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3 1833 00859 1734 





PARSONS — Springfield. Mass., 1636. 
HOAR— Gloucester, England, 1632. 


Press of Perrin & Smith Printing Co. 

217-219 Olive Street. 

In verifying names, dates and otlier facts connected with two or 
three hundred years of the past, in a country new, where the forms of 
an old civilization are not found, and where, too, time is absorbed in 
supplying daily necessities, one who has not had experience can form 
no correct idea of the labor incident thereto— in an endless correspon- 
dence, in examination of old Records, and in seeking to reconcile 
a conflict of views constantly arising. In what 1 present herein, while 
I have spent much time and labor in many ways and places to secure 
correctness, I deem it very possible othei's may find I am far from 

It has been by me a cherished hope and belief for many years, 
that the descendants of the family of which I write, now so numerous 
and holding positions so highly reputable in the various professions 
and avocations of life, would, by a union of effort, prepare and pub- 
lish complete genealogical histories, English and American, of both 
lines of descent. 

But having passed the grand climacteric of four score j'ears, as I 
can no longer expect such a result, I have decided, in order to pre- 
serve what little information I have secured, to publish for private 
circulation in my immediate family, such facts as I have been able 
to gather of their ancestral linos, and such other incidents of family 
life as might be of interest to the few in that circle, but of no import- 
ance to, and not designed for the general public; trusting also, that 
what little I give, may stimulate to further and more successful 

Change of Name— I was christened "Lewis Parsons," and such 
it was till I commenced the practice of law at Alton, 111., in 1844, 
when at the request of my father I assumed his full name, Lewis 
Baldwin Parsons, and my name was so changed on the triennial 
catalogues of Yale and Harvard. 


Flora, Illinois, January 1, 1900. 


In regard to families of this name, now numerous in Eng- 
land, I have copied the following in substance from the New 
England Historical and Genealogical Register of Boston (a 
very valuable and reliable magazine for those interested in 
genealogical studies) of date July, 1847: 

"Though this name is a very ancient one in many parts 
of England and Ireland, it does not appear that there has ever 
been any attempt to collect even the materials for a history 
of the English family, notwithstanding there have been many 
individuals among them of great distinction, as knights, bar- 
onets and noblemen." 

In 1290, one Walter Parsons was a resident of Mulso, 
Ireland, where the name is still extant. In 1481, a Sir John 
Parsons was Mayor of Hereford. Robert Parsons, born in 
1546, a graduate of Oxford, and a man of eminent abilities, 
becoming a Catholic and Jesuit, established an English college 
at Rome and another at Valladolid in Spain. He wrote several 
books, one of which excited so great an interest that Sir Philip 
Sidney attempted an answer. In 1556, one Francis Parsons 
was Vicar of Rothwell, where there was a wood called "Par- 
sons' Wood." 

Bishop Gibson in his edition of "Camden's Brittania," 
remarks, "The honorable family of Parsons have been ad- 
vanced to the dignity of viscounts and more lately Earls of 
Ross." Ross Castle, Ireland, is still the seat of the same fam- 
ily, as it was of the eminent astronomer of that name and rank. 

In 1634, Thomas Parsons was knighted by Charles I. 
His arms are still retained by his descendants in London, 
among whom were Sir John, Lord Mayor of London, in 1704, 

and Sir Humphrey, Lord Mayor of London in 1731 and 1740, 
and also by some families in the United States. 

The coat of arms granted Sir Thomas Parsons is de- 
scribed thus : "He beareth gules two cheverons ermine, be- 
tween three eagles displayed Or. By the name of Parsons. 
Crest — an eagle's leg, erased at the thigh, standing on a leop- 
ard's head — gules." 

From this last family, it is believed, have descended many 
of the name of Parsons in this country, and that by a moderate 
expenditure of money and labor the English connection could 
be clearly traced. 

Prof. Theophilus Parsons, of Harvard University, in pre- 
senting the writer in 1867 with a copy of his memoirs of his 
father, Chief Justice Parsons, wrote in it, over his name, 
"From your friend and kinsman," and stated that his family 
came from the same place in England as did that of Cornet 
Joseph, only at a later date, emigrating first to the Barbadoes 
and thence to Gloucester, Mass. 


The first of the name in America is believed to have been 
Joseph Parsons, known as "Cornet Joseph," at Springfield, 
Mass., where on July 15th, 1636, he appears as a witness to 
the deed of cession by the Indians of that place, then called 
Agawam, and a large extent of country adjacent, made to 
William Pyncheon and others, for the consideration of 18 
yards of wampum, 18 coats, 18 hatchets, 18 hoes and 18 knives, 


a copy of which deed can be seen in the recorder's office at 
Springfield, Mass. 

At that time Parsons was a youth of seventeen years, as 
appears by his testimony at the March term of court at North- 
ampton in 1662, on proof of said deed. This deed was made 
but sixteen years after the Mayflower anchored at Plymouth 
and but six years after the first settlement of Boston. The 
exact date of Parsons' coming to America is not now known, 
nor the home of his ancestors in England. Maunsell's "Amer- 
ican Ancestry" states that he came over with William Pynch- 
eon, the leader of the Springfield colonists, who was one of the 
patentees of the grant to the Massachusetts Bay Company, 
and a fellow-passenger with Winthrop, who came over in 1630. 
It is also of tradition that he was a protege of Pyncheon, which 
his lifelong intimate social and business relations, both with 
him and his son, Captain John Pyncheon, would seem to con- 
firm. From Burt's monograph, I extract much of the follow- 
ing information : In 1646 Joseph's brother Benjamin, known 
by record as "Deacon Benjamin," first appeared in Spring- 
field, where by his ability and great purity of character in pub- 
lic and private life he soon exerted a wide influence in laying 
the foundation of a Christian State. The sometimes mooted 
question of the relationship of Joseph and Benjamin Parsons 
would seem conclusively settled by the testimony of William 
Pyncheon and the investigations by Mr. Henry M. Burt, of 
the ancient records of Springfield. 

For some years subsequent to his signing the Indian deed 
as witness, the name of Joseph Parsons does not appear in the 
public records, as would naturally be the case, he being then 
but a youth of seventeen years, and it is thought probable that 
he may have removed to Hartford, Conn., as the records there 
show that on November 26, 1646, O. S., he married Mary 
Bliss, the daughter of Thomas Bliss, of that place, who 
was the son of Thomas Bliss, of Belstone Parish, in Devon- 
shire, England, a family soon after, and to the present time, 
among the most prominent in Springfield. The Springfield 
records show that in 1646 Joseph Parsons was elected Town 
Surveyor, "a very responsible position in a wilderness where 

first lines for an entirely new organization for ownership, for 
roads and all civil divisions were to be made, and a very hon- 
orable office to be voluntarily given to a young man of twenty- 
six years." In 1647, Joseph Parsons, as one of the forty-two 
land owners of Springfield, was assessed a tax of lis Qd. In 
1650 he was elected Overseer of Fences, arising, no doubt, 
from his office of Surveyor. 

In 1651 he was elected a Selectman, "the highest ofBce 
in the gift of the people for conduct of town affairs, a place of 
great honor and trust for a young man." In 1662 he, with 
others, having purchased "Noltwog," now Northampton, and 
a large extent of country around, from the Indians, removed 
there, where he was elected a Selectman, and was often re- 
elected in subsequent years ; in fact, it would appear from the 
records that his time was so much taken up by town and 
church affairs, and at such sacrifice of his private business 
that at a town meeting, February, 1656, "It was agreed that 
Joseph Parsons, paying 20 shillings, shall be freed from any 
office in the town of Northampton for one year." 

In 1655, Joseph Parsons, for the sum of 12 pounds ster- 
ling per annum, purchased of William Pyncheon a monopoly 
of the Connecticut River beaver or fur trade, in which, as ap- 
pears from his accounts with Pyncheon, recently published, 
he was for many years largely and successfully engaged — bal- 
ances on settlement at times reaching $2,000 to $3,000, "a large 
sum for a wilderness town 240 years ago." 

In settlement of those accounts, the Cornet's autograph 
was annexed, and when in Springfield in 1844, Judge Morris, 
who then owned the books, now in the Springfield Library, 
cut out one (June 29, 1661) and presented to me, which I gave 
to my father, who, in his will, left it to me, and which I now 

He seems to have early begun the acquisition of land, as 
when twenty-seven years of age he owned six tracts at least. 
When the town of Hadley was purchased of the Indians, he 
held a prior Indian claim which was excepted from sale and 
which he subsequently sold to the inhabitants for a consider- 
able sum. At Northampton several grants were made to him. 

no consideration being mentioned, and he continued while 
there to purchase "until he became the largest or second larg- 
est land owner in the Connecticut Valley." He also owned 
two valuable lots in Boston, a residence and storehouse on the 
harbor, which his family sold after his death at a large sum 
for those times. 

In 1668, a saw mill being a necessity, a grant of 20 acres 
of land was made, but the grantee failing in his contract. Par- 
sons purchased it and made it a success. 

In 1664, the Indians desiring to build a fort, Parsons was 
one of a committee to fix the conditions, among which were 
that the Indians "should not work on the Sabbath day, and 
should not pawaw at the place or get drunk." 

"It is probable that Joseph Parsons had a more intimate 
acquaintance with the Indians than any other inhabitant, as 
his trading with them had taken him to their villages, up and 
down the Connecticut Valley, and it was this intimate relation 
that made him so invaluable when any transaction was to take 
place with them. It also gave him an extended acquaintance 
with the country and the most valuable lands." 

"In the spring of 1671, Joseph Parsons, with three others, 
went on an exploring expedition to what is now Northfield, 
Mass., and there concluded a bargain with the Indians for a 
valuable tract of land of 10,560 acres on the Great River (Con- 

In 1896 I visited an old Colonial house in Northamp- 
ton, then owned by Mr. Josias Parsons, who was nearly ninety 
years old and was a descendant of Cornet Joseph. The house 
was built 152 years previous to that time and was then in good 
condition and occupied by Josias Parsons, a nephew. The 
land was purchased by the Cornet, and has ever since, together 
with land in "the meadows," been owned by his descendants. 

His military record is best shown by an extract from the 
"Register of the Officers and Members of the New Hampshire 
Society of Colonial Wars." viz: "Parsons, Cornet Joseph, 
1618, 1683, member Captain John Pyncheon's Hampshire 
County Troop, King Philip's War, 1672- 1678, appointed Cor- 
net Hampshire Troop, October 7th, 1678. Member of the 

Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston, 1679; 
served in the early French and Indian Wars, Colony of Massa- 
chusetts Bay. He was a partner with William Pyncheon in 
the fur trade of the Connecticut Valley and was the chief 
founder of Northampton, Massachusetts." 

Cornet Joseph Parsons was pre-eminently a business man, 
with the courage and enterprise which peculiarly fitted him 
for taking a leading part among the settlers of this new coun- 
try. Savage says that he was "the most enterprising man in 
the Connecticut Valley for a quarter of a century." And Burt, 
in his monograph, says that "With perhaps a single exception 
he was the most prosperous and successful of any of the set- 
tlers and acauired a handsome property, the largest unless it 
be that of John Pyncheon, of any one in Hampshire County, 
an evident indication of his foresight and enterprise." The 
public records of his day, as well as contemporary writings 
still in existence, testify to his remarkable activity and force 
of character. That he was a man of integrity and justice in his 
dealings is shown by the trust reposed in him in the frequent 
transactions with the Indians, necessary in connection with 
public matters, as well as in his extensive private enterprises, 
which brought him in contact with them throughout the en- 
tire Connecticut Valley, while the numerous offices which he 
was chosen to fill during his long life, the duties connected 
with which seem to have been always satisfactorily performed, 
testify to the regard which his fellow colonists had both for 
his ability and his integrity. 

In all those traits of character which were peculiarly 
necessary for the founders of this new civilization, he seems to 
have been a worthy companion among those who have made 
New England known and honored. 

From all the information I have been able to obtain by 
much correspondence and examination of records, the follow- 
ing is a correct genealogical statement, so far as now known, 
of that branch of the line of descendants of Cornet Joseph 
Parsons, under consideration. For further information in re- 
gard to individuals, as also for some historical items, notes in 


the margin will refer the reader to papers where the same may 
be found.* 

J, Cornet Joseph Parsons, born in England about i6i8; died 
at Springfield, Mass., Oct. 9, 1683 ; married November 26, 
1646, Mary Bliss, of Hartford, Conn., born in England, 
1620; died at Springfield Jan. 29, 1712. 


1. Joseph, 2d, or "Esquire," born 1647; died at North- 
ampton Nov. 29, 1729. 

2. Benjamin, born Jan. 22, 1649; died June 22, 1649. 

3. John, born Aug. 14, 1650; lived in Northampton and 
died there April 15, 1728; married Sarah, daughter of Lieu- 
tenant William Clark, Dec. 3, 1675; died April 19, 1728; had 
eight children. He was a Captain in King Philip's Indian 

4. Samuel, Lieutenant, born Jan. 23, 1652; removed to 
Durham, Conn., in 1709 and died there Nov. 12, 1734; married 
Elizabeth Cook, 1677; died Sept. 2, 1690; married (2) Rhoda 
Taylor in 1691. Had fourteen children. 

5. Ebenezer, born 1655, the first white child born in 
Northampton ; killed in battle with the Indians at Northfield, 
Sept. 8, 1675. 

6. Jonathan, born June 6, 1657; died Dec. 1694; married 
Mary, daughter of Nathaniel Clark, April 5, 1682. Had seven 

7. Daniel, born April 30, 1659; died young. 

8. Mary, born June 27, 1661 ; married Joseph Ashley, 
Oct. 16, 1685, who died May 19, 1698. Married (2) Joseph Wil- 
liston. Had three children; died Aug. 23, 171 1. 

9. Hannah, born Aug. i, 1663; died April i, 1739; "^^^" 
ried Pelatiah Glover, Jan. 7, 1687, who died Aug. 22, 1737. 
Had eight children. 

* For a much more detailed and interesting history of Cornet Joseph Parsons 
and his descendants, the reader is referred to a genealogical history by President 
Albert Ross Parsons, of Garden City, N. Y. 


10. Abigail, born Sept. 3, 1666; died June 27, 1689; mar- 
ried John Colton, Feb. 19, 1685. Had two children. 

11-12. Esther and Benjamin, born and died Sept. 11, 

13. Hester, born Dec. 24, 1674; died 1760; married Jo- 
seph Smith, of Springfield, Sept. 15, 1698. Had one child. 

Joseph Parsons. "Esquire," as his name appears on the 
public records and as it may still be seen on his tombstone in 
the Northampton Cemetery, which, with that of his wife, I. 
had recut in 1897, was born in 1647 ^"d was the oldest son 
of "Cornet" Joseph Parsons. 

"During his long life of eighty-two years, he was con- 
spicuous as a public man, in affairs of church and state. For 
some years he was a Justice of the Peace under the old English 
forms, with their rights and duties, and was said to have been 
the last of the kind in New England. In 171 1 he was com- 
missioned by Governor Dudley as Captain of a foot company 
in the Hampshire Regiment commanded by Colonel Partridge 
and was active in the military service of the colony. 

In civil life he was often a Selectman of the town, as he 
was also for more than twenty-three years a Judge of the 
County Court. He was elected a representative to the General 
Court at Boston many times, the last being in his seventy- 
seventh year, and he often served on important committees. 
As illustrative of the times, it is of record that serving on a 
committee to manage the funeral of Joseph Sheldon, a mem- 
ber of the General Court from Sufifield, he audited among other 
bills one for 12 shillings for a coffin, and 2 pounds 15s for wine. 
His business interests were large and extended over a wide ter- 
ritory. He was owner of both grist and saw mills in North- 
ampton and Deerfield, and was largely interested in the iron 
business at Suffield and Southfield. 

The record of the New Hampshire Society of Colonial 
Wars states that he served in King Philip's War, was one of 
the earliest lawyers in Western Alassachusetts, was Judge of 
the Hampshire County Court for twenty-three years and was 
deputy to the General Court for fourteen years, twelve from. 
Northampton and two from Springfield. 


II. Joseph Parsons, 2d, or "Esquire,!" born 1647, died at 
Northampton, Nov. 29, 1729; married, March 17, 1669, 
EHzabeth, daughter of Elder John Strong, ancestor of 
Governor Caleb Strong, born at Windsor, Conn., Feb. 
24, 1648; died at Northampton, May ii, 1736. 


1. Joseph, 3d, born June 28, 1671, Harvard College, 
1697, Minister; died at Salisbury, Mass., 1739; married Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Dr. John Thompson, of Roxbury. 

2. John — known as Lieut. John — born Jan. 11, 1673-4, 
died Sept. 4, 1746; married Sarah, daughter of Rev. Hope 
Atherton, of Hatfield, Dec. 23, 1696, who died Feb. 12, 1729. 
Had ten children. 

3. Ebenezer, Captain, born Dec. 31, 1675, died July i, 
1744; married Mercy Stebbins, Dec. 15, 1703, who died Nov. 
I, 1753. Had nine children. 

4. Elizabeth, born Feb. 3, 1678, died April 17, 1763; 
married Ebenezer Strong, Jr. (2d wife), 1706-7. Had six chil- 

5. David, born Feb. i, 1680, died in 1737 at Maiden, 
where he was a minister, Harvard College, 1705. His son, 
David, Harvard College, 1729, was first minister of Amherst, 
Mass. ; married daughter of Gideon Wells, of Weatherfield. 

6. Josiah, born Jan. 2, 1682, died April 12, 1768; married 
Sarah, daughter of Isaac Sheldon, June 22, 1710; died Dec. 
14, 1738. Had nine children. 

7. Daniel, born Aug. 18, 1685, died Jan. 27, 1774; mar- 
ried Abigail Cooley. Had eight children. 

8. Moses, born Jan. 15, 1687; lived at Durham, Conn., 
and died there Sept. 26, 1754; married Abigail Ball, Jan. 16, 
1710; died Dec. 4, 1760. 

9. Abigail, born Jan. i, 1689, died Aug. 17, 1763; mar- 
ried Ebenezer Clark, Dec. 10, 1712. Had eight children. 

10. Noah, born Aug. 15, 1692, died Oct. 27, 1779; mar- 
ried Mindwell, daughter of Benjamin Edwards, Jan. 17, 171 2. 
who died 1775. Had eleven children. 


III. Daniel Parsons, born at Northampton, August, 1685, 
died at Springfield Jan. 27, 1774; married Abigail Cooley,. 
June 2, 1709, born Feb. 22, 1690, died June 8, 1763. 


1. Daniel, born Feb. 13, 1710; married Esther Stebbins. 

2. Aaron, born June 2, 1712; died Aug. 4, 1795. 

3. Noah, born Nov. 17, 1714. 

4. Abigail, born April 24, 1718; married Benjamin Hor- 

5. Miriam, born Oct. 9, 1721 ; married James Warriner. 

6. Gideon, born Nov. 11, 1723. 

7. Abner, born Nov. 12, 1725. 

8. Eunice, born Aug. 27, 1728; married Abel Hancock. 

IV. ''Aaron Parsons, born June 2, 1712, died at Springfield, 
Aug. 4, 1795 ; married Mercy Atkinson, Oct. 2, 1732, born 
1713, died July 11, 1750. 


1. Mercy, born 1733, died 1750; married Abner Sikes. 

2. Lucy, born 1735, died ; married Joseph Adna 


3. Aaron, Sergeant, born Feb. 14, 1736, died Feb. 20, 

4. Reuben, Deacon, born 1739, died 1799; married Mar- 
garet Granger. 

5. Zenas, born 1740, died i8i8; married Isabella Wood- 

6. Charles, Captain, born Sept. 17, 1742, died March 8, 

7. Elijah, born 1744, died 1776; married Eunice Cald- 

8. Miriam, born 1746; married Captain Enoch Chapin. 

9. Eli, Lieutenant, born 1748; wounded in battle Oct.. 
4, 1777, died at Oswego, N. Y. 

10. Silence, born July 11. 1750. 

* " He was a member of Luke Hitchcock's Company in the French War 
which was in service from April 8, 1755, to January 3, 1756, and which was in 
the battle near Lake George, N Y., between the Elnglish Colonial Army under 
General Johnson and the French Army under Baron Dieskaw. In this battle 
Noah Grant, great-grandfather of General U. S. Grant, was killed." 

PARSONS GENEALOGY, by Albert Ross Parsons. 

— 1^ — 

V. Charles Parsons, Captain, born at Springfield, Mass., Sept. 
17, 1742, died at Williamstown, Mass., March 8, 1814. 
Second Lieutenant in Second New York Regiment, Oct., 
1775. First Lieutenant, Feb. 21, 1776. First Lieutenant 
in First New York Regiment, Nov. 21, 1776, to rank fronf 
Feb. 21, 1776. Captain Lieutenant Sept. i, 1778. Cap- 
tain, March 26, 1779, served to June, 1783. He was sta- 
tioned with his company at Ticonderoga and up the Mo- 
hawk at Fort Schuyler during the summer of 1780; par- 
ticipated in the sufferings of the troops at Valley Forge, 
was wounded in the battle of Monmouth, and was finally 
present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. 
Was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. He mar- 
ried Lucy Baldwin, Jan. 30, 1785, born June 30, 1753; 
died Oct. 8, 1818, 


1. Charles, born 1785; one child, a daughter. 

2. Ebenezer, born 1788; died young. 

3. Isaac, born 1789; emigrated to Canada. 

4. Lucy, born 1791 ; married John Anderson; had five 

5. Lewis Baldwin, born 1793; married Lucina Hoar. 

6. Walter Chamberlain, born North Adams, Mass., 
March 30, 1795; died June 17, 1859, at Middletown, N. J. 
Was sea captain and farmer. Married, March 28, 1829, Mary 
Moreford, born Dec. 6, 1800; died March 23, 1875. 


