Skip to main content

Full text of "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers"

See other formats

ii«t,^iX-^-^''''W5ff^ -^ 



.^^ -J 

.; :t 

^ h'i 






■IIIM I 11I I I' IIH Iil | f"KllS8'g 



•*- . I 

*(' J 
















<-^=>WITH =^_> 

|(llii«trafiou^ and |fit0gniplikiil §Iietclie^ 






NENT v. 

> VOL. I. 

















The History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, which has been in course of preparation 
during the past twelve months, is at length completed, and placed in the hands of the people. 

The compilation of a work covering such a large extent of territory, and treating of events trans- 
piring through the lapse of two hundred and forty-three years, as can be readily understood, is a labor of 
extraordinary magnitude, involving a heavy outlay, and requiring a vast amount of research, the exercise 
of impartial judgment, and the most critical discrimination. 

The subjects treated cover a wide range, — from the adventurous life of the pioneer of 1636, through 
every branch of human experience, industry, and knowledge, to the wonderful physical and intellectual 
development of the present day. 

Materials for the work have been abundant. Several of the towns in the Valley possess excellent 
published histories, while the preserved files of newspapers and the various records constitute a mine of 
wealth which can scarcely be exhausted. The entire region abounds in rich treasures of local history, 
and such works as the excellent " History of Western Massachusetts," by Dr. Josiah Gilbert Holland, 
the numberless volumes in public and private libraries, colonial records, family genealogies, and biogra- 
phies of eminent men and women, are accessible at every turn. 

The people of the Connecticut Valley are pre-eminently intelligent and widely alive to all which 
pertains to the history of their indomitable ancestors, and always ready to assist in the production of meri- 
torious works which may, in any manner, shed additional light upon the past. 

The aim of the publisher of the present work hasbeen to make it as full and reliable a compendium 
of the history of this beautiful and iiiieresting region as a lavish expenditure of money, time, and talent 
could produce; and it is believed tliat no similar ■syork has ever been published in this country which 
could compare with it, either in magnitude, variety and interest of subjects treated, or in the number 
and beauty of its illustrations, which amount to not far from five hundred, all excellent specimens of 
the engraver's art. - - • 

The plan of illustrating local histeries is one- which the people themselves have inaugurated, and 
which has so enhanced the appearance of each successive -volume, and; so increased the general interest 
therein, that it has been permanently and successfully adopted by the publishers. The testimony of a 
most respectable majority of the citizens, wherever such publications, have been introduced, and especially 
among those most prominent and best capable of judging, is ample proof that portraits of those who 
have been or are citizens of a county at the date of publication; who by their enterprise, integrity, and 
public spirit have materially aided its growth and prosperity, and whose lives have been worthy ex- 
amples, may very properly appear upon the pages of such local history. 

Ex-Governor Seymour, of New York, remarked of the history of his own county, that the portraits 
therein of its deceased and living citizens greatly enhanced its value in his estimation. Dr. Holmes, 



State Librarian of New York, considers the illustrated portion, including personal sketches of prominent 
citizens, a feature which will become more interesting with the lapse of time, and one which gives 
additional value to the work. 

The illustrations of each town, like its written history, are distinct and complete in themselves, and 
are selected as fair representatives of its worthy citizens, indepeudently of any comparison with those of 
any other city or town. The highest ideal is not always reached, but the endeavor has been to haudle 
this department with due regard to the rules of propriety and consistency, the tastes and desires of the 
people of the Valley, and the true interests of the publisher and the community. 

This explanation is rendered necessary by the fact that there have been those who criticised without 
thoroughly understanding the system adopted, and without giving the subject due consideration. Every 
effort has been put forth to render this work as complete in all departments as possible, and to bring it 
fully up to the expectations of those who have so liberally indorsed it, with the confident belief that 
they will appreciate the lalwr and patient research necessary in the production of a work wiiicii contains, 
among other items, a hundred thousand ])roper names, and at least one thousand biographies and per- 
sonal sketches. Perfection is impossible, but the work is placed in tiie hands of its patrons witii tlie 
hopeful assurance that its immense array of interesting facts will be invaluable to the student and his- 
torian, to the professional man and the mechanic, and to the farmer in the midst of his family. 

The writers engaged upon the work have been almost invariably treated with the greatest courtesy, 
and have had every facility extended which the necessity of the case required, by county and town offi- 
cials ; by the clergy of all denominations, members of the bar, the medical profession, the press, the faculties 
of the various colleges, the principals of academies, seminaries, and schools, and by manufacturers and 
business men generally ; to all of whom they acknowledge their sincere obligations. They would also 
gratefully remember the farming community, whose members have added in no small degree to the 
interest and value of the work. 

To the following, among many hundreds of citizens, the publisher would acknowledge himself under 
special obligations: Judge Henry Morris, "William Kice, D.D., and lady, Hon. William L. Smith, David 
P. Smith, M.D., C. C. Chaffee, M.D., Wm. G. Breck, M.D., P. Le B. Stickney, M.D., Gen. Horace Lee, 
Major Ingersoli, Paymaster United States Armory; Capt. J. K. Xeweli, Brewer Brothers, druggists, 
A. P. Stone, all of Springfield ; Hon. E. H. Sawyer, Easthampton ; J. R. Trumbull, Rev. Dr. Gordon Hall, 
O. O. Roberts, M.D., Hamilton J. Cate, ^I.D., and Sheriff Longley, of Northampton^ Ex-Gov. Wm. B. 
Washburn, Jas. S. Grinnell, Jona. W. D. Osgood, M.D., A. C. Deane, M.D., Hon. David Aiken, Judge C. 
C. Conant, and Rev. J. F. Moors, of Greenfield; Dr. Roswell Field, of Gill; Hon. George Sheldon, of 
Deerfield; Dr. C. ]NL Duncan, of Shelburne; Dr. Parley Barton, of Grange; Jas. H. Waterman, M.D., 
and Henry Holland, of Westfield ; Dr. H. S. Lucas, of Chester; and Dr. J. W. Rockwell, of Southwick. 

Philadelphia, Pa., July, 1879. 


On page G5, where mention is made of a small fort erected in Blandford about 1744, it is spoken of as being in the caistefn 
part of Hampden County ; it should read western. 

On page 855, Rev. A. D. Mayo is mentioned as settling in Springfield in 1874 ; it should be 1872. 

Since the work went to press, Charles McClallan, whose purtruit and biography ajipear between pages 980-81, has deceased, 
his death occurring on the 22d of June, 1879. 









-Introduction 9 

-Civil Divisiuiis 11 

-Topograph y 14 

Geological Untlinus 16 

Indiiin Occupancy IS 

Early Explorei-s, Eaily Patents uf 
New Englaiul, Tlie Charter of 
the Culony of Massachusetts 

Bay 22 

VII. — The New England People, Origin 
of the Engliyli Puritans, The 

Pilgrim Fathers 25 

VIII. — The Kemoval to the Connecticut 

Valley 29 

IX.— The Founding of the Mi.ther 
Towns, tlie Planting of .Spring- 
field in 1C:JG, "William Pynchon 
and his Books, the Planting of 
WVsIfiehl in 1G4)J. Northampton 

in 1654 31 

X.— The Pefpiut W'nr 3G 

XI. — The Separation of Springfield 
from the JuiiBdictiou of Con- 
necticut 39 

XII. — The Import Duty imposed by Con- 
necticut upon Spriiigtield in 
1645, Resi.sted by Massachusetts. 42 

XIII.— Witchcraft 44 

XIV.— The Regicide;, 50 

XV.— King Philip's War 53 

XVI.— The Frfnch-aiid-Indian "Ware 61 

XVII.— The W-.iv of the Revolution 66 

XVIII.— The Shays Rebellion 75 

XIX.— The War of 1812-15, The Washing- 
ton Benevolent Society 80 

X-X. — Internal Improvements jCi 

XXI. — Internal Navigation, Improve- 
ment of the Connecticut River.. HG 

XXII.— Railways 97 

XXIII. — Population, Industi-y and Wealth, 

Educational 106 

XXIV. — Valley and County Agricultural 

Associations Ill 

XXV.— The Bar <>f the Connecticut Valley. 114 

XXVI.— The Hampden County Bar 121 

XXVII.— The Bar of Franklin County 127 

XXVIII. — HonKeopathy in Western Mjissa- 

chusetts 134 

XXIX. — Military. History of Organiza- 
tions which sei-ved during the 
Rebellion 1861-65. The Tenth 

Regiment 136 

XXX. — Eighteenth, Twentieth, and 

Twenty-Firet Regiments 145 

XXXI.— Twenty-Seventh Regiment 146 

XXXII.— Thirty-Fii-st, Thirty-Fourth, 
Thirty -Seventh, and Forty-Sixth 
Regiments 151 


XXXIII.— Fifty Second Regiment 154 

XXXIV.— Fifty-Seventh and Sixty-First 
Regiments, Artillei-y and Cav- 
alry 161 



I. — Civil Organization 163 

II.— The Courts, County Conuni&sionere, and 

County Buildings 163 

III.— Representative Districts, Civil Lists 16S 

IV.— Societies 170 


Northampton 172 

Andiei-st 235 

Easthanipton 263 

Westhanipt^in 287 

Southampton 301 

Hadley 317 

South Hadley :J47 

Ware 359 

Hatfield 385 

Williamsburg 404 

Plainfield 42G 

Cummington 439 

Worthington 454 

Middlefield 465 

Gv»8hen 479 

Chesterfield 4'J2 

Huntington 54(6 

Belchertown 521 

Greenwich 534 

Giunhy 542 

Pelham 54S 

Prescott 558 



G. W. Swazey, M.H facing i;i4 

Gen. Luke Lyman " 146 

Dr. C. B. Smith " 152 

Joseph K. Taylor " 153 

E. C. Clark " 154 

Mark H. Spaulding " 155 

Rev. Jomiihan Edwards 201 

Rev. John Hov.ker 2(.i2 

Rev. Solomon Williams 203 

Rev. Samuel P. Williams 2()3 

Rev. Mark Tucker, D.D 207 

Rev. Ichabod Spencer, D.D 207 

Rev. John P. Cleaveland, D.D 207 

Rev. Zachary Eddy, D.D 207 

L. B.Williams 229 

Luther Boihuaii 230 

Daniel W. Btind 231 

Austin W. Thompson, A.M., M.D 231 


0. O. Roberts, M.D 232 

Josephus Crafts 2.32 

Henry A.Longley between 2;J2, 233 

H. K. Parsons " 232, 2:J3 

Ansel Wright 23.^ 

George F. Wright 233 

Gen. .lohn Lord* His 2^34 

J. Howi,* Demond :i*J.5 

Sanmel r Carter facing 250 

Hon. Edward Dickinson, LL.D 201 

W*njt*lill Dickinson 262 

Ezra Ingram facing 202 

Simeon Clark between 262, 2(>;^ 

Hon. E. H. Sawyer 2tt3 

Samuel Williston 284 

Horatio G. Knight 286 

Edwin R. Bosworth., 286 

William N. Clapp between 286, 2H7 

Joseph W. AVinslow, 31. D facing 287 

Ansel Clapp " 300 

Jesse Lyman " 301 

Franklin Btjiiney, M.D 346 

Eleazar Porter, between 340, 347 

Lorenzo N. Granger " 346, .347 

Hon. Joseph Smith " 346,347 

Sylvester Smith facing 347 

Joseph Carew 358 

Martin AV. Burnett I etween 358, 359 

Capt. Broughton Alvord " 358,359 

Deacon Moses Slontagiie " 35S, 359 

Hiram .Smith, deceased 359 

Hiram Smith 359 

Hon. ("has. A. Stevens 376 

Epaphras Clark 384 

Kingsley Underwood 385 

Joseph Smith facing 402 

Cynis Miller " 420 

Daniel Collins, M.D '* 421 

Hon. Hiram Nash " 422 

Elnathan Graves " 42:1 

Thomas Meekins " 424 

Benjamin S. Johnson " 425 

Horace Ctde " 4-56 

Hon. E. H. Brewster " 457 

Milliam D. Blush " 478 

Harvey Root " 479 

Garry Munson " .V20 

Jabin B. Williams " 521 

Deacon Lyman Sabin '* 532 

Henry Graves, Jr between 532, 5:i3 

Joseph R. Gould " 532, 533 

John H. Morgan facing 540 

S. P. Bailey between 540, 541 

LynusTourtellott 541 

Cluules S. Record 541 

Addison Gridley facing 546 

Deacon Samuel Smith 548 

Capt. Wm. B. Clark 548 

[Note. — For additional biographical matter, see 
chapters on the legal and medical pmfessions, and 
also the town iiistories.] 







View i)f Coniiectkut Valley from 51t. Noiio- 
tuck (Frontispiece) facing 1 





Portrait of Hon. E. H. Sawyer (steel). 



ResidenceofWm.H. Dickinson 



Map of the Connecticut Valley in Massachu- 


Williston Seminary... between 284, 285 

Portrait of Sam'l Williston (steel) " 284,285 

Smith Academy 


setts facing 

Portrait of Joseph Smith 


Portrait of William Pynchon (steel) " 


Horatio G. Knight (steel).. 



Residence of Joseph S. Wells..., 


Fac-siniile of Toinhstone of Mary Pynchon... 


Edwin R. Bosworth (steel) 

.. " 


" pag:e from William Pynchon's 

" William N. Clapp between 280 




J.W.Wiuslow, M.D 



Portrait of Cyrus Miller 


" page from Pynchon's Record... 


134 . 


" Dr. Daniel Collins 



" Hon. Hiram Nash 



Portrait of Ansel Clapp 



" Elnathan Graves 

. " 


Portrait of 0. 0. Hoberts, M.D.. (steel) ...facing 


. " 


.. " 




" Gcii, Luke Lyman 

*' E C Clark '' 


Hadley in 1603 



Shackles of the Old Jail at Xorthampton 


Poi-trait of Franklin Bonney, M.D. 


Residence of L. J. Orcutt 



Central Part of Northampton in IS^i!)... facing 



'■ " 1870... " 


Portrait of Eleazar Porter bet\Y 

3en .340 



Memorial Hall and Public Library 


" Lorenzo N. Granger.. " 

340, 347 

Portrait of Hon. E. H. Brewster 




" Hon. Joseph Smith... " 



" Horace Cole 


Portrait uf L. B. Williams (steel) facing 


'• Sylvester Smith 



" Luther Budinan (steel) *' 



D. \\ . Bond (steel) between 230 


A. W. Thompson (steel) " 230 


Portrait of Wm. D. Blush 



" -Toscplius Crafts (steel) facing 


Mt. Hulyoke Seminary (steel) 



" Harvey Root 

.. " 


H. .K. Longley between 232 


Lyman Williston Hall (steel) 

.. " 


H. K. Pai-sons " 232 


Carew Paper Co., Hadley Falls 







Portrait of Garry Munson 



Geo. F. Wright ■' 



.. " 



" Gen. J. L. Otis (steel) " 

Hampshire Paper Co. Mills 

" J. Howe Demond (steel) " 


Portrait of Joseph Carew (steel) 





Martiu W. Burnett between 358, 359 

" Capt. Broughton Alvord " 358,359 

Portrait of Jusepli K. Gould 

" Deacon Lvniaii Sabin 



Portrait of Samuel C. Carter facing 


" Dea. Moses Blontague " 

358, 359 



The Amhei^t College Buildings and Grounds 

" Hiram Smith, deceased 



(double page) between 250 

Residence and Portrait of Oreu Williams, 







Portrait of John H. Morgan 



Massachusetts Agricultural College 


S. P. Bailey bet^ 

■een 540 

, rAl 

Residence of E. Hobjirt facing 


Portrait L>f Hon. Chas. A. Stevens (steel). facing 


Residence of Estos Slumiwiiy 



*' W S Clark " 



" and Portrait of Lynus Tourtolli)!!, 

Portrait of Hon. Edward Dickinson, LL.D. 


(steel) tacing 


Residence of Heni-y Fobes 




" J. .J. Howe 

L.F. Shearer 

.. " 



" Simeon Clark between 2G2 


" David Blodgett 

" Lyman D. Potter 

" E.P.Smith 



Portrait of Dr. C. B. Smith 





" .lusepli K Tavlor 






Residence of Hon. E. H. Sawyer facing 

Mrs. Emily G.Willistou... " 


.. " 


" WiUiani B Clark 

. " 


" Kingsley Underwood 

" Samuel Smith 





., \ y~^ n\ \ j'Adamertlli' 









Around the valley of the Connecticut* River, where, in its 
course from the mountains to the sea, the stream crosses the 
State of Massachusetts,! clusters an untold wealth of historic 

The long history of this valley — long for the New World — 
begins, strictly speaking, with the story of the building, by 
John Cable and his companion John Woodcock, in the sum- 
mer of 1635, of a solitary hut on the old Indian muck-cos- 
quH-faj, meadow, or corn-planting ground, called Ag-a-wam, 
which lay along the southern bank of the Ag-a-wam River, a 
half-mile above its mouth, on the west side of the Quo?i-eh-ti- 
cui, nearly opposite what is now the city of Springfield. Or, 
in a wider sense, it may be said, the history of the Connecti- 
cut Valley, in Massachusetts, begins with the planting of 
Springfield itself, near Us-quaiok, on the east bank of the 
Quon-eh-ti-ciit 'River, "over against" the Indian meadows yl^- 
a-wam and (^ua-na, by William Pynchon and his little band 
of pioneer settlers, in the early spring of the year 1636, and 
begins anew, as it were, with the planting of each new settle- 
ment in the valley. It begins anew with the story of the 
earl}' founding of the plantation of Northampton, in the year 
16.53, on the old Indian hunting-ground and meadows called 
Non-o-tuck ;X with the planting of Hadley in the year 1661, 
on the site of the Indian hunting-ground called Nol-wo-togg ;^ 
with the organization of the above-named pioneer towns of 
Springfield, Northampton, and Hadley, and certain contigu- 
ous territory, comprising half the State, as early as the year 
1663, into the old county of Hampshire ; with the first occupa- 
tion of the Indian beaver-hunting country, called Wo-ro- 
noak, now Westfield, by the Connecticut fur-traders in 1640,|| 
and its permanent settlement by Springfield people in 1669 ; 
with the planting of Hatfield in 1670, of the laying out of 
Beerfleld on the old Indian hunting-ground Pa-comp-tuck in 
1672,f and of the reservation by commissioners for a town of 
Northfield at the Indian Squnk-heag in 1669 ;** and so the his- 
tory stretches on through all the intervening years, until the 

* From the Indian Qiioti-eh-ti-cut, "Tho Long River." — TnirnhuWs Hist. Conn. 
QuimiUuk, "lung tidal river;" Qituiniluk-id, country on either side of "long tidal 
river." — Col. Conn. Ilint. Societt/, Vol. II., p. 8. 

■f From the Indian M'-m-tcha-smg, " countrj' this side of the mountuk 
nalVs Top. Description of North Am. Mass-utlcliureit, "near the great I 
— Col. Conn. Hist. Socitli/, Vol. II., p. 20. 

t MiBS. Col. Rec., Vol. III., p. :iW. 

8 Mass. Col. Roc, Vol. IV,, Part II., p. 13. 

II See Mass. Col. Bee., Vol. I., p. 32:i. 

Tl Mass. Col. Ecc, Vol. IV., Part II., p. 55S. 

** Mass. a>l. Rec, Vol. I., Part II., p. 436. 

story is told of the final division of the old, historic county of 
Hampshire into four counties, and of the planting of all the 
seventy and one towns of the three counties of which this work 
treats, — the last of which, the town of Hampden, in Hampden 
County, was organized in the year 1878, just two hundred and 
forty-two years after the planting of Springfield in 1636. 

In pursuing the history of this valley through the changing 
scenes and the varying fortunes of its almost two centuries and 
a half of existence as the home of the white man and the abode 
of Christian civilization, we shall first see in our mind's eye 
the opening clearing upon the site of the city of Springfield, in 
the dawn of its birth-year, 1636, with the early traces of what 
was long its only street — now Main Street — laid out along the 
"town brook," and facing the long, narrow "home lots" of 
the settlers, which lots extended from the street to the river, 
while at the rude wharf is moored Governor Winthrop's little 
shallop of thirty tons burden, called the "Blessing of the 
Bay, "ft which of a truth might well be called the " May- 
flower" of Springfield, in which the first inhabitants, when 
they started with their wives and little ones on the old Indian 
trail, since known as the " Bay Path," for their far-off wilder- | 
ness home, sent round by water their scanty store of house- \ 
hold goods. 

We shall see at the infant settlements of Springfield, 
Northampton, Hadley, Westfield, Hatfield, Deerfield, and 
Northfield, as they successively spring up in the depths of 
the virgin wilderness, the first half-dozen log huts in the 
centres of little clearings, hewn out of the before unbroken 
forests, bordered on either side by a hundred miles of pathless 
woods. We shall see at these rude pioneer homes the father, 
with his gun by his side, planting his corn among the black- 
ened logs or in the little Indian meadow on the river's banks. 
We shall see the mother, surrounded by her infant children, 
plying her daily toil within the single room of the humble log 
dwelling, and often casting anxious glances into the shadowy 
woods, which her imagination peoples with hordes of wild 
beasts and wilder men, and with troops of witches, goblins, 
and other uncanny things. We shall see in the daily struggles 
for the daily bread, in the hardships and dangers, in the som- 
bre religious life of those early pioneer homes, the origin and 
the growth of those homely and sturdy virtues upon which 
the prosperity of great States has since been so securely 

We shall follow the varying fortunes of these pioneers of 
the wilderness and their descendiints, — the people of the Con- 
necticut Valley, — through the weary years of the witchcraft 
delusion, into the clearer light of more auspicious times. We 
shall witness their suft'erings, their fortitude, their bravery, 

ft Built at Mystick and launched July 4 1631, being the second bark built in 
the colony. — Yoniu/$ Citron, of Mues., p. 1S5. 



their triumphs, in the Pequot and King Philip wars, and 
through the long and bloody French and Indian wars. "We 
shall dwell with pride upon the noble part they took in the 
war for Independence, and bring the story to its close in re- 
counting the wonderful development of the last fifty years, — a 
progress which has made the valley to-day almost a continuous 
city, stretching along both banks of its beautiful river across 
the entire State from north to south, inhabited by almost two 
hundred thousand people, counting their aggregate wealth by 
tens of millions, enriching all lands with the material prod- 
ucts of their countless workshops, and enlightening the world 
by the precious fruits of their intellectual labors. And all 
this long stor)', from the date of the weak and weary j'cars of 
the first feeble settlements in the valley, early in the seven- 
teenth century, to the present era of its prosperity and power 
in the closing j'ears of the nineteenth, — a period of more than 
two hundred and forty years, — is but the story of the struggles 
and the triumphs, the ceaseless endeavor and fruitful achiev- 
ments, of a branch of that people which must be classed among 
the most remarkable the world ever produced, — the people of 
New England. 

But this is not all. For a hundred j-ears this valley and 
the mountain towns adjoining have been sending forth their 
full share of that mighty stream of New England emigrants 
over the Berkshire hills, across the valley of the Hudson, and 
over the Allegbanies into the ever-retreating West, carrying 
with them the daring enterprise, the nimble, inventive skill, 
the cheerful endurance, the love of liberty under law and 
order, the high, religious life, chastened b_y the traditions of 
suffering and sacrifice in early pioneer homes, the vivid appre- 
ciation of beauty and refinement everywhere characteristic of 
the New England people, until every State in the nation, from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific, bears upon all its institutions the 
unmistakable impress of its high New England parentage. 

Thus has this valley of the Connecticut in Massachusetts 
for a hundred years been lavishly giving of her best citi- 
zens to people the fertile fields of the teeming West, yet the 
cup of her prosperity is still full to the brim and running 



The carh- settlers who came across the ocean to subdue New 
England, of whom the first settlers of the Connecticut Valley 
formed a part, were weak in numbers and mostly poor in 
worldly goods, but they were rich in faith and strong in spirit ; 
and the result has been that from the handful of feeble pil- 
grims a mighty nation has arisen, still deeply imbued with 
their rich faith and strong spirit, which nation now gives 
sustenance, liberty, and law to the world. 

The avowed object of the Pilgrim and Puritan fathers in 
coming hither was "to advance their church, to build them- 
selves in holiness, to convert the Indian, and to promote free- 

That this was their object and aim there is abundant evi- 
dence. The company in its first general letter to Endicott 
and his council, under date of 17th April, 1629, says : 

"And for the propagating of the Gospel is the thing we do 
profess above all to be our aim in settling this Plantation. We 
have been careful to make plentiful provision of godly minis- 
ters, by whose faithful preaching, godly conversation, and 
exemplary life we trust not only those of our own nation will 
he built up in the knowledge of God, but also the Indians may 
in God's appointed time be reduced to the obedience of the 
gospel of Christ."* 

Again, in the preamble to the Articles of Confederation be- 
tween the United Colonies, adopted UHh Ma_y, 1643, there is 
this language: "Whereas we all came into these parts with 

* Young'8 Chron. of Maaa., p. 141. 

one and the same end, namely, to advance the kingdom of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the gospel in 
purity with peace." 

Having thus come to the solitudes of the New World with 
this high end and aim in view, and having themselves passed 
through the fiery ordeal of religious persecution at home, in 
their treatment of those of diflerent faith, who early sought 
homes among them, the charge of inconsistency has often been 
laid at their door. 

It has often been urged, and with much plausibility, that 
they who fled from religious intolerance in the Old World 
should have themselves practised religious toleration in the 
New. But those who use this argument forget the spirit of 
the age as well as the circumstances under which they lived, 
and the high ideal of the New England fathers. 

The .spirit of the age was distinguished by its intense reli- 
gious fervor. The world to come, now of such dim and 
shadowy aspect to the bodily senses of modern men, although 
perhaps no less real to their eye of faith, was to the Puritan 
fathers, in the dim light of the imperious and awful theologic 
dogmas which guided their daily walk, a tangible, if not visi- 
ble, reality. To their haunting visions of immortal joy or 
woe saddening their lives, must be added the contest with the 
grim wilderness, the hard, unrelenting circumstances of pio- 
neer life. Each age has its own methods of battling for the 
right and asserting justice. Each age has its own ideas, too, 
of what is right and just, but conscience — the desire to do right 
and justly — has been active in all ages, perhaps more active in 
the age of the Puritans than now. 

It should be remembered, also, that while religious intoler- 
ance is wrong when it is not necessarj' for the public safety, 
it becomes a virtue when needful in self-defence and where 
tolerance would be public ruin. 

The early New England people, in order to protect their re- 
ligious freedom, were obliged to exclude with a strong hand 
those in whose presence they could not live with security. 
They had fled from the powerful English hierarchy to the wild 
solitudes of America. Should they sutler it to follow them ? 
Divisions in their councils, in their weak and defenceless con- 
dition, would be fatal to their peace, if not to their very exist- 
ence. Should they sutler divisions to occur? In days, 
too, religious toleration held no place among the Christian 
virtues. To difter from the established religion was rank 
heresy, and heresy was punished in most Christian countries 
as a heinous crime. It was the high ideal of the New England 
fathers to engraft upon the new State a new form of Christian 
worship, subject to the same restrictions as the old. But thej' 
sought more. Their aim was nothing less than the complete 
sanctification of the State. To make a pure and perfect State, 
founded in every respect upon the sublime teachings of Holy 
Writ in worship and morals, was what they attempted. To 
further this end, they rightly judged that to fashion and mould 
a State the individual members thereof must first be fashioned 
and moulded, and so they began at the foundation, and kept 
the strictest watch over every individual in the colony whether 
high or low. 

Every one's conduct was at all times and on all occasions 
the subject of stricture and discipline, and every infraction of 
law or duty promptly and severely punished. In religious 
matters especially, no such thing as freedom of individual 
opinion existed. Heresy in every form must be nipped in the 
bud as a thing dangerous to both the State and the souls of 
men. No inipure thing like witchcraft must be suftered to 
live for a moment. All who participated in the government 
in any form must be members of the visible church, and must 
square their every action by the Mosaic law of the Bible. 
There must bo one common faith, one common church, one 
commonwealth. These facts, so often overlooked in consider- 
ing their case, while they by no means justify their errors and 
excesses, explain their conduct. That they were zealots and 



committed excesses in the line of discipline and punishment is 
not to be wondered at when we consider their views of things. 
Judged from their standpoint they were in the right, or at 
least excusable. In the broader light of modern times they 
were outrageously in the wrong. Yet no unprejudiced one 
has ever for a moment doubted the unflinching honesty of 
purpose, the deep sense of responsibility, and the high moral 
aims of the New England fathers. Out of their very faults, 
or rather out of those heroic virtues, which they often carried 
into grievous faults, have developed the grandest results in 
modern history. The best things of the nation germinated in 
New England. 

Local self-government guided by the spirit of law and order, 
appealing to the conscious dignity and innate self-respect of 
human nature, and which is the very foundation of our repub- 
lican form of government, from which so many blessings flow, 
had its birth-place in the town-meetings, — the first feeble or- 
ganizations of the early New England towns at Plymouth 
Kock, at Massachusetts Bay, and in the Valley of the Connec- 
ticut. And this is the more remarkable when we consider 
that it took place in the opening years of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, while the lordly Stuarts were on the English throne, 
haughty and unrelenting in the enforcement of the royal pre- 
rogative, and the Bourbon kings had yet in store almost two 
centuries of despotic sway in now republican France. 

And in the New England Confederacy of 1043, for which 
they had no warrant in their charters, "but which in its incep- 
tion was a bold assumption of power on the part of the young 
colonies, we see the prototype and germ of our great republic. 

And further still, the high culture, the refined and elegant 
life of the nation first took root in the rugged soil of New Eng- 
land. The wonder is that so fair and fragile a flower as cul- 
ture should ever have flourished amid such rocky solitudes as 
the wild New England shores of two centuries and a half ago. 

The very next thought of the Puritan fathers of New Eng- 
gland, after making provision for the support of the gospel 
and organizing their government, was to establish institutions 
of learning. 

As early as the 28th day of October, 1636, the general court 
provided for a college,* which two years after, on the 13th 
March, 1638-39, was named in honor of its first considerable 
benefactor, the Rev. John Harvard. f 

"After God," says an old chronicler, "had carried us safe 
to New England, and we had builded our houses, provided 
necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for 
God's worship, and settled civil government, one of the next 
things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning, 
and perpetuate it to posterity ; dreading to leave an illiterate 
ministry to the churches when our present ministers shall lie 
in the dust. And as we were thinking and consulting how to 
effect this great work, it pleased God to stir up the heart of 
one Mr. Harvard, a godly gentleman and a lover of learning 
then living amongst us, to give the one-half of his estate, it 
being in all about £1700, towards the erecting of a college, 
and all his library. "J 

But the pulpit of New England has after all been its high- 
est educator. In every village and hamlet, in the centre of 
every hill town in the land, stood a humble church edifice, 
in which ofliciated a man of liberal education, and it may 
be said, almost without exception, of gentle manners and of 
much culture and refinement. Possessed of almost imperious 
power, the New England minister moulded the hearts, the 
minds, the manners of the people into his own image. 

And the religious spirit, which was the controlling spirit of 
the New England people, is itself the most refining of all in- 
fluences. Eeligion in its various forms, notwithstanding tlie 

* Mass. Col. Eec, Yol. I., p. 18.-!. 
t Mass, Col. Eec, Vul. I., p. 2.33. 
X New Eoglaad's First Fruifcj, p. 12. 

enormities committed in its name, is the crucial fire that re- 
lieves human life of its dross, and sends forth the pure gold 
of human conduct to enlighten, to vivifj', and to bless the 

"With such surroundings the New England people moulded 
their own destiny. Under such influences they made them- 
selves the Etrurians of the West. 

The settlement of the Connecticut Valley followed close 
upon the settlement of the Bay. The settlers of the valley, as 
it were, on their way from their English homes tarried four 
or five years at the Bay to take a breathing spell before they 
encountered the dangers of the great wilderness in their final 
homes on the great river of New England. 

It will readily be seen, that while the history of the valley 
is in many respects the history of a distinct and separate com- 
munity, yet so bound up are its people in their relations to the 
people at the Bay and in the mother country, that no intelli- 
gible history of the valley can be given without some account 
at least of what and who the settlers were in their English 
homes, and without some account of what the settlers did at 
Plymouth and the Bay. 




The Connecticut Valley in the State of Massachusetts, of 
which this volume treats, extends along both sides of the Con- 
necticut River, across the whole width of the State from north 
to south, and comprises the three counties of Ham[)shire, 
Franklin, and Hampden, named in the order of their erection. 

This territory is bounded on the north by the States of Ver- 
mont and New Hampshire, on the east by the county of Wor- 
cester, on the south by the State of Connecticut, and on the 
west by the county of Berkshire. It has an average length 
from north to south across the State of iibout forty-nine miles, 
and an average width from east to west between Worcester 
and Berkshire Counties of forty miles. It is centrally distant 
on an air-line from Boston about eighty miles, and about one 
hundred miles by the usual travelled route. 

This territory is situated between latitude 42° and 42° 45' 
north, and between longitude 3° 52' and 4° 5' east from Wash- 
ington, and longitude 72° 8' and 73° 4' west from Greenwich. 

According to the last census, taken in the year 1875, the 
population of Hampshire County was 44,821 ; of Franklin 
County, 33,696 ; and of Hampden County, 94,304 ; the whole 
territory included in this history containing a population of 



The county of Hampshire was erected and organized by the 
Colonial General Court, at a session of the same held at Boston, 
on the 7th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1662, by the 
following act, which is copied from the records of the court in 
the original orthography, and is as follows, to wit : 

" At a General Court of Election, held at Boston, 7th day, 3d mouth,? a.b. 166 2 . 

"Forasmuch as the inhabitantsof this jurisdiction are much increased, so that 
now they are planted farre into the country upon Connecticut Biver, who by 

§ May. According to the Julian method of computing time, or what is famil- 
iarly known as Old Style, the civil year began on the 25th day of March, and 
March was called the first month and Februai-y the twelfth. To reconcile this 
method with the historical year, which began January 1, as now, in all dates 
before March 25, both years were given : thus January 2, 1062-63, meant January 
2, 1662, of the civil year, and January 2, 1663, of the historical year. Of couree on 
all dates between March 25 and Dweniber 31, both inclusive, the date of the 
year ran the same in both ciises. Tliia method was used in England and her 
colonies until the Old Style was changed to the New by act of Parliament in 1752. 



reason of their remoteness cannot conveniently be annexed to any of the coun- 
tyes already settled, and that publicke afTaires may with more facility be trans- 
acted according to the lawes heere established, it is ordered by this Court & au- 
thority thereof, that henceforth Springfeild, Noi-thanipton, and Hadley shall be 
and are hereby constituted as a county, the bounds or Ijmitta on the south to 
be the south Ijne of the patent; the extent of other bounds to be full thirty 
miles distant from any or either of the foresajd townes, & what townes or vil- 
lages soever shall heerafter be erected within the foresajd precincts to be & 
belong to the siyd county ; and further that the sajd county shall called Hamp- 
shire, & shall have and enjoy the libertjes & priviledges of any other county; 
& that Springfeild shall be the shire towne theer, & the Courts to be kept one 
time at Springfeild & another time at Northampton ; the like order to be ob- 
served for their shire meetings, that is to say one yeere at one towne and the 
next yeare at the other from time to time. And it is further ordered that all the 
inhabitants of that shier shall pay their publicke rates to the countrey in fatt 
catle, or young catio such as are iitt to be putt off that so no unnecessary damage 
be put on the country ; & in case they make payment in corne then to be made 
at such prises as the lawe doe commonly passe amongst themselves, any other 
former or annuall orders referring to the prises of come notwithsttmding."* 

Hampshire County an Original Couniy of the State. — It 
will be seen from the foregoing record that when Hampshire 
County was erected and organized in the year 1662 it was not 
set off from or carved out of an older county of the colony hut 
it was erected entirely out of virgin territory, never before 
placed under county organization. Hamp.shire County there- 
fore became one of the original or mother counties of the State. 
That such is the fact will be readily seen by reference to the 
first division of the colony or the eastern part of it into coun- 
ties in the year 1643. The following is a copy of the minutes 
of the General Court, from which it will be seen that in the 
first division of the State into counties, although the valley of 
the Connecticut had been settled for .seven years, and Spring- 
field had already been recognized as a town by the General 
Court, it was not included in either county then erected, and 
that its territory formed no part of any county until nineteen 
years afterward, when it was united with Northampton and 
Hadley to form Hampshire County. 

" At a General Court of Election held at Boston, 10th day of the 3d month, 
A.D. 1643. 

" The whole plantation within this jurisdiction is divided into four sJieires, to 

" Essex. Mipplesex. 

Salem, Charlstowne, 

Linn, Cambridge, 

Enon, Watert^iiwn, 

Ipswich, Sudberry, 

Kowley, Concord, 

NewbeiTy, Wooborne, 

Glocester, Meadford, 

Cochichawick. Linn Village. 
" SiTFFOLK. Norfolk. 

Boston, Salsberry, 

Koxbury, Hampton, 

Dorchester, Haverill, 

Dedham, Excetter, 

Braintree, Dover, 

Waymoth, Strawben-y Banck." 

Hingham, (Portsmouth.) 


La7-ge Extent of Old Hampshire County. — It will be seen that 
when first erected, Hampshire County, although containing 
within its limits but three towns, Springfield, Northampton, 
and Hadley, yet in extent of territory it covered all the western 
half of that part of the State then belonging to the colony of 
Massachusetts Bay. It included the western tier of towns of 
what is now Worcester County, and the whole of what are 
now the counties of Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and 

First Division of the County— Towns in Worcester County 
set o/r.— The first division of the territory of Old Hampshire 
County was made by the Provincial General Court in the 
year a.d. 1730, and the fourth year of the reign of George II. 
Below is given the first section of the act, which shows the 

* Mass. G>1. Bee, Vol. IV., Part II., p. 52. 
t See Mass. Col. Kec., Vol. II., p. 38. 

territory affected by it. The act took effect on the 10th day of 
July, 1631. 

*'v4n aci for erecting, graiiling, and maJcing a cmmly in Vie inland parts of this promnce, 
to be called the counttf of Worcester, and for establishing courts of justice within the 

" Sec. 1. Be it enacted by his Excellency the Governor, Council, and Repre- 
sentatives, in general court assembled, and by the authority of the same, that the 
towns and places hereinafter named and exjjressed, that is to say, Worcester, 
Lancaster, Rutland, and Lunenburgh, all in the county of Middlesex; Mendon, 
Woodstock, Oxford, Sutton, including Hilssanamisco, Uxbridge, and the land 
lately granted to several petitioners of Medfield, all in the county of Suffolk, 
Brookfield in the county of Hampshire, and the south town laid out for the Nar- 
ragansett soldiei-s, and all other lands lying within the said townsliips, with the 
inhabitants thereon, shall from and after the tenth day of July, which will be in 
the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundr-ed and thirty-one, be and remain 
one entire and distinct county by the name of Worcester, of which Worcester 
to be the county or shire town, and the said county to have, use, and enjoy all 
such powers, privileges, and immunities as by law other counties within this 
province have and do enjoy."J 

Berh.'ihire County Set Off. — The second division of Old 
Hampshire County was made by the provincial General Court 
in the year a.d. 1761, and the first year of the reign of George 

The first section of the act given below shows what terri- 
torial changes were made by it. The act took effect on the 
30th day of June, 1761. 

"^n Act for dividing the county of Hampshire, and for erecting and estffhlishing a nejv 

cotmty in the icesiei-ly part of the county of Hampshire, to be called the cotuity of 

BerJ:shire, and for establishing courts of justice within the same. 

*' Whereas, The great extent of the county of Hampshire makes it convenient 

and necessary that there should be a new county erected and established in the 

westerly part thereof: 

" Sec. 1. Be it therefore enacted by the Governor, Council, and House of Rep- 
resentatives, that the towns and plantjitions hereinafter mentioned, that is to 
say, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Egremont, New Marlborough, Poontoosack, New 
Framinghara, West Hoosack, Number One, Number Three, and Number Four, 
and all other lands included in the following limits, viz. : beginning at the west- 
ern line of Gi-anvill where it touches the Connecticut line, to run northerly as 
far as said west line of Granvill runs, thence easterly to the southwest corner of 
Blandford, and to run by the west line of the same town tti the northeast corner 
thereof, from thence northerly in a direct line to the s<:)utheast corner of Num- 
ber Four, and so running by the easterly line of said Number Four to the uortli- 
east corner thereof, and thence in a direct course to the soutlieast corner of 
Charlemont, and so northerly in the corner of tlie west lino of the same town till 
it comes to the north bound of the province, and northerly on the line between 
this province and the province of New Hampshire, southerly on the Connecticut 
line, and on the west by the utmost limits of this province, shall from and after 
the thirtieth day of June, one thousand seven hundred and sixty one, be and 
remain one entire and distinct county by the name of Berkshire, of which Shef- 
field tor the present to be the county or shire town ; and the said county to have, 
use, and enjoy all such powei-s, privileges, and immunities as by law other coun- 
ties in this province have and do enjoy."g 

Present Extent of Hampshire Couniy. — After Berkshire 
County was set off no changes were made in Hampshire 
County until the years 1811 and 1812, when it was again 
divided for the third and fourth time, and Franklin and 
Hampden set off in those years respectively. Up to the year 

1811, when Franklin County was set off, Hampshire had in- 
creased its number of towns in the territory still remaining 
to it to sixty-three. Of these, Franklin County took off 
twenty-four in 1811, and Hampden took eighteen towns in 

1812, leaving twenty-one towns in Hampshire County remain- 
ing after the fourth and last division. To these two have 
since been added, and Hampshire now contains twenty-three 
towns, and is bounded as follows, to wit : north by Frank- 
lin County, east by Worcester County, south by Hampden 
County, and west by Berkshire. 

The several towns now belonging to Hampshire County arc, 
with the dates of their incorporation, respectively as follows, 
to wit : 

Amherst, incorporated Feb. 13, 1759. 

Belohertown, " June 30, 1761. 

Chesterfield, " June 11, 1762. 

CuMMiNGTON, " • June 23, 1779. 

Easthampton, " June 17, 1785. 

X See Ancient Cliarters and Colony and Provincial Laws of Mass. Bay, p. 484. 
I Ibid., p. 038. 



Enfield, incorporated 

Goshen, " 

Granby, " 

Greenwich, " 

Hadlet, " 

Hatfield, " 

Huntington, " 


Northampton, organized 
Pblham, incorporated 
Plainfield, " 

Prescott, " 

South Hadley, " 
Southampton, " 
Ware, " 

Westhampton, " 
Williamsburgh, " 
Worthinqton, " 

Peb. 16, 181G. 
May 14, 1784. 
June 11, 1768. 
April 20, 1754. 
May 20, 1661. 
May 31, 1670. 
June 29, 1773. 
March 11, 1783. 
Oct. 18, 16.54. 
Jan. 15, 1742. 
March 16, 1785. 
Jan. 28, 1822. 
April 12, 1753. 
Jan. 5, 1753. 
Nov. 25, 1761. 
Sept. 29, 1778. 
April 24, 1771. 
June 30, 1761. 


franklin county. 
The county of Pranklin was set off from Hampshire by an 
act of the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts, passed on the 24th day of June, a.d. 1811, the first sec- 
tion of which, indicating the territorial changes involved in 
the division, is given below, and is as follows, to wit : 

"An Act to fUride the county of Hampshire and coiistUttte the northerly part thereof into 

a county by the name of the comity of Franklin, 

" Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
aasenibled, and by the authority of the same: 

" That the county of Hampshire shall be divided by a line beginning on the 
westerly line of the county of Worcester, at the west corner of the town of Peter- 
sham, in said county of Worcester ; thence southerly, following the cast line of 
the town of New Salem, to the southeast corner of said New Salem ; thence 
westerly on the southerly lines of the towns of New Salem and Shutesbury to 
the southwesterly corner of the town of Shutesbury ; thence northerly on the 
line of Shutesbury to the southerly line of the town of Levorett ; thence westerly 
on the southerly lines of the towns of Leverett and Sunderland, to Connecticut 
Kiver; then beginning on the west bank of said river at the southeasterly cor^ 
ner of the town of Whatelj' ; then westerly and northerly upon the line of said 
Whately to the southerly line of the town of Conway ; thence westerly and north- 
erly upon the line of said Conway to the southeasterly corner of the town of 
Ashficid ; thence westerly and northerly upon the line of the said Ashfield to the 
southeasterly corner of the town of Hawloy ; thence westerly upon the line of 
said Hawley t^3 the easterly line of the county of Berkshire. 

" And the bounds of the county, by this Act created, on the east shall be the 
line heretofore estnblished between the counties of Hampshire and Worcester, 
and on the west by the line between the counties of Hampshire and Berkshire, 
and on the north by the north line of the Commonwealth. 

" Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That all and every part and parcel of the late 
county of Hampshire included within the lines before described shall be and the 
same is hereby formed and created into an entire and distinct county by the name 
of Franklin, of which Greenfield shall be the shire or county town. And the 
inhabitants of the said county of Franklin shall hold, possess, use, exercise, and 
enjoy all tlie powers, rights, and immunities which by the constitution and laws 
of this Commonwealth the inhabitants of any county within the same do hold, 
possess, use, exercise, enjoy, and are entitled to."* 

Franklin County is bounded north by the States of Vermont 
and New Hampshire, on the east by the county of Worcester, 
on the south by the county of Hampshire, and on the west by 
the county of Berkshire. When first erected Pranklin County 
contained but twenty-four towns. Two towns have since been 
added, and the county of Pranklin now contains twenty-six 
towns as named below, with the respective dates of their incor- 

Ashfield, incorporated June 21, 1765. 









March 6, 1762. 
April 14, 1779. 
June 21, 1765. 
June .30, 1761. 
June 16, 1767. 
May 24, 1682. 
April 17, 18.38. 
Sept. 28, 1793. 

* Laws of Massachusetts. 

Greenfield, incorporated June 9, 1753. 







New Salem, 










Feb. 7, 1792. 
Feb. 14, 1785. 
May, 1774. 
Feb. 22, 1809. 
Feb. 21, 1822. 
Dec. 22, 1753. 
June 15, 1753. 
Feb. 22, 1713. 
Feb. 24, 1810. 
Feb. 9, 1785. 
June 21, 1768. 
June 30, 1761. 
Nov. 12, 1714c^ 
Feb. 17, 1763. 
May 8, 1781. 
April 24, 1771. 



A few months after the county of Franklin was set off from 
Hampshire County the last-named county was again divided 
for the fourth and last time, and the county of Hampden 
erected on its southern border. Hampden County was erected 
and organized on the 20th day of February, a.d. 1812, by an 
act passed by the General Court, the first section of which is 
given below, .showing the territorial changes made therein : 

"An Act for dividing the cotmty of Hampshire, and erecting and forming tJie southerly/ 

part thereof into a separate county, by the name of Hampden. 

"Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in general 
court assembled, and by authority of the same. That the county of Hampshire 
be and is hereby divided ; and the following towns, in the southerly part thereof, 
be and hereby are erected and formed int4.> a county by the name of Hampden, 
that is to say, Springfield, Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Monson, Holland, Brim- 
field, South Brimfield, Palmer, Ludlow, West Springfield, Westfield, Montgom- 
ery, Russell, Blandford, Granville, Southwick, Tolland, and Chester, of which 
Springfield shall be the shire town; and that all that part of said county of 
Hampshire included within the boundaries of the towns before mentioned shall 
be deemed and taken to compose the said county of Hampden. And the inhab- 
itants of the said county of Hampden shall have, use, exercise, and enjoy all such 
powers, rights, privileges, and immiinities as by the constitution and laws of this 
Commonwealth other counties within the same have, use, exercise, and enjoy." 

Hampden County is bounded north by the county of Hamp- 
shire, east by the county of Worcester, south by the State of 
Connecticut, and west by the county of Berkshire. At the 
date of its organization Hampden County contained but 
eighteen towns. Four towns have since been erected, and it 
now contains twenty-two towns as named below, with the 
dates of incorporation respectively : 

Agawam, incorporated May 17, 1855. 

Blanford, " April 10, 1741. 

Brimfield, " July 14, 1731. 

CHE.STER, " Oct. 31, 1765. 

Chicopee, " April 29, 1848. 

Granville, " Jan. 25, 1754. 

Hampden, " March 28, 1878. - 

Holland, " July 5, 1785. 

Holyoke,f " March 14, 18.50. 

Longmeadow, " Oct. 17, 1783. 

Ludlow, " Feb. 28, 1774. 

Monson, " April 25, 1760. 

Montgomery, " Nov. 28, 1780. 

Palmer, " Jan. 30, 1752. 

Russell, " Feb. 25, 1792. 

Southwick, " Nov. 17, 1770. 

Spriiigfield,X organized May 14, 1636. 

Tolland, incorporated June 14, 1810. 

Wales, " Sept. 18, 1762. 

Westfield, " May 16, 1069. Springfield, incorporated Feb. 23, 1774. 

Wilbraham, " Jan. 15, 1763. 

t City. 






For convenient reference in connection with the above, a 
list of the remaining counties of the State, as now divided, is 
given below, with the date of the organization of each : 

Barnstable, organized June 2, 1685. 

Bristol, " June 2, 1685. 

Dukes,* " Nov. 1, 1683. 

Essex, " May 10, 1643. 

Middlesex, " May 10, 1643. 

Nantucket, " June 20, 1695. 

Norfolk,! " March 26, 1793. 

Plymouth, " June 2, 1685. 

Suffolk, " May 10, 1043. 




The distinguishing topographical characteristics of the re- 
markably interesting region of wliich this work treats are a 
wide valley stretching entirely across the State from north to 
south, through the centre of which winds a broad and beauti- 
ful stream which has been aptly called the "Nile of New 
England," the valley terminating ou eitlier side at the foot of 
mountain ranges, while a tliird mountain range uplifts its rug- 
ged and deeply-serrated clifls along the central parts of tlie 
valley. Such are the main features, the grand outlines of the 
valley of the Connecticut in Massachusetts. As seen from the 
top of one of its central peaks or from the towering hills on 
either side, or even from the arsenal tower at Springfield, no 
fairer scene anywhere greets the human vision than this valley, 
— rock-ribbed on either hand and centrally mountain-crowned. 

The valley of the Connecticut River in New England seems 
to be a deep downward fold of the ranges of the great Appa- 
lachian mountain system of the Atlantic slope of tlie conti- 
nent. This mountain system extends the whole length of the 
Atlantic slope of the continent from Nova Scotia on the north 
to Florida on the south. 

Through New England and Eastern New York the separate 
ranges of this great mountain system seem to all trend nearly 
due north and south obliquely to the general direction of the 
whole system. Thus we have in Eastern New York and ex- 
treme Western Massachusetts the Taconic range bordering the 
valley of the Hudson and blending its peaks with the Green 
Mountains on the east. In New England are the Green Moun- 
tain range, continued by the Berkshire hills bordering the Con- 
necticut Valley on the west, and the White Mountain range, 
extending far southward through the States of New Hamp- 
shire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, toward Long Island 
Sound, bordering the valley of the Connecticut River ou the 

The Connecticut Valley, however, differs from its sister val- 
ley of the Hudson in its greater width, although resembling 
it in length and in its general direction north and south. 

Tlie average width of the Connecticut Valley through the 
State of Massachusetts is about twenty miles. Towards tiie 
south it widens into broad plains, but grows narrow towards 
tlie north. It terminates abruptly on either hand in some- 
what precipitous mountain sides, while through its centre rises 

* Dukes County was organized by the Duke of York as one of tlio counties of 
the province of New York, but was finally allotted to Massachusetts. 

+ The original county of Norfolk, organized May 10, 1643, contiiiued some of 
the northern towns of what is now Essex County ami a part of what is now tho 
State of New Uarapshirc afljoining. It is known as Old Norfolk to historians. 

another mountain range singular in its formation and greatly 
diversifj-ing the scenery of the charming valley. This other 
range is the Mount Holyoke, Mount Tom, Mount Toby, and 
Sugar-Loaf ranges of Red Sandstone and Trapean rocks. 

This last-named range extends northerly from the south line 
of the State along the west side of the river, about equidistant 
between Springfield and Westfield, into the high precipitous 
sides of Mount Tom, crosses the Connecticut below Northamp- 
ton, bends easterly, and ends in the rugged, jagged peaks of 
Mount Holyoke. Farther to the north this central range ap- 
pears again in the knobs of two Sugar-Loaf Mountains and the 
conical summit of Mount Toby, and extends into the high, pre- 
cipitous ridges near Greenfield. 


The two ranges of highlands which border the valley of 
the Connecticut in Massachusetts are in reality vast swells 
of laud stretching across the State, each witli a width of forty 
or fifty miles, and of an average elevation of a thousand feet 
above tide-water. These broad swells of highlands form a 
base from which rise many mountains, sometimes in chains, 
and at others in isolated groups of peaks rising to an altitude 
several thousand feet higher than their base, and which fill 
up both the eastern and western towns of the three valley 
counties with the wild and rugged grandeur of their mountain 
masses. Tliese two mountain belts, however, difl'er somewhat 
in their structure and form of outline. 


The western belt, bearing the general name of the Green 
Mountains, is made up of two mountain chains, more or less 
continuous, between which the valley of the Housatonic runs 
through the central and southern part, while between the 
northern part runs the valley of the Hoosac. The western 
range of this belt is the Taconic range. The eastern range of 
this belt, extending between the Housatonic Valley and the 
valley of the Connecticut, which is properly the extension 
of the Green Mountain range into Massachusetts, and which 
is commonly called the " Berkshire Hills," is an extremely 
rugged elevation, averaging in height from one thousand to 
fifteen hundred feet. This range is deeply furrowed by the 
transverse valleys of the Agawam or Westfield River on the 
south, and the Deerfield River on the north. Stretching over 
these rugged hills lie the western hill towns of Hampshire, 
Franklin, and Hampden Counties. Between Westfield and 
Pittsfield the Boston and Albany Railroad bed attains an ele- 
vation of fourteen hundred and seventy-five feet in crossing 
this range. On the northern border of the State, the Hoosac 
Tunnel road-bed runs under this range at a depth of eighteen 
hundred feet below the surface of the mountain. 


The broad belt of highland bordering the Connecticut Val- 
ley in Massachusetts on the east seems to have no continuous 
mountain range, like the great western belt, but is a broad, 
undulating swell of highlands, rising on an average about a 
thousand feet. Over this belt stretch the eastern mountain 
or hill towns of the river counties. 

Of the central range, in the valley. Mount Tom is twelve 
hundred and fourteen and Mount Holyoke eleven hundred 
and twenty feet above the level of the sea. 

Of the western belt. Mount Graylock, in the northwestern 
part of the State, in Berkshire County, rises to the height of 
three thousand five hundred and five feet above tide. 

Of the eastern belt Wa-tat-ick is eighteen hundred, and Wa- 
chu-sett over two thousand feet above tide- water. 

Tlie two great belts run near to each other in the northern 
part of the State, until above Greenfield their masses almost 
interlock, while to the south they separate into a broad valley. 





The principal running waters of the Connecticut Valley in 
Massachusetts are the Connecticut Kiver, the Agawam or 
Westtield River, the Chicopee Kiver, Miller's River, the Mill 
River of Springtiekl, the Mill River of Northampton, the 
Green River, the Beerlield River, and numerous smaller 

The Connecticut River, the great river of New England, 
— the old Indian Quo7i-eh-ti-cut, meaning in their tongue the 
"long tidal river,"* — rises on one of the high ridges of the 
great Appalachian mountain chain, which serves as the division 
line — the water-shed — between the United States and Canada, 
at the extreme northern limit of the State of New Hampsliire, 
and running southerly down the mountain slope, between the 
States of Vermont and New Hampshire, enters the State of 
Massachusetts in the charming valley above described, and 
winding through it tlien crosses the State of Connecticut and 
empties into Long Island Sound. 

Its length is four hundred miles. Through its whole course it 
separates two broad belts of highland, while a series of terraces 
breaks the level of its bed. In the first quarter of its course 
down the mountain slope, between its source and the mouth 
of the Pa-sam-sic River, opposite the White Mountains, its 
descent is twelve hundred feet. At this point its bed is four 
hundred feet above tlie sea. In eighty miles farther to Bel- 
low's Falls, Vermont, it descends one hundred feet. From 
thence to Deerfield it sinlss one hundred and sixty feet ; 
from Deerfield to Springfield it falls one hundred feet more, 
leaving its bed at Springfield but forty feet above the level of 
the sea. Its average width between Mount Tom and the 
north line of the State is about eight hundred feet. 

Its average breadth between Mount Tom and the Connecti- 
cut line is not far from twelve hundred feet, and witli a deptli 
of water below Holyolce sufficient to float vessels of considera- 
ble tonnage. At Holyolie costly and extensive hydraulic works 
have been constructed, producing, it is claimed, the greatest 
artificial water-power in the world. Its channel is remarka- 
bly clear of islands in its "course through the State, and 
presents a broad and majestic appearance, sweeping in mag- 
nificent curves between its lofty banks, greatly resembling in 
this respect the lower Mississippi. 

In certain localities, as at Holyoke, its waters flow directly 
over the red sandstone of the valley, but for the greater part 
of the distance through the county the bed of the river is com- 
posed of alluvial deposits, — sand, gravel, and bowlders. 

In seasons of annual floods it overspreads its banks, and 
covers the lowest bottom lands sometimes for miles. This 
annual overflow produces the same result as in the case of the 
Nile in Egypt, acting as a thorough fertilizer by reason of the 
rich silt which it holds in solution. In some places the meadow 
lands are protected from floods by dykes or levees, similar in 
construction to those of the lower Mississippi, though gener- 
ally of smaller dimensions. 

The Agawam, or Westfield River, as it is often called, rises 
in the eastern part of Berkshire County, among the Green 
Mountains, and flows in a southeastern course a distance of 
about fifty miles, to the Connecticut. Its eastern and largest 
branch unites with the middle and western branches in the 
town of Huntingdon. The two last-named branches enter 
the town of Chester from the northwest, and flow diagonally 
through it to the junction in Huntingdon. From thence the 
main stream flows through or between the towns of Mont- 
gomery, Russell, Westfleld, West Springfield, and Agawam, 
and unites with the Connecticut by several mouths nearly 
opposite the city of Springfield. The Little River, which heads 
in Blandford, Granville, and Tolland, unites with it a short 
distance below the village of Westfield. Its other principal 

* Trumbuirs History of Connecticut. 

affluents are Mill Brook, in Westfield, and Great Brook, which 
heads in Southwicli, and discharges into the main stream near 
the east line of Westfield. 

The Agawam is a rapid stream, and affords with its numer- 
ous branches an abundant supply of water-power, which is 
extensively utilized in numerous localities. It has a number 
of islands in its channel. 

The CnicoPEEf River is formed by the union of three con- 
siderable streams, the Swift, Ware, and Qnnhoin/ Rivers, in the 
western part of the town of Palmyra. The curious nieander- 
ings of these streams in the vicinity of their junction gave 
rise in early times to a local name — " The Elbows" — which is 
still to some extent in use.f 

Swift River rises for the most part in Petersham, Worcester 
County, and New Salem and Shutesbury, in Franklin County, 
and flows in a direction a little west of south through the east- 
ern part of Hampshire County to its junction with Ware River 
on the town line of Palmer. 

Ware Kiver takes its rise in the northern-central portions 
of Worcester County, and flows in a direction nearly southwest 
to its junction with the Quaboag River. 

The Quaboag River is formed by the union of numerous 
branches in the southwest part of Worcester County, and flows 
in a general direction a little south of west to the village of 
Three Rivers, where it unites with Ware River. It forms the 
southern and eastern boundary of the town of Palmer for a 
distance of about eight miles. From Three Rivers to its union 
with the Connecticut the stream bears the name of Chickopee 
River. It forms the boundary between the towns of Ludlow, 
Wilbraham, and Springfield, and for a short distance between 
the last-named town and Chicopee. It pursues a tortuous 
course through the latter town, and there are several import- 
ant islands in its channel. Its principal affluents below Three 
Rivers are Broad Brook in Ludlow, Twelve-Mile Brook in 
Wilbraham, and Higher and Field Brooks in C/i>co]>ee. The 
Quaboag River receives the waters of a considerable stream 
(Elbow Brook) in Brimfield, and the Chicopee Brook unites 
with it from Monson. The Chicopee River and its numerous 
branches aflbrds extensive power, which is emplo3'ed in nu- 
merous places in driving machinery. The best water-power 
on the stream is in the town of Chicopee, where two thriving 
villages have grown up in recent years. 

The QuiNNEBAUO River drains a small region in the ex- 
treme eastern end of the county, and the Scti/ific Brook, which 
discharges into the Connecticut in East Windsor, Conn., drains 
the southern portion of Wilbraham and the eastern part of 

In the western part of the county, Farmington River 
drains the greater part of the towns of Tolland and Granville. 

Mill River, of Springfield, rises in the central parts of the 
old town of Wilbraham, and flowing west through Spring- 
field, discharges into the Connecticut in the southern suburbs 
of the city. It furnishes considerable power, which is utilized 
for various purposes in the city. The two branches unite in 
what is called Water Shops Pond.| Longmeadow and Pe- 
cowsic Brooks, in the town of Longmeadow, flow into the 
Connecticut, the former in the southwest part of the town, and 
the latter a little north of the Springfield line. Three-Mile 
Brook and Still and Philo Brooks are in Agawam. 

The Deerfield River takes its rise among the Green 
Mountains of Southern Vermont, entering Massachusetts in 
the extreme northwest corner of Franklin County, between the 
towns of Monroe and Rowe. After skirting for a while the 
easterly line of Berkshire County, where it touches the east 

t Michel Saiattis, an Iiiiliau of the AJiroudacks, says CTie-cau-jiee means the 
place of many springs. 
X The land in this vicinity was long known as the "Elbow Tract." 
g Tliis pond, which extends for nearly three miles, is produced by the dam 
erected by the United States Government to furnish power for what arc known 
as the " Water Shops," which are a portion of the armory works. 



end of the Hoosac Tunnel, it bends easterly, and running 
centrally throughout Franklin County, reaches the Connecti- 
cut Eiver in the north end of the town of Deerfield. Along 
its course are many important water-powers, and its deep 
valley, winding among the mountains, leaves the Troy and 
Greenfield Eailroad by easy grades from the Connecticut 
Valley to the mouth of the Hoosac Tunnel, through which 
the road-bed runs under the mountain for the distance of four 
and a half miles, and nearly two thousand feet beneath its 
summit, being one of the modern wonders of the world. 

The Mill River of Northampton rises, one branch of it, 
in Goshen, Hampshire County ; another in Southern Franklin 
County, and runs southeasterly through Williamsburgh and 
Northampton to the Connecticut. This stream is famous for 
recent disasters by flood, occasioned by the breaking away of 
reservoirs situated among the hills near its source, an account 
of which is given in succeeding chapters. 

MiLLEK's River is one of the larger streams which run into 
the Connecticut from the east. It rises in the northeastern 
part of "Worcester County, enters Franklin in the town of 
Orange, runs westerly between Wendell and Erving, and then 
westerly and northerly between Erving and Montague to the 

Green River rises near the Vermont line, and runs south- 
erly between Leyden and Colerain and through Greenfield 
and a part of Deerfield to the Deerfield River. 

Other Streams. — There are are many ponds and numer- 
ous other streams of more or less importance watering the 
territory of the three counties of which this history treats, all 
of which are described in the histories of the several towns.* 

Paucatock Brook rises in the northwestern part of Holyoke, 
and draining Wright's and Ashley's Ponds in the same town, 
flows south through West Springfield, and unites with the 
Agawam River in the southwest part of that town. A branch 
of the Monhan River takes its rise on the eastern flank of 
Mount Tom, runs several miles south, to near the centre of 
Holyoke in the western part, and then, making a detour, 
leaves the town near its northwest corner, and flowing along 
the base of the mountain, unites with another branch and 
flows into the Connecticut at the base of the mountain on 
the north. 





The rocky groundwork of the Connecticut Valley in Mas- 
sachusetts, while it does not present as many fossils as some 
regions, yet so rich and varied is its structure that it possesses 
many curious features of surpassing interest to the geological 
student.-)- But it is not within the province or scope of this 

* The following account of the fisheries in the valley is from the diiiry of the 
late Sewell White, of ^Yest Springfield : 


" Not a salmon has been caught in the Connecticut Biver for a good many 
years, and the shad-fishery has gradually declined ever since the canal dam was 
built at South Hadley. 

" They collected in great schotds at the foot of the rapids, and would not ven- 
ture to go up the river until the water was settled so that they could see their 
way through the rumble-jumble of the Imiling watei-s. 

" Two thousand shad were once taken at one haul at the foot of tlie falls, at 
the place called Old Sluggard, and in one case twenty-five shad were tjiken at 
one dip by a scoop net. It is saiil that the shad took fright and went down over 
Willimanset in such a school as to cause the river to rise two inches." 

f Acknowledgments are due to Prof. \\'ni. N. Rice, of Wesleyan Univei-sity, 
Middletown, Conn., for valuable suggestions uiMni the geology of the Connecticut 

work to enter minutely into the details of this interesting sub- 
ject, and no more will be attempted here than to give its general 
outlines so far as the subject relates to the economic interests 
and historical associations of the valley. 

And this outline will relate principally to the departments 
of Historical and Physiographic geology, leaving to the inter- 
ested student the inviting fields of Lithological and Dynamical 
geology, of which the region is so rich in specimens and natu- 
ral illustrations, to be studied in the field itself here spread out 
before him in superabundant richness or in the special works . 
devoted to the science. 

Geology has been defined as the science of the structure of 
the earth. It aims to show not only what the rocky structure 
of the earth is, but it also treats of the origin of its structure. 
It is therefore an historical science, and unfolds to us to some 
extent the mysteries of the world's creation. The earth itself, 
like the plant or animal it sustains on its surface, is a thing of 
growth, of development from the original chaos when " it was 
without form and void" into its present wonderfully compli- 
cated and varied structure. The different periods of this 
growth and development are more or less distinctly marked 
upon the earth's rocky structure by the various fossil forms of 
vegetable and animal life found therein. These fossil forms 
of organic nature seem to rise successively from the lowest 
forms of dawning life found in the oldest rocks up through 
all the wondrous scale of being to the present age of man, the 
crowning life of all. So every rock marks a period in the 
earth's growth, every group of rocks an age, and still larger 
groups, called geologic systems, mark great eras of geologic 

The extremely interesting geologic features of the Connecti- 
cut Valley and its surroundings can be best explained bj' refer- 
ring to the geologic eras and ages of the world based upon the 
progress of life and living things, as shown by successive rocky 

The subdivisions of geologic time are eras, ages, and periods. 

The eras are five in number, marked in all by seven ages 
and each by various periods. 

I. — ARCH.EAN Era, including Azoic and Eozoic {The 
Dawn of Life). 

1. The Laurentian Age — Upper and Lower. 
II.— Pal.eozoic Era (Old Life). 

2. The Silurian or Age of Mollusks. 

3. The Devonian or Age of Fishes. 

4. The Carboniferous or Age of Coal Plants. 
III. — Mesozoic Era (Middle Life). 

5. The Reptilian Age. 

IV.— Cenozoic Era (Plant Life). 

6. The Age of Mammals (Tertiary). 
V. — PsYCHOZOic Era (Era of Mind). 

7. The Age of Man ((Quaternary). 

The geological formations found in the Connecticut Valley 
and its bordering mountain ranges present rocks which mark 
only a few periods of the ages indicated by the above table, 
but those represented present many features of peculiar interest 
to the scientific inquirer. 



It seems to be the favorite theory of the New England geol- 
ogists of the Hitchcock and Dana schools that all the older 
rocks of the region have been metamorphosed., that is to say, 
these rocks were originally sedimentary sandstones, lime- 
stones, and clays deposited in the ocean's bed, like the Silu- 
rian beds of central New York, and that by the action of heat 
and the presence of superincumbent strata they wore changed 
into granite, gneiss, schists, slates, and other hard crystalline 
rocks. That during the change the most of the fossil remains 
of the primeval animals and plants they contained in their 
original structure were obliterated. Indeed, Mr. Dana claims 



that evRii the oldest Lavirentian rocks of Northern New York 
and Canada are all metamorphic in their nature. Yet, 
while this theory would seem to be the true one in regard to 
most of the New England strata, it is open to grave doubts as 
to the Laurentian. Rather does it seem that the old or Lower 
Laurentian rocks, and perhaps the Upper Laurentian, not- 
withstanding the high authority of Mr. Dana is to the con- 
trary, are not metamorphic in their nature, but are original 
rocks, in which the materials which constitute their structure 
have stood through countless ages in changeless relation to 
each other since they first crystallized, as it were in each other's 
arras, in the slowly-cooling crust of the intensely-heated pri- 
meval earth. 

Yet, whether these crystalline beds in Massachusetts are 
metamorphic, or are the result of successive upheavals of 
original rocks, in tracing out the developments of the conti- 
nent from its Archaean beginnings in the old Laurentian, 
such has been the disturbance and upheaval of strata in the 
region bordering the valley of the Connecticut, that it has 
been so far a matter of extreme difficulty to correlate their 
various groui)S with those of known ago in the State of New 
Y'ork, west of the Hudson River, which have given to geologi- 
cal science its American nomenclature. 

It would seem, however, that the Azoic and Eozoic rocks 
were pretty well represented in various beds of granite, gneiss, 
syenite, mica schist, and other crystalline rocks found in the 
region. But all these formations belong to an age, it would 
seem, far younger than the Laurentian. 

The Eozoic rocks are divided by geologists into three great 
series, constituting the lowest accessible portion of the earth's 

These three scries of old crystalline rocks are the old or 
Lower Laurentian, the Upper Laurentian, sometimes called 
the Labradorian, and the Huronian. To some one, if not all, of 
these three divisions of the ancient rocks geologists now refer 
the gneissic rocks of the Hoosac Mountain range, the gneiss 
flanking on both sides the sandstones of the Connecticut 
Valle}', and the mica schists associated with the granite about 
Amherst and Loverett. 

Gneiss. — In the mountain towns of the eastern portions of 
the three counties of Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden, 
which border the beds of sand rock on the east, the prevailing 
and almost the only rock found is Gneiss, sometimes wrongly 
called granite. Gneiss, like granite, is composed of the three 
minerals, — feldspar, quartz, and mica ; but the crystals of 
these minerals in granite are confusedly mixed together, while 
in gneiss they are arranged in a stratified form or in layers. 
This rock here is mostly light gray in color. An example 
of this gneiss is seen in what is commonly called the " Mon- 
son Granite," much used for building purposes. 

West of the sandstone region of the valley the crystalline 
rocks underlying the western mountain towns of the coun- 
ties of Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden are much more 
diversified than those east of the valley. While on the east 
the prevailing rock is gneiss, on the west there are belts of 
talcose schist, mica schist, calciferous mica schist and granite, 
as well as gneiss. 

Calciferous Mica Schlst. — A wide belt of this rock un- 
derlies most of the western mountain towns of Franklin and 
Hampshire and the northern towns of Hampden County, the 
belt terminating in a point in Granville. Above Northamp- 
ton this belt borders on the sandstones of the valley. 

In this belt " numerous thin beds of dark siliceous lime- 
stones," says Prof. C. H. Hitchcock, of Dartmouth, "are in- 
terstratified with the schists. These increase at the expense 
of the other beds in passing north, and in Canada they pre- 
dominate, containing characteristic fossils of the Upper Si- 
lurian system, especially, those belonging to the Niagara 
limestone of New York.\. . . In Bernardstown there is a 
thick bed of limestone containing numerous fragments of the 


stems of enormous crinoids. Similar ones occur in the upper 
Helderberg group of New York, belonging to the Devonian 
system." Soapstone is also found in Blandford, Chester, 
Rome, Granville, and other towns. 

Talcose Schist. — West of the above-named belt of cal- 
ciferous mica schist, a narrow belt of talcose schist stretches 
across the extreme western ends of the three valley counties 
and borders the easterly line of the gneiss belt of the Hoosac 
Tunnel range in eastern Berkshire County. In this there are 
bands of magnesian rocks, — either dolomite, serpentine, or soap- 
stone. In Middleford, Hampshire Co., in the line of this belt, 
is found the most important soapstone quarry in the country. 
In Chester there has lately been discovered and worked the 
rare mineral called emery. This bed of emery was discovered 
by Dr. H. L. Lucas, of Chester, in the j'car 1856, and has 
since been profitably worked. 

Granite. — There are several beds of granite, of small ex- 
tent, lying within the limits of the three counties, the most 
important of which is the formation extending from the 
corners of Ashfield and Goshen, southerly through parts of 
Go.shen, Williamstown, Chesterfield, Northampton, West- 
bampton, Easthampton, and Southampton, and so on, bor- 
dering the sandstone on the west to the Connecticut line, 
between Granville and Southwick. In this granite bed, and 
between it and the mica schist, lead ore has been found in con- 
siderable quantities in several of the towns above named. In 
Northampton lead was known to exist as early as 1767, and 
bullets were cast of it during the Revolution. 

Trap or Basalt. — In the midst of the sandstone beds of 
the valley a remarkable formation, possessing but little eco- 
nomic value, but of great interest to the student of geology, 
exists in a singular upheaval of the rock belonging to the 
Archiean age, known as trap, basalt, or greenstone. This 
formation consists of the Mt>unts Tom and Holyoke range. 
In some wonderful convulsion of nature the beds of valley 
sandstones, although supposed to have been of the remarkable 
thickness of many thousand feet, were suddenly rent asunder, 
and up through the fissures came in molten form these im- 
mense masses of trap rocks, which, cooling as they rose, har- 
dened into abrupt mountain ranges. This trap range ex- 
tends from the northern part of Massachusetts down through 
the valley of the Connecticut River in somewhat lengthy 
mountain ranges, or in isolated groups of hills to New Haven, 
where it ends in East and West Rock. This rock is intensely 
hard, and much dreaded by railroad men in making exca- 

Besides the minerals mentioned in the foregoing pages as 
occurring in and among the crystalline rocks, are several 
others, including ores of iron, oxide of manganese, etc., a 
description of which will be found in the histories of the towns 
in which they occur. 


To the Palaeozoic era, the era of old life, the rocks of which 
rest in their natural position upon and next above the old 
crystalline rocks, belong the stratified deposited rocks of the 
Silurian, or age of mollusks, the Devonian, or age of fishes, and 
the Carboniferous, or age of coal plants. 

The rocks of this era are scarcely represented within the 
boundaries of the three river counties. Small isolated patches 
exist here and there. 


In the valley of the Connecticut the Mesozoic era, — the era of 
middle life, — distinguished by the age of reptiles, finds its fit- 
ting representative in the vast beds of what is commonly called 
red sandstone, and known to science as Trlnssic sandshme and 
conqlomcrate. This rock is above all others the distinguish- 
ing feature of the groundwork of the Connecticut Valley. It 
is in great part of a dark-red color, and lies in stratified beds. 



The upper beds seem to consist of fine sand hardened into 
rock, and often present the appearance of slates and shales. 
The lower beds consist mainly of coarse sand and gravel, often 
mixed with bowlders, some of which are known to measure 
four feet in diameter. This diflTerence in the structure of this 
rock has led some geologists to suppose that it consisted of two 
formations, — the Permian of the upper coal measures, belonging 
to the Palseozoic era, and the Triassic period of the Mesozoic 
era. But the better opinion now seems to be that it all belongs 
to the Triassic period. 

On the Connecticut State line the bed of sand rook is nearly 
twenty miles in width. As it extends up the river it covers a 
space from four to eight miles in width until it narrows to 
about one mile on the north line of the State. This bed is com- 
puted to be of an average thickness of from three thousand to 
fourteen thousand feet. The strata of this rock, throughout its 
whole extent in the valley, have a dip or indication varying 
from fifty to thirty degrees, — always in an easterly direction, — 
the dip being the greatest on the western side throughout the 
valley. This dip of the sand rock strata does not seem to have 
been affected in the least by the trap irruption through its 
centre part. It is probable that this red sand rock once filled 
the valley nearly to a level with the summit of Mount Tom, 
more than a thousand feet of it having been ground up and 
carried away by glacial action and the war of the elements. 

The question arises. How was this immense bed of sand rock 
formed ? The obvious answer to this question is, the valley 
far back in the geologic ages was an estuary, or arm of the 
sea. Its bottom and shores were formed by the gneiss rocks 
on the east, and the mica schist on the west, while the two 
met together somewhere in the centre of its bottom, perhaps 
where the trap afterwards came up through. Into this com- 
paratively quiet estuary the streams from the hills and moun- 
tains around washed the sand and gravel formed by the wearing 
away of the rocks by the action of the elements. The sand 
and gravel so washed into this estuary settled to the bottom, 
and in the course of long ages it became gradually hardened 
into rock and filled up the valley. After the valley was filled 
with the sand rock to such great depths, the whole continent 
must have arisen from the water into something like its present 
position. After the glacial denudation this valley must have 
again sunk below the sea-level, and have been again filled 
up with the beds of sand, clay, and gravel that are now found 
in it. Again rising from the waters, it became fit for the 
habitation of man. 


But the most interesting things about this bed of sand rock 
are the fossil foot-prints to be found between its strata. The 
ancient foot-marks occur in some thirty places in the valley of 
the Connecticut between the upper strata. They must have 
been made by the animals and birds of the period walking in 
the soft mud of the shallow bottom of the estuary while the tide 
was out and the water low. During low tide the mud dried 
rapidl}' in the then warmer than tropical atmosphere. On the 
coming in of the waters these tracks were at once filled with 
another layer of sand, and the impression made permanent as 
the rock itself. 

These foot-prints being mostly those of birds, their existence 
has given rise to a new branch of natural history called Ich- 
notoffi/, or the "science of tracks." 

The "bird tracks'' are the most interesting of all these fos- 
sil foot-prints. The largest bird that frequented the muddy 
shores of the primeval estuary of this valley had a foot eigh- 
teen inches long, and must have been five times the size of the 
ostrich of to-day. The smallest bird was like the snipe. Many 
strange animals now unknown to man left on these rocks their 
foot-prints. Among these were an order of reptilian birds or 
horpetoids. The largest foot-mark was made by a gigantic 
frog, called Otozoum Moodii. Its track is twenty inches long. 

To President Edward Hitchcock, late of Amherst, is due the 

first scientific description of these interesting remains. Dr. 
Hitchcock made the first geologic survey of the State of Mas- 
sachusetts, and from 1832 — the date of his first report — to 
1865 he published numerous works upon the subject, all of 
which are of high scientific authority. 

In speaking of these strange foot-prints on the red sandstone 
rocks of the valley of the Connecticut, President Hitchcock 
eloquently says, " Now I have seen in scientific vision an ap- 
terous bird some twelve or fifteen feet high — nay, large flocks 
of them — walking over the muddy surface, followed by many 
others of an analogous character, but of .smaller size. Next 
comes a biped animal — a bird, perhaps — with a foot and heel 
nearly two feet long. Then a of lesser bipeds formed on 
the same general type, and among them several quadrupeds 
with disproportioned feet, yet many of them stilted high, while 
others are crawling along the surface with spreading limbs. 
Next succeeds the huge Polemarch, leading along a tribe of 
lesser followers, with heels of great length and armed with 
spurs. But the greatest wonder of all comes in the shape of a 
biped batrachian with feet twenty inches long. We have heard 
of the Lahyrinthodon of Europe — a frog as large as an ox — but 
his feet were onh' six or eight inches long, a mere pigmy com- 
pared with the Otozoum of New England. Behind him there 
trips along, on unequal feet, a group of small lizards and 
Salamandridce, with trifid or quadrifid feet. Beyond, half 
seen amidst the darkness, there move along animals so strange 
that they can hardly be brought within the types of existing 
organization. Strange, indeed, is this menagerie of remote 
sandstone days ; and the privilege of gazing upon it and bring- 
ing into view one lost form after another has been an ample 
recompense for my efforts though they should be rewarded by 
no other fruit."* 


The Cenozoic era, or era of recent times, is represented in the 
Connecticut Valley by the Tertiary age, or age of mammals, 
and the Quaternary age, or age of Man. 

The geologic formations of this age are composed of two dis- 
tinct subdivisions, the Glacial or Drift, and the Recent or Ter- 
race formations, which overlie all the others in depths varying 
from a few inches to one hundred and fifty feet or more. The 
bottom layers lying directly upon the rock formations are com- 
posed largely of coarse bowlders graduating into pebbles and 
sand, while the Terraces are mostly or wholly of finer sands or 
clay and marls, the last two sometimes beautifully arranged in 
thin layers, and often curiously convoluted and complex in 
their arrangements, as may be seen at the brick-works in the 
southern suburbs of the city of Springfield. The lower de- 
posits are of Diluvian or Drift origin, while those on and near 
the surface are of Fluvial or Lacustrine formation. The Ter- 
race formation is finely exhibited to the west and southwest of 
Holyoke, and on the east side of the river below Springfield. 






The New "World was the natural home of the Indian. He 
was the sole proprietor of its soil. His title was the clearest 
of all titles, the right derived from undisputed, immemorial 
possession. His tenure was that of absolute property in the 
soil, covered by no shadow of incumbrance. The white man 
was first an invader and trespasser, and then a purchaser. 
No white man's title to the soil to-day is worth a straw in the 
eyes of absolute law, unless it can be traced back to some In- 
dian deed. It may be true that Sir Edmund Andros once 

* QuotMl in Holl.ind's Hist. Wcf t Maps., 'Vol, I., p. 348. 



said that an Indian deed was worth no more than the "scratch 
of a bear's paw," but no sound jurist will consider Sir Ed- 
mund's dictum worth anything in the ease. 

On the 16th of February, 1629, Governor Cradock wrote in 
behalf of the Company as follows : " The earnest desire of our 
whole compan}' is that you have a diligent and watchful eye 
over our own people, that they live unblamable and without 
reproof, and demean themselves justly and courteously to- 
wards the Indians." 

When William Pynchon, the father of the settlements in 
the Connecticut Valley, — the founder of Eoxbury and Spring- 
field, — in the year 1636, first led his little band of pioneers 
along the old " Bay Path" through a hundred miles of howl- 
ing woods to the garden-banks of the great river at Ag-a-wam, 
he found the fertile meadows of the stream owned by a few 
feeble, broken bands of Indians, each governed by its own 
petty sachem or sagamore. 

From each of these petty tribes the early settlers of the 
valley took exceeding care to obtain deeds of the lands by 
them owned and occupied. 

Thus, from "Cut-to-was, the right owner ot Ag-a-wam and 
Qua-na," his mother Kew-e-nask, the Tam-a-sham or wife of 
We-na-wis, and Ni-ar-com, the wife of Co-a, the English 
bought the ancient site of Springfield, by deed bearing date 
the 15th day of July, in the year 16.30, — ^a facsimile of the 
record of which maj* be found farther on in this volume, in 
the history of Springfield. From C'hick-toal-log, alias Waw- 
hil-low, Hen-es-scha-lant, Nas-si-co-ha, Re-unks, Pa-quah-a- 
hat, As-sel-la-quo7n-pas, and A-wo-nunsk, wife of Wal-lut-ha, 
all Indians and right owners of Non-o-iuck, they took a deed 
of Northampton, bearing date 24tli September, 1653.* 

From C'hick-wal-lopp, Uin-pan-cha-la, and, sa- 
chems of Nol-wo-togg , they took a deedf of Iladley, bearing 
date 25th December, 1658. And again, on the 8th day of Au- 
gust, 1662, We-qua-gon, his wife A-wo-nunsk, and Squomp, 
their son, also deeded land in Hadley. 

From Um-pan-cha-la, alias \Voms-eo)7i, sachem of Nol-wo- 
togg, they took a deedj of Hatfield, dated July 10, 1660. 

From Al-quot, the Indian sachem of Wo-rc^ioak, they took 
a deed^ of Westfield, bearing date June 30, 1669. 

From We-qua-u-gan and Wa-wa-paw they took the title of 
lands for the " use and behoof" of the town of Springfield, by 
deed || bearing date in the year 1674, being parts of the present 
towns of West Springfield and Agawam, and Nee-sa-hea-gan, 
alias Squani-scat, and Ke-pa-quontp, alias Squi-ma-mop, also 
deeded part of West Springfield by deed^l dated 20th June, 

From Mas-se-rnet, Pa-noot, Pani-mook, Ne-ne-pow-nian, his 
squaw, Woiti-pe-ly, and Nes-sa-cas-coni, Indians of Squak-lieag, 
in the year 1671, they took a deed of ten thousand five hun- 
dred and sixty acres in Northfield ; and again, on the 9th 
September, 1673, they took a deed from Nnl-lah-am-com-gon 
or Na-ia-nas, Mas-hep-e-tot, and Kis-quan-do Pam-pat-c-ke-mo, 
" a squaw, which is Mas-hep-e-tot' s daughter," of another part 
of Northfield. For an account of the Pa-comp-tuck Indian 
deeds of Dcerfield see history of that town in this work. 



When the Europeans first landed on this continent the 
Indians who inhabited the Atlantic slope of the Alleghany 
range, the basin of the great lakes, and the valley of the St. 
Lawrence were divided into two great families of nations. 
These two families were soon known and distinguished by the 

* Recorded in office of Eegister of Deeds at Springfield, Book A, B, p. 13. 

f Recorded in Boole of Deeds A, p. 11. 

X Recorded in Book of Deeds, Book .\, p. 6. 

g Recorded In Book of Deeds A B, p. 50. 

[I Recorded in Book of Deeds A B, p.lse 19. 

% Recordeil in Book of Deeds A B, page 21. 

whites as the Iroquois and Algonquin families, so named by 
the French. 

These two families differed radically, both in language and 
lineage, in the manner of building their wigwams, as well as 
in many of their manners and customs. 



The Iroquois proper, the best types and leading people of 
this family, were the Five Nations of Central New York, 
called by themselves the Ho-de-no-sau-nee. To the south of 
the Five Nations, in the valley of the Susquehanna, were the 
Andastes, and to the westward of them, along the southern 
shore of Lake Erie, were the Eries. To the northward of 
Lake Erie lay the Neutral Nation, and near them the Tobacco 
Nation, while the Hurons, another tribe of the Iroquois, dwelt 
along the eastern shore of the lake that still bears their name. 
There was also a branch of the Iroquois family in the Caro- 
linas, — the Tuscaroras, — who came north and united with the 
Five Nations in 1715, after which the confederacy was known 
as the Six Nations.** 

On every side these few kindred bands of Iroquois were sur- 
rounded by the much more numerous tribes of the greater 
Algonquin famih'. 

Among all the aboriginal inhabitants of the New World 
there were none so politic and intelligent, none so fierce and 
brave, none with so many germs of heroic virtues mingled 
with their savage vices, as the true Iroquois, the people of the 
Five Nations of Central New York. They were a terror to all 
the surrounding tribes, whether of their own or of Algonquin 
speech and lineage. In 1650 they overran the country of the 
Hurons; in 1651 they destroyed the Neutral Nation; in 1652 
they exterminated the Eries ; in 1663 they ravaged the coun- 
try of the Pa-comp-tucks and Squak-heags, in the valley of the 
Connecticut; in 1C72 they conquered the ^nrfasfes and reduced 
them to the most abject submission, calling them the women 
of their tribe in derision. 

They followed the war-path, and their war-cry was heard 
westward to the Mississippi, southward to the great gulf, and 
eastward to the Massachusetts Bay. The New England na- 
tions mostly, as well as the river tribes along the Hudson, 
whose warriors trembled at the name of Mohawk, all paid 
them tribute. The Montagnais, on the far-off Saguenay, whom 
the French called the paupers of the wilderness, would start 
from their midnight sleep and run terror-stricken from their 
wigwams into the forest when hut dreaming of the dreadful 
Iroquois. They were truly in their day the conquerors of the 
New World, and were justly styled "The Eomans of the 
West." "My pen," wrote the Jesuit Father Ragueneau, in 
the year 1650, in his Relations des Hurons — " My pen has no 
ink black enough to paint the fury of the Iroquois." 

The Iroquois dwelt in palisaded villages upon the fertile 
banks of the lakes and streams which watered their country. 
The houses of all the Iroquois families were built long and 
narrow. Thej' were not more than twelve or fifteen feet in 
width, but often exceeded one hundred and fifty feet in length. 
Within they built their fires at intervals along the centre of 
the earth-floor, the smoke passing out through openings in 
the top, which likewise served to let in the light. In every 
house were many fires and many families, — every family 
having its own fire within the space allotted to it. 

From this custom of having many fires and many families 
strung through a long and narrow house comes the significa- 
tion of the Indian name the league of the Five Nations called 
themselves by. This Indian name was Ho-de-yio-sa^i-nee, 
"The people of the Long House." They likened their con- 
federacy of five nations or tribes, stretched along a narrow 
valley for more than two hundred miles through Central Now 

** See Oolden's History of the Five Nations. 



York, to one of their long wigwams containing many families. 
The Mo/iau-ks guarded the eastern door of this typical long 
house, while the Senecas kept watch at the western door. 
Between these doors of their country dwelt the Oneidas, the 
Onondagas, and the Cayugas, each nation around its own 
family fire, while the great central council-fire was always 
kept brightly burning in the land of the Onondagas. 

The nation of the Irofjuois to whom the Indians of the Con- 
necticut Valley paid unwilling tribute was the Mohawk. 

In the Algonquin speech of the Connecticut Kivcr Indians 
the Mohawks were called Mau-qua-wugs or Ma-quag, that is 
to say, " man-eaters."* 

The Mohawk country proper^ called by themselves Ga-ne- 
a-ga-o-no-ga, all lay on and beyond the westerly bank of the 
Hudson, but by right of conquest they claimed all the terri- 
tory lying between the Hudson and the sources of the easterly 
branches of the Connecticut. 

By virtue of this claim all the Indians in the valley of the 
Connecticut paid annual tribute to the Mo/iawks. 

Ever}' year two old Mohawk cliiefs would leave their castles 
on the Mohawk Kiver, in their elm-bark canoes, and crossing 
the Hudson, ascend the Has-sicke (Iloosac) to its head, and 
carrying them over the mountain range, re-embark in the head- 
waters of the Ag-a-wam (Westfield River) and the Deerfield 
River, come down to the villages of the Wo-ro-noaks, the 
Ag-a-wams, the Non-o-tucks, the Pa-comp-tucks, the Squak- 
heags, in the valley, and to the Nip-mucks at the head of the 
Chicopee, and gather the wampum in which tribute was paid. 

As will be seen further on in these pages, when all these 
river tribes joined King Philip in his attempt to exterminate 
the whites in New England the Mohawks sided with the Eng- 
lish, and did material service against Philip. | 



Surrounding the few tribes of the Iroquois on every hand 
dwelt the much more numerous tribes of the Algonquin family, 
to which belonged all the New England tribes, as well as the 
New York Indians who dwelt east of the Hudson. 

Northward of the Iroquois were the Nipissings, La Petite 
Nation, and La Nation de I'Isle, and other tribes in the valley 
of the Ottowa River. Along the valley of the St. Lawrence 
dwelt the Algonquins proper, the Abenaquis, the Montagnais, 
and other roving bands below the mouth of the Saguenay. 

The Algonquins and Montagnais, and the other wild rovers 
of the country of the Saguenay, who subsisted mostly by the 
chase, were often during the long Canadian winters, when 
game grew scarce, driven by hunger to subsist for many weeks 
together upon the buds and bark, and sometimes upon the 
young wood, of forest-trees. Hence their hereditary enemies, 
the more favored Mohawks, called them in mockery of tlieir 
condition Ad-i-ron-daks, that is to say tree-caters. This name, 
thus borne in derision, was given by Prof. Emmons to the 
principal mountain chain of Northern New York, and has 
since been applied to its whole wilderness region, now so 
famous as a summer resort. J 

The New England tribes of the Algonquin fiimily dwelt 
mostly along the sea-coast, and on the banks of larger streams. 
In Maine the Et-et-che-mins dwelt farthest east at the mouth 
of the St. Croix River. The Abenaquis, with their kindred tribe 
the Taratines, had their hunting-grounds in the valley of the 
Penobscot, and as far west as the river Saco and the Piscata- 
qua. In the southeast corner of New Hampshire, and over 
the Massachu.setts border, dwelt the Pcnnacook or Pawtueket 
tribe. The Massachusetts nation had their home along the 
bay of that name and the contiguous islands. It was a tradi- 

* Brief History by Increase Mather, p. 38. 

t Coim. fill. Iter., Vol. II,, p. 4(il, etc.. 

J See lli.^tolu■al Ski'tilicmif N,.itliiMn New Yoik, l.y N. B. Sjivestor, pp. nn, 40. 

tion of this tribe that they formerly dwelt farther to the south- 
west, near the Blue Mountains, and hence their name Ma^s- 
ad-chu-sit, " near the great mountains. "J 

The Wampanongs or Pokanokcts dwelt along the easterly 
shore of Narragansett Bay, in Southeastern Rhode Island, and 
in the contiguous part of Massachusetts adjoining these, being 
near neighbors of the Plymouth Pilgrims. The Nansets 
along Cape Cod were a family of the Wampanoags, and paid 
them tribute. Next in line were the Narragatisetts, and their 
sister tribe the Nyantics, along the westerly shore of Narra- 
gansett Bay, in Western Rhode Island. Between the Narra- 
gansetts and the river Thames in Southeastern Connecticut, 
then called the Pequot River, dwelt the Pequot nation ; and 
between the Pequots and the east bank of the Connecticut 
River was the home of Uncus and his Mahicans. 

On the west side of the Connecticut the territory of the Mo- 
hawks was supposed to begin ; and in Western Massachusetts, 
and in what is now the State of Vermont, no Indian tribes 
had permanent homes. This large territory was a beaver- 
hunting country of the Iroquois. 

Before the great distemper visited these New England In- 
dian nations, just prior to the landing of the Plymouth Pil- 
grims, their numbers must have been from thirty to forty 
thousand souls. Of these Connecticut and Rhode I.sland 
probablj' contained one-half. 



The valley of the Connecticut in Massachusetts was occu- 
pied by several tribes, or remnants of tribes, all of which 
seemed to owe some sort of fealty to the Nipmueks or Nipnets 
of Central Massachusetts, if not to the more powerful Pequots, 
Wampanoags, and Narragansetts. 

Ag-a-wams. — In the vicinity of what is now the city of 
Springfield dwelt the Ag-a-wam Indians. They claimed all the 
territory lying on both sides of the Connecticut, between the 
Enfield Falls below and the South Hadley Falls above. The 
principal village of the Ag-a-wams was situated on the Pecowsic 
Brook, which heads in the eastern part of Longmeadow and 
discharges into the Connecticut nearly on the town line be- 
tween Springfield and Longmeadow ; another on the bank of 
the Ag-a-wani River, and probably others in various parts of 
the county. 

On a peculiarly-shaped blufl', about a mile and a half south 
of the centre of Springfield and some fifty rods southeasterly 
of the east end of the new bridge crossing to Agawam and on 
what is called " Long Hill," the}' had a strong palisaded work 
overlooking the valley and virtually impregnable to Indian 
attack. It was protected on all sides excepting a mirrow neck, 
fiftj' yards in width, which connected It with the mainland by 
steep banks descending to two deep ravines on the north and 
south, and to the bottom-lands bordering the Connecticut on 
the west. Water was convenient immediately under the wall 
of the fortress on the south, and the whole area, occupying 
from one to two acres, was admirably adapted for defense 
against anything except artillery. 

The meadows or corn-planting grounds of the Ag-a-wams, 
called by them muck-cos-quit-taj, were quite extensive. On 
the leaf of the book containing the record of the first Indian 
deed of what is now Springfield and vicinity is a memorandum 
in the following words, supposed to have been made by John 
Holj'oke, in the year 1679, which contains an accurate descrip- 
tion, doubtless, of the situation of the various corn-planting 
meadows of the Ag-a-wams : 

"Memorandum: Agaam or Agawam. It is that meadow 
on the South of Agawam Riv"' whcer y= English did first build 
a house, w''' now we comonly cal y'= house meadow, that piece 
of ground is it w'^''y' Indians do call Agawam, & y'y'= English 

g See CollectioDB of C^nn. llis. Soe., Vol. II., p. 8. 



kept y' residence who first came to settle and plant at Spring- 
field now so called : & at }■' place it was (as is supposed) that 
this purchase was made of the Indians. Quana is the middle 
medow adjoyning to Agaw" or house meadow. Masacksick is 
y' y' English call the Longmeadow below Springfield, on y" 
East of Quinecticat Eiver; Usquaiok is the Mil River w* the 
land adjoyning ; Nayasset is the lands of Three corner meadow 
& of the Plaine.^' 

From the date of the first settlement, in the year 1G36, the 
Afl-a-wum Indians lived on terms of peace and amity with their 
white neighbors until the year 1675, when they joined King 
Philip in his war of extermination. On the evening of the 
4th day of October, 1675, they admitted into their fort three 
hundred hostile Indians, who assisted them on the morrow in 
the burning of Springfield. Upon the arrival of Maj. Treat 
with his men from Connecticut, and Maj. Pynchon with the 
Springfield troops from Hadley, on the afternoon of the burn- 
ing, l(V-9!/o-7(7n, the chief sachem of the,4(/-o-ttO»).< and ring- 
leader in the aft'air, with all his people suddenly left their vil- 
lage, fort, and corn-planting ground, never to return. 

Wo-RO-NOAKS. — Ten or twelve miles up the Agawam River, 
in a direction nearly west from Springfield, on the site of 
what is now Westfield, dwelt the tribe of Indians called the 
Wo-ro-noaks, who were a part of the Aff-a-tcam/s. 

The Wo-ro-noaks were famous for the nnnibcr of beaver- 
skins and other furs caught by them on the near mountains 
to the west of them, along both branches of the Agawam, 
now Westfield River, and in the marshes at their head-waters. 
So famous was their village for its furs that Governor Hop- 
kins, of Hartford, as early as the year 1640, obtained a grant 
of land there, and that year or the next built trading-houses 
there. This grant was made to him by the Connecticut peo- 
ple, who suppo.sed it to be within their jurisdiction. But the 
earliest surveys showed it to be within the boundaries of the 
Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the Connecticut settlement 
was abandoned. 

NoN-o-TUCKS. — Above the point in the Connecticut River 
where it breaks through between Mounts Tom and Holyoke 
its valley widens and the river takes an extremely tortuous 
course, winding around two or three peninsulas which are 
almost islands, on one of which is situated the village of Had- 
ley. Between Northampton and Mount Tom is another of 
these bends in the river, which is called the Oxbow, in the 
middle of which lies an island. 

Tlie name Nocn-tuk, No-ah-tuk, or, as it is now written, Non- 
o-tuck, means "in the middle of the river," in allusion to 
such peninsulas and islands. 

The Non-o-iucks claimed all the country on both sides of the 
river, from the head of the South Hadley Falls to the south side 
of Mount We-quomps, now Sugar-Loaf Mountain. 

They had several villages and forts on both sides of the 
river, and numerous corn-planting fields of from twelve to 
sixteen acres each. Their principal fort was on a higli bank 
near the mouth of Half- Way Brook, between Northampton 
and Hadlc}'. This fort was occupied until the night of the 24th 
August, when Um-pan-cha-la, chief sachem of the No7i-o-tucks, 
left the land with all his tribe for some far-off Western home, 
no one knows whither. Another fort, containing about an 
acre inclosed, was occupied by another Non-o-tuck sachem, 
called Quoii-quont. It stood on the east side of the river, in 
Hadley, on a ridge between East and West School Meadow. 

Pa-comp-tucks. — In the fertile valley of Deerfield River, 
and on its adjoining hills, dwelt the Pa-cotftp-fucks, the most 
numerous, best known, warlike, and powerful tribe in the 
valley. They claimed all the country lying on the east side 
of the river, from Mount We-guomps to the north side of the 
meadow called Nal-la-ham-com-gon, now Bennett's Meadow, 
in Northfield, and indefinitely westward. Their principal 
fort was on what is now known as Fort Hill, which is about 
one-half mile northeast of the Deerfield meeting-hou.'e. Their 

corn-planting fields were in the valley of the Deerfield River. 
Here they raised such quantities of corn that in the spring of 
the year 1638 they furnished fifty canoe-loads for the.starving 
people of Connecticut, impoverished by the Pequot war of the 
year before. 

In the year 1656, Uncas, with his Mahicans, made war upon 
the Pa-comp-tucks, but was defeated and driven back. The next 
year the Pa-comp-tucks invaded the country of Uncas and did 
his people considerable damage. 

In the year 1663 the Mohawks made war upon the Pa-cotnp- 
tucks, and invaded their country. They attacked the fort on 
Fort Hill, and carried it after a severe contest, driving the Pa- 
comp-tucks before them with great slaughter. From this severe 
blow the Pa-comp-tucks never recovered. In the year 1669 the 
Pa-comp-tucks, Non-o-tucks, and Squak-heags united with the 
Massachusetts Indians and the Narragansetts in an expedition 
into the Mohawk country. Chic-ka-taw-but, the chief sachem 
of the Massachusetts tribe, was in command. The band num- 
bered some seven hundred warriors. They penetrated the Mo- 
hawk country and laid siege to the nearest castle, called Te-hon- 
de-lo-ga, at the mouth of the Schoharie kill, afterwards the site 
of Fort Hunter. But failing in the attempt, the allied tribes 
retreated towards their own country. The Mohawks followed, 
and making a detour formed an ambuscade, into which the 
Eastern Indians fell and suflered fearful loss. After King 
Philip's war the Pa-comp-tucks went west, and settling on the 
east bank of the Hudson, at the mouth of the Hoosac River, 
became known as the Scliaghticoke Indians. A part of the 
Wampanoags and Narraganscits fled with them.* 

Squak-heags. — On the northerly border of the State, at 
what is now Northfield, dwelt the fourth tribe of river Indians. 
Their country reached on both sides of the Connecticut north- 
erly beyond the bounds of the State. The Squak-heags were 
allied by consanguinit}' to the Pennacooks of the New Hamp- 
shire sea-coast. They had numerous corn-planting fields, and 
also villages and forts. The famous fishing-ground which 
they called Pas-quams-cut, now Turner's Falls, was in the 
country of the Squak-heags. When the Mohawks, in the year 
1663, invaded the Pa-comp-tucks they also overran the whole 
territory of the Squak-heags, captured all their forts, destroyed 
their villages, and drove them from their homes. From this 
blow as a tribe they never recovered.! In King Philip's war 
Squakheag was an important post to the hostile Indians. At 
its close the Squak-heags went east and north into Canada. 

FoRT.s. — The Indians of the valley built their forts on high 
blutfs near springs of water, and usually on or not far from 
the bank of some river. The forts were circular in form, in- 
closing about one acre of ground, and constructed of palisades 
set close together in the ground, and some twelve or fifteen 
feet in height. Within they built rows of wigwams along both 
sides of well-defined streets. 

Wigwams. — The Indians of the Algonquin family of na- 
tions built their wigwams small and circular, and for one or 
two families only, unlike the Iroquois nations, who built theirs 
long and narrow, each for the use of many families. The Al- 
gonquin-shaped wigwam of the valley tribes was made of 
poles set up around a circle, from ten to twelve feet across. 
The poles met together at the top, thus forming a conical 
frame-work, which was covered with bark mats or skins ; in 
the centre was their fireplace, the smoke escaping through a 
hole in the top. In these wigwams men, women, children, 
and dogs crowded promiscuously together in distressing viola- 
tion of all our rules of modern housekeeping. 

Corn-Plantino Fields. — The meadows of the Connecti- 
cut Valley were famous in Indian annals for their corn-fields. 
Every autumn, after the fall of the leaf, came the Indian sum- 
mer, in which they set fire to the woods and fields, and thus 

* See pap^T liy John Fitcli, in New York His. Mag., June, 187C. 
f History of NortliflelJ, by Temple :ind Sheldon. 



burned over the whole country, both upland and meadow, once 
a year. This burning destroyed all the underbrush, and 
mostly all the timber on the uplands save that growing in 
swales and on wet lauds. When the whites came they found 
much of the State of Massachusetts as bare of timber as the 
Western prairies. Their corn-tields on the meadows usually 
contained from fifteen to twenty acres of ground. One tool 
for planting was all they had. This was a hoe, made of the 
shoulder-blade of a deer or moose, or a clam-shell fastened into 
a wooden handle. For manure they covered over a fish in 
each hill of corn at planting-time. Their planting-time was 
about the 10th of May, or as soon as the butternut-leaves were 
as large as squirrels' ears. Some idea may be formed of the 
large extent of their planting-tields, when it is stated that the 
Pa-comp-tucks alone planted in the valley of the Deerfield River 
in the spring of 1676, the second year of Philip's war, about 
three hundred acres. Perhaps this was an exaggerated story, 
and that one hundred acres would have been nearer the truth. 
But Philip was killed in the summer following, and the Pa- 
comp-tucks abandoned their unharvested corn-tield for the new 
home on the east bank of the Hudson, at the mouth of the 
Hoosac. They took what is now the " Tunnel Route" for the 
west. The women did all the corn-planting and raising, but 
the men alone planted and took care of the tobacco. It was 
too sacred a plant for women to handle or smoke, and no young 
brave was allowed to use it until he had made himself a name 
in the chase or on the war-path. 

Food. — The Indians had fish and game, nuts, roots, berries, 
acorns, corn, squashes, a kind of bean now called seiva-bean, 
and a species of sunflower whose tuberous root was like the 

Fish were taken with lines or nets made of the sinews of 
the deer or of the fibres of the dog-bane. Their fish-hooks were 
made of the bones of fishes and birds. 

They caught the moose, the dear, and the bear in the win- 
ter season by shooting with bows and arrows, by snaring or 
in pitfalls. In the summer they took a variety of birds. 

They cooked their fish and flesh by roasting before the fire 
on the point of a long stick, or by boiling in stone or wooden 
vessels. They made water to boil, not by hanging over the 
fire, but by the immersion in it of heated stones. Their corn 
boiled alone they called homing/; when mixed with beans it 
was succotitsh. They made a cake of meal, pounded fine by 
a stone-pestle in a wooden mortar, which they called iiookhik, 
corrupted by the English into " no cake."* 

Social Condition. — Their government was entirely patri- 
archal. Each Indian was in his solitary cabin the head of his 
family. His wife was treated as a slave, and did all the drudg- 
ery. The only law that bound the Indian was the custom 
of his tribe. Subject to that only, he was as free as the air he 
breathed, following the bent of his own wild will. Over 
tribes were principal chiefs called sachems, and inferior ones 
called sagamores. The succession was always in the female 
line. Their war-chiefs were not necessarily sachems in time 
of peace. They won their distinction only by prowess on the 

The language of the Indian, in the terms of modern com- 
parative philology, was neither the monosyllabic, like the 
Chinese, nor inflecling, like that of the civilized Caucasian 
stock, but was agjjbitinaiing, like many of the northwestern 
Asiatic tribes, and those of southeastern Europe. They express 
ideas by stringing words together in one compound vocable. 
The Algonquin languages were not euphonious, like the Iro- 
quois dialects, but were harsh, and full of consonants. Con- 
trast the Iroquois names, 2^a-wa-sen-ta, Si-a-wat-ha, or 0-no- 

* What wo now call jolinny-cake, in the early days was known as joumeij- 
cake, frum the facility with which it was carried while traveling. It is saiii that 
it was changed to jolinnij-cakQ in honor of Governor Jonathan Trumhull, of Con- 
necticut, the friend of Washington, who always iulclres.sed him faniili.irly as 
" Brother Jonathan." Hence tliat title of the typical Yankee to this day. 

a-la-go-na, with the Algonquin names, Sqiiak-heag, Qua-boag, 
or Wampan~oag. 

Religion. — The Indian had but the crudest possible ideas, 
if any at all, of an abstract religion. He had no priests, no 
altars, no sacrifice. His medicine men were mere conjurers. 
Yet he was superstitious to the last degree, and spiritualized 
everything in nature. The mysterious realm about him he 
did not attempt to unravel, but bowed submissively before it 
with what crude ideas he had of religion and worship. The 
flight or cry of a bird, the humming of a bee, the crawling 
of an insect, the turning of a leaf, the whisper of a breeze, 
were to him mystic signals of good or evil import, by which 
he was guided in the most important relations of life. 

In dreams the Indian placed the most implicit confidence. 
They seemed to him to be revelations from the spirit-world, 
guiding him to the places where his game lurked and to the 
haunts of his enemies. He invoked their aid on all occasions. 
They taught him how to cure the sick, and revealed to him 
his guardian spirit, as well as all the secrets of his good or 
evil destiny. 

Although the Indian has been for three centuries in more 
or less contact with the civilized life of the white man, he is 
still the untamed child of nature. " He will not," says Park- 
man, " learn the arts of civilization, and he and his forest 
must perish together. The stern, unchanging features of his 
mind excite our admiration from their very immutability ; 
and we look with deep interest on the fate of this irreclaima- 
ble son of the wilderness, the child who will not be weaned 
from the breast of his rugged mother, "f 




As the early settlers of the Connecticut Valley were them- 
selves among the comparatively early voyagers to the New 
World, and in coming here suffered the dangers of the deep 
incident to early navigation, it will be necessary, in order 
properly to understand their history, briefly to consider the 
voyagers who preceded them, as well as the results of their 
explorations and attempts at settlement. 

If the glory of the discovery of the New World by Euro- 
peans belongs forever to Columbus, under Ferdinand and 
Isabella of Spain, on the 12th day of October, 1492, it is no 
less certain that the honor of the first exploration of the con- 
tinent of North America belongs to John Cabot and his son, 
Sebastian Cabot, under Honry VII. of England. If neither 
can justly claim that glory or this honor, but both must give 
way to the Scandinavian mariners, — the Northmen of the 
tenth century, — then it was upon the virgin soil of New Eng- 
land that the first white men landed, and within her borders 
that the first white settlement was attempted on the wild 
American shore. 

Of this visit of the Danes to America in the tenth century 
there is considerable evidence, amounting almost to a demon- 
stration of the theory; but there are still some missing links 
in the chain of testimony, which, until supplied, will forever 
place the matter, with the burial-place of Moses, the coming 
of the Etruscans to Italy, the building of the pj'ramids, and 
the story of the Western mound-builders, among the unsolved 
problems of history. 


