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Compliments of 
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INT E ^V\r T O N" , 




1630 — 1880. 

S. F. SMITH, D. D. 


18 8 0. 


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1880 by 
/ In ih^o^jge of the LiBrS?'h!]|i of Congress at Washington. 

J. E. Faewell & Co., Printers, 
45 Pearl Street, Boston. 


This History had its origin iu an article in the Warrant for the 
Town Meeting of March G, 1865, which reads as follows: "To 
see if the Town will take action relative to the collection and pub- 
lication of its history from 1800 to the present tune." 

At that meeting, the subject was referred to a Committee of 
Three, to report at a subsequent meeting. 

The Committee chosen were Messrs. George C. Rand, Seth 
Davis and J. N. Bacon. The Moderator, Hon. J. F. C. Hyde, 
and Mr. Isaac Ilagar were afterwards added. 

At the Town Meeting Novembei--7, 1865, the Committee pre- 
sented the following Eeport : 

"Newton, November 4, 1865. — To the citizens of the Toion of 
Newton, — The Committee appointed to consider the subject of the 
History of the Town of Newton have attended to that duty, and 
beg leave to report : That, in theu* opinion, it is expedient for the 
town to take immediate measures to procure to be written a History 
of the town, from 1800 down to the present time. More especiall}' 
should this be done now, because now it is possible to give cor- 
rectly the portion which shall record the action of the town in 
respect to the war just closed. It is due to those sons of our town 
who have perilled their lives in support of our national integrity', 
that a lasting record of their lives of heroism and deeds of brav- 
ery should be made, while all the facts ma}' be so trul}' gathered. 
Private munificence has built them a Monument of granite. Let 
pubUc generosit}' enroll them upon the printed page, in words 
equally enduring. 

" Your Committee therefore ask the adoption of the following 
Resolution : 


" Resolved, That a Committee of Five be appointed, with full 
powers, to arrange for the writing of a History of the Town of 
Newton, and that the sum of five hundred dollars be appropriated 
by the town, and be paid by the Treasurer, whenever it may be 
required by said Committee, towards the expenditures hereby ren- 
dered necessary. 

" All which is respectfully submitted by the Committee. 

" George C. Rand, Chairman." 

" Voted to accept the Report, and to adopt the Resolution. 

" George C. Rand, Seth Davis, J. N. Bacon, Isaac Hagar, Otis 
Pettee and J. F. C. Hyde were chosen said Committee on the 
History of Newton." 

The following was the later Committee, appointed by the city : 
Aldermen J. Wesley Kimball, William P. Ellison ; Councilmen 
Nathan Mosman, William C. Strong, Edward W. Cate ; Ex-Maj'or 
James F. C. Hyde ; Ex- Alderman George D. Eldridge. 

The late Mr. Rand was deeply interested in the project ; he 
read portions of the manuscript, and, by his judicious suggestions 
in respect to its form and method, contributed his part towards 
making the book what it is. Other members of the Committee 
have been frequently consulted in the preparation of the volume, 
and have manifested throughout an intelligent and enlightened in- 
terest in its progress and success. Especial credit is due Alder- 
man Kimball for the zeal he has shown, as Chairman of the City 
Committee, in bringing about the publication of the book, so long 
deferred, and to Mr. Hj^de for his careful examination and revision 
as the work was going through the press. 

It has not been deemed necessary to reproduce the genealogical 
tables of Mr. Francis Jackson's work, inasmuch as most of the older 
families of the town are, doubtless, in possession of that volume, 
and more recent comers would feel little intei'est in them. The 
materials from which this work has been drawn are multiform. 
The author's long residence in the town, and familiar acquaintance 
with many of the actors in the earh' or intermediate history, or their 
immediate descendants, has supplied him with many items of 


information, which have never before found theu' way into print. 
The manuscripts of Hon. William Jackson and Mr. Andrew 
Ward, the Genealogical Tables of various families, a multitude of 
town and family histories, out of which valuable facts have been 
gleaned, the Massachusetts Historical Collections and the volumes 
Df the New England Historical and Genealogical Society, cata- 
logues, statistics, the newspapers of various towns and periods, 
especially the Newton Journal, the contributions to the history of 
the town in Mr. Francis Jackson's manual, the State archives, the 
Records and Reports of the town, the Records of the churches and 
of associations, and correspondence with numerous individuals, now 
or formerly residents of Newton, personal visits to every locality 
in the town, and a personal knowledge of many of the events and 
movements recorded, together with an acquaintance with the prin- 
cipal actors of later times for successive 3'ears, and a personal par- 
ticipation in some of the scenes, — these have furnished a mass of 
interesting matter, out of which it has been m}' aim, after diligent 
examination and inquiry, to select that which seemed most fitting, 
and to gather and preserve all that is reliable and valuable. 

A larger number of biographical sketches would have been in- 
serted, if the size of the volume had not been limited. It Avill be 
noticed that tliose which have found place are, for obvious reasons, 
chiefl}'^ confined to the departed, and so selected as to represent 
the various portions of the town and various periods. 

The labor and difficulties incident to such an undertaking are 
not easily estimated, except by those who have had experience of 
them. The materials of the work lie widel}* scattered, both in 
space and time. Matters of historic importance often demand in- 
vestigations which consume many days, and the results of such 
investigations, however protracted and diflScult, ma^' be expressed 
in a few lines. Differing accounts of an unportant transaction 
sometimes require the weighing of conflicting testimony, and the 
searching out of additional testimony, in order to ascertain the 
truth ; and, in such cases, the historian, though using the utmost 


care, may occasionally err. Facts and circumstances important 
for him to know, though diligently sought, are sometimes sought 
in vain. Add to this, in judging of the completed work, persons 
who know well the affairs of their own little circle, or of their own 
immediate families, or matters in which the}' or their immediate 
ancestors have been actors, failing to find satisfaction on some 
point which they have, perhaps, unduly magnified, are apt to turn 
away, unjusth', as it would S3em, disappointed. But it should be 
considered that the historian has to deal with the general features 
of public affairs, and not, mainly, witli that which specifically in- 
terests individuals or lesser portions of the communitj" ; that his 
facts are to be presented in their proper relations, and, in view of 
their comparative importance, in due proportions. To weigh, to 
judge and to determine, in every instance, with even-handed justice 
and without mistake, is a work of no small difficulty. To err in 
such an enterprise is no more than human. The tranquil flow of 
busy life may seem to throw a given space, geographicalh', into a 
position of inferior brilliancy, as compared witn another, while its 
part in the entire landscape is equally honorable. The same princi- 
ple holds true in the narration of facts or events. The late Mr. 
Rand, with his habit of clear and orderly thought, laid much 
stress on a threefold division of the history of Newton, viz., its 
earlv histor}', its action in connection with the Revolution, and in 
connection with the war of the Rebellion. 

The author is well aware that all human works are imperfect, 
and has no doubt that errors may have occurred in this work, grow- 
ing out of the defectiveness of information, and uncertainty and 
unreliableness of testimon}'. It is possible, also, that the volume 
may lie open to criticism in regard to the proportion given to the 
various matters introduced. But where the truth of history is 
concerned, and the demands of readers of differing tastes consid- 
ered, it is hoped that all may find something to praise, if, also, 
something to condemn. 


Preface. « . . . . . • . . . . iii 


General Views.— Geological Features of Newton.—Bridges.— Villages.— Ponds and 
Brooks.— " County Rock."— Health Statistics.— Scenery 13 

Early Boston.— The Fortification of Cambridge.— Origin of the House of Representa- 
tives.— The Acquisition of the Territory of Kcwton.— First Settlement.— Mr. 
Hooker's Company.— Accessions of Lands.— Boundary Lines. ... 21 

First Settlers.— Settlers up to 1700.— Statistics in 1645.— Movements for an indepen- 
dent town 39 

Extracts from Records of Cambridge.— Extracts from Colony Records.— Extracts 
from Records of New Cambridge.— Extracts from later Records of Newton. 44 


Looking towards Separation from Cambridge.— Petition for Freedom from churcli 
rates.— Petition to ^he General Court to be set off from Cambridge.— Protest 
of the Town 57 


First Selectmen chosen.— Date of the Incorporation of Newton.— Agreement between 
the Selectmen of Cambridge and Cambridge Village.— Order of the General Court. 
—Old and New Style.— The Name of Newton.— Dimensions and Contents of the 
Town.— Population.— Freeman's Oath 72 


Grants of Land.— Watertown's Grant to Newton.— Brookline owned by Boston.— 
Boston's Grant to Newton.— Boundary between Boston and Cambridge.— Between 
Cambridge and New Cambridge.— Distribution of Lands 61 


TheFirst Settlers. -Biographical Notices of First Settlers 85 

Special Grants of Land by the General Court.— Conveyances of Estates.— From 
Proprietors' Records.— From Records of Suffolk County.— From Records of 
Middlesex County 104 


How the early Town of Newton was divided among its inhabitants. . . 115 


Boundaries of Estates 130 

Roads and Streets of Newton.— From 'WatertGwii to Roxbury.— Roads to the Meeting- 
house.— To Roxbury.— From Watcrtown to Dcdham.— From Brookline to the 
Lower Falls.— Road through the Fuller Farm ICO 


The Nonantum Indians.— Xonantum Hill.— The First Meeting. — Settlement at No- 
nantum.— Act of tlie British Parliament.— Settlement at Natick . . 170 


lTewton..and tho Indian Wars 187 

The First Church in Newton— List of Members — Death of Mr. Eliot.— Divisions.— 
Settlement of Mr. Hobart.— Indian War.— Mr. Hobart's Death.— Biography. 193 

English Oppression.— Sir Edmund Andros.— Events in Newton.— First Meeting- 
house.— Seating the Worshippers.— Second Meeting-house.— Noon Houses.— Tho 
Stocks 204 

New Difficulties.— Candidates.— Rev. John Cotton chosen Pastor.— Death of Mr. 
Cotton.— Whitefleld's Visits to Newton. —The New Lights 213 

Location of the Meeting-house.— The Third Jleeting-house.— Town Records. . 220 

Rev. Jonas Meriam, fourth Pastor.— Biographical Sketch.— The Slave.— New Church 
List.— Second Parish.— Pulpit Supplies 226 


Education in Newton before 1800.— Grammar School in Cambridge.— Early movements 

in Newton.— First Schoolmaster Dissensions— First School Committee.— 

Grammar School 235 

West Newton.— The Second Parish formed.— Ordination of Rev. Mr. Greenough.— 
Opposition.— Biography of Mr. Greeuough.— The Meeting-house described.— 
Curious Document 250 


Newton Upper Falls. — Early Settlement.— The Indian Deed.— Depositions of Early 
Residents.— Transfers of Property.— Kinds of Business.— Changes.— Newton 
Lower Falls . 259 

The Newton Cemeteries.— The Old Cemetery.— Memorial Pillar.— Interesting Monu- 
ments.— West Parish Burying Ground.— South Burial Ground.— Lower Falls Ceme^ 
tery. — ^Deaths in Newton.— Deaths in the West Parish 273 


The First Baptist Church.— Early Baptists in Newton.— The New Lights Church 

formed.— The Meeting-house.— Rev. Caleb Blood, first Pastor.— Rev. Joseph 
Grafton.— Enlargement of the Meeting-house.— Pew Lots.— The Interior. — 
Ministerial Taxes 287 


Freeholders in 1679 and 1798 309 

Newton in the Revolution.— Military Spirit— The French War.— The Stamp Act. — 
Taxation.— Statue of Greorgo III.— Navigation Act.— Instructions to the Repre- 
sentative.- Letter to the Selectmen of Boston. 316 



Newton in the Revolution.— Further Measures.— The Boston Tea Party.— The Recon- 
struction Acts.— Gift of Mr. Pigeon.— Military DrUl.— East and West Companies.— 
Alarm List.— Minute-men 327 


Newton in the Revolution.— Michael Jackson's Bravery.— Soldiers for eight months.— 
Bunker Hill.— Troops in Cambridge.— Capt. Gardner.— Soldiers at Dorchester 
Heights.— Suspected Persons.— Loans.— Providential Event. . . . 339 


Newton in the Revolution.— The Die cast.— Bounties.— The Declaration of Indepen- 
dence.— Soldiers' Pay.— Spirit of the People.— Loans 354 


Newton in the Revolution.— Instructions to the Representative.— Constitution of 
Massachusetts.- Finances.- The Revolution ended.— The Parole of Comwallis.— 
Men who served in the "War.— Newton Members of the Cincinnati. . . 367 


Newton and the Shays' Rebellion.— Instructions to the Representative.— Excessive 
Litigation.— The Courts Threatened.- Circular Letter.— Reply of Newton.— 
Loyalty to the United States.— First Elections in Newton 386 


The "War of 1812.— State of the Country.— Newton's Remonstrance.- President Jeffer- 
son's Reply to the Protest of Cambridge.— War Declared.— Gen. Hull's Surrender.— 
Naval Battles.— Rev. Mr. Grafton's Prayer.— Town Action 397 


The First Parish.— Rev. Jonathan Homer.— Meeting-house, 1805.— Biography of Dr. 
Homer.— Church Bell.— Letters of Dr. and Mrs. Homer.— Rev. James Bates.— Rev. 
"William Bushnell.— Rev. Daniel L. Furber.- Twenty-fifth Anniversary.— Thir- 
tieth Anniversary.— Sabbath School.— Statistics 408 


Education in Newton after 1800.— School Wards.— Schools at the Upper Falls.— School 
Regulations.- Appropriations.- High Schools.— New School-houses.— High School 
at Newtonville.— Graduates.- Art Museum.— School-house Property. . . 430 


"West Newton.— New Meeting-house.— Rev. Mr. Gilbert.— Rev. Mr. Drummond.— Rev. 
George B. Little.— Rev. H. J. Patrick. — Sabbath School.— Statistics.— Baptist 
Church Unitarian Church.— Myrtle Baptist Church 450 


Newton Upper Falls.— Factories.— Cotton Machinery.—" Religious Society."— Univer- 
salist Society.— Second Baptist Church.— Methodist Episcopal Church.— St. Mary's 

(Catholic) Church Newton Lower Falls.- St. Mary's (Episcopal) Church.— 

Methodist Episcopal Church 4C1 


Division of the Town — The Five Wards.— Proposals to form two towns.— Territory 
set off to "Waltham and Roxbury.— Petitions to the Legislature.~Harmony 
Restored. 483 



First Baptist Cliurch.— Colleague Pastor.— Death of Mr. Grafton.— Rev. F. A. 

"Willard.— Later Pastors.— Statistics.— Sabbath School.— Bequests.— The Choir.— 

The Clock.— Chapel at Thompsonville.— Methodist Episcopal Church — Unitarian 

Church 494 

Provision for the Poor.— Almshouse purchased.— Rules of the House.— Removal — The 
Kenrick Fund 510 


Newton and Temperance.— First Movement.— Dr. Gilbert's Recollections.— Newton 
and Fire Companies.— Firewards chosen Property of the Fire Department. 519 


Slave-holding in Newton.- Slavery in Massachusetts.— Slave Owners in Newton. 534 

Newton Theological Institution.- Origin.— The Mansion House.— First Anniversary.— 
Colby Hall.— Officers of the Board and of the Institution.— Some of its fruits. 540 

Newton Theological Institution.- Biographical Notices.— Irah Chase, D.D — Henry 
J. Ripley, D.D.- Prof. J. D. Knowles.— Prof. Horatio B. Hackett.— Prof. Arthur 
S. Train.— Rev. R. E. Pattison.— Students and Alumni who took jiart in the 

War 555 

North ViUage.—Paper-making.— Cheese-Cake Brook.— Cotton Warp.— Gas Manufac- 
ture.-" Tin Horn."— jEtna Mills.— Boston Manufacturing Company.— The 
Bridge.— North Evangelical Church 576 

The Newton Cemetery.— The Beginning.— The Dedication.— Statistics.— The Soldiers' 
Monument 585 

Newton in the War of the Rebellion —Town Action.— The Women of Newton.— 
Battles in which Newton Men were Engaged.— Unfurling the Flag.— The Slain in 
Battle.— Gen. A. B. Underwood.— Newton's Dead in the War.— Battle of Gettys- 
burg described by a Participant 59T 


Newton in the War of the Uebellion Soldiers for Various Periods.— Men Enlisted in 

the Navy.— Decoration Day 630 


Newton in the War of the Rebellion.— Battles in which Regiments containing 
Newton's Soldiers took part — Battle of Lookout Mountain. — Reception after the 

War C50 


Public Libraries in Newton. — West I'arish Social Library. — Adelphian , Library. — 
West Newton Athenaium. — Newton Book Club. — Newton Library Association.— 
Newton Free Library. — Newton Centre Libi'ary Association.- Newton Lower 
Falls Free Library -North Village Free Library 663 

Newton.— Eliot Congregational Church —Methodist Episcopal Church — Channing 
Church.— Baptist Church.— Grace Church.— Chui'ch of our Lady Help of Chris- 
tians.— Newton and Watcrtown Universalist Society 683 



The Newtons of Later Growth.— Auburndalc— Evangelical Congregational Church.— 
Centenary Methodist Church.— Church of the Messiah. — St. Bernard's Church, 
West Newton.— Newtonville.— Central Congregational Church.— Swedenborgian 
Church. — Universalist Society.— Methodist Episcopal Church. — Newton High- 
lands. — Congregational Society.— Chestnut Hill.— Unitarian Chapel. . 702 

Higher Education.— Mrs. Rowson's Female Academy.— Fuller Academy.— Academy 
at Newton Centre. — Lasell Female Seminary. — West Newton English and Classi- 
cal School 718 

Newton a City. — Parks and Play Grounds. — Water Works. — Passage of the Boston 
Conduits througli Newton. — Lake Cochituate Conduit.— Sudbury River Conduit. — 
Echo Bridge 728 


Newton's Centennial 738 


Institutions and Societies. — Home for Orphan and Destitute Girls. — Home for Boys 
at Pine Farm. — Home for Missionaries' Children (Congregational). — Home for 
Missionaries' Children (Baptist).— West Newton Lyceum. — Newton Sunday 
School Union. — Musical Societies. — Other Associations 747 


Town Clerks of Newton.— Selectmen. — Representatives.— Annual Appropriations. — 
Population.— Statistical Items 762 


Biographical Notices 769 


Reminiscences of Men and Things 801 


Notices of Ex-Governor William Claflin.— Ex-Governor Alexander H. Rice Mayor 

J. F. C. Hyde. — Mayor Alden Speare. — Mayor William B. Fowle. — Mayor Royal M. 
Pulsifer Dr. S. F. Smith 830 

General Ii^dex ....'«... 835 

Index of Names 842 






The general featui'es of Newton are not without interest. Seven 
principal elevations mark its siu-face, like the seven hills of ancient 
Rome, with the difference that the seven hills of Newton are much 
more distinct than the seven hills of Rome; — Nonantum Hill, 
Waban Hill, Chestnut Hill, Bald Pate, Oak Hill, Institution Hill 
and Mount Ida. Besides these more prominent hiUs, there are 
several lesser elevations. The high gi'ound intersected by Boy Iston 
Street, near Newton Upper Falls, is worthy of a name ; the same 
is true of the land on the WilUam Wiswall farm [W. C. Strong] 
northwest of the house anciently owned by Dea. John Staples — 
which, indeed, is often known as Moffatt HiU. A small but beauti- 
ful pine-covered swell of ground on the estate of Mr. Charles S. 
Davis at Newton Centre, has at some periods borne the name of 
Mount Pleasant. 

Newton has several plains of considerable extent, — the upper 
plain at the foot of Institution Hill ; the lower plain, so called b}' 
the fathers, north of the First Parish Church and intersected also 
by Centre Street ; the extensive plain on which much of Newton- 
ville is built, and the plain on which much of Newton Highlands is 
situated. Rarely is a portion of territory to be found, of equal 
extent, marked by a more beautifully diversified surface. 



The geological features of the town are interesting and various. 
Conglomerate rock or amygdaloid is largely diffused, being found 
in great quantities in Newton Centre, East Newton and Chestnut 
Hill. Granite or sienite occui'S in boulders and smaU ledges. 
Diorite or gTcen-stone, with occa'sional porphjTitic characteristics, 
is seen on the Valentine Eoad and elsewhere, seeming to be a por- 
tion of the ledge of similar formation which sku*ts Massachusetts 
Bay, and which can be traced through several of the adjacent towns 
by its occasional out-croppings. It ends in an abrupt cliff east of 
Valentine Street. There is a ledge of argillaceous slate on the 
gi'ounds of the late Gardner Colby, Esq. , of which the waU of his 
estate oii Centre Street was built. There is a darker and more 
compact slate-stone, which spUts into convenient sheets, near the 
estate of the Smallwoods at Newton Corner. Interesting boulders 
are a feature of the estate of Mr. Bishop, of Newton Centre, con- 
taining deposits of asbestos. In the woods near ThompsonvUle, 
a few hundred feet south from the road, and where a silver mine 
was reported to have been discovered in the autumn of 1877, the 
granite rocks are cmiously spht and cleft asunder ; and beautiful 
quartz crystals and lumps of milky quartz are found. There are 
also deposits of mica, and very interesting specimens of carbonate 
of lime. The particles of silver are too minute to be of much value. 
A small amount of specular iron ore has also been found here, and 
traces of copper are sometimes detected. The beds of gravel and 
the indistinctly striated sm-face of the rocks in several places indi- 
cate glacial action. Bog iron ore exists in the wet gi'ounds south 
of Bullough's Pond, and, fifty years ago, considerable quantities of 
it were carried to the iron fm"naces of Easton, Mass., and else- 
where, to be manufactured. 

There are nine bridges, crossing the Charles Eiver, within the 
limits of the town, besides two railroad bridges : viz., at Nahanton 
Street (Kenrick's Bridge) ; Ncedham Avenue ; EUiot Street and 
Boylston Street, Upper Falls ; Wales Street and Washington 
Street, Lower Falls ; Concord Street ; Auburn Street, near River- 
side ; and Bridge Street, North Village. 

Newton numbers nine or ten villages which for two centiuies 
seemed as distinct from one another as if they were separate towns. 
Only the town meetings brought the inhabitants together in one 
place as a united people. These \dllages are Newton, Ncwtonville, 
West Newton, Auburndale, Lower Falls, Upper Falls, Highlands,. 


Newton Centre and North Village. Perhaps we should add, also, 
Riverside Their location depended, at first, on the water privi- 
leges along the Charles River, which flowed nearly around the town ; 
afterwards, the railroad centres created additional reasons for their 
several locations. As the population increases, and the interests 
of the people have become one under a cit}' administration, these 
villages tend to be melted into continuity. The town, at the date 
of this pubUcation, is blessed with nine post-offices and ten rail- 
road stations. 

Of the natural features of Newton mention should be made both 
of its land and its water. Newton boasts of thi'ee large ponds, 
" Wiswall's, " " Hammond's, " and " Bullough's Pond," and a 
smaller collection of water denominated " Silver Lake." 

We find the following statements in reference to the first and 
second : 

"April 1, 1634. — There is one thousand acres of land and a 
great pond (Wiswall's Pond) gi-anted to John Haynes. 

" Wiswall's Pond, near the Centre, and Hammond's Pond, at the 
easterly part of the town, were so called in remembrance of two of 
the early and prominent settlers of the town, — ■ Thomas Wiswall, 
the fii-st ruling elder of the chm-ch, and the first settler upon the 
banlvs of the one, and Thomas Hammond, the first settler upon the 
borders of the other. Wiswall came into the town in 1654, and 
died here in 1683. Hammond came in 1650, and died in 1675 ; 
both were pioneer settlers, and substantial pillars of the plantation. 
The descendants of both have been numerous in the town and the 
countrj', and highly respectable. For nearly two centuries, these 
ponds have been natmally and properly known by the name of 
Wiswall and Hammond ; they have become part and parcel of the 
historical facts of the place, and ought to be forever known by 
these names. 

"The waters of Wiswall's Pond, generally called 'Baptist Pond.' 
and, in recent tunes, ' Crystal Lake,' cover about thirty-three and 
a half acres, and of Hammond's Pond about twenty acres. The 
natural outlet for the waters of Wiswall's Pond, was upon its easterly 
side, crossing the Dedham road a little liorth of the Wiswall house, 
thence running through the "Wiswall farm in a southerly dii'ection, 
across the Sherburne road and the Worcester turnpilje, to South 
Meadow Brook. The artificial outlet is a deep excavation, made 
on the northerly side of the pond, by the mill owners on Smelt 


Brook, previous to the 3'ear 1700, to conduct the water of the pond 
into Smelt Brook. It is, however, believed that the quantitj' of 
water thus drawn from the pond, was not of sufficient advantage to 
cover the cost of the excavation and repairs." 

This excavation passed west of the estate of Joshua Loriug, 
Esq., President of the Blackstone National Bank, and is nearly 
obliterated in its whole course. 

In 1871, Messrs. W. N. Bartholomew, Mellen Bray, Lorin F. 
Tyler, George S. Dexter, E. M. Fowle, M. G. Crane, George C. 
Rand, R. R. Bishop and J. F. C. Hyde, leased Wiswall's or 
Baptist Pond, as it is more generall}^ termed, of the Massachusetts 
Commissioners for Inland Fisheries. This lease was made under 
the law of Massachusetts, passed for the especial purpose of in- 
creasing the breed of valuable fish. The pond was to be stocked 
with black bass from Pl;}Taouth, at a large expense, the fish costing 
$3.50 each. All fishing was forbidden in the pond from this time, 
any party offending being liable to -pay a fine of $50. 

The natural outlet of the waters of Hammond's Pond was from 
its southeast side, and was the commencement of the brook called 
" Pond Brook " or " Palmer's Brook ; " from thence running south- 
erly through the meadows in the westerl}' corner of Brookhne, 
where it received sufficient accessions of water to drive the wheels 
of a saw mill, which formerly stood very near the dividing line 
between Brookline and Newton ; thence, by "Bald Pate Meadow," 
through the south part of Newton, by Palmer's and thi'ough 
" Brook Farm-" to Charles River. A few years prior to 1854, an ar- 
tificial drain was made from the westerly side of Hammond's Pond, 
running northwest through the low grounds to the brook which 
crosses Centre Street a little south of the First Parish meeting- 
house, which stream falls into Smelt Brook near the territorial cen- 
tre of the town. This cut was made for the double pm'pose of 
draining the lands thi-ough which it was made, and of increasing 
the force of Smelt Brook. 

" Silver Lake " is in the northerly part of Newton, near Charles 
River, and extensive factory operations have been carried on in that 
vicinity since the year 1804. It has no visible outlet. Lilve 
the other lakes or ponds of Newton, it has not merely added a charm 
to the landscape in summer, but has also proved a source of com- 
fort and of wealth, jdelding every winter a supplj' of ice, which in 
modern times has come to be not only a luxury, but almost one of 


the necessaries of life. How thoughtful and bounteous was the 
Providence which laid up these stores of good for future use, even 
before the people knew how to appreciate them ! 

" Bullough's Pond " is near the geographical centre of the town, 
and lies in a hollow, encircled on nearly all sides by wooded hills. 
Its name is derived from the name of the ancient proprietor of 
land on the west side of the pond. It is of considerable extent from 
north to south, and is divided by Walnut Street into two portions, 
the principal being on the east side. This beautiful sheet of water, 
like a sapphu'e gem set round with emeralds, is of tolerable depth, 
and of great purity. Its superfluous waters mingle with those of 
Smelt Brook, through which they find their way ultimately to 
Charles River. 

"South Meadow Brook" rises from several small branches in 
and near the Great Meadows, and, formerly, from the original out- 
let of the waters of Wiswall's Pond ; thence, running southwest 
through the Winchester farm to Chai'les Eiver, about one mile 
above the Upper Falls. " Palmer's Brook" is described above. 

" Cheesecake Brook " rises at the westerly part of the town, 
within a few rods of the spot where Deacon Staples' house stood, 
afterwards William Wiswall, 2d, and since, W. C. Strong, Esq., 
and runs northeast through the West Parish village and the Fuller 
farm to Charles River, near the dividing line between Waltham 
and Watertown. Its name is due to the picnic lunch of some of 
the early inhabitants, who, while out on a hunting expedition, be- 
coming weary and faint, sat down at noon on its banks to eat then* 
cake and cheese, and slaked theh* thkst from its refi'eshing waters. 

" Smelt Brook," the largest of the four, issues from a cold spring 
in the region of Alcock's Swamp, about half a mile north of the 
South Burial place ; thence, running northeast, it is reinforced b}' 
several small streams ; thence, through the centre of the ancient 
" Mayhew farm," "Dummerfarm" and "Wear lauds," it enters 
Charles River, between the first dam and the first bridge ever built 
across that river. Its ancient name, " Smelt Brook," seems to have 
faded nearly awa}', and it has become a nameless stream. Some- 
times, however, it is called " Cold Spring Brook," with reference 
to the distant source out of which it flows. 

There is a rock in the bed of Charles River which has received 
the name of " Count}'^ Rock," and which is noted for being at the 
point of junction of two counties, Norfolk and Middlesex, and 
tlii-ee towns, Newton, Needham and Weston. 


Newton has been famed for the health and longevity of its in- 
habitants. Dr. Homer says, — *'From accurate bills of mortaUty 
for about fifty years past [this was written in 1798], it appears that 
one seventieth part of the inhabitants dies annually. In the East 
Congregational Society, consisting of about 700 souls, 154 died 
from January 1, 1782, to January 1, 1799, averaging nine a 3'ear. 
Of this number, 49, considerably upwards of a fourth part, arrived 
to their seventieth year, and beyond, and G3, more than a third 
part, arrived to their sixtieth, and beyond. The sorrows of early 
widowhood are seldom known here. Of married men beneath 40, 
only one died within the bounds of the East Precinct, including the 
famiUes of the Baptist Societ}^ living witliin the same bounds, 
dming more than sixteen years." 

The town records and private bUls of mortality, extending over 
a space of one hundred years, from 1691 to 1791, note, in all, 1,374 
deaths ; but a few of the first years, it is conjectured, furnish in- 
complete retm-ns. The proportion of deaths among the aged, many 
of them older than 80 years, seems to have been very considerable 
in all this period. In seventeen years, from January 1, 1782, to 
January 1, 1799, Dr. Homer notes the following deaths in the 
bounds of the East Parish : 

Under two years, 24^. Between 40 and .50, 10. 

Between 2 and 5, G. " 50 and 60, 10. 

" o and 10, 12. " 60 and 70, U. 

" 10 and 20, 4. " 70 and SO, 27. 

" 20 and 30, 16. " 80 and 90,16. 

" 30 and 40, 9. " 90 and 100, 6. 

During ten years, from 1782 to 1792, within the limits of the 
East Congregational Society, there were 97 deaths, 17 of which 
were in the two neighboring houses of Messrs. John Jackson and 
Edward Dui-ant ; and 195 births. The marriages for the same 
period were, in the whole town, 103. The sum total of the mar- 
riages in Newton for a century after its incorporation was 747. 
"In 1792, 59 of the inhabitants, one twenty-third part of the 
whole population, had seen their seventieth year, and beyond." 
Up to that date (1792), but one person in the town had reached 
100 years, though several had seen 90 and upwards. The person 
referred to was Mrs. Mary Davis, of the south part of the town, 
who died in 1752, in her llGth year. 


According to the census of 1870, the population of Newton was 
then 12,825. The number, December 31, 1873, the last year of 
the town government, could not be far from 1G,000. On the 
basis of that number, the proportion of deaths to the population, 
in that year, was one death to every eighty-one persons. The 
number of deaths in Newton in the 3'ear 1873, by consumption, 
was about one in ten of all the deaths. This is a ver}^ favorable 
statement, in view of the prevalence of this destructive disease. 
According to the statistics of Mr. Rice, on this subject, "in the 
years 1858 and 1859, about one in four of all the deaths in Newton 
were by consumption ; in 18G0 and 1861, one in six and one-half; 
in 1862 and 1863, about one in seven ; in 1864 and 1865, one in 
six ; in 1866 and 1867, one in five and thi-ee-fourths ; in 1868 and 
1869, one in eight and three-foui-ths ; in 1870 and 1871, about one 
in nine and one-fourth; in 1872, one in eight and one-sixth; and 
in 1873, as above stated, one in ten of all the deaths." 

The following table, exhibiting the population and mortality of 
Newton, for the last fourteen years of the town government, is 
supposed to be nearly correct : 

In 1860 population (U. S. Census) 8,382 deaths 

18GI •' 8,600 

1862 " 8,700 " 

1863 " 8,750 " 
18G4 " 8,850 " 
18G5 " (State Census) 8,978 " 
186G " 9,100 " 

1867 " 9,310 " 

1868 " ' 9,900 " 

1869 " 11,000 

1870 " (U. S. Census) 12,825 " 

1871 " 14,000 " 

1872 «' 15,500 " 

1873 " 16,000 " 

No finer territory can be found, inalilie extent, than the town of 
Newton. Its broad avenues, bordered with trees and gardens, its 
extensive plains, its swelling hills, its glassy lakes, its well-kept 
lawns, its near and distant views of charming landscapes, reaching 
on the east to the waters of Massachusetts Bay and on the west to 
the summits of Wachusett and Monadnock, its fine residences and 
public buildings, including a score and a half of churches, its 


one in 89 


" G3 


" 94 




" GG 


" 71 


" 78 


" 70 


•' . 73 


" 79 

133 ■ 

" 964 


" 117 


" 784 




tasteful cemeteiy, its raaguificent public schools and seats of higher 
education, endowed and unendowed, are unsurpassed. A writer 
in the Boston Traveller draws the following picture of a single lo- 
cality, near the northwestern limit of the town. Many pictures, of 
equal beauty, could be presented to a visitor in almost any 

"AVithin ten miles of Boston," says this writer, "there is a 
stretch of river scenery that cannot be surpassed in the United 
States, and which cannot easily be equalled. We refer to the 
Charles River between Waltham and Auburndale, where it extends 
in a tortuous course, from one point to the other, a distance of 
three mUes and a half. Until within a few 3'ears this lovely spot 
has scarcely been known beyond the limit of the inhabitants who 
have quietly taken possession of the elegant sites on either bank, 
and beautified and adorned them for then- own pleasure. But the 
enterprise of man has invaded it, not to destroy, but to allow the 
public to partake of the enjo3'ment. The well appointed little 
steamer White Swan, owned and commanded by a Captain Gibbs, 
veteran of the last war, now phes regularly between Waltham and 
Auburndale bridge, carr3dng picnic parties, etc. Since this steam- 
er has been running, parties from Boston and places at greater 
distance have availed themselves of the privilege of enjoying this 
dehghtful scener3^ Man}' who have travelled through Europe af- 
firm that for quiet beauty it is not equalled. One famihar with our 
Southern streams is reminded of the Yazoo, with the deep gTeen 
and lusmiance of the foUage on the banlvs and the quiet of its 
waters. Along the banks of the river are located the summer resi- 
dences of Messrs. Cutler and Merrill, the elegant residence of 
R. M. Pulsifer, Mayor of Newton, the splendid mansion of Ex-Mayor 
Fowle, the Benj'on mansion and others. Opposite to the residence 
of Mr. Pulsifer is Lily Pond Grove, one of the most beautiful sum- 
mer resorts in New England, fitted up with great taste and conven- 
ience. At sunset the river is ahve with canoes, row-boats, shells 
and sail-boats, filled with ladies and gentlemen, adding, with the 
dehghtful music, greatly to the natm-al charms of the scenery-. To 
those who are tu'ed of fashionable resorts ^ud would seek a quiet 
like this, we commend a trip on the White Swan, and a few hours' 
stroll on the banks of the Charles." 







The histoiy of Newton is, in its earliest stages, intimate!}' con- 
nected with the history of Boston. Boston, or Botolph's town, 
was originally a very contracted peninsula. It was named from 
Boston in Lincolnshire, England, the residence of Rev. John Cot- 
ton, — the first minister of our Boston, — before he emigi-ated to this 
country. Botolph's town,* or St. Botolph's town, — Botolph, 
that is, boat-help^ because this saint was the patron of mariners, — 
was a name as appropriate for the colonial metropolis as it was for 
its Enghsh namesake. As Boston in England was on the sea, and 
its people had to do with commercial affaks, — so the new Boston 
was to be the residence of merchant princes, whose wealth was de- 
pendent largely upon their proximity to the ocean. 

Many persons now living recollect a period when a portion of the 
North End of Boston, — at first, the court end of the town, — was 
but three streets wide : Fore, now North Street ; Middle Street, 
now the northern half of Hanover Street ; and Back Street, now 
the southern part of Salem Street. This territory reached from 
water to water ; and the North End of Boston was cut oflT from the 
residue of the town b}* a canal, occupjdng the space which is now 
Blackstone Street. This canal extended from Causeway Street on 
the west to its outlet on North Street, near Merchants' Row, on the 
east. Most of the territory from Causeway Street to HajTnarket 

* The original name of Boston was long preserved in the name of one of its streets;— 
Botolph Street is on the northerly slope of Beacon Hill, running from Myrtle Street 
to Cambridge Street. Its name has been changed to Irving Street. 



Square and from Prince to Pitts Street was covered with water; 
and the tide-mills at the westerly end, which depended for their 
power on this pond, gave to the whole territory the title of " Mill 
Pond," — the name by which many elderly people stiU speak of it. 

At the south, the upper part of Washington Street, called the 
Neck, was a narrow strip of land which in time of high tides was 
'overflowed by water ; so that the farmers of Roxbmy and Dor- 
chester, as late as the period of the Revolution, used to hasten 
home from the town, after they had disposed of their produce, lest 
their communication with the continent should be cut off. Long 
Wharf extended up State Street as far as India. Street, and large 
ships were moored in the dock which afterwards became the site 
of the present Custom House. The bowsprits of vessels, of larger 
or smaller burden, used to extend over Liberty Square, and the 
tide washed the shore along the line which is now Harrison Av- 
enue. On the westerty side, all the Public Garden, and most of 
Charles Street, have been reclaimed from the water, and it is only 
a few 3'ears since the remains of a wrecked vessel were seen going 
to deca}', east of the Boston and Albauj'- Railroad, in the region 
now covered by the dwellings in Appleton Street and Columbus 

The territory of Boston was indeed small, but savage Indians 
were in the vicinity, and the inhabitants of the little peninsula felt 
it necessary to have a fortified place to flee to, in case of hostile 

Dorchester, Charlestown, Watertown, Boston and Roxbury had 
ah'cady become settled, and they all participated in tliis spirit of 
wise precaution. Accordingly it was agreed that a fortified town 
should be built for security against the Indians ; and the Governor, 
Deputy-Governor and Assistants viewed man}' places for its loca- 
tion. In December, 1630, they resolved to build it upon the neck 
between Boston and Roxbury (probably in the place since called 
Roxbur}' Street) , but that place was soon given up for several rea- 
sons, — among the most prominent of which was that there were 
no springs of running water. They finaUy decided to build it on 
the north side of Charles River, on the spot where the College now 
stands, and commenced its construction in the spring of 1G31, lay- 
ing out the town in squares, with streets intersecting each other at 
right angles. 


In 1632 the General Court levied a rate of £60 upon the several 
plantations towards making a palisade about Newtown. This was a 
favorite project of old Governor Danforth, whose house was within 
the inclosurc. The tax levied for this purpose was assessed upon 
the several towns as follows: viz., Watertown, viii?., the New 
Town, iii^., Charlton, vii/., Meadford, iiiL, Saugus and Marble 
Harbor, vi Z., Salem, ivL xs., Boston, viii Z., Rocksbmy, viiZ.,* 
Dorchester, vii ?., Wessaguscus v Z., Winettsemct xxx s.* Dr. Paige 
saj's (History of Cambridge, p. 10), — "The location of the 
greater part of this fence or ' pale ' is designated with tolerable 
accuracy by the ancient records of possessions and conveyances. 
Commencing in the present College yard, near the northwesterly 
angle of Gore Hall, and extending eastwardl}^, it passed very near 
the junction of Ellsworth Avenue with Cambridge Street, to the 
line between Cambridge and Charlestown (now Somerville) , at its 
angle on Line Street near Cambridge Street, and thence followed 
that line to the creek, a few rods easterly from the track of the 
Grand Junction Railroad. Commencing again at the point first 
mentioned, the fence extended southwardly to the marsh near the 
junction of Hol3^oke Place with Mount Auburn Street. The kind 
offence then erected is indicated in an Order passed Dec. 5, 1636 : 
' That the common pales in all places, to be made after this da}--, 
shall be done with sufficient posts and rails, and not with crotches.' 

" The £60 levied for fortifying New Town was probably the first 
State Tax ; and the people delegated two from each town to see 
fair play in its apportionment. And this, I apprehend," we quote 
the words of Hon. William Jackson, " to have been the first step 
towards a House of Representatives. The people were impelled to 
the measm'e by their nervous sensibility about taxation." 

" The next year," says the same authority, " the taxation dele- 
gation not onl}' apportioned the amount to be raised, but proceed- 
ed to prepare such business as the General Court were to act upon 
and decide. To quote the words of the Order which passed the 
Court of Elections, — 'It shall be lawful for the freemen of every 
plantation to choose two or three deputies from each town to con- 

*It is stated by Winthrop that Watertown objected to this assessment as unjust. 
Mr. Savage says, "To the agitation of this subject we may refer the origin of that 
Committee of two from each town to advise with the Court about raising public 
moneys, 'so as what they agree upon should bind all,' under date of May of this year 
1C32. This led to the representative body, having the full powers of all the freemen, 
except that of elections." 


fer, and prepare the public business for the Governor and assis- 
tants to consider,' etc. Every town sent three, and thus occupied 
all the privilege pelded by the Court. When assembled in 1634, 
they acted with a decision and energy not surpassed by any subse- 
quent assembly of the same land, from that day to this. Thej' 
resolved that none but the General Court, of which they them- 
selves constituted the decided majority, have power to admit free- 
men, make laws, elect or remove officers, prescribe their powers 
and duties, make taxes, and dispose of lands. They also ordained 
trial by jmy, directed the manner in which future deputies 
should be returned, and at the same session imposed a fine upon 
the Governor and assistants for violating an order of the General 
Court. At first the officers were chosen for three months, then 
semi-annually, and in 1643 anuuaU3^" 

Hutchinson says of the scheme of a House of Representatives, 
" It seems to have been agreed upon or fallen into by general con- 
sent of all the towns, as if it were a thing of necessity." Mr. 
William Jackson adds, — " To me it appears probable that the peo- 
ple demanded a participation in the powers of government, and 
made this participation the condition of their payment of taxes. 
And thus the very rate which was levied for the fortifying of New- 
town was the germ out of which the only representative government, 
chosen by those who were to be governed, arose, — the only one of 
the kind seen in the earth from the daj^s of Noah to those of the 

The fortification around the new town was made and a fosse ex- 
cavated, inclosing a space of more than a thousand acres, " paled 
in," as a historian writing in 1633 remarks, "with one general 
fence, which was about one and a half miles in length. It is one 
of the neatest and best compacted towns in New England, having 
many fair structures, with many handsome-contrived streets. The 
inhabitants, most of them, are very rich. Half a mile westward 
of the town is a great pond (Fresh Pond) , which is divided be- 
tween Newtown and Watertown, on the north side of Charles 

The question of the right of the fii'st settlers to the lands which 
they came to possess, and which have come down in regular suc- 
cession to their descendants, is too interesting and important to be 
wholly passed by. Dr. Paige has carefully investigated this mat- 
ter, and we avail ourselves of his careful statements (History of 
Cambridge, pp. 383, 384). 


" In the ' First General Letter of the Governor and Deput}' of 
the New England Company for a Plantation in Massachusetts 
Bay, to the Governor and Council for London's Plantation in the 
Massachusetts Bay in New England,' dated ' In Gravesend the 17th 
of April, 1629,' is this important direction — 'If any of the sal- 
vages pretend right of inheritance to all or any part of the lands 
granted in our pattent, wee pray j-ou endeavour to purchase their 
tjiile, that wee may avoyde the least scruple of intrusion.' Accord- 
ingty, at the session of the General Court, March 13, 1638-9, ' Mr. 
Gibons was desired to agree with the Indians for the land within 
the bounds of Watertowue, Cambridge and Boston.' The deed of 
conveyance, or release of title, I have not been able to find ; yet 
there is sufficient evidence that the purchase was made of the 
squaw-sachem, and that the price was duly paid. The General 
Court ordered, May 20, 1640, 'that the ISl. 8s. Gd. layd out by 
Capt. Gibons shall bee paid him, vid. : 13?. 8s. 6d. by Watertowne 
and 10/. by Cambridge ; and also Cambridge is to give squa- 
sachem a coate everj^ winter while shee liveth.' This sale or convey- 
ance to Cambridge is recognized in a deed executed Jan. 13, 
1639, by the 'squa-sachem of Misticke' and her husband "Web- 
cowits, whereby they conveyed to Jotham Gibbons ' the reversion 
of all that parcel of land which lies against the ponds at Mistick 
aforesaid, together with the said ponds, all which we reserved from 
Charlestown and Cambridge, late called Newtowne, and all heredi- 
taments and appurtenances thereunto belonging, after the death 
of me the said squaw-sachem.' The inhabitants of Cambridge 
lived on friendlj' terms with the Indians. 

"On the 8th of March, 1643, the ' squa-sachem ' with four other 
Indian rulers, voluntarily put herself 'under the government and 
jurisdiction of the Massachusetts, to be governed and protected b}^ 
them,' and promised 'to be true and faithful to the said govern- 
ment.' She is supposed to have died not long before 1662, when 
a claim was made for land in which she had reserved a life estate. 

" One of the Indian chiefs who united with the squaw-sachem in 
this act of submission to ' the government and jurisdiction of the 
Massachusetts' was Cutshamache, Cutshamakin or Kuchamakin, 
who resided 'at a place called Neponsitt, within the bounds of 
Dorchester.' His authority extended over those who dwelt at 
Nonantum, which was then included in Cambridge." 


In 163G, only six years after the settlement of Boston, the Gen- 
eral Court voted £400, equal to a year's rate of the whole colony, 
towards the erection of a public school or college. In 1637, an 
order was passed by the same honorable body, that the college 
should be at Newtown, " a place very pleasant and accommodate," 
and " then under the orthodox and soul-flourishing ministry of Mr. 
Thomas Shepherd." Of the ministry of Mr. Shepherd it is testi- 
fied, that it was so pungent and impressive that almost every Lord's 
day some gave visible evidence before the congregation of being 
moved by it ; so that it was a common thing for the members of a 
family who were compelled by sickness or for other cause to remain 
at home, to ask their friends, on their return from the house of 
God,— "Who seemed to be wrought upon by the word to-day?" 

The settlement of the new town (Cambridge) was begun in 
1631. The town records commence in November, 1632 ; the pro- 
prietors' records in 1635. A house in Boston surmounted by a 
thatched roof having taken fire from the chimney in 1631, Deputy 
Governor Dudley recorded the remark, " In our new town, intended 
to be built this summer, we have ordered that no man there shall 
build his chimney with wood, or cover his house with thatch." 

The first considerable accession to the population of the new 
town (Cambridge) took place in August, 1632. Rev. Mr. Hook- 
er's company, otherwise called the Braintree company, had begun 
a settlement at Mount Wollaston, but were ordered by the Court 
to remove to Newtown. These settlers were forty-seven in num- 
ber.* But the territory of the new town, with this addition, was not 

♦In a foot note to Dr. Holmes' History of Cambridge, it is said, "It is highly prob- 
able that this company came from Braintree, in Essex County, in England, and from 
its vicinity. Chelmsford, where Mr. Hooker was settled, is but eleven miles from 
Braintree ; and ' Mr. Hooker was so esteemed as a preacher that not only his own 
people, but others from all parts of the county of Essex flocked to hear him.' " 

The names of this company, constituting the first settlers of the town of Cam- 
bridge, are preserved in the Records of the Proprietors, under date of 1G32, and are 
as follows : 

Jeremy Adams, 
Matthew Allen, 
John Benjamin, 
Jonathan Boswell, 
Mr. Simon Bradstreet,t 
John Bridge, 
Richard Butler, 
John Clarke, 

t Bradstreet settled at Andover, and was afterwards Ooveruor of Massachusetts. 

Anthony Couldby or Colby, 
Daniel Denuisou, 
Thomas Dudley, Esq., 
Samuel Dudley, 
Edward Elmer, 
Richard Goodman, 
"William Goodwin, 
Garrad Hadden, 


large enougli to accommodate the desires of its population. Hence 
in Ma}', 1634, tlie people complained to the General Court of their 
restricted quarters, and desired leave to seek either enlargement 
or removal. Their request was granted by the Court, and Mr. 
Hooker and his company sent messengers to explore Ipswich, and 
the Merrimac and Connecticut Rivers. The report of the messen- 
gers who went to examine the Connecticut valley was very flatter- 
ing, and produced a strong influence upon them ; and at the 
session of the Court in September, they asked leave to 
remove thither. " The question of their removal was a very 
exciting one," says Mr. Jackson, " and was debated by the Court 
many days. On taking the vote, it appeared that the Assistants 
were opposed to their removal, and the Deputies were in favor of 
it. Upon this grew a great difference between the Governor and 
Assistants, and the Deputies. ' So when they could proceed no 
further, the whole Court agreed to keep a daj^ of humiUation in 
all the congregations.' Mr. Cotton, b}' desu'e of the Com't, 
preached a sermon that had great influence in settling the question.'" 

Stephen Hart, 
John Haynes, Esq.,* 
Thomas Heate, 
Rev. Thomas Hooker, 
Thomas Hosmer, 
Richard Havlackenden, 
William Lewis, 
Richard Lord, 
John Masters, 
Abraham Morrill, 
Hester Mussey, 
Simon Oakes, 
James Olmstead, 
Capt. Daniel Patrick, 
John Prat, 
William Pentrcy, 

Joseph Redinge, 
Nathaniel Richards, 
William Spencer, 
Thomas Spencer, 
Edward Stebbins, 
John Steele, 
Henry Steele, 
George Steele, 
Samuel Stone, 
John Talcott, 
William AVads worth, 
Andrew Warner, 
Richard Webb, 
William Westwood, 
John White. 

The same year, 1C32, "they built the first house of worship at Newtownc (Cam- 
bridge), with a bell upon it." This item, which is drawn from Prince's History, 
proves that the early settlers were not summoned to worshiji, at the beginning, if 
they were later, by the beat of drum. There is no record of the ViUage of New Cam- 
bridge (now Newton), which indicates when a bell was first used there. The 
Indians, however, were assembled l^y the beat of drum. 

The company arrived in Boston September 4, 1G33. Mr. Hooker was chosen pastor 
and Mr. Stone, teacher, and they were installed in their respective offices, after solemn 
lasting and prayer, October 11, 1633. 

♦John Haynes received the earliest and largest grant of land in the town in 1634; 
was chosen Governor of Massachusetts in 1635; removed to Connecticut with 
Hooker's company in 1636, and was Governor of Connecticut in 1G39. He died in 1654, 
and this tract of land passed to his heirs. 


The public sentimeut at that time appeared to be against their 
removal. Boston and Watertown had offered them enlargement, 
and the congregation of Newtown accepted these offers and con- 
cluded not to remove. 

By the records of the Court in September, 1034, "it is ordered 
that the ground about Muddy River belonging to Boston and used 
by the inhabitants thereof shall hereafter belong to Newtown, — the 
wood and timber thereof growing and to be grown to be reserved 
to the inhabitants of Boston ; provided, and it is the meaning of 
this Court, that if Mr. Hooker, and the congregation now settled 
here, shall remove hence, that then the aforesaid meadow grounds 
shall return to Watertown, and the grounds at Muddy River to 

After the question touching the enlargement of Newtown was 
settled, a committee was appointed by the Court, consisting of 
"William Colbron, John Johnson and Abraham Palmer, to deter- 
mine the bounds between Newtown and Watertown ; and Ensign 
Jennison to set out the bounds between Newtown and Roxbmy, 
about Muddy River. The following records their action : 

April, 1635. — " It is agreed by us whose names are underwritten, 
that the bounds between Watertown and Newtown shall stand as 
they are alread}', from Charles River to the Great Fresh Pond, 
and from the tree marked by Watertown and Newtown, on the 
northeast side of the pond and over the pond to a white poplar 
tree on the northwest side of the pond, and from the tree up into 
the country, northwest by west, upon a straight line by a meridian 
compass ; and further, that Watertown shall have one hundred 
rods in length above the Wear, and one hundred rods beneath the 
Wear in length and three score rods in breadth from the river on 
the south side thereof, and all the rest of the ground on that side 

of the river to Ij^e to Newtown. 

William Colbron, 
John Johnson, 
Abraham Palmer." 

April, 1635. — "The line between Roxbury and Newtown is laid 

out to run southwest from Muddy River, near that place called 

' Nowell's Bridge,' a tree marked on four sides, and from the mouth 

of the river to that place ; the south side is for Roxbury and the 

north for Newtown. 

William Jennison." 


" This line," Mr. Jackson says, " was designed to carry out the 
gift of Boston to Newtown, by which the whole of Muddj^ River, 
more or less, became a part of Newtown, and so remained for 
nearly' two years. It was nearlj', if not exactly, the same line as 
that which now divides Roxbury from Brookline. Its length is not 
stated in Jennison's report ; but it is about six miles." 

By this enlargement of lands, received from Boston and "Water- 
town, Newtown acquired what is now Brookline, Brighton and 
Newton, excepting only such special grants as had been previously 
made to individuals. For Muddy River, now Brookline, by an 
early grant, had been made a part of Boston. These were the 
acquisitions of Newtown on the south. On the north and north- 
west, she obtained what is now Arlington, Lexington, Billerica, 
part of Bedford and part of Tewksbury, extending to the Mer- 
rimack River. She began, the smallest township in the colon}^ and 
soon became the largest. 

The territorj', above granted, having reverted to Boston, in con- 
sequence of the removal of Mr. Hooker and his company to Con- 
necticut, the Court appointed a committee to settle the boundaries 
between Newtown and Muddy River. This committee in April, 
1636, made the following report : 

" We whose names are underwritten, being appointed by the Court 
to set out the bounds of the New Town upon Charles River, do 
agree that the bounds of the town shall run from the marked tree 
by Charles River, on the northwest side of the Roxbury bounds, 
one and a half miles northeast, and from thence three miles north- 
west, and so from thence five miles southwest ; and on the south- 
west side of Charles River, from the southeast side of Roxbury 
bounds to run four miles on a southwest line, reserving the propri- 
eties to several persons granted by special order of the Court. 

William Spencer, 
Nicholas Danforth, 
William Jenxison." 

Mr. Jackson says, " This description is cloudy, with some errors 
in the points of the compass, which may have been made in copy- 
ing the report. It differs from the present bounds of Brookline, 
but was intended to restore Mudd}- River to Boston, or as much 
of it as the committee judged expedient." 


The following record gives the action of the town in regard to 
the boundary between Newton and Watertown. It is dated in 

"The subscribers were empowered to settle the line between 
Newton and Watertown; and on the 25th September, 1705, did 
mutually agree, namely, beginning at Charles River, at high water 
mark, at the northeast corner of the farm formerly Mr. Mayhew's, 
and run a straight line south-southwest, two degrees west to a 
walnut stump, forty-one and three-quarter rods ; then turning and 
running straight northwest, five degrees north, two hundred and 
sixteen rods, across Stephen Cook's land and Smelt Brook ; then 
turning and running straight, northeast by north, eighty rods to 
the river. 

John Spring, 

Edward Jackson, J- Newton. 

Ebenezer Stone, 

Jonas Bond, | Watertown." 

Joseph Sherman, j 

" This settlement shortened the easterly line a few rods," says 
Mr. Jackson, " and lengthened the southerly and westerly lines a 
few rods each. The settlement of 1G35 gave Watertown seventy- 
five acres on the south side of the river ; the settlement of 1 705 
increased it to about eight^'-eight acres, so that Newton lost the 
jurisdiction of about thirteen acres by the settlement of 1705." 

The small portion of Watertown at present lying on the south 
of the river has not the exact dimensions assigned to it in 1635, 
although about the same quantity of land (150 acres). March 1. 
1704-5, a committee (Jonas Bond, Esq., Capt. B. Garfield and 
Joseph Sherman) was appointed " to find out the line between 
Watertown and Newton, on the south side of Charles River." 
The committee reported November IG, 1705, minutely describing the 
line, as may be seen in the Town Records, and which is nearl}' the 
same as that delineated in the latest map of Newton. The line 
began at high water mark on Charles River at the northeast corner 
of the farm formerly Mr. Maj^hew's, and ran straight southwest, 
two degrees west, forty-one and three-quarter rods ; then a straight 
line west-northwest, five degrees north, two hundred and sixteen 
rods ; then a straight line northeast by north, eighty' rods, down to 


the river. It was signed by the above committee on the part of 
Watertown, and by John Spring, Edward Jackson and Ebenezer 
Stone, on the part of Newton. 

A contributor to the Newton Journal, interested in antiquarian 
investigations and evidently at home in this period of the earl}^ 
history, writes as follows : 

" Watertown was settled as early as September 7, 1G30, and stands 
as the fourth oldest town in New England. She originally claimed 
and received very large tracts of land lying upon the north side of 
Charles River, also, upon the south side of the river. In 1631 
Cambridge, or as it was originally called ' New Town,' was settled, 
receiving as a grant of land only about one thousand acres. In 
1634, the inhabitants of New Town complained to the General 
Court, of straightness for want of land, and desired leave of the 
Court to look out either for enlargement or removal. In 1635 they 
succeeded in obtaining from Watertown large grants of land lying 
both on the north and south side of Charles River, that grant of 
land upon the south of the river included all, or nearly all of that 
which is now Brighton and Newton. This grant of land was 
first called 'The south side of Charles River,' and sometimes 
'Nonantum,' the Indian name. 

" AYhen ' New Town ' or ' Cambridge ' received her grant of land 
in 1635, of that portion lying upon the south of Charles River 
before mentioned, there was reserved and granted to the town of 
Watertown, ' a strip two hundred rods long and sixty rods wide, 
enough to protect then- fishing privilege, and afterwards called the 
Wear lands.' This reservation will be found by computation to 
comprise seventy-five acres. 

" These fishing interests were a source of income to Watertown 
for some two hundred j^ears, and very many of the citizens of both 
Watertown and Newton can remember the alewive catch that was 
yearly gathered there ; and, it is apparent to any one who will glance 
at the map of the territory-, that when Watertown relinquished her 
broad acres on the south side of the river, * which was then an unex- 
plored wilderness,' she believed her fishing interests to be more 
valuable than the territory given up to ' New Town ; ' and, had it 
not been for this source of income to her town treasury, this reser- 
vation would never have been made, and the Charles River would 
have been the boundary line between the two townships. 

"In the 3'ear 1679, when the town lines were established between 


Cambridge and 'New Cambridge or Cambridge Village,' it was 
expressly stipulated ' that this Watertown reservation on the south 
side of Charles River, 200 by 60 rods, should be maintained and held 
by Watertown for the protection of her fish wears.' They did not 
wish to enter into co-operation with this new colony in the carrying 
on of the fish business, and were very strenuous to have their rights- 
protected. Indeed, they became dissatisfied and grasping, and in 
1705 called for a commission to re-adjust the line for the better pro- 
tection of their fishing interests. John Spring, Edward Jackson 
and Ebenezer Stone on the part of ' New Town,' with Jonas Bond 
and Joseph Sherman of Watertown, composed that committee. 
Thej' agreed upon a settlement which shortened the easterly line a 
few rods, and lengthened the southerly and westerly lines, a few 
rods each from the original grant. In this settlement, Watertown 
had the best end of the bargain, and made a gain to her area of 
thirteen acres, giving her eighty-eight acres instead of the original 
seventy-five granted her. This speaks well for the temper and 
consideration of the committee on the part of ' New Town ; ' for it 
will be seen they were a majority of the committee. Since this 
time there have been further re-adjustments of these boundaries, 
and it is evident in each of these, Watertown has been sharp 
enough not to * lose ground ; ' for the total acreage of the territory 
now held by Watertown on the Newton side of the river, including 
the public streets and Boyd's and Cook's Ponds, is nearly one 
hundred and fifty acres, or a gain from what was originally intended 
for her fish protection, of nearly seventy-five acres. 