1. Lucy Moreford, born Sept. 27, 1832, died in Germany, 
Aug. 10, 1870; married William Wurdeman, civil engineer, 
Jan. 23, 1859. 

2. Charles Baldwin, born Monmouth, N. J., July 3, 1835; 
married, Jan. 20, 1868, Elizabeth M. Bergen, born Oct. 3, 
1848. Enlisted November, 1861, in First New York Engi- 
neers and served with distinction till close of the rebellion, 
July, 1865, on staff of Major-General Terry as Inspector, on 
that of General B. F. Butler as Engineer, and as Chief Engi- 


neer Twenty-fifth Army Corps, on staff of Major-General 
Weitzel, participating in the battles about Charleston, S. C, 
and Petersburg, Va. Retired with the rank of Captain and 
Brevet Major. Had two children — Walter B., Colgate Uni- 
versity, 1893; Jennie, born Nov. 2, 1874; died Dec. 2, 1874. 
3. Lydia S., born May 7, 1838; married Sept. 26, 1866, 
Thomas B. Roberts, who served in the Cavalry, 1861 to 1864 
Has three children — Walter, Lucy and Raymond Parsons, the 
latter Colgate University, 1897. 

7. Marshall, born 1797; died 1813. 

VI. Lewis Baldwin Parsons, born Williamstown, Alass., Ap- 
ril 30. 1793; died at Detroit, Mich., Dec. 21, 1855; was a 
successful merchant, a man of uncommon energy and 
force of character, of rare catholicity in his religious 
views, as also in the breadth of his charities, and was the 
founder of Parsons' CoUege, Iowa. Married Lucina Hoar 
at Homer, N. Y., Nov. 10, 1814, born at Brimfield, Mass., 
Oct. 31, 1790; died at Gouveneur, N. Y., Oct. 3, 1873. 

I. Octavia, born in Scipio, N. Y., Oct. 27, 1815; died Dec. 
25, 1881 ; married August, 1838, William Erastus Sterling, 
born June 4, 1801, died March 5, 1861 ; a merchant of 
Gouveneur, St. Lawrence County, N. Y. 

1. Maria Ely, born July 22, 1839. 

2. Emily, born July 3, 1842; married John Doud, May 
15, 1867. Children: Wm. Sterling, born May i, 1868, died 
Aug. 17, 1868. Elizabeth Sterling, born Oct. 3, 1870. Robert 
Parsons, born June 5, 1879. 

3. Fanny Jerusha, born July 11, 1844. 

4. William Erastus, Jr., born Dec. 6, 1846, died April 
20, 1858. 

5. Anna Lucina, born Aug. 5, 1848, died Feb. 7, 1871. 

6. Lewis T., born Oct. 7, 1851 ; married June 26, 1884, 
Elizabeth Borden Nichols, born Nov. 25, 1853. One child- 
Ruth Hastings, born June 4, 1890. 


2. Philo, born in Scipio, N. Y., Feb. 7, i8i7, died at Winch- 
enden, Mass., Jan. 23, 1896; married June 27, 1843, ^t 
Moscow, N. Y., Ann Eliza Barnum, born Sept. 14, 1822; 
died at Detroit, ^lich., April 25, 1893. 


I. Frances Eliza, born Oct. 12, 1848; married Sept. 26, 
1882, William Fitzhugh Edwards, who died Oct. 27, 1897. 

2 Lewis Baldwin, born Aug. 7, 1850; married Harriet 
M. Streeter. Children : Anna Helen, born Sept. 29, 1874. 
Margaret Elwood, born Jan. 4, 1876. Josephine McKee, born 
Dec. 26, 1878. 

3. Edward Levi, born April 3, 1853. 

4. Kate Eugenia, born June 28, 1854; married, Feb. 5, 
1880, Arthur Clifford, of New Bedford, Mass., Harvard Uni- 
versity, 1874, who died Feb. 26, 1881 ; child, Charles Parsons 
Clifford, born Oct. 2t,, 1880. 

5. William Swain, born June 6, 1856; died Aug. 6, 1857. 

6. Julia Norton, born Dec. 31, 1857; married June 11, 
1891, William Edminston Boynton, Harvard University, 1876. 

7. Alary Lucina, born Oct. 10, i860; married April 22, 
1885, Frederick Grout Chidsey. Children : Frederick Par- 
sons, born March 11, 1886. Helen, born July 8, 1887. 

8. Grace Douglas, born Feb. 13, 1863. 

3. Lewis B. Parsons, born Genessee County, New York, 
April 5, 1 81 8. 
A. B. Yale College, 1840. 
A. M., in course, 1843. 

LL. B Harvard University Uaw School, 1844. 
City Attorney of Alton, 111., 1846-1849. 
Attorney, Treasurer, President of the Ohio and Mis- 
sissippi Railroad, 1854-1878. 
Captain of Volunteers, October 31, 1861. 
Colonel, April 4, 1862. 
Brigadier-General, May 11, 1865, on autographic order 

of President Lincoln for special services. 
Brevet Major-General for "meritorious services," and 


mustered out April 30, 1866; term of service, four 
and a half years. 

Democratic candidate for lyieuten ant-Governor of Illi- 
nois in 1880, with U. S. Sen. Lyman Trumbull, can- 
didate for Governor. 

Delegate to Democratic National Convention, nomi- 
nating Grover Cleveland for President in 1884. 

President Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, 1895-8. 

Member of the Grand Army of the Republic; of the 
Society of the Army of the Tennessee; the Society 
of the Sons of the Revolution; the Society of the 
Colonial Wars and Companion of the lyoyal I^egion. 

Married, ist, Sarah Green Edwards, St. Louis, Mo., 
Sept. 21, 1847, born Sept. 13, 1820; died May 28, 1850. 

1. Lewis Green, born Aug. 3, 1848; Yale LTniversity, 
1872; died at Denver, Colo., Jan 29, 1875. 

2. Sarah Edwards, born May 15, 1850; died at St. Paul, 
Minn., May 10, 1873. 

Married, 2d, Julia Maria Edwards, St. Louis, July 5, 1852, 
born June 8, 1830; died June 9, 1857. 


1. Julia Edwards, born Sept. 13, 1854. 

2. Charles Levi, born March 31, 1856. 

Married, 3d, Elizabeth Darrah, New York City, Dec. 28, 
1869, born June 25, 1832; died at Scarborough, \\q., Sept. 
2, 1887. 

4. Lucy Ann, born Jan. 11, 1820; died May 9, 1851 ; married 
at Gouveneur, N. Y., Charles S. Cone, merchant. One 
child, Charles S. Cone, Jr., born Dec. 16, 1851, died Feb. 
17, 1882; married, ist, Mary Cromwell, May, 1871 — one 
child, Harry Cromwell, born Sept. 4, 1874, died June 16, 
1882; married, 2d, Caroline Mills, Feb. 27, 1878. Chil- 
dren: Ruth Parsons, born Feb. 17, 1879. Sterling, born 
June 18, 1881, died Jan. 8, 1883. 


5- Harriet Matilda, born March 22, 1822; died Aug. 22. 1823. 

6. Charles, born Jan. 24, 1824; married Martha A. Pettus, 
born March 27,, 1830; died Feb. 13, 1889. 

7. Levi, born Jan. 24, 1826; died at St. Louis, Mo., April 9, 


8. Emily, born June 11, 1828; died Dec. 17, 1833. 

9. George, merchant and banker, born in Gouveneur, N. Y., 
Jan. 2, 1830; married, Oct. 23, 1855, Emily Lycett Bar- 
num, born April 30, 1830. Children: Willis Edwards, 
Presbyterian clergyman, born Oct. 26, 1857 ; married Dec. 
24, 1884; Ellen Effie Topping, born June 9, 1859; George 
Frederick, born Aug. 25, 1859; married Oct. 29, 1895; 
Margaret Graves, born Feb. 6, 1869, one child, Emily 
Frances, born Dec. 3, 1897. 

10. Helen Maria, born July 19, 1834, died Aug. 6, 1863 ; mar- 
ried, Nov. 16, 1858, George B. Boardman ; one child, 
Charles Parsons, born Oct. 5, 1859. Congregational cler- 
gyman in Iowa; married July 30, 1884, Florence Adele 
Banker, born March 3, 1862. Children : Charles Willis, 
born Dec. 10, 1885. John, born March 12, 1887; Helen 
Marian, born March 31, 1889. Douglas Leonard, born 
Feb. 16, 1891. 



In the Maternal Line of Hoar. 

What is known of the English ancestry of this family, as 
also much that is known of its early history in America, is 
derived from researches made in both countries by Hon. Geo. 
F. Hoar, United States Senator from Massachusetts, and was 
published in the New England Historical and Genealogical 
Register for January, April and July, 1899 ,entitled "The Hoar 
Family in America, and its English Ancestry," and is by per- 
mission reprinted herein. 

The earliest record noticed is in 11 70. 

"From Burke's Dictionary of Landed Gentry, p. 577, we 
find that 'William le Hore' (as the name was often written) 
was one of the Norman Knights who invaded Ireland in 1170, 
and obtained grants of land in Wexford, where he established 
a family. The pedigree in the visitation of the country begins 
with Thomas le Hore, who held the manor by the service of 
'keeping a passage over the Pillwater as often as the session 
should be held at Wexford.' He had three sons, one of whom, 
David, was high sheriff in 1334." 

The first of whom we have any definite knowledge is : 

I. Charles Hoar, Senior, and his wife, Margery, of Glouces- 
ter, England. The will of Charles Hoar, Senior, was 
dated May 29th, 1632, a copy of which is published 
herein. He was a man of wealth and position and was 
at one time Mayor of his native city. He had four chil- 


dren, two sons and two daughters. One of the daught- 
ers married Thomas Hill, alderman, and Mayor of Glou- 
cester in 1640. The other married Leonard Tarne, a 
man of distinction and wealth, and sheriff of Gloucester 
in 1630, an office of much responsibility and distinction 
in those times. Among his possessions was the noted 
Raven Tavern, stil standing, which he devised to trus- 
tees ; also another property, for the benefit of the poor. 
Of Thomas, the younger, little is of record. The elder 
son — 

II. Charles Hoar, Junior, married Joanna Hinksman, be- 
came a man of substance, and much respected in his na- 
tive city, as would appear by the fact that he was one of its 
aldermen from 1632 to 1638, and sherifif in 1634, and also 
that his name is found in the council minutes with "gen- 
tleman" or ''generosus," affixed to it, an evidence then of 
rank. His will published herein, was found by Senator 
Hoar in "Doctors' Commons," and is dated September 
25, 1638. "He had a large estate, both in lands and 
money, as he bequeathed considerable sums and disposed 
of lands at several places as provision for his wife and 
younger children." The will directs that his "sonne 
Leonard shalle be carefullie kept at school and when he 
is fitte for itt, he shalle be carefullie placed at Oxford, and 
if ye Lord shalle see fitte, to make him a minister unto 
his people, that all ye charge thereof shalle be discharged 
out of ye profit which it shalle please God to send out of 
the stock." His house is still standing on Southgate 
Street, occupied by the printing house of the Gloucester 
Chronicle. In the original records of the Heralds visi- 
tation of Gloucester, 1623, are the arms of Hoar of 
Gloucester, S. A., "An eagle double headed displayed 
within a border engroined," which may still be seen in 
the old burying ground at Concord, Mass., on the grave- 
stone of Daniel Hoar, born 1680; died, 1773. 

Not long after the death of her husband, and about 


1640, Joanna Hinksman, wife of Charles Hoar, Junior, 
with all her children except Thomas, came to America 
and settled near Boston. She died Sept. 21, 1651. Chil- 
dren : 

1. Thomas, was baptised in the Church of St. Mary du 
Crypt, Gloucester; lived and died in England. 

2. Margery, married in England, ist, John Matthews, 
Dec. 25, 1633; 2d, Rev. Henry Flint, and died March 1686-7. 

3. John. 

4. Daniel. 

5. Leonard, born about 1630; died Nov. 28, 1675. Grad- 
uated at Harvard College in 1650; was a minister; returned 
to England in 1653, preached a number of years, received the 
degree of M. D. at Cambridge, England, 1671 ; returned to 
America and was made president of Harvard in 1672; died in 
Boston, Nov. 28, 1675, and now lies buried beside his mother 
at Quincy. His wife was Bridget, daughter of Lord John 
Lisle, one of the regicide judges of Charles L, who was one of 
Cromwell's favorites and one of the Commissioners of the 
Great Seal. At the restoration of Charles H., his property 
was confiscated ; he fled to Switzerland, ''and was assassinated 
at Lausanne, as he was going to church, by two Irish ruf^ans 
inspired by the expectation of a generous reward from some 
member of the royal family in England." His wife, Alice, 
was arraigned before the infamous Judge Jefifries on a charge 
of high treason and was beheaded after most cruel treatment. 

6. Joanna. 

Margery was ancestress of John Quincy Adams. Joanna 
married Edmund Quincy, of Braintree, ancestor of Josiah 
Quincy, President of Harvard College. 

HL John, born in England, died at Concord, April 2, 1704; 

married Alice, born , died at Concord, June 5, 1696. 

John lived first in Scituate, "was one of the Cohasset part- 
ners, distinguished for his bold and independent mind and 
action," a man of wealth and affairs for those days, a 
prominent figure in public life and a great friend of the 
Indians, with much influence over them. 



1. Elizabeth, married, Dec. 23, 1675, Jonathan Prescott. 

2. Mary, married Benjamin Graves, Oct. 21, 1668. 

3. Daniel, born at Scitnate, 1650. 

IV. Daniel, born at Scituate, 1650; married Mary Stratton, 
July 16, 1677. 

John, born Oct. 24, 1678; died March i, 1764. 
Daniel, born 1680; Lieutenant; died 1773; married 
Jones, 1705 ; died Feb. 8. 
Leonard; Captain; born 1682; died April, 1771. 
Jonathan, a soldier, died at "The Castle," Oct. 26, 







Joseph, died at sea, 1707. 

6. Benjamin. 

7. Mary, born March 14, 1689; died June 10, 1702. 
Samuel, born April 6, 1691. 

9. Isaac, born May 18, 1695. 

10. David, born Nov. 14, 1698. 

11. Elizabeth, born Feb. 22, 1701. 

V. Leonard Hoar, Captain, one of the eight original settlers 
and proprietors of the town of Brimfield, Mass., born 
1682 ; married Esther Bowman, who was baptised at Cam- 
bridge, Mass., Oct. 19, 1683. Captain Leonard died at 
Brimfield, April, 1771, where his gravestone may still be 
seen. He was active in political afifairs, as is shown by the 
Brimfield records. 


1. Joseph, Deacon, born at Concord, Dec. 5, 1708. 

2. Daniel, born at Concord, May 7, 1710; died July 9, 


3. Leonard, Jr., born Oct. 29, 171 1. 

4. David, born Feb. 23, 1713. 

5. Charles, born Dec. 25, 1714. 

6. Edmund, born July 19, 1716. 


7- Esther, born April 7, 1719. 

8. Mary; married Samuel Colton, Feb. 19, 1751.' 

9. Nathan; married Miriam Colton, May 21, 1751. 

VI. Joseph, Deacon, born at Concord, Dec. 5, 1707; died at 
Brimfield, Nov. 7, 1797; married Deborah Colton, May 

10. 1736; died January 8, 1800. 


1. Lucy, born June 4, 1737; married John Sherman, 
Nov. 23, 1758. 

2. Deborah (?), born January 28, 1739; died Feb. 4, 

3. Joseph, Jr., born June 22, 1740. 

4. Esther, born April 20, 1742; married Simeon Keep, 
July 21, 1768. 

5. Deborah, born Sept. 19, 1744; married James Steb- 
bins, Jan. 10, 1765. 

6. Samuel, born July 24, 1746; died May 10, 1828. 

VII. Samuel, Lieutenant, born July 24, 1746; married Doro- 
thy Hitchcock, at Brimfield, July i, 1773; moved to Ho- 
mer, N. Y., and was one of its first settlers, January, 1779. 
He died May 10, 1828, at Homer, N. Y. His wife died 
Feb. 29, 1813. 


1. Flavia, born May 26, 1774; died Dec. 9, 1806. 

2. Jacob, born Jan. 21, 1777; married Cyrene Munn, 
-800; died September, 1820. 

3. Rachel, born March 28, 1779; married Rowland 
Lacy; died May, 1817. 

4. Lucy, died in May, 1817. 

5. Gideon, born March 25, 1781 ; married Electa Wads- 
worth, April 29, 1807; died April 29, 1857. 

6. Samuel, born June 4, 1783 ; married Rhoda Chamber- 
lain; died 1844. 

7. Chester, born June 5, 1785; married Peggy Blodgett. 

8. Asa, born October, 1787; married Anna Hannum, 
November, 1812. 


9- Lucina. born Oct. 31, 1790; married Lewis B. Par- 
sons, Nov. 10, 1814. 

10. Martin, born Feb. 11, 1793: married Paulina Parks. 

11. Calvin, born Jwne 10, 1795; married Anna Hoar, of 

VIII. Lucina Hoar married Lewis B. Parsons, Xov. 10, 
1814; died Oct. 3, 1873. Children : See the record of the 
paternal line. 


I sought in vain at Springfield, where he was buried, for 
the grave of Cornet Joseph Parsons. I found in the records 
of that place his death entered as follows : 

"Cornet Joseph Parsons was sick'd and died October 9th, 

The tombstone of his eldest son and my ancestor, Joseph 
2d, as also that of his wife, I found at Northampton, inscribed 
as follows : 

"Here lieth the body of Joseph Parsons, Esquire, who 
deceased November ye 29, A. D. 1729, aged 83 years." 

"Here lieth the body of Mrs. Elizabeth Parsons, relict of 
Joseph Parsons, Esquire, who died May ye nth, A. D. 1736, 
aged 89 years." 

\"isiting their graves recently, and finding the inscriptions 
becoming obliterated, I had them recut. 

In 1844 I found at Springfield the graves of my ancestors 
Daniel and Aaron Parsons. Subsequently all graves were re- 
moved to give place to a railroad, since which I have only 
found the grave stones of Aaron and his wife, the inscriptions 
of which are as follows : 


"In memory of Mr. Aaron Parsons, who died August 4, 
1795, aged 83 years." 

"In memory of Mercy, wife of Mr. Aaron Parsons, who 
died July 9th, 1750, in the 37th year of her age." 

In my maternal line of Hoar, I found at Brimfield, Mass., 
the grave stone of Captain Leonard Hoar, but too defaced to 
be legible. The inscription of that of his son, my ancestor, is : 
"Sacred to the memory of Deacon Joseph Hoar, who died 
November 7th, 1797, in the 89th year of his age. 
"Refrain, my friends, dry up your tears, 
I must lie here till Christ appears." 

The grave stone of my grandfather. Lieutenant Samuel 
Hoar, is in Homer, N. Y. 

The grave stone of Daniel Hoar, the brother of Captain 
Leonard, is in the old Concord burying ground. The inscrip- 
tion is surmounted by a coat of arms — a double-headed eagle 
— and the words "Paternal Coat Arms," and is as follows : 

Obt. Feb'r ye 8th, 1773, Aetat 93. 

By Honest Industry and Prudent Economy he acquired 

handsome Fortune for a Man in Privet Carrecter. He 

enjoyed a long Life and uninterrupted state 

of health, Blessings that ever 

attend Exersies and 


S. N. 

Here's the last end of mortal story. 
He 's Dead. 


{ K^^^:^^-'?^-^^^^^^^^--^ 


By his Son, Charles Paksons. 

St. Louis, Mo., May, 1893. 
Rev. Dr. Craig, 

President of Parsons College, Iowa. 
Dear Sir : — My recollections of my father date from a very 
early period of my life. His personality was so strong both 
physically and mentally, that his every characteristic is indeli- 
bly impressed upon my memory. Born -at Williamstown, Alass., 
April 30, 1793, at about the age of fourteen years he went to 
Troy, New York, and became a clerk for a merchant by the 
name of Webb. In 181 1, he had removed to ]\Ianlius, New 
York, and was clerking for one John Meeker, as I find by a 
letter I have, written to him by his father. Captain Charles 
Parsons. Subsequently he went to Homer, Cortland County, 
where he resided some years and first met my mother, Miss 
Lucina Hoar. Here he at one time decided to secure an edu- 
cation, with a view to becoming a clergyman, and studied un- 
der Rev. Mr. Walker, until he was obliged to abandon his pur- 
pose on account of severe dyspepsia, from which he ever after 
sufifered greatly. Having saved some money, he purchased a 
stock of goods and opened a store at Scipio, Cayuga County, 
N. Y., just at the close of the war of 1812. On the return of 
peace, so great was the decline in prices, that, in common with 
most merchants, it swept away all his earnings, and left him 
embarrassed with debts which it took years of labor to dis- 
charge. Returning to Homer, he was employed as a clerk at 


a salary of some $400 until he became a partner in the firm of 
Dickson & Keep. Dickson was grandfather of President An- 
drew D. White of Cornell University, and Keep was the father 
of Albert Keep, so long President of the great Northwestern 
Railroad. Having accumulated a few thousand dollars, he 
removed to Gouveneur, St. Lawrence County, N. Y., in 1829, 
where for years he was actively and successfully engaged in 
mercantile pursuits, and where he exerted a strong influence 
in building up the town and church. I recall his paying for a 
long period one-tenth of the salary of the minister. In fact, 
long before that time, and for the rest of his life, he made it a 
sacred duty to contribute at least one-tenth of his income to 
Church and charitable purposes. Among other work, he was 
instrumental in building up a flourishing academy which was 
for many years a prominent feature in the educational work 
of that section of New York. In fact, it is not too much to 
say that he was the prime mover in this work, and that with- 
out his active aid it would not have been efifected. He after- 
ward settled in Perry, where he lived many years. In 1845 
my father retired from business, and in 1848 removed to Buf- 
falo, N. Y. A short time before this, however, his health be- 
ing greatly impaired, he spent the winter in Texas, visiting St. 
Louis and the lower Mississippi en route. Purchasing a horse, 
he rode 800 miles through that State, then recently, admitted 
into the Union. While there he wrote letters which were full 
of interesting incidents, and coming from a country so new, 
and then attracting so much attention, were published and read 
with interest. W^hile residing in Buffalo my father visited me 
for several months at Keokuk, Iowa, where I had settled, and 
where he became much interested in that State. Foreseeing 
the greatness of its future and the influence and power it was 
to exert on the destinies of the country, he decided to do what 
he could to aid in giving a wise direction to its moral and edu- 
cational development, and hence arose his decision to devote 
a large share of his property to the cause of education there. 
In the autumn of 185 1, in traveling extensively through Mich- 
igan he contracted malarial disease so strongly that he never 
recovered from its effects, and in fact then planted the seeds 


of the complaint from which he sufifered greatly until he died 
at Detroit in 1857. 

