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\^^5*'»-, Lenox and TWen, 









Author of "History of Sudbury, Mass." «* The Annals of Sudbury, 
Wayland and Maynard." " History of the First Congrega- 
tional Church, Ayer, Mass." " Memoirs of Luther 
Blanchard, Fifer of the Acton Minutemcn, 

April 19, 1 77 5-" 

The Erudite Press 

Concord, Massachusetts 






Copyright, 1904, by 
Alfred Sereno Hudson 











The town of Concord is probably as attractive in histori- 
cal features as any in this country. 

Its early connection with the American Revolution ; its 
association with the life and works of Emerson, Haw- 
thorne, Thoreau and other distinguished authors ; and its 
having formerly been the County Seat of old Middlesex 
all contribute to make the place notable. 

It is thronged annually with thousands of visitors, some 
mere sightseers, some seeking inspiration from the shrines 
visited, some to say they have been to Concord. 

The History of Concord written by Lemuel Shattuck 
and published in 1835, '^ ^°^ ^°^ easily obtainable. Only 
a few copies, if any, of the work of Charles H. Walcott, 
Esq., remain unsold ; and the historical sketches of Rev. 
Grindall Reynolds, D. D., and the Hon. John S. Keyes 
were written for the Histories of Middlesex County, 
which are too bulky and expensive for common use. 
Besides these standard works, nothing that we are aware of 
has been pubhshed of the town's consecutive annals, except 
occasional pamphlets and addresses. Because of these 
things we believe an available History may be desirable, 
and by the preparation of these pages we have sought to 
supply it. 

The work is designed to be in two volumes ; the first 
entitled Colonial Concord: the second, Provincial Concord. 

Volume I includes the annals of the town from its origin 
in 1635, untill 1692, at which time the Massachusetts Bay 
Colony became a Province, together with brief biographical 
sketches of the original grantees. 

Volume II. will include the annals from 1692 through the 
Provincial period to the close of the Revolutionary war. 

Volume I is divided into two parts. The first contains 
the story of the settlement setting forth the leading facts 
in the town's history, so far as known, to the year 1655. 

In this portion of the work the writer has employed both 
fact and fiction ; but in such a manner as to enable the 
reader easily to distinguish the one from the other. This 



method has been adopted because many of the early 
records were lost, and it is designed to supply the deficiency, 
as relates to manners and customs, by conjecture based on 
analogy as these were known to exist in other towns at the 
same time. 

The second part is pure history. The facts are mainly 
given in chronological order and to a large extent set forth 
by copies of original records and ancient papers with refer- 
ences to the places where they are found. 

A work on local history to be in the highest degree 
instructive should be more than a mere compilation of 
dates, statistics, and isolated facts, valuable only to anti- 
quaries and genealogists. It should have such a back- 
ground or setting of general history as will give the 
reader an intelligent understanding of the causes and results 
of the local events described. 

For this reason, in instances where an occurrence is promi- 
nently connected with events in the country at large, the 
latter have been sufficiently described to show the relation- 
ship of one to the other. 

No claim is made to great original research. The field 
of Concord history has been too carefully harvested in the 
past, to leave much opportunity for the gleaner to gather 
new sheaves, or to find much rich aftermath. We have 
collected our material from every available source whether 
of records, manuscript, publication or tradition. We have 
avoided dogmatic assertion and have intended to state hypo- 
thetically whatever is doubtful or unsettled. 

Prominent among the writers of local history from 
whom we have quoted are those of Lemuel Shattuck, 
Charles E. Walcott, Esq. Rev. Grindall Reynolds, D. D. 
Hon John S. Keyes, and Albert E. Wood. We have 
also received valuable suggestions from the late Alfred 
Hosmer, and are also indebted to the historian. Rev. G. M. 
Bodge, to the Littleton Historical Society, and others whose 
services have been kindly proffered and gratefully received. 

Preface iii 

That the work is free from errors it would be presump- 
tion to assert. No prudent writer of local history would 
make pretence to this. Neither do any who are charitably 
disposed and have had experience in the difficult work of the 
local annalist presume to judge the work of another from 
the standpoint of perfect accuracy. There are many sub- 
jects which will always be matters of doubt and controversy. 
Evidence considered admissible by some might be rejected 
by others ; and cases may occur when the evidence is consid- 
ered about equal on either side. 

This work has been written from the position of one 
who has great reverence for the religious faith of 
the fathers, and who recognizes in this faith a strong factor 
in whatever of greatness has accrued to us, as a Nation. 
And if bringing out the facts, many of which are too 
little known, shall lead to a higher appreciation of the 
fathers and of the faith that made them what they were, one 
great object of the author will be accomplished. 

A. S. H. 








A Traveler's Visit to an Early Homestead at Concord, Massachu- 
setts. Scene at a Settler's Fireside. Company Expected. Strange 
Sounds and Sights Talked about. Town Meeting Topics Discussed. 
Description of Concord in the Present. Objects of Historic Interest. 
The North Bridge. Houses of the Revolutionary Period. The 
Wright Tavern. First Parish Meeting House. Antiquarian House. 
Meriam's Corner. i 

Places of Classic Interest. The "Old Manse." Home of Ralph Waldo 
Emerson. The "Orchard House." The "Wayside." Walden 
Pond. Thoreau's House. The Home of Frank B. Sanborn. Old 
Burying Grounds. Sleepy Hollow. Natural Objects. 9 

Origin of Settlement. Early Results. Erection of "Corn Mill." 
Meeting House. Parsonage. Resumption of Traveler's Narrative. 
Coming from Watertown. First Conference with the Concord 
Colonists. Visit to the Home of William Hartwell. Indian Mis- 
sion Service at Nashawtuc. 20 


Tahatawan's Wigwam. Supper Served by Squaws. Rev. John Eliot 
Preaching by Candlewood Light. Tribal Relations of the Mus- 
ketequids. Stone Relics and Sites of Indian Villages. Spread of 
Christianity among the Concord Aborigines. Nashoba. Exile of 
Christian Indians to Deer Island. Humane Efforts of John Hoar in 
their Behalf. 27 


Duck Hunting. River Scenery. Beaver Dam. Indian Granary. 
Sweating Pit. Mysterious Sight upon the Meadows. Arrival at 
the Manse. 37 


X Contents 


Informal Talk Preparatory to Town Meeting. The Apparition. Exodus 
of Concord Settlers to Connecticut. Statement of Rev. Cotton 
Mather. Effect of the Exodus on the Laity. The Town Meeting. 45 

Scene by the Wayside. Home of Timothy Wheeler. Evening Talk 
by the Fireplace. Statements of John Scotchford. Cause of the 
Settlement of Concord. 54 

Continued Account of Colonial Child Life. Synopsis of Events the 
First Year at the Musketequid Settlement. Purchase of Territory 
from the Indians. Plan of the Township. Names of the Original 
Grantees. Description of the Journey from Watertown to Concord. 60 

Character of the First Houses. Food, Clothing, Occupation. Prepara- 
tions for Cold Weather. The Setting in of Winter. Trials and 
Amusements. The Coming of Spring. Scenes along the Muskete- 
quid. 69 


Capture of Fish. Breakfast Table of Timothy Wheeler. Morning 
Walk Through the Woods. Visit at the Simon Willard Homestead. 
Historic Sketch of Major Simon WiUard. Description of Colonial 
Farm Houses. 78 


Domestic Products. Reminiscent Effect of Madam WiHard's Dutch 
cheese. Conversation upon Colonial Drinking Customs. Clerk of 
the Writs. Legal Fees. Furnishings of Early Farm Houses; Light- 
ing Appliances. Table Ware, Fireplace Utensils, Room Decora- 
tions. Class Distinctions. 87 

Talk at Nashawtuc. Fire of Candle Wood. Nantatucket. Municipal 
management at Musketequid. Division of Concord into "quarters-" 
Limits and Inhabitants. Committee on Rules regulating Highways 
and Bridges. Location of Homesteads. Early Roads. 96 

Sites of Ancient Highways. Their Reminiscent Character. Vestiges 
of Old Homesteads. Earth Dents. Traces of Old "Tavern Stand" 
Shoemaker's Shop, Laborer's Cottage, The Dame School. 104 

Contents xi 


The Haunted House. Casting of the Yarn Ball. The "Witch Call". 
Adventurous Search for an Apparition. Explanations Relative to 
Houses said to be Haunted. 115 

Bridges. Their Associations. Rules for the Care of Concord Bridges. 
The Historic "Old North Bridge". Its Environment. Graves of 
British Soldiers. The South Bridge. Its Sucessors. Other 
Bridges. 123 


A Sunday with the Settlers. Walk to Church. Description of the 
Meeting House. The Service. Colonial Church Edifices. Quaint 
Accompaniments. Early Ecclesiastical Objects, Customs, Influences. 
Their Value. Succession of Concord Meeting Houses. 130 


Visit to the Home of Goodman George Heywood. Talk with Miller 
William Buss. Ramble about the Mill Pond. Flint's Pond. His- 
tory of the Bulkeley Grist Mill. Succession of Millers. Stroll 
about Concord Center. Description of the Mili Pond. 151 

Description of Village at Concord Center in Early Times. Streets. 
House Lots. Robert Meriam's Store. Street Scene. Tavern. 
Landlord William Buss. Rules and Regulations of Ordinaries. 
Old Time Taverns at Concord. 163 


The New England Village. Its Origin and Equipment. The Village 
Doctor. His Medicines and Charges. Early Physicians of Con- 
cord : Read, Prescott, Minot, Heywood. The Village Magistrate. 
Condition of Colonial Jurisprudence. First Lawyer at Concord. 
History of John Hoar. 175 


Goodman Baker's Husking Party. Colonial Corn Fields. Invitations. 
Culinary Preparations. Red Ears. Social Sports. Fireside Talk 
ot the Old Folks. Sign seen by Betsey Billings. Origin of New 
England Witchcraft. Recital of Strange Event by Simeon Slowgo. 
Story of Tilly Temple. The Surprise. Early Judicial Attitude 
toward Witchcraft. Efforts of the Clergy for its Abolition. 188 

xii Contents 



Return to the East Quarter. Forest Ride. Game Birds. Goodwife 
Hartwell's Kitchen. Cooking by the Fireplace. Evening Talk of 
the Farm Folks. Laws Relative to Domestic Animals. Historic 
Sketch of Hartwell Family. Visit at Horn* of Constable Thomas 
Brooks. His Official Duties. Rules Relative to Colonial Dress. 
Homestead of Goodman William Hunt. Early Military Matters. 
History of the Hunt Family. 200 


Visit at Goodman William Buttrick's. His History. Situation of his 
House. Reflections upon a Prospective Wedding. Historic Sketch 
of Thomas Brooks. Curious Laws and Customs relative to Mar- 
riage. Bachelors, Match Making, Widowers. Wedding Gifts. 
Attendance on "Lecture day" Service. Its Nature and Importance. 
Religious Character of the Colonists. Care of the Poor. Visit at 
the Home of Goodman Richard Rice. 212 

A Wedding at the House of Goodman John Miles. Description of Bride's 
and Bridegroom's Dress. The Marriage Ceremony. Throwing the 
Garter. Situation of the Miles' Homestead. Historic Sketch of 
John Miles. Visit at the home of Thomas Flint Esquire ; His 
Official Duties. As Assistant. As Commissioner. Early Colonial 
Law Books. Primitive Courts and Court Practices. Talk Relative 
to Servants. 222 

Funeral at the House of a Cottager. Absence ©f Floral Tributes and 
Artificial Adornments. Sad and Simple Services. The Burial. The 
Procession to the Grave. Talk with the "Saxton" in the Burying 
Ground. Early Colonial Funeral Customs. The Bearers, Mort 
Cloth, Mourning Gloves, Scarfs and Rings. Grave Stones and 
Epitaphs. Start for the Flint Homestead. Evening Adventure by 
the Way. The Strange Surprise. A Pleasant Discovery. Enter- 
tained by Nantatucket and Tissansquaw. 233 


Arrival at the Flint Farm. Sunday Morning in a Home of Colonial Con- 
cord. Start for Meeting. Gathering of the Worshipers. Neigh- 
borly Inquiries. The Church Service. The Sermon. Singing. 
The Noon Intermission. Catechistical Exercise. Afternoon Service. 
Colonial Church Customs. Sacred Music. Succession of Singing 
Books. "Lining off". Triple Time. "Fuging." Pitch Pipes. 

Contents xlii 


Introduction of Musical Instruments. Talk with Goodman James 
Hosmer. Conversation Relating to the Installation of Rev, Peter 
Bulkeley. Facts of History Concerning this Subject. 245 

Visit at the home of Goodman James Hosmer. Reflections upon the 
Settler's Fireplace. Invitation to Humphrey Barrett's Log Rolling. 
Situation of the Hosmer Farm. Outline of Hosmer History. The 
Old House Site. Scenes at the Log Rolling. Early Forestry. Care 
of Concord's Poor. Process of Clearing New Lands. Facts Rela- 
tive to the Barrett Family. 25? 

Invitation to visit the "Blood Farms." Homestead of a "Borderer" or 
"Outdweller". Pastoral Visitation with Parson Bulkeley and Dea- 
con Griffm. Religious Exercise at the house of Goodman Thomas 
Dakin. Use of Ardent Spirit. Possible Mistakes about Ministerial 
Drinking Habits. Social Standing of the Clergy. Safeguards 
against abusing Clergymen. Installation Dinners. Relation of 
Pastor to his Parish. The Dakin Family. Legend of Hidden Treas- 
ure. 263 

Early Record Relating to the Concord Plantation. Permission to Pur- 
chase Territory. Land Sale. Indian Deed. Depositions Confirma- 
tory of Title to the Township. Original Boundary. Additional 
Land Grants. Petitions to the General Court. 273 

Land Allotments and Divisions. Early Records Relating to Real Estate. 
Public Reservations. Undivided Territory. Location of Land 
Tracts. Amount of Acreage. The grant of Thirty-one Acres to 
Rev. Peter Bulkeley. 282 

Successive Ownership of Land Grants. Historic Sketch of the Major 
Simon WiHard Farm at Nashawtuc. Change of Occupants of Old 
Estates. 292 

Old Houses. The Elisha Jones House. The Block House. Hunt 
House. Abel Hosmer House. Wheeler House. Joseph Hosmer 
House. Woods House. Buttrick House. Barrett House. Old 
Manse. Wright Tavern. The Colonial. The Meriam, Tuttle, 
Fox, Brown, Heywood, Beal, Bull, and Alcott Houses. Ancient 

xiv Contents 

House Sites. Site of tlie Rev. Peter Bulkeley Parsonage. Site of 
the Major Simon Willard House. Deserted Districts and their Sug- 
gestiveness. 300 

Development of the Settlement. Indications of Progress. Various 
Hindrances. Discouraging Report. Unsatisfactory Condition of 
the River Meadows. Measures taken for a Betterment of the 
Meadows. Unproductive Uplands. Emigration to Connecticut. 
The Town's Recuperative Energy. Condition in 1654. 316 

Death of Mr. Thomas Flint and the Rev. Peter Bulkeley. Departure 
from Concord of Major Simon Willard. Walcott's description of 
the Nature and Value of Major Willard's Public Services. Biograph- 
ical Sketches of Thomas Flint Esquire and the Rev. Peter Bulkeley. 321 


Settlement of Rev- Edward Bulkeley. Rev. Joseph Estabrook called as 
Colleague Pastor. Measures taken for their Maintenance. Bio- 
graphical Sketches of Rev. Edward Bulkeley. Peter Bulkeley 
Esquire. Acquisition of New Territory. Stow, Littleton, Carlisle 
and Acton. Iron Industry. 342 


King Philip's War. Activity Preparatory to its Coming. The Part 
taken in the Conflict by Concord. Its Cause. The Havoc. Con- 
dition of the Counry at the Outbreak of Hostilities. The State of 
Society. The Town's Means of Defense. Its Militia, Its Garrison 
Houses. The Foot Company. The Troop of Horse. Means Pro- 
vided for the Relief of Refugees. Miscellaneous Military Matters. 542 

Authentic Account of the Hutchinson Expedition to Brookfield by Cap- 
tain Thomas Wheeler. The Ambuscade. The Attack. The 
Escape. The Siege of the Garrison House. Ephraim Curtis the 
Sudbury Scout. The Rescue by Major Simon Willard. 354 

Devout Nature of the "Narrative" by Captain Thomas Wheeler. 
Religious Character of the Colonial Soldiers. Instances of Alleged 
Divine Interpretation. Original Title of the Wheeler Document. 
Pacific Object of the Hutchinson Expedition. Preparatory Work 
by the Sudbury Scout. Salutary Effect of the Disaster. Biograph- 
ical Sketches of Captain Thomas Wheeler, Simon Davis, and 
Ephraim Curtis. Names of Soldiers Credited for Services about 
Brookfield. 364 

Contents xv 

Removal of the Christian Indians from Nashoba to Concord. Indian 
Mission Work. The Establishment of Christian or Praying Indians 
in Villages or Towns. The Character and Conduct of the Chris- 
tian Indians. Their Fidelity and Service to the English. Rules for 
their Restraint. Humane Act of John Hoar. Circumstances Ex- 
planatory of Harsh Treatment of the Christian Indians by the Col- 
onial Communities. Historic Sketch of Indian Mission Work at 
Nashoba by Herbert Joseph Harwood of Littleton. Disposition of 
the Nashoba Territory. 377 


The Narragansett Campaign. Its Object and Nature. Names of Con- 
cord Soldiers. Company in which th.ey Served. The Officers. 
Return of Order of Concord Committee of Militia. Object of the 
Expedition. The Swamp Fort. The Wintry March from Dedham 
Plain. The Fight. Description by Rev. G. M. Bodge. Casualties 
to the Concord Soldiers. Burial of the Dead. The Return March. 
Comments on Criticism of Conduct of the Campaign. Account 
of Petitions for Land Grants. Concord Names in List of Land 
Claimants. The "Long" or "Hungry "March. Authentic Account 
of the Swamp Fight by Capt. James Oliver. 393 

The Advance of the English to the Nipmuck Country. Movement of 
Canonchet. Indian Depredations in the Spring of 1675-6. Their 
Descent upon Concord Villiage. Isaac and Jacob Shepard slain. 
Mary Shepard made Captive. Place of the Tragedy. Description 
of the Event. The Escape of Mary Shepard. The Removal of the 
Nashoba Indians from Concord. Sketch of Capt. Samuel Mosely. 
His Antecedents. Character of His Soldiers. 409 

Movements of the Indians after the Narragansett Campaign. Expedi- 
tion into the Nipmuck Country. Dismissal of Soldiers from Gar- 
rison Houses. The Disastrous Results. Advance of the Indians to 
the Eastward. The Alarm. The Starting of Relief Companies. 
Soldiers from Boston, Watertown and Concord. Capt. Samuel 
Wadsworth's Command. His Arrival at Marlborough. The 
Return to Sudbury. The Ambuscade. The Wadsworth Fight at 
Green Hill. The Forest Fire. The Rout. Escape to the Mill at 
Hop Brook. Burial of the Slain. The Woodland Grave. Siege of 
the Haynes House. Attempted Rescue by the Concord Men. Am- 
buscade of the Concord Soldiers. The Route Tal:en to Sudbury. 417 

xvi Contents 

The Attack Upon Lancaster. Capture of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. 
Efforts for HA" Release. Heroic Services of Thomas Doublet or 
Nepanet. Humane Work of John Hoar, Esq. The Process of 
Ransom. Extracts from the Book of Removes. Rowlandson Rock. 438 


List of Names of Concord Soldiers in King Philip's War. Miscellaneous 
Services of the Town. Incidental Hardships. The Loss of Men. 
Biographical Sketches of the Killed and Wounded. 452 

Historical Sketches of Major Simon Willard, Lieut. Edward Oakes, 
Lieut. Simon Davis, Capt. Thomas Brattle. 463 

Changed Condition of the Colony at the Close of King Philip's War 
Process of Recuperation. Erection of a New Meeting House. 
Evangelical Character of the Concord Church. Progress in 
Educational Affairs. Early Circulating Library. Donation of 
Land by Capt. Timothy Wheeler. Real Estate Transactions. 
Adjustment of Riparian Rights of the Bulkeley Mill Privilege. 
Settlement of the Controversy Concerning the Blood Farms. His- 
torical Sketch of the Blood Family- Indian Deeds in Confirmation 
of Old Titles. 475 



The Battle Monument 

The Battle Ground 

The Virginia Road 

Old Map 

Fireplace in the Meriam House Kitchen 

Graves of British Soldiers 

The Old Manse 

South Bridge 

Residence of Frank B. Sanborn 

Emerson's Grave 

Hawthorne's Grave 

The Public Library 

Main Street, Opposite Public Library 

The Old Burying Ground 

The Concord River, From Nashawtuc Hill 

Egg Rock 

Tablet Marking The Site of The Peter Bulkley Parsonage 

Tablet Marking Site of Concord's First Town House 

Meriam' s Corner 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, portrait 

The Home of Ralph Waldo Emerson 

The Library of Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Tablet of First Parish Meeting House 

Centennial North Bridge 

The Old Malboro Road 

Birthplace of Henry D. Thorcau 

The North Bridge 

First Parish Meeting House, 171 2 

Doolittle Picture of Concord Fight 

Residence of Mr. Woodward Hudson 

Henry D. Thoreau, portrait 

The Thoreau House 




























Home of Henry D. Thoreau at Walden Pond 

Thoreau's Cove at Walden Pond 

Grave of Henry D. Thoreau 

The Grave of John Jack 

Nathaniel Hawthorne, portrait 

The Wayside, Home of Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Frank B. Sanborn, portrait 

First Parish Meeting House 

Provincial Store House 

The Antiquarian House 

The Elisha Jones House 

A. Bronzon Alcott, portrait 

Louisa May Alcott, portrait 

Hillside Chapel 

Grave of Louisa Alcott 

The Orchard House, Home of the Alcott Family 

The Block House 

The Old Barrett House 

Main Street Burying Ground 

Doolittle Picture, A View of the Town of Concord 1775 

The Wright Tavern 

Old Middlesex Hotel 

Concord High School 

Tablet, Egg Rock 

Tablet on Battle Lawn 

Concord High School, 1865 

The Old North Primary School House 

Site of Willard House 

Concord Square, 1903 

Concord Square, i 840 




















The South part of New-England, as it is 
Planted this y eare, 1 6 g4. 














A traveler s visit to an early homestead at Concord^ 
Massachusetts — Scene at a Settler s fireside — Com- 
pany expected — Strange sounds and sights talked 
about — 'Town Meeting topics discussed — Descrip- 
tion of Concord in the present — Objects of Historic 
Interest — The North Bridge — Houses of the 
Revolutionary Period — The Wright Tavern — 
First Parish Meeting House — The Antiquarian 
House — Meriam s Corner. 

THE fire flickered and the sparks flew up the broad 
chimney, as a traveler sat on a fall evening before 
the half burnt backlog, in Goodman Hartwell's 
snug farm-house in Concord town about two 
centuries and a half ago. 

It was evident from the appearance of things that com- 
pany was expected, for besides the usual oaken settle and 
chairs there were standing about sundry stools and a long, 
low bench. Presently a sound was heard at the door as if 
some one were fumbling for the latchstring, and as it 
opened several neighbors entered and also Goodmen But- 
trick and Heald from the North quarter and Miles and 
Dakin from the South. A little later, Parson Peter Bulke- 
ley arrived with the Gobble boys who had come from dov/n 
by the river bay in an oxcart, and having overtaken the 
minister had brought him along. 

While waiting for others to come, various subjects were 
talked about, among which were some strange noises which 

2 Colonial 

Goody Dean said she "heerd near the buryin ground." 
Some said they were made by an earthqviake, others sug- 
gested a landslide, but these explanations did not satisfy 
Duty, who declared that "the sounds ware above the airth, 
not under it nor inside it. Besides," said she, "the milk has 
soured twice sence I heerd them so I think the cows heerd 
them too fur they feed there." 

The matter being referred to the minister he said, after 
a moment's reflection, "Such things being unusual contain 
a lesson and should lead us to be circumspect and careful in 
our conduct." He was about to say more, but was inter- 
rupted by a faint rap at the back door which was at the end 
of a low entry under the lean-to roof. 

Goodman Hartwell snatched from the mantlepiece a 
save-all on which a short candle stub sputtered, and going 
out soon returned with Goody Rice who had come across 
lots for an evening call. The newcomer created a fresh 
breeze of excitement for she confirmed what Duty had said 
of the queer noises, and also told about a strange creature 
which had several times been seen near the "great mead- 
ows," sometimes looking like a man and sometimes like a 
goat, but always vanishing when approached. 

It was at once agreed that since the strange sight and 
sounds were at about the same time they might have the 
same cause, and as the matter was a serious one it was thought 
wise before considering it further to wait till others came in, 
"For," said Ensign Hosmer who had just entered, "there's 
some up our way who've heerd things, and I consait seen 
things too, and perhaps the creature is the 'specter wolf 
folks have talked of." 

The further time of waiting was mostly occupied in talk- 
ing over the condition of Dame Smeadley, who, Goodman 
Farwell who had just visited her said, was "low and languish- 
ing and much in need of the physic and paynes of the 

When a sufficient number had come in to begin busi- 
ness all other subjects were soon dropped and the business 

Concord 3 

of the evening was entered upon, which consisted of an 
informal talk about things that were to be considered at a 
coming town meeting, among which were matters connected 
with the cow commons, "the seating of the meeting house," 
and the making of some new rules relative to strangers, it 
having been noised about that one or two of these might 
become the town charge. 

As each new comer entered he was introduced to the 
traveller, and when it was understood that he had journeyed 
all the way from Watertown to observe the customs, man- 
ners, and ways of doing things of the people at the Mus- 
kctcquid plantation, great interest was at once taken in him 
and a disposition was manifested to aid him in every way 

Among other marks of cordiality was the promptness 
with which they invited him to their "housen," offering the 
freedom and hospitality of their firesides and promising if 
he would set a time they woul :• come for him. 

The traveller appeared pleased, and afterwards in accept- 
ing their invitations, sat at many hearthstones listening to 
the sparks and gathering much of colonial lore and pioneer 
experience of the settlers of Concord. 

Before narrating, however, what he heard and saw, we 
will speak of Concord as it is, and briefly outline its earlier 

Concord, Massachusetts, is in Middlesex County about 
twenty miles from Boston. It has a territorial area of 
about fifteen miles and a population of between five and 
six thousand. It is intersected from north to south by the 
New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad and from 
cast to west by the Fitchburg division of the Boston and 
Maine. The Lexington branch of the latter road enters the 
town from the east, terminating at Concord Junction near 
the Massachusetts Reformatory. The trolley cars, also 
have found their way here, and rumble over the old roads 
and past ancient homesteads ; and where once the farm boy 
drove his herd afield amid the quietness of nature, may 

4 Colonial 

now be seen strange vehicles, whose whizzing and whirring 
show plainly that Concord is not exempt from modern 

The Center or central village of Concord has a popula- 
tion of from two to three thousand and contains approxi- 
mately five hundred private residences. It has no stores 
or shops beyond what are locally required ; and more or 
less of its inhabitants are those who in retirement have 
sought here a restful retreat, or who, while doing busi- 
ness elsewhere, have made this their home. 

About midway of the central village is a small common 
or public square. In this square is a monument commemo- 
rative of the town's soldiers and sailors who died in the 
civil war. 

Near the corner of the Common to the easterly where 
the road turns towards the Battle Ground is the old 
County Court House where the District Court for central 
Middlesex holds its sessions. 

Southerly of the Court House is the Town House and 
on the opposite side to the westward is the old Registry 
of Deeds building used for county purposes when Con- 
cord was a shire town. 

To the northerly of the square is "The Colonial," a 
building associated with the Revolutionary war and the 
family of Henry Thoreau. 

The places of interest in Concord are both historic and 
classic. Foremost among the former is the site of the old 
North Bridge about a half mile from the public square. By 
this spot several Provincial and British soldiers were killed 
April 19, 1775. The slain Americans were Capt. Isaac 
Davis and Abner Hosmer of the Acton Minute Men and 
the Statue of the Minute Man designed by Daniel C. 
French a Concord sculptor marks the spot on or near where 
they fell. 

The English soldiers slain were two in number. They 
were under the immediate command of Lieut. Edward 
Thornton Gould and were of a detachment of three com- 
panies under the command of Capt. Lawrie. 

Concord 5 

The spot where these soldiers fell and the British stood 
when they began firing upon the Provincials just over the 
river is designated by a stone monument erected by the 
town in 1836. Near this monument by the sidewalk pro- 
tected in part by a stonewall and in part by a simple chain 
fence are the graves of the two fallen Britons. 

The locality of these monuments is called the "Battle 
Ground." The original historic bridge was long since swept 
away by a river flood, and the present one was erected 
for a memorial purpose. 

A short distance from the lane leading to the bridge on 
the roa.i toward Concord centre is the old Jones house 
built in 1654, now the residence of John S. Keyes, Justice 
of the Central Middlesex District Court. In this house 
there lived at the time of the Concord fight Elisha Jones, 
an ardent patriot whose zeal was so demonstrative on the 
retreat of the British that his house was made a target of, 
and the accuracy of the Englishman's aim may still be seen 
by a bullet mark in the east end. 

About a mile from the North Bridge stands the old 
Barrett house, the home in the Revolutionary period of 
Col. James Barrett who commanded a regiment of Middle- 
sex militia. 

To this place a detachment of Regulars were sent under 
Capt. Lawrence Parsons by Lieut.-Col. Smith, who with 
the main body of English soldiers were stationed at the 
central village. In the door yard of this house the Britons 
burned a parcel of Provincial cannon carriages and endeav- 
ored to discover and destroy other public property. 

Various incidents are told of the doings of the Red 
Coats during their short stay about the house, and of the 
Provincials who sought to foil them. It is said of the 
aged mother of the Colonel that she would not seek for 
herself a place of safety when told that the British were 
coming, but prefered to remain saying, "I can't live long any 

6 Colonial 

way and I'd rather stay and see that they don't burn down 
the house and barn." 

As a soldier seized a trunk containing some pewter plates 
she pluckily exclaimed, "That is private property," upon 
which it was let alone. She also expostulated with a Brit- 
ish officer who had laid hold of Stephen, her grandson, 
causing his release. When the hungry Britons asked for 
food she gave it saying, "We are commanded in the Bible 
to feed our enemies," and when offered money she said as 
she refused it, ''It is the price of blood." In a field near 
the premises the provincials had concealed some muskets, 
and bullets were so disposed of in the house as to remain 
undiscovered, so that, all in all, Captain Parsons with his 
two companies of Regulars found but small compensation 
for his venturesome march. The Old Barrett house is 
about two miles north of Concord Center and is reached 
by the Lowell Road and the Barrett's Mill Road. 

Near the Common or Public Square, and bearing a sign 
designating its historic importance is the "Wright Tavern" 
where it is asserted some of the English officers made their 
headquarters during their few hours sojourn in the town on 
April 19. Here, tradition says, Maj. John Pitcairn who 
commanded the British marines stirred his sugar and 
brandy saying as he did so, "In this way we will stir the 
blood of Yankees before night." This place was also 
the headquarters, or place of rendezvous, of the Concord 
Minute Men while awaiting on the morning of April 19, 
tidings of the advance of the English, and to this tavern 
Captain Smith and his company from Lincoln repaired and 
reported ; so that it was within the course of a few hours 
the head centre of two hostile forces who were to clash in 
battle on that fateful day. This tavern is very old. It was 
opened about 1747, by a militia captain named Ephraim 
Jones. In 1751, Jones sold the premises to Thomas 
Munroe formerly of Lexington, who continued the tavern 
business, and made the place, as Jones had done before him, 
a resort for the town officials on their days of public 

Concord "j 

business, furnishing them with such refreshments as were 
demanded by the times and the special occasions. 

About 1760, it came into the possession of Deacon 
Thomas Barrett, by a mortgage and was sold by him to 
Daniel Taylor. In 1775, Amos Wright became its 
proprietor, and although he kept an Inn there but a short 
period, it was long enough to give it a lasting name, for 
it has been known as the Wright Tavern ever since, not- 
withstanding it was sold in 1793, to Capt. Reuben Brown 
formerly of Sudbury. 

Near the Wright Tavern on the south is the First Parish 
or Unitarian Meeting House, which stands on the site of 
one erected in 1712, where in 1774, the first Provincial 
Congress met, with John Hancock as President. The 
immediate predecessor of the present edifice after having 
been repeatedly remodeled was destroyed by fire April 12, 

A few rods to the southerly, on the left going toward 
Lexington is the Antiquarian House, said to be one of the 
oldest buildings in Concord and formerly the home of 
Reuben Brown, a saddler. Here is now kept a collection 
of relics among which is the sword of Col. James Bar- 
rett, a gun of one of the English soldiers who fell at the 
North Bridge and a tobacco box of Maj. John Buttrick. 

About a mile below the Antiquarian House on the 
Lexington road which was traveled by the English soldiers 
both in their advance and their retreat on April 19, is Mer- 
iam's Corner. Here was the first skirmish after the firing 
at the North Bridge, and the beginning of disaster to the 
retreating English, they having been attacked at this point 
by the Provincials who had crossed from the North Bridge 
over the "Great Fields" back of the Burying Ground, and 
also by companies from Reading, Chelmsford and Billerica. 

A tablet suitably inscribed marks the spot of this mem- 
orable skirmish, and hard by, set back from the highway 
with its side upon the road to Bedford is the square anti- 
quated dwelling house early occupied by the Meriams. 

8 Colonial 

On one of its doors is the mark of a bullet received April 
19th; and the brick oven and high mantle cupboard and 
corner beaufet are all indicative of the days of tallow 
candles and pewter plates. 

On the east side of what is now Walden street at a place 
near the Congregational Trinitarian meeting house there 
stood on April 19, 1775, a store house in which some 
Provincial stores had been deposited by the Committee of 
Safety. These stores were saved from destruction by the 
English searching squad, by a ruse of the miller who had 
them in charge, who, placing his hands upon barrels of his 
own flour, said, "This is my flour. In the winter I grind 
my grain and in the spring I carry it to market." 

The soldiers believing by this remark concerning his 
own flour that all the flour deposited there belonged to the 
miller departed saying, "We do not destroy private pro- 



Places of Classic Interest — The '■'■Old Manse" — 
Home of Ralph Waldo Emerson — The ^'Orchard 
House'' — The '■'Wayside'' — Walden Pond — Tho- 
reau's House — T'he Home of Frank B. Sanborn — 
Old Burying Grounds — Sleepy Hollow — Natural 

THE places of classic interest in Concord are many 
and rare, for associated with its history both 
ancient and modern are men and women of world 
renown. Authors, poets, philosophers and jurists 
have contributed to the town's literary fame. The homes 
they once lived in are visited as shrines ; and the paths 
once trodden by them are annually pressed by the foot- 
steps of many who seek new inspiration by visiting the 
locaHties where these great men lived. 

Probably the place of greatest interest is the "Old 
Manse." It is on the way to the "Battle Ground" and from 
its windows Rev. William Emerson witnessed the Concord 
Fight. Beneath its gray gables have lived a succession of 
the town's ministers ; but what above every thing else makes 
it distinguished is that it was for a time the home of Ralph 
Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Here the 
former wrote parts of his "Nature" and the latter "Mosses 
from an old Manse." It is about a half mile from Con- 
cord village standing back from the road amid a profu- 
sion of trees and shubbery and has an air of antiquity and 
colonial comfort: The house was built for Rev. William 
Emerson in 1765. 

The field between the "Old Manse" and the "Battle 
Ground" is supposed, on account of the many relics found 
there, to be the site of an Indian village. 


1 o Colonial 

Probably the object next in interest to the public is the 
house of Ralph Waldo Emerson. This like the birth- 
place of the bard of Avon is a place very dear to tourists. 
It is situated on the highway to Lexington and is easily 
distinguished by a cluster of pine trees which environ it. 
The house is of the colonial style of architecture, and of 
such pleasing proportions that it would be attractive to the 
passerby even were it not the home of the great essayist. 
It is now occupied by Miss Ellen Emerson, a daughter, 
and remains largely in its general outlook as when left by 
its former illustrious occupant. 

The study which was on the first floor in one of the 
front rooms remains as when the great philosopher was 
alive, and the walks, the garden nooks, the home trees and 
such other objects as time, if let alone by man, leaves for 
years unchanged, are here much as in days of yore when 
Channing, Alcott, Hawthorne and Thoreau strolled among 

Seldom, perhaps, in our land or in any land has a home 
been visited by more distinguished guests. From near and 
from far, from countries beyond the seas men have come to 
this spot and gone away bearing with them as an ample 
compensation the thought that they had visited the home 
of Emerson, walked in his footsteps, sat amid his trees 
and vines and heard the singing of birds and the hum- 
ming of bees as he had heard them. 

A quarter of a mile or more to the east on the left of 
the road is the "Orchard House". Here Bronson Alcott 
and his famous family lived ; and here Louisa Alcott found 
material for "Little Women" and "Little Men" and several 
other of her notable books. In this house, Mr. Alcott 
founded the Concord School of Philosophy which was 
afterwards carried on in the small building at the rear. 

Beyond the "Orchard House" is the "Wayside," another 
home of the Alcotts. It was sold by them in 1852 to 
Nathaniel Hawthorne who lived in it till his death, thus 
giving it double renown. The "tower room" at the rear 

Concord 1 1 

was Hawthorne's study, and there he wrote "Tanglewood 
Tales" and "Our Old Home". 

It is stated that the larches between the "Orchard 
House" and the "Wayside" were brought by Mr. Haw- 
thorne from England. The place is now the residence of 
Mrs. Daniel Lothrop, who as Margaret Sidney wrote 
"Little Maid of Concord Town" and other books. 

To the south of Concord center, distant a mile and a 
half over the fields and meadows toward the town of Lin- 
coln is Walden Pond, made famous by the author, poet, 
and naturalist, Henry Thoreau. The pond is about a 
mile long and three miles in circumference. It is almost 
entirely surrounded by woods and has no visible inlet or 
outlet. Its waters are said to rise and fall but through 
what cause no one knows, for it is sometimes higher in dry 
than in wet seasons. Upon the northerly side of this pond 
Thoreau built a house which served him for a home for 
two years and two months. He moved into it in 1845, 
and it cost him, apart from the frame work, twenty-eight 
dollars and twelve and one half cents. The boarding was 
of material obtained from the house of a laborer. The 
frame was of timber cut and hewn by himself with a bor- 
rowed axe. 

The building which was ten feet wide and fifteen feet 
long stood upon slightly rising ground about twenty rods 
from a small cove. It had a garret, a closet, a large win- 
dow on each side, a door at the end and a brick fireplace. 

The land upon which it was situated was owned by 
Ralph Waldo Emerson who charged his tenant no rent. 
The site of the house is marked by a simple cairn made of 
stones placed there by tourists. 

Not far from Thoreau's house was his bean field, where 
he raised one year "nine bushels and twelve quarts of 
beans" which he says he sold at a "pecuniary profit of 
eight dollars seventy-one and one half cents." 

As is the case with many forest lakes, Walden has its 
legend and as usual it relates to the Indians, who, as the 

1 2 Colonial 

story runs had displeased the Great Spirit by their profan- 
ity at a powwow, whereupon in place of a pleasant hill came 
a pond which took its name Walden from an old squaw 
who was the only survivor. 

About this pond there lived several emancipated slaves 
left over from that period of New England history when 
the rum habit and human servitude were not considered 
inconsistent with a high standard of morality. Of these 
Thorcau mentioned Cato Ingraham who lived east of his 
"bean field, slave of Duncan Ingraham, Esq., Gentleman 
of Concord village ; " and Zilpha, a colored woman who 
had a little house "where she spun linen for the towns-folk, 
making the Walden woods ring with her shrill singing." 

He also states, that on Brister's Hill down the road on 
the right lived Brister Freeman a "handy negro" slave of 
Squire Cummings and "Fenda his hospitable wife who told 

Other habitants of the pond precinct mentioned in Tho- 
rcau's writings are one Breed whose hut he says was about 
the size of his own ; and an Irishman, Hugh Quoil, whom 
rumor said had been a soldier at Waterloo, "Napoleon" as 
the writer continues, "going to St. Helena and Quoil to 
Walden woods." 

Apart from its association with Henry Thoreau, Wal- 
den pond has attractions peculiarly its own. The waters 
are at times remarkably transparent partaking of the 
changeful sky tints, reflecting from the calm, clear depths 
the rich foliage upon its banks. In some places the adjacent 
ground slopes gradually forming a miniature beach where 
the bathers can walk out several feet, while in others it falls 
rapidly with a sharp, steep descent and the trees standing 
gracefully beside it give a very pleasing effect, so that all 
in all the variety of shore line affords the beholder very 
much the aspect of the famous Lake George in New York. 
Walden pond may be reached from the Fitchburg R. R. 
station by a short walk down the track ; or by carriage road 




Astor, Lenny and TKden 





down Thoreau street ; or it may be reached from Monu- 
ment Square by way of Main and Walden streets. 

Among other locaHties especially associated with Henry 
Thoreau is the "landing place," a spot by the river near 
the South bridge, where he embarked on his trip for "A 
Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers," and to 
which repeated reference is made by him. 

The birthplace of Thoreau is on the Virginia road, a 
somewhat disused way, opening from the Bedford road, and 
the house where he died is the third on the left before reach- 
ing the corner of Thoreau street as one goes up Main 
street. At the time of Thoreau s death the house was 
occupied by his family and afterward by Bronson Alcott 
and his daughter Louisa. 

Just east of the South bridge with stone arches, on Elm 
street, is the home of Frank B. Sanborn, a well known 
journalist and the biographer of Alcott, Thoreau, Channing, 
and John Brown. The house was for a time the home of 
William EUery Channing, and to it men of letters have oft 
times repaired for literary and social converse. 

Its distinguished owner and occupant became conspicuous 
in ante beltum days, by an attempt to kidnap him on an 
alleged order of the President of the United States Senate 
for contempt in not appearing before that body to be 
examined in the interest of the southern slave power. The 
scheme so far succeeded as to result in the capture of Mr. 
Sanborn under pretence of a lawful arrest, but was soon 
foiled by the persistence and pluck of Mrs. Sanborn and 
the granting of a writ of habeas corpus by Judge E. Rock- 
wood Hoar, then of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial 

Mr. Sanborn was a friend of John Brown of Harper's 
Ferry renown, and through his influence the latter made a 
visit to Concord and lifted up his voice in behalf of freedom 
for the slave. 

Next to the places made prominent by the Revolution 

14 Colonial ! 

and the objects and localities made famous by its distin- 
guished men are its burying grounds. These places are of 
more than usual interest and few tourists leave the town 
without visiting them. 

The one on the hill is supposed to be the oldest. Its 
exact age is not known but presumably it began as a church 
yard, for on a spot in the midst of it is supposed to have 
been built in 1635 or 1626 a little log meeting house; and 
it is altogether probable, as we shall subsequently state, that 
nearby contemporaneous with the erection of this first meet- 
ing house was the laying out of land, according to the old 
English custom for a place of burial. But be this as it may, 
the ground dates from about the beginning of the settle- 
ment and since then representatives of many generations 
have been buried there. 

This yard contains fourteen or fifteen of the oldest grave- 
stones in Concord, and more than two thirds of all the 
monuments and other grave markers bearing names of the 
original inhabitants of the town, arc in this enclosure. 

Upon these ancient tablets are the familiar names of 
Hosmer, Hartwell, Buttrick, Fletcher, Flint, BJood ; also 
of Heald, Brooks, Wheate, Stow, Heywood, Temple, 
Taylor, Chandler, Clark, Minott and Melvin, — family 
names which, it will be observed as we pursue our narra- 
tive, are of men who were prominent in shaping the town's 
history. Besides the names, inscriptions and epitaphs in 
this yard have added to its interest. Conspicuous among 
them is one on the gravestone of the negro John Jack 
once a slave which is supposed to have been written by 
Daniel Bliss. 

God wills us free ; man wills us slaves. 
I will as God wills ; God's will be done. 

Here lies the body of 


A native of Africa who died 
March 1773, aged about 60 years. 

Concord 1 5 

Tho' born in a land of slavery. 

He was born free. 

Tho' he lived in a land of liberty. 

He lived a slave, 

Till by his honest, tho' stolen, labors. 

He acquired the source of slavery. 

Which gave him his freedom ; 

Tho' not long before 

Death, the grand tyrant. 

Gave him his final emancipation. 

And set him on a footing with kings. 

Tho' a slave to vice. 

He practised those virtues 

Without which kings are but slaves. 

Upon the summit of the hill withm an altar tomb are 
the remains of Rev. Daniel Bliss, at one time Pastor of the 
Concord church. Near by is a tablet to the memory of 
the Rev. William Emerson. By the Catholic church, 
near Main and Bedford streets is a row of tombs in one of 
which repose the remains of the Rev. Ezra Ripley. 

Space forbids a further notice of the names and exact 
place of sepulture of the honored dead. It is enough to 
say that the place is teeming with sacred associations of 
both the near and remote past ; and as one looks up to it 
from the busy highway beneath, he may well feel it is a 
place unusual even in a town of exceptional interest. 

The burying ground supposed to be second in age is on 
Main street a short distance west of the Bank, Tradition 
says that the land was given to the town for burial purposes 
by two maiden ladies. When it was opened for this pur- 
pose is not known ; but it is designated in the records as 
existing as a burying ground as early as 1673. 

The earliest stone is that of Thomas Hawthorne, who 
died November 17, 1697, and the next date found there is 
1 713. There are but few monuments and the stones are 
mostly slate. Prominent names on these stones are Hay- 
ward, Buss, Barrett, Miles, Potter, Stratton, Dakin, Jones, 
Davis, Prescott, Hubbard and Conant. 

1 6 Colonial 

Just east of this yard is the site of one of the town's old 
garrison houses. 

"Sleepy Hollow" the latest cemetery in Concord is situ- 
ated on the outskirts of the central village to the eastward, 
and a few minutes walk from the public square. The land 
was bought of the heirs of Reuben Brown in 1855. At its 
dedication the oration was delivered by Ralph Waldo 
Emerson, and an ode was sung which was written by Frank 
B. Sanborn. 

The natural conformation is admirably suited for the 
purpose of a cemetery, and the locality was called Sleepy 
Hollow long before it was used as a place of burial. The 
first interment was in 1855. Here by the Ridge Path is 
the grave of Hawthorne marked by a simple stone bear- 
ing only his name. Just behind it is that of Thoreau, at 
the head of which is a common red stone, and near this is 
the grave of Emerson marked by a large piece of rock. 
In 1869 the town obtained a strip of land which united the 
New Hill burying ground with Sleepy Hollow. 

The most notable natural object in Concord is the river. 
It takes its rise in Hopkinton and Westboro, and empties 
into the Merrimac at Lowell. Its original name is Mus- 
ketequid, signifying in the Indian language grassy ground. 
It is about two hundred feet wide where it enters the town 
and three hundred where it leaves it. Its current is so slow 
as sometimes to be scarcely perceptible. 

Its meadows are broad and in places extend to woody 
uplands, fertile fields and pleasant secluded nooks, where 
grow the cranberry vine and the wild grape. 

There are places of interest along the banks of this river 
in other towns as well as Concord ; a few miles south- 
westerly in the town of Wayland is the Old Town Bridge 
of Sudbury over which the Indians under King Philip were 
driven in 1676. Near by stands the late home of Lydia 
Maria Child, noted author and abolitionist. And on a 
tributary of this stream in the adjoining town of Sudbury 
stands the "Wayside Inn" made famous by Longfellow. 



NEW vi" 

Astor, tenns f^n-i Tikien^ 

Concord 1 7 

Other of the prominent natural features of Concord are 
three hills, Nashawtuc, Annusnuc and Punkatassett. 
These names are all of Indian origin. Nashawtuc is just 
west of the river, near the South bridge. At or near the 
foot of this hill was the wigwam of Tahattawan, and the 
squaw Sachem, two of the aboriginal owners of the Con- 
cord territory. At the southwesterly was the homestead 
of Major Simon Willard, the site of which is marked by a 

Annusnuc is at Concord Junction near the Massachu- 
setts Reformatory. About this hill in the early days of 
the settlement was the "Hog-pen walk" a tract of land set 
apart by the original grantees for the pasture of swine. 

On the plain land stretching to the southwesterly 
was held the famous State Muster by order of Gov. 
Nathaniel P. Banks, where in 1858 were encamped all 
the volunteer militia of Massachusetts. 

Punkatasett is in the northeast part of Concord, about a 
mile from the North Bridge. It is conspicuous in Concord 
history as being the point of observation for the "embattled 
farmers" as they awaited events on the morning of April 
19, 1775. Upon and about these hills there is a good out- 
look from which a large portion of the town can be seen 
and more or less of the winding river courses may be traced. 

Fairhaven hill in the southwest part of the town over- 
looks Fairhaven pond, a tract of water or bay in Concord 
river having an area of about seventy-three acres. 

Brister's hill is beyond Walden pond near Lincoln. 
These latter places are frequently referred to in the works 
of Henry Thoreau. 

Among the highlands which hardly attain hill propor- 
tions is the "Ridge" which skirts Concord center toward 
the east and south. This locality is of much historic inter- 
est as along the base of it was the "little strate strete" 
now a part of Lexington road along which the earliest 
house lots were laid out. 

Upon the uplands to the rear were some of the first corn 

1 8 Colonial 

lands of the settlers, and from the more prominent points 
of this natural observatory they could look off upon their 
meadow lands which in those first years were the main 
means of sustenance for their live stock. 

The Public Library building is of recent date being 
erected in 1873. ^^ ^^ situated at the junction of Sudbury 
road and Main street and stands upon or near, the spot 
where one of the town's old time taverns early stood. 
This Library is of especial interest because of what it con- 
tains of Concord authorship, having, besides the books that 
were written by Concord men and women, a valuable col- 
lection of the manuscripts from which the books were pro- 
duced. There are also deposited here relics, pictures and 
pieces of sculpture relating to or made by Concord people. 
The Library is but a short walk from the public square and 
on the way to the Fitchburg Railroad station. 

On the right hand side of Main street going westward 
and nearly opposite the Public Library is the house formerly 
occupied by the late Hon. Samuel Hoar. Here were born 
Hon. E. Rockwood Hoar, formerly a Judge of the Mas- 
sachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Attorney General 
in the Cabinet of President Grant, and Hon. George F. 
Hoar, United States Senator. 

The portion of Main street from a point a little to the 
east of this place is of comparatively modern construction, 
the old road passing a little to the north of the present one, 
leaving the burying ground to the south of it. 

The short strip of Main street between the Public 
Square and the beginning of Walden street was formerly in 
part the Mill Dam, and was not used as a regularly laid 
out highway until almost within the memory of people now 

The site of the first "Corn Mill" in Concord was here, at 
a spot just east of the Old Bank building. 

The pond which furnished the mill power extended from 
the dam southward. 

The Trinitarian Church is upon, or near the site of 




Concord 1 9 

Concord's first store which was kept by Robert Meriam, 
who had over a score of acres of land granted him in that 

The three-story dwelling house on the same side of 
Walden street, and next but one north of it, was long 
the only three-story house in Concord. It was built and 
owned by Duncan Ingraham, a wealthy merchant and 
father of Captain Ingraham of the United States Navy, 
who cleared the decks of his warship for action in the 
harbor of Smyrna, Turkey, in behalf of the Hungarian 
refugee, Martin Koszta, remarking, "Blood is thicker than 

On the corner southwest of the Public Square, at the 
beginning of Main street was the Old Middlesex Hotel, 
where in the days when County Courts were held at Con- 
cord, many noted jurists were entertained. 

Such is Concord in the present ; and the foregoing are 
some of the objects and places much visited by the tourists, 
who on gala occasions and throughout the milder seasons 
throng into the town sight seeing, gathering souvenirs and 
pensively pondering upon the past. 


Origin of Settlement — Early Results — Erection 
of ''''Corn Miir — Meeting House — Parsonage — 
Resumption of Traveler s Narative — Coming 
from Water town — First Conference with the Con- 
cord Colonists — Visit to the Home of William 
Hartwell — Indian Mission Service at Nashawtuc 

THE earliest mention of this region was probably 
made by William Wood, in a book entitled "New 
England Prospects", a work supposed to be based 
upon his personal observation about 1633. An 
early description is also given by Johnson, in his "Wonder 
Working Providence of Sion's Saviour in New England," 
published in 1654, in which the writer sets forth the 
Concord plantation as a place where the pioneers found 
hard fare, and built their huts by leaning the rough logs 
against the hillside, which served the double purpose of a 
support and a chimney back. 

The breaking of ground upon this plat for a permanent 
settlement was about 1635, when there arrived from Eng- 
land by way of Watertown, then Newtowne, which town, 
with Cambridge, then bounded Concord on the easterly, the 
other sides being bounded by an unclaimed wilderness, a 
company of colonists, under the direction of Rev. Peter 
Bulkeley, Elder John Jones, and probably Simon Willard, 
a merchant. Among the names of these colonists are some 
still familiar in Concord, which designate ancient and 
honored households, whose continuity with the distant past 
has never been broken by time's rude touch, and like faith- 
fill waymarks of history still chronicle by their suggestive- 

Concord 1 1 

ness what has made the old town great. Supplemental to 
such friendly services as borne by the living is that borne 
by the dead, and 

"In that village on the hill. 

Where never is sound of smithy or mill," 

the old-time tombstone, with its grime and its gray, and its 
quaint, weather-made defacement, stands representative of 
connecting links, as if, by a poor proxy like this, it could 
make the past and present, one. 

That success attended the settlement is well attested by 
early results ; and though the records of these results have 
been lost, so that for a half century and over not a sentence 
comes to us from the written page, save as we receive it 
from colonial sources, or in scraps and fragments of family 
documents, yet tradition, often true in its intent to pre- 
serve, and trustworthy even in matters of moment, speaks 
unmistakably of Concord's early town life. The earth and 
brush cabins soon gave way to substantial structures ; the 
forest was felled along the plain land and the meadow 
margins ; and a mill was erected "to grind the town's corn." 

The spot selected for the mill was near what is now 
the Common, or public square, and the little stream upon 
which it was situated is known as "Mill Brook," though it 
is now so small as might lead one to doubt whether it ever 
had any mill power at all. But we should remember that 
not only do times and customs change, but nature changes 
also, and while the little brooklet that once ran a-roar- 
ing by the plain can still sing in the sweet strain of Tenny- 
son, "And men may come and men may go, but I go on 
forever," yet it runs with a lessened current and speaks 
with a voice more subdued. Why it has become thus 
modest is not because it stands abashed at the busy human 
tide that trips over it, or because in many instances the 
traveler is all unconscious of its former worth and never 
stops to reflect that it once ground the fathers' corn and 
furnished meal for the brown bread and pan dowdy ; but 

■2 1 Colonial 

its modesty is occasioned doubtless by a changed condition 
of surroundings. 

It is considered probable by local historians that by the 
clearing up of the forests less water runs in some of the 
streams than formerly ; and, probably, this is the case here ; 
so that the Rev. Peter Bulkeley, for he it was who caused 
the erection of this mill, made no mistake, doubtless, when 
he gauged the capacity of this now miniature water power 
and concluded that it would suffice every purpose of a vil- 
lage grist mill. 

But, conspicuous above everything else as marks of 
progress, were events of an ecclesiastical character. It was 
a usual condition of the colonial court in conferring a town 
grant that the grantees should maintain a gospel ministry, 
and pursuant to this important requisite the Concord 
inhabitants early erected a meeting house. The spot 
selected was on the summit of the ridgeway, near the bury- 
ing ground, not far distant from the present public square. 
The first structure was probably of logs ; but this was 
soon succeeded by one of framework ; for it was not in 
accordance with the customs of the forefathers to live in 
sealed houses while God's temples were neglected. Pre- 
viously, however, to the building of the meeting house, 
and not far from the meadow margin a house was 
built for Minister Bulkeley. The site of this parsonage 
is on the present Lowell street a few steps from Monu- 
ment Square, and is modestly marked by a memorial tablet 
bearing the following record. 

"Here, in the house of the Reverend Peter Bulkeley, 
first minister and one of the founders of this town, a bar- 
gain was made with the Squaw Sachem, the Sagamore 
Tahattawan and other Indians, who then sold their right in 
the six miles square called Concord to the English planters 
and gave them peaceful possession of the land, A. D. 

This tablet has more than a passing interest to a reflec- 
tive mind. It opens up by the suggestiveness of its simple 



inscription thoughts relating to over two centuries. Here, 
doubtless, if anywhere, centralized for a twelve month at 
least much that was political and religious, relating to the 
early land grant and its grantees. Here, doubtless, if in 
any place, was the cradle in which the township had its 
infancy, and as the little woodland municipality was nursed 
and grew strong, probably conference after conference was 
held here to consider matters relating to highways, bridges, 
and perhaps "cow commons" and "common planting fields;" 
for the minister in those days was not only the village high 
priest, but he had also a certain quasi magisterial jurisdic- 
tion, and by a generally recognized common law principle 
was "head center" of the settlement. As the parsonage was 
built prior to the meeting house, it is quite probable that the 
latter was here planned. Here, too, it may be, the church 
council was considered, which, July 5th, 1636, convened 
at Cambridge and organized the Concord church. 

Other works of public convenience and necessity quickly 
followed. Roads were opened, bridges built, laws formu- 
lated; and the sunlight of civilized life was soon shining 
in the hitherto dark forest. 

Such is an outline of some of the features of Concord, 
and of her early history. And now as we are about to 
leave the general for the particular, and consider character, 
processes, and events in detail, we will state that our plan is 
to suppose that we lived in that far away period, visited the 
settlers in their homes and sat by their fire-sides, and that 
the sparks were in part our oracles ; also that we are living 
in the present when we are relating what we then saw and 
heard, together with some facts which occurred subse- 

Assuming then that we are the traveler who two centu- 
ries and a half ago sat by the hearthstone of Goodman 
Hartwell on that fall evening, we will resume our narra- 
tive by saying, that we started from Watertown following 
the trail probably made by the first settlers, finding here 
and there what we suspected were sad traces of their toil- 

24 Colonial 

some journey, which Johnson has so dolorously described 
in his "Wonder-working Providence." On the upland was 
good traveling, but there were swamps and hard places 
which because of their wetness or stony nature, the forest 
fires of the Indians had not kept clear of underbrush, so 
that we were many times forced from our direct course and 
obliged to make long and painful detours. We traveled 
for a time by the "Old Connecticut Path", the ancient trail 
ot the Nipnet Indians to the sea-board, and the same that 
was taken a few years previous by Rev. Messrs. Hooker 
and Stone on their way with a hundred people from Cam- 
bridge to Hartford, and which was traveled a little earlier 
by John Oldham of Pequod war fame. But, on arriving 
at the plain lands about the Charles river, near a stony 
brook, we veered northerly into a broken country, and 
after some hours emerged from the woods upon a sandy 
ridgeway where we found some squaws harvesting corn. 

From our high point of observation we looked over a 
broad intervale threaded by a winding, sluggish stream, and 
we knew by this and by the houses on a little "strate 
strete" below us that we were in Concord. 

Being a stranger to both place and people it mat- 
tered little whom we approached, or where we went, and as 
there were beyond the mill brook some people talking we 
joined them. Approaching, we found they were settlers 
and were talking English, but it was not such English 
as we hear to-day. In fact we found that here weie brought 
together the dialects of Surrey, Kent, York and Bedford- 
shire. Goodman Buttrick, William Hartwell and James 
Hosmer were talking with Simon Willard the merchant, 
about a suitable place for a "cow common" because it had 
been represented to them that the cattle and goats roaming 
unrestrainedly through the "great meadows" much "dam- 
nified" the marsh red-top and lute grass, and that it would 
be better to have a place of common pasturage and "size it 
out" and have the income go to help pay the minister, 

Concord 1 5 

rather than to risk any farther "indamnifying" by stray 

As we introduced ourselves and disclosed our errand we 
were most cordially received and at once invited to their 

The first invitation was extended by William Hartwell, 
which we accepted ; and it being near nightfall we were soon 
on our way to his house in the east quarter which we reached 
after a half hour's walk. Not long after our arrival we sat 
down at the supper table which was spread in a large 
kitchen before a great, open fire. After the meal and the 
returning of thanks, for Goodman Hartwell was a man of 
prayer, the men went to the barn to do the chores and the 
stranger was conducted to the front room to await the 
family and the arrival of the company who were to talk 
over town meeting. As it was no longer early evening, 
the work both indoors and out was done in a hurry and 
soon all were seated about the fireside as described in the 
opening chapter. And now to resume our narrative as 
there commenced, suffice it to say, the neighborhood gather- 
ing broke up to convene again at the parsonage two nights 
later. Meanwhile, particular care was to be taken in 
observing noises about the "buryin ground pastur" and 
as to tracks of the strange creature which Goody Rice saw. 

Immediately after the company had departed we retired, 
for we were weary and the hour was late. Our sleeping 
apartment was large and unfinished, yet it had an air of 
comfort and its very commodiousness was of itself restful. 
The night was a quiet one. Silence almost perfect pervaded 
everything, and our slumber was undisturbed save by the 
occasional hoot of an owl amid the pines which had been 
left near the house for a stormbreak and shade for the 

As our visit to the Hartwells on this occasion was only 
for the night, it having been arranged with Timothy 
Wheeler at our interview with the settlers at Mill brook, to 
meet him at the village store the following day, and as we 

26 Colonial 

visited the Hartwell home later, we will defer any descrip- 
tion of it for a subsequent chapter. About mid-afternoon 
of the next day we mounted an ox cart and behind a yoke 
of half broken bullocks started for the village, meeting 
Timothy Wheeler at the grocery according to previous 

As we were about starting for the home of our new host 
we learned that the Apostle, John Eliot, was to hold an In- 
dian mission meeting that evening at the wigwam of Tahat- 
tawan near Nashawtuc, by candle light. Upon hearing 
this announcement, it at once occurred to us that here was 
an opportunity of learning something of Indian mission 
work, and of forming an acquaintance with its founder. 
Reverend John Eliot; so I asked Goodman Wheeler about 
the propriety of attending the proposed gathering. Our 
kind host immediately called back the swarthy messengers, 
who had just brought the announcement of the meeting, 
and upon my desire being made known, they invited me to 
go with them to Tahattawan's wigwam. It was not long 
before we were away, for although the distance was short 
it was approaching nightfall. Before starting, however, we 
called Goodman Wheeler aside to satisfy ourselves as to the 
safety of our proposed visit among the Indians, and to 
arrange about the time of making the visit to his home 
which had been so unexpectedly deferred. As to the first 
matter he informed us that we would be as safe with our 
Indian friends as with anyone; and with regard to the visit 
he said he would meet us at the coming town meeting 
when we would go home together. 


Astor, Lencx ■,in,\ Tilden , 


'Tahatawans Wigwam — Supper Served by Squaws 

— Rev. John Eliot Preaching by Candlewood Light 

— 'Tribal Relations of the Musketequids — Stone 
Relics and Sites of Indian Villages — Spread of 
Christianity among the Concord Aborigines — Nash- 
oba — Exile of Christian Indians to Deer Island — 
Humane Efforts of John Hoar in their behalf. 

STARTING out from the village store we were soon 
in the forest. 
Our course was single file through a winding wood- 
path to the meadow margin, and from there amid cluster- 
ing cranberry vines, we proceeded to the river bank, 
where an Indian was waiting with a light canoe. As we 
passed through the woods we noticed along the way 
scarcely anything but tall timber trees, and these so 
scattered and so devoid of low branches that a man on 
horseback could easily ride between them. So singular 
was this circumstance that we afterwards inquired about it, 
and were told that the woods were kept mainly clear of 
underbrush by the Indians, who, to facilitate the capture 
of game, annually set forest fires, and that this was done 
just before the fall rains. We stepped into the canoe, 
which was made of birch bark tied with thongs of deer skin, 
and were soon afloat on the Musketequid and swiftly 
borne by the paddle strokes of Tahattawan to Nashawtuc. 
The short river ride was made silently, for our friends 
were as mute as the grave, except that now and then a low 
murmuring went out from one of them, which, as it 
mingled faintly with the rising night wind — for it was now 
evening — and the strange whistling of the wings of a be- 


1 8 Colonial 

lated water fowl, were the only sounds save the splash of 
the water that we heard. 

Soon we reached the large wigwam of Tahattawan near 
Nashawtuc, and were ushered into the simple arcana of 
Nature's children, where all was new and surpassingly 
strange to us. In broken English we were presented to the 
head of the household and his daughters, of whom there 
were present Noonansquaw and Tahunsquaw, the latter 
of whom was the wife of Waban of Natick. 

Although not invited to do so we sat down upon a low, 
rude platform upon which was a dressed skin of some 
wild animal, and silently observed the preparations for sup- 
per. Besides a "nokake" made of maize meal and baked 
in the ashes, they poured from a kettle into a rude wooden 
tray a stew or soup thickened with dried chestnut meal, 
and which consisted, as we were afterwards told, of dried 
alewives, several strings of which hung in a corner, and a 
few bones cut into small pieces. There was also in a smaller 
dish some substance that they called sic-qua-tash (suc- 
cotash), which consisted of dried green corn and beans. 
Supper over, we were glad enough to have our loneliness 
.ended by the arrival of Messrs. Gookin and Eliot. 
It was not long before there entered several families from 
wigwams near, on both the upper and lower meadow 
and also several individuals from about the Assabet. The 
candlewood was soon lighted just outside the wigwam door, 
and the scene thereby revealed to us by these flambeaux 
was a weird and impressive one. 

After a prayer in the Indian language Mr. Eliot 
addressed his swarthy audience in the same tongue, exhort- 
ing them, as our interpreter informed us, to beware of the 
evil influences of Hobbommoc (the devil), and to hold 
steadfast to the newly found Kiton (good spirit). Espec- 
ially he advised them to beware of powwowing, and to^ 
have nothing to do with medicine men, whom he de- 
nounced as true children of Hobbommoc. At length, 
after another prayer in the Indian language, there arose the 

Concord 1 9 

low sound of singing or chanting, in gutteral, harsh, dis- 
cordant tones ; the effect was striking, for as the strains 
floated out over the moist meadows and up the woody 
slopes of Nashawtuc, not so much as the call of a night 
bird, not even the wind's moaning was heard, as a wild inter- 
lude to the words of the hymn. 

At the close of the singing Mr. Bulkeley, who had 
accompanied Mr. Eliot, was asked to pray, and as the 
group kneeled on the matted leaves, such a petition 
went up from "Big Pray", as the lowly children of the 
Musketequid had rarely listened to. Slowly, reverently 
and peacefully, we were lifted heavenward by every sen- 
tence ; and when he ceased we almost forgot we were on 
the earth. 

At the conclusion of the evening services we were 
invited to remain all night, and as Major Gookin was pro- 
posing to do so, Mr. Eliot having gone home with Mr. 
Bulkeley, we accepted of our host's hospitality and were 
soon seated around the wigwam amid a little group consist- 
ing of Tahattawan's household. 

As the flames flickered upward through the small aper- 
ture in the roof, we did not wonder so much at the copper 
colored complexion of the Indian, for every now and then 
the heavy night wind forced down the smoke, and an 
occasional rain drip on the coals made a close, thick atmos- 

But the disagreeableness of an imperfect draught was 
soon remedied by Tahattawan, who, stepping to the door, 
dropped over it a coarse mat which was there pendent for 
this purpose, and which so completely closed the aperture 
that the smoke readilv ascended ; and as the sparks chased 
each other upward into the darkness, a strange feeling 
came over us and we almost wished that Goodman Wheeler 
had taken us home with him. Just then there entered the 
wigwam Major Gookin and Waban, the latter of whom 
could speak good English, having often acted as an inter- 

30 Colonial 

preter and helper of Mr. Eliot in his mission work at 

For an hour we sat conversing by the firelight and 
gained much interesting information concerning the aborig- 
inal inhabitants of the Musketequid country and of their 
experience with the early settlers. 

And now for a little time, exchanging fiction for fact, we 
will state some things about these Concord Indians that are 
matters of history. 

Their tribal relations were with the Mystics, whose 
headquarters were at Medford. Their neighbors were the 
Pawtuckets, at Wameset (Lowell) ; the Ockoocagansetts at 
what is now (Marlboro), and the Natick Indians ; the last 
three being probably related either to the Mystics or the 

The localities where the Indians lived are indicated by 
the presence of shells, arrow and spear heads and some- 
times arrow chips, which are refuse material chipped from 
the stone when the arrow was made ; also stone implements 
used for purposes of agriculture and cookery, and chisels, 
gouges, rude pestles or corn pounders. Some of the 
places where stone relics have been found, are the "Great 
fields" east of the center, the vicinity of "Egg Rock" not 
far from the "Hemlocks," about Fairhaven bay, on the 
south side of the river east of the "Old Manse," on the 
right of the river below Flint's bridge, the neighborhood 
of Spenser brook, and a place on the left bank of the river 
a little above the Fitchburg Railroad bridge where the 
river bends abruptly. At this latter point it is said, many 
bushels of shells have been found, and among them the 
remains of wild animals and parts of stone implements. 

It is impossible to determine the exact number of 
Indians in the Musketequid country at the time of its 
settlement by the English. Probably the population was 
greatly reduced here as in other places along the Mass- 
achusetts Bay shores, by the pestilence that prevailed 
before the English occupation, so that very likely their 

Concord "}, t 

villages were comparatively few and no more than small 
clusters of wigwams. 

A portion or all of the Concord Indians, through the 
efforts of the Rev. John Eliot, who translated the bible 
into the language of the aborigines, early became converts 
to Christianity. These were gathered by Mr. Eliot and 
Major Daniel Gookin, into an Indian town or village 
named Nashoba, situated in what is now Littleton. The 
number of Indians thus gathered was about fifty-eight, 
representing ten families, only about twelve being able 
bodied men. 

Nashoba was called by Major Gookin in his Historical 
collection the sixth praying Indian town. He states that, 
"The dimensions of this village were four miles square," 
that, "their ruler of late years was Ahatawance (Tahatta- 
wan), a pious man," and "their teacher is named John 

The petition for the establishment of this place is dated 
May 4, 1654 and was presented by Mr. Eliot. The 
Nashoba plantation began auspiciously and continued to 
prosper both in things temporal and spiritual until a war 
with the Mohawks, which resulted in its abandonment for 
a season, but as late as 1674, according to Gookin, it had 
become re-peopled and was in a "hopeful way to prosper." 

There is ample opportunity for one to conjecture con- 
cerning the pleasant condition of things at the Nashoba 
plantation during the years immediately following its 

As it was the custom of the Apostle Eliot to keep spir- 
itual watch and ward over the native churches and to occas- 
ionally visit them for exhortation and conference, so we 
may suppose he did this one, and that more than once 
he journeyed from Roxbury to Nonantum (Newton) his 
first mission field, thence to Natick, and from there went 
on through the woods to Concord, visiting scattered wig- 
wams by the way and the village at Cochituate. pond 

3 2 Colonial 

(Wayland) and the home of Kato at Wigwam hill in Sud- 

Upon his arrival at Concord, we may suppose that he 
made parochial visits among such of the Musketequid 
Indians as still lingered about their old haunts, faithful to 
the memory of their former firesides and the graves of 
their fathers. These visits completed, we may conjecture 
that the great Apostle passed on over the old Marlboro 
road, at that time perhaps a mere wood path trod mainly 
by the Occogoogansetts to Nashoba, bringing with him a 
benediction from their Bay brothers, and instructing them 
from the Up-Biblum (Indian bible.) 

But when Philip's war broke out the scene changed. 
The Colonial communities everywhere became distrustful 
of all Indians, the praying Indians included, notwithstand- 
ing the evidence the latter were giving of continued loyalty, 
serving the colony faithfully whenever occasion required as 
spies, or as allies in the ranks of levied troops. 

To such an extent did English distrust prevail that it 
was decided by the Colonial authorities to remove a por- 
tion or all of the Christian Indians to Deer island in Bos- 
ton harbor, and the order was given and executed. 

The details of this untimely closing of the Indian 
mission stations are sad to relate, and they remind one of 
the cruel treatment of the Acadians at Grand Pre, whose 
homes were broken in upon by the English and Colonial 
soldiers, and their families separated and cast forlorn upon' 
a lone coast line extending from New England to Georgia. 

Before the carrying out of this order, however, as 
related to the Indians at Nashoba, an attempt was made 
in their behalf which resulted in an order by the Colonial 
Court, that an arrangement be made by the Militia Com- 
mittee and the selectmen of Concord that they be placed 
under the inspection of John Hoar of Concord, to see 
that they be kept employed for their maintenance and pre- 
served from harm and the country made secure from them. 

In pursuance of this arrangement, Mr. Hoar built a 

Concord ZZ 

house for them near his own for their protection and com- 
fort at night, and a workshop, in both of which they were 
under close surveillance. 

The means thus provided by Mr. Hoar for the mutual 
protection of both the Indians and English were accom- 
plishing their full purpose and would doubtless have contin- 
ued to do so had it not been for an untoward interference 
with his plans, the account of which may be best presented 
by the following quotation from Gookin's "History of the 
Christian Indians." 

"But some of the inhabitants of the town, being in- 
fluenced with a spirit of animosity and distaste against all 
Indians, disrelished this settlement; and therefore privately 
sent to a Captain of the army, (Captain Mosely) that 
quartered his company not far off at that time, of whom 
they had experience, that he would not be backward to put 
in execution anything that tended to distress the praying 
Indians ; for this was the same man that had formerly, 
without order, seized upon divers of the praying Indians at 
Marlborough, which brought much trouble and disquiet to 
the country of the Indians, and was a great occasion of 
their defection ; as hath been above declared. 

"This Captain accordingly came to Concord with a party 
of his men upon the Sabbath day, into the Meeting-house, 
where the people were convened to the worship of God. 
And after the exercise was ended, he spake openly to the 
congregation to this effect : 'that he understood there were 
some heathen in the town, committed to one Hoare, which 
he was informed were a trouble and disquiet to them ; 
therefore if they desired it he would remove them to 
Boston ;' to which speech, most of the people being silent, 
except two or three that encouraged him, he took, as it 
seems, the silence of the rest for consent ; and immediately 
after the assembly was dismissed, he went with three or 
four files of men, and a hundred or two of the people, men, 
women and children, at his heels, and marched away to 
Mr. Hoare's house and there demanded of him to see the 

34 Colonial 

Indians under his care. Hoare opened the door and 
showed them to him, and they were all numbered and 
found there ; the Captain then said to Mr, Hoare, 'that he 
would leave a corporal and soldiers to secure them' ; but 
Mr. Hoare answered, 'there was no need of that, for they 
were already secured, and were committed to him by order 
of the Council, and he would keep and secure them.' But 
yet the Captain left his corporal and soldiers there, who 
were abusive enough to the poor Indians by ill language. 
The next morning the Captain came again to take the 
Indians and send them to Boston. But Mr. Hoare re- 
fused to deliver them, unless he showed him an order of 
the Council ; but the Captain could show him no other but 
his commission to kill and destroy the enemy ; but Mr. 
Hoare said, 'these were friends and under order.' But the 
Captain would not be satisfied with his answer, but com- 
manded his corporal forthwith to break open the door and 
take the Indians all away, which was done accordingly ; 
and some of the soldiers plundered the poor creatures of 
their shirts, shoes, dishes, and such other things as they 
could lay their hands upon, though the Captain com- 
manded the contrary. They were all brought to Charles- 
town with a guard of twenty men. And the Captain wrote 
a letter to the General Court, then sitting, giving them an 
account of his action. 

" This thing was very offensive to the Council, that a 
private Captain should (without commission or some 
express order) do an act so contradictory to their former 
orders ; and the Governor and several others spake of it at 
a conference with the deputies at the General Court. 

"The Deputies seemed generally to agree to the reason 
of the Magistrates in this matter ; yet notwithstanding, the 
Captain (who appeared in Court shortly after upon another 
occasion), met with no rebuke for this high irregularity and 
arbitrary action. To conclude this matter, those poor In- 
dians, about fifty-eight of them of all sorts, were sent down 
to Deer Island, there to pass into the furnace of affliction 



with their brethren and countrymen. But all their corn 
and other provision sufficient to maintain them for six 
months, was lost at Concord ; and all their other neces- 
saries, except what the soldiers had plundered. And the 
poor Indians got very little or nothing of what they lost, 
but it was squandered away, lost by the removal of Mr. 
Hoare and other means, so that they were necessitated to 
live upon clams, as the others did, with some little corn 
provided at the charge of the 'Honorable Corporation for 
the Indians,' residing in London. Besides, Mr. Hoare 
lost all his building and other cost, which he had provided 
for the entertainment and employment of those Indians ; 
which was considerable." This was in February, 1675-6. 

Only a few Indians returned to Nashoba after the exile. 
Such was the melancholy ending of the mission at Nashoba, 
in which more or less of the Musketequid Indians were 
gathered together in Christian fellowship. 

It is the old, oft repeated story of the supremacy of the 
strong over the weak and the power of evil to destroy in a 
few days what it took many years to construct. 

There is also seen in this sad episode of Indian history 
something of the transmuting power of* the gospel, in that 
while others of the aboriginal tribes were filled with vengeful 
hate toward the white men and giving way to the powerful 
persuasions of King Philip of Pokanoket to pillage the 
fields, to burn dwelling places, and to murder or capture 
the inhabitants in defense of their ancient hearthstones and 
hunting grounds, the Christian Indians stood fast in their 
new faith and proved firm friends of the English. 

William Tahattawan, brother of John the Chieftain, 
although among those who were exiled to Deer Island, 
served as a faithful guide of Major Savage, a Colonial 

Thomas Doublet or Nepanet, another of the Nashoba 
Indians did good service in procuring the release of Mrs. 
Rowlandson, who was captured at Lancaster ; and when 
Captain Wadsworth and his command were destroyed at 

3 6 Colonial 

Green hill, Sudbury, the Christian Indians brought from 
Deer Island were the first to search the battle ground and 
help bury the slain, weeping, it is said, when they saw their 
prostrate forms. 

Upon these things history has not greatly enlarged ; and 
while the multitudinous records of the misdeeds and evil 
practices of the pagan Indians have been preserved, the 
true, the noble, the honorable acts of the Christian Indians 
may have been too much overlooked, Christianity thereby 
losing a merited tribute. 

After a while the conversation flagged, the fire burned 
low, and two or three of those who had been sitting on the 
ground with their hands clasped around their ankles and 
their heads dropped upon their knees withdrew, flung 
themselves upon the couches and pulled up the bear skins.. 
As Major Gookin suggested that we also retire, we did 
so, and soon all was silent save the pelting of the storm on 
the bark covering and a slight splashing of the river waves 
against the canoe. 

As the strange surroundings were not conducive to the 
soundest slumber we awoke. Once we heard the howl- 
ing of a wolf nol» far distant. Now and then there was 
the jerky bark of a fox, and toward morning a bear poked 
his head under the rush mat hanging at the doorway, and 
we caught a glimpse of his long, slender snout, but he 
quickly withdrew when he sniffed the scent of fire. 

7 ^1FW YORK 



Duck Hunting — River Scenery — Beaver Dam — 
Indian Granary — Sweating Pit — Mysterous Sight 
upon the Meadows — Arrival at the Manse. 

AT length the morning came and the inmates of the 
wigwam arose ; thoughtless of toilet or bath, they 
swung the kettle over the coals as on the night pre- 
vious, and threw into it a little maize meal, to which 
was added a couple of slices of dried pompion, and a small 
handful of ground nuts. Not desiring to stop for break- 
fast, we thanked our kind hosts for their hospitality, and 
upon invitation of Mr. Gookin stepped into a canoe and 
were paddled across the stream by Waban. 

Upon stepping ashore we at once entered a path by the 
meadow side, which we were told would take us to Parson 
Bulkeley's house, when we met Goodmen Humphrey Bar- 
rett and George Hayward, each carrying a gun with a long 
slender barrel and a short stock. We recognized them at 
once having met them the day previous at the village store. 
They informed us that they were going up the river duck 
hunting and would be glad of our company. 

Being desirous of learning something about the river and 
its meadows and the game that frequented them, the invita- 
tion was accepted with hearty thanks. 

Before going, however, we went to the parsonage to 
inform the minister of our change of plan and get some 
breakfast, also to borrow a fowling piece as Humphrey 
Barrett said the minister had a good one. 

A half hour and we were back and afloat, gliding along 
by willow clumps and water brush, starting now and then a 
solitary bittern or musquash and pushing our way mid such 


3 8 Colonial 

a profusion of lily pads and fragrant blossoms as half con- 
cealed the river's channel. 

As we moved slowly up the stream past Nashawtuc and 
the South bridge, we were as much in the wilderness as if 
midway between Concord and Watertown, for the trees 
approached the meadow bank on each side, and but for 
the smoke from various chimneys near the Ridgeway, and 
the sight of a clearing by Major Willard's at the bridge, 
we might for the moment have forgotten that there was a 
settlement at Musketequid. The scenery was beautiful. 
The trees were touched with a tint such as Nature in her 
best mood only produces after the first fall frosts. The 
sky was blue, and such a blue as is seen after an autumnal 
storm and when the very cloudlessness causes it to be called 
a "weather breeder." Afar over the woodland were occa- 
sional traces of white smoke indicating scattered Indian 
encampments ; while circling high over all were here and 
there large flocks of wild water fowl, some of which after 
wheeling gracefully over the meadows, at length settled on 
the stream. So many times they did this and so numerous 
were the birds that we got many good shots. 

Having passed Fairhaven bay we noticed a small stream 
that suggested trout, and as we had fishing tackle which 
Parson Bulkeley had also loaned us and moreover were a 
little reluctant to accompany our friends further, since they 
were intending to go as far as Gulf brook to hunt for other 
game, we requested to be allowed to land that we might 
fish and look about till their return. 

After stepping ashore, we strolled inland by a small 
stream, fishing as we went, and now and then capturing one 
of its speckled inhabitants, until we discovered a miniature 
mill dam, which much surprised us. The dam was about 
five feet high and well braced, and the thin waterfall that 
slid over it upon the green moss beneath made a soft, pleas- 
ant murmur. Not a creature was visible, and so peaceful 
was the scene that we involuntarily stopped at the first 
glimpse of it. And it was well we did, for had we not, we 

Concord 3 9 

should have lost an interesting spectacle. We had come 
upon a beaver dam, which the settlers, even with their 
laudable greed for beaver skins, had overlooked. As we 
crept through the alders and tangled junipers for a safe 
point to observe from, we found ourselves in a well-worn 
path, which was doubtless made by wild animals as they 
watched the little colony, to make it their prey. For half 
an hour we observed the doings about this beaver dam 
from a distance, and then in order to observe it more par- 
ticularly, we advanced nearer. In an instant, there was a 
sound as if a hundred beaver tails had slapped concertedly 
upon the pond, and almost simultaneously silence reigned, 
broken only by the soft splash of the waterfall and the 
whistling wing of a wood duck which sought its haunt in a 
neighboring oak. The tocsin had sounded and the clan 
was gone. Well knowing that further study of the beaver 
there was impossible, we concluded to make a fire and cook 
some trout and see if perchance the sparks would say any- 
thing about them. 

As we saw the day previous at Goodman Hartwell's 
that we could start a blaze with the flint lock of our fowl- 
ing piece, we quickly whipped out some tow wadding, 
and placing it over the powder pan, pulled the trigger. 

The sparks caught, and the tow was ablaze, and nursing 
the feeble flame with some dry moss we soon had a good 
fire and were listening to what the sparks said about the 
beavers. We learned that at one time they were quite plen- 
tiful in the Musketequid region and that certain localities 
were named after them, as Beaver hole, Beaver meadows, 
Beaver pond, and Beaver brook ; we learned also that they 
were much sought after in trade and that a company was 
early formed to trafiic in them, and that Simon Willard 
was at the head of it ; we learned, furthermore, that the 
Indians valued the fur next to wampum ; that it was a rude 
standard of value ; that court fines were sometimes paid in 
them ; and that they were good if taken in any month with 
an R in it. 

40 Colonial 

At length the sparks ceased, and as our trout were about 
broiled, having before listening placed two of nearly a 
pound weight upon a couple of spits, the largest, which 
weighed about three pounds, having been reserved for Par- 
son Bulkeley, we dined sitting upon the moss among the 

We had hoped and expected from what we had heard to 
obtain a few salmon and some shad, but our expectations 
proved groundless, and showed our ignorance of history ; 
for although these fishes are abundant in the spawning sea- 
son at the falls, yet at other times they are not numerous. 
However, we had no cause to complain, for there was no 
dearth of other things that were desirable. The woods 
were full of brown nuts, rich river grapes hung in clusters 
beside the meadows, the ruffed grouse made the woods 
resound with their whirring flights, and several wild turkeys 
crossed our path. We now concluded to steer straight 
through the woods to Fairhaven, where the boat was to 
stop for us ; so, putting up our fishing tackle and carefully 
extinguishing the fire, for we had heard that the colonial 
court had passed a law forbidding the Indians setting fires 
in the woods in the fall season, from the great danger of 
their spreading, we struck off due east from the dam and 
soon found ourselves in a sunny upland which indented 
the forest like a small estuary in a sea of grass. 

As we emerged from the low birches on the wood's 
border we saw not far from us two Indians, and near them 
what looked like a large earth oven or a half underground 
tomb. One of the Indians was sitting at an aperture at the 
bottom and the other was at the top pouring down some- 
thing, while from the lower aperture steam was rapidly issu- 
ing, nearly enveloping the man who sat near it. Curiosity 
prompting our approach we soon found that here was an 
Indian "sweating pit," such as we were informed might be 
connected with every well-appointed wigwam of a Sagamore 
(subordinate chief). Within the pit was a small stone 
heap, which had been previously heated, and the man at 

Concord ^l 

the door was a patient, who was receiving treatment, while 
the zealous head of the sanitarium sat at the summit pour- 
ing in water for the purpose of generating steam. 

In broken English everything was explained to us, both 
about the process and the cure; and then the Indian, look- 
ing at our game, inquired of our day's hunt, while we in 
turn, by our inquiries concerning their hunting, drew forth 
much interesting information. Among other things we 
learned that they seldom stocked up with game until late 
fall, because, having no salt, they relied mainly upon the 
weather as a preservative. 

As the subject of food was before us and the Sagamore 
noticed that our queries were quite particular, he asked us 
to visit his granary, which was another low earth mound of 
about the dimensions of the sweating pit. We accepted 
the invitation. The Indian pulled away some short poles, 
which he said were placed there to keep off bears, and we 
leaned over and peeked in. Stored snug in every cranny 
were eatables of various kinds, and in such quantities as 
might well explode every theory of Indian improvidence. 
There were small pompions (pumpkins), some acorns, wal- 
nuts, a parcel of ground nuts, several strings of dried shad, 
some split salmon, a stack of alewives, a pile of raccoon 
skins (tanned), a huge heap of corn, and three honey 
combs. The corn he said his squaw raised, and that the 
whole plot upon which it was planted was broken up by 
her with a stone hoe. He afterwards showed us a specimen 
of the hoe, which was a sharp stone fastened to a handle 
with a sapling withe. The nuts were gathered jointly, 
and the fish were taken by himself, it being no part of a 
woman's task to take game, she doing wigwam work or 
being a field hand. After this last interesting information 
our noble friend, for such he appeared to be notwithstand- 
ing his low estimate of a squaw's sphere, inquired after 
"Big Pray," as he recognized the parson's fowHng piece, 
and requested us to take a salmon to him. Upon our as- 
surance that we would gladly do so, he thrust down into 

4^ Colonial 

his underground storehouse a sapling pole with a spear- 
point, the same, he said, which he thrust into it when it 
was captured, and brought up a ten pound fish, which he 
deftly rolled and wound with a willow twig for convenient 
conveyance. By this time the other Indian, who evidently 
was much recuperated by his late treatment, brought pipes ; 
not being a smoker, we refused them, yet the act showed 
such friendliness that we ventured to inquire further about 
their hunting habits. We learned that the great hunt of 
the year came in late autumn, and at a time when a warm, 
hazy atmosphere made animate nature unusually astir. In 
other words, it was intended to be the last warm spell of 
fall, when the game captured would keep, and from this 
fact we were not slow in inferring that here was the true 
origin of Indian summer, and that whenever such a "spell" 
comes, if sufficiently late, it might be so called. We did 
not visit the wigwam, well knowing there was probably 
nothing new there ; besides, the shadows were lengthening 
by the birches and the long lines of wild duck, which are 
more active toward evening, announced that nightfall was 
near : so, while the steam was still issuing from the "sweat- 
ing pit," we bade the Indians good-bye. At the bay we 
found Goodmen Hay ward and Barrett, and in the boat 
were several turkeys and a small deer, the latter shot not 
far from "Gulf brook." 

But a step and we were in ; and down the Musketequid 
we glided, through the bay, pastthe hill ; and soon on the 
banks of the south meadow we saw the lights of several 
wigwam fires. The night was dark and it began to rain, for 
the storm presaged by the morning "weather breeder" had 
set in, and swift clouds from the southerly gave a threaten- 
ing prospect. It was not long before there loomed a light 
from Tahattawan's wigwam at Nashawtuc, which was quite 
welcome, as it showed we were nearing home. But we 
were not to reach it quite as soon as we thought, for scarcely 
had we passed the precincts of this last point, when, of a 
sudden, Goodman Barrett dropped his paddle and almost 

Concord 43 

fell, as with a shriek he uttered something about "a sight." 
Quickly starting up, for we had crouched low to avoid the 
storm, we saw "the sight," which consisted of a small lumi- 
nous ball just over the meadow, slowly moving and only a 
few rods ahead of us. Gently shoving the boat towards 
the bank beside some water brush we lay low and quietly 
waited. It was not long before the strange light vanished, 
but so thoroughly aroused were we to the danger of en- 
countering a spook if we proceeded, that we concluded to 
remain where we were until the apparition, if such it was, 
had settled itself. While we sat with bated breath by the 
water brush various conjectures were made as to the cause of 
the strange "visitation," as our friends called it, and Good- 
man Hayward ventured the suggestion that "as near as he 
could make out it was over the 'mort stone' near the Cart 
bridge by the 'Carsey,' and he had heerd it was a bad sign 
to set a 'cops' down anywhere after it was started, and this 
was done with John Heald's *cops' when they stopped the 
bier at the 'mort stone' to keep the 'buryin' cloth on." 

But Goodman Barrett did not think so, "for," he said, 
"Mort stones wus made on purpose to set copses on when 
the bearers got tired of carryin 'em : besides, John wus 
everybody's friend, and it wus not likely that his sperit 
would haunt the medder-land." As for myself, I did not 
know. I had heard somewhere and sometime of strange 
lights called "Will-o'-the-wisp," but I had never seen one 
and was not sure, so I kept still ; and as Goodmen Barrett 
and Hayward thought we had better leave the boat and go 
to the manse across-lots, I acceded, and we were soon 

It was but a short walk that took us from the landing 
place to a point where we got a glimpse of the friendly 
light gleaming out of the little manse window, and, perhaps, 
the distance appeared less because of our haste, for as the 
darkness deepened and the pelting storm increased, we 
hardly looked backward or sideways, except to take a fur- 
tive glance toward the "mort stone" when we crossed the 

44 Colonial 

mill dam. On arriving indoors, however, all was cheerful. 
Our wet doublets (thick, sleeveless jackets), were thrown 
aside, and having dried our clothes by the welcome blaze 
of Parson Bulkeley's bright fire, we were soon seated upon 
the oaken settle regaling ourselves with a posset (porringer) 
of hulled maize and goat's milk, in pleasant anticipation of 
a proposed talk on the town meeting, which was to take 
place on the morrow. 

In preparation for the neighbors who were to convene 
for the evening's conference, the parson had brought in an 
extra settle from the room adjoining and placed an arm- 
chair at the hearth's corner 

— ( C/5 

lid OJ 

aa 2, 


Informal Talk Preparatory to Town Meeting — 
The Apparition — Exodus of Concord Settlers to 
Connecticut — Statement of Rev. Cotton Mather 
— Effect of the Exodus on the Laity — The Town 
Mae ting. 

IN the short space of time before the first arrival not 
much was said of the ordinary day's happenings, for 
all the talk was on the episode closing. 

That we had seen something strange no one 
doubted, but, it was said, "sich things have been obsarved 
before," and that this was similar to that seen by Goody 
Bateman at "Cedar Croft" and by Prudence Ball up at the 
"bend." That it prognosticated evil, however, was not 
thought probable by the Parson, to whom all looked in 
this matter, as in every other, for sound counsel and safe 
solutions, because on other similar occasions nothing had 
happened out of the ordinary, except that shortly after 
Goody Bateman's discovery the Pequod war broke out ; 
but there were other signs about that time, such as sounds 
over the trees, and the pale flashings of a luminous night 
mist, and a sickly look of the sun, which latter, however, 
some were venturesome enough to assert was caused by a 
dry spell. With these various conjectures as to the cause, 
the subject was dismissed after a few practical remarks by 
the pastor about the proper way of improving all strange 
and inexplicable phenomena. 

When the company had assembled we saw that not all 
were present whom history informs us were early at the 
plantation. Among those absent were Elder John Jones, 
Goodman Middlebrook, two of the Wheelers, and some 


46 ' Colonial 

others. Both personal interest and curiosity prompted us 
to inquire the cause of this ; but as Goodman Hayward 
when on the boat had intimated that some families had 
gone away and that there had been discord in the new 
township, we kept still, thinking that when the sparks 
snapped they might tell us. But as there was just then 
burning on the back log only some small split spruce which 
came from the Parson's mill meadow swamp, the sparks 
could say nothing about it. 

Presently some one brought in an armful of cleft chestnut, 
which we were informed was cut at Simon Willard's at 
Nashawtuc, and came from a clump of trees in his clearing, 
beneath which the faithful pastor and his beloved parish- 
ioner, Mr. Willard, had often held sweet but sad converse 
on town affairs. As the wood was thrown on the "cob 
irons" and began to crackle and glow, while Jude Farwell 
puffed at it lustily with a small pair of buff colored bellows, 
we knew we should soon hear something, since it is char- 
acteristic of chestnut-wood to snap freely. Nor were we 
wrong in our conjecture, for as the coals brightened the 
sparks snapped, and we eagerly caught the following : 
There had been an exodus and a sad one. Some of the 
original grantees had died. Mary, the wife of James Hos- 
mer, was buried December 3, 1641 ; Joseph Meriam died 
January, 1640; and Jane, the wife of Timothy Wheeler, 
died in December, 1642. But other causes besides death 
had broken the ranks. Several had returned to old Eng- 
land ; some had gone to settlements near the sea ; and in 
October, 1644, about one-eighth part of the Concord 
colony followed Elder John Jones to Fairfield, Conn. Of 
course, curiosity was aroused to know the cause of this last 
removal ; but as before intimated, we surmised that the 
subject might be a delicate one, and that some present 
might be sensitive to any inquiries we might make concern- 
ing it. 

But soon the sparks snapped out more vigorously than 
ever, and the inference from them was very direct and 

Concord 47 

clear that it was not alone the "badness and wetness of the 
meadows" or the "poverty and meanness of the soil" that 
caused all the trouble, but an inharmonious mixture of 
too much ruling Elder with a proper amount of teaching 
Elder ; so that it was difficult to tell where the authority of 
the latter began and that of the former ended. This posi- 
tion of the sparks was confirmed in our minds by Cotton 
Mather, author of the "Magnolia," who stated that "diffi- 
culties arose between the minister and people at Concord, 
which were settled by calling a council after the abdication 
of one. of them," that is, one of the ecclesiastics ; and, also, 
"that upon Mr. Bulkeley's pressing a piece of charity disa- 
greeable to the will of the ruling Elder there was occasioned 
an unhappy discord in the church of Concord," and the 
same thing is also implied in a letter of Rev. Peter Bulke- 
ley to Rev. Thomas Shepherd of Cambridge, in which he 
asks his opinion as to the relative power of the ruling 
Elder and the pastor ; and also in a letter of Mr. Bulkeley 
to Cotton Mather, when he hints about "The evil of the 
times we live in, and what mischief one lofty spirit that has 
reputation for understanding can do among the weak," 

When the sparks from Mr. Willard's cleft chestnut 
burned low we hardly expected to learn anything of the 
effect of this ecclesiastical broil on the laity ; but just then 
Robert Fletcher threw on the fire a stick of well seasoned 
pine, which we were told was cut and hauled for the minis- 
ter from trees growing by the highway on the "strate 
strete" by the "housen," where a large share of the original 
settlers lived, and under which many conversations had 
been held. Upon this, we expected to obtain just the in- 
formation we desired ; and as the fire flashed and the sparks 
merrily snapped up the chimney flue, we learned that the 
ecclesiastical disturbance had a depressing effect on the laity 
financially ; so that some refused to pay their proportion 
of the public charges ; and a council called to consider mat- 
ters had advised the clergy to be content with what they 
got, since the burden on the people was heavy. From 

4 8 Colonial '. 

these statements we inferred that, though the minister's 
salary was only about ^70 annually and this to be paid 
partly in country produce, yet, for the people to be taxed 
in addition for a supernumerary, was thought too grievous. 

We also inferred this from the fact that in 1645 Lieutenant | 

Simon Willard was excused from attendance as deputy to ! 

the General Court, and was supposed to go home to cheer , 

up the people ; and from the fact that about the same time \ 

the Court passed an order forbidding any person leaving ; 

the townships of Concord, Sudbury, and Dedham except by l 

permission of the selectmen ; and that the Concord citizens \ 

be exempt from the payment of certain rates for three ''■ 

years ; only directing that they still exercise in the train I 

band. j 

As the various topics talked of were considered in the j 

town meeting on the day following, we will not refer to | 
them until that meeting is described. It is sufficient to say 

that while this preliminary conference in some of its features ■ 
might correspond to the modern caucus, yet in others it 

did not, for there were no objectionable poHtics whatever, \ 

neither was there anything representative of two parties ; j 

but it was only an informal neighborhood gathering, de- | 

signed to expedite matters at the coming meeting. What j 

was talked about was an admixture of social, ecclesiastical i 
and civil interests, showing plainly a quasi-connection of 

church and state, and best designated, it may be, as a New j 

England theocracy, where the old maxim, "Vox populi est I 

vox Dei," was reversed and made to read, "Vox Dei est ! 

vox popuH." When the conference broke up the room i 

was soon vacated. There was no lingering for a last word | 

of senseless small talk, but soon all was still except for the ! 

cHnk^'of the tongs on the andirons as Parson Bulkeley ' 

heaped the brands on the back log and tenderly covered \ 

them with ashes. The storm beat on the diamond-shaped 1 

window panes ; a fox barked near the out-buildings, while ; 
from afar, beyond the meadows near where the "sight" 
appeared, came the deep baying of Simon Willard's two 

Concord 49 

house dogs. We picked up the brown "betty," and care- 
fully carrying it so as not to spill any of the grease, we 
bade the Parson good night and went to our room. We 
found it an unplastered one, opening into the lean-to garret, 
upon whose roof the autumn rain was falling pleasantly. 

To describe an old-time town meeting at Concord as it 
occurred in the remote past is a difficult and delicate task, 
since the records of each session for about the first half 
century of the settlement were probably destroyed, as be- 
fore stated, in the destruction of Major Simon Willard's 
house by fire. But if we assume that Concord had customs 
in common with other colonial towns, and make conjectures 
based on analogy, we may suggest what may have taken 
place in a town meeting at Concord about 1655. Let it 
be understood, then, that though the following narration is 
in part fictitious, yet, like much of the foregoing, it is 
designed with due reference to such matters of tradition 
and record as have come to us, to set forth the character of 
a people and the customs and usages of an age long since 
vanished. The next morning we arose bright and early. 
The sunlight streamed into the manse windows and 
stretched across the mill meadows, giving assurance that 
the storm had subsided. 

As it was our purpose to note everything about the set- 
tlement, while breakfast was being prepared we walked out 
to look over the premises. The house was not by any 
means an uncomfortable one, for though it was low and 
plainly built, yet it was snug and fairly commodious. The 
chimney was of stone, with clay mortar ; the outside was 
covered with "clayboards" (clapboards), so called because 
they were fastened to the clay daubing of the walls, and the 
roof was thatched with meadow "blue joint." 

As we strolled abroad beyond the meeting house and 
over the Ridgeway we came to one of the "common plant- 
ing fields," where many pumpkins still remained ungath- 
ered, and now and then scattered on the ground was a long, 
full ear of maize, showing the value of fish as a fertilizer, 

50 Colonial 

and also that though the Indians had tilled this same field 
long before the English purchased it, the soil was still 
strong. At the farther end of the enclosure we saw a red 
deer timidly browsing among the weeds for stray corn, 
while skulking along the outskirts of the adjacent woods 
was a lank wolf. Upon seeing the wolf we were reminded 
that it might be breakfast time and made haste to return, 
crossing over the burying ground to the street, this being 
nearer than the way we came and farther from the wolf. 
We were shortly at the manse door and seated at the table. 
The morning meal consisted of toast made of goat's milk 
and journey (johnny) cake, so-called from the ease of mak- 
ing and its adaptation to people journeying. The toast 
was served from a tureen, which had been placed in an iron 
chaffing dish with coals in it, this useful article having been 
brought into requisition to keep the breakfast warm till our 
return. The trenchers (plates) were of pewter, and beside 
each was a beaker of water. There was also some apple 
mose which the fruit of a few apple trees the first in the 
settlement had afforded, and this, with some cranberry tarts 
made with rye crust, completed the meal. After breakfast 
the Parson returned thanks, and taking the well-worn 
Bible from a shelf read a portion of it, then kneeling and 
with hands reverently clasped upon its dark leathern lids, 
offered upon that altar in the wilderness a worship that was 
far more than form. After prayer he exchanged his light 
outer garment for a red "doublet," and went to the barn to 
fodder his stock. We accompanied him, conversing on 
various practical matters, among which was the value of 
meadow grass, and our conclusions were that notwithstand- 
ing what some have said about its worthlessness, it 
nevertheless was quite serviceable, and that without it per- 
haps the settlers' cattle would have starved. " The weather 
also was considered, and about this we concluded it was no 
colder in Concord than elsewhere, especially if we could 
credit the statements of good Cotton Mather, that in Salem 

Concord 5 1 

it was so cold that sap forced out of the wood by the fire 
in the middle, froze simultaneously at both ends. 

After the chores were done, which were few, for the Par- 
Son had but two cows, we returned to the manse and soon 
went to the meeting house where the town's business was to 
be transacted pursuant to a warrant previously posted on the 
door, and also upon a "publishing post" by the wayside. 

As we entered the low, rectangular structure, almost 
severely plain in its appliances, and with no chimney, 
steeple, or porch, we saw at a glance that we could learn 
nothing from the sparks about the political management of 
the municipality as it related to the past, for there was no 
fireplace. We reverentially removed our hats and seated 
ourselves in one of the hard, pen-like pews before the com- 
munion table, behind which the moderator afterward sta- 
tioned himself; and while waiting for the session to open 
we talked with Ensign Meriam as to the methods by which 
town affairs were conducted. 

Our conversation on this subject was soon interrupted 
by the arrival of "Clark" Willard with the "town books ;" 
whereupon by motion of Goodman Potter, Ensign Hos- 
mer took the chair and the session began. Parson Bulke- 
ley was asked to pray, the "dark's" records were read and 
"silentiously" approved, and business commenced. We 
soon saw that the principles of parliamentary usage differed 
but little from those of the present, though there were 
some quaint variations in terminology. If a measure was 
passed without opposition it was said to be ^^assed by a 
"silentious" vote. In some instances "it was resoluted," 
and so recorded, but generally, acts were passed by a "majer 
vote" or by a division of voters, and the record might read 
"by a clere vote." The resolutions and measures adopted 
ranged all the way from the appropriation of twenty shil- 
lings to pay for the "diet" of the deputy to the Colonial 
Court, to the requisition of a receipt from Abimeleck Bate- 
man for the ninepence paid for publicly whipping a stranger 

52 Colonial 

for disorderly drunkenness, and for the sixpence paid for 
placing a persistent Sabbath breaker in the stocks. 

Among the officers chosen were selectmen, commissioners 
of rates, highway surveyors, tythingmen, fence viewers, and 
a "dark." Among the appointments was that of a person 
to procure a, "branding iron" for marking horses, a person 
to take care of the town's stock of ammunition ; a person 
to beat a drum to call people to meeting on Sundays and 
lecture days, and to sweep and keep clean the meeting 
house ; a committee to establish rules for cutting wood on 
the "commons" ; a person to look after and repair the 
watch house ; and George Fowler was appointed to "breed 
salt petre" in some out-house used for poultry. Mr. Simon 
Willard was allowed to sell wine and "strong water," and 
was to exercise the "train band." 

Among things "ordered" were that "all persons who 
shall cut down trees within half a mile of the meeting house 
shall cut them up within three months ;" (This order was 
perhaps to prevent forest fires.) that "any persons 
who neglect to attend town meeting, they having been 
properly warned, shall pay a fine of two shillings, and if 
they leave before the close they shall be fined the same ;" 
and that "the chief trees shall be left standing by the high- 
way as shelter for the cattle from the heat." 

Among the appropriations were "ten shillings to pay 
Sergeant Scotchford for warning suspicious persons out of 
town," they being liable to become a public charge ; "ten 
shillings to purchase a new buryin' cloth to cover up 
copses ;" "twenty shillings to set two mort stones between 
the Blood farms (Carlisle) and the buryin' ground ;" 
"eight shillings to set stakes by the causeways, for the use 
of travelers at high water"; "five shillings to be paid Good- 
man Woods for mending the pound, besides half the 
receipts for impounding stray cattle the ensuing year ;" 
"three shillings to purchase a padlock for the stocks ;" and 
"five pounds for paying the board of poor people to such 

Concord c,2> 

as would take them at the lowest bid, they to have good 
and sufficient diet and suitable clothing." 

After the meeting broke up but little was said, for the 
cool shadows at the close of that early October day sent 
each householder hurrying home "to cover up things," as 
Goodman Woods said there would be a hard frost up his 
way. The meeting was adjourned without date, for Lieu- 
tenant Willard did not know of anything that should call 
them together until Michaelmas. 


Scene by the Wayside — Home of Timothy Wheeler — 
Evening Talk by the Fireplace — Statements of John 
Scotchford — Cause of the Settlement of Concord. 

ACCORDING to previous arrangement, no sooner 
was the meeting over than we started with Timothy 
Wheeler for his home. This visit we considered 
quite a privilege, inasmuch as having seen the 
easier side of a settler's life at the manse, we greatly 
wished to see the other side in the quiet homestead 
of an outlying farm : moreover, we had heard of Goody 
Wheeler's "apple mose" and "sweet conserve," and knew 
that we would receive there more than an average of 
Concord comforts, besides a chance of listening to some 
good stories from her consort, since Timothy, as he was 
called by the town folks, was acquainted with everybody 
from the "nine acres" to the "lower medders," and knew 
many strange incidents of settlers' life by the Musketequid. 
As we left the meeting house there passed us a drove of 
cattle composed of cows, calves, and several oxen, which we 
were informed were the property of various owners who 
were pasturing them on the common feeding field. Not 
caring to be too inquisitive at the outset, for we knew there 
would be much to inquire about, we asked no questions on 
the subject, but by the data obtained from the sparks and 
elsewhere we inferred that there was a daily herding of these 
animals, and that it was done by each householder in turn 
collecting them in the morning and returning them to the 
barnyard at evening; and if we are right in the above infer- 
ence we may well wait for a moment at the next bar-way 
while we reflect upon a custom that has such pleasing and 
pastoral relations. The farm boy driving home the cows 
has long been a favorite subject for the painter, and justly 


Concord ^ ^ 

so, but is It hardly comparable in its picturesque suggestive- 
ness with the bringing home of that little lone herd from 
the broad meadow lands and the sunny hillsides to the 
snug straw thatched barns of the Concord husbandmen ? 
We can almost conceive of the scene, as at sunsetting by 
the woodside pathway is heard the tinkling sound of the 
bell wether and the deep clank, clonk of the cow bell, and 
the familiar, breezy call of the tired herdsman, all of which 
are as welcome to the waiting milkman and maid as were 
the notes of the post horn in the days of stage travel to the 
old-time tavern-keeper. 