The historical evidence upon the coming of the Danes to 
America as early as the tenth century consists principally in 

t Conspiracy of Pontiac, Vol. I., p. 44. 



extracts from the compositions of some eighteen writers, 
chiefly Icelandic, which hav* heen puhlished by the Eoyal 
Society of Northern Antiquaries at Copenhagen. 

If the accounts of these writers are not romance, but are 
veritable history, then about the j'ear 98fi one Biorne sailed 
from Iceland for Greenland in search of his father, who had 
preceded him thither. He was overtaken by fogs and lost his 
way. When the weather cleared, and he recovered his lost 
reckoning, to his surprise he discovered that, while he was 
sailing in the wrong direction, on his larboard-side lay a low 
woodland shore. Continuing the same course for nine days, 
he reached Greenland in a direction directly opposite to that 
with which the voyage had heen begun. 

It is evident, from the direction Biorne was sailing after 
having recovered his reckoning, that he saw on his larboard- 
side the "low and wooded land" of the eastern shore of North 
America. If the account of this voyage is trustworthy, Biorne 
was the discoverer of the New World. 

For fourteen years the discovery of Biorne w-as talked 
about bj' the Danish navigators, when, in the year 1000, Lief 
Ericson, with a single ship and a crew of thirty men, went in 
search of the newly-found land. Lief found it and, landing, 
gave it the name of Helhilaml, signitying in Icelandic the 
land of slate. Ee-embarking and sailing southerly along the 
coast, he came to a country "well wooded and level," which 
he called Marldand, in allusion to its wood. Sailing in a 
southwesterly direction out of sight of land for two days more, 
he came to an island, along whose northern shore he passed 
westwardly, and reaching the mainland went on shore and 
built huts, in which he passed the winter. One of his men, a 
German, while wandering in the woods found an abundance 
of wild grapes, such as wine was made of in his own country, 
and from this circumstance Lief called the country Vinland. 

Jt is supposed that the name Helluland was applied by Lief 
to the rocky shore of Labrador, long since famous for its beds 
of dark Laurentian rock, mistaken by him for slate. Mark- 
land may have been Nova Scotia, and it is highly probable 
that Vinland was the southeastern shore of 3Iassachusetts and 
Rhode Island. In the year 1003 Thorwald, and in the year 
100.5 Thorfinn, are said to have visited Yinland, and such visits 
are said to have been continued until the middle of the four- 
teenth century. 

But whether the Northmen were or were not the first Euro- 
pean explorers of the New World, it is certain that in the year 
1497, but five years after Columbus made his first voyage, the 
Cabots — father and sons — discovered and explored the coast of 
North America in the region of New England, thus laying 
the foundation of the British claim to such vast American pos- 

John Cabot was a merchant of Venice, who settled at Bris- 
tol, invited by the peaceful commercial policy of Henry VII. 

On the 5th day of March, 1496, Henry granted to John Cabot 

and his three sons, Lewis, Sancius, and Sebastian, — the last of 
whom, Sebastian, was born in England, at Bristol, in 1477, — 
his royal letters-patent authorizing them to "sail to all parts, 
countries, and seas of the East and of the West, and of the 
North, under our banners and ensigns, with five ships of what 
burden or quantity soever they may be, to seek out, discover, 
and find whatsoever isles, countries, regions, or provinces of 
the heathen and infidels, whatsoever they may be, and in what 
part of the world soever they may be, which before this time 
have been unknown to all Christians." 

The Cabots, by these letters-patent, were to occupy, subdue, 
possess, and govern such regions as they might discover for 
their own behoof, but in the name of England, the king to 
have one-fifth part of the profits of the enterprise. This was 
the first patent for discovery issued by the British crown. 

In May, 1497, Cabot, with his son Sebastian, set out on his 
voyage. His fleet consisted of two, or perhaps five ships, 
with three hundred men on board. The expedition touched 

at Iceland, and from thence sailed boldly into the unknown, 
mysterious west in search of gold and emjiire. They were the 
first in the search for the still undiscovered northwest passage 
to the " harbor of Cathay," on the eastern shore of Asia, all 
unconscious of the mighty continent which lay between them 
and the object of their desire. Unexpectedly soon they reached 
the shores of Newfoundland or Labrador. Cabot first sailed 
northwardly along the coast in search of the northwestern 
passage as far as the sixty-seventh degree of north latitude. 
Although in July, the cold became intense, and he reversed 
his course, and sailed south as far as the thirty-sixth degree of 
north latitude. Failing in his object he returned, taking to 
the king as trophies three American Indians. The Cabots 
probably saw nothing but the bays and headlands along the 
shores, but upon their discovery rests England's claim to her 
North American possessions. 

The next year the king renewed his patent to John Cabot. 
But John Cabot presently died, and whether his son Sebastian 
made a second voyage to America is one of history's unsolved 

In the year 1500 the Portugese admiral. Gasper Cortereal, 
made a voyage to America, sailed along the coast some six or 
seven hundred miles, and returned with a number of Indian 
captives, giving glowing accounts of the country. 

John Verazzano, a Florentine, sailing in the service of 
France, in the year 1524 made a voyage to America, which 
was followed by results as important to France as Cabot's 
voyage was to England. Verazzano, during this voyage, lay 
at anchor for fifteen days in what is now the harbor of New- 
port, and entered the Hudson Kiver more than eighty years 
before the visit of the explorer whose name it bears. About 
the same time, in the year 1.524 or 1-525, Stephen Gomez was 
fitted out at the joint expense of the Emperor Charles V. and 
some merchants of Coruna and sent on a voyage in quest 
of the northwest passage. He first touched at Newfound- 
land, and then passing Cape Cod, sailed through Long Island 
Sound, and also entered the Hud.son, which he named the Rio 
de San Antonio. In the year 1655, Jacques Cartier, the emi- 
nent mariner of St. Malo, in Brittany, on the 10th of August 
of that year, it being the festival of St. Lawrence, discovered 
the bay and river of that name, and laid the foundation of 
the French claim to Canada. 

These discoveries opened a large field for industry and tempt- 
ing sources of profit to European adventurers. As early as 
the year 150.3, only three years behind Cortereal, fishing-vessels 
began to arrive at Newfoundland and along the coast from 
Brittany and Normandy, and by the year 1517, only twenty 
years after the voyage of the Cabots, no less than fifty ships, 
French, Spanish, and Portuguese, were engaged in these fish- 

Henry VIII. paid little attention to American discovery. 
It was not until the year 1548, during the reign of Edward 
VI., that Parliament took the matter in hand, and passed 
laws protecting English fishermen on the American coast. 

But it was not until during the last half of the reign of 
Elizabeth that a permanent settlement of the American con- 
tinent was undertaken by Englishmen. Sir Humphrey Gil- 
bert was the half-brother of Sir Walter P>aleigh, and his 
fellow-soldier in the Protestant armies of France. He had 
been a member of Parliament, was well versed in geographical 
and commercial knowledge, and the well-known author of a 
" Discourse to prove a Passage by the Northwest to Cathaia 
and the East Indies." 

With Kaleigh, he cordially embraced the scheme of the 
colonization of North America. Mexico, the West Indies, 
and Peru were pouring immense wealth into Spain. How 
could London and Bristol behold unmoved the strange pros- 
peritv of Cadiz? The queen gave Sir Humphrey Gilbert a 
patent, conveying privileges on him similar to those granted 
by Henry VII. to John Cabot. He and his heirs were to he 



proprietors of such countries, paying homage therefor to the 
crown of England, togetlier with one-fifth part of all precious 
metals found. Sir Humphrey was given admiralty jurisdic- 
tion over neighboring seas as well as full power to govern on 
the land. After malting his first attempt, which proved 
ahortive, Gilbert finally set sail the second time, on the 11th 
of June, 1583, with two hundred and sixty men in five ships. 
He reached the coast of North America, on the 
parallel, north latitude, July 30, and on the 3d of August 
entered the harbor of St. John, in Newfoundland. On the 
5th of August he landed, and, pitching his tent on shore, 
called around him the commanders of the thirty-six fishing- 
vessels of difterent nations he had found there, and, with 
imposing ceremonies, toolv possession of the territory in the 
name of the British crown. His commission was read and 
interpreted, a turf and a twig were formally delivered to him 
in tolven of investiture and of allegiance to the crown, and 
proclamation made of his authority to govern the country for 
two hundred leagues on every side. He set up a pillar with 
the royal arms aiBxed thereto graven on lead, and made'grants 
of land in severalty for erecting stands for curing fish. 

But this attempt of Sir Humphrey Gilbert at settlement, 
the first made by Englishmen on American soil, heads also 
the long list of frustrated settlements whose sad details are 
more interesting to the historian than those of many a suc- 
cessful one. His search for gold was unavailing. His com- 
pany was unused to hardships, and many sickened and died. 
One disaster followed another, and, utterly discouraged, Gil- 
bert sailed for England. He took passage himself on the 
least seaworthy vessel, thus choosing the place of danger ; and 
on the 9th of September his little ship, in a violent storm, 
went to the bottom, and every soul on board perished. The 
last words he was heard to utter by those who survived on 
other ships were, " We are as near heaven by sea as by land." 

After Gilbert's death his patent wa.9 renewed to Sir Walter 
Raleigh, who, in 1584 and the following year, made his attempt 
to colonize Virginia, so named in honor of England's virgin 


It was in the year 1602, nineteen years after the failure of 
Sir Humjihrey Gilbert, that Bartholomew Gosnold, a mariner 
-of the West of England, under the command and with the 
consent of Sir Walter Raleigh, at the cost among others of 
Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, in a small ship 
called the "Concord," set sail for "the north part of Vir- 
ginia" with a view to the establishment of a colony. Gosnold 
sailed from Falmouth on the 26th of March, and had with him 
a company of thirty-two persons, eight of whom were seamen, 
and twenty men to become planters. On the 14th of May he 
saw land in Massachusetts Bay, and soon after taking a large 
quantity of fish near a headland, he named it Cape Cod. 

Gosnold, Brereton, and three o'hers went on shore, being 
first Englishmen who are known to have set foot on the soil 
of Massachusetts. Sailing southerly and westerly to the south 
of Nantucket, Go.snold, after landing at No-man' s-lnnd, to 
which he gave the mime Martha's Vinf>/ard, since transferred 
to the larger island, reached an island now called by the In- 
dian name of Cut-iii-hunk, where he laid the foundation for a 
settlement. In three weeks after landing he had dug a cellar, 
prepared timber, and built a house fortified with palisades 
after the Indian fashion. A dispute arose between the planters 
and the sailors as to their provisions, and a party going out in 
search of shell-fish was attacked by hostile savages. Becom- 
ing discouraged, at the end of a month from landing on the 
island Gosnold abandoned his settlement and returned to Eng- 
land. But his enterprise, althougli a present failure, was fruit- 
ful in its con.sequences. Out of it slowly developed the final 
settlement of New England. Such glowing accounts were 
given by his men of the fruitfulncss of the soil and the saiu- 

brity of the climate that other expeditions soon followed. 
The land was "overgrown," said they, " with wood and rub- 
bish, viz. : oaks, ashes, beech, walnut, witch-hazel, sassafrage, 
and cedars, with divers others of unknown name. The rub- is wild pease, young sassafrage, cherry-trees, vines, eglan- 
tine, gooseberry-bushes, hawthorn, honeysuckles, with others 
of like quality. The herbs and roots are strawberries, rasps, 
ground-nuts, alexander, surrin, tansy, etc., without count." 

In the year 1603, Richard Hakluyt, the learned cosmo- 
grapher, took an active interest in schemes for the further ex- 
ploration of North Virginia, as New England was then called, 
which resulted in the voyage of Martin Pring of that year, 
and in 1005 Lord Southampton fitted out and sent George 
Way mouth. 

In the mean time, between the years 1603 and 1606, the 
French, through the Sieur de Monts, came near taking posses- 
sion of North Virginia. De 3Ionts, with Pontgrave and De 
Poutrincourt for his lieutenants, and Samuel de Champlain 
for his pilot, in 1604 set sail for the principality of Acadie, of 
which he had a patent. Thinking the climate of that region 
too severe, the next season he embarked for the shores of Mas- 
sachusetts, and was upon the coast nearly at the same time 
with Wayniouth ; but the Indians were ho.stile, and he did not 
stay. The next year his companions renewed the voyage, and 
De Poutrincourt sent a party on shore at Cape Cod to plant a 
cross in the name of the king of France. The Indians at- 
tacked his men, killed two and wounded others. His situation 
becoming dangerous he returned to Port Royal, leaving North 
Virginia to become New England, and not New France. 

In pursuing this rapid sketch of the early navigators, we 
now come to many names more prominently identified with 
the early settlement of the country, conspicuous among which 
are Sir Fernando Gorges and Capt. John Smith, the one the 
founder of Virginia, and the other, in a certain sense, the 
father of Puritan New England. 

In the year 1604, Sir Fernando Gorges was made governor 
of Plymouth. W^aymouth, on his return from America in 
the year 1605, brought with him several Indian captives. 
Three of these he gave to Gorges. "This accident," writes 
Gorges, " was the means, under God, of putting on foot and 
giving life to all our plantations." Gorges took the natives 
into his house and kept them three j'ears. He taught them 
to speak in the English tongue, and listened with delight to 
their accounts of the "stately islands and safe harbors" of 
their native land, "what great rivers ran up into the land, 
what men of note were seated on them, what power they were 
of, how allied, what enemies they had, and the like."* 

Sir J(jhn Popham, another name conspicuous in earl}' New 
England history, was then lord chief-justice of the King's 
Bench, and Gorges, who had befriended him in former times, 
obtained his powerful influence at court for authority to renew 
operations in America. This movement of Gorges and Pop- 
thS^~|__ham, in the west of England, was seconded by "certain noble- 
men, knights, gentlemen, and merchants" of London, who 
were desirous of renewing the attempt made by Raleigh in 

The result of this joint application was the incorporation 
of two companies, called in the patent the " First and Second 
Colony." Both companies were placed under the common 
supervision of a body called "The Council of Virginia," 
to be appointed by the crown, and each company was to be 
governed on the spot by a council appointed in like manner. 

The First or London Comjiaii;/ had assigned to it South 
A'^irginia, being the territory extending from the thirty-fourth 
to the forty-first degree of north latitude, with a breadth of 
fifty miles inland. The Second or Plymouth Conijiany, under 
the management of " sundry kniglits, gentlemen, and other 
adventurers, of the cities of Bristol and Exeter, and of the 

* Mxis. Hist. Coll., XXVI., .in, h\. 



town of Plymouth, and of other places," was authorized to 
plant in North Virginia, between the thirty-eighth and forty- 
fifth parallels. As their territory overlapped in part, neither 
company was to settle within one hundred miles of land pre- 
viously occupied by the other. All the rights of British sub- 
jects were granted to the colonists and their descendants. 

Under this last-named patent various abortive attempts at 
settlement were made by both companies — notably that of 
-Xrorges, of the Plymouth Company, to plant a colony at the 
mouth of the Kennebeck, in Maine, in the year 1007. 

But it was not until the year 1614 that a new impetus was 
given to the settlement of America. In that year Capt. John 
Smith sailed from London for the American coast, in com- 
mand of two ships, fitted out by some private adventurers. 

The history of John Smith, the founder of Virginia, under 
the London Company, reads more like some mythical ro- 
mance of prehistoric times than the sober account of events 
occurring in the seventeenth century, and in the very days 
of William Pynchon, the father of Springfield. The fa.sein- 
ating story belongs rather to the Old Dominion than to New 

-Suffice it to say that Smith visited the coast of North Vir- 
ginia in the year l(il4, drew a map of it " from point to point, 
isle to isle, harbor to harbor, with the soundings, sands, rocks, 
andJandmarks," and he was the first to call it by the name 
of New Eiiglatid. 

After his failure on the Kennebeck, in 1007, Gorges, in the 
interest of the Plymouth Company, sent out Richard Vines to 
New England in 1016-17, and Thomas Dermer in the early 
summer of 1020, who landed at Plymouth a few months before 
the Pilgrim Fathers came, and carried back to England the 
news of the terrible plague among the Indians, that had so 
m/arly depopulated the country. 



At length, on the 3d day of November, 1620, King James 
granted to the Plymouth Company a separate charter of their 
part of the patent under the control of the " Council of Vir- 
ginia," and formed them into a separate corporate body, styled 
in the patent " The Council established in Plymouth, in the 
county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering, and 
governing of New England in America." 

Of the forty patentees named in this patent thirteen were 
peers, some of the highest rank, and most of the others were 
men of distinguished consequence. 

The following extracts from this patent will be interesting 
to New England readers : 

" We, therefure, of our special grace, mere motion, and certain knowledge, 
by the advice of the lonls and others of om- privy council, have, for us, our 
heil-s, and successors, granted, ordained, and established that all that circuit, con- 
tinent, precincts, and limits in America lying and being in breadth from forty 
degrees of northerly latitude from the equinoctial line to forty-eiglit degrees of 
the said northerly latitude, and in length by all the breiulth fiforesaid, through- 
out tlie main land, from sea to sea, with all the seii^, rivers, islandti, creeks, inlets, 
ports, and havens within the degrees, precincts, and limits of the said latitude 
and longitude, shall be tlie limits, and bounds, and precincts of the said second 

"And to the end that the said territiries m.ay forever hereafter be more par- 
ticularly and ceitainly known and distinguished, our will and pleasure is tluit 
the same shall from henceforth be noniinated, termed, and called by the name 
of New England in America; and by that name of New England in America, the 
said circuit, precinct, limit, continent, islands, and places in .\menca aforesaid, 
we do, by these presents, for us, our heirs, and successors, name, call, erect, found, 
and establish, and by that name to have continuance forever." 

As it is a matter of interest to the people of the present day 
to know who were the " principal knights and gentlemen and 
other persons of quality" who were the real projectors and 
founders of the New England colonies resident in England, 
some of whom came over to this side and many of whom were 
represented in the infant settlements by their near relatives 
and friends, we give below a list of the first patentees and 
proprietors with their titles as recited in the patent : 

"Our right tnisty and right well-beloved cousin and counselor, Lodowick, 
Duke of Lenox, lord Stewart of our household ; George, Lord Marquis Bnckin- 
ham, our high admiral of England; James, Marquis Hamilton ; William, Earl 
of Pembroke, lord chamberlain of our household ; Thonia.s, Earl of Arundel ; and 
our right trusty and light well-beloved cousin, William, Earl of Bath; and our 
right tnusty and right well-beloved cousin and counsehu-, Henry, Earl of South- 
ampton ; and our right trusty and well-beloved cousins, William, Earl of Salsbury, 
and Robert, Earl of Warwick ; and our right trusty and right well-beloved John, 
Viscount Iloddington; and our right tru.sty and well-lieloved counselor, Ed- 
waid. Lord Zouch, lord warden of our cinque ports ; and our trusty and well-be- 
loved E'lmond, Lord ShefHeld; Edward, Lord Gorges; and our well-beloved Sir 
Edward Seymoiir, Knight and Baronet ; Sir Robert Mansel; Sir Edward Zouch, 
our knight nuii-shal ; Sir Dtidley Biggs, Sir Thomas Roe, Sir Fcrdinando Gor- 
ges, Sir Francis Popham, Sir John Brooks, Sir Thonu^ Gates, Sir Richard Haw- 
kins, Sir Richard Edgecomb, Sir Allen Apsley, Sir Warwick Hoale, Sir Richard 
Catchmay, Sir John Bourgchin, Sir Nathaniel Ricli, Sir Edward Giles, Sir Giles 
Monipesson, Sir Thonia.s Worth, Ivniglits; and our well-beloveti Blatthew Sut- 
clitf, Dean of Exeter; Robert Heath, Esq., Recorder of our city of London; 
Henry Bourgchin, John Drake, Ealeigl) Gilbert, Geoi'ge Cliudley, Thomas Hamon, 
and John Argall, Esquires to be . . . the first modern and present council, es- 
taldislied at Plymoutli in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, ordering, 
and governing of New England in ^Vmerica." 

It will be seen that at the very date this patent of New Eng- 
land was granted a little ship — the " Ma^yflower" — was on 
the ocean with its precious freight, — the Pilgrim Fathers, — 
who were destined to be its first permanent settlers. 



Following closelj' upon the patent of New England, and 
being the immediate title of settlers of the Connecticut Valley 
in Massachusetts, came the colony charter. 

The charter of the colony of Massachusetts was granted by 
King Charles I., in the third year of his reign, on the 4th day 
of March, 1628. 

The charter made and constituted the persons below-named, 
among whom was William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield, 
"one body corporate and politick in fact and name, b}' the 
name of the Governor and Company of the Massachu.ietfs Bay 
in New England," viz. : Sir Henry Roswell, Sir John Younge, 
Sir Richard Saltonstall, Thomas Southcott, John Humfrey, 
John Endicott, Simon Whctcome, Isaac Johnson, Samuel 
Aldersey, John Ven, Matthew Cradock, George Harwood, 
Increase Nowell, Richard Puey, Richard Billingham, Na- 
thaniel Wright, Samuel Vassall, Theophilus Eaton, Thomas 
Goii'e, Thomas Adams, John Browne, Samuel Browne, 
Thomas Hutchins, William Vassall, William Pinchion, and 
George Foxcrofte. 

This charter was brought over to New England in the year 
1030, by John Winthrop, and the colony founded. 




TuE early settlers of the Valley of the Connecticut in 
Ma.ssachusetts were almost without exception English Puri- 
tans. Of a truth almost all the inhabitants of the valley, up 
to the beginning of the present century, were descendants of 
English Puritans. "Civilized New England," saj's John 
Gorham Palfrey, " is the child of English Puritanism." The 
English emigration to New England began with the Pilgrim 
Fathers in the year 1620. It was not until 1630, ten years 
later, that they came in any considerable numbers. Ten years 
later still, in 1040, the English emigration to New England 
almost ceased. During the twenty years of this active move- 
ment about twenty thousand English people in all came to 
New England. These twenty thousand people thenceforth, 
for over a century and a half, multiplied on their own soil in 
remarkable seclusion from other communities who were their 



neighbors in the New World. " Till the time of the Boston 
Port Bill, eighty-four years ago," says Palfrey, writing in 
1858, " Massachusetts and Virginia, the two principal English 
colonies, had with each other scarcely more relations of ac- 
quaintance, business, mutual influence, or common action, 
than either of them had with Jamaica or Quebec."* Thus 
isolated and almost free from foreign influences, this remark- 
able people preserved its identity quite unimpaired. During 
all this long period of one hundred and fifty years it was 
making of itself a homogeneous race, and as such was forming 
a distinct character and working out its own problems in re- 
ligion and government. It is true that some small settlements 
were composed of other elements, and there were from time 
to time .small accessions to its numbers from abroad. Thus, 
in 1651, Cromwell, after the battles of Dunbar and Worcester, 
exiled some four or five hundred of his Scotch prisoners to 
Massachusetts Bay, few traces of whom are left. In the year 
168.5, after Louis XIV. had revoked the Edict of Nantes, 
about one hundred and fifty families of French Huguenots 
came to Massachusetts, and in 1719 about one hundred and 
twenty families of Scotch-Irish came over and settled in Lon- 
donderry, N. H., and elsewhere in New England. But 
few strangers had no perceptible influence upon the sturdy 
New England character. In the solitudes of the old primeval 
wilderness this remarkable people worked out its own high 
destiny in suftcring and in faith. The reader must bear in 
mind, however, the distinction that is made in New England 
history between the Pilgrim Fathers, of Plymouth, and the 
Puritan Fathers, of Massachusetts Bay. Although both arc 
of English Puritan stock, yet they difler in this : the Pilgrim 
Fathers, who landed at Plymouth Kock in 1620, separated 
from the Church of England several years before they fled to 
Holland, from whence they came to America, while the Puri- 
tan Fathers, who mostly landed at the Massachusetts Bay, 
about the year IG.SO, did not separate from the English Church 
until after their arrival here. In fact, their first religious 
services after their arrival were in strict accordance with the 
Book of Common Prayer, save in such matters of non-con- 
formance as had led to their coming here. With the Pilgrim 
Fathers no ministers came. Their religious services were 
conducted by laymen for several years after their arrival. 

The ministers who came with the Puritan Fathers were 
without exception all regularly-ordained clergymen of the 
Church of England. It is true the most of them had been 
silenced in the mother-country for non-conformity, yet their 
full connection with the church had not been lawfully severed. 



Christianity, it is probable, was first planted in Britain in the 
beginning of the second century by the early Christian fathers, 
if it was not even earlier by Saint Paul himself, as some say. 
It is known to have existed there in the fourth century, and 
that British bishops during that period attended the general 
councils of the church on more than one occasion. The Saxons 
■invaded Enghuid about the middle of the fifth century, and 
not only drove out the ancient British peo]ile, but nearly ex- 
terminated the early British church. 

From this early Christian church of Britain, the Protestant 
Church of England claims descent. The sway of the See of 
Borne over the Church of England began with the missionary 
efforts of St. Austin or Augustin in the year 596, when he 
was sent by Pope Gregory I. to convert the Anglo-Saxons. 
St. Augustin was made the first archbishop of Canterbury, 
but the few remaining British bishops refused to come under 
his rule. 

It is claimed by the Church of England that the Protestant 
Reformation of the sixteenth century was but a revival of the 
ancient church of Britain freed from the sway of Rome. 

* Preface to Vol. I., Historj- of New England, p. viii. 

Of a truth the Church of England, even from the days of 
the Saxon Heptarchy, all through the long centuries of Roman 
rule, was always more or less Protestant in spirit. At the 
time of the Reformation the Church of England protested 
against the rule of the Church of Rome. The Puritans pro- 
tested against the sway of the Church of England in turn, 
and thus became, as they have aptly been called, the " Protes- 
tants of Protestants." 

Almost from the conversion of the Saxons in England by 
St. Augustin, Saxon versions of the Bible were in use among 
the people, from which they obtained Scriptural knowledge, 
and in the Anglo-Saxon ritual of the Mass both the gospel 
and the epistle were read by the clergy from the steps of the 
altar, not in the Latin but in the Anglo-Saxon tongue.f 

In the year 1076 even William the Conqueror came near to 
a quarrel with the Holy See, by forbidding his bishops to obey 
its citations to Rome, and ordering spiritual causes to be tried 
in the county courts. J In the reign of Henry I., which began 
in the year a.d. 1100, the larger portion of the English clergy- 
had wives, with Henry's ap]iroval, in doubtful submission to 
the injvmctions of the Holy See, and even in the fifteenth cen- 
tury there were married priests in England. § 

In the year 1301 the barons of Edward I., in the dispute 
about the Scottish crown with the See of Rome, denied the 
latter's sujiremacy in unmistakable terms, and Edward's Stat- 
ute of MoHmahi was passed to protect the people against the 
heavy pecuniary exactions of the monks and priests. 

And so we find from the earliest times up to the days of 
Wyclift'e in the fourteenth century a succession of acts showing 
that no inconsiderable part of the English people were ex- 
tremely jealous of what they called continental interference 
in their religious and civil affairs. 


The father of English Puritanism was John Wycliffe. He 
was born in Yorkshire, near Richmond, about the year 1324, 
and died peacefully at the age of sixty years, in December, in 
the year 1384. 

Wycliffe first came into notice while he was still an obscure 
young student at Oxford, when in the year 1351, King Ed- 
ward's famous Siafufe of Prorisoex asserted for the English 
church, in certain matters, independence of the See of Rome. 

A tract published by Wyclift'e on this occasion, in which 
he warmly espoused the English cause, not only brought him 
into notice, but made him famous. Ten years of study and only served to widen his departure from the Or- 
thodox, or Roman standard. His departure from the Orthodox 
faith was radical. His views, boldly published in England in 
the middle of the fourteenth century, differ in no important 
particular from those held upon the same subjects by the Pil- 
grim and Puritan fiithers of New England, three hundred 
years later, in the beginning of the seventeenth, nor of their 
descendants now living, nearly three hundred years later still, 
at the close of the nineteenth, century. 

W.yclifte asserted the entire sufficiency of the Bible as a 
rule of faith. He denied the supremacy of the Pope. He 
denied the dogma of the real presence in the eucharist, the 
validity of absolution and indulgences, as well as the merit of 
penance and monastic vows. He opposed ecclesiastical forms 
and ceremonies, and the observance of festival days. He 
protested against auricular coni'essi(m, prayers to saints, the 
use of set forms of prayer, and denounced the canonical dis- 
tinction between priests and bishops. || 

His numerous writings, many of them in the English 
tongue, were extensively circulated and read with eagerness 

f Sice Pnlfroy's Histoiy of Now England, Vol. I., p. 100. 
J m<l.. \K 1(11. 

g I'iillivy, Vol. I., p. Kli;. L\tlk't..ii, Lifi- of Ilcmy III., pp. 42, 328. Wilkins, 
Couciliii III., p. 277. 

II Palfrey's New England, Vol. T., p. 104. 



by all eliisses of people. There was a decided tendency of 
opinion in the realm toward change in religious matters, of 
which movement Wycliife was the acknowledged leader. 
Among his supporters were persons no less exalted than the 
queen and the king's mother, widow of the Black Prince. 
The House of Commons threw out a bill to suppress his 
translation of the Bible by a large majority. Chaucer, the 
father of English literature, was the reformer's friend, and 
influenced, doubtless, the cultivated intelligence of England 
by dealing somewhat freely with the Church, the clergy, and 
the friars in the direction of reform. Yet Wycliffe did not 
produce all this. The spirit of reform was alive and active 
in the heart of the English nation. The people heard him 
gladly. With prophetic tongue he uttered the people's voice. 

But the English Reformation, so auspiciously begun, in the 
days of Wyclift'e, under Edward III., was yet destined to 
slumber for nearly two hundred years, until the great awak- 
ening in the religious thought of the tirst quarter of the six- 
teenth century, known in history as the Reformation, shook 
to their centre all the kingdoms of the world. 

Under the Lancastrian kings the court took a different 
direction, in attempting to prop "the unsteady throne of an 
unlineal liouse," by calling to its aid the spiritual power of 
Rome. In the troublous times of the Wars of the Roses, 
questions of religion were mostly lost to view. It was not till 
the reign of the second Tudor, Henry VIII., that allegiance 
to Rome was sundered by act of Parliament, and the English 
sovereign declared to be the head of the English Church. 
Yet, under Henry VIII., all that the Church of England 
gained was this emancipation from the control of the See of 
Ronie. Her doctrines were still mainly unchanged. 


The Church of England, as modified by the Refornuition, 
and mainly as she is constituted to-day, assumed her form and 
shape in doctrine and observances through the measures insti- 
tuted in her behalf during the reign of the boy-king, Edward 
VI., who ascended the throne in the year 1.547. 

In the year 1540, under his father's reign, the Statute oj' the 
Six Articles had condemned to death by burning, and to for- 
feiture of estate, whosoever should deny the real presence, and 
to imprisonment and confiscation for the first oftense, and to 
death for the second, such as should "in word or writing 
speak against the celibacy of the clergy, the communion in 
one kind, vows of chastity, private masses, or auricular con- 
fession." * Under this law, and others no less severe, against 
the using or keeping of the Bible in Tyndal's translation, 
then just made, many suftered death at the stake, and many 
fled the realm. But an entirely new order of things was in- 
augurated under Edward VI. " The thunder of the Six Ar- 
ticles," says Palfrey, " was permitted to die away. Prisoners 
for heresy were set at liberty, and fugitives were allowed to 
return from the Continent. Church images were destroyed. 
Preaching, which had fallen much into disuse, was revived. 
The Bible, in English, was placed in every church." f Dur- 
ing the young king's flrst year laws were passed directing the 
dispensation of both the elements, bread and wine, to the laity 
in the Lord's Supper, and repealing the statute of the Six 

In April, 1-5.52, uniformity of public worship was provided 
by requiring all ministers to use the liturgy which had been 
prepared under Bishop Cranmer, which is substantially that 
used by the Church of England to-day in her Book of Com- 
mon Prayer. Incense, candles, and holy water were forbid- 
den, and the high altar exchanged for the communion table. 

But the use of ministerial robes and vestments, the rochet, 
the cape, the surplice, was still enjoined upon the clergy. 

* Burnett, History of the Reformation, 
f History of New England, Vol. I., p. 111. 


It was the requirement last above named — that in reg;ird to 
the use of vestments by the clergy, as provided for in the ritual 
of Edward VI. — that was destined soon to dismember the Prot- 
estant Church of England; and it was in the young king's 
reign that this question of clerical costume came forward into 
prominent importance. 

Those who advocated uniformity in the use of sacred vest- 
ments claimed that they contributed largely to the seemliness, 
decency, and dignity of public worship ; that unnecessary de- 
partures from the practice of the Church of Rome were inex- 
pedient ; and that to oppose the will of rulers in so small a 
matter indicated a factious temper rather than the possession 
of sound sense. On the other hand, it was alleged that in the 
popular mind clerical vestments were intimately associated 
with the " idolatry of Rome," and were part and parcel of the 
" mischievous machinery of the Mass," and that a " Christian 
minister owed it to the simplicity and godl}' sincerity which 
became his vocation" to abstain from their use. 

The party in opposition to the use of the clerical habit soon 
became known as Puritans, and shortly afterward were called 

In the year 1.5.50, the first overt act occurred in this dispute 
in the English Protestant Church over the use of vestments 
by the clergy, which resulted in the coming of the Pilgrim 
Fathers to Plymouth Rock. In that year (1550) John Hooper 
was appointed bishop of Gloucester. Belonging to the oppos- 
ing or "Puritan party, he took the resolution to decline the pro- 
motion rather than to submit to what he considered the dis- 
honor of clothing himself in the Episcopal robes. The young 
king was inclined to relent, but Bi-shops Cranmer and Ridley 
insisted upon his compliance. He was so obstinate that they 
put him in jail. At length they persuaded him so far to yield 
his scruples as to consent to wear the habit of his order at his 
consecration, and once afterward in preaching at court. After 
this he put it on no more. His example was followed by a few 
bishops and numbers of the other clergy. 

But the reign of the young king was short, and at its close 
the Princess Mary succeeded to the throne. During her short 
reign the old order of things in matters of religion was re- 
established. In November, 1554, Parliament at a single blow 
rescinded all the laws respecting religion which had been passed 
during the last reign. The unholy fires of religious persecu- 
tion were soon lighted, and over three hundred persons were 
burned at the stake, among whom were five bishops. Num- 
bers of the dissentients fled to the continent, taking refuge in 
Frankfort-on-the-Main and other places. 

Upon the death of Queen Mary, Nov. 17, 1558, the Princess 
Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Henry VIII. by Ann 
Boleyn, succeeded to the throne of England. Her long reign 
began with the restitution of the Protestant order. The laws 
concerning religion passed in the time of her brother, Edward 
VI., were re-enacted. This was soon followed by two impor- 
tant acts, the one called the Act of Supremacy, and the other 
the Act of Uniformity. The first required of all the clergy 
and oflScial laymen an oath renouncing the authority of any 
foreign priest or prelate in matters both temporal and spiritual, 
and recognizing the supremacy of the sovereign of England 
" in all causes ecclesiastical and civil." The latter act forbade 
all ministers to conduct public worship otherwise than accord- 
ing to the rubric under the penalty of life-imprisonment for 
the third offense. But religious persecution did not cease with 
the death of Queen Mary. During the reign of Elizabeth, 
numbers of Roman Catholics were punished by imprisonment 
and forfeiture of estates, and two hundred of them put to death 
for their religion. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth to the 
throne, numerous Protestant fugitives to the continent, driven 
into exile by the rigorous laws of Queen Mary, returned to 
Eno-land. During their absence in different continental cities 
they had kept up the controversy regarding vestments and 



other requirements of the rubric of Edward VI., Ijegun dur- 
ing his reign, and on (heir return this controversy was trans- 
ferred to England. 

The jjarty who followed in the lead of Bishop Hooper, and 
who were opposed to the use of vestments, had now come to 
be called Puritans. They not only opposed the use of the cleri- 
cal habit, but also objected to the use of the sign of the cross in 
baptism, of the ring in marriage, and of the kneeling posture 
in the communion. 

The queen and Parliament both sided with the advocates of 
the Praycr-Book, and in loO.O a royal proclamation was issued 
requiring uniformity in peremptory terms. Upon the issuing 
of this proclamation of conformity, thirty-seven out of ninetj'- 
eight London ministers were summoned for contumacy before 
the bishops, suspended, and deprived of their livings. This 
began the long contest in the English Church between the 
Churchmen and the Puritans, which resulted in the with- 
drawal of a part of the Puritans to New England in search 
of that religious liberty which was denied them at home, and 
in the complete triumph for a while, at least, of the Puritan 
cause in the mother-country, under Cromwell. 

In the year 1.583, upon the death of Archbishop Grindal, 
who was a man of moderate temper and principles, Arch- 
bishop "Whitgift succeeded to the primacy of England. In 
the week of his consecration he issued instructions to his 
bishops to forbid and prevent preaching, catechising, and 
praying in any private family in the presence of persons not 
belonging to it, and to silence all preachers and catechists 
who had not received orders from episcopal hands, or who 
refused or neglected to read the whole service, or to wear the 
prescribed clerical habit, or to subscribe to the queen's su- 
premacy, the Thirty-Nine Articles, and the Book of Common 
Prayer. This was aimed at the Puritan party, and during 
the first year two hundred and thirty-three ministers of the 
Church of England, of Puritan proclivities, were suspended 
in six counties of the province of Canterbur}'. 

By the Act of Supremacy, passed in the first year of Eliza- 
beth's reign, the sovereign had been authorized to appoint a 
"Court of High Conmiissioti," with power "to visit, reform, 
redress, order, correct, and amend all errors, heresies, schisms, 
abuses, contempts, otienses, and enormities whatsoever." This 
was the royal tribunal for the trial of ecclesiastical causes, 
and Archbishop Whitgift, in the year 1584, was ordered by 
Elizabeth to organize this court. 

The Court of High Commission was formed by the appoint- 
ment of forty-four commissioners, of whom twelve were 
bishops, and began at once to try persons accused of violating 
the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity. 

And so the contest went on from year to year, with varying 
intensity, between the two parties of the Church of England, 
through the remaining years of Queen Elizabeth's reign and 
into the reign of her successor, until a part of the Puritan 
party, at least, sought refuge from further persecution in the 
wilds of America. 



But years before the appointment of the Court of High 
Commission a new party in this religious controversy ap- 
peared upon the troubled scene, which was destined, in the 
persons of some of its humble followers, to play a prominent 
part in the world's history. This was the party of "Sejia- 
ratists," or " Brownists," as they were sometimes called, from 
the name of their first leader, one congregation of which, in 
the year 1G20, were the Pilgrims of the " Mayflower." 

As early as 1567 separate congregations had been formed, 
and in 1572 the "first-born of all presbyteries" was estab- 
lished at Wandworth in Surrey.* 

Robert Brown was the leader of the new sect whicli bore 

» Barry's Hist, of Maes., Vol. I., p. 46. 

his name in 1.581. He not only preached against the ceremo- 
nies and discipline of the Established Church, but also advo- 
cated the democratic doctrine of the independency and the^ 
complete jurisdiction of every congregation in its own aftairs, 
— in short, the Congregational system. But Eobert Brown 
soon went back to the Establishment, and his followers, re- 
fusing to be called by his name, became known as Separatists 
or Independents. 

In 1592 a congregation of Separatists was gathered at Lon- 
don by Francis Johnson. It was soon after broken up by the 
authorities, and the i)ast.or, with a portion of his flock, escaped 
to Amsterdam, in Holland. 

About the year 1594 the Church of the Pilgrims first met at 
Gainsborough and afterward at Scrooby, " to the north of the 
Trent, near the joining borders of Nottinghamshire, Lincoln- 
shire, and Yorkshire." In 1.594, Mr. William Brewster, so 
well known as the leader of the church at Plymouth, was 
appointed postmaster at Scrooby, and occupied as tenant the 
Scrooby manor-house. It was at his house that the first 
meetings were held, Scrooby was situated near the high-road 
from York to London, in the vicinity of the Hatfield Chase. 
It was a favorite resting-place for the Archbishops of York 
in their journeys to the metropolis, and was often resorted 
to for the enjoyment of field-sports. Savage often 
resided there in the reign of Henry VII., and it was for some 
time the abode of Cardinal Wolsey in his disgrace. Yet 
Scrooby has most honor as the first home of the Church of the 
Pilgrim Fathers. 

But the story of the flight of this church to Holland, and 
from thence back to England on its way to Plymouth Hock 
in the " Mayflower," need not be related here. 



The reader should bear in mind the distinction between the 
Pilgrim Fathers and Puritan Fathers. It has been seen above 
that the Pilgrims of Plymouth who landed in 1620 separated 
from the Established Church of England, and first held their 
meetings in the Congregational form at the Scrooby manor- 
house in 1694; that they went to Holland as Separatists, and 
came to America as such. On the other hand, the Puritans, 
who came to Massachusetts Bay in the year 1630, were simply 
Non-conformists, and did not separate from the English Church 
until after their arrival here. Connected with the National 
Church, they submitted to her authority so far as they could, 
acknowledged her as their " mother" in all matters of doctrinal 
concern, and only diflered from her as to the propriety of some 
of her observances. Had liberty been allowed them, they 
would doubtless have remained in England, and in the bosonr 
of the mother-church. It has been seen in the last preceding 
chapter that the charter of the colony of Massachusetts was 
granted in the year 1628. In the same year John Endicot 
came over and settled in Salem. The next spring he was fol- 
lowed by Francis Higginson and his company, and in the 
year 1630 John Winthrop came over with the charter and 
founded the colony of Massachusetts Bay. William Pynohon 
the founder of Springfield, came over with Winthrop and th 
charter and settled at Roxbury. 

True to the object of their coming, the first care of the 
Puritan Fathers after landing was to provide for their minis- 
ters, as will be seen by the record of the first General Court 
held in New England, which is as follows, viz. ; 

The first Court of ,\ssi.stAnts holilcn nt Charlton, August 23, Ano. Dom. in:lO. 

" Prcaont — Mr. .To : "Winthrop, Gonnr., Mr. Increase Nowell, Mr. Tho : Duilloy, 
Bopnt. Gounr., Mr. Tho : Sharpe, Sr. Rich : Snltonstall, Kt., Mr. Will : Piuchion, 
Mr, Rolitc: Liullowe, Mr. Sim: Bradstreete, Mr. Edward Rossiter. 

" Imi'R., it wiis ppoundud howe the miuistcrs should be mayntayued. Mr. Wil- 
son A filr. Pliillips (ini'Iy i)pounded. 

'• It Wius orderi'ii that hou,ses should ho built for them with convenient spccdp, 
att the |)ublii|ue eliarge. Sr. Rich : Saltonstall undertookc to sci- it done att hid 
plauacou for Mr. Phillips and Mr. Gouur., at the otlier plantiicou for Mr. Wilson. 



" It was ppoiindeil what sIioiiUl be their p'soiit maynetcnancc. 

"Ordereil, that Mr. Pliillips should have aUoweil him 3 hogsh(!a<ls nf iiir-ahi, 1 
hogsh of nialte, 4 hushells of Iiuliau conic, 1 hnshfll of oatineale, half an liun- 
dred of salte fislie ; for iipparcll and other pvisious XX/., or els to huva Xi. given 
him in money p. ann,, to make his owne pvisions if liee chuse it the rather, tlie 
yeare to begin the tii-st of September nexte. 

" It., that Mr, Wilson should hereafter XXZ, p. ann. till bis wife come over ; his 
yeare to begin the lotb of July h-uit. All this to be att the common charge, 
those of MatUipau & Salem only exempted."* 



In the preceding chapter some account is given of who and 
what the early settlers of Massachusetts were, and what oc- 
casioned their coming to the New World. In this chapter 
will be given some account of the early emigration of a jiart 
of them to the fertile valley of the Connecticut, and the estab- 
lishment of the principal towns in the Connecticut Valley in 

The removal of William Pynchon and his few followers in 
the year 1636 from Roxbury at the bay across the virgin wil- 
derness, one hundred miles to the fertile wild meadows of the 
Connecticut Valley, was not a separate undertaking, but 
formed a small part only of an important movement which 
resulted in not only the planting of Springfield, at the mouth 
of the Agawam, but also in the founding of the State of 
Connecticut. At the time of this removal from the bay to 
the river the people at the bay were in the midst of a serious 
religious controversy, occasioned by the promulgation of what 
they called the heretical views of Ann Hutchinson and Koger 
Williams, and religious considerations may have had some- 
thing to do with the removal. That this may have been the 
case more particularly with Mr. Pynchon, he being a man of 
what were then considered liberal religious views, as the sequel 
will show, is more than probable. That Mr. Pynchon with the 
rest had some desire to settle outside the jurisdiction of the 
Massachusetts colony, and set up a separate government, the 
facts seem to warrant, for during the tirst two or three years 
after their arrival in the valley the settlement of Agawam 
(now Springfield) was deemed to be a part and parcel of the 
Connecticut colony, and as such sent delegates to Hartford to 
meet in General Court. 

Mr. Pynchon had been engaged in the fur trade at the bay, 
and his selection of Agawam, at the mouth of the stream of 
that name, down which the Indians brought their furs in bark 
canoes from the great mountain beaver-hunting country of the 
Mohicans and from the Wo-ro-)ioaks at Westfield, was doubt- 
less influenced by that consideration as well as others. 

It was not until Mr. Pynchon had some serious difficulty 
with the Connecticut people, and the discovery was made that 
Springfield really lay within the Massachusetts jurisdiction, 
that she quite abruptly separated herself from the control of 
the Hartford colony, and her people renewed their govern- 
mental relations with the people at the Bay. And this change 
of allegiance by the Springfield people, from the Hartford 
authorities to the Bay, was not made without sharp contro- 
versy between the General Courts of the two colonies, and 
was followed by a bitter feud in regard to import duties, which 
is treated of in a succeeding chapter of this work. 


As early as the year 16.31, the year after the founding of 
Boston by Winthrop, and five years before Pynchon and his 
band founded Springfield, three Indian sachems came to the 
Bay ft'om the Connecticut River, for the purpose of inviting 

* Col. Kecds. of Mass., Vul. I., p. 73. 

the English to come and settle in the fertile meadows that 
border the stream. 

In " Winthrop's History of New England," the following 
graphic account is given of this visit, which seems to have 
been the first time the attention of the settlers at the Bay was 
called to the subject of emigrating to the Connecticut River 
Valley, and doubtless led the way to their coming. Winthrop's 
accountf is this : 

"April 4, 1631, U'a/i-f/in-na-cuf, a sagamore on the River' 
Quon-eh-ta-cut, which lies west of Nar-a-gan-cet, came to the 
governour at Boston with John Sagamore and Jack Straw 
(an Indian who had lived in England, and had served Sir 
Walter Raleigh, and was now turned Indian again), and 
divers of their sannops, and brought a letter to the governour 
from Mr. Endeeott, to this effect : that the said Wah-gin-iin- 
cut was very desirous to have some Englishmen to come plant 
in his country, and offered to find them corn, and give them 
yearly eighty skins of beaver, and that the country was very 
fruitful, etc., and wished that there might be two men sent 
with him to see the country. The governour entertained them 
at dinner,, but would send none with him. He discovered 
after that the sagamore is a very treacherous man, and at war 
with the I'c-linaih. (a far greater sagamore). His country is 
not above five days' journey from us by land. The gov- 
ernor," continues Winthrop, "entertained them at dinner, 
but would send none with hiiu." 


It was not until two years after the visit of the Quo7i-r/i- 
in-cut sachem Wah-gin-na-cut at the Bay, that it was returned 
by the whites. From Winthrop's Journal, under date of 
Sept. 4, 1633, it appears that John Oldham, then an inhabit- 
ant at the Bay, made an overland journey to the Connecticut 
River Valley, which visit is the first there appears any account 
of in history made by the New England people. 

The account of Oldham's visit to the valley is in the follow- 
in !' words : 

" 1633, 4th September. — About ten days before this time, a 
bark was set forth to Connecticut and those parts to trade. 

" John Oldam, and three with him went overland to Connec- 
ticut to trade. The sachem used them kindly and gave them 
some beaver. They brought off the hemp, which grows there 
in abundance, and is much better than the English. He ac- 
counted it to be about one hundred and sixty miles. He 
brought some black lead, whereof the Indians told him there 
was a whole rock. He lodged at Indian towns all the way. "J 


The Dutch settlement on the Island of Manhattan, at the 
mouth of the Hudson River, where now stands the city of 
New York, has the honor of sending the pioneer white occu- 
pants to the valley of the Connecticut. 

Henry Hudson, an English navigator, in the employ of the 
Dutch East India Company, had explored the river which 
still bears his name as early as the year 1609, but no perma-/ 
nent settlements were made on its banks by the Dutch until 
five -years later. In the year 161.5 the Dutch began two settle- 
ments on the Hudson, — one on the island of Manhattan, and 
the other one hundred and forty miles up the river, where now 
stands the city of Albany. 

Soon after these settlements on the Hudson, the Dutch made 
voyages to the mouth of the Connecticut, which they called 
the Fresh River, or the Fresh Wafer River, and drove a profit- 
able trade with the Indians on its banks, claiming the stream 
and its fertile valley by the right of prior discovery. But the 
Dutch made no attempt to plant a colony on the Connecticut 
or to take actual possession of the territory adjoining its banks ^ 
till the year 1633, about the time of Oldham's visit. During 

t See Winthrop's History of Now England, Vol. I., p. 52. 
t Winthrop's Hist, of New Eng., Vol. I., p. 178. 




the summer of that year the Dutch sailed up the Connecticut, 
landing at the point where the city of Hartford now stands, 
and threw up a rude work, upon upon which they mounted 
two small cannon. But the Dutch, although the first white 
occupants of the valley of the Connecticut, were not its first 
permanent settlers. 


The Pilgrim Fathers, from a year or two after their settle- 
ment at Plymouth in 1620, doubtless from time to time made 
voyages of trade and discovery to the Fresh Rieer, so called 
b_y the Dutch, but thej' made no attempt to colonize its banks 
jntil the year 1633. 

In July of that year, having heard that the Quon-eh-ta-ciif 
Eiver atforded " a fine place both for plantation and trade," 
the plan was conceived by Winslow and Bradford to form a 
partnership with certain men at Boston with the view of 
building a fort and trading-house on its banks, and thus if 
possible anticipate the Dutch, who, it was said, had pro- 
jected a similar scheme. The Massachusetts men having 
formed the opinion that the river was shallow, and that war- 
like Indians were to be found in great numbers inhabiting its 
banks, concluded to take no part in the enterprise. The men 
of Plymouth, not so easily discouraged, fitted out a vessel with 
the frame of a house and materials for its building, and sailed 
up the Connecticut in search of a suitable place to plant a 
colony. This A\ms in October, and the Dutch had already 
preceded them. At what is now Hartford, where, as above 
stated, the Dutch had built a fort, they were challenged by 
the little garrison. After a parley and many threats on both 
sides the Dutch let them pass on up the stream without mo- 
\. lestation. They went up to what is now Windsor, built, for- 
tified, and provisioned their house. A part of the company 
remained to hold it, and the rest returned to Plymouth. The 
next summer the Dutch sent up a company of seventy men 
to dispossess them. But the Dutch wisely concluded not to 
attack the spirited little English garrison, and returned with- 
out accomplishing their object. It was the destiny of the 
English people and not the Dutch to settle the Connecticut 


It has been seen in the last chapter that the people who came 
over with Winthrop in such numbers to the Massachusetts 
Bay in the year 1630, and the two or three following years, 
dispersed themselves into several plantations at and near Bos- 
ton. Among these plantations were Dorchester, Watertown, 
Newtown (now Cambridge), and Eoxbury. The people of 
these four towns were destined soon to take an important part 
in the settlement of the valley of the Connecticut River. 
Roxbury in particular is of interest to the readers of this his- 
tory, as from it came Mr. William Pynchon and his little 
band, — the pioneers of Springfield andof the "Connecticut 
Valley in Massachusetts." 

While William Pynchon was the leader of those from Rox- 
bury, who settled in the Massachusetts part of the valley, 
those from Kewtown and Dorchester, who settled in and 
founded what is now the State of Connecticut, were led by 
the ministers Thomas Hooker and Samuel Stone, and their 
parishioner, John Haynes, of Newtown, and Roger Ludlow, 
the principal la3'-citizen of Dorchester. 

The ministers Hooker and Stone had both been educated at 
that institution of Puritan proclivities — the Alma Mater of 
most of the early New England clergy — Emmanuel College, 
Cambridge, England. Mr. Stone before coming over had been 
a lecturer in Northamptonshire, and Mr. Hooker had been in 
the same employment at Chelmsford, in Essex, near the English 
home of Pynchon. Doubtless the friendship that must have 
existed between Hooker and Pynchon in their common Eng- 
lish home led to their association in this new project. John 
Haynes was governor of Massachusetts Bay in 1U35, of Con- 

necticut in 1639 and other years, and Roger Ludlow was 
deputy-governor of Massachusetts in 1634, and deputy-gov- 
ernor of Connecticut in 1639 and other years. 

It was at the General Court, held at Boston in the year , 
1634, May 14, that the Newtown people, the first to move in the 
matter, presented their petition for leave "to look out either 
for enlargement or removal. ' ' This general proposition, doubt- 
less not fully understood, was at once granted. At the next 
meeting of the General Court, held on the 4th of September 
following, the purpose was avowed to remove to Connecticut. 
This propositiim to remove to Connecticut met with much 
opposition and to many days' warm debate in the General 

" The principal reasons for their removal," says Winthrop, 
" were, 1st. Their want of accommodation for their cattle, 
so as they were not able to maintain their ministers, nor could 
receive any more friends to help them : and here it was alleged 
by Mr. Hooker as a fundamental error that towns were set so 
near each to other. 2d. Tlie fruitfulness and commodiousness 
of Connecticut, and the danger of having it possessed by others, 
Dutch or English. 3d. The strong bent of their spirits to re- 
move thither.*' 

"Against these," continued Mr. Winthrop, "it was said, 
1st. That in point of conscience they ought not to depart from 
us, being knit to us in one body, and bound by oath to seek 
the welfare of this commonwealth. 2d. That in point of state 
and civil policy we ought not to give them leave to depart." 
In support of this last objection the following reasons were 
urged : " (1.) Being we were now weak and in danger to be 
assailed. (2.) The departure of Mr. Hooker would not only 
draw many from'us, but also divert other friends who would 
come to us. (3.) We should expose them to evident peril 
both from the Dutch [who made claim to the same river and 
had already built a fort there] and from the Indians, and also 
from our own State at home, who would not indure they 
should sit down without a patent in any place which our king 
lays claim to." 

The remaining objections urged were as follows, viz. : " 3d. 
They might be accommodated at home by some enlargement 
which other towns offered. 4th. They might remove to Mer- 
rimack, or other place within our patent. 5th. The removal 
of a candlestick! is a great judgment." 

When the matter came to be voted upon, the House of 
Deputies stood fifteen to ten in favor of granting the privilege 
of removal. Of the magistrates, all but Governor Dudley 
and two assistants voted in the negative. So the two houses 
disagreed, and leave was refused. But the next year — 1635 — Mi 
John Haynes was made governor, the magistrates ceased to 
press their objections, and on the 6th of May, 1635, they con- - ' 
sented to vote as follows : 

"There is liberty granted to the inhabitants of Watertown 
to remove themselves to any place they shall think meet to 
make choice of, provided they still continue under this gov- 
ernment. "J 

In the mean time, without waiting for the decision of the 
General Court, during the summer of 1635 a party from Dor- 
chester went to what is now Windsor, to the spot where the 
Plymouth colony had planted two years before, and another 
party from Watertown established themselves at the place 
now Weathersfield. It was also in the year 1635, as late as 
October, that another party of sixty persons — men, women, 
and children — set out overland, driving their cattle before 
them, to the infant settlements on the Connecticut. The 
winter set in early, and they had little time to prepare for it. 
In six weeks from the date of their departure twelve of the 
number struggled back to Boston, suffering untold hardships 
on the way. 

* Winthiop's Hist, of New Eiiglaiul, Vol. I., p. 140. 
t Thin reffi-s to tlic figure in Revelations i. 11-13, etc. 
} MiUB. Col! Rec, Vol. I., p. 140. 

-^^^/Tta^i ^yncOioi 



It was in the same year — 1G35 — that John Cahle and his 
'^i:^,sistant, John Woodcock, built the first rude dwollinij; in the 
'House Meadow," at Af/awam, whidi led the way to the 
planting of Springfield. 

But the year 1636 witnessed the great emigration of the 
rounders of the settlements in the valley of the Connecticut. 

Karly in that year AVilliam Pynchon, and six other heads of 
families from Roxhury, removed to Agawam, now Springfield ; 
and Mr. Hooker with his whole flock, consisting of about one 
hundred persons, followed in June to near the little Dutch 
fort, at what is now Hartford. Later in the summer the church 
of Dorchester, under Mr. Warham, settled at "Windsor; and 
the church at Watertown, under a new pastor, Mr. Henry 
Smith, found their way to the valley and settled Weathersfield. 

The reader must bear in mind, however, that in the month 
of October, of the year before this important removal, John 
"VVinthrop the younger came the second time to New England, 
bearing a commission from Lord Say and Sole, Lord Broke, 
and others, proprietors of the patent, as governor of Con- 
necticut for one j'ear, and laid the foundation of Saj'brook, 
at the mouth of the river. 

The General Court at Boston of course knew this, and were 
also aware of the fact that the lower towns on the river were 
not within the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts, but as a 
matter of necessity a commission was granted to the emigrants 
for their government the first 3'ear, which was as follows, viz. : 

" At the General Court, boldrn at Ncwe-Townc, March 3d, 1G3.5-G. 

"A Commission granted to several persons to gnverve the People alt Couupcticott for 
the spoctf of a yeare itotce neste comeing, an exeini>Vtficution whereof ensueth : 

" Whereas, upon some reason and grounds, tliere arc to remove from this or 
commonwealth and body of the Mattachusetts in America dj-^'" of o*" lovi-ing 
friends, nt^ighh", freemen and membere of Newe Towne, Dorchester, Watert^iwn, 
and other places, whoe are resolved to transplant themselves and their estates 
unto the Ryver of Connecticott, there to reside and inhabite, and to that end 
dyv" are there already, and dyv" others shortly to goe, wee, in this present 
Court assembled, on the behalfe of o' said menib", and John Wintlirop, Jun', 
Esqr, Uovnr, appoyntetl by certaine noble personages and men of iiuallitie inter- 
ested in tlie said ryvr, wch are yet in England, on their behalfe, liave luul a 
serious consideration tliere(on), and thinke it mcete that where there are a 
people to sitt down and cohabite, there will followe, upon occasion, some cause 
of difference, as also dyvere misdemeanoui-s, wch will require a speedy redresso ; 
and in regard of the distance of place, this State and government cannot take 
notice of the same as to apply timely remedy, or to dispence etpiall justice 
to them and their affaires, as may be desired; and in regard the said noble per- 
Bonsiges and men of qualitie have something ingaged themselves and their 
estates in the planting of the said ryver, and by vertue of a pattent, doe require 
jurisdictiuTi of the said place and people, and' neither the jnindes of the saiil 
personages (they being writ wixXa)) are as yet knowen, nor any manner of gov'm't 
is yet agreed on, and there being a necessitie, as aforesaid, tliat some present 
gov'm't may be observed, wee therefore thinke meete and soe order, that Roger 
Ludlow, Esqr, William Pinchou, Esqr, John Steele, William Swaine, Henry 
Smytbe, William Plielpes, William Westwood, and Andrewe Ward, or the greater 
parte of them, shall liave full power and authoritee to hear and detemiinc in a 
judicial way, by witnesses upon oathe examine, w'''in the said plantation, all 
those differences w^'' may arise betweene pai-tie and partie, as also, upon misde- 
meanor, to inflicte corporall punishm" or imprisonment, to fine and levy the 
same if occasion soe require, t^:) make and decree such orders, for the present, 
that may be for the peaceful and quiett ordering the affaires of the said planta- 
tion, both in trading, planting, building, lotts, militarie dissipline, defensive warr 
(if need soe require), as shall best conduce to the publique good of the same, and 
that the said Roger Ludlow, Wm. Pinchon, John Steele, Wm. Swaine, Henry 
Sniythe, Wm. Phelpes, Wm. Westwuod, Andrew Wai-d, or the greater parte of 
them, shall have power, under the greaf pr** of their hands, att a ilay or dayes 
by them appoynted, upon convenient notice, to convent the said inhabitants of 
the said townes to any convenient place that thcye shall thinke meete, in a legal 
and open manner, by way of Court, to proceed in executing the power and 
authoritee aforesaide, and in case of present nessesitie, two of them joyneing 
togeather, to inflict corporall punishment upon any offender if they see good 
and warrantable groundes soe to doe ; provided, alwayes, that this conmiission 
shall not extende any longer time than one whole yeare from the date thereof, 
and in the meane time it shall be laA\'full for this Court to recall the said presents 
if they see cause, and if soe I>o there may be a mutual and settled gov'm't con- 
descended unto by and with the good likeing and consent of the saide noble 
personages, or their agent, the inhabitiints, and this comonwealthe ; pi'ovided, 
also, that this may not be any predjudice to the intei-stof those noble personages 
in the s* rj'ver and confines thereof within their severall lymitts." 

The reader will see that this instrument constituted a new 
General Court similar to that at Boston, and the sequel shows 
that the colony of Connecticut was organized under it, and 

General Court hold by virtue of its provisions the first year, 
and that Mr. Pynchon, of Agawam, now Springfield, attended 
its sittings. 





Springfield, the garden town of the old Buy Stiite, is at 
once the mother .'settlement and the queen city of the Valley 
of the Connecticut in Ma.ssachusetts. Its name wa.s bestowed 
upon it by William Pynchon, its illustrious founder, in honor 
of his country-seat of that name, near Chelmsford, in E.ssex 
County, England. As the reader has seen in the preceding 
chapter, Springfield was settled in the year 163(3, in connection 
with the movement to the valley of the Connecticut Kiver of 
that year, which resulted in the founding of the State of Con- 

In this chapter it will only be attempted to give some ac- 
count of the first planting of the mother towns in the valley, 
leaving the main incidents of the settlement and development 
to the several town histories, which will be found farther on 
in these pages. 


As has also been seen in the last chapter, the inhabitants of 
the infant towns at the Bay, who had, for want of more room, 
determined to remove to the valley of the Connecticut, expe- 
rienced considerable difficulty in obtaining the consent of the 
General Court. At length, on the 6th day of May, 163.5, that ' 
consent was reluctantly given to the people of several towns, 
and among others to Roxhury, in the following w'ords, viz. : 

"The inhabitants of Kocksbury hath liberty granted them 
to remove themselves to any place they shall think meet, not 
to prejudice another plantation, provided they continue still 
under this government." 

To carry out his undertaking, and to provide some shelter 
for the families of the new wilderness home, in the summer of 
1G35, Mr. Pynchon sent on two men to build a home at Ag-a- 
u'am, the Indian name of the new settlement. These two 
men were named John Cable and John Woodcock. They 
built a small house on the Agawam meadow, on the west side 
of the Connecticut Kiver, and south side of the Agawam 
Kiver, about one-half mile above its mouth. This meadow 
has since borne the name of the " House Meadow." It now 
lies in the town of Agawam, and is beautifully situated in 
what was once a bend of the stream, afterward cut off by a 
change in its bed. Its surface was mostly some ten feet higher 
than the adjoining meadows, which were subject to overflow. 
The Indians, however, told them that it was likewise subject 
to overflow in extreme high water, and therefore, as a place of 
settlement, it was abandoned. The house, however, probably 
stood there for a year or more. 

It was not until the spring of the next year, 1636, that 
everything was in readiness for the departure of the emigrants. 
But before we follow them to their new homes, along the old 
Indian trail leading w-est from Boston, afterwards known to 
the people of Springfield as the " Bay Path," and since cele- 
brated in story and song, let us first take a survey of the 
situation in the early spring of that year, and attempt to form 
some notion of the magnitude and danger of their undertak- 
ing. Prom ocean to ocean, from sea to sea, from the frozen 
Northland to the flowing Gulf-Land, the whole vast continent 
was one unbroken solitude, covered with limitless forests filled 
with savage beasts, and still more savage men, and within it 



all were only a few feeble white settlements at vast distances 
from each other. On the north Champlain was nursing his 
little colony of Quebec. On the west there was a small fur- 
trading Dutch colony at Fort Orange, now Albany, and 
another at Manhattan, now New York. Farther to the 
south, in small numbers, were the English on the James, 
and the Spaniards in Florida ; but it was two years before the 
wedes landed on the banks of the Delaware. But neitlier 
of these settlements, if it would, could atlbrd them any aid or 
sympathy. But this was not the worst of it. As they jour- 
neyed tlirough the State from east to west, the B!ly Path on 
which they trod was flanked on their left with no less than 
four powerful Indian nations, — the Wniiijmnonffs, the Karrn- 
f/nnsetis, the Pequuts, and the Mohicans, either of which could 
send a thousand warriors into the field. Along their route lay 
the villages of the Nijimucks, and in the valley of the river 
which was to be their future home dwelt four or five tribes 
more. Would the time ever come when all these tribes 
throughout New England should rise and rend them? Alas! 
too soon. 

The very ne.\t year after their arrival in the valley the ter- 
rible struggle with the Pequuts occurred. In this war the 
inhabitants of Springfield took no active part, yet towards it 
they contributed their full share of the expenses.* 

Of the journey of William Pynchon and his little band of 
settlers in the earlj' spring of 1636 over the old Indian trail 
wliich led from the Bay to Agawam on the Connecticut, and 
often called in the early records the " Bay Path," we have no 
authentic account. It must be left to the imagination, there- 
fore, to picture the incidents of the journey. 

Of their leave-takings and tearful farewells from old and 
long-tried friends ; their daily march through the almost path- 
less forest for weeks together ; their arrival at their now home 
in the old wilderness, welcomed only by its savage occupants ; 
of their first ravishing view of the fertile meadows of the beau- 
tiful river, the largest in New England, there is no recorded 

Their household goods were sent around by water, as will 
be seen by an extract from a letter written by Governor Win- 
throp to his son John at the time,t in the "Blessing of the 

" Son, — Blesserl be tlie Lord wJio hath preserved and prospered you hitherto. 

"I received your lettel-s by tlie 'Blessing,' wliich arrived here the 1-ttb of tliis 
present, and is to return to you with Mr. Pynchon's goods so soon as she can bo 


"I think tlie bark goeth away in the morning. Therefore I here end with 
Balntiitions to all oui- friends witli you. 

"This 2fith of the 2 Mo. (.\|iril), 1036. 
" To my venj lovhuj miij Mr. Winthrop, Jtnt,, Gov. of the new PUmUition iqion Con- 

Upon their arrival at the site chosen by Pynchon, finding 
the "House Meadow" unsuitable for their settlement, they 
pitched upon the spot which lies over against Agawam, on the 
east bank of the Connecticut, now the site of the city of Spring- 

Not far from the present line of the Boston and Albany Kail- 
road a small stream of pure water ran down from the hills 
across the marshy ground, and striking the higher level of the 
sandy plain which borders the river's bank, separated into two 
parts, one running south and the other north, each emptying 
into the river a mile or more from the point of separation. 

The part of this stream which turned toward the south they 
called the Town Brook. It ran along the easterly side of what 
is now Main Street, and emptied into Mill River just above 
the point where that stream enters the Connecticut. 

Along this stream of pure water running southerly they 
laid out their first street, now known as Main Street, and be- 

* See Trnnibnirs Hist, of Conn. 

t Winthrnp's Hist, of N. E., Vol. I., p. .■i89. 

tween this street and the river extended the home lots of the 
settlers, of different widths. 

On these home lots bordering the Main Street the settlers 
built their first rude log cabins opposite the town brook, and 
began their life in the wilderness. 

To each settler a portion of the " Hasseky Marish," which 
lay between the town brook and the hill to the eastward, was 
allotted, as well as parts of the meadow land and corn-plant- 
ing ground lying on the opposite side of the river in Agnwum 
and Qiirnin. 

Tlie further interesting incidents of their history, with copies 
of the compact they entered into for the government of their 
plantation, and the Indian deed which they took, will be found 
farther on in these pages, in the history of the town and city 
of Springfield, to which the reader is referred. 



William Pynchon, the founder of Springfield and the pioneer 
settler of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, was no com- 
mon man. 

He was possessed of a considerable estate in England, and on 
its inception became interested in the colony of Massachusetts 
Baj'. He was one of the assistants named in the charter, and 
came over with Winthrop when that instrument was brought 
from England to the Massachusetts Bay in the year 1630. He 
was one of the founders of Roxbury, near Boston, and remained 
there until his removal to the Connecticut Valley. His wife 
died soon after his arrival, leaving an only son and daughter, 
John and JIary, who accompanied him to the Connecticut 

John Pynchon remained at Springfield, and became dis- 
tinguished in history in aftcr-j'ears as the " Worshipful John 
Pynchon." John Pynchon, on the 30th day of October, 1645, 
married Amy, daughter of George Wyllys.J 

Mary' Py'nchon, on the 20th day of November, 1640, was 
married to Elizur Holyoke, another name distinguislicd in the 
early annals of Springfield. A simple, upright slab of the Old 
Red Sandstone which underlies the valley of her home in the 
cemetery at Springfield tells the story of her death and good 
qualities in touching language, a copy of which is herewith 

HekeLyeh The BodyofMari 


WHo Died oc-tobek xi.tbS7 
Shtt y l^jtiKttrc (i)ft5 ulv-'iltsKt ilbod. 

Mary Holyoke, dan. of M'm Pynchon the leader of the Colonists who 
settled Springfield a'as born in England and died as recorded here. 

The'reniains of the Pynchon Family luere removed from the old 
burying ground at the foot of Elm Street Mar. 1S49 and are de- 
posited around this stone. 

In the year 1638, two years after the planting of Springfield, 
William Pynchon became involved in difliculties with the 
Connecticut people at Hartford, under whose jurisdiction he had 
till then remained, on account of which, and also on account 
of the fact then discovered that Agawam, now Springfield, lay 

X Hartford records give this date incorrectly as the 0th of Noveudjer, 1046, 
See Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th series, Vol. VI., p. 376. 



within the boundaries of the Massachusetts jurisdiction, he 
seceded from Connecticut, and became subject to the authori- 
ties at the Bay. 

The controversy which arose on account of the separation 
is set forth somewhat at length in a succeeding chapter. In 
the mean time we must follow the fortunes of Wm. Pynchon 
until he leave the colony. 

In the year 1637, being the autumn after the first arrival of 
the colonists at Agawam, came the Rev. George Moxon, the 
first minister at Springfield. Mr. Moxon was educated at 
Sidney College, Cambridge, England, where he took the de- 
gree of A.B. in 1623. He came to Massachusetts in the year 
1637, and first settled at Dorchester. He was made a freeman 
Sept. 7, 1637, and that very autumn followed his old friend to 
Agawam, on the Connecticut River. 

The following records, transcribed from the early town 
books of Springfield, throw some light upon Mr. Moxon 's 
coming, and the early establishment of religious services at 
the infant colony at Agawam : 


March 20, 1637. — It is ordered that in consideration of certayn charges which 
tile present inhaliitants liave been at for Mr. Moxon's house and fencing his lott, 
sucli as sliall for future tynie come to inhaliite in ye place shall bear a share in 
the like charges in proportion with ourselves. 


January 16, 1C38. — It is ordered that the three rod of grownd yt lyes betwixt 
John Woodcock's parcell and Goodman Gregory's lott, shall be appropriated, 
two rod of it tj Goodman Gregory and one i-od of it to Kich'd Everett, reserving 
40 rods for a place for a meeting-house, which is to be allowed out of Goodman 
Gregory's lott. 


The 13th of January, 1638. — A voluntary vote agreed upon the day above said 
for ye raising of fourty pounds toward ye building of a house for Mr. Moxon. 

.John Searle 00 01 00 00 

Thomas llortou 

Thomas Mirack 00 01 00 m 

John Leonard 00 12 00 (X) 

Rjbert Ashley : 00 01 00 00 

John Woodcock 00 00 12 00 

Richard Everitt 00 01 10 00 

John Alline 00 01 00 01) 

John Burt 00 (HI 111 0(1 

Henry Smith 00 O.'i 00 00 

Jehu Burr 00 07 00 00 

Mr. William Pynchon 00 21 00 00 

John Cable 00 01 12 00 

00 41 04 m 


13th January, 1638. — For Mr. Moxon's maintenance till next Michaelmas. 

£. 8. d. 

Mr. William Pynchon 24 06 0.S 

J.huc liuiT 08 03 fH 

Ili'nrv Smith 05 10 m 

John'Cable 02 0(J 00 

40 00 00 

John Searle 01 00 IKl 

Rich. Everett 01 (Kl (HI 

John Alline 01 00 00 

Thos. Horton 01 00 00 

John Woodcock 01 00 00 

Robt. Ashley 00 16 00 

.John Leonard 00 10 INI 

Thos. Mirach 01 05 iki 

07 11 00 

In 1653, Mr. Moxon returned to England with Mr. Pynchon, 

and died there Sept. 15, 1687. 


In the year 1650, Mr. P3'nchon published a book in Eng- 
land upon a controverted religious topic, which shortly after 
caused his removal from the colony. The title of this book 

" The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, Justification, etc., Cleering 
it from some common errors, and proving, — 

" Part I. — 1. Tliat Christ did not suffer for ue those unutterable torments of 
God's wrath, that commonly are called Sell-torments, to redeem our soules from 
them. 2. That Christ did not bear our sins by God's imputation, and therefore 
he did not bear the curse of the Law for them. 

"Part II.— 3. That Christ bath redeemed us from the curse of the Law (not 
by suffering the said cui-se for us, but) by a satisfactory price of atonement, viz., 
by praying or performing unto bis Father that invaluable precious thing of which 
his Mediatoriall sacriflce of atonement was the master-piece. 4. A sinner's right- 
eousness or justification is explained, and cleered fi-om some common erroi^. 


"By William Pynchon, Qcntlonian, in New England. 

"The MetliatLir saith thus t(.» his father in Psal. 40: 8-10: 'Ideligiit to dn thy 
will, my God: Ye;x, tliy Law is within my heart;' viz., I delight to do tliy will 
or Law as a Blediator. 

" ' I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart ; I have declared thy faith- 
fulness and thy salvation;' namely; I have not hid thy righteousness or thy way 
of making sinners righteous, but liave declared it hy the performance of ray Me- 
diatoriall sacrifice of atonement, as the procuring came of thy atonement, to 
the Great Congregation for their everlasting righteousness. 

"London: Printed by T. M., for George Whittington and James Muxon, and 
are to be sold at the blue Anchor in CoruhiU, neer the Royal Exchange, 1050. 
158 pages." 

The doctrines upon the Atonement advocated by Mr. 
Pynchon in this book were repugnant to the gloomy dog- 
mas of the New Enghmd theologians of the time, and were 
considered to be heretical and dangerous. 

The matter was promptly brought before the General Court 
at Boston, and action taken thereon, of which the following 
is a record : 

"October 19, 1650. 

" This Court havinge had the sighte of a booke lately printed under the name 
of "William Pinchon, in New England, gent., and judginge it meete, iloe there- 
fore order, first, that a protest be drawno fully and clearly to satisfy all men that 
this Court is so farre from approvinge the same as that they doe utterly dislike 
it and detest it as erroneous and dangerous. 

" 2adJy, That it be suffyciently answered by one of the reverend elders. 

"3dly, That the said William Pinchon be summoned before the next Generall 
Court, to answer for the same. 

" 4thly, That the said booke now broughte over be burnt by the executioner (or 
such other as shall be appoynted thereto, provided that the party app<.)ynted bo 
willinge), and that in the market-place in Boston on the morrow immediately 
after the Lecture. Per Curkt. 

" The declaration and protestation of the Generall Court of the Massachusetta 
in New England, 

" The Generall Court, now sittinge at Boston, in New England, this sixteenth 
of October, 1650. There was broughte t<i o^ hands a booke written as was therein 
subscribed, by William Pinchon, Gent., in New England, entitled, ' The Meritori- 
ous Price of o' Redemption, Justification, etc., clearinge it from common errors,' 
etc., which booke, brought over hither hy a shippe a few days since, and con- 
tayning many errors and heresies generally condemmed hy all orthodox writers 
that we have met with, wee have judged it meete and necessary for vindication 
of the truth, so far as in us lyes, as also, to keepe and preser\'e the people here 
committed to our care and trust in the tnie knowledge and fayth of our Lord 
Jesus Chiist, and of our owne redemption by him, as likewise for the cleareing 
of ourselves to our Christian brethren and others in England (where this booke 
was printed and is dispersed), hereby to prc>teste our innocency as being neither 
partyes nor privy to the writings, composeing, and printinge, nor divulginge 
thereof; but that, on the contrary, we detest and abhorre many of the opinions 
and assertions therein as false, eronyons, and hereticall ; yea and whatsoever is 
contayned in the said booke, which are contrary to the Scriptures of the Old and 
New Testament, and the generall received doctrine of the orthodox churches 
extant since the time of the last and best refomiation, and for proffe and evi- 
dence of our sincere and playne moaninge therein, we doe hereby coudemne 
the said booke to be burned rn the market-place, at Boston, by the common ex- 
ecutioner, and doe purpose with all convenient speede to convent the said William 
Pinchon before authority, to find out whether the said William Pinchon will 
owne the said booke as his or not; which if he doth, we purpose (God willinge) 
to precede with him accordinge to his demerits, unless he retract the same, and 
give full satisfaction lx»the here and by some secoude writinge, to be printed and 
dispersed in England ; all of which we thought needfuU, for the reasons alx>ve 
aleaged, to make knowne by this sliorte protestiition and declaration. Also we 
further propose, witli what convenient speede we may, to appoint some fitt per- 
son to make a particular answer to all materiall and controversyall passages in 
the said booke, and to publish the same in print, that so the eiTors and falsyties 
therein may be fully discovered, the tnjth cleared, and the minds of those that 
love and seeke after truth confirmed therein. Per CarUi. 

*' It is agreed upon by the whole Court that Mr. Norton, one of the reverend 
elders of Ipswich, should be iutreated to answer Mr. Pinchou's booke with all 
convenient speede. 

" It's ordered, that the foregoing declaration concerninge the booke subscribed 
by the name of William Pinchon in New England, gent., should be signed by the 
secretary and sent into England to be printed there. Per Curia. 

"It is ordered that Mr. William Pinchon shall be summoned to appeare before 
the next Generall Court of Election, on the firet day of theire sittinge, to give 
his answer for the booke printtul and published under the name of William 
Pinchon, in New England, gent., entitled 'The Meritorious price of o' Redemp- 
tion, Justification,' etc., and not to depart without leave from the Court. Per 

In accordance with this order, the Rev. Mr. Norton was 
employed b}' the court to confer with Mr. Pynchon upon the 
subject, and prepare an answer to his book. 

At a General Court held in Boston, on the 7th of May, 1651, 

* Mass. Col. Records, Vol. III., page 216. 



Mr. Pynchon presented the following recantation, a copy of 
which we give from the records: 

" AccoKDiNO to the court's advise I have conferred with the 
Bevs. Mr. Cotton, Mr. Norrice, and Mr. Norton, ahout some 
points of the greatest consequence in my hook, and I hope I 
have so explained my meaning to them as to take oft' the worst 
construction ; and it hath pleased God to let me see that I 
have not spoken in my book so fully of the price and merit 
of Christ's sufferings as I should have done, for in my book I 
call them but trials of his obedience, yet intending thereby to 
amplify and exalt the mediatorial obedience of Christ, as the 
only meritorious price of man's redemption ; but now at pres- 
ent I am much inclined to think that his sufferings were ap- 
pointed by God for a further end, namelj', as the due punish- 
ment of our sins by way of satisfaction to divine justice for 
man's redemption.* 

"Your humble servant, in all dutiful respect, 

"William Pynchon." 

On the 23d of October, IGOO, Roger Williams, writing to 
John Winthrop, Jr., among other things speaks of this book 
as follows : 

" He tells me of a booke lately come over, in Mr. Pynchon's 
name, wherein is some derogation to the blood of Christ. The 
booke was therefore burnt in the market-place at Boston, and 
Mr. Pynchon to be cited to the court. 

" If it is in hand, I may hope to see it. However, the Most 
High and only Wise will by this case discover what liberty 
conscience hath in this land."f 

Mr. Pynchon gave bail for his further aiipearance at court, 
and the matter was further continued until the next meeting. 

In the mean time, before tlie day of hearing came on, Mr. 
Pynchon had left his adopted country, a voluntary exile, never 
to return. 

In the year 1653, and after Mr. Pynchon's arrival in Eng- 
land, Mr. Norton's answer was published in London. It was 
entitled "A Discu.s.sioN of that Great Point in Divinity, 


Mr. Pynchon published a rejoinder to this hook, of which 
the following is the title in full : 




" 1. By SHEWING how the siiffeiiugs and the saciifice of Chiist did satisfie 
God's Justice, iiatitie his Wmth, and procure his Reconciliation for Man's Re- 
demj)tioi) from Satan's Head plot. 

" 2. By \indicating the suffeiings and the saciifice of Christ from that most 
dangerous, Sciiptureless Tenents, that is lield foith hy Mr. Noiton, of New Eng- 
land, in his Book of Chiist's sufteiing, attiiming that he suffered the Essential 
Tornionta of Hell, and the second death, from God's immediate vindictive wrath. 

"3. By showing that the Righteousness of God (so called in Rom. 3 : 21, 22, 26; 
in Roiu. 10: 3; in Cor. 5; 21; and in Phil. 3; 9) is to he undei-stood of Gi>d the 
Father's perfoi niance of his covenant with Christ ; namely, that upon CIn ist's 
perfornumce of liis Covenant (hy coinliating with Satan, and at last hy making his 
death a saciitice) he would he reconciled to helieving sinners, and not impute 
their sins to them. And therefore : 1. This Righteousness of God must needs he 
the formal cause of a sinner's justification. And 2. It must needs he a distinct 
soit of Righteousness from the Righteousness of Chiist, contrary to Mr. Noi ton's 
Tenent. This is evidenced in Chap. 14, and elsewhere. 

"6. By explaining God's Declaiation of the Conihato between the Devil and 
the seed of the Woman in Gen. 3: 1.5, from whence (as from the foundation 
J>i inciple) this present reply doth explain all the after-prophecies of Christ's Suf- 

" 7. By cleai ing several other Scriptures of the greatest note in these C^jiitro- 
versies from Mr. Norton's eomipt Expositions, and hy exixmnding them in their 
right sense; Both according to the Context, and according to sundry eminent 
Oithodox Wiiters.l 


Mr. Pynchon followed up the discussion in a book printed at 
London in 1662, called " The Covenant of Nature made with 
Adam Described, etc., and cleared from sundry great mis- 

* Mass. Col. Rec, Vol. III., p. 229. 
t Mass. Hist. Coll., 4th Series, Vol. VI., p. 285. 

J The author is indehted to the kindness of the Lihraiian of Harvard I'ln- 
veibity for the privilege of exanuiiing this rare volume. 

takes." In this last-named volume, the address to the reader 
is dated "From my Study, Wraysbury, Feb. 10, 1661." 

Mr. Pynchon died at Wraysbury on the Thames, in Buck- 
inghamshire, some time during the month of October, 1662, 
aged seventy-two 3'ears. 


Mr. Pynchon published other works than those above re- 
ferred to, among which is one entitled 


"1. Negntirehj. Not in the times of Adam's innocency, as many say it wa^. 

" 2. Ajjlrnutiirdij. It was ordained after the time of Adam's fall and re-crea- 


" And herein it follows: 

" 1st. That as the Sahhath was ordained to he a tj'pica! sign, so it must he abol- 
ished as Boon as Christ had perfoi med his said propitiatory saciifice. 

"2d. As it was ordained to he the sanctified time for the exercise of the said 
hlessed ordinance, so the next day of the week into which it was changed must 
continue without iutei mission until the end of the world. 

" By William Pynchon, Esq., London. Printed by R. I., and are to he sold hy 
T. N., at the three Lyons in Cornhill, near the Royal Exchange. 1U54." 

In this work Mr. Pinchon's argument sounds strange 
enough to our modern ears, and to give the reader some 
idea of the methods of the speculative theology of that daj-, 
a statement of some of his propositions is given, and a single 
quotation from the last-named work is indulged in. 

Mr. Pynchon argues that Adam and Eve fell from Para- 
dise on the first day of their creation, which was the sixth of 
the creation as mentioned in Genesis. 

That God made Adam out of the dust of the earth, and 
commanded the beasts of the field as well as the angels in 
heaven to become man's ministering servants. The beasts 
were brought before Adam, and, as no helper was found 
among them meet for him. Eve was formed, and the pair was 
placed in Paradise ; that a part of the angels obeyed and min- 
istered unto Adam and Eve, but that a large number of the 
angels, seeing that Adam was but formed of dust, disobeyed 
and refused to serve them. Upon this, the disobedient angels 
were cast out of heaven, and, uniting together, became Satan's 
head. Hearing the covenant between God and Adam as to 
the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life, 
the fallen angels resolved to accomjilish the fall of man also. 
So, in the first few hours of man's innocency, Satan's head 
appeared in the serpent as an angel of light and tempted the 
woman Eve. We now quote at this point of the argument 
what Mr. Pynchon says : " Now, God, being a cunning and 
complete Workman, would not be outbidden by Satan's brags, 
and therefore he gave Satan leave to do his worst (as he did 
afterwards give him leave to do his worst to Christ) ; for he 
know that if his workmanship .should fail upon the trial, he 
could tell how to mend it, and how to make it better able to 
endure the trial for the time to come." 

On page 35 is a fac-simile of one of the pages of Mr. Pyn- 
chon's Book of Records, kept at Springfield while acting as 
a magistrate in his infant settlement. It is interesting, not 
only as showing Mr. Pynchon's handwriting, hut as being the 
first page of the records of his court. The first action recorded 
was between Cable and Woodcock ahout the building of the 
historic house on the "House Meadow," or Agawam, in the 
summer of 1635. In the second action recorded it will be 
seen that Mr. Pynchon was not only judge of the court, but 
the plaintiff' in the suit in which Henry Smith, his son-in- 
law, was foreman of the jury. 



Although Northampton was the first permanent settlement 
made after Springfield in the Connecticut Valley in Massa- 
chusetts, yet the first attempt at settlement was made, and 
the first buildings outside of Springfield were put up, at 
Wo-ro-noak, now Westfield. 



This settlement at Woronoak was l)egnn by Connecticut 
people as early as the year 1040, they supposing that the place 
lay within their jurisdiction. 

In that year Governor Hopkins erected a trading-house at 
what is now Westfield, and had considerable interest in the 
plantation.* About this time Agawam, now Springfield, was 
leaving the jurisdiction of Connecticut for that of Massa- 

In the dispute wliieh then arose regarding the boundary 
line, Wo-)-o-nnnk was claimed by both jurisdictions. The matter 
was taken to the General Courts of the respective colonies ; 
and at a General Court, held in Boston on the 4th of March, 
1641, the following letter concerning Wo-ro-noak was ad- 
dressed by the General Court at Boston to the General Court 
at Hartford, which will throw some light on the subject: 

" From the Generall Court nt 
Bostiin, 2il of the 4th month, 

" Sr, — It is grievous to us to 
niepte w*!" any ocration that 
niiglit cause difference to arise 
betweene y people and us, 
standing in so near relation of 
friendsliip, neighborhood, and 
Cliristianity, especially ; there- 
fore o' study is (when any such 
arise) to laho' the renioveing of 
them ujion the first appearance. 
Now so it is, that wee have l>een 
certified that yo** have given 
leave to some of you", to set up 
a trading-house at Waronoch, 
which is known to bee w""in u' 
patents lying as much or more 
to the north thiin Springfield. 
Wee heare also, that you have 
granted to Mr. Robt. Saltonatjlll 
a great (juanfity of land, not far 
beneath Siiringfield, wh*''' wee 
conceive also to belong to us. 
Wee desire yo" to consider of it, 
as that which we apprehend to 
bee an ijijury to us, and do us 
such right in redresse hearof aa 
yo" would e.vpect fro us in a 
like M'ee suppose wee 
shall not need to use other 

a^irr^ ff-h'-ty^ -nW^ ^^""Z 
-jju 7*--^ 7-f^^ S'^'r*^^ J^-r^y <,rf^Y ^ -^^•«<-r^^.J"(W^ 

in case the petitioners should settle themselves, and a min- 
ister within three j'ears, "the order for Wo-ro-noak hence- 
forth to lye to Springfield should be void," otherwise the land 
should belong to Springfield until a plantation should be 
settled there. 

This scheme seems to have entirely failed, only one man 
having acquired title by his residence of five years there. At 
length, on the 7th of February, 1664, at a town-meeting held 
at Springfield, Capt. Pynchon, Elizur Holyoke, and Messrs. 
Ely, Colton, and Cooley, were appointed a standing committee, 
" To have the sole power to order matters concerning Wo-ro- 
noak, both for admitting of inhabitants to grant lands, or for 
any other business that may concern tliat place, and conduce 
to its becoming a town of itself." 

Under this arrangement a permanent settlement was made 

at Wo-ro-noak. Inl6G9 
it was incorporated as a 
town, by the name of 





*^-o "^-y 


"•^'-y^c?' >i^€j- 

22,-^ -^L-f^ fO-^ ^'^'^ ~' -^^-"^-^ ^^^'^^ 

777^ r v- * ^-^>^ ^yvif — c*^r»^ *7_- — /^^ —f ~^ 



Northampton sits at 
the foot of the towering 
central mountain chain 
of the Connecticut Val- 
ley in Massachusetts, 
filled with the lingering 
charm of more than two 
centuries of cultivated 
and refined life. 

" Art's storied dwelling, learn- 
ing's green retreat." 


yr^^ f ^.^-tr^^^t:^ ^ 

Argu""; wee know to whome 

weewright. Wee have thought ')f<ri*->W.^ //|- ■ / gj^ ^VJ'to 

-^.f^-.M^ s-j^^ TS-A^*^ :& 


Uleete upon these occations to 

intimate further unto yo" that 

wee intend (by Goil's help) to 

know the certainty of o' limitts, 

to the end that wee may neither 

intrench ui>on the right of any 

of or neighlwrs, nor suffer 

o^selves and or posterity to bee 

deprived of what rightly be- 

longeth unto us, wheh wee hope 

will bee wUiout offense to any ; 

and upon this wee may have 

some ground of proceeding in o' 

further treaty wtb yo" aluult 

such things as may concerne 

the welfare of us all. Tlu'se tilings wee leave t 

expect .yo' answear. 

In the mean time wee rest."f 

The matter was finally referred to the Commissioners of the 
nited Colonies, and on the 27th day of October, 1648, an order 
entered b_y the Commissioners awarding Wo-ro-noak to the 
jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and the Connecticut people seem 
to have abandoned their settlements, and Wo-ro-noak became 
a part of the town of Springfield. 

In 1662 another movement was made to settle Westfield by 
certain gentlemen who appear to have belonged in Windsor 
and Dorchester. They petitioned the General Court for, and 
received, a tract of land six miles square, conditioned that 

* See Trumbull's Hist, of Conn., Vol. I., p. 147. 
t Mass. Cil. Rec, Vol. I., p. 323. 

Her Indian name Non- 
o-tuck, or Nan-o-iuk as 
oftener written in old 
records, and sometimes 
Nol-wo-togg, is of local 
significance descriptive 
of a feature of her near 
landscape. In the In- 
dian tongue Noen-tuk, 
or No-a,k-tuk, means "in 
the middle of theriver," 
in allusion to the island 
situate between North- 
ampton village and 
Mount Tom, surrounded 
by an old channel of the 
stream, and to the penin- 
sula upon which Hadley 
is built. § 
After Springfield had become firmly established at the mouth 
of the Agawam, the first movement of her people in search of 
" fresh fields and pastures new" was not westward, hilt north- 
ward, and up the " Great River," as it was then called. The 
first record which we find looking towards a settlement at 
Non-o-tuck is the following : 


you'' coiisitleiiitii'ii, and mIuiU 

" Att a General Court of Election, held at Boston tlie 18th of the 3d mo., 
Anno 1653. Mr. Samuel Cole, of Boston, having lunge since disbursed fifty poun^ls 
in the cunimon stocke, as appeared by good testimony tij the cuuit, on his own re- 
quest hath 400 acors of land graunted him at Nonotucke, to be layd out by Cap- 
tayne Willard." 

In the mean time a petition had been filed in the General 
Court, by certain inhabitants of Springfield, asking the privi- 

X Holland's Hist, of Western, Vol. I., p. C5. 
I Col. of Conn. Hist. Society, Vul. II., p. 11. 



lege of making a settlement at Non-o-tuck, on the Connectieut, 
which was in the following words : 

" Your highly honored, the General Court of the Massachusetts. The humble 
petition of John Pj'nehou, Eleazur Holliock, antl Samuel Chapin, Inhabitants of 
Springtield, sheweth, We hartyly desire the continuance of your peace. And in 
exercise of your stibirch in these parts, In order where unto we humbly tender 
o' desire of that liberty may be granted to erect a plantation, Aliout fifteen 
miles Above us, on this river of Connecticut, if it be the will of the Lord, the 
place being, as we tliiuk, very conmiodious, — »i<leratis con Sijrondo sor, — the con- 
taining Large quantities of e,\cellent land and meadow, and tillable ground suf- 
ficient for two long plantations, and work, w^*", if it should go on, might, as we 
conceive, prove greatly Advantagous to your Common Wealth, — to w^*" purpose 
there are divere mour Neighboring plantatur that have a desire to remove 
thither, with your approbation thereof, to the number of twenty-five families, 
at leaet, that Already appear, whereof many of them are of considerable quality 
for Esttates and for the matter for a church, when it shall please God to find op- 
portunity that way : it is the humble desire that by this Hon*^ Corte some power 
may be established or some course appointed for the regulating, at their 1st pro- 
ceedings, as concerning whome to admit and other occurrences that to the glory 
of God may he furthered. And your peace and happiness not retarded. And 
the Inducement to us in these desires is not Any similar respect of our owne, but 
that we, being Alone, may by this means may have som more neighborhood of 
your jurisdiction, thus, not doubting your acceptance of our desires, w^ thus 
entreat the Lord to sit among you in All your counsels, And remain your most 
humlde servts. 

" Springfield, the 5th of ye 3d Mo. 1653.* 

"John Pynchon, 
•' Elezer Holliok, 
" Sam'l Chapin." 

This petition seems to have been favorably received by the 
General Court, and the prayer thereof granted in the follow- 
ing words : 

" Att a General Court of Election held at Boston the 18 day May, 1653, 
In answer to the inhabitants of Springfield's petition and othere thereabouts, 
this Court doth order, that Mr. John Pinchon, Mr. Holyoke, and some other of 
the petition" should be appoynted a committee to divide the land petitioned for 
into two plantations and that the petition" make choice of one of them, where 
they shall have liberty to plant themselves; provided, they shall not appropriate 
to any planter above one hundi'cd acors of all sorts of land, whereof not above 
twenty acors to be meddow, till twenty inhabitants have planted there, whereof 
twelve to be freemen, or more, which said freemen shall have power to distribute 
the land and give out proportions of land to the severall inhabitjints as in other 
townes of this jurisdiction, and that the land be divided aecording to estates 
or eminent qualifications, and that Samuel Chapin be joined witli Mr. Pynchon 
and Mr. Holyoke for the dividing of the t*iwnes."f 

In pursuance of this order the Commissioners appointed 
thereby performed the duty therein enjoined, and returned to 
the General Court the following report, to wit : 

" Nov. 1, 1C54. 

" To the honored Generall Court of the ]\Iassacliusetts. Wee whose names are 
underwritten, being appointed to ilivide the lands at Naotucke into two planta- 
tions, wee accordingly have granted to them that now first appeared to remove 
thitherto plant themselves on the west side of the River l^onnecticott, its they 
desired, and have laid out their bounds, viz.: from the little meadowe above 
theire plantation, which meadowe is called Capawonk or Mattaomett, doune to 
the hea4l of the falls which are belowe them, reserving the land on the east 
side of the said river for another plantation when God, by his providence shall 
80 dispose thereof, and still remaincj 

" Your humble sen'ants, 

"John Pinchon, 
"Elizer Holyoke, 
" Samuel Chapin." 

Upon the completion of these proceedings a settlement was 
made at Non-o-tuck, tlie particulars of which the reader will 
find related in the history of Northampton contained in the 
following pages. 

It has been said by many, and among others by Mr. Sylves- 
ter Judd, the learned historian of Hadley, that there was no 
act of the General Court incorporating the town of Northamp- 
ton. It would seem, however, that this is an error, as will be 
seen bj- the record below. 

If the establishing of government at a place and the ap- 
pointing of officers to administer the same thereat is not an 

* To this record in the town-book at Northtunpton is the following attestation : 
"That which is above written is a true copie, compared with the original ex- 
hibited in the C sitting in Uoston in May, 1653. 
"Synced and left on tile. 

".\ttest: lOnWARIi POBBINS." 

+ Mius«. Col. Kec, Vol. ill., p. :io«. 

J M.-16S. Col. Eecorde, Vol. IV., ^^rt I., p. 21.3. 

act of incorporation, what is it? The act of the General Court 
above referred to may be found in the Massachusetts Colonial 
Records, Vol. IV., Part I., page 227, and is as follows, to wit: 

" May 23, 1655. 
" In answer to the petition of the inhabitants of Nonotucke, humbly desiring the 
establishment of government amongst them, theire petition is graunted, and itt 
is ordered that William Houlton, Thomas Bascome, and Edward Elmer shall and 
hereby are imitowered as the threemen to end all smole causes, according to lawe 
here, they repayring to Springfield, to Mr. Pinchon, Mr. Holyoke, &c., who are 
authorized to give them their oathes, as also the constable's oath to Robert Bart- 

In a diary kept by Judge Samuel Sewall, while holding 
court in the Connecticut Valley, in the year 1689, will be 
found interesting allusions to the customs of the day as well 
as a flattering reference to Northampton. It is printed in a 
late volume of the collections of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society : 

" Aug. 15. — Second day. Set out for Springfield ; lodged at 
Marlborow. Aug. 16. To Quaboag with a guard of 20 men, 
under Cornet Brown. Between Worcester and Quaboag we 
were greatly wet with rain, wet to the skin. Got thither before 
'twas dark. A guard of 20, from Spgfield, met us there, & 
saluted us with their trumpets as we alighted. 


" Aii(j. 20. — Went to the Long Meadow to bring the Maj.- 
Gen., going toward Hartford. Meet with Joe Noble; with 
him went to Westfleld, and kept Sabbath with Mr. Taj-lor 
Aug. 21. 

'■^ Aug. 22. — Eeturned to Springtield, Mr. Tailor with me. 
Rained hard in the afternoon and night, and part of the morn, 
Augt. 23, By which means were not able to reach Quaboag ; 
and it 'twas thought could not the Rivers. So went to 
Northampton, — a very Paradise. Lodged at the Ordinary, 
getting to town in the night. Aug. 24 very fair day. Mr. Cook 
& I went with Mr. Stoddard, & heard Mr. I. Chauncy preach 
his first lecture at Hadley. Made a very good sermon. In- 
vited us to dinner. Went over to Hatfield. Lodged all night 
with Mr. Williams." 

For a history of the planting and development of the (owns 
of Hadley, Hatfield, Deerfield,. Northfield, and all the others 
of the seventy and one towns included within the territory on 
which this work treats, the reader is referred to the separate 
histories of the several towns respectively, which will be found 
placed in their order farther on in this volume. 




Among the earliest important events which interested the 
pioneer settlers of the valley of the Connecticut, was the de- 
struction of the Pctjuot Indian nation by the whites in 1036-37. / 
This war occurred so soon after the first settlers arrived at 
Springfield, and they were then so few in number, tluit they 
took but little if any part in it, but its results were of the 
utmost importance to them. The Peqimts were the most pow- 
erful tribe living in the vicinity of the Connecticut Valley, 
and their destruction was a great relief to the infant settle- 

The situation of the settlements on the Connecticut River 
at the time was perilous in the extreme. In all the towns 
from Springfield to New Haven, in the year 1636, there were 
scarcely two hundred and fifty men capable of bearing arms. 
The savage tribes of the wilderness surrounding them, whose 
hunting-grounds reached from the Hudson Kiver on the west to 
the Nai-ragansett Bay on the east, could, if united, have fallen 
upon thein with a force of four or five thousand warriors. Thi^ 
three most powerful nations were the Prquot!<, near by, the'' 



Narragnnscfts, fartlier cast, and the Mo/iicaiis, on the west. 
Their near neighbors, the Pequots, endeavored to unite their 
sister tribes in a war of extermination against the whites, not 
only of the Connecticut Valley, but of all New England ; but 
failing to do this, the Pequots entered the contest alone. The 
result was the total destruction of them as a nation. They 
were all slain, or scattered as slaves to the English or to the 
surrounding savage tribes. 

This decisive blow doubtless saved the colonies of New Eng- 
land from annihilation. It struck such terror into the sur- 
rounding nations that it was forty years before another gen- 
eration of warriors, under King Philip, again threatened the 
destruction of the New England people. 

v,The Pequot country was in the southeasterly part of what 
is now the State of Connecticut, bordering on Long Island 
Sound, and running northward between the river Pawcatuck, 
now the western boundary of Rhode Island, and the river 
then bearing their name, but now called the Thames. It will 
be seen that the western boundary of the Pequot country was 
not more than thirty miles distant from the nearest infant set- 
tlement on the Connecticut Kiver. 

The Pequots had overawed the Narragnnsetts, whose hunt- 
ing-grounds lay to the east of their.^, but had not yet subjected 
them; while \ho Mohicans, their near neighbors to the east, 
had long paid them unwilling tribute, but were now ready 
for rebellion. 

The chief sachem of the Pequots, whose name was Sns-sa- 
cus, had twenty-six subordinate sachems, with their people, 
under his sway. 

Sas-sa-cus had become discontented at what he considered 
to be the encroachments of the English people U])on his hunt- 
ing-grounds in the valley of the Connecticut, and resolved to 
drive them away. 

To ettcct his purpose, he attempted to unite the neighboring 
tribes in a war of extermination against the English. 

He made overtures to his hereditary enemies the Narragan- 
setts for a union against the English, and had he succeeded 
in conciliating them would doubtless have enlisted the Mohi- 
cans in the scheme. But Roger Williams, at the risk of his 
life, visited the Narragansett country, and through his in- 
fluence the ancient hostility of the Narragansetts was too 
much for the insidious diplomacy of Sas-sa-cus, and the Pe- 
quots were obliged to enter the contest alone. 

Through the influence of "Williams, some of the Narragan- 
sett chiefs even went to Boston in the autumn of 1636, and 
concluded a treaty of peace and alliance with the English. 

Sas-sa-cus was the prototype and forerunner of King Philip, 
Pontiac, and Tecumseh, and had he succeeded in forming his 
union of the tribes, the days of the New England people 
would have been numbered before they had scarcely begun 
their settlements in the New World. 

The Pequot war had virtually begun four years before, in 
1G33, when some Indians belonging to the tribe of Sas-sa-cus 
murdered two English traders, with their whole coni]Hiny, who 
had gone up the Connecticut River to trade with the Dutch. 
These traders were named Stone and Norton. 

In going up the river with their crew of six persons they 
admitted twelve of the natives on board their vessel, and en- 
gaged others to pilot two of their men farther up the stream. 
These two men were murdered b}' their guides, and the twelve 
Indians on board the vessel the same night rose upon her 
company, while all were asleep, and put them to death. 

Sas-sa-cus, in October of the year following, fearing attacks, 
both from the Narragansetts and the Dutch, sent messengers 
to Boston to make overtures of peace. 

His envoys agreed to surrender the only two murderers of 
Stone then surviving, and pay smart-money in the form of 
wampum and furs, but the Pequots soon grew arrogant and 
violaled their treaty. 

The murder of Stone was followed up by the murder of 

John Oldham, on the 20th of July, 1636. Oldham, with two 
boys on board his vessel, was on a trip to the Connecticut 
River, with whose people he had opened commercial relations. 
While near Black Island, he was surprised and killed by the 
Indians. When the intelligence of the death of Oldham 
reached Boston it occasioned great uneasiness, and Governor 
Vane dispatched ninety men, under the command of John 
Endicott, of Salem, in three small vessels, to Long Island 
Sound, to chastise the arrogant Pequots. 

It seems that Endicott did not acquit himself of this trust 
in a very satisfactory manner. He killed and wounded some 
of the Block Islanders, destroyed their canoes, burned their 
houses, and cut down their corn. 

He then sailed for the Pequot country and demanded of 
Sas-sa-cus surrender of the murderers of Stone, the delivery 
of hostages for further good conduct, and the payment of a 
thousand fathoms of wampum. The Pequots, before this con- 
ference was ended, discharged their arrows at his men and fled 
to their forts. After burning some of their wigwams and 
canoes, and collecting some corn, he returned to Boston with- 
out loss. 

The Narragansetts afterward reported that Endicott killed 
thirteen and wounded forty Pequots. This movements only 
served to irritate the warlike Pequots, and Sas-sa-cus, without 
delay, attempted the union of the tribes spoken of above. 

Failing in this, and resolving to carry on the war alone, 
Sas-sa-cus took immediate measures to spread consternation 
among, and to provoke the resentment of, the whites and their 

In October, 1636, they murdered Butterfleld near Gardiner's 
fort, at the mouth of tlie river, and a few days later took 
two white men out of a boat and tortured them to death with 
ingenious barbarity. 

During the winter they constantly kept a marauding-party 
near the fort, burning out-building.s and killing cattle. 

In the spring Gardiner went out with ten men to do some 
farming-work. His party was waj'laid by Pequots, and three 
of them slain. 

Soon after, two men while sailing down the river were taken 
out of their canoe, their bodies cut in two lengthwise, and the 
parts hung up by the river's bank. 

A man who had been carried off by the Indians from 
Wcthersfleld was roasted alive, and soon after that place was 
attacked by a liuudred Pequots, who killed seven men, a 
woman, and a child, and carried away two girls into captivity. 



The Pequots had now put to death no less than thirty of the 
English, and the infant settlements on the Connecticut River 
had become thoroughly aroused to a sense of the impending 

The time had come when the question must be settled, once 
for all, which should hold the land, the white man or the In- 
dian, — but the two hundred and fifty men were sufficient for 
the emergency. 

The Pequots numbered no less than a thousand warriors, and 
had they succeeded in uniting with them the Narragayisetts 
and the Mohicans, the combination could have sent into the 
field no fewer than five thousand warriors. As there was still 
danger of such a union of the tribes, no time was to be lost. 

Massachusetts and Plymouth Colonies were both solicited 
for aid. Massachusetts nuide a levy of a hundred and sixty 
men, the sum of a hundred and sixty pounds in money, and 
"ordered that the war, having been undertaken on just 
grounds, should be seriously prosecuted;" but such was the 
emergency that the Connecticut people could not wait till 
these troops should come up, and a force of ninety men, under 
the command of Ca]it. John Mason, — forty-two of whom 
were furnished by Hartford, thirty by Windsor, and eighteen 



by Wethersfleld, — was on the 1st of May dispatched against 
the Pequoi country. 

Capt. Mason had seen service in the Netherhinds, under Sir 
Thomas Fairfax, who then formed so high an opinion of his 
merits that he afterward urged him to return to Enghmd 
and help the patriot cause. 

Capt. Mason first settled at the Bay, and while there was 
a member of a committee to direct fortification at Boston, 
Dorchester, and Castle Island. Before he came with his fel- 
low-townsmen to the Connecticut Valley, he had served two 
years as a deputy from Dorchester to the General Court. 

Mason was first sent down the river, with twenty nu'n, to 
reinforce the garrison at its mouth ; but meeting Underbill 
there, with an equal force from Massachusetts, Mason, leaving 
Underbill at the fort, returned to Hartford. 



On the 10th of May, 1637, Mason set out with his wliole 
levy, besides seventy friendly Indians, for the Petjtiuf country. 
The whole company embarked in three small vessels. The 
Rev. Mr. Stone, of Hartford, was chaplain of the expedition, 
while Uneas, sachem of the Mohic/iiis, led the Indian war- 

Upon arriving at Gardiner's fort, at the mouth of the river. 
Mason added to his forces Underbill and his company of 
twenty men, and sent back twenty of his own men for the 
better security of the settlements up the river. 

Before proceeding farther, a council of officers was held. 
Mason had been ordered to land at the mouth of Pcquot River 
(now the Thames), and attack the enemy on their western 
frontier, but knowing that Sas-sa-cus, expecting to be invaded 
from that quarter, had strengthened himself accordingh', 
Mason was desirous of approaching him from the east, and 
surprising them in their rear ; but this would require several 
days' additional time, and his oflicers opposed leaving their 
homes so long, as well as shrunk from disobeying their positive 

Mason, left alone, proposed that the conference should be 
adjourned until the morning, and that during the night their 
chaplain, Mr. Stone, should seek divine guidance in prayer. 
Early in the morning Mr. Stone went on shore, declaring that 
the captain's plan was the proper one. The council imme- 
diately determined unanimously, upon the advice of the chap- 
lain, to adopt the captain's proposal. 

The little squadron at once set sail from the fort, and on 
the following evening (that being the 20th of May) arrived 
near the entrance of Narragansett Bay, at the foot of what 
is now Tower Hill, which overlooks Point Judith. 

The next day was the Sabbath, which they kept quietly on 
shipboard, and a storm prevented them from embarking till 
Tuesday evening. 

While here Mason received" a message from Providence, 
from Capt. Patrick, who had arrived there witli a Massachu- 
setts party, requesting him to wait until it could come up. 
But Mason, deeming that a rapid movement was of more con- 
sequence than a larger force, concluded not to wait for Capt. 
Patrick, and with his sixty Mohican allies, and four hundred 
more Indian warriors, furnished by the friendly sachems of 
the Narragansetts, on the 24th of May marched twenty miles 
westward to the Pequot country. 