"The present (1879) taxable area of this portion of Water- 
town is 93| acres. Its valuation in 1878, was $801,170. Its 
population 575. This territor}^, especially that part of it known 
as 'Morse Field,' has increased ver}^ rapidly in population and val- 
uation during the past ten years. In fact in 1869, the 'Morse 
estate,' then comprising about forty acres, paid a tax to Water- 
town of only $160. In 1878, probably Watertown received about 
$3,000 from this same land. The people living upon the southerly 
half of these ' Wear Lands,' for several j-ears felt that they ought 
to be set off from Watertown and annexed to Newton, as all theu- 
social, educational, business and religious interests are with Newton, 
rather than with Watertown. Various attempts have been made 
in this regard by petitioning the Legislature for an act of annexa- 
tion ; but thus far they have been unsuccessful. It would seem 


to be not an act of injustice to Watertown to ask her for a re-con- 
veyance of a jDortion of this land which has from time to time 
been gained from the territorial limits of ' New Town ' and ' New- 
ton,' especially considering the facts that Watertown would never 
have had a foothold upon the south side of the river, after the 
grant to Cambridge, except to protect her fishing interests — that 
for the past forty or fifty years these interests have ceased to exist 
— that Watertown has nearl}- scventj^-five acres more than she is 
entitled to by the original grant — that Newton now has interests 
which she must protect. By the drainage surveys, it has been 
necessary to run one of her main drains through the territory, a 
right having been granted them by the Legislature of 1878. B}' 
this act the laying of this drain may involve the cit}^ of Newton 
in numerous lawsuits with the citizens or the authorities of the 
town of "Watertown; and it seems but justice that this land 
should be annexed, that she may not be subject to unnecessarj' 
litigation, but be able to run her drain through this territory with 
the same safety that it can be laid in any of her present limits. 
Also, that the citizens of this tract are sufiering for a supply of 
pure water, which Newton stands ready to jjrovide. They must 
also look to Newton for drainage of their lands." [The action of 
the Legislature of 1879-80 was adverse to the annexation.] 

The donations of land which Newtown received from Boston 
and Watertown were made on the express condition that 
Mr. Hooker's compau}- should not remove ; and, in case of their 
removal, these additions were to revert to theu* original owners. 
But the settlers of Boston on the one hand, and Mr. Hooker's 
company on the other, had set their hearts successively on two 
darling projects ; the first was to make Newtown the metropolis of 
the colony ; the second, after a brief experiment, to remove to 
Connecticut. The shoal waters of Charles River, as compared 
with the deep water and eas}' access of Boston harbor, made it 
inexpedient to erect Newtown into a capital. 

The lack of rich farming lauds, cleared and all ready for culti- 
vation, made the residence of Hooker's compan}' here unsatisfactory 
to them. And as their onl}- alternative the}- renewed then* request 
to be permitted to remove to Connecticut.* Accordingly the 

*Mr. Hooker settled in what is now Hartford. Therefore Connecticut and its capi- 
tal city must be regarded as the daughter of Newton, 


General Court, in 1635, gave them leave to remove wherever they 
pleased, " on condition that they should continue under the juris- 
diction of Massachusetts." Mr. Trumbull thus describes the jour- 
ney of Mr. and Mrs. Hooker and others in the following year : 

"About the beginning of June, Mr. Hooker, Mr. Stone and 
about one hundred men, women and children, took their departure 
from Cambridge, and travelled more than a hundred mUes, through 
a hideous and trackless wilderness, to Hartford. They had no 
guides but their compass, and made their way over mountains, 
through swamps, thickets and rivers, which were not passable but 
with great difficult3\ They had no cover but the heavens, nor an}' 
lodgings but those that simple nature afforded them. They drove 
with them a hundred and sixty head of cattle, and by the way 
subsisted on the millic of then' cows. Mrs. Hooker was borne 
through the wilderness upon a litter. The people carried their 
packs, arms and some utensils. They were nearly a fortnight on 
their joiu'ne}'. This adventure was the more remarkable, as many 
of the company were persons of high standing, who had lived in 
England in honor, affluence and delicacy, and were entire strangers 
to fatigue and danger." 

What would the venerable Hooker think now, were he to 
re-appear, and entering a car at Boston, to be whirled \\ke lightning, 
in four hours, to Hartford ! And what a change for Mrs. Hooker 
would it be, from a litter to the splendidly cushioned vehicles which 
now traverse the route passed over bj" her with so much toil, 
and pain, and dela}^ ! But it was this discipline of hardship and 
trial that made the fathers of New England the stalwart race they 
became. Self-denial brings success and victor}'. 

Many of Mr. Hooker's company, on their departure, sold their 
lands and buildings in Newtown to the Rev. Mr. Shepherd and his 
compan}', who thus enjo^'ed the advantage of finding a settlement 
alread}^ partiall}' cultivated, and affording comfortable accommoda- 
tions for themselves and their families. 

Six 3-ears after the settlement of Charlestown, all Massachusetts 
Bay contained but twelve plantations, or towns. This appears 
from the records of a Court held atNewtowne, Septembers, 1634 : 
" It was further ordered that the sum of £600 shall be levied out 
of the several plantations for publique uses, the one half to be paid 
forthwith, the other half before the setting of the next Court, viz. : 
Dorchester, 80 ; Roxbury, 70 ; Newtowne, 80 ; Watertown, 60 ; 


Saugiis, 50 ; Boston, 80 ; Ipswich, 50 ; Salem, 45 ; Cbarlestown, 
45; Meadford, 2G ; Wessagassctt (Weymouth), 10; Barecove 
(Ilmgham), 4." 

From this record it is apparent that Newtowne possessed as much 
capital as any plantation at that time, and, with two exceptions, 
more than any other in the colon}'. 

In 1G36 the rates levied upon the several towns were as follows : 

Newtown, £2G 5 Salem, £16 Newbury, £7 IC 

Dorchester, 2G 5 Charlestown, 15 Hingham, 6 

Boston, 25 10 Ipswich, 14 Weymouth, 4 

Watertown, 19 10 Saugus, 11 

Eoxbury, 19 5 Medford, 9 15 

Thirteen towns onl}- at that time constituted the State of Massa- 

The number of those who owned houses in Newtown at this time 
was cight3"-three. 

March 3, 1636. " It is agreed that Newtown bounds shall run eight 
miles into the country from their meeting-house ; and "Watertown, 
8 ; Roxbmy, 8 ; Charlestown, 8." 

The craving of the settlers for more territory, though abated for 
a season, and apparently- quieted, was by no means extinguished ; 
and it became necessar}'' once more for the General Court to invent 
and apph' a remedy. The special longing of the farmers was for 
meadows, that is, land free from wood, and in a condition for 
mowing fields without the labor of clearing, so that they might 
avail themselves at once of the grass and hay for the support of 
their herds. To meet theu" demands, the Court having extin- 
guished the Indian title within the boundaries of Cambridge, insti- 
tuted inquiries concerning other unappropriated territory which 
could be annexed to Newtowne. A committee was appointed in 
1636 to examine the Shawshine country, and to report whether it 
was fit for a plantation. In 1641 the following order was passed : 
" Shawshine is granted to Cambridge, provided they make it a 
village, to have ten famiUes there settled within thi'ec 3-ears ; other- 
wise, the Court to dispose of it." 

The Shawshine countrj' was vague in extent, and its character 
little known. A coimnittee was appointed, therefore, to make 
examination of the territory and bring in thek report to the Court. 
The report, made in 1642, sheds some light on the nature of the 


laud, and defines in some degree the boundaries of Cambridge 
(Newtown) . It is as follows : 

" "Wee, whose names are underwritten, being appointed to viewe 
Shawshine, and to take notice of what fitness it was of for a vil- 
lage, and according to our apprehensions make returne to the Court, 
— we therefore manifest thus much ; that for quantity, it is suffi- 
cient; but for quality, in our apprehensions, no way fit, — the up- 
land being very barren, and very little meadow thereabouts, nor 
any good timber almost fit for any use. We went, after we came 
to Shawshine house, by estimation, some fourteen or sixteen miles 
at the least by compass. From Shawshine house, wee began to go 
downe the r3^er four or five miles near east ; then wee left that 
point, and went neere upon north, came to the Concord Eyver, a 
little below the falls, about one mile or near ; then wee went up the 
ryver some five miles, untill we came to a place called the Two Breth- 
ren ; and from thence it is about two miles and a half to Shawshine ; 
and the most part of all the good land is given out akcady ; more 
land there is at the north side of the house, between the side of 
Concord line and the head of Cambridge line ; but littell meadow, 
and the upland of little worth ; and this is [all] that we can say 

Simon Willakd, 
Edward Con vers." 

This report being rather unfavorable as to the character of the 
territory, the Court enlarged their grant to Cambridge, and gave 
them further time to effect a settlement. The grant ran in these 
words : 

" All the land lying upon the Shawshine River, and between 
that and Concord River, and between that and the Merrimack 
River, not former^ granted bj* this Court, arc granted to Cam- 
bridge, so as they erect a village there within five years, and so as 
it shall not extend to prejudice Charlestowne village, or the village 
of Cochitawist, nor farmes former^ granted to the now Governor 
of 1,200 acres, and to Thomas Dudley, Esq., 1,500 acres, and 
3,000 acres to Mrs. Winthrop ; and Mr. Flint and Mr. Stephen 
Winthrop are to set out then" heade line toward Concord." 

" This liberal grant," says Mr. Hudson, in his History of Lexing- 
ton, p. 37, "was made in 1642 ; but no permanent settlement being 
made, the church in 164 4 Avas about to remove to Muttakeese (now 


Yarmouth), where a settlement had recently been commenced. 
To counteract this movement, the General Court in 1044 passed 
the following order : ' Shawshine is granted to Cambridge without 
an}- condition of making a village there ; and the land between 
them and Concord is granted all, all save what is formerly granted 
to the military company, provided the church present continue at 
Cambridge.' " 

The hmits of this grant of Shawshine, as of most of the grants 
of that period, are very indefinite, and it is not possible to define 
with precision what is included. But it is generally admitted that 
the Shawshine grant extended to the Merrimack River. We know 
it included all the town of Billerica, the greater portion of Bedford, 
and all that portion of Lexington north of the eight-mile line. 
Billerica was incorporated in 1G55 into a town by the consent of 
Cambridge. It was at that time a lai'ge territory, bounded on 
Cambridge Farms (Lexington) , Chelmsford, Andover, Woburn and 

It is a curious fact that this territory, represented as meagre 
in extent on the one hand, and poorly suited to cultivation on the 
other, has come to be not onl}^ the home of a busy and prosperous 
population, but also the seat of the best institutions of literatm'e, 
science, theolog}', law and medicine in the Commonwealth. A 
sm've}' of the present situation of things as compared with the 
above report and its occasion, recalls the remark of Mr. Webster, 
who once said, in relation to the State of New Hampshh-e, that 
when, on account of the hardness of her soil and the chill of 
her climate, she could raise nothing else, she erected churches and 
school-houses, and raised men. 

On the establishment of Harvard University, in 1638, it was 
ordered by the General Court " that Newtown should henceforward 
be called Cambridge," in compliment to the place where so many of 
the ci\dl and clerical fathers of New England had been educated. 
The large territory obtained on the south side of Charles River, 
comprising nearly the whole of what is now Brighton and Newton, 
was at first called " The south side of Charles River," and some- 
times " Nonantum," the Indian name. After religious ser^dces 
were held regularly on the south side of the river, about 1654, it 
was called "Cambridge Village," until 1679 ; but by authority of 
the General Court, after December, 1691, Newtown. 


Ill the year 1798, as appears from an article by Dr. Homer ia 
the Massachusetts Historical Collections for that year, the extent 
of Newton from north to south, measming from Watertown Une 
to Dedham line, was six miles and thu-t3^-six rods, the measure be- 
ing made along the county-road ; from east to west, measuring 
from the bridge at Newton Lower Falls to Cambridge (which at 
that date included Brighton or Little Cambridge) , four miles three 
quarters and fifty-one rods. The whole town, including the several 
ponds, was at that time, by careful estimate, reckoned to embrace 
12,940 acres. At the same date, Charles River, with its various 
windings, washed the edges of the town for about sixteen miles. 

In 1838, one thousand eight hundred acres of the extreme 
southerly part of Newton were set off to Roxbmy. In 1847, 
about six hundred and forty acres, at the extreme northwesterly 
part of the town, were set off to Waltham. In 1838 the area of 
the town was about 14,513 acres. After the construction of the 
Chestnut Hill Reservoir by the Water Commissioners of the citj' of 
Boston, a slight change was made in the boundary of Newton by an 
exchange of land, so that these beautiful sheets of water might be 
entirely within the limits of Boston, and under its jurisdiction. 
Brighton having been annexed to the city of Boston, the two cities 
Newton and Boston, for a considerable distance near this point, are 
bordering on each other. 




The first settlers of Cambridge Village did not come in a body, 
but family after family, one by one. Most of them were, at the 
time of their settlement, in the prime of life, — only two, so far as 
is known, being more than fifty years of age, and only five having 
reached forty. The majority of them were between twenty-one 
and thirty-five. And the hardships incident to life in a new coun- 
try seem to have been not unfavorable to health and longevity. 
Out of thirty, whose age at the time of their death is recorded, 
only two died under fifty ; only eight under seventy ; and fourteen 
lived beyond eighty. 

It is ver}' instructive to recur to the names of these venerable 
men of a past generation. Om- sympathies are profoundly stirred, 
when we contemplate the scenes of trial through which they must 
have passed, the simple means which were at their command to 
sustain life and supply it with sources of enjo}Tnent, and the 
bravery with which they addressed themselves to the task of work- 
ing out their destiny. They came with vigorous arms and com-a- 
geous hearts, resolved to win for themselves a home in the wilder- 
ness, and to secure for themselves and their posterity that liberty 
which was denied them in England. 

The following table presents the names of the male settlers, 
found upon the Records down to 1700. "John Jackson's pur- 
chase," says Mr. Francis Jackson, from whose work we cop}', in 
the main, this table, " is recorded upon the Proprietors' Records, 
in 1639. His son John's grave-stone, still standing, records his 
death Oct. 17, 1675, aged 36, which makes his birth the same 
year of his father's purchase. He had five sons and ten daughters, 
and about fifty grandchildren. We therefore begin our list of 
settlers with John Jackson, sr." 




This table exhibits, together with the names of the first settlers 
in Newton, several other items of historical interest. 










Dea. John Jackson . . . 
Dea. Samuel Hyde... 

Edward Jackson 

John Fuller 

Jonathan Hyde 

Richard Park 

Capt. Thomas Prentice 

John Parker 

Thomas Hammond 

Vincent Druce 

John Ward t 

James Prentice 

Tliomas Prentice, 2nd. 

Thomas AVisvvall 

John Kenrick 

Isaac Williams 

Abraham Williams . . . 

James Trowbridge 

John Spring 

John Eliot, jr 

Where from. 






Cambridge, Ms. 


Hinghara, Ms. . . 

Sudbury, Ms 

England , 


Dorchester, Ms. 
Boston, " 

Roxbury, " 
Watertown, " 
Dorchester, " 
AVatertown, " 
Roxbury, " 



Age at 







































2477 19 
534 5 


412 2 

1139 16 2 

271 19 

88 16 10 

286 14 


85 6- 9 

240 6 7 

457 2 5 

In addition to these twenty, there were at the time of Eliot's 
ordination (1664) twelve young men of the second generation,, 
nearly all unmarried, viz. : 

John Jackson, jr., 

Sebas Jackson, I ^^^^ ^^ ^.Uvard Jackson, 
Jonathan Jackson, J 

Noah "Wiswall, son of Thomas Wiswall, 

John Kenrick ^ ^^^, ^^ j^,^^ Kenrick, 
Ehjah Kenrick, j ' 

Vincent Druce, jr., K^^^ ^^ y.^^^^^ j^ 
John Druce, J 

|™^y^^^ydc, I ^^^^ ^f g,^,^^^^i jjy^^^ 

Thomas Park, son of Richard Park, 
Thomas Hammond, jr. 

* Samuel Holly was in Cambridge in 163C, owned a house and eighteen acres of land 
adjoining John Jackson in 1639, six acres of which he sold to Edward Jackson for £& 
in 1643, and died the same year. 

t John Ward had conveyed most of his property by deed of gift %.o his childreu 
before his death ; this was also the fact with regard to several of the first settlers, and 
of course this property was not included in their inventories. 



Date of 

Age at 


Where from. 

Date of 

Age at 














Gregory Cook 












Humphroy Osland 







Cambridge ... 
Hingham.. ... 





Joseph .Miller 










Isaac Beach 



Stejihen Cook 



Daniel Rny 

N. McDaniel (Scotch) 


David Mead 

John Parker (Sonth) 

Simon Onsi^ 

P. Stanchet (or Hanchet)... 

Waltham . . . 




Nathaniel Wilson 

Daniel Macoy 

John Clark 

John Miiick 

John Knapp 

Ebenezer Stone 




Watertown . . . 






Williani Thomas . . 


Jolm Staples 



Nathaniel Hoaly 

Thomas Chamberlain 

.Joseph Bush 

Cambridge . . . 

do. ... 




Abraham Chamberlain 

Nathaniel Parker 





AVilliam Tucker^ 

John Foot 


Andrew Hall 



Jonathan Green 

Sebrcan Carter 



John Smith 

Ebenezer Littlcfickl 

John Holland 

Cambridge ... 

Watertown . . 



John Grimes 


Samuel Paris 


Jonathan Coolidge 

Watertown. . . 


Nathaniel Longlcy 


Such were the names of the men who first cultivated these broad 
acres and conquered the difficulties incident to the life of the earlj* 
settler. They were forced to struggle with the infelicities of a 
rigorous climate and a hard and stouy soil. They were few in 
number, surrounded for a time b}' untutored savages ; and all the 
conveniences of hving were to be created by their own hands ; 
their homes were to be built, their streets to be made, their bridges 
to be thi'own across the brooks and to span the river. The forests 
were to be changed into fruitful fields, mills to be erected on their 



streams, cliui'cb spires to point heavenward, and the busy hum of 
industry to take the place of the primeval solitudes. But the men 
were equal to the emergencies, and under favor of a wise and pro- 
tecting Providence, they accomplished what they undertook. 

An Inventory on the cover of the first Newton Book of Records 
shows something of the wealth of the early inhabitants, as well as 
the relative value of different articles at that da}-. The Inventory 
was taken and values affixed by the Selectmen. The date is 1645. 

Persons (rateable), 






























do. three 

years old, 






do. two 

U 14 






do. one 

■ ( U 






Heifers, three 

(t <( 






do. two 

<( (1 






do. one 

(( i( 






118 10 













65 10 












23 04 

2 barques. 


1 10 

d a shallop, 





9 10 

£8801 04 

\ 1650. — A sale of fifty acres of land was effected at 5s. per acre, 
probably a farm of wild land. 

1648. —Forty acres at £2. 

In 1656 the inhabitants of Cambridge Village formed a distinct 
congregation for public worship, and the same year petitioned the 
General Court to be released from paying rates for the support of 
the ministry at Cambridge church. The Court's committee report- 
ed against the petition and the petitioners had leave to withdraw. 
In 1661 they renewed the petition, and the Court granted them 
" freedom from all church rates for the support of the ministry in 
Cambridge, and for all lands and estates which were more than 
four miles from Cambridge meeting-house, the measure to be in the 
usual paths that may be ordinarily passed." 

The petitioners were not satisfied with the dividing line, and in 
1662 they petitioned the Court for a new line. In October, 1662, 


the Court appointed a committee to give a hearing to the petition- 
ers and theu' opponents. This committee ran the line and settled 
the bounds, so far as ministerial taxes were concerned, creating 
substantial!}' the same line that now divides Newton from Brighton. 

In 1672 a new petition was presented from the inhabitants of 
the Village, asking to be set off from Cambridge and made a town 
b}' themselves. In answer to this petition, in 1673, the Court 
granted to the petitioners the right to '' elect annually one Consta- 
ble and three Selectmen, dwelling among themselves," continuing 
to be a part of Cambridge only so far as related to the pajTnent of 
certain taxes. But the action of the Court was not satisfactory' to 
the Village, and they did not accept it nor act under it. 

Again in 1677 further action was had relative to the dividing 
line between Cambridge and Cambridge Village through referees, 
two to be chosen by Cambridge, two by the Village, and these four 
to choose a fifth. The line of this committee did not differ essen- 
tially from the line run in 1662, 

In 1678, fifty-two out of sixty-five of the freemen of the Village 
signed a petition to the General Court, " praying to be set off from 
the town of Cambridge and be made a town by itself." Cambridge 
presented a remonstrance, signed by its Selectmen ; but, notwith- 
standing, the Court so far granted the petition as to order that the 
freeholders should meet on the 27th of August, 1679, and elect 
Selectmen and other town officers to manage the municipal affairs 
of the Village. This was an important, but not full concession on 
the part of the Court ; but the people had to wait nearl}' ten years 
more before they attained the object of then* desire. The attitude 
of the settlers in Cambridge Village was one of persistent deter- 
mination ; and, as if foreshadowing, in those early daj^s, the spirit 
of the revolution which occurred a century later, they stood firm 
in then* resistance of everything which, in their judgment, savored 
of oppression. 

The several steps in this history of the separation are of so 
much importance that the}' are worthy to be presented in complete 
detail, which will be given in a succeeding chapter. 





These records would be imperfect without a specimen of the 
early and quaint legislation of the colonists and townsmen, while 
the settlement was yet in its infancy. We introduce, from the 
Cambridge, Colonial and Town Records, a chapter of items which 
have a curious interest. The laws of a community are an index 
to their civilization. Their economical and pohtical arrangements 
are the embodiment of their thoughts, the exponent of their condi- 
tion, and the key to their character. The serial legislation of a 
people is, in an important sense, the history of the people, and 
furnishes the details of their progress in individual and associated 


The town granted to Joseph Cooke a farm of 400 acres of the nearest 
upland adjoining to his meadows lying beyond Cheese Cake Brook, and 
between that and Charles I^iver, and also to go with a straight line on the 
hithermost side of his meadow on this side Cheese Cake Brook, down by 
the edge of the highland to Charles River— (the same land that Cooke sold 
to John Fuller in 1G5S). 

Also, granted to Samuel Shepard a farm of 400 acres of upland, beyond 
the aforesaid farm granted to Joseph Cooke, adjoining unto the meadows 
which were some time in the occupation of brother Greene for Richard Sal- 
tonstall, with fourscore acres of that meadow lying most convenient. 

It is ordered by the townsmen that no person with his family shall corae as 
an inhabitant into our town, without the consent of the major part of the 



townsmen for the time being, under penalty of 20 shillings for every week ; 
and no man shall let out his house to any person coming from another place 
to settle him or herself as an inhabitant in our town, Avithout the consent of 
the major part of the townsmen, under a penalty of 20 shillings a week for 
every such default. 


April 12. — The Town bargained with Wabart, the Indian Chief (Eliot's 
first convert to Christianity), who lived in a large wigwam on Nonantum Hill, 
to keep six score head of dry cattle on the south side of Charles River, and 
he is to have the full sum of £8, to be paid as follows, viz., 30^. to James Cut- 
ler, and the rest in Indian corn at 3s., after Michaeltide next. He is to take 
care of them from the twenty-first day of this present month, and to keep them 
until three weeks after Michaelmas, and if any be lost or ill, he is to send 
word unto the town ; and if any be lost through his carelessness, he is to pay 
according to the value of the beast for his defect. 

his mark. 

"Waban, according to a note by A. H. Ward, under the instruc- 
tion of the English, became an excellent penman, at least so far 
as his signature was evidence of good penmanship. Original Deeds, 
bearing his signature, are still in existence ; in two, which I have 
seen, he wrote Thomas (the prefix name given him by the English) 
over "Waban, thus : 



By an estimate of the numbers of persons and of the estates in 
Cambridge taken by the Selectmen in 1G47, it appears that there 
were in the town at that date, 135 ratable persons ; 90 houses ; 208 
cows, valued at £9 per head ; 131 oxen, valued at £6 per head ; 229 
young cattle ; 20 horses, valued at £7 each ; 37 sheep, at £1 10s. ; 62 
swine, at £1, and 58 goats, at 8s. 


Joseph Cooke, Mr. Edward Jackson and Edward Goffe Avere cliosen com- 
missioners or referees to end small causes, under 40 shillings, — and for many 
years succeeding. 


It is ordained by the townsmen that all persons provide that tlieir dogs may 
do no harm in corn fields or gardens, by scraping up the fish, under the pen- 
alty of three pence for every dog that shall be taken damage feasant, with all 
other just damages. 



The inliabitants of Cambridge consented to pay each his proportion of a 
rate of £200 towards building a Bridge over Charles River. This Bridge, 
from the foot of what is now Dunster Street in Cambridge, was completed 
about 1660, and called "The Great Bridge;" in modern times "Brighton 

Persons were appointed by the Selectmen to execute the order of the 
General Court, for the impi<ovement of all the families within the town in 
spinning, and manufacturing clothes. 

The Deacons, with Edward Jackson, Goffe, Stedman and Winship, to make 
and levy a rate of £240 from the members of [for] our pastor, Mr. Mitchell. 


We do agree and consent that all the common lands on the south side of 
the river, on the east side of Dedham path, shall be divided into propriety to 
the several inhabitants that have an interest in them. 

Mr. Edward Jackson, Lieut. Thomas Prentice and John Jackson vs. the 
Selectmen of Cambridge, in a plea of replevin of their goods, distrained by 
order of said Selectmen towards the building of the Bridge over Charles 
River, — 

The Jury, having heard the respective pleas and answer of both parties, 
together with the evidence and records of Court, presented in the case, — 
which arc on file, — 

Verdict for the defendants. 


A tree was granted to the Rev. Mr. Mitchell for a cider press, and timber 
to James Hubbard for fencing his orchard and for making him a loom. 

In 1662, two hundred and sixty-seven acres of the common 
lands in Cambridge Village [south side of the river] were divided 
among ninety proprietors. 

A large body of lands at Shawshine (now Billerica) was 
granted by the General Court to the Proprietors of Cambridge. 
The Billerica lands were divided among the proprietors in 1652. 
Of this division, 

Edward Jackson had 400 acres, which, by his will, he gave to 

Harvard College. 
Thomas Prentice had 150 acres. 
Samuel Hyde had 
John Jackson had 
Jonathan Hyde had 
John Parker had 
Vincent Druce had 












Edward Jackson was released from all ordinary trainings, paying eight 
shillings per annum to the Military Company where he lives. 


January 20. — At a meeting of the inhabitants and proprietors of the town 
lands, it is agreed among them that the persons hereafter named be a com- 
mittee to draw up the list of the names of such inhabitants as have interest 
in said common lands, as near as may be according to the order and agree- 
ment of the thirteen men recorded in the Town Book, or according to any 
other righteous rule, as they shall see meet, and the proportion to each inhabi- 
tant aforesaid their just right for number of acres in the common lands on 
the south side of the river, yet undivided. 

Also, in a distinct list, to proportion and allot in a way of free gift so much 
of the said lands unto the inhabitants of the town that have no interest with 
respect to quality, desert or standing in the town, and bearing public charges, 
according as said committee shall think equal and just; and the said com- 
mittee, having drawn up the list aforesaid, to call all the aforesaid inhabitants 
together, and present the same unto them for their final approbation. 

At which meeting, the major vote, either affirmative or negative, shall be 
conclusive in this matter. 

The committee are as follows, namely, all the Selectmen of Cambridge, 
Lieut. Winship, Edward Shepard, Richard Robins, Philip Cooke, John 
Shepard and David Fiske ; and if it should appear that the major part of the 
aforesaid inhabitants do vote in the affirmative, and agree to what is to them 
presented, then there shall be a proceeding to draw lots, according to what is 
agreed to, [in] such a method and manner as shall be proposed by said com- 
mittee for the division of all the common lands on the south side of the river; 
and the committee are desired to despatch the work as soon as conveniently 
they can, — the townsmen to appoint time and place of meeting. 

Voted in the affirmative, the day and year above named. 

By this vote, 2675^^ acres of the common lands in Cambridge Village were 
divided among 133 proprietors. Of these, Edward Jackson had 30 acres, 
John Jackson 20 acres and Thomas Prentice 9 acres. 


Elder Wiswall, Edward Jackson and John Jackson were appointed to cate- 
chise the children at the new church at the Village. 

Samuel Hyde was notified to appear before the Selectmen to answer for 
falling trees on the highway against his own land; — to which he replied, that 
when he gave the land for a highway, he conditioned to reserve the timber 
and wood for his own use ; and he was promised the same by John Jackson, 
John AVard and John Parker. 

Samuel Hyde complains against Edward Jackson for leaving out of his 
invoice 15 acres of English grass and 120 acres of inclosed pasture, — also, 
of John Jackson, for leaving out ten acres of meadow and an ox from his 


At a town meeting called to consider about fortifying the town against the 
Indians, it was judged necessary that something be done for the fencing in 
the town with a stockade, or something equivalent. Materials were accord- 
ingly provided; but King Philip's war being soon after terminated, the town 
ordered that the Selectmen should improve the timber that was brought for 
the fortifications for the repairing of the Great Bridge 

This bridge was rebuilt in 1690, at the expense of Cambridge 
and Newton, with some aid from the public treasury, and crosses 
Charles River south of the College, on the way from Cambridge to 
Brookliiie and Roxbury. Before the erection of a bridge at this 
place,. there was a ferr^^ from a wharf at the foot of Water Street 
in Cambridge to the highway leading to Roxbury. 

The law of fidelity to the country to be administered to all, of sixteen years 
of age and upwards. 


Capt. Thomas Prentice, commander of a troop of horse in the Lower 
Middlesex Regiment, presented the nomination of oflicers for said comjiany, 
viz.: William Bond, Lieutenant; Jonathan Hammond, Cornet, and John 
Powle, Quarter Master. 

Ordered, that Capt. Prentice and Mr. Noah Wiswall be desired to gather 
up the arms belonging to the Indians of Natick, which have been pawned by 
several persons. 


Some of the early Records of the Colony, — whose control 
embraced the administration of Newtown, — are equall}" curious 
and interesting with the preceding. The legislation for the Colony 
prescribed the status of the legislation for Newtown likewise ; 
and the legislation of Newtown (Cambridge) extended its sway 
over the entire territory embraced in Cambridge and New Cam- 
bridge, — the latter being a part of the former. We give here a 
few specimens which cannot properly be included under am' other 
head. They show the spirit of the times when they originated. 

The following extracts are from the late A. H. Ward's manu- 
script compilations. 

At the Court held in Newtowne, September 3, 1634, "it was ordered that 
no person shall take tobacco publiquely, under the penalty of eleven shillings, 


nor privately, in his own house or in the house of another, before strangers, 
and that two or more shall not take it anywhere, under the aforesaid penalty 
for each offence." 

" At a Court holden at Newtowne on the second day of the ninth month, 
1637, it was ordered that no person shall be allowed to sell cakes and bunns, 
except at funerals and weddings." 


None are to be freemen but such as are in full communion with the chixrch 
of Christ. 


The ministers who supplied the pulpit of the church at New Cambridge, 
between the death of Mr. Eliot and the settlement of Mr. Hobart seem to 
have been unfairly dealt with by the parish in the matter of compensation for 
their services. Accordingly they sued the inhabitants of the Village for their 
pay, and a trial was had before the County Court in 1671. On a full hearing 
of both parties, according to the County Court Records, "the Court ordered 
that payment be made to those ministers that had labored among them, indif- 
ferently, to one as well as to another (all animosity among themselves not- 
withstanding), according as the Selectmen of the town had formerly advised 
in the case." 


It is ordered by this Court that Cambridge Village shall henceforth be a 
distinct military company of themselves, and so to be exercised according to 
law. James Trowbridge, a Lieutenant by appointment. 

Ordered, that Captain Thomas Prentice do send for some of the Indians 
that have submitted themselves to the justice of this Court, to fetch in or 
destroy the enemy that yet lies out; and in case they bring in any of the 
sacliems, they shall have a suitable reward. 


It is ordered by this Court that Mrs. Elizabeth Eliot, relict and sole execu- 
trix of the late Mr. John Eliot, of Cambridge Village, with the consent of 
the overseers of the will, be and they hereby are enabled with full powers to 
alienate and sell the house and lands in that place, lately belonging to the 
deceased, unto Mr. Nchemiah Hobart, minister of that place, or to any other 
person or persons; — forasmuch as the said house goes to decay daily, and 
repairs will far exceed the rent, and the widow and son must suffer thereby : — 
provided it be done according to the terms of the will. 

All persons, inhabitants as well as strangers, are to take the oath of fidelity 
to the country, etc., and all who refuse shall not have the benefit of our laws, 
to implead, sue, or recover any debt in any Court, nor have any protection 
while they continue in such obstinate refusal ; and the names of all who refuse 
to take the oath are to be returned to the Court. 


The Court order and enact that the Sabbath laws be twice read annually, 
in March and September, by the minister ; and the Selectmen are ordered to 
see to it that there be one man appointed to inspect every ten families of his 
neighbors, which titliing men are empowered to do, in the absence of the Con- 
stable, to apprehend all Sabbath breakers, etc., and carry them before a Magis- 
trate, or other authority, or commit them to prison, as any Constable may do, 
to be proceeded with according to law. 

And for the better putting in restraint and securing the offenders who trans- 
gress against the Sabbath laws in the meeting-house, or by abusive carriage 
or misbehavior, by making any noise or otherwise during the daytime, being 
laid hold of by any of the inhabitants, shall by the said person appointed to 
inspect tliis law, be forthwith carried and put into the cage in Boston, wliich 
is appointed to be forthwith erected by the Selectmen, to be set up in the 
market place, and in such other towns as the County Court shall appoint, 
there to remain till authority sliall examine the person of the offender, and 
give order for his punishment as the matter may require, according to the 
laws relating to the Sabbath. 


Forasmuch as it hath too often happened that through differences of opin- 
ion in several towns, and on other pretences, there have been attempts by 
some persons to erect new meeting-houses, — although on pretence of the 
public worship of God on the Lord's day, yet thereby laying foundations, if 
not for scliism, and seduction to errors and heresies, — for perpetuating divi- 
sions and weakening such places where they dwell, in comfortable support of 
the ministry, orderly settled among them— for prevention thereof, it is — 

Ordered, that no person whatever, without the consent of the freemen of 
the town where they live, first orderly had and obtained at a public meeting 
assembled for that end, etc., and every i:)erson or persons transgressing this 
law, every such house or houses where such persons shall so meet more than 
three times, with the land whereon such houses stand, and all private ways 
leading thereto, shall be forfeited to the use of the country, or demolished, 
as the Court shall order. 


A Society of Baptists were censured by the Governor in open Court, and 
prohibited meeting as a Society in the public place they have built, or any 
other public house, except such_ as have been allowed by lawful authority. 



June 27. — First town meeting. Selectmen and other town officers chosen, 
in anticipation of the separation of New Cambridge from Cambridge, which 
took place January 8, 1688. 



January 20. — Voted, that the Selectmen provide weights and measures 
for standards, for tlie use of the inliabitants. 

John Spring chosen Sealer of weights and measures. 

Voted, that a rate be made for tlie procuring the weights and measures, and 
for repairing the glass about the Meeting-IIouse, and to pay John Fuller, 
senior, wliat he has laid out for the raising of the new end of the Meeting- 

Voted, that no barley shall be brought in to Mr. Hobart, for his rate, after 
the first of February. 

Voted, tliat what had been recorded in the Old Book, that was of moment, 
should be transcribed into the New Book, and that Sergeant Ward and Noah 
Wiswall should see that it be done ; and accordingly, it was forthwith done 
in their presence. 

Captain Prentice and Edward Jackson were appointed a committee to warn 
John Jackson, who came from Rowley, to leave the town. 

Voted, that there be added to Mr. Hobart's maintenance £5 to the former 
£65, making his salary £70 ; and one third to be paid in money, without 


A committee was chosen to treat with Cambridge, about our freedom from 
their town. 


John Ward and Noah Wiswall were joined to our Selectmen, to treat with 
the Selectmen of Cambridge to lay out a highway from our meeting-house 
to tlie Falls, probably to go through some of the common lands. 

Jonatlian Spring, Edward Jackson, Abraham Jackson and James Prentice 
chosen a committee about the Great Bridge. 


Chose Ensign John Ward deputy this session ; and he was instructed to 
advocate an enlargement of freemen, — that all free-holders, that are of an 
honest conversation and competent estate, may have their vote in all civil 

He served fifty-four days, and was paid one shilling and six pence per day. 

Mr. Ward was elected deputy from New Cambridge eight times 
by his fellow-citizens, and as the first of a long series doubtless 
did efficient service. It was the day of small things, bttt the begin- 
ning of a worth}' succession. 


The first person who died in Newton, after it was incorporated, 
was Nathaniel Hanunond, son of Thomas Hammond, sr. He died 
May 29, 1691, aged 48. 

The first couple married in Newton, after it was incorporated, 

were Josiah Bush and Hannah , December 25, 1691, 

(Chiistmas day) . They were married by James Trowbridge, the 
first Town Clerk, and had three children. 


Paid Joseph Fuller 20s. for killing three wolves. 

Appointed Dr. Williams, Deacon Trowbridge and John Fuller, senior, 
committee for contributions. 


Voted, that a lawyer be employed against Cambridge ; and if one cannot 
be had, then Captain Thomas Prentice, Captain Williams and John Fuller, 
senior, be joined with the Selectmen to implead Cambridge. 

The Town Treasurer paid William Ward £3 Oj. lOd. for killing wolves. 


Paid Thomas Wiswall 6/8 for killing a wolf. 

Voted, that a new meeting-house be built, and placed near the old one ; 
and Captain Prentice, John Fuller, senior. Captain Williams, John Ward, 
senior, Jonathan Hyde, senior, John Spring and Nathaniel Healy be a com- 
mittee to treat with workmen for building the same. 


Voted, that John Brewer, of Sudbury, be employed master-workman, to 
build the new meeting-house. 

Voted, to go on with the work of building, and John Spring, Jeremiah 
Fuller, Nathaniel Healy and John Hyde shall oversee the work and give 
directions for the getting of the timber, that so every quarter of the town 
may get a part of the timber, if they please. 

Voted, i-200 for carrying on the work. 

Voted, that seats for the boys be made from the west door to the northwest 
corner of the house. 

Voted, that the vacant room on the east and north side of the house, to 
the pulpit, is granted for the setting up of pews for women, but they shall not 
be sold to a stranger. 


Voted, that a vane be provided to set upon the turret of the meeting- 


The vote to build this second meetiug-hoiise was passed in 
March, 1696 ; the work was commenced in the spring of 1697 and 
completed early in 1698. The building stood on the westerly side 
of Centre Street, opposite the bur^'ing-grouud, near the spot after- 
wards occupied by the house of the late Gardner Colby, Esq- 
The place was once owned and occupied by John Spring, who 
probably gave the land to the town for that purpose. It was 
voted that " the building committee should seat the meeting-house, 
and that age and gifts (towards the building) should be the rule 
the committee should go by." This custom of " seating the meet- 
ing-house " was a shred of the old aristocrac}' of the mother coun- 
try. It created much ill feeling, until, finally, it was abolished. 

The first meeting-house was still standing in 1717 ; but it is not 
known for what purpose it was then used. 

Voted, to build a school-house before the last of November, IG feet by 14. 

Voted, 30 shillings to Daniel Ray, to look after the meeting-house and the 



John Staples was hired to keep the town school at five shillings per day. 
Lt. John Spring was allowed twenty shillings for sweeping and cleaning the 


Thomas Oliver and Edward Jackson were ordained Deacons, and publicly 
inducted into office. The one was son-in-law, the other, son, of Edward 
Jackson, senior. 

March 3. — Voted, that those that shall kil black birds from ye : 1 : of 
April til the last of May, and bring their heads to the Court or Select men, 
shall be alowed twelve pence for dosen out of the town rate. 

At a town meeting March ye 3 : 1707, for the choice of oficers, they elected 
five *' survaighers of highways," and Jonathan Cooledge & Richard Wooderd 
chosen to take care of hogs, that they are yoked and ringed according to law. 

Voted, that the select men shall be Asesores, to ases the contrey rates. 


March 5. — Voted, that once in the year, upon the thanksgiving day that 
falls in the year, that there shal be a contrybution for the poor, and that it 
shal be put into the town treasury, and to be ordered to tlie poor by the 
selectmen as they see need. 

March 9. — Voted, that sheep shal go at liberty upon the commons. 

Voted, that the Selectmen and commity that is chosen shall go over the 
highways in town, and revue the marks and settle them, so far as they can, 
without charge to the town. 


At the same town meeting, the citizens appointed fence viewers, tithing 
men, a sealer of leather, a person to take care of hogs, and one to provide a 
school master and agree with him. 

In 1717, au act was passed by the town to prevent the destruction 
of deer, — which proves that at this date deer roamed in the forests 
of Newton. 


March 31. — Voted, that two pence per head shall be paid out of the town 
treasury for every old black bird yt. shall be killed in this town, from the first 
day of April until the last day of June ; and two pence per head for every jay 
bird yt. shall be killed at any time of the year ensuing; provided, always, 
that the birds shall be brought to some one of the Selectmen, constable or 
town clerk ; as also for every gray-headed wood-pecker, two pence per head 
for every one that shall be killed within the year. 


March 8. — Voted, that the Selectmen or Overseers of the Poor shall have 
power to provide a house, to set idle and disorderly persons on work for one 
year next ensuing; and that one of the school houses, in the recess of the 
school, shall be a work house for such idle and disorderly persons 


An act was passed by the General Court to prevent the destruction of deer 
and thereupon Deer Reeves were chosen to see the law executed. 


Samuel Miller, Isaac Williams and Richard Park were chosen to take care 
with respect to the free passage of fish up and down Charles River. 


Voted, to have a stove to warm the meeting-house. 

Voted, that the deacons have liberty to sit out of the deacons' seat, if 
they choose. 


March, — Voted, to disannul the ancient mode of seating parishioners in 
the mfceting-house. 


October 16. — Joseph Jackson and Ebenczer Cheney were elected delegates 
to the Convention for the purpose of altering or revising the Constitution of 



To these early and quaint Records, wc add a few of more 
recent date, showing the progress of the town in legislation and 

A resolution was passed b}^ the town April 4, 1842, proposed 
by the late Marshall S. Rice, as follows : 

Resolved, that we review with regret the want of confidence we have be- 
trayed for a few years past in Heavenly Wisdom, to guide us in our town 
affairs, by not seeking it ; and that hereafter we will return to the custom of 
our fathers, and have our town meetings ojjened by prayer. And the Select- 
men are hereby requested to engage the officiating clergymen of Newton to 
attend for that purpose, alternately, as near as may be. 


March 25. — The town voted to dispense with the election of tithing men. 
In the progressive advancement of society the office had become a mere 


March. — The town for the first time voted a tax of one dollar per head 
on dogs. 


May 4. — By vote of the town, the Selectmen were ordered to procure a 
fire-proof safe for the preservation of the Records and important documents 
belonging to the town. When Newton became a city, this safe was given 
to Marshall S. Rice, Esq., the last town clerk, who had served in that capacity 
from 1846 to 1873, to universal acceptance. It was a fitting gift to a worthy 


November 9. — Voted, to authorize the Selectmen to give or sell sufficient 
land near the Poor House for a Railroad depot. [At this date the Poor 
House was the old Pigeon estate, Auburndale.] 


April 3. — A law was passed requiring that dogs should be licensed, at a 
charge of two dollars each. 

The pound, near the First Baptist Church at Newton Centre, was sold this 
year. Its location was a little east of the site of the Unitarian church, and the 
street which crosses the railroad near that point was known as Pound Lane, 
£now Cypress Street], 


May 21. — Voted, to sell the Powder House and its contents at Newton 
Centre. [The Powder House stood at the junction of Lyman Street with the 

In March, 1851, the Selectmen were authorized by vote of the 
town, to purchase gravel and land for repairing the streets of the 

In March, 1862, provision was made for the annual election of 
truant officers. 

March, 1865, the town voted the sum of sis hundred dollars to 
provide a suitable lock-up at Newton Corner. 

Under date of March, 1865, the town adopted a design pre- 
sented for a corporate town seal. 

In March, 1866, Voted, to purchase a crushing machine, alone, 
or jointly with some adjacent town, to prepare rubble for 
macadamizing the principal roads. The Selectmen were authorized 
to emplo}^ night pohce, according to their discretion. 

March. — Voted, to appropriate i^30,000 to purchase land for building a 
school-house at Newton Centre ; §12,000 for the same purpose at Newton 
Upper Falls, and §26,000 at Newton Lower Falls. 

The votes passed at the town meetings, as the period drew near 
when the town of Newton was to become the City of Newton, gave 
abundant proof of the spirit of progress. May 3, 1869, the town 
voted to employ an Engineer of roads, and renewed the vote passed 
three years before, to buy a stone-crusher. May 10, 1869, appro- 
priated a sum not exceeding $2,400 to purchase a piano for each 
of the Grammar schools. Also, 

Voted, to pay for gas, oil and care of lights, whenever the citi- 
zens furnish suitable lamps and erect them, free of charge to the 
town, in places approved by the Selectmen. 

In March, 1870, an espenditm-e of $1,000 was authorized for 
evening schools next winter. 

March, 1871. — Voted, to instruct the School Committee to 
appoint a Superintendent of schools. 

March 6, 1871, appropriated $500 to fit up an armory for Co. L, 
First Reolment Massachusetts Infantry. 




Previous to August 27, 1679, the town meetings were held at 
Cambridge, and all the town officers were chosen there. After 
this date, meetings were held at Cambridge Village, by the 
freemen of the Village only, without dictation or interference from 
Cambridge or elsewhere. They took into their own hands the 
management and control of the prudential affairs of the Village 
on that da}', as fully and completely as an}^ other town, and con- 
ducted them according to the will and pleasure of the majorit}^ 
of the freeholders in the Village, until Newton became a city. It 
is probably true, however, that Cambridge and Cambridge Village 
were taxed together for a considerable number of years for State 
and County purposes. It could not have made much difference 
whether the State or County authorities doomed them together or 
separately ; — their proportion would have been about the same 
either way. They were also held to pay their proportionable parts 
towards the repair of the Great Bridge. This they were compelled 
to do until 1700, and even later. Nor were they allowed to send 
a Deputy to the General Court until 1688. For town purposes 
they were independent ; but for County and State purposes they 
were to a certain extent connected with Cambridge and a part of 
it, until 1688, when the separation was fully consunmaated, and 
Newton became a free and independent corporation. The long 
struggle, the setting forth of arguments, the heart-burnings, the 
alternating tides of purposes formed and balked, of anticipations 
and disappointments, extending through a period of thirty-five 
3'ears, form an interesting and characteristic chapter of historj-, 
worthy to be presented in detail in the following pages. It was 


in these civil conflicts that the early settlers and their sons were 
trained for the sterner strussles which were in reserve for later 


In the choice of Deputies to tlae General Court, the Village had no cause 
to complain, as a Deputy was chosen from the Village for twenty years. But 
no Selectman was ever chosen from the Village during the whole time they 
formed a part of Cambridge, about forty [fifty] years, except once, in 1605, 
(Mr. Edward Jackson). The other town officers chosen from the Village 
from 1664 to 1679, were highway surveyors, constables, fence viewers and 
hog-reeves. No assessors or other town officers were appointed from the 
Village. The men chosen from the Village to fill these minor offices, before 
tlie Village became a town, were Edward Jackson, Jonathan Jackson, John 
Fuller, Samuel Hyde, Thomas Prentice, Thomas Wiswall, John Ward, Jona- 
than Hyde, James Prentice, James Trowbridge, Thomas Prentice, jr., 
Daniel Bacon, Noah Wiswall, Job Hyde, John Kenrick, Isaac Williams, 
John Spring and Gregory Cook. 

Deacon John Jackson, the first settler in the Village, and nine 
others were dead, when the town of Newton became wholly inde- 

The heroic and aspiting spirit of the early inhabitants prompted 
them constant^ to seek something better and higher than that 
which they had already acquired. It was not mere uneasiness and 
discontent. It was the spirit of enterprise, and the conception 
of and reaching forth towards the perfect, Avhich forbade them 
to be satisfied with the present, if something better could be 

They turned their attention first to securing relief from the 
•charge of sustaining the ministry in Cambridge. When this was 
accomplished, the}' aimed, as justlj' they might do, to be re- 
lieved from the tax of supporting the Cambridge Grammar school, 
and maintaining the Great Bridge between what was .afterwards 
Brighton and Cambridge, and which was properly a county, and 
not a town, charge. The next move was for an independent town. 
Still later, having secured a church of their own, and a meeting- 
house, within their own town limits, some of them began to groan 
imder the burden of too long a ride on the Sabbath to attend 
divine service. The question grew in importance and interest. 
Their grievances seemed to swell in magnitude. They petitioned 
the town for relief; and, after the example of the importunate 
widow in the Scriptures, the}' continued then- efforts till they 
obtained their desire. 


It was in this way that, while town and parish limits were 
co-extensive, first, liljerty was given to half a dozen families 
nearest Roxburv to worship and to pa}' their ministerial taxes 
there. This was the thin edge of the wedge, which was finally to 
be driven completely home, and to cleave the log asnnder. In 
process of time they secured the erection of the meeting-house of 
the First Parish at a point nearer the centre of the town, its present 
location. After nearly sixtj' ^-ears, the West Parish was formed with 
church and meeting-house, and the citizens of that district began 
house-keeping for themselves. Not far from that time the First 
Parish Church and Society became independent of the town, 
the ecclesiastical and civil relations of the townsmen having he- 
come, as they should be, disjoined the one from the other. The 
First Baptist Church was formed in its vicinity, its members being 
drawn from all parts of the town. About thirty j-ears later' the 
Lower Falls had a church and society. The ecclesiastical elements 
of the town had crystallized in their distinctive forms, and the old 
methods of the primitive settlers had substantialh' disappeared. 

The successive steps leading to these results are very interesting. 

The first settlers of Cambridge Village, in their zeal to be 
independent of the town of Cambridge, commenced the first move- 
ment in that direction ver}' gentl}^, in the latter part of 1G54 or 
about the beginning of 1655, at which time the}' began to hold 
religious meetings for public worship in Cambridge Village. They 
asked, first of all, to be released from paj'ing rates to the church 
at Cambridge, on the ground that they were about to establish 
the ordinances of Christ among themselves, and distinct from the 
town. Their request was answered by the Selectmen as follows : 

Meeting of the Selectmen, March 12, 1655. — In answer to the request of 
some of our beloved brethren and neighbors, the inhabitants on the other side 
of the river, that they might liave the ordinances of Christ among them, dis- 
tinct from the Town ; — the townsmen, not well understanding what they intend 
or do desire of the Town, nor yet being able to conceive how any thing can be 
granted in tliat respect, but the fraction will prove destructive to the wliole 
body, — do not see ground to give any consent for any division of the Town. 
Also, we hope it is not the desire of our Ijretliren so to accommodate them- 
selves by a division as thereby utterly to disenable and undo the clmrch of 
Christ, with whon^ they have made so solemn an engagement in the Lord, 
which is apparent to us will be the effect thereof; and therefore do desire 
that we may join, both hand and heart, to worship the Lord together in one 
place, until the Lord shall be pleased to enlarge our hands, and show us our 
way more clear for a division. 


It is stated by Dr. Holmes, in his History of Cambridge, that 
the inhabitants of Cambridge Village had become so numerons by 
the year 165G as to form a distinct congregation for public worship, 
when an " abatement was made of one half of their proportion of 
the ministry's allowance, during the time they were provided with 
an able minister according to law." 

The petition to the town finding no favor, the people of Cam- 
bridge Village next determined to try what virtue there might be 
in an appeal to the Great and General Court, and in 1G56, "John 
Jackson and Thomas Wiswall, in behalf of the inhabitants of the 
Village, petitioned the General Court to be released from paying 
rates for the support of the ministr}' at Cambridge church." 

The town of Cambridge remonstrated against this petition, and 
the petitioners had leave to withdraw. They were silenced, for 
the time, but not satisfied. But the object thc}^ had in view was 
too important, and they were men of too much perseverance to 
sit down quietly and submit. The fire smouldered for a season, 
but soon broke forth anew. They had tested the townsmen and 
the Court in vain ; but they were not discouraged. 

Having waited till, in their judgment, a better spirit prevailed, 
and new circumstances had come into existence more favorable to 
their plea, again in IGGl they presented a petition to the General 
Court, asking to be released from paj'ing church rates to 
Cambridge. Meetings for pubhc worship had been held in the 
place for four or five years. As there was a hall suitable for such 
a purpose in Edward Jackson's house, near the present dividing- 
line between Newton and Brighton, it is conjectured, in the ab- 
sence of records, that the meetings Avere held there. In 1G60 the 
first meeting-house in Cambridge Village was erected, which greatly- 
strengthened their case; and according^, in IGGl, the Court 
" granted them freedom from all church rates for the support of 
the ministr}' in Cambridge, and for all lands and estates which 
were more than four miles from Cambridge meeting-house, — the 
measure to be in the usual paths that may be ordinarily passed," — 
so long as " the south side of the river shall maintain an able 

The inhabitants of the Village, however, were not satisfied with 
the dividing line, and the next year they petitioned the Court for 
a new line. The action of the Court on this petition was as 
follows : 



October. — In answer to the petition of John Jackson and Thomas Wis- 
wall, in behalf of the inhabitants of Cambridge Village, as a full and final 
issue of all things in controversy between the town of Cambridge and the 
petitioners, the Court judge it meet to order, appoint and fully empower Maj. 
William Hawthorne, of Salem, Capt. Francis Norton, of Charlestown, and 
Capt. Hugh Mason, of Watertown, as a committee to give the petitioners, or 
some in their behalf, with some invited in behalf of the town of Cambridge, 
opportunity to make their desires known, and Major Hawthorne to appoint 
the time and place for the hearing of what all parties can say, so it be some 
time before the next Court of election. And on the hearing thereof, to issue 
fully and absolutely conclude and determine what they shall judge necessary 
and just to be done, as to the determining the four-mile bounds, that so this 
Court may no more be troubled thereabouts. 

And SO in 1GG2 the committee above named ran the line and 
settled the bounds between Cambridge and Cambridge Village, so 
far as related to the matter of ministerial support. This line be- 
came the town line on the separation of Cambridge Village from 
Cambridge, and is substantia^ the same line that now divides 
Newton and Brighton [Boston] . 

The organization of the First Church in July, 16G4, and the ordi- 
nation of the first minister, Rev. John Eliot, jr., consummated the 
ecclesiastical, though not the civil, separation of Cambridge 
Village from Cambridge. 

But the inhabitants were not yet contented. Their territory was 
large and the}^ were ambitious to be recognized as in all respects 
an independent town. A formal movement in this du'cction was 
first made in 1672, when Edward Jackson and John Jackson, in 
behalf of the inhabitants of Cambridge Village, petitioned the 
Court to be set off from Cambridge, and made an independent 
town by themselves. 

In answer to this petition, we find under date of Maj' 7, 1673, 
this record : 

This Court doth judge meet to grant to the inhabitants of said Village an- 
nually to elect one Constable and three Selectmen, dwelling among them- 
selves, to order the prudential aflfliirs of the inhabitants there, according to 
law ; only continuing a part of Cambridge in paying county .and country 
rates, as also town rates, so far as refers to the Grammar school, bridge over 
Charles River, and their proportion of the charges of the Deputies of Cam- 
bridge; and this to be an issue to the controversy between Cambridge and 


The Village was not satisfied by this action of the Court, and 
the inhabitants declined to accept it or act under it. 

"Further action was had," says Mr. Jackson, under date of 
1677, "relative to the dividing line between Cambridge and the 
Village, both parties agreeing to submit to referees, mutually 

The Village chose Capt. Thomas Prentice, James Trowbridge, Noah Wis- 
wall and Jonathan Hyde, a committee to settle the line by reference ; two 
referees to be chosen by the Village, two by Cambridge, and they four to 
choose a fifth. The referees thus chosen were Richard Calicot, William 
Symes, AVilliam Johnson, William Bond and Richard Louden. The result 
of this reference was a line described as follows: "Corner near the widow 
Jackson's orchard and a chestnut tree in Mr. Edward Jackson's pasture, and'. 
to continue until it comes to the river ; then, southerly, by a heap of stones, 
four miles from Cambridge meeting-house ; thence to continue until it comes 
at Boston [Brookline] bounds." This award was dated July 27, 1677. 

At the session of the General Court commencing May 8, 1678, 
the following petition was presented, signed by nearly all the free- 
men of the Village. Mr. Jackson says it was, " no doubt, drawn 
up by Mr. Edward Jackson, sr." 

To the Honored Governor, Deputy Governor, together with the Honorable' 
Magistrates and Deputies of the General Court, now sitting in Boston : 

The humble petition of us, the inhabitants of Cambridge Village, on the' 
south side of Charles River, showeth, that the late war, as it has been a great 
charge to the whole colony, so to us in particular, both in our estates and. 
persons, by loss of life to some, and others wounded and disabled for their live- 
lihood, besides all our other great charges, in building of our meeting-house, 
and of late, enlargement to it, as also our charge to the minister's house ; 
and as you know the Lord took that worthy person from us in a little time,, 
and now in great mercy hath raised up another in the place, who hath a 
house in building for him, which requires assistance. As also we are now, 
by the great mercy of God, so many families, that a school is required for 
the education of our children, according to law, besides our public charge of 
the place ; yet, notwithstanding, this last year the townsmen of Cambridge 
have imposed a tax upon us, amounting to the sura of three country rates, 
without our knowledge or consent, which we humbly conceive is a very harsh 
proceeding for any townsmen, of their own will and power, to impose upon 
the inhabitants what taxes they please, and to what end, without ever calling 
the inhabitants to consider about such charge. Nevertheless, for peace' sake, 
the inhabitants of our place did meet together, and jointly consent to give 
the town of Cambridge the sum of one hundred pounds, and to pay it in 
three years, without desiring any profit or benefit from them, of wood, tim- 
ber, or common lands, but only our own freedom, being content with our- 
proprieties, which some of us had before Cambridge- had any right there,. 



which tender of ours they having rejected, as also to grant to us our free- 
dom from them, — 

We do most humbly commend our distressed condition to the justice 
and mercy of this honored Court, that you will please to grant us our free- 
dom from Cambridge, and that we may be a township for ourselves, without 
any more dependence upon Cambridge, which hath been a great charge and 
burthen to us ; and also, that j'ou would please to give the place a name ; and 
if there should be any objection against us, that the honored Court will ad- 
mit our reply and defence. So, hoping the Almighty will assist you, in all 
your concerns, we rest your humble petitioners. 