The natural concomitant of all this was the dropping of 
the barnyard bars while Flora, Brindle and Bess, good 
stock from Surrey and Kent, stepped over them, and the 
rest of the drove moved to their own stalls further on. 
And the children, for they are there in this true back- 
woods nursery, little Cerinthy, Hannah and Hope, Jona- 
than, Jesse and Abiather, are all on hand with their 
porringers, each to be served first. 

We were not long in reaching Timothy's house, which 
was a plain structure with a stout frame roughly boarded 
with thick planks set upright inside, both for finish and 
for defence from attacks of the Northern and Eastern 
Indians. Within the building, things differed from those 
at Parson Bulkeley's, for the Parson was more than well- 
to-do ; he was for the times wealthy, and things at the 
manse were somewhat in accord with his estate. The 
chimney was a massive one placed near the middle of 
the house, and up the broad flue over the fire-place was a 
large "lug" of green walnut that extended from ledge to 
ledge and which Timothy told us might last for several 
months, but with a liability if left too long, of burning 
through. This "lug" was used in place of a crane, which 
came later, and upon it were suspended "hooks and tram- 
mels"; below were a pair of andirons, before which was a 
broad, flaring hearth ; above the fireplace was a mantel 
piece, and upon it a pair of candle-snuflFers, a tinder box 

r6 Colonial 

and a "saveall"; the latter article being a small candle stick 
with an upright pin proceeding from the centre and used 
for impaling partly spent candles when too short for the 
common candle stick. Squashes, sage, and savory were 
also there, while over all were a couple of firearms resting 
peacefully upon wooden pegs. 

As we entered the house Goody Wheeler met us with a 
cheery look and we soon felfat home. The evening meal 
which was awaiting our arrival was laid on a small pine 
table without leaves, and though every dish was unpreten- 
tious, yet there was a display of neatness and taste which at 
once convinced us of the good sense of Timothy's consort. 
The food consisted of johnny cake, a trencher of apple 
slump, and pumpkin pie with a rye crust. There was 
also on a narrow side board or adjustable shelt hinged to 
the wall and upheld in horizontal position by a single stake, 
or leg, the remnant of a boiled dinner, but no potatoes ; 
the absence of the latter being accounted for by the fact 
that potatoes were as yet but little grown by the settlers, 
being regarded by some at that time as unfit for food. For 
drink there was home brewed beer either made from barley 
malted at the village malt house or from malt bought by 
the ball. 

It is needless to say that town meeting had made us 
hungry, and for a half hour we showed our appreciation of 
this simple farm fare. 

Supper over, the food that remained was removed to the 
buttery in a "varder," a utensil made for the purpose, and 
the dishes after being washed were placed in the "dresser," 
a triangular shaped closet in one corner of the room. 

The kitchen work being completed a trundle bed was 
drawn out from under the high bed for little Cerinthy and 
Charity: and then Goody Wheeler joined her husband and 
myself who were sitting by the fireside. 

Hardly were we fairly seated and engaged in conversation 
concerning Timothy's crops, and methods of husbandry, 
when here was a pull at the latch string, and in walked 

Concord 5 7 

Goodman John Scotchford, whom we met at town meeting, 
and who had come over with his wife Susanna for an even- 
ings talk. Their arrival was timely, for we had ascertained 
in a conversation held with him at the meeting house that 
he was of the company that arrived at Concord the first 
fall, and was therefore conversant with the settlers' earliest 
experience the first year, and also knew something of their 
antecedents in England ; some of which things we could 
hardly have expected to ascertain from Timothy Wheeler, 
since he did not join the Concord colony until 1639. 

It was not long before we were conversing on these sub- 
jects, and soon obtained facts which taken in conjunction 
with what the sparks had deposed in other places led us to 
infer that the Concord grantees, whether of the company 
first arriving or those who soon followed, were mostly 
Englishmen, and that they came to America not as worldly 
minded adventurers but rather as sturdy Puritans ; so that 
it is by no false nomenclature that we speak of the Puritan 
pilgrims of Concord, and assert that their early homes by 
the Musketequid were in every sense shrines of the truth, 
where liberty loving devotees burned incense. That these 
pilgrims founded the township at a sacrifice can scarcely be 
doubted ; for was it not that which John Scotchford told 
us ? and did not the sparks snap vigorously and even the 
cob irons suddenly redden with an additional glow as he 
described his home beyond seas ? 

Most surely, there could be no mistaking on this point; 
for, although the wind blew bleakly outside and occasionally 
crept down the chimney with a melancholy wail, giving an 
unwonted brightness to the back log, yet not half so bright 
was it as the picture given by him of his far, EngHsh birth- 
place. But the more pathetic part of his narration was that 
relating to his leaving home ; and here he became agitated 
and appeared to live again that part of his life which he 
thought the saddest. He spoke of the prayers and the 
parting at his parents' threshold, and the words of blessing 
at the garden gate. 

5 8 Colonial 

At this point in the narrative the sparks stopped snap- 
ping and the coals were fast fading into an ashen hue, giv- 
ing the room a sombre appearance ; moreover, John acted 
as if he did not care to talk further, but sat silently gazing 
upon the changeful embers as though he saw images in 
them ; while Susanna sighed heavily like one thinking of 
things far distant. Presently, Timothy Wheeler arose and 
threw upon the fire a few chips, whereupon John began 
slowly pacing the room. 

As for ourselves we did not care to say anything. It 
was a time for thought. The facts stated had been impres- 
sive, and John's manner was so demonstrative that it 
needed nothing farther from any one to convince us of the 
cause of the Puritans' exodus to America ; and that the 
inhabitants in the lone hamlet at Concord became pilgrims 
for things not of earth. Moreover, the spell that had over- 
taken John was upon us also ; we saw spectres in the air 
and weird pictures. Sprites danced down the great chim- 
ney flue and perched on the sooty lug bar ; the candle 
flared ; its spent wick sputtered and the last spark ceased to 
twinkle ; the back log broke and half buried itself in the 
ashes ; and it was twice night in Timothy Wheeler's domi- 
cile, — the night of nature and the night of the past. 
Meekly bowing to the inevitable, as we always mean to, 
we immediately mused on the apostrophe of the poet 
Lowell to the great monarch whose realm we had invaded : 

<'0 realm of silence and of swart eclipse. 

The shapes that haunt thy gloom 
Make signs to us and move thy withered lips 

Across the gulf of doom ; 

Yet all their sound and motion 
Bring no more freight to us than wraiths of ships 

On the mirage's ocean." 

The silence had continued till it began to be quite un- 
comfortable, when the chips last thrown upon the coals 
became suddenly ignited, and as the flames roared up the 
chimney the sprites followed them, and when the hinder- 

Concord 59 

most leaped over the lug stick there was a sharp whine 
from the dog Towser as if making sympathetic response to 
the sad narration. 

The noise of Towser awoke Charity and little Cerinthy, 
whose deep and peaceful breathing had been one of the 
pleasant features of the evening. As Cerinthy climbed 
out of the trundle bed and ran to Goody Wheeler, 
saying she was lonesome, it occurred to us to inquire some- 
thing about child life in the earlier days of the Concord 
colony. This we did, and learned among other things that 
some of the settlers who arrived early brought with them 
several children, and that the families were generally large, 
as the Hartwells, Willards and some of the Wheelers, 
although this was not the case with our friend Timothy, 
for we had ascertained in the course of our conversation 
that Cerinthy and Charity were not their own children, but 
they had taken them into their home from a household 
that was somewhat straightened in means. 

As the subject of child life was being discussed we noticed 
that the ears of little Charity were evidently open to all 
that was being said, and thought it might be in poor taste 
to continue our interrogatories farther concerning this mat- 
ter. We were not compelled, however, to leave the topic 
here, for no sooner had our talk upon it ceased, than Tim- 
othy took from the wood box and threw against the chim- 
ney back a handful of pine cones, which he informed us 
the children had gathered in the warm fall days for winter 
kindling. Immediately, these inflammable objects became 
ablaze, and as they crackled the sparks snapped and struck 
out until all moved back from the hearth's edge lest they 
be burned by them. 


Continued Account of Colonial Child Life — Synop- . 
sis of Events the First Year at the Musketequid 
Settlement — Purchase of Territory from the 
Indians — Plan of the Township — Names of the 
Original Grantees — Description of the Journey 
from Watertown to Concord. 

HERE was an opportunity, for not only were we in 
the way to get at the indoor experience of the 
children, but also to know something of their prat- 
tle and play and their little duties outside ; so 
while the rest were talking together about an expected visit 
from Parson Bulkeley to catechise their households, we sat 
quietly listening as the sparks spoke, and the following is - 
what we learned. 

Before the birth of a child preparation was made for a 
jubilee dinner or supper to be held a few weeks after the 
child was born, at which the nurse and others were invited, 
and what was called "grooming" beer and "grooming" cake 
were prepared for this occasion weeks beforehand. On the 
Sunday next after the birth the babe was taken to the 
meeting house for baptism, and it mattered not about the 
weather, for the "chrisom" child was to undergo the rite 
even if ice had to be broken in the "christening bowl." 

It was usually carried in the arms of the midwife and 
was attired in a "bearing cloth" or "christening blanket" 
made of linen and woven by hand, and when at the altar it 
was placed in the arms of the father. 

The little children in early times were usually clothed 
with the best the householder could afford. An important 
article of dress for church service, whether in summer or 






Asior, Lenox and TUden^ 

Concord 6 1 

winter, was a low necked and short sleeved shirt, and its 
head was covered with a "bigger" or cap. 

The first time a babe was moved from the room it was 
carried upstairs with silver or gold in its hand to bring 
wealth and to cause it always to rise in the world. It also 
had scarlet laid upon its head to keep it from harm. 
Among the prescriptions for children's ailments was "snail- 
water"; a concoction of garden snails, earth worms, rue, 
agrimony, barberry bark, bear's foot, and betony. The 
snails were to be washed in small beer and bruised in a 
stone mortar and then mixed with the crushed earth worms. 
To facilitate teething, babes sometimes wore anodyne neck- 
laces ; and one old writer recommends for teething, milk 
pottage, "flummery," and warm beer. The children were 
early sent to what were called "Dame schools," where they 
were taught among other rudiments of knowledge, to sew, 
knit, spin, and weave. 

The "boughten" luxuries of the boys and girls were not 
many nor great. We hear of "lemon pil candy," and 
"angelica candy," and "carraway comfits"; but confections 
were probably only the things of an occasional holiday, and 
even then not to be practically thought of by the average 
child. Amusements of an intellectual nature were quite as 
few, there being little perhaps of an amusing character until 
the appearance of the "Mother Goose Melodies." 

Some of the books of the period are the following : — the 
titles of which we conclude could not have been very attrac- 
tive, notwithstanding Cotton Mather said in his election 
sermon before the governor and council in 1685, "The 
youth of this country are verrie sharp and early ripe in 
their capacities." — "A Looking Glass for Children," "The 
Life of Mary Paddock, Who Died at the Age of Nine," 
"A Particular Account of Some Extraordinary Pious 
Motions and Devout Exercises Observed of Late in Many 
Children of Siberia." 

But notwithstanding the paucity of amusements and gala 
days caused by the severity of the times, child nature would 

62 Colonial 

assert itself and mirth and meriy making could not be sup- 
pressed. It found expression at the corn huskings, apple 
bees, and quiltings, and whenever the older folks gathered 
of an evening in a neighborly way the children were pre- 
sent, and seated on stools in the back part of the room, 
listened to stories of forest adventure and village gossip, 
and shared with their elders the pop-corn, apples and cider, 
or cracked nuts all by themselves near the oven's mouth, 
while they may have made many an innocent caricature of 
some quaint individual. Even in their work they found 
play. If they kept the blackbirds from the corn there was 
many a skip, and jump, and gleeful halloo. If they drove 
afield the herds and flocks there was the bird's nest that 
they visited and the brook in which they waded or swam. 
If they went on errands there were the berries by the way- 
side, and the squirrel, woodchuck and coons. They had 
access to the purple wild grapes, and the brown nuts of the 
woods. The field flowers they could see at their best, and 
they had an appetite for anything eatable. With such 
pleasures they were satisfied. 

"Learn to Obey" and little "Hate-evil" could frolic and 
romp as much as they pleased when sent to the "close" to 
call the men folks, and nothing could prevent Welcome 
Wheat from waiting at the bar-way before dropping the 
rails until she heard the familiar co, co, co, from Mindwell 
Dean, as he coaxed his herd from an adjacent pasture in 
order to drive their droves home together. 

In these homes the families were usually large, and there 
was the companionship of near ages, and the crude play- 
things served as did the same cradle for each new comer. 
It mattered not if Helpful Hunt and prattling Patience 
Potter, and the twins, Thomas and Haggai Hayward, 
could not go with a "ha-penny" to Robert Meriam's grocery 
for a "carraway comfit" or a stick of "angelica candy," for 
their happiness did not depend on these things. More- 
over, their mothers made marmalade, and "quidonies," and 
"typocias," and sometimes when they had company there 

Concord ^2 

was the "sack posset" made of sack, ale, cream, and eggs, 
which even baby Jane sometimes sipped from the "pap 
spoon." There was the sweet "pumpkin bread" and the 
occasional sweet cake of "guinny wheat." Furthermore, 
at the "Dame schools" there was doubtless no little of fun, 
and of that merriment which school life always finds no 
matter how staid or strict the environment, and we may 
easily conjecture that at one of these early Concord kinder- 
gartens while Dame Dakin had stepped to the kitchen to 
get a noggin of hot "mumm" (a fat ale made of oat meal 
and malt) "to stay her stomach," Fidelity Flint and 
Honorbright Hartwell have crept to the "noon mark" to 
see how near it is to dinner time. 

As it was getting late we concluded to retire, and upon 
making known our intention, Timothy Wheeler slipped 
from the candlestick the spent candle and placed it upon 
a saveall, saying, "It will more than last till you git to 
bed." He did not know, however, that to retire from 
the hearth side was not to retire to our couch, but that 
there was to be a review of what had been said by John 
Scotchford and a noting of it. 

And now let us pause in our story and briefly consider 
some events that are matters of record, together with what 
may have been some of the scenes, incidents and processes 
in connection with the beginning of the settlement of 

As has been stated, several families in the fall of 1635 
went from Watertown to a spot by the Musketequid river 
to establish a township. The territory was purchased of 
the Indians and was surrounded on all sides by their land. 
A part of the price was paid in "wampum-peage, hatchets. 
Hows, knives, cotton cloth, and shirts." It is stated that 
an agreement to sell the land, or the actual sale of it, was 
made at the house of Rev. Peter Bulkeley. 

The deed was early lost and never recovered, but there 
is ample evidence that it was duly executed and delivered. 
Tradition states that the bargain was made under an oak 

64 Colonial 

tree called Jethro's tree, and that the tree stood at a spot 
just in front of the site of the old Middlesex hotel at the 
southwesterly end of Concord square. 

On Sept, 2, 1635, ^h^ tract was granted by the act of 
the Colonial Court, as was customary, and was to be, 
according to Governor Winthrop, "6 myles of land 
square." The name Concord may have been given it from 
the harmony early existing among the grantees. The deed 
of conveyance was probably signed by those who made the 
agreement to sell, among whom were the squaw Sachem, 
Tahattawan ; Muttanktuckes, Nimrod and others, accord- 
ing to various depositions, and we believe it not improbable 
that the others referred to were Kato, a former In- 
dian owner of the Sudbury plantation, Jehojakim, Majus, 
Musqua, some of the Speen family, Musquamog, Bohew, 
Boman, Nepanum, and Wenneto. 

No plan of the territory acquired by the first purchase 
is known to have ever been made, but it is supposed that 
the township was surveyed and laid out by Major Simon 
Willard. It has been stated that the tract was to be three 
miles north, south, east and west, that the house lot of 
Rev. Peter Bulkeley was its geographical center, and that 
it included among its natural advantages six mill privileges, 
seven ponds and more than nine miles of river course. 

Stone bounds were set at the corners of the township, 
and tradition has pointed out the place of some of them. 
In process of time other land acquisitions were added to 
the original grant, notably among which were Concord 
village (Acton), and the Blood farm (Carlisle). 

The names of all the settlers who had reached the place 
of settlement by iG^S and 1636 is uncertain but a part of 
them are Rev. Peter Bulkeley, Elder John Jones, Hay- 
ward, Heald, Fletcher; William and Thomas Bateman, 
Hosmer, Potter, Ball, Rice, Hartwell, Meriam, Judson, ^ 
Griffin, George, Joseph and Obadiah Wheeler and John 
Scotchford. Peter Bulkeley came from Wodell, Bedford- 
shire county, England; James Hosmer from Hockhurst 

Concord 6 5 

in Kent, John Heald from Berwick in Northumberland, 
William Buttrick from Kingston on Thames in Surrey, 
John Ball from Wiltshire, and the Wheelers, according to 
tradition, from Wales. 

The names of settlers who arrived at Concord between 
1635-6 and 1640 are Thomas Flint from Matlock, Wil- 
liam Hunt from Yorkshire, Ephraim Thomas and Timothy- 
Wheeler, whom tradition says came from Wales ; Thomas 
Brooks from London, Jonathan Mitchell from Yorkshire, 
Stow, Blood, Brown, Andrews, Atkinson, Barrett, Billings, 
Miles, Smeadley, Squire, Underwood, Burr, Draper, Far- 
well, Chandler, Gobble, Fox and probably Middlebrook, 
Odell and Fuller. 

Some of the larger estates of these settlers are estimated 
as follows : Peter Bulkeley, ^6000 ; Thomas Flint, 
^4000 ; William and Thomas Bateman, ^34^ '•> George 
H ay ward, ;^ 500 ; William Hunt, ^^596. James Blood and 
Thomas Stow were large real estate owners. 

There is no evidence that these families lived together 
before their arrival in America ; neither have we any evi- 
dence that the settlement was planned in England. 

The journey to the Musketequid country was doubtless 
an arduous one and attended with peril, as we may infer 
from the following account given by the writer Edward 
Johnson in his "Wonder working JProvidence of Zion's 

"Sometimes passing through the thickets, where their 
hands are forced to break way for their bodies' p'^.ssage, and 
their feet clambering over the crossed trees, which when 
they missed they sink into an uncertain bottom in water, 
and wade up to their knees, tumbling sometimes higher and 
sometimes lower. Wearied with this toil, they at the end 
of this meet with scorching plains, yet nof^ so plain but 
that the ragged bushes scratch their legs fouly, even to 
wearing their stockings to their bare skin in two or three 
hours. If they are not otherwise well defended with boots 
or buskins, their flesh will be torn, — some of them being 

66 Colonial 

forced to pass on without further provision, have had the 
blood trickle down at every step. And in time of summer, 
the sun cast such a reflecting heat from the sweet fern, 
whose scent is so very strong, that some herewith have 
been very near fainting, altho very able bodies to endure 
much travel. And this not to be indured for one day, but 
for many ; and verily did not the Lord encourage their 
natural parts with hopes of a new and strange discovery, 
expecting every hour to see some rare sight never seen 
before, they were not able to hold out and break through. 
* * * After some days spent in search, toiling in the day- 
time, as formerly said, like true Jacob they rest them on 
the rocks where the night takes them. Their short repast 
is some small pittance of bread, if it holds out ; but as for 
drink they have plenty, the country being well watered in 
all places that are yet found out. Their further hardship 
is to travel, sometimes they know not whither, bewildered 
indeed without sight of sun, their compass miscarrving in 
crowding through the bushes. They sadly search up and 
down for a known way, the Indian paths being not above 
one foot broad, so that a man may travel many days and 
never find one. ''' * ''' This intricate work no whit daunted 
these resolved servants of Christ to go on with the work in 
hand, but lying in the open air while the watery clouds 
pour down all the night season, and sometimes the driving 
snow desolving on their backs, they keep their wet clothes 
warm with continued fire till the renewed morning gives 
fresh opportunity of further travel." 

This account may perhaps relate to the journeys of var- 
ious companies who went at different seasons to the pro- 
posed new plantation, rather than to any one journey made 
by explorers or permanent settlers. 

The language is strong and may have been designed to 
convey for substance a general instead of a detailed descrip- 

Captain Edward Johnson was one of the prominent 
founders of Woburn and a good man. 

Concord 67 

He wrote about the settlement of other New England 
towns also ; and doubtless obtained much of his informa- 
tion from conversations with their inhabitants. 

The goods of the settlers were conveyed to Concord in 
teams which were impressed by order of the Colonial 
Court ; as indicated by the following record, dated Sept. 2, 

"It is ordered that there shall be a Plantation at Mus- 
ketequid, and that there shall be six miles square to belong 
to it, and that the inhabitants thereof shall have three years 
immunities from all public charges except trainings. Fur- 
ther, that when any that shall plant there shall have occa- 
sion of carrying of goods thither, they shall repair to two 
of tne next magistrates where the teams are, who shall have 
power for a year to press draughts at reasonable rates to be 
paid by the owners of the goods to transport their goods 
thither at seasonable times. And the name of the place is 
changed, and henceforth to be called Concord." 

The preparation for the departure from Watertown into 
the wilderness was doubtless short ; for the settlers would 
have but few household articles to take with them ; but the 
scene at the departure was probably an interesting one. 
We may conjecture that foremost in the procession were 
several outriders, who were for watch and ward lest the 
train be attacked by hostile Indians, for as yet the settlers 
did not know the friendly character of the natives. Be- 
tween the wagons and the vanguard were, naturally, the 
cattle, sheep, goats and swine, upon whose safety so much 
depended. Lastly, and accompanied probably by some of 
the more lusty of the company as a rear guard, we may 
suppose rode reverentially and anxiously. Rev. Peter 
Bulkeley and Elder John Jones. 

As there were no roads nor bridges, fording places were to 
be sought, for crossing the streams ; swamps ^^^ere to be 
avoided by a circuitous path, and fodder for the animals 
was either to be carried or obtained from the tufts of wild 
wood grass or from occasional open spaces in the forest. 

As more than one day was consumed in making the 

68 Colonial 

journey, at night everything was to be carefully guarded, 
and, let the weather be what it might, there was no shelter 
but an improvised one of tree branches or that of some 
projecting rock or friendly windfall. 

No welcome of any kind awaited their arrival, but in- 

"Bleak Nature's desolation wraps them round. 
Eternal forests, and unyielding earth. 
And savage men, who through the thickets peer, 
With vengeful arrow." 

The only sounds that greeted them were of the wilder- 
ness. The eagle screamed over the pines by the ridgeway, 
and from the vast meadow wastes came the deep booming 
of the lone bittern. Down the gentle defiles, which after a 
lapse of two centuries have become such pleasant places, 
danced the dim shadows of an early twilight, and long be- 
fore the day was done the wild beast began his nightly 
prowling with dismal cry and suspicious skulk. 

But there are other things which may have lent their 
influence to make the arrival a forbidding one. There was 
in the nature of the Massachusetts Bay settlers an element 
of superstition which was easily aroused, and there were 
conditions in the country about Concord suited to call it 
forth to an unusual degree ; ponds with lonely environ- 
ments, from which the loons wild and pathetic cry as it 
pealed over the woodland might be mistaken for the spirit 
of some unavenged victim of Indian hate; dark recesses 
by the meadow border, upon which the night bird de- 
scended with whistling wing, making sounds which to unac- 
customed ears might be mistaken for voices unearthly ; 
dark, evergreen groves by the hillside ; tangled and vine 
webbed archways beneath which were the imprints of 
unknown animals, or of strange moccasined feet ; fresh 
coals on abandoned hearthstones, suggestive of some one 
living, and perhaps somewhere listening and watching ; all 
these things and others it may be of like nature awaited 
the settlers. 




Astor, Lenox and JMtn 


Character of the First Houses — Food^ Clothings 
Occupation — Preparations for Cold Weather — 
The Setting in of Winter — Trials and Amusements 
— The Coming of Spring — Scenes Along the Mus- 

THE first work that presented itself was that of 
providing themselves shelter; in doing this they 
seized upon every advantage. 

They laid out their stinted house lots at the foot of the 
ridgeway before spoken of, thinking, it may be that the 
bank to the northerly would prove a friendly wind break, 
and that the southerly slope would catch the slant beams 
of the winter's sun. But the expected advantage had its 
drawback, for old Boreas strode ruthlessly down the little 
"strate strete" and knocked loudly at their cabin doors, 
while the snow swept by his besom from the "great fields" 
above, fell unexpectedly over the bank, and only awaited 
the springtime to melt and flood their dwellings. 

The first houses were thinly scattered from what is now 
Concord square to "Meriam's corner." They were con- 
structed by the driving or setting of upright stakes or 
logs at the foot of the hill, and the placing thereon of 
stringers or poles, which, resting on the sloping ground 
formed a roof admitting of a room beneath, by the removal 
of the earth. The roof poles were covered with sods, 
or brushwood thatched with grass. The fireplaces were 
against the bank ; and for light, the door may have 
served a partial purpose, supplemented by one or two small 
apertures, closing with slides or filled with oiled paper. It 
is stated that these structures were only designed for a tem- 
porary purpose, and made to the end that when kindly 


70 Colonial 

spring opened they could provide things more durable. It 
is said, however, that even the first winter Parson Bulkeley 
had provided for him a frame house. 

A? to the food supply, we may make no mistake in sup- 
posing that it was scant in quantity and altogether unsuit- 
able for either hard work or good health ; for commercial 
relations with other places were few, and but little corn 
could be obtained from the natives. Besides, there was 
inconvenience in the preparation of what food material they 
had. Corn may have had to be ground after the Indian 
fashion of pounding it with a pestle in a mortar of wood or 
stone, or if a few families were fortunate enough to own a 
"querne", before the erection of the "Bulkeley grist mill", 
and also in seasons of drought afterward, they may have 
been put to the hardship of grinding their corn by hand. 

We may also believe that the clothing was unsuited to 
the climate, for, doubtless, they wore the garments they 
brought with them across the ocean, and the change from 
the equable temperature of England to the inconstant cli- 
mate of Massachusetts Bay, and the encountering of the 
malarial exhalations and damp meadow mists of the Mus- 
ketequid, together with the snowfalls and floods that go 
with great forest growths in an unreclaimed country, would 
naturally result in much suffering. If we may believe the 
writer, Johnson, some of the people were at times only 
partially clad in anything, for, he states, that "at the first, 
many of the people in the season of frost and snow went 
barefooted and barelegged." The same writer says that 
"some of their cattle, for which they paid five and twenty 
pounds a cow, died," and, also, that "for want of wheat, 
barley and rye, the Indian meal proved a sore affliction to 
some stomachs." 

The late autumnal days following the arrival were busy 
ones. There was much to be done before the setting in 
of a winter which to the settlers was all untried, and whose 
severity at its mildest might if unprepared to meet it sub- 
ject them to hardship. 

Concord 7 1 

Besides the building and banking up of their houses, a 
supply of food and fuel was to be provided ; shelter was to 
be made for the cattle, and fodder laid by for them when 
they could no longer feed upon the brown meadows nor 
browse upon the brushwood. To perform these tasks was 
not easy ; the forest being of the "first growth," as it was 
termed when no woodman's axe had been used upon it, 
would not readily fall before the rude implements that were 
used for wood-cutting in those days ; and the tall bluejoint, 
the juiceless lute grass, the "pipes" and the "flags" had all 
lost some of their summer sweetness, and were tough and 
woody, and in some places standing half high in water. 

Furthermore, the time for gathering these was short. 
Any week, any day, might bring the snow, and any night 
the ground might freeze, so that not so much as a fence 
post could be set. The summer birds had all flown, and 
the late stragglers from the north flew low down, as if laden 
with an apprehension that they were late. The leaves had 
fallen, and the wind blew through the bare branches with a 
melancholy wail, and rustled coldly through the coarse 
sedge in the runways ; while in the morning, thin ice cov- 
ered the meadow lands, all betokening the near approach 
of cold weather, and admonishing the settler to make haste 
in preparing for it ; perhaps, too, predisposing him to 
homesickness, and causing solicitude for things ahead. 

What was thus indicated soon occurred. The last honk 
of the gray wild goose was heard over the bay at the river 
bend, as if croaking back a note of disappointment at not 
finding open water in which to rest itself. The dusky 
duck, the hardiest and latest of the wild waterfowl that fre- 
quents the rivers and ponds about Concord, had days 
before taken its departure because the water was frozen ; 
and nothing remained of the bird kind but a flock of quer- 
ulous robins, which still lingered about the swamp near the 
mill brook, as if to discover what the strangers were there 
for, and to finish eating a few alder berries. 

Soon, "announced by all the trumpets of the sky," and 

'71 Colonial 

prognosticated by bird and beast, the snow came. It filled 
up the paths and dropped heavily upon the cabin roofs, 
and lodged gloomily upon the drooping tree branches. 
Easy access with the outer world was closed, and the 
colonists were left to themselves, with wild animals and wild 
men in a wild wood, with no promise of any visitors before 
spring, except the winds and the storm clouds. But, 
although thus exposed to the hardships of the wilderness 
we may well conjecture that they were not idle, for there 
was much that could be done in the winter season by way 
of preparation for the spring. Seed was to be obtained of 
the natives ; spots suitable for planting it were to be 
selected ; and fencing stuff was to be split out ; for the for- 
est had plenty of marauders ready to break into the plant- 
ing fields and claim the crops. Besides these things, there 
were farming tools to be made, daily chores to be done, 
and divers contrivances to be adopted, whereby the settlers 
might adjust themselves to their new circumstances. 

As to just how that first winter was passed, and what 
were the painful and pleasurable details of each family's 
experience, we have no certain knowledge. The records 
do not inform us, tradition gives no hint of it, and we 
have no faithful Bradford's Journal, as concerning the 
planters of Plymouth, to lift the curtain and let in the 
light. The writer Johnson informs us, in a general way, 
that they suffered from exposure, from fear, and from 
a lack of many necessary things ; while, as to things spe- 
cific and personal, he is mostly silent. 

But, although left to conjecture, we may, perhaps, fairly 
assume that there was both tragedy and comedy on that 
strange stage of human action, and that of the former class 
death came, and that a grave was opened in the town's first 
burial place that winter. That such was the case is prob- 
able, for although there were in the first arrival the names 
of only about a dozen heads of households that have come 
down to us, yet these may represent several scores of indi- 
viduals, as wives, children and servants, besides stragglers. 

Concord 73 

who are sometimes found attendant upon adventurous 
undertakings, as in the case of the Plymouth plantation, 
where there were several persons not signers of the original 
compact, and of whom posterity has had small reason to 
be proud. 

The severity of the climate, the scant accommodation 
for warmth and shelter, the stinted food supply, — all these 
would naturally superinduce disease and perhaps death, to 
reckon nothing upon casualties arising from special expos- 
ure, accident, and a variety of other causes and mishaps 
incident to life in a new country. The first monument to 
bear record to a death in Concord is that of Joseph 
Meriam. It stands in the old hill burial ground where for 
two hundred and twenty-six years it has faithfully borne 
the following inscription : 

"Joseph Meriam, aged 47 years. Died the 20 of April, 

It is a simple tombstone, unpretentious and time-worn; 
but a special interest is attached to it in that it has for so 
many years stood as a sentinel between the known and 
unknown of Concord's dead. It is on the line of demark- 
ation, beyond which, no tombstone deposeth and none 
durst venture. What names of persons who may have died 
the first v/inter would be inscribed on other tombstones, 
had all of those whose bodies resting in "that thick peopled 
ground" had a stone to bear record of them, none can 
declare ; but, there is large opportunity to conjecture that 
some would be there, and for the following reasons, if for 
no other. 

It is supposed that the earliest meeting house at Concord 
was built on what now might be called the hill burial place, 
within a year or two or perhaps three of the first arrival ; 
for it is stated, that by its first recorded vote, Feb. 5, 1636, 
the town decided that the meeting house "stand neare the 
brook in the east side of Goodman Judson's lott ;" and 
tradition has always located that spot in or near the old 
burying ground. As a church organization at Concord 

74 Colonial 

was not effected till April 6, 1637, there may have been 
a little delay in erecting the meeting house ; it being 
deemed, perhaps, less consequential to have a church build- 
ing before the family going into it was constituted. 

But, however this may be, the query naturally arises, 
why was this spot selected for a meeting house ? It was 
not adjacent to the parsonage, for tradition fixes the site of 
that, as we have seen, on the present Lowell street ; neither 
was it most accessible to all the houses. It was not there, 
as we believe, for a defensive purpose, for, with exceptional 
amity existing between the white and the red men, there 
was no necessity of placing the meeting house on the top 
of a hill for the purpose of better watch and ward ; we 
conclude, therefore, it was built there because about that 
spot was their burial place, and because the settlers decided 
that God's house should be upon God's acre. If this be 
true, then death may have occured the first year. 

In the few years next following 1635, some few records 
of deaths have come down to us. These may be 
found together with a list of births in what have been 
termed "the Boston Records." The earliest date of a 
death in this list is 1639, and the record is as follows : 
"Richard Harvy had two daughters hurried 1638, Marga- 
ret his wife dyed 1639." The day and the month of the 
births and deaths in this list is given in the quaint method 
of the period. 

The occurrence of any comedy amid circumstances of so 
grave a character as existed the first winter, it may be hard 
to conceive of, but human nature will usually assert itself, 
even among adverse surroundings, so we believe it did here. 
There were, doubtless, many accidents and incidents where 
mirth and even hilarity found vent. There were old songs 
to be sung, old stories to be told and jokes to be cracked; 
strange customs were to be inaugurated, queer costumes to 
be worn, and things to be done quite different from any- 
thing done in old England ; for instance, bullocks or kine 
harnessed tandem to suit the narrow wood path ; coon skin 

Concord 7 5 

caps instead of Puritan hats, loose leggins in place of boots, 
and first attempts at wearing snowshoes. As for events of 
a humorous nature, it might be hard to avoid them. For 
instance, a person lost in the woods at Nashoba, and led 
home with a sprained ancle by a couple of squaws ; another 
dropping his doublet when treed by a bear, which doublet 
was instantly devoured because made of goatskin with the 
hair on ; and still another starting from Beaver pond with 
a string of fish, and sowing them by the way as he ran 
homeward because he heard wolves following him. Many 
such like things may have occurred to excite merriment, 
and as they were recited about the evening fireside when 
the wind blew and the snow drifted, why should they not 
laugh ; they were men and women such as we are, and 
although called Puritans, they were not too pure to do 
what Providence designed them to do, and Providence 
designed them to laugh sometimes. 

Their practices were far from being what some have rep- 
resented. They did not carry firearms to kill harmless 
savages, neither did they sell them firewater for a six pence 
to buy powder and shot to shoot them with. They did 
not go to meeting on Sunday to learn about Divine decrees, 
which would lead them to leave duties undone during the 
week, nor to act in a manner inconsistent with the fullest 
exercise of a free will. But they were rational agents of 
the Almighty to help colonize a new country ; and how 
well they did it history tells. 

As to what was done in the long evenings we can only 
guess. There were few books, no papers, and as yet little 
or no material for spinning or knitting ; neither was there 
much corn to be shelled ; no apples to be pared, and no 
pumpkins to be cut and sliced. The men might do some 
coarse carpentry, perhaps, also some rough shoemaking 
from green hides, and it may be, turn a hand to some small 
coopering or rude basket making ; so, for the most part 
there was tediousness, lightened by the thought that winter 

nd Colonial 

would not always last, and spring would come bringing 
brighter things. 

And spring did come. The settlers soon saw signs that 
winter was on the wane. The sun rose higher and shone 
brighter. The days grew longer and longer ; and at length 
spring burst upon them with a novelty known only to such 
as have colonized a new country. Indeed it was as if they 
were introduced into a veritable wonderland; every day was 
a new revelation. Some bird came from the south ; some 
insect spread its wings and chirped at them ; some animal 
crawled from its winter hiding place ; and these were for 
the most part unUke what they had ever seen before. 

In the floral world also there were surprises. Along the 
meadows, by the brookside, in the springy places, were the 
marsh marigolds ; in the "pine dark glen" and along the 
hillside were the star flower and the ferns ; while in the 
runways and by the rivulets a variety of violets lifted their 
modest heads as if to welcome them. Amid this scene of 
animate beauty there also awaited the settlers a melody, 
which was as new to the ear as these were to the eye ; the 
lark whistled from a tall tree between the river and the 
ridgeway ; the song sparrow sang sweetly by the wayside ; 
a score or more of gay warblers twittered and trilled in the 
brushwood; and the robins which were so complaining the 
autumn before, no longer stood aloof with discordant note 
and shy presence, but acted as if desirous of being neigh- 

But the scene of greatest change, it may be, was along the 
course of the Musketequid and by the ponds ; all of which 
from the setting in of the cold weather till now had been 
as silent as the fishes that swarmed within them. The icy 
covering that closed over them in November had remained 
unbroken until March, during which time but little of 
animate life had been audible or visible ; while the cone- 
shaped nests of the musquash might, by their look of aban- 
donment, have made the landscape look even more desolate. 
But now, all was changed. From Nashawtuc to Punkatas- 

Concord 77 

sett, life appeared. The air was alive with wild water fowl : 
the wood duck and teal flew low down as if seeking nesting 
places, while, high above them, the "cloud cleaving geese" 
sent down their harsh, querulous honk, as if to say such 
places were too tame for them. Upon the soft grass of the 
meadow uplands the snipe stopped in his zigzag flight to 
find a feeding ground ; the sheldrake oiled herself con- 
tentedly on a hassock ; while in the reedy coves by the 
river bend the returning bittern sent forth his booming note 
no longer lonely, admonishing the settlers to "mend 

But of more interest than anything else was the wealth 
of meadow grass giving promise of plenty of hay. And 
this promise proved true, for Johnson informs us that the 
settlers along the river had not only hay sufficient for their 
own cattle, but took in cattle from other towns. 

There was no time, however, for idle enjoyment ; oppor- 
tunities were passing which would not return for another 
twelve month, and they should be promptly improved. 


Capture of Fish — Breakfast T'able of T'imothy 
Wheeler — Morning Walk 'Through the Woods — 
Visit at the Siinon Willard Homestead — Historic 
Sketch of Major Simon Willard — Description of 
Colonial Farm Houses — Domestic Products. 

THE first thing to be done was to capture fish, which 
were to be used for food and fertiHzation. In 
the long winter evenings the settlers doubtless 
obtained from the Indians a knowledge of the best 
methods of maize culture ; that it should be planted in the 
month of green leaves at a time when the oak leaf was the 
size of a mouse's ear or a squirrel's paw, and that each hill 
should contain an alewife. They also learned how and 
when the alewives were to be captured. The fish were al- 
ready ascending the Musketequid and pushing their way 
up the north and south branches for spawning purposes, 
and the season would soon be over. The Indians were 
gathering in their harvest, working by day with a scoop net 
at the wier, and at night watching with a fiaming flambeau 
in one hand, and a long sapling with a stone point in the 
other, ready to capture the fish as it swam in sight. We 
can conjecture that the English were not far behind, and 
that there was soon seen starting from every house on the 
"little strate strete" a man with a basket, or two men carry- 
ing a basket between them, suspended from a stout pole on 
their shoulders. Soon there came in sight perhaps John 
Meriam, from the corner, with a clumsy cart of spokeless 
wheels drawn by a bullock, in which were some scoop nets, 
and several spears, and sundry other articles. As he stop- 
ped before the house of William Judson, near the burying 

[public LIBRARY 

Astor, Lenox and TWen^ 

Concord 79 

ground, perhaps Goody Judson brought out a basket in 
which was some boiled venison, a dish of samp and a large 
pone cake. Truth Temple may have come soon after, 
with a half cheese. We infer that the fishing season was a 
lively one. The fishing places were famous resorts ; and 
about them the Indians were accustomed to gather by fami- 
lies and by clans for feasting and for tribal greetings. 

Another early work of importance was that of fencing; 
as, however, this subject properly belongs to that of land 
allotments and the common planting fields we will leave it 
to be considered later. 

Such was the commencement of the colonization of Con- 
cord, and such we conceive may have been some of the 
scenes incident to it. 

The cause of the colonization it is unnecessary to further 
consider. Every circumstance as well as record and tradi- 
tion assert it to have been at the dictation of duty, and a 
desire to reach a place, remote though it might be, where 
they could worship God as a spirit in spirit and in truth. 

"What sought they thus afar 

Bright jewels of the mine ? 

The wealth of seas ? the spoils of war ? 

They sought a faith's pure shrine." 

And the shrine of truth which they sought, they kept. 
Through all the vicissitudes that followed them, of the 
wilderness, of church dissensions, and divers other difficulties 
and dangers, they always adhered to their noble intent and 
righteous endeavor. No wonder that the sons of such 
sires have added greatly to the world's worth, that their 
homes are Meccas which many a pilgrim visits, and that 
about their burial places are ever the fresh imprints of pil- 
grim footsteps. 

But the bright disk of the harvest moon was now fast 
descending over the distant Wachuset mountain, and, long 
ago, the candle in the saveall had sputtered and gone out, 
leaving us in the darkness with our thoughts, which like 

8o Colonial 

the gray embers on the now cold hearthstone had about 
spent their vitaHty, for we were weary ; we had seen, and 
heard, and thought so much, it was a rehef that the sparks 
had spoken no farther, so, lest the sprites reappear we 
retired. A moment, and the rising wind rattled rudely the 
loose window frame ; another, it dropped down the chim- 
ney with a low, weird sigh, the next we were asleep. 

At an early hour in the morning we were astir, and, 
descending the narrow stairway, we perceived a savory 
smell of fried flitch (a strip of smoked pork) which was all 
the more satisfactory inasmuch as the light living at the 
manse, while all sufficient for parsonage purposes, had 
proved inadequate for our more active pursuits. Hardly 
was our simple toilet completed in the "back room", (for it 
was there that everybody washed) when a horn was blown, 
and, soon after, we were all seated at the breakfast table 
devouring with appreciative appetites the morning meal. 

This meal consisted in addition to the aforesaid flitch, 
of the remnant of a pan dowdy which, though made the 
day previous, had been so banked with hot ashes in the 
brick oven that this delicious dish of quartered apple 
cooked in a rich cream crust was still hot. As steam issued 
from every crevice in the crisp covering, and as Goody 
Wheeler stirred a rich sauce to spread over it, we felt that 
farm fare after all had its advantages. 

We would state in passing, that meeting the hired man 
led us to inquire of Goodman Wheeler what he paid him, 
to which he replied, "Ten and six a week and his diet." 
The meal ended, and the settle hitched back, for some of 
us had sat on it while eating, Goodman Wheeler took from 
the stand a small Bible, thoroughly time stained and finger 
worn, and having read a long chapter from the book of 
Judges invoked the Divine blessing with great fervor. In 
his reading there were oral interpolations of an expository 
as well as hortatory character, and in his prayer nothing 
was omitted that was practical, he being especially earnest 
in his petition for his pastor and the king of England. 

Concord 8 1 

When they arose, for all knelt in Timothy Wheeler's 
domicile even to little Cerinthy and Charity, all was bustle, 
getting in readiness for the day's work. 

Timothy had planned for the hired man and chore boy 
to go to the south meadow for some sedge, while he went 
with two of his neighbors to cut corn. The two neighbors 
we ascertained were swapping work with him, Timothy to 
work a like time for them a little later ; a custom much 
prevailing in that period, not only as related to work, but 
to other commodities ; as, for example, if one householder 
killed a hog, neighbors would borrow of it and the piece 
would be returned when a like animal was slaughtered by 
them. In the present instance Timothy Wheeler was 
harvesting corn for his annual husking, which he said was 
to take place the following week. 

But, beside the haste occasioned by the husking, he was 
pressed for time in other ways ; one of which was that it 
was his custom on a "growing moon" to kill his hogs, in 
order, as he stated, to prevent a shrinkage of the pork. 
He informed us that this principle likewise applied to other 
things, as the planting of garden seeds ; they doing much 
better if planted on the moon's increase. 

Other signs he was about speaking of when the hired 
man came with the "hay riggin'," and inquired whether he 
should take the sedge from the stack by the meadow 
border or from that on the river brink ; and upon being 
instructed to take it from the latter, we inferred that even 
after the September storms, the broad meadows would 
admit of the hauling of hay over them, something not 
always possible at the present time. 

We had now, as we believed, learned all we could from 
a short tarry with Timothy Wheeler, and grateful for his 
hospitality proffered payment. This he refused ; and, as 
if the obligation was on the other side, remarked that he 
would "call it square" if we would come to his husking ; 
at the same time promising that if we would do so and 
stop over night he would tell us more about "signs and 

82 Colonial 

sich," for, continued he, "I've seen a good many in my 
day and some's sartin to tarn true." 

Nothing could have suited us better, so, with a promise 
to accept his invitation we parted, steering for Major Simon 
Willard's, a lad leading the way. 

The walk through the woods was a wonderful one, for 
everything was massive, primitive, and grand. There was 
no underbrush to impede our progress, and the tall tree 
trunks towering upwards with their branches expanding in 
the upper air and sunlight, like things of beauty as they 
were, formed a safe hiding place for the pigeons and crows, 
which almost constantly cooed and cawed over us. So 
impressive was the spectacle, and so reverent our feelings, 
that we instantly recalled the words of Bryant in his 
"Forest Hymn :" 

"Father ! Thy hand 

Hath reared these venerable columns. Thou 

Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down 

Upon the naked earth ; and, forthwith rose 

All these fair ranks of trees. They in Thy sun 

Budded, and shook their green leaves in Thy breeze. 

And shot towards heaven. The century living crow 

Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died 

Among their branches, till, at last, they stood. 

As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark, — 

Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold • 

Communion with his Maker !" 

To such an extent did the gigantic trees interrupt our 
direct passage that we felt convinced that the primitive 
wood paths led the traveler a much longer distance from 
place to place than if he walked direct as the bee flies. 

Beneath the oaks was a profusion of acorn mast, and in 
the precincts of farm houses were swine busily crunching 
it; the custom of the settlers being to feed them in this 
way until the time for fattening. In one place several 
Indian women were picking hickory nuts, while at the foot 
of the tree were a couple of papooses cunningly clad in 
musquash skins. 

Concord 83 

We crossed the South branch of the river at the cart 
bridge near the upper meadows, and, following a path 
along the upland, where the purple grape and rich alder 
berry mingled alike their fragrance and their beauty to 
make the walk a delight, we soon saw the smoke wreaths 
of Major Willard's farm house. The very surroundings 
of the place were at once suggestive of the large hearted- 
ness of the owner, and of an estate of a more than well-to- 
do farmer of the times. There was upon the premises 
besides the ordinary buildings a smoke house ; and the 
§weet odor of smouldering corn cobs and green hickory 
wood that came from it reminded us of the juicy flitch at 
Timothy Wheeler's breakfast table. 

There was also a small barn for the storage of corn, 
which was set upon posts to protect the contents from 
squirrels and rats, and loosely boarded to let in the air. 
Not far away was a shed for beaver pelts, which the sparks 
informed us at the beaver dam Mr. Willard traded in. 

Approaching the premises, Mr. Willard saw and hast- 
ened to meet us, accompanied by two large Kentish mas- 
tiffs ; and as we grasped the hand of this well-known 
merchant of the Musketequid region we felt as we had 
heard that he was much of a man. 

And here it may be in place to relate a little of his his- 
tory. Simon Willard came to America from Kent county, 
England, and was at Cambridge, Massachusetts, as early 
as 1634. While in this country he formed an acquaintance 
with Rev. Peter Bulkeley and joined with him in the pur- 
chase of the tract of territory now Concord, going there as a 
colonist and becoming a prominent and potential factor in 
its settlement. Mr. Willard was a man of affairs as well 
as a person of means, being versed in matters of both a 
civic and military character. About 1660, he went to Lan- 
caster, and in 1672, to Groton, and in these townships 
there are still traditions, and records, and ancient land- 
marks showing the impress of his personality. In that 
dart of the town of Harvard, once Lancaster, near the 

84 Colonial 

northern border, is still pointed out the site of a garrison 
house which he erected ; and in the town of Ayer, formerly 
a part of Groton, is a large land tract once his property. 

On May 21, 1658, Simon Willard had conveyed to him 
five hundred acres of land "on the south side of a river 
that runneth from Nashua to Merrimack between Lan- 
caster and Groton, and in satisfaction of a debt of ^44 ^^^ 
from John, Sagamore of Pawtucket." 

The land was laid out in 1659, by Thomas Noyes, and 
is situated in the present town of Ayer, about Nonacoicus 

Major Willard commanded forces in King PhiHp's war, 
and was long identified with the Massachusetts Bay Colony 
militia in times of peace. He married for his first wife 
Mercy Sharp, and for his second and third, two sisters of 
President Dunster of Harvard college, and he had seven- 
teen children, descendants of whom are widely scattered 
throughout the land. The old Willard house at Concord 
was standing, it is stated, until the last quarter century, 
when it was destroyed by fire. 

It was situated at the foot of Nashawtuc and the site 
is now marked by a tablet, not far from the first south 

As we walked to the house, Mr. Willard said some very 
pleasant things about our late host, Goodman Wheeler, 
and about the Concord families generally, who, he said had 
come to a strange country for conscience sake : and as we 
reached the doorstep he said if we would remain over the 
coming Sunday, which would be the next day, he would 
take us to meeting, where we could see them in their wor- 

Here was an opportunity of observing still another phase 
of the settlers' life, and of hearing a sermon from the Rev. 
Peter Bulkeley, so we gladly accepted the invitation ; 
whereupon Mr. Willard, who had waited for our answer, 
pulled the latch string and we walked in, meeting Madam 
Willard in the entry way. 

Concord 8 5 

It is unnecessary to give a detailed description of Major 
Willard's house, for it was modest, considering the com- 
petency of its owner, and although more capacious, yet in 
other respects not unlike many others of the period. 
We will, however, describe the average farm house of the 
times, though in doing so we may subject ourselves to 
adverse critcism by running counter to pet theories of log 
cabins, of gambrel roofed manor houses with picturesque 
accompaniments, and various architectural features suggest- 
ive of ghosts, goblins, and witch lore. 

The early frame houses were rectangular in shape and of 
a severe simplicity. In about the middle was a large chim- 
ney having several flues, which afforded a fireplace to each 
room. There was usually a commodious cellar which sel- 
don "froze" it being a part of the farmer's fall work to 
"bank it up ;" and so even was its temperature that veget- 
ables kept in it the year round. 

The larger of these houses commonly contained four 
square rooms on the ground floor, and the smaller ones at 
least two : and to the latter was often attached an ell or a 
"lean-to" containing the kitchen. The roof was either 
gambrel or gable, the latter being the more common. The 
fireplaces were amply large enough to contain four foot 
sticks ; and the hearths which were made sometimes of 
stone and sometimes of brick extended well out into the 
room. Beside the fireplace in the kitchen was a brick 

The floors were made of the widest boards obtainable, 
and as they shrank and became worn, large seams and 
knots were visible. The framework was massive, a large 
beam extending across the top of the rooms, with stout, 
upright timbers at each corner supporting the roof plates, 
while above all, directly under the saddle boards, was a tri- 
angular "king piece" large enough for the sill of a modern 

Inside the outer boarding thick upright plank were 
sometimes placed, to make a bullet-proof protection in case 

86 Colonial 

of Indian attack. Sometimes, for greater security bricks 
were used instead of plank, especially in garrison houses, 
and occasionally there was a projection of the upper story 
over the lower one, in which were small port holes. 

Such were the houses of the seventeenth century. Here 
and there might have been a miniature manor house, where 
some attempt was made at architectural display, as in the 
case of some well-to-do squire, whose official position, to- 
gether with an income of a hundred pounds a year invested 
in mortgages, gave him some personal prominence ; but 
such instances were rare, and we have nowhere found in the 
Concord colony anything indicative of a desire for undue 
display in architecture ; nor should we expect it. The 
characteristics of the times were the natural outgrowth of a 
reaction from the vain glory of mere externals. Character 
was the test of personal worth. Scholarship and cul- 
ture found easy combination in Massachusetts with that 
rugged manual labor which wrenched from a sterile envi- 
ronment some of the world's best results. If the Bulke- 
leys, and Flints, and Bloods, and some others were, after 
the standard of the times, men of means, we may believe 
that they used their means wisely and for the common weal, 
rather than for the establishment of great estates ; and so it 
was that their garrison houses were their castles ; their sanc- 
tuaries were their manor houses ; and that the sites of these 
are to the present generation more impressive by far than 
would be the remains of 

"High raised battlements or labored mounds. 
Thick walls or moated gate." 



Domestic Products — Reminiscent Effect of Madam 
Willard' s Dutch cheese — Conversation upon Colo- 
nial Drinking Customs — Clerk of the Writs — 
Legal Fees — Furnishings of Early Farm Houses ; 
Lighting Appliances^ Table Ware, Fireplace Uten- 
sils, Room Decorations — Class Distinctions. 

ALTHOUGH we have abstained from giving a 
detailed description of the Willard house let us 
suppose that we examined the inside so far as to 
note the use and furnishing of some of the rooms. 
We first went to the cellar, and there found such pro- 
duce as by mid October had been placed in store for the 
winter. There were carrots, parsnips, onions and cabbages, 
but no potatoes, turnips taking their place. Several small 
cider casks were in sight, which showed that the New Eng- 
land beverage of later times was not wholly unknown even 
then. We were informed, however, on this subject, that 
but little cider was used at that time, partly because apple 
trees were not abundant, and partly because the means of 
its manufacture were limited. Some people, we were told, 
made it by pounding the fruit in a wooden mortar, and 
pressing the juice out through a basket ; all of which indi- 
cate how hard the human family will work to obtain what 
it ought not to have. There were several well filled meat 
tubs, and a barrel of soft soap, the latter of which, Mrs. 
Willard said, was made of clear beef tallow and lye of her 
own leaching. 

There was an absence of dairy products, which, as we 
shall presently notice, were upstairs, except a number of 
unusually large firkins filled with butter, which the Major 


8 8 Colonial 

said was soon to be shipped to England in exchange for a 
Durham cow, which he was intending to import in order 
to improve his stock. 

But what attracted our attention as much as anything 
were the great arches at the chimney base, which indicated 
the immense brickwork in the building. We could now 
understand how so many large fireplaces could be afforded ; 
for the two arches that formed the foundation of the chim- 
ney were rooms of themselves. They were furnished with 
shelves like a pantry. Upon the shelves were sundry jars 
of conserve, ielly and sause, also several brown cream 
pots, the contents of some of which, Madam Willard in- 
formed us, were pickles, "hog's head cheese," and mince 
meat prepared especially for "company pies." On the 
stone floor of one of the arches we noticed several jugs and 
a couple of demijohns, reminding us of modern "bottled 
goods," so called. We thought best to make no inquiries 
concerning these, so passed them silently by and went up 
stairs. We first visited the garret, this we found to be a 
place of storage, in which among other things were the fol- 
lowing articles : A beehive, cranberry rake, and sausage 
filler, some candle moulds, an old footstove, a warming pan, 
a pair of steelyards, a large breadtrough (used for mixing 
sausage meat), a pair of snowshoes, a bunch of birch 
brooms, a flax hatchel, a lot of butternuts, a bag of 
dried mullein stalks, a cow bell, and an old tin lantern full 
of small holes to let the light out. There was also a pillow 
bier filled with feathers, several bunches of sage, betony, 
and summer savory, a pair of sheep shears, an old cheese 
basket, and a box of hogs' bristles for waxed ends. 

From the garret we descended to the room used for 
dairy products. By this time Madam Willard had joined 
us, and as we stood admiring some yellow butter which had 
just been taken from a "dash churn" and made into balls, 
she pointed with pride to her cheeses. As the cheeses 
varied in appearance we ventured to ask the difference 
whereupon she replied, "There is a name for each kind 

Concord 89 

there is the "new milk," the "skim milk," and the "four 
meal" cheese ; those in the corner are the "sage" cheeses, 
and that half one on the table is a "Dutch" cheese. 

As the Dutch cheese with its snowy whiteness had 
slightly crumbled, we tasted it ; instantly a strange feehng 
came over us, and our mind became reminiscent. That 
slight morsel had proved to us like the evening bells to 
the poet Moore, which, as he expresed it, brought to mind 

'•His home and youth and that sweet time 
When first he heard their tuneful chime." 

For an instant we stood gazing at those simple frag- 
ments, mutely wondering how they could occasion such 
mischief; for mischief surely it was to be sent so summa- 
rily into the great kingdom of the past, from which return- 
ing we could take nothing away. But in that kingdom we 
evidently were, for spread before us were its rarest treas- 
ures. There was another old farmhouse with its "lean-to" 
roof, and the cows and the pasture bars ; there were the 
lilacs and the lilies by the garden wall ; the broad, low, 
stone door step ; the smiling supper table, so delightful 
to the eye of the hungry school boy ; the thick, golden 
ginger-bread, and the Dutch cheese that mother made. 

As we stood reflecting upon the curious predicament in 
which we so suddenly found ourselves, it occurred to us 
that here was a mental mirage, when by the simple suggest- 
iveness it may be of a sight, a sound, an odor or a taste, 
memory casts upon the screen of our perceptive faculties 
experiences and scenes long vanished. Wordsworth may 
have felt the same when he said : 

"To me the meanest flower that blows can give 
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears." 

So inappreciable was the time occupied by all this, that 
Madam Willard hardly noticed anything unusual, and just 
then, a call came from below summoning her to the turn- 
stile to talk with Mercy Miles of "Nine Acres" about a 

go Colonial 

marriage that was to take place at her house. Surely, 
thought we, this is an opportune circumstance, for we can 
again taste of the cheese; we did so, but to no purpose; 
the enchantment was gone ; and we were left to content 
ourselves with recalling another verse of Wordsworth 
where he said : 

"The thoughts of our past years in me doth breed 

Perpetual benedictions .... 

Which neither restlessness nor mad endeavor. 

Nor man nor boy. 

Nor all that is at enmity with joy 

Can utterly abolish or destroy." 

Finding that we could no longer revel in our own early 
history, we wished we could have followed our hostess to 
the turnstile, as by so doing we might have been invited to 
the wedding; but at that moment she returned, saying 
smilingly, that the couple whose intentions had been pub- 
lished the preceding Sunday were to be united in matri- 
mony the next week by Mr. Flint, whom the Court had 
appointed to join persons in marriage, and that we were 
invited to be present. 

Greatly pleased at being the recipients of so great a priv- 
ilege, for this was another scene we had much desired to 
witness among the settlers, we forgot the mirage and went 
down stairs, where we were met by Major Willard with a 
glass of cordial, saying as he offered it that it was an extra 
brand. It was with no little embarrassment that we ex- 
cused ourselves, being a total abstainer, for we were fearful 
of being misunderstood ; but out apprehensions proved 
groundless, for Mr. Willard informed us that he appre- 
ciated our position, and considered it the correct one to 
take where it was possible ; "but," said he, "The Concord 
climate requires sperit." 

He then took occasion to inform us about the drinking 
habits of the community. Before doing this, however, 
the doughty Major dashed off a beaker to our health, say- 
ing, as he smacked his lips and set the decanter on the 

Concord 9 1 

dresser, that what he had just drunk was pure Hquor from 
old Kent, and that he considered it superior to any other 
in the colony, not excepting a cordial that he once drank 
at a consociation of clergymen held in Boston at the Gov- 
ernor's house, at which the Mathers were present. A 
regard for our health having been thus expressed, the 
Major continued his dissertation on alcoholic liquors by as- 
suring us that in addition to the chmatic requirements, there 
were certain times and occasions when "sperit" was very 
essential, as at raisings, huskings, log rollings, and apple 
bees ; also, in haying, hoeing, harvesting, and getting up 
wood. It was a sine qua non at military elections, and 
training days, and ordination occasions ; at funerals, wed- 
dings, and house warmings ; when sheep were to be 
sheared, hogs to be slaughtered, or any extra work to be 
done. Travelers and teamsters he thought should have it, 
and those who watched with the sick, and sat up with 
"copses," but especially was it to be used in winter to keep 
the cold out, and in summer to keep it in. "The only 
trouble," said the Major, "is that some abuse it, and that 
good sperit is so scurce." He informed us that fermented 
liquors were more commonly used than the distilled, be- 
cause the latter were more expensive and limited in quan- 
tity, while the former were within reach of every one. 
The beer was made from malted barley. The process of 
malting was to cover the grain with a few inches of earth 
for a few days, until it was well sprouted, and then remove 
it to the mash tub. 

At the close of our conversation on the subject of col- 
onial drinking customs, we came to the conclusion that 
there were in those times many deplorable instances of 
gross drunkenness ; that alcohol was as destructive then as 
it is now, and that the same stock excuses were made for 
the use of it. 

Conversation now turned upon desultory subjects, when 

the Major was summoned to the "beaver house" to ap- 


92 Colonial 

praise some pelts just brought from Nashoba by Nepanet, 
which he wanted to exchange for a kettle and some beads. 

Being left to ourselves we looked around, and seeing on 
the table a worn book upon whose cover was written 
"Town Book," we quickly opened it. Here indeed was a 
source of information most desirable ; for in addition to the 
minutes of public meetings, was a list of births, deaths, and 
marriages, down to 1654, which Simon Willard had entered 
as "Clark of the Writs." And here it may be observed, 
that in addition to the duty of recording and returning to 
the colonial authorities the vital statistics of the township, 
Mr. Willard was empowered to "end small causes" or to 
"hold court;" his jurisdiction amounting to that of a mini- 
ature municipal court or trial justice ; and thus judicially 
empowered he could issue writs, order "mesne process," 
and make petty decrees, having for fees as follows : re- 
plevin, 2d.; attachment, 3d.; bonds, 4d. On Mr. Wil- 
lard's return from the beaver house, dinner was in readiness, 
and we entered the large "room of all work" or the "living 
room" and sat down to a meal which did ample justice to 
the large heartedness of our host. 

It may be proper here to describe the dinner and its 
appurtenances, in order that we may note any difference 
between the way of living in the home of the average set- 
tler and that of the more well-to-do trader or merchant. 
The table was set in what was known as the "living room." 
In this room was the occasional use of the flax and spinning 
wheel ; and the "picking over" of small farm produce, as 
cranberries or beans on a winter evening or wet day ; and 
where apples and pumpkins were sliced and strung for dry- 
ing ; where also the family usually sat, and the loom was 
sometimes "set up," and the itinerant shoemaker "whipped 
the cat," in his usual round of repairing. Above the table 
which had leaves was the clumsy "candle beam," con- 
structed by the crossing of two slim scantlings, and an 
attaching of them by a perpendicular one to the beam in 

Concord 93 

the ceiling, making a fixture for lighting purposes corres- 
ponding to the modern chandelier. 

We noticed that the candles in the beam sockets were 
of an olive color, and, on subsequent examination, we dis- 
covered by their fragrance that the material was in part 
bayberry tallow. The chairs about the table had high 
backs, and were similar in every way to the specimens of 
old furniture seen sometimes in modern houses, and which 
are said to have been brought to this country by "two 
brothers" (seldom more than three) in the "Mayflower" or 
"Ajax" or "Kingfisher," ships of quite too small tonnage 
for bulky cargoes. These particular chairs were said to 
have come over in the ship "Confidence" from Southhamp- 
ton, John jobson master, of CC tons burden. As there 
was an utter absence of "stools" and "forms" such as we 
had seen at Timothy Wheeler's, we inferred that chairs 
were indicative of "forehandedness." On the "dresser" 
shelves also were many such articles as are exhibited at the 
present day as souvenirs of the colonial period. 

Among the articles on the lower shelf was a set of metal- 
lic plates or a "charger of pewter," as it was called ; a "milk 
ewer," "sugar basin," "butter boat" and "pickle boat," all 
brightly burnished. On the middle shelf there was a 
"mint stand," a "pottle" for milk holding a couple of 
quarts or thereabouts, also a "losset," "twiffiers," two 
dainty "wine tasters," and a coarse glass decanter. The 
upper shelf contained a row of "beakers" (later called tum- 
blers, perhaps because of the tumbling sometimes caused 
by their contents), and a few "caudle spoons." 

We did not care to inquire what were the contents of 
the demijohns and jugs in the closet under the dresser 
shelves, so can give no certain information concernnig 
them ; but we inferred, from what we had seen in the cel- 
lar arch, that here were the middle means for the easy 
distribution of such "schnapps," "cordials," and "strong 
water" as the Willards made use of. 

The fireplace furnishings were, likewise, in strong con- 

94 Colonial 

trast with those at the Wheeler farmhouse ; those being 
wholly of plain iron, while these were ornamental. The 
dogirons, shovel and tongs were surrmounted by brass, and 
brightly polished, showing fidelity in the hired help. In- 
stead of the usual "lug bar" up the chimney there was a 
"crane," the first, it was said, that came into Concord; and 
above the fireplace was a long "clavel," over which was a 
string of peppers and "braids" of choice seed corn. In one 
corner of the room, the most remote from the smoke of 
the fireplace, and upon wooden pegs in the corner post, 
were the sword and leathern belt which Simon Willard 
wore when he "exercised the train band ;" and hard by 
these, against the wall, in a plain, pine frame, unpainted, 
was the commission from the King of England making 
him major in the Bay Colony militia, a commission of 
much distinction and recently obtained. This was the 
only attempt at mural decoration, with the exception of a 
small picture of the martyrdom of John Rogers and a pro- 
fil of Parson Peter Bulkeley. 

Such was the furnishing of Major Willard's "living 
room." It was simple and for the most part serviceable. 
But although there was nothing sumptuous for style or 
substance, we could detect as we thought, on the part both 
of Mr. Willard and his wife, a faint consciousness of mild 
gentility, insomuch that we half concluded that the New 
England colonists, notwithstanding their avowed aversion 
to all class distinctions of the Old World, had much 
respect to rank, and some small desire for modest display. 
But lest our conclusion be an untenable one, and based on 
superficial observation, we hitched up to the hearth's edge 
to hear from the sparks, dinner being not quite ready, 
and Madam Willard and a servant being engaged remov- 
ing the food from the brick oven. 

It was well that we did so, for the sparks informed us 
that human nature is usually the same everywhere in spite 
of all attempts to suppress it, and that the Willards on 
account of their modesty only partially represented the 

Concord 95 

colonial flimilies of wealth in their style of living. In fact 
these oracles of the fireside informed us that the principles 
of caste were slightly recognized in every New England 
community, whether of the village, hamlet, or crossroads. 
But money was not alone the basis of distinction ; it was 
position as well. The selectmen had prominent seats 
assigned them in the places of worship, as did other con- 
spicuous personages, while the poor people and the ser- 
vants took seats in the rear, or occupied benches in the 
gallery, thus making the colonial meeting house a "house 
of lords" as well as a "house of commons." 

Madam Willard had directed the servant to "set the 
chairs up," so we left the sparks and sat down to the table, 
the servants sitting at one at the same time in the 
kitchen, it not being necessary for them to serve since there 
was no hot drink and all the eatables were on the table. 

The Major in doing the honors of the table helped us 
most bountifully, believing, perhaps, as did all of his ilk, 
that brawn is born of good living. The first course, or 
"meat vittles," as they called it, consisted of a juicy roast 
from a beeve fattened on the upland pasturage of the 
Musketequid, and a plump piece of pickled salmon taken 
the April previous at the "lower meadow falls," with a 
mint sauce additionally seasoned with savory and thyme. 

For desert, we had hot rye cakes mixed with fresh but- 
termilk, marmalade that smacked of wild river grapes, and 
sweet conserve which consisted of successive layers of sugar 
and rose leaves, but the crowning piece was the pumpkin 
pie; and here there was such an exhibition of old-time 
cooking as we had heard spoken of but had never before 


Talk at Nashawtuc — Fire of Candle Wood — 
Nantatucket — Municipal management at Muskete- 
quid — Division of Concord into '■'■quarters'' — 
Limits and Inhabitants — Committee on rules regu- 
lating Highways and Bridges — Location of Home- 
steads — Early Roads. 

DINNER over, and a little post prandial conversa- 
tion, we repaired to a sunny slope at Nashawtuc, 
and there, seated on a log, talked until the slant 
shadows of the hillside extended far beyond the 
river confluence at "Egg Rock," and the evening meadow 
mist enabled us to trace the windings of the Musketequid 
far down towards Punkattassett. 

During the latter part of the afternoon the wind blew 
from the east, making the atmosphere damp and chilly, and 
as Mr. Willard had with him a "flint, steel and tinder 
box," which articles he stated he seldom went without, 
being much in the woods engaged in surveying, we con- 
cluded to start a fire. At once suiting the action to the 
thought we gathered some light kindling, and placing about 
it a little dry moss, a spark was struck and the material was 
ablaze. The fire was the more agreeable because we hoped 
to obtain from the sparks some information additional to 
what Mr. Willard might give, for we felt that perhaps the 
Major would hesitate to speak freely of events and matters 
in which he himself had been a chief actor. 

But we were by no means positive that the sparks would 

give anything supplemental to his statements, since we 

were sitting under his own timber trees, from whose ancient 

tops the very fuel we were then using had fallen, and we 


Concord 97 

were well aware that nothing would work against Simon 
Willard's wishes if he made them known. 

Besides, those sparks could not if they would depose 
about some things, for, although Nashawtuc overlooked 
much of the broad alluvial area between the river and the 
ridgeway, and about the hog pen walk at Annusnuc ; yet 
its highest point did not overlook every precinct, and there 
was many a settler beyond Flint's pond and over against 
Punkattassett, and across the "great fields" to the easterly, 
that it could not look down upon. 

Every obstacle, however, was soon unexpectedly re- 
moved, for, as we were about seating ourselves on a log 
which we had just rolled before our fire, Nantatucket whose 
wigwam was just below us, the same Indian who years 
later deposed about the first Concord land deal, was seen 
coming along the hill path, having upon his back a bundle 
of candle wood, which in broken English he stated he had 
gathered from a clearing below the ridgeway, where some 
of the Hartwells, Bakers, and Healds lived. 

For the sake of the sparks we begged some of the 
candle wood designing if need be to cast it occasionally 
on our fire, thereby, perhaps, to supplement Major Wil- 
lard's statements. Nor, as it happened, was this all the 
advantage that accrued to us from the arrival of Nantatuc- 
ket ; for, as he sat with us for fully a half hour smoking 
his pipe and talking, he greatly confirmed our supposition as 
to the early friendship existing between the Indians and 
English at Concord. He reiterated what Tahattawan had 
told when we sat in his wigwam on the evening of the 
Apostle Eliot's visit. With a native eloquence and true sin- 
cerity, he said that a mat was always spread by the settler's 
hearthside for any belated wanderer of the woods who might 
wish to occupy it, and the subjects of "Big Pray" (Parson 
Bulkeley) always extended to those of the Squaw Sachem 
and her sagamores every needed hospitality, whether of their 
snug cabin homes during the week or of their meeting 
house where they worshiped their "Kiton" on a Sunday. 

9 8 Colonial 

Nor was this all the good the English had done them ; the 
dreaded Maquas (Mohawks) had ceased to visit them, and 
no longer was their dreaded war cry heard as a death knell 
along the meadows and over the midlands of the Musket- 
equid ; but peace prevailed, and the protection sought by 
the English in building their garrison honses, of which we 
had been informed there were several, was from predatory 
bands that might come from the East and North. After 
this statement, Nantatucket sat for a time quietly smoking 
his long stemmed pipe, then suddenly arose and exclaimed 
that he saw the canoe of Nepanum just coming around the 
bend below the fording place, and as they had arranged to 
go a spearing together on the Assabet that evening he 
would leave us. 

Upon the departure of Nantatucket, Mr. Willard and 
myself engaged in conversation concerning the municipal 
management of the Concord colony in its incipient stages ; 
and the information which we have obtained from all 
sources upon this subject is the following, which we give as 
the substance of history on this subject. 

In 1654, the town was divided into three parts desig- 
nated "quarters." These were known as the "North," 
"South" and "East" quarters, and the following are approx- 
imately their territorial limits. 

The North quarter contained the land north of the 
"Great river" to the Assabet, including most of that about 
Annusnuc (Concord Junction). 

The term "Great river" or "Concord river" was applied 
to that portion of the Musketequid below the confluence 
at Egg Rock. In this quarter were the following families : 
Heald, Barrett, Temple, Jones, Brown, Hunt, Buttrick, 
Flint, Blood, Smedley and Bateman. 

The South quarter contained the land south and south- 
west of Mill brook, a small stream crossing the road near 
Concord square at the center to the southerly limit of the 
North quarter with the exception of three families. The 
following are the names of householders living in this 

Concord 99 

quarter : Dean, Potter, Buss, Heywood, Hayward, Gobble, 
Woodhouse, Wheeler, Billings, Bulkeley, Stratten, Wigley, 
Dakin, Miles, Hosmer, Scotchford, and Wood. 

The East quarter comprised the area between a line 
extending to the eastward from Concord Center toward 
Lexington to the great river, with the exception of a small 
tract between the latter limit and the old training field. In 
this ward were the families of Wheeler, Fletcher, Rice, 
Meriam, Brooks, Fox, Hartwell, Ball, Farwell, Taylor, 
Baker, Wheat, and Flint. 

The following is supposed to be a verbatim copy of the 
report of the committee appointed to execute rules and to 
regulate affairs relating to highways and bridges, and the 
subjoined are the committees, and the date of the report : 

"The limits of each quarter (are) as followeth : 

"The north quarter by their familyes are from the north 
part of the training place to the great river and all to the 
north sid thereof. 

"The east quarter by their familyes are from Henry 
Farwels all eastward with Thomas Brooke, Ensign 
Wheeler, Robert Meriom, Georg Meriom, John Adams, 
Richard Rice. The south quarter by their familyes are all 
on the south and south west sid of the brooke except those 
before acsprest with Luke Potter, George Heaward, Mikel 
Wood and Thomas Dane, Signers Simon Willard, Robert 
Merion, Thomas Brooks, Thomas Wheeler, James Blood, 
Georg Wheeler, Georg Heaward, Thomas Bateman and 
John Smedly. 

"The date of report ytn of the ist mo 1654." 

It would be a matter of interest indeed could all the 
homesteads early established in their various quarters and 
by their several families be identified or located. 

This however would be impossible, for time, seldom 
friendly to the perpetuity of even the most enduring mon- 
uments, easily brushes aside many of the frail landmarks 
such as "A small tree by the brook," "A pine stump by a 
stone heap," "A red oak sappling by a fox's burrow," 


lOO Colonial 

"Two short logs one of them with the bark stripped and 
abutting John Smith's brush fence." But apart from the 
uncertain and transitory nature of some landmarks and 
boundary lines, to trace original homesteads would be dif- 
ficult, because there prevailed at an early period among the 
grantees a desire for change, the result of which was that a 
land lot acquired one day might be exchanged the next, 
so that if an original house site could be identified, to deter- 
mine the original ownership of the land might be impossible. 

But, furthermore, some early families at Concord, as 
before noticed, did not long remain there, for like gold 
hunters they sought new fields in hopes of betterment. 
They put their names on record and staked out lot?, but 
selling and leaving them the lots were thereafter identified 
with new owners. Moreover, families died out leaving no 
issue, their names ceased to be heard among the living, and 
were read only upon the mossy surface of their tombstones; 
their homesteads went to waste, their firesides were dis- 
mantled, and their cold hearthstones might form material 
for pasture walls. 

Such are some of the processes by which change has 
been busy at Concord, and whereby old paths have been 
made to designate new ownership. 

What all these changes have been we are unable to state, 
but many of them have been given by the historian Wal- 
cott, and it would doubtless be a difficult task to attempt 
gleaning anything valuable after him. But notwithstanding 
there have been many changes, it can, nevertheless, be said 
with safety that some families kept their homesteads from 
the first and passed them on to their posterity with little if 
any break in the old paternal boundary lines. So was it 
for over two centuries with the Hartwells, and to a certain 
extent with the Buttricks, Barretts, Miles, Healds, Dakins, 
Browns, Balls, Bakers, Hunts, Flints, Meriams, Brooks, 
some of the Wheelers, and a few others, most of which 
have long been associated with the original homesteads or 
with certain localities. 

Concord i o i 

At the time of a division of the town of Concord into 
quarters, measures were adopted for the making and main- 
tenance of highways and bridges. Commissioners for this 
work were appointed and the following were the names in 
the first list: "East quarter, Ensign Wheeler and William 
Hartwell. North quarter, John Smedley and Thomas 
Bateman. South quarter, George Wheeler, James Hos- 
mer, George Hayward and Sergent Buss." Each quarter 
was to make its rules and assess "rates," and in order to 
limit liability against the entire town, it was enacted that all 
damages arising from defective highways should fall upon 
the quarter where it was incurred. 

As to where all the original highways were, and whither 
they went we cannot state, for like the sites of old home- 
steads, they have in many instances become obliterated. 
Some, however, are still in use, and some that are not in 
use may to some extent be traced by record or tradition. 

Mr. Albert E. Wood, a civil engineer of Concord, and 
well acquainted with the topography of the town states that 
"Until the Bay road was built, which was a good while after 
the town was settled, there was no way to get to Concord 
except by the Virginia road." This road, according to the 
same writer, was reached by way of Middle street, Lexing- 
ton, which latter road he believes is the one followed by the 
early settlers as they journeyed from Watertown into the 
wilderness at Musketequid. This road, the same writer 
thinks, was laid out perhaps by a company of explorers 
who went forward and pioneered a path preparatory to the 
going forth of the Concord Colonists. 

The course pursued in order to reach this road Mr. 
Wood conjectures was as follows : — "starting from Water- 
town, and going northerly through what is now Waverley, 
almost to East Lexington ; then bearing off to the left, and 
passing through the entire length of Lexington, by what is 
now called Middle Street, to the Lincoln line ; then turn- 
ing a little to the right, so as to avoid Hobbs's Brook, 
upon a road which tradition declares to be very old, and 

102 Colonial 

crossirg the present Lexington Road, coming by the Vir- 
ginia Road to Concord." 

As a matter of course the "strate strete" or the road 
along the ridgeway from the pubHc square to Meriam's 
corner is one of the oldest streets, since houses were erected 
upon it as before stated about 1635. ^^ ^^^^ highway an 
early record says, "The highway under the hill therough 
the Towne is to be foure Rodes broad." Other old roads 
are the Woburn road, whose course was through the East 
quarter and toward the Shawsheen district (Bedford), the 
Watertown road in the South quarter of date 1638, the 
Sudbury road through the South quarter of the same date, 
the Billerica road from the Lexington road at Meriam's 
corner, 1660, or before; the Groton road (North quarter), 
1699; and the "Old Marlboro road" and the road to Lan- 
caster. The origin of some of these is only a matter of 
conjecture. As a rule it is safe to conclude that they were 
started for communication with some point of importance, 
as a fording or fishing place, or an extensive land grant, or 
to find outlet into some leading thoroughfare. The ancient 
highway was usually a development from a blazed bridle 
path to a rude drift or cart way, and thence to the "county," 
or, as sometimes it was termed, "great road." Their 
widths range from the Indian trail, which Johnson states 
was "one foot broad," to a road from four to forty rods ; 
the latter being the width of a highway early laid out 
through the town of Sudbury. 

One object of so much apparently superfluous space was, 
doubtless, to pre-empt the timber trees along the way for 
public purposes. In the formal or official laying out of the 
early roads it is not improbable that drift ways and paths 
that were private property were sometimes subsidized, so 
that what the record designates as "the laying out of a new 
way" or "a way", may have been only the formal appropri- 
ation or public recognition of an old one ; an instance of 
which may be the laying out of the Groton road over the 

Concord 1 03 

North bridge in 1699, when, as we are informed, the roads 
of the North quarter were reconstructed or relocated. 

It is probable, also, that in the formal laying out of the 
early roads old Indian paths were utilized. Such might 
naturally be the case with the road to Sudbury. Between 
the latter town and Concord there doubtless was consider- 
able communication, before the coming of the English, 
carried on by the aboriginal inhabitants of these as well as 
of other towns. The Indians at Natick and Nonantum, 
Kato and his family whose home was at "Wigwam hill" 
(Goodman's), in Sudbury, the natives dwelling in the vicin- 
ity of Cochituate pond, near the head of which was a fort 
and fishing place (Saxonville), all would know the most 
feasible route to the Musketequid and follow it, and the 
English would naturally take advantage of this in laying 
out their own roads. So it might have been with the "Old 
Marlboro road ;" perhaps it was the shortest course through 
the domain of Tantamous (Maynard) to Occogoogansett 
(Marlboro). The road to Lancaster or "the road that 
goeth to Nashaway" might have been the nearest way to 
Nashoba (Littleton), and many times may have been 
pressed by the soft moccasin of Nepanum before it was 
trodden by an Englishman. The road to Woburn may 
have been the trail to the home of the Squaw-Sachem at 
Mystic (Medford) and to the Shawhine fishing ground; 
the one to the northerly, at the Blood farm (Carlisle), may 
have been the trail to Pawtucket Falls (Lowell) ; that to 
Watertown may have found outlet at Weston, then Water- 
town, in the "Old Connecticut Path," which ran into the 
interior of the Nipnet country toward the Indian village 
of Maguncook (Ashland), and to places beyond these ; 
to all of which villages the tribal relations of the Mus- 
ketequid Indians probably extended. Of the later and 
lesser highways of Concord, whether in use or disuse, we 
will say but little. 


Sites of Ancient Highways — l^heir Reminiscent 
Character — Vestiges of Old Homesteads — 
Earth Dents — Traces of Old '■'■Tavern Stand'' — 
Shoemaker s Shop, Laborer s Cottages, The Dame 

BEFORE leaving the subject of old and disused high- 
ways, let us consider some suggestions that come to 
us ; for as we remember that they were once 
well worn thoroughfares of the fathers, and the 
avenues of public intercourse, they furnish food for much 

To begin with, the very tracing of them is interesting to 
one possessed of an antiquary taste, or who is a lover of 
Nature, for there may be frequent and pleasant surprises. 
It may be a rare flower whose presence was detected by its 
fragrance, and as the eager explorer thrusts away the black- 
berry vines to examine it more closely, or to pluck it as a 
trophy, he may discover the crank of an old hand mill last 
turned by Goody Gobble and left stranded when the tide 
of travel went out. As he pursues his way, which in its 
devious course at one time takes him through meadows 
green and pastures pleasant or along merry brooksides, and 
at another leads him a tangled and tiresome chase through 
woodlands wild and up and down defiles that are shadowy 
and deep, he may at length find himself seated by a fox's 
den with no living object in sight except a few ferns and 
blueberry bushes, while within easy reach is the rusty noz- 
zle of a blacksmith's bellows last used at the Village 

But perhaps the greatest attractiveness of the old and 
disused highways is in the suggestiveness of the house 

Concord 1O5; 

sites upon them. Indeed, it may be by the aid of the 
mounds and earth dents that mark them, that the entire 
course of an obsolete way can be traced ; for although in 
many cases they are matters of record, yet so remotely 
were they traveled that Nature has quite claimed them, 
and in some instances so covered them with trees and 
grasses that it may be said they have reverted to the origi- 
nal owners by "prescriptive right." But the house sites 
may betray them, and to ferret out these sites and sit beside 
them ; to muse upon their possible or probable history ; or 
to search for some significant object that will break the 
spell of their mystery and give hint as to who lived there 
may be as interesting as to trace the roads themselves. 
And in some cases it is quite as difficult, for time is never 
friendly to relics of any kind, and Nature strives energet- 
ically and promptly to cover the scars that are made upon 
her, as is clearly seen by the incoming of vegetation even 
upon a sandy railroad embankment. 

Notwithstanding, however, all efforts to the contrary, 
man's work long defies Nature's best attempts to obliterate 
it, and if no traditions or records of the Colonial age were 
extant, it might perhaps be distinguished by the things now 
and then discovered in the mouldering debris, where stood 
the old farm house, the barn, and the rude work shop. 
Among the tell-tale objects of a durable character are cellar 
walls, old door stones, bits of metal broken from miscella- 
neous culinary articles, and crumbling brick work ; while in 
the vegetable world and quite as lasting in their perennial 
upspringings are "gill run over the ground," patches of 
plantain, a few clumps of catnip, the red sorrel struggling 
among a few sickly lilies, a stunted lilac, a rose bush or 
two, an ancient pear tree, and perhaps as indestructible as 
anything, the yellow tufted cypress, and old maid's pinks. 

But let us consider more closely the subject of house 
sites, and as we do so let us at times leave the realm of 
actuality, and as we stand by these wayside souvenirs, while 
not overstepping the possible and perhaps the probable, 

1 06 Colonial 

consider some old time customs and superstitions, and 
modes of living and of dress : and in this manner, it may 
be, feast our fancy upon the fictitious counterparts of what 
occurred in the half forgotten long ago. 

That depression, about which are the fragments of old 
bricks with the blackened mortar still upon them, marks 
the spot where was born and died an "old inhabitant" who 
was foremost in town affairs. The path to his door now 
covered with "mouse's ear" was trodden much, because 
everybody respected him and he kept open house for the 
country side. In the intercolonial wars he and his son 
fought side by side, and when the war was over both came 
back. At length the old man died ; the son left the farm, 
the road went into disuse, the house to decay, and this is 
the last of it. If you listen at the early twilight just as 
the witch hour comes in you may hear something, for that 
ghostly looking poplar whose leaves tremble so may be 
sheltering some sprites who will tell the history of that 
house, which history may be that intemperance had to do 
with its loss and decay ; the moral of which is that in 
every place and among every people alcohol is destructive 
rather than constructive. 

Near that leek covered ledge by the barberry bush may 
have been an old time tavern stand. The sign that swung 
before it said : "Entertainment for man and beast," and the 
landlord's license was "to sell strong water." In the accom- 
plishment of these objects, the keeper of this "Ordinary" 
was much assisted as well by the villagers as by the occa- 
sional traveler, in that some of the former were always 
ready for the latter to "stand treat," and it may not be too 
much to suppose that more than one stone on the wall 
opposite has been surreptitiously thrust upon the "steel- 
yards" and weighed, and afterwards returned to its place, 
in order to insure a safe bet on its weight for the drinks, 
which bet was made with some unsuspecting teamster. 

The usual village loiterer was there also, tempted by the 
odor of the tap room, and with an eager expectation that 

Concord 107 

he would be benefited by its scant leakage, if he now and 
then groomed a teamster's horse or made the hostler's bed 
in the "bunk," 

Soldiers sometimes stopped there on their way to or 
from "Old Ti" and Crown Point, and swapped stories, and 
talked of the war ; and the neighboring farmers of a winter 
evening or a wet day sat before the fireside in the bar room 
and smoked their cob pipes and talked crops, taking good 
care to leave with the landlord no more than their good 
will when they went away, for a nine pence with them was 
stronger than appetite ; as money usually came hard in those 
days, and to make both ends meet was a matter of econ- 
omy and close management. 

By the bushy lane where that large boulder is encircled 
by the low savin bush as if to save it from the encroach- 
ments of all larger vegetation, may have stood the shop of 
a shoemaker. There, bits of old leather, curled and 
wrinkled by long exposure to sun and weather, show that 
this son of Crispin was a careful craftsman, for those 
stitches that grin and glisten are well set, and the shrunken 
awl holes even yet show their shapeliness. There by that 
burdock is the remnant of a "tongue boot." The leg is 
stiched to the instep leather in a well rounded seam, which 
indicates that the ancient shoemaker had regard to both 
stoutness and symmetry. 

In a barn that stood back of this building the minute 
men drilled, and on winter evenings the yeomanry met 
there and went through the "manual of arms" with their 
mittens on, while the cows lowed in the stalls and longingly 
looked to the haymow in the wish that a loose lock might 
be thrown them. 

Beyond the roadbend on the rising ground and half 
concealed by that hazel clump, may have stood the cottage 
of a laborer who worked for "four and sixpence" a day 
"making it fair weather." Near that bush was his garden, 
where he worked at early evening and of a stormy day. 
Here and there a few turf bound herbs as sage and rue still 

loo Colonial 

disclose it, and if time has not been too relentless, the fra- 
grance of a few grass pinks or the flash of a sweet williams 
blossom may reach you. In the adjacent bog by that cone 
shaped musquash's nest he cut his peat, and the straggling 
hop vines that vainly strive to entwine themselves about 
that wild cherry tree are the poor remnants of once produc- 
tive vines which the laborer relied upon to "work his 

Just beside the runway there by the bank, was a "Dame 
school," which we will suppose was kept by Goody Doro- 
thea Dean in the northwest chamber of her sister's hus- 
band's farm house, the parents of each pupil sent to her 
paying six pence a week for tuition, she having her rent 
free. Here, we will suppose that the good dame taught 
year after year, and sang the same old song of addition, 
subtraction, multiplication and division, as the winter snows 
came and the spring suns melted them away, until her life 
became as dry and methodical as the simple rules with 
which she dealt, and every hue of her once fair face was 
faded, and there was little left to tell of the former fresh- 
ness which once made her a favorite among the village 

It was not hard work that had shrivelled the fair features 
of Goody Dean, although she did everything that was 
required of her, and was a painstaking little body, doing 
her duty in every detail and to the last moment by the 
"noon mark ;" but the humdrum of her experience was 
what wore on her, for it was day after day the same thing 
without special incident or episode, except now and then 
the entrance of some new comer, who, although too young 
to enter even the simple curriculum of a Dame school, 
had been sent by an overworked mother in order to make 
one less child to be under foot in the cheeseroom. This 
monotony was not peculiar to the school of Dorothea 
Dean, for this school taught in the northwest chamber of 
her sister's husband's house was as good as any of the 
Dame schools. But education was at a low ebb in that 

Concord 109 

period. The financial circumstances of the colonists were 
straightened. An intense conservation prevailed and only 
the practical was then popular. As they could do without 
grammar better than they could do without corn they raised 
corn. As their meeting house educated in matters relig- 
ious, and much secular knowledge was not considered essen- 
tial, they let the latter take care of itself, and were fairly 
content if they could read, write, and "cast accounts" in 
whole numbers, as mathematics were then styled. 

So it was that Goody Dean and her Dame school were 
up to date, and her pupils were abreast of the times ; and 
although both were in the doldrums of the days of a juice- 
less pedagogy, yet neither expected anything better nor 
looked beyond what that northwest chamber afforded. 
The mistress went her simple round of duties day by day 
with a punctiliousness that was commendable and in exact 
accord with the staid circumstances that surrounded her. 
Her work was to a large extent manual, and that of her 
pupils was formal and imitative. There were quills to be 
sharpened, rules to be written, and learned by rote, and re- 
cited, courtesies to be taught and carefully practiced, in- 
struction in sewing to be given, and the children to be kept 
quiet on the tripod or made to sit straight on the backless 

Nothing very progressive could under the circumstances 
be expected in these schools, either on the part of the 
teacher or the taught, for time, a very important factor with 
the settler, had an allotted limit with each scholar. So if 
perchance some exceptionally ambitious and precocious 
youth got so far in arithmetic as to "enter fractions," and 
in grammar as to "parse" in some old copy of "Paradise 
Lost" borrowed of the Parson, his ambition might suffer 
speedy curtailment, for just then might come planting, hoe- 
ing, haying, or harvesting, in which all the little folks could 
be serviceable, and so although the term went on, away 
hi^d one after another to their several homes, leaving the 

T I o Colonial 

Dame with a loss of their sixpence a week, to await their 
return after an interval of weeks or months. 

But notwithstanding the drudgery of the Dame school 
with its absence of attractive text books, and its dry meth- 
ods and its arbitrary rules, the children loved Dame Dean 
and would do almost anything for her. They respected 
her next to the minister and magistrate, and many were the 
little tokens of affectionate regard sometimes seen on her 
coarse desk in the corner, in the shape of sprigs of "south- 
ern wood", or "goose's tongue," or wild roses, or early 
fruits, so it may be said that the pupils of the Dame 
school, in what we will call district number two, to make 
matters more natural, though the district was never num- 
bered that we know of, were as good and contented as any 
could be who were similarly situated. 

But children were human in those days as well as these, 
and it is no wonder if they sometimes got tired and as they 
sat of a long drawn afternoon watching the wasps buzzing 
on the ceiling, or craning their necks over the high window 
stools to get a look at the fresh, green earth, and as they 
thought of the sweet flags by the water courses, and the 
tender checker-bush by the pasture lane, and the straw- 
berries among the meadow rocks, it is no wonder that in 
their well wishes for themselves and their school mistress, 
there should come into their immature minds the innocent 
hope that as the dear old Dame had long sharpened their 
quills, so there might be somebody to sharpen quills for 

And their little wishes were at length gratified. One 
day — it was a bright and cloudless one — when the tana- 
ger's wing flashed in the forest, and the frogs peeped loudly 
in the marsh stubble, and the dimpling waters of mill brook 
lapped lovingly the cowslip roots just below the Parson's 
sedge meadow, and looked up to the yellow blossoms as if 
impatient to become a part of them, some one rapped at 
the door, and upon its being opened there stood the famil- 
iar form of Farmer Fletcher, who lived just beyond that 

Concord 1 1 1 

hollow in the highway yonder where those purple grackles 
are perched on the willow tops. 

He was dressed in his best, having upon his head the 
"castor hat" which his father Jedediah left him in his last 
will and testament, and for his other attire, he had on a 
steel blue duffel coat and a white fustian waistcoat sitting 
low down on a pair of short and stinted pantaloons that 
just reached the tops of a pair of start ups, or high boots. 
The sleeves of his duffel coat were made short in order to 
display a pair of loose fitting "mufFeteers" or "wristers" 
that extended well down to his sheepskin gloves. 

Dame Dean went softly to the door and as she stood 
with her diminutive yet comely form facing the tall, stal- 
wart frame of Farmer Fletcher, the contrast between them 
was striking : but not more striking in their forms than in 
their dress, for, not having expected a caller, as none except 
the minister and the tithingmen were supposed to visit the 
Dame school, she was attired in her every day dress, 
which so far as the fashion of it went, might befit any wo- 
man of the middle classes who was dressed for the work or 
leisure of an afternoon, except that her garments were of 
a little finer fabric and finish perhaps, because she was a 
school mistress. Her hair was neatly ruffed upon each 
side and kept in position by a pin plucked from a thorn 
bush, while dangling delicately over her left ear was a thin, 
lone curl. The front hair was brushed straight back 
between the ruffs and queued behind against a high comb. 
She wore a sacque slightly decorated with faded "inkle," a 
kind of tape braid used in embroidery, both the fabric of 
the sacque and trimming showing that it had seen its best 
days before being worn in the school room. Beneath the 
sacque, and just disclosing itself through an unclasped hook 
and eye, was the edge of a "murry" colored waist, while 
thrown above these upper garments and resting tastefully 
upon them with a "set" that was without wrinkle or pucker, 
was a fringed "whittle" or Holland neck cloth. For lower 
garments there was an overskirt of "caHmanco" which was 

112 Colonial 

caught up at the bottom to avoid the dust of the floor, and 
thus exposing an inch or two of a green linsey woolsey pet- 
ticoat with a sage gray binding. 

It was indeed a heap of clothing of faded gay colors for 
such a little body, but it showed how well kept were the 
garments of the middle classes in those days, and how 
things passed down by will, or inheritance, or as heirlooms 
to be worn by successive generations, each in its turn hold- 
ing them in trust as it were, to be transferred to others if 
not worn out by themselves. 

Farmer Fletcher smiled at the little school teacher as she 
appeared at the door, and bowed low with his whole body ; 
the bend being from his broad shoulders down to his well 
rounded calves, which were swathed in close fitting cloth 
socks, and just apparent between his breeches and start 
ups. The whole motion made by him described a half 
circle, and the hat which by this time he was holding in his 
hand almost touched the well sanded floor. The salute 
was responded to by the little school mistress in a manner 
as gentle as it was given, and the courtesy which she returned 
was such that her fragile form dropped gracefully and with- 
out a perceptible curve in her whole body, until it was only 
about half as high as that of her gallant caller who now 
had recovered his wonted uprightness ; and her clinging 
linsey woolsey petticoat with its sage colored binding com- 
pletely covered the dainty slippers, and coyly wrinkled on 
the coarse floor boards. Farmer Fletcher followed up the 
response by continuing to smile the sweet smile that was 
upon his countenance when he entered, and while all this 
was going on, the interested school children noted this 
practical observance of the "proprieties" which had often 
been taught them theoretically by their fond teacher, but 
which seldom had been illustrated by such a perfect object 
lesson, not even when on one occasion the minister met the 

The school closed early that afternoon, much earlier than 
usual, and the scholars hardly knew why, and wondered. 

Concord 113 

as with hop, skip, and jump they went through the nearer 
pasture bars into the lane to catch butterflies. Dorothea 
and Daniel repaired to a sunny bank by the woodside in 
the dingle you see in the distance, and there seating them- 
selves with all proper decorum engaged in conversation. 

Farmer Fletcher inquired with considerable apparent 
solicitude, though with an air of partial absent-mindedness, 
after the Widow Fox, whose condition of late had been 
feeble and languishing, and whose case was "made mention 
of" in a "note put up" the last Sunday at the meeting 
house. They talked of the news from the sea-board, and 
the fresh arrivals in the Bay. Especially animated was 
their conversation about the startling rumor of a stranger 
who had recently come into town, who had rashly proposed 
that the town buy a carriage "to carry copses to the grave 
in." The more exciting topic, however, before the final 
one, was the notable discussion that was going on from the 
Blood farm to the Nine acres as to whether the minister 
was not too much of a "legal preacher," that is whether he 
was not dwelling unduly in his discourses, on the "cove- 
nant of works" to the disparagement of the "covenant of 

Whether or not this last subject was too dry, or whether 
Daniel felt that the afternoon was passing, and was appre- 
hensive that further delay might defeat the main object of 
his visit we cannot say, since the only sparks here available 
depose nothing ; but so it was, that as soon as he had 
shifted his position to get out of the sun, which in its low 
descent now shone full in his face, giving to it a worried 
look. Farmer Fletcher said, hesitatingly, "Dorothea, art 
thou not tired of the Dame school ?" for he used a scrip- 
ture form of language, "and hast thou not taught long 
enough ? and wouldst thou not change if thou couldst ? for 
thou couldst if thou wouldst, and I have come to talk with 
thee about it, Dorothea." No matter of record has been 
made of Goody Dean's reply neither has tradition 
informed us about it, but from whatever facts are obtainable 

114 Colonial 

we infer that she inlormed him in substance, that since life 
with her had long been reduced to its lowest terms and 
she was wearied with whole numbers, if it would greatly 
add to his pleasures and much multiply his joys she was 
willing to divide with him her heart if he would share with 
her his home ; tor that she believed in so doing there 
would be nothing subtracted from their sum of happiness. 

Just then a thrush sang in the brushwood, and an owl, 
which for the last half hour had haunted Farmer Fletcher 
by its dismal hooting, flew away, and the sun shone on the 
clouds above, giving them a rosy red hue, while a couple 
of song sparrows that had for a short time previous been 
chirping and twittering in the brushwood, flew out into the 
open and airily alighted on the spray of a hazel bush and 
sat swaying and singing, while Daniel and Dorothea 
looked and listened. 

As the mists began to gather, and the grass was getting 
damp. Farmer Fletcher and Dame Dean arose and walked 
lovingly down the dewy pathway into the common highway 
and then and there arranged for the wedding, which, 
because of her position as a school mistress, they decided 
to have in the meeting house if it were allowed them. 
But we will get back to the highway and only say further 
about the Dame school, that it soon closed, and as the hus- 
band of Goody Dean's sister did not care longer to keep 
open house for the school children, since then as now, they 
trod on the grass, Dorothea had no successor there. The 
farm was finally sold piecemeal, and as the house was old, 
it went into disuse, decayed, and fell but that is the site of 




Astor, Lenox and TUden ^ 

v4 A 



The Haunted House — Casting of the Tarn Ball — 
The '''■ Witch Cair — Adventurous Search for an 
Apparition — Explanations Relative to Houses said 
to be Haunted. 

NEAR that barberry bush stood a haunted house 
which was shunned by the children and even the 
rough wood choppers. There the yarn ball was 
cast as a ghost test, and Ike Bateman went for a 
witchcall, but he failed to obtain it because at the very 
moment of success, when the spun yarn refused further to 
unwind, he dropped it and fled as if forgetful of what he 
was there for. He said afterwards that he heard the "call," 
and although his testimony stood alone almost everybody 
believed it. 

Let us, since Ike failed, suppose we make the test for 
ourselves, if so be, by a little eavesdropping or espionage, 
of such as hold in mortmain old estates, we may dis- 
cover the real sound and sentiment of the "witch call" and 
the color and shape of an old time apparition. 

In order to do this, let us suppose we visited the spot 
for this purpose, when the house was standing, with a ball 
of woolen spun yarn in our hand, a sprig of witch hazel in 
our hat and a horseshoe saddled upon our forearm to keep 
any inhabitant of that once human dwelling place from 
coming too near. We did not go alone, we did not dare 
to, lest when the spun yarn caught we should scamper away 
as others had done, without waiting for the dreaded yet de- 
sired "witch call." So we went, myself and Simeon Buss, 
for Sim said, "He'd go ef I'd go," and that "he'd gone 
afore but was afraid to." 


1 1 6 Colonial 

We went at an hour which for our purpose was consid- 
ered a timely one, for it was the hour of twihght ; a time 
when lovers get together, and the birds twitter and trill 
their sweet good nights, and the sprites commence their 
escapadings, and the late loiterer from the village grocery 
quickens his footsteps and furtively looks behind him to 
see if his own shadow is following him. 

On approaching the house we involuntarily shrank back 
at beholding its dark outline on the wood's edge, and half 
wished we had not started. But we kept on, and espying 
near the doorway a low lilac shrub crept under it, and list- 
ened among its stunted sprouts to see if the coast was clear 
in which to operate. As no spirit was astir Sim fumbled 
for the spun yarn, and by a dexterous thrust passed it 
through a hole in the broken door, and began to pull the 
end he held in his hand. 

Befoie doing this, however, he shoved the horseshoe 
higher up towards his shoulder blades. It was a good cast 
he had made, for the spun yarn was clear and it was not 
until the ball was half unwound that it ceased further to 
"pay out." As it stopped we were startled, for Sim said 
there was a jerk, and we felt as if communication had com- 
menced with another world. If the ball had stopped un- 
winding much sooner it ought not to have surprised us, for 
Sim had taken pains to make it sensitive by boiling it in a 
strong concoction of "witch broth," which was made of 
several ingredients, conspicuous among which were wild 
herbs gathered at midnight in a thunder storm, and at a 
time when the moon was on the wane, and the tide had 
turned ; besides these, was a small sprig of betony plucked 
at a grewsome spot known as the ''Devil's wallow." 

Here was a crisis, the moment had come when we could 
retreat as others had done, or remain and hear the "witch 
call," Having resolved upon the latter course, for that was 
what we had come for, we looked well- to the horseshoe, 
and also cast away the witch hazel sprig, for we felt as if 
the spell was strong enough, and crouching lower among 

Concord 117 

the lilac sprouts awaited the "call," hoping that if it was to 
come at all it would come soon, though rather hoping it 
would not come at all, and fully resolved in our cramped 
condition not to wait long. 

But there was no delay, for while we listened there came 
a low sound, at first scarcely audible, and hardly to be dis- 
tinguished from the soft sighing of a gentle breeze, for the 
wind had arisen, and cold, grey clouds were scudding over 
the moon's disc. Soon the noise grew louder, with various 
quavers and modulations and at length broke with the 
expulsory force of a pistol shot ; at the same instant two 
forms from a broken window casement dashed by us and 
disappeared in some currant bushes just beyond, the fruit 
of which, it was commonly said, the witches claimed, and 
were accustomed to pick of an evening after the moon was 
up ; so that no one in the neighborhood dared touch it. 

Moreover, it was stated that Sofy Smedley, and Cinthy 
Billings, she that was Goody Taylor before she married, 
belated in gathering "yarbs" in "medicine medder," as they 
were making their way homeward just at nightfall, saw two 
strangers picking the currants in their aprons. 

Not knowing but that the witches would return, and in 
consideration of our cramped condition, we thought it 
might be wise not to stay longer among the lilac sprouts 
but to get out into the open and view things from a longer 
range; just then however matters adjusted themselves, 
for the objects crawled out into the moonlight and as they 
frisked and gambolled and were joined by two others we 
discovered that they were cats, and were convinced beyond 
peradventure that the sights, sounds and jerks on the spun 
yarn were now fully explained. Instantly our courage re- 
turned and we concluded to explore the premises. Crawl- 
ing from our hiding place we entered the house, started a 
fire, and finding a half burnt candle, we lighted it. In 
order that we might make the most of the sparks we went 
for fuel into the door-yard and gathered a few fragments of 
broken branches, which had fallen from a ghostly looking 

1 1 8 Colonial 

sycamore tree, believing that it had stood there ever since 
the house was built. Upon the hearth was a heap of crum- 
bled mortar and chimney dust and soot and a few fragments 
of old bricks which half covered the dog irons. As the 
flames crept up the chimney there fell upon the fire several 
swallows' nests which looked as ancient as the house, and 
the smoke set to twittering the inmates of new nests. 

Taking the nearly spent candle we impaled it upon a 
pointed stick and started for the garret. The stairs 
creaked as we ascended, and when we reached the place 
which in ordinary times is studiously shunned by the small 
boy after nightfall, there whizzed by us through the shat- 
tered window a couple of owls with such a screech as 
might be considered a cry of vengeance on those who had 

"Their ancient solitary reign." 

There were no rats, for their was nothing for them to eat ; 
but hard up against the chimney and reclining upon it, in a 
way that on an exceptionally tempestuous night when the 
wind blew through the long windowless garret it might 
sway and tremble on the bricks with a distinctiveness that 
could be heard outside, was an old tin kitchen used for 
baking before a fireplace. Here also we saw at a glance 
was another of the would-be "witch calls" and the source 
of inexplicable sounds. Returning, we resolved to go into 
the outbuildings ; one of which was an old carriage shed 
just opposite the room in which we had made a fire, and a 
few yards distant. Passing over the intervening space with 
some slight trepidation, we opened the door and passed in ; 
but instantly, we slammed it together again and started 
back more affrighted, if possible, than when we were in the 
lilac sprouts, for plainly before us in the back part of the 
building was a white form, motionless, yet distinct and up- 
right, and Sim averred, with one hand beckoning us. 

In less time than it takes to tell it we fled into the pas- 
ture ; but, as we glanced behind us to see how much we 

Concord 119 

had the start of the ghost, we chanced to observe that 
although the door was shut, there was upon it the exact 
counterpart of what we had seen inside, and that it con- 
formed exactly to the tall, narrow window frame opposite 
the fireplace. As we stood wondering and reasoning, Sim 
and I, the figure grew fainter and fainter, and at last disap- 
peared. Not wishing to be too precipitate in our conclu- 
sions, since through our coolness we had succeeded so well 
before, we resolved to return to the house and make bold 
to investigate the cause which we strongly surmised. Cau- 
tiously retracing our steps, we saw that the firelight no 
longer shone through the window. We opened the shed 
door again — all was dark within. To make sure that our 
reasoning was correct we replenished the fire that had gone 
out on the hearth, and when the bright flame streamed up 
the chimney we went out, and there on the shed door was 
the same shaft of light, lacking the beckoning hand. Every- 
thing was now fully explained ; the light from the blazing 
hearth shining through the window, had, on opening the 
shed door, passed into a dense atmosphere that had long 
been confined there, and striking the boards on the back 
side of the building, had been reflected back to us with 
magical efi^ect ; and a loosened clapboard dangling on the 
side of the window and gently swayed by the wind had 
caused the appearance to Sim's excited imagination of a 
beckoning hand. 

