captain Timothy, and the father 
of the late Honorable George Tyler Bigelow, formerly Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. Loammi 
Baldwin, Jr., another private, was afterward a distinguished 
civil engineer, who built the Government dry docks at Charles- 
town and at Norfolk, Virginia. For many years there were 


three military companies in the town, known respectively as 
the North Company, the South Company, and the Groton 
Artillery; and occasionally they would parade together through 
the village streets, and drill as a battalion. 

Middlesex ss. To John Reed sergeant. Greeting. 
In the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts you 
required to notify and warn 


Joseph Stone sergeant. 
Sam! Reed sergeant. 
Saml. Paine sergeant. 
Rufus Moors corporal. 
Thomas Mead corporal 
Peter Chase corporal. 
Jonas Trowbridge fifer 
John Fitch fifer. 
Josiah Hazen fifer 
John Kemp drummer 
Amos Davis Jr. drummer 
John Adams Jr. drummer 
Benj° Buttriclc 
Thaddeus Bailey 
Timothy Blood 
Oliver Blood 3* 
Jonathan Bennet 
Edward Bolton 
Johnathan Cooper 
Samuel Cooke 
Moses Chase. 
Samuel Dodge 
Abel Davis 
Ephraim Farnsworth. 

Ezra Farnsworth. 
Abel Farnesworth. 
David Fletcher. 
Eli Flint. 
Benj° Farnsworth 
Stephen Farrar. 
Henry Farwell Jr. 
Silas Farwell. 
Sam'. Farnsworth 
Zachariah Fitch Jr. 
Thomas Gass. 
Phineas Gould 
Nathan Hubbard Jr. 
Daniel Hart 
Elias Hart 
Joseph Hemenway 
Amos Harris. 
Noah Humphreys 
James Kendall 
Ebenezer Lampson. 
Amos Lampson Jr. 
Abel Morse 
Abijah Nutting 
Phinehas Nutting. 

Jonathan Nutting 
Moses Nutting 
Hezekiah Spaulding 
Thomas Bennett Jr. 
Simon Page Jr. 
John Parke. 
Elijah Paine. 
John Robbins Jr. 
John Rockwood 
Alpheus Richardson. 
Amos Stone Jr. 
Caleb Symmes 
Phineas Stone. 
Sylvanus Smith. 
Abraham Symonds. 
William Symonds. 
Abel Swallow. 
Joseph Sawtell 3* 
Peter Tarbell 
John Trufant. 
Amos Tarbell 
Joseph Wright 
Asa Wheeler 
Parker Wetherbee. 

All belonging to the South Company in Groton, in said County 
commanded by me of which Company you are the first sergeant 
and clerk, to appear on the publick parade, or training field, in said 
Groton on Thursday the 4"" day of July next, at one of the clock in 
the afternoon, with their arms and equipments compleat, for the pur- 
pose of military instruction and exercise. And in case you cannot 
conveniently notify and warn the said persons as aforesaid yourself 
you are to cause the same to be done by some other non-com- 
missioned officer belonging to said company, by giving them, or some 
of them, orders for that purpose in my name. Hereof fail not, and 


make return of this warrant with your doings thereon to myself at 

or before said day. Given under my hand & seal this 4* day 

of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 

ninety nine. 

Timothy Bjgelow Captain. 

Groton, June 25* 1799. 

In obedience to the within warrant I have notified and warned 
all the within named persons (or caused the same to be done by a 
sergeant) to appear at the time and place. 

John Reed. 

Middlesex ss. To Luther Lawrence Greeting. 
In the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts you are 
required to notify and warn 

Amos Davis Drummer James Farnsworth. 

David Darling Jonas Phillips 

Joseph Bullard Isaac Hall 

William Shiple Eli Faulkner 

Timothy H. Newman Samuel Phips 

Benjamin Page Jun^ Daniel Swallow 

Phinehas Gould William Stearns 

Aaron Jewett. Abel Holden 

James Kendall Jabez Parker 

Lommi Baldwin Jun' Asa Jinneson 

Tyler Bigelow Stephen Kemp. 

William Lawrence John Wright. 

Ezra Farnsworth Daniel Richardson 
David Fletcher 

All belonging to the South company in Groton in said County 
commanded by me of which you are also a member to appear on 
the public parade or training field in said Groton on Tuesday the 
third day of May next at one of the clock in the afternoon with 
their arms and equipments compleat for the purpose of exami- 
nation and view of arms, and for military instruction and exercise. 
Hereof fail not and make due return of this order to myself or the 
commanding officer at said time and place. Given under my hand 
and seal this eleventh day of April in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and three 

Timothy Bigelov/ Captain 


Middlesex ss. Groton April 28. 1803. 

In obedience to the within warrant I have given legal notice to 
all the persons within mentioned (except Amos Davis, Tyler Bige- 
low, and Daniel Richardson who are out of town) to appear at the 
time and place within mentioned for the purposes within mentioned. 

Luther Lawrence. 


Last Friday a Man who calls himself Shebuel Hubbard, and 
says he belongs to Groton, was apprehended and sent to Goal ; he 
having in a different Dress, and by different Names, viz. Parker, 
Parks and Fairbanks, four Times receiv'd Warrants or Orders 
from the Committee appointed by the General Court for receiving 
and burning the Bills of Credit of this Province, to the Treasurer, 
for Nineteen Pounds and some odd Shillings, old Tenor each, 
which he wickedly alter'd into Ninety Pounds, letting the odd Sum 
stand ; three of which being paid in Silver, a Discovery of the 
Fraud was made ; and notwithstanding Enquiry was made after 
him, having got a fourth Order just before by a different Name and 
in a different Habit, he had the Confidence to go to the Treasury 
to get it exchang'd, where he was immediately siez'd. Upon his 
Examination he made many trifling Excuses ; but the Cheat appear- 
ing so very plain, he at last confess'd the whole, and that the 
Money was at his Lodgings, to which he directed the Sheriff, where 
was found Ninety Dollars, besides Coppers, and sundry other 

"The Boston Weekly News-Letter," September 13, 1750. 

This Day Shebuel Hubbard of Groton is to stand two Hours in 
the Pillory, pursuant to a Sentence of the Superiour Court, for alter- 
ing and forgeing several Warrants from the Committee, to the Treas- 
urer, for exchanging Bills of this Province for Dollars, as mention'd 
in the public Prints some Time since : He is likewise to suffer 
three Months Imprisonment. 

" The Boston Weekly News-Letter," December 13, 1750. 



Many years ago Commodore William Bainbridge, one of 
the heroes of the American navy during the last war with 
England, owned an undivided third of a farm of 220 acres in 
Groton, which was used for sheep raising. It has since been 
known as the David Lakin place, and is situated on the road 
leading, from the beginning of Farmers' Row to the Great 
Road, just below the railroad bridge, half a mile north of the 
Baptist Meeting-House. It extended from the Jenkins road 
on its southerly border to the Great Road on its northerly ; 
and on this farm Mr. Lakin took care of the paupers before 
the town had an alms-house. The Jenkins road was so called 
from a man who lived in that neighborhood, previous to the 
Revolution ; but, by a recent vote of the town on April 6, 
1885, it has been closed to the public travel on account of its 
proximity to the Nashua River, and the consequent danger 
arising therefrom. 

According to the record in the Middlesex Registry of Deeds 
(Book CCXXIII. page 115) at East Cambridge, Commodore 
Bainbridge sold his interest in the place, on July 2, 1817, to 
John Lakin. During four years before this time, in con- 
nection with Robert C. Ludlow, of Charlestown, and Charles 
W. Green, of Boston, Bainbridge had owned several parcels 
of land in the vicinity, which, presumably, were used for 
sheep-raising purposes, and perhaps made up this farm. 
John Lakin died on August 6, 18 17, at the age of 34 years; 
and the place was then carried on by a brother, David 
Lakin, Jr., who subsequently married John's widow. 

This family of Lakins was descended from William, an 
original settler of the town, who died here on December 10, 
1672, aged 91 years. I have seen a deed, now in the pos- 
session of Charles Gerrish, dated 1696 and signed by John 
Lakin, a grandson of William, giving to his son Benjamin, 
land lying " nigh the River at Nod." This deed, which is 


duly recorded at East Cambridge, mentions " Nommucks," 
and also speaks of the " Lower sledge " and " Smith's sledge," 
different parcels of land in the same neighborhood. These 
patches, and perhaps others, probably comprised what was 
known then as " the sledges." Nod and Naumox are names 
of places used at a very early period in the annals of the 
town. See No. XV. (pages 8, 17, 18) of this Historical 
Series, for a reference to these locaHties. 

Theodore Bainbridge, of Philadelphia, was attending school 
at Groton Academy in the year 1815 ; and I am told that he 
was a nephew of the Commodore. 

Mrs. William Gragg Blood (formerly Mrs. John Lawrence), 
of East Pepperell, a daughter of John Lakin, tells me that she 
remembers distinctly the time when Commodore Bainbridge 
owned an interest in the farm, which he would visit occasion- 
ally, and give general directions in regard to its management. 
At certain seasons there were, according to her recollection, 
as many as 2000 sheep and lambs on the place, which were 
raised more for the fleece than the mutton. At that period 
every farmer's wife had a loom, and homespun fabric was 
used in every household ; but, independently of this, large 
mills were then projected, and manufactures were slowly 
creeping into New England, at Waltham and elsewhere, thus 
creating a demand for wool. It was thought that merino 
sheep-raising was to be a great industry, which the actual 
result did not bear out. 

In former times many wild pigeons were caught in this 
neighborhood, during the harvest season, by means of nets ; 
and in other country towns generally, until the whistle of the 
locomotive, and the growing settlements, drove away these 
birds from their old haunts. To such an extent was the busi- 
ness carried on in Massachusetts that as late as March 13^ 
1849, the General Court passed "An Act for the protec- 
tion of Pigeon Beds," as the places were called to which 
the birds were tolled. During my boyhood there were on this 
farm a pigeon stand or roost, and a pigeon bed, near the Tuity 
Road, where David Lakin, Jr., in the season used to catch 
large numbers and sell them in the village. 



Groton was one of the earliest towns in the Common- 
wealth to choose a woman as a member of the school com- 
mittee. When the legality of the measure was first discussed 
in the State, it met with considerable opposition, which the 
General Court promptly decided on June 30, 1874, by the 
following brief enactment : — 

No person shall be deemed to be ineligible to serve upon a 
school committee by reason of sex. 

Before the passage of this Act, however, the town had 
chosen, on March 3, 1873, Miss Clarissa Butler and Mrs. Mary 
T. Shumway as members of the school board. Miss Butler's 
labors in this new capacity were cut short by her untimely 
death on December 22, 1875. The following tribute to her 
memory was paid by the writer of these lines, who remembers 
her with the pleasantest recollections as the teacher of the first 
school which he ever attended : — 

Miss Clarissa Butler of Groton died in this city last Wednesday, 
after a long illness. She was a native of Groton and a daughter 
of the late Caleb Butler, esq., the historian of the town. She will 
be greatly missed by her neighbors and townfolks, as she occupied 
a position of remarkable usefulness. For the last forty years she 
has been closely connected with the local charities and the ques- 
tions of public education, and she has been so capable in whatever 
duties she has undertaken that it will be difficult for any one to 
fill her place. She inherited her father's antiquarian taste, and 
was more familiar with the history of the town than any other 
person. At one time she was the preceptress of Lawrence Acad- 
emy, and of late years has served as a member of the school 
committee, where her opinions were always justly treated with great 
deference. She took an active interest in the Groton public library, 
and made her influence tell in various directions for the benefit of 
the town. Her loss will be felt in many different walks of life. 
Apart, however, from her cultivation and strength of mind, she will 
be remembered best for her conscientious and Christian life. 
" Boston Daily Advertiser," December 27, 1875. 


The school committee, of which body she was the secretary, 
passed a resolution on January 8, 1876, commemorating her 
worth, which is printed in their Report for the school year 
1875-6 (page 19). 

For many years her father, Caleb Butler, was associated in 
many ways with the history of Groton, and his name is now 
identified with three schools kept in the High School building, 
known respectively as the Butler Grammar, the Butler Inter- 
mediate, and the Butler Primary. It was given by a vote of 
the town, on March 2, 1874; and since the daughter's death 
the name has an increased claim to be remembered by all who 
value the cause of public education. 

The building, known as the High School, was erected in 
the year 1870, at a cost of $32,000, and now forms a con- 
spicuous feature in the appearance of the village. It is con- 
structed of brick and trimmed with freestone. A view of the 
building, with a plan and a full description, is given in the 
"Thirty-Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Education" 
(January, 1873), where it appears on pages 120-122 of the 
General Agent's report. 


In Hawley, Mr. Joseph Longley, born in Groton, Mass., Aug. 
17, 1744. He was great grandson to William Longley, who, with 
a part of his family, were killed at Groton, by the Indians, in 1684 
[1694?] — grandson to John Longley, who was Captain five years 
in Canada — and son to Joseph Longley, who was mortally wounded 
in the battle and defeat of Fort William Henry, 1758. When 16, 
he was in the French war one year and helped to build the stone 
barracks at Crown Point, 1760. He was five years in the revolu- 
tionary war for Independence. In the first eight months' service, 
1775. At Ticonderoga in '76. At the capture of Burgoyne, '77. 
In December following, while in the van of 100 volunteers, under 
Maj. Hull, pursuing a foraging party, 32 were cut off by the British 
cavalry, near Derby, deprived of their blankets, and put in prison 
at Philadelphia, where more than half died of cold, hunger, and 
disease. In April, '78, he, with others, were put on board a prison 


ship for New York, where he was exchanged in July, and soon 
after joined his regiment, and was in the battle in Rhode Island, 
and in that signal retreat, under Gen. Sullivan. 
"The Massachusetts Spy" (Worcester), August 24, 1836. 

According to the genealogical tables in the Appendix to 
Mr. Butler's History (page 417), Joseph Longley was born on 
August 6, 1744. The date of his death was July 8, 1836, 
according to the American Almanac for the year 1837, where 
the following notice of him appears under the head of " Amer- 
ican Obituary," though his Christian name is erroneously 
given as William : — 

July 8. — At Hawley, Mass., aged 92, William \_ Joseph?'] Longley, 
who was one year in the French war, and 5 years in the revo- 
lutionary war (page 304). 

William was an elder brother of Edmund Longley, who 
was born at Groton, on October 31, 1746, of whom a bio- 
graphical sketch appears in the American Almanac for the 
year 1844, under the head of "American Obituary for 1842," 
as follows : — 

Nov. 29. — In Hawley, Ms., Edmund Longley, Esq., aged 96. 
He erected the first framed house in H. (then called No. 7,) and 
removed his family into it in 1781. He was sent for many years 
to the General Court ; was the first Plantation and Town Clerk ; 
held the offices of Town Clerk, Selectman, and Treasurer ; was a 
Justice of the Peace for nearly 50 years, and was both a soldier 
and an officer in the revolutionary war (page 313). 

At Groton 15th inst, William Blodgett, formerly of Tyngsboro', 
a revolutionary pensioner, at the age of 90 years and 8 months. 
His descendants were 6 children, 37 grand-children, 23 great- 
grand-children, and one of the fifth generation. He entered the 
army at the age of 16 years, and was one of the number to guard 
Burgoyne's Troops at Winter Hill ; he afterwards shipped on board 
a Letter of Marque on a trading voyage in 1782. On his return 
home in the brig Iris, of Boston, they captured at the mouth of 
James river, in Virginia, an English brig mounting 16 guns, with 
about 100 prisoners, among whom were 30 Americans in irons. 
On the 2d day after the battle, they encountered a storm which 
drove the American brig and the prize both on shore, and dashed 


them in pieces, and all was lost except the crews, which were saved 
by the inhabitants. He next entered the service of his Savior, and 
remained in his service about 60 years, and as he entered the 
threshhold of eternity, he repeated the following lines : 
" I'm not ashamed to own ray Lord, 
Or to defend his cause, 
Maintain the honor of his word, 
The glory of his cross." 
" The Boston Daily Atlas/' November 22, 1852. 

Died in Groton, August 2d [185 1], Mr. William Tarbell, one of 
the last of the Revolutionary patriots, aged 87. Mr. Tarbell joined 
the army when quite young, and was with General Washington 
during the last three years of the war, but having been appointed 
to draw plans and paint sketches of the various battle fields and 
encampments, by the commander-in-chief, he was never in any 
action during that time. He was with the army during its encamp- 
ment at Valley Forge, and his picture of this camp ground, which 
was painted in the log house then occupied by Gen. Washington, is 
now in possession of his son in Boston, and though much faded, is 
still an object of great interest. 

" Springfield Daily Republican," exact date uncertain. 

Stevens, Maj. Thomas, Brooksville, Me., 7 May; in his 90th 
year. He was a native of Groton, Mass., and a soldier of the 

" The New England Historical and Genealogical Register " (VII. 295), for 
July, 1853. 


The following extract is taken from Captain Lawrence 
Hammond's diary, which was given to the Massachusetts 
Historical Society with the Belknap Collection, on March 11, 
1858. The entry is found under the date of July 27, 1694, 
and furnishes some details, hitherto unknown, of the attack 
made at that time. 

The Indians Set upon Groton burnt 2 Houses, kild 22 persons — 
found dead, 13 more missing, they were pursued by about 100 
Horse but they returned without finding them. 




Groton Burned by the Indians, 1676. 
Declaration of Independence, 1776. 





Historical Series, No. XVHI. 

October 31, 1855. 

The two-hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Groton 
was duly celebrated on Wednesday, October 31, 1855, when 
an historical address was delivered by the Reverend Arthur 
Buckminster Fuller, of Manchester, New Hampshire. The 
town was incorporated by the General Court, on May 25, 
1655 ; but it was not intended that the exact date of the first 
settlement should be commemorated, only so far as the year 
was concerned. The day, finally selected, came just after the 
harvest season, when the convenience of the inhabitants was 
best suited, and in the middle of a week, which was another 
element in the decision. 