In religion my father was a Puritan of an enlightened 
stamp, but as firm in his sense of duty and as unfaltering as 
any of Cromwell's men in its performance. The ruling prin- 
ciple of his life was to do good ; first, in the proper raising and 
education of his family, and second, in efforts for the progress 
of truth within the sphere of his influence, and in giving of 
his means to spread the knowledge of God through the world ; 
and as one of the great means to such an end he was ever a 
most devoted friend and contributor to Home and Foreign 
Missions. His faith in the ultimate triumph of right over 
wrong, of the good over the bad, of God over the devil, was 
absolute. No doubts ever came into his mind in this regard; 
to this end my dear mother always gave him great assistance. 
She was a mother in Israel, indeed, full of piety, of a most in- 
telligent nature, loving and affectionate ; she was a woman to 
be loved, had friends v/herever known, and not an enemy ever. 

In person, my father was of good height, about five feet 
ten inches, with a high forehead, impressive presence, an ac- 
tive, sanguine temperament, energetic and industrious to the 
highest degree, an easy and ready speaker ; and I can but think 
had he been able to follow his original design of becoming a 
clergyman he would have stood well in the profession. Though 
decided in his convictions as to public questions, he never en- 
tered political life beyond his county, where as President of 
the Board of Supervisors he acted with his usual ability and 
impressed his strong personality upon his colleagues in mat- 
ters of local importance. A strong Whig, he was no great 
believer in universal suffrage, not subscribing to the idea that 
all wisdom rested in the masses. I well recollect, when I was 
quite young, his reading to us the then famous Jack Downing 
letters, during Jackson's administration, and his enjoyment of 
the humorous account of the "Kitchen Cabinet" at the White 
House. During the agitation of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 
introduced by Douglas, he took a great interest in the subject 
and denounced it as a breach of faith and honor on the part 
of the South, as the Missouri Compromise was regarded as a 


settlement forever of the question of taking slavery north of 
the south line of Missouri. Still, he was not an abolitionist, 
standing firmly on the compromise of the Constitution, so long 
as abided by on the part of the South. While regarding all 
slavery with abhorence, he considered the whole country as 
responsible for its origin, and as only to be got rid of by grad- 
ual emancipation or colonization by the consent and at the 
expense of the whole country. 

It was my father's custom at morning family worship to 
have each read a verse in turn from the Bible, which was read 
in course from Genesis to Revelation. In those days, Sunday 
began at sunset on Saiturday, when all work ceased. Sabbath 
evening prayers were always prefaced by an inquiry of the chil- 
dren as to what they could recollect of the two sermons they 
bad heard. We were allowed to take pencils and paper to 
church, to aid our memories, but were always expected to 
give some account of what had been said. Generally my father 
made some remarks on the subjects treated of at the church 
service, in all of which he was well versed, and being a fluent 
talker, of fine conversational power, even as children we were 
generally quite interested. At other times, at our meals, he 
would entertain and instruct us upon various subjects, and as 
there were then in the country no daily newspapers, and as 
books were more rare than now, his lessons in a conversational 
way were full of interest, and as he remembered well what he 
read, and had a ready, apt and ample supply of anecdotes, were 
very instructive and entertaining. He was never a rich man, 
but in those days in the counitry in New York $ioo was rela- 
tively of as much value perhaps as $i,ooo would now be. As a 
business man I think my father possessed rare sagacity, com- 
bined with a fine sense of right, as is shown in his rules to us, 
as applicable to business and as general maxims of life, some 
of which I recall, as, for example : 

"Don't try to get the last dollar of gain in a trade; you 
may miss the first one." 

"Let the man you are dealing with have a little chance ; 
he has a right to live as well as you." 

"Never tell of your good trades ; it is undignified : and. 


further, it will make people indisposed to deal with you. as 
every man wants a chance of profit." 

"Be careful about making promises, but always keep 

"Never be a speculator ; they are sometimes rich, then 
poor, but generally die poor." 

"Some people think their prayers are surely answered, 
forgetting that others may be praying for the same good re- 
sult ; forgetting also the story of the soldier, who seven 'times 
aiming at those of the enemy ,and each time seeing them fall, 
would have sworn he had killed them all ; but finally discover- 
ing that the seven charges were all in his gun, said: 'It was 
well to remember thait other men might be firing at the same 

"Be courteous to all from principle and kindly feeling. 
Besides, 'it is better to have the good will of even a dog than 
his ill will.' " 

There are many others equally terse and pointed that now 
escape me. 

I am sure no man had more perfectly the respect and love 
of his children (of whom eight ariived at maturity) than our 
father. In telling an anecdote he never repeated an expression 
having in it the least profanity, or that would have been im- 
proper to relate before ladies. His high sense of honor and the 
dignity of manhood were a good example to all and placed him 
on a high plane commanding unusual respect. Parsons. 



By his Son, Lewis B. Parsons, Jr. 

Flora, III, May, 1893. 
Rev. Dr. W. G. Craig. 

Dear Sir : — In reply to your request for notes concerning 
my father and his ancestry, I enclose a printed genealogical 
record, going back nearly three centuries, which I have ob- 
tained during the last fifty years by much research among the 
ciyil and religious records of Boston, Springfield and North- 
ampton, Mass., and which will give you his lineage, and show 
the part heredity had in the formation of his character. 

The records also show that his ancestors were men of tem- 
perate habits, largely engaged in business or professional pur- 
suits and of remarkable longevity, the average of five genera- 
tions being over 78 years. They further show that they were 
men more than usually interested in public affairs, not unfre- 
quently leaders therein. Men of decided characters, earnest 
purposes, and strong convictions ; whose opinions and conduct 
in public or private life it would not be necessary to guess at. 

My father was, I think, what might be expected from 
such antecedents. During the six years I was a student in 
New England, as the distance was great and traveling expen- 
sive, I was little with my father, and saw still less of him sub- 
sequently, when I located on the Mississippi River. Hence 
my brothers Philo and Charles, who were long associated in 
business with him, and the Rev. Dr. Page, for many years the 


pastor and intimate friend of my father, are better able to give 
valuable reminiscences than I am. 

j\Iy grandfather, Capt. Charles Parsons, was an oflficer in 
the Revolutionary W^ar, First Regiment, New York Line, Col. 
Van Schaick commanding, which was organized June 28, 
1775, and served from Ticonderoga, ]\Ionmouth (where he was 
wounded), and V^alley Forge to Yorktown and the end of the 
war. He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, and 
at the close of the war settled at Williamstown, Mass., where 
my father was born, April 30, 1793. 

Soon after the death of my grandfather, March 8, 1814, 
my father emigrated with his mother to Homer, in central 
New York, then a remote wilderness, where he engaged in 
mercantile pursuits, and soon afterward married my mother. 
Miss Lucina Hoar, whose ancestors were among the first set- 
tlers of Boston, and whose English lineage was still more 
ancient and puritanical than that of my father. Aly mother 
long survived my father, dying at the age of 83, in the full 
vigor of her intellect and retaining to the last a deep interest 
in all matters of moment, both of Church and State, of which 
5he was ever well advised by constant and wide reading. Pos- 
sessing with uncommon energy a rarely calm and equable tem- 
perament, a most active and earnest Christian from early ^'■outh, 
she was an admirable balance for my father's more sanguine 
and nervous character, and wisely advised and aided his plans 
and action in life. 

A most devoted and sympathetic mother, she was ever the 
loving center of a large family to the end of her life, and was 
truly all her pastor, Rev. Dr. Page, has described her as being. 

After the reverses of the war of 1812, as mentioned by my 
brother, my father continued till late in life a country mer- 
chant, and was more than ordinarily successful. His views of 
commercial honor were of a high and exacting character ; his 
integrity in all his dealings was based upon conscientious views 
of right rather than expediency, and his business rules and 
principles of action were, I think, remarkably correct. 

In all matters, both civil and religious, and in everything 
he believed promotive of true religion and the public good, he 


ever took an active interest. Regarding it the duty of all to 
participate in political affairs, he was decided in the expression 
of his convictions openly and at the ballot box. 

Deeply regretting his limited advantages for education in 
early life, my father improved every opportunity for self-cul- 
ture until there were few men in business life at that day of 
more varied and accurate knowledge, and the same cause made 
him ever an ardent advocate of general education. 

For history and poetry my father had a decided taste, and 
often quoted to his children the fine sentiments of the best au- 
thors. For art and nature in its varied forms his love arose to 

In his family and in the training of his children, while a 
devoted and affectionate father, he seldom permitted his feel- 
ing to influence his judgment or control his actions, which at 
times gave an appearance of severity and puritanical austerity 
quite contrary to his real nature. 

The population of the valley of the St. Lawrence in New 
York, where he resided until I left home, was almost exclu- 
sively of New England origin and retained in a high degree 
early New England religious principles and views of the Sab- 
bath and family life — opinions now very antiquated, though a 
comparison of results might prove the change of at least 
doubtful wisdom. 

The Sabbath was regarded as beginning at sunset on Sat- 
urday, and ending at the same time on Sunday ; hence children 
were required to suspend all ordinary employments as the sun 
went down, and be ready for Sabbath school lessons and the 
catechism ; not to know which, including "the reasons an- 
nexed," was regarded as evidence of great perversity or moral 
obliquity. On Sabbath morning children were marshalled for 
church service, and a sermon at ten-and-a-half o'clock, fol- 
lowed after an hour by another sermon. After this came a 
supper often cooked on the previous day, and the doing of 
necessary chores, when the day of rest ended generally with 
going to a prayer or conference meeting in the evening. 

I well recall that as boys we carefully watched the sun as 
it disappeared behind the hills, when we considered Holy time 



as past for another six days, and regarded the evening service 
as an infringement upon our just rights for worldly amuse- 
ment. No riding, visiting, or even walking outside of home 
grounds was permitted, but an abundance of good books and 
religious periodicals supplied their place. 

"Tempora mutantur." The liberal Christian of the pres- 
ent day would question whether such exactions in a family 
would tend to love of the Sabbath, or whether so much spirit- 
ual food might not produce moral indigestion terminating in a 
chronic dyspepsia. 

In later life my parents somewhat modified their views on 
these points, and their younger children were held to less rigid 
rules. Firm believers in the proverb, "spare the rod and spoil 
the child," my father's practice in his family was much in ac- 
cord with the theory ; but our sainted mother's more frequent 
mode of correction was to come to our bedside when we had 
retired, and after showing us our wrong in the sight of God, 
kneel down and with flowing tears pray for us with all a 
mother's love and devotion. I am quite sure any of us would 
have much preferred our father's mode of correction rather 
than to have seen those tears and heard those prayers. 

Parents seemed then, more than now, to feel a persona? 
responsibility to God for the right rearing and destiny of theii 
children ; hence it was that the impulses of parental affection 
were not allowed to control their judgment, or at times to have 
their just influence, often giving an appearance of cold severity 
and an absence of parental love, quite the reverse of facts. 

In his family, as elsewhere, my father was in business 
matters systematically exact, and kept an account with each 
member. At about the age of fifty-five he retired from busi- 
ness with what was at that time a competency, an act he ever 
after regretted, as with his health and habits he said he was 
less useful and time passed less pleasantly. 

In the life of one spent in a quiet country town there are 
few incidents of general interest, and I should feel I had al- 
ready gone quite too much into detail, only that I desire to 
see presented as clearly as possible the salient traits in the 
character of a man I know to have been of high principle, 


guided all his life by a deep sense of his responsibility to God, 
and a controlUng desire to be useful to his fellow men. 

An earnest Christian, he believed and acted upon the be- 
lief that the object and end of life was the formation of char- 
acter and preparation for another life ; and that in doing and 
giving what he could to that end. for his family and fellow 
beings, he was best serving God. A man of earnest purpose, 
his motives were more than ordinarily pure and unselfish ; of 
strong convictions, he ever had the courage of them with little 
regard for personal consequences. Deliberate in his judgments, 
he adhered to them when formed with much firmness, possibly 
at times too much, but with all honesty of purpose. A firm 
believer in the religion he professed and the church of his 
choice, he was free from bigotry and had a breadth of charity 
rare in his day for all whom he believed to be seeking to serve 
God by doing good to man, under whatever dress or colors 
they marched. 

Believing that at least one-tenth of his income belonged 
to others, he rarely, if ever, was satisfied with giving less ; and 
his benevolences were often quite beyond that amount. 

Assured that the general diffusion of education under 
Christian influences was the only safeguard for the perpetuity 
of our civil institutions, which he cherished with a loyalty only 
second to his religion, he gave of his time and means without 
stint to that end. As the best mode of serving his country 
and his race, it was long his cherished desire and intention to 
have personally expended a large share of what he possessed 
in founding or promoting an institution of learning in the 
West, where he believed was soon to be the seat and center of 
the power of our country. His early death prevented this and 
causd him to leave that work to others under his general direc- 
tions, specified in his will. 

After a long and most painful illness, endured with great 
fortitude, in full possession of his mental faculties, he died at 
Detroit, Michigan, while on a visit at the home of his eldest 
son, in the fullest assurance that he was passing to a life of 
peace and felicity ; and his remains now lie buried beside those 


of my mother in the family burying lot at Gouveneur, St. Law- 
rence County, N, Y., the home of our early life. 

IvEwis B. Parsons, Jr. 


By his Son, Philo Parsoj^s. 

Detroit, June, 1882. 
Rev. Dr. W. G. Craig, President. 

Dear Sir : — In response to your inquiry, I would say that 
my father, Lewis B. Parsons, appropriated the bulk of a mod- 
erate fortune secured by a life of industry and economy, for 
founding a Christian college under the care of the Presby- 
terian church and gave much of his thought in the last years 
of his life to its future. 

He was from his earliest years remarkable for great indus- 
try, a high sense of honor and strict integrity of purpose. 

He accumulated by a clerkship, before the war of 1812, 
about one thousand dollars ; and with that sum of money as a 
basis commenced the sale of general merchandise in the vil- 
lage of Scipio, Cayuga County, New York, in the year 1812. 
His business was very prosperous, and he made money rapidly 
until the embargo was removed which reduced the value of all 
property from a war to a peace footing, thereby causing his 
failure, with that of nearly the whole country. 

During the years of prosperity the possession of money 
was the main object of his thoughts and efforts. He often re- 

marked to me his unwillingness during those prosperous days 
to devote any portion of his money to the service of Christ. 

His financial misfortunes produced an entire change of 
sentiment and led to the deep-seated conviction that a Chris- 
tian man should consecrate not only his personal influence 
and efforts but also his money to the cause of Christ. And he 
at once established the principle and habit of conscientiously 
setting apart one-tenth of his income to the cause of Christian 
benevolence, which was religiously adhered to during the re- 
mainder of his life. 

I well remember his teachings to his family on this sub- 
ject, and the pledge he exacted from me when I left the 
paternal roof, that I would adopt the same prmciple, appro- 
priating one-tenth of my income as a sacred fund, to be kept 
inviolate, and used where it would accomplish most for the 
Kingdom of Christ. 

Many years of clerkship followed his failure. Years of 
small salary, $250 to $400 per annum. Yet from this small 
sum $25 to $40 were given to the treasury of the Lord. 

By and by his superior abilities as a merchant gave him a 
connection in business and moderate means which secured his 
future success in a small way. 

It was a true pleasure to him to give to the cause of 
Christ. While he hesitated and was cautious in his private 
expenses, he never hesitated in a glad response to the cause of 
Christian education or benevolence. 

He was a man of rare delicacy of feeling and refinement 
of nature, and would never permit an indelicate remark or 
anecdote in his own presence or in the presence of his chil- 

He had marked peculiarities with reference to the train- 
ing of his children, feeling that they should be educated to 
self-dependence and that one thousand dollars was an ample 
legacy for any of them, given in the form of education or in 
money when they reached maturity. 

So strong was his infiuence over his children, so thor- 
oughly were they imbued with the conviction that self-de- 
pendence was the great secret of success, that they were in full 


accord with him on this point, and concurred entirely in the 
appropriation of his fortune for Christian education in Iowa. 

In his last conversation with me on this subject, he ex- 
pressed the hope that he might live to secure the grounds ^nd 
aid in laying out and ornamenting them. Yet while he re- 
gretted that Providence was evidently ordering that some 
other agency should be the instrument in carrying out his 
views, he never for a moment doubted that the money he left 
would be wisely and loyally appropriated in furthering the 
great cause he had at heart. 

There is much more that I might write in reference to 
him, but the foregoing will give some idea of his views on 
Christian benevolence and education. 

He predicted the civil war and its cause, and felt that not 
the South alone, but the whole country was involved in the 
great wrong of human slavery. 

With great respect, I am, dear sir, 

Sincerely yours, 

Philo Parsons. 



By his Pastor, Rev. Dr. Josbph R. Page. 

Forty Years Ago and Subsequently. 

In the fall of 1839, while preachmg in Plymouth, Che- 
nango County, New York, I received a letter from Lewis B. 
Parsons, then a leading business man of Perry. Wyoming 
County, New York, with reference to my taking the pastoral 
charge of the Presbyterian Church in that stirring village. 

That letter gave me quite an insight into the character of 
the writer. His sanguine temperament appeared in every 
line, as also his earnest desire for the prosperity of the church, 
and his interest in the cause of Christ. 

I was very young, just twenty-two, and he wanted me to 
understand that I was invited to a very responsible position, 
which would demand my best efiforts, continually put forth ; at 
the same time I was not to expect a large salary. Four hun- 
dred dollars was the most that could be promised in the pres- 
ent condition of the society, but as theirs was the leading con- 
gregation of the village its certain growth would doubtless 
soon enable them to increase it. 

The qualities which make a successful business man were 
among his most striking characteristics. He had a quick, clear 
mind, an excellent judgment of men and things, upon which 
he could, and did, intelligently rely; rarely made a mistake 
in his purchases, either in quality, price or adaptation to the 
market ; a superior salesman, attentive, courteous, pleasing, 


prompt to meet his engagements, and equally so to bring oth- 
ers to time. Whatever he did, was done with all his mightt. 

There was not an indolent fiber in his frame. Indeed, 
his nervous energy was quite apt to carry him beyond his 
physical strength. He had great powers of endurance, or 
there were times when he would utterly have broken down 
under the strain from excessive labor. 

Doubtless this was in a great measure owing to the state 
of his health, affecting his nervous system. Long as I knew 
him, he was at no time rugged. Once, by the advice of his 
family physician, and in accordance with his own desire, he left 
home in the fall to spend the winter in Texas, journeying from 
place to place on horse-back. 

When he left it was a matter of great doubt whether he 
would ever return, and the spirit and speech with which he 
parted from his family and friends afforded them the strongest 
assurance that, if he did not, he would find heaven as near and 
accessible in the wilds of Texas as he could from the circle of 
his loved ones at home. 

In the spring he came back greatly benefited by his out- 
door exercise in the genial climate. 

Like the apostle Peter, he was a natural leader among his 

I went to Perry a Congregationalist, and desired to re- 
main a member of the Association. There was no way by 
which I could be installed pastor but by uniting with the Pres- 
bytery, as that body declined to grant the request of the church 
to "permit and sanction" my installation by a council. This 
brought the subject before the Church, contrary to the wish 
of Mr. Parsons, for the expression of their desire as to the 
course to be pursued. Most of the members preferred to be 
connected with the Association themselves, and were ready to 
act accordingly. 

Mr. Parsons, almost alone in his opinion, though I con- 
curred in it, thought it would be unwise for the church to 
change its policy and relations. After a free discussion, he 
proposed that instead of electing elders for an indefinite time, 
the term principle be adopted, and that the pastor-elect be re- 


quired to unite with the Presbytery. This harmonized all 
minds, and brought deliverance from what threatened to be a 
serious evil. 

This was forty years ago, and that practice has been of 
decided advantage to the church, as it has since steadily ad- 
hered to it with increasing satisfaction. 

Mr. Parsons was an earnest, active Christian, a lover of 
the prayer meeting, uniformly present, and always ready to 
take part in the exercises. Gifted both in prayer and speech ; 
he was as interested and efficient a Trustee of the Society 
as he was a ruling elder of the Church ; an invaluable official 
alike to administer the temporal alTairs of the one as the spir- 
itual concerns of the other. Just before he came to Perry the 
Society had built a handsome brick church, for which they 
were three thousand dollars in debt. This was a greater bur- 
den than they could carry and meet current expenses. It was 
exceedingly doubtful whether they could lift the debt. If 
they failed, another Society were anxious to secure the prop- 

Chiefly by the tact and energy of Mr. Parsons they were 
preserved from destruction. The time came when he 
declined to serve longer as a Trustee. It also came 
a few years afterward, when I went to him with the ear- 
nest request that he would consent to be again elected to the 
office, not to become active in its duties as he had been, but 
because in my view it was exceedingly doubtful whether the 
Society would be able to sustain itself, and if it did not, it 
was all important to have, him upon the Board of Trust, for 
he could be confided in beyond any other person to save the 
Presbyterian Church at large, the property for which there 
would be no further use in that village. 