After the satisfactory clearing up of the mystery we 
heaped fresh fuel upon the hearth, and shoving up before 
it a huge stick we sat down upon it. Sim took from his 
pocket the stub of a cob pipe and began to smoke, saying, 
"Strange I'd forgot to smoke afore," showing, to one who 
knew Sim Buss, his complete absorption in the night's 
adventures. It was near midnight. The moon, which for 
the last hour had struggled through gathering clouds and 
only at intervals shown itself, was now wholly hidden. 
The wind wailed through every knot hole and every now 
and then the cellar door opened in spite of all our efforts to 

1 20 Colonial 

keep it closed with a weaver's beam. Cheered however 
by the thought that we had done a good work and accom- 
plished what a couple of generations had not done in the 
solution of a neighborhood mystery, we were content to 
wait a while, if perchance the sparks, fanned by the gusty 
blasts as they dropped down the chimney or as they came 
from the damp old cellar when the door blew open, might 
volunteer some information that would be of interest; and 
v^'hen we threw upon the fire an old dresser shelf upon 
which doubtless had stood the beakers and decanters from 
which the former inhabitants had drank, Sim said the sparks 
fairly turned blue. However this may have been, they 
snapped as if they were eager to speak, and the following, 
in substance, is what they and we ourselves have to say 
concerning haunted hoyses in general and this one in par- 
ticular : as a rule, houses said to be haunted were those 
that nobody cared for. Having fallen into disuse, they 
came under the ban of suspicion, and became a prey to 
every whimsical and superstitiously inclined person who 
might start a story about them, which might, or might not 
have a foundation in fact. The farmer's boy returning 
late from the village store from a desire for a little cheap 
notoriety could say that he "saw a sight," and it might be 
that he did see something. Tramps or as they were called 
"old walkabouts" might rendezvous there, and their fire- 
light gleaming out of a dark evening would be an unusual 
sight to the passer by ; or, it might be, the rising or the 
setting moon, throwing its slant beams through vacant 
chambers and seen from certain positions by timid persons, 
might give rise to strange stories. In neighborhoods where 
there was a readiness to believe such things, it would take 
but little to convince the credulous. 

A lonesome environment, doubtless, had much to do 
with these beginnings, for houses said to be haunted 
might be in sparsedly settled districts or near the edge of 
a wood, or perhaps in close proximity to a place where 
tradition hints about a tragedy having sometime taken 

Concord 121 

place. Sometimes stories may have started because of the 
questionable history of a former occupant, and, in an early 
period when each knew everybody's business, anything 
secretive on the part of a family was amply sufficient to 
give rise to a suggestiveness of wrong doing ; and when a 
house became unoccupied without a sufficiently known 
cause, this might be due occasion for suspicion. 

In the present case let us suppose there were various 
conjectures as to the cause, none of which were fairly set- 
tled upon. No one knew of anything that had actually 
happened there, although various events had occurred in 
Concord of a grewsome character, the actors in which 
might have been at this house. Years ago, it was said, 
some pirates from the Spanish Main were in the vicinity 
for the purpose of concealing their treasures. They were 
lavish of their money, even to recklessness, and cast about 
their "pieces of eight" as if they were of little value. 
Dark hints were thrown out that this house was their head- 
quarters, and that about its hearth they held -high carnival 
and drank heavily of wine. Not long after they left, 
strange stories were afloat. It was even said that people 
had been seen at night through the windows handling coin. 
And some went so far as to assert that "pieces of eight" 
had been picked up about the premises, and that when an 
attempt had been made to pass them in trade they would 
vanish, leaving the hand empty. It was also asserted that, 
on dark, snowy nights the house would rock like a ship, 
and that at such times tnere had been heard a shrill sound, 
as of a boatswain's whistle piping the pirates to meet for a 
carousal. Another thing alleged of the building was that 
some reckless Provincial soldiers 'odged there for a night, 
and revelled in the spoils brought from a campaign at 
the North, and that a portion of the spoil left over was 
placed in charge of the Devil, who doled it out, long years 
afterwards, as the shades of some of the soldiers revisited 
the spot to celebrate the anniversary of that night's dark 

122 Colonial 

But to return to the old disused highways. It is asked, 
who at the present time are occupying them ? If you 
look and listen you may discover. That partridge is one 
occupant whose whirring flight through the birches so 
startled you. It had a nest near that rock, and in the 
spring time its mate drummed on that lichen covered log 
which was a portion of the roof tree over Seth Farwell's 

The fox nightly skulks over the wheel ruts once pressed 
by the farmer's wagon, the doctor's sulky and the minis- 
ter's chaise, yes, and by the town hearse also, as it carried 
the mortal remains of the former owners of these vehi- 
cles to their "last, long home" on the hill. 

The young of the wild rabbits play at twilight by the 
door stone of old Samuel Smedley's cottage, and scratch 
their fur upon the remnant of that forlorn rose bush near 
by, from which a bud was plucked by Matilda Mitchel to 
bedeck her "bonnie brown hair" when she wedded Billy 

Besides the ancient and disused roads of Concord, there 
are summer lanes, and winter woodways that are beautiful 
in their season ; and over these we would delight to ramble 
and listen to the birds, or falling of nuts, or catch the flash 
of the fall flowers if it were autumn. But as it is history 
that we are after , we will leave the lanes to the cows and 
the winter ways to the woodchoppers, and proceed to the 
subject of bridges, which are properly a part of the high- 


Bridges — Their Associations — Rules for the care 
of Concord Bridges — The Historic '''■Old North 
Bridge" — Its Environment — Graves of British 
Soldiers — The South Bridge — Its Successors — 
Other Bridges. 

THE subject of bridges is usually an interesting 
one, whether considered by historian, novelist or 
poet. Its associations are with the rippling, or 
rushing, or still water courses, and the human 
tide of travel that goes over them. We are accustomed to 
picture them with rustic accompaniments, as the boy with 
his fishpole, barefooted and bareheaded, or with a broad- 
brimmed hat, a truant from school, perhaps, or a runaway 
from farm chores. Or, perchance, the scene may be laid 
within sound of the boatman's oar, or the splash of the 
water fowl, and near a tree embowered cottage, where, smil- 
ing in the sunlight, are pleasant gardens with geraniums, 
roses, and pinks. The causeway approaching the country 
bridge is also attractive, with its willow clumps, the singing 
of blackbirds upon them, and the buzzing of bees of a 
bright May morning in the furzy blossoms. All seasons 
are alike at the ancient bridge, and even in the desolation 
of bleak December, when all other objects are clad in 
snowy white, the bridge is usually bare and in the road-bed 
over it may be seen the mother earth reminding us that she 
has not quite forgotten us. 

But there is a difference in bridges, and the interest that 
attaches to one may be unlike that of any other. One 
bridge is conspicuous because of its natural environment, 
resting peacefully beneath an archway of vines, where, low 


1 24 Colonial 

drooping, are the purple grapes and wild clematis blossoms, 
while beneath are the dimpling waters of a still, clear stream 
moving between banks fringed with blue joint and meadow 
queen. Another may be historic, and although shorn of 
every other attractiveness, yet to stand beside it and think 
of what has passed over it and of its eventful past, is soul- 
stirring. On the Musketequid and one of its branches 
two bridges at least possess this latter characteristic. One 
met the advance westerly of the British empire led by 
King George the Third, the other the advance easterly of 
King Philip of Pokanoket about a century before, when 
with one thousand of his best warriors, he strove to pass 
this same river at Sudbury over the "Old Town Bridge" in 
his raid toward the seaboard. As before stated, rules were 
made concerning bridges, upon a division of the town into 
quarters in 1654, and in order to obtain an equable adjust- 
ment of their maintenance it was then enacted that the fol- 
lowing regulations should prevail : The East quarter was to 
care for all the bridges in its own precinct, and contribute 
three pounds toward supporting those in the North quarter. 
The South quarter was to maintain it? own bridges, and 
also care for the Darby bridge in the North quarter ; while 
with the foregoing assistance, the North quarter was to look 
after its own bridges. Among the oldest bridges here 
referred to are the North and South bridges. These two 
bridges and their successors have long been associated with 
Concord history, and with the coming and going of nearly 
a half score of generations of men. The floods from 
many storms have beaten about them and have sometimes 
swept over them, occasionally carrying them wholly away 
or in part dismantling them or causing the authorities to 
weight them temporarily, or to chain them to the near wil- 
low clumps, lest they go up stream or down stream, as the 
setting of the waters might choose to carry them ; for the 
Musketequid and its south branch are fickle streams, and 
have the peculiar trait of moving both ways. Probably 
the sluggish current of this river has done more damage to 



its bridges by its lifting than by its propulsive energy ; for 
though never in a hurry, yet when there is a freshet, it 
lingers upon the broad meadows as if it liked to, and as if 
loath to leave their quiet precincts. At such times the cur- 
rent may actually set backward, as when the floods of 
waters fed by a hundred rivulets and especially by the occa- 
sionally fierce current of the North branch or Assabet 
meet the main body at Egg rock. So it is that one or 
more of the South bridges have been fairly lifted from 
their abutments and carried up stream. The exact date of 
the erection of these two bridges we cannot state. Before 
they were built the river and its branches were forded, 
or ferried by the use of canoes. ' 

The stream farther up at Sudbury was early crossed by a 
boat paddled or "poled" by Thomas Noyes, for which he 
received two pence a passenger. Before the construction 
of the North bridge there was a fordway just below the 
mouth of Mill Brook. The fordway over the North 
Bridge is said to have been situated at the "old Hosmer 
place." Probably the shoal spots used by the English for 
crossing had been used by the Indians time out of mind. 

It may be said to be characteristic of a part of the bridges 
over the Musketequid that they abutted on one side against 
a bank, or were built near it, which was done doubtless to 
avoid the construction of a causeway only on one side. So 
it was with the old town bridge at Wayland ; so also with 
the North and South bridges at Concord. But to be more 
specific, let us notice first the North bridge, since this is 
the most famous of them all. This bridge, situated in the 
North quarter, is the historic "Old North bridge." Just 
when it was erected no one knows, but it was after the erec- 
tion of the South bridge. Probably the first structure was 
a rude one and was washed away, and it is not unlikely 
that it was the same with the second one, since in 1660 
three new bridges were constructed in the town of Concord, 
these taking the place of those referred to in the highway 
regulations in 1654. The road or trail that it accommo- 

126 Colonial 

dated was doubtless the one leading to the Blood farm, the 
territory of the Groton township, and the Pawtucket fish- 
ing grounds. But besides accommodating these places 
there were other and cogent reasons for a substantial cross- 
ing at this point. It would be a wav to the outlying 
timber lands and to the rich pasturage and meadow crops 
on the other side of the river. To reach all these, a ford- 
ing place, a ferry, and hay scow would hardly suffice at all 
seasons. There were floods that remained for weeks, there 
were times when the ice was forming and breaking, and 
weeks when, if the waters were open, they were too cold tor 
even cattle to wade through. It is no wonder then if some 
evening the neighbors gathered about the fireside of Par- 
son Bulkeley, and talked over the feasibility of building a 
narrow foot bridge near the fording place by Mill Brook 
that would suffice through the next summer and fall, after 
which time they would turn out and have a "bridge bee," 
each bringing his stick of timber, or stringer, or whatever 
part might have been alotted him ; and so perhaps it was 
that a bridge went up near Goodman Buttrick's outlying 
land. The first structure was perhaps clumsily con- 
structed, low set, and at times wholly submerged. It was 
probably made of logs rough hewn, resting on coarse abut- 
ments, and if swept away could be easily replaced. The 
second, we may suppose, was more elaborately constructed ; 
for the settlers usually made progress in their public works, 
and so improvement continued, we may believe, until the 
construction of the historic "North," which the pictures 
represent to be slightly arched, stoutly framed, and span- 
ning the stream upon several rows of strong upright 
posts. The approach to the bridge over the meadow land 
was by a low causeway, along which stakes or stones were 
set to guide the traveler at high water. At the time of the 
"Concord fight," rough stones may have taken the place 
of stakes, for it is said that Captain Isaac Davis, when shot, 
fell upon one of them before his body rested upon the 
ground. The last historic "North bridge" floated down 

Concord 127 

stream in a freshet, and as the road which it had served was 
discontinued, the North bridge was never rebuilt, for its 
late successor, which is there in part for a souvenir purpose, 
cannot properly be called its lineal descendant or take its 
name. But though the structure is demolished, its name 
and its memories will remain forever ; and every pilgrim 
who visits the site of it will naturally glance backward into 
the past for an imaginary glimpse of those grim old timbers 
which were hewn by the fathers, and pressed by the feet of 
the patriots as they pursued the retreating foe on April 19, 
1775. The rude cut of this bridge made by Messrs. Doo- 
little and Earle gives a perspective which is far from satis- 
factory, but as it is the only one taken at the time now 
extant, it is tolerated ; but the natviral surroundings have 
not all changed, and some of them are the same as on that 
beautiful spring morning when the grain waved on the fall- 
sown fields. 

On the site of the "Old North bridge" is the present 
one, which might be properly called the memorial bridge. 
Opposite to it on the west bank is the minute man, and a 
few rods to the westerly is an apple tree which approxi- 
mately marks the spot where Capt. Isaac Davis of the 
Acton minute men fell. The old causeway to the upland 
is nearly obliterated, it being grassgrown and hardly per- 
ceptible above the meadow land. On the easterly side 
of the bridge site is the battle monument. Beyond the 
river up the hill side is the ancient Buttrick estate, and near 
by is the place where the militia and minute men were 
drawn up in consultation, and stood looking down upon 
the lone guard of Lieut. Thornton at the bridge. Near 
the river bank to the easterly repose the remain's of sev- 
eral slain Britons, the first of England's dead in that great 
struggle in which she fell out of favor with America and 
lost a continent. Their graves are guarded by a stone wall 
and simple chain fence. The pine trees chant their elegy, 
and the winding river in its gentle flow or when in flood 
time its waters beat against the nearer bank utter sweeter 

12 8 Colonial 

voices about their graves than stranger tongues could 
sound. So it matters not what fortune or adverse fate has 
given or denied to the conquered or the conqueror, for 
time has dealt alike with each and with the bridge that is 
associated with them. 

"The foe long since in silence slept ; 

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps ; 

And time the ruined bridge has swept 

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps." 

Toward the village is the old manse, and but for the 
shrubbery it would be in view of the scene just described. 
To the easterly is the "lane" and the ridge, and the 
great fields over which the continentals ran to head off the 
British. For years silence reigned about the notable neigh- 
borhood of the North bridge, and the place was practically 
deserted, except as the infrequent pilgrim or the town folks 
on a gala day or people from the surrounding country side 
visited it. At length the scene changed, the battle monu- 
ment was erected, then the memorial bridge and the statue 
of the minute man; and since 1875, in pleasant seasons, 
this place of monuments has become the Mecca of multi- 
tudes, and it may be said all roads lead to it. 

Next in importance of the ancient bridges is the South 
bridge. This was situated at the westerly of Concord 
Center, and crossed the south branch of the Musketequid a 
Httle to the easterly of Nashawtuc not far from the present 
South bridge near the Fitchburg railroad. This is sup- 
posed to be the first bridge erected over the river, and is 
said to be situated at a point of land below Joseph Barrett's 
Esq., by "Lees hill" (Shattuck). It was washed away in 
1665, and its successor was built the year after on the site 
of the present South bridge. At the least a half dozen 
bridges have been erected at this spot, and one of them 
was washed away and floated up stream by the backwaters 
of the North branch as they rushed downwards in a time of 
freshet and found easier egress above than below. Before 

Concord 129 

the erection of a bridge at this place the river was probably 
forded not far away. The "Darby" or "Derby" bridge 
was over the Assabet at the present Concord Junction, 
and named doubtless from its proximity to the Derby 
estate. As the fall of this stream is rapid compared with 
that of the Concord river proper, less casualties would 
probably occur to its bridges ; since when the current is 
sluggish the pressure may be greater. As to when it 
was built we have no knowledge ; but probably it was 
nearly coeval with the "South," as both might to an extent 
subserve the same purpose in affording an outlet into the 
western wilderness. As in 1660, a new bridge was erected 
here, the presumption is that the first was built much 

As to the other ancient bridges erected after the date of 
these, Shattuck says of them as follows : "The bridge by 
Captain Hunt's was first built about 1792 ; that by Dr. 
Ripley's in 1793 ; those at the turnpike in 1802 ; and that 
beyond Deacon Hubbard's in 1802." 

At one time the town was allowed twenty pounds towards 
defraying bridge expenses, and later, thirty pounds. 
There were several lesser bridges at this time, which crossed 
the smaller streams, but of these it is hardly necessary to 
speak, except to state that a principal one crossed Mill 
Brook by the mill dam on Haywood street, and has been 
known as "Fort bridge" and "Potter's bridge," the 
former name being derived, doubtless, from its proximity to 
one of the garrison houses, and the latter from the owner 
of the adjacent lands. 


A Sunday with the Settlers — Walk to church — 
Description of the meeting House — The Service — 
Colonial Church Edifices — Quaint Accompani- 
ments — Early Ecclesiastical Objects^ Customs and 
Influences — 'Their Value — Succession of Concord 
Meeting Houses. 

IT was early twilight when we closed our conversation 
concerning the municipal management of affairs at 
Concord : and the log upon which we were sitting was 

already dampened by the dews that were gathering 
about Nashawtuc, when a horn sounded from the Willard 
farm-house informing us that supper was ready. 

We slowly descended the hillside, talking as we went, 
and when we reached the bar way just behind the first barn 
for there were two of them, we saw gleaming through the 
bushes the bright firelight of the kitchen hearth, and heard 
the sound of children's voices as they trooped ahead of the 
hired men with their pails full of milk. Soon we were 
seated at the supper table, upon which were several dishes 
of a savory odor steaming hot, a beef soup highly sea- 
soned, a samp cake, and succotash made of dried green 
beans and dried green corn which Madame Willard said 
were just as good as when picked. The absence of 
pastry led us to infer that even among the well-to-do in 
those days, instead of the luxuries of modern times the 
table was supplied by the more healthful diet direct from 
the pastures and fields. 

After supper we sat down for a quiet time all by our- 
selves, for the children had gone with their mother for a 
last glance at the catechumenical exercise of the coming 



From an old sketch made on a pine board. 

Concord 131 

Sunday, and the major was summoned to the "beaver 
house" by a squaw, who wanted some beads and a piece of 
dimity, giving as a reason for coming so late in the week to 
barter that she wanted the articles for her pappoose to wear 
next day at Big Pray's meeting. The Major demurred 
very emphatically at "this way of doing things after sun- 
down Saturday night." His words were very suggestive, 
and not being fully persuaded what they meant, it suddenly 
occurred to us to throw upon the fire some pieces of 
knotty, pine stumps, which Mr. Willard informed us his 
hired men that very day had hauled from in front of the 
meeting house, the trees that grew upon them having been 
cut years before when the ground was cleared. 

As the pitch stewed from the fat splinters the sparks 
flashed, and since we were alone we heard every word ; and 
long before these remnants of the grand old woods that 
once crowned the hilltop, where stood the first forest sanc- 
tuary of old Concord, were reduced to ashes, we had 
reached valuable conclusions about the ecclesiastical cus- 
toms and social, moral, and religious observances of the 
inhabitants, some of which we will give now and others 
later in their order. 

It was a practice of the people in colonial times to close 
the work of the week about sundown Saturday night ; 
the gate was shut down at the mill ; the door was closed 
at the store ; the children put away their play-things ; 
and all this in preparation for holy time. When the 
Sunday dawned all secular labor was snspended, works 
of necessity and mercy alone excepted, and a close construc- 
tion was placed upon the meaning and nature of these ; 
even the stranger who stopped at the tavern was supposed 
to tarry till Monday; and if he attempted to resume his 
journey sooner, he might be detained by the landlord, who 
perhaps was a tithingman. Within the domicile was a like 
strict observance of sabbath sanctity. The house was put 
in order, the food prepared, the Sunday clothing carefully 
inspected and laid out, and everything was done that could 

132 Colonial 

be done on the preceding day to prevent the necessity of 
work. As the evening wore on, various topics were talked 
about, and it was not until the clock in the corner struck 
ten, a late hour for colonial times, that we went to bed. 

The morning dawned bright and rosy ; and as we looked 
out and saw the sun rising over the ridgeway, where stood 
the little meeting house in which we were that day to wor- 
ship, a feeling of unwonted restfulness came over us. The 
air was still. There was no sound of hammer or axe, and 
no stroke of distant threshing flail ; but silence prevailed 
everywhere ; the wayside warblers had all gone, and the 
birds of passage which still lingered about the willows and 
in the pasture lane gave utterance to no note of farewell 
either to the passing autumn, or to the generous farm folks 
among whom they loitered. Upon the river course a soft 
mist rested peacefully, while beyond the upper meadows 
by the bay there floated a light, fleecy cloud so soft and 
still, it appeared to sleep. Upon such a scene the Sabbath 
dav/ned ; and it was as if Nature was already in her own 
sanctuary at worship, and it only remained for man to join 
with her to make the worship of the world complete. As 
we stood admiring the prospect and half in wonder at the 
change that had been made in a few years, a call came 
from below summoning us to the breakfast table. We 
were reluctant to respond, for the feast of soul that was 
spread before us was we felt far better than any that could 
be afforded to the body, however delicious it might be. 
But being a guest we went down, and shortly after found 
ourselves with a great zest partaking of beans and brown 
bread baked in a brick oven, both of which were of that 
tint and exquisite flavor which only comes with slow cook- 
ing and a soft heat. Breakfast over and devotions ended, 
for the Major was a good churchman in his way, we went 
to the meeting house, Mrs. Willard leading the way, fol- 
lowed by the younger children led by the elder daughters, 
Mary and Abovehope, and a couple of servants. In pass- 
ing the bridge over the south branch the stillness was 



broken by the beating of a drum ; this we were told was to 
call people to meeting, and that that the "saxton" had 
twenty shillings a year for "beating the drum Sundays and 
lecture days," and for sweeping out the meeting house, 
besides being exempt from "minister rates." 

As we entered the little "Strate strete" at the foot of 
the hill, we saw several families which had come from a dis- 
tance, among whom were the Hartwells, Brookses, Meriams 
and Rices, from the direction of the Shawshine, the Bakers 
and Flints from beyond the pond southerly, and the 
Bloods, Buttricks and Healds from the North quarter. 
The dress was simple, but better than that worn on week 
days, and we saw that great care was taken to keep it so ; 
for we observed that all the children and several of the 
adults stopped before ascending the hill and put on their 
shoes, which they had carried in their hands ; but the most 
noticeable of anything was that all the men carried firearms. 
We had read in books that the settlers in those days car- 
ried muskets to meeting to shoot Indians with, yet we did 
not expect to see it at Concord, but here they were, each 
man with his weapon with the exception of the old men, 
for almost every age was represented in this procession of 

We inquired about these firearms, and were informed 
that they were carried to meeting at Concord in conformity 
to a law of the land which required it; but they only car- 
ried them to shoot wolves with in case they met any, and 
never as a protection against the Musketequid Indians. 
We felt much better after hearing this, for we had heard 
and read so much about English hate, and Indian hostility, 
and had seen so little discrimination made between the 
Indians of different localities, that we were not quite sure 
we were safe on Sundays if we were on week days, notwith- 
standing what Nantatucket told us. As we drew near the 
meeting house the minister arrived, and entering, all followed 
him. The drum stopped beating and all was still save the 
occasional note of a belated wood thrush, and the soft foot- 

134 Colonial 

steps of a slow pacing sentinel left outside to conform to 
custom and law. 

It was evening; and amid the meadow mists by Nashaw- 
tuc we repaired to a quiet spot to review the scenes, 
sermons, and events of the day. 

Having made the foregoing statements concerning 
church and church-going at Concord in Colonial days from 
a fictitious stand point, let us now consider the matter his- 
torically, and present facts. 

The first meeting houses of the country were without 
chimneys or glass windows. They had four plain rectan- 
gular sides, and the crevices between the logs were filled 
with clay. The roof was low and covered with thatch. 
Their immediate successors were made ot sawn material, 
and had a truncated pyramidal roof. Sometimes the roof 
was ptowned with a belfry, and sometimes a small tower 
was erected near by, which contained the bell, and in some 
cases the town's stock of ammunition, and the burial 
appliances it may be, as the bier and pall or "burying 

The third meeting house in the succession came into use 
in the eighteenth century, and was more elaborate, having 
a projecting porch with a steeple upon it. 

It is probable that the Concord colony conformed to the 
customs of the period in church building, and that its first 
meeting house was like that of other towns. Let us sup- 
pose such to be the case, and conceive of its earliest house 
of worship as standing somewhere near the summit of the 
hill in the old burying ground, at a spot which overlooked 
the first street. It was reached, we will conjecture, by 
several narrow and winding wood paths — one from the 
direction of the manse, one from over the great fields to 
give a short cut across lots to the Bakers and Flints ; one 
running southwesterly around the millpond and across the 
brook, to accommodate the Mileses, whose canoe was 
moored snugly by the upper meadows after having brought 
them over the river. The walls of the structure, if like 

Concord 135 

some others of the period, consisted of layers of logs, the 
bark hewn roughly on the upper and under sides, the crev- 
ices being filled with clay. It had perhaps a low, gable 
roof, and was devoid of any attempt to distinguish it from 
other buildings by means of a cupola or dormer windows, 
or even a weather vane. To erect a structure better than 
this at the beginning of the settlement would doubtless 
have been difficult ; for there were no saw mills, the nails 
were hand wrought, and carpenter tools were few and 

Here it may be surmised, that since tradition says the first 
meeting house was used for a score and a half of years, it 
is possible, if not probable, that there has been a mistake 
about the identity of it, and that there were two buildings 
during that time ; the first perhaps not such as they 
would call a meeting house, it being so short lived and 
poorly built, and designed only to serve for two or three 
years, and to be superseded by one with more churchly 

This supposition may commend itself from the following 
considerations ; first, because of the early date at which it 
was ordered that a meeting house should be built, which 
was nearly contemporaneous with the first steps taken in 
the settlement; second, because it was the custom of the 
colonists of other towns to build for the time being merely ; 
third, the fact that so long a time as thirty years has been 
assigned for the length of service of the first meeting house 
when we think it improbable that a single dwelling place in 
Concord constructed during the first one or two years, stood 
very long after the existence of mills made sawn material 
possible ; fourth, the structure that would suffice for a con- 
gregation of the first few years would hardly be large 
enough for that of thirty years later, notwithstanding the 
shrinkage in 1644, caused by the departure of Elder Jones 
and his company for Connecticut. 

The timber trees used for the first meeting house were 
doubtless those nearest at hand ; so that the designation 

136 Colonial 

by record or tradition of this or that lot as "the meeting 
house lot," we believe has reference to the land from 
which the timber for some subsequent meeting house was 
taken. This supposition is more plausible, since it was an 
object to early clear the space about the meeting house of 
trees, to prevent forest fires from endangering the build- 

Probably the first structure was an unslightly one, for im- 
patience to get into it would render the builders regardless 
of the element of beauty ; as in the case of their little log 
cabins by the bank they only sought a slim shelter from 
the cold and storm for a season, so now with their church 
home, if they had a place for a few benches, a communion 
table, and a plain pulpit, they were content, for it would be 
a meeting house and in conformity to the order of the 
court. The logs may have projected at the corners 
unequally like the rails of a Virginia fence or the rafters 
of a Swiss cottage; the long coarse thatching may have 
drooped irregularly below the eaves line, leaving a loose 
and ragged edge which almost shaded the small apertures 
called windows ; while about the crevices may have been 
here and there an ugly stain as the rain washed out the 
clay filling or the sun baked it until it cracked and 

As Providence smiled on the plantation, and times grew 
better, other houses of worship were constructed, whose 
succession is as follows, according to history. 

The order for the first meeting house was in 1635, ^^^ 
it was ordered that it "stande on the hill near the brook 
opposite Goodman Judson's lott." In 1667, it was 
ordered that a new meeting house be built "to stand 
between the present house and Deacon Jarvis." This 
second or third meeting house, whichever it may have been 
was nearly square and had a gallery. The lower floor had 
a few pews and the remaining space was filled with seats. 
The roof was ornamented with four projections on the 
sides, resembhng, it is stated, Luthern windows, or gable 

Concord 137 

ends with a window in each. In the center of the roof 
was a turret or cupola, in which was a bell. On the spire 
was a vane, bearing date 1973, the probable time when the 
building was finished. 

In 1 7 10, arrangements were made after several town 
meetings for the erection of a new house of worship. It 
was to be 60 feet long, 50 wide and 28 high; it had no 
pews until some time after it was completed, and when they 
were put in, it was only by special vote of the town as a 
favor to certain distinguished persons. There were two 
galleries and no porch or turret. It was finished in 171 2, 
and cost 608 pounds. In 1749, pews were placed around 
the lower floor and a few in the lower gallery. On Jan. 
31, 1790, the town voted to repair the meeting house, mak- 
ing it 72 feet long, 50 feet wide and 28 feet high, with an 
addition of three porches, a spire 90 feet high, square pews 
along the wall on the lower floor and in the gallery. It 
was dedicated Jan. 24, 1792, and Rev. Dr. Ripley preached 
the sermon. The first "church going bell" at Concord was 
placed upon a tree. About 1696, it was broken and sent 
to England for repairs. In 1700, it was placed in the 

About the meeting house at an early date were various 
quaint objects, prominent among which was a "horse 
block," a pillory, stocks, a publishing post and whipping 
post, and sometimes a cage. The horse block was of stone 
or logs, and was used by church goers who went horseback 
for mounting and dismounting, and was especially service- 
able to the women who rode behind the men on a seat 
called a "pillion." A fine horse block was early procured 
and paid for by the women of Concord, each contributing 
one pound of butter. 

The pillory and stocks were for penal purposes ; the 
former intended to keep the arms and head of the culprit 
in a constrained position while he remained standing ; the 
latter to confine the feet and hands when sitting. The 
whipping post was where the law breaker received lashes 

138 Colonial 

publicly administered. The cage was for the confinement 
of evil doers for a short time where all could look upon 

The publishing post was used as a bulletin board ; and 
there might have been seen all kinds of legitimate notices, 
such as colonial orders, intentions of marriage, rules regard- 
ing Sabbath observance, town warrants, etc, 

A reason for using the meeting house and its near pre- 
cincts for giving publicity to events and orders may have 
been, that everyone if able bodied was supposed to go 
there in conformity to law, and custom, and individual 
desire ; and perhaps from this fact has arisen the maxim of 
English jurisprudence, that ignorance of law excuses no 
one, in that as every one was expected to go where the law 
was promulgated, therefore there could be no ignorance of 
it. The precincts of the meeting house were also some- 
times the place to which the heads of wolves were brought 
when bounties were to be paid for them ; the order being 
that they should be either "nayled to the meeting house" 
or to a tree near it, and hence, here and there might some- 
times be seen these grim objects suggestive of both the 
peril and prowess of the pioneers. 

From the foregoing facts, together with others to be 
observed, it may be safe to infer that the Puritan's place 
of public worship was not the most dreary spot possible, 
but on the contrary the most interesting in the settlement. 
As it was often the town's geographical center, so about it 
was centralized whatever was in a wholesome manner enliv- 
ening, recreating, and agreeable. 

The people there obtained the latest news ; there they 
exchanged neighborly salutations, made familiar inquiries, 
and took a fresh start physically, morally, and spiritually. 

Neither was the meeting house and its precincts lonely 
and unvisited between Sundays. There were the meet- 
ings on "lecture days," the occasional military elections, 
the town's civic gatherings, and miscellaneous or incidental 
assemblages. In short, the meeting house with its grounds 

Concord 139 

was the people's trysting place, where a community of in- 
terest was recognized, and where everything that the settle- 
ment stood for was represented. 

From such facts we may easily conclude that all was not 
constraint about the church-going customs of the early 
New Englanders, and that there was much besides the 
ecclesiastical associated with their houses of worship. The 
average colonist went to meeting because he wanted to, and 
because there was pleasure in it ; not merely through a 
sense of stern duty. His meeting house was his church 
home, and he could say of it with a sincerity that was soft- 
ened by the sweetest endearment — 

"I love thy church, O God ! 
Her walls before thee stand. 
Dear as the apple of thine eye. 
And graven on thy hand. 

Beyond my highest joy 

I prize her heavenly ways. 

Her sweet communion, solemn vows. 

Her hymns of love and praise." 

He looked forward to the recreation of the holy Sabbath 
and its sanctuary privileges with glad and expectant long- 
ings, and his hard, secular life was sweetened by its services. 

In short, about those homely altars where burned the 
incense of a fervent faith, the worshiper of the lone, wide- 
spreading, and stilly woods found his flesh and spirit 
refreshed and refurnished ; and it was because he drank at 
such fountains that the greatness of the generations follow- 
ing was made possible. Because of these things the locality 
of the meeting house was attractive, and its exercises were 
popular; and if the "blue laws," so called, that are some- 
times so sluringly spoken of were needed, it was largely for 
the laggard and thriftless, and had the same significance to 
that class as did the whipping post, the pillory, and the 

Having considered the meeting house, let us next notice 



how people got to it. The greater part went on foot, no 
distance being deemed too great if within the township, or 
about its border. A half-dozen miles was a small matter 
to a person who could travel a score of miles on foot with 
a sack of corn on his back. In Concord and towns adjoin- 
ing, in many cases miles separated the worshiper from the 
meeting house ; and often the way lay through swamps and 
at times partially submerged causeways. But nothing 
daunted, they pushed their way through or over these 
obstacles unflinchingly. For the conveyance of the wo- 
men and children and aged people anything, available was 
used, — clumsy ox sleds or carts, hay wagons, and the sad- 
dle and pillion. In the latter mode of conveyance the 
"ride and tie" system prevailed. This method was for one 
or two to start on horseback and another or others to fol- 
low on foot, and when the former had ridden a piece they 
would dismount, tie the horse to a tree, and when the lat- 
ter came up they in like manner would ride a distance and 
then dismount, tie the horse and walk on ; and so parties 
would ride and walk alternately tilf they reached the meet- 
ing house. 

In the matter of dress, care was exercised then as well as 
now. The fathers were far from being slouchy in their 
attire. Moreover, what might be the silly promptings of 
pride in the present, might then have been the promptings 
of duty, for such was the reverence for sacred things that 
nothing was thought too good for the meeting house, and 
it might have been considered sacrilege to go in a shabby 
garb, if something better were possible ; thus what in one 
age may be a virtue, in another may be a vice. The mate- 
rial of the women's dress was all the way from a sleazy 
dimity to costly calHmanco. The men, according to their 
abihty might wear a coat of match, or a jacket of rough 
woolen frieze with dornex breeches of a coarse linen similar 
to canvas. So the pendulum swung then as now ; nor will 
it cease, it may be, until society settles upon the golden 
mean, that they are the best dressed who are attired in 

Concord 141 


clothing that is the most comfortable and the least notice- 
able, and have means with which to obtain it. 

Within the meeting house all was plain and simple. At 
first there were no pews whatever ; but in process of time 
there was now and then one put in by permission at the 
expense of the occupant. 

The "seating of the meeting house" was a very conse- 
quential affair, and was to be done with such delicacy that 
the sensitive nature of no one could be injured, and each 
one would have a position suited to his rank and station. 
The deacons had sittings near the pulpit, and if there was 
an elder a proper place was assigned him next to the 
preacher. The minister's family was to have seats at the 
front, and if there were magistrates, they and their families 
and also the selectmen and their families were to be pro- 
vided for in a way that would magnify their office. A 
"seating committee" was chosen regularly, and because 
there might be heart burnings incident to the faithful per- 
formance of their functions, the office was unpopular ; which 
shows that one elective office at least has gone a begging. 

The men and women sat in different seats ; also the boys 
and girls. Near the minister's seat was the "saxton's," 
where that faithful custodian of the meeting house sat in 
readiness to respond to any call, and to turn the hour 
glass ; not, perhaps, that the preacher might be reminded 
when to close the sermon, but to know how long to con- 
tinue it. 

Above the pulpit and just over the minister when he 
was speaking, was a "sounding board," placed there for 
projecting the voice. It was either round or square and 
several feet in area, and held in position by an iron rod 
extending from the ceiling above. In some places it was 
customary for the congregation to wait at the door until 
the clergyman arrived and to enter just after him. In 
others it was the custom to enter just before him, and at 
his coming in at the door to rise and remain standing till 

142 Colonial 

he was seated in the pulpit, a form somewhat similar to the 
present court custom when the justice enters. 

After service began it was the rule that no one should go 
out until the close except in case of necessity ; and so 
closely was this rule adhered to that one or more tithing 
men were stationed at the door to enforce it. 

The service was usually quite lengthy, sometimes con- 
tinuing from half-past nine till twelve; this time however 
was not all taken up with prayer and preaching. Besides 
the usual preliminary exercises there were others that were 
occasional. Before the long prayer "notes" were "put up," 
such as, "Betsey Bateman desires prayers that the death of 
her husband may be sanctified to her;" "Daniel Darby 
desires to express gratitude for a great deliverance from 
danger ;" "Abiathar Brown desires prayers that he may 
recover from sickness." Marriage intentions were also 
proclaimed at this time, and the "Chrisom" service had 
place. The scripture reading was accompanied by exposi- 
tory comments; and the singing of psalms was preceded by 
"lining off," or the reading of a couple of lines at a time 
for the congregation to sing. 

From the foregoing facts we infer that statements indi- 
cating that the clergymen of those days prayed an hour, and 
preached two or three is an exaggeration. For if the meet- 
ing began at half-past nine, and we see not how it could 
have begun earlier on an average the year through, consid- 
ering the long distance which many of the worshipers 
came with there slow cattle or on foot, and the necessary 
farm chores that preceded the journey, how, we ask, with 
all the miscellaneous matters and scripture reading and with 
elaborate expositions, psalm lining, and slow singing, and a 
prayer to close with, could so long a time have been de- 
voted to the sermon ? Moreover, the sermons themselves 
which are extant may be evidence to the contrary, as may 
be also the character of those who wrote them. The cler- 
ical profession of early New England was a learned one ; 
it conformed well to the economics of the times and the 

Concord 1 43 

desires of its constituents, and the product of it as seen in 
the present is indicative of its prudence, its piety and its 
sound common sense. 

There was an intermission of about an hour between the 
services on Sunday, during which time some of the congre- 
gation went to the tavern, some to the neighboring houses, 
and some to the noon houses ; which were small structures 
erected by private parties for this express purpose. These 
noon houses had fireplaces and were supplied with a barrel 
or two of cider, it may be, and utensils for warming their 

As there was no means of heating the meeting house, 
various expedients were resorted to : among the most 
common of which were the foot stoves, small receptacles 
for holding coals. These were filled when taken from 
home and at noon were replenished at the noon house. 
They were placed at the feet of the older people, and about 
them the little children could warm their fingers. They 
also tended to take the chilliness from the house, which be- 
ing low and well filled, and with few windows, afforded 
more comfort than would be thought possible. 

Wolf skin bags were attached to some of the pews or 
benches to put the feet in ; and dogs were also taken to 
church for the purpose of keeping the feet warm. Indeed, 
to such an extent did this latter custom prevail that a law 
was passed prohibiting it. Whether this was done because 
the animals imparted so much comfort as to induce drowsi- 
ness in the listeners, or because the dogs sometimes made 
themselves heard in protest when too much pressure was 
brought to bear on them, the sparks do not depose. 

As a means of maintaining order, tithing men or tenth 
men were appointed, so called because one was appointed 
for every ten families. These tithing men were each equip- 
ped with a long staff having at one end something with 
which to "rap up" unruly boys ; and at the other end a 
delicately adjusted fox tail with which to tickle the faces of 
the staid dames and thoughtless daughters when regardless 

144 Colonial 

of the sermon. Besides these staves of office there were 
set up in conspicuous places about the room tithing men's 
sticks ready to be used if occasion required. Nor were 
these all the means for the conservation of good order, for 
there was sometimes placed midway of the audience a "cul- 
prit's seat," where might be seen sometimes a mischievous 
person bearing a paper upon which was inscribed the nature 
of his misdemeanor. 

Outside the meeting house peace and tranquility were 
secured by means as systematic and grim. 

It was an early law of the colony that a fourth part of 
the "trayne band" was to go to church armed. A regular 
sentry was posted outside with an equipment regulated by 
law, which in some instances was a coat "basted with cotton 
wool" to ward off bullets, a "corslet" to cover the body, a 
"gorget" to guard the throat, and "tasses" to cover the 

Each sentinel was to carry a "bastard musket with a snap 
chance," "a full musket" or a barrel with a matchlock, or 
some other efficient firearm. 

Such were the surroundings ; and such were some of the 
scenes witnessed within and without the meeting house of 
"ye olden times," and we believe they are sufficient to con- 
vince any one that the colonial meeting house and what 
went with it were far from being prosy; and that the times 
that produced them and the people whom they served were 
not doltish nor given to objectionable tranquility. 

We do not affirm that all the foregoing practices were 
observed at Concord, nor in any one of the colonial towns; 
customs differed with communities, and each of these had 
their peculiar church cults, according as these were brought 
from the old country, or created by circumstances, or by 
contact with a neighboring borough ; but if even a portion 
of them prevailed in a given township, it was enough to 
impart to it an activity and an air of sprightliness which 
would naturally prevent any social stagnation and make the 
life of the Puritan far from being staid or "slowgoing." 

Concord 145 

We believe the foregoing facts also indicate that the 
olden times were more intense than we are wont to sup- 
pose ; and that the secular strenuousness of the present has 
only taken the place of a spiritual strenuousness in the 
past. As in the natural world the same elements take dif- 
ferent forms, so in society the energy of one age may be 
exerted in such a manner that the people of another age 
do not recognize it. 

Society being largely conventional, it may be only by the 
discovery of the motive or the inspection of the mainspring 
of the machinery that enables us to make right estimates of 
an era and its actors. So when we measure the men and 
women of whom we have been speaking by what their 
meeting houses meant, we find them intensely active, and 
living in a period that demanded intense activity. Each 
person was a storage battery of spiritual force, and the 
electricity of thought, purpose and action was generated at 
the great "power house" of the church, of which the meet- 
ing house was the symbol. 

Before we conclude our observations on the old time 
meeting houses, let us notice their place in history. They 
were the beginnings of our national greatness and unprece- 
dented progress. This we believe to be preeminently the 
case with regard to matters civic and educational. The 
colonial meeting house was the town house. The minister 
was for the town, and the town elected and maintained him. 
Minister's rates were assessed by the same process and paid 
with the same cheerfulness as others ; and indeed they 
might have been a standard for the making up of all other 

The first polling place was beside the pulpit. The con- 
tribution box might have been the first ballot box. On 
the communion table the town clerk made the town re- 
cords. On the meeting house door were posted the town 
warrants and town "orders." Attendance at church on 
Sundays might relate to eligibility to town office. It was 
the meeting house and what it represented that made 

146 Colonial 

the minute man, and with it may be associated his whole 
history ; for to its pulpit he looked for his encouragement, 
to its Bible he looked for his authority in resisting oppres- 
sion, and to its belfry or the powder house of its precincts 
he repaired for his ammunition. 

The foregoing statements are amply sustained by a vari- 
ety and profusion of simple facts which the records and 
traditions of many New England townships attest to, and 
Concord bears her full share of the testimony ; and there 
are circumstances which can only be construed as showing 
through a long period a oneness to her ecclesiastical and 
civic affairs. The records inform us that the order 
for building the first meeting house was passed Feb. 5, 
1636, when the affairs of colonization were largely under 
the leadership of Rev. Peter Bulkeley. The substance of 
the records concerning the building of the second or third 
meeting house of date Jan. 27, 1668, is that Capt. Timothy 
Wheeler, Joseph Wheeler and John Smedley were consti- 
tuted a committee to make a contract for a meeting house; 
and that in 1672, the selectmen were directed "to see if the 
contract was completed." The building erected about this 
date stood on the town's common land at a spot on or near 
the site of the present Unitarian church, or what is known 
as the "First Parish Church." In this meeting house, 
which it is stated had the characteristics of one erected at 
Hingham, Mass., in 1681, the town meetings were held 
until as late as 171 2, after which time the deliberations of 
the church were held in the new building, and those of the 
town were held in the old one. 

In 1719, the town voted to build a house for its "town 
meetings" and court sessions, the latter having been held 
for ten years previous in the old meeting house. 

Oct. II, 1774, an adjourned meeting of the First Pro- 
vincial Congress was held in this meeting house. 

March 22, 1775, the Second Provincial Congress also 
met there. 

Concord 147 

The same year the military companies met there to Hsten 
to a sermon by Rev. WilHam Emerson. 

In 1776, the commencement exercises of Harvard Col- 
lege were held there. 

Such is a partial epitome of events connected with the 
succession of early meeting houses which have stood on or 
about the site of the "First Parish Meeting House," and 
they substantiate the foregoing statements and bear out our 
conclusions concerning the mission of the modest colonial 
meeting house. 

Moreover its natural environment was as picturesque as 
its history is romantic. On the one side was the bluff 
or ridgeway, safe sheltering from storms that swept from the 
easterly, upon whose peaceful but stinted summit sleep 
what is mortal of the faithful church founders, and at whose 
foot was the little street which ran just past the church 
doorway, once traveled by the second Bulkeley, Estabrook, 
Whiting, Bliss, the famous Whitefield, Emerson, Ripley, 
and Reynold? ; and also by Hancock, Adams, Otis and 
others world renowned, whose voices were once heard 
within the meeting house walls soundly denouncing the 
"king's orders," and imploringly appealing to the people to 
resist them. 

At the northwesterly was a small portion of the "town's 
common land, "where once stood the "Jethro" or "bell tree," 
underneath which, as tradition declares, an agreement was 
made for a sale of the township for "beads, wampum, 
hoes" and other commodities, in the presence of grave 
sagamores and mystical witnesses, with dark, wizard-like 
looks and strange movements. In that direction was 
the "town pound" and a snug garrison house, and perhaps 
the "tanyard" of one of Concord's first artisans, to whom 
the town early granted land to encourage his trade. To 
the northwesterly also was the mill and the brook, its fresh 
meadows opening downward in pleasant vistas towards the 
manse. To the westerly was the wilderness and a road 

148 Colonial 

leading into it, with smiling homesteads alongside ; while 
to the southwesterly and southerly and half skirted in that 
direction by a driftway upon which stood one of Concord's 
first grocery stores was the mill pond, forest fringed and 
newly made, reflecting back from cool shadows the gnarled 
oaks and tall pines, and the lesser shrubbery of bending 
bilberry bushes and elder and willow clumps, and whose 
friendly waters withal cam'e so close to the meeting house 
as almost to wash its sills ; so that in 1672, the selectmen 
were instructed to adopt measures "to keep out the waters 
of Mill brook, which encroached on the common and wore 
it away." 

Such to an extent was the scene, and thus varied were 
the objects of beauty and of interest that surrounded the 
first in succession of these meeting houses, when Parson 
Edward Bulkeley and Deacon Griffin entered the portal of 
the new edifice, perhaps on a bright morning in the year 
1672, to see if everything was in readiness to hold the first 
service there. 

But even more might be said of it ; for were it our pro- 
vince to speak of things modern we would pause and 
make mention of the illustrious gatherings that have con- 
vened about this ancient church site at the occasional 
funeral services of the "mighty dead" ; for as statesmen, 
orators and distinguished preachers, philanthropists, philos- 
ophers, poets and jurists have spoken and worshipped 
within the walls of the structures that stood there, so their 
mortal remains have been borne from there ; and more 
than once has the world's great grief been manifest in 
the sad and solemn requiems and notable eulogies that 
have been sung and spoken there ; and so long as this an- 
cient church site is associated with these its renown is 
secure, for their's were of the "few immortal names that 
were not born to die." 

That the early meeting house stood for the educational 
interests of the colony needs no reiteration. It was at 

Concord 1 49 

these places and by means of the ministers, that many of 
the people acquired even the little knowledge that they 
possessed during that period of New England history that 
has been called "the dark age." This period, which was 
between the passing away of the original grantees and the 
coming of the second generation following, was approxi- 
mately from 1675 ^^ ^7^5- That the settlers were friendly 
to education during this period goes without saying, not- 
withstanding towns were sometimes fined for not providing 
proper school privileges. They loved and demanded a 
learned Gospel ministry. They welcomed the catecumen- 
ical exercises ; and that they improved themselves with 
books when they had them and when the pastor loaned 
them from his meager library indicates what might have 
been their literary status "Had fortune frowned not on 
their humble birth." Moreover, the people loved their 
long sermons, doubtless, and the long prayers, for by them 
their spiritual and intellectual natures were fed. But the 
settlers were many of them poor, schoolmasters and school- 
rnistresses were scarce ; life was a scramble for bread, a fight 
to make both ends meet ; and when the immigrant settler 
who came to this country with a fair education had passed 
away, then the dark age came ; many signed their names 
with a mark, many could not read, and there was a lament- 
able lack of learning generally. But the meeting houses 
by their ministers kept brightly burning a lamp of 
knowledge- when others had gone out. The long and 
elaborate discourses were educators ; good language was 
encouraged. In short, a high intellectual standard was 
kept before the people, and the desire for better things was 
fostered by frequent contact of the parishioner with his 
pastor. Let not then too much credit be ascribed to "the 
little red schoolhouse," for the little log meeting house 
was before it ; and but for the latter, the former might 
never have been. So let us in ascribing "honor to whom 
honor is due" leave a large place for the New England 

1 50 Colonial 

meeting house, which made "giants in those days," and 
which made the minute men who came later, and was the 
beginning of our present greatness. And let us, like those 
who founded them, say with a whole-souled sincerity, "I 
was glad when they said unto me, let us go up to the 
house of the Lord." 




^Asfor, Lenox and TWden^ 





i ■ 


'1 ;, 











', i 


p. I; ,: 










Visit to the Home of Goodman George Heywood — 
Talk with Miller IVilliam Buss — Ramble about 
the Mill Pond — Flint's Pond — History of the 
Bulkeley Grist Mill — Succession of Millers — 
Stroll about Concord Center — Description of the 
Mill Pond. 

THE next morning we arose about sunrise, and after 
breakfast and family prayers, started with one of 
the hired men who was going to mill, for the house 
of George Heywood. 
We went in an ox cart, and as the bullocks were but 
imperfectly "broken" we were bounced and jolted over 
many remnants of old roots and through sloughy places, 
insomuch that we concluded that the highway work of 
those days consisted mainly in shoveling snowdrifts, and 
keeping the wheel ruts from the constant encroachment of 
the shrubbery, and the casting of brushwood into the wet 
places to prevent miring. 

As we entered the village, for we will call it such, al- 
though it was "only a collection of housen," as miller Buss 
told us, Goodman Heywood met us at the bar way, for 
there were gates and bars at the head of lanes which it was 
the common law should be kept closed, and with a smile 
and voice as bright and breezy as the day, bade us good 
morning, and insisted upon our taking a second breakfast. 
Hospitality in those days was the rule and not the excep- 
tion, and "stay to dinner," or "stay to supper," or "stop 
over night" was only a natural accompaniment of one's 
coming, and everywhere expected as a matter of course. 
As Goodman Heywood had an important town matter 

152 Colonial 

to look after he excused himself for the forenoon, and we 
went into the mill which was near by, where we found the 
miller standing by the meal trough in the midst of a score 
or more of bags of unground maize. Entering into con- 
versation, we found that the task of grinding the town's 
corn was not easy ; "For," said the miller, "we've got but 
one run of stone and slow at that ;" "but," he continued, "we 
have ter try, for folks fetch their grists here from far 
and near ; some come clean from the Nashaway, some 
from farms nigh Nashoba, some from beyend Shawshine, 
and there's a few towards Sudbry and up agin Malbry." 

After inquiring as to how they brought their grist, we 
found that those who had horses threw the sacks over their 
backs, that some brought them in ox carts or on sleds, 
some in wheelbarrows, and a few on their backs ; even 
though coming sometimes from miles away. At times, he 
stated, they "stayed over" or started home late at night 
and this, it might be, in cold or stormy weather, or in deep 
snow, so great at times was the stress for meal. 

He did not tell us about his "toll rates," neither did we 
ask him, knowing as we did that there had been several 
misunderstandings about this matter, both in relation to 
himself and his predecessors. 

Having learned what we could from the genial miller, 
and growing weary of the noise of the mill machinery, we 
resolved to ramble about the pond to discover anything 
that might be of service in describing the central village of 
Concord town as it was about the middle of the 17th cen- 

Leaving the Mill dam we passed the "pound," and keep- 
ing on the side of the pond next to the "Strate strete" and 
going just back of the site of the "First Parish Church," 
we found ourselves on the swamp lands to the eastward, 
which but for a dry October would have been damp. 
After walking a considerable distance in the brushwood, 
occasionally through the openings, catching a glimpse of 
the pines on the ridgeway, we reached the "Bay road," 



where a bridge of loosely laid logs crossed Mill brook on 
a lev^el with the roadbed. Hard by was the house of 
Goodman Meriam, beside which was a snug barn and 
sheep shed and a couple of barley stacks. Near the bar- 
ley stacks was a threshing floor consisting of logs, square 
hewn and closely set, where with slim walnut flails fastened 
with eel skin, Goodman Meriam and a neighbor, Nathan- 
iel Ball were threshing, while the plump barley grains were 
bounding briskly all about them. Thinking it uncivil not 
to call, we halted ; as we did so the men, flails in hand, 
came to meet us and greeted us with a right hearty cordi- 
ality, and the rest of the household consisting of his wife 
and several children appeared in the doorway. 

On leaving Goodman Meriam's dooryard we rambled 
over the fields in a southwesterly direction and soon came 
to a ditch. At first we thought it might be one of the 
ditches that the early settlers used for fencing, but upon 
following it a short distance we came upon a body of water, 
perhaps as charming as ever traveler beheld. It was com- 
pletely surrounded by woods and tinted with a blue as 
beautiful as that of the sky that bent over it. We knew 
where we were, for Major Willard had spoken to us of 
Flint's pond, which on the modern maps is called "Forest 
lake," and said that it received its name from Esquire 
Thomas Flint, who owned all the territory since occupied 
by the village of Lincoln center. 

The discovery of the pond explained the presence of the 
ditch ; for we at once concluded that this ditch, which in the 
"records" is repeatedly referred to as "the gutter," was the 
means of conducting the water from Flint's pond to the 
Mill brook, in order to raise the water in the Mill pond 
whenever needed. 

We did not long remain at Flint's pond, beautiful though 
it was, but soon retraced our steps to the Mill brook and 
followed its course till we came to the head of the Mill 
pond where we sat down upon a log which had been lifted 
at high water upon a hassock of coarse grass, and listened 

1 54 Colonial 

to the multitudinous voices which, strangely mingling with 
the deep bass of the distant mill, made a strange medley. 

The day was beautiful ; the sky cloudless ; and the 
soft south wind which had set in with the sunrising was 
just beginning to tone down the crisp atmosphere and make 
it enjoyable. The foliage was at its best, for but few leaves 
had fallen and every branch and spray was painted with 
those perfect colors which art cannot imitate ; and as the 
yellow birches and crimson maples flashed their tints among 
the dark evergreens, it was as if the wood nymphs had 
lighted the torches and were awaiting guests. And the 
guests were there ; for while we sat meditating in wonder, a 
couple of kingfishers sprang their rattle just over us, and 
as one dashed into the water and came up with what looked 
like a trout, we concluded that the small mill stream, be- 
fore its waters were made to work, was a "trout brook" 
that once went rollicking riverward as free as the wind, 
notwithstanding the level country through which it passed. 

In a shallow cove among some lily pads were a doe and 
two fawns, while beyond, under some hemlocks in the flags 
a flock of dusky ducks was riding at anchor, and keeping 
at an aristocratic distance from three diminutive teal, which 
lingered later than was their wont in Concord waters be- 
cause of the mildness of the Fall. As the air was still cool 
in spite of the south wind, and the frost sparkled on the 
bilberry bushes, we decided to make a fire to warm our 
fingers, and see if anything could be learned in addition to 
what we already knew relative to the ponds the mill, and 
the adjacent hamlet. Accordingly, we started in search of 
some drift wood from the pond shore, well knowing that 
the sparks from this if from anything would be prolific of 
information. With this fuel, a little moss, and a flint and 
steel which Major Willard had lent us, we made a blaze. 
Soon the flames crackled and the sparks snapped merrily ; 
nd the story stripped of all that is fictitious is as fol- 
lows : 

The little brook which was early crossed by "Fort 

Concord 155 

bridge" or "Potter's bridge," and now runs through the 
culvert at "Hasting's Corner," and by the Bank, has the 
distinction of first serving the town of Concord for mill 
purposes ; and except for its presence, there might have 
been no Concord center where it is, but its location might 
have been determined by some other stream. A "corn 
mill," as these places were once called, was considered indis- 
pensable to a new township. Like an army, the settler 
should keep near his base of supplies, and a mill house with 
a good water power was his commissariat. The usual order 
was a mill, a meeting house, and an "ordinary," or a public 
place of entertainment for man and beast. 

The miller was an important personage, next to the 
tavern keeper, and both made good material for selectmen 
and militia officers. The mill was a place for news or a 
kind of village exchange. There the farmer learned pa- 
tience as his grist slowly fell into the mill trough, or as he 
waited his turn, or was told to come the next day or the 
day after. There he compared crops and made bargains. 
Perhaps, also, it was there he learned as much about colo- 
nial law and provincial politics as at any place except the 
meetiing house ; for people came "to mill" from far away, 
bringing not only their bags of corn and barley but tidings 
of accident, adventure and the rise and fall of market rates 
at the seaboard. 

The first mill in Concord was erected by Rev. Peter 
Bulkeley, or with his money ; which circumstance, were 
there no other, would show that Mr. Bulkeley was a "man 
of means" ; for mill machinery was costly and doubtless 
much of it, together with the mill wright who put it up 
came from "below." Probably the mill was never "run" 
by its original owner but was leased ; for we find that as 
early as 1639 it was in charge of William Fuller, who the 
records state, was fined "^3 ^0^ abuse in over-tolling." 

The first mill was doubtless small and stood on or near 
the site of the brick building by the old Bank. 

In consideration of building the mill, or as a gratuity. 

156 Colonial 

Mr. Bulkeley was allowed a tract of thirty acres upon 
which his house and mill stood, lying between the pond 
and the river. He was also granted the right to raise the 
water of the brook "to a perpendicular height of four feet 
and ten inches from the bottom of the mill trough," and 
of digging clay on the common for making repairs on the 
dam ; franchises akin in principle to those accorded to early 
mill builders in other places ; and the small amount allot- 
ted may indicate that landed possessions were not lavishly 
bestowed upon any one, nor as a rule, conveyed without 
value received. 

Timber trees, pasturage, planting places and hay on 
meadow lands, whether they were public or private prop- 
erty, were jealously guarded, and whether the common 
lands were "sized" or divided, or conveyed as a gratuity, 
or perquisite, it was in a manner that established no unsafe 

How many years the Bulkeley mill continued to grind 
the "town's corn" we were not told, but there was a long 
succession of millers. Among them were some of the 
town's stanchest citizens ; and if the records show that in 
one or two instances there was a deviation from what was 
conventional or statutory, all the circumstances not being 
disclosed, we may not be able to judge fairly, since there 
might have been mitigating facts ; for example, William 
Fuller may have properly set up in defence by way of "jus- 
tification and avoidance" that morally the laborer is 
worthy of his hire, whether legally so or not, and that at 
times the mill did not pay ; for when there was a scarcity 
of water in the pond, or too much back water in the brook, 
it was slow grinding, and he perhaps took it upon himself 
to adjust prices, and so likewise when in 1665, William 
Buss was warned by Constable Thomas Brooks "to answer 
for his want of scales and weights in his mill," he may have 
pleaded inability to purchase them. The year previous, 
the Heywood mill was established, and perhaps competi- 
tion had commenced, and business may have been done on 

Concord 157 

too small a margin to make "up to date" appliances profit- 
able ; we were not there, the sparks say nothing, and we 
can be charitable. Moreover, so far as Buss is concerned, 
presumption is greatly in his favor; for when he kept 
tavern in 1664, at about the spot where the town library 
now stands, he wished to be excused from selling strong 
drink, and he was considered by the selectmen a most suit- 
able person for a licensed innkeeper. 

That Mr. Bulkeley retained ownership of the mill for 
many years is indicated by the fact that after his death, 
which occured March 5, 1659, a controversy arose con- 
cerning the mill' bstween his widow, Grace Chetwood, and 
the citizens of Concord, and the matter was investigated by 
the Colonial Court, one result of which was a conclusion 
that the contract between Mr. Bulkeley and the town of 
Concord had been loosely drawn. 

About t666. Captain Timothy Wheeler, who lived in 
the house of Mr. Bulkeley, became owner of the mill, and 
he left it by will to his daughter, Rebecca Minot; and her 
husband, James, operated it for many years. The build- 
ing which now stands on Main street by the brook near 
the bank is in the succession of these ancient mills. It has 
been supposed by some that it may have been built by 
Captain Timothy Wheeler, but no record nor reliable 
tradition gives any certain information of its age. It is 
very old but that it existed earlier than the first quarter of 
the 1 8th century is considered improbable. 

But long ago the rumbling of the old mill ceased; and 
the water of the mill brook released from its useful bondage 
once more went dancing downwards as wild and unre- 
strained as when the settlers first saw it. The pond shrank 
back into its original channel, and the flags and clover blos- 
soms upon its grassy border, looked laughingly down into 
it as if glad to be brought back to their old playground. 
Today, nature and art are both there; tomorrow it may be 
only art. 

It was nearly high noon when we started on our return 

I S^ Colonial 

to the village, which we reached in time for dinner. The 
meal was served in accordance with the hospitality of the 
times. In the early afternoon and after a conversation with 
Goodman Heywood, in which he spoke of his plan for the 
erection of a saw mill, we proposed a stroll over the village, 
to the end that we might better describe at some future 
time the mill pond, the village roads, and the homes of the 

As good fortune would have it we were left to go alone ; 
for just as we were about starting, John, the eldest son, 
stepped in and said that the Gobble boys down at the 
"Bay" (Fairhaven) had sent for his father to come and 
weigh some tar, which article we infer was a commodity in 
early times in Concord, and that sometimes there was tres- 
passing in order to obtain it, as the Sudbury records inform 
us that in 1661, the town appointed men "to agree with 
Robert Porctor of Concord about his trespass of burning 
up our pines for making tar." Having obtained all neces- 
sary instructions we went forth, and by sunsetting had 
gathered many facts and formed many theories relative to 
the village, the mill and the ways of the inhabitants ; 
but lest our observation may have been too limited, and 
being a visitor, we had been shown only the best side of 
things, we will relate only what conforms with history. 

First, we will describe the mill pond. From the height 
of the dam, and various records relating to the flow- 
age of water in its vicinity, together with the "lay of the 
land," we may fairly conjecture what was its shape and size, 
and trace its outline on at least three sides. The north 
side was bounded by the dam, which probably extended 
from the mill house to a point a little east of Mill brook 
where it crosses the present Main street. From the dam 
on the east side it followed the upland until it shoaled up 
near the crossing on Heywood street, and lost itself 
among the meadows, then swamp grounds, in the direction 
of Meriam's corner. On the west it had a similar contour. 
Beginning at the mill, it followed the general direction of 

Concord 1 59 

the present Walden street, and keeping well within the up- 
land as it variously sloped, made a curved shore nearly 
corresponding to the one opposite. 

That this outline is fairly correct, may be indicated by 
traces of ancient water lines detected in excavations for 
building purposes ; and also from the records of town 
action relating to early riparian rights. A pond of this 
description, and situated amid such scenery as Concord 
center may then have possessed was doubtless exception- 
ably beautiful. Not only would such a sheet of water pent 
up in the woodland solitude of itself be charming, but we 
infer there were objects accompanying it that would make 
it doubly so. Among these was the abruptly rising ridge- 
way a few rods to the eastward, its crest crowned with 
ancient oaks and dark pines, and its slope variously in- 
dented with gentle hollows ; at its foot the "little strate 
strete" curving gracefully, its sides fenced by snipped sap- 
lings and along which were small wood-colored cabins with 
prim door yards, where in summer might have been seen 
busy housewives deftly twirling the flax reel or tethering 
some pet animal, or sitting, it may be at noonday in the 
cooling shade, or in the autumn attending the drying of 
their sliced "pompion" or whisking the wasps from their 
spread huckleberries, or snatching from the night damp 
their half cured herbs. Moreover, there might have been 
seen standing separate and far out in the water a few maples 
and pines left there when the pond was filled, the perching 
place of fish hawks and crows, conspicuous landmarks and 
a general outlook for all birds ; further up there might 
have been a fording place for cattle, used before the build- 
ing of a bridge at Potter's lane, where of a spring morning 
might have been seen the farm boy following the cows or a 
tired teamster watering his oxen, while wading at divers 
points along the pond's margin and feeding among the 
lilies and pickerel weed and brushing flies, may have been 
seen animals both domestic and wild. 

But not the least of its attractions perhaps were its dark, 

1 60 Colonial 

rich reflections which were to be seen on every side except 
that of the dam and the shallow water on the south. These 
reflections may have been of objects rarely seen in the 
vicinity at the present, for in process of time there have 
doubtless disappeared from the precincts of Concord center 
rare plants and grasses and shrubbery that once were there. 
There may have been on the banks among the lesser 
shrubbery both the yellow and black birch, the "sweet 
scented saxifrage" and the red osier, and the spoonwood or 
mountain laurel, as it is now called, purple and white aza- 
lias, and the pink rhodora of which one of Concord's poets 
has so beautifully written, alder, elder, and wild holly, with 
their sprinkling of bright berries to give sprightliness. 

Among the trees there may have been the white and the 
red spruce, and perhaps the bass, the horn beam, and false 
elm. Peeping out from beneath and looking over the 
pond's edge as if laughing at their own loveliness may 
have been rare flowers, as the trumpet weed, the buck bean 
and the fringed gentian ; the painted cup may have also 
presented itself, and rare orchids, the mountain rice, and 
the flowering dogwood, all of which have been found in 
the vicinity in later times. That the mill pond did justice 
to this gentle company we cannot doubt, and that the scene 
afforded on its surface on a calm, clear day would be a gor- 
geous one is as httle questionable. 

But not the sights alone but the sounds also naturally 
made this spot a restful one, and such as they only could 
expect to find who are willing to penetrate a wilderness and 
pioneer under old time condition, where everything is wild 
and primitive. There might have been the monotonous 
sound at stated intervals of the church drum ; the oft recur- 
ring roaring of the "rolling dam" when the rain had filled 
the pond to an overflow ; the mournful call of a distrained 
animal from the usually empty town pound, reminding its 
owner to pay a shilling and rescue it; the dull rumble of 
the mill stones and jolt of the clumsy water wheel ; ths 
slow, measured jog, jog, of the farm horse, and the harsh 

Concord i6i 

rattle of the farm wagon, as they moved over the rough 
roads ; now and then might have been heard the strokes of 
a distant threshing flail, or the echo of a cheery halloo, or 
the dropping of some pasture bars ; and now and then may 
have come to the ear the sweet strains of psalm singing, or 
the imploring accents of prayer; these with the multitudi- 
nous voices of Nature might enter into the sounds of that 
little lone hamlef 

In such a place and amid such a scene was born Con- 
cord's first village. Perhaps in part from its peaceful aspect 
the town took its name, and if so we may conjecture that 
the mill pond not only located the hamlet, but also chris- 
tened it. Such a conclusion may by no means be unwar- 
ranted. Large things are often occasioned by small ones ; 
and though the latter may be lost or forgotten, and only 
live in their effects, so may it not be that the presence of 
this pond, which was a factor so important in the success of 
the settlement, and the beauty of its environment, together 
with the tranquility of the town's inhabitants all suggested 
the name of Concord, and hastened the approach of its 
"chrisom" hour. 

Before however leaving the subject of the mill pond, 
additional mention should be made of its upper limit, which 
we stated shoaled up and was lost in the direction of Mer- 
iam's corner. How far it ran in that direction may never 
be known unless by actual survey, since the nature of the 
country is such as to hardly disclose it. Doubtless it 
spread with a shallow depth to the vicinity of Love lane 
or Hawthorne street. Near here at the time of the Con- 
cord colonization was a beaver dam, which may indicate 
that about this place the brook had more than its usual 
fall ; and if so, perhaps here was the pond's upper termi- 
nus. But there is no visible sign by which to determine it, 
neither is there anything to indicate that a portion of the 
present rich tillage and productive garden lands were for- 
merly overflowed. The fields stretch themselves in the 

1 62 Colonial 

distance and vanish ; the blackbird sings and safely builds 
its nest there ; the dew sparkles on the buttercups in the 
morning, and in the evening the perfume of a thousand 
flowers makes fragrant the atmosphere, while tired nature 
rests all unconscious of the great change of two and a half 


Description of Village at Concord Center in Early 
Times — Streets — House Lots — Robert Meriatns 
Store — Street Scene — 'Tavern — Landlord Wil- 
liam Buss — Rules and Regulations of Ordinaries — 
Old Time Taverns at Concord. 

WITH a knowledge of the shape and site of the mill 
pond the way is open for a description of the 
first village of Concord as it may have existed 
a score of years after the town's settlement. 
And here, as of other matters prior to the period of pre- 
served public record, much is left to be learned by sitting 
at old firesides and listening to the sparks. But tradition 
concerning the village roads, and recorded data concern- 
ing house lots reaches so far back as to enable us correctly 
to locate some of them. 

The earliest street was the "Strate strete" or the "Little 
Strate strete" by the ridgeway which began or ended at the 
town's common land, now the public square, and may have 
extended as a lane, now Lowell street, to Parson Bulke- 
ley's, and possibly to the river meadow. 

From the "Strate strete" at the "Common," as we will 
call the public square, a narrow causeway crossed at the 
mill dam, coming out on the west side of it near the old 
Bank building. This causeway at the time of the Revolu- 
tionary war and for years afterward was only a few feet 
wide and was used as a mill path and a short way connect- 
ing both portions of the village. 

A principal or main street ran between the mill dam 
and the South bridge, the latter then near Nashawtuc. It 
was very crooked and in its short course partially described 


1 64 Colonial 

the letter S twice made. Beginning at the mill dam it 
passed to the northwesterly around the town's second bury- 
ing ground, and after running a few rods bent southerly 
almost to the site of the present Main street. It then 
turned northwesterly and after running a few rods again 
bore to the southerly, and passing the great elms on the 
present Frederick Hudson place crossed at the corner of 
Main and Thoreau streets, as these are now, and running 
diagonally toward the southwest, curved at a point across 
the Fitchburg railroad just beyond the section house, and 
by the agricultural grounds, leaving a small "heater" piece, 
now owned by the Boston and Maine R. R. corporation, 
and thence proceeding northwesterly, ran in a direction 
approximately parallel to the first few rods from the 
assumed point of beginning by the mill dam. 

The third street, as we will term it, was on or about the 
site of the present Walden street, and was made it may be, 
for the two-fold purpose of accommodating the houselots 
that lay along the west side of the millpond, and also to 
meet Potter's lane, unless perchance the latter was made to 
meet this. The "Strate strete" may have early extended 
or branched off beyond the present Public square in the 
direction of the North bridge. 

Along these roads were the early homes, and because 
they were there the roads were there. It was here a house 
and there a house and a path between them. The path, 
being much traveled by the neighbors and by the cattle, at 
length became a well recognized public way and in time, 
by an extension of it, became a county road. 

In endeavoring to locate the first houselots along these 
roads, we can perhaps do no better than to take for our 
authority the historian, Walcott, whose painstaking 
researches have been so valuable in the locating of Con- 
cord's early estates. 

On the "Strate strete" near the common was the house- 
lot of Thomas Dane, which consisted of six and one-half 
acres, and extended from burial hill to the mill pond ; 

Concord 165 

Luke Potter's lot of six and one-half acres was situated 
on both sides of Potter's lane (Heywood street). Follow- 
ing the Bay road in an easterly direction there were 
houselots as follows, occupying both sides of the road and 
extending to the mill brook : John Farwell, twelve acres ; 
Thomas Wheeler, Sr., thirteen acres ; Moses Wheat, six- 
teen acres (Staples place). East of Wheat's on the north 
side of the road, was the houselot of William Baker, then 
the lot of William Fletcher, fifteen acres. This lot ran to 
the brook, and was afterward purchased by Nathaniel 
Stow ; and near it was a lot owned by Peter Bulkeley, 
Esquire. Then followed the lot of Thomas Burgess, ten 
acres ; Francis Fletcher, eight acres ; Edward Wright, ten 
acres ; Eliphalet Fox, eight acres : Nathaniel Ball, thirteen 
acres ; William Hartwell, nine acres ; John Hartwell ten 
acres ; William Taylor, eight and three-quarter acres ; and 
beyond these to the eastward were lots of Caleb and 
Joshua Brooke, Christopher Wooley and Richard Rice. 
John Meriam had one and one-half acres at the corner of 
the Bay road on the south and the Billerica road on the 
west, Joseph Dane and Thomas Pellet occupied one 
homestead on the Billerica road. 

South of the mill pond, houselots were laid out from 
what is now Main street by the mill-dam to the almshouse, 
running to the pond or brook on the north and extending 
toward the southwest to about Thoreau street. By the 
mill-dam and nearly opposite the Bank. George Wheeler 
had eleven acres, near which was Joshua Wheeler's lot of 
fourteen acres. Robert Meriam had twenty-six acres 
about the Trinitarian church site. The came John 
Wheeler's lot of ten and one-half acres (Nathan B. Stow's) 
Lieut. Joseph Wheeler, twenty acres (George Everett's) ; 
George Meriam, thirty acres (the Bartlett place) ; Nathan- 
iel Billings, six acres (Nathan Derby's) ; Samuel Stratton, 
twentv-four acres (the almshouse). 

On or near Main street James Smedley had a lot of 
eighteen and one-half acres north of and adjacent to the 

1 66 Colonial 

burying ground. Going to the westward was John Hey- 
wood's lot of tour acres, near the burying ground. Then 
came the lot of William Buss, seven acres. Farther 
westerly, and beyond the South branch of the river was 
the houselot of Michael Wood, and later of William Buss, 
and as has been mentioned, the homestead of Major Simon 

These are the names of some of the people who lived 
in this first village of Concord, and such the location of 
their house-lots. That these are all is not to be supposed, 
for probably about the beginning of the settlement and 
while under the restraint of a colonial law, which for pru- 
dential reasons allowed no one to establish a homestead be- 
yond a certain distance from the meeting-house, all of the 
colonists had homes in the "middle of the town ; and if 
perchance by an actual survey of the premises about the 
meeting house, the mill, and the pond basin, spaces of 
territory should be found which neither record nor tradition 
has assigned to early householders, we may nevertheless 
suppose they were owned and occupied by some one, and 
that there was but little public land in the vicinity. 

By colonial custom so far as we have ascertained, the 
town's common land, with the exception of its burial places 
and its pound, its house of worship, and ministerial reser- 
vations, and it may be a small parcel here and there for 
some general use, — as for a gravel pit, a training field, or 
fence bote or bridge bote, — was largely outlying. 

But the little hamlet was not only well peopled and pro- 
vided with homes ; it also had its store, and tavern, and 
doubtless its smithy ; for it was in accordance with town 
usage to give encouragement to the useful artisan to "set 
up his trade among them," although we know not who it 
was in Concord at this time who had "set up" a forge. 

The village store was situated at or about the spot where 
the present Trinitarian church stands, and was kept by 
Robert Meriam. We are not to suppose however that 
he kept it in a building separate from his dwelling house 

Concord 167 

for as was not uncommon we believe in the case of store- 
keeping in the olden time, he may have kept it in an L, or 
in a room of the house where he lived. 

And now for a little space laying aside matters of fact, 
let us suppose that on a mild October afternoon in the first 
half of the seventeenth century, Betsey Burgess and Goody 
Fox descended the ridgeway by a narrow, winding path 
that led from the meeting house hill, up among the early 
graves, and passing over the mill dam by a rickety crossing 
made of slabs, which were laid along the splash boards for 
a short cut to the mill from the "Strate strete," entered the 
village store to converse with Concord's first store keeper 
about the purchase of some "sweetening" for preserving 
some barberries, which they had just gathered, and to see 
if he would take in exchange a little spun yarn and some 
cheese. They found the village store-keeper away, he 
having gone to Boston for his stock of winter goods. But 
Goodwife Meriam knew the price list as well as her hus- 
band, and informed them that she would take the yarn and 
the cheese, although to take the latter was a little venture- 
some, since it would be so long before her husband went to 
Boston again that it might not keep. 

While the women were waiting, some one was seen com- 
ing through Potter's lane, who by his look and step was 
evidently a stranger. Goodman Luke Potter undoubtedly 
thought so too, for he was looking down the lane from his 
dooryard, shading his eyes from the rays of the setting sun 
and apparently starting to follow him. Presently the trav- 
eler came up, stopped at the store and inquired for the 
tavern. Goody Meriam directed him to turn to the left 
just past Goodman Wheeler's house, then keep on a bit, 
following the road bend, and he would soon see Sergeant 
William Buss's Ordinary. 

After being directed, the traveler sat down on the door- 
step as if too weary to go even this distance before resting 
himself, saying as he did so that he had come from Boston 
that day and started at sun-rising. Soon there gathered 

1 68 Colonial 

about him a group of villagers, for the news had spread 
that a stranger was there, each to inquire of events "fur- 
ther down," of the prices, the newly-arrived ships, and 
what folks were doing in the lower towns. 

As Luke Potter came up, the traveler was just relating 
something about the late Anabaptist disturbance, and what 
the prospect was of future peacefulness among the churches. 
After further conversation concerning ecclesiastical matters, 
and a little inquiry after the progress of the new township, 
the traveler arose to leave. Before he started, Goodwife 
Meriam gave him a posset of warm milk, dipped fresh 
from a pailful that the hired man was carrying past, and 
with an expression of thankfulness and well wishes, the 
stranger started for the Ordinary, 

The coast clear, for the villagers scattered when the man 
went away, Goodwife Meriam informed the two women 
that although in the Boston price-list, molasses, as quoted 
by the late visitor, to be sold in "country pay at country 
prices," was a little higher than at the Concord grocery 
store, and although the price of cheese had gone down 
somewhat, yet she would stand by the price just named by 
her, at the same time informing them that it was her hus- 
band's practice to sell as he bought, and that as for the 
cheese, she would wait, and split any possible rise or fall 
of it and thus divide between them any risk. 

But to return to facts, let us next consider the village 
tavern. This was situated near the spot where the present 
Public Library stands, and was kept by Sergeant William 
Buss, who was we conclude, as before stated, a most estim- 
able citizen, not desiring even in those times to sell "strong 
water ;" for he asked the selectmen to exempt him from so 
doing when they gave him an inn license. 

The sparks do not inform us just where Landlord Buss 
drew the liquor line. Perhaps between the fermented and 
the distilled, but however that might be, we believe this 
much at least, that he had a regard for the public weal and 
that the selectmen who sustained him in his extreme posi- 

Concord 169 

tion and who considered him, notwithstanding his radical 
attitude, a most suitable person for the place were also 
interested in the public well-being. 

There is also suggested by the stand taken by Landlord 
Buss, a query as to whether the many and perhaps too 
easily made representations in modern times of a gross in- 
dulgence, and of the prevalence of a lax sentiment on the 
part of the fathers as to the uses of alcoholic beverages is 
correct ; for if so, then in case Concord was fairly repre- 
sented by Sergeant Buss and the selectmen, it was evidently 
in advance of the average town. 

To the end that we may know more about old-time 
taverns, let us suppose that we followed to the Buss tavern 
the traveler from Boston, who we represented as stopping 
at the store and inquiring for an ordinary. 

As we approached, we met at the doorway Goodwife 
Anne Buss, who was watching a large flock of domestic 
fowls picking the barley grains which she had just scattered. 
She addressed us with the term Mr., which showed that 
while in accosting strangers there was an absence of the 
formality of later years, here was neverthelesss shown them 
marked respect, since it was only when special recognition 
of one's social standing was intended, that the term Mr. 
was used, as in the case of a minister, or a magistrate, or 
perhaps a schoolmaster, or one whose circumstances might 
entitle him to be considered wealthy, or a "gentleman" after 
the old-time signification of the term. 

Passing through the bar-room we entered the large 
kitchen. The supper table was set, upon which was placed 
only average farm fare with the addition of "plum cake," a 
commodity which was also sold at the bar and was, it may 
be, a substitute for modern confections. 

Supper ended, we returned to the bar-room ; and there 
with a company of villagers, in chairs tipped back against 
the chimney bricks, and the coarse boards of the "bunk," 
and the high bar, we sat and talked till the small hours of 
the night. 

lyo Colonial 

We will not repeat all that was said as it would take too 
long, but we will tell it in part. 

In the first place we will relate about the traveler just 
referred to. He said he started that morning from the 
"King's Arms" tavern at the head of Dock square, and 
stopped at the "King's Head" to obtain the latest marine 
news, well knowing there would be inquiries as he went 
inland about the most recent ship arrivals. He crossed by 
ferry to Charlestown, and called at the "Three Cranes." 
The only incident that occurred on his journey to Concord 
was the meeting of Robert Meriam about half-way down, 
and the assisting to stay up his heavy load of country pro- 
duce with some willow withes, it having sagged sideways in 
jolting over the rough road. The stranger's business as he 
disclosed it was to obtain samples of iron ore said to be 
deposited in the region of the Assabet, and this with a view 
of locating a forge there. 

While the conversation was going on several more vil- 
lagers dropped in, among whom was Goodman Heywood 
who was out looking for us ; and the conversation turned 
on current events, especially on what was going on "down 
below," as Boston was then called. 

In the meantime we were looking around the room and 
noting its contents. On one side was a bar upon which 
were a couple of toddy sticks and several tumblers. 
On the opposite side was the bunk for the hired man to 
sleep in, that he might be in readiness for night patronage. 
Upon wooden pegs along the horizontal framework of the 
room, and the upright timbers, were several powderhorns, 
an old saddle, a grain sickle, a measuring stick, a pair of 
sheep shears, a small mash-tub and sieve, a string of spig- 
ots, a pair of saddlebags, two muskets, and a couple ot 

Behind the bar was a small closet in which were kept a 
few cordials, such as were considered necessary for funerals, 
weddings, or other notable occasions ; but we noticed there 
was no fastening on it, neither was there a lock on the 

Concord 171 

outer door of the bar-room, though it opened directly on 
the road, indicating a prevailing honesty in the neighbor- 
hood and in the traveling public. Above the mantle-piece 
were several braids of sweet corn, .and onions, between 
which was a rude cut of Governor Winthrop, and of an 
English warship. 

For awhile, the conversation was upon occurences at 
Boston ; and among other events spoken of was the then 
recent great fire, and the burning by the public executioner 
in the market-place of some books written by two persons 
purporting to be witnesses and prophets of Jesus Christ. 
The calling of Rev, John Mayo to be the pastor of Bos- 
ton's second church, then lately formed, was also discussed, 
and the execution of Mary Parsons, accused of witchcraft, 
which although a little stale as news, was a subject still 
much talked of. 

It was very noticeable during the evening that every- 
thing was well ordered, and that there was no profanity, 
nor coarse, ribald remarks, nor anything else inconsistent 
with good breeding. We inquired if in other ordinaries 
the conduct and conversation of those frequenting them 
was thus circumspect ; and were informed that they were in 
general, and that the laws concerning them encouraged it. 

We will now pause in our story to give the following 
facts about old time taverns. 

Taverns were early considered a necessity, and hence 
were established by law. They were usually under the 
sanction and surveillance of the town officials, who had 
power to grant, limit, or revoke an innholder's license, 
either as a victualler or a seller of drinks. The keeper of 
the public house usually went by the title of landlord, 
which was often abbreviated to "lan'urd." 

The ancient hostelry often had a suggestive or pictur- 
esque name, which was symbolized by some object upon a 
sign which swung before it. Some of the early names of 
Boston taverns were the "Three Mariners," the "Ship 
Tavern," the "Red Lion" and the "Castle Tavern." 

1 72 Colonial 

In the vicinity of Concord were the "Red Horse Tav- 
ern" (Wayside Inn), Sudbury, and the "Inn of the Golden 
Balls" (Jones's Tavern, where the spy John Howe stopped 
in 1775), Weston. 

The keeper of the ordinary might be a deacon, a mili- 
tary officer, a civil official, or a "Deputy to the General 
Court." His house was a convenient place for convoca- 
tions, important or unimportant ; and there might be held 
in it a parish meeting, a military election, a council of 
clergymen, a ten-shilling referee case, or an assessors' talk. 

So important was the ordinary, that its affairs, such as 
the establishment of prices, the limitation of patronage, 
and the quality and quantity of goods to be sold were reg- 
ulated by colonial law. In order to discourage the use of 
strong drink at these places, it was enacted about 1634 by 
the Colonial Court that not over one pence per quart 
should be charged for ale purchased out of meal times. It 
was also ordered that not more than a penny a drink should 
be charged for any beverage. This was done to make the 
business of dram-selling unprofitable. At another time it 
was enacted by law that every inn-keeper should sell good 
beer, lest a traveler for want of it might purchase wine. 

A law was passed at an early date, by which a person 
who might be appointed for the purpose could join a drink- 
ing company at a tavern, and countermand any order made 
by it for a drink, in case he believed any were drinking too 
much, and who could also direct how much liquor could be 

At an early period the law also undertook to discourage 
certain amusements at inns which were supposed to be 
deleterious, and dancing was prohibited there even upon 
marriage occasions. 

At one time no tavern keeper was allowed to permit 
guests to remain at his house drinking or tippling in a 
loose or idle way. In 1664, a penalty was enacted for rude 
singing at inns. The court also undertook at one time to 
decide how much a man might drink without being consid- 

Concord 1 73 

ered drunk ; and the Plymouth Colony lawmakers decided 
that a man was drunk, when because of strong drink he 
lisped, or staggered, or vomited. In 1634, the taking of 
tobacco at inns was forbidden. 

The following are some of the prices charged at ordina- 
ries. In 1634, the price of a meal was six pence. In 1779, 
in a town adjacent to Concord it was decided that 

"A mug of West India flip should cost 15 pence. 
A mug of New England flip should cost 12 

A good dinner should cost 20 pence. 
A common dinner should cost 12 pence. 
Breakfast and supper, each, should cost 1 5 pence. 
Lodging should cost 4 pence." 

These rates may have been higher than usual because of 
war times. 

How long Sergeant William Buss kept the village ordi- 
nary is not known, but he was keeping it as early at least 
as 1660; and since there is no record of any prior inn- 
holder at Concord, it may be that he was there much 
sooner pursuing the business of a tavern-keeper in a small 
way furnishing meals and lodgings, while Major Simon 
Willard, who was licensed to sell "strong water," acted as 
the village tapster. 

In the first century of its settlement. Concord had sev- 
eral taverns. In 1666, John Hayward kept one on the 
main street. Later, the "Black Horse Tavern" was well 
known to the traveling public, although this may have 
been identical with the foregoing. The "Wright Tavern" 
was established in 1747, and kept open as a public house 
until the War of the Revolution. Of another tavern in 
this vicinity Hon. John S. Keyes states: "Previous to the 
Revolution Ephraim Jones kept a tavern at the west end 
of the main street burying ground in a large roomy house 
that had grown by various additions, perhaps from that of 
John Hayward. The site of this, now the fine lawn of 

1 74 Colonial 

Colonel R. F. Barrett's residence, was close to the old 
wooden jail, and feeding the prisoners was part of the 
tavern-keeper's business." 

It doubtless not infrequently occurred in early times, 
that tavern-keeping was evolved from some other occupa- 
tion or was carried on with it. The process might be first 
farming, and an occasional entertainment of travelers and 
then a full-fledged inn. Public patronage being scant, one 
could hardly afix)rd to give much time to it. There was com- 
paratively little communication of place with place, when 
public entertainment was required. Moreover, parties 
journeying or teaming often took their food with them, 
and stopping wherever overtaken by noon or night, re- 
freshed themselves from the lunch box without regard to 
form. Indeed, this was in accord with the conventional 
method. Anything then was fashionable, that was matter 
of honest economy, and the landlord deducted from his 
bill of charges the price of bread and cheese in his patron's 
victual basket, as a matter of course. 

It was a late hour when the company about the bar-room 
fireplace broke up, and as we left Landlord Buss and bade 
him good-night, it was with regret that our acquaintance 
should be so brief and our stay so short at an old-time 
tavern, and there came forcibly to our minds the words of 
Shenstone : 

** Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round. 
Where'er his stages may have been. 
May sigh to think that he has found 
His warmest welcome at an inn." 

Along the willows that spread themselves by the wayside 
we walked to our host's quiet home, where, after listening 
for a little time to the monotonous roaring of the rolling 
dam, and thinking of the strangeness of the surroundings, 
we fell asleep, and slumbered undisturbed until the soft 
sunlight came streaming into the east window, and awak- 
ened us just in season to salute the miller as he was going 
to open the mill house. 



, The New England Village — Its Origin and Equip- 
ment — The Village Doctor — His Medicines and 
Charges — Early Physicians of Concord: Read^ 
Prescott^ Minoty Hey wood — The Village Magis- 
trate — Condition of Colonial Jurisprudence — First 
Lawyer at Concord — History of John Hoar. 

BEFORE leaving the subject of the primitive village 
of Concord, a few words relative to early New Eng- 
land village life may be appropriate and may sug- 
gest some practical lessons, since from it influences 
have gone forth that have been happily formative, and since 
about it cluster associations pleasant to contemplate. In 
these villages was centralized the Hfe of the communities 
called townships, and from them radiated what little of 
fashion or style of living was recognized, where the tend- 
ency was for every man to be a law unto himself. In the 
village, if anywhere were supposed to be "up to date" 
methods ; there if at all was an acknowledged leadership. 
It was also a sort of local exchange or market place. As it 
came in contact more frequently with the traveling public 
it was supposed to possess the latest news, and as there 
were held all the convocations, it was considered a privi- 
leged place to dwell in. In short, it may be true that the 
early village was to the remainder of the town what the city 
has since become to the country generally, in so far at least 
as relates to the tendency of the latter to imitate the former 
and to rely upon it for outside news, conventionalities and 
artificial commodities. 

The earliest inland villages of the Massachusetts Bay 
Colony were created by necessity ; inasmuch as the court 

176 Colonial 

compelled the first settlers to keep within a circumscribed 
area ; as soon however as restraint was removed, a portion 
of them bounded away, as if their nature was more centri- 
fugal than centripetal. After bounding off they again cen- 
tralized ; the result of which was the formation of new 
villages which became the centers of new towns. That this 
tendency affected the people of Concord in common with 
those of other places is indicated by the establishment of the 
various villages which became the nucleuses of prospective 
townships, as that of Concord village (Acton), the Blood 
farms (Carlisle), the Flint estate (Lincoln). There was left 
however, in almost every instance, about the first spot of 
settlement, a faithful home guard of houses that never for- 
sook it, and which by common consent was ever his- 
torically considered "the middle of the town," whether the 
geographical center or not. Exceptions there are, notable 
among which are Londonderry, N. H., Groton, and Sud- 
bury of this state. It is true that a village was sometimes 
deflected slightly from its original site, but it seldom went 
far, and like a stream the waters of which change but the 
identity of whose channel is not disputed, so the first 
"middle of a town" usually keeps its prestige as the origi- 
nal center. 

In the equipment of the early village there was a com- 
pleteness which assured to every inhabitant all that was 
necessary for a comfortable living. There was the doctor, 
the squire or justice of the peace who was sometimes a 
lawyer, a blacksmith, shoemaker, carpenter, wheelwright, 
and sometimes a gunsmith, tailor, tanner, brewer and cooper 
these, with a store, tavern, meeting house, and school, 
constituted the mechanical, mercantile and professional 
make-up of the average village. The representatives of 
these several crafts and callings made or kept in stock 
everything essential to personal attire, and house and farm 
furnishing ; in short, to life and death, to birth and burial. 

The doctor acted as druggist, and obtained his herbs 
from his own garden or from the neighboring fields and 

Concord 177 

forest. Some of these herbs were black hellebore, great 
bryony root, clown's all-heal, jalap, scammony and snake 
root. He obtained his leeches from the pond. His pills, 
powders and other compounds he prepared with mortar and 
pestle. He rode horseback with saddle bags in which he 
carried his medicines ; and there was usually about him a 
strong odor of the "study," as he called his office. In this 
"study" and arrayed on shelves were various jars, vials, 
and crude instruments for cupping, surgery, and extracting 
teeth ; for he was dentist as well as doctor. Some early 
practitioners, supposed to be skilled in surgery, were styled 
"chirurgions," and sometimes served as barbers as well as 
bone setters, in which case they were sometimes called 
"barber surgeons." 

Among the earlier remedies prescribed were "A Wild 
Catt's skin on ye place grieved ;" this for pain in the heart 
or limbs ; and charcoal made from burnt toads as a pre- 
ventive of small-pox and fevers. Cotton Mather mentions 
the efficacy of a dead hand for scattering wens ; he also 
speaks of the healing virtue of sowbugs. Prescription : 
"Half a pound putt 'em alive into a quart or two of wine ; 
dose — two ounces taken twice a day." Such remedies 
were in accord with the practice of physicians in England at 
that day ; for it is stated that there was forced upon Charles 
the Second when upon his deathbed a volatile salt extracted 
from human skulls. Almost, if not quite, within the mem- 
ory of the present generation, in a town adjacent to Con- 
cord, pills made from ashes obtained from burning a human 
heart have repeatedly been administered as a cure for con- 

The price charged for medical service may be seen from 
the following bill charged to the town of Sudbury by its 
physician in 1755 : 

"For medicine and attendance for the French Neutrals 
from Nova Scotia. 

"1755, Dec. II — To Sundry Medicines for French 
young woman — 27 — To Do for girl 6d. 

1 78 Colonial 

1756, Mar. 22 — To Sundry Medicines and Journey in 
the night west side the River — o — 5 — 8. 

To Sundry Medicines Journey west side o — 4 — o." 

The doctor was careful about his attire ; and is described 
as going forth, when not on horseback, in a sulky or calash 
dressed in a long coat with full skirts above a low-setting 
waist-coat; his small clothes met at the knees silken stock- 
ings which were secured with brightly burnished buckles. 
He wore a cocked hat above a powdered wig. It was con- 
ducive to his success to be a man of wealth or influence. 
He obtained his knowledge of medicine by riding with an 
old physician ; and though he might only brush off his 
horse or pound his herbs, he could obtain a license and 
practice medicine. The indications are that the town of 
Concord was more favored in its physicians than most 
towns, in that for the most part they were educated men. 
The following are some of the physicians of Concord in 
the first century : 

Dr. Philip Read, who, the historian Wolcott says, wrote 
himself: "Physition," married the daughter of Richard 
Rice and settled in the east part of the town. He prac- 
ticed in Cambridge, Watertown and Sudbury. In 1670, 
he was fined twenty pounds because he compared Rev. 
Peter Bulkeley as a preacher with the Rev. Joseph Esta- 
brook in a manner which was thought to be unwarranted. 

Dr. Jonathan Prescott, who was born Apr. 5, 1677, ^^'^ 
died Oct. 28, 1729. His epitaph says of him : "A gentle- 
man of virtue and merit. An accomplished physition, but 
excelling in chirurgery. Of uncommon sagacity, penetration 
and success in practise, and so of very extensive service." 

Dr. Joseph Lee, born in Concord Oct. 16, 1680; died 
Oct. 5, 1736. He lived on the estate formerly occupied 
by Joseph Barrett, Esq. 

Dr. Alexander Cummings, who came to Concord about 

Dr. John Prescott, who was a son of Dr. Jonathan Pres- 
cott. He was greatly esteemed for his professional skill. 

Concord 179 

Dr. James Minot who was at Concord about 1680, and 
died Sept. 2, 1735. Shattuck says: "He practised physic." 
His epitaph states among other things : "ExceUing Gram- 
marian. Enriched with the Gift of Prayer and Preaching. 
A Commanding Officer. A Physician of Great Value." 
Shattuck also says he married Rebecca, daughter of Tim- 
othy Wheeler, and lived on the estate left by his father-in- 
law near Capt. Stacy's. They had ten children, the eighth 
and ninth being twins and named Love and Mercy. 

Dr. Able Prescott, who was a brother of John Prescott 
was born April 7th, 171 8, and died October 24, 1805. 
His practice at Concord was large and extended to adjoin- 
ing towns. He lived, says Shattuck, in a house formerly 
occupied by Capt. Moore. 

Dr. Abiel Heywood who was a son of Jonathan Hey- 
wood and began practice in Concord in 1790. He was 
prominent not only as a physician, but as a citizen, being 
appointed as a justice of the peace, a special judge of the 
court of common pleas and an associate justice of the court 
of assistants. 

As it is not our design to publish the more modern his- 
tory we pause here in our list of distinguished names, ob- 
serving as we do so, that in the medical as well as in the 
legal profession, as we shall see. Concord in later times has 
had associated with it names that are illustrous not only 
locally but in history at large. 

The early magistrate was a justice of the peace, but not 
usually an "attorney at law" after the modern acceptance 
of the term. He was authority in legal matters, a convey- 
ancer, settled estates and was sometimes "appointed to join 
persons in marriage." 

He wrote wills and read them on the return from the 
grave after a funeral. He was a legal advisor, and was 
looked up to as a man next to the minister. The very 
early magistrates are to be distinguished from those who 
came later ; for the law was but poorly represented by 
practitioners in Massachusetts as far down as into the Pro- 

1 8 o Colonial 

vincial period. Even the judges were not all learned, and 
any person though a layman could plead in the courts with- 
out a license ; for licenses setting forth one's competence 
were not then issued. Common law pleadings were ignored 
through ignorance and there were few or no specific statutes 
on the subject of practice. Court sessions were many of 
them farces and the jury system was not infrequently a 
mere mockery. In short there was little to correspond to 
the exact and orderly manner of conducting the courts at 
the present day. It is said that Judge Lynde, who was 
appointed to the Superior Court in 171 2, was the first 
judge trained for the bench. History also informs us that 
English barristers who had been fitted for that profession 
found little favor in this country, because here any one 
might plead the cause of another. 

In process of time however the light of greater learning 
shone upon both the bench and bar; and it may perhaps 
be said with truthfulness that the progress of medicine from 
a low art to a masterful science is no more pronounced than 
the strides forward in the profession of law. In passing, it 
may be proper to state, that the low condition of the bar- 
rister's calling was not due wholly to the absence of any 
desire for litigation, for dissention and the spirit of strife 
were then it may be more rife than now, and cases were 
commenced and continued in bitterness that today per- 
haps would be settled by easy compromise ; all of which 
shows that a learned legal profession tends to discourage 
rather than promote law suits. 

The first lawyer whom we hear of as being a practitioner 
at Concord is John Hoar. As his character was some- 
what unique and perhaps sometimes picturesque and as he 
was connected with an important event in King Philip's In- 
dian war, we will give more than a passing mention of him. 

John Hoar, tradition states, was the son of a wealthy 
banker of London, who came to Boston where it is sup- 
posed he died not later than about the middle of the 17th 
century, his wife, Joanna, dying at Braintree about 166 1. 

Concord 1 8 1 

He was the youngest of five children and we first hear of 
him in Scituate, where he "bore arms" as early as 1643. 

While in Scituate he owned land on the west side of 
Musquashcut pond, which land in 1658, adjoined the farm 
of Gen. Cudworth. That John Hoar practiced law before 
going to Concord is indicated by the fact that while in Scit- 
uate he not only actively engaged in town business, but 
drew legal documents for the people, as deeds, bonds, etc. 
His father's family was substantial and gifted, as is shown 
in the career of John, Jr., in the marriage of his daughters 
and in the appointment of his son Leonard to the presi- 
dency of Harvard College. 

While John Hoar was at Concord he owned over three 
hundred acres of land situated beyond the Assabet river 
and near Annursnuc in the west part of the town. The 
greater part of this property he conveyed about 1671, to 
Edward Wright, and received as a consideration land in the 
East quarter and also "all the right, title and interest which 
Edward Wright of Concord aforesaid, husbandman, has or 
shall have in and to certain houses, lands and heredita- 
ments, etc.," in the Lordship of a Castle in the county 
of Warwick in the kingdom of England. As a lawyer 
he was distinguished for bold and independent action 
and his outspoken opinions sometimes got him into 
trouble. His conduct in defending the Christian Indians 
and protesting against their unjustifiable exile to Deer 
island in Boston harbor in 1675-6, furnishes strong ground 
for the supposition that his purposes were philanthropic, 
and that he would assert them even if persecuted therefor. 

The following is an abstract of Leonard Hoar's will : 

"To daughter Bridget ^100 at 21 or nonage with her 
mother's consent. To my brother Daniel, whose real and 
perpetual kindness I can never remunerate, my stone signet 
and my watch. To my dear brother John a black suit. 
To my dear sisters Flint and Ouinsey each a black serge 
gown. To Cousin Josiah Flint out of my Library, Roua- 
nelli Bibleotheca. To my Cousin Noah Newman, Aquina's 

1 82 Colonial 

sermons, and to them both the iise of books of mine to 
return them on demand, my medical writings to my wife's 
custody, till some of my kindred addicted to those studies 
shall desire them, and especially John Hoar's or any other 
of my brothers or sisters' sons and grandsons." 

It had been arranged that upon leaving the home of 
Goodman Heywood we should return to William Hart- 
well's to finish our visit ; and as he had sent us word the 
day previous that he would meet us at the mill we were 
there early. 

We found Miller Buss quite busy that morning tending 
the "bolter," a rude sifting wheel that was separating the 
bran from some guinea wheat ; and also looking after the 
corn grist that was slowly jolting from the hopper. 

Not caring to interrupt the miller, we strolled out by the 
willows and reviewed the events of the previous day and 
also recalled the facts which our late host had given us con- 
cerning his family history. 

As the Heywood family is a conspicuous one in the his- 
tory of Concord, we will leave our story for a little time to 
give some facts relating to it. 

Shattuck says of the Hayward family: "The name has 
been written Heaward, Heywood and Howard, and 
although several now (1835) ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ name, they all 
originated from a common ancestor. Heywood is a dis- 
tinct name. George Hayward came here in 1635; ^^^^ 
March 29, 1671 ; his wife died in 1693; estate ;^5o6 ; 
children, Mary, married Richard Griffin ; John, Joseph, 
Sarah, Hannah, Simeon, George, and perhaps others." 
The same writer says of the Heywood family : "John was 
here before 1659; married Rebecca Atkinson in 1656, and 
had John and Benoni. His wife died in 1665 and he mar- 
red again Mary Simonds. He died Jan. 11, 1707." John 
Heywood was the ancestor in this country of distinguished 
descendants. John, Jr., was an early deacon in the Con- 
cord church, and one of his sons, Samuel, who married 
Elizabeth Hubbard in 1710, was a deacon and town clerk. 

Concord 183 

John Heywood, Sr., died Jan. 2, 171 8, and Samuel, Oct. 
28, 1750. 

The only records preserved among the vital statistics of 
Concord down to 1654, relating to the name as spelled 
either way are the following : "John the sonne of George 
Heyward was borne 20-10-1640. Joseph the sonne of 
George Heyward was born the 26-1-1643. Sara the 
daughter of Georg & Mary Heywood (this it is said should 
be Hayward) borne 22-3-1645. Hannath the daughter of 
George & Mary Hayward the 20-2-1647. Simon the 
sonne of George & Mary Hayward the 22d-i 1-1648." 

The historian Walcott states ; "The location of the first 
house lots of George Hayward and Michael Wood I have 
been unable to fix, but am inclined to believe that they 
were on the north and west sides of the Common." 

"George Hayward at an early date sold his house, barn 
and land near the mill pond to Mr. Bulkeley and built a 
house and corn mill at the southwest. John Heywood 
bought Thomas Dakin's house and barn." 

In 1676, John Heywood was a constable, and in 167- 
the selectmen requested that John Heywood might be 
allowed "to keep a house of entertainment for strangers for 
nights' lodgings, beer and sider," and two years later "John 
Haywood ordinary keeper at Concord renewed his license" 
and was allowed "to retaile strong water to travellers & 
sick persons upon giving bond." 

As we left the village it was with regret that we could 
stay no longer, for its sweet savor and its pleasant people 
made us reluctant to depart, notwithstanding our desire to 
visit other places. When however we saw the cheery 
countenance of Goodman William Hartwell we bounded 
buoyantly on the ox cart with the cleverness of an athlete, 
for the farm fare was beginning to make us feel boyish. 
He had been to mill the week before and the pond being 
low he had left his grist : he was now taking it home to- 
gether with some belonging to his neighbors, and the bags 
piled high behind us formed a back : but as we rode on a 

184 Colonial 

"dead ex" and the East quarter road was stumpy it was at 
a slow pace and with much jolting that we got over the 

So uneven was the way that one of the bags fell off and 
the string becoming untied the contents were spilled. As 
the meal lay strewn over the road, the importance of this 
staple commodity to the people of Concord in the earlier 
stages of its settlement was suggested, and when Goodman 
Hartwell was reseated we plied him with questions concern- 
ing the corn crop. Since corn culture was of consid- 
erable consequence to the New England colonists we will 
pause in our story and state a few facts relating to it as we 
have found them in record or history. 

To an extent the early corn fields were cultivated 
by neighborhoods and were termed "common plant- 
ing fields." A tract of land was set apart and the work of 
tiUing it apportioned to a certain number of the inhabitants 
living near ; but the principle upon which the planters 
proceeded in the work we have not ascertained. It might 
have varied. Perhaps in some cases the fence was made in 
common, and each man had space assigned him in the 
enclosure proportionate to his original investment in the 
town's territory ; this space he may have cultivated and 
had exclusive ownership of the crop. In another case all 
might have shared equally in the work and in the crop : 
but as to the manner of distribution of the corn and the 
fodder in the latter case and where and when it took place, 
we know not. Some of the planting places were old 
Indian fields, which had long been used, some were virgin 
soil which had been newly cleared and burnt over. Tradi- 
tion or record have located some of these fields in Con- 
cord, Shattuck describes them as "The Great fields extend- 
ing from the Great meadows on the North to the Boston 
road on the South and down the river considerably into the 
present limit of Bedford, and up the river beyond Deacon 
Hubbard's and the extensive tract between the two rivers 
contained large quantities of open land, which bore some 

Concord 185 

resemblance to the prairies of the western country. These 
plains were annually burned or dug over for the pur- 
pose of hunting and the rude culture of corn." 

It is perhaps hardly to be supposed that more than a 
comparatively small portion of the above described terri- 
tory was used for planting purposes either by the Indians 
or whites at any one time, but that here or there small 
patches such as were most available were selected for culti- 
vation. The following is a record concerning the "com- 
mon planting fields" as late as 1672, and is given as one of 
seventeen articles of instruction to the selectmen of Con- 
cord, of whom William Hartwell was one : 

"7 — To take order that all corne fields be sufficently 
fenced in season — the crane field and brick'll field espe- 

"8 — that incougement be given tor the destruction of 
blackbirds and jays." 