The first meeting to consider the subject was held in 
Liberty Hall, on May 21, 1855 ; and the call was signed by 
nineteen persons, who very largely represented, by name and 
direct descent, the original settlers of the town. Of these 
signers three are still living, namely, Asa Stillman Lawrence, 
William Livermore, and Zara Patch. Further action in the 
matter was deferred until the autumn. At that time Liberty 
Hall stood on the northerly corner of Main and Court Streets, 
but the building was burned to the ground on Sunday, March 
31, 1878. 

The following is a copy of the notice: 




The citizens of Groton, who desire to notice by appropriate 
ceremonies, the second Centennial Anniversary of the settlement 
of the Town, are invited to meet at LIBERTY HALL, on MON- 
DAY the 2ist inst, at 7 1-2 o'clock P. M. 

Stuart J. Park, 
Ezra Farnsworth, 
Luther Gilson, 
Noah Shattuck, 
Asa Shipley, 
Geo. Farnsworth, 

May 19, 1855. 

Abel Farnsworth, 
Asa Lawrence, 
George Shattuck, 
William Shattuck, 
A. S. Lawrence, 
Sam'l W. Rowe, 
Nathaniel Stone. 

Joshua Gilson, 
Wm. Livermore, 
Calvin Childs, 
Zara Patch, 
P. G. Prescott, 
Charles Prescott, 

-Brown's Press, Groton Junction. — 

No further action in regard to the matter appears to have 
been taken until September 27, the date of a subscription 
paper, which was circulated in order to raise money for meet- 
ing the necessary expenses. It was headed by Walter Shat- 
tuck, who put down the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) ; 
and he was followed by others with smaller amounts. 

A meeting of the citizens was held, agreeably to public 
notice, at Mr. Hoar's tavern, on October 6, — with Walter 
Shattuck as Chairman, and George Henry Brown as Secre- 
tary, — when it was definitely voted to have a celebration ; 
and two committees were also appointed. Another meeting 
was held, according to adjournment, on October 9, when 
reports were heard, and a Committee of Arrangements ap- 
pointed. As an outcome of this meeting the following cir- 
cular, now reprinted in fac-simile, was sent to all persons 
supposed to have an interest in the town : — 


At a meeting of the citizens of Groton, held 
on the gth inst., it was unanimously voted to 
commemorate the Two Hundredth Anniversary 
of the settlement of the Town, by appropriate 
festivities, and the undersigned were chosen a 
Committee to carry out the wishes of the peo- 
ple. We would therefore, cordially invite all 
natives, former residents, and others interested, 
to meet and participate with us in a Jubilee 
Gathering, on Wednesday, Oct. T^ist inst. 

A Procession will be formed at lo o'clock 
A. M., at Liberty Hall, under the direction of 
E. S. Clark, Esq., Chief Marshal, and proceed, 
escorted by a Band, Cavalcade, Military, &c., 
to the Orthodox Meeting House, where an Ad- 
dress will be given by Rev. Arthur B. Fuller, 
of Boston. After the exercises at the Church 
the procession will repair to one of Yale's 
Tents, where a suitable Dinner will be provided 
at One Dollar a ticket. 

Hon. Geo. S. Boutwell will preside on the 
occasion, and Speeches, Sentiments, &c. may be expected from dis- 
tinguished gentlemen. 

It is desirable that this Jubilee be a social family greeting of the 
sons and daughters of old Groton ; — a day that may be kept long 
in remembrance, so that when future generations behold the Third 
Centennial return of the memorable event, they may see that we 
held dear in our hearts, the foundations of the town of our birth or 


GROTON, OCT. 31, 18SS. 

GEORGE H. BROWN, Secretary. 
ALDEN WARREN, Treasurer. 


"Tickets will remain on sale until Saturday previous to the 
celebration, in all towns whose present domain or any part thereof, 
was included in the original Groton Grant. Persons at a distance, 
and all others, wishing for tickets, must make application to the 
Chairman or Secretary, before the 27th inst. 

Other meetings of the citizens and of the Committee of 
Arrangements were subsequently held, but the business 
transacted was of a routine character. 

The Reverend Arthur B. Fuller, the orator of the day, was 
a son of the Honorable Timothy Fuller, who passed the latter 
days of his life at Groton. The son spent his boyhood in the 
town, attending school at Groton Academy, and graduated at 
Harvard College in the class of 1843. He was born at Cam- 
bridgeport on August 10, 1822, and killed in the battle of 
Fredericksburg, Virginia, on December 11, 1862. It was the 
intention of the Committee of Arrangements to publish Mr. 
Fuller's Address, as well as the other proceedings of the cele- 
bration, but for some reason this was not carried out. A 
copy of the Address was furnished Mr. Brown, the Secretary 
of the Committee, and other papers relating to the occasion 
were collected by him with reference to their publication. 
After his death ^ on May 3, 1865, these papers were given to 
me by his widow ; and subsequently, at my request, the 
Address was printed in " The Weekly Public Spirit " (Groton 
Junction), beginning with the issue of March 31, 1870, and 
running through three other numbers. These various manu- 
scripts have since been carefully arranged and bound, and 
they are now placed in the Library of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society. 

The following is a copy of the Order of Exercises at the 
celebration : — 

^ A biographical sketch of Mr. Brown appears in " The New England Histori- 
cal and Genealogical Register " (XX. 84, 85) for January, 1866, where a reference 
is made to these papers. 



G R O T O N, 

V/EDNESDAY, OCT. 31, 1855. 

Geo. S, Boutwell. 
Stuart J. Park, Noah Shattuck, Abel Tar- 
bell, Ezra Farnsworth, Asa Lawrence, John 
H. Loring, Nathaniel Stone, P. G. Prescott, 
Joshua Green, Rufus Moors, John Rock- 
wood, Nathaniel Sawtel], Joseph F. Hall, 
Jr., Harvey A. Woods, Peter Nutting, Cal- 
vin Blood. 

E. S. CLARK, Chief Marshal. 

Nonnan Smith, Samuel A. Green, 

Aldeu Warren, Geo. W. Bancroft, 

Geo. H. Brown, John W. Parker. 

The morning will be ushered in by the 
firing of salutes. 

At 10 o'clock the Procession will be 
formed at Liberty Hall, and escorted to the 
Orthodox Meeting House, in the following 

Chief Marshal. 


Lowell Comet Band. 

Groton Artillery. 

Prescott Guards. 


Shirley Fire Company. 

Committee of Arrangements. 

President, Orator and Chaplain. 

Invited Guests. 

Vice Presidents and Toast Master. 

Clergymen of the Town, 

The Singers. 

Masonic Lodge. 

Citizens of PepperelJ, Shirley, Harvard, 

Westford, Dunstable, Nashua, Groton. 

' Citizens from other towns. 


Voluntary on the Organ . 

Anthem — O Praise ye the Lord ! 


By Miss Emily E. Poor. 

Tune — Benevento. 
Roll ye back ! stormy Past ! 

O ! for one brief hour roll back ! 
Sound aloud the bugle note, 
The call to arms from cannon's throat. 
The war-whoop's wild terrific sound, 
The battle thundering o'er the ground. 
So gloomily, so fearfully. 
From mount to mount rebound ! 

And return O ! Freedom's dawn. 
As ye gleamed from out the cloud ! 

Reddening faint the sea girt town. 

Gilding bright its triple crown ' 
And widening, spread your golden rays. 
Till every hill-top catch the blaze 
And gloriously, and dazzlingly. 

Thy sun, light all our days ! 

Shades of our immortal sires ! 

Come and dwell with us to day ; 
Hear the thanks thy children raise, 
As brave liberty they praise ; 

Bought by wounds and blood and tears, 

Shed in far off vanished years, 
So bravely and so manfully, 
Mid hostile and savage jeers I 

No bright gleam of steel is here, 
Flashing fearfully to day ! 

Indian's hate is buried deep, 

In death's embrace their warriors sleep, 
With peace and love our homes are blest, 
We rise in joy, and sink to rest. 
As quietly, as peacefully, 

As light fades in the West I 

God's best blessings on thy race, 
Rest O 1 Pilgrim Sire of Old ! 

Where the red man used to roam 

Smiles the village and the home ; 
Where once rang the war whoop fell, 
Sounds the peaceful, Sabbath bell, 
Plaintively or merrily 

The christian's chime or knell ! 

Fare ye well O ! Stormy hours, 
Of two hundred yeairs ago ! 

We now hail the time so grand. 

In store for this our native land. 
If you, sons, be true and brave. 
Restoring freedom to the slave. 
And loyally and faithfully. 

Your country's honor save ! 

We to the dim past belong ; 

Let its grand immortal song 
Sound along time's flowing wave, 
All the words of true and brave ; 

Genius fold o'er them its wing. 

And entranced sit and sing. 
And lovingly and faithfully 
The world its tribute bring ! 

Address by Rev. A. B. FULLER. 


Tune Old Hundred. 

To thee, our God, we come this day, 

Our vows of gratitude to pay ; 
To praise thy name for mercies past 

And at thy feet our offering cast. 

Thou wast our fathers' guard and guide ; 

Thou led'st them safe through storm 
and tide ; 
And here midst wild and savage foes. 

Their choral song of faith arose. 

A small and feeble band they came ; 

Thou wast their shield in cloud and flame ; 
Those true, brave hearts made thee their 

Thy care preserved them day by day. 

A mighty nation now we stand. 
Upheld by thy protecting hand ; 

Our empire spreads from sea to sea, 
A glorious gift Lord from thee ! 

Oppression may it cast away, 
Mild and benignant be its sway ; 

To the wide world thy blessings spread. 
And gospel light and freedom shed I 


After the exercises in the Church tha 
procession will repair to Yale's Mammoth 
Tent, where a Banquet will be provided. 

After the removal of the cloth, speeches 
sentiments, vocal and instrumental milsic, 
&c., may be expected ; the festivities closing 
with the following, to be sung by the people. 


By Miss Emily E. Poor. 

Tune Auld Lang Syne. 
The hunter's moon shone down last night 

Upon Wachusett's brow, 
Just as it shed its silver light 

Two Hundred years ago. 
But then it gleamed on armed men. 

In battle's fierce array ; 
On Indian hosts by stream and glen — 

How changed the scene to day. 

The leaves are rustling as we tread 

Within the forest's bound ; 
A gold and crimson shroud they spread 

O'er many a lowly mound — 
Where sleep the foemen side by side. 

As they in battle fell — 
And o'er them flows time's silent tide. 

And tolls its mystic bell ! 

The red man here had hunted wild 

For many a circling year ; 
And on these plains had taught his child 

To chase the flying deer. 
What wonder that he prized these hills 

Which girdled round his home ; 
The forests and the gushing rills. 

By which he loved to roam. 

! Fierce and deadly was his hate, 

For white men brave and bold ; 
As dimly he foresaw his fate 

To fade like autumn gold. 
A generous heart will mourn the fall 

E'en of a foeman brave, 
And gaze with sorrow at the pall 

Which hides a nation's grave. 

The hunter's moon shone down last night 

On peaceful happy homes ; 
No war fires dim its golden light, 

No steel clad warrior roams. 
Silent as death the scene so fair, 

All sunk in deep repose, 
And nought disturbs the midnight air, 

But streamlet as it flows. 

And when this morn awoke to life 

The landscape sleeping dim ; 
Instead of sounds of war and strife, 

Arose the morning hymn. 
And autumn's breeze will bear to day. 

To our fathers listening ears. 
The song of praise and grateful lay. 

For all their toils and tears ! 

Of those who acted as Vice-Presidents Joseph F. Hall and 
Harvey A. Woods alone survive ; and of the Aids to the 
Chief Marshal all, with the exception of Mr. Brown, are alive 
at the present time. 

The following account of the celebration appeared in the 
evening edition of the " Boston Daily Journal," November 3, 
1855 ; and another account, somewhat fuller, was printed in 
the '" Worcester Transcript," November 2, 1855 : — 


To the Editor of the Boston jFournal : 

There was a great gathering at Groton on Wednesday, of the 
sons and daughters of that noted and ancient town. It was the 
two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of the town, and 
the people of all the neighboring villages came flocking in at an 
early hour to see and hear. The day was a charming one, and at 
sunrise was ushered in by the firing of salutes and ringing of bells. 

The procession was one of the great features of the occasion. 
It consisted, besides the officers, singers, &c., of the day, of a cav- 
alcade of young men, Groton Artillery, with their heavy field pieces, 
(the oldest company, save one, in the State,) Prescott Guards, the 
Continentals, dressed in old Continental fashion, and a company 
representing the Indians of olden times, with bows and arrows, 
tomahawks, and other warlike implements — the best imitation of 
a tribe of Indians we ever saw. Next came the Shirley Fire Com- 
pany, with their beautiful machine decorated with flags, flowers, &c., 
and the citizens of Shirley, Pepperell, Westford, Littleton, Dunstable 
and Nashua, towns comprising a large portion of what was once 

The exercises at the church were very interesting. The house 
was completely filled, and many were disappointed, not being able to 

gain entrance. The address by Rev. A. B. Fuller of this city, was 
a beautiful production, and abounded with interesting facts con- 
nected with the early history of Groton. The beautiful and appro- 
priate ode and hymn, written by Miss Emily E. Poor, was sung by 
the different choirs of the village with much taste and effect. 
Seated on {he floor around the pulpit of the church were the chief 
and braves of the tribe of Indians, which added much interest to 
the scene. 

Yale's mammoth tent, in which the tables were set, was taste- 
fully trimmed with national colors, flowers, &c., and the sides 
adorned with various mottos and names of the early settlers. Up- 
wards of eleven hundred people sat down to the repast, which was" 
acknowledged to be the most sumptuous and substantial dinner 
ever got up for a country celebration, and one that reflects great 
credit on Messrs. Fuller and Gill who provided it. 

Ex-Governor Boutwell presided on the occasion, assisted by six- 
teen Vice Presidents, and Rev. James Means as toast master. Mr. 
B. welcomed the guests, in an exceedingly neat and pertinent 
address. Speeches followed from Rev. Mr. Barry, author of the 
able History of Massachusetts, Mr. Fuller, the orator of the day. 
Rev. Messrs. Chandler of Shirley, Nightingale and Bulkley of Gro- 
ton, and Anderson of Brooklyn, N. Y. Highly interesting letters 
were read from Messrs. Edward Everett, Robert C. Winthrop, 
Wm. H. Prescott, Judge Hoar, John P. Bigelow and others, and 
among the sentiments was one to the memory of Mr. Butler, the 
historian of Groton, which was most beautifully responded to by the 
Band, who played Mr. Butler's favorite tune — " old Brattle Street." 

Owing to the lateness of the hour, and departure of the cars, 
several gentlemen, among whom were Richard Frothingham, Jr., 
Esq. of Charlestown, Gen. Jas. Dana and others, were prevented 
from speaking, and so the continuance of " friendly greetings " was 
concluded by singing an original song to the tune of " Auld Lang 
Syne" by all the people. The meeting was then adjourned for one 
hundred years ! We learn that the address, speeches, &c., are to 
be published in pamphlet form. 


Groton Burned by the Indians, 1676. 
Declaration of Independence, 1776. 

The town of Groton celebrated the Centennial Anniversary 
of the Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1876, 
when an historical address by Dr. Samuel A. Green, and a 
poem by the Reverend J. M. L. Babcock, were delivered. The 
address was published in the Proceedings of the celebration, 
but the poem was omitted, as Mr. Babcock then declined to 
furnish a copy. During the last year, at my request, the 
author, who is a practical printer, kindly struck off fifty copies 
himself, which have since been placed in various public libra- 
ries. With his permission I now re-print the poem in this 
Series ; and without his knowledge I add the following bio- 
graphical sketch. 

John Martin Luther Babcock, a son of James and Han- 
nah (Rice) Babcock, was born at Andover, Oxford County, 
Maine, on September 29, 1822. His father's family removed 
to Boston in the year 1825, where he remained until 1846. 
He then passed two years at Plaistow, New Hampshire, after 
which he went to Wilmot in the same State, where he studied 
for the Baptist ministry. He entered the clerical profession 
in 1852, though not ordained until January, 1854. He held 
pastorates at Strafford, Vermont, at Farmington and Effing- 
ham, both in New Hampshire, and at Buxton, Maine. He 
now changed his denominational relations, and entered the 
Unitarian pulpit, being settled, successively, at Lancaster, 
New Hampshire, and at Groton. He was installed over the 
First Parish in Groton, on April 26, 1871, and received his 
dismission on August 31, 1874, since which time he has given 
up preaching. In the year 1875 he founded " The New Age," 
a newpaper devoted to the interests of labor and social 
reform, which was continued for two years. 

Mr. Babcock was married on November 30, 1843, to Martha 
Day Ayer, of Plaistow, New Hampshire, who died on January 


26, 1846, leaving a daughter, Martha Anna, now Mrs. Cyrus 
Sanborn Langley, of Wilmot. He was married, secondly, on 
April 5, 1849, to Miriam Clement Tewksbury, of Wilmot, by 
whom he has had seven children, five girls and two boys. 
Two of the daughters by the last marriage died in infancy, and 
the others are now Mrs. William Wilson Moore, of Bedford, 
New Hampshire, Mrs. Ellis Boyden McKenzie, of Boston, and 
Mrs. Joseph Dillaway Sawyer, of New York. Since leaving 
Groton Mr. Babcock has resided in Cambridge and Boston. 


Down through the ages ran the stream of Time, 

Through many an ancient and historic clime ; 

But where its earlier currents darkling passed, 

One baleful spectre all the world o'ercast. 

On every shore Time's turbid waters lave 

Man droops and dies — a victim and a slave t 

In every land the deadly altars rise, 

That Power may feast on human sacrifice ! 