Mr. Edward Jackson, 
Captain Thomas Prentice, 
John Fuller, senior, 
John Kenrick, senior, 
Isaac Williams, 
John Ward, 
Joseph Miller, 
Thomas Prentice, jr., 
John Kenrick, jr., 
John Mason, 
William Robinson, 
Thomas Greenwood, 
John Parker, (south,) 
Humphrey Osland, 
Joseph Eartlett, 
Isaac Bacon, 
Jacob Bacon, 
Samuel Trusedale, 
Simon Onge, 
Jonathan Fuller, 
John Parker, (cast,) 
Job Hyde, 
Widow Jackson, 
Edward Jackson, jr., 
Daniel Ray, 
Thomas Prentice, jr., 
Fifty-two ill all. 

Jonathan Hyde, senior, 
Thomas Park, senior, 
James Trowbridge, 
Noah Wiswall, 
Thomas Hammond, 
Jonathan Hyde, jr., 
James Prentice, senior, 
David Me.ade, 
Vincent Druce, 
John Hyde, 
Ebenezer Wiswall, 
Elijali Kenrick, 
Sebas Jackson, 
Samuel Hyde, jr., 
Neal McDaniel, 
John Fuller, jr., 
Joshua Fuller, 
John Alexander, 
John Prentice, 
Nathaniel Hannnond, 
Abraham Jackson, 
Stephen Cook, 
Richard Park, 
Joseph Fuller, 
Isaac Beach, 
Peter Stanchct. 


Rev. Nehomiali Hobart, 
Elder Thomas Wiswall, 
Dca. Samuel Hyde, 
Daniel Bacon, 
John Spring, 
Daniel McCoy, 

John Woodward, 

Henry Seger, 

Thomas Park, jr., 

John Park, 

Samuel Hyde, son of Jona., 

James Prentice, jr. 


In answer to the petition of the inhabitants of Cambridge Village, on the 
south side of the river, the Court judgeth it meet to grant them a hearing of 
the case mentioned on the first Tuesday of the next session in October, and 
all parties concerned are ordered to have timely notice. 

At the time appointed the Selectmen of Cambridge presented a 
long protest. On account of its historical statements, and the 
general view it furnishes of the state of affaii's at that period, we 
present it without abbreviation. 

The answer of the Selectmen of Cambridge to the petition exhibited 
against thom by their brethren and neighbors of the village on the south side 
of Charles River. 

To omit what they express by Avay of narration, declaring the loss of lives 
and estates to them sustained by the late war, the death of their former min- 
ister, and their having now got another for whom a house is building, etc., the 
impertinency and absurdity of their argument therein being obvious to all 
intelligent minds, — we shall only concern ourselves with what they make 
the main of their petition, which may be divided into these two parts : 

I. The cause on our part, viz., the hard usage by the townsmen of Cam- 
bridge, i. e. imposing upon them a tax, of their own will and power, and what 
they please, and to what end they please. 

For answer hereunto, the Cambridge townsmen have imposed a tax (as 
they call it), if they intend no more than the making of a rate for the paying 
of the charges of the whole town, and putting upon them their just proportion 
of the charge of those things properly belonging to them to bear their part 
of, according to the order of the General Court with reference to them, made 
May 7, 1673, and then declared to be the issue of the controversy between 
the town and the petitioners. Thus far we own to be a truth. But whereas 
they charge us that we have thus done; 1, of our own will; 2, of our own 
power; 3, what we please ; 4, to Avhat end we please, — these are high and sad 
accusations, which we cannot own to be true. For, 1. It was not by our 
will that any taxes have been imposed on themor any other of the inhabitants, 
but their own will, so declared in orderly town meetings, legally warned, 
whereat themselves either were or might have been present, and had their 
votes. 2. Nor was it of our own power, but by the authority of the General 
Court, committing to us by the law, as we are Selectmen of the town, power 
for the ordering of the prudentials of the town, and levying what is necessary 
for the payment of the annual disbursements regularly made for the town's 
occasions. 3. Nor have we imposed upon the town in general, or the peti- 
tioners, what we please. The rule that we have observed in raising our rates 
being to make them no greater than is of absolute necessity for the payment 
of the town's debts, which must in the end fall considerably short by reason of 
the town's poverty ; and upon each inhabitant in particular according to a list 
of their persons and rateable estates. 4. Nor have we improved the moneys 
raised to what end we please, but have tixithfully disposed of the same for the 
end for which we raised it, namely, the payment of the town's just debts. If 


herein ■we have transgressed the line of our power, we beg iiardon (and direc- 
tion for the future) of this honored Court. If our accusers shall deny the 
truth of -what we assert, either in general or any one article, we crave liberty 
to put in our further defence and evidence. 

II. That which is the main of their petition they thus express, viz., "that 
wc may be a township of ourselves, without any more dependence on Cam- 
bridge." And this their petition they strengthen with two arguments ; the 
first is prefatory to their petition, wherein they say "they plead only for their 
freedom, being content with their own propriety;" the second is subsequent, 
"because their dependence on Cambridge hath been a great charge and bur- 
then to them." 

Wc shall begin with their arguments why they would be free from Cam- 
bridge. To the first, whereas they say that " they plead only for their freedom, 
being contented with their own proprieties." We answer 1. That the inhabitants 
of Cambridge, now dwelling on the north side of Charles River, have well nigh 
three thousand acres of land that is laid out into several lots, some ten, some 
twenty, some forty acres, more or less, that they are at this time seized of, 
and by them kept for herbage, timber, wood and planting lands, as they shall 
have occasion for to use the same, all which is by the petitioners included 
within the line of division between the town and them; and therefore, they 
do not say words of truth when they say they are content with their own pro- 
prieties. 2. Nor is it true that they plead only for freedom; for they, having 
obtained these our lands and proprieties to be within the line of that division 
and payable to the ministry, they Avould become our masters and charge us 
for our lands and cattle that wc shall put thereon to all their common charges, 
if they may obtain to be a distinct township. 

To their second argument, viz., that their dependence on Cambridge 
hath been a great charge and burden to them. For answer hereto, first, we 
shall say something that hath reference to them more generally, and, second- 
ly, we shall distinguish between the persons that are petitioners, and speak 
something more particularly. 1. More generally. They well know, be- 
fore their settlement in that place, that all those lands that they now petition 
for did belong to Cambridge, and were the grant of the General Court to 
them, for their enabling to maintain the ordinances of God among them, and 
all other common charges inevitably arising in a township ; so that what they 
call a burden will appear to be no more than their duty which they owe td 
the town ; and if, in that sense, charge and burden may be admitted as a just 
plea, may not the servant as well petition the Court to be freed from his 
master, the tenant from his landlord, or any single town, petition his Majesty 
to have their freedom, and be a distinct colony, and plead that the annual 
charges for maintenance of government and the peace of the Common- 
wealth is to them a great charge and burden? 2. Their charge and burden 
hath not been greater than their brethren and neighbors ; for we have not, 
by burdening or charging tliem, eased ourselves of our just dues and pro- 
portion in any kind ; and although their accommodations for enabling them 
to bear and discharge their dues are far better than those of the town, yet it 
seems that what they call great (and we may, without wronging our case 



freely concede to the truth thereof, that when all our shoulders bear, ami 
hands and hearts join together, \vc find it so by daily experience), they are 
content that we should bear it alone, not pitying us, though we should sink 
and break under it; for tliey know full well tliat their withdrawing will not 
abate the weight of our burden : for the Bridge must be maintained ; the 
school must be kept up ; the Deputies must be sent to the General Court ; and 
they have no other charge or burden imposed upon them by us than their just 
proportion of that which these do ordinarily require. 3. They know full 
well that such hath been the tenderness of the town towards thera at all times, 
that they have evermore chosen a Constable that hath been resident among 
them ;.and for the Selectmen also they have desired that they might constant- 
ly have some of them joined with those of the town, partly for their help, 
and partly that they might more easily have help from them, and be satisfied 
in the equity and justice of their proceedings in all respects. So that we 
know they cannot and dare not to plead tliat we have at any time been un- 
willing to execute the power of the Selectmen for gathering the rates due to 
their minister or otherwise more properly belonging to them, nor that we 
have carried crossly, proudly or perversely towards them. If we have, let 
us be accused to our faces, and not back-bitten and slandered as we have 
been in the other particulars whereof they accuse us. 

Thus far in answer to the petitioners' second argument in general. We 
shall now make answer thereto more particularly. And here we must divide 
the petitioners into two sorts ; first, those that were dwellers in the town be- 
fore they went to inhabit on the other side ; second, another sort are those 
that came from other towns. 

1. Those that jjroceeded from the town, who, knowing the straightness 
and want of accommodations to be had among their brethren there, and the 
lands on that side of the water being then of small value, procured to them- 
selves large and comfortable accommodation for a small matter. We have 
confidence that these dare not to say that their being in Cambridge hath been 
any charge or burthen to them. They must and will own that God hath 
there greatly blessed them; that whereas we on the town side, of £1,000 that 
we or our parents brought to this place, and laid out in tlie town for the pur- 
chasing, at dear rates, what we now enjoy, cannot, divers of us, show £100 ; 
they may speak just contrary or in proportion. We could, if need were, 
ftistance some whose parents lived and died here, who, when they came to 
this town, had no estate, and some were helped by the chavity of the church ; 
and others, yet living, that Avell know they may say truly, with good Jacob, 
" Over this Jordan came I with this staff; " and so may they say, over this 
river went I, with this spade, hoe or other tool, and now through God's bless- 
ing am greatly increased. Yet here we would not be understood to include 
every particular person ; for we acknowledge that Mr. [Edward] Jackson 
brought a good estate to the town, as some others did, and hath not been 
wanting to the ministry or any good work among us ; and therefore we would 
not reflect upon him in the least. 

2. There arc another sort of persons that did not proceed from the town, 
but came from other ttiwns, where there had been much division and contcn- 


tion among them, wlio, though they knew the distance of the place from the 
public meeting-house, the dependency thereof on Cambridge, which thoy now 
call a great charge and burden, yet this they then did choose, and we are 
assured will own, generally at least, that they have there increased their 
estates far beyond Avhat those of the town have, or are capable to do. We 
might instance also in the inventories of some of them, whose purchase at 
the first cost them a very small matter, and their stock and household stuff 
we judge to be proportionable ; and yet, when they deceased, an inventory 
amounting to more than £1,100 is given into the Court. (Witness John Jack- 
son's inventory, £1,230; Richard Park's £972; and old Hammond's £1,139.) 
And others, that are yet living have advanced in some measure suitable. But 
poor Cambridge quickly felt the sad effects of their coming among us ; for 
though some of them came from their dwellings very near the meeting-houses 
in other towns, and these beforehand knew the distance of their new dwell- 
ings from Cambridge ; yet this did not obstruct them in their settlement there ; 
but before they were well warm in their nests, they must divide from the town. 
And though such was the endeared love of our brethren and neighbors that 
went from us to this church and the ministry thereof, that it was long before 
they could get them (at least Avith any considerable unanimity) to join with 
them, yet they would petition, some few of them in the name of the rest, to 
the honored General Court for their release from the town. 

And when the Court, being tired out with their eager pursuit and more 
private fawnings and insinuations, granted them committee upon committee, 
to hear and examine the ground of their so great complaints, at last all issued 
in a declaration of the unreasonableness of their desire, with reference to the 
town, and unreasonableness on their part, as may appear by the return of the 
committee made to the General Court, October 14, 1657; the Avorshipful 
Richard Russell, Esq., Major Lusher and Mr. Ephraim Child subscribing the 
same ; and was accepted by the Court. 

Yet here they rested not, but, in the year IGGl, petitioned the Court, and 
then obtained freedom from rates to the ministry, for all lands and estates more 
than four miles from Cambridge meeting-house ; and tills being all that they 
desired, although we were not at that time advantaged with an opportunity to 
send any one to speak in the town's behalf, yet considering the impetuousness 
of their spirits and their good words, pretending only the spiritual good of 
their families that could not travel (women and children) to the meeting-house 
at Cambridge, we rested therein, hoping now they would be at rest. 

But all this did not satisfy them ; but the very next year, October, 1GG2, 
they petition the Court again. And then, as a full and final issue of all things 
in controversy between Cambridge town and the petitioners, there is another 
committee appointed, to come upon the place and determine the bounds or 
dividing line between the town and them. The' result whereof was such that 
whereas their grant was for all the lands that were above four miles from the 
town, they now obtain the stating of a line that for the generalty is (by exact 
measure) tried and proved to be very little above three miles from Cambridge 
meeting-house. Yet did not Cambridge (thus pilled and bereaved of more 
tlian half the lands, accomraodable to their town, at once) resist, (jr so much 


as complain, but rested therein, — the Court having declared their pleasure 
and given them their sanction, that this, as above said, should be a final issue 
of all things between the town and the petitioners. 

All this notwithstanding, these long-breathed petitioners, finding that they 
had such good success that they could never cast their lines into the sea but 
something was catched, they resolve to bait their hook again, and as they had 
been wont, some of them for twenty years together, to attend constantly the 
meetings of the town and Selectmen, whilst there was any lands, wood or 
timber that they could get by begging, so now they pursue the Court for 
obtaining what they would from them, not sparing time or cost to insinuate 
their matters, with reproaches and clamors against poor Cambridge ; and have 
the confidence in the year 1672 again to petition the Court for the same thing, 
and in the same words that they now do, viz., "that they may be a township 
of themselves, distinct from Cambridge. And then the Court grants them 
further liberty than before they had, viz., to choose their own Constable and 
three Selectmen amongst themselves, to order the prudential aifairs of the 
inhabitants there, only continuing a part of Cambridge in paying Country 
and County rates, as also town rates so far as refers to the Grammar school, 
bridge, and Deputy's charges, they to pay still their proportion with the town. 
And this the Court declares once more to be a final issue to the controversy 
between Cambridge and them. 

Cambridge no sooner understands the pleasure of this honored Court, but 
they quietly submitted thereunto ; and we hope our brethren neither can nor 
dare in the least to accuse us (first or last) of refusing to acquiesce in the 
Court's issue, although we may and must truly say we have been not a little 
grieved when by the more private intimations and reproachful backbitings of 
our neighbors, we have, in the minds and lips of those whom we honor and 
love, been rendered either too strait-laced to our own interest, or unequally 
minded towards our brethren. And did not this honored Court, as well as 
we, conclude that the petitioners, having exercised the patience of the Court 
by their so often petitioning, as well as giving trouble to the town by causing 
them to dance after their pipes from time to time far twenty-four years, as 
will appear by the Court Records, in which time they have petitioned the 
Court near, if not altogether, ten times, putting the town to great charges in 
meeting together to consider and provide their answers, and to appoint men 
to attend the Court, and the committees that have been from time to time 
appointed by the Court, as also the charges of entertaining them all, which 
hath been no small disturbance to their more necessary employments for their 
livelihood, and expense of their time and estates, — yet, all this notwithstand- 
ing, we are summoned now again to appear before this honored Court to 
answer their petition exhibited for the very same thing, nothing being added 
save only sundry falsehoods and clamorous accusations of us;* so that now 
it is not so much Cambridge, as the arbitrary and irregular acting of them and 
their townsmen that they plead to be delivered from, as being their bondage 
and burden. 

It now remains that we speak something as to the main of their petition, 
which they thus express, i. e., " that we may be a township of ourselves, with- 

* A Machiavellian practice. 


out any more depemlonce on Cambridge." The reasons why we apprehend 
they may not have this their petition granted them may be taicen from — 
I. The injustice of this their request, which may thus appear, — 

1. If it would be accounted injustice for any neighboring towns, or other 
persons, to endeavor the compassing so great a part or any part of our town 
limits from us, it is the same and, in some sense, far worse for those that 
belong to us so to do. This, wo conceive, is plain from God's word, that 
styles the child that robs his father to be the companion of a destroyer, or, as 
some render the word, a murderer; although the child may plead interest in 
his father's estate, yet he is in God's account a murderer, if he takes away 
that whereby his father's or mother's life should be preserved; and this, we 
apprehend not to be t\ir unlike the case now before this honored Court. 

2. All practices of this nature are condemned by the light of nature 
(Judges XI : 24). They who had their grants from the heathen idolaters did 
not account it just that they should be dispossessed by others ; and idolatrous 
Ahab, although he was a king, and a very wicked king also, and wanted not 
power to eifect what he desired, and was so burthened for the want of 
Naboth's vineyard that he could neither eat nor sleep, and when denied by 
his own subject tendered a fall price for the same, yet he had so much con- 
science left that he did not dare to seize the same presently, as the petitioners 
would so great a part of our possessions as this, were it in their power. 

3. The liberty and property of a colony, so likewise, in its degree, of a 
township, is for more to be insisted upon than the right of any particular 
person, the concerns thereof being eminently far greater, in all respects, both 
civil and ecclesiastical. 

4. The General Court having, forty-five years since or more, made a grant 
of the land petitioned for to Cambridge town, the Court's grant being made 
to each town and person, as his Majesty's royal charter is to this honored 
Assembly and the whole colony; — wo have confidence that such is their 
wisdom and integrity, that they will not deem it to be in their power * to take 
away from us, or any other town or person, any part of what they have so 
orderly granted and confirmed to them. 

5. Had we no grant upon record, which is indubitably clear that wo 
have, none in the least questioning the same, yet by the law of possession 
it is ours, and may not, without the violation of the law and faith of the hon- 
ored Court, be taken from us. 

II. Could the petitioners obtain what they ask, without crossing the law of 
justice, yet we apprehend it would bo very unequal; and that may thus ap- 
pear, — because Cambridge town is the womb out of which the petitioners 
have sprung, and therefore ought in the first ijlace to be provided for ; and the 
question in equity ought to be, not, what do the petitioners crave and might 
be convenient for them, but, what may Cambridge spare? Now that Cam- 
bridge cannot spare what they desire, we shall thus prove : 

1. From the situation of our town, being planted on a neck of land, 
hemmed about by neighboring towns. Water Towne coming on the one side 

*It was no dishonor to Paul, that had all church power, that he could do nothing 
against the truth ; nor diminutive to the power of God himself, that he is a God that 
cannot lie. 


within lialf a mile of our meeting-house, and Charlestown as near on the 
other side, so that our bounds is not much above a mile in breadth for near 
three miles together ; and on the south side the river, the petitioners have 
gained their line (as we before related) to come very near within three 
miles of our meeting-house. 

2. The most desirable part of Ihe best and most accommodable lands of 
these near lands to the town, are belonging to Mr. Pelham and others that 
live not in the town, so that the far greater number of those that live in the 
town are put to hire grass for their cattle to feed upon in the summer time, 
which costs them [at] the least twelve shillings and some, fifteen shillings a 
head in money, for one cow, the summer feed ; and corn land, they have not 
sufficient to find the town with bread. 

3. Cambridge is not a town of trade or merchandise, as the seaport 
towns be ; ' but what they do must be in a way of husbandry, although upon 
never so hard terms, they having no other way for a supply. 

4. By the same reason that the petitioners plead immunity and freedom, 
our neighbors that live fiir nearer to Concord than to us may plead the like, 
and with far greater reason ; and should they have a township granted them 
also, there would be nothing left for Cambridge, no, not so much commonage 
as to feed a small flock of sheep. 

That our town is thus situated, narrow and long on each wing, there needs 
no proof; it is sufficiently known to sundry members of this honored Court. 
And that we are in other respects circumstanced as we have related, "Water- 
town and Charlestown nipping us up close on each side, so as that we must 
be no town nor have no church of Christ, nor ministry among us, in case we 
be clipped and mangled, as the petitioners would have, we conceive there 
needs not further evidence than our testimony. We know not why we should 
not 'be believed. We conceive tliat the honor of God and of this Court is 
more concerned in providing against the laying waste an ancient town and 
church of Christ, settled in this place for more than forty years, than any of us 
can be to our personal interest ; — nothing that we here enjoy, as to our outward 
accommodation, being so attractive as that we should be forced here to con- 
tinue, if we are disabled, to maintain God's ordinances. Yet for evidence of 
the truth of what we thus assert, we might allege the removing of Mr. 
Hooker and the 'whole church with him to Hartford, and that for this very 
reason, because they foresaw the narrowness of the place was such that they 
could not live here. Also, the endeavor of Mr. Shepard and the church witli 
him, before his death, to remove in like manner; and that for no other reason 
but this, because they saw, after many years' hard labor and expense of their 
estates that they brought with them from England, that they could not live in 
this place. Also we may add that the committee, which the honored General 
Court appointed to inquire into the estate of the town, 14th, 8mo, 57, made 
their return that they found the state of Cambridge to be as wo have declared. 

We do freely own that as our place is straitened, so the charges are great 
for the maintenance of our Great Bridge and schools, etc., besides all other 
charges common to other places. Shall this be an argument therefore to 
countenance any to seek to pluck from us our own right, and to pull away 


their shoulders, to wlioni of right it appertains to bear a part with us, and 
have far the greatest part of tlie accommodation tliat sliould upiiold the same? 
We would not speak passionately ; hut let not this lionored Court be offend- 
ed, if we speak a little affectionateh'. "We know not wherein Ave have 
offended this honored Court, or why poor Cambridge, above all other towns 
in the country must be thus hampered from Court to Court, and never can 
have an end in twenty-four years' time, although the Court have declared and 
given in their sanction that this and the other determination should be a final 
issue, never to be troubled more with the petitioners ; yet still their petitions 
and clamors are received, and we compelled to make answer thereto. If we 
have transgressed in any kind, and this Court or any [of] the members thereof 
have a prejudice against us, we humbly entreat that our offence may be de- 
clared. And if Ave have been such arbitrary taxmasters as the petitioners 
render us, that Ave may either be convicted, or recompense given us for our 
constant damage by their unjust molestation of us from time to time, for the 
just vindication of our innocency against the unjust calumnies. 

Also, Ave do humbly entreat this honored Court that, Avhereas the petitioners, 
at the time of their first grant which they obtained from this Court, then 
pleaded that, for and towards the maintenance of the ministry in that place, 
they might liave the lands and estates on that side the river that were more 
than four miles from the town, that Ave might have the lino stated accordingly ; 
the Avliole being our own, as Ave have before pleaded and proved; and 
Ave having need thereof, we conceive Ave cannot in justice be denied the 
same. Also, whereas they have not submitted unto nor rested in the Court's 
last grant made them for the choice of a Constable and three Selectmen 
apiong themselves, but have carried it frowardly one towards another, and in 
like manner towards the town from whom they proceeded and unto Avhora 
they of right belong, Ave humbly entreat that the said order may be re- 
versed, and that we, being all one body politic, may have a joint choice in 
the Selectmen and Constables of the town, according as the law doth 
determine the right and privilege of each toAvn. 

Finally, we humbly entreat that this our defence may be entered in the 
Court's register, there to remain, for the vindication of our just right, in 
perpetuam ret niemoriani. 

Praying that the God of wisdom and truth may direct and guide this 
honored Court in their issuing of this and all other their most weighty con- 
cerns, we subscribe ourselves, honorable Sirs, your humble and dutiful 
servants and suppliants. 

John Cooper, "] 

William Manning, 
John Stone, 
Walter Hastings, 
Francis Moore, 
Nathaniel Sparhawk, 

CXMBBIDGE 23, 8, 1678. 

j Selectmen 
> of 





TION. — freeman's oath. 

It is no wonder that this pungent and earnest remonstrance 
from the Selectmen of Cambridge alarmed the Court, and con- 
vinced them that action must be taken. A time was appointed for 
the hearing of the parties. But debate and indecision continued 
to rule the day. The sturdy petitioners of Cambridge Village 
were determined to be satisfied with nothing less than that which 
they had hitherto sought to obtain. The town of Cambridge, 
jealous of such as undertook to escape from bearing a part of its 
bmxlens, — and the State, through its G-eneral Court, dreading to 
participate in a dispute, in the settlement of which one party or 
the other was sure to be discontented, delayed action, — hoping, 
doubtless, that time might change the aspect of affairs, and render 
the decision a less difficult one. Meantime, a Town Book had 
been procured in anticipation of the expected result. 

Its first record is that a town meeting was held "27, G, 1G79, 
'by vu'tue of an order of the General Coml,' at which meeting the 
first Board of Selectmen was duly elected, namely, Captain 
Thomas Prentice, John Ward and James Trowbridge ; and Thomas 
Greenwood was chosen Constable." Another town meeting was 
held on the 30th of January-, 1G81-2, — at which meeting it was 
voted, " that the Selectmen should provide weights and measures 
for standards," and John Spring was chosen Sealer of the same. 
It was also voted " that Sergeant John "Ward and Noah AViswall 



should commence a new Record Book, and copy all that was of 
moment from the old book ; and several other votes were passed." 

These acts, however, were, in some sense, premature. The}' 
foreshadowed the independent town, rather than proved its exis- 
tence ; and an independent town the settlers were determined to 
have. In the language of Ex-Mayor J. F. C. Hydo, in his excel- 
lent Centennial oration, — 

Thoy offered to purchase their freedom of the mother town, but this could 
not be accomplished. Cambridge, it is true, proposed to compromise, but 
our f;ithers would then accept nothing short of an independent town. For 
years they had not only supported their own minister and church, but had 
also been taxed, — and that without their consent, which was very repugnant 
to their ideas of justice, — to pay tlie yearly expenses of Cambridge. 

And the time anticipated drew near. Perseverance was rewarded 
by success. Events steadily tended to bring about the result which 
the inhabitants of New Cambridge aimed to secure. Newton was 
to have an honorable place and name among the towns of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. But patience to wait was still 
required, until the " set time " should come. 

Rev. Mr. Paige in his "History of Cambridge," pp. 92-96, after 
the record of the above remonstrance of the Selectmen of Cam- 
bridge, records the following considerations, which prove that the 
true birth-day of the town of Newton was not in 1679, as has 
generally been assumed, but January 11, 1687-8, old style, or 
January 11, 1688, new style. He says, — ■ 

In Jackson's "History of Newton," it is stated that "the result was that 
the Court granted the prayer of the petition, and Cambridge Village was set 
off from Cambridge, and made an independent township. The doings of 
the Court in this case are missing, and have not as yet been found, and there- 
fore we do not know the precise conditions upon which the separation took 
place. But the Town Record is quite sufficient to establish the fact of sepa- 
ration. The very first entry upon the new Town Book records the doings of 
the first town meeting held 27, 6, 1G79, by virtue of an order of the General 
Court, at which meeting the first Board of Selectmen were duly elected, viz.. 
Captain Thomas Prentice, John Ward and James Trowbridge, and Thomas 
Greenwood was chosen Constable." 1G91, December 8. — "In answer to a 
petition of the inhabitants of Cambridge Village, lying on the south side of 
Charles River, sometimes called New Cambridge, being granted to be a town- 
ship, praying tliat a name may be given to said town, it is ordered that ic be 
henceforth called New Town." This order of the General Court, for a name 
only, has been mistaken by historians for the incorporation of tho town, 
whereas the petitioners had been an independent town for twelve years. The 
chilli was born on the 27th of August, 1G79, but was not duly christened until 
the Sth of December, 1091. 


It is evident that the township was incorporated before December 8, 1691, 
(or rather December 18, the session of the Court commenced December 8 ; 
but the order adopting a name was obtained ten days later). This order 
plainly enougli recognized the Village as already a distinct township. More- 
over in 1689, when a General Court assembled, after Andros was deposed 
and imprisoned, Ensign John Ward appeared as a Deputy from New Cam- 
bridge,* and was admitted to a seat, apparently without objection. So far 
Mr. Jackson has a good case. But other facts of public notoriety would 
justify grave doubts whether the town was incorporated so early as 1G79. 
It is a very suspicious circumstance, scarcely reconcilable with such an early 
date of incorporation, that for seven years following 1679, until the charter 
government was overturned in 168G, the Village, or New Cambridge, never 
assumed, as a town distinct from Cambridge, to send a Deputy to the General 
Court; but did not miss representation a single year for half a century after 
the government was established under the new charter. People as tenacious 
of their rights as the inhabitants of the Village manifestly were, both before 
and after incorporation, would not bo likely to let the newly acquired right 
of representation lie dormant for seven years, during a period of intense 
political excitement. The election of a Constable and three Selectmen in 
1G79 by no means furnishes countervailing proof of incorporation ; for this 
is precisely what the inhabitants were autliorlzed to do by the order passed 
May 7, 1673, which was never understood to convey full town privileges, and 
which, for aught that appears to the contrary, was the order mentioned in the 
Town Record, dated 27, 6, 1679. f 

There is much force in the following records : 

The Records of Cambridge show that Constables were elected by that 
town for the Village, after 1679, as follows, viz. : 

1684, John Prentice. 

1680, James Prentiss. 

1681, Sebeas Jackson. 

1682, Edward Jackson. 

1683, Abraham Jackson. 

1685, Thomas Parker, senior. 

1686, Ebenezer Wiswall. 

1687, Joseph Wilson. 

After 1688 none distinctly described as for the Village. 

In 1688 a committee was chosen by the inhabitants to make the rate for the 
minister for the ensuing year, and a rate for the town. Por the Village, chose 
Noah Wiswall to join with Selectmen, to make a rate for the Village. 

* In 1C89 Ensign John Ward was chosen Deputy of Cambridge Vill.age, which then 
included what is now Newton, and he was instructed to advocate an enlargement of 
freemen — tliat all the freeholders that .are of an honest conversation and competent 
estate, may liave their vote in all civil elections. Mr. \Vard served tif ty-four days, 
and was paid one shilling and sixpence per day. 

tAt the close of their elabor.ate " answer," the Selectmen of Cambridge allege that 
the petitioners " have not submitted unto nor rested in the Court's last grant made 
to them for the choice of a Constable and three Selectmen," etc. It seems highly 
probable that having again failed in their efforts to obtain incorporation in 1078, and 
despairing of present success, the petitioners determined to exercise the power 
granted in 1C73, and .accordingly elected a Constable and three Selectmen August 27, 
1C79. Such action would sufficiently account for the Record bearing that date in what 
Jackson styles "The New Town liook." 


Mr. Paige continues thus : 

But the evidence in the case is not wholly of this negative character. One 
of the documents published by Mr. Jackson indicates Avith some distinctness 
a different day [January 11, 1687-8], as the true date of incorporation into 
a distinct town. 

"We refer to the Articles of Agreement between the Selectmen 
of the two towns, bearing date in the fall of 1688, as follows : 


Made September 17, 1GS8, between the Selectmen of Cambridge and the 
Selectmen of Cambridge Village, in behalf of their respective towns. 

That whereas Cambridge Village, by order of the General Court in the late 
Government [Andros?] was enjoined to bear their proportion in the charges 
of upholding and maintaining the Great Bridge and school, with some other 
things of a public nature in the town of Cambridge, — also, there having 
been some difference between the Selectmen of both of said towns concern- 
ing the laying of rates, for the end above said, — Therefore as a full and final 
end and issue of all controversy past, and for the prevention, of trouble that 
might therein arise, it is mutually agreed by the Selectmen aforesaid that the 
Village shall pay to the town of Cambridge the sum of £5 in merchantable 
corn at the former prices, at or before the first day of May next ensuing the 
date above, in full satisfaction of all dues and demands by the said town from 
the said Village on the account above said from the beginning of the world 
to the eleventh of January, 1687-8 ; provided always, and it is to be hereby 
understood, that the town of Cambridge, on consideration of £4 in current 
country pay already in hand paid to the Village above said, shall have free 
use of the highjvay laid out from the Village meeting-house to the Falls 
forever without any let, molestation or denial. — Also, that the Constable of 
the Village shall pay to the town of Cambridge, or [all?] that is in their 
hands unpaid of their former rates due to the town of Cambridge above said. 
In witness whereof the Selectmen above said have hereunto set their hands 
the day and year first above written. 

John Spring, J> Selectmen John Cooper, 

Edward Jackson, > of Samuel Andrews, 

James Prentice, 5 A''^w Cumbridge. Walter Hastings, 

David Fiske, 
Samuel Stone, 
Jonathan Remington, 



The following receipt shows that the first instabneut of the 
sum stipulated in the above agreement was duly paid : 

April 30, 1G89.— Received of John Clark, Constable of New Cambridge, 
£5 in corn, at the common price ; that is, at four shillings the bushel, Indian 
at three shillings, and oats at two shillings the bushel. By me, 

Samuel Andrews. 


What seems probable by reference to January 11, 1687-8 in the foregoing 
agreement is rendered certain by two documents which Mr. Jackson probably 
never saw, but which arc yet in existence. One is an Order of Notice pre- 
served in the Massachusetts Archives CXXVIII. 7 : "To the Constables of 
the town of Cambridge, or either of them. You are hereby required to give 
notice to the inhabitants of the said town, that they or some of them be and 
appear before his Excellency in council on Wednesday next, being the 11th 
of this inst., to show cause why Cambridge Village may not be declared a 
place distinct by itself, and not longer be a part of the said town, as hath 
been formerly petitioned for and now desired : and thereof to make due 
return. Dated at Boston the Gth day of January, in the third year of his 
Majesty's reign, Annoque Domini 1687. By order, etc., J. West, D. Sec'y." 

What was the result of this process does not appear on record ; for the 
Eecords of the Council during the administration of Andros were carried 
away, and no copy of the portion embracing this date has been obtained. 
Fortunately, however, a certified copy of the Order, which is equivalent to 
an Act of Incorporation, is on file in the office of the Clerk of the Judicial 
Courts in Middlesex Co. : — " At a Council held at the Council Chamber in 
Boston, on Wednesday, the eleventh day of January, 1687, — present his 
Exc'y Sir Edmund Andros, Kt., etc. 

William Stoughton, 1 John Usher, ) 


" Upon reading this day in Council the petition of the inhabitants of Cam- 
bridge Village, in the County of Middlesex, being sixty families, or upwards, 
that they may be a Village and place distinct of themselves, and freed from 
the town of Cambridge, to which, at the first settlement, they were annexed ; 
they being in every respect capable thereof, and by the late authority made 
distinct in all things, saving paying towards their school and other town 
charges, for which they are still rated as a part of that town ; and also the 
answer of the town of Cambridge thereto ; and hearing what could be alleged 
on either part, and mature consideration had thereupon; those who appeared on 
the behalf of the town of Cambridge being contented that the said Village 
be wholly separated from them as desired, and praying that they may be 
ordered to contribute towards the maintenance of Cambridge Bridge, and 
that other provision be made as formerly usual to ease the town therein : — 
Ordered, that the said Village from henceforth be and is hereby declared 
a distinct Village and place of itself, wholly freed and separated from the 
town of Cambridge, and from all future rates, payments or duties to them 
whatsoever. And that for the time to come the charge of keeping, amend- 
ing and repairing the said bridge called Cambridge Bridge, shall be defrayed 
and borne as foUoweth, that is to say, — two sixtlis parts thereof b}' the town 
of Cambridge ; one sixth part by the said Village, and three sixths parts at 
the public charge of the County of Middlesex. By order in Council, etc. 

"John West, Dep'y Sec'y. 


"This is a true copy taken out of the Original, 4th day of Decern., 88. 
" As attests Laur. Hammond. Cler." 

There remains no reasonable donbt that the ViHage was released from 
ecclesiastical dependence on Cambridge and obligation to share in the expen- 
ses of religious worship in 1661, became a precinct in 1673, received the 
name of Newton in December, 1691, and was declared to be "a distinct Vil- 
lage and place of itself," or, in other words, was incorporated as a separate 
and distinct town by the order passed January 11, 1687-8, old style, or Januarv 
11, 1688, according to the present style of reckoning.* 

The orders in Council are dated January, 1687 ; but that this was in the 
Old Style, calling March 25th the first day of the year, and thus equivalent 
to January, 1G8S, commencing the year as we now do with the first day of Jan- 
uary, is certain, because, 1, according to the present style Wednesday was 
not the eleventh day of January in 1687, but it was in 1688; and, 2, King 
Charles II. died February 6, 1684-5, and consequently the thii'd year of the 
reign of James II. did not commence until February 6, 16S6-7; and the onlv 
January in that third year was in 1687-8, that is, in 1688, by the present style 
of reckoning. 

The above Record of the Council may be verified by referring to 
the files in the office of the Clerk of the Judicial Courts in Middlesex 
County, where it rested in obscurit}- for man}' years, till it was 
brought to light by the researches of the historian of Cambridge 
above referred to, and was presented to the Historical Society in 


The distinction between Old Style and New Style, in dates, is thus explained. The 
Julian year, so called, consisted of three hundred and sixty-flve days and six hours, 
which was too much by about eleven minutes. In 1582, Pope Gregory undertook to 
reform the calendar. This excess of eleven minutes, in the period between the Coun- 
cil of Nice (A.D. 325) and the time of Gregory, amounted to about ten days. To make 
all right, it was ordered in 1582 that that year should consist of only 365 davs, and 
that ten days, between October 4 and October 14, should be cancelled in the calendar 
of that year. To prevent future discrepancies, it was also ordered that no initial 
year of a century should be leap-year, excepting each four hundredth year. This plan 
expunged three days in every four hundred years, at the i-ate of nearly eleven min- 
utes per year during that time, leaving an error of only one day in five thousand and 
two hundred years. 

The calendar arranged by Julius Caesar was tho Jillian Period or Old Style ; the 
Gregorian was the New Style. All Roman Catholic countries (the Western Church) 
adopted the New Style at once. Great Britain and her colonies, being prejudiced 
against anything of Papal origin, did not adopt the New Style till 1752,— or one hun- 
dred and forty years after the change ordered by Gregory. Russia and her depend- 
encies (the Greek or Eastern church) still adhere to the Old Style. Previous to 1752, 
England recognized the hixtorical year, beginning January 1; the legal and ecclesias- 
tical year, beginning March 25. The change of style adopted by Great Britain in 1752 
fixed January 1 as the commencement of the year, and abolished the distinction 
between the legal and historical year. The difference in the commencement of the 
respective years led to a system of double dating from January 1 to March 25,— which 
was expressed sometimes as February 10, 1734-5, — sometimes as February 10, 173 4-5 
— the four denoting the legal, the five the historical year. 


order to correct certain errors in dates that had been current in 
the received History of Newton. 

From this it appears that the second item, engraved in 1873 and 
perpetuated for six years on the corporate seal of the city of Nevr- 
ton, — "incorporated a town 1679," — is incorrect, and should have 
been "incorporated a town 1688." 

It is a singular fact that an error in regard to the birth-da}- of 
the town could have been perpetuated nearty two centuries, and 
that no curious investigator of history should have discovered the 
mistake. The possibility of such an occurrence confirms our im- 
pression of the importance of original and rigid examination of 
the sources of history. It is unsafe and unwise, in questions of 
moment, to substitute tradition for written records, or to rest in 
general belief without having recourse to documentary testimony. 

It is also an interesting circumstance, that while, b}^ her separa- 
tion from Cambridge, Newton lost in territory, she found, in due 
time, more than she lost. By the limitation of her boundaries she 
cut herself off from Master Corlet's " fair grammar schoole," though 
she retained as much right in the college as belonged to anj- and 
every town in the Commonwealth. She was deprived of the pres- 
tige of the great men whose dignity and learning brought fame to 
the colony ; but she has since been the mother of governors and 
statesmen, of ministers and missionaries, of patriots and saints. 
And in the progi'css of years she added to her reputation, as the 
scene of that great enterprise, the translation of the Bible into the 
dialect of her aborigines and the first Protestant missionarj' efforts 
on this continent. Subsequentl}', she had the first Normal school 
for young ladies (continued from Lexington) , several of the earhest 
and the best academies and private schools, and, finall}^, the 
Theological Institution whose professors have been and are known 
and respected in all lands, and whose alumni have carried the gifts 
of learning and the gospel to every part of the earth. She left 
the rustic church near the college, by the inconvenience of attend- 
ing which she was so sorely tried ; but she has attained to thirty 
churches within her own borders. 

The frequent recm-rence in this history of the phrases, — " became 
a freeman," or " took the ^freeman's oath," will justify a brief 
explanation of them. To acquire all the privileges of a citizen was 
deemed by the fathers a boon greatly to be desired, and therefore 
a blessing not to be conferred lightly. Thej' guarded scrupulouslj^ 


the elective franchise, and allowed no man to vote who could be 
supposed capable of trifling with so sacred an obligation. The 
provisions of the freeman's oath, however, opened the door to 
(;vils which in later times proved of grave importance. The free- 
man's oath is explained in the words of Rev. F, A. Whitnej^, of 
Brighton, — " To become a freeman, one must be a member of the 
church. Permission having then been obtained from the General 
Court, or from the Quarterly- Court of the County, the freeman's 
oath was taken before a magistrate. In 1664, those might be 
made freemen who brought certificates from clergymen acquainted 
with them, of their being correct in doctrine and conduct. Free- 
men only could hold offices or vote for rulers. And yet many 
church members refused to take the freeman's oath, from unwilhng- 
ness to serve in any pubhc affair. The oath, as altered and amended 
by the General Court May 14, 1634, ran thus : ' I, A. B., being by 
God's providence an inhabitant and freeman within the jurisdic- 
tion of this Commonwealth, do freely acknowledge myself to be 
subject to the government thereof, and therefore do here swear, by 
the great and dreadful name of the Everlasting God, that I will 
be true and faithful to the same,' etc., etc. Records of Massa- 
chusetts. The custom of making freemen ceased about 1G88." 

After Cambridge Milage was set off from Cambridge and oi'gan- 
ized as an independent town by virtue of the order of the General 
Court, it was more often called New Cambridge until 1691. " This- 
name," sa3'S Mr. Jackson, "was not given by the Court, nor is 
there any vote in relation to it upon the Town or Court Records. 
It appears to have been assumed by the leading inhabitants, and 
generally acquiesced in b}^ the public. Captain Thomas Prentice, 
John Ward, Ebenezer Stone and other leading men wrote the name 
Neio Cambridge in their deeds and other papers, dated between 
1679 and 1691. John Ward was chosen Deputy to the General 
Court from New Cambridge in 1680, and so entered on the Court 
Records. The change of name from ' Cambridge Village ' to ' New 
Cambridge' b}- the i)ublic was gradual, and never became uni- 
versal. It produced some confusion, and the Inhabitants petitioned 
the Coiu't, more than once, to give the town a name." 

On the 8tli of December, 1G91, the General Court passed the following 
order : " In answer to the petition of the inhabitants of Cambridge Village, 
sometimes called New Cambridge, lying on the south side of Charles Kiver, 
being granted to be a township, i^raying tlaat a name may be given unto the- 


said town, — it is ordered, that it be henceforth called 'Newtown'; — 
very naturally and properly restoring the ancient name, which was discon- 
tinued by the Court in 1638, for the reason already stated " (p. 37). 

On the Court Records the name appears in two words — New 
town, as in the Court Records of 1631. The process of changing 
it to the fonn in modern use seems to have been a gradual one. 
The town clerks followed the order of the Court in spelling the 
name until 1766, when Judge Fuller obtained the office, who alwaj^s 
spelt it on the Town Records New/.on. The question of the 
orthography was never put to vote ; the usage of seventy-five 
years graduall}' prepared the way, and justified him in assuming 
tlie responsibility of omitting the w. 

The number of freemen within the limits of the town in 1688 — 
the date of its complete separation from Cambridge, — was about 
sixty-five. In forty j^ears, — from 1639 to 1679, — fortj^-two free- 
men became permanent settlers, — some from England, others from 
the neighboring towns. During the same period, thirty of their 
sons had reached their majoritj^, — making, in all, seventy-two. But 
five had deceased and two had removed, — leaving the sum total, 
sixty -five. There were six dwelling-houses in Cambridge Village 
in 1639, — all being situated near the present dividing line between 
Newton and Brighton, and all on farms adjoining one another. 





We must now revert to the period that elapsed between the 
commencement of the settlement of Cambridge (1631) and the 
estabHshment of Newton as an independent town (1688). Many- 
incidents and arrangements falUng within that period belong to 
the history of the territory and internal economy of the town of 

In conformity with the customs of the period, large grants of 
land, out of the waste and wilderness territoiy, were given to 
towns and individuals. And the indefiniteness of these grants, 
one overlapping and including another, often resulted in serious 
disputes and complications, which the inhabitants and the General 
Court found very difficult to disentangle. The fragmentary 
records of the period seem to unply that before Newtowne (Cam- 
bridge) was commenced, large portions of territory had ah'cady 
been gi'anted, as Charlestowu, Mcdford and Woburn on the north- 
east, and Watertown, Waltham and Weston on the west and north- 
west. And a commission appointed to lay out a road from Boston, 
westward, in due time reported to the body by which they were 
commissioned that they had laid out a road twelve miles, to Wes- 
ton, and, " in their opinion, that was as far westward as a road 
would ever be needed." Boston and Roxbmy bounded Cambridge 
on the remaining sides, leaving little room for growth of territor}- 
on the part of Cambridge, without infringement on the lands of her 
neighbors. Notwithstanding, the people had a great desire for 
6 81 


more space, complaining that tliey were cii'cumscribecT, involving' 
themselves in disputes about boundaries with theu* neighbors and 
with the General Court in reference to the extension of their limits. 
At the session of the General Court, held September 25, 1634, it 
was ordered " that with the consent of Watertown, the meadow on 
this syde Watertown weire, contaj^ning about thirty acres, be the 
same more or less, and now used by the inhabitants of New Towne, 
shall belong to said inhabitants of New Towne, to injoy to them 
and their heirs forever." At the same time, an order was passed 
granting to Newtowuc lauds about Muddy River (Brookline) on 
certain conditions (see page 28) . But Mr. Hooker's company 
maintaining that they were actually' suffering for want of room, 
and representing that unless their territory were extended they 
should leave the settlement, they first explored the grounds offered 
them at Ipswich and in the vicinity of the Merrimack, — with 
which they were dissatisfied ; and, finall}^, accepted the proffer of 
the territor^^ on which was afterwards built the city of Hartford. 
The Coiu-t of Assistants, September 7, 1630, ordered that the 
town upon Charles River be called Watertown. The place was 
then an unexplored wilderness, and the inhabitants of Watertown 
claimed a large tract on the south side of Charles River, — all of 
which they gave up to Newton except a strip two hundred rods 
long and sixty rods wide, enough to protect theii' fishing privilege, 
afterwards called the Wear (Weir) lands. " All the rest of the 
ground on that side of the river, the Coui't ordered, was to belong 
to Newtown" (Cambridge). "This grant, — all the rest,"— says 
Mr. Jackson, " was the earliest made to Newtown on the south side 
of the river." 

The following is from the observations of Mr. Jackson : 
How much Watertown owned on the one side, and Boston on the other, no 
one can now tell. Probably neither of them ever knew, nor did the Court 
itself know, — as it ajipears from its own record in the case of their special 
grant to Simon Bradstreet of five hundred acres of land on the south side of 
Charles River, with the condition that " he was to take no part of it within a 
mile of Watertown Wear, in case the bounds of Watertown shall extend so 
far on that side the river." 

Boston early obtained a grant of Muddy River (Brookline), where the 
alloters were authorized to " take a view and bound out what may be suffi- 
cient there." In Boston the lands assigned within the peninsula were of 
limited extent. But at Muddy River and Mount Wollaston, four hundred 
acres were sometimes given to a single individual. William Ilibbins' allotment 
at Muddy River was four hundred and ninety -live acres, bounding southwest 
upon Dcdham. 


The extreme vagueness of these two grants, — "all the rest," on the one 
hand, and " what may be sufficient," on the other, — we may be sure covered 
all that is now Brookline, Brighton and Newton, except the special grants 
that had been previously made to individuals, and what belonged to the 

The condition upon which Boston gave Muddy River to Newtown 
having been broken by the removal of Mr. Hooker's compau}^ 
to Connecticut, that territory reverted to Boston, and the Court 
appointed a committee to settle the boundaries between Newtown 
and Muddy river. (See page 29.) 

Tlie line indicated in the Report of the committee not being 
satisfactory (doubtless because it was blindly expressed and vari- 
ously construed), — the towns of Boston and Cambridge mutually 
chose committees from their own citizens, 20, 11, 1G39, to form 
a new boundary line, as follows : 

We, whose names are underwritten, being appointed by the towns to which 
we belong, to settle the bounds between Boston (Muddy River) and Cam- 
bridge, have agreed that the partition shall run from Charles River, up along 
the channel of Smelt Brook, to a marked tree upon the brink of said brook, 
near the first and lowest seedy meadow; and from that tree, in a straight line, 
to the great red oak, formerly marked by agreement, at the foot of the great 
hill, on the northernmost end thereof; and from the said great red oak to 
Dedham line, by the trees marked by agreement of both parties, this 2, 8, 1640. 

Thomas Oliver, 
William Colbron, 

for Boston. 

Richard Champney, 
John Bridge, 
Gregory Stone, 
Joseph Isaac, 
Thomas Marett, 

for Cambridge. 

" This line from Charles River, following the brook to the northerly 
end of the great hill, is the same as it now is. But as the line 
ends at Dedham, it is plain that there has been an alteration at the 
southwest end of Brookline, as no part of that town now comes 
within one mile and a quarter of Dedham." 

In 1GG2 a line of division between Cambridge and New Cam- 
bridge, or Cambridge Village, was agreed upon, as akeady related, 
with reference to the pa3'ment of ministerial taxes. This division 
became a town boundary on the separation of the Village from 
Cambridge, and is substantially the same line which divides New- 
ton from Brighton, (now Boston) . 

The above specifications relate to the easterly and southeasterly 
bounds of Newton. At all other parts it bounds upon Charles 


River, excepting the two hundred rods upon the river, reserved to 
Watertown by order of the General Coui't in April, 1G05. 

Laid out, on the south side of the river, near Watertown mill, ten acres 
land to John Jackson; ten acres to Randolph Bush; ten acres to John Ken- 
dall or (Holly's) house [Kendall married Holly's widow] ; and forty acres 
to Edward Jackson, adjoining that already laid to his brother, John Jackson, 
and to himself for Rcdsen's house, provided he satisfy Mr. Corlet for the 
town's gift to him ; and eleven acres to Richard Park, abutting on Mr. Jack- 
son's land east and west ; and the highway to Dedham [now Centre Street] 
runs through it. 

These transactions date back to the period before Cambridge 
VUlage became an independent town. • In process of time Cam- 
bridge adopted the policy of making over all the common lands 
on the south side of the river to private parties (p. 46) . This 
method of procedure indicates how dim were the expectations 
of the authorities in respect to the future value of the lands, aris- 
ing out of the growth of the population. That land in Newton 
would ever be sold at one dollar or more per square foot doubt- 
less surpassed the most extravagant dreams of those simple- 
hearted and modest men. And he who should have advocated 
the reserving of these acres in anticipation of such an augmenta- 
tion of value would have been deemed a fit subject for the wards 
of an insane hospital. The advantage accruing from this gener- 
ous distribution was that the soil was the more rapidly subdued 
and brought under profitable cultivation. 




According to the ^dews of the late Hon. William Jackson, who 
was a dUigent investigator, and whose manuscripts have greatly 
aided in the preparation of this volume, twenty-two land-holders 
came into Newton and established their residence here between 
1639, — the» date of the coming of Mr. John Jackson, — and 
1664, — the date of the organization of the first church. The fol- 
lowing are their names, which diifer in two or three instances from 
the catalogue on page 40, owing to circumstances which the in- 
telligent and careful reader will be at no loss to explain : 

John Jackson, 
Samuel Hides (Hyde), 
Edward Jackson, 
Jonathan Hides (Hyde) , 
John Fuller, 
Thomas Prentice, 
Abraham Williams, 
Thomas Park, 
James Prentice, 
John Spring, 

Daniel Bacon, 
Richard Parks, 
John Sherman, 
John Ward, 
John Parker, 
Thomas Wiswall, 
Vincent Druce, 
John Kenrick, 
Rev. John Eliot, 
James Trowtjridge, 
Isaac Williams. 

Thomas Hammond, 

To these, some historians add the names of William Healy and 
Gregor}' Cook ; some also suppose that there was a third family 
bj' the name of Prentiss. 

The first settler, 1639, was John Jackson. Says Mr. Jackson, 
a descendant, in his histoiy, "John Jackson bouglitof Miles Ives,- 
of Watertown, a dwelling-house and eighteen acres of land. This 
lot was ver}'- near the present dividing line between Newton and 
Brighton, twenty-four rods upon Charles River, and extending 
southerly one hundred and twenty rods. Same year, Samuel 



Holly owned a lilvc lot and dwelling-house, adjoining Jackson's es- 
tate, and Randolph Bush owned a like lot and house, adjoining 
Samuel Holly's estate, and Wilham Redson or Reds3'n owned four 
acres and a dwelling-house, adjoining Bush's estate, and William 
Clements owned six acres and a dwelling-house, adjoining John 
Jackson's west, and Thomas Maj-hew owned a dwelling-house near 
the spot where Gen. Michael Jackson's house stood. These six 
dwelling-houses were in the Village in 1639, and perhaps eai'her. 
Samuel Holly was in Cambridge in 1636, and died in 1643, but 
left no descendants in the town. We cannot tell who occupied 
the houses of Mayhew, /Clements, Bush and Redson ; the}' were 
transient dwellers there, and were soon gone. Edward Jackson 
bought all these houses, and the lands appurtenant, before 1648, 
and all except Mayhew's were in what is now Brighton." 

We give below a brief notice, so far as possible, of these first 

John Jackson was baptized in the parish of Stepney, London, 
June 6, 1602. He was the first settler of Cambridge Village who 
removed thither and died in the place. He brought a good estate 
with him from England. He took the freeman's oath in 1641. He 
was one of the first deacons of the church, and gave an acre of 
land for the church and cemetery', in the centre of which the first 
meeting-house was erected in 1660. This acre constitutes the 
oldest part of the old cemetery on Centre Street. He labored long 
and earnestly, by petitioning the General Com't and otherwise, to 
have Cambridge Village erected into an independent town ; but he 
did not live to see the object accomphshed. He died January 30, 
1674-5, aged about 73 years. His widow, Margaret, died August 
28, 1684, aged 60. His son, Edward, was slain b}' the Indians at 
Medfield, in their attack upon and burning of that town, Feb. 21, 
1676. His house was near the place where Mr. Smallwood's shop 
afterwards stood. The cellar yet remains, and the pear trees now 
standing there, are supposed to have been planted b}' him. Abra- 
ham was the only one among his sons who reared a famih". 
^ Samuel Holly (included b}- some writers among the earl}' pro- 
prietors) was in Cambridge in 1636, owned a house and eighteen 
acres of land in Cambridge Village adjoining John Jackson in 1639. 
Six acres of this land he sold to Edward Jackson in 1643 for £5. 
He died in 1643. 


Samuel Hyde was born in 1610. He came to Boston in the 
ship Jonathan, leaving London in April, 1639. He was the second 
settler in Cambridge Village, abont 1640. In 1647, he and his 
brother Jonathan bought of Thomas Danforth forty acres of laud. 
In 1652, they bought two hundred acres of the administrators of 
Nathaniel Sparhawk. They held this land in common until 1662, 
%vhen it was divided. He was one of the first deacons of the 
church. He had by his wife Temperance, Samuel, Joshua, Job, 
Sarah and Elizabeth. Sarah married Thomas Woolson, of Water- 
town, 1660; Elizabeth, Humphrey Osland, 1667. Samuel ll3'de 
conveyed to his son-in-law Osland a piece of his land on the west 
side of the Dedham road, in 1678, on which the latter had pre^i- 
ousl}^ built a house, being part of the same land now owned by 
E. C. Converse, Esq. Mr. Hj^de died in 1689, aged 79, and his 
wife Temperance soon after. 

His descendants, Samuel of the fifth generation, and George of 
the sixth, have resided upon and owned a part of the same land. 
His son Job married Elizabeth, daughter of John Fuller. He and 
his wife both died in November, 1685. His father, Dea. Samuel 
Hyde, took and j^rovided for half their children, and John Fuller 
the other half. His son Samuel married Hannah Stedman, in 
1673. His house was burnt in 1709, and with the assistance of 
his neighbors raised again in fourteen daj's. He died in 1725, 
and his wife in 1727. His house stood on the east side of Centre 
Street, near where Mr. Freeland's now stands. The descendants 
of Samuel Hyde of the seventh generation still occupied a por- 
tion of his estate in 1879. 

Edw.\jjd Jackson, senior, brother of John Jackson, was born 
in London, England, about 1602. He lived in the parish of 
White chapel, and was b}' trade a nail maker. Tradition affirms 
that his youngest son by Ms first marriage, Sebas Jackson, was 
born on the passage to this country. lie bought land of Samuel 
Holly in Cambridge Village in 1643, took the freeman's oath in 
1645, and the next j^ear purchased in Cambridge Village a farm 
from Governor Bradstreet, of 500 acres, for £140, long known as 
the Mayhew farm ; Bradstreet having purchased it of Thomas 
Mayhew in 1638, with all the buildings thereon, for six cows. 
This five hundred acre farm commenced near what is now the 
division line between Newton and Brighton and extended westward, 
including what is now Newtonville, and covering the site where 


Judge Fuller's mansion house stood. The site where Gen. Michael 
Jackson's mansion house stood, was near the centre of the 
Ma^'hew farm ; and a few rods nearer the brook, stood the old 
dwelling-house conveyed with the land in Mayhew's deed to Brad- 
street ; of course it was built previous to 1G38, and therefore highly 
probable that it was the first dwelling-house built in Newton ; 
the cellar hole, a few rods from the brook, is still visible. 

In the lading out of the highway in 1708, which passed b}^ the 
old house, the description is, " crossing the brook near where 
the old house stood." The house which was erected before 1638, 
was gone before 1708 ; it had stood about the allotted space of 
three score years and ten. It was probably the first residence of 
Edward Jackson, senior, in Cambridge Village, from his first com- 
ing in 1642 or '43, until his marriage in 1649, and perhaps for many 
more j^ears. At his death in 1681, his then dwelling-house stood 
about thi'ee-quarters of a mile east of the old house, and is de- 
scribed as a spacious mansion with a hall, designed, no doubt, for 
religious meetings. 

He was chosen one of the representatives from Cambridge to 
the General Court in 1647, and continued to be elected to that office 
annually or semi-annualh' for seventeen j'ears in all, and was other- 
wise much engaged in public life. He was Selectman of Cam- 
bridge in 1665 ; chairman of a committee appointed in 1653 to 
lay out all necessar}' highway's on the south side of the ri^-er ; 
chairman of a committee appointed to la}^ out and settle high- 
wa3's as need should require in Cambridge Village, and one of 
the coimnissioners to end small causes in Cambridge for several 
years. " He was constantly present with the Rev. John Ehot at 
his lectures to the Indians at Nonantum, to take notes of the ques- 
tions of the Indians and of the answers of Mr. Eliot. He was 
one of the proprietors of Cambridge, and in the division of the 
common lands in 1662, he had fom- acres, and in 1664 he had 
thirt}' acres. He was also a large proprietor in the Billerica lands, 
and in the di\dsion of 1652 he had fom- hundred acres, which by 
his will he gave to Harvard College, together with other bequests. 
He was the author and. first signer of the petition to the General 
Court in 1678, — prapng that Cambridge Village might be set off 
from Cambridge, and made an independent town by itself. The 
remonstrance to this petition by the Selectmen of Cambridge 
(pp. 64-71) bears honorable testimony of Edward Jackson. 


Captain Edward Johnson's History of New England contains a 
short notice of many of the leading men of his time, among 
whom he classed Edward Jackson, and says, ' He could not endure 
to see the truth of Christ trampled under foot by the erroneous 
party.'" He died June 17, 1G81, aged seventy-nine 3'ears and 
five months. In the inventory of his estate, it appears that he 
left two men-servants, appraised at £5 each. He was probably 
the first slave-holder in Newton. He divided his lands among 
his children in his lifetime. He had eight children in England, 
one born on the passage, and ten born in this country, and up- 
wards of sixty gi'audchildren. His second marriage, in March, 
1649, was with EUzabeth, daughter of John Newgate, and widow 
of Rev. John Oliver, H. C. 1645, the first minister of Rumney 
Marsh (Chelsea) , by whom he had four daughters and one son. 
His wife survived him twenty-eight years, and died September 30, 
1709, aged ninety-two years. 