A paper dated March ist, 1690-91, which was signed 
by forty-one persons who were owners of the "Great 
Fields," contained an agreement that these fields should be 
enclosed with one fence and cultivated upon equitable con- 
ditions. The soil of these fields was at first largely broken 
up by hoes and of this and the use of corn by the settlers, 
Johnson in his "Wonder Working Providence" wrote 
as follows in 1654: "Standing stoutly to their labors and 
tare up the roots and bushes which the first yeare bears 
them a very thin crop till the soard of the earth be rotten 
and therefore they have been forced to cut their bread very 
thin for a long season ■•' ''' '•' but the Lord is pleased to 
provide for them a great store of fish in the spring time 
and especially Alewives about the bignesses of a herring. 
Many thousands of these they used to put under their 
Indian corn which they plant in hill five foot assunder, 
which assuredly when the Lord created this corn he had a 
speacell eye to supply these his peoples wants with — ordi- 
nary five or six grains doth produce six hundred." That 
Indian corn was the main staple is evident from what John- 

1 86 Colonial 

son still farther states : "The want of English graine, 
wheate, barley and rie proved a sore affliction to some 
stomaks, who could not live upon Indian bread and water, 
yet were they compelled to till cattell increased and the 
plows could but goe." 

The corn fields had many enemies both beasts and birds ; 
more prominent among the former being perhaps the bear, 
raccoon, wolf and squirrel. The bear may have been 
attracted by the sugar in the corn ; the wolf dug for the 
alewives ; the raccoon relished the young and tender ker- 
nels, and in its maturer stages the squirrel sought it to lay 
away for winter use. The birds that partook of the crop 
were principally the crows, jays and blackbirds. 

The Colonial towns passed laws for the protection of the 
cornfields. An order in a town adjacent to Concord was 
as follows dated 1651 : "That whoso shall take pains by 
nets, guns, line or otherwise to destroy common oflFensive 
blackbirds * * * shall be paid for every dozen of heads 
that are brought to any public town meeting six pence in 
the next town rate." 

In 1654, in the same town it was enacted that a person 
who killed a woodpecker or jay might receive one penny, 
for killing a fox within the town's precincts one shilling 
and six pence, and for a wolf ten shillings. 

Laws were passed early by the towns with regard to the 
fencing of these cornfields. Fence viewers or surveyors 
were appointed who among other things, were to judge of 
the sufficiency in case of damage and difference ; and the 
time was sometimes specified at which the fence must be 
cared for. In one instance mention is made "of good rails 
well set three feet and one-half high or otherwise good 
hedge well staked or such fences as would be an equiva- 
lent ; the fences to be attended to by April ist if the frost 
give leave if not ten days' after." 

It was also ordered by the same town that all the fences 
that were in general fields should be shut up by the tenth 
of May "or else to forfeit for every rod unfenced five shil- 

Concord 187 

lings." Ditches were sometimes made use of for fencing 
purposes ; and there are now or were until recently in ter- 
ritory about Concord vestiges of old ditches upon uplands 
where ditches for draining purposes were unnecessary. It 
is not improbable that upon the ditch banks stakes were 
set for additional protection. 

But notwithstanding the difficulties attendant upon corn 
culture, there remained for the farmer rich results and he 
was greatly cheered as he patiently plodded through the 
long, warm days of May and June, seeding, weeding and 
hilling as he thought of the plenteous October harvest, of 
its merry huskings and of well filled bins. 


Goodman Baker s Husking Party — Colonial Corn 
Fields — Invitations — Culinary Preparations — 
Red Ears — Social Sports — Fireside Talk of the 
Old Folks — Sign Seen by Betsey Billings — Origin 
of New England witchcraft — Recital of Strange 
Event by Simeon Slowgo — Story of Tilly Temple — 
The Surprise — Early Judicial Attitude Toward 
Witchcraft — Efforts of the Clergy for its Aboli- 

AS these huskings were great occasions let us suppose 
that we attended one of them, and that the follow- 
ing description fairly represents one of these Fall 
It is in the East quarter, and the Great fields lie warm in 
the dry October atmosphere. Partridges in full flocks 
are shyly basking on their outskirts, and occasionally a red 
deer ranges by the fence side as if furtively to snatch a stray 

The plaintive call of the quail is here and there heard, 
coaxing together its scared bood, which has become scat- 
tered by the swoop of a hen hawk. Over the meadows the 
ducks fly. Nuts drop in the woods. Upon the nearer 
tree-tops the crows caw as if prematurely lamenting the loss 
of their feeding grounds, and the falling foliage of a thou- 
sand forest trees announces that the time has come for the 
ingathering of the corn crop. 

For several days the farmer has been busily at work 

gathering in those concomitants of the corn fields, which in 

his estimation almost as surely go with them as the husk 

with the corn. There were the stooks of tall, tasseled 


Concord 189 

stalks, as fragrant when he cut them as flowers on a June 
morning, and which have stood tor weeks at the sides and 
corners of the field like kind sentinels to guard things 
within it; the plump pumpkins with bright, golden rinds 
giving promise of many pies ; and the dry bean heaps 
whose pods bursting with their grinning contents bespeak 
the Saturday supper and Sunday breakfast. 

Besides these things that grew in and about the planting 
field there were divers loads of white turnips, called also 
English turnips whose green, outspreading leaves and 
purple tops were still untinged by the frost, and which pro- 
fusely scattered throughout the whole cornfield indicated 
how well the ground was utilized. 

Several days before the one appointed for the husking 
party, the corn had been cut and laid between the rows, 
and from thence it had been thrown upon various teams 
from the neighboring barns, which deposited it in Good- 
man Baker's yard, where we will suppose the husking was 
to occur, and from which place the fodder and its rich 
fruitage could be distributed. 

Invitations to the party had been sent hither and yon 
throughout the town, and from every direction on the night 
appointed the people gathered. From the immediate vicin- 
ity there came the Rices, Foxes, Fletchers, Taylors and 
Brookes, also the Meriams, Wheats, Farwells and Balls. 
From the north quarter there came the Hunts, Temples, 
Jonses and Browns ; the Barretts from the neighborhood 
of Punkatassett ; the Buttricks from near the bridge; 
the Hosmers from their pleasant homestead to the west- 
ward and the Batemans from about the pond. From 
the south quarter were the Hosmers, Deans, Potters and 
Dakins, the Woodhouse family, the Bulkeleys, Strattons, 
Billingses, Wigleys, and Woodses ; the Mileses and 
Wheelers were there from the Nine Acres ; the Gobbles 
from the river bay; and the Flint farms and Blood farms 
and the territory about Concord village all had their repre- 
sentatives at this Fall festival. 



As each dismounted from saddle or pillion or jumped 
from the ox cart or "hay riggin','' the animals were fastened 
to a row of stakes which had been set behind the buildings 
for the purpose. 

For weeks, Goodman Baker knowing that his place had 
been selected for the husking had been alive to all the 
requirements of the coming occasion, and his home had 
been a busy hive of willing and enthusiastic workers for 
many evenings since the early frost began crisping and curl- 
ing the corn leaves. The woods had been scoured for 
game, and the clink clonk of the mortar had been a familiar 
sound for many evenings, while good wife Baker and the 
boys pounded cloves and coriander seed, caraway, savory 
and sage, that all might be in readiness when the merry 
"mixing time" came, and the rich sauces and gravies were 
to be prepared. 

Several mornings previous to the day appointed for the 
husking the large brick oven had been made ablaze, and by 
mid-forenoon was well filled with loaves and puddings and 

The broad boards of every floor had been scoured and 
sanded, and everything not to be used had been set aside 
from the old garret whither the modest might flee to avoid 
the forfeit upon the finding of a red ear, to the shelves in 
the arch of the cellar, to which the elders might resort to 
sample Goodman Baker's choice cordials. 

When the day came, everything was ready. The cider 
barrel had been "hossed up" in the dooryard, beside a 
bountiful pile of "eating apples." The corn heap had been 
pierced here and there with pitch-forks and stout poles 
upon which to fasten the tin lanterns, and sundry milking 
stools and logs had been arranged at convenient intervals 
as seats for the buskers. 

The evening began with steady work, which was mainly 
performed by the younger and more nimble of the party. 
Back in the shadows sat the grave old men comparing the 

Concord 191 

year's crop with former ones and wondering why the pre- 
sent is so different from the past in many things. 

As the pile perceptibly diminished the work began to 
flag, and as the boys saw the end of it they grew mischiev- 
ous. It was not long however before the work was broken 
in upon by the discovery of a red ear which was found by 
Sam Smeadley. No sooner was it seen than a flurry set in 
and each person braced himself for what was to follow ; 
some ran, but more stood their ground, and if any escaped 
the person was chased till caught and the forfeit paid. 

Many were the red ears found during the evening, but 
whether kind nature had favored the common planting 
fields of the East quarter with an unusual number, or the 
boys had sureptitiously brought them from other places we 
cannot say, but that husking party was long remembered, 
and the old men said, over their cider mugs, that "for red 
ears Farmer Baker's husking was the beater." 

In two or three hours the husking was finished and the 
supper was eaten ; the young people repaired to the cham- 
bers to engage in games, and the elders, grouped about the 
sitting room fire, talked of olden times and reviewed the 
leading events since the settlement started, and told who 
had come and who had gone. 

In consequence of a remark made by Betsey Billings 
about a sign which she said she saw in the sparks, conver- 
sation turned upon the subject of the supernatural ; and 
personal experiences of a curious nature were related, some 
of which but for the good character of the narrators and 
the tendency of the times might have been doubted. 

It is true society had not reached that state of credulity 
and fanatical frenzy which existed toward the last of the 
century, and there had been but few instances of witch trials 
in this country ; but the belief in witchcraft and devil deal- 
ing had already set in and supposed alliances with evil 
agencies were not uncommon ; so that the conversation of 
the plain people of this East quarter husking party was 
only representative of a sentiment too generally prevailing; 

1 9 2 Colonial 

and when, in order to catch every syllable of old Wigley, 
when he described what he saw and heard on a late even- 
ing while passing the three graves at Witch end, the people 
leaned toward him lest they miss something, they only ex- 
pressed the common avidity for grewsome subjects. 

It mav be well here to consider how this came about and 
the responsible cause of it. This tendency of the times 
iv'as^ not born but brought here. 

The colonists have been too often and too harshly criti- 
cised for things which, although they fostered, they did not 
originate. There was more than old furniture and curious 
bric-a-brac from far off manor houses, and heirlooms of 
ancient date, and traditions of heraldry confirmed by an- 
tique coats of arms, that came to these shores in the "Harp- 
ers," the "Halcyons" and the "Hopes," ships and brigs of 
good repute and wise masters ; there were superstitions, 
and false conceptions of demonology, and dismal beliefs in 
possible alliance with "familiars." These existed, though 
in embryo, and were ready to develop on easy occasion; 
and easy occasions were frequent. The soil of New Eng- 
land was a congenial one. The dark forests, the wild 
morasses, the lone pond shores, the long and deserted 
ocean beaches, the crumbling and scrawny ledges where 
lurked suspicious shadows, these all with the voices of the 
wilderness were like deft and dutiful nursery maids or over 
indulgent foster parents quick to promote what had better 
been prevented. But these conditions and agencies would 
never have produced spontaneously the grewsome beliefs 
and practices that so deeply and darkly stained the closing 
decades of the 17th century. 

What was then developed was but an imitation of what 
many times over had occured in Old England, and although 
British writers may still turn in their study of witchcraft 
to this continent, and notwithstanding the town of Salem 
may still be the synonym for, and suggestive of, all that is 
classic on the subject, yet not Salem nor the combined 
boroughs of the entire country can si ow a record of court 

Concord 193 

cruelty on account of witch conviction in any way compar- 
able with the English tribunals. 

The colonists came to America as pupils from an ancient 
school, and they practiced here what they had been taught 
to believe elsewhere. It is not to be wondered at then if 
Delilah Dean thought her churn was bewitched because the 
eows browsed in Betsey Balcom's back yard, since Bess was 
considered a witch. But it might be wondered at had n-^t 
Goody Dean's grandfather informed her that on one occa- 
sion in old Yorkshire the kine had come home with dry 
udders because the woman who lived on the hillside by his 
master's manor house had cursed the herd and said it 
should go barren. Again, why should not Sol. Stratton 
say he saw something, and everybody believe what he said, 
when old Smithson, Sol's uncle, had frequently told him 
and all the people also that when he lived on the Dorset 
downs in the Old Country he was warned not to gather 
fagots from the bewitched hedgerow lest the smoke tarnish 
whatever it touch. 

After the company had listened to the recital of several 
strange things by old Simson Slowgo as to what he had 
seen in his day before coming to Concord, for he was late 
there, having but recently come from down country to fol- 
low the trade of an itinerant shoemaker, they turned their 
conversation to things about home. Several spoke of un- 
usual appearances recently seen near the river, which, by 
the description, were similar to the one seen by Goodmen 
Heywood and Barrett on the evening of our excursion on 
Parson Bulkeley's boat. 

One incident that especially interested the company was 
told by Jeduthan Jones, Squire Flint's hired man, an out- 
lander who had gotten into town without anyone being 
responsible for him ; but as Jed had proved good help he 
was allowed to stay, although it was said "his word should 
be taken with a leetle keer." The incident was about a 
strange creature that he saw down at Cranberry Crossing by 
the brick kiln. The company at once recognized in the 

194 Colonial 

animal what was known as the spectral wolf which it was 
asserted was the "familiar" of Sarah Doubleday, an old 
grandam who once lived at Bogbottom. 

This beast had prowled all over Concord, carrying away 
shoates and calves, and even milking cows. So exceptional 
was his nature that the usual means of thwarting witches 
were in his case unavailing; and when Bray Wilmot, a 
Welshman, nailed a couple of horseshoes over his henhouse 
he lost not only his hens but the shoes ; the latter having 
been wrenched off, as was supposed, by the spectral wolf, 
which, by the "disportation" of Sarah, had been made im- 
mune from either enchantment by horseshoes or harm from 
silver shot ; moreover the mystery was increased upon 
finding the horseshoes later, on Jake Flin's old mare, an 
animal that some said was as much bewitched as the wolf, 
since it had been seen in various lone localities under sus- 
picious circumstances. 

It proved a surprise to hear from the spectral animal, for 
he had not been seen, it was said, since Lemuel Loker over 
at Sudbury tried to shoot it and by mistake hit Jake Flin. 
Lem had lost several pullets and a couple of cocks and 
naturally laid it to the white wolf, as he was sometimes 
called, for it was supposed he could take all colors. 

After this last loss, it was stated by those present, for 
Lemuel was not there, as he lived out of town, that he 
delivered himself of some very strong language, so strong 
that his wife rebuked him ; and with great emphasis he 
declared that he "would capter that wolf ef it cost him 
suthin, pervided he could do it at a safe distance, for he 
didn't care to deal with Sarah with bare hands." "So," 
continued Hilkiah Heald who was relating it, "Lem sliced 
up an old spoon, it was a silver one, and arter breakin' it 
up inter bits and rounding 'em over, he put a pooty stiff 
charge of powder in his snaphance and the bits over it, and 
then lay down behind the lalock bushes and waited. Well, 
about midnight Lem heered suthin and fired at it and it 
fell, and as he went to look at it he found he had shot Jake 

Concord 195 

Flin. He hadn't injured him much, for Jake's coat, which 
was made of wolf skin, kept the shot out, but he was ter- 
ribly scared and somewhat jarred, and when asked how it 
happened that he was there, Jake said he was out arter the 
specter wolf which had jest stole his fowls. When Lem 
saw the coat he didn't wonder much at his mistake, for he 
said it looked for the whole world like the wolf which he 
got a glimpse of round the corner when he lost the horse- 

It is unnecessary to state that after the shooting ot Jake 
Flin by Lem Loker the people of Concord were no longer 
pestered by the spectral wolf, for Jacob Flin left the poul- 
try business. 

After the narration of incidents, the methods of detect- 
ing witches was discussed, and the making discovery of such 
as practiced the black arts or were allied with "familiars." 
One way suggested was to ascertain if any relative had 
ever been suspected of being a witch. Another was to 
look for the "witch mark," which might be a mole or any 
irregular growth, or perhaps some slight deformity, not 
enough of itself to be a mark but only as taken with other 
things. To accuse one of dealing with the devil and 
receiving in response no denial was suspicious and to do 
one harm by well-known witch methods was a bad symp- 

When it came to stories of apparitions such as were sup- 
posed to stalk about ancient burial places it was noticeable 
that those who were sitting in the back part of the room 
hitched nearer to the fireside. Someone also got up and 
closed the cellar door, which a few moments before had 
sprung open without anyone knowing the reason, for Good- 
wife Baker said she knew she buttoned it when she brought 
up the last pail of cider. 

As the subject of apparitions was talked about each 
speaker grew somewhat subdued in his manner of narra- 
tion, and the hearers bunched together as if the last hand- 

196 Colonial 

fill of chips that was thrown on the back log did not suffi- 
ciently warm them. 

Just as the group were in the midst of a story told by 
Tilly Temple, in which she was relating how Peg Wil- 
loughby, a new comer, concocted a mixture of dragon leaf 
and swamp adder root with which she tried to charm Felix 
Fox's cows in order that she might stealthily milk them, 
and how, in order to prevent it Felix consulted an old 
grandam down at the slough, a large lug bar which had 
long been braced across the chimney ledges, but not lately 
used, because the Bakers had a crane, having become 
weakened by the unusual fires of the husking party, sud- 
denly dropped, bearing with it a couple of jib cakes, a 
hook and a dislodged brick. In its fall it struck upon a 
dish kettle hanging on the crane half full of water, and 
upsetting it emptied its contents upon the glowing back-log 
which, being struck by the falling lug bar, rolled down 
upon the cider pail and upset it. 

A dense cloud of hissing steam and flying ashes quickly 
filled the apartment and shrieks issued from every quarter. 
The two dogs, Fleck and Towser at the same time set up 
a cry, the one a long howl, the other several sharp whines 
and for a moment it was as if Peg Willoughby's witch 
broth had been poured down the chimney, which some 
thought was the case. The tumult being heard in the 
chamber above, where the games were going on, brought 
down the young people, who only added to the confusion. 

When order was restored it was found that no serious 
damage had been done, except the spotting of several cali- 
manco gowns. 

Goodman Bateman said he "guessed he'd go as the hour 
was getting a little late and he had got to ride clean over 
the river to the North part and pooty nigh the spot where 
Sim Slowgo saw the wolf." Upon this suggestion Pete 
Potter surprised the company by saying he was certain it 
was late, for, said he, "I have tarned that hour glass nigh 
agin five times sence the moon passed the quarter mark on 

Concord 197 

the door post." In a halt hour the house was still and 
nothing was to be heard but the occasional rattle of the 
cows' walnut bows and the barking of a small Indian dog 
down at the Dean place, where some wolves were trying to 
get at the shoates. 

It may be here observed that the selectmen warned Peg 
Willoughby out of town the day following and broke up 
the bough house where she simmered her noxious herbs. 

As we have now set forth the common belief in witch- 
craft and in the supernatural generally in colonial times, by 
the supposititious conversation and conduct of the old 
folks at the East quarter husking party, we will observe 
that the view on this subject as entertained by the laity was 
perhaps more strongly entertained by the professional class. 
Ministers and magistrates were alike deluded. The fact 
of bedevilment was assumed by the pulpit, and the judges 
at the bench charged jurors in the laying down of rules for 
the weighing of evidence in the case of witchcraft with the 
same confidence as in cases of theft or assault. It is thought 
probable that the judges of the Province Court sought to 
employ in the Province laws the rules and practice which 
had been employed at the Colonial Court in Salem, and 
the judges who presided over that court were reappointed, 
William Stoughton, Esq., being chosen chief justice. In 
the works of Rev. Cotton Mather on subjects relating to 
the marvelous, doings as strange as those related around 
Goodman Baker's fireside were set forth. Among other 
supposed manifestations of witch power he mentions per- 
sons afflicted with "sore paynes" and "vomiting" and "fre- 
quent swooning." He gives an instance of a child being 
"lame on one side and then on the other," and of some- 
times pretending to see mice. He states that on one occa- 
sion the child catching a mouse threw it upon the fire, 
whereupon it snapped like gunpowder. He said that 
several standing by saw the flash, but only the child saw 
the mouse. In speaking of witch marks he intimated 
they might be caused by the devil touching the person ; 

198 Colonial 

that these marks were insensible, and upon being pricked 
would not bleed, and that they were sometimes bluish and 
sometimes red. Among the ways of testing witches which 
he referred to were the being heard speaking to their 
"familiar" or telling what they have done, or telling of their 
"transportations," or being seen with their spirits or feeding 
their imps. 

But it should be said to the credit of the colonial clergy 
that the witchcraft delusion which ran its course before the 
century closed was dissipated as much perhaps by their 
efforts and influences as by all other agencies combined. 
Its cessation may have had its beginning in the attitude of 
the Mathers, who while they stood ready to coincide with 
the judiciary in the correctness of witch conviction upon 
proper evidence, yet considered it a cruely and a great trav- 
esty of justice to make use of some of the evidence which 
was admissible in the courts of England, or to abide by 
such principles and precedents as were sanctioned by them. 
While they believed as did Sir William Blackstone, who 
wrote his commentaries about three-quarters of a century 
later, that demoniacal possession was a possibility and scrip- 
tural, yet they believed the devil and not his victims should 
be held responsible. Rev. Increase Mather declared it to 
be unlawful to use herbs to keep ofl^ the evil spirits, and 
he disparaged the curing of diseases by means of charms, 
saying that they who obtained health in that way had it 
from the devil. He considered white witches who pre- 
tended to cure in that way as bad as black ones, and a good 
witch as bad as a bad one. He said "Balaam was a black 
witch and Simon Major a white one, but the latter did 
more hurt by his cures thaii the former by his curses." 
He took a decided issue with the English courts of the 
time, which held that "If a specter practicing diabolical 
molestations appeared to anyone it was conclusive and legal 
evidence that the person so represented was a witch," which 
theory was accepted by Sir Matthew Hale and adopted at 
the Salem trials. The attitude of the Boston ministers was 



that the devil himself and not the person accused caused 
the representations. 

In 1692, Rev. Increase Mather wrote a work at the 
request of the ministers of Boston, which was published in 
this country and also in England, the object of which was 
to show the illegality and wrong of using spectral testimony 
which was used at the Salem trials. I'he preface to this 
work was written by Samuel Willard and signed by four- 
teen ministers, who made the following statement: "That 
there are devils and witches the scriptures assert and expe- 
rience confirms ; they are the common enemies of mankind 
set upon mischief. But certainly the more execrable the 
crime is, the more critical care is to be used in the exposing 
of the names, liberties and lives of men (especially of a 
godly conversation) to the imputation of it." Mather said : 
"I declare and testify that to take away the lives of any one 
merely because a specter or devil in a bewitched or accused 
person does accuse them will bring the guilt of innocent 
blood on the land." He maintained that the oath and tes- 
timony of confessed witches and of persons possessed 
should never be received, and that a trial for witchcraft 
ought to be conducted by the same law and rules of evi- 
dence as a trial for murder, burglary or any other felony. 

If the Mathers and the other ministers here referred to 
were representatives of their profession at this period they 
were more than abreast of the judiciary and the laity, and 
far in advance of English law generally. 


Return to the East quarter — Forest Ride — Game 
Birds — Goodwife HartwelV s Kitchen — Cooking by 
the Fireplace — Evening talk of the Farm Folks — 
haws Relative to Domestic Anitnals — Historic 
Sketch of Hartwell Family — Fisit at Home of Con- 
stable Tbotnas Brooks — His OJficial Duties — Rules 
Relative to Colonial Dress — Homestead of Good- 
man IVilliam Hunt — Early Military Matters — 
History of the Hunt Family. 

TO return now to our original narration, after the 
bag was replaced and Farmer Hartwell was re- 
seated there was no further interruption to our 
journey ; it was jolt after jolt all the way ; but we 
rather enjoyed it, for the swaying of the ox cart was some- 
what soothing, and our slow pace gave us an opportunity 
to see the birds. In one instance a wild turkey ran before 
us with a surprising fleetness ; upon expressing our surprise 
we were informed that this was a means of their safety, for 
on the wing they were heavy, the largest specimens weigh- 
ing forty or fifty pounds. In a moist hollow by the road- 
side we flushed several woodcocks. Upon inquiring if they 
were flight birds we were told they were ; and that there 
were also plenty of natives ; that they nested near every 
runway and spring hole, and that the corn fields in low 
places were full of their borings. 

As we approached a reach in the road several wood 
ducks whistled over us, and we learned that their nests 
were made in the woods adjacent to the meadows and that 
when their young were full fledged they carried them to 
the water in their bills. 



Concord 201 

Emerging from the forest into a sunny opening, where 
Farmer Farwell had a small patch of Guinea wheat, there 
arose from it a flock of purple grackles ; and so large was 
it that we could easily understand why a bounty was placed 
upon them, for as they alighted on a large oak they almost 
covered it and the overflow settling on a willow caused it 
to bend like a reed. 

When we reached Goodman Hartwell's home his wife 
and children were at the door looking for us, having heard 
the rattle of our cart in the distance, and soon we had en- 
tered and were seated at the dinner table. The afternoon 
was mostly spent in one of the front rooms chatting 
about matters pertaining to the East quarter, for the pre- 
diction of the wild ducks about the weather had proven 
true and the rain was now beating against the east windows. 

At early twilight Goodwife Hartwell set about preparing 
the supper ; and as we heard her clinking the tongs against 
the andirons while she pulled from underneath them the 
hard wood coals which during the afternoon she had taken 
care to have in readiness, the desire seized us to see a meal 
cooked by a fireplace. The wish was no sooner expressed 
than Goodman Hartwell led us into the kitchen and seated 
us close by the wood box, where we could see everything. 
The sparks ascended thickly from beneath the long, stout 
crane, the tea-kettle hummed, and the steam gracefully as- 
cended among the various objects that were pendent above 
the mantlepiece upon a pole stretched over it ; and every 
now and then as there fell upon the fire a few rain drops, 
which had been driven by the blast down the chimney, 
there was a hissing and sputtering as if the coals were con- 
versing with the storm sprites. 

Amid all this snugness, Goodwife Hartwell was busily 
"plying her evening care;" being at the outset of her work 
particularly engaged with a plump ball of rye dough which 
she was stirring and patting in a wooden bread trough or 
tray in an earnest endeavor to mix the ash and butter-milk 
which she had poured into it to make it rise. When the 

202 Colonial 

dough had been thoroughly stirred she scraped it into a 
compact little heap, being careful to leave nothing on the 
tray ; and after cutting it in halves, deftly slipped one part 
into a frying pan and the other upon an iron disc the size 
of a bucket top, which she set on edge and tipped slightly 
towards the coals. The frying pan after covering she 
placed on the longest hook of the crane, saying as she did 
so that she usually cooked shortcake in that manner, but 
thought we might like to see it done both ways. 

While the cakes were baking Goodwife Hartwell brought 
in a jack and a spit, informing us that this was used in 
cooking meat, the jack turning the spit so that it would 
"do evenly." 

As we were company there was "boughten" tea that 
evening, instead of the usual malted beverage, and in place 
of the usual wooden trenchers we had pewter plates of a 
pattern that showed that Jazen came of a good family, for 
she said she brought them with her from England. 

Grace was asked before eating, and thanks returned after- 
wards, forcibly reminding us of the poet Burns' beautiful 
picture of "The Cotter's Saturday Night." 

After supper we sat about the fireplace and talked while 
the children popped corn and cracked nuts, and the rain 
ran down the east window pane. The corn they popped 
in the ashes, occasionally stirring it ; the nuts they cracked 
on the stone hearth. 

In the course of the evening Nathaniel Ball came in and 
soon after Thomas Brooks, for they lived near. Nathaniel 
Ball wanted some garget for a sick cow, and Thomas 
Brooks brought back a couple of cart ladders which he had 

The room was savory with the roasting of a spare-rib 
which Goodwife Hartwell was getting in readiness for the 
men folks' dinner next day, as she was to attend a quilting 
at Farmer Miles'. The smell of the pork suggested some 
queries respecting the raising of swine, which we had seen 
frequently running at large by the roadside and in pasture 

Concord 203 

places. We learned that swine were of great importance to 
the settlers. They were not only prolific, but at certain 
seasons could subsist on the abundant acorn mast with 
which the woods abounded. They also fed upon ground 
nuts and succulent roots and wild cherries and berries. At 
some seasons they were restrained from running at large; 
and at town meeting in Concord and towns adjacent, laws 
were enacted to regulate them, of which the following are 
specimens : 

"In 1 641, it was ordered that every one that keeps any 
hogs more than his own within one fortnight after this day 
shall rid them out of this town, only that for every hog 
that shall be taken in to be kept by any one more than his 
own, for every week shall pay five shillings." 

In 1643, ^^ ^^^ ordered "That every inhabitant should 
drive out his hog every morning into the wood, and when 
they come home at night to see them shut up safe, or else, 
if they be about the street, to ring and yoke them." 

In 1648, it was voted in town meeting "That every 
swine that should be found of every man out of his own 
property without a sufficient yoke and ring, after the first 
of March next the owner thereof shall forfeit for every 
swine so taken one shilling, and if the swine be yoked and 
not ringed or ringed and not yoked then six pence for any 
swine so taken, beside all the damage done by any such 
swine." It was also " Agreed that all yokes should be 
under the throat of the swine, and so long as the swine was 
high, and a rope go up on each side to be fastened above, 
and that swine should not be accounted sufficiently ringed 
if they could root." 

In 1643, ^^ ^^^ ordered by the freemen of the town 
" that all the cattle within this town shall this summer not 
be turned abroad without a keeper, and the keeper shall 
not keep any of the herd in any of the great river meadows 
from Bridle point downwards towards Concord." The in- 
tent of the order was to preserve the river meadows. 

204 Colonial 

In 1655, it was ordered that "All young new weaned 
calves shall be herded all the summer time." 

In the town of Concord there appeared to be a separate 
territory assigned to the swine, when under restraint during 
planting time. This territory was in the vicinity of Con- 
cord Junction, near Annursnuc hill, and is known in the 
records as the " hog pen " and "hog pen walk." After the 
crop was gathered these animals were allowed to run at 
large, provided there was placed upon them an ear-mark, 
so called ; so that each settler might know his own swine 
and be held responsible for their mischief The Indians 
were not allowed to mark their swine, and if they sold any 
pork they were to bring the hog's ear with it. In the rec- 
ords mention is repeatedly made of the " hog pen walk" ; 
and in the land divisions this territory was held as a reser- 
vation. The hill Annursnuc is one of the highest three 
in the town of Concord, Its name is supposed to mean the 
same as Quinnursnuck, which signifies pestle, from the fact 
that rocks such as the Indians made their mortars and 
pestles of were found there. (Mr. Davis, Plymouth, Mass.) 
It is said that porphyry, of which arrow heads were made, 
was found there also. 

After the neighbors had departed Goodman Hartwell 
related to us some of his family history ; and as this and 
that of his numerous descendants has long been identified 
with the annals of Concord, we will give a briet outline of 

According to Densmore, the historian of the Hartwell 
family, William and Jazen Hartwell came to America prob- 
ably about 1635 or 1636. It is supposed William was 
about 23 years of age when he went to Concord, and in 
1642 he was made a freeman or the Massachusetts Bay 
Colony. He was one of the town's original grantees and a 
most estimable citizen, holding office and serving on im- 
portant committees. He had a large family and his 
descendants are widely scattered throughout the country, 
many of whom are holding responsible positions. He died 

Concord 205 

March 12, 1690, aged 77. His wife died August 5, 1695. 
In his will he mentioned among his children, John, Samuel, 
Sarah, and Mary. The following are the earliest vital 
statistics relating to the family in this country, and these 
have been preserved among the colonial archives : 

" John, the sonne of William Hartwell, was born the 

" Samuel, son of William and Jasan Hartwell, borne 

" Martha, daughter of William and Jassin Hartwell, the 

It is not known where William Hartwell was buried. 

As has been stated, his house was situated on the " Old 
Bay road " leading from Concord to Lexington, and was 
about a mile more or less from the public square. His 
original house lot consisted of nine acres, and was near the 
eastern boundary of property lately owned by the originator 
of the famous Concord grape. His subsequent land pos- 
sessions were large. At the time when a disturbance arose 
because of titles, and a committee was chosen to adjust land 
matters at their discretion, William Hartwell was allowed 
247 acres, which were in three separate lots. It is thought 
that all his children were born in Concord. 

Bright and early on the morning following the night 
spent at William Hartwell's we started for the farm house 
of Constable Thomas Brooks. Crossing over the field we 
observed one of the ditches which were used for fencing. 
We saw by the size of the stubble within the enclosure that 
the corn stalks which grew upon it were very large ; we also 
pulled up several turnips and found the quality good, which 
satisfied us they were raised on comparatively new land, or 
that which had lately been broken up, disabusing us of the 
theory that only old Indian fields were planted by the 

We heard above us the scream of an eagle and the honk 
of some wild geese flying southward ; and as we suddenly 
saw through the cold gray of the thick mist, for the wind 

2o6 Colonial 

had become easterly, a barley stack a little back of Constable 
Brooks' barn, which through the tog looked larger than 
ever before, there flew from it several brant which had 
alighted there the night before in the storm and were forag- 
ing on the unthreshed grain. 

We soon came to the house which was the second erected 
on the spot, the owner, like others of the hamlet, having 
years before exchanged the little log shelter for one more 
substantial of frame work. 

We met Constable Brooks with a small shepherd dog 
turning the sheep into the pasture lane, leaving the dog for 
their sole keeper during the day, and to bring them home 
by night-fall at his master's call. 

Our host was right glad to meet us, as he stated, because 
our conversation on several subjects the night before was 
interrupted for want of time, and moreover he said his good 
wife, after seeing us at the meeting house, had many things 
to say about the Svmday training of children in things 

As Constable Brooks had several duties to attend to 
that day that could not be put off, he invited us to go with 
him ; and he had in the barn an extra horse which he had 
brought over from Joshua Wheeler's, thinking we would be 
glad to accompany him about Concord town in the perform- 
ance of his official duties. 

It was nearly mid-forenoon when we rode out of the door 
yard. Farmer Brooks with his wife seated on a pillion 
behind him on one horse, and we on the other. Goodwife 
Brooks was going with us as far as Parson Bulkeley's, where 
she was to join a party going to the quilting. 

Behind us upon our horse were thrown a couple of saddle 
bags in which were put, among other things, " Fox's Book 
of Martyrs," which he had borrowed of the parson and was 
now returning, and a string of plump, pink sausages as a 
present. By this time the day had become beautiful, the 
sun which had burned through the fog now shone brightly, 
and the glint of the moisture from the late rain upon the 

Concord 207 

fallen leaves and mossy tree trunks looked gorgeous, and 
everything had the clean, still, and suggestive appearance of 
an October day after a storm. 

Our animals were far from being fast, but jogged along 
with the motion of veritable plow horses as they were, and 
it was past noon when we rode over the north bridge and 
entered the lane leading to Goodman Hunt's in the north 
quarter, after having left Goodwife Brooks and the contents 
of the saddle bags at the parsonage. 

Among the duties performed by Constable Brooks that 
day was the warning of Richard Rambler out of town ; he 
having gotten into Concord without a sponsor in case he 
or his family should become a public charge ; and what 
made the case more aggravated was that the selectmen of 
Watertown had warned him away on at least two occa- 
sions, and when he at last left there and came to Concord 
he had taken another person with him who was as much 
given to idleness as himself, and who withal was profane and 
used lewd language and was considered a little light- 
fingered and given to beer. Another service had been to 
notify two parties who had presumed to dress with undue 
regard to colonial law, which forbade vain display in per- 
sonal dress, that they should be more circumspect and 
leave off some of their flummery and furbelows, and take 
less pains about their Sunday head-dress. 

As we rode along we made some inquiry as to the laws 
regulating dress ; and for substance the following were 
some of them : 

In 1634, it was enacted in view of "some new and 
immodest fashions, that no person, either man or woman, 
shall hereafter make or buy any apparel, either woolen, silk 
or linen, with any lace on it, silver, gold, silk, or thread, 
under the penalty of forfeiture of such clothes ; also, that 
no person, either man or woman shall make or buy any 
slashed clothes other than one slash in each sleeve, and 
another in the back ; also all cutworks, embroidered or 
needlework caps, bands and rails are forbidden hereafter to 

2o8 Colonial 

be made and worn under the aforesaid penalty ; also all gold 
or silver girdles, hat bands, belts, ruffs, beaver hat, are pro- 
hibited to be bought and worn hereafter under the aforesaid 
penalty." A few years later a law was made against "short 
sleeves whereby the nakedness of the arm might be discov- 
ered in the wearing thereof," "sleeves more than half a 
yard wide in the widest place thereof," "immodest great 
breeches, knot of ribbon, broad shoulder bands and rails, 
silk rases, double ruffs and cuffs." 

In I 561, the General Court enacted that if a man was not 
worth two hundred pounds, he should not wear gold or 
silver lace or buttons or points at the knees, and women 
holding a less property than this were forbidden to wear silk 
or tiffany hood scarfs. The same year the court put upon 
record as the occasion of the law, "its utter detestation and 
dislike that men or women of mean condition should take 
upon themselves the garb of gentlemen." 

From our observation of Constable Brooks' day's work, 
we learned that the office of constable was an important 
one, and that it was with propriety that after being chosen 
by the town he was sworn in by officers of the colonial 
government. At one place he collected fifteen shillings 
and six pence for the use of the town of Concord from a 
person who had brought in a stranger presumed to be of a 
questionable character, this being the usual amount per 
week required in such cases. 

He also stopped at the house of one Loren Little and 
censured him in behalf of the town for "taking in and har- 
boring" Dothan Doolittle, who, common report said, was 
of "a vicious nature and had an evil tongue." The last 
official acts of the day were to stop at the meeting house 
and fasten to one of the hitching trees a couple of wolf 
pates, which Samuel Smedley had sent up ; and post vipon 
the door the notice of a marriage in place of the one w'hich 
the rain had soaked off; and to "right up" a mort stone 
by Sorrel lane which had been leaning a little since the last 
heavy corpse was laid upon it. 

Concord 209 

As we passed into the North quarter we soon arrived at 
Goodman Hunt's. His house was a model one for the 
times, being of convenient proportions and so situated as to 
catch every sunbeam and having no isolated best room on 
the north side. As we walked in we found dinner awaiting 
us, for the household had been apprised of our coming by 
Goodman Buttrick, who hved a little below and had come 
up to bring a letter which had been brought up from 
Watertown and left with him for delivery. After dinner 
we repaired to a shed where some men were hatchelling flax, 
about the first which had been raised in Concord for a com- 
mercial purpose. As there was in one corner a triangular 
firef)lace, we seated ourselves before it and talked and whit- 
tled until the sun shining through the windows showed that 
it was about time we were starting home. 

During the afternoon, part of our conversation was on 
military matters ; and as the subject was an important one 
in those days, we will relate some facts concerning the mih- 
tary history of Concord in its first century. Almost all 
able-bodied men except ministers and magistrates were fur- 
nished with arms and ammunition, and expected to be present 
and drill on stated occasions. They were also required to 
go on expeditions and scoutings if necessary, and to stand 
in readiness for "watch and ward." -So invariable was this 
rule that it was necessary to apply to the General Court for 
exemption. The officers of a company consisted of captain, 
lieutenant, ensign, and four sergeants. A regiment had a 
field officer called a sergeant-major, and over them all was a 
major-general. The commissioned officers carried swords, 
or leading staves and pistols : they were elected by the mem- 
bers of the company and approved by the General Court. 
The sergeants bore halberds ; the common soldiers were 
armed with matchlock or firelock muskets and had horns 
and pouches for powder and ball ; sometimes a forked stick 
was carried to steady their aim. Officers were required to 
be church members, and the militarv exercises were pre- 
ceded or followed by prayer. Sometimes a military election 

2 1 o Colonial 

was the occasion for doing the civil business of the town. 
As early as 1636, Sergeant Willard was appointed to exer- 
cise the military company at Concord and was commissioned 
captain in 1646, at which time Timothy Wheeler was made 
ensign, Mr. Willard served as captain fifteen years. In 
1 67 1, Ensign Wheeler was made captain, Thomas Hinch- 
man lieutenant, and Henry Woodis quartermaster. Two 
years afterwards Woodis was made cornet and Corporal 
William Hartwell was appointed quartermaster. After the 
death of the old Indian fighter, Wheeler, Thomas H inch- 
man was made captain and John Flint lieutenant. In 
1677, Peter Bulkeley was appointed captain. July 2, 1689, 
James Minot was elected captain, Simon Davis lieutenant, 
and Humphrey Barrett ensign. About a year after the 
close of Philip's War the military force of Concord con- 
sisted of upwards of 150 men, besides some enlistments in 
a horse company. Nov. 6, 1689, it was ordered by the 
representatives "that the foot company of Concord having 
250 men be divided into two companies." 

The afternoon passed quickly at Goodman Hunt's, and 
there were so many things to talk about that it was late be- 
fore he said anything about his family history ; a subject 
which, if not introduced voluntarily, we were quite apt to 
inquire about, especially when we called upon an original 
grantee of the first quarter century ; only a few facts how- 
ever were elicited concerning the Concord Hunts, but from 
other sources we have received the following information : 

William Hunt was in Concord as early as 1640, and be- 
came a freeman in 1641. He died in Marlboro, Oct., 
1667, leaving an estate of ^496 and children named Nehe- 
miah, Isaac, William, Elizabeth, Hannah and Samuel. He 
was born in 1605, and married Elizabeth Best, who died in 
1 66 1. While in Marlboro he married Mercie Heard Rice, 
widow of Edmund Rice, in 1664. The Hunt family has 
been a prominent one in Concord, and in the adjoining 
towns of Acton and Sudbury. Those in the former 
town are descendants of William ; and of these was 

Concord 211 

Simon Hunt, Captain of a company in the 3d Regiment of 
Massachusetts miHtia in the Revolutionary war. Those in 
the latter town are in part descendants of William, and in part 
of Robert Hunt, who came from Charlestown, or of Isaac 
Hunt, a blacksmith, who came from Cambridge and early 
settled in the Lanham district, owning at one time about 
four hundred acres on Pelham's Island. The old house, 
built tradition says about 1750, is still standing about a 
half mile from Heard's (Pelham's) pond. 

Nehemiah Hunt, son of William, who has been called 
" Lord of Punkatassett," lived on the estate bought by his 
father of Rev. Peter Bulkeley ; which estate has been owned 
and occupied in recent years by his descendant, William 
H. Hunt. 

The following is the only mention of the Hunt family 
among the vital statistics of the town of Concord down to 

" Hannah, the daughter of Wm. Hunt, was borne 12 
(12) 1640." 


Visit at Goodman William But trick's — His History 

— Situation of bis House — Reflections upon a pro- 
spective Wedding — Historic Sketch of Thomas 
Brooks — Curious Laws and Customs relative to 
marriage — Bachelors^ Match Makings Widowers 

— Wedding Gifts — Attend ^'■Lecture Day" Service 

— Its Nature and Importance — Religious Charac- 
ter of the Colonists — Care of the Poor — Visit 
at the home of Goodman Richard Rice. 

AS we were about starting on our return to the East 
quarter, Thomas Bateman drove into the yard, and 
leaving his horse to feed at will, stepped to the door 
and stated that there was to be a meeting of the land com- 
mittee at Goodman William Buttrick's that evening for the 
adjustment of some matters relative to boundary lines; and 
that he called to notify Constable Brooks, who was one of 
the committee, and also to request us to be present. 

Here let us pause and briefly notice some facts about 
this estimable family, which has long been conspicuously 
connected with the history of Concord. 

William Buttrick came from England to America in 
1635, ^" ^^^ ^^^P Susan and Ellen, in company with Rev. 
Peter Bulkeley and Thomas Brooke. He embarked from 
London, May 9, 1635, and was in Concord at its begin- 
ning. His English home was at Kingston-on-the-Thames 
in Surrey. 

When he came to this country he was probably about 
twenty years old, since in 1684, when he deposed concern- 
ing the purchase of the township from the Indians he 




^^Astor, Lenox and TWen , 

Concord 213 

declared himself sixty-eight. He served many years in the 
town militia as Sergeant, and when sixty-five years of age 
petitioned the Court to be exempt from further military 
duty. He married for his first wife Sarah Bateman, who 
died in 1664. He died June 30, 1696. His descendants 
are of illustrious memory. Among them was Major John 
Buttrick ot the Middlesex yeomanry in 1775, whose grave- 
stone in the Hill burying ground sets forth his estimable 
character and distinguished services. 

The homestead of WilHam Buttrick was situated on the 
west bank of Concord river upon the upland, an eighth or 
a quarter oi a mile from the North bridge, where he could 
look down upon the spring floods as they sometimes 
spread themselves far out over the low meadows ; and 
where, to the south-westward, he could see the smoke 
wreaths curling upwards from the snug homes of the Will- 
ards. Busses, Woodses and Hosmers. 

At the northerly the Barretts had built, and far over the 
marsh, as the broadening river flowed downward towards 
the Blood farm and Winthrop grant was a country broken 
by scant settlements. 

It is easy to suppose that on account of their early 
acquaintance and because they had sailed the seas together, 
a peculiar neighborliness should exist between the two 
townsmen. Brooks and Buttrick, and that whenever either 
was in the other's quarter he should visit him ; and that 
often they should meet together with Parson Bulkeley in 
each other's homes and talk over what they had seen and 
known of things abroad. There is also every reason to 
believe that the Batemans were frequent callers at the But- 
trick home for kinship's sake, and that altogether there was 
about this rural manor house an air of sociability and com- 
fortableness not surpassed in the Musketequid plantation. 

The " committee of nine " all came except two, who, as 
they lived at a considerable distance, were doubtless de- 
tained by the storm which towards sunset had again set in 
with a prospect of continuing till morning. 

214 Colonial 

1 1 was a pleasant and cozy scene as around that even- 
ing fireside the group sat, while the sparks snapped briskly, 
and with an unusual activity chased each other over the 
old crane. 

The east wind blew up from the meadows ; the big rain- 
drops pelted against the small diamond-shaped window 
panes, and sometimes a tiny stream ran under the door, until 
Goodwife Buttrick threw against it a husk mat. 

But little cared we for the storm, housed warmly as we 
were and our "cattle," and with the assurance of clean, 
soft couches in case the storm continued so as to render a 
return that night to the East quarter unwise ; moreover. 
Constable Brooks had said there was no concern on his 
part about his wife, as she was expecting to stop over night 
at the Miles's in case the quilt was not finished. 

In the morning we did not return to Constable Brooks', 
but remained to go with the Buttrick family on the day fol- 
lowing to the wedding. 

It was with regret that we bade Constable Brooks good- 
bye, and as he drove down the hill he called back to us and 
said that a seat would be reserved for us beside him in the 
meeting house next Sunday, and that if we would go home 
with him after service, he and his wife would tell us about 
the Sabbath catechumenical exercise ; a matter we were ex- 
ceedingly desirous of knowing about, for we thought by 
what we had heard that it savored very much of a modern 
Sunday school, and if so this was the first in the country. 

After his departure we retired to the little chamber that 
had been assigned us under the double gable whose end 
window faced to the south, and there, as preliminary to the 
marriage, we recalled whatever we knew of colonial customs 
as they related to courtship and marriage and the condi- 
tions consequent upon remaining single. It was a fit time 
for the consideration of such a subject, for the morning 
was lovely, and we were reminded of the words of the 
poet : 

Concord ^ i 5 

" Sweet day, so calm, so clear, so bright. 
The bridal of the earth and sky," 

and these words together with the preparations which were 
going on in the room below for the prospective wedding 
lent a suggestiveness which was very helpful. 

In fact things were in pleasant keeping one with another 
on that bright autumnal morning, with its crisp white frost 
and genial sunshine, and we thought if the beauty of a day 
is an auspicious omen to those who are so near their bridal 
hour, then the twain may be happy indeed. 

We had talked about marriage customs the afternoon 
previous, as we sat by the triangular-shaped fireplace in 
Goodman Hunt's shop ; and as one of the tithing men 
came in and conversed with the constable about an 
especial espionage which they were keeping upon a 
certain bachelor in the Shawshine district, who was acting 
frivolously toward a giddy and flirtish maiden who occasion- 
ally rode over to Goodman Meriam's grocery store with a 
pannier filled with eggs and dried apple, and who had 
ordered the storekeeper to get her a " smartish gown " 
when he went "below," we learned, upon intently listening, 
about all there was of common or statute law on the sub- 
ject. It only remained, therefore, for us to put things 
together on that bright morning. 

Before doing this, however, let us notice a few facts 
relative to the family record of our late host, Goodman 
Thomas Brooks ; for our tarry with him and his house- 
hold had been a delightful one, and we had received in our 
conversations with him much information that was useful. 

Thomas Brooks, as we have stated, came to America 
from England in 1635, ^^ ^^^ ^^'P "Susan and Ellen," 
leaving London in company with Messrs. Buttrick and 
Bulkeley, May 9th. He was one of the earliest settlers at 
Concord, and through the long interim between then and 
now, the name has passed along, with here and there some 
one to make it exceptionally illustrious. 

The common ancestor of the Brooks family in Concord, 

2i6 Colonial 

Shattuck says, was Capt. Thomas Brooks. But as Lin- 
coln, Acton, Bedford and Carlisle were once largely included 
in this township, some of the inhabitants who have borne 
the name in these towns may lay claim to the same honor 
as those living in Concord. Thomas was made a freeman 
in 1636. He was representative ten years. He died May 
21, 1667 ; and his wife, Grace, died May 12, 1664. They 
left children as follows : Joshua, Caleb, Gershom, Mary, 
and probably, Thomas and John. Mary married Capt. 
Timothy Wheeler of Concord. Caleb sold his estate at 
Concord in 1670 and moved to Medford, and was the 
ancestor of Governor John Brooks and Hon. Peter C. 
Brooks. Joshua married Hannah, a daughter of Capt. 
Hugh Mason of Watertown, an officer of Philip's war 
fame, and was the ancestor of nearly all by the name of 
Brooks in Concord and Lincoln, among whom was the late 
Hon. George M. Brooks, a former Judge of Probate of 
Middlesex County and representative to Congress. The 
following are the only records among the town's vital 
statistics as late as 1654, relative to the Brooks family : 

"Joseph the sonne of Henry Brooks was borne the 12 
(2) 1 641." 

The next following record is " Grace, daughter or 
Joshua Brooks & Hannah his wife borne 10 March 

To return now to our narrative. In early times wedded 
life found much public favor, and was greatly encouraged, 
while an unmarried life was discouraged, as is indicated by 
the fact that almost from the beginning the colonists placed 
upon their town records or upon their statute books re- 
solves and enactments designed to make the married state 
easy and the unmarried state hard. 

Bachelors were under a special surv^eillance, or " spying 
and tattling" of the constables and ty thing men ; and so a 
man might properly be said to gain his liberty instead of 
losing it by entering into the marriage state. As an induce- 
ment for one to marry sometimes a house lot was offered. 

Concord 217 

In Eastham, Mass., it was ordered that " Every unmarried 
man in the township shall kill six blackbirds or three crows 
while he remains single ; as a penalty for not doing so he 
shall not be married until he obeys this order." In 1670, 
Thomas Tally, who had lived in Concord four years, was 
summoned into court to answer for not living with his wife. 
His defence was that she was in England, and that he 
had sent for her, and if she did not come he would go 
after her. This defence, however, was to no purpose, for 
the Grand Jury, before which he had been brought, banished 
him from its jurisdiction. Contracts relating to marriage 
were sometimes written out and signed by the contracting 
parties. One, which has been preserved and given in 
detail by the historian Walcott, is for substance that 
one was to give lands, and the other pounds, shillings and 
pence, and Robert Blood was to " stand good" for the ful- 
fillment of this pre-nuptial agreement. 

In early times people were very cautious about " match 
making." Fines or the whipping post awaited the reck- 
less, and it was no safe thing to be imprudent in such a 
matter. The traveler Joslyn, speaking of an evening's 
courtship in Boston in 1663, said: " On the south there 
is a small but pleaaant common where the Gallants, a little 
before sunset, walk with their marmalet Madams till the 
nine o'clock bell rings, then home to their respective 

In 1672 Jonathan Coventry was indicted " for making a 
motion of marriage to Catherine Dudley without obtaining 
formal consent." In 1647, ^"^ Stratford, Will Colefoxe was 
fined 5 pounds for "laboring to inveigle the affection of 
Write, his daughter." The reason given for such careful- 
ness was " to prevent young folks from intangling them- 
selves by rash and inconsiderate contracts of marriage." If 
an engagement to marry was made and had been permitted 
by the father he could not without reason break it off. In 
Plymouth in 1661, Richard Taylor sued Ruth Whieldom's 
father; and it is said that another man sued the father for 

1 1 8 Colonial 

loss of time in courting. A person "jilted " was said to 
be " shabbed." 

Marriage of old widowers was in vogue in the Massa- 
chusetts Bay Colony, as we infer from the correspondence 
and conduct of Judge Sewall, who married Hannah Hull 
of " Pine Tree Shilling " fame and received her weight in 
silver for dower. Having lived with his wife forty-three 
years and having had fourteen children, the Judge made the 
following entry in his diary after her death : " Wondering 
in my mind whether to live a married or a single life." 
Before his wife had been dead two months it is said he had 
" gazed admiringly at Widow Winthrope in her sley," and 
that he gave her as tokens of his admiration works entitled 
*' Smoking Flax Inflamed" and "My Small Vial of 
1 ears. 

For two centuries the wedding bans were published 
three Sundays in the meeting house. Ministers were for- 
bidden to perform the marriage ceremony, but it was done 
by the magistrate or by some appointed by law for the pur- 
pose. The minister, however, sometimes preached a sermon 
on the occasion of an engagement on such a text as the 
prospective bride might select. One minister, it is said, 
preached on a text in Ephesians, showing that the married 
state was a warfare. In this case probably the minister 
selected his own text. The *' coming out" or as it was 
sometimes called " the walking out" was considered an 
affair of importance, and Cotton Mather thought it ex- 
pedient for the " bridal couple to appear as such publicly 
with some dignity." It was quite customary for a long 
period for ministers' sons to marry ministers' daughters. 

For many years "sack posset" was drank at weddings, 
but, it is said, "not with noisy revelry." "Bride cake" 
and " bride gloves" were sent by friends. Jewelry engraved 
with a skull and cross-bones has been known to be given 
to a bride who was in mourning for a deceased friend. 

The garter of the bride was sometimes scrambled for to 
bring good luck. 

Concord 219 

As the family had been unusually busy we had the fore- 
noon all to ourselves, and when the call came for dinner 
we were ready to leave our reflections and join the family 
below. While we were seated at the table Goodman But- 
trick surprised us by the announcement that it was "lecture 
day," and that the family that afternoon would attend ser- 
vice at the meeting house. We had heard of this mid-week 
meeting and knew that it was made much of, but were 
amazed at the importance which was actually attached to it, 
and we only needed an invitation to go with them to their 
little church home on the hill where we could observe for 
ourselves. On the way thither a Sunday stillness pervaded 
everything. No sound of work was heard anywhere, and 
even the chimneys were smokeless, showing how empty 
the houses were of inmates. As we fell in just before 
reaching the North bridge with the Brownes and Billingses 
they at once commenced talking about the last lecture, and 
the remarks made upon it showed a most commendable 
knowledge of the theology of the times, and evinced also a 
high type of intelligence. The discussion was clear, the 
language was concise and the logic convincing. In short, 
what we heard and saw on the way was ample evidence that 
there was with the average colonist an independence of reli- 
gious thinking which corresponded well with his robust 
self-reliance in coping with the obstacles to be met with in 
subduing a new country or the formidable ones which he 
afterwards met with from abroad. We found that his mind 
was by no means merely imitative, neither absorbent nor 
vacant, waiting to be filled with whatever a stronger might 
give it, but it was analytic and constructive and had an 
original and individual strength ; that where an acquired 
wisdom was wanting there was a supply of good common 
sense ; that he had as nice a discernment between the rea- 
sonable and the unreasonable as he did between the right 
and the wrong, and that these terms were with him practi- 
cally interchangeable. We found that the colonist firmly 
believed that he had a good foundation for the hope that 

220 Colonial 

was within him. That foundation he unswervingly believed, 
by the most concise rules of logic, the truest testimony 
of history, the fullest endorsement of conscience, the 
strength of divers providences in the shape of guidance and 
special deliverance, was God's word. Armed and aided by 
such Divine authority and by various spiritual quickenings 
and visitations he went forth to what he considered was his 
heaven directed mission. On the strength of his convic- 
tions he enacted such a code of rules for his civic procedure 
as he believed only supplemented that word, and embodied 
its pure principles and made it practicable for all secular 
purposes and such as he deemed necessary for its protection 
and unobstructed progress. 

By the doing of these things he was able to succeed as a 
colonist where others in this country had failed, and by 
these things he endeavored to set up in each township a 
genuine theocracy with a government that would have God 
for its King, His word for its statute book and His Spirit 
for its sole Interpreter and Director. 

As we drew near the meeting house we saw Parson 
Bulkeley and Major Simon Willard coming on foot over 
the JMilldam path, and we learned after service that the 
former had been to administer spiritual consolation to an 
afflicted family up by the Darby bridge, where a child had 
died. As the family were poor, Mr. Bulkeley had taken 
with him Major Willard with the design of making some 
betterment in their material circumstances by bringing them 
nearer the central village, where the father could be fur- 
nished with work and the family could be looked after. 
The consideration of these two worthy magnates of the 
town for one of the poorer class was to us significant and 
suggested an inquiry as to the charities of the Concord 
colony : whereupon we discovered that there was a kindness 
of heart that suffered not the needy to be neglected and 
that contributions were taken occasionally in the meeting 
house for the worthy poor. 

As the parish included the entire town, so the poor 

Concord ill 

everywhere within its borders were subject to its material 
ministrations ; but it was only the deserving poor who 
were looked upon with complaisance, for idleness and 
wastefulness were utterly frowned upon. It is true the 
colonist was exceedingly saving because circumstances re- 
quired it : it was nevertheless a part of his religion to rec- 
ognize the claims of honest poverty upon his purse as well 
as upon his heart. His parsimony might lead him to deny 
himself luxuries, but not to deny his neighbors the neces- 
saries of life. 

Goodman Richard Rice with whom we had been con- 
versing informed us that the funeral of the child was to 
take place on Saturday, and we resolved to attend. He 
also invited us to go home with him and accompany his 
family to the wedding next day. As it was our purpose to 
visit as many households as possible during our short stay 
in the settlement we accepted the invitation after having 
obtained the reluctant consent of the Buttricks. 

As the minister approached the meeting house door all 
entered as quietly as if it were Sunday, or the Sabbath, as 
the settlers called the day, because they deemed that the 
word Sunday savored of Paganism in that it suggested sun 
worship ; and when once within, the service was conducted 
with all the seriousness and sanctity of the sacred day itself. 

The lecture was as the name implies an instructive dis- 
course. The people were literally lectured with respect to 
their duty, and the subject had particular reference to their 
daily spiritual experience. At the close few lingered to talk 
for it was a work day and they hastened home to complete 
the unfinished task. 

As Goodman Rice had but one horse we went on the 
"ride and tie" system, although as a matter of fact we our- 
selves rode the most of the way, our host insisting upon 
walking by our side. 


A Wedding at the House of Goodman John Miles 

— Description of Bride" s and Bridegroom' s Dress — 
7 he Marriage Ceremony — 'Throwing the Garter 

— Situation of the Miles' Homestead — Historic 
Sketch of John Miles — Visit at the home of 
Thomas Flint Esquire, His Official Duties — As 
Assistant — As Commissioner — Early Colonial 
Law Books — Primitive Courts and Court Prac- 
tices — Talk Relative to Servants. 

DURING the ride our conversation was about 
the river and its meadows, both of which 
subjects were interesting to us, inasmuch as the 
river meadows were found to be not only a 
means of rehance for food for the stock, but to some 
extent a quasi means of value or basis upon which to 
establish the " minister's rates," the division of upland, 
and rights in commonage, as of planting fields, public pastur- 
age, and the taking of timber trees from forest reservations. 

Long before we had exhausted the subject of our con- 
versation we found ourselves at the Rice homestead, and as 
we entered the lane that led to it we saw that like others it 
had passed through the pioneer stage and that the log 
cabin of the first years had given place to a substantial 
frame structure, with commodious outbuildings. 

We received as usual a hospitable welcome, and after 
supper gathered about the cheerful hearth and spent the 
evening in pleasant conversation upon things pertaining to 
the settlement of the town and its future prospects and the 
family history of our host, which history in brief outline is 
as follows : 


PUBLIC library' 

j^Astor, Lenox and TMen , 

Concord ii'^ 

Richard Rice went to Concord at an early date, and first 
erected a small house at the center, near which he planted 
an orchard. He lived on the present Walden street, and 
his house came within the south quarter, but was considered 
in the territorial apportionment as in the east quarter. He 
had John Adams for a neighbor, and the two dwelt in the 
vicinity of the present almshouse. 

In 1684, Richard Rice testified with William Buttrick 
and others as to the purchase of Concord territory from the 
Indians, giving his age at that time as 72. The name has 
long been familiar in Concord, and some bearing it have 
been conspicuous in the town's annals. The name was also 
a prominent one among the first settlers of Sudbury and 
Marlboro, and as these towns are in close proximity, it may 
be difficult to decide to which ancestor all of the descend- 
ants belong. Richard Rice died June 9, 1709, being 
accounted, the record alleges, more than one hundred years 

After a night of refreshing rest we arose early, and spent 
the forenoon in strolling about the neighborhood, seeing 
new objects and gathering some additional data for future 

After dinner we prepared for the wedding, and as the 
time for a start to the Mileses drew near, plans were made 
for the conveyance of each member of the household. 
Goodman Rice and his wife were to go on horseback with 
the pillion ; another horse was provided for us, and it was 
left with the hired man to so seat the ox cart that it would 
accommodate all the rest. We drove out of the yard to- 
gether, but those on horseback soon outstripped the others, 
so that soon the rattle of the cart and the "gee-up and hish- 
haw" of John were no longer heard. A half hour more 
brought us into that part of the south quarter that has long 
been known as the " nine acres" and identified with the 
homesteads of some of the Wheelers and Mileses, and is 
situated at that corner of Concord which borders the Sud- 
bury town line. 

224 Colonial 

The house was ilkmiinated for the occasion by the Hght 
of several fire-places and many candles. Some of the latter 
were in brightly burnished brass candlesticks, a part of 
which had been borrowed of the neighbors, others 
in the more common kind, while a half dozen 
were set in a candle beam, Goodman Miles met us in the 
yard, his man took our animals, and soon we were within,, 
welcomed by a score or more, among whom were several of 
our new acquaintances. By early nightfall the guests had 
all come, and only awaited the arrival of Mr. Thomas 
Flint, whom the court had "appointed to join persons 
in marriage," no clergyman being permitted to do it. 

And now as we wait, it is a good time to describe the 
dress. Both the bride and the groom were attired as 
richly as the law of the land with its limitations to 
vain display, and their moderate circumstances would allow. 
The bride wore a neatly-fitting gown of pale pink " cali- 
manco" (good substantial woolen material), beneath which 
was a white petticoat bordered with orris (fine lace) the edge 
of which just showed above a pair of high-heeled shoes, 
which were fastened at the instep with a bunch of ribbons. 
A sacque of blue, with " inkle," (a delicate braid), was 
characterized by a single slash in each sleeve, being all that 
the law would permit, and just showed the linen gar- 
ment beneath, which the law required should be sufficiently 
long to admit no undue exposure of the bare arms. Her 
hair was bedecked with a sprig of evergreen, in which was 
entwined a small cluster of bright berries of wild bitter 
sweet, making a contrast with her dark hair that was 

The bridegroom was correspondingly attired. His duffel 
coat stood out at the skirts in true colonial style, and upon 
its top rested a snow white ruff, which was starched with 
an excessive stiffness and tied at the front with tiny tas- 
seled strings. Beneath the coat was a silk and woolen 
waistcoat^^and the small clothes, which were fastened at the 
knees with bright but not costly buckles to a pair ot some- 

Concord 225 

what gay stockings made up a costume which though not 
extravagantly expensive was picturesque. 

Not long after the time set for the ceremony Mr. Flint 
drove into the yard, accompanied by a servant. As he 
entered the house he explained that his delay was occa- 
sioned by an afternoon call from one of the " Assistants" 
from Boston, who was on his way to Sudbury town to aid 
in settling an ecclesiastical dissension which had arisen there 
concerning a "stinting of the cow commons," which diffi- 
culty the colonial court had been called upon to adjust. 

Soon the contracting parties "stood up," and the " Com- 
missioner," with a gravity of countenance commensurate 
with the solemnity of his sentences, spent a few moments 
in an attempt to impress all present with a true sense of the 
greatness of the event and the importance of entering upon 
the matrimonial state with a due regard to its sanctity and 
a resolve to live up to its requirements with an unswerving 
fidelity. He said, drawing closer to the bride, " Love is 
the sugar to sweeten every condition in the married state," 
and exhorted each to cultivate it and not let their ardor 
grow cold. 

After this hortatory exercise he offered prayer ; and the 
parson, Peter Bulkeley, " improved the occasion" by saying 
some things corroborative oi what had been said, and 
cautioned all to be circumspect and to cultivate those graces 
which would fit them for any condition. 

After these things the main issue was attended to, and 
the couple were pronounced man and wife. Imme- 
diately after this, servants, some of them belonging to 
the neighbors, brought in the "sack posset," a beverage 
that was usually drank on marriage occasions, yet, as we 
were told, without " noisy revelry." 

For edibles there was the usual country course for 
colonial times, conspicuous among which was the bride's 
cake. After the wedding meal was partaken of, merry- 
making was in order, which, as in modern times on similar 

226 Colonial 

occasions, was made up of such things as pertained to a 
pleasurable bantering of the bridegroom and bride. 

Soon the "garter" by some mysterious agency was 
obtained and thrown out, and the scramble for it by the 
eager company indicated how much the person who 
finally possessed it prized the good luck it was supposed 
to bring. 

During the evening while others were engaged in the fes- 
tivities, we sought an acquaintance with several famihes 
whom we had not before met, among whom were the 
Bloods and Healds from the extreme north quarter, and 
we accepted an invitation from Goodman Blood to visit 
him the following week. We were also introduced to Mr. 
Flint, and were soon engaged in an animated conversation 
concerning his large estate and his duties as a colonial 
official. As our interview was suddenly interrupted by the 
great commotion caused by casting the garter and the sub- 
sequent scramble for it, Mr. Flint kindly invited us home 
with him, that we might continue our talk in the quiet ride 
through the woods, and on the morrow look about his 
estate, see his family and become acquainted with that por- 
tion of the south quarter in which he dwelt. We 
accepted most gladly the invitation, and explanations 
having been made to the Rices and to Timothy Wheeler, 
we bade the Miles's good-night and departed, carrying with 
us the pleasantest of recollections. 

It was with regret that we left the Miles domicile in the 
midst of the nuptial merry-making, for we were beginning 
to feel young again in the midst of so much hilarity and 
exuberance of spirit ; besides, we were feeling quite at home 
there, for everything we heard about the family had been 
fully corroborated by what we saw. 

The house was the first one built upon the spot, and had 
been erected by John Miles, a pioneer grantee, who was in 
Concord in 1640. His first house lot which consisted of 
three acres was in the center, but later he left it and 
went to the " nine acres," where, with some of the Wheelers 

Concord ii'] 

for neighbors, he opened a clearing and set up a home 
which has long been identified with his name. 

The spot selected for his homestead was picturesque. It 
was in a close of nine acres, which in process of time 
came to be called the " nine acre corner," and the term is 
surely no misnomer, since the plot of land thus termed is 
literally cornered by two streams, the river and gulf brook. 
John Miles married for his first wife Sarah, who died in 
1678, leaving one daughter, who married Kdmund Wigley, 
and afterwards Joseph Lee. He married in his old age 
Susannah Redit. He left John, Samuel and Mary. John 
married Mary Prescottin 1702, and died October 23,1725, 
leaving an estate of ^1,768 and two sons, John and Jona- 
than, the latter being a graduate of Harvard College. 

Samuel, son of the first John, was a deacon in the Con- 
cord Church, and died March 13, 1756, leaving as children 
Samuel, Joseph, Sarah, Ezekiel, Esther, Martha, Nathan, 
Reuben and Charles, the latter of whom was a captain in 
the Revolutionary war. 

It was arranged beforehand that the servant who accom- 
panied Esquire Flint should remain over night with Mr. 
Miles' hired man that we might have the use of his horse. 

The moon was low when the bars were dropped for our 
egress from the short lane that led out to the country road. 
The air was balmy and the night was still, save as when we 
neared the river was heard the quacking of a flock of be- 
lated ducks, who were taking advantage of the bright moon 
to move a little farther south before the Indian summer 
was over. Now and then there was also heard the soft 
tread of a surprised fox as he suddenly turned for a safe 
retreat upon hearing us. Once a buck stalked so near that 
our horses stopped ; and as we turned the bend of the 
pond and were about descending the hill, at a point where 
the evergreen tips almost came together over the road, 
there clumsily crossed our pathway a large, lumbering form, 
looking so unshapely as it loomed up in the shadows that 
Mr. Flint's horse, which was a little ahead of ours, for we 

228 Colonial 

were too timid to ride alongside, suddenly sheered and 
pranced, while ours almost unseated us. 

Mr. Flint exclaimed that we had encountered a bear, but 
that bruin being without cubs was perfectly harmless, 
and our only fear need be for our horses, as the uncouth 
appearance of bears and their shambling gait was to them 
a matter of suspicion. Soon after this little episode we 
approached the Flint homestead, and knew by its looks 
that a warm welcome awaited us ; for, although the hour 
was late, there was a light in the front windows and the 
bright fire gleamed cheerily from the half-open door of the 
kitchen, where a servant stood looking and listening. Once 
within, we saw steaming upon the crane a large teakettle, 
and standing between the andirons, whose great brazen tops 
reflected the crackling flames, a skillet of broth. A beaker 
of hot cordial was at once offered us with a bowl of the 
broth, but we took only the latter, saying it would answer 
both for food and drink. 

After being thus warmed and refreshed, we were shown 
to our lodging place, which of course was the guest cham- 
ber, and being at the house of Mr. Flint, "Commissioner" 
and a "man of means," it was unusually capacious. Next 
morning we were astir early, but none too early, for in 
families that were "well to do" slothfulness was in no wise 
encouraged, and it was the custom soon after sunrising for 
the hired men to "go afield." The same punctiliousness 
regarding the daily religious observances was noticeable 
here as elsewhere, for Mr. Flint opened the leather cov- 
ered lids of the well worn Bible and read in true patriarchal 
style, while the family reverently listened. Breakfast and 
devotions over, our host led us into his private room, 
which in modern times would be called an ofiice. On an 
antique table were a bunch of unsharpened goose quills, a 
capacious ink horn, some unruled paper of coarse quality, 
a stick of sealing wax and a seal stamp. For books, there 
was a work of comments on the English law, "Coke on 
Littleton," and an old volume of "Notes on the Penta- 

Concord 2 2g 

teuch." There was also a pile of letters folded and fast- 
ened with red sealing wax in readiness to be delivered to 
the first person going to Boston ; for mail matter was only 
transmitted by such trustworthy travelers as might chance 
to come along. 

After making a record of the marriage just consummated, 
Mr. Flint seated himself by the fireside, and in response to 
our inquiries, defined his duties as an "Assistant" and a 
magistrate. We found that the functions of the former 
were highly honorable, and that aforetime they were of a 
nature legislative, executive, and judiciary ; and there being 
but a dozen Assistants in the Bay colony, only a few towns 
could boast of one. So important was the office, at the 
first, that the Assistants could choose a Governor and 
Deputy Governor out of their own body, and make laws 
which later only the General Court could do ; also while 
formerly they had to do with the making of freemen, or in 
other words, empowering the Colonists to vote, this now 
could only be done by the Court. But though the office 
had been stripped of some of its prerogatives, it was one of 
the most conspicuous in the colony, and the possessor of it 
was in a position of great influence. In a certain sense the 
Assistants were still the Councilors of the Commonwealth, 
assumed the name of Magistrates, and were looked up to 
with great reverence. They were chosen by the people, 
and because of traditional associations and still existing 
authority, they took a first rank in society. As to the 
work of Mr. Flint as a "Commissioner to end small 
causes" within the territory to which he was specifically ap- 
pointed his sphere was more circumscribed. His jurisdic- 
tion extended over Sudbury and Concord only, and the 
causes were limited to such as had an issue of not over 
twenty shillings. But even with these restrictions there 
was considerable scope for authority, since he might act as 
judge, juror, and barrister, and also furnish the law, the 
authorities for the latter being extremely few and meager, 
as is shown by the following enactment in 1647: "It is 

230 Colonial 

agreed by the Court, to the end we may have the better 
light for making and proceeding about laws, that there shall 
be these books following procured for the use of the Court 
from time to time : 'Two of Sir Edward Cooke upon Lit- 
tleton ; two of the books of entryes ; two of Sir Edward 
Cooke upon Magna Charta ; two of the New Terms of the 
Law ; two Dalton's Justice of Peace ; two of Sir Edward 
Cooke's Reports.'" Those books furnished the first founda- 
tion of law not only for the General Court, but for all 

Curious incidents are related as taking place in these early 
courts. Sometimes there was interference which at present 
may appear incredible and it is said that those who inter- 
meddled most were clergymen. An instance is recorded in 
an action of alleged slander brought by a minister against a 
layman. Another minister dining with the judge stated to 
him that when the case was tried he would like to make a 
few remarks. When the plaintiff's counsel had opened 
the case, he began questioning the plaintiff, and the regular 
proceedings were suspended until the reverend gentleman 
was through. At the close of the argument for the de- 
fendant, the accommodating justice gave the clergyman 
another chance, whereupon he begged the magistrate to dis- 
miss the action, which he forthwith did. 

In another instance one juror, who was standing out 
against the eleven others, was especially interviewed by the 
state's advocate and directed as to what to do. When the 
obstinate man refused to obey, it is said he was starved into 
compliance, while his fellows received meat and drink ; it 
being remarked that it was better one man should be de- 
stroyed than eleven. 

It is said that verdicts were sometimes rendered to the 
effect that there was "strong ground for suspicion though 
falling short of proof" ; in such case the Court might sen- 
tence the defendant for such crime as it appeared probable 
he had committed, though it had neither been alleged in 
the complaint nor found by the jury. It is recorded 

Concord 231 

that "a man indicted for forgery which could not be proven 
was reported by the jury to be a cheat and had to stand 
upon the court-house steps for half an hour with the forged 
bond and the word 'Cheat' in large letters pinned upon 
his breast." — Boston Bench and Bar. 

Our conversation was interrupted by a call to dinner, 
which we were glad to hear, for the odor from the kitchen 
suggested something delicious for us. In the afternoon we 
set out to attend the funeral at the house by the Darby 
bridge. As Mr. Flint was to be busy, he sent his servant 
to accompany us. We rode on horseback, single file, along 
the way "that goeth to Mr. Flint's," till it merged in the 
county road, where there was less need of watchfulness for 
roots and rocks, and where we could ride abreast of each 

As we walked our horses through the roadway, we had a 
chat about servants, a subject we had been seeking an op- 
portunity to converse upon before. The man was intelli- 
gent and also communicative, so we received some valuable 
hints which led us to conclude that in colonial times there 
was but little difference either in intelligence or pedigree 
between some who worked for hire and some who did not ; 
moreover, the term servant was sometimes used differently 
from what it is now, and might designate one who trans- 
acted business for another as an agent. Some denominated 
servants in a ship's passenger list might be coming to 
America to act for parties in England in land matters, or to 
substitute for them as settlers, thereby enabling the princi- 
pal to share in land allotments, or in any profit that might 
accrue from the enterprise. 

It is also supposed that some in the passenger lists who 
were recorded as servants were only ostensibly such for the 
purpose of disguising themselves, the intent being to evade 
the unjust immigration laws. As England was at that 
time agitated by religious and political dissension, there was 
unusual surveilance over its outgoing population, and per- 

232 Colonial 

mits were not easily obtained ; hence the occasional resort 
to strategy. 

An apprentice was considered a servant, and as such was 
obligated to his master for from three to seven years. He 
might have come from one of the best families, the old 
homestead not being sufficient to support several sons. A 
child during non-age was really a servant, unless he "bought 
his time" of his father, which was often done. Others 
might be servants for a term of years by agreement. 

Over all servants the master was supposed to maintain a 
quasi control, and the law looked to him as a sponsor for 
their good conduct, and expected such watchfulness and 
wholesome tutelage as was reasonable. Among early town 
records we find the appointment of certain persons "for to 
take pains for to see into the general families in town, to 
see whether children and servants are employed in work 
and educated in the ways of God and in the ground of 
religion according to the order of the General Court." In 
later times the term servant was made to include African 
slaves, some of whom were in Concord. 




ftstor, Lenox and TiJden^ 

1 1< k^Ik'^ lh< " tiHiv «tl 
f! Jbit Imm tti <■> hind iii '^'>' ' ' 

n. MO- iKfi-i) |t(<. 

Tr/' M lit- fl..l>. -!.'-' 



Funeral at the House of a Cottager — Absence of 
Floral Tributes and Artificial Adornments — Sad 
and Simple Services — 1'he Burial — The Procession 
to the Grave — Talk with the '■'^ Sax ton" in the 
Burying Ground — Early Colonial Funeral Customs 
— The Bearers^ Mort Cloth^ Mourning Gloves^ 
Scarfs and Rings — Grave Stones and Epitaphs — 
Start for the Flint Homestead — Evening Adven- 
ture hy the Way — The Strange Surprise — A 
Pleasant Discovery — Entertained by Nantatucket 
and Tissansquaw. 

BY the time we had reached the foregoing conclusions 
we were on the Darby bridge and the house of the 
poor cottager appeared in sight. It was unpreten- 
tious with a low roof, and the thatching so drooped 
below the two diminutive windows as to give it an appear- 
ance of being even smaller than it was. 

There was a porch covered with wild clematis, and on 
either side of the path leading to it were several clumps of 
lilies and pinks, while in the open yard were the blighted 
stalks of several hollyhocks. There was a garden near by 
in which were still green the leaves of parsnip, cabbages 
and carrots, but all else had a sterile and withered look 
quite in keeping with our errand. We knew before we 
reached the place that the funeral was to be held there, for 
we saw people standing about as if waiting for something ; 
and just outside the door stood the grewsome bier, covered 
with a pall or "buryin' cloth." 

As we entered we found the room full of people, for it 
appeared as if everybody from the South quarter was there, 


234 Colonial 

besides some from outside. The coffin lay on a table in 
the narrow entry way, and was made of coarse pine boards, 
stained dark, giving it a still more sombre appearance. 

On the lid was a piece of paper giving the name and 
age of the deceased, which each one picked up and read as 
he passed by. Not a flower was in sight — no, not so much 
as an evergreen spray or myrtle sprig to remind the mourn- 
ers of a coming resurrection, when fresh with an immortal 
youth they could again see their dead. Every aspect was 
of death ; and as the cold gray of that autumnal after- 
noon with its low circling sun brooded over the cottage, it 
was all in accord with the coffin, the bier and the pall, and 
the sad company standing about them. Presently it was 
whispered that the clergyman was coming, and then al! set- 
tled into that solemn hush which had deference both for 
the living and the dead, broken only by the deep breath- 
ing of the sorrowful and the responsive sigh of such as 
were in sympathy with them. 

No Scripture was read at that house of sorrow ; no 
psalm was sung ; no prayers were said ; and after a few 
words of consolation, and all present had viewed the re- 
mains, even little children being raised up to look at them, 
the bearers placed the coffin upon the bier, covered it with 
the cloth and lifting it upon their shoulders, started for the 
burying ground. We joined the procession. The cloth 
was kept in place by extra bearers, who walked along by 
the side of the others, spelling them when tired. 

After moving with slow and measured step a quarter of 
a mile or more, they halted and set the body on a mort- 
stone, while the first set of bearers gave way to the others. 
In a few moments the procession resumed its mournful 
march, and after several similar halts it reached the grave 
yard, just as the slant beams of the fast setting sun were 
trying to stretch themselves beyond the little meeting 

The burial was performed in silence ; the cold earth rat- 
tled harshly upon the coffin ; and when all was over and 

Concord 23 5 

the "saxton" had heaped the last turf upon the newly made 
mound, each turned sorrowfully away as if carrying with 
him fresh evidence of his own mortality. 

We lingered about the spot for a little time, thinking to 
learn from the old "saxton" something more about old 
burial rites ; for this faithful public servant, although it was 
late, appeared in no hurry to get away, but leisurely folded 
up the burying-cloth and wiped his clumsy spade on the 
clean grass, as if to have it in good order when he should 
want it again. 

The wind had gone down, and the moon was just creep- 
ing over the great fields to the easterly, and as there was 
no dampness on that dry knoll there was no discomfort in 
remaining, while John, the servant, had a loose shoe 
fastened at the smithy. 

It would not take long to relate what the "saxton" told 
us, but after he had gone there came up the hill path one 
of the villagers, who was accounted handy at funerals and 
in laying out the dead, looking for a glove which some one 
had lost, and from him we obtained some valuable informa- 
tion relating to burial customs. And now before leaving 
this subject we will state some facts concerning these. In 
Colonial times there were few religious services at funerals ; 
and but little was said in public, either to mitigate grief or 
lead to resignation. The coffin was carried to the grave 
and buried in silence. 

Letchford says of it : "All the neighborhood or a goodly 
company came togther at the tolling of the bell". The 
minister was commonly present, but only as a silent wit- 
ness. As was the custom in England, laudatory verses 
were sometimes fastened to the bier or "herse" as the 
draped platform upon which the coffin rested was called. 
The funeral carriage called "hearse" was not then in use. 

After the funeral printed verses were often procured, and 
the slips on which they were printed were decorated with 
black borders, skull and crossbones, a scythe and hour 
glass. Occasionally an attempt was made to solemnly pun 

236 Colonial 

in verse, or play facetiously upon a name in a way that 
might be almost painful to people of the present time. 

As a rule there were two sets of "bearers," one called 
under bearers, usually young men who carried the bier, and 
the other old men or relatives, who held the corners of the 
pall ; if the distance was long there was a double number of 
under bearers. The pall or mort-cloth was usually made of 
velvet and owned by the town. The bier was often kept 
in the porch of the meeting house, but in some cases it 
was left standing over the grave awaiting another funeral. 

Sometimes there was no regularly appointed grave dig- 
ger, but a friend or relative of the deceased might perform 
this service. In some towns the news of a death was the 
signal for the cessation of all work. Liquors were univer- 
sally used, and even if the deceased were a pauper, gallons 
of rum and a barrel of cider might be called for, but if a 
person of distinction the expense was correspondingly 
greater. The custom was to look at the corpse and then 
pass on to the table and take a drink. 

Mourning gloves and scarfs were often given. Some- 
times there were printed invitations to "follow the corpse," 
and great care was taken to have all walk in the proper 
order with respect to relationship and rank. The mourning 
gloves were usually furnished by the bereaved family, if in 
well-to-do circumstances, and a minister after a long pastor- 
ate usually had in store a large number. It is said that 
one Boston minister received in thirty-two years, two 
thousand, nine hundred and torty ; being more than 
he wanted he exchanged them tor other goods. 

"Mourning rings," engraved with skull and crossbones, 
were sometimes given to bereaved friends and not infre- 
quently they were quite costly. 

Funerals were forbidden to be held on Sunday. Many 
of the gravestones came from England, and were of hard 
black slate from North Wales. The Welsh stones usually 
had on them a death's head or that of a winged cherub. 

Weeping willows and urns came in vogue later, and 

Concord 237 

these were afterwards superseded by the hour-glass and 
clock face or dial. 

Capital letters were used in inscriptions till the time of 
the Revolution, 

The epitaphs were sometimes curious to a remarkable 
degree, as for example : 

Here lies cut down like unripe fruit 
The wife of Deacon Amos Shute. 

There was often the manifestation of great resignation, 
showing the strong and simple faith of the bereaved 

They looked upon death as 3 liberator from care and 
toil, and believed it was the entrance to a blessed immor- 
tality ; hence a bier or burying ground savored of blissful 
associations : and this accounts for such expressions as that 
of Judge Samuel Sewall who, after visiting the family 
tomb and seeing the coffins therein, said: "It was an awful 
yet pleasing treat : " and of another, that the two days 
wherein he buried his wife and son were "the best he ever 
had in the world." 

In the twilight we passed from the place of old graves 
and descended the narrow pathway that led to the "little 
strate strete", and as we emerged from the shade into the 
open ground, where it broadened out toward the milldam and 
town pound, we beheld over the western horizon some of 
those purple and pink tints which are in striking contrast 
to the approaching darkness. 

Here we thought is a fit illustration of the settler's 
experiences as relates to such somber scenes as we have 
just witnessed. He sees light in every condition, however 
gloomy it may appear to others. That light is his faith. 

Through it comes his steadfastness in sorrow, his sub- 
missiveness in view of death, and his apparent indifference 
to consolation afforded by external objects. 

He needs no flowers at his funerals, hence he has none. 

He desires no burnished trimmings to his coffin, neither 
does he care for any costly paraphernalia to his grave car- 

23 8 Colonial 

riage. If he had these he would look above and beyond 
them all for his comfort. 

The primary design of the absence of ceremony on 
these occasions was to steer clear of everything that savored 
of popery. The rude and grewsome decorations on the 
tombstone were designed only to remind the careless passer- 
by that he too was mortal and must share the common lot. 

The darkness deepened. The sluggish mist of the mill 
pond was settling about us. An east wind suddenly 
springing up brought from the place of old graves the 
murmur of pines and the rustle of tree branches. As it 
was Saturday night an unwonted stillness prevailed about 

The mill had stopped, the cattle were housed, the roads 
were vacant, and nothing was seen or heard in the vicinity 
except the monotonous roaring of the water at the milldam 
as it fell over the splashboards, and the occasional lone 
bellowing of an impatient yearling in the town pound. 

For an instant we stood motionless, as if to realize 
where we were, and then it suddenly occurred to us that 
John only went to get a shoe fastened, and that the time 
for him to return was passed. 

We looked in the directon of the south bridge, if per- 
chance we could see him, but in vain. We turned towards 
the Meriam grocery, thinking some errand might have 
called him there; but It was in vain, for no one appeared, 
and we were about sitting down on the turnstile that 
guarded the path to the meeting house, when we heard the 
measured tread of a horse's hoofs, and it flashed upon us 
that John had gone home, and was even then jogging 
along over the planks of Potter's bridge in the comfortable 
assurance that we had walked along expecting him to over- 
take us. 

It needed but little reflection to understand the serious- 
ness of the situation. We were left, and John would have 
to return for us on finding we were not at home on his 
arrival. Were It not for this our way would have been 

Concord 239 

clear, for we had only to repair to Goodman Hey- 
wood's, or the Buss Tavern or call at the parsonage to be 
sure of a welcome. But to have John come all the way 
back was out of the question. Neither would we alarm 
the family by a night's absence. So springing over a 
brush fence and breaking off a dry sapling which, the last 
spring, had been placed there as a part of a "sufficient 
fence", which the town ordered, we started. 

We had not gone far, however, before we wished our- 
selves back. The country was strange to us. The path 
in the dim moonlight was ill defined because of the over- 
hanging branches, and every now and then we stumbled 
over a rock or a protruding root. As we got farther 
from the village the way grew more and more dreary. 

The lights faded in the distance, and the last one seen 
through a break in the woods was the faint glimmer of 
John Adams' firelight as it shone forth through his open 
doorway when he entered after the evening cattle fodder- 
ing. No sooner had the last light vanished than diffi- 
culties began to thicken. The shrubbery crowded closer 
into the pathway, so we had sometimes to brush back the 
drooping birches and hazel bushes laden with the night 
damp, and every now and then when wood ways parted 
from the main road, it was necessary to stoop in order to 
discover if possible the footprints of John's horse. 

As the stillness of the forest became more and more 
apparent in the deepening gloom, and its dreariness became 
more intense, the denizens of the woods became more 

Several times there came to us the low call of a coon, 
which was quickly answered by another in a minor key, as 
if amicable relations were not being maintained by them. 

The surly cry of something which by a subsequent 
description we concluded was a snarling lynx was once 
heard, and the sound was so new to us that we thought of 
the spectral wolf, of whose midnight marauding we had heard 
at the Baker husking party. 

240 Colonial 

Another startling, though harmless episode, was the fly- 
ing of a large hoot owl so near us as to fan our faces with 
his furry wings. 

But in spite of these impediments we kept on, intent 
upon putting as much space as possible between us and 
the hamlet before John should meet us. 

It was not however given us to get far in carrying out 
our intent, for still other obstacles were to arise, the climax 
of which was reached when we arrived near the pond. 

We had heard legends connected with the Concord 
ponds and especially this one. How that spirits flitted 
over it, and even stalked forth upon its lone shores, and 
that wood nymphs danced about and sometimes allured 
timid and incautious travelers into the deep woods. 

The recalling of these and other stories of a like nature 
was a poor preparation for passing the pond, which was 
now but just ahead, and remembering that nothing but a 
Bible in one's pocket or a silver bullet from a gun barrel 
would avail anything in case of an assault by the Evil One, 
we dropped our stafi\, which we had carried for a defence, 
and resolved to trust to our heels in case anything should 
occur out of the usual. 

We had reviewed all our legendary lore concerning the 
pond, and knew by the damp murky atmosphere that it 
was close at hand, when with startling suddenness there 
came a weird and melancholy sound as if the very woods 
uttered a wail. We stopped. Our hair bristled and we 
listened spellbound. 

A moment and it came again, and nearer than before, 
and we believed that the next it would be in the road. 

We had heard forest sounds of every nature before, as 
we supposed, from the low night call of the little wood 
bird to the deep booming of the lank bittern, but here was 
a noise entirely new and incomparable to anything else. 

Our first thought was to turn back and quickly put our- 
selves as far as possible from the locality if not from the 
source of so dismal and frightful a sound. 

Concord 241 

We had never practically believed in ghosts, and as for 
spirits we had never seen one nor met with one who we 
supposed had. 

Our theories were of the age in which we lived. But we 
were in another age now, and we had been sitting beside 
ancient firesides and listening to gruesome tales by those in 
whose houses were old garrets, and in whose cellars were 
dark archways, and along whose winding woodland paths 
the shadows chased each other gloomily, sometimes taking 
strange shapes, and over whose low gables the clouds low- 
ered scowlingly. We had been sitting where the wind 
whistled down old chimney stacks, and where groups in- 
stinctively drew the settle near to the hearth's edge and 
listened timidly to the mystical wiseacre as he interpreted 
strange sounds, until no one cared to go up stairs or down 
stairs or step outside. In fact we had been living amid a 
different environment, one in which every predilection to a 
belief in the supernatural had been thoroughly aroused, and 
we only needed the present evidence of our senses, together 
with what we supposed had been an exhaustive observation 
of all of nature's strange sights and noises, to lead us to 
abandon old conclusions and accept new ones. 

In fact we learned by this sudden experience that it is 
the objects around which superstitions cluster which differ, 
rather than the nature of the persons who are influenced 
by them, and that it is by an easy transition through the 
pathway of circumstances that we come to believe in the 
goblin of the quaint old burying ground, the elf of the 
woods or the latest product of modern spiritism. 

The nomenclature of an age may disguise its real beliefs, 
and the character of the homes of the living may determine 
the character of the spirit tenantry. 

In other words, the nature of a genuine New England 
apparition is such that it would never be seen flitting about 
among the flowers of a modern cemetery. Its nature is too 
rugged to live there. 

242 Colonial 

Like the white polar bear it requires cold and barrenness, 
where folks shiver and seldom go. 

Given right conditions and it may come_^ to you. It 
loves the cobwebs beneath low rafters, and the smell 
of mice among old cradles and empty meal barrels. It 
would browse among bunches of brown herbs and squeak 
forth its magical utterances, where the wind plays through 
angular knot-holes and blows the light out if anyone enters. 

These conditions withheld and those of an opposite 
character substituted, and you have an up-to-date tenantry, 
and one that is coy and cultured, and is at home in 
the presence of the velvet carpet and satin paper, stuffed 
couches and chairs. 

But they are all of the same kith and kin, it matters not 
where we find them, whether on the public platform or in 
the drawing room, or by "the way that goeth to Mr. 

Let it not then be thought foolish that our hair started, 
and that we were stirred to our very extremities by that 
startling, inexplicable wail that came from pondward. 

We were in Rome doing as the Romans did, and our 
first thought and impulse was to flee from the swamp sprites 
without stopping to question what they were. 

Pursuant to this purpose we turned about when we saw 
in the direction whither we were going a flash of light, or 
rather the illumination of reflected light, as if cast up by an 
unseen fire in the brush wood. 

Here was a new development, only Httle less surprising 
than the first, since we thought it might be a part and par- 
cel of it, for almost simultaneous with the strange sight 
came a succession of the strange sounds, this time as if 
they would split the very darkness which they pierced. 

We were brought to a standstill ; we could neither retreat 
nor go forward. It was peril before us and peril behind us 
and peril on both sides. 

As we stood wondering with what little there was left of 
us to wonder, and waiting for another outburst of the ter- 

Concord 243 

rific wail, we saw under the low hemlock boughs a couple 
of upright forms, which under other circumstances we 
should have called human, but which looming up as they 
did in the shadows and amid its lurid light we thought had 
the appearance of something inhuman. They looked like 
Indians, and were dressed like them, a fact which only 
increased our dread of what they might be, for we were 
aware that supposed manifestations from the spirit world 
were made by Indians, hence naturally we thought it might 
be so now. 

Just as we were about settling ourselves into a clump of 
evergreens, whose friendly branches almost touched the 
dilapidated top ot an ancient windfall, this being the only 
available hiding place, one of the forms turned toward us, 
and we saw at a glance, and to our great surprise and de- 
light that it was no other than Nantatucket whom we met 
at Nashawtuck ; and that his companion was Tisansquaw, 
whom we once saw at the lower fishing falls. 

In an instant we were ourselves again, for in these we 
knew we had friends, and that whether the sounds we had 
heard were of man or devil they would be explained, and 
if the situation was serious we would share it together. 

As we sprang forward the Indians recognized us, and 
their greeting was as warm and demonstrative as their rude 
ways and stolid natures would admit of. 

It took but a moment to inquire concerning the sound, 
and to be informed that what we had heard was a pair of 
migratory loons, or great northern divers, which in the fall 
and spring occasionally drop into our New England waters, 
where they remain a few days prior to their journey south- 

They had been disturbed among the low waterbrush on 
the pond shore by the fire and had sent out their wild 
screams as if in protest. 

No one need wonder at our recent alarm, for the notes 
of this remarkable bird at any time sound strange, but 

244 Colonial 

stranger yet in the night's stillness, with the medium of a 
dense, swampy atmosphere to intensify them. 

We were soon sitting by the camp fire of our two friends, 
which was just outside the bushes, by the pond's edge, 
beyond which was the dark, outlying water where the loons 

We learned that Nantatucket and Tisansquaw had been 
to Natick, to attend an Indian service held there by 
Apostle John Eliot, and that being late in getting home, 
and growing hungry, they had encamped beside the pond 
and were engaged in broiling a rabbit, which they had 
thrust through with a wooden spit. 



Astor, Lenox and T9den^ 




Arrival at the Flint Farm — Sunday Morning in a 
Home of Colonial Concord — Start for Meeting — 
Gathering of the Worshipers — Neighborly In- 
quiries — The Church Service — The Sermon — 
Singing — 'The Noon Intermission — Catechistical 
Exercises — Afternoon Service — Colonial Church 
Customs — Sacred Music — Succession of Singing 
Books — ^'■Lining Off" — Triple Time — '■'■Fuging' 
— Pitch Pipes — Introduction of Musical Instru- 
ments — Talk with Goodman James Hosmer — 
Conversation Relating to the Installation of Rev. 
Peter Bulkeley — Facts of History Concerning this 

J'UST as Nantatucket had drawn the spit from the rab- 
bit and placed it upon a broad flake of clean bark, 
which Tisansquaw had pealed from a birch tree, we 
heard the clatter of horses' feet, and knew that John 
was coming. It was with regret that we closed our inter- 
view with our swarthy friends for we could have contented 
ourselves to remain with them over night, but we knew 
that the next day was the Sabbath, and that all traveling 
was forbidden, and that even the short journey to the Flint 
farm, though undertaken with so good an excuse, might 
subject us to great prejudice, so we sprang into the empty 
saddle and were soon away. 

We received a warm welcome on our arrival. Supper 
had been delayed awaiting our return ; after which 
Mr. Flint gathered the household together, including the 
servants, for no servant was omitted in this exercise, and, 


246 Colonial 

opening the Bible, read and commented upon it, being 
assisted by his "Notes on the Pentateuch." 

After reading, each of the family was catechised, and all 
showed such a commendable acquaintance with the Holy 
Scriptures as might put to blush many a youth and adult 
also in a Sunday school of today, with all their so-called 
"Lesson Helps" and "Side Lights." After the religious 
exercises were over, and the younger members had retired, 
Mr. Flint and myself conversed upon several topics of 
public interest, and it was not until the low burning candle 
reminded us that it was getting late that we retired to our 
room there to enjoy another night of well-nigh perfect 

The morning sun arose giving promise of a beauti- 
ful day. Not even a low lying cloud was visible to show 
the possibility of unpleasant weather. But the quiet was 
without, for the noise down-stairs betokened that the 
Sabbath was not with them a day of indolent repose. It 
was but a short time after going below before breakfast was 
eaten, and the sun had hardly dried the night's moisture 
from the sparkling earth when we were all on our way 
churchward, passing over the same way which the night 
before had brought to us such discomfort. As we 
ascended the hill path to the meeting house, we found that 
the parson had not yet arrived, so, intent upon hearing the 
news from the whole countryside, we leaned up against an 
unused hitching post to look and listen. 

After the usual salutations by each new comer, conversa- 
tion commenced on the events of the week in their several 
quarters, as these related to things of a nature sufficiently 
serious to admit of Sabbath inquiry. 

Goodwife Brown wanted to know if the "arbs" she sent 
Susan Ann, poor child, did her good, and if her pain was 

Patty Underwood asked after the condition of old Aunt 
Lois, and whether the crutches which she had left at the 

Concord 247 

mile post by the corner for Goodman Billings to carry to 
her were the right length. 

Dame Woods was anxious to know of the Uarby boys, 
and if they had sufficient clothing for winter, for, said she, 
"Since their mother died they have fared hard." 

With these and similar inquiries the time was occupied 
till some one said, "The minister is coming," when all 
stepped from the beautiful sunlight into the cool stillness 
of the sanctuary and remained standing till he had passed 
into the pulpit. 

The service was opened by an invocation immediately 
followed by the reading of the Scriptures with comments. 
Then came the singing of a psalm from "Sternhold and 
Hopkins' Edition," set to the tune of "St. David." The 
lining of the psalm was by Deacon Griffin, and the con- 
gregation endeavored to make the repetition of it musical 
and in accord with the tune assigned, but we observed that 
before the exercise was over there was a compromise 
between "St. David," "York" and "Old Winsor," and 
that the tune varied as much as the time. 

It was, however, evidently satisfactory to the vvorship- 
pers, and the devout demeanor of every participant assured 
us that singing in those days was really worship. 

It was noticeable that there were only a few copies of the 
Psalter in the congregation, which showed that lining off 
was a necessity. 

The sermon was exegetical, expository, doctrinal, and 
hortatory, with an application at the close, and occupied 
an hour. Psalm singing followed, and the service ended 
with the benediction. 

At noon came the catechistical exercise, of which we had 
heard much but had not yet seen. 

We do not know whether or not on every Sunday it 
came at this hour, for we did not inquire, and the inter- 
mission the Sabbath previous being taken up with the 
sacramental service and a baptism, we have nothing to judge 

24 8 Colonial 

We conjecture, however, that the noontime was its regu- 
lar hour, because it was the only practicable time for it, and 
the one which in later days has been the Sunday 
school. If from nine or half past to twelve, and from one 
or half past to nearly four, was taken up with the regular 
service, almost of necessity, the catechistical would come 

But whatever the hour, the nature and order of it was 
the same, and we will describe what we saw of it. 

There was a short interval after the morning service, in 
which the middle-aged men could stretch their legs and go 
to the Buss tavern and eat the lunch which they carried 
with them, and the younger women could repair to 
the houses near by and warm their barley coffee or steep a 
little "store" tea, and the old people could go to one of 
the "noon houses" which were nearer at hand and replenish 
their foot stoves with coals and warm some cider or sack 
posset, the latter of which they brought with them, while 
the former was kept in storage to be had on tap. 

This brief intermission was followed by a prompt 
gathering together at the drum beat, and a seating of the 
people in a way that had special reference to age, the 
younger and unmarried portion, who were the catechumens, 
being nearest to the minister. As in the morning, the 
sexes sat separate, except in the back seats, where the grave 
heads of households sat and where there was allowed a 
latitude of promiscuousness which would not be tolerated 
among the younger element. 

There was no prelude, and when Parson Bulkeley arose 
there evidently ran through the younger portion that feel- 
ing of embarrassment which usually prevails on occasions 
of public examination ; while upon the faces of the elders 
there was plainly depicted that flush of anxious suspense 
which betokened a deep desire that the children do well. 

The questions were all simple and admitted of Scriptural 
answers. The purpose evidently was to inculcate a know- 
ledge of the doctrines and duties taught in the Bible. 

Concord 249 

A short intermission followed this exercise, when all 
assembled to listen to the second sermon, which consisted 
of a gathering up and application of the points brought out 
in the noon exercise, together with comments upon them. 

As the order of the second service was similar to the first, 
we will not stop to note any change, but proceed to state a 
few facts of colonial church customs as related in history. 

A singing book in common use was Ainsworth's, "Book 
of Psalms," printed in Amsterdam in 161 2, of 348 pages. 
It contained annotations and the tune in which each psalm 
was to be sung. The annotations explained the psalms, as 
for example, "The Leviathan is the great whale fish or sea 
dragon used to represent great tyrants." 

The books were very few from which came the custom 
of lining off, called "deaconing." Judge Sewall said with 
regard to the harmony on a certain occasion, "I set York 
and the congregation went to St. David." Another writer 
says: "Not two persons quaver alike but each may drop 
off, alter, twist or change to suit him." 

Bye and bye the "Bay Psalm Book" came; then "Tate 
and Brady's Version." 

When note singing was introduced, there came heart 
burnings, with assertions that it was popish. In process 
of time lectures were given in singing, from which may 
have been evolved the singing school ; and by allowing 
those who had learned to sing by rule to sit in the front 
seats may have been evolved the choir. 

After a while "triple time" tunes came into use. 

This gave offence to those who wanted to drawl out the 
notes in uniform length, and the time was derisively called 
"a long leg and a short one." 

Then came the style of singing called "fuging", intro- 
duced by Billings, which system spread like wild-fire. 

Pitchpipes made of apple-tree wood were used at the 
first; afterwards, metallic tuning forks. 

In 1714, there came from England "a pair of organs," so 
called. It was given by Thomas Brattle to Brattle Street 

250 Colonial 

Church, Boston, but It was refused, and then it was given 
to King's Chapel, where, after remaining unpacked for sev- 
eral months, it was made use of. 

The bass viol was about the first musical instrument 
used in the New England churches. Violins were opposed 
because they savored too much of dancing music. A com- 
promise was made in some places by which the fiddle might 
be played if played the wrong end up, as in this way it 
could be called a small bass viol. 

In Concord the version ot "Songs and Hymns" by 
Sternhold and Hopkins was used prior to 1666. 

In 1775, it was voted to sing from Tate and Brady's ver- 
sion three months on trial. 

The June following Watt's version was introduced and 
used till 1828. 

The singers were first "seated" about 1774, when the 
custom of lining ceased and the church voted that Deacon 
Wheeler should lead the singing one half the time and the 
singers in the gallery the other. 

In 1779, the church took into consideration the "melan- 
choly decay of singing in public worship, and chose 20 per- 
sons who should sit together in the body pews below and 
take the lead in singing, the women to sit separate from the 

As to the early catechistical service, Letchford's "Plain 
Dealing" mentions the church in Concord as the first one 
to adopt the custom of catechising the children. 

Mather says, "This was one of the constant exercises of 
the Sabbath at the Concord church." 

He states further that "All the unmarried people were 
required to answer questions, after which expositions and 
applications were made to the whole congregation." 

As the sun was fast settling behind the trees by the mill 
dam, we were descending the narrow hill path with Good- 
man James Hosmer, who had entertained us at his "noon 
house," and had there invited us to go home with him. 

On the way to his house we had an oppotunity for con- 

Concord 251 

versatlon on several subjects appertaining to the Concord 
settlement, about which we desired information, prominent 
among which was the installment and ordination of Rev. 
Peter Bulkeley. 

We had known something of these events, but not all. 
Neither had we much knowledge of the history of the 
church; for as its records for the period since its establish- 
ment were wanting, one person's conjectures about this as 
well as about the civil history, were as good as those of 
another provided each followed the analogy of common 

It was quite opportune that a subject of this nature was 
suggested, since it would hardly have been in keeping with 
the strict Sabbath observance of the time to discuss certain 
other matters. 

We ascertained in the course of our conversation that 
some embarassment attended the first installation at Con- 
cord ; and as the subject is interesting we will give some 
facts as we have found them stated in history. 

The church was organized July 5, 1636, and preparatory 
to the installation of Mr. Bulkeley a day of fasting and 
prayer was observed April 5, 1637. As usual. Colonial 
dignitaries from Boston, both civil and ecclesiastic, were in- 
vited to the council; for the state as well as the church were 
interested in clerical settlements, and assumed to have a 
quasi jurisdiction or influence over ministers although 
theoretically it might have denied it. 

Not all, however, of the invited guests of either class 
were present, although delegates were there from most of 
the churches. 

Winthrop says, "The Governer and Mr. Cotton and 
Mr. Wheelwright and the two ruling elders of Boston and 
the rest of the churches which were of any note did none 
of them come to this meeting. 

"The reason was conceived to be, because they counted 
these as legal preachers and therefore would not give their 
approbation to their ordination." A reason given for the 

252 Colonial 

absence of some of the notables was that the call came at 
too short notice, but as a matter of fact, it was sent three 
days beforehand. 

It may not be proper at this late day to decide as to the 
force any informality about the letters missive may have 
had, for there may have been botn law and fact in the case, 
of which we know nothing. 

This much, however, is certain, that controversy then 
prevailed concerning both doctrine and church polity. 

And as at that time Mr. Bulkeley was supposed to 
attach much importance to good works and was therefore 
considered a legal preacher, it might be natural for some to 
remain absent. 

Besides the question of theological fitness for the clerical 
office there had arisen a question as to whether a minis- 
ter ordained in England after the forms of the Episcopacy 
could by this act be rightly recognized as a properly con- 
stituted clergyman. 

Both questions were probably settled in the case of Par- 
son Bulkeley, for the council ordained and installed him. 
And concerning the matter of church polity, one of the 
delegates proposed a question which led to a passing of 
the following resolution : "That such ministers as have been 
clergymen in England and ordained by the bishop were to 
be respected as having there legally sustained the office of 
minister by the call of the people, and such ordination was 
considered valid here; but, for having received this ordina- 
tion by the bishop, they should consider it a sin and in this 
country they should not consider themselves ministers till 
called by the people; but when thus elected, they were to 
be considered ministers even before ordination." 