He had the subject in consideration until our next inter- 
view, when he said to me that he regarded the prospects of the 
Society for the future as I did, but that he could not consent to 

I relate this incident to show the confidence he inspired 
in his fidelity to all denominational interests. He was a Presby- 
terian, as intelligent as he was decided, of the new 


school type , blending' orthodoxy with liberality. a 
sound, pronounced Calvinist, equally free from bigotn.^ 
and indifference, as far from a dead formalism as 
from fanaticism, not satisfied with an observance 
of the ordinances of the Gospel unless they were accompanied 
with the power of the Holy Ghost. He greatly prized genuine 
revivals, but had no sympathy with questionable methods to 
secure and promote them, or with a class of evangelists who 
employed such methods. He had a large share of good sense 
which held in check a strong, natural tendency to go too far 
and too fast in a progressive direction. He could hardly be 
classed with conservatives in Church or State. He was not a 
Radical. He combined the excellence of both. When cot- 
ton was King he was an anti-slavery man, but not an aboli- 
tionist, technically so called. 

Before whisky had been banished from religious assem- 
blies he practiced and advocated total abstinence. 

Appreciating the value of education, he was a warm friend 
of the public school system of the State, as well as of the 
higher institutions of learning. He was a man of strong con- 
victions and marked, positive character. It was not necessary 
for him to be supported by public opinion to take a position 
on any question, especially any moral one, and openly and 
fearlessly maintain it. Xone could doubt his deep interest in 
the cause of Christ, and his earnest desire for its extension to 
the very ends of the earth, which he believed would be the case 
at no very distant day. He was even more interested in For- 
eign Missions than in Home. This was the first of Church 
causes with him and received his most generous contributions. 
This was before he was so much interested in the great West 
as he afterwards became. Upon one occasion Rev. Dr. F. E. 
Cannon, so long the efficient agent of the American Board 
upon this field, visited Perry by his invitation to present the 
cause. He made his home in the family of Mr. Parsons for 
several days, and I happened to call upon him the last day of 
his sojourn. 

Just as his host had left the house, Mr. Cannon had a roll 
of bank bills in his hand, which he proceeded to count, re- 


marking that they had been handed to him by Air. Parsons as- 
his extra contribution to supplement the Church cohection. 
He was quite surprised to find one of the ten dollar bills with 
a strip of paper pinned upon the back of it upon which was 
written : "For Mr. Cannon." Mr. Parsons was a firm be- 
liever in the Christian duty of paying tithes unto the Lord. 
He commenced the practice at a very early period in life, and 
kept it up as long as I knew him, and I have no doubt to the 
day of his death. 

How many years Mr. Parsons remained in Perry, before 
removing to Buffalo, I am unable to say, nor did I see much 
of him after the change in his residence. I only know that 
his interest in the cause of religion and education continued 
undiminished, that he became greatly interested in the estab- 
lishment of a new Church in the growing section of the city 
of Buffalo where he lived, and I think zealously co-operated 
with Mr. Ketchum in calling into existence and nurturing the 
infancy of what has since become one of the strongest and best 
churches in that city, that of Westminister. 

I will add in conclusion, that Mrs. Parsons was a "Mother 
in Israel," universally looked up to by the women of the con- 
gregation, with all deference and affection, as a model in all 
the relations of life, and of all the Christian graces, and that 
the family was esteemed as second to none other in the place 
for culture and promise. 

Joseph R. Pagk. 

Brighton, New York, December ist, 1879. 



Executed Dec. 5, 1855, and proved in the County Court 
of Lee County, Iowa. 

In the name of God, amen: I, Lewis B. Parsons, of the 
State of Iowa, considering- the uncertainty of Hfe and being of 
sound mind and memory (blessed be God for the same), do 
make, ordain and pubhsh this my last will and testament. 

First, I appoint my beloved sons, Lewis B., Jr.. Charles 
and George, and the survivors or survivor of them, executors 
of this my last will and testament. * * * 

Fourth, Having long been of the opinion that for the 
usefulness, prosperity and happiness of children, a good moral 
and intellectual or business education with moderate means 
was far better than large inherited wealth, I therefore herein 
dispose of my estate mainly to such benevolent objects and 
enterprises as I think will conduce to the greatest good, ear- 
nestly requesting that all my children after giving to their 
children a good education with habits of honesty, industry, 
economy and liberality, will follow my example in the dispo- 
sition of the property God may give them. * * * 

Item 7th. Having long been convinced that the future 
welfare of our country, the permanence of its institutions, the 
progress of our divine religion and an enlightened Christianity 
greatly depend upon the general diffusion of education under 
correct moral and religious influences and having during my 
lifetime used to some small extent the means given me by my 


Creator in accordance with these convictions and, being de- 
sirous of still advancing objects so worthy as far as in my 
power Hes, I do therefore, after the payment of the foregoing 
bequests and the reasonable expenses of administration, give 
and bequeath the residue of my estate together with my Nat- 
ural History of New York and my small cabinet of minerals 
to my said executors and the survivors or survivor of them 
in trust to be by them used and expended in found- 
ing and endowing an institution of learning in the 
State of Iowa or to be expended, if it shall be 
deemed best by my said executors, in aiding and endowing 
an institution which may have been already established ; and 
while I would not desire said institution to be strictly sec- 
tarian in its character, yet believing its best interests require 
it should be under the control of some religious denomination, 
I therefore direct it shall be under the supervision of trustees, 
Presbytery, or Synod connected with that branch of the Pres- 
byterian Church distinguished as the New School or Consti- 
tutional General Assembly of said Church until such time 
(which I trust may speedily come) when a union of the two 
branches of said Church shall be honorably accomplished, 
then to be under the care of said united Church. 

The adoption or location of the institution with the gen- 
eral regulations and proper restrictions to be connected there- 
with, I confide to the sound discretion of my executors with 
the full assurance that as they know my general views and 
sentiments, they will take pleasure when my spirit shall have 
departed hence and my memory alone remains with them in 
using their best endeavors to carry out my wishes and make 
most effectual and useful this bequest. 

I desire that the institution be selected or located and the 
expenditure commenced as early as consistent, and unless for 
very special reasons not to be delayed beyond the period of 
five years after my decease, the entire fund to be invested as 
soon thereafter as the same can be made most available. 

Should my executors, however, at any time deem it best 
for the cause of Christianity that a portion of the above resi- 
duary legacy not exceeding six-sixteenths (6-16) of the same 


^ ?-^ 









should be given in equal shares to the American Tract and 
Bible Societies, both established in the city of New York, 
they are authorized to give a sum not exceeding such amount 
to said societies. 

Signed, sealed, published and delivered as the last will 
and testament of Lewis B. Parsons in presence of us the sub- 
scribing witnesses and witnessed by us in the presence of each 
other and of the testator this 5th day of December, A. D. 1855. 

IvEwis B. Parsons (L,. S.) 

Edward Lauderdale, 

Waldo M. Johnson, of Detroit. 

Extracts from Deed of Executors of Lewis B. Parsons, Senior, 
To Parsons' College. 
This deed, made this sixteenth day of February, in the 
year Eighteen Hundred and Seventy-five, between Lewis B. 
Parsons, Charles Parsons and George Parsons, executors of 
the last will and testament of Lewis B. Parsons, Senior, de- 
ceased, parties of the first part, and "Parsons' College," a cor- 
poration created under the laws of the State of Iowa and lo- 
cated in the city of Fairfield, County of Jefferson, and State 
of Iowa, party of the second part, witnesseth that the said 
parties of the first part in pursuance of the will of their father, 
the said Lewis B. Parsons, Senior, have transferred, remised, 
released and quit claim to the said party of the second part 
and its assigns forever all the following pieces or parcels of 
land lying and being in the said State of Iowa. 
* ^ * * * * 

To have and to hold the above described premises to the 
said party of the second part, and its assigns, to their use and 
behoof forever, subject, however, to the following trusts and 
conditions, and for the following purposes, to-wit: That all 
moneys received hereunder, by sale of land or otherwise, shall 
be invested in good interest-paying securities, or income-pay- 
ing real estate, the annual income from which is to be ex- 
pended by said College in the payment of salaries to its pro- 
fessors, officers or agents, and for no other purpose, and fur- 
ther conditioned that in case the principal sum realized from 


this conveyance shall at any time be diminished by losses, then 
one-half of the annual income derived from said fund shall 
thereafter be appropriated to making good said losses until 
the principal sum is restored — the other half of the annual in- 
come being during such time subject to expenditure for sal- 
aries as aforesaid. And, further conditioned, that the said 
party of the second part shall annually make a detailed report 
of the condition of said fund, as also of the annual expenditure 
of the income derived therefrom to one of the parties of the 
first part during their lives or the life of either of them, and 
after their death to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church in the United States of America : Also conditioned, 
that in case said institution should at any time cease to be un- 
der Presbyterian contro) as specified in said will, or should 
any of the limitations or conditions herein made be disre- 
garded, then it shall be the right of said parties of the first 
part, or the survivors or survivor of them, or after their death 
the righ!: of the said General Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church of the United States, to take exclusive possession of 
said fund and confer the same upon any other institution com- 
ing within the provisions of the will of the said Lewis B. Par- 
sons, Senior, 





Olivet CoIvLEGe, Michigan, 



Mr. Philo Parsons was born at Scipio, N. Y., February 
6th, 1817. He was the second in a family of ten children. 
His father, Lewis Baldwin Parsons, was born at Williams- 
town, Massachusetts, April 30th, 1793, and died at Detroit, 
Michigan, December 21st, 1855. He was a man of rare native 
gifts, uncommon energy and force of character, independent 
and positive in his religious belief, yet catholic and tolerant 
toward all. His whole life was one of systematic benevolence 
and he left most of his property for the founding of Parsons' 
College at Fairfield, Iowa. 

He was married November 10, 1814, to Miss Lucina 
Hoar, a member of the famous Hoar family which migrated 
to this country in 1640 and located at Concord, Massachusetts. 
She was born at Brimfield, Massachusetts, October 31st, 1790, 
and died at Gouveneur, New York, October 3d, 1873. Mrs. 
Parsons was a woman of even temperament and self-poise, a 
devoted mother, an intelligent and earnest Christian, maintain- 
ing a lively interest in afifairs of church and state, even to the 
advanced age of 83 years. Her pastor, Reverend Joseph R. 
Page, describes her as a "Mother in Israel, and a model in all 
the relations of life and of all the Christian graces." 


From such an ancestry with a record traceable back to the 
founders of Massachusetts was Mr. Philo Parsons descended. 
His early years were spent in Gouveneur, Homer and Perry, 
New York, At the latter place he entered into business with 
his father under the firm name of L. B. Parsons & Son. And 
he also married there in 1843 Miss Ann Eliza Barnum, Their 
long and happy married life was terminated in 1893 by the 
death of Mrs. Parsons, Mr. Parsons following her three years 
later, dying at Winchenden, Massachusetts, January 20, 1896. 
Eight children were born to them, of whom seven survived 
their parents. In 1844, Mr. Parsons removed to Detroit, 
Mich., and entered upon the grocery business under the firm 
name of Parsons & James. A few years later he established a 
private bank. In 1861, when the Government created the Na- 
tional banking system as an aid in carrying on the war, Mr. 
Parsons was the leader in organizing the First National Bank 
of Detroit, and was its first president and for many years one 
of its directors. He did much to promote the commercial 
prosperity of Detroit. He entered heartily into the project 
for bringing the Wabash Railroad into the city,'was an active 
member of the Board of Trade, and for a time its President. 
For many years he represented his own city in the National 
Board of Trade and was honored repeatedly as one of its Vice- 
Presidents. His discussions in these National Conventions 
show a wealth of information, a candor and breadth of view 
and a discrimination akin to prophesy. He was an ardent 
lover of his own city and State, and yet on one occasion ex- 
plained his vote, apparently against their interests as "for the 
greatest good of the greatest number." 

Mr. Parsons was active in the municipal affairs of Detroit, 
and for a time was a member of its council. The State, too, 
more than once conferred upon him honors and 
trusts ; notably as Commissioner to the Yorktown Centennial, 
and as chairman of the Commission to secure the statue of 
General Lewis Cass to be placed in the Capitol at Washington. 
He brought to this work all the enthusiasm of a lifelong friend- 
ship and a patriotic pride for the honor of his beloved State. 
The statue, almost vocal with life, crowned his many months 


of toil and effort, and was one of the joys of his Hfe. He hon- 
ored himself in honoring the State. 

Yet political offices and honors he did not seek. He even 
declined to consider them when they merely appealed to his 
personal ambition. Too much Puritanic and Revolutionary 
blood flowed in his veins to ever regard public offices as any- 
thing but a sacred trust, a patriotic service. Mr. Parsons had 
a lively interest in agriculture, was an active member of the 
State Agricultural Society of Michigan and served most ac- 
ceptably as its President. He was an enthusiast in horticulture 
and fruit culture, and found relaxation and pleasure in per- 
sonal work in his own garden, one of the finest in Detroit. He 
was a royal entertainer and was never happier tlian when 
sharing the hospitality of his elegant home with his friends. 

His benevolence was a matter of principle. He took spe- 
cial delight in aiding young men who were preparing for the 
work of the Christian ministry. He was one of the largest and 
most systematic givers to the cause of missions. He was an 
enthusiastic believer in education. 

While several institutions were looking with eager eyes 
toward the Ram Library at Heidelberg, Mr. Parsons bought 
and donated it in its entirety to the Michigan State Univer- 
sity. In keeping with his father's spirit, he was especially de- 
voted to the Christian College. He early became interested 
in Olivet College, Michigan. For thirty-six years he was a 
member of its Board of Trustees. He built his name into the 
history and even the very walls of the College. Parsons Hall 
and the Parsons Professorship are honored words to-day. Not 
only his munificent gifts, but his wise counsels and his lifelong 
devotion to the work at Olivet are gratefully remembered. 
And no less were these deeds of benevolence a grateful remem- 
brance to Mr. Parsons himself. They were his glory and joy 
in his later years of illness. He found a rich reward in the 
satisfaction of building himself into institutions of education 
and religion. Olivet College grew dearer to him. His home 
church, the First Congregational Church of Detroit, grew 
dearer. His beloved pastor and his intimate friends at Olivet 
received frequent letters full of gratitude and joy for what he 


had been permitted to do, and full of trust and hope in prospect 
of a blessed immortality. In this spirit, he entered into rest. His 
death was literally a sleep. He slept on earth to awake in 



Mr. Parsons was born in Homer, Cortland County, New 
York, in 1826. He removed to St. Louis in 1846, where he 
engaged in commercial pursuits in connection with one of the 
first business houses, with which he continued until his death. 
His worldly career was remarkably successful. Yet the pleas- 
ure derived to his friends from this source is meagre consola- 
tion indeed, compared with that which is afforded by the belief 
that in surrendering a career on earth which the world would 
regard as desirable, he has entered upon one which the eye of 
faith discerns as far more glorious, in heaven. Mr. Parsons 
was early led by a proper estimate of the things of time, to 
place his hopes in Christ, and look to eternity as his future 
home. Since his conversion and connection with the Presby- 
terian Church in 1839, he has ever sustained a Christian life 
and character upon which friends dwell with the most pleas- 
ing recollections. Based upon principle, his religion became 
a part of his daily life. It entered into all of his business trans- 
actions, regulated his intercourse with his fellow men and 
showed that though "diligent in business" he was ever "fer- 
vent in spirit, serving the Lord." One of the originators of 




the church with which he was last connected, and an active 
officer in it, there is perhaps no one to whom it is more in- 
debted for the success which has so far blessed its efforts and 
caused it to give omen of such eminent future usefulness. 
While, however, his friends and the church so deeply deplore 
his early death, they can but rejoice at the cheering evidence 
afforded during his protracted and painful illness of his being 
at peace with God, and that his hopes in Christ were unshaken. 

W. H. 
St. Louis. ' . . 

From the Encyclopedic History of St. Louis. 



Col. Charles Parsons was born at Homer, Cortland Coun- 
ty, New York, January 24th, 1824. He was the third son of 
Lewis B. and Lucina (Hoar) Parsons. His father was the son 
of Capt. Charles Parsons, an officer of the Revolutionary War, 
who served for over seven years from Ticonderoga, Valley 
Forge and Monmouth (where he was severely wounded) to 
Yorktown. Col. Parsons is the sixth in descent from Cornet 
Joseph Parsons, who emigrated from England to Boston in 
1636, who was one of the party whose names are on the Deed 
of Cession from the Indians in that year, of the land in and 
about Springfield, Mass., and who was also one of the pur- 
chasers from the Indians of the present sites of Northampton 
and Northfield, Massachusetts, and the land adjacent. 


For a quarter of a century Cornet Joseph was the leading 
and weahhiest citizen of Northampton, as also of the entire 
Connecticut Valley, with the exception, perhaps, of William 
Pyncheon, the original grantee from the crown. 

Col. Parsons' father was one of the early settlers of Gouv- 
erneur, St. Lawrence County, New York, a successful mer- 
chant and prominent citizen, much interested in public afifairs 
and especially so in the cause of education, for the advance- 
ment of which he left a large share of his estate towards the 
founding of "Parsons College," a flourishing institution in the 
State of Iowa. 

Col. Parsons' mother was Lucina Hoar, the seventh in 
descent from Charles Hoar, sheriff of the "Cittie of Gloster," 
England, whose widow, Joanna Hoar, emigrated with her chil- 
dren to Massachusetts, about 1640, and settled in Concord 
and the vicinity. Col. Parsons received an academical educa- 
tion at Gouverneur and Homer, New York. After spending 
several years as a clerk in his father's store — in a bank and as 
a partner in a commercial house in Buffalo, N. Y., he removed 
to Keokuk, Iowa, in 1851, where he established and continued 
for years a successful banking business. On the breaking out 
of the Rebellion he volunteered, was made Captain and because 
of his superior business abilities was placed in charge of Army 
Rail and River Transportation at St. Louis, a position which 
he filled with such eminent success that he was promoted to 
the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Near the close of the war 
he was made cashier of the State Savings Association, now the 
State National Bank of St. Louis, of which he was elected 
President in 1870, making his entire term of service in the 
bank to the present time 35 years. The success of his admin- 
istration is most conclusively and concisely shown by the fact 
that for all these years the bank has never failed to make a divi- 
dend of at least 5 per cent, semi-annually, and for the last 23 
years has , made one of 8 per cent, semi-annually, and has 
in addition accumulated during these 35 years a surplus of 
more than $1,100,000. 

While amassing a reasonable fortune in his long and ac- 


tive business life, Col. Parsons has disbursed of his income 
with liberality and a most catholic spirit, by aiding charitable, 
religious and educational institutions, at times in large sums. 
Col. Parsons' remarkable success has resulted not more from 
a natural taste for banking than from his thorough study, ac- 
curate knowledge and comprehensive views of the principles 
governing commercial and financial affairs, combined with the 
liberal spirit with which he ever meets and treats private and 
public interests. The high esteem in which he has been held 
in financial circles is shown by the fact that for 22 years he 
was annually elected President of the St. Louis Clearing 
House, was for some years President of the American Bank- 
ers' Association, was selected to preside over the World's Con- 
gress of Bankers and Financiers at the Chicago Exposition in 
1893, and that his name has been often mentioned as a suitable 
candidate for Secretary of the Treasury and would, it is be- 
lieved, have been pressed but for Colonel Parsons' own oppo- 
sition thereto. In 1892, when there was much public excite- 
ment in regard to city finances, owing to a large defalcation. 
Colonel Parsons consented at the solicitude of many prominent 
citizens, regardless of party, to accept temporarily the position 
of City Treasurer, which ofBce he resigned as soon as full in- 
vestigation could be made, the books put in proper condition 
and a new treasurer elected. Colonel Parsons has been and 
still is President and Director in many railroads and other pub- 
lic or charitable institutions, taking an active part and impress- 
ing his own personality thereon. There are few men who are 
more consulted or whose opinions upon public and financial 
questions are held is as high esteem. Nor is Colonel Parsons 
merely a business man. Possessing by nature a refined taste, 
he has during his active life gathered one of the most valuable 
collections of paintings and other works of art in our country, 
obtained during repeated visits to Europe and in a trip around 
the world, made in 1894-5, a very interesting account of which 
last trip was published in a volume for private circulation, 
showing close and accurate observation of men and afifairs. 
In politics. Colonel Parsons has been a strong Republican, 


occupying a prominent position in party councils and contrib- 
uting liberally for the success thereof. He is also a member of 
the societies of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Loyal 
Legion and the Army of the Tennessee. 

Colonel Parsons was married in 1857 to Miss Martha 
Pettus, a member of orie of the old, well-known families of St. 
Louis. She died in 1889, leaving no children. 



Son of Lewis B. Parsons, vSecond. 

Born at St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 2, 1848, Yale University, 1872. 

Died at Denver, Colorado, January 29, 1875. 