Yet not a ruin of that olden day 

That does not whisper, through its dark decay, — 

" Where'er the slaughtered human victim lies, 

The Power that crushed him fades and wastes and dies ! " 

On waves of carnage see Assyria ride. 

Only to sink beneath its crimson tide ! 

Thebes' power, once symbolled by its hundred gates, 

Fell pitiless before the maddened fates ! 

Palmyra's gorgeous splendors blazed afar ; 

And yet, despite its triumphs won in war, 

And all the glories of Zenobia's fame, 

It sank into its grave, without a name ! 

And Rome and Athens but repeat the tale, — 

Vain Art and Force, where Justice, Freedom, fail ! 

Out of their mouldering graves to us they call, — 

" Grandeur without Humanity must fall ! " 

The Age of Matter ! crushing human hearts 
Beneath the empire of its marble marts ! 
Dooming its millions in despair to die 
To lift Rhodes' mute Colossus to the sky ! 


Building its gloomy pyramids, which stand 

As monuments to mark a wasted land, 

And tell to after times what withering blight 

Falls on the Power which quenches Freedom's light ! 

And when, from Nature's sacred depths profound, 

Did Manhood rise, erect, with glory crowned ? 

'T was not when life was wildly but to roam. 

And man, the savage, made the caves his home ; 

'T was not when one might over millions reign, 

And deal his curse of bondage, woe, and pain ; 

'T was not when men, untouched by Freedom's flame. 

Were tyrants' counters in Ambition's game, — 

But when a new sun burst the shades of night, 

P'looding the hemispheres with golden light, 

In the redeeming truth that man alone 

Is sovereign and divine, — not crosier, sword, or throne ! 

'T was but a word, breathed on this Western shore, — 

A sound prophetic, and unheard before, — 

But the winds bore it o'er the Atlantic surge. 

And human hearts rejoiced to earth's remotest verge. 

The toiling peasant on the banks of Seine 

Felt a new passion thrilling every vein : 

And the warm heart of brave and chivalrous France 

Hailed it the signal of a new advance ! 

Sclavonic forests echoed with the word, 

The old Teutonic blood anew was stirred { 

The magic strain was heard by Tiber's stream, 

Sounding more glories than the Gra.cchi's dream ! 

At Valley Forge, through blood-tracked winter snows. 

It bore the soldier, victor yet to be ! 
That prophet-word has bafifled Freedom's foes, 

And broke a sceptre — set a people free ! 
'T was but a word the millions leaped to hear, -^ 
" All men are equal ! " ^ but it carried cheer 
To ever}' heart oppressed by cruel power, 
And promised for the race a happier hour. 
A thrill of joy through all the nations ran, — 
The Age of Matter passed, and dawned the Age of Man ! 


Since that bright morning came, an hundred years 

Have rolled away j and now to us appears 

The ripening fruit of that wind-wafted seed, 

In thought inspiring and in noble deed. 

A nation finds in Liberty its trust, — 

Slaves now are men, and thrones are in the dust ! 

We lay our tributes on our Fathers' graves ; 
But, while the flag they bore yet freely waves, 
A nobler height than theirs 't is yours to gain, — 
New trophies of the heart, new conquests of the brain. 
What higher honor have you power to give 
Than prove that still their truth and spirit live ? 
Save that their purpose in your lives is seen. 
What do these offerings to their memory mean ? 
Would you be like them ? Squander not your day 
In traversing for nought their beaten way ; 
Their sacred footprints ! — let them only stand 
To mark your progress in our wide-spread land. 
Tell me of one was not iconoclast — 
Breaking forever with the murky Past ! 
What time their flag was on these shores unfurled. 
When they a New Age gave a waiting world ; 
What time the Mayflower wedded Plymouth Rock, • 
Whose infant struggled, in this new-found clime. 
For fifteen decades, in the womb of Time ; 
Then, like Jove's daughter, to the astonished earth 
Sprang forth a nation, full-grown at its birth ! — • 
What was their key, the Future to unlock ? 
What but the legend, — urgent now to you, — 
" The Old must pass away, and all be New ! " 

Here on this spot, where we have loved to dwell, — 
Where every verdant field, and hill, and vale, 
Glows in the light of some heroic tale, — 

With grateful hearts our Fathers' deeds we tell. 

The pioneers, whose courage cleared the way 

Which leaves smooth paths for tender feet to-day ! 

The perils of the wilderness embraced, 

The horrors of a savage warfare faced ; 


Defied the bloody torrent when it came ; 
Saw their homes sink in one wild gulf of flame ! 
Then gathered round the blackened ruins — still 
With heart undaunted and unyielding will ; 
Once more the roof-tree raised, the walls upreared, 
On the fair soil even danger had endeared. 
For ancient forests gave us fruitful fields ; 
Garnered for us the treasures Nature yields ; 
Planted the trees beneath whose shade we rest ; 
Prepared the heritage which makes us blest ! 
These deeds, recounted on this festal day, 
Live in bright fame ; and, when we pass away, 
Happy for us if at our setting sun 
The work they left us be as truly done. 

Our Fathers ! — not the votive wreath alone 

Shall crown their merit ; not the chiselled stone 

Alone record their worth, — in every heart 

Their virtues live, of our own lives a part. 

Their fame immortal — though their forms unseen — 

We 'II cherish still, — we '11 keep their memory green ! 


The following reminiscences were written at my request, 
nearly ten years ago, by the late Samuel Lawrence, who was 
born at Grotom on January 15, 1801, and died at Stockbridge 
on March 18, 1880. He was the youngest child of Major 
Samuel and Susanna (Parker) Lawrence, and the last survivor 
of his generation. 

My earliest recollection of Groton is the death of Capt. Henry 
Farwell in the year 1804. Dr. Chaplin was the only minister. Hon. 
Timothy Bigelow, one of the most prominent lawyers of the State, 
resided there, and being a graduate of Harvard College, as was Dr. 
Chaplin, our winter district schoolmasters were all from Cam- 
bridge. Dr. Oliver Prescott was the oldest physician. There were 


three stores ; their owners were called merchants with great pro- 
priety, for the number of articles they dealt in was never dreamed 
of by the merchants of Tyre or Venice. Squire Brazer was the 
richest and most important ; he was quite old and corpulent, with 
reddish face, and wore a blue broad-tail dress-coat, with bright 
brass buttons two inches in diameter, white vest and cravat, and 
deep ruffled shirt, with black trousers, a high-crowned hat with very 
broad brim. In the course of my life I have seen some of the 
mercantile magnates of Europe and this country, such as the 
Barings and Rothschilds, Stephen Girard and Astor, but I have 
never been so impressed as when in the presence of Squire Brazer. 
My most painful early memories are with the bitterly cold church, 
where there was no stove or furnace in winter. 

There were two grist and saw mills, Capell's on the Nashua and 
Tarbell's on the SquannacooK; on the last named river was also a 
carding and clothing mill of the three brothers Rockwood. At that 
time all farmers kept sheep for food, but mainly for clothing. The 
wool was scoured in the family, carded into rolls about eighteen 
inches long and two inches in diameter by the Rockwoods, spun in 
the family on a stand-up wheel, backward and forward movement of 
the spinner, and generally woven into flannel by the same person, 
milled into cloth, dyed and finished by the Rockwoods. Some- 
times a portion of wool was dyed a dark color, and mixed with 
white wool to get a pepper and salt color. The flannels for both 
sexes were made in the family, as well as sheets for winter. Flax 
was universally raised, rotted (stiff covering over the fibre), broken 
and hetchelled, and spun on the small wheel with power from the 
foot, making linen thread, which was woven into fabrics for domestic 
use. The tow from the flax after hetchelling was made into a 
coarse fabric for men's frocks and trousers. Men's and women's 
underclothing, beyond the linen alluded to, was from the East 
Indies. A cotton fabric from China, called nankeen (nankin), was 
much used in summer by gentlemen. Carpets made from rags 
were very common. I do not think there was any other kind in 
Groton, and not one piano. 

The habit then was for all who could get it to use spirits, and drink 
some before dinner, — even the most temperate. The better class 
drank West India rum, and the poorer class New England rum. 
French brandy was seldom taken. Cider was universally used till 
the temperance movement was started about the year 1817. Dr. 


Woods, of Andover, one of the leaders in this cause, told me 
forty years afterward the reason he engaged in it so actively 
was that he saw such abuse of ardent spirits among ministers ; for 
he knew forty-four who drank so much as to affect their brains, 
and he had assisted in putting four to bed on occasions like 

At the period above mentioned there was neither a woollen or 
cotton mill in the State, and but few turnpikes ; the Middlesex 
canal had just been opened from Chelmsford to Charlestown. 

The mode of living in Groton was economical in the extreme. 
Books were rare indeed, few were published in the State, and 
Paternoster Row was on the titlepage of all the juvenile literature 
of that period. 

In my earliest years my father's house was thronged by Revolu- 
tionary officers and soldiers, and I beard so much that I almost 
thought I was at Bunker Hill on the glorious Seventeenth. My 
father was an orderly to Col. Prescott, and knew all about the 
doings at Cambridge after the troops arrived there till they went 
to Bunker Hill. These soldiers acted like veterans in consequence 
of their two months' daily drilling. Enough has not been said 
on this point. The claim of Gen. Putnam's admirers never was 
dreamed of till long after both generals had been dead. 

S. L. 

Stockbridge, Sept. 5th, 1877. 


The following advertisement appears in " The Boston 
Gazette, or Weekly Journal," April 23, 1745. It shows how 
much the tax was at that time on unappropriated land in the 
west Precinct or Parish of Groton, which is now known as 
Pepperell : — 

Notice is hereby given to the Proprietors of Groton in the 
County of Middlesex, that they shew Cause, if any they have, 
on the second Wednesday of the next May Sessions of the Great 
and General Court, why all the unappropriated Lands in the West 
Precinct in said Town, should not be rated at two Pence per Annum 
per Acre for three Years next coming. 



Mr. Butler, in the genealogical Appendix to his History 
(page 394), mentions the family of " John Darby and Mary," 
and in the next page gives that of " John Derbyshire and 
Mary," as if they were different families. They were, how- 
ever, undoubtedly one and the same. This view is confirmed 
by the name of the wife, the dates of the birth of the children, 
and the tendency in former times to cut words short. Before 
coming to Groton, John lived at Dunstable, where other chil- 
dren had been born (Fox's History of Dunstable, page 242). 
I have seen a deed given by him to John Shipley, dated 
March 25, 1710, which was signed John Darbeysher, to which 
he affixed his mark ; and in the text of the deed the name is 
written Darbeyshaer. 

The following petition, found among the Massachusetts 
Archives (IX. 164), shows that John and Mary were not 
happy in their marriage relations, and furthermore it shows 
how domestic affairs, during the last century, were sometimes 
brought before the Governor and Council. If family quarrels 
were now passed upon by the same authorities, there would 
be but little time left for public business." 

To his Excellency the Governour and the Honourable the Coun- 
cil of her Majestyes Province of the Massachusetts Bay in N. 

The humble Petition of John Derbyshire of Groton Sheweth 

That whereas yo' petitioners wife hath for the Space of Two 
years Last past Seperated herself from yo' petition', living Some- 
times out of the Towne, but at p'sent in it, yet wholly refusing to 
take care of her family or to returne to yo' petition', after y= Utmost 
Endeavours and perswasions of her Neighbours to returne to her 
Charge which is to the almost Utter Undoing of your Poor petitioner 
and his Family. 

Wherefore yof humble petitioner intreats the Honourable Board 
would be pleased to take cognisance of his Cause, and that if pos- 
sible his wife might be reduced to her duty, and your petitioner 
shall as in duty bound forever pray &c. 

J his marlce t-. 

OHN rj Derbyshire 
Groton Oct" 12 1710 


Nathaniel Woods was married to the widow Mary Derbe- 
shere, according to the County records, on June 5, 1725, but 
according to the church records, on September 14, 1725. 

Here are two other instances of domestic infelicity, where 
the husbands for redress had recourse to the public prints, 
which is more in accordance with modern customs : — 

TJT'Hereas Ann the wife of me William Preston of Groton in the 
County of Middlesex, hath unjustly eloped from me and my 
Family, and by the bad Advice of evil-minded Persons hath threatned 
to injure me by running me in Debt, &=€. 

THESE are therefore to caution all Persons against trusting or 
giving any Credit whatsoever to her the said Ann upon my Accompt, 
for I hereby signify that I will not pay any Debt she shall contract 
from the Date hereof, unless she speedily returns, and will be a 
loving and dutiful Wife ; if so she will be kindly receiv'd, 

As witness my Hand, 
Sept. 26, 1745. William Preston: 

" The Boston- Weekly News Letter," September 26, 1745. 

Groton, December 20th, 1748. 

Notice is hereby given to all Persons, That whereas Ruth 
Woods, the Wife of Nathaniel Woods, of said Groton, Yeo- 
man, has greatly misbehaved her self, and run him in Debt without 
his Order, and so behaves her self, that he cant live with her, 
therefore all Persons are hereby forbid to trade any Thing with 
her, for if they do, I will not pay one Penny 

Nath. Woods. 

" The Boston Gazette, or Weekly Journal," December 27, 1748. 


During the last century there was a vehicle, which long 
since passed out of use, known as a " chair." It resembled a 
chaise with the top taken off, and was generally wide enough 
to carry two persons. References to these vehicles may be 
found in " Groton during the Indian Wars " (pages 158-160). 

On June 15, 1753, the General Court of Massachusetts 
passed an Act for granting the sum of ;^i,500 to encourage 
the manufacture of linen ; and in order to raise this amount a 
tax was levied "on every coach, chariot, chaise, calash and 
chair" within the province. The tax on a coach was ten 
shillings ; a chariot, five shillings ; a chaise, three shillings ; 
a calash and a chair, two shillings each. For the purpose of 
carrying out this law returns were made, during several years, 
of all the carriages in the several towns ; and according to a 
table prepared from these returns, there was one chair at 
Groton in the year 1753 ; none in 1754 and 1755 ; and three 
in 1756 and 1757. At this period there was no other carriage, 
besides these chairs, kept in the town. (Massachusetts Ar- 
chives, CXXI. 326, 329, 340.) 

The Reverend Nathaniel Bouton, D.D., in his History of 
Concord, New Hampshire (page 513), mentions among the 
earliest chaises owned in that town one that had belonged, 
just before the Revolution, to Colonel Peter Green. It had 
come to him from the estate of his father-in-law Colonel John 
Bulkley, of Groton, who died on December 3, 1772. This 
was, probably, also one of the earliest chaises in Groton. For 
a reference to Mrs. Peter Green, as well as to her father. 
Colonel Bulkley, see No. XHI. (page 61) and No. XVH. 
(page 13) of this Historical Series. 


During a long period before the Revolution, Groton had 
one element in her population which does not now exist, and 
which to-day has disappeared from almost the whole civilized 
world. At the beginning of the year 1755 there were fourteen 
negro slaves in town, seven men and seven women, who were 
sixteen years old or upwards. At that time Townsend had 
three slaves, two men and one woman; Shirley had one, a 
man ; and Pepperell made no return of having any. West- 


ford had five, but the sex is not given. These facts are 
gathered from a census of negro slaves in Massachusetts, 
ordered by the Province, which is published in the third 
volume, second series, of the Collections of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society (pages 95-97). 

William Banks, a negro or mulatto, was married at Groton 
on December 21, 1719, by Francis Fullam, a Justice of Peace,' 
to Hannah Wansamug. See No. XHI. of this Historical 
Series (page 17). William appears to have been a slave 
belonging to Eleazer Robbins, of Groton, and Hannah was an 
Indian, who is called in the records " late of Lancaster ;" but 
unfortunately the marriage was not a happy one. With all 
confidence in her husband, the wife bought his freedom, when 
he proved false to his plight and promise, and deserted her. 
The story, told in her own words, is found in the Journal of 
the Massachusetts House of Representatives, June 13, 1724 
(page 39). 

A Petition of Hannah Banks Indian, shewing that she bought of 
Eleazer Robbins of Groton his Servant Man's Time, and gave a 
Bond of /. 15 for Payment of the same, that afterwards she married 
the said Servant Man, who is since absconded, and the said Rob- 
bins hath put the said Bond in Suit, and cast the Petitioner into 
Prison in Boston, that the Principal Debt with the Charges hath 
arisen to /. 25 which yir. Edward Ruggles of Roxbury hath paid for 
her, praying this Court would please to enable the said Edward 
Ruggles to Sell such a part of her Land in Natick, as will satisfy 
him for his advance of said Twenty Five Pounds. 

Read and committed to the Committee for Petitions. 

The following advertisement, not an unusual one for that 
period, appears in " The Boston Evening-Post," July 30; 
1739: — 

RAN away from his Master, Mr. John Woods of Groton, on 
Thursday the \2th of this Instant July, a Negro Man Servant 
named Caesar, about 22 Years of Age, a pretty short well sett Fellow. 
He carried with him a Blue Coat and Jacket, a pair of Tow 
Breeches, a Castor Hat, Stockings and Shoes of his own, and a Blue 


Cloth Coat with flower' d Metal Buttons, a white flower' d Jacket, a 
good Sever Hat, a Gray Wigg, and a pair of new Shoes of his 
Master's, with some other Things. It is suspected there is some white 
Person that may be with him, or design to make Use of his Master's 
Apparel above described. 

Whoever shall take up the said Servant, and bring hiin to his above- 
said Master in Groton, or be a Means of convicting any Person or 
Confederate ifjith said Servant as above suspected, shall have Five 
Pounds Reward for each of them, and all necessary Charges paid. 