It may be here stated that ministers who held to a cove- 
nant of works or who believed in the doctrine of the law 
rather than the doctrine of grace were known as "legalists", 
and those believing in the latter "antinomians." 



Plsit at the home of Goodman James Hosmer — 

— Reflections upon the Settler s Fireplace — Invita- 
tion to Humphrey Barrett' s Log Rolling — Situation 
of the Hosmer Farm — Outline of Hosmer History 

— The Old House Site — Scenes at the Log Rolling 

— Early Forestry — Care of Concord's Poor — 
Process of Clearing New Lands — Facts Relative 
to the Barrett Family. 

WE had just finished our subject when the home 
of our host appeared in an opening among the 
trees, and as we beheld it beyond the purple 
and yellow of the maples and willows, we 
thought that nothing we had seen in the settlement sur- 
passed it in picturesqueness. 

As we entered the yard we were met by his good wife, 
who had hastened out to tell her husband that James who 
was ill in the morning was better, after which she lost no 
time in saying that supper was ready. 

After partaking of the evening meal we all seated our- 
selves about the cheerful hearth fire and chatted about 
various neighborhood matters and about some things Col- 
onial. It was indeed a social season and scene. There 
was domestic and homelike business about everything. 
The pale moonlight which streamed in from over the win- 
dow sill was met at its entrance by such a fervid, animat- 
ed light from the fire place that it was hardly perceivable 
and there was nothing whatever wanting to complete the 
fireside comfort. 

So snug were our surroundings and so cheery was every- 
thing that we mentioned the fact to Goodman Hosmer and 


254 Colonial 

suggested that a settler's hearth was a place of great privi- 
lege. "Yes", he replied "it really is for we lay our plans 

His last utterance made us thoughtful, and we pondered 
over it that night after the lights went out, as we looked 
over the still meadows and saw the stars twinkle and were 
impressed with the silence that pervaded everything; and 
were also reminded of the halt-burnt black logs which were 
even then smouldering beneath the banked fires of the 
slumbering house-keepers ready to sparkle the next morn- 
ing at break of day. 

What, thought we, has the fireplace been to the settler? 
What part has it played in his history, and have we given 
it its due? 

These queries came to us in rapid sucession and quickl) 
responsive came the unqualified conclusion that the open 
fire had been a potent element in the developement of col- 
onial character. Fire is always a source of interest if not 
of inspiration when it is not really mischievous, and the 
poet has done well to sing about it, the philosopher to 
muse over it, and the pagan to eulogize it. 

The fire of driftwood upon the ocean beach, the vivid 
reminder of wrecks on the dark waters, the tidings of 
which never come shoreward; the watch-fire of the lonely 
garrison, beyond whose glimmer none durst venture; the 
camp-fire in the forest where slow sentinels pace through 
night's stillness ; and the fires in dark evergreens made by 
Indians — all these have their value and suitably impress 
one; but not any or all of them are comparable to the fire 
on the settler's hearthstone, where the flames are reflected 
up and among braids of corn and grey herbs and out upon 
pewter platters on the old dresser and into the corners of 
the great kitchen and over the broad floor boards. 

Before the open fire was the settler's council chamber. 
Beside it was his children's nursery. There they laughed 
and played and popped corn while the fathers whistled and 
sang and cracked jokes. The settler's austerity was soften- 

Concord i^^ 

ed by the fireplace, and the hard lines of his exposed life 
were toned down. There he forgot his homely toil while 
the tea kettle sang and the flames crackled and the winds 
swept over the dry moorlands and vacant meadows. 

Without his fireplace he might have been lonely, for 
stoves and furnaces could not have supplied the want of 
companionship that these did. 

The gentle motion of a fire upon the hearthstone is 
almost akin to the friendly presence of a human form. 
Thoreau said of his hut in Walden woods when he gave 
up his fireplace, that though there was more warmth in a 
stove there was less company in it. The labor necessary 
for maintaining the open fire was another advantage. To 
obtain the requisite amount of fuel the settlers were obliged 
to spend a large part of the long winter in the woods, 
swinging the axe and ponderous beetle, for it was only by 
means of the beetle and wedges that he cleft in twain 
the gnarled oak and knotted hickory. Further time was 
spent m hauling it from the rugged hillsides and the frozen 
swamps. After it was hauled it was to be cut in the door- 
yard, then seasoned and housed, and by the time all this 
was accomplished the robins came. The amount of wood 
required for the open fire was enormous, for the fireplaces 
were very capacious and consuming, and the rude carpentry 
of the houses was such as to let in much cold. 

If we can judge of the average fuel supply of the settler 
by the quantity sometimes stipulated for in the settlement 
of a minister we should conclude that from twenty to 
thirty cords would be required and sometimes more. 
Moreover, the chimneys with their broad flues were health- 
giving. Through them in the night time, when the fires 
were low, pure oxygen came down, and there ascended 
upward every impurity, so that it was almost as if the 
inmates of the house lived in the open air. 

The fireplaces might be from six to eight feet in width, 
in some instances even more. In this case the black log 
required the strength of two men to lift it into its place. 

256 Colonial 

Between this and the forelog was heaped brush wood and 
chips and cleft pine, all to be enveloped in a grand pyra- 
mid of flame which went aroaring up the chimney as if 
mad, while into every corner and cranny of the great 
unfinished apartment the light danced and cheerily crept, 
and the warmth melted the frost on the small window 
panes and drove back the cold from under the door. 

Before such a scene the settler sat with his family, and 
the neighbors came and sat with them, and in the flames 
they thought they saw horsemen and in the ashes heard 
men walking as in snow. 

When at the hour of retiring the flames faded and the 
spent fuel had become reduced to a bed of coals the house- 
holder covered them carefully with hot ashes to be used 
the next morning to start a new fire. 

If for any reason during the night the coals went out, 
some were borrowed, if a neighbor was near, but if not, 
they resorted to the flint, steel and tinder box, or to the 
use of a gun. 

The settler's fireside has often been pictured in both 
prose and poetry, but perhaps by none more fitly than by 
Whittier in his poem called "Snow Bound", where in the 
following words he sets forth the cheer and snugness of the 
open fire in a winter's storm: 

We piled with care our nightly stack 
Of wood against the chimney back, — 
The oaken log, green, high, and thick. 
And on its top the stout back-stick 
The knotted forestick laid apart. 
And tilled between with curious art 
The ragged brush; then, hovering near. 
We watched the first red blaze appear. 
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam 
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam. 
Until the old rude furnished room 
Burst, flower-like into rosy bloom. 

As it was near the sun setting when supper was over, 
Goodman Hosmer did not get through with his chores till 

Concord 257 

early evening, and since we were quite weary with our Sat- 
urday night's escapade among the ghosts we talked but little 
and retired early. Before going to bed, however, we were 
informed that there was to be a neighborhood log-rolling 
over at Goodman Humphrey Barrett's the next day and as 
our host was going with his hired man he would like to 
have us accompany him. "Besides," said he, "Goodman 
Barrett sent a special invitation to you Saturday night and 
would have spoken to you about it at the meeting house 
had it not been Sunday." 

A log-rolling in a new country was attractive. We had 
heard of such but never expected to be present. It was 
therefore with bright anticipations that we retired and 
awaited the morrow. 

Before the "shell" sounded for breakfast, for Goodwife 
Hosmer blew a conch shell in some mysterious yet appar- 
ently easy manner at the kitchen door, we sat down at the 
raised window that overlooked the river course to consider 
the relative position of the Hosmer homestead to the cen- 
tral village. 

The outlook was a pleasing one and showed the taste 
and sagacity of Goodman Hosmer in his selection of the 
locality for a home. 

In a northerly direction at a distance of a half mile more 
or less was Annusnac, forest crowned and symmetrical, 
standing like a sentinel beside the plain. To the westerly 
and southerly was the winding Assabet with its occasional 
clumps of yellow willows, while upon its channel as seen 
through a near clearing was just passing the canoe of Nip- 
anum of Nashoba. 

A flock of wild ducks were flying from river to river, and 
along with a couple of cows on the meadow was a small 
deer, all feeding together as if belonging to one family. 

It was a scene worth lingering upon, and so loth were we 
to leave it that we were a few minutes late at the breakfast 
table, with no better excuse than that we had been enrap- 
tured by what we had seen. 

258 Colonial 

As the annals of the Hosmer family have been con- 
spicuously connected with Concord and its members are 
many and widely scattered, let us leave our story and notice 
a few outline facts of their history as these have been pre- 
served by record and substantial tradition. 

The first progenitors of the Hosmer family in America 
were Thomas and James, who were brothers. 

Thomas Hosmer was at Cambridge as early as 1632, 
and went to Connecticut about 1635. 

James Hosmer with his wife Ann and two children left 
England in April 1635, ^^^ went to Concord in the fol- 
lowing September. No record of the death of his wife is 
known to be extant, but it is known that his second wife 
was buried March 11, 1641, and that his third wife, Alice, 
died March 3, 1664-5. 

He had seven children, — Marie and Ann who were 
born in England ; James, Mary, Stephen, Hannah and 

James, the eldest son, married Sarah White who was a 
sister of the Rev. Joseph Rowlinson, minister of the 
church in Lancaster, Mass., and who was captured by the 
Indians in King Philip's war and ransomed at a place near 
Wachusett mountain in what is now Princeton. James was 
killed at the Sudbury Fight, April 21, 1675 ~ ^• 

Stephen, his youngest son, married Abigail Wood in 
1667. He had six children, among whom were James and 
Thomas. Thomas married in 1631, Prudence, a grand- 
daughter of the first Abigail Wood Hosmer; and a son by 
this marriage was Hon. Joseph Hosmer, a noted patriot 
who was born December 25, 1735 ^'"^^ ^^^^ J^'"*- 3^' 1821, 
aged 85. 

An early house lot of the first James Hosmer, tradition 
informs us, was at the Central village on or near the resi- 
dence of the late Hon. Samuel Hoar on the present Main 
street, near the Public Library. His next house lot was 
situated between the Assabet and the south branch of the 
Musketaquid rivers. 

Concord 259 

It is stated that taint traces ot the cellar hole are still vis- 
ible and deeds ot a portion of the original farm are still in 
possession of one of James Hosmer's descendants. 

South west ot the paternal estate was the home of James 
Hosmer, Jr., who was killed by the Indians at Sudbury. 

His house was near the present bridge of the Fitchburg 
Railroad a little to the eastward of the depot at Concord 
Junction. Formerly, a little stream near by afforded suffi- 
cient water power for a small flax mill which the Hosmers 
owned and operated. 

James Hosmer, Sr., added to his original land grant till 
his domain extended nearly to the "Nine Acres," and 
included various detached and outlying parcels of land. 
His grave is unknown ; but probably is among many of 
his contemporaries in the Hill Burying Ground. 

The site of the ancient homestead is now grass grown ; 
only an earth dent remaining to identify it ; and the sur- 
roundings are silent save as sounds come to it from afar or 
as Nature breaks into the stillness with song of bird or 
chirp of insect. But the associations to those who are con- 
versant with them are eloquently suggestive, and remind 
one of distant years when the elder James Hosmer drove 
his cattle to pasture and perhaps plodded on from this early 
morning-task to raise the gate of his little flax mill, thereby 
to furnish the prepared material for the fine linen of the 
town's folk. 

It took but a short time after breakfast for the men to 
yoke up the oxen and start for the log-rolling. We met 
several other teams on the way, for everybody in the north 
quarter appeared to be going there, and there were some 
from as far south as Mr. Flint's. They were a lively com- 
pany, and the great jargon of "Gee off. Buck I " and 
"Hish-haw, Star !" reminded us of hurried military orders 
and the long line of staid oxen, of an army mule train. 

At length we reached the place and entered the enclosure, 
which was a large opening in the forest, where Goodman 
Barrett the year before had cut his fire wood and was 

iSo Colonial 

now clearing to sow to rye. He had left on the ground 
the untrimmed branches as they had been cut from the logs 
and the cord wood, and these having become thoroughly 
dry during the warm season were now to be burned, thereby 
affording fertility to the soil and a clean surface to sow his 
rye upon. The men went to work lustily for there was 
much to be done. There were knotty trunks to be piled 
together ; furrows to be ploughed around the field to pre- 
vent the fire from spreading ; "windfalls" to be pulled apart 
and a few logs to be removed. 

While this work was going on Goodman Barrett came to 
us with the request that we go home with him when the 
rolling was over. His genial countenance was a sufficient 
assurance that his home would be a hospitable one, and we 
cordially assented, whereupon we sat down upon a log and 
conversed about the early forests. The facts brought out 
were in full accord with the records, the substance of which 
is as follows : the settlers did not waste their timber trees, 
but passed laws for their protection ; they even ordered, 
sometimes, that the trees by the wayside should not be cut 
down, but spared as shade for the cattle ; people were 
restricted also from taking only a certain number of trees 
from the common land. A reason for this restriction may 
have been the scarcity of some kinds of trees, as the pine 
and oak, upon which they much relied for building pur- 
poses. The settler used no scantling stuff in his house 
frames ; his work was massive and designed to stand and 
the great beams were hewn out of the "clear" tree trunks. 
Probably the annual fires of the Indians set to clear the 
woods of underbrush had done much mischief to the tim- 
ber lands and the common use of wood for fuel had greatly 
diminished the number of timber trees. 

The subject of forestry naturally led us to inquire about 
the climate, and from what we learned we concluded there 
had been less change in it than many suppose. True we 
speak of the heavy snows when we were children, but we 
forget that a child has short limbs and that a comparatively 

Concord 0.6 \ 

shallow depth would appear great to us then. There are 
some records that give light on this subject. In one of the 
towns adjacent to Concord the town orciered that the fences 
should be put in proper condition early in March, and var- 
ious things were to be done at a date which niight indicate 
no great change In the temperature of the season. 

While busy In conversation about the climate, Good- 
man Barrett was called away by one of the neighbors, say- 
ing as he left us that he might be gone an hour or more. 
We were not however to be left for so long a time 
alone, for he soon returned with the two sons of a poor 
widow, who, he afterwards told us, had applied to him for 
work, their mother being partially dependent upon what 
they could earn as farm hands. After setting them to 
work at the easy task of gathering Into heaps the lighter 
brushwood, Goodman Barrett again seated himself on the 
log and we resumed our chat. Our conversation was on 
the subject of town charities, — this being suggested by the 
circumstance just alluded to. 

We soon concluded that the town of Concord took care 
of its poor and on this point let us leave our story to pre- 
sent the following records. In 1645, William Halsted 
bequeathed "unto the poore of Concord fyve pound to be 
layed out in a Cow which I would have So ordered by the 
Deacons & my executors that it may be a continual help to 
such as are in need. God giving a blessing thereto." 

In 1654, when a second land division was made, it was 
enacted "that all poore men of the Towne that have not 
commones to the number of foure shall be allowed so many 
as amounts to foure with what they all ready shall have till 
they are able to purchase for themselves and we mean those 
poore men that at the present are householders." 

In the will of Robert Merlam who died in 1682, was 
the following clause, "I give to the poor of the Town of 
Concord four pounds in corn." 

Peter Wright, weaver who died Jan. 15, 171 8, devised 

262 Concord 

property to the town which was the origin of a fund for 
what were called the "Silent Poor." 

About noon the work ceased and all gathered in a corner 
of the clearing to eat their lunch, which had been supple- 
mented by a pail of new milk and a firkin of "sack posset" 
which Goodman Barrett had provided. 

It was a merry company in that clearing by the roadside, 
and when the noon hour was over and the work was 
resumed it was with many a cheery haloo and lively call. 

By mid-afternoon the task was completed and the field 
was ready to be burned over. 

The log-rolling had brought together the dismantled 
tree trunks, and the dry branches which had been thrown 
upon them made the piles inflammable. 

In rapid succession they were set on fire till all were 
ablaze and a great volume of smoke and cinders and sparks 
showed how efficient was the element of fire for clearing 
the fields for planting. 

Before sunsetting the fires burned low, and the smould- 
ering, grey ash heaps indicated the kind of fertilizer the 
settlers used in raising their winter rye and "guinny" 



Invitation to visit the ^^ Blood Farms'' — Homestead 
of a '■'■Borderer' or '■'Out dweller — Pastoral Vis- 
itation with Parson Bulkeley and Deacon Griffin — 
Religious Exercise at the house of Goodman Thomas 
Dakin — Use of Ardent Spirit — Possible Mistakes 
about Ministerial Drinking Habits — Social St and- 
ing of the Clergy — Safeguards against abusing 
Clergymen — Installation Dinners — Relation of 
Pastor to his Parish — The Dakin Family — 
Legend of Hidden 'Treasure. 

WE met James Blood from the so called "Blood 
Farms", who with his men had come all the way 
from his home by the town's northern border to 
assist in this land clearing. 
We had met him the Sunday before at the meeting 
house and promised to visit him sometime. As he was 
urgent that we accompany him home after the "log-rolling" 
we acceded after obtaining the kind but reluctant consent 
of Goodman Barrett who had expected us to go home with 

The sun was near setting when we started, and long 
before we reached our destination the darkness had so 
deepened that it was difficult to keep the narrow pathway. 
But little was said during the journey for the men had 
enough to do to manage the cattle, one yoke of which was 
but half broken, and all impatient to get to their stalls 
sprang forward by jerks so that we progressed with much 
unsteadiness. At length we saw in the distance a light and 
conjectured, because homesteads were scarce in that locality, 
that we were nearing our destination ; which conjecture was 


264 Colonial 

confirmed by the hurrying team and by the announcement 
of James Blood that we were ahiiost there. 

A hired man met us as we approached the dwelhng ; the 
rattle of the wheels had brought the "women folks" to the 
door, and we were soon within, partaking of a settler's sub- 
stantial supper. Of course there were the usual excuses 
about the menUy for human nature was then the same as 
now, and the same pride was manifested by the house- 
keepers as to their culinary skill; but we made a practical 
demonstration that the supper was all we could wish ; and 
soon, the meal time ended and the table cleared, we were 
seated by the ample hearth-side for an evening chat. 

We learned very much that evening concerning the life 
of "borderers", as the Blood settlers were called, because a 
part of their lands at least were supposed to only border on 
those of Concord township. 

Among the conclusions arrived at from our conversation 
was that much hardship was experienced on account of their 
isolated condition and especially their distance from the 
central village of the township. It was a difficult journey 
to meeting ; there were no near neighbors from whom to 
borrow if anything was needed ; and whatever of accident 
or incident occurred there might be none to share in the 
joy or the grief. In short, to be a "borderer" was almost 
like colonizing a new country alone. 

The main drawback to these "outdwellers," as they were 
sometimes called, was the anomalous attitude that they sus- 
tained in not being considered citizens of the town of Con- 
cord, while at the same time they were expected to pay 

We did not ascertain whether it was the design of James 
Blood when he settled in this remote district to eventually 
make it a distinct municipality or only to occupy a land 
PTant, but we concluded it was the latter. 

After a long and interesting conversation we retired, and 
early next morning arose to look over the farm. It was 
indeed a new country and we thought of the possibilities 

Concord 265 

of peril which might menace the family should hostilities at 
any time break out with the Indians or should fire burn 
their dwelling in the winter season. 

After an early breakfast we started for the village with 
one of the hired men who was going to mill. 

We went on horseback and behind the saddle was a 
couple of grain sacks thrown across the animal in a way to 
make them balance. One of the sacks contained corn and 
the other rye, and, we were informed, their bread was made 
of equal parts of each. 

An hour's ride brought us to Concord town and as we 
approached the minister's house he rode out of his yard 
accompanied by Deacon Griffin. 

After passing the morning salutation. Parson Bulkeley 
informed us that he was just starting off for a day of pas- 
toral visitation taking the Deacon as one of the committee 
which had been appointed at the last town meeting to as- 
certain and report concerning the moral and spiritual condi- 
tion of the children and youth. The announcement was 
coupled with an invitation to go with them, the invitation 
perhaps being suggested by some queries we had put some- 
time previous relative to the minister's pastoral work. As 
all was fish that came to our net we were not slow in 
accepting and we were soon on our way to Cornet Wood's 
just beyond the south branch of the river to procure if pos- 
sible one of his horses, he having, as the parson informed 
us, a good saddle horse which would not be in use that day 
since the owner was picking his cranberries. 

It was a fortunate circumstance that we were to obtain 
a horse at Cornet Wood's, for the Parson and Deacon were 
to begin their calls at Thomas Dakin's, which was further 

It took but a short time to get the horse ready and we 
were soon off and away through the woods. 

We found that the Dakin place was in a lonely locality 
as much so as any we had visited. Not a house was in 
sight and woods were on every side ; for since he had set- 

266 Colonial 

tied there late, there had been no time to enlarge the clear- 
ing. It was a most cordial welcome that we received from 
the Dakin family ; for not only were visitors infrequent 
there but everything relating to ecclesiastic matters was 
most acceptable. It was not long after we entered before 
Parson Bulkelev began his prefunctory work, for Goodman 
Dakin, seeing us coming up the lane, had called in the boys 
and the hired man and a couple of wood choppers who 
were temporarily working for him. All were soon seated 
and silence reigned as if at the meeting house; and more- 
over all seemed to enter into the exercise with a relish. 
Qviestions were asked to test the children's knowledge of 
scripture and the personal experience of the elders was 
inquired into ; and after Deacon Griffin had ascertained 
what measures were being made use of for the spiritual nur- 
ture of the young, all kneeled while Parson Bulkeley 
implored a blessing upon all present. As we were about 
to go, Goodman Dakin with an importunity which we were 
reluctant to ignore entreated us to remain till night, offer- 
ing to return with us at evening to Cornet Wood's ; so ear- 
nest was the request that we felt constrained to comply ; 
and especially so since Parson Bulkeley had informed us 
that he usually held the same exercises at each house, mak- 
ing everything professional on these occasions. 

Before the Parson and Deacon took their leave, and after 
those who had been called in were excused, Goodwife 
Dakin brought in a glass decanter and a couple of beakers, 
requesting the visitors to help themselves, which they did, 
although with a dignity and decorum which showed no 
inordinate desire for the drink and indicated that they par- 
took as much out of courtesy and deference to custom, as 
for any craving within themselves. 

This attitude of the minister so impressed us that we 
afterwards inquired concerning it and also about some other 
things pertaining to the ecclesiastics of the period, and from 
the answers given and from old records together with the 

Concord 267 

revelation of the sparks at several fireplaces, we came to the 
conclusion that the colonial clergy and perhaps the clergy 
of a later date likewise had not always been rightly repre- 
sented concerning the drink habit, but that isolated cases 
have been held up as the rule. In fact from all that we 
have gathered we have concluded that the profession, 
neither by preaching nor practice, encouraged intemperance, 
and that it never was true that pastoral visits as a rule were 
characterised by excessive dram drinking. The pulpit was 
perhaps as outspoken then as now against drunkenness, 
if not more so. 

It was a subject for discipline, and church discipline in 
those days meant something. A person who was set aside 
in his chvirch membership came as near both civil and 
ecclesiastical ostracism as one could and not be an outcast. 

The average character of the colonial preacher forbids 
the belief in such stories as picture him staggering from 
house to house on his round of pastoral visits, sipping to 
excess wherever he stopped and going home half intoxi- 

That they drank is not denied, but they considered that 
they drank moderately, and strove to teach others that it 
was a disgrace and a sin to drink to excess. This was like- 
wise the position of a large part of the laity. 

Moreover distilled liquors were expensive and to waste 
money upon any luxury was sinful. 

From necessity the early colonist was economical almost 
to penuriousness. He had nothing to throw away. Gen- 
erally speaking he may have used spirit on the principle oi 
value received. He would drink only so much as he 
believed would enable him to hoe more corn or cut more 
wood or get in more hay ; but to pay much money for the 
mere fun of getting fuddled, the more thrifty would not. 

Later, when the country became more settled, luxury 
through wealth began to prevail, and distilled drinks being 
less expensive, the drinking customs changed. But even 
then the clergy were, we believe, by their character, their 

268 Colonial 

example and their teaching the same stalwart guard to beat 
back the encroachment of an evil appetite. 

And now that we are on the subject of ministerial stand- 
ing, we would state, that as a class they were greatly 
respected and revered. Their social position was on a 
level with that of the magistrate and the wealthy. Books 
being few they were referred to as to a living encyclopedia 
and it might be said of the New England minister as of the 
schoolmaster in Goldsmith's Deserted Village, 

"And still they gazed and still the wonder grew 
That one small head could carry all he knew." 

So great was the respect for ministers and churchly ordi- 
nances that strict laws were made to enforce it. 

A person who unduly criticised his minister was subject 
to public censure, if not to trial and the penalty of a fine. 

In one town, a man was publicly whipped for speaking 
derisively of the Bible and its ordinances as the clergyman 
taught them. 

A woman was once ordered to stand before the public 
with a cleft stick upon her tongue, because she showed 
a lack of respect for the Elder. It is related that one 
Philip Ratcliffe in 1631, was publicly whipped and ban- 
ished for speaking against the churches. 

Absenting one's self from church was a fault punishable 
in public. 

But, notwithstanding all this, ministers were subject to 
great censure from their people at large, when it was 
thought the case justified it. One was bitterly rebuked for 
having saved eight hundred dollars by selling produce from 
his farm. 

Another was reproved for wearing stockings, "footed up 
with another color." He was also rebuked for jumping 
over a fence, instead of going though the gate when calling 
upon a parishioner. One was mildly reproved for wearing 
too worldly a wig. 

The installation of a minister was a great event, some- 

Concord 16 g 

times attended by a dinner at the tavern. This consisted 
ot all kinds of New England fare with a liberal supply of 
litjuors. Liquors were sometimes mixed on the meeting 
house steps, and portable bars were sometimes located near 
the house of worship. The installation dinner was some- 
times extravagant, as one given at the house of Rev. Dr. 
Sewall in 1761, when it is said that so great was the pre- 
paration for it that the price of provisions in Boston 
raised "a part for several days." 

It was said of it, "There were six tables that held one 
with another eighteen persons each. Upon each table a 
good rich plum pudding, a dish of boiled pork and fowls 
and a corned leg of pork with sauce proper for it, a leg of 
bacon, a la mode beef, a leg of mutton with caper sauce, a 
roast loin of veal, a roast turkey, a venison pastel, besides 
cake, cheese, tarts and butter." 

Various quaint adjectives were made use of in describing 
the preachers. They were sometimes spoken of as "painful 
preachers," meaning pains-taking, "fit to teach," "soul 
ravishing," "soul piercing," "angel rivaling," "septemflous," 
"holy savored," "soul affecting." 

The relation of the pastor to his parish was substantially 
the same as now in churches of the congregational order, 
except that his authority was considered much greater, and 
although theoretically a fiction yet he was a bold parish- 
ioner who attempted to overthrow it. 

They called themselves "a church without a bishop," but 
practically the pastor sometimes took the place of a bishop 
and came near being a king. 

When a minister was settled after the "old standing 
order" it was difficult to unsettle him. According to a 
supreme court decision he could hold the meeting house, 
church records, church funds, and draw his salary unless 
dismissed by a council. 

The contract entered into between the pastor and people 
was evolved from the congregational common law, as prin- 
ciples are crystallized by acts of the civil courts. 

270 Colonial 

But notwithstanding the strong position held by the 
minister, he was sometimes subjected to such sorties by the 
laity as made the throne tremble ; occasionally there were 
severe controversies, — it might be over creed, church 
polity, or some simple town affair. 

In Concord there was great dissension concerning the 
preaching of Mr. Bliss about the time of Whitefield's visit. 

In the Sudbury Church there was a great strife con- 
cerning the stinting of the cow commons, and the conten- 
tion was carried so far, that the Colonial Court sent dele- 
gates to meet with it in council, anci Rev. Edmund Brown 
was one of the chief actors ; all of which goes to show that 
peace cannot be maintained by ecclesiastical metes or 
bounds however firmly set. 

After the conversation about ministers we walked around 
and looked over the locality in which Goodman Dakin had 
cast his lot. His first settlement was near the central vil- 
lage where he had a house and barn which he sold to John 
Hayward, when he took up his abode beyond the river. 
His neighbors were Michael Wood, Obadiah Wheeler, and 
Edmund Wigley ; the two latter living near Broad Meadow. 

As the history of this family is an interesting one we will 
give some of the outline facts. Thomas was the common 
ancestor in this country and was at Concord before 1650. 

His first wife died in 1659, his second wife, widow Susan 
Stratton died in 1698. He died Oct. 21, 1708. 

After a generation or two, a branch of the family moved 
just over the line into Sudbury and established there an 
estate which longshore the family name. For many years 
there was in the family a long succession of deacons, one 
of whom Deacon Samuel Dakin, grandson of Thomas, fell 
in battle in the last French and Indian war, July 20, 1758, 
at Half Way Brook near Fort Edward while connected 
with the expedition of General Amherst. 

The site of the home where Deacon Dakin dwelt was a 
little over the Sudbury and Concord boundary line, and 
not far from the old farm long owned by his descendants 

Concord 271 

in the former town. The spot is marked only by an earth 
dent. Hie locaHty of the Dakin homestead on either side 
of the town boundary Hne has been a lonely one and there 
have been traditions about it of concealed booty. The 
spot is quite near the well known Concord woods which 
consist of many acres concerning which, legends might nat- 
urally arise. I'he stories represent that a part of the pirate 
crew of Captain Kidd repaired to a spot about there for se- 
creting their spoils ; and it is certain that strangers were seen 
about there under suspicious circumstances, remaining for 
some hours without divulging their errand. 

The place where they went has been approximately 
pointed out and traditions have been passed down from 
generation to generation until doubtless some came to 
believe them and to search for the treasure supposed to be 

On one occasion as one of the proprietors was plewing 
by the help of a neighbor in a pasture in close proximity to 
the spot, he noticed that the plow struck a large, flat, stone. 

The team passed on and the day's work was ended. 

Early the next morning the Deacon repaired to the spot 
to examine the aforesaid stone. But what was his surprise 
on arriving to find his neighbor there before him intent on 
the same errand. They looked at each other and laughed 
over the humorous situation, but neither carried back any 
treasure except a cheery good morning. 

Probably the stories related of this locality are similar 
and have no more truth than those related concerning the 
visits of the Pirates to other towns. In some instances it 
has been said that the Evil One stands guard over the 
booty and that in searching for it silence was to be main- 
tained, for a single word might break the spell and the 
treasure would vanish, but in process of time better conclu- 
sions were entertained and it is now supposed that the 
Pirates were profligate rather than provident and spent as 
they went. 

We have now, as we believe, sufiiciently set forth by ficti- 

1^1 Colonial 

tious representation, intermingled with fact, what were some 
of the customs, experiences and pioneer processes of the 
first settlers of Concord ; and now we propose no longer to 
give descriptions of supposed visits to their families, neither 
to draw inferences from analogy nor to resort to conjecture 
to supply any absence of record or lack of authentic tradi- 
tion. Our purpose will be hereafter to deal purely with 
history ; and in a plain matter of fact manner, state in 
the present book some further annals of the township dur- 
ing the first score of years ; reserving for a future volume 
events that occurred during its continuance as a colony and 
then to the close of its history as a province. 





O F 


I 654" 1692 




Astor, Lenox and TMen^ 


Early Record Relating to the Concord Plantation — 
Permission to Purchase Territory — Land Sale — 
Indian Deed — Depositions Confirmatory of title to 
the Township — Original Boundary — Additional 
Land Grants — Petitions to the General Court. 

AMONG the remaining things to be considered 
that are related to the first two decades of the 
town's history are further matters appertaining 
to real estate. 

We have already noticed that a tract of land six miles 
square was purchased of the Indians in 1636, and that the 
price of it was paid in wampum and merchandise. We 
stated that a deed was delivered and lost, and that depo- 
sitions concerning this transaction were taken in after years 
confirmatory of a bona fide sale. 

The land then purchased was lotted out and divided up, 
additions were made to it, records made of it, and such 
regulations provided as would secure to all their rights. 

It is our purpose in the present chapter to produce the 
evidence of these things by giving a transcript of some of 
the original documents and some statements taken from old 

The first recorded statement about a proposed plantation 
at the place which was later to become Concord is the fol- 
lowing, in vol. T page 57 of the state Archives, bearing 
date Sept. 2, 1635: 

"It is ordered, that there shallbe a plantacon att Mus- 
ketequid, & that there shallbe 6 myles of land square to 
belong to it, & that the inhabitants thereof shall have three 
yeares imunities from all publ[ic] charges, except traine- 


274 Colonial 

ings ; Further, that when any that plant there shall have 
occacon of carryeing of goods thither, they shall repaire to 
two of the nexte magistrates where the teames are, whoe 
shall have power for a yeare to presse draughts, att reason- 
able rates, to be payde by the owners of the goods, to 
transport their goods thither att seasonable tymes ; & the 
name of the place is changed, & here after to be called 

This order of the Colonial General Court was succeeded 
the next March by the following : 

"It was further 'agreed, that the imunitie of Concord for 
three years shall begin the first of October nexte, & that 
none shall have benefitt thereof but those that lyve there, 
& with respect only to the stocke they have there.' " Mass. 
Records, i. 167. 

A permission for the Concord settlers to purchase terri- 
tory was given by the General Court and the record of it 
made May 17, 1637, is as follows: 

"Concord had leave graunted them to purchase the 
ground w^'^in their limits of the Indeans, to wit, Atawans & 
Squa Sachim." (Mass. Records i. 196). 

A record relating to a land sale at Concord whether of 
the original grant or of some other transaction, a matter 
that has perhaps never yet been settled by any published 
history, is the following dated August i, 1637 : 

"Webb Cowet, Squa Sachem, Tahatawants, Natan 
quaticke alias Oldmans, Caato, alias Goodmans did expresse 
their consent to the sale of the weire at Concord over 
against the towne & all the planting ground w'^'' hath bene 
formerly planted by the Indians, to the inhabitants of Con- 
cord of w*^*" there was a writing, w'^ their marks subscribed 
given into the Court expressing the price given." Mass. 
Records, i. 196. 

With regard to the Indian deed of the original land 
grant Shattuck states. History of Concord, page 7. 

"I have sought in vain for the Indian deed. It was 
probably lost very early, since measures were taken in 

Concord i^c^ 

1684, when the colony charter was declared to be void, and 
the claims of Robert Mason to large portions of the coun- 
try were asserted to establish the lawful title, which the 
inhabitants of Concord had in their soil. The original 
petition was also lost." 

The measures referred to by Shattuck as having been 
taken to confirm the evidence of a legal ownership, are 
the following depositions which have been preserved in 
the records of both Middlesex County and the town of 
Concord : 

"The Testimony of Richard Rice aged seventy-two years 
Sheweth that about the yeare one thousand six hundred 
Thirty six there was an Agreement made by some under- 
takers for the Towne since called Concord with some In- 
dians that had right unto the land then purchased for the 
Township. The Indians names was Squaw Sachem, Tohut- 
tawun Sagamore, Muttunkatucka, and some other indians 
y' lived then at that place, The Tract of land being six 
miles square, The center of the place being about the place 
the meeting house standeth now. The bargaine was made 
& confirmed between y*^ English undertakers & the Indi- 
ans then present, to their good sattisfaction on all hands. 

"7. 8. 84. Sworne in Court 

"Tho Danforth Record''" 
[Middlesex Deeds, Lib. 9, fol, 105.] 

"The Testimony of William Buttrick aged sixty-eight 
years or thereabouts Sheweth, That about the yeare one 
thousand six hundred thirty & six, there was an Agreement 
made by some undertakers for the Towne since called 
Concord with some Indians that had right unto the land 
then purchased of them for the Township ; the Indians 
names was Squaw Sachem Tohuttawun Sagamore & Nut- 
tankatucka & some other Indians that lived and was then 
present at that place & at that time. The Tract of land 
being six miles square, The centre being about y^ place 
the meeting house now standeth on. The bargaine was 
made & confirmed between the English undertakers & 

276 Colonial 

the Indians then present & concernd, to theyr good sattis- 
faction on all hands 

"7, 8, 84. Sworne in Court 

"Tho Danforth R." 
[Middlesex Deeds, Lib. 9, fol. 105.] 

"The Deposition Jehojakin alias Mantatucket a christian 
Indian of Natick aged. 70 years or thereabouts, 

"This Deponent testifyeth & sayth, that about 50 years 
since he lived within the bounds of that place which is now 
called Concord at the foot of an hill named Nawshawtick 
now in the possession of M"" Henery Woodis & that he 
was p'^sent at a bargaine made at the house of Mr Peter 
Bulkly (now Capt Timothy Wheeler's- between M' Simon 
Willard M"" John Jones, M'' Spencer & severall others in 
behalfe of the Englishmen who were setling upon the 
s^ Towne of Concord & Squaw Sachem, Tahuttawun & 
Nimrod Indians which s'^ Indians (according to y' particu- 
lar Rights & Interests) then sold a Tract of land conteyn- 
ing six mile square -the s'' house being accounted about the 
center) to the s'' English for a place to settle a Towne in. 
And he the s'' Deponent saw s'' Willard & Spencer pay a 
parcell of wompompeag, Hatchets, Hows, Knives, Cotton 
Cloath & Shirts to the s^ Indians for the s'' Tract of land : 
And in p''ticular he the s'^ Deponent perfectly remembreth 
that Wompachowet Husband to Squaw-Sachem received a 
Suit of cotton cloath, an Hatt, a white linnen band, shoes, 
stockins & a great coat upon account of s'' bargaine And 
in the conclusion the s"^ Indians declard themselvs sattisfyed 
& told the Englishmen they were Welcome. There were 
also present at the s"^ Bargain Waban, Merch' Thomas his 
brother in law Nowtoquatuckquaw an Indian, Aantonuish 
now called Jethro 

"taken upon oath, lof^ of October 1684 
"Before Daniel Gookin Sen^ Asisis' 

"Tho : Danforth. Dep'. Gov^" 
[Middlesex Deeds, Lib. 9, fol. 100.] 

Concord 277 

As regards the shape or form of the territory contained 
in the original grant, the historian Walcott says, "The 
origmal grant was laid out in the form of a square. Right 
angles and straight lines were preferred by the early settlers 
whenever they could be had. No other grants had been 
made near this place ; consequently it was not deemed nec- 
essary to notify any adjoining owner of the running of the 
line, and the simplest possible form was adopted. 

"The original grant may be bounded as follows : Begin- 
ning at the southwest corner at a stone post which marks 
the present southwest corner of the town, the line runs 
north 40° east (approximate needle course) on the Acton 
line to a stone at the present northwest corner of Concord, 
near the Dudley place. When Acton was made a town, 
the statute bounded it on the east by 'Concord old 
bounds;' from which it appears that Acton includes no 
part ot the original Concord, and that the dividing line be- 
tween the two towns is a portion of the old Concord line 
on that side. I'he Acton boundary extended leads to a 
heap oi lichen-covered boulders surmounted by a stake. 
This ancient monument is near the top of a hill in the 
southwesterly part of Carlisle, and undoubtedly marks the 
old northwest corner of our town. It was identified and 
pointed out to the writer on the ground by Major B. F. 
Heald, of Carlisle, who says that he has often heard his 
father and other ancient men, long since deceased, speak of 
this bound as marking the old Concord corner; and every- 
thing goes to corroborate this testimony. The place was 
commonly known by the name of "Berry Corner" and was 
the original northeast corner of Acton; but, in 1780, a 
portion of that town near this point was included in what 
was then constituted as the District of Carlisle, and subse- 
quently formed a part of the town of the same name. 

Making a right angle at this corner the line runs south- 
easterly through the lower part of Carlisle, coinciding in 
two places with our present boundary, and, crossing the 
river, runs about a quarter of a mile to the southward of 

278 Colonial 

the main street of Bedford and parallel with it, to a point 
on the upland about forty rods east of the Shawsheen 
River. Ancient stone walls preserve this line in part. 
The bound at the northeast corner must have been re- 
moved at some time after Bedford was incorporated ; and, 
as it stood in cultivated land, near a house, the farmer 
would not be likely to value it so highly as we should, had 
lie allowed it to remain. The corner can be located with 
sufficient accuracy however, by the intersection of the north 
line, just described, with the line on the east; and it 
appears from the Billerica records of 1700 that the corner 
was then marked by a stake and stones. 

Returning to the southwest corner, we run southeasterly 
on the present Sudbury line to the river, and thence in the 
same course, on the Wayland line, to the corner at Lin- 
coln ; then striking across the lower corner of Lincoln and 
keeping in the same straight line, we come to a heap of 
stones situated near a brook, and in a line with that part of 
the boundary between Lincoln and Weston which extends 
southwesterly from the great road at G. F. Harrington's 
house. Turning and making a right angle at this corner, 
we proceed towards the northeast, on old stone walls, just 
touching the eastern edge of Beaver Pond and including a 
portion of the boundary between Bedford and Lexington, 
thus meeting our north line and completing the square." 

Besides the territory contained in the grant of six miles 
square, other lands were subsequently petitioned for, an 
account of which is thus given in Shattuck's History: 

"Additional grants of land were occasionally made, ad- 
joining Concord, after the first purchase. On the and of 
May, 1638, Governor Winthrop had 1,200, and Thomas 
Dudley 1,000 acres granted them below Concord. When 
they came up to view it, "going down the river about four 
miles, they made choice of a place for one thousand acres 
for eacli of them. They offered each other the first choice, 
but because the deputy's was first granted, and himself had 
store of land already, the governor yielded him the choice. 

Concord , 279 

So, at the place where the deputy's land was to begin, there 
were two great stones, which they called the Two Brothers, 
in remembrance that they were brothers by their childrens' 
marriage, and did so brotherly agree, and for that a little 
creek near those stones was to part their lands. At the 
court, in the 4th month after, two hundred acres were 
added to the governor's part." The governor's lot lay 
southerly, and the deputy governor's northerly of those 
rocks, and they were divided by a little brook, which may 
now be seen a short distance below Carlisle bridge. Gov- 
ernor WInthrop selected (judiciously, I think) a lot in 
Concord, which "he intended to build upon," near where 
Captain Humphrey Hunt now lives. The changes, which 
took place in his property and family, probably prevented 
him from putting his plan into execution. 

In Nov. 1636, 500 acres of land were granted to 
Increase No well, Esq." on the north side of the bounds 
of Concord beyond the river against the governor's 1200 ;" 
and 500 acres to the Rev. Thomas Allen of Charlestown, 
on the north side of Mr. Nowell's ; and, Oct. 7, 1640, to 
the Rev. Thomas Weld of Roxbury ^23 ^icres, next to 
Mr. Allen's. Another tract of 400 acres, was also granted 
to Mr. Atherton Hough. All these lands were sold about 
1650 to John and Robert Blood, and comprised what was 
afterwards known as the Bloods' Farms, which became a 
part of Concord and which will be hereafter noticed." 

But notwithstanding tract after tract was bestowed upon 
the people of Concord they still wanted more territory. 
This is indicated by the following petition dated Sept. 7, 

1643 : 

"Whereas your humble petitioners came into this 

country about four years agoe, and have since then lived at 

Concord, where we were forced to buy what now we have, 

or the most of it, the convenience of the town being 

before given out : your petitioners having been brought up 

in husbandry, of children, finding the lands about the town 

very barren, and the meadows very wet and unuseful, 

2 8o Colonial 

especially those we now have interest in ; and knowing it 
is your desire the lands might be subdued, have taken 
pains to search out a place on the north west of our town, 
where we do desire some reasonable quantitie of land may 
be granted unto us which we hope may in time be joined 
to the firms already laid out there to make a village. And 
so desiring God to guide you in this and all other your 
weighty occasions, we rest your humble petitioners." 

Thomas Wheeler 
Timothy Wheeler 
Ephraim Wheeler 
Thomas Wheeler, Jr. 
Roger Draper 
Richard Lettin. 
Indorsed : "We think some quantitie of land may be 
granted them provided that within two years they make 
some good improvement of it." 

In addition to the foregoing statement of Shattuck 
relating to land transactions of Concord he further states 
as follows on page 38 of his History : 

"It has already been intimated that additional grants of 
land were made to Concord about 1652. The following 
details relate to these and other grants. 

" 'To the Honored Generall Court assembled at Boston. 
The returne of the nommber of acres of land granted as 
an addition to the Towne of Concord according to the 
order of the General Court in 1654. 

" 'Whereas the Court was pleased to grannt to our Towne 
a village some fouer years since upon condition they should 
improve it before others, but neglecting their opportunity, 
the plantation of Chelmsford have taken a good parte of 
the same, also Nattatawants [Tahattawan] having a plan- 
tation granted him which takes up a good some also, we 
whoes names are subscribed have taken a survey of the 
rest remayning, and wee finde about seven thousand acres 
left out, of which Major Willard hath two thousand acres, 
except a little part of one end of his farme which lyes in 

Concord 281 

the place or parcell of vacant land being by the last court 

granted to our I'owne on this condition that at this Court 

we should acquaint the Court of the quantitye of what wee 


"This is a true copie compared with original on file, as 

it was exhibited to the Generall Court may 1655 ^^ attest. 

EdwARD Rawson, Secretary. 
Tho. Brooks 
Timothy Wheeler 
Joseph Wheeler 
George Wheeler 
George Heaward 
John Jones," 
Other territorial acquisitions followed, but as these 

belong to a subsequent period mention of them here is 



Land Allotments and Divisions — Early Records 
Relating to Real Estate — Public Reservations — 
Undivided Territory — Location of Land Tracts — 
Amount of Acreage — l^he grant of Thirty-one 
Acres to Rev. Peter Bulkeley. 


"A HE settlers did not long allow their landed posses- 
sions to remain undisposed of or unused, but soon 
divided them. The first apportionment was of 
houselots and a limited quantity of lands outlying. The 
second was by what were called land divisions. 

Of the first method, Walcott, in his History, page i8 
states as follows : 

"As soon as the most pressing needs of the situation were 
met, allotments of land were made to the members of the 
company, and house-lots were laid out with some regular- 
ity on both sides of the Mill Brook, eastward as far as the 
Kettle place lately owned by Mr. Staples, and on Walden 
Street to the Almshouse ; in a westerly direction as far as 
the Damon place; and to the Old Manse and the Edmund 
Hosmer place on the north. Besides his house-lot, each 
one received his due proportion of the planting-ground 
and meadow lying in the near vicinity. This was the first 
division of lands, the price paid into the common stock 
being a shilling per acre, or, in some special cases, a six- 
pence per acre. The land thus divided constituted a small 
part only of the whole grant, and the remainder was held 
in common and undivided, subject to such regulations as 
the inhabitants thought fit to establish, until the second 

Cone 07' d 283 

division in 1653, by which, substantially, the whole remain- 
ing portion of the original grant was disposed of." 

About the second division the same author writes : 

"By the first division of lands, which has already been 
alluded to, a small portion only of the township passed into 
the hands of individual owners and became private prop- 

A rule relating to the second division of land is the fol- 
lowing, which was voted upon at a town meeting held on 
January 2nd, 1653: 

"A meting of the Towne of Concord the 2"" of the 11 mo. 
1652 about second devitiones as foloweth, 
Imp"" it is agreed that 20. acres of land shall be for one 
Cow Comon (of all the land men hold) and two yearling 
shall goe for one grown beast, and one horse for one beast, 
and 4. sheep for one beast. 

1' The bounds of the Towne is devided into three parts; 
as foloweth : only the hogpen walke is not to be devided ; 
Imp"" All on the north sid of the great Rivre shall be for 
them, on that sid of the same ; and all on the east sid to 
Mr Bulkelyes, 

r the second part of the devition is on the East sid of the 
aforesid rivre, beyond Cranefild to Shawshine corner, and 
to Mr filints pond to the gutter that comes out thereof, 
and to the goose pond and along the path that comes to 
the Towne medow & to the Towne ; and the 1),sones to 
Inioye this part are all the Inhabitants from Mr farweles to 
the East end of the Towne, also Thomas Brookes is to 
come in amongst them for two, third ^ts of his land, and 
Robert Meriam ; Sargent Wheler and Georg Meriam to 
Joyne with them ; 

I' the third ^t of [the] devition is from the gutter that 
comes from Mr fflints pond as aforesaid ; to the south 
rivre & betwen the rivres ; and those appoynted for that 
devition, are the Rest of the towne not beforementioned. 

It is agreed that if the mair 1),t of any of the Companyes 
shall agree for the laying out of the devitiones as before 

284 Colonial 

exprest then the minor 'pt shall be Compeled to agree there 
to, but in Case the maior 'pt shall not agree ; then any 
pticular ^son shall not be hendered of ther wright, but 
they shall have power to call on indeferant man and the 
Company to whome he belongs shall choose one other, or 
if they refeuse so to doe, then the Townsmen shall choose 
on man, who with the suerveyer shall indeferantly lay oat 
his or there lands so requiring it, this votted. 

It is forther agreed that every 'pson shall have som, 
quantity of upland adioyning to his medow, where it is in 
Comon except som more then ordenary ocation may ben- 
der it, and in Case any defarence be therein ; it is to be 
ended by indeferent men ; and this is to be pt of there 
second devition ; 

It is agreed that second devitiones shall not bender, 
heighwayes to menes propriaties that they have in '-j^ticolers, 
but they shall be inioyed without charge of purchies to be 
layed out by indeferent men ; 

It is agreed that all those that have grants of lands given 
them, shall have three acres for one as others have." 

Of the second division, Shattuck says, 

"The town met several times to consider in what new 
manner this division should be made. On the 2nd of Jan. 
1654, it was voted to divide the town into three parts or 
quarters^ and to have the lands first divided into the quar- 
ters ; but this was not entirely satisfactory to the inhabi- 
tants. "Much uneasiness," say the Records, "took place 
before the system was matured." On the 8th of March, 
1654, "at a publique training", nine men were chosen, 
"three out of each quarter, empowered by the town to hear 
and end former debate, according to their best light, and 
discretion, and conscience : only eight of the nine must 
agree to what is determined, or else nothing be of force ; 
and none voted to the contrarie, but Georg Wheeler, 
Henry Woodis, Joshua Edmands, William Buttrick, and 
Thomas Stow." The labors of this committee resulted 
in the following agreement : 

Concord 285 

"We whoes names are under written conclude that 20 
acres of meadow shall be reserved for a minister in the 
Hogepen-walke about Annursnake, and 20 acres of plow- 
land out of the south quarter, and 20 acres of woodland 
in the east quarter. We agree also that 20 acres of 
woodland shall be reserved for the public good of the 
towne lying neer the old hogepen, at each side of the 
towncs bounds line. — That some particular persons shall 
have some inlargement, who are short in lands, paying 12 
d. per acre, as others have don, and 6d. per acre, if the 
towne consent thereto : — the persons are as follow: Georg 
Wheeler 20 acres; Obadiah Wheeler 20 acres; Michel 
Wood 12 acres; Thomas Daken to acres; Thomas Bat- 
man 15 acres; Bapties Smedly 14 acres. These to have 
second divition as others have had. lliat all pooremen in 
the towne that have not conimons to the number of four, 
shall be allowed so many as amounts to foure with what 
they have already, till they be able to purchase for them- 
selves, or untill the townsmen shall see cause to take it 
from them, and bestow it on others that want : and we 
mean those poore men, that at the present are household- 
ers. And upon these conditions and those that follow, the 
Hogepen-walke is resigned up to the north quarter." 

By the several divisions and allotments a large part of 
the towns territory was early disposed of. Some however 
remained for years undivided, and of this latter were 
several large strips which belonged to each of the Qiiarters, 
the Great Fields ; and a tract in the vicinity of the Bate- 
man Pond containing about four hundred acres and 
formerly known as the "Twenty Score", a name derived 
from the area of the reservation. 

Years after land matters had largely been adjusted, here 
and there was found remaining a lone parcel that might be 
considered the property of the public, several of these 
being determined by actual survey reported upon as late as 
1845, ^o contain about two hundred and twenty-six acres. 

One of these parcels was a small island in the crotch of 

2 86 Colonial 

the River below Mr. Woodis's Rock where the Rivers 
meet ; another, a plot of a little less than an acre, reaching 
up stream from where the Minute Man statue is situated. 

Besides the grants and allowances in which the inhabi- 
tants in general shared, there were allotments to individuals 
concerning which Walcott states : 

"James Blood, father and son, received as part of their 
second division five hundred acres in one parcel, extending 
southward from the town line. Henry Woodis and Thom- 
as Stow jointly owned a tract of six hundred and sixty-six 
acres, situated south of Fairhaven and east of the river, 
which was sold in 1660 to Thomas Gobble and Daniel 
Dane for X72, and was afterwards occupied by them. 

Large tracts were held for a long time afterwards by the 
Qiiarters, or by joint proprietors, in common and undi- 
vided ; as for instance, the "Great Fields" adjoining the 
Great Meadow ; and the "Twenty Score," which extended 
to the southward from Bateman's Pond and contained, as 
the name would imply, four hundred acres, and many other 
parcels besides, in various parts of the town." 

There was also, as stated in an earlier chapter, a tract of 
thirty-one acres of land situated at the center of the town, 
granted to Rev. Peter Bulkeley in consideration of his 
erecting a mill "to grind the town's corn." 

It would be interesting to know where all the lands thus 
allotted and divided were situated. To determine this, 
however, in every instance would be a difficult matter, for 
time, in many cases has left little or no trace of their boun- 
dary lines : but there has been preserved in the public rec- 
ords sufficient to determine their general location. 

At a town meeting supposed to have been held at the 
suggestion of the selectmen and Rev. Edward Bulkeley, 
Thomas Brooks and Joseph Wheeler, Jan. 26, 1663, 
measures were taken taken for the purchase of a new town 

The book was purchased and it was decided that "what 
is in the old book that is useful shall be transcribed into 

Concord 287 

the new with all lands which men now hold" "that 
every man that hath not his proportion of lands laid out to 
him, that is due him shall gitt it laid out by artis." This 
was to be done by T655 and each one was to give the town 
clerk a description of his land approved at a meeting of the 
inhabitants of the quarter in which he lived, and certified 
by the quarter clerk. 

Referring to data afforded by the foregoing measure, 
Shattuck, in his History which was written in 1835, states : 
"From these records I have compiled the following table 
which gives the greater part though not all the names of 
the proprietors of the town at that time. The places of 
their residence, when known, are indicated by the names 
under which they now pass." 

The following is the list with a change of arrangement. 
The estates with the names of their owners in each quarter, 
we have grouped together and the names of the owners at 
the time of Shattuck's writing are in parentheses. 

North Qitarter. 

Widow Heald, 6 lots, 161 acres (Joshua Buttrick,) 
John Heald, 4 lots, 86 acres (North of Joshua But- 
trick). William Buttrick, t2 lots, 215 acres (Jonas 
Buttrick). John Flint, 9 lots, 534 Acres (John Flint). 
James Blood Sr. and James Blood Jr., 12 lots, 660 acres 
(Rev. Dr. Ripley). John Smedly, 17 lot, 668 acres 
(South of J. Jones). Thomas Bateman, 7 lots, 246 acres 
(Near R. French.) Baptise Smedly, to lots, 186 acres 
(Ephraim Brown). Humphry Barrett, 11 lots, n!^^6 acres 
(Abel B. Heywood.) Richard Temple, 5 lots, 291 acres 
(Barretts Mills). John Blood, i lot, 61 acres (Near 
Thomas Blood). John Jones, 9 lots, 351 acres (James 
Jones'). Samuel Hunt, 13 lots, 277 acres. Boaz Brown, 
6 lots, 86 acres (The Dakin House). Thomas Brown 
14 lots, 186 acres (Reuben French.) 

288 Colonial 


^Joseph Dean, i Jot, 22 acres (Wm. Heyden). Luke Pot- 
ter, 22 lots, 249 acres. John Heywood, 13 lots, 385 acres. 
George Haywood, 10 lots, 505 acres. Daniel Dean and 
Thomas Gobble, i lot, 600 acres (Jones Tavern). Henry 
Woodhouse, i lot, 360 acres. Joseph Barrett and Joshua 
Wheeler, i i lots, 77 acres (John Vose). Nathaniel Billings 
Jr. 7 lots, 54 acres (Amos Baker.) John Billings, 6 lots 
John Wheeler, i lot, 67 acres. George Wheeler, 24 lots, 
434 acres (near James Adams). Edward Bulkeley, 11 lots, 
183 .acres (near Meeting House.) Samuel Stratten, 6 lots, 
254 acres. (Aims-House). Ecimund Wigley 4 lots, 31 
acres. John Miles, 23 lots, 459 acres (Josiah Davis). 
William Buss, 19 lots, 319 acres (Elijah Woods). Thomas 
Dakin, 4 lots, 87 acres. James Hosmer, 4 lots, 164 acres. 
Samuel Wheeler, 2 lots, 21 acres. James Smedley, 9 lots, 
287 acres. John Scotchford, 10 lots, 120 acres (near Cyrus 
Stow) Michael Wood, 13 lots, 230 acres. (Samuel Dennis. 

East Quarter. 

Thomas Wheeler, Sr. 16 lot, 373 acres. (Jonathan 
Wheeler). Francis Fletcher, 17 lots, 437 acres. Richard 
Rice, 3 lots, 189 acres. George Meriam, 16 lots, 239 
acres (near Alms-house). Moses Wheat, 22 lots, 339 acres, 
(Bedford Road). Robert Meriam, 16 lots, 595 acres, (Eb. 
Hubbard). Ephraim Flint, 750 acres (Lincoln). Grace 
Bulkeley, i lot, 750 acres. Thomas Pellet and Joseph 
Dean, 7 lots, 244 acres. Joseph Wheeler, 29 lots, 357 
acres. Joshua Brooks, 11 lots, 195 acres (Isaac Brooks). 
Caleb Brooks, 12 lots, 150 acres. Eliphalet Fox, 14 lots, 
106 acres (Bedford Road). John Meriam, 8 lots, 262 
acres, (Virginia Road). William Hartwell, 20 lots, 241 
acres, (Bedford Road). John Hartwell, 3 lots, 17 acres, 
(Bedford Road): Nathaniel Ball, n lots, 137 acres, 
(Bedford Road). William Taylor, 14 lots, 117 acres, (Bed- 
ford Road). James Farwell, 18 lots, 280 acres. Joseph 

Concord 289 

Wheeler, 29 lots, 357 acres. William Baker, 5 lots, 43 

Besides the foregoing list Mr. Walcott has also located 
some of the allotments, a part of which we gave in the chap- 
ter on early streets, and the remainder are the following 
together with the names of the occupants at the time of 
Mr. Walcott's writing, given in parentheses. 

On the west side of the highway of Monument street in 
the direction of the North Bridge was the early home of 
Humphrey Barrett, his lot containing twelve acres. (D. G. 
Langs. j On the same street John Jones had eight acres. 
(Sarah J. Prescott.) John Smedley owned ten acres to the 
easterly. (John S. Keyes). And James Blood and son 
had twelve acres at what was afterward the Old Manse 
estate. (Dr. Ripley). 

The tract of land early granted to Rev. Peter Bulkeley 
which contained thirty-one acres, was situated at Concord 
Center and on its southerly side extended in a straight line 
from a point where now stands the publishing house of 
Albert Lane, which is the site of the Bulkeley Mill, beyond 
which Mill the west end of the Milldam began, and going 
to the corner of the Lexington highway and Bedford street, 
to nearly the spot where the Catholic Church stands. 

On the south side of this line was a public reservation or 
a portion of the town's common land. 

In connection with the grant of this land it was agreed 
that Mr. Bulkeley for the purpose of repairing his milldam 
should be permitted to take sand or clay from the parcel 
reserved for the town's use. 

To the northerly the thirty-one acre grant extended in 
the direction of what are now Lowell and Monument 
streets, the latter, or a portion of it at least being then 
perhaps but a mere path to the home of Mr. Bulkeley and 
the river meadow beyond. 

The strip extended westerly to the Millbrook, and east- 
erly to the hill. 

Soon after the death of Rev. Peter Bulkeley which 

290 Colonial 

occurred March 9, 1659, his widow conveyed the entire tract 
to Capt. Timothy and George Wheeler; and in 1687, the 
former by bequest left to the town a large portion of the 
land lor schools and a training field. 

By this gift the town's common land at the center was 
made to comprise, with the exception of the mill privilege, 
and perhaps here and there a small strip, all the territory 
intermediate between the brook and the top of the hill east 
and west ; north to the present Colonial House ; and to 
the south as far as the premises now owned by the First 

Thus by the accession of the newly acquired territory 
by the Wheeler bequest, the town obtained an unin- 
terrupted space for public purposes, and the place already 
occupied by the meeting house, the burying ground, the 
pound, the whipping post and the stocks was made a 
part oi- a large tract which was afterwards to contain 
the schoolhouse and training field and still later the pres- 
ent public square upon or about which have been erected 
the Middlesex Hotel, the Catholic Parsonage, the Masonic 
Hall, and the Soldier's Monument. The collateral events 
connected with this combination of public property are of 
much interest. 

The town, after the acquisition of its new territory had 
ample encouragement to improve it. Soon the "Little 
Strate Strete" of which mention has been made so often 
was no longer to have the land between it and the milldam 
disfigured by the gaping gravel or clay pit, but by some 
adjustment or exchange of rights, the work ot removing 
earth from the place near the meeting house for mill repairs 
ceased, and gravel was taken from the hillside at a point 
between the town house and the Catholic church until the 
hill was dug through, and by the continuation of the way 
so opened the present Bedford street was made. Nor was 
this all the alteration of the central village in the vicinity of 
its prospective public square. Gradually the old foot-path 
over the milldam by the south west corner became a nee- 

Concord 291 

cessary way to the tavern, the store, and the road westerly 
beyond the mill brook. From a foot-path it became a cart- 
way, and from this it developed into a county road; so 
that perhaps soon after the middle of the 18th century 
the town folks from the East Quarter were no longer 
obliged to drive their vehicles around by way of Potter's 
bridge at the head of the millpond an eighth or a quarter of 
a mile south, but could pass over a convenient causeway at 
the dam, while those from the opposite Qiiarter could drive 
direct to the meeting house without any detention at the 
milldam, at which place it is said, the west side people for- 
merly dismounted from their wagons on Sunday that they 
might walk to the house of worship while the team drove 
around over Potter's bridge. 


Successive Ownership of Land Grants — Historic 
Sketch of the Major Simon Willard Farm at 
Nashawtuc — Change of Occupants of Old 

N'" EXT in point of interest to a knowledge of the 
location of the allotments is a knowledge of 
their successive ownership ; but to obtain 
this in every case would not be easy if indeed it were 
possible. Some of them probably changed ownership in a 
very few years and some were doubtless soon divided up 
between several owners. 

During the town's second decade many new settlers 
arrived, and as fresh ships entered the ports of Massachu- 
setts Bay and the passengers found the older townships 
largely occupied, they pushed back into the interior. As 
Concord had meadows and was the first settlement beyond 
tide water, so it would naturally receive its due share of 
the new comers, and would sell them portions of their 

It is true there are instances where farms descended from 
sire to son with all the apparent precision of the English 
law of primogeniture, and if the children bounded oft it was 
not to go far, but to settle about the paternal estate by the 
occupation of a part of it or of lands contiguous to it ; for 
this reason some of the first estates were for generations 
identified with their first owners but these were doubtless 
exceptions, and in many instances a Jones place may soon 
have become a Smith place and the Smith place become 
identified by some other name. Illustrative of this pro- 
cess, we have in a manuscript work entitled "Homes and 











Astor, Lenox and TUden , 

Concord 293 

People of Concord," written by Mr. Edward Jarvis, and 
now in Concord Public Library, the following compilation 
of facts namely: There were in Concord by 1654, eight 
f^imilies, who in the first quarter of the last century were 
"the most numerous families of farmers in the town," who 
yet by the last quarter had largely parted with their estates. 
The names of these families were Buttrick, Barrett, Brown, 
Hunt, Hosmer, Dakin, Flint and Wood. 

Of five farms owned by the Buttricks ; four went out 
of the family while there were five voters by the name in 

Of eight farms owned by the Barretts only two were 
left in their name, with ten voters in town. 

Two generations ago four farms belonged to the 
Browns; in 1881, they held the same number in their 
possession while the voters had increased to eleven. 

Of three farms owned by the Hunts only one was 
known by this name in 1881, notwithstanding there were 
seven voters of the name. 

I'he Hosmers owned six farms early in the first quarter 
f the nineteenth century while only three remained in the 
family name in the last quarter, with eleven voters of the 
name in town. 

The Flints occupied and owned three farms in the 
first quarter of the nineteenth century while in i88i,all 
were sold and tour voters remained. 

As against these instances of change, Mr. Jarvis gives 
several where estates have been conspicously retained in 
the family ; among these is the Derby estate. This family 
have held their farm from the first, the property descending 
in a single line until as late as least as i 881, at which time 
eight of the name are on the voting list. The Wheelers 
who have been among the most numerous families in Con- 
cord have also kept their estates. 

Thus farms have changed owners and persons their 
occupation in the last quarter century and so presumably 
in the century preceeding. A farm which has had many 

294 Colonial 

owners but whose title may be traced through them all is 
the Major Simon Willard or Lee farm at Nashawtuc. 

As the successive owners have been celebrated and the 
History of Concord would not be complete without a 
description of this farm we will give it ; taking our data 
from Dr. Grindall Reynolds. 

The first Eiiglish owner was Major Simon Willard 
before spoken of as one of the progenitors and principal 
promoters of the plantation of Concord. His house was 
situated at about the spot where now stands the Abbott 
House, and the lands connected with it probably included 
those upon the hill and immediately about it. 

The successor of Major Willard was Thomas Marshall, 
formerly a soldier in the army of Oliver Cromwell, and 
living, before he went to Concord, in Lynn from which 
place he was sent to the General Court. 

Mr. Marshall was something of a military man having 
attained to the rank of Captain in the service of Crom- 
well and having had command of some soldiers in America 
during one of the Indian wars. 

He bought the Willard farm Nov. 19, 1659, for two 
hundred and ten pounds. 

Shortly after the purchase he received a licence to sell 
"strong water" to travelers and others. 

After a sojourn of sixteen months on the farm at 
Nashawtuc, Capt. Marshall sold the place to Henry 
Woodis or Woodhouse for the sum of two hundred and 
forty pounds. 

At this time the farm was said to contain three hundred 
and fifty acres. 

Five years later the house was destroyed by fire and the 
only son of the owner, an infant, perished in the flames. 

The building which was burned at this time, it has been 
supposed, was not the one erected by Major Willard, but 
the one erected by Mr. Woodis. 

Before his ownership of the Nashawtuc farm or prior 
to 1 66 1, Mr. Woodis was a land owner and a man of 
considerable prominence. He was an officer in King 

Concord ' ' 295 

Philip's war and for several years represented the town at 
the general court. 

In 1699, the farm, excepting one fifth, was sold to 
Joseph Lee, son in law of Henry Woodis. 

The property was kept in the Lee family for the space 
of one hundred and thirteen years. During this period 
the town of Concord passed through many and eventful 
changes, some of which were conspicuously connected with 
the Lee farm. 

Joseph, the first Lee who lived on the farm was from 
Ipswich and married Mary Woodis in 1678, going to 
Concord from that town, the records state, in 1696. 

In 1 71 9, the first Joseph Lee, gave his son Joseph one 
hundred and fifty acres, and his other children the 
remainder, except the one fifth before referred to which 
was given to the fourth daughter who married Elmer 

The second Joseph Lee was a physician. 

He bought of each of his brothers and sisters their 
portion; and in 1730 increased the acreage of the old 
farm by the purchase of two additional plots. 

The next owner was Joseph Lee, the third of the name 
and he also was a physician, but practised his profession, as 
is supposed, quite inconstantly. He was considered 
wealthy ; and it is conjectured that he dealt somewhat in 
real estate. He took part in several important church 
quarrels and was one of a number who left the First Par- 
ish church and formed what has been termed the Black 
Horse Church, because its meetings were held in the hall 
of the tavern that once stood near the present Public 

He was a tory, and that probably of the rankest kind, 
for he was not only in sympathy with England, but, it is 
stated, conveyed the secrets of the Patriots to the officials 
at Cambridge, even after the Revolution had set in. For 
this misdemeanor he was confined to his Nashawtuc farm 
fourteen months. 

He died at the age of eighty. 

296 Colonial 

While Joseph Lee was confined at his farm in the Rev- 
olutionary war, Harvard College found an abiding place 
at Concord for a short time and about a dozen of the stu- 
dents made their home at his house. 

The last owner of the entire farm of the name of Lee is 
supposed to be Silas who obtained it from his brother John 
who had previously owned it jointly with his brother 

In 1 814, the widow of Silas sold her right of dower to 
William Gray for 1 1,000, and the place passed out of the 
possession of the family of Lee. 

William Gray, well known in his day as "Billy Gray," 
was a noted Boston merchant, born in Lynn in 1750. 

About the time of the conveyance of the Willard or Lee 
farm to William Gray, the war broke out between the 
United States and Great Britain, and it is stated that it was 
the gold of Mr. Gray that fitted out the Constitution 
which captured the Guerriere in that noted fight which 
showed the supremacy of American Seamen over the Brit- 
ish. It has been stated also that it was with timber from 
Nashawtuc that the Constitution was built. A large 
growth of wood covered the hill at that time, and one 
who itis asserted worked for Mr. Gray lumbering, said that 
one winter fourteen or fifteen teams were employed hauling 
to the river logs of pine and oak, some of which were 
from three to tour feet in diameter. These logs were 
floated down and taken to Boston to be used partly at 
least in ship building. 

In 1821, the farm was sold by Mr. Gray for ^3,000 less 
than it cost him and passed into the possession of Samuel 
Phillips Prescott Fay, a native of Concord and son of 
Jonathan Fay. 

Samuel Fay was Judge of the Probate Court from 1821 
to 1856. But his possession of the property was said to 
be only nominal, he only holding it for Joseph Barrett the 
husband of his sister. 

Joseph Barrett the twelfth owner of the Nashawtuc farm 

Concord "2-91 

was a man perhaps no less noted for his personal character- 
istics than his predecessors. He was familiarly known in 
Concord as Squire Joe Barrett, and Conspicuous both for 
his social and physical qualities. He had a powerful phy- 
sique, being, it is said, over six feet tall and weighing over 
two hundred and fifty pounds. He carried on the farm 
himself for some years and then placed it in charge of his 
son Richard only working on it when he wished. Like 
other owners of this remarkable farm, Mr. Barrett was 
extensively connected with public life, being for some 
years and until his death in 1848, Treasurer and Receiver- 
General of the Commonwealth. 

From 1844 to 1852 the property belonged to Captain 
Richard Barrett, son of General Richard, and was sold by 
him in the latter year to Samuel G. Wheeler, Mr. Barrett 
serving as Treasurer of the Middlesex Fire Insurance 
Company. Mr. Wheeler was an energetic business man 
of New York. He made many improvements in the farm 
house, built a barn and planted a row of elms on the 
road to Acton. 

After an ownership of four years he sold the place to 
David Elwell, a sea captain. The new owner like his im- 
mediate predecessor was a person of thrift and one who had 
been prominent in his calling, being the first American ship 
master to sail through the straits of Magellan. He was 
about sixtv-eight years old when he took the farm and he 
gathered at his Concord home a collection of curious arti- 
cles which he had collected in his voyages to various parts 
of the world. 

The building with its contents was burned in the winter 
of 1856-7, and upon the chimney, which for a time was 
left standing, it is said, was inscribed a half effaced date 
which indicated that the house was erected in 1646 or '56. 

From Elwell the farm passed successively into the pos- 
session of Joseph L., and Charles H. Hurd, gandsons of 
Dr. Isaac Hurd. In 1891, the property was sold by the 
heirs to Mr. William Wheeler. 

298 Colonial 

The lands once composing this famous farm are now 
more or less made use of for residential purposes and vari- 
ous elegant buildings with finely kept lawns are now situ- 
ated upon it, and afford a fine lookout over the river. 

The Concord Reservoir is situated upon the highest 
point and nothing but the eminence itself with its aborigi- 
nal name now remains to remind one of Fahattawan and 
his wigwam as it once nestled near the rivers by Egg Rock, 
or of the farm building, formerly erected by the sturdy 
Simon Willard, or of the tall timber trees that long ago 
stood there until "cut down by the orders of 'Billy Gray' 
the merchant, and carted to the seaboard, there perhaps, as 
before intimated, to become a part of Old Ironsides "whose 
thunders shook the mighty deep." 

In closing this sketch of the farms at Nashawtuc perhaps 
nothing could be more appropriate than the following from 
a paper of Dr. Reynolds read before the Antiquarian Soci- 
ety and since published in a book containing his works. 
The paper is entitled "The Story of a Concord Farm." 
"Rightly viewed this farm has been in itself a little world. 
All trades, all professions, all human interests, seem sooner 
or later. to have come to it. The Indian, the fur trader, the 
planter of new towns, the Cromwellian soldier and inn- 
keeper, merchants, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, farmers, a 
judge, a minister, a sailor, a railroad manager, — all these 
have possessed the land, and for the most part have depart- 
ed and left little trace of themselves behind. I count that 
nine different stocks or families have in two hundred and 
fifty years owned the farm, and that only two of them are 
represented in the town today, unless it be by remote side 
branches. But on the soil there are nothing but surface 
changes. The beautifully rounded little hill, the green 
meadow, the winding rivers, — these are just what they were 
two hundred years ago. 

Instinctively, as 1 close, I recall Emerson's words, which 
seem simply concentrated history: 

Concord 299 

"Each of these landlords walked amidst his farm, ' 

Saying, ''Tis mine, my children's and my name's ; 

How sweet the west wind sounds in my own trees 1 

How grateful climb those shadows on my hill ! I 

I fancy these pure waters and the flags 

Know me, as does my dog ; we sympathize ; 

And, I affirm, my actions smack of the soil." '• 

"Where are these men ? Asleep beneath their grounds ; j 

And strangers, found as they, their furrows plough i 

"The lawyer's deed j 

Ran sure ! 

Intail, ] 

To them and to their heirs 

Who shall succeed, , 

Without fail, I 

Forevermore. j 

"Here is the land, j 

Shaggy with wood, 
With the old valley. 
Mound and flood. 

But the heritors ? i 

Fled like the flood's foam, — ; 

The lawyer and the laws, 1 

And the kingdom, | 

Clean swept herefrom. 

"They called me theirs. 

Who so controlled me ; 

Yet everyone wished to stay, and is gone. 

How am I theirs, 

If they cannot hold me, I 

But I hold them ? 


Old Houses — 'The Elisha Jones House — The 
Block House — Hunt House — Abel Hosmer House 

— IVheeler House — Joseph Hosmer House — 
Woods House — But trick House — Barrett House 

— Old Manse — Wright Tavern — The Colonial 

— 'The Meriam, Tuttle^ FoXy Brown, Heywood, 
Bealy Bull and Alcott Houses — Ancient House Sites 

— Site of the Rev. Peter Bulkeley Parsonage — 
Site of the Major Simon Willard House — Deserted 
Districts and their suggestiveness. 

IT would be a matter of much interest to know of the 
houses or even their sites where the original owners 
of alloted lands first lived. It is exceedingly improb- 
able how ever that any of the first houses of the persons 
whose names are on the list of earliest granters is now stand- 
ing, and only one is known to exist which belonged to one 
of the settlers who next succeeded them. 

The following is a list of some of the older houses of 
which we have any knowledge and a sketch of the history 
of a portion of them : 

The Block house, Elisha Jones house. Hunt house, Bar- 
rett house, the Wright Tavern, the Old Manse, the Col- 
onial, Wheeler house, Abel Hosmer house, Joseph Hos- 
mer house. Woods house, Buttrick house, Meriam house, 
Tuttle house. Fox house, Reuben Brown house, George 
Heywood house, the Beal house, Alcott house and the 
house once inhabited by Ephraim Bull the originator of 
the Concord grape. 




^ Astor, Lenox and TlMen 

Concord 301 

The Eltsha Jones House. 

The Elisha Jones house now occupied by the Hon, 
John S. Keyes is situated on Monument street a short dis- 
tance from the lane leading to the Battle-ground and just 
beyond the Old Manse on the opposite side of the way. 
Its first owner was John Smedley an original grantee, of 
Huguenot descent who arrived at the Concord plantation 
probably before 1640. 

It is not certain that the house stood where it now 
stands since there are early records which indicate that it 
may have been on either the east or west side of the high- 
way as it then existed. The road however may have been 
changed in subsequent years, so that to follow it might 
mislead as to the original house spot. 

As first constructed the house contained but two rooms, 
one above the other and faced the four points of the com- 
pass. The frame was of ash, the boarding of pitch pine, 
the latter having edges that overlapped to protect from the 
weather. The lower portion of the chimney was made of 
stone and clay mortar and its dimensions were twelve feet 
by eight. John, the son of John, the first proprietor who 
married May 5, 1669, was the second owner of the house, 
and he added two rooms on the south side and between 
them an entry and stairway, and perhaps the east leanto. 
From John the second, th« house passed to Ebenezer 
Hartwell who married Sarah Smedley, daughter of John, 

In 1724, the third owner sold the place to Samuel Jones, 
his next neighbor, for 210 pounds. 

It was afterwards occupied by his son Thomas Jones, 
who in 1727 married Mary Mills. 

The last named couple were blest by a numerous family, 
all born in this house the youngest of whom, Elisha, 
received the old home by the last will and testament of his 

Elisha Jones was a blacksmith, and in 1770, married 

302 Concord 

Elizabeth Farrar. Through his ownership of the house 
comes its Revolutionary history and fame. 

Hon. John S. Keyes, the present occupant and owner, 
in his sketch of the old homestead in a paper prepared and 
published by the Concord Antiquarian Society, writing of 
Elisha Jones states as follows : 

"He became the prominent man of the family, was Lieu- 
tenant according to some authority, and Captain according 
to others. In the troubles preceding the Revolution Elisha 
was active on the right side ; he received of the military 
stores sent to Concord in 1775, hlty-five bbls. of beef and 
1700 lbs. of salt-fish, to be stored in his cellar and shed. 
His family of two small children were greatly ciisturbed by 
the events of the morning of the 19th of April. The early 
alarm roused them, and the Militia and minute men who 
fell back at the approach of the British troops halted on the 
hill behind their house and waited there some time before 
crossing the bridge. The confusion and excitement 
increased as the five companies of the red coats marched up 
the road, and left two companies near his house, while two 
more went on to Col. Barrett's and one remained to guard 
the bridge. 

The soldiers of the two companies then halted near this 
door yard, soon surrounded the well in front, drinking the 
cool water that was so delicious after their long march that 
hot day. It seems to have fiatisfied them as there are no 
report of any depredations. Mr. Jones had prudently taken 
his wife and babies down cellar, where they cowered in fear 
and trembling in the dark corners, while he stood guard 
over the barrels of beef. Soon the chatter and noise of the 
Britishers ceased, and all was still. Then the silence was 
broken by the volleys of musketry at the bridge. He 
could stand it no longer, but rushing up from the cellar fol- 
lowed by his wife and crying children, they saw the regu- 
lars retreating in confusion back to the village, bearing 
their wounded, some with ghastly faces, supported by their 
comrades, others with bloody limbs hastily bandaged to 

Concord 303 

stanch the flow. It was a shocking sight to the oldest 
child, a girl of four years, which she remembered to her old 
age, and often described. To her father it lent new excite- 
ment and patriotic rage ; he pointed his gun out of the 
bedroom window on the north-west corner ot the house, 
determined to have one raking fire at the foe. His wife 
clung to his arm begging him not to risk their burning 
the house if he fired from it, and succeeded in preventing 
his purpose and getting his gun away. Then he went to 
the door of the shed, and stood there looking at the 
retreating soldiers in scorn and triumph. One of the rear 
guard who may have seen his attempt to shoot, or "mis- 
hked his look," drew up as they passed the house, and 
fired a "British musket ball" at Elisha. It was a well 
pointed shot considering that the red coats fired from the 
hip, and not from the shoulder with a sight along the gun 
barrel, as the Yankees did. The ball struck at the height 
of Jones' head about three feet to the right, and passing 
through the boarding, glanced from an oak joist, and out 
through the back side into the ground behind. The hole 
in the front board still remains, to be seen of "pilgrims and 
strangers," some of whom content themselves with putting 
their fingers in it, while others have been known to try to 
cut out and carry of! the hole. Whether, after this narrow 
escape, Mr. Jones joined in the pursuit to Charlestown, or 
remained at home to care for his frightened family, tradi- 
tion does not tell." 

The old house is in the midst of an interesting 
locality. Not far away towards the west is the Old Manse 
with its gray, gambrel roof and antique pose, extending 
back riverward from the historic highway as if modestly 
shrinking from the multitudes that visit it. 

Towards the east and on a large unoccupied lawn in full 
and open view from the Jones doorway is ground supposed 
to have been inhabited by the Indians as indicated by the 
stone arrow heads found there. 

To the northerly through the pines is the "Battle 
Ground" including the monument, the bridge, and the 

304 Colonial 

"Minute Man" Statue. To the east and south are 
still the rough pastures over which the Provincials passed 
to intercept the British in their retreat back to Boston ; 
and before the doorway is the same old road along which 
the Regulars ran after the firing in the first conflict. 

Truly if time has dealt favorably with any spot about 
Concord where a century ago men wrought mightily it is 

The river moves onward with an unchanged course ; the 
willows as of old grow beside it ; the floods rise and 
occasionally sweep over the meadow lands as of yore ; and 
when by the winds of gray November the trees are strip- 
ped of their foliage, their is disclosed over the brown 
reaches of marsh land an interesting expanse of historic 

From Elisha Jones the property passed to Nathan Bar- 
rett, from whom it was purchased by a daughter of the 
last owner of the Prescott place which was near by, Mrs. 
John S. Keyes. 

The improvements made by the present owner Judge 
Keyes we will give in his own words : 

"With much labor and expense it was carefully repaired 
and renovated ; a new outside and inside finish put on the 
building ; the old chimneys taken down and replaced by 
new ; the rooms finished in native woods ; the small win- 
dows enlarged ; and Lutheran, long and bay windows, 
porch and piazza added, and the interior so changed that 
its former owners would hardly recognize it. The outside 
retains the lean-to roof on the North, and the general 
shape of the old house. The barn was moved across the 
road from where it had long been an eyesore to the Manse, 
and placed nearly on the site of the blacksmith shop, and 
the view over the meadows and battleground improved." 

The Block House. 

The Block house, or what remains of it is situated on 
Main Street, the first building west of the Bank. It is 

Concord 305 

owned now by Miss Louisa Kennedy and occupied by F. 
Holland. As it stands on land adjacent to the second 
burying ground its location may indicate that it was on 
land of the town since it may be inferred that the burying 
ground was on such land if not given by two sisters as 
tradition has it. The Block house was supposed to have 
been built as a garrison in King Philip's war and to have 
been made largely of solid pine logs. Judge John S. 
Keyes says, in 1839, when there was an enlargement made 
on the west side for a window, he witnessed the workmen 
sawing through solid pine logs. 

It might be difficult to trace the entire succession of 
owners of this ancient structure. It is presumable that 
after being used as long as needful for a public purpose, it 
was sold to private parties for a dwelling place. 

The first private owner of whom we have any knowledge 
was Rev. Daniel Bliss, a royalist who lived there before 
the Revolutionary war and is supposed to have made the 
first alterations in it. 

From Bliss it passed into the possession of Dr. Isaac 
Hurd, who at one time owned nearly or quite all the land 
between this building and the river at the south bridge. 

From about 1850 to 1880, it was occupied by Dr. 
Henry A. Barrett. 

Associated with this old house is much that is suggestive 
of a stormy period in olden times. It is true that Con- 
cord, unlike some of the interior towns of Middlesex 
County, in King Philip's war was spared an attack by the 
Indians; nevertheless it was subject to the liability of sud- 
den assault, and hence on more than one occasion the 
inhabitants of the lone outlying hamlets may have been 
summoned to this little central stronghold by the firing of 
significant signal guns, warning them that suspicious forms 
had been seen lurking by the wood side, or that the tracks 
of strange feet had been discovered along the meadow 
paths, or that mysterious smoke rising from lonesome 
localities where no settler was known to live, might betoken 

2o6 Colonial 

the presence of savages who very soon would be at their 
doors ; and as down through the years we come in thought 
we can perhaps faintly conceive of events that transpired 
about this building, when about a century later in 1775 the 
British Regulars marched past and may be, visited it in 
their search for public stores. 

In former years, an ancient jail stood near and was 
reached perhaps by a path along its very garden fence if 
it had one, and the poor debtor whose board in the little 
grim prison house may have been paid by some obsti- 
nate creditor might have been reminded of home comforts 
and sighed for restoration to them, by sight of this house. 

In its present appearance it shows but little sign 
of antiquity and as it stands smiling by the roadside near 
the place of old graves, there is nothing to remind the trav- 
eler that in that city of the dead may be the dust of many 
who have passed in and out of this old building. 

The Hunt House. 

The Hunt house is situated at Punkatassett. It bears 
the mark of great age and is supposed to have been built 
about 1725. The original clapboards were of an old fash- 
ioned length. The place is now the property of Mr. Wil- 
liam Hunt, a great-grandson of the original owner. 

The Abel Hosmer House. 

The Abel Hosmer House is situated on Elm street near 
Concord Junction, and is owned or occupied by George M. 
Baker, It is on a part of the original James Hosmer estate 
whose lone homestead by the interval of the Assabet river 
to the westerly was at its beginning one of the town's out- 
post houses. It is supposed to have been built about 
1750, by one of the Hosmer family. 

The Wheeler House, 

This house with its leanto roof to the rearward, and its 
little well kept front porch pleasantly facing towards the 

Concord 307 

wayside is very old, having been built probably from 160 
to 200 years ago. It well deserves the name it is known 
by since it has always been identified with the Wheeler 
family which is one of the most numerous in Concord. It 
stands on the Sudbury road on the most direct way from 
the i^ublic Library to the R. R. Station, and is now the 
property of Miss Helen Blanchard, a lineal descendant 
of the first owner. 

The Joseph Hosmer House. 

This is situated a little beyond the South bridge and was 
probably erected in 1751. It was the home of Joseph 
Hosmer at the time of the Concord Fight. The house 
was searched at that time by the English soldiers for mili- 
tary stores while its proprietor was acting as Adjutant of 
the assembling provincials by request of Col. James Barrett. 
It is now owned by Prescott Keyes, Esq. 

The Woods House. 

This is now used as a school for boys and is known as the 
Concord School. The present master of the school and 
manager of the estate is Thomas H. Eckfeldt, A.M. 
The house was built soon after 1760 and was also searched 
April 19, 1775 ^'^^ military stores supposed to be secreted 

The Buttrick House. 
This old and historic homestead is near the North bridge 
and now owned by Joseph Derby. It was built, it is 
asserted, by Jonathan Buttrick in 171 2, and April .19, 1775 
was owned and occupied by Major John Buttrick, who 
took a conspicuous part in the Concord fight. Before this 
old building to the eastward is the "Battle Lawn" lately so 
called, where the militia and minute men were formed, pre- 
paratory to their march to the bridge ; and near it the 
detachment of Regulars under Capt. Parsons passed on their 
way to and from the home of Col. James Barrett. 

jo8 Colonial 

I'he "Battle Lawn" is marked by a suitably inscribed 

The Barrett House. 

The Barrett House is perhaps better known to the public 
than any other in Concord, because of its former owner and 
occupant Col, James Barrett of Concord Fight fame. An 
extended account of this house was given in a former chap- 
ter. It is in the vicinity of Annusnuck hill and was prob- 
ably built about 1725-50. The L is supposed to have 
been added years after the erection of the main building. 
In the dooryard of this house the British made a bonfire 
of the Provincial gun-carriages, while Capt. Parsons's com- 
mand were searching the house for other Provincial prop- 

The Old Manse. 

The Old Manse stands a little back from the road on 
Monument street, a short distance from the public square. 

The plot of ground upon which it stands was originally 
the property of James Blood father and son who had four- 
teen acres allowed them in this vicinity. Various have 
been the owners and various and distinguished have been 
the occupants of this old mansion. Few if any homes in 
our land have associated with them more features of historic 
and classic interest. It was for a long time the home of 
Rev. Ezra Ripley, a prominent pastor of the Concord First 
Parish. As for many years it was occupied by successive 
ministers many of the New England Clergy have been 
entertained there, and the walk from the memorable high- 
way that passes it, to the little vine clad front has many 
times been trod by the feet of distinguished visitors, and 
the "prophet's chamber" has doubtless witnessed the pres- 
ence of guests, v/hose names if we knew them all would 
make a long and honored list. 

To the rear is the river flowing onward as tranquil and 
bright as is the memory of the lives that were lived within 
those peaceful precincts. 

Concord 309 

The Wright Tavern. 

The Wright Tavern which apart from its age is among 
the historic objects in Concord was built about 1747. It 
stands near the spot where there was an earth pit from 
which the owners of the Buikeley Grist Mill obtained 
material with which to repair the mill-dam, a right which 
was stipulated for when the mill privilege was granted. 

The plot of ground which was a part of the small por- 
tion at the central village owned by the town was sold by a 
committee appointed for the purpose at a town meeting in 
May 1744, to Ephraim Jones in consideration of his pay- 
ing the sum of thirty pounds and also an agreement that 
the "broken ground" in said town between the training 
field and the meeting house "be improved in such way and 
manner as to prevent the Training field from wasting away 
the town's land." 

The record of a conveyance of this property was dated 
June 11, 1785, and describes a small piece of land with 
bounds "Beginning at a stake at the Northeasterly corner 
and leaving the highway full fore rods wide." 

Not long after the purchase of the aforesaid property 
Mr. Jones began to build, and a tavern was established 
there as early at least as the middle of the 18th century. 

Nov. 25, 1 75 1, Landlord Jones sold the premises to 
Thomas Munroe who came to Concord from Lexington. 
Munroe kept the place open to the public as an Inn until 
he died in 1766. 

After his death the place was sold at a mortgagee's sale 
to Daniel Taylor, the deed passing from Deacon Thomas 
Barrett who held the mortgage. 

In 1775 Amos Wright was carrying on the business of 
inn keeper at this house, either as agent or proprietor. 
While thus engaged the Concord Fight occurred, and from 
that time forth the old tavern stand has been ascociated 
with his name. 

In the colonial period when this old hostelry was open 

3 TO Colonial 

to the public it was prominently identified with town busi- 
ness. Its first proprietor Jones having been a leading town 
officer as well as militia captain, more or less of the offi- 
cials met there fijr the transaction of town business. 

Sometime during the year 1775, the property passed 
into the hands of Samuel Swan of Charlestown, who kept 
tavern there till 1785. From that time till a comparatively 
recent date the house ceased to be used as a place of 
public entertainment. 

The next owner was Reuben Brown a saddler who once 
lived in the Antiquarian House. 

Since the house was closed as a tavern a variety of call- 
ings have been represented there, among which is that of 
the livery man, the baker, the book binder, the store 
keeper, the tinsmith, and the shoe dealer. 

At present the property belongs to the "First Parish 
Society," it having been donated to it by the late Reuben 
Rice and Judge E. Rockwell Hoar who were joint owners. 
The house some years since again became an Inn, and at 
present is kept by Mr. John J. Busch. 

As it stands on the corner of Main and Lexington 
streets, west of the Burying ground hill and just northerly 
of the First Parish Meeting house, it is one of the con- 
spicuous objects near the Public Square. 

The historic features of this old hostelry are such as to 
render it much sought for by sightseers ; and it is said that 
as many as fifteen thousand guests registered there the last 

For a long time the old fireplaces, of which there is one 
in nearly every room, were closed up, but of late they have 
been re-opened, and the present proprietor has attempted 
to give the old house somewhat of its former antique 
appearance. Visitors are welcomed for an inspection of the 
premises, and whatever of cheer modern appliances can 
affiard may be expected. As reference has been made in 
another part of this volume to the relation of the Wright 

Concord 311 

Tavern to the Concord Fight, it is unnecessary to repeat it 

The old picture by DooHttle and Earle, painted in i7";'5 
represents the British soldiers as halting before the door 
while their commancier, Lieutenant-colonel Smith and his 
Major, Pitcairn, are in the burying ground on the hill, look- 
ing over the village where the soldiers are in search of mil- 
itary stores. Before the Wright Tavern and along the 
way toward the public Square, the Royal troops are drawn 
up with martial precision, in close ranks, apparently await- 
ing the return of their officers for orders. 

Of all the works of man set forth in this picture, which 
though crude in perspective, may nevertheless be compara- 
tively accurate in detail, there is probably not one that has 
undergone less of change than the Wright Tavern. It 
stood there then as now it stands, defiant of storms and un- 
touched by the embellishment of modern art, while its 
main companions of that old and memorable day are the 
moss-stained tomb stones nearly opposite, the ancient road- 
way, the meadows and the brook. 

The Colonial. 

The Colonial House, or what we call the Colonial, is 
composed of three houses which were formerly distinct and 
separate from each other, viz : the White house, a public 
store house, and the Thoreau House. Each of these por- 
tions is supposed to antedate the War of the Revolution. 

The White house takes its name from a former occu- 
pant by the name of White. The middle portion was used 
as a deposit for Provincial military supplies, and the Tho- 
reau house was once owned by aunts of Henry Tho- 
reau. An interesting fact connected with the Colonial 
House is that the portion of it which was once a public 
store house was probably visited by John How, a British 
spy, as he styled himself, whose diary was printed at Con- 
cord, N. H. in 1827. 

How left Boston by order of Gen. Gage given April 5, 

312 Colonial 

^77 Sj ^^ examine the roads, bridges and fording places, and 
ascertain which was the best route for an army to take to 
Worcester to destroy miHtary stores deposited there. He 
returned by way of Concord where, he states, he was 
introduced to Major Buttrick and several other gentlemen 
and was invited to dine at the tavern. He states: 

"I was now invited to take dinner at the tavern with a 
number of gentlemen. The conversation at dinner was 
respecting the Regulars at Boston which they expected 
out." After relating further conversation he continued as 
follows : "By this time we had got through dinner. After 
dinner we walked up to the storehouse to examine some 
guns. I told them I could make any they wished. Here 
I found a quantity of flour, arms, and ammunition. After 
examining the gates and doors attached to yard and store- 
house, I returned to the tavern, where, after taking some 
brandy and water I took leave of them." 

The Colonial House is situated at Concord center front- 
ing the Public Square, and the proprietor is William E. 

It is resorted to by tourists at all seasons; and in sum- 
mer especially, because of its abundant foliage and pleasant 
southerly outlook upon the town's common land, the 
soldier's monument and the old burying ground. 

Of the other houses in this list we have too limited a 
knowledge to make more than a passing mention. 

The Heyward, Alcott, Brown, Bull, Beal and Meriam 
houses are all situated on Lexington street and probably 
antedate 1750. On the Bull estate the Concord Grape was 

Besides the history of old houses in Concord there 
are several sites that merit especial notice. One of these 
is on Lowell street and marked by a tablet designating it 
as the place where the house of the town's first minis- 
ter stood. Great care was taken by the committee on 
erecting tablets in Concord, that there should be no mis- 
take as to the identity of the spot marked. 

Concord 3 1 3 

Tradition has always asserted it, and according to a 
statement of one of tlie oldest inhabitants there was 
visible at this place an ancient earth dent ; but the evidence 
does not rest wholly with these things. Several years ago 
when workmen were engaged in this immediate locality 
making excavations for a public purpose they came upon 
the remnant of an old cellar wall just where one might be 
expected to be found provided the conclusions of the 
committee were correct. Inhere has also been collected 
about the premises, building material of an antique pattern 
in the shape of brick or tile. The brick or tile, for it is 
stated that neither term will hardly describe them, were 
made of lime obtained from clam shells, and were evidently 
manufactured many years ago. 

The Major Simon Willard house site is near the Con- 
cord School for Boys just beyond the South Bridge and is 
also marked by a tablet. The identity of this spot is 
unmistakable; and there is no question but that there the 
daring and energetic major made his early home which 
was probably the farthest westward of any in the Bay 
colony; and when the wigwam of his Indian neighbor that 
stood near Egg rock, and the homes of his fellow townsmen 
on the "Little Strate Strete" were about equidistant from 

Probably the house when erected ended the road towards 
the wilderness and was literally "out west" and when the 
floods swelled the Musketequid or thin ice covered it, he 
and his household were completely isolated from the settle- 

It may be the location of this pioneer homestead on the 
west bank of the Musketequid that occasioned the erection 
of the first "town bridge" near there, of which Walcott 
writes : 

"The first bridge over the South River is said to have 
been placed a short distance below the bend in the stream 
against Mr. Hurd's land, a location afterwards abandoned 



for the present one, in order to obtain a more direct course 
for the road to Lancaster." 

The first neighbor to live at the westward beyond Mr. 
Willard was perhaps James Hosmer. 

Of the road that may have been extended westward for 
his accommodation, the writer just referred to says : 

"The earhest way from the South Bridge to the Derby 
place ran in a curved line, between Nashawtuck Hill and 
the house of Charles H. Hurd, to the old Colburn house- 
lot, and then turning more to the westward, reached the 
Hosmer's, and crossed the river by a ford-way near the 
railroad bridge. When, however, a bridge was thrown 
over the river, where it is now crossed, at this point, the 
commmonly travelled way to and from the town was by 
the John Hosmer place." 

Thus step by step the various ways as they radiated into 
the deep woods from the little hamlet that gathered and 
grew at Concord's geographical center might be traced by 
the sites of old homesteads, were it not that time with its 
"ever effacing finger" has almost obliterated them. 

As it is difficult to ascertain where many of the early 
house sites are, for the same reason it is hard to determine 
what of a town's outlying portion may at different periods 
have been the most populous. 

There are in more or less of the New England town- 
ships districts now abandoned to a wild vegetable growth, 
which may once have resounded with the activities of 
busy life. 

Illustrative of this is what Thoreau says of Walden 
pond. He informs us that in that vicinity were dwellings 
which in his day were nearly obliterated. Among those 
who lived there as he gives them were Cato Ingraham, 
Zilpha, Brister, Freeman, Stratton, Breed, Gondibert, Nut- 
ting, Le Grosse and Hugh Quoil. Of the homes in which 
they lived he says : 

"Now only a dent in the earth marks the site of these 
dwellings, with buried cellar stones, and strawberries, rasp- 

Concord 315 

berries, thinible-herries, hazel-hushes, and sumachs growing 
in the sunny sward there; some pitch-pine or gnarled oak 
occupies what was the chimney nook, and a sweet-scented 
black-birch, perhaps, waves where the door-stone was. 

"Still grows the vivacious lilac a generation after the door 
and lintel and the sill are gone, unfolding its sweet-scented 
flowers each spring, to be plucked by the musing traveller; 
planted and tended once by children's hands, in front-yard 
plots, — now standing by wall-sides in retired pastures, and 
giving place to new-rising forests ; — the last of that stirp, 
sole survivor of that family. Little did the dusky chil- 
dren think that the puny slip with its two eyes only, which 
they stuck in the ground in the shadow ot the house and 
daily watered, would root itself so, and outlive them, and 
house itself in the rear that shaded it, and grown man's 
garden and orchard, and tell their story faintly to the lone 
wanderer a half century after they had grown up and 
died, — blossoming as fair, and smelling as sweet, as in that 
first spring." 


Development of the Settlement — Indications of 
Progress — Various Hindrances — Discouraging 
Report — Unsatisfactory Condition of the River 
Meadows — Measures taken for a Betterment 
of the Meadows — Unproductive Uplands — 
Emigration to Connecticut — T'he 'Towns Recupera- 
tive Energy — Condition in 1654. 

ABOUT the time of an adjustment of matters relat- 
ing to the town's territory, rules and regulations 
were made and adopted regarding its municipal 
management. As the town was divided into several 
districts termed quarters, the work of constructing and 
maintaining highways and bridges was also provided for and 

These things together with the usual town meeting 
enactments in matters pertaining to public convenience are 
indications that the town steadily kept pace with its sis- 
ter settlements. But any prosperity whether of township 
or individuals in those strenuous times was only obtained 
by dint of great and persevering effort. We judge from a 
paper presented to the General Court within ten years after 
the settlement began that there were grave doubts as to the 
ability to survive the hindrances that beset them on every 
hand. In a petition, presented May 14, 1645 the signers 
stated : "Many homes in the Towne stand voyde oi Inhab- 
itants and more are likely to be : and we are confidente that 
if conscience had not restrained, fearing the disolution of 
the Towne by their removal, very many had departed to 
one place or otherwhere Providence should have hopefully 
promised a livelihood." 


Z!^ /\y^^^tn^L^<^C<^ ^:i^^^-^^^ 

(Tn his eighty- second year, travelling in Iowa, 18S2., 


Concord j i y 

After this plain statement of fact which set forth the state 
of temporal affairs in Concord and at the same time almost 
in a single sentence showed the devout and worthy character 
of the signers there is a pathetic explanation of their atti- 
tude in words as follows : 

"This our condition we thought it oure duty to informe 
you of, fearing least if more go from us we shall neither 
remayne as a congregation nor a towne, and then such as 
are most unwilling to depart, whiles there remayne any 
hopes of ordinance amongst us, will be enforced to leave the 
place, which if it should come to pass, wee desire this may 
testify on the behalf of such, it was not a mynd unsatisfyed 
with what was convenient, which occasioned them to depart, 
but meerly to attaine a subsistence for themselves and such 
as depend on them, and to enjoy ordinances." 

One great cause of discouragement was the condition of 
the river meadows in times of high water. Sept. 8, 1636 an 
order was passed by the Court which is supposed to be a 
response to a petition for river betterments. 

"Whereas the inhabitants of Concord are purposed to 
abate the falls in the ryver upon w'^*' their towne standeth. 
whearby they conceive such townes as shalbeee hereafter 
planted above them vpon the said ryver shall receive bene- 
fit by reason of their charge & labor, it is therefore ordered, 
that such townes and fFarms as shalbee planted above them 
shall contribute to the inhabitants of Concord portionable 
both to their charge & adventure, and according to the bene- 
fit that the said townes or fFarms shall receive by the drean- 
ing of their medows." Mass. Records Vol. i page 178. 

As evidence that the agitation of this subject was con- 
tinued at times during subsequent years we have the follow- 
ing record bearing date Nov, 13, 1644, which relates to 
commissioners appointed at that time "to the better sur- 
veying, improving and draining of the meadows and sav- 
ing and preserving of the hay there gathered either by 
draining the same or otherwise and to proportion the 
charges laid about it as equally and justly (only upon them 

3 1 8 Colonial 

that own lands) as they in their wisdom shall see meete." 

Johnson says that in 1654, "The falles causeth their 
meadows to be much covered with water, the while these 
people together with their neighbor towne (Sudbury) here 
several times essayed to cut through but cannot ; yet it 
may be turned another way with an hundred pound 
charge." The way proposed was a channel across the 
country to Watertown or Cambridge. 

It may be difficult at this distant day to conceive of the 
inconvenience and deprivation occasioned by the river floods, 
for conditions are different. Then, the farmers depended 
largely upon the hay produced on these marsh lands not 
only for their dairy products but also for fertilizer for their 
upland. This latter was a very important matter. 

The settlers could raise their corn at the first by placing 
in the hill a single alewife yet later when the ground had 
become partially exhausted by successive crops, something 
more substantial was needed as a plant stimulant so that 
considering the circumstances there is little wonder that the 
people complained and called for meadow betterments. 
Neither may we doubt as to the results of these disad- 
vantages. Johnson says the people "were forced to cut 
their bread very thin for a season" and Walcott, writing of 
the first year, states : 

"It cannot be wondered at that some sickened and died 
by reason of the unaccustomed hardships and severity of 
the winter weather, while others lost all faith in the success 
of the enterprise, sold their estates for a little, and 
departed. The cattle died, wolves preyed upon the herds ; 
homesickness and fear of an Indian attack increased the 
burden of their lives, so that it became well-nigh greater 
than they could bear." 

Besides the loss occasioned by the wetness of the mead- 
ows, some of the uplands were considered poor, for we 
find the following records concerning them : "Finding 
the lands about the town very barren." "Neither have we 

Concord 3 1 9 

found any special hand of God gone out against us only 
the povertie and meannesse of the place." 

Again we find in a petition presented about 1655, "and 
our land much of it being pine land which affords very 
little feeding for cattle." 

It is hardly to be supposed that the soil was very unlike 
much of the uncleared land of Concord at the present. 
The Indians had not exhausted much of the land, for it 
was not in accord with Indian nature to work much, and 
we believe their corn fields were comparatively few and 
small ; and perhaps the lands earliest cleared were the pine 
lands because it would be an easier task to effect the clear- 
ing and the planting of them and these lands might have 
had lighter soil than the hardwood lands. 

But in addition to these adverse circumstances in the 
natural world, the people of Concord early encountered 
obstacles in the little social and religious world in which 
they lived. As has been already . stated, some friction 
existed early between the minister and the elder. Whether 
it was of an ecclesiastical or of a financial nature, we do not 
judge. It may have been both, as is indicated by the fol- 
lowing statement of Winthrop in his history : 

"Some of the elders went to Concord, being sent for by 
the church there to advise with them about the maintenance 
of the elders &c. They found them wavering about removal 
not finding their plantations answerable to their expecta- 
tion, and the maintainence of two elders too heavy a bur- 
den for them. The Elders advice was that they should 
continue and wait upon God, and be helpful to their elders 
in labor and what they could, and all to be ordered by the 
deacons, {whose office had not formerly been improved this 
way amongst them,) and that the elders should be content 
with what means the church was able at present to afford 
them, and if either of them should be called to some other 
place, then to advise with other churches about removal." 

By the combination of these untoward circumstances dur- 
ing the first decade, was the going forth of a large company 

320 Colonial 

of the inhabitants to Connecticut. The movement was 
doubtless led by Elder Jones; and those who went with 
him were some ot the staunch men of the settlement. 

Among them are supposed to have been Dagget, Evarts, 
Mitchell, Odell, Barron, Tomkins, Jenney, Middlebrook, 
Bennet, Coslinor Costin, Ephraim and Thomas Wheeler. 
John Evarts of the foregoing list is said to be the ances- 
tor of Secretary of State William Evarts of President 
Grant's cabinet. 

As to the scene when the company set forth tradition is 
silent, but it doubtless was a sad one. Mutual services 
associated with days of danger and deprivation in which 
there was a sharing together of a common lot would natu- 
rally create friendship and endearment. 

The route taken by the emigrants it is not unlikely was 
the "Old Connecticut Path" which they could enter at a 
point about four miles southerly in the part of Sudbury 
now Wayland. Once on this trail of the Nipnet Indians, 
the party would probably have a fairly beaten track for a 
long distance towards the place they sought which was the 
territory of the present town of Fairfield, Long Island. 

As about one eighth of the entire population of the 
Concord township were included in this company, it doubt- 
less was a great blow to the settlement. Yet so great was 
the recuperative energy of the plantation that within ten 
years after the exodus, the inhabitants had extended their 
homesteads to the territorial limits of the town, and asked 
for additional land grants. The lands already possessed 
were being developed and the resources of the town 
increasing generally. In 1653 a subscription of five 
pounds a year for seven years was ordered for the benefit 
of Harvard College, and Johnson informs us as follows 
relative to the condition of the town a year later : "The 
number of families at present are about 50, their head of 
great cattell are 300, the church of Christ here consists of 
about 50 souls." 



^'^^r, Lenox and TWden, 



Death of Mr. "Thomas Flint and the Rev. Peter 
Bulkeley — Departure from Concord of Major 
Simon IVillard — JValcotf s description of the Nat- 
ure and Value of Major IVillard' s Public Ser- 
vices — Biographical Sketches of Thomas Flint 
Esquire and the Rev. Peter Bulkeley. 