He was a land surveyor, and not long before his death surveyed 
his own lands, and made a division of them to his children, put- 
ting up metes and bounds. 

It is a remarkable fact in relation to these two brothers men- 
tioned, John and Edward Jackson, that while Edward had but 
three sons, and John five, there are multitudes of Edward's 
posterity who bear his name, and not more than three or four of 
John's. Forty-four of Edward's descendants went into the revo- 
lutionar}^ army from Newton, and not one of John's. But in 1852 
there were but thi*ee families in the town, of his descendants that 
bore his name. 

John Fuller was born in 1611, and settled in Cambridge Vil- 
lage in 1644. In December, 1658, he purchased of Joseph Cooke 
seven hundred and fifty acres of land for £160, bounded north and 
west by Charles River, south by Samuel Shepard, and east by 
Thomas Park. His house stood on the south side of the road, on 
the west side of the brook, and witliin a few rods of both road and 
brook. By subsequent purchase he increased his farm to one thou- 
sand acres. Cheese Cake Brook ran through it. He had six sons 
and two daughters. His son Isaac died before him. He divided 
his farm between the other five sons, viz., John, Jonathan, Joseph, 
Jeremiah and Joshua. This tract of land was long known as the 
" Fuller Farm," or " Fuller's Corner." He was a maltster ; was a 
Selectman from 1684 to 1694. He died in 1698-9, aged 87 ; his 


wife Elizabeth died 1700. The}^ left five sons, two daughters and 
fort3'-five grandchildren. The inventory of his property amounted 
to £534 5s. Od. His will provides that none of the land bequeathed 
to his sons should be sold to strangers, until first offered to the 
nearest relation. Twent3"-two of his descendants went into the 
revolutionary army from Newton. (See his will in the Probate 
Office, 9th volume.) 

The ages of his five sons at death were as follows : John 75, 
Jonathan 74, Joseph 88, Jeremiah 85, Joshua 98. Joshua was 
married a second time when 88 years old to Mary Dana, of Cam- 
bridge, in 1742, who was in her 75th year. 

Edward Jackson and John Fuller came into the Village about 
the same time, probablj* knew each other in England, were the 
largest land-owners in the Village, divided their lands among their 
children in their lifetime, confirming the division by their wills, 
and had a far greater number of descendants than an}^ of the other 
early settlers of the town. 

Jonathan Hyde, senior, brother of Dea. Samuel Hyde, was 
born in 1626, and came into the village of New Cambridge in 
1647. He piu'chased two hundred and forty acres of land in Newton, 
with his brother Samuel, which the}^ owned in common until 1661. 
In 1656, he bought eighty acres of land, which was one-eighth of 
the tract recovered by Cambridge from Dedham, in a lawsuit. He 
settled upon the land, and increased it by subsequent purchases to 
several hundred acres. His house was about sixty rods north of the 
Centre meeting-house. He bought and sold much land in the town. 
In his deeds he was styled Sergeant. He had twenty-three chil- 
dren, all of whom, with one exception, bore Scriptm'e names, — fif- 
teen by Marj'^ French, daughter of William French of Billerica, and 
eight by Mary Eediat, daughter of John Rediat of Marlborough, with 
whom he made a marriage covenant in 1673, in which it was sti^D- 
ulated, that in case he should die first, she should have his house, 
barn and about one hundred acres of land. This part of his 
homestead was boimded b^' the highway from Watcrtown to Ded- 
ham one hundred and sixty rods, and one hundred deep, and south 
by the farm of Elder Wiswall, reserving a highway one rod wide, 
next to "Wiswall's. This higliway ran from the Common, by the 
north bank of Wiswall's Pond, and for a century was known by 
the name of Blanden's Lane. The front of this lot extended from 
this lane, northerly, to about opposite the road leading to the east 


part of tlie town. This farm, therefore, was very near the centre 
of Newton, and inchided the spot where the Centre meeting-house 
now stands. Pie was admitted a member of the church in 1661, 
and was Selectman the same year. A few years before his death 
he settled his own estate by making deeds of gift of his real estate 
to eleven of his children, convej'ing about four hundred acres with 
several dwelling-houses thereon. The other twelve had probably 
died before him, or were otherwise provided for. In 1705, he gave 
to John Kenrick and others, Selectmen of Newton and their suc- 
cessors in office, " half an acre of his homestead," for the use and 
benefit of the school in the southerly part of the town. It is sup- 
posed that he also gave a large part of the Common on Centre 
Street for a training field, in the days of military pageants ; but no 
record of this gift has j'et been found. The same j^car he deeded 
to his children a cartway through the homestead to the Dedham 
highway, " to be used with gates forever." That cartway is now 
the highwa}-, and the northwestern boundary of the triangular 
place once the estate of the Rev. Joseph Grafton, subsequently of 
IMichael Tombs, Esq., and in 1875 of the late George C. Rand, 
Esq. He was Selectman in 1091. He died October 5, 1711, 
aged 85, leaving a multitude of grandchildren. His first wife 
died May 27, 1672, aged 39 ; the second, September 5, 1708. 
^^n^iCHARD Park was a proprietor in Cambridge in 1636, and of 
Cambridge Farms (Lexington), 1642. In 1617 there was a divi- 
sion of lands, abutting on Mr. Edward Jackson's land, east and 
west, and the highway' to Dedham was laid out through it ; his 
dwelling-house was probably erected on this lot ; it stood within a 
few feet of the spot now occupied by the Eliot church. This 
ancient house was pulled down about 1800. The spot was near 
the four mile line, or the division line between Cambridge and Cam- 
bridge Village. 

He owned a large tract of land in the Village, bounded west by 
the Fuller fanii, north by Charles River, cast b3^the Dummer farm, 
and east and south by the Maj'hew farm (Edward Jackson's) , con- 
taining about six hundred acres. By his will, dated 12, 5, 1665, 
he bequeaths to his onl}' son, Thomas, this tract of land, with the 
houses thereon, after the decease of his wife, Sarah. This only 
son, Thomas, married Abigail Dix, of Watertown, 1653, and had 
five sons and four daughters, among whom his tract of land was 
divided in 1694 (Thomas having deceased), and the contents then 


were about eight hundred acres, Thomas having added, by pur- 
chase, about two hundred acres, and built a corn-mill upon Charles 
River, near where the Bemis Factory now is. 

In 1657, Richard was one of a committee with Mr. Edward 
Jackson, John Jackson and Samuel Hyde, to lay out and settle 
highways in Cambridge Village. In 1663, he was released from 
training, and therefore past sixty 3'ears of age. He died in 1665. 
In his will, witnessed by Elder Wiswall and Hugh Mason, he 
names his Avife, Sarah, two daughters, and his onl}'- son, Thomas. 
One of his daughters married Francis Whittemore, of Cambridge. 
His inventory, dated August 19, 1665, amounted to £872. His 
widow, Sarah, was living at Dusbmy, in 1668. 

Henry Parke of London, merchant, son and heir of Edward 
Parke, of London, merchant, deceased, conveyed land in Cam- 
bridge, to John Stedman, in 1650. Edward may have been the 
ancestor of the first settlers of that name in New England, viz., 
of Dea. William of Roxbury, Richard of Cambridge Village, Sam- 
'uel of Mystic, and Thomas of Stonington. 

" During the contest between the Village and Cambridge, to be set 
off, he sent a petition to the Court in 1661, pra3dng to retain his 
connection with Cambridge church. The Cambridge church owned 
a farm in Billerica, of one thousand acres, and other propert3^ 
And in 1648 it was voted b}' the church ' that every person that 
from time to time hereafter removed from the church did thereby 
resign their interest to the remaining part of the church propert}'.' 
This vote may have been the reason of his sending that petition to 
the Court." 

Captain Thomas Prentice was born in England in 1621. He 
was in this country November 22, 1649, as shown by the recorded 
bu'th of his children, Thomas and Elizabeth, (twins) . 

He was chosen Lieutenant of the companj' of horse in the lower 
Middlesex regiment, in 1656, and Captain in 1662. In 1661 he 
purchased thi-ee hundred acres of land in the Pequod country. 
This tract was in Stonington, Connecticut. Two hundred and 
thirty acres of this land was appraised in his inventory at £109 in 
1685. His grandson, Samuel, married Esther Hammond, and set- 
tled upon this land in 1710. In 1663, he purchased of Elder Frost 
of Cambridge, eight^'-five acres of land in the easterly' part of 
Cambridge Village, adjoining John Ward's land. This was his 
homestead for about fifty years. In 1705, he conveyed it by deed 


of gift to his grandson, Captain Thomas Prentice. His house was 
on the spot where the Ilai'back House now stands. He was one of 
the Cambridge proprietors, and in the division of the common lands 
he had a dividend of one hundred and sixty acres in Billerica, in 
1652, and nine acres in Cambridge Village, in 16G4. 

He was greatly distinguished for his bravery and heroism in 
Philip's war. This war broke out in 1G75. On the 2Gth of June, 
a company of infantry under Captain Henchman, from Boston, and 
a company of horse under Captain Prei>tice, from Cambridge Vil- 
lage and adjoining towns (twenty from the Village and twent}'- 
one from Dedham) , marched for Mount Hope. In their first con- 
flict with the Indians, in Swanzey, William Hammond was Irilled, 
and Corporal Belcher had his horse shot under him, and was him- 
self wounded ; and on the first of July they had another encounter 
with the Indians, on a plain near Rehoboth, four or five of whom 
were slain, among them Thebe, a sachem of Mount Hope, and 
another of Philip's chiefs. In this affau', John Drucc, son of 
Vincent (one of the first settlers of the Village), was mortally* 
wounded. He was brought home and died at his own house next 

On the 10th of December, five companies of infantry and Captain 
Prentice's troop of horse marched from Massachusetts and from 
PljTnouth Colonjs to Narragansett. On the IGth, Captain Prentice 
received advice that the Indians had burned Jeremiah Ball's house, 
and Irilled eighteen men, women and children. He marched im- 
mediatel}^ in pursuit, killed ten of the Indians, captured fifty-five 
and burned one hundred and fifty wigwams. " This exploit," says 
the historian of that day, " was perfonned by Captain Prentice, of 
the Horse." 

On the 21st of January, 1G76, Captain Prentice's troops being in 
advance of the infantry, met with a party of Indians, captm'ed 
two, and killed nine of them. On the 18th of April following, 
the Indians made a vigorous attack on Sudbur3\ Captains Wads- 
worth and Brockelbank fought bravely in defence, but were over- 
powered, and eighteen of their men took refuge in a mill. When 
notice of this attack reached Captain Prentice, he started imme- 
diately for Sudbur}-, with a few of his compau}^, and reached that 
town with but six beside himself. The remnant of Captain AV ads- 
worth's men defended the mill bravely until night, when they were 
relieved, and the Indians put to flight. In short, all accounts agree 


that Captain Prentice rendered most invaluable services tbrougliout 
the war. He was constantly on the alert, and by his bold and rapid 
marches, he put the enemy to the sword or flight, and made his name 
a terror to all the hostile Indians. After Philip was slain, in Jul}-, 
1676, terms of peace were offered to all Indians who would come 
in and sm'render. A Nipmuck sachem, called John, with a num- 
ber of his men, embraced this offer, and b}' order of the General 
Court were given in charge to Captain Prentice, who kept them 
at his house in Cambridge Village. 

Prentice had been in command of this company fifteen years 
when Phihp's war broke out, and was then 55 years old. He was 
hard}', athletic and robust, and capable of enduring great fatigue. 
He continued to ride on horseback to the end of his long life, his 
death being occasioned by a fall from his horse. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the Indian couA^erts maintained 
unshaken their fidelity to the English, such was the prejudice 
against, and fear of them, that the General Court, on the breaking 
* out of Philip's war, ordered them to be removed to Deer Island in 
Boston harbor, and Captain Prentice, with his troopers, was charged 
with the execution of this order. Their number, including men, 
women and children, was about two hundred. 

Although Prentice was a terrible enem}- to. the hostile Indians, 
he was a warm friend and counsellor and had the full confidence 
of the friendl}' tribes. For man}^ years. General Gookin was, b}- 
the appointment of the General Court, the magistrate for man- 
aging, advising and watching over the friendty Indians. After 
his death, the Indians residing at Natick, Punkapoag, "Wam- 
essik, Ilassenamaskok and Kecumuchoag, all united in a peti- 
tion to the General Court, in 1691, that Captain Prentice might be 
appointed then* ruler. 

Prentice was appointed one of a committee to proceed to Quin- 
sigamond (Worcester), with a view of forming a settlement there. 
He was one of the owners of the first fift^'-eight houses built there, 
and had a grant of fifty acres of land for his public services. 
He was a Representative to the General Court in 1672, '73 and 
'74. In 1689 he was appointed chairman of a committee for re- 
building the town of Lancaster, which was destroj-ed by the 
Indians during Philip's war. 

Captain Prentice and his wife, Grace, had fom- sons and fom* 
daughters. Two of his sons died in childhood. The other two 


were married. Thomas, the oldest, had three sons, and died in 
1685, and the old Captain had the bringing up of the three grand- 
sons, to whom he gave a good education, and all his estate. 
Thomas, the oldest grandson, was a leading man in Newton, a 
Captain of infantry, and died in 1730. The second grandson, 
John, married a daughter of Edward Jackson, and died at the 
age of 35, leaving no children. The third grandson, Samuel, 
married Esther, daughter of Nathaniel Hammond, and settled in 
Stoughton, Connecticut. Numerous descendants have proceeded 
from this marriage. 

Captain Prentice's wife, Grace, died October 9, 1G92. He died 
July G, 1710, aged 89, and was buried under arms, by the com- 
pany of troops, on the 8th of July. He settled his own estate, by 
deeds of gift to his grandchildren. He was undoubtedly one of 
the most substantial men of his age, and had the entire confidence 
of his. associates in Cambridge Village. Edward Jackson's will, 
made in 1G81, has testimony to this effect, as follows : 

" I bequeath to mj' honored friend, Captain Thomas Prentice, 
one diamond ring." 

John WxVrd was borii in England, in 1G2G. He was the oldest 
sou of Wilham Ward, who, with his second wife, Elizabeth, and 
other children, came from Yorkshire or Derbyshire and settled iu 
Sudbury, where he had lands assigned to him in 1G40. 

He married Hannah, the daughter of Edward Jackson, about 
1650 ; was Selectman nine years, from 1679, and a Representative 
eight years, being the fii'st ever sent from Cambridge Village. 
His dwelling-house was constructed for a garrison-house, about 
1661, and used as such dming King Philip's war. Tliis ancient 
building stood where the late Ephraim AVard's (a descendant from 
John) now stands, and was demohshed in 1821, having stood 
about one hundred and seventy j^ears, and sheltered seven genera- 
tions. This house, and forty -five acres of land, was conve3'ed to 
John and Hannah, by his father-in-law, Edward Jackson, by deed, 
dated March 10, IGGl, witnessed b}' John Jackson and John Spring. 
He owned about five hundred acres of land, which he distributed 
among his sons by deeds of gift, in 1701. He was, by trade, a 
tm-ner. He had eight sons and five daughters. He made his will 
in 1707, and died July 1, 1708, aged 82. His wife, Hannah, died 
April 24, 1704, aged 73. 

There were twelve of this name among the first settlers of New 


Thomas Hammond, one of the earliest settlers of Hingham, took 
the freeman's oath there 9th of March, 1637, had land granted to 
him there in 1636, and all his children were born and baptized 
in Hingham. He sold his lands in Hingham in 1652, and his 
dwelling-house in 1656. In 1650, he and Vincent Druce bought 
of Nicholas Hodgden land in Cambridge Village, and in 1658 they 
bought of Thomas Brattle and others six hundred acres, partly in 
Cambridge Village and partly in Muddy Eiver. They held this 
land in common until 1664, when a division was made between 
them. The dividing line was one hundred rods in length, running 
over the great hill. The pond was in Hammond's part, and has 
been called by his name ever since. He also bought, in 1656, three 
hundred and thirtj^ acres of Esther Sparhawk. His wife's name 
was Elizabeth. They had two sons and two daughters. He died 
30th of September, 1675, leaving a will written by his own hand, but 
not signed, in which he calls himself aged, — gives his wife his 
dwelling-house, etc., during her Ufe and divides his lands among 
his children. His inventory was taken by Elder Wiswall and John 
Spring, and amounted to £1,139 16s. 2d. He had four children, 
and upwards of twenty grandchildren. 

John Pakker was one of the earliest settlers of Hingham. He 
probabl}' came over in the ship James, of London, in 1635. He had 
land granted to him in Hingham in 1636 and 1640. He was a car- 
penter. He removed from Hingham, and bought a tract of land 
in the easterty \Dart of Cambridge Village, in March, 1650, adjoin- 
ing the lands of John Ward and Vincent Druce. By his wife, 
Joanna, he had five sons and five daughters. He died in 1686, 
aged 71. His estate, appraised by Captain Isaac Williams and 
John Spring, amounted to £412 2s. His will is dated Sept. 7, 
1686, and recorded in the Suffollc Registry, 11th volume. 

This Parker's homestead passed into the hands of the Hon. 
Ebenezer Stone, soon after Parker's death, and is now owned by 
Mr. John Kingsbury. 

The Newton Parkers have descended from two distinct families, 
viz., from John and Joanna, of Hingham, and from Samuel and 
Sarah, of Dedham. Nathaniel was a prominent man of Newton, 
being the son of Samuel and Sarah, born in Dedham March 26, 
1670. At the time of the erection of the third meeting-house, he 
owned the land on which it was placed, the contents of which was 
one and a half acres and twenty rods, which he sold for £15, and 
conveyed it to the Selectmen of Newton, in August, 1716. 


Vincent Druce was one of the earliest settlers of Ilingham, 
being there in 1G36. He had land granted him there in 1G3G and 
1637. His son John was baptized in Hingham in April, 1641. 

In 1650, Nicholas Hodgden, of Boston (now Brookline), con- 
veyed to Thomas Hammond and Vincent Druce of Cambridge, a 
tract of land in the easterly part of Cambridge Village, adjoining 
John Parker's land, which land was originall}' granted by the town 
of Cambridge to Robert Bradish. 

The estates of Hammond and Druce were held in commonalty 
till 1664, when they agreed upon a division, the pond falling in 
Hammond's portion. 

The highway' from Cambridge Village to Muddy River (Brook- 
line), was laid out through these lands in 1658. John Ward con- 
vej'ed to Druce one hundred and thirty acres of land bounded east 
b}' the Roxbmy line, and north by Muddy River line. 

The old Crafts house, situated on the Denny place, of late thor- 
oughly repaired and painted, and looking not unlike the houses 
seen on eountrj^ roads, which were formerly used as taverns, was 
built b3' Vincent Druce in the latter part of the seventeenth or the 
beginning of the eighteenth century, and is therefore nearl}' two 
hundred 3-ears old. Vincent Druce had two sons, Vincent and 
John. Obadiah Druce, son of John, and perhaps nephew of 
Vincent, jr., inherited the house, and spent his days there. John 
Druce, the third of the name, graduated at Harvard University in 
1738, and settled as a pli3-sician in Wrentham. The first John 
Druce was a soldier in Captain Prentice's troop of horse, and was 
mortally wounded in the fight with the Indians near Swansey in 
1675, and brought home and died in his own house, aged thirty- 
four. He was probably the first victim who fell in that war from 
Cambridge Village. Vincent Druce died Januar}', 1678, leaving a 
will, recorded in Suffolk Records, Vol. 6. 

James Prentice, senior, and Thomas Prentice, jr., both of 
Cambridge, purchased of Thomas Danforth, four hundred acres of 
land, in Cambridge, in March, 1650 ; and in 1657 they purchased 
one hundred acres, of Danforth, "being the farm that James 
Prentice now dwells on, bounded northeast b^' land of John 
Jackson," part of which is now the ancient burial-place. This 
Prentice farm was on the eastcrl}' side of Centre Street, and 
extended from the burial-place, southwesterly^, be3-ond the house 
occupied b3' the late Marshall S. Rice, Esq. James and Thomas, jr. , 


or 2d, were probably brothers, and doubtless came into Cambridge 
Village the same year with Captain Thomas Prentice. 

The ancient Prentice house was demolished in 1800 ; it stood 
a few rods southeast of the house afterwards occupied by the late 
Joshua Loring. 

James Prentice married Susanna, the daughter of Captain 
Edward Johnson, of Woburn, and had one son, James, and five 
daughters. Captain Johnson, by his will, dated 1672, gives his 
grandson, James Prentice, £15, and also makes a small bequest to 
Susanna and Hannah Prentice, the daughters of his son-in-law, 
James Prentice. He was Selectman in 1G94. He died March 7, 
1710, aged eighty-one. His son James, and his widow Susanna, 
administered on his estate, which amounted to £286 14s. James 
sold out his father's estate for £60, in 1711, to his five sisters, " all 
single women," and probably left the town. 

Thomas Prentice, 2d, purchased of Thomas Danforth four 
hundred acres of land, in Cambridge, in March, 1650, and one 
hundred acres in 1657. Both parcels were conveyed to James 
Prentice and Thomas Prentice, jr., the one hundred acres being 
described as " the farm that James Prentice now dwells on." He 
married Rebecca, daughter of Edward Jackson, senior, by his first 
wife, who was born in England, about 1632, and had six sons and 
one daughter. There is no record of the births, marriages, or 
deaths, of the parents or childi'en of this family. Edward Jackson, 
hy his will, gave him one hundred acres of land, called " Bald 
Pate meadow," and several other tracts of land, and to his wife 
Rebecca, a gold ring, with this motto, ^'■Memento 3forex" (Mori). 
When he came into the Village he was called Thomas, jr. ; when 
Captain Thomas Prentice's son Thomas was grown up, he was 
called Thomas, while the Captain was called and widely known b}' 
his military title. Edward Jackson, b}' his will, made bequests to 
both these Prentices in 1681. The one he styles Thomas Prentice, 
and the other Captain Thomas Prentice. 

In 1706 he conveyed land to his grandsons, Thomas and Samuel, 
and in 1714 he convej^ed land to his sons, Thomas and John, in 
which convej^ance ho names his son Edward. There is an affi- 
davit of his, signed Thomas Prentice, senior, dated 1713, and 
recorded with the deeds, stating that " sixty jj-ears ago he held one 
end of a chain to lay out a higlnvay over Weed}' Hill, in Cam- 
bridge Village." Supposing him to be twenty-one j'cars old then, 


his biiih would have been in 1632. He lived to a great age, but 
the time of his death is unkuown. 

Elder Thomas Wiswali. was a prominent man among the first 
settlers of Dorchester. He came to this country about 1637 ; was 
Selectman in Dorchester in 1644 and '52, and highway surveyor 
in Cambridge Village in 1656, having removed into the Village in 
1654. He was one of the signers of a petition for the support of 
a free school in Dorchester in 1641, took the freeman's oath in 
1654, and was one of the petitioners to the General Court for 
having the inhabitants of Cambridge Village released from paying- 
taxes to Cambridge Church. In 1657, he and his wife conveyed to 
his son Enoch, of Dorchester, his homestead in Dorchester, which 
formerl}" belonged to Mr. Maverick. 

In 1664, he was ordained ruling elder of the Cambridge Village 
church. His homestead in the Village consisted of three hundred 
acres, including the pond which still bears his name. His house 
was upon its south bank, now owned hy Mr. Luther Paul. He had 
four sons and three daughters, with upwards of thirt}^ gi-andchil- 
dreu. His last wife,jvas Isabella Farmer, widow, from Ansly, 
in England. He died intestate, December 6, 1683, aged eight}'. 
His inventory amounted to £340. There is no monument to his 
memorj' unless the pond be such. Surely none could be more 
beautiful or enduring. It was his, and has for two centuries been 
known as " Wiswall's Pond." In the deed conve^ang his estates in 
Dorchester to his son Enoch, signed by himself and his wife, the 
latter makes her cross mark. On the day of the ordination of John 
Eliot, jr., as pastor of the First Church, he was ordained Ruling 
Elder, or assistant pastor, " in inspecting and disciplining the 
flock." In 1668 he was appointed by the authorities of Cam- 
bridge to catechize the children. The inventor}' of his estate 
specified £340, two hundred and seven acres of land and fom' 
Bibles. There is no monument to his memor}'. His son, Noah, 
married Theodosia, daughter of John Jackson, and had two sons 
and six daughters. He was slain on the Sabbath, Jul}' 6, 1690, in 
an engagement with the French and Indians, at Wheeler's Pond, 
afterwards Lee, New Hampshire. His son, Ichabod, became min- 
ister of Duxbury. 

John Kenkick was born in England in 1605, was in Boston as 
early as 1639, and then a member of the church. He took the 
freeman's oath in 1640 ; owned a wharf on the easterly side of 


the town dock, since called Tjmg's wharf, which he sold in 1652, 
and purchased two hundred and fifty acres of land in the southerlj^ 
part of Cambridge Village, in 1658. His house was near the 
bridge across Charles River, which has been called Kenrick's Bridge 
from that day to this. His first wife, Anna, died November. 1656. 
He died August 29, 1686, aged eight3'-two. His second wife, 
Judith, died at Roxbury, August 23, 1687. He had two sons, 
John and Elijah, and one daughter, Hannah, who married 
Jonathan Metcalf, of Dedham. John had nine daughters and two 
sons, and Elijah three daughters and three sons. In his will, dated 
three j'ears earlier, he states his age to be " about sevent3'-eight." 
He left in his will a bequest to his pastor, Rev. Nehemiah Hobart, 
four acres of meadow, or £10, at the option of his son John. 

Captain Isaac Williams was the second son of Robert Williams, 
of Roxbur}', who came from Norwich, England, the common 
ancestor of many distinguished men, who have honored the country 
of their birth. Isaac was born in Roxbury, September 1, 1638. 
He married Martha, daughter of Deacon William Park, of Rox- 
bur}'^, about 1661, and settled in the west part of the Village. His 
second wife was Judith Cooper. He owned five hundred acres of 
land, adjoining John Fuller's farm on the west. Thomas Park, 
John Fuller and Isaac Williams were the first, and probably at 
that time, the onl}^ settlers of West Newton. Williams' house was 
about thirty rods northeasterly of the West Parish meeting-house, 
near the brook, and on land afterwards owned by Mrs. Whitwell. 
He was a weaver b}' trade, and represented the town in the General 
Court six years, and was Selectman three years. His farm was 
divided among his three sons, two hundred and fifty acres to Isaac, 
one hundred to Eleazer, and to Ephraim one hundred and fifty 
and the mansion house. This land was granted by the town 
of Cambridge to Samuel Shepard, in 1640. In 1652, Robert 
Barrington, Esq., obtained judgment against the estate of Samuel 
Shepard, and this tract was appraised at £150, to satisfy the exe- 
cution. Deacon William Park, of Roxbmy, the father of Isaac 
Williams' first v/ife, paid the execution, and took this tract of land 
for his son-in-law. 

Captain Williams died February 11, 1707, aged sixty-nine, and 
was buried under arms by the Company of Foot. He was twice 
married, and had twelve children, and upwards of fifty grand- 
children. His son William graduated at Harvard College in 1683, 


and became minister of Hatfield. His sou Epiiraini married 
Elizabeth, daughter of Abraham Jackson, and Ephraim, son of 
this Ephraim, was the founder of Williams College. 

Gregory Cooke was a Constable in Cambridge Village in 1GG7 ; 
afterwards Selectman inMendon, in 1GG9 and 1G70, and proprietor 
of fort}' acres of land there. He was of Watertown in 1673 and 
1684. In 1665 Abraham Williams convej-ed to him his late man- 
sion place and about six acres of land at Newton Corner, near the 
Watertown line. This mansion house was on the site of the resi- 
dence formerl}' of Henry Fuller. It was demolished in 1823, 
being then about a hundred and fifty j'ears old. He was a shoe- 
maker b}^ trade, and died January 1, 1G90-1. 

Abraham Williams came from Watertown, where he took the 
freeman's oath in 1G.'32. He purchased a dwelling-house and 
twelve acres of land of John Callon in August, 1654. In 1662 
he purchased of William Clemens a dwelling-house and six aci'cs 
of land, in what is now Newton, very near the Watertown line. 
He married Joanna, sister of John Ward, about IGGO, by whom 
he had two sons and two daughters, and perhaps others ; two of 
them were born in Cambridge Village. After living in the Village 
about eight years, he sold his place to Gregory Cooke, and 
removed to Marlboro' in 1668, near Belchar's Pond. Ho was a 
Colonel in the militia, and represented Marlboro' in the General 
Court. He kept a public house in that town, which was long known 
by the name of the "Williams Tavern," where he died Dec. 29, 
1712, aged 84. His widow Joanna died Dec. 8, 1718, aged 90. 
His will was dated Dec. 18, 1711. 

Dea. James Tro"\vbridge was born in Dorchester, and baptized 
there in 1638. His father was Thomas Trowbridge, one of the 
early settlers of Dorchester, a merchant, and was engaged in the 
Barbadoes trade ; he came from Taunton, England, where his 
father founded a large charit}' for poor widows, which is still admin- 
istered for their benefit. TJiomas v/ent home to Taunton in 1644, 
leaving his three sons in charge of Sergeant Jeffries, of Dorches- 
ter, who removed with those sons to New Haven about 1638. 
Thomas, tlie father, died in Taunton, England, about 1670. 
James returned from New Haven to Dorchester about 1656, where 
he married Margaret, the daughter of Major Humphrey Atherton, 
December 30, 1659, and had three children in Dorchester, and 
removed to Cambridge Village ; his wife Margaret was dismissed 


from Dorchester to form the chm'chin Cambridge Village, in 1664, 
After the death of John Jackson he became deacon of the church. 
He was one of the first Board of Selectmen formed in the Village, 
in August, 1679, and continued in that office nine years. 

In 1675 he purchased of Deputy Governor Danforth, eighty-five 
acres of land with a dwelHng-house, standing where Mr. Nathan 
Trowbridge's house stood in later times, which he had occupied 
for some years ; bounded by the highwaj's west and south, a nar- 
row lane north, his own land east, the dividing line being straight 
through the swamp. He was a Lieutenant, Clerk of the Writs in 
1G91 and 1693, and Representative in the General Com-t in 1700 
and 1703. He had five sons and nine daughters, and upwards of 
eighty grandchildren. His first wife died June 17, 1672 ; second 
wife was Margaret, the daughter of Deacon John Jackson ; she 
died September 16, 1727, aged 48. He died May 22, 1717, aged 
81, leaving a will dated 1709. 

Rev. John Eliot, Jr., was the son of Rev. John Eliot, the 
apostle to the Indians. He was born in Roxbur}', August 31, 
1636, and graduated at Harvard College in 1656. He began to 
preach in 1658, in his twenty-second j^ear. He gained consider- 
able proficiency in the Indian language, and aided his father in 
missionar}^ work until his settlement as first pastor of the church 
in Newton. He was ordained July 20, 1664. The church was 
organized the same day. After his ordination, he preached once 
a fortnight to the Indians at Stoughtou, and occasionally at Natick. 
A tender and inviolable aftection existed between him and his peo- 
ple. He is said to have been " an accomphshed person, of comely 
proportion, ruddy complexion, cheerful countenance, and quick 
apprehension ; a good classical scholar, and having considerable 
scientific knowledge, for one of his age and period." He died 
October 13, 1668, aged 33, — four years and three months after 
his ordination, — and was buried within a few feet of the pulpit 
whei'e he preached. His homestead was on the west side of the 
Dedham road, about sixty rods north of the cemeter}', and the 
well from which he drew his water is still in use, on the Edmands 
property, on the west side of Centre Street. 

Bj'' his will, he desired that his house and land should be pre- 
served for his son John, for his inheritance, to enter upon after his 
mother's decease. It continued to be the property of his son John, 
as long as he lived. After his death, it was sold to Henry 
Gibbs, Esq., for £415, in October, 1733, by order of the General 


Court, on the petition of his executors. Their petition states 
that the place was given to him b}^ his father's will, and the}- 
pray that it may be sold for the purpose of raising money to carry 
his son John (then seventeen years old) through College, at New 
Haven. It was bounded, by the deed, east b}" the Dedham high- 
wa}' ; south bj^ lands of John Spring ; north and west by lands 
of Rev. John Cotton. Colonel John Chandler, of Worcester, 
acted as attorney' for the executors. Henry Gibbs, Esq., sold the 
Eliot homestead to the Rev. John Cotton, in 1736, for £300. 
The heu's of the Jlev. John Cotton sold it to Charles Pelham, Esq. , 
in April, 1765. 

Lieutenant John Spring was born in England in 1630 and 
came to this country in 1634 with his parents, John and Eleanor, 
who settled in Watertown. The son married Hannah, daughter 
of "William and Anabel Barsham of Watertown, and removed to 
Cambridge Village about 1664. His house stood on the west 
side of Centre Street, opposite the old cemeteiy, very near the 
house of the late Gardner Colb}'. He built the first giist mill in 
Newton, on Smelt Brook, near the centre of the town. " He was 
Selectman eight years, from 1686, Representative three j^ears, 
sealer of weights and measures, Ueutenant, pound-keeper, tithing- 
man, sweeper of the meeting-house, etc. It is supposed that he 
gave the land for the second meeting-house, 1796, which stood 
very near his own house, and the town afterwards re-conveyed it 
to his sou John ; but he never thought it worth his while, it seems, 
to put any deeds on record." He died May 18, 1717, aged 87. 
He had ten children, the first nine being daughters, and a multi- 
tude of grandchildren. His wife died August 18, 1710, aged 73. 
He was a veiy active and useful man in the Village. 

Daniel Bacon was an early settler in Bridgewater, and took the 
freeman's oath in 1647. His family removed to Cambridge Village 
about 1669. He was a tailor by trade. He purchased several 
parcels of land in Cambridge Village and Watertown, portions of 
which were afterwards conve3-ed to Oakes Angler, General WilUam 
Hull and others, and on a part of one of these parcels was erected 
the Nouantum House. He died in 1691. 

Captain John Sherman was one of the earty settlers of Water- 
town. His grandson WiUiam, a shoemaker, was the father of 
Roger Shei-man, one of the signers of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, Roger Sherman was born in Newton, April 19, 1721, 
near the Sldnner place on Waverly Avenue. 





In the very early periods of Cambridge, long before Cambridge 
Village was a separate settlement, even in the conception of the first 
settlers around the College, special grants of land were made to 
individuals by the General Court. Many of these grants fell 
within the territorial limits of what was afterwards Newton, and 
therefore belong to the records of its history. We take the fol- 
lowing extracts from the Records of the General Court : 

November. — "Mr. Phillips hath thirty acres land granted him on the south 
side Charles Eiver, beginning at a creek a little higher than the first Pines, 
and so upwards towards the Wear." This was claimed by Watertown ; " but 
in 1G34 the Court ordered that the meadow (marsh) on this side the Water- 
town wear, about thirty acres, shall belong to Newtown." 

April 1. — " There is one thousand acres of land and a great pond (Wiswall's 
Pond) granted to John Haynes, Esq. ; five hundred acres to Thomas Dudlej', 

Esq. ; acres to Samuel Dudley, and two hundred acres to Daniel 

Dennison, — all lying and being above the Falls on the east side of Charles 
lliver, to enjoy, to them and their heirs forever; and five hundred acres to 
Simon Bradstreet, northwest of the land of John Ilaynes, Esq. ; he shall 
take no part of it within a mile of Watertown wear, in case the bounds of 
Watertown shall e.xtend so far on that side the river." In 1643, "Bradstreet 
had liberty to take his five hundred acres in any other place, not yet granted 
to another." 

June. — Mr. Mayhew shall enjoy one hundred and fifty acres of land on 
the south side of Charles River, by Watertown wear. 

]\Ir. Mayhew is granted three hundred acres land in regard to his charge 
about the bridge by Watertown mill, and the bridge to belong to the country. 



The Court ordered that the constable and four men, of the chief inhabitants 
of every town, to be cliosen by the freemen with the advice of some one or 
more of the assistants, shall make survey of the houses and lands improved, 
or enclosed, as granted by special order of the Court, of every free inhabi- 
tant there, and shall enter the same in a book, with their bounds and quantity 
by the nearest estimation, and shall deliver a transcript thereof into Court 
within six months next ensuing; and the same, so entered and recorded, shall 
be sufficient assurance to every such free inliabitant, his heirs and assigns, of 
such estates of inheritance, and also, the same course to be had respecting 
town lots. And every sale or grant of such house or lots shall from time to 
time be entered in said book by said constable and four inhabitants, or their 

The lavish grants of land to these early settlers by the General 
Court set the former days in striking contrast with modern times. 
An acre of ground then was held no more valuable than a few 
square yards now. But the discrepancy in the worth of lands, at 
the two contrasted periods, is no greater than the difference in the 
cu'cumstauces, the number, the wealth and the dispositions of the 
people. Once they were few ; now they are many. Then their 
path led through hardship, and self-denial, and comparative pov- 
erty ; now, luxury of every kind abounds. Then their wants were 
natural ; now, artificial. The riches they coveted most of all was 
the broad acres of mother earth. As gold and silver is, at pres- 
ent, so much " condensed world," and represents to us an appre- 
ciable amount of enjo^'ment, so the lands which they cultivated 
represented to them all which the human heart craves. And the 
government, whose strength and dignity, whose stability and suc- 
cess depended on an industrious, enterprising and contented popu- 
lation, had an interest in stimulating industry and enterprise, in 
rewarding labor, in increasing the quantity of land subdued by 
toil, and capable of yielding a profitable return to the farmer, and 
thus an added value to the real property of the State. These 
grants were not designed to build up great landed properties, as in 
England, and to create an aristocracy ; but to encoiu-age the de- 
velopment of the resources of the country, and to distribute the 
soil in such a way as to bring it in the least possible time to ^icld 
the largest possible returns. 


The successive ownership of portions of real estate has a lively 
interest for the antiquarian, beyond its more legal importance. 


Territory, accurately mapped out, and presented to the eye with 
the early names known within it and on its borders, seems to be 
peopled with living men, and we almost consciously mingle with 
them in their surroundings and in their daily pursuits. The early 
history', both of property and men, receives valuable illustration 
from such descriptions of real estate and the transfer of titles. 
We find materials for this class of illustrations, in addition to what 
has gone before, in the Records of the Proprietors of Cambridge, 
and in the Deeds registered in the Suffolk and Middlesex Counties. 



John Jackson bought of Miles Ives one dwelling-house with eighteen acres 
land on the south side of Charles River in Cambridge bounds ; bounded 
southeast on Samuel Holly ; northeast vipon the river ; southwest, being the 
upper end of it, joining the Common, and set out by stakes ; northwest with 
a brook [creek], and he to reach to the middle of it. 

Samuel Holly, one dwelling-house with eighteen acrQ3 of land, southeast 
on Randolph Bush ; northeast on the river ; northwest on John Jackson, and 
southwest on the Common. 

Randolph Bush, one dwelling-house and eighteen acres of land, westerly 
on Samuel Holly; east on William Redsen; Common lands, south; the 
river, Edward Howe and Abraham Child, north. 

Joseph Cooke was granted four hundred and fifty acres land beyond 
Cheesecake brook ; Charles River, north ; Common lands, south ; and Her- 
bert Pelham, Esq., west; and four hundred acres to Samuel Shepard, beyond 
the land granted to Joseph Cooke, bounding east on Cooke. 

Thomas Parish was granted one hundred acres land on the left hand of the 
great plain towards Mr. Haynes' farm, between two brooks, on the southeast 
side of Chestnut Hill, Avith a swamp on the southeast. [Both these brooks 
cross Centre Street, one a little south of the First Parish church, and the 
other a little north of the old burying ground. Thomas Parish sold this land 
by his attorney Danforth to James and Thomas Prentice 1657.] 

William Redsen, one dwelling-house and four acres land, west by Ran- 
dolph Bush ; south and east by the Common. 

Samuel and Jonathan Hyde bought forty acres land, bounded by Richard 
Park north ; late Mayhew's farm west ; Dedhara highway southeast ; and Com- 
mon lands southwest. 


Thomas Danforth sold to John Jackson twenty acres land, highway to Rox- 
burynortli; William Clemens west; Thomas Danforth southwest; common 
lands southeast. 


The Common lands recovered of Dedham, not formerly granted or disposed 
of, are sold to Edward Jackson, Edward Goffe, John Jackson and Thomas 
Danforth, for £20, according to agreement by the town, 25, 10, 1G50. 

The town do agree and consent that all tlie Common lands on the south 
side of the river, on the east side of Dedham path, shall be divided into 
propriety to the several inhabitants that have an interest therein. 

The town of Cambridge formerly gave to Thomas Shepard, the late pastor, 
three hundred acres land beyond Watcrtown mill, adjoining thnt which was 
Mayhew's; also two hundred acres more, near Samuel Shepard's farm. 
[These five hundred acres were probably granted to Shepard at his settle- 
ment in 1G3(). He died in 1649, about which time they doubtless passed into 
the hands of Richard Park; the conveyance, however, is not upon record. 
They are no doubt part of the same lands bequeathed by his will in 1665 to 
his son Thomas Park, and were divided among the children of Thomas in 



Thomas Mayhew, of Watertown, merchant [formerly Medford], grants 
unto Simon Bradstreet, of Ipswich, in consideration of six cows, all that his 
farm, containing by estimation five hundred acres, lying in Cambridge, with 
all the buildings thereto belonging ; and this was by indenture, dated 29tli 
September, 1638. 

September 18, 1643. 

Thomas Carter, of Woburn, pastor, granted unto Edward Jackson, of Cam- 
bridge, naylor, his meadow [marsh] at the Pines, which he bought of Rob- 
ert Feake, which lyeth in Cambridge between the Pines and a certain piece 
of meadow now in the hands of Emery ISTorcross, about six acres, more or 
less, and the greater part abutting on Charles River, and some smallest of it 
on Mr. Philips' land, in consideration of £15. 

7. 8. 1643. 
Samuel Holly, of Cambridge, grants unto Edward Jackson, of the same 
town, six acres of land lying on the south side of the way that leads to Rox- 
bury, and joins east to the land now in the tenure of the said Jackson ; it is 
forty rods long from the highway towards the Common, and twenty-four rods 
broad; in consideration of £5 in hand paid by said Jackson. 

Simon Bradstreet, of Andover, gent., granted unto Mr. Edward Jackson, 
of Cambridge, naylor, in consideration of £140 already paid, his farm of five 


hundred acres, which was lately in the tenure of Thomas Mayhew, adjoining 
the Wear lands, bounded with pastor Shepard north ; Elder Charapney west 
[east] ; and the Common south and east, with all the rights and privileges, 
yea, appurtenances ; and this ^^as by an absolute deed, with warranty and 
bond of £2, to secure it from any claim, either himself or Thomas Mayhew. 
This deed was acknowledged by Bradstreet before Governor Winthrop. 

30. G. 1658. 
Thomas Brattle and others conveyed to Thomas Hammond and Vincent 
Druce, of Cambridge, six hundred acres at Muddy River, called the "Roy- 
ton Farm," surveyed by John Oliver, bounded north partly on Roxbury line, 
and south partly on the Cambridge line ; consideration, £100. 


G. G. 1G50. 
Nicholas Hodgsden and vrife Elizabeth, of Boston [Brookline], to John 
Parker, for £8 6s. 8d., one third of all the land he bought of Robert Bradish. 

Nicholas Hodgsden to Thomas Hammond and Vincent Druce, both of 
Hingham, joint purchasers of sixty-seven acres of land on Cambridge Hill; 
also, twenty-nine acres more, adjoining John Parker's land, north-northwest 
and northeast. 

April 6, 1652. 

Administrators of Dea. Nathaniel Sparhawk to Samuel and Jonathan Hyde, 
two hundred acres land, part of which is bounded with Roxbury highway 
north; Richard Champney southiast; Steplien Day west; and twenty acres 
more, part of which is lying within the Indian fence. 

1-1. 9. 1656. 
Esther Sparhawk, daughter of Nathaniel Sparhawk, to Thomas Hammond, 
for £40, three hundred and thirty acres of land granted by the town of Cam- 
bridge to her father, now in posscss'ion of said Hammond ; John Ward and 
Thomas Prentice north ; land of Robert Bradish south and west. 


Thomas Woolson, of Cambridge, to Jonathan Hyde, eighty acres of land, 
being one eighth of the land recovered from Dedham, bounded with Thomas 
Wiswall's farm south. [The same land that Cambridge sold to Edward Goffe, 
and Goffe to Woolson.] 

March, 1657. 

Thomas Danforth, attorney to Thomas Parish, of Naylond County, Suffolk, 
England, to James and Thomas Prentice, jr., one hundred acres land for £61, 
being all that farm whereon James Prentice now dwells ; northwest by Ded- 
ham highway [Centre Street] ; southwest by land of William Clemens ; and 
northeast by land of John Jackson. 


January, 1G58. 
Richard Parker and wife Ann, of Boston, to John Kcnrick, two hundred 
and fifty acres of land, which he formerly purchased of Thomas Mayhew ; 
Cliarles River west ; the Haynes farm north ; John Jackson and others east, 
with farm, house and barn thereon, for £200. 

December, 1G58. 
Joseph Cooke, of Cambridge, to John Fuller, for £1G0, seven hundred and 
fifty acres land, north and west hy Charles River, the winding part of the 
river west ; east by Thomas Park, and south by Samuel Shepard's farm, being 
a straight line between. 

1061. • 
Edward Jackson to his son-in-law, John Ward, and Hannah his wife, all 
that tract of land where they have entered and built their house, being forty- 
five acres [which he bought of Elder Frost], bounded by the highway to 
Hammond's south; Captain Prentice west ; John Jackson east; and highway 
north. [This deed Avas not acknowledged until fourteen years after its date.] 

Elder Frost, of Cambridge, to Captain Thomas Prentice, eighty-five acres ; 
Jolm Ward east, Samuel Hyde north ; William Clemens, James and Thomas 
Prentice, jr., west; Common lands south. 


William Clemens, jr., to Daniel Bacon, of Bridgewater, tailor, twenty- 
five acres of land he lately purchased of Richard Dummer, of Boston; high- 
way from Watertown to Roxbury south ; land of said Clemens east ; and 
Charles River northeast, for £60. 


Jeremiah Dummer, of Boston, to Gregory Cooke, one hundred and twelve 
acres land, partly in Cambridge [Newton] and partly in Watertown, with 
house and barn thereon, for £145 ; highway east ; Edward Jackson and Daniel 
Bacon south ; Charles River north ; Thomas Park west. 

Thomas Hammond to Thomas Greenwood, seven acres land adjoining 
Captain Prentice and John Ward. Greenwood also bought Isaac Parker's 
homestead in 1686, house, barn and twenty-four acres ; east by Thomas Ham- 
mond ; south by Nathaniel Hammond ; west by Jonathan Hammond ; and north 
by John Druce. He also bought about forty acres of others. 

Thomas Danforth to James Trowbridge, the now mansion place of said 
Trowbridge, with house, barn, out-houses and eighty-five acres of land ; 
bounded with the narrow lane north ; Samuel Hyde and highway west ; high- 
way south; and land of said Danforth east; the dividing line being straight 
througli the swamp. 


Samuel Hyde, deacon, to his son-in-law, Humphrey Osland, shoemaker, a 
piece of land upon which said Osland has erected a house ; bounded with 
highway east ; his own land north ; and by John Crane west and south. 

Richard Robbins, of Cambridge, to John Woodward, weaver, and his wife, 
Rebecca, daughter of said Robbins ; north by a way leading to the Lower 
Falls ; south by Charles River ; east by land of Esquire Pelham ; and west 

by Thomas Crosswell. 


Agreement between the proprietors of great Ball Pate meadow, to main- 
tain the same and keep open the ditch through the meadow, every one doing 
his part according to his proportion of the meadow ; and also to fence said 
meadow against swine and great cattle. Thomas Prentice, senior, seventy 
rods on the south side of the meadow, by his son's house, which is twenty 
rods more than his proportion because he has a greater advantage in flowing 
than the others ; Jonathan Hyde, senior, twenty-five rods ; Jonathan Hyde, 
jr., twenty-five rods; John Hyde, twenty-five rods; William Hyde, twenty- 
five rods ; Thomas Sadgrove, twenty-five rods ; Erossman Drew, twenty-five 

Signed by the above named parties. 

Witness : Thomas Greenwood, 
Thomas Chamberlain. 


Eleazer Hyde to his brother Daniel Hyde twenty acres land ; east by Jona- 
than Hyde ; south by the pond called Haynes' pond; west by Daniel Hyde; 
and north by Ichabod Hyde. [All sons of Jonathan Hyde, senior.] 

Jonathan Hyde, senior, and wife Mary to his son William Hyde, forty 
acres of upland and five of meadow ; southwest by Thomas Danforth ; north 
by Ichabod Hyde ; and east by his own land. Also, ten acres more in 1700. 

Also, to his son Daniel Hyde, thirty-five acres where he hatli entered and 
built his now dwelling-house ; north by Captain Prentice ; west by William 
Hyde; south by Samuel Hyde; and east by Ichabod Hyde. Also, ten acres 
more, adjoining Samuel and William. 

Also, to his son Ichabod Hyde forty-two acres, where he has erected his 
now dwelling-house ; north by Captain Prentice ; west by Daniel Hyde ; south 
by Eleazer Hyde. Also, twenty-four acres more, north by the highway. 
Also, ten acres more. 

Eleazer Hyde, weaver, to his brother Daniel Hyde, twenty acres ; east by 
Jonathan, senior; south by the pond called Haynes' pond; west by Daniel 
Hyde ; and north by Ichabod Hyde. 

February, 1702. 
Jonathan Hyde, senior. Sergeant, gives and bequeaths to John Kenrick, 
Nathan Healy and William Ward, Selectmen of Newton, half an acre of 
land, bounded northeast by the highway to Dedham; northwest by his own 


land ; being ten rods on tlie highway, and eiglit rods wide southwest, for the 
use and benefit of the school in the southerly part of the town ; to be em- 
ployed and improved by said Kenriok, Ilealy and Ward, or any two of them, 
and such as shall be chosen after them to succeed in said trust by a majority 
of the votes of the families at said south end of the town, for whom said 
school is now principally accommodated to the ends aforesaid. 

"Witness : Joun Woodward, Jonathan Hyde. 

IIannau Woodwaed, 

James Hyde. 


Jonathan, senior, to his son Samuel Hyde [jr.] forty-five acres of land 
that his dwelling-house now standeth upon ; south, partly by the great pond 
called AViswall's pond, and partly by the Haynes' farm, with a way one rod 
wide on the south side to come from his house to the great road, on condition 
not to sell it to strangers except through want or necessity ; but to one of 
Jonathan Hyde, senior's, heirs, by the name of Hyde. In an agreement 
between his father Jonathan and brother Eleazer, May, 1703, Samuel binds 
himself that the rod-wide way shall be free to bring herap or flax to the pond 
and sheep to washing, or such liiie necessary occasions to come to the pond 
through his land, from the pond to the north end of the stone wall, and so 
along upon the land that his honored father Jonathan Hyde left him with the 
one-rod-wide way between the land of Thomas Wiswall and said Jonathan 
Hyde to the great road. This agreement was signed by Jonathan Hyde, 
senior, and wife Mary ; Eleazer Hyde and wife Hannah, and Samuel Hyde. 
Witnessed by Samuel Hyde and Thomas Wiswall. Acknowledged before 
Jonas Bond, May 28, 1703. 

Jonathan and Eleazer Hyde to their brother Samuel Hyde, of Newton, a 
tract of land bought of Thomas Wiswall; east partly on land of Jonathan 
Hyde, senior, and partly on land of said Samuel; south by the great pond 
called Noah Wiswall's Pond and the Haynes' farm; west on land of William 
Wilcox ; north on land of William Hyde, Daniel Hyde, Ichabod Hyde, and the 
northeast corner by a walnut tree by the drain. [This was an excavation to 
obtain water from Wiswall's Pond, to increase the power of Smelt Brook. 
It passed through the low ground west of the house of Joshua Loring,Esq., 
on Beacon and Crescent Streets.] 

Thomas Wiswall to Samutl Hyde three-quarters of an acre on the north- 
erly side of the great pond ; south by the pond ; west by said Hyde ; north 
by Jonathan Hyde ; and southeast by the stone wall lying on both sides of 
the drain that runneth out of the said pond [see the preceding item]. [Hyde 
bought this for the convenience of himself and brothers to go to the pond.] 

Jonathan Hyde, senior, to his son John Hyde, forty-six acres ; southeast 
by Jonathan Hyde, jr. ; northwest by Nehemiah Hobart ; and northeast by 
Boston [Brookline] line. Also, ten acres adjoining. 

Jonathan Hyde, senior, to his son Joseph Hyde, forty-five acres where he 
has erected his now dwelling-house; south by Henry Seger; east by Eleazer 
Hyde; and west by the way between tlie division of lots. 


Jonathan Hyde, senior, grants to his children a cartway through his lot, 
from his east gate by Dedham highway to his west gate behind his barn, — a 
way witli gates forever. 


Jonathan Hyde, senior, to his son, Jonathan Hyde, jr., fifty acres ; west by 
John Hyde; south by Benjamin Wilson; east by Payne's land. Also, 
another tract in 1709. 

November, 1705. 

Samuel Hyde, 2d, of Newton, to Daniel Hyde, ten acres for £10 ; Haynes' 
farm west and land of Wilcut ; northeast by his other land. 

Witnesses, Archibald Magoy, Signed, Samuel Hyde, 

Jonathan Hyde, Hannah Hyde. 

Jacob Hyde. 


Jonathan Hyde, senior, to his son Jacob Hyde, all his now dwelling-house, 
barn, out-houses and fifty-six acres land; north by Thomas Prentice; Avest 
by heirs of Ichabod Hyde ; from the brook to Thomas Prentice's land ; north 
and northeast by daughter Osland ; east by the highway. 

Also, to his daughter Anna thirty acres; east by Dedham road; west by 
Hannah Hyde, widow of Ichabod ; north by Jacob Hyde. 

Jonathan Hyde, senior, to his son-in-law John Osland and Sarah his wife, 
sixteen acres woodland (called Ragland) ; west by John Spring and John 
Prentice. Also, twelve acres east by highway. 


Mary Eliot, widow of Rev. Joseph Eliot, of Guilford, Connecticut (brother 
of Rev. John, of Cambridge Village), gives to her son, Rev. Jared Eliot, of 
Connecticut, three hundred acres of land in Newton, being part of Governor 
Haynes' farm; east by land of John and Eleazer Ward; west by John 
Hobart; north by William Tucker and Samuel Hyde; and south by Joseph 
Parker and Jonathan Ward. 


Edward Jackson, of London, England, mariner, son of Jonathan Jackson, 
of Boston, deceased, and grandson of Edward Jackson, senior, sells to 
Nathaniel Healy, for £10, the ten acres given him by his grandfather Jack- 
son's will. 


Jared Eliot and wife Hannah, of Killingly, Connecticut, to John Ham- 
mond, three hundred and seventy acres of land, in four jjarcels, for £0,000. 
[Part of Governor Haynes' farm.] 

Eleazer Williams and wife Mary [Hobart], of Mansfield, Connecticut, and 
Abigail and Sarah Hobart, of Newton, to Rev. John Cotton, the homestead 
of their honored father, Nehemiah Hobart, one hundred acres of land, with 
the buildings thereon, for £850, in Province bills of credit; east by John 
Eliot, Esq., Thomas Train and the county road; northerly by Thomas Train, 
Edward, Jonathan and Joseph Jackson; south by John Eliot. Esq., and John 


May, 171G. 
Nathaniel Parker to the Selectmen of Newton, two hundred and sixty rods 
land for £15, beginning at a chestnut tree in the fence on the Dedham road, 
near Jonathan Woodward's house, thence sixteen and a half rods on the road 
to a stake and stones in the fence of said highway; then turning east and 
running north, sixteen rods, to a stake, and then east, running to a stake in 
the fence of the aforesaid highway, sixteen rods, to said chestnut tree. 

Nathaniel Parkeb. 

The third meeting-house was built on this land. 

Abraham Jackson to his son Captain John Jackson, a deed of gift, several 
parcels of land, some partly in Newton and parti}' in Cambridge, with dwell- 
ing-house and barn and thirty acres adjoining; west by townway; south by 
Indian lane. Also, twenty acres at Chestnut Hill (except four acres to Isaac 
Beach and the land on which the meeting-house now standeth, so long as the 
town shall see cause to improve it for the use they now do). Also, twelve 
acres pasture land in Cambridge, east on Joseph Champney and Ebenezer 



John Ward to Ms son-in-law William Trowbridge, deed of gift, the west 
end of his dwelling-house, where said Trowbridge now dwelleth, and thirteen 
acres of land adjoining, and one quarter part of the grist-mill and stream. 

Isaac Williams, of Roxbury, to his brother Ephraim Williams, of Newton, 
one quarter part of the corn mill in Newton, which was his honored father's. 

Samuel Miller gives to the town of Newton four rods of land for the west 
school-house, near his dwelling-house, on the proprietors' way, so long as 
the school-house shall be continued there, for the use of schooling and for 
no other use. 


Jonathan Ellsworth, Esq., executor of the estate of John Eliot, Esq., of 
Windsor, Connecticut, and Mary, his widow, petitioned the General Court of 
Massachusetts to sell the place in Newton given him by his father's will, for 
the purpose of raising money to carry his son John (then seventeen years 
old) through college at New Haven. 

(The place was sold to Henry Gibbs, Esq., for £415 ; bounding east by the 
Dedham road; south by John Spring; west and nortli by Rev. John Cotton.) 

Captain Joseph Puller, gent., to my successor, Captain Ephraim Williams, 
and the mihtary company now under his command, for love, good Avill and 
affection, freely and absolutely give and grant unto said Captain Williams and 
his successors, and to said military foot company forever, for their benefit 
and use, a certain tract of land in Newton, being one hundred and thirty-six 


rods, bounded on all sides by town ways, as may appear by a plan drawn 
upon this deed. 

Witness John Cotton and John Spring and acknowledged before John 


Ephraim Fenno, cordwainer, from Boston, purchased thirty-three acres 
land in Newton for £750 ; east by Dedham road, with a way of one rod wide ; 
south by the drain and Jonathan Murdock, always excepting the lands sold to 
the town where the meeting-house now stands and the way to it, as it was 
staked out. [This place was, later, the estate of the Rev. Joseph Grafton, 
then of Michael Tombs, Esq., and then of the late George C. Rand, Esq.] 


William Clark to Norman Clark all his rights in the pond, and one hundred 
and eighty-five acres land [part of Gov. Ilaynes' farm] ; south and west on 
land of Jared Eliot and Francis Blanden. 

" Elder Wiswall, John Spring, Joseph Bartlett and Captain Isaac 
Williams and others," says Mr. Jackson, " neglected to record the 
deeds of their farms, nor is there anything upon record to show 
how Richard Park, senior, came by the six hundred acres abutting 
northerly upon Charles River, which he willed to his only son 
Thomas ; nor any record of the homestead of Rev. John EUot, jr. 
He probably never had any deed of his twenty acres adjoining 
John Spring ; it evidently belonged to the southerly corner of the 
Mayhew farm, and doubtless was given to him by Edward Jackson, 
senior, who also gave pastor Hobart twenty-five acres adjoining 
Eliot, in 1681." 