"The class of 1872 is not so long out of college that its 
members are entirely forgotten by students of to-day. Many 
of the readers of the Record will remember the man whose 
name has just been written and whose recent death has caused 
deep sorrowing among a wide circle of friends. After gradu- 
ating in July, 1872, Mr. Parsons was for a time in business in 
St. Paul, Minn., having fixed his residence mainly in order to 
be near a sister in ill health. Upon the death of his sister he 
went to St. Louis, his home, and accepted a position in a bank, 
with the intention of making that his permanent business. But 
his health soon began to fail, and signs of consumption ap- 
peared. The physician required his removal from a climate 
so unfavorable as that of St. Louis, and he went at once to 
southern California. He remained there for several months, 
but the climate did not prove as helpful as was hoped, and the 
accommodations for those in feeble health were imperfect. So 
a change to Colorado was made. There were at times reasons 
to hope for permanent improvement, but as ever in consump- 
tion^ they proved deceptive. On Christmas day he was out 
for his last drive, and from that time he failed rapidly until his 
death, January 29th. He died at Denver, Colorado, and the 
funeral took place at St. Louis, February 3d. 

The death of Mr. Parsons falls with special suddenness 
and sadness upon his friends, because while in college there 
was nothing to indicate failing health. He was strong and 
active in all athletic sports, especially in boating. He rowed 

in several races at Saltonstall and was for a time on the Uni- 
versity crew. In Senior year he was the president of the boat 
club, and few knew how earnestly he worked and against what 
discouragements in that office at a time when boating had by 
no means the place which it has occupied of late. Early in 
the college course he became engaged in those matters which, 
because of our society system and kindred things, make up a 
large part of student life. Into everything which he under- 
took he carried great zeal and determination. A kind heart 
and thorough honesty gave him the confidence of his fellows 
in a marked degree. Although so active, he was always con- 
siderate of the wishes and feelings of others. There was no 
disposition to build himself up through the injury of asso- 
ciates. He was in thorough sympathy with the special features 
of our student life, but he was ever found upon the side of truth 
and purity. There was with him no blind support of college 
customs, for his action was guided by Christian principles. 
Prominent as he was in his class and true as he was to his 
convictions, he won and kept the respect of all his fellows. It 
is doubtful if there is a member of the class whose death will 
be more universally regretted. Perhaps no one will be thought 
of more kindly and afifectionately. His character gained its 
strength and symmetry from the fact that he was a Christian 
man. It was this which made his life so true ; it is this which 
makes his memory so blessed now that he is gone. 

He lived a pure, manly life. He was true to his friends, 
faithful to his convictions. He had won an abiding place in 
the afifection of those who knew him best. His memory will 
be cherished in many hearts while life lasts. It did not seem 
that his work could be done, and yet he had lived long enough 
to show how a man can pass through college keeping his life 
clean and above reproach. He did not die before he had 
shown us how a man in all the strength and hope of youth, 
with everything to make life dear to him, can face death pa- 
tiently, bravely, with childlike faith in the goodness and mercy 
of his God." 

Extract from the Yale Record of Feb. 4th, 1875, by Rev. 
E. S. Lines. 


From response to toast, "The' Class Dead," at the trien- 
nial meeting- of the Class of ''J2, by A. R. Merriam : 

"Another name is on every lip — of one whose manliness 
gave him an acknowledged leadership ; whose courage m ex- 
pressing his views of right was tempered by a generosity and 
fairness which won our confidence ; whose integrity was such 
that we might say of him as was said of another of Yale's sons : 
'There goes a man who never did anything to injure his body 
or his soul.' " 



I, Joseph Parsons of Northampton in the County of 
Hampshire within the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New 
England, being at present through the goodness of God of 
sound mind and memory and yet through age and many in- 
firmities and not knowing how soon the day of my death may 
come and accounting it my duty to set my house in order be- 
fore I die do by these presents appoint, dispose and confirm 
this wn-iting to be my last will and testament as followeth, etc. 

Impr. I give and bequeath to God my whole man 
body and soul that made it, believing and trusting in the merits 
and mediation of Christ to be absolved and found righteous in 
Him and not by any righteousness of my own, believing and 
trusting that I shall be accepted in Him and my soul with my 
body shall be united to live with Christ forever and as to my 
body I recommend it to my executors to inter it with a comely 
and Christian burial trusting and believing a blessed resurrec- 
tion and to live in glory with God for ever and ever. 

Itm. I order and appoint that all my just debts or dues 
to any or all persons whatsoever so soon as my executors 
hereafter named shall make just payment of the same. 

It. I give and bequeath unto my son Joseph Parsons, 
Junr., all my expense towards his learning which I valiie at 
100 £ and forty. 

It. I give and bequeath to my son David Parsons all 
my expenses towards his learning which I value at ioo£. 

It. I give and bequeath to my son John Parsons one 
home lot he hath built on at 12 £ one-quarter part of my right 


in Pascomuck Meadow which he hath a deed of at 25 £ two 
acres he improves in Green Swamp at 10 £, about one acre 
and a half in old Rainbow at 24 £ also two acres and Aqe. 
Dickinson's lot which he hath a deed of it 20 £ towards build- 
ing his house at nine pounds all which to be to him and his 
heirs forever etc. at 100 £, total of the aforesaid sums. 

It. To my son Ebenezer Parsons I give and bequeath 
the one half of wood wards lot at the Mill pasture at 25 £, one 
quarter of my Pascomuk lot in both meadow and swamp and 
swamp at 25£, 2 acres or thereabouts in the Drain Swamp at 
io£, 21 acres of land or thereabouts in the Walmet division 
at 2o£. one acre and 3 quarters of land in old Rainbow 24 £ 
to a horse and moveables at 6£ one third part of the corn 
mill & saw mill a remainder of 10 £ to be to him and his heirs 
forever in the whole i2o£. 

It. I give and bequeath to my son Josias Parsons 2 
acres of land in Hoggsbladder at 12 £ one acre and a half in 
Old Rainbow at 24 £ one quarter part of my right in Passco- 
muk meadow at 25 £ two acres at the drain Swamp at io£ 
about two acres at the Walnut tree division 20 £ in moveable 
^oods 9£ one hundred pounds in all to be to him and his 
heirs forever. 

It. To my son Daniel Parsons in money I gave him 
to purchase Capt. John Parsons part of the home lot at 
Springfield at 40 £ also one half part of my 3rd part of the 
homelot and meadow at Springfield, excepting any part of said 
alotment I bought of my brother Samuel at 4o£ , one quar- 
ter part of the Town Saw Mill at 12 £, in moveables at 8£, 
to a half saw mill where the Iron Works stood at 6£ , in all 
one hundred and six pounds to be to him and his heirs for- 
ever, &c. 

It. To my son Moses Parsons all my rights of lands 
at Durrani at eighty pounds. In moveable estate at 20 £ , in 
all one hundred pounds to be to him and his heirs forever, &c. 

It. I give and bequeath to my son Noah Parsons, one 
quarter part of my right in Passcomuck meadow at 25 £ one 


acre and a half out of Lee's lot in old Rainbow at 24 £ about 
2 acres in the Drain Swamp at io£ about 2 acres of land at 
the Walnut tree division at Blisses lot at 20 £ to one-half 
my lot in Pyncheon's meadow at 12 £, in moveable goods 
nine pounds, all at ioo£ to be to him and his heirs forever. 

It. I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth 
Strong thirty pounds, which she hath already received. 

It. I give and bequeath to my daughter Abigail Clark 
thirty pounds which she hath already received. 

It. All the rest of my estate in houseing lands and 
moveable goods of what kind soever to be for the maintenance 
as of myself while I live so to my wife after my decease as long 
as she lives or remains my widow. 

It. After my decease and the decease of my wife all 
debts and funeral charges being discharged and paid all the 
estate that then remains shall be disposed as followeth to 
Elizabeth Strong 70 £ and to Abigail Clark 70 £ to be paid 
to the two daughters aforenamed, and of the moveable goods 
and all the rest of the estate to be equally divided both real and 
personal to all my sons aforenamed, with this proviso, that 
those of my sons that have over and above one hundred 
pounds in the aforesaid gifts, it shall come in the division 
aforesaid and be accounted as so much of their shares as also 
after mine and my wife's decease, of the aforesaid divideable 
estate aforesaid Noah Parsons my son shall have the houseing 
and homestead that we now live in the lot on both sides the 
brook or little Run or Gutter to be accounted at 120 £ and to 
be regulated in his share with the rest of his brethren at two 
hund pnd. 

It. I ordain, constitute and appoint my loving sons 
John Parsons and Ebenezer Parsons to be joint executors of 
this my last will and testament annulling and making void and 
of no efifect all former or other wills or testaments by me made 
or pretended to be made and this and this only to be accounted 
to all intents and purposes to be my last will and testament and 
no other. In confirmation of which I have hereunto sett my 


hand and seal this I give to my grandson John Parsons, Junr., 
thirty pounds in or as money. 

Joseph Parsons, 
And a Seal. 

Signed, sealed & delivered in the presence and witnesses 
of, Preserved Clapp, 

Samuei. Allin, 
Jonathan Strong. 

Hampshire, ss. At a Court of Probate holden at Northamp- 
ton in the County of Hampshire by John Stoddard Esqr. 
Judge of the Probate of and granting administration &c. in 
said County this will being presented by the executors herein 
named and Preserved Clapp Samuel Allin and Jonathan 
Strong, all personally appeared before me the said John 
Stoddard and made oath that they saw Joseph Parsons Esqr. 
Sign and Seal and also heard him declare this to be his last 
will and testament and that the said testator was then of sound 
mind and that they all signed as witnesses in the testator's 
presence and that it was some time the latter end of last sum- 
mer, wherefore I allow, approve and confirm this as the last 
will and testament of the said deceased. 
Northampton, December 9th, 1729, 

John Stoddard. 



DEC. 2, 1772. 

In the name of God, Amen. I, Daniel Parsons of Spring- 
field in the County of Hampshire and Province of the Massa- 
chusetts Bay in New England, Yeoman, do make this my last 
Will and Testament as followeth : 

Imprimis. I will, order and direct that all my just 
debts and funeral expenses be paid by my son Abner Parsons 
and my two Grandsons Daniel Parsons Junr. and Gideon Par- 
sons out of such part of my estate as I have hereinafter given 
to them that is to say that the one half of my debts and fu- 
neral charges be paid by my son Abner aforesaid and the 
other half of my said debts and funeral expenses be paid by 
my said Grandsons aforesaid. Viz : Gideon and Daniel in 
equal parts. 

Item. I give and devise to my beloved son Aaron Par- 
sons and his heirs my scheme lot lying on sixteen acre plain 
in Springfield containing about one hundred and fifty acres, 
also my meadow called four mile Pond meadow containing 
about eight acres to have and to hold the same to him my son 
Aaron and his heirs forever. 

Item. I give and devise to my beloved son Abner Par- 
sons and his heirs my dwelling house and the northerly part of 
my hom.elot adjoining bounded Northerly on Col. Worthing- 
tons Land Westerly on Connecticut River, Southerly, partly 
on a line dividing my said homelot in two equal parts and 
partly on my garden fence and wood yard fence south of my 
house being the one Moiety of my said homelot and also all 


Lewis C.rken Parsoxs. 
Son of Lewis B. Parsons, Second. Born Aug". 8d, 1848. 

Died January 29th, 1S75. 

Yale Universitv 

that other part thereof which is included within my garden and 
wood yard and the fence aforesaid, I also give and devise to 
my said son Abner and his heirs the northerly moiety of my 
meadow land on the east side of the street opposite to my 
dwelHng house also the northerly moiety of my lot of land in 
the Plainfield. Also a part of my Lot and land on the west 
side of Connecticut river at Farm meadow that is to say the 
whole of the same be it more or less except eight acres on the 
northerly side thereof which I have hereinafter given to my 
Grandsons Daniel and Gideon. I also give and devise to my 
said son Abner and his heirs the southerly moiety of my Lot 
of land at Glovers Pond being a scheme lot containing about 
seventy acres in ye whole, also the southerly moiety of my lot 
and land at dirty Gutter which formerly belonged to my late 
father Joseph Parsons deceased and contains in the whole 
about one hundred acres. Also my Corn Mill on Chicopee 
River with the land and stream thereto belonging and priva- 
lidges appertaining also two ten-acre lots of land lying adjoin- 
ing together at the northerly part of the first Parish in Spring- 
field and bounded partly on land late of Josiah Dwight Esqr. 
deceased. Also my tract of land of about forty acres originally 
granted to my said father lying on the west side of Connecticut 
River and bounding Westerly on the Township of Westfield 
all which pieces of land lie in Springfield aforesaid to have and 
to hold all and singular the said given and granted premises 
to him my said son Abner Parsons his heirs and assigns for- 
ever, subject nevertheless to and chargeable with the payment 
of the one moiety of my debts and funeral charges and the 
sum of fourteen pounds lawful money to my daughter Miriam 
and one other sum of fourteen pounds to my daughter Eunice 
hereinafter mentioned. I also give and bequeath to my said 
son Abner his executors and administrators forever all my neet 
cattle, horses, swine and sheep, all my household furniture,, 
husbandry tools and the whole of my personal estate. 

Item. I give and devise unto my two beloved Grand- 
sons Gideon Parsons and Daniel Parsons Junr. children of my 
late son Daniel Parsons deceased, and their heirs the dwelling 


house they now dweU in and the southerly part of my homelot 
adjoining bounded southerly on the Ministry Lot Westerly on 
Connecticut River, Northerly partly by a line dividing my said 
homelot in two equal parts and partly by my garden fence and 
wood yard fence south of my dwelling house and easterly on 
the street partly and partly on my garden fence and easterly on 
moiety of said homelot excepting such part thereof as it is 
contained in my garden and wood yard before given to my son 
Abner. Also the southerly moiety of my said meadow and 
land on the east side of the street and opposite to the said 
homelot. Also the northerly moiety of my said land at dirty 
Gutter, Also the northerly moiety of my said land at Glovers 
Pond. Also the southerly moiety of my said lot of land in the 
Plainfield. Also part of my said lot of land at Farm meadow, 
Viz : Eight acres of the same on the northerly side thereof, 
To have and to hold all and singular the said granted premises 
to them the said Daniel and Gideon and their heirs and assigns 
forever, equally to be divided between them q. d. the one 
nioiety thereof to the said Daniel and his heirs and the one 
other moiety thereof to the said Gideon and his heirs, they, 
the said Gideon and Daniel paying the one moiety of my debts 
and funeral charges and also paying to my daughter Abigail 
fourteen pounds and to my Grandaughter Esther Parsons five 
shillings to the payment of which said debts funeral charges 
and legacys last aforementioned the said devised premises are 
hereby subjected and made charged and chargeable. 

Item. I give unto my beloved daughters Miriam wife 
of James Warriner, and Eunice wife of Abel Hancock the sum 
of fourteen pounds lawful each that is to say each of them 
fourteen pounds to be paid to them respectively in two years 
after my decease by my son Abner. 

Item. I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter 
Abigail wife of Benjamin Horton fourteen pounds and to my 
said Grandaughter Esther Parsons five shillings to be paid to 
them respectively within two years after my decease by my 
said Grandsons Daniel and Gideon out of such part of my es- 
tate as I have herein given to them and have before ordered, 


and all the rest and residue of my estate real and personal 
whatsoever or wheresoever I give, bequeath and devise the 
same to my son Abner his heirs and assigns forever. 

And I do make, constitute and appoint my sons Aaron 
Parsons and Abner Parsons executors of this my last will and 
testament and hereby revoke and annul all other former wills 
and testaments, legacys and devises by me at any time made 
or given and Publish and declare this to be my last will and 

In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seal 
this twenty-sixth day of December in the thirteenth year of 
his Majestys Reign one thousand seven hundred and seventy 

Daniei. Parsons. [Seal.] 

Signed, sealed published and declared by the said Daniel 
Parsons as and for his last will and testament in presence of us 
who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses thereto 
in presence of the testator and each other. 

Luke Bliss, 
John Mun, 
Jonathan Buss. 

N. B. — The words "partly" & partly on my garden fence" 
were interlined before signing. 

At a Court of Probate for wills &c. holden at Hatfield 
within and for the County of Hampshire on the first Tuesday 
in March, being the first day of said month Anno Dom. One 
thousand seven hundred and seventy four &c. Israel Williams 
Esq. Judge said Court the foregoing will was represented by 
Abner Parsons one of the executors therein named as the last 
will and testament of said Daniel Parsons deceased for Probate 
and Messr. Luke Bliss and John Mun two of the subscribing 
witnesses to the same personally appearing made oath that 
they saw the testator in his life time sign and seal and heard 
him publish and declare the same to be his last will and testa- 
ment and that he was of sound mind when he did it, and that 


they together with Jno. BHss Esq. all signed as witnesses to 
the same in presence of the testator and each other wherefore 
it was proved, approved and ratified and confirmed as the last 
will and testament of said deceased. 

Israel WiivLiams. 


J •>. THE 




BY pe;rmission from a recent publication by the 


The family of Hoar, in English records generally written 
Hore or Hoare, from very ancient days had its representatives 
in several of the counties of England and in Ireland. Some- 
times the name appears with the adjective le affixed. Between 
the years 1300 and 1700 thirteen members of Parliament from 
six different counties bore the name. English antiquaries 
who have made long and intelligent study of the family geneal- 
ogy unite in favoring the supposition that the founder of the 
race was one Robert Hore who, about 1330, married the heir- 
ess of Forde of Chagford in Devonshire. In the Heraldic 
Visitation for the county of Devon, taken in 1620, and to be 
found in the Harleian MS. in the British Museum, the pedigree 
begins with the third Robert Hore, about 1360. This Robert 
married the heiress of Rowland de Risford of the parish of 
Chagford. The learned biographer of the famous London 

—69— •. 

branch of the family, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart., in his 
sumptuous volume'Tedigrees and Memoirs of the Families of 
Hore and Hoare of the Counties of Devon, Bucks, Middlesex, 
Surrey, Wilts and Essex, 1819," acknowledged his failure to 
discover a continuous pedigree from Robert of Risford, and 
bases his belief in this origin of the family chiefly upon the 
identity of the coat of arms uniformly used by all bearing the 
name ; to-wit : "Sable an eagle displayed, with two necks with 
a border ingrailed, argent." One antiquary has suggested a 
German origin to the family and calls attention to the simi- 
larity between the arms of the city of Frankfort-on-the-Main 
and those used in the Hoare family in England. 

Captain Edward Hoare in his book, printed at London 
in 1883, entitled "Early History and Genealogy of the Fami- 
lies of Hore and Hoare," is much more positive in his asser- 
tions respecting this line of descent from Robert of Risford, 
but is unable to give the authority of records to vouch for his 
conclusions ; and the many grave inaccuracies of his appen- 
dix, wherein he essays a pedigree of the American branch of 
tne Hoar family, tend to encourage distrust in his infallibility 
when he discourses of matters much more recondite. 

The defective condition or total loss of many early parish 
registers, and the defacement and destruction by damp or 
careless keeping of many early wills, make it highly improb- 
able that the assumed connection between the Hore families 
of Devonshire and Gloucestershire will be discovered; and 
from the city of Gloucester the mother of the American branch 
of the family, Joanna (Hinksman) Hoare, came, in 1640, to 
Massachusetts. The frequent choice of the same baptismal 
names, and the use of the same heraldic device by both the 
Devon and the Gloucester branches are the only significant 
facts found of record. Unfortunately there is no pedigree at- 
tached to the "Visitation of the County of Gloucester," by 
Robert Cooke Clarencieux, King at Arms in 1583, enlarged 
with the Visitation of the same County in 1623, by Chitting 
and Philpott, deputies to William Camden Clarencieux ; found 
in the Harleian Manuscript Nos. 1543 to 1554, although the 
"Arms of Hore of Gloucestershire" are given. The early 


presence of the family in this county, and elsewhere, is attest- 
ed however by various documentary evidence, some exam- 
ples of which follow : 

1 170. From Burke's Dictionary of Landed Gentry, p. 
577. we find that William le Hore was one of the Norman 
Knights who invaded Ireland in 11 70, and obtained grants of 
land in Wexford where he established a family. The pedi- 
gree in the visitation of the country begins with Thomas le 
Hore, who held the manor by the service of "keeping a pas- 
sage over the Pillwater as often as the sessions should be held 
at Wexford." He had three sons : Richard, David who was 
high sheriff in 1334, and Walter. 

1280. In the Calendar of Inquisitions, post mortem, 
Anno 8 Edward I. is noted : "Roger le Hore, felo, Ameneye, 
Gloucestershire." Roger le Hore held lands in Eastbrook 
(see Rudder's "Gloucester," p. 230). 

1326. John le Hore is one of the witnesses to a deed, now 
in existence, of a tenement in Woton, Gloucestershire, 19 Ed- 
ward H. 

It is noteworthy that the above dates are earlier than that 
of the alleged Devonshire origin. 

1465. In the Calendar of the Records of the Gloucester 
Corporation, p. 406-7, is registered a "demise from William 
Hotynham, John Rudyng, clerk, and Thomas Lymark to An- 
drew Bye, Henry Rycard and Thomas Hoore burgesses of 
Gloucester, of their tenement and adjoining curtilage on the 
south side of Smythe strete between Sater lane and the mes- 
suage of Thomas Heyward." 

1 55 1. Alexander Hore appears as a member of the 
Baker's Guild. 

An examination of the wills proved at Gloucester, which 
date from 1541 when the Court was established, gives the fol- 
lowing : — 

1544. The will of Richard Hoore of Leckhampton, hus- 
bandman, proved Oct. 10, 1545, bequeaths to wife Ellen his 
crops, debts, etc., leaving her to give what she pleases to the 

1545. The will of Henry Hore of Aylburton in the par- 
ish of Lidgate, dated Oct. 23, 1545, and proved the following 


January, appoints his wife Christian executrix, bequeaths two 
pence to the Cathedral Church of Gloucester, and a cow to his 
daughter Agnes. 

1545. The will of Robert Hoare of Leckhampton, hus- 
bandman, dated Sept. 8, and proved Oct. 10, 1545, bequeaths 
his soul to God, Saint Mary and all the holy company of Heav- 
en, and mentions his wife Margery, sons Roger and Edward, 
daughter Jane, and Edward son of Roger. 