HARDLY had the little colony at Concord fairly 
recovered itself and entered upon a period 
of renewed prosperity after the dissention and 
discontent of the first two decades, when it lost 
three of its most prominent citizens each of whom had 
more than a local reputation, Thomas Flint, Rev. Peter 
Bulkeley and Major Simon Willard. Of these three Con- 
cord worthies the historian Walcott writes : 

"On October 8, 1655, the town lost one of its foremost 
men by the death of Thomas Flint. Two years later, 
Major Willard received, as a reward for his distinguished 
services to the country, a grant of five hundred acres of 
land, which he selected and laid out in the southerly part 
of Groton. Rev. Peter Bulkeley died March 9, 1659 ; 
and in November following. Major Willard sold his estate 
in Concord to Captain Thomas Marshall, of Lynn, and 
removed to Lancaster, whither he had previously been 
urged to go, and where he filled a high position. Subse- 
quently he removed to Groton, where his son Samuel was 
settled as minister ; and after the destruction of the town 
by the Indians, he took up his abode at Charlestown, where 
he died April 24, 1676, at the age of seventy-one years." 

The departure of these men was doubtless severely felt 
and greatly deplored not only on account of the loss of 


322 Colonial 

material and moral support but because of the severance 
of kindred ties and associated experiences. Mr. Bul- 
keley had been under God, their chief spiritual guide. 
Mr. Willard had surveyed their lands and represented them 
in places of legislation and served them as civic counselor 
at a time when the town needed strong men to lean upon ; 
and Mr. Flint had doubtless long enough "ended small 
causes" and joined young men and maidens in marriage to 
endear himself to the whole community, and make his 
name a household word. Mr. Bulkeley and Mr. Flint 
were taken away by death. Major Willard moved to other 
places to be as bold a pioneer there as he had been in Con- 
cord town. 

As a biographical sketch of Mr. Willard has been given 
in a former chapter we will here only quote the following 
relative to him from the history of Walcott : 

"Knowledge of men, skill in surveying lands, experience 
gained by trading with the natives, were qualities that fitted 
him in a peculiar manner to take the lead in locating the 
land granted by the colonial government, and fortifying the 
title by peaceful negotiations with the Indian occupants. 
As deputy and assistant he was well known in the colony, 
and by the aid of his influence with those in power, the 
controversy with Watertown about the eastern boundary 
was brought to a favorable termination. 

"As captain of the train-band, Willard directed the 
military spirit of his neighbors when military distinction 
was second only to that of the church. He surveyed the 
lands allotted to the settlers, made their deeds, was arbitra- 
tor in their controversies, kept their records, and, last office 
of all, settled their estates after they were dead. A person 
like this, — useful in any community, at any stage of its 
history, — was indispensable to the plantation at Musketa- 

The lack of space prevents a very extended statement 
as to the place that was occupied by Mr. Thomas Flint in 
both the township of Concord and the Colony of Massa- 

Concord 323 

chusetts Bay, but it may be said of him as of Mr. Willard 
and the Rev. Peter Bulkeley that a complete history of 
either could not be written without giving him prominent 

Thomas Flint, Esq., came from Matlock in Derbyshire, 
England, to the township of Concord in 1638. We are 
informed that his native place was beautifully situated and 
had a rare attractiveness ; but, presumably, like many 
another English worthy of the non-conformist class, he pre- 
ferred the great outer world in which to act as his conscience 
dictated, to an ecclesiastical restraint in his native land. 

Walcott informs us that both Mr. Flint and Rev. Peter 
Bulkeley had sufficient property to bring them within the 
degree of subsidy men, and therefore it is supposed that 
embarkation from England was achieved by obtaining a 
special license or through the connivance of the authori- 

Mr. Flint brought to America, as a genealogy of the 
family states, ^^4000, and hence would be considered 
wealthy, since all the other settlers, with the exception of 
Messrs. Willard and Bulkeley, were, as has been said, 
"mere plain people with small means." 

In 1639, he was made "Commissioner to hear and end 
small causes," having with his colleagues Simon Willard 
and Richard Griffin, judicial authority corresponding in 
modern times to a trial justice, or judge of a district court. 

He was representative of the town four years, and was 
an "Assistant" eleven years. When Assistant in 1649, he 
joined Governor Endicott in protesting against the wearing 
of long hair, taking the stand doubtless as did Mr. Bul- 
keley, by his example "that it was a thing unmanly." 

Mr. Flint assisted in drawing up a code of simple rules 
and regulations for the Indians, restraining and constrain- 
ing them in a wholesome manner. 

He possessed one of the largest land tracts of any indi- 
vidual in Concord, and the fact that a way was early laid 

3^4 Colonial 

out to his farm indicates that his estate was an important 

His real estate was mostly in what is now the town of 
Lincoln, and extended from "Flint's Pond to Beaver Pond 
and the town bounds." The area contained about seven 
hundred and fifty acres and included the land now com- 
prising Lincoln Center. 

For many years the "Flint Farm" was occupied by 
descendants of the family or by their lessees. 

His character, we infer was a very worthy one. John- 
son calls him "a most sincere servant of Christ, who had a 
fair revenue in England, but having improved it for Christ 
by casting it into the common treasury, he waits on the 
Lord for doubling his talent if it shall seem good unto him 
so to do, and in the meantime spending his person for the 
good of his people in the office of magistate." In verse, 
he says of him as follows : 

"At Christ's command thou leavest thy land and native 

His folks to aid in desert-straid for Gospel exultation. 

Flint, hardy thou, wilt not allow the undermining fox 

With Subtile skill, Christ's vines to spoil : thy sword 
shall give them knocks ; 

Yet thou, base dust and all thou hast is Christ's, and 
by him thou 

Art made to be, such as we see : hold fast forever- 

The will of Mr. Thomas Flint is the first one recorded 
in Middlesex Probate Records. His brother Rev. Henry 
Flint of Braintree, and his uncle William Woods were his 
executors. His sons were John and Ephraim, who lived 
in Concord and perhaps Edward and Thomas, and William 
of Salem. John married Mary, daughter of Urian Oakes, 
President of Harvard College in 1667. In 1680-1, he was 
one of a committee to seat the meeting house. He is men- 

Concord 2'^S 

tloned in the Indian deed of 1684 as one of those who paid 
for the township, and who were spoken of in the deed as 
"agents of the town of Concord," In 1660, he was town 
clerk. His children were Abigail, John, Mary, Hannah, 
and Jane. John Jr. married Mary Prescott and died Oct. 
23, 1725, leaving an estate of ^1708, and for children, 
John, Jonathan, a graduate of Harvard College, Mary, 
Elizabeth, James and Benjamin. 

As in the case of Mr. Thomas Flint space for- 
bids a complete account of the character and services of 
Rev. Peter Bulkeley, but enough has been stated 
on the foregoing pages to convince the reader that the 
beginning of Concord history is identified with him, and 
that perhaps it might be said that its success and his per- 
sonal impress are inseparable. Although his later life was 
spent in a wilderness, by his gentle birth he was fitted for 
the most cultured environment and by his scholarly 
attainments he might have adorned any position. 

Rev. Peter Bulkeley descended in the tenth generation 
from Robert Bulkeley, Esq., an English Baron, who, in 
the reign of King John, was Lord of Bulkeley in the 
County palatine of Chester. 

As we get our starting point in that stormy period of 
English history, 1 200-1300, when liberty was wrenched 
from a wicked monarch and crystalized in Magna Charta 
under circumstances that called forth much valor, we need 
not be surprised that such illustrious stock showed itself 
long afterwards in one whose life has elicited unusual praise 
and reverence. 

He was born at Odell, Bedfordshire, Jan. 31, 1582, O.S 
and when about eighteen years old became a member of 
St. John's College, Cambridge, from which he received 
the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, which title his brother 
Edward also possessed. 

His first pastorate was in his native town, where he suc- 
ceeded his father and where he preached about a score of 
years as a non-conformist minister. 

326 Colonial 

His career in this field was terminated by Archbishop 
Laud, who because of his nonconformity to the established 
church deposed him, which act led I3r. Bulkeley soon 
afterwards to embark for America. 

In 1635, after his arrival in this country, he went to 
Cambridge and was made a freeman May 6, of the same year. 

He was possessed of considerable property for colonial 
days, the amount being estimated at several thousand 
pounds, but his intense enthusiasm and broad liberality in 
the colonization of Concord, together with other outgoings 
of his noble nature greatly reduced his possessions, so that 
at his death, which occurred March 9, 1659, his estate, as 
mentioned, amounted to only 1302 pounds, of which 123 
pounds was in books. 

So benevolent was Mr. Bulkeley that his gifts extended 
not only to the public but to his servants, of whom it is 
said he had many, and to whom he gave farms. 

The scholarly traits of Mr. Bulkeley have long been 
known both by tradition and by the traces of them in his 
published works, prominent among which was one entitled 
"The Gospel Covenant," which was issued in 1646. 

He was considered a powerful preacher, and the repre- 
sentations of those living near to his time are that he was 
evangelical and that the chief aim of his ministery was to 
impress upon men their religious needs and to lead them to 
the Gospel as the only source of supply. 

As a pastor, we conclude he was full of zeal for the 
spiritual well being of his flock, as it is said that seldom did 
a person leave his presence without having heard some 
word that impressed him with the importance of religion. 

As a man he was large-hearted, public spirited, and 
attracted people through his personal affability. He was 
considered the father of his parish, explemplary in conduct, 
wise in counsel, tender and appreciative to the law-abiding 
and severe in his judgment of evildoers. His dress was 
plain and he wore his hair short. We infer that his consti- 

(School of Philosophy. ) 





Astor, lonox an,l TWen 

Concord 327 

tution was robust since he endured much and lived to the 
age of seventy-seven. 

The names of his children by his first marriage are as 
follows: Edward, Mary, Thomas, Nathaniel, John, Mary, 
George, Daniel, Jabez, Joseph, William and Richard. 

The following are the names of children by his second 
marriage : Gershom, Eleazer, Dorothy and Peter. 

Edward became a minister and succeeded his father in 
the pastorate at Concord. 

Peter, born Aug. 12, 1643, went to Fairfield Conn, 
to which place his two brothers, Thomas who married a 
daughter of Elder John Jones, and Daniel went in 1644. 

In a will of Gershom made May 12, 171 2, is the following 
item ; "To my brother's children, Gershom, Peter, Grace, 
Margaret and Dorothee, I give each of them ten shillings." 

In a will of Peter Bulkeley of Fairfield Conn, dated 
March 25, 1691, the testator speaks of himself as being in 
the 49th year of his age; and mentions a son Peter and 
daughters Grace and Margaret. 

The name Bulkeley has been variously spelled. The first 
Peter wrote it "Bulkeley ; " his son Edward wrote it "Bul- 
kely" or "Bulkeley ;" and the Hon. Peter son of Edward 
followed the form used by his grandfather. The common 
pronunciation of the name is as if spelled Buckley. 

Rev. Peter Bulkeley in the second division of land 
received a tract of seven hundred and fifty acres in what is 
now Lincoln, a part of which is the present Codman place. 

It is not known where the distinguished pioneer pastor of 
Concord was buried. The Rev. Dr. Ripley in his "Half 
Century" sermon says 

"There is reason to believe that the three first ministers 
viz, Peter Bulkeley, Edward Bulkeley and Joseph Esta- 
brook were laid in the same tomb." 

His will is among the Probate records of Middlesex 
County, and in this will are the following clauses, which 
serve to reveal much of his character 

"In case any of my children before named in this, my 

328 Colonial 

will, to whom I have bequeathed the legacies named shall 
prove disobedient to their mother or otherwise vicious or 
wicked (which God in his mercy prevent) then, I will that 
the legacy shall be virtually in the power of my said widow, 
their mother, to deal with them therein as she herself in 
Christian wisdom shall think meet, either to give their leg- 
acy or to keep it herself." 

He alludes to his "wasted estate," which he says "is now 
very little in comparison of what it was when I came first 
to these places, having made great sacrifices in the begin- 
ning of these plantations and having little to leave to the 
children God hath given me and to my precious wife, 
whose unfeigned piety and singular grace of God shining 
in her doth deserve more than I can do for her." 

He gave a portion of his library to Harvard College. 

In connection with the foregoing account of the town's 
first minister it may be appropriate to publish copies of the 
following papers. The first of these Shattuck informs us 
is endorsed as the "Concord Church Covenant" and 
although without signature or date it has internal evi- 
dence of authenticity and of being the first covenant. 

We present it as it is given by Shattuck, the orthography 
only being changed : 

"Considering the instability and inconstancy of our hearts 
in cleaving to the Lord in that which is good, we do bind 
ourselves one with another this day before the Lord, that we 
will endeavour by the grace of God assisting us, hencefor- 
ward to walk as becometh the people o\ God, according to 
the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And more particularly 
do we promise and covenant before the Lord, that, whereas 
he hath of his great goodness brought us from under the yoke 
and burdening of men's traditions to the precious liberty of 
his ordinances which we now do enjoy, we will, according to 
our places and callings, stand for the maintenance of this lib- 
erty to our utmost endeavour, and not return to any human 
ordinances from which we are escaped. And we further cove- 
nant to subject ourselves to every ordinance of Christ, which 

Concord 3^9 

he shall please to make known to us to be his will. Also we 
do take him to be our only Priest to instruct us, our only 
High Priest to make peace with the Father for us : so we will 
set him up as our King and Sovereign to command us, to 
rule in us and reign over us by the help of his word and 
Spirit. And that we may the better be kept in an holy 
subjection to him and his will, we will both watch over each 
other in the Lord, admonishing one another, both to pre- 
vent the evils into which we might fall, and to recover our- 
selves out of those that we have been overtaken with, not 
suffering any raging pollution or spiritual uncleanness 
amongst us, but labor to cast it forth by the power which 
Christ hath given to his church. And further, considering 
that we are members one of another, and have civil respect 
and are liable to be oppressed and devoured one of another; 
and considering also the increase of this evil, daily getting 
strength through the abounding of self-love so mightily 
prevailing in us ; we do therefore here solemnly promise 
before the Lord, that we will carefully avoid of oppression, 
griping, and hard dealing, and walk in peace, love, mercy, 
and equity towards each other, doing to others as we would 
they should do to us. And in testimony of our willing assent 
to this covenant we have hereunto subscribed our names." 

The second paper is a letter written by the Rev. Peter 
Bulkeley to Mr. Cotton of Boston. 

"To the Reverend his honored friend Mr. Cotton, 
Teacher of the Church at Boston, give these. 

"Reverend in the Lord, 

"Some other things I am full of, but will not write with 
paper and ink ; only in a word I bless God for what I hear, 
how the Lord doth fill your ministry with abundance of 
grace, life, and power, to the exceeding joy of those that 
are true-hearted towards the Lord. But withall I stand 
amazed and wonder att God's forbearance, considering what 
I hear in another kind ; which I doe also believe to be 
true in some parts ; true I mean, as done and spoken by 
some, though untrue, in respect of any cause given on your 

22^ Colonial 

part. Truly, Sir, it is to me a wonder, that the earth swal- 
lows not up such wretches, or that fire comes not downe 
from heaven to consume them. The L. hath a number of 
holy and humble ones here amongst us (in the country 
generally), for whose sakes he doth spare, and will spare 
long ; but were it not for such a remnant, we should see 
the L. would make quick work amongst us. Shall I tell 
you what I think to be the ground of all this insolency 
which discovers itself in the speach of men ? Truly I can- 
not ascribe it so much to any outward thing, as to the put- 
ting of too much liberty and power into the hands of the 
multitude, which they are too weak to manage, many grow- 
ing conceited, proud, arrogant, self-sufficient, as want- 
ing nothing. And I am persuaded, that except there be 
means used to change the course of things in this point, 
our churches will grow more and more corrupt day by day ; 
and tumult will arise hardly to be stilled. Remember the 
former days which you had in old Boston, where though 
(through the Lord's blessing upon your labours) there was 
an increase daily added to your church, yet the number of 
professors is far more here, than it was there. But answer 
me, which place was better governed ? Where matters were 
swayed there by your wisdom and counsel, matters went on 
with stength and power for good. But here, where the 
heady or headless multitude have gotten the power into their 
hands, there is insolency and confusion. And I know not 
how it can be avoided in this way, unless we should make 
the doors of the church narrower. This we have warrant 
for from the word ; which course, if it should be taken, 
would bring its conveniency also in another kind. But of 
these things no more. Only I pray the L. to heal the evils 
of the places and times we live in, and remove that woful 
contempt of his gospel which doth abound. O what mis- 
chief doth one proud, lofty spirit that is in reputation for 
understanding, amongst a number of others that are weak ; 
and some of both such there are in every place. But our 
comfort is, God's end and work shall go forward. Some 

Concord 331 

shall be converted, some hardened. The God of mercy- 
carry on his work in our hearts and hands to the glory fying 
of his rich grace in Christ Jesus. I pray remember my 
harty love to good Mrs. Cotton, thanking her for her kind 
remembrance of my little ones. I pray God give us both to 
see his grace increasing in those that he hath continued 
towards us. Farewell, dearly beloved and honoured in the 
Lord, comfort yourself in him, who is most ready to be found 
in time of need. In him I rest. Yours ever. 

Pet : Bulkeley. 
'^ April 4, 1650. 

To close this brief sketch without the expression of a 
thought concerning so conspicious a character, or without 
a personal tribute, might be to pass it unworthily. We 
would say, therefore, that perhaps, all in all, no life has 
been more consequential in the history ot any colonial 
town. It is a tradition that Concord was saved in the war 
with King Philip by his exemplary conduct and benign 
influence over the Indians, in that when they were assem- 
bled on a neighboring hilltop on April, 1675-6, and 
undecided whether to attack Sudbury or Concord, they con- 
cluded to avoid the latter for "Big Pray" had lived there. 

Upon the altar of the muncipality he placed his prayers, 
his personality and his property. Going to it rich, he 
passed from it comparatively poor, and if through the dark 
and discouraging places in the early annals of this ancient 
township there has never ceased to be seen a bright spot, 
we may account for its presence by his influence, who while 
living always blest and when dead lived in the lives of 


Settlement of Rev. Edward Bulkeley — Rev. 
Joseph Estabrook called as Colleague Pastor — 
Measures taken for their Maintenance — Biograph 
teal Sketches of Rev. Edward Bulkeley — Peter Bul- 
keley Esquire — Acquisition of New Territory — 
Stow J Littleton^ Carlisle and Acton — Iron Industry. 

AFTER the death of Rev. Peter Bulkeley the church 
extended a call to his son Edward at a salary of 
eighty pounds a year. 

In 1667, ^'^^ Rev. Joseph Estabrook was 
employed as his colleague at the same salary. It thus 
occurred that the town within the space of a score and a half 
of years after its settlement was the second time called upon 
to support two religious teachers at the same time. But 
the people did not flinch from fulfilling their obligation to 
their ministers. 

Feb. 3, 1680 it was voted "that every house holder that 
hath a teame greate or lesser shall accordingly carry yearly 
one loade of wood to the ministe and every other house 
holder or rateable person to cut wood one day and for the 
ministers : and that the wood is to be cqualy devided to too 
ministers as the selectmen for the time being shall appoynt." 
Even in old age when his usefulness as a pastor had for 
the most part ceased the Rev. Edward Bulkeley was pro- 
vided for by his people as indicated by the following vote 
passed March 5, 1694, "Whereas their Rever"^ Pastor Mr. 
Edward Bulkeley is under such Infermatyes of Body by 
Reason of great age that he is not capeable of Attending 
the worke of the ministry as in times past, being Also sen- 
sible of the obligation that they are under to Afford to 

Concord 232 

him a comfortable maintenance dureing the Terme of his 
natural life, that thereby they may Testefy their Gratitude 
for his former service in the Gospell that they the sayd 
People of sayd Concord do hereby oblige y" sayd Towne 
to pay to y^ s'd Mr. Bulkeley or to his certain order yearly 
each year dureing his natural life the sum of thirty pounds 
of mony the one halte at or before the first of May sixteen 
hundred ninety five, which sum as above shall bee yearly 
and each year upon the sayd Termes, and which sum of 
Thirty pounds truly payd as above, shall be in lieu of the 
former sallary of eighty pounds which the sayd people were 
obliged to have payd yearly to him the sayd Mr. Bulkeley 
for his ministerial service." 

The Rev. Edward Bulkeley was born at Odell, England 
June 17, 1614. He was admitted as a member of the First 
Church in Boston in 1634. He acquired his professional 
education under the direction of his father; and was 
ordained at Marshfield in 1642 or 3. He died at Chelms- 
ford Jan, 2, 1696, and was buried at Concord. It is stated 
by William Prescott Greenlaw, Librarian of the New 
England Historic Genealogical Society, that the name of Rev. 
Edward Bulkeley's wife was Lucyan; that she was living 
in 1668, and that her name is repeated in the Emerson 
branch of her descendants. They had four children : Peter, 
Elizabeth, John, Jane and Mary. 

Peter was born Jan. 3, 1641, at Concord. He gradu- 
ated at Harvard College in 1660, and died in 1688. 

Elizabeth married for her first husband. Rev. Joseph 
Emerson Dec. 7, 1665; her second husband was John 
Moody of Reading. John, the third child died young at 
Marshfield and was buried Feb. 26, 1658. Jane married 
Ephraim Flint. Mary was born about 1655, and married 
about the year 1678 Rev. Thomas Clark of Chelmsford. 
Peter became the Hon. Peter Bulkeley who early began a 
political career in which he became quite distinguished. 
He was admitted as a freeman May 11, 1760, and on 
May 7, 1673 ^^ ^^s elected deputy to the Colonial Court 

334 Colonial 

where he served three succeeding terms, and the last year 
he was chosen Speaker. 

For eight years he was Assistant; and Sept. 6, 1676, he 
with WiUiam Stoughton was sent to England to negotiate 
with the King relative to certain matters of dispute in the 
Bay Colony. In military and also in judicial affairs he 
held high positions, being made a Major and by the appoint- 
ment of Governor Andros an Associate Justice with Chief 
Justice Dudley. He married Rebecca, daughter of Lieut. 
Joseph and Sarah Wheeler on April 16, 1667. Their 
children were Edward, Joseph, John and Rebecca. The 
latter married Jonathan Prescott Jr. 

Peter Bulkeley died May 24, 1688, at Concord after a 
long illness at less than fifty years of age. 

His life had been full of activity but was somewhat 
unfortunate towards its close. Before his death his estate 
was in an insolvent condition. His honors had faded; he 
was separated from his early associates in public life, and 
he repaired to his native town worn and broken in health. 
At the time of his decease he lived "next ye Millpond," 
Walcott states, perhaps where Dr. Barrett now lives. 

Elizabeth the third child who married for her first hus- 
band Rev. Joseph Emerson in 1680, and for her second, 
John Moody of Reading, had children as follows : Peter, 
Edward and Joseph. 

Peter married a Miss Brown, Edward married Mary 
Moody and Joseph married Rebecca Waldo. 

A descendant of Joseph and Rebecca was Ralph Waldo 

The following is the lineal order of successors to the great 

4 Rev. Joseph Emerson — Eliz. Bulkeley. 
12 Edward Emerson — Rebecca Waldo. 
28 Joseph Emerson — Mary Moody. 
123 William Emerson — Phebe Bliss. 
307 Rev. William Emerson Ruth Haskins. 
601. Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Concord ^3$ 

A portrait of Peter Bulkeley Esq, supposed to have been 
painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller at the time when Mr. Bul- 
keley was in England as agent for the Massachusetts Col- 
ony in 1676-79 is now, or was in the possession of Mrs. 
George D. Sargent of Boston. This picture has been 
reproduced and furnished by William Prescott Greenlaw a 
descendant of Hon. Peter Bulkeley for the Genealogical 
Advertiser Vol. i 1898. 

In the early part of the third decade of the town's his- 
tory it again petitioned for more land and a tract was 
granted which afterwards became the town of Acton and a 
part of Littleton and Carlisle. 

A movement was also made by several citizens of Con- 
cord in conjunction with some others to colonize a tract to 
the west and southwest a result of which was the granting 
of territory which became the town of Stow. 

As a concise and consecutive account of these transac- 
tions has been given by Shattuck in his time honored his- 
tory we quote it as perhaps the most suitable description 
that can be given by us. 

"On the 23d, May 1655 "Five thousand acres of Land 
were granted to the Inhabitants of Concord for feeding, 
according to their petition, provided it hinder not any for- 
mer grants." This was all the tract of land described in the 
above return, excepting the farms belonging to Major Wil- 
lard. When his farms were granted I have not been able 
to find out. One of them lay in the southeast part of the 
tract, and the other at the northeast. This distinguished 
individual had several subsequent grants. On the 6th of 
May, 1657, he had "for services to the colony, 500 acres 
of land in any place where he could find it according to 
law; " and 21st of May, 1658, he had 500 acres more "on 
the south side of a river that runneth from Nashua to 
Merimack, between Lancaster and Groton, and is in satis- 
faction of a debt of ;i^44" due from John, sagamore of 
Patucket. His execution was to be given up. This farm 
was laid out in May, 1659, by Thomas Noyes. 

^2^ Colonial 

The Praying Indians claimed some right to the land 
granted to Concord "for an enlargement to the towne ; " in 
consideration of which, "the town of Concord doth give to 
them the planters of Nashoba, fifteen pounds at six a penny, 
which giveth them full satisfaction. In witness whereof 
they doe set to their hands this 20 of the 10 mo. 1660." 
This agreement was signed by "Nassquaw, marchant 
Thomas (Thomas Waban), Wabatut, great James Natoto- 
tos — a blind man, Ponpant, and Gomgos," by their marks; 
and John Thomas and John Tahattawan, by their names; 
and witnessed by Joseph Wheeler, John Shepard, and John 

"At a generall court held at Boston the i ith of October, 
1665. In answer to the peticion of Concord for an enlarge- 
ment of their bounds, this court doe grant them a tract of 
land conteyned in a plott returned to this court under the 
hand of Ensign Noyes, by estimation the whole being 
about five thousand acres, whereof the town reserveth two 
thousand acres to be layd out to either Indians or English, 
as this court shall see meete hereafter to dispose and grant, 
and the remaynder, being about three thousand acres, this 
court grant to Concord so as the same doe not abridge any 
former grant made by this court; and doe order Leift. Beers 
and Leift. Thomas Noyes to lay out the same and to make 
returne thereof to the next Court of Election. A true 
copie. Attest, Edw. Rawson. Seer.'' 

The following is a copy of the return made 25 May, 
1667, and approved by the proper authorities. "We, Rich- 
ard Beers of Watertown and Thomas Noyes of Sudbury, 
being appointed to lay out and measure to the inhabitants 
of Concord a tract or tracts of land next adjoining to their 
first grant ; in order to which, we the above said, did lay 
out and measure unto the inhabitants of Concord their 
second grant, being five thousand acres of land granted in 
the year 1655, as also their grant of three thousand acres 
granted in the year 1665, "^xt adjoining to their first grant, 
beginning at the southwest angle of their old bounds (near 

Concord 337 

Maj. Hayward's), extending their said southerly line upon 

a norwest point, four degrees northerly (according to the 

Meridian compas) two miles and 280 rods : there making 

a right angle on a bare hill, and from thence a line upon a 

northeast point 4 degrees easterly two miles one half and 

fifty rods, there meeting Nashoba plantation line, running 

the line of the said plantation to their angle one mile one 

quarter and 60 rods, nearest hand upon an easterly point, 

there making a right angle, running a line, being the line 

of the Indian plantation, two miles one quarter and 60 rods, 

there being bounded by Chelmsford line and Bilrica line 

as is more plainly described by a plott; in which plott is 

contained nine thousand and eight hundred acres of land, 

one thousand eight hundred acres being formerly granted 

to Major Willard, the other eight thousand being granted 

to the inhabitants of Concord, and laid out the 5th May, 

1666. Given under our hands. 

Richard Beers, ) ., , 

r^ ^T } Purveyors. 

1 HOMAS NoyES, j ■" 

"The town agreed 20th Jan. 1668, that these additional 
grants of land 'shall lay for a free comon to the present 
householders of Concord, and such as shall hereafter be 
approved and allowed to be inhabitants; except such parts 
of it as shall be thought mete to make farms for the use 
and benefit of the towne.' A full title was then acquired 
from the Indians, though it was thought proper in 1684, 
for reasons already mentioned, to obtain the following con- 
firmatory deeds. 

" 'To all people to whom these presents may come, greet- 
ing; Know ye that we, Mary Neepanaum, John Speen and 
Sarah Speen, Dorothy Winnetow, Peter Muckquamuck, 
of Natick, and James Speen, and Elizabeth Speen, his wife 
of Waymeset, Indians, for and in consideration of a valu- 
able sum of money payd to us in hand by Capt. Timothy 
Wheeler, Henry Woodis, James Blood, and John Flint, 
the receipt whereof we do by these presents acknowledge, 
and therewith to be fully satisfied and contented, have sold 

22^ Colonial 

and by these presents do sell, alien, enfeofe, and confirm 
unto the said Capt. Timothy Wheeler, &c. of Concord in 
the county of Middlesex in y® Massachusetts Colony, in 
New England, for the use and behoof of themselves and 
the rest of the proprietors of the s'd town of Concord a cer- 
tain tract or parcell of land conteyning by estimation a 
thousand acres, be the same more or less, and is situate, 
lying, and being within the last grant of land by the Gen- 
erall Court to y® s'd town of Concord, and is bounded 
south-east by Sudbury and the land of Stow alias Pompa- 
sititcutt, and norwest by the s'd Stow, running by them 
upon that line about a mile and a quarter, near to the hill 
called by the Indians Naauuhpavil; and from thence by a 
streight line to the North River at the old bounds of y® s'd 
town of Concord, unto them the said Timothy Wheeler, 
&c. &c. to them their heirs and successors for ever. And we 
the said Mary Neepanaum, &c. do hereby covenant and 
promise to and with the foresaid Timothy Wheeler, &c. &c. 
that we are the true proprietors of, and have good right 
and full power to grant, bargain, and sell, the above granted 
and bargained premises unto the said Timothy, &c. &c. and 
and that the said Timothy, &c. &c. shall and may at all times 
and from time to time for ever hereafter have, hold, 
occupy, possess, and enjoy the above granted premises in 
full, be the same more or less, without any let, denial, or 
contradiction of us the said Mary Neepanaum, &c. or any 
of us or any of our heirs, or any other person or persons 
whatever, lawfully claiming or having any right, title or 
interest therein, or to or in any parcel thereof. In ack- 
nowledgement of this our act and deed, we hereto put our 
hands and seals this fifth day of May in the year of our 
Lord one thouand six hundred eighty and four.' 

"All the above named Indians signed this deed — James 
Speen by writing his name, and the others by their marks, 
in presence of Moses Parker, Noah Brooks, Samuel 
Wheeler jr., Benjamin Bohow and Sarah Bohow (the two 

Concord 339 

last of whom were Indians), and acknowledged 'before Pet: 
Bulkeley, Assistant.' 

The foregoing deed applied to the south part of the tract. 
The same individuals, in behalf of Concord, bought of 
'John Thomas, and Naaunoushqua, his wife; Tasunsquaw, 
the relict of Waban, deceased, and eldest daughter to 
Tahattawan, Sagamore, deceased ; I'homas Waban her son ; 
Solomon Thomas; John Nasqua; James Casumpal, sen., 
and Sarah, his wife ; and Sarah, the relict widow of Peter 
Conaway, Indians,' for J^ii ; by estimation, 8000 acres, 
lying in "the last grants of land by the General Court to 
the town of Concord, and is bounded southeast by the old 
bounds of the said town of Concord, easterly partly by Hil- 
rerca, partly by a farm formerly layed out by Major Wil- 
lard for himself, and partly by Chelmsford, till it meet with 
Nashoba line, and then westerly by the said Nashoba to 
the southeast corner of the said Nashoba, then northerly 
by the said Nashoba till it meets with Stow, and so bounded 
norwest by the said Stow, till it comes near to a hill by the 
Indians called Naaccuhpavil, and then running upon a 
straight line to the North River, at the old bounds of the 
said town of Concord.' This deed was executed and 
acknowledged in the same form as the preceeding, on the 
13th of Aug. 1684; and witnessed by Ebenezer Engolds- 
bey, Joseph Wooley, Joseph Shambery, and Andrew Pitte- 
mey. These several grants were afterwards known as the 
'Town's New Grant' — the 'Enlargement of the Town 
by the General Court,' — and generally 'Concord Village'; 
till after about seventy-five years they were in great part 
separated from Concord and incorporated as the town of 

"Lieutenant Joseph Wheeler, by trading with the Nash- 
oba Indians, became their creditor, and petitioned the Gen- 
eral Court, in 1662, for a grant of 200 acres of land at the 
southerly part of their plantations as payment for his debt ; 
but it was refused. In 1669, he, with several inhabitants 
of Concord, petitioned for a tract of land at Pompasiticutt : 

340 ' Colonial 

and the Court appointed him, with John Haynes of Sud- 
bury, William Kerley of Marlborough, James Parker of 
Groton, and John Moore of Lancaster, a committee to view 
it and report at their next session. This report was made 
May II, 1670; and it was found 'to contain 10,000 acres 
of country land, whereof 500 is meadow. The greater part 
of it is very mean land, but we judge there will be planting 
ground enough to accomodate 20 families. Also there is 
about 4000 acres more of land that is taken up in farmes, 
whereof about 500 acres is meadow. There is also the 
Indian plantation of Nashobah, that doth border on one 
side of this tract of land, that is exceedingly well meadowed, 
and they do make but little or no use of it.' George Hay- 
ward, Joseph Wheeler, Thomas Wheeler, John Hayward, 
William Buttrick, Sydrach Hapgood, Stephen Hall, 
Edmund Wigley of Concord, and Joseph Newton and 
Richard Holdridge, petitioned for this tract of land; and 
it was granted to them 'to make a village, provided the 
place be setteled with not less than ten famyles withlri three 
years, and that a pious, an able, and orthodox minister be 
maintained there.' Daniel Gookin, Thomas Danforth, and 
Joseph Cook, were appointed 'to order the settlement of 
the village in all respects;' and the various proceedings in 
relation to it resulted in the incorporation of the town of 
Stow, May 16, 1683 ; which has since" been found able to 
accomodate more than twenty families !" 

Not only did the people of Concord during its first cen- 
tury set themselves to subduing the soil, and seek assidu- 
ously to extend their domains even to the extent of 
obtaining territory from which might be made new town- 
ships but they sought to bring forth treasures from the earth 
other than those of a vegetable nature. Soon after the 
arrival of settlers it was ascertained that iron ore existed in 
the south-west part of the town in such quantities as might 
pay to establish iron works. Promoters of the enterprise pre- 
sented themselves, promminent among whom was 
Oliver Purchis who had been in the iron business at Lynn. 

Concord 341 

March 5, 1658, a company was organized "To erect 
one or more Iron Works in Concord." 

May 30, 1660, the Colonial Court gave the Com- 
pany permission "To dig iron ore without molestation in 
any land now in the Court's possession." It also granted 
one thousand acres for the Company's purposes. 

The industry continued with more or less success until 
the close of the century, when it closed as it is supposed, 
through lack of ore. 

As the result of these operations a dam was built over 
the Assabet river at what is now Westvale, and near its 
upper portion iron works were established. 

Among the names of Concord people who were stock- 
holders are Rev, Edward Bulkeley, Robert Meriam, Tim- 
othy Wheeler, Jr. William Buss, John Niles or Miles, 
Joseph Hayward and Mary Griffin. 

After various transfers the property passed to an owner 
who by 171 5 had erected upon it a Grist Mill and a 
Fulling Mill, and in process ot time a mill was built for 
the manufacturing of woolens. The lands in this vicinity 
have long been known as the Ironworks farm. The scene 
of some of the operations is still known as Mine hill. 

It is stated that when one Leihtenegger "did attend the 
work of a mine at a place called fair haven" he "did build 
a bridge to facilitate his passage to and from said work." 
At the farm formerly owned by George H. Wright at 
"Nine Acre Corner" indications of this industry have long 
been visible. 


King Philip's War — Activity Preparatory to its 
Coming — The Part taken in the Conflict by Con- 
cord — Its Cause — The Havoc — Condition of the 
Country at the Outbreak of Hostilities — The State 
of Society — The Towns Means of Defense — Its 
Militia — Its Garrison Houses — The Foot Com- 
pany — The Troop of Horse — Means Provided for 
the Relief of Refugees — Miscellaneous Military 

WE have thus far considered some of the chief civic 
events, incidents and episodes that occurred at 
Concord during its first half century. We will 
now notice some military events of the period. 
Hitherto the progress of the town was marked by a reign 
of peace. No shout of hostile Indian had been heard in 
the home of any inhabitant. No public proclamations had 
been issued for the levying of war-accoutred soldiers; and 
there had been no mortal combat. The struggle had been 
with the rough conditions of a new country ; with rocks 
and brambles of unsubdued hillsides and the gnarled and 
mossy tree trunks of the timberlands. But at the begin- 
ning of the last quarter of the seventeenth century the scene 
changed. A season of strife was at hand. Along the hori- 
zon a cloud was gathering which as it arose and burst over 
the feeble settlement was to cause a consternation of which 
we in the present can but faintly conceive. 

The Colony was on the eve of King Philip's war ; a war 
which for atrocity, destructiveness, and for various dismal 
features was exceptional. For months before the tempest 
broke out, its coming was announced by a variety of 
unmistakable forerunners. Messengers from the forest 


y^stor,tenox and TWen, 

Concord 343 

brought intelligence that the Indians in distant places were 
sharpening their hatchets, and tightening their bowstrings; 
that a conspiracy was being brewed, and that soon they 
might expect savage invaders to prowl about the farm 
houses and haunt every highway and bypath and bridge. 

Because of these forerunners the settler was put on his 
guard and in preparation for the issue he became corres- 
spondingly active. He set himself to meet prowess with 
prowess, and to pit strength against strength. He took 
down from over the mantlepiece his old musket, scraped its 
flint, inspected its lock, and scoured the rust from its 
priming pan. Bullets were cast by him on the old 
kitchen hearth, the contents of his powder horn were 
replenished from the public stock, — and everything possible 
was done to protect his home. 

While these things were going on there was much con- 
sternation, and doubtless households were disturbed to an 
unusual degree. The children probably wondered why 
their mother looked worried and furtively glanced toward 
the woods. They did not understand why the cows were 
kept in the barnyard during the day and why outbuildings 
were closed early at night. To them it was all a mystery 
that the neighbors talked together in small companies and 
that after the trundle bed had been pulled out at evening 
there were whispered voices at the fireside. But the sig- 
significance of all this at length showed itself and soon all 
were made aware that experiences were threatened such as 
were without parallel in their pioneer history and that the 
peaceful relations that had hitherto existed between the 
Indians and whites were to give place to a period of strife 
the result of which none but Heaven could foresee. 

The town of Concord was so situated and circumstanced 
and a kind Providence so favored that it suffered no gen- 
eral attack as did some other places. It was however sub- 
ject to dire contingencies and was called upon to bear in 
common with the whole colony grievous taxation and to 
contribute its quota of soldiers to be in readiness to take 

344 Colonial 

the field at short notice. Moreover, it was ordered to fur- 
nish garrison houses and to provide relief measures to such 
as fleeing from distant frontier farm houses or neighboring 
towns sought refuge there. 

The town also near its western frontier in the part then 
known as Nashoba was the scene of a dismal tragedy which 
was doubtless long a subject of fireside conversation for the 
inhabitants of that region. But although no portion of the 
town became a battle ground during the period of King 
Philip's war some of its citizens became conspicuous by 
their services on the battle fields of other towns and in 
several instances these were of a character quite distin- 
guished. Before entering in detail upon the narration 
of these or other matters pertaining to Concord in Phil- 
ip's war, let us notice the cause and nature of the conflict and 
some things concerning the condition of the country and 
the state of society at its commencement. 

The cause of the war was a feeling of jealousy or unrest 
on the part of some of the aborigines engendered by a 
belief that the English were trying to crowd them from the 

This feeling culminated in an Indian alliance of several 
tribes for the purpose of exterminating the English and 
appropriating or destroying their property. 

The principal progenitor of this alliance and director of 
its operations was Philip, a chieftain of the Wampanoags 
who dwelt at a place called Pokanoket or Mount Hope or 
Montaup near Bristol R. I. 

Philip was called King by Governor Prince but his abo- 
riginal name was Metacomet. 

His father was Massasoit a friend of the Plymouth pil- 

The means King Philip employed were very sagacious, 
and savage though he was his energy and exploits have eli- 
cited the admiration and wonder of many writers, and been 
the subject of ballad and song. 

He is supposed to have personally visited the tribes with 

Concord 345 

which he sought to form nn alliance and to have fanned 
into a flame whatever sparks of hatred already existed, and 
by his example and enthusiasm to have stirred his followers 
to deeds which with a less daring leader, would never 
have been committed. By his savage torch home- 
steads were reduced to ashes in an hour ; whole households 
were destroyed by his tomahawk and scalping knife ; and 
farms once smiling in plentitude and peace were left aban- 
doned and desolate. 

Of the results of the war Trumbull in his history of 
Connecticut says, "About six hundred of the inhabitants 
of New England, the greatest part of whom were the flower 
and strength of the country, either fell in battle or were 
murdered by the enemy. Twelve or thirteen towns in 
Massachusetts, Plymouth Colony and Rhode Island were 
utterly destroyed and others greatly damaged." 

Another writer has stated that were all the events of the 
Revolution comprised in a single twelve month, they would 
not exceed the horrors of King Philip's war. 

The condition of the country at the breaking out of the 
war was such as to augment the terrors even of civilized 
warfare. Much of the territory was still uncleared. There 
were vast areas of impassable swamps and thick timberlandr. 
The roads were many of them through deep forests; the 
bridges were frail and infrequent and those over the smal- 
ler streams may have been mere log crossings that might 
be swept away by a sudden flood or easily destroyed by 
the foe. More or less of the outlying farms were situated in 
exposed places without means of repelling assaults, and 
where the drear shadows that crept out from the woods 
were suited to increase the disquietude of the defenseless 
family. Moreover the settler was subjected to seasons of 
suspense ; it was difl'icult to obtain news ; the foe might be 
near or remote, he could not determine which. It might be 
venturesome to go beyond his own dooryard, and all the 
information he could get from the outer world may have 
been brought by some scout or circumstance or sign. 

34^ Colonial 

Another factor in the case was the nature of the enemy. 
The Indian when on the warpath was implacable, cunning 
and capable of any cruelty by which he could cripple his 
foe. His knowledge of the country enabled him to move 
about with remarkable celerity. He was acquainted with 
the location of every village and hamlet and no lone farm- 
house had escaped his notice. 

All these things King Philip took advantage of, and a 
characteristic of the conflict was the suddenness with which 
he struck, the rapidity with which settlements widely sep- 
arated from each other felt the blows. So swift were his 
movements and so unexpectedly did he attack towns that 
the inhabitants almost considered him possessed of super- 
natural powers. 

The state of society when the war broke out, may be 
best indicated by saying that it was just prior to the witch- 
craft delusion and about the time which has been desig- 
nated as New England's dark age. The early fathers of 
the colony were dying off and with them the learning which 
they had brought from the old country, for there 
were few schools through which to transmit it to their chil- 
dren. It was in this period perhaps more than in any 
other when people signed their names with a mark. As 
ignorance usually begets superstition, so there was a ten- 
dency at this time to accept the marvellous, and to believe 
that Philip's war was preceded by omens. Mather informs us 
that strange sights were seen. The perfect form of an Indian 
bow was supposed to appear in the air at New Plymouth. 
This was regarded as a "prodigious apparition." 

The inhabitants of Hadley, Northampton, and other 
towns in that vicinity thought they "heard the report of 
a great piece of ordinance with a great shaking of the earth 
and a considerable echo." Some believed that on a still 
morning there was a noise of discharged musketry ; that bul- 
lets flew past them; that a noise of drums was heard; and 
that there was a sound as of the galloping of horses. 

Thus the condition of the country and the state of soci- 

Concord 347 

ety were such that the ccmmunity and individuals were 
kept constantly on the alert, and became suspicious of all 
inexplicable phenomena. To them there was a significance 
either natural or supernatural in every unusual sound or 
sight. The report of a gun fired far off in the forest, the 
bellowing of cattle in the pastures, flocks of birds flying 
afi^righted from the shrubbery, a wounded deer, a missing 
shoat, the loud barking of a dog in a distant clearing, the 
mysterious imprint on the soft earth of strange footsteps, 
and fresh camp coals in the woods, either of these migh 
betoken the approach of Indians and send families to the 
friendly garrisons. 

For the reasons now considered Philip's war has been asso- 
ciated with exceptional hardships, and its annals, long after its 
occurrence were related to curious and half reluctant listen- 
ers about the home hearthside, the rude campfire, and wher- 
ever companies were gathered together under circumstances 
that tended to recall them. The farm boy became fami- 
liar with its leading actors and event sthrough frequent rehear- 
sals ; and the few objects that came down through the years 
as grim reminders of the dismal experiences were looked 
upon by him as something which, if it could speak 
might utter strange things. Around the rusty firearms that 
stood in the old shed corner were gathered memories which 
were fraught with thrilling adventure. The snow-shoes 
stowed in the cold garret, the bullet moulds in the little 
closet over the wood box, the cocked hat and faded waist- 
coat which clothed the dummy that relieved the weary night 
watch, were each suggestive in their turn. The grim walls 
of the old garrison, worn and weather-stained by time 
and storm were long associated with things that had been 
said of them ; whether of the midnight assault and repulse, 
or of the timely rescue of beleaguered inmates, or of the ruse 
of the savage who sought to approach it behind the slow 
moving bush. The stone hatchet that was unearthed in the 
plow land, though silent and unshapely, was eloquent never- 
theless by its suggestiveness. The low grave by the 

34^ Colonial 

meadow side, the stone heap under the trees, the faint out- 
line of a cellar hole about which were coals yet uncrum- 
bled, — all of these were pointed out to succeeding gen- 
erations as memorials of King Philip's war. 

The military history of Concord in this war comprises 
a description of the means employed for its own defense, 
the measures for a maintenance of such soldiers as the Col- 
onial authorities might send into the town as a convenient 
place from which to operate by marchings and scout- 
ings, the payment of its share of such extra taxation as 
was superinduced by the war, and the special service that 
the town by its own soldiers rendered to other places. 

We will now consider each of these in the order here 

First its means of defense. — This consisted in the 
town militia and garrison houses. At the outbreak of the 
war the organized militia of Concord consisted of one foot 
company and a troop of horse. 

The foot company was organized in 1636, with Simon 
Willard, then a sergeant, as acting Captain or drill master. 
About a quarter of a century later the appointment by the 
Court was as follows : 

Timothy Wheeler, Captain; Jos. Wheeler, Lieut.; Wil- 
liam Buss, Ensign ; Richard Rice, Thomas Bateman and 
Thomas Wheeler, Sen. Sergeants ; William Buttrick, Sam- 
uel Stratten and John Scotchford, Corporals. 

The horse company had its organization Oct. 13, 1669 
and included beside members belonging to the town also 
some from places adjacent. It first captain was Thomas 
Wheeler; its first Lieutenant Thomas Henchman; and its 
Quartermaster was Henry Woodhouse (or Woodis.) 

Shattuck says that the Horse Company was "the second 
and western horse company in the county and from it the 
present Concord Light Infantry descended." 

It is probable that a portion of the members of the afore- 
said companies saw service in the Old Narraganset War in 
1654, as its former captain, Simon Willard was at that time 

Concord 349 

the commander of an expedition which set forth by order 
of the United Colonies against Chief Ninigret. In this 
expedition which was composed of 250 infantry men and 40 
cavalrymen there were several soldiers from Concord. 

Concerning the garrison houses of Concrod Shattuck states 
as follows: 

"We have no other means than tradition to ascertain the 
number or situation of the garrison-houses in Concord. 
The house now occupied by Dr. Hurd was originally one ; 
another stood near John Flint's; another near Meriam's 
corner ; two others within the present limits of Bedford ; 
another near John Hosmer's; and another near Silas 
Holden's. An Indian fort was built near Nashobah Hill in 
Littleton, then in Concord. These were not all. The num- 
ber and situation varied, at different times, for the subse- 
quent twenty years." 

That these were all the defensed places of the town we 
are not to infer, since ordinary farm houses were sometimes 
fortified and used as places of rendezvous. 

In relation to the militia and other means of aggressive 
warfare Shattuck says, 

"In October, 1675, ^^^ government ordered that the mil- 
itia of Suffolk and Middlesex be put in a posture of war ; 
and be ready to march at a minute's warning to prevent 
danger ; ' and at the same time authority was given to Capt. 
Timothy Wheeler 'to impress an able gunsmith to repair 
to Concord to be resident there for the fixing up of arms 
from time to time during the war for this and the towns 
adjacent.' 'Committes of militia,' somewhat resembling the 
committees of safety in the revolution of 1775, were 
appointed in the several towns. The Hon. Peter Bulkeley 
was chairman of that committee in Concord. He and 
Joseph Dudley were appointed in November to 'attend the 
forces that are now to go forth against the enemy, and to be 
ministers unto them.' " 

The work of the militia and garrison houses of Concord 
we conclude proved a benefit to the people outside the 

3 50 Colonial 

town as well as to those living within it. They served as a 
protection for the people living on the Blood farms on the 
North, and after the burning and sacking of Lancaster and 
Groton the inhabitants of those places found these garrison 
houses a safe shelter, Shattuck says, 

"March 14th the Council ordered 'that the companies of 
militia of Concord and Sudbury, doe forthwith impress so 
many carts as may bee sufficient to bring off the goods and 
provisions belonging to the people left at Lancaster, unto 
Concord or any other towne, they desire to come unto ; 
and for guarding the said carts it is ordered that Sargant 
Lamson, commander of the garrison soldiers at Lancaster, 
do send two files of soldiers, to guard the said carts up and 
down.' Besides the inhabitants of Lancaster, several of 
Groton and other frontier towns resided in Concord till after 
the peace." 

As the war progressed and the destruction of town after 
town threatened a common calamity. Concord became a gen- 
eral rendezvous for colonial soldiers that from time to time 
were sent out to meet sudden emergencies. Of these sol- 
diers Shattuck states, 

"The detachments of soldiers for the relief of the frontier 
towns were frequent and heavy in May. Early in that 
month 80 from the troops of Essex, Suffolk, and Middle- 
sex, were ordered to repair to Concord for the country ser- 
vice. On the 20th, 270 garrison soldiers from the same 
counties, were ordered to be stationed at the following 
'frontier towns for the better security of them from the incur- 
sions of the enemy.' Concord 20, Sudbury 30, Chelms- 
ford 20, Billerica 20, Andover 20, Haverhill 20, Bradford 
10, Exeter 20, Medfield 30, Dedham 20, Milton 10, Brain- 
tree 15, Weymouth 15, Hingham 20. These soldiers were 
to be maintained at the cost of the several towns, and to be 
under the direction of the commitees of militia. 

"Major Daniel Gookin succeeded Major Willard after his 
death in April, in command of the military forces in Mid- 
dlesex ; Thomas Clark was commander in Suffolk, and 

Concord 3 5 1 

Daniel Dennison in Essex ; all of whom were in Concord, 
May 30th." 

"Capt. Joseph Sill commanded one of the companies which 
were at Concord several months, and was frequently sent 
out on scouts." 

An early and important military service during King 
Philip's war in which Concord was represented is the famous 
Hutchinson Expedition to Brookfield, Massachusetts. 

The object of this Expedition was to pacify the Nipnet 
Indians living in the vicinity of the Connecticut river, and 
to gain their favor, and perhaps to secure their sympathy in 
behalf of the colony. 

The person selected by the Council at Boston for this 
important mission was Captain Edward Hutchinson, who 
was to take with him Capt. Thomas Wheeler of Con- 
cord and a part of his troop of horse, together with Eph- 
raim Curtis, a noted scout of Sudbury, well skilled 
in Indian diplomacy, to repair at once to the rendez- 
vous of these Indians and assure them of the kind 
intentions of the Colonial authorities toward them and that 
no harm would come to them if they would submit to the 

On July 28, Capts. Hutchinson and Wheeler with about 
twenty or twenty-five of the latter's troop of horse marched 
from Cambridge to Sudbury and by August i found them- 
selves at Brookfield or Quaboag as the Indians called it. 
Upon their arrival they were informed that the Indians were 
at a place about ten miles to the westward. Whereupon 
Capt. Hutchinson despatched Capt. Wheeler and Ephraim 
Curtis to inform them of their coming and the nature of 
their errand. The messengers found a body of about one 
hundred and fifty Indians to whom they delivered their 
message and after some perilous parleying and surly treat- 
ment by the savages, an agreement was reached by which 
Capt. Hutchinson and his company were to meet the 
sachems the next day on a plain about three miles 
from Brookfield. They went according to agreement, but 

^S"^ Colonial 

the Indians were not there, but were, they were told, at a 
place seven miles distant. The English captains thought 
it unwise to proceed further, knowing as they did the treach- 
erous traits of the enemy with which they dealt. Several 
citizens of Brookfield however who had accompanied them 
advised an advance, feeling assured from their acquaintance 
with several of the sachems that no harm would come of it. 
The Captains acted upon their suggestion and pursued their 
way till they found themselves on the border of a swamp 
and in a pathway so narrow as to necessitate their marching 
in single file. As the mission of the English was a peace- 
ful one and the Indians had been so informed and their 
good behavior had been vouched for by the three citizens 
of Brookfield, perhaps the usual precautions of the Indian 
fighter were not observed, for after marching quite a dis- 
tance to a place where there was a hillside on one hand and 
a swamp on the other, the Indians with a startling sudden- 
ness poured upon the little company a most murderous 
discharge of musketry. Eight men were killed and five 
were wounded, among the latter of whom was Capt. 
Hutchinson. For a moment all was in confusion ; the savages, 
having the advantage of concealment and a picked bat- 
tle ground, offered no visible force for the English to 
oppose so the main body fell back, Capt. Wheeler find- 
ing himself unhurt and seeing that none of his men had 
fallen, wheeled, as he states, upon the enemy and rushed 
toward them without calling upon his men to follow, but 
almost immediately he received a severe wound and his 
horse was struck. Thus disabled and almost alone, the 
bold captain was left in the midst of the enemy with some 
of them but a few rods away. When he turned upon the 
Indians, his men were some distance from him and in an 
opposite direction, they having been forced back at the first 
fire. As, however, a kind Providence would have it, Capt. 
Wheeler's son Thomas, finding that his father was not 
among the surviving company, and fearing that he was 
dead or in danger, rushed back single handed, and although 

Concord ^53 

wounded himself yet upon finding his father and seeing his 
sore straits, dismouted, and placing him upon his own 
horse, started him to the rear following on foot as rapidly 
as possible, receiving as he did so a second wound. As the 
Indians did not take immediate advantage of the terrible 
plight into which the English had been thrown nor follow 
hard upon their precipitous flight, the survivors of Hutchin- 
son's force soon found themselves emerging from the forest 
and making their way unmolested towards Brookfield. 
They kept in the open country not daring to leave it lest 
they again be beset, and tracing their way as best they 
could, for they were all strangers to the place, at length 
found themselves back to Quaboag, 

The tidings of what had occured spread through the 
town like wildfire and from every farm house the occupants 
fled to the strongest building in the village which was 
quickly fortified and put in preparation for a stout defense. 

Soon after all had entered the house it was surrounded by 
the savages who by wild ravings and terrible gesticulations 
sought to intimidate the inmates, and by every art and 
device known to them sought to batter in or to burn down 
the building. But the first assault was to no purpose and 
the Colonists showed by their vigorous defense that the 
assailants were to pay dear for their victory if they obtained 
it. After the first onset the Indians settled down for steady 
work and then and there began that memorable siege of the 
Brookfield garrison that was for a generation rehearsed at 
the farmhouse fireside and which has passed into history as 
one of the most notable events of the period. 


Authentic Account of the Hutchinson Expedition to 
Brookfield by Captain Thomas JVheeler — The 
Ambuscade — The Attack — The Escape — The 
Siege of the Garrison House — Ephraim Curtis the 
Sudbury Scout — The Rescue by Major Simon Wil- 

AS a detailed account of the Brookfield expedition has 
been written out by Capt. Thomas Wheeler we 
believe that it is better to print portions of it in full, 
than to write it in our own words. 
"When we came near the said swampe the way was so very 
bad that we could march only in a single file, there being a 
very rocky hill on the right hand and a thick swampe on 
the left. In which there were many of those cruel, blood- 
thirsty heathen, who there waylaid us, waiting an oppor- 
to cut us off: there being also much brush on the side of 
the said hill, where they lay in ambush to surprise us. 

"When we had marched there about sixty or seventy rods, 
the said perfidious Indians sent out their shot upon us as 
a showre of haile, they being (as was supposed) about two 
hundred men or more. We seeing ourselves so beset, and 
not having room to fight, endeavored to fly for the safety 
of our lives. In which flight we were in no small danger 
to be all cut off, there being a very miry swamp before us, 
into which we could not enter with our horses to go for- 
ward, and there being no safety in retreating the way we 
came, because many of our company who lay behind the 
bushes and had left us pass by them quietly ; when others 

PUBLIC library' 

^ Astor, Lenox and TNden ^ 

Concord 355 

had shot they came out and stopt our way back so that we 
were forced as we could to get up the steep and rocky hill ; 
but the greater our danger was the greater was God's mercy 
in the preservation of so many of us from sudden destruc- 
tion. Myself being gone up part of the hill without any 
hurt, and perceiving some of my men to be fallen by the 
enemies* shot, 1 wheeled about upon the Indians, not cal- 
ling on my men who were left to accompany me, which they 
in all probability would have done, had they known 
of my return upon the enemy. They firing violently out 
of the swamp and from behind the bushes on the hillside 
wounded me sorely and shot my horse under me, so that 
he faltering and falling I was forced to leave him, divers of 
the Indians being then but a few rods distant from me. 
My son, Thomas Wheeler, flying with the rest of the com- 
pany, missed me amongst them, and fearing that I was 
either shot or endangered, returned toward the swampe 
again, though he had then received a dangerous wound in 
the reins, where he saw me in the danger aforesaid. Where- 
upon he endeavored to rescue me, showing himself therein 
a loving and dutiful son, he adventuring himself into great 
peril of his life to help me in that distress, there being 
many of the enemies about me. My son set me on his own 
horse and so escaped, awhile on foot himself, until he caught 
an horse whose rider was slain, on which he mounted, and 
so through God's great mercy we both escaped. But in this 
attempt for my deliverance he received another dangerous 
arm wound, by their shot, in his left. There were then slain, 
to our great grief, eight men, viz : Zachariah Philips of Bos- 
ton, Timothy Farlow of Billerica, Edward Coleborn of 
Chelmsford, Samuel Smedley of Concord, Sydrach Hop- 
good of Sudbury, Sergeant Eyres, Sergeant Pritchard, Cor- 
poral Coy, the inhabitants of Brookfield, aforesaid. It being 
the good pleasure of God that they should all these fall by 
their hands, of whose good intentions they were so confi- 
dent and whom they so little mistrusted. There were also 
then five pesons wounded , viz : Captain Hutchinson, 

^^6 Colonial 

myself, and my son Thomas, as aforesaid. Corporal French 
of Billerica, who having killed an Indian was (as he was 
taking up his gun) shot and part of one of his thumbs taken 
off, and also dangerously wounded through the body, near 
the shoulder. The fifth was John Waldo, of Chelmsford, 
who was not so dangerously wounded as the rest. They 
also then killed five of our horses and wounded some more 
which soon died after they came to Brookfield. Upon this 
sudden and unexpected blow given us (wherein we desire to 
look higher than man the instrument) we returned to the 
town as fast as the badness of the way and the weakness of 
our wounded men would permit, we being then ten miles 
from it. All the while we were going, we durst not stay 
to staunch the bleeding of our wounded men for fear the 
enemy should have surprised us again, which they attempted 
to do, and had in all probability done, but that we per- 
ceiving which way they went wheeled off to the other hand 
and so by God's good providence towards us they missed 
us, and we all came readily upon the town, though none of 
us knew the way to it, those of the place being slain as 
aforesaid, and we avoiding any thick woods and riding in 
open places to prevent danger by them. Being got to the 
town we speedily betook ourselves to one of the largest and 
strongest houses therein, where we fortified ourselves in the 
best manner we could in such straits of time, and there 
resolved to keep garrison, though we were but few and 
meanly fitted to make resistance against such furious ene- 
mies. The news of the Indian's treacherous dealing with 
us, and the loss of so many of our company thereby, 
did so amaze the inhabitants of the town that they being 
informed by us, presently left their houses, divers of them 
carrying very little away with them, they being afraid of the 
Indians suddenly coming upon them, and so came to the 
house we were entered into, very meanly provided of cloth- 
ing or furnished with provisions. 

"I perceiving myself to be disenabled for the discharge 
the duties of my place by reason of the wound I had 

Concord 357 

recieved, and apprehending that the enemy would soon 
come to spoyle our town and assault us in the house, I 
appointed Simon Davis, of Concord, James Richardson 
and John Fiske, of Chelmsford, to manage affairs for our 
safety with those few men whom God hath left us, and 
were fit for any service, and the inhabitants of the said town ; 
who did well and commendably perform the duties of the 
trust committed to them with much courage and resolu- 
tion, through the assistance of our gracious God who did 
not leave us in our low and distressed State but did merci- 
fully appear for us in our greatest need, as in the sequel will 
clearly be manifested. 

"Within two hours after our coming to the said house or 
less, the said Capt. Hutchinson and myself posted away 
Ephraim Curtis, of Sudbury, and Henry Young, of Con- 
cord, to go to the Honoured Council at Boston, to give 
them an account of the Lord's dealing with us in our pres- 
ent condition. When they came to the further end of the 
town they saw the enemy rifling of houses which the inhab- 
itants had forsaken. The post fired upon them and imme- 
diately returned to us again, they discerning no safety in 
going forward, and being desirous to inform us of the ene- 
my's actings that we might more prepare for a sudden 
assault by them, which indeed presently followed, for as 
soon as the said post was come back to us, the barbarous 
heathen pressed upon us in the house with great violence, 
sending in their shot amongst us like haile through the 
walls and shouting as if they would have swallowed us up 
alive, but our God wrought wonderfully for us so that 
there was but one man wounded within the house, viz — the 
said Henry Young who looking out of the garret-window 
that evening was mortally wounded by a shot, of which 
wound he died within two days after. There was the same 
day another man slain, but not in the house, a son of Ser- 
jeant Pritchard's, adventuring out of the house wherein we 
were to his Father's house not far from it, to fetch more 
goods out of it, was caught by those cruel enemies as they 

2^S Colonial 

were coming towards us, who cut off his head, kicking it 
about Hke a football, and then putting it upon a pole they 
set it up before the door of his Father's house in our sight. 

"The night following the said blow they did roar against 
us like so many wild bulls, sending in their shot amongst 
us till towards the moon rising which was about three of the 
clock, at which time they attempted to fire our house by 
hay and other combustible matter which they brought to 
one corner of the house and set it on fire. Whereupon 
some of our company were necessitated to expose them- 
selves to very great danger to put it out. Simon Davis, one 
of the three appointed by my self as Captain to supply my 
place by reason of my wounds as aforesaid, he being of a 
lively spirit encouraged the soldiers within to fire upon the 
Indians ; and also those that adventured out to put out the 
fire (which began to rage and kindle upon the house side) 
with these and the like words, that Go^i is with us, and fights 
for us and will deliver us out of the hands of these heathen, 
which expressions of his the Indians hearing they shouted 
and scoflfed, saying, now see how your God delivers you or 
will deliver you, sending in many shots whilst our men were 
putting out the fire. But the Lord of Hosts wrought very 
graciously for us in preserving our bodies both within and 
without the house from their shots and our house from 
being consumed by fire, we had but two men wounded in 
that attempt of theirs, but we apprehended that we killed 
divers of our enemies. 

"I being desirous to hasten intelligence to the Honoured 
Council, of our present great distress, we being so remote 
from any succour (it being between sixty and seventy miles 
from us to Boston, where the Council useth to sit), and fear- 
ing our ammunition would not last long to withstand them 
if they continued to assault us, I spake to Ephraim Curtis 
to adventure forth again on that service, and to attempt it 
on foot, as the way wherein there was most hope of getting 
away undiscovered ; he readily assented and accordingly 
went out but there were so many Indians everywhere there- 

Concord 359 

abouts, that he could not pass without apparent hazard of 
life, so he came back again ; but towards morning, the said 
Ephraim adventured forth a third time and was fain to creep 
on his hands and knees for some space of ground, that he 
might not be discerned by the enemy, who waited to pre- 
vent our sending, if they could have hindered it. But 
through God's mercy, he escaped their hands and got safely 
to Marlborough, though very much spent and ready to 
faint by want of sleep before he went from us, and his sore 
travel night and day in that hot season till he got thither, 
from whence he went to Boston; yet before the said Eph- 
raim got to Marlborough, there was brought 
thither of the burning of some houses and killing some cat- 
tel at Quaboag by some who were going to Connecticut, 
but they, seeing what was done at the end of the town, and 
hearing several guns shot off further within the town, they 
durst proceed no further, but immediately returned to 
Marlborough, though they knew not what had befallen Capt. 
Hutchinson and myself and company, nor of our being 
there, but that timely intelligence they gave before Eph- 
raim Curtis his coming to Marlborough occasioned the Hon- 
oured Major Willard's turning his march towards Quaboag 
for their relief, who were in no small danger every hour of 
being destroyed, the said Major being, when he had that 
intelligence, upon his march another way as he was ordered 
by the Honoured Council as is afterwards more fully 

"The next day being August 3d, they continued shoot- 
ing and shouting and proceeded in their former wickedness 
blaspheming the name of the Lord and reproaching us his 
afflicted servants, scoffing at our prayers as they were send- 
ing in their shot from all quarters of the house, and many 
of them going to the town's meeting-house (which was 
within twenty rods of the house in which we were), who 
mocked, saying, come and pray and sing psalms, and in 
contempt made an hideous noise somewhat resembling sing- 
ing. But we to our power did endeavour our own defence. 

360 Colonial 

sending our shot amongst them, the Lord giving us cour- 
age to resist them and preserving us from the destruction 
they sought to bring upon us. On the evening following 
we saw our enemies carrying several of their dead or 
wounded men on their backs, who proceeded that night to 
send in their shot as they had done the night before, and 
also shouted as if the day had been certainly theirs, and 
they should without fail have prevailed against us which 
they might have the more hopes of in regard that we dis- 
cerned the coming of new companies to them to assist and 
strengthen them, and the unliklihood of any coming to our 

"They also used several stratagems to fire us, namely, by 
wild fire in cotton and linen rags with brimstone in them, 
which rags they tied to the piles of their arrows sharp for 
the purpose and shot them to the roof of our house after 
they had set them on fire, which would have much endan- 
gered the burning thereof, had we not used means by cutting 
holes through the roof and otherwise to beat the said arrows 
down, and God being pleased to prosper our endeavours 
therein. They carried more combustible matter as flax and 
hay to the sides of the house and set it on fire and then 
flocked apace towards the door of the house either to pre- 
vent our going forth to quench the fire as we had done 
before or to kill our men on their attempt to go forth or 
else to break into the house by the door, whereupon we 
were forced to break down the wall of the house against the 
fire to put it out. They also shot a ball of wild-fire into 
the garret of the house which fell amongst a great heap of 
flax or tow therein, which one of our soldiers, through 
God's good Providence soon espyed, and having water 
ready presently quenched it, and so we were preserved by 
the keeper of Israel both our bodies from their shot which 
they sent thick against us and the house from being con- 
sumed to ashes, although we were but weak to defend our- 
selves, we being not above twenty and six men with those 
of that small town who were able for any service, and our 

Concord 361 

enemies as I judged them about (if not above) three 
hundred. I speak of the least, for many there present did 
guess them to be four or five hundred. It is the more to 
be observed that so little hurt should be done by the ene- 
mies shot it commonly piercing the walls of the house and 
flying amongst the people, and there being in the house 
fifty women and children besides the men before mentioned. 
But abroad in the yard one Thomas Wilson, of that town, 
being sent to fetch water for our help in further need (that 
which we had being spent in putting out the fire) was shot 
by the enemy in the upper jaw and in the neck, the anguish 
of which wound was at the first that he cried out with a 
great noise by reason whereof the Indians hearing him 
rejoyced and triumphed at it, but his wound was healed in 
a short time praised be God. 

"On Wednesday, August 4th, the Indians fortifyed them- 
selves and the barns belonging to our house, which they 
fortified, both at the great doors and at both ends, with 
posts, boards, rails and hay, to save themselves from our 
shot. They also devised other stratagems to fire our house 
on the night following, namely, they took a cart and filled 
it with flax, hay and candlewood and other combustible 
matter, and set up planks fastened to the cart to save them- 
selves from the danger of our shot. Another invention 
they had to make the more sure work in burning the house : 
they got many poles of a considerable length and bigness, 
and spliced them together at the ends one of another, and 
made a carriage of them about fourteen rods long, setting 
the poles in two rows with peils laid cross them over at the 
front end, and dividing said poles about three feet asunder, 
and in the said front end of this, their carriage, they set a 
barrel, having made a hole through both heads, and put 
an axle-tree through them, to which they fastened the 
said poles, and under evey joynt of the poles where they 
were spliced, they set up a pair of truckle wheels to bear up 
the carriages, and they loaded the front or fore end thereof 
with matter fit for firing, as hay and flax and chips, d:c. 

362 Colonial 

"Two of these instruements they prepared that they 
might convey fire to the house with the more safety to 
themselves, they standing at a distance from our shot whilst 
they wheeled them to the house. Great store of arrows 
they had also prepared to shoot fire upon the house that 
night, which we found after they were gone, they having 
left them there. But the Lord, who is a present help in 
times of trouble, and is pleased to make his people's extrem- 
ity his opportunity, did graciously prevent them of effect- 
ing what they hoped they would have done by the aforesaid 
devices, partly by sending a shower of rain in season, 
whereby the matter prepared, being wett, would not so eas- 
ily take fire as it otherwise would have done, and partly by 
aide coming to our help. For our danger would have been 
very great that night had not the only wise God (blessed 
for ever!) been pleased to send to us about an hour within 
night the worshipful Major Willard, with Captain Parker, 
of Groaton, and forty-six men more, with five Indians, to 
relieve us in the low estate into which we were brought. 

"We continued there both well and wounded towards a 
fortnight, and August the thirteenth Capt. Hutchinson and 
my self, with the most of those that had escaped without 
hurt, and also some of the wounded came from thence, 
my son Thomas and some other wounded men came not 
from thence, being not then able to endure travel so farr as 
we were from the next town till about a fortnight after. 
We came to Marlborough on August the fourteenth, 
where Capt. Hutchinson, being not recovered of his wound 
before his coming from Brookfield, and overtyred with his 
long journey by reason of his weakness, quickly after grew 
worse and more dangerously ill, and on the nineteenth day 
of the said month dyed, and was there the day after buried, 
the Lord being pleased to deny him a return to his own 
habitation and his near relation at Boston, though he 
was come the greatest part of his journey thitherward. 
The inhabitants of the town also not long after men, women 
and children removed safely with what they had left to sev- 

Concord 2>^2 

eral places, either where they had lived before their plant- 
ing or settling down there, or where they had relations to 
receive and entertain them. 

"I tarried at Marlborough with Capt. Hutchinson until 
his death, and came home to Concord August the 21 
(though not thoroughly recovered of my wound), and so 
did others who went with me. But since I am reasonably 
well, though I have not the use of my hand and arm as 
before. My son Thomas, though in great hazard of life 
for some time after his return to Concord, yet is now very 
well cured and his strength well restored. Oh, that we 
could praise the Lord for his great goodness towards us. 
Praised be his name, that though he took away some of us, 
yet was pleased to spare so many of us and adde to our 
days ; he help us whose souls he hath delivered from death, 
and eyes from tears, and feet from falling to walk before 
him in the land of the living till our great change come, and 
to sanctifie his name in all his ways about us, that both our 
afflictions and our mercies may quicken us to live more to 
his glory all our dayes." 


Devout Nature of the '■'■Narrative" by Captain 
Thomas Wheeler — Religious Character of the 
Colonial Soldiers — Instances of Alleged Divine 
Interpretation — Original "Title of the Wheeler 
Document — Pacific Object of the Hutchinson Expe- 
dition — Preparatory Work by the Sudbury Scout 
— Salutary Effect of the Disaster — Biographical 
Sketches of Captain Thomas Wheeler, Simon Davis, 
and Ephraim Curtis — Names of Soldiers Credited 
for Services about Brookfield 

In this wonderful narrative which has been repeatedly 
referred to as the epic of Colonial times, Capt. Wheeler has 
not only given to posterity a noble example of heroic con- 
duct and unflinching fidehty to duty when the well being of 
his fellow men was at issue, but he has also exhibited a 
wonderful reliance upon a protecting Providence to render 
help in time of need, and the passages in this paper which 
set forth his trust are no less remarkable than those that 
indicate a courage and composure that was undaunted by any 
circumstance of battle. And what he says of himself will 
apply equally to Simon Davis, and presumably to those 
who were with them. 

Everything in this document savors of sincerity which 
was begotten of an experience that was most serious ; and 
written as it was after the noise and smoke of battle had 
subsided, It shows that its pious author was not torgetful of 
the Power that preserved him and his command in their 
dire straits, but who the rather made haste to render Him 
a reverential recognition when a place of safety had been 

Concord "^^dK^ 

In short the history of this event as written out by 
one of its principal actors shows that Capts. Wheeler and 
Davis and their men believed in a prayer answering Provi- 
dence and that it is the province of Christianity to sustain 
the human soul in the dark hour of earthly abandonment. 
With much propriety the Hon. John S. Keyes in referring 
to Capt. Wheeler's wonderful paper has stated in his sketch 
of Concord History concerning the matter as follows, 

"The combination of bravery and piety, of trust in the 
Lord and keeping their powder dry, that characterizes this 
expedition is a marked example of the spirit of the times. 
The men who could do and suffer and believe as this troop 
did, were true founders of 

'A Church without a Bishop, 
A State without a King.' " 

In the character of Capt. Thomas Wheeler as we conceive 
of it by the facts he has giv^en, there is set forth that com- 
bination of soldierly qualities and religious fervor which we 
believe characterized many of the Colonial military com- 

Capts. Wadsworth and Brocklcbank who fell at the Sud- 
bury fight a few months later were men who took an interest 
in matters both polictical and religious ; the latter being 
a deacon of the church. 

Capt. Samuel Dakin a descendant of Thomas of Concord, 
who commanded a company in one of the Canadian cam- 
paigns and was slain at Half Way Brook near Fort Ewdard, 
writes just before his departure from home in a paper which 
is still extant dated Septembr 29, 1756. '^And now going 
on an Expedition against the enemy at Crown point, I 
have given myself up wholly to God, to be at his disposal 
in life or death, and O that God would accept of me again 
for Jesus Christ's sake." 

In a letter to his wife he says, "I have never yet heard 
one thwarting word in my company, but they seem all to 
have a brotherly love one for another, and have never heard 

2^6 Colonial 

one profane word among them, and their forwardness in 
attending services is delightful to me, so that I have many 

In a letter of June lo, 1758, he states concerning the men 
of his command "they are very ready to attend prayers and 
the singing of Psalms which we have practised on our 

Such was the religious faith of the soldiers who fought 
in the Colonial and Intercolonial wars, and so great was 
their confidence in the God of battles to befriend them. 
And who shall say that their confidence was misplaced or 
their faith misapplied? Who can deny that Ephraim Cur- 
tis was divinely directed as he crawled over the greensward 
in his third attempt to evade the watchful savages, and go 
for rehef ; or who will dare to assert that the timely arrival 
of Major Willard and his companions at Marlboro just in 
time for the rescue of his former Concord neighbors at 
the Brookfield garrison was not ordered of Heaven? 
And who furthermore can say that the sudden shower that 
quenched the burning combustibles which were rolled up 
against the house was not sent in answer to their sup- 
plications ? These instances are only in exact accord with 
many others, notable among which is the unexpected aid 
from Goff, the regicide judge at Hadley, when the town's 
immediate destruction was threatened by the Indians and 
the efforts of the inhabitants had been exhausted; and of 
the upsetting of the cart loaded with burning material at 
Sudbury which, tradition says, the savages were rolling down 
the hill back of the Haynes garrison house in order to 
destroy it. 

Surely, if it is foolishly venturesome to deny these facts 
or to disclaim a belief in the deductions which the fathers 
drew from them, then it is wisdom for their descendants to 
profit by them and to make Him who has been 

"Our help in ages past. 
Our hope in years to come." 

Concord 367 

After the return of Capt. Thomas Wheeler and the Con- 
cord survivors of his companny, the town observed October 
21, 1675 ^^ ""^ ^^y °^ praise and thanksgiving to God for 
their remarkable deliverance and their safe return", and a 
sermon was preached by Rev. Edward Bulkeley. The wel- 
come to the survivors of the Brookfield battle and siege was 
doubtless a most ardent one. For weeks the town had been 
kept in a state of sorrow and suspense not knowing what 
the fate of their fellow townsmen might be ; for in those 
early times surgical skill was in a comparatively undevel- 
oped state, and the lacerations made by the large musket 
balls then in use would be difficult to heal. 

The sermon of Mr. Bulkeley and the narrative of Capt. 
Wheeler were published not long after they were written. 

The complete title of the original Wheeler document is 
the following. 

"A True Narrative Of the Lord's Providence in various 
dispensations towards Edward Hutchinson of Boston and 
my self, and those that went into the Nipmuck Country, 
and also to Quaboag, alias Brookfield. The said Captain 
Hutchinson having a Commission, from the Honoured 
Council of the Colony to Treat with several Sachems in 
those parts, in order to the pulick peace and my self being 
also ordered by the said Council to accompany him with 
part of my Troop for Security from any danger that might 
be from the Indians : and to Assist them in the Transaction 
of matters committed to him." 

Probabably the "Narrative" was written soon after the 
author's return to Concord, and not unlikely while waiting 
for a recovery from his wounds and other hardships. 

This paper written by one so trustworthy when the facts 
described were fresh in memory, and with an impression of 
the stirring events set forth in it still vivid, renders the doc- 
ument a most valuable one. It has been much quoted and 
was referred to by contemporary writers. The historian 
Hubbard used it freely, and Major Daniel Gookin in his 
"History of the Praying Indians" also referred to it. 

36B Colonial 

The mission which Capt. Wheeler was sent on was of 
great importance and much depended upon its successful 
accomplishment. It was preeminently a peaceable one. 
Before he started out, the council had twice sent Ephraim 
Curtis, the Sudbury scout into the Nipmuck Country to 
see if he could placate the Sachems by assuring them of 
the pacific attitude of the Colonists towards them. This 
measure was considered necessary on account of the 
warning received through Waban, the ruler of the 
Christian Indians at Naticlc, Curtis did his full duty. 
Taking with him several friendly Indians he proceeded 
on his way to Brookfield, and from thence westward accord- 
ing to his account to the Colonial Council, till he discovered 
an Indian trail which he followed many miles to "the low 
river by Springfield old road," where he discovered some 
of the Nipmuck Sachems. Several villages were visited and 
satisfactory assurances were received from the inhabitants 
of fidelity to the English. As a result of a visit to the Qua- 
boag tribe whose sachem was Mattaump, a document was 
delivered of which the following is a copy, the original being 
among the State Archives. 

"The Ruler of Quabage being examined by us where his 
his men were : he said they were at home. Then we asked 
him whether there were none of them gone to help King 
Philip to fight against the English of Plymouth : he said 
No ; and neither would he help him : for he has been false 
to him already, and, therefore I will not help him : but I 
will still continue our subjection unto the EngHsh of the 
Massachusetts Colony : neither will I suffer any of my men 
to go and help him ; and in Confirmation of the same I do 
set my hand, 25: 4: 75; 

Conkcascogan, alias Conkganasca." 

But notwithstanding their fair promises, the Nipmuck and 
Quaboag Indians shortly after the visit of Curtis, showed a 
disposition to join Philip, for the cunning chieftain 
of Pokanoket, whom the English believed would 
remain peaceable at Pocasset, whither he had fled upon their 

Concord 369 

pursuit of him after the disastrous work at Swanzey on July 
4, had been among the tribes, and probably by his per- 
suasive eloquence and promise of prospective spoils had 
stirred them to the verge of strife. By the middle of July 
and in less than a month after Curtis left them at their ancient 
town of Neminimisset, a place in the northwesterly part of 
the present New Braintree, several of their sachems had 
again assembled and this time with a warlike purpose 
neglectful of their declaration to Ephraim Curtis. But the 
Colonial Council in spite of indications to the contrary, not 
despairing of peaceful relations with these tribes of the inte- 
rior or at least of securing from them neutrality, again sent 
for the Sudbury scout. 

On July 16 an order was issued to the constables of 
Sudbury directing them "to impress two or three valuable 
horses as Ephraim Curtis shall require." These were to be 
delivered to Curtis who was to take with him two or three 
"able and confiding Indians which Capt. Gookin would 
provide to go with him on the country's service." 

To this second summons to go to the Nipmuck country 
as a friendly messenger of the English, Curtis promptly 
responded. Taking with him two or three Christian Indians 
of Natick he started. Upon arriving at Marlboro he 
learned that a house built by him at Quinsigamond now 
Worcester, where he had done some frontier work had been 
pillaged by the savages, and that Matoonas the Nipmuck 
chieftain whose tribe he had so recently visited in the inter- 
ests of peace, with a considerable company of his own war- 
riors and a portion of King Philip's men were on the war- 
path to the southward doing much mischief. The bold scout 
was nothing daunted by this disheartening intelligence but 
went forward and met the Indians near Brookfield. The 
savages were ugly; their demonstrations showed evil 
designs; and it was evident that Curtis had a dangerous task 
before him. 

After considerable parley and adroit manoeuvering, dur- 
ing which both Curtis and his allies were subjected to great 



danger, a description of which Curtis set forth in his report 
to the Council which report is among the State 
Archives Vol. 67 p 2 1 5, he found opportunity to dehver his 
message. But it was of little avail. The second mission 
of Curtis to secure the friendliness of the tribes of the inte- 
rior was utterly fruitless ; for notwithstanding his shrewd 
diplomacy and formal assumption while in the presence of 
the savages of their having no disposition to actually harm 
him, he was too accustomed to their wily ways not to 
know that he and his company were in a position of 
extreme peril, and that all the friendly overtures of the 
Colonial Council had been flippantly and defiantly refused 
so with his little party he retreated as best he could and 
making his way back to Boston promptly rendered 
a report that was unmistakable in its meaning. The Col- 
onial Council saw that a crisis was coming and that it was 
of no use to send messages by an embassy which was 
so small that the Indians would treat it with contempt, but 
that an expedition should be sent consisting of such a force 
and leadership as would command respect. The 
Hutchinson expedition was accordingly fitted out. 

Capt. Hutchinson had lived in the Nipmuck Country 
and had a farm there upon which he had employed sev- 
eral of the Nipmuck sagamores. He was popular with the 
natives, and had been sent on several occasions to negotiate 
with them concerning matters of importance. He was the 
oldest son of William and Ann and came to America with 
his uncle in 1633, his parents arriving a year later. Capt. 
Wheeler was equally well fitted for the position he was tj 
occupy for he also was well acquainted with the Indians, 
having had an opportunity to learn their wiles and weak- 
nesses while trading with them some years before along 
the Merrimac river. 

The exact place of the Brookfield ambuscade has been 
the subject of much conjecture and controversy. Some 
years ago an ancient map was discovered by Dr. Green of 

Concord 371 

the Mass. Historical Society entitled "A new plan of sev- 
eral towns in the County of Worcester." It bears the date 
March 30, 1785, and was the work of Gen. Rufus Putnam, 
at that time of Rutland, but formerly of New Braintree. 
Upon this map is located in the northwesterly part of New 
Braintree the Indian town Meminimisset or Wenimisset 
and in the swamp to the east is found the inscription 
"Hutchinson & Troop Ambushed between Swamp & Hill." 

Dr. L. R. Paige of Cambridge in the "New England and 
Genealogical Register" dated October, 1884, before the 
discovery of this map, brought forward strong and convinc- 
ing arguments to prove that the scene of the battle was near 
this spot. Rev. J. H. Temple author of the "History of 
Brookfield" adduces arguments also strong and convincing 
that the scene of the battle was the ravine near the New 
Braintree and Brookfield line some two and a half miles 
from Wickabaug pond. Both gentlemen are considered 
authorities in matters of historical research ; and both probally 
argued from the same general facts. 

Rev. G. M. Bodge author of "Soldiers in King Philip's 
War" states that after reading the arguments on both sides 
he is unable to state which spot is the correct one. 

One thing, however, is certain, that in 1785, the date of 
the map referred to, the former place was known as the 
scene of the conflict. 

It is not supposed that Philip was personally present in 
the attack on Brookfield, as he left the swamp at Pocasset 
to which he had been driven by the English July 31, and 
arrived at "Quaboag, Old Fort" on Thursday Aug. 5. 
The work is supposed to have been done entirely by the 
Nipmucks, the chief among whom were the Quaboags, 
Wabbaquasets and Nashaways. 

It is said that when the victorious Nipmucks told Philip 
of their work at Brookfield he gave three of their Sagamores 
viz : Apequinask, Quannasit and Mattaump, about a peck 
of unstrung wampum apiece. 

Capt. Wheeler and his command left Brookfield Aug. 10 

372 Colonial 

and arrived at Marlboro Aug. 14 Capt. Hutchinson went 
with the return party but died the day after the arrival and 
was buried at Marlboro. 

A few weeks after the return of Capt. Thomas Wheeler 
we hear of him again as doing military duty; and the indi- 
cations are that this time it was in the scouting service which 
was kept up between towns in companies or squads. Before 
closing our narrative of events about Brookfield it is due 
that at least a short sketch should be given of some of the 
leading characters. Capt. Thomas Wheeler it is supposed 
was of the family of Wheelers who were at Concord as early 
as 1640 — I and which Shattuck says according to tradition, 
came from Wales. That the tradition is incorrect is strongly 
probable since the name of Wheeler was a common one 
among English families who early emigrated to America. 
It is believed that the families of Wheeler who went to Con- 
cord dwelt, before coming to this country, at a place a few 
miles from Odell, Bedfordshire, England, at which latter 
place Rev. Peter Bulkeley formerly lived In this locality, 
it is stated, that in the 17th century more people bore the 
name of Wheeler than any other This fact renders it 
quite presumable that the Concord families of Wheeler 
emigrated from that vicinity. 

Another significant circumstance is that a few miles from 
the old home of Peter Bulkeley was a small parish known 
as Cranfield and in that parish was formerly a locality or 
precinct that went by the name of Virginia. As both 
these terms are familiar in Concord history designating places 
the earliest in which some of the Wheelers have lived, it 
may not be too much to suppose that the terms were brought 
to this country by the Wheelers or Bulkeleys. The Vir- 
ginia road according to Mr. Albert E. Wood was the earliest 
or one of the earliest in the plantation. 

Capt. Thomas Wheeler it is supposed, was a brother of 
Capt. Timothy and Lieut. Joseph Wheeler of Concord. 
He married Ruth, a daughter of William Wood and died 
Dec. 10, 1676. He had five sons. 

Concord 3 73 

Thomas Wheeler Jr. who was with his father in the 
Brookfield fight died unmarried Feb. 16, 1676 — 7. ^n the 
record of his death he is refered to as "Thomas y* son of 
Widow Ruth Wheeler" That his estate was administered 
upon is evidence that he was past nonage and not a mere 
lad of thirteen as has been asserted. Nothing of a doc- 
umentary nature that we know of indicates that the Capt. 
Thomas Wheeler the old Indian fighter was a citizen of 
Concord previous to 1662. In 1669 the town leased to 
him a tract of land that has been referred to in a previous 
chapter. Before his residence in Concord he was engaged 
in trading with the Indians along the Merrimac river. 
Timothy Wheeler mentions in his will which was pro- 
bated Sept. 7, 1687, "Joseph, Ephraim and DeHverance, 
my brother Thomas his sons." 

Children of Capt. Thomas and his wife Ruth were Alice, 
died March 17, 1641 ; Nathaniel, Jan. 9, 1676 — 7; 
Thomas died Jan. 1 7 1 676 — 7 ; Ephraim died Feb. 9, 1689. 

Joseph and Deliverance, mentioned in Timothy's will, 
were, it is supposed, the sole survivors of their parents. 
Joseph in 1677, administered upon the estate of his brothers 
Thomas and Nathaniel. The estate of Thomas consisted 
of "a horse, pistols, cutlash, and gun ; " and was prized at 
/6— I2S. 

Capt. Thomas Wheeler was admitted a freeman in 1642. 
He became Sergeant of a foot company of Concord in 1662 ; 
and was appointed Captain of a horse company at its organ- 
ization in 1669. The horse company was made up of 
troopers from several towns. 

Jan. 12, 1669, a lease of land for twenty one years con- 
taining two hundred acres of upland and sixty acres of 
meadow lying west of Nashoba brook was made to Capt. 
Thomas Wheeler. The terms were that he should pay a 
yearly rent of five pounds after the expiration of seven 
years and build a house and farm. The house was to be 
forty feet long, eighteen feet wide, and twelve feet stud, 
«*covrd with shingles, with a payer of Chimnes." The barn 

3 74 Colonial 

was to be forty feet long, twenty four feet wide, and twelve 
feet stud. At the expiration of the lease the buildings were 
to be left for the use of the town, with thirty acres of fenced 
tillage land. 

It was further stipulated in the lease that he was to 
receive and pasture the dry cattle of the town's people, the 
cattle not to be more than one hundred in number, nor less 
than eighty. The cattle were to be marked by their own- 
ers, and delivered at Capt. Wheeler's barn. The price fixed 
was two shillings a head, payable one third in wheat, one 
third in rye or peas and one third in Indian corn. The 
owners were to "keep the said herd twelve Sabboth dayes 
yearely at the appointment & according to the proportion 
by the said Thomas or his heires allotted." 

Simon Davis was a son of Dolor Davis who was a peti- 
tioner for the town of Groton in 1656 and had lands granted 
him in Concord in 1659. He was a carpenter and died at 
Dunstable 1673. -^^ married Margery, a sister of Major 
Simon Willard ; and their children were Ruth, who married 
Steven Hall and Simon and Samuel, both of which sons 
were settled in Concord. Simon Davis married Mary, a 
daughter of James Blood in 1660; and died June 14, 17 13 
aged 77. Simon Davis and Mary had a numerous family ; 
and their descendants are widely scattered, some of whom 
have been distinguished. 

To close our account of the Brookfield affair without 
some further notice of Ephraim Curtis would leave it incom- 
plete although he was not a Concord citizen. Ephraim Cur- 
tis was the son of Henry Curtis an original grantee of the 
town of Sudbury which was settled in 1638. He was 
doubtless well acquainted with his fellow soldiers of Con- 
cord, his father's house having been situated, it is supposed 
near the border of the two towns. Although only about 
thirty years old at the breaking out of the war, yet his 
knowledge of woodcraft and Indian ways were exceptional. 
It is said that he understood their language. The fact 
that the Colonial Council twice sought his services 

Concord 375 

to bear a message to the Nipmucks, unaccompanied but by 
two or three friendly Indians showed remarkable confidence 
in him. 

Before his appearance as an emissary for the govern- 
ment to negotiate with the Indians, he penetrated the west- 
ern wilderness as a pioneer and built a house at a place near 
Quinsigamond pond now in Worcester. 

Mr. Falls in his "Reminiscences of Worcester" says 
"For a time he claimed the whole town of Worcester but 
had to be content with two hundred acres near the upper 
part of Plantation Street and another plantation near Graf- 
ton Gore." 

Although noted for his venturesome nature we infer he 
had a heart gentle as a child, for it is said that in his later 
life he was accustomed to tell how after working all day, he 
would sit down and look towards Sudbury and shed tears 
in spite of himself. 

It would be vain to attempt adequately to set forth the 
boldness of Curtis in his thrice repeated endeavor to pass 
the enemies' lines before Brookfield. It may be doubtful 
if in the chronicles of the early wars of America acts more 
heroic have been recorded. It was a desperate strait that 
led Capt. Wheeler to send him forth ; and it was a forlorn 
hope of a fearful character that Curtis entered upon and no 
one better than he knew its possible consequences. 

The garrison door opened and he went out, it closed, 
and he was left alone with his enemies. His main protec- 
tion, apart from Providence, was the damp, dust laden 
atmosphere made heavy by the smoke of gunpowder, the 
friendly darkness, and the drowsy condition of the savages 
wearied by the work of the day previous. A slight incau- 
tious movement might betray him, the breaking of a stick, 
the rustle of the woodgrass or the unlucky displacement of 
a small stone. But none of these things deterred him. 
Dropping on his hands and knees and creeping silently on 
the greensward he eluded the viligance of the watching guard 
and when through the cordon of savages and fairly within 

37^ Colonial 

the outskirts of the welcome woodland he arose and ran, 
and hours later "much spent and ready to faint" he reached 
Marlboro to find to his joy that Major Willard was already 
on his way to Brookfield to rescue his beleaguered com- 
rades. Ephraim Curtis died at Sudbury at the age of 92 ; 
and was probably buried in the town's old burying ground. 


Removal of the Christian Indians from Nashoha to 
Concord — Indian Mission Work — 'The Estab- 
lishment of Christian or Praying Indians in Villages 
or Towns — The Character and Conduct of the 
Christian Indians — Their Fidelity and Service to 
the English — Rules for their Restraint — Humane 
Act of John Hoar — Circumstances Explanatory of 
Harsh Treatment of the Christian Indians by the 
Colonial Communities — Historic Sketch of Indian 
Mission Work at Nashoba by Herbert Joseph Har- 
wood of Littleton — Disposition of the Nashoha 

THE next event of importance to the town in the 
course of the war was the removal of the Praying 
Indians from their plantation at Nashoba now a 
part of Littleton and placing them at Concord 
under the care of John Hoar Esq, 

As before stated, years previous to the breaking out of 
King Philip's war a portion of the Indians dwelling in this 
part of the country were gathered together in the following 
towns and villages, viz : Wamesit (Lowell), Nashoba, (Lit- 
tleton), Okkokomimesit (Marlboro), Hassamnanesit (Graf- 
ton), Makunkokoag (Hopkinton), Natick, and Punkapog 

Besides these places of ingathering, which were called the 
"Old Praying Villages,' there were several others among 
the Nipmucks called the "New Praying Towns ; " and the 
Indians thus congregated and those affiliated with them 
were known as "Christian" or "Praying Indians" 

They were under the surveilance of Daniel Gookin as 
their civic sponsor and Rev. John Eliot was their teacher 
in spiritual things. 377 

37^ Colonial 

While thus sequestered they attained a goodly degree 
of thrift, laid aside their Pagan practices and lived peace- 
ably with their white neighbors. 

When Philip's war broke out these Indians proved them- 
selves not only friendly to the English, but very servicable 
as scouts and guides. 

So great was the confidence the English placed in them 
that they formed them into military companies, and it was 
suggested at one time that the Friendly Indian stations be 
used as frontier forts, forming not only a line of defense 
against hostile tribes in the interior, but places of rendez- 
vous for Colonial soldiers who might cooperate with them. 

In several instances, by the personal solictiude of the 
"Praying Indians" and by special service rendered by 
them, signal advantages accrued to the settlers and severe 
catastrophes were averted. Before the breaking out of the 
war, Waban informed the English of the hostile intent of 
King Phihp, and told them that as soon as the trees were 
leaved out the Indians would begin their attack. 

In the expedition of Hutchinson and Wheeler the 
Christian Indians acted as guides and interpreters; they 
also warned the Colonial soldiers of the wiles and strategies 
of the enemy. The two sons of Petuhanit, Joseph and 
Sampson, strongly advised against an advance when the 
hostile Nepmucks were urging them on towards the 
swamp ; and had their advice been followed, the sad sur- 
prise might have been averted. When the retreat came 
they carefully avoided an ambush by keeping the broken 
expedition in the open field, directing them along a course 
unknown to the English but which brought them in 
safety to the garrison. 

When, after the fight at Narraganset it became import- 
ant to know the movements of the Indians toward the 
Connecticut river. Major Gookin sent as spies, the two 
Christian Indians Kattenanit and Quanapohit. These 
went among the Indians at Brookfield and after ascertain- 
ing their plan reported it to the Council, which plan was to 

Concord 379 

assault all the frontier towns begining at l^ancaster. The 
Council acting on their report sent messengers to Concord, 
Lancaster and Marlboro. Captain Wadsworth at once 
with forty men from Marlboro, marched to Lancaster and 
the town was saved from entire destruction ; and had the 
advise of Quanapohit been heeded it is believed that the 
Rowlinson garrison would have been saved. 

It is asserted by Mr. Bodge, " There can be little doubt 
that if in the pursuit of Philip in the Nipmuck country 
the counsel of the native Indians had been heeded by 
Captain Henchman, Philip and most of his company would 
have been destroyed." 

But, notwithstanding these evidences of fidelity to the 
English, as threatening events thickened and the very 
existence of the colony was menaced, there crept over the 
community a feeling of distrust towards these Indians and 
there was a growing suspicion that some of them were in 
sympathy with King PhiHp and had even assisted him. 
This feeling which was not shared in so much by the 
ministers and magistrates, was so strong among the laity 
that at length an order was issued to disband the Christian 
Indian military companies, that all Christian Indians should 
repair to one or another of five Indian villages designated, 
that they should never go more than a mile from their 
centers unaccompanied by an Englishman, and if anyone 
was discovered breaking these rules he might be arrested 
or shot. 

Notwithstanding, however, the stringency of the regula- 
tions the masses were not satisfied, but went so far in their 
impatience to be rid of the presence of any Indian, that at 
length the Court, wearied perhaps by the people's com- 
plaints, ordered the removal of all the Indians to Deer 
Island in Boston harbor. 

The work began by the attempted removal of the 
Wamesits ; the direct occasion of which was the alleged 
setting fire to a haystack, which act a hostile Indian who 
was afterwards executed at Boston confessed to have done. 

380 Colonial 

The Punkapogs were next to be disturbed ; and soon after, 
a clamor was raised against the Naticks, who were unjustly 
accused of burning an old and disused building in Dedham. 

The Naticks were conducted from their homes by 
Captain Prentice who was their friend. They were met by 
the Apostle John Eliot and Major Gookin and other 
friends at the " Falls of the Charles river " and carried to 
Deer Island in boats. 

The Hassanamesit Praying station was attacked by the 
hostile Indians and having been disarmed by the English, 
about two hundred of them were captured. 

The same month the remnant of the Nashoba Indians, 
which consisted of not more than a dozen ablebodied men 
and their families, were ordered to Concord, and General 
Gookin, Rev. John Eliot and Major Simon Willard were 
a committee of the Court to carry out the order and see 
that they were properly cared for. 

At Concord they were placed in charge of John Hoar, 
their unfailing friend, the only man in town it is said who 
was willing to receive them. Standing up stoutly against a 
strong public sentiment, for the tragic affair at Brookfield 
and other Indian atrocities which it was suspected some of 
the Praying Indians had sympathy with were still recent, Mr. 
Hoar acted as a protector, erecting for them a building 
where they could be secure from all indignities whether from 
within or without the town, and providing employment by 
which they could earn a livelihood. 

This act of John Hoar stands out in strong contrast 
with the treatment they received at other hands. After the 
Natick Indians were driven away, the English entered and 
plundered their deserted homes while the banished inmates 
were landed upon a bleak island with insufficient clothing, 
and compelled to subsist almost entirely on fish and clams. 

When the Marlborough Indians were removed, the 
soldiers stripped them of everything, even taking from 
them the pewter communion cup that was given their 
minister by Mr. Eliot. These and other startling 

Concord 381 

incidents of cruelty all unavenged and apparently acquiesced 
in by the community in general, were the overt expression 
of a feeling of hostility to some of the Indian converts of 
the saintly Eliot. 

It is true that something maybe said explanatory of such 
severe conduct, if not in mild paliation of it. Society 
was terribly stirred by recent and startling events. Pub- 
lic calamities were accumulating. Each day might bring 
the report of a new disaster. Every wood path of 
the long and circuitous frontier was unsafe to the unarmed 
traveler. The dark war cloud was casting its shadow from 
the Connecticut river to the sea board. A quota of citizen 
soldiers from every town where they could be spared, were 
by Colonial impress assisting by guarding garrison houses 
or ranging the forests ii: scouting squads to beat up the 
enemy and upon their discovery to fall back and warn the 
endangered inhabitants. Under such circumstances it is 
not altogether remarkable that it became unpopular to 
befriend the Praying Indians ; and even that such good 
and true men as Gookin and Eliot who had the best means 
of knowing the nature of the Christian Indians and the 
actual facts concerning their conduct became the targets of 
public scorn because of their advocacy of the cause of these 
helpless creatures. 

The spot where the workhouse provided by Mr. Hoar 
probably stood was not far from the town's central 
garrison house. 

Gookin says of its situation that it was " about the midst 
of the town and very nigh the town's watchhouse." 

As showing the interest of Mr. Hoar by this friendly 
act, we quote the following from Gookin's " History of the 
Praying Indians." 

" About this time there befell another great trouble and 
exercise to the Christian Indians of Nashobah, who 
sojourned in Concord by order. The matter was this ; the 
Council had, by several orders, empowered a committee, 
who, with the consent of the selectmen of Concord, settled 

382 Colonial 

those Indians at that town, under the government and 
tuition of Mr. John Hoare ; the number of those Indians 
were about fifty-eight of all sorts, whereof there were not 
above twelve able men, the rest women and children. These 
Indians lived very soberly, and quietly, and industriously, 
and were all unarmed ; neither could any of them be 
charged with any unfaithfulness to the English interests. 

" In pursuance of this settlement, Mr. Hoare had begun 
to build a large and convenient work-house for the Indians 
near his own dwelling, which stood about the midst of the 
town, and very nigh the town watch-house. 

" This house was made, not only to secure those Indians 
under lock and key by night, but to employ them and to 
set them to work by day, whereby they earned their own 
bread, and in an ordinary way ( with God's blessing ) would 
have lived well in a short time." 

That any suspicion of treachery on the part of the 
Nashobah Indians was ill founded is evident from the fact 
that they who knew the most about them had an unstinted 
belief in their sincerity. Their conduct from the beginning 
had inspired confidence. Tahattawan, the Sachem of 
Nashoba who once dwelt at Nashawtuc, as tradition has it, 
became one of the first converts to Christianity by the 
preaching of Eliot at Nonantum. The tribe or clan which 
he represented went to Nashoba from the region of the 
Musketequid, by the advice of Mr. Eliot that they adopt 
the government that Jethro proposed to Moses in the 
wilderness, whereby they were to choose rulers of hundreds 
and of fifties and of tens. In this way they came to live 
in towns separate from the English, and upon this principle, 
Natick and Nashoba and the other Indian villages or 
"Praying towns " were originated. 

As the sequel to the removal of the Nashobah Indians 
to the place provided for them by Mr. Hoar is of a later 
date, the subject will be left here to be resumed in its 
chronological order. 

Before dismissing the subject however it may be appro- 

Concord 383 

priate, since these Indians are properly associated with the 
history of Concord in other relations than those which are 
religious, to print the following sketch of them which by 
permission is quoted from a paper prepared by Herbert 
Joseph Harwood, Historian of the town of Littleton and 
published in a pamphlet of the Littleton Historical Society 
entitled Proceedings No. i. 

"John Eliot in his 'Brief Narrative' written in 1670 says, 
'Nashope is our next Praying Town, a place of much Afflic- 
tion ; it is the chief place of Residence, where Tahattawans 
lived, a Sachem of the Blood, a faithful and zealous Chris- 
tian, a strict yet gentle Ruler; he was a Ruler of 50 in our 
Civil Order ; and when God took him, a chief man in our 
Israel was taken away from us. His only son was a while 
vain, but proved good, expert in the Scripture, was Elected 
to Rule in his Father's place, but soon died, insomuch that 
this place is now destitute of a Ruler.' 

"This was the earliest Nashoba sachem of whom we have 
any knowledge, he is spoken of in different publications and 
records by the various names, Tahattawarre, Tahattawan, 
Tahatawants, Attawan, Attawance, Ahattawance and Natta- 
hattawants, under which last name he is recorded in Suffolk 
deeds, Vol. i No. 34 as the grantor in a sale made in 1642, 
of a large tract of land on both sides of Concord River to 
Symon Willard in behalf of Governor Winthrop, Mr. Dud- 
ley, Mr. Nowell, and Mr. Allen. 

"The tract was in extent 3 760 acres and the consideration 
*six fadom of waompampege, one waistcoat and one 
breeches.' In the deed Nattahatawants is referred to as 
*sachem of that land' and is referred to by some writers as 
sachem of Musketaquid (Concord), in view of which it is 
important to note that Eliot states that 'Nashope' 
[Nashobah] was his, 'chief place of Residence.' 

"Barber gives Tahattawan jointly with Squaw Sachem as 
the vendors of Concord to the white settlers in 1635. 

"Tahattawan's only son who succeeded him as sachem of 
Nashobah was John Tahattawan, also referred to as Taha- 

384 Colonial 

tooner by Samuel G. Drake. 

"Old Tahattawan had two daughters (at least), the elder 
of whom, Tassansquaw, married the celebrated Waban, and 
another Naanasquaw or Rebeckah married Naanishcow or 
John Thomas. 

"Tahattawan's son referred to by Eliot, John Tahattawan, 
was one of the signers to 'an agrement mad betwene the 
Ingene of mashoba and the Town of concord' dated '20 of 
10 mo. 1660' and if the record on Concord books is an 
exact copy, both he and John Thomas signed their own 
names, while seven other Indians made marks, but the fact 
that John Thomas in 171 4 signed a deed by mark, and 
also that the word 'and' occurs between these two signa- 
tures on the record would tend to show that perhaps there 
is an inaccuracy in the record and all may have made 

"This 'agreement' of 1660 conveyed land which was after- 
wards known as Concord's second grant. 

John Tahattawan died before 1670, and left a widow 
Sarah, daughter of Sagamore John of the Wamesits, and 
children, a daughter Sarah, otherwise called Kehonosquaw, 
and a young son who was killed at the age of 12 years, 
Nov. 15, 1675 ^^ Wamesit, near Lowell, when a party of 
armed men of Chelmsford went to the Indian camp and 
wantonly fired upon them in retaliation for the burning of 
a barn of which the Indians were suspected. Five women 
and children were wounded, among whom was the boy's 
mother Sarah, who was then a widow for the second time, 
having had as her second husband Oonamog, ruler of the 
praying Indians of Marlborough. In my 'Historical Sketch' 
I made the error of confusing Sarah the widow of John 
Tahattawan with his daughter Sarah or Kehonosquaw. 

"After the death of John Tahattawan, Pennakennit or 
Pennahannit was the chief of the Nashobah Indians, and 
was also 'marshal general' of all the praying Indians and 
attended court at Natick. He was also called Capt. 
Josiah, and was no doubt the last who could be called 

Concord 385 

Sachem of the Nashobahs, as he is spoken of by Gookin as 
chief in 1674, and in the year following the settlement was 
broken up by King Philip's war. 