It is interesting to trace, as far as we are able, the early divi- 
sions of the town of Newton, as the}' were determined by the first 
settlers. In the remote periods, some owned more, some less. 
And the large estates ver}' early began to be broken up into 
smaller ones, partly by the sale of lands, partly by gifts and 
bequests, when, from time to time, the fathers, dpng, distributed 
their real estate among theu* children. It does not come within 
the limits of our plan to give the history of the ownership of 
ever}' piece of land in Newton ; nor can it be done, with an 
assurance of any more than approximate accuracy. Such minute 
information belongs to another department. Some general notices, 
however, may be attempted, which will be of interest to the pres- 
ent inhabitants. A surve}' of the map of 1700 furnishes a good 
view of the division of the territory of Newton among the early 
proprietors, and of the relative location of their estates. But a, 
statement of the same in brief detail will be appropriate. 

East of the lino of Newton, in the territory which was after- 
wards Brighton, and comiuencing near the station on the Boston 
and Albany Railroad known recently as Faneuil, la}', in succes- 
sive order, the estates of William Radsou (Redsen), Reynold 
(Randolph) Bush, Samuel HoUey, John Jackson and William 
Clement, aU of the date of 1G39, — the latter's estate having fo'' 
its wcsterl}' boundary the extreme northeastern line of Newton., 
and of that part of Watertown (Wier) which lies on the south sidr 
of Charles River. Three of these estates were, at a later period 
absorbed into the estate of Edward Jackson, senior, adjoining tht 
last of them, and formed the northeastern corner of the origina 
Cambridge Village or Newton. 



The southwcsterlj' part of Edward Jackson's estate passed to 
Rogers (1646) and Angier (1730) . Southwest of Edward Jackson 
was Samuel Hastings and Hon. Ebenezer Stone (168G) ; sueces- 
soi's, John Jackson (1700), Philip Norcross (1720),* Captain 
Joseph Fuller (1700) ; then John Jackson (1647), twenty acres, 
Captain John Jackson (1708) and Eichard Parke (1647). 

West of Edward Jackson, senior, and south of the boundary 
line of Watertown on the south side of Charles River ( Wier lands) , 
was Gregory Cook (1672), a hundred and twelve acres, on the 
west side of Centre Street. The northern part of this estate 
acquired the names of Abraham WiUiams (1662), Daniel Bacon 
(1668), Stephen Cook (1679), and just across the line, in Water- 
town, Daniel Cook (1722). 

Richard Dana (married Mary Trowbridge) lived in Newton in 
1763. He was the son of Thomas and Marj^ His house was at 
the foot of Indian Lane, Brighton. His grandfather was Richard, 
of Cambridge, now Brighton, the common ancestor of all of that 
name in the country. Of this family came Nathan Dana, who 
afterwards became a Baptist minister, and was one of the founders 
of the Fu'st Baptist Chm'ch in Newton. 

Southwest of Hon. Ebenezer Stone and John Jackson, was 
Samuel Hjde (1640), one hundred acres, on both sides of Centre 
Street, but chiefly on the east side. Successor, Samuel H3^de, jr. 
On the southerly end of this estate, Job Hyde (1664). West of 
Samuel Hyde, across Centre Street, and originally part of his 
estate, numphrey'*"Oslaud (1668) and John Osland (1700). 

William Baldwin lived on land afterwards owned by J. Wiley 
Edmands, Esq., nearly opposite the cottage which stands north of 
the late Gardner Colb^^'s mansion. He had a son, Enoch, who 
resided in- the old garrison house which stood on land formerly of 
Israel Lombard, later of E. C. Converse, Esq. Enoch's son Enoch 
was President of the Shoe and Leather Dealers' Bank, and his son 
Aaron, of the Washington Bank, Boston. 

South of Gregory Cook was the Thomas Mayhew farm, con- 
veyed to Simon Bradstreet in 1638, and bj^him to Edward Jackson, 
senior, in 1646, live hundi-ed acres. It was on the west side of Cen- 
tre Street, embraced, for a considerable distance, both sides of 
Washington Street, extending westwardly from Newton Corner, 

* Philip Norcross occupied tlio spot where the Eliot church now stands. He was the 
son of Nathaniel, of Watertown. He had seven sons and four daughters. 


and in the progress of time formed part or the whole of the estates of 
several early proprietors, as Isaac Jackson (1729), Isaac Jack- 
son, jr. (1758); Sebas Jackson (1G71), — successors, James 
Jackson (1719), Timothy Jackson (1750), Timothy Jackson, Esq. 
(1782), Hon. AVilliam Jackson, — on the northwestern part of the 
farm; Edward Jackson (1695), — successor, Michael Jackson; 
Colonel Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson, jr., farther west; Sebas 
Jackson (1733), Phineas Jackson (1798), on the south side of 
Washington Street ; on the west side of Centre Street, Rev. John 
Eliot, jr. (1G64), Rev. Nehemiah ITobart (1G79), — successors, 
Rev. John Cotton (1714), Charles Pelham ; Abraham Jackson, 
north of the centre of the tract, on a road afterwards discontinued. 
This farm, to the south, extended over the estate of the late Thomas 
Edmands, Esq., and to the southwest included the estate of Cap- 
tain Joseph Fuller (1680), — successors. Lieutenant Joseph Fuller 
(1719), Judge Abraham Fuller (1758), General William Hull 
(1781), Governor William Claflin. The Maj-hew farm, therefore, 
covered much of the territory of Newtonville. 

Southwest of Abraham Fuller was Jonathan Fiske, — successor, 
Jonathan Cooke, and on the wooded highlands farther west, Samuel 
Cook, — successors, Stephen Cook, J. Bullough. 

West of Gregory Cook and the Majhew farm was the land of 
Richard Park (1650), six hundred acres. This estate extended 
southwest from Charles River to the vicinity- of the present Newton 
Cemetery. In this strip of territory, are the names, beginning 
at the north, near the river, of Thomas Park (1653), son of 
Richard Park (1690) ; Joseph Adams (1740), Deacon Joseph 
Adams (1775) ; farther south, Thomas Beals ; Deacon Joseph Ward 
(1733), Deacon Enoch Ward (1784) ; south of these names, 
Edward Park (1695), — successors, Edward Park (1730), Dr. 
Edward Durant (1762), on a road intermediate between Washing- 
ton Street and Homer Street, called the Natick road, afterwards 
discontinued. To the southwest, on Cheesecake Brook, was 
Samuel Hastings (1748),* the old Shepard House (1640), near 

*The Hastings family in the last century formed a large part of the population of 
Newton Corner. Samuel, the father (d. 177G), had a tan yard near the W'cst Parish 
meeting-house. He removed to Anglers Corner. His son Samuel was a tanner, and 
resided in the house of Mrs. Kobert Murdock; Thomas was a trader, and lived in 
George Hall's house; Daniel was a stone cutter, and lived in Aaron Hyde's house; 
John, a baker, in William Locke's house. Joseph Stacy was a trader in Boston; 
Stephen removed to Vermont. 

118 mS':rORY OF KEWTON. 

which was the West Parish meeting -house, and at the southwest- 
ern part, Peter Durell (1751), — successor, Solomon Flagg. 

West of Richard Park was the Fuller farm, John Fuller (1658), 
at first consisting of seven hundred and fift}^ acres ; but by subse- 
quent purchases extended to more than a thousand. This territory 
was bounded north and northwest by the river, and formed the 
northwestern portion of Newton, On the northeast corner of this 
estate was Henr}- Craft, — successor. Captain Amariah Fuller ; west- 
erly', across Cheesecake Brook, Jonathan Fuller (1684), — succes- 
sors, Jonathan Fuller (1717), Captain Edward Fuller (1759), Ezra 
Fuller; still farther westward, John Fuller, jr. (1682), Stephen 
White, Benjamin White ; south of Jonathan Fuller, was Joshua 
Jackson (1749), Major Daniel Jackson ; and cast of them, John 
Fuller (1644). Farther west, John Fuller (1709), — successor. 
Captain Joseph Fuller ; Richard Fuller, — successor, Park, border- 
ing on the bend of the river. At the extreme southwestern part 
of the farm was Deacon Joseph Fuller (1776), — successor, Josiah 
Fuller (1789). Near the middle of the tract of land was Lieuten- 
ant Jeremiah Fuller (1694), — successors. Captain Joshua Fuller 
(1747), Lieutenant Joshua Fuller and David Fuller (1773), Dea- 
con Joel Fuller (1815). South of the middle was Josiah Bond 
(1720), Phineas Bond (1749). 

Southwest of the Fuller farm was Captain Isaac Williams 
(1659), five hundred acres. All the names in this tract of land, 
in the map of 1700, were on the easterly side. Isaac Williams, jr. 
(1686) ; John Knapp (1688) ; Captain Isaac Williams (1661),— 
successors, Colonel Ephraim Williams (1714), Jonathan Park, jr. ; 
Dr. Samuel Wheat (1735),* — successor. Captain Thomas Eustis ; 
Eleazer Williams (1695), — successors. Captain Thomas Oliver 
(1708), Goddard Taylor and Colonel Nathan Fuller. 

Southwest of Captain Isaac Williams was the Robinson Farm, 
about two hundred acres, covering the territory since called 
Auburndale, and extending to Charles River. On this territory 
stood Nathaniel Whittemore's tavern (1724), the Bourne House, 
at the southeast p?,rt ; then John Pigeon, Henry Pigeon, Joel 
Houghton, north of the tavern ; near the middle, WiUiam Upham 

* Dr. Samuel Wheat came to Newton in 1730. His ancestor was Moses Wheat, of 
Concord, whose will says that he came from Bermuda, and was also a physician. The 
house of Dr. iiamuel Wheat was near the meeting-house in West Newton. 


(1740), Elisha Seavcrns, Elisha Ware; near the northeast part, 
WiUiam Robinson (1G78), — successors, William Robinson, jr. 
(1705), John Robinson (1753), Jonathan WiUiams (1769), 
EHsha Hall, M. Collier. 

Northeast of Aubui-udale was Benjamin Child (1722), — succes- 
sors, John Durell, Joshua Washbm-n ; southeast was Deacon 
Thomas Greenwood (1719), eighty-six acres, — successor, Alex- 
ander Shepard, jr., (1774). South of Auburndale, extending to 
Charles River, was Daniel Jackson (1773). 

On the road from West Newton to Newton Lower Falls, we find 
on the north side of the road, on the earl}^ map, the following suc- 
cession of estates : Rev. Wilham Greenough, Ephraim Jackson, 

Samuel Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Brown, William Chenc}- 

(1745), Daniel Cheney (1780), William T. Ward; Joseph Jack- 
son (1754), Joseph Jackson (1788) ; John Myget or M3'gate 
(1743), Joseph Gosson ; David Hagar ; Jonathan Willard (1708) ; 
Pratt; Stoddard; Hoogs ; John Leverett (1703) to John and 
Nathaniel Hubbard ; Ilubbards to Jonathan Willard (1732) . This 
brings us to " the wading place " on the river, above which were 
the mills. 

Rctiu-ning to the Dr. (Greenough estate, on the south side of the 
road, between that point and the Lower FaUs, we find Joseph 
Miller (1675), — successors, Thomas Miller (1713), Thomas Miller, 
jr. (1740) ; Alexander Shepard, senior, (1748), — successor, Jere- 
miah Allen; Eben. Bartlett (1736), — successors, Ehsha Bartlett 
(1791), Peregrine Bartlett; Henry Seger (1686), — successors, 
Henry Seger (1709), son Caleb Seger, son Henry Seger, son Gill 
Seger. At the Falls, OUver Pratt (1734), — successors. Colonel 
Ephraim Jackson (1755), Edward Jackson (1795), Nathaniel 

Pursuing our way southerly, along the Sherburne road, from 
Newton Lower Falls to Newton Upper Falls, we have on the right, 
in succession, the places of Robert Ball ; Josiah Davenport (1731), 
— successors, John Davenport (1755), Michael Welsh (1795); Job 
Seger (1709), — successors, Josiah Seger (1738), Littlefield ; eJohn 
Mason (1689), — successors, Daniel Mason (1729), WilUam Mason 
(1750) ; Daniel Woodward (1704), — successor, Daniel Woodward, 
jr. (1739); Matthias Collins (1778), Matthias CoUins, jr.; 
Jonathan Woodward (1712) ; Colonel Nathan Fuller, as a 
tavern, (1763). John Woodward (1681), — successors, Ebenezer 


Woodward (171G), Deacon John Woodward (1747), Deacon 
Ebenezer Woodward (1781), Deacon Elijah F. Woodward (1810), 
Samuel N. Woodward (1842). This was the Woodward farm 
(1681), still in the same name, and extending to Charles River. 
Returning on the Sherburne road to Henry Seger's, and travelling 
again southerty, we have first the land of Deacon John Staples 
(1G90),— successors, Moses Craft (1729), Joseph Craft (1753), 
WiUiam Wiswall, 2d, (1788), Da\dd Kinmonth, W. C. Strong; 
and on the northwest corner of this estate, John Child (1715). 
Next to Deacon Staples, southerly, was Eleazer Hyde (1700), — 
successor, Eleazer Hyde, jr.; Captain John Clark (1734), — 
successors, William Clark (1741), Daniel Clark (1787). 

On the westerly portion of Homer Street, parallel to the Sher- 
burne road and northeast of it, was Samuel Craft, — successors, 
Samuel Murdock, Esq., Jonathan Stone; Joseph Hyde, — succes- 
sor, John King ; and on the east side of the same, James Hyde 
(1702), — successors, Amos Hyde (1768), Charles Hyde ; Thomas 
Brown, Amos Hyde, Benjamin Hj'de ; Jonathan Trowbridge, — ■ 
successor, Samuel Dix. East of Joseph Hyde, was Joseph Fuller, 
— successors, John Murdock, Nicholas Thwiug. 

At the Upper Falls, southwest of the Governor Haynes' farm, 
beginning westwardl}' on the river, we have the estates of Nathan- 
iel Parker (1708), — successors, Noah Parker (1720), Thomas 
Parker (1768), General Simon Elliot (1782) ; Joseph Chene}- 
(1702), — successors, Joseph Cheney, jr. ( ), General Ebene- 
zer Cheney; James Chene}', senior (1732), — successors, Aaron 
Cheney, Asa Williams. Still farther south is the land of John 
Kenrick (1658), two hundred and fifty acres. It was formerly 
owned bj^ Thomas Mayhew ; — successors, John Kenrick (1G58), 
John Kenrick, jr. (1690) ; Caleb Kenrick, Caleb Kenrick, jr.^ 
Caleb Kenrick at the western part, and in the northeastern, 
William Marean (1720), — successors, William Marean, jr.. 

Returning northwestwardly, we come to the Governor Haynes'' 
farm (1634), which formed nearly a rectangle, embracing one 
thousand and thirty-four acres. The southerly line of this tract 
of land was near the Upper Falls ; the northerl}- line, at Newton 
Centre, extending from a point near the residence of Samuel M. 
Jackson, Esq., to a point a little north of the residence of Gusta- 
vus Forbes, Esq. It reached from *'the Great Meadows" on the 


southeast to " Alcock's Swamp on the southwest. On the south- 
erly part of this farm was Stephen Winchester (1720), — successors, 
Stephen Winchester, jr. , Amasa Winchester, Amasa Winchester, 
jr. ; in the westerly part, Daniel Plamraond (1751) ; John Ham- 
mond (174G), bought of Jared Eliot, of Connecticut, — succes- 
sors, Enoch Hammond, Lieutenant John Marean, Edward Mitchell ; 
William Parker (1694) , — successors, AViUiam Clark to son Norman 
Clark one hundred acres, Norman Clark, jr., the Baptist or Wis- 
wali's Pond. North of the middle of the farm, on the circuitous 
Sherbm-ne Road, was Ebenezer Parker (1724), — successors, Sam- 
uel Parker (1770) ; Elisha Parker (1751), — successor, Jonathan 
Parker. Opposite the "Parkers, was Lieutenant Ebenezer Wiswall 
(1680), — successor, Nathaniel Parker (1694), one hundred and 
twenty acres. On the northerly part of the Haynes ' farm was Elder 
Thomas Wiswall (1654), — successors, son Captain Noah Wiswall 
(1684) , grandson Lieutenant Thomas Wiswall (1690) , great grand- 
son Captain Noah Wiswall (1720) , Luther Paul ; then Pound Lane 
leading to West Roxbmy, the Dr. King estate, at the foot of the 
westerly slope of the Institution Hill, and bordered on the west by 
the southerly end of the Common at Newton Centre. 

West of the northern part of the Governor Haynes' farm, and 
adjoining it, was the estate of Jonathan Hyde, senior, (1656). It 
extended from near the southwesterly end of the pond, along the 
westerly side of Centre Street, to a point north of the residence 
of Thomas Nickerson, Esq. It extended westward nearly a hun- 
dred rods bej'ond Bullough's Pond, and included, on the south and 
east, the residences of Samuel Hj^de (1702), son of Jonathan 
Hyde, senior, Francis Blanden (1725) ,* — successors, Francis Blan- 
den, jr., Phineas Blanden ; in the middle, Joshua Murdock (1745) , 
Elisha Murdock (1793) ; Daniel Hyde (1689), son of Abraham; 
west of the meeting-house, Jacob Hyde (1710), Aaron Hyde; 
Ephraim Fenno, the triangular farm, afterwards owned and occu- 
pied b^^llev. Joseph Grafton, — -successors, Michael Tombs, George 
C. Rand, Esq. ; northwest of the meeting-house, Benjamin Eddy 
(1731) ; north, on Centre Street, Rev. Jonas Meriam (1758), 

•Francis Blanden was in Newton in 1714. His bouse, on tlie noitliwest side of Wis- 
waU's Pond, was in later times known as the residence of Mr. Joseph White, son of 
Deacon Ebenezer Wliite. He had eight sons and eight daughters. The name con- 
tinued on the records down to 1800. Hannah, daughter of Francis, had an illegiti- 
mate son, Caleb. Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Blanden, jr., had live children; 
Abigail, two; Mary, one;— all illegitimate. 


Rev. Jonathan Homer, D. D. (1782), — successors, Martin Morse, 
Hon. Alden Speare. 

North of the land of Jonathan Hyde, senior, was Lieutenant 
John Spring, extending from Centre Street, westwardl}', to the 
mill, including Mill Street, and the site of the second meeting-house, 
and reaching north to the estate of Rev. John Eliot, jr. 

A small portion of land intervening, south of Mill Street, was 
convej'cd by John Jackson, senior, to Noah Wiswall, — successors, 
John Prentice, Henry Gibbs. Lieutenant John Spring's owner- 
ship of the estate bearing his name is dated 1666, — successors. 
Ensign John Spring (1704), Daniel Spring (1745). At the west- 
ern limit, bordering on BuUough's Pond, was Ichabod Hyde 

Between Lieutenant John Spring and the southwestern portion 
of the Mayhew farm, was a tract of land mainl}' in the territory 
since called Newtonville, and occupied chiefly by the name of 
Trowbridge. On this tract we find the name of John Ward, jr. 
(1681) , — successors. Deacon William Trowbridge (1701) , William 
Spring (1730) , David Spring (1760) , Captain Edmund Trowbridge 
(1770) ; Deacon James Trowbridge (1664), Deacon William 
Trowbridge, — successors, Thaddeus Trowbridge (1750), Samuel 
Trowbridge (1781), Nathan Trowbridge (1811). 

On the east side of Centre Street, directly north of the Haynes' 
farm, the first estate was of Joseph Bartlctt (1668), — successors, 
Joseph Bartlett, jr. (1698), Joseph Bartlett (1730). This estate 
extended eastwardly, joining the land of Thomas Hammond. 
North of Joseph Bartlett was John Clark (1681), — successors. 
Captain Thomas Clark (1728), Joseph White (1762), Deacon 
Ebenezer White (1793) .* The next estate was Henry Gibbs, Esq. 
(1742), — successors, Gibbs Eddy, John Eddy, Marshall S. Rice ; 
next was land of Thomas Cushiug ; a tract of land granted to 
Thomas Parish (1641), and by Parish to Prentice (1650), one 
hundred acres, between the two brooks ; N. Hyde. James and 
Thomas Prentice (1656), one hundred acres, — successors. Dr. 
John Prentice (1696), Robert Prentice (1735), Robert Prentice, 
jr. (1775), Joshua Loring. This brings us to the burial ground. 
The land next north of it was granted to John Jackson, senior 
(1650), and called Chestnut Hill, extending eastwardly to Waverly 
Avenue, — successors. Colonel Joseph Ward (1792), forty acres. 

♦Deacon Ebenezer White was grandson of Philip White, who in 1733 had his resi- 
dence near the Theological Institution estate. 


afterwards Charles Brackett, Esq. East of the burial ground, 
William Clements, jr., held nine acres in IGGO. 

Returning to the northern part of Newton in the vicinity of 
Nonantum Hill, — at the northeastern slope of Nonantum Hill 
was "Waban's wigwam. Immediately south of Nonantum Hill 
was Edward Durant (1734), — successor, Edward Durant, jr. 
(1742) ;* John Kenrick, Esq., senior, John A. Kenrick ; Thomas 
Trowbridge (1708), — successor, Judge Trowbridge; Obadiah 
Curtis ; Deacon Bowles ; John Mirick (1682) , — successor, Samuel 
Miriek; on the northeast of this section, Daniel Robbins (1737), 
— successors, John Robbins (1740), Solomon Robbins (1750); 
on the southeast, Thomas Brown (1723), — successor, Ebenezer 

Southwest of Nonantum Hill was the land of Captain Thomas 
Prentice (1063), eight^'-live acres; at the westerly part of it, we 
find the names of Edward Prentice (1705), — successor, Edward 
Prentice, jr. (1729) ; at the northern part, Captain Prentice 

( ), — successors, son Thomas Prentice, grandson Captain 

Thomas Prentice ; Thomas Harbach ; Captain John Clark (1730) , — 
successor, James Ward ; Joshua Flagg. East of Captain Pren- 
tice was Edward Jackson, senior, to John Ward (1661), — succes- 
sors, son Richard Ward (1701), Deacon Ephraim Ward (1740), 
John Ward (1772), Samuel Ward (1790), Ephraim Ward. At 
the western part of the estate stood a " Garrison House." 

Between Nonantum Hill and Thomas Hammond, near the north- 
eastern limit of Newton was the land of Eleazer Hammond 
(1703), — successors, Ephraim Hammond (1741), Major Thomas 
Hovey (1790), Dejicon Nathaniel Pettee, A. Lawrence, and still 
farther east, Cambridge Hill. Next south was Eleazer Chamber- 
lain (1750), — successors, John Thwing (1757) ; Simon Stone 
(1732), James Stone (1767), Jonathan Stone, Daniel Stone. 

Southwest was John Parker, senior, (1650). On this land we 
find, to the east, John Parker, jr. (1686), Hon. Ebenezer Stone ; 
in the middle, Thomas Hammond (1714), — successors, Joseph 
Hammond (1744), Thomas Haimnond (1788) ; westwardl}^, Isaac 
Parker (1682), — successors, Thomas Greenwood (1686), John 

♦Edward Duraut, of French descent, owned the place and built the house after- 
wards occupied by Captain John Kenrick, and still later by his son John A. Kenrick. 
He came into Newton about 1740, and was active and distinguished in the time of the 


Greenwood (1G95), Josiah Greenwood (1731), Ebenezer Green- 
wood (1798). 

Thomas Hammond (1650) owned a large tract of land on the 
eastern side of Newton, and extending into the adjoining town of 
Brookline. Hammond's Pond is nearly in the middle of it. North- 
west of the pond was the house of Thomas Hammond, jr. (1G62), 
— successors, Thomas Hammond (1694), Joshua Hammond (1740), 
Captain William Hammond (1770), Judge Lowell. Northeast 
of the pond, Nathaniel Hammond (1675), — successor, Nathaniel 
Hammond, jr. (1708) ; Colonel Benjamin Hammond (1749) ; 
Vincent Druce (1650), — successors, Vincent Druce, jr. (1667), 
John Druce (1700) ; Ebenezer Keurick, Jonatlian Hammond. 
Within the limits of BrookUne, beginning at the north, counted 
as belonging to Newton, because so man}' of their associations 
were there, was the great house of Deacon Elhanan "Winchester, 
afterwards owned by Ebenezer White, then Joseph White, and 
iinall}' Ebenezer Richards, whence the name " Richards' Hotel."* 

In Miss Harriet F. Wood's " Historical Sketches of Brookline," 
we find an interesting account respecting a large tract of land 
lying partly in BrookUne and partly in Newton, south of the old 
Sherburne Road (Newton Street) , east of Hammond's Pond, nearly- 
west of the ancient estates of Deacon Elhanan Winchester and 
Vincent Druce, and at the eastern foot of Bald Pate Hill. The 
account is as follows : 

On the vrestern side of Newton Street there is an extensive tract of land 
which is comparatively an unknown region. Once heavily timbered, the 
original forest was cut away, and no heavy timber has since been allowed to 
grow there. Yet it is an unreclaimed wild, covered with birches, alders, red 
maples, and many trees of larger growth. Bears lingered there long after 
they were exterminated elsewhere, and foxes, musk rats, minks, owls and 
other wild game have until recently tempted, and do perhaps still tempt 
adventurous sportsmen to tramp through these rocky and swampy fastnesses. 

* Ebenezer Richards kept this place as a public house for several years. ^Anlen 
the "Woroester turnpike was opened, a gate was placed across the turnpike, in the 
rear of the tavern. 'It was a convenient resort for teamsters, and parties from Bos- 
ton, bent on pleasure, often went thither for a game of nine-pins. It was also much 
frequented for gay parties and balls. It was discontinued as a tavern about 1830 ; and 
afterwards ownel successively by Henry Pettes, of Boston, and Mark W. Sheafe, 
of Portsmouth. Still neater the border of Newton and Brookline was the house build 
bv Rev. Jonathan Hyde in 1751, afterwards owned by Thaddeus H.vde and then Arba 
Hvde. This house was demolished in ISll by order of the Selectmen as being insecure. 
The large cellar of it is still visible. To the south, amid the forests, was Erosamoud 
Drew's saw-mill near the town line, on Pond Brook (since fihed up), which llowed out 
from Hammond's Pond and afterwards joined Palmer Brook, in South Newton, and 
was conveyed iu 172G by Erosamoud or Erasmus Drew to Nathaniel Parker. 


The land lying hereabouts, on both sides of the street, both in Brookline 
and in Newton, to the extent of several hundred acres, was in the year IGoO 
conveyed by Nicholas Hodgden of Boston and Brookline, to Thomas Ham- 
mond and Vincent Druce, the same who built the old house on the Denny 

Erosamon Drew, whose name is spelled in old documents in six different 
ways, came in his youth from Ireland. He married Bethiah, daughter of 
Vincent Druce. The elder Druce, who seems to have been a wealthy man for 
those days, left considerable property to this son-in-law. 

A most curious and elaborate old deed, dated in 1G83, conveys a tract of 
sixty-four acres of woodland for fifty-five pounds to Erosamon Drew from 
*' Vincent Drusse and Elizabeth, his wife," in which an imperfectly scrawled 
V for his name and E for hers are their only attempts at penmanship. 

An examination of some recent maps indicates a slight curving bit of road- 
way near Newton line, diverging from the street on the left, and joining it 
again at Newton line. The passers-by upon the street would scarcely notice 
the grassy entrance to this curve, and perhaps fail to observe, unless atten- 
tion were called to it, an old roof, to be seen almost on a level with the street, 
below the brow of the hill. Yet this curved bit of road was the original 
street or old road dipping down into the valley, for what good reason nobody 
now living knows, unless it was because down here was •' Erosamond Drew's 
Saw-Mill," and there must be a way to get to it. 

A brook, which is the natural outlet to Hammond's Pond, flows through the 
swampy lot opposite and under the road. It is nearly concealed by rank 
bushes and young trees, beyond which is a large open meadow, which still 
annually yields many tons of hay. This extensive tract is the property of 
numerous owners, and is designated in ancient deeds as " the Grate meddows." 
also '' Saw-Mill meadows," and far and near, colloquially as " Ponica." These 
meadows were flowed to obtain water-power enough to run the saw-mill, on 
leaving which, after passing under the old roadway, the water emptied into 
another tract of land, called " Bald Pate Meadows ; " there forming a mill-pond 
for another saw-mill which stood a short distance below, many years since 
in the edge of Newton. Its site was plainly to be seen a few years ago (and 
miy be still), though it long since yielded to the superior advantages of its 
Brookline rival. 

Below the level of the road down the declivity of the hill, and standing end- 
wise to the now deserted and grassy roadway, was a low house (the roof of 
which was before mentioned), falling into ruins, and since obliterated. It 
was not less than two hundred years old, and perhaps more. This was Eros- 
amon Drew's house, and over the brook close to it stood his saw-mill, and 
here all the sawing of boards for miles around was accomplished. The owner 
of the saw-mill was evidently a thrifty and good citizen, as he held various 
offices of trust in the town of Brookline, being one of the selectmen, assessor 
a member of the grand jury, and one of the committee on building the Pirst 

An old deed of Isaac Hammond in 1693 conveys land bordering on the 
«aw-mill lot to Erosamon Drew. By another deed, in April, 1731, Drew con- 


veyed ten acres of his land to his son-in-law, Samuel White, "by reason and 
in consideration of the love, good-will and affection which he hath and doth 
bear toward him," which was certainly a very substantial proof of his satis- 
faction with his daughter's marriage. 

This deed was witnessed by James Allen, the first minister of Brookline, 
and " high scot;" but Erosamon Drew's signature, alas, was only "his mark," 
a round scrawl, for he could not write his name. The deed was acknowledged 
before" Samuel Sewall, J. Pacis," and rounds off in sonorous Latin, " annoque 
regni regis Georgii Magnae Britannias quarto, etc." 

In August of the same year, by another deed he gave his house and all his 
movable property to his son-in-law, wife and two children, for his being 
" helpful to him in his old age." In fact from 1711 to this last date (1731) he 
seems to have been at short intervals bequeathing all his worldly goods to 
this beloved son-in-law. The grave-stones of all the Drews are stiil to be 
seen in Newton Cemetery. The last of the Drews was gone before the mid- 
dle of the last century, and large portions had been sold off the Druco and 
Hammond property, and that part of Samuel White's land which he inherited 
from his wife's father. 

In the Revolutionary times this great tract, which still lies wild, was in the 
hands of the Tories, who, it is said, secured some of King George's cannon 
and hid them in the thick woods, intending when the right time came to use 
them for the royal cause. But that time never came, and the Tories were 
forced to escape to the British Provinces, where they stayed till their prop- 
erty was confiscated. It was sold, and divided among many owners, and so 
remains. The old saw-mill came into the hands of Captain Curtis, of Jamaica 
Plain, and afterwards of Edward Hall, formerly a blacksmith on Washington 
Street, Brookline. 

For many years Erosamon Drew's old house was called the " huckleberry- 
tavern, "because the tenant then occupying it was skilful in making a kind of 
wine from the abundant huckleberries of the surrounding pastures, and on 
election days and other festive occasions, the scattered residents of the adja- 
cent parts of Brookline and Newton often resorted thither for the mild stim- 
ulants of society and huckleberry wine. The old saw-mill was taken down 
about twenty-nine or thirty years ago; time, with the slow fingers of decay, 
is taking down the old house. It is a curious old place, the roof behind 
sloping almost to the ground. A part of the old flume, and some of the 
stone underpinning of the saw-mill are- still to be seen. 

The extensive meadows through which the brook flows, and which were 
once rich with cranberry vines, are now all bush-grown. The old road, 
down which teams drew heavy logs, and took away the finished boards, is so 
narrow, rough and winding, as to be almost unsafe. At the side of the road, 
near the end of the house is a little patch fenced with brush, which in 1872 
bloomed with purple amaranths and well kept flowers, whicli lent brightness 
to the otherwise neglected spot. The picturesque old place is a fit one for 
the location of the scenes of a poem or a tale. 

The extreme south part of the town alone remains to be account- 
ed for. This seems to have been originally the second natm-al 


centre of population and interest, and here a large number of 
smaller proprietors found their residence. This section of the town 
was natm-ally distributed into three divisions by the pubho roads 
nearly parallel, all running eastwardly from the Haynes' farm. 
The most northerly of these roads was the prolongation of Pound 
lane, that is, the West Roxbury Road ; it commenced near the 
house of Samuel C. Jackson, Esq., and continued to West Roxbury. 
The middle road commenced near the South Burial Place, and con- 
tinued along the edge of Brook farm, to the town line and Ded- 
ham, and was named the Dedham road. The southernmost skirted 
the east or more properly the southeast border of the John Kenrick 
land, and terminated in the forest. Thi-ee cross-roads, nearly par- 
allel, extended between the West Roxbury road and the Dedham 
road. Two cross-roads extended from the Dedham road in a west- 
erly direction, — the first crossing the Kenrick land to Kenrick's 
bridge ; the other reaching the house of Edward Hall, and there 
terminating. The following proprietors occupied land in this sec- 
tion of the town : 

On the easterly side, commencing at the southerly border of the 
Haynes' farm, and near the house of Samuel C. Jackson, Esq., on 
the right were the Great Meadows, so called ; at the easterl}' end 
of this tract was situated Jonas Jackson (1745). Southerly from 
this were four plots of land belonging, in the order of location, to 
Jonathan H^'de, senior (1G98), Captain Thomas Prentice, Esq. 
(1705), Edward Jackson, senior, and John Jackson. The land of 
Jonathan Hyde, senior, included Bald Pate Hill on the south, and 
was bounded on the east by Bald Pate Meadow ; and included, at 
the northern or northeastern part, John Hyde, his son, forty-six 
acres (1703), — successors, John Hyde, jr. (1729), Elisha Hyde, 
Gershom Hyde ; at the southerly part, Jonathan Hyde, his son, 
fifty acres (1G98). South of Jonathan Hyde was the land of 
Captain Thomas Prentice, Esq. (1705), to his grandson, Samuel 
Prentice, a hundred acres, — successor, Thaddeus Whitney (1772). 
South of Captain Thomas Prentice was Edward Jackson, senior ,^ 
and liis successors, by will (IGSl) to Thomas Prentice, a hundred 
acres, the latter to his son Thomas Prentice, jr. (1711), Timothy 
Whitney (1728), Moses Whitney (1739), Timothy Wliitney 
(1793). Captain Thomas Draper (1738), — successors, James 

Richards, Woodward. In the extreme southeast corner of 

the town, John Ward, senior, to Vincent Druce (1680), a hundred 


and tliirt^' acres. "West of this was William Ward (1689), — suc- 
cessors, JoliQ Ward, jr. (1760), Joshua Newell, E. White. 

Returning to the first (northernmost) cross-road, near the north- 
western corner was the Ministerial wood lot ; then, Thaddeus Hyde 
(1872); Timoth}'- Hyde (1739), thirty-six acres; Jeremiah Rich- 
ardson (1761), Thomas Richardson; then the widow, Good}' 
Davis, (died 1752, aged one hundred and sixteen). On the sec- 
ond cross-road was Thomas Hastings, Thaddeus Richards, — suc- 
cessor, John Dana; Jonathan D3-]ve (1710), — successors, Jona- 
than Dj'ke, jr. (1742), Simon Pond (1770), Noah King (1795), 
Noah S. King (1843), Bald Pate Hill east, Oak Hill west; and 
between Jonathan Dj'ke and Deacon Wiswall, James Richards, — 
successors, James Richards, jr., Solomon Richards. South of 
Palmer Brook, on the third cross-road, John Jackson, senior 
(1660), extending from the West Roxbury road to the Dedham 
road. Within this allotment, Philip White (1705), — successors, 
Isaac Child (1745), Daniel Child (1783) ; Joshua Gay (1745). 

On the Dedham road, on the easterly side, south of South Mead- 
ow Brook, was David Richardson (1724), — successors, Samuel 
Richardson, Benjamin Richardson, Deacon Reuben Stone. The 
next farm southerly was of Jonathan Richardson, — successors, 
Jonas Stone, jr., Elijah Stone, extending easterly to Good}' Da^'is. 
The next was of Richard Clark (1700), — successors, Robert 
Murdock, jr. (1718), Deacon Jeremiah Wiswall. Next was John 
Wilson (1713), — successors,- John Wilson, jr., Daniel Richai'ds, 
George Richards. By Palmer Brook, John Palmer (1740), — suc- 
cessors, Thomas Palmer (1760), William Palmer (1811). The 
next laud belonged to John Jackson, senior, (1660), then Nathan- 
iel Healy (1690), — successors, John Healy, John Corey. The 
southernmost proprietor was Benjamin Wilson. 

Returning to the west side of the Dedham road, first bounding 
on Nathan Pettee (1707), one hundred acres of the Haynes' farm, 
was Deacon Jonas Stone (1724), — successors, Captain Jonas 
Stone (1745), Ebenezer Stone (1788), Samuel Stone; next, 
Andrew Hall (1705), forty-three acres, — successors, John Hall 
(1723), Samuel Hall (1782). Then Robert Murdock, senior, 
(1703), a hundred and twenty acres, — successors, Lieutenant 
Robert Hall, Captain Jeremiah Wiswall (1750). Next on the 
corner was school laud, half an acre, given to the town by Jona- 
than Hyde, senior (1703), near the present chapel. Then, 


Daniel Richards, — successors, Jacob Chamberlain (1700), son 
John Chamberlain (17G3). Then, Daniel Colburn (1710),— suc- 
cessors, Samuel Fiske (1722), Phineas Jackson, Tliomas Has- 
tings; then, Edward AVard (1700), sixty-two acres, — successors, 
Timothy Ward (1741), John Mathews, John Mayo. At the 
extreme southern limit, Nathaniel Wilson, senior (1G80), — suc- 
cessors, sons Benjamin, Isaac and Moses. 

Returning to the road skirting the John Kenrick land, the lli-st 
estate on the east side was of John Ward (1700), — successor. 
Rev. Nathan Ward (17GG) ; then, John Ward (1748) ; Samuel 
Truesdale (1G79), a hundred and twentj' acres; then Israel 
Stowell, — successors, Samuel L^-on, John Hall, Solomon Hall, 
David Hall. 

On the cross-road joining the Dedham road on the east to the 
road bounding the John Kenrick land on the west, east of Samuel 
Truesdale was Elijah Kenrick (1GG9), — successor, son John Ken- 
rick (1712). East of Elijah Kenrick was John Grimes (1700), 
— successor, James Grimes (1740). 

With this " key to the situation," a person may travel over the 
few great roads of earlier Newton, and identify, with tolerable cer- 
tainty, the lands of nearly every proprietor. The larger estates, 
in many parts, have been divided into smaller ones. Numerous 
intersecting streets have been opened for the convenience of the 
inhabitants. The one or two churches, with the roads leading to 
them, which were an object of so much jealous care, have increased 
to thu't3% The few scattered residences have condensed them- 
selves into nine or ten villages, some of them nearly contin- 
uous, and the whole into a thriving city. But the liills and plains 
where the people lived, and the streets in which thej^ moved, are 
clearl}'- marked and easily found. 



Supplementary to the preceding chapter, we give, in this con- 
nection, the location, dimensions and boundaries, so far as we are 
'able, of many estates of residents of Newton in the earUer period, 
with other matters of interest thereto belonging. The items are 
arranged under the names of the citizens in alphabetical order, for 
convenience of reference. 

Adams, Joseph (d. 1799), bought of Wilham Park, in 1750, 
fifty-three acres of land, with the buildings thereon, for £320, 
being the east part of the Park, farm, near Watertown line. The 
house was afterwards occupied by Joseph Faxon. The homestead 
was divided among the sons of Mr. Adams, Joseph, Roger and 
Smith, who settled thereon. 

Angier, Oakes (d. 1789), kept a pubhc house ver}^ near the 
site of the Nonantum House, Newton Corner. He purchased the 
place of Samuel Jackson, Esq., in 1731. The land was partly in 
Newton and jDartly in Watertown, with house and barn thereon. 
It was bounded west-and south by the county road, which led from 
Watertown to Roxbury. See Daniel Bacon. 

Bacon, Daniel, (d. 1691). In 1669 Gregory Cook conveyed 
to Daniel Bacon a dwelling-house and barn and six acres of land, 
bounded by the highway east, Edward Jackson south, and the 
Dummer farm north and west, — being the same place which 
William Clements conveyed in 1662 to Abram Williams. Mr. 
Bacon piu-chased several other parcels of land in the same vicinity. 
Some of his land was entailed by the will of his father-in-law. 
Reed. In 1669, William Clements, jr., conveyed to Daniel Bacon 
twenty-five acres of land for £60,. which he bought of Richard 
Dummer, — bounded southerly by the highway from AYatertown to 
Roxbury, and northeast on Charles River, — bciiig partly in New- 
ton and partly in Watertown. On this tract Isaac and John, his 



sons, settled ; John's part was within the bounds of Watertown. 
Isaac's part was afterwards owned by Oakes Angier, General 
William Hull and others. A part of it was afterwards occupied bj' 
the Nonantum House. Mr. Bacon purchased, besides, in 1688, 
of Nathaniel Stcdmau, of Boston, twent}' acres, bounded by the 
highwa}' to Nonantum, east. 

Bacon, Jacob, grandson of Daniel Bacon, settled at the south 
part of Newton, adjoining Roxbury line. In 1710 he sold twent}' 
acres of land to "VYilliam Ward. 

Baldwin, William, married a daughter of Noah Wiswall, and 
lived near the Pelham house, belonging to the estate of Rev. John 
Cotton, on Centre Street, north of the Shannon estate, on the site 
of the former residence of Mr. John Cabot. 

Bakber, Joun, kept the tavern in West Newton near the West 
Parish meeting-house (1765) ; the place bears the name of the Old 
Tavern House. 

Bartlett, Joseph (d. 1702), lived on the north side of the hill 
occupied by the Newton Theological Institution, about ninety rods 
southeast of the railroad station. He mortgaged liis house and 
four acres of land to Thomas Prentice, senior. His gTcat grand- 
son, Da^dd Bartlett, was one of the early members of the First 
Baptist Church. 

Barton, James, (d. 1729). In 1688, Jonathan Jackson, son of 
Edward Jackson, senior, conveyed to James Barton one hundred 
and three acres of land for £130, — bounded west and north by 
land of Thomas Park, east by land of his brother Sebas and 
others, — being the land bequeathed to him by his father, and 
which formed the north and west part of the Mayhew farm. Mr. 
Barton purchased other lands, extending over the Watertown line. 
He erected his dwelling-house on the south side of Charles River, 
just within the bounds of Watertown. 

Beach, Isaac, (d. 1735). Abraham Jackson, son of John Jack- 
son, sen., conve3'cd to Isaac Beach in 1686 four acres of land, 
bounded " east and south b}^ the way to the meeting-house," that 
is, the road leading from Centre Street, on the southern border of 
the burial place where the first meeting-house was located, to the 
east part of the town ; and west by the burial place. He built his 
house on this lot. In 1727 he gave this homestead to Isaac Jack- 
son, sen., whom he brought up from a child. 

Beale, Gershom (d. 1723), bought five acres of land of Joshua 
Fuller at Newton Upper Falls, in 1712. 


BixBY, Jonathan (d. 1714), had Ms dwelling-house and farm at 
Newton Upper Falls, the northwestern part, on the bank of Charles 

Blanden, Francis (d. 1754), from Canada, of French descent, 
had his house on the north bank of Wis wall's Pond (northwest 
angle) , on the same spot where Samuel Hyde, jr., lived, and man}' 
years in later times, Mr. Joseph White. 

Bond, Phineas. The Bonds lived on the Fuller farm, the south- 
ern part, remotest from Charles River. 

Bowles, Dea. William, from Roxbuiy, where he was deacon, 
owned the place at the east part of the town afterwards occupied 
by Obadiah Curtis, nearl}' opposite the estate of Col. Joseph 
Ward ; and near the site of Rev. Dr. Freeman's house ; late Fran- 
cis Skinner. 

BuLLOuGH, John. The Bullough estate was in the vicinity of 
Bullough's Pond. The reputation of one of the family was 
dubious, although most of them were good and worthy people. 

BuERAGE, Epheaim. TMs family lived north of the Trowb ridges 
at Newtonville. 

Bush, Randolph, in 1642 owned a house and eighteen acres of 
land near Newton Corner. 

Cheney, John, lived near the Upper Falls. 

Cheney, Joseph (d. 1749), inherited part of the lands of his 
wife's father, Capt. Noah Wiswall, and lived in the southwest part 
of Newton. In 1748, he bought a tract of land of John Ham- 
mond for £500, bounded northwest on John AVoodward. 

Child, Daniel, married Rebecca Richards ; lived near Brook 

Clark, John, (d. 1G95). His father, Hugh Clark, conveyed to 
him by deed of gift, in 1681, sixt3'-seven acres of land, on the 
east side of Centre Street at the Common. His house was on the 
site of the house formerl}' of Dea. Ebenezer White, sen., later of 
Timothy Walker. He built a saw-mill at the Upper Falls on Charles 
River, and owned land adjoining. 

Clark, John, JR. (d. 1730), conveyed to his brother William 
thu'ty-five acres of land, bounded south by Stephen Winchester, 
north by Ebenezer Woodward, east by the highway to the Lower 
Falls, west by land of WilUam Clark. 

Clark, William (d. 1737), conveyed to Noah Parker in 
1725 seven acres of land, bounded west by the river, east and 


south by land of his own, north by Gershom Bates ; also one-fourth 
part of mills, stream and dam at the Upper Falls. 

Clarke, Dr. Samuel, from Boston (d. 1830), father of Dr. 
James Freeman Clarke, and son-in-law of General Hull, occupied 
for a season the estate long owned b}' Joshua Loring, corner of 
Centre and Cotton Streets. 

Clements, William, in 1G39 owned house and six acres of land 
near the line of Cambridge, which he sold to Edward Jackson, sen., 
in 104:7. He also owned the Cook house, which he sold to Abram 
Williams in 1GG2 ; also, other lands. 

Clements, William, jk. (d. 1G91), owned house and land ad- 
joining Captain Prentice, near Chestnut Hill. He bought twent}'- 
five acres of Richard Dummer, and sold it to Daniel Bacon in 

Collins, Mattuias (d. 1785), bought one hundred acres of 
land of Joseph Craft on the Sherburne road, adjoining John 

CooKE, Gregoky (d. 1G90), bought of Samuel Hyde, in 16G8, 
sixteen acres of land, bounded east by Centre Street, west by land 
of Edward Jackson, sen., and south by land of said Hyde. His 
descendants lived here till about the time of the Revolution. Capt. 
Phineas Cooke was the last of the name who owned it. Later it 
belonged to Mr. Nathaniel Brackett. In IGGo, Abraham Williams 
conveyed to Gregor}: Cooke his late mansion and about six acres 
of laud, bounded east by the highway from Watertown to Rox- 
bur}', south by land of Edward Jackson, sen., north and west by 
the Dummer farm. This mansion house was at Newton Corner, 
near the Watertown line. In 1672, Jeremiah Dummer, of Boston, 
conveyed to Gregoiy Cooke, shoemaker, one hundred and twelve 
acres of land, with a house and barn thereon, lying partly in Cam- 
bridge and partly in Watertown, bounded east by the highway, 
south b}^ land of Edward Jackson, sen., and Daniel Bacon, west 
by land of Thomas Park, and north by Charles river. The old, 
sharp-roofed house stood on the site afterwards occupied b}^ Henry 

CooKE, Stephen, jr., owned house, land and grist-mill in 
Watertown, which he convej'ed by deed of gift to his son, John 

Cooke, Capt^un Phineas (d. 1784), built the house at New- 
ton Corner, near the Watertown line, owned and occupied by 


General Hull, after the war. His uncle, Daniel Cooke, left Mm 
a large estate. 

Cooke, Daniel (d. 1754), received from his father, Stephen 
Cooke, jr., in 1735, by deed of gift, his homestead, partly in New- 
ton and partly in Watertown. 

Cotton, Rev. John (d. 1757), purchased of the heii's of his 
predecessor. Rev. Nehemiah Ilobart, in 1715, about one hundred 
acres of land, with the dwelling-house and barn thereon. The 
house was afterwards owned and occupied by Charles Pelham, 
Esq. , and was known as the Pelham house ; it was afterwards the 
property of John Cabot, whose daughter was the wife of Theodore 
Parker. The house has been removed. It stood on the corner of 
Centre and Cabot Streets, 

Cotton, Dr. John, son of the minister, (d. 1758). The admin- 
istrator of his estate sold six and a half acres of land and house 
to Samuel Cooke, bounded west by Dedham Road. Probably the 
place soon after owned by Dr. John King, — the site of the present 
residence of Deacon Gustavus Forbes. 

Ckaft, Moses (d. 17G8), purchased ninctj'-three and a half acres 
of land of Nathaniel Parker, in Newton, in 1729, on the Sher- 
burne road, and lived with Dea. John Staples, in the same vicinity. 

Curtis, Solomon, settled at Newton Lower Falls ; also, his sons, 
Allen C. and Wilham Cm'tis. 

Dana, John (d. 1793), son of Benjamin, the ancestor of all of 
that name, lived in the south part of Newton. 

Davenport, Joseph, son of John Davenport and grandson of 
Thomas Davenport, born August 30, 1701, was a clothier, and set- 
tled about 1731 at Newton Lower Falls, on the right of the road 
leading to the Upper Falls, where he died March 12, 1752. His 
wife was Sarah Ware, daughter of Ebenezer Ware, of Needham. 

Davenport, Benjamin (d. Dec. 28, 1833), sou of Joseph Dav- 
enport, born in Newton June 16, 1743, lived in Newton, nearly 
oi[)posite the present poor-house. He died in Needham. 

Davenport, Joseph, son of Benjamin Davenport, born Aug. 18, 
1773, lived at Newton Upper Falls, and died at Cambridge Ma}' 
28, 1849. He had seven children, all born in Newton. 

DoLBEAR, Benjamin, lived near the Upper Falls. 

Downing, Robert. His homestead was on the east side of 
Centre Street, near the old burial place. 

Draper, Captain Thomas (d. 17G9), lived at the south part of 
the town, near the Roxbuiy line. 


DuRANT, Captain Edward (d. 1740), in 1732 bought ninety- 
one acres of land in Newton, of Daniel Bobbins and Daniel 
Trowbridge for £1,800, bounded east and west by the highway, and 
north by land of Captain John Jackson. The estate \c\y on the 
southern part of Nonantum Hill, north of John Kenrick. 

Druce, Vincent. In 1650 Nicholas Hodgden of Boston 
(Brookhne) , conveyed to Thomas Hammond and Vincent Druce 
land in the easterly' part of Newton, adjoining John Parker's land, 
on the north, northwest and northeast, which land was granted by 
the town of Cambridge to Robert Bradish. Messrs. Druce and 
Hammond held this land in common until 1664, when a division 
was made between them. The dividing line was one hundred rods 
in length, running over " the gi-eat hill." The pond was in Ham- 
mond's part, and has ever since borne his name. The (old) road 
through these lands to Muddy River (Brookhne) was laid out in 
1G58. John Ward conveyed to Vincent Druce one hundred and 
thirtj' acres of woodland, bounded east by Roxbury line, north by 
Brookhne line, and south and west by other land of said John 
AV^ard. Mr. Druce's dwelling-house was near Brookhne line. 

Dyke, Jonathan (d. 1759), Hved on the old Jonathan Hj'de 

Eliot, Benjamin (d. 1798), purchased six and a half acres of 
land, in 1731, a little north of the Centre meeting-house, and there 
settled. In 1756, he bought eight acres on the plain, near the 
same meeting-house and school-house, westwardl}-. 

Eliot, Rev. John, jr., (d. 1668). "Eliot's homestead of 
twenty acres was the southerly corner of the Maj^hew farm, and 
was situated on the westerly side of Centre Street, about sixty 
rods north of the burial place. The well where he drew his water, 
very near the spot where his dwelling-house stood, belongs to the 
estate of the late Thomas Edmands." His estate continued to be 
the property of his son John as long as he lived. After his death, 
it was sold to Henry Gibbs, Esq., in 1733, for £415, hy order of 
the General Court, on the petition of the executors of Eliot's will, 
to raise money to cany his son John, then seventeen years old, 
through college at New Haven. B3' the deed it was bounded east 
by Centre Street, south by land of John Spring, north and west 
by land of Rev. John Cotton. Heniy Gibbs sold the EUot home- 
stead to the Rev. John Cotton in 1736, for £300. The heirs of 
Rev. John Cotton sold it to Charles Pelham, Esq., in 1765. 


Elliot, General Simon (d. 1810), from Boston, erected snuff- 
mills at Newton Upper Falls about 1780, and owned extensively in 
that part of the town in mills, lands and water power. He lived 
in the house formerly Noah Parker's. 

EsTY, Reuben, lived in the West Parish. 

Fenno, Epiikaim (d. 17G7), from Boston, in 1736, purchased 
thirty-three acres of land in Newton Centre, for £750, bounded 
east by Centre Street, southwest by Homer Street, northAvest by 
Grafton Sti-eet, being the triangular farm, afterwards the home- 
stead of Rev. Joseph Grafton, then of Michael Tombs and lastly 
of George C. Rand, Esq. 

Freeman, Rev. James (d. 1835), lived on Waveiiy Avenue 
nearly opposite Mr. Charles Brackett, (the Skinner place) . 

Fuller, John (d. 1099), settled in Newton about 1644. In 
1658, he purchased of Joseph Cooke, of Cambridge, seven hun- 
dred and fifty acres of land for £160, bounded north and west by 
Charles River, — the winding part of the river west ; east by land 
of Thomas Park, south by farm of Samuel Shepard. His house 
stood on the south side of the brook, and within a few rods of both 
road and brook. B3- subsequent purchase, he increased his estate 
to upwards of one thousand acres ; Cheesecake Brook ran through 
it, and the tract was long known as the " Fuller Farm." By his 
will dated 1696, he divided it among his five surviving sons, with 
the proviso that they should not sell to any stranger, until they or 
their next relative should have the offer of it. He and Edward 
Jackson were the largest land-owners in the village. The}^ divided 
their lands among their children in their lifetime, confirming the 
division by their wills.* 

*Mr. Seth Davis says in 1847, " The southeast corner of this estate was marked by 
a large oak-tree which was standing, until within a few years, at the northeast cor- 
ner of the farm improved by William Bacon. This tree is perhaps the only land- 
mark that has existed without variation in the town until so late a period. 

" As no house is recognized, on this lot of more than a mile square, and bounded on 
each side by a single farm, no more than one house probably existed in that section 
in 1058. And it is probable that no house existed on these seven hundred and lifty 
acres for more than twenty years afterwards, as in 1C7G, April 15, this John Fuller 
purchased of one John Magoon twenty-two acres of land with a dwelling-house and 
barn; also live acres near the Falls on Charles River. This house, purchased of John 
Magoon, is said to have stood on the same spot where the third, fourth and lif th 
meeting-houses in the tirst parish were built. Subsequently to this purchase by John 
Fuller, he with his six sous, whose names all began with I, as no J's were then used, 
settled on the aforesaid seven hundred and fifty acres of land, which was known as 
' Fuller's Corner' for nearly a century. Two farms were owned and improved by John 
Fuller's descendants until 1847 and subsequently." 



Or.< ( / ,j 


Fuller, Jonathan, son of Joliu Fuller, senior (d. 1722), lived 
on the spot afterwards occupied b}' Captain Ezra Fuller. 

Fuller, Joseph, son of John Fuller, senior, (d. 1740). His 
father-in-law, Edward Jackson, gave him twent3'-three acres of 
land out of the westerly end of the Mayhew farm, which he 
bought of Governor Bradstreet, and from his father he inherited 
two hundred acres more. On this estate he erected his mansion 
house, covering the same spot where his grandson Judge Fuller 
lived, the site of the mansion of General William Hull, and later 
of Governor Clafliu, in Newtonville. This farm descended to his 
son Joseph, his grandson Abraham, and his great-granddaughter 
Sarah, who married Colonel William Hull in 1781. In 1766, 
Abraham FuUer built an addition to his father's old house, of which 
he had lately come into possession, and in 1814 General William 
Hull removed the old part which had been built b}' Joseph Fuller 
in 1680, and built a new addition, so that the house, as removed 
and afterwards occupied b}- J. L. Roberts, Esq., was built partly 
in 1766 and partly in 1814. 

Fuller, Elisha, son of Jonathan Fuller (d. 1794) , lived near the 
hill now covered by the Newton Theological Institution. 

Fuller, Col. Nathan (d. 1822) , had in the West Parish a home- 
stead of fift3'-five acres, appraised at $2,890. He gave to the West 
Parish an acre and a half of land for a bmying place, in 1781. 

Greene, Jonathan, from Maiden (d. 1736), came to Newton in 
1697, and "lived near the Falls." 

Greenwood, Thomas (d. 1693), bought in 1673 seven acres of 
land of Nathaniel Hammond, bounded souiheast by land of said 
Hammond, north by Captain Prentice and John Ward. The same 
year he bought seven acres and fifty rods of Edward Jackson, 
adjoining the meadow of Elder Wiswall, and east by John Ward. 
In 1691, he purchased of Isaac Parker tweuty-fom- acres with the 
dweUiug-house thereon, bounded east by Thomas Hammond, west 
by John Hammond, south by Nathaniel Hammond and north hy 
John Druce, beiug part of the same land which John Parker, sen., 
bought of Nicholas Ilodgdca in 1650. 

Greenwood, DexVCOn Thomas (d. 1774), had a homestead of 
eighty-six acres in the West Parish. 

GiiiBS, Henry (d. 1761), came to Newton about 1742, purchased 
of Rev. John Prentice, of Lancaster, sixty acres of land on the 
east side of Centre Street, on which he built the large house, after- 


wards owned and occupied many years by the late Marshall S. Rice, 
long known as the Town Clerk of Newton, being part of the same 
land purchased by James and Thomas Prentice, in 1657 ; also, 
fourteen acres on the Plain, bounded east on Centre Street, lying 
between the farms of John Spring on the north and Jonathan 
Hyde, sen., on the south, being the same land owned by John 
Jackson, sen., and then by his son-in-law, Capt. Noah Wiswall ; 
— known later as the Lovell Place ; — between the estate of Thomas 
Nickerson, Esq., and Mill Street. 

GoDDARD, JosiAH (d. 1758), was of VVatertown, and bought of 
Jonathan Parks, jr., twenty-five acres, bounded northeast by the 
Fuller farm. 

Gkafton, Ret. Joseph (d. 1836), occupied the triangular estate 
in Newton Centre, bounded east by Centre Street, southwest by 
Homer Street and northwesterly by Grafton Street. 

Greenough, Rev. William (d. 1831), in the West Parish, occu- 
pied the estate on the left side of Washington Street, going 
towards Newton Lower Falls. On the map of 1700, streets are 
laid out on three sides of the estate, making a triangle, like Mr. 