1573. John Hore's will, proved May 27, 1573, is mostly 
illegible, but mentions wife Joan, sons William, Nicholas, and 
others "my children aforesaid." He was of Westbury On 

1618. Richard Hoare of the parish of St. John the Bap- 
tist in the City of Gloucester, Gentleman, August 4, 1618, be- 
queaths eighteen houses with lands to his sons Richard, John 
and Alexander, one hundred pounds to his daughter Martha, 
and names wife Anne and sister Joan. This Richard was 
sheriff of Gloucester in 1614. By an indenture dated Sept. 
4, 5. James L (1608) he gave in trust, for the benefit of the 
parish of St. Mary de Crypt, an annuity of fifty-three shillings 
charged upon several tenements in the city of Gloucester, to 
be employed in "the reparation of the Parish Church or the 
finding of a sufficient minnester to read divine service in the 
same church, and for the relief of the poor of the same parish, 
and other charitable uses." The trust survives, the Corpora- 
tion of Gloucester annually paying fifty shillings to the par- 
ish. An ancient vault bearing the name Hoare is beneath the 
pavement in the south transept, near where the choir and nave 
join, of St. Mary de Crypt Church. 

1628. The will of Richard Hoare of Norton "an old 
man of the adge of fifour score yeares and upward" mentions 
wife Maude, sons Edmond, William, Robert, Thomas, son- 
in-law Robert Brayne, daughter Jane, daughter Elizabeth 
wife of Robert Brokinnge, and her children Mary, Anne and 
Elizabeth, and Anne daughter of Edward. Norton is in the 
northern suburbs of Gloucester. 

1640. The will of William Hoare "very aged" proved in 
1640, is too much decayed to be legible. 

1644. John Hoare of Leckhampton, husbandman, in his 
will mentions daughter Margaret, nephew John the son of 
Giles, sons Walle and Thomas and sons in law John Button 
and Thomas Ballaye. 

1646. The will of John Hoare of Sandhurst, mentions 
late brother Alexander and his daughter Martha, his sister-in- 

' '■ ■■ • —72— 

law Margerie mother of Martha, and brothers-in-law Thos. 
Clutterbuck and Thos. Pierce. 

1413. In the church of Frampton on Severn near Glou- 
cester on a marble tablet, and in the east window of the north 
aisle, the Hoare arms are found quartered with the arms of 
Clifford and Windscomlje, and the same quartering was once 
on a stained glass window of the parlor of Fretherne Lodge, k 
sumptuous mansion built by James Clifford with a design to 
entertain Queen Elizabeth in her "Progress to Bristol" in 
1574. Fretherne is about nine miles southwest from Glou- 
cester. Near by is the site of the residence of Walter Lord 
Clifford, where his daughter "Fair Rosamond," was born. 
Fretherne Lodge, after long remaining in a state of dilapida- 
tion, was torn down in 1750. In the Visitation of 1623 it is 
stated that Henry Clifford of Frampton married the daughter 

and heiress of Hoare of Gloucestershire in the time of 

Henry IV. (See Rudder's "Gloucester.") 


With Charles Hoare, senior, of Gloucester City, the pedi- 
gree of the American branch of the family begins, no clue to 
his parentage having been found. Perhaps the earliest re- 
corded mention of him may be the item in the corporation ex- 
penditures when the Spanish Armada was menacing England, 
1588: "To Charles Hoare for hyer of a horse for two dayes 
wch Roger Lowe had to Cisseter (Cirencester) when he went 
to bringe the soldiers towards portingate." 

*Note. The earliest authenticated ancestor in my ma- 
ternal line, according to Senator Hoar's investigations. 

L. B. P. 



In the name of God Amen the nyne and twentieth day of 
May anno domini 1632, I Charles Hoare the elder of the City 
of Glouc. Sadler being weake and sicklie in body butt of Good 
and pfct memorie (thanks be geven to god for the same) doe 
make and ordeyne this my last Will and Testament in manner 
and forms foUowinge, fifirst and principalie I give and bequeath 
my soule unto Amightie God my creator and maker and unto 
Jesus Christ his only sonne and my alone Saviour and Re- 
deemer hopinge and trustinge through his merits and bitter 
passion in full assurance to enjoy and inherit in the kingdom 
of heaven him everlastingly. And as for my body (beinge but 
dust and ashes) I bequeath to the earth from whence it came 
to be buried at the discretion of my Executr of my Will hop- 
ing for a joyfull resurrection both of my soule and body at the 
last and generall day. And as concerning my worldly goods 
and substance wherewith God hath bestowed upon me and 
blessed me wth I give and dispose in manner and form fol- 
lowing, l^rst I give and bequeath unto my beloved Wife 
Margery the use and quiet possession of the house and ymple- 
ments wherein I now dwell To have and hold to her for her 
my said Wife and my sonne Thomas Hoare therein to dwell 
use and occupy during her naturall life they payinge the rent 
due to the City of Glouc & keeping the said howse in all need- 
ful and necessary repairs as by the lease thereof I am enjoyned. 
And after her decease my Will is that my sonne Charles Hoare 
shall have all my right and interest unto the said howse and 
lease thereof granted unto me from the said Citty and that he 
shall renew the said lease in his own name. And alsoe my 
Will is that the plumpe the noast and the Cisterns, glasse win- 
dows wainscot and benches with the tables board in the Hawl 
and the Corner Cupboard and other Cupboards fasting to the 
house to remayne to him the said Charles his heirs and as- 
signs wth the said howse at the decease of my said Wife. Pro- 
vided that my sonne Charles or his assignes doe pay or cause 
to be paid unto my sonne Thomas Hoare or his assignes the 
somme of Tenne pounds of lawful English money within thft 
space of fourteen dayes after he is possed of the howse and 
ymplements. And if he the said Charles or his assignes shall 
refuse to pay the same as aforesayd being lawfull demanded 
Then my Will is that my sonne Thomas shall have the said 


howse ymplements and lease. Item I give to my said son 
Thomas fyve silver spones and one silver bowle. Item I give 
unto my son Charles my silver salt and fyve silver spones wch 
said plate so to my said twoe sonnes geven my Will is the same 
shalbe in the use and possession of my said Wife during her 
life and after her decease to remayne vmto them. Item I give 
to Thomas Hore Margery Hore and John Hore children of 
my Sonne Charles Hoare ffyve pounds between them three. 
Item I give and bequeath unto my said sonne Thomas the 
lease of my Stable and Garden in Travell Lane wch I liold of 
the Deane and Chapter. To have and to hold unto him for 
and duringe the residue of such term in the same lease as 
shalbe to come at my decease. Item I give unto Charles 
Hoare and to John Hoare the Children of my son Thomas 
Hoare the some of fyve pounds between them. Item I give 
unto Charles Tarne a Saddle furnished. Item I doe hereby 
appointe my lovinge sonne Charles Hoare to be my Executor 
of this my last Will and Testam't in trust and not to make any 
benefit of the Executorshipp to his own use and for the better 
providinge & maintinance of my saide wife during her naturall 
life my Will is & I doe appointe that my debts if any bee & 
funerall charges being payed and discharged by my Executor 
out of my estate yet unbequeathed That all the rest of my 
goodes chattels Cattle household stuffe & implem'ts of house- 
hold whatsoever yet unbequeathed shalbe ymploid by the ap- 
pointm't of my Executors to the use benefitt & behoofs of my 
Wife & my sone Thomas Hoare his heirs & assignes & the 
benefit thereof to be yerely equally divided betweene them & 
soe to remayne at the disposinge of my Execut'r wth the ad- 
vice of my Overseers during the life of my saide Wife and 
after her decease my Will is that the sayd estate off my goods 
& chattels shalbe by my saide Execut'r wholie conferred uppon 
my sonne Thomas Hoare his heirs and assignes the funerall 
charges of my wife being discharged first out of it within one 
month after her decease. And that my Will may be the better 
pformed my Will & desire is that my said Execut'r shall wthin 
six weeks after my decease enter into one bond of Two hun- 
dred pounds to the Overseers of this my Will that this my Will 
shalbe pformed by him in all points And if he refuse to enter 
into such bond my Will is & I doe appoint my sayd Sonne 
Thomas Hoare to be Execut'r of this my Will. And I doe de- 
sire my sonnes in lawe Mr. Thomas Hill & Mr. Leonard Tarne 
to be Overseers of this my Will & I give to each of them for 
their paines to see my Will pform'd a saddle a piece furnished 
fitt for their use. And in witness whereof I have hereunto 


putt my hand and seek in the'psence of these being witnesses. 
The mke of Charles (H) Hoare 
The mke of James Tiler 
John Holland 

Of the four children of Charles Hoare senior, named in 
this will, Thomas had two sons, Charles and John, also men- 
tioned, but of father or sons nothing- further of interest is 
known with certainty. The names appear in Gloucestershire 
annals from time to time, but the identification of personalities 
is not easy. 


Charles Hoare junior, the executor of his father's will, 
was probably the eldest son. He became a man of substance 
and one greatly respected in his native city, as is attested by 
the fact that he was one of its aldermen from 1632 to 1638 
and sherifT in 1634. His name is found in the Council min- 
utes with "gentleman" or "generosus" affixed to it. In the 
lists of members of the Council for the six years before his 
decease his name always appears, although generally among 
"nomina eorum qui fecerunt defaultum," that is, were absent 
from the meetings. He followed the occupation of brewer, 
although he had served a long apprenticeship with his father, 
the saddler, and his will indicates that he carried on the busi- 
ness of wool stapling, a trade which early attained great im- 

*Note. — -The second in direct descent in my maternal 
line.— L. B. P. 

■.)-..^' ...-- • ■...-..:•■-. —16— 

portance in Gloucestershire, and has been pursued by mem- 
bers of the Hoare family there, especially at Cirencester, down 
to quite recent days. 

In the calendar of State Papers, vol. cccxxxiv. p. 178, 
1636, is a petition of John Brown, late mayor, and Charles 
Hoare and Lawrence Singleton, late sheriffs of the City of 
Gloucester, stating that they had collected and paid over to 
the Treasurer of the Navy the one thousand pounds ship mon- 
ey imposed upon Gloucester, and asking for the repayment to 
them of certain expenses amounting to fifty-two pounds, which 
request was granted. 

The date of Charles Hoare's marriage to Joanna Hinks- 
man is not known, but it must have been shortly after the ex- 
piration of his apprenticeship. Of their children three only 
are named in his father's will — Thomas, Margery and John ; 
the other three mentioned in his own will — Daniel, Leonard 
and Joanna — being minors in 1632. There may have been 
others deceased, and probably of these were Ruth, buried 
June, 1628, and Charles, graduate at Oxford, 1630, aged 17. 
The Hincksman or Henchman family was prosperous and 
highly esteemed in Gloucester. A Joseph Hinxman was 
graduated at Oxford in 1577, and became rector of the parish 
of Naunton, fourteen miles northeast of the city of Gloucester. 
Of her immediate family we know only that she had brothers 
William, Walter, Edward and Thomas, and sisters Elinor 

Bailies and Founes. Thomas Hincksman, in 1634, 

called "late servant to j\Ir. Charles Hoare for the space of 
eight years now past," was then made a burgess, paying a fine 
of IDS. A Walter Hincksman about the same period was rec- 
tor at Matlock in Derbyshire. The noted Captains Thomas 
and Daniel Henchman, who figured in the early Indian wars 
in New England, may have been kinsmen of Joanna, though 
proof of this is lacking. That there was some relationship 
between the early immigrants in New England bearing the 
names Hoare and Hinksman seems probable from the fre- 
quency with which these names are found associated. Capt. 
Daniel Henchman was one of the witnesses to Doctor Leon- 


ard Hoar's will, and Thomas appended his signature as wit- 
ness to a power of attorney given by Daniel Hoare. 


pre;rogative court of canterbury. 

In the name of God Almightie Creator of all thinges and 
in Jesus Christ his deare and only son my most bountifull 
loveing Saviour and in the blessed spiritt my comforter Amen 
I Charles Hoare of the cittie of Gloucester being weake in body 
but perfect in memory blessed be my good god therefore, Doe 
hereby declare that my last will and testament as followeth 
ffirst I bequeath my soule into the handes of God that created 
it and my deare Savious that soe dearlie ransom'd it with 
full confidence thorough his merrittes that after the end of this 
life it shall rest w^li him everlastingly. And my bodie to the 
earthe from whence it came w^l^ full assurance that at the last 
dale when my Saviour shall appeare in glory it shalbe by his 
power raised upp to the resurrection of the iust, And for the 
estate it hath pleased god to lend unto me of the thinges of 
this world I thus dispose fBrst that with as much convenient 
speede as may well be all my rentes and debtes sett downe un- 
der my hand and all other if any be and can appeare to be due 
shalbe paid. Item I give to my brother Thomas Hoare 
twentie poundes, to my sister Elinor Bailies fortie shillinges, 
to my brother William Hincksman and Walter Hincksman 
and Edward Hincksman and my sister fTounes twentye shil- 
Hnges a peece in gould, alsoe I give to my brother Thomas 
Hincksman five poundes and to my servant John Sponar at 
presberie five markes and to his wife five nobles and to Thomas 
Prichard my servant fortie shillinges and to Thomas Ade my 
servant tenn shillings, Alsoe I give to Mr. Thomas Veil and to 
Alderman Hill and Mr. Leonard Tarne my brother lawes and 
my brother too new rings for my sake, and to good Mr. Work- 
man our faithfull watchman forty shillings. Alsoe I give un- 
to my welbeloved wife Joane Hoare ye some of three hundred 
and fiftie poundes and to my sonne John Hoare twoe hundred 
poundes and to my son Daniell Hoare one hundred and fiftie 
poundes and to my daughter Joane Hoare a hundred poundes 
and to my son Leonard Hoare one hundred poundes and my 
will is that my wife shall have the furniture of houshold that 
I have in all places at her disposing during her life and after 

to come indiferentlie amongst my children except the goodes 
at Thornebery wcii was dehuered me by the sheriffe by vertue 
of an elegit, all wdi I give unto my daughter Alargerie Math- 
ewe presentlie after my decease. Alsoe I give unto my sonn 
Thomas Hoare twentie poundes. Alsoe I give to the said 
Margery my daughter and her sonne Charles Mathewe twoe 
hundred poundes and my will is that soe longe as this twoe 
hundred poundes remaines in the stocke which I shall leave 
(which shalbe till my executors and overseers shall allowe 
thereof for her good to lett him hav it,) there shalbe unto her 
and her sonne sixteene poundes a yeare quarterly paid and 
my will and desire is that the stocke I shall leave unto my 
wife and the foure first named children with the twoe hundred 
poundes given my daughter shalbe used and imployed uppon 
the three bargaines I have taken at Encombe, Presbery and 
Slimsbridg and my wife and the foure children to have their 
maintenance out of it, and my will is that my sonne Leonard 
shalbe carefullie kept at Schoole and when hee is fitt for itt to 
be carefullie placed at Oxford, and if ye Lord shall see fitt, to 
make him a Minister unto his people and that all y^ charg 
thereof shalbe discharged out of the proffitt which it shall 
])lease god to send out of the stocke and that all the rest of 
my estate unbequeathed all debtes and expence being dis- 
charged shalbe equallie deuided btweene my wife and my twoe 
sonnes Daniell and John, and Joane, and the profittes of the 
said stocke to accrewe unto them alsoe untill my executors 
and my overseers shall agree for their good to lett any of them 
haue their porcons for their p'ferment. Only this excepted 
that my sonne Leonard shall have accrue and dewe unto him 
out of this estate six poundes a yeare to bee paid unto him 
by the aforesaid hundred poundes when my executors and 
overseers shall allowe of it to be for his preferment and if anie 
of my children shall die before they come to make use of their 
porcons my will is that porcons soe falling out shalbe equallie 
devided amongst my five children nowe with me and my sonne 
Thomas aforesaid and if it shall soe happen that the stocke 
bequeathed be not founde fitt to be imployed as I have direct- 
ed, but I trust ye Lord will soe blesse that happie trade of life 
unto them that some of them will never give over but if soe 
should be then my will is that my executors pay in ye porcons 
unto them if they bee att age or els to paie it in or good se- 
curitie to my overseers and my will is that as I have agreed 
with Mr. Thomas Veil and p'mised there shall alwaies be really 
upon the groundes att Encome which I have, taken of him for 
Eight yeares eight hundred of the best ewes to stand for his 


securitie untill all rentes and dewes whatsoever shalbe really 
paid unto him, and now deare saviour spreade thy armes of 
mercie over me purge away my synnes though they are many 
and greate and my faith weake lett thy power be seene in my 
weakness and thy strength in my manifould infirmities keepe 
me from that evill one and Receive me to thy mercy to whom 
with god the father and the holie spiritt be all glorie and power 
and thankes giveinge both nowe and for evermore Amen this 
25th day of September 1638. By me Cha: Hoare : fifurther I 
give unto my sonne John Hoare fortie poundes more w^li shall 
accrewe unto him when all the other are satisfied out of the 

Admon granted 21 Dec. 1638 — to Joane Hoare the re- 

The Mr. Thomas Veil mentioned appears to have been 
active in public affairs of Gloucestershire in his day, and sided 
with the Puritans in the early part of the Civil war; but was 
one of the deputation to welcome Charles II. on his restora- 

The "good Mr. Workman our faithful watchman" refers 
to John Workman, a native of Gloucestershire whose perse- 
cution by Archbishop Laud was, according to Laud himself, 
insisted upon more than any other charge at the trial of that 
prelate. Workman, for certain utterances against the use of 
pictures and images in churches, and his condemnation of 
"mixed dancing," was brought before the high commission 
at Lambeth, suspended from the ministry, excommunicated, 
required to make restitution and to pay costs of suit, and 
thrown into prison. He then taught school to support his 
large family, but Laud, hearing of this forbade his teaching 
children. He next sought a living by the practice of medi- 
cine, but died in great poverty January, 1641. The Corpora- 
tion of Gloucester, in 1633, granted Mr. W^orkman an annuity 
of £20. For this act the mayor, town clerk and several of 
the aldermen were prosecuted in the High Commission Court. 
Charles Hoare was doubtless one of the ofifending aldermen. 
(Brook's "Puritans," 2, 434.) 

Charles Hoare's house is still standing on Southgate 
street, occupied by the printing and publishing house of the 
Gloucester Chronicle. 


All of the children named in the will except Thomas came 
to America probably within two years after the death of their 
father, for the first child of Margery, who married Henry 
Flynt of Braintree, was born in July, 1642. Their mother, 
Joanna, came with them : "the common origin of that remark- 
able progeny, in which statesmen, jurists, lawyers, orators, 
poets, story-tellers and philosophers seem to vie with each 
other in recognized eminence." (Charles Francis Adams in 
"Three Episodes of Massachusetts History.") She died at 
Braintree 10 mo. 21, 1661, according to Braintree Records. 
This date is confirmed by an entry in an almanac once belong- 
ing to Rev. Henry Flynt. "Dec. 22, 1661. ye midnight be- 
fore my mother Hoar dyed and was buried ye — " She was in- 
terred in the same grave with her son Leonard, in the old 
Quincy burying ground. In 1892 the Honorable George F. 
Hoar erected a memorial to his ancestress and her daughter- 
in-law. It is in form a double headstone, shaped from a large, 
thick slab of slate. Following are the two inscriptions : 

Joanna Hoare | died in Braintree | September 2ist 
165 1. I She was widow of | Charles Hoare, | Sheriff 
of I Gloucester, England, | who died 1638. | She came 
to I New England | with five children | about 1640. | 

Bridget, | widow of President | Leonard Hoar, ] 
died May 25, 1723 | daughter of | John Lord Lisle, 1 
President of the | High Court of Justice, | Lord Com- 
missioner of I the Great Seal, who | drew the indict- 
ment I and sentence of | King CharlesL, and | was 
murdered at ] Lausanne Aug. nth, 1664, | and of Lady 
Alicia Lisle, i who was beheaded by | the brutal judg- 
ment I of Jefifries, 1685. | She was nearly akin | by 
marriage to | Lord \\'illiam Russell. | 

Thomas Hoare, probably the oldest of the surviving chil- 
dren of Charles at his death, did not accompany his brothers 
and sisters to New England. 

The eldest daughter of Charles Hoare, Junior, Margery 
Hoare, was married to John Matthews at St. Nicholas Church 
in Gloucester, December 25, 1633, and had a son, Charles, 


who is mentioned in his grandfather Hoare's will. She was 
a widow, and probably childless, when she came to New 
England. She married for her second husband Rev. Henry 
Flint of Braintree. He is supposed to have been born at 
Matlock, Derbyshire, England. In politics he was of the 
party of Sir Henry Vane, and his theological views led him to 
take for a time at least, the unpopular side in the Antinomian 
controversy. The inscription upon his tombstone in Quincy 
is as follows: — 

Here Lyes interred ye Body of ye Rev'd Mr. Henry Flynt, 

who came to New England in ye Year 1635, was 

Ordained ye first Teacher of ye Church of Braintry 

1639 and Died April 27th. 1668. He had ye 

Character of a Gentleman Remarkable for his 

Piety, Learning, Wisdom & Fidelity in his Office. 

By him on his right hand lyes the Body of Margery, 

his beloved consort, who Died March 1686-7, her 

maiden name was Hoar. She was a Gentlewoman 

of Piety, Prudence, & peculiarly accomplished 

for instructing young Gentlewoemen, many being 

sent to her from other Towns, especially from Boston. 

They descended from antient and good familys in England. 