"Waban, as before stated, married Tassansquaw, the 
eldest daughter of old Tahattawan,and is supposed to have 
originally been of this vicinity, though it is not by any 
means certain ; his name is also spelled Waaubon or 
Waubon, and according to Samuel Gardner Drake, 
signified ' wind.' He is said to have been about the same 
age as Rev. John Eliot and consequently was born about 

"Winthrop says that Eliot in beginning his labors among 
the Indians in 1646, preached ' one week at the wigwam of 
one Wabon, a new sachem near Watertown mill, and the 
other or next week in the wigwam of Cutshamekin near 
Dorchester mill.' 

"Being Eliot's first convert to Christianity and a man of 
much strength of character, Waban was of great assistance 
in gaining the good will and attention of other Indians and 
was recognized as a powerful man both by the white people 
and by the Indians, both Christians and those hostile in 
King Philip's war. 

"An instance of this is shown in the letters from Sam 
Sachem and other Indians begging for peace, printed by 
Samuel Gardner Drake. The first one dated July 6, 1676 
is superscribed To all Englishmen and Indians, all 
of you hear Mr. Waban, Mr. Eliott,' and the addresses of 
three of these letters include Waban's name. 

"Waban was of Natick in 1674 and the chief man there 
when Gookin wrote in that year, adding ' He is a person 
of great prudence and piety: I do not know any Indian 
that excels him,' 

"He was alive as late as March 19, 1684, at which date 
he signed by mark the first of sixteen Natick Indians 
who sent a letter to Mr. Gookin inviting him to lecture, 
and is said to have died at Natick the summer following. 

"Waban's son, Thomas Waban of Natick, signed in 17 14, 

386 Colonial 

a deed to the heirs of Col. Peter Bulkeley and Maj. 
Thomas Henchman of half of Nashobah plantation. I 
own the original document, showing Thomas Waban's 
signature in a good hand. Two other Indians who signed 
by mark were John Thomas and John Thomas, jr., also of 

"The town records of Natick were written at one time by 
Thomas Waban in the Indian language, an i it is said he 
was also a justice of the peace and once issued a warrant as 
follows : 

'You you big constable ; quick you catchum Jeremiah 
Offscow ; strong you holdum ; safe you bringum afore 
me, Thomas Waban, Justice peace.' 

"A story is told by Samuel Gardner Drake of Waban, 
which may perhaps more properly be told of his son, as 
follows: A young justice asked Waban what he would do 
when Indians got drunk and quarrelled ; he replied ' Tie 
um all up, and whip um plaintiff, and whip um fendant, 
and whip um witness.' 

"Thomas Waban's Indian name was Weegramomenit, as 
we learn from the deed to Hon. Peter Bulkeley of Con- 
cord and Maj. Thomas Henchman of Chelmsford dated 
June 15, 1686 conveying half of Nashobah plantation. 
At that time the Indians could not legally sell, but were 
afterward given permission by the General Court to do so, 
which accounts for the second deed of the same land in 
1 714, previously referred to. 

"John Thomas or Naanishcow who married one of old 
Tahattawan's daughters is referred to by Gookin as 
follows : 

" Their teacher [i. e. at Nashobah] is named John 
Thomas, a sober and pious man. His farther was 
murthered by the Maquas in a secret manner, as he was 
fishing for eels at his wear, some years since, during the 
war. He was a pious and useful person, and that place 
sustained a great loss in him." By ' teacher ' he meant 

Concord 387 

minister. John Thomas had sons, Solomon or Naahke- 
nomenit and John Thomas, jr. 

"Several of these relationships I established by the signa- 
tures to the deed of June 15, 1686, to Bulkeley and 
Henchman, and there also signed that deed, ' Nuckomme- 
wosk, relict of Crooked Robin,' ' Natahoonet ' and 
' Wunnuhhew alias Sarah, wife to Neepanum alias Tom 
Dublet' from which 1 infer they way have been also 
descendants of old Tahattawan. 

"Other Nashobah Indians were Nasquan, Merchant 
Thomas or Marchant Thoms, Wabatut, Great James 
Natocotus a blind man, Pompant, Gomps and 'Mr. John 
Sagamore ' who was the father of Sarah the wife of Tom 

"The petition of Rev. John Eliot for the incorporation of 
the several Indian towns is of date May 3, 1654 and the 
portion of his petition that relates to the Nashoba planta- 
tion is the following : 

"First, therefore the inhabitants of Nashoba living 7 or 8 
miles west of Concord, desire to have liberty to make a 
town in y' place, with due accomadations thereunto. And 
though Concord have some conditional grants of lands y' 
way, yet I understand that we shall have a loving and Chris- 
tian agreement betwixt them and the Indians." 

The response to the petition is as follows, and of date 
May, 14, 1654 

"In ans"" to the peticon of Mr. Jno. Elliott, on behalf of 
severall Indians, the Court graunts his request, viz. : liberty 
for the inhabitants of Nashop [Nashobah] and to the 
inhabitants of Ogkoontiquonkames [Marlborough] and 
also to the inhabitants of Hasnemesuchoth [Grafton] to 
erect severall Injan tounes, in the places propounded wi"" 
convejent acomodacon to each, provided they p'judice not 
any former graunts ; nor shall they dispose of it wi"" out 
leave first had and obtajned from this Court." 

In his history of Concord Mr. Shattuck has the follow- 
ing reference to the Nashoba territory, 

388 Colonial 

"Nashobah, lying near Nagog Pond, partly in Littleton 
and partly in Acton as now bounded, accordingly became an 
Indian town; and here a part of the Praying Indians in 
Concord, with others in the vicinity, gathered and adopted 
civil and religious order, and had a Ruler and other muni- 
cipal officers, though no church was formed. Such as were 
entitled to Christian ordinances probably went to Natick 
to celebrate the communion after a church was organized 
there in 1660." 

Mr. Harwood states that he has found no authority for 
supposing that the town of Concord ever had any title to the 
territory of Nashoba, but he locates the original grant outside 
of any English town boundary lines. 

He states in his History : 

"If the reader will look at a map of Littleton and note 
the following points, he will have the four corners of the 
ancient Indian plantation Nashobah : the northwest corner 
of Littleton on the side of Brown Hill, near the road to 
Ayer, was one corner ; a point near the centre of Boxboro', 
found by prolonging the present west and south lines of 
Littleton, till they meet, was another corner ; the westerly 
end of Nagog pond was a third corner, and a point on the 
Westford line, between the Dodge place and Forge Pond, 
was the fourth corner. It was uniformly spoken of as four 
miles square, but was not exactly that, being, as we have 
seen, only three miles on one ' side, and having corners 
which varied slightly from right angles." 

Repeatedly in ancient documents relating to lands lying 
in the vicinity of the Nashoba grant are references to this 
tract of territory in a way that leads one to infer, as we 
believe, that it was a distinctive area of wilderness land, 
entirely independent of any that had hitherto been granted. 
Petitioners from other places in being allowed their 
requests are cautioned not to intrude upon this Indian 
reservation nor in anyway to interfere with it in the 
establishing of boundary lines ; and this precaution was 
observed in response to petitions from the people of Con- 

Concord 389 

cord and made even after the granting of land for the 
" feeding grounds " from which " Concord Village ", after- 
wards Acton, was formed. 

The lands of the Nashoba Indians in process of a few 
years after Philip's war were transferred piecemeal, or in 
parcels to the English owners or occupants. Lieutenant 
Joseph Wheeler of Concord by trading with the Nashoba 
Indians, while they were living on their plantation, became 
their creditor and besought of the Colonial Court in 1662, 
a tract of two hundred acres in the south portion of 
Nashoba byway of satisfaction ot his claim, but was refused. 

Among the first purchasers of land of the Nashoba 
Indians, if not the very first, were Peleg Lawrence and 
Robert Robbins of Groton. The tract purchased by these 
persons was, according to a plan on file at the State House 
bearing date Jan, 2, 1686-7, was located in the north east 
corner of the Nashoba reservation, with an area of a half 
mile in width by two in length. The next purchaser of 
a portion of the plantation from the aboriginal owners and 
the first for which a deed was passed was made Jnne 15, 
1869, by Hon, Peter Bulkeley of Concord and Major 
Thomas Henchman of Chelmsford. These vendees 
bought the eastern half of the territory, for the sum of 
seventy pounds. The deed of this tract was placed upon 
record and the following is a description : 

"And it contains one moyety or halfe part of said Nash- 
oba plantations, & the easterly side of 't; It is bounded by 
Chelmsford plantation (about three miles & three quarters) 
on the easterly side; by Concord village Land Southward, 
about two miles & three-quarters ; Northward it is 
bounded by Land sold by the aforesaid Indians to Robert 
Robbins and Peleg Lawrence, both of Groton Town, 
which land is part of the aforesaid Nashobah plantation, & 
this is exactly two miles in Length & runs East three 
degrees Northerly, or West three degrees southerly, & the 
South end runs parrallell with this Line; On the Westerly 
side it is bounded by the remainder of said Nashoba plan- 

390 Colonial 

tation : & that West Line runs (from two little maples 
marked with H for the Northwest corner) it runs South 
seven degrees & thirty minutes east, four miles & one- 
quarter ; the most Southerly corner is bounded by a little 
red oak marked H, the north east corner is a stake stand- 
ing about four or five pole southward of a very great Rock 
that Lyeth in the line between said Nashobah & Chelms- 
ford plantation." 

After the foregoing conveyances there was left in posses- 
sion of the Indians, says the historian of Littleton, "only 
<-hat portion of the plantation which Danforth in his plan 
designated as 'Nashobah the Indians part' being the west- 
erly portion, four miles long on the west line, two miles 
theoretically on the north line, but actually only one, and 
412 poles on the south line," Deeds from the Indians 
relating to the transfers are on record at the Cam- 
bridge Registry of Deeds, one with date May 9, 1694, 
from Thomas Waban of Natick to Walter Powers of Con- 
cord and the others with date May 10, 1701 from Solomon 
and John Thomas, Jr., both of Natick, to Josiah Whit- 
comb of Lancaster. A deed confirmatory of the title to 
the tract bought by Bulkeley and Henchman was 
given in 1714 by Thomas Waban, John Thomas and John 
Thomas Jr., to Major Henchman and the heirs of Hon. 
Peter Bulkeley. The original deed which is ancient in 
appearance and bears the signature of Waban and the 
marks of the other grantees is in the possession of Herbert 

For years it was a grave question with the General 
Court as to what should be done with the territory once 
occupied by these Indians. Some of the inhabitants of 
Concord wished to settle upon it and make it an English 
town. Some of the neighboring towns, as Groton and Stow, 
desired to annex the whole or a part of the territory and 
thus absorb it in their own township. Their desires 
found expression in the form of petition and of an actual 
attempted annexation of the land. Meanwhile as the 

Concord 39 1 

matter was left open, straggling settlers came upon the land, 
and some by right oi purchase and some without right 
made their home there. But the colonization element at 
length prevailed; and in response to a petition of date 1711 
when twenty-three who represented themselves "Inhabit- 
ants of Concord, Chelmsford, Lancaster and Stow," etc., 
asked the General Court for permission to settle a town- 
ship at Nashoba, a committee was appointed to view the 
land and make a report of it. The result was that in 1713, 
it was decided that Nashoba should be a town of English 
people, and on November 1 714, an act incorporating it was 
passed by the Court, and from this and adjacent territory 
the town of Littleton was created. 

Only a few of the Nashoba Indians ever returned to 
their ancient corn fields and hunting grounds at Nashoba 
after their exile to Deer Island. The last occupant of her 
race was Sarah Dublet the wife of *' Tom Dublet " whose 
Indian name as she signed it in the deed to Bulkeley and 
Henchman was Wunuhhew, sometimes called "Sarah 
Indian." Traces of the Nashoba Indians have occasionally 
been discovered about their ancient haunts. Especially 
have they been found in the vicinity of Nagog Pond 
where there are indications of ovens and sites of huts, and 
where it is said there was once an Indian fort. 

At the breaking out of Philip's war, several families of 
white people were living in that part of Littleton known as 
Nashoba but which was really in Concord Village. 
Prominent among these families was Walter Powers whose 
estate had been called the " Powers Farm " and " Nashoba 
Farm." Upon this farm there once stood a garrison house 
which was long called the " Reed House." The ruins of 
this building are now, or were recently, visible at the foot of 
Nashoba hill. There was also visible until within a few 
years vestiges of an ancient burying place which probably 
contain the dust of the Shepards, the Powers, and 
others of the earliest pioneers, who soon after the abandon- 
ment of the Nashoba plantation, and the fires of Philips 

392 Colonial 

war had fairly faded out found their way thitherward. 
The old graveyard was years ago ploughed over but some 
of the grave stones which found their way into a wall give 
unmistakable evidence that thereabouts they were once 
used as grave markers. It may be proper to observe be- 
fore leaving this subject that as a portion of Littleton, 
which was not of the Indian plantation, may have been 
associated and known by the name of Nashoba, care may 
be necessary in making a distinction between the two tracts 
of territory. That which has been designated as Nashoba 
but which was not within the Indian plantation, is a part 
of what has been called Concord Village, and has been 
known as " Power's Farm " and " Nashoba Farm." 

'PIJBLIC library] 
j^Astor, Lenox and ryden,^ 



'The Narragansett Campaign — Its Object and 
Nature — Names of Concord Soldiers — Company in 
which they Served — The Officers — Return of 
Order of Concord Committee of Militia — Object of 
the Expedition — The Swamp Fort — The Wintry 
March from Dedham Plain — The Fi^ht — 
Description by Rev. G. M. Bodge — Casualities to the 
Concord Soldiers — Burial of the Dead — The 
Return March — Comments on Criticism of Conduct 
of the Campaign — Account of Petitions for Land 
Grants — Concord Names in List of Land Claim- 
ants — The '''■Long' or ''''Hungry' March — Authen- 
tic Account of the Swamp Fight by Capt. James 

THE next prominent movement in which Concord 
soldiers were engaged was the famous Narragan- 
sett Campaign. 

In December 1675, a^t^f the retirement of King Philip 
and his followers from the Nipmuck country and his defeat 
about Springfield, the United Colonies of Massachusetts, 
Plymouth and Connecticut, perhaps for the double purpose 
of preventing the Narragansett Indians from rendering him 
aid and also to punish them for alleged acts of perfidy, 
fitted out an Expedition. 

The project was hastily planned and placed under the 
command of General Josiah Winslow of Plymouth. The 
army consisted of one thousand men ; five hundred and 
twenty coming from Massachusetts. The Massachusetts 
men consisted of six companies of foot and one of horse 
under command of Samuel Appleton of Ipswich. The 
commanders of these companies were as follows : ist 


3 94 Colonial 

Jeremiah Swain, Lieut. ; 2nd Samuel Mosely, Capt. ; 3d 
James Hosmer Oliver, Capt. ; 4th Isaac Johnson, Capt. ; 
5th Nathaniel Davenport, Capt. ; 6th Joseph Gardner, 
Capt. ; Cavalry Company., Thomas Prentice, Capt. The 
Concord men were in Capt. Davenport's company, and the 
following are from a list of men impressed for it from the 
several towns. Mass. Archives, Vol. 68, page 100 and 
pages 67-100. The date is from November 25 to 
December 3, 1675. 

The list is made up of men from Cambridge, Woburn, 
Sudbury, Cambridge Village, Reading, Medford and 

The names of Concord men are as follows : Joseph Busse, 
Abraham Temple, Samuel Howe, John Wood, Joseph 
Wheeler, Thomas Brown, John Wheeler, Timothy Rice, 
George Hayward, Steven Farre, John Taylor. 

The line officers of Company 5 were Nathaniel 
Davenport, Capt. ; Edward Tyng, Lieut. ; John Drury, 

Captain Davenport was born in Salem. He was a man 
of enterprise and ability and had gained some distinction 
by governmental appointment. His experience with men 
and his daring nature fitted him for a military leader. He 
was said to be popular with his men ; and that upon taking 
command he made a speech to them and also gave them 
liberty to choose their own sergeants " which pleased them 
very well." Lieut. Ting or Tyng, who commanded the 
company after Davenport fell, was son of Capt. Edward 
Tyng and was born March 25, 1649. H^ was subse- 
quently made Lieutenant Colonel by Go^. Andros, and 
after the reduction of Nova Scotia, Andros appointed him 
Governor of Annapolis, but on his way there, the vessel 
that conveyed him was captured by the French and he was 
taken to France where he died. 

The following is the return of the order of the Concord 
Committee of Militia which directed them to impress men 
for the country's service, a part of which service was in the 

Colonial 395 

Narragansett campaign. State Archives, Vol. 68, page 6c^. 

"To the honors Court sitting in Boston j'' 10"' 75. 

By virtue of a warrant from Maj'. Simon Wiilard 
directed to the Comittee of the Militia in Concord requir- 
ing them to impresse eleven able souldiers well fitted &c: 
for the service of the Country in the present expedition : 
The said Comittee have impressed ( & accord : to order of 
hono'^'^ Council doe returne the names of) these persons ; 
viz : Joseph Brusse, Abraham Temple, Samuel How, 
John Wood, Joseph Wheeler, Thomas Browne, John 
Wheeler, Timothy Rice, George Hayward, Stephen Farre 
& John Taylour, who were at present ( most of them & 
the rest seasonably will bee) fitted for arms: But several 
of them doe want & desire to be supplyed with some 
cloathing ( coates especially ) & where they may bee accom- 
modated with them they would understand. 2^ lo'*" 75- 
Yo' worships humble servant. 

Tim : Wheeler Capt. 
of Concord. 

Wee having severall Troopers also impressed in 
this Towne, & there being a Company of Indians ordered 
amongst us, w*^*" wee are to take care of: Tis humbly 
desired, that favor may bee shown us, in the release of 
some ( if it may bee ) of the persons above mentioned. 

Tim : Wheeler." 

The more immediate object of the expedition and that 
which has rendered it famous was the reduction of the 
Indian stronghold in what is now Kingston, R. I. This 
fort, for such it has been called, though of Indian construc- 
tion, was very strong, having been built, it is 
supposed, under the direction of an Englishman by the 
name of Teffe or Tift. 

It was situated upon an upland or island in the midst of 
a large cedar swamp of five or six acres in area. About 
the place was a circle of palisades or timbers set upright, 

39^ Colonial 

outside of which, Hubbard states, was a hedge of almost a 
rod in thickness. The " Old Indian Chronicle " asserts 
that it was in the middle was a clay wall and that felled trees 
were about it. At the corners and exposed portions were 
block houses or flankers for cross firing upon any who 
might seek entrance between them. Within the enclosure 
were several hundred wigwams, and there the Narragansetts 
had ensconced themselves and accumulated their winter 
stores. At one corner of the fort where the defenses were 
incomplete, there being neither hedge nor palisades, the 
entrance was guarded by a fallen tree about five feet from 
the ground. 

It is probable the Indians relied very much upon the 
nature of the ground for defense; this being such that 
except when it was frozen an approach to the fort would 
be very difficult and dangerous, and perhaps this was one 
reason why the attack was made in the winter. 

The Massachusetts forces mustered on Dedham plain 
Thursday, December 9, 1675. ^" ^^^ same day they 
marched twenty-seven miles to Woodcock's garrison in the 
present town of Attleboro. On December 10 they arrived 
at Seekonk, and on the 12th crossed over Patuxet river, 
and going by way of Providence reached Smith's garrison 
at Wickford, R. I. at night. Several days were then spent 
in scouting and skirmishing and on December 18, a march 
was made to Pettisqnamscott where the Connecticut force 
consisting of 320 men under the command of Major 
Treat joined them. 

This army it is alleged was the finest that had 
ever been organized in America. The starting was a sad 
one. At Pettisqnamscott they found that Bull's garrison 
house which was a stone building and at the time con- 
sidered a very strong one had been destroyed by the 
Indians, and the entire expedition was compelled to 
bivouac in the open air with a driving snow storm raging 
about them. 

When the morning broke it was still snowing ; but 

Concord 397 

chilled though the men were by the night's exposure they 
moved forward to the Indian Fort which was but a few 
miles ahead. 

The Massachusetts men were in the advance ; the 
Plymouth men next, and the Connecticut contingent at the 

The snow grew deeper as the march progressed and it 
was with difficulty that the men plodded forward with their 
heavy packs and military accouterments. By about noon 
the army had reached the border of the large swamp in 
which the stronghold was situated. As they came in 
sight of it a body of Indians were discerned which the 
companies of Capts. Davenport and Mosely, which were 
in the advance, pursued and fired upon. 

The Indians after returning the fire fled into the swamp, 
the English following without waiting for orders or for the 
other companies to come up. 

Upon arriving, however, near the only possible entrance 
to the Fort, which was by a long fallen tree " over a place 
of water" and across which the pursued Indians had just 
passed, Davenport and Morsely halted their companies, 
hesitating, doubtless to follow over a path so perilous and 
not knowing but that the Indians who had just passed over it 
had been sent to decoy them to a place deadly of entrance. 
But the halt was a short one ; for they quickly discovered the 
incompleted portion before spoken of and the two compan- 
ies dashing forward, then and there was commenced that 
terrific conflict which for three hours was waged with a most 
appalling fierceness. 

We quote the following description of the battle by Mr. 

"The companies of Capts. Davenport and Johnson came 
first to this place, and those officers at once charged through 
the gap and over the log at the head of their companies; 
but Johnson fell dead at the log, and Davenport a little 
within the fort; and their men were met with so fierce a fire 
that they were forced to retire again and fall upon their faces 

39^ Colonial 

to avoid the fury of the musketry till it should somewhat 
abate. Mosely and Gardiner, pressing to their assistance, 
met a similar reception, losing heavily, till they too fell back 
with the others, until Major Appleton coming up with his 
own and Capt. Oliver's men, massed his entire force as a 
storming column, and it is said that the shout of the com- 
manders that the Indians were running, so inspired the sol- 
diers that they made an impetuous assault, carried the 
entrance amain, and beat the enemy from one of his flankers 
at the left, which afforded them a temporary shelter from the 
Indians still holding the blockhouse opposite the entrance. 
In the mean time, the General, holding the Plymouth forces 
in reserve, pushed forward the Connecticut troops, who not 
being aware of the extent of the danger from the block- 
house, suffered fearfully at the first entrance, but charged 
forward gallantly, though some of their brave officers and 
many of their comrades lay dead behind them, and unknown 
numbers and dangers before. The forces now joining, beat 
the enemy step by step, and with the fierce fighting, out of 
their block-houses and various fortifications. Many of the 
Indians, driven from their works, fled outside, some doubt- 
less to the wigwams inside, of which there were said to be 
upward of five hundred, many of them large and rendered 
bullet-proof by large quantities of grain in tubs and bags, 
placed along the sides. In these many of their old people 
and their women and children had gathered for safety, and 
behind and within these as defences the Indians still kept 
up a skulking fight, picking off our men. After three hours 
hard fighting, with many of the officers and men wounded 
and dead, a treacherous enemy of unknown numbers and 
resources lurking in the surrounding forests, and the night 
coming on, word comes to fire the wigwams, and the battle 
becomes a fearful holocaust, great numbers of those who 
had taken refuge therein being burned. 

When now the fortress and all its contents were burning, 
and destruction assured, our soldiers hastily gathered their 
wounded and as many as possible of their dead, and formed 

Colonial 399 

their column for the long and weary march back to Wick- 

As the result of the battle about 80 were slain on the 
side of the English and 150 wounded. The Indians lost 
about 300 killed, although prisoners reported their dead to 
be as many as 700, and if their wounded were in the usual 
proportion to the number of the slain then the casualities 
of those dreadful hours might run into the thousands. 

The casualties to the Concord men were : George Hay- 
ward killed, and Abraham Temple and Thomas Browne 

That the position of the company in which the Concord 
soldiers served was one of extreme peril is indicated by the 
terrible manner in which Capt. Davenport, their com- 
mander was riddled by bullets, the circumstances of whose 
death is thus narrated in the "Old Indians Chronicle": 
"Before our men came up to take posession of the Fort the 
Indians had shot three bullets through Capt. Davenport 
whereupon he bled extremely, and immediately called for 
his Lieut. Mr. Edward Ting, and committed the charge of 
the Company to him, and desired him to take care of his 
Gun, and deliver it according to Order and immediately 
died in his place." 

Ninigret, chief of the Niantick Indians informed Gen. 
Winslow that his men buried twenty four bodies of the 
English at the Fort and asked for a charge of powder for 

Forty of the English soldiers were buried at Wickford, 
and the spot was long marked by a tree called the " Grave 
apple tree," But comparatively little is recorded of the 
march back to Wickford. 

The night was bleak, the wild storm of snow which was 
raging at the start continued. 

The dread of ambuscade, the scant knowledge of the 
country, by which some lost their way, not to meet the 
main body till the next morning, the sad loss of comrades 
who might have been townsmen or neighbors, all contributed 

400 Colonial 

to make the night dreary and the journey a terrible one. 

It was, however, considered unwise to bivouac, so the 
column moved on bearing with them 210 of their wounded 
and dead, and this after marching from morning till mid- 
day and from that time engaging in fearful combat until the 
sun sank behind the dark storm cloud, leaving them to 
find their way in darkness over a strange country. 

The fort of the Narragansetts was utterly destroyed. The 
wigwams being of frail inflammable material and fanned by 
the rough wind of that tempestuous December night, an 
resting upon no foundation but the bare earth, all vestige 
of this defenced city of the aborigines and even the identity 
of the spot might have been lost except for tradition 
and a few scattered relics ; but these have been faithful to 
their trust, and the spot v/here the Swamp Fight occurred 
is pointed out to a certainty. Many bullets have been found 
in the vicinity and charred corn and cooking utensils and 
arrow heads. As criticism of the English has sometimes 
occurred on the ground that the closing scene of an event 
already sufficiently calamitous was unnecessary we quote 
from the last mentioned author. 

"I wish here to record my protest against the unjust, 
often weak, and always inconsiderate, criticism bestowed 
upon our leaders, in this campaign, and especially in this 
battle, for their lack of foresight in abandoning the shelter 
and provisions of the fort, their sacrifice of the lives of our 
wounded men through their removal and the dangers and 
fatigues of the long march, and their inhumanity in burning 
the helpless and innocent in their huts and wigwams. 

It is well to remember at the start that many of the 
wisest, ablest and bravest men of the three colonies were 
the leaders in this affair. A noble commander, wise and 
brave : reverend ministers, by no means backward with 
their opinions ; the most prominent and skillful surgeons 
the country afforded ; veteran majors and captains of 
Massachusetts and Connecticut, with their veteran soldiers 
fresh from severe experiences in the western campaign, 

Concord 4O1 

inured to danger and experienced in Indian wiles and 
deceits : against all these we have recorded only the 
remonstrance of Mr. Church, who up to that time, at least, 
had experience in Indian warfare only as a scout, and the 
only record we have of any protest by him was made many 
years after the affair. And again, from the standpoint of 
their conditions as nearly as we can now judge, it seems 
that their hasty retreat was wise. They were some sixteen 
miles from their base of supplies ( it is doubtful if they had 
noted the Indian supplies until the burning began). There 
was no way of reaching their provisions and ammunition at 
Wickford except by detaching a portion of their force now 
reduced greatly by death, wounds and exposure. The 
number of Indians who had escaped and were still in the 
woods close at hand were unknown, but supposed to be 
several thousand, with report of a thousand in reserve 
about a mile distant. These were now scattered and de- 
moralized, but in a few hours might rally and fall upon the 
fort, put our troops, in their weakened condition, upon the 
defensive, and make their retreat from the swamp extremely 
difficult if not utterly impossible, encumbered as they 
would be by the wounded, whose swollen and stiffened 
wounds in a few hours would render removal doubly pain- 
ful and dangerous. Added to this was the chance of an 
attack upon the garrison at Wickford, and the dread of 
a midnight ambuscade, which every hour's delay made 
more likely and would render more dangerous." 

When the men of the Massachusetts force were ready 
to march for the reduction of the Narragansett Fort, a 
proclamation was made in the name of the Governor to the 
soldiers that, " If they played the man, took the Fort, and 
drove the enemy out of the Narragansett country, which is 
their great seat, they should have a gratuity of land besides 
their wages." 

Years after, a petition was presented to the General 
Court by the people living in several towns of Essex 

4o2 Colonial 

County dated June 4, 1685, asking for a tract of land 
pursuant to the foregoing promise. 

The Court responded to the petition favorably, and 
allowed the grant of a tract of land eight miles square in 
the Nipmuck country " provided it be laid out so as not 
to interfere with any former grants, and that an Orthodox 
minister on their settlement of thirty families be settlec* 
within four years next coming." Mass. Col. Records 
Vol. 5 page 487. 

For forty years nothing more was done in the matter. 

The place specified for the grant was remote, and the 
conditions imposed hard to be complied with. 

In process of time, however, when the Massachusetts 
and Plymouth colonies had become one, and went by the 
name of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, a petition 
was again presented by Samuel Chandler and Jacob Wright 
of Concord in behalf of themselves and a number of other 
persons, recalling the act of the General Court in 1685, 
and asking that a grant of land might be made to the 

The result was that a committee was appointed consist- 
ing of Mr. Samuel Chandler of Concord and two others 
who were fully empowered to lay out an area oi land eight 
miles square, in some unappropriated land of the Colony 
for the purpose set forth in the petition. 

A list also was to be prepared by the committee, of those 
who by reason of service in the Narragansett war or their 
legal representatives were entitled to a share in the lands 
thus laid out. 

As it turned out that the number of claimants as 
reported by the committee was so great that the land grant 
would be insufficient for them all, the committee was 
instructed to lay out " two tracts of land for Townships of 
the contents of six miles square," the same conditions 
being imposed as in the first order. 

After some delay and some controversy as to the 
sufficiency of the lands granted there being disagreement 

Concord 4O3 

between the Council and House of Representatives with 
regard to it, the latter body January 19, 1 731, sent up to the 
Council a pleading message in advocacy of the claims of the 
Narragansett soldiers and their representatives. The 
following is a copy of a part of this paper : 

"And one great Reason is that there was a Proclamation 
made to the Army in the name of the Government ( as 
living Evidences very fully testify ) when they were 
mustered on Dedham Plain where they began their March, 
that if they played the man, took the Fort & Drove the 
Enemy out of the Narraganset Country, which was their 
great Seat, that they should have a gratuity in Land besides 
their Wages ; and it is well known, & our Sitting to hear 
this petition is an Evidence that this was done ; and as the 
Conditions have been performed, certainly the promise in 
all Equity & Justice ought to be fulfilled; and if we Con- 
sider the Difficulties these brave men went through in 
Storming the Fort in the Depth of Winter, & the pinching 
wants they afterwards underwent in pursuing the Indians 
that escaped through a hideous Wilderness famously known 
throughout New England to this day by the Name of the 
hungry March ; and if we further Consider that until this 
brave though small army thus played the Man, the whole 
Country was filled with Distress & fear & We trembled in 
this Capital Boston itself & that to the Goodness of God to 
this army We owe our Fathers & our own Safety & 
Estates, We cannot but think that those Instruments of 
Our Deliverance & Safety ought to be not only justly but 
also gratefully & generously rewarded & even with much 
more than they prayed for. If we measure what they 
receive from us, by what we enjoy and have received from 

We need not mention to the Honorable Board the 
Wisdom Justice and Generosity of Our Mother Country 
& of the ancient Romans, on such Occasions, Triumph, 
Orations, Hereditary Honors & privileges all the Riches, 
Lands & Spoils of War and conquered Countrys have not 

A.OA. Colonial 

been thought too great for those to whom they have not 
owed more if so much as We do those our DeHverers : & 
We ought further to observe what greatly adds to their 
merit that they were not Vagabonds & Beggars & Out- 
casts, of which Armies are sometimes considerably made 
up, who run the Hasards of War to Avoid the Danger of 
Starving : so far from this that these were some of the best 
of Our men, the Fathers & Sons of some of the greatest & 
best of Our families and could have no other View but to 
Serve the Country & whom God was pleased accordingly 
in every remarkable manner to Honour & Succeed." 

A result of this message and a renewal of the soldiers' 
petition was the appointment of a committee for an adjust- 
ment of claims ; and pursuant to the work of the committee 
townships were confirmed, among which was Narragansett 
township No. 6, now Templeton, Mass. 

This township was confirmed to one hundred and twenty 
claimants or their representatives then living in the towns 
of Concord, Groton, Marlborough, Chelmsford, Billerica, 
Lancaster, Lexington, Stow, Framingham, Littleton, 
Sherborn, Stoneham, Southborough and Woburn. 

Samuel Chandler of Concord was one of the Committee 
to have the matter in charge. 

The following are the familiar Concord names found in 
a list given in the old "Proprietors* Record" Book in 
Templeton, headed 

"June 24, 1735. Those that drawed their lots in the 
Narragansett Township No. 6." 

No. of lot Claimant Grantees and references. 

49 Samuel Chandler for Joseph Buss 

52 Samuel Chandler for . . . Assignee to John Taley 

1 9 Benjamin Temple . in the right of his father Abraham 

9 96 Simon Davis 

39 Johnathan Buttrick . . for heirs of Samuel Buttrick 

8 Ephraim Brown ... for his father Thomas Brown 

14 Samuel Miles 

26 John Wood 



80 Joseph Buckley . . . for his father Peter Buckley 

18 George Farrar i heir to Samuel How 

118 Daniel Adams . . for his father-in-law Daniel Dean 

III Daniel Billings for his father . . Nathaniel Billings 

643 Joseph Wheat for Moses Wheat 

117 Abraham Taylor 

7 Samuel Hartwell for his father Samuel 

120 David Wheeler . , . assignee to Samuel Greeland 

79 Thomas Ball 

69 Ebenezer Wheeler for his father John 

23 Nathan Brooks for "Snow" 

42 Eleazer Bateman 

25 John Wheeler for his brother Joseph 

32 Joseph Wood 

43 John Adams 

21 Ephraim Temple 

102 John Barrett 

The following is an additional list which purports to 

be the names of Concord Claimants. 

Claimants Grantees 

Samuel Chandler assignee to John Griggs 

Samuel Chandler Jr assignee to John Kent 

Jonathan Whiting alive 

Jane Cane for her father John Cane 

William Clark heir to John Taylor 

James Russel for his father Benjamin 

The Concord soldiers were probably absent from home 
about two months, during which time they were subjected to 
great hardship occasioned by long marches, hunger and 

After the withdrawal of the expedition to Wickford it 
rested till after the last of January. The snow storm that 
was raging at the time of the battle lasted several days and was 
followed by a sudden thaw which swelled the streams and 
softened the ways making marching difficult. 

After the first of February however, the forces broke 
camp and then and there began the forward movement 

Concord 406 

which for generations was designated as the "Long March" 
or "Hungry March." The objective point was the Nip- 
muck Country. The course to it was long and circuitous. 
The provisions gave out and the httle army was forced to 
kill some of its horses to sustain life. The toe harrassed 
their flank and rear, and after a long and fruitless attempt 
to bring him to an open engagement they arrived worn and 
weary at the region of the Connecticut river, and General 
Appleton seeing that the Expedition could accomplish no 
further purpose, came from Marlborough to Boston, reaching 
there about the first of February. 

As Concord was creditably represented both as to the 
town's soldiers who took part in the Swamp fight and the 
position which they occupied, it may be appropriate to pub- 
lish the following account of the engagement as it is given 
in a letter from Capt. James Oliver who commanded the 
third company. The letter is taken from Hutchinson's 
History of Massachusetts, Vol. i page 272 third edition. 
In this work the authorship of the letter which is without 
a signature is attributed to Major Bradford, but it has been 
asserted by Mr. Drake author of "Book of the 
Indians" who had seen the original, to have been signed by 
Capt. Oliver. 
" Narraganset 26"" ii"" month 1675. 

After a tedious march in a bitter cold night that followed 
Dec. 12''' we hoped our pilot would have led us to Pom- 
ham by break of day, but so it came to pass we were mis- 
led and so missed a good oportunity. Dec. 13"^, we came 
to Mr. Smith's, and that day took ^c^ prisoners. Dec. 14*^ 
our General went out with horse and foot, I with my com- 
pany was left to keep garrison. I sent out 30 of my men 
to scout abroad, who killed two Indians and brought in 4 
prisoners, one of which was beheaded. Our Army came 
home at night, killed 7 and brought in 9 more, young and 
old. Dec. 15**', came in John, a rogue, with pretence of 
peace, and was dismissed with this errand, that we might 
speak with Sachems. That evening, he not being gone a 

407 Colonial 

quarter of an hour, his company that lay behind a hill killed 
two Salem men within a mile of our quarters, and wounded 
a third that he is dead. And at a house tnree miles off 
where I had 10 men, they killed 2 of them. Instantly, 
Capt. Mosely, myself and Capt. Gardner were sent to fetch 
in Major Appleton's company that was kept 3 miles and an 
half off, and coming they lay behind a stone wall and fired 
upon us in sight of the garrison. We killed the captain that 
killed one of the Salem men, and had his cap on. That 
night they burned Jerry Bull's house, and killed 17. Dec. 
16*'' came that news. Dec. 17'^ came news that the Con- 
necticut forces were at Petasquamscot, and had killed 4 
Indians and took 6 prisoners. That day we sold Capt. Dav- 
enport 47 Indians, young and old for 80/. in money. Dec. 
17 "" we marched to Petasquamscot with all our forces, only 
a garrison left ; that night was very stormy ; we lay, one 
thousand strong, in the open field that long night. In the 
morning, Dec. 19'^, Lord's day, at five o'clock we marched. 
Between 12 and i we came up with the enemy, and had a 
sore fight three hours. We lost, that are now dead, about 
68, and had 150 wounded, many of which are recovered. 
That long snowy cold night we had about 18 miles to our 
quarters, with about 210 dead and wounded. We left 8 
dead in the fort. We had but 12 dead when we came from 
the swamp, besides the three we left. Many died by the 
way, and soon as they were brought in, so that Dec. 20**^ 
we buried in a grave 34, next day 4, next day 2, and none 
since here. Eight died at Rhode Island, one at Petasquam- 
scot, 2 lost in the woods and killed Dec. 20, as we heard 
since; some say two more died. By the best intelligence 
we killed 300 fighting men; prisoners we took, say 350, 
and above 300 women and children. We burnt above 500 
houses, left but 9, burnt all their corn, that was in baskets, 
great store. One signal mercy that night, not to be forgot- 
ten, viz : that when we drew off, with so many dead and 
wounded, they did not pursue us, which the young men 
would have done, but the sachems would not consent ; they 

4o8 Concord 

had but lo pounds of powder left. Our General, with about 
40, lost our way and wandered till 7 o'clock in the morn- 
ing before we came to our quarters. We thought we were 
within 1 miles of the enemy again, but God kept us ; to 
him be the glory. We have killed now and then i since, 
and burnt 200 wigwams more ; we killed 9 last Tuesday. 
We fetch in their corn daily and that undoes them. This 
is, as nearly as I can, a true relation. I read the narrative 
to my officers in my tent, who all assent to the truth of it. 
Monhegins and Pequods proved very false, fired into the 
air, and sent word before they came they would so, but got 
much plunder, guns and kettles. A great part of what is 
already written was attested by Joshua Teffe, who married 
an Indian woman a Wampanoag. He shot 20 times at us 
in the swamp, was taken at Providence Jan'y 14, brought 
to us the 16**', and executed the 18*^. A sad wretch, he, 
never heard a sermon but once these 14 years. His father 
going to recall him lost his head and Hes unburied." 




Astor, Lenox and TUden , 


The Advance of the English to the Nipmuck Country 
— Movements of Canonchet — Indian Depredations 
in the Spring of idy^-d — Their Descent upon Con- 
cord Village — Isaac and Jacob Shepard Slain — 
Mary Shepard made Captive — Place of the Trag- 
edy — Description of the Event — l^he Escape of 
Mary Shepard — I'he Removal of the Nashoba 
Indians from Concord — Sketch of Capt. Samuel 
Mosely — His Antecedents — Character of His Sol- 

ON Feb. 12, 1675, occurred the "Nashoba incident" 
or the massacre at "Concord Village" as the Con- 
cord "new grant" was sometimes called. 

After the desertion of their fort and perhaps 
while the wigwams with their charred corn heaps were still 
smouldering, Canonchet and the remnant of his warriors 
who with some of the families had escaped while the burn- 
ing was yet going on returned to their ruined homes to 
gather it may be what little remained of their rude imple- 
ments for cooking, or any unburnt provision which for the 
time being they might subsist upon. They buried their 
dead, cared for the wounded, and after sending their women 
and children who survived the fight and flames to a place 
of safety, sullenly and with a savage determination started 
on the track of their destroyers as they marched forth from 
Wickford. At every step they harried them till they 
reached the Connecticut valley where Canonchet formed an 
alliance with the Nipmucks at their old headquarters at 
Meminisset near Brookfield. 

At this time it is supposed that Canonchet rather than 

4 1 o Colonial 

King Philip was the real leader of the great horde of con- 
federated but unorganized Indians, which it is believed at 
this stage of the war had planned to drive the English from 
the Nipmuck country. But Canonchet soon went on an 
errand to the southward where things went adversely to him 
and he was captured and shot. A little later, Philip went west- 
ward, perhaps seeking new alliances in New York, even 
visiting, it may be, the Maquas or Mohawks. 

In the meantime, during the closing months of the year 
1675, ^^^ ^^^ y^^i* ^^ ^^'^^^ t\n\Q by the reckoning called "Old 
Style" ended in March, the Indians were more or less broken 
up into small marauding parties or squads, which scattered 
over the country disturbed the inhabitants and every now and 
then pounced upon the defenseless homesteads. On Febru- 
ary 1st, one of these squads made a descent upon the 
home of Thomas Eames situated upon the southerly side 
of Mt. Waite near the present South Framingham, and 
burned the buildings after killing or taking captive his fam- 
ily of ten persons while Mr. Eames was absent at Boston 
to obtain a stock of ammuunition with which to defend 

Feb. 10, Lancaster was burned, the Rowlinson garrison 
captured, and the wife of Rev. Joseph Rowlinson the min- 
ister was carried away captive. On the 12th, the Indians 
made a raid on Concord village, now a part of Littleton, 
and killed two men and captured a girl. 

The place of the tragedy was on the south side of Qua- 
gana Hill, and the persons slain and captured were children 
oi Ralfe and Thanklord Shepard who went from Maiden 
near a place since called Bell Rock to Cone )rd village, 
where he bought of Lieuf Joseph Wheeler of Concord 610 
acres lying in the form of a triangle between the Indian 
plantation of Nashoba and that part of Chelmsford which 
is now Westford; Nagog pond forming the base of the tri- 
angle, the apex being two miles one-quarter and sixty rods 
north from the southwest end of Nagog pond. 

Concord 411 

The names of the persons slain and captured were Isaac, 
Jacob, and Mary. 

Isaac was born June 20, 1639, and married Mary Smed- 
ley, 1667. Jacob was born in 1653, and Mary the young- 
est of the family was born in 1660 or 1662. 

When the Indians swooped down upon the Shepard 
homestead the ground was covered with snow to such a 
depth that snow shoes were used. The event happened 
on Saturday, and Isaac and Jacob were threshing in the barn. 
Being aware of the perilous times, they had set their sister 
on the summit of a hill to watch for Indians; but the sav- 
ages eluded her vigilance and before she was aware of their 
presence she was captured and her brothers were slain. 

Tradition does not inform us just where the girl was 
taken to ; some think it was in the neighborhood of Lan- 
caster, others that it was as far off as Brookfield, but wher- 
ever it was she soon escaped and returned home. 

Hubbard in his narrative of the Indian wars says of Mary 
Shepard that "she strangely escaped away upon a horse that 
the Indians had taken from Lancaster a little while before." 
Tradition asserts that she escaped during the night follow- 
ing the day of her capture and arrived home the next 

Rev. Edmund Foster a former minister of Littleton in a 
"Century Sermon" preached in the year 181 5, stated 
concerning the event that tradition says the girl was 
carried by the savages to Nashawa, now called Lancaster, 
or to some place in the neighborhood of it. 

Samuel Gardner Drake in his notes on the "Old Indian 
Chronicle" says that the leader of the band who slew the 
Shepard brothers is supposed to have been Netus, the same 
who attacked the Eames family, and who was sometimes 
called the Nipmuck Captain. Netus was slain the 22nd of 
March following, by a company of men from Sudbury, who 
with some soldiers from Marlboro found him asleep with 
a company of Indians around their campfire, Foster says 
that in the dead of night as related by tradition, Mary 

4^2 Colonial 

Shepard took a saddle from under the head of her Indian 
keeper when sunk in sleep increased by the fumes of ardent 
spirit, put the saddle on a horse, mounted him, swam 
him across Nashawa river, and so escaped the hands of her 
captors and arrived safe to her relatives and friends. 

Mrs. Rowlinson says that the onlv time she ever saw any 

Indian intoxicated during her captivity was just before her 

release when John Hoar had given her master some liquor 

as part of her ransom and he got drunk on it. 

The Removal of the Nashoba Indians from Concord 

TO Deer Island. 

Soon after the massacre at Quagana hill a movement was 
made to remove the Nashobas from the care of their friend 
John Hoar to Deer Island, Boston Harbor. 

As we have in an early chapter of this work referred 
briefly to this event giving some account of it, we will here 
only supplement it with such additional statements as were 
not there brought out, and properly belong to the period 
upon which we are writing. 

During the stay of these Indians at Concord under the 
charge of John Hoar they were given employment, and are 
represented as being contented ; but there were intermed- 
dlers in their affairs; and a part of the Concord people 
allowed their dislike of all Indians to take such acute form 
as to send for the savage adventurer, Capt. Samuel Mosely 
to take them away. 

And here it is important to pause in our narration suffi- 
ciently long to set forth some facts connected with the life 
and character of Samuel Mosely, whose name and fame in 
King Philip's war were both savory and unsavory. 

Samuel Mosely was the son of Henry Maudsley who 
came from England to Massachusetts in 1685 in the ship 
Hopewell. The family was of Lancashire, England, and 
the name was there spelled Maudesley. Henry lived at 
Braintree where Samuel was born June 14, 1641. Samuel 
spelled his name Mosley ; he married Ann Addington. In 
1688 he was one of a commission sent to treat with the 

Concord 413 

Narragansett Indians, and In connection with this service is 
called "Captain." 

In a work entitled "The Present State of New England," 
it is said of him "This Captain Mosley has been a Priva- 
teer at Jamaica, an excellent soldier and an undaunted 
spirit ; one whose memory will be honored in New England, 
for his many eminent services he hath done the Public." 

That Samuel Mosely had been somewhat of an adven- 
turer upon the high seas is probably true. One writer says 
of him that "he had visited Jamaica in the way of trade, and 
the adventurous spirit had been excited and schooled per- 
haps by Sir Henry Morgan and his associate buccaneers; 
the result of which was the bringing home to Boston the 
prizes from some unmentioned enemy." 

A part of the experience of Capt. Mosely as a quasi 
mariner was obtained by acting on a permit from the Court 
to take reprisals from the Dutch, who in several instances 
had captured vessels belonging to the English. 

In 1674 and 5, he was given the command of an expedi- 
tion for this purpose which was fitted out by some mer- 
chants in Boston whose comm^ce had been molested, and 
succeeded in taking three vessels — the "Edward and 
Thomas" whose captain was Peter Roderigo, the "Penob- 
scot Shallopp" Cornelius Anderson, Captain, and the "Shal- 
lopp called Philipp." 

The crews who manned these vessels were brought into 
Boston April 2' 1675 ^"^ imprisoned to wait their trial for 
piracy the following May. 

Much excitement existed during the trial of these men 
and some sympathy was expressed for the Dutch prisoners 
who set up a defense by pretending to produce a commis- 
sion given by William, Prince of Orange, and the allega- 
tion of an infringement of the law of nations on the part of 
the American ships by trading with the French while the 
Dutch were at war with them. The result of the trial was 
that five out of nine who were indicted for piracy were con- 
victed and sentenced to be put to death. It occurred, how 

4I4 Colonial 

ever, that on account of the existence of the Indian war an 
execution of the sentence was deterred, and Roderigo upon 
his own petition was pardoned; and Anderson, having been 
acquitted, both entered the Colonial service as soldiers. 
When the war broke out by the slaying of Sassamon or 
Sausamon and the attack upon Swansea which 
quickly followed, three companies were raised to meet 
the emergency, one of infantry from Essex county ; one 
from Suffolk ; and a company of horse from the various 
towns of Middlesex. The Suffolk company was commanded 
by Samuel Mosely, and is supposed to have been made up in 
part of some of these adventurers. 

That Mosely and some of this element gravitated together 
as comrades in arms, "doing duty" near Brookfield shortly 
after the Wheeler disaster is indicated by the following 
statement preserved among the state archives Vol. 68 page 7. 

"Boston, October y*" 13, 1675. 
To the honored Governor & Councell of the Massathusets 

Colony in New England. 

These are to signyfie that Cornellius \_sic~\ Con- 
sort the Dutchman was uppon the Contryes Servis Att qua- 
bage and by the Councle of Warre there was sent out 
Capt. of the for lorne And Afterward marched to Grot- 
ton & Chemsfort According to my best Advice continued 
in the Countryes Servis six weekes Cornellius being Reddy 
to depart the Country & myself being here att boston the 
Major Willard being Absent I granted this ticket. 

Thomas Wheeler, Capt. 
Cornelius Anderson was sometimes called Cornelius Consort. 

So popular was Capt. Mosely that although he was out- 
side the line of official succession by the stiff rule of colon- 
ial promotion, so that he could not hold a commission in 
the regular way, he raised an independent company of no 
volunteers in three hours. 

As late as May 5, 1676, Samuel Mosely received a com- 
mission while connected with the command of Major Sav- 

Concord 4t^ 

age and the wages of his soldiers were raised by popular 

Mosely and his men in addition to their wages were to 
have all the profits accruing from the plunder or sale of 
Indian captives; and in case these did not prove sufficient 
the Court was to make up the balance. 

"On August 34, 1676 at a great sale of Indian captives 
he is charged with i boy and girle 6^; & 13 squawes & 
pappooses 20 jC^ 

Savage says that Mosely died Jan. 1680. He died 
intestate. His administratrix was his widow Ann Mosely 
and among his assets as inventoried mention is made of an 
old musket and sword in the "Garret." 

That all the men that served under Capt. Mosely were 
adventurers or were recklessly inconsiderate of the claims 
of humanity is not to be presumed. For even if at the out- 
set his men were unlike the average of those who served in 
other companies, yet regiments and companies were subject 
to change. As the ranks were thinned by the enemy and 
the hardships of marches and exposure to extreme weather, 
they were doubtless replenished with whatever material came 
to hand. Hence we may perhaps account for the presence 
of occasional names associated with some of the old towns 
of Middlesex county. The discovery of the name of Rich- 
ard Adams of Sudbury who was wounded in the Swamp 
Fight while serving In Capt. Mosely's company may have 
led the writer to make the statement In his History of Sud- 
bury that the quota sent from that town for the Narra- 
gansett Expedition served In Mosely's company ; whereas 
the fact Is that the men from Sudbury were In the company 
of Capt. Davenport and served with the soldiers from Con- 
cord. The name of Richard Adams is found In a list of 
Mosely's men who mustered at Dedham Dec. 9, 1675 ^°^ 
the Narragansett campaign. Mass. Archives Vol. 167 page 
293. In that list are names that are unfamiliar, some of 
them perhaps being French or Dutch anglicised In spelling. 
In estimating the character of Capt. Mosely we are not to 

4 1 6 Colonial 

infer simply from the fact that he is accredited with certain 
Indian captives which were sold to him that he was excep- 
tionally severe in his dealing with the savages, it being 
asserted in Capt. Oliver's letter that on a certain day "we 
sold Capt. Davenport 47 Indians, young and old for 80^ 
in money." It was the common practice to dispose of 
Indian prisoners in this way. Even the wife and child of 
King Philip were sold into West Indian slavery. Mosely's 
character is to be judged by his own isolated conduct, not 
by practises that he engaged in in common with others. 
Neither are we to suppose that he was altogether uncouth 
in manner, nor wholly lacking in that culture which charac- 
terized some of the early colonists. He was, we infer from 
his influence upon and association with the leaders of the 
times, their peer in matters of petty diplomacy, and even, 
it may be, partook of the customary reverence for and 
recognition of things sacred. 





Movements of the Indians after the Narragansett 
Campaign — Expedition into the Nipmuck Country 

— Dismissal of Soldiers from the Garrison Houses 

— The Disastrous Results — Advance of the 
Indians to the Eastward — The Alarm — 'The 
Starting of Relief Companies — Soldiers from Boston 
Watertown and Concord — Capt. Samuel tVads- 
wortK s Command — His Arrival at Marlborough — 
The Return to Sudbury — The Ambuscade — The 
Wadsworth Fight at Green Hill — The Forest 
Fire — The Rout — Escape to the Mill at Hop 
Brook — Burial of the Slain — 'The Woodland 
Grave — Siege of the Haynes House — Attempted 
Rescue by the Concord Men — Ambuscade of the 
Concord Soldiers — The Route Taken to Sudbury. 

AS before observed, after the Narragansett Swamp 
Fight and the ending of the "Hungry March," 
repeated depredations were committed npon the 
frontier towns from the Connecticut river easterly 
as far as Concord Village. But these predatory bands were 
easily concentrated at the call of King Philip who by the 
departure of Canonchet to Connecticut about this time had 
become the sole director of the Nipmuck Indians and what 
few fugitive Narragansett confederates remained with 
them. Shortly after the middle of February it was reported 
that there were two large fortified Indian encampments in 
the central part of Massachusetts, one near the Wachuset 
hill, the other at Meminesset. To meet the existing con- 
ditions, the Colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut pro- 

41 8 Colonial 

posed organizing another army consisting of six hundred 
men. The Massachusetts contingent was placed under com- 
mand of Major Thomas Savage, and marched to Meminis- 
set about March ist. They found that the foe had disap- 
peared. For some cause the Indians who were gathered 
about Wachuset, were not attacked and the Council prob- 
ably considering it inexpedient for the force to remain longer 
in search of the enemy ordered Major Savage to withdraw 
■ his troops and return to Boston. For a time the principal 
opposing forces were the troops stationed at the central 
garrison houses and those engaged in the ranging service 
between them. At some of these central posts the forces 
were quite efficient and commanded by able captains, as for 
example, the one at Marlboro, which from about February 
5th till into the following April was in charge of Capt. Samuel 
Brocklebank, who was stationed there after his return from 
the Narragansett expedition, whither he went with a reen- 
forcing column after the troops left Wickford. 

But the forces at these posts were soon after weakened 
by an order of the authorities dismissing some of the men ; 
the council thinking perhaps that the foe was subdued. 
But the opinion was sadly erroneous, and to some of the 
soldiers and settlers it was a fatal one. Shortly after the 
order had been complied with the Indians again became 
active, and along the frontier there were signs of a renewal 
of hostilities. The forest rang with their shouts of triumph. 
The old garrison doors closed ; and everywhere the towns 
were put in a posture of defense. Nor was the preparation 
premature. Soon reports came of burnings and plunder- 
ings; and messengers went speeding through the forest to the 
Council for relief. On Feb. 21st a part of Medfield was 
burned. On March 13th Groton was destroyed. On the 
26th the Indians fell upon Marlboro burning a part of its 
dwellings, and on the 28th, Rehoboth was assailed. That 
Philip was present with this large body that was moving 
eastward, while it may not be absolutely proven, is alto- 
gether probable. According to Mrs. Rowlandson, who was 

Concord 419 

a captive among them, he was in the vicinity of Wachuset 
about that time with a large force of Indians. It is hardly 
probable that the wily chieftain, so near a large body of 
his warriors, would not be present directing their movements 
on their way easterly. 

When the tidings reached the Council at Boston great con- 
sternation was created. Never before had King Philip with 
so large a force been as near the metropolis of the Bay Col- 
ony. Messengers were sent out with the news in every 
direction, the militia was put in motion and everything pos- 
ible was done to check the enemy's advance. But there was 
little need of any extra messengers, the towns of Middlesex 
were already astir. The signal given from hamlet to hamlet 
had aroused the watchful inhabitants and whatever forces 
could be spared were sent at once to the line of dan- 
ger. A force was despatched from Boston consisting 
of from fifty to one hundred soldiers. Another was started 
from Watertown led by Capt. Hugh Mason. Others who 
hurried to the front were a "ply of horse" from the troop 
of Capt. Prentice under Corp. Phipps, and Capt. Hunting 
with forty friendly Indians, also a body of twelve men from 

The company from Concord was made up in part at 
least and perhaps wholly of the town's citizens, some of 
whom may have been eligible to impress but not 
in the service, kept at home it may be for garrison work. 
History does not inform us of this matter, neither does trad- 
ition. The record says, "Twelve resolute young men ; " 
and there is every reason to infer that upon the first indica- 
tion of the near approach of the foe to their sister town of 
Sudbury they presented themselves voluntarily, and without 
being bidden hastened to the rescue. 

It would be interesting to follow in detail so far as there 
is data for it, the fate or fortune of each of these detach- 
ments as they hurried to the scene of action and became a 
part of it. But as only a portion of them are nearly related 

420 Colonial 

to the history of Concord we are called upon to confine our 
narrative chiefly to those. 

The detachment sent from Boston was commanded by 
Capt. Samuel Wadsworth, an experienced officer who had 
served in the Nipmuck country under Major Savage, going 
to the relief of beleagured Lancaster, a short time previous. 
Hastening with all speed up through Sudbury to Marl- 
boro, where it was reported at his starting that the enemy 
had concentrated, he arrived about midnight of April 20, 
and reported to Capt. Brocklebank, who had been left in 
charge of the garrison house there, all other houses having 
been burned. 

It took but a short time for Wadsworth to learn that 
after sacking and destroying the town the Indians had gone 
in the direction of Sudbury. Without stopping for needed 
rest, having exchanged some of his tired soldiers and younger 
men for a part of the garrison guard and accompanied by 
Capt. Samuel Brocklebank who desired to go to Boston to 
speak to the Council, Wadsworth at once retraced his steps 
back to Sudbury, where he arrived probably by early after- 
noon the day following. 

Upon his entering the town there appeared about one 
hundred Indians, which Wadsworth may have supposed was 
Philip's main force, or at least a detachment from it, 
and one which he could pursue with safety and easily 
capture ; but it was a mistake, and the mistake was fatal. 
The Indians had resorted to their old ruse of using decoys ; 
and the same tragic experience that befell Capt. Wheeler 
at Brookfield and Capt. Lathrop at Bloody Brook, and 
Capt. Beers near Northfield and notably in one of the later 
wars Gen. Braddock, was in store for Capts. Wadsworth 
and Brocklebank, old Indian fighters notwithstanding both 
officers were. 

Upon seeing the savages the English pursued, but sud- 
denly and without warning were surprised by a number esti- 
mated at from one thousand to fifteen hundred who fired 
upon them from a place of concealment at or near the foot 

Concord 4i I 

of Green hill about a quarter of a mile from the present 
South Sudbury village. The trap had been cunningly set 
and as cunningly sprung. The Indians had allowed the 
English to pass up through the town during the night, and 
during their march to and from Marlboro had placed in wait- 
ing so many of their men as were needed for the ambuscade 
When Wadsworth returned, as they believed he would upon 
receiving intelligence of their absence from Marlboro, they 
were in readiness to meet him with their murderous volleys. 
After the first firing by the Indians, which was not so deadly 
as might be supposed from their vantage ground. Wads- 
worth closed up his little company for a valiant defence, and 
from that time, which was probably not far from mid after- 
noon, the fight continued till after nightfall. On the one 
hand it was a combat for life, on the other for a mastery 
over the main force of the English which stood between 
themselves and the spoliation of the town of Sudbury. 

No sooner had Wadsworth recovered from the surprise 
than he attempted to gain the hill top, and so successfully 
that by night he had reached it, and with a chance that the 
foe would be held in abeyance till reenforcements reached 

From tree to tree, from rock to rock, from over fallen 
logs the fire of Wadsworth's men was doubtless well directed; 
while the enemy although strong and active were 
kept well in the distance not daring to fight at close quar- 

The indications as set forth in Philip's war are that the 
savage was too cowardly for open combat. He depended 
upon surprises and trickery or upon overwhelming numbers. 
A mistake of the Council and Colonial committees may 
have been in believing that they could capture the Indians 
by large expeditions by which they were chased from 
point to point in a vain attempt to draw them into open 
battle. The Indian's mode of living and familiarity with the 
country enabled him to elude all such efforts, and except lor 
the destruction of an Indian fort and village large bodies of 

41:2 Colonial 

troops in carefully planned campaigns were a partial failure, 
and only furnished opportunity for Indian ambushment. 

Wadsworth had gained the hilltop and was within night's 
friendly shelter both of which he had probably longed for, 
but the wily enemy impatient of the stubborn de- 
fense and aware that just over the hill to the easterly was 
the Watertown company endeavoring to break through to 
his relief and that with the morning other reenforcements 
would arrive, as a last resort set fire to the forest. The cri- 
sis had come. The flames fanned by the April breeze set 
out upon their disastrous errand without mercy. Soon they 
reached the top of the hill where the brave little company 
stood fearless to face anything human but powerless to do 
battle with this new agent. The last moment of their 
remaining together had arrived. They broke, they ran, 
down through the brushwood and the thickening smoke and 
through the gauntlet of savages. The Indian's opportunity 
had come. Before the conflagration was started they had 
doubtless so stationed themselves as to form a complete circle 
around the fire enclosed space ; so that when there was a 
struggle to escape from the flames not an Englishman would 
have a fair chance of escape. Only too successfully was the 
programme carried out ; for of the forty or fifty men more 
or less, who had fought through the long hours of that 
April afternoon from the foot to the summit of Green hill 
less than a score escaped and found shelter in the neighboring 
mill by the brook. All the others had fallen or been taken 
captive, and when the morning sun arose and the terrible 
night shadows had lifted, the charred and mangled corpses 
of that band of brave men lay scattered over that piece of 
burnt woodland to be gathered in kind embrace by a com- 
pany of whites and friendly Indians and laid in one large 
lone grave in the wilderness. 

The burial scene as described in Gookin's History of the 
Praying Indians is as follows : 

"Upon the 11^^ of April early in the morning over forty 
Indians having stripped themselves and painted their faces 

Concord 423 

like to the enemy, they passed over the bridge to the west 
side of the river without any Englishmen in the company, 
to make discovery of the enemy (which was generally con- 
ceded quarter thereabout), but this did not at all discourage 
our Christian Indians from marching and discovering, and 
if they had met with them to beat up their quarters. But 
God had so ordered that the enemy were all withdrawn and 
were retreated in the night. Our Indian soldiers having 
made a thorough discovery and to their great relief (for 
some of them wept when they saw so many English lie dead 
on the place among the slain), some they knew, viz, those 
two worthy and pious Captains, Capt. Brocklebank of Row- 
ley and Capt. Wadsworth of Milton, who with about thirty 
two private soldiers were slain the day before. . . . As soon 
as they had made a full discovery, [they] returned to their 
Captains and the rest of the English, and gave them an 
account of their motions. Then it was concluded to march 
over to the place and bury the dead, and they did so. 
Shortly after, our Indians marching in two files upon the 
wings to secure those that went to bury the dead, God so 
ordered it that they met with no interruption in that work." 

A rude stone heap was placed over the grave, it may be 
for the double purpose of protecting and of marking it. 
In 1730, President Wadsworth of Harvard College, son of 
the Captain, caused a slate stone to be erected beside the 
spot. From this time there was another long season 
of neglect. The spring time came with its decoration 
of violets and wood grass, the autumn with its falling 
leaves, and the winter with its kindly mantling snows, 
each in its turn tenderly placing its appropriate token upon 
the lonely grave. At length after the lapse of nearly two 
centuries the appearance of the place was changed by the 
establishment of a more imposing memorial. 

Having narrated the leading events of the battle of 
Green hill we are in a position to consider the movements 
of the men from Concord. 

On the night that Capt. Wadsworth left Marlboro and 

4^4 Colonial 

while yet on the march back to Sudbury the Indians were 
busy in preparation for assaulting the garrison houses of 
the town. These houses contained at that time in all prob- 
ability all the inhabitants on the west side of the river; 
the people on the east side, or what is now Wayland hav- 
ing fled for protection to the fortified meeting house, and 
fortified parsonage of Rev. Edmund Brown, the former 
situated at a spot still pointed out in the town's first bury- 
ing ground, and the latter at the junction of Mill brook 
and Sudbury river. 

The principle garrison attacked was that known as the 
Walter Haynes house. This house stood upon the west 
side of the Sudbury river, the same stream which in Con- 
cord is called the Concord river, near the meadows about 
midway between the present Sudbury centre and Wayland 

The attack upon this house began, according to the "Old 
Petition" about six o'clock in the morning and was kept up 
till after mid day, at times the fight occuring in the very 
door yard. To this garrison house the Concord men 
directed their course. They probably arrived in the vicin- 
ity in the early forenoon. The fight at Green hill had not 
then begun, and part of the Indians had passed over the 
main causeway and "town bridge," which are a part of the 
"old road" from Wayland to Sudbury center and were 
doing mischievous work on the east side. A sufficient force 
was probably left at the Haynes house to keep up a hard 
fight with the inmates and to prevent it from being reenforced. 
As the Concord men drew near the garrison house, they 
saw a small company of Indians near it, and doubtless suppos- 
ing that these were all and that they could easily overcome 
them and gain entrance to the building, they rushed forward 
forgetful in their impetuosity of the risk of an ambuscade. 
No sooner were they within the power of the designing sav- 
ages than the latter arose in great force and placing them- 
selves between the English and the garrison house fell upon 
them with great ferocity and so disastrous was the onslaught 

Concord 4!i^ 

that but one escaped. The "Old Indian Chronicle" says : 
"They were waylaid and eleven of them cut off." Hub- 
bard says: "These men at the first hearing of the alarm, 
who unawares were surprised near a garrison house, in hope 
of getting some advantage upon a small party of the enemy 
that presented themselves in a meadow. A great number 
of the Indians, who laid unseen in the bushes, suddenly 
arose up and intercepting the passage to the garrison house 
killed and took them all." 

That resistance was made we may infer both from tradi- 
tion and from a fragment of record relating to the estate of 
James Hosmer who was among the slain. The former says 
"There was a bold resistance ;" the latter, which is a Probate 
matter, speaks of Hosmer as "being slayne in an engagement 
with the Indians at Sudbury on the 21st of the 2nd month 
in the year 1676." The names of the fallen that have been 
preserved are James Hosmer, David Comy, William Hey- 
wood, Samuel Potter, Joseph Buttrick, John Barnes, Josiah 
Wheeler and Jacob Farrar. Tradition is for the most part 
silent as to the circumstances or any incident connected 
with the start, the march, or the exact details of the disaster. 

We may presume that the start was an exciting one. 
Perhaps the quick ear of James Hosmer was the first to 
catch the faint sound of distant firing as at nightfall on the 
day previous he went out to fodder the stock on his father's 
farm near the Assabet : or it may be that the tidings were 
brought by a scout from over the Sudbury boundary line, 
who scouring the forest had seen the impress of many moc- 
casins, the sure sign of the presence of a war party. Certain 
it is that there were warnings of an Indian invasion in the 
neighborhood of Concord, for only a few days before, the 
people of Sudbury had informed the Council at Boston by 
a letter of Rev. Edmund Brown their minister that the 
woods were "pestered with Indians" and that several of the 
town's citizens had been shot at ; and asking that men who 
had been impressed to serve abroad might be sent home. 
It was only the day before the little company from Con- 

4^^ Colonial 

cord started that Thomas Plympton was slain at Boone's 
plain in the town of Stow, as he was trying to aid Mr. 
Boone and son to reach a place of safety. 

Neither is there any tradition as to the direction that 
these Concord men took. The main road to the Sudbury 
cast precinct is through what is now the town of Lincoln. 
If the soldiers took this road, it would lead them to cross 
the river at the "old town bridge" and to approach the gar- 
rison house from the southerly passing along the causeway 
from the bridge until they reached the west side of the mead- 
ows at a point near the beginning of the old Lancaster road 
opened about 1663. From this point we have only con- 
jecture to go by in determining the further movements and 
the exact whereabouts of these men ; but assuming that 
we are correct in the the supposition that they went on the 
east side of the river which would take them over the "town 
bridge" and the causeway, a route which we believe was the 
only practicable one in time of high water, we think it fairly 
safe from the known facts and the lay of the land to make 
the following supposition; that the majority of the Indians 
who were assailing the Haynes house on becoming aware 
of the approach of men to reenforce it concealed themselves 
in the neighboring shrubbery near the meadow, leaving 
only a sufficient number in sight to lead the reenforcing 
party to believe they could easily overcome them or gain 
entrance to the house in spite of them. The eager English 
in their usual forgetfulness of Indian trickery and in their 
impatience to render relief might naturally rush across the 
arm of meadow which extended from the causeway just 
mentioned to the upland adjacent to the Haynes house. 
When fairly upon the arm of meadow which was covered 
with water at that time doubtless, the concealed Indians had 
only to rise up and intercept them. By closing in upon 
their rear all retreat would be cut off, and the main recourse 
to be had was to fight where they were, as the broad 
expanse of flooded meadow to the easterly would make 
escape in that direction quite difficult, while at the west- 

Concord 427 

erly end of the arm of meadow as it terminates in the upland 
all escape could easily be prevented by a small force. 

The foregoing theory not only accords with Hubbard's 
description of the event but it explains why the men fell 
on the meadow land. 

That this conjecture is correct may be indicated by 
the following facts relating to the locality. From the point 
where the causeway proper ended near the Lancaster road 
as before described, there has been a rude path and 
a strip of low causeway that extended over the arm of the 
meadow which in front of the Haynes house reached to 
the upland at the westerly. This path has served the 
double purpose of hauling hay and of a way to the house ; 
and it probably extended beyond the house northerly, 
and was perhaps a part of the way which the town voted 
should extend the whole length of the river meadow to the 
town bounds. The strip of causeway over the meadow arm 
is today known as the Water Row road and in time of high 
water has frequently been flooded in modern times. 

The bodies of five of the slain soldiers remained where 
they fell till the next morning and then were recovered by 
a searching party who went for them in boats and brought 
them over the flood to the town bridge, as stated in the 
petition of Warren and Pierce who helped bury them. The 
occasion of delay in securing the bodies was the perilous 
condition of things on the west side of the river. It pre- 
sumably was not till early afternoon, or the time that Wads- 
worth reached Green hill, that the savages withdrew from 
about the garrison houses to concentrate for an attack upon 
his command. By way of the old "Lancaster road" which 
passed very near or directly over a part of the Green hill 
battle ground, it was only about a mile distant. The sound 
of firing while the action was going on at Green hill could 
doubtless have been heard during the hours of the late after- 
noon and into the night quite distinctly; so that the inhabi- 
tants to the eastward had cause for believing that the entire 
territory of the west precinct was dangerous to venture upon. 

4^8 Colonial 

Moreover every soldier was on duty for defense of the gar- 
risons or was endeavoring to reenforce Wadsworth. On the 
east side the inhabitants doubtless durst not venture forth 
on the sad mission of gathering up the slain ; for although 
they had in the morning driven about two hundred Indians 
over the town bridge and causeway by a running fight, yet 
they knew not how soon a defeat of Capt. Wadsworth 
might come and the disengaged savages flushed with vic- 
tory rush back with overwhelming numbers to over- 
come them. Those were hours in which to care for the liv- 
ing not for the dead. It was a day of distress and calamity ; 
dark with its disasters, and dreadful in its uncertainties, 
and it may be a wonder how human hearts could endure 
the strain. 

What became of all the dead we know not : we may con- 
jecture, however, that after the strife had subsided they were 
sought after and found ; and if so were tenderly borne back 
to Concord, or carried to the same lone spot upon the river 
bank and laid beside the bodies of their late comrades. 

The exact locality of the spot where these men were 
buried may be easily conjectured ; as it was high water there 
would be but one practicable place near the bridge and that 
would be on the eastern bank of the river just north of the 
bridge and the road. The place is still a quiet one. No 
intrusion of farm building or summer cottage has as yet 
broken the quietude in the immediate vicinity. The place 
has remained to this day unmarked by any memorial 
of man's erection but there are land marks which have 
been there through the centuries. The bridge, which it 
is said was the first framed one in Middlesex county, has 
had several successors. The river, although a new channel 
was long years ago cut by man as a shorter course for its 
waters, still bends its friendly arm to the banks near which 
they were laid, as if reluctant to leave it. 

As to the story of the sole survivor history and tradi- 
tion are alike silent. We know not his name nor how he 
escaped. We may, however suppose that at the first firing 
the five whose bodies were earliest recovered fell at about 

Concord 429 

the same place being perhaps foremost and where the water 
was shallow. The seven whose bodies were not at first found 
may have retreated further back where the water was deeper, 
and scattered about ; while the one who survived may have 
straggled forward to the upland unobserved by the savages 
and escaped into the woods or crossed over the flood. 

Perhaps in no other instance in King Philip's war did a 
town suffer the loss of so many men on any one occasion 
in their endeavor to succor others. There were slain in the 
town of Sudbury on that fateful day not far from fifty armed 
Englishmen that there is a record of; and of these about 
one fourth part were from Concord. 

As to the substantial value of the sacrifice of the Con- 
cord soldiers we may not be able at this distant day to 
determine. Doubtless anything that drew off the force of 
savages in their onslaught on the Haynes house was an 
advantage, as it gave the inmates a respite. It is also pre- 
sumable that by a detention of a portion of Philip's warriors, 
he incurred greater loss at the hands of Wadsworth. But 
whatever the service rendered by the sacrifice it was a most 
worthy one. The loss was severe in Concord homes and 
there was mourning in families from which some member, 
perhaps the head of the household, had gone out never to 
return. Although no general Indian invasion occurred 
there during the war yet her loss on that sad spring day was 
greater than that of some towns that were attacked. 

As some of the leading facts and features both of the 
Wadsworth fight and the burial of the bodies of the slain 
Concord soldiers are set forth in a petition of Daniel War- 
ren and Joseph Pierce to the Colonial Court, we quote it, 
Mass. Arch. vol. 68 p. 224 : 

"To Inform the Honoured Counsel of the Service don 
at Sudbury by severall of the Inhabatance of Watcrtown as 
our honoured Captain Mason hath Allready informed a 
part of thereof in the petion: but we who wear thear can 
moer largely inform this honoured Councel : that as it is 
said in the petion that we drove two hundred Indians over 

430 Colonial 

the River : wee followed the enimie over the river and 
joyned with som others and went to see if wee could relieve 
Captain Wadsworth upon the hill and thear we had a fight 
with the Indians but they beinge soe many of them and we 
stayed soe long thar we wear allmost incompasscd by them 
which cased us to retreat to Captain Goodanous Garrison ; 
and their we stayed it being ner night till it was dark and 
then we went to Mr. Noices Mill to see if we could find 
any that were escaped to that place all though they wear noe 
persons dwelling there ; but thear we found : 13 : or: 14: 
of Captain Wadsworths men who wear escaped some of 
them wounded and brought them to Sudbury towne ; 

On the next day in the morning soe soon as it was light 
we went to looke for — Concord men who wear slain in the 
River middow and thear we went in the colld water up to 
the knees where we found five and we brought them in 
Conus to the Bridge fut and buried them thear; and then we 
joined ourselves to Captain Hunton with as many others as 
we could procuer and went over the River to look for Captain 
Wadsworth and Captain Brattlebank and the soldiers that 
wear slain ; and we gathered them up and Buried them ; 
and then it was agreed that we should goe up to Nobscot to 
bring the Carts from thence into Sudbury-Towne and soe 
returned Hom againe ; to what is above written we whos 
nams are subscribed can testifi : 

dated the :6: of march 178; Daniel Warrin 

:79: Josep Peirce 

There was for several years a controversy relating to the 
date of Philip's attack upon Sudbury ; some considering it 
April I 8th, others April i\st. The probate record referring 
to James Hosmer gives it the 21st as do some others. The 
date on the old grave stone gives it April 18 ; this date 
having been taken it is supposed from Hubbard's history. 

The true date, however, was definitely settled by the 
discovery a few years ago of an old petition which was 
signed by a large number of the inhabitants of Sudbury 

Concord 43 1 

and presented shortly after tne war to the Colonial Court. 
This document which is among the State Archives Vol. 30 
page 205 is interesting and valuable. We quote the fol- 
lowing passage from it as it sets forth the condition of 
things in Sudbury when the Concord men went to its res- 
cue. The date assigned for the fight is y^ 21"" April 1676. 
To y^ Hon'''^ GovernoUr Dept Govern' Magistrates and 

Deputies of y^ Gtn^^ Court assembled at Boston y® 

11*^ October 1676. 
The hum*"'* Petition of y* poore distressed Inhabitants 
of Sudbury Humbly Sheweth. That whereas yo' impover- 
ished Petition'^ of Sudbury have received intelligence of a 
large contribution sent out of Ireland by some pious & well 
affected p'sons for y^ releife of their brethern in New 
England distressed by y^ hostile intrusion of y^ Indian 
Enemy, and that upon this divers distressed townes have 
presenied a list of theire losses sustained by fireing and 
plundering of their Estates. Let it not seeme presumption 
in yo' poore petitioners to present a list of what damages 
we sustained by y^ Enemyes attempts hopeing that o"^ lott 
will be to be considered among our brethren of the tribe 
of Joseph being encouraged by an act of our Hon'''^ Gen" 
Court that those who have sustained considerable damage 
should make address to this p''esent Session. And is there 
not a reason for our releife ? Not only by reason of Our 
great losses but alsoe for Our Service p'^formed in repelling 
y^ Enemy ! Let y* Most High have y^ high praise due 
unto him ; but let not ye unworthy Instruments be forgot- 
ten. Was there with us any towne so beset since y^ warre 
began, with twelve or fourteen hundred fighting men vari- 
ous Sagamores from all Parts with their men of Armes & 
they resolved by our ruin to revenge y* releife which Our 
Sudbury volunteers afforded to distressed Marlborough in 
slaying many of y* Enemy and repelling y* rest. The 
strength of our towne upon y^ Enemy's Approaching it con- 
sisted of Eighty fighting men. True many houses were 
fortified & Garrison'd & tymously after y^ Enemy's invasion, 

43 ^ Colonial 

and fireing some Volunteers from Watertowne, & Concord 
& deserving Capt : Wadsworth with his force came to Our 
re leife, which speedy & noble service is not to be forgotten. 
The Enemy well knowing our Grounds, passes, avenues, and 
Scituations had neare surrounded Our towne in y® Morning 
early (wee not knowing of it) till discovered by fireing sev- 
erall disserted houses : the Enemy with greate force & fury 
assaulted Deacon Haines House well fortified yet badly 
scituated, as advantageous to y* Enemys approach & dan- 
gerous to y^ Repellant, yet (by y^ help of God) y^ garrison 
not onely defended y^ place from betwene five or six of y"^ 
clock in y* Morning till about One in y^ Afternoon but 
forced y* Enemy with Considerable- slaughter to draw-off. 

Many Observables worthy of Record hapned in this 
assault, Vizt That noe man or woman seemed to be pos- 
sessed with feare; Our Garrison men kept not within their 
garrisons, but issued forth to fight y^ Enemy in theire sculk- 
ing approaches : Wee had but two of our townesmen slaine, 
& y* by indiscretion, none wounded ; the Enemy was by 
few beaten out of houses which they had entered and were 
plundering ; And by a few hands were forced to a running 
flight which way they would ; The spoyle taken by them 
on y* East side of y^ river was in greate p'^ recovered." 

Almost immediately after the fight at Sudbury, the In- 
dians betook themselves to the westward. Their work had 
been done but there are reasons for believing that they did 
not consider it successfully done. Mrs. Rowlandson who 
was with them writes in her book of "Removes" that "They 
came home without that rejoicing or triumphing over their 
victory which they were wont to show at other times, but 
rather like dogs [as they say] which have lost their ears, 
when they went, they acted as if the devil had told them 
that they should gain the victory, and now they acted as if 
the Devil had told them they should have a fall. Whether 
it were so or no, I cannot tell, but so it quickly proved, 
for they quickly began to fall, and so held on that Summer 
till they^came to utter ruin, Hubbard says; 

Concord 433 

"It was observed by some (at that time their prisoners, 
since released), that they seemed very pensive after they 
had come to ther quarters, showing no such signs of rejoic- 
ing as they were usually wont to do in like cases. Whether 
from the loss of some of their own company in that day's 
enterprise (said to be an hundred and twenty^ or whether 
it were the devil in whom they trusted, that deceived them, 
and to whom they paid their addresses the day before by 
sundry conjurations of their powwows, or whether it were 
by any dread that the Almighty sent upon their execrable 
Blasphemies which 'tis said they used in the torturing of 
some of their poor captives (bidding Jesus come and deliver 
them out of their hands from death if he could) we leave 
as uncertain, though some have so reported. Yet sure it is, 
that after this day they never prospered in any attempt they 
made against the English, but were continually scattered 
and broken till they were in a manner all consumed." 

The Old Petition states, 

"Secondly, y* service pformed at Sudbury by y* help 
of y' Almighty whereby y^ Enemy lost some say 100, 
some 105, some 120, and by that service much damage 
prevented from hapning to other places whereby y* Country 
in Generall was advantaged, reason requires some favorable 
considerations to y* servants of Sudbury. For if it be con- 
sidered what it hath cost our Country in sending out some 
forces some of which p ties have not returned with y' ccr- 
taine ncwes of such a number slaine as with us." 

A variety of facts, circumstances and statements in- 
dicate that the 21st day of April 1676 was a day of 
destiny to King Philip, and that the long hours of stub- 
born resistence by the combined forces that confronted him 
were disastrous in the extreme. 

His losses can never be known. Probably somewhere 
in the wilderness many graves were made or else many car- 
cases remained unburied a prey to the beasts and birds. 

It is true that had the battle at Sudbury never occurred 
victory to the English would have finally come, since it is 

4j4 Colonial 

the rule in history that a superior race supplants the 
weaker. But at this juncture, time was of much account. 
Every day and hour that the strife continued lives 
were being consumed by an almost intolerable bitterness ; 
homesteads were growing fewer and fewer ; households 
were becoming thinned and hearts sickening with 
hopes deferred. But whether Philip received the decisive 
blow at Sudbury or not, certain it is that about that time 
his fortune began to change. A new army was raised to 
operate against him ; dissensions crept into the ranks of his 
followers ; and after some desultory fighting, the great chief- 
tain turned his footsteps towards his old home at Mount 
Hope, and in the following summer he was shot by a rene- 
gade from his own race. Capt. Hull in his contemporary 
diary wrote "Aug. 12, Sagamore Philip that began the war 
was slain." 

With the death of Philip the war closed except at the 
eastward, whither some of the vanquished savages had 
betaken themselves. 

With the closing of the war there soon followed an utter 
downfall of the red race, that once dominated New England. 
The overthrow was final ; and so complete was the destruc- 
tion of Indian supremacy that it was stated in a proclama- 
tion of Thanksgiving in December of that year "Of 
those several tribes and parties that have hitherto risen up 
against us, which were not a few, there now scarce remains 
a name or family of them in their former habitations, but 
are either slain, captivated, or fled into remote parts of this 
wilderness, or lie hid, despairing of their first intentions 
against us." 

The instances where any of the Indians kept their wig- 
wams as permanent homes, or became squatters or wild 
freeholders of the waste woodlands were exceptional. They 
made up a mere vagrant element, beseeching but little more 
of their conquerors than a night's shelter, a bit of bread, or 
some coarse work. 

For a while they lingered in the settlements in isolated 

Concord 43 ^ 

or fragmentary families as if loth to lose all their iden- 
tity. But it was to little purpose, and only as a fire which 
flickers before it goes out; for although men of great heart 
have sought to tan the fading embers of the race into 
a flame there yet remains for it of earth but dust and 
darkness. The race will doubtless have no resurrection 
except such as will come to all mortals, but the process 
of total extinction has been slow and painful. Even as late 
as into the i8th century the latch string of the farm house 
was occasionally pulled at nightfall by some wayfaring abo- 
rigine who came seeking temporary shelter or a place of 
resting upon the fireside mat. Now and then also there 
straggled into the village or hamlet, an object of interest to 
the children, a company of two or three forlorn and neg- 
lected creatures who more fortunate than their fellows had 
survived the hate of one generation and not starved upon 
the hospitality of another, begging for the small price of a 
willow basket or a birch broom. But the end of this 
came, and the years have passed into decades, and decades 
into scores since the last pure bred Massachusetts aborigine, 
a rude lone tenant at suffrance, was seen in the land which 
he once owned. 

As a race the Indians have passed away, without a his- 
tory except as the white man has written it, or made it a 
part of his own, and without one work of coarse art where- 
with by strange hieroglyphics to inform the world what he 
once was. 

It may never be definitely known just how many men 
were engaged in the struggle at Sudbury. The following 
summary perhaps fairly sets forth the English force. In the 
command of Capt. Wadsworth 50 men. In that of Capt. 
Cowell 18, soldiers from Concord 12, Sudbury soldiers 80. 

Beside these there was a company of Christian Indians in 
charge of Capt. Hunting and a "ply of horse" from Capt. 
Prentice's troop under the command of Corporal Phipps. 
The following is a summary of the soldiers known to have 
been killed before the Indians left Sudbury. Of Wads- 

43^ Coloniat 

worth command two Captains, one Lieutenant and twenty- 
six private soldiers, 29 
' Concord soldiers, 1 1 
Captain Cowell's command, 4 
Sudbury men, i 

That these are all the fatalities is hardly probable since 
the records of the events are so scant, the time of fighting 
was so long and the number of combatants were so many. 
It would be almost remarkable if none of the Watertown 
men were slain and only one of the soldiers of Sudbury. 

The Sudbury records give but very little information rel- 
ative to the Indian invasion. There is an order giving 
direction as to logs that were used in the fortifications about 
the meeting house, but this is about all. The inhabitants 
of the various towns that were the hardest beset by the sav- 
ages were too much engaged in the struggle for sheer exist- 
ence to keep a written account of current events, momentous 
although they were, and the town clerks were only 
expected to make a record of things that strictly appertained 
to the public. Stationary was expensive ; all were not 
able to write ; and the importance of saving data for 
historic purposes was a matter perhaps little thought 
of. Family traditions would for a time naturally keep 
fresh the memory of husbands, fathers, brothers and sons, 
and it is not improbable that more than one grave in the 
woods had its lonely pathway which was occasionally trod- 
den by the inhabitants of neighboring farm houses ; but 
after a time new families gave place to the old and these 
paths were no longer trodden. It may be supposed that 
after the havoc of battle bodies of scattered combatants 
were here and there found and buried where they fell. A few 
years ago a person while digging on the estate of Mr. 
Francis F. Walker, not far from the Green hill battle 
ground, found what might have been such a grave. There 
was a slight discoloration of the earth about the rusty bar- 

Concord 4^ 7 

rel of a firearm and that was all. According to the author- 
ity of the Indians, if any reliance is to be placed on their 
rude reports, more Englishmen were slain at Sudbury 
than there is any record of. The following letter of Capt. 
Jacobs of the Marlborough garrison to the Council gives 
the estimate of the English loss as set forth by the Indians 
on the morning after their invasion of Sudbury : 

"This morning about sun two hours high ye enemy 
alarmed us by firing and shouting towards ye government 
garrison house at Sudbury." He goes on to state that 
"soon after they gave a shout and came in great numbers 
on Indian Hill, and one, as their accustomed manner is 
after a fight, began to signify to us how many were slain ; 
they whooped seventy-four times, which we hope was only 
to afiright us, seeing as we have had no intelligence of any 
such thing, yet we have reason to fear the worst, consider- 
ing the numbers, which we apprehend to be five hundred 
at the most, others think a thousand." 


'The Attack Upon Lancaster — Capture of Mrs. 
Mary Rowlandson — Efforts for Her Release — 
Heroic Services of Thomas Doublet or Nepanet — 
Humane Work of John Hoar^ Esq. — The Process 
of Ransom — Extracts from the Book of Removes 
— Rowlandson Rock. 

AS stated in a previous chapter the Indians attacked 
the town of Lancaster on the loth of February. 
This however was not the only time, the first being 
on Sunday Aug. 30, 1675. "^he attack was led by a chief 
named Monoco, or one-eyed John, and the point of attack 
was the house of a Scotch settler named Mordecai Macloud. 
At that time seven persons were killed. Other mischievous 
work was done in the place and its vicinity, and taken all 
together perhaps no other settlement suffered more during 
Philip's war by the burning of its buildings, the slaughter 
of its inhabitants and the captivity of the living. 

The town is situated in Worcester county along the 
Nashua river; and the first settlement by the English was 
begun there in 1643. Lancaster like Groton which also 
was successively assailed is historically associated with Con- 
cord, inasmuch as the three towns had Major Simon Wil- 
lard as a chief promoter of their early interests. 

The Indians who dwelt in the vicinity of Lancaster were 
the Nashaways, whose tribal relations were with the Nip- 
mucks. After the sad happenings on August 30, the 
people of Lancaster gathered together in several garrisons 
and measures were taken to defend them by details of sol- 
diers. But notwithstanding the presence of the soldiers, 
towards the last of January 1675-6, word was brought 
by several Christian Indians that the place was in jeopardy. 















Astor, Lenox and TUcleHy 

Concord 43 9 

One of the Indians, Quanapohit, whom the Council had 
employed to act as a spy in the woods about Wachuset 
and on towards Brookfield predicted the very day of the 
proposed attack. Another of them named Kattenanit 
brought a similar report. 

After escaping from the hostile Indians at Meminisset 
whither he had gone to obtain important facts, he trav- 
elled upon snow-shoes about eighty miles to Boston to 
report to Major Gookin that about four hundred Indians 
were on their way to attack Lancaster, arriving with his 
message in a wearied and half famished condition. The 
authorities at once despatched messengers to Marlboro, 
Concord and Lancaster to fortify in great haste ; but the 
order came too late. The blow had fallen. Before Capt. 
Wadsworth could reach the town, the savages had encom- 
passed it and burned the bridge on the regular road, and it 
was only by the fidelity of the friendly Indian guides that 
Wadsworth and his company being led along another route 
escaped an ambush. By Wadsworth's safe detour a part of 
the town was saved, but it was only a part. The garrison 
house of Rev. Joseph Rowlandson was burned and of 
thirty-seven or forty persons within it only one escaped 
death or captivity ; among the captives was Mr. Rowland- 
son's wife. 

The capture of Mrs. Rowlandson was one of the sad- 
dest events of Philip's war and called out unusual sympathy. 
It was terrible enough to be slain by the tomahawk and to 
have the body subsequently subjected to the scalping knife, 
but it was doubly terrible for womankind in helpless cap- 
tivity to be subjected to a wilderness exposure in 
time of war with whatever of want or long marches or 
rough weather might betide her captors and also to be kept 
in suspense as to what the end might be ; but such was 
captivity among the Indians. They held their pris- 
oners for a ransom. The English sold their Indian 
prisoners into slavery ; the Indians sold their English 
captives to the white men. To lighten the burdens of the 

44^ Colonial 

captives and make their lives more tolerable would not 
hasten the day of their redemption. 

Mrs. Rowlandson was held in captivity from Feb. lo to 
May 1. During this time she was compelled to travel from 
place to place with her Indian captors and so be an unwill- 
ing witness to many daring and revolting exploits. She 
was a close observer and after her release wrote and pub- 
lished a detailed account of her captivity, noting the daily 
movements of her captors and giving a graphic description 
of their ways of living, their customs, and their treatment 
of prisoners. The book is known as "Mrs. Rowlandson's 
Removes ; " a title suggestive of the frequent changes to 
which she was subjected. The author describes the grand 
pow-wow held by the Indians just previous to their assault 
on Sudbury, and some of the incidents connected with the 
event in general so that the book is a great acquisition to 
the literature relating to King Philip's war. 

Soon after the capture of Mrs. Rowlandson great efforts 
were made to ascertain the amount demanded for her safe 
delivery to the English, to raise the sum and to secure the 
services of some one who would be able wisely and suc- 
cessfully to negotiate with the savages. The following 
description of the release of Mary Rowlandson is by Rev. 
George M. Bodge in his work on "Soldiers in Philip's War" : 

"Rev. Mr. Rowlandson sought the aid of the Council 
in his efforts to redeem the captives, many of whom were 
his own kindred. At first it was impossible to find any one 
of the friendly Indians willing to venture as messengers 
among the hostiles, mainly because they had been so cruelly 
and shamefully abused by tne English and were now con- 
fined at Deer Island, where they could not be accused or 
placed under suspicion. At last, however, one Tom Dub- 
let, or Nepanet, consented to go, and was fitted and 
instructed by Major Gookin, and upon April 3d started 
from Cambridge, and returned with the answer of the 
Sachems on April 12th. The correspondence between the 
Council and the Sachems is still preserved, in part, though 

Concord 44 1 

the original letters are lost. The messenger brought back 
word from Sam Sachem, Kutquen and Quanohit, Samuel 
Uskatuhgun and other owners of the captives taken at 
Lancaster that all were well except the youngest child 
of Mr. Rowlandson, who was dead. At last, after many 
negotiations by the faithful Nepanet, Mr. John Hoar, of 
Concord, who, more than any man in the colony, had the 
confidence of the Indians, accompanied by Nepanet, and 
another friendly Indian, "Peter Conway," and bearing the 
ransom, twenty pounds in money and goods, raised by sev- 
eral gentlemen for the redemption of Mrs. Rowlandson, 
met the Sachems near Wachusett Hill, and on May 2d 
received and conducted that lady to Lancaster, and the next 
day to Boston. The other captives were redeemed at vari- 
ous times and places afterwards. 

The place where Mr. Hoar met the Sachems is well iden- 
tified, being marked by a large rock called "Redemption 
Rock, " a noble landmark near the ancient Indian trail, be- 
tween Lancaster and Mount Wachusett, and in the present 
town of Princton, on the easterly side of a beautiful valley, 
across which, in the distance, towers Mount Wachusett. 
The locality is known as "Everettville," from the name of 
an ancient family who have lived here for generations. In 
1880, Hon. Geo. F. Hoar, of Worcester, a lineal descend- 
ant of the chief actor in this transaction, for the English, 
purchased the land containing this site and set it apart for 
memorial purposes, and caused the following inscription to 
be placed upon the face of the rock : 

" Upon this rock may 2d 1676 


OF MRS. Mary Rowlandson of Lancaster 

Between the Indians and John Hoar of Concord 

King Philip was with the Indians but 


As several of the principal actors in the release of Mrs. 
Rowlandson were connected with the town of Concord, and 

44 2 Colonial 

the graphic description which she gives sets forth some of 
the methods and some thing of the character of the com- 
batants with whom the colonists had to deal, we have con- 
sidered it expedient to publish some portions of the book 
already referred to, entitled "The Narrative of the Captivity 
and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson ": 

"On the tenth of February, 1675, came the Indians 
with great number upon Lancaster. The first coming 
was about Sun-rising ; hearing the noise of some guns, we 
looked out; Several Houses were burning, and the Smoke 
ascending to Heaven. There were five persons taken in one 
house, the Father and the Mother and a sucking Child ; they 
were knocked on the head ; the other two they took and 
carried away alive. Their were two others who, being out 
of their garrison upon some occasion, were set upon ; one 
was knocked on the head, the other escaped: Another there 
was who running along was shot and wounded, and fell 
down ; he begged of them his life, promising them money 
(as they told me), but they would not hearkan to him but 
knockt him in head, and stript him naked, and split 
open his bowels. Another, seeing many of the Indians 
about his Barn, ventured and went out, but was quickly 
shot down. There were three others belonging to the 
same garrison who were killed, the Indians, getting 
upon the roof of the Barn, had advantage to shoot down 
upon them and their Fortifications. Thus these murtherous 
wretches went on burning and destroying before them. 

"At length they came and beset our own house, and 
quickly it was the dolefuUest day that ever mine eyes saw. 
The House stood upon the edge of a hill ; some of the 
Indians got behind the hill, others into the Barn, and 
others behind anything that could shelter them ; from 
all which places they shot against the House, that so 
the Bullets seemed to fly like hail; and quickly wounded 
one man among us, then another, then a third. About two 
hours (according to my observations in that amazing time) 
they had been about the House, before they prevailed to fire 

Concord 443 

it (which they did with Flax and Hemp, which they brought 
out of the Barn, and there being no defense about the 
House, only two Flankers at two opposite corners and one 
of them not finished, they fired it once and ventured out and 
quenched it, but they quickly fired it again, and that took. 
Now as this dreadful hour came that I have often heard of (in 
time of War, was as it was the case of others), but now mine 
eyes see it. Some in our house were fighting for their 
lives, others wallowing in theirs, the House on fire over 
our heads, and the bloody Heathen ready to knock us on 
the head if we stirred out: Now might we hear Mothers 
and children crying out for themselves, and one another, 
' Lord, what shall we do ? ' Then I took my Children 
(and one of my sister's), hers to go forth and leave the house : 
but as soon as we came to the dore and appeared the In- 
dians shot so thick that the Bulletts rattled against the 
house, as if one had taken an handfull of stones and threw 
them, so that we were fain to give back. We had six stout 
dogs belonging to our Garrison, but none of them would 
stir, though another time, if any Indian had come to the 
door, they were ready to fly upon him and tear him down. 
The Lord hereby would make us the more to acknowledge 
his hand, and to see that our help is alwayes in him. But 
out we must go, the fire increasing and coming along be- 
hind us, roaring, and the Indians gaping before us with 
their Guns, Spears and Hatchets, to devour us. No sooner 
were we out of the House but my Brother-in-Law (being 
wounded before in defending the home), in or near the 
throat fell down dead, whereat the Indian scampered 
shouted and hallowed, and were presently upon him, strip- 
ping off his cloaths, the bullets flying thick; one went 
through my side, and the same, (as would seem,) through 
my bowels and hand of my dear child in my arms. One 
of my elder Sister's Children, named William, had then his 
Leg broken, which the Indians preceiving, they knocked 
him on head. Thus were we butchered by those mer- 
ciless Heathen, standing amaized, with the blood running 

444 Colonial 

down to our heels. My eldest Sister being yet in the House 
and seeing those wofull sights, the Infidels haling Mothers 
one way, and Children another, and some wallowing in their 
blood : and her elder son telling her that her Son Will- 
iam was dead, and myself was wounded, she said. And, 
*Lord let me dy with them' which was no sooner said, 
but she was struck with a Bullet, and fell down dead over 
the threshold. I hope she is reaping the fruit of her good 
labors, being faithfull to the service of God in her place. 
In her younger days she lay under much trouble upon 
spiritual accounts, till it pleased God to make that precious 
Scripture take hold of her heart, 2 Cor. 12. 9. *And he 
said unto me my Grace is sufficient for thee.' More than 
twenty years after I have heard her tell how sweet and com- 
fortable that place wa? to her. But to return : The Indians 
laid hold of us, pulling me one way, and the Children 
another, and said, 'Come along with us : ' I told them they 
would kill me : they answered, ^l^ I were willing to go 
with them, they would not hurt me.' 

" O the dolefull sight that now was to behold at this 
House ! *Comc, behold the works of the Lord, what deso- 
lation he has made in the earth.' Of thirty seven persons 
who were in this one House, none escaped either present 
death, or a bitter captivity, save only one, who might say 
as he; Job i. 15 *And I only am escaped alone to tell the 
news.' There were twelve killed, some shot, some stab'd 
with their Spears, some knocked down with their Hatchets. 

" That I may the better declare what happened to me 
during that grievious Captivity, I shall particularly speak 
of the severall Removes we had up and down the Wilder- 

The First Remove. 

" Now away we must go with thos e Barbarous Creatures, 
with our bodies wounded and bleeding, and our hearts no 

Concord 445 

less than our bodies. About a mile we went that night, up 
upon a hill within sight of the Town where we intended to 
lodge, there was hard by a vacant house, (deserted by the 
English before, for fear of the Indians.) I asked them 
whether I might not lodge in the house that night to which 
they answered, what will you love English men still? 
this was the dolefullest night that ever my eyes saw. O 
the roaring and dancing and singing, and yelling of those 
black creatures in the night, which made the place a lively 
resemblance of hell. And as miserable was the wast that 
was made of Horses, Cattle, Sheep, Swine, Calves, Lambs, 
Roasting Pigs, and Fowl [which they had plundered in the 
town] some roasting, some lying, some burning, and some 
boyling to feed our merciless Enemies; who were joyful 
enough though we were disconsolate. To add to the dole- 
fulness of the former day and the dismalness of the present 
night, my thoughts ran up on my losses and sad bereaved 
condition. All was gone, my Husband gone (at least sep- 
arated from me he being in the Bay ; and to add to my 
grief, the Indians told me they would kill him as he came 
homeward) my Children gone, my Relations and Friends 
gone, our House and home and all our comforts within 
door, and without, all was gone, (except my life) and I 
knew not but the next moment that might go too. * * 

The Second Remove. 

" But now, the next morning, I must turn my back upon 
the Town, and travel with them into the vast and desolate 
Wilderness, I knew not whither.' It is not my tongue, or 
pen can express the sorrows of my heart, and bitterness of 
my spirit, that I had at this departure : but God was with 
me, in a wonderfull manner, carrying me along, and bear- 
ing up my spirit, that it did not quite fail. One of the 
Indians carried my poor wounded Babe upon a horse, it 
went moaning all along I shall dy, I shall dy. I went on 
fast after it, with sorrow that cannot be expresst. At length 
I took it off the horse, and carried it in my arms till my 

6 t'oloniat 


strength failed, and 1 fell down with it ; then they set me 
upon a horse with my wounded Child in my lap, and there 
being no furniture upon the horse back; as we were going 
down a steep hill, we both fell over the horses head, at 
which they like inhumane creatures laught, and rejoyced to 
see it, though I thought we should have ended our days, 
so overcome with so many difficulties. But the Lord 
renewed my strength still, and carried me along, that I 
might sec more of his Power ; yea, so much that I could 
never have thought of, had I not experienced it. 

"After this it quickly began to snow, and when night 
came on they stopt ; and now down I must sit in the snow, 
by a little fire, and a few boughs behind me, and my sick 
Child in my lap ; and calling much for water being now 
(through the wound) fallen into a violent Fever. My 
own wound also growing so stiff that I could scarce sit down 
or rise up ; yet so it must be that I must sit all this cold 
winter night upon the cold snowy ground, with my sick 
Child in my arms, looking that every hour would be the 
last of my life ; and having no Christian friend near me 
either to help or to comfort me. Oh, I may see the won- 
derfull power of God, that my spirit did not utterly sink 
under my affliction : still the Lord upheld me with his 
gracious and mercifull Spirit, and we were both alive to see 
the light of the next morning. ''' * '•' " 

Twentieth Remove. 

"On a Sabbath day, the sun being about an hour high in 
the afternoon; came Mr. John Hoar (the Council permit- 
ting him and his own foreward spirit inclining him) together 
with the two foremcntioned Indians, Tom and Peter with 
their third Letter from the Council. When they came 
near I was abroad: though I saw them not, they presently 
called me in, and bade me sit down and not stir. Then 
they catched up their Guns, and away they ran, as if an 
Enemy had been at hand ; and the Guns went off apace. 
1 manifested some great trouble, and they asked me what 


was the matter ? I told them, I thought they had killed 
the Englishman (for they had in the meantime informed 
me that an English-man was come) they said, No ; They 
shot over his Horse and under, and before his Horse; and 
they pushed him this way, and that way, at their pleasure : 
showing what they could do : Then they let them come to 
their Wigwams 1 begged them to let me see the English- 
man, but they would not. But there was I fain to sit their 
pleasure. When they had talked their fill with him they 
suffered me to go to him. We asked each other of our wel- 
fare, and how mv Husband did, and all my friends? He 
told me they were all well, and would be glad to see me. 
I now asked them whether I should go home with Mr. 
Hoar? They answered, No, one and another of them; 
and it being night, we lay down with that answer; in the 
morning, Mr. Hoar invited the Saggamores to Dinner; 
but when we went to get it ready, we found that they had 
stolen the greatest part of the Provision Mr. Hoar had 
brought, out of his Bags, in the night. And we may see 
the wonderful power of God, in that ons passage, in that 
when there was such a great number of the Indians together 
and so greedy of a little good food : and no English there 
but Mr. Hoar and myself: that there they did not Knock 
us in the head, and take what we had : there being not only 
some provision, but also a Trading-cloth, a part of the 
twenty pounds agreed upon. But instead of doing us any 
mischief, they seemed to be ashamed of the fact, and said, 
it was some 'Matchit Indian that did it.' Oh, that we 
could believe that there is no thing too hard for God ! God 
shewed his Power over the Heathen in this, as he did over 
the hungry Lyons when Daniel was cast into the den. 
Mr. Hoar called them betime to Dinner, but they ate very 
little, they being so busie in dressing themselves and get- 
ting ready for their Dance. * ''' ''■ On Tuesday 
morning they called their General Court (as they called it) 
to consult and determine whether I should go home or 
no; and they all as one man did seemingly consent to it, 

44^ Colonial 

that I should go home, except Philip, who would not come 
among them. * * * 

" But to return again to my going home, where we may 
see a remarkable change of Providence. At first they 
were all against it, except my Husband would come for 
me; but afterwards they assented to it, and seemed much 
to rejoice in it; some asked me to send them some Bread, 
others some Tobacco ; others shaking me by the hand, 
offering me a Hood and Scarf to ride in ; not one moving 
hand or tongue against it. Thus hath the Lord answered 
my poor desire, and the many earnest requests of others 
put up unto God for me. In my travels an Indian came 
to me, and told me, if I were willing, he and his squaw 
would run away, and go home along with mc : I told him 
No : I was not willing to run away, but desired to wait 
God's time, that I might go home quietly, and without 
fear. And now God hath granted mc my desire. O the 
wonderfull power of God that I have seen, and the experi- 
ence that I have had : I have been in the midst of those 
roaring Lyons and Savage Bears, that feared neither God, 
nor Man, nor the Devil, by night and day, alone and in com- 
pany : sleeping all sorts together, and yet not one of them 
ever offered me the least abuse of unchastity to me, in word 
or action. Though some are ready to say, I speak it for 
my own credit : But I speak it in the presence of God, and 
to his Glory. Gods Power is as great now, and as sufficient 
to save as when he preserved Daniel in the Lions Den ; or 
the three Children in the firey Furnace, I may well say as 
his Psal. 107,12*0 give thanks unto the Lord for he is 
good, his mercy endureth forever. Let the Redeemed of 
the Lord say so whom he hath redeemed from the hand 
of the Enemy,' especialy that I should come away in the 
midst of so many hundreds of Enemies, quietly and peaca- 
bly, and not a dog moving his tongue. So I took my leave 
of them, and in coming along my heart melted into tears, 
more than all the while I was with them, and I was almost 
swallowed up with the thoughts that ever I should go home 

Concord 449 

again. About the Sun going down, Mr. Hoar and, myself 
and the two Indians came to Lancaster and a solemn sight 
it was to me. There I had Jived many comfortable years 
amongst my Relations and Neighbors, and now not one 
Christian to be seen, nor one house left standing. We went 
on to a Farm house that was yet standing, where we lay all 
night ; and a comfortable lodging we had though nothing 
but straw to ly on. The Lord preserved us in safety that 
night, raised us up again in the morning, and carried us 
along, that before noon we came to Concord. Now was I 
full of joy, and yet not without sorrow : joy to sec such a 
lovely sight, so many Christians together, and some of them 
my Neighbors. There I met with my Brother, and my 
Brother in Law, who asked me if I knew where his Wife 
was ? Poor heart ! he had helped to bury her and knew it 
not; she being shot down by the house was partly burnt : so 
that those who were at Boston at the desolation of the town, 
and came back afterward, and buried the dead, did not know 
her. Yet I was not without Sorrow, to think how many 
were looking and longing, and my own Children amongst 
the rest, to enjoy that deliverance that I had now received 
and I did not know whether ever I should see them again. 
Being recruited with food and raiment we went to Boston 
that day, where I met with my dear Husband but the 
thoughts of our dear Children, one Being dead, and the 
other we could not tell where, abated our comfort each to 
the other. I was not before so much hcm'd in with the 
merciless and cruel Heathen, but now as much with pit- 
iful, tender-hearted, and compassionate Christians. In that 
poor, and distressed, and beggarly condition I was received 
in, I was kindly entertained in severall Houses; so much I 
received from several, (some of whom I knew, and others 
I knew not) that I am not capable to declare it. But the 
Lord knows them all by name : The Lord reward them 
sevenfold into their bosoms of his spirituals, fcr their tem- 
porals. The twenty pounds the price of my redemption 
was raised by some Boston Gentlemen and Mr. Usher 

450 Colonial 

whose bounty and religious charity, I would not forget to 
make mention of. Then Thomas Shepard of Charlestown 
received us into his House, where we continued eleven 
weeks ; and a Father and Mother they were to us. And 
many more tender hearted friends we met with in that place. 
We were now in the midst of love, yet not without much and 
frequent heaviness of heart for our poor Children, and other 
relations, who were still in affliction. The week following, 
after my coming in, the Governor and Council sent forth 
to the Indians again ; and that not without success, for they 
brought in my Sister, and Goodwife Kristle ; Their not 
knowing where our Children were, was a sore tryal to us 
still, and yet we were not without secret hopes that we 
should see them again. That which was dead lay heavier 
upon my spirit, than those which were alive and amongst 
the Heathen; thinking how it suffered from its wounds, 
and I was in no way able to relieve it; and how it was 
buried by the Heathen in the Wilderness from among all 
Christians. We were hurried up and down in our thoughts, 
sometimes we should hear a report that they were gone this 
way, and sometimes that ; and that they were come in, in this 
place or that : We kept inquiring and listening to hear con- 
cerning them but no certain news as yet. About this time 
the Council had ordered a day of public Thanks-giving : 
though I thought I had still cause of mourning, and being 
unsettled in our minds, we thought we would ride toward 
the Eastward to see if we could hear anything concerning 
our Children. And as we were riding along [God is the 
wise disposer of all things] between Ipswich and Rowly we 
met Mr. William Hubbard, who told us that our Son 
Joseph was come in to Major Waldrens, and another with 
him, which was my Sisters Son. I asked him how he knew 
it? He said, the Major himself told him so. So along 
we went till we came to Newbury ; and their Minister being 
absent, they desired my Husband to Preach the Thanks 
giving for them ; but he was not willing to stay there that 
night, but would go over to SaHsbury, to hear further, and 

Concord 451 

come again in the morning ; which he did, and Preached 
there that day. At night when he had done, one came and 
told him that his Daughter was come in at Providence ; 
Here was mercy on both hands : Now hath God fulfiled 
that precious Scripture, which was such a comfort to me in 
my distressed condition. When my heart was ready to sink 
into the Earth [my Children being gone I could not tell 
whither] and my knees trembled under me, And 1 was 
walking through the valley of the Shadow of Death : Then 
the Lord brought, and has now fulfiled that reviving word 
unto me : Thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice, from 
weeping, and thine eyes from tears for thy work shall be 
rewarded saith the Lord, and they shall come again from 
the Land of the enemy." 