The following marriage is entered in the church records 
under the date December 28, 1742: '' Priamus (Cap' Boy- 
dens Negro man servantQ] to Margr? Molatto formerly servant 
to S. S. both of Groton". It is also recorded that Margaret, 
the servant of Samuel Scripture, Jr., was baptized on January 
30, 1733-4, and that she owned the church covenant at the 
same time. See No. X. of this Historical Series (pages 14, 
20, and 30). The last entry shows that the initials " S. S." 
mentioned above stand for Samuel Scripture, Jr. This negro 
couple was afterward blessed with a family of children, and 
they lived on the west side of the Nashua River, a short dis- 
tance north of the county road to Townsend. His surname 
wa? Lew or Lue, and his given name became contracted into 
Primus ; and to this day the rise of ground, near the place 
where the Pepperell road leaves the main road, is known as 
Primus Hill, so called after him. Mr. Butler thinks that 
perhaps Margaret's name was Lew. See his History (page 
454). Their oldest child, — Zelah, a corruption of Barzillai, 
— born at Groton on November 5, 1743, was a famous 
musician, who lived at Dracut, and the father of numerous 
children who were also musicians. He was a fifer in Captain 
John Ford's company of the 27th Massachusetts Regiment in 
service at the siege of Boston, and was present at the Battle 
of Bunker Hill. 

About the year 1740 there was a negro slave in Groton by 
the name of Bead, who used to look after the cattle sent up 
to Groton Gore in the spring to be pastured during the sum- 
mer. See "The Boundary Lines of Old Groton " (page 37), 
and No. XHI. of this Historical Series (page 59). In the 
year 1761 Abraham Moors owned a slave named Zebina. 


Akin to the subject of slavery in Groton is this item from 
"The Groton Landmark," November 14, 1885 : — 

Gov. Boutwell has in an old scrap-book the following interesting 

Memorandum : 

August, 1856. 

Noah Shattuck, esq., informs me that there were eleven slaves in 
Groton when slavery was abolished, and he mentioned the follow- 
ing names : Chloe Williams, Phillis Cutler, Phillis Sartell,^ Ichabod 
Davis, Fanny Borden and William Case. Phineas Wait also 
owned one slave. 

Noah Shattuck, a son of Job and Sarah (Hartwell) Shat- 
tuck, was born on August 30, 1772, and died on September 
28, 1858. 

Slavery was never formally abolished in Massachusetts, but 
it was held by the courts that the Bill of Rights contained in 
the Constitution, which was adopted in the year 1 780, swept 
away this last vestige of feudalism. 


We hear from Dunstable, That a sorrowful Accident happen'd 
there as they were raising the Frame for a new Meeting-House 
in that Town Yesterday was sev'night — Two Men, assisting in 
the Work fell, from a Spar, and one of them (Abiel Richardson of 
Groton) had his Brains dash'd out, his Head in the Fall striking 
upon a Rock, so that he expir'd immediately ; the other was much 
bruis'd, but 'tis tho't will recover. 

"The Boston Weekly News-Letter," July 26, 1753. 

Some Days ago a young Man at Work in a new House at Groton, 
catching hold on a wrong Rope, fell from the Top to the Bottom, 
and was kill'd in a Moment. 

" The Boston Gazette, or. Weekly Advertiser," November 5, 1754. 

We also hear, that several Persons have lately been taken up at 
Groton, on Suspicion of counterfeiting the Bills of Credit of the 

' Owned by Joseph Sartell. 


Province of New- Hampshire. One of the Gang is now in our Goal, 
for attempting to put off some of the said Counterfeits in this 
"The Boston Gazette, or, Weekly Advertiser," February ii, 1755. 

A Petition of Jonathan Sheple of Groton, in the County of 
Middlesex, setting forth, that about four Years ago, he was several 
Times presented by the Grand-Jury for not attending the public 
Worship of God, but being at that Time over-borne with Melan- 
cholly, under his then distressing Circumstances, and bereaved of 
the proper Exercise of his Reason, he forfeited his Recognizances, 
for satisfying which, and the other Costs attending the said Pre- 
sentments, he has been since obliged to make Sale of his Dwelling- 
place ; and praying that the Money paid by him, being still in the 
Clerk's Hands, he may be allowed to receive back again. 

Read, and Ordered, That Col. Lawrence, Col. Clap, and Mr. 
Prentice, be a Committee to consider this Petition, and Report 

Journal of the House o£ Representatives, January 8, 1757 (page 241). 

Last Wednesday [June 3,] the Rev. Mr. Samuel Dana was or- 
dained Pastor to the first Church in Groton . The Rev. Mr. Rogers 
of Littleton began with Prayer, the Rev. Mr. Appleton of Cambridge 
preached from Levit. X. 3. the Rev. Mr. Parker of Dracut gave the 
Charge, and the Rev. Mr. Hall of Wesford gave the Right Hand of 

" The Boston Gazette, and Country Journal," June 8, 1761. 


At Amherst, N. H. Mr. John Parks, of Groton, (Mass.) He, 
as master workman in building the stone gaol in Amherst, was 
unfortunately wounded by a large stone falling on the end of a pry, 
which struck him on the head and stomach, and occasioned his 
death the third day after. He was the master workman in building 
the gaols in this town and Concord. 
" Thomas's Massachusetts Spy : or. The Worcester Gazette," August 29, 1793. 


At Groton, the 13th inst Miss Grace Whiting, ^t. 27, daughter 
to Capt. Leonard Whiting, of HoUis, N. H. 

" The Independent Chronicle : and the Universal Advertiser " (Boston), Octo- 
ber 31, 1796. 

At Groton, on the ist inst. Mrs. Lovina Tarbell, wife of Mr. Abel 
Tarbell, and daughter of Joshua Longley, Esq. of Shirley, JEt, 22 
years. — Having been in good health, and without any previous 
complaint, fell on the floor, and expired in a few minutes. Her 
death is severely felt in the family, and greatly lamented by her 

" Columbian Centinel & Massachusetts Federalist" (Boston), October 8, 1803. 

In Groton [January 9], Lieut. William Parker, a revolutionary 
soldier, aged 71. 
" Columbian Centinel " (Boston), January 24, 1833. 

In Groton, Mr. David Wilson, a revolutionary soldier, aged 90. 
His death was occasioned by falling into the fire, supposed in a fit. 
"Columbian Centinel" (Boston), February 23, 1833. 

According to an advertisement in " The Continental Jour- 
nal, and Weekly Advertiser" (Boston), May 29, 1777, John 
Williams, of Groton, was engaged at that time in recruiting 
for Colonel Rufus Putnam's regiment ; and according to the 
same newspaper, three weeks later (June 19), the town of 
Groton was to receive ninety-eight bushels of salt out of the 
public stores belonging to the State. 

Captain John Williams was a son of John and Elizabeth 
(Cutter) Williams, and born on July 4, 1746. He died on 
July I, 1822. 

No. XIX. 








Historical Series, No. XIX. 


The visit of the President of the United States will long 
be memorable in the annals of Groton. General Grant passed 
the night of Wednesday, June 16, 1869, at the house of Gov- 
ernor Boutwell, where on the next day he held a pubhc recep- 
tion, which was attended by a large gathering. People poured 
into the village from all the neighborhood, and never before 
was there so great an assemblage of persons within the limits 
of the town. No accident occurred to mar the festivities, and 
everything passed off satisfactorily, thus making the occasion 
a complete success. 

A musical festival, known as the Peace Jubilee, had begun 
in Boston on Tuesday, June 15, which lasted five days. It 
was intended to celebrate the downfall of the Rebellion and 
the restoration of peace and good will in all parts of the 
country, which at that time so recently had been rent asunder 
by Civil War. Several thousand voices sang in the chorus, 
and the audiences were correspondingly large. A building 
known as the Coliseum was erected for the special occasion. 
General Grant attended the concert in the afternoon of the 
second day of the Jubilee, in company with Governor Boutwell, 
a member of his Cabinet, and with other distinguished guests. 
After a dinner in the evening given by the city of Boston, 
a special train was despatched to Groton, which bore the 
President and his party. 

The following accounts of his visit were published at the 
time in the "Boston Daily Advertiser" and the "Spring- 
field Daily Republican." 


The President and his party left the supper room of the Revere 
House at a few minutes before eight o'clock last evening, and after 
a few minutes' conversation in the ladies' parlor, proceeded to the 
Fitchburg Railroad station, where a special train awaited his 
arrival. The party consisted of the President, U. S. Grant, jr.. 
Secretary Boutwell, Governor Claflin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 
Hon. J. M. S. Williams, Dr. S. A. Green, Colonel Daniel Need- 
ham and wife, Mrs. McAfee and Mrs. Wellington of Groton, Gen- 
eral A. B. Underwood and the Rev. William Clark, chaplain of 
the New Hampshire legislature. The President was loudly cheered 
as he entered the cars, where Mr. P. S. Gilmore had a brief inter- 
view with the President. The train made brief stops at Waltham, 
Concord and South Acton, and at each of these stations the Presi- 
dent bowed his acknowledgments to the gathered crowds, and 
shook hands with hundreds from the car window. During a large 
portion of the journey to Concord the President conversed freely 
with Mr. Emerson, chiefly on educational matters, and the two 
distinguished gentlemen evidently enjoyed the interview. 

At the Groton Junction station a great crowd was gathered, and 
great enthusiasm was manifested when the President made his 
appearance. After a little delay he proceeded with Secretary 
Boutwell and a select party to Groton Centre, where he passed the 
night as the Secretary's guest. A salute of guns greeted his 
arrival, and the whole town was in a state of excitement. A public 
reception is to be held at the Town Hall, at half-past nine o'clock 
this morning) when an immense gathering is expected. 

The genial and frank conversation of the President while on the 
train, showed that when inclined to be communicative he has no 
lack of words to express his ideas. He gave many little war inci- 
dents bearing upon different officers, and in the course of some 
remarks made in reference to General Sherman, he said that he 
considered him fully capable of commanding any army that the 
country could raise and against any nation with which we should 
ever be called to fight ; that he had sound judgment, great nerve, 

and was always ready to do what he was ordered to do, even when 
against his personal wishes, and never grumbled. In a remark 
made to Governor Claflin concerning the election of last fall, he 
said that Massachusetts entered into the contest as if she had not 
a vote to lose — as if she was a doubtful State ; and this compli- 
ment was well responded to by different gentlemen present. It 
may be said, in brief, that the President greatly enjoyed his visit to 
Boston, and that all the arrangements made for his benefit were 
highly satisfactory to him. 

The President leaves for Worcester today at 12.30 p. m., the hos- 
pitalities of that city having been tendered him yesterday by Mayor 
Blake. He will remain in the city but a few hours, returning to 
New York by the afternoon train. He will be received by the city 
government, and escorted through the principal streets by the mili- 
tary, the Highland Cadets and the Grand Array of the Republic. 
He will review the public schools, and partake of a collation at 
the Bay State House. Secretary Boutwell will accompany the Presi- 
dent to Worcester, but will return to Groton in the evening. 

" Boston Daily Advertiser," Thursday morning, June 17, 1869. 


The announcement that the president, after his holiday in 
Boston, was to visit the secretary of the treasury at his home in 
Groton, seemed at first a little surprising, especially to the Bostoni- 
ans, who could hardly bear the thought of so distinguished a man 
sleeping anywhere but under the shadow of the state house. But 
the reason for it was a very good one, — to visit and pay honor to 
the county and the precise region which, on the opening of the 
rebellion, sent the first soldiers to defend the capital of the nation. 
It was from Acton and Groton, and the neighboring towns, that 
the Sixth regiment went forth on the i6th of April, 1861, and it 
was the farmers and mechanics of Middlesex that, on the 19th of 
April, shed their blood in Baltimore, as their grandfathers had at 
Concord and Lexington on another 19th of April eighty-six years 
before. When the Essex county men and the New York Seventh 
got to Washington on the 25th of April, they found the townsmen 
of Secretary Boutwell quartered in the Senate chamber, having 
been the first of the volunteers to reach the capital. Close behind 
them came the Fifth regiment, also Middlesex men, who marched 

away from their homes while their neighbors of the Sixth were 
breaking through the Baltimore mob, and joined them on Capitol 
Hill before there was any chance for further fighting. 

It was these men, their widows and children, their fathers, 
brothers and townsmen who crowded about the train that carried 
the great general of the war through the length of Middlesex 
county on Wednesday evening. As he left the Fitchburg railroad 
station he passed along the side of Bunker Hill ; through Cam- 
bridge, where Washington encamped with his besieging army ; not 
far from Lexington, over the meadows of Concord, and amid the 
hills and woods of Acton, whose "embattled farmers" fired the 
famous shot in 1776. In all these - towns the monuments of 
the old war and the new might be seen standing in sight of each 
other, — the granite of their sides not more firm and durable than 
the loyalty of the people who built them to the cause of freedom 
and their country. It was a little after 8 o'clock when the special 
train carrying Gen. Grant and his son, Secretary Boutwell, Gov. 
Claflin, Mr. Emerson of Concord, Dr. S. A. Gr^en of Groton, and 
a few others, left Boston for the old village of Groton, where Mr. 
Boutwell's home and farm are. The train made brief stops at 
Waltham, Concord and South Acton, and at each of these stations 
the president bowed his acknowledgments to the gathered crowds, 
and shook hands with hundreds from the car window. During a 
large portion of the journey to Concord the president conversed 
freely with Mr. Emerson, chiefly on educational matters, but he 
spoke frankly also of incidents of the war. In regard to his com- 
panion in arms. Gen. Sherman, he declared that he was fully ca- 
pable of commanding any army that the country could' raise, and 
against any nation with which we should ever be called to fight ; 
that he had sound judgment, great nerve, and was always ready to 
do what he was ordered to do, even when against his personal 
wishes, and never grumbled. In a remark made to Gov. Claflin 
concerning the election of last fall, he said that Massachusetts 
entered into the contest as if she had not a vote to lose — as if 
she was a doubtful state ; and in all that was said he showed that 
he was well aware of the part taken by Massachusetts in the war, 
and in the political sequel thereto. 

Indeed the president had already shown his appreciation of 
Massachusetts and of Middlesex county by his choice of cabinet 
officers. In his detour of Wednesday and Thursday he visited the 
homes of his attorney-general and his secretary of the treasury, — 


places within fifteen miles of each other, and in those rural com- 
munities of our state, where, more than in our cities and larger 
towns, the old fashioned spirit of Massachusetts abides and pre- 
vails. It is not often that a president of the United States visits 
such communities, or chooses from them his cabinet ministers, but 
when he does so it is a sign that he values the Puritan virtues, and 
takes pleasure in seeing the plain people among whom they have 
longest held sway. This is the way we interpret Gen. Grant's 
visit to Middlesex ; though it may also have been intended as a 
mark of the special trust which he reposes in his secretary of the 
treasury, who well deserves it. 

" Springfield Daily Republican," Friday morning, June l8, 1869. 


The distinct traces of an old dam on James's Brook at 
Groton are to be seen on the easterly side of the road to Ayer, 
near the extreme limits of the town. They are found on the 
farm, known formerly as the Benjamin Moors place, but 
latterly owned by Nathan F. Culver. The excavations of 
earth, below the dam, for the purpose of filling-in the stones, 
are clearly visible ; and even the size of the mill-pond can be 
made out. None of the aged people, whose recollection goes 
back to the early part of the present century, could tell any- 
thing in regard to the mill that stood on this site. It is not 
mentioned by Dr. Oliver Prescott, Jr., in his survey of the 
town made in the year 1794, which carefully notes all the 
mills at that time. James's Brook was once a much larger 
stream than it is now, and in particular places furnished con- 
siderable water-power. 

This farm was bought of John Farnsworth, by Abraham 
Moors, the grandfather of Benjamin ; and the deed, dated 
February 5, 1 716-17, is duly recorded in the Middlesex 
Registry of Deeds (Book XXIII. page 47) at East Cambridge. 
From this record the following description of land is taken, 
which furnishes a clew to the desired information : — 

Several parcels of upland & Swampy Low land all Situate lying 
& being within the Bounds and Limits of the Township of Groton 
in the county and province afores'd containing in all by Estimation 
One hundred & Sixty acres more or less Improv" Thirty acres more 
or less of mill pond Swamp & upland with a three quarter part of 
an Old Saw mill thereupon [the Italics are mine] now standing 
and it is Bound Northwardly upon a high way that leadeth to a 
farm that is called by the Name of Coycus ffarm Eastwardly with 
the Lands of Josiah Farnsworth Southerly upon Davis's Land & 
Westerly upon Saw mill Lands &c. 

Here we have a distinct reference to this very mill, which 
identifies it beyond doubt ; and it is interesting to note that 
even then, a hundred and seventy years ago, it was called " an- 
Old Saw mill." " Coycus ffarm " is the abbreviated spelling 
of Nonacoicus farm, which had previously belonged to Major 
Simon Willard. The highway, mentioned in the description, 
is the present road from Groton to Ayer. A record of John 
Farnsworth's lands in the Middlesex Registry of Deeds 
(XIII. 336), on May 10, 1700, refers to his "Saw Mill Land," 
which was without question this parcel, showing that he 
owned it at that time. 

Going back to a still earlier date, in a description of Farns- 
worth's lands, on December 9, 1680, as found in "The Early 
Records of Groton" (page 182), reference is made to "a pece 
of swamp land, lyeing betwixt the pond at John Page's saw- 
mill and the bridg that goe to Nonicoycus, bounded round 
by the town's comon land." Undoubtedly Page's saw-mill, 
here mentioned, was the same as Farnsworth's, as the sites of 
the two appear to be identical ; and " the bridg that goe to 
Nonicoycus " is still standing over James's Brook, very near 
the bed of the old mill-pond. Page's mill was built probably 
soon after the re-settlement of the town in the year 1678 ; 
and this dam furnishes, perhaps, the earliest trace of man's 
work that can be identified within the limits of Groton or its 

Many years ago John Chamberlain had a saw-mill on Mar- 
tin's Pond Brook, near the foot of Brown Loaf, on its north- 
erly side. He was known about here as- " Paugus John," 

from the fact of his kiUing the Indian chief Paugus, in Love- 
well's -Fight at Pequawket, on May 8, 1725. An account of this 
action is found in Chapter IV. of " Groton during the Indian 
Wars." Even now there is a deep place in Paugus Brook, 
known as Paugus Hole, on the west side of Brown Loaf, where, 
it is said, the body of Paugus's descendant, who came to kill 
Chamberlain, many years after , the Fight, was sunk, after he 
himself was killed. A small elm stands on the south bank of 
the brook, very near the place. Chamberlain is supposed to 
have died about the year 1756, though no record of his death 
is found. The appraisal of his property was made on March 
31, 1756, according to papers in the Middlesex Probate Office 
at East Cambridge. The old mill-race is still to be seen ; and 
only a few weeks ago, in company with Francis M. Boutwell, 
Esq., I examined the site. The mill is not mentioned by Dr. 
Oliver Prescott, Jr., in his survey of 1794, and, of course, was 
not standing at that time. It was sold by Joseph Gilson, Jr., 
husbandman, to Eleazer Gilson, cooper, February 13, 1716- 
17, as recorded in the Middlesex Registry of Deeds (XIX. 
131, 132). The land is described as lying on both sides of 
" Brownlofe Brook," and bounded westerly by the road leading 
to John Chamberlain's corn-mill, which at that time was the 
mill mentioned in the next paragraph. There has been, how- 
ever, a grist-mill on or very near the sahie spot in modern 
days, which was built by George Russell about the year 
1870 ; but this was carried away during a freshet in March, 


A grist-mill stood for a long period on Baddacook Pond 
Brook, about two miles and a half from the Unitarian Meeting- 
House, on the Lowell road. It is given by Dr. Oliver Pres- 
cott, Jr., on his plan of 1794, and was standing in the early 
part of the last century. John Chamberlain, yeoman, con- 
veyed it to Eleazer Gilson, February 13, 1716-17, — the same 
day that Joseph Gilson, Jr., sold his mill to Gilson, as re- 
corded above. The grantor afterward became the famous 
Indian fighter, as previously stated. The land is described 
as lying on the southerly side of " Battecook Medow," and 
from the description the road ran then as it does now. 


When Mr. Butler's map was made, from a survey during the 
years 1828 and 1829, the mill belonged to Amelia Woods, 
and before that had been owned successively by her father 
and brother, Nahum and Nahum, Jr. It was taken down 
about i860, having for several years previously fallen into 

Eleazer Gilson appears to have been a large owner of mill- 
property at an early period in the history of Groton. He 
bought of Isaac Parker, December 7, 1726, a saw-mill situated 
on Mulpus Brook, as recorded in the Middlesex Registry of 
Deeds (XXVI. 336). In modern times he would have made 
his mark as an extensive manufacturer or a railroad magnate. 

During my boyhood there was a mill for grinding and saw- 
ing at West Groton, — or Squannacook, as it was then called ; 
but this was taken down many years since. It was first built 
by John Tarbell, the father of the late Colonel Abel Tarbell, 
who died on October 19, i860, at the advanced age of 86 
years. John died on September 9, 1802, aged 79. A mill for 
the manufacture of leather-board now occupies the site. 

There was also another mill for grinding and sawing, where 
the Hollingsworth paper-mills now stand, on the Great Road 
north of the village. At the end of the last century it was 
owned by John Capell, but it disappeared a long time ago, in 
order to make way for the new buildings. Both these grist- 
mills, last mentioned, are given on Dr. Prescott's plan of 1794. 


At an early period in our colonial history the travel from 
Groton to Boston went by a circuitous route through Chelms- 
ford and Billerica, where there was a bridge over the Concord 
River, built by several towns, — of which Groton was one, — 
and supported jointly by them for many years. The Reverend 
Henry Allen Hazen, in his " History of Billerica " (page 98), 
says that the town of Groton paid toward the repairs of the 

bridge in the year 1665 the sum of £l 14J. jd. out of a 
total of ;^2i 2s. 2d. — probably the first assessment paid by 
the town, though there is no allusion to the matter in the 
town-records, which are not entirely complete at this period. 
On March 12, 1665-6, the Selectmen of Chelmsford gave 
notice to the town of Billerica that they would no longer help 
keep the bridge in repair, whereupon it was voted by the 
Selectmen of Billerica that they would take up some of the 
planks and thus stop all travel, which was undoubtedly done. 
How long the bridge remained impassable, or how long the 
difHcult^ continued, there is no record ; but probably the 
trouble was not settled until the General Court, twenty 
months later, interposed its power and decided the matter. 
At its session beginning on October 9, 1667, it is recorded : 

In Answer to a motion made by the Deputjes of Billirica & 
Chelmsford in refferenc to the bridge ouer Billirica Riuer — It is 
Ordered by this Court thatt according to the Agreement of the 
Comittee of the Generall Court & Comitte of that Countje respect- 
ing bridges bearing date Aprill 17. 1660 the sajd bridge shall be 
repayred & vpholden by the Tounes of Billirica chelmsford & 
Groaten. & all such ffarmes as are there granted when they shall 
be Improoued in proportion to their Country rates. & shall be freed 
from the majntenanc of all other bridges excepting only in their 
oune Tounes. 

[General Court Records, IV. Part a, 591.] 

In carrying out this order, which had reference only to the 
repairing of the bridge, the County Court at Charlestown, on 
December 17, 1667, appointed a commission of four men, — of 
whom Captain James Parker, of Groton, was one, — who were 
authorized to make a contract " with some able and honest 
artificer '' for building it anew ; and accordingly to that end 
they made an agreement with Job Lane, of Billerica. The 
written contract containing all the specifications in detail is 
still preserved ; and it stipulated that the Groton payments, 
if Lane so chose, should be delivered near the bridge, while 
it was building, and after that in Billerica. The work was to 
be done before September 29, 1668. 


In the year 1676, — according to Mr. Hazen's History (page 
99),^ — the complaints about the bridge were repeated, and 
there was again united action of the towns in repairing it ; 
but probably at this time Groton was relieved of all assess- 
ments, as the town was then deserted. During the next 
twenty years no further complaint is recorded ; but at the 
end of this period (probably in the year 1698) the bridge was 
swept away by a flood. Then another controversy arose on 
the old subject of proportioning the expense ; and in order 
to settle the difficulty a request was sent out at this time by 
the Selectmen of Chelmsford to the towns of Groton, Dun- 
stable, and Billerica, asking them to appoint a committee, who 
should be authorized to meet and act in the matter. Accord- 
ingly a meeting was held, probably at Chelmsford, when 
Thomas Williams and James Blanchard, the town clerk, were 
present, representing the town of Groton. (History of Bil- 
lerica, page 100.) One result of this consultation was to 
change the location of the bridge and place it more than a 
mile farther up the river. The following entries in the 
Groton town-records probably refer to a subsequent meeting 
of the committee, which soon followed the first, when there 
was evidently a hitch in the proceedings : — 

december 21 at a town meting legely warned the town did then 
uote and declare that y° will chuse to men for to be the towns 
agents for to maniadge the case a bought the brigde and for to 
imply a lawyer in the behalfe of the town and that y" will raise 
money for to bare the charge of said men 

James Blanchard town dark 

at a town meting legely warning december: 21 1698. capSn 
Prascott was chosen for to go to chelmsford to meett with the 
commety and insign farnworth was chosen for to go with him to 
chamesford. James Blanchard towti Clarke 

december: 21 1698 at a town meting legelly warned the town 
did uote and chuse capt prescott and insign farnworth to go to 
Chelmsford to mete with the commete and to act in the towns 
be halfe acording to there best discrestion refering to bill area 
tiridg James Blanchard town Clark 


December 21 : 1698 : at a town metinge legally warn the town 
did chuse capt prescott and Insign farnworth to be the to men for 
to acte in the towns be halfe for to do the work Spock of in the 
other uot James Blanchard town Cla\rK\ 

The bridge was built on the new site some time during the 
year 1699, but for one rekson or another now unexplained, 
the town of Groton refused to pay the amount assessed as 
her share of the expense, and recourse was again had to the 
General Court. At the session beginning on May 31, 1699, 
and continued by several prorogations until March 13, 1699- 
1700, the following enactment was passed: — 

An Act relating to ISfllerira Bridge, in the County of JHililileaeaf. 

'Y^OR Issuing of the Controversie between the Towns of Groton, 
-*- Billerica and Chelmsford, and the Inhabitants of the Farms 
Adjacent, arising by reason of the refusal or neglect of the Agents for 
the Town ^Groton aforesaid, to pay the Sum set and proportioned on 
their Town, for and towards the Erecting and Building of the Bridge 
in the said Town of Billerica, in the County of Middlesex ; which 
ought in Equity to have been paid; the Sum being Twenty Four 
Pounds, and Ten Shillings. 

•pc it ©nactcb bg lijs (fice^cntg tlje dootrnonr, ffiottncil anii 
PtpregetttattDts in deneral (Eonrt 3'«si«inblel), anb bg tl)c |itttl)orttB 
of tlje same, That the Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace, to be 
holden at Concord, in the said County of Middlesex, on the Second 
Tuesday oijune next, are hereby ordered and impowred to issue and 
send forth a Warrant to the Select-men or Assessors of the said 
Town of Groton, Requiring them forthwith to Levy and Assess the 
said Sum of Twenty Four Pounds, and Ten Shillings Money, on the 
Inhabitants of their Town according to Law ; and with the Assess- 
ment to deliver a Warrant to the Constable of their Town, Re- 
quiring him to Collect and Gather the same ; and the said Sum so 
Collected, to deliver and pay in unto Major Thomas Hinksman, 
Major Jonathan Tinge, and Mr. yohn Lane, Undertakers for the 
Building of the Bridge lately Erected in Billerica above-said ; and 
the said Constable to pay in the said Sum, and issue and settle 
his Accompt with the said Undertakers, at or before the First Day 
of August next. And Groton shall not be liable to Contribute any 


thing further toward the Repair or Rebuilding the said Bridge at 
any time for the future ; unless the General Court or Assembly 
shall Order the same. 

" Acts and Laws, of her Majesties Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New- 
England" (Boston, 1714), page 129. 

The town's exemption from liabilities on account of the 
bridge, as implied in the last clause, however, did not last 
long, as in the course of a few years this paragraph was 
repealed. At the session of the General Court beginning 
on May 30, 1716, the following enactment was passed: — 

An Act relating to the great Bridge in Billerica. 

JJT'HEREAS the Agents for the Towns 0/ Billerica. and Chelms- 
' '''^ ford, by Direction of the said Towns in their Petition to this 
Court at their present Session, have shewed forth, that there is a Great 
Bridge erected over Concord-River, in the Township of Billerica, and 
that the said Bridge was built by the Towns of Billerica, Chelmsford 
and Groton ; and according to a former Settlement made by a Com- 
mittee appointed for the Settlement of the Charge of the Bridges in the 
County of Middlesex. But the Town of Groton, upon Application 
to this Court in 1699, did obtaifi a Discharge from either building or 
repairing for thefuttire, without further Order from this Court. And 
further it was alledged in the said Petition, that the said Bridge is 
fallen into such Decay, that it is no Ways profitable to Repair, or safe 
to Improve any longer as it now is, but that the same must of Necessity 
be new-built ; and that it is apprehended the Charge will be so great 
that the Burthen will be too heavy for Billerica and Chelmsford to 
bear, for the Reasons therein given, which, more properly ought to come 
under Consideration of the justices of the Court of General Session 
of the Peace in the County of Middlesex : 

■pe tt tl)er£fore betlartb anJ) enattcl) bp tljc I)OttOttrablc tl)c ILtctxttnattt 
(floDernottr, fflottnttl anb Jleprwcntatiuc!!, in (!5entral fflourt assemblcb, 
anb bg tl)e |Cntl)orit5 of tl)e game, That the Matters contained in the 
said Petition be referred to the Consideration of the Justices of the 
Court of General Sessions of the Peace for the said County of 
Middlesex, at their Quarter Sessions ; who are hereby fully author- 
ized and impowred to take such Order about the said Bridge from 
Time to Time, and at all Times hereafter, as shall be judged meet 


and convenient, and to settle the Charge of the same, upon any, or 
every the Towns of the said County. And the Paragraph in the 
Law exempting the Town of Groton, from the Charge of the said 
Bridge, is hereby repealed, and made null and void. 

" Acts and Laws, of his Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in New- 
England " (Boston, 1759), page 191. 

How long after this time the tovi^n was called upon to help 
support the bridge, I am unable to say, but probably not 
for many years. The line of travel from Groton gradually 
worked its way to Boston in a straighter direction, and left 
the Billerica bridge eight or ten miles to the northward. 


The following article, taken from " The Advance " (Chicago), 
October 23, 1884, shows some ot the hardships of every-day 
life during the period just after the Revolution. William 
Nutting, the writer of the journal, was a son of William and 
Joan (Boynton) Nutting, and one of ten children ; he was 
born at Groton on July 10, 1752, and died on April 18, 1832. 
The statement is probably incorrect that he was a minute- 
man at Lexington. He was a descendant of John Nutting, 
an original proprietor of the tovsrn, who was the common 
ancestor of the different families in this neighborhood bearing 
the name. 


Shays's Rebellion and its Causes. 

We who talk about " the dollar of our daddies " can scarcely con- 
ceive with what difficulty the said daddies, or their daddies, managed 
to get a few of the said dollars into their possession. 

In Groton, about thirty miles northwest of Boston, lived William 
N , a "minute-man " at Lexington, and afterward more or less 


in the Revolutionary army, from which he appears to have returned 
home in 1777, to care for his aged and widowed mother. He was 
at this time twenty-five years old. His diary, which is before me, 
records the principal events of every day for a period of more than 
twenty-five years longer. Besides carrying on a farm of more than 
two hundred acres, and clearing a smaller one in New Hampshire, 
he was in demand as a school teacher every winter, and turned 
rainy days to account by making plows (such plows ! I remember 
some of them, — but the best then known), yokes, "slays,'' etc., for 
himself and neighbors. When such jobs gave out, he made shoes 
for his family and the general market. As recreations, he " exer- 
cised " with "ye matross company" (what, pray, could that be ? ) ^ 
or showed his prowess in "ye singing meeting," where he played a 
singular bass-viol, shaped like the longitudinal half of a dash-churn. 
(He made shoes to pay for it, I believe.) He even composed music, 
" to be sung in ye congregation," some of which occasionally still 
appears in modern choir-books. But the great events of his diary 
are the "journeys," which he usually arranged so as to combine 
business with pleasure. I give below the account of one of them. 
A few weeks previous is the following entry: — 

Nov. 30, 1786. Capt. Job Shattuck was taken by a party of horsemen 
from Boston, &c. [really, most of the party were Groton men], sent by 
authority to apprehend him for opposing ye government &c. — He in at- 
tempting to kill Capt. Reed with his sword [?], who was one of ye party, 
rec'd a bad wound with a cutlass in his knee-joint, but was carried and 
committed to Boston Gaol, with Oliver Parker & Benj. Page &c. for like 

The offences were those committed in the so-called Shays's Re- 
bellion, in which Shattuck was a prominent leader. The movement 
was caused by the terrible distress consequent upon the depreciation 
of paper money, and had for its purpose the prevention of the col- 
lection of debts by law. Shattuck and the rest were soon set at 
liberty. The record below will exemplify the financial condition of 
that period : 

Frid. Deer. \st and Sat. id. We made shoes. Stacie has made 4 pr 
men's shoes and 2 pr women's shoes and I have made 4 pr do. = 10 pr to 
carry into ye country to sell, &c. 

1 Matross. One of the soldiers in a train of artillery, who are next to the 
gunners, and assist them in loading, firing, and sponging the guns. — Webster. 
It is now obsolete as an English word. 


In the meantime the female part of the household were busy 
knitting stockings. Having agreed with Lieut. Rockwood to teach 
ye school in that " squadron " (district) for " 9 Doll per month and 
board myself, or 38 shillings & bee boarded," the author of the 
diary " fixt his slay with a lumber-box &c.," and " got Maj. Swan's 
horse, and borrowed some baggs &c.," " for a journey to No 4." 

Tues. ()th yany 1787. We sat out on our journey about noon. Drove 
to Capt. Wyman's in Ashby and put up and stabled our horses @ 2d. 

1 mug cyder 4d. lodged @ i s-2d. 

Wed. \oth. We drove to Baker's 7 m before breakfast. Had left a 
boy with provisions &c. Hired a boy and sent back [with extra horse |. 
Gave sd boy 10 d. « « * * Drove to Mr. Woodward's in Marlborp' 

2 m beyond ye meeting house. I put up one of my horses to my hay 
[brought along !] and the other three were put up to Woodward's hay ® 
9d. Lodging 3d. 

\Uh. We drove to Goldsmith's to dinner, i mug flip. Drove to Sar- 
tell. Drank l mug cyder. Went to uncle Holden's to stay all night. 

\ith. Went to Dusten's for dinner, yn [then] to Weathersfield [Vt.] 
Staid at Abel's [Abel N , a brother of the journalist]. 

\yh. [Sales began!] Rec'd 2 buslils wheat for i pr. calf-skin pumps. 
To rec. 4 bu. corn from Abel for i pr thick shoes sold to Timo'y Holden. 
Reed 2^ bu. wheat of Capt. Burlingam for i pr large shoes. 

Sund. 14//^. Had no meeting. 

15M. Released 3^^ bu corn to Timo' Holden and took back pr thick 

\(ith. Went to Windsor. Sold I pr thick shoes, rec'd i^ bu wheat. 
Sold I pr stockings, rec'd i^. bu flax-seed. Went to Clermont (Clare- 
mont, N. H.). Staid at Dustins. Rec'd i^ bu wheat for i pr shoes. 

17M. Went out to ye east of Clermont, sold nothing! Went to 

18M. Staid at brother's, mended some shoes sledded some wood, &c. 
Reed of brother, for shoes, 2 bu rye, i Y^ bu peas @ 4 s. per bu, yi bu flax- 
seed 2 s. & I bu corn 2 s. He paid i s. to a blacksmith for mending my 
slay, ye whole 17 s. 

Frid\f)th. Went to Dustins. 

Sat 10th. Went to Cornish & back. 

Sund 2\st. To meeting in ye forenoon at Capt. Cook's [no church 
yet]. Heard Mr. Carpenter, concerning ye work of Electing Love, 
"Who shall lay anything to ye charge of God's elect &c.'' Afternoon 
heard Mr. Pickring at Mr. Higby's, on farewell, be perfect &c. 

So the entries proceed. The sale of those ten pairs of shoes and 
"some stockings " must have involved more than two hundred miles 
of travel, and more than two weeks' time, with expenses averaging 


about two shillings a day for the part of the time not spe.nt with 
relatives. Except the first three days, it does not appear that any 
money was used. Provisions and even hay were carried along, and 
lodging was paid for in rye, wheat, flax-seed or corn — so many 
quarts of either as would satisfy the score. No money was received 
from the sales, either. A bushel and a half of wheat, or two of rye 
or corn, was the price of a pair of shoes. The " lumber-box " was 
the purse — into which went the grain, flaxseed, flax, pork (8 lbs. 
salt pork in one place, 3 lbs. fresh pork in another), and so on, 
and out of which came the dribbles of payment for expenses. 

The final procedure was to convey the produce to Boston, where, 
at some price, it was at length turned into money, or once more ex- 
changed for goods. This involved two days more of time, after 
which the whilom trader was ready to begin teaching, " at nine 
dollars a month and board myself." But let no one imagine that 
this immense salary was received in money. At the next town 
meeting after the school closed, the teacher presented his certifi- 
cate, showing in what " squadron " and how long he had taught, 
and was paid " a part " in a town order ! This order could be used 
in paying " rates " (taxes), or sold for what it would fetch ! 

In such a state of things, is it any wonder that honest but igno- 
rant men determined that the collection of debts — most of them 
of long standing — should be stopped? Especially since a judg- 
ment for debt involved a lodgment in " gaol " for the impoverished 
debtor ! 

Yet there was money enough. It is part of the family tradition 
that on one occasion the author of this curious diary had so much 
of it that he lavished '' a chaise box full of it " for a single cow ! 
The slight defect in the money thus plenty consisted in the fact that 
it was truly " fiat money," issued by government, and having no 
value either in itself or as a representative of gold or silver, — simply 
a promise from a party known to be bankrupt. 

Rochester, Mich. 



The following account of the gathering of a religious so- 
ciety at West Groton, and the dedication of their house of 
worship, is taken from the " Zion's Herald " (Boston), Octo- 
ber 14, 1885 : — 

The editor of this paper [Reverend Bradford K. Peirce] was in- 
vited to preach the sermon at the dedication of a house of worship 
in West Groton, Mass., last Wednesday [October 7]. This village 
has been connected with Ayer Junction, and a minister fi^om the 
Conference has supplied both preaching places. Worship is held 
in a hall in Ayer, and had a very incommodious room heretofore 
for its services in West Groton. This year one of our enterprising 
and devoted young men, Rev. H. G. Buckingham, has been the 
pastor of the circuit. There is no church edifice in West Groton. 
The church members, of various orders, are connected with distant 
bodies. The village is small, and there was little wealth that 
could be summoned in aid of a new religious enterprise. The 
neighbors met together and opened a subscription which proved 
much larger than their anticipations. And now they have a beau- 
tiful church, of the Queen Anne style, neatly furnished, seating 
three hundred when crowded, with a pleasant toned bell, and 
without debt. No separate church has been organized, but they 
heartily invite the Methodist ministry and enjoy its forms of ser- 
vice and administration of the ordinances. The ritual of the 
church was used as the form of dedication. The house was filled 
on the occasion. The Congregational, Baptist and Episcopal min- 
istry were represented. Rev. Bros. Gould and_ Ichabod Marcy, 
with these brethren from sister churches, assisted in the exercises 
of the occasion. Everybody seemed to feel that the neat little 
chapel was a great benediction to the village. We trust a blessed 
revival of religion will show that the divine seal is set upon the 


The following petitions, hitherto unprinted, are found among 
the Archives at the State House, and furnish a few facts re- 
lating to the military service of two Groton soldiers. The 
place mentioned in both papers as " No. 4" is now known as 
Charlestown, New Hampshire. Fort Shirley was situated 
within the present limits of Heath, Massachusetts ; Fort 
Dummer within those of Brattleborough, Vermont ; and 
Colonel Hendill's Fort — or more properly Hinsdale's ■ — 
stood in the present town of Hinsdale, New Hampshire. 
Captain Willard, mentioned in the first paper, was Josiah, a 
son of Henry Willard, who previously had been an inhabitant 
of Groton. He was during many years the commander of 
Fort Dummer, though for a few months in the year 1747, 
covering the period of this letter, he had been relieved by 
Lieutenant Dudley Bradstreet, a native of Groton and a son 
of the Reverend Dudley Bradstreet, a former minister of the 

Province of the \ To His Exellencey William Shirley 
Massachutes > Esqr Captain Generall and 

Bay. ) Cciijmander in Cheif in and over 

His majesties Province of the Massachuttes Bay to the Hon— his 
majesties Council and house of Representatives now Setting at 

The Petition of Daniel Farmer of Groton in the County of 
middJ Husband man Humbly Shueth that your Poor Petitioner hes 
ben in the Service of his King and Cuntrey for the Space of four 
years Past, and was at the Seige of Louisburg and afterwards In- 
listed him Self into the Canada Service & hes ben Boath on the 
Eastern and Western frontiers and in march Last Inlisted him Self 
as a Volinteir for three years under the Command of Captain 
Hobbs. and in June last was on a march with him from N2 4 to 
fort Shirley — and in Said march had a Smart Ingagement with a 
large Number of y= Indian Enemy and by Reson of Carring Some 
Wounded men turn". Down to fort Dumer where your Petitioner 


was taken Sick and So Continued for Some Days, and as Soone 
as he was able to travle Set oute for N° 4 where he was Posted 
and upon his march fell in with Sixteen of Cap' Willard's men at 
Co- Hendills fort, and Between Said Hendills fort and fortDumer 
on the forteenth Day of July last were besett by a large Number of 
the Enemy where I with Eight others were taken Captive where 
I Recived a wound in my head with a hachit from one of the 
Enemy, then I was Carred to Crown Point from thence to mon- 
treal and then to Qufebeck and from thence Brought to Louisburge 
by a flag of truce and from there I Returned to Boston and So got 
home on the forteenth of October last. 

Now your Poor Petitioner had a good Gun taken from him by the 
Enemy to y? Value of Eighteen Pounds old tenor and fifteen Pounds 
old tenor in Paper Bills which he had Newly taken and as your 
Petitioner was told ware Bills of this Province But whether they 
were or not he Cannot Say your Petitioner had allso a hachit and 
Sundry other things taken from him. for which Sufferings — Lose of 
time — Gun money & other things, your Petitioner humbly Begs 
your Exellencys & Honours wise Considration and Grant him 
Such Relif as to you Shall See meet and your Poor Petitioner as in 
Duty Bound Shall Ever Pray. j,, 

Daniel O Farmer 

Groton January y". 24 1748. ""'"' 

In the House of Rep'™' Jan^ 18. 1748 

Read and Ordered that the Treasurer be directed to pay to Maj' 
Lawrence Six pounds twelve Shillings for the Use of the Petitioner. 
Ordered also that the Commissary General be directed to deliver 
said Lawrence for said Pet'' Use a Gun out of the Province Store. 
Sent up for concurrence 

In Council ; Jan. 18. 1748 ; Read & Concur'd 

J WiLLARD Secry 
[Endorsed] Conpented to, 

the Petition of W Shirlev 

Daniel Farmar 
Jan^ 4. 1 748 
18. 10 

[Massachusetts Archives, LXXIII. 301.] 


Daniel Farmer was the son of John, and born at Billerica 
on October 30, 1705 ; he was married to Elizabeth Woods, of 
Groton, on November 2, 1732, at which time he is recorded 
as of Lunenburg. He had certainly three children, and per- 
haps others, born at Groton between the years 1733 and 1741. 
According to " The New England Historical and Genealogi- 
cal Register" (VI. 88) for January, 1852, Farmer, who was 
captured at Fort Dummer, arrived with other prisoners in 
Boston Harbor, on October 6, 1748, in the schooner " Brit- 
tania," Aylmer Gravill, master. This statement appears to 
be confirmed by the following extract from " The Boston 
Weekly News-Letter," October 6, 1748 : — 

This Morning a Scooner arrived here in 18 Days from Louis- 

bourg, Garling, Master, who has brought one Serj. Cooper, 

with above 50 People, Men, Women and Children, that have been 
taken by the French and Indians at sundry Times, from divers 
Parts of this and the neighbouring Governments, and carried Cap- 
tive to Canada, and were lately brought to Louisbourg from Quebec 
in a French Frigate of 20 Guns [the Zephire], as mention'd in our 
last. — About 20 other Passengers came also in this Vessel. 

Eleazer Priest, mentioned in the next petition, was probably 
one of the captives brought in the French frigate to Louis- 
burg ; but unfortunately he did not live to reach his home. 
For a reference to Joseph Priest, the father of Eleazer, see 
No. XVI. (page 25) of this Historical Series. 

. "^ '^° ^'^ Excelancy william sherly 

f Esqr. to the Hon— his maiestys Council 
the Massachusets >, „ ,, . . . 

( house of Representiues now stetmg in 

' Boston august 2^. 1749 


the Petition of William Lawrance of Groton in the County of 
midd" In behalf of Joseph Prestof sd Groton Husbandman : humbly 
shew that Eleazer Prest son to the saied Joseph was in the Saruis 
of this Prouince at n- 4 in the month of march 1747 & was Sent 
oute by his officer a littel way from the fourt to Gitt Wood where 
the Ennemy made an attat upon him and others and Kild one 
Charls Steuens and tock the sd Eleazer Prisner and Caried him 


to Cannada : whare he was Detained In prison untell sum time In 
august following and then was sent for new england and on his 
Pasige was tacken sick — and Laft at Luesburg whare he Dyed 
aboute the midel of September wharefore your Petitinor Prays that 
there may be a Just and Equetable Considration made to the s2 
Joseph for his sd sons Eleazers. Loss of time and sufferings whilst 
In Captiuety as your your [j-zV] Ex>': and and [sic] honnors shall see 
meet and your Petitinor as In Duty shall Euer Pray 

William Lawrence 

In behalf of Jo? Prest 

In the House of Repres'? August lo, 1749- 

Read & Ordered that there be allowed and paid out of the pub- 
lick Treasury to the Petitionor for the Use of the Said Joseph Priest 
the Sum of Eight Pounds Eighteen Shillings & a penny in Con- 
sideration of the Loss of his Said Sons time & Sufferings above 
mentioned. The Said Joseph to be accountable to the Judge of 
Prob' for the County of Middlesex in Case any Debts do now or 
may hereafter appear due from the Said Eleazer. 
Sent up for Concurrence 

In Council Aug. 10. 1749 

Read & concur'd J Willard Secry. 

Consented to W. Shirley. 
Pett" of Will" 
Lawrence Esq, in behalf 
of Joseph Priest. 
Rec*! Aug! 4* 1749 

10. read & committed 
Enter'd to y° com"" 

of John Henery 

[Massachusetts Archives, LXXIII. 525.] 



It is stated in the sixth volume (page 49 note) of the " Col- 
lections of the Rhode Island Historical Society " that Amos, 
a son of Captain Thomas Farrington, formerly of Groton, was 
the first white child born in Norridgewock, Maine, and fur- 
thermore that he was in October, 1775, about fourteen months 
old. It is given on the authority of Major Return J. Meigs's 
Journal, which is published in Volume II. (pages 227-247), 
second series, of the Massachusetts Historical Collections, 
where the writer, under the date of October 3, 1775, speaks of 
seeing the baby, but does not mention the name. In regard 
to this question of local primogeniture, John Wesley Hanson, 
in his History of Norridgewock (pages 183, 184), says : — 

Much discussion has prevailed in the town, on the question, 
" Who was the first white child born in Norridgewock ? " and tra- 
dition has mentioned several names. Rev. Obed Wilson declared, 
at the funeral of Dea. John Clark, that he was the oldest child liv- 
ing, born in Norridgewock, and from that statement people inferred 
that he was the first. He was born Oct. 15, 1778 ; John Heald 
was born Oct. 17, 1775 ; and James Waugh was born Jan. 10, 
1775. Mr. Waugh's tombstone declares him to be the first white 
child born in Somerset county. Though unquestionably the first 
child born on Sandy river, there were three children born in Nor- 
ridgewock before him. Sally Fletcher was born in August, 1774, 
Susannah Fairbrother in Sept., 1774, and Abel, son of Thomas 
Farrington, the surveyor, was born in the very earliest part of 
August, in 1774. He was, beyond all controversy, the first white 
child born in Somerset county. Not only will this fact be learned 
from Maj. Meigs's diary, in the sequel, but the family of Sylvanus 
Sawyer, in which he lived, endorse the declaration. He was nearly 
six months old, when Col. Waugh was born. 

Mr. Hanson, in giving the time of Abel Farrington's birth, 
evidently takes the statement in Major Meigs's Journal, and 
then reckons backward in order to get the date, which is an 
uncertain method of reaching a correct result. Abel's birth 


is duly recorded at Groton, although it took place at Norridge- 
wock ; and this settles the controversy, so far as it relates to 
him. The entry in the town-records is as follows: "Abel 
Farrington, son of Thomas & Betty afore"? was born at Kenne- 
beck April 13"', 1775." According to the same authority, the 
mother died three weeks later, on May 5, 177S, also at " Ken- 
nebeck," by which is meant Norridgewock, as at that time 
the town was just settled and hardly had a name. This term 
was applied at an early period to a large tract of country, 
known as the Kennebec Purchase, of which the present town 
of Norridgewock was the northern limit. Possibly it was not 
Abel at all that was seen by Major Meigs, for the name of 
the baby is nowhere mentioned in the Journal ; and then 
perhaps the age was given wrong. 

Thomas Farrington married for his second wife, on Octo- 
ber 6, 1768, Betty Woods, of Groton ; and they had four 
children, namely, Vassall, born at Groton, on July 20, 1769 ; 
Putnam, born at Dunstable, on December 3, 1770; Philip, 
born at Groton, on January 7, 1772 ; and Abel, born at 
"Kennebeck," on April 30, 1775. He had been previously 

married to Joanna , whose maiden name I have been 

unable to learn ; and they had five children, born at Groton, 
of whom the two youngest died in January, 1770. The first 
wife died on January 24, 1767, leaving an infant two months 
old. Miss Sarah Loring Bailey, in her " Historical Sketches 
of Andover '' (page 123), says : "Capt. Thomas Farrington, an 
officer of Andover, in the French and Indian War, removed 
to Groton, and there became famous." The family left town 
probably soon after the Revolution, as the name has not been 
found here since that time. He is undoubtedly the person 
referred to in No. XIV. (page 19) of this Historical Series, 
under the head of "An Exception." 



The following notice of the burning of Judge Dana's barn 
on December 27, 1829, is found in the " Groton Herald," 
January 2, 1830. It fixes the date of its occurrence, which 
was left doubtful in the account of the Fires during the year 
1829, published in No. IX. (page 24) of this Historical Series. 
It will be seen that this fire also took place on the last Sun- 
day of the month. Two or three men were strongly suspected 
at the time of being the incendiaries, but the evidence of 
guilt was not strong enough to warrant their arrest. 

Fire. A barn owned by Judge Dana, was destroyed by fire on 
Sunday evening last [December 27] ; it contained several tons of 
hay, and for some time the adjacent buildings were much in dan- 
ger — but owing to the calm state of the wind and spirited exertions 
of our firemen, the flames were confined within a small space without 
damaging the surrounding property. 


In No. III. (page 14) of this Historical Series a reference is made to 
an historical novel entided " The Insurgents " (2 volumes), published 
anonymously at Philadelphia in the year 1835. Since the issue of that 
Number I have learned that the author of the work was Ralph IngersoU 
Lockwood, a lawyer of New York, who died many years ago. 

No. XX. 





Historical Series, No. XX. 




The town of Groton lies in the northwestern part of Middle- 
sex County, Massachusetts, and is bounded on the north by 
Pepperell and Dunstable ; on the east by Tyngsborough and 
Westford ; on the south by Littleton and Ayer ; and on the 
west by Shirley and Townsend. The First Parish meeting- 
house — or "the tall-spired church" — is situated in 
Latitude 42° 36' 21 .4" north, 
Longitude 71° 34' 4" west of Greenwich, 
according to the latest observations of the United States 
Coast Survey. It is distant nearly thirty-one miles in a 
straight line from the State House at Boston, but by the 
travelled road it is about thirty-four miles. The village of 
Groton is situated principally on one long street, known as 
Main Street, a section of the Great Road, which was for- 
merly one of the principal thoroughfares between Eastern 
Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire and Vermont. 
The Worcester, Nashua, and Rochester Railroad passes 
through it, and traverses the township at nearly its greatest 
length, running six miles or more within its limits. It is 
reached from Boston by trains on the Fitchburg Railroad, 
connecting with the Worcester, Nashua, and Rochester road 
at Ayer, three miles distant from the village. 