The ten children born to Henry and Margery Flynt as re- 
corded in Braintree Records, were : — 

1. Dorothy, b. 21. 5 mo. 1642; married Samuel Shep- 
hard, 1666. 

2. Annah, b. 11. 7 mo. 1643 ! married John Dassett, 1662. 

3. Josiah, b. 24. 6 mo. 1645 - married Esther Willet. 

4. Margarett, b. 20. 4 mo. 1647; died 29, 6 mo. 1648. 

5. Joanna, b. 18. 12 mo. 1648; married Noah Newman, 

6. David, b. 11. 11 mo. 1651; died 21. i mo. 1652. 

7. Seth. b. 2. 2 mo. 1653. 

8. Ruth. b. 31. II mo. 1654. 

9. 10. Cotton and John, b. 16. 7 mo. 1656 ; died 20. 9 mo. 

]\Ir. Flynt accumulated considerable property for a coun- 
try clergyman. The eldest son, Josiah, was graduated at 
Harvard College in 1664, and was ordained the successor of 
Rev. Richard Mather at Dorchester December 27, 1671. He 


died at the early age of thirty-five years, Setember i6, 1680. 
His wife was Esther, daughter of Captain Thomas Willett, 
first mayor of New York city. Of her four children one was 
the noted bachelor Tutor Flynt who served Harvard College 
for the unexampled term of fifty-five years — 1699 — ^754 — ^^^ 
died in 1760. Her daughter Dorothy married Edmond Quin- 
cy, ]\Iay 11, 1678, and thus the Quincy family derives descent 
from Joanna Hincksman Hoare through both of her daught- 
ers, Joanna and Margery. Mrs. Dorothy Flynt Quincy died 
in 1737. The house in which she lived, built by Colonel Ed- 
mond Quincy in 1685, still stands a characteristic example of 
domestic colonial architecture. Among the more famous of 
her numerous descendants are those members of the Holmes, 
Wendell, Jackson, Lowell and Quincy families whose names 
are household words in Massachusetts, and also Gen. Terry, 
the hero of Fort Fisher. 

*John Hoare must have been younger by several years 
than his brother Thomas. 

He appears in Scituate, Alassachusetts, as bearing arms in 
1643. The historian of that town, Samuel Deane, relates that 
he was, while there resident, always engaged in the business 
of the town, and in drafting of deeds, bonds, etc., and is occa- 
sionally called a lawyer. He had lands adjoining Mosquash- 
cut pond which he sold to the lawyer John Safifin in 1659, when 
he removed to Concord. His ability, vigor and originality of 
thought and action soon made him one of the prominent fig- 
ures in Concord and vicinity, but he is found often at odds 
with the ecclesiastical oligarchy of the times. Whether like 
his sometime neighbor at Lancaster, John Prescott — to whose 
son he gave his oldest daughter — he sympathized with the 
Presbyterian criticisms of the theocratic restriction of political 
and religious privileges in the colony, is not known, but he 
strongly resembled Prescott in his persistency, enterprise and 
altruistic spirit. He was not only independent in speech, but 
rashly sharp of tongue and pen, and suffered accordingly at 
the hands of jealous authority. 

*Xote — The third in direct descent in mv maternal line.- 
L. B. P. 


In 1668 John Hoare was charged before the county court 
of saying at the pubhc house of Ensign WiUiam Buss "that the 
Blessing Master Bulkeley pronounced in dismissing the pub- 
hque Assembly in the Meeting-house was no better than vane 
babbling." Upon conviction of what the law of 1646 calls 
"the disparagement of the Lord's holy ordinance and making 
God's ways contemptible and ridiculous," he was fined ten 
pounds. He was also called upon to answer to the Court on 
two occasions "for neglecting the public worship of God on 
the Lord's day." (County Court Files, 1668-1675.) 

In November, 1675, food and fuel failed the little com- 
munity of Christian Indians at Nashoba, and a committee 
composed of Major Daniel Gookin, Major Simon Willard and 
Rev. John Eliot, the selectman consenting, caused their re- 
moval to Concord. They numbered fifty eight men, women 
and children, and no man in Concord could be prevailed upon 
to take charge of them until John Hoare consented to do so. 
He gave them quarters in his own house and offices, and began 
the building of a workshop and palisade wherein they could la- 
bor by day and be safely kept at night. The whole land was 
overshadowed by the horrors of Indian warfare, and in the 
frontier towns the howling of a wolf or the hooting of an owl, 
indistinctly heard, sent pallor to the cheeks and the chill of 
fear to the hearts of wives and mothers, lest it might be the 
war-whoop of Philip's savage crew, or the death shriek of an 
absent son, father or husband. In the midst of the public 
panic came the false rumor that some of Eliot's converts were 
among the blood-stained murderers. Mrs. Rowlandson has 
informed us that she was told by her captors, and she evident- 
ly believed, that the seven persons killed at Lancaster, Au- 
gust 22, 1675, "were slain and mangled in a barbarous man- 
ner by one-eyed John and Marlborough's praying Indians." 
Yet the red men so accused, seized and taken to Boston by 
Captain Mosely, upon their trial proved an undoubted alibi. 
It was not strange in a time of such excitement that many of 
the people of Concord were greatly troubled by the presence 
:among them of Mr. Hoar's wards. Suddenly upon a Lord's 
(day the most brutal of the Colony captains, Samuel Mosely, 


appeared in the Concord meeting-house with his rough troop- 
ers, probably by invitation of the dissatisfied, and after the 
service declared his intention to remove the Nashoba Indians 
to Boston. Receiving what he considered due encourage- 
ment, he without authority and in spite of the vigorous pro- 
tests of John Hoare, broke into his premises and sent "the 
heathen" robbed of most of their personal property, down to 
Deer Island under a guard of twenty soldiers. The story is 
told at length in Alajor Daniel Gookin's History of the Chris- 
tian Indians. (See Archaeologia Americana, p. 495, et seq.) 
The colonial governor and council were not well pleased by 
Mosely's contemptuous assumption of their powers, but did 
not dare to bring him to bar for his atrocious offence, nor did 
they recompense the brave John Hoare for his losses, which 
Gookin acknowledges "were considerable." Soon followed 
the massacre of February 10, 1676, at Lancaster, and when the 
governor and council sought to ransom the captive women 
and children they could find no efficient help until the abused 
Nashoba Christians came to their aid, and bore their messages 
to the then haughty sagamores April 3 and 28. With them on 
the latter date went John Hoare at the solicitation of the min- 
ister, Joseph Rowlandson. The historian, Hubbard, men- 
tions the heroism, but forgets the hero's name who risked 
more than life in putting himself into the power of the merci- 
less : 

The original of the following petition is in possession of 
the Honorable George F. Hoar ; 

To the Hono'rd Generall Court Now Assembled 
In Boston May 24th, 1682. 
The Humble Petition of John Hoare — 
Humbly Sheweth that wheras in the yeare 1665 yo'r Poor Pe- 
titioner was comitted to Prison forced to find suretyes for his 
good behavior and also fyned fivety pound for doing such 
things as I humbly conceived were but my duty and also pro- 
hibited from pleadding any bodies cans but my owne ; Now 
yo'r poor Petitioner hath a long time layne under the smart 
of these sufiferings and hath often moved for a release but such 
hath bene the unhappyness of yo'r Poor Suppliant that h3 
hath not yet obtained such a good day the want whereof hath 


bene greatly prejuditiall to my Brother Mr. Daniel Hoare his 
Estate and so my owne and also unto my name and famyly. 
The perticulars in my petition then exhibited to the Honor'd 
Generall Court wear such as my Brother Air Henery Mint of 
Brantrey & Mr Edmond Browne of Sudbury did judge would 
not give any ofence. And in that hope I did present it. 

I Humbly now present to this Hon'rd Court that in the 
time of the warr I tooke the charge of about sixty Indians be- 
longing to Nashoby by the order of Majo'r Willerd, Majo'r 
Gookin, Mr. Eliott, and the select men of Concord. I built 
them a fort that cost mee of my own estate fourty pounds and 
went with my teame in Hazard of my life to save and bring 
home there Corne and also borrowed Rey and hors for them 
to plant and sow which I was forced to pay for myselfe. I 
also made severall Journeys to Lancaster and to the Counsell 
and two Journies to the Indians to redeme Mrs. Rowlinson 
and Good wife Kettle with two horses and provisions and 
gave the sagamores considerably of my owne estate above 
whatever I received of the Countrey and by the favor of god 
obtained of them that they would fight noe more but in tlier 
owne defence : Seth Perry also had severall things of mee to 
give the Indians that hee might escape with his life. 

My sonn Daniel Hoare also was Indicted for his life yet 
by divine providence was spared, yet was sentenced to pay five 
pounds to the Indians and five pound to the Countrey tho' 
as I humbly Conceive he had not broken any Law. 

My Humble Supplication on all accounts to this Hon'rd 
Court is that I might be sett att Liberty from my sentence and 
may enjoy the liberty of an English man, and also that the 
Cor't would pleas to remitt my son Daniel's sentence. And if 
they pleas to grant me some small parcell of Land to comfort 
my wife with respect unto all her sufferings by my disburse- 
ments for the Countrey as above recited. 

And yo'r Petitioner shall give thanks to the Lord and you 
And shall ever Prav &c 


The magistrates consented to release John Hoare from 
his bonds and from the restraint laid upon him as to his plead- 
ing in the courts and also "that considering his publike service 
& Costs in securing the Nashoby Indians at his house in Con- 
cord by order of this Court's Comittee for severall moneths in 
time of said warr, and for his adventuring his life to goe up 
to the Indians in the time of the warr the successe whereof was 


the Redeeming- of some Captives particularly Airs. Rowland- 
son" two hundred acres of land should be granted his family. 
The deputies refused to concur and the following is the finah 
answer of the Court : 

In ans'r to the Peticon of John Hoare, and on further 
consideration thereof the Court judge meet for his service 
donne for the publick etc. to grant to the wife and children of 
the said John Hoare two hundred acres of land in any comon 
lands from former grants, andnot hindering a plantation. 
(Massachusetts Records, Vol. V. 359.) 

John Hoare died April 2, 1704, and his wife Alice 

died June 5, 1696. Samuel Sewall makes in his Diary but 
one noteworthy mention of Mr. Hoare. Under date of Fri- 
day, Nov. 8, 1690, he writes, "Jn'o Hoar comes into the Lobby 
and sais he comes from the Lord, by the Lord, to speak for the 
Lord : Complains that Sins as bad as Sodom's found here." We 
may therefore infer that neither imprisonment nor fines nor 
old age could put a curb upon John Hoare's freedom of 

The children of Johnl and Alice Hoare were three : 

I. Elizabeth^, married December 2^, 1675, Jonathan Prescott 
of Lancaster, being his second wife. To them six children 
were born : 

L Jonathan-^, b. April 5, 1677; a noted physician; m. July 9, 
1701, Rebecca Bulkeley ; d. Oct. 28, 1729, and had eleven 

IL Elizabeth, b. Sept. 27, 1678; m. John Fowle of Woburn. 

HL Dorothy, b. AJarch 31, 1681 ; m. July 14, 1702, Edward 
Bulkeley; d. at Wethersfield, Conn., in 1748. 

IV. John, b. May 13, 1683 ; d. Jan. 28, 1706. 

V. Mary, b. Aug. 14, 1685; m. April 16, 1702, John Miles, 
and had six children. 

VI. Benjamin, b. Sept. 16, 1687; was graduated at Harvard 
1703; clergyman; d. May 2"], 1777; m. (ist) Elizabeth 

Higginson of Salem, in 1715; (2d) Mercy Gibbs, in 1732; 
and (3d) Mrs. Mary (Pepperell) Colman, in 1748. By 
the first he had five children, of whom Benjamin m. Re- 
becca Minot of Salem, and had a daughter Rebecca who 
became, May 12, 1763, the second wife of Hon. Roger 
Sherman, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, 
and U. S. Senator from Connecticut, from 1791 to his 
death in 1793. Their youngest daughter, Sarah Sher- 
man, Oct. 13, 1812, m. Hon. Samuel Hoar of Concord, 
and of her elder sisters, Rebecca and Elizabeth in succes- 
sion became the wives of Judge Simeon Baldwin of New 
Haven. Rebecca was the mother of Roger S. Baldwin, 
Governor and Senator, who argued the famous Armistead 
case, and grandmother of Judge Simeon E. Baldwin. Me- 
hitable m. for her second husband Jeremiah Evarts, Esq., 
the Honorable William Maxwell Evarts being her son. 
Martha married Jeremiah Day, President of Yale Col- 
lege, and was the mother of Hon. Sherman Day. author 
of Pennsylvania Historical Collections and State Surveyor 
of California. 

Jonathan Prescott d. Dec. 5, 1721, his fourth wife sur- 
viving him. His second wife, Elizabeth Hoar, d. Sept. 
25, 1687. 

2. Mary2, married Benjamin Graves, October 21, 1668. 

3. ^Daniel, born 1650; married July 16, 1677, Mary Stratton, 

daughter of Samuel and Mary (Fry), and (2d) Mary Lee, 
October 16, 1717. By the first wife he had eleven chil- 

JohnS, b. Oct. 24, 1678, at Watertown ; d. March i, 1764, 
in Sudbury. By wife Ruth had ten children: i. Nehe- 
miah4, b. Oct. 19, 1704; d. Dec. 2, 1718. 2. Jonathan, b. 
May 30, 1706; d. Nov. 8, 1719. 3. Oliver, b. Oct. 14, 
1707; d. May 29, 171 1. 4. John, b. March 22, 1709; d. 
Aug. 28, 171 1. 5. Submit, b. Sept. 5, 171 1. 6. Ruth, b. 
Dec. II, 1713; m. April 20, 1732, Amos Sanderson. 7. 
Dorothy, b. Feb. 22, 1714. 8. John, b. Jan. 2, 1715; d. 
Nov. 17, 1715. 9. Josiah, b. Jan. 2, 1717. 10. Abigail, 
b. Nov. 15, 1720. 

*Note — The fourth in direct descent in my maternal line. 
— L. B. P. 

*II. Leonard, captain, d. April, 1771, aged 87, in Brimfield. 
By his wife Esther had eight children: i. Joseph, b. Dec. 
5, 1707. 2. Daniel, b. May 7, 1709. 3. Sarah, b. Sept. 
3, 1710. 4. Leonard, b. Dec. 17, 171 1. 5. David, b. 
Feb. 23, 1713. 6. Charles, b. Dec. 25, 1714. 7. Ed- 
mond, b. July 19, 1716. 8. Esther, b. April 7, 1719. 
Many of the descendants of this Brimfield branch of the 
family in 1838 took the surnames Hale and Homer. 

HL Daniel, b. 1680; lieutenant; m. Sarah, daughter of John 
and Sarah (Temple) Jones, Dec. 20, 1705. She was b. at 
Concord, June 4, 1686. They lived a mile easterly from 
Concord Centre. Daniel's epitaph in the Old Concord 
Burying Ground is surmountd by a coat of arms — a 
double headed eagle — and the words "Paternal Coat Ar- 
mor." The inscription is as follows : 

lyieut Daniel Hoar 

Obt. Feb'r ye 8th 1773 .^t 93. 

By Honest Industry & Prudent 

Oeconomy he acquired a hand- 

Som Fortune for a man in Privet 

Carrecter. He injoyed a long Life 

& uninterrupted state of health 

Blessings that ever attend Exer- 

Sies & Temperance. 

S. N. 

Heres the last end of mortal story. 

He's Dead. 

Lieut. Daniel Hoar had seven children : L John^, b. 
Jan. 6, 1707; m. (ist) Esther Pierce of Lexington, June 
13, 1734; m. (2d) Aug. 21, 1740, Elizabeth Coolidge, 
daughter of Capt. Joseph, b. Jan. 5, 1720. By the first 
wife he had two, by the second, nine children. He died 
m Lincoln, May 16, 1786, and his widow d. March 10, 
1791. John Hoar was a resident of Lexington, Water- 
town and Lincoln, the changes not being wholly due to 
removals, but partly to alterations in town boundaries. He 
held various town offices, was assessor and selectman for 
several years, and one of the founders of the church. Dur- 
ing the French and Indian war, July 14, 1748, at Fort 
Dummer, he was taken prisoner and remained a captive 
among the Indians for three months. He participated in 
the fight at Concord Bridge, April 19, 1775, being a mem- 
ber of the company of which his son Samuel was a lieu- 

""The fifth in direct descent in my maternal line. — L. B. P. 

tenant. His name leads those of the eight soldiers, who 
made affidavit, April 23, 1775, to their experiences on the 
day of the fight, the first of the depositions sent to Eng- 
land by a fast sailing vessel from Salem. — (See Remem- 
brancer I., 85.) 2. Daniel, m. Nov. 2, 1743, Rebecca 
Brooks ; d. in Westminster, leaving two sons and two 
daughters. 3. Lucy, m. John Brooks. 4. Timothy, b. 
1716; m. Abigal Brooks, Jan. 23, 1752. 5. Jonathan, b. 
1719; graduate of Harvard 1740; major 1755, lieut-colonel 
1756, and colonel 1760, serving in the French and Indian 
war 1 744- 1 763; appointed Governor of Newfoundland, 
etc., but died aet. 52, in 1771, on his passage from Eng- 
land to the colonies. 6. Elizabeth, m. Whitte- 

more. 7. Mary, m. Zachariah Whittemore. 

IV. Jonathan, d. at the Castle, a soldier, Oct. 26, 1702. 

V. Joseph, d. at sea, 1707. 

VI. Benjamin, wife Esther. 

VII. Mary, b. March 14, 1689; d. June 10, 1702. 

VIII. Samuel, b. April 6, 1691. 

IX. Isaac, b. May 18, 1695; m. Anna , and lived in Sud- 

X. David, b. Nov. 14, 1698. 
XL Elizabeth, b. Feb. 22, 1701. 

Closing here my extracts from the compilation by the 
Lion. Henry Stedman Nourse, of material collected by 
Senator Hoar, with much laborious research and after re- 
peated visits to England, I would refer those desiring 
further information to his full and very interesting manu- 
script, as published in the New England Historical and 
Genealogical Register of Boston for January, April and 
July, 1899. 

In conclusion, I add to my maternal ancestry, as given 
by the record of Senator Hoar as follows, thus bringing it 
down concisely to the present time, referring for particu- 
lars to the record of my paternal ancestry as contained in 
previous pages. The first of the seven children of Capt. 
Leonard Hoar was : 

6. Joseph (Deacon) Hoar, born at Concord, Mass., Dec. 5, 

I/O/, died at Brimfield, Nov. 7, 1797. Married Deborah 
Colton May 10, 1736; died January 8, 1800. 

7. Samuel (Lieutenant) Hoar, the youngest of six children, 

born July 24, 1746, died May 10, 1828; married at Brim- 
field, Mass., Dorothy Hitchcock, July i, 1773; died at 
Homer, N. Y., May 10, 1828. 

8. Lucina Hoar, the ninth of eleven children, born at Brim- 
field. Mass., Oct. 31. 1790, died at Governeur, N. Y., Oct. 
3, 1873; married at Homer, N. Y., Nov. 10, 1814, Lew- 
is Baldwin Parsons, born at Williamstown, Mass., April 
30, 1793, died at Detroit, Mich, Dec. 21, 1855. 


^^'^-^.^^^ S. -^^^^c^-^..^^^^ 







(in charge thereof.) 


The following article was prepared at the solicitation (jf 
members of the Loyal Legion and other comrades interested, 
as. also at the suggestion of the editor of McClure's Magazine, 
in response to an article by Mr. Charles A. Dana, assistant 
Secretary of War, published therein. Owing to illness the ar- 
ticle was not forwarded for three or four months and was 
then declined on the alleged ground of delay. On renewed 
solicitation, it is now published with some additions, not only 
as a matter of justice, but as perhaps of some public interesi 
in regard to a Department of War which has recen,tly attracted 
attention and about which, as connected with the Civil War, 
nothing has been published and little is known. 





In a book recently issued from the press, written by the 
late Charles A. Dana, ex-assistant Secretary of War, entitled 
"Recollections of the Civil War," is given an account of a 
movement of such magnitude and importance as to be charac- 
terized by Secretary Stanton as ''the most extraordinary and 
successful of its kind in the annals of warfare,'''' and with which 
I was especially connected. I have never, nor do I think has 
any one else, since the war, written anything for publication 
in regard to the services of the Department of Rail and River 
Transportation during the nearly four and a half years of my 
connection therewith. Although often rec[uested by maga- 
zines and other papers to write articles pertaining thereto, I 
have ever declined, believing the general public took little 
interest in war, beyond reports of battles fought and their re- 
sults. The clash of arms, the stricken field with its sad sur- 
roundings and a few chief actors therein, generally absorb the 
attention and elicit the applause, leaving to those whose ear- 
nest eiiforts made victory possible, as their chief reward the 
consciousness of duty performed and a country saved and 
glorified. Hence, with this and the history of my department 
as it appears in my reports and correspondence, now pub- 
lished in the Rebellion Records, I have been content. But in 
this instance, as I think Mr. Dana's statements are not sus- 
tained by the facts, or that conclusions would be drawn there- 


from not warranted, I have felt justified in giving more fully 
an account of the events as they occurred, as also in making 
some additional statements of the work done and the part per- 
formed by the Department of Rail and River Transportation, 
in illustration of the services of those connected therewith, in 
securing the success of our armies in the late Civil War. 

Early in the war, when there was at St. Louis and in the 
West, great irregularity and confusion in the transportation 
service, owing to the rapid concentration and movement of 
vast bodies of troops, my superior officer, Gen. Allen, learn- 
ing of my previous experience in railroad construction and 
management, charged me with seeking a remedy. My success 
in doing so, unfortunately for me, kept me in a department 
of duty so unsatisfactory that I twice tendered my resignation, 
in order to enter field service, which being refused, I was kept 
for three years in a continually increasing sphere of responsi- 
bility as chief of Rail and River Transportation of the Armies 
of the Valley of the Mississippi. In 1864, the Secretary of 
War ordered me to Washington, to take general charge from 
that point of all rail and river transportation of our armies 
and make national the system I had so successfully inaugu- 
nated in the West, also requiring me to prepare modifications 
of the army regulations to that end, which were approved 
and adopted. 