At night the party stopped at a fort, which, being occupied 
by some suspected neutrals, they invested for the night. On 
Thursday they marched fifteen miles farther west, and en- 
camped at a place lying five miles to the northwest of the 
present village of Stonington. 

They were now within two miles of the principal Indian 
fort, at which it was evident that no alarm had been given, 
for the sentinels could hear the noi.'^y reveling within the 

place until long after midnight. Their Indians, however, had 
mostly deserted. 

Sas-sa-cus had seen the little fleet pass to the eastward along 
the sound, and supposed the English had abandoned their 
hostile intentions. 

The encampment of Capt. Mason was at a place that is now 
known as " Porter's Rocks," at the head of Mystic River. 

The site of the Indian fort was two or three miles farther 
down the river, on its western side, toward Mystic village. 

It was a ])alisaded fort, inclosing a circular area of an acre 
or two of ground within the fort. Along two streets were 
some seventy wigwams, covered with matting and thatch. At 
points opposite each other were two gatewa3"s leading into the 
fort, and it was resolved that Mason and Underbill, each at 
the head of half the Englishmen, should force an entrance 
through these openings from opposite directions, while the 
Indians that were left should invest the fort in a circle, to 
arrest the fugitives, should the attack prove successful. 

The little band of Englishmen, wearied by their long march, 
slept soundly, until awakened in the morning, two hours 
before dawn. 

Before breaking up their camp they took time to join in 
prayer, and under a bright moonlight set out toward the fort. 

The surprise was complete. Mason had come within a few 
feet of the sally-port which he was seeking, when a dog 
barked, and the cry of O-wan-ux ! 0-tvan-u.r J — meaning Eng- 
lishman ! Englishman ! — was heard within, showing that the 
alarm was given. At the head of si.xtcen men Mason pushed 
into the inclosure, while Underbill did the same on the oppo- 
site side. 

The awakened savages rushed out of their wigwams in 
terror, but were soon driven back by the English broadswords 
and firearms. Again rushing forth, the contest became gen- 
eral, and there was danger that the English would be over- 
powered by numbers. 

In this emergency Mason snatched a live firebrand from a 
wigwam and threw it on a matted roof, and Underliill set a 
fire with a train of powder in his quarter. The straw village 
was soon in flames. The scene within now beggars description. 
The Indians who escaped the fire were shot down by the mus- 
kets of the English, and those who escaped from the fort fell 
into the hands of the surrounding circles of Indian allies, who 
slaughtered them without mercy. 

Underbill, in his account, saj's : "It is reported by them- 
selves that there were about four hundred souls in this fort, 
and not above five escaped out of our hands." 

Says another old chronicler: " The number they destroyed 
was considered to be above four hundred. At this time it was 
a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire, and the 
blood quenching the flame, and horrible was the sight and 
scent thereof; but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and 
they gave praise thereof to God who had wrought so wonder- 
fully for them, thus to inclose their enemies in their hands, 
and give them so speedy victory over so proud, insulting, and 
blasphemous an enemy."* 

It was doubtless a revolting scene, distressing to humanity ; 
yet the exigences of the hour demanded the sacrifice. At the 
most urgent reasons of public safety less than a hundred de- 
termined men had taken their lives into their hands, and 
marched into the enemy's country. Had they failed, the 
result would have been the utter extermination not only of 
themselves, but of their wives and little ones, whom they had 
left behind. 

The awful conditions of the case seemed to justify the stern 
means of winning the victory which thej' employed. " At 
all events, from the hour of that carnage Connecticut was 
secure ; there could now be unguarded sleep in the long- 
harassed homes of the settlers. It might be hoped that 

* New England's Memorial, page 134. 



civilization was assured of a porinanont aliode ii> New 

Only two of the English were killed, but tlie number of the 
wounded was more than a quarter of the force. f 

Mason, encumbered by his wounded, had no little difficulty 
in making his way out of the Indian country. His vessels 
were to meet him at the mouth of the Pequot Kiver. While 
slowly pursuing his way he was attacked by another party of 
Peqiwts, numbering more than three hundred, who approached 
from another neighboring fort, tearing their hair, stamping 
on the ground, and clamoring for vengeance. The Nnrrn- 
gansettH drove the Pequofs away. At ten o'clock in the 
morning Mason ascended an eminence with his exhausted 
party, when his eyes were gladdened by the sight of his 
vessels coming to anchor in the harbor. At evening they 
all went to rest on board their ve.ssels. 

What was left of the Pcqnois collected in the western fort, 
and debated the question whether they should fall upon the 
Narragansetts and the English or seek safety by flight. After 
a stormy council, they resolved on the latter course, and, set- 
ting fire to their wigwams, started off on their journey to join 
the Mohawks on the Hudson. On their way they put to death 
some Englishmen, and a part}' of them, some three or four 
hundred strong, were pursued by Capt. Mason with forty 
Connecticut men, who had been joined by one hundred and 
twenty men from Massachusetts under Capt. Stoughton. 

The Indians were overtaken a little west of what is now 
New Haven, encamped in the centre of a swamp. But few 
of them escaped. Stragglers of the tribe from time to time 
were put to death in large numbers by the Mohicans and the 
Nnrrngansetis, among whom the survivors of the Pequot na- 
tions were divided by the English and held as slaves. 

Sas-sa-cus, the last of the Pequots, fled beyond the Hudson, 
and was killed by the Mohawks. His nation was extinct. 

After the destruction of the Pequots, troubles arose between 
XJncas, of the Mohicans, and Mi-an-to-no-mo, of the Narra- 
gansetts, which finally resulted in the triumph of Uncas, and 
the death of Mi-an-to-no-mo at his hands ; but, so far as the 
white settlers of the Connecticut Valley and the rest of New 
England were concerned, from that hour of slaughter in the 
Pequot fort, on the banks of the Mystic, there was peace for 
forty years, until King Philip, at the head of another genera- 
tion of Indian warriors, waged the second war of extermina- 
tion between the white man and the Indian, which deluged 
the land with blood. 

At the conclusion of the Pequot war, the General Court of 

the Massachusetts colony adopted the following resolutions, 

to wit : 



" The Court did intreat the magistrates to treat with the elders about a day 
of thanksgiving upon the return of the soldiers, and tiie soldiers to he feiisted 
by their towns." 

Gen, Court at New Town, Aug. 1, 1637. 


" The 12th of the 8tb mo. was ordered to bee kept a day of publike thanks- 
giving to God for his great m'ies in subdewing the PecoUs, bringing the soldiers 
in safety, the suceesse of the conference, and good news from Geiniany." 

Geu. Court, Sept. 2r., 1037. 



The reader has seen in chapter VIII., of this volume, that 
the removal of William Pynehon and his company from Rox- 
bury, near Boston, to Agawam, now Springfield, on the Con- 

* Palfrey's Hist, of New Eng., Vol. I., page 407. 
t Mason's Pequot War, p. 141. 

necticut River, was not a di.stinct and separate movement, 
made for the planting of Springfield only, but formed a part 
and parcel of a larger undertaking entered into by several 
towns at the Bay, which resulted in the foundation of the 
State of Connecticut. 

It has also been seen that, before the departure of the emi- 
grants to the Connecticut Valley, the General Court of the 
Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, at Boston, granted them a 
commission, which in effect organized a separate government, 
in which commission William Pynehon and Henry Smyth, 
his son-in-law, were, with Roger Ludlow, John Steele, Wil- 
liam Swaine, William Phelps, William Westwood, and An- 
drew Ward, named as assistants. 

Soon after the colonists of the Connecticut Valley had 
arrived at Hartford, Windsor, Wethersfield, and Springfield, 
in the spring of 1036, the General Court authorized in their 
commission met at New Town, now Hartford. 

The following heading to the first meeting, copied from the 
Connecticut records, shows the time of said meeting, and 
which of the above-named assistants were then present : 

" A Corte Holden at Newtowne,J 26 April, 1636. Present, 
Roger Ludlow, Esq., Mr. Steele, Mr. Phelps, Mr. Westwood, 
Mr. Ward." 

It will be seen that at this court, first held at Connecticut, 
neither Mr. Smith nor Mr. Pynehon was present. They 
were doubtless so busily engaged in their removal from Rox- 
bury, and in providing places of shelter for their families at 
Agawam, that it was inconvenient for them to attend. 

General Courts were afterward held at Dorchester, now 
Windsor, on the 7th of June ; at Watertown, now Wethers- 
field, on the 1st of September ; and again at Newtowne, now 
Hartford, on the 1st of October. At neither of which the 
Agawam assistants were present. y 

The first General Court of Connecticut at which an}- one 
from Springfield appeared was held in November following, 
of which we give a copy of the records, J so far as it shows 
those who were present. 

" A Corte held at New Towne 1st Novemb', 1636. Prese: 
Mr. Ludlow, Mr. Pynehon, Mr. Swaine, Mr. Steele, Mr. 
Phelps, Mr. Westwood, Mr. Ward." 

It appears by the " Connecticut Colonial Records," above 
referred to, that Mr. Pynehon had furnished to the Connecticut 
people considerable quantities of Indian corn, upon contract 
with the General Court, and that out of this trade in corn, 
and other matters arising between Mr. Pynehon and the Con- 
necticut people, a difficulty arose, which resulte'd in the sud- 
den withdrawal of Mr. Pynehon and his company of settlers 
at Agawam, now Springfield, from the jurisdiction of Con- 
necticut into and under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. 

At a General Court held at Hartford on the 5th day o; 
April, 1638, among others, Mr. Pynehon, Mr. Smith, and 
Mr. Moxon of Agawam were all present. 

At this General Court the following resolution in reference 
to the ditficulty with Mr. Pynehon about the corn was 
adopted :|{ 

" mtereiiit, There \V{is some complaint made against Mr. William Pynehon, of 
Agawam, for that aa was conceived and upon proof appeared, he wa£ not so care- 
ful to promote the pul ilic good in the tragic of corn as he was bound to do. It is 
ordered the said Mr, Pynehon shall, with all convenient speede, pay as a fine for 
his so failing, 40 bushels of Indian corn for the publick, and the said corn to be 
delivered to the treasurer to be disposed of as shall be thought meete." 

This was the last appearance of any of the Springfield 
people at the Connecticut General Court. It will be seen by 
the following documents, that shortly after this the inhabi- 

t Changed to Hartford, Feb. 21, 1030-37, in honor of the residence of Rev. Mr. 
Stone, in England. The emigrants to the river first named these towns after the 
places they had left at the Bay, and Dorchester was changed to Windsor and 
Wateitown to Wethei-sfield respectively. 

g Col. Kec. of C<:)nn., Vol. I., p. 5. 

II Ibid., p. 19. 


IWS ^^ 




tants of Agawam set up a provisional government for them- 
selves. It must also be considered that the Agawam people 
had satisfied themselves in the mean time that Agawam did in 
reality lie to the north of the Connecticut line, and was actually 
within the bounds of the territory under the jurisdiction of the 

Mr. Pynchon was, however, a magistrate of Connecticut, 
and not of Massachusetts ; and in the absence of any authority 
from the General Court at Boston, the inhabitants of the little 
hamlet of Agawam in the February following adopted a form 
of government of their own in the following compact, which 
is unparalleled in the history of this country, saving the 
compact entered into by the Pilgrim Fathers, on the " Maj'- 
flower," before landing at Plymouth Rock. By this compact 
they made Mr. Pynchon their magistrate. His authority was 
derived from the people themselves, — now, but not then, recog- 
nized as the highest of all authority. Their compact was as 
follows, to wit : 

" February the Uth, 1638-9.— We the luliabitaiitj of Agaam, upper Quiunetticut, 
takinge iuto consideration the manifould inconveniences that may fall uppon us 
for want of some fit magistracy amonge us ; Being now by Godes providence 
fallen into the line of the Massachusetts jurisdiction; & it being farr oflf to re- 
payer thither in such cases of justice as may often fall out amonge us, doe there- 
fore thinke it meet« by a generall consent & vote to ordaine (till we receive 
further directions from the Generall Court* in the Massachussetts Bay) Mr. "Wil- 
liiun Pynchon to execute the office of a magistrate in this our plantation of 
Agaam, viz. : 

" To give oathes to constables or military officers, to direct warrantes, both 
process, executions, & attachmentes, to heare and examine misdemeanours, to de- 
pose witnesses, & uppon proofe of misdemeanour to inflict corporal punishment, 
as whipping, stockinge, byndinge to the peace or good behaviour, & in some 
cases to require sureties, & if the offense require to commit t*) prison, and in de- 
fault of a common prison to commit delinquents ti.> the charge of some fit person 
or pereons till justice be satisfyed ; also in the Trj-all of actions for debt or 
trespasse, to give oathes, direct juries, depose witnesses, take verdicts & keepe 
Records of verdictes, judgments, executions, & whatever else may tend to the 
keepings peace and the manifestation of our fidellity to the Bay Jurisdiction & 
the restraininge of any that shall violate Godes lawes; or lastely whatsoever else 
Diay fall within the power of an assistiiut in the Slassachusett. 

" It is also agreed uppon by a mutual consent, that in case any action of debt or 
trespasse, he to bo tryed seeinge a jury of 12 fit persons cannot be had at present 
amonge us, that six pereons shall be esteemed & held a sufficient Jury to try any 
action under the some of Ten pounde till we shall see to y» contrary*, & by com- 
mon consent shall alter the number of JuFors, or shall be otherwise directed from 
the generall court in the Maiisachusetts." 

Thus, in the depth of winter, they boldly seceded from the 
jurisdiction of Connecticut, and, going back to first principles, 
adopted a constitution of their own, until the}^ could find safety 
under the sheltering wing of the General Court at the Massa- 
chusetts Bay. 

Out of this abrupt separation of Mr. Pynchon and his 
Agawam colony there grew up between the Connecticut people 
and the people of Agawam and the Massachusetts Bay a bitter 
controversy, which lasted for several years, and interfered 
even with the union formed by the colonies, known as the 
United Colonies. 

Thus, we find, in a letter of the Rev. Thomas Hooker, of 
Hartford, to Governor Winthrop, written in 1638, in speaking 
of the proposition of the aforesaid union of the colonies, he 
says : " The negotiation was interrupted in consequence of the 
claim preferred by Massachusetts to the jurisdiction of Aga- 
wam (Springfield), which had been hitherto conceded to belong 
to Connecticut." 

Governor Winthrop, in his reply to this letter of Mr. Hooker, 
undur date Aug, 28, 1038, complained of three things ; the 
third matter complained of related to the controversy about 
Agawam. "3d. That they [the people of Connecticut] still 
exercise jurisdiction at Agawam, though one of their commis- 
sioners disclaim to intermeddle in our line, and thereupon we 
challenged our right, and it was agreed so ; and I had wrote 
to desire them to forbear untill that Mr. Pynchon had small 
encouragement to be under them ; that if his relation were 
true, I could not sec the justice of their proceeding against 

To this letter of Governor Winthrop, of August, 1638, Mr. 
Hooker replied in the autumn of that year. 

This reply is so interesting that we copy it entire, so far as 
it has reference to the third complaint of Mr. Winthrop, above 

"The third thing touching the business of Agaam comes last into considera- 
tion, in wliich I shall crave leave to open myself freely and fully, that the 
rule of righteous proceeding may appear in undeniable plainness where it is. 
The sum of that cause is to be attended in two things : partly in the jurisdiction 
we have exercised, paitl}' in the jurisdiction which at this time you so suddenly, 
so unexpectedly, take to yourselves. 

" For a fair and full answer you may be pleased to understand : 1. That I have 
advised with the commissioners, and their expressions to me were these ; that 
they were so far from consenting that you should take away the jurisdiction iu 
Agaam from them to yourselves that to their best remembrance there was no 
such thing mentioned ; nor were there one syllable sounding that way in all the 
agitation of the business. Wlien the commissioners of other towns, and amongst 
them one from Agaam, came to establish the jurisdiction which they now exor- 
cised, in reason it could not be their commission, nor the intention of tlie towns, 
to de-stroy their own jurisdiction, for that was to cross the scope of the treaty, and 
overthrow the combination for the establishment whereof they were now sent. 

"The act of jurisdiction which hath been exercised since your letter, it was 
this: there was an inhabitiint in Agaam apprehended in some misdemeanor; the 
town sent the delinquent to the court to desire justice, which they answerably 
did; and why they might not do it, nay, how they could avoid it, according to 
rule, it is beyond all my skill to conceive. For at the time of our election* the 
committees from the town of Agajim came in with other towns, and chose their 
magistrates, installed them into their government, took oath of them for the 
execution of justice according to Giod, and engaged themselves to submit to their 
government and the execution of justice by their means, and dispensed by the 
authority which they put upon them by choice. 

"Now when these men demand justice from magistrates so chosen and en- 
gaged, how, in a faithfulness and according to their oath, they could deny it with- 
out sin, the covenant continuing firm on both parts, and renounced at this time 
by neither, it is beyond my compass to comprehend, and, under favor, I do think 
beyond the skill of any man by sound reason to evince. 

" The magistrates who are lawfully called, and stand bound by oath to execute 
justice unto a people, to deny the execution of justice when it is demanded by 
such, is a grievous sin. But the magistrates were thus called, thus by oath bound, 
and justice was in this manner demanded. Therefore had they then refused it 
they had grievously sinned. Yea, taking it for granted that it is in each inhabi- 
tant's liberty in Agawam to choose his jurisdiction (which is to me beyond ques- 
tion), if I was there as an inhabitant, I should judge myself bound in conscience 
to sulmiit t<j the jurisdiction of the river, and do believe I should make a breach 
of the eighth command if I should otherwise ; because in so doing I should steal 
from mine estiite, iu that I should rush myself into needless and endless incon- 
veniences; namely, to cast myself into that condition that for a nuitter of five 
shillings (as the case may fall out) I should put myself to unreasonable charges 
and trouble to seek for justice a hundred miles off iu the wilderness. If Mr. Pyn- 
cheon can devise ways to make bis oath bind him when he will, and loosen him 
when he list; if he can tell how, in faithfulness, to engage himself in a civil cov- 
enant and combination (for that he did, by his committees in their act) and yet 
can cast it away at his pleasure, before be give in sufficient warrant, more than 
his own word and will, he must find a law in Agaam for it; for it is written iu 
no law or gospel that ever I reail. The want of his help troubles not me nor any 
man else I can hear of, I do assure you ; we know him from the l»ott«m to the 
brim, and follow him in all his proceetUngs, and trace him in his privy foot-.tep8 ; 
only we would have him and all the world tt» underetand he doth not walk in 
tlie dark to us. By tliis it is evident what the jurisdiction was which was exer- 
cised since your letter."! 

Early in the controversy the Rev. Mr. Moxon. of Springfield, 
addressed the following letter to Gov. Winthrop, in relation 
to the Agawam matter. The reader will remember that 
Mr. Moxon was the first minister of Springfield. His letter 
is characteristic of the man, and illustrative of the history of 
the controversy in question. It was first published by the 
Massachusetts Historical Society, and is as follows : 

"To y« Wor^i liia much-respected frieude, Mr, Winthroppe, at bis house in Bos- 
ton, he these dd. 

" Worthy Sr, — Salutation in Cr. Jesus. S^, I make bold to trouble you with 
these few lyncs, in thus intrcating your helpe to cleare this poynt, whether we 
of Agawam were dismissed out of the Bay with this proviso to continue of the 
Bay's jurisdiction. If there be any order of court touchinge that matter it may 

* In this sentence Mr. Hooker has supplied an impoi'tant omission in the colony 

records. Nothing lias been known, hitherto, of the constitution of government 
in Connecticut between the expiration of the Massachusetts commission in 
March, IfiiJ?, and the adoption of the Fundamental Laws in January, 1G30. At 
the General Court at Hartford, April 5, 1638, the names of Mr. George Moxam 
and Mr. Jolin Burr, both of Agawam, appear in the list of committees, and those 
of Mr. Pynchon and i\Ir. Smith among the magistrates. [Note by Mr. Trumbull 
in Col. Kec. of Conn., Vol. I., p. 17.] 
t Copied front the Conn. Hist. Soc. Col., Vol. I., p. 2, etc. 



give lijrlit Y* grounile of my request is tluis much: I have heard tliat some of 
o' ueighUt's in the River are doubtful wliether we lye not in sin (not in falling 
from their government but) in falling disorderly from them without fiif*t orderly 
debfltinge y« matter, and our grievances if we had any. I would therefore 
gladly have such grounds as may be convincing to any that shall desire a reai^on 
of us if any shall hereafter epeake of it to any of us. I conceive some objection 
may be grounded on this, that they were possest of us at that tyme. Through 
God's mercy we [are] all well in o' plantiition, only Mr Pynchon lately lust a Itoy 
who tendinge cowes near our river too ventuously went into a birchen cauowe, 
i^voh overturned and he was drowned. Kcmember myne and my wife's truest 
love to yor selfe and BIi-s. "Winthrop. 

"The Lord sanctifye y"^ pa&sages of His providence to you and bear up your 
spirits in close walkeing with Him. Soe prayes yo' lovinge frinde to use in the 
service of y** Gospell.* 

"G: BIoxoN." 

This controvers^y was at 
General Court of the 
Massachusetts Baj', 
adopted on the 2d of 
June, 1641, in which 
Massachusetts asserts 
her right of jurisdic- 
tion OTer the town of 
Agawara, which not 
until the year before 
had been named Siiring- 
field, and organized a 
governnient, with Mr. 
Pynchon at the head as 
chief magistrate. 

In the light of the 
facts above stated, this 
resolution of the Gen- 
eral Court, although 
somewhat lengthy, be- 
comes interesting to the 
student of history, and 
we copy it entire : 

f-C.'nx c_(n. 1-n. 

ength ended by a re.'iolution of the 





" The Answer to the Peti- 
tion of Blr. Pyuclion and 
others of Springfield, upon 
Conectecott, exIiiViited to the 
Gou'al Court, hualdeu at Bos- 
ton 2d, 4th ui". 

*' The Petition beiii);; reado 
iu open CVjuit and the records 
and other wiitings penised and 
refeiTed a comimttee to bee 
further examined, uiion tlieir 
report, the matter was again 
considered by the whole Court, 
and agreed, that answera 
should bee given thereunto as 
followeth, vid.: whereas the 
said petition" do certify as 
that'Bome of their neighbors 
and friends upon C-oneetecott 
have taken oflense at them fur 
adhereing U) v' government 
and w^hdrawingfroni that upon 
the rivei*, supposing that tliey 
had furmeriy dismissed from 
their jurisdiction, and that 
wee liad Ixtund ourselves (by 

o' own act) from claiming any jurisdiction or interest in Agawam, now Spring- 
field, and fur proofe hearof they allcadge some jMissages in a commission 
granted by this Court in the first ni. 

*' In 1635, to the said Mr. Pyidieon and others, for the government of the said 
inhabitants upon the said rjTer, and some passages also in cerfeine aiticles sui>- 
posed to have been propounded to them by the authority of this Court. It is 
hereby declared, — 

" 1st. That the said passages in the said commission {as they are expressed in 
the petition) are mis-recited, so as the true scope and intention is thereby 
altered; as Ist, Whereas the words in the commission are, they are resolved to 
transplant themselves; in the recital it is, to plant themselves. 2nd, In the com- 
mission it is said that those noble personages have interest in the ryver, and by 
vertue of their patent ilo require juris'liction ; iu the recitali it is, that wee con- 
fesse it belougetli to their jurisdiction. 3d, In the coumiissiou it is provided this 

* Mass. Hist. Society Col., 5 series, Vol. I., p. 296. 

may not bee any prejudice to the interest of those noble, &c.; in the recitall it is, 
that nothing should bee done or intended to the prejutlice of the lords or their 

"2nd. That the said commission was not granted upon any intent either to 
dismise the persons from us, or to determine any thing alxmt the limits of juris- 
dictions, the interest of the lands, and o' owne limits being as then unknowne ; 
therefore it was granted ouely for one yearo ; and it may rather appeare, by o>" 
granting such a commission, and then accepting of it, as also that clause, viz.: 
Till some other course were taken, by mutuall consent, &c., that wee intended to 
reserve an interest then upon the rj'ver, and that themselves also intended to 
stand to the condition of the first licence of departure given to the most of 
them, w^*' was, that tliey should remaine still of o"" body. 

"3d. For those arguni" w=i> they draw from those articles certified in the 
petition, wee answer, that they were pi-opounded and drawen out onely by some 
of the magistrats of ea<-h party w^iout any order or alowance of this Court; and 
therefore (whatsoever those magistrats might intend thereby) the intent of the 
Court cannot be gathered from any thing therein; hut iu those ai-tides wo*> 

were agitated and brouglit to 
some issue in o' Genfall Court 
at Cimibridge, in the 4th m". 
16.18, when their commission- 
ers were present, Springfield, 
t h e n called Agawam, was 
claymed by the Court (though 
by occasion of some piivate 
epeach, &c.) to belong to us; 
and it was then agrod by the 
Court, and yeilded unto by 
^ their commissioners, that so 

(^ "^ ~ ^ir^^^^ J'^^^^'CZ nimrh of the ryver of Conecte- 

'-^ '^'^^ {^/» ' '^"*'*^^''""'f'*''^'l^''^'n the line 

^<i V^^^iT— ^ C^OjyotM „f ,,r patent should continew 

^ .< ^ '^^''^^ "^^ff^ within our jurisdiction (and 

it was then t^iken for granted 
that Springfield would fall to 
us without question) ; and 
those articles had then beene 
fully agreed on betweeue the 
Court and their Commission", 
had there not beene some ques- 
tion about them granting us 
free passage up the river, in 
regard of the lords' interest (as 
they alleaged). 

"Its now hearby ordered, 
that Willi: Pincben, gent, for 
this yeare shall hearby have 
full power and authority to 
governe the inhabitants at 
Springfield, and to heare and 
determine all causes and of- 
fenses, botli (-ivill and crimi- 
nall, that reach not to life, 
limbs, or banishment, accord- 
ing to the lawes heare estab- 
lished ; provided, that iu mat- 
tei-8 uf weight or difficulty, it 
shall bee lawfull for any party 
to appeal unt^j the Court of 
Assistants, at Boston, so as 
they prosecute the same ac- 
cording to the order of tais 
Court; provided, also, that 
these tryalls bee by the oathes 
of G men, untill they shall 
have a greater number of in- 
habitants for that service." 




The reader who is fa- 
miliar with the law re- 
lating to the construc- 
tion of statutory enactments will not fail to discover that 
the order which concludes the above record organizes a gov- 
ernment at Springfield, and is in reality the act incorporating 
the town. It may, therefore, be considered that the town of 
Springfield was incorporated by the General Court on the 2d-' 
day of June, 1641. 

It will be a matter of interest to the reader to know who 
were the freemen of Springfield eighteen years after this event, 
and to show this we produce another /ac-simi?e page from the 
Kecord-Book of Mr. Pynchon. This page, however, is in 
the handwriting of the "Worshipful" John Pynchon, his 
father, William, having been self-exiled to England ten years 





In the year 1639 George Penwiok, with his lady and family, 
left England and arrived in Connecticut with the intent of 
making a plantation. Mr. Fenwick is described as a worthy 
and pious gentleman, who had been a barrister at Gray's Inn. 
His wife was a daughter of Sir Edward Apsley. He was 
interested in the Connecticut patent, and came over as agent 
for the patentees. 

The little fort at the mouth of the river, commanded by 
Gardiner in the Prquot war, had no political connection with 
the upper towns, and Fenwick took possession of it, made his 
residence there, and named it Saybrook, in honor of the two 
noblemen who were the most distinguished members of the 

Fenwick, in the year 1644, sold out his interest in the set- 
tlement at Saybrook to the upper towns of Hartford, Windsor, 
and Wetherstield. The conditions of the sale were that Mr. 
Fenwick, during the period of ten years, should receive the 
avails of certain duties to be collected from all vessels passing 
out of the river, and of certain taxes on the domestic trade in 
beaver and live stock. 

As the purchase and maintenance of the fort were deemed 
necessary by the Connecticut people for the protection of all 
the towns on the river, including Agawam, to pay this debt 
to Mr. Fenwick and to raise money sufficient to maintain the 
fort, it was resolved to impose a duty upon all exports which 
should pass out of the river. To effect this object, officers 
were appointed at "Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield to 
give clearances to vessels outward bound, and the fort at Saj- 
brook was authorized to "make stays" of vessels which did 
not produce such clearances. 

The traders from Springfield, the other river town, refused to 
pay this duty, on the ground that, as they belonged to the juris- 
diction of Massachusetts, Connecticut had no right to impose 
the same upon them, and they promptly laid the matter before 
the General Court of Massachusetts, at Boston. This duty 
was imposed on the 6th day of February, 1645. 

On the 18th day of June of that year the Massachusetts 
General Court adopted this resolution, viz. : 

" Itt is yc niindo of tliis House yt none of om-s shoulrl pay any import to any of 
Connecticntt jurisdiction, witli ri'latiun to ye passing through any parte of Con- 
necticut llivei*." 

Information of this resolution was conveyed to the people 
of Connecticut, and an animated dispute grew up between the 
two colonies, which was referred to the judgment of the com- 
missioners of the other colonies for settlement. 

The penalty prescribed for the non-payment of these duties 
was confiscation of property, but Connecticut deferred the 
execution thereof until the decision of the commissioners 
could be obtained. 

Accordingly, on the 22d day of September, 1646, at a meet- 
ing of the commissioners of the United Colonies, held at 
Hartford, Connecticut brought the question before that body, 
representing that the purpose of the import was " chiefly to 
maintain the fort for security and conveniency," and that 
"Springfield had in its proportion the same benefit" as the 
towns lower down the river. 

It will be seen by the following record of the action of the 
commissioners that they were of the same mind ; but the mat- 
ter was postponed for further consideration, at the request of 
Massachusetts : 

" September, 164G. — A question was propounded by the C<.>mniissioner8 for Con- 
necticut concerning an imposition layd on goods iias.singe ity the River's moutli to 
tlie sea, which all the plantiitions on Connecticut River pay, cliieliy t<> niant^iyue 
the fort for security and conveniency, onely Mr. Pincham, at .Sprinktield, who 

have in their proportion the same benefit, refuse. The Commissioners thought it 
of weighty concernment to the plantations above, that the mouth of the River 
be secured ; but Mr. Pincham being jibsent, and noe instructions given from the 
General Courte in the Mattachusetts, the issue and determination was respited 
till the Commissioners' next meetings."* 

At a meeting of the General Court at Boston, held on the 
4th day of November next after, the resolution of the Com- 
missioners of the Colonies was presented, and action taken 
thereon. The resolutions adopted by the General Court at 
this meeting were presented in the argument of the matter 
before the Commissioners of the United Colonies, which was 
held in Boston the succeeding summer, an account of which 

In the month of July, 1647, a special session of the Com- 
missioners of the United Colonies was held at Boston, and the 
matter of the Connecticut import duties again considered. 

In the mean time, however, the fort had been destroyed by 

Upon the argument written briefs were delivered by both 
the contending colonies. 

That of Massachusetts consisted of the resolves of her Gen- 
eral Court adopted at the November session, as above stated, 
which were in words as follows : 

"Novemhei' ith, 1G46. — The Committee having considered ye controversy be- 
tween the jurisdiction of Hai*tford upon Cfumecticutt & the inhabitants of 
Springlield, on ye same river, touching either the purchase of ye fort, Ac, at the 
river's mouth, or the juiyment of such customes as is or shall be imposed upon 
them towards the maintainance of the same, doe declare their judgments as fol- 
loweth : 

" 1st. They conceave y' ye jurisdiction of Hartford upon Connecticutt had not 
a legall power to force any inhabitant of another jurisdiction to purchase any 
fort or other lanils out of their jurisdiction without their consent. 

" 2d. They conceave y' it were injurious to require custome to ye maintainance 
of such a fort which is not usefull to such of whom it is demanded. 

"3d. They think it very unequall for them to impose a custome upon their 
frienils and confederates, who have not more benefitt of the liver, by e.\portiug 
and importing of goods, Ac, than straingers of another nation, who (though they 
live within Haitford jurisdiction) ])ay none. 

"4th. The pounding and standing upon an imposition & custome, to be paid to 
ye river's month by such as were or are within our jurisdiction, hindered our 
confederation above tenn yeares since, and then never any paid Ui this day, & 
now tji impose it on Jiny of our confederation will putt us to new thoughts. 

" oth. Itt seems to us very hard y* any of our jurisdiction should lie forced to such 
a bondage as will either constrain them to depart their habitations or weaken 
much their estates, especially when as they, with the fii"st, tooke possession of 
the river, and were at great charge of builtting, etc., which, if they had fore- 
seene, would not then have been planted. 

" Gth. If Hartford jurisdiction shall make use of their power over any of ours, 
we conceave we have the same power to imitate them in ye like kinde, which 
wee deesier may be forborne on both sides. The whole Couile approves of this 
retourne. By both." 

Upon the presentatiim of these resolutions of her General 
Court the Massachusetts Commissioners rested their case. 

On the part of Connecticut, Mr. Hopkins, "some respite 
being given him to consider of the same," delivered the fol- 
lowing answer in writing: 

",\ SHORTE Answer to tlierea.son jiropounded by generall Corte of the Matta- 
chusetts for Springfield not jiaying of the imposition at Seabrook forte presented 
the Comniissionei-s of the United Colonies, 27 .Tuly, 1647. 

" The first argument seemed (at leilst to us) to laboure of a greate mistake in 
reference to the case in hand (to omit all other just exceptions that might bo 
m.ade against that affirmation) and doth not touch the present question, which 
is, whether such an imposition be lawfuU and regular, liottomed uptm a foun<la- 
tion of equity and righteousness, & not to what uses or improvement the means 
raised upon the imposition is put; for if there be suflicient grounds & reason for 
the imposition, that it transgresse not a rule of righteousness in regard to of 
the tbiuge itself, not exceeding a rule of moderation in regarde of tlie quantity, 
it concemes not the party that payes to inquire after, or call to account for, the 
employment of the monies raised by ye imposition ; therefoi-e, the further answer, 
it might be denyed that which is imposed to be payed by Springfield as they 
paj^se is to purchase land or forte. The second, as it is a position in itselfe, 
nakedly considered, seems at least to lay most of the government of Europe 
under the guilt of injustice; yet because it hath an appearance of an equitable 
consideration in it, we are content the issue of the present difference may lye 
there, for we atfirme the forte mentioned hath beene for nigh 12 yeares past, is at 
present, & may be still for the future, usefull to that plantation, & yet not ja. 
\A I>y them towards it to this very day. 

»■ Plymouth Col. Rec. 



" The tliiid is but a presumption, & if it had any uloare fuinuhition, yet the com- 
parison is not eqnail. 

"The fourth, ever since the first readiuge of it, hath bcene a reall trouble to 
our thouglits, laboringe of so apparant mistakes, botli in the one part of it & in 
the other, which makes ua heartily wish that we may be all conscientious care- 
full that our publick records may carry such evidence of the truth that those 
who desire to take advantages may not have any just occasions given them ; for 
whereas it is said the combination was hindred above 10 years by the means 
propounded, if a due consideration be had of it, it will appeare it was not above 
five years from the mentioned agitation for combination & the conclusion of this 
present confederation, the one beinge in June, 1638, the other agreed upon in 
May, 1G43 ; and whereas it is affirmed that the px'opounding and standing upon an 
imposition of customes at the River's mouth hindered the combination soe many 
yeares, it shall (if need) be made appeare by the oath of thost^ who were em- 
ployed in tliat service, that they were soe far from stiffly standing upon such an 
imposition that they did not soe much as propounde it, as it is there expressed, 
nor could they in reason doe it, the townes havinge no interest in nor relation 
to the forte at that time. 

" The fifth carrieth not that strength of reason with it as to coinpell our under- 
standing to fall in therewith, for what inthralement sucli an imposition is or 
can be to the inhabitants there, as to cause them to forsake their habitations 
upon that grounde, our thoughts reach not, especially consideringe if that 
jurisdiction grow exorbitant in their taxes, tliere is a remedy provided in tliis 
combination to rectify any such deviations; but if weakningo of estates be a 
sufficient plea to free men from payinge of taxes, we know not who will pay, 
for all such payments doe weaken men's estates. 

" What is meant by taking of possession of the River (which was possest by the 
other townes a considerable time before the foundation of that plantation was 
layd) & the greate charges in buildings we understand not, for we are wholly 
ignorant what expences they have beene at in that kinde, But for their owne 
particular private advantages ; nor can we yeild a ready beleefe to what is aftirmed, 
that if they had foreseen the or present imposition would have been required 
tliey would not then have planted, fur the thing carryeth that evidence of equity 
with it that Mr, Pincbon, while he looked upon himselfc as a member of that 
jurisdiction, acknowledged the same & yielded upon a motion made by himselfe 
to Mr. Fenuicke (as wo have it from his testimony deserving credit) that the 
trade of beaver upon the River, which is the greatest thing now stuck at, 
ought in reason to contribute to the chardg of the forto; besides the incourage- 
ment given by Mr. Pinchon under his owne hand, by othere U) the gentlemen 
interested in Seabrooke forte, which might well draw out from them an addition 
to the former expense, there seems to deserve some weight of consideration in 
the present case. 

"To tlie sixth we willingly assent, & in parallel cases shall readily submit." 

The argument being coneluded on the part of the colonies, 
the Commissioners gave their decision thereon in writing, of 
which the foUowing is a copy, to wit : 

"Which Argumknts & answers being read & a further debate betwixt the 
Commissioners of the Massachusetts & Connecticut had, & Mr. Pincheon, then 
in Boston, being sent for and desired to add what further reiisons he could 
against the imiwsitious in question, he wliully referring to what the Generall 
Corte had done, it appeared to the Commissioners for the other two ColUmies, 
upon their most serious consideration, that it wiis of weighty concernment to all 
the plantations upon the River of Connecticut that the mouth of the River & 
the passages of goods through it to and fro (though at some charilg) bo preserved, 
and seemed to them that though the forte at Seabrooke bo not of force against 
an enemy of any considerable strength, yet an English plantation being now 
settled there it may more easily be preserved, & may in a comfortable measure 
secure the passage aforesaid for the convenience of all the plantations upon that 
River, of which benefite Springfield doth share with the rest. That though 
nothinge be as yet demanded from the Dutch house within Hartford limit*!, yet 
this imposition, with other difference, are like to be considered in a fitt scjison. 
That whatever conference hath formerly passed about the custome or imposition 
at Seabrooke, there never was any settled or demanded of any of the plantations 
upon that River have paid it, hath upon the same grounds beene demanded and 
expected of it from Springfield. That it is no impeachment of any liberty 
granted by patent to the Mattachusetts that Springfield, seated upon the River 
of Connecticut, doe beare a moderate & equall parte of charges, whither of 
scouring any parte of that River, or River's mouth (if there should be occasion) 
or in making or mainetayning such a forte as is in question to secure the pas- 
sage to and fro. That the imposition in question is but the payment of 2il p. 
bushell for come and about jd pt for beaver passing out through yc moutli of 
that River, and therefore seemeth a moderate charge in reference to the custome 
propounded & no matter of just grievance or discouragement to the plantations 
themselves, then settled, 

" The premises being weighed & considered with all due tenderness <fe respects 
to the Intresiens, the said Commissioners for Plymouth & New Haven doe con- 
ceive and conclude : Firat, that Springfield doe henceforward from time to time 
give in t(.> Connecticut or the Agent or agents a true note or accompt of all corne 
& beaver they or any of them ship, or carry out tlirough the mouth of that 
River to the sea, to pay or desposet into their bands after the rate of 2d per 
bushell for corne & 20s per hogshead for beaver soe exported, 

"That the mentioned imposition be neether at any time hereafter raised nor 
increased upon any of the inhabitants of Springfield without just & necessary 
cause, to be firet approved & allowed by the other Colonies, nor continued longer 
than the forte in question is maintayned & the passage as at present thereby 

"That at the next meetinge of the Commissioners any Deputy from the Mat- 
tachusett Colony, or from Springfield plantation, shall have liberty further to 
propound or object as they see cause agsiinst the present imposition, which, ac- 
cording to tlie nature & proper weiglit of the matter alleadged, shall be duly 
heard & considered, without any disadvantage from the conclusion now made 
in the premises." 

But this did not end the matter. On the 7th of Septem- 
ber, 1648, the commissioners of the United Colonies met at 
Plymouth, and the dispute between the two colonies of Con- 
necticut and Massachusetts in reference to import duties levied 
upon goods passing out of the mouth of Connecticut Kiver 
was again renewed with considerable bitterness on both sides. 

In addition to the reasons urged in the argument before the 
commissioners, the following year further reasons were urged 
on both sides, for a statement of which the reader is referred 
to the records of the commissioners. 

After the conclusion of the arguments, the commissioners 
decided that they found not sufficient cause to reverse what 
was done the last year; but, as there were some questions in 
the matter still unsettled, among others, that of jurisdiction 
over Springfield, they desired that, if there were cause, the 
matter should be brought and presented to the commissioners 
for further consideration the next year, and "that in the 
mean time the colonies would agree upon some equal and satis- 
fying way of running the Massachusetts line." 

On the 3d of May, 1(349, the action at the last meeting of 
the commissioners held at Plymouth, in September, 1048, con- 
firming the action of the commissioners of the United Colonies 
at their meeting held in July, 1G47, was presented to the court, 
and caused great indignation. Retaliatory measures were at 
once resolved upon, the nature of which can best be shown by 
quoting the records of the General Court, expressed in the 
quaint but forcible language of the times : 

"Jl/a?/3, 1649. 

"The answer of the Court concerning Springfield wee think itmeete that our 
commission", at their next meeting, be mindful! to press what arguments and 
reasons they cann for the revertion of the last order of the commissioners con- 
cerning Springfield, and, amongst other, these in speciall: 

" 1st. That the commissioners of Connecticutt produced no pattentt, or exem- 
plification thereof, or any order of their own Courte for their custome they re- 
quire of Springfield. 

*' 2nd. They had no evidence of any forte at all in being at the river's mouth, as 
we are informed. 

**3d. By a clause in the commissioners' order, July, 1647, when they first de- 
termined against Springfield, page 111, they provided that the said imposition 
should be continewed no longer than the forte in question was maintained, and 
the passage thereby secured as at that present; yett after the said forte was de- 
molished by fire, and no security of the passage provided, the commissioners 
confirmed their former order at the last meeting. 

" Whereas, the coramissionei-s for the United Colonies have thouglit it but just 
& equal! that Springfield, a member of this jurisdiction, should pay custome 
or contribution to the erecting and muintanency of Seabrooke forte, being of no 
force against an enemy of any considerable strength (before it was burnt) in the 
commissioners' owne judgment, exprest in their owne order, page 109, which 
determination against Springfield they have also continewed by an order at their 
last meeting at Plimmouth (though tlie said forte was then demolished by fire, 
and the passage not secured), contrary to a clawse in their order, provided on 
Springfield's bchalfe, page 111; and forasmuch as this jurisdiction hath ex- 
pended many thousand pounds in erecting and maintaining several forts which 
others (us well as oui'selves) have received the benefit of, and have at present one 
principall forte or castle of good force against an enemy of considerable strength, 
well gaiTisoned, and otherwise furnished with sufficient ammunition, besides 
severall other fortes and batteries, whereby vessels and goods of all sorts are 

"It is therefore ordered by this courte and the authority thereof, that all 
goods belonging, or any way appertaining to, any inhabitant of the jurisdic- 
tion of Plymouth, Connectioott, or New Haven, that shall be imported within 
the castle or exported from any parte of the Bay, shall pay such custome as here- 
after is expressed, viz. : all skinns of beaver, otter, mouse, or beare, two pence 
per skinn ; and all other goods packt up in hogsheads or otherwise, tenn shil- 
lings pr tunne ; meale and corne of all sorts, two pence per bushell ; biskett, sixe 
pence pr hundred; & it is further ordered, that all such akinns and other 
goods as shall be imported or exported as aforesaid shall be dewly entered with 
the Auditor Generall, and the custome thereof paid or deposited, before any 
parte of the said goods be either sould, shipt, landed, or otherwise disposed of, 
under the penalty of forfeiting the said goods not so entered, or the dew value 

"And if any inhabitant of this jurisdiction, or strainger, shall buy any of the 
forementioned goods belonging or any ways appertaining to any of the inhabi- 
tants of Plymouth, Connecticott, or New Haven, aforesaiil, imiwrted to any other 



parte of our jurisdittion, or shall sell or deliver to any such inhabitant any other 
goodes in any parte of the Bay, without tiie Bay, without the Castle, he shall 
enter the said goods with the auditor generall, and pay or deposite the same, 
after the same manner .and proportion, and under the same penalty, as is provided 
for goods, 4c., brought within the castle. This order tu take place the first day 
of the next niontli. 

" .\nd tlie auditor generall is hereby appointed and authorized to take care for 
the execution of this order in all the particulars thereof, either by himself or by 
his deputy or deputies."* 

In July, 1649, another special meeting of the commission- 
ers of the United Colonies was convened at Boston, and the 
controversies between Massachusetts 'and Connecticut were 
again brought to its notice. 

In behalf of Massachusetts it was represented that she had 
agreed with Mr. Fenwick, who represented Connecticut, 
to run the boundary-line between the two colonies at their 
joint expense. That the line had been run accordingly, but 
at the sole charge of Massachusetts. And as Mr. Fenwick 
had " failed to send in any to join," and as Connecticut was 
dissatisfied and desired the work to be done anew, it ought 
to be at her own cost. 

The nature of the past relations of Springfield, both to Mas- 
sachusetts and Connecticut, was now at some length discussed. 
On the part of Massachusetts, it was denied, 1st. That there 
was "any fort at all in being, worthy the name of a fort." 
2d. It was denied that "any instance could be given of any 
government in the world that had compelled the people of any 
other jurisdiction to contribute to the erecting of a fort or 
place of strength by which they might rule over them and 
order them at pleasure, as well as be a protection to them." 
Massachusett.s also produced the vote passed two months be- 
fore, quoted above, imposing retaliatory duties, not only upon 
Connecticut, but also upon Plymouth and New Haven. 

As the quarrel was now becoming general, the commis- 
sioners of the other colonies forwarded a remonstrance to 
Massachusetts against her action, and with proper dignity re- 
solved that they "desired to be spared in any case all further 
agitations concerning Springfield." 

This prompt and decisive action on the part of Mass.achu- 
setts, the more powerful colony, and which seems to have been 
just, under the circumstances, at once decided the contest. 
The manner of its termination is best shown by quoting from 
the Ma.s.saehusetts General Court. 

" JIf.ii/ 3.1, 1(550. 

" Is ANSWER to the petition of the inhabitants of Boston for repealing the order 
that requires custome of the other colonies. 

" This Court, having beene credibly informed the jurisdiction at Queneccti- 
cott will for tlie present suspend the takinge of any custcime of us, & that at 
tlieire next Generall Court, they intend to repeale the order whereby they im- 
poseri it. doth therefore hereby order that there shall be no more custome re- 
qiiired of the other confederate colonies until WO shall certainly know that Cou- 
necticott doe take cust*.inie of uap. curUtm,^^ 




The tragic events growing out of the witchcraft delusion 
of the seventeenth century in New England cast sombre 
shadows over tlie brightest page of her history, the era of her 
early struggles through the wilderness to the promised land 
of her prosperity and power. But those tragic scenes were 
after all the outgrowth of the prevailing errors and super- 
stitions of tlic times, heightened by the rigorous circumstances 
under which they lived, rather than the result of any inherent 
viciousness in the character of the New England people. 

The belief in witchcraft was one of the lingering supersti- 
tions of the Middle Ages. It was by no means peculiar 

* Mass. Col. Eec, Vol. III., p. 151. 

to New England. All Christendom was at the time still 
thoroughly imbued with the most implicit belief in witches, 
and in the power of Satan to possess individiutl men and 
women, and use them as his instruments in tormenting and 
destroying the souls and bodies of their fellows. All Chris- 
tendom, too, at the time, with rare exceptions, was ferreting 
out witches by due form of law, convicting them at courts 
presided over by the most eminent judges of the daj-, and 
burning their bodies eventually at the stake. What wonder 
then that the stern and sombre theologians of New England 
should be zealous in doing what no one, unprejudiced, disputes 
they honestly believed was God's service, in ridding the world 
of those whom they deemed to be Satan's chosen children? 

These considerations are not urged by way of excuse or 
justification, for to excuse or justify such doings would be to 
uphold grievous wrongs, but they are urged by way of ex- 
planation. They do not justify, but they do explain, many 
things which have so often been charged as being inconsistent 
with the religious professions of the Puritan Fathers. Dut_v, 
duty toward God and man, was the one solemn incentive 
which moved the stern hearts and strong minds of the prim- 
itive people of New England, and do it they must, though to 
do it was to walk, with stained hands and blistering feet 
through blood and fire. 

Books on sorcery, magic, witchcraft, and kindred subjects, 
were brought to this country b_y the early settlers, and taken 
with them to their loneh', secluded homes, in the dreary soli- 
tudes of the New World. These books, doubtless, were most 
attentively studied, and their contents colored and enlarged 
upon by imaginations expanded into marvelous powers by 
the unseen terrors of the limitless wilderness, — the boundless 
extenfof woods and waters and mountain chains, stretching 
off in infinite on every hand, peopled, they knew, 
with savage beasts and still more savage men, and, for aught 
they knew, with countless ghosts, hobgoblins, nymphs, and 

So the early settlers around Boston about 1G30, and the 
early settlers of the Quin-)iec-ti-cutt Valley, who came with 
William Pynchon to Ag-a-wam, now Springfield, in the spring 
of 1636, and the early settlers of Indian Non-o-tuck, now 
Northampton, in 16-54, and of Indian Nol-wo-togg, now Had- 
ley, in 1661, had hardly got within the rude walls of their log 
cabins before the trouble of witchcraft began to haunt their 
firesides, like dim spectres of evil. 

Yet so much prominence has been given to the so-called 
Salem witchcraft, which occurred as late as the year 1692, that 
the numerous cases which happened both before and since, in 
all parts of the country, have been quite overlooked by the 
general, and almost entirely pa.ssed over by the local, histo- 
rians of New England. " It can hardly be supposed," says 
Samuel G. Drake, in his "Annals of Witchcraft in New Eng- 
land" published as No. VIII. of "Woodward's Historical 
Series," at Boston, in 1869, "that they purposely omit those 
Details with a Belief that they will be forgotten, and the Re- 
proach they occasion with them. This would be a short- 
sighted Decision indeed. But the Affair at Salem has not 
been omitted. That has been a Peg on which to hang Re- 
proaches against New England, early and late ; as though it 
were the Corner-stone of all the Troubles of the kind which 
ever happened in the land." 


Dr. Cotton Mather, in his book called "The Wonders of the 
Invisible World," printed in Boston, in 1692, thus begins his 
first discourse, entitled "Enchantments Encountered." 

" It was as long ago as the year 1637, that a faithful min- 
ister of the Church of England, whose name was Mr. Edward 
Seymour, did, in a sermon afterwards printed, thus express 
himself: ' At New England now the sun of comfort begins to 
appear, and the glorious day-star to show itself; Sed Venient 



Annis Swculce Seeis, there will come times in after-ages when 
the clouds will overshadow and darken the sky there. Many 
now promise to themselves nothing hut successive happiness 
there, which, for a time, through God's mercy, tliey may en- 
joy, and I pray God they may a long time ; but in this world 
there is no happiness perpetual.' An observation, or I had 
almost said an inspiration," continues Mather, "very dis- 
mally now verity'd upon us." 


Kdvvard Phillips, a nephew of John Milton, was one of the 
earliest English lexicographers. The third edition of his 
work, "The New World of Words," was printed in 1671. 
Ill tluit he defines witchcraft to be "A certain evil Art 
whereby with the A.ssistance of the Devil, or evil Spirits, 
some Wonders may be wrought which exceed the common 
Apprehension of Men. It cometh from the Dutch Word 
Wiirlielen, — that is, to divine or guess ; it is called in Latin 
Veneficiam ; in Greek, Pharmaceia, — i.e., the Art of making 

Dr. Ogilvie, in his "Imperial Dictionary," published in 
Glasgow in 1856-59, thus defines it : 

"Witchcraft: the practice of witches ; sorcery; enchant- 
ments ; intercourse with the devil ; a supernatural power 
persons were formerly supposed to obtain possession of which 
by entering into compact with the devil. Indeed, it was fully 
believed that they gave themselves up to him body and soul, 
while he engaged that they should want for nothing and be 
able to assume whatever shape the}' jileased, to visit and tor- 
ment their enemies, and accomplish their infernal purposes. 
As soon as the bargain was concluded, the devil was said to 
deliver to the witch an imp or familiar spirit, to be ready at 
call, and to do whatever it was directed. By the aid of this 
imp and the devil together, the witch, who was almost always 
an old woman, was enabled to transport herself through the 
air on a broomstick or a spit, and to transform herself into 
various shapes, particularly those of cats and hares; to inflict 
diseases on whomsoever she pleased, and to punish her enemies 
in a variety of ways. The belief in witchcraft is very ancient. 
It was universally believed in Europe till the sixteenth cen- 
tury, and even maintained its ground with tolerable firmness 
till the middle of the seventeenth century. Vast numbers of 
reputed witches were condemned to be burned every year, so 
that in England alone it is computed that no fewer than thirty 
thousand of them sutlered at the stake." 

The bargain between the witch and the devil was said to 
have been this : " The witch as a slave binds herself by vow 
to believe in the devil, and to give him either body or soul, 
or both, under his handwriting or some part of his blood. 
The devil promiseth to be ready at his vassal's command, to 
appear in the likeness of any creature, to consult and to aid 
him for the procuring of pleasure, honor, wealth, or prefer- 
ment ; to go for him, to carry him any whither, and to do 
any command."* 

LAWS against witchcraft. 

In the year 1636 the colony of Plymouth included in their 
summary of ofl^enses " lyable to Death" a statement in these 
words : " Solemn Compaction, or conversing with the Divell 
by way of Witchcraft, Conjuration, or the like." 

In 1C41 the colony of Massachusetts Bay adopted their 
" Body of Liberties," in which they incorporated these words, 
drawn from the Bible : " If any Man or Woman be a Witch, 
that is, hath or consulteth with a familiar Spirit, they shall 
be put to death." 

In 1642 Connecticut also included witchcraft in her penal 
code as a crime subject to the death penalty. 

In 1047 the General Court of Rhode Island, iu the Acts of 

* See Drake's Hist. Witchcraft Delusion in N. E., 'VoL I., p. 18. 

May of that year, included this : " Witchcraft is forbidden by 
this present Assembly to be used in this Colonic ; and the 
penalty imposed by the Authoritie that we are subject to is 
Felonie of Death." 


trials for witchcraft. 
In the year 1648, on the 15th of June, the first execution 
for witchcraft iu the colony of Massachusetts took place at 
Boston. f The victim was Margaret Jones, wife of Thomas 
Jones, of Charlestown. She was a nurse and physician, — an 
employment common enough in those days among the mothers 
of the early settlements, — and literally went about doing good. 
But she was suspected of witchcraft, and " was found to have 
such a malignant touch as many persons were taken with 
deafness or vomiting, or other violent pains or sickness." 
Her accusers also .said that "her medicines, though harmless 
in themselves, yet had extraordinary violent etfects." It was 
further said that to those who refused her medicines "she 
would tell that they would never be healed, and accordingly 
their diseases and hurts continued with relapse against the 
ordinary course, and beyond the apprehension of all physi- 
cians and surgeons." It was proved in court against her that, 
as she lay in prison, " a little child was seen to run from her 
into another room, and, being followed by an officer, it was 
vanished." Other testimony, equally ridiculous, need not be 
recited. The poor forsaken woman was deserted by all those 
to whom she had shown nothing but kindness, and she per- 
ished miserably on the gallows, a victim to the infatuation of 
the hour. 


Among the earliest trials for witchcraft which took place 
in the colony were those of Hugh Parsons and Mary, his 
wife, of Springfield. Hugh Par.sons was one of the first settlers 
of Springfield. He probably went there in Mr. Pynchon's 
company in tlie year 1636, or very soon after. He was a labor- 
ing man, and a sawyer and brick-maker by occupation. On 
the 27th of October, 1645, he married a young woman, named 
Mary Lewis. The first child of this marriage of which there 
is any record was born the 4th of October, 1649. It was named 
Samuel, and lived but one year. On the 26th of October, 1650, 
their son Joshua was born. It was soon after the birth of 
this child that the charge of witchcraft was made against the 
father. The mother's sickness, joined with the exciting inci- 
dents of the blight upon her family, rendered her hopelessly 
insane. It was alleged her unhappy condition was brought 
about by witchcraft. In her ravings she accused both her 
husband and herself of witchcraft. Her second child, bereft of 
a mother's care, died on the 1st of March, 1651. She first ac- 
cused her husband of being the cause of its death, brought 
about by his league with the devil, and at last accused herself 
of murdering it under the same satanic influence. 

Early in the year 1651, Hugh Parsons was apprehended, 
and a long and tedious examination of his case was had before 
Mr. William Pynchon, sitting as magistrate in Springfield. 
At the close of the examination he was sent to Boston for 
trial. At Boston a bill of indictment was found against him, 
as follows, to wit : 

"The grand jury for this commonwealth present Hugh 
Parsons, of Springfield, not having the fear of God before his 
eyes, in or about March last, and divers times before and since 
at Springfield aforesaid (as they conceived), had familiar and 
wicked converse with the Devil, and did use divers devilish 
practices and witchcraft, to the hurt of divers persons, as by 
several witnesses and circumstances doth appear, and do leave 
him to the court for his further trial for life." 

His trial came on. Witnesses were produced in court, and 

t Drake's Annals of Witchcraft in New England, p. 58. 



the testimony taken before Mr. Pynchon, at Springfield, was 
read to the jury. The verdict of the trial-jury was in writing, 
as follows : 

"The jury of Life and Deatli finds against Hugh Parsons, 
by the testimony of such as appeared in court, so much as gives 
him grounds not to clear him ; but considered with the testi- 
monies of divers that are at Springfield, whose testimonys were 
only sent in writing, as also the confession of Mary Parsons, 
and the impeachment of some of the bewitched persons of the 
said Hugh Parsons, and the impeachment of the bewitched 
persons, or other of them, and the testimonies that are in writ- 
ing, but appeared not in person, — authentic testimonies, ac- 
cording to law, — then the jury finds the said Hugh Parsons 
guilty of the sin of witchcraft. 

" Edward Hutchin.son, Foreman. 
" With the consent of the rest of the jury." 

In the mean time the poor demented wife had confessed 
herself a witch, and that she had killed the child herself, 
whose death it had been alleged was caused by the practice of 
witchcraft in the husband. Mary Parsons was imprisoned 
upon the double charge of witchcraft and murder. Her case 
was presented to the grand jury, and two indictments found. 
She was tried, and found guilty of murder only. Her case was 
reviewed by the General Court, and on the 7th of May, 1651, 
the following opinion was recorded : 

"Mary Parsons, of Springfield, having two Bills of Indict- 
ment framed against her, the one for having familiarity with 
the Devil, as a witch, to which she pleaded not guilty, and not 
sufficient evidence appearing to prove the same, she was ac- 
quitted of witchcraft. The second indictment was for willfully 
and most wickedly murdering her own child, to which she 
pleaded guilty ; consent the fact, and according to her deserts 
condemned to die." 

This proceeding against the miserable wife changed the as- 
pect of the hu.sband's case. His case was reviewed by the 
General Court on the 27th of May, 1651, and the following 
conclusion is recorded : 

" The magistrate, not consenting to the verdict of the jury 
in the Parsons case, the cause coming legally to the General 
Court for issue, the court, on peru.sal of the evidence brought 
in against him for witchcraft, do judge that he is not legally 
guilty of witchcraft, so not to die by our law." 

So ended the first trial for witchcraft in Springfield. The 
wife was doubtless hanged, and Parsons never returned to the 
valley of the Connecticut to live. 

Capt. Edward Johnson, in his "Wonder- Working Provi- 
dence," published in 1654, says of Springfield, " There hath of 
late been moer than one or two in this town greatly suspected 
of witchcraft, yet they have used much diligence both for the 
finding them out and for the Lord's assisting them against 
their witchery ; yet have they, as is supposed, bewitched not a 
few persons, among whom two of the Keverend Elder's chil- 
dren." The Reverend Elder referred to was Mr. George 
Moxon, the first minister settled at Springfield, who went to 
England with Mr. Pynchon the year after. 

To show the reader the and nonsensical nature of the 
evidence in such cases a part of the tcstimonj- adduced in this 
case is given below, that relating to the death of the child being 
omitted. The whole testimony is printed at length in the Ap- 
pendix to Drake's "Annals of Witchcraft in New England." 


'^ All these testimonies now taken upon oath Before me. 

" William Pynchon. 
" Hugh Parsons — You are attached upon supposition of 

" Feb. 25, 16.50, George Lankton saith on oath that his wife 
made a pudding in a bag, and because my wife had the child, 
I took it and put it out of the bag at dinner this day fortnight 

(which was the 11th of Feb.), and as it slipt out of the bag it 
fell into two pieces lengthwise, and in appearance it was cut 
straight along as smooth as if it had been cut with a knife. It 
was cut straight along almost the whole length ; it lacked but 
very little. Hannah, the wife of George Lankton, doth upon 
oath concur with her husband in the said testimony. 

"Feb. 23, 1650-51, George Lankton and Hannah, his wife, 
jointly testify upon oath that they had another pudding in the 
former bag that was cut lengthwise, and as it was slipt out of 
the bag it fell into three parts, one piece being cut all along on 
the one side, and two pieces all along on the other side. Then 
they sent for some neighbors to see it. 

" Roger Pritchard testified upon oath that he saw the said 
pudding, and it seemed to him to be cut all the three pieces as 
evident and as plain to him as that which George Lankton 
cut with his knife. 

" These testimonies were all taken upon oath before me. 

"William Pynchon. 

" George Lankton and Hannah, his wife, do jointly testify 
upon oath that on Friday last, being the 21 February, they 
had a pudding in the same bag, and that as soon as it was 
slipped out of the bag it was cut lengthwise like the former 
pudding and like another on the 23 Feb., as smooth as any 
knife could cut it, namel}', one slice all along, wanting but 
very little from end to end. 

" Also Hannah, the wife of George Lancton, saith upon oath 
that a neighbor came in and she showed it to him, and that 
neighbor took a piece of it and threw it into the tire ; and she 
saith that about an hour after, perhaps a little moer, she heard 
one mutter at the door ; then she asked Goody Sewell, who was 
then at her house (and near the door), who it was ; she said it 
was Hugh Parsons, and that he asked whether Goodman Lank- 
ton were at home or no. I said no, and so he went away, but 
left not his errand. 

" Deposed in court by Hannah. 

" Hugh Parsons being asked what his answer was, he spake 
to other things and not to the question. Being asked the 
2d time what his errand was, he spake again of other matters 
and not the question. Being asked the 3d time what his errand 
was, and charged to make a direct answer, then he said it was 
to get some hay of him. Being asked again whether he had 
propounded his errand since to Goodman Lankton, he said 
he never saw him since. 

' ' Then one or two that weer present testified that they saw 
him meet Goodman Lankton next day below. 

" Symon Bemon and Rice Bodorthe say upon oath, that the 
next day but one they saw Hugh Parsons meet Goodman 
Lankton accompanied with Thomas Sewell in the street, and 
they saw him speak to Goodman Lankton. 

"George Lankton saith on oath that he never to this day 
asked him for any. 

" When Hugh Parsons saw himself taken tardy in this put 
of, then he said that he did not ask him because John Lum- 
bard bad told him that Goodman Lankton had sold more liay 
to Goodman Herman than he could spare. But after inquiry, 
John Lombard saith upon oath, March 17, 1650-51, that the 
Wednesday before that Hugh Parsons came to Goodman 
Lankton's House for hay ; that he had spoken to buy some 
hay of Goodman Lankton, namely, as he passed by, whcer he 
and Hugh Parsons were at work together, and had a denial. 
And then he told Hugh Parsons that Goodman Lankton 
could spare him no hay, for he had already sold more to 
Goodman Herman than he could spare, and said he should 
now want himself 

"John Lunibard also saith on oath, that the Friday after 
when the said Pudding was so strangely cut he told Hugh 
Parsons that Lankton had no hay to sell. 

" Hugli Parsons not being able to reply any further, it is 
evident that his coming to the door of Goodman Lankton 



presently after the burning of tlie iniclcling, which was the 
next day after John Lunibard had told him that he had no 
ha}- to spare, that his errand to get hay was no true cause of 
his coming thither, but rather that the Spirit that bewitched 
the pudding brought him thither. 

" Mary Parsons being present at the 2d examination saith, 
one reason why I have suspected my husband to be a witch 
is because all that he sells to any bod_y doth not prosper. I am 
sorry, said she, for that poor man Tho. Millar, for two days 
after my husband and he had bargained for a piece of ground 
Thomas Millar had that mischance of that cut in his leg. 

" Thomas Millar being present saith upon oath, that ho being 
in company with several other workman about timber trees 
in the woods, as we weer at dinner and merry together Hugh 
Parsons sat on a bough somewhat higher than the rest. Then 
one of the company started this question : I wonder why he 
sits there? Thomas Miller saith he answered, To see what 
we have, and then I began to speak of the cutting of the pud- 
ding in town. 

'' Thomas Cooper being present with the said workmen saith, 
that he was much troubled in his mind because Thomas Mil- 
lar spake so plainly to Hugh Parsons least some evil event 
should follow. 

" And both Tho. Cooper and Thomas Millar .say upon oath, 
that Hugh Parsons was as merry and as pleasant before this 
speech about the pudding as any in the company, but after this 
he was wholy silent and spake not a word in reply about the 
pudding, but sat dumb. And Thomas Millar saith, that about 
half-a-quarter of an hour after, at his first setting to work, 
his leg was cut. 

"April 3, 1651, Thomas Burnham saith upon oath, that he 
said to Hugh Parsons, a little before his apprehension, ' beer 
is strange doings in town, about cutting of puddings and 
whetting of saws in the night time.' Hugh Parsons heard 
these things much agitated among divers then present, and 
was wholly silent, but at last he said, ' I never heard these 
things before this night.' Thomas Burnham saith he said to 
him that is strange that you .should not hear of these things, 
and I, being but a stranger in town, do hear of it in all places, 
wherever I come. At this Hugh Parsons held down his head 
and was wholly silent, but he took occasion to speak of other 
by matters, as pleasantly as anybody else, but to the matter 
of the pudding he would say nothing ; and yet, saith Thomas 
Burnham, I spake to him of it several times, and of the whet- 
ting of saws, on purpose to see what Hugh Parsons would say 
to it, but still he continued silent, and would not speak any- 
thing about these things. Then Goodman Mann being present, 
said, I would that those who whet saws in the night time and 
on Lord's days were found out. Then saith Thomas Burn- 
ham, I said you sawyers you had need to look to it. Hugh 
Parsons being a sawyer, never returned any answer, but still 
continued silent. This matter about tho pudding and whet- 
ting of saws was often tossed up and down between several 
persons, and many said they never heard the like. And Hugh 
Parsons was often spoken to in particular and asked if he ever 
heard the like, but still he continued wholy silent. 

" Joane, the wife of "William "VVarrence, and Abigail, the 
wife of Goodman Mann, being present when the said speeches 
were used, do acknowledge that they remember all things that 
have been related by Thomas Burnham, and that Hugh Par- 
sons was wholly silent, and do testify the same upon oath, the 
day and j'ear above said. 


" Blanche Bodortbe saith on oath, Feb. 27, and March 1st, 
and March 18th, 1649, that about two years since, Hugh Par- 
sons being at our house, we had some speeches about a bargain 
with my husband about some bricks, and then Blanch Bo- 
dortbe saith that she spake something about the said bricks 
that did much displease Hugh Parsons ; thereupon he said 

unto me. Gammer, you needed not have said anything. I 
spake not to you, but I .shall remember you when j'ou little 
think on it. . . . Blanch Bodortbe doth testify upon oath, 
that soon after this threatening speech, as she was going to 
bed, and had put off her waistcoat made of red shag cotten, 
and as she was going to hang it up on a pin, she held it up 
between her hands, and then she saw a light, as it had been 
the light of a candle, crossing the back of her waistcoat on 
the inside, three times, one after another, at which she was 
amazed ; and therefore she saith that after she had laid it 
down she took it up again, to try if the firelight might not be 
the cause of it, but she saith that the firelight being all one, 
as it was before, she could not perceive any such light by it, 
and besides, she saith it could not be the firelight, because 
there was a double Indian mat compassing the bed and the 
place where she was, so that it could not be the firelight, for 
this double mat was betwixt her and the fire; and she saith, 
moreover, that because this light was so strange to her, she 
took her waistcoat several other nights to try if the firelight 
would not give such a light as she saw first, and held it up 
the ^ame way that she did at first, but she saith she could not 
perceive any such light afterward. 

" 2dly. About a month after this she saith that when she 
was iu child-bed, and as well as most women used to be 
and better than she used to be, yet at the week's end, being 
desirous to sleep, she lay still that she might sleep, and she 
did sleep. And yet about an hour or more after she awaked 
and felt a soreness about her heart, and this soreness increased 
more and more in three places, namely, under her left breast 
and on her left shoulder and in her neck : and in these three 
places the pain was so tedious that it was like the pricking of 
knives, so that I durst not lie down but was fain to be shored 
up with a bag of cotton-wool and with other things, and this 
extremity continued from Friday in the forenoon till Monday 
about noon, and then the extremity of the pain began to abate, 
and by Tuesday it was pretty well gone ; and suddenly after 
mj- thoughts were that this evil might come upon me from 
the said threatening speech of Hugh Parsons. 

" 3dly. Blanch Bodorthe saith, upon oath, that mj' child, 
being about two years old, as he was standing near to his 
father, did hastily run to him, and strived to get up upon his 
knees, and cryed, 'I am afraid of the dog!' and yet theer 
was no dog theer. His father asked him wheer the dog was : 
he said it was gone under the bed. His father asked him 
whose dog it was. He said it was Lumbard's dog : his father 
said that Lumbard had no dog ; then he said again it was 
Parsons' dog: but the child's meaning was at first that it was 
Parsons' dog. I know it by this, because when Parsons did 
after use to come to our house, he did often call him Lum- 
bard. And ever and anon he is much aft'righted with this 
dog, and doth often speak of it, and yet Parsons hath no dog, 
neither was there any dog in the house; but the earnestness 
of the child, both then and since, doth make me conceive it 
might be some evil thing from Hugh Parsons. 

" Hugh Parsons having heard all these testimonies, alleged 
stood still at his 2d examination, as at the first, and made no 

" MR. MOXON's children. 

" Your wife saith that she suspects you may be the cause of 
all the evil that is befallen to Mr. Moxon's children, because, 
when she hath spoken to you about the bargain of bricks that 
you undertook to make for Mr. Moxon's chimnies, and that 
she thought Mr. Moxon would expect the performance of the 
said bargain, thereupon you said if Mr. Moxon do force me 
to make bricks according to bargain I will be even with him, 
or he shall get nothing by it ; for she saith that these two 
speeches are very usual with you when you are displeased 
with anybody. 

" Answering, Hugh Parsons saith, I said mit that I would be 



even with him ; but this I said, if he would hold me to my 
bargain I could puzzle him in the bargain. 

" John Mathews being present, saith, upon oath, that when 
he went with Hugh Parsons to fetch some of his fannell 
bricks, he said to Hugh Parsons : ' Do not you make more 
bricks for Mr. Moxon's chimnies he will stay with us now, 
and then I believe he will have up his chimnies.' Hugh Par- 
sons said, 'No; that I know of;' then said I, 'Mr. Moxon 
will hold you to your bargain about the said bricks ;' then said 
he, 'If he do I will be even with him.' And when Hugh 
Parsons made my chimnies he did often use the same speech ; 
and when he is displeased with anybody it his usual speech. 

"At this testimony of John Mathews, Hugh Parsons was 
silent and made no reply. 

"Mr. Moxon being present, saith, the same week that I 
spake to Hugh Parsons about the bricks, and to his wife 
about another business, my daughter Martha was taken ill 
with her fltts. I confess, also, that when I spake to him of 
the said bargain, that Hugh said I could not, in strictness, 
hold him to the bargain. But this last answer doth not take 
oil' the ill of his former threatening. 

"4th. Sarah, the wife of Alexander Edwards, testifies upon 
oath, Feb. 27th, 1650, that about two years ago, more or less, 
Hugh Parsons, being then at the Longmeadow, came to her 
house to buy some milk ; she said, ' I will give you a half- 
penny worth, but I cannot let you have any more at this 
time.' This was at that time when my cow gave three 
quarts at a meal ; but the next meal after she gave not above 
a quart, and it was as yellow as saflron, and yet the cow ailed 
nothing that I could discerne. The next meal it altered to 
another strange, odd color, and so it did every meal ; for a 
week together it still altered to some odd color or other, and 
also it grew less and less; and yet all the while the cow was 
as well as at any time before, as far as I could discerne ; and 
about a week after she began to mend her milk again, without 
any means used. Upon this I had thoughts that Hugh Par- 
sons might be the cause of it. 

"Alexander Edwards swore that George Coulton saw the 
milk in strange colors. 

"Hugh Parsons saith that he did not lie one night at ye 
Long Meddow that Somer, but only in the Spring of the Yeere, 
eather in March or in the beginning of Aprill, when he set 
up fencing there, and that he never had Milk of her but that 
one Tyme ; and at that Tyme of the Yeere he thinks her Cow 
could not give three Quarts at a Meale. 

" But now at his 2nd Examination, May the 18th, 16.50, he 
seeing Alexander Edwards about to testify ye contrary, he 
confesseth that he lay a night there in plantinge T3'me, about 
the end of May. 

" I remember ye Alexander Edwards came to me to tell me 
of this accident, and said that he was perswaded the Cow was 
bewitched by Hugh Parsons ; but I did not believe him at 
that tyme. I rather conceived that the Cow was falling into 
some dangerous sickness ; for such a sudden abatement I tould 
him was a sign of some dangerous sicknesse at hand ; but, see- 
inge no sicknesse followed, I tould Hugh Parsons that such a 
sudden change could not come from a Naturall Cause. 

" 5thly. Anthony Dorchester saieth upon oath, Feby. 25, 
1650, the 1st Day of the 1st Month and the 18th Day, that 
about September was twelve Monthes, four had equall shares in 
a Cow ; each had a Quarter, and ye Otfall was to be divided 
also ; and Hugh Parsons desired to have the roote of the 
Tongue ; but he had it not, it fell to my share ; and a cer- 
taine time after I had salted it, I tooke the said Roote and 
another peace of Meete, and put it into the Kettle as it was 
boylinge over the Fire at Hugh Parsons' House, where I 
lived at that present ; and there was no body there but his 
wife, and I and my wife, who was sick of a consumption, 
sittinge on her bed and not able to gett of without lielp ; 
neather were any of my children able to take such a Thinge 

out of a boyling kettle. This being the Sabbath Day, Hugh 
Parsons and his wife went to Church before me ; then I made 
myself ready and went presently after them, and came Home 
before them, and took up my Meate before they came Home, 
but the Roote of the Tovinge, which Hugh Parsons formerly 
desyred, was gonn ; his wife come Home presently after me 
(but he came not with her). Then I told her, and she won- 
dered how it could be gonn ; and she went to ye Tubb where 
it was salted to see if it might nott be forgotten, and it was 
not there. Then said I to her, I am sure I put it into the 
boyling Kettle, and .she confessed that she saw me pick it and 
wash it, and being present did much wonder ye strange going 
of it away, and said that she feared her Husband might 
convey it away. She tould me that her Husband went along 
with her till we came to (ioodraan Merricke's, and was very 
pleasing to her, more than usually he had bin a great while 
before ; but there he laid the Child downe and went no further 
with her ; and she saw him no more till ye Meeting was almost 
donn(all this Mary Parsons, being present, dothe acknowledg). 
Presently after this he came home ; then I spake of it to him, 
and all that be said was that he thought I did not put it in ; 
but I tould him that I was sure I put it into the boyling 
Kettle. And I have ever since believed that no Hand of Man 
did take it away, but that it was taken away by Witchcraft. 

" Ans. Hugh Parsons confesseth that he de.syred the Roote 
of ye Toung, but withall saith he is ignorant as ye Child 
unborn which way it went. Some by-Standard objected it 
might be taken away by his wife as well as by him. But 
that is not so likely, because Hugh Parsons went not with 
her to ye Meeting, but laid down her Child and went from 
her, and she saw him no more till Meeting was almost 

"ylns. Hugh Parsons saith that he doth not remember that 
he went away any whither, unlesse he might go into Good- 
win Merricke's Howse to take a pipe of Tobacco ; and though 
his wife saw him no more till the Meeting was almost donn, 
yet he saith he might be standing without the Dore, though 
she saw him not. And at his 2nd examination he asked how 
it did appeare that he came not to the Meeting till it was 
almost donn. 

" Abigail Mun, being present, doth testifie upon Oath that 
she knew by the Talk aboutt the strange going away of this 
Roote of the Toung what Sabbath was meant, and she saith 
that she saw him come that Sabbath to 3'e meeting when ye 
Sermon was well onward. 

"Jonathan Taylor deposed in open Courte, saith that he 
heard the said Parsons say (notwithstanding the Roote of the 
Toung was desired by Anthony Dorchester for his wife, being 
sicke), yett he said I will have it. 

"6thly. Griffin Jones saith upon Oath, Feby. 25, 1650, 
March 1 and 18 Day, that when he lived at his House neere 
Hugh Parsons' House about 2 yrs. agoe, on a Lord's Day I went 
Home to Dinner; I took up my Dinner and laid it on a little 
Table made on ye Cradle Head. I sought for a Knife and 
could not find any. I cleered the Table where I dined to see if 
any were there ; and I searched every where about j'e House, 
and I could find none. I went to an ould Basket where I 
had Things to mend Shoes withall, and there was a rusty 
Knife, and with that I was faine to eate my Dinner. After 1 
had dined, I tooke away ye Victuals that were left and laid 
it up ; and then I laid the rusty Knife on the corner of the 
Table to cutt a pip of Tobacco withall. 

" But before I cut my Tobacco I first went out of Dore to 
serve a Pigg that was a very little of the Dore, and no man 
could come in but I must see them ; and as soon as I come in to 
cutt my Tobacco with the said rusty knife, there lay three Knivea 
together on ye Table, which made me blush, wondering how 
they come there seeing no Body was in ye House but my self; 
and I was going to cut ye Tobacco, Hugh Parsons come in, 
and said, where is the Man? Are you ready to go to ye Meet- 



inge? I said by and by, as soon as I have taken a pipe of 
Tobacco. So he staid and took some with me. 

'Mrts. Hugh Parsons saith he is ignorant of any such 
Thing, and in the sight of God can cleare his Conscience. 

" It was tould him that such a strange Thinge fallinge 
oute just at his comeing in did minister just occasion of 
Suspition of Witchcraft ; he replyed that one Witness was 
not sufficient. 

" Tthl}'. Mary Parsons, his wife, saith that one Reason why 
she doth suspect you to be a Witch is because you cannot abide 
that any thing should be spoken Witches. She saith 
that you tould her that you were at a Neighbor's House a little 
before Lecture, when they were speaking of Carrington and 
his Wife, that were now apprehended for Witches; she saith 
that when you came Homo and spake these speeches to her 
she said to you, I hope that God will find out all such wicked 
Persons and purge New England of all Witches ere it be long. 
To this she saith you gave her a naughty looke, but never a 
word ; but presently after, on a leight Occasion, you took up a 
Block, and made as if you would throw it at her head, but yet, 
in ye end, you did not, but threw it downe on ye hearth of 
ye chimney. This expression of ye anger was because she 
wished the Ruin of all Witches. 

" Mary Ashley testifies this substance uppon Oath. 

'^ Attn. Hugh Parsons saith he dare not remember that ever 
he tooke up a Block to throw at her, but uppon further De- 
bate he said at last that he tooke up a Block but remembered 
not the Occasion ; at his 2nd Answer he saith that he took up 
no Block on that Occa.sion. 

" RepVie : it might well be on that Occasion, for not long 
since she saith that you said to her, if ever any Trouble doe 
come unto you, it will be by her Meanes, and that she would 
be the Meanes to hang 3'ou. 

"Ans. Hugh Parsons saith that he might say so, because in 
his Anger he is impatient, and doth speak what he should not. 
At his 2nd Examination, he said he might say so, because she 
is the worst Enemy that I have, considering the Relation that 
is betwecne us ; and if any Body be.speake Evill of me she will 
speake as ill and as much as any Body else. 

" Mary Parsons replied, I have often intreated him to con- 
fe.sse whether he were a Witch or no. I tould him that if he 
would acknowledge it I would bcgg the Prayers of God's Peo- 
ple on my knees for him ; and that we are not our owne, we 
are bought with a Price, and that God would redeeme from 
the power of Sathan, &c. 

" Hugh Parsons was asked if his Wife had spoken An3-thing 
to him at any Tyme to confess W^itchcraft. 

" ,4n.s. Not anything to me about Witchcraft, that I 

" Mary Parsons saith, did I not speake of it to you uppon the 
death of my Child ? did I not tell you then that I had jeal- 
ousies that you had bewitched your own Child to Death ? 

" To this he was silent, and made no answer. 

" Then she desyred Anthony Dorchester, that lived then in 
their House, whether he could not remember that she had 
charged her husband with the bewitching of his child. 

"Anthony Dorchester said that he did not remember that 
ever she spoke directly to him of bewitching his Child, but 
that she had jealousies that he had bewitched his child to 

" Mary Parsons said that when her last Child was ill she 
tould him that she suspected he had bewitched that, as he had 
done his other child, and said, I have spoken of it to him, and 
to other Polkes, together above forty Tymes. 

" It was alledged that he might well be suspected to have 
be witched his former Child to Death, because he expressed 
no Kind of Sorrow at the Death of it. 

" Ans. Hugh Parsons saith that he w-as loath to express any 
Sorrow before his wife, because of the weak condition that she 
was in at that Tyme. 


The foregoing trial of Hugh Parsons and Mary, his wife, for 
witchcraft, seems to have been the first one had for that of- 
fense in the valley, and the case of Mary Randall seems to 
have been the last one entertained in the Hampshire County 

On the 29th day of September, 1691, Mary Randall was 
brought before the court at Springfield upon the«charge of 
witchcraft. The complaint against her was entertained by 
the court, but for some reason or other, — it may have been for 
want of sufficient evidence to convict her, — the case was put 
over for a year. William Randall, her father, became surety 
for her good behavior, but no trial or other proceedings were 
ever had. In her case the following record was made : 

" Mary Randall being presented to this court for Witchcraft, 
the several evidences were produced and read in court. The 
court, upon the serious thoughts of her examination and al- 
leged evidence against her, did declare that there was vehe- 
ment suspicion of her having familiarity with the Devil ; did 
therefore order her committed to prison in Springfield, until 
security be given in the sum often pounds for her good behavior 
until the next court at Springfield, this time come twelve 

" William Randall, her father, did become surety in the sum 

of twenty pounds for his said daughter, for her good behavior 

as aforesaid." 



Mrs. Mary Parsons. — Among the most important trials for 
witchcraft which took place in the colony of Massachusetts 
Bay was that of Mrs. Mary Parsons, wife of Joseph Par- 
sons, a man of wealth and high standing residing at North- 

In the month of July, in the year 1674, Mrs. Mary Bartlett, 
wife of Samuel Bartlett, of Northampton, sickened and died. 
Such " chirurgeons" as the young settlement then afforded 
were at a loss as to the nature of her malady, and a ready 
solution of the difficulty was arrived at by attributing it to 
witchcraft. Of course some one must be fixed upon for the 
witch. To the surprise of everybody, in this instance a person 
of no less standing and accomplishments than Mary Parsons 
was fixed upon as the guilty person. Soon after the death of 
Mrs. Bartlett, her husband, Samuel Bartlett, began to procure 
evidence, in the shape of depositions made by divers persons 
against Mrs. Parsons, for the purpose of substantiating his ac- 
cusations against her before the next court, to be held at Spring- 
field on the 29th day of September following. 

Mrs. Parsons, aware of what was going on, did not wait to 
be served with process, but voluntarily appeared in person be- 
fore the court to answer her accusers. In her plea she denied 
her guilt, and in a speech to the court " she did assert her own 
innocency, often mentioning how clear she was of such a crime, 
and that the righteous God knew her innocency, and .she left 
her cause in his hand." But, notwithstanding her most 
solemn protestations of innocence, the court at Springfield 
proceeded to entertain the case, and, as the record shows, "ap- 
pointed a jury of soberdized, chaste women to make diligent 
search U]ion the body of Mary Parsons, whether any marks of 
witchcraft appear, who gave in their account to the court on 
oath of what they found." This report, with the depositions, 
was sent to the governor and magistrates, at Boston, and Mrs. 
Parsons was ordered to appear before them ; and she was also 
bound over in the sum of fifty pounds, with her husband as 
surety, for her further appearance at the Hampshire County 

On the 2d day of March, 1C75, her case was presented to 
the grand jury of the court, and an indictment found against 
her. Upon the finding of the bill of indictment against her, 
she was sent to prison to await her trial. 

Her trial came on on the 13th dav of May following. In 



the indictment she was charn;cd with witchcraft, " in that she 
had, nut having the fear of God before her eyes, entered into 
familiarity with the Devil, and committed sundry acts of 
witchcraft on the person or persons of one or more." To this 
charge she entered the plea of "not guilty," and after the 
matter was submitted to the trial-jury they brought in a ver- 
dict of acquittal.. Thus ended the trial of Mary Parsons, of 
Northan>jiton. An attempt was made afterward to fasten 
the guilt upon her son, John Parsons, but the court deemed 
the evidence against him insulBcient, and the case was aban- 

Again, in 1679, the "powers of darkness" were visible in 
Northampton. On the 7th of March of that year one John 
Stebbins died in an " unusual manner." 

An inquest was held upon his body, with Dr. Thomas Hast- 
ings, of Hatfield, among the twelve jurymen. The "jury 
found several hundred small spots on the body, as if made 
with small shot. These spots were scraped, and holes found 
under them into the body." It was suspected that this was 
caused by witchcraft. It is a tradition in Hadley that a 
short time before John Stebbins died he was at work in a 
saw-mill, when the logs and boards became bewitched, and 
cut up strange and divers capers. 

The county court received the evidence in the case and trans- 
mitted it to Governor Bradstreet, but no further notice was 
taken of it.* 



In 1683 the noted case of Mary "Webster, the wife of Wil- 
liam Webster, occurred in Hadley. She was charged before 
the court at Northampton, consisting of Col. John Pynchon, 
of Springfield, Peter Tilton and Philip Smith, of Hadley, 
William Clarke and Aaron Cooke, of Northampton. She was 
sent to jail at Boston in April, and on the '2'2d of May was 
taken before the Governor and assistants and indicted by the 
grand jury. Her trial began in Boston on the 4th of Sep- 
tember following, and resulted in her acquittal. This case 
created a great deal of excitement at the time in the Connec- 
ticut Valley, and was considered one of the most noted cases 
of the kind occurring in Hampshire County. 

In 1685 Mary Webster was again accused of .sorcery, and 
of committing murder by the practice of the art. But the 
charge was not substantiated, and the poor harassed iild 
woman lived some years afterward, dying in 1696. 



After the restoration of Charles II. to the throne of Eng- 
and, in the year 1060, the valley of the Connecticut in New 
England became the e.xile home of three of the judges who 
signed the death-warrant of the unfortunate Charles I. in the 
-year 1649, namely, Edward Whalley, William Gotfe, and 
John Di.\well, since famous in American history as the Kegi- 

The story of the Regicides imparts to the history of the 
Connecticut Valley an interest quite as melancholy as it is 
instructive. Of the one hundred and thirty judges com- 
missioned by the House of Commons to conduct the trial of 
the king, " seventy-four sat, sixty-seven were present at the 
last session and were unanimous in passing the definitive 
sentence upon the king, and fifty-nine signed the warrant for 
his execution, 1649." 

* Drake'rt Annals of Witchcraft, p. 140. 

t This chapter was prepared by Horace Mack. 

At the time of the Restoration, in 1660, when Charles II. 
became king, twenty-four of the judges had died ; but the 
vengeance of the crow'n followed the survivors with unflag- 
ging pertinacity. Nine were executed and sixteen escaped 
from the kingdom. Three of these came to New England, — 
Maj.-Gen. Edward Whalley, Maj.-Gen. William Gofle, and 
John Dixwell. 

The familj- of Whalley was prominent in the reign of Henry 
VI. Gen. Whalley's father, Richard, was a grandson of Rich- 
ard Whalley, Esq., of Kirkton, in the county of Nottingham, 
who died in 1583, aged eighty-four. His mother was Frances, 
a daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell, knight, and was aunt to 
Oliver Cromwell, the Protector. • 

Gen. Whalley married the sister of Sir George Middleton, 
knight, an enemy of Charles I., and had several children, of 
whom one became the wife of Gen. Gofl'e. Although "brought 
up to merchandise," he was a man of great strength of mind, 
and took a prominent part in the stirring events of the twenty 
years anterior to the conviction of Charles. He was noted as 
a civilian, as a military commander, and as a member of Par- 
liament, and was among the foremost of those who opposed 
the king. 

Geii. Guff'c was a son of Rev. Stephen Gofie, ji Puritan di- 
vine, rector of Stanmore, in Sussex. He abandoned the busi- 
ness of merchandising while yet a young man, entered the 
Parliament army, and won successively the positions of colo- 
nel of foot and general. He, like Whalley, became an active 
agent in the proceedings against the king, and "S^as subse- 
quently a member of Parliament under Cromwell. It is re- 
corded that he " by degrees fell off from the anti-monarchical 
principles of the chief part of the army, and was the man, 
with Col. William White, who brought musqueteers and 
turned out the Anabaptistical members that were left behind 
of the Little, or ' Barebones,' Parliament out of the house, "J 
April, 1653. 

It was the opinion of some historians that Whalley and 
Gofte had "escaped to the Continent, and were a,t Lucerne, 
in Switzerland, in 1664," and by others that they " wandered 
about for years and died in a foreign clime, but when or where 
unknown." The newly-settled provinces in the wilds of the 
Western continent promised them a safer asylum, and so, an- 
ticipating by a short period the restoration of the monarchy 
with its quick-following penal decrees toward the surviving 
judges, they came to New England. 

Governor Hutchinson, who wrote in 1764, and who had po.s- 
session of Goffe's diary and other papers, § gives the following 
account : 

" In the ship which arrived at Boston from London the 27th 
of July, 1660, there came passengers Col. Whalley and Col. 
Goti'e, two of the late king's judges. Col. Gott'e brought tes- 
timonials from Mr. John Row and 3Ir. Seth Wood, two min- 
isters of a church in Westminster. Col. Whalley had been a 
member of Mr. Thomas Goodwin's church. Gofte kept a jour- 
nal or diary from the day he left Westminster, May 4, until the 
year 1667, which, together with several other papers belonging 
to him, I have in my possession. Almost the whole is in char- 
acters or short hand, not difficult to decipher. The story of 
these persons has never yet been published to the world. They 
did not attempt to conceal their persons or characters when 
they arrived at Boston, but immediately went to the Gover- 
nor, Mr. Endicott, who received them very courteously. They 
were visited by the principal persons of the town ; and, among 

X Fasti Oxoniensis, p. 79, as quoted by President Stiles. 

g Mr. Judd says (page 215), " Governor Hutchinson was in possession of Goffe's 
diary and liis papei-s and letters, which had lung been in the library of the 
Matlicrs in IJuston. Ilutcliinsun was a Tory, and liis house wss rifled liy a mob 
in 17(1'), iind the journal of Gofle and utlier papei-s rekitiiii,' to the jud^e.s are sup- 
pufied to have been destroyed. From them he had publislied in 1704 a siiort 
account of Wlialley and Gofl'e in his tirst volume of the 'History of Massachn. 
Betts.' " 



others, they take notice of Col. Crown's coming to see them. 
He was a noted Royalist. Although they did not disguise 
themselves, yet they chose to reside at Cambridge, a village 
about four miles distant from the town, where they went the 
first day they arrived. They went publicly to meetings on the 
Lord's day, and to occasional lectures, fasts, and thanksgiv- 
ings, and were admitted to the sacrament, and attended private 
meetings for devotion, visited many of the principal towns, 
and were frequently at Bo.ston ; and once, when insulted there, 
the person who insulted them was bound to his good behavior. 
They appeared grave, serious, and devout, and the rank they 
had sustained commanded respect. Whalley had been one of 
Cromwell's lieutenant-generals, and Goffe a major-general. 
The reports, by way of Barbadoes, were that all the judges 
would be pardoned but seven. "When it appeared that they 
were not excepted, some of the principal persons in the gov- 
ernment were alarmed ; pity and compassion prevailed with 
others. They had assurances from some that belonged to the 
General Court that they would stand by them, but were ad- 
vised by others to think of removing. The 22d of February, 
1661, the Governor summoned a court of assistants to consult 
about securing them, but the court did not agree to it. Find- 
ing it unsafe, to remain any longer, they left Cambridge the 
26th following, and arrived at New Haven the 7th of March, 
1661. One Capt. Breedan, who had seen them in Boston, gave 
information thereof upon his arrival in England. A few days 
after their removal, a hue and cry, as they term it in their 
diary, was brought by way of Barbadoes, and thereupon a 
warrant to secure them issued the 8th of March from the Gov- 
ernor and assistants, which was sent to Springfield and other 
towns in the western part of the colony, but they were beyond 
the reach of it." 

They tarried at New Haven for some days, where tliey met 
with kind treatment, but, learning of the king's proclamation, 
decamped on the 27th of March, and, employing an adroit 
strategy, appeared openly at New Milford, making themselves 
known, and then returned secretly to New Haven, where they 
lay concealed at the house of Mr. Davenport, the minister, 
until April 30. About this time news came of the execution 
of ten of the judges, with another mandate from the king, 
dated March 5, 1660-61, which stimulated the court to more 
vigorous search for the fugitives. Thomas Kirk and Thomas 
Kellond, who were zealous Royalists, were commissioned to 
search "through the colonies as far as Manhados," — Man- 
hattan, now New York. 

Informed of this procedure, the judges began a series of 
hegiras, which, with the accompanying incidents, would form 
one of the most interesting and romantic chapters of Ameri- 
can history. These can only be briefly summarized in this 
narrative. They soon removed from Mr. Davenport's to the 
house of William Jones, remained there until May 11, spent 
the next two days in a mill, and on the 13th joined Mr. Jones 
and two others — Sperry and Burrell — in the woods, and were 
conducted to a place known as " Hatchet Harbor," where 
they remained two nights, by which time their friends had 
prepared "a cave or hole in the side of a hill" for their recep- 
tion. Here they remained from May 16 to June 11, during 
which time tlie country was being scoured to " Manha- 
dos" by the merchant-minions, Kellond and Kirk, who 
oflfered large rewards to insure their capture. Mr. Daven- 
port was suspected of having given them aid and comfort, and 
was liable to arrest, whereupon they oftered to surrender, that 
their friends might not suft'er, and actuallj' made known their 
whereabouts to Deputy-Governor Leet, who took no advan- 
tage of the information. They were the next day advised not to 
surrender. Thej', however, appeared publicly at New Haven, 
thus relieving Mr. Davenport "from the charge of still con- 
cealing them," and again retired on the 24th of June to their 
caveat "Providence Hill," as they termed the place.* On 

* Accorfiing to President Stiles, thie cave was not "in the 6t*ie of a hill," but 

October 19 the hunt for them had nearly ceased, and permitted 
a change to better quarters, which they secured "at the house 
of one Tompkins, near Milford meeting-house, where they re- 
mained two years, without so much as going into the orchard. 
After that they took a little more liberty, and made them- 
selves known to several persons in whom they could confide." 

In 1664, the commissioners from Charles II. having landed 
at Boston, they again sought the privacy of their cave, and 
lived there eight or ten days. Soon after this the cave and 
the bed were discovered by Indian hunters and became un- 
tenable, whereupon, on the 13th of October, in the saitie year, 
they set out foV the new frontier-town of Hadley, which 
would seem almost to have been "planted" purposely for their 
reception, begun as it was only the year previous to their ar- 
rival at Boston. They were doubtless on the road four nights, 
arriving on or about the 17th at the house of the minister, 
Mr. Ru.ssell, who had engaged to receive them. Rev. Ezra 
Stiles, then president of Yale College, writing in 1794,f gave 
the following hypothetical account of this journey of the fugi- 
tives : 

"On the 13th of October, 1664, they left Milford and pro- 
ceeded on their excursion. I shall su|ipose that the first night 
they came over to New Haven to their friend Jones, — though 
of this there is no tradition, as there is of their making a 
lodgment at Pilgrims' Harbor, so called from them, being 
twenty miles from New Haven, at a place since called Meri- 
don, half-way between New Haven and Hartford. Here they 
might rest and lodge one day, and the next night proceed 
to Hartford, and the night following to Springfield, and the 
succeeding night reach Hadley. But of this I tind no tradi- 
tion, saving only that on their route to Hadley they made 
one station at Pilgrims' Harbor." 

Once at the minister's home, they remained in almost abso- 
lute seclusion for fifteen or sixteen years, or until they died, 
though not wholly at Mr. Russell's. Little concerning their 
life in Hadley can be known, outside of what has been gleaned 
from the diary and papers of Gen. Goffe. Governor Hutch- 
inson gives the following, some of which seems to be tradi- 
tional : 

" The last account of Gotfe is from a letter dated Ehenezer, 
the name they gave their several places of abode, April 2, 
1679. Whalley had been dead some time before. The tradi- 
tion at Hadley is, that two persons unknown were buried in 
the minister's cellar. The minister was no suiFerer by his 
boarders. They received more or less remittances every year, 
for many years together, from their wives in England. Those 
few persons who knew where they were made them frequent 
presents. Richard Saltonstall, Esq., who was in the secret, 
when he left the country and went to England, in 1672, made 
them a present of fifty pounds at his departure ; and the}' take 
notice of donations from several other friends. They were in 
constant terror, though they had reason to hope, after some 
years, that the inquiry for them was over. They read with 
pleasure the news of their being killed, with other judges, in 
Switzerland. Their diary, for six or seven years, contains 
every little occurrence in the town, church, and particular 
families in the neighborhood. They had, indeed, for five years 
of their lives, been among the principal actors in the great 
affairs of the nation. They had very constant and exact in- 
telligence of everything which parsed in England, and were 
unwilling to give .up all hopes of deliverance. Their greatest 
expectations were from the fulfillment of the prophecies. They 
had no doubt that the execution of the judges was the slaying 
of the witnesses. They were much disappointed when the year 
1666 had passed without any remarkable event, but flattered 
themselves that the Christian era might be erroneous. Their , 

among the rocks on the top of " West Eock," about two miles and a half uorth- 
■\vest of New Haven. 

t A History of Three of the Judges of King Charles I., by Ezra Stiles, late 
President of Yale College. 



lives were miserable and constant burthens. They complain 
of being banished from all human society. A letter from 
GofJ'e's wife, who was Whalley's daughter, I think worth 
preserving. After the second year GofFe writes by the name 
of Walter Goldsmith, and she of Frances Goldsmith, and the 
correspondence is carried on as between a mother and son. 
There is too much religion in their letters for the taste of the 
present day ; but the distresses of two persons under these pe- 
culiar circumstances, who appear to have lived very happily 
together, are verj- strongly described. 

" Whilst they were at Hadley, Feb. 10, 1664-65, John Dix- 
well, another of the judges, came to them ; but from whence, 
or in what part of America he first landed, is not known. He 
continued some years at Hadley, and then removed to New 
Haven. He married at New Haven and had several chil- 
dren. After his death his son came to Boston, and lived in 
good repute ; was a ruling elder of one of the churches there, 
and died in 1725. Colonel Dixwell was buried in New 

In the house of Mr. Russell there already existed, or he had 
caused to be prepared, a secret chamber or hiding-place, to 
which his unfortunate guests could betake themselves at short 
notice. The main or south part of the house — a double one, 
about twcntj' b}' forty-four feet in size — " had two large rooms 
below, with an old-fashioned chimney and a front entry and 
stairs between them." Above were corresponding chambers, 
separated in part by the chimney, which had on the north side 
a passage-way, or dark closet, used as a communication be- 
tween the rooms. A door from each room opened into this 
closet, in the floor of which was a loose board, nicely adjusted, 
that might be taken up, permitting entrance to a similar space 
between the lower rooms, but with no opening into either. 
The judges occupied the upper apartment, on the east side, 
and it is related that they "once were concealed in this dark 
place behind the chimney when searchers went through the 
passage above." 

President Stiles, who visited Hadley, May 21, 1792, says: 
"The Kev. Mr. Hopkins carried me to Mr. Eussel's house, 
still standing. It is a double, two stories and a kitchen. 
Although repaired, with additions, yet the chamber of the 
judges remains obviously in its original state, unmutilated, as 
when these exiled worthies inhabited it. Adjoining to it, be- 
hind or at the north end of the large chimney, was a closet, 
in the floor of which I saw still remaining the trap-door 
through which they let themselves down into an under 
closet, and so thence descended into the cellar for conceal- 
ment, in case of search or surprise." He adds, "They must 
have been known to the family and domestics, and must have 
been frequently exposed to accidental discoveries, with all 
their care and circumspection to live in stillness. That the 
whole should have been etfectually concealed in the breasts of 
the knowing ones is a case of secrecy truly astonishing." 

Chester Gaylord, born in 1782, in the Russell, which 
his father then owned, told Sylvester Judd, in 1858, that when 
a boy he had frequently entered the "dark hole" behind the 
chimney and replaced the board above him; and that "if 
there was once a passage into the kitchen cellar, it had been 
closed. ' ' * 

One or both of the judges, for a longer or shorter period, 
stayed at the of Peter Tillton ; and a tradition in the 
Smith family, narrated by Rev. Samuel Hoj)kins, in 1703, 
claims that they were "a part of the time" at the house of 
Lieut. Samuel Smith. 

Much speculation has been indulged concerning the times 
and places of the death and burial of these self-immured 
.exiles. The veil that so effectually concealed them, living, 
was not lifted when they died ; and circumstance, embarrassed 

* The visit of PrCf^ident Stiles must have been during the " boyhood" of Mr. 

by conflicting traditions, yields but an imperfect clue for the 

Mr. Hopkins submitted the several traditions to President 
Stiles, — one claiming that after Whalley's death Goft'e went 
to Hartford, thence to New Haven, where he was suspected 
and disappeared ; another, that Whalley died at Tillton 's and 
was buried behind his barn, and that Golfe then went to " the 
Narragansett," and there being set upon went southward, as 
far as Pennsylvania and Virginia ; another, that both died in 
Hadley ; and still another, that the one that died in town was 
buried in Mr. Tillton's garden or in his cellar. Mr. Hopkins 
adds, "It seems to have been a matter of conjecture among 
the inhabitants, — in Tillton's cellar, in his garden, or behind 
his barn, as they imagined most probable. Of his being 
buried under a fence, between two lots, I do not find anj-- 
thing;f nor of his being afterward removed." 

President Stiles appears to have formed the belief that 
Whalley and Gofle both died at Hadley, — the former at Mr. 
Russell's, and the latter at Mr. Tillton's. This conclusion 
was strengthened when, in 1795, — one year after he wrote the 
history of the judges, and three years subsequent to his visit 
to Hadley, — at the rebuilding of the main part of the old 
house of Mr. Russell, the bones of a man of large size were 
found four feet below the surface and near the middle part of 
the front wall. 

In August, 1674, Gen. GofFe wrote to his wife concerning 
her father, "He is scarce capable of any rational discourse, 
his understanding, memory, and speech do so much fail him, 
and he seems not to take much notice of anything that is 
either said or done, but patiently bears all things and never 
complains of anything. The common question is to know 
how he doth, and his answer for the most part is. Very well, 
I praise God. He has not been able of a long time to dress, 
undress, or feed himself, without help ; it is a great mercy to 
him that he has a friend who takes pleasure in being helpful 
to him." 

As Governor Hutchinson says Whalley had been dead some 
time when the last known letter of Goffe was written, April 
2, 1679, it is probable that he was not alive when Capts. Loth- 
rop and Beers came to Hadley in August, 1675, during the 
war of King Philip. The bones found, it is more than prob- 
able, were those of Gen. Whalley. 

Mr. Judd intimates that Mr. Russell began to entertain the 
officers of the Indian war in 1675. Such being the case, it is 
reasonable to suppose that Gen. Gofle — after the death of his 
companion, to whom he took "pleasure in being helpful" — 

t This miasine tradition was secured by President Stiles himself ; he says: "On 
my return from Hadley, passing through Wetherstiehl, on the 2oth of May, I 
visited Mrs. Porter, a sensible and judicious woman, aged 77. She was a datighter 
of Mr. Elienezer Marsh, and born at Iladley, 1715, next door to Mr. Tillton's, 
one of the temporary and interchanged residences of the judges. This house 
Wius in her day occupied by Deacon .Tt>sei)!i Eastman. She had the general story 
of the judges, but said she knew nothing with certiiinty concerning them, hut 
only that it was said they sometimes lived at Mr. llusseU's, and sometimes where 
Deacon Ea.stman lived, — that one was buried in Mr. Russell's cellar and another 
in Mr. Tillton's lot. As she said she had notliing certain, I pressed her for fabu- 
lous anecdotes. She said she was ashamed t*i tell young people's whims and 
notions. But in the conree of conversation she said that when she was a girl 
it was the constant belief among the neighboi-s that an old man, for some reason 
or other, had been buried in the fence between Deacon Eastman's and her 
father's. She said the women and girls from their house and Deacon Eastman's 
used to meet at the dividing fence, and while chatting and talking together for 
amusement, one and another at times would say, with a sort of skittish and 
laughing, * "Who knows but we are now standing on the old man's grave?' She 
and other girls used to I»e skittish and fearful, even in wjvlking the street, when 
they came against the pla<;e of that supposed grave ; though it was never known 
whereabouts in that line of fence it lay. She supiwsed the whole was only 
young folks' foolish notions; for some were much concerned lest the old man's 
ghost should appear at or about that grave. But this lady was very reluctant at 
narrating these circumstances and stories, to which she gave no heed herself. 

" In repeatedly visiting Hadley lor many years past, and in cnnvel-sation with 
pel-sons l«irn .and brought up in Hadley, but settled elsewhere, I have often per- 
ceived a concurrent tr.adition that Iwith died there, and were buried somewhere 
in Hadley unknown, though generally agreed that one was buried at Russell's." 



went to the house of Mr. Tillton, and there eked out his days 
in solitude. The time o( liis death is matter of conjecture, 
— possihly as early as 1680. 

In concluding his hi.story, President Stiles says: "The en- 
lightened, upright, and intrepid judges of Charles I. will 
hereafter go down to posterity, with increasing renown, among 
the Jephthahs, the Baraks, the Gideons and the Washingtons, 
and others raised up by Providence for great and momentous 
occasions ; whose memories, with those of all the other suc- 
cessful and unsuccessful, but intrepid and patriotic defenders 
of real liberty, will be selected in history, and contemplated 
with equal, impartial, and merited justice ; and whose names, 
and achievements, and sufferings will be transmitted with 
honor, renown, and glory, through all the ages of liberty and 
of man." 

It is certainly to the credit of New England that so early 
in her history there existed such manifest love of liberty and 
scorn of oppression, that no son of hers who had knowledge 
concerning the refugees accepted royal gold for their be- 

The story which connects the name of Gen. Goft'e with an 
alleged defense of Hadley is given place in the history of that 

Mr. Israel P. "Warren, in his book entitled "The Three 
Judges," in substance says, that after the death of Whalley 
the danger of the discovery of the retreat at Hadley was en- 
hanced by the coming to America of Edward Randolph, with 
a sort of roving commission, as a spy upon the colonies ; and 
that in consequence Gen. Goft'e may have changed his place 
of abode, as he had done before under similar circumstances. 
In support of such a change, Mr. Warren quotes from the 
letters of Gen. Goffe and Mr. Tillton. 

The former, in a letter to Dr. Increase Mather, of Boston, 
dated " Ebenezer, Sept. 8, 1676," says, "I was greatly be- 
houlding to Mr. Noell for his assistance in my remove to this 
town. I pray, if he be yet in Boston, remember my atfection- 
ate respects to him." 

This would seem certainly not to mean the removal to Had- 
ley twelve years previous ; and the expression "wiy remove" 
indicates that he was alone, Whalley having died. In the 
same letter, he writes, " I have received the letters from Eng- 
land that you inclosed to Mr. Whiting." And again, Oct. 
23, 1678, " I should take it as a great kindnesse to receive a 
word from you, if you please to inclose it to Mr. Whiting, 
onely with this short direction (these for Mr. T. D.). I hope 
it would come safely." 

Mr. Warren remarks, "This Mr. Whiting was 
Mr. Samuel Whiting, one of the ministers of Hartford at 
that time. ' T. D.' were the initials used by himself in his 
letters to Dr. Mather, and were evidently well known to Mr. 
Whiting. The inference seems almost unavoidable that the 
latter gentleman was made the medium of transmitting Gott'e's 
letters, in consequence of living near and being intimately 
acqiuiinted with him. 

"Still more conclusive is a letter to Gofl'e from Mr. Peter 
Tillton, of Hadley, dated July 30, 1679. ' Yours, which I 
cannot but mention, dated M""" 18, '78, I receaved, crying 
howe Wellcome and refreshing to my poors unworthye selfe 
(which as an honeycombe, to use your owne similitude, full 
of pretious sweetenes), I would you did but knowe, being a 
semblance or representation of what sometimes, though un- 
worth}-e, I had a ftuller ft'ruition of. I have here sent you by 
S. P. tenn pounds, haveing not before a safe hand to convey 
it, it being a token of the love and remembrance of severall 
friends who have jou uppon their hearts.' Then, after men- 
tioning certain news lately received from England, he says, 
' which I presume Mr. Russell hath given you a full account 
of, as understanding he hath written to Hartford, that I neede 
not tawtologize in that matter,' — i.e., repeat it." 