The original grant of the township was made in the spring 
of 1655, and gave to the proprietors a tract of land eight miles 
square ; though subsequently this was changed by the General 
Court, so that its shape varied somewhat from the first plan. 
It comprised all of what is now Groton and Ayer, nearly all of 
Pepperell and Shirley, large parts of Dunstable and Littleton, 
and smaller parts of Harvard and Westford, in Massachusetts, 
and small portions of Hollis and Nashua, in New Hampshire. 
The present shape of the town is very irregular, and all the 
original boundary lines have been changed except where they 
touch Townsend and Tyngsborough. 

The earliest reference to the town on any map is found in 
the Reverend William Hubbard's " Narrative of the Troubles 
with the Indians in New-England," a work published at Bos- 
ton in the spring of 1677, and in London during the same 
year under a different title. The map was the first one cut 
in New England, and of course done in a crude manner. The 
towns assaulted by the Indians in Philip's War are indicated 
by figures ; and at that time these places were attracting some 
attention, both here and in the mother country. 

There were two petitions for the plantation of Groton, of 
which one was headed by Mr. Deane Winthrop, and the 
other by Lieutenant William Martin. The first one is not 
known to be in existence, but a contemporaneous copy of the 
second is in the possession of the New-England Historic, 
Genealogical Society. The signatures vary in the style of 
handwriting, but they do not appear to be autographs, and 
may have been written by the same person. The answer to 
the petition is given on the third page of the paper, and signed 
by Edward Rawson, Secretary of the Colony, which fact 
renders it probable that this is the petition actually presented 
to the General Court as the original one, after it had been 
copied by a skilful penman. It was found many years ago 
among the papers of Captain Samuel Shepley,^ by Charles 
Woolley,! then of Groton, but who subsequently lived at Wal- 
tham ; and by him given to the New-England Historic, Genea- 

1 Captain Samuel Shepley died at Groton, on February 4, 1853, ^"d Charles 
WooUey, at Waltham, on October 30, 1886. 

logical Society. The petition is written on the first page of 
a folio sheet, and the answer by the General Court appears 
on the third page of the paper. Near the top of the sheet are 
the marks of stitches, indicating that another paper at one 
time had been fastened to it. Perhaps the petition headed 
by Deane Winthrop was attached when the Secretary wrote 
the action of the General Court, beginning, " In Ans' to both 
theise peticons." The grant of the plantation was made by 
the Court of Assistants on May 25, 1655 — as appears by this 
document — though subject to the consent of the House of 
Deputies, which was given, in all probability, on the same day. 
In the absence of other evidence, this may be considered the 
date of the incorporation, which is not found mentioned 

In the early history of the Colony the proceedings of the 
General Court, as a rule, were not dated day by day, — though 
there are many exceptions, — but the beginning of the session 
is always given, and occasionally the days of the month are 
recorded. These dates in the printed edition of the Records 
are frequently carried along without authority, sometimes cov- 
ering a period of several days or even a week ; and for this 
reason it is often impossible to tell the exact date of any par- 
ticular legislation, when there are no contemporaneous papers 
bearing on the subject. 

The petition is as follows : — 

To the honored Generall Courte asembled at Boston the humble 
petion of vs whose names ar here vnder written humbly shoeth 

That where as youre petioners by a prouidence of god haue beene 
brought ouer in to this wildernes and lined longe here in : and 
being sumthing straightned for that where by subsistance in an 
ordinarie waie of gods prouidence is to be had, and Considdering 
the a lowance that god giues to the sunes of men for such an ende : 
youre petioners request there fore is that you would be pleased to 
grant vs a place for a plantation vpon the Riuer that runes from 
Nashaway in to merimake at a place or a boute a place Caled 
petaupaukett and waubansconcett and youre petioners shall pray for 
youre happy prosedings 

WiLLi'M Martin 
Richard Blood 
John witt 
William Lakin 
Richard Hauen 
Timothy Cooper 
John Lakin 
John Blood 
Mathu farrington 
Robert Blood 

»?!»- ^.-^ ^ar»- •^'*»- »■- "^^-^e^i- /^w^fe/'-r- 




In Ans' to both theise peticons The Court Judgeth it meete to 
graunt the peticone's eight miles square in the place desired to 
make a Comfortable plantaoon wch henceforth shall be Called 
Groaten formerly knowne by the name of Petapawage: that M' 
Damforth of Cambridge w'h such as he shall Asossiate to him shall 
and hereby is desired to lay it out wi'h all Convenjent speede that 
so no Incouragement may be wanting to the Peticone's for a speedy 
procuring of a godly minister amongst them. Provided that none 
shall enjoy any part or porcbn of that land by guift from the 
selectmen of that place but such who shall build howses on theire 
lotts so given them once w'hin eighteene months from the tjme of 
the sayd Townes laying out or Townes graunt to such persons ; 
and for the p'sent M"' Deane Winthrop M'' Jn° Tinker M' Tho: 
Hinckly Dolor Davis. W". Martin Mathew ffarington John Witt 
and Timothy Couper are Appointed the selectmen for the sayd 
Towne of Groaten for one two yeares from the tjme it is layd out, 
to lay out and dispose of particular lotts not exceeding twenty 
acres to each howse lott, And to Order the prudentiall affaires of 
the place at the end of which tjme other selectmen shall be chosen 
and Appointed in theire roomes : the selectmen of Groaton giving 
M' Danforth such sattisfaction for his service & paines as they & 
he shall Agree ; 

The magist= haue past this w'h reference to the Consent of theire 
bretheren the depu's hereto 

25 of May 1655. Edward Rawson, Secrety 

The Deputies Consent hereto 

William Torrey Cleric. 

The entry made by Secretary Rawson in the General Court 
Records, at the time of the Grant, is substantially the same 
as his indorsement on Martin's petition, though it distinguishes 
between some of the names signed to each petition. It is evi- 
dent that the one headed by Deane Winthrop was also signed 
by John Tinker and Thomas Hinckley ; and probably by Dolor 
Davis, Richard Smith, and Amos Richardson, as is inferred 
from a petition, dated May 16, 1656, and given on pages 15 
and 16 of this Number. The entry begins as follows : 

In Ans' to the peticon of M' Deane Winthrop M' Jn° Tincker 
M' Tho: Hinckly &c & of Lieu VVm Martin Timothy Cooper &c 
The Court Judgeth it meete to Graunt etc. (IV. 204). 



Charles Gerrish, of Groton, has a contemporaneous copy 
of this record made by Secretary Rawson, which was perhaps 
sent originally to the Selectmen of the town. It was found 
among the papers of the late Honorable John Boynton, at 
one time town-clerk. 

The record of the House of Deputies is also practically the 
same, though there are a few verbal variations. It begins : — 

There beinge a pet. p'ferd by M' Dean Winthrop M' Tho: 
Hinckley & divers others for a plantation vpon the riuer that Runs 
from Nashaway into Merimacke called petapawage & an other 
from some of the Inhabitants of Concord for a plantation in the 
same place to both which the Court returned this answer that the 
Court Thinkes meet to graunt etc. (III. 462). ' 

The following letter from the Honorable J. Hammond 
Trumbull, whose authority in such matters is unquestioned, 
gives the meaning and derivation of the Indian name of the 
town : — 

H'artford, Dec. 22, 1877. 

My dear Dr. Green, — Petaupauket and Petapawage are two 
forms of the same name, the former having the locative postposition 
{-ef), meaning "at" or "on" a place ; and both are corruptions of 
one or the other of two Indian names found at several localities in 
New England. From which of the two your Groton name came, I 
cannot decide without some knowledge of the place itself. I leave 
you the choice, confident that one or the other is the true name. 

" Pooiuppog," used by Eliot for " bay," in Joshua, xv. 2, 5, literally 
means "spreading" or '' bulging ^'sX.&r," and was employed to desig- 
nate either a local widening of a river making still water, or an inlet 
from a river expanding into something like a pond or lake. Hence 
the name of a part of (old) Saybrook, now Essex, Conn., which was 
variously written Pautapaug, Poattapoge, Potabauge, and, later, Petti- 
paug, &c., so designated from a spreading cove or inlet from Con- 
necticut River. Potiapoug Pond, in Dana, Mass., with an outlet to, 
or rather an inlet from, Chicopee River, is probably a form of the 
same name. So is " Port Tobacco," Charles County, Md. (the 
"Poiopaco' of John Smith's map), on the Potomac. 

But there is another Algonkin name from which Petaupauk and 
some similar forms may have come, which denotes a swamp, bog, 
or quagmire, — literally, a place into which the foot sinks; repre- 
sented by the Chippeway petobeg, a bog or soft marsh, and the 
Abnaki potepaug. There is a Pautipaug (otherwise, Pootapaug, 
Portipaug, Patapogue, &c.) in the town of Sprague, Conn., on or 
near the Shetucket river, which seems to have this derivation. 

If there was in (ancient) Groton a pond or spreading cove, con- 
nected with the Nashua, Squannicook, Nisitisset, or other stream, 
or a pond-like enlargement or "bulge" of a stream, this may, with- 
out much doubt, be accepted as the origin of the name. If there 
is none such, the name probably came from some "watery swamp," 
like those into which (as the " Wonder-Working Providence " re- 
lates) the first explorers of Concord " sunke, into an uncertaine 
bottome in water, and waded up to their knees." 

Yours truly, 

J. Hammond Trumbull. 

The last suggestion, that the name came from an Algonkin 
word signifying "swamp" or "bog," appears to be the correct 
one. There are many bog meadows, of greater or less extent, 
in different parts of the town. Two of the largest — one situ- 
ated on the easterly side of the village, and known as Half- 
Moon Meadow, and the other on the westerly side, and known 
as Broad Meadow, each containing perhaps a hundred acres 
of land — are now in a state of successful cultivation. Before 
they were drained and improved, they would have been best 
described as swamps or bogs. 

It is to be regretted that so many of the Indian words, which 
have a local significance and smack of the region, should have 
been crowded out of the list of geographical names in Massa- 
chusetts. However much such words may have been twisted 
and distorted by English pronunciation and misapplication, 
they furnish now one of the few links that connect the pres- 
ent period with prehistoric times in America. " Nashaway," 
mentioned in the petition, is the old name of Lancaster, though 
spelled in different ways. Mr. Trumbull has also given some 
interesting facts in regard to this Indian word, which I copy 
from an essay by him in the second volume of the " Collections 
of the Connecticut Historical Society " : — 

Nashau^ (Chip[pewa], n&ssawaii a.ndashawiwt), " mid-way," or 
" between," and with ohke or auk added, the " land between '' or " the 
half-way place," — was the name of several localities. The tract 
on which Lancaster, iirv?;^|||^ercounty (Mass.) was settled, was 
" between " the branches of the Tf?Sr, and so it was called " Nasha- 
way " or " Nashawake " {nashau^-ohke) ; and this name was after- 
wards transferred from the territory to the river itself. There was 
another Nashaway in Connecticut, between Quinebaug and Five- 
Mile Rivers in Windham county, and here, too, the mutilated name 
of the nashaue-ohke was transferred, as Ashawog or Assawog, to the 
Five-Mile River. Natchaug, in the same county, the name of the 
eastern branch of Shetucket river, belonged originally to the tract 
" between " the eastern and western branches ; and the Shetucket 
itself borrows a name (nashaue-tuk-ut) from its place " between " 
Yantic and Quinebaug rivers (page t,^,). 


The town is indebted for its name to Deane Winthrop, a 
son of Governor John Winthrop and one of the petitioners 
for its incorporation. He was born at Groton in the County 
of Suffolk, England, on March i6, 1622-3 ; and the love of his 
native place prompted him to perpetuate its name in New 
England. He stands at the head of the first list of Selectmen 
appointed by the General Court, and for a short time was 
probably a resident of the town. At the age of exactly 81 
years he died, on March 16, 1703-4, at PuUen Point, now 
within the limits of Winthrop, Massachusetts. 

The following letter, written by a distinguished represen- 
tative of the family, will be read with interest : — 

Boston, 27 February, 1878. 

My DEAR Dr. Green, — It would give me real pleasure to aid 
you in establishing the relations of Deane Winthrop to the town of 
Groton in Massachusetts. But there are only three or four letters 
of Deane's among the family papers in my possession, and not one 
of them is dated Groton. Nor can I find in any of the family papers 
a distinct reference to his residence there. 

There are, however, two brief notes of his, both dated " the 16 
of D,ecember, 1662," which I cannot help thinking may have been 
written at Groton. One of them is addressed to his brother John, 
the Governor of Connecticut, who was then in London, on business 
connected with the Charter of Connecticut. In this note, Deane 
says as follows : — / 

" I have some thoughts of removing from the place that I now 
live in, into your Colony, if I could lit of a convenient place. The 
place that I now live in is too little for me, my children now grow- 
ing up." 

We know that Deane _ Winthrop was at the head of the first 
Board of Selectmen of Groton a few years earlier, and that he went 
to reside at Pullen Point, now called Winthrop, not many years 

I am strongly inclined to think with you that this note of Decem- 
ber, 1662, was written at Groton. 

Yours very truly, 

Robert C. Winthrop. 
Samuel A. Green, M. D. 


A few years before the incorporation of the town, Emanuel 
Downing, of Salem, who married Lucy, a sister of Governor 
John Winthrop, had a very large farm which he called Groton. 
It was situated in what was afterward South Danvers, but 
now Peabody, on the old road leading from Lynn to Ipswich, 
and thus named, says Upham in his " Salem Witchcraft," 
"in dear remembrance of his wife's ancestral home in 'the 
old country'" (I. 43). Downing subsequently sold it to 
his nephews John Winthrop, Jr., and Adam Winthrop, on 
July 23, 1644, when he speaks of it as " his farme of Groton." 
The sale is duly recorded in the Suffolk Registry of Deeds 

(I- 57)- 

Groton in Connecticut — younger than this town by just 
half a century, and during the Revolution the scene of the 
heroic Ledyard's death — was named in the year 1705, during 
the governorship of Fitz-John Winthrop, out of respect to the 
Suffolk home of the family. 

New Hampshire has a Groton, in Grafton County, which 
was called Cockermouth when first settled in the year 1766. 
Subsequently, however, the name was changed by an act of 
the Legislature, in accordance with the unanimous wish of 
the inhabitants who approved it, on December 7, 1796. Some 
of its early settlers were from Hollis, New Hampshire, and 
others from this town. 

Vermont, also, has a Groton, in Caledonia County, which 
received its charter on October 20, 1789, though it was set- 
tled a short time before. A History of the town, written by 
General A. Harleigh Hill, appeared in Miss Abby Maria 
Hemenway's "Vermont Historical Gazetteer" (IV. 1145- 
II 68). Taken bodily from this work, a pamphlet edition was 
also published, with some slight variations but with the same 
paging. The author says : — 

It received the name of Groton through the influence of its 
earliest settlers, who were born in Groton, Mass. These sterling 
old patriots who, mid all the stirring activity of those days, forgot 
not the old birthtown, but hallowed its memory by giving its name 
to their new settlement and town in the wilderness (page 1145). 


New York, too, has a town called Groton, situated in Tomp- 
kins County ; and Professor M. M. Baldwin, in an historical 
sketch of the place, published in the year 1868, gives the 
reason for so naming it. He says : — 

At first, the part of Locke thus set off was called Division ; but 
the next year [1818], it was changed to Groton, on the petition of 
the inhabitants of the town, some of whom had moved from Groton, 
Mass., and some from Groton, Ct., though a few desired the name 
of York (page 8). 

There is also a Groton in Erie County, Ohio. It is situated 
in that part of the State known as the Fire Lands, and so 
called after the Connecticut town. The name was originally 
Wheatsborough, and its first settlement was made in the 
year 1809. ' 

The latest place aspiring to the honor of the name is in 
Brown County, Dakota, which was laid out three or four years 
ago on land owned by the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul 
Railway Company. I am informed that various New Eng- 
land names were selected by the Company and given to dif- 
ferent townships, not for personal or individual reasons, but 
because they were short and well sounding, and unlike any 
others in the Territory. 

In the middle of the last century — according to the New- 
England Historical and Genealogical Register (XXIV. 56 
note, and 60) for January, 1870 — there was a place in 
Roxbury sometimes called Groton. It was a corruption of 
Greaton, the name of the man who kept the " Grey Hound " 
tavern in that neighborhood. 

Groton in England is an ancient place ; it is the same as 
the Grotena of Domesday Book, in which there is a record of 
the population and wealth of the town, in some detail, at the 
time of William the Conqueror, and also before him, under 
the Anglo-Saxon King, Edward the Confessor. A nearly 
literal translation of this census-return of the year 1086 is as 
follows : — 

In the time of King Edward [the Abbot of] Saint Edmund held 
Groton for a manor, there being one carucate and a half of land. 


Always [there have been] eight villeins and five bordarii [a rather 
higher sort of serfs ; cotters]. Always [there has been] one plough 
in demesne. Always two ploughs belonging to homagers [tenants], 
and one acre of meadow. Woodland for ten hogs. A mill service- 
able in winter. Always one work-horse, six cattle, and sixteen 
hogs, and thirty sheep. Two free men of half a carucate of land, 
and they could giveaway and sell their land. Six bordarii. Always 
one plough, and one acre of meadow [belonging to these bordarii]. 
It was then [/. e., under King Edward] worth thirty shillings, and now 
valued at forty. It is seven furlongs in length and four in breadth. 
In the same, twelve free men, and they have one carucate ; it is 
worth twenty shillings. These men could give away and sell their 
land in the time of the reign of King Edward. [The Abbot of] 
Saint Edmund has the soc, protection and servitude. Its gelt is 
seven pence, but others hold there. 

This extract is taken from the fac-simile reproduction of the 
part of Domesday Book relating to Suffolk (page clviii), which 
was published at the Ordnance Survey Office, Southampton, 
in the year 1863. The text is in Latin, and the words are 
much abbreviated. The writing is peculiar and hard to de- 
cipher. The same entry is found, in printed characters, in 
the second volume of Domesday Book (page 359. b.), published 
in the year 1783. 

Some idea of the condensed character of the record may be 
gathered from the following copy of the beginning of the de- 
scription of Groton, in which the matter within the brackets 
is what the Norman scrivener omitted : " Grotena.[m] t. [em- 
pore] r.[egis] e.[dvardi] teii[uit] S.[anctus] e.[dmundus] 
p[ro] maii.[erio] " etc. A carucate was a "plough land," or 
a farm that could be kept under tillage with one plough. It 
is variously estimated at from twelve acres to a hundred. 

It is curious to note the different ways which the early set- 
tlers had of spelling the name ; and the same persons took 
little or no care to write it uniformly. Among the documents 
and papers that I have examined in collecting material for a 
history of the town, I find it spelled in twenty different ways, 
viz. : Groton, Grotton, Groten, Grotten, Grotin, Groaten, 
Groatne, Groaton, Groatton, Grooton, Grorton, Grouton, 


Groughton, Growton, Growtin, Groyton, Grauton, Grawten, 
Grawton, and Croaton. From the old spelling of the word, 
it may be inferred that the pronunciation varied ; but at the 
present time natives of the town and those " to the manner 
born " pronounce it Grdw-ton. This method appears to hold 
good in England, as the Reverend John W. Wayman, rector 
of the parent town, writes me, under date of August 13, 1879, 
that " The local pronunciation is decidedly Graw-ton. The 
name of the parish is described in old records as Grotton, or 
Growton." I learn from trustworthy correspondents in all 
the American towns of the name, that the common pronun- 
ciation of the word in each one of them is Grdw-ton. 

The following paragraph is taken from the " Groton Mer- 
cury " of June, 1 85 1, a monthly newspaper edited by the late 
George Henry Brown, post-master at that time : — 

We have noticed amongst the mass of letters received at our 
Post Office, the word Groton spelled in the following different 
ways : Grotton, Grawton, Graton, Grotown, Groutown, Growtown, 
Growtan, Growten, Growton, Gratan, Grattan, Grewton, Grothan, 
Graten, Groten, Grouton. 


The daily life of the founders of Massachusetts would be to 
us now full of interest, but unfortunately little is known in re- 
gard to it. The early settlers were a pious folk, and believed 
in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures. They worked 
hard during six days of the week, and kept Sunday with 
rigid exactness. The clearing of forests and the breaking 
up of land left little leisure for the use of pen and paper ; 
and letter-writing, as we understand it, was not generally 
practised. They lived at a time when printing was not com- 
mon and post-offices were unknown. Their lives were one 
ceaseless struggle for existence; and there was no time or 
opportunity to cultivate those graces now considered so 
essential. Religion was with them a living, ever-present 
power; and in that channel went out all those energies which 


with us find outlet in many different directions. These con- 
siderations should modify the opinions commonly held in 
regard to the Puritan fathers. 

The sources of information relating to the early history of 
Groton are few and scanty. It is only here and there in con- 
temporaneous papers, that we find any allusions to the plan- 
tation ; and from these we obtain but glimpses of the new 
settlement. The earliest document connected with the town 
after its incorporation is a petition now among the Shattuck 
Manuscripts, in the possession of the New-England Historic, 
Genealogical Society, which contains some interesting facts not 
elsewhere given. All the signatures to it are in the same 
handwriting as the body of the document ; but those of the 
committee signing the report on the back of the petition are 
autographs. The report itself is in the handwriting of Joseph 
Hills. The document is as follows : — 

Bost': 16: 3 m°: 1656 

To the Right Wo'" the Gou'no' the wo'." Deput Go'no' and Mag- 
istrates with the Worthy Deputies of this Hono"' Court 

The humble Feticon of Certain the intended Inhabitants of 

Humbly Sheweth 

That yo' Peticon"^ haueing obteined theire Request of a 
Plantacon from this honored Court, they haue made Entranc 
therevppon, and do Resolue by the Gracious Assistants of the 
Lord to proceed in the same (though the greatest Number of 
Peticon''' for the Grant haue declyned the work) yet because of the 
Remoteness of the place, & Considering how heavy and slowe it is 
like to be Carried an end and with what Charge and difficultie it 
willbe Attended yo' Peticon'^ humble Requests are 

I That they be not nominated or included in the Country 
taxes vntill the full end of three years from these p,'nts : (in which 
time they Account theire expenc will be great to the building a 
house, procureing and maintaining of a minester &c, with all other 
nessessary Town Charges: they being but few at present left to 
Carry on the whole worke) and at the end of the term, shall be 
redy by gods help to yeald thei' Rates according to thei' Number 
& abillitie & what shall be imposed, vppon them 


2 That they may haue libertie to make Choyce of an other 
then M' Danford for the Laying out their town bounds because of 
his desire to be excused by reason of his vrgent ocations otherwise, 
& that they be not strictly tyed to a square forme in theire Line 
Laying out 

So shall yo' Peticon'f be incoridged in this great work, and shall 
as, duty bindes pray for yo' happiness and thankfully Rest 

yo' humble Servants 

Dean Winthropp 
Dolor Davis 
Will. Martin 
Jn°. Tinker 
Richard Smith 
Robert Blood 
Jn°. Lakin 
Amose Richenson 

In Ans. to this Petiobn wee Conceiue it needfull that the Town 
of Groton be freed from Rates for three years from the time of 
their Grant as is desired. 

2* That they may Imploy any other known Artist in the room 
of M' Danfort as need shall be. 

3'' That the forme of the Town may A little varie from A due 
Square According to the discrecon of the Comitte. 

21. 3'' m°. (56) Daniel Gookin 

Joseph Hills 
John Wiswall 

The Deputyes approue of the returne of the Comittee in answer 
to this petitio & desire the Consent of o' hone''' magists. hereto 

William Torrey Gierke 
Consented to by the magists 

Edward Rawson Secret 
[Indorsed for filing :] Grotens Peticon | Entrd & x= secured p"* 8 | 




"X^T^-^^PH^" ^^"^ '^■'^ QP^^^ 

■&^fi^ Mt*^ (tint eU-f^nr^^(tnA—tiJPr-i^ -<*-ewiJ' <"•- *f^ w^^iiif- <TO» 




The next document, in point of time, connected with the 
history of Groton is a petition to the General Court from John 
Tinker, one of the original Selectmen of the town. It is dated 
October, 1659, and preserved among the Massachusetts Ar- 
chives (CXII. 120) at the State House. In this petition Tinker 
makes some indirect charges against his townsmen, of which 
the real nature can now be learned only by inference. It would 
appear that they had taken land in an unauthorized manner, 
and their proceedings in other respects had obstructed the 
planting of the town ; and that he felt aggrieved in conse- 
quence of such action. Evidently the new plantation did not 
prosper during the first few years of its settlement. The 
petition reads thus : — 


Boston To the Hone'" Gen'" Court Assembled at Boston 
8 m- The humble Petition of Jn° Tinker 

1659 Humbly Sheweth that 

With vnfained Respect to the good and welfare of Church and 
Comonwealth yo' Petitioner hath indeauored to answer the expecta- 
tion and desires of this hono"* Court and the whole Countrey In 
erecting selling and Carying an End the Afaires of Groaton, Granted 
and intended by this bono"* Court for a plantation, which notwith- 
standing (all in vaine) it Continueth vnpeopled and soe Like to 
remaine vnless by this bono"' Court some wise and Juditious Com- 
itte be impowered to order and dispose of all things there about, 
after which no doubt it will goe on and prosper, which is the humble 
desire and Request of yo'. Petitioner that soe it may be, and that 
yo' Petitioner be admitted and appoynted faithfully to declare vnto 
and informe the said Comitte, i what hath allredy bin done, 2 what 
are the Grounds and Reasons wherfore it Remaineth at the stay it 
doeth. being so much desired by so many and such Considerable 
persons as it is, and 3 what hee Conceuieth needfull to the further 
Confirming what is done according to Right to every person & 
Cause, and the setleing such due order as may incoridg the Carying 
on of all things to a prosperous effect, vnto which yo' Petitioner 
shall redyly adress himselfe, as willing to submitt to the good pleas- 
ure of this hon''* Court & such Authorized by them for such due 
satisfacon for all his Care time cost & paines in and about the said 
plantation as shall be thought meete and humbly begging the good 
fauo' of god to Rest vppon you shall ever Remaine to the bono"* 
Court and Country 

Yo' humble Serv' Jn°- Tinker 

The comittee haveing prsed this peticcon, do Judge y' it wilbe 
very convenient that a Coinittee of 3 : or more meet persons be 
nominated & impowred to Examine the pticulars therein mencconed. 
and make returne of w' they find to the Court of Eleccon. 

Thomas Danforth 
Anthony Stoddard 
Roger Clap 

21. (8) 59. The Depu' approue' of the ret. of y'. Comitee in 
answ: hereto & haue Nominated M' Danforth M' Ephraim Child 
Cap'. Edw: Johnson to be their Committee desireing o' Hono'? 
magists [consent] hereto 

William Torrey C/ertt:. 

Consented to by y° magists Edw Rawson Secreiy 


It appears from the writing on it that Tinker's petition was 
referred to a special committee, who recommended that the 
whole matter be considered by another committee with larger 
powers, who should report to the Court of Election. In ac- 
cordance with this recommendation, Mr. Thomas Danforth, 
Captain Edward Johnson, and Ephraim Child were appointed 
such a committee. I have here given their names in the 
order in which they are mentioned in the General Court 
Records (IV. 324), and not as they appear in the approval of 
the committee's return on the petition. The original report, 
made eighteen months afterward and duly signed by them, is 
now among the Shattuck Manuscripts of the New-England 
Historic, Genealogical Society. It is dated May 23, 1661 
(" 23 (3) 1661 "), and bears the official action of the House 
of Deputies and of the Magistrates. Edward Rawson, the 
Secretary, made his entry on the paper. May 29, 1661. In 
copying the document I have followed the General Court 
Records, as this version of the petition contains fewer abbre- 
viations and contractions. The record-book has been paged 
differently at three separate times ; and the paging marked in 
red ink has been taken in this copy. The " Comittees Returne 
ab' Groaten & Courts ordr " are as follows : — 

Wee whose names are subscribed being Appointed & impowred 
by the Generall Court in octobe' 1659 for the examination of the 
proceedings about Groten plantation & the Intanglements that haue 
obstructed the planting thereof hitherto=hauing taken pajnes to 
travajle vnto the sajd place & examine the Records of forme' pro- 
ceedings in that place as also the Capacity of the s'' place for the 
enterteining of a meet noumber of persons that may Carry on the 
affairs of a Toune, doe App'hend (according to w' Information we 
haue had) that the place will Affoord a comfortable accomoda- 
tion for sixty familjes at least that may subsist in a way of hus- 
bandry=And for such familyes as be there already planted w'''' are 
not aboue four or five acres ^ wee doe not finde theire Interest in 

1 The word " acres " occurs at the end of a line in the manuscript records, 
and appears to be an interpolation. The sense does not require it, and the 
original copy in the library of the New-England Historic, Genealogical Society 
does not contain it, though the printed edition of the General Court Records 
gives it. 


such lands as they claime is legall & Just nor yet consistant w"" the 
Courts ends in their graunt of the sajd plantation. 

And for the further encouragement of such as haue now a desire 
&c doe present themselvs as willing to plant themselves in that 

Wee craue leaue humbly to leaue our poore app'hentions w"" this 
Honored Court as followeth 

1 That the old planters & their Assignes whose names are John 
Tincker Rich : Smith. W" Martjn. Ri: blood Rob' Blood & Jn" La- 
kin that they reteine & keepe as theire propriety, (of such lands as 
they now clajme an Interest in) each of them only twenty acres of 
meadow twenty acres for the house lott ten acres Intervale land & 
tenn acres of other vplands & that the same be sett out by a Comit- 
tee so as may not vnequally prejudice such as are or may be their 

2 That the neere lands & meadows, be so diuided as may ac- 
comodate at least sixty familjes & for that end That the first diui- 
sion of lands be made in manner following viz' such as haue one 
hundred & fifty pounds estate be allowed equall w"" the old planters 
aboue & that none exceed & that none haue lesse then tenn acres 
for theire house lott & five acres of meadow two & a halfe acres of 
Intervale & two & a half of other lands for planting lotts in their 
first divission & that none be admitted to haue graunts of lotts 
there but on Condition^ following viz', 

1 That they Goe vp. w"' theire familjes w"'in 2 yeares after 
theire graunts, on penalty of forfeiting theire graunts againe to the 
Towne & so many tenn shillings as they had acres Graunted them 
for theire houselotts & that the like Injunction be putt vpon those 
aboue named as old planters. 

2 That all towne charges both Civil & Eccleasiasticall be levyed 
according to each mans Graunt in this first divition of lands for 
seuen yeares next Ensuing Excepting only such whose stocks of 
Catle shall exceed one hundred & fifty pounds estates. 

3 That the power of Admission of Inhabitants & Regulating the 
affaires of the sajd place be referred to a Comittee of meete persons 
Impowred by this Court thereto, Vntill the plantation be in some 
good measure (at least) filled w"" Inhabitants & be enabled regu- 
larly & peaceably to Carry on y" same themselves 

4 That this Honoured Court be pleased to graunt them Imuni- 
tjes [from] all Comon & Ordinary Country charges not exceeding 


a single rate or a Rate & a half p Annu for three yeares next 

5 That in Graunting of lotts children haue theire due Consid- 
eration w* estates theire paren'= giving securitje to defray y' charges 
of the place as is before p'tnised. 

Tho Danforth 
Edward Johnson 
Ephr. Child 

The Court Apprboves of & doe Confirme the returne of the 
Comittee & doe hereby further orde' & Impower the aforesajd 
Coraittee for the ends aboue mentioned vntill meete men shall be 
found amongst such as shall Inhabit there & be approoved of by a 
County Court 

[General Court Records, IV. 371.] 

The next document, in point of time, found among the 
Archives (I. 21) at the State House and relating to Groton, is 
the following request for a brandmark, which was wanted 
probably for marking cattle. 

The Humble Request of Joseph- Parker to the Honoured Gov- 
erno' the Honourd magistrates & deputyes, Humbly Requests in 
behalfe of the towne of Grawton that the letter Qi may bee Re- 
corded as the brand mark belonging to the towne I being Chosen 
Counstible this year make bolde to present this, to the Honoured 
Court it being but my duty, in the townes behalfe thus Hopeing 
the Honored Court will grant my request I rest yo' Humble 

Joseph Parker 

Boston : 31"' : may : i666 

In answer to this motion the Deputies approue of the letters : C^ 
to be y^ brand marke of groaten 

William Torrey Cleric, 
o' Hono'? magists consentinge hereto 
Consented by the magists 

Edw: Rawson Secrety 


Joseph Parker, before coming to Groton, had lived at 
Chelmsford, where his children were born. He was without 
doubt a brother of James, another of the early settlers of 

During this period the town was paying some attention to 
the question of marks for trees as well as for cattle. At a 
general meeting held on March 5, 1665-66, it was voted that 
"there should be trees marked for shade for cattell in all 
common by wayes : " and furthermore that " the marke should 
be a great T." From various expressions found in the early 
town records, it would seem that the country in the neighbor- 
hood was not densely wooded when the settlement was first 
made. At a meeting of the Selectmen held in the winter of 
1669, an order was passed for the preservation of trees, but 
the writing is so torn that it is impossible to copy it. At 
another meeting held on January 13, 1673-74, it was voted 
that all trees of more than six inches in diameter at the butt, 
excepting walnut and pine, growing by the wayside, should 
be reserved for public works, and that the penalty for cutting 
them down, without authority, should be ten shilHngs a tree. 

At a general town meeting on December 21, 1674, leave 
was granted to William Longley, Jr., to cut down three or 
four trees standing in the road near his farm and shading 
his corn, on condition that he give to the town the same 
number of trees for mending the highways. 



No. IV. page 15 : sixth and seventh lines from the bottom, dele " iVtr. 

No. V. " 15 : eighth and ninth lines from the top, read " the busi- 

ness conducted by Mr. Gates, though he left ten 
or a dozen years ago, and afterward by Boynton 
and Brown." 

No. VII. " S : fifteenth line from the top, dele " like his father." 
" " 6 : Mr. Gerrish's block was moved away in July, 1885 ; 

the main part of it is now a tenement house on 
HoUis Street. 
« " 17: eighth line from the bottom, for " Alpheias " riffl:i/ 

" "18: The post-office was made a postal order office on 

Monday, August 16, 1886. 

No. VIII. " 5 : Moses Child was an inn-holder at Groton in the year 
1776, and probably kept the Richardson tavern. 
See an advertisement in " The Boston Gazette, and 
Country Journal " (Watertown), August 26, 1776. 
" " 7 : fifteenth line from the top, for " Boston " read 

" Winslow, Maine." 

No. XII. " 18: Danforth's survey of Willard's farm, drawn on 
parchment, is now in the possession of Mrs. 
Charles C. Bennett, a daughter of the late Silas 
Nutting, of Ayer. It is not the one referred to in 
"The Boundary Lines of Old Groton "(page 13). 

No. XIII. " 8 : seventh line from the bottom, for " 9 : yeares " read 
"91. yeares." 
" " 46: fifteenth line from the top, for "Porcine" read 

'■ Parcime.'' 

No. XIV. " 27: sixth line from the bottom, insert "Elm Street" 
before " Pleasant Street." 

No. XV. " 18 : after Sodom, for " northeast " read " northwest." 

No. XVII. " 6: amongMr.Lawrence'sIawstudents,z«j^^/thenames 
of Caleb Butler and Asa Farnsworth Lawrence. 
" " 7 : twelfth line from the top, for " Groton " read" West- 


No. XIX. " 22 : second line from the top, for " Amos " read " Abel."