ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 00859 1734
GENEALOGY OF THE FAMILY
LEWIS B. PARSONS,
PARSONS - HOAR.
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.
LEWIS B. PARSONS.
Flora, Illinois, January 1, 1900.
ENGLISH FAMILY OF PARSONS.
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-
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
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
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-
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
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.
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.
GENEALOGY OF LEWIS B. PARSONS,
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
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-
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.
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.
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.
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
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,
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
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 :
LIEUT. DANIEL HOAR.
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
Here's the last end of mortal story.
He 's Dead.
RECOLLECTIONS OF LEWIS B. PARSONS.
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
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.
RECOLLECTIONS OF LEWIS B. 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
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
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
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.
RECOLLECTIONS OF LEWIS B. PARSONS.
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,
RECOLLECTIONS OF LEWIS B. 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
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
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
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.
EXTRACTS FROM THE WILL OF LEWIS B. PARSONS,
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.)
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-
TRIBUTE BY JOSEPH L. DANIELS
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
IN ST. LOUIS, ON THE 9th OF APRIL, MR. LEVI PARSONS,
AGED 24 YEARS.
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.
St. Louis. ' . .
From the Encyclopedic History of St. Louis.
COL. CHARLES PARSONS,
PRESIDENT OF THE STATE NATIONAI^ BANK 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.
LEWIS GREEN PARSONS.
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.' "
COPY OF THE WILL OF JOSEPH PARSONS,
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
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-
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
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.
And a Seal.
Signed, sealed & delivered in the presence and witnesses
of, Preserved Clapp,
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,
COPY OF THE WILL OF DANIEL PARSONS.
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
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.
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.
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.
J •>. THE
HOAR rAMILY IN AMERICA
ITS ENGLISH ANCESTRY.
BY pe;rmission from a recent publication by the
HON. GEORGE FRISBIE HOAR, OF MASS.
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
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-
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
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
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.")
* CHARLES HOARE AND WIEE MARGERY
OF GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND.
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.
WILIv OF CHARLES HOARE THE ELDER,
OF GLOUCESTER, 1632.
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
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 THE YOUNGER, AND WIFE,
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.
WILL OF CHARIvES HOAR, (JUNIOR)
OF GIvOUCESTER, 1638.
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
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-
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-
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
Jonathan Prescott d. Dec. 5, 1721, his fourth wife sur-
viving him. His second wife, Elizabeth Hoar, d. Sept.
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.
Heres the last end of mortal story.
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
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^-^..^^^^
RAIL AND RIVER
GEN. LEWIS B. PARSONS.
(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.
RAIL AND RIVER
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
The following is an extract from Mr. Dana's book :
^^ MOVING AN ARMY CORPS 1400 MILES/^
"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
"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
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
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
"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." * * *
LEWIS B. PARSONS,
Brig, and Brevet Maj .-General.
Flora, 111., Nov. i, 1899.
PROMINENT PERSONS WHO HAVE COUNTENANCED
MONUMENTING OF DECEASED CONFEDERATES
AS HISTORIC PARTS OF AMERICAN SOI^DIERY.
^Indorsement by one of the Most Important Union Officers:
MAJ. GEN. LEWIS B. PARSONS,
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.