List of Names of Concord Soldiers in King Philip's 
War — Miscellaneous Services of the Town — 
Incidental Hardships — The Loss of Men — Bio- 
graphical Sketches of the Killed and Wounded. 

T I '^HE following are lists containing the names of 
i some of the soldiers who served in King Philip's 
A War. A list of the names of soldiers accred- 
ited for services performed under Capt. Joseph 
Sill in 1675-76 ; 

William Barrett Lt. John Melvin 

James Wheeler Thomas Adams 

Richard Taylor Joseph Bateman 

Moses Wheate Hopewell Davis 

Richard Woods John Bateman 

WiUiam Ball 
In 1675 Capt. Sill was engaged in service from Sudbury 
westward toward Wachusett Hill ; and subsequently by 
order of Major Simon Willard he was employed in guard- 
ing supplies and in guard duty about the various garrison 

Among the names of persons who served as soldiers in 
defense of the garrisons are the following Concord names : 
Feb. 29. 1675-6. 
"Under Capt. Wheeler at Groton garrison" : 
Samuel Fletcher Senr. Samuel Fletcher Junr. 

Eleazer Brown Stephen Gobble 

Moses Wheate Richard Pasmore 

(perhaps Hosmer) 
Nov. 9, — 1675. 
John Wood Josiah Wheeler 

Hugh Taylor 




,, f^EW YORK , 



Concord 453 

Another list under Capt. Wheeler at Groton in garrison 
service : 

Samuel Fletcher Jr. Stephen Gobble 

Eleazer Ball Daniel Adams 

Moses Wheate Richard Pasmore 

John Potter Simon Willard 

Benjamin Graves 
The following are "later credits for Military Service" 
of Concord men from the Ledger of John Hull: 
Nov. 24, 1676 
William Jones 

Jan. 24, 1676 
Humphrey Barrett William Hartwell. 

The following names are of men accredited as being 
under Major Simon Willard from Aug. 7th to Jan. 25, 1675, 
whose sur-names were familiar in Concord : 

Paul Fletcher, John Barrett, John Heale, James Smedly, 
Josiah Wheeler, Daniel Adams, John Bateman. 

In the list from which these are taken is the name of 
Simon Willard, a son of Major Simon Willard, and Philip 
Read "Doctor," Dr. Philip Read, we conclude, is the same 
person who styled himself "Physition" and who having 
married a daughter of Richard Rice made a home in Con- 
cord and practised medicine there and also in Sudbury, 
Watertown and Cambridge. We have no means of know- 
ing whether he went to the war acting in any other cap- 
acity than as a private soldier although he is designated 
"Doctor." Neither do we assert that Dr. Read went to the 
war from Concord, since about the year 1670 he was com- 
plained of for making a comparison of Rev. Edward Bul- 
keley as a preacher with Parson Estabrook saying, that the 
former was not worthy to carry the latter's books after him. 
Dr. Read paid £10 for the offense and for a time left the 

Assignment of Wages. 
Concord — Town Cr. By Sundry accts : 

John Wheeler, Joseph Wheeler, Abraham Temple, 

454 Colonial 

Thomas Wheeler, Junr., David Gobely, Benjamin Graves, 
James Sawyer, Nathaniel Billings, William Kean, John 
Haslock, Joseph Chamberlain, Stephen Gobble, Benjamin 
Chamberlain, John Lakin, Richard Blood. 

We do not claim that in every instance in the following 
lists where a name has been a familiar one in Concord that 
therefore the person having it is to be accredited as a sol- 
dier serving from that town. But we claim that more or 
less of them belonged to Concord citizens and that in some 
of the lists nearly all if not everyone did so. 

We have no means of knowing whether the names of all 
the soldiers of Concord who served in King Philip's war 
were placed on record, neither may we know how many 
were impressed and how many were volunteers. Further- 
more, we may not know how many served as substitutes for 
soldiers in other towns ; nor how many men in other places 
may have been accredited to Concord. 

The method of obtaining a "quota" of troops was for 
the Colonial Council or commanding officer in charge to 
issue a. warrant directed to a constable, or a committee of 
militia in each municipality which was returnable to the said 
Council or General officer. 

Besides the service performed in response to calls of the 
colony to aid other towns and engage in expeditions, much 
militia work was done at home. The town was near the 
danger line and repeatedly threatened with invasion, and it 
was essential to be at all times prepared for an attack. 

There were also in the town at various times refugees 
from other places whose persons and property called for pro- 
tection. Sometimes carts were required with armed convoys 
to carry people and their belongings to a place of safety. 
To fill all these requisitions and at the same time man their 
garrison houses and keep up such patroling of the township 
as would prevent surprises was an arduous task. To accom- 
plish this not only took every able bodied soldier but even 
the youth were sometimes summoned into the service, as 

Concord 455 

is shown by the following paper, Mass. Archives, Vol. 69, 
page 134: 

"To the Hono:'''' Gov"" : and Councell now sitting in Bos- 
ton June 28 : 1677 
The Request of the Millitia of the towne of Concord 

"Humbly sheweth that the millitia of the said towne 
receiveing a warrant from the worp" Maj'' Gookin to im- 
press foure men for the service of the Country : and 
being Informed that those that were to be prest were in- 
tended onely to scout about Chelmsford ; and the said 
Militia not being able to obtaine those persons that were 
intended and desired they sent foure youths promiseing to 
releive them within one week after they went but as soone 
as they came to Chelmsford they were conducted to black 
point where they now remaine. 

"Our humble request to yo'^ Hon" therefore is ; that you 
will please to consider how unfitt these youths are for the 
Countryes service : namely Samuell Stratton, John Wheat, 
John Ball : Thomas Wolley : : and that they may be dis- 
missed from the said service : and be returned home with 
the first that doe returne, so shall we ever pra) for y"" 
Hon'^ &c. 

Timothy Wheeler Capt 

in the name of y^ Millitia." 

As a result of the necessity of their keeping sol- 
diers at home excuses were made, as shown by the 
postscript to the report of the Committee of Militia 
concerning the men called from Concord to the Narragan- 
sett expedition ; the request being that some already in ser- 
vice be released. 

But the military service was not the only strain upon the 
community. The soldiers were to be furnished with food 
and clothing. Their stock of ammunition was to be kept 
up, and such other commodities as were convenient for car- 
rying on war were to be contributed as occasion called for. 

For months the town of Concord was a general military 
head-quarters, having a gunsmith, and a magazine. 

45^ Colonial 

A no small element of hardship to the town of Con- 
cord during Philip's war was its liability to a sudden attack 
of the Indians. The place would naturally be a coveted 
one, for the reason that it had a magazine, and a gunsmith and 
was a resort of war refugees and was a rendezvous for 
troops from abroad. As indicating the general solicitude 
is the following copy of a record relating to the escape of 
several squaws who were under guard. 

"Concord this 13'^: June 1676. 
Hono'^'' Gouerno^ Leuer' 

"Inasmuch as heare has been a sad accident befallen us 
through the ocation of nedglegent persons ; which had 
trust Imposed to them: to keep sentery over three old 
squas & one papoose, these watchmen fell all asleep, and 
in the meanetime y* squas made theire escape ; from them ; 
which may produce a great deale of damage to us y' arc 
resident in Concord ; because we are aftraid they are 
acquainted with ye Condition of o"" towne, & what quan- 
tyty of men we have gon out ; & which way they are 
gone ; which may prove very obstructive to o"" army in their 
design; we had a Capt ; appoynted over the magaseinc ; 
which I thought to be suffitient to give a Charge to 12 
men ; to keep senternalls over three old squas ; I hope yo'' 
bono'' will be pleased to take it into Consideration & send 
us some more strength to suport us from o"" enemies ; for 
we are in dayly fear ; y* they will make an asault on o*" 
towne ; So hopeing yo"^ hono^ cannot Impute any Blame 
to him ; who wish to yo' honor y^ best y* may be; by yo*" 
bono" most Humble Servant 

John Haywood ; 
Mass. Archives, v. 133, p. 193. 

By this report we infer that the condition of affairs was 
so precarious that it was considered essential to place a strong 
guard over a few Indian women lest escaping they report 
the weak condition of the town s defences. When it was 
reported to the Council that the squaws had made their 

Concord 457 

escape the situation was considered sufficiently serious to 
warrant the Council in forwarding immediately a re-enforce- 
ment of twenty men. 

The actual loss of inhabitants to Concord by the war 
may never be known. It is considered certain that sixteen 
were slain outright, but as in all wars more or less deaths 
were doubtless occasioned indirectly by exposure, sickness 
and wounds. Neither may it ever be ascertained what were 
the names of all the slain or where all of them lived. 

The following are brief biographical data relating to per- 
sons from Concord who were killed or suffered from 
wounds while engaged in Philip's war. 

Samuel Smedley who was slain while with Capt. Wheeler 
at Brookfield was a son of Baptist Smedley and a brother 
of Mary whose husband Isaac Shepard was killed at Con- 
cord village. He was one of the eight who fell at the first 
firing in the ambuscade at the swamp. Doubtless his body 
was buried with his comrades in an obscure grave. 

Of the Concord Smedleys or Smeadleys, John and Bap- 
tist or Baptiste came to the town prior to 1636. They 
were of Huguenot descent, and it has been suggested may 
have come from Matlock, in Derbyshire, England where 
some of the Smedleys have since lived. Baptiste had his 
houselot, according to Walcott, near Franklin Dakin's. 
John lived at or near the present residence of Hon. John 
S. Keyes in the vicinity of the Battle Ground. Baptiste 
Smedley died Aug. 16, 1675. John died the same year. 

Samuel Smedley son of Baptiste married Hannah 
Wheeler in 1667; Hannah a daughter was born July 28 
1669; Mary was born 1671 ; and Samuel Feb. 28, 1673. 
The following is the record of his birth. "Samuell Sonne 
of Babtist and Kathrine Smedley, the 7, 4 mo, 1648." The 
inventory is on file at the Probate Records by the admin- 
istrator of Samuel Smedley ; and one of the articles speci- 
fied is the following — "2 horses lost in the^Country's sar- 
vice. 06,0,0" 

"2 horses was kild with him at the ffight at quapoge." 

Colonial 458 

As to Henry Young who was shot at the Brookfield gar- 
rison house while looking from the window, we have found 
nothing but what Capt. Wheeler says of him in his narra- 
tive. That he was a brave man is evident from the fact 
that he was selected to be a companion to Ephraim Curtis 
in his attempt to elude the viligant savages and bear beyond 
their lines a summons for relief. The whereabouts of his 
grave is doubtless as unknown as that of Smedley. The 
old burying ground at Brookfield may have received his 
remains but of the earliest burial place of that town its 
historians have given but little definite information. 

Isaac and Jacob Shepard who were slain at Quagana hill 

^# in Concord village were the third and sixth sons of Ralph 

and Thanklord Shepard. Isaac was born June 20th 1639, 

and Jacob was born June 1657. The oldest son of the 

*\ family of Ralph and Thanklord was Abraham who married 

\ Jan. 2d 1673; and a younger son was perhaps Daniel; 

^cM' Mary who was made captive was the youngest child and 

J;, was born about 1660 — 1662. 

'^<::, Isaac Shepard married Mary Smedly a daughter of Bap- 

/«>'"^tiste Smedly of Concord. A Probate Record informs us 

that "adminstration on the estate of Isaac Shepard late of 

Concord" was allowed to Mary Shepard his "relict widow" 

jointly with Abram Shepard her brother. The inventory 

of the estate sets forth the following property "A farme at 

Nashobe, one house one barn 12 ac of broken up land 10 

of meadow witn the rest of the ffarme." The entire estate 

was valued at £,1^0. From this farm at Nashoba through a 

long wilderness path Isaac went to visit Mary Smedley the 

maiden of Huguenot ancestry and thither he took her to 

dwell among his own kindred. 

We know of no record relating to Jacob Shepard except 
of his birth. Both Isaac and Jacob it is supposed lived on 
a portion of land formerly owned by Lieut. Joseph Wheeler. 
Their father Ralph came to America in the ship Abigail 
from Stepney Parish London in 1635. After residing in 
several towns he went to Maiden where he became deacon. 

Concord 459 

From Maiden he made his way through the woods to the 
territory near Nashoba called Concord village. 

The barn In which the men were threshing was situated 
it is believed on the south side of a lane to what is now or 
was lately the Cyrus Pickard place near the road. Mary 
the sister was on the hill near by, and tradition has pointed 
out the exact spot, a boulder on the south side of the hill 
near the top. In the Concord Records is this entry 
"Thomas Strelght and Mary Shepard married by Justice 
Peter Bulkeley May 28, 1683." 

In the case of the Concord soldiers killed at Sudbury 
there is a great discrepancy between the date of their deaths 
on the town records and elsewhere. 

The record there made is that James Hosmer, Samuel 
Potter, David Corny and John Barnes died on March 31, 
1676. The error is thought to have been occasioned by 
some Imperfect entry or transcription. The following are 
brief biographical sketches of five of the seven whose iden- 
tity and connection with the fight at Sudbury has been 
established as matter of record : 

James Hosmer as has been stated In a former chapter 
lived near his father by the Assabet river, at the present 
Concord Junction. He married Sarah, a daughter of John 
White, an early and well-to-do proprietor of lands at Lan- 
caster. The following Is a Probate record relative to the 
estate of James Hosmer, Jr. ; 

"An Inventory of the estate ot James Hosmer junior, 
of Concord, In Middlesex, deceased, being slalne in the 
ingagement with the Indeans at Sudsburie, on the 21 of the 
second month in the yeare 1676. 

Prizers James Hosmer Senr. 
Henry Woodis 
John Scotchford 
Thomas Wheeler 

Rev. George W. Hosmer D. D. who was a lineal 
descendant of James Hosmer and formerly President of 
Antloch College, and lately pastor of Channing Church 

460 Colonial 

Newton, stated in a letter concerning his ancestor who was 
several generations from him as follows: 

"My grandfather when resistance was in vain, plunged 
into the river to swim across and a bullet passed through 
his head." 

James Hosmer Jr. was a brother-in-law of Rev. Joseph 
Rowlandson of Lancaster The following is from the old 
records "James Hosmer and Sara White married Oct. 14, 

Samuel Potter was a son of Luke Potter who early set- 
tled at Concord and who was a deacon in the church there 
as late as 1697. Samuel Potter Senior married for his 
second wife Mary Edmonds in 1644. 

The following are from the Concord early records, — 

"Samuell the sonne of luke and Mary Potter the i, of 
the 1 mo. 1648." 

"Samuel Potter and Sarah Right married 8 Jan . 1673" 

"Samuell Potter husband to Sarah his wife : died 3 1 
march 1676." 

The house lot of Luke Potter the father was on Potter's 
Lane since Heyward street. 

Joseph Buttrick was a son of William Buttrick who came 
to Concord in 1635. J^*€^h married for his first wife Sarah 
Bateman who died in 1664, and for his second, Jane Good- 
now of Sudbury. Joseph Buttrick was a child of the first 
wife. The following arefrom Concord old records : 

"Mary, daughter of Will Buttricke & Sara his wife borne, 
17, June: 64" 

"Sara, wife of Will Buttricke died 17, July : 64." 

"William Buttrick & Jeane goodnow married 21 feb. 

Of Daniel Comy, Shattuck says that he was at Concord 
in 1664. We conjecture that the first name of Corny is 
David rather than Daniel. There are the following refer- 
ences to David Comy among the early records ; 

Concord 461 

"John son of David & Elizabeth Corny born 18, Oct. 

"David son of David Corny & Elizabeth his wife borne 
14, Nom' 1666. 

"Ester daughter of David Corny born 14, 12, 75. 

"Elizabeth wife of david Corny died 4 March 70, 71." 

John Barnes, Shattuclc states was at Concord in 1661, 
and married Elizabeth Hunt in 1664. 

Josiah Wheeler was a son of Obadiah Wheeler one of 
the town's early settlers and one of the first three Wheelers 
who arrived at Concord, the other three of the six who set- 
tled there arriving in 1639. Obadiah Wheeler Sr. died Oct. 
27, 1671. aged 63, and his wife Susannah died 1650. Oba- 
diah Wheeler the 4th son married Elizabeth White in 
1672, and was father to Obadiah, Josiah, Samuel, Joseph, 
and others. 

Obadiah Wheeler lived in the vicinity of Brook meadow. 
The following is part of a Probate record relating to the 
estate of Josiah Wheeler : 

"An Inventory of the estate of Josiah Wheeler, of Con- 
cord in the County of Middlesex, deceased being slain by 
the engagement with the Indians at Sudsburie on the 
twenty-first of the second month in y* yeare 1676." 

We have discovered nothing concerning David Curry 
beyond a statement that the Middlesex Probate Records 
afford evidence that he was a victim to the Indian ambush- 
mentat Sudbury on April 21st. Neither have we been able 
to gather much information relative to Jacob Farrar. A 
John and Jacob Farrar were proprietors in the town of Lan- 
caster as early as 1653. According to Shattuck John died 
Nov. 3, 1669 and Jacob either a son of John or Jacob mar- 
ried Hannah, daughter of John Hougnton Esq. 1668 and 
was killed by the Indians August 22, 1675. ^^^ ^°"s 
Jacob, George, Joseph and John, the same author informs 
us sold their property in 1697 to an uncle of the name of 
Houghton and removed to Concord. 

Among the names of the men who went from Concord 

4^2 Colonial 

to join the Narragansett Expedition in 1675, ^^ ^^^ name 
of Stephen Farre, which name we conjecture may have 
been pronounced Farrar. 

The following is the biographical data of the Concord sol- 
diers who met with casualities in the Narragansett Expedi- 

George Hayward who was killed at the Swamp Fight may 
have been a son of George Hayward who early built a corn 
mill at the southwest part of the town and died March 
1 67 1. We have no record of his birth but conclude from 
the fact that we have seen the name of the mill proprietor 
written in history George Hayward senior, that George the 
soldier was his son. 

Abraham Temple who was one of the wounded at the 
Swamp Fight was a son of Richard Temple who had a mill 
on Spencer Brook. An old record states of him, — 

"Abraham Temple and Deborah hadlocke married 4 
desem 1673." 

"Richard son of Abraham Temple & Debra his wife 
borne 6, Oct. 1674." 

Thomas Brown the other wounded soldier at the Swamp 
Fight, lived in the North quarter beyond the Concord river 
on what has since been the Edwin S. Barrett place and in 
the neighborhood of Boaz Brown whose home was on the 
place since occupied by Eli Dakin. 


Historical Sketches of Major Simon Willard, Lieut. 
Edward Oakes^ Lieut. Simon Davis, Capt. Thomas 

BEFORE closing the subject of Concord in King Phil- 
ip's war it is proper to give some further account of 
Maj. Simon Willard who, as before stated, was one of 
her most conspicuous citizens, and of several other officers 
who served at that time, and are associated with the town. 

The more prominent military service of Simon Willard as 
related to the public at large began when, in 1653, he was 
appointed Sergeant- Maj or of the forces of Middlesex 

In October, 1654, he was made commander-in-chief of 
a levy of a little more than three hundred footmen and 
horsemen who were sent out by the United Colonies in an 
expedition against Ninigret, the Sachem of the Niantics, 
returning to Boston with his troops by October 24. 

The result of the expedition was the obtaining of a satis- 
factory agreement with Ninigret and also with the Pequod 

Among the earlier services of Mr. Willard in Philip's 
war was the organizing of the Colonial troops, and one of 
his first acts in the field was his part in the relief of the 
Brookfield Garrison. At that time he was, with Capt. 
Parker, about starting with his company of forty-six men 
to look after some Indians to the westward of Lancaster 
and Groton, having five friendly Indians with him as 
scouts. Soon after this he was in command of a consider- 
able force, consisting, among others, of the companies of 
Captain's Lathrop, Beers and Mosely, sent to range the 
country about Brookfield. 463 

4^4 Colonial 

According to a paper presented to the Court after the 
decease of Major Willard, asking payment for his services, 
there is evidence that from Sept. 20, 1675, ^° April 18, 
1676, "the major was employed about the country busi- 
ness Settling of Garrisons in towns and settling of Indians 
at Concord and Chelmsford, and other business." 

For several months Major Willard was occupied in the 
various towns assisting in their defence, and soon after the 
return of the Narragansett expedition at the arrival of 
Canonchet in the Nipmunck country the Council ordered 
him to raise a large force of mounted men to do duty in 
the vicinity of Groton, Lancaster and Marlboro. 

The miscellaneous nature of the military services of 
Major Willard may be set forth by the following copy of a 
report sent by him to the Colonial Court, giving an account 
of his movements from March 21 to 29, 1675-6, Mass. 
Archives, Vol. 68, p. 186 : 

"A short narrative of what I have attended unto by the 
Councill of late, since I went to relieve Groatton. The 
21:1: 75-76, I went to Concord, and divided the troope 
committed unto me from Essex & Norfolke into three pts 
one to garde the carte, pressed from Sudbury, one pt for y^ 
carte pressed from concord, both to Lancaster, one pt for 
y* carte that went from Charlestowne & Wattertowne that 
went volintiers or wear hiered when I had sent them to 
their severall places I came downe being the 22 : i : 75-6 : 
& went to concord the 25:1: 75, when I come there & 
inquired how it was with Lancaster the answer was they 
wcare in distresse, I p^sently sent 40 horse thither to fetch 
away corne, and I went that night to Chellmsfoord to se 
how it was with them, they complayned, Billerikye Bridge, 
stood in great need of being fortified, I ordered that to be 
don, allso they told me, that the Indians made two great 
rafte of board & rayles, that they had gott, that laye at the 
other syd of the river. I ordered 20 souldiers to go over 
& take them, & towe them downe the River, or p'serve 
them as they se cause, the 27 oi this instant I went from 





Concord 465 

Chellmsord to concord agayne when I came there, the 
troopers that I sent to Lancaster last had brought away all 
the people there, but had left about 80 bushells of wheat & 
Indian corne, yesterday I sent : 40 : horses or more to fetch 
it away, & came down from concord, this day I expect they 
will be at concord. Some of the troope I relesed when this 
last worke was don, the other I left order to scout abroad 
until they heare from me agayne, I thought it not meet to 
relese men, when we stand in need of men, my desire is to 
know what I shall do herein concord & chelmsford look 
every day to be fired, and wold have more men but know 
not how to keepe them, nor paye them, your humble 
servant. Simon Willard 29 : i : 76." 

As a surveyor Mr. Willard was also celebrated. About 
1652 he was sent as a commissioner to establish the north- 
ern boundary of Massachusetts at the head of the Merrimac 
river ; and it is said that the letters S. W,, which some 
years since were found upon the Bound Rock near Lake 
Winnepesaukee, were probably the initials of his name. 

For prominent service in the settlement of Lancaster 
Mr. Willard was presented with a large land tract, and it 
is supposed that he removed to that town in 1659. Sub- 
sequent to his removal he acquired a strip of territory in 
Groton, now situated in the town of Ayer. This land has 
been known as the Nonacoicus grant, it being adjacent to 
a brook of this name. 

Upon this tract of territory Mr. Willard erected a house 
which, according to a map made by Thomas Danforth, 
surveyor, was situated not far from the present county road 
leading from Ayer to Shirley Village. The exact spot 
where this house stood has not been positively ascertained; 
it is believed, however, that it was upon a knoll about 
twenty-five rods, more or less, from the county road on 
the southerly side. This conjecture is favored by the 
nature of the locality. The spot is near the junction of 
Nonacoicus brook and the Nashua river, where the inter- 
vale or meadow extends quite a distance southerly before 

466 Colonial 

reaching the uphind, thereby affording good land for culti- 
tion. Nearby is a considerable rivulet, making convenient 
the watering of stock and the supplying of the house. 
The proximity of the Nonacoicus brook and Nashua river 
afforded opportunity for fishing and the bottom lands 
about them for game ; moreover, the Nashua river, running, 
as it did, through Groton and Lancaster, formed a con- 
venient water way between the two towns ; and for this 
reason Mr. Willard would naturally place his homestead 
near it. In early times streams passing through a wilder- 
ness country were made use of both for transportation and 
personal passage. The Indians in the upper country were 
accustomed to make use of them for one or both of these 
purposes and in the time of the intercolonial wars these water- 
ways were sometimes watched by companies of provincial 
rangers who lay in wait to intercept any enemy who might 
use the water courses for reaching the settlements. 

The spot just indicated was well situated for defense, 
it being so elevated as to command a near view of the sur- 
rounding country. About this locality formerly there was 
quite a hamlet ; the marks of cellar holes being still visible. 
Upon the knoll until within about a half century ago a 
house was standing which when demolished was very old. 
This may have been the immediate successor of the Wil- 
lard house, or at least the second. As Mr. Willard went 
to Groton from Lancaster in 1671, the house was probably 
erected the same year. We may suppose that it stood 
quite alone, the estate being a large one and the house 
according to the plan of Danfoith being in the central 
portion. Another circumstance making presumable its 
isolated condition, is that it was not called a garrison house 
which we believe it would have been if there had been 
homesteads about it. 

But although removed from near neighbors and about 
five miles from any cluster of dwellings at central Groton, 
the Willard house in Philips war was much frequented by 
military men for military purposes. As it was on the main 

Concord . 467 

line of frontier territory along the region of the Nashua 
river and the general course of scouting parties as these 
made their way through the wood from Dunstable to 
Groton and Lancaster on past Washacum and Wachusett 
to Quinsigamond, it became a place of rendezvous ; and 
its comfort and geniality were often shared in by the worn 
soldiers and their tired horses. Bunches of stacked mus- 
kets in the door yard may not have been unusual objects, 
while in the nearer forest to the northerly by the river side 
and upon the stony ridge at the eastward and along the 
wilderness road toward Shabbokin, where the road which is 
now a common highway was then a trail toward Lancaster, 
may have been many times seen the vigilant sentry. The 
house was attacked by the Indians and burned March 13, 
1676. The family were absent at the time, warning having 
been given of the approach of the Indians. 

March 2nd the town of Groton was put on its 
guard by the presence of a band of savages who pillaged 
several houses and stole some cattle. This act of hostility 
had sent the inhabitants of the scattered homesteads to the 
several garrison houses of the town and saved many people 
who would otherwise have perished. When on March 13 
the final attack came Major Willard who with his men was 
scouting among the exposed towns and arranging for their 
defense went immediately with a squadron of cavalry to 
the town's relief; but he arrived too late. The town was 
destroyed. Forty dwelling houses had been laid in ashes, 
and also the meeting house. 

The first house destroyed was that of Major Willard 
at Nonacoicus and it is not altogether unlikely that he 
passed the smoking ruins of his own homestead on his way 
to the rescue of the central village. 

There are two scenes in the history of Simon Willard 
that are especially interesting — one, when the noble old 
officer over seventy years of age rode hurriedly over the 
rough wood roads followed hotly by his troop in eager 
impatience to arrive at Brookefield in season to rescue his 


former townsmen of Concord or their sons and Capt. 
Wheeler an associate officer ; and the other, his ride to 
Groton where his own home was situated and his own son 
was the minister. 

After the destruction of Groton, the inhabitants and the 
portion of goods that had been saved, as soon as it could be 
done with safety, were conveyed through the woods to the 
lower towns ; a considerable portion of them being left at 

It is pleasant to contemplate that in selecting temporary 
abiding places for his Groton townsmen he showed a pre- 
ference for his old Concord home, and it may be that the 
welcome accorded to the Groton exiles was the more hearty 
because they had been associated in their homes with Simon 

The house of Major Willard at Groton was never 
rebuilt. Soon after, he went to Charlestown where he died 
April 24, 1676. 

When the "piping times of peace" returned and the 
sunlit forest with its kindly sheltering shades again afforded 
safety and the birds sang there sweetly undisturbed by the 
harsh war sounds, some one perhaps repaired to the 
deserted and desolated spot still lovely in its forest 
environment, and scraping away the cold grey ashes and 
finding a foundation which the fires of war had not crum- 
bled, built upon it. For years, the structure then erected 
endured. The storms swept over it and scoured its shingles 
or tore its thatching. It finally fell; the place again was 
left vacant, and today the, traveler as he passes along 
the country road may see in the near distance in a 
pleasant pasture a few bunches of low shrubbery which 
alone remain to remind one of the former residence of 
Simon Willard. 

But to the interested reader of the town's early his- 
tory there is about these silent objects and surroundings a 
special significance. The rough rocks and loosely lying 
stones may have been resting places for the exulting savage, 

Concord 469 

as he sat on that dismal March morning after applying the 
torch and watched the flames as they consumed the dwell- 
ing place of one whom he intensely hated and feared. 
The little rivulet that still creeps down through the grassy 
runlet and crosses the highway in its passage, affording now 
the simple service of a wayside watering place, was once it 
may be rippled by the bucket of Madam Willard or her 
servants. Where the interval broadens out from the river 
and brook until by its gentle winding it reaches almost 
within view from the door, the younger children of the 
family in the season when the "sound of falling nuts is heard" 
may have repaired with their coarse baskets to gather wal- 
nuts and chestnuts, or to pick cranberries. 

Another man who did good service in Philip's war and 
who spent a portion of his life in Concord was Lieut. 
Edward Oakes. 

He came from England in 1640, and lived for many 
years in Cambridge where he was a selectman twenty-six 
years. His wife's name was Jane ; and the names of four 
of his children were Urian, Edward, Mary and Thomas, 
the two former having been born in England. He was a 
Deputy to the Gen. Court from Concord in 1683, 4, and 6. 

Lient. Oakes did service during King Philip's war in tlie 
troop of Capt. Prentice, who commanded one of the ^xt. 
troop of horse in the colony. To belong to a cavahy 
company was a privileged position. The members had 
extra pay and were generally from the more thrifty and 
well to do families, each one owning his own horse. Lieut. 
Oakes was in the summer campaign at Mount Hope. 
The fact that he was Lieutenant in Capt. Prentice's Com- 
mand is evidence of a creditable record. He died at Con- 
cord Oct. 13, 1689, aged about 85. 

Simon Davis was a son of Dolor Davis who was a peti- 
tioner for Groton in 1656. His father married Margery a 
sister of Major Simon Willard. 

Simon and his brother Samuel made their homes in 
Concord and had families the descendants of which are 

470 Colonial 

^^^^^~~"~'^ ^^^^^~^~"'™'''^^"^^~™'~'^~~'""~" ™™ 

widely scattered and greatly respected. 

Simon Davis subsequently became a Lieutenant and then 
a captain, and in King Williams war with forty troopers 
and thirty foot soldiers was appointed to defend the frontier 
from Dunstable to Marlborough. Beside serving faithfully 
as a soldier, captain Davis successively occupied several 
civic offices, being a representative about 1689. He mar- 
ried Mary a daughter of James Blood in 1660 and Died 
June 14, 1713 aged 77. It is said that three Governors 
John Dav's, George Robinson and John D. Long have 
descended from this family. 

Another Officer who was connected with the town of 
Concord was Capt. Thomas Brattle at one time a merchant 
in Boston and a member of the Artillery Company in 
1674. He purchased of the Indians large tracts of terri- 
tory along the Kennebec and Merrimac rivers and owned 
the iron works at Concord. From 1678 to 1681 he was a 
deputy from Lancaster. He was one of the founders of 
the Old South Church in Boston and married EHzabeth, a 
daughter of Capt. William Tyng. Thomas Brattle was 
appointed Cornet of the Suffolk troop on May 30 1670, 
became Lieutenant Oct. 13, 1675, ^^^ captain May 9, 

Thomas Brattle while Cornet on Sept. 8, 1675 conducted 
a detatchment of soldiers for distribution in the towns of 
Dunstable, Groton and Lancaster, and arranged with the 
people for their doing garrison duty among them. He 
was engaged in the organization and supply of several 
expeditions and was with the Narragansett army after the 
Swamp fight. 

He died April 5, 1683 leaving it is stated the largest 
estate in New England at that time. His sons Thomas and 
William graduated at Harvard College and both were cel- 
ebrated and popular. 

Before closing the subject ot the connection ot Concord 
with Philip's war we would observe that some of the mili- 
tary methods employed during the period correspond quite 

Concord 47 1 

nearly to some of the practices of the period just preceding 
the war of the Revolution. For instance the function of 
the "committee of militia" was similar to the later com- 
mittee of safety and the latter may have had its origin in, 
or been a continuation of the former. In the time of 
Philip's war in a town adjacent to Concord, according to its 
historian, the inhabitants who were capable of bearing arms 
were divided into two military organizations, one, which was 
made up of two thirds of the inhabitants, acting as the reg- 
ular militia, and the remaining third standing in readiness 
to act at a moment's warning, suggesting both by the num- 
ber of men in each organization and by the service expected 
of those in the latter that here may have been the origin of 
the "Minute men." The company that stood in readiness to 
act at a moment's notice was known as "The Alarm." If 
this was the practice in neighboring places, without evidence 
to the contrary we may suppose it was so in Concord, and 
perhaps the twelve men who went to the rescue of Sud- 
bury, were Minute men. 

The signal service consisting in the firing of several mus- 
kets succesively may have given rise to the same signal 
service of a subsequent century. 

The making use of the town of Concord as a rendezvous 
of soldiers, a place for war refugees, for a gunsmith, a 
"Magazine," and a deposit of military stores may have 
caused it to be used for a military purpose in both the 
intercolonial wars and in the conflict of 1775. 

Thus closed the tragic and grimly picturesque period of 
King Philip's war; a period in which the valor of the 
United Colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth and Con- 
necticut had been many times demonstrated, and in which 
the endurance and resources of the respective towns had 
been severely taxed. Both races left that in their records 
which they had great reason to regret, and which judged by 
the standards of later years is far from being commendable. 
The English in their fighting qualities even when they were 
displayed under circumstances which were wild and ill 

47^ Colonial 

adapted to the usual conditions of waging war, had shown 
themselves the masters, although by an inconsiderate rash- 
ness or overconfidence they had suffered their greatet 
losses. Their work had been open and their methods if 
not unmixed with cruelty had been tactful and orderly. 
The Indians had shown themselves coarse adepts in trickery 
and without successful comprehensiveness of plan. Their 
chief resource was the ambuscade, and they seldom attacked 
where the forces were equal. We know of but one notable 
instance of open siege by them, or of carrying a fortified 
place by storming it. The incidental references to 
their traits as brought out in the various war records, and 
in the literature of the times set forth we believe 
far less of a native nobility to the life and character 
of the savage than the poet has associated with him. He 
was gross in his general habits. The forest cleanliness that 
belongs to bird or beast Vv^as not observed by him, and the 
precariousness of his manner of living points to him as 
being lazily improvident. Some of his faultiness in these 
respects is brought out by Mrs. Rowlandson in a manner 
so marked as to make the very reading of the descriptions 
alm.ost repulsive. In short the general testimony of the 
entire contest is that Indian observation of Euro- 
peans for a portion of two generations had not 
removed him from his ancient barbarity nor led him 
to abstain from vile practices which he observed before 
he had ever seen a white man. It is the old story oft 
repeated in ethnological history that nature alone is ill 
suited to reform a sin stained soul. 

But on the other hand Philip's war remarkably affirmed 
the province of grace and the gospel to do a work in the 
human heart that even war with all of hell that there ma 
be in it cannot erase or eradicate. 

The Praying Indian although persecuted by his own 
and his adopted race stood firm between the two fires and 
amid all the tribulations by which he was tested he could be 

Concord 473 

depended upon in the hour of a "forlorn hope" as none 
other of his race could be. 

Job Kattenanit of Natick dragging himself to the door 
of Major Daniel Gookin's house in Cambridge a short 
time before midnight on Feb. 9th after a journey of eighty 
miles from the Indian village at Meminimisset bringing 
intelligence in confirmation of a report made by Quanapaug 
a Christian convert of the Nashaway Indians whom Gov. 
Leverett had employed as a scout, that the Indians would 
in twenty days fall upon the English settlements and first 
attack Lancaster, and Tom Doublet speeding through the 
long, lonely forest with a message from the Governor in 
behalf of distressed Mrs. Rowlandson are emphatic tributes 
to God's saving power among the heathen and to the 
untiring efforts of His servant the Apostle Eliot who 
declared it. 

These faithful Christians famished and almost over- 
come by their long fatigue bore witness to their loyalty to 
the newly found faith by all the eloquence of noble endur- 
ance. True there may have been among the Christian 
Indians religious renegades and cases of mistaken conver- 
sion, instances of which Mrs. Rowlandson has cited in her 
"Removes;" but so it has been with some of the alleged 
conversions among civilized Christians, and the spurious 
only proves the value of the genuine. 

As to some of the war measures of either side there is 
but small opportunity to be apologetic. Each dealt with 
its captives with a cruel commercialism that can under no 
circumstances be condoned much less commended. 

That both contestants believed themselves right we may 
not question but how this could be is not so easily 
explained. The same inexplicable way of thinking and ot 
viewing things may have had its influence here as 
in years later when the pious colonist with a composure of 
conscience that is remarkable convicted witch suspects. 

That the fathers were great in their heroic faith is beyond 

474 Colonial 

controversy for this only could have kept them through 
their hours of trial. That they meant well in what they 
did few can doubt who know them ; but how they could 
justify some of their means to their righteous aims and ends 
is beyond our knowledge. Ail we can do is to be generously 




Changed Condition of the Colony at the Close ot 
King Philips War — Process of Recuperation — 
Erection of a New Meeting House — Evangelical 
Character of the Concord Church — Progress in 
Educational Affairs — Early Circulating Library — 
Donation of Land by Capt. Timothy Wheeler — 
Real Estate Transactions — Adjustment of Riparian 
Rights of the Bulkeley Mill Privilege — Settlement 
of the Controversy Concerning the Blood Farms — 
Historical Sketch of the Blood Family — Indian 
Deeds in Confirmation of Old Titles. 

AFTER the close of King Philip's war the colonial 
towns were not slow in engaging in the work of 
reconstruction and soon there was once more seen 
upon the hillsides and along the glades safe and pleasant 
homesteads and plenteous harvest fields' After the wag- 
ing of the terrible conflict a sense of security came over 
society and there was fresh inducement to effort. The local 
Indian question it was believed had been settled. There 
was no longer the possibility of a sudden uprising by which 
all progress might be impeded and any enterprise that had 
been undertaken destroyed. It had become safe now to 
invest in new lands to further clear away the forest, and to 
erect bridges and make passable roads. 

It was now considered comparatively safe to live in any 
portion of central or southern New England. The traveler 
could make his journey through the wood without danger 
of an interruption or signs of an enemy. The settler's wife 
could build a fire for the evening meal and her husband in 
the distant field could smile at the sight of the cheerful 


47^ Colonial 

chimney smoke and the thought of supper that would 
await him as he left his hard day's work without having 
his happiness interfered with by a consciousness that 
the rising smoke might attract savages. The children 
could gather fresh flowers in the meadows ; women could 
venture alone by the countryside and cattle could be allowed 
to browse at will in the brushwood with only the merry 
tinkle of the cow bell to disclose their whereabouts, so great 
had become the security almost immediately after the war 
had fully ended. 

The town of Concord in common with others of the 
colony early felt the welcome impetus and was not back- 
ward in taking advantage of the brightening prospect and 
in accepting of the invitation of new circumstances to 
develop her resources. Centrally situated as she was 
among the townships of the county her territory was both 
convenient and attractive and from time to time new 
names were added to her list of inhabitants. 

With the changed conditions came new sights and sounds 
which formed a contrast with what had just preceded them 
which was very marked. 

Instead of the hurrying footsteps of forest messengers 
coming with tidings of the near approach of war parties 
and the sight of new levies of soldiers sent by the Council 
to rendezvous at Concord and perhaps be billeted upon the 
inhabitants, and of clumsy carts loaded with the goods 
of fleeing refugees whose homes were menaced and guarded 
by a convoy of grim troops, there was heard the rattle of 
the hay-rigging coming from the meadow loaded with sedge 
or from the field with corn, or the load of wood from the 
forest or there might have been seen jogging to the grist mill, 
the farmer from some remote district or from the border of 
some adjacent town ; or the teamster from "up country" 
going to market with his produce and that of his neighbor 
to be exchanged in barter for such commodities as they 
could not produce or make for themselves. 

To a small extent the townships that had suffered the 

Concord 477 

most severely in the war were assisted by the colony in a 
temporary abatement of taxes. In 1676 valuable assistance 
was rendered from a fund sent to America from. Ireland 
called the "Irish Charity Donation or Fund." The gift 
was designed for the people of Massachusetts, Plymouth, 
and Connecticut colonies and was made "by divers Chris- 
tians in Ireland for the relieffe of such as are Impoverished 
Distressed and in Nessesitie by the late Indian Wars." It 
came to this country by the "Good ship called the Kath- 
rine of Dublin." The fund is supposed to have been pro- 
cured by Rev. Nathaniel Mather a brother of Increase. 

The tax abatement for the town in 1676 was ^^50. The 
amount allowed Concord people from the charity fund was 
^50, Eighteen families consisting of seventy-two persons 
received benefits from the fund. 

The goods contributed consisted of oat meal, wheat, 
malt, butter, and cheese. The appraised value of these 
was as follows : malt "i8s per ball, butter 6d, cheese 4d. 

During the entire colonial period we conclude that the 
regular routine of town business went on without much 
essential variation. There were about the same officials to 
be chosen from year to year the same objects for which to 
appropriate money and the same ways and means to be 
employed for meeting these things. 

There was a careful surveilance by the town of all its 
officials and of its affairs in general, and but little if any- 
thing was left at loose ends which appertained to the public 

The following copy of instructions given to the Concord 
selectmen in the year 1672 shows the nature of subjects to be 
looked after. 

"'Instructions given to the Selectmen of Concord for 
the year, 1672. 

I To see that the ministers Rates be discharged according 
to time 

1 To ascamen whether the meting house, be finised accord- 
ing to agreement, & if not, that it may be ; but if the 

478 Colonial 

agreement be fulfiled, then to take cear that somthing 
be done to keep the water out, and that the pulpct be 

4 That spedy kere be taken to mend or demales, the foote 

bridg over the Riv*^ at the Iron Works : 

5 To treat with Capt. Thomas Wheler about his leese of 

the Townes farme & if it may be upon Resonable 
termes to alter that perticuler wherein the Towne is 
Jn Jnoiyned to send such a nomber cattle yearly to be 
herded by him ; 

6 To let out the land & housing where now John Law 

dweles ; for the benefet of the towne, 

7 To take order that all Corn filds be sufficentiy fenced 

in seson, the Crane fild & bricke keld field espe- 
cially ; 

8 And that incorigment be given for the destroing of 

blackburds & Jaies; 

9 That speciall cear be taken to preuent damiag by swine 

in corne fieldes & medows 

10 That shepe & lames be keept from doing damiag in 

cornefields ; 

1 1 To make a Record of all the habitationes, that are priv- 

iledged with liberty at Comones ; 

12 To take account of the laste yeares selectmen for what 

is don, [due?] to the Towne by Reent by John Law, 
or by givft by Joseph Meriam ; or otherwise of wright 
dew to the Towne, not to Restraine the selectmen from 
lenity towards John Law ; 

13 To see that menes lands both Improved & unimproved 

be truly broth, [brought in] 

14 To take care that vndesiarable persones be not enter- 

tained ; so as to become inhabitants 

15 To take cere that psones doe not ouer Charg ther Com- 

ones with Cattle, 

1 6 That all psones that have taken the oath of fidellity be 


Concord 479 

17 That cere be taken that Cattle be herded, as much as 
may be, with convenence 
These perticolers were agreed vpon by vs whose names 
are vnderwriten nehamia. hunt ; John fflint ; John 

miles; Will dated 4: ^^72 heartwell ; Tho ; Wheler 
Joshuah brooke Joseph ; heaward ; Gershom. Brooke, 
Humpry barit John Billings" 

But while public proceedings usually moved on uninter- 
ruptedly and with only here and there a ripple of change or 
excitement in 1689 the rule was broken in upon by an event 
which disturbed the whole town. This was an order by 
the colonial authorities to compel all who would participate 
in home government to become freemen or in other words 
to qualify themselves by taking the following "freeman's 

"'I, A. B., being by God's providence an inhabitant and 
freeman within the jurisdiction of this commonwealth, do 
freely acknowledge myself to be subject to the government 
thereof, and therefore do swear, by the great and dreadful 
name of the everlasting God, that I will be true and faithful 
to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance and sup- 
port thereunto with my person and estate, as in equity I am 
bound, and also truly endeavor to maintain and preserve all 
the liberties and privileges thereof, submitting myself to the 
wholesome laws and orders made and established by the 
same ; and, further, that I will not plot nor practice any 
evil against it, nor consent to any that shall do so, but will 
timely discover and reveal the same to lawful authority now 
here established, for the speedy prevention thereof; more- 
over, I do solemnly bind myself, in the sight of God, that 
when I shall be called to give my voice touching any such 
matter of this state wherein freemen are to deal, I will give 
my vote and suffrage, as I shall judge in my conscience, may 
best conduce and tend to the public weal of the body, with- 
out respect of persons, or favor of any man. So help me 
God, in the Lord Jesus Christ.'" 

At an early stage of Colonial history only a freeman 

480 Colonial 

could vote or hold office or serve on a jury ; and only 
church members could become freemen. 

This rule which was formally in force till the close of the 
administration of Sir Edmund Andros worked to the 
exclusion of many substantial citizens. In process of 
time however the rule became so changed that by taking 
the oath of fealty to the Colony a person could vote in 
municipal and military matters and hold town office. By 
this change, whereby it was made possible for persons to be 
elected to office without being subjected to the process 
of becoming freemen, an active participation in town affairs 
became more general. After a while however the reform 
had a setback; and in 1689, a few years before the Colony 
passed into a Province, the old method was for a short 
period revived ; and again no one could vote unless he had 
been made a freeman. The immediate result of this move- 
ment was to lead many citizens who were church members 
to apply to be made freemen. 

The following is a list preserved among the State 
Archives Vol. 5 page ^^l-, containing names of Concord 
citizens who having complied with the conditions were con- 
stituted freemen at the time of the revival of the old method 
of eligibility. That they were church members is evident 
from the fact that only church members could be made 

"In Concord y^ 3 of i^' munth i6g^. 
An acount taken of the nonfrreemen which are free hold- 
ers, whos housing and Lands do amount to the uallew of 
six rante by the year. 

Mr. James Minerd Nathanell Stow 

Danell Dane Nathaell Harwood 

Thomas gobile S(enior) Eliphelet fox 
Robord Blood, S John Ball 

John wheler, § Samuel fletcher 

Nemiah hunt, S Timithy Ries 

Samuell Davis, S Samuel Stratten 

John Shaperd, S Johnethen habord 

Concord 48 1 

Abraham Tempel Joshua Wheler 

Recherd Tempel James Smadly 

Isaac Tempel Nathanell Buse 

Simon Davis John wood 

Roberd Blood Abraham wood 

Simon Blood Obadiah wheler 

Josiah Blood John Haward 

Judath poter Thomas Wheler 

John Jones Steuen Hosmer 

John Hartwill 

Thomas : Wheeler : 


Nathaniel Billing Select men 
Steuen Hosmor 
Eliphelet ffox 
21 March 1689. Voted by the Court to be ffremen 

Ebenezer Prout, Clerk 
Js* Addington Sec'^" 

Besides the foregoing who are supposed to have given 
the Court satisfactory credentials of Church membership 
upon their application to be made freemen, we have the 
following names of citizens who also applied to be made 
freemen about the same time together with the requisite 
certificate for church membership, 

'•Concord March 12'^ J 
All whom y^ knowledge of what is here exp'ssed doth 
concerne may please hereby to understand, that y' psons 
here named are members in the full comunion of the 
church ; Leiften* Simon Davis, Leiften* Jonathan Prescot, 
Joseph ftrench, Thomas Pellot, Samuel Hunt ; Eliezer 
fflag, Samuel Hartwell, Samuel Myriam, John Wheeler, 
Samuel How, Abraham Taylor, John Hayward, Nathaniel 
Ball, Samuel Wheate, Timothy Wheeler, John Myriam, 
Daniel Pellet ; Wittnesses my hand ; 

Edward Bulkely." 
/a2** March, 1689. 

482 Colonial 

All above written (Except Daniel Pellet) voted to be 

his age being questioned. Js' Addington Sec""^. 

Ebenezer Prout Clerk. 
certificate of church membership. 

These documents are interesting not only as illustrative 
of the working of the political system of the times, but 
they are also valuable as indicating how large a proportion 
of the town's population belonged to the church. 

Among the more important events which occurred at 
Concord during the latter part of the Colonial period was 
the building of a new meeting house. 

As stated in an early chapter of Part i the first meeting 
house was built soon after the settlement began, and stood 
upon the little hill by the "strate strete" at the beginning of 
Lexington street. This which was undoubtedly built of 
logs had no successor upon its perched position on the 
hill top but was followed by a more imposing structure 
erected upon the plain by the brook. Agitation upon the 
subject of a new house of public worship began soon after 
the death of the first minister, and in 1667 a vote was taken 
in town meeting to erect one. The building was to stand 
"between the old edifice and Deacon Jarvis','' Jan. 27, 1668, 
a committee consisting of Capt. Timothy Wheeler, Joseph 
Wheeler, and John Smedly was chosen to plan and take 
charge of the business of construction, and in 1672, the 
selectmen were to see if the contract for completing 
the work had been fulfilled. The new house of worship in 
style closely resembled the old meeting house at Hingham, 
Mass., which was built in 1 681. It had a peeked roof 
with four sides or slopes in which were dormer windows, 
and was surmounted by a belfry. The main structure was 
nearly square and had a gallery. Along the walls were 
ranged a few pews, but the center was mostly filled with 
plain seats. A vane was on the spire inscribed with the 
date, 1673. 

As no further reference will be made to ecclesiastical 

Concord 483 

matters of the Colonial period we will observe in passing 
that the indications relative to the early church at Concord 
arc that its creed and its ministers were evangelical, and 
that the religious traditions of the town are in substantial 
accord with those of the typical Pilgrim and Puritan. The 
light that shone in the wilderness was a gospel light and 
among the twinkling stars that glittered through their 
night of solicitude and sorrow none were as bright to the 
settler as that which arose and stood over the place where 
lay the Babe of Bethlehem. The Christ of that first 
Christmas was the Christ of the Concord colonist. It 
was to His word that he looked for guidance, by His sac- 
rifice he believed he would be saved, and upon this rock 
he built his church. 

One sign of progress after the close of Philip's war 
was an increased interest in education. In the early years 
of the township learning took a low place. The times 
were hard. To obtain a livelihood required the greatest 
effort, but straightened as its circumstances were, the 
town was early supplied in its several districts with those 
who were competent to teach the children and youth to 
read and write. In 1665 complaint was made against the 
town for its lack of a "Lattin Schoole Mr." It was also 
about this time repeatedly reminded of its laxity in provid- 
ing educational privileges in general. 

In the Mass. Archives Vol. 129, page 130 is a paper of 
indenture executed by the overseers of the poor of the town 
of Boston and Ebenezer Prout of Concord by which a 
child nine years of age was to be brought up. She was 
to "Be taught perfectly to read English, Sew, Spin, and 
Knit as she shall be capable ; " she was to be supplied with 
"wholesome sufficient meat, drink. Apparel, washing, & 
Lodging ; " and at the end of the term, she was to be dis- 
missed with "two new Suits of Apparel throughout, one for 
Lord's days, the other for working days." 

The date is 1688 and the term of indenture was until 
the subject became 21 years old or was married. This 

484 Colonial 

transaction between Ebenezer Prout and the Boston 
guardians of the poor corresponds in its substance to a 
report of the town constables to the Council of the state of 
education in Concord about 1680. In the report it is 
stated that they found "no children or youth not taught to 
read and know the Capital laws." 

In addition to school privileges and the educational 
agency and influence of the pulpit, the town was early 
favored as has been stated in another part of this volume 
with a catechistical exercise on the Lord's day, a practice 
probably the first of its kind in this country, and if it may 
be considered a Sunday school then the pioneer Sunday 
school in America. The town early had a circulat- 
ing library and this too perhaps was the first one in 
the country. In 1672, the town instructed the selectmen 

"That ceare be taken of the bookes of marters & other 
bookes, that belong to the Towne, that they be kept from 
abeuce uesage, & not to be lent to any person more then 
one month at one time." 

At this distant day it is not easy to conceive of the exact 
methods of pronunciation in the every day conversa- 
tion. From the manner of spelling it is possible to sup- 
pose what may have been the style of pronouncing certain 
syllables. An occasional use of the letter a instead of e in 
such words as certain and clerk easily leads to the conjec- 
ture that they were pronounced as to the first syllable like a 
in far. In the use of the letter e for i in such words as dis- 
trict and little, the inference is that they were pronounced 
as they were spelled. 

The writing of various words with a terminal e, which 
are written in modern times without it as in the words "poore" 
and "yeare" may suggest the possible prolongation or trill- 
ing of the letter r. So also where double consonants begin a 
word as "ffirst" for first, a natural conclusion may be that 
the sound of the syllable containing it was somewhat 

Concord 485 

The absence of any elision of the letter h in words that 
begin with an aspirate lead to the inference that none of 
the English settlers at Concord elided the aspirate in their 

The cause of common schools received an impetus in 1687 
by a gift of land as set forth in the following clause 
in the will of Capt. Timothy Wheeler who died in July of 
that year. 

"I Give to the Towne of Concord my house that stands 
near Eliaz. Fleggs house with the Land that itt stands upon 
and is joyned to itt; w"*" is about Three acres ; be itt more 
or Lesse bounded by the Highway on the North East by 
my Land (viz') the Gutter and Eliazer Fleggs Land on the 
North West & South This I say I Give to the said Towne 
to be improved as foUoweth [viz'] ; That about halfe an 
acre of the said Lott be laid out to the training place the 
fence to Run from the Corner of the House to the brow of 
the Hill upon a straight Lyne ; the Dwelling house with 
the rest of the Land w"" all that is upon itt I give to be 
Improved for the furtherance of Learning and the Support 
ofa Schoole in the said Towne" 

The more notable real estate transactions during the 
later years of the Colonial period consisted mainly in the 
adjustment of relations already existing or in minor transfers 
of original grants. 

In 1667, an agreement was reached relative to a matter ot 
controversy which had long been going on concerning the 
Bulkeley mill privilege. As has been stated in the story 
of the town's settlement a corn or grist mill was caused to 
be erected by Parson Peter Bulkeley on the mill brook the 
dam of which was near the present public square. When 
he died the property was conveyed to his widow Grace Chet- 
wood Bulkeley and shortly after there arose the vexed 
question as to what were the exact rights of flowage, 
which were accorded to the mill proprietor when the town 
granted the mill privilege. The land about the mill pond was 
valuable on account of its near proximity to the public 

486 Colonial 

places and it might take but a slight elevation of the "splash 
boards" of the dam to cause the water of the pond to 
encroach upon it and occasion "wetness" about the new 
meeting house grounds, and the town pound and perhaps 
damage the tan pits. In several instances the town offi- 
cials had been instructed to guard the immediate vicinity 
of the backyard of the meeting house against inundation 
from the water of the mill brook. 

But the temptation to augment the mill power by increas- 
ing the fall at the flume was perhaps only a natural one, and 
hence in spite of expostulation on the part of the public the 
maximum height was adhered to until matters were settled 
by arbitrament of the court whose verdict was as follows : 

"i. That the ounors of the sajd mill shall have liberty 
from tjme to time, & at all tjmes, to rajse the water fowre 
fFoote tcnn inches perpendiccular ffrom the bottome of the mill 
troffe, as now it lieth at the head of the milne pond, but 
the wast or low shott not to be made narrower then now it is, 
or to be raysed higher then to rajse the water (at the head 
of the pond) to fower ffoote seuen inches ffrom the bottom 
of the milne troffe before the water runns ouer the wast. 

2. What land lyeth vnder water, by reason of the milne 
pond, at such a head of water as aforesajd, shall be the pro- 
priety & propper right of the ounors of the sajd mill for 
euer, excepting alwayes that land which the toune of Con- 
cord haue formerly granted to any of their inhabitants, all 
w*^*' land each proprietor shall enjoy according to his toune 
grant after the mill is wholly disannulled. 

3. The ounors of the sajd mill for euer shall not be 
iable to sattisfy any damage donn to any person or persons 

whatsoeuer, by such a head of water kept and majntejned 
as before sajd. 

4. The ounors of the sajd mill foreuer shall enjoy the 
benefit of all that water w'^'' may be obteyned by any 
menes formerly attempted i. e. to the higth of such a head 
of water as aforesajd, w'^'' water shall not be diverted by any 

Concord 487 

person or persons whatsoeuer. 

5, Lastly. The ounors of the sajd mill foreuer shall 

enjoy priuiledge on the comons for clay & sand convenient 

for the repaire of the mill damage from tjme to tjme as 

formerly they haue enjoyed. 

Symon Willard 
Jno Founell, & 


The Court approoves of this return." 

In 1686 there was an adjustment of the controversy 
relating to the Blood tarnis. These farms consisted of cer- 
tain territory in and about the present town of Carlisle. A 
part of them was owned by Robert Blood as early as 1642. 
Because situated outside the boundary line of any town the 
dwellers on them were styled borderers. These farms 
being in no incorporated town were without civil or ecclesi- 
astical status. The occupants paid their rates in Billerica 
but when the Indian war came they paid their rates in Con- 
cord, and had the protection of Concord's garrison houses. 
Subsequently these rates by order of the Court were refunded 
to Billerica. The question of jurisdiction in this and sim- 
ilar instances was settled by the General Court Oct. 11, 
1682. After citing facts in cases of a like nature that had 
occurred in different places it ordered that Borderers should 
pay the county treasurer two shillings for every two hun- 
dred acres of land ; and towns were to "assess all country 
grants of lands & all belonging to peculiar persons that lye 
neercst to each toune or tounes." 

Upon this authority the Concord constables went to the 
Blood farms with a tax warrant. They were roughly 
received by Robert and his son. The consequence was 
that Robert Blood Sr. was fined ten pounds for ill treat- 
ment of the officers and "vilifying his Majesty's authority." 
The exact merits of the case at this distant day may not be 
known. The occupants of the Farms were obliged to pay 
rates whether they received benefits or not. Their 
roads were poor, they were remote from church priv- 

488 Colonial 

leges and were doubtless having a hard time enough 
in the distant wilderness. The matter was however settled 
March 17, 1686, Robert Blood with the assent in writing 
of his sons Robert and Simeon negotiated a treaty with 
Peter Bulkeley Esq, Henry Woodis and John Smedly 
Senior, acting for Concord, by which Robert Blood should 
thereafter pay to Concord all civil and ecclesiastical dues 
incumbent upon him, and a due proportion ot whatever 
expense there might be in building and repairing the meet- 
ing house. 

On the other hand Robert and his heirs were to be 
exempted from all town offices and their waste land was 
not to be reckoned in their minister's rates. 

It was also agreed that convenient roads should be laid 
out for them at the town's expense, and no town rates 
were to be assessed to them except as above specified. 

The adjustment of the civil relations of the "Blood 
farms" to the town of Concord ended a long controversy 
and one in which all the parties to it doubtless believed 
that they were in the right. 

By the terms of adjustment however the territory did not 
necessarily become a part of the township neither was it 
always considered a part of it. 

For years after the discussion was ended the Concord 
selectmen before their triennial perambulation of the town 
boundary lines were accustomed to notify the proprietors 
of the Blood farms in accordance with the rule usually 
observed in such cases where the officials of one town not- 
ify those of another of their proposed examination of bound- 

These farms became a part of Carlisle. The following 
is an outline sketch of the Blood family. The American 
ancestor was James, who went to Concord in 1639. James 
Blood is said to have been a brother of Col. James Blood 
known in English history in connection with the reign of 
Charles 11. He died Nov. 17, 1683 leaving a large estate. 
His wife Ellen died in 1674. James and Ellen Blood had 

Concord 489 

five children Mary, Richard, John, James and Robert. 

Mary married Lieut. Simon Davis. Richard was one of 
the first settlers of the town of Groton and was one of its 
prominent land proprietors. He left a large family of chil- 
dren whose descendants have been quite numerous. John 
died in 1692. He and his brother Robert owned over two 
thousand acres of land in Concord including the Blood farms 
which were inherited by the children of Robert. 

James married Hannah, a daughter of Oliver Purchis of 
Lynn, and lived at what has since been known as the "Old 
Manse" owning a tract of territory thereabouts. He was 
a deacon in the church and died Nov. 26, 1692. His wife 
died in 1677. They left only one child. 

Robert married Elizabeth, a daughter of Major Simon 
Willard in 1653. They had twelve children. Robert 
Blood died Oct. 27, 1701. His wife Elizabeth died Aug. 
29, 1690. 

In 1684, many years after the purchase and transfer a 
confirmatory deed was obtained from the heirs or their 
representatives of the land in the new grant. The 
reason for obtaining these deeds was the preservation of 
evidence, and the importance of it was perhaps occasioned 
by the threats of Sir Edmund Andros to vitiate landed titles. 
The following are copies. 

"To all People to whom these presents may come, Greet- 
ing Know ye that We, Mary Neepanaum John Speen and 
Sarah Speen Dorothy Winnetow Peter Muckquamack of 
Natick and James Speen & Elizabeth Speen his wife of 
Waymasset Indians For and in Consideration of a valuable 
sum of money to us in hand paid by Capt. Timothy 
Wheeler Henry Woodis James Blood and John Flint The 
Receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge and therewith 
to be fully satisfied and contented have sold and by these 
presents do sell aliene enfeoffe and confirm unto the said 
Capt. Timothy Wheeler Henry Woodis James Blood & 
John Flint of Concord in the County of Middlesex in the 
Massachusetts Colony in New England for the use and 

490 Colonial 

behoof of themselves and the rest of the Proprietors of the 
said Town of Concord a certain tract or parcel of Land 
containing by Estimation a Thousand acres be the same 
more or less and is situate lying and being within the last 
Grant of Land by the General Court to the said Town of 
Concord and is bounded Southeast by Sudbury & the Land 
of Stow alias [Pompasitticut] and Northwest by the said 
Stow running by them upon that Line about a Mile and a 
Quarter, near to a Hill by the ludians called Naaruhpanit 
and from thence by a strait Line to the North River at the 
old bounds of the said Town of Concord unto them the said 
Timothy Wheeler Henry Woodis James Blood & John 
Flint for themselves and for the use & behoof of the Rest 
of the Proprietors of the said Town of Concord to them 
their heirs assigns and successors forever and we the said 
Mary Neepanaum John Speen and Sarah Speen his wife 
Dorothy Winnetow Peter Muckquamuck and James Speen 
and Elizabeth his wife, do hereby covenant and Promise to 
and with the foresaid Timothy Wheeler Henry Woodis 
James Blood & John Flint and the rest of the Proprietors 
of the said Town of Concord that we are the true proprietors 
of and have good Right & full power to grant bargain & sell 
the above granted & bargained premises unto the said Timo- 
thy Wheeler Henry Woodis James Blood and John Flint 
and the Rest of the Proprietors of the said Town of Con- 
cord to them their heirs successors and assigns forever and 
that the said Timothy Wheeler Henry Woodis James Blood 
John Flint and the Rest of the Proprietors of the said Town 
of Concord them their heirs assigns and successors forever 
shall and may at all Times and from time to time forever 
hereafter peaceable have hold occupy possess and enjoy the 
above granted Premises in fee simple, be the same more or 
less without the Let denial or contradiction of us the said 
Mary Neepanaum John Speen, & Sarah Speen his wife 
Dorothy Winnetow Peter Muckquamuck and James Speen 
and Elizabeth his wife, or any of us or any of our heirs or 
any other person or persons whatsoever lawfully claiming & 

Concord 49 ' 

naveing any Right Title or Interest therein or to in any 
part or parcel thereof — 

In acknowledgment of this our act & Deed we have here- 
to put our hands and seals this fifth Day of May in the 
year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty & 
Signed Scaled & Del*^ in John Speen his mark and seal 

the presence of Sarah Speen her mark and seal 

Moses Parker James Speen and seal 

Noah Brooks Elizabeth Speen her mark and 

Samuel Wheeler Jun"" seal 

Benjamin Bohow his mark Dorothy Winnctow her mark 
Sarah Bohow her mark and seal 

John Speen & Sarah his wife James Speen and Eliza- 
beth his wife and Dorothy alias Winnetow acknowledged 
the within written instruement to be their Act & Deed. 
May 5. 1684. before Pete' Bulkeley assist. 

The following deed purports to convey eight thousand 
acres : 

"To People to whom These presents may come 

Greeting Know ye that We John Thomas and Naanons- 
quaw his wife Tasunsquaw The Relict of Wawbon dec"^ 
and eldest Daughter to Tasattawan Sagamore dec'^ Thomas 
Wawbon her son Solomon Thomas John Nasquaw James 
Casumpal Sen' and Sarah his wife & Sarah the Relict widow 
of Peter Conoway Indians for and in Consideration of the 
sum of one and twenty pounds, fifteen of it long since paid 
to us [blank in record] and the Remainder which is six 
pounds is now paid to us by Capt. Timothy Wheeler 
Henry Woodis James Blood and John Flint of Concord 
the Receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge and there- 
with to be fully satisfied and contented have sold and by 
these presents do sell aliene enfeoffe and confirm unto the 
said Timothy Wheeler Henry Woodis James Blood and 
John Flint of Concord in the County of Middlesex in the 
Massachusetts Colony in New England for the use & 
behoof of themselves and the Rest of the Proprietors of 

49'^ Colonial 

the said Town of Concord a certain Tract or parcel of Land 
containing by Estimation Eight Thousand acres be he 
same more or less and is situate lying and being within the 
last Grants of Land by the General Court to the Towntof 
Concord and is bounded Southeast by the old bounds of the 
said town of Concord and is bounded Easterly partly by 
Billerica partly by a Farm formerly laid out b) Major Wil- 
lard tor himself and partly by Chelmsford till it meets with 
Nashoby Line and then Westerly by the said Nashoby 
to the Southeast Corner of the said Nashoby and [then 
northerly] by the said N[ashoby] till it meets with St[owJ 
and so bounded northwest by the said Stow till it comes 
Near to a Hill by the Indians called Naaruhpanit and then 
running upon a strait Line to the North River at the old 
bounds of the said Town of Concord unto them the said 
Timothy Wheeler Henry Woodis James Blood John Flint 
agents for the Town ot Concord and to the rest of the Pro- 
prietors of the Town of Concord to them their Heirs and 
Successors and assigns forever and we the said John 
Thomas and Nasquaw James Casumpat and Sarah his wife 
and Sarah the Relict widow of Peter Conoway do hereby 
covenant and promise to and with the foresaid Timothy 
Wheeler Henry Woodis James Blood John Flint and the 
rest of the Proprietors of the Town of Concord that we are 
the true Proprietors of and have good Right & full power 
to grant bargain and sell the above granted and barganed 
premisesunto the said Timothy Wheeler Henry Woodis 
James Blood & John Flint and the rest of the Proprietors 
of the Town of Concord to them their heirs Successors and 
assigns forever and that the said Timothy Wheeler Henry 
Woodis James Blood and John Flint &the rest of the pro- 
prietors of the. said Town of Concord to them their Heirs 
Successors & assigns shall and may at all times & from time 
to time forever hereafter peaceably have hold occupy possess 
and enjoy the above granted premises in fee simple be the 
same more or less without the Let denial or contradiction 
of us the said John Thomas and Naaonsquaw his wife Tas- 

Concord 493 

unsquaw widow and eldest Daughter of Tasattawan Late 
Sagamore dec^ Thomas Wawbon Solomon Thomas John 
Nasquaw James Casumpat Sen"" & Sarah his wife and Sarah 
the Relict widoPeter Conoway or any of us or any of our 
heirs or any other person or persons whatsoever lawfully 
claiming & having any Right Title or Interest therein or 
two or in any part or parcel thereof. 

In acknowledgement of this our act & Deed we have 
hereto put our hands and seals this fourteenth Day of 
August in the year of our Lord one Thousand Six hundred 
Eighty and four. 

Signed Sealed & Del'd, John Thomas his mark and seal 
in tne presence of Naanunsquaw her mark and seal 

Ebenezer Ingolds Tasunsquaw her mark and seal 

Joseph Shambery his mark Thomas Wabon and seal 
Andrew Pittamey his mark Solomon Thomas his mark 

and seal 

James Casumpat Sen"" his mark 

and seal 

John Nasquaw his mark and seal 

Sarah the widow of Peter 

Conoway her mark and seal 

Sarah the wife of James 

Casumpat her mark and seal 
Midd. ss. Concord August the 29 1730 before his Majesty's 
Court of General Sessions of the Peace appeared Mr. 
Joseph Woolley and made oath that he was present and 
saw John Thomas Naanonsquaw Tasunsquaw Thomas 
Wabun Solomon Thomas James Casumpat John Nasqua 
Sarah the widow of Peter Conaway and Sarah the wife of 
James Casumpat execute the within Instrument as their act 
& Deed and that he together with Ebenezer Ingolds Joseph 
Shamberry & Andrew Pittamey at the same time set to their 
hands as Witnesses to the Execution thereof 

Att Saml Phipps Cler. Pacis" 
In 1 67 1 Peter Bulkeley of London a son of Rev. Peter 

494 Colonial 

Bulkeley sold to Timothy Prout for the sum of ^^45, a 
tract of land of which it is said "the said Farm Lyeth upon 
and in the southerly part of the town of Concord. 

In 1683 and 84 it is asserted in a deposition that three 
separate families lived upon this land viz : Thomas Skinner, 
Thomas Pratt, Ephraim Ropes. 

The following town record with date March 7, 1692, 
relates to the transfer of a small piece of land about the 
present public square. 

"Eliazer Flagge of sd town did Request of the towne a 
peese of Grownd near to the meting house y* bredth of y* 
pownd all between the pownd & y* mill Brook ajoining to 
y® land y' was formerly Thomas Danes, and the Inhabi- 
tants did then freely Give the sayd litle plott of Ground 
unto the sayd Eliazer Flagge to set his tan pits upon it as 
his own land." 

On May 14, 1692 the Massachusetts Bay Colony passed 
into a Province, and the old charter signed March 14, 1629, 
gave place to a new one signed by King William, which 
remained in force till the Revolution in 1775. 

Before the going out of the old Charter and the coming 
in of the new, there was an interval of six years or more 
which has been styled the inter charter period. During 
this interval the affairs of state were administered by a com- 
mission which came to this country in the frigate Rose, and 
consisted of a council of which Joseph Dudley was the Pres- 
ident. The remainder of the period governmental matters 
were managed by Sir Edmund Andros who arrived in this 
country Dec. 9, 1686, on the Kingfisher bearing with him 
authority to act as Governor of all New England. 

The administration of Andros was an obnoxious one. 
There was oppressive taxation, increased expenditures by 
the rulers, and a threatened invalidating of all real estate titles. 
It is not improbable that because of this, Indian deeds were 
obtained about this time of lands bought many years before, 
the people doubtless thinking that a deed thus obtained of 
the aboriginal proprietors would stand the test of anything ; 

Concord 49 5 

but Andros arrogantly informed the people that such papers 
were worth no more than the "scratch of a bear's paw." 

After a short period of misrule during which the endur- 
ance of the people was terribly strained, and toleration of 
his tyranny was almost exhausted, a revolt came. The 
people arose in defense of their jeopardized rights, and 
with great unanimity began to take measures to defend 
their traditional liberties. 

The administration of Andros was overthrown, and there 
was a reinstatement of the government which existed in 

During the transition from a colony to a province, soci- 
ety was greatly disturbed and the people of the various 
townships met, and discussed the existing condition 
of things. As a rule they were quite unanimous 
in their decisions and actions concerning their charter 

During this process of political change Concord was with 
the majority in an adherence to vested rights. 

On April 19, 1689, Lieut. John Heald mustered the 
town's military company and started for Boston to assist in 
the expected revolt. 

When the town met in convention on May 22, to con- 
sider the situation, their vote was cast for a reinstatement of 
the government which was in accordance with the charter 
of 1685, and to await orders from the new sovereign of 
Great Britain. 

Before, however, the meeting of the Concord people in 
convention by their delegates, the inhabitants had defined 
their attitude as is expressed by the following copy of the 
selectmen's certificate. 

"Att a meeting of the fFree-Holders of the Townc of 
Concord, wee do mutually desire that according as wee have 
declared ourselves by a writeing sent by the Hands of our 
representatives, that our authority chosen & sworn in the 
year 1686 w'*' the deputy es then chosen & sent to the court 
may reasume their places and if that cannot be attained, our 

49 6 Colonial 

desires is that that a councell of war may be chosen & set- 
tled by our representitives when met together att boston 
w"^ the rest of the representitives of the country." 

It is a notable fact that three times upon the 19th of 
April with about a century between each, the town's 
militia have marched forth in the interest of American 
democracy. The first in 1689, to assert it, the second in 
1775 to create it, and the third in 1861 to protect it. 

At this period the "Clerk of Representatives" was 
Ebenezer Prout, a citizen ot Concord, and when the order 
was issued for the removal of Andros for safe keeping till 
he could be returned to England, there to be tried for mal- 
easance of office, the order was signed by Mr. Prout. 


Aantonuish, 276 

Acadians, 32 

Acton, Mass., 64 176 210 216 277 335 

Acton Minute Company, 4 127 
Adams, Daniel, 453 
Addington, Ann, 412 

Joshua, 482 
Ahatawance, 31 
Ahattawance, 383 
Alcott, Bronson, 10 13 

Louisa M., 10 13 
Allen, Rev. Thomas, 279 
Amherst, General, 270, 
Anderson, Cornelius, 413 
Andover, Mass., 350 
Andros, Gov., 334 394 480 494 
Annusnuc, 17 97 181 204 257 308 
Antiquarian House, 7 310 
Apequinask, 371 
Appleton, Major, 407 

Samuel, 393 398 
Ashland, Mass., 103 
Assabet, 28 98 125 129 170 181 250 

289 459 
Atawans, 274 
Atkinson, Rebecca, 182 
Attawan, 383 
Attawance, 383 
Attleboro, Mass., 396 
Ayer, Mass., 84 388 465 


Baker, Amos, 288 

George M., 306 

William, 165 289 
Ball, Eleazer, 453 

John, 65 480 

Nathaniel, 165 288 

Thomas, 405 

Banks, Gov. Nathaniel P., 17 
Barnes, John, 425 
Barrett, Capt. Richard, 297 

Col. James, 5 7 302 307 308 

Col. Richard, 174 

Deacon Thomas, 7 309 

Edwin S., 462 

Henry A., 305 

Humphrey 210 287 289 453 


John, 453 405 

Joseph, 178 288 296 297 

Nathan, 304 

William, 452 
Bateman, Eleazer, 405 

John, 452 453 

Joseph, 452 

Pond 285 

Sarah, 213 

Thomas, 64 65 99 101 

285 348 

William, 64 65 
Battle Ground, 5 9 
Battle Lawn, 308 
Bay Road, 205 
Beaver Pond, 39 278 285 286 
Bedford, Mass., 7 102 126 184 216 278 
Bedfordshire, Eng., 24 64 
Beers, Lieut. Richard, 336 337 
Bell Rock, 410 
Berwick, Eng., 65 
Berry Corner, 277 
Best, Elizabeth, 210 
Billerica, Mass., 102 165 278 350 355 

356 404 492 
Billerica Road 165 
Billings Daniel, 405 

John, 288 479 

Nathaniel, 288 405 
Black Horse Church, 295 
Black Horse Tavern, 173 
Blackstone, Sir William, 198 


Bliss, Rev. Daniel, 15 305 

Phebe, 334 
Block House, 300 304 306 
Blood, Col. James, 488 

Ellen. 488 

Ja mes, 65 99 286 287 489 

289 308 470 337 488 492 

James Jr., 2 287 374 

John, 279 287 489 

Josiah, 481 

Mary, 374 489 

Richard, 454 489 

Robert, 217 279 480 481 487 

488 489 

Simon, 481 

Thomas, 287 
Bloody Brook, 420 
Bodge, Rev. G. M., 371 378 379 440 
Bohow, Benjamin, 338 491 

Sarah, 338 491 
Bound Rock, 465 
Boxboro, Mass., 388 
Braintree, Mass., 180 324 350 371 
Brattlebank, Capt., 430 
Brattle, Thomas, 249 470 
Bridge, Darby, 124 129 219 231 233 

Derby, 129 

North, 4 57 17 124 125 127 

128 164 

Old Town, 16 124 

Potter's, 129 155 291 

South, 13 17 38 125 129 

Fort, 129 
Brister's Hill, 12 
Bristol R. I., 344 
Brocklebank, Capt. Samuel, 418 

420 423 
Brooks, Caleb 216 288 

Capt. Thomas, 216 

Freeman, 12 

Gershom, 216 476 

Goodwife, 206 216 

Gov. John, 216 

Grace, 216 

Brooks, Hannah, 215 

Henry, 216 

Hon. George, M 216 

Hon. Peter C, 216 

Isaac, 288 

Joseph 216 

Joshua, 216 288 

Mary, 216 

Nathan, 405 ^ / 

Thomas, 6J? r56 216 281 

283 286 
Brown, Boaz, 287 462 

Eleazer, 452 

Ephraim,287 404 

John, 13 

Rev. Edmund, 270 424 425 

Reuben, 7 16 310 

Thomas, 287 394 395 399 

404 462 
Broad Meadow, 270 
Brooke, Thomas, 212 
Brusse, Joseph, 395 
Bryant, 82 
Bull, Ephraim, 300 

Garrison House, 396 
Bulkeley, Col. Peter, 386 

Daniel 327 

Dorothy 327 

Edward 327 

Eleazer 327 

Elizabeth, 333 334 

George 327 

Gershom 327 

Grace, 288 485 

Grist Mill, 289 309 

Hon. Peter, 333 349 

Jabez 327 

Jane, 333 

Jerry, 407 

John, 327 333 

Joseph, 327 405 

Mary, 327 333 

Nathaniel 327 

Peter 327 



Bulkeley, Peter Esq. 165 

Rev. Peter, 22 63 64 1.55 173 27 

286 321 289 332 333 494 405 

Rev. Edward, 286 288 

332 333 341 453 

Richard 327 

Robert, 325 

Thomas 327 

William 327 
Burgess, Thomas, 165 
Busch, J. J.,310 
Buss, Anne, 169 

Joseph, 394 404 
Buss, Seigeant William, 101 167 . 

William, 166 341348 
Buttrick, Maj. John, 7 213 307 

Jonas, 287 

Jonathan, 307 404 

Joshua, 287 

Joseph, 425 460 

Mary, 460 

Samuel, 404 

Sarah, 460 

William, 65 212 223 275 

284 287 340 348 460 


Cambridge, Mass. 20 23 24 83 8J7 

295 831 375 394 4.53 469 473 
Cane Jane, 405 

John, 405 
Canonchet, 409 410 417 464 ' 
Canton, Mass., 377 
Carlisle, Mass , 52 64 176 216 277 287 


Bridge, 279 
Casumpal, James, 339 491 

Sarah, 339 491 492 
Casumpat, Peter, 492 493 

Sarah' 492 493 
Chamberlain, Benj. 

Joseph, 454 
Chandler, Samuel, 402 404 405 
Charles River, 24 

Charlestown, Mass., 170 211 279 303 

321 450 464 408 
Chelmsford, Mass., 7 337355-357 384 

389 391 404 410456 464 465 492 
Child, Lydia Maria, 16 
Church, Trinitarian, 8 165 166 
Clark, Rev. Thomas, 333 3.50 

William, 405 
Cochituate, Mass.,31 103 
Colefoxe, William, 217 
Colonial, The, 4 290 390 311 312 
Comy, David 425 459 460 461 

Elizabeth, 461 

Ester, 461 

John, 461 
Conaway, Peter, 339 491 493 
Concord Junction, 98 129 4.59 
Conway, Peter, 441 491-493 
Conkcascogan, 368 
Conkganasca, 368 
Cook, Joseph, 340 
Costin, Coslinor, 320 
Coventry, Jonathan, 217 
Cowell, Capt., 435 436 
Coy, Corporal, 355 
Crown Point, 107 365 
Cromwell, Oliver, 294 
Cudworth, Gen., 181 
Cummings, Dr. Alexander, 178 

Squire, 12 
Curtis, Ephraim. 357-359 368 369 374 

Henry, 374 
Curry, David, 461 
Cutshamekin, 385 


Dakin, Deacon Samuel, 270 365 

Eli, 462 

Franklin, 457 

Samuel, 374 480 

Thomas, 183 265 285 288 
Dane, Daniel, 286 480 

Joseph, 165 



Dane, Thomas, 164 
Danes, Thomas, 494 
Danforth, Johnathan 487, 

Thomas, 275 276 340 
Davis, Hopewell, 452 

Captain Isaac, 4 126 127 368 

Dolor, 374 469 

John, 470 / 

Joseph, 288 

Ruth, 374 

Simon, 210 357 358 364 374 

404 469 470 481 489 
Dean, Daniel, 288 405 

Joseph, 288 
Dedham, Mass., 48 
Densmore, 204 
Dennison, Daniel, 351 
Dock Square, 170 
Dorchester, Mill, 385 
Doublet, Thomas, 35 473 387 391 

440 473 

Sarah, 441 
Davenport, Captain, 394 397 399 

407 415 416 
Drake, Samuel G., 384-386 411 385 
Draper, Roger, 280 
Dudley, Catherine, 217 

Joseph, 349 494 

Thomas, 278 
Dunstable, Mass., 467 470 
Dunster, President, 84 


Eames, Thomas, 410 
Eastham, Mass., 217 
East Lexington, Mass., 101 
Eckfeldt, Thomas, 307 
Edmonds, Mary, 460 
Edmands. Joshua, 284 
Egg Rock, 30 96 98 125 298 
Elwell, David, 297 
Emerson, Edward, 334 

Ellen, 10 

Peter 334 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 9 10 11 16 298 


Rev. Joseph, 333 3.34 

Rev. William, 9 15 147 33 

William, 334 
Endicott, Gov., 323 
Engoldsbey, Ebenezer, 339 
Essex, Mass., 401 464 
Estabrook, 147 4.53 

Rev. Joseph, 178 327 333 
Evarts, John, 320 

William, 320 
Everettville, Mass., 441 
Everetts, George, 165 
Exeter, N. H. 450 
Eyres, Sergeant, 355 

Fairfield, Conn., 46 320 327 
Fairhaven Bay, 158 286 

Pond, 17 
Farrar, Elizabeth, 302 

George, 461 

Jacob, 425 461 

John, 461 
Farre, Stephen, 394 395 462 
Farwell, James, 288 

John, 165 
Fay, Jonathan, 296 
First Parish Meeting House, 71 47 
Flagg, Eliazer, 494 
Fletcher, Francis, 165 288 

Paul, 453 

Samuel, 452 453 480 

Samuel Jr., 452 

William, 165 
Flint, Abigail, 325 

Benjamin, 325 

Edward, 324 

Ephraim, 288 324 333 

Farm, 324 

Hannah, 325 

James, 325 


Flint, Jane, 325 

John, 210 287 324 337 349 479 


Josiah. 181 

Mary, 325 

Rev. Henry, 324 

Thomas, 65 90 153 224 


William, 324 
Flint's Bridge, 30 

Pond, 97 135 
Forest Lake, 153 
Forge Pond, 388 
Fort Edward, 270 
Foster, Rev. Edmund, 411 
Fowler, George, 52 
Fox, Eliphalet, 165 288 480 
Framingham, Mass., 404 
French Neutrals, 177 
French, Daniel W. 4 

Corporal, 356 

Reuben, 287 
Freeman, Brister, 12 

Fenda, 12 
Fulhr, William, 155 156 

Gardiner, Joseph, 394 407 
Gobble, Stephen, 452-454 

Thomas, 286 288 480 
Gobely, David, 454 
Golden Balls Tavern, 172 
Goldsmith, 268 
Gomps, 387 
Gomgos, 336 
Gondisbert. 314 
Goodnow, Jane, 460 
Goodmans, Capt., 430 
Gookin, Capt., 369 

General, 38 

Major, 29 31 36 37 276 340 

350 367 377 380 385 439 

440 473 

Grafton, Mass.. 387 
Grand Pre, N. S. 32 
Grant, U. S. 18 
Graves, Benjamin, 453 454 
Gray, William, 296 298 
Green Hill, 36 436 424 427 
Greenlaw, W. P. 333 335 
Griffin, Richard, 323 
Griggs John 405 

Groton, Mass., 83 84 176 321 335 
350 362 374389 390 404 438 
463-468 470 
Gulf Brook 38 42 


Habord Johnethen 480 
Hadlocke Deborah 462 
Half-way Brook 270 
Hale Sir Matthew 198 
Hall Stephen 340 374 
Halsted William 261 
Hancock John 7 
Hancock Capt. John 7 
Hapgood Sydrach 340 355 
Harper's Ferry 13 
Hartwell Ebenezer 301 

John 165 288 

Jason 202 205 

Jazen 204 

Samuel 405 

William 24 25 101 182 

185 204 205 210 453 288 
Harvard, Mass., 83 
Harvard College 84 147 320 325 328 

Hartford, Conn., 24 
Harwood Herbert J. 383 390 

Nathaniel 480 
Harvy Richard 74 

Margaret 74 
Hasnemesuchoth 387 
Haslock John 454 
Haskins Ruth 334 



Hassamnanesit, 377 
Hastings, Corner 155 
Haverhill, Mass., 350 
Hawthorne. Nathaniel 9-11 

Thomas, 15 
Haynes, James House 366 424 429 

John, 340 

Walter, 424 432 
Hayward, George, 65183340395 399 


Hannah, 182 

John, 173 182 183 270 340 

Joseph, 182 341 479 

Major, 337 

Mary, 183 

Mary, 182 183 

Sarah, 182 

Simon, 183 
Heald John, 43 65 287 453 496 

Major, B F 277 
Heaward, George, 99 281 
Heywood Thomas 348 386 389 390 

Abel, 13 179 287 

George, 151 183 182 

John, 158 166 182 183 288 

Jonathan, 179 

Samuel, 182 183 

William, 425 

Sarah, 183 

Joseph, 183 

Benoni, 182 
Heyden William, 288 
Hingham, Mass. 146 350 
Hlnchman, Thomas 210 
Hoar, Bridget 181 

Daniel, 181 

Hon. George, F. 18 441 

Hon. Samuel, 18 258 

Joanna, 180 

John 32 33 180-182 377 380 412 

441 446-449 

John, Jr. 181 

Judge E Rockwood, 13 18 301 

Hoar, Leonard 181 
Hoare, 33 34 35 
Hobbs, Brook 101 
Hobbommoc, 28 
Hockhurst, England, 64 
Hogpenwalk, 17 285 
Holland, F 305 
Holdridge Richard, 340 
Hooker, Rev. 24 
Hopkinton, 16 377 
Hopkins, 250 
Hosmer, 14 64 

Abigail, 258 

Abner, 4 

Alice, 258 

Anne 258, 

Edmund, 282 

Ensign, 2 51 64 

George, 456 

Hannah, 258 

James, 24 46 64 101 250 258 

259 306 314 425 430 459 

John, 46 314 

Joseph, 258 

Mary, 258 

Stephen, 258 

Thomas, 258 
Hough Atherton, 279 
How Samuel, 394 405 
Howe John, 172 
Hubbard, 15 

Deacon, 184 
Hunt Capt. 129 

Elizabeth, 162 210 

Isaac, 210 211 

Hannah, 210 211 

Nehemiah, 210 211 
Robert, 211 
Samuel, 210 
Simon, 211 
William, 65 210 211 
William, H 211 



Hunton Capt. 430 
Hurd's Pond 211 


Ingraham Cato, 12 314 
Captain, 19 
Duncan, 12 19 
Ipswich, Mass., 450 
Irish Charity Fund, 477 

Lakin, John, 454 

Law John, 478 

Lancaster, Mass., 35 83 84 103 258 314 
321 335 340 350 379 390 391 
404 410 411 420 438 439 441 
460 461 464-467 470 473 

Lane Albert, 289 

Lang D. G., 289 

Island, Deer, 32 35 36 181 380 412 440Lanham District, 211 

Lathrop Capt., 463 


Jacobs, Capt., 437 

Jarvis, Edward, 293 

Jehojakim, 64 

Jobson, 93 

John One Eyed, 438 

Johnson Edward, 65 66 70 72 

Jones Captain, 397 

Elisha, 5 300-301 

Ephraim, 6 173 309 

James, 287 

John, 20 46 64 67 135 287 320 

Samuel, 301 

Tavern, 172 288 

Thomas, 301 

William, 453 
Joslah Capt., 384 


Kato, 32 64 103 
Kattenanit, 473 
Kehonosquaw, 384 
Kelley William, 340 
Kennebec River, 470 
Kennedy Louisa, 305 
Kent John, 405 

Lawrence Peleg, 387 
Lee John, 296 

Dr. Joseph, 178 227 295 296 
Silas, 296 
Lee's Farm, 294 
Hill, 128 
Legrosse, 314 
Leihtenegger, 314 
Lettin Richard, 280 
Leverett Gov., 473 
Lexington Mass., 6 10 17 99 101 205 

309 404 
Library Public, 17 168 258 293 295 307 
Lincoln Mass., 6 11 17 101 163 176 216 

278 288 324 ^^g 
Littleton Mass., 30 103 335 349 377 

388 390-392 404 
Londonderry. N. H. 176 
Long John D., 470 
Longfellow Henry W-, 16 
Lothrop Daniel (Mrs.), 11 
Lowell Mass., 103 377 384 
Lynde Judge 180 
Lynn Mass-, 294 321 340 


Madoud Mordacai, 438 

Keyes John S-, 5 173 289 301 302 305 Makunkokoag, 377 
Mrs. John S., 304 Maiden, Mass.', 410 

Prescott,307 Marlboro, Mass., 210 340 359 362 

Kingston, R. I., 65 395 363 367 369 372 377 379 

Kneller Sir. Godfrey, 335 384 404 415 418 420 421 

Kutquen, 441 437 439 470 



Marshall, Thomas, 294 321 
Marshfield, Mass., 333 
Mason, Captain, 429 

Hugh, 216 419 

Robert, 275 
Massachusetts Bay 70 292 

Bay*Colony 30 98 84 175 

204 218 335 

Massasoit, 344 

Mather, Cotton, 47 50 61 177 197 


Increase, 198 199 477 

Nathaniel, 477 
Matlock, Eng., 65 457 
Maudsley, Henry, 412 
Maynard, Mass., 103 
Mayo, Rev. John, 171 
Medfield, Mass., 350 418 
Medford, Mass., 103 216 
Melvin, John, 452 
Memininisset, 371 409 417 473 
Meriam's Corner, 7 69 102 349 
Merlam George, 99 165 28 388 

House, 300 312 

John, 165 288 

Joseph, 7 3 478 

Robert, 19 99 165 166 261 283 

Merrimack, Mass., 16 84 335 370 373 

465 470 
Metacomet, 344 
Middlesex Hotel, 19 290 
Miles, Charles, 227 

Ester, 227 

Ezekiel, 227 

John, 226 227 288 479 

Jonathan 227 

Joseph, 227 

Lemuel, 404 

Martha, 227 

Nathan, 227 

Reuben, 227 

Samuel, 227 

Miles, Sarah, 227 
Mills, Mary, 301 
Medfield, Mass., 3.50 
Milton, Mass., 350 
Minerd, James, 480 
Minot, James, 157 179 210 

Rebecca, 157 
Montaup, 304 
Moody, John, 333 334 

Mary, 334 
Moore, Capt., 179 

John, 340 
Morgan, Sir Henry, 413 
Mosley, Capt., 33 

Samuel, 394 397 398 463 
Mount Hope, 304 344 434 
Muckquamuck, Peter, 337 
Munroe, Thomas, 6 
Musketequid Indians, 32 35 103 133 
River, 16 27 124 125 128 258 


Village, 3 38 67 95 96 98 101 
103 213 273 322 
Musqua, 64 
Musquanog, 64 
Musquashcut, 181 
Muttanktuckes, fi4 275 


Naacuhpavil, 339 

Naahkenomenit, 387 

Naamonushqua, 339 384 

Naanischoow, 384 

Nagog Pond, 388 391 

Nantatucket, 97 98 133 243 244 245 275 

Nantanquatick, 274 

Napoleon, 12 

Narragansett Indians, 396 

Fort, 401 

War, 348 402 
Nashawtuc Hill, 17 27 28 42 76 84 97 

130 163 267 294 296 314 

River, 38 128 137 243 380 



Nashoba, 31 32 35 75 92 152 257 336 
337 339 341 344 348 373 377 
381 382 385 386 388 389 390 
391 392 410 459 
Nashoba Indians, 384 385 387 388 389 
391 412 
Hill, 391 

Nashop, 387 

Nasquan, 387 

Nashua, 84 335 

Nassquaw, 336 339 

Natahoonet, 387 

Natick, 28 31 103 244 267 337 368 369 
377 384 385 386 288 390 473 

Natocotus, 387 

Nattototos, 336 

Nattahattawants, 383 

Neepanaum, Mary, 338 

Nenimimsset, 369 

Nepanum, 64 103 257 337 387 

Nepanet, 35 92 98 103 320 440 441 

Newbury, Mass. 450 

Newman, Noah, 181 

Newtowne, 29 

Nimrod, 46 276 

Nine Acres, 89 113 189 341 

Ninigret, 399 463 

Niantick Indians, 399 

Nipmuck Country, 367 368 369 370 
393 402 406 420 464 
Indians, 371 374 377 378 417 

Nonacoicus, 84 465 467 

Nonantum, 31 

Northumberland, 65 

Northfield, 420 

Nipnet Indians, 24 


Oakes, Lieut. Edward 469 

Jane 469 
Ockoocagansetts 30 32 
Okkokomimesit 377 

Okkektommesit 387 

Odell, Eng. 325 333 372 

Oliver, James 394 406 416 

Oonamog, 384 

Oldham, John 24 

Old Manse, 9 282 289 300 301 303 308 

Orchard House, 10 11 

Paige Dr. J. R. 371 
Parker Capt. 362 463 

James, 340 

Moses, 338 
Parsons Capt. Lawrence, 5 6 307 308 

Mary, 171 
Pasmore Richard, 452 
Patuxet, 396 

Pawtucket Falls, 30 103 126 335 
Pellet Thomas, 165 288 
Pelham's Island, 211 
Pennahanuit, 384 
Pettisquamscott, 396 407 
Philip King, 16 35 124 451 368 371 

433 434 
Philips Zachariah, 355 
Philosophy School, of 10 
Phipps Corp. 419 435 
Pierce Joseph, 430 
Pickard Cyrus, 459 
Pitcairn Major John, 6 311 
Pitney Andrew, 339 
Plympton Samuel, 425 
Plymouth (Mass.) 72 73 173 204 237 

344 345 368 393 471 477 
Pocasset, 368 371 
Pokanoket, 341 368 
Punkapog, 377 
Potter John, 453 

Luke, 99 165 167 168 288 460 
Mary, 460 '" 

Patience, 62 

Peter, 195 

Samuel, 425 459 461 
Powers Walter, 390 391 


Prentice Capt. 380 394 419 435 469 
Prescott Dr. Abel, 179 

Dr. John, 178 

Mary, 227 
Prescott Sarah J 289 
Pritchard Serg. 357 
Proctor Robert, 158 
Punkatasset, 17 76 96 97 189 
Purchis Oliver, 340 
Putnam Gen. Rufus, 371 


Quanohit, 339 441 

Quannasit. 371 

Quaboag 353 359 367 371 451 

Indians, 371 
Quanapoag, 473 
Quagana Hill, 410 458 
Quinsigamond, 369 469 
Quoil Hugh, 12 314 


Rand William, E 312 
Ratcliffe Philip, 268 
Rawson Edward, 281 336 
Read, Dr. Philip 178 453 
Reading, 7 333 
Red Lion, 171 
Red Horse Tavern, 172 
Redemption Rock, 441 
Redit Susannah, 227 
Reynolds Dr. Grindall, 294 298 
Rice Timothy, 480 

Mercie Heard, 210 

Reuben, 310 

Richard, 96 165 168 221 225 

275 288 348 453 

Timothy, 394 395 
Richardson James, 357 
Right Sarah, 460 
Ripley Dr. 15 129 137 147 286 289 308 

Robbins John, 94 

Robbins Robert, 388 

Robinson George, 470 

Roderigo Peter, 413 

Rowlandson Mrs. 35 412 418 432 439 

440 441 442 472 473 

Rev. Joseph, 258 410 439 441 

Roxbury, 31 
Russell James, 405 
Rutland, Mass. 371 


Sachem, 64 

Sam, 441 
Sagamore John 84 335 
Salem 50 198 324, 
Salisbury, Mass. 458 
Sanborn, Frank B 13 16 

Mrs. Frank, B 13 
Sargent Mrs. George, 335 
Savage Major, 35 418 420 
Sawyer James, 459 
Seekonk, 396 

Shawshine, 103 133 252 278 
Saxonville, 35 
Scituate, 181 
Scotchford John, 438 459 

Sergeant, 52 57 64 288 
Sewall Judge Samuel, 237 249 

Rev. Dr. 269 
Shabbokin, 467 
Sudbury, 7 16 48 102 103 124 125 552 

172 176-178 210 223 258 270 

278 320 336 251 357 368 374 

376 415 420 424 428 433-440 

452 459 461 
Sharp Mercy, 84 
Shattuck, 179 184 274 275 278 

284 287 335 460 461 
Shepard Abraham 458, 

Isaac, 457 458 

Jacob, 458 

John, 336 480 

Mary, 411 459 

Ralfe, 410 458 



Shepard Thanklord, 410 458 

Thomas. 47 450 
Sheperd Mary, 411 459 
Sherborn, Mass. 404 
Shirley Village, 4G5 
Sill Capt. Joseph, 351 452 
Simonds Mary, 182 
Smedley Baptist, 285 287 457 458 

James, 288 453 

John, 99 101 146 287 289 301 

Katherine, 457 

Mary, 458 

Samuel, 122 165 191 208 457 

Sarah, 301 

Sofy, 117 
Smith John, 99 

Lieut. Col. 5 
Speen James, 338 

John, 337 

Sarah, 337 
Springfield, Mass. 368 393 
St. Johns College, 325 
Stoughton William, 197 334 
Stow, Mass. 65 338 390 391 404 

Cyrus, 288 

Nathan B 165 

Nathaniel, 165 480 

Thomas, 284 286 
Stratten Samuel, 288 348 350 480 

Soloman, 193 

Susan, 270 
Streight Thomas, 459 
Swain Jeremiah, 394 
Swamp Fight, 462 
Swan Samuel, 310 

John, 394 395 405 

Richard, 217 452 

William, 165 288 


Tahattawan, 383 

Taylor Abraham, 405 

Daniel, 7 309 

Hugh, 452 
Temple Abraham, 395 399 404 453 462 

Benjamin, 404 

Ephraim, 405 

Rev. J. H. 371 

Richard, 287 462 
Thomas John 336 239 384 386 387 390 

Solomon. 339 390 
Thoreau Henry, 10-13 17 311 
Tisansquaw, 243 244 339 
Tyng Lieut. 394 
Tyng Capt. Wm. 430 


Underwood Patty, 65 
Uskatuhgun Samuel, 441 


Vose John, 288 


Waban, 37 28 29 276 336 339 368 378 

389 384 385 390 

Thomas, 384 386 
Wabatut, 336 
Wabbaquasets 371 

Wachusett, 79 258 417 419 439 441 452 
Wadsworth, Capt 365 379 420 423 428 

430 432 
Walcott, 100 164 178 183 216 277 282 

286 289 318 321 334 357 
Walden Pond, 11 

Woods, 12 
Waldo Rebecca 435 439 :i "s H 
Walker Francis, F. 436 

John, 356 
Waltham, Mass. 450 
Wamesit 30 377 384 
Warren Daniel, 429 430 

Washacum, 466 

William, 17 22 25-29 35 42 64 Watertown, 38 63 67 101 102 103 178 
97 274 280 298 336 339 382.386 207 216 318 320 323 336 385 

Tassansquaw, 384 385 432 436 453 464 

XI 1 


Waverley, Mass. 101 

Wayland, Mass. 16 209 .320 424 

Waymeset, 337 

Wayside, 10-11 

Wayside Inn, 172 

Webb Cowet, 274 

Weegramomenit, 386 

Weld Rev Thomas, 279 

Wenimisett, 371 

Wennetto, 64 337 

Weston, Mass. 103 172 278 

Westford, Mass. 388 410 

Westvale, Mass. 341 

Weymouth, Mass. 350 

Wheat Joseph, 405 

Sergeant, 210 
Wheate Moses, 165 288 405 452 45 

Wheeler Samuel, 288 297 

Sarah, 334 

Susannah, 461 

Thomas, 65 99 165 280 288 320 

338 340 348 354 373 

Thomas E. Jr. 355 356-363 369 


Timothy, 65 

93 146 157 210 216 276 280 281 

290 341 348 349 351 352 371 

373 395 

William, 297 
Whieldon Ruth, 217 
Whitefield, 147 270 
White Elizabeth, 461 

John, 459 
31 Samuel, 460 

Wheeler Capt. Thomas, 372 373 455 Sarah, 258 

457 458 478 Whiting Jonathan, 405 

Capt. Timothy, 337 338 364 WiHard Abovehope, 132 

365 367 368 370 468 479 

David, 405 

Ebenezer, 405 

Ensign, M- 99 101 210 

Ephraim, 65 280 320 373 

George, 64 99 101 165 284 281 

240 285 288 

Hannah, 55 457 

James, 452 

Jesse, 55 

John, 165 288 394 395 405 

453 480 

Jonathan, 55 288 

Joseph, 46 146 165 281 286 

288 289 336 339 340 348 373 

393 395 405 410 453 

Joshua, 165 206 288 

Joslah, 425 452 453 461 

Liut. Joseph, 334 389 

Nathaniel, 373 

Obadlah, 55 270 285 461 

Rebecca, 179 

Ruth, 373 

Wicabuy Pond, 371 

Willard House, 84 87 94 130 294 296 

Willard Major, 17 20 24 38 39 46-49 
52 53 82-85 87 90-99 131 153 
159 166 173 220 276 280 294 
298 313 321-323 335 337 339 
348 350 359 362 366 374 376 
380 383 395 438 452 453 
463 468 

Wickford, R. I. 396 399 411-409-418 

WightGeorge, 341 

Wigley Edmund, 227 270 288 .340 

Wight Peter, 261 

Willard Margery, 469 
Mary, 132 
Samuel, 199 469 

Winnishen, 391 

Winslow Josiah, 313 399 

Winthrop, Gov- 64 171 278 279 383 

Woburn, Mass. 101 372 404 

Wowtoquatuckquaw 276, 

Wood Abigail, 258 

John, 394 395404452 

Index xiii 

Wood Joseph, 405 Wright Amos, 7 309 

Michael, 166 183 270 285 Edward, 165 181 

288 Wright's Tavern, 6 7 173 300 309 311 

Richard, 45 ^ 

William, 20 324 372 ^ 

Woodcock's Garrison, 396 Yorkshire, 65 

Woodis Henry, 210 275 284 286 459 Young Henry, 357 438 

Wooley Christopher, 165 „ 

Joseph, 339 ^ 

Worcester, Mass. 369 66 302 103 375 zilpha, 12 314 
Wordsworth, 89 90 



7 Read Little Maid for Fair Maid. 

15 Omit often. 

10 Read candlewood light for candle light. 



one of his first mission fields for his first mis- \ 
sion field. j 



Shepard for Shepherd. j 



/^(?r<? for here. 



who for whom. ' 



/>tfr/ for ^tfr/. 



/f fordway in the North District instead \ 
of the fordway over the North Bridge. j 



Thornton Gould for Thornton. | 



catechistical for catechumenical. 



1673 for ^P7J. 1 



WdT^ for ZCtfJ. \ 



between for between. \ 



Walcott for Wolcott. 



cows for row. 



7^5/ for 75^7. 



catechistical for catechumenical. \ 

1 1 


Susanah for Susannah. 1 



//W for ////fi-^. ] 



plowing {ox plewing. 



at for ^j-. 



grandsons for gandsons. j 



/^<?rf for M<??y. 



westward for eastward. 



ministry for ministery. j 



Concord for Concrod. i 



/i'<?>' for /■/. i 



probably iox probally. 



and for tf«. 



William for Joseph.