Hall, Andrew (d. 1756), came into the south part of Newton 
about 1695, and bought forty-three acres of land in 1795, for £22, 
of Thomas Wiswall, son of Capt. Noah Wiswall. The tract was 
bounded east by Dedham highwaj', west by John Kenrick and the 
widow of Joseph Parker, north by John Woodward, jr., Samuel 
Truesdale and John Kenrick, jr., south by Deacon James Trow- 

Hammond, Thomas, (d. 1675). Nicholas Hodgden convej'ed 
sixty-seven acres of land, in 1650, "on Cambridge Hill in Cam- 
bridge Village " to Thomas Hammond and Vincent Druce ; also, 
thirteen acres more, which was granted by the town of Cambridge 
to Robert Bradish ; " and also, sixteen acres more in Muddy River 
(Brookline) next to Cambridge Hill, adjoining John Parker's land 
north, northwest and northeast. Hammond and Druce bought in 
1658 of Thomas Brattle and others six hundred acres at Muddy 
River (Brookhne), called the Royton farm, for £100, north partly 
on the Roxbury line, south partly on the Cambridge line, surveyed 
b.y John Oliver." The purchases of Messrs. Hammond and Druce 
were held in common until 1664, when a division was made. " The 
dividing line was one hundred rods long, running over the great 


hill, the pond being in Hammond's part." Mr. Hammond bought 
also of Esther Sparhawk, daughter of Nathaniel Sparhawk, in 
1656, for £-40, three hundred and thirt}- acres, being the same land 
granted to her father by the town of Cambridge, bounded " south 
and west on land of Robert Bradish, and north by land of Elder 
Frost, now in possession of John "Ward and Lieut. Prentice." 
His will gave to his son Thomas a house and portions of land ; to 
his son Nathaniel, a house and land adjoining, " and -the cranberry- 
meadow from the corner of the pond to ' Troublesome Swamp.' " 

Hammond, John (d. 17G3), bought of Rev. Jared Eliot, of 
Connecticut, three hundred and seventy acres of the Governor 
Haynes' farm, in 1746, for £6,000, and mortgaged it to James 
Bowdoin for £3,000. 

Hastings, Samuel (d. 1776), had a tan-yard near the West 
Parish meeting-house, where he settled. He came from Cambridge, 
and removed from the West Parish to Newton Corner, where he 

Hastings, Thomas, from Watertown, lived near Bald Pate Hill,_ 
at the south part of Newton. 

Healt, Nathaniel (d. 1734), bought of Jonathan Jacksou, 
senior, twent3'-six and a half acres of land, and lived near Brook 

Hobart, Rev. Nehemiah, (d. 1712). "His father-in-law, 
Edward Jackson, gave him thirtj^'acres of land on the northwest 
side of the Dedham highway (Centre street) , adjoining the twent}' 
acres south, which he also gave to Rev. John Eliot, jr., his prede- 
cessor." He built his mansion house on the spot where the house 
of Mr. John Cabot formerly stood, at the corner of Cabot and 
Centre Streets. It was occupied afterwards bj'' his successor Rev. 
John Cotton. It was burnt in 1720, and rebuilt the same year. 
"In 1711 he conve3'ed to his four daughters his then dwelUng- 
house, outhouses, and one hundred acres of land adjoining, reserv- 
ing to himself the right to enjo}' it while he lived, with other reser- 
vations, together with the land he owned at Stake Meadow. 

Holly, Samuel (d. 1643), owned a house and eighteen acres 
of land adjoining John Jackson in 1639, of which he sold six acres 
to Edward Jackson in 1643, for £5. 

Homer, Rev. Jonathan (d. 1S43), owned and occupied an 
estate of considerable extent on the west side of Centre Street, 
north of the meeting-house. His dwelling-house stood midwaj^ 


between the houses of Hon. A. Speare, Ex-Maj-or of Newton, and 
Thomas Nickerson, Esq. The site is marked by the two thorny 
acacias which shaded his front yard, and which were on each side 
of the walk from the gate to the front door. 

HovEY, Deacox Thomas (d. 1829), owned and occupied the 
place afterwards owned by Deacon Nathan Pettee ; and which, 
later, was the Amos Lawrence estate, including the westerly basin 
of the Boston Water Works near Chestnut Hill. 

Hull, General William (d. 1825), lived, in his later 3'ears, 
on the place since owned and occupied by Ex-Governor Claflin. 
The large house, which was his mansion house, was removed to the 
vicinit}^ of the Railroad Station at Newton ville, on the west side 
of the street. 

Hyde, Deacon Samuel, (d. 1725). He and his brother Jona- 
than Hyde, in 1647, bought of Thomas Danforth forty acres of 
land. In 1652, they purchased two hundred acres of the heirs of 
Nathaniel Sparhawk, and held this land in common till 1661, when 
a division was made between them. Centre Street, at first called 
the Dedham highway, was laid out through their lands. Captain 
Samuel Hyde, of Hyde's Nursery, of the sixth generation, and 
George Hyde, his son, owned and occupied a part of the original 
homestead. He also owned a farm in Watertown, of a hundred 
and twenty-four acres. 

Hyde, Nehemiaii, son of Ensign Samuel Hyde (d. 1741), 
received bj' his father's will, the homestead, thirty -three acres and 
pasture, eight acres, on the hiU. 

Hyde, Jonathan, son of John Hyde, sold five acres of land to 
Benjamin Eddj' in 1754, bounded south b}- the road leading to the 

Hyde, Jonathan, senior (d. 1711), came to Newton in 1647, 
and bought two hundred and forty acres of land, with his brothej", 
Deacon Samuel Hj^de, which thej^ owned in common till 1661. He 
bought, in 1656, eightj' acres, more or less, of Thomas Woolson, 
which Woolson bought of Edward Goffe in 1653. "Probably 
there was more in this tract, being one-eighth of the land recovered 
b}' Cambridge from the town of Dedham in a lawsuit. He settled 
on this laud, and increased it by subsequent purchases to about 
three hundred and fifty acres. His dwelling-house was about sev- 
ent}' rods north of the Centre Congregational meeting-house." 
He bought and sold much land in the Village, and in some of his 


deeds was styled " Sergeant." Jackson says " he had twenty-one 
children, — fourteen by Mary French, daughter of WilUam French, 
of Billerica, and seven by Mary Rediat, daughter of John Rediat, 
of Marlboro'. He made a marriage covenant in 1673 with her 
father and brother, in which it was stipulated that he should raarrj' 
Mary Rediat, and in case he should die before her, she should have 
his house, barn and about one hundred acres of land. In case 
she had no children by liim, then the one hundred acres was to pass 
to the children of his first wife, after the decease of the said Jona- 
than and Mary. This interesting document was dated 2, 11, 1673, 
nearly three months before the marriage ceremony. It was wit- 
nessed b}' the Rev. Nathaniel Gookin, of Cambridge, and his sis- 
ter Elizabeth, the widow of the Rev. John Eliot, jr. This part of 
his homestead was bounded easterly by the highway from Water- 
town to Dedham, one hundred and sixt}' rods, and one hundred 
rods deep ; westerly by his other lands ; northerl3' hy land of John 
Jackson, senior, and southerly b}^ the farm of Elder Wiswall; 
reserving a wa}^ one rod wide next to Wiswall's, to go to his other 
lands. This laud ran from the Dedham Road (Centre Street) at 
the training field (Newton Centre Common) , by the north bank of 
Wiswall's Pond, and for the last century has been known by the 
name of 'Blandeu's Lane,' now (1854) called Pond Street. The 
front of this grant extended from this lane, northerly one hundred 
and sixty rods, to about opposite the road leading to the east- 
erly part of the town (Ward Street). This farm, therefore, 
was ver}' near the centre of Newton, and included the spot where 
the Centre meeting-house (Congregational) now stands. In 1702, 
he gave to John Ivenrick and others. Selectmen of Newton, and 
their sticcessors in ofl3ce, 'half an acre of land near Oak Hill, 
abutting ten rods on the Dedham Road, and eight rods wide, 
northwesterly by his own land, for the use and benefit of the school 
at the south part of the town, to be employed b}^ said Selectmen 
to the ends aforesaid.' This half acre of land was sold many 
years ago, and a small fund accumulated from the proceeds, which 
was divided among the inhabitants of the south school district a 
few years since by vote of the town, pro rata, according to the 
taxes each one paid." He probably gave part of the land for the 
training field, though no record remains of such a gift, and Elder 
Wiswall or his heirs gave the residue. " In 1705, he deeded to his 
childi-en a cartway tlirough the then homestead to the Dedham 


highway (Centre Street), 'to be used with gates forever.'" The 
" forever," nevertheless, came to an end. For that " cartway " is 
now Grafton Street, the northwestern boundary of the triangular 
estate of the late George C. Rand. 

Hyde, Samuel, son of Jonathan Hyde, senior, had his house on 
the north side of Wiswall's Pond, afterwards occupied b}' Blanden. 
His laud was conveyed to him by deeds of gift in 1703 and 1710. 
He binds himself that the rod- wide way " shall be free to bring 
hemp or flax to the pond, and sheep to washing, or such like neces- 
sary occasions to come to the pond." 

Hyde, Elisha (d. 1781), took the homestead of John H3'de, 

Jackson, Deacon John (d. 1675), the first settler of Cambridge 
Village, who remained and died in it. In 1639, he bought of 
Miles Ives, of Watertown, a dwelling-house and eighteen acres of 
land, situated on the Roxbury road, very near the line which now 
divides Newton from Brighton. It was he who gave an acre of 
land for the first meeting-house and burial place, now the oldest 
part of the old cemetery on Centre Street. His old mansion house, 
which was pulled down about 1800, stood on the spot afterwards 
occupied by the dwelling-house of Edwin Smallwood. The old 
pear trees on the estate are supposed to have been planted by his 
son Abraham, who added an acre to the acre given by his father 
for the meeting-house and burial jjlace. He left eight hundred and 
sixty- three acres of land. 

Jackson, Abraham (d. 1740), conveyed to his son John in 1734 
all his real estate in Cambridge and Newton. In 1717 he had 
ah'eady conveyed to the same several parcels of land, " one of 
which was forty acres at Chestnut Hill (except four acres ''sold to 
Isaac Beach in 1686), bounded west by the burial place and the 
land given for the burial place on ivhicJi the meeting-house noio 
standeth, so long as the town shall see cause to improve it for the 
use they now do." 

Jackson, Edward, senior (d. 1681), piurchased land in Cam- 
bridge Village, of Samuel HoUey in 1643. In 1646 he bought ti 
farm in Cambridge Village of five hundred acres of Gov. Bradstreet 
for £140, long kuown as the Ma3^hew farm, — Bradstreet having pur- 
chased it of Thomas Mayhew, of Watertown, in 1638, with all the 
buildings thereon, for six cows. This flve-hundred-acre farm com- 
menced near what is now the division line between Newton and 


Brighton, and extended westward, including what is now Newton- 
ville, and covering the site where Judge Fuller's mansion once stood. 
The site where Gen. Michael Jackson's mansion house stood was near 
the centre of the Ma^'hew farm ; and a few rods nearer the brook 
stood the old dwelling-house conveyed with the farm, in Mayhevr's 
deed to Bradstreet. Of course it was built previous to 1638, and 
therefore it is highly probable that it was the first dwelling-house 
built in Newton; — the cellar hole, — now almost filled, — a few 
rods from the brook, is still visible. In the laying out of the old 
highway in 1708 (long since discontinued), which passed by the 
old house, the description is, '' crossing the brook near where the 
old house stood." This house, which was erected before 1638, was 
gone before 1708 ; it had stood about the allotted space of three- 
score years and ten. 'It maj^ have been the first residence of 
Edward Jackson, senior, in Cambridge Village, from his first coming 
until his marriage in 1649, and perhaps for many more 3'ears. At 
his death in 1681, his then dwelling-house stood about three-quar- 
ters of a mile easterly, near the line of Brighton, and about twenty 
rods northerl}^ from the road to Roxbury. It is described in his 
inventory as a spacious mansion, with a h'lll, — designed, no doubt, 
for religious meetings. His great grandson, Capt. Samuel Jack- 
son (d. 1808) pulled down the mansion built bj^ his great-grand- 
father, and built a splendid house for that day, which afterwards 
passed into the possession of Jonathan Hunnewell, Esq. 

Jackson, Jonathan, oldest son of Edwai-d Jackson, senior, set- 
tled in Boston, and sold the land in Newton, left him by his father's 
wUl in 1638, to James Barton one hundred and three acres, to 
Rev. Mr. Hobart thirt}^ acres, and to Nathaniel Heal}' twentj'-six 
and a half acres. His son Jonathan Jackson (d. 1736) sold ten 
acres of laud in Newton, left him by his grandfather Edward 
Jackson, senior, to Nathaniel Healy in 1713. 

Jackson, Sebas (d. 1690), received b}' the will of his father 
Edward Jackson, senior, the house and one hundred and fifty acres 
of land, which house stood on the spot now occupied by the man- 
sion of the late Hon. William Jackson. The house was eighteen 
feet by twentj'-two, two stories. The old house was built in 1670, 
and enlarged before 1690, making its length thirty-nine feet. Af- 
ter standing about a hundi-ed and forty years, it was demolished in 
1809. By his will Sebas Jackson gave his eldest son, Edward 
Jackson, sixty acres of land, and divided the remaining one hun- 
dred and ten acres between the three olher sons. 


Jackson, Lieut. Timothy (d. 1774), son of Joseph Jackson and 
grandson of Sebas Jackson, lived in the east part of the old man- 
sion, \Vhich then measured eighteen by thirty-nine feet (on the 
Hon. William Jackson lot) . The inventory of his estate speaks 
of nine and a half acres of land on the north side of the road, and 
part of the dwelling-house and barn, and twent^'-one acres of pas- 
ture land on the south side of the road. 

Jackson, Isaac (d. 1769), was a carpenter, learned his trade of 
Isaac Beach, who gave him four acres of land, with house, adjoin- 
ing the burial place. 

Jackson, Edward, kept the Cattle Fair Hotel in Brighton. 

Jackson, Daniel, son of Sebas Jackson, lived near Weston 

Jackson, Major Timothy (d. 1814), father of Hon. William 
Jackson, occupied the estate long known and still known as the 
property of Hon. William Jackson and his heirs. 

Jackson, Samuel, son of Edward, kept the Cattle Fair Hotel at 
Brighton. His widow married Thomas Hastings, Newton Corner. 

Kenrick, John (d. 168G), bought of Richard Parker, of 
Boston, in 1658, two hundred and fifty acres of land in the south- 
erl}' part of Cambridge Village, previously owned by Thomas 
Mayhew, bounded west b}^ Charles River, and north by Governor 
Ilaynes' farm of one thousand acres granted by the General Court 
in 1634, with farm-house and barn thereon. The house was near 
the bridge crossing Charles River, called " Kenrick's Bridge." B}^ 
his will he gave his son-in-law, Jonathan Metcalf, fiftj^ acres of 
land at the southeast part of his farm, which he bought of Deacon 
John Jackson, and the rest of his meadow at Cow Island, contain- 
ing ten acres ; to Rev. Nehemiah Hobart four acres of meadow, 
adjoining the meadow of John Parker north and Charles River 
west, or £10, at the option of his son John Kenrick, 

Kenrick, Captain Caleb, son of John Kenrick, jr. (d. 1771), 
took the west part of the homestead. By his will he gave his son 
John Kenrick thkt}' acres, bounded south by Israel Stowell and 
Edward Hull, north b}- the highwaj' to the river, to his son Daniel 
Kenrick twenty acres. 

King, Dr. John (d. 1807), from Sutton, lived on the east side 
of Centre Street. His house was on the site of the house since 
owned and occupied by Gustavus Forbes, Esq. Dr. King pur- 
chased his house of Dr. John Cotton, son of Rev. John Cotton, 


who preceded him in the practice of medicine in Newton. His 
son Ebenezer King occupied the same house, which was removed, 
but is still tenanted. 

King, Captain Henky (d. 1822), lived on the place owned and 
occupied b}' William Hyde and his son Noah Hyde, since Eev. 
George J. Carle ton. 

King, Deacon Noah (d. 1843), lived on the southwestern slope 
of Oak Hill, where his son Noah S. King succeeded him. 

Lenox, Cornelius, from Boston, settled about 1783, on the bank 
of Charles River, near the Watertown Une. 

LiTTLEFiELD, Ebenezer (d. 1727), livcd near the Lower Falls. 
He purchased a place of Thomas AViswall in 1727. 

LoNGLEY, Nathaniel (d. 1732), came to Newton about 1700. 
His house was near the Institution Hill at Newton Centre, on the 
southerl}- side, where he bought thirty-four acres of land of Nathan- 
iel Hancock, of Cambridge, in 1703 ; he also bought nine acres of 
Captain Thomas Prentice in 1713; and mill property and privi- 
leges at the Upper Falls in 1725, of Nathaniel Parker and William 
Clark. His land at the Institution Hill adjoined the Bartlett land. 

Lyon, Samuel, lived at the south part of the town. 

Macoy [or Mackay], Daniel, from Roxbury, a Scotchman, in 
1679 purchased land in Cambridge Village adjoining land of Elder 
Wiswall and Captain Noah AViswall ; also in 1G73, of John Jack- 
son, senior. 

Macoy, Archibald, lived on the same land which Daniel Macoj* 
bought of Daniel Preston and John Jackson. In 1G9G Thomas 
Wiswall conveyed to him two acres, bounded northwest by John 
Clark, south by Thomas Prentice. 

Macoy, Nathaniel, in 1713 sold land to Captain Thomas 

Marean, William (d. 1761), removed from Roxbury to New- 
ton, and lived near Kenrick's Bridge. 

Marean, Lieutenant John (d. 1788), kept the Hotel after- 
wards Mitchell's, at the junction of Centre and Boylston Streets. 

Marshall, Thomas, in 1715 bought shop and six acres of laud, 
adjoining land of John Park. Removed to Holliston, and was 
deacon there thirty-eight years. 

Marshall, Francis, from Boston, a restorateur, bought the 
place anciently Brown's, at Newtou Corner, which was kept many 
years as a tavern. 


Mason, John, a tanner, lived near the Falls. His father, Capt. 
Hugh Mason, of Watertown, owned land in England, and also 
in Newton. 

Mayo, Thomas, from Roxbury, lived on Brook farm. 

Meriam, Rev. Jonas (d. 1780), lived on the same estate as his 
predecessors in the pastorate of the first church, Messrs. Eliot, 
Hobart and Cotton. 

Miller, Joseph (d. 1697), lived on the Stimpson place, West 

Miller, Samuel (d. 1759), West Parish, in 1726 gave the town 
four rods of land for a school-house, near his house. 

MiRiCK, John (d. 1706), owned the place adjoining Obadiah 

Mitchell, Edward, a carpenter from Brookline (d. 1807), 
kept the tavern previously Marean's at the south part of Newton 
(Newton Highlands, junction of Centre and Boylston Streets) . 

Moore, Reuben, took the John Jackson place. 

Morse, Joseph (d. 1780), lived on the WiUiams farm. In. 
1721, John and Solomon Park conveyed land to him. 

MuKDOCK, Robert, (d. 1754). His name on the Plymouth 
Records is sometimes written thus, and sometimes Murdo and 
Murdow. Robert Murdock, of Roxbury, removed to Newton in 
1703, purchased house and one hundred acres of land of Jonathan 
Hyde and John Woodward for £90, bounded east by school land 
and Dedham road, south by Jacob Chamberlain and west by John 
Hj'de ; being the same place afterwards owned by Captain Jere- 
miah Wis wall. 

Murdock, Lieutenant Robert (d. 1762), took the homestead 
which he bought of his father in 1754, for £1,500, one hundred 
and twenty acres. 

Murdock, John (d. 1744), in 1721 bought twentj'-two acres of 
land in Newton of William Hyde for £200, bounded east on the 
road, north by James Prentice, west by Daniel Plyde. 

Murdock, Joshua (d. 1797), bought sixty acres of land for 
£350, in 1754, bounded north by Ephraim Fenno, and adjoining 
James Allen, Lieut. William Hjde, Abraham Il^'de and Nathau 
Hyde. He built a house on this land, about sixty rods west of 
the Fii'st Parish meeting-house at Newton Centre. He probablj 
bought his homestead near the Centre raecting-house of John Mur- 
dock, his uncle, who bought it of William Plyde in 1721. 


Xeavell, Jonx, jr., lived near Brook farm. 

NouCROSs, Philip (d. 1748), lived where the Eliot church 
stands. His inventor}' acknowledges house, barn, shop and four- 
teen acres of land. 

Oliver, Deacon Tuomas (d. 1715), in 1G70 purchased dwell- 
ing-house and sixt3'-seveu acres of land, being part of the home- 
stead of Richard Dana, senior, in what is now Brighton, and owned 
lately b}' Samuel Brooks, near the place of the late Gorham Parsons, 
on the road leading towards Harvard College, bounding west by the 
road which runs northeast to the marshes ; north by the ancient high- 
way on the banlv of the river, which was the original waj' from th(. 
Great Bridge to Nonantum (long since discontinued) ; on the east 
hy land formerl}' of Richard Oldham, then of Richard Dana, and 
after to Thomas Chenc}'. 

OsLAND, Humphrey (d. 1720), erected a house on land of his 
father-in-law, Samuel Hyde, senior, which by will he bequeathed 
to II. Osland, being part of the same land on which the late Israel 
Lombard, Esq., afterwards erected a valuable mansion. 

Palmer, John (d. 1809), removed from "Warren, Me., to south 
part of Newton, near Brook farm. His son, Thomas Palmer, took 
riie homestead. 

Park, Richard. In a division of lands in 1647, he had eleven 
acres in Cambridge Village, bounded west on land of Mr. Edward 
Jackson. The highway' to Dedham was laid out through it in 1G48. 
An ancient dwelling-house on this lot, pulled down about 1800, is 
supposed to have been built by him. It stood within a few feet of 
the spot now occupied by the Eliot church, Newton Corner. He 
owned a large tract of land in the northwest part of the Village 
previous to 1G52. This tract was bounded west by the Fuller 
farm, north b}' Charles River, east by the Dummcrfarm, south and 
east by the Mayhew farm (Mr. Edward Jackson's) . It contained 
six huudi'ed acres, which he probably bought of pastor Shepard or 
his heirs. 

Park, Thomas (d. 1G90), settled on the six-hundred-acre tract 
(see above) , and had his house near Bemis' mills on the bank of 
Charles River. His estate, when diWded in 1693-4 among the 
heu-s, included seven hundred and twent^'-two acres of land and 
part of a corn-mill on Smelt Brook, erected by Lieutenant John 


Paeker, John (d. 1686), left Hingham about 1650 with Nicholas 
Hodgden, John "Winchester, Thomas Hammond and Vincent 
Dnice, and all settled in the same neighborhood, in the southeast 
part of Newton. By his will he gave his son Isaac the homestead, 
about twentj'-eight acres ; to his son Jonathan, forty-six acres of 
woodland, near the land of Captain Prentice ; to his son John, 
eleven acres of land, " whereon he has erected his new dwelhng- 
house, and seven acres meadow and woodland." His inventor}' 
shows a house and twenty-eight acres of land adjoining, and about 
ninety acres elsewhere. 

Parker, Nathaniel (d. 1747), settled on part of the Wiswall 
land, and bought in 1694 the house and land of Lieut. Ebenezer 
Wiswall. In 1708 he purchased of John Clark one-quarter of 
saw-mill, stream, eel-wear and half an acre of land at the Upper 
Falls for £12, and in 1717 another quarter of the same, with an 
acre and a half of laud for £45. 

Parker, Noah (d. 1768), settled at Newton Upper Falls. He 
received from his father by deed of gift in 1725 half the saw-mill, 
fulling-mill and grist-mill at the Upper Falls, with the lands appur- 
tenant thereto. The same j'car he purchased of William Clark 
one-quarter of the same mills and seven acres of land adjoining 
for £95 ; and at the same time of Nathaniel Longley the remain- 
ing quarter part of the same mills, and he thus became sole owner 
of the first and oldest mills in 1725, with the dam, stream, eel- 
wears, etc. 

Paul, Luther (d. 1863), purchased the old Noah Wiswall 
homestead, bounded west on Centre Street, near the Pond. 

Pelham, Charles (d. 1793) , came to Newton in 1765, bought the 
honiG'stead of Rev. John Cotton, house, barn and cider-mill, and 
one hundred and three and three-quarters acres of land adjoining 
for £735. The estate bounded east on Centre Street. 

Pettee, Samuel, or Petes, as he himself wrote it, bought one 
hundred acres of land, being the southwest part of the Governor 
Haynes' farm, of a Mr. Woodbridgc, of Connecticut. 

Pettee, Nathan (d. 1837), owned and occupied the Deacon 
Thomas Hovey place, afterwards Lawrence, including the site 
of the upper reservoir of the Boston Water Works, Beacon 

Pigeon, John, owned land in Newton. His son John Pigeon 
kept a store at West Newton and afterwards at the Lower Falls. 


Pigeon, Henry (d. 1799), occupied the house at Auburudale 
afterwards used as the Poor House, near the railroad depot. 

Prentice, Captain Thomas (d. 1709 or '10), settled in the east- 
erly part of Cambridge Village. His house was near the spot 
where the old Harbach house stands, corner "Ward Street and 
Waverle}' Avenue. In lGo3 he hired Governor Haynes' farm in the 
southwest part of the town, and occupied a part of it in 1G94. 
In 16G3 he bought eighty-five acres of land in the easterl}' part of 
Cambridge Village, adjoining land of John Ward, which was his 
homestead for more than fifty years. 

Pkentice, John (son of the preceding), (d. 1689) left b^- will 
to his wife the right to dispose of one-half his estate at her death. 
She gave it to her cousin (nephew), Rev. John Prentice, of Lan- 
caster, in 1741, being sevent^'-five acres on the plain, with house 
and barn. He sold it in 1742 to Henry Gibbs, Esq., for £1,420, 
being nearly the same land which James and Thomas Prentice, jr., 
acquired by joint purchase in 1657. 

Prentice, Samuel (d. 1728), received from the old Captain 
Prentice by deed of gift in 1705 one hundred acres of land, with 
dwelling-house thereon, l^'ing between Bald Pate hill and meadow 
in the south part of Newton. 

Prentice, James, senior (d. 1710), with Thomas Prentice, 2d, 
or jr., purchased in 1657 one hundred acres in Cambridge Village, 
being " that farm that James Prentice now dwells on," bounded 
northeast by land of John Jackson, part of* which is now the 
ancient cemetery on Centre Street. This Prentice farm was on llie 
east side of Centre Street, and extended from the cemetery south- 
west, south of the house owned and occupied b}' the late Marsliall 
S. Rice, P^sq., to the land of John Clark, near the Brook. " -Jauies 
and Thomas, 2d, built the ancient sharp-roofed dwelling-house 
which stood a few rods from the Dedham Road and the burial 
place, and which was pulled down about 1800. They occupied 
this place in common man}" jxars. Sixt}' acres of the southwest 
part of this farm passed into the hands of John Prentice, senior, 
son of the captain, who by his will in 1689 bequeathed half of it 
to his nephew, Rev. John Prentice, of Lancaster. At the decease 
of John Prentice seniors' widow, 1740, then Madam Bond, she 
bequeathed the other half to Rev. John, and he sold the whole Lo 
Henr}- Gibbs, Esq., in 1742 ; also fifteen acres on the west side of 
Centre Street, lying between the. farms of John Spring and 


Jonathan Hyde, which John Jackson gave to his son-in-law, Capt. 
Noah Wiswall, and he conveyed it to John Prentice, senior, in 

Prentice, Thomas 2d (prob. d. 1724), was joint purchaser 
of lands with James Prentice in 1G50 and 1657, and probably his 
brother. His father-in-law, Edward Jackson, senior, bequeathed to 
him one hundred acres of land at the south part of the town near Bald 
Pate meadow, where he built a house and resided in it during the 
latter part of his hfe ; also, two other tracts of land. In 1G94, 
Thomas Prentice, senior, probabl}- Thomas Prentice, 2d, con- 
veyed lands to Rev. Nehemiah Hobart; in 1706 to his grandsons, 
Thomas and Samuel; in 1774, b}' deed of gift, to his son Thomas, 
jr., after his own decease, his homestead at Burnt Hill in Newton, 
adjoining the new dwelling-house of said Thomas, except what he 
allowed to liis son-in-law, John Hyde, reserving two-thirds of the 
Cedar Swamp to his sons John and Edward. His affidavit, 
dated 1713, recorded with the deeds, states that "about sixty 
years ago he held one end of the chain to lay out a highway 
over Weedy Hill in Newton." His heirs sold his dwelling-house 
and farm in 1728. 

Pkentice, Thomas, (d. 1714). JohnPrentice, of Preston, Conn., 
and Ebenezer Prentice, blacksmith, of Newton, his sous, conveyed 
to Timothy Whitney, of Newton, land and dwelling-house in New- 
ton, being the last residence of their grandfather, Thomas Pren- 
tice, senior, for £615 ; bounded southeast by Thomas Hastings, 
south b}' John H^'de and southeast by Edward Prentice. 

Prentice, John, son of Thomas (d, 1721), in 1703 bought 
eighteen acres of land in Newton of John Parker. He was called 
in the deed a cordwainer. In 1718, under the name of physician, he 
conveyed to Nathaniel Longley part of the same laud. He must 
have relinquished the care of the shoes for the care of the 
bodies of his fellow-citizens at some date between 1703 and 1718. 

Prentice, Edward, (d. 1724). His house must have been on 
Ward Street, a few rods west of the house formerly owned and 
occupied by Deacon Ebenezer Davis White. An old pear-tree 
long marked the site of the house. His widow conveyed this 
homestead of fifty acres in 1764 to Ebenezer Davis ; bounded north 
on highway and land of Nathan Hyde, south bj' John Clark and 
Henry Gibbs, west by Robert Prentice. 


Rice, Marshall S. (d. 1879), owned and occupied the Henry 
Gibbs estate, Newton Centre. He developed it largel}', raising 
most of the apple-trees on it from the seed, and at a late period 
opening on it Gibbs Street and part of Sumner Street. 

RoBiNsox, William (d. ITo-i), bj' will bequeathed house, barn 
and seventj^-nine acres of land to his son Jeremiah ; fiftj^-eight 
acres and a half to his son William ; fifty-five acres to his sou 
John. Ho had a large farm at what is now Auburndale. One of 
his sons lived on the site of the Seaverns house ; one in the Bourne 
house, once a tavern, and one in the house enlarged for the former 
Kewton Poor House. 

Rogers, John (d. 1815), in 1746 purchased of Oakes Angier 
six rods of land on the Roxbury highway, at Newton Corner, seven 
and a half rods deep, for £140, bounding east on land of the heirs 
of Samuel Jackson, Esq., north and west on Oakes Angier. 

Seger, Henry, in 1G8G bought one hundred and fifteen acres of 
land of Thomas Danforth, bounded southeast by Alcock's meadow, 
northeast by lots granted to Messrs. Chauncy, Oakes, Parker, 
Shepard and others ; southwest by lots granted to Messrs. Fessen- 
den, Boardman and others ; northwest b}^ John Palfrey, — all pro- 
})rietors of Cambridge. He conveyed by deeds of gift his home- 
stead to his sons Hemy and Job in 1716. 

Seaverns, Elisha (d. 1831), built his house in West Newton 
about 1795. His daughter married Walter Ware in 1798 and took 
the homestead. 

Staples, Deacon JouN, (d. 1740). He and John Woodward 
were near neighbors and joint purchasers of lands, which they 
divided in 1705. He bought thirty-six acres of land of Wilham 
Robinson, a neighbor, in 1737, for £405, and by his will (1740) 
gave seventeen acres of this purchase " for and towards the sup- 
port of the ministerial fire from j^ear to 5'ear annually." He gave 
to Moses Craft " all his housing and lands, after the decease of his 
wife and paj'ment of legacies." 

Starr, Dr. Ebenezer (d. 1830), settled at Newton Lower 

Stowell, John, bought of James Barton in 1722 one hundred 
and three acres of land, being part of the Mayhew farm, bequeathed 
b}- Edward Jackson, senior, to his son Jonathan Jackson. 

SnEPAitD, Alexander, JR. (d. 1788), built the house afterwards 
owned by Mr. Craft, near Auburndale. 


Smith, Joun, a tauner, bought in 1G94-5 of Nathaniel Parker 
twenty-seven and a half acres of land in Newton, with dwelling- 
house thereon, bounded east by land of Samuel Parker, south by 
land of John Trowbridge. 

Stone, Hon. Ebenezer (d. 1754), bought in 1G86 thirty acres 
of land in New Cambridge of Thomas Croswell. He owned the 
house supposed to have been built by Richard Park, very near the 
site now occupied by the Eliot church, which was probably his first 
residence in the town. He sold this place in 1700 to John Jack- 
son, son of Sebas Jackson, senior, and removed to the easterly 
part of Newton, and built the house long owned and occupied by 
John Kingsbury. 

Stone, Deacon John (d. 1769), in 1724 bought the farm of 
Rev. Nathan Ward, and built a house near Oak Hill. He was the 
first of the name that settled there. 

Spring, Lieutenant John, (d. 1717). His house stood on the 
northwest side of the Dedham road (Centre Street) , opposite the 
old cemetery, and near the house owned and occupied by the late 
Gardner Colb}", Esq. He built the first grist-mill in the town, sit- 
uated on Smelt Brook, half a mile north of the geographical centre 
of the town. It is supposed that he gave the land for the second 
meeting-house 179G, which stood very near his own house, and 
which the town probably re-conveyed to his son, John Spring. 

Spring, Ensign John (d. 1754), in 1753 conveyed to his son 
Samuel Spring the homestead, fifty-two acres, bounded south by 
Mill Street, east by the county road (Centre Street) ; north by 
land of Rev. John Cotton and Thaddeus Trowbridge ; west bj' 
laud of his son William Spring. He sold to Rev. John Cotton in 
1754 six and a half acres of laud for £71, on the east side of the 
county road, being part of the estate of the late John §pring, and 
formerly of John Jackson, senior. 

Spring, Thaddeus, sold to his brother Daniel Spring, then of 
Roxbury, in 1762 forty-two acres of land for £166, bounded east 
bj^ land of Robert Prentice ; south by said Prentice and Abraham 
and Noah Hyde ; west by heirs of Captain Wilham Trowbridge 
and Lieutenant Joseph Fuller. 

Thwing, John (d. 1811), settled in the east part of Newton. 

ToLMAN, Thomas, a shoemaker, lived at Newton Upper Falls. 

Tozer, John (d. 1750), bought land of James Barton, formerly 
Jonathan Jackson's. 


Trowbridge, Deacon James (d. 1717), in 1675 bought of 
Deputy Governor Danforth eighty-five acres of land with a dwell- 
ing-house and out-buildings thereon, which he had occupied for 
some years, bounded by the highways west and south, the narrow 
lane north, his own land east, " the dividing line being straight 
through the swamp ." 

Trowbridge, James, son of Deacon James (d. 1714), in 1709 
" convej'ed to his son James his now dwelling-place and ninety 
acres of land, highway once west and north, another highway 
south, Joshua Fuller east, and John Mirick south and west." 

Trowbridge, Deacon William, (d. 1744). In 1719 John 
Spring conveyed to him a jDarcel of land, bounded north b}' land 
of John Ward and said Trowbridge, west b}- Mill Street, northeast 
by Rev. John Cotton. "In 1721 his father-in-law, John Ward, 
conveyed to him the west end of his now dwelling-place, where 
said Trowbridge now dwelleth and thirteen acres adjoining, bounded 
west on highway, and one-fourth part grist-mill and stream." In 
1712, the five daughters of James Prentice, senior, conveyed to 
him nineteen acres near the meeting-house, bounded north by John 
Spring, west by Mill Pond or Smelt Pond, south by heirs of Jona- 
than Hyde. An open highway runs through the same. 

Trowbridge, Thaddeus, son of Deacon William Trowbridge 
(d. 1777), took the homestead. 

Trowbridge, Nathan, grandson of Thaddeus Trowbridge, took 
the homestead. 

Truesdale, Samuel (d. 1695), settled near Kenrick's Bridge. 
His homestead included a hundred and twenty- acres. His son 
Samuel Truesdale took the homestead. 

Tucker, William, from Boston, bought of Mr. Woodbridge, 
of Connecticut, one hundred acres of the Haj'nes' farm. After 
a few years it passed to the Clarks. 

Ward, John, (d. 1708). His father-in-law, Edward Jackson, 
senior, conveyed to him and his wife Hannah, all that tract of land 
where they have entered and builded their dwelling-house, about 
forty-five acres ; bounded north by the highway, east by laud of 
.John Jackson, south bj- the highway to Goodman Hammond's, 
west b}- Captain Thomas Prentice. Hence he settled in the east 
part of the town. On this tract stood the venerable Garrison 
House, supposed to have been built bj- him. It was taken down 
in 1821, having stood about one hundi'ed and seventy'- years, and 


sheltered seven generations. The reservoir of the Newton Water 
Worlds occupies a portion of this land. By subsequent purchases 
of land, he increased his forty -five acres to about five hundred 
acres, which he distributed among his sons by deeds of gift seven 
3'ears previous to his decease. 

Ward John, son of John (d. 1727), by will gave all his estate, 
housing, lands and quarter part of his grist-miU, after the decease 
of his wife, to his son-in-law Deacon William Trowbridge. " He 
directs that there shall be an open highway from his house to the 
brook, where the causewa}' is by the old house ; and another open 
highway for the house of Eleazer Ward to meet the aforesaid high- 
wa}- ; also an open highway to run west till it comes to the Cam- 
bridge lots." 

Ward, Deacon Ephraim, son of Deacon Richard Ward 
(d. 1772), took the ancient garrison house homestead. 

Ward, Deacon Joseph (d. 1784), lived in the West Parish, a 
blacksmith by trade. In 1 732 he bought twenty-nine acres of land 
of Solomon Park, called " the Plain," bounded east by the county 
road, northeast and north by Jeremiah Fuller, and northwest by 
the town road. Also, twenty acres bounded north by town road, 
northwest and west b}' Captain Fuller, for £430. His son, Deacon 
Enoch Ward (d. 1789), took the homestead. 

Ward, Samuel, son of John (d. 1834), took the old garrison 
house homestead. 

Ware, John, brother of Henry Ware, senior, D. D., professor 
in Harvard University, built the first paper-mill at Newton Lower 
Falls, about 1790. 

Wheat, Dr. Samuel (d. 1770), came from Boston to Newton 
about 1713. His house was near the West Parish meeting-house. 
He bought land in Newton in 1703, of Jonathan Park. His son 
Samuel, also a phj'sician, removed to his father's place in Newton 
about 1733. The same year he bought land of his father, then of 
Roxbury. In 1737, Dr. Samuel Wheat, jr., purchased of William 
Williams, of Watertown, son of Isaac Williams, jr., fiftj'-five acres 
of land for £300, bounded east by the gangway running through 
the farm of the late Isaac Williams and adjoining land of Richard 

White, Stephen, from Watertown, lived on part of the FuUer 
farm. He gave the homestead to his son Benjamin White. 

White, Deacon Ebenezer (d. 1853) , owned the farm after- 


■n-ards owned and occupied by his son, Deacon Ebenezer Davis 
"White and later b}^ George Foiling, Esq. It was on Ward 
Street towards the east part of the town and extended south to 
the slope of Institution Hill. 

Whitney, TnioxHY, from Roxbury, bought of John Prentice, of 
Preston, Connecticut, and Ebenezer Prentice, of Newton, grand- 
sons of Thomas Prentice, senior, the farm and buildings of said 
Prentice at the south part of the town in 1728 for £615. This was 
the last residence of Thomas Prentice, senior. 

Williams, Captain Isaac (d. 1707), removed to the west part 
of Cambridge Village about 16G0, and bought the tract of land 
which was granted in 1G40 to Major Samuel Shepard b}^ the pro- 
prietors of Cambridge, bounded north by Charles River, south b}' 
the Common lands, west by land of Herbert Pelham, Esq., and 
east by land granted to Joseph Cook. Major Shepard had erected 
a dwelling-house and barn upon this tract before 1G52, in which 
year Robert Barrington obtained judgment against Shepard for 
£590, and this tract of land was appraised at £150, and set off to 
satisfy the execution in part. Deacon William Park took this land 
at the appraisal, for liis son-in-law Isaac Williams. The house 
stood about ten rods north of Cheesecake Brook, and about thirt}' 
rods northeast of the West Parish meeting-house. It was taken 
down by Williams, who built another very near the same spot, 
which was pulled down in 1818. In 1704, he conveyed by deed 
of gift to his youngest sou Ephraim his " then dwelling-house and 
barn, with the land and meadow adjacent, being all the land under 
m}' improvement, and all the land on the east end of my farm 
called ' the new field,' and half the land in ' the old field,' that is, 
aU on the north side of the cartway now occupied by my son 
Eleazer, and all the woodland at the west end of Eleazer's line, — 
being the whole tract of land between the Fuller line and the 
causeway over the meadow leading to the island, only reserving 
half my said dwelling-house and fire wood for my dear and loving 
wife Judith during her life ; also a piece of meadow on the south 
side of the land, called * the Island,' containing about six acres, 
and one acre of salt marsh in Cambridge." The will was set aside 
as being " imperfect and insensible," and the estate was settled bj' 
mutual agreement among the children. Three sons took all their 
father's land in Newton, five hundred acres, paying and providing 
for the other heirs as stipulated in the agreement, which also 


provided for the lapng out of two or three highways through the 

W1LLIA.MS, Eleazer, married Mary, daughter of Rev. Nehemiah 
Hobart. In 1708 he sold part of his land from his father's estate 
(see the preceding article) to Captain Thomas Oliver. He and 
his wife Mary in 1715 conveyed their rights in the homestead of 
her father in Newton, containing one hundred acres, to Rev. John 
Cotton. Thomas "Williams, another son of Captain Isaac "Williams, 
also sold part of his land to Captain Thomas Oliver. 

Williams, Colonel Ephraim (d. 1754), the youngest son of 
Captain Isaac Williams, founder of Williams College. In 1717 he 
sold the ancient mansion and seventy acres of land to Jonathan 
Park for £300, " bounded northeast by a white oak tree marked by 
the line of the Fuller farm." He removed from Newton in 1739. 

AViLLiAMS, William, son of Isaac, jr., a housewright, of 
Watertown, in 1737 sold fifty-five acres of land to Dr. Samuel 
Wheat for £300, bounded east by the gangwa^^ through the farm of 
the late Captain Isaac Williams, adjoining land of the College, 
of Richard Coolidge and of Dr. Wheat. 

Williams, Jonathan, lived at the northwest part of Newton, on 
the same spot afterwards covered b}' the house of Mr. Collier. 

Williams, Abraham (d. 1712), in 1054 bought a house and 
land in Watertown. In 1662 he purchased a dwelling-house and 
six acres of land in that part of Cambridge "Village which became 
Newton Corner, very near the Watertown line. In 1665. he sold 
his place in the Village to Gregory Cooke, bounded east by the 
highway to Watertown, south b}' Edward Jackson, north and west 
by the Dummer farm, and removed to Marlboro', having lived in 
the "Village about eight years. 

Wales, Nathaniel, kept the tavern at Newton Lower Falls. 

WiLLARD, Jonathan (d. 1772), settled at the Lower Falls and 
in 1722 bought the iron works, forge, etc., of Nathaniel Hubbai'd. 

Wilson, Nathaniel (d. 1692), removed to Cambridge Village, 
where he purchased about one hundred and fift}^ acres of land. 
His son Joseph Wilson, a wheelwright, bought of heirs of Richard 
Park, six acres of land in 1678, bounded north b}- land of Capt. 
Noah Wiswall and Daniel Preston, west by James Trowbridge and 
Deliverance Jackson, heirs of John Jackson, senior, the previous 
owner. He built his house very near the West Roxbury line. 
His executors sold a part of Bald Pate meadow to Thomas 


Prentice, 2d, or senior, in 1G92. Ilis son Benjamin Wilson, in the 
division of the estate, had fort}- acres on the north side ; Isaac Wilson 
fort3'-seven acres on the west end, with the house ; the east end, 
seventy -four aci'es, being the residue, he pa3'ing £79. 

WiNCHESTEK, STEPHEN (d. 1751), purchascd land in Newton 
about 1720, being the southwest part of the Ilaj-nes' farm, and 
built a house. In 1724 he sold seven acres of land to John Hyde, 
jr., for £44 ; the highway ran through it. It was bounded south- 
east by John Hyde, senior, northeast by Nathaniel Longley and 
Paul Dudley-, Esq. ; northwest by .John Winchester, and south- 
west by his remaining land. In 1750, he and his wife Hannah 
conveyed to their son Stephen fifty-seven acres, with the mansion 
house and barn, bounded south by William Marean ; east by John 
Hammond ; west b}' widow Lydia Cheney, and north b}' his own 

Winchester, Stephen, son of Stephen Winchester, senior 
(d. 1798), purchased seventj'-two acres of land of John Hammond 
in 1758. He left to his son Amasa Winchester all his lands in New- 
ton and Needham, and all his estate, he paying the legacies and main- 
taining the widow. The homestead, one hundred and fift^'-one 
acres, with buildings, was appraised at £6,145. 

Winchester Deacon Elhanan (d. 1810), owned a small farm 
in Brookline, on the border of Newton. His house was in Brook- 
line, a few rods from the town line. 

WiswALL, Elder Thomas (d. 1G83), removed from Dorchester 
to Cambridge Village probably in 1G54. His farm in the Village 
consisted of about four hundred acres, including the Pond which 
bears his name, being the northerly part of the grant of one thou- 
sand acres made by the General Court to Governor Ilaynes in 
1634. His house stood upon the southerly bank of the pond, and 
was afterwards owned and occupied by Deacon Luther Paul and 
his heirs. The front part of the house was built in 1744 by the 
elder's great-grandson, Captain Noah Wiswall, and stands on the 
same spot chosen by the elder. His inventor^' specifies two hun- 
dred and seven acres of land. 

Wiswall, Captain Noah. His son Thomas bought out the 
other heirs and took the homestead of Captain Noah Wiswall in 
1698, and purchased the widow's thirds in 1703. This homestead 
was probably the southerly part of Elder Wiswall's farm. The 
widow of Captain Noah Wiswall had ninety acres, and his son 
Thomas ninetv-five acres. 


WiswALL, Lieutenant Ebenezer, son of Elder Thomas Wis- 
wall, (d. 1G91). Ills house, baru and niuet^'-five acres of land 
were appraised at £230. This was probably the residue of the 
elder's homestead. His executors sold his estate, one hundred and 
twentj' acres more or less, in 1694, to Nathaniel Parker, with barn 
and outhouses thereon, bounded west and northwest by land of 
Thomas Wiswall ; south by laud in possession of the widow Sarah 

Wiswall, Lieutenant Tuomas, son of Captain Noah (d. 1709), 
took the homestead of his father. His estate was divided thus : 
ninety-five acres of land to his widow, who had become the wife 
of David Newman and was again widowed, her thii'ds, and to his 
sons Thomas, Ichabod, Noah, and Nathaniel Longley ; to his oldest 
son Noah Wiswall, thirt3'-seven and a quarter acres and the build- 
ings ; to Thomas and Ichabod, sixteen and a half acres, bounded 
on the north side partly by the Great Pond ; Mrs. Hannah, eighty 
and a half acres on the north side of the road and house. Nathan- 
iel Parker bought out the heirs and widow's thirds, and took part 
of the land of Captain Noah Wiswall. 

Wiswall, Captain Noah, son of Lieutenant Thomas Wiswall 
(d. 1786), took down the ancient house built by Elder Thomas 
Wiswall, and built the front part of the house as it now (1880) 
stands. He gave the land on which was erected the First Baptist 
meeting-house, on the east side of the pond. 

Wiswall, Captain Jeremiah, son of Captain Noah Wiswall, 
(d. 1809), took the Murdock homestead at Oak Hill. 

Woodward, John, sou of George Woodward, and grandson of 
Richard Woodward, from England, (d. 1676) . His father-in-law, 
Richard Robbins, of Cambridge, conveyed to hira and his wife 
Rebecca, thu'ty acres of land in Cambridge Village, near the 
Upper Falls, bounded south b}* Charles River, north by a way 
leading to the Lower Falls, east bj'laud of Esq. Pelham. On this 
tract he built a dwelling-house which is still standing, and occu- 
pied by his descendants of the sixth and seventh generations. In 
1695 he purchased twenty acres of Theodore Atlrinson, of Boston. 
adjoining his other land bounded northwest and east by Governor 
Haj'^nes' farm, then leased to Captain Prentice ; in 1699, another 
tract of Dr. Thomas Oakes, bounded south by the river and west 
by Edward Pelham ; also, of Jonathan Hyde, senior, thirty-eight 
acres, bounded east by the Dedham road, and west and north by 


his own land. He also purchased with John Staples, forty-seven 
acres, which the}'- divided in 1705, Staples receiving thirty and 
Woodward seventeen acres. 

WooDWAUD, Ebenezek, son of John Woodward, senior (d. 
1770), took the homestead. Ebenezer's son. Deacon EUjah F. 
Woodward (d. 1846), took the homestead in the next generation. 

Woodward, Samuel N., became his father's successor in the 
same estate. Here nine generations successively have lived, and 
the daily famil}^ worship has been maintained without interruption. 
Several of the men, fathers and sons, have been deacons in Con- 
gi'egatioual churches, — -Deacon John, Deacon Ebenezer and Dea- 
con Elijah F., at the old Fh'st Parish church ; Deacon Ebenezor, at 
the Eliot church, and Deacon Samuel N., at Newton Highlands. 






The network of roads and streets, in a town redeemed from the 
wilderness, is the slow growth of many years, and in the earUer 
periods it is not alwaj's easy to trace their progress and comple- 
tion. At first a footpath or cartwa}^ runs between the house of 
Goodman A. and Goodman B, trodden on the surface of the rich 
loam. Then, as the population and the buildings increase, the 
pathwa}^ is graduall}' extended. In process of time, the conven- 
ience of intercourse and traffic demands a better road, and a harder 
surface is produced by labor. By and by, the citizens find it desir- 
able to work a passage through obstructions, instead of travelling 
around them. And often, the road is a fixed fact for man^' years 
before it is an acknowledged and accepted townway. So the 
streets of a populous neighborhood grow up by degrees, and no 
history of their inception or progress is recorded. 

It appears from the Records of Cambridge that while Newton 
was still a part of Cambridge, the south side of the river (Newton) 
had already received attention in the matter of roads. The Town 
Records of Cambridge, and, subsequentl}^, of Newton, report from 
time to time provision for laying out new roads and renewing the 
bound-marks of roads already existing. Some of these new roads 
are " staked out where the path is now trodden," — showing that the 
inhabitants took a hint of the necessity of new avenues, where the 
paths trodden indicated the need of such accommodation. As 
early as 1653, — and this was the first action of the town in regard 
to highways, — Mr. Edward Jackson, — whose farm commenced 



near the division line between Newton and Brighton, — Edward 
Oakcs and Thomas Danforth " were appointed by the townsmen of 
Cambridge to lay out all necessary highways on the south side of 
the river, and agree with the proprietors of the land for the same, 
by exchange for Common land or otherwise at their discretion." 
Four years later, in 1657, *'Mr. Edward Jackson, John Jackson, 
Eichard Park and Samuel Hj'de were appointed a committee to lay 
out and settle the highways in reference to the proprietors at that 
end of the town, otherwise than by crossing any part of the Com- 
mon, as need shall require." In 1671, a committee, consisting of 
Samuel Champney, John Jackson and Thomas Oliver, reported to 
the town of Cambridge that they judged it " needful that there 
should be an open and stated highwa}' laid out and bounded, four 
rods wide, from the Boston [Brookline] bounds, along through 
Elder Wiswall's farm, through Mr. Ilaj'ues' fami, and from thence 
to pass along through the small lots to the Falls, and so quite 
thi'ough to the Dedham bounds. Also, we judge it most conven- 
ient that this way should be" stated from Ilaynes' farm to Elder 
Wiswall's farm, and other men's proprietary, to Boston [Brookhne] 

In 1678 the Selectmen staked out on the south side of the river 
"the county highway, four rods wide, on the south side of Good- 
man Man's lot [John Jackson's] , and marked out a highway two 
rods wide, at the east end of said lot, up to the county road that 
leads to Watertowii mill, from Roxbury. Also, they set out the 
highway of two rods wide, on the south side of Nathaniel Spar- 
hawk's land, and the one hundred acres belonging to Elder 
Champney, unto the Common land next to Danforth's farm. Also, 
they laid out the highway that runs between Nathaniel Sparhawk's 
land and Goodman Champne5''s land, up to Roxbury highway." 

A committee chosen in 168o laid out a highway from the brook 
commonl}' called Captain Prentice's brook, or from the county way 
over the brook, in the way now occupied, to the land of Sergeant 

And another highway laid out from the county highway, at the 
south corner of Captain Prentice's field, to the Upper Falls. 

Another highway from the Lower Falls to Joseph Miller senior's 

Another highway from our meeting-house to the Lower Falls. 

And another highway from the south corner of Captain Prentice's 


field westward, commonly called Sherburne road, to the Lower 

In 1687, John Ward and Noah Wiswall were joined to our Selectmen, to 
treat with the Selectmen of Cambridge, to lay out a highway from our meet- 
ing-house to the Falls. In 1G91, we find this record : " Renewed the bound- 
marks of a way from John Mirick's stone-wail, over the hill eastward, to 
Joseph Wilson's land ; also, from the northwest corner of Thomas Green- 
wood's orchard-wall, over the rocks, to Boston [Brookline] way. Also, 
renewed the bound-marks of Dedham highway." In 1702, a vote was recorded, 
" that the way from the meeting-house to the Lower Falls shall be turned 
from Henry Segcr's Mill, along the country road, by the house of John Sta- 
ples, and so by the pine swamp." 

In 1711, the Selectmen, with a committee of three others, were 
appointed "to settle and confirm the highway's in the town." The 
result of their labors is as follows : 

1. We have laid out an open highway from Roxbury line, two rods wide, 
through lands of widow Bacon, William Ward, John Hyde, jr., and Thomas 
Prentice ; thence through land of Thomas Hastings, Jonathan Hyde, senior, 
Jonathan Hyde, jr., and John Hyde, and over pastor Hobart's land, by their 

2. We have renewed the highway marks from Dedham road, formerly 
laid out to Charles River, through land belonging to Rev. Jared Eliot, Sam- 
uel Pettis, Joseph Cheney and William Clark. 

3. We have renewed the highway marks from Dedham road at the brook 
[South Meadow Brook], near Samuel Pettis', until it comes to the farm of 
Ensign John Kenrick ; and thence we have extended and laid out said way, 
through land of said Kenrick and Samuel Truesdale, two rods wide, they 
having liberty to hang two gates on said way, one at the corner of Joseph 
Ward's land, and the other at the end of said way, next to the house of Isaac 

4. We have renewed the bound-marks from the brook [South Meadow 
Brook], near the house of Samuel Pettis, to the lines of Roxbury and Ded- 

5. We have renewed the bound-marks of the highway, from Stake Mea- 
dow to our meeting-house, through lands of Mr. Smith, or land commonly 
called Pains' Hill, and through the land of Nathaniel Longley, Nathaniel 
Parker and Thomas Wiswall. 

6. We have renewed the bound-marks of the highway, from the line of 
Brookline to the house of the widow Mirick, tlirough the lands of Nathaniel 
and Thomas Hammond, suniors, John Druce and Isaac Hammond, Thomas 
Chamberlain, jr., and Richard Ward, and have accepted of their turning tiie 
highway through the land of Captain Thomas Prentice, it being done to the 
full satisfaction of said Prentice and all persons concerned. 

7. We have laid out an open highway througli the land of Abraham Jack- 
son from the house of widow Mirick to our meeting-house ; three rods wide, 
where the path is now trod. 


8. At the request of Archibald Macoy, vra have laid out a way through 
land of said Macoy, and so to and hy a fixed rock, along the northerly side 
of said rock, and to land of Joseph Bartlctt, as now trod, and through land 
of Nathaniel Longlcy, north side of his dwelling-house, two rods wide. 

9. At the request of Pliilip White and William Ward, we have opened a 
highway, two rods wide, through the lands from Dedham road, near the 
brook [Palmer's Brook], through land of said White, as now trodden, to 
land of Nathaniel Healy and William Ward, to the highway that goetli to the 
Roxbury line. 

Dec. 14, 1714. Abraham Jackson, ~ 

JoHX Kenrick, 1 John Staples, 

Edward Jackson, > Committee. Richard Ward, 1- c- / / 

John Hyde, J Samuel Hyde, selectmen. 

John Greenwood, 

In 1725, a rate of £40 was allowed by vote for the work of re- 
pairing the highwaj^s. Men were to be allowed for their labor 
three shillings per day, and " six shillings for a man and team." 

The erection of the new meeting-house, which was dedicated in 
1721, made it necessary to lay out new roads, to acconunodate the 
worshippers from the northern, northwestern, western and other 
parts of the town. So strong an effort had been made to change 
the location of the meeting-house to a point nearer the geographical 
centre of the town, that the movers in that enterprise would not 
leave their fellow-citizens tmy cause for complaint on the ground 
of the inaccessibilitj' of the new house of worship. And it was a 
thing of course that if new roads were necessary, they must be 
opened. The meeting-house was the centre towards which, in the 
judgment of the early inhabitants, everj'thing converged. It was 
the pivot on which ever}- other interest turned. It was the starting- 
point from which ever3i;hing natiu-ally radiated. Notwithstand- 
ing all their neighborhood and sectional jealousies, they spoke rev- 
erently of " our meeting-house," as the common ground of union 
and affection. The location of the house of God being ascertained 
and agreed upon, the}' could easily agree upon the paths by which 
it was to be approached. Personal interests often interfered with 
" a peaceable settlement," as to the location and direction of other 
roads ; but at this point their selfishness gave way to the higher 
sentiment of the soul's needs and of brotherly love. Happy the 
people, whoso simple faith in God and regard for Divine things 
was able to overshadow all other ends, and, on this issue, to melt 
all their diversities into unity ! And happy will it be for their suc- 
cessors, if the same principles should lead always to similar 


We quote from the Records the two following statements, under 
date of March 2, 1726, on account of the importance of the two 
roads described, as great arteries of the ancient travel. 

Fbom Watertown to Dedham. — We whoso names are underwritten, 
being Selectmen for the town of Newton for the time being, with a com- 
mittee chosen by the town to stake out the ways in our town, according to 
the act or doings of a committee chosen by the town to endeavor the peace- 
able settlement of said ways without charge to the town, did actually begin 
at Watertown line and from thence to Dedhara line, as folio weth : 

First, beginning at the land of Mr. Jonathan Coolidge, between Jonathan 
Coolidge and Stephen Cooke, three and a half rods and four feet wide ; be- 
tween Colonel Bond and John Mason's lands, three and a lialf rods and two 
feet; between Philip Norcross and Isaac Jackson and Mason's, three and a 
half rods ; at Dea. Edward Jackson, Ensign Samuel Hyde and John Osland, 
three and a half rods; Rev. Mr. Cotton's, Mr. Eliot, John Spring and Cap- 
tain John Jackson, three and a lialf rods ; at the corner of said Jackson and 
Spring's, two rods and five feet; heirs of James Prentice, three and a half 
rods ; John Osland, heirs of John Prentice, deceased, three and a half rods 
by the brook [crossing the road just south of the meeting-house of the First 
Church] ; Eleazer Ward, three rods and four feet; house of Bond, John Clark, 
John Bartlett, meeting-house land, Eleazer Ward, Nathaniel Parker, heirs 
of Thomas Wiswall, three rods; Noah Wiswall's barn, and open to the pond, 
William Clark, through the farm of Jared Eliot, Jonathan Ward, deceased, 
John Stone, Eleazer Stoddard, John Kenrick, John Hall, Robert Murdock, 
Jacob Chamberlain, causeway and Eliot farm, school-house land, David 
Richardson, Edward Ward and the brook [Palmer's Brook], Philip White, 
Nathaniel Healey, Michael Dwight, house of Benjamin Wilson, Edward Ward, 
to Dedham line. 