The Indian war of 1675 and 1676, known to historians as' 
King Philip's War, was the culmination, and to the Indians 
the final catastrophe, of the long struggle between the white 
and the red races for the mastery of the soil of New England. 

Its ravages filled New England with mourning over new- 
made graves. It found the beautiful valley of the Connecticut 
in Massachusetts, from Springfield to Northfield, prosperous 
and thriving, but left it a desolate, blackened, blood-stained, 
and almost desolate waste. 

In the autumn before its close Springfield was in ashes, and 
its terrified people were about deserting it forever. The inhab- 
itants of Northfield and Deerfleld had fled from their ruined 
homes, and the people of Westfield, Northampton, Hadley, and 
Hatfield were debating whether it were not too dangerous to 
stay longer in their isolated position in the very heart of the 
enemy's land, for their old Indian neighbors of the valley, 
with whom they had lived so long in peace, — the Ag-a-viams, 
the Wo-ro-noaks, the Non-o-tucks, the Pa-comp-tucks, and the 
Squak-heags, — had all joined King Philip. 

But at its close the Indian fled and the white man stayed. 
Prom the first settlement of New England by the whites it was 
evident that sooner or later there must come a war of races. 
On the part of the whites every efi'ort was made to conciliate the 
savage and win him into the paths of civilization and peace. 
On the first landing of the Pilgrims and Puritans, a fearful 
distemper was almost exterminating the natives. The white 
men and women visited them in their wigwams, at the risk of 
contagion, and afforded them every relief in their power. A 
few years later missionaries devoted their lives to the object of 
converting the Indians to Christianity, and with infinite labor 
learned their language and translated the whole Bible into 
their difficult tongue. Everywhere their right to the soil was 
respected, and no part of it was occupied, that had not been 
already deserted by them, without fairly purchasing the same 
and taking deeds therefor. But all of these eflbrts proved una- 

Over the mind of the Indian the influences of a humane 
civilization bore little sway. Under all circumstances his 
temper was sullen, jealous, passionate, intensely vindictive, 
and ferociously cruel. It was impossible that the Indian of 
New England should ever become a good neighbor. " The 
white man or the Indian must cease from the land." 

The reader should bear in mind, however, that for the first 
fifty v'ears after the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, in the year 
1620, there was but little actual warfare between the whites 
and the Indians of New England. This long immunity from 
the horrors of Indian warfare was doubtless occasioned in part 
by the uniform fair treatment of the savages by the Fathers of 
Now England, and also in part by the decisive measures taken 
by the earl\'- settlers in the total destruction of the once-power- -■ 
ful Pequot nation in the year 1637. 



Although the destruction of the Pequots relieved the whites 
of New England from further Indian ravages for a period of 
forty years, and until another generation of men came on the 
stage of active life, yet it tended to intensify the hatred which 
had long existed between the neighboring tribes of Mohicans 
and Narragansetts. 

The Pequots, the reader will remember, dwelt on the eastern '' 
border of Connecticut, between the Rhode Island line and the 
river Thames, then called the Pequot River. To the east of 
the Pequots were the Narragansctts, and to the west of them, 
between the Thames and the Connecticut, dwelt the Mohicans, 



At the close of the Prquot war the eaptives were divided by 
the whites between, of the Mo/ik-ans, and Mi-iin-io- 
no-mo, of the Narragnnsetts. 

These two tribes were hereditary enemies, althougli both 
were the allies of the English, and both aided the whites in 
the war against the Peqnots. The deserted hunting-grounds 
of the Peqiiofs soon became a bone of contention between the 

val tribes, and in the year 1643 war broke out between them. 
Previous to the commencement of hostilities the emissaries of 
Miantonomo had made several attempts ujmn the life of tin- 
eas, and Uncas had made complaints to the whites of such 

Miantonomo had also made an ineffectual attempt, about the 
■J-ear 1042, to unite the New England tribes^in a war of exter- 
mination against the whites. Failing in this scheme, and 
incensed at Uncas for not joining him in it, he determined to 
make war upon the Mohicans. 

In the month of July, in the year 164.3, Miantonomo, 
without giving Uncas any previous notice of his intentions 
or making any formal declaration of war, set out at the head 
of some seven hundred warriors to invade the Mohican country. 
Uncas, learning of his approach, hastily gathered an equal 
number, and marched out to bar his progress. 

The two hostile bands met upon the old Pequot hunting- 
ground, and, halting in sight of each other, with a level plain 
between them, the two rival chieftains advanced to the front 
and held a parley. 

The wildest romance of the old wilderness warfare presents 
no more striking scene than this meeting of Uncas and Mian- 
tonomo. Uncas proposed that they, the two chieftains, should 
there and then decide the contest b}' single combat, and that 
the people of the one vanquished should become the subjects 
of the victorious sachem. 

To this proposal of Uncas, Miantonomo made haughty an- 
swer : " My warriors have come to fight, and they shall fight. " 

Upon receiving this defiant answer, Uncas fell prostrate 
upon the ground. It was the signal for his men to rush over 
his body upon the Narraganseits. The Mohicans were victo- 
rious. Miantonomo was overtaken in the flight, and made a 
prisoner by Uncas. Haughty and defiant still, he would ask 
no quarter; but Uncas for the time being saved his life, and 
delivered him to the English, at Hartford, for safe-keepins;. 

The ease of Miantonomo was brought by Uncas before the 
commissioners of the United Colonies, and they ordered that he 
should suffer death, and that Uncas should be his executioner. 

Miantonomo was taken to the field of the fight, and, in the 
presence of two Englishmen, a warrior of Uncas sunk a 
hatchet into his brain. The spot where he is said to have 
Tallen, in the town of Norwich, Conn., is marked by a block 
of granite, simply inscribed with his name, Miantonomo. 
Thus died the second prominent Indian conspirator against 
the whites, — the prototype, after Sas-sa-cus, the Pcqiiof, of 
Philip and Pontiac, of Tecumseh, Black Hawk, and Osceola. 

The part which the English took in this quarrel between 
Uncas and Miantonomo, still rankling in the minds of -the 
Narraganseits, doubtless led to their union with the Pokano- 
kets, nearly forty years later, in Philip's war. The killing of 
the Narragansctt sachem in cold blood, while a prisoner of 
war, was without doubt justifiable in the minds of the New 
England fathers as a means of self-defense, for had his life 
been spared the dreadful scenes of Philip's war would, it is 
probable, have been enacted long before they were, while the 
colonists were too feeble to withstand the savages. Yet it 
must be confessed that the side of the Indian has never been 



The powcrl'\il tribe of the Wnmpanoags, or Po-l;a-no-kefs, 
dwelt at the head of Narragansett Bay and along its eastern 

shore, and consequently were the near neighbors of the Pil- 
grim Fathers of Plymouth. Mas-sn-snH, the chief sachem of 
the Pokanokets, was always the warm friend and steadfast 
ally of the Massasoit had two sons, who were the 
hereditary heirs of his sachemship, named Wa>n-sut-ta and 
Mci-a-co-met. Early in the summer of 1060, Mas-sa-solt died 
at an advanced age, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Wam- 
suf-fa. In the month of .June, 1600, Wam-sui-ta visited the 
General Court at Plymouth, and among other requests was 
desirous of an English name. It was easy for the court to 
grant this last request, and so they "ordered that for the fu- 
ture he should be called by the name of Alexander Pokanoket." 
Desiring the same in behalf of his brother, the court at the 
same time ordered that Met-a-co-met should from thenceforth 
be called Philip. 

But the reign of Alexander over the Pokanokets was short. 
It was reported at Plymouth in the summer of 1662 that he 
was plotting with the JVarraga»srffs, and a message was sent 
to him to come to town and explain his conduct. Failing to 
come, an armed party was sent for him. He made satisfactory 
explanations, and set out on his return. At the end of two or 
three days he changed his mind, and turned back toward 
Boston. He reached Maj. Winslow's house at Marshfield, 
and there was taken sick of a fever. He was carefullj' taken 
home by water, soon died there, and his brother, Philip, be- 
came chief sachem of the Pokanokets. 



In the month of August, 1602, at the beginning of Philip's 
sachemship, he was summoned to attend the General Court 
at Plymouth. Apprehensions were felt as to the temper he 
was in, and he was called to answer such questions as should 
be proposed to him, and to deliberate upon such matters as 
might tend to the promotion of peace and good-will. At this 
interview " it was concluded by the court and him mutually, 
that the ancient covenant betwixt his predecessors and them 
should be continued," and Philip, with five of his sagamores, 
signed an instrument acknowledging himself to be a subject of 
the king of England, and to faithfully keep and preserve in- 
violate the agreements made by his father, Massasoit, and his 
brother, Alexander. 

At the end of five years of peace, in June, 1667, it was ru- 
mored at Plymouth that Philip was making overtures to the 
Dutch or French for a combined movement against the Eng- 
lish ; but Philip so explained the matter that the apprehen- 
sions of the English were allayed. 

Again, in 1671, Philip began to excite suspicions of mis- 
behavior. His arms were ordered to be given up, and the 
court appointed eight persons to act with the magistrates as a 
"Council of War."* Advice was also asked of the colonies 
of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Philip in the mean time 
continued contumacious, and made complaint to divers gen- 
tlemen of Massachusetts. The latter colony offered its assist- 
ance in the quarrel between Philip and the Plymouth court. 
This resulted in another compact with Philip, and three more 
years of peace ensued. 

In the year 1674 new troubles began. Satc-.ta-maii, a faith- 
ful Indian, informed the Governor of Plymouth " that the said 
Philip was undoubtedly endeavoring to raise new troubles, and 
was endeavoring to engage all the sachems round about in a 
war."! This resulted in the murder of Sau-sa-man in .lone, 
1675. His murderers were caught, tried by the court, con- 
victed, and executed. 

A short time before the court met at which this trial took 
place, "Philip," says an old chronicler, "began to keep his 
men in arms about him, and to gather strangers unto him, and 

* Plym, Co!. Roc, Vol. V., p. 63, etc. 

t Records, etc., in Hazard, II., 532; quoted in Palfrey's Hist, of New England, 
Vol. III., p. 150. 



to marcli about in arms toward the upper end of the neck on 
which he lived and near to the English houses." 

Mount Hope, the home of Philip, which he inherited from 
his father Massasoit through his elder brother Wamsutta, 
alias Alexander, was on that beautiful peninsula, about 
twelve miles long, which extends southerly from the north- 
eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, and now belongs to the 
town of Bristol, R. I. Down through this peninsula runs a 
range of hills, on one of which, called Mount Hope, was 
Philip's home. 

The Bejiinnimj of the War. — The English settlement nearest 
to Mount Hope was Swanzey, in the Plymouth colony. As 
early as the 14th of June, 1675, news came to Swanzey that 
Philip was continually in arms ; that many strange Indians 
were flocking to his fort ; that they had sent their wives to 
the Narragansett country; and that they "were giving fre- 
quent alarums by drums and guns in the night, and invaded 
the passage toward Pl3'mouth ; and that their young In- 
dians were earnest for war." At length, on Sunday, the 20th 
day of June, the first blow of the war came. On that day. a 
party of Philip's Indians approached Swanzey, burned two, and then withdrew. On the 23d the Indians again 
appeared at Swanzey, and robbed a dozen houses. During 
the next three days several Englishmen were killed and their 
bodies brutally mangled. 

Decisive measures were at once taken by the colonists. 
Troops from Plymouth under Maj. Bradford and Maj. Cud- 
worth, and from Boston under Capt. Henchman, a troop of 
horse from Boston under Capt. Prentice, and a hundred vol- 
unteers under Capt. Mosely, all reached the scene of action 
on the 28th. The troops were attacked on the evening of 
their arrival, one man killed, and others wounded. The next 
morning the Indians approached the English camp, were 
driven back by Capt. Mosely, and five or six of them killed. 

But Philip, in the mean time, found his position untenable, 
and, leaving it in the night, went over in canoes to the east 
shore of the ba_v. The English, under Maj. Savage, who had 
arrived from Boston to assume the chief command, now 
crossed over and occupied Mount Hope. While this was 
going on, Philip's Indians marched toward Plymouth, and, 
falling upon the settlements at Dartmouth, Taunton, and Mid- 
dleborough, burned the houses and killed three inhabitants. 

But our account of this war must hereafter be confined 
principally to the bloody scenes enacted during its contin- 
uance in the valley of the Connecticut. And in this chapter 
but little more than a summary of the main incidents of the 
struggle will be attempted, leaving the details to the histories 
of the different towns in which such incidents occurred. 


The Rising of the Nipmucks. — Up to the middle of July, 
1675, the war had been confined to the eastern country bounded 
on Narragansett Bay, but now a new danger menaced the 
English, — that of the union of all the tribes in a common war 
of extermination. With the view of preventing this, on the 
15th of July the commissioners of the colonies of Massachu- 
setts and Connecticut, attended by a strong military force, 
went into the country of the Narraganseiis, and concluded 
with them a treaty of alliance, by the terms of which that 
powerful tribe agreed to aid the English against Philip. 

But at this time the Nipmucks, who occupied the central 
^region of Massachusetts, in what is now the county of Worces- 
ter, commenced hostilities against the English by attacking 
the town of Mendon, on the I4th day of July, and the Indians 
in the valley of the Connecticut began to show decided symp- 
toms of uniting their fortunes with Philip. Then the war 
suddenly assumed a new and more formidable aspect, and the 
English prepared for the work. 

Lt Qaaboag, now Brookfield, some fifteen or sixteen families 

had settled. At this place, by the middle of July, a large num- 
ber of Nipmucks had assembled. On the 28th, Capt. Edward 
Hutchinson arrived at Quaboag, with the object of making 
with the Nipmucks a treaty similar to the one just made with 
the Narragansetts. Arrangements were made for a conference, 
and Hutchinson, on the 2d da}' of August, repaired to the spot 
agreed upon, but the Indians failed to appear. Hutchinson 
proceeded seven miles farther in search of the Indians, but fell 
into an ambuscade, and was driven back with severe loss. In 
the mean time, on the day before this fight, Philip arrived at 
Quaboag. The little force under Hutchinson made their way 
back to the settlement, and, joining the inhabitants, hastily 
fortified a large house. On the 3d and 4th days of August the 
Indians invested the fort, and made repeated attempts to 
destroy it by fire. An hour after nightfall of the 4th, Maj. 
Simon Willard galloped into town at the head of forty-seven 
horsemen, and relieved the little garrison. In this affair the 
Indians lost about eighty men. The day after the siege was 
raised, Philip, with forty of his warriors, met the Nipmuck 
chiefs in a swamp some ten miles from Brookfield, and made 
them presents for their bravery in the late encounter with the 

Brookfield was deserted, and Maj. Willard went to Hadley 
with his troops, where he remained three weeks. 

The seat of war was now transferred to the valley of the 
Connecticut, and the Indians of the valley were animated and 
encouraged by the presence of Philip himself. 

First Signs of War among the River Indians. — In the spring 
of 1675 the inhabitants of the Connecticut Valley noticed that 
the Indians who lived among them exhibited many signs of 
discontent, if not of open hostility. Among other things the 
Indians neglected to plant the usual breadth of corn, and 
began to remove their eflfects to within the shelter of their 
forts. Some friendly Non-o-tuck squaws also told families at 
Northampton of the impending trouble. 

After the attair at Brookfield was over, the exposed state of 
the towns in the Connecticut Valley excited the special solici- 
tude of the General Court, and large forces were immediately 
sent in that direction from the seaboard towns, which, now that 
Philip had left them and gone into the Nipmuck country, were 
enjoying a season of peace. 

Hadle}-, being protected on three sides by water, was desig- 
nated as the principal military fort, and the place of deposit 
for supplies. 

The Massachusetts troops sent to the valley were under the 
command of Capt. Beers, of Watertown, Capt. Lothrop, of Ips- 
wich, and Capt. Mosely, of Boston. The Connecticut troops 
sent from Hartford were commanded by Maj. Treat, of Mil- 
ford, who had with him at Hadley a band of Mohican Indians. 
The highest officer in command of these forces after Willard 
went eastward was Maj. John Pynchon, of Springfield. 

When the news reached Springfield of the attack on Qua- 
boag, Maj. Pynchon immediately sent Lieut. Thomas Cooper, 
with a Springfield company and thirty men from Hartford, to 
the relief of that settlement. But this force arrived at Qua- 
boag after the Indians had been driven away by Maj. Wil- 
lard and the troops from the Bay under Capts. Lothrop and 
Beers. • 

After the return of the troops from Quaboag, the people of 
the valley awaited further developments with great anxiety. 
Precautions were taken to guard against surprise, and detach- 
ments of troops from Hadley were stationed at Northampton, 
Hatfield, Deerfield, and Northfield. 

In the latter part of August, Maj. Pynchon wrote to Capt. 
John AUyn, of Hartford, as follows : 

" Springfield, Aug. 22, 1675. 
" Capt. John Allyn, S^ — In ye uiglit a Post was sent me from Hadley that o' 
forces are returned ; Capt. Wats thither and the Bay forces to Quatiaug. Nothing 
done, but about 50 wigwams they found empty vi^^ they have burnt. 

" They write from Hadley they expect nothing but ye enemy to insult and fall 
upon ye remote Townes ; that they are in great feares ; a guard of 20 left at 



Squakeok is too weak ; some of y^ soldiers left at Pacomnick Capt. Wats speaks 
of calling of, well trollies y^ gtly ; suspect u' Indians y* went out to be fearefuU 
or false or both ; say y* ye sheepe at Squakeake are driven away since y soldiers 
were ttiere ; suspect y« enemy to be between Hadley and Squakeok, at Paquayag, 
about lit mile from y" G" River. I am sending to Capt. Wats to stay wt"" his 
ftn'ces there : I would gladly you would allow it, and give further order about it ; 
as yt they may make discovery for ye enemy at ye place forenamed. The Indian 
you formerly writt off coming in to Uncas, it must be seriously considered 
whether none that are murderers of y English be among them, and such must 
be delivered up. I pray God direct you and us <& be our salvation. 

" Comunecate advice and councell as you may judge needfuU. They much de- 
sire y« presence of some principall man at Hadley to direct, sis need reg's & to ex- 
pedite affaii-s. 

" Yotii-s in ye L'd Jesus, 

" John Pynchon. 

" Momonto thinks ye Indian enymy may be in a swamp called Momattanick, 
about .3 mile off Paquayag, between Hadley and Squakeake ; it is a pitty, but 
they should be disrested ; and yo' Indians will be ye most likely to doe some- 
thing. I pray give further orders about Capt Wats, & if Major Tallcot might be 
w*** y", I hope it w'"* turne to good. 

[Diiected] "These Fur Mr. John Allyn, Hartford. 

" Haat, Post Hast." 

On the 25th of August the first engagement occurred in the 
valley. At Hatfield was a little stockaded fort garrisoned by 
some friendly Indians. These Indians were suspected of being 
unfaithful, and Capts. Beers and Lothrop were sent to disarm 
them. The Indians had left the fort the night before the 
arrival of the English. The English pursued, and overtook 
them in a swamp near the foot of Sugar-Loaf Mountain. In 
the battle which then occurred ten of the whites and twenty- 
si.\ of the Indians were killed. 

An attack was made on Deerfield on the 1st day of Septem- 
ber; several houses and barns were burned, and two men 
killed. On the 1st day of September also occurred, it is said, 
the attack on Hadley, during which it is a tradition that the 
Regicide, Col. Goffe, mysteriously appeared amid the confu- 
.sion occasioned by the outcries of the furious savages, and, 
throwing himself at the head of the frightened populace, re- 
stored order and expelled the foe. The authenticity of this 
story is questioned by Mr. Sheldon, the historian of Deerfield. 
The details of this aft'air will be found by the reader in the 
history of the town of Hadley, farther on in this volume. 

On the 2d of September, at Northfield, a small party ven- 
tured out of the fort, and on their return were intercepted by 
the savages and nine of their number killed. 

On the 4th of September, Capt. Beers, with thirtj'-six men, 
was sent up from Hadley with wagons, to bring off the re- 
mainder of the garrison at Northfield, with its stores. When 
within three miles of the fort the English fell into an am- 
bu.scade, and fought bravely till their ammunition was ex- 
hausted. Capt. Beers, with twenty of his men, was slain, as 
well as twenty-six of the eiiem}'. 

Two days after, Maj. Treat went up the river with one hun- 
dred men, to repeat the attempt to bring off the Northfield 
garrison. Although attacked by the Indians, he fought his 
way through, succeeded in bringing away the people from 
Northfield, and that settlement was abandoned to the enemy. 

After Northfield was abandoned, Deerfield became the fron- 
tier-town in that direction. It was deemed to be so insecure, 
that about the 9th of September its inhabitants left it and 
sought shelter in the towns below. The Deerfield people left 
behind them a large quantity of wheat, which it was thought 
desirable to secure. Capt. Lothrop, with a company of ninety 
men, was sent with eighteen wagons and their teamsters to 
bring this wheat away. The wheat was thrashed, the wagons 
loaded, and Capt. Lothrop, on his return on the 18th of Sep- 
tember, fell into the ambuscade of Bloodi/ Bronk. Lothrop 
was soon shot dead. His company, known as "The Flower 
of Essex," — having been "all culled out of the towns of that 
county," — were all slain save seven or eight at the utmost. 
" The day," says Hubbard, " was the saddest that ever befell 
New England." The details of this tight will be found farther 
on, in the history of Deerfield. 

A few days after the afi'air at Blocxly Brook, Deerfield was 

abandoned by its little garrison, under Capt. Mosely. And 
now that Northfield and Deerfield were both deserted by their 
white inhabitants, the Squak-heags and Pa-comp-tucks recov- 
ered for a time the possession of their ancient hunting- 
grounds. This was an important acquisition to the Indians. 
The most famous fishing-ground on the river, the Pas-quam- 
scut, — now Turner's Falls, — was again theirs, as well as the ex- 
tensive corn-planting meadows on the Deerfield River. This 
region now became the headquarters of the savages, and in its 
secure fastnesses King Philip lurked. 


The next blow fell upon Springfield. On the morning of 
the 5th of October following, Springfield was attacked by the 
Indians, and, save two or three buildings, laid in ashes. The 
most of the inhabitants, however, having received timely 
warning, had assembled at the fortified house of Mr. John 
Pynchon, and saved their lives. Only Ensign Thomas Cooper 
and two or three others were killed. For the details of the 
sacking of Springfield the reader is referred to the history of 
Springfield, farther on in these pages. 

On the first page of Vol. III. of the Town Records of 
Springfield is pasted a sheet of paper on which is written the 
following pathetic memorandum of this event: 

"Oh the 6th day of October, in the year 1675, a day to be kept i[i memory by 
posterity, when the Barbarus heathen made an attack on this poore towne, killed 
two men ami a woman and wounded severall, one of which dyed. Soon after 
Burned down 29 dwelling-lionses and Barns, much Corne and Hay ; but God did 
wonderfully preserve us, or we had been a prey to there teeth. God in his good 
providence so ordered it, an Indian gave intelligence of the enemies' designs to 
fall on this Towne, whereby we escaped with our lives, for which we should give 
God the glory. 

".rONATHAN BUKT being an eye-witness of the same." 

The day before Springfield was destroyed Maj. Pynchon, 
with the Springfield troops, had marched to Hadley, leaving 
his home defenseless. The inhabitants of Springfield con- 
trived to send a messenger to Hadley, and Maj. Pynchon 
hastened back with his troops for the relief of his be- 
leaguered home, arriving about three o'clock in the after- 
noon. Maj. Treat, with his Connecticut troops, had reached 
the opposite side of the river, in West Springfield, in the fore- 
noon of that day, but the Indians, being in overwhelming 
numbers, succeeded in preventing him from crossing the 
stream. The Indians, therefore, were not driven away from 
Springfield until the timely arrival of Maj. Pynchon with 
the Springfield troops. 


In the autumn of 1675 the situation of the valley of the 
Connecticut in Massachusetts was critical in the extreme. 
At the north Deerfield and Northfield were both held by the 
enemy. At the south Springfield, with all its stores of corn 
and hay, was in ashes. In the centre were the three small 
towns of Hadley, Northampton, and Hatfield, garrisoned by 
small bodies of troops. Ten miles west of Springfield was 
Westfield, also defended by a body of troops. 

In the mean time Maj. Pynchon had resigned his command 
of the forces on the Connecticut River, and Capt. Appleton 
had been appointed in his place. 


It should not be forgotten that in this emergency Connecti- 
cut, with generous hand, did everything in her power to assist 
her struggling neighbors farther up the river. Her eificient 
troojis, under Maj. Treat, Maj. Talcot, and others, were almost 
constantly in the field, and her Council met almost daily at 
Hartford for many months to devise means to carry on the 


The following letters are of such historical interest, and .so 
well explain how matters stood in the valley at the time, that 



we copy them here entire. The first is frcnn Rev. John Russell, 
of Hiidlc}', to Governor Leverett, and was written after re- 
ceiving a letter from Maj. Pynchon, at Springfield, dated 
the 5th October, acquainting him of the disaster there, and 
requesting him to inform the governor. The letter of Maj. 
Pynchon, dated the 5th October, will be found in the history 
of Springfield, farther on in this volume. 


"Right Winpfi^ — Tlie light nf another day hath tiirnd o'' yesterday foare int* 
certainties and hitter Ijiinentati )ns for y" lalamitios and distresses of o' bretliereri 
and friends at Spnagrfield, whose habitations are now become an heapc. Such 
increase of judgm" shows ye greatnesse of ye wrath y' is kindled against us 
and y greatiiesse of y provocations y' have caused it. We have nothinge to say 
hut that till' Lord is rigliteoiis utid we have rebelled, greatly rebelleil, against him. 

"The iiiclnsed from tlie IIotio^i Major will givi' you such account of it as is 
w'h us to make. We luive little more to adde, only that the houses standing are 
alH)Ut thirteeiie. Two ineu and one woman slain, viz., Leift. Cooper, who was 
going toward the foit to treate w"' the Indians y' the day before ptended great 
froindship, bring w"* tliree or four more gott about a quarter of a mile out of 
Town, was shott so ius lie fell off his horee ; but got up again and rode to the end 
of y" Town, when he was shott again and dyed. The other was one Miller, of 
Spiingfield, There ajijieared not (according to tlieir estimate) above 100 In- 
dians, of whom tlieir own were the cheife. Their old Sarbeni Wequogan (in 
whom as much confidence was putt as in any of their Indians) was ringleader in 
worde and deede. Another of their prineipall men cryed out to them, and told 
tUeni he wius lUie y' burnt Quabaug, and now would make them like to it. 

"Tliey were gone ere Major Pynchon came in with his forces, w"*" wjis atwut 
two or three of ye clocke. They signifyerl their scnce of his approch by their 
hoops or watchwords, & were p^scntly gone. Major Treate wjls gote down some 
hours sooner on y^ west side of the River; whose coming being perceived, iivo 
men went out of Town, and, alth»> pursued by twenty Indians, carried over a Iwat 
w^'' Wius filled w*** men; but the Indians, Htandingon River's banke, shott at tliem, 
& shott one through the necke (who is not likely to recover); they dui-st not 
ativenture to passe ye River, till Major Pynchon wjis come in & the Indians gone. 

" It was but the day before, viz., on ye i"" of October, y' ye ganison Bouldiei"s, 
alx)ut 4.') in number, left them ; to their nintuall sorrow, as looking they should 
quickly after be in hazard of y' mine v."^ is now come upon them. 

"Our Army had p'^i)ared all things in readinesse to goe forth on Munday at 
night (wC" was y occasion of calling forth tliese from Springfield) against a con- 
siderable party discovered about five or six miles from Ha<lley. But the three 
alarms we mett w"", & ye tydings from Springfield, whcdly disappointed it. O"" 
men in their Towns, who before trembled at the ordei-. That none should be left 
in the garrison when the Army went out, are now much more distressed at the 
thoughts of it, as looking at y^selves thereby exposed to inevitable mine upon 
yo enemies' assault w^h we must then expect; especially c Town of Hadley is 
now likely to drinke next (if mercy p^vent not) of this bitter cup. We are but 
about 50 families, & now left solitarj'. 

"The neerest Town now left up.)n the river on this side, being (as I guesse) 
about 70 miles distant, And those on y^ other side the River being so utialile to 
come at as v/^^ any help had they it to afTord, Experience shews us that an 
hundred men on the other side y^ River can lend little reliefe. We desire to 
repose o' confidence in the eternal & living God, who U the refuge of his people, 
a p'sent one in the time of trouble ; and to stTnd ready to doe and suffer his will 
in all things, acquainting y'selves w'h o"- p'sent state, y' so if there be anythinge 
yt yor wisedomes see it to call for, & yo^selves in a capacity t > apply it, we may 
not faile thereof. Perhaps the empowring of some man or men as the Hon"''* 
Major or Capt. Applettm, or both, to direct & order us in o' fortifications, might 
not be unusefull. We are in the Lord's hands, and then we would be in keeping 
his way & doing his will wt^out any amazem*. Yet the Lord's now delivering his 
own as well as o^^ houses into y" enomie's hand is more amazing & threatening 
to us. His will is done. To his grace I commend you. And rest, Yo' WorP* 
humbly in all service. 

"Jno. Russell. 

" 0'' wounded men are greatly distressed for want of Medicines. Those by sea 
not yet come at us; those expected by Capt. Waite left at Roxbury." 


The second letter is from Maj. Pynchon himself to the Gov- 
ernor, and was written before he knew that his resignation 
had been accepted. The messenger was then on his way to 

inform him of that fact. 

" Springfield, Oct. 8, 1675. 

" Honored Sr., — I desyred Mr. Russell to give you an aco' of ye stroake upon 
Pore distressed Springfield, w^h I hope will excuse my late doeing of it. On y" 
4"> of Oct. o"" Soldiers w«'' were at Springfield I had called all off, leaving none 
to secure y« Towne by ye commissioner's order was so strict. 

" That Night Post was sent to us that 500 Indians were about Springfield, in- 
tending to destroy it, so y' ye o'*" of Oct., w»»> about 200 of o' Soldiers, I marched 
downe to Springfield, when we found all in flames, about 30 dwelling houses burnt 
down, & 24 or 25 Barnes, my Corne-mill, saw-mill, and other Buildings. 

" Generally men's Hay & Corne is Burnt, & many men whose houses stand had 
their goods burnt in other house w'^'' they had caryd y™ too. 

" Leift. Cooper & two more slayne & 4 pers<_tns wounded, 2 of w"'' are doubtfull 
their Recovery. 


" The Ld hath made to drinko deepe of the cup of sorrow. I desire we may 
consider y" opperation of his hand, A what he speakes yet. That ye Town did 
not utterly i)ei ish is cause of g'' ThankfuUness. As soon as o"^ forces appeared 
ye Indians all drew oft, so y' we saw none of y™. Sent out Scouts y*' night & y» 
next day, but discovered ujne, neither can we satisfie o'selves wh way they are 
goii, their Tracts being many ways. Some* we think they are goa downe ye 
River. O'' hist discovery was of a considerable Tract upward. O"" Indeavoi-s here 
are to secure ye houses and Corne y' is left; for this sad providence hath ob- 
structed o' going out w'b ye Anny, & wi can be done, I am at a g" loss. O'' peo- 
ple are under g" disco urageni*^, Talke of Leaving y« place. We need yo' orders 
& directi'm about it. If it be deserted, how wofully doe we yield to & Inccmrage 
o' insolent enymy, and how doth it make way for y giving up all ye Townes 
above. If it be held, it must be by strength and many soldiei-s, & how to have 
Provision, — I meane Bread, — for want of a mill, is difficult. Ye Soldiers here al- 
ready ccmiplaiiu- on y' aco', although we have tlesh eneough ; & this very strait — 
I meane no mill — will drive many of o' Inhabitants away, especially those y* have 
noe Corne, & many of them noe houses, v/°^ fills & throngs up every Koome of 
those y' have, together w'li ye soldiers now (wh yet wc cannot be w'^'out) in- 
creasing o"" nund)ei-s, so y*, indeed, It is very uncomtorUiblc Living here; & for 
my owno particular, it were far better for me to goe away f"" here. I have n* t 
anything left. I mean noe Corne, neither Indian nor English, and noe means to 
keej) one beiist here, nor can I have Reliefe in this Towne, because so many aio 
destitute. But I resolve to attend what Cod calls me to, &. to stick to it as long 
as I can, and though I have met g*^' loss of my Comfeits yet to doc what I can 
for defending ye Place. I hope God will make \ip in himselfe what is wanting 
in ye creature to mee & to us all. This day a Post is sent up from Harlford to 
call off Major Treate w^i" a part of his Soldiers, from Intelligence they have of a 
paity of Indian lying at Wethei-sfield, on Kiust side of ye river, so y* matters of 
action here doe Linger exceedingly, w^^ makes me wonder what ye L"* intends 
w'i> his i)eople, strange Providences diverting us in all o' hopefull designs, & ye 
Ld. giving opportunity to ye enymy to doe us mischiefe, & then hiding of y", 
And answering all o"" Prayere by Terrible things in righteousness. 

"S'', I am nut capable of holding any command, being more and more unfit & 
almost confounded in my understanding ; the Ld. direct yo" to Pitch on a ineeter 
person tlian ever I was; according txi Liberty from ye Councill I shall devolve 
all uiton Cap*. Appleton, unless Major Treate retnrne againe, till yo shall give 
yo' orders as shall be most meete to yo'selves. 

"To speake my tlioughts, all these Townes ought to be Garrisoned, as I have 
formerly hinted, and had I bin left Ui my selfe I should I think have y' we*" Posi- 
bly might have prevented this danuige. But ye express orders to doe as I did, 
was by ye wise disposeing hand of God, who knew it best for us, & therein we 
must acquiess. And truly to goe out after y" Indians in ye swamps and thickets 
is to hassard all o' men, unless we knew where they keepe, we*" is altogether un- 
known to us, it God hides from us for ends best knowtie to himselfe. I have 
many tynies thought yi y« winter were yo tyme to fall on y"", but there are such 
ditticnltys y' 1 shall leave it, yet suggest it to consideration. I will not further 
Trouble yo at present, but earnestly crave yo' Prayers for ye Ld's undertaking 
for us and sanctifting all iiis stroaks to us. 

" I remain, yo' unworthy ser^-'t, 

"John Pynchon. 

"We are in g''* hassard if we doe but st' out for wood to be shot downe by 
some sculking Indians. M"^. Glover had all his Bookes Burnt; not so much as a 
Bible saved; a g" loss, for he had some choice bookes and many." 

The nest letter is from the Council, at Boston, to Captain 
Appleton, at Hadley, informing him of the resignation of 
Major Pynchon, and his appointment in the major's place as 
commander of the forces of the valley. 


Caft. Appleton, — The Council have seriously considered the earnest desire of 
Major Pynchon, and the great affliction upon him & his family, anil have at last 
consented to his request to dismiss him from the chief command of the army in 
these parts, and have tliought meet upon mature thought to commit the chief 
command unto yourself, being persuaded that God hath endowed you with a 
spirit & ability to manage that affair; and for the better enabling you to your 
employ we have sent the Council's order enclosed to Major Pynchon to be given 
to you, and we refer yon to the instructions given him for your directions, ordering 
you fiom time to time to give ns advice of all occurrences, and if ytm need any 
further orders and instiurtions they shall be given you Jis the matter shall require. 
" So committing you to the Lord, desiring his presence with you and blessing 
upon you, we remain 

"Your friends & Servants. 

' Boston, 4th October, 1G75. 

" Capt. Samuel Appleton, 
" Comniander'in-Chief al tlie headquarters at U-idley.'^ 


"Oct. 12, l(i75. 
"RiuiiT WoKsniPFULL, — Yours by Lieut. Upham I received, as also that of 
Oct. 9^\ from you, together with the order from the Commissi on ere, concerning 
the number and order of management of the forces in these parts. In reference 
whereto, I humbly present two things to your consideration : First, as to the or- 
dering the chief command to one of such an inferior capacity ; the vei^ thoughts 
of it were and are to be such matter of trouble and humiliation, as that I know 
not how to induce my spirit to any compliances therewith, lest it should jirove a 
mattj^i-of detrinnuit and nut help to the public, from which nothing should have 
moved me but the consideration of the present exigencies, together with the 



remembrance of the duty I owe to you and the common concerns; unto which 
the Hun. Major havinjj; iiddL-d his sni'ruwfnl comphiitits, fur whifh there \v:is such 
abun<tant and manifest cause. It was indeed an heart-breaking thing to me, 
and forced me against my own spirit tu yield to the improvement of the whole 
of my small talent in your senice, untill I might send to you (which I now do) 
tj intreat that there may be speedilj' an ai)pointment of some other, more able 
to the work, and likely tu obtain the desired end. I humbly intreat your most 
serious consideration and help herein. Secondly, my hnniMe recpiest is, that you 
would be pleased to revive that part of your work, and that the Hon. Cummis- 
eioners' ordei-s, which doth strictly prohiliit the fixing of any of our soldiers in 
gaiTistin. I doubt not but tlic reasLins inducing thereto were weiglity, which 
notwithstanding we fiud the attendance here extremely hazardous to the loss of 
towns (which is the loss of all) as appears by lamentable experience we have had 
at Springfield, as also what is obviims to the eye of ejich man's rejison. The 
thought hereof put us to great straits ; most willingly would we attend the ex- 
press letter of your order, and yet cannot but tremble at the thought of exposing 
the towns to ruin. Be pleased, as seasonably o.s may be, tu give us your re- 
Bolves herein. 

" As to the state of poor desolate Springfield, to whose relief we came (though 
with a march that hail put all our men into a most violent sweat, and was more 
than they could well bear) too late, their condition is indeed most afflicted, there 
being alwut 33 houses and twenty-five barns burnt, and about fifteen houses left 
unburnt ; the people are full of fear, and staggering in their thoughts as to their 
keeping or leaving of the place. Thej' whose houses and provi.sions are con- 
sumed incline to leave the jilace, as thinking they can better labor for a living 
Id places of less danger than where they now are ; hence seem unwilling to 
stay, except they might freely share in the corn and provision which is lemaiu- 
ing and preserved by the sword. I cannot but think it conducive to the public 
land for aught I see to the private) interests that the place be kept, there being 
corn and provisions enough and to spare for the sustenance of the persons, whose 
number is considerable, and cannot be maintained elsewhere, without more than 
almost any plan can afford to their relief. 

" The worth of the place is considerable, and the holding of it will give en- 
couragement and help to others, and the quitting of it great tUscouragement, 
and hazard to our passage from one place to another, it being so vast a distance 
from Hadley to any other Town on this side of the River. I have, in regard of 
y* present distress of ye piKtr people, adventured to leave Capt. Sill there, to be 
ordered by the Hon. IMajur until further t)rder be received. 

"What hazard I run, I am not insensible, but do rather choose to adventure 
hazard fci myself than to the public, and so throw myself on your worshipH 
mercy in so doing. 

" We are at present in a broken posture, incapable of any great action, by 
reason of Major Treate's absence, who, upon a report of Indian lower down the 
liver, about Hai-tford, was (while I was absent) recalled by the Council uf Con- 
necticut upon the eighth of this instant, and is not yet returned, nor do I know 
how it is with him, nor when is like to return. We have sent to the C-ouncil of 
Connecticut signifying that our Colony having been mindful to complete their 
numbers, we do earnestly expect and intreat his speedy return, and that the am- 
munition now at Hartford, and needed by us, may be brought up under their 
guard ; hereto we have not yet received answer. 

" In the account of Springfield houses, we only presented the number of them 
on the east side of the river, and that in the town platt; for in all on the west 
side and in the outskirts on the east side, there are about sixty houses standing, 
and much corn in and al»out them, which, coming into the Indians' hands, will 
yield great support to them. We have been considering the nmking of a boat 
or Ijoats, and find it not desirable ; first, because the river is not navigable, and 
so none niaile here can be had up; secondly, should we make alwve the falls, 
there must be an army to guard the workmen in the work ; thirdly, we find ex- 
ceeiUug hard, by any provision, to secure our men in the boats, by reiison that 
the high banks of the river giving the enemy so great advantage of shooting 
downward upon us; and la.stly, as we must follow the enemy where he will go, 
We must eitlier leave a very strong guard upon our Ixjats, or lose them, perhaps, 
aa soon an made. There being now come in sixty men under Captain and Lieut. 
Upham, and we needing commanders, especially part of our men being now at 
Springfield, and we not daring to send all thither, we have retaiiu'd Capt. Pool to 
command these sixty men until fuither orders be given. 

" We are hut this evening come up from Springfield, and are applying ourselves 
presently to the sentling out scouts for the discovery of the enemy, so that so, 
the Lord assisting, we may, with these forces that we have, be making some onset 
upon him, to do something for the glorj' of God and release of his distressed 
pe jple, the sense of which is so much upon my heart that I count jiot my life too 
dear to venture in any motion wherein I can persuade myself I may be in a way 
of his providence, and expect his gracious presence, without which all our en- 
deavors are in vain. 

" We confide we shall not, we cannot, fail of ye steady and continued lifting 
up the hands and hearts of all God's precious ones, that our Israel may in his 
time prevail against this cursed Amalek, against whom I believe the Lord will 
have war forever, until he have destroyed him. With Him I desire to leave our- 
selves and all the c<mcern, and so doing, to remain 

" Your seiTant obliged to duty, 

"Samukl Appleton. 

" I commnnicated thoughts with Major Pynchon alxtut the garrison idacing at 
Brookfiflil. And although it wotihl lie some relit-f and comfort to our messen- 
gers going post, yet ctuisidering the great chargt* which nuist necess;irily be ex- 
pended upon it, and that they have no winter provision there for the keeping of 
hoi-ses. without much use of which we see not how they can Bul»sist, we have 
not seen cause to order any ganison thither (nor for aught yet appeal's shall do, 
except we have Bome special direction frf>m you for it). We also find that 

three towns* being but small, and having sustained much lr)ss in their crop by 
reason of the war, and had much expense of what hath been gathered here, ix)th 
by the siddiers and by those coming to them from the places that are already 
deserted,! are like to find the weight of sustaining the army too hard for them ; 
and tlierefore we apprehend it will be advisable and uecessiiry to send to Con- 
necticut to afford some help as may be needed from some of their plantations. 

" Capt. Musely makes present of bis humble service to your woi-sbip, whereto 
the scribe also desires to subjoin the tender of his own. 

"These for the Woi-shipful John Leverett, Esq., Governor of the Miissachu- 
setts, at Boston." 

Agjiin, on the 17th, the anxious Captain Appleton writes to 
the Governor. [The most of these letters have been copied 
from former publications in which the spelling had been 


" Hadlev, Oct. 17, H;75. 

" Right Worshipful, — I thought it convenient & necessary to give you a 
present account of our state and iwsture, that so you might thereby be the better 
capacitated both to send orders to us and to know how to act towards others, as 
tlie case doth require. 

"On Tuesday, Oct. 12th, we left Springfield, and came that night ti Hadley. 
On the 13th & 14th we used all diligence to make discovery of the enemy by 
scouts, but by reason of the distance from here to Squakheage, and the tim- 
orousuess of the scouts, it turned to little account ; thereupt)n I found it very dif- 
ficult to know what to do. Major Treat was gone from us, and when like to 
return we know not; our ordere were to leave no more in garrison, but keep 
all for a field army, which was to expose the towns to manifest hazard. To sit 
still & do nothing is t*i tire ourselves, and spoil our soldiers, and to ruin the 
country by the insupix)rtable burden and charge. All things laid together, I 
thought it best to go foith after the enemy with our present forces. This once 
resolved, I sent foith warrants on the 14th instant, early in the morning, to Capt. 
Mosely and Cajit. (;is be is caHed) Seely, at Hatfield & Northampton, to repair 
forthwith tu the headcpuirter, that we might be rejuly for service. Capt. Mosely 
was accordingly with us with his whole company very speedily. Capt. Seely,t 
after a considerable time, came without his company ; excused their absence by 
his want of commission. This commission he produced, and, upon debate about 
it, seemed satisfied, expressing that his purpose was to attend any orders that 
should be given. I wrote another warrant and gave into his hand to appear 
with his company — which are alxtut oO men — the next morning, but in the night 
he sent a messenger to me with a note, about intelligence from Major Treat to 
stay till further orders, etc. I presently posted away letters to the Council at 
Hartford, declaring to them how the work was obstructed by absence of Major 
Treat (whose company, indeed, I much desired, he approving himself while with 
us a worthy gentleman, and a discreet and encouniging commander) and by ab- 
sence (indeed) of Capt. Seely and those few that were with him. 

" The copy of my letter to the Council and of my warrant to Capt. Seely, and 
his returns to me, I send you here, all of them enclosed. This morning, Oct. 16th, 
I received a letter sent first to Major Pynchon, and from Springfield hither, from 
the Omncil at Hartford, dated Oct. 12th, which I also send the copy of, whereby 
you will perceive that they seem to make some excuse, and stick at the want of 
forces here from Plymouth, wherein I not so fitted to return tliem an answer as 
perhaps I might be, for want of underetanding the specialties of agreement be- 
tween the Hon'd Commissioners of the United Colonies; only thus much seems 
evident, that they ail agreed their number should be 500, the which is nuule up 
by our Colony and Connecticut, though there be none from Plymouth, so that 
we see the reality of the thing is done, though we know not the rea^^on of 
Plymouth not bearing a share iu it. By a letter from Major Pyncluui we under- 
stand that the ammunition is come up to Springfield, which I am presently send- 
ing for. This likewise informs of an old Indian squaw, taken at Springfield, 
who tells that the Indians who burnt that tuwn lodged about si.x miles off the 
town ; some men went forth, found 24 fires and some plunder. She saith there 
came of the enemy 270. That the enemy iu all are 600. The place where they 
keep is at Coassit (as is supi>osed), about oO miles above Hadley. 

"After the sendiug my letter to Hartford, I drew forth our own men, all but 
Capt. Sill's (who are near sixty), inteiuUng to march up to Sqbakeage; we had 
not marched alwve a mile or two ere we received intelligence by post, that the 
enemy was by his tracks discovered to be in great numbere on the west side of 
the river. We presently changed our coui-se, and ha-sted over the river. It was 
sunset ere we got out of Hatfield. W'e marched some miles, and in the dark saw 
a gun fired, and heard its report; and our scouts saw and heard this gun. Some 
also said they heard a noise of Indians. My purpose was now to march to Deer— - 
field, but upon what we discovered, our officei's, especially Capt. Mosely, was very 
apprehensive of danger to the towns here, if we should march up. This being 
often pressed, and I alone for proceeding, none of Connecticut men with us, nor 
any left in the towns of Hadley & Hatfield, and night threatening rain and 
tempest, I yielded against my own inclinations to return to our quarters, which 
we did in the night. 

" This muruiiig, we understand by scouts, that there is certainly a great num- 
ber of the enemy at Deerfield, and some of them much nearer. This evening, we 
have received a letter from the General Court at Hartford, whereby I perceive 

* Hatlley, Hatfiudd, and Nurtliami.ton. 
+ Dcfiti.-ld and Nortbfield. 

J Capt. Seoly was stationed at Nurtbiitii|iloii with a company of Cunneoticiit 



it is very uncei-fciin when wc uro like to have their forces again. In very truth, 
I am in straits on every side. To leave the tjwns without any lieljt is to leave 
them to their apparent ruin. 

*' To supply with any, except now in the absence of Connecticut, is hardly rec- 
oncilable with the order of the Cjlnmissioners. This evening, late, I am assaulted 
with vehenient and affectionate request from Northampton (who have already 
with them about oO of Capt. Seely's men) that I would aftbrd them a little more 
help, they fearing to be assaulted presently. 

"And at the same time while these are speaking, Capt. Mosely informs, the 
enemy is this evening discovered within a mile of Hatfield; and that he verily 
expects to be assaulted there to-morrow, which I am so sensible of, that I account 
it my duty presently to repair thither, now at ten or eleven of the cluck in the 
night, some of the forces having already passed the River. 

" Nor are we without apprehensions of Hatfield and Hadley's danger at the 
same time, where, with respect to the wounded men and the town, I strive with 
fliyself to leave al->out twenty men, or but few more, though the Indians were 
yesterday discovered within 5 or 6 miles ; and we are necessitated to send so 
many of them for ]iosts (on which account si.x are at this present) and other oc- 
casions, as makes them less than their little selves, I desire in all to approve 
myself to the Lord, and faithfully to his people's interests, so as I persuade my- 
self would most reach and take your lieart.s, were you present. I crave your 
candid acceptance of what comes from a heart devoted to your service ; and your 
speedy, reasonable return to what I have written ; which waiting for, I leave the 
whole matter with the wise ordering, and remain 

" Your Worship's most humble servant, 

"Samuel Appleton. 

"Hoping for the return of our post from .vou, and that our going forth last 
night might produce something of consequence, we delayed the sending away this 
letterone day. But Providence hath delayed onr expectation and dejiire in l>oth. 

" Our post is not come in, and we have wearied ourselves with a tedious uigbt 
and morning's march, without making any discovery of the eueniy. 

"Thus the Lord ordei-s all things wisely, holily, well ; may we but see, and 
close with the goodness of bis will, and wait for the working of all things to- 
gether, it shall be peace, in the latter end, to all that love God, that are perfect 
ones; for which praying and waiting, I am 

" Your servant, as above, 

"S. A. 

"Oct. 17th, afternoon. 

" These for the Worahipfnl John Leverett, Esq., Governor of the Massachu- 
setts in Bjston. H;ist — Hast — Post hast." 

Maj. Appleton's fears, so earnestly e.\pressed in his last 
letter above copied, were soon realized. An attack was made 
on Hatfield on the 19th of October by seven or eight hundred 
Indian.*, but they were repulsed. It was a desperate and 
spirited fight. The garrison was under Capts. Mosely and 
Poole. Maj. Appleton, with the Hadley forces, was soon on 
the ground, and after a short engagement the enemy fled. 
A detailed account of this atfair will be found iii the history 
of Hatfield, farther on in this volume. 

The attack on Hatfield was the last engagement of impor- 
tance which occurred in the valley during the year 1675. After 
that afl'air the Indians seemed to disperse and go into their 
winter quarters. The Nashaways returned, and with the 
Quabonffs settled down for the winter at Wenimisset.* The 
River Indians took up their winter-quarters at a point above 
Northfield, over the Vermont border. 


In tile month of November, 1675, King Philip, with his 
warriors, left the Connecticut Valley, and went over to the 
banks of the Hudson River, with the intention of passing the 
winter there. With him was a numerous band of the Pa- 
comji-tucks. It must have been at the mouth of the Fish Creek, 
opposite Lake Saratoga, the scene of the Burgoj-ne surrender 
a hundred years later, in what is now Saratoga County, that 
Philip had his temporary abode during this winter. Governor 
Andross writes : 

" New Youk, Jan. 6, 1676. 

"This is to acquaint you that late last night I had intelli- 
gence that Philip and four or five hundred North Indians, 
fighting men, were come within forty or fiftj' miles of Albany 
northerly, where they talk of continuing this winter. That 
Philip is sick, and one Sahamaschahaf the commander-in- 

Says the Rev. J. F. Moors, in his historical address at 
Turner's Falls on the 31st of May, 1876 : 

* Temple and Sheldon's Northfield, p. 83. 
f Hiin-cmn-a-cha was a Nou-o-itick sachem. 

" The winter of 1675-76 was a dark and sad one, both for 
natives and colonists. The advantage in the war, so far, had 
been on the side of the Indians. They had killed many of the 
settlers and broken up their settlements. But they could but 
feel that they were the weaker party, and that sooner or later 
they would be obliged to yield. They had drawn their foes, 
as yet unaccustomed to Indian warfare, into fatal ambuscades ; 
they had fired at them with fatal eft'ect from behind trees ; 
they had lurked for them in leafy thickets. They had never 
met the English in open field, but in secret, as beasts of prey. 
Skillful marksmen, in part provided with firearms, conversant 
with all the paths of the forest, patient with fatigue, mad with 
a passion for rapine and vengeance, with only the mercy of 
savages, they were a foe to be especially feared and dreaded. 

"To the feeble and scattered colonists the prospect was dark 
indeed. Their isolated position increased their danger and 
their sense of loneliness. The husband and father, going out 
to his labor in the field, must have felt that his own life was ex- 
posed every moment to the bullet of a dark and treacherous 
foe. The mother, left alone in the with her children, 
must have passed the Ikjui-s in mortal fear of an enemy that 
spared neither sex nor age. That winter occurred the ' Swamp- 
Fight,' as it has been called." 


The white inhabitants of New England now began to con- 
sider that with them it had become a matter of life and death. 
It was evident to their minds that should the powerful Nnr- 
rayansetts unite with the other tribes in the war, the days 
of civilized New England would soon come to a tragic end. 
To prevent such a union of the tribes, no less a project was 
deemed necessary than to break at once and forever the power 
of the Narrngansefts. The Narragansetts had already broken 
their treaty made but a few months before, and were already 
making hostile demonstrations. 

The commissioners of the United Colonies met at Boston 
on the 2d of November. They accordingly made a formal 
declaration of war against the Nai-ragansettn, ordered one 
thousand men to be raised from the several colonies, appointed 
Governor Winslow, of Plymouth, commander-in-chief, agree- 
ing that the second in command should be appointed by the 
General Court or Council of Connecticut when the forces 
should be in that colony. The Commissioners further ordered 
that the Connecticut soldiers should rendezvous at Norwich, 
Stonington, and New London, and those of Massachusetts 
and Plymouth at Rehoboth, Providence, and Warwick, by 
the 10th of December. They also recommended to the several 
colonies to appoint the 2d of December following a day of 
humiliation and prayer for the success of the enterprise in 
which they were about to engage. We again quote from Mr. 
Moors : 

"The Narragansetts were the most powerful of the New 
England tribes. The colonists regarded them as their most 
dangerous enemies, and a thousand men, levied in the colo- 
nies, invaded their territory, came stealthily upon their clu.ster 
of wigwams, which were speedily set on fire, and not only 
were the savage warriors slain, but their old men, their wives 
and little ones, perished by hundreds in the flames. Much 
blame has been attached to the English for this act of cruelty, 
equaling almost in barbarity the conduct of the savages them- 
selves. It was a terrible thing to do, but we have learned, 
even in our day, that war in its very nature is full of cruel- 
ties, and we certainly can have a feeling of charity, if not of 
full forgiveness, for our fathers, who had reason to know that 
there was no safety for them or their families except as this 
savage element was rooted out of the land. It liad become a 
war of extermination on both sides." 

The "Swamp-Fight" occurred on the 19th of December. 
Winter had then already set in with great severity, travel was 
almost impossible, and both whites and Indians remained in 



close quarters till the last of Januar_v, 167fi, when a sudden 
thaw took oft" the snow. 



After the destruction of their fort, the Nary-agaiisetts deter- 
mined to unite their fortunes with Philip against the English. 
So, when the January thaw had cleared the ground, a large 
part of this tribe set out, under the lead of their sachem Ca- 
nonchet, for the Nipmuc.k headquarters at Quaboag, now 
Brookiield. They reached Brookfield about the middle of 
February, and remained there about two weeks. 

But the English troojis were also in motion, and the mounted 
men under Maj. Thomas Savage, and the Connecticut troops 
under Maj. Treat, reached Brookiield about the 2d of JIarch. 


Upon learning of the near approach of the English the 
Indians left Quaboag and went northward. This band com- 
prised the Narragansetts, the Nipniucks, and the Grafton In- 
dians, a " miscellaneous crowd," numbering in all about two 
thousand souls. The English pursued, but the Indians by a 
feigned attack drew them otl" on a wrong trail, so that the 
whole body of the Indians was safely across Miller's Eiver 
before the English came to the fording-place, on the 6th of 
March. The stream was swollen by the spring floods, and 
the English dare not in pursuit. The Indians reached 
Squak-heag on the 7th of March, and found Philip and his 
allies already there. In February, Philip had been attacked 
by the Mu/iawks, and driven back to the valley of the Con- 
necticut. This gathering of the tribes at Northfield in the 
early spring of 1076 was one of the most notable events of the 
war. King Philip, chief sachem of the Pulninokcis, was 
there with all the allied tribes. The Indians as well as the 
whites were conscious that the coming struggle was one of 
life or death. With Philip were his kinsman, Quinnapin, 
and Canonchei, the son of Miantonomo, the hereditary sachem 
of the powerful Narragnnsetis. With Philip were San-cum- 
a-cha, a sachem of Non-o-tuck, who was the leader of the 
Pa-comp-tucks and Agnwam.s, and Maiitamp, chief of the 
Nlpmucks. With Philip also were large numbers of strag- 
glers from the broken tribes, making in all, with the Sqiiak- 
lii'.iigs, a mi.xed nmltitude two thousand live hundred strong. 

On the 27th of April a captured Indian told Samuel Marsh- 
field that the Indians "had three forts this side Wassquack- 
heag; that the number of Indians at Deerfield and on the 
river was three thousand, of whom one thousand were 

Early in May the Indians separated into four parties. One 
remained at Sqiiuk-heag fur jilanting and fishing; one went 
to the Pa-comp-tuck meadows to plant corn ; one to Pnijuat/ag, 
now Athol, for the same purpose ; and a large crowd gathered 
at Pas-quam-scut, now Turner's Falls, to fish. It was against 
those at Pas-quam-scut that evil was impending. 

The Indians at Pa-cump-tuck began their corn-planting, as 
was their usual custom, on the 10th of May, and planted — it 
was estimated at the time difl'erently — from one hundred to 
three hundred acres. Early in the spring of 1676 an order 
or request was made by the Court at Boston for the outlying 
towns in the valley all to remove to Springfield and Hadlcy. 
This movement was so stoutly opposed by Westfield and 
Northampton that on the 1st of April the order was rescinded 
and the plantations allowed to remain. f 


By far the most important action of the war in the year 
1676 which occurred in the valley took place at Pas-quam- 

* Temple ami Sheldon's Nm thtiolj, p. 90. 

t Sec llolland's Hist, of Western Muss., Vol. II., pp. 112-1111. 

sruf Falls, the great Indian fishing-ground, on the morning 
of the 19th of May, O. S., corresponding to our 31st. 

In the opening of spring a large English force, consisting 
of four Massachusetts companies and four from Connecticut, 
were stationed in the towns of Northampton, Hadley, and 
Hatfield. From time to time small parties of Indians attacked 
their outposts, but gained no considerable advantage. Hear- 
ing of the large gathering of Indians at the F'alls, an expedi- 
tion was planned against them. We again quote from the 
Rev. Mr. Moors' historical address. 

"It was resolved to make a night-attack upon the Indian 
camp at the Falls. A force of one hundred and sixty mounted 
men, under command of Capt. Turner, was dispatched from 
Hatfield for this purpose. Making their way by a night- 
march of twenty miles, they pa.ssed the ruins of Deerfield, 
forded the Deerfield Eiver near the north end of Pine Hill, 
passed over Petty's Plain, and crossed the Green Eiver near 
Nash's Mill. In crossing the Deerfield, the guide, by mistake, 
took them to the west of the customary fording-place. The 
mistake saved them frmn an attack. Some Indians encamped 
near Cheapside heard the crossing of the troops, and started 
to intercept them at the ford ; but finding no one there, they 
hastily inferred it was some moose they had heard, and retired 
to their own quarters. 

" Then, turning to the east. Turner's party made their way 
through the forest, following an Indian trail, upon the north 
edge of the swamp, till they reached the level ground north- 
west of Factory village. Dismounting here, and leaving their 
horses in charge of a small guard, they hastened noiselessly 
down into the 'Hollow,' foi'ded Fall Eiver just above the 
upper bridge, and .scaled the abru])t bank on the opposite side, 
and there reached the summit north of Mr. Stoughton's house, 
and drew up in line on the gentle slope south of Mr. Stough- 
ton's house. The Indian camp was now just before them. 

" The day was just dawning. All was still and peaceful as 
a Christian Sabbath-day. The only sound to be heard was 
the morning song of the birds and the monotonous roar of the 
waters of the 'Great Eiver,' as they dashed tumultuously 
over the rocks. The dusky warrior slept in unguarded, un- 
suspecting security. If he dreamed of war, it was of some 
distant scene where he carried death and destruction to some 
settlement of the hated foe. He did not dream how near the 
danger was to him. The silent signal was given, and the eager 
soldiers moved silently nearer their sleeping enemy, and, at 
the word of command, poured a volley of musketry into those 
unprotected cabins. The Indians, roused from profound sleep, 
sprung upon their feet in terror, simie crying out ^JMa/inivks! 
Mohawkx !' believing, in their sudden fright, that their furious 
enemy was upon them. They made but a feeble and useless 
resistance. Many were killed on the spot by shot and sword, 
others rushed madly into the river, and were swept away by 
its resistless torrent. Keport says that one hundred and forty 
persons passed over, the cataract that morning, and that all 
but one were drowned. 


"The firing soon aroused the other camps across the river 
and at Smead's Island. A party soon cro.ssed above the Falls 
to assist their companions in their need. Twenty of Turner's 
men were sent to attack them, while the main body started 
for the spot where their horses had been left. This little band 
proved not to be strong enough, and were forced to retire and 
with difficulty joined their comrades ; and altogether, having 
recovered and mounted their horses, they started on their 
return to Hatfield. But by this time the Indians at Smead's 
Island had crossed to the west shore and assailed the left and 
the rear of the 

" It seems to have been no part of Turner's plan to attack 
the other camps. The English had learned and adopted the 
Indian mode of warfare, — by sudden and unexpected night- 
attacks, nnd to retire as soon as there is danger that the 



assailpcl prtrty maybe reinforced. Up to the time of the order 
to return and commence their homeward march, it, in the 
ambiguous language of war, might have been styled a ' glo- 
rious victory.' But from that moment the fortunes of war 
seem to have changed. 

" The assault upon their flank and rear by an unseen foe, 
firing from behind the covert of the trees, caused a sudden 
panic, heightened by a baseless rumor, which spread among 
the men, that King Philip had arrived with a thousand war- 
riors. Order and disci])line were lost; the force was broken 
up into little detached parties, each one intent only on self- 
preservation. The victory of the early morning, so complete, 
and attended with so little loss, became a stampede for per- 
sonal safety, — a procedure most fatal -to themselves and most 
favorable to their savage pursuers, who a.ssailed each wander- 
ing squad and gained an easy victory over them. One party, 
getting lost in the woods and swamps, were taken prisoners, 
and the tradition is that they were put to death by burning." 

The of the Indians was variously estimated. It may 
have been as high as two hundred, men, women, and children. 
In the disastrous retreat of the English forces from the scene 
of the morning's encounter the whole loss was about thirty 
men. Among the slain was C'apt. Turner, who was killed in 
the Greenfield Meadows. Capt. Holyoke, the second in com- 
mand, also died before the winter. Although but twenty-eight 
years old, the exertions of the day broke down his strength. 
The beautiful falls on the Connecticut long since lost their old 
Indian name, and now bear the name of the lamented com- 
mander of the fight, Capt. Turner. An account of Capt. 
Turner will be found in. the history of Greenfield, farther on 
in this work. 

After the Falls fight, the Indians, on the 30th of May, at- 
tacked Hatfield with a force of two hundred and fifty warriors, 
killed five men, burned many houses, and drove away a large 
number of horses and cattle. 

Again, on the 12th of June, the .same party attacked Hadley, 
and were repulsed. This ended the main incidents of the war 
in the valley. Upon the death of King Philip, on the 12th of 
August following, the savages left their homes in the valley 
never to return, except from time to time in a few roving, pre- 
datory bands. 

In the month of August, 1070, an Indian named Mf:-nown- 
retts was examined at Hartford, whose testimony we append 
as a matter of interest to the reader : 

" Me-notni-ietis^ Exitminnthtiy Au(iitnt, 1G70. 

" Where have you been these 12 months? He answered, ' He was halfe ,1 Hfo 
heiuj and halfe a Naragoncett ; he came last year to Nortaltoij, and hath spent 
most of his time in hunting.' 

** Being askt wlieth' he ha4 been in any engagements against the English ? 
he said, ' Yes ; he was in that fight that was above Northampton, where he saw 7 
English slayn in one place ; and othere were slayn, but how many he knows not.' 

" How many Indians were killed in the fight? He answered, 'Not one.' 

"Wliere went you next? He says, 'They went to Pacomptock and assaulted 
that, alwnt GO of them, and slue one Englishman.' Wliere had you the next en- 
gagement w'li the English? He say"', ' He was at N. Hampton when it was as- 
saulted last spring, wh"" they lost an Indian and 4 wounded ; one was mortally 
wounded. In ye Fall fight were slayn 4<.> Nortrottog Qtiapmtti, 10 Narogancets, 
and [ ]. He was at Uadley fight and shot in ye leg.' Whoe were 

those that kild the man between Midleton & Wethersfield ? ' Muiich, Co-lias, To- 
si>-^iniy CaircohoGije, We-wa-wo-as.^ 

" Who killed G. Elmore at PoduiiJc f ' He was one of them himselfe ; there was 
9 in company ; 3 did the business, which were IVmwoiif^ Johmiot, and Mmhhiott.^ 

" He also sayth Cohas and anothers Naragancet shot Wm. Hill. 
. "Who kild Henry Denslow? ^ Wegutifh S., Weawosse, H[i>lu'<j, Whowusittnuoh- 
Wer., Pawwaiptcoire Spr., and Mttwcalnrai, .Spr., Saitchnmvire, Que; and Wesomke- 
tuicher, Nor ; and these were those that burnt Simsbury.' 

" Cvhas burnt G. Coal's house ; SepawcuU was wtl> the Indians o' enemies at WaJi- 
hofmU, and said he had kild 7 English of ye seaside. 

" He sayth that the Noni-oUach, Springfield Indians, and others are gon to a 
place about Hudson's River called Paguai/ag, and were encouraged to come there 
by a great man of those parts, whoe hath allso encouraged them to engage 
against the English, and that they should not be weary of it. 

" He did not see the man nor doth not know who it was. He was askt where 

the.v luwl ye ammunition to carry on the; he said the Poivgniitg Indians 
bought it of ye Dutch and sold it y"'. 

" Ho was askt how many of the North Indians hail gon that Wiiy ? He 8a,vth, 
' About 'JO men of them and Siicgmnice is wtl" them ; he was very sick, and as like 
to die as live.' 

" Cohas, Wewa^antoch .Spr., Mamnaumpaquack Spr., were in company wtb him; 
in tlio woods weere TuiixM and 3 squas and 4 children ; they had 2 horses, and 
pease and corn ; they took from G. Coal's farme. 

" He sayth y Indians hid a gi'eat many gunns about Pacoitipiirh ; y" place ho 
described to Tota. He sayth he took au Englishman at the Longmeadow about 
Springfield captive, and carryed him away, but ho got away afterwju-ds he 
thinks. W* Indians be at i/"H8e(<oiH<'t/ 'None. They are all gon to PmyHH'j/, y* 
west side of Hudson" River.'* 

"Tjiken before John Allyn, 

" Assist." 



1009 TO 1042. 

The century and a half of warfare waged between the Eng- 
lish and Dutch settlers and their Indian allies of the Atlantic 
Slope on the one part, and the French colonists and their In- 
dian allies of the valley of the St. Lawrence and the great 
lakes on the other part, was a struggle for the mastery of the 
North American continent by peoples holding diametrically 
opposing ideas, — Roman Catholicism, fostered b}' despotic 
royalty, on the side of the French in Canada ; Protestantism, 
upheld by constitutional liberty, on the side of New England, 
New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. 

The story of these long wars waged in the depths of the old 
wilderness reads more like the wild romances of the savage 
border-wars of ancient and mediteval times than it does like 
the history of wars waged as they were between enlightened 
nations in comparatively UKjdern times. But the Indian and 
the forest dragged down as it were the humane and civilizing 
tendencies of the white men engaged with them to their own 
wild and savage level. Hence the old French-and-Indian 
wars were marked by a thousand atrocities elsewhere unknown 
in modern times. Many of these atrocities occurred in the 
Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, some account of which 
will be given farther on in this chapter, or in the town histories 
farther on in this volume. In order, however, properly to 
comprehend the subject, brief mention must be made of pre- 
ceding events as well as of the closing scenes of the great 


In the year 1609, eleven years before the Pilgrims landed at 
Plymouth, two important events took place in America. One 
was the discovery and exploration by Samuel de Champlain 
of the lake in the early summer, and the other was the dis- 
covery and exploration of the river by Henrj' Hudson in the 
early autumn of that year, which lake and river each will 
bear the name of its immortal discoverer to the latest posterity. 

Champlain, then the Governor of New France, had estab- 
lished his infant colony of Quebec only the year before, although 
Jacques Cartier, the di.scoverer and first explorer of the river 
St. Lawrence, — the old Indian Ho-c/ie-Ui-r/a, — had first sailed 
upon its waters up as far as the rapids below Montreal, in the 
year 153.5. 

The Indians told Champlain of a wilderness-sea stretching 
many days' journey to the south of the St. Lawrence into the 
country of the Iroquois, and in the spring he determined to 
visit and explore it. He set out from Quebec as soon as the 
melting snows would permit, and proceeded first up the St. 
Lawrence and then up the Irnquoh River — as then called ; now 
known as the Richelieu or Sorel — into the lake that has since 
borne his name. Entering the broad waters of the lake, he 
continued on his way, traveling only in the night-time and 
lying on the shore by day, as his Algnriquin attendants were 

* Conn. Col. Rec, Vol. II., p. 471. 



in miirtal fear of meeting the much-dreaded Iroquois on the 
war-path. Their fear? were soon to be realized. On the even- 
ing of the 29th day of July, Champlaiu met a flotilla of Iro- 
quois paddling down the lake. Both partie.s landed, and waited 
till the dawn of day. Then the Iroquois marched bravely up 
to (Jhamplain and offered battle. Champlain discharged his 
firearms, and the Iroquois, terrified at the strange noise, fled, 
with the loss of two of their bravest war-chiefs. This en- 
counter, fought on the soil of Northern New York, was the 
beginning of the long enmity between the French and the 
Iroquois, which, for more than a century and a half, often 
crimsoned the soil of the old wilderness-with blood. 



Champlain went up the lake which bears his name far 
enough to hear the chiming waters of the outlet of Lake 
George, but returned without seeing it, in the olden time the 
fairest of all the wilderness-waters. 

The first white men who saw Lake George were the Jesuit 
Father Isaac Jogues and his companions, Rene Goupil and 
Guillame Couture. They were taken over its waters as pris- 
oners — tortured, maimed, and bleeding — by the Mohawks in 
the month of August, 1H42, Since their encounter with 
Champlain in 1G09 the Iroquois had ceased- to make war upon 
their Algonquin enemies on the St. Lawrence, but they had 
not forgotten their humiliating defeat. At length the Dutch 
had supplied them with firearms, and their hour of sweet 
revenge had come. Among their first victims was Father 
Jogues. In a year or two Jogues escaped from the Mohawks 
and returned to Canada. In the year 1G46 he returned to the 
Mohawk country to make a treaty with the Iroquois, and on 
his way again passed over Lake George. He entered the lake 
on the eve of Corpus Christi, and in honor of the day named 
it " The Lake of the Blessed Sacrament." It was known as 
Lake St. Sacrament until Sir William Johnson, in the summer 
of 175-5, changed its name to Lake George, in honor of Eng- 
land's Hanoverian king. 


Again, in 1666, there was war between the French and the 
Iroquois. The Iroquois took the war-path and committed many 
depredations in Canada. In retaliation, the Marquis de Tracy, 
Lieutenant-General of Canada, and Governor Courcelle, in 
the autumn of 1666, marched a large force thro\igh the wil- 
derness to the Mohawk towns and destroyed them. 

And so the war raged between the French and the Iroquois 
until the Revolution of 1688 in England raised a line of Cal- 
vinistic kings to the British throne, the effect of which was to 
bring about long wars with France. 



We now come to the first of the long series of French-and- 
Indian wars in which the English colonies were involved. 
The English Revolution of 1688 — which dethroned the Stuart 
dynasty and elevated William of Orange and Mary of England 
to the British throne, and which was in many ways so beneficent 
in its eti'ects upon England — involved serious consequences 
to the dependencies of the British crown. Although bloodless 
in England, it resulted in the battle of Boyne Water in the 
year 1689, the animosities of which, there engendered, still 
linger in the breasts of Irishmen, and brought about the 
sacking and burning of Schenectady in the depth of the 
winter of 1690, which was the beginning of seventy long 
years of colonial warfare. 

During these seventy years of border warfare, from 1G90 to 
1760, many incidents occurred directly or remotely affecting 
the people of the valley of the Connecticut. During these 
seventy years the people of the valley were in constant fear of 

the savage invader, and many times suffered from the attacks 
of the French and Indians. Yet it will not be attempted in 
this chapter to do much more than to make mention of the 
more important incidents, leaving the details thereof, and the 
mention of the minor events, to the narrations of the town 
historians in the succeeding chapters of this work. 

The Canadian Invasion of 1690. — The first attempt made to 
invade Canada by the province of New York, jointly with 
the New England colonies, was in the year 1690. 

On the 1st day of May, 1690, the first American Congress 
met at the old fort in the city of New York. In pursuance 
of its resolutions, a joint undertaking of the colonies was 
planned and fitted out for the conquest of Canada. It was to 
consist of two expeditions, — one overland against Montreal, 
and another by sea against Quebec. The command of the 
overland expedition was given to Gen. Fitz-John Winthrop, 
of Connecticut. The province of Massachusetts had, two 
days before the meeting of this Congress, fitted out and sent 
by sea an ex()edition against Port Royal, under Sir William 
Phipps. The fleet cons.isted of eight small ve-ssels, with seven 
or eight hundred men. The fort surrendered with little resist- 
ance, and Sir William took possession of the whole coast, from 
Port Royal to New England. This success by sea greatly 
encouraged the expedition by land undertaken by the United 

On the 14th day of July, Gen. Winthrop, with the New 
England troops, left Hartford, and passing through a virgin 
wilderness, whose shades were broken only by the little settle- 
ments at and near Albany, reached Stillwater, on the Hudson, 
on the 1st day of August. On the day after, he reached 
Sar-agh-to-ga, on the Hudson, where he found Maj. Peter 
Schuyler, with the New York troops, waiting his arrival. 
The expedition went still farther up the Hudson, and crossed 
the " Great Carrying-Place" to Wood Creek, the head-waters 
of Lake Champlain, but went no farther. Like one after 
another of the many expeditions which followed it during the 
long seventy years of forest warfare, this first one was an utter 
failure. The ex|)edition by sea, under Sir William Phipps, 
consisting of thirty vessels, with two thousand men, reached 
Quebec late in the fall, but effected nothing. 

French and Indiatis in the Connecticut Valley. — It was not 
long before Count de Frontcnac adopted retaliatory measures. 
The first demonstration of the war made in Massachusetts was 
an attack by the French and Indians upon Brookfield about 
the 1st of August, 1692. 

On the 6th of June, 1693, the Indians attacked Deerfield, 
and again in October, 1694, in August, 1695, and again in the 
fall of 1696. 

In the summer of 1698 a party of Indians attacked Hatfield 
The treaty of Ryswick, signed between England and France 
on the 20th of September, 1697, brought a short peace to the 
colonies. On the 4th daj' of May, 1702, war was declared 
between England and France. 



The accession of Queen Anne to the throne of England, 
like that of William and Mary, brought war between France 
and England, the consequences of which were a severe visita- 
tion upon the colonies. One of the first places to suffer in 
Massachusetts was Deerfield. 

The Burning of Deerfield. — On the old Indian hunting- 
ground called Pa-cowp-tuck was planted the town of Deer- 
field, the richest of all the valley-towns in heroic historic 
memories. Many a page of her eventful story speaks of the 
blood of fair women and brave men, of the burning dwelling 
and ruined home, and is filled with piteous tales of captive 
'children marching through the frozen wilderness, with touch- 
ing stories of self-sacrifice and deeds of daring valor. 

In the winter of 1704, Hertel de Rouville, with four brothers, 



led a party of French and Indians from Montreal, niimberinii; 
two hundred and fifty, to the valley of the Connecticut in 
Massachusetts. The blow fell upon devoted Deertield, hardly 
yet recovered from the devastating effects of Philip's war. 
De Rouville and his band approached the sleeping hamlet in 
the night, killed sixty of the inluibitants, and carried off a 
hundred prisoners. Among the prisoners was the minister of 
the place, ilr. John Williams. A full account of this dis- 
tressing affair will be found in the history of Deertield, farther 
on in this work, contributed by George Sheldon. 

Tfif Deerfield BcU. — The little Indian village of Ca>i(ih-na- 
waga is situate on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River, 
opposite the village of Lachine, at the head of the Saut St. 
Louis, nine miles above Montreal. 

In the little mission church in Canghnawaga, it is believed, 
^till hangs the bell taken from Deerfield by the French and 
Indians on the 29th day of February, 1704. 

This bell has been called the bell of St. Regis. It has been 
celebrated in song by Mrs. Sigourney, in her poem with that 
title : 

" The red men came in their pride aud wrath, 
Deep vengeance fired their eye; 
And the I>lniid of the white was in their path, 
And the flame from liis roof rose high. 

"Then down from the hurning ehurch they tore 
The hell of trumpet sound, 
And on with their captive train they lK)re 
That wonderful thing toward their native shore, 
The rude Canadian bound." 

But says Dr. Hough: "That the Deerfield bell could not 
have been taken directly to St. Regis is evident from the fact 
that fifty-six years elapsed between its capture and the found- 
ing of St. Regis."* 

In fact, St. Regis was settled by emigrants from Caughna- 
waga in 1760, the main part remaining behind and doubtless 
retaining the bell brought from Deerfield, as the mission of 
the Saut St. Louis continued with no interruption. 

"While on a visit to Caughnawaga, in October, 1852, Dr. 
Hough found a small bell that once had an inscription, but 
was then effaced. 'He also found a direct tradititni in con- 
nection with the bell, and in the hands of the priest a manu- 
script in French, of which he gives the following translation, 
which is inserted here for what it is worth : 


"Father Nicolas, having assemhleil a considerable number of Indians, who 
had been converted to the Catholic faith, had established them in the village 
which now bears the name of the Saut St. Louis, upon the River St. Lawrence. 
The situation of the village is one of the most magnificent which the banks of 
that noble river present*!, and is among the most picturesque which the country 

" The church stands upon a point of land wliich jnt-* int^) the river, and its bell 
sends its echoes over the watere with a clearness which fomis a striking contrast 
with tlie iron bells which were formerly so common in Canarla, while tlie tin- 
covered spire of the church, glittering in the sunlight, with the dense, gloomy 
rt)rests which surround it, gives a character of romance to this little church and 
the legend of its celebrated bell. 

"Father Nicolas, having, with the aid of the Indians, erected a church and a 
belfi*y, in one of his sermons explained to his humble auditoi-s that a bell was 
as necessary to a belfry as a priest to a church, and exhorted them to lay aside 
a portion of the furs which they collected in hunting, until enough was accu- 
mulated to purchase a bell, which could only be procured by sending to France, 
The Indians exhibited an inconceivable ardor in performing this religious duty, 
and the packet of furs was promptly made out and forwarded to Havre, where 
an ecclesiastical personage was delegated to make the purchase. The bell was 
accordingly ordered, and in due time forwarded on bojird the ' Grande Monanpie,' 
which was on the point of sailing for Quebec. It so liappened that, after her 
departure, one of the wars which the French and English then so often waged 
sprung up, and in consequence the 'Grande Monarque' never attained her des- 
tined port, but was taken by a New England privateer, brought into the port of 
Salem, where she waa condemned as a lawful prize, and sold for the benefit of 
her captoi-s. 

"The bell was purchased by the village of Deerfield, ujKtn the Connecticut 
River, for a churcli then aliont being cret.ti'd by the congregation of the cele- 
brated Rev. John Williams. 

* Hongh's History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties, N. T.; page 115. 

" When Father Nicolas received news of the misfortune, he asBomblod his In- 
dians, related ti> them the miserable condition of the bell retained in purgatory 
in thr hands of heretics, and concluded by saying that it would be a most praise- 
worthy enterprise to go and recover it. 

" This appeal had in it as it were a kind of inspiration, and fell upon its hearers 
with all the force of the eloquence of Peter the Hermit in preaching the Cm- 
sad es. 

"The Indians deplored together the misfortune of their bell, which had not 
hitherto received the rite of baptism. They had not the sligbtcst idea of a bell, 
but it was enough for them that Father Nicoliis, who i)reached and said mass for 
them in their church, said that it had some indispensable use in the service of 
the diurch. 

" Their eagerness for the chase was in a moment suspended, and they assem- 
bled together in groups, and, seated on the banks of the river, conversed on the 
unliappy captivity of their bell, and each brought forward his plan, which he 
deemed most likely to succeed in effecting its recovery. Some of their number, 
who ha'l heard a bell, said it could be heard beyond the murmur of the rapid, and 
that its voice wjis more harmonious than that of the sweetest songster of the 
grove heard in the ipiii't stillness of evening, when all nature was liushed in 

"All were melancholy and inspired with a holy enthusiasm ; many fjutted, and 
others performed severe penances to obtain the deliverance of the bell, or the 
palliation of its sufferings. 

"At length the day of its deliverance approached. The Marquis de Vaudrenil, 
Governor of Canadii, resolved to send an expedition against tin; British colonies 
of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The conmiand of this expedition was 
given to Major Hertel dc Rouville, and one of the friends of the Jesuit college 
at Quebec was sent to procure the services of Father Nicolas to accompany the 

" The Indians were immediately assembled in the church. The messenger was 
presented to the congregation, and Father Nicolas, in a solemn discourse, pointed 
to him as worthy of their veneration, from his being the bearer of glail tidings, 
win I was alxmt departing for his return to Quebec to join the war. At the end 
of the discoui-ae the whole audience raised with one voice the ci*y of war, and de- 
manded to be led to the place where their bell waa detained by the heretics. 

"The savages immediately began to paint themselves in the most hideous 
colors, and were animated with a wild enthusiasm \a> join the expedition. 

" It was in the depth of winter wlien they departed to join the army of M. de 
Rouville, at Fort Chambly. Father Nicolas marched at thi'ir head with a 
large banner surmounted by a cross, and, as they departed from their village, 
their wives and little ones, in imitation of women of the crusades, who animated 
the warriors of Godfrey of Bouillon, they sang a sacred hymn which their ven- 
erated priest had selected for the occasion. They arrived at Chambly, after a 
march of great hardship, at the moment the French soldiers were preparing to 
start on their march up Lake Chamidain. 

" The Indians followed in their rear with that pei-severance peculiar to their 
character. In this order the Indians remained, following in silence until they 
reached Lake Champlain, where all the army had been ordered to rendezvous. 
This lake was then frozen and less covered by snow than the shores, and was 
ta.ken as a more convenient route for the army. With their thoughts wrapped 
up in the single contemplation of the unhappy captivity of their bell, the In- 
diana remained taciturn during this pensive march, exhibiting no symptoms of 
fatigue or of fear ; no regret for their families or homes ; and they regarded with 
equal indifference on the one hand the interminable line of forest, sometimes 
black from dense evergreens and in others white with loads of snow, and on 
the other the black lines of rocks and deserts of snow and ice, which bordered 
their path. The French stddiei-s, who suff"ered dreadfully from fatigue and cold, 
regarded with admiration tlie agility and cheertulness witli which the Indians 
seemed to glide over the yielding suri'ace of tlie snow on their snow-shoes. The 
great endurance of the proselytes of Father Nicolas formed a striking contrast 
with the excitability and impatience of the Fiench soldiers. 

"When they arrived at the point where now stands the city of Burlington, 
the order was given for a general halt to make more efficient arrangements for 
penetrating tlirough the forests to Massachusetts. In leaving this point, Dp 
Rouville gave to Father Nicolas the command of his Indian warriors and took 
the lead of his own himself, with compass in hand, to make the most direct 
course for Deerfield. Nothing wliich the troops had thus far suflered could 
compare with what they now lafcdured on this march through a wild country, in 
the midst of deep snow, and with no supplies beyond what they could carry. 

" The French soldiers became impatient, and wasted their breath in cui-ses and 
complaints at the hardships they suffered; but the Indians, animated by a zeal 
which snst^iined them above the sense of hardships, remained steadfast in the 
midst of fatigue which increased with the severity of their sufferiugs. 

"Their custom of travelling in the forest had qualified them for these hard- 
ships, which elicited the curees and execrations of tlieir not less brave but more 
irritalde companions. Some time before the expedition arrived at its destination 
the priest, Nicolas, fell sick from over-exertion. His feet were worn by the labor 
of travelling, and his face torn by the branches which he neglected to watch in 
his eagerness to follow the troops. 

" He felt that he was engaged in a holy expedition, and recalling to mind the 
martyrdom of the saints and the persecutions which they endured, he looked 
forward to the glory reser^-ed for his reward for the sufferings which he might 
encounter in recovering the bell. 

"On the eveiung of February 20th, 1704, the expedition arrived within two 
miles of Deerfield without being discovered. 

"De Rouville here ordered his men to rest and refresh themselves a short 
time, and he here issued his ordei-s for attacking the town. 

"The surface of th^ snow was frozen an 1 cracked under their feet, but De 



Kouville, with a remarkable sagacity, adopted a stratagem to deceive the iuhab- 
itantg and the garrison. 

" He gave ordere tliat in advancing to the assanlt the troops should make fre- 
quent paut^es and then rush forward with rajpidity, tlius iniit;iting tlie noirie made 
in the forest hy the iiTeguhir blowing of the wind among branches laden with 

" Tile alarm was at length given, and a severe combat ensued, wliich resulted 
in the capture of the town and the slaughter or dispereion of the iuhal>itjints and 
the garrison. 

"This occurred in the night, and at da.vbreak the Indians, who had been ex- 
hausted by the lalHjrs of the night, presented themselves before Fatlier Nicolas 
in a btidy aud begged to be led to the bell, that they might by their homage 
prove their veneration for it. Their priot was greatly allected liy this earnest 
request, and De Rouville and others of the French laughed immoderately at it; 
but the priest wished not to discourage them in their wishes, and he obtjiined of 
the French chief permission to send one of his soldiers tj ring it in the hearing 
of the Indians. 

■'The sound of the bell in the stillness of the cold morning, au'l in the midst 
of the calmness of the forest, echoed clear and far, and fell upon the irai-s of the 
simple IndiaTis like the voice of an oracle. They trcmldeil, aud were filled with 
fear aud wonder. 

" The hell was taken from the belfry, and attached to a pole in such a ntauuer 
that four men could carry it, aud in this way it was borne off with tlieir plunder 
in tiinmph, tlie Indians glorying in the deliverance of this miraculous wonder. 

" But they shortly perceived it was too heavy a burden for the rugged route 
they pursued aud the yielding nature of the suows over wIulIi they traveletl. 
Aceorihngly, upon arriving at the point on the lake where they had left it, they 
buried their cherished treasure, witli numy benedictions of Father Nicohis, until 
the period should arrive when they could transport it with more convenience. 

" As soon as the ice had disappeareil, and the bland air of spring had returned, 
giving foliage to the trees and the fragrance and beauty of flowers to the forest, 
Father Nicolas again assembled at the church his Indian conveits to select a 
certain nunilier of the tribe, wdio, with the assistance of a yoke of oxen, should 
go ami bring in the dearly-prized bell. 

" During the interval all the women and children of the Indian village, having 
been informed of the wonderful qualities of the bell, awaited its arrival with 
eagerness and impatience, and regarded its advent as one of those events wdiich 
but rarely mark the progress of ages. As the time apiiroached when the curious 
object should arrive, the.v were assembled on the bank of the river, and dis- 
coursing ui)on the subject, when far off in the stillness of the twilight ttiere was 
heard from the depths of the forest a sound which, from being feeble aud scarcely 
audible, became every moment lotnler. Every one listened, when presently the 
cry arose '/( w the hell ! iiiit Uie heU IT and in a moment after the oxen were seen 
emerging from the wood surrounded by a group of Imlians, aud bearing the 
precious bui-den on a pole between them. They had hung ui)on the beiUu and 
around the bell clusters of wild-flowera and leaves, and the oxen were adorned 
with garlands of flower.s. Thus marching in ti'iuraph. Father Nictpliia entered 
his village more proud of his success and received with more heartfelt joy than 
a Roman general returning in triumph from the conquest of nations. 

" From this triumphal march in the miiist of the quiet of the evening, which 
was broken only by the murmur of the rapid softened by the distance, arose the 
shouts of rejoicing a& the cortege entered the village and the idol bell was de- 
posited in the church. Every one gratified his eager curiosity by examining the 
strange musical metal, and the crusade had been crowned with unqvuililicd 

*' In due time it was raised to its place in the belfry, and has ever since, at the 
accustomed hours, sent its clear tones over the broad bosom of the St. Lawrence 
t«i announce the hour of prayer and lapse of time; anil although its tones are 
shrill and feeble beside its modern companion, they possess a music and call up 
an association which will long give an interest to the church of the Saut St. 
Louis, at the Indian village of Gtiujh'mc-wa-ga" 

Further Depredations. — After the sacking of Deerfield, in 
the month of Fehruary, the Indians hung around the devoted 
settlement during all the spring months, killing several per- 

In July, 1708, Samuel Chapin, of Springfield, was shot by 
the Indians, and severely wounded. 

During the same year Samuel and Joseph Parsons, of 
Northampton, sons of Captain John Parsons, were killed in 
the woods. On the 26th of July that year, seven or eight In- 
dians attacked the house of Lieut. Wright, and killed " old 
Mr. Wright" and two soldiers named Aaron Parsons and 
Barijah Hubbard. They also knocked two children on 
the head, one of whom died, and took Henry Wright's wife 

Expeditions of 1709 and 1711. — In the year 1709 an under- 
taking on a large scale, for the capture of Canada, was 
planned by England. 

A squadron of ships from England was to be sent to Boston 
with five regiments of regular troops, numbering in all three 
thousand men. Massachu.setts and Rhode Island were to raise 
twelve hundred men, and Connecticut, New York, and New 

Jersey fifteen hundred men. This last-mentioned body of 
troops was to proceed up the Hudson to attack Montreal. The 
former, under Col. Vetch, were to join the fleet against it at 

The expedition against Montreal was intrusted to the com- 
mand of Maj.-Gen. Nicholson. Like that under Gen. Fitz- 
John Winthrop, of nineteen years before, it took the route of 
the valley of the Hudson. On his way up the Hudson, Gen. - 
Nicholson built Port Ingoldsby at Stillwater, Port Saratoga 
at the mouth of the Batteukill, Port Nicholson at what is 
now Port Edward, and Port Anne on Wood Creek. Like that 
under Pitz-John Winthrop, it returned with nothing accom- 
plished. In this e-xpcdition the troops suffered greatly from 
sickness, — notably at Port Anne, on Wood Creek, near Lake 
Champlain, where many of them died. The English fleet 
sailed for Portugal instead of New England, and of course 
the expedition by sea against Quebec was abandoned. 

In 1710 an expedition was dispatched Port Royal. 
This met with better success. On the 29th of September the 
garrison capitulated. 

In the j'ear 1711 another attempt was made by England to 
conquer Canada. Again an expedition by land went u]i the 
valley of the Hudson as far as Fort Anne, on Wood Creek. 
This time the fleet sailed from England, but before reaching 
Quebec encountered a storm, and a thousand men perished. 
Hearing of the disaster by sea, the land-forces again retired 
from the valley of the Upper Hudson. While these move- 
ments were going on the Indians still lurked in the Connecti- 
cut Valley, killing persons at Northampton and other places. 
At length, on the 31st day of March, 1713, the peace of 
Utrecht was concluded between England and Prance, and 
Prench-and-Indian hostilities soon ceased in the colonies. 



Fdllirv Sebn/itian Rrrsle. — In the year 1722, while France 
and England were still at peace, war broke out between the 
people of Massachusetts and New Hampshire and the Aben-a- 
quis, an important Indian tribe dwelling to the east and 
north of the Merrimack River, who were the allies of the 
French. The French had before this established a mission 
among the Aben-a-qiiis at Norridgewock, on the upper waters 
of the Kennebeck River, which was at the beginning of the 
war in charge of the Jesuit Father Sebastian Rasle. Father 
Rasle had been in charge of this mission on the Kennebeck 
since the year 1695, and as Norridgewock was the principal 
station from whence war-parties were sent against the English^ 
this has sometimes been called Father Raslc's War. 

Oratj-Lock, of Wo-ro-noak. — But the real leader of the In- 
dians in this war was a sachem called Gray-Lock. Before 
King Philip's war Gray- Lock, — so called from the color of his 
hair, — had lived on the Agawam or Westfield River. After 
the death of King Philip, Gray-Lock fled to the Mohawk 
country. In the year 1723 he lived at his fort on Missisquoi 
Bay, at the northerly end of Lake Champlain. Here Gray- 
Lock had collected a band of trusty warriors, doubtless from 
among his own people, who had fled from the valley of the 
Agawam, squaws planted their corn on the meadows 
near his fort. Prom this secure retreat Gray-Lock made 
numerous hostile excursions against his old neighbors, the 
English settlers of the Connecticut Valley, — an account of 
which will appear in the history of the towns, farther on, — 
the most noted of which were his raids on Northfleld on the 
13th of August, 1723, and on the 18th of June, 1724. 

Early in the year 1724, Fort Deummer was built at what is 
now Brattleboro', Vt., by Capt. Kellogg, and when completed 
garrisoned by Capt. Timothy Dwight and fifty-five men.* 

The forts at Northfield and Deerfield were garrisoned, 

*For a nnisler-rol! of Oapt. Dwight's company, see Temple ami Sheldon's 
History of Northfleld, p. 201. 



and the inhabitants were kept in continual alarm. In the 
summer of 1724 an expedition was fitted out by the English 
against the Aben-a-quis, consisting of two hundred and eight 
men under command of Capts. Moulton, Harmon, Bourne, 
and Bane; Ascending the Kennebeck River, the English 
readied Ntirridgewock on the 23d of August, and, taking the 
village by surprise, killed a large number of its inhabitants, 
among whom was Father Kasle. 

After prowling around the English settlements all summer, 
Gray-Lock returned to his fort at Missisquoi in the autumn. 
Early in 1725, Capt. Benj. "Wright raised a company of men, 
and marched from Northlield to attack Gray-Lock in his 
stronghold on Lake Champlain, but, failing to reach his des- 
tination, early abandoned the enterprise, and returned with- 
out accomplishing his object.* 

Among the most notable events of the war was Capt. John 
Lovewell's expedition to the Indian country in the spring of 
1725, and his battle with Paugus on the 8th of May at Frye- 

A treaty of peace was signed with the Eastern Indians at 
Boston, Dee. 15, 1725, which was ratified at Falmouth on 
the 5th of August, 1726.t The highest mountain in Massa- 
chusetts still bears the name of Gray-Lock, the last of the 



n the 20th of March, 1744, war again broke out between 
England and France. 

At this time Loui.sburg, on Cape Breton, was the strong- 
hold of the Frencli in the east, and Governor Shirley planned 
an expedition, sent out by the province of Massachusetts, for 
its capture. The expedition was commanded by Sir William 
Pepperell, and he was joined by a British fleet under com- 
mand of Sir Peter Warren, commodore. On the 16th of June 
Louisbiirg surrendered to the combined forces of Pepperell 
and Warren. Its capture " filled Europe with astonishment 
and America with joy." In this alfair the Massachusetts 
troops won high honor. 

Fort MnfssachusieUit. — Upon the breaking out of this war 
the Massacliusetts General Court resolved upon the erection 
of a line of forts to protect her northwestern frontier. Ac- 
cordingly, in the year 1744, a fort was built at Hoosac, now 
Adams, and named Fort Massachusetts ; one in the present 
town of Heath, called Fort Shirley ; and another in the town 
of Rowe, which was named Fort Pelham. There was also a 
small fort erected at Blandford, in the eastern part of what 
is now Hampden County. 

At this time. Col. John Stoddard, of Northampton, of the 
Hampshire County regiment, was chief in command of the 
provincial forces in Western Massachusetts, while Capt. Eph- 
raim Williams had the immediate supervision of the western 
forts, with his headquarters at Fort Massachusetts. 

No attacks of importance took place in Western Massacliu- 
setts until the month of August, in the year 1746. On the 
26th of that month. Fort Massachusetts was invested by a 
French-and-Indian force numbering from eight to nine hun- 
dred, under command of the Marquis deVaudreuil. There 
were but twenty-two men at the time in the fort, under com- 
mand of Sergt. John Hawks. For t%venty-eight hours the 
brave little garrison held out against the enemy, in hopes of 
succor. But no help came, and Sergt. Hawks surrendered. 

On the 24th, fifty of Vaudreuil's Indians left the main body 
and paid another hostile visit to the scene of their old depre- 
dations in Dcerfield. During this raid, Samuel Allen, Adon- 
ijah Gillet, and Oliver Amsden were killed, and a boy, Samuel 
Allen, Jr., taken prisoner. 

* Capt. Wright's journal is given entire in Temple and Sheldon's Histoi-y of 
Northfield, p. 2ln. 

fJ't)!- II full account t)f tliis war, sec Temple and Sheldon's History of Nortli- 
field, pp. 188 to 21.0. 

In May, 1748, Noah Pixley, of Southampton, was killed 
by the Indians. At this time Col. Stoddard died, while in 
attendance at the General Court at Boston, and Col. Israel 
Williams, of Hatfield, succeeded to the command in Western 
Massachusetts. On the 2d day of August a body of two hun- 
dred Indians made an attack upon Fort Massachusetts. At 
the time the fort was garrisoned by one hundred men, under 
Capt. (afterward Col.) Epliraini Williams. After a spirited 
assault of some two hours' duration, the Indians abandoned 
the attempt upon the fort, and retreated, carrying with tliem 
their dead and wounded. 

The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, signed on the 7th of Octo- 
ber, 1748, put an end to the war. 



We now come to the stirring events of the last French-and- 
Indian war. During the continuance of its active movements 
in the field, from 1755 to 1759, great armies marched through 
the old northern war-paths of the wilderness, dyeing its streams 
with blood and filling its wild meadows with thousands of 
nameless new-made graves. At its close the sceptre of the 
French kings over the valley of the St. Lawrence dropped from 
their hands forever. 

The Hampshire County Regiment, under Col. Epliraini Wil- 
hams, at Lake George in 1755. — In the summer of 1755 a 
regiment was raised in Hampshire County to accompany the 
expedition of that year against Crown Point commanded by 
Col. (afterward Sir) William Johnson. The command of 
this Hampshire County regiment was given by Governor 
Shirley to Col. Ephraini Williams, the hero of Fort Massa- 
chusetts. In the latter part of August the English forces 
unjer Col. Johnson had reached the foot of Lake George, and 
were encamped there awaiting the construction of boats to 
transport them to Crown Point, when, on the 8th day of Sep- 
tember, they were unexpectedly attacked by the French. 
Baron Dieskau, in command of the French forces, had ad- 
vanced the evening before, with a large force of French regu- 
lars,- Canadians, and Indians, to within two miles of Fort 
Edward, on the Hudson, — then called Fort Lyman, — with 
the intention of attacking that place. But his Indians were 
afraid of the cannon of the fort, and he turned toward 
Lake George to attack Col. Johnson's forces in the rear. 
Col. Johnson, hearing of the movement of the French on 
Fort Edward, early on the morning of the 8th sent Col. 
Williams, at the head of a thousand men and two hundred 
Mohawks, led bj' their chief, King Hendrick, to the relief 
of its garrison, not knowing that Dieskau had changed his 
course. Dieskau, hearing of the approach of Col. Williams, 
formed his men into an ambuscade at the distance of three 
and a half miles from the English camp. Williams, at the 
head of his men, led by the Mohawks, marched unsuspectingly 
into the jaws of death. Upon entering the ambuscade the 
English received a terrible fire. Col. Williams was soon 
killed, and King Hendrick mortally wounded. Upon the 
death of their commander the English fled in confusion to the 
camp on Lake George. The French followed, and fiercely 
attacked the English camp. After a four hours' fight the 
French were repulsed with great loss, leaving their com- 
mander, the Baron Dieskau, wounded and a prisoner in the 
liands of the English. 

Tlie loss in both engagements was, on the English side, two 
hundred and sixteen killed and ninety-six wounded. The 
Hampshire County regiment suffered most severely of all. 
Forty-six were killed and twenty-four wounded. 

Besides Col. Williams, the oiEcers of this regiment killed 
were Maj. Noah Ashley; Capts. Moses Porter, Jonathan 
Ingersol, and Elisha Hawley ; Lieuts. Daniel Pomeroy, Simon 
Cobb, and Nathaniel Burt; and Ensigns John Stratton and 
Reuben Wait. 



The news of this victory was received with great joy by all 
the colonies, but it brought sorrow into many a home in the 
valley of the Connecticut in Massachusetts. One-fourth of 
the slain were from Hampshire County. The death of Col. 
Williams was especially lamented. A monument now marks 
the spot where he fell on the field of that "bloody morning 
scout," but his most enduring monument is the college he 
founded, which bears his name, and is situated near the site of 
his beloved Fort Massachusetts. 

The war moved sullenly on for four years more, until Que- 
bec fell into the hands of the victorious Wolfe. But to follow 
its long train of events would not be within the scope of this 
work. As late as the month of March, 1758, the Indians from 
time to time committed depredations in the valley of the 
Connecticut, but at lengtli peace came to the inhabitants of 
the war-worn English colonies. 

The war was virtually ended in 1759, but the peace of 
Paris was not concluded until the 7th day of February, 1763. 

For one hundred and twenty years the people of the Connecti- 
cut Valley had sown in terror for the Indian to reap in blood. 



TiiK war of the Revolution was tlie final result, the sure 
outcome, of the principles of liberty and equality held by the 
Pilgrim and Puritan Fathers from the beginning. Its seed 
germinated in the little Separatist congregation which met, 
in l(i07, at Scrooby Manor, in Lincolnshire, England. 

The tender plant was carried with weary feet to Holland, 
brought to America in the " Mayflower," and planted amid 
sacrifice and suffering in the rugged soil of New England. 
Our republic is the bright consummate flower. 

From the beginning the New England people were restive 
under royal rule. Both the Massachusetts and Plymouth 
colonies, a hundred years before the Revolutionary war 
broke out, in their Fundamentals and Bills of Rights set 
forth in the clearest terms the principle of no taxation with- 
out representation. 

This principle has always been one of the great bulwarks of 
English libert}', and its violation led to the English Revolu- 
tion of 1688. Hardly were the long and bloody Indian wars 
over, hardly had the people of the colonies begun to settle 
down in safety in their no longer imperiled homes and to 
profit by the arts of peace, before a new danger menaced 
them. The blessings of peace had been bought at the ex- 
pense of an enormous waste of treasure, and at the close of 
the war the mother-country found herself burdened with a 
debt which she could scarcely hope to pay. In her distress, 
she determined to tax the colonies, and in order to do this 
Parliament assumed to exercise the most arbitrary power over 

From the year 1764 — the very next year after the peace of 
Paris — to the year 1775, the British Parliament, in many of- 
fensive and arbitrary ways, directed its eftorts to the end of 
depriving the provinces of their liberties, and of forcing them 
to contribute to the revenues of the British crown. 

The men who at this time managed the jjolitical affairs of 
England seemed to lack both the wi.sdom and the moderation 
whijh could alone secure to her the benefit of her triumphs. 
They were ignorant of the geography of the country, as well 
as of the character of its residents. They were neither fa- 
miliar with the history of the country, nor did they compre- 
hend the opinions which prevailed there. On the other hand, 
the people of the colonies demanded, not as a favor, but as a 

right, equality with their fellow-subjects. As a consequence 
such offensive and arbitrary measures as tliose before mentioned 
met with a most spirited and determined resistance. 

As early as April 5, 1764, what is known as the "Sugar 
Act" was passed by Parliament. This act laid a duty upon 
many articles that were imported into the colonies; among 
others, upon all sugars so imported. This was considered by 
the northern colonies as a sacrifice of their interests to the 
superior interest in Parliament of the West Indies. 

But this was followed by a still more obnoxious measure. 
On the 22d day of March, 1765, the Stamp Act, having before 
received the assent of both houses of Parliament, received 
the royal signature. This measure laid the foundation of the 
American Revolution. 

To detail the events which followed is hardly within the 
scope of this work. 

" The events," says Dr. Holland, " which followed the arbi- 
trar3' measures of Governor Bernard, the arrival of military 
force, the misrepresentation of the colonists abroad, the re- 
fusal to hear their petitions, the popular combinations against 
importing British goods, the struggle between patriotism and 
governmental policy in the British Parliament, the ever- 
memorable and ever-glorious protests against oppression by 
the General Assembh' of the colony, the collisions of the sol- 
diery with the people of Boston, the firm and persistent oppo- 
sition to the usurpations of chartered rights, the traitorous con- 
duct of the Governor in his capacity as the tool of the British 
ministry, the destruction of the tea in the harbor of Boston, 
the holding of county meetings and conventions, the insti- 
tution of committees of safety and correspondence, — all these 
events, in which civil liberty and national glory were taking 
root, prepared the way for the first demonstration, which 
sealed in blood, on the soil of Massachusetts, the doom of 
British rule in the American colonies."* 

In this great struggle the county of Hampshire was in no 
degree behind her sister counties in the eastern part of the 
State in manifesting her determination to defend the rights of 
the colonies to the last extremity. The records of nearly every 
town in the county tell of meetings held and of measures de- 
vised to assist and co-operate with their brethren of the east 
and of the other provinces. In the histories of the towns 
which follow, the reader will find copies of many of these 
records. The resolutions adopted by Northampton and 
Springfield only are given here, as well representing the 
general tenor of them all. 



"Dec. 2G, 1774. — The inhabitants met in pui"suanee t() a<y<^nrnment, and chose 
a committee of twelve persons to receive, preserve, & convey snirli articli-s as 
shall lie contrihnteil hy the Inhabitants of this town for the relief of their sllf- 
feiing brethren in the Towns of Boston and Ciiarlestown." 

" March 4, mi). — At this meetiny: a (Xjnimittee of Correspondence, Inspection, 
and Safety wjus chosen, conststing of fifteen pei-sons." 

"Oct. :i, 1770. — The question at this meeting wsls put. Whether the Town will 
give their Consent that the present House of Representatives of the State of the 
Massachusetts Bay in New Knglaud,ttigether with the Council (if they consent), 
in one body with the House, and by equal voice, should consult, agree on, and 
enact such a Constitution & Form of Government for this SUlte as the said House 
of Representatives and Council as aforesaid on the fullest and most niiitnre Delil)- 
eration shall judge will most conduce to the Safety, peace, and Happiness of this 
StJite in all after succession and generations; .and it piLssed in the affirmative. 

" Tlie (Question was then jint. Whether the Town would direct that the same 
be made Pnblick for the Inspection and perusal of the Inhabitants before the 
ratification thereof by the Assembly; and it passed in the attirnnltive." 


" March 3, 1777. — The Town entered upon the consideration of the matter 
which hail been debated, viz.: wluxt methods they would take to encourage and 
facilitate the raising of this Town's prolKirtion of men for the Continental Army, 
and pa.ssed the following votes thereon, viz. : 

" That those pereona that shall now engage in the service aforesaid, who be- 

« Holland's History of Western Mass., Vol. I., p. Sai. 



longed to Capt. Alliii's and Capt. Chapin's Company tliG last year, lK>tIi officei-s 
and privates, sliall have full conipensatitui for all losses by them suBtiiined in 
Cloaths aii<l other articles, when such losses were iinavoidalilo, and not through 
the negligence of those who sustained them. 

*' And as u further encouragement to them, or any other able-bodied men be- 
longing to tliis town wlio will engage in the said service, 

"The t<.>wn Voted that they and each of them whall receive from the Inhab- 
itants of the Town of Northam]tton the sum of fifteen pounds, which sum shall 
be paid ta them several times, viz.: namely, five pounils before they shall march 
to join the said Army, and five pounds more shall be paid to them or to their 
Order in the month of April, 1778, and the other five pounds in the month of 
April, 177!).* And whereas, it was represented to the Town tliat some of the in- 
habitants have liereti.>fore failed of doing their proportion in promoting the 
publick cause, 

" The T(»wn voted that a large Committee should be appointed to examine and 
consider what pei>ions in ttic Town have been so delinquent, and that the said 
Committee make out a list of such pei-sons, with the sums affixed to their re- 
spective names which they judge it will be necessary for them to advance, in 
order t^) their iloing their full proportion with the other inhabitants of this town, 
and that those who are found delinquent as aforesaid, shall bo required to pay 
the sum so affixed to their names, to such persons as the Town shall appoint to 
collect tlie same. 

"The Town also voted that the sum of seventy pounds now in the hands of 
the Town Treasurer, being the Fines nf Several i)er8uns who refused tu marcli 
in the last Draughts of the Militiii, be apjdyed to the payment of the l>ounty 
aforesaid, and that what further sums shall be necessary ti» make up the losses 
and pay the Bounty as aforesaid, shall bo Assessed upon tlui Polls and Estiites of 
the Inbabitant.s nf this Town at such time as the Town shall order. 

"April 15, 1777, voted to increase the bounty to 'M pounds." 


"".,„„,,„„-„,..„.„.c:_.. ..„„.,„„ 

that Dea. Nathaniel Brewer, Capt. Geo. Pynchon, Doct. Charles Pynchon, Capt. 
Simon Colton, Moses Field, Jonathan Hale, Jun., Ensign Pliineas Chapin, James 
Sikes, Daniel Harris, Be of this Committee, and that they take into cxjusideration 
the two hist articles contained in the Warrant,! '"■'"^ make report at ye a^journ- 
ment of this meeting." 


"July 12, 1774. — The Report of the Committee appointed by the Town at the 
last meeting, to take into Consideration the two last Articles contained in the 
Warrant for calling the Meeting, was at this Meeting presented, read, and con- 
sidered, and unanimously voted and accepted, which report is as follows, viz.: 

"This Town, taking into serious and deliberate consideration Hie present dan- 
gerous situation of this Province, came into the following vote, viz.: 

" Ist. That by the Royal Charter of King William and Queen Mary, which we 
have possessed for near a Centur}*, and which has from time to time been recog- 
nized both by Kings and Parliament, we are Intitled to and ought forever to 
enjoy all the Liberties and Immunities of any of his Majestie's subjecte within 
any of his Dominions, Some of the most essential of which are, that they shall 
not be taxed, but with their own consent, given in Pereon or by their Represen- 
tatives, nor Disseized of their Property, or Condemned to any Penalties but by 
Judgement of good and Lawfull men of the vicinage, &c. 

"2ndly. That the Charters of the Collonies ought to be held sacred, and every 
Infraction upon them carefully avoided, as tending to Interrupt that Harmony 
between the Collonies and the Parent State which is so essential to the happiness 
of both. 

"3dly. That though Great Deference & Respect is due to the wisdom of the 
British Parliament, yet we can't consider ourselves as enjoying the liberties and 
Immunities of natural, fi-eelx)rn subjects of the King if we are lyable to be 
taxed without representation or to be disseized of our Property, or any way pun- 
ished witliout the Judgement of our Peers. Nor do we apprehend that we have 
so much as a Virtual representation in a Legislature which is not itself Subject 
to those Laws which it imposes upon us. 

"4thly. That the later Boston Port Act, which inflicts a most severe punishment 
iipon that town (ami in it* operations upon alnn'xst the wlude continent) fur de- 
struction made of the property of some British nienbants by persons uidtnowii, 
— and that before any demand of compensation wa-s nnule or any citation sent to 
the town to answer for itself, — is a step that ought to alarm us and fill us with 
deep concern. 

"Sthly. That the proposecl new System of Ciovernment, virtually annihilating 
our most essential Charter Rights, added to the Boston Port Act, gives us such 
apprehension of the designs of administration against our Liberties as we have 
never before allowed ourselves to entertain. 

" 6thiy. Impressed with just concern for our privileges, and at the .same time 
governed by sentiments of Loyalty to our Sovereign and AVith warm afl^ection for 
our Mother Country, we ardently wish that all the Collonys and evei-y Individ- 
ual in them may unite in some prudint, peaceful, constitutional measure for the 

* Voted, March 12, 1777, to pay the fifteen pounds before the soldier marched. 

f The two last articles in the warrant were as follows : 

"6th. To Desire the Clerk of said Town to Communicate tii the Tnwn all the 
letters he has Rec'd from the Town of Boston, that they may aud act 

" 7thly. To pass any Resolves respecting the said letters or any matters therein 
contained, and choose any Committee tor that pui'pose, and pass all proper vote 

Redress of our Grievances, the Securities of our Liberties, & the ResWration of 
union and mutual Confidence between Great Britain & the Collonies. 

" 7thly. That it is the unqiiestionable Right, so we esteem it, the indispensible 
duty, of the several Collonies in this day to correspond together and act in Con- 
cert, and we wait with patience for the result of the approaching Continental 

" Hoping that, Tnfluence<l by Wisdom from above, they will recommend those 
measures which shall be Imth unoffensive in their nature and salutary in their 
tendency. And as it appears to us that a discontinuance of Trade and Commerce 
with Great Britain might ser\'e the Interest of the Country in divers Respects, 
so, should any well-digested, prudently-regulated, and practicable plan for this 
end be proposed, we shall readily accede to it, & afford our aid for the Relief of 
those who may thereby be deprived of ye means of substance as well as con- 
tribute to the Succour of our Brethren already Suffering in their Country's Cause. 

"8thly. In the mean time we think it our duty to express our utter abhor- 
rence of all such resolves and measures as are unnecessarily affrontive to the 
British Parliament, and carry an air of Insult upon tliat Respectable Body, as 
well as all Tumults and Riots among ourselves, Insults upon men's persons, and 
luvations of their properties. We are unanimously resolved to discountenance 
everything of this kind, and to yield and promote due obedience to his Majesty's 
Government in this Province, To treat his Majesty's Representatives with all 
due respect, To aid Inferior Magistrates in the Regular Constitutional Execu- 
tion of the Good Laws we arc under, and to sujiport, as far as we are able, their 
Just Influence in their Respective ottices. And we hope those Gentlemen un- 
biiised by pereonal Interest, and greatfully remembering that the favor of the 
People first raised them to view, and recommended to tliem the Honoure they 
sustjiin, will readily unite with us in all reasonable and Constitutional means of 
Redress. And though wo will injure no man in his pereon or property fiir a 
diversity of opinion, Yet we shall not think ourselves Iwund to continue our 
favore ti any Gentlemen who, lost to the sentiments of Gratitude A Humanity, 
can coolly saciifiee his Country's liberties to bis own private emolument. 

" The foregoing Votes were passed in a full Town-Meeting by a large Majority." 


" July 12, 1774. — This meeting adjourned to July 26, 1774, at which meeting it 
was * Voted, Tliat the Town Clerk be directed to Transmit a copy to the Town 
Clerk of Boston of the Resolves Passed at the meeting July 12, 1774.'" 


" Sept. 20, 1774.— Voted, That Mr. James Sikes, Lt Luke Bliss, Jomithan Hale, 
Jun"", Dan Burt (lid), Edward Cliapin, Phincas Chapin, William Pynchon, Jun', 
be a Committee to prepare the fonn of an Association. Voted, jus the opiniim 
of this Town, that thero be County Congress; in case there should be one, the 
following pei-sons were chosen Delegates for that purpose, viz., Doct Charles 
Pynchon, Luke Bliss, Jonathan Hale, Jun^ 

"Voted, That, as the sense of this town, that a Congress be held at North- 
ampton on Thui-sday, 22d day of September, Inst., by the several towns and Dis- 
trict.s in this County, if judged best, and that the Committee of Correspondence 
acquaint the said towns therewith. 

" Voteii, Tlnit Dr. Charles Pynchon, Luke Bliss, Thos. Stebbins, Williston, 
Scth Stover, Coburn, Samuel Coltjn, Phineas Chapin, Edward Chapin, and Jona- 
than Bliss be a Committee to procure the necessaries and Subsistence for the 
Industiious Poor in Boston. 

"Voted, To Choose a Committee t^) Correspond with the Neighboring Towns 
in the County of Hampshire, and that this Committee consist of Nine Pei-sons 
viz.. Dr. Charles Pynchon, Capt. Geo. Pynchon, James Sikes, Nathaniel Brown, 
John Hale, & William Pynchon, Jun'." 

On the 22d and 23d days of September, 1774, a convention ' 
of committees from every town in Hiimpshire County, except 
Charlemont and South wick, was held at Northampton. Tim- 
othy Banielson, of Brimfield, was Chairman, and Ebenczer 
Hunt, Jr., of Northampton, Clerk. 

A series of resolutions was adopted, in substance similar to 
the town resolutions copied above. 



As none of the leading events of the Revolutionary war 
occurred in Hampshire County, it is not within the scope of 
this work to notice them here. The limited space allotted to 
us in this chapter cannot be used to better purpose than to 
give the names of the " Mituite-Men" of old Hampshire. 
These papers, filed away in the archives of the State, consti- 
tute her true rolls of honor. On them are recorded the names 
of the brave men who first nobly stepped forth at the call of 
their country : 

" They left the plowshare in the mould, 
Their flocks and hearths without a fold. 

And mustered in their simple dress, 
For wrongs to seek a stern redress." 



For rolls of mihute-men not given below, the reader is re- 
ferred to the histories of the several towns in this volume. 


" A Minute Koll of the Company under the Command of 
Capt. Eeuben Dickinson, in Col. Woodbridge's Regt: 

"Captain, Keuben Dickinson. 

" Lieutenant, Zacheus Crocker. 

" Second Lieutenant, Joseph Dickinson. 

" Sergeants, Daniel Shay, Abraham Cutter, Isaac Marshall, 
Ezra Wood. 

"Corporals, Solomon Comings, Ebenezer Estman, Adam 
Eice, Jonathan Dickin.«on. 

"Drummer, John Church. 

" Privates, Clement Mar.shal, Ebenezer Kellogg, John Hod- 
son, John Ingram, Reuben Dickinson, Thos, Norton, John 
Estman, Ebenezer Mattoon, John Dickinson, Luke Coifin, 
Stephen Smith, Waitstill Dickinson, Eldad Moody, Timothy 
Green, Azariah Dickinson, Ebenezer Dickinson, Elihu Dick- 
inson, Martin Smith, Keuben Smith, Aaron Osgood, John 
Wetherbee, Saml. Eanger, John Witt, Abial Blanchard, 
Archelos Leonard, Benj. Barrows, Jonathan Farce, Saml. 
Totman, David Bangs, Abel Woods, George Bridge, Eph- 
raim Barrows, Danil Bradley, Wm. Field, Jon'n Bartlett, 
Peter Stanton, Jonathan Gilbert, Uriah Montagues, Jonathan 
Graves, Phineas Clary, John Keet, Joseph Smith, Elijah 
Prout, Simeon Smith, William May, Ambrose Williams, 
Saml. Backman, Silas Ball."* 


" An Abstract of Ely Parker, first lieutenant of the Minute- 
Men who went to Cambridge on the Alarm of the 19th of 
April, 1775: 

"First Lieutenant, Ely Parker. 

" Sergeant, Thomas Bascom. 

" Privates, Joel Billings, Thomas Hastings, Gideon Dicken- 
son, John Ingram, Noah Smith, Elijah Hastings, Eeubin 
Cowles, Enos Coleman, Elijah Elmore, John Lee." 


" James Hendrick Roll and account of the men that raarcht 
under his command on April 20, 1775, to Cambridge, on the 
Alarm made at Lexington, on the 19th of said month, by the 
ministerial Buchers. Said James Hendrick was chosen 2nd 
Lieut, in Capt. Thomas Foster's company of Matrossers, in 
Col. Ruggles Woodbridge's Regt., belonging to Hampshire 
County : 

" Privates, James Hendrick, Medad Dickinson, Ebenezer 
Petty, Simon Rood, John Brooks, Oliver Marsh. 

" Lieut. Noah Dickerson Roll for the Militia of Amherst 
in the Co. of Hamp.shire, that went down to Cambridge in 
the time of the Alarm made on tiie 19th of Apl., 1775, & 
under his command : 

" Lieutenant, Noah Dickerson. 

"Sergeants, Henry Franklin, David Blodgett, Oliver Clapp, 
Elijah Dickinson, Amasa Allen, Lem. Mood}-. 

"Corporal, Joel Moody. 

" Privates, Stephen Cole, Ezekiel Smith, Noah Dickin- 
son, Hezekiah Cole, Jacob Warner, Elihu Hubbard, Zach. 


" A Mustor-roll of Lieutenant Bartlett Company from the 
22nd day of Apl. to the 26th, both days inclusive: 

"Lieutenant, Saml. Bartlett. 

" Ensign, Saml. Allen. 

" Sergeants, Ephraim Jennings, Zebulon Bryant. 

" Privates, Enoch Allen, Jam'' Bloodworth, Joseph Baker, 
Amos Crittenden, Elias Clarke, Anthony Jones, David Kaw, 
Nathan Lyon, Joseph Lillie, Thomas Mclntier, Benjamin 
Phillips, Nath. Sprague, Eoland Sears, Daniel Shaw, Jasher 

* Vol. XII. Revolutionary Papers, State Archives. 

Taylor, Sam. Washburn, Isaiah Washburn, Jonathan Yea- 


"A Muster-role of Capt. Jonathan Bardwell's Company of 
Minet-Men, in Col. Jonathan AVarrcn's Eegt. Men's names 
marched on ye 20th Apl., 1775, to Cambridge: 

"Captain, Jonathan Bardwell. 

"First Lieutenant, Aaron Phelps. 

"Second Lieutenant, Sylvanus Howe. 

"Sergeants, Moses Howe, Asa Shumway, Abner Eddy, 
Thomas Lawrence. 

"Corporals, Elijah Thayer, Philip Bartlett, Simeon Bard- 
well, Joseph Billings. 

"Drummer, Elijah Howe. 

" Privates, Stephen Ayres, Solomon Bartlett, John Bard- 
well, Abner Coley, Calvin Chapin, Matthew Clark, Caleb 
Dagg, Abijah Gale, John Howard, Jetfe Harward, Salmon 
Kentfield, Calvin Kinsley, James McGardner, David Pratt, 
Joseph Kernsdale, Solomon Shumway, Nathan Shumway, 
Jonathan Smith, Enoch Thair, Asa Sholbrooks, Joseph Wil- 
liams, Obadiah Ward, Boardman Williams." 


" Muster-roll of the Company that marched on the 20th of 
April, under the Command of Capt. John Cowles, in Col. 
Woodbridge's Regt. : 

" Captain, John Cowles. 

" First Lieutenant, Asahel Smith. 

" Second Lieutenant, Eleazer Warner. 

" Sergeants, James Walker, Joseph Law, Gideon Wannum, 
Elijah Kent. 

" Corporals, David Town, John Preston, Elijah Chapin, Asa 

" Privates, Dea. Joseph Smith, Elijah Dwight, Wm. Ken- 
field, Gideon Stebbins, Phineas Lee, Moses Cowles, Asa 
Newton, Micah Pratt, Thaddeus Fairfield, Matthew Moody, 
David Worthington, Elisha Root, Joseph Bardwell, Martin 
Bardwell, William Bliss, Solomon Hannum, Sam'l Clark, 
Amasa Town, Jon. Kenfield, David Kenfield, Calvin Chapin, 
David Bridges, Philip Carrier, Israel Cowls, Joseph Hulit, 
Solomon Smith, Levi Shumway, Eli.sha Warner, Benj. Whit- 
ney, David Church, Eliphalet Green, Jno. Lane, Ivory Witt, 
Fenamor Taylor, Benj. Witt, Eben'' Taylor, Ezekl. Barthon, 
Abiather Vinton, Jesse Gilbert, David Patrick, James Gideon, 
James Preston, Sam'l Dickinson, Aaron Ayres, Rob't Owens, 
Luther Ranger, Eleazer Ayres, Aaron Bartlett, Plyny 


" Muster-roll of the Minute-men under Capt. John Fergu- 
son in Col. Timothy Danielson's Regt., Apl. 20, 1775: 
" Captain, John Ferguson. J 
"First Lieutenant, David Hamilton. | 
" Second Lieutenant, Silas Noble.J 
"Sergeants, James Wiett,}: James Stewart. J 
" Privates, Moses Kqt,X George Black, j; Timothy Blair, :j: 
Ashable Black, Joseph Baird,! John Crook, J Cornelius Coch- 
ran,]: Solomon Ferguson, J Samuel Hamilton, J Oliver Knox, J 
John Knox, J James Knox, J David Kennedy, J John Ken- 
nedy, J William Mitchell,! Alexander Morgan, J John Pro- 
ven, J Matthew Proven, J Jehiel Stewart, J Spence Stewart, J 
John Savage, J Thomas Smith, J: John Wheeler,J William 
More,^ David Blair, § Jonathan Henry, ^ John Lucore,§ 
Thomas Elder, ^ Reuben Boies, J Robert Blair, | Joel Boies. J" 


" A Muster-roll made up by Capt. James Sherman in Col. 
Pynchon's Regt., who marched on the Alarm of the 19th 
Apl., 1775: 

t Vol. II., page 207. 

X Served one week and three days. 

I SerA'ed two weeks and six days. 



"Captain, James Sherman. 

"First Lieutenant, Phineas Sherman. 

"Second Lieutenant, Jo" Thomson. 

" Sergeants, John Carpenter, James Thomson. 

"Privates, Benjamin Trash, David Jones, Benj. Nelson, 
The' McCluer, Aaron Lumbard, Judah Terry, Solomon 
Janes, Abel Burt, Josiah Hill, Isaac Draper, Jo" Janes, 
Eben' Wood, Josh Witham, Calvin Davidson, Nat. Collins, 
Gershom "Whitney, Sam Andrews, Nat Danielson, Israel 
Janes, Abrani Sherman, John Thom.son, Jonas Haynes, 
Aaron Charles, Benj. Morgan, Eliph' Janes, William Trash, 
Lemuel Sherman, Jo". Hubbard, Joseph Morgan, Eph Bond, 
Jo° Brown, Barth" Brown, George Shaw, George Sherman, 
John Blashfield, Abner Carpenter, Wm. Ha^ynes, Abner 3Iis- 
hill, James Sheman, Jr., Oliver Mason, Zadoek Nichols, 
Joseph Browning, Azarah Cooley. " 


"A Muster-roll of the Minute-Men under the command of 
Capt. David Shephard in Col. Seth Pomeroy's Kgt., who 
marcht down to Cambridge in the Alarm, Apl., 1775 : 

" Captain, David Shephard. 

" Second Lieutenant, James Clark. 

" Sergeants, Ger.shom Rust, John Mclntire. 

" Fifer, Russell Dewey. 

" Privates, George Williams, Nathan Wright, Benj. Wright, 
Edwd. Wright, Jr., John Blair, Asa Gould, Benj. Ed.son, 
James Geers, Archelaus Anderson." 


" A Muster-roll of the Minute Company commanded by 
Robert Oliver in ye Regt. Commanded by Saml. Williams, 
who marched for the relief of the Country, April ye 22d, 1775 : 

" Captain, Robert Oliver. 

"Lieutenant, Asahel Gunn. 

"Second Lieutenant, Saml. Weels. 

"Clerk, Alexander Oliver. 

"Sergeants, Abel Dunsmore, Jonathan Whitney, David 

" Corporals, Ezra Sniead, Gersham Farnsworth, Aber Pack- 
ard, Kufus Smith. 

"Privates, John Goodcoit, Moloch Maynard, James Gil- 
more, Matthew Graves, Tho^ Nutting, Jonathan Dunham, 
Wra. Farnsworth, Eben"' Allen, Daniel Newhall, Jabez 
Newhall, Daniel Davison, Caleb Beals, Aaron How, Benj. 
Whitney, Eben' Hart, John Herbert, Sherebiah Lee, Stephen 
Temple, Joseph Rice, Jesse Harrington, Moses Snow, Isaiah 
Harton, Lamberton Cooper, John Thwing, Oliver Whitmore, 
Robert Hamilton, Elijah Smith, Ebenezer Groves, Samuel 
Gunn, Samuel Taylor, Ebenezer Marsh, Caleb Benjamin, 
Elihu Clapp, Ira Leat, Nathan'l Taylor, Joshua Graves, 
Joel Adams, Samuel Larance, Sylvanus Lartel, Daniel Ba- 
kers, Simeon Cox." 


" A Muster-roll of the Minute-Men Company that marched 
from Granville ye 29th Apl., 1775: 

" Captain, Stebbins Ball.* 

" First Lieutenant, Lem'l Bancroft.* 

"Second Lieutenant, Jesse Munson.f 

"Sergeants, John Stiles, f Benjamin Stow,* Elijah Stiles, f 
Joel Bancroft.* 

"Corporals, Ebenezer Smith,f Jacob Bates,* John Corn- 
well,* Jonathan Torbs.* 

"Fifer, Mirrick Hitchcock.* 

" Privates, John Wright, f Asher Granger,! Ebenezer Cur- 
tiss,! Linus Bates,f Lem'l Hanes,| David Rose,f Reuben 
Hickcox,f Ebenezer B. Gould,* Ebenezer Barlow,* Elijah 
Rose,* Gad Rose,* Peter Gibbons,* Amos Clark,* Jesse Mil- 
ler,* Ru.ssel Rose,* Albert Black,* Fenner Foster,* Daniel 

« Enlisted. 

f Returned. 

Rose,* Israel Coe,* Seth Granger,* John Bancroft,* Daniel 
Cooley,* George Hubbard,* Abner Barlow,* Eber Spelman,* 
Richard Brown,* Jonathan Rose,* Ephraim Munson,* Jere- 
miah Griswold,* Stephen Wright,* Abner Rose.*" 


" Muster-roll of Part of a Company of Militia in the Regt. 
whereof Elijah Porter, Esq., was Col., commandid by Thomas 
Weeks, 2nd Lieut., who marched 21st Apl., 1775, In defence 
of the liberties of America : 

"Second Lieutenant, Thomas Weeks. 

"Sergeant, Jabez Upham. 

" Corporals, Aaron Abbot, Peter Russel. 

" Privates, Jabez Groos, William Fisk, William Paterson." 


"A Muster-roll of Capt. Joseph Hooker's Company of 
Minute-Men to the Regt. whereof Ruggles Woodbridge, Esq., 
was Col., who marched on the 20th April, 1775: 

" Captain, Joseph Hooker. 

" First Lieutenant, Isaac Gray. 

" Second Lieutenant, Josiah Willison. 

" Sergeants, John McCarn, Simon Stone, John McWhorter, 
Thomas McMiller. 

"Corporals, Darius Price, Robert Field, Joseph Hinds, 
Moses Stone. 

"Privates, William Baxter, Thomas Horth, Benj. Fields, 
Timothy Hinds, Nahum Powers, Thomas MeCluer, Daniel 
Plumley, Joseph Field, Luke Hitchcock, James Felton, Joel 
Chase, Elijah Wares, Jabez Town, Ephraim Woodward, 
Thomas Tenant, Elisha Train, Thomas Montgomery, Isaac 
Hunter, Solomon Hinds, Ezekiel Lampson, William Shearer, 
William Hoskins, William Crossett, Thomas Thompson, Wil- 
liam Gilinor, Alexander Conckey, Zenas Conckey, John John- 
son, Alexander Conckey, Jr., Eliot Gray, John Crosset, Seth 
Muzza, John Thompson, Matthew Clark, John Donnally, 
Isaac Conckey, David Abercumbie, Eliphalet Town, James 


"Muster-roll of Captain Chapin Minet Company that 
marched the 20th of April to 2(3th, boath days Inclusive. 
Col. John Fellows' Regiment:! 

"Captain, Israel Chapin. 

"Lieutenant, Beres Bardwell. 

"Ensign, William Watson. 

"Sergeants, Nathaniel Sartwell, Joseph Belding, Robert 
Weir, Nathaniel Sylvester. 

"Corporals, Samuel Wails, Able Scott, James Pach, John 

" Drummer, Phineas Frary. 

" Fifers, Ebenezer Frary, Luces Graves. 

"Privates, Moses Ellies, Timothy Alvord, Esea Fair, 
Ebenezer Burris, James Baskin, Isten Cole, Jonathan Dick- 
inson, Zenas Field, Jotham Hitchcock, Elihu Hastings, David 


"Capt. Perez Graves marched with a company of thirty- 
five on the 2^t of April, 1775, to Ware and returned home, 
being in service two days. 

" Captain, Perez Graves. 

" Lieutenants, Seth Murray, Silas Smith, Elijah Colman. 

"Drummer, Nehemiah Waite. 

" Privates, Silas Graves, John Makins, Sam Bodman, Wm. 
Bodraan, Levi Makins, Thos. Potter, Moses Warner, Abia 
Billing, Ganiss Crofts, John Ballard, John Smith, Jo° Ed- 
son, Salmon Morton, Daniel Dickinson, Josiah Otis, Benj. 
Wells, Elihu Smith, Joel Smith, Gideon Dickinson, Andrew 
Crawford, Elihu Morton, Elijah Mercy, Seth Tubs, Jacob 

X This rompany enliKted for and eeirei s^von days. 



Mosher, Joseph Ponas, Wm. Howard, Benj. Smith, Salmon 
Waite, Ira Waite. " 


"A Muster-roll of a Militia Company of the town of 
Springfield that mustered, in order to assist our Brethren at 
Lexlnton, on the 21st day of April, a.d. 1775, under the com- 
mand of Lieut. David Burt and Lieut. Jonathan Hole ; said 
Company marched to Brooktield, and there rec'd orders to 

" First Lieutenant, David Burt. 

"Second Lieutenant, J. Hole. 

" Sergeants, Ebenezer Colton, Samuel Keepe. 

" Corporals, Nathaniel Ely, Josiah Cooley. 

"Privates, Abner Cotton, John Cotton, Ebenezer Bliss 
(2d), Aaron, Saml. Smith, David White, John Ackley, 
Elijah Burt, Richard Woodvvorth, Oliver King, Neheniiah 
Rumrill, Thomas Stebbins, Saml. Morgan, James Parker, 
Gad Lamb, Ebenezer Stebbins, Saml. Burt." 


"A Muster-roall of Capt. Thomas Grover Company, as 
Minnet-Men, Commanded by Col. Williams, of a Minuet 
Regt. forces of America alarmed Ap'l 19"', 1775: 

"Captain, Thomas Grover. 

" Lieutenants, John Adams, Josiah Adams. 

"Sergeants, Philip Ballard, Simeon King, Asa Fuller, Jo- 
siah Burnham. 

" Drummer, Elisha Phillips. 

" Privates, Elisha Wright, David Sprague, Til Barthrick, 
Henry Ewers, Elias Sawyer, William Allis, Asa Smith, Joel 
Perkins, Jonathan Harvey, Moses Brooks, Uriah Weaks, 
John Brooks, Sanuiel Smith, Samuel Bardwell, Thomas 
Whiting, David Burnham, Nathaniel Nichols, Reuben 
Granby, Joshua Combs, Joseph Combs, Elisha Trizel, Joshua 
Searls, Zedodiah Allis, John Ewers, Moses Harvey." 


"A Muster-roll of the Minute Company of Capt. Jo" Al- 
len in Genl. Pomeroy's Regt., April 20, 1775: 

" Captain, Jonathan Allen.* 

" First Lieutenant, Oliver Lyman.* 

" Second Lieutenant, James Shephard.f 

" Sergeants, Jonathan Stearns,* Asahel Clapp,* Abner Ly- 
man,* Josiah Dickinson. f 

" Drummer, John Strong. f 

"Fifer, John Bibbins.f 

" Corporals, Elihu Root,* Itbamar Strong,* Spencer 
Phelps,* Elizur Wright.* 

" Privates, Seth Hunt,* Jedadiah Smith,* Eleazur Strong,* 
Jonathan Pomeroy,* Richard Clarke,* Chester Kellogg,* 
William Colder,* Jonas Clark,* Jo,seph Parsons,* Noah Cook,* 
Eliab Alvord,* John Bullard,* Alvord Edwards,* James 
Taylor,* Nathan Strong,* Noah Parsons,* John Brown,* 
William Willis,* Elisha Allen,* Simeon Pomeroy,* Timothy 
DaJy,* Lyman Clark,* Elias Thayer,* Daniel Strong,* Na- 
thaniel Phelps,* Paul Clapp,* Joseph Arvin,* Daniel Burt, 
Elihu Bellows,* Simeon Judd,* Russell Clark,* Michael 
McDonnell,* Oliver Edwards,* Cyrus Fanning,* Joseph 
Coots,* Hezekiah Hutchins,* Pliny Pomeroy,* Luther Pome- 
roy,-)- Solomon Allen, -]■ Warham Warner. f" 


" Capt. David Speer's Muster-roll in Col. Pynchon Regi- 
ment of Militia, who marched from Palmer In the Alarm, on 
the igu-of Ap'l, 1775: 

"Captain, David Speer. 

" First Lieutenant, Robert Hunter. 

"Second Lieutenant, David King. 

"Sergeants, Samuel McLannothen, Samuel Buel, Stephen 
Blackmau, John Allen McElwane. 

* Enlietcd. 

f Returned. 

" Corporals, Eraim Shaw, Daniel King, Joseph Shaw, Luke 

"Privates, John King, John Sherer, Tho' McLanethan, 
David Bratters, Joshua McMarter, Jonas Tylaer, Daniel 
Dodge, Joseph McNall, Andrew Brown, Simeon Graves, 
Eleazer Bishop, Seth Bishop, David Shaw, Robert Burns, 
Gideon King, Wm. Shearer, Josiah Denny, Wm. Sloan, 
Asher Cooley, Simon Burroughs, Henry Thompson, Moses 
Lammon, Obadiah Brown, Jno. Allen Smith, Jno. Gardner, 
Nathan'l Roger, Gideon Graves, Uriah Ward, Rufus Thomp- 
son, Jno. Morse, Jno. Gibson, Adonijah Jones, Solomon 


1 "A Muster-roll of the Comjiany of Minute-Men that 
marched from Springfield for the defence of the United Col- 
onies, Apl. 20, 1775, under the command of Maj. Andrew 
Colton : 

" Major, Andrew Colton. 

" Privates, Sol. Brewer, Jno. Cotton, Thos. Bates, Matthew 
Keep, Benj. Colton, Jun., Abijah Edson, Jno. Burt, Jun., 
Jacob Kellogg, Moses Harris, Joseph Kellogg, Jun., Oliver 
Burt, Robt. Stevens, Jacob Chiipin, Oliver Field, Eleazer 
Chapin, Medad Stebbins, Jonah Cooley, Simeon More, Thos. 
Hale, Jun., Seth Storer Coburn." 


"A Muster-roll of the Minute Company that came from 
South wick, Apl. 20, 1775: 

" Privates, Silas Fowler, J George Grainger, J John Reent,J 
Jesse Dunham, J Elijah Hough, J Jonathan Haies,J John 
Campbell, J Roger Rost,}; Zenas Graves, | Saml. Olds, J Israel 
Loomis,J Stephen Russell, | Moses Campbell,}; Thomas Camp- 
bell, J Ezekiel Graves, J Levi Bradley, § John Stevenson, J Is- 
rael Haies,^ Amos Loomis,^ Noah Looniis,§ Silas Stephens, § 
Elijah Harmon,^ Wm. Campbell, § James Nelson, | Amos 
Ives. I" 


"SouTHWiCK, Apl. 20, 1775. — A Muster-roll of the Minet 
Company of Southwick, commanded by Capt. Silas Fowler, 
whose names are hereunto subscribed, who were all able, efl'ect- 
ive men, and were all marched on the 21st daj' of Apl., 1775, for 
Roxbur3', and arrived att Roxbury the 2Hth day of April 
aforesaid, and joined the Regt. commanded by Col. Danielson 
and Col. Wm. Shepherd, his Let., and Bordcd and Beeded and 
Vittled our selves During the march, which is one hundred 
and ten miles upon our own Coast : 

"Captain, Silas Fowler. 

" Lieutenant, George Granger. 

"Ensign, John Keent. 

" Sergeants, Levi Dunham, Elijah Hough, Jonathan Houis. 

"Corporals, .lohn Campbell, Amos Ives, Wm. Campbell. 

" Fifer, Zenas Graves. 

" Privates, Israel Loomis, John Stephenson, Noah Loomis, 
Silas Stephens, Elijah Harmon, Ezekiel Graves, Moses Camp- 
boll, Israel Haies, Amos Loomis, Roger Root, Thomas Camp- 
bell, Sam'l Olds, Levi Bradley, James Nelson, Stephen 

" 14 men were in service 21 days ; 11 men were in service 
11 days." 


" Muster-roll of Capt. Pomeroy men that marched Apl. 
21st, 1775: 

" Captain, Lemuel Pomeroy. 

" Lieutenant, David Scott. 

" Second Lieutenant, Abner Pomeroy. 

"Sergeants, Tim° Clapp, Dan'l Kortland, Elihu Strong, 
Lemuel Burt. 

" Corporals, James Tearman, Aaron Clapp, Solomon Blair, 
Paul Sheldon. 

J Served two weeks and two days. 

§ Served one week and one day. 



"Drummer, Dan Liuldington. 

" Fifer, Alincr Clark. 

"Privates, Noah Lyman, Nath'l Dodtl, Israel Sheldon, 
Roger Miller, Solomon Strong, Eber Kglestoiie, Tim Clark, 
Sam'l Edwards, Eli Danks, Nathan'l Searls, Ashael Har- 
man, Stephen Cla])p, Jacob Pomeroy, Moses Clark, Ezekiel 
Wood, Gershom Pomeroy, Ebenezer Gee, David Crow, Thos. 
Crow, Jon. Frost, Sam'l Fobes, Wm. Fobes, Chas. "Williams, 
Isaac Williams, John Tift'any, Asa Cook, George How, Jehiel 
Egglestone, John Crossett, Jesse Joy." 


" A Roll of Capt. Noah Goodman Company of Southadley 
who marched in defense of American liberty on the Alarm 
last April, occasioned by Lexington fight: 

" Captain, Noah Goodman. 

" Privates, Joseph Swan, Sen., Peter Pendergrass, Eliphalet 
Galord, Dan Comstock,* Joseph Smith,* Nathaniel Ingra- 
hani,* Timothy Hilord,* Oliver Taylor,* David Nash,* Toby 
White,* Selor Sword,* Jon. Hoftard,* Wm. Waite,* Jon. 
Mashel,* Oliver Galord."* 


"A Minute-roll of the Company under the Command of 
Capt. Enoch Cliapin, marched Apl. 20th, 1775: 

"Captain, Enoch Chapin, 

" First Lieutenant, Samuel Flower. 

"Second Lieutenant, Luke Day. 

"Sergeants, Abiathar Robinson, Joseph White, Joel Leon- 
ard, William Kendell, Jacob Day. 

" Corporals, Sam'l Dumbleton, Timothy Leonard, Daniel 
White, John Killum, Pelatiah 

" Filers, Jared Smith, Andrew 

"Privates, Jo.shua Guile, Thos. Francis, Oliver Dewey, 
Abel Chapin, Thos. Green, John Inglesbee, Joshua Chapman, 
Thomas Tre.scott, Vinton Leonard, Mishoek Remington, 
Edvv'd Ely, Ebenezer Inglesbee, Enoch Ely, Gideon Jones, 
Chancy Taylor, Roger Miller, David Roggers, Joseph Young, 
Gideon Morgan, Oliver Bagg, John Rockwell, John Burger, 
Abel Cooley, Dan Taylor, Lewis Ely, Timothy Day, Sam'l 
Cooper, Benj. Stebbins, Judah Bagg, Darick Yanhorne, 
David Merick, Nathaniel King, Simeon Smith, Jesse Morgan, 
Joseph Copley, Joel Day, Jon'n Smith, Benj. Loomis." 


"A Muster-roll of the Company of Minnet-Men that 
marched from S)iringtield for the defence of the United Colo- 
nies Apl. 20th, 1775, under the command of Maj. Andrew 
Cotton : 

" First Lieutenant, Gideon Burt. 

"Second Lieutenant, Walter Pj'nchon. 

"Sergeants, Aaron Steel, William White. 

"Corporals, Ambrose Collins, Luther Hitchcock. 

" Fifers, William Cotton (3'i), David Justus Chaiiin. 

" Drummer, Lewis Chapin. 

" Centinels, Jeduthan Sanderson, Israel Chapin, Sam'l 
Gridley, Alexander Bliss, Aaron Parsons, Jun., Aaron Ferry, 
Gad Horton, Sam'l Bliss, James Nash, Abel Hancock, Jun., 
Geo. Wright, Jun., Matthew Langdon, Jun., Peter Coulton, 
John Stedman. 

" Privates, Abner Ru.ssell, Asahel Cooley, John Warner, 
Jun., Justin Smith, Sam'l Edson, Patrick Nugent, Benj. Par- 
sons, Jon. IngersoU, Calvin Bliss, Henry Stiles, Luther Cotton, 
Abner Coolej', Samuel Parsons, Noah Bliss, Joseph King, 
Caleb Cooley, Jun., Zadoc Bliss, Ebenezer Romerill, James 
Taylor, Spencer Merrick, Sylvanus Hall, Moses Bliss, Joseph 
Parsons, "f 

* Served three Anye. 

f TliiM CMmpnny \vu.s in service one niontli iind tliree rlays. 


"A Muster-roll of the Minute Company that came from 
Westfield : 

" Lieutenant, John Shepherd. 

"Second Lieutenant, Zachariah Bush. 

" Sergeants, Benj. Dewey, Moses Dewey, Gideon Shepherd, 
Asa Noble. 

"Corporals, Israel Sackett, Roger Noble, Benj. Winchel, 
James Ninocks. 

" Drummer, Ruggles Winchel. 

" Fifer, Jedediah Taylor. 

" Privates, William Welch, James Colverson, Jas. Derrick, 
Jared Plumb, Stephen Dewey, David Taylor, Wm. Robin- 
son, Martin Root, Eliab Dewey, Ashbel Noble, Abijah Dewey, 
Aaron Chapman, David Ross, Jon° Smith." 


"Muster-roll of Capt. Webber's company that marched 
frcmi Worthington the 20th day of April, 1775: 

" Captain, Eben"' Webber. 

"Sergeants, Jere Kinne, Jo" Prentice, Joshua Morse, Ger- 
shom Randall. 

" Drummer, Anthony Morse. 

" Fifer, Ezeli'l Gardner. 

" Privates, Abner Dwclle, Tho' Cleveland, Stephen Clap, 
Eben Leonard, Eiih™ Wheeler, Reuben Gardner, Moses Buck, 
David Curtis, Nehim Gates, Jonas Pettingall, Eli.sha Kinne, 
Lem'l Clap, Stephen Fitch, Constant Wilber, Sam. Crosby, 
John Watt, Hez'> Mahuram, Daniel Morse, W" Barn, Nat. 
Daniels, Jr., John An.son, Nath Daniels, Elias Gilbert, John 
Ski ft'." 


" A Muster-roll of Captain Abel Thayer Company that 
marched the 21st Apl., 1775: 

" Lieutenant, William Bodman. 

" Privates, Isaiah Dwite, Isaac Warren, Daniel Ball, 
Ephraim Fisher, Aaron Hemingway, William Reed, Jona- 
than Warner, James Hunt, Jonathan Munrow." 


" Muster-roll of the Minnet-Men of Captain Chapin's Com- 
pany that Marched the 20th Apl., 1775, and returned Home: 

" Privates, Jcihn Dickinson, Gad Wait, Thomas Potter, Seba 
Scott, Ebenezer Fitch, Ezekiel Mieldis, Lsaac Miller, Line 
Meetings, William Young." 


"A Muster-roll of a Minct Company Commanded by Capt. 
Joseph Thompson In Col. Timothy Danielson's Regt. : 

"Captain, Joseph Thomjison. 

"Sergeants, Aaron Mighill, Jo.seph Hoar, Joseph Morgan, 
Thomas Lambert, Th(unas Bliss, Jonathan Brown, David 

" Corporals, John Harris, Joseph Hitchcock, Judah Stibens. 

" Privates, Zcdadiah Abbot, Jonathan Charles, Aaron Lum- 
bard, Elijah Hitchcock, Eldad Hitchcock, Jacob Hitchcock, 
Aaron Morgan, Solomon Charles, Hanniah Ebinrod, John 
Stebbens, Samuel Sharmar, Samuel Bond, Daniel Livermore, 
William Blashfield, John Bliss, Bryan Sherman, Daniel 
Moftat, Henry Abbot, Edward Bond, Stoddard Cadey, Elijah 
Jay, Medad Hitchcock, Hebi Hitchcock, Reuben Lilley, 
Thos. Lumbard, Joseph Lilley, Nathaniel Miller, Adam 
Townley, Gad Townley, Joseph Tucker, Jesse Bement, 
William Davis, Thomas Shearman, Ozer Blashfield, Nath'l 
Chickering, Jon" Morgan." 


"Capt. Agrippa Wells' Muster-roll in Col. Sam'l Wil- 
liams' Regt. of Minute-Men who marched from Greenfield 
on the Alarm, Apl. ye 19, 1775: 

"Captain, Agrippa Wells. 

"Lieutenant, Ezekiel Foster. 



"Sergean-ts, Oliver Atherton, Elijah Kingsley, Dan. Cors. 

"Corporals, Asaph Allen, John Wells, Eben"' Scott. 

"Privates, Samuel Turner, Sam'l Shattuek, Daniel Cliapin, 
Thomas Hunt, David Davis, Wm. Chadwiek, Eliphaz Childs, 
Sam'l Nichols, Sam'l Dean, John Dewey, Leanus Dewey. 

" Lieutenant, Joseph State. 

"Sergeants, Joel Chapin, Ariel Hindsdell. 

"Corporal, Caleb Chapin. 

"Privates, Wm. Kempland, Sam'l Hastings, Sam'l Cunna- 
hcl, Elijah Michel, Hezekiah Chapin, Jonathan Atherton, 
Amasa Smead, Tubal Nash, Simeon Allen, Daniel Picket, 
Hophni Rider, Daniel Edwards, Daniel Wells, Fannin Wood, 
Michael Frizzle, John Severance, Moses Ames." 



To the above rolls of the Minute-Men we append the fol- 
lowing papers transcribed from the town books of Spring- 
tield and Northampton, which show how such important 
matters were considered by each separate town : 


"Jan. 7th, 1778. — To tiike into cunsidtrution articles of Confederation and per- 
petual union projiosed to be entered into by the United American Stites, with the 
address of Congress respecting the same, and the address of the General Court 
of the State of Mtiasachu setts Bay, or pass any vote or give any instruction re- 
specting the same The Town sliall tliink proper. 

" The articles of Confederation, Ac, being Read, voted, To choose a Committee 
of five persons to take the same into consideration and prepare Instructions for 
the Representation of said Town." 


" Jan'y 2Gth, 1778. — The Instruction prepared to lie given to t!ie Representa- 
tives of said Town was. by the C-ommittee appointed for that purpose at the 
former meetings, presented, read, and considere<l, and vuted that tlie same be 
accepted, the report of whicli here follows : 

'" To the ItepresetiUUires of the Town of Spring^field: 

" ' Gentlemen, — You are soon to act upon the mo&t interesting matter that ever 
was, or, perhaps, ever will be, referred to your Deliberation, and to give your suf- 
frages for the ratification or rejection of a plan proposed for the perpetual Union 
of the thirteen United States of America. Impressed witli a deep sense of the 
vast importance of the object for which we are contending, — Tlie establishment 
of Liberty for ourselves and posterity, — and remembering that the jdan of union 
laid before you is not to be temporary, but perpetual, and is so framed that being 
once ratifyed it is no more to be altered witliout univei-sal consent. You will, 
with the gi'eatest care, examine and discuss every article, paragraph, and sen- 
tence, compare part with part, that the tendency of the whole to the security or 
subvei-Sion of publick Liberty may be ascertained as far as human foresight can 
extend. You will consider what were the grievances we complaijied of under 
the Dominion of Britain, and from what causes they were brought upon us, 
and be watchful that uothing be admitted in our own Constitution wliich may 
probably produce the same Evils. 

"'An iuquii'j' by what unhappy defect or error in tlie inherent Constitution 
most of the nations of Europe (not excepting those wlio have Bled in the Defence 
of Liberty) are now fallen under so despotic and Arbitrary Government mi<^ht 
aid you in forming a judgment of the good or ill tendency of the proposed Con- 
federation ; however necessary a sjieedy establishment of a Continental Constitu- 
tion hiay be, yet it is a matter of too vast concern to be hurried into effect. Let 
the foundation be well laid, that the building may be strong and duralde. It 
cannot be expected that we, the Inhabitants of this Town, many of whom have 
little leisure for Political Speculation, should be so capable of judging in a matter 
of this intricate nature us you are whom we have chosen to represent us. We 
must confide much in you and your Associates; our liberties are in your hands, 
and at your hands they will he required. Therefore, proceed with Caution, 
Judge Calmly; if you lUscover any thing in the Confederation dangerous to 
Liberty give not your Voice for. its Ratification till the necessary amendments. 
Act not with implicit confidence in any; see for yourselves. We shall, as we 
think our duty, suggest some things to you which deserve your particular atten- 
titin. Tlie representation in Congress appeai-s to us too unequal. Why may it 
not be proportioned to the Taxation ? To the unequal represeuUition in parlia- 
ment have been imputed most of our latfi oppressions. Let us guard against a 
Danger so fresh in our experience. The mode of taxation is liable to exception ; 
all charges of War &c. are to he born i[i the several States in proportion to the value 
of Land with the Buildings and Improvements thereon in each State. Will not 
the Commercial States bo underly eased, and the Landed ones overburtliened by 
such a mode ? Why ought not the Tax to be pi-oportioncd to the real ability and 
Value of each state, in what so over tiiat ability consists? We apprehend the 
powei-s Delegated to Congress too unlimited. You will observe that the Congress 
is to be a Single House, not seveial Distinct Clianibers wliich nuiy have an In- 
spection over ami cln-ck upon each other; tlM-ir powers, therefore, need to be the 

more circumscribed. By the Confederacy they are not only to order the Quotas 

of men to be raised in each state for a Continental Army, To Direct the opper- 
atiou of the army when raised, to appoint the General Officers, and Commission- 
ate officers of whatever rauk, but also to have the absolute Command of the 
purse, without being accountable ; and, consequently, the Army will be entirely 
under their influence. They may borrow or emit what sums they please, and 
appropriate them at Discretion, only transmitting the several States an account 
of the sums Iwrrowed or emitted; but we find not that they are accountable for 
the expenditure or appropriations. We wish you to Deliberate whether the 
Army and the purse can safely lodged in the same hands; ^Vhether it be not 
Dangerous that a single House chosen by the representatives should have so 
large and uncontrollable a power. A Ci.institution, Gentlemen, should be formed 
upon a supposition that it may in some future period be administered by design- 
ing men. 

" ' What has happened in Europe may happen in America. How easy it is for 
those who have the forces and money of the people in their own hands to sub- 
vert a Constitution & establish themselves in Power ! We ratlier choose that the 
Congress should only ascertain and proportiim the sum necessary for the Publick 
service, and lay the estimate before the several legislatures, and that the Legis- 
latures make the grants for the supply of the Continental Treasury ; we should 
also Desire that the Congress keep not only a Journal of their proceedings, with 
an entry of the yeas and nays upon every question. But also an exact amount of 
all the expenditures, and that this Journal and amount be open to the Inspection 
of a Committee of any Legislature, The Committee being sworn not to Divulge 
any matter which tlie Publick safety may require to he kept secret till the neces- 
sity of Secrecy shall cease. We should choose that the Congress should be re- 
strained from keeping up an army in time of peace without the Consent of the 
several Legislatures, and from marching any Troops into any State in time of 
peace without the express permission of the Legislature of that State. We take 
notice that, by the Confederation, no two or more states shall enter into any 
treaty with each other without the consent of Congress ; we would this excep- 
tion were adiled : Unless it be for the purpose of obtaining redress of grievance ; 
it ought to be Declared LawfuU for any person or pei-sons to petition Congress, 
and for any Legislature to desire the Concurrence of tlie other Legislature for 
obtaining redress in case of oppression ; under our oppression from Great Brit- 
tain we have found the advantage of Circular Lettei-s and Joint C-onsultations ; 
it is at least possible there may be some future occasion for similar measures. 
Use your Influence that the House of Representatives be Less in number, as we 
imagine the present House t-j be too Large to transact busines, and that the 
whole State be justly and equally represented. In the next place we direct you 
that you use your influence [in case] the Militia should be called for upon any 
future emergency they may not be drafted as heretofore, believing such drafts 
have a tendency to establish Military government, ami are dangerous to the 
Liberty for which we are conteudiug. But that the men may be encouraged 
by bounty to enter into the service. This Town, taking into their most serious 
consideration the present high price of merchandize, and even of the very 
necessary's of life, cannot believe it is principally owing to monopoly, but that 
the present circulating paper currency is not sufficiently valued ; are under great 
ai)preheusioii that it is a vast deal to plenty ; believe that the money is not a 
pn>per encouiagement to Industry, and are under fearful apprehensions that 
the farmer will not be properly induced to raise grain and meat for the subsist- 
ence of the armies and Inliabitatits; earnestly recommend that the quantity he 
reduced, and that every other possible mctliod be taken to support its credit ; 
and as Civil government is necessary not only to the well-being, but to the very 
being of society, we recommend to you the Immediate Establishment of it in all 
the Countys, that the Civil IVlagistrate be properly encouraged and protected in 
executing the good and wholesome laws of the Land, and that due care he taken 
that the Military be kept in due subordination to the Civil Autiiority, without 
which our Liberties will Irretrievably he Annihilated.' " 



"Jan'y 15, 1778. — The Toun proceeded to consider the ai'ticles of Confederation 

and Perpetual Union proposed by the Hon**'** Continental C<-)ngress, and voted 

that they approve of the same, and direct their Representation at the General 

Court to act accordingly." 

" May 18, 1778. — At this meeting the Constitution and Form of Government 
recommended by the General Assembly of this State should be taken up and 
read. And it being read and considered The Question was put, Whether the 
Toun did approve of the said Constitution and Form of Government; and upon a 
Division of the House, appeared that thirty-six were for it and seventeen against 



" Nov. 22, 1787.— At a meeting of the inhabitants of the Toun of Northampton 
qualified to vote in the choice of ReprejdenUitives, being legally warned and as- 
sembled at tlie Court-house in said Town, on Thui-sday, tin.' 22d day of Novem- 
ber, 1787. 

"The Question being put, whether the Town would send any Delegates to the 
State Convention projiosed to be held at B*iston, on the second Wednesday in 
January next, and it passed in the affirmative. 

"The Town then voted to send two Delegates to the said Convention, and ac- 
cordingly chose tlie Ilon^ic Caleb Strong and Mr, Benj. Sheldon for that purpose. 

"Tlie Toun then voted to Choose a Committee to prepare an address to the 
Delegates expressive of the sentiments of the Town touching the important 
business for which they were appointed, and accordingly chose Samuel Hen- 
shaw, Esq., Robert Brech, Esq., Dea. Elijah Clark, Elijjth Wright, Doct. Shep- 



henl, ami Mr. Jonathan Clap for that purpose, and the said Committee soon 
after repoitecl the following, which, being repeatedly read and considered, was 
unanimously approved by the Town (excepting one dissenting vote). 

" ' To the Hon. Caieb Strong <t Mr. Beiij. Sheldon : 

" 'Gentlemkn, — In conformity to a resolution of the Gen'l Court of the 25th 
of October last. We have Delegated you to meet iu State Convention on the sec- 
ond Wednesday of January next, for the purpose of adopting or rejecting the 
Reported Con&titutiou for the United States of America. The object of your 
Mission, Gentlemen, in of the highest magnitude in human aftaira; much time 
and unwearied application are requisite in order thoroughly to investigate it. 

" ' The Civil Dignity of this State, of the United States, and, i>erhaps, of Hu- 
manity, are suspended upon this momentous Question. We wish you. Gentle- 
men, patiently to hear and attentively to examine every argument that shall be 
oflered for or against iU adoption. Bo not unduly influenced by Local Consid- 
erations. Let your mind be impressed with the necessity of having an Erpial, 
Energetic, Federal Government. 'Tis the welfare of the Union Jis well a.s of 
Massachusetts that yon are to consult. And while you are tenacious of the 
rights and privileges of the People, be not afraid t*> delegate to the federal Gov- 
ernment such powei-8 as are absolutely necessary for advancing and maintaining 
OTir National Honor and happiness. 

'" But, Gentlemen, we mean not to give you positive instructions relative to 
your voting for or against the reported Constitution, Wlien in convention you 
will have the collected wisdom of the State before you, Will hear all that can 
be said on the subject, and will consequently be able to form a judicious opinion ; 
and having the fullest contidence in your political wisdom. Integrity, and Pa- 
triotism, We cheerfully {on our part) submit the aIl-import;iDt question to your 
decision. And we beseech the all-wise Governor of the world to take the Con- 
vention under his holy intluence, that so the result may be the best good of tlie 
United States of America. 

" ' Northampton, Nov. 22, 1787. 

*"By order of the Committee. 

"'Sam'l Henshaw, Chairman.^''* 



To the ill-fated expedition against Canada of the winter of 
1775-76, in which the lamented Montgomery lost his life, the 
county of Hampshire contributed a regiment, the command of 
which was intrusted to Col. Elihu Porter, of Hadlcy. To 
follow the fortunes of this regiment in its wearisome marches 
would hardly be within the scope of this work, did our limited 
space allow. We make room, however, for the following in- 
teresting documents relating to the subject, which we have 
been permitted to copy from the originals now in the posses- 
sion of Col. Porter's descendants : 



"Cambridge, 10th February. 1776. 

" The Continental Congress haveing confirmed my application to this Govern- 
ment to raise a Regiment for tlie service of the United Cidonies, which is now 
complieii with, and you are ai><nnted to the command thereof. I have to desire, 
ttiat you will use the utmost diligence and dispatch possible to complete the 
said Regiment, and march it into Canmla by the shortest aiul best way that,from 
your own knowledge of the Ouintry and the best information you can get, you 
think will be the most expeditious, 

" I have to acquaint you that if you take your rout by number four and Onion 
River there will be a supply of Provisions ready for you, laid in by order of 
General Schuyler. 

" As this Regiment is to be upon the Continental Establishment, agreeable to 
the terms and Requisitions of Congress transmitted to the Legislative power of 
this Province, and the necessity of Reinforceing our troops posted and forming 
the Blockade of Quebec is too apparent to need dwelling on, I would order each 
Company to march as fast as they are raised, — the whole putting themselves 
under the Command of the General or Commanding Officer in Canada as fast 
as they anive there. 

*' Such necessarys as y" will think realy proper, and that you cannot do with- 
out, will be provided for you by the Commissary-General & Quarter-Mtister Gen- 
eral, and I shall depend upon you that the strictest economy is used consistent 
with the dispatch nece-ssary ui)on this occasion. 

"These, Sir, are my instructions to you, and, from the character you bear, I 
doubt not you will pay due attention t^) them. I must again reccommend your 
making all possible dispatch ; and that y" may share in tlie glory of expelling 
the Instmmeuts of Ministerial Tyranny from that fair Province is the sincere 
wish of 

" Sir, your most H. St., 

" G° Washington. 

"Colonel Elisua Porter." 

GEN. Schuyler's letter.* 

"Albany, Februai-y 5, 1770. 

" Sir,— Colo. Fellows has represented to me the Improbability of compleating 
the Regiment ordered to be raised by the Honorable Assembly of the Massa- 

* Addressed, " To Colo. Williams, at Stockbridge. To be by him forwarded to 
Ctdonel Porter, at IIa<lley," and endorsed, " ReC* Feb. 13, 1776. Seal'' & for- 
warded by Colo. Porter's Humbl Serv't, T. Williams." 


chusetts Bay to go into Canada, unless part of the Troops already marched from 
Berkshire, under the command of Major Cady, be considered a.s part of the Regi- 
ment. These under Major Cady arc only engaged to the 15th April ; hence, con- 
sidering them as part of your Regiment would not, I suppose, fulfil the views of 
the Assembly. It would, however, be {a Cb»)tinental saving of two or three 
companies if those gone under Msijor Cady could be induced to engage for an 
equal Term with those you are now enlisting. If there was a prospect that they 
would do this, I think it would be a prudent step not to engage tlic full Regi- 
ment in the Odony ; but this is a matter the Asseudily must determine, as I cau- 
not presume to inteifere with or counteract their Regulations. I am, sir, 

" Your humble servant, 

" Ph. Schuyler. 
" To Colo. Porter." 


GEN. Arnold's orders. 
"To Colo. Porter, at Chamblce. 

"Sir, — 1 am this nnnute Informed of your arrival at St. .John's, with part of 
your Regt. You will pleiuse on receipt {'!) of this to Draw Ten Days' Provisions at 
Cbamble, & itroceed In your Battoes Down the Sorell to the Army before Quebec 
and j(dn Gen'l Wooster. You will please to take as many men in the Battles as 
they will Carrj', with Two Chests of Medicine (at Chamblce). I wish you success. 
" 1 am. Sir, Your Hbl. Sent., 

" B. Ak.vold, B. Geul. 
"Montreal, Apl. 2i), 1770." 



" SoRRELL, May 23, 1770. 
"Sir, — I have sent with my Servants, my Baggage, &c., to St. Jolin\s, and as 
their baggage must be forwarded from your place by land s<jme distance, on ac- 
count of the ItapUit^ wotdd be extremely oblige to you if you would have some 
carriages procured to forward them, directly if i»ossible. Your compliance will 
much oblige your huml. Ser\'t., 

" Baron De Woeldtke. 
"If my men shall want any provisions you will please to order them some." 



" Montreal, May 26, 1776. 

" Sir. — You will send a CompJ of Men to La Chine to Garrison that place ; and 

the remainder of Col. Reed's Regt., if there is any. you v\ ill order to this place- 

Genl. Arnold is gone with the Troops for La Chine, iu pursuit of the Enemy. 

I am, Sir, your h'bl Serv't, 

"Dav'd Wooster, Br'u/r-Gvncral." 



"Stockbridge, Jan. 27, 1776, 
" Our men are some of those already marched ; others are going to March to- 
morrow. We are directed by Genl. Schuyler to march by the way of Albany." 


MR. GERRY'S letter.^ 

"Philadelphia, June 18, 1776. 

" Dear Sir,— I rec^ your favour of y« 31st May, p"" Mr. Chase, but I have heard 
nothing of y« other letter which yo mentioned therein. I am sorry to find y" 
Affaire of Canada in such a situation, but they will be soon assisted if in y" 
power of Congress to effect it. General Gates is ordered to y« Command in 
Canada; 0000 Militia for Connecticut, Msissachusetts, and New Hampshire are 
soon to join. Coin, 21,000 Dollars in Specie, and part of 500,000 iu bills, were sent 
from this city y« 16th for Albany, and y« Commissary -General is to undertake 
supplying y* Army ; a Committee is appointed to provide Medicine & Clothing, 
& a strict Scrutiny will be made into y« causes of Miscarri;iges in that Depart- 
ment. I am grieved at y" loss of General Thomas, and think lie was a brave 
officer, and could wish to have rec^ a better account of another officer of which 
you mention. 

"The persons which you mention at our old lodgings were well a short time 
since, and your desire of being remembered to them shall be complied with, 

" Things are going on well in ye Colonies with respect to Independency, Con- 
federation, &c., Ac, and y^ question relative to y^ former is to be agitated in Con- 
gress ye 1" July next. 

"General Wiishington is tx.> be reiiiforced with 15,000 men at New York, which 
will augment his army to 25,000, & a flying camp is to be posted in ye Jerseys 
consisting of 10,000 men more. You have undoubtedly heard of the prize lately 
taken and carried into Boston, out of which were landed seventy-five tons of 
powder, 1000 arms, &c., Ac, Ac. Saltpetre is manufactured in abundance in ye 
Massachusetts, and by Mr. Diven's .account they have already delivereil into y» 
magazines ./i% fc)iw, and have Odrtij tons of sulphur imported and left in Bo.ston. 
Three mills are built there, two of which turn out upward of 1000 each p' week. 

"I hope the disposition that has appeared in some officers tj censure others 
will cease, & that in Lieu thereof a laudable Eumlatiun will take place to excell 
in Discipline & Valor, without which an army must be disgraced. I sincerely 
wish yo success and happiness, and remain your friend & 

" Hum. ser-, 

"Elbkidge Gerry. 

" P.S. — Pray continue to give me ye state of things in Canada. 

" Colo. Porter." 

■f- Addressed "To The Commanding Officer at Fort Clianibly." 
J "To The Commanding Officer on Public Service at St, John's." 
§ Addressed, "Col. EJisha Porter, in C^anada." 




GEN. Schuyler's letter to col. fellows. 

" Albany, Janiiai-y 20, 1776. 
'' Hal/ after ten A.M. 

" SiH, — Tour favor of yesterd'ys <late was this moment delivered t<> me. 

" I thank you for the information it ccmtains, and am happy to learn that yon 
have already enlisted so considerabK" a number of men. As the Assembly of the 
MassachuHetts Bay have ordered a Regiment to he raised, and the men to be en- 
listed for a year, it will supersede the necessity of raising any more in conse- 
Tfuence of my directions to yon ; but I do not wish that those already enlisted 
{who I suppose will Ber\'e beyond the 15th of April next) should be considered 
as part of the regiment to be raised by virtue of the act or order of your Assem- 
bly, unless they would also engage for a year. I therefore luipe they will march 
without delay, and the whole to be under the command of Major Cady, as Maj. 
Commandant of the Corps, unless you should think proper to take command of 
them. It is with infinite satisfaction that I learn the alacrity with which my 
countrymen step forth on this occasion ; it will at once redound much to the honor 
of the pei-sons who engage in this senice, & of those who have 1 leen active in pro- 
moting it, and also evince to our enemies that no obstacle can deter Americans 
from prosecuting their righteous cause. 

*' Your zeal, sir, on this occasion merits the Thanks of your Country; if mine 
are worth the accepting you have tliem most sincerely, & I shall not fail of doing 
myself the pleasure to mention you and the respectable Committee of Berkshire 
to Congress in Honorable terms. 

" I am, sir, with much respect, 

" Your must hvmible ser\'ant, 

" Ph. Schuyler. 

"Coll. John Fellows." 




The great uprising among the discontented people of New 
England, commonly called the Shays rebellion, which oc- 
curred at the close of the war of the Revolution, has scarcely 
yet been given its proper place in history. 

In the great contest for independence. New England, in 
common with the other parts of the country, strained every 
nerve to its utmost tension, and in behalf of the cause ex- 
hausted her resources to the point of depletion. At its close 
she was free, but was utterly prostrate and bleeding at every 
pore. While the excitement lasted the fever in her blood sus- 
tained her activities, but the occasion over the excitement 
waned and the reaction came. This reaction was the first 
great trial, and bj- all odds the severest strain, save, perhaps, 
the great Rebellion, to which our republican form of govern- 
ment has yet been subjected. The history of this insurrec- 
tionary movement, written at all in detail, would of itself fill a 
large volume. Our limited space will allow us, therefore, to 
attempt nothing more than a brief summary of its most im- 
portant incidents. 

That this sedition did not more seriously obstruct, if not 
quite overturn, the new government was owing mostly to the 
incapacity of its leaders. The spirit of rebellion was rife 
among the people, but from anmng the ruling classes no com- 
petent man stepped forth to lead it, and it spent its force in 
boisterous, disorganized, and therefore fruitless, revolt against 
the authority of law and order. Had some bold, ambitious 
man, competent to lead ; had some brave Stark or unscrupu- 
lous Arnold or sagacious Schuyler ; had some Davis, Lee, or 
Stonewall Jackson at the critical moment headed the insur- 
gents in Western Massachusetts, or commanded at the attack 
on the United States arsenal at Springfield, — there is strong 
reason to believe that England would soon have regained her 
lost power and our republic would have never been. But 
Daniel Shays and Luke Day were not the men for the hour or 

But it should be said, in juslice to those engaged in it as 
well as to the authorities they sought to subvert, that this 
rebellious spirit was after all rather of the nature of the quer- 
\ilo\is discontent of children smarting under imaginary wrongs 

than of any deliberately treasonable intentions against the 
new government. 

Of a truth, the new order of things had hardly begun. 
The natural chaos and disorder attendant on a period of revo- 
lution had hardly subsided. The people had not forgotten 
the old order, nor yet learned to love and respect the new. 
That they suffered from some cause or other they were sure 
of, and it was natural enough that they should attribute their 
troubles to the new order of things, and rise in rebellion 
against it. 

When we look at the condition of things in Ma.ssachusetts 
at the close of the war of the Revolution it is easy to discover, 
in the light of our country's subsequent experience, the causes 
of this discontent and sedition. 

Among the several causes which brought about the "hard 
times" that resulted in the Shays Rebellion may be enumer- 
ated the following : 

1st. The State was heavily in debt. The private State debt 
was £1,. 800, 000. The State's proportion of the Federal debt 
was not less than £1,500,000. This, contrasted with the whole 
State indebtedness before the war, — which did not exceed 
£100,000, — was, for the times, an enormous sum. 

2d. The financial embarrassments of the several towns. 
Every town was heavily embarrassed by advances which they 
had made to the often-repeated requisitions for men and sup- 
plies to support the army, and which had been done upon 
their own particular credit.* 

.3d. The inexperience, if not the incapacity, of public men 
in the management of financial affairs. 

4th. The lingering distinctions of caste, which the Revolu- 
tion had not quite done away with. 

5th. The depreciation of paper-money. 

6th. The vast amount of private debts which had accumu- 
lated during the war, and the hard, if not unjust, laws in force 
in favor of creditors. 

"The insurrection," says William L. Smith, in a paper 
read by him before the Connecticut Valley Historical Society, 
at Springfield, Oct. 1, 1877, " was the result of a condition of 
things now popularly described as 'hard times.' It did not 
originate so much in disaffection toward the State govern- 
ment as in an uncontrollable impulse of a distressed people to 
seek relief in some way, or any way. The long and burden- 
some war of the Revolution had just been brought to a close. 
The countr}' was impoverished. The Continental paper-money 
had become worthless, and no substitute for it had been pro- 
vided. There was no trade, no demand for labor, no way in 
which the value of property of any kind could be measured. 
Under the barbarous laws then in force the jails were becom- 
ing filled with prisoners, whose only offense was their ina- 
bility to pay their debts. Men who had nothing to do but to 
talk about their grievances and distresses were easily excited 
to turbulence, and local disturbances were frequent and serious. 
The authorities were too often in sympathy with the offenders 
against the law, and guilty parties went unpunished. The 
State constitution, adopted in 1780, was viewed with disfavor 
by a large minority of the people, and was not regarded as 
securely established. The Constitution of the United States 
had not then been framed, and all existing government was 
merely experimental. 

" There was at that time no law for the equitable distribu- 
tion of a debtor's property among his creditors. The execu- 
tions of the creditors were levied in the order in which their 
attachments were made, and each creditor was satisfied in his 
turn until all were paid or the debtor's estate was exhausted. 
A man whose credit was suspected found his property covered 
by attachments at once, and in the condition of things then 
existing a very slight circumstance excited suspicion. Litiga- 
tion became general. The State was showered with execu- 

* MinotV Hist, nf Tnpurrecttnn in Masp., p. 6. 



tions, and large amounts of property were sold for almost 
nothing to satisfy thoni. In the unreasoning excitement of 
the time the courts, lawyers, and sheritfs were denounced in 
the wildest terms as the promoters of the sufl'ering that men 
were inflicting upon each other. A cry arose that the courts 
ought to be abolished. Threats were made that the courts 
should not be allowed to sit, that no more suits should be 
entered and no more executions issued. It was such wild 
clamor as this that led to the first overt act in resistance to 
the lawful authority." 



Agitations began in Western Massachiisetts as early as in 
the year 1781. The prime-mover in these first etforts to sub- 
vert the authority of the government was Samuel Ely. He 
had been for some years an irregular minister of the gospel at 
Somers, Conn. He was now suspended from his ministry and 
a resident of Hamp.shire Co., Mass. In the year 1781 conven- 
tions began to be held, principally upon the instigation of 
Ely, in Western Massachusetts, to consult upon the subject 
of grievances. These conventions were made up of delegates 
from several towns, and their action tended greatly to excite 
the spirit of rebellion. 


In the month of April, 1782, Ely succeeded in raising a 
mob at Northampton of sufficient force to disturb the holding 
of the Supreme Judicial Court and the Court of Common 
Pleas there. For his complicity in this disturbance Ely was 
arrested, indicted, and, pleading guilty upon trial, was sen- 
tenced to imprisonment at Springfield. Soon after, at a time 
when the people of the town were mostly absent, a mob as- 
sembled and set him at liberty. Capt. Densmore, Lieut. Paul 
King, and Lieut. P. Bardwell were arrested as ringleaders of 
the rescue, and put in jail at N(prtham]iton. Another mob of 
three hundred men gathered in Hatfield for the of the 
ringleaders. The sheritf of the county, Gen. Elihu Porter, 
called out twelve hundred militia to protect the jail. The 
rioters sent a committee to Gen. Porter with a demand for 
the release of the three prisoners. Gen. Porter so far com- 
plied with their demand as to release the three men on parole, 
conditioned for the delivery of their bodies or that of Samuel 
Ely on demand of the General Court. 

The General Court treated this matter with a leniency that 
seemed to intensify rather than pacify the excited feelings of 
the populace. 

The next overt act of rebellion of much importance occurred 
the year following, at Springfield. 

In the month of May, on the last day of the session of the 
Court of Common Pleas and the Court of the General Sessions 
of the Peace, in Springfield, a mob of sixty persons assembled 
from difi'erent parts of the county to prevent the session. 

The Mtissnchusetts Gazette or General Advertizer, of Spring- 
field, of the date of May 27, gives the following account of 
this affair : 

" On Tuesday last, beiug the day on which tlie General Ses.sions of the Peace 
and the Court of Common Pleas opened in this town, a banditti, collected from 
the obscure corners of the county, composed of men of the most infamous char- 
acter, to the amount of about sixty in number, met in this town to prevent 
the sitting of the court. . . . They showed no disposition to attax:k the courts 
in the forenoon; at two o'clock they met at a public-house in the town, and re- 
solved themselves to be a convention of the county, met together for the purpose 
of redressing grievances; after having parsed several important residves they 
adjourned their convention to the elm-tree near the court-house ; when the hell 
rang for the court, they, in hostile parade, armed with white bludgeons, cut for 
that pui-i)ose, marched before the door of the court-house, and when the court, 
headed by the sheriflF, came to the door, with insolence opposed tlieir entrance; 
the sheriff, in the mild terms of persuasion, addressing them as gentlemen, de- 
sired them to make way. His civility was repaid with outrage, and an action 
soon commenced ; happily, there was a collection of people friendly to the gov- 
ernment present, and the mob was repulsed with broken lieads. A number of 
them were instantly taken and committed t<j pri:^on ; after which, by a regular 

procedure, they were brought before the Court of Sessions for oxaniinatioii, and 
were hound to appear before the Supreme Court." 



On the 3d day of July, 1782, the " Tender Act" was passed 
for the benefit of private debtors. By this act it was provided 
that executions issued for private demands might be satisfied 
by neat cattle and other articles enumerated therein, at an ap- 
praisement of impartial men under oath. By its retrospective 
action it tended to suspend lawsuits, and this increased the 
very evils it was intended to remedy. Its action was limited 
to one year, at the end of which it was suffered to expire. But 
its consequences were more lasting. It was the first signal for 
hostilities between creditors and debtors, — the rich and the 
poor, the few and the many. From opposing and defying 
creditors, the discontented were fast led, under the evil in- 
fluences of this law, to opposing and defying the courts 

And so matters went on from bad to worse through the 
weary years, with now a convention and then a mob. " Be- 
tween the conventions and the mobs everything," says Dr. 
Holland, " became a grievance. Lawyers assisted in the ad- 
ministration of justice ; therefore lawyers were never excluded 
by the popular voice from the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives. Money was scarce ; therefore there was a loud 
call for the issue of paper currency. The Legislature re- 
fused ; a cry then arose against the Legislature. 

"The Legislature of 1780 was elected," says William L. 
Smith,* "at a time of great excitement. IJemagogism was 
in its glory, and the distresses of the people were used for the 
accomplishment of personal and political ends. Many of the 
men who had been intrusted with the responsibilities of legis- 
lation, and were prominent in the service of the State, were 
superseded by inexperienced, and in many cases by utterly 
unfit, persons. Patriots of the Eevolution, whose elegant ap- 
peals had aroused the spirit that carried the country tri- 
umphantly through the war of independence, were defeated 
as candidates merely because they happened to be lawyers. 
When the Legislature assembled various visionary schemes 
were brought forward, among them a proposition that the 
State should go into the business of manufacturing paper- 
money. The 'Greenback' party of the day was active and 
noisy. The very men who had lived through a period of 
great inflation and consequent depreciation wanted to travel 
over the same wretched road again. We should wonder at 
this if we had not seen recently history repeating itself in 
this particular. After reading the discussions of that time 
one is brought to the conclusion that the advocates of rag- 
money have not materially strengthened their arguments 
during the last ninety years. The Legislature proceeded 
deliberately, influenced no doubt by the conservative senti- 
ment of Boston, and finally rejected the proposition ; and 
the Senate stood firmly in the way of other dangerous schemes. 
Thereupon there arose a new clamor. It was declared that 
the Senate should be abolished, and that the Legislature 
should not continue to hold its sessions at Boston ; and the 
agitators proceeded to supplement their boisterous declamations 
by a formal organization." 

The Legislature adjourned on the 8th day of July, and the 
excitement increased. It spent its violence again in conven- 
tions and mobs. 



Conventions and mobs seem to have constituted the ma- 
chinery by which the discontented sought to relieve their dis- 
tresses. The conventions were at first respectable, but soon 
became the abettors of violence. The first object of the mobs 

* Address before Conn. Val. Hist. Society at Springfield. 



seems to have been the stoppage of the inferior courts, so that 
debts could not be collected, and the next object was the de- 
struction of the superior courts, so that themselves might not 
be in danger of trial for their crimes.* 

Cotii-etition at Worcester. — On the 15th of August, 1786, a 
convention was held at Worcester, composed of delegates from 
thirty-seven towns of Worcester County. It first voted that 
it was " a lawful and constitutional body." It then voted that 
the following were the causes of discontent among the people, 
to wit : 

" 1st. The .sitting of the General Court in Boston. 

"2d. The want of a circulating medium. 

" 3d. The abuses in the practice of the law, and the exorbi- 
tance of the fee-table. 

"4th. The existence of the Courts of Common Pleas in 
their present mode of administration. 

" 6th. The appropriating the revenues arising from the im- 
post and excise duties to the payment of the State securities. 

"6th. The unreasonable and unnecessary grants made by 
our General Court to the attorney-general and others. 

" 7th. The servants of the government being too numerous, 
and having too great salaries. 

"8th. This Commonwealth granting aid or paying moneys 
to Congress while our public accounts remain unsettled. But 
this convention proposed that relief should be sought only by 
lawful, and constitutional means, and deprecated all riots and 
mob violence."! 

It should be stated that the war, like all others, had engen- 
dered luxury and expensive living. It greatly stimulated the 
importation, and consequently the consumption, of foreign 
goods. This, of course, added in the end to the other burdens. 
The public prints of the day were full of comments, suggested 
by the confusion of the times. One says, " How much soever 
we may be oppressed, yet this much is certain : we cannot be 
oppressed without justice. Why, then, should we wish to 
stop its execution? If we have honestly involved ourselves 
in public or private debts, let us honestly discharge the obli- 
gations we have contracted. We have nobly bled for our 
liberty, and finally obtained the victory. But at the rate we 
are about to use it, God knows it cannot be much preferable 
to slavery. "J 

Convention at Hatfield. — On the 22d day of August, 1786, a 
cimvention met at Hatfield, in Hampshire County. This con- 
vention was called at the rcccmimcndation of a minor con- 
vcnti<m previously held at Pelham. 

This convention was constituted of delegates from fifty 
towns in Hamjishire County. After a deliberation of three 
days, it decided upon and put forth the following body of 
grievances, to wit : 

"At a meeting of delepites from fifty towns in the county of Ilumpshire, 
ill convention Iielil Ht Iliittielti, in said c^mnty, on Tnesday, tlie 22ii day of August 
instant, and continued by adjuurnmeutd until tlio twenty-fiftii ult., voted tliat 
tliis meeting is constitutional. 

"Tile convention, from a thorough conviction of great uneasiness subsisting 
among the peojile of tliis county and Commonwealth, then went into an inquiry 
for tlie cause ; and, upon mature consideration, deliberation, and debate, were of 
opinion that nmny giievances and unnecej^sary burdens n<jw lying uixui the 
people are the sources of that discontent so evidently discoverable throughout 
this C<>mmonwealth. Among which the following ai tides were voted as such, viz. : 

"1st. The e.\i.-.tence of the Senate. 

" "Jd. The present mode of representation. 

";td. The officers of government not being annually dependent on the repre- 
sentatives of the people, in General Couit assembled, for their salaiies. 

"4th. All the civil oflicoi-s of government not being annually elected by the 
Ilepresentativesof the people in General Court a.ssembled. 

"."ith. The existence of the Courts of Cttmnion Plesis and General Sessions of 
the Peac^e. 

" 6th. The Fee-Table, as it now stands. 

"7th. The present mode of appropriating the impost and excise. 

" 8th. The unreasonable grants made to some of the officers of government. 

" 9th. The supplementary aid. 

* Holland's Hist, of Western Mass., Vol. I., p. 23S. 
t Ibid., p. Sili. 
i Ibi.l., p. 237. 

" 10th. The present mode of paying the governmental securities. 

"11th. The present mode adopted for the payment and collection of the hitt tax. 

"12tli. The present mode of taxation, as it operates unequally between the 
polls and estates, and between landed and mercantile interests. 

" 13th. The present method of practice of the attornies-at-law. 

"14th. The want of a suilicient medium of trade to remedy the mischiefs 
aiissing from a scarcity of money. 

"1.5th. The General fVjuit sitting in the town of Boston. 

"loth. Tile present embarrassments on the lu'ess. 

" 17th. The neglect of the settlement of impoitant matters depending between 
the Commonwealth and Congress relating to monies and averages. 

" IStb. Voted. This convention recommend to the several towns in this county 
that they instruct their representatives to use their influence in the next Gen- 
eral Court to have emitted a bank of paper-money, subject to a depreciation ; 
making it a tender in all payments, equal to silver and gold, to be issued in order 
to call in the Commonwealth's securities. 

" 19th. Voted, That whereas several of the above articles of grievances arise 
from defects in the constitution, therefore a revision of the same ought to take 

" 20th. Votetl, That it be recommended by this convention to the several t-twns 
in this county that tliey Jjetition the Governor to call the General Court to- 
gether, in order that the other grievances complained of may, by the Legislature, 
be redressed; 

"21st. Voted, That this convention recommend it to the inhabitants of this 
county that they abstain from all mobs and unlawful assemblies until a consti- 
tutional method of redress can be obtained. 

"22d. Voted, That Mr. Caleb West be desired to transmit a copy of the pro- 
ceeilings of this convention to the convention of the cortnty of Worcester. 

"23d. Voted, That the chairman of tliis convention be desired Ut transmit a 
copy of the proceedings of this convention to t'lie county of Berkshire. 

"24th. Voted, That the chiiirman of this convention be directed to notify a 
county convention, upon any inotiim m.ade to him for tliat puriK)se, if be judge 
the reasons oflTered be sufficient, giving such notice, together with the reiisona 
therefor, in the publick papers of the county. 

" 25th. Voted, Tliat a copy of the proceedings of this convention bo sent to the 
press in Springfield for publication." 

As the natural result of such deliberations mob violence 
was again the order of the day. 

On the last Tuesday of August following, a mob numbering 
fifteen hundred persons assembled under arms at Northamp- 
ton. J It was on the day appointed by law for the sitting of 
the Court of Common Pleas and the General Sessions of the 
Peace. The mob took possession of the ground adjoining the 
court-house. The result was that no court was held. Mob 
violence was again triumphant. Those who did nut wish to 
pay their debts accomplished their object. 

The clerk of the court at Northampton made the following 
minute in his records, to wit: 

" Early on the morning of this day there was collected a considerable number 
of persons under arms, who paraded near the coui t-house, with a proposed de- 
sign to prevent this couit from sitting; a committee from whom presented a 
petition, requesting the couit would not proceed to any business. The court 
having considered thereof, thought proper t4» open the same at the house of Capt. 
S,amuel Clark, innholder, in Noithamptoii ; and having coiitituied all matters 
now pending in said couit to the term of this couit next to be hidden in Spring- 
field, in and for tlie county of Hampshire, on the second Tuesday of November 
next, adjourned without day." 

But no November term of the court was held. The court 
was continued by legislative action till the May following. 

After being informed of the action of the Northampton 
mob. Governor Bowdoin at once i-ssued his proclamation call- 
ing upon all "judges, justices, sheriffs, gn^nd jurors, consta- 
bles, and other officers, civil and military, to suppress all such 
riotous proceedings." The proclamation, after appealing to 
the State pride, personal honor, and patriotism of the people, 
enjoined upon the attorney-general the duty of prosecuting 
and bringing to condign punishment not only the ringleaders 
and abettors of the Norlhampton mob, but also all subsequent 
offenders against law and order. 

On the week succeeding the Northampton demonstration 
the sittings of the courts were also stopped at Worcester, and 
on the 11th of September a mob at Concord stopped the sit- 
tings of the courts of Middlesex County. But the mob of 
Berkshire County seemed so far to be the most violent of any. 
They assembled, at the opening of the Court of Common 
Pleas at Great Barrington, to the number of eight hundred, and 

g Minot's Hist. Insurrections iu Mass., p. 37. 



not (inly stojijied the fitting of the court, but broke open the 
jail and liberated the prisoners. 


The whole State was now aflame with excitement ; from 
one end of it to the other rebellion and anarchy stared the 
people in the face. 



And now appear upon the scene two strong and turbulent 
spirits who soon brought the rebellion to a head, but not until 
they had stirred the troubled waters to their profoundest 
depths, — Daniel Shays and Luke Day. 

Daniel Shays, who about this time came to the front as the 
acknowledged leader of the insurrection, seems to have been a 
soldier of fortune. His parents had been extremely poor, and his 
early education was neglected. Yet he was a man of good ad- 
dress and not unpleasing manner. He was courageous, ambi- 
tious, strong-minded, and sagacious, but unscrupulous in ac- 
complishing his ends. He was born in Hopkinton in the year 
1747. When young he worked some time on a farm in Fra- 
mingham. He removed to Great Harrington before the Revolu- 
tionary war, and at the breaking out of the violent phase of the 
rebellion resided at Pelham. At the age of twenty-eight he 
entered into the service of his country, with the rank of ensign, 
and was conspicuous for his bravery at Bunker Hill. In the 
year 1776 he was appointed a lieutenant in Col. Varnam's 
regiment, and was soon detached on recruiting -service. He 
enlisted a company, which he took to West Point, whose 
engagement to serve was on the condition of his being the 
captain. This condition was not fulfilled, and the men were 
apportioned to different corps. He was at the surrender of 
Burgoyne, and at the storming of Stony Point. In 1779 he 
received a captain's commission, and was with Col. Putnam's 
regiment at Newark, N. J., in October, 1780, when he resigned 
and left theservice. He possessed few qualifications for a high 
command. After the suppression of the insurrection he re- 
moved to Sparta, N. Y., where he lived in utter poverty, dying 
in the year 1825. 



was born at West Springfield, July 2-5, 1743. His father was 
a wealthy land-owner, but the land, for some reason, fell to 
a younger brother. At the opening of the war of the Revo- 
lution he was commissioned as a captain. He served honor- 
ably in the Continental army for several years, and at the 
close of the war returned home poor and a major by brevet. 
He seems to have been a somewhat rough, boisterous man, 
but brave, and influential among his fellows. Of the two, he 
was perhaps stronger-minded and more sagacious than Shays, 
but less plausible and gentlemanly. He raised his own men, 
drilled, and commanded them. He was a most inveterate 
speech-maker, and often met the turbulent spirits of his 
neighborhood at the old Stebbins tavern in West Springfield, 
and harangued them for hours together. A few days before the 
attack of Shaj's upon the arsenal at Springfield, Day, in talking 
to his men, said, " My boys, you are going to fight for liberty. 
If you wish to know what liberty is, I will tell you. It is for 
every man to do what he pleases, to make other folks do as 
you please to have them, and to keep folks from serving the 
devil." After the defeat of Shays, Day fled to New York. 
He afterward returned, under the conditions of a general 
pardon, to his native town, and died there, miserably poor, 
at an advanced age. While drilling his men on West 
Springfield Common, they wore in their hats a sprig of 
hemlock, which afterward became the sj'mbol of the in- 

Such were the two men who, on the breaking out of the 
more violent phase of the rebellion, assumed its leadership. 



Tluis far, as the reader has seen, the attacks of the mob had 
been made upon tlie inferior courts, — the Courts of Common 
Pleas and of General Sessions of the Peace. But the grand 
jury met also with the Supreme Judicial Court, and unless 
the sittings of that court could also be prevented, the rioters 
could all be indicted and punished. 

The next sitting of the Supreme Judicial Court was to be 
held in Springfield, on the 2()th day of September. The in- 
surgents resolved to prevent its sitting. But the friends of 
law and order were also at this time profoundly conscious of 
the impending danger, and made up their minds that the 
court should be held at whatever cost. 

The rebellion had now reached its height. Outrages had 
been committed in Middlesex and Bristol, as well as in the 
western counties of the State. Even the city of Boston was 
threatened, and the movement spread into the adjoining 
States. It is probable that at this time neither the insur- 
gents nor the State authorities knew its extent. After it was 
over, the Legislature passed a law disqualifying persons en- 
gaged in the rebellion from holding office. It was then fcnind 
that in some towns there were not enough men untainted to 
fill the offices, and it became necessary to pass an enabling 
act. This was the state of things when the Supreme Court 
was first attacked at Springfield. 

But it would seem that this high-handed outrage was the 
culmination of the insurrectionary movement. 

The determined stand here taken by the friends of law and 
order opened the eyes of the thinking ones, and one after 
another they returned to their homes, leaving it to the more 
unscrupulous rabble to follow Shays in his mad attempt upon 
the arsenal in the following winter. 

On the 27th day of September, the Governor issued his proc- 
lamation convening the Legislature. The command of the 
governmental forces at Springfield was intrusted to Gen. Wil- 
liams. We cannot do better here than to copy the account 
of this aft'air given in the able paper of William L. Smith, 
above referred to. Mr. Smith says : 

"Gen. Shepard succeeded in collecting about six hundred 
militia and volunteers, and anticipated the plans of the insur- 
gents by taking possession of the court-house. On the ap- 
pointed day the court was openedj Chief-Justice Cushing and 
Justices Sargeant, Sewall, and Sumner being present, and 
Shays appeared at the head of a force largely superior in 
numbers to Gen." Shepard's, but his men were not as well 
armed as were the militia. The insurgent leaders were dis- 
concerted at finding the militia in possession of the court- 
house ; their followers were enraged, and insisted upon making 
an immediate attack. But the leaders were more prudent. 
They knew that the government troops were well armed, they 
had no artillery, arid they were especially disgusted with the 
bark of a small cannon, which they styled the ' government's 
puppy.' They offered to withdraw if the judges would agree 
that no other than the ordinary criminal business of the term 
should be taken up. The judges replied in substance that 
they had a public duty to di-scharge, and would attend to 
such business as should properly come before them. But by 
the time this answer was received the insurgent leaders were 
indifferent as to the action of the court, for they were satisfied 
the grand jury could not be got together, and that there would 
be no trials. They .saw their main purpose would be accom- 
plished without fighting. Shays had his headquarters on or 
near Ferry Lane (now Cypress Street), and a tavern that 
stood on the southerly corner of the present Main and Sar- 
gent Streets was a favorite rendezvous of the insurgents. 

"The inhabitants of Springfield were beginning to feel some 
relief from their anxiety, when a new commotion was seen in 



the camp of the insurgents. It was rumored among them 

that the militia had determined that they should not be per- 
mitted to march past the court-house. It is not likely that 
any person in authority on the government side threw down 
the gauntlet in that way. It is more probable that the rumor 
originated with some of the Shays men, who wanted a pre- 
text for a fight and consequent pillage. But the rumor, how- 
ever it originated, aroused the fighting-qualities of the insur- 
gents. Old soldiers were not to be told that they must not 
march over the highway. They notified Gen. Shepard that 
they would march past the court-house forthwith, and they 
did so in military order and with loaded muskets, and they 
countermarched and again passed under the windows of the 
court-house. But no one came forward to knock the chip 
from their leader's shoulder. The experiment of the insur- 
gents proved a failure. The militia could not be tempted to 
accept a mere challenge or invite a battle. A taunt or a care- 
less word would have occasioned a collision, but the word was 
not spoken. But some of the militia were so impressed by 
the numbers and bearing of the insurgents that they deserted 
their colors and enlisted under Shays. 

" The court was kept open three days, but the proceedings 
amounted to a mere ceremony. The grand jury did not 
assemble. Parties to causes, jurors, and witnesses were under 
arms, either on one side or the other. One defendant, who 
was out on bail, was defaulted, and that was the only business 
transacted at the term. The adjournment of the court under 
such circumstances was a victory for the insurgents, and their 
triumph was made complete when they learned that the judges 
had determined not to hold the October term at Great Bar- 
rington. The judges had been informed of the preparations 
made for their reception at that place, and knew it would be 
useless to attempt to hold the term. 

" The rebels had accomplished all they intended, and more, 
but success had crazed them. The rank and file were clam- 
orous for a fight, and Shays sent a message to Gen. Shepard 
demanding a surrender of the court-house. Gen. Shepard 
did not deem the possession of the court-house worth fighting 
for, the court having adjourned, and moved his forces to the 
Federal arsenal, where there was valuable property that re- 
quired protection. The insurgents, finding no satisfaction in 
standing guard over an empty building, and not yet being ready 
to make war against the Federal authority, soon dispersed." 

On the 27th day of September the Legislature assembled, 
according to the proclamation, and the Governor, in an able 
speech from the chair, presented to the members the alarming 
state of aflairs. The Senate appeared to be decided in their 
opinion that stringent measures were necessary to he taken, 
but the lower house, more or less in sympathy with the 
objects, if not with the acts, of the insurgents, wavered, and 
favored conciliation. 

Various disturbances occurred in different parts of the 
State, and the military was called out to protect the courts. 
Upon hearing this, Shays issued the following order to the 
insurgents : 

"Pelham, Oct. 23, 1786. 
"Gentlemen, — B3' infurmatiuQ from tlie General C<nirt, they are tletermiued 
to call all those who appeared to stop the court to coudigu punishment. There- 
fore I request you tj assemble your men together, to see that they are well 
armed and equipped with sixty rounds each man, and to be ready to turn out at 
a minute's warning; likewise to be properly organized with officers. 

" Daniel Shays." 

Further disturbances occurred in various parts of the State, 
and again, early in December, the insurgents were preparing 
to renew their opposition to the laws in the county of Hamp- 
shire, as the following address issued at the time will show : 

"an address to the people of the sevebal towns in the covntv of habip- 

SHIKE, NOW at arms. 

" Gentlemen, — We have thought proper to inform yuu of some of the principal 
causes of the late risings of the penph*, and also of tlieir present movements, vi/. : 
'■ "1st. The present expensive mode of cullecting debts, which, by reason of the 

great scarcity of cash, will of necessity fill our gaols with unhappy debtors, and 

tiiereby a reputable Imdy of people rendered incapable of being serviceable either 
to themselves or the community. 

" 2d. The moneys raised by impost and excise being appropriated to discharge 
the interest of gtivernmcntal securities, and not the foreign debt, wlien these 
securities are not subject to taxation. 

"3d. A suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus, by which those persons who 
have stepped forth to assert and maintain the rights of the people are liable to 
be taken and conveyed even to the most ilistant part of the commnnwealth, and 
thereby subjected to an unjust punishment. 

"4th. The unlimited power granted to Justices of the Peace and Sheriffs, 
Deputy Slieriffs and Constables, by the Riot Act, indemnifying them tt> the prose- 
cution thereof, when, perhaps, wholly actuated from a principle of revenge, 
Iiatred, and envy. 

" Furthermore, Be assured that this body, now at arms, despise the idea of 
being instigated by British emissaries, which is so strenuously propagated by the 
enemies of our liberties, and also wish the most proper and speedy measures 
may be taken to cUscharge both our foreign and domestic debt, 

" Per Order, 

"Daniel Gray, 
" ChairniaH of the for the above purpose" 

At the same time another publication appeared in the Hamp- 
shire Herald^ published in Springfield, of similar tenor: 

" To tiie Printer of tJie Hampshire Herald: 

" Sir, — It hiis somehow or other fallen to my lot to be employed in a more con- 
spicuous manner than some otliei-s of my felluw-citizens in stepping forth in 
defence of the rights and privileges of the peojde, more especially of the county 
of Hampshire. 

"Therefore, upon the desire of the people now at arms, I take this method to 
publish to the world of mankind in general, particularly the people of this com- 
monwealth, some of the principal grievances we complain of, and of which we 
are now seeking redress, and mean to contend fnr until a redress can be ol»- 
tained, which we hope will soon take place ; and if so, our brethren in this com- 
monwealth, thaf do not see with us as yet, shall find we shall be as peaceable as 
they be. 

" In the first place, I must refer you to a draught of grievances drawn up by a 
committee of the people now at arms, under the signature of Daniel Gray, chair- 
man, which is heartily approved of; some other also are here added, viz. ; 

" 1st. The General Court, for ceitain obvious reasons, must be removed out of 
the town of Boston. 

"2nd. A revision iif tlie constitution is absolutely nessessarj'. 

"3rd, All kinds of governmentiil securities, now on interest, that have been 
l«ught of the original owners for two shillings, three shillings, four shillings, 
and the highest for six shillings and eight pence on the pound, and have received 
more interest than the principal cost of the speculator who purchased them, that 
if justice was done, we verily believe, nay, positively know, it would save this 
conmionwealth thousands of i>ounds. 

"4th. Let the lands belonging to this commonwealth, at the eastward, be sold 
at the best advantage, to pay the remainder of onr dnmestick debt. 

"5th. Let the monies arising from impost and excise be appropriated to dis- 
charge the foreign debt. 

" 6th. Let that act passed by the General Court last June, by a small majority 
of only seven, called the Supplementarey Aid, for twenty-five years to come be 

''7th. The total abolition of the Inferior Court of C<.»mmon Pleas and General 
Sessions of the Peace. 

"8th. Deputy Sheriffs totally set aside, as a useless set of officers in the com- 
munity, and Constables, who are really nessessary, be empowered to do the duty, 
by which means a large swarm of lawyers will be banished fmm their wonted 
haunt!, who have l>een more damage to the people at large, especially the com- 
mon farmers, than the savage beasts of prey. 

"Tu this I boldly sign my proper name, as a hearty well-wisher to the rights 
of the people. 

" Thomas Grover. 

' Worcester, Dec. 7, 1786.' 

At length, on the 26th day of Decemher, Shays, at the head 
of an armed moh of three hundred men, marched into the 
court-house at Springiield, and forcibly prevented the sitting 
of the court appointed to be held there. 

A letter from Springfield to the Botiio?i Chronicle^ under date 
of the 2Tth of December, gives an account of this outrage, 
committed there the daj' before : 

" There is a stagnation of almost every kind of business among us by reason 
of the tunmlts which are so prevalent here. Yesterday we had another visit 
from the mobility : about 3o0 men mai-cbed in hostile array, with drums beating, 
and took possession of the court-house, commanded by Shays, Day, and Grover, 
in order to prevent the sitting of the Court of Common Pleas, which by law was 
to have been held here at that time. This they effected, as there was no opposi- 
tion on the i)art of the government. It was not possible fur the court (as they 
were surrounded by an armed force and a guard placed at the door uf the room 
in which the judges were met) t*» proceed to do business. They therefore in- 
formed a committee who were chosen by the insurgent;! to wait «jn them that 
they would not attempt to oj)eu tlie court. After which, al«>ut dark, the insur- 
gents left the town." 





This mid other outrages incited the Governor and his coun- 
cil, in the absence of the Lcgishiture, to adopt the most ener- 
getic measures for the restoration of order and the suppression 
of the rebellion, now continuing so formidable. 

Says Mr. William L. Smith : " The Governor and the mem- 
bers of the Executive Council were capable and resolute men, 
and were faithful to their great trusts, but they were power- 
less. They did not have at their command the means of sus- 
taining even a single regiment in the field. The emergency 
Avas finally met by some of the capitalists and business-men of 
Boston, who realized the danger to which their interests would 
be exposed by a revolution, and came forward with an offer of 
a loan to the State, trusting to future legislation for their reim- 
bursement. Their offer was accepted, and there was at once a 
change in the condition of aflTairs. There was a new and 
wholesome activity in the executive departments. Orders were 
issued for the raising and equipment of four thousand five 
hundred men, a considerable army in that day. Public senti- 
ment at once exhibited a more healthy tone. The wavering 
and doubting began to get off the fence and range themselves 
on the side that had troops and money, and the lukewarm and 
more thoughtful among the insurgents began to think of their 
allegiance. Shaj-s and his council had been in deliberation 
over two distinct plans of operation. The more reckless of 
the leaders advised an attack upon Boston, for the purpose of 
releasing two of their number who had been arrested and 
were held in jail. Others advised that the attack on Boston 
be delaj'ed until after the seizure of the Continental arsenal at 
Springfield, with its store of war material ; and this last plan 
was the one adopted. 

"The Hampshire County quota of twelve hundred men 
were ordered to assemble at Springfield, and Gen. Shepard 
was placed in command. The Eastern militia were to meet at 
Roxbury, whence they were to march to Worcester, and there 
be joined with the force raised in Worcester County. The 
chief command was given to Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, an ac- 
complished ofiScer of the Revolutionary war. Gov. Bowdoin's 
orders to Gen. Lincoln required him to protect the Court of 
Common Pleas at the January term at Worcester, and left 
his further movements against the insurgents to his own dis- 

The orders of the Governor to Gen. Lincoln were as follows : 

" Boston, Jimy W, 1787. 

"Sir, — You will take command of The Militia detached in nbedience to my 
orders of the 4th iiit-tant. The great ohjects to be effected are to protect the Ju- 
dicial Courts paiticularly those next to be holden in the County of Worcester, 
if the justices of the said courts should request your aid ; to assist the civil magis- 
trates in executing the laws, and in repelling or apprehending all and every such 
person and persons aj5 shall, in a hostile manner, attempt or enten>rise the de- 
struction, detriment, or annoyance of this Commonwealth ; and also t> aid them 
in apprehending the disturbers of the public peace, as well as all such persons as 
may be named in the State wari-ants, that have been, or shall be, committed t<:> 
any civil officer or officers, or to any other person, to execute. 

" If, to these important ends, the militia already ordered out should, in your 
opinion, be incompetent, you will call on the Major-Generals for further and ef- 
fectual aid ; And, if you can rely on their attachment to government, you will, 
in the tir-st instance, call on the militia in the neighborhood of your camp. I 
cannot minutely point out to you the particular line you shall pursue in execu- 
ting these orders: But would observe in genera!, that if, to answer the aforesaid 
■ahiable purposes, .you should judge it necessary to march a respectable force 
hrough the western counties, you will in that case do it. This would give con- 
tidence tci the well .affected; would aid and protect the civil officci>i in executing 
their duty, & would convince the misguided of the abilities of government, and 
its determination to pui-sue every legal and constitutional mesisure for restoring 
peace and order to the Commonwealth. 

" Ton are to consider yourself, in all your military offensive operations, con- 
stantly as under the direction of the civil officers, saving when any armed force 
appears, and oppose your marching to execute these ordei-s. 

"That 1 may be fully acquainted with all the proceedings of the armed force 
under your command, and with all mattei-s that respect the great objects U^ be 
effected, yon will give me regular inform-ation by every post. And for inter- 
mediate and nessessary intelligence you will order the Quartennaster-Gen'l to 
provid the nesseesary expresses. 

" On these attempts to restore system and order, I wish the smiles of heaven, 
anil that you may have an agreeable command, the most perfect success, and a 
speedy and safe return, and am with much esteem, 

" Sir, your most obedient servant, 

"James Bowdoin. 
" Hon. M.\jor-General Lincoln." 

We again quote from Mr. Smith : 

" Gen. Shepard again anticipated the movements of Shays. 
Acting under the authority of the secretary of war, he took 
possession of the arsenal. Gen. Lincoln reached Worcester 
on the 22d of January, after a three days' march from Rox- 
bury through the deep snow of midwinter. The court was 
opened, and proceeded with the business of the term. Order 
was restored at Worcester, and substantially at all points in 
the State east of that place. The insurgents were concentrat- 
ing their strength in the western counties, and it was under- 
stood on all hands that the issue was to be tried and deter- 
mined at Springfield. 

" The positions of the several armed forces on the evening 
of January 24 were as follows : Gen. Shepard was posted at 
the arsenal with ab<jul_£Uie-thausanAjnen. Shays had just 
reached Wilbrahani on his march from Rutland. A part of 
Lincoln's command was less than two days' march in the rear 
of Shays. Luke Daj', an insurgent leader, was at West 
Springfield v.ith about four hundred men and boys, well 
armed and well drilled. There was a good ice-bridge at the 
time, so that he was within easy reach of the arsenal. Eli Par- 
sons, a Berkshire leader, was in the north parish of Springfield 
(now Chicopee) with about four hundred men. The total 
insurgent force was about double that of Gen. Shepard. 

" The inhabitants of Springfield, except such as were within 
the immediate protection of Gen. Shepard, were kept in con- 
stant alarm. Respectable citizens were seized in their own 
houses and taken to Day's camp in West Springfield, where 
they were kept under guard as hostages and for purposes of 
retaliation. Men were not sure whether their near neighbors 
were friends or foes, and unprotected homes were exposed to 
outrage and plunder. Upon the receipt of the news that 
Shays had reached Wilbraham, most of the women and chil- 
dren who had means of conveyance fled from the town, the 
greater part of them going to Longmeadow. 

"On his arrival at Wilbraham, Shays sent a message to 
Day informing him that he intended to attack the arsenal on 
the 2oth. Day replied by letter that he could not move on 
that day, but would join in the attack on the 26th. Day's 
messenger was arrested, and his letter, instead of going to 
Shays, went to Gen. Shepard. On the 25th, Shays moved 
upon Springfield, expecting, of course, the co-operation of Day 
and Parsons. Even if he had received Day's letter, he could 
not have delayed his attack. His only chance of success was 
in seizing the arsenal before Gen. Lincoln could come up. 

" At that time none of the buildings now standing on the 
arsenal grounds had been erected. There were two wooden 
buildings, built for barracks and for storage, on the brow of 
the hill looking to the north, on or near the site of the present 
storehouse. There was a private dwelling-house on the site 
of the present middle arsenal (opposite the Olivet Church). It 
was to this house that the dead and wounded insurgents were 
carried. East of that point there were no buildings except 
the powder-magazine, that stood in a then remote spot in the 
woods. Magazine Street has since been located over its site. 
The present main Armory square was the public training- 
field. There were not then any gun-shops on the arsenal 
grounds. If there was one in the town at the time, it was in 
Ferry Lane, where government gun-work was originally done 
in Springfield. 

" When Shays left Wilbraham, on the morning of the 2.5th, 
Asaph King, a deputy-sheritt', started on horseback to give 
information to Gen. Shepard. He was obliged to avoid the 
highways, and made his way across the fields, through snow- 
drifts and over fences, and is said to have accomplished the 



distance in forty-five minutes. This was the first exact infor- 
mation received by Gen. Shepard of the approach of Shays, 
and he proceeded to raalie ready for his fitting reception. His 
men were stationed near the barracks, and his cannon were 
planted on the brow of the hill commanding the approach by 
the Boston road. A part of his force was posted in Main 
Street, at the point now crossed by the Boston and Albany 
Railroad, for the purpose of holding Day in cheek in case he 
should attempt to come to the aid of Shays. A considerable 
mob collected at that point, but did not attempt an attack upon 
the militia. 

" It was toward the close of the short winter day that the 
insurgents were seen from the arsenal making their toilsome 
march through the snow on the Boston road. They were in 
the best of spirits. Every attempt they had hitherto made 
had succeeded, but it was not an unprotected court-house they 
were now intending to occupy. Some of them were to bo dead 
within the next few minutes. Shays was entirely confident. 
Some of his old army comrades went out to meet him, and 
advised him to keep out of the range of Gen. Shepard's guns 
and abandon his treason. He received them pleasantly, told 
them he was sure of success, and was inclined to be jocose. 
He did not know his own men. 

" There is a good deal of loose tradition about the affair of 
the 2oth of January, which is entirely omitted here for the 
reason that it does not seem to be supported by any trustwor- 
thy contemporary evidence. There was not any battle. The 
only firing was on the government side, and there was but 
little of that. Only one shot seems to have been fired in gen- 
uine earnest, and that was followed by a panic among the in- 
surgents and a flight. The official report of the firm but 
kind-hearted Gen. Shepard to the government gives us relia- 
ble history. It is as follows : 

*' ' Springfield, January 26, 1787. 

'"Sir, — The uuliappy time has corae in which we have been obliged to shed 
iilood. Sliays, who was at the liead of abont twelve hundred men, marched yes- 
terda.v afternoon abont 4 o'clock toward the public buildings, in battle array. 
Ho marched his men in an open column by platoons. I sent several times, by one 
of my aids, and two other gentlemen, Capts. Buflington and Woodbridge, to him 
to know what he was after, or what he wanted. His reply waii, He wanted bar- 
racks; barracks he would have, and stores. The answer wa.s, He must purchase 
them dear, if he had them. He still proceeded on'his march until he approached 
within two hundred and fifty yards of the arsenal. He then made a halt. I im- 
mediute>y sent Maj. Lyman, one of my aids, and Capt. Bviffington, to inform him 
not to march his troops any nearer the arsenal on his peril, as I was stationed 
hero by order of your E.tcellency and the secretary at war, for the defense of the 
piiblick property; in case he did, I should surely fire on him and his men. A 
Mr. Wheeler, who appeared to be one of Shays' aids, met Mr. Lyman after he had 
delivered my orders in the most peremptory manner, and nnule answer, that that 
was all he wanted. Shays immediately put his troops in motion, and marched on 
rapidly near one hundred yards. I then ordered Maj. Stephens, who commanded 
the iutillery, to fire upon them ; he accordingly did. The two first shots he en- 
deavored to overshoot them, in hope that they would have taken warning witli- 
out firing among them, but it had no effect on them. Maj. Stephens then di- 
rected his shot through the centre of his column. Tlie fouitli or fifth shot put 
the whole column into the utmost confusion. Shays made an attempt to display 
his ccdinnn, b\it in vain. We had one howit, which was loaded with grape- 
shot, wliicb, when fired, gave them great uneasiness. Had I been disposed to 
destroy them, I might have charged upon their rear and flanks with my infantry 
and the two fiehl-piece.s,and could have killed the greater part of his whole army 
within twenty-five minutes. There was not a single musket fired on eitlK'r side. 

" ' I found three men dead on tlie spot, and one wounded, who is since dead. 
One of our artillerymen, by inattention, was badly wounded. Three muskets 
were taken up with the dead, which were all deeply loaded. I enclose to your 
excellency a copy of a paper sent to me last evening. I have received no rein- 
forcements yet, and expect to be attjicked this day by their whole force com- 
bined. I am, sir, with great respect, 

" ' William Sukpaud. 

" ' On the back, — " By Col. EH Parsons." 

" ' His Excellency, James Bowdoin, Esq.' 

" The following is a copy of the paper inclosed in the above 
letter : 

"' Heabuuaeters, West Sprinofieid, January 26, 1787. 

"'The body of the people assembled in arms, adhering to the first principles 
in nature, self-preservation, do, in the mosl peremptory manner, demand 

'"1. That the troops in Springfield lay down their arms. 

"'2. That their arms be deposited in the publick stores, under the care of the 
IHTjper ofBcei-s, to be returned to the owners at tliC t«nuinatiou of the present 

"'3. That the troops return to their homes upon parole. 
" ' Your Excellency's most obedient, humble servant, 

'"Luke Day. 
" ' Captain Commandant of this dirision. 
" ' To the commanding officer at Springfield, Jan. 2.>, 1787.' "* 

With the affair at the arsenal at Springfield ended every- 
thing of importance which occurred during this uprising in 
the valley of the Connecticut. 

On the night of the 25th, Shays retreated to " Chapin's 
Tavern," five miles east of Springfield. The next day he 
marched to Chicopee, and joined the force of Parsons, two 
hundred of his men deserting by the way. 

On the 27th, Gen. Lincoln's army, consisting of three regi- 
ments of infantry, a body of cavalry, and three companies of 
artillery, entered Springfield. After an hour's rest, Lincoln's 
infantry and artillery crossed the river to the west side in 
quest of Day and his party. At the same time Gen. Shepard 
with his force moved up the east bank, and the cavalry went 
up the river on the ice to prevent the junction of Day and 
Shays. The insurgents manifested no further disposition to 
fight. The pursuit was kept up with vigor until the insur- 
gents were all dispersed and their leaders captured or driven 
from the State. , 

We again quote from Mr. Smith's paper: 

"John Hancock, who was the first Governor under the 
State constitution, was again elected in 1787. It is no un- 
favorable criticism of the administration that immediately 
preceded him to say that his election was generally received 
as a promise of the removal of the prevailing discontent. The 
armed insurrection had been suppressed, but the work of 
bringing the people of the State to a cordial and unanimous 
su]iport of the constitution and laws remained to be performed. 
The new Governor assumed this difficult undertaking, and ac- 
complished it. John Hancock did not believe in the religion 
of hate. Nine of the leading insurgents, who were convicted 
of treason and sentenced to death, were pardoned, some of 
them at the foot of the gallows, the only condition being that 
they should never hold any office, civil or military, within 
the commonwealth. A large number of persons convicted of 
seditious offenses were pardoned unconditionally. A member 
of the Legislature, who was convicted of treasonable practices, 
was sentenced to stand for an hour on the gallows, with a rope 
around his neck, and to pay a fine of fifty' pounds. This 
seems to have been the only sentence carried into execution. 
It would be a good plan, perhaps, to revive this mode of dealing 
with recreant legislators. Conciliator}' measures were adopted 
by the Legislature. The sullen mutterings of the defeated 
insurgents gradually subsided. Commerce soon settled com- 
mercial difficulties in its own way, as it always does if unfet- 
tered by meddlesome legislation, and a season of prosperity 
ensued. The rebellion was ended at last in accordance with 
the grand precepts of the gospel of forgiveness and of peace. 
And all history tells us that rebellion is never completely 
conquered in any other way." 

The following is a list of the men whose names will go 
down in history as leaders in this movement: Daniel Shays, 
Luke Day, Eli Parsons, Perez Hamlin, Elisha Manning, 
Daniel Dunham, Ebenezer Crittenden, Jacob Fox. " 




THE WAR OF 1812-15. 

It is generally well known that the people of New England 
were, as a rule, opposed to the war with England of 1812-15. 

=*' This paper, read by Mr. William L. Smith, before the Connecticut Valley 
Historical Society, was published in tlie Springfield Sepubtican of Oct. 2, 1877. 



The declaration of hostilities by the United States occurred on 
the 18th of June, 1812, and the feeling was so intense among 
the people of the three river counties that preliminary meet- 
ings were held and delegates chosen, within a few days 
succeeding the declaration, to attend a convention to be held 
at Northampton on the 14th day of July following. 

On the day appointed eighty-eight delegates from tifty- 
seven towns of the three counties assembled at the court-hou.^e 
in Northampton. Upon calling the roll the following-named 
delegates answered to their names and took their .seats in the 
convention : 

Springfield. — John Hooker, Chauncey Brewer, Justin Lom- 
bard, Joseph Pease. 

Northampton. — Joseph Lyman, Isaac Clark, Elijah H. 
Mills, Lewis Strong. 

Hadhy. — Charles Phelps, Samuel Porter. 

Hatfir.ld. — Isaac Maltby, Israel Billings. 

Def'rfield. — Ephraim William.*, Epaphras Hoyt, Pliny 

Sunderland. — Simeon Ballard. 

Blandford. — Jedediah Smith, Alanson Knox. 

Pelham. — Isaac Abercrombie. 

Palmer. — Amos Hamilton, Alpheus Converse. . 
'Southampton. — Luther Edwards, John Lyman. 

South Hadleij. — Mark Doolittle, Bezaleel Alvord. 

Greenfield. — Richard E. Newcomb, Samuel Wells. 

New Salem. — Samuel C. Allen. 

Montague. — Henry Wells. 

Granville. — David Curtis. 

Greenwich. — Robert Field, Joseph Williams. 

Amherst. — Ebenezer Mattoon, Samuel F. Dickinson, Simeon 

Monsoti. — Deodatus Dutton. 

Belchertown. — Joseph Bridgman, Justus Forward, Phineas 

Coleraiii. — John Drury. 

Shutesbury. — William Ward. 

Ware. — William Paige. 
. Chesterfield. — Asa White, Spencer Phelps. 

South Brimfield. — Darius Munger. 

Wai-toicJi. — Caleb Mayo. 

Wilhraham. — Robert Sessions, Aaron Woodward. 

A.'il field. — Henry Bassett. 
'CAre;'i(;?non<. ^Stephen Bates. 

Chester. — Asahel Wright. 

Conway. — Elisha Billings, John Bannister. 

Granby. — Eli Dickinson, Levi Smith. 

Shelburne. — William Wells. 

Worthington. — Ezra Starkweather, JonathiUi Brewster. 

Whately. — Phineas Frary. 

Williamsburg. — William Bodman, John Wells. 

Norwich. — William Fobes, Jesse Joy. 

Wesffiampton. — Sylvester Judd, Aaron Fisher, Jonathan 

Buckland. — Levi White. 

Cum,mington. — Peter Bryant. 

Montgomery. — Edward Taylor. 

Wendell. — Joshua Green. 

Goshen. — .Oliver Taylor. 

Middlefield. — Erastus Ingham. 

Home. — John Wells. 

Heath. — Roger Leavitt. 

Hawley. — Thomas Longley. 

Gill. — Gilbert Stacey. 

Plainfield. — Nebemiah Joy. 

Easthampton. — Thaddeus Clapp. 

Holland. — John Policy. 

Tolland. — Eleazer Slocomb. 

The irregular delegates were Rufus Stratton, from North- 
fleld ; Hezekiab Newcomb and Caleb Chapin, from Bernard.s- 

ton ; Pelatiah Bliss and Timothy Burbank, from West 
Springfield ; and Rufus Graves, from Leverett. 

The convention was organized by choosing John Hooker, 
of Springfield, President, and Isaac C. Bates, of Northamp- 
ton, Secretary. 

An executive committee was appointed, which drew up a 
memorial to be presented to the President of the United 
States praying that commissioners might be appointed for the 
speedy negotiation of terms of peace with Great Britain, which 
was unanimously adopted. The committee also reported in 
favor of a State convention, and recommended that four del- 
egates be appointed from each county to attend the same, pro- 
vided other portions of the Commonwealth coincided with 
them in the call ; and also, that committees of correspondence 
and safety be appointed in each county and town throughout 
the State ; which recommendations were adopted. 

But notwithstanding their determined opposition to the war 
on general principles, the people of Connecticut Valley were 
not found wanting in ardor or patriotism when their services 
were required to defend the country. Caleb Strong was at 
that time Governor of the State. 

Upon the first overthrow of Napoleon I. and his banish- 
ment to the island of Elba, Great Britain concentrated her 
powerful navy against the American States, and blockaded, 
at least theoretically, the whole coast of the Atlantic, from 
the Bay of Fundy to the southern cape of Florida. Occa- 
- sionally troops were landed, and on the 1st of September, 
1814, a body of them took possession of Castine, a port on the 
Penobscot River, without opposition. The region erected into 
the. State of Maine in 1820 was then a province under the 
jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and this aggressive proceeding 
ended at once all political discussions and opposition to the 
war, and united the people unanimously against the common 

Governor Strong, apprehensive of a descent upon the coast 
of Massachusetts, immediately issued a proclamation calling 
out the militia, who were ordered to assemble forthwith at 
Boston. Western Massachusetts responded nobly. A regi- 
ment of infantry was raised in the northern part of old Hamp- 
shire County, and marched under command of Col. Thomas 
L<mgley, of Hawley; another was recruited in the southern 
portion of the county, and placed under the command of Col. 
Enos Foote, of Southwick ; and a regiment of artillery was 
made up in the Connecticut Valley, under the command of 
Col. William Edwards. 

In those days there were no telegraphic lines or railways, 
and all information was conveyed by post-riders, or the slower 
method of the old-time stage-coach ; and the troops, when 
raised and prepared for the field, were compelled to march 
over the hundred miles which intervened between the Con- 
necticut River and the sea-board, instead of being whirled in 
the space of three or four hours on board a flying train to 
their destination. 

Most of these troops were probably drafted or volunteer 
members of the State militia, and hurried to Boston in the 
ordinary dress of citizens, — the infantry armed with old 
"flint-lock" muskets, many of which had done good service 
against this self-same enemy nearly forty years before at Bun- . 
ker Hill. One company of the artillery regiment was from 
Springfield, commanded by Capt. Quartus Stebbins ; one from 
Northampton, under Capt. Asahel Strong ; one from Belcher- 
town, under Capt. Bridgman; and one from Northfield and 
vicinity, under Capt. Mattoim. An entire regiment of in- 
fantry was also raised in Berkshire County. 

The commander-in-chief of this force was Maj.-Gen. Whi- 
ton, of New Marlborough. Among the staff-officers were 
Col. Henry Dwight, of Stockbridge, and Col. Sloane, of 
Lanesborough. Jacob Bliss, of Springfield, commanded a 
brigade. The force commenced its march for Boston about 
the middle of October. The Springfield artillery company 



left on Sundiiy morning, after a prayer and benediction by 
Kev. Dr. Osgood. 

On their arrival at Boston, the troops from the Connecticut 
Valley were cantoned at Dorchester, and the Berkshire regi- 
ment at Ciimbridgeport. 

After a sojourn of nearly six weeks in camp, during which 
time they had a very pleasant experience and were reviewed 
by the Governor, apprehensions of a descent by the British 
troops having ceased, they were discharged from further duty, 
and returned to their homes without having the satisfaction 
(if firing a gun at the enemy. This little episode in the mili- 
tary history of Massachusetts was subsequently known as 
"Governor Strong's War." 

The Hartford Convention met on the 15th of the following 
December, and consisted of twenty-six delegates from the New 
England States, of whom twelve were from Massachusetts. 
Two of these were from Western Massachusetts, — George 
Bliss, of Springfield, and Joseph Lyman, of Northampton. 

The definitive treaty of peace concluded in the early part 
of the following year (1815) was hailed with the utmost satis- 
faction by the people of New England, and from henceforth 
her development in every branch of human knowledge and 
industry was rapid and permanent. 

The Mexican war^f 1846-47 was generally opposed by the 
better classes of New England; but notwithstanding this feel- 
ing a regiment was raised and forwarded to the seat of war, 
where many of its officers and men laid down their lives, 
among whom was the gallant Ct)l. Truman B. Ransom, of 
Vermont, who fell in the attack upon the castle of Cha- 



The Washington Benevolent Society was a secret political 
organization, which, early in the present century, spread itself 
over, the Northern and Eastern States. This society was 
formed to further the interests of the Federal party. It 
sought to bring back by this means the country to what the 
Federalists thought were sounder views on the questions of a 
strong central government as opposed to State sovereignty. 
In a word, it advocated the views of Hamilton and Adams 
in opposition to Jeiferson and the Democratic party. The 
ostensible object of the society was benevolence. But the 
candidate, upon his initiation into its secret workings, soon 
discovered that it really had more to do with politics than 
with charity. 

There was a society at Northampton, and probably societies 
at other places in Hampshire and Franklin Counties. 

W^e copy the following papers from the book of records of 
the county society at Springfield. From these papers the 
reader will be able to gather the objects and aims of the 
society : 


"Many persons being desirous that the Wiishington Benevolent Societj* should 
be instituted at Springfield, in the county uf Hampshire, by the name of the 
Washington Benevolent Society of the County of Hompdeo, the following per- 
sons, viz., John Hooker, Esq., Thomas Dwight, Esq.. Jonathan Dwight, Jr., Esq., 
Edward Pynchon, Esq., Moses Bliss, Jr., James Wells, and Edward Bliss, mem- 
bers of the said Society established at Northampton in the Cmintj' of Hampshire, 
having obtained the constitution of said society at Northampton, adojited the 
same as the constitution of said Society in the County of Hampden ; and having 
met at the Dwelling-House of Eleazur Williams in Springfield, on the twenty- 
seventh day of April, in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Twelve, and 
having chosen John Hooker, Esq., President j)ro tempore, the following persona 
were proposed for ailmission, viz., Doct. William Sheldon, Oliver B. Morris, Esq., 
Daniel Bontecon, Edninnd Dwight, Doct. Samuel Kingsberry, Samuel Orne, 
Amiisa Parsons, Jonathan Packard, Henry Bates, and John Howard, and being 
balloted for, were elected members, and were then admitted and initiated into 
said Society according to the Constitution. 

* This officer was the father of Gen, T. E. G. Riinsom,-svho died at Rome, Ga., 
in October, 18fi4, while in command of tlie 17th Army Corps. 


" Considering that the wisdom and experience of ages have sanctioned the fact 
that public virtue, founded in the integrity, discernment, magnanimity, and good 
faith of the individuals composing the community, is the only euro basis of na^ 
tional honor, prosperity, and glory ; 

" Considering how deeply we are interested for ourselves and for our posterity 
in the welfare of our counti-j', and, consequently, in the permanence and pros- 
perity of our Government ; 

" Considering that a foundation for national glory laid deep and secured iu 
the affections and virtuous principles of the people most certainly insures t!ie 
peiibmiance of those offices of charily, kindness, and brotherly affection which 
so well become members of one great f;iniily in a state necessarily exposed to 
the infirmities and sufferings of humanity and all the vicissitudes of mortal life; 
being convinced that associations founded on humane and benevolent princi- 
ples, proposing the highest model of human excellence for their imitation, — yet 
imitable because human, — embracing the inexperience of youth an<l the wis- 
dom of gray hairs, and inviting to a free interchange of opinion, but carefully 
guarding against the influence of passion, prejudice, or vice, — cannot fail of af- 
fording one of the surest methods of inculcating pure and correct doctrines, of 
promoting good morals and social afl^ection, of essentially advancing the good 
of the community, and guarding against the evils which threaten it, especially 
in times of public danger and distress, — 

" We, whose names are here underwritten, do associate together for the pur- 
pose alHjve expressed, and we adopt the following articles iis the C^onstitution by 
which we will be regulated and governed: 

" First. — The Society shall be denominated the Washington Benevolent Society 
of the County of Hampden. 

"Second. — The officers of the Society shall consist of a President, three Vice- 
Presidents, a Secretary, Treasurer, four Stewards, a Standing CH)mmittee of ten 
persons, a Doorkeeper, and an Assistant Doorkeeper, all which officers (when the 
Society shall be permanently organized) shall hold their offices during the period 
of one year, and shall be elected annmiUy, at such times as the Society sliull ap- 
pi.iiut. If a vacancy happen it may be filled at the next regular meeting of the 

"Third. — The Society shall hold regular meetings on the first Tuesday of 
every month, and may iuljourn from time to time at the discretion of every 

"The President, or in liis absence the oldest Vice-President, or in the absence 
of the Vice-Presidents a President elected for the purpose, shall presjile. 

"Fourth. — The Secretary shall keep the books and papers, and shall record 
such proceedings as the President shall direct. 

" Fifth. — The Stewards shall provide a place of meeting for the Society, pro- 
cure nessessary accomodations, distiibute and collect ballots, assist in keeping 
order, and be the acting officers of the Society under the direction of the Acting 
President, and their accounts of disbursement shall be paid by the Treasurer. 

"Sixth. — The Stiinding Committee shall ^Ustribute the benevolent donations 
of the Society, reccomniend pei'sons proposed ;is membere, and attend to such 
other duties as the Society shall direct. No benevolent donatit.ns shall exceed 
the sum of five dollars to any one person in one month without the consent of 
the Society firet obtained. Kepoit shall be made to the Societj- everj' three 
months what donations have been made, and to what persons; and the C<im- 
mittee shall have jwiwer to draw on tlie Treasurer for such sums i\s they shall 
have expended. 

'• Seventh. — The Treasurer shall hold the funds of the Society, collect initia- 
tion fees and dues of tlie members, and report every three mouths the stat« of 
the Funds. 

" Eighth. — Every member of this Society shall, on his being initiated, pay the 
sum of one dollar, and then aftenvard he shall pay every three months twenty- 
five cents so long as he shall continue a member of the Society. 

"Ninth. — Honorarj' members may be admitted on such teims as the Society 
shall direct. 

" Tenth. — Pereons proposed as members must be reccommended by three or 
more of the Standing Committee at a regular meeting of the Society, and bal- 
loted for, at the same or next meeting of the Society, by bhick and white balls. 
The President shall examine the ballots and declare whether the candidate is 
admitted. Two-thirds of the members present voting in favor of the canditlate, 
he shall be admitted, otherwise he shall not be admitted. No person shall be 
balloted for unless fifteen members are present. 

" Eleventh. — The President shall address the Candedate when initiated, par- 
ticularly reccommending the nessessity of morality, benevolence, sociability, and 
brotherly love. The forms of initiation shall be signed by the President and 
certified by the Secretary. The President shall keep a copy for his own use, and 
deliver the same to his successor in office for the use of the Acting President. 

" Twelfth. — The Society shall have power to make such By-Laws as they 
shall think nessessarj', but no part of this Constitution or the By-Laws shall be 
altered without the consent of the mtyority of the members of the Society. 

"Springfield, April 27th, 1812." 


After being balloted for and admitted the president ad- 
dressed the candidates as follows : 

" Gfjatijemen : You have been balloted for and admitted members of the Wash- 
ington Brnevolcnt Society, estaldished in tliis place ; but before you can be enti- 
tled to all the privileges of membership it is my duty to explain to you more 
parti uhiily the principles upon which this Society is founded. We believe that 



it lA better, by iuL-uU-ating stuiml principles of morality, sobriety, and integrity, 
t*> endeavor to gnunl uur t'cllow-uitizens against the distress consequent upon 
iuiUKintlity and i^jnorance than to trust to alleviating them by donati-ins in 
m mey when too late to prevent the perniiious consequences to the public. We 
believe tliat the best method of preventing distress among the eitizenrt of any 
counti'ir' irf the institution of a government for themselves which makes pro- 
vision for the security and free exercise of their inalienable rights. And such 
government we verily believe to be sacredly gmiranteed to us by the Constitution 
of the United States. No system of government, however, can be so perfect but it 
may, if perverted and mal-aduiinistered, become ruinous and destnictive to the 
liberties of the people. While the illustrious \Vashingti,in was at the head of the 
ailministratiju of the Federal government, our unparalleled prospeiity proved 
that our national affairs were conducted with purity and wisdom. Tlien the 
C.Justitution was strictly and sacredly regarded, and the rights and privileges of 
the people not only acknowledged, but constantly cherished and promoted. But 
during the disastrous administration of Thomas Jetteison and his successors in 
office our Constitutijn has been openlj' violated, public sentiment has been cor- 
rupted, virtue and tilents have been proscribed, and the rights and interests of 
the people have been made the sport of unprincipled ambition. A government 
like ours cannot well be administered when individual distress becomes general. 
It is therefore the duty of every good citizen to use all exertions to prevent cor- 
ruption, whatever specious mask it may assume, from destroying our Constitution. 
Having, with deep regret, observed the baneful etTects produced by combinations 
against the morals and politics of our fellow-citizens, having marked the dangerous 
influence of ambitious and designing men, uniting to obtain by means of jjopular 
deception evei-y honorable and profitable office under the government, and being 
Convinced that very many of those who are loudest in their professions of love of 
tlie people, love of liberty and equality, have no otlier object than the attainment 
of power and the building of fortunes upon the ruin of their country, we have 
arlopted as our motto, ' By their fruits ye shall know them.' When bad men com- 
bine good men must unite. The members of this Society have thciught it neces.sary 
to associate themselves for the purpose of inculcating and maintiiining the true 
principles of our government, and of more effectually promoting and cherishing 
among ourselves and our fellow-citizens friendship, beuevolenco, mutual coitfi- 
dence, and union of sentiment; to relieve the unfortunate, and tj diffuse such 
useful information as will tend to pramote the general welfare and fundamental 
principles of this Society. 

" Gentlemen, are you willing to join a society avowing and solemnly pledged 
to support these principles? You will then, on your sacred honor, answer me to 
sucli questions as 1 shall put to you. Are you firmly atta;-tu*d li^ the Constitiitinu 
of the United States? Are yon willing to use your exerthtns to preserve and de- 
fend it against the inroads and contaminations of arist jcracy, monarchy, despot- 
ism, and democracy? Will you endeavor to divest yourself of all partialities for 
foreign nations, more especially when such partiality will intei"fere with the in- 
terest of the United States? Will you use your endeavors to liave the govern- 
ment administered upon the principles of our beloved Wjishington? Do you 
jdedge your word that you will exercise your privilege as a citizen, and vote at 
all elections for such men as you conscientiously believe will be faithful to tlio 
Constitution and as are attached to the political principles which distinguislicd 
the glorious administi-ation of Washington ? Will you endeavor to aid and assist 
the memliers of this Society in their several lawful callings, when it will not in- 
terfere with yt)ur interest or your duty to others? Do you promise never to com- 
municate anything said or done in this Society unless it be to a member of the 
same, or when compelled to do so by due process of law? To the support and 
practice of all these principles and things you pledge your sacred honor, in pres- 
ence of all these witnesses, whom I now call on to notice the transaction." 

The last meeting of this society was held on the 22d day 
of February, 1813. The constitution above copied was fol- 
lowed by the signatures of seven hundred and nineteen 




The earliest roads traveled by human beings in Massachu- 
setts—at least, since the advent uf the Indian race— were no 
doubt simple paths or "trails," which threaded the mazes of 
the unbroken wilderness from one settlement to another. The 
savages always traveled in a single line, one behind the other, 
and their trails were well defined, and in places so worn down 
into the soil as to have remained for many years after their 
dusky travelers had passed away. 

These highways of the red man were no doubt made use of 
by the early English settlers for "bridle-paths," and when 

* This chapter, and to the end of the Genera! Histnry of the CunuectL-ut Val- 
ley, edited by Samuel W. Diirant. 

wheeled vehicles began to appear they were widened and 
cleared up to accommodate the new mode of travel. 

It is well known that many of the old war-trails of the 
Indians were adopted by the whites, in various parts of the 
Union ; among them the great Iroquois trail from the Hudson 
River to Lake Erie, and the celebrated " Nemacolin's trail" 
through Maryland and Pennsylvania, and, no doubt, the 
"Bay Path," which was one of the first important roads laid 
out in the province of Massachusetts Bay, followed substan- 
tially a great trail of the savages which ran from the neigh- 
borhood of Boston — or "Shawmut," as it was called by the 
Indians — to the Long River, and thence over the mountains to 
the valley of the Hudson. 

This famous route followed substantially the present line of 
the Boston and Albany Railway, striking the Quaboag River 
probably in Brookfield, and thence following that stream and 
the Chicopee River to the vicinity of Indian Orchard, when 
it bore away from the river and entered Springfield by what 
is still called the " Old Bay Road" and Bay and State Streets, 
passing near, and perhaps partly over, the ground now occupied 
by the United States armory and arsenal. 



Turnpikes began to multiply quite rapidly in the years fol- 
lowing the close of the Revolutionary war and the Shaj's 
rebellion. From the close of the latter business began to 
revive, and improved means of travel and communication 
were demanded. Macadamized and plank-roads had not been 
introduced into America at that date, and an improved com- 
mon road, built by a chartered corporation with ample capital, 
was for many years considered the tic plus ulfra of highways. 

"The Second Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation" was 
chartered by the General Court on the 8th of March, 1797, for 
the purpose of constructing an improved road from the west 
line of Charlemont, then in Hampshire County, to the west 
foot of Hoosac Mountain, in the town of Adams, in Berkshire 
County. The charter was granted to Asaph White, Jesse 
King, and their associates. 

On the 9th of March, 1797, the Third Massachusetts Turn- 
pike Corporation was chartered to build a turnpike from the 
east side of Roberts' Hill, in Northampton, to the east line of 
Pittsfield, and passing through Westhampton, Chesterfield, 
Worthington, Peru (then Partridgefield), and Dalton. The 
principal members of this company were Jonah Brewster, 
Elisha Brewster, Jonathan Brewster, Samuel Buflington, and 
Tristram Browning. 

According to Dr. Holland, there was no Fourth Massachu- 
setts Turnpike Company chartered ; but the Williamstown 
Turnpike Company properly occupied its place. This was or- 
ganized on the 1st of March, 1799, for the purpose of building 
and keeping in repair a road from the west side of Hoosac 
Mountain, commencing at the termination of the road of the 
Second corporation, in Adams, and thence running through 
the towns of Adams and Williamstown to the line of Peters- 
burg, Ren.sselaer Co., N. Y. 

The Fifth corporation was chartered on the 1st of March, 
1799, for the building of a road from Northfield, through War- 
wick and Orange, to Athol, in Worcester County, and also 
from Greenfield, through Montague and the unimproved lauds, 
to Athol, where the two roads were to be united and proceed 
through Templeton, Gardner, Westminster, and Fitchburg to 

The Sixth Massacliusetts Turnpike Corporation was char- 
tered the 22d of June, 1799, for the construction of a road from 
the east line of Amherst to Worcester, passing through the 
towns of Pelbam, Greenwich, Hardwick, New Braintree, Oak- 
ham, Rutland, Holden, and Worcester, and uniting with the 
"great road in Shrew.sbury," leading from New Tork to 
Boston. This road was to be not less than four rods in width, 



and the track not less than eighteen feet in the narrowest 

The Eighth Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation was char- 
tered on the 24th of February, 1800, the principal names being 
those of Joseph Stebbins, James S. Dwight, and George Bliss. 
Their road commenced on the line between the towns of West- 
field and Russell, near the Agawam River, and followed the 
river through portions of Blandford and Russell to a point 
known as Falley'.s Store; thence by the west branch of the 
river, through portions of Blandford and Chester, to the Ctov- 
ernment road, which it followed to Becket, and thence by the 
usual road to the Pittslield line. 

The Tenth Turnpike Corporation was chartered on the 10th 
of June, 1800, for the construction of a road from a point where 
the Farmington River crosses the line between Massachusetts 
and Connecticut ; thence, by the side of the river, through San- 
disfield, Bcthleliem (now part of Otis), Becket, and Lee, to 
Lenox Court-House ; thence over the mountain, through Rich- 
mond and Hancock, to the New York State line. 

The Eleventh Turnpike Company was chartered on the 19th 
of June, 1801, with Ezra Marvin, Elihu Stow, and one hun- 
dred others, as incorporators, to build a road from the Con- 
necticut line through the east parish of Granville to Blandford 
meeting-house, and thence, through the town street in Bland- 
ford, to Becket, in Berkshire County. 

The Thirteenth corporation was chartered, June 19, 1801, 
to construct a road from Connecticut State line, in Granville, 
through that town to the northwestern part of Loudon, now 
included in the town of Otis. 

" The Fourteenth corporation was chartered on the 11th of 
March, 1802, to construct a road from the west end of the 
Fifth turnpike, in Greenfield, through that town, Shelburne, 
Buckland, and Charlcmont, to the eastern terminus of the 
Second turnpike, leading over Hoosac Mountain." 

The Sixteenth corporation was chartered, Feb. 14, 1803, to 
construct a road from the west line of West Springfield (the 
portion now forming the town of Agawam), through South- 
wick, Granville, Tolland, and Sandistield, to the turnpike pass- 
ing through ShefBeld from Hartford, Conn., to Hudson, N. Y. 

The Petersham and Monson Company was chartered on the 
29th of February, 1804, to build a turnpike from the Fifth 
turnpike, in Athol, through that town, Petersham, Dana, 
Greenwich, Ware, Palmer, and Monson, to connect in the 
latter with the road leading to Staftord, Conn. 

The Springfield and Longmeadow Company was established 
March 7, 1804, to construct a road from the south end of Main 
Street, in Springfield, through Longmeadow, by a direct route, 
to the State line of Connecticut. 

The William.sburg and Windsor Corporation was chartered 
on the Kith of March, 180.5, to build a road from Williams- 
burg, through the towns of Goshen, Cunimington, and Wind- 
sor, to the east line of Cheshire, in Berkshire County. 

In addition to those mentioned in the foregoing list, there 
were the Belchertown and Greenwich, the Blandford and Rus- 
sell, the Chester, and perhaps a few other minor corporations 
within old Hampshire County. 

These toll-roads were as great favorites as were plank-roads 
in the West at a later date, though they continued much 

They were deservedly po|)ular, for they aft'orded the best 
system of intercomnuinication and transportation then in 
in the countrj'. 

They were most of them continued by their several corpora- 
tions until about the year 18.50, when they were transferred 
to the custody of the public, and have since been kept in re- 
pair by a tax. 


Bridges were constructed by various means,. — among others 
by a lottery system, whicli was quite popular for many pur- 

poses during the latter part of the last and the beginning of 
the present century. On the Oth of March, 1782, a lottery 
was granted by the General Court to aid in building a bridge 
over the " Chikabee" River, on the road leading from Spring- 
field to Hadley ; and on the 1st of November of the same 
year another was granted, for the purpose of repairing and 
supporting one over the Agawam River, in West Springfield ; 
and still another, for the benefit of a bridge over the same 
stream, near a place called Weller's Mills, in Westfleld. 

Many of the bridges over the smaller streams were built by' 
incorporated companies and supported by a system of tolls. 
Occasionally small sums were granted by the countj- authori- 
ties to aid in their construction. In 1816 the towns of Palmer 
and. Westfleld petitioned the Court of Common Pleas (then 
the official county body) for assistance to construct bridges 
over the larger streams in those towns, and three hundred and 
fifty dollars was granted for a bridge over the Agawam in 

A remonstrance was presented against the petition from 
Palmer, but the court, after a careful hearing, granted the 
sum of one hundred dollars for a bridge over the Chicopee 
River in that town. 

The task of bridging the Connecticut, or "Great River," 
was long considered an impo.ssible one. The earliest bridges 
were built by chartered companies, and maintained by tolls 
fixed by law. 

The earliest legislation which we find touching bridges over 
the larger rivers was on July 7, 1786, when Jonathan Hoit 
and John Williams were associated together, and authorized 
to construct a bridge over the Deerfield River at a place known 
as " Rocky Mountain." 

On the 6th of March, 1792, a company, consisting of David 
Sexton, David Smcad, Lyman Taft, Elisha Mack, and associ- 
ates, was incorporated for the purpose of building a bridge over 
the Connecticut River between Greenfield and Montague, at 
Great Falls. 

On the 18th of June, 1795, another company, consisting of 
Jonathan Leavett, Eliel Gilbert, and their associates, was 
chartered for the purpose of building a bridge between Mon- 
tague and Greenfield. 

On the 22d of June, 1797, Jonathan Hoit and David Smead 
were incorporated as the proprietors of the Deerfield River 
bridge, in the town of Deerfield, at the point known as Wil- 
liams' Ferry. 

On the 17th of June, 1800, the town of Westfield was 
authorized to build a toll-bridge over "Westfield Great 
River," near Park's Mills. 

On the 10th of February, 1803, David Morley was author- 
ized to erect a toll-bridge over the Agawam River, " near the 
late dwelling-house of Stephen Noble, deceased." 

On the 22d of Febnuiry in the same year a company, con- 
sisting of John Hooker, George Bliss, Joseph Williams, 
Sanuiel Fowler, Jonathan Dwight, Thomas Dwight, Justin 
Ely, and associates, was incorporated as proprietors of the 
bridge over the Connecticut between Springfield and West 
Springfield. The rates of toll to be charged, upon the com- 
pletion of this bridge, which was the first one erected at this 
point, were fixed as follows : 

For each lb<it-pa.sseiiger 3 t-eiits. 

" " hurse hikI liilel" 7 *' 

" " horse iind chaise, chuir, or slllk.v It) " 

" " chai lot, phaeton, or other four-wheeled carriage 

for paasengel-s 33 •' 

*' " curricle 2o " 

" " horse and sleigh 10 " 

" " heail ncat-cattie 3 " 

" " " sheep and swine 1 " 

This bridge was twelve hundred and thirty-four feet long, 
forty feet above low water, and cost thirty-six thousand two 
hundred and seventy dollars. It consisted of six arches, sup- 
ported by two abutments and five piers, each twenty-one feet 
wide and sixty-two feet long. Thirty rods above the bridge 
two guard-piers, to break the ice, were built. The curve of 



each arch was one hundred and eighty-seven feet, and the 
chord one hundred and eighty feet.* 

It was erected in the two following years, and ojionod to the 
public on the 30th day of October, 1805, upon which occasion 
Bev. Joseph Latlirop preached a famous sermon from Isaiah 
45: 18. A procession was formed, and a salute of seventeen 
gun.'- was thrice repeated from each end of the bridge. 

The following paragrajih is from the Falfral Sjii/, a news- 
paper of the time : 

" The bridge is so constructed, with frames upon piers con- 
nected by long timbers with the arches, that the traveler 
passes over nearly the whole extent of it on an elevated plane, 
affording a view of extensive landscapes, in which are blended 
well-cultivated fields, plains and villages, river and meadows, 
lofty (?) mountains, and, indeed, a variety in the beauties of 
nature which is highly gratifying to the eye." 

It would appear that this bridge was painted red and was a 
famous structure for a time ; but the old men who said that a 
bridge " could not be built that would stand" were right, for 
it is recorded that the old red bridge "gave way, and fell into 
the water," July 19, 1814, after standing less than nine years. 
The fall is said to have been brought about by the passage of 
heavy United States army-wagons, probably loaded with am- 

A new bridge was constructed in the same place, and o]]ened 
Oct. 1, 1816.t 

This second structure was carried away by the flood of 
March, 1818. Five of the seven piers and abutments were 
demolished with the bridge, two on the west end being left. 

The present covered bridge succeeded the one destroyed in 
1818, but whether built the same season or at a later period 
we are not informed, though most probably it was finished as 
soon as possible. J It is said that the last two bridges were 
constructed in part by the aid of a lottery, which a prominent 
divine characterized as "aid from the evil one." It would 
not be very strange, surely, if the company, in the face of such 
a rapid destruction of their bridges, had resorted to all legiti- 
mate means of obtaining the necessarj' funds wherewith to 
rebuild. The present sidewalk on the south side of the bridge 
was added in 1878. 

In 1872 commissioners were appointed by the Supreme 
Court to appraise the value of this bridge and fix the amount 
of damages which should be paid to the bridge company. The 
value fixed was §30,000, which sum was paid by the county, 
and the towns of Springfield, West Springfield, and Agawam, 
in the following proportions : 

County of Hampden $1."i.iiih1 

Sprinfifielii W,lK») 

West Spi ingfleld .-. 4,IKJ0 

Aguwiim l.lKl 

The property was then transferred to tlie custody of the 
county commissioners, and made a free bridge. 

A bridge was built at Chicopee, over the Connecticut, in 
1848-49, forty-three years after the erection of the Springfield 
bridge, and this was transferred to the county commissioners 
after appraisal, in 1870, at a valuation of $36,000, divided as 
below : County of Hampden, §18,000 ; Chicopee, §12,000 ; 
West Springfield, §0000.| All the bridges in the county are 
now free. 

A wooden trestle-bridge was built at Sunderland about the 
year 1815. It was an open bridge, and was soon superseded by 
a covered bridge resting on stone piers and abutments, which 
seems not to have been very strong, for it was replaced in 
1832 by a covered bridge built after what was then called the 
X-work style. In 1840 a portion of this was carried away, 

* From tlie Springfield Republimu at Feb. 2, 1879. 

t Tlie second bridge cost nbont S22,O0O, and tlie third, built in 1820, S'ii.OOO. 
J This bridge is 1287 feet long, 28 feet alX)Ve low water, and 18 feet wide. 
g This bridge has a length of 1237 feet between the abutments. 

and immediately rebuilt. In 1857 two spans were again car- 
ried away, together with one of the piers, and it was rebuilt 
somewhat narrower than before. 

In 1868 a great flood took off all but one span, and it was 
again rebuilt in 1870. On the 9th of December, 1876, a strong 
wind completely demolished it. 

In 1877 the present elegant and substantial iron structure 
was erected by the Iron Bridge Company, of Massillon, Ohio. 
This bridge is eight hundred and thirtj'-eight feet in length, 
thirty-eight feet above low water-mark, with a roadway of 
eighteen feet, and a total height of twenty-five feet above the 
floor. The completion of this structure was celebrated on the 
23d of November, 1877. The river is spanned at Turner's 
Falls by two suspension-bridges, recently erected. Altogether 
there are five railway-bridges over the Connecticut within the 
State, — one in Northtield, two between Deerfield and Mon- 
tague, one at Hoh"okc, and one at Springfield, — mostly wooden 



The act establishing the south end bridge, in Springfield, was 
passed April 15, 1873. The contracts for its construction were 
awarded Nov. 8, 1877. The contract for the substructure was 
made with John Beattie, of Leet's Island, Conn., at an aggre- 
gate cost of $48,950. The rip-rapping was done by O. S. Doug- 
lass, of Suffield, Conn., at $2.25 per yard. The contract price 
for the iron superstructure was .§45,700, which was subsequently 
increased on account of additional work. This bridge is 
twelve hundred feet in length, having eight spans, and is 
twenty feet wide in the clear, and twenty-four feet high. It 
is of the wrought-iron truss style, with vertical ends. The 
total cost will not be far from §100,000, to be paid for largely 
by the towns of Springfield, Agawam, and Longmeadow. 

The north end bridge is a noble structure, of the "open 
Warren girder" or riveted lattice style. It is eleven hundred 
and thirty-four feet long, twenty-five feet three inches high, 
and thirty feet wide, not including a substantial sidewalk on 
the south side. It has seven spans, and is twenty-two feet 
above the mean water-level. Work was commenced upon it 
in July, 1876, and it was completed Sept. 1, 1877. The filling 
of the east side approach cost §10,500, the substructure §68,000, 
and the superstructure §71,500, making the total expense 
§150,000. The builders consider it one of their best structures, 
and the finest highway-bridge in the United States. 

The first bridge of the Boston and Albany Railway Company 
over the Connecticut was a wooden structure with a single 
track, erected in 183.5.|| The present fine iron structure was 
erected in 1872, at a total cost of §262,000. It is twelve hundred 
and sixty feet in length, and carries a double track. The iron- 
work of these three last-mentioned bridges was constructed 
by the Leighton Bridge and Iron Company, of Rochester, 
N. Y. 

There is some talk of demolishing the old covered structure 
on Bridge Street, and erecting another iron one in its stead ; 
but the heavy expense entailed by those already built will 
probably postpone this project for some time, unless some un- 
foreseen calamity shall make it necessary. The old bridge is 
good for ten years, if not destroyed by fire or flood. 

On the 2d of March, 1803, a compan\', consisting of Eben- 
ezer Hunt, Levi Shepard, Joseph Lyman, Jr., Asahel Pome- 
roy, John Taylor, and others, was incorporated for the purpose 
of constructing a bridge over the Connecticut between North- 
ampton and Hadley.^ 

On the 8th of March, 1803, Lemuel Dickinson and seventy- 
four others were incorporated for the purpose of constructing 
a bridge over the Connecticut between Hatfield and Hadley. 
This bridge has not been maintained for many years. 

1 The cost of this bridge was Sl:tl,(112.12. 
If See History of Northampton. 





Ferries were the primitive means of crossing the Connecti- 
cut and all the larger streams from the first settlement down 
to the close of the eighteenth century, when the tirst important 
hridges were erected. There may possibly have been a few 
points between New Hampshire and Connecticut where the 
" Great Kiver" was fordable at low water. 

The smaller streams were crossed by means of fords at the 
shallow places, and it was many years before they were all 
substantially bridged. 

The earliest legislation which we find touching the matter 
of ferries on the Connecticut at Springfield was in February, 
1G83, when the following appears of record : 

"At the General Town-Meeting, Febry. .'), 1G8.3, it was 
further voted and concluded that the Selectmen should dis- 
course with any person for the keeping a ferry over the Great 
River, and, having found such a one, to make a report there- 
of tt) the Town ; as also, they are to consider the most meet 
place where it shall be kept, and signify accordingly." 

"At a town-meeting, March 14, 1683-84, The Honorable 
Corte having appointed this Town to consider and state a 
place for a country Ferry and to procure a person to attend 
it, and make report thereof to the Honored Corte, The Town 
did vote and conclude that the place should be at John Dor- 
chester's ; and he declaring himself willing to attend the 
Ferry, provided he may have liberty to sell drink and be 
freed from military training ; and, to encourage him, the 
Town did vote and conclude him to have liberty to take nine 
pence per horse and man of our own Inhabitants a time ; and 
the said John Dorchester declaring himself contented that any 
of the Inhabitants use any other way or man or means to 
transport on the river." 

The following items are also from the early town records : 
" May 7, 1718. — It was also Voted, that their be levied on tlie Inhaliitjints of 
the Town Nine pounds for the Procuering of a free ferry for tliis present year, 
& twenty-five ponnds for the year en.sning, & that the Nine pounds be raiseti 
this year. .\nd it wna also voted, that if tlleir be notification for so much as the 
wliole sum, tliat the Remainder be paid into the Town Treasury. And it is also 
voted, that John Worthington, & Josejih Williston, & Jos. MelTick be a Com- 
mittee to see ye affair Respecting the ferr>' effected ; <& it is voted, also, that the 
ferry be kept at the upper wharfe. 

'* Jan. SI, 1727. — Voted, that the FeiTy at the upper wharfe be let out for five 
yeai-s on the Desire of Mr. John Huggius, Dated Jan'y al, 1727, viz., tluit the 
Town would grant him the Ferry and the whole Piivilege thereof at the place 
called the upper Wharfe, at the great River, being the common place for the 
Ferry in Spi ingfield, for the space of five years, and he will give them Sixty 
shillings for the same yearly, every year, for the whole lime, and give sufficient 
Bund for keeping said Ferry well the whole Time, and to begin within Twenty 
Dayes from tliis date or Time, and to give Bond within Twenty Days to the 
Town Treiisurer and bis Sucksessor, the which Bond is to be of the sum of one 
hundred pounds. .\t this meeting tlie said Desire of the said John Hnggins was 

" March 12, 1728. — Also to consider and settle the FeiTy at Agawam, & with 
reference to the s.aid fen-y. The following vote was voted, viz., that there bo a 
Ferry settled at the mouth of Agawam River, to cross l«ithe the great River 
and said Agawam River, and that the present Selectmen be .apiwinted to agree 
and settle a feiTyman for that puil>ose. 

"A Town Ferry was established at the middle wharfe by Vote, May 1.5, 1749. 
Voted, that Josiab Dwigbt, Daniel Parsons, George Pynchon, Jacob White may 
have the liberty to set up a Vessell at the middle wharfe ill said town."* 

At the August term of 1814, Amasa Parsons was licensed 

to keep the " upper ferry," which was probably located at the 

point where the upper bridge now crosses. The following 

were the rates of loll fi.xed by the court for all the ferries on 

the Connecticut River within the county of Hampden : 

Foot-passenger .1 cents. 

Man and horse " 

Horse and chaise or sulky 121^ " 

One-horse wagon and passengers 12^^ " 

Coachee, coach, or Jihaeton 2.') " 

Four-horse carriage with passengers 30 " 

One-horse wagon or cart 1() " 

Two-horse wagon or cart 16 " 

The same with more than two beasts 20 " 

Tlie same with more than five beasts 30 " 

Si.K-hortie cariiage 35 " 

* Sec histories of the rivor-towns for interesting items in this connection. 

Neat cattle, each 3 cents. 

Hni-se or mule without rider 3 " 

Sheep and swine, eaeh 1 " 

In the same v'ear Ruel Warriner was licensed to keep the 
lower ferry. In 1831, Hiram Jones was licensed to keep a 
ferry over the Connecticut River at Chicopee for two years. 

Benjamin Ashley is said to have been the first to put a steam 
ferry in operation on the Connecticut River. When the bridge 
was erected at Cabotville (now Chicopee), he sold to the com- 
pany boat and franchise for thirteen hundred and fifty dollars. 
The ferry between Springfield and Agawam was run by steam. 





From the first settlement of the valley down to the close of 
the Shays rebellion the means of transportation in Western 
Massachusetts had been very limited, and the necessity of 
better facilities began to be apparent as the country, which 
had been exhausted by the long period of war and disturbance, 
slowly emerged from its lethargic condition and took a new 
departure on the road to prosperity. 

One of the earliest and most important enterprises in the 
-country was the improvement of the navigation of the Con- 
necticut River. The first movement in this direction was the 
construction of a canal around the falls at South Hadley and 
at Turner's Falls, in the town of Montague. 

Petitions were drawn up and presented to the Legislature, 
and on the 23d of February, 1792, that body passed " An Act 
incorporating the Hon. John Worthington, Esquire, and 
others therein named, — for the purpose of rendering Connecti- 
cut River passable for boats and other things from the mouth 
of Chicopee River northward through this Commonwealth, — • 
by the name of the Proprietors of the Locks and Canals on 
Connecticut River." The individuals named in this act were 
John Worthington, Samuel Lyman, Jonathan Dwight, John 
Hooker, and William Smith, of Springfield ; Caleb Strong, 
Robert Breck, Samuel Henshaw, Ebenezer Lane, Ebenezer 
Hunt, Benjamin Prcscott, and Levi Shepard, of Northamp- 
ton ; Theodore Sedgwick, of Stockbridge ; David Se.vton and 
John Williams, of Deerfield ; Samuel Fowler, of Westfield ; 
Justin Ely, of W^est Springfield ; Dwight Foster, of Brook- 
field ; Simeon Strong, of Amherst ; and William Moore. 

Work was commenced at South Hadley as soon as practica- 
ble after the act of incorporation, under the superintendence 
of Benjamin Prescott, of Northampton, as engineer. Mr. 
Prescott was subsequently superintendent of the United States 
armory at Springfield. 

This is believed to have been the first work of the kind 
attempted in the United States, though the " Western Inland 
Lock Navigation Company" was incorporated on the 30th of 
March, 1792, for the improvement of the Mohawk River and 
Wood Creek, in the State of New York, and the Middlesex 
Canal Company, in Eastern Massachusetts, was incorporated 
in 1793. At all events, Mr. Prescott had no precedent in this 
country as a guide to his operations. 

On the 2-5th of February, 1793, the company, by an act of 
the Legislature, was empowered to assess the proprietors in 
such amounts as were necessary for the work, and in case such 
assessments were not paid to sell the shares of delinquents. 
The shares were also made transferable, and established as 
personal estate. 

The enterprise had not progressed very far before it was 
found that the cost had been greatly underestimated, and, 
money being very scarce, the aspect of the company's affairs 
wore anything but a pleasant look. The necessary funds 



were not furtlxMHiing, iind, as a last resort, an agent was dis- 
patched to Holland — then, perhaps, the foremost money-power 
in Christendojn — to enlist the capitalists in the enterprise. 
He succeeded in disposing of considerable stock, and returned 
with the means thus obtained. 

The capacity of the locks, as required by the act of incorpo- 
ration, wa.s to be equal to the passage of boats or rafts twenty 
feet wide and sixty feet long. This it was soon found would 
involve a heavier outlay than was deemed advisable, and ac- 
cordingly a supplementary act was obtained at the session of 
June, 1703, permitting the company to reduce their capacity 
to the accommodation of boats of forty feet in length and 
twenty in width. 

Even with this modification of the work, it was soon found 
that the works at South Hadlcy would be all that a single cor- 
poration could manage successfully, and accordingly, on the 
27th of February, 1794, another act was passed for the purpose 
of dividing the interests in the upper and lower canals. It was 
enacted that the Proprietors of the latter should remain a cor- 
poration, and that Samuel Henshaw and Benjamin Prescott, 
of Northampton, and Jonathan Dwight, of Springfield, and 
their associates, should be a distinct corporation, by the name 
of "The Proprietors of the Upper Locks and Canals on Con- 
necticut River," vested with all the powers pertaining to cor- 
porations. The number of shares in this new enterprise 
was 504. 

The lower canal and locks were the first completed. The 
canal was two and a half miles in length, and was sunk for a 
good portion of the distance in the red-sand rock. When 
finished, its bed was not low enough to take the water from 
the river, and this circumstance rendered the construction of 
a dam necessary. It was pushed from the head of the canal 
in an oblique line up the river to a point in the stream, and 
thence, at right angles to the current, to the eastern shore. But 
the work was not permitted to remain. The overflow oau.-^ed 
by it flooded a considerable extent of the meadows above, and 
the people of Northampton were wrought to a wonderful 
pitch of excitement ; and the difficulty finally culminated in 
the indictment of the company for the maintenance of a 
nuisance. The case was decided against the corporation, and 
all the dam, except its oblique portion near the right bank, 
was ordered removed by the court. 

A number of Dutch capitalists who had been interested in 
the work, alarmed by these proceedings, sold their shares and 
abandoned the enterprise, and the stock soon fell into the 
hands of comparatively a few individuals. 

The knowledge of constructing locks and machinery for the 
passage of boats and rafts was exceedingly crude at that date, 
and, though the system has long been abandoned, a brief de- 
scription of it may he worthy of preservation. The following 
account is from Dr. Holland's " History of Western Massachu- 
setts," and is no doubt substantially correct : 

"At the point where boats were to be lowered and elevated 
was a long inclined plane, traversed by an immense car of 
the width of the canal, and of sufficient length to take in a 
boat or a section of a raft. At the top of this inclined plane 
were two large water-wheels, one on either side of the canal, 
which furnished, by the aid of the water of the canal, the 
power for elevating the car, and for balancing and controlling 
it in its descent. At the foot of the inclined plane the car 
descended into the water of the canal, becoming entirely sub- 
merged. A boat ascending the river, and passing into the 
canal, would be floated directly over and into the car, the 
brim of the latter being gauged to a water-level by its eleva- 
tion aft in proportion to the inclination of the angle of the 
traverse-way. The boat being secure in the car, the water was 
let upon the water-wheels, which, by their common shaft, 
were attached to the car through two immense cables, and 
thus, winding the cables, the car was drawn up to a proper 
point, when the boat passed out into the canal above. The 

reverse of this operation, readily comprehended by the reader, 
transferred a boat or the section of a raft from above down- 

As business on the river increased, it became obvious that 
the volume of water aft'orded by the wing-dam was insufficient 
for the demand, and it was finally resolved to petition the 
Legislature for relief, in the shape of a lottery for the purpose 
of raising twenty thousand dollars, to enable the company to 
increase the volume of water by deepening the canal-bed four 
feet through its whole extent. On the 25th of February, 
1802, the Legislature granted the petition, and Thomas 
Dwight, Justin Ely, Jonathan Dwight, Joseph Lyman, Jr., 
and John Williams were appointed managers of the scheme ; 
each being bound in the sum of five thousand dollars for the 
faithful discharge of the trust. The grant extended to a period 
of four j'ears. 

The matter was duly advertised in the papers, the plan 
succeeded, and about the close of the year 1804 the work was 
completed. The engineer of this improvement was one Ariel 
Cooley, a man of great ingenuity and energy. Under his 
direction the old plan of inclined planes, water-wheels, and 
elevating apparatus was laid aside, and the simple lock .system 

Upon the completion of the improvements Jlr. Coolev of- 
fered to take charge of the canal and locks, keep them in re- 
pair, survey the craft passing through, and collect the tolls 
for a period of fifty years, for one-fourth the amount of tolls. 
A contract was accordingly drawn and signed, and he entered 
upon his duties at once ; thus relieving the corporation from 
nearly all care in the premises. 

In 1814 he deemed it necessary, for the more perfect working 
of the canal, to build another dam, and the work was partially 
completed when the spring flood of 1815 swept it away ; but 
during the same year he completed a new one, which stood 
until 1824, when it was swept away. In the mean time Mr. 
Cooley had died, and his administrators rebuilt the dam, which 
was still standing when the great dam of the Hadley Falls 
Company was built, about 1849 ; a slight ripple marking its 
location. These dams were indicted as nuisances at the instance 
of those engaged in the shad fishery, but the indictment of the 
first was stopped by the agreement of Mr. Cooley to build a, by which the shad could pass the obstruction. 

He accomplished this work in a unique and ingenious man- 
ner, through his thorough knowledge of the habits of the 

Below and near the dam, on the eastern side, he constructed 
an oblique wing-dam, extending for some distance into the 
stream. This arrested the water from the main dam, produ- 
cing an eddy, in which the fish could find a quiet stopping- 
place after passing the rapids below. 

Opposite this wing-dam he cut down the main dam for the 
width of a few planks, making a passage through which, 
notwithstanding the velocity of the gushing water, the fish 
could dart into the pond above. 

The second indictment brought on an extensive lawsuit, 
which employed nearly all the attorneys then living in the 
county on one side or the other, and resulted in the rebuild- 
ing of the fish-way. The contract entered into by the com- 
pany and Mr. Cooley was eventually surrendered by his 
administrators, and the canal was utilized, more or less, for 
manufacturing purposes, until it was purchased by the Had- 
ley Falls Company, who were empowered to build the present 
dam, "subject to an equitable indemnification of the fishing 
rights above." 

The construction of the dam at Montague was originally 
attempted at a point some two miles below the falls at Smead's 
Island, under the supervision of Capt. Elisha Mack, of Mon- 
tague, who, according to Dr. Holland, operated either as en- 
gineer for the corporation or as a contractor for the work. 
But the project proved impracticable, chiefly on account of 


the depth of water, and was abandoned after considerable 
labor and expense. 

In connection with the experiments at this place, Dr. Hol- 
land relates an interesting incident illustrating the saying of 
Solomon that " there is nothing new under the sun." 

"While Capt. Mack was operating at Smead's Island, an 
itinerant Scotchman made his appearance, who undertook to 
construct a sort of leathern case for the body, with a long 
tube attached for the purpose of respiration, and glass about 
the face for the use of vision. 

" He succeeded in worming his way into the captain's favon 
worked steadily at the curious armor, and, on a Saturday 
night, pronounced it complete, and appointed 3Ionday (fol- 
lowing) for an experimental test. After closing wm-k he 
obtained the loan of Capt. Mack's gray mare, a valuable ani- 
mal, for the purpose of visiting a lady, a somewhat attractive 
fair (one) of the times and locality. Capt. Mack conferred 
the favor gladly, and would have been rejoiced to see the in- 
genious Scotchman again ; but he never did, both mare and 
rider mysteriously disappearing." 

Capt. Mack finally succeeded in constructing a dam at Tur- 
ner's Falls in 179.3, which was allowed to stand one year on 
trial, and, contrary to many doubts, it stood the test of the 
spring flood. The canal was commenced in 1794, but was not 
completed until 1796 or. 1797. It was three miles in length. 



In the early days before the construction of dams on the 
Connecticut, shad and salmon were exceedingly plenty, and 
the fisheries formed for many years a most important industry, 
and it is not astonishiug that the people who derived so large 
a share of their sustemuice and means of livelihood from 
this source should have jealously guarded their rights, and 
persistently fought against all attempts to obstruct the river 
by artificial means. 

Turner's Falls, and those at South Hadley, were famous re- 
sorts for the Indians, and for ages before the advent of the 
EnglLsh they must have sought annually these prolific 
sources of their food supplies. 

The salmon remained in the river until some time after the 
construction of the dam at Montague. The first season after 
its construction they were very plenty at Turner's Falls, and 
were taken, in immense numbers, as they could not pass the 
obstructions at that place ; but their numbers declined rapidly 
from year to year, until about the last seen of them were a few 
stragglers at South Hadley Falls, about the year 1800. The 
following description of the mode of capturing this magnifi- 
cent fish, furnished by an eye-witness, is from Dr. Holland: 

" In hauling in a seine in the shad fishery they not unfre- 
quently formed a portimi of the prey, and manifested their 
presence by commotions well understood by the fishermen. 
The common seine could not withstand their powerful strug- 
gles, and the fishermen were obliged to wade out and get be- 
hind the net, and, by kicking it and striking upon the water, 
drive them into the shallow water near shore, where they were 
grasped by the skillful, and rendered powerless by sending 
deftly-delivered raps upon the head. 

"At that time as many as two thousand shad were fre- 
quently taken at a haul. 

"The shad fishery has gradually declined since, owing 
partly, doubtles-j, to the actual diminution of the number of 
shad entering the river, and partly to the increase in the num- 
ber of gill-nets in the lower part of the river, which have be- 
come so prevalent as to operate almost as an absolute bar to 
their progress up the stream. 

" The shad fisheries at Hadley Falls were formerly consid- 
ered common property, and were participated in by all who 
had a taste for the business. But when the fish became .scarce, 
and consequently enhanced in value, the owners of the lands 

bordering the river availed themselves of the lawgiving them 
the exclusive right of fishing thereon, and drove away the old 
fishermen and carried on the business themselves, thereby 
reaping all the benefits accruing therefrom. In the year 1853 
they took out from forty thousand to fifty thousand shad, which 
were all disposed of at remunerative prices." 

The business has, however, gradually diminished, princi- 
pally in consequence of the net or "pound" fisheries at the 
mouth of the river, which occupy the entire channel during 
the season, not even being removed over Sunday, — the only 
chance the fish have of passing them being while a net is on 
shore for a few hours. 

Small fisheries are at present maintained at Longmeadow, 
Agawam, Springfield, and South Hadley, and considerable 
numbers of this tine fish are still taken in their season. The 
entire catch is disposed of in the cities and villages of the valley, 
a large share being sold in the Springfield markets. 

Within the past fifteen years arrangements have been made 
for restocking the Connecticut with several varieties of fish, 
among them the salmon and the delicious black bass of the 
Western lakes and rivers, and the latter are now taken in con- 
siderable numbers. 

It is a question, however, whether the salmon can ever again 
be persuaded to inhabit their former home. In addition to 
the dams on the Connecticut and the immense amount of 
chemical refuse of various kinds which finds its way into the 
stream from the great manufacturing establishments, all the 
smaller streams, where they formerly swarmed in thousands, 
are entirely debarred from them by innumerable dams, con- 
structed without provision for their passage. 



The following interesting reminiscences of the Connecticut 
River were furnished to the Connecticut A'alley Historical 
Society in a series of articles by T. M. Dewey, Esq., and pub- 
lished in the Springfield Rrpiihlicnn in 1872. Mr. Dewey has 
obligingly furnished copies for this work: 

"Early Navigation of the Connecticut River. — The Connecti- 
cut River has its sources in New Hampshire and the moun- 
tainous tracts of Lower Canada or Canada East.* Its general 
course is south. It is navigable for vessels of considerable 
burden for a distance of fifty miles, to Hartford, Conn., and 
to Middletown, about thirty miles from the Sound, for vessels 
of twelve feet draft. It is the Quoncktacut of the Indians, 
said to signify 'Long River,' or, as it is rendered by others, 
the 'River of Pines.' Its western branch forms the boundary 
line between the United States and Canada, and the main 
river, dividing Vermont and New Hampshire, crosses the 
western part of Massachusetts, passes through the central part 
of Connecticut, and, after a fall of about sixteen hundred 
feet in its whole length of four hundred and ten miles, enters 
Long Island Sound in about 41° north latitude. At Middle- 
town, Conn., it bears ofl' considerably to the east. In its 
course it passes through a beautiful country and by many 
fiourishing towns, among which may be mentioned Haver- 
hill, Orford (particularly beautiful to me), Hanover, Walpole, 
and Charlestown, in New Hampshire; Windsor, Newbury, 
and Brattlcboro', in Vermont; Greenfield, Hadley, Northamp- 
ton, and Springfield, in Massachusetts ; and Hartford, Middle- 
town, and the Haddams, in Connecticut. Its width varies 
from one hundred and fifty feet at its entrance between Ver- 
mont and New Hampshire to four hundred feet at Orford 
and twelve hundred feet at Springfield. The navigation of its 
upper course was improved by means of locks and canals, 
which secure boat-navigation to the mouth of Wells River in 
Vermont, a distance of two hundred and fifty miles above 
Hartford. The falls of most celebrity are Bellows Falls, 
Queechee, and White River Falls, in New Hampshire and Ver- 

* Now Province of Queber. 



moiit, Turner's and South Hatlley Falls in Massachusetts, 
and Enfield Falls in Connecticut. The descent of the river 
between White River Falls and the foot of Enfield Falls, 
where it meets tide-water, is above three hundred and seventy 

"Since the clearing up of the forests along its banks and 
adjoining country the channel of the river has materially 
changed, and notably at the ' Ox-Bow,' at Newbury, Vt., at Old 
Hadley, and at Hockanum. At this last place it has within a 
few years cut its way directly across the neck of the bow, 
which shortens the distance three and one-half or four miles. 
At Hadley, where it takes a bend of six miles to gain only 
one, it has worn its way into those beautiful meadows at the 
' upper side' more than its whole width, so that a well which 
once stood in Hadley, on the east side, is now quite a distance 
from the river-bank, in Hatfield, on the west side of the river! 

"The canal at South Hadley Falls was made by the Hol- 
landers, probably as early as 1790, or thereabout, and the 
boats were passed up and down upon an inclined plane. The 
locks at this place were built by Ariel Cooley about the year 
1790. This inclined plane is very much of a tradition at this 
time, as I can find no one living who can describe it in any- 
thing like detail. The opinion of the oldest men at South 
Hadley Falls is that a triangular box was sunk under the 
boat, and, as the whole was drawn forward out of the water, 
the boat itself would rest level on the box as it ascended. It 
is supposed that the power, fixed at the upper end of the 
plane, was a windlass with sweeps and carried around by 
horses, thus winding up the rope or chain. How the boat 
was again launched into the canal above I have not learned.* 

"In the early part of the present century, and before the 
locks and canals at Enfield were built, the boats used for the 
transportation of freight were quite small. A ten-ton boat 
was considered a large one at that time. These boats, bound 
for Springfield or above, were propelled, unless the wind was 
favorable for sailing, by the laborious process of poling, — a 
jirocess which, with other details of river navigation, will be 
described in another chapter. A number of men called falls- 
men kept themselves in readiness at the foot of the falls — that 
is, at Warehouse Point — to assist in ' poling over the falls' 
the boats carrying six or eight tons. The article of rum con- 
stituted quite a large proportion of the freight in those days. 

" Capt. Flower, of Feeding Hills, who was master of a 
vessel for many years running between Hartford and Boston, 
would take a miscellaneous cargo to Boston in the fall of the 
year, and, remaining there through the winter, would return 
in the spring, as soon as the river opened, with a cargo of rum 
and mackerel ! But the rum was better than it is now. Va- 
rious methods were employed by the boatmen above Hartford 
to obtain their daily rations of rum on their trips up the river. 
Among others, the following was the most novel and success- 
ful : A common junk-bottle would be filled with water, and 
then its nozzle inserted in the bung-hole of a full barrel or 
hogshead of rum, whereupon the water, being of heavier spe- 
cific gravity than the rum, would descend into the barrel, and 
the rum would consequently be forced up into the bottle. 
This operation was liable to be repeated until the reduced 
strength of the rum rendered it not only impracticable, but 
undesirable. The abrasion of the skin on the front of the 
shoulder caused by the work of 'poling' was in many cases 
very severe, especially in the early part of the season, and a 
frequent application of rum was necessary, which operated 
as a toughener as well as a cure ; and it was generally supposed 
to be a judicious plan to take a little inwardly, to keep it 
from striking to the stomach. 

" During these years of boating over Enfield Falls the 'John 
Cooley Boating Company' was formed, consisting of John 
Cooley, Hosea Day, Roderick Palmer, Henry Palmer, James 

* See anl£. 

Brewer, and the Messrs. Dwight of Springfield. A few years 
after (in 1820), Edmund and Frederick Palmer and Roderick 
Ashley joined the company, afterward Sylvester Day and 
the Messrs. Stebbins. 

" In 1809, Springfield bridge was carried away by a freshet. 
Mr. Dwight, a large owner, fearing it would go, made it fast 
by means of a cable to a tree; 'but', said my informant, Mr. 
Adin Allen, ' I guess that didn't stop it a great while.' This 
was in Allen's boyhood, and, living a mile or so above the falls 
and seeing the bridge coming, he and his brother ventured out 
through the floating ice with a skifl", mounted the bridge, and 
busied themselves in saving the iron bolts until the roar of 
the falls and the screams of the people ashore admonished them 
that they had better be getting to land, which they did by 
drawing their skiff across the large pieces of floating ice just 
in time to escape going over the falls. 

"The locks and canal at Enfield were built in 1820, and there- 
after the freight-boats began to increase in size, as they were 
not obliged to climb the falls, till at last the capacity of some 
of the Springfield boats reached sixty or seventy tons. But be- 
fore this time a trial of steamboating was made. A company 
was formed for the purpose of the navigation of the river 
above Hartford, and bore the name of ' The Connecticut liiver 
Valley Steamboat Company.' Its members chiefly resided in 
Hartford, although a few were scattered along the line of the 
river. 3Ir. Charles Stearns, of Springfield, was a member, I 
think; also Gen. David Culver, of Lyme, N. H., who after- 
ward became an active partner in the boating compan}' of 
' Stockbridge, Culver & Co.,' and the inventor of a number of 
improvements in boating machinery. This (Connecticut River 
Valley Steamboat Company) was a short-lived company, oper- 
ating only one season, if I am correctly informed. There is 
no record of its incorporation, but I learn from Cob C. H. 
Nortbam, of Hartford, that Philip Ripley, of that city, was its 
agent, and for one year only. They built a small-sized steam- 
boat, which was run up the Connecticut about the 3"ear 1829, 
and was afterward named the ' Barnet. ' The ' Barnet,' Capt. 
Nutt master, made its first trip up the river as far as Barnet, 
Vt., after which it was named. It drew a crowd of spectators 
from all along the river-bank. The farmer left his team, the 
merchant his store, the hired man shouldered his hoe and took 
to his heels, and even the girls and some of the mothers left 
their spinning-wheels and dish-pans, and cut for the river to 
see the first steamboat. It was a ' side- wheeler,' high pressure, 
with two engines of twenty-horse power each, and could make 
about six miles an hour up stream. I learn also that in July, 
1830, Col. Clinton, son of De Witt Clinton, ran a steam- 
boat up the Connecticut, and that on the 4th of July, 1832, 
Dr. Dean, of Bath, N. H., was drowned from on board the 
steamboat 'Adam Duncan;' also that in July, 1831, the 
' John Ledyard' ran up, probably to Wells River. These 
boats were stern-wheelers. Upon the advent of the flrst- 
named 'Barnet,' Capt. Nutt master, a rollicking poem was 
written by a resident of Haverkill, commencing thus : 

' This is tlie day that Capt. Nutt 
Sailed up the fair Connecticut.' 

But I have not been able to find the rest of the poetry. 

" This was about the time that Allen began to pilot boats 
over Enfield Falls, and he was employed to run the 'Barnet.' 
One day a boat was seen coming down the river having three 
sails, — main and topsails and a sail above them. Its name 
was not known. But it seems it was only an experiment, and 
probably never was tried again. 

" The act incorporating the ' Proprietors of the Upper Locks 
and Canal' (Turner's Falls) was passed in the winter of 1792. 
The first dam at the falls was built in 1793 by Capt. Mack, 
and in the course of the year following the canal was com- 
menced. The locks were built by my grandfather, Capt. 
Hophni King, of Northfield, Mass. They are of sufficient 
size to pass boats and boxes thirteen feet wide and sixty-eight 




or seventy feet long. Capt. Kini; was the first builder to 'lay 
out' the frame of a buiklinj; by the ' square rule.' Mr. Timo- 
tliy Billing.*, of South Deertield, who was his api)rentice, in- 
formed me that people came from great distances to see a 
building framed in that way. The manner of framing had, 
up to this time, been by the ' scribe rule.' 

" There was in operation at this time a line of small 
steamers running between Springfield and Hartford, first 
started by James Blanehard, of this city. The first was the 
' S])ringfield,' a side-wheel steamer; then the 'Vermont,' a 
stern-wliooler, built by IJlancbard ; then the ' Massachusetts,' 
'Agawam,' and the 'Phrcni.x.' The captains of the boats 
were Peek, Mosely, and Hoyt. Capt. Peck was not exactly 
the same on all occasions, — at times plea.sant, bland, and cour- 
teous to his passengers, then again crusty and sarcastic. Capt. 
Mosely was jovial, social, and gentlemanly, and the best tenor 
singer then in the whole valley. Capt. Hoyt was the prince 
of story-tellers, and always drew a crowd. Mr. Adin Allen 
was the pilot, and stood at his post through wind and calm, 
storm and shine. 

" The Connecticut River has borne on its bosom so many 
pilgrims during the earliest settlements of this country in 
search of a permanent home, from Windsor, Hebron, and 
other towns in the State of Connecticut to the upper counties 
in Vermont and New Hampshire, and has become so incorpo- 
rated and interwoven into our history and progress, that any 
incident in which it bears a prominent part .should not be 
pa.ssed over unnoticed in our historical researches. In the 
spirit of this sentiment, therefore, I claim for it the honor of 
bearing upon its waters the first steamboat ever built in 
America. The justice of this claim is established by the fol- 
lowing article, which was written by Rev. Cyrus Mann, after 
careful investigation of the subject, and was printed in the 
Boston Recorder in 1858 : 

" ' Who was the original inventor of the steamboat? The 
credit of the original invention of the steamboat is commonly 
awarded to Robert Fulton ; but it is believed that it belongs 
primarily and chiefly to a far more obscure individual. So 
far as is known, the first steamboat ever seen on the waters of 
America was invented by Capt. Samuel Morey, of Orford, 
N. H. The astonishing sight of this man ascending the Con- 
necticut River, between that place and Fairlee, in a little boat 
just large enough to contain himself and the rude machinery 
connected with the steam-boiler and a handful of wood for a 
fire, was witnessed by the writer in his boyhood and by others 
who yet survive. This was as early as 1793 or earlier, and 
before Fulton's name had been mentioned in connection with 
steam navigation. Morey had his mind set upon the steam- 
boat, and had actually brought it into operation, although in 
a rude and imperfect state, at that period. He had corre- 
sponded with Prof Silliman, of New Haven, and been jncour- 
aged by that distinguished patron of the arts and sciences. 
Many of the writings of this correspondence are still extant. 
Soon after a few successful trips in his boat on the river, 
Morey went with tlie model of it to New York, where lie liad 
frequent interviews with Messrs. Fulton and Livingston, to 
whom he exhibited and explained his invention. They ad- 
vised to have the engine in the side or centre of the boat, in- 
stead of the bow or forepart, to which it had been assigned by 
Morey. That they were highly pleased with what he had ex- 
hibited is numifest from the otter niade of one hundred thou- 
sand dollars if he would return home and make the alteration 
suggested, so as to operate favorably. They treated him with 
great respect and attention. Taking a friendly leave, he re- 
turned to his distant residence to make the alteration. 

"'Having completed the work at considerable expense of 
time and study, and with the help of his brother, Maj. Israel 
Morey, who aided in making the machinery, he repaired to 
New York, expecting the same cordiality which he had before 
experienced. But, to his, he was treated with great 

coldness and neglect, and no further intercourse with him was 
desired. The secret of his invention bad been fully acquired, 
and from subsequent developments it appeared that Fulton, in 
the interval of Morey's absence, had planned and formed a 
boat according to the model shown him, and he now desired 
no further communication with the originator. He even went 
to Orford, during the period in which the alteration was being 
made, to examine its progress and the prospect of success. 

" ' In 1798, several years after Morey's boat had ascended the 
Connecticut River, the Legislature of New York passed an 
act investing Mr. Livingston with the exclusive right and 
privilege of navigating all kinds of boats which might be 
propelled by the force of fire or steam on all the waters within 
the territory or jurisdiction of the State of New York. 

" ' Subsequently, Mr. Livingston entered into a contract with 
Fulton, by which, among other things, it was agreed that a 
patent should be taken in the United States in Fulton's name. 
In 1802 or 1803, Fulton came forward with an "experimental 
boat," for which he obtained a patent with the usual exclusive 
privileges. Thus it appears that there was ample time after 
his interviews with Morej- for him to complete his schemes 
previous to their consummation. He now claimed to be the 
inventor of the steamboat. The patent could not be obtained 
without Mr. Fulton's taking an oath that the improvement 
was wholly his. 

"'Does not this look like great unfairness toward Mr. 
Morey ? Does it not almost irresistibly convey the idea that 
the patentee surreptitiously seized upon the invention and 
turned it to his own account, taking advantage of the quiet 
disposition and retired position of the real inventor? In this 
light Morey ever after, to the day of his death, viewed the 
whole transaction. Living witnesses testify that he repeatedly 
complained of Fulton for superseding him in obtaining a 
patent and stealing the honor and emolument of the inven- 
tion. A gentleman of unimpeachable veracity, who was with 
Morey some of the last years and days of his life, asserts that 
he most bitterly criminated Fulton for hi.* ill-treatment in 
secretly depriving him of his sacred rights and privileges. 
Why should the dying man have done this, and persisted in 
it amidst the solemnities of his situation and the approacliing 
realities of eternity, unless he knew that the truth was on his 
side? He was a man of veracity, in whom his friends and 
acquaintances had entire confidence.' 

" Very much of interesting detail of the early navigation of 
our river has passed out of remembrance of those living at the 
present time. Had such a society as this been formed line hun- 
dred or fifty years ago, we should doubtless have secured this 
detail, perfectly familiar to the men of that day, but now be- 
yond our reach. Hence I regard the pre.sent work of this so- 
ciety, in resuscitating whatever incidents we can of our early 
history, by interviewing the aged who are yet left to us, and 
by examination of records and memoranda wherever thej' may 
be found, as worthy the special attention of us all. 

" Boatiiiri on //le Conneciinit Foriy i'eara ago. — The 'Con- 
necticut Uiver Valley Steamboat Com]iany' was in full opera-' 
tion in 1833, when I first became acquainted with the freight- 
ing business on this river. They owned a line of boats called 
' luggers,' running from Hartford to the head of navigation 
at Wells River, Vt., and also several stern-wheel steamboats 
used for towing the same. As the steamers were too large to 
pass through the locks and canals, the first steamer would take 
them, sometimes four and even six at a time, as far as Wil- 
limansett. They were then drawn over ' Willimansett' (I use 
the river parlance) by a strong team of oxen led \>y a sjian of 
horses, operated through the South Hadley locks and canal, and 
were taken by the next steamer above to Montague Canal ; then 
by the next from Miller's River to the foot of Swift Water, at 
Hinsdale, N. H., and, I believe, in a good pitch of water, as 
far as Bellows Falls; and so on. Other boating companies 
were engaged at the same time, and carrying large amounts 



of goods of almost every description used in country stores 
from Hartford to all the principal towns in the valley, freight- 
ing down with wood, brooms, hops, staves, shingles, wooden- 
ware, and sometimes fine lumber. These companies used more 
convenient and serviceable boats, well rigged, with main and 
topsails, running-boards and cabin, with rudder and helm in- 
stead of the steering-oar. 

"Commencing at the lower section, there were the 'John 
Cooley Company,' consisting of Edmund Palmer, Roderick 
Ashley, Sylvester Day, J. B. M. and ' Kit' Stebbins ; and the 
'Parker-Douglass Company,' of Stoddard Parker, George 
Douglass and brother, Albert Gowdy, and Horace Harmon. 
These two companies did the freighting for the merchants of 
Hampden County, each owning and running a steamer for 
towing their boats, and sometimes the boats of other com- 
panies, and having their headquarters at Springfield. Next 
above was Bardwell, Ely & Co., consisting of Josiah Bardwell, 
Hiram Smith, Peletiah and Jo.scph Ely, Broughton Alvord, 
Whiting Street, and David Strong ; they carried for South 
Hadley, Northampton, and adjoining towns. Capt. Nash, who 
ran one boat only, for the business of Hadley and Amherst, 
was a veteran in the business when I commenced, and con- 
tinued until boats and boating were superseded by the rail-car. 
On the Greenfield reach were Stockbridge, Culver & Co., — 
David Stockbridge, David Culver, J. D. Crawford, and T. M. 
Dewey. This company struck hands with the ' Greenfield 
Boating Company' in 1837, and took the name of Stockbridge, 
Allen, Root & Co., Messrs. Allen and Root taking the place 
of Gen. Culver. They owned the steamer 'Ariel Cooley,' 
which took their boats from the head of South Hadley Canal, 
and winding around the smiling Hockanum and Old Hadley 
bends, and through the sinuosities of School-Meadow flats, 
landed them at the foot of Montague Canal. This run (forty 
miles) was generally made in twelve hours, with four boats in 
tow, and through the night as well as daytime, unless it was 
very cloudy. The steamer was a ' stern- wheeler,' ninety feet 
long and eighteen feet wide, with two high-pressure engines 
of twenty-horse power each. She was overhauled in 18.30, her 
name changed to ' Greenfield,' and in the spring of 1840, just 
above Smith's Ferry, she burst her boiler, killing Capt. Craw- 
ford, Mr. Lancy, tif this city, the maker of her machinery, and 
Mr. Wood, the engineer. 

"Above Turner's Falls, after the collapse of the Connecti- 
cut River Valley Steamboat Company, all steamboating was 
given up, — the freight-boats, smaller than those at the lower 
sections of the river, relying on the south wind and the ' white- 
ash breeze.' J. G. Capron and Alexander ran one or two 
boats in connection with their store at Winchester, N. H. ; 
Hall & Townsley, of Brattleboro', ran two or more, and sup- 
plied the merchants of that place and vicinity, and Wentworth 
& Bingham those of Bellows Falls. Other individuals and 
companies, whose names I cannot recall, were engaged in this 
enterprise, and the merry boatmen's song was heard far up 
the valley. Some of the ups and downs incidental to this 
laborious work may interest the reader. 

" No department of the business of this country offered so 
wide scope of incident, and called into action so great a num- 
ber of jolly, hard-working, determined, and unselfish men, as 
that of Connecticut River boating in its palmiest days. They 
were the stoutest, heartiest, and merriest in all the valley, and 
there were few towns from Hartford, Conn., to Northumber- 
land, N. H., unrepresented. If there arose any disturbance 
in city or town, it was a common thing to send for a few Con- 
necticut River boatmen, and it was soon quelled. I was en- 
gaged to teach a common district school of seventy scholars 
in one of the river-towns, in the winter of 1834, where the 
previous winter the ' big boys' had turned out four teachers, 
— some out of the door and some out of the window ; and as 
soon as it was known that the committee had hired a boatman 
to teach their scliool, the 'boys,' like Captain Martin Scott's 

coon, decided that I 'needn't fire,' — they'd come down. I 
had no trouble with the school.. One of the young men we 
used to call Lee, who rejoiced in the height of six feet seven 
inches in his stockings, made the boys believe I had killed 
several 'ugly boys' up in Upper Cohoes ! These river-men 
might indeed be called ' sons of Anak,' as they were of prodig- 
ious strength. The names of Sam Granger, Tim Richardson, 
Charles Thomas, Bart Douglass, Mart Coy, Sol Caswell, Cole 
Smith, and, last and stoutest of them all. Bill Cummins, would 
strike terror to all loafers, beats, or bruisers in the city of 
Hartford, or wherever they were known. Cummins would 
lift a barrel of salt with one hand by putting two fingers in 
the bung-hole, and set it from the bottom timbers on top of 
the mast-board : I have seen him do it. While in Hartford 
and belonging to one of the Wells River boats, he was told 
that a gang of twenty Irishmen had laid a plan to meet on 
the next night and give him a 'mauling.' He found Cole 
Smith and told him to look on, and if he thought it necessart/ 
he might lend a hand. When the gang made their appearance 
near Knox's Slip, Cummins went for them, and in twenty 
minutes there wasn't an Irishman in sight except five or six 
who were lying around loose on the ground with bloody noses 
and broken ribs. Smith's services were not needed, but he 
never liked it in ' Bill' because he did all the pounding him- 

" Very few persons of the present day know anytliing about 
the method of propelling a boat of from thirty to sixty tons 
up the river by means of the white-ash breeze aforesaid, and it 
may be worth an explanation. In our river vernacular the 
term given to this kind of propulsion is 'poling a boat.' 
The poles used are made of the best white-ash timber, and are 
from twelve to twenty feet in length, according to the depth 
of water, and two inches or more in diameter, with a socket- 
spike in the lower end, and a head on the upper end for the 
shoulder. The bowsman selects the pole he needs, — this is, if 
he is an inside bowsman, a short pole, if an outside a longer 
one, — sets it firmly over the side near the bow of the boat, and, 
placing the head of the pole against his shoulder, straightens 
hiuLself out along the wale of the boat, with his feet on the 
bow-piece, and walks along down on the timbers to the mast- 
board, shoving the boat ahead. If there are two or more men 
on each side, No. 2 takes a 'set' in the same way, the first 
one lifting his pole over No. 2, and walking back to the bow 
to take another 'set,' and so on. Sometimes, in hard water 
or over bars, there are five or six men on each side. This is 
probably the hardest work ever known to men. Men have 
sometimes been obliged to pole a boat from Hartford to Wells 
River without any aid from wind or steam, and for several 
days before they got toughened their bloody shoulders bore 
testimony to the severity of their labor. The water from 
Hartford to Windsor locks is what is called 'hard water,' as 
well as many other places farther up ; and rest assured that 
a south wind or a steamboat was welcome to a boat's crew 
bound up-river. 

" One Sabbath morning, in the spring of 1837 or 1838, the 
boat of one of our oldest river-men, destination was 
Old Hadley, lay at the foot of Perry Street, Hartford, loaded 
and ready for starting. The men were variously' employed. 
Some were smoking, some washing their clothing, and some 
reading ; but all of them were trying to ' woo the southern 
breeze,' which gave signs of immediate action. At this point 
the old captain came down to the river, eyeing the mare-tails 
in the southern sky, and told his men not to start if the wind 
did blow, as he was opposed to Sabbath work entirely. But 
as he was leaving he called ' Moses' aside and handed him 
fifty dollars, saying, ' You may want it for toll and other ex- . 
penses.' Probably Moses knew what that meant when trans- 
lated into Connecticut River English. The captain then 
returned to Bartlett's Hotel, took a glass of ' pep'mint,' called 
for his horse and carriage, and drove twelve miles to AVindsor 



locks, where he found his bout and men trying to persuade 
Mr. Wood, the toll-gatherer, to let them through. Tlie men 
were not dismissed for disobeying orders, for they had ' a 
glorious south wind.' 

" Now go with me from Hartford up the river on one of our 
b«st cabin-boats, in a good south wind or by steam. First get 
under Hartford bridge; then up mast, hoist .sail, and we leave 
Pumpkin Harbor gushingly. On Windsor flats and Scantic 
we .stir up the sand, but the wind increases and away we go. 
Steady there! Wind.sor locks! Let off that brace; round 
with 'em; down sail. 'Jo, run along and get a horse ready 
while we operate through the locks.' And so we pass through 
Enfield Canal, six miles, by horse-power; operate through the 
guard-lock; up sail again, and, leaving behind the roar of the 
falls, and the still louder roar of 'Old Country' Allen, our 
boat goes through ' Longmeadow Keach' kiting with a 'bone 
in her mouth.' We pass Springfield on a close-haul, and soon 
reach the foot of Williraansett. Here Capt. Ingraham hitches 
on his big team of six oxen and two horses, with a chain one 
hundred feet long, and draws us through the swift canal, called 
' drawing over Williniansett.' We then cross over to the foot 
of South Hadley Canal (now no longer a canal), operate 
through the locks, after paying toll to 'Uncle Si,' then 
through the canal, two miles, and, if the wind is strong 
enough, sail ' out at the head,' and on up the winding river. 

"The operation of 'getting out at the head' .should be 
described. On account of the rocky .shore, the canal was 
begun a half-mile below the commencement of quick-water. 
Of course the current is swift, and in high water it sometimes 
used to require from fifteen to twenty men to get a boat out. 
This was done mainly by 'tracking.' A number of men go 
ashore with a long track-line hitched to the mast, and, with 
yokes or collars over the shoulders, trudge and clamber along, 
and 'haul her over,' with inside polesmen to aid. These extra 
men were put on at the expense of the canal corporation. In 
later years this hand work was avoided. A machine was in- 
vented by Harry Robinson, one of our first-class pilots, for 
drawing boats 'out at the head' of this canal, which did, the 
work successfully. The boatmen called it a ' fandango. ' Upon 
a good staunch boat were placed two upright timbers, firmly 
braced fore and aft, one on each side of the boat. Across these 
rolled the axle, with a drum for the rigging to wind upon, 
with floats and buckets at each end and outside of the boat. 
By means of timbers reaching from this axle to the stern these 
floats could be lowered into or raised out of the water. An 
inch-and-a-quarter rigging was made fast at the head of this 
shute, and, reaching to the fandango (some two thousand 
feet), was attached to the drum. Now cast off and let the 
floats down into the water, and the current will carry them 
around, winding the rigging around the drum. So away goes 
the majestic fandango up the stream, taking along a boat made 
fast to its stern, and the faster the water runs the faster will go 
the flotilla against it. 

" But while I have been describing this machine our boat 
has sailed on around Hockanum, and, with a little aid from 
'white ash,' around 'Old Hadley turn,' and now, after run- 
ning the gauntlet of School Meadow flats, which would puzzle 
an eel to do, has made the foot of Montague Canal. And so 
on through the canal and through Miller's upper locks, and 
thence plain sailing to the 'foot of swift water' at Hinsdale. 
Here, if the wind is not very strong, we take in a few 'swift- 
water-men' for twelve miles, then on to Bellows Falls, and the 
same over and over to Quecchee and White River locks up to 
Wells River. This is a good week's work, but it has been 
done in less time. A day's work with the poles, however, 
would be from Hartford to Windsor locks, — with a good south 
wind, from Hartford to Montague Canal. Between the last- 
named places but little poling has been done in the latter years 
of boating, as sleani or wind was more available. 

" The down trips of these boats were a different thing. A 

boat loaded with wood, brooms, wooden-ware, hops, and other 
bulky articles was not an easy thing to handle in a wind. 
Pilots wei-e necessary over the falls at Enfield and Williman- 
sett. At the latter place Harry Robinson held this responsible 
position many years, and Joseph Ely was his successor. At 
Enfield the signal strain of ' Pilot ahoj" !' was heard at short 
intervals through each boating season, either for boats or rafts. 
This call brought out Jack Burbank, Alv Allen, ' Old 
Country' Allen, and Capt. Burbank, Sr. , who would come 
aboard and draw cuts for the chance. The boat was then put 
into trim for 'going over,' oars and poles all handy, rigging 
properly coiled, and every man read)' for any emergency. 
The channel is as difficult to run as that in the St. Lawrence 
from Montreal to Laprairie, but the aforementioned pilots 
seldom touched a rock. This run of six miles was quickly 
made, when the pilot would sometimes get a chance to ride, 
but generally walked or ran back for the next boat. His fee 
was one dollar and a half each trip, and his was a laborious 
life. But they have all gone ' over the river' for the last time, 
except Adna Allen, formerly for twenty-one years pilot of the 
passenger-boats running between this city and Hartford, and 
who now resides in this city. 

" It was a custom to ' break in' the raw hand on the passage 
of the freight-boats over Enfield Falls by showing him the 
silver mine at ' Mad Tom.' The initiate must get down close 
on the bow-piece to look for the silver, and when the boat 
pitched into 'Mad Tom,' and the water rushed over him a 
foot deep, he would 'generally retire aft and say he'd 'seen 
enough,' and it would require quite a number of gin-cocktails 
at Hartford to dry him ! 

" Some of the pleasantest days of my life were spent at the 
helm of the old steamer ' Ariel Cooley' in passing up and 
down between South Hadley and Greenfield, — sometimes with 
four or six boats in tow, sometimes with only two, the down 
trip being usually made without any, — as we wound around 
the placid Hockanum of former days, before the impatient 
river, like many a would-be reformer of the present day, con- 
cluded to straighten things, and so cut a channel through its 
narrow neck, — that is, cut its throat, — with Mount Holyoke 
on our right, looking majestically down upon our boys who 
were quietly enjoying the scene, as if saying to then^, ' Come 
up higher,' while the carpeted meadows of Northampton 
seemed as urgently to invite their attention to their own realm 
of beauty. 

" This towing process was of great benefit to the men, as it 
gave them the leisure they so much needed to wash, to mend, 
and to refresh themselves, and prepare for the hard work to 
come, when the steamer had taken them through. In this, as 
in other vocations, some will be remembered by their eccen- 
tricities, some by their reticence, and others by their loquacity. 
I have listened till ' beyont the twal' to the anecdotes of Ed- 
mund Palmer and Bob Abbe. I have known John Sanborn 
to go the whole round trip from White River, Vt., without 
speaking, and Dick Thorpe would talk enough to make it up I 
Other notables were Capt. Peck, who presided with so much 
dignity over the passenger-steamers from tliis city to Hartford, 
and who was said to have been arrested for smuggling I This 
was a line of small steamers first put on by James Blanchard, 
then of this city. The first was the 'Springfield,' a side- 
wheel steamer ; then tlie ' Vermont,' a stern-wheeler, built by 
Blanchard, the 'Massachusetts,' the 'Agawam,' and the 
'Phcvnix.' The 'Massachusetts' only could come up over 
Enfield Falls, and many of this day can remember the sturdy 
form of the faithful pilot, Ad Allen, who so long guided these 
boats through storm and shine. Capt. Increase Mosely, too, 
commanded one of these boats awhile, — the best singer on 
Connecticut River; Capt. David Hoyt another,— the complete 

"('apt. Jonathan Kcntfield was also one of tlie early 
workers on this river, and ran a line of boats on his own ac- 



count for a number of years. His distinguisliing character- 
istic was pomposity, but he was a considered a trusty and 
competent boatman. While he was in his best days, the body 
of a deceased member of Congress from Vermont was sent 
forward from Washington, and came from New York to 
Hartford by steamboat, directed to his friends in Vermont, to 
go by lirst boat up the Connecticut River. None of the up- 
river companies were willing to take it. Finally, one who 
knew the captain's weak spot (he was called ' Capt. Don't') 
told him that the remains of a Vermont member of Congress 
had been forwarded to his special care to go up by his boat. 
'Very well,' said Capt. Don't. 'Boys, do you hear that? 
Drop down the boat to the steamboat, and take the body 
aboard 1 How the people of the city of Washington knew 
that I was an old and experienced boatman, God only knows. 
I don't !' The boatmen took it aboard, taking a frequent sniff 
of something warm the while, and when fairly under way by 
the side of the up-river steamboat, Capt. Don't called his men 
and said to them, ' Come aft, men, come aft, and take some- 
thing to drink ; dead bodies aboard, — ten or fifteen, p'haps, 
one sartain, — and who knows but what they died of some d — n 
spontaneous disease? Drink behind that hogshead, and don't, 
for (iod's sake, let Gen. Culver see you I' 

"Mr. Blanchard sold out his interest in these boats, after 
running them two or three years, to Sargent & Chapin, who 
used them in connection with their line of stages. It was a 
very pleasant mode of travel unless the water was low, but 
many a time have the passengers been obliged to jump into 
the water and lift the 'Phcenix'and 'Agawam' over 'Scantic' 
In the new scheme for improving Connecticut River naviga- 
tion. Gen. Ellis, the government engineer, is confident of se- 
curing a channel of three or three and a half feet of water 
over these sand-flats, by means of wing-dams running diag- 
onally from each side of the river, bringing the water into a 
narrow channel, which is expected in this way to keep itself 
clear by forcing the continually moving sand down through 
this channel. I find, however, that most of the old experienced 
boatmen now living have little faith in it. The rest of the 
enterprise looks feasible, and no doubt will succeed if Congress 
will make the needed appropriation. 

" Before closing these reminiscences I should also speak of 
Messrs. Abbe and Ensign, who boated so many years to Ware- 
house Point; King Hiram Smith, of South Hadley ; Capt. 
Sam Nutt, of White River; Tom Dunham, of Bellows falls; 
and Rufus Robinson, the most consummate waterman of the 
Connecticut River Valley, who performed the feat of sailing 
a boat loaded with a valuable cargo through to Wells River, 
Vt., the first time he ever went up the river beyond Turner's 
Falls. He also ran the 'Adam Duncan,' minus her machinery, 
over South Hadley Falls, and came safe ashore below. Yet, 
with all his skill, his life was closed by his being carried over 
Holyoke dam, a few years since. Capt. Granger, who had 
no superior on the river, recently died at the age of sixty-five. 
His old comrades will hold him in afl'ectionate remembrance. 
We have now left among us, of the men who formerly took 
part in the scenes I have described, Roderick Ashley, Stod- 
dard Parker, Albert Gowdy, Adna Allen, and Sylvester Day, 
who, with others I have named, are and were good and sub- 
stantial men. 

" Raftiuf) on the. Conneciicitt a Generation Ago. — The late 
rush of logs down the ' dark rolling Connecticut' calls to 
mind the various attempts, in years long gone bj', to transfer 
lumber from the forests of Northern New Hampshire and 
Vermont to Hartford and Middletown, Conn. Many a law- 
suit during the old boating-times has grown out of this 
river-driving business. Like the case of ' Bullum versus 
Boatum,' the lumberman would sue the farmer for stopping 
his logs, and the farmer would sue the lumberman for damage 
d(me to liis meadows by the said logs. So they wrangled and 
strove, and the courts were well patronized. But this river- 

driving, or running logs loose, was found to bo a losing busi- 
ness, and the most available method of transporting lumber 
down the Connecticut — logs, boards, clap-boards, and shin- 
gles — was by rafting, an account of which may be of interest. 
The rafting terms used on this river are, division, raft, box, 
steerage, beams, snubbers, flyers, ties, oars, lock-downs, catch- 
pins, cross-ties, and scull-boards. The box, being the unit, is 
a collection of masts or logs, made thirteen feet wide and sixty 
or seventy feet long. If it is made up of long timber, the 
box is the length of the timber, more or less, provided it is 
not too long to go through the locks. If of short timber, it 
is made by piecing out, so as to be of the requisite length. 
These logs are fastened by oak or ash pins, driven through 
the steerage-beam at each end of the box, and in case of short 
logs they are held by cross-ties, using lock-downs or catch- 
pins. Two inch-and-a-half or two-inch holes are bored in 
the middle of each steerage-beam and through into the logs, 
for oar-pins ; then some smart flexible sticks or flyers are bent 
in to the oar to a proper position, and we have a ' box' 
of round timber. Six of these boxes, fastened together — three 
in width and two in length — by ties, make a division. Any 
number of boxes, or divisions even, fastened together in run- 
ning order, is a raft. Fifty years ago this river was full of 
rafts during the spring run, as well as of salmon and shad. 
A lumber company would generally run six or eight divisions 
at one trip, having shanties built on some of them, wherein 
to cook, eat, and sleep. In my boyhood I used to listen with 
delight to the creak of the ponderous oar, as it swung back 
for its oft-recurring dip, and echoed through the quiet valley. 
It was the welcome precursor of a coming jubilee for the boys, 
who were ever ready to rush to the river-bank to see the stal- 
wart men and hear their jolly songs ; and the girls too, and 
men, women, and children, would watch with pleasure the 
grand flotilla of rafts, as, emerging into view around the bend 
of Sawyer's Mountain, they came along down one after another 
in all the grandeur of an army corps. 

"One of the three or four men assigned to each division 
acts as pilot, — that is, he runs the division. His position 
is forward, — one of great responsibility ; and such was the 
scope of the pride of the majority of these pilots that they 
would as soon forfeit their hard-earned summer's wages as to 
run a raft upon a rock or a flat. The rafts were often loaded 
with boards, shingles, and clap-boards. This was called 'top- 
loading.' Then we had ' board-rafts,' the boards being rafted 
into the water, and of the same length and width, and with 
as many courses as the nature of the water and locks would 
permit, drawing from one to two feet of water. When a sale 
was made of a box of boards, the next and most disagreeable 
task was to ' draw' them. One man would stand with a broom 
and swash them off, while the rest would carry them ashore, — 
about the hardest work a mortal man was ever called upon to 
do ; and, I must add, it requires very nearly as much new rum 
to draw a box of boards handsomely as would float the box I 
On reaching the vicinity of the locks the second divisions are 
' snubbed,' — i.e., made fast ashore. The process of snubbing a 
raft is laborious, difficult, and dangerous. The rigging, which 
is heavy, must be handled in a hurry, and just right. The 
strength and velocity of movement of the ponderous body of 
lumber admits of no false motions. If it is brought up too 
suddenly, the rigging parts or the raft is torn to pieces ; if 
not soon enough, the rigging runs out, and away goes the raft ; 
another trial is to be made at the next available tree. A man 
who can snub a raft handsomely in high water must have a 
head exactly level, and a body made up mainly of steel 
springs and india-rubber. Now, to operate through the locks, 
cast off the ties and shove in one box at a time, stationing one 
man below to re-arrange and tie the boxes together as they 
come through. This is the process over and over at White 
River, tjiu'echee, Bellows Falls, Miller's River, Turner's Falls, 
South Hadley, and at Enfield Falls and Swift Water, although 



at the two last named a whole division could go over in high 
water. Generally, however, at Enfield only one or two boxes 
could be run at a time, and this, with the freight-boats, gave 
the Aliens and the Burbanks, the pilots, all they could do 
during the rafting season. 

" I call to mind a few of the laughable, and peradventure 
startling, incidents which served in those days to give human- 
ity a jog and beguile some of the tedious hours. There was 
a little man, by the name of Jarve Adams, who had risen to 
the dignity of ferryman at Thompsonville, — that is, the head 
of Enfield Palls. One pleasant day Jarve found the rafts 
encroaching upon his ferry-rights, — that is to say, as they lay 
along-shore waiting the action of the pilots, they had been 
allowed to drop down a little too far, in the estimation of the 
douglity ferryman ; and he, being a man of immense conse- 
quence according to his own reckoning, uttered many large 
words, accompanied with a number of quite respectable physi- 
cal demonstrations. One of the big Vermonters, — I think it 
was Steve Ames, — having listened to his fulminations till he 
was tired of it, told him that he ran something of a risk in 
coming on board the rafts ; that he (Ames) 'sometimes had 
fits,' and when he did he clutched hold of anything within 
his reach, and would as likely as not walk right into the river, 
so he must look out. This squelched him for a day or so, but 
he soon got his ' dander up' again, and, forgetting about the 
fits, came aboard and began to call down vengeance on all the 
raftsmen between there and ' Fifteen-Mile Falls.' Whereupon 
Ames, a six-foot-and-four-incher, telling Jarve his fit was 
coming on, grabbed him and walked straight into the river, 
wading out beyond his struggling victim's depth, and sousing 
him vigorously, only letting him up to breathe, and telling 
him all the while he couldn't help it, and ' I told you so,' till 
poor Jarve was nearly exhausted and begged piteously to be 
let otf. After punishing him as much as he thought was right 
he allowed him to go ashore, cautioning him next time to look 
out for 'them fits.' The roars of laughter raised at Jarve's 
expense could be heard above the roar of the falls. Ad Allen 
was there and saw the fun, and from him and Mr. Elwell, 
our artist, I got the story. 

" One day Capron and Alexander had a lot of boxes lying 
at the head. Capron and 'Old Country' took a couple of 
them and started over the falls. Just as they entered on the 
upjier falls the forward tie broke, and away they went, spread- 
ing and swinging around, taking off the other tie in less time 
than I am writing it; and the two were thenceforth separate, 
each man going over tbe surging waters on his own hook. 

" Old Country. — ' Point her ashore, Capron !' 

" Capron. — ' Go to thunder ! I can run her over.' 

" Country. — 'Can ye? Well, you've got to go about right 
or you'll fetch up on Leonard.' 

" Capron. — 'Tell 'em I'm a-coniing.'. 

"It was said by a boatman who was coming up through 
the canal that he saw some one running a box of lumber 
through all manner of cliannels, and he was not sure but he 
made the attempt once, at least, to scull it over the falls, but 
that was not generally believed. It might have been, how- 
ever, that he ran around the island once or twice ; and it was 
said he was last seen pointing her diagonally with the stream, 
with a view of giving her sufficient headway to put over into 
the canal, but I never believed it. At any rate, he landed his 
box safe and sound at the foot of the falls, which was consid- 
ered in those days ' right smart.' Whether it was with him 
as with many others we read about, that the (old gentle- 
man) ' always keeps his own,' I shall not venture to say. 

" It is impossible for me to recall the names of those ancient 
lumbermen, nor is it necessary for the purposes of this paper. 
But I desire to note here and now those I do remember, in 
honor of the days of Auld Lang Syne, .all of whom were 
owners or cajitains. 

"Vp Country. — Ebenezer L. Carlton, James Hutchins, Sul- 

livan Hutchins, Deacon Gilchrist, Samuel Hutchins, Josiah 
Wilson, Nahum Wilson, Jonathan Wilson, Abiel Deming, 
Daniel Holt, Moses Chase, Timothy Morse, Wyram Morse, 
Stephen Morse, Jacob Morse, Charles Scott, Cyrus Scott, Jared 
Wells, Horace Wells, Hiram Wells, Windsor Cobleigh, and 
William Abbott. 

'^ Down Count>y. — Stratton, Solomon Spencer, Silas Burn- 
ham and sons, S. P. Dudley, W'illiam Dudley, George W. 
Potter, B. F. Savage, and Daniel Burnham. 

" Stephen Morse, — or rather ' Steve,' as he was better known, 
— was one of those queer compounds of music, mirth, and meta- 
physics, of logic, labor, language, and loquacity, intermixed 
with a goodly proportion of the social as well as the vocal 
element, which is sure to fi.x itself permanently in one's 
memory. Those who have heard him ring out the old song 
of ' The Sea, the Sea, the Open Sea,' on the soft evening air, 
as they floated by, while every man sat upon his oar, and not 
a ripple on the stream, while gentle Luna looked down with 
approval, will never forget how it echoed and re-echoed among 
the grand old mountains and through the groves and vales. 
And now I think of it, and apropos to this rush of logs down 
the river, Morse had a number of divisions of logs lying in 
the pond above Montague Canal. On inquiry he found it 
would cost him eight hundred dollars to run them through 
the canal. This he thought was a gouge game, and gave out 
word that within the next twenty-four hours every stick of 
that lumber would be turned loose over Turner's Falls. 
Hearing of this, and knowing the sort of a man he had to 
deal with, the agent went to see him, and, fearing he should 
lose the toll on that lumber, softened down to five hundred 
dollars. Morse said, 'Mr. Thayer, I'll give you just two 
hundred dollars to put that lumber through. Not one cent 
more.' The lumber went through the canal on the eve of 
the Sabbath-day. While this lot of lumber lay in the canal, 
near the lower locks, the men of these and other rafts lying 
around loose and idle and enjoying a quiet time, Morse, ac- 
cording to a notice which had been given out, took the 
family Bible from the hotel upon his shoulder and, followed 
by all these men and also by the citizens of the place, wended 
his way to the school-house, and after the usual preliminaries 
took his text and delivered an acceptable Baptist sermon, 
every way proper and appropriate, and none the worse for 
coming from inside of a blue frock. A generous contribu- 
tion was taken up on the spot, which the preacher declined, 
but requested that it be given to the poor. Mr. Henry, the 
hotel-keeper at that place, not to be outdone by ' Steve,' 
opened his book and squared the account against him and 
his men. The next night was ' flip night.' 

" It will never do in these reminiscences to omit the name 
of 'Uncle Bill Russell,' the long-time toll-gatherer of the 
Montague Locks and Canal Company ; yet I will not attempt 
to describe him, save by these Ibur adjectives, — rough, honest, 
eccentric, faithful. One incident will show. Capt. Spencer 
had gone through the locks with a lot of lumber, and went 
back to settle his toll. ' Uncle Bill' handed him his duplicate 
receipt, as was usual. Now, the captain, although a good 
man, had a habit of using one profane term, to wit : ' by 
h^l.' This was the extent of his swearing, but this came in 
pretty often. On looking at the duplicate he thought Uncle 
Bill had rated him too high. ' By h— 1! Uncle Bill,' said he, 
' that's too bad ; that's altogether too high.' Russell paid but 
little attention to him, until after Spencer had followed him 
all over the canal grounds and had teased him most persist- 
ently to change it, when he, taking the paper, went in and 
added about one hundred dollars more to the toll, and, hand- 
ing him back the paper, said, in Spencer's own language, 
'There, by h — 1! see if you're satisfied now.' One of the 
Wells River raftmen was a little too many for Uncle Bill at 
one time, when he .'iold him a coupU^ of young owls, at a very 
tall price, for parrots. Dictionaries were no account when he 



discovered the cheat. Capt. Silas Buriihain hiid just finished 
rafting a lot of down-country lumber, and was ready to start 
down the river, but he had one man he wanted to discharge. 
So he bethought him that his man, 'Uncle Ira,' could not 
read ; he therefore took a shingle and wrote upon it, ' Mr. 
Cheney, dismiss Uncle Ira and pay him off.' He then sent 
him down with the shingle, telling him it was ' money-busi- 
ness.' Uncle Ira marched into the store, well filled with 
customers, and, with quite an air of authority, said, ' Mr. 
Gincry, bore buddy watted' (more money wanted), at the 
same time producing the shingle. Mr. Cheney looked at 
the shingle and saw the joke. 'Why, Uncle Ira,' said he, 
'this is for your discharge!' Uncle Ira looked all sorts of 
surprise, and at last, turning to leave the store, said, 'Dab 
that Silas Burdab I' Capt. Burnham was well known on the 
river, and I could note a great variety of anecdotes, but they'll 
tell better than they can be written. It was always an insult 
to a raftman to ask him which way he was going, ' up or 
down ?' One kind old lady, who had just served breakfast for 
the captain and his men, innocently asked him this tabooed 
question just as he was leaving for his raft. Hearing it from 
her, he turned and soberly answered, ' Yes, ma'am I' 

" In 1849 I bought for Kimball & Clark, the contractors, 
eight hundred thousand feet of hemlock timber, near the head 
of navigation, for the present Holyoke dam. This was rafted 
and run to the South Hadley Canal that season, and was one 
of the most unwieldy jobs that a raftman ever knew. It was 
maiuifactured mainly at the head of the canal, and passed 
through to the dam. The contractors sunk money in propor- 
tion as the soggy hemlocks sank in the water, but the dam 

" How the valley rang with the songs of these boatmen and 
raftmen of thirty or forty years ago! Good singers they were, 
too, some of them ; and even after these long years have 
intervened, with their ever-increasing rush of business, at- 
tended by the scream of the whistle and the thundering of the 
car, it requires but a slight effort of the imagination to recall 
the mellow songs of Cutler, of Guildhall, Vt., Chamberlain, 
of Newbury, Morse, of Haverhill, N. H., Humes, of Mon- 
tague, and nuiny more whose names have not in my memory 
survived their voices. Capt. Jonathan Smith, of South Had- 
ley, the pilot for many years over Willimansett, and the 
father of the superintendent of our street-railway, was one of 
the jolly singers of that day, and always ready to contribute 
his share for the gratification of the company. But farewell 
to the river-men of old and the incidents of their time until wo 
' gather at the river' !" 



The first attempt to navigate the Connecticut above Hart- 
ford by steam was in 1826, when a company was formed 
in that city for the purpose. An agent was sent West to ex- 
amine boats on the Western rivers and make a report. On 
his return the "Barnet," of the wheelbarrow pattern, was 
built in New York, and made her first trip to Springfield in 
November, 1826, arriving on the 28th of the month. She 
ascended the river at the rate of five miles an hour, under the 
pilotage of Roderick Palmer, of West Springfield, and went 
as far as Bellows Falls, Vt., and passed Springfield on her 
way down on the 18th of December. 

It was apparent that she could not be depended upon to as- 
cend the rapids at Enfield, Conn., and the project of building 
a canal was agitated, and work was finally commenced on it 
in 1827, but it was not completed for about two years. 

In the mean time an ingenious mechanic, long an employe 
at the United States armory, — Mr. Thomas Blanchard, — built 
a side-wheel boat at Hartford, put in the machinery, and 
named it the "Blanchard." He made a trial trip to South 
Hadley on the 30th of July, 1828. On the 11th of September 

he made an excursion to Hartford and return with about sixty 
passengers, making the downward trip in a little over two 
hours, but taking much longer to return over the rapids at 
Enfield. On the 30th of the same month she made an eight- 
mile trip with a large number of school-children on board. 

But the "Blanchard" was found to be but little better 
adapted to overcome the Enfield obstructions than the " Bar- 
net," and Blanchard constructed a new boat upon an improved 
plan, which was named tlve "Vermont." She was a stern- 
wheeler, seventy-five feet in length and fifteen feet wide, and 
only drew one foot of water. 

This boat was built on wheels, east of Main Street, nearly 
opposite the present Wilcox Street. This was probably the 
first steamboat built in Massachusetts with engine complete.* 
It was launched on the 8th day of May, 1829, being drawn 
to the river by the men who had gathered to "see the sight." 
This boat made six miles an hour up-stream, and in July 
made several trips to Hartford with one hundred passengers, 
returning the same day, and ascending the falls, a distance of 
five miles, in an hour and twenty minutes. In August she 
went up toBrattleboro', and was at Windsor, Vt., in October. 
This first trip of a regular steamer was the occasion of great 
excitement along the river, where the people assembled from 
many miles, and celebrated the occasion by the ringing of 
bells and the firing of guns. 

The secret of the success of the " Vermont" lay in the fact 
that her wheel was placed far enough astern to work in the 
dead water. 

The "Enfield Canal" was finished Nov. 11, 1829, and the 
" Vermont" took down a party from Springfield and returned, 
passing the canal both ways. The " Blanchard" also brought 
up a party from Hartford to the lower end of the canal. 

In April, 1830, the schooner " Eagle," which had been 
running between New York and Warehouse Point, came 
around from Albany and up through the canal with a load of 
rye for Springfield. The steamers "Vermont" and "Blan- 
chard" also laid at the wharves at that time. The latter was 
advertised on the 1.5th of May, 1830, to make regular trips to 

Mr. Blanchard had then recently returned from Pittsburgh, 
Pa., where he had built the " Allegheny," on the model of the 
"Vermont," which pattern was universally adopted on the 
Western rivers. On the first of June the " Vermtrnt" com- 
menced running regularly between Springfield and Hartford, 
and there was a lively competition during the season between 
the boats and the stage-lines, which latter ran on each side 
of the river, under the management of Messrs. Sargent & 

A new steamer, called the " Massachusetts," was built by 
Mr. Blanchard in the winter of 1830-31, calculated for the 
better accommodation of passengers, but too long for the low 
stages of water In the river. It was much the largest and most 
complete boat which had yet been seen in Springfield, having 
a cabin upon deck and a double engine. It commenced run- 
ning in the spring of 1831, hut could not go through the 
locks or run in low water. 

It was said that Mr. Blanchard had invested eight thousand 
dollars in his boats. He had at first been greatly accommo- 
dated by the canal company, but now they threatened him 
with heavy tolls unless he would do towing, which would in- 
terfere with passenger travel. 

The season of 1831 opened with the " Hampden" in March, 
which then commenced running for John Cooley & Co., as a 
freight-towing boat. In April the "Vermont" commenced 
the passenger business, under an arrangement between Mr. 
Blanchard and Messrs. Sargent & Chapin by which the stages 
running in competition with the boat were withdrawn. 

The "Springfield" (probably the "Blanchard" under an- 

* See article of Mr. T. M. Dewey, preceding this. 



other name) also commenced towing in April for the Connecti- 
cut River Valley Company. This company had just launched 
the " Ledyard" at Springfield, for the use of the towing trade 
above the town. In July the " Wm. Hall" was put on as a 
tow-boat, to run between Hartford and South Hadley Falls, 
while the "Ledyard" was placed above, between the Falls 
and Greenfield. 

The " Massachusetts" commenced her trips in June, and in 
the course of the following month Messrs. Sargent & Chapin 
purchased Mr. Blanchard's interest in the steamers "Ver- 
mont" and "Massachusetts;" and his connection witli the 
boating business ceased from that time, though he remained 
in Springfield a year or two afterward. 

Another steamer, called the " James Dwight," was also put 
on the line between Hartford and Springfield for the accom- 
modation of passengers coming up in the morning and return- 
ing in the evening. 

The "Massachusetts," immediately after her transfer, was 
thoroughly overhauled, and supplied with new and heavier 
boilers and furnaces. The superintendent of that work was 
afterward the engineer of the ill-fated ocean steamer "Arctic," 
lost ofl'Cape Race ; and is said to have put oft' from the sinliing 
ship, and was never afterward heard of. 

The " Massachusetts" was in service some twelve years, and 
was finally burned at her wharf in Hartford. 

Contemporary with the "Massachusetts," the "Agawam" 
was put on the line and run in connection with her ; and two 
other boats, the "Phceni.\" and "Franklin," were built and 
launched for the pas.senger traffic, but saw very little service, 
as the boats were all withdrawn upon the opening of the rail- 
way from Springfield to Hartford, in 1844. The "Franklin" 
was sold and taken to Philadelphia, and the other two were 
taken to Maine, where they were engaged in the trade of the 
Kennebeck River. 

In 1842, Charles Dickens made his first visit to this country, 
and in the beginning of February went from Springfield to 
Hartford on the "Massachusetts." It was the first trip of the 
season, and the second, he says, "as early in February, within 
the memory of man." Though the boat was the largest and 
most capacious of all that had been built or used on the river 
in Massachusetts, yet he treated it as a small aftair, and de- 
scribed it as of about one-half pony-power. The grand cabin 
he compared to the parlor of a Liliputian public-house which 
had got afloat in a flood and was drifting no one knew where, 
but it contained the inevitable rocking-chair, which it is im- 
possible to get away from in America. 

"The boat," says he, "was so short and narrow we all 
kept the middle of the deck, lest it should une.xpectedly tip 
over; the machinery, by some surprising process of condensa- 
tion, worked between it and the keel; the whole forming a 
warm sandwich about three feet thick." 

It was raining hard the whole day, the river was full of 
floating ice, and the boat was obliged to work in the shallow 
water to avoid the huge blocks. 

He thought the Connecticut a fine stream, and the banks 
beautiful in summer. 

"After two hours and a half of this odd traveling (includ- 
ing a stoppage at a small town, where we were saluted by a 
gun considerably bigger than our own chimney), we reached 

During the fifteen years in which boats were running on the 
river there was only one serious accident: the steamer "Green- 
field" exploded her boilers at South Hadley in May, 1840, by 
wliich three lives were lost and property to the value of ten 
thousand dollars was destroyed. 



The first attempt to connect the western part of the State 
with Boston and tide-water was as early as 1791, when Gen. 

Henry Knox took active measures to determine the physical 
feasibility of the work by causing a series of surveys to be 
made by an eminent engineer, John Hills, Esq., upon two 
routes, — a southern one via Worcester, and a more northern 

Gen. Knox and his associates were finally incorporated by 
the Legislature on the 10th of March, 1792, with the title of 
" The Proprietors of the Massachusetts Canal," with authority 
to construct a canal from Boston to the Connecticut River. 
There is no evidence that anything of importance was at- 
tempted under this charter. Maps and estimates were made, 
which were preserved and subsequently placed in the hands 
of the State Commissioners for Canal Surveys in 182.5. 

On the 2oth of February, 1825, upon the recommendation 
of Governor Eustis, three commissioners were appointed to 
ascertain the practicability of constructing a canal from Boston 
Harbor to the Connecticut River, and of extending the same 
to some point on the Hudson River in the vicinity of the junc- 
tion of the Erie Canal with that river. Nathan Willis, of 
Pittsfield, Elihu Hoyt, of Deerfield, and Gen. Henry A. S. 
Dearborn, of Boston, were ajipointed commissioners, and 
Col. Laommi Baldwin engineer. 

At the June session of the Legislature, in the same year. 
Governor Lincoln devoted a portion of his message to the 
subject, and urged the favorable consideration of the Legis- 
lature. He also made mention of the then new subject of 

A report of the above commission was made at the session 
of January, 1820, recommending a route for a canal through 
the north part of Worcester County to the mouth of Deerfield 
River, and thence up that stream through the Hoosac Moun- 
tain, by means of a four-mile tunnel, and through to the 
Hudson River, near Troy. 

The district west of the mountains was surveyed and 

mapped by George Tibbits, Esq., of Troy, N. Y., and on the 

east side, from the summit of the mountains to the raoutli of 

Deerfield River, by General Epaphras Hoyt, of Deerfield. The 

length of the proposed canal was given at 178 miles, 100 of 

which was between the Connecticut River and Boston, and 

78 between the river and the Hudson. The total lockage — 

rise and fall — was 3281jYo ^^*'^- 

The estimated cost, exclusive of the tunnel, was ^5,103,240 

T\mnel, ^0 bj- l^ij^ feet, 4 miles, 2H,1!UU cuLic jards, at $4.3fi.. a2(l,»b2 

Total cost $0,024,072 

The Governor in his message spoke favorably of the work, 
and recommended the continuance of the commission, with 
enlarged jiowers, and a resolution was introduced in the Legis- 
lature for turther sur.voys, which was not only laid on the 
table, but the former resolve, under which the survey had 
been made, was repealed. This virtually put an end to the 
canal project. 


By an act passed Feb. 4, 1823, Samuel Hinckley and others 
were incorporated as " The Hampshire and Hampden Canal 
Company," to construct u canal from the Connecticut River, 
in Ni>rtluaniiton, through Easthampton and Southampton, 
in Hampshire County, and Westtield and Southwick, in 
Hampden County, to connect with one to be constructed in 
Connecticut from New Haven to the Massachusetts line, in 
Southwick. The capital of the Massachusetts company was 
fixed at three hundred thousand dollars. 

The work was com|ileted from New Haven to Westtield in 
1830, and finished to Northampton in 1834, at a total cost of 
twi> million dollars.* 

In 1831) a new company, called " The New Haven and North- 
ampton Canal Company," was chartered by the Legislatures 
of Massachusetts and Connecticut, which purchased the whole 

* Another account says the total cost was about one million dollars. 



line for three hundred thousand dolhirs, and kept up tlie 
business until about 1847, when railway competition com- 
pelled the abandonment of the work. The present New 
Haven and Northampton Railway follows substantially the 
line of this canal. 




In 1820 petitions were presented by Thomas H. Perkins and 
. others of Boston, and A. J. Allen and others, that a survey 
for a railway be made between Boston and the Hudson Eiver, 
and the committee on roads and canals was " instructed to 
inquire whether any practicable and useful improvements 
have been made in the construction of railways and of steam- 
carriages used thereon, so as to admit of their being success- 
fully introduced into this commonwealth; and if so, whether 
it is expedient to extend thereto the aid and encouragement of 
this Legislature." 

This committee reported a resolution authorizing the Gov- 
ernor to appoint three commissioners and an engineer upon 
the subject of railways, which passed the Senate, but was in- 
definitely postponed in the House. 

At the June session of 1826 a select committee of the House 
was ap])ointed, consisting of Messrs. Abner Phelps and George 
W. Adams, of Boston, and Emorj' Washburn, of Worcester, 
with instructions to consider the practicability and expediency 
of constructing a railway from Boston on the most eligible 
route to the western line of the county of Berkshire, in order 
that, if leave can be obtained from the government of New 
York, it may be extended to the Hudson Kiver, at or near 
Albany ; and that the committee be instructed to report infor- 
mation and estimates of expense as they deem proper." This 
is believed to have been the first concerted movement looking 
to the construction of a railway in the State.f 

The above-named commissioners, who were authorized to sit 
during the recess of the Legislature, sent circulars throughout 
the State, and employed all available means to obtain infor- 
mation. They made a report on the 19th of January, 1827. 
The report entered somewhat at length into a discussion of 
plans for a road, and cited the experience of the people of 
Great Britain. It would seem that the idea of using steam 
locomotive-carriages as a motive-power had been only hinted 
at, for the plans for single- and double-track roads were inva- 
riably coupled with arrangements for employing only horse- 
power, and provision was made for a horse-path, and paths for 
the drivers and attendants, on each side of the road. Some 
mention was made of locomotives, and it was stated that " an 
engine of two eight-inch cylinders, weighing about live tons, 
will move forty tons at the rate of nine or ten miles an hour, 
and is said to have moved ninety tons at the rate of four miles 
an hour." 

The committee reported unanimously in favor of the pro- 
ject, and " that a railway would be far more useful to the 

* The article upon the Western and Boston and Albany Railwaj's has been 
mostly compiled from a hist<.iry of the fonner road, written by Hon. George Bliss, 
and published in 1863, and data furnished by the officers of the Boston and Al- 
bany road. 

As this was the pioneer among the inijxtrtant long lines of New England, and 
during its construction met with numy difficulties and embarrassments, we have 
given its history much more in detail than that of the other roads passing through 
or connecting with the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts. 

The history of these companies best illustrates the difficulties encountered by 
the early railway corporations in New England, and in a prominent manner 
conveys to the mind of the reader the various stages in the growth of this im- 
portant interest throughout the countrj*. 

■f The first railway constructed in the United States was the short line from 
the Quincy granite quarries to the sea, in 1826. It was three miles in length, 
and was used solely for the transportation of stone, and employed horse-power 


public than a canal." They recommended the appointment 
of three commissioners and an engineer to ascertain the 
practicability of such a road, and to make surveys, plans, 
and estimates, and were in favor of an appropriation for the 
purpose, not exceeding $5000. 

These recommendations were not followed, but the Legisla- 
ture, on the 22d of February, 1827, passed a resolution author- 
izing the appointment of "three commissioners, to constitute 
a Board of Internal Improvements," to attend to all matters 
concerning canals and railways. This board consisted of 
Messrs. J. J. Fiske, Willard Phelps, and James Hayward, at 
a compensation of four dollars per day. This committee ap- 
pear to have performed very little work, and none with refer- 
ence to the proposed line of railway. 

At the June session of 1827, upon a petition of James 
Whiton and others, of Berkshire, and Josiah Quincy and 
otliers, of Boston, the Legislature authorized the appoint- 
ment of two commissioners and an engineer to make the 
necessary surveys, plans, and estimates for a road from Bos- 
ton to the New York line, and, with leave obtained from the 
authorities of the latter State, to the Hudson Kiver. Ten 
thousand dollars was appropriated for the purpose. Nahum 
Mitchell, of Boston, and Samuel McKay, of Pittsfield, were 
accordingly appointed such commission, with James F. Bald- 
win as engineer. 

Two entire routes were examined, — one, called the southern, 
through Framingham, Worcester, Springfield, Chester, Wash- 
ington, Pittsfield, and West Stockbridge, to the State line at 
Canaan ; thence, through Chatham and Kinderhook, to the 
Hudson at Albany. The northern route was from Troy, 
N. Y., by Hoosac Four Corners, Williamslown, and Adams, to 
the Connecticut Kiver at Northampton ; thence, by Belclier- 
town, Rutland, Boylston, Watertown, and Cambridge, to 

Lateral examinations were also made from Chester, by 
Walker Brook, Becket, and Stockbridge, to the State line at 
Canaan, and others. 

Accurate instrumental surveys were made only upon the 
southern route, and upon this only for twelve miles west of 
Boston, and from Connecticut River to Albany. These sur- 
veys and examinations were conducted exclusively with ref- 
erence to the use of animal jmwe?-, as " better adapted to the 
transportation of that endless variety of loading which a dense 
and industrious population requires." The length of the pro- 
posed road was given at 180 miles and 212 rods. No special 
estimate of cost was made, but the commissioners reported a 
probable outlay not exceeding one-half the cost of English 
railways per mile. 

In transmitting the report to the Legislature, Governor 
Lincoln in his message said : " The results to which the coVn- 
mission have already arrived may be considered as fully es- 
tablishing the pracHcahilUt/, within the reasonable applica- 
tion of means, of the construction of the road." 

In the Legislature the Committee on Roads and Railways 
reported on the 15th of February, 1828, that "after mature 
examination of the facts and statements contained in said Re- 
port, they are of opinion that the railroad, as applicable to 
Massachusetts and to New England generally, has, since the 
making of said report, assumed a new and greater impor- 
tance ; that it will prove a new creation of wealth, power, and 
superiority to the State. That a railroad can be constructed 
at far less expense than a canal, and be productive of still 
greater advantages." 

On the 11th of March, 1828, an act was passed providing for 
a Board of Directors of Internal Improvements, to serve with- 
out compensation, except the payment of expenses when on 
duty. They were clothed with powers to transact all neces- 
sary business, and were required to report to the Legislature. 
This board consisted of nine persons, as follows: Levi Lin- 
coln, Nathan Hale, Stephen White, David Henshaw, Thomas 


W. Ward, Royal Makepeace, George Bond, William Foster, 
and E. H. Robbing, Jr. James F. Baldwin was appointed 

Nearly simultaneously with these proceedings, the Legisla- 
ture of New York (April 15, 1828) passed "an act to facili- 
tate the construction of a railroad from the city of Boston to 
the Hudson River;" and under it Ebenezer Baldwin, of Al- 
bany, Oliver Wiswall, of Hudson, and George Tibbits, of Troy, 
were appointed commissioners, and William C. Young, en- 
gineer. This act "pledged the Legislature that if the State 
of Massachusetts shall construct a railroad from Boston to the 
boundary of this State, either directly or through the medium 
of an incorporated company, the Legislature of this State will 
construct it from thence to the Hudson River, or grant to the 
State of Massachusetts, or some authorized company, the right 
of so doing, and taking tolls thereon, under proper restrictions 
as to jurisdiction." 

Explorations and surveys were in progress under the com- 
missioners of New York and Massachusetts, on every part of 
the line from Boston to the Hudson River, during the year 

Reports by the commissioners of tl^e two States were made 
early in 1829, — by those of Massachusetts on the 16th of Jan- 
uary, and by those of New York on the 2.5th of February. 
The latter reported upon two routes between the Hudson 
River and the State line, which had been minulely surveyed, 
viz.: one from Troy, through Pownal, Vt., to Adams, and 
one from Albany and Hudson to West Stockbridge, the lines 
from Albany and Hudson to unite at Chatham. 

The Massachusetts commissioners reported a number of sur- 
veys. The principal one was substantially the same as after- 
ward adopted by the Boston and W^orcester and the Western 
Railroads as far as the State line in West Stockbridge; among 
the others were two lines from the last-named point to Albany. 
From the State line to Chatham Four Corners both pursued 
substantially the same line, not varying greatly from where 
the road now runs. Prom thence one line bore more to the west, 
striking the Hudson near Schodack Landing, thirteen miles 
below Albany, and thence by the valley to Greenbush. The 
other struck the river at Castleton, eight miles from Green- 
bush. The road, as finally located, kept upon higher land, 
and reached the river directly at Greenbush. 

By these surveys the distance from Boston to the Connecti- 
cut River was 9-1 miles and 64 chains, and to the State line 
160 miles and 44 chains, and, by the shortest survey, 198 miles 
and 6 chains to Albany. By the other route, the distance from 
Boston to Albany was 200J^ miles. 

The cost of the New York section was estimated by Engineer 
Young at §658,601, or at the average of §16,162 per mile. 

A second route was examined, farther north, crossing the 
Connecticut River at Northampton ; and a third, still farther 
north, passing through the valleys of Miller's, Dcerfield, and 
Hoosac Rivers to Troy. The distance by the northern route 
from Boston to Troy was 190 miles, and by the Northampton 
route 210 miles. 

The passage of the Green Mountains was largely in favor of 
the southern route through Springfield, and thence up the 
valley of the Agawam River. 

Several local surveys were made on some portions of the line 
west of the Connecticut River, with a view to taking every 
possible advantage in the topography of the country; but the 
various results only the more thoroughly established the south- 
ern route, and mainly as the road now runs. 

A long discussion upon the relative merits of horse- and 
steam-power finally resulted in the adoption of the locomotive. 

The road which is now known as the Boston and Albany 
Railroad was constructed by a number of distinct corporations, 
first of which was The Ilo.ifon (oid W'urcrster Rnilroad Cor- 
porat'hiH, wliich was chartered on the 2Md of June, 18:il, to 
construct a road from Boston to Worcester. 

The proposed capital stock of this company was 10,000 shares 
of §100 each, or a total of $1,000,000, which was subscribed, 
and the company organized on the 1st of May, 1832. Sur- 
veys were made by John M. Fessenden, in 1831, and the total 
distance found to be 43| miles. The terminus in Worcester 
was found to be 4.56 feet above Western Avenue, in Boston. 
The original estimated cost of the road and equipment, with 
the bed graded for a double track, was §883,000. This road 
was opened from Boston to Worcester, July 4, 1835. 

On the l.jth of March, 1833, the directors of the Boston and 
Worcester Railroad Company were individually incorporated 
as The Western Railroad Corporation, with authority to 
construct a railroad from Worcester to the Connecticut River, 
at Springticld, and thence to the western boundary of the 
State. The capital stock was to consist of not less than 
10,000 nor more than 20,000 shares of §100 each. The Bos- 
ton and Worcester company had exclusive control of the 
charter of the Western road, and of all proceedings under it. 
The charter conferred the authority of building branc^n roads 
in any or all towns immediately adjoining those through which 
the road passed. 

On the 5th of May,- 1834, the Legislature of New York 
chartered The Castleton atid West Stockbridge Railroad Com- 
pany, with authority to construct a road from Castleton to 
the State line at West Stockbridge. The name of this cor- 
poration was changed by act of the same body on the •5th of 
May, 1836, to The Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad Com- 
pany, with authority to construct a road from the Hudson 
River, at Greenbush, to the line of Massachusetts, at West 
Stockbridge. The capital stock was §300,000. In this charter 
the State reserved the right to purchase the road after ten years, 
and within fifteen years of the completion of it, paying ten per 
cent, interest. 

The stock of this company was duly suhscribed, and the 
company organized about the 23d of May, 1835. Samuel 
Cheever was appointed superintendent, and Wm. H. Talcott 

At the same date a charter was also granted for a railroad 
from the city of Hudson to the Massachusetts line at West 
Stockbridge. The stock of this company was principally taken 
in New York City, and the road was located ria Chatham Four 

The company's books were not opened for subscriptions to 
the stock of the Western Railroad until late in the fall of 1834, 
after the Boston and Worcester road had been completed to 
Westboro', and the effort was then confined to Springfield and 
the towns between there and Worcester. People were very 
loath to invest their money in what was to a great extent con- 
sidered a chimerical undertaking, and matters progressed very 
slowly. At one time an informal oft'er was made by New 
York parties to subscribe the whole required capital, provided 
they could haye the control of the company and stock. But 
this was looked upon as a stock-exchange scheme to control 
the road in thei, interests of the city of New York, and the 
offer was declineu. 

On the 2d of January, 1835, at a meeting held at Spring- 
field, a committee of correspondence and inquiry was ap- 
pointed, and on the 16th of February of the same year a 
meeting was held at the town-hall in Springfield, when Mr. 
George Bliss, of the above-named committee, laid what infor- 
mation had been obtained before the meeting, and, after dis- 
cussion, the committee was instructed to call a convention at 
Worcester, on the 5th of March ensuing, for the purpose of 
devising means for making an immediate survey of the route. 

Tlie convention at Worcester was numerously attended, and 
a committee of one from each town was appointed on resolu- 
tions, who reported as follows ; 

" 1. That a railroad from Worcester to Springfield was 
greatly to bo desired, was feasible, and ouglit to be entered 
upon without delay. 



"2. That an accurate survey and estimate be made the 
present season ; and that a committee of three in each town 
interested be appointed to solicit subscriptions therefor. 

" 3. That an executive committee of five be appointed, to 
procure surveys and estimates, and obtain information in re- 
gard to the construction and probable income of the proposed 
road, with power to appoint a treasurer. 

" 4. That the directors of the Boston and Worcester ccjm- 
pany be requested to organize the Western Railroad corpora- 
tion as early as in their opinion the stock can be taken up, and 
on the terms on which the Boston and Worcester corporation 
was first organized." 

Following these resolutions an executive committee, con- 
sisting of George Bliss, Caleb Rice, and W^. H. Bowdoin, of 
Springfield ; Joel Norcross, of Monson ; and N. P. Dewey 
(or Denny), of Leicester, was appointed " to procure accurate 
surveys, a location, and estimates for the road, as far as from 
Worcester to Springfield." 

Town committees were appointed, and instructed to report 
to the executive committee. 

The first thing was to procure funds for a survey, and the 
sum of §7000 or |8000 was soon raised in the towns along 
the line, and by consent of the Boston and Worcester com- 
pany, their engineer, John M. Fessenden, was employed to 
make the survey, which was commenced in May, 1835. This 
survey included an examination of the proposed route between 
Springfield and Hartford. 

The engineer reported the distance between Worcester and 
Springfield at o3J miles, and between Springfield and Hart- 
ford at 23 miles. His estimates included 

Grading, ma.<»onr>', anfl engineering ^'jfiO.OOO 

Supei-stnictiire, including turnouts 42S,(«K) 

Damages, fencing, engines, cars, and deput grounds l)S3,l)0() 

Springfield and Hartford Line, 3G3-2 miles with heaviest edge rail 4iMt,iH«i 


An estimate of probable business was made by the com- 
mittee as follows : 

55,510 passengers at J1.75 ?97,H2 

42,lK)4 tons merchandise at :^.00 1(J8,U10 

Less Mr. Fesseuden's estimate of annual expenses S-O.IXtO 

Net income. 8180,158 

The people of Connecticut, and particularly of Hartfordi 
were in the mean time not idle. Elt'orts were made in various 
directions to establish railways. Routes were discu-ssed, and 
some of them surveyed, from Worcester to Hartford, and 
thence to New York ; from Worcester to Albany, via Hart- 
ford ; from Worcester, via Norwich, to New York; from 
Hartford to West Stockbridge, etc. 

The directors of the Boston and Worcester company were 
urged to open the books for subscriptions to the stock of the 
Western company, which request was complied with on the 
3d day of August, 1835, at Boston, New York, Springfield, 
Worcester, Albany, Hudson, Pittsfield, and Lee, the books to 
remain open for ten days. 

One of the conditions of subscription was that the com- 
pany should not be organized until stock to the amount of 
$2,000,000 had been taken. Every possible exertion was made 
to reach this amount, but when the books were closed, on the 
13th of August, the total amount subscribed was found to be 
only 13,000 shares, or §1,300,000. Of this amount 8500 shares 
were taken in Boston and vicinity. 

Determined to succeed, it was resolved by the directors to 
call a mass-meeting at Faneuil Hall, Boston, which was ac- 
cordingly done, and a large number of people assembled on 
the evening of Oct. 7, 1835. Delegations were present from 
Albany and Hudson, and all the interior towns on the route. 
Hon. Abbott Lawrence was chairman of the meeting. Ad- 
dresses and reports were made and resolutions adopted, and 

the meeting was enthusiastic in favor of raising the required 
sum. Committees were appointed to solicit subscriptions, but 
when the result was known it was found that only 18,300 
shares had been subscribed, leaving a deficiency of 1700. 

On the 20th of November another meeting was held in the 
Supreme Court-room, Boston, which was addressed in a spirited 
manner by a number of gentlemen, and the following resolu- 
tion, otl'ered by Isaac Parker, Esq., was adopted: "In the 
opinion of this meeting, the construction of the Western Rail- 
road is of vital importance to this community, and the project 
should not be abandoned while any just and proper measures 
are left untried for its accomplishment." 

By persevering efforts the required amount was obtained by 
the 5th of December, 1835, and the corporation was organized 
on the 4th of January, 1836, at the court-house in Boston. 
The following gentlemen were chosen directors : Thomas B. 
Whales, William Lawrence, Edmund Dwight, Henry Rice, 
John Henshaw, Francis Jackson, and Josiah Quincy, Jr., of 
Boston, and Justice Willard and George Bliss, of Springfield. 
At the first meeting of the directors, Thomas B. Wales was 
chosen President ; Ellis Gray Loring, Clerk ; and Josiah 
Quincy, Jr., Treasurer. 

Maj. William G. McNeil was secured as chief engineer and 
captain ; William H. Swift as assistant engineer ; the latter 
to devote his whole time to the work.* George Bliss was ap- 
pointed general agent of the corporation, March 10, 1836. 

At the meeting of the stockholders for organization, they 
instructed the directors to apply to the Legislature for aid in 
the construction of the road. On the 16th of January, 1836, 
a petition was presented by George Ashmun, asking for an 
act of incorporation for a bank, to be called " The Western 
Railroad Bank," to be located in Boston, with a capital of 

Among other reasons urged for the establishment of this 
bank was the fact that several millions of capital had been 
withdrawn from the State by the e.xpiration of the charter of 
the United States Bank. - 

At the same session a memorial of sixty pages, signed by 
prominent citizens of Boston to the number of 1736 indi- 
viduals, was presented, praying for the establishment of a 
bank with a capital of $10,000,000. Thirty-two petitions 
from various portions of the State supported this memorial. 
These petitions succeeded so far that a Bank Bill was pas.sed to 
a third reading, but was finally indefinitely postponed in 
consequence of the passage of another bill directing the State 
Treasurer to sub.scribe .$1,000,000 to the stock of the railroad 
corporation, providing three of the nine directors should be 
chosen by the Legislature. This bill was signed by Governor 
Everett on the 29th of March, 1836. 

Under this act the Legislature chose Messrs. Isaac C. Bates, 
William Jackson, and Robert Rantoul, Jr., as directors on 
behalf of the State, and at the next annual meeting the mem- 
bers of the old board were re-elected, with the exception of 
Me-ssrs. Lawrence, Rice, and Willard. 

An attempt was made, while these proceedings were pend- 
ing, to get a company incorporated for the purpose of con- 
structing a road from Worcester to Hartford, and thence to 
Stockbridge, and a careful survey and estimates were made 
and a report presented to the Legislature, which was accepted ; 
but a motion to report a bill in favor of the project was voted 
down, as it was considered a project which would embarrass 
the Western company and impair its credit. 

Surveys were begun on the Western road in April, 1836, 
by two parties, and were prosecuted with diligence, under the 
supervision of the resident engineer, during the year; and in 
June of the same year three parties were put in the field west 
of the Connecticut River. 

A great amount of preliminary surveying was done on the 

* Capt. Swift died in New York City, about the 7th of April, 1879. . 



line between Worcester and Springfield, but the line as now 
located was finally adopted and put under contract. The 
first grading was commenced at the crossing of the Worcester 
and Hartford Turnpike in Charlton, about the 1st of January, 

Between Brookfield and the Connecticut River four sepa- 
rate lines were surveyed, to wit : 

1. The Cabotville, or extreme north line, passing a little 
south of Chicopee Falls, through Cabotville (Chicopee), cross- 
ing the Connecticut a little south of the mouth of the Chi- 
copee River, and running thence to Bush's Notch, in the 
Trap Range, or to the Garden Brook line at Ashley's Mills, 
in West Springfield (now Holyoke). 

2. The End Brook route, cro.ssing the Connecticut about 
midway between the mouth of the Chicopee and Springfield, 
and thence to Bush's Notch, or to the Garden Brook line at 
Ashley's Mills. 

3. The Garden Brook line, nearly on the route finally 
adopted, which was to cross the river between the old bridge 
and Ferry Street, in Springfield, and thence by a route (un- 
determined) on the north or south side of the Agawam River, 
near Westfield village. 

4. The Mill River line, following that stream to the south 
part of the village of Springfield, and thence, through the 
east part west of Maple and Chestnut Streets, to the Garden 
Brook line. The first two lin^ were favored by parties in- 
terested in manufactures on the Chicopee River. 

The Garden Brook line was recommended by the engineers 
as being the shortest and most direct, having the least maxi- 
mum grade, and involving the least expense for grading and 

The certainty of the road being built caused considerable 
speculation in lands at Springfield, and the location of the 
depot grounds was the subject of a stirring controversy, even 
involving serious charges against certain parties, which were, 
however, subsequently cleared up. 

In January, 1837, a reconnoi.ssance of the route around the 
north end of Mount Tom, and thence up the Manhan River, 
through Easthampton and Southampton to Westfield, was 
made by the engineers ; but as the route was six miles longer 
than by way of Springfield, and as tlie charter required the 
crossing of the Connecticut at the latter point, this line was 

The line from East Brookfield to the Connecticut River, as 
since constructed, was approved by the directors in the spring 
of 1837, and it was definitely located, and, with the exception 
of two miles next the river in Springfield, put under contract in 
June of that year. 

At first it was intended to grade the road and build bridges 
for a single track only, but subsequently this plan was changed, 
and the deep cuts, heavy embankments, culverts, and bridges 
were generally made for a double-track road. 

Extensive surveys and examinations were made in finding 
the best route from the Connecticut River to the State line. 
The Green Mountain range was thoroughly examined for a 
distance of 22 miles, north and south, including a careful sur- 
vey of every important depression and the valley of every 
considerable stream. The northern route, as surveyed by Mr. 
Baldwin in 1828, was from the first considered the most favor- 
able ; but there was a strong feeling also in favor of a route 
v!a Lee and Stockbridge, and it was accordingly surveyed by 
R. P. Morgan, beginning at the village of Westfield and pass- 
ing by the valley of the Little River, ascending the slope of 
Sodom Mountain to Loomis' Gap, Mount Pisgah, and Cobble 
Mountain, with a tunnel of GOO feet ; and thence to the Bland- 
ford line, and, by Bush Hill, to Spruce Swamp Summit, 1470 
feet above the beach mark on Connecticut River, and about 30 
miles from it ; thence down the western slope through East Otis, 
by Great Pond, Nichols' Pond, and Greenwater Pond, to the 
valley of Hop Brook, througli the corner of Tyringham to 

Stockbridge Plain and West Stockbridge to the State line, 
a distance of 62.38 miles from Connecticut River at Spring- 
field, and with no grade exceeding 80 feet per mile. 

The dilference between the northern and southern routes, 
west of the river, was only j^j^j of a mile by the measurement, 
but the equated distances gave about five miles in favor of the 
north route. There were five summits on the south line, and 
four on the north. The estimated cost of grading and bridg- 
ing the north line was $1,259,100.87, and of the south line 
$1,232,905.45, showing a ditlercnce in favor of the south line 
of §26,195.42. The engineers had reported in favor of the 
north line, probably because the average of grades was the 
best ; but before this was known to the parties the Board of 
Directors, at their request, gave the friends of each route a 
hearing at Springfield, June 25, 1837. 

After an examination of both routes by members of the 
board, and a full consideration, on the 10th of August in the 
last-mentioned year, they decided in favor of the northern 
route through Pittsfield,and ordered it to be definitely located, 
reserving, however, a few points for further examination. 

But during these proceedings very little had been done 
toward completing that portion of the road between Albany 
and the State line. 

The Hudson and Berkshire Railroad, from Hudson to the 
State line, at the Canaan Gap at West Stockbridge, 33 miles, 
had been graded during the year 1837, and the track laid with 
flat- or strap-iron, and the road opened for use in 1838. 

The city of Albany bad also, on the 3d of October, 183G, 
through Erastus Corning, Esq., its mayor, subscribed §250,000 
to the stock of the Albany and West Stockbridge Railroad 
Company, but thus far nothing had been paid upon it. Ex- 
tensive surveys and estimates had also been made upon the 
last-named road by several routes in 1836, but nothing had 
been done toward constructing it up to the close of the j'ear 

The financial revulsion of 1830-37 had a serious effect upon 
the building of the Western road ; and at the close of 1837, 
out of six assessments, amounting in the aggregate to §900,000, 
only a little over §600,000 had been collected. The estimates 
of the engineers for the whole line in Massachusetts were 
§4,000,000, exclusive of engineering, depots, and general ex- 
penses. The funds provided for, if the stock was all paid up, 
would he only §3,000,000. 

At this stage of affairs a general meeting of the stockholders 
was held on the 23d of November, 1837, when it was decided 
to call on the Legislature for assistance, to the amount of 
eighty per cent, of the whole stock, in State scrip, having 
thirty years to run at five per cent., payable in London, Eng- 
land, with warrants for the interest. 

Accordingly, a petition was presented, Jan. 13, 1838, by 
Emory Washburn, of Worcester, and the same was referred 
to a joint select committee of both Houses. After a care- 
ful examination by the committee, a detailed report was 
made, and a bill drawn up granting the credit of the State to 
the amount of §2,100,000 in scrip, payable in thirty years, at 
five per cent, interest, interest and principal payable in Lon- 
don. This bill, after an exhaustive discussion and several 
proposed amendments, was finally passed and approved on the 
21st of February, 1838. 

This legislation immediately gave a fresh impetus to the 
work, and during the year six miles of track were laid, depots 
established, engines and cars purchased, etc. West of the 
river the line was definitely located (except through the vil- 
lage of Westfield), the road from Chester to the State boun- 
dary was put under contract, and work commenced. 

But up to the close of 1838 nothing had been done upon the 
New York portion of the road. The authorized capital of the 
Albany company was §650,000. In May, 1839, the New 
York Legislature passed an act authorizing the city of Albany 
to borrow §400,000 to be used upon the road, in the purchase 



of or subscription to its stock. The engineer of this part of 
the line had estimated the expense (in July, 1830) of con- 
structing the road from Albany to the State line at $580,280.73, 
including half the expense of a double track on the Hudson 

During 1838 work on the Western road progressed so favor- 
ably that reliable estimates could be made upon the cost of the 
whole work, and in December of that year a detailed state- 
ment and report upon the finances was made, containing 36 

From this report the following statements are compiled. 
Expenses to date, with estimates for completion by the resi- 
dent engineer: 

East of the Connecticut River: 

GraJing, masonry, bridges, and engineering S1,H7,5(>9.93 

Superstnicture 49fi,3IS,37 

Engines and cars 87,15o.lX) 

Buildings, etc 38,li'..IKI 

Miscellaneous expenses 34,652.72 

Land damages, fencing, and depot-grounds 0U,913.1U 

Total east of the river $1,864,729.12 

West of the river : 
Grading, masonry, bridges, engineering, superstructure, 

engines, cara, and 1>uildings 92,213,493.47 

Miscellaneous expenses $28,497.12 

Laud damages, fencing, and depots 84,452.02 


Total west of the river $2,32li,442.r,l 

Total cost IIG 6-10 miles $4,191,171.73 

The funds provided were : 

Six assessments at $5 eacii on 30,000 shares and interest..... $91O,('*i.30 
Proceeds of State scrip at par 2,UiO,(m).00 


Deducting this from total expenses shows a deficiency of 

In this condition of afl'airs it was resolved to again petition 
the Legislature for additional aid in the shape of State scrip 
for |1, .500,000, which was done; and on the 23d of March, 
1839, a bill for the purpose of loaning the credit of the State 
to the amount of $1,200,000 was passed, and approved by the 

Under this fresh impetus, the work was prosecuted with 
vigor, and the road was opened on the 1st of October, 1839, 
for passenger-trains to .Springfield, and for freight on the 23d 
of the same month. The distance from Worcester to Spring- 
field was !iij^^js\ miles. 

West of the Connecticut the work was also well advanced 
during the year, and the directors reported in January, 1840, 
that the funds provided would be sufficient to complete the 
whole line within the limits of Massachusetts. 

In the mean time nothing had been done toward construct- 
ing the portion between Albany and the State line ; and in 
view of the discouraging condition of that portion of the 
work, at a meeting of the stockholders of the Western road, 
held on the 12th of February, 1840, a committee was appointed 
to investigate the affairs of the corporation, which was done, 
and a report made to another meeting held March 12th fol- 
lowing. Upon the committee's report a body of delegates, 
consisting of E. H. Derby, George Bliss, A. Walker, P. P. 
F. Degrand, J. Henshaw, A. T. Lowe, E. H. llobbins, Lemuel 
Pomeroy, and Charles Stearns, was appointed to proceed to 
Albany and Troy, and advocate the speedy construction of 
that portion of the road. 

A large meeting of the citizens of Albany was convened, 
and upon the arrival of the Massachusetts delegation they 
were introduced by Samuel Stevens, Esq., and addrasses were 
made to the meeting by Messrs. Bliss, Derby, Degrand, and 
Walker. The meeting was very enthusiastic, and strong 
resolutions were passed unanimously pledging a vigorous 
prosecution of the work. 

Subsequently a proposition was submitted by the Albany 
directors that the Western company should construct and 
manage the road, and on the 23d of April, 1840, a contract 
was executed in three parts by the city of Albany and the two 
railroad companies, by which the city agreed to subscribe 

^650,000 to the stock of the Albany company, and the said 
company agreed to intrust the construction and control of 
the road to the Western company under certain restrictions 
and regulations. The Western company, on their part, agreed 
to construct and open the road as soon as it' could be conve- 
niently done.* 

Upon the consummation of this desirable arrangement the 
Western company appointed John Chikle as resident and 
George W. Whistler as consulting engineer, and immedi- 
ately proceeded to make a careful examination and survey of 
various routes from the State line to Albany, which resulted 
in the recommendation of the engineers for an entirely new 
line, the Hudson and Berkshire line being considered as 
wholly inadequate to accommodate the anticipated business 
of the road. 

The route recommended was 38^^^^^ miles in length, and in- 
volved the construction of a tunnel at Canaan of GOO feet. 
The estimated cost of the line was §1,412,804, and the maxi- 
mum grades were from 40 to 44y*i;'jj feet for nine miles. 

The Hudson and Berkshire road was subsequently purchased 
by the Western company upon its sale by the State of New 
York, which held a mortgage of §250,000 upon it for assist- 
ance rendered in its construction. 

During the year 1840 the road was pushed rapidly forward. 
The unfinished portions east of the Connecticut River were 
completed, and the foundations for the bridge over the river 
were laid. West of the river 53 miles were graded, 35 miles 
of rail laid, and work on the mountain division well advanced. 
22 miles of the Albany road— from Greenbush to Chatham 
Four Corners — were under contract, and work was progress- 
ing upon 12 miles of it. 

As work progressed the company learned many things 
which had not been anticipated, and for which the country 
furnished no precedent as a guide. 

In 1839 there occurred severe floods, which necessitated the 
raising of the track for many miles along the valley of the 
Agawam Kiver, together with the enlargement of bridges and 
culverts, and it was found that the work on excavations, rock- 
cuts, and embankments would be largely in excess of estimates. 
Upon making up the accounts in December, 1840, it was found 
that the excess of expenditures over the original estimates 
was, — 

On the Eastern division $152,240.78 

And on the Western 891,614.17 

Making a total of. $1,043,854.95 

The operations of the company were considerably embar- 
rassed by investigations set <m foot in the Legislature touch- 
ing its management, salaries of officers, rates of fare, etc. 

A statement of the condition of the company in January, 
1840, showed,— 

Cbsl.— East of the river $2,016,969.90 

West of the river 3,218,056.78 

Albany road 1,412,804.00 


To meet this the following means were provided to Dec. 31, 

m i , o. . • f $2,100,000 

Two grants of State scrip -j l 20<UXM) 

City of Albany scrip, nett 'goo'.OOO 

Eight a;sse88ment3 on $3,000,000 of stock 1,200,000 


leaving a deficiency of about $1,2-50,000 to be provided for. 

Another application to the Legislature became necessary, 
and was accordingly made on the 4th of February, 1841. 

The subject was carefully considered by the Legislature in 
all its bearings, and, after much debate and many different 
propositions and amendments, a bill was finally passed on the 
12th of March, 1841, granting the credit of the State to the 
amount of $700,000 in further aid of the road. 

* For the partieulara of this contract see Historical Memoir of the Western 
Railroad, by Hon. George Bliss, 1863. 



This last legislation virtually assured the completion of the 
road, and during the year 1841 it was rapidly forwarded. 
Twenty-eight miles of the line west of the river were opened 
to Chester on the 24th of May, and the whole line from the 
river to the State line was finished on the 4th of October. 
The bridge over the Connecticut River was completed on the 
4th of July of the same year,* and thus early in October the 
entire road from "Worcester to the New York line was ready 
for use. 

That part of the Albany road between Albany and the 
junction of the Hudson and Berkshire roads, at Chatham 
Four Corners, was opened for use on the 21st of December, 
1841, and trains commenced running between Boston and 
Albany on that day. 

In commemoration of the completion of this important 
road, then the longest line in the Union, the municipal author- 
ities of Albany and Boston arranged for an interchange of 
visits ; and, on the 27th of December, the authorities of Bos- 
ton, together with many gentlemen from other cities and 
towns to the number of 12.5, took the train for Albany, rest- 
ing between two and three hours at Springfield, and arriving 
at Albany at 7.30 p.m., where they were received by the au- 
thorities and citizens, and escorted by the military to their 

On the next morning the Eastern delegation was received 
at the City Hall, and subsequently visited the Common Coun- 
cil rooms, where the members were formally' welcomed by the 
mayor. In the evening dinner was served at Stanwix Hall to 
about 300 guests, the mayor presiding, wlio delivered a con- 
gratulatory address, which was responded to by Mr. Chapman, 
mayor of Boston. Addresses were also nuide by other gen- 

On the 29th of December, in response to an invitation from 
the Massachusetts people, a train bearing about 250 gentle- 
men from Albany and vicinity visited Boston, arriving about 
7.30 P.M. They were welcomed by a large concourse of people, 
and escorted to the United States Hotel. 

On the next day they visited various places of interest, and 
at 5.30 P.M. sat down to a sumptuous repast at the United 
States Hotel, presided over by Mayor Chapman. Speeches 
were made by the mayors of the two cities and sundry other 
gentlemen, including Governor Davis, of Massachusetts, and 
the occasion was among the memorable ones of the Puritan 
city. The Albany delegation returned home on the 31st. 

Upon the completion of the entire road, in December, 1841, 
Mr. Thomas B. Wales resigned the presidency of the com- 
pany, which position he had held since 1836. Mr. George 
Bliss also resigned his office as agent of the company, and on 
the 1st of March, 1842, was chosen president, John Howard, 
Esq., having acted as president ;dto tern, since the resignation 
of Mr. Wales. 

On the 4th of March, 1842, the respective executive officers 
and Legislatures of the States of New York and Massachusetts, 
upon invitation of the board of directors, met at Springfield 
to exchange congratulations and reciprocate courtesies on the 
occasion of the permanent union of the two States by the iron 
rail. On the day named the Boston party arrived at Spring- 
field at 12.30 P.M., and the Albany party at 1.30 p.m., and 
both bodies were escorted to the Masonic Hall, where Gov- 
ernors Davis and Seward were introduced by the Hon. Josiah 
Quincy, Jr., president of the Massachusetts Senate, who pre- 
sided, when Governor Davis welcomed the delegation from 
New York to the State of Massachusetts in an appropriate ad- 
dress, to which Governor Seward responded in his usual happy 

An hour or more was spent in introductions and social in- 

* Tliu Bret bridge cost 8131,012.l-2. The new iron structure, erected in 1S72 
cost $202,(100. Tlie bridge over the Hudson at Albany, built about 18C8, cost 

tercourse, when the assemblage repaired to the town-hall, 
where the members partook of a grand dinner. 

President Quincy, presiding at the banquet, gave as a toast, 
"The Western Railroad Corporation," which was responded 
to by Mr., president of the company, who closed with a 
sentiment to the State of New York, which was responded to 
by Mr. Paige, acting president of the New York Senate. 

Speeches were also made by Mr. Walley, speaker of the 
House of Representatives of Massachusetts, Dr. Taylor, speaker 
of the New York Assembly, and Gen. Root, the father of the 
New York Senate, who gave, "The happy union of the stur- 
geon and the codfish; may their joyous nuptials ctt'aoe the 
melancholy recollections of the departure of the Connecticut 
River salmon !" 

The independent road of the Albany and West Stockbridge 
company, between Chatham Four Corners and the State line, 
was completed on the 12th of September, 1842. 

The following data are from the report of Jan. 4, 1843 : 

The length of the Western road, from its junction with the 
Boston and Worcester road, at Worcester, to the east abut- 
ment of the Connecticut River bridge, 54 miles, 3080 feet ; 
thence to the State line, 63 miles, .568 feet ; making a total of 
117 miles, 4248 feet. The Albany and West Stockbridge 
road, from the State line to the face of the Greenhush dock, 
38 miles, 1180 feet. Total, 156 miles, 148 feet. 

Total from the passenger depot in Boston to the Hudson 
River, 200 miles, 468 feet. 

Total from passenger depot in Boston to Albany Shore, 200 
miles, 883 feet. 

Elevations above base-line of Worcester road on the mill- 
dam : Boston :f Western depot, at Worcester, 474 feet ; 
Charleton summit, 909 feet; depot at Springfield, 71 feet; 
Washington summit, 1456 feet ; track at State line, 916 feet ; 
summit at Canaan, 955 feet; depot at Greenhush, N. Y., 26 

The heaviest grades include about 13 miles, varying from 
74 to 83 feet. The highest grades on the Albany and West 
Stockbridge road are 40 to Hj^^ feet for about 9i miles. 

Length of straight line on the Western road, about 63 
miles ; on the Albany, about 18 miles. 

The entire cost of the Western road to Jan. 1, 1843, paid 
out and estimated or contracted for, was §5,814,807.52 ; of the 
Albany and West Stockbridge road, $1,751,984.05. Total for 
both roads, §7,566,791.57. 

The mountain division of Vi{i^ miles cost $980,000, or 
over §70,000 per mile ; and a single mile cost $219,929.87. 

The summit section, in Washington, IJj miles, cost $241,- 
311.39, or per mile, $134,000. 

A curious phenomenon (which has since become quite 
common, especially on the Michigan Central and Baltimore 
and Ohio roads, in Michigan and Indiana) was the sinking 
of about 1100 feet of the road-bed in tlie Richmond swamp 
to the depth of from 75 to 90 feet below the natural surface. 

The first locomotives used on the road were seven of the 
Winans (Baltimore) manufacture, purchased upon the recom- 
mendation of Maj. Whistler, at a cost of $11,000 each. J 

Maj. Whistler entered the service of the Russian govern- 
ment in June, 1842, as superintendent of the great St. Peters- 
burg and Moscow Railway, 420 miles in length. 

The Winans engines caused a considerable controversy 
to arise respecting the merits of various manufactures of 
locomotives, and they were gradually superseded by others, so 
that the last one disappeared from the road before 1850. 

The total earnings of tlie road for a series of years were as 
follows : 1842, $512,688.28 ; 1843, $573,882.51 ; 1844, $753,- 
752.72; 1845, $813,480.15. 

t These elevations are given in round numbers, leaving off fractions of feet, or 
adding when over one-half. 

J During the construction of the roail the couipany had used some of the 
engines of the Lowell Locks and Canal CVjmpany. 



Between 1843 and 1850 the value of the stock of the com- 
pany fluctuated between 40| and 114|. 

Up to the time when Maj. Whistler resigned his position, in 
1842, he had filled the offices of engineer and superintendent. 
Upon his resignation the directors ordered that the duties of 
engineer and superintendent should devolve upon the presi- 
dent, thereby concentrating in one individual the duties of 
president, agent, engineer, and superintendent. 

In September, 1842, upon the urgent request of the presi- 
dent, the board of directors appointed James Barnes, acting 
master of transportation, as engineer, with authority to assume 
certain duties as superintendent. 

On the 21st of March, 1843, Edmund Dwight was elected 
president, and his salary fixed at $500 per annum. On the 7th 
of April following, James Barnes was elected superintendent 
and engineer, the president having been relieved of the duties 
of those offices. In 1844, George Bliss was again chosen presi- 
dent, and by a vote of the board was also made general agent 
of the company. He was also re-elected in 1845. 

The Hartford and Springfield road was opened in the latter 
part of the year 1844, and the road between Springfield and 
Northampton in the following year. These roads added con- 
sideral)ly to the traffic of the Western road. 

In 1845 two dividends of three per cent, each were made, 
besides paying into the sinking fund $-30,000, and the stock of 
the company advanced in the same year from '.tOJ to 104J. 

The Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad Company was 
chartered in March, 1842, revised in 1845, tlie capital sub- 
scribed and the road built in 1845-46. The work was done by 
the Western company, which took a lease of the new line for 
thirty years, agreeing to pay an annual rental of 6 per cent, 
upon the cost. This road was not a paying one, but has since 
been connected with the Vermont sj-stem at Bennington. 

On the 3d of January, 1846, after a service of ten years. 
President Bliss notified the company of his intention to with- 
draw as a candidate for re-election, on account of the state of 
his health. Mr. Addison Gilmore was chosen in his stead 
in Februar}' following. 

Upon the organization of the new board in February, 1846, 
an old controversy with the Worcester company was amicably 
adjusted, and satisfactory arrangements were made by the two 
companies by the signing of a contract to run three years. 

The affairs of the Western companj' were in a flourishing 
condition at the close of 1846. The total earnings of the road 
for that year were §954,417.80, and the expenses $412,679.80. 
Net earnings, $541,738.09. 

By an act of the Legislature passed April 24, 1847, the com- 
pany was authorized to increase its capital stock to an amount 
not exceeding $1,000,000. This step was taken with a view to 
enable the company to increase its facilities in the way of an 
additional track, new engines, cars, etc. The increase, under 
this act, brought the capital up to $4,000,000. 

The total receipts for 1847 were $1,325,336.06, and the ex- 
penses $676,689.75, leaving net earnings $648,640.31. The 
dividends amounted to $302,000. 

During 1847, 20 ten-ton engines and 100 freiglit-cars were 
added to the equipment, and 28 twenty-ton engines and 400 
freight-cars were ordered, and about 12 miles of second track 
were constructed. The market price of the stock had ruled 
during the year at from 99 to 114J. 

At the beginning of 1848, Hun. Josiah Quincy retired from 
the treasurership after a service of twelve years, and Stephen 
Fairbanks, Esq., of Boston, was chosen to succeed him. An- 
sel Phelps, Jr., of Springfield, was appointed solicitor. 

By an act of the Legislature passed May 9, 1848, the com- 
pany was further authorized to increase its capital stock to 
the amount of $1,000,000, to be appropriated to construction 
and for the purchase of engines and cars. 

During the year 1848, 32 miles of second track were laid 
with seventy-pound rail, and 400 freight-cars and 25 engines of 

twenty-three tons each were added to the equipment, making 
a complement of 70 engines. A large freight-building was 
also erected at Greenbush, costing, with land, tracks, etc., 

The gross earnings of the road for 1848 were 11,332,068.29, 
and the expenses $652,357.11, leaving the net earnings $679,- 
711.18. The heaviest receipts of the road from the time of 
its opening, in 1841, to 1862, were in the year 1856, when they 
reached a total of $2,115,820.05. The receipts of 1862 were 

On the 5th of July, 1861, a serious fire at East Albany 
destroyed all the station-buildings, one of the bridges leading 
to the island, and 67 freight-cars, involving a loss, exclusive 
of freight-cars, of $113,143.76. The buildings were imme- 
diately rebuilt. 

At the close of 1862 there remained about 40 miles of the 
second track to be laid between Boston and Albany. The 
double track was completed through in 1868. 

The long-continued difficulties between the Western and 
the Boston and Worcester Railroad companies, regarding 
passenger and freight rates and the pi-o rata division of the 
earnings of the two roads, operated to diminish the business 
of the lines, and was the subject of various arrangements and 
compromises, and many attempts were made to adjust and 
settle the questions arising ; but no permanent or satisfactory 
solution was reached until Dec. 1, 1867, when the two lines 
were consolidated under a new corporation, which from that 
date took the name of the Boston and Albany Railroad 

In addition to the main line the company operate the fol- 
lowing roads and branches : Grand Junction Railroad, New- 
ton Lower Falls Branch, Brookline Branch, Saxonville Branch, 
Milford Branch, Milbury Branch, North Brookfield Branch, 
Spencer Branch, Ware River Road,* Pittsfield and North 
Adams Road, and the Chatham and Hudson Road. The 
Ware River Road is operated under a lease for 999 years. 

The present capital of the company is $20,000,000. The 
equipment of the road consists of 243 locomotives, averaging 
29tV<t *°^* each, 184 passenger cars, 55 baggage and postal, 
4907 merchandise, 517 other, and 11 snow-plows. 

The following table shows the cost of the road to Sept. 30, 


Graduation, masonry, and bridging ^7,516,075.08 

Superstructure, includiug iron 5,795,293.04 

Laud, land damages, and fencing 5,173,713.61 

Passenger and freigtit stations, wood-slieds, and water- 
stations 2,947.617.89 

Engine-houses, car-sheds, and turn-tables 516,442.53 

Macbine-shops, machinery, and tools 777,276.23 

Engineering, interest, agencies, salaries, etc 1,642,298.12 

Locomotives and snow-plows 1,215,000.00 

Passenger, mail, and baggage cars 488,W)0.0O 

Merchandise cars 1,442,400.00 

Total 527,.514,116.50 

Cost of road and equip- 
ment $27,514,116.50 

Cost of South Boston 
property 605,098.22 

Hudson Kiver bridges .. 475,4So.OO 

Materials 1,130,944.07 

Real estate and land 119,678.96 

Ledger balances due 
from individuals and 
corporations 495,483.83 

West Stockbridge K. R. 
stock 13,000.00 

Cash 549,874.09 


Capital stock ?2O,0O0,0O0.0O 

Seven per cent. Iwnds... 5,000,000.00 

Six per cent. Ijonds 2,000,000.00 

Unclaimed dividends 

and interest 33,685.50 

Dividend No. 20, due 

Nov. 15, 1877 800,000.00 

Dividend No. 2, P. & N. 

A. R. R., due Jan. 1, 

1878 11,250.00 

Dividend No. 8, Ware 

R.R., due Jan. 1,1878 26,250.00 

Notes pavable 507,4.34.75 

Proflt andloss 2,425,060.42 



The gross earnings of the road for the year ending Sept. 30, 
1878, were $6,633,533.41 ; expenses for same period, $4,413,- 
997.27; net balance, $2,219,536.14. 

The following statement shows the rapid increase in the quan- 
tity of grain of all kinds received into the East Boston elevator 

* This lino runs from Palmer up the Ware River, and through Worcester 
Couuty. It was incorporated May 24, 1S51, bi build a road from Palmer to 
Templeton, in Worcester County. The road connects with the Fitchburg Kail- 
wav at Baldwinsville. 



during the last five years : 1873-74, 1,508,083 bushels; 1874- 
75, 2,588,1227 bushels ; 1875-76, 4,406,785 bushels ; 1876-77, 
4,240,501 bushels ; 1877-78, 9,763,280 bushels. 

A severe storm and flood on the 10th of December, 1878, 
caused considerable damage to the road in'the valley of the 
Agawam Eiver, the total loss to track, bridges, etc., being es- 
timated at ^20,000. There was also serious interruption to 
travel and traffic for a number of days. 

The presidents of the Western Railroad company, and of 
the Boston and Albany, since the consolidation with the Bos- 
ton and Worcester company, have been as below : Thomas B. 
Wales, of Boston, from January, 1836, to February, 1842. 
John Howard, ^);'o tern., two months, 1842. George Bliss, 
from March, 1842, to 1843. Edmund Dwight, 1843-44, one 
year. George Bliss, one year, 1844-4-5. Addison Gilmore, 
1846 to latter part of 1850, when he died. John Gardner, 
pro tern., 1850-51. Captain Wm. H. Swift, 1851 to 1854. 
Chester W. Chapin, of Springfield, 1854 to 1877. D. Waldo 
Lincoln, of Worcester, the present incumbent. 

Present Officers of the Corporation. — Directors, D. W. Lin- 
coln, C. W. Chapin, Ignatius Sargent, Moses Kimball, John 
Cummings, Henry Colt, Geo. O. Crocker, Edward B. Gillett, 
J. H. Chadwick, Charles L. Wood, J. N. Dunham, D. N. 
Skillings, Francis B. Hayes. D. Waldo Lincoln, President, 
Boston ; William Bliss, General Manager, Springfield ; 
C. O. Russell, General Superintendent, Springfield ; Wal- 
ter H. Barnes, Assistant Superintendent, Boston ; J. B. 
Chapin, A.ssistant Superintendent Albany ; C. E. Stevens, 
Treasurer, Boston ; J. A Rumrill, Secretary and Clerk, 
Springfield; M. E. Barber, Auditor, Springfield; H. J. 
Hayden, General Freight Agent, Boston ; J. M. Griggs, 
General Ticket Agent, Springfield ; A. S. Bryant, Cashier, 
Springfield ; Albert Holt, Paymaster, Springfield. 


The first link in this line was that portion between Spring- 
field and Northampton. A company known as "The North- 
ampton and Springfield Railroad Corporation" was chartered 
on the 1st of March, 1842. The leading corporators were 
John Clarke, Sam'l L. Hinckley, Stephen Brewer, Jonathan 
H. Butler, and Winthrop Hillyer. The capital stock was 
limited to §400,000, but this was increased by an act of the 
Legislature, Feb. 23, 1844, to ;ti.500,000. 

On the 2.5th of February, 1845, Henry W. Clapp, Ralph 
Williams, Henry W. Cushman, and associates were incorpo- 
rated as " The Greenfield and Northampton Railroad Com- 
pany," with authority to construct a road between the above- 
mentioned towns. The capital stock was limited to $500,000. 
These two corporations were consolidated on equal terms in 
July, 1845, and took the name of "The Connecticut River 
Railroad Company." An act of the Legislature passed March 
21, 1845, authorized "The Northampton and Springfield Com- 
pany" to change its route to the one where the road now 
runs. "The Connecticut River Company" was authorized 
on the 16th of April, 1846, to extend its road northward from 
Greenfield to the Vermont State line, and to increase its stock 
by an amount not exceeding ?500,000. 

The road was opened from Springfield to Cabotville (now 
Chicopee) on the 28th of February, 1845, and to Northampton 
on the 13th of December of the same year. On the 17th of 
August, 1846, it was opened to South Decrtield, and on the 
23d of November following to Greenfield. The branch from 
Chicopee to Chicopee Falls was completed September 8 of the 
same year. 

The earnings of the road from the first opening to January 
1, 1846, were $13,521; expenditures same time, $5519. The 
receipts for 1846 were $58,246.99 ; expenses, $21,752.43. Re- 
ceipts for 1847, $123,951.61. Receipts for 1848, $165,242.13; 
and the luiniber of passengers carried was 299,865; tons of 
merchandise, 101,314. 

The road was completed to the south line of Vermont on the 
1st of January, 1849, a distance of 52 miles from Springfield. 
The total cost of the road to that date was $1,798,825. 

On the 7th of December, 1849, the company entered into an 
agreement with the Ashuelot Railroad Company, of New 
Hampshire, chartered to construct a line from the Cheshire 
Railroad, in Keeno, N. H., to the west shore of the Connecticut 
River, in South Vernon, Vt., by which the Connecticut River 
company should operate the Ashuelot road for a period of ten 
years, paying 7 per cent, per annum on the cost of the road. 
The annual rental was subsequently fixed at $30,000. The 
Connecticut company commenced running cars over this 
road Jan. 27, 1851. The company is still running this line 
under a special contract, and is also operating the Vermont 
Valley road from Brattleboro' to Bellows Falls, as agent. 
The company also has a branch of Z\ miles from Mount Tom 
Station to Eastharapton. 

The total cost of the road and equipments has been $2,637,- 
976.52, the present capital stock is $2,100,000, and the funded 
debt $250,000; surplus, $578,886.75. 

The following table shows the annual receipts and expenses 
of the road from 1848 to 1878 : 


1849 81112,072.49 

1850 l'Jl,.'i87.12 

1861 199,894.83 

1852 229,004.98 

1853 2.58,220.89 

18.54 277,770.71 

1855 280,562.55 

1856 288,669.71 

1857 267,710.57 

1858 2.38,390.37 

1859 271,592.15 

1860 .306,264.68 

1861 2.50,836.00 

1862 268,152.15 

1863 344,194.19 

1864 472,320.85 



1865 8533,108.96 

1866 617,142.88 

1867 629,165.01 

1868 619,348.69 

1869., 649,196.49 

1870 571,972.32 

1871 725,391.83 

1872 73:1,368.37 

1873 751,30:174 

1874 706,405.45 

1875 ;. 649,249.26 

1876 589,.W6,86 

1877 573,302.63 

1878 584,670..50 


Total*. ..86,534,:!97.45 84,462,487.00 


SEPT. 30, 1878. 


^Tons of 

Springfield 139,768 


Cliicopee 8,062 

Chicopee Falls 4,316 

Wijlimansett 97 

Holyoke 20,890 

Smith's FoiTy 2,931 

Mount Tom 13,936 

Ea;^thampton 1,682 

Northampton 6,186 

Hatfield 1,218 

North Hatfield 1,255 

Whatelv 647 

South IJeerfleld 2,252 

Deerfield 1,892 

Greenfield 12,947 

Bernardston 1,072 

Si>utli Vernon 87,928 




Hinsdale . 





























-Number of 


























Total 322,900 322,900 

946,900 946,900 

The presidents of the company since its organization, in 
their order, have been Erastus Hopkins, of Northampton; 
Henry W. Clapp, of Greenfield; Chester W. Chapin, of 
Springfield ; Henry W. Clapp, again ; Erastus Hopkins, 
again; Daniel L. Harris, of Springfield. 

Present Officers. — Directors: Daniel L. Harris, Springfield; 
I. M. Spelman, Edward A. Dana, Boston; Charles S. Sar- 
gent, Brookline ; Chester W. Chapin, Springfield ; O.scar 
Edwards, Northampton ; W\ B. Washburn, Greenfield ; Ro- 
land Mather, Hartford, Conn. ; S. M. Waite, Brattleboro', Vt. 
Daniel L. Harris, President, Springfield; John Mulligan, 
Superintendant, Springfield ; Setb Hunt, Clerk and Treasurer, 
Springfield ; John Whittelsey, Auditor, Northampton ; Wm. 
H. Stearns, Master Mechanic, Springfield; H. E. Howard, 
General Freight Agent, Springfield ; F. D. Hey wood. General 
Ticket Agent, Springfield ; Geo. E. Frink, Cashier and Pay- 

* These sums include the earninge of the Ashuelot road for ahout 11 years. 



master, Springfield; C. H. Cram, General Freight Clerk, 
Springfield; Wm. E. Hill, Lost Freight and Baggage Agent, 


This line e.xtcnds from Springfield, via Hartford and New 
Haven, to New York City, and is made up of a consolidation of 
several lines, among which were the Springfield and Hart- 
ford and the Hartford and New Haven roads. The Spring- 
field and Hartford road was opened in 1844, and passengers 
took steamer at New Haven, on the Long Island Sound boats, 
for New York. The completion of the New York and New 
Haven line opened a through route from Boston to New Y'ork 
via Springfield, and it now constitutes one of the most im- 
portant lines in the State of Connecticut. 


This line was originally chartered by the Connecticut Legis- 
lature in May, 1847, as "The New London, Willimantic and 
Springfield Railroad Company." The northern terminus was 
subsequently changed to Palmer. The Massachusetts Legis- 
lature in 1848 authorized the company to extend its line from 
the State line, a distance of nine miles, to the line of the 
Western Railroad at Palmer depot. 

The road was opened from New London to Willimantic, a 
distance of 30 miles, in November, 1849; to Statford Springs, 
in March, 18-50; and to Palmer, on the 20th of September, 
1850; a total di.stance of 60 miles. The original cost of the 
road was I5il,.524,329.0lj, and of the portion in Massachusetts, 


was incorporated in 1851, with authority to construct a line 
from Palmer, through the towns of Belchertown, Amherst, 
Leverett, Sunderland, and Montague, to the Vermont and 
Massachu.setts Railroad, at or near Montague. The company 
was organized June 30, 1851. Luke Swcetser was chosen 
President, and John S. Adams Clerk and Treasurer. 

The road was opened from Palmer to Amherst, May 9, 1853, 
and was leased to the New London, Willimantic and Palmer 
company for ten years, but, the arrangement proving unsat- 
isfactory, the contract was dissolved Nov. 5, 18.53, and the 
road was from that date to 1804 operated by the Amherst and 
Belchertown company. The cost of this road between Pal- 
mer and Amherst was $280,000. 

In 1800 the name of the New London, Willimantic and 
Palmer company was changed to the present one, and in 
1804 the latter bought out the Amherst and Belchertown 
road, and extended the line to a connection with the Vermont 
and Massachusetts road, at Grout's Corners, in 1806. 

The principal stations on this line in Massachusetts are 
Monson, Palmer, Belchertown, Amherst, Montague, and Mil- 
ler's Falls. The road forms an important route, and furnishes 
valuable facilities to the eastern portions of the three river- 

The consolidated line, extending from New London, Conn., 
to South Vernon, Vt., is operated under lease by the Vermont 
Central Railway Company. 


This corporation is the result of a consolidation of several 
independent companies in Massachusetts and Connecticut. 


was chartered in 1852, with a capital of $175,000, with authority 
to build a road from Westfield to the State line in Granby, 


was chartered in the same year with a capital of $200,000, for 
the purpose of continuing the first-named road from Westfield 
to Northampton. The two roads were united under the name 



in 1853. The line was put in operation to Northampton in 
1850, and extended to its present northern terminus in 1868. 
The New Haven and Northampton Canal Company was 
authorized in 18.53 to dispose of corporate property to the 
Hampshire and Hampden Railroad Comjjany. 

The Holyoke and Westfield road was built, under the Mas- 
sachusetts laws, to accommodate the manufacturing interests 
of the former place, in 1871. The capital was mostly sub- 
scribed in that city. It is operated b}' the New Haven and 
Northampton company, which furnishes ten extra freight- 
trains daily. It forms a valuable competing line with the New 
Y^ork, New Haven and Hartford road. 


This line is made up of the Springfield and New London Rail- 
road, which was organized under a general law of Massachu- 
setts, in 1874, ostensibly with the view of connecting the points 
mentioned, and the first-named road was chartered in 1868, 
and obtained a supplementary charter in in 1869. The road 
extends from Hartford, Conn., to Springfield, Mass., and has 
a branch in Connecticut from to Rockville, 7j miles. 

The road was built in 1875, and put in operation in Janu- 
ary, 1876. The length of the road is 30 miles. The whole line 
is operated by the Connecticut Central. It connects at Hart- 
ford with the Valley Railway, to Saybrook, at the mouth of 
the Connecticut, and at Springfield with the Athol Railroad. 

The presidents of the Connecticut Central company have 
been J. W. Phelps, from organization to 1876, and D. D. 
Warren, the present incumbent. Gordon Bill has officiated 
as president of the Springfield and New London road since its 


This road was originally the Athol and Enfield Railroad, 
chartered about 1864-65. The first portion was constructed 
from Athol to a connection with the New London Northern 
road at Barrett's, from whence the company's trains ran to 
Palmer, four miles, over the New London Northern track. 

In 1872 the company obtained a supplementary charter, 
changing the name of the corporation to the present one, and 
authorizing them to build a line from Barrett's to Springfield, 
about 17 miles, which was constructed in 1873. The city of 
Springfield holds about $300,000 of this company's stock. 

The officers of this company are; President, Willis Phelps; 
Superintendent, H. W. Phelps ; Treasurer, T. H. Good.specd ; 
General Freight and Ticket Agent, E. M. Bartlett. 


This is the most important line of railway passing through 
the northern part of the State. The component lines which 
make the complete road from Boston to the Hudson River at 
Troy are the Fitchburg Railroad, from Boston to Greenfield, 
a distance of 100 miles ; the Troy and Greenfield road, from 
Greenfield to North Adams, 37 miles, including the tunnel, 
which is the property of the State ; and the Troy and Boston 
road, from North Adams to the Hudson River, 48 miles ; 
making a total distance of 191 miles from tide-water to tide- 
water again. 

The height of the centre of the tunnel above tide-water is 
something over 800 feet. 

These lines, or those portions traversing Franklin County, 
follow very closely the valleys of Miller's and the Deerfield, 
or Pocomtuck, Rivers, nearly from the eastern to the western 
extremity of the county ; passing through or near the towns 
of Orange, Wendell, Erving, Montague, Deerfield, Greenfield, 
Shelburne, Conway, Buckland, Charlemont, and Rowe ; and 
giving about 50 miles of continuous track within the county. 
There are sections of heavy and expensive work on this road 
in many places, but the advantages possessed by the tunnel 
route over every other will be best understood by the statement 



that the highest point in the Hoopac tunnel is 612 feet nearer 
the sea-level than the summit on the Boston and Alhany route. 

The line, as originally surveyed and located, crossed Green 
River in the town of Deerfield, three-fourths of a mile from 
the business centre of Greenfield village, which place was 
accommodated until ahout 1876 by backing up the trains. At 
the latter date the track was changed and laid through the 
southern portion of the village, describing a grand curve, and 
crossing the former track a mile and a half southwest of the 
village, and over a mile west of the old bridge over Green 
River. The di.stance is somewhat increa.=fd, but the village 
is much better accommodated, and the grade reduced from 
about 70 feet to 26 feet per mile. 

The Troy and Greenfield road was chartered in 1848, and 
organized in 1849. Ground was broken on the 8th of 
January, 1851, under an appropriation of 5i25,000 made for 
" experiments on the tunnel." Application was abso made in 
that year for aid from the State, but without success, and 
again in 1853 with a similar result. 

In 1854 a third application was successful, and State aid 
was granted to the extent of $2,000,000. The actual com- 
mencement of work on the tunnel proper was in the sum- 
mer of 1856, when Herman Haupt, an eminent engineer, of- 
fered to undertake the job ; and on the 30th of July of that 
year a contract was entered into with Messrs. H. Haupt & 

From that date until 1861 work was vigorously pushed so 
long as the funds held out, but in the summer of that year 
they became exhausted, and work was suspended. In Sep- 
tember, 1862, the tunnel was transferred to the State, the 
work at that time having progressed to the extent of half a 
mile into the mountain. 

■ The State entered upon the work vigorously, and continued 
it until 1868, when the expense had become so enormous that 
the people became alarmed, and the State finally abandoned 

On the 24th of December, 1868, the Messrs. Shanley, of 
Montreal, Canada, contracted for the completion of the tunnel 
for the sum of $4,594,368, and whatever interest might ac- 
crue under the contract. Under their management the work 
steadily progressed to completion early in the year 1874. 

The headings east of the central shaft met on the 12th of 
December, 1872, and the western headings on the 27th of No- 
vember, 1873, amid great rejoicings. 

First and last the labor was continued through a period of 
about eighteen years, at a total cost, including interest, of 
about .?17,000,000.* The total length of the tunnel which 
passes under the Hoosac Mountain — a portion of the Green 
Mountain range — is 25,586 feet, or 4 miles and 3666 feet. The 
tunnel is 26 feet in width and the same in height. The highest 
point of the mountain above the tunnel in the western part 
is 1718 feet, and of the summit east of the centre, 1429 feet. 
The central shaft, running from the top of the mountain to 
the tunnel below, is 1037 feet in vertical depth. The grade 
of the track within the tunnel is 26.4 feet per mile, and the 
summit is near the centre, with an equal grade on either side. 
The drainage is perfect. 

The character of the various rock-formations encountered 
in the prosecution of the work, commencing at the eastern 
entrance and going west, reads as follows, according to a 
diagram of the work: " Talcose slate, J of a mile; mica- 
schist, ahout ^ of a mile ; mica-schist with quartz veins, 
about one mile ; mica-schist and gneiss, about f of a mile ; 
granite and conglomerate, about \ of a mile; mica-schist, 
3 of a mile; gneiss, J of a mile; and mica-schist, f of a 

The road was opened from Greenfield to the tunnel, Aug. 

* An estimate of tlie cnut of a tmint-l at this point for tlo' paspage of n canal, 
made in 1821J, was $920,832. 

17, 1868; the first construction-train passed through the tun- 
nel Feb. 9, 1875, and the first passenger-train, April 9th of the 
same year. 

This great line possesses uncommon and remarkable facili- 
ties for the handling of heavy freight at its termini in 
Boston and Troy. Its arrangements for transferring grain, 
stock, and merchandise to and from cars, vessels, and canal- 
boats are unsurpassed, while its dockage-fronts and storage 
accommodations on tide-water are of the best possible de- 

The expense of moving heavy trains over that great natural 
barrier, the Green Mountain range, is reduced to a minimum 
by the completion, after years of labor and many millions of 
expense, of the great Hoosac tunnel, which is in some re- 
spects the most remarkable and important tunnel in the 
world. f It is on the line of the greatest commercial activity 
on the continent, as well as lying in the exact track between 
the grain-producing region of the Northwest and the grain- 
consuming millions of New England and Europe. The 
amount of its business is very large, and, in the line of 
freights, rajiidly increasing, and its importance is probably 
only beginning to be comprehended. 


This road, which extends from Fitchburg to Greenfield and 
Brattleboro', Vt., was chartered in 1844, and opened from 
Fitchburg to Athol, Jan. 1, 1848 ; to Brattleboro' via. North- 
field and South Vernon, in February, 1849; and to Green- 
field via Deerfield, in 1850. It is now known as the Fitch- 
burg line. 

The portion of this line lying between Grout's Corners and 
the Vermont line is operated under a lease by the Vermont 
Central Railroad Company, in connection with the New 
London Northern road. Its termini, Brattleboro', Vt., and 
Greenfield, Mass., are thriving and important towns ; and the 
connections of the road at these points and others with the 
great tunnel line and the Vermont and New Hampshire 
systems are very important factors in its general 

This company operates the short line, or branch, from 
Greenfield to Turner's Falls, or, more properly speaking, from 
the switch on the Deerfield River to the Fulls. There is a 
probability of a line being eventually constructed from Tur- 
ner's Falls to Miller's Falls. 



The population of Massachusetts from 1776 to 1875, accord- 
ing to the colonial, State, and United States censuses, has 
been as follows: 1776, 295,080; 1790, 378,787; 1800, 422,845; 
1810, 472,040; 1820, 523,287; 1830, 610,408; 1840, 737,700; 
1850, 994,514; 18.5.5, 1,132,369; 1860, 1,231,066; 1865, 1,267,- 
030; 1870, 1,4.57,3.51; 1875, 1,651,912. 

The number of inhabitants per square mile by the last 
census is shown to be 212, being the greatest of any State 
in the Union. 

The population of Massachusetts cities in 1875 was as fol- 
lows : Boston, 341,919; Lowell, 49,688; Worcester, 49,317; 
Cambridge, 47,838; Fall River, 45,340; Lawrence, 34,916; 
Lynn, 32,600; Springfield, 31,0.53; Salem, 25,958; New Bed- 
ford, 2.5,895 ; Somerville, 21,868; Chelsea, 20,737; Taunton, 
20,445; Gloucester, 16,754; Holyoke, 16,260; Newton, 16,105; 
Haverhill, 14,628; Newburyport, 13,323 ; Fitchburg, 12,289. 

The following tables show the population of the three river- 
counties by towns since 1776 : 

t This tunnel lies wholly within the town of rioiida, Berkshire Co., but it« 

eastern poftal opens on the west hank of tlie Deertield River, wliicli divides the 
counties of Berkshire and Fi'anklin. 









United Suites Census. 










































2,426 ' 














1,447 --1,416 












1,060 J 














h 745 










■ 1,056 













I- 617 














. 1,064 














h 813 






















































755 ■ 

r 720 













2,854 • 















f- 904 












936 r 























1,047 f> 




























1,154 n 2,045 












896^ 918 













1,037^ 1,236 













1,276- 1,179 






















Belchertovvn ., 







Huntington ,., 
Northampton , 


Plainfield , 


South Hadley 






Date of 
Incurpo ra- 


United States Census. 

« 2 


H a. 

« s 

























































































912 + 




1,705 - 



800 • 

■ 1,732 








































































































































































































1,361 J 1,540 

1.089- 1,037 

1,122- 1,199 

857 \ 939 

974-1- 796 

! 265 

1,074 + 1.152 

Ley den 

New Salem 

2,146 - 

- 1,889 



1,584 i 
829 f 






- 995 


y 1,U1 
































Hampden"^ , 












West Springfield. 

= c ^ 



.2 a 

United States Census. 

1812. 1776. 




















1800. 1810. 































2,668 i 
3,246 1 

1,599 . 

1,407 f 


1840. 1850. 


1,257 I- 
1,327 1 
2,263 r 

579 - 
1,237 ^ 

507 i 






1,365-1 1,214 

6,784 t|10,985 

723 ■• 627 


■ 665 















































w 3 















64,570 78,409 94,304 

The amount of foreign-born population in each of the coun- 
ties, by the cen.sus of 1875, was as follows: Hampshire County, 
8585; per cent., 19.15. Franklin County, 3990; per cent., 
11.84. Hampden County, 26,235; per cent., 27.82. 

The total number of voters in each of the three counties was 
as follows: Hampshire, 9253; Franklin, 8516; Hampden, 
18,912. The military population of counties is about 
25,000, reckoning those of military age at two-thirds the total 
number of voters. 

Of aged people, there were in Hampshire County 42 over 
90 years ; in Franklin, 28 ; and in Hampden, 82 ; and of these 
several were above 100. 

Of families and dwellings there were as follows: Hampshire 
County — families, 9.596; dwellings, 8254. Franklin County — 
families, 7856 ; dwellings, 6877. Hampden County — families, 
19,990; dwellings, 13,628. Of unoccupied dwellings, Hamp- 
shire had .306; Franklin, 268; and Hampden, 502. 

The number of dwellings in the larger towns was as follows: 
Springfield, 4977 ; Holyoke, 1479 ; Westfield, 1468 ; Chicopee, 
632 ;t Northampton, 2197; Amherst, 833; Greenfield, 696; 
Deerfield, 639. 

The number of colored people other than white, and includ- 
ing Chinese, Japanese, and Indians, is shown below : Hamp- 
shire — black, 209 ; mulatto, 95 ; Chinese, 13 ; Japanese, 1. 
Franklin— black, 64 ; mulatto, 10 ; Chinese, 9. Hampden— 
black, 828 ; mulatto, 213 ; Chinese, 33 ; Japanese, 1 ; Indians, 15. 


The total number of farms in the State was 44,549, with a 
total acreage of 3,402,369, valued at 1182,663,140; being an 
average value for each farm of |4100, and of each acre |53.69, 

The number of farms in Franklin County was 3950, with a 
total acreage of 3.50,443 ; average number of acres for each 
farm, 88 acres; average value of farms, $2870; total value of 
farms (including buildings), $11, 352, .503. 

The number of acres in market-gardens was 214], of the 
value of $12,448. 

* Furmed since census was lakeu. Included in Wilbraluim. Sec t+jwn liis- 

t By tlic census report, Cliicnpee had 032 dwellings and 2[t4n fandlies. 
X Compiled from the census of lS7a. 

The number of acres of cultivated land was 79,871 ; of un- 
improved land, 175,218; of unimprovable land, 20,517; and 
of woodland, 74,837. 

The number of farms in Hampden County was 3736, with a 
total acreage of 316,015; average number of acres per farm, 
85 ; average value of farms, $3880 ; total valuation of lands and 
buildings, $14,496,445. 

The number of acres in market-gardens was 464, valued at 

The number of acres of cultivated land was 79,726; of un- 
improved land, 147,359; of unimprovable land, 15,262; and of 
woodland, 73,668. 

The number of farms in Hampshire County was 3666, with 
a total acreage of 316,991 ; average luimber of acres per farm, 
86 ; average value of farms, $3344 ; total value of lands and 
buildings, $12,260,330; number of acres in market-gardens, 
89, valued at $18,220; number of acres of cultivated land, 
98,311; of unimproved land, 145,894; of unimprovable land, 
10,342 ; of woodland, 62,444. 

The total domestic and agricultural products of the three 
counties was as follows : Franklin Count_y — domestic, $810,792 ; 
agricultural, $$2, .593, 738. Hampden County — domestic, $618,- 
356 ; agricultural, $2,774,297. Hampshire County — domestic, 
$745,046 ; agricultural, $3,066,883. 

The production and value of butter in the three counties 
was as follows: Franklin County — 1,285,048 pounds; value, 
$414,977. Hampden County— 783,879 pounds ; value, $272,749. 
Hampshire County— 1,149,077 pounds; value, $392,423. 

Of cheese: Franklin County — 03,711 pounds; value, 
$9065. Hampden County— 105,761 pounds ; value, $13,157. 
Hampshire County — 87,8.56 pounds; value, $12,178. 

Of maple-sugar : Franklin County — 372,439 pounds; value, 
$42,271. Hampden County— 149,297 pounds ; value, $16,114. 
Hampshire County— 291,084 pounds; value, $34,000. 

Apples : Franklin County— 192,117 bushels ; value, $79,417. 
Hampden — 247,672 bushels ; value, $93,213. Hampshire— 
191,857 bushels ; value, $80,397. The apple crop of 1878 was 
very large, aggregating for the three valley-counties probably 
1,-500,000 bushels. 

Milk : Franklin County— value, $169,819. Hampden 
County — value, $4-59,103. Hampshire County — value, $396,- 



Hay. — The amount mid value of all kinds of hay produced 
was as follows : 

Tone. Vnluo. 

Franklin County 61,056 S9;i,8Ki 

Hampden County ; 4^,lHti 778,513 

Hanipsliire County 58,398 890,817 

Corn. — The three river-counties are the largest corn-pro- 
ducing counties in the State, excepting Worcester, the amount 
grown in each being respectively as follows : 

Busliels. Value. 

Franklin County 154,310 $145,996 

Hampden County 130,ol>4 127,458 

Hampshire County 156,193 150,121 

Total 441,007 Ji23,575 

The total amount raised in the State was 1,040,290 bushels, 
valued at §1,006,384. Worcester County, the only one which 
exceeded either of them, produced 195,963 bushels. 

Potatoes. — Franklin County, 2-54,528 bushels ; Hampden 
County, 317,653 bushels ; Hampshire County, 298,396 bushels. 

Tobacco. — Of this product nearly the whole amount produced 
in the State was grown in the river-counties, as follows : 

Acres. Pounds. Value. 

Franklin County 121Bl.< 1,997,0!)! Si21,81.i 

Hampden County 808U 1,224,670 2:)ll,475 

Hampshire County 1662>4 2,055,561 462,956 

The total grown in all other parts of the State was about 
115,000 pounds, valued at about §17,000. 

Wheat.* — Franklin County, 7456 bushels; Hampden 
County, 182 bushels; Hampshire County, 2946 bushels. 
Franklin and Hampshire Counties produced three-fourths of 
the total amount grown in the State. 

The total value of farm property, including lands, buildings, 
fruit-trees and vines, domestic animals, and agricultural imple- 
ments thereon, was as follows : Franklin County, S13,.)ll,984 ; 
Hampden County, §16,500,860; Hampshire County, §14,379,- 

The total number of hired persons employed in agricultural 
operations in each of the counties was as follows: Franklin 
County— 3086 ; total wages paid, §324,490. Hampden County 
— 3049 ; total wages paid, §445,226. Hampshire County — 
2985; total wages paid, §385,551. 




Ch< sterfield 















,South Hadley 






Totals $7,261,049 


Real Est^ite. 

Total Valuation. 

and Fisheries. 

Agriculture and 

Total Producta. 




















































































































































Seal Estate. Total Valuation. 

Manufactures Agriculture and ~ , , p„,j,„.b, 
and Fisheries. Miuing. *""" rroducts. 


Charlemont . 












New Salem 








AVendell .... 






































































































Totals $3,849,795 $12,729,640 $16,579,435 $5,301,874 | $3,418,995 j $8,720,869 

* According to State census 1875. 





Cities and Towns. 


Beal Estate. 

Total Valuation. 

and Fisheries. 

^^"jlhling. '"*| 'f<"»' Products. 
















































3,6 43 










$314,094 i $491,094 










33,056 1 35.115 

63,340 i 8.851.646 

261.935 ! 420,975 

149,776 1 403,576 











Ru««ell . 

248,903 ! 12,731,913 | 
62,818 i 145,358 | 





West Springfield 








Manufactures of Hampshire County.f 

Number of Capital Value of Goods 

Towns. Estalilishments. Invested. Produced. 

Amherat 40 f2(l4,:):K $407,4(14 

Bidehel-town 2S 5«,275 130,0.52 

Chestel-fleld 10 31,.tIK) 19,184 

Cunmiington 20 93,250 104,271 

Eastliampton 17 1,020,375 l,883,ia5 

Enfield 11 240,6U0 367,981 

Goshen 5 3,(100 4,350 

Granby 3 7,800 13,480 

Greenwich 6 1.8,800 34,894 

Hadley 13 VI.IKW 201,295 

Hatfield 4 32,11X1 62,7IK1 

Huntington 5 80,.8(lo 108.3(KI 

Middlefleld 4 SO.IIX) 96,789 

Northampton.- 36 l,(i9U,300 3,179,199 

Pelham 2 S.IKJO 9,228 

Plainfleld 7 9,000 9,150 

Prescott 2 4,000 9,260 

South Hadley 15 9(19,972 1,028.:»3 

Southampton 13 18,1IH) 01,778 

Ware 31 1,2.83,750 1,93(1.1(10 

Westhampton 7 24,94(1 14.173 

Williiun-ilrarg 8 22:i,8lKl 29,8,1(10 

Wortliingtou 13 2:i.58(l 22,277 

Totals 297 *i;.718,547 59,993,217 

Manufactures of Franklin County.^ 

Number of Capital Value of Goods 

Towns. Estaldisliments. Iiivestuil. Produced. 

Ashfield 4 *13,.8(«1 819.094 

Bernardston 4 4(),(X)0 87,000 

Bu<*land 8 426,1(55 

Chailemont 13 14,973 32,7.80 

Coleraine 8 :i.8(i,(Klfl 390,622 

Conway 7 228,700 284,150 

Bcerficld 12 7.8,1(X) 297,700 

Ening 9 291,2(KI 200,925 

Gill 1 78.3(H) 17,000 

Greenfield 40 3.84,800 308,6.!4 

Hawley 10 5,425 6,070 

Heath 4 3,900 9,630 

lieverett 14 22,050 32,004 

Leyden 3 2,900 2,464 

Monroe 2,200 1.700 

Montogue 24 1,604.,889 1,364,730 

New Salem 8 10,400 40,5.80 

Northficld 18 28,080 .89,855 

Orange 23 669,100 782,149 

Rowc 7 7,780 12,087 

Shellmrno 18 113,041 178.790 

Shutesbury 8 7.975 10,0.57 

Sunderland 1 900 8(XI 

Warwick 14 38,400 86,810 

Wendell 6 28,300 67,785 

Whately 6 14,700 07,000 

Totals 282 $4,127,715 $4,843,117 

Maniifartiires of Hampden Cowity.f 

Number of Capital Value of G Is 

Towns. Establishments. Invested. Produced. 

Agawani 3 $171,478 $177.(KH) 

Blaiidford 11 IS.KK) 33.,828 

Brimfield 10 40.6.80 11I2..888 

Chester 19 ls.8,.830 174..841 

Chicopee ., 71 1,90.8.140 3,781.9(« 

Criiiiville 13 47..875 0.8,080 

ll..ll!iMd 4 1.8,80 1,459 28 0,802,IHK) 8,7.37,800 

* Ineluding the town of rlani]>deii, formed 1878. 

+ Census of 1875. 

Number of Capital Value of Goods 

Towns. Estal Hshments. Invested. Produced. 

Longmeadow 9 $151,:l(IO $149,308 

Ludlow 4 201..8(KJ 263,000 

Monsun 10 279,300 1,179,275 

Montgomery 2 1,7(hi 3,643 

Palmer 22 947.200 1,761,161 

Russell 4 150.(.l(lo 170,0(K1 

Southwick 13 13,338 49.3(18 

Springfield 251 6,39.8,213 10,089.,S42 

Tollaud 10,100 82,640 

Wales 12 247,750 896.476 

West Springfield 088,(KK1 (i(.l9,906 

Westfleld 121 l,0(V.i.9:W 3,240,270 

Wilbrahani 14 7(i9,.8a(l 942,762 

Totals 033 $19,705,118 $32,504,175 

The number of steam-engines in use in Franklin County 
was 28, with actual horse-power of 1406 ; the number of 
water-wheels was 267, with 8586 horse-power. The number 
of steam-engines in Hampden County was 137, of 5989 actual 
horse-power ; water-wlieels, 285, with 14,472 horse-power. 
Number of steam-engines in Hampshire County, 56, of 3716 
horse-power ; of water-wheels, 246, representing 6416 horse- 

The total number of persons employed in Franklin County 
was 3115; total annual wages, $1,346,125; in Hampden 
County, 19,496; wages, $8,844,270; in Hampshire, 5807; 
wages paid, S2,259,986. 

The principal manufactures were firearms, agricultural 
implements, artisans' tools, clothing, cotton goods, food prep- 
arations, furniture, lumber, machinery, metals and metallic 
goods, paper, printing and publishing, tobacco, woolen goods, 
wooden ware, worsted goods, etc. 


Schools. — Some account of the schools will be found in the 
history of the several towns and cities, including those of 
various kinds and grades. 

The following statistics are from the State census for 1875 : 

The total number of public schools in Franklin County was 
219, and total valuation of property, $208,015; number of 
private schools, 9; total valuation of property, $26,155; the 
total attendance of all ages, 5792 ; the total number of illiter- 
ates was 842, of whom 098 were foreign-born. 

Hampden County. — Number of public sch(xils, 214; valua- 
tion of pnjperty, .$1,136,1.54; number of private schools, 16; 
value of property, $195,435 ; total attendance, all ages, 15,717 ; 
total illiterates, 9195, of whom 7942 were of foreign birth. 

Hampshire County. — Number of public schools, 209 ;■ valua- 
tion of property, $383,039 ; number of private schools, 31 ; 
value of property, $763,515; total attendance, all ages, 8789; 
total illiterates, 2288, of whom 1998 were foreign-born. 

Libraries. — The number of public libraries, volumes, 



voarly oirculiitioii, and value (if buiklinns in the three cminties 
wa-s as follows : 

Fraiik/m Counly. — Nnniherof libraries, 10; volumes, IT), 824; 
yearly cireulation, 56,907; value of library liuildings, $8000. 

lianipden Cininly. — Number of libraries, 5; number of vol- 
umes, 14,350; circulation, 20,(356; value of buildings, $2500. 

Hampshire Ciiiiniy. — Number of libraries, 8; number of 
volumes, 25,256 ; circulation, 77,435 ; value of buildings, 

Of public and private school libraries, Franklin County had 
1, with a circulation of 1050; Hampden County 6, with a 
circulation of 2783 ; and Hampshire 2, with a nominal circu- 

Of scientific and artistic libraries, there were 1 in Franklin, 
with 120 volumes; 1 in Hampden, with 7700 volumes; and 1 
in Hampshire, with 1800 volumes. 

Of association libraries, Franklin had 6, containing 12,330 
volumes ; Hampden 5, containing about 40,000 volumes ; and 
Hampshire 4, with 3716 volumes. 

Hampden also had 5 private circulating libraries, containing 
3705 volumes. 

Hampshire County also had 1 college librarv', with 30,406 
volumes, with an endowment fund of $33, (XK), and value of 
library buildings, $10,000. 





Thi.s society was organized on the 22d of January, 1818, 
and included the territory of the three river-counties. 

The officers chosen at thi.s meeting, which was held in North- 
ampton and very largely attended, were Hon. Joseph Lyman, 
President; Josiah Dwight, Secretary; and J. D. Whitney, 
Treasurer. Committees upon Agriculture, Domestic Animals, 
and Manufactures were appointed, and the sum of one hundred 
dollars was subscribed for contingent expenses. 

The act incorporating the society was passed in February, 
1818, and the first meeting subsequently was held on the 5th 
of May following, at the court-house in Northampton, at 
which time the organization was completed. Measures were 
also taken to provide for a cattle-show, which was appointed 
for the 14th and 15th of October following. The premium- 
list included an aggregate of two hundred and seventy-two 
dollars and fifty cents, which was to be paid in silver-plate. 

About the year 1835 great interest began to be manifested in 
the cultivation of the Chinese mulberry-plant, and the manu- 
facture of domestic silk therefrom ; but, from climatic and 
other causes, the attempts to make it a profitable industry 
were within a few years abandoned. 

At the annual exhibition of 1847 there was a display of three 
hundred head of horned cattle, many of them imported, and 
the fair was a marked success. At this exhibition there was 
also a remarkable display of fina blooded horses, there being 
ninety-six entered, many of them of the justly-celebrated 
Justin Morgan breed. The first noted horse of this fine breed 
was the "Justin Morgan" which was raised in "Western 
Massachu.set.ts, and taken to the State of Vermont in 1798, 
and from whom nearly all the fine stock of the Green Moun- 
tain State has descended. 

At the fair of 1847 were also present one hundred and 
seventy-two yokes of working-oxen. There was in addition 

* For accounts of Bevcral minor societies in various parts of tbe tliree coun- 
ties, not Iierein mentioned, see history of tbe respective towns where tlieir 
grounds or heaijquarters are located. 

kinds of fruit, — apples, pears. 

a fair display of various 
peaches, and grapes. 

In 1857 there were one hundred and fifty horses on exliibi- 
tion, — a greater number than ever before, — and the "show 
of fruit was magnificent." 

From the date of its organization down to the year 1857 
the annual exhibitions of the society were held on Main 
Street, at the head of King Street, in Northampton, and on 
the common near the cemetery, and the town-hall was used 
for the display of domestic manufactures. 

In 1856 the society purchased fourteen acres and sixty 
square rods of land on North Street, at one hundred and 
seventy-five dollars per acre, which was inclosed with a sub- 
stantial fence, and a trotting-course, half a mile in length, 
laid out and made ready for use. The necessary sheds and 
buildings were erected and fitted up, and the whole amount 
expended was four thousand and four dollars and sixty-one 

For a number of years following the exhibitions of stock 
were held on this ground, while the domestic manufactures 
were displayed in the town-hall. In 1861 the society voted 
to erect a hall on the grounds, so that every part of the ex- 
hibition could be together ; and a suitable building, costing 
two thousand two hundred dollars, was completed the follow- 
ing year. Since that time the exhibitions have been emi- 
nently successful. 

In the year 1872 two additional acres of land adjoining 
the grounds on the north were purchased ; the track was 
lengthened and graded anew, the hall moved to a better 
location in the northwest corner of the lot, the cattle-sheds 
and pens removed and rebuilt, and everything put in excel- 
lent order. The cattle-sheds are suflScient to accommodate 
about 80 head under cover, and the grounds have been re- 
cently supplied with abundance of water from the town aque- 

In 1874 the experiment was tried of holding the fair during 
three consecutive days, which proved very successful, and has 
been continued. The ])remiums paid in 1875 amounted to 
about $1200. 

The following list shows the names of those who have been 
presidents and secretaries of the society, and the date of their 
election from its formation to the present : 

Presidents. — Hon. Joseph Lyman, elected 1818; Hon. I. 
C. Bates, elected 1826; Hon. Mark Doolittle, elected 1830; 
Joseph G. Coggswell, Esq., elected 1833; Hon. Samuel La- 
throp, elected 1835; Hon. I. C. Bates, elected 1840; Hon. Ed- 
ward Dickinson, elected 1841; Wells Lathrop, Esq., elected 
1845 ; President Hitchcock, elected 1847 ; Hon. William 
Clark, elected 1849; Paoli Lathrop, Esq., elected 1852; Hon. 
Elisha Edwards, elected 1857 ; T. G. Huntington, Esq., elected 
18-59; Henry S. Porter, Esq., elected 1863; Milo J. Smith, 
Esq., elected 1866; Elnathan Graves, E,sq., elected 1870; A. 
P. Peck, elected 1872; A. T. Judd, elected 1873; J. H. 
Stebbins, elected 1874 ; J. H. Deraond, elected 1877 ; H. C. 
Haskell, elected 1879. 

Secretaries. — Jona. H. Lyman, chosen 1818 ; Joseph Strong, 
1821; Daniel Stebbins, 1823; Harvey Kirkland, 1840; S. L. 
Hinckley, 1847; W. O. Gorham, 1850; Benj. Barrett, 1854; 
John W. Wilson, 1855; Horace J. Hodges, 18-56; H. K. 
Starkweather, 1859 ; A. Perry Peek, 1865; L. C. Ferry, 1872. 
Addresses have been delivered at the annual cattle-show 
and fairs of the Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden Agri- 
cultural Society as follows: 1818, Noah Webster, LL.D. ; 
1819, Hon. Joseph Lyman ; 1820, Hon. Jonathan A. Lyman ; 
1821, Hon. Epaphras Hoyt ; 1822, Hon. John Mills; 1823, 
Hon. I. C. Bates; 1824, Hon. George Grennell ; 1825, Hon. 
W. B. Calhoun; 1826, Hon. Mark Doolittle; 1827, President 
Hitchcock ; 1828, Patrick Boies, Esq. ; 1829, Festus Foster, 
Esq. ; 18-30, Hon. Samuel C. Allen ; 1831, Hon. Sam'l F. Dick- 
inson ; 1832, Hon. Myron Lawrence ; 18.33, Rev. Henry Cole- 



man; 1834, Hon. Samuel Lathrop ; 1835, Rev. Jolin Todd; 
1836, Hon. George T. Davis; 1837, Hon. Osmyn Baker; 
1838, Rev. Henry Coleman; 18.39, Hon. W. W. Bates; 1840, 
Rev. Henry Coleman; 1841, Prof. W. C. Fowler; 1842, Rev. 
John Todd ; 1843, Hon. Charles Hudson ; 1844, Hon. Josiah 
Quincy, Jr. ; 184.5, President Hitchcock ; 1846, John S. 
Skinner, E.sq. ; 1847, Prof. Chas. U. Shepard ; 1848, Prof. 
John P. Norton; 1849, Prof. John P. Norton; 18.50, Dr. 
Daniel Lee; 1851, Dr. Daniel Lee; 18.52, John S. Gould, 
Esq.; 18.53; William S. King, E.sq. ; 18.54, Prof. J. A. 
Nash ; 1855, Solon Robinson, Esq. ; 1857, Hon. A. H. Bul- 
lock ; 18.58, George B. Loring, M.D. ; 1859, Hon. Josiah 
Quincy, Jr. ; 18K0, B. Perley Poore, Esq. ; 1861, William G. 
Goldtiiwaite; 1862, Rev. F. D. Huntington; 1863, Judge 
Thomas Russell ; 1864, Hon. Darwin E. Ware ; 1865, Hon. 
Daniel Needham ; 1866, Charles L. Flint, Esq. ; 1867, Hon. 
Daniel Needham; 18(;8, Hon. Charles Delano; 1870, Rich- 
ard Goodman, Esq.; 1871, Prof P. A. Chadbourne ; 1872, 
Rev. Dr. Seelye ; 1873, Prof Parker; 1874, H. M. Burt. 


About the year 1843 the project of establishing a cattle- 
show or fair for the benefit of the agricultural interests of 
Hampden County was discussed by some of the leading farm- 
ers in the central portions of the county, which procedure 
eventuated in a petition to the Legislature for a chartered or- 
gaization. The petition was granted, and on the 5th of March, 
1844, a charter was granted for the " Hampden County Agri- 
cultural Society," of which the following is a copy : 

" Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court 
a«seniblcd, and by the authority of tlie same, — 

" Sec. I. — AVilliam B. Calhoun, Forbes Kyle, D. W. AVillard, and their associates 
and successors, are hereby made a corporation, by the name of the Hampden 
County Afjricultural Society, for the encouragement of AgriL-ulture and the 
Mechanic Arts in the County of Hampden, by premiums and other means. 

"Sec. II. — And said corporation may hold and manage real estate not exceed- 
ing in value fifteen thousand ilollai-s, and pei-sonal estate not e.xceeding a like 
sum, for the puqjose aforesaid." 

The first meeting under the charter was convened at the 
call of the president, Hon. William B. Calhoun, on the 9th 
of April, 1844. It was numerously attended by people from 
all parts of the county. A constitution was adopted, of which 
the following are some of the provisions : 

"Any male may become a member of this society by pay- 
ing into its treasury the sum of five dollars, and any female 
by paying the sum of two dollars and fifty cents. 

" The annual meeting shall be held on the third Wednes- 
day in December of each year, for the election of officers, etc. 

" All animals, to be entitled to premiums, must have been 
owned or kept for three months previous to the annual ex- 
hibition within the county." 

At the first election the following were the officers chosen : 
Hon. William B. Calhoun, President; thirteen Vice-Presi- 
dents ; James R. Crooks, Treasurer ; D. M. Bryant, Secretary. 

At a meeting held in June, 1844, it was determined to hold 
the first cattle-show and fair in the city of Springfield, on the 
Kith and ITlh days of October, 1844; proridcd, the citizens of 
Springfield should before that time contribute six hundred 
dollars to the society's funds. 

The fair was held at the appointed time, and was considered 
a great success. There was a large attendance, and an attract- 
ive display of stock. The premiums paid at this exhibition 
amounted to a total of $269. 

In 18.52 the amount paid in premiums had risen to ,?48.5. In 
1855 the society numbered over 500 members, and had accu- 
mulated a permanent fund of Ji4860. 

The society has had a total membership of about 1000, which 
have been distributed among the various towns of the county 
as follows: Agawam, 21 members; Blandford, 2; Brimfield, 1 ; 
Chicopec, 88 ; Chester, 5; Granville, 1 ; Hnlyoke, 16; Long- 
meadow, 33 ; East L<mgmeadow, 22 ; Ludlow, 10; Monson, 

12; Montgomery, 1 ; Palmer, 12; Russell, 2; Springfield, 520; 
West Springfield, 62; Southwick, 5; Tolland, 1 ; Westfield, 44; 
Wilbraham, 28; Hampden, 18; non-residents of the county, 78. 

The following-named individuals have been officers in the 
order of rank and service : 

Presidents. — Hon. William B. Calhoun, Hon. John Mills, 
Hon. Josiah Hooker, Thomas J. Shepherd, Francis Brewer, 
Horace M. Sessions, Hon. George, Hon. Chester W. 
Chapin, Phineas Stedman, William Birnie, Hon. Eliphalet 
Trask, George Dwight, Norman T. Leonard, Esq., William 
Pynchon, Charles L. Buel. 

Secretaries. — D. M. Bryant, Hon. Henry Vose, Samuel Par- 
sons, A. A. Allen, J. Newton Bagg. 

Treasurers. — James W. Crooks, James Brewer, A. A. 
Allen, R. E. Ladd, J. Newton Bagg, J. S. McElwain, J. E. 
Russell, E. S. Bachelder. 

The society elects a delegate to the State Board of Agricul- 
ture once in three years, and an annual report is published 
under dii-cction of the secretary. 


This society was organized on the 11th of December, 1857, 
at the house of George M. Atwater, — " Rockrimmon Farm," — 
at which time the following persons were present: from Spring- 
field, J. H. Demond, A. W. Stacy, George M. Atwater ; from 
Chicopee, Phineas Stedman, H. J. Chapin, and Benjamin H. 
Stedman. , 

The first president was Phineas Stedman, and the first 
secretary George M. Atwater. 

In October, 18.58, the club was reorganized, with Phineas 
Stedman, President, and J. N. Bagg, Secretary. A lecture 
committee was chosen, consisting of William Birnie, George 
M. Atwater, and Phineas Stedman, and a series of bi-monthly 
meetings inaugurated, which have since been continued. 

At the last-mentioned date eighteen members were admitted, 
as follows: William Birnie, Col. Edward Parsons, Phineas 
Stedman, H. J. Chapin, George M. Atwater, Wm. Pynchon, 
A. L. McKinstry, J. H. Demond, A. W. Stacy, B. H. Sted- 
man, Richard Bliss, Reuben Brooks, J. N. Bagg, Justin Ely, 
Wilbur Wilson, Ethan C. Ely, and John Chase. 

The club has had during the twenty-two years of its exist- 
ence over one hundred active and honorary members. In the 
honorary list are the names of Chief-Justice Chapman, of 
Springfield ; Hon. C. L. Flint, of Boston ; Prof Levi Stock- 
bridge, of Amherst; Dr. J. G. Holland, of New York; Col. 
J. M. Thompson, of Springfield; Wells Lathrop, of South 
Hadley ; Samuel Bowles, of Springfield ; Maj. Edward Inger- 
soll, of the U.S.A. ; and Marvin Chapin, of Springfield, who 
have attended the meetings of the club and taken an active 
interest in its deliberations. 

On the 20th of December, 1858, Hon. Josiah Quincy, of 
Boston, delivered a lecture before the club upon the subject of 
milk-farming, and other lectures and addresses by distinguished 
agriculturists have been given from time to time. 

By a standing rule of the club, the presiding officer is se- 
lected by a standing committee at a previous meeting, and 
elected at each session. The secretary and committees are 
elected at the annual meeting, which is held on the first Tues- 
day of December in each year. 

J. Newton Bagg, of West Springfield, the present secretary, 
has held the office for twenty-one years. The club holds 
meetings during the winter months at the residences of its 
members. The wives of the members are always invited, and 
frequently take part in the discussions. 


The earliest " Farmers' Club" organized in the Connecticut 
Valley in Massachusetts was a town club in Sunderland, 

* Materials from an addrese delivered by L. F. Mellen, Esq., Dec. 7, 1878. 



Franklin Co., in January, 1833, witli twenty-three mem- 

The Franklin Harvest Club was organized at the Mansion 
House, in Greenfield, in the year 18')!). Many of the original 
members had previously been in the habit of meeting together 
for the purpose of discussing matters and questions pertaining 
to agriculture. 

The first officers of the club were Thomas J. Field, of 
Northfield, President; Edward W. Stebbins, of Deerfield, 
Vice-President ; Hon. James S. Grinnell, of Greenfield, Secre- 

The following is the preamble to the constitution : ' ' Whereas, 
The experience of each of our farmers ought to inure to the 
benefit of all, and since free conversation in a social gathering 
is the best way of transmitting infornlation to each other, and 
since, also, associated action is more effective than individual 
exertions ; we hereby, for the sole purpose of eliciting and 
disseminating agricultural information, agree to form an 
agricultural association, to be called the 'Franklin Harvest 

Article 3 of the constitution says : " The active membership 
of this club shall never exceed twenty-two, and candidates 
shall be admitted by unanimous ballot after being proposed 
by a member.ship committee." 

One of the by-laws j)rovides that " refreshments served at the 
meetings of the club shall be ])lain and unostentatious; and 
the use of ardent spirits, other than those of domestic manu- 
facture, shall be prohibited at the meetings of the club." 

The active membership of the society has for several years 
included many of the most prominent agriculturists of the 
valley, distributed through the three counties of Franklin, 
Hampshire, and Hampden, in Massachusetts, and the coun- 
ties of Merrimack, in New Hampshire, and Hartford, in Con- 
necticut. Its transactions have been published in the agricul- 
tural papers throughout the country, and it has been said of it 
that " no agricultural organization in the State possesses more 
dignity, intelligence, and enterprise than the Franklin Har- 
vest Club." 

The total membership since its organization considerably 
exceeds one hundred, representing stock-raisers, breeders of 
special lines of neat cattle, — Durharas, Devons, Jerseys, and 
Ayrshires, — market-gardeners, and fruit-growers. 

A comparison of the productions of the county for tlie last 
thirty years shows considerable improvement, and the influ- 
ence of this society has very likely been more or less instru- 
mental in producing the change for the better. The rapid 
growth of the manufacturing centres in Western Massachu- 
setts has caused important changes in some of the chief pro- 
ductions, and led to the cultivation of those products which 
were more immediately in demand in the local markets. The 
best-paying farms are those situated nearest these markets ; 
and the production of butter, in particular, has increased re- 
markably since 1855, the amount now produced being nearly 
double what it was then. 

In 1845 there were more acres of corn grown in the three 
counties of the valley than now, but the yield per acre has in- 
creased in Franklin County from thirty-two to thirty-seven 
and a half bu.shels ; in Hampshire, from twenty-nine to thirty- 
two bushels ; and in Hampden, from twenty-five to twenty- 
seven and five-eighths bushels per acre. 

The Franklin Harvest Club elects its officers at the annual 
meeting, held on the first Saturday in December each year. 
The following are the present officers : President, S. Augustus 
Bates, of South Hadley ; Vice-President, Joseph P. Felton, 
of Greenfield ; Secretary, L. F. Mellen, of West Springfield. 

This important agricultural organization grew out of a 
voluntary exhibition held at Greenfield on the l-5th of Octo- 
ber, 1849. In the course of that year subscriptions were 

obtained, and the society was incorporated by the Legislature 
in the winter of 1849-50. 

The first formal meeting of the society was held, for the 
election of officers, at Greenfield, on the 13th day of June, 
18.50, when the following were elected to serve for the year: 
President, Henry W. Clapp, of Greenfield ; Vice-Presidents, 
Wm. Bardwell, of Shelburue ; Moses Stebbins, of Deerfield ; 
Hon. H. W. Cushman, of Bernardston ; James White, of 
Northfield ; R. B. Hubbard, of Sunderland ; Secretary, W. 
T. Davis, of Greenfield ; Treasurer, A. G. Hammond. 

The amount of subscriptions received at the time of organi- 
zation was about as follows, by townships: A.shfield, $24; 
Bernardston, $72; Buckland, §5; Deerfield, !?104 ; Coleraine, 
110; Greenfield, $711; Gill, $10; Northfield, $1)4; Rowe, 
$18; Shelburne, $159; Sunderland, $45; Warwick, $12; 
Wendell, $13; Charlemont, $10; Montague, $5; Orange, 
$100 ; a total of $1362. 

The first annual cattle-show and fair was held on the 25th 
of September, 1850, and was a very successful one. The an- 
nual meeting was held on the 2d of January, 1851, when 
Henry W. Cushman was elected president. The total receipts 
for 1850, as reported by the treasurer, amounted to $1809.54. 
Annual fairs have been held without intermi.ssiou at Green- 
field since the year of organization. 

The society, in common with others throughout the State, 
has received annually from the State the sum of $600. 

The first purchase of grounds for permanent occupation 
was made in 1860, when five acres of land were bought of 
Hon. Almou Brainerd for $2000. In 1862 an additional five 
and a half acres were purchased of the same party for $3000, 
making a total of ten and a half acres, at a total cost of $5tl00. 
These grounds were situated on the Green River meadow, 
near the middle turnpike bridge, and, though small, answered 
fairly for a number of years. 

A trotting-track was laid out, about one-third of a mile in 
circuit, open seats and cattle-pens were constructed, and a few 
cheap buildings ^ected ; but it became apparent, with the 
growing interest soon manifested in the annual gatherings, 
that more spacious grounds were a necessity, and after several 
years of agitation, and the occupation of a portion of the land 
by the new line of the Troy and Greenfield Railway, the 
property was finally sold at auction in 1876 to John Oster- 
hout for $7200, who, in turn, sold to Newell Snow, who 
disposed of about one-third subsequently to the railroad 

The committee appointed at the annual meeting in Janu- 
ary, 1876, to dispose of the old and purchase new grounds, 
consisted of Imla K. Brown, T. J. Field, G. P. Carpenter, 
Newell Snow, Christopher Stebbins, Carlos Batchelder, and 
N. Austin Smith. 

This committee, after considerable negotiation, finally pur- 
chased in 1876 of various individuals about thirty-three and a 
half acres of finely-situated land in what is known as " Petty 's 
Plain," a half-mile southwest of the railway station, and on 
the southwest side of Green River. The location is every way 
unexceptionable, and overlooks the Deerfield Valley and the 
village of Greenfield. The original cost of the land was 
$2571.70. The grounds contain a beautiful grove of about five 
acres, and are finely and most conveniently fitted up with all 
modern appliances, including excellent water furnished from 
the Greenfield water-works, and one of the best half-mile 
tracks in the State. The track was fitted up at an expense of 
$1650. The total outlay for all purposes has been between 
$9000 and $10,000. 

The whole number of members in 1851 was, according to 
the statement of Hon. Henry W. Cushman, about 220. 

The life-membership at the present time (1879) exceeds 2-500, 
and it is believed to be the largest of any county society in the 


The amount of premiums paid at the last annual fair, in 



1878, amounted to a total of §663. 25 on sixteen different 
classes of exhibits. Of this sum Shelburne carried olF the 
largest amount of any one town, S242.75; and Greenfield came 
next, with §124.7-5. Upon neat stock, Shelburne received 
§134, and Deerfield came next, with §39. 

The value of the property now owned by the association is 
about §10,000, and its liabilities, in the shape of indebtedness, 
amount to §1780.82. 


The following are the names of the presidents and secretaries 
from 1850 to 1879, inclusive : 

Presidents.— iSoO, Henry W. Clapp, of Greenfield ; 1851-56, 
Hon. Henrj- W. Cushman, of Bernardston ; 1857, Josiah 
Fogg, of Deerfield; 1858-59, Z. L. Raymond, of Greenfield; 
1860-61, Henry W. Clapp; 1862-6.3, Hon. Henry W. Cush- 
man; 1864-65, Edward W. Stebbins, of Deerfield; 1866, 
Joseph Anderson, of Shelburne ; 1867-68, Thomas J. Field, of 
Northfield; 1869, Henry Wells, of Shelburne ; 1870-71, Wm. 
Keith, of Greenfield; 1872-73, James M. Crafts, of Whately ; 
1874-75, Imla K. Brown, of Bernardston : 1876-77, D. Or- 
lando Fisk, of Shelburne ; 1878, James S. Grinnell, of Green- 
field ; 1879, James S. Grinnell, of Greenfield. 

The secretaries have been: 18.50-52, W. T. Davis, of Green- 
fled ; 1853-54, Hon. H. G. Parker, of Greenfield ; 1855, Ed- 
ward F. Eaymond, Esq., of Greenfield; 1856-62, James S. 
Grinnell,* of Greenfield ; 1863-65, Austin De Wolf, of Green- 
field ; 1866-68, Edward E. Lyman, of Greenfield ; 1869-72, 
Samuel J. Lyons, of Greenfield ; 1873-76, Francis M. Thomp- 
son, of Greenfield; 1877-78, John A. Aiken; 1879, Henry G. 
Nims, of Greenfield. 


Hon. George Bliss, in his address to the members of the 
Bar of Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden Counties, de- 
livered at Northampton, Sept. 26, 1826, divides its history 
into four periods, viz. : the first, extending from the first set- 
tlement of the Connecticut Kiver colony in Massachusetts, 
in 1636, to 1691, in which latter year the province charter 
was granted ; the second, from that date to the year 1743 ; 
the third, from 1743 to 1774, when the courts were suspended 
by the troubles between the mother-country and the colony; 
and the fourth period fi-om 1774 down to 1826, and in which 
may also be properly included whatever is worth}' of record 
to the present time. 

In his preliminary remarks Mr. Bliss makes the following 
observations : "The first settlers of the colony of Massachu- 
setts were by no means destitute either of natural endow- 
ments or literary acquirements. Some of them were distin- 
guished in our profession. The first governor, Winthrop, 
was a lawyer, and the son of a lawyer. His grandfather, 
also, had been an eminent counselor. His posterity in Con- 
necticut and Massachusetts were much distinguished. But the 
spirit of the times in which they lived, the special object of 
their emigration, and the business in which they were inces- 
santly engaged after they came to this country, prevented 
the first settlers from devoting much attention to the forms of 
legal proceedings. The practice of law in England, as ex- 
hibited in some of its departments, in the time of James the 

* In 1802 Mr. Grinnell went t»i Washington, D. C, as cliief clerk of the De- 
partment of Agricnltiire, where he serveil three yeai-s, when he was appointed 
chief clerk of the Patent Office, where he remained for ten years. He is a mem- 
ber of the New England and fliassachnsetts Agricnltural Societies, and of the 
State Agricultural IJoard of MassaehuHetts; and is also connected with other 
»niilar associations. See chapter on the Bar. 

f The three following cliai>ters have been compiled largely from the addresses 
of Hon. George Blis.s, IS-iO, Hon William G. Bates, 1S74, and Hon. Whiting Gris- 
wold, lS7:i. supplemented with such additiiuis as we have been able to make from 
information gathered from various authentic sources. 

First and the elder Charles, had no charms for the Puritans 
in general, or the emigrants to this country in particular, 

" An extensive examination of the earliest records of the 
colonies of Plj-mouth and Massachusetts has induced me to 
believe that our ancestors were not so ignorant of the princi- 
ples upon which justice had been administered in the mother- 
country as some have asserted. But it has also abundantly 
satisfied me that they were either in a great degree ignorant 
of the forms of legal proceedings, or considered them of very 
little importance, 

" During our first period but little can be said of the repu- 
tation of the lawyers or of their practice," 

The first administrator of justice, and the first person who 
had any knowledge of the law in the Agawam colony, was 
its first magistrate and principal business-man, William 
Pynchon, Mr. Pynchon was one of the original patentees 
of the Massachu.setts colony, and also a magistrate; and when 
the General Court granted him and his associates permission 
to emigrate to the Connecticut Valley, it also constituted him 
the magistrate of the new colony, J 

Early in the year 1639, at a "full town-meeting" held at 
Agawam, a voluntary association was formed, and the people 
gave Mr, Pynchon formal authority to continue until the 
General Court should provide fur them. This movement was 
in consequence of the establishment of the line between Mas- 
sachusetts and Connecticut in 1638, which left the Hartford 
colony within the jurisdiction of the latter State. The legis- 
lative proceedings of the Connecticut Valley had been for a 
number of years held at Hartford, and Agawam was repre- 
sented in that court. 

In 1641 the General Court of Massachusetts took cogni- 
zance of the matter, "and Pynchon was authorized to exer- 
cise an extensive civil and criminal jurisdiction." 

The right of appeal to the Court of Assistants, at Boston, 
was granted in difficult and weighty cases, 

Mr, Pynchon continued to exercise this jurisdiction down 
to the year 1650,^ at which date he was suspended from his 
office in consequence of the publication of a theological pam- 
phlet by him, which was adjudged as heterodox. 

His son-in-law, Henry Smith, was appointed in his place, 
but both he and Mr. Pynchon .soon after returned to England, 
In 1652 a joint commission was given to three persons, of 
whom John Pynchon was one, having similar powers before 
possessed by the single magistrate. 

In 1658 authority was given to the commissioners of 
Springfield and Northampton, united, to hold courts alter- 
nately at those ])laces ; and by the same authority the right 
of appeal was granted to the County Court at Boston, instead 
of to the Court of Assistants, This arrangement continued 
until the erection of Hampshire Count}', in March, 1662, 

There would seem to have been very little respect shown to 
the lawyers of those days, and the business of the profession 
was anything but a lucrative one. 

An ordinance passed by the General Court in 1663 shows 
the estimation in which the profession was held in the early 
days and tlie manifest determination to keep it in the back- 
ground. It prohibits every person " who is a usual and com- 
mon aHorney in any inferior court" from being admitted to 
sit as a deputy in the General Court, and the regulation con- 
tinued in force until the expiration of that charter. 

According to Mr, Bliss, the earliest record of attorneys 
admitted to practice in Hampshire County bears date Sep- 
tember, 1686, The parties were .lohn King, of Northampton, 
and Samuel Marshficld and J<inathan Burt, Sr,, of Spring- 

X In e.xplanatiun of Mr, Pynchon's powera it is specifically stated that his au- 
thority "shall extend to all causes, civil or criminal, subject to an appeal to the 
Courts of Assist.ants, with a jury of si.x men, until they shall have a greater num- 
ber for that service." — }Inn. H*. G.'Il'ttes' uiitlri»)i, pa^jp IS. 

g Hon. AVni. G. Bates makes tliis date litol. For further notice of Mr. Pyn- 
chon see general chapters of early history in this work. 



lipid, who took the oath for the faithful ]ierformance of their 
duties. In addition to these, he states that there were several 
others incidentally mentioned as attorneys, though there is no 
written evidence of their having been admitted to practice. 

There seems to be very little information concerning the 
legal profession on record during the colonial period fi-om 1620 
to 1691, when the new charter was granted. During the 
second period, from 1691 to 1743, the records are more full 
and explicit, though a portion of them are missing; but it 
appears certain that the practice of the law throughout Hamp- 
shire County, and probably the entire province, was consider- 
ably improved. 

Touching this matter, Mr. Bliss says: "There were some 
general regulations which had a tendency to produce this re- 
sult. A Superior Court was substituted, in the several coun- 
ties, for a Court of Assistants, and Courts of Common Pleas 
for County Courts. 

" At first no time or place was fixed for holding the Supe- 
rior Courts in the county of Hampshire; but appellate juris- 
diction was given to the court holden at Boston, with power 
to the Governor and Council to order a Superior Court to be 
holden in the county as occasion should require ; but in the 
year 1699 a Superior Court was ordered to be holden once a 
year at Springfield ; and in the year 1771 an addtional term of 
that court was directed to be holden annually at Northampton. 
These courts were continued without interruption till all the 
courts of justice in the county were stopped, in the year 1774. 

" By a law pas.sed in 1692, the Courts of Common Pleas were 
expressly authorized to establish rules of practice. At the 
same time liberty was given to plaintiffs, if they should so 
elect, in all cases where the demand exceeded ten pounds, to 
institute their suits at first in the Superior Courts. In the 
year 1701 the form for the oath of an attorney was prescribed, 
which is in use to this day.* 

" I have not been able to ascertain that the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas established any rules of practice, except one affect- 
ing attorneys living out of the province and practicing in our 
courts, which imposed some restraints upon them, and regu- 
lated the costs which they should tax. These rules also pro- 
vided that a person not residing in the State should not be 
admitted to take the oath of an attorne}', and that none who 
had not taken the oath should tax attorneys' fees ; that there 
should be no costs taxed for the writ from the clerk's office. 
No taxation to be allowed further than there was actual at- 
tendance. An attorney might elect to take his fees or his 
client's travel and attendance, but not both. rules were 
adopted at the March term of 1728." 

Between the years 1094 and 1720 there is a chasm in the 
court records, and the names of attorneys practicing during 
that period cannot be given. Mr. Bliss mentions John Hug- 
gins and Christopher Jacob Lawton as being residents of 
Springfield in 1086 and subsequently, and as having consider- 
able ]iractice, — probably more than any other persons. Hug- 
gins, in particular, had an extensive practice, and was an 
attorney of excellent information. He subsequently removed 
to Lower Housatonic (now SheflSeld), where he continued in 
practice, and was succeeded by his son. His declarations 
were drawn with much formality. 

Lawton was regularly admitted in 1726, but very little is 
known of his subsequent career. 

Samuel Partridge, who had been clerk of the court, is men- 
tioned as an attorney, and, after the year 1720, as chief-justice 
of the Court of Common Pleas. 

Among the prominent men mentioned is Timothy Dwight, 
of Northampton, who was regularly admitted at the August 
term in 1721, "continuing many years in reputable prac- 
tice," and subsequently held the ofBce of judge. The names 
of William Pynchon and Josiah Dwight, of Springfield, 

are also given, but the date of their admission to practice 
seems not to have been known. John Ashley, of Westficld, 
was admitted in 1732, and at the March term of 173.3 the 
names of Joseph Dwight, Esq., of Brookfiold (now in Wor- 
cester County), and Oliver Partridge, of Hatfield, appear of 
record. There is no mention of their legal acquirements other 
than that shown by the records. 

Cornelius Jones, a resident of Springfield, and a tailor by 
trade, is mentioned as having commenced practice as a petti- 
fogger in 1732; was regularly admitted in 1752, and con- 
tinued in practice down to 176-5. He is said to have been 
peculiar, and perhaps eccentric, in his manner of doing busi- 
ness, but, notwithstanding, had about as much practice as 
any attorney of his day. 

It would appear, from information obtained by Mr. Bliss, 
that the attorneys practicing in the western part of the State 
previous to 1743 had few books, and those not the most valu- 
able. He says, "In the latter part of this period three 
of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas had been prac- 
ticing attorneys, — Samuel Partridge, John Ashley, and Henry 
Dwight. At a later period Timothy Dwight and Josiah 
Dwight were also judges ; and at one time, after the year 1743, 
the three Dwights above named were on the bench together. 

" Though there is plenary evidence that the practice had 
been, for several years before the year 1743, gradually im- 
proving, yet it was in many respects incorrect, and knowledge 
of legal principles was imperfect. From that time both were 
very much advanced. This ought to be attributed principally 
to three men, — Phinehas Lyman, of Suffield, John Worthing- 
ton, of Springfield, and Joseph Hawley, of Northampton." 

Gen. Phinehas Lyman was born at Durham, Conn., in 
1716, graduated at Yale College in 1738, and was a tutor in 
that institution for three years. In 1742 he left that position, 
and was soon after admitted to practice law, probably at New 
Haven, whence he came to Suffield, then considered a part of 
old Hampshire County, and commenced practice in 1743. His 
business soon became extensive for those days. Mr. Bliss says : 
" He was a distinguished advocate, and afterward an able 
politician and renowned officer." He continued in practice 
until 1749, at which date Suffield renounced the jurisdiction 
of Massachusetts, which result the general, according to his 
biographer. Dr. Dwight, was very instrumental in bringing 
about, though what the motives were, which impelled him to 
this course, are left to conjecture. 

The general had a small but valuable library, including 
.several ancient authors. From the date of separation between 
the two colonies, he probably withdrew from practice in Mas- 

Upon the breaking out of the French war in 1755, we find 
him holding a prominent position in military circles as com- 
mander-in-chief of the militia of Connecticut, and the same 
year he served with Sir Wm. Johnson in the campaign around 
Lake George. He was second in command at the series of 
battles fought on the 8th of September in that year, and when 
Sir William Johnson was wounded took the command, and de- 
feated the enemy under the Baron Dieskau, who lost their 
commander and many men, killed, wounded, and prisoners. 

He was also with Abercrombie at Ticonderoga in 17.58, at 
the capture of Crown Point by Amherst in 1759, and at the 
surrender of Montreal to the same officer in September, 
1780. In 1762 he commanded the provincial troops in the 
Havana expedition. Subsequently he went to England, 
where he remained for several years, endeavoring to procure 
grants of land in the Mississippi "Valley for the purpose of es- 
tablishing a colony. In this he was at length successful, and, 
in 1775, embarked with his son and others for the Mississippi 
country, but died in West Florida, on his way thither, in 
the same year. 

Worthington and Hawley were both students of Gen. Ly- 
man. The former commenced practice in 1744, and the latter 



about 1749. " Contemporary with these, in the early part of 
their practice, were Oliver Partridge, of Hatfield, Charles 
Phelps, of Hadley, Josiuh Dwight, then of Westfield, John 
Ashley, of Lower Housatonic, and Cornelius Jones, of Spring- 
field. Jones died in 1765." 

The following list of barristers and attorneys who were 
practicing at the close of the third period, in 1774, is from Mr. 
Bliss' address. It includes, as will be noticed, the names of five 
who were residents of Berk.shire County, but who practiced 
before the Superior Courts in Hampshire County : John Wor- 
tbington, of Springfield, barrister ; Joseph Hawley, of North- 
ampton, barrister; Charles Phelps, of Hadley; Moses Bliss, 
of Springfield, barrister ; Mark Hopkins, of Great Barring- 
ton ; Simeon Strong, of Amherst, barrister ; Thomas Wil- 
liams, of Stockbridge ; Timothy Danielson, of Brimfield ; 
Elisha Porter, of Hadley ; Jonathan Bliss, of Springfield, bar- 
rister ; Daniel Hitchcock, of Northampton ; Theodore Sedg- 
wick, of Sheffield, barrister ; Thomas Bridgman (qua-re, of 
Brimfield) ; Jonathan Ashley, of Deerfield ; John Phelps, of 
Westfield; Justin Elj', of West Springfield; Samuel Field, 
of Deerfield ; Elijah William.s, of Deerfield ; William Bil- 
lings, of Sunderland; Samuel Barnard, of Deerfield; Wood- 
bridge Little, of Pittsfield ; Samuel Fowler, of Westfield ; 
John Chester Williams, of Hadley ; Caleb Strong, of North- 
ampton, barrister ; David Noble, of Williamstown. Several 
of these, according to Mr. Bliss, including the Williamses, 
Danielson, Bridgman, and Hitchcock, were mostly retired 
from practice. 

Mr. Bliss observes that previous to the advent of W^or- 
thington and Hawley " the practice was very illiberal ; techni- 
cal distinctions were much in vogue. This practice continued 
for some time after their admission, but it seems gradually to 
have gone out of use, and a more free and liberal course was 

" While Worthington and Hawley were at the head of the 
profession in this county the Bar ado]ited a number of rules 
of practice, and, among others, the imjiortant one requiring 
three years' study before a recommendation for admission 
should be given. From the first establishment of courts to 
that time there seems to have been no rule, no settled, uni- 
form practice, on this subject. Probably the courts generally 
required some previous study, and it has been .said that a 
year had been many times required. 

" Thi.s rule was adopted but a short time before the Revolu- 
tion. These regulations originated with the Esse.x Bar. That 
county has always been among the foremost in improvement 
in the knowledge and practice of the law. . . . Some respect- 
able members of the Bar, when this rule as to admission was 
proposed, doubted whether the term of study was not too long, 
but, after thorough experiment, became well satisfied with it." 

William Pynchon, Esq., of Salem, was a native of old 
Hampshire County, though he neither studied nor practiced 
in the county of his birth. He removed to Salem in 1745, and 
read law with Mr. Sewall. He died in 1790. 

In speaking of the Superior Courts, and the customs of the 
early days, Mr. Bliss remarks, " After the Superior Courts 
were ordered to be liolden in tliis county, eminent counsel from 
Boston very frequently attended. The appearance of the 
Superior Court of that period was adapted to fill the mind 
with respect. It came into the county but once a year, and 
was ushered into it by the sherift' with his posse. The dress of 
the judges while on the bench — their robes and wigs — added 
to the majesty of their appearance. I saw the court when a 
boy; and after making all due allowance for the cilcct upon 
the mind of a child, I feel confident that no earthly tribunal 
could inspire greater reverence than its appearance did on my 
mind. I must believe that there was much in its appearance 
well adapted to command veneration and respect. The attor- 
neys of that court were all obliged to dress in black, and the 
barristers, when in court, to wear black gowns. To me it has 

been a subject of regret that no peculiar costume has been 
retained or adopted by the Bench and the Bar. When I saw 
a chief-justice of the United States dressed, while on the 
bench, in a drab or mixed russet suit, it appeared to me out of 
character. I know that such a man as Chief-Justice Jay 
cannot fail to command respect and veneration, but we ought 
not to reason from the eflTect produced by a Jay or a Parsons 
to ordinary cases. 

"After Worthington and Hawley came to the Bar they 
soon acquired a distinguished reputation, and were employed 
in all important trials. Associated with them, though much 
their juniors, were Simeon Strong, Moses Bliss, and Jonathan 
Bliss, and, toward the close of their practice, Mark Hopkins, 
Theodore Sedgwick, and Caleb Strong." 

The northern section of the county, constituting the present 
county of Franklin, was much more recently settled than the 
southern and middle portions, and many of the towns were 
then entirely unsettled. This was also the case with the 
northern part of the county of Berkshire. 

" For a short time before the Revolution, Ashley and Bar- 
nard were at Deerfield, Billings at Sunderland, and Field, as 
I believe, at Conway ; Woodbridge Little at Pittsfield, and 
David Noble was at Williamstown. These, I believe, were all 
that were in practice in the northern part of these counties. 

" In the present county of Hampshire I cannot find that 
there were attorneys in any of the towns except Northamp- 
ton, Hadley, and Amherst. And in the limits of the county 
of Hampden there were none except within the limits of what 
was then Springfield and Westfield ; for I think it uncertain 
whether either Danielson or Bridgman were in practice at 
Brimfield as late as the year 1774. Pleading, during this 
period, acquired in general the same standard which it now 
(1826) has. This, however, must have been gradual rather 
than sudden. Though Worthington and Hawley made rapid 
improvements, considering the disadvantages under which 
they labored, yet it is not to be supposed that they could pro- 
duce an instantaneous revolution. It took them some time 
to procure libraries and become themselves sufficiently in- 
structed, and it must have taken time to induce the court and 
their seniors at the Bar to conform to their standard. ... In 
proportion to its numbers, this Bar has at no period had mem- 
bers of superior legal ability to tliat which immediately pre- 
ceded the Revolution." 

The following paragra]ihs upon the lives and characters of 
Col. Worthington and 3Iaj. Hawley are from Mr. Bliss' ad- 
dress : 

" CoL. Worthington was a native of Springfield, born 
Nov. 24, 1719. He was educated at Yale College, where he 
graduated in the year 1740, and where he was some time a 
tutor. He left there in 1743, and read law a short time — as is 
supposed, about a 3'ear — with Gen. Lyman, at Suffield. He 
commenced practice in 1744, at Springfield, where he resided 
till his death. 

" I have not been able to find anj' record of his admission, 
nor that of Lyman Hawley. His legal attainments were 
higlily respectable. He usually attended the courts at Wor- 
cester, and, after Berkshire was made a county, the Court of 
Common Pleas there. His practice was very extensive. He 
was public prosecutor, or king's attorney, for this county. I 
never heard him argue a cause to a jury ; but, from what I 
have known of his method of managing controversies, I have 
no doubt but he was an able advocate. His mind was ardent, 
his imagination lively, his feelings strong. His ideas were 
apt to flow in torrents, and he had great command of lan- 
guage. He was many times very powerful. If he had any 
fault as an advocate, it was this, — that, being very forcibly 
impressed with his subject, he would sometimes forget the 
condition of those whom he addressed, and, not alway.s real- 
izing their feelings, he would urge a topic beyond what it 
would bear. His style was nervous, forcible, and uncom- 



monly correct. He had a taste for general science, and his 
knowledge was not confined to law and politics. 

"From the interruption of the courts in August, 1774, to 
the time of his death, in April, 1800, Worthington lived re- 
tired from public and professional business. Having been 
thirty years in practice, and during that time conversant W'ith 
the judges and familiarly acquainted with the eminent law- 
yers of his time, he was capable of communicating much legal 
information while his health and ability to converse were con- 
tinued, and many interesting particulars of the course of prac- 
tice and of the character of the eminent jurists of his time, 
and was very free to do it. I had frequently the pleasure and 
benefit of his instructions. As he had been for many years so 
situated as to form a very extensive acquaintance, and lived to 
a good old age, he had many of his friends and acquaintances 
to visit him and enjoy his conversation. He died in the 
eighty-first year of his age.* 

"Of Maj. Hawley I know much less than of Col. Worth- 
ington, but the information I have is derived from those who 
were many years associated with him in practice. He was 
born at Northampton in 1724, and graduated at Yale College 
in the year 1742. After he left college he studied divinity, 
and was a preacher for several years, though he was never 
settled in the ministry. He officiated as a chaplain in the pro- 
vincial army, and was at the siege of Louisburg. After this 
he studied law with Glen. Lyman, at SuiBeld, but for how 
long a time I have not been able to learn. He came to his 
native place, and went into practice there. The precise time 
when he began to practice is not ascertained. The first notice 
of him as an attorney in court is at the May term, 1749, 
which, by tradition, is the first year of his practice. 

"His practice was extensive, though more circumscribed 
than that of Worthington. He did not usually practice in 
Worcester County, but regularly attended the Berkshire 
courts after they were established. He was grave and solemn 
in his demeanor, was strictly conscientious, and had an in- 
stinctive abhorrence of anything approaching to deceit. Ju- 
ries had confidence in his assertions ; their opinion of his 
stern and undeviating integrity made them very ready to 
listen to him. His opinions had, with them, great weight. 
It was said, and generally believed, of him that he would not 
engage in a cause until he was fully persuaded that his client 
had right and justice on his side. 

" When Hawley was satisfied of the justice of his cause his 
arguments were very powerful and convincing. When a 
point of law was to be taken he would meet the case fairly, 
and reason upon it as a sound logician. Hawley's judicial 
science was profound. He was peculiarly attached to the old 
English black-letter law. He was very attentive to forms 
and tenacious of ancient English precedents. Compared with 
Worthington, he was probably more conversant with Bracton, 
Britton, Fleta, and Rastell, but not so well acquainted with 
the more modern authors, and less acquainted with the various 
branches of commercial or mercantile law. 

" Hawley was a very active and zealous magistrate. He 
was subject to turns of great depression of spirits. The general 
tenor of his manners made him more in favor with the people 
than with the court. 

" Worthington, though very popular among his own towns- 
men, was more courtly in his manners, and, being thought to 
stand high with the provincial government, had less general 
popularity. They were generally engaged on opposite sides 
in court. When they were united a successful opposition to 
them rarely occurred. They were both correct special pleaders, 
and could not endure to have legal proceedings in any other 
than appropriate technical language. 

* It is said by one writer that there were suspicions of the colonel's loyalty to 
tlie cause of the colonies during the era of the Revolution, .and that Zebina Steb- 
liiiis, chairman of the t«jwn committee of correspondence, once gave him a cer- 
tificate of good cliaracter against tlie charge of Toryism. 

" Maj. Hawley, in the year 1767 or '68, fell under the 
censure of the Superior Court and was suspended from prac- 
tice. At the next term he was restored at the motion of Col. 
Worthington. The precise state of the case I cannot give, 
but have always understood that there was no imputation on 
Hawley's character in the affair. He was counsel for some 
persons in the county of Berkshire who had been indicted for 
being concerned in a riot. In the course of the trial he made 
some observations which the court considered as having too 
much of the spirit of liberty to be permitted to pass without 

" Worthington and Hawley had the honor of numbering 
among their pupils those who would be ornaments to any 
Bar. Hawley never practiced after the year 1774, but occa- 
sionally presided in the Court of Sessions as the oldest magis- 
trate in the county. He died in March, 1788, aged sixty-four 

President Dwight, in speaking of Hawley, uses this lan- 
guage : " Many men have spoken with more elegance and 
grace. I never heard one speak with more force. His mind, 
like his eloquence, was grave, austere, and powerful. 

" Worthington and Hawley were both men in whose honesty 
and fairness those who knew them intimately would place 
unbounded confidence. Hawley retained more of the man- 
ners of our Puritan ancestors. Worthington had long been 
conversant with the most polished society in our country, and 
added to great acquisitions as a lawyer those of a scholar and 
a gentleman. Though their manners were very different, a 
dishonest, unprincipled man would choose to keep out of their 

" That Worthington and Hawley should, with the means 
then in their power, have acquired such eminence is a proof 
of great talent and industry. It is also evidence that a thor- 
ough knowledge of the law, as derived from its ancient 
sources, will make a man respectable without reading every 
modern publication. 

"Hawley's law-library consisted principally of ancient 
authors. Worthington had a much better collection of more 
modern authors." 

Moses Bliss graduated at Yale College in 1755, after 
which he studied divinity and preached for a considerable 
time. Subsequently he read law a j-ear with Col. Worthing- 
ton, and was admitted to the Bar in November, 1761. It 
appears that he practiced several years before his admission, 
which would seem from the records to have been a common 
occurrence in those days. He retired from practice in 1798. 

Hon. George Bliss says of him, "He was generally es- 
teemed as a sound lawyer and a skillful special pleader. His 
contemporaries valued his legal opinions." 

Si.MEON Stronu was born at Northampton in 1735, gradu- 
ated at Yale College in 1756, and devoted himself to the 
ministry for several years ; but relinquished the profession he 
had marked out, which he could the more easily do as he had 
not yet been settled over a church, on account of pulmonary 
difficulties. He afterward read law in the office of Col. Worth- 
ington and commenced practice at Amherst in 1762, and was 
admitted to the Bar in November of that year. 

After the stoppage of the courts, in 1774, there followed an 
interval of several years before he resumed practice. From 
1780 to 1800 he had an extensive business, and regularly at- 
tended the courts. In 1800 he was appointed one of the 
judges of the Supreme Court. During his retirement from 
practice, it is said that he employed his time in an extensive 
revision of his law-books. 

In summing up his character, Mr. Bliss says of him, " There 
were some traits in his character which may be worthy of par- 
ticular notice. He was very modest and unassuming in his 
deportment, and on all occasions treated the court before 
whom he appeared with deference and respect. Whatever he 
might think of the man, he always respected the judge. In 



a person of his acquirements, and with wit of such caustic 
powers as he sometimes exhibited, and before judges at times 
for whom no very high claims could be advanced, this was a 
feature of character rarely to be found. It is possible this 
might partially be owing to the respect habitually paid to the 
old Superior Court ; but I am satisfied it was principally per- 
sonal, and that he lost nothing in this way. 

" I have known Mr. Strong to acquire considerable advan- 
tage by the course he pursued. Another trait not always to 
be found in the character of distinguished advocates was the 
perfect fairness with which he was accustomed to treat his 
antagonists. He was as astute as any man to discover a mis- 
take, but would never take unreasonable advantage of it. In 
his remarks to the jury the client or the case might feel the 
keen point of his satire, but toward his brethren of the Bar 
he was always civil and courteous. He was eminently skilled 
in the science of special pleading. He generally attended the 
courts in Worcester as well as Hampshire, and in the former 
part of his practice frequently attended at Berk.shire. 

" After deducting the intervals of his practice, he was nearly 
a third of a century at the Bar. His manner was not the most 
graceful, but the clearness, force, and point of his address to 
the jury always procured him great attention. As Judge 
Strong was more than five years on the Bench of the Supreme 
Court, the soundness of his legal opinions will appear from 
the reports. He died December 14, 1805. 

"Among the distinguished members of the Bar before the 
Revolution was Jonathan Bliss, of Springfield. He gradu- 
ated at Cambridge in 17H3, read law with Judge Trowbridge, 
and was contemporary, and many years corresponded, with 
Francis Dana. He began practice in November, 17G4; was 
in good practice, and esteemed an able advocate and coun- 
selor. At the approach of the Revolutionary contest, in 
August, 1774, having no family, he went to England, and 
never afterward resided in the United States. He was suc- 
cessively attorney-general and chief-justice of the province of 
New Brunswick, and died in the latter office at an advanced 
age. These otfices he filled with high reputation. His manners 
were those of a gentleman of the old school."* 

With reference to the five last-mentioued attorneys, Mr. 
Bliss says they " were the only barristers there were in this 
[Hampshire] county before the Revolution. Governor Strong 
and Judge Sedgwick were invested with this honor after the 

" One other distinguished man read law and was admitted 
to the Bar in this county, f though I do not learn that he ever 
practiced here. Pierpont Edwards was of Northampton ; 
he was admitted February term, 1771. He soon removed to 
New Haven, where he acquired great professional celebrity. 
His eloquence, as much as that of any other man, appeared to 
be strictly e.xtemporaneous ; yet I had the opportunity of 
knowing that no person was accustomed to bestow more pains 
in preparing a case. He was wont to study it thoroughly, and 
examine all points likely to arise in it." 

In speaking of the law-libraries of early times in this region, 
Mr. Bliss says that Col. Worthington's was the most exten- 
sive ; but that Maj. Hawley, after he purchased Gen. Lyman's 
old works, had a more valuable collection of ancient English 
authors. This last was mostly destroyed bj' fire about 1820 or 
1822. Jonathan Bliss also had an extensive library, which 
remained in the country until after the peace of 1783. 

Prom the recMirds of the county it ajipcars that the admin- 
istration of justice in the inferior courts was suspended during 
the years 1765 and 1766, for the reason that all venires were 
required by the celebrated " Stamp Act" to be on stamped 

* It is stated by Dr. Booth that Mr. Bliss returned to Springfield in 1791, married 
a daughter of Col. Worthiugton, and returned to New Brunswick. One of his 
sons became a lawyer in London, England, and another was ma<le chief-justice 
of the tV)urt of (Jueeii's Bench, in Nova Scotia, and n-.sided at Hulifa.\. 

t Old Hampshire County. 

paper. These courts, imbued with something of the spirit 
which actuated the people of the colony, declined to use the 
evidence of what was considered an unjust and unlawful tax, 
and continued all jurj' causes till the law was repealed. 

"At the time the courts were stopped, in 1774, there were 
probably in Hampshire and Berkshire a little more than twenty 
persons who paid some attention to professional business, but 
the principal part of it was done by a much less number. Of 
these, Worthington and Hawley never returned to practice, 
though Cpl. Worthington had several students in his office 
after 1774. Jonathan Bliss had removed, as I have stated, 
and three out of five barristers entirely left the courts. Many 
of the other lawyers retired, and either never came to the Bar 
again or did very little business there. 

" The courts of justice were closed in August, 1774, and 
no Court of Common Pleas was appointed till May, 1778. 
The Superior Court might have been holden once or twice dur- 
ing the interval ; but very little professional business was done 
till the close of the Revolutionarj' war. The most of what was 
done was by Governor Strong and John Chester Williams. 

" At the close of the Revolutionary war business was very 
greatly increased in our courts. The fountains of justice, 
which had been some time closed, were suddenly opened, and 
the torrents seemed likely to overwhelm everything in their 
course. But this was soon checked. Barriers of various kinds 
were interposed, and the doors were but partially open. At 
this time the people in this county were greath' in debt. The 
merchants at Boston and New York had before the Revolu- 
tion, many of them, given extensive credit to the country 
traders ; they, in their turn, had generally sold their goods 
on credit. 

" Those debts which had escaped the blast of paper-money — 
and many such there were — had accumulated to a large amount. 
In addition, too, the public burdens pressed very heavily. 
The debts incurred for hiring and supporting soldiers, as well 
as direct taxes, were beyond the means of the people to dis- 
charge. There was no market for produce, and its price was 
greatly reduced. Distressed and driven almost to desperation, 
instead of imputing their sufferings to the real causes, the 
people looked only to the immediate instruments, the attor- 
neys, and sheriffs, and collectors of taxes, and considered them 
as nuisances and pests to society. 

" From the latter part of the year 1784 the practice of the 
law was for several years in this county tinder a cloud. Mobs 
obstructed courts of justice and opened the prisons. Great 
pains were taken by artful and designing men, by means of 
publications in the newspapers and in various other ways, to 
fasten popular odium on the profession, and for a time their 
efforts were successful. 

" Lawyers were accused of multiplying suits unnecessarily, 
and of improperly enhancing bills of costs. However thi.s 
might be in other parts of the commonwealth, — and I have 
never heard any proof of the assertion in regard to anj- county, 
— it is certain that in this there was no foundation for the ac- 

" The Bar in this county, as a body, took a variety of 
measures to avert the odium. They determined to discourage 
all suits, where it could be done with safety, and adopted a 
practice, which has since become extensive, instead of appeal- 
ing or continuing actions at large, that of continuing them 
for final judgment, thereby diminishing the expense, and 
giving each party as much advantage as would have been de- 
rived from an appeal upon default. But all expedients were 

The discontent among the people succeeding the Revolution 
resulted in conventions which met to consider the state of the 
country and to devise measures for relief in various places, 
prominent among them being those held at Worcester, on the 
15th of August, and at Hatfield, on the 22d of the same month, 



These conventions voted themselves constitutional bodies, 
and drew up formidable lists of grievances, prominent amona; 
them being the laclc of a circulating medium and the " method 
of practice of the attorneys-at-law." 

The discontent iinally culminated in the celebrated " Shays 
Rebellion," which was quelled by force of arms in January, 
1787. But the ditficulties were not disposed of by its suppres- 
sion, and the General Court undertook to remedy the existing 
evils bj' numerous acts, among which was the one known as 
the " See Cause Act," which, however, was passed in Decem- 
ber, 1786, before the dispersion of the insurgents. 

This act gave justices of the peace greatly-increased juris- 
diction, and was, no doubt, intended to virtually do away 
with the necessity for emplo3'ing attorneys in all ordinary 
cases. This law was somewhat modified after 1790, but busi- 
ness did not return to its regular channels until about the 
year 1800. 

Mr. Bliss closes his remarks upon the old Bar of Hampshire 
County with somewhat extended notices of Governor Caleb 
Strong and Judge Sedgwick, from which we make copious 
extracts. Of Governor Strong he says, " He was born at 
Northampton, Jan. 9, 174.5, and graduated at Cambridge 
College in 1764. After he left college his health was very 
feeble, and he was so much atllicted with weakness in his eyes 
as to be entirely unable to read. He, however, commenced the 
study of law with Maj. Hawley, and was accustomed to pro- 
cure his father or one of his sisters to read for him. He spent 
considerable of his time in journeying to regain his health. 
I have not been able to find any record of his admission. I 
have been told that the courts were for some time disinclined 
to admit any more attorneys, but finally consented to admit 

" It is said he began to practice in 1772, and in that year I 
first find him named as attorney of record. It is verv mani- 
fest that the court pursued no fixed course in regard to admis- 
sions, and it is also probable that some were admitted whose 
names may not appear on record. As it was but little more 
than two years from the time that Strong began to practice to 
the time when the courts were interrupted, it is probable that 
his business was not very extensive. But after the courts 
were re-established, and until he left the Bar, in 1800, his 
practice was more extensive than that of any person in the 
county. He regularly attended the courts in Worcester and 
Berkshire, as well as this county. Though much employed 
in public business, he generally was able to attend to his pro- 
fessional engagements as well as his public duties. That fore- 
cast which was so remarkable a trait in his character was 
advantageously employed in making his arrangements to at- 
tend the courts without deserting public business. When at 
General Court or at Congress, he would come and attend a 
court and return, and perhaps not be missed at all. 

"He was one of the most diligent and industrious men living ; 
he improved every moment. With a very large civil docket 
and many criminal eases to manage, — for he was public prose- 
cutor for the county from the re-establishment of the courts, 
in 1778, till he left the Bar, — his business was so arranged as to 
be always ready. Habits of procrastination, which are some- 
times found among lawyers, he never indulged, and it was 
astonishing how much business he would accomplish without 
any noise, or even the appearance of extraordinary engage- 
ments. His mind was uncommonly versatile: interruption 
did not seem to break its course. He would resume a subject, 
after attending to some important business, as though nothing 
had intervened. He was very fond of reading, and always 
had a book at hand, that he might improve every leisure 
moment. His knowledge of law was more universal than 
that of any of those already named, but I am not prepared 
to say that he was so peculiarly distinguished in the doctrines 
of real actions as Judge Strong ; but in this branch of the law 
he was respectable, and there was no deficiency when applied 

to practice. His draughts and forms wore uncommonly accu- 
rate. It was rare indeed that any defects or mistakes were 
discovered. Being peculiarly skilled in draughting, he was 
much employed in this branch of business. 

"Many of the statutes of the United States and of this com- 
monwealth were formed by him. His pleading was, among 
professional men, alwa3's received as good authority ; it was, 
however, rather less in the English style than that of his 
master, or of Judge Strong. 

"Governor Strong's aid and counsel were as much sought 
after and relied on as those of any one. He was a very suc- 
cessful advocate before a jury. His manner was as dift'erent 
from that of Hawley as could well be conceived. His address 
was pleasing and insinuating. He commonly began in a very 
low tone of voice, talking to the jury in a very familiar man- 
ner, but so as to gain their attention. Whether others heard 
or not, he was not concerned. Not infrequently, before those 
whom he addressed or any one else suspected it, he had 
gained his point. I have frequently heard it observed by one 
who had been called to practice in all the counties in the 
State that he found no man he so much feared as closing 
counsel as Caleb Strong. 

"He was the favorite advocate when the rights of humanity 
were to be vindicated. He early took a decided part in favor 
of the negroes. As he lived several years after he retired from 
public life, and in good health and spirits, his conversation 
was uncommonly instructive and entertaining. He had 
known most of the great men of our country from the early 
part of the Eevolution, and been conversant with most of the 
important measures that had been postponed or adopted ; and 
as his memory was very tenacious, he was ready to give an- 
ecdotes of nearly all, and in such a manner as was always 
pleasing. He was twice otlered a seat on the Bench of the 
Supreme Court, but declined it. He died Nov. 7, 1819, in 
his seventy-fifth j'car." 

The Hon. Theodore Sedgwick "was born at Hartford, 
West Division, in Connecticut, in the year 1746 ; graduated at 
Yale College in 1765, read law in the county of Berkshire 
with Mark Hopkins, Esq., and was admitted to the Bar in 
1766. It is said that be did not complete his college term, and 
was therefore admitted to the Bar very young. The first no- 
tice I find of him, in our courts in this county, is at the May 
term of 1767. He first practiced in Great Barrington, then 
removed to Sheffield, and afterward to Stockbridge. He was 
fast rising into eminence when the Revolution interrupted the 
regular administration of justice. Prom the beginning of his 
practice until the year 1802, when he was appointed a judge 
of the Supreme Judicial Court, he regularly attended our 
courts and practiced at our Bar. His practice, however, was 
subject to many interruptions by public business. As he was 
many years a judge, those who did not know him personally 
may, from the reports, learn how profound his knowledge of 
law was. He was ardent in his feelings, and of a sanguine 
temperament. His eloquence was forcible and commanding. 
What he gained was by fair means. His attacks were above- 
boai'd ; he gave warning, and put his adversary upon his guard. 
In all important causes his assistance was requested, and he 
was frequentlj' called out of the State. 

"There is one thing which ought to be mentioned to his 
honor. He stood many years at the head of the profession in 
the county of Berkshire. During his professional life he had 
many students. His pupils, through his attention and that 
of an honorable gentleman long associated with him, came 
into practice much better indoctrinated than many of those 
who had served a clerkship in this county." 

Of another prominent attorney Mr. Bliss says: " The Hon. 
Eli p. Asdmun had not the advantages of a public education. 
He read law with Judge Sedgwick, and was a bright example 
to what eminence, notwithstanding the want of a thorough 
classical education, and notwithstanding very great feebleness 



of voice, a person may arrive. It will be no disparagement 
to any one to say that he was for many years at the head of 
the profession in this county. He was an eminent advocate 
and sage counselor ; but he was more, very much more, than 
these epithets imply." 

Previous to the year 1826 the territory now constituting the 
four western counties of the State had furnished one governor, 
two judges of the Supreme Court, two members of the old 
Congress, four United States senators, one speaker of the 
House of Eepresentatives of the United States, one member 
of the original United States Constitutional Convention, three 
members of the convention that formed the State constitution, 
seven representatives in Congress, twenty-seven State sena- 
tors, six State councillors, one president of the State Senate 
and two speakers of the House of Representatives, eight judges 
of the Common Pleas and Circuit Courts, five judges of Pro- 
bate, and four sherifis. 

In summing up his remarks upon the Bar, Mr. Bliss con- 
tinues : " The men of whom I have given a particular account 
had not the advantages wliieh students now have. Probably 
a copy of Blackstone was not to be found in the county before 
the year 1770. They had Hale and Gilbert, and, a short time 
before the Revolution, Bacon's Abridgment, but there was not 
in the county a copy of Cornyn's Digest. They had Coke 
and Littleton, as well as Rastell, Fitzherbert, Bracton, Brit- 
ton, and Fleta. It is, however, to be recollected that what 
they had was in a narrow compass. They were not obliged, 
in acquiring the treasures of legal science, to hunt for them in 
hundreds of detached volumes, or to search for gold where it 
was spread out so thin, or the thread of it drawn so fine, that 
even a modern microscope could scarcely discover it. A per- 
son who was apt to learn might sooner get all their books by 
heart than cursorily look through modern law-publications." 
The following is a list of the attorneys and counselors, 
either admitted to the Bar in the county of Hampshire or 
practicing in that county, from 1786 to 1826, taken from the 
appendix to Hon. George Bliss' address in 1826: Elihu Ly- 
man, Moses Bliss, Simeon Strong, Theodore Sedgwick, Caleb 
Strong, Justin Ely, John Phelps, Samuel Fowler, William 
Billings, John Chester Williams, Abner Morgan, Edward 
Walker, John Chandler Williams, Alexander Wolcott, Sam- 
uel Lyman, Pliny Mirrick, Samuel Hinckley, John Hooker, 
Ephraim Williams, John Barrett, Samuel Mather, George 
Bliss, Joseph Lyman, John Taylor, William Coleman, Jona. 
E. Porter, Simeon Strong, William Ely, John Phelps, Eli P. 
Ashmun, Jona. Leavitt, Elijah Paine, Stephen Pynchon, 
John Ingersoll, Solomon Stoddard, Wm. M. Bliss, Richard 
E. Newcomb, Jonathan Grout, Hezckiah W. Strong, Charles 
P. Phelps, Samuel Lathrop, Elijah Bates, Solomon Vose, 
Jonathan Dwight, Jr., Jotham Cushman, Benjamin Parsons, 
Edward Upham, Jonathan Woodbridge, Joseph Proctor, 
Samuel F. Dickinson, Phinehas Ashmun, Joseph Bridgnian, 
Sylvester Maxwell, Wm. Billings, Elijah H. Mills, Pliny 
Arms, Elijah Alvord, Samuel C. Allen, Theodore Strong, 
Edmund Dwight, Oliver B. Morris, Henry Barnard, Giles E. 
Kellogg, Charles Shepard, John Nevers, James M. Cooley, 
Solomon Strong, Alvin Coe, Noah D. Mattoon, Isaac C. Bates, 
Jonathan H. Lyman, John M. Gannett, Lewis Strong, Alan- 
son Knox, Asahel Wright, Mark Doolittle, Samuel Orue, 
Hooker Leavitt, Samuel Howe, Phinehas Blair, Samuel Cut- 
ting, Isaac B. Barber, Laban Marcy, Lsrael Billings, Deodatus 
Dutton, Apollos Cushman, Kodolphus Dickinson, Edward 
Bliss, Daniel Shearer, Calvin Pepper, Wm. Blair, John H. 
Henshaw, James Stebbins, Wm. Ward, George Grinnell, 
David Willard, Horace W. Taft, John Drury, Franklin Rip- 
ley, Thomas Powar, Augustus Collins, Dyer Bancroft, War- 
ren A. Field, Patrick Boise, Jolin Mills, John Hooker, Jr., 
Samuel Johnson, Wm. Knight, John Howard, Benjamin 
Day, Jo.shua N. Uphara, George Bliss, Jr., Justice Willard, 
Charles F. Bates, Solomon Lathrop, Wm. Bowdoin, Hophni 

Judd, Ithamar Conkey, Norman Smith, James Fowler, Eli.sha 
Hubbard, Eli B. Hamilton, Daniel Wells, Samuel Wells, Al- 
fred Stearns, Caleb Rice, Jonathan A. Saxton, Frederick A. 
Packard, Lucius Boltwood, .Jonathan Eastman, Waldo Flint, 
Charles E. Forbes, Cyrus Joy, David Brigham, Aaron Arms, 
Joseph P. Allen, Benjamin Brainard, Jonathan Hartwell, 
David A. Gregg, Epaphras Clark, Benjamin Mills, Timothy 
C. Cooley, John B. Cooley, Asa Olmstead, Horace Smith, 
Joshua Leavitt, Mason Shaw, Elisha Mack, John H. Ash- 
mun, Samuel F. Lyman, Justin W. Clark, Horatio Bj'ington, 
Emory Washburn, Horatio G. Newcomb, Wm. B. Calhoun, 
Josiah Hooker, Wm. Bliss, Erasmus Norcross, Daniel N. 
Dewey, Myron Lawrence, James W. Crooks, Richard D. 
Morris, Dan Parish, Homer Bartlett, Osmyn Baker, Elijah 
Williams, Francis B. Stebbins, Norman T. Leonard, Reuben 
A. Chapman, George Ashmun, Henry Chapman, Stephen 

Emory, Field, Edward Dickinson, Andrew A. Locke. 

The attorneys and counselors admitted to the Bar in Hamp- 
shire County since 1826 have been as follows : 
1827.— Edward Hooker. 
1829.— Arad Gilbert, William Dwight, Chfis. P. Huntington, 

Elijah Williams (2d). 
1830.— William M. Lathrop, Henry Starkweather, Fred'k H. 
Allen, William G. Bates, Barlow Freeman, William 
D. Gere. 
1831. — George G. Parker, Benjamin D. Hyde. 
1832. — Chauncey B. Rising, Almon Brainerd, Francis Dwight. 
1833.— Samuel L. Hinckley. 
1834. — Lincoln B. Knowlton. 
1836.— Samuel Henshaw Bates. 
1839.— Addison H. White. 
1840. — John Chester Lyman. 
1842. — Charles Delano, Whiting Griswold, Henrj' L. Dawes 

Ervin H. Porter, Calvin Torrey. 
1844. — Samuel T. Spaulding, Horace I. Hodges, Chauncey P. 

1845.— William Allen, Jr. 

1846. — W'm. W. Whitman, James W. Boyden. 
1850. — D. G. Sherman, F. H. Underwood, Lewis J. Dudley, 

Charles Allen. 
1852. — John Newton Rogers. 
1858. — Ephraim L. Lincoln. 

1859. — James E. Dewey, Homer B. Stevens, Wm. E. Turner. 
I860. — Charles H. Day, Jos. Lyman Morton, Robert Ogden 

1862.— Justin P. Kellogg. 
1863.— William P. Duncan. 
1864.— Francis A. Beals. 
1865.— Daniel W. Bond. 
18.66.— Charles L. Gardner. 
1868. — John C. Hammond. 
1869.— Henry H. Bond. 
1872.— Wm. Bradford Homer, Wm. Slattery, Jr., Timothy R. 

1873.— Terrence B. O'Donnell. 
1874.— John B. Bottum. 
1875.— Moses M. Hobart. 
1876.— Arthur Watson. 
1877.— Charles N. Clark. 
1878. — James I. Cooper, Enos Parsons, Wm. H. Clapp, David 

Hill, John B. O'Donnell, Robert W. Lyman. 
1879.— Edward A. Greeley. 

The following attorneys resident in Hampshire County 
were admitted elsewhere: Wm. A. Dickinson, John Jameson, 
Edward E. Webster, Wm. P. Strickland, Alburn J. Fargo, 
Wm. G. Bassett, Thaddeus Graves, George Kress, Franklin 
D. Richards, Henry C. Davis. 

The following is a list of the members of the Bar in Hamp- 
den County from 1812 to 1879, with the date of their admit- 
tance : 



1812.— Patrick Boise.* 

1813. — Jolin llookor, Jr.,* George Hinckley, f John Howard.* 

1814.— Solomon Lathrop.* 

1815.— Charle.s F. Bates,* Benjamin Day,* George Bliss, Jr.,* 
Eli B. Hamilton.* 

181tj.— Gorham Parks.* 

1817.— Alfred Stearns,* Caleb Eice.* 

1818.— William B. Calhoun,* John B. Cooley.* 

1819. — Epaphras Clark,* Erasmus Norcross,* Heman Steb- 
bins,* Asa Olmstead.* 

1820.— Josiah Hooker.* 

1822.— William Bliss,* Joel Miller,! Richard D. Morris.* 

1824. — -Warham Crooks,* Norman T. Leonard. 

1825. — Reuben A. Chapman.* 

1827.— Matthew Ives, Jr.* 

1828.— William G. Bates, William M. Latlirop.f Josejili 
Knox,f George Aslimun.* 

1829.— Cbauncey B. Rising,! William Dwight.f 

1830.— Francis Dwight,* William Hyde.f 

1831.— Joseph Huntington.* 

1832.— William Bliss, f William C. Dwight.* 

1833.— E. D. Beach.* 

1834.— Richard Bliss.-j- 

1835.— Henry Morris. 

1836.— H. H. Buckland,* George Baylies Upham.f 

1837.— Ru.ssell E. Dewey. f 

1839.— William W. Blair.f 

1840.— George B. Morris.* 

1841.— Henry Vose.* 

1842.— Edward Bates Gillett. 

1843. — Otis A. Seamans,* Lorenzo Norton,* William O. Gor- 
ham,f Lorenzo D. Brown. f 

1845. — Allen Bangs, Jr.,* Wellington Thompson,* Ephraim 
W. Bond, Lester E. Newell,! Albert Clarke,! Wil- 
liam Allen, Jr.f 

1846. — P. Emory Aldrich,f Thomas B. Munn,* George 
Walker, Bernard B. Whittemore,f Lester Wil- 
liams, Jr.,t Charles C. Hay ward. f 

1847. — Samuel L. Fleming, f Elbridge G. Bowdoin,f James 
H. Morton,* Samuel Fowler, Edwin M. Bigelow,t 
Charles K. Wetherell.f 

1848. — Fayette Smith, f Charles R. Ladd, George L. Squier,f 
Reuben P. Boies, f Charles H. Branscomb.f 

1849.— Joseph M. Cavis,f William B. C. Pearsons, Aug. L. 
Soule, Henry Fuller, John Munn,f Edward P. Burn- 
ham. | 

1850.— Timothy G. Pelton.f Charles A. Winchester,* Asahel,f Franklin Crosby. f 

1851.— Charles T. Arthur,* John M. Stebbins, William How- 
land,! Oramel S. Senter,f N. A. Leonard, James-C. 
Hinsdale. f 

1852. — George M. Stearns, Martin J. Severance,! James F. 
Dwight, f William C. Greene, f George L. Frost.* 

1853.— Milton B. Whitm.'y, William L. Smith, James G. 
Allen,* John H. Thompson. f 

1854. — John M. Emerson,* Henry B. Lewis, George O. Ide,t 
James K. Mills. f 

1855. — Norman L. Johnson, f James E. Mclntire, Samuel J. 
Ross,f A. M. Copeland. 

1856.— Joel T. Rice,t William S. Shurtleff, Irving Allen,t 
George H. Knapp. 

1857.— Ambrose N. Merrick, f S. B. Woolwurth.f E. A. Wai- 
riner,f Edw. D. Hayden.f 

1858. — Liberty B. Dennett, f Stephen E. Seymour, Frank E. 

1859.— Moses W. Chapin,* Henry E. Daniels.f Porter Under- 
wood, William C. Ide,f William H. Ilaile, Benton 
W. Cole,* E. Howard Lathrop, Homer B. Stevens. 

* Deceased. 


■f RemoTed from the countj-. 

1860.— Gideon Wells. 

1801. — James A. Kumrill, John W. Moore, f Otis P. Aber- 

1862. — Timothy M. Brown, Marcus P. Knowlton, Joseph H. 

1863. — Sidney Sanders,f Reuben Chapman,* Samuel G. Lor- 

1804. — W^illiam S. Green, Edward Morris. 
1865. — Charles A. Beach, f James C. Greenough,| J. P. Buck- 
land, E. W. Chapin, Joseph Morgan. 
1866. — George D. Robinson. 
1807. — George B. Morris, Jr.,f Hugh Donnelly, Charles A. 

Birnie,f J. Porter, Jr.,f C. L. Gardner. 
1868. — Charles C. Spellman, Elisha B. Maynard, Luther 

1869. — William B. Rogers, John W. Burgess. f 
1870.— Elbridge W. Merrill,t Joseph W. Browne, John M. 

1871.— Albert A. Tyler, Edward Bellamy. 
1872.— John P. Wall, Thomas F. Riley, f Harris L. Sherman, 

John W. Converse, Charles L. Long, William Slat- 

tery, Jr., S. S. Taft. 
1873. — Robert O. Morris, Jonathan Allen, Luther Emerson 

Barnes,! F. E. Carpenter. 
1874. — James R. Dunbar, Loranus E. Hitchock. 

The following additional names have been added since Mr. 
Bates' list was prepared : 
1874.— W. J. Quinn,f H. K. Hawes, Austin P. Cristy,t Daniel 

E. W^ebster. 
1875. — Joseph M. Ross, Geo. L. Pease, Elislia P. Bartholomew, 

Michael L. Moriarty,f Harrison Hume, John L. 

King,t Wm. G. White, Thomas B. Warren, C. A. 

Sherman, H. A. Bartholomew. 
1876. — Hubert M. Coney, Charles J. Bellamy, Neill Dumont,f 

Edmund P. Kcndrick, John B. Vincent, Jr. 
1877.— Charles H. Hersey,! Geo. H. Graves,! ^^d- H. Gil- 
lett,! Michael T. Foley, A. L. Murray, Patrick H. 

Casey, Allen Webster, Wm. H. Brooks. 
1878. — Jeremiah P. Wbalen,-)- George Kress, Willmore B. 

Stone, Henry M. Walradt, Charles R. Dudley, W. 

W. McClench. 





The Bliss family have been prominent in the history of the 
Connecticut Valley, and especially in connection with the Bar, 
having furnished a half-dozen or more prominent members of 
the legal profession. 

According to Mr. Bates, the oldest member of the Bar in 
1828 was Hon. Gboroe Bliss, author of the well-known ad- 
dress delivered to the members of the old Hampshire Bar at 
Northampton, in 1820, and also of an historical address de- 
livered in 1828. 

Mr. Bliss was born in 1765, and died in 1830, at the age of 
sixty-five }-ears. He graduated at the age of nineteen, in 1784. 
" He was called ' Master George,' because he had been accus- 
tomed to have a number of students, and was reported to have 
been more than usually attentive to their instruction." 

It is said that he prepared a course of lectures upon differ- 
ent branches of the law, which he was accustomed to deliver 
to his students. It has been stated that when the Court of 
Common Pleas was organized, in 1820, be desired and expected 
an appointment as one of the judges, but another was chosen, 

f Removed from the county. 



and Mr. Bliss was so much disappointed that he never after- 
ward practiced in that court. 

T)ie reason of his not being appointed was claimed by his 
friends to have been his religious opinions. He was a well- 
read and thorough lawj-er, as the various papers from his pen 
and the reports amply testify. His address before the Bar of 
old Hampshire County is a most excellently written paper, 
and an honor alike to his head and heart. Mr. Bates pays 
him several merited compliments in the incidents related of 
his practice in Hampden County. 

He was a distinguished advocate before the Supreme Court, 
where he was a formidable antagonist of Governor Caleb 
Strong; which statement is in itself a high compliment to his 
scholarship and ability. 

John Inoersoll* was born in Westflekl, Mass., Aug. 13, 
1769. His paternal and maternal ancestors, the Ingersolls 
and the Moseleys, were prominent in the early history of that 
town. His remote paternal ancestor was John Ingersoll, — one 
of the "seven pillars" or "foundation-men" who united to 
form the church in Westfleld in 1079. 

His collegiate education was received at Yale College, 
where he was a member of the class of 1790. He began the 
study of the law in Westfield, and subsequently continued it 
in the office of Hon. Caleb Strong, of Northampton, where he 
was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court in 1797. 

He commenced practice in his native town, where, as early 
as the year 1800, he was successfully established. In the last- 
named year he married, at Northampton, Elizabeth Martin, of 
Antigua, West Indies. Upon the organization of the county of 
Hampden, in 1812, he was appointed clerk of the courts, but 
continued to reside at Westfield until November, 1814, when 
he removed his family to Springfield, where he continued to 
reside until his death, in 1840. 

He held the office to which he was appointed until his 
decease, — a period of about twenty-nine years, — which is ample 
evidence that he was a faithful and an able officer. 

The following extract is from an article which appeared at 
the time of his death in the local paper : 

"John Ingersoll, Esq., died at his residence in this town 
on Saturday last, in the seventy-second year of his age. Since 
the organization of this count}' — a period of twenty-eight or 
nine years — he has held the office of clerk of the courts for 
the county, the duties of which he has faithfully and promptly 
discharged. He was universally respected by the members of 
the Bar, and his absence from the post which for so many years 
he has honorably occupied will be by them seriously felt. 

" In his social and private relations he was, we believe, what 
a good citizen, a friend and father, should be, and bj' his vir- 
tues endeared himself to a large circle of friends, by whom 
his loss will be felt, his memory cherished." 

Hon. Samuel Lathrop was the fourth son of Rev. Joseph 
Lathrop ; born in West Springfield in 1771, and graduated at 
Yale College in 1792. He read law, but the date of his ad- 
niiiision to the Bar is not stated. 

In 1797 he married Mary McCrackan, of New Haven, Conn., 
by whom he had ten children, — four sons and six daughters. 

He was an attorney of eminent ability, and was elected to 
Congress, and represented his district from 1818 to 1824. 

He was also for ten years a member of the State Senate, and 
president of that body in 1819-20, and ran very close for 
Governor of the State at one gubernatorial election. His 
services in the State Legislature and in the national Congress 
interfered with his practice of the law, though he continued 
it as late as 1825. In his later years, he devoted considerable 
of his time to agricultural pursuits, and paid great attention 
to the improvement of stock in the valley. He died in 1846, 
at the age of seventy-five. 

* From nit^nioranda furnished by Jus son, Mhj. Edward Inj^ereul!, Paymastt^r 
U. S. A. 

Hon. Elijah H. Mills was the next in order of seniority 
of those who were practicing at the Hampden County Bar in 
1825. He was graduated at Williams College in 1797, ad- 
mitted to the Bar of the Supreme Judicial Court, at North- 
ampton, in 1803, and was in an extensive practice. 

His election to the Senate of the United States interfered 
with his practice, but during the vacations he had abundant 
opportunities for the display of his powers. 

"He was connected in business with Hon. John H. Ash- 
mun, who was subsequently Eoyal professor of law in the 
Harvard University, and who was well able to prepare his 
cases or to argue them in ease of the necessary absence of 
Mr. Mills. 

"During the years 1827-28 I was in the law-school at 
Northampton, and was a clerk in the office of Mills & Ash- 
mun, and had the opportunity of observing their mode of 
preparing cases. This was mostly done by Mr. Ashmun 
during the absence of Mr. Mills. He prepared an elaborate 
brief, noticing the anticipated objections and citing the author- 
ities, and also setting down the objections to be made to the 
proposed evidence of the opposite counsel. This was done 
with a thoroughness which I have never seen equaled. The 
brief was submitted to Mr. Mills, who appeared to apprehend 
it instinctively, and, with a slight conversation, went forth 
equipped for the contest. 

" He was a man, in person, of full size, well formed, erect 
and graceful in his carriage, with an eye which, when lighted 
up with excitement, was as powerful as that of the Caliph 
Vathek upon the heart of a dishonest witness. He was con- 
nected with .Judge Howe in the management of the law-school 
at Northampton, but his health was then in a decline, and he 
gradually withdrew from the school, and at last from the 
active duties of the law-office. 

"At the courts in Hampshire he was the adversary of Hon. 
Lewis Strong and Hon. Isaac C. Bates. The contests between 
them used to call together large audiences. The people seemed 
delighted to witness the intellectual struggles of these eminent 

" Hon. Isaac C. Bates graduated at Yale College in 1802 
with the highest honors of his class. He was admitted in the 
Supreme Court in 1807." He studied law in New Haven, 
and there acquired that knowledge of general principles which 
served him so well in after-years. His tastes naturally led 
him in the direction of agricultural pursuits, and for some 
time he gave up the care of his office to his partner, con- 
tenting himself with giving his time occasionally to such 
cases as seemed to force themselves upon him. 

" A speech of his before the Agricultural Society, in 1823, 
and an address before the Bible Society in New York City, 
about the same time, by the complimentary notices which 
they elicited, seemed to arouse his energies, and he afterward 
devoted himself to the argument of important cases in the 
courts." His success was brilliant. In Hampshire County 
he rivaled Mr. Mills as a leader, and in a certain class of 
cases far exceeded him. He was equallj' successful in Hamp- 
den County, where he was an acknowledged leader. 

" His addresses to the jury were studied and eloquent, and, 
when the facts and law of a cause would authorize it, his in- 
fluence was omnipotent. Judge Howe, on his return from a 
term in Hampden, in narrating a speech of Mr. Bates, spoke 
of it as the most effective and eloquent to which he had ever 
listened ; and Prof. Ashmun, in speaking of another argu- 
ment, when he was upon the other side, said that he was so 
hurried along by the power of the advocate that he for the 
time forgot on which side he was engaged, and that all his 
sympathies moved on with him in opposition to the case of 
his own client. 

"He was elected, and served a number of terms in the 

f Bates' address. 



House of Kepresentatives and for a period of five years in the 
Senate, and his eloquence in each body received high com- 
mendation. Those who listened to or read the glowing tribute 
to his memory pronounced by Mr. Webster in the United 
States Senate will appreciate how feelingly the words of the 
great Senator portrayed the eloquence of one whose lips were 
to be evermore silent." 

Hon. Oliver B. Morrls. — The following notice of this 
eminent and honored citizen of Hampden County is compiled 
from an article published in the Springfield Republican of 
April 10, 1871 : 

Oliver B. Morris, who died on Sunday morning, repre- 
sented Springfield more fully, and for a longer period, than 
any man who remains among us. He was born in the village 
of South WilV^raham (now Hampden), Sept. 22, 1782, and was 
consequently in his eighty-ninth year and the oldest man in 
Springfield. His father, Edward Morris, had been a soldier 
in the Revolutionary war, serving principally in Canada, and 
his mother was the daughter of John Bliss, of Wilbraham, 
who was an oflScer in the Massachusetts militia which served 
at "White Plains, and, after the war, a county judge and repre- 
sentative at the General Court. 

Judge Morris prepared for college with Rev. Moses Warren, 
a South Wilbraham clergyman, and at the early age of fif- 
teen years entered Williams College. He graduated in 1801, 
and at the time of his death was the oldest living graduate of 
that institution. 

He came from college to Springfield, and commenced the 
study of the law with Hon. George Bliss, then a leading at- 
torney in the Connecticut Valley. Mr. Bliss resided in the 
house next below the old Universalist church on Main Street, 
and his office was in the wing of the building. Judge Morris 
boarded with Mr. Bliss during his studies, and in 1813 mar- 
ried his daughter Caroline. 

He was admitted to the Bar in 1804, and opened his first of- 
fice in a frame building on the corner of Main and State Streets, 
owned by Moses Bliss (on the site of the present Savings-Bank 
building), where he continued until he retired from practice 
in 1835. 

He was appointed register of Probate for Hampden County 
in 1813, and held the olfice until 1829, when he was appointed 
judge of the same court, and continued in that position until 
1858. From 1820 to 1832 he was county attorney. During 
the years 1809-10-11 and 1813, he represented Springfield in 
the General Court, and in 1820 was a member of the Consti- 
tutional Convention. 

For at least fifty years he bore a prominent part in all the 
public life of Springfield. He was a man of strong feelings 
and positive convictions. Politicallj', he was originally a 
Federalist, subsequently a Whig, and lastly a Republican, 
'• though he was never wholly recom/iled to the decay of the 
Whig party, to which, through all of its career, he was ar- 
dently attached, and of which he was an infiuential local 

One of his best-known efforts at the Bar was his defense of 
the son of Francis Elliot, who had killed, accidentally or 
otherwise, a boy named Buckland. His address to the jury 
was so convincing and exhaustive that a verdict of acquit- 
tal was rendered and the young man discharged from cus- 

No man in Springfield, during the last thirty years of his 
life, was so familiar as Judge Morris with its early history 
and with its prominent business-men and representative fami- 
lies. In July and August, 1847, he furnished to the Spring- 
field Gazette a series of papers covering two hundred years of 
the history of the place ; and the only regret is that he did not 
more fully put upon record his valuable recollections of the 
town and people with whom he was so familiar. 

For the last fifteen or twenty years of his life Judge Morris 
gradually withdrew from the local life of the place, but until 

within two or three years of his death he made daily, in pleas- 
ant weather, the round of his little circle, chatting at the " old 
corner store" with his friends, and "criticising with all his 
youthful positiveness the course of public affairs and public 

On the two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of 
Springfield he delivered a most thorough and able historical 
address in the presence of the dignitaries of the State and a 
great concourse of people, who gathered from far and near to 
celebrate the founding of the colony. 

He was stricken with paralysis while sitting at the table on 
Saturday, and died on Sunday morning, April 9, 1871, in the 
eighty-ninth year of his age. 

Hon. Alanson Knox. — Gen. Knox, as he was usually 
called (probably in consequence of his position in the State 
militia), was the son of Elijah Knox, who was a grandson of 
William Knox, one of the pioneers who settled in Blandford 
about 1737. The general was born in Blandford about 1785. 
He probably received a fair education, and subsequently read 
law, but with whom we are not informed. He was admitted 
to practice in 1810, and settled in his native town, where he 
practiced the greater part of his active life. He had at various 
times quite a number of students under instruction, among 
them his future son-in-law, Hon. Reuben Atwater Chapman, 
afterward Chief-Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. In 
his latter years he removed to Ohio, where he died. 

AsAHEL Wright. — Of this gentleman we have very little 
information, except that he was a graduate of Williams College 
in 1803, and settled in Chester, Hampden Co., where he married 
a daughter of Rev. Aaron Bascom, of that place. It is said in 
the history of Chester that Mr. Wright was an early settler. 
He studied law and settled in Chester, where he practiced his 
profession until his death, which took place in 1830, at the com- 
paratively early age of forty-eight years. His professional 
business, from the necessity of the case, was small, but he was 
among the prominent men of the town, and his loss was 
seriously felt. 

Hon. John Mills was born in Sandisfleld, about 1790. 
He read law in the office of John Phelps, of West Granville, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1815. He married a daughter 
of Col. Enos Foote, and probably settled in Southwick about 
the time of his admission to practice. 

His business was extensive and profitable, and he amassed 
a considerable property. Quite early in life he gave great at- 
tention to politics, and became ver^- prominent. He was 
elected to the State Senate, and in 1826-28 was president of 
that body, and had the reputation of being a most excellent 
and able officer. 

Mr. Bates relates a very good story of him during the visit 
of Lafayette to this country in 1824-25. On the occasion of 
the marquis' visit to Boston he paid his respects to the State 
Senate, and the members were personally introduced to him. 
Mr. Mills was presented in his turn as the Hon. John Mills', 
the Hampden Senator. 

" They shook hands with great cordiality, and as Lafayette 
arose from his bowing position his eye fell upon the polished 
head of the young Senator. Looking at him with an intense 
gaze, a delightful recognition stole over his joyous features, 
and, again taking the hand of Mr. Mills in both his own and 
shaking it cordially, he exclaimed, with fervid energy, ' My 
dear friend, I recollect you in the Revolution !' " 

Mr. Mills eventually removed to Springfield, where he 
erected a fine residence and gave up his profession for com- 
mercial speculations, which eventually swept away his prop- 
erty, leaving him only regret that he had abandoned an 
honorable business for alluring but uncertain speculations 
which so often end in disaster. 

Hon. Patrick Boise. — The Boise, or Boies, family is said 
to be of French extraction, and the original name Du Boyce. 
It is said that an ancestor fled from his native country to 



Scotland in the days of the great Cardinal Richelieu, and 
fn>m thence his descendants emigrated to America. 

The tirst of the name who settled in the town of Blandford 
was David, who had four sons ; but to which branch of this 
family Patrick belonged we have not been able to ascertain. 
He graduated at Williams College, and read law with his 
uncle, John Phelps, of West Granville, and was admitted to 
practice in 1815. 

He opened an office in Granville, where he succeeded to 
the legal business of Mr. Phelps, who had been elected sheritl' 
of Hampden County. Granville, in those days, was a pros- 
perous and thriving town, and his business grew to important 
proportions. He became one of the most prominent attorneys 
of the county, and attended arbitrations and references in the 
western part of the county and in Southern Berkshire. His 
competitors in that region were Sheldon, of New Marlboro' ; 
Filley, of Otis ; Twining, of Sandisfleld ; Mills, of South- 
wick ; Cooley, of Granville ; Kno.x, of Blandford ; and some- 
times the more renowned and dignified Lathrop, of West 

Mr. Bates speaks of Mr. Boise as an impulsive man, easily 
e.vcited, having great command of language, and possessing a 
wonderful power of invective whenever sharp practice in the 
opposite counsel rendered its use, in his estimation, necessary. 
He was perfectly at home in country trials and arbitrations, 
which allowed his peculiar powers a freer scope than would 
be admissible before a graver tribunal. 

At the expiration of the term of Justin Wilson as sherifi" 
of the county, in 18.53, Mr. Boise was appointed to the otBce, 
which jiosition he filled for two years with signal ability and 
discretion. He was a member of both the House of Repre- 
sentatives and the Senate in the Legislature of the State, and 
bore an unblemished reputation through all his public career. 

In 1830, when business began to withdraw from the outlying 
towns toward the commercial and manufacturing centres, he 
removed to Westfield, where he remained until his decease, in 

He had an exhaustless store of wit and could on occasion 
make use of the most brilliant repartee, and his control of the 
risibilities of an audience was most remarkable. 

William Blaik. — This gentleman was a native of Bland- 
ford and a direct descendant of David Blair, who, with his 
family of twelve children, emigrated to America and settled 
in Worcester, Mass., about the year 1720. Matthew, the 
eldest son of David, removed from thence, and was among 
the earliest settlers of Blandford. Robert, a brother of 
Matthew and father of William, also removed to Blandford 
at an early date. 

William was admitted to the Bar in 1813, and soon after 
settled in Westfield. He is spoken of as a young man of 
ability, industrious and painstaking, thorough in all his under- 
takings, and a man of great promise. But he unfortunately 
contracted a habit which insidiously destroyed his brilliant 
capabilities and clouded, in the very noon of his influence and 
promise, the usefulness which might have placed him in the 
foremost position among his compeers. He had a fine sense 
of personal honor, and was most scrupulous in the discharge 
of his duties towai'd others. At his death he was univer.sally 
pitied and respected. 

Hon. Justice Willard. — Justice Willard, of Springfield, 
was admitted to practice in 1816. 

Upon tbe appointment of Oliver B. Morris to the office of 
judge of Probate, Mr. Willard succeeded him as register 
of Probatp. He also represented his district in the State 
Senate. He was considered the ablest special pleader of his 
time, \yitb the exception, of Hon. George Bliss. Mr. Bates 
says of him: "Eloquence was not }ih forte. His manner 
was dry and hesitating, and he was too much given to refining 
and making nice distinctions to impress his views upon the 
jury. But ho had great fervor of character; and when once 

he had examined a subject, he adopted the results with his 
whole heart." 

He took an active interest in the new subject of railway in- 
tercommunication, and was so sanguine of the possibilities of 
the future that to those less demonstrative and of a soberer 
faith he sometimes appeared altogether too enthusiastic, though 
the wonderful advance in this branch of science has long since 
made his belief a reality. For instance, he once prophesied that 
during the lifetime of some in his presence a train of cars would 
make the trip from Springfield to Boston and return between 
sun and sun, — a prophecy long since fulfilled. 

Hon. Caleb Kice, born in 1792, was a graduate of Wil- 
liams College, and read law in the office of William Blair, in 
Westfield. He was admitted to the Bar in 1819, and settled 
in West Springfield. He was sherilf of Hampden county 
from 1831 to 1850, and, soon after his appointment, removed 
to Springfield. He also represented his town and county in 
both branches of the Legislature, and was mayor of Spring- 
field. To whatever office he was elevated, he brought distin- 
guished ability and received the approbation of his constitu- 

Mr. Bates saysof him that " he was a good lawyer, prudent, 
careful, and sagacious." His death occurred in 1873, at the 
age of eighty-one. 

Charles F. Bates was a native of Granville, and gradu- 
ated at Williams College in 1812. He read law with his 
brother, Elijah Bates, of W^estfleld, and was admitted to 
practice in 1815. Looking around for a favorable location, 
he finally settled himself at Southampton, it being the only 
considerable village in the region not represented by a member 
of the legal profession. But a few years satisfied him that its 
quiet people were not calculated to furnish an attorney with 
profitable legal employment, and he threw up the business and 
returned to his paternal acres. But his parents were dead and 
all the members of his father's family had removed from the 
neighborhood, and even his own children eventually found 
new homes in the flourishing State of Ohio; and thither he 
followed them, and died among his kindred. 

Asa Olmste.^d was a native of Brimflekl, and studied law 
in the office of Hon. George Bliss, in Springfield. He was 
admitted to practice in 1819, but did not long continue, hav- 
ing removed at an early date to Clinton, N. Y., where he died 
in 1874.* 

Eli B. Hamilton was a native of Blandford, whi're he read 
law with General Knox. He was admitted to the Bar in 1815, 
and settled in Westfield. 

Mr. Bates says of him : " Nothing was wanting to his suc- 
cess but continued and faithful application. But this was a 
quality which he had not, and, in the constitution of his na- 
ture, he could never have : the very intensity of his tempera- 
ment forbade it. In size and figure he was the very embodi- 
ment of strength and manly grace. He was over six feet in 
height, erect and well proportioned, and, with no marks of 
obesity, his weight was two hundred and sixty-four pounds. 

" Mr. Hamilton was an ardent lover of natural scenery. 
He loved to wander over the country, and particularly into 
its wildest scenes. With his dog and gun or fishing-tackle, 
he roamed over the mountains and through the valleys, ford- 
ing brooks and rivers, and never changed his wet clothing 
when he returned, because, as he said, it exposed him to a cold. 
He was born with a constitution for the years of Methu.saleh, 
and with a strength and activity that I never saw equaled ; 
but exposure and irregularity told their tale, and the strong 
man yielded himself in the very pride of his years." 

Hon. James Cooley was a native of East Granville, a 
graduate of Williams College, and a brother of Rev. Dr. 
Timothy M. Cooley. He was admitted to the Bar in 1814, 
after having read law in the office of John Phelps, in West 

* See history of Wilbraham. 



Granville. After his admission he opened an office in his na- 
tive town. He was a member of the State Senate, and was a 
useful citizen. 

Hon. Gkokge Bliss, Jr., was the son of George Bliss, Sr., 
already mentioned in these pages. He read law in his father's 
office and was entered at Yale College, where he graduated in 
1812 with the reputation of a scholar well educated and tittcd 
for the profession of the law. He was admitted in 1816, and 
at first settled at Monson, but soon removed to Springfield, 
where he formed a partnership with his father-in-law, Jona- 
than Dwight, Jr. Mr. Bliss attended to most of the court 
business and was the active member of the firm. He ac- 
quired a fine reputation as a tliorough, able, and careful 

He served in both branches of the Legislature, and was 
speaker of the House and president of the Senate. He was for 
several years connected with the Western Eailroad, and also 
with railroads in the West. He died in 1873, leaving an un- 
tarnished reputation and respected and mourned by all who 
knew him. 

Norman T. Leonard was admitted to practice in Berkshire 
County in 1824, and as an attorney of the Supreme Court in 
1827. He was for some years a resident of Feeding Hills, 
West Springfield, now in Agawani. He finally removed to 
Westfield in 1830. He was town-clerk from 1836 to 1842, and 
also represented Westfield in the General Court. 

AuGtrsTUS Collins, a native of Connecticut, was admitted 
to practice in Berkshire County, and afterward settled in 
Westfield, where he died at the age of sixty-two years. He 
was an indefatigable student and an e.\cellent ofiice lawyer. 
He served as the principal civil magistrate, and was remark- 
able for his untiring industry and the e.\treme care with which 
all his business was conducted. 

Solomon Lathkop. — Of this gentleman we have very little 
information, except that he was admitted in 1816 and resided 
in West Springfield. Mr. Bates says his business was never 
extensive, and thinks he emigrated to the West. 

Samuel Johnson. — Mr. Johnson appears to have been ad- 
mitted to practice in the old county of Hampshire before its 
subdivision in 1811-12. In early years he practiced in Ches- 
ter village, now in the town of Huntington, Hampshire Co. 

He is described as being a large and fine-looking man, of 
dignified carriage and formal and stately address, but exceed- 
ingly eccentric in all his ways. His business was not exten- 
sive, and he devoted much of his time to the study of history 
and the knowledge to be obtained from the town-libraries. 
"He was a standing Fourth-of-July and eighth-of-January 
orator," and was always ready for great or small occasions, as 
the case might be. 

He married an estimable woman somewhat late in life and 
removed to the West, where he is said to have established a 
reputation as an able advocate. 

William Kniqiit. — For notice of this gentleman, see his- 
tory of the town of Wilbraham, in this work. 

Alfred Stearns was a native of Hardwick, Worcester 
County. He was connected with the Westfield Academy for 
several years as usher, and finalU' as preceptor. He read law 
with Elijah Bates, of Westfield, and was admitted to practice 
in 1820. He was for a few years a partner of Mr. Bates. He 
afterward removed to Illinois, where he died. 

John Hooker, Jr., was the son of Hon. John Hooker, the 
second judge of Probate for Hampden County.* He was ad- 
mitted in 1813, but seems to have never opened an office and 
seldom appeared in court, being mostly engaged in business 
outside of, and foreign to, his profession. 

JosiAH Hooker was a younger brother of the last-named, 
and was admitted in 1829. He is remembered as an excellent 

* Mr, Bates in his adtlress states that Mr. Hoolcer wajs the/rs( judge of Prn 
hato, but the records give tlie uamc of Saml. Fowler, of Westfield. 

Uiw-yer and valuable citizen, fair and impartial in all his deal- 
ings, and so thorough and efficient as to be frequently called 
upon to act as arbitrator, referee, and auditor, in which po- 
sitions he always sustained the highest reputation. 

Erasmus was a native of Monson, and was ad- 
mitted to practice in 1823. He opened an office in his native 
town, and practiced for a brief period. His business was not 
extensive, and he was never a prominent member of the pro- 

John B. Cooley was admitted to the Bar in 1818, f and 
settled in Brimfield. He removed to the State of New York 
in 1831, but, according to Mr. Bates' statement, has returned 
to Massachusetts within a few years. He is described as an 
able man, full of wit and humor, but not altogether given to 
laborious study or steady practice. 

Richard D. Morris, a brother of Hon. O. B. Morris, was 
born in Springfield, Mass., in August, 1797. He was admit- 
ted to the Bar in 1822, and was for a time a law-partner with 
his brother. 

Upon the organization of the Western Railway Company 
he was employed to settle the damages consequent upon ob- 
taining the right of way and in attending to other necessary 
business for the corporation. Upon accepting his position he 
gave up his regular professional business, and devoted himself 
exclusively to the interests of the railway company. He was 
also a representative in the General Court from his native 
town. He died in 1870, at the age of seventy-three years. 

William Bliss was admitted to the Bar in 1822, and began 
practice in the then village of Springfield, where he formed a 
partnership with Mr. Justice Willard. His health failing, Mr. 
Bliss was compelled to abandon practice, and accepted the 
office of county commissioner, in the hope that out-door ex- 
ercise and a purer air would restore his wasted energies ; but 
in vain. His death soon followed, and the community lost a 
valuable citizen and a man of much in his profession. 

Hon. William B. Calhoun. — This gentleman was prob- 
ably a student of Hon. George Bliss, Sr., and was admitted 
in 1821. Having a strong taste for political life, he did not 
continue practice very long. He was quite successful in the 
political arena, and represented his district in both branches 
of the Legislature. In 1828 he was chosen to the responsible 
office of speaker of the House, which position he filled until 
1835, and in 1846-47 he was president of the Senate. He was 
also for many years a Representative in Congress from the 
Springfield district. The latter years of his life were quietly 
passed upon his farm. 

James Stebbins was born in Springfield ; studied law and 
practiced in Palmer for manv years. In his old age he re- 
moved to his native town, where he remained until his 

James W. Crooks was a native of Westfield, and a gradu- 
ate of Yale College in 1818. He taught in the Westfield 
Academy for several years, and also in Springfield. He sub- 
sequently read law in the office of Hon. George Bliss, and 
was admitted to practice in 1824. He opened an office on the 
"Hill," in Springfield, and for some years had a large and 
lucrative business. His death occurred in 18C7. 

Francis B. Stebbins was born in Granville. He studied 
law and was admitted to the Bar in 1820, after which he set- 
tled in Brimfield, where he opened an office and became a 
skillful and quite prominent member of the profession. 

He eventually removed to the State of New York, where 
he engaged in commercial business, giving up the practice of 
law. His wife was the sister of Hon. Thomas H. Bond, of 
New Haven, Conn. His death took place some j^ears ago. 

Matthew Ives, Jr., studied law with William Blair, of 
Westfield, and was admitted as an attorney of the Common 
Pleas Court in 1827, but never engaged in practice. He was 

t Mr. Bates says in 1822. 



a member of both branches of the State Legislature, and also 
held the office of postmaster under President Jackson. 

Francis Dwight was a student at the law-school of Judge 
Howe, at Northampton, and was admitted to the Bar in 1830. 
He soon after removed to the State of New York, where he 
engaged in the cause of education, and died, after a short but 
useful life, in the flower of his days. 

Joseph D. Huntington. — Mr. Huntington studied law 
with Augustus Collins, of Westfield, and was admitted in 
1831, but never practiced in Hampden County. He removed 
to Lancaster, Mass., where he died. 

George B. Morris, son of Hon. 0. B. Morris, and brother 
of Judge Henry Morris, was born in Springtield, Nov. 12, 1818. 
He graduated at Amherst College in 1837, and read law in 
the oifice of his brother. On the resignation of Richard Bliss 
as clerk of the courts in 1852, he was appointed to the posi- 
tion, and continued to fulfill its duties in a most faithful and 
thorough manner until the time of his death, July 7, 1872. 

He was universally respected by the members of the Bar, 
who were greatly attached to him for his gentlemanly man- 
ners and social habits. His long term (over twenty years) in 
the clerk's office leaves honorable testimony to his popularity 
as a citizen and public officer. 

Henry Vose was admitted in 1841, and practiced for a few 
years in Springfield. When the Superior Court was substi- 
tuted for the old Court of Common Pleas, he was appointed 
one of the justices; which office he held until his death, in 1809. 

Mr. was a native of Norfolk Co., Mass., and graduated 
at Harvard, in 1839.* 

Erasmus U. Beach was a native of Sandisfield and a 
nephew of Hon. John Mills, of Southwick, and a student in 
his office. He was admitted to practice in 1833, and located in 
Springfield, where he had a very extensive business. He had 
at various times as partners James W. Crooks, William G. 
Bates, Edward B. Gillett, and Ephraim W. Bond. He was 
a courteous gentleman, and always exercised a strong influence 
over a jury. 

Lorenzo Norton was a student in the office of Messrs. 
Chapman & Ashmun, and was admitted to practice in 1843. 
He subsequently formed a partnership with the above flrm, 
which continued until his death, about 1850. Mr. Bates speaks 
of him as a " diligent and faithful lawyer." 

Hon. Edward Dickinson was born in the year 1803, and 
graduated at Yale College in 1823, in the "class with Hon. 
George Ashmun, with whom he was a room-mate and a life- 
long friend." He was a diligent and untiring student, of 
excellent habits, and at college took a high rank among his 

He early exhibited those distinguishing traits which marked 
his subsequent career. He formed his opinions upon careful 
examination, and was ever after decided in expressing them. 
His independence of character, while it possibly stood in the 
way of his advancement, detracted nothing from the high es- 
timation in which he was held by the people. In his later 
years he was elected to the House of Representatives, where 
he died suddenly, on the same day in which he had been en- 
gaged upon an important question then before the House. 

Amos W. Stockwell was a graduate of Amherst College 
in 1833. He read law at the school of the Harvard University, 
and was also a student in the office of Hon. Isaac Davis, in the 
city of Worcester, and was for a short time a partner with him. 
Subsequently he removed to Chicopee, and became a promi- 
nent practitioner at the Hampden Bar. 

His health at length became too delicate to withstand the 
labors of his profession, and he finally died in 1853, regretted 
and respected both as a member of the legal profession and as 
a useful citizen. 

Hon. Reuben Atwater Chapman. — This distinguished 

* See Bar of Franklin County. 

citizen was born in Russell, Hampden Co., Sept. 20, 1801. 
His parents being in ordinary circumstances, his means of ed- 
ucation were limited to the facilities aft'orded bj' the common 
district school, which was open only a few months during the 
year. His home was in a sequestered portion of the country, 
and he labored, when not at school, upon the farm of his father. 

Books were exceedingly scarce, but young Chapman made 
such good use of his opportunities that when he became of 
proper age his services were in demand as a teacher, and at the 
early age of seventeen years he taught a district school in the 
neighboring town of Montgomery. 'Soon after, he was em- 
ployed as a clerk in a store at Blandford. It was during his 
stay at this place that he first distinguished himself as a de- 
bater in a lyceum, or debating-school, which the j'ouug men of 
the place had established. 

He subsequently entered the office of Gen. Alan.son Knox, 
of Blandford, as a law-student. During his course of study 
he was accustomed to attend justices' trials in the neighbor- 
hood as a practitioner, and even before his admission to the 
Bar had some considerable reputation. 

He was admitted in 1825 at the Court of Common Pleas, 
and immediately opened an office in Westfield ; but owing to 
the fact that there were already more attorneys in the place 
than were needed, his success was not flattering. In 1827 he 
removed to Monson, and again, in 1829, changed his residence 
to the more thriving town of Ware. There he was regarded 
as an intruder, and rivalry soon ripened into, 
during which he won an enviable reputation and distanced 
his competitors. 

In 1830, when his reputation was well established, he was 
oftered a partnership by Hon. George Ashmun, of Springfield, 
which he accepted, and removed thither the same year, when 
the firm of Chapman & Ashmun was formed. Subsequently, 
Mr. Lorenzo Norton was admitted, and continued a member 
of the firm until his death. In 1850 the firm was dissolved, 
and Mr. Chapman continued the business for some time alone. 
In 1854, Mr. Franklin Chamberlain became his partner, and 
this relation continued until Mr. Chapman was appointed a 
justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, in 18tj0, when he re- 
moved to Hartford, Conn. Upon the retirement of Chief- 
Justice Bigelow, in February, 1868, Mr. Chapman was ap- 
pointed to succeed him, and held the position till his death, 
June 28, 1873. 

Chief-Justice Chapman ranked high even among the dis- 
tinguished men who preceded him upon the Bench, among 
whom were Shaw, Parsons, and Parker, — men whose charac- 
ters and abilities are recognized wherever the English tongue 
is understood. He rose by his own exertions from an obscure 
origin, and, through difficulties wellnigh insurmountable, to 
one of the most responsible and honorable positions in the 
commonwealth. It is related of him that in the intervals of 
his daily routine of duties after he commenced practice, he 
acquired a thorough knowledge of the Latin language and 
was a constant reader of the classics. He also successfully 
cultivated a knowledge of the French and German languages. 
He gave considerable attention to the natural sciences and 
entered into many discussions, in which he bore himself with 
credit and ability. He was an able and impartial administra- 
tive officer, and possessed the faculty of expediting business in 
a remarkable degree. 

Hon. George Ashmun. — This distinguished citizen was 
the son of Hon. Eli P. Ashmun and a brother of the late 
Prof John Hooker Ashmun, of Northampton. He graduated 
from Yale College in 1823, and was a student in the office of 
his brotlier at Northampton, where he was admitted to the 
Bar of Hampshire County in 1830 as counselor. He first 
opened an office at Enfield, Hampshire Co., but after a few 
years removed to Springfield and entered into a law-partner- 
ship with Reuben A. Chapman, which continued for many 



Mr. Ashmun filled many important positions in the gift of 
the people. He was a member of the State Legislature and 
speaker of. the House of Kepresentatives, and bore a distin- 
guished part in its deliberations. He also represented his dis- 
trict in Congress. He was well known as a leader of th"e Bar, 
but his official positions interfered .somewhat with the practice 
of his profession, though he continued it during the intervals 
in his public life, and always commanded the respect and con- 
fidence of his brethren of the Bar, as well as of the community 
generally. He died in Springfield in 1870. 

An.sel Phelps, Jr., was born in Greenfield, Franklin Co., 
in 1815, and was a student in the office of Wells, Alvord & 
Davis at Greenfield, where he was admitted to the Bar in 

He at first settled in Ware, Hampshire Co., where he con- 
tinued practice until 1846, when he removed to Springfield 
and accepted the position of attorney and legal adviser of the 
Western Eailroad Company. In that capacity he attended 
to its business in the courts, and also before the Legislature. 
He was a member of both branches of the Legislature, and was 
always distinguished for his activity, intelligence, and ener- 
getic business-habits. He also filled the office of mayor of the 
city of Springfield from 18-56 to 18.59, in which capacity he 
fulfilled the highest expectations of his constituents. His 
death took place in 1800, at the age of forty-five. 

Hon. John Wklls. — This prominent advocate and jurist 
■was born in Eowe, Franklin Co. 

He was a graduate of W^illiams College, and attended the 
law-school of Harvard University, where he laid the founda- 
tion for his future eminence imder the tutelage of Story and 
Greenleaf. It is believed that he never practiced as a local 
attorney in his native county, but opened an office first in 
Chicopee, Hampden Co., where he practiced for some years. 

During his residence at that place he held the position of 
judge of the Court of Probate and Insolvency from 1858 to 
1863. He was also a member of the General Court. From 
Chicopee he removed to the sister-village of Chicopee Falls, 
where he continued until his appointment to the Bench of the 
Supreme Judicial Court in 1866, when he removed to Norfolk 
County. He presided in the county of Suffolk, and finally 
died at Salem, in Essex County, Nov. 23, 1875. 

At a meeting of the members of the Bar of the common- 
wealth, held at Boston, Dec. 4, 1875, the attorney-general 
made a very appropriate and feeling address, from which we 
take the following extracts : 

" I first knew him thirty-four years ago, in the law-school 
of the university, where, under the guidance of Story and 
Greenleaf, he laid the foundation of the superstructure which 
he subsequently reared. From that time to his death I was 
honored by his friendship, and have watched his progress 
from young manhood to middle age, and the only change 
noticed in him, as he advanced through the years, was a con- 
tinued ripening day by day. He was the same John Wells 
all through those j-ears, — thoughtful, conscientious, patient of 
labor, making all that could be made out of his opportunities, 
apparently ambitious only to discharge faithfully his duty in 
that station of life to which God had called him, and thus 
procure the approval of his own conscience, which he never 
intrusted to the keeping of others. Neither then nor since 
am I aware of his ever saying or doing a brilliant thing, and 
never, to my knowledge, was he guilty of a act or 
silly utterance ; but he moved right on with that steady, 
self-poised, and well-determined action which attracts no at- 
tention until its results are accomplished. 

" As a lawyer in the country village which he had selected 
for his home, you find him no noisy or cunning pettifogger 
seeking to profit in pocket or reputation by the disputes of'the 
people ; no stirrer-up of strife, but one who remembered that 
the peacemakers are blessed. 

" You find him the diligent student, the safe adviser, the 

kind neighbor, the efficient member of the parish, the active 
and Christian citizen, rendering cheerfully to the community 
every good influence, every kind act. 

"A few years later he is in the General Court, exerting a 
commanding influence as a sound, safe, and discreet legis- 

"As judge of the Probate Court, — that most difficult office to 
fill, where the incumbent must be judge, counsel, and sympa- 
thizing friend at one and the same time, — as well as by his 
well-earned reputation as a lawyer, he demonstrated his men- 
tal, professional, and moral fitness for the duties and respon- 
sibilities of a judge of this the highest judicial tribunal of the 
State, to which he was appointed, I believe, upon the unani- 
mous recommendation of the Bar of W^estern Massachusetts. 
The wisdom of the recommendation, upon his appointment to 
the Bench, was conceded at once upon acquaintance by the 
Bar of the commonwealth, and his judicial course proved that 
he had no superior where all should be equals. 

" In his court-room every one felt that he was in a place 
' appropriated to justice, to security, to restraint ; where there 
is no high nor low, no strong nor weak ; where will is nothing 
and person is nothing and members are nothing, and all are 
equal and all are secure before the law.' 

"The corner-stone upon which the reputation of Judge 
Wells rested as a man, a lawyer, and a judge was his Chris- 
tian character, vindicated by his love to God and to his neigh- 
bor, consistent always, forgetful never." 

T. Morton Dewey. — This gentlemen was born in Orford, 
N. H., March 16, 1812. He was the son of Abel Dewey, a 
farmer of the Connecticut Valley. Mr. Dewey read law with 
Hon. H. G. Parker, of Greenfield, and Burt and Lincoln, of 
Boston. He was admitted to the Supreme Judicial Court at 
Boston in October, 1855, commenced practice at Greenfield, 
Mass., in the same year, and remained until 1860, when he 
removed to the town of Montague and practiced four years. 
In 1864 he went to Westfield, where he remained until 1867, 
when he settled in Springfield, Mass., where he has since re- 
mained in the successful practice of his profession. 

He has filled various civil and secular offices, was a mem- 
ber of the superintending school committee of his native town, 
and also at Montague, has been a member of the city board 
of a.s.sessors in Springfield, and filled the office of justice of the 
peace for thirty-five consecutive j'ears. 

He is an ardent lover of music, and has taken an active part 
in the cultivation and promotion of that branch of a>sthetics 
as a teacher of vocal and instrumental music and as a mem- 
ber of the Boston Philharmonic Institute, of which organiza- 
tion he was president for a period of three years. He has also 
been a member of a church choir (a large share of the time as 
director) for a period of fifty years. 

In his younger days he was a student in the military school 
of Capt. Aldcn Partridge in Norwich, Vt., and has been 
familiar with the early navigation of the Connecticut River, 
of which he wrote up a few years ago some exceedingly read- 
able sketches, which will be found in this volume. 

He married, in 1838, Maria, daughter of Ira Kellogg, of 
Montague, Mass. His family consists of four sons. 



The first lawyer credited with being a resident of Green- 
field, and perhaps of what now constitutes the county of 
Franklin, was William Coleman, who was horn in Boston 
in 1776, studied law at Worcester with Judge Paine, and 
settled in Greenfield in some of the latter years of the last cen- 
tury. He was always spoken of as " Lawyer Coleman," and 
was a man of talents and taste, enterprising and persevering. 



and, as Willard has it in his history of Greenfield, " excelled 
in everything, even in athletic exercises ; in music, dancing, 
skating, hall-playing," and particularly in writing. He built 
what is known as the " Hollister House," importing Architect 
Shaw from Boston to draw the plans and superintend its erec- 
tion. It was built after the liberal plans of the mansions of 
that day, and was the linest dwelling for years in this part of 
the county. It is still a roomy and well-preserved building. 
It was erected previous to 1800. Mr. Willard says he did not 
complete it, however. 

He subsequently embarked in land speculation in Virginia, 
which resulted disastrously. Abovit 1800 he went to New 
York, where he became famous as a Federal politician and 
editor of the Ifcio 1'orl; Erenhig Post, the first number of which 
was issued Nov. 19, 1801, and which boasted among its con- 
tributors the gifted statesman Alexander Hamilton. It is 
stated by Mr. Willard that he was also the law-partner of 
Aaron Burr. From the founding of the Post he was principal 
editor for a period of nearly twenty years, and was connected 
with it until his death. William Cullen Bryant succeeded 
him, and was also junior editor in connection with him. 

He was appointed in New York clerk of the city court, at a 
salary of three thousand dollars. " He was also a reporter of 
decisions, and published a volume of reports which bears his 
name." He was thrown from his carriage in 1829 and severely 
injured, and died from a combination of his injuries and other 
diiHculties, at his dwelling in Hudson Street, New York, July 
13, 1829, at the age of fifty-three years. 

During his residence in Greenfield he planted a number of 
the beautiful elms which still adorn and beautify its pleasant 

Jonathan Leavitt was a son of Eev. Jonathan Lcavitt, 
of Heath, Franklin Co., Mass. He graduated at Yale College 
in 1786, studied law in New Haven, and settled in Greenfield 
about 1790. He was senator, judge of Probate from 1814 to 
1821, and also judge of the Court of Common Pleas. His wife 
was the daughter of President Stiles, of Yale College. 

The imposing mansion still standing east of the Mansion- 
House block was erected by him, probably in the early part 
of the present century. It is sometimes also known as the 
" Hovey Mansion." In this elegant and substantial dwelling 
he lived until his death, which occurred in 1830, at the age of 
sixty-six years. He had the reputation of being a close student 
and a good lawyer, and previous to his appointment to the 
Bench had a very extensive and lucrative practice. 

Kichard English Newcomb was a son of Hezekiah New- 
comb, of Bernardston. He was born in Lebanon, Conn., in 
1770, and graduated at Dartmouth College in 1793. He 
studied law with William Coleman, and was admitted to 
practice in 179G. He was a representative to the General 
Court, county attorney, and judge of Probate. " He was an 
able lawyer and a powerful advocate when in his prime, and 
had an extensive practice. He was a gentleman of the old 
school, of vigorous constitution and strong will, courageous 
and firm, but gentlemanly and courteous in all his intercourse 
with society." At the dedication of the second court-house 
in 1849 he was present, though in feeble health, and spoke at 
considerable length in a powerful and feeling manner. 

He died in 1840, aged seventy-nine years. He was stately 
and dignified in his appearance even to his last days. 

Horatio Gates Newoomb was the son of Hezekiah New- 
comb, of Bernardston, Mass., and brother of Judge Newcomb. 
He was born Sept. 27, 1785; studied law with John Barrett, 
of Northfield, and with his brother in Greenfield, and was ad- 
mitted to the Bar in 1813. His first practice, for short periods, 
was in Winchondon and Northfield, Mass. Ho settled in 
Greenfield about the year 1827 as a law-jiartner of his brother, 
and continued a succe.ssful practice until his death. The hon- 
orary degree of A.M. was conferred upon him by Williams 
College. He was a member of the Legislature, master in 

Chancery under the insolvency law of 1838, and judge of the 
Insolvency Court under the revised constitution for a short 
time before his death. 

He was twice married. His first wife was Maria Pratt, of 
Winchester, N. H., by whom he had' one daughter. He 
married for his second wife, about 1821, Elmira Wells, of 
Deerfield, Mass., by whom he had five children, — two sons and 
three daughters. Of the six children, one son is now living 
in California, one daughter in Boston, one in Chicago, and 
two in Greenfield. 

Mr. Griswold, in his address, when speaking of Mr. New- 
comb, uses the following language : " He was employed much 
in the settlement of estates and in probate business ; was a 
good lawyer and counselor, and always advised to that course 
which was for the interest of his client, not his own. He took 
a deep interest in local and public questions. He was kind and 
sympathizing, and if he was not one of the greatest, he was, 
what is of much more value, one of the best, of men." 

His death occurred in Greenfield, Sept. 18, 1857, at the age 
of seventy-two years. 

Samuel Clesson Allen, son of Joseph Allen, of Ber- 
nardston, graduated at Dartmouth in 1794, and settled in the 
ministry at Northfield, Mass., in the following year ; but the 
calling seems not to have been congenial, and we find him ad- 
mitted to practice law, after studying with John Barrett, of 
Northfield, about the year 1800. He then settled in New 
Salem, Mass., and remained until about 1822, when he re- 
moved to Greenfield, locating himself on a farm on the banks 
of the Connecticut Kiver, where "he pursued agriculture, 
practiced law, prosecuted his political and literary studies, and 
reared a family of children." 

Three of his sons were eminent lawyers, two of them mem- 
bers of Congress from Maine, and one, Elisha H. Allen, 
chancellor and chief-justice of the Sandwich Islands. 

Another son, Samuel C. Allen, was for many years repre- 
sentative from Northfield to the Legislature, — an able states- 
man, a prominent farmer, an indefatigable advocate of tem- 
perance, and subsequently postmaster at East Boston. The 
elder Allen was State senator, county attorney, and member 
of Congress for this district from 181H to 1828. 

" He was an accomplished scholar, and a statesman of high 
national reputation." 

Elijah Alvord, son of Caleb Alvord, studied law with 
Judge Newcomb, and was admitted to practice in 1802. 

His residence, excepting the years from 1805 to 1809, during 
which he was at Greenwich, was at Greenfield. The hono- 
rary degree of A.M. was conferred upon him by Dartmouth 
and Williams Colleges. He was a member of the Constitu- 
tutional Convention in 1820. He was clerk of the courts, 
register of Probate, and representative to the General Court, 
and in every position sustained the reputation of a " capable, 
courteous, and faithful public officer." 

In connection with Judges Leavitt, Newcomb, and Grin- 
iiell, he exercised a strong influence on the questions connected 
with the establishment of Franklin County, the location of 
the county-seat, and the erection of the public buildings. 

James C. Alvord was the son of Elijah Alvord, and was 
born in 1808. He graduated at Dartmouth in 1827, studied 
law with his uncle, Daniel Wells, and at the law-school at New 
Haven, Conn., and was admitted to practice in 1830. 

He was elected to both branches of the State Legislature, 
was one of the commissioners to codify the criminal laws of 
Massachusetts, and was the author of the article on homicide 
and assault, — one of the ablest included in the report of the 
commission. He was elected to Congress in 1838, but never 
took his seat, in consequence of his death, in 1839. Mr. Gris- 
wold pays him a high tribute in the following passage : 

" He gave early promise of great eminence in his ])rofession 
and in public life. What others worked long to achieve he 
seemed to grasp by intuition. Law was the idol of his love, 



the field of his greatest ambition. It was the shrine nt wliieh 
he worshiped. He loved it a.s a science, he loved it in prac- 
tice, and to it he devoted his days and niglits without cessa- 
tion. As a lawyer and advocate at the time of hi.s death, 
though but thirty-one years old, he had but few equals, and 
no superior, at this or any other Bar." 

D. W. Alvord, son of Elijah Alvurd, was born in 1,S17. 
He graduated at Union College, S<'henectady, N. Y., in 1838, 
subsequently studied law with Wells, Alvord & Davis, and 
was admitted to the Bar in 1841. 

He was a member of the State Senate, and of the Constitu- 
tional Convention of 1853, and district-attorney and collector 
of internal revenue for this district. The early training of his 
father and his experience with his uncle, Daniel Wells, his 
brother, James C. Alvord, and George T. Davis, all able law- 
yers and accomplished men, was invaluable, and he profited 
from it largely. He died in Virginia, in 1871, at the age of 
fifty-four years. 

Had he lived to the ordinary age and devoted himself ex- 
clusively to his profession, he would undoubtedly have taken 
the foremost rank. 

RoDOLPiius Dickinson was the son of Col. T. W. Dickin- 
son, of Deerfield, and graduated at Yale College in 180.'). He 
studied law with John Taylor, of Northampton, and was 
admitted to practice in 1808. He opened an office and prac- 
ticed in Springfield, Mass., until 1811, when he removed to 
the then new county of Franklin, and was the first clerk of 
its courts, from 1811 to 1819, when he changed from law to 
divinity, took orders in the Epi-scopal Church, and settled in 
South Carolina, where he was instrumental in forming the 
parishes of Greenville and Pendleton. Many of the distin- 
gui.shed men of that State were his parishioners, among tbcm 
being John C. Calhoun. He was a great student and quite a 
prolific writer, publishing several important works. He sub- 
sequently returned to Western Massachusetts, where he resided 
until his death. He took a leading part in politics with the 
Jefferson school, and once came very near being elected to 
Congress. He bore the reputation of being an accom]ilished 
scholar, statesman, and distinguished Christian gentleman. 
He died in October, 18(j2. 

Hon. George Grinnell was born in Greenfield, Dec. 25, 
178(i. He was the son of George and Lydia Grinnell, and 
received his early education in the common schools of his time 
and at the old Deerfield Academy. He entered Dartmouth 
College, and graduated at the age of twenty-two years with 
liigh honors. Soon after, he entered the law-office of Hon. 
Kichard English Newcomb, and in 1811 was admitted to the 
Bar of old Hampshire County. He commenced practice in 
the new county of Franklin, which was organized the same 
year, and opened an office in Greenfield. He held the office 
of county attorney from 1820 to 1828, and from 1824 to 1827 
was a member of the State Senate. In 1828 he was elected 
Representative to Congress from his district, his term of ser- 
vice commencing on the same day with the administration of 
Andrew Jackson, March 4, 1829. He was successively re- 
elected to the same position in 18.30, 1832, 1834, and 1836. 
During this service of ten years in Congress he was the col- 
league of Isaac C. Bates, John Davis, Edward Everett, Rufns 
Choate, George N. Briggs, and John Quincy Adams, "all of 
whom honored him with their friendship and confidence." 
He declined a re-election, and in 1839 returned to the practice 
of his profession as a member of the well-known and emi- 
nent law-firm of Grinnell & Aiken (George Grinnell and 
David Aiken). 

In 1840, Mr. Grinnell was chosen as one of the Presidential 
electors. In 1841 he was appointed register of Probate for 
Franklin County, which position he filled until 1849, when 
he was appointed judge of Probate, to fill the vacancy occa- 
sioned by the death of Hon. R. E. Newcomb. This office he 
resigned in 1853, and was appointed clerk of the courts of the 

county, which office he filled, by appointment and election, 
until 1866, when, at the age of eighty years, he withdrew 
from the active duties and cares of |)ublic life. 

Mr. Grinnell took an active and influential part in all the 
enterprises tending to promote the interests of his town and 
county. He was one of the corporators and first president of 
the Troy and Greenfield Railroad Company. In connection 
with Hon. Whiting Griswold and others, he gave all his influ- 
ence to the constructing of that line of road and the great 
tunnel under the Hoosac Mountain, and in August, 1877, had 
the satisfaction of passing over the road and tlu-ough the 

He took a deep interest in the cause of education, and in 
1838 was chosen by the Legislature a trustee of Amherst Col- 
lege, on behalf of the State, in which capacity he served 
faithfully and efficiently for twenty-one years, when, his other 
duties rendering it impossible for him to attend the annual 
commencement exercises, he resigned the position. 

In 1854 the lionorary title of LL.D. was conferred upon 
him b\- that college. 

He was a worthy member of the Masonic order, uniting 
with it in 1813, and in 1815 was elected master of Repub- 
lican Lodge, in Greenfield. At the time of his death he was 
(with one exception) the oldest member in this vicinity. 

In 1817, Mr. Grinnell united with the Second Congrega- 
tional Church of Greenfield, and continued to the day of his 
death a consistent and active member. Commencing with the 
year 1821, he served in the capacity of deacon for fifty years. 
Judge Grinnell was twice married. In August, 1814, he 
married Helen Adele Blake, daughter of Hon. George Blake, 
of Boston. She died in 1818. In 1820 he married Eliza 
Sej'mour Perkins, daughter of Rev. Nathan Perkins, of East 
Amherst. The children by this union were James S. G