The following is an extract from Mr. Dana's book : 


"The election was hardly over before the people of the 
North began to prepare Thanksgiving boxes for the army. 
From Philadelphia I received a message asking for transporta- 
tion to Sheridan's army for boxes containing 4,000 turkeys, 
and heaven knows what else, as a Thanksgiving dinner for the 
brave fellows. 

"A couple of months later, in January, 1865, a piece of 
work not so different from the 'turkey business,' but on a 
rather larger scale, fell to me. This was the transfer of the 


Twenty-third Army Corps, commanded by Major-General 
John M. Schofield, from its position on the Tennessee River 
to Chesapeake Bay. Grant had ordered the Corps transferred 
as quickly as possible, and Mr. Stanton turned over the direc- 
tion of it to me. On January lo, I telegraphed Grant at City 
Point the plan to be followed. This, briefly, was to send Col. 
Lewis B. Parsons, chief of railroad and river transportation, 
to the West to take charge of the Corps. I proposed to move 
the whole body by boats to Parkersburg, if navigation allowed, 
and thence by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to Annapolis. 

"If the Ohio River should be frozen, I proposed to move 
the Corps by rail from Cairo, Evansville and Jefifersonville to 
Parkersburg or Bellaire, according to circumstances. Com- 
manders along the proposed route were advised of the removal 
and ordered to prepare steamboats and transports. Loyal offi- 
cers of railroads were requested to meet Col. Parsons at given 
points to arrange for the concentration of rolling stock in case 
the river could not be used. Liquor shops were ordered closed 
along the route, and arrangements were made for the com- 
fort of the troops by supplying them as often as once in every 
hundred miles of travel with an abundance of hot cofifee in 
addition to their rations. 

"Colonel Parsons left on the nth for Louisville, where he 
arrived on the 13th. By the morning of the i8th he had start- 
ed the first division from the mouth of the Tennessee up the 
Ohio, and had transportation ready for the rest of the Corps. 
He then hurried to Cincinnati, where on the 21st, as the river 
was too full of ice to permit a further transfer by water, he 
loaded some 3,000 men on the cars waiting there, and started 
them eastward. The rest of the Corps rapidly followed. In 
spite of fogs and ice on the river, and broken rails and" ma- 
chinery on the railroads, the entire army Corps was encamped 
on the banks of the Potomac on February 2. 

"The distance transported was nearly 1,400 miles, about 
equally divided between land and water. The average time 
of transportation from the embarkment on the Tennessee to 
the arrival on the banks of the Potomac was not exceeding 


eleven days ; and what is still more important was the fact that 
during the whole movement not a single accident happened, 
causing loss of life, limb or property, except in the single in- 
stance of a soldier jumping from a car, under an apprehension 
of danger. He lost his life, when, had he remained quiet, he 
would have been as safe as were his comrades in the same 

In January, 1865, while discharging my duties under the 
direct orders of the Secretary of War, and the Quartermaster- 
General, Mr. Dana, the assistant Secretary of War, in the ab- 
sence of Secretary Stanton,requested my presence at his office, 
where the following brief, substantial, if not verbatim, inter- 
view took place : 

Dana: How soon can the Twenty-third Army Corps of 
20,000 men and 1,000 animals, with its artillery, be transported 
from Eastport, Miss., to the Chesapeake Bay? 

Parsons : I think it might be done in 30 days. 

Dana : Will you undertake to do it in 30 days ? 

Reflecting a little on so important a question, I replied : 
"Yes, if you will give me all power necessary," meaning the 
right to use the name of the Secretary of War in seizure of cars, 
boats, etc., if I deemed it essential. 

Dana : How soon can you start West ? 

Parsons : By the first train. 

After a brief conversation as to routes and means, familiar 
to me by long experience, the interview closed, and was, I 
think, the only one I ever had with and, in fact, the only time 
I ever saw Mr. Dana. Soon after he sent me my orders and 
telegraphed General Robert Allen, supervising quartermaster 
at Louisville, that I had started West to take charge of the 
movement. This, with three or four unimportant telegrams 
to me while on the way, was, so far as I am aware, all the con- 
nection Mr. Dana had with the transfer of the Twenty-third 
Army Corps — all which appears in my report to Secretary 
Stanton. (See Rebellion Records Vols. 99 and 100.) 

After telegraphing to various railroad and other officials 
I left on the first train. While en route I kept up so active a 


telegraphic correspondence with army, railroad and steamboat 
officials in the West that I was daily advised from all points, 
and had so arranged matters that when I reached Paducah, 
boats with convoys, over fifty in all, were rapidly passing up 
the Tennessee, or gathering at its mouth. I then proceeded 
up the river until I met the first division coming down, when, 
finding everything progressing satisfactorily, I sent an officer 
to assist and returned to the Ohio. There I remained long 
enough to make ample arrangements for the safety and com- 
fort of the troops for so long a winter voyage, and then took 
the cars for Louisville, where I arrived in advance of any 
boats. As the weather had become very cold, and ice was 
forming so rapidly as to render the pasasge of the canal diffi- 
cult, I was obliged to seize it exclusively for Government ser- 
vice. In the meantime, as it seemed certain we could not pro- 
ceed beyond Cincinnati by boat, I ordered a concentration of 
cars at that place and, taking the train again, I reached there 
as the boats began to arrive. The transfer to the cars imme- 
diately commenced, and proceeded at the rate of from three to 
four thousand men per day, notwithstanding the rising of a 
fog in the afternoon, so dense as to prevent for more than 
thirty hours any movement of a large part of the fleet below. 
Two days later the weather moderated so much that I ordered 
boats bearing over six thousand troops to be ready to proceed 
up the Ohio to Parkersburg, and one had departed, when a 
telegram from that place reporting severe weather compelled 
its recall and the trans-shipment of the entire Corps at Cincin- 
nati. From that point to Columbus, Ohio, the railroad facili- 
ties were most satisfactory, but from thence to Wheeling, Va., 
we were confined to the Ohio Central Route, which, being 
bankrupt and in the hands of a receiver, with its track in so un- 
safe a condition as to threaten disaster, gave me greater solici- 
tude than any other part of the route, not excepting the pas- 
sage of the Alleghany Mountains — a solicitude proved to have 
been well founded, as trains of troops were repeatedly thrown 
from the track, this occurring once on a high and dangerous 
bridge. Owing to this condition, I remained on the line, tak- 


ing personal supervision by night and by day of the transfer, 
until the last car reached Wheeling and was safe on its way 
over thb mountains. How great was my relief on reaching 
Washih'gtbn the next day, to find the entire army safely en- 
camped ori the banks of the Potomac, I leave others to judge, 
who have been responsible for the lives of thousands under 
like cifcufnstances, and close this subject with an extract from 
my report to Secretary StaKtoh. 

"The distance transported was nearly fourteen hundred 
miles, about equally divided between land and water. The 
average time of transportation, from' the embarkation on the 
Tennessee to the arrival on the banks of the Potomac, was not 
exceeding eleven days ; and, what is still'more important is the 
fact thatduring-the whole movement not a single accident has 
happened causing loss of life, limb or property, except in the 
single instance of a soldier improperly jumping from a car, 
under apprehension of danger, by which he lost his life, when, 
had he remained quiet, he would have beeii as safe as were 
his comrades in the same car. 

"The transfer of so large an army, -vVith ample" time and 
preparation for so great a distance, even in summer weather, 
would of itself be a marked event; but when it is understood 
that not beyond four or five days had elapsed after the move- 
ment was decided upon in Washington, before the embarka- 
tion of the troops had actually commenced upon' the banks of 
the Tennessee, nearly fourteen hundred miles distant, and that 
within an average time of eleven days from the time of its em- 
barkation, so large an army, with its artillery and animals, was 
quietly encamped upon the banks of the Potomac, and that 
the transfer had been made along rivers obstructed by fog and 
ice, over mountains during violent snowstorms and amid the 
unusual severities of midwinter in a northern climate, with all 
the doubts, constant uncertainties and changes herein men- 
tioned, as to routes and points of transfer, at a period of the 
year, too, when accidents upon railroads, arising from the 
breaking of machinery or rails in ordinary transportation are 
of frequent occurrence, many of a serious and fatal character 


having- occurred during this time on other roads ; and when 
it is known that the comfort of the troops had been so care- 
fully provided for, and the police of the dififerent roads so thor- 
oughly organized that during the whole movement not the 
least injury of person or loss of property occurred, with the 
exception of one soldier above alluded to, and that the condi- 
tion of the troops was in all respects as good for meeting the 
enemies of their country as it was on the day of their departure 
from the banks of the Tennessee — under such circumstances 
am I not justified in characterizing this movement as an event 
remarkable in design and successful in execution, the like of 
which has never before occurred?" 

With this statement and a reference to the "Rebehion 
Records," Vols. 99 and 109,. I leave it to my comrades and 
others to decide whether this "piece of work not so different 
Jrom the turkey business, but on a larger scale," "/^//" to Mr. 
Dana, or to myself to perform ; whether the labor, the anxious 
days and sleepless nights, the responsibility for the lives of so 
many comrades in such constant peril were those of Mr. Dana 
sitting quietly in the War office, or my own, in the discharge 
of my duty under orders ; also, whether if a disaster resulting 
in loss of many lives had occurred he would have met the re- 
sponsibility and faced the censure sure to follow, or left. me in 
that most uncomfortable position. And I submit whether it 
was quite fair for Mr. Dana, at the close of his article, to ap- 
propriate from my report, with slight verbal changes, my sum- 
mary of results accomplished without note or quotation marks. 
' Mr. Dana also writes of routes : "I (he) proposed to move 

the Corps," of "offtcers of railroads requested to meet Col. 
Parsons at different points," of "arrangements made for the 
comfort of .troops by providing hot coffee," etc., etc., the in- 
ference being, 1 think, that the work was done by his personal 
orders. I need only say that the fact . fully appear, so far as 
I am aware, in my reports. 

In daily communication with W^Lshington, .1 was aware 
that the success of the movement was very satisfactory to 
Secretary Stanton, but not to the extent I found it to be on 

—101 - 

going to the War Office to report, as on my entrance Mr. Stan- 
ton greeted me with a cordiaHty quite extraordinay, saying, 
among other things, "Colonel, your success is without a par- 
allel in the movement of armies. I wish you to make a special 
report," which I did, and which may be seen in the ninety- 
ninth volume of the Rebellion Records, but a more detailed 
report being called for, I made one showing not only ''whaV 
was done, but '^how''^ it was done, which was published in the 
same volume. My report attracted attention in Europe as well 
as at home, English and French authorities admitting it to 
surpass, "if not exaggerated," any similar movement of so 
large an army under like circumstances. At my interview 
with the secretary, Mr. Henry J. Raymond, the celebrated edi- 
tor of the New York Times, was present. I had never seen 
him before, or been in the office of the Times, but in the July 
following he wrote an editorial in his paper relative to this, as 
well as to the general management of my department of duty, 
such as could only have been inspired by Secretary Stanton ; 
and from which, under the circumstances, I think I may be 
pardoned for quoting : 

"The enormous capability of the United States for war was 
forcibly set forth at a meeting of the alumni of Yale College 
a few days since, by Gen. Lewis B. Parsons, in the statement 
that since the surrender of Gen. Jo Johnston the War Depart- 
ment has mustered out of the service and sent home over seven 
hundred thousand men. It was added, and the declaration 
was doubtless a surprise to the country,that at the close of hos- 
tilities by the event above named.the Union Army amounted to 
very nearly one million of men. * * * No officer of the United 
States Army could speak with a more correct knowledge than 
did General Parsons of the numbers and efficiency of the arm- 
ies of the Union, for no one perhaps had more experience than 
he in their organization, subsistence and handling. * * * 
We venture the assertion that if Secretary Stanton were called 
on to name the officer that more than any other had distin- 
guished himself in the task of wielding the vast machinery of 
the Union Armies during all the stages of the conflict, in re- 


sponse to the plans and requirements of our generals, he would 
with little hesitation designate Gen. Lewis B. Parsons, of St. 

"When the war broke out. General Parsons, already dis- 
tinguished in the West for railroad management, offered his 
services to the Government, which were accepted, and he was 
appointed an officer in the quartermaster's department. He 
rapidly succeeded in his peculiar field of labor until the entire 
movements of the Union armies in the Mississippi Valley were 
brought within his sphere as chief of the Transportation Bu- 
reau. It is to his matchless combinations that must be at- 
tributed much of the efficiency and success that almost in- 
variably marked every military movement in the West. 

"When the climax of General Grant's Western renown 
was reached in the battles before Chattanooga and he was 
transferred to the command of all the armies, with headquar- 
ters at Washington, he lost no time in bringing General (then 
Colonel) Parsons to Washington to direct from that center the 
machinery of which he had become so completely the master. 
It is not worth while to attempt here any detailed account of 
General Parsons' services at Washington. We will only men- 
tion one instance of his marvelous success. In the depth of 
the past winter it became necessary to transfer Gen. Schofield's 
army corps from Eastport, on the Tennessee River, to the East. 
The order was given to General Parsons, and in less than four- 
teen days the entire corps was encamped on the Potomac, 
having been moved a distance of 1,500 miles without the loss 
of a man, an animal or a gun. The movement occurred amid 
the season of intensest cold, and the necessity of a transship- 
ment from boats on the Ohio River (suddenly blocked with 
ice) to railroads was involved. We happened to know that 
Secretary Stanton pronounced this achievement ^without a 
parallel in the movement of armies. ' ' ' 

In explanation I might add, though obvious to practical 
minds, that three years' experience as chief of transportation 
in the Valley of the Mississippi, my knowledge by personal 
observation of the entire field of operations, my extended ac- 


quaintance not only with army and railroad officials, bui also 
with river men and the means of transportation by land and 
water, acquired in moving hundreds of thousands of soldiers 
on the shortest notice — in bodies of from i,ooo to 40,000 — 
often for long distances, in all seasons of the year and under 
ever- varying conditions, rendered possible the successful 
movement of the Twenty-third Army Corps. 

I publish the above plain statement of facts for two rea- 
sons : First, because Mr. Dana has, perhaps unintentionally, 
done me an injustice which my silence might seem to indorse, 
and, second, because such statement is proper .as a matter of 
history, in which many besides myself, acted a conspicuous 
part, for which credit is in justice their due. 

In conclusion, as so little has been written or is known by 
the general public of some great movements in the far West, 
and the means by which they were made successful, at the risk 
of being tedious I will venture to quote from one of my reports 
;to the. War Department, found in A^ol. 109, page 704, of the 
Rebellion Records, an account of one or two of the expeditions 
above alluded to, one of which was of such importance that I 
was, ordered to accompany it as a member of General Sher- 
man's staff in charge of the transport fleet. 

, On the nth of December, 1862, a telegraphic order from 
General Grant, dated December Qj.near Oxford, Miss., was sent 
to my office in St. Louis by General Robert Allen, supervising 
quartermaster, requiring transportation at Memphis, Tenn., 
by the 18th, or in six days from my, receipt of the order, to 
move General Sherman's army of about 40,000 men, includ- 
ing cavalry, artillery and animal transportation, for the first 
movement on Vicksburg. It being midwinter, and when 
there were but eight boats suitable for the purpose in the har- 
bor of St. Louis, and during a period of great scarcity of fuel, 
it was deemed impossible by General Allen to comply with the 
order, and on the sarne day (January 11) he so telegraphed 
General Grant (see Vol. 17, part 2d, Rebellion Records, page 
399). . But by seizing boats, under telegraphic orders, at vari- 
ous points on the Western rivers, as also all private coal in St. 


Louis, I was able to secure the transportation required, being 
over seventy boats, and had them at the wharf in Memphis, 
four hundred and fifty miles distant from St. Louis, on the 
1 8th, in compliance with the order of General Grant.' Within 
forty hours thereafter the army was embarked, the boats 
fueled, and on the 26th, about five days after leaving Memphis, 
the army disembarked at Chickasaw Bayou on the Yazoo 
.River, five miles in the rear of Vicksbilrg and 400 miles 
from Memphis, and at once moved to the front and ertgaged 
ihe enemy. After two days' gallant, though unsuccessful 
fighting, and the loss of over eighteen hundred men, on the 
orders of General Sherman I prepared eleven of the largest 
boats, by protecting the boilers and machinery with bales of 
hay, to rriove General Steele's command of thirteen thousand 
men for a night attack by the army and navy upon the strong 
fortifications at Haines' Bluff, further up the Yazoo. The or- 
der wa-s executed and the command on board within twelve 
hours after it was given, but owing to a dense fog the attack 
was delayed, and the design becoming known to the enemy it 
became impracticable. The next evening, December 31,' 1862, 
at about four o'clock of one of the shortest days of the y^ar, I 
was directed by General Sherman to embark the whole army 
in the shortest possible time, as it was under orders to leave 
its position three miles inland after dark, march to the river 
and embark without delay. Many of the transports had at 
the time left their positions and were scattered for miles in 
procuring fuel, or were in use for hospital and other purposes, 
yet I again brought them together, arranged them in proper 
order, and the whole army, with all its transportation and sup- 
plies, embarked before eight. o'clock the next morning, with- 
.out the loss of a single animal, gun, or a pound. of stores, 
brought to the shore and left the river free from accident or 
loss of a- single life from the advancing enemy. 

Of the work of such a night no one caii have any proper 
conception who was not on the ground, or is not intimately 
familiar .with similar military movements ; "and I questiofi if a 
like speedy and safe embarkation of so large an army, in the 


face of a victorious enemy, was ever before effected, under 
any commander. 

On reaching the Mississippi, the expedition under Major- 
General McClernand, who there assumed command, moved 
north to the mouth of White River, thence through the "cut- 
off" up the Arkansas, at an extremely low stage of the river, 
and, on the 9th of January, having moved nearly three hun- 
dred miles from the Yazoo, notwithstanding the great diffi- 
culty in procuring fuel, was again disembarked near Arkansas 
Post, and, in connection with the navy, surrounded, attacked 
and carried the enemy's elaborate fortifications at that place, 
captured six thousand prisoners, with all their supplies, de- 
stroyed their works, dispatched the prisoners northward, re- 
embarked within five days from the time of landing, again 
moved southward, and soon after landed opposite Vicksburg 
to commence the celebrated siege of that place. In regard 
to this movement I quote an extract from a letter I received 
from General Sherman as I was about retiring from service : 
"I more especially recall the fact that you collected at Mem- 
phis in December, 1862, boats enough to transport forty thou- 
sand men with full equipment and stores on less than a week's 
notice, and subsequently that you supplied an army of 100,000 
men operating near Vicksburg for six months without men 
or horses being in want for a single day." 

I also give an extract from a letter I received from General 
Grant : 

"Headquarters Armies of the United States, 

Washington, D. C., May 20, 1865. 

Dear General : — I have long contemplated writing you 
and expressing my satisfaction with the manner in which you 
have discharged the very responsible and difficult duties of 
Superintendent of River and Railroad Transportation for the 
armies both in the West and East. 

The position is second in importance to no other con- 
nected with the military service, and to have been appointed to 


it at the beginning of a war of the magnitude and duration of 
this, and holding it to its close, providing transportation for 
whole armies with all that pertains to them for thousands of 
miles, adjusting accounts involving millions of money, doing 
justice to all and never delaying any military operation de- 
pendent upon you, evidences an honesty of purpose, business 
intelligence, and executive ability of the highest order." * * * 

Brig, and Brevet Maj .-General. 

Flora, 111., Nov. i, 1899. 






^Indorsement by one of the Most Important Union Officers: 


Chief of Rail and River Transportation U. S. A. 
during the Civil War. 

Many letters were written to General Underwood by Gen- 
era! Parsons direct, but the following-, transmitting a donation 
to the Monument Fund through Gen. John C. Black, is so full 
of noble sentiments that it is reproduced here for the edifica- 
tion of all who may have the pleasure of reading it. 

Gen. John C. Black : 

My Dear General : — I am glad to see a monument is be- 
ing erected in cosmopolitan Chicago in memory of the Con- 
federate dead, for which I enclose a small contribution. (A 
check for $10.00 is referred to.) Brave men ever respect 
bravery in friend or foe, and all the more when accompanied 
with great sacrifices and suiTering for a cause believed to be 
just, though history may render a different verdict. And, 


surely, rarely have men been more daring, or periled more, or 
suffered more, or given stronger evidence of acting from con- 
viction than did those who wore the gray. Again, as we desire 
a perfectly restored Union — a Union based on hearts, as well 
as on laws, and more than on conquest, every motive of inter- 
est as well as of kindred prompts to fraternal action. 

"To err is human, to forgive is divine." I hope that the 
tim.e is not far distant when on a common commemoration 
day, the blue and the gray may join in placing flowers on the 
graves of their fallen brothers. Does truest loyalty forbid the 
tribute of a flower — aye, of a tear? Does an Englishman in 
reading of the daring deeds of the War of the Roses, pause 
before applauding, to consider on which side they occurred? 

Twin monuments throughout our land will in ages to 
come be but tributes to heroic deeds of men of a common 
origin, brothers of a gallant race ; evidences, too, that from 
conflicts past has arisen a stronger nationality, a higher and 
better civilization, based on what alone can be enduring — 
charity, a common brotherhood, the foundation of an enlight- 
ened Christianity, challenging the respect and admiration of 
mankind. As always, very truly yours, 

lyEwis B. Parsons. 

The above is copied from a volume of proceedings con- 
nected with the erection of monument for Confederate dead in 
Chicago, May 30, 1895.