The above indicates the line of direction of the road from Water- 
town to Dedham, with its varying width at successive points. It 
also shows the ownership of the estates, along the entire route. 
But the Selectmen stated the whole matter with far more particu- 
larit}', so that there could be no mistake as to the legall}' authorized 
road. B}' means of stakes, and heaps of stones, and marked trees, 
they enabled future survej^ors to proceed from point to point, 
through the entire distance, with the utmost certainty. As a speci- 
men of their scrupulous exactness in these statements, we give, 
from the Town Records, a verbatim cop}- of the docimient indicating 
the line of the road marked out from Brookline to the bridge at New- 
ton Lower Falls. All the roads of earl}- Newton are described with 
the same consummate accuracj-. The preceding statement de- 
scribes the great road bisecting Newton from north to south; 
the following, the road which bisects the town from east to west. 


Secondly, we have settled a Towne way from Brookliae to the County 
bridg at the Lower Falles in Charles River; begining at the line of Brook- 
line, we have staked and marked out as followcth, being marked on the 
southerly side of said way whearo it is now troden (1) a stak and a lieape of 
stones in the county line, in the land of Ensine John Sever ; next, Chestnut 
tree marked neare the wale of said Sever ; next a stake and a heape of stones 
by a Rock aginst the land of Mr. Sam. Clark ; next, a white cake tree by the 
land of Mr. Ilenrey Winchester ; next, a gray oake, aginst the Land of Han- 
nah, Sarah and Elizabeth Printice ; next, a gray oake ; next, oake plant; 
next, a white oake ; next, a wallnut tree ; next a white oake aginst the Land 
of Mr. John Osland ; next, a Avhite oake aginst the Land of Mr. Edward 
Rugles ; next, a black oake ; next, a white oake ; next, a white oake ; next, a 
white oake near the land of said Rugles, next a white oake by the land of 
Judg Dudley ; next a heape of Stones wheare the way coms in from the 
south part of the towne, — the way to be three rods wide from said markes, 
and from thenc to be two rods and a halfe wide to a wallnut tree in the Land 
of Mr. Nathaniell Parker ; next, a black oake, thus far to be two rods and a 
halfe wide ; next, a white oake plant, theare to be two rods and six foot wide ; 
from theuc two rods and a halfe wide to a white oake ; from tlionc to be two 
rods and a halfe wide wheare it is now troden to a stone marked (R) aginst 
the house of Calib Parker; and from thenc as the Fenc now stands untill it 
come to the Land of Noah Wiswall to a white oak stump in said Parker's 
Land, said way to be two rods and a halfe wide to the Land of said Wiswall ; 
next a stake and a heape of stones, said way to be theare three rods wide ; 
next a heape of stones on a Rock, theare sd. way to be three rods and three 
foot wide ; next a heape of stones on a Rock ; next a stake and a heap of 
stones, theare the way to be three Rods wide ; next a stake at the corner of 
sd. Parker's land, entering into Dedham Rode : The said way from Ded- 
ham Rode to be three rods wide untill it come to the Lower Eallos (except- 
ing in sum percickluer placies heareafter expressed; And in Mr. Eliot's 
Farme, there to be as the Court has ordered it from Dedham Rode to a black 
oake in the Land of Mr. William Clarke ; next, a black oake ; next a stake 
and a heape of stones at ye corner of said AVilliam Clarke's and Ebenozer 
Woodard's Lands ; next a stake and a heape of stones aginst the land of said 
Woodard; next a stake and a heape of stones at the corner of said Ebenezer 
and Jonathan Woodard's Lands, said way to be two rods and five foots wide, 
at the going down of the hill through said Jonathan Woodard's Land ; next 
a stake and a heape of stones at the corner of Mr. Eliezer Hide's Land; next 
a black oake, next a gray oake, next a black oake, next a black oake, next a 
white oake, next a stake and a heape of stones, next a stake and a heape of 
stones between the lands of said Hides and John Staples. 

Next a black oake aginst the land of said Staples, said markes being on 
the northerly side of the way ; next a stake and a heape of stones at the cor- 
ner between the Land of said Staples and land belonging to the Heirs of 
Henrey Segor, decsd. ; next a stake and a heape of stones, said way to be 
two rods and a halfe wide in the Vallie between the Lands of said Segor and 
Mr. John Trowbridg; next a stake and a heape of stones; next a stump 


marked ; next a stake and a heapo of stones ; next a stake and a heape of stones 
aginstthe Land of Mr. Ebenezer Littellfeeld, said markes being on the south- 
erly side of tlie way ; and thenc marked on tlie same side of the way to the 
falles ; next a stake and a lieapc of stones ; next a smale white oake plant with 
stones round it ; next a black oake plant ; next a post at the corner between 
the Land of sd. Littellfeeld and Mr. John Parker ; next a white oake, next a 
wallnut tree ; next a black oake ; next a gray oake ; next a stake and a heape 
of stones at the corner between the Lands of said Parker and Mr. Jonathan 
Willard ; next a white oake ; next a black oake ; next a gray oake plant near 
the corner of the afforsd. Littellfeeld's Land ; next a gray oake plant aginst 
the Land of said Littellfeeld. Lastly a great Red oake near to the Bridg 
over Charles River at ye Lower Falles. And it is to be understood yt. the 
said ways are not to go straight from marke to marke so as to incommod 
at said ways ; but as the ways are now troden. 

Dated in Newton, March the Second, Anno Domini 1725 — 6. 
By order of the Selectmen. Jeremiah Fuller, "| 

Reco'd per me, John Staples, Richard Ward, I c / / 

Towne Clarke, Nathaniel Longley, f ■^^i^'^i^et- 

March 9th 1725/6. Edward Ward, J 

Joseph Ward, 
Daniel Woodard, 
WiLLiABi Trowbridg, > Covimitey. 
Samuel Jackson, 
Calib Kenrick, 
The same year a road was laid out from Watertown to Newton Lower 

Falls through land of Solomon Park to land called "Fuller's farm," John 

Knapp, unto the lane in Fuller's farm, two rods wide. 

It is not difficult for the older residents of Newton, by the aid 
of the Records, to trace the original coui'se of these roads. The 
red, white, gray and black "oakes" have been cut down, and are 
gone to decay. The " plants " have become trees, and having 
served their generation, have vanished. The "heapes of stones" 
have been scattered, wrought into walls, or hidden in foundations. 
The " stakes " and " posts " have rotted and perished. But the 
names still linger in old title-deeds, and "re-appear in streets and 
avenues." A few of them are indeUbty impressed on the estates of 
their ancient proprietors. But many of the pathways of the fathers 
remain substantially as they were, — a possession for the genera- 
tions of the present and of all futm-e times. As the fathers left 
them to us, so we leave them to our successors. 

In 1729, a waj- was opened, two rods wide, through land of 
Ei chard "Ward, John Greenwood, Eleazer Hammond and Josiah 
"Wilson, running on the southerl}' side of Richard Ward's dwelling- 
house, until it comes to Cambridge line. Also, a road " from the 
fording place in Charles River, agaiust the townway in Weston, 


to the county road that goeth from the Lower Falls to Watertown 
begiuuing at the river, through land of William Robinson and 
Benjamin Child, until it comes to the county road." In 1735 a 
way was opened, two rods wide, " from the Dedham road [Centre 
Street], near the house of Philip Norcross, to the northwest part 
of the town, by Isaac Jackson, Joseph Jackson, to Edward Jack- 
son's fence, on the west side of the brook [Smelt Brook], near to 
Sebas Jackson, jr.'s house, to Thomas Beals and William Trow- 
bridge, two rods wide." 

Also, a new \va,y, beginning at the county road, by Thomas Park's 
barn, tlirough Thomas Beal's land, through Capt. Joseph Fuller's land, on 
the northwest side of his fence, till it comes to the way at Capt. Fuller's cor- 
ner ; thence north on land of Capt. Fuller, till it comes to land of Thomas 
Beals and land of Wiiliam Trowbridge, two rods Avide. 

In 1737 a vote was passed to " stake out the -way that leads from 
Dedham road to Ensign Spring's mill, called Mill Lane." In 1741, 
" settled the bounds of a highway, as now trod, beginning at John 
Hill's land, by Thomas Draper's, Timothy Whitney's and John 

Voted, to accept the way Stephen Winchester laid out, and he to have 
liberty to hang two gates. 

Voted, to lay out a way through James Cheney, jr.'s land, from the town 
road to the bridge at the Upper Falls, for the use of the town, near Noah 
Parker's house, and the town to relinquish all their rights to a way heretofore 
used, through Stephen Winchester's land, to the Falls. 

In 1750, "the Selectmen laid out a way from the townway that leads to the 
house of widow Staples to the road called Natick road, beginning on Joseph 
Fuller's land and Daniel Woodward, to land of Thomas Miller, and through 
his land to Natick road. Also, a way from the county road near Allen's, to 
the brook called Cheesecake Brook, thence to Samuel Hastings' wall, and to 
the county road." 

In 1751, a new way was laid out "through the Fuller farm, beginning at 
the house of Josiah Fuller, at a rock in said Fuller's fence, on the south side 
of the way; thence to Cornet John Fuller's land, widow Hannah Fuller, 
Joshua Fuller, to land of Thomas Fuller, deceased, to Jonathan Fuller, and 
over tlio brook called Cheesecake Brook, two rods wide, from said Josiah 
Fuller's easterly to said brook." In 1752, a new way was laid out "from 
the county road through land of Joseph Ward, Oakes Angier, Jonathan 
Fuller, leading to the Fuller farm." 

In 1754, a new way was laid out " through land of AVilliam Marean, John 
Hammond, Stephen Winchester, Nathan Ward, John Ward, William Marean, 
jr., and over South Meadow Brook, from house of Israel Stowell at John 
Ward's gate." 



la 175G, a new way was " laid out, beginning at the county road near the 
house of Benjamin Cliild, and through his land to the house of Jonathan 
Williams, two rods wide. Also, from Joseph Morse to the road leading to 
Cheesecake Brook. Also, from Charles River, near the brook called Beaver 
Brook [in Waltham], to the townway near the house of John Fuller. Also, 
from Joseph Morse's, between the lands of Samuel Wheat and Samuel Hast- 
ings, to Cambridge lots, and thence through the land of said Wheat and land 
of Isaac Williams, to Josiah Goddard, to Dr. John Allen's and Samuel Hast- 
ings, till it meets the townway at the brook called Cheesecake Brook." 

Says Mr. Seth Davis (1847),— 

The main roads through the town in 1752 were the Sherburne Road, so 
called, and the Worcester Road. The former passed through the Lower 
Falls, and by the house [late] of Matthias Collins, Esq., and the East Parish 
meeting-house, [beginning on the west side of the town]. The one-story 
house which stood on the spot where the new house of Mr. Hawkes stands, 
was kept as a public house many years. Among the other occupants of the 
house in that capacity was the late Nathan Fuller, Esq. The said one-story 
house, taken down about 1840, stood on or near the spot where the first house 
on Woodward Street now stands, east of Cherry Street. 

The Worcester road passed over Weston Bridge, and over a range-way * 
now entirely disused by the public, by the house of Samuel Stimpson and 
the Messrs. Dix and Fullers, to the First Parish meeting-house, which then 
stood at the intersection of the two principal roads to Boston ; thus forming, 
at that period and many years subsequent, the most convenient and only con- 
venient centre for the whole town, not only as a place of worship, but for 
holding town meetings. One branch of the Worcester road turned off, some- 
where, probably, between the houses of Mr. Dix and Mr. Frost, and passed 
over the highlands south of West Newtpn Village, and crossed the present road 
twenty or thirty rods south of Hull's Crossing [the Newtonville Station] to 
Newton Corner. A very few marks of its former location still exist. On that 
deserted portion west of Mr. Stimpson's was a public house, kept as such for 
many years, and a little west of the same was the house of Mr. Thomas 
Greenwood, who for many years held the office of Town Clerk, and in his day 
was the main personage for tying connubial knots. A few vestiges of both 
houses are still visible. 

In 1757 was laid out "Fuller's way to Charles river, — beginning at the 
river, thence througli Capt. Joshua Fuller's land to land of the heirs of Isaac 
Fuller. In 1760 a new way was laid out from Natick road, through land of 
John Burridge and Isaac Jackson, to the county road near the house of Sebas 
Jackson, two rods wide." 17G1. — At the request of Enoch Parker, John 
Jackson and Samuel Jackson, we have turned the townway that leads from 
the road called Indian lane [now Sargent Street] to the county road near 
John Jackson's old house. 

♦ "This range-way was the main road for many years;— the one over and upon 
which nurgoync's army passed f i-om "Weston Bridge to Cambridge; and is now a 
public road, called Woodland Avenue." 


In 1787, "a new way was laid out and accepted from Angler's Corner wes- 
terly to land of Timothy Jackson, and from the brook westerly to Mrs. Mary 
Durant's barn." In 1788, "the old road, running past the school-house, 
thence southwest across Trowbridge's plain, thence northwest to Mrs. Mary 
Durant's barn, was discontinued ; and the training-field which was given to 
the town by Judge Fuller's grandfather in 1735, situated in what is now New- 
tonville, v/as discontinued; and the land, nearly one acre, was to revert to 
Judge Fuller, he paying a reasonable price therefor." 

The minute specilicatious in the descriptions of many of these 
roads are interesting, as showing the ownership of the estates 
thi'ough which the roads were laid out. 

The following agreement, entered into by the heirs of John 
Fuller, owner of the "Fuller farm," opened in 1730 still another 
highwa}^, which was accepted by the town in 1751. 

The undersigned do all and everyone of us agree and consent to lay out 
an open highway two rods wide, as it is allowed of in the settlement of the 
farm called Fuller's farm, for the use of and convenience of the proprietors 
of said farm, down to the townway of Solomon Park's line, marked on a 
walnut tree and heap of stones in Jonathan Fuller's land ; and then a walnut 
tree and then a white oak tree, and then a peach tree on land of Joseph 
Fuller; and then a white oak tree on land of Jeremiah Fuller; and then to a 
white oak tree, and then to a gray oak tree, and then to a walnut tree, and 
then over the dam at the upper end of the wet meadow, and then to a rock 
on the land of Jonathan Fuller, and then to the townway, for us. And also 
agreed to have liberty of passing through gates or bars, from one proprie- 
tor's way to the other, where the way is now trod. And we do oblige our- 
selves and our heirs to mend and maintain the said way forever, from the 
corner of the line between John Fuller and down to the townway at Solomon 
Park's line. 

In witness whereof we set our hands and seals this thirtieth day of May, 
Anno Domini [1730], in the third year of the reign of our sovereign lord, 
George Second, of Great Britain, King, etc. 

Signed, Joseph Fuller, 

In presence of us, Joshca Follee, 

her Jeremiah Fuller, 

Elizabeth + Mirick, John Fuller, 

mark. Jonathan Fuller, 

Mindwell Fuller, Jonathan Fuller, jr., 

her Isaac Fuller, 

Priscilla + Dike. Isaac Fuller, jr., 

mark. Thomas Fuller, 

Caleb Fuller. 






On the southeastern slope of Nonantum Hill stood the wigwam 
of "Waban,* where Eliot fli'st preached to the Indians of America. 
Gooldn, the friend and companion of Eliot, writes, — 

The first place where he began to preach was Nonantum, near Watertown, 
on the south side of Charles lliver, about four or five miles from his own 
house, where lived at that time Waban, one of their principa'l men, and some 
Indians with him. 

Tradition makes it possible to fix with tolerable accuracy the 
precise spot of this historic service. In 1659, John Kenrick had 
this land granted him, since which time it has remained in the 
famil3\ A spring near by helps to fix the location. In 1713 the 
highway marks were ^ed " from Dedham to Boston, from Ensign 
John Kenrick's through his land and Samuel Truesdale's, two rods 
wide ; they have libert}' to hang two gates, one at corner of Joseph 
Ward's land and the other next to house of Isaac Patch." It is 
near this old road (still easily seen) where stood the substantial 
wigwam, erected by Gookin twenty years after Eliot first preached 
here ; the ground stiU shows evidence of such occupation.! Here 
in the quaint language of the day, " The alabaster box of precious 
ointment was first broken in the dark and gloomy habitations of 
the unclean." 

* Signifying in English " wind " or " spirit." 

t On a little plat of land, half a mile east of Centre Street, the recognized site of the 
wigwam of Waban, a terrace has been constructed, with a stone balustrade on the 
front, bearing a suitable inscription and the names of Wilson, Shepard, Gookin, 
Waban and others who were present at the first meeting. From the face of the wall 
a fountain is seen to flow, and rising from the centre of the terrace a memorial shaft. 



The account of the first visit of Mr. Eliot to Nonantum for the 
purpose of preaching to the Indians is given by Mr. Eliot, in his 
graphic language as follows : 

Upon October 28, 1G46, four of us (having sought God), went unto the 
Indians inhabiting within our bounds with desire to make known the things 
of their peace to them. A little before we came to tlieir wigwams five or six 
chiefs mot us with English salutations, bidding us welcome ; who, leading us 
unto the principal wigwam of Waanton (Waban), we found many more 
Indians, men, women and claldren gathei'ed together from all quarters round 

Those who accompanied EHot were Gookin (aged 34) , after- 
wards magistrate at Cambridge, Rev. John Wilson, of Boston, 
Elder Heath, of Roxbury (aged 61), and Thomas Shepard 
(aged 41), who afterwards wrote "The Clear Sunshine of the 
Gospel," and other tracts giving an account of this beginning 
among the Indians. 

AYith unfeigned interest we contemplate these denizens of the 
forest, assembled together, lilic Cornelius and his friends, to hear 
the words of eternal life. There is a special interest in such a 
gathering, because it is the first of the kind on the American conti- 
nent. It was the missionary enterprise in advance. Eliot had 
not to cross seas and oceans to find his heathen auditors. They 
lived nearly at his own door ; by an hour's ride he could be among 
them. And as we contemplate their eager attention, their willing 
assent, their readiness to learn, and at the same time the opposi- 
tion of those who scoff, we seem to see the whole method and 
work of modern missions, not a theor}^ to be tested in the futm-e, 
but the veritable missionary enterprise already begun. After two 
centmies and a quarter, the work brings similar joys and sorrows. 

The Indians, during an intercourse of several years with the 
Enghsh, had obtained some ideas of their religion and their Book, 
and were very desirous of being instructed by the white men in the 
wonderful things it contained. 

In the assembty were Waban's wife, and their son "Weegram- 
momenet, afterwards known as Thomas Waban. Prayer was 
offered in English, it is supposed by Mr. Wilson. Then Mr. Eliot 
preached from Ezekiel XXXVII: 9. "Then said he unto me, 
Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the 
wind, Thus saith the Lord God ; Come from the four winds, O 
breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I 


prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, 
and they lived, and stood np upon their feet, an exceeding great 

The text was doubtless selected by Mr. Eliot, because he saw a 
similarity between the dry bones of the valley and the condition 
of his heathen audience, — "that forlorn generation," as Mr. 
Wilson called them. When Mr. EUot read his text, as if addressed 
specially to the chief, " Then said the Lord unto me. Prophesy 
unto Waban," etc., it must have seemed a personal call from the \ 

white man's God to serve him who had brought the Englishman fjf<-^ 
across the mighty waters and himself from the hills of Musketa-^'^^ ' p^ 
quid, — each of them at that date forty-two years of age, — to ' 
meet in that rude wigwam. It was a strilcing manifestation of the 
Pro\idence of God which had brought them together. 

The sermon continued an hour and a quarter. Mr. Eliot began 
with the principles of natural religion, and then proceeded to the 
leading doctrines and precepts of Christianity : the ten command- 
ments ; the nature and consequences of sin ; the.character, coming 
and exaltation of Christ ; the future judgment ; the blessedness of 
believers ; the creation and fall of man ; heaven and hell ; and closed 
with an exhortation to repentance and holiness. Desiring to know 
whether his audience had understood him, he asked if they com- 
prehended his meaning. They replied that they had understood 
all. He then asked whether all in the wigwam had understood, or 
only a few. With one accord every voice answered that they had 
all understood every thing he had said. Eliot testifies that " none 
of the Indians slept in sermon, or derided God's messenger." 

A remark of Rev. Mr. Wilson, that " a few words from the 
preacher were more regarded than many from the Indian in- 
terpreter," seems to impl}' that Mr. Eliot spoke in the Indian dia- 
lect when the words he wished to employ were easy and familiar 
to him, and when he was at a loss for words to express Ins mean- 
ing, that he called in the aid of his native teacher. This was Job 
Nesutan, a Long Island Indian, a Mohegau, who had been taken 
prisoner in war a little while before, and was now living in Dor- 
chester. He had been taught by Mr. Eliot to write, and is said to 
have been " ingenious and quic^k to learn." 

After the sermon, the ministers proposed questions to the 
Indians, as Mr. Wilson quaintly expresses it, " that so we might 
screw, by variety of means, something or other of God into tliem." 



The Indians were then invited to ask their visitors such questions 
as the}' chose. The six questions they proposed were : 1. How 
they could learn to know Jesus Christ? 2. Did God understand 
Indian pra^'ers? 3. Were the English ever so ignorant as the 
Indians were at that time? 4. What is the image of God, which, 
in the second commandment, is forbidden to be worshipped? 5. 
If a father be bad and the child good, will God be offended with 
the child for the father's sake? 6. If all the world had once been 
drowned, how came it to be now so full of people? In answer to 
a question on the omnipresence of God, being asked by a visitor if 
they did not feel tempted to beheve there was no God, because he 
was nowhere to be seen, the}' replied that though they could not 
see him with their eyes, " they believed he was to be seen b}' their 
soul within." The question was then asked them whether it did 
not seem strange that there should be but one God, and yet he 
should be here in Massachusetts, there in Connecticut, over the 
great waters in old England, in this wigwam, in the next, every- 
where? They answered, it was indeed strange. Everything else 
they had heard was strange also. All were wonderful things, 
which they never heard of before. But they thought it might be 
true, and "that God was so big everywhere." They were then 
asked, whether they were troubled, when they had done wrong, by 
a consciousness of guilt and ill-desert ; and whether, at such times, 
they found any source of comfort. They answered that they were 
thus troubled, but they had no knowledge what should comfort 

At the close of the meeting, which lasted three hours, when 
asked if they .were weary, the Indians replied, "' No," and they 
wished to hear more. But the autumn day was short and the night 
drawing on. Prayer was offered in English. Another meeting 
was appointed a fortnight afterwards, a few apples were given to 
the children and some tobacco to the men, and the visitors left 
them. The first Protestant missionary sermon to the heathen had 
been preached in North America. Says the Rev. Mr. McKenzie : 

Let it be remembered to the honor of our fathers, that the first Protest- 
ant mission to the heathen in modern times began in Cambridge [Newton] ; 
the first Protestant sermon in a heathen tongue was preached here ; the first 
translation of the Bible by an Englishman into a heathen tongue was printed 
here ; the first Protestant tract in a heathen language was written and printed 


This service was tlie beginning of an extensive work of grace 
among tlie red men, which spread through eastern and southern 
Massachusetts, till, it is said, there were at one time half a dozen 
or more native churches, nearly forty native preachers, and a pop- 
ulation of Christian Indians amounting to nearly four thousand. 

Waban was not a sachem, but " a man of gravity and counsel," 
and highly respected among his people. He was the first Indian 
convert,* and adorned his Christian profession to old age. His 
last words were, " I give my soul to thee, O my Redeemer, Jesus 
Christ. Pardon all my sins and dehver me from hell. Help me 
against death, and then I am willing to die. And when I die, O 
help me and relieve me." He died in 1674, aged seventy. 

The second meeting was held November 11th. A great 
many more Indians were present. The news had spread that 
the Englishman had learned their language, and had a message 
to them from the Great Spirit. At this meeting the visitors found 
that seats had been prepared for them. A prayer was first offered 
in English. Then, with that care for children which was charac- 

* The confession of Wabau has been preserved. 

" Before I heard of God, and before the English came into this country, many evil 
things my heart did work, many thoughts I had in my heart. I wished for riches, I 
wished to be a witch, I wished to be a sachem; then, when the English came, still my 
heart did the same things; when the English taught me of God, (I coming to their 
houses), I would go out of their doors and many years I tnew nothing ; and when the 
English taught me I was angry with them. But a little while ago, after the great 
sickness, I considered what the English do, and I had some desire to do as they do, 
and after that I began to work as they work; and then I wondered how the English 
came to be so strong to labor; then I thought, I shall quickly die, and I feared lest I 
should die before I prayed to God ; then I thought, if I prayed to God in our language, 
whether could God understand my prayers in our language; therefore I did ask Mr. 
Jackson and Mr. Mayhew if God understood prayers in our language. They answered 
me, God doth understand all languages in the world. But I do n<5t know how to con- 
fess, and little do I know of Christ. I fear that I shall not believe a great while, and 
very slowly. 

" I do not know what grace is in my heart; there is but little in me; but this I know, 
that Christ hath kept all God's commandments for us, and that Christ doth know all 
hearts; and now I desire to repent of all mv sins. I neither have done, nor can do, 
the commandments of the Lord; but I am ashamed of all I do, and I do repent of all 
my sins, even of all that I do know of. I desire that I may be converted from all my 
sins, and that I might believe in Christ, and I desire Ilim. I dislike my sins, yet I do 
not truly pray to God in my heart; no matter for good words, all is the true heart; 
and this day I do not so much desire good words, as thoroughly to open my heart. I 
confess I can do nothing, but deserve damnation; only Christ can keep me and do for 
me. But I have nothing to say for myself that is good; I judge that I am a sinner, 
and cannot repent, but Christ hath deserved pardon for us."' 

There is much of simple trust mingled with the expression of his own unworthi- 
ness, in this confession of Waban. But it required earnest argument and advocacy, 
on the part of Eliot, to satisfy the ciders that he was thoroughly converted. 


teristic of Mr. Eliot's ministry, and wtiicli was his " ruling passion, 
strong in death," he catechized the little ones. The sermon was 
in Indian, and lasted for an hour ; but none of the congregation 
seemed wearj*. One of the hearers was much overcome, and wept 
freely. After the sermon was ended, an old man asked if it was 
not too late for such an old man as he, who was near death, to 
repent and seek after God? Another asked how the English dif- 
fered so much from the Indians, if all men had one father at first? 
Another asked, if a man had committed some great sin, as steal- 
ing goods, and had not been punished by the sachem, but had 
restored the goods, is all well now? After the subject of atone- 
ment and reconciliation had been explained to him, the Indian drew 
back with an appearance of sorrow and shame, and said, " Me 
little know Jesus Christ, or me should seek him better." 

Dming the closing prayer, the Indians were much affected. One 
of the men wept abundantl}', so that his tears dropped down on 
the ground, and the English people, seeing his tears, could not 
refrain from weeping with him. The next day one of the hearers 
\dsited Mr. Eliot at his house in Roxbur}-, and told him his feelings 
with tears, and how all night at Wabau's the Indians could not 
sleep, partly from trouble of mind, and partly from wonder at the 
things the}' had heard. Doubtless the Spirit had spoken with his 
"' still, small voice," and this was the first revival of religion among 
the Indians. 

The success attending these visits of Eliot was noised abroad, 
and there came as witnesses of his work Wilson, minister of Boston, 
Shepard, of Cambridge, Allen, of Dedham, and Dunster, Presi- 
dent of Harvard College. It must have been very cheering to 
Eliot to enjo3" the presence and countenance of such men. For 
their weight of character assm'ed him of the interest and approval 
of the best and wisest of New England's citizens. 

The thiixl visit was a fortnight later, November 2Gth. Some of 
the Indians absented themselves thi'ough fear of their powaws or 
priests, who had thi-eatened them with theu* secret power of inflict- 
ing the penalty of death upon those who should attend. One of 
these priests was, however, immediately and solemnly addressed 
hy the intrepid missionary, who silenced and convinced him. An 
account of this %'isit was recorded in a book bj^ the Kev. Mr. 
Wilson, which was printed in London in 1647, entitled, " The Day- 
Breaking, if not the Sun-Eising, of the Gospel with the Indians 


in New England." In order to 'liear more readily the wonderful 
tidings, many Indians removed from Concord and places even 
more distant, and erected their wigwams on Waban's hill. An 
increased seriousness was manifest. When the usual catechizing 
and sermon were ended, many questions were asked by the Indians, 
as, " What is a spirit? " " Why do the English call them Indians, 
since they did not so call themselves previous to the arrival of the 
English ? " " Is it lawful to pray to the devil, as some Indians say, 
or must we pray to God only ? " " Are dreams to be believed ? " 
The great desire of the natives was to have a place for a town, 
and to learn to spin. 

After the third meeting, when many were gathered in the tent 
where they had listened eai'nestly to Eliot, Waban arose and began 
to instruct all the company out of the things he had heard, with 
the wild and impressive eloquence of a son of the forest. Soon 
after, other chiefs came for teaching, and begged that their children 
might be educated in the Christian faith. The example spread, 
and the missionar}^ was surprised at the success which had already 
attended his labors. He had found a people prepared for the 

Wrapped in a robe of marten-skins a chief stood up and said : 

My heart laughs for joy on seeing myself before thee; we have all of 
us heard the word which thou hast sent us. Come with us to the forests ; 
come to our homes by the great river; there we shall plant the Tree of Life 
of which thou speakest, and our warriors shall rest beneath its leaves ; and 
thou shalt tell us more of that land where there is no storm nor death, and 
where the sun is always bright. Will not that be good? What dost thou 
say to it, my father? 

Shortly afterwards three men and four children visited the house 
of Mr.- Eliot. The leader, Wabau, was a man of wisdom. Of 
the boys, the eldest was nine years, and the3'oungest four. These 
children Waban wished to have trained up among those who 
feared God, dreading lest, if they were brought up among their 
own people, they would grow to be rude and wicked. No suitable 
arrangement could be made for the education of the children, and 
Mr. Eliot was obliged to send them back to then- native forests. 
Thus the first call for a mission school for heathen children came 
from the heathen themselves. Mission schools for heathen children 
were to be the growth of the coming centuries, but the time was 
not yet. The two youths were afterwards placed in the families 
of elders of the church in Roxbury. 


Soon after the third meeting steps were taken towards the settle- 
ment of the Indians in a fixed habitation, that they might enjoy 
the benefits of a Christian civilization, and that their children 
might be trained up to become useful members of society. One 
of the early historians says the General Court purchased of the 
EngUsh settlers a tract of high land, which the Indians fancied, 
and made it over to them. Mr. Shattuck, in his history of Concord, 
expresses doubt whether there was any grant of land to the Indians 
at Nonantum. He thinks they lived by sufferance on lands claimed 
by the English. Mr. Jackson says, — 

We have never seen any record of a grant of lands by the General Court 
to the Nonantum Indians, and do not believe there was ever any such grant. 
Nor does there appear to be any conveyance by the Indians on record, of the 
lands they occupied at Nonantum. Those lands were, no doubt, considered 
part and parcel of the common lands of the Cambridge proprietors, and were 
disposed of by them, like other common lands, by sale or division among the 
proprietors. By the colony law of lGo3, it was declared that "what land the 
Indians possessed and improved by stibJiiing ike same, they have just right 
unto." At Nonantum, they not only subdued and cultivated, but fenced much 
of it by walls and ditches, set out trees, etc. Their title was therefore law- 
ful as well as just ; and as they had Eliot and many other staunch friends, we 
may be assured they did not surrender their rights without an equivalent. 

On Nonantum Hill was made the first attempt to bind the 
Indians together under a civil contract, with the countenance of a 
few good men and in spite of much discom-agement from many 

Mr. Eliot wrote to Mr. Shepard, — 

We have much cause to be very thankful to God, who hath moved the 
hearts of the General Court to purchase so much land for them to make their 
town, which the Indians are much taken with ; and it is somewhat observa- 
ble that while the Court were considering where to lay out their town, they 
(not knowing of anything) were about that time consulting about laws for 
themselves, and their company, wlio sit down with Waban. There were ten 
(laws) two of them are lost. The Indians desired to know what name this 
town should have, and it was told them it should be called Noonatomen, 
which signifies in English, rejoicing, because they, hearing the word and 
seeking to know God, the English did rejoice at it, which pleased them much ; 
and therefore that is to be the name of their town. 

Then they desired that they might have a court among them for govern- 
ment, at which motion we rejoiced, seeing it came from themselves, and 
tended so much to civilize them ; since which time, I moved the General 
Court in it, and they have pleased to order a way for exercising government 
among them. The good Lord prosper and bless it. 



Among the first results of civilization attending upon religion 
were the adoption of many customs of the English ; their clothes 
were more seemlj', their reliance upon the crops more secure. 

Eliot seems to have understood that civilization and religion go 
hand in hand ; he further writes : 

You know likewise, that Ave exhorted them to fence their ground, with 
ditches and stone walls upon the banks, and promised to help them with 
shovels, spades, mattocks, crows of iron ; and they are very desirous of fol- 
lowing that counsel and call upon me to help them with tools faster than I 
can get them, though I have now bought a pretty store, and they (I hope) 
are at work. 

The efforts of Eliot were not confined to Newton ; he journeyed 
through the wilderness in all directions, and his influence was felt 
upon the extreme borders of civilization. 

It is not to be supposed that Eliot met with no opposition. The 
Prince of the power of the air never relinquishes his reign over his 
subjects without resistance. Accordingh', we read how the Indi- 
ans in some instances encountered him, and how bravely he met 
their opposition. A writer in the " Massachusetts Historical Col- 
lections" says, — 

The sachems did every thing in their power to obstruct the work ; for they 
thought that they should lose their power and influence, if men had any other 
law to govern them than the authority in their hands ; and Mr. Eliot has been 
met in the wilderness by these men so inimical to religion, and threatened 
with every evil, if be made any more conversions. But he told them, "I am 
about the work of the Great God, and he is with me, so that I fear not all the 
sachems of the country. I'll go on, and do you touch me, if you dare." 

Mr. Eliot must have been essentially strengthened in his cour- 
ao-eous efforts b}' the knowledge that the support of the govern- 
ment was on his side. The Indians were in some sense the wards 
of the government ; and, as such, the3^ were bound to respect the 
magistrates, and Mr. Ehot, also, whose work was favored by the 
magistrates. The laws of the Province likewise were made, so far 
as the Indians were concerned, in the interest of civilization, jus- 
tice and religion. Thus an Act of the General Coiu-t was passed, 
dated May 26, 1G47, as follows : 

Upon the information that the Indians dwelling among us are brought to 
some kind of civility by the ministry of the word, and are desirous to have a 
court of ordinary judicature set up among them, — it is therefore ordered by 
the authority of this Court, that one or more of the magistrates shall once 
every quarter keep a court where the Indians ordinarily assemble to hoar 


the word of God, to hear and determine all causes, both civil and criminal, 
not being capital, concerning the Indians only; and that the Indian sachems 
shall have liberty to take orders in the nature of summons or attachments, 
to bring any of their iieople to these courts ; and to keep a court of them- 
selves every month, if they see occasion, to determine small causes of a civil 
nature, and such smaller criminal causes as the magistrates shall refer to 
them. And the said sachems shall appoint officers, to serve warrants, and to 
execute the orders and judgments of either of the said courts; which officers 
shall be allowed from time to time by the said magistrates in the quarter 
courts or by the governor. And that all fines imposed upon any of the 
Indians in said courts shall go and be bestowed towards the building of some 
meeting-houses, for the education of their poorer children in learning, or other 
public uses by the advice of said magistrates or of Mr. Eliot, or some other 
elder, who shall ordinarily instruct them in true religion. And it is the 
desire of this Court that these magistrates, or Mr. Eliot, or such other elders 
as shall attend the keeping of said courts, Avill carefully endeavor to make 
the Indians understand our most useful laws, and the principles of reason, 
justice and equity, whereon they are grounded ; and it is desired that some 
care may be taken of the Indians on the Lord's day. 

The report of the success of the early efforts in behalf of the 
Aborigines excited a strong sensation in England. The British 
Parliament, then under the Protectorate, passed an act July 27, 
1649, for the advancement of the work. The preamble of the act 
runs as follows : 

"Whereas the Commons of England, assembled in Parliament, have received 
certain intelligence from divers godly ministers and others in New England, 
that divers of the heathen natives, through the pious care of some godly 
English, who preach the gospel to them in their own Indian language, not 
only of barbarous have become civil, but many of them forsake their accus- 
tomed charms and sorceries and other satanical delusions, do now call upon 
the name of the Lord, and give great testimony to the power of God, draw- 
ing them from death and darkness to the life and light of the glorious gospel 
of Jesus Christ, which appeareth by their lamenting with tears their mis- 
spent lives, teaching their children what they are instructed themselves, 
being cartful to place them in godly families and English schools, betaking 
themselves to one wife, putting away the rest, and by their constant prayers 
to Abnighty God, morning and evening, in their families, jjrayers expressed, 
in all appearance, with much devotion and zeal of heart; — All which con- 
sidered, we cannot but, in behalf of the nation we represent, rejoice and 
give glory to God for the beginning of so glorious a propagation of the gospel 
among those poor heathen, which cannot be prosecuted with that expedition 
as is desired unless fit instruments be encouraged and maintained to pursue 
it, schools and clothing be provided, and many other necessaries. 

The act, of which this is the preamble, then proceeds to estab- 
lish a corporation of sixteen persons to superintend the disburse- 


ment of moneys, which should be given to aid in instructing, 
clothing, civilizing and Christianizing the Indians. A general col- 
lection was ordered to be made for these purposes through all the 
churches of England and Wales. The ministers were required to 
read this act in the churches, and to exhort the people to a cheer- 
ful contribution to so pious a work. Circular letters were pub- 
lished at the same time by the Universities of Oxford and Cam- 
bridge, recommending the same object. A fund, which in Charles 
II.'s time produced six hundred pounds sterling per annum, was 
thus provided, the benefit of which endured till the period of the 
separation of the colonies from the mother country. 

Oliver Cromwell interested himself in missions to the heathen, 
and formed a gigantic scheme of uniting all the Protestant churches 
in the world into one great Missionary Societ3^ The " Society for 
Promoting Christian Knowledge," founded in 1698, the "Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts," founded in 
1701, and the " Scottish Society for Propagating Christian Knowl- 
edge," founded in 1709, with all their benign fruits, had their 
roots in the work of John Ehot among the Indians in Newton. 

An interesting incident is that the first petition presented to the 
General Court of Massachusetts for the regulation of the sale of 
intoxicating liquors, is the petition of Rev. John Eliot, in 1648 : 

The petition of John Eliot to the General Court concerning the Indians 
shcweth : That whereas the Indians have frequent recourse to the English 
Tounes and especially to Boston, where they too often see evil examples of 
excessive drinking in the English, who are too often disguised with that 
beastly sin of drunkenness, and themselves (many of them) greatly delighting 
in strong liquors, not considering the strength and evil of them, also too well 
knowing the liberty of the law, wliich prohibiteth above half a pint of wine 
to a man; that they may without offence to the law, have their half pint, and 
when they have had it in one place, they go to another and have the like, till 
they be drunken, and sometime find too much entertainment that way by 
such who keep no ordinary, only pursue their trade, though it be to the hurt and 
perdition of their souls. Therefore my humble request unto this honorable 
court is tliis, that there may be but one ordinary in all Boston who may have 
liberty to sell wine, strong drink or any strong liquors unto the Indians, and 
whoever shall further them in their vicious drinking, for their own base ends, 
who keep no ordinary, may not be suffered in such a sinne Avithout due pun- 
ishment ; and that at what ordinary so ever in any other town as well as Bos- 
ton any Indian shall be found drunk, having had any considerable quantity 
of drink, they should come under severe censure. These things I am bold 
to represent unto you for the preventing of those scandalous evils which 
greatly blemish and interrupt their entertainment of the gospel through the 


pollycy of Satan who counterworketh swift that way with not a little uncom- 
fortable success. And thus with ray hearty desire of the gracious and 
blessed presence of God among you in all your mighty affairs, I humbly take 
leave and rest. Your servant to command in our Saviour Christ, 

John Eliot. 
This 23d of the 8th, 1648. 

In 1G49, Mr. Eliot wrote to a friend in England, by whom he 
had been advised to encourage the Christian Indians to plant gar- 
dens and set out orchards, and who had promised them several 
hundred trees, which he kept in nurseries, ready for them. Some 
of them learned trades, and several worked with the settlers 
around them in hajing time and harvest. The women, too, learned 
to spin, and in various waj's created means of support, which 
added to the comfort of their households. 

The fourth visit to Nonantum was made December 9th. The 
children were catechized as usual, and the sermon followed. The 
sermon was again founded upon the dry bones of Ezekiel's vision, 
a portion of Scripture which impressed Mr. EUot, in connection 
with his work, from the first. The Indians offered all their chil- 
dren to be educated. Questions were asked and answered on both 
sides, as in previous inter^^ews. 

The Indians were not idolaters, strictly speaking. They had no 
image worship, but, like our own ancestors, adored the sun, the 
moon, the earth and fire. Thej^ acknowledged a Great Benefac- 
tor, the author of all good, and another invisible being, the author 
of all mischief. Every wind had its spirit, every swamp its lurk- 
ing evil. They saw spirits in the rain and snow. They placed the 
hunting-grounds of their departed friends in the bright western sk}^ 
where the sun nightly goes down in glory. Their worship consisted 
in songs, dances and feasts, and prayers to the sun and moon for 
such things as the}' desired. They asked Mr. Eliot the home- 
question, " Why, since j'ou English have been in the land twenty- 
seven years, have you never taught us before? We might have 
known much of God bj^ this time, and much sin might have been 
prevented ; but now some of us are grown old in sin." Mr. Eliot 
answered that the English did repent of their neglect, but reminded 
them that thej' were never willing to hear till now. 

The effect of the work earned on at Nonantum was contagious. 
The Indians at Concord, the original home of Waban, resolved to 
attempt something of the same sort. When the Concord chief 


was asked wli}^ he wished to have his town so near to the English, 
since there was more room at a distance from them, he replied that 
he knew, " if the Indians dwelt far from the English, they would 
not so much care to pray, nor be so read}^ to hear the word of 
God ; but would be, all one, Indians still ; but, dwelling near the 
English, he hoped it might be otherwise with them then." 

The gospel wrought a wonderful change in the people. Mr. 
Shepard remarks that " most of the Indians set up prayer in their 
families morning and evening, and before and after meals, and 
seemed in earnest in these devotions." Another writer says, 
" With more affection they crave God's blessing upon a little 
parched corn, than many of us do upon our greatest plenty and 
abundance." He was much impressed, in the fall of 1G47, in see- 
ing one of the Indians " call his children to him from their gather- 
ing of corn in the field, and crave a blessing with much affection, 
having but a homely dinner to eat." And subsequently, after the 
funeral of an Indian child, the company retired a little from the 
grave and assembled under a tree in the woods, and desired one 
of their own number to pray with them. " He did express such 
zeal in pra^^er, with such variety of gracious expressions, and 
abundance of tears, both of himself and most of the compan}', that 
the wood rang again with their sighs and tears." 

The gospel among the Indians yielded its appropriate fruit. It 
gave them peace and J03' in life, and hope in death. We read of 
the death of Wampas, who was one of the first "praying Indians" 
to pass awa^-. He said to Mr. Eliot, who stood by his side, but a 
little time before he died : " Now I die, I strongly entreat j'ou to 
entreat Elder Heath and the rest v/hich have our children, that 
they may be taught to know God, so that they ma}' teach theu' 
countrymen, because such an example would do great good among 
them. I now shall die, but Jesus Christ calls j-ou that live to go 
to Natick, that there you ma}' make a church." And the last 
words of Wampas were, " O Lord, give me Jesus Christ ; " and he 
died, with his hands uplifted in the attitude of prayer. 

" The success and setlement of Nouantuni," s;iys Dr. Homer, " encouraged 
further attempts of Mr. Eliot to extend tha kno\7lcdgc of tlic gospel to the 
aboriginals of other places. lie accordingly visited and preached to the Indi- 
ans at Watertown, Dorchester Mills, Concord and as far as Pentucket 
Tails on Merriniac IJiver. He also extended his efforts to the natives of the col- 
ony of New Plymouth, though tlieir chief saciiem and his son discountenanced 
his attempts. These exertions laid a hapxjy foundation for the civilizing and 


Christianizing of ^,000 out of 20,000 Indians, belonging to the twenty differ- 
ent tribes then in New England." 

In 1657, at the solicitation of Mi". Eliot, the town of Dorchester granted to 
the Indians residing among them 0,000 acres of land at Punkapoag, and about 
that time they Arere removed thither. Such is tlie testimony of Hon. Charles 
Endicott, in his Centennial Oration at Canton, Mass. 

The Indians were never gathered into a church at Nonantum, — 
the ministers regarding it better, seeing that they had been so 
recently reclaimed from heathenism, — that they should remain in 
the state of catechmnens. The proximity of the English, as the 
superior race, was unfavorable to the character, happiness and 
development of the Indians. Their territory was too limited, and 
it was deemed expedient to found a new town, a little removed 
from the white settlers. 

The township of Natick, "the place of hills," was granted to the 
Indian converts in 1650, at the urgent request of Mr. Ehot, by the 
inhabitants of Dedham, with the sanction of the General Court. 
The Indians gave to the Dedham people the township of Deerfield 
in exchange. The original grant contained about six thousand 

In Bacon's History of Natick we find the following record : 

In the year 1651, the town of Natick was first settled. It consisted of three 
long streets, two on the north and one on the south side of the river, with a 
bridge eighty feet long and eight feet Mgh, and stone foundations, the whole 
being built by the Indians themselves. To each house situated on these 
streets Avas attached a piece of land. The houses Avere in the Indian style. 
One house, larger and more commodious tlian the rest, was built in the 
English style. One apartment of it was used as a school-room on week-days, 
and as a place of worship on the Sabbath. The upper room was a kind of 
wardrobe, where the Indians hung up their skins and other valuables. In the 
corner of this room was partitioned off an apartment for Mr. Eliot.* This 
building was the fir<st meeting-house in Natick. 

The founding of the new town, the day of fasting and praver 
held September 24, 1651, the simphcity of the Indian, who would 

*Tlie room for Mr. Eliot, partitioned off in the cud of the ludiau meetiug-housei 
forcibly reminds us of the methods of modern missionaries, who, in their visits to 
remote out-stations, are ordinarily accommodated iirceisely in the same manner in an 
apartment divided from the zayat or chapel, where they meet their congregations. 
The work of missions is one in all ages ; and the diificulties and self-denials incurred 
and the means of meeting them have not been essentially changed by the progress 
of two centuries. The fellowship of suffering and of cxpetlients will make the heart 
of the missionary of 1040 and of 1S4G pulsate with a feeling of kinship in trial, toil 
and aim, as well as the kinship of success and glory. 


not take a pipe of tobacco on that solemn da}' until he had asked 
Mr. EUot if it was proper ; — and the covenant of the rulers and 
people, in which they engaged to be the people of God, are all 
matters of deep interest. In the afternoon of the day, as night 
drew on, Mr. Eliot addressed the assembly from Deuteronom}' 
XXIXth, which relates how the Israelites entered into covenant 
with Jehovah. Then their own covenant was recited as follows : 

" "\Ye are the sons of Adam. We and our forefathers have a 
long time been lost in our sins ; but now the mercy of the Lord 
beginueth to find us out again. Therefore, the grace of Christ help- 
ing us, we do give ourselves and our children to God, to be his 
people. He shall rule us in all our affairs ; not only in our religion 
and the affairs of the church, but also in all our works and affairs 
in this world. God shall rule over us. The Lord is our judge ; 
the Lord is our lawgiver ; the Lord is our king ; he will save us. 
The wisdom which God has taught us in his book, that shall guide 
us and direct us in the way. O Jehovah, teach us wisdom to find 
out thy wisdom in thy Scriptures. Let the grace of Christ help 
us, because Chiist is the wisdom of God. Send th}- Spirit into 
our hearts, and let it teach us. Lord, take us to be thy people, and 
let us take thee to be our God." 

To this covenant,- the rulers first, and then all the people gave their 
assent. Next, a collection was taken for the poor, and by dark 
night, the work was finished. Mr. Ehot calls this 24th day of Sep- 
tember " the blessed da}', wherein these poor souls solemnly became 
the people of the Lord." This day has a pecuUar interest ; for 
these proceedings constituted the first public and formal act of civil 
government among the Indians of North America. 

After the founding of the town the next object of Mr. Eliot's 
interest was to organize a church, a consummation to which he 
looked forward with great desire. In reference to this project, a 
whole day, October 13, 1652, was given to the confessions of faith of 
those who proposed to enter into covenant relations. But it was 
the work of more than a da}', and after all, so careful and scrupu- 
lous were the ministers that none but " living stones " should be in- 
corporated into the spnitual building, that the work was delayed for 
a season. In the meantime a war broke out between England and 
Holland. It was reported and believed that some of the praying 
Indians had joined a conspiracy to destroy the English. The move- 
ment to form a church was still further suspended, and the consum- 


mation was reached at last in 16G0. Waban, Eliot's first convert, 
assisted in gathering the church and society at Natick, of which 
he was chosen chief ruler during life. 

His son, Thomas "Waban, received a tolerable education, and 
was for many years town clerk of Natick. His name frequently 
appears in Indian deeds, granting rights to the English, which he 
acquired rather indefinitely from his father, and, like many others, 
as an associate of the pi-a3-uig Indians. 

"U^aban was very influential in Natick, and was appointed 
a ruler of fifty in their civil administration. He died there in 1674, 
aged 70, testifying with his latest breath his obligation to that 
grace which had brought to him and to his countrymen the light of 
the gospel. He manifested joy in the hope of heaven, and the 
prospect of meeting departed beUevers. He charged his children 
and friends to repent of sin and believe in Christ, in whom he 
trusted. He approved himself as a zealous and faithful ruler, 
and a sincere Christian. 

The influence of the missionary eflTorts among the Nonantum 
Indians had a much wider sweep than might have been deemed 
probable, in view of the smallness and obscurity of the tribe. The 
work of Eliot in Newton and Natick bore fruit on the other side of 
the globe. Dr. Leusden wrote to Cotton Mather that the example 
of New England had awakened the Dutch to attempt the evangel- 
ization of the heathen in Ceylon and their other East Indian pos- 
sessions, and that multitudes there had been converted to Christi- 

In South Natick is a small lot near Eliot Street, on which is a fire- 
•proof building for a free library, and the Historical and Natural His- 
tory Society. AUits surroundings are of unusual historic interest. 
From this spot, across the Charles River, the first foot bridge was 
built by the Indians under the supervision of the apostle Eliot, 
leading to many of the homes of the tribe as far south as Pegan 
Hill, in Dover, on and near which many traces of their habitations 
yet remain. Some of them have been marked, until within a few 
years, by evidence of taste in the culture of roses and fruits. 
Northerly, and adjoining, was the burial ground of the tribe. 

Here one headstone yet remains perfect, sacred to the memory 
of Daniel Takawambait, the Indian pastor, who died September 17, 
1716. Here too, in later years, a monument was erected to the 
memory of the apostle Eliot, enclosed by an iron fence, and sur- 
rounded b}' a grove. 


The tomb in wliich Mr. Eliot sleeps is in the cemetery, at the 
corner of Washington and Eustis Streets, one of the oldest ceme- 
teries in New England, the first interment in it having taken place 
in 1633. Mrs. EUot, the apostle's wife, was the first tenant of this 
tomb. It was about three feet high, built of brick, and covered by 
a large sandstone without inscription. The structure after a time 
fell into a ruinous condition, and the parish committee replaced the 
brick portion by substantial blocks of sandstone, and inscribed on 
one side in large letters, " The Parish Tomb," In 1858, a slab of 
white marble was placed on the base of sandstone, inscribed with 
the names of the first six pastors of Roxbur}\ 

A subscription was commenced in 1850 for the purpose of plac- 
ing a cenotaph to his memory in the Forest Hills Cemetery, Rox- 
bury ; but the matter was never consummated. A beautiful natural 
elevation, however, bears his name, and will keep it in fresh and 
perpetual remembrance. 

Mr. Ehot's house in Roxbmy stood just in the rear of the Peo- 
ple's Bank building. It was of two stories and had a gambrel 
roof. The porch, or main entrance, was in the centre. Eliot's 
estate, embracing two acres and a half, was a long, narrow strip, 
fronting on Washington Street, one hundred and fort3'-five feet, 
and his orchard extended back to the training field of seven acres, 
just beyond Winslow Street ; he was bounded north by Rev. Mr. 
Walter, south by the highway to Dorchester (Dudley Street). 
The town part of Warren Street, laid out since, divides the lot of 
Mr, Eliot. After Eliot the next occupant was Deacon Samuel 

In 1657 an Indian town was formed at Natick ; in 1660 the Ind- 
ian church was imbodied. The New Testament was printed and 
issued in September 1661, and the whole Bible in 1663 ; a second edi- 
tion of the Bible was printed in 1685. In 1670 there were two teach- 
ers, John and Anthony, and between forty and fift}^ communicants ; 
in 1753 there were twenty-five families, besides several individuals ; 
in 1763, thirty-seven Indians only; but probably the wandering 
Indians were not included in this statement. In 1797 the number 
of " clear blooded " Indians in Natick, and belonging to it, was 
estimated to be "near twenty," In 1843, there was only one 
person known to be living, in whose veins Nonantum blood 



In a former chapter (see pp. 93, 94) the brave acts of Capt. 
Prentice, in his engagements with the Indians, have been detailed. 

Other names appear, in the records of Newton, of citizens 
who were heroes in the Indian wars. In November, 1675, Peter 
Hauchett, Joshua Woods, Samuel Hides and Jonathan Bush, all 
residing on the south side of the river, were impressed into the 
military ranks, to serve in the war against King Philip. Edward 
Jackson, son of Deacon John Jackson, was a soldier in Philip's 
war, and was slain by the Indians in their attack on Medfield, 
February 21, 1G76, aged 25. "In the spring of 1690, depreda- 
tions were perpetrated by the French and Indians in the eastern 
part of Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. In the begin- 
ning of May, about five hundred French and Indians were discov- 
ered around Casco (Portland) . Casco was attacked, and Major 
Davis carried captive to Canada. Captain Noah Wiswall, Lieuten- 
ant Gershom Flagg and Ensign Edward Walker, with a company 
of infantry, marched for the defence of Casco. They arrived at 
Portsmouth July 4th, where a court was called, and it was agreed to 
send Captain Wilhams to scour the woods as far as Casco, with 
one other captain and four sergeants. Several captains desired to 
go with Captain Wiswall, and they cast lots to know who sliould 
go, and the lot fell to Captain Floyd. Lieutenant Davis, with 
twenty-two men from Wells, joined them. They took up their 
march from Cocheco into the woods. On the sixth of Jul}-, Capt. 
Wiswall sent out his scouts early in the morning, found the trail 
of the enemy, and overtook them at Wheelwright's Pond, and a 
blood}' engagement followed. Captain Wiswall, Lieutenant Flagg 
and Sergeant Walker, and fifteen men were slain, and others 
wounded. Captain Floj'd continued the fight for several hours, 
till his tired and wounded men drew ofi", and he soon followed 
thoin. 187 


" There is a tradition that Captain Noah "Wiswall had a son 
John, who belonged to his company, and fell with him in that 

Nathaniel Healy and Ebenezer Seger were killed by the Indians 
at Groton, in the battle of July 21, 1706. 

The following petitions and action of the G-eneral Court are 
here in place : 

To his Excellency the Governour and the Honorable Councill, and to the 
Eepresentatives, the humble Petition of Henry Seager, of Newton, 

Sheweth, — 

That your Petitioner had, The Summer before Last, Two Sons prest out 
into the Countrey's Service at Groton, And were, whilst in the Service, by the 
Providence of God, one of them Killed by the Enemy, the other Taken Cap- 
tive ; So that they both of them Lost their Arms which I think were Justly 
valuable at five pounds, half a pound of Powder, twenty bullets, and a 

Your Petitioner therefore humbly prays that he may be Considered herein 
out of the Countrey Treasure as shall be the Good Pleasure. 

As the Petitioner shall ever Pray, etc. 

Henrt H. Seagek, 

his X mark. 

In answer to the Petition on the other side, — 

Resolved, That the sum of forty shillings be Allowed and Paid out of the 
public Treasury to Henry Seager, the Petitioner. 

It would appear from this last petition that it was one of the 
Seager brothers who was taken prisoner. 

Two items found in the State Archives, Vol. 71, have reference 
to this affair, and shed light on the spuit of the times. Theyare 
the petitions of Nathaniel Healy and Henry Seager to the House 
of Representatives for remuneration for the guns lost in the 
encounter, and the action taken by the Legislatm'e. 

To his Excellency Joseph Dudley, Esq., Captain Generall and Governour 
in Chief in and Over her Majesties Province of the Massachusetts Bay, and 
the Honorable, the Councill and Representatives in General Court Assem- 
bled :— 

The Humble Petition of Nathaniel Healy of Newtown, in said Province. 

May it please your Excellency. Your Humble Petitioner, having at his 
own proper Cost Armed his Son Nathaniel Healy into her Majesties Service 
under the Command of Captain Josiah Parker, — At Groton on the 21st day of 
July 1706, Your Petitioner's said Son was slain, and his Gun Carried away 
by the Enemy who Waylaid him and Others, as they were going to Meeting 
On the Sabbath day. 

Your Petitioner humbly Prays that he may be Supplied with another Gun 


at the Province Charge for Anotlier of his Sons, Or be Otherwise allowed as 
Your Excellency shall think meet. 

And Your Petitioner, as in duty boiind, Shall ever pray, etc. 

Nathaniel Heai.t. 
In the House of Representatives. 
June 5th 1707. Read. 

Resolved, that the Sum of Twenty Sliillings be Allowed and Paid out of the 
public Treasury to Nathaniel Healy the Petitioner in full for the Gun above 

John Burrill, Speaker. 
James Addington, Secretary. 

John Gibson was killed by the Indians at Casco Bay Fort, 
November 26, 1711. Ephraira Davenport was stationed some time 
at Bethel, Maine, with a volunteer company, to protect the inhabi- 
tants from Indian outrages, for which service he received a pension. 
Nathaniel Seger, born in Newton, in Janitar}", 1755, went to Sud- 
bury, Canada, now Bethel, Maine, on the Androscoggin River, 
worked there during the summer, then returned to Newton m the 
autumn and remained during the winter. In the opening scenes 
of the revolution in April, 1775, he enlisted as a soldier for eight 
months in Captain Nathaniel Fuller's compan}'. He was in the 
service in the continental arm}', by successive enlistments, two 
years and nine months. In the spring of 1779, he went again to 
Sudbury (Bethel), accompanied by Jonathan Bartlett, of Newton. 
The}^ took with them implements for the manufacture of sugar. The 
next spring he was joined by Thaddeus Bartlett, of Newton, and 
a bo}' named Aaron Barton. They employed themselves in making 
sugar, clearing the land and planting. The Indians appeared 
friendly, and they lived with them on amicable terms. There were 
no roads, no neighbors near, and but few families in the place. 
In 1 781 there were ten families in the town. But the Indians at first 
grew surly and morose, and at length assumed an appearance of 
hostihty. August 2G, 1781, six Indians from Canada, armed with 
guns, tomahawks and scalping knives, took Nathaniel Seger, Ben- 
jamin Clark, Lieutenant Jonathan Clark, of Newton, and Captain 
Eleazer Twitchell, prisoners, bound them, and plundered their 
dwelhngs. Then, loading them with heavy packs of this spoil, they 
ordered their prisoners to march with their hands bound. They pro- 
ceeded to a place called Peabody's Patent, since Gilead, took 
James Petteugill prisoner, and ordered him to march to Canada ; 
but as he was without shoes and could not travel, thej' murdered 


him. They pursued then' way through Shelburn, N. II., crossed 
the Androscoggiu, plundered a house, shot one man and took an- 
other prisoner, and from that point allowed Lieut. Jonathan Clark 
to go back. Thence they pursued their way to Canada, and 
reached Lake Umbagog on the fifth day after the}' were taken pris- 
oners. In Canada the prisoners were taken to an Indian village, 
where seventy Indian warriors were assembled, who rejoiced greatly 
over the prisoners, scalps and plunder. They were here treated 
with great indignity. The red-skins cut off the hair of Benjamin 
Clark, painted him, and put one of their dresses on him, and then 
gave him his libert}' among them. They were afterwards taken to 
Montreal, where they suffered incredible hardships for fort}' da^^s, 
and were then sent forty-five miles farther up the river, and de- 
tained until the surrender of Lord Coruwallis. The object of the 
Indians seems to have been to deliver them up as prisoners of war 
to the British authorities, or perhaps to secure a reward for their 
persons. And they acted out the cruelt}' of their savage natures 
in the severities which they visited gratuitously upon them. Tlie 
men were finally taken to Quebec, and after a detention of fifteen 
months, full of hardships and suffering, being set at libert}", they 
sailed for Boston, and landed at Dorchester Point, and before the}- 
slept reached Newton, much to the astonishment and joy of their 
friends, who had not heard a word from them since their capture 
in Bethel. 

Benjamin Clark, the fellow-townsman and fellow-prisoner of Na- 
thaniel Seger, was the son of Norman Clark and Hannah Bird, his 
wife, grandson of William Clark and Hannah Kee, and great 
grandson of John Clark and Elizabeth Norman, who were among 
the early settlers of Newton. Lieut. Jonathan Clark, of Bethel, 
who was made prisoner b}' the Indians, but released after three 
days, was from Newton also. His father was William Clark, jr. 
He was born in March, 1747, and being twelve years older than 
Benjamin, probably the Indians regarded him as too weak to en- 
dure the hardships of such a march, and therefore set him at 

Jonathan, Thaddeus, Enoch, Moses, Stephen and Peregrine 
Bartlett, brothers, and sons of Ebenezer Bartlett, of Newton, 
grandsons of Joseph Bartlett, jr., and great grandsons of Joseph 
Bartlett, sen., an early settler of Newton, all went to Bethel, — the 
first two with Seger, and the rest soon afterwards. 



It was natural to expect that men of so brave a mould should he 
led b}' sympathy with theu- brethren to aid them against the inva- 
sions of hostile Indians. Their own experience with the natives, 
it is true, had been only of the peaceful kind. Notwithstanding, 
the citizens of Newton thought it expedient to establish garrison 
houses for their protection, in case of a hostile invasion. Ilappih-, 
however, the Nonantums within their own boundaries had been 
early brought under the power of the gospel through the labors of 
Mr. Eliot, and transformed by the power of that gospel from a tribe 
of ignorant and barbarous savages to a Christian people. But other 
Indian tribes were less favored than they, and less docile and tract- 
able. Many of them were wild, mischievous, cruel and implacable. 
And they were jealous of the incursions of the white settlers. 
They saw with an evil eye and a malicious heart their game con- 
sumed by a foreign population ; their hunting grounds abridged and 
destroyed ; their privileges circumscribed ; doubtless, often, thek 
natm'al rights trampled upon, and their glimmering ideas of religion 
pronounced superstition and idolatry. Resolved to drive out this 
new and unwelcome enem^', they conspired to burn the homes they 
had built, to break up and sweep awa}- their settlements, to carry 
theu" wives and children into captivity, and to murder and scalp 
their men. 

But the English settlers deemed that " the earth is the Lord's 
and the fulness thereof." They scorned the red man's exclusive 
claim to these broad acres and living streams, to the woods and the 
hills, the corn-lands and the waterfalls. The fierce antagonism of 
the races was at once developed. The weaker were in due time 
compelled to yield to the stronger, till they had no longer a place in 
their ancient inheritance. But long and bitter was the struggle, 
and all the skill and strategy of the whites were brought into requi- 
sition, before the question was settled that the white race must rule 
and the red race must succumb. Long did the Indians hang on the 
borders of civilization, and watch for opportunities to anno}', to 
carry away, or to kill their enemies. But with a determined zeal 
the men of Newton left their sparse settlements in the wilderness, 
committing their wives and children to the God of battles. They 
endured bravely the hardships incident to travelling through path- 
less woods, with little food except the game thej^ brought down 
mth their guns or caught with their fishing nets. They outwitted 
by their superior intelligence their wih* enemies ; and helping one 


another through the great emergencies, now at Casco (Portland) , 
now at Bethel, in Maine ; now in New Hampshire and now in 
Massachusetts ; and, anon, amid the fastnesses of Mount Hope, 
in Rhode Island, they left no unconquered foe to plot against them ; 
no red-skinned savage, to light up the heavens with their burning 
dwellings by night ; no barbarous invaders, to murder or carry into 
captivity their wives and children. With a natural regard for their 
own brethren, their kindred in hardship and trials, as well as in 
nationality and blood, they rested not till thej'' had chased the sav- 
ages out of their wilderness and out of life, and thus secured a 
permanent peace. 

In the war with the French and Indians, commonly called the 
old French war, some of the citizens of Newton were in hot en- 
gagements, and some were slain. Of these, some of the most dis- 
tinguished were Samuel Jenks, who served as a subaltern officer 
in the campaign of 1758 and 1760 ; Lieut. Timoth}' Jackson, whose 
wife carried on the farm and worked on the land, while he was gone 
to battle with the redskins ; Col. Ephraim Jackson, who was also 
a lieutenant in the same war ; and especially Col. Ephraim Wil- 
liams, the founder of Williams College. He displayed uncommon 
military talents, and was appointed a captain in what was denom- 
inated the Canada service. He afterwards commanded the line of 
Massachusetts forts, on the west side of the Connecticut River, and 
a small fort in Williamstown, a few rods northwest of the meeting 
house, and under the protection of these forts the settlers in that 
part of the country began their improvements. When the war 
broke out between England and France in 1755, he had the com- 
mand of a regiment in the army raised in this, then, province, for 
the general defence. He was shot through the head in the memor- 
able battle fought with the French and Indians near Lake George, 
in September, 1755. 





Among the early settlers the church caone first and the school- 
house afterwards. It was sixty years after the first settlers came 
into Newton, before the^^ made any united and public provision for 
the education of their children. Home instruction, undoubtedly, 
was not neglected. Perhaps more pains were taken- with the chil- 
dren by their fathers and mothers than at a later date. But the 
claims of religion, as paramount to all others, and the subduing of 
a rugged forest that it might blossom as the rose, furnished the 
sturdy denizens of these now cultivated and smiling acres as much 
employment as they could attend to. 

The first religious organization dates back to the formation of 
the church in Newtown (Cambridge) , which was gathered October 
11, 1G33. The members were mainly the Braintree company-, who, 
in August, 1G32, "had begun to sit down at Mount Wollaston," so 
says Winthrop, and by order of the Court removed to Newtown. 
They had attended the ministr}" of Mr. Hooker in England, and 
upon their settlement here, they sent to him in Holland, whither he 
had fled from persecution, entreating him to become theu" pastor 
again. He consented, and came over in 1633, and took up his 
abode among them. He was one of the most celebrated and influ- 
ential of the emigi-ant Puritan clergy. Samuel Stone, also a man 
of eminence in his day, and Thomas Hooker, were ordained, the 
one as teacher, and the other as pastor of the church, in October, 

The members of this first church, with its pastor and teacher, 
having removed to Plartford, on the first day of February, 1G36, a 
second church was organized, and Thomas Shepard was ordained 
13 193 


its pastor. He was called " the faithful aud famous Shepard, a 
man of fervent piet}^, great simplicity and earnestness, of humble 
and affectionate spmt, devoted to his Master and his Master's 
work, and eminently blessed in his ministrations, a preacher of 
uncommon unction and power." 

He was succeeded by Jonathan Mitchell, who was born in 1624, 
came to New England in lG3o, and graduated at Harvard College in 
1647. Mr. Mitchell's class numbered seven, of whom five became 
ministers. During the first one hundred and thirty years of the 
history of the University, it was customary to arrange the names 
of graduates in the College Triennial, not alphabeticall}', as at 
present, but according to family rank ; and Mr. Mitchell's name 
stands at the head of his class. He was ordained August 21, 
1650, and died July 9, 1668, aged 44 j'ears, — being taken awa}* 
at the same age as his predecessor, and in the full glorj' of his 
manhood and usefulness. He was spoken of as "the matchless 
Mitchell." In 1662 Mr.^ Mitchell and Major General Gookin were 
appointed by the General Court censors of the press at Cambridge, 
and no book was permitted to be printed without their imprimatur. 

How many of the inhabitants of Cambridge Village were mem- 
bers of the church in Cambridge cannot be ascertained. In 1658 
Mr. Mitchell prepared a list of the members of the church in Cam- 
bridge, which is bound up with the First Volume of the Cambridge 
church records, with this title : " The Church of Christ at Cam- 
bridge, New England ; or, the Names of all the Members thereof 
that are in full Communion ; together with their Children who were 
baptized in this Church, or, (coming from other chm'ches), were in 
their minority at their parents' joining. Taken and registered in 
the Eleventh Month, 1658." 

" From this venerable document in the hand- writing of Mr. Mitch- 
ell," Mr. William Jackson sa3's, "it appears that there Avere about 
one hundred and sixteen members in his church in full communion, 
heads of families, and about five hundred and seventy women and 
children, nearl}' seven hundred in all [including unmarried persons 
who were members], several of whom were among the first and 
wealthiest men in New England. In 1636, Cambridge Avas assessed 
the largest country rate of anj' town in New England, and was of 
course the wealthiest and most influential at that time. This was 
before Hooker's company removed to Hartford. In 1645 Cam- 
bridge was rated the largest of any town in Massachusetts. 



This list of the members of the Cambridge church contains but 
two of the twent3'^-two families in the Village, viz., Captain 
Thomas Prentice, wife and five children, and Jonathan Hyde, wife 
and six children. Yet we know that others of them were members 
whose names arc not upon the Roll. The Eecord of the First 
church in Boston states that Edward Jackson was a member of the 
Cambridge church. The Cambridge remonstrance states that he 
had not been wanting to the ministry or any great work among 
them. And again, in 1G57, Edward Jackson was chairman of a 
committee, in conjunction with the deacons of the church, to make 
a levy of £240 from the members of [for] our Rev. Pastor, Mr. 
Mitchell. Richard Park was also a member. He sent a petition 
to the General Court, praying that he might retain his membership 
in the Cambridge church, in case the Village should be separated 
from Cambridge. His residence was about as near one church as 
the other. Yet neither is his name nor Edward Jackson's upon 
the catalogue. Others of them may have been members. But 
whether members or not, they were all taxed to support the Cam- 
bridge church, and for many years taxed themselves to support 
public worship also in the Village. The clause in the old Colonj- 
Records, under date of 1660, — "None to be freemen except such 
as are in full communion with the chmx-h of Chi-ist," — would seem 
to create a reason why men who were such stmxly politicians would 
be church-members somewhere, if their consciences would in any- 
way allow them to regard themselves as possessed of the requisite 
spu'itual qualifications. 

"No doubt," says Mr. Jackson, "a distinct congregation was 
formed for public worship in 1656." In that year a movement was 
made towards the release of Cambridge Village from payino* 
towards the support of the ministry in Cambridge. The inhabit- 
ants contemplated building a meetiug-house. Thc}^ had in view 
a location for the house, and probably would have erected it, if 
their petition had been granted. They were disappointed in their 
expectations, but were not shaken in then* purpose. Opposition 
only quickeued their zeal, and they bravel}' endured, uniting faith 
mth works. They not only presented petitions, but also gave of 
their substance to secure the end they sought. Deacon John 
Jackson gave an acre of land for the meeting-house and for a 
bmying place. The meeting-house stood nearly in the centre of 


the acre, and was built about IGGO.* "John Eliot, jr., gradu- 
ated at Harvard University in 1G5G, and began to preach about 
1G58. It is probable that he supplied the pulpit of the new meet- 
ing-house in the Village much of the time previous to his ordina- 
tion, which took place July 20, 1GG4. The elders and messengers 
of the churches of Dorchester and Roxbur^-, including Rev. Rich- 
ard Mather and Rev. John Eliot, sen., were present, and probably 
others, and the fii'st church in Newton proper, the third in the town 
of Cambridge, was organized on the same day. At the same time, 
and agreeable to the custom of that early period, Thomas Wiswall, 
lately a member of the Dorchester church, was ordained Ruling 
Elder." This was during the ministry- of Mr. Mitchell, the second 
pastor of the church in Cambridge. The church in Newton was 
properly a colony from that church, though a considerable number 
of the members were from other neighboring churches. The con- 
gregation was composed of about thirty families, and the church of 
about eighty members — forty males and fort^' females. This gives 
an average of a little more than two members to each famil}' ; as, 
doubtless, the father and mother, in nearly ever}- household, in 
Puritan siniplicit}' and piety had made a personal profession of 
religion, and the older children in due course followed their steps. 
The Records of this church were burned, together with the house 
of Rev. Mr. Meriam, the fourth minister, March 18, 1770. The 
Roxbury and Dorchester Church Records confirm these facts, and 
also that " Thomas Wiswall was dismissed from the Dorchester 
church, o. 4. 1GG4, for the beginning of a church at Cambridge 
Village, where Mr. John EUot doth preach." Also, '" 11. 7. 1GG4, 
was dismissed the wife of Thomas Wiswall, the wife of Goodman 

* The accuracy of this elate is verified by the following entry in the Cambridge Town 

"At a Town Meeting, held Jan. 13, lGGl-2, the town do order and consent that the 
common land beyond Dedham Path, leading between Watertown mill and Lieutenant 
rrenticc's, on the north Pide thereof, be sold to those of that part of the town that 
belong to the new meeting-house there, on condition that they give good security to 
the town for the payment of ii20 per annum forever for the use of the other part of 
the town belonging to the old meeting-house on the north part of the river, (north cf 
the river). The which condition being performed, the town do grant that all those 
inhabitants beyond four miles distance from the old meetiug-houso shall be wholly 
free from the town, in case the General Court shall ratify and confirm said agree- 

This record fixes the time, very nearly, when the new meeting-house in the village 
was built. 



Kinwright [Kenrick], and Margaret, the wife of James Trow- 
bridge, to the church gathered in Cambridge Village." 

The following persons with their wives wei-e probably the mem- 
bers of the church, being embodied together in its organization : 

Rev John Eliot, Jr., Pastor, from the 

Koxbui->- church, 
Thomas Wiswall, Kuling Elder, from 

Dorchester ilo. 
John Jackson, , Deacons. 
Sanuicl Hyde, ( 

Edward Jackson, Cambridge church. 
Thomas Prentice, " " 

Jonathan Hyde, " " 

Ricliard Park, " " 

Thomas Park, son of Richard, do., do. 
John Ward, Sudbury do. 
James Prentice, Cambridge church. 
John Fuller, " " 

Thomas Prentice, 2d, " " 

Thomas Hammond, Hingham " 
Vincent Druce, " " 

John Parker, " " 

W^illiam Clements, Cambridge " 
Isaac Williams, Roxbury " 

James Trowbridge, Dorchester " 

Abraliam Williams, Watertown do. 
John Kenrick, Boston " 

John Spring, Watertown " 

Samuel Hyde, 1 sons of Dea. Samuel 
Job Hyde, ( Hyde. 
Xoali Wiswall, son of Elder Thomas 

Wiswall, Dorchester church, 
John Jackson, son of John Jackson, 

Sebas Jackson, son of Edward Jack- 
son, jr., 
John Kenrick, ) sons of John Ken- 
Elijah Kenrick, ) rick, sr., Boston, 
William Clements, son of William 
Clements, sr., 

Thomas Hanimond, i '*'T?^°^Jil°?- 
Nathaniel Hammond,; 3 Hammond,^ 

John Druce, 1 sons of Vincent 
Vincent Druce, ) Druce, sr.,Hingham. 

Thirteen of the above were sous of the first settlers, and were 
past the age of twenty-one at the ordination of Mr. P^liot. 
Thomas Oliver, afterwards Deacon, whose mother was a member 
of the Boston church, lived with his father-in-law, Edward Jack- 
son, in 1GG4, and was then nineteen 3'ears old, and some other 
minors, may have been members ; and, as Eliot was a popular 
preacher, there may have been a few members from adjoining 
towns ; although by reason of distance from their own homes, and 
jjerhaps also from conscientious motives as good and faithful mem- 
bers of their own churches, they generally worshipped where they 
belonged. The erection of a meeting-house, the efforts to free 
themselves from the burden of supporting the ministry at 
Cambridge, and the settlement of a pastor of their own, was a 
great work, in the face of powerful opposition from the old church, 
and could have been accomplished only by untiring energy and 
determined perseverance. The church from which they had 
broken awa}' alleged that it was difficult for them, when all together, 
'*to maintain one church as it should." The report of the com- 
mittee of the General Court affirms, " that if the petitioners with- 
draw then* help from Cambridge church and ministry, it would be 
overburdensome to Cambridge to provide for the support of their 
minister." How much more burdensome must it be for this frag- 
ment of the church, numbering not more than one-fourth of the 
original body, to undertake the work ! They were comparatively 


but a handful of meu and women, setting about an unpopular 
work, frowned upon by the Legislature of the State and by their 
townsmen ; but in their own judgment their little community needed 
a meeting-house and a minister of the gospel among them. They 
knew it was their right and privilege to have these blessings, and a 
duty to themselves and their posterity to secure them. And, not- 
withstanding the great sacrifice required, they were fixed in their 
determination to enjoy them. 

The J03' of the little flock must have been intense on the daj' 
when, after so long waiting, they saw the desire of their hearts at 
length accomplished. In the transactions of that da}", they laid 
broad foundations of blessing for their posterit}-. " They builded 
better than the}' knew," and sowed the seed which was to bear a 
richer harvest than they could comprehend. 

We sec them now, settled in church estate, and entered upon a 
career which seems destined to be one of peace and prosperity. 
But, alas for the vanity of human expectations ! The pastor whom 
they had ordained was .permitted to labor among them, after that 
date, only four years, two months and twenty-one days, and was 
then taken from them by death. 

The recent erection of a meeting-house, the formation of a 
church and the ordination of Rev. Mr. Eliot, and the fact of their 
release from the support of the ministry in Cambridge, were events 
full of promise and hope to the inhabitants of Cambridge Village. 
And his early death, occurring so soon afterwards, must have been 
for them a severe calamity. They seem to have been paralyzed 
with discouragement, and it was more than six years before a suc- 
cessor was obtained. In the meantime divisions and dissensions 
had sprung up. Ecclesiastical councils were summoned, but 
they were unable to restore harmony. The evidence that the 
division existed is found in documentary testimony in the Records. 

The following letter was sent by the Court to Elder Wiswall : 

These, for Thomas Wiswall, ruling elder, to be communicutetl to the church 
of Christ on the south side Charles River, within the bounds of Cambridge. 

Beloved Brethren, — We find a law, made 30th May, ICGO, empowering 
the County Court to use the best endeavor for tlie procuring and settling a pious 
and faithful minister in every place within their respective precincts ; and, un- 
derstanding, to our great grief, that there are divisions among you about call- 
ing and settling a minister, wliich thing is scandalous to our profession and a 
hinderanceto our edification, we therefore think it our duty to signify unto you 
our earnest desires and prayers for your union and agreement, entreating 


you to put on the spirit of meekness, humility and self-denial, and to sub- 
mit one to another in the fear of God ; and either to agree this matter among 
yourselves, or attend such other means as God hath appointed in such cases 
for the issue thereof; and acquaint us therewith at the adjournment of the 
Court at Charlestown, the 29th inst., April. Otherwise we shall take ourselves 
in duty bound to use such other means, according to God, as may be expe- 
dient for a farther inquiry into your case and for the healing the breaches in 
your Zion. 

So, with love to you, we remain your loving brethren in the faith and fel- 
lowship of the gospel. 

From the County Court at Cambridge, April 5, 1G70. 


Cambridge Village, 18. i. 1670. 
To the Honored Court now sitting at Charlestown : — May it please you, — 
yours of April 5, 1670,1 received, and after serious perusal and consideration 
did communicate it unto the church. But with grief and shame may we say, 
we had no comfortable return to make. But so it came to pass that the 19th 
of April we gave the former Council the trouble to come again, who, having 
heard both sides, did confirm your former council ; and yet it will not obtain. 
But may it please you, the next -Ith day, if the Lord will, I intend to move 
the church again, and in the meantime rest. 

Your ,humble servant, 
• Thomas Wiswall. 

From the Eecords of the Count}' Court it appears that the minis- 
ters who had supplied the pulpit between the death of Mr. Eliot 
and the settlement of his successor, sued the inhabitants of the 
Village for their pay. [See p. 40.] 

Dr. Homer states that Mr. Ilobart supplied the pulpit for two 
3-ears before he was settled, from 1G72 to 1674. This left an inter- 
val of four years for the labors of other candidates and casual sup- 
plies. Mr. Wilham Jackson observes that it was doubtful whether 
public worship had been kept up during all those four years. In 
the two 3'ears while Mr. Hobart preached before his ordination, he 
succeeded in healing divisions and restoring harmony, so that he 
received the name of "the repairer of breaches" (Isaiah 58 : 12), 
and the record says, " He gave the bereaved flock a rich blessing." 

Rev. Nehemiah Hobart was the fifth son of the Rev. Peter Ho- 
bart, the first minister of Hingham. His grandfather, Edmund 
Hobart, came from Hingham, England, with his wife and son and 
two daughters, and arrived in Cliarlestown in 1633, or, according 
to another authority, in 1629. Peter, the father of Nehemiah, was 


born in 1604, and educated at the Universit}' of Cambridge, Eng- 
land. Afterwards he taught a grammar school and preached at 
Hingham, England, nine years. On account of the impositions 
of the prelatical part}', he came to this countr}', and in June, 1G35, 
arrived in Charlestown, with his famil}-. Afterwards Mr. Ilobart 
and several of his friends removed to Bear Cove, to which the 
General Coui't, in September, IGo.j, gave the name of Hingham, 
because not only the pastor, but also most of his flock came from 
Hingham, in the mother country. Rev. Peter had five sons, 
aU educated at Harvard College, and four of whom became minis- 
ters of the gospel. Two of them graduated in 1G50, and three in 
1GG7. Nohemiah settled at Cambridge Village ; Joshua in South- 
old, Long Island ; Jeremiah in Topsfield, Mass. , afterwards in Had- 
dam. Conn. ; Gershom at Groton, Mass. ; Japhet was surgeon of 
a ship bound to Eugland, and was lost at sea. Nehemiali was 
born in Hingham, November 21, 1G48, and graduated at Harvard 
College in 1GG7. He was ordained pastor of the church at Cam- 
bridge Village, December 23, 1G74, where he continued to labor 
till his death, which occurred August 25, 1712, in the sixtj'- 
fourth 3'ear of his age. 

Dr. Homer sa3's, " Soon after the settlement of Mr. Ilobart be- 
gan the terrible war with Philip, king of the Wampanoags, a 
nation bordering on the colony of Plymouth, the seat of whose 
chief was at Mount Hope (now Bristol, R. I.). Mr. Eliot had in 
vain attempted the conversion of him and his tribe. The success- 
ful missionary work among the Nonantum Indians had an impor- 
tant bearing on the salvation of the New England colonies from 
destruction. Then* conversion produced in them an affectionate 
attachment towards the English, to whom they ever remained 
faithful. Such were the dangers to which the colonies' of Massachu- 
setts and Plymouth were exposed by the war, which began twentj'- 
nine j-ears after the settlement at Nonantum, that there is reason 
to belieTe that if all the Indians within their boundaries had con- 
tinued uncivilized and unchristiauized, and had united against the 
I^nglish with the spirit which afterwards animated Philip and the 
warriors of his period and party, om- fathers would have been com- 
pelled to abandon the country." So New England was saved by 
Christian missions. 

The church records which cover the period of Mr. Hobart's 
ministry- having been burned, we are left without any detailed 


account of the occurrences of his long, acceptable and faithful 
ministr}-, which covered the important and stormy period when 
the town passed through the controversies and heart-burnings inci- 
dent to its transition to a state of independence from Cambridge. 
Such a crisis eminentl}' needed a wise and prudent man in the in- 
fluential position of a pastor and adviser, a judicious puljlic man, 
and a friend of all parties alike. And, as a man of sound common 
sense, a peacemaker, impartial in forming his decisions and firm in 
maintaining them, he led his brethren through their difficulties into 
the broad fields of prosperit}' and peace. He is said to have been 
free from superstition and bigotry, yet seriousl}' and faithfully 
engaged in the discharge of his miuisterial duties. An unshaken 
harmony subsisted between him and his people through Ufe. An 
aged father who died in 1787, in the ninety- fourth year of his age, 
and who was about eighteen years of age at the date of Mr. Ho- 
bart's death, repeatedly mentioned his serious and winning manner 
of address, which caused his congregation to hang upon his lips. 
He published a Sermon, entitled, "The Absence of the Comforter, 
Described and Lamented." It is a proof of the estimation in which 
he was held, that he was elected a member of the Corporation of 
Harvard College in 1707, and continued in office till his death. His 
associate Fellows were WilUam Brattle, Ebenezer Pemberton, 
Hemy Flynt and Jonathan Remington. A letter written by the 
Rev. John Barnard and dated, Marblehead, October 16, 17G7, says, 
"The Rev. Nehemiah Hobart, sometime Vice President of the Col- 
lege, was an excellent scholar in Latin, Greelc and Hebrew, and a 
most pious, humble, prudent and benevolent man." His father-in- 
law, Edward Jackson, gave him thirty acres of land, on the north- 
west side of the Dedham highway- [Centre St.] , adjoining the twenty 
acres which he also gave to Rev. John Eliot, jr., his predecessor. 
He built his house on the lot just north of the Shannon house, where 
the dwelling of Mr. John Cabot, the father-in-law of Mrs. Theo- 
dore Parker, formerl}' stood. The house was afterwards occupied 
by Hobart's successor, the Rev. John Cotton. It was burned in 
1720, and rebuilt the same year. 

Mr. Hobart married Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Jackson, 
and had six children, — all daughters. He conve^-ed to four of 
his daughters, in 1711, his then dwelling-house and one hundred 
acres of land adjoining, reserving to himself the right to enjo}' the 
same while he lived. Two of them conveyed then* rights in the 


homestead in 1715 to their father's successor, Rev. John Cotton. 
His daughter Abigail deeded tlie pew "built by her honored 
father " to the town by warranty deed, against her fellow heirs. 
On his tombstone is this Latin epitaph : 









NATCS ERAT NOV. 21, 1648. 

DENATUS at:g. 25, 1712. 


The following is a translation : " In this tomb are deposited the 
remains of the Reverend and very learned teacher of divinity, Ne- 
hemiah Hobart, an estimable Fellow of Harvard College, a highl}' 
faithful and watchful pastor of the church of Newtown for forty 
3^ears. His singular gravity, humiUt}^, piety and learning rendered 
him the object of deep veneration and ardent esteem to men of 
science and religion. He was born November 21, 1648, and died 
August 25, 1712, in the sixty-fourth year of his age." 

The simplicity of the times is indicated by the votes occasion- 
all}^ appearing in the Town Records, shomng the amounts which 
ministers of the gospel anciently received as salary, and the incon- 
venience which they must sometimes have suffered, when, produce 
being brought them instead of money, the}' must occasionally 
have suffered a surfeit of some articles of utility, and a coiTes- 
ponding deficiency of the means to procure others which were a 
necessit}'. [See the votes on page 51.] 

It is probable that Mr. Hobart was not regularl}' paid what the 
town voted him, either in mone}' or produce, as will be seen from 
his receipts. 

1689. — Whereas I, Neheraiah Hobart, have for seventeen years last past 
labored in the ministry att Cambridge Village, [and they] have from time to time 
by their voates covenanted to raise for mee yearly such sums as might be for 
niy maintenance, I do by these presents acknowlidge and accept of all and 
several the said sums, and doe hereby for myself and hairs, acquit all and 


severall the said inhabitants and all such as have ingagcd to collect the said 
sums, them and their heirs, from all dues, debts and demands, from the be- 
ginning of my ministry amongst them unto the first day of June, 1689. 
In witness whereof I have sett to my hand, 

Nehemiah Hobart. 

It appears by the two following records, that while Mr. Hobart 
found difficulty in collecting his meagre stipend, he was a man of 
hberal and gracious spirit, willing to bear his fair share of the 
burdens of his parishioners. 

February 23, 1690. Town Meeting. — Mr. Hobart sent in an account of 
£23 l8s. 3d. due him by the Deacons, who declared for him that if the Town 
would pay him £10, he would give in the residue, to help bear the public 
charges, wliich were great and heavy : — and which was accepted by the 

June 1, 1693. — I doe hereby acknowledge that I have received of the in- 
habitants of New Town, the sum of sixty-four pounds, for my maintenance 
the year past, and the remaining six pounds due to me for the said yeare, I 
freely remitt, leaving the same to be collected by the Selectmen, and by them 
laid out for the benefit of said town, according to a regular voatc of the in- 
habitants when they shall be convened in a town meeting orderly warned. 

Witness my hand, 

Nehemiah Hobart. 

Three receipts, written by Mr. Hobart, remain on record, which 
are a curiosity for their cu'cumstantial minuteness and accuracy. 
The following is a specimen : 

Newtown. — This first day of December, in the year one thousand seven 
hundred and eleven. I doe, by these presents, acquit and discharge all and 
several, the inhabitants of Newtown, their Assessors and Collectors, from all 
payments due to me on account of salary, from the first beginning of ray 
Labours in the Ministry amongst them to the day of the date hereof. 
Witness my hand the day and year above written. 

Neheuiah Hobart. 




The seventeenth century was a period of great interest in mau^' 
respects, as touching the civilization and political progress both of 
Britain and America. Waking from the night of the middle ages, 
first came the long morning which dawned in Luther's Reformation, 
when the people began to think for themselves, and the world 
commenced its preparation for the ripening of our modern civiliza- 
tion. As in the fifteenth century clustered together the three 
gi'cat events, — the invention of printing, the discovery of the 
mariner's compass, and of the new continent of America, — and 
in the sixteenth was added the Reformation, so in the seventeenth, 
the walringof the instinct of colonization, and the founding of the 
early settlements in Virginia and Massachusetts and elsewhere, 
taught men the grandeur and availability of the world they pos- 
sessed, made them feel how great a thing it is to live, stirred in 
their bosoms the spu'it of manhood, and gradually unfolded the 
germs of progress which have matured so efflcientl}^ in later times. 
Men of genius were no longer to be led blindl3^ The time had 
come for them to think for themselves. Thus originated the spirit 
which led to the English revolution of 1688, and the jealousy of 
the colonists in America, examining the bearings of every measure 
instituted bj' the powers bej'ond the sea, on their poUtical interests 
and prosperit}'. The town meetings, the discussions on govern- 
ment and privilege, the difficulties of the enterprise in which their 
fathers had embarked, and in whose hardships and fruits they 
had more or less shared, had educated them. The motions of the 
embryo spirit of independence, which was to burst forth a centur}' 
later, could not be repressed. Events and measures in England 



struck the keynote on one side of the waters ; the American 
revokition, growing out of oppression, echoed the tone on the 

Under the charter governments of New England, the people of 
the colonies, by the express words of their charters, were entitled 
to all the privileges of natural born subjects, and invested with the 
powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial. They 
chose their own governors, elected legislative assemblies, and 
established courts of justice, and in many points even exceeded 
the powers conferred by the charters. The only limitation to their 
legislative powers was that their laws should not be contrary to 
those of England. But in the time of Charles the Second, the 
pohticians of England originated various oppressive measures, 
abridging the liberties of the colonists, and depriving them of 
rights which they had hitherto enjo3-ed, and which seemed to them 
essential to their political prosperit}'. These oppressive measures 
culminated, in the year 1684, in a sentence pronounced in the Eng- 
lish courts against the people of Massachusetts, cancelling their 
charter. Instead of electing their own governor, they were now 
to accept such an one as the Crown might choose to send them, 
and an attempt to resist would be counted as rebellion. In 
December, 1G8G, Sir Edmund Andros arrived in the country, with 
two companies of troops, instructed to put an end to all popular 
power. Unjust taxation followed, which was met by passive 
resistance, and this again led to fines and confiscations. Ever}- 
appeal to EngUsh laws was in vain. In this extremity. Rev. 
Increase Mather, of Boston, escaped to England by night and in 
disguise, and laid the grievances of the colony before the King. 
Shortly after came the English revolution. As soon as the news 
reached Massachusetts, the people rose in arms and imprisoned 
Su- Edmund Andros and his adherents ; the charter was again put 
in force, and a governor, assistant and deputies were elected. 

Soon after the removal of the tyrannical governor from his seat 
of power, the inhabitants of New Cambridge met, May 20, 1689, 
and by vote declared as follows : 

That it is our desire, — 

1. Tliat the Honorable Governor and Deputy Governor and assistants, 
chosen and sworn in 1686, and the deputies then chosen by the freemen for 
that year do now resume the government of tliis colony according to charter 


2. That there may be an enlargement of freemen, that is to say, that those 
persons who arc of honest conversation and a competent estate may have 
their votes in all civil elections. 

3. That the Court, having thus reassumed the government, then endeavor 
to confirm our charter privileges. 

4. That the Court, thus settled, do not admit of any change or alteration 
of government among us, until it be first signified to the several towns for 
their approbation. 

On the same day the inhabitants made choice of Ensign John Ward as our 
representative or deputy in the present sessions. 

The events touching the town of Newton which occurred during 
the latter part of this centmy, and while Mr. Hobart was pastor, 
were not numerous, but important. It was during his ministry 
that Newton was incorporated as a town distinct from Cambridge, 
and received its name from the General Court,— the long and 
sharp controversy between the mother and daughter having at last 
reached a peaceful issue. The war between the Americans on 
one side, and the French and Indians on the other, Avas now 
raging, and Capt. Noah Wiswall, with his Lieutenant Flagg and 
Sergeant Walker, were slain. It was during Mr. Hobart's minis- 
try that the first school-house was built, and John Staples began 
his labors as a schoolmaster ; and Deacon Edward Jackson, Mr. 
Hobart's father-in-law, gave thirt3'-three acres of woodland to the 
use of the ministry in Cambridge Village forever. In 1707, Ma}- 
•18, the last ordination of deacons of the church took place, the 
candidates being Thomas Oliver, counsellor of the province, and 
Ephraim Jackson. 

The location of the first meeting-house in Newton, near the 
middle of the old cemetery on Centre Street, is marked b}- the 
marble column, erected in September, 1852, to the memory of the 
first settlers. This monument has inscribed on one side the 
names of the first settlers, the date of their settlement, the 
time of their decease, and their ages. On the other sides arc 
inscriptions to the memory of the first minister, the first ruling 
elder, and the donors of the burying place. It was erected by 
fort^'-three of the descendants of the men whom it commemorates. 
In its foundation was deposited a pamphlet, containing a historical 
statement and notices of the first settlers. The petition for a 
division of the town of Cambridge in 1G78 states that the meeting- 
house in the Village had been lately enlarged. Probably this was 


done at the settlement of Mr. Ilobart, or soon afterwards. In 
1G80 it was again enlarged. 

The second meeting-house, voted in 1696, commenced in the 
spring of 1097, and completed in the early part of 1698, stood on 
the westerly side of Centre Street, opposite the cemetery. The 
land, once owned by John Spring, who, it is probable, gave it to 
the town for the purpose of erecting on it a house of God, after 
the removal of the meeting-house, as stated by Mr. Jackson in 
a note, was re-conveyed by the town to John Spring, who was 
chairman of the Building Committee. By a deed given by Abra- 
ham Jackson, — son of Dea. John Jackson, who was the donor of 
the first lot of land for the meeting-house and cemetery, — to his 
grandson John, in 1717, it appears that the first meeting-house 
was still standing at that date, — nineteen years after the second 
mccting-house was finished ; but for what purpose it was used 
during those nineteen years is not known. It may have been 
for a Town House, school-house, or for militarj- purposes, as the 
training field was there. 

These two votes complete the notices of the second meeting- 

1700. — Voted, that John Staples and John Kenrick be a Committee to 
settle the meeting-house accounts. 

1701. — Voted, that Lieut. John Spring be allowed twenty shillings for 
sweeping and cleaning the meeting-house, when he has finished the same. 

The beautiful custom of families being seated together in the 
house of God was not among the refining influences of the stern 
days of the early settlers. In the house of God earthl}- relation- 
ships seem to have been ignored. The worshippers, j'oung qy old, 
were set in then* individual responsibility before the Majesty in the 
heavens. A husband was there nothing to his wife ; a mother was 
nothing to her child. They were each individual souls, and in the 
house of prayer recognized none but themselves personally, on 
the one hand, and God, on the other. As the boys, particularly-, 
in the exuberance of their spirits, would sometunes be disorderly, 
it was convenient to have them seated by themselves, that the 
" tything man " might keep them in check, rapping the heads of 
the rogues with the little ball on one end of his long rod ; and, ia 
like manner, if the ladies fell asleep in theu' slips, he could tickle 
thcu" noses with the feather on the other. 


In the ancient meeting-house a range of square pews was erected 
completely around the house against the walls. A single row of 
similar pews was set in the body of the house, in front of the 
principal door ; and the space remaining on the floor up to the 
pulpit was occupied b}- slips. The deacons' seat was raised two 
or three steps, and immediately in front of the pulpit. The 
deacons were provided with an hour-glass, which stood on the 
table before them, and was turned, that the sand might begin to 
run out when the minister began his sermon. And, if it was not 
necessary to turn the hour-glass once at least during the sermon, 
the minister was thought to be deficient in his duty to his hearers. 
The members of the congregation were seated, by public authority, 
according to their dignity. This was called " dignifying the seats," 
or the pews; or sometimes, "seating the meeting-house." The 
ground of preference seems to have been chiefly, property qualifi- 
cations ; birth, or oflScial civil standing was also taken into con- 
sideration. In the slips, the oldest persons were seated nearest I 
the pulpit, and the j-ounger behind them in regular order, towards 
the door ; the women on the right hand, and the men on the left. 
A portion of the gallery was appropriated as the bo^^s' seats, — 
sometimes, as in this second church in Newton, a corner on the 
lower floor. The fact that the older persons, many of whom were 
perhaps in circumstances too humble to admit of their aspiring to 
the dignity of sitting in a pew, were arranged in the slips accord- 
ing to age, accounts for the breaking up of families, and the seat- 
ing of children by themselves. The girls were provided for in the 
same manner as the boys, the seats on the right falling to their 
share. In the gallery occupied by the choir, the right side was 
also appointed for the female singers, and the left for the males. 
This custom explains some of the allusions found in the earliest 
Town Book. We quote the following, of later date : 

May 14, 1744. — Voted, that the aforesaid committee shall give men their 
dignity in their setting in the meeting-house, in proportion to what they pay 
to the minister's rate. 

March 4, 1754. — Voted, that the Selectmen be a committee to agree with 
workmen to erect one tier of pews in the hind seats in the body seats of the 
meeting-house, both in the men's side and the women's side, as soon as may 

Voted, to choose a committee to fill up vacjuent room in the meeting-house, 
and to dignifie the pews proposed to be erected. 


Sometimes persons of high standing, who aspired to the dis- 
tinction of having a pew, petitioned the town for permission to 
build one at their own expense. But this privilege was scrupu- 
lously guarded, and sometimes refused to persons whose position 
in society might seem to create a claim. Witness the following : 

1734. — Captain Edward Durant asked leave to build a pew in the meeting- 
house, and was refused. He was a very wealtliy man from Boston, and owned 
three slaves, — paid eighteen hundred pounds for his farm. 

1738. — Chose a committee to scat the meeting-house, and instructed the 
committee to give men their dignity in their sitting in proportion to the min- 
ister's rate they pay, allowing one j)oll to a rate, making such an allowance 
for age as they shall think proper, except where there- are tenants, and in 
those cases to act the best of their judgments. 

1744. — Chose a committee to seat the meeting-house according to dignity 
and taxes. 

This absurd custom was abolished in March, 1800. Mr. Jackson 
remarks on this subject, — 

This ancient custom of seating and reseating the worshippers in the New 
England churches was originally intended to be founded in equality. The 
first settlers meant that all should be equal before the law, and before the 
altar also. It was democratic in theory, but aristocratic in practice, as the 
rich men always got the best seats. In parishes where the population in- 
creased rapidly, the congregations were reseated annually ; where the in- 
crease was slow, this operation was performed about every third or fourth 
year. The instructions to the seating committee were, first, rank, or, as 
they expressed it, dignity, — meaning, the minister and magistrates, or, all in 
authority ; second, those who paid the largest parish tax, — or, the rich men ; 
third, the most aged persons ; and, fourth, they were not to degrade any. 
Married women took the same rank that belonged to their husbands. The 
last item, " not to degrade any," was impossible, since some must occupy 
the lowest seats. 

The office of committee-man was no sinecure ; its exercise frequently 
brought upon him charges of partiality and injustice. 

This operation of reseating was rarely, if ever accomplished, without giv- 
ing offence to more or less of the congregation. Such, however, was the 
attachment to the ancient customs in the churches, that it took about a cen- 
tury and a half, notwithstanding its bitter fruits, to discontinue it. 

Sometimes curious controversies arose out of the jealousies 
attendant on this custom. Witness the following : 

In August, 1712, it is recorded that a difference existed between 

John Mason, of Newton, and the town, in respect to a pew in the 

northeast corner of the meeting-house. On the 8th of August 

the town appointed a committee to act in their behalf and on the 



12th of the same month, the parties met at the house of Mason 
and " made proposals to each other and then agreed as followeth " : 

That in consideration of three pounds in money to liim, the said John 
Mason, well and truly paid by s'd committee, and that the wife of s'd John 
Mason be alowed a place in the second seat in the body of s'd meeting-house, 
and that his children be treated by said town as to their places in s'd meeting- 
house according to their age and quality as others are, and that the s'd town 
doe defend the s'd Mason from all harm that may arise by that room which 
s'd Mason formerly sold in s'd meeting-house to Mr. Edward Jackson, — 

These forementioned articles being truly fulfilled, in consideration whereof 
he, the s'd Mason, doth for himself, his heirs, executors and administrators 
remit, release and forever quitclaim all his right that he now hath or ever 
had in s'd pew, — hereby ratifying and confirming the s'd pew unto the s'd 
town, to be at their sole dispose and use forever hereafter. 

In witness whereof the s'd committee and s'd Mason have all of them here- 
unto put their hands this 12th day of August, 1712. 

" The square pew for the minister's family," on one side of 
the pulpit, was first in honor. Thence, by regular gradations 
along the tiers of " wall pews " on the three sides, and down the 
double range of " seats " in the middle alle^', " to the sixth seat 
from the front, and so on," with diminishing . honor, to the last. 
When square pews were substituted for the long seats or " slips " 
in the bod}' of the house, these had to be " dignified " anew, by a 
committee who received instructions to consider, in their allot- 
ment, " the age, estate, and parentage " of tlie sitters. 

We may imagine the solicitude of the minister and the chm-ch 
as the season of trial and peculiar temptation drew nigh ; and how 
the seating committee — striving to "' render to all their dues " and 
" doing nothing b}' partiality " — were oppressed b}' a sense of re- 
sponsibility and the apprehension that, strive as the}' might, offen- 
ces would come. 

In connection with the account of the first church in Newton 
and the arrangements for worship, it is in place to speak of the 
reverence for the Sabbath which prevailed among the earh- settlers, 
their scrupulous regard for the established institutions of religion. 
and that sincere, though mistaken zeal, which led them to adopt 
compulsory measures to secure for them an outward respect. Their 
severe conceptions stand in strildng contrast to the laxity of mod- 
ern times. We have no desire to return to the ancient methods. 
But we question whether the morality, the virtue, and the integ- 
rit}' of the people was not of a higher order under their system of 


restraint than under the modern system of liberty. May we not 
be reaping, at the present day, precious fruit, the harvest of theu* 
scrupulosity? But it was under the influence of such laws and 
institutions, — we dare not say in spite of them, — that the second, 
third and fourth generations of the people proved to be such " a 
goodly seed." Mr. Prince says of the fathers of New England, in 
his Election Sermon in 1730 : 

They were mostly men of good estates and families, of liberal education, 
and of large experience. But they chiefly excelled in piety to God, in zeal 
for the purity of his worship, reverence for his glorious name, and strict ob- 
servance of his holy Sabbaths ; in their respect and maintenance of an un- 
blemished ministry ; the spread of knowledge, learning, and good order and 
quiet throughout the land, a reign of righteousness, and the welfare of the 
people ; and the making and executing wholesome laws for all these blessed 

The meeting-house, as in all New England, was guiltless of 
warmth on the bleakest da3's in winter. The delicacy of a stove 
had not 3'et invaded the stern hardness and capacity of endurance 
of the people. As a substitute, however, for this comfort, associ- 
ations of citizens were formed who erected in the neighborhood of 
the meeting-house what were denominated noon-houses, for the ben- 
efit of themselves and their families ; or the buildings were erected 
at the pubUc expense. The noon-houses were buildings of one 
story, put up in the plainest manner, ceiled with boards, and hav- 
ing a fireplace in the middle, open on every side, the chimney being 
supported beneath b}^ pillars. The seats were arranged around 
the room, being fixed against the walls. There were three or four 
of these houses at Newton Centre. One of them stood on the site 
of the Centre school-house ; a second on the southwest corner of 
the present meeting-house lot ; aud a third near the west end of 
Lyman Street. After these structm'es were abandoned for their 
original use, they were tenanted for some j-ears by different fami- 
lies in humble circumstances. 

In the noon-houses the people gathered at noou, " between meet- 
ings," to warm their stiffened limbs, to eat their frugal lunch and to 
indulge their friendly gossip, and from the generous fire the women 
replenished the foot-stoves which they carried back with them to the 

"We cannot state precisely the dimension of these noon-houses. 
Provision, however, was made for one of them in 1730, to be built, 
probably at the expense of the town, as follows : " The Select- 


lueu staked out land on the bill, near Clark's fence, for the relief 
of sundry inhabitants on the Sabbath days, for a house twent}'- 
eight feet square " ( a noon-house) . Clark's fence was probably 
not very far from the meeting-house of 1730 ; for the land of John 
Clark and his descendants was near the western slope of the Insti- 
tution Hill, and stretched away to the southwest. 

There was another institution connected with the meeting- 
house, which it is curious, at this distance of time, to contem- 
plate. We refer to the stocks. How early the stocks were 
erected in Newton, we do not know. We are sure, however, that 
the fathers of the town were not without this necessarj^ appendage 
to the place of public worship. Not only was it a law of the 
C0I0U3' that all towns should be provided with stocks, but we find 
in the Town Records as late as 1773, that "a committee was 
chosen to examine the church stocks. " 

They rested upon the solid earth, about ten rods from the church, and were 
made of two pieces of whitQ-oak timber, about eight feet long, chimped to- 
gether witli bar-iron at each end, through which holes were made of various 
sizes, to fit human legs, for misbehavior during divine service. Disorderly- 
persons were liable to have their legs made fast between that oak and iron, 
by way of punishment. Mr. J. adds, " We have often eyed that remnant of 
the inquisition, when a boy, with a shudder." 

These church stocks, like all human contrivances, often needed 
repairs, and this committee, no doubt, was appointed to oversee 
the work. The stocks were in use in England as early as the 
year 1472, under the mayoralty of Sir William Hampton in Lon- 
don ; for it is recorded that in that year he caused stocks to be 
erected in every ward in London, for the more effectual punish- 
ment of strollers. The author of a History of the Town of 
Shrewsbury, Mass., says, that persons who were " disorderly on 
Sabbath or town meetings were wont to be confined in them dur- 
ing meeting, as a punishment for misbehavior. " He also remarks 
that it is a curious tradition that " the person who made the stocks 
for that town was the first one required to occupy them, and 
received payment for them in the remittance of a fine that accrued 
to the town for his offence." 





Having accomplished their purpose to secure for Newton incor- 
poration as an independent town, the citizens began to turn their 
attention to the matter of securing the highest conveniences within 
their own borders. And, as the Sabbath worship and town meet- 
ings were their central social points, and the meeting-house, which 
embraced these, was their central geographical point, their efforts 
were directed in these things to secure the greatest convenience to 
the largest number. Measures for these intents were therefore the 
next important objects of action. 

In 170o seven families living near "West Roxbur}' and Dedham, 
William Ward, Edward Ward, Phihp White, Nathaniel llesdy, 
Daniel Colburn, Benjamin Wilson and Elizabeth Bacon, com- 
plained of their great distance from the meeting-house, and showed 
that the}' attended worship for the most part in Roxbury ; and 
thej^ asked to have the meeting-house removed to a more central 
place. No immediate measures were taken for their relief; but 
this was the first step towards the location of the First Parish 
church in its present position. Eight j^ears later, and two months 
after the death of Mr. Hobart, this petition was presented in town 
meeting : 

To the inhabitants of Newton, now assembled at a public town meeting in 
said town. 

The humble petition of us whose names are underwritten, inhabitants in 
the south part of Newton, October 31, 1712, humbly sheweth, — 

That whereas our habytations are very far from the place of publick worship 
in Newtown, the neerest of us fore miles and an half and the farthest about five 
miles, and we cante attend the publick worship in Newtown without great difi- 
kulty to us and our families, espeshely in the winter season, by reson 



liLTL'uf wc are nessesitated to be at charge to tlie setling a minestcr in the 
south part of Roxberry. 

Your petitioners humbly pray the inhabitants of tliis town to grant to us 
and our heirs that shall inherit the land which we now inhabit that we may 
be free from the charge of the meeting house and ministry in Newtown. 

And your petitioners, as in duty bound shall ever pray. Signed by 
Nathaniel Healy, and five others. 

At a town meeting, November 17, 1712, Voted, The Committy then 
chosen, which were Ebenezar Stone, Abraham Jackson, Thomas Oliver, Ed- 
ward Jackson take care to provid ministers for the town til March, if the town 
be not supplied with a minister before that time. 

On the above petition, the town voted to give the petitioners in 
tlie south part of the town an answer at the next March meeting. 
The following is the record of the action of the town, dodging the 
question rather than meeting it : 

March 22, 1713. — At a towne meeting regularly assembled for to consider 
of sum dificultyes arising as to the standing of the present meeting-house, it 
was voted that a committe be chosen and that the towne be messured; 
and, the center of it being found and the situation of ye inhabitanc and the 
meeting-house being dewly considered, that if we canot peacably agree to the 
making of any agreeable and needful! acomodations with respect to ye place 
of publick worship, that we will then mutually refer ourselves to ye hon- 
erble Generall Court,— that they would send a Committe of disinterested 
persons that may hear, dewly weigh and consider thereof; and that they 
may conclude what may be most for ye interest of religion and the common 
good and benifit. And wee oblige ourselves to be decided by such their re- 
sult and the resolution of the Honerabell Generall Court thereupon, and sitt 
downe quietly and peacably. 

At the same meeting this vote was passed : 

VoATED yt Left'n Jeremiah Fuller, Cap. Thomas Printic and CorpU. 
Robert Murdock be chosen a Commity to mess're the towne of said Newton, 
to find out the center thereof. And allso hand-voated that Lefton (lieutenant) 
Joseph Burnaj) shal be ye survayor to do the worke of messuering said 
towne; and if said Lefton Joseph Burnap cannot be obtained, that then 
the above named Conimitye shall have full power [to appoint] another 
person to be ye surveyor; and allso ye said Commitie by order from the 
Selectmen, shall draw monye out of the towne tresury for ye defraying of 
ye chargies of messuering the towne. And j't. the towne be messuered as 
soon as can be convenient, not exceeding the first day of May next. 

A petition having been presented by the aggrieved parties for the 
division of the town into two precincts for the worship of God, at 
the town meeting May 10, 1714, the following action was taken : 

VoATED, at a towne meeting regularly assembled to consider of and to se 
if any agreeabeil acommodations [can be made] as to ye place of publick 


worship, — the inhabitanc of said towne having ilcwly considered ye center of 
the towne, the incoinodiosnos of the place whear it is, and the cituation of 
the inliabitanc tlie inconvcnianccs of highways ; so that it cannot anye ways 
tend to ye promoting of religion nor any great advantig to any pertickular 
persons, so as to countervaine 3^0 cost and chargies, — we do judge it best to 
continue the meeting-house wliere it now stands. 

Finall}^, a committee of seven was appointed to petition the 
Great and General Court '" to send a committee to hear our differ- 
ences as to the place of public worship, according to the vote 
passed March 22, 1713, for that end." 

The following records the advice of the Court : 

At a sessions of the great and general Court or Assembly, begun and held at 
Boston upon "Wednesday, May 27, 1713, — Upon a full hearing of the several 
petitions from Newtown, referring to the division of Newtown into two pre- 
cincts for the worship of God, or the i-emoval of the present meeting-house 
toward the center of the town, and pcrtickelarly the dismission of the six 
familys lying next to the southerly part of Roxbury, — 

Voted and advised that the town do alow the six familys lying next 
Roxbury to atend the worship of God at that precinct, and be acordingly 
dismissed from baring any charge to the suport of the ministry in Newtown 
dureing their attendance and contributing to the ministry in Roxbury ; but 
see no reason to remove the present meeting-house in Newtown, and direct 
that the inhabitants of the said town prosed peaceably to settell and estab- 
lish a learned orthodox minister of good conversation amongst them as the 
law directs. 

Isaac Addington, Sec. 

In conformit}' with the recommendation of the Court, the town 
proceeded to the election of a minister in place of Mr, Hobart, 
The candidates whose names were before the town were Mr. Henry 
Flj-nt, Mr. Edward Holyoke, Mr. John Tufts, Mr. Ebenezer Wil- 
liams and Mr. John Cotton. "It was voated, by a "clear voate of 
the inhabitance then assembled, that they did choose Mr. John 
Cotton to be theire minister." This vote was passed March 22, 
1714. He was to receive eighty pounds annually for his salary, 
and a hundred and fift}' pounds for his "incorigment ; " and Deacon 
Jackson, Ensign John Kenrick, Captain Tudor, Mr. Abraham 
Jackson and John Staples were appointed " to treat with him to 
come and preach among us in order to a settlement." 

The five candidates above named were aU graduates of Harvard 
College,— John Cotton, 1710 ; Edward Holyoke, 1705, — afterwards 
librarian and Fellow of the college and the tenth president, 
(1769) ; Mr. John Tufts, 1708 (d. 1750) ; Ebenezer Williams, 1709 


(d. 1753) ; and Mr. Henry Flynt, 1693, (d. 1760). The last named, 
Mr. Henry Flynt, is an object of special interest to ever}- gradu- 
ate of Harvard Universit3^ He was never ordained, but preached 
as occasion required, and published a volume of twenty sermons, 
" which were received acceptably by the public." Dr. Chauncy says 
of him, " I was forty years frequently conversant with him, and 
knew Mm to have been a solid, judicious man, and one of the best 
of preachers." Though naturally inclined to indolence, he treas- 
nred up a great vai'iety of useful knowledge, and was an able 
and faithful instructor. He was distinguished for his firmness 
and consistenc}^ To the principles he had once adopted, he ad- 
hered without wavering. Judge Wingate says, " I remember ver}' 
distinctly hearing him preach for Dr. Appleton when I was a 
Freshman. He was the slowest speaker that I ever heard preach, 
without exception. He hardly kept connected in his discourse so 
as to make progress. However, he made some amends for this 
defect by the weight and pertinency of his ideas. He was thought 
to be a judicious and able preacher, but not ver}^ popular. . . . He 
undoubtedly was considered as a useful instructor in the college, 
or he would not have been continued so long in office. I have often 
heard that he was regarded as mild in the government of his pupils, 
and used to be an advocate for gentleness towards offenders. I 
have been told that he would make an apology for them by remark- 
ing that ' wild colts often make good horses.' " It is perhaps to 
the parish of Newton that Mr. Peirce refers, when he says of Mr. 
Flynt, " It was proposed in some parish to invite him to take the 
pastoral charge of it ; but objections were made to him on the 
ground that he was believed not to be orthodox. Being informed 
of this judgment of the good people respecting his religion, he 
coolly observed, 'I thank God, they know nothing about it.'" 
Either his sermons must have been very indefinite, or he must have 
regarded the people as very undiscerning hearers, to render it pos- 
sible for him to make such a remark. Mr. Fl^'nt was a tutor in 
the College for upwards of fifty-five j^ears, and a Fellow of the Cor- 
poration about sixty years. No other person has been so long 
connected with the University in either of these capacities, or prob- 
ably in any capacitj'', except Dr. Appleton, pastor of the church in 
Cambridge, who was a Fellow sixty -two years. 

By a subsequent vote, Mty pounds were added to Mr. Cotton's 
salar}', with a proposal to " add thereto at any time, and from time 


to time such farther suplyes as he should stand in need of, for his 
honorable suport or yearl}' sailer^-." On the fourth of October of 
the same j'ear, it was voted to give Mr. Cotton one hundred 
pounds as a yearl}* salary, " when he shall come to have a faramely." 
A committee of ten was appointed to make arrangements for his 
ordination, with the privilege of drawing money out of the treas- 
ulT to defray the charges. 

Mr. Cotton's ministry in Newton continued from November 3, 
1714, till his death. May 17, 1757. His father was Rev. Roland 
Cotton, of Sandwich (H. C. 1685), his grandfather, Rev. John 
Cotton of Plymouth (H. C. 1G57), and his great grandfather, 
the celebrated Rev. John Cotton, one of the first ministers of 
Boston, and previously minister of Boston, in Lincolnshire, Eng- 
land, a place noted in the annals of the persecuted Puritans. 
The Enghsh Boston is a place of some importance, situated on 
both sides of the river Withara, one hundred and seventeen miles 
north of London. Boston is said to have been so named, in com- 
pliment to that eloquent preacher, as soon as it was known that he 
had embarked for this couutrj'. Mr. Cotton, of Newton, was born 
in 1693, and graduated from the University when he was only 
seventeen years of age. He first preached in Newton, July 
14, 1714, as a candidate for the vacant pulpit. His text was Heb. 
II: 3, "How shaU we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" 
" So high was the respect cherished for the virtues and accomplish- 
ments of this youth of twenty, that the town in general went in 
procession to meet him and gave him a joyful welcome, upon Ms 
first entrance into it." Mr. Jackson remarks that the recorded 
votes and doings of the town show a great anxiety on the part of 
the inhabitants to secure his services. He was ordained Novem- 
ber 3, 1714, about four months after he commenced preaching as 
a candidate. He is said to have been faithful, fervent, and suc- 
cessful in his labors. In 1715 Mr. Cotton purchased of the heirs 
of his predecessor in the pastorate, about one hundred acres of 
land, with house and barn. The dwelling-house built by Mr. 
Hobart in 1678, was burned March 24, 1720, and this new one 
was erected on the same site. In later years it was known as the 
homestead of Mr. John Cabot, at the corner of Centre and Cabot 
Streets, and recentlj^ removed. 

Mr. Cotton married Mary, daughter of Mr. Robert Gibbs, of 
Boston, Febraary 19, 1719, and had eleven children, five sons and 


six daughters. His ministry extended over a period of forty-two 
and a half 3'ears. In his will, he says, — • 

First and principally, I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God, 
my heavenly Father, in hopes of eternal life, through the merits and pas- 
sion and prevailing intercession of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, my 
Kedecmer; and my body I desire may be decently interred, at the disposal 
of my loving wife, in hopes of a joyful resurrection at the last day. 

The following Latin epitaph is inscribed on Mr. Cotton's tomb- 
stone : 

















Here is deposited all that was mortal of the Reverend and truly venerable 
John Cotton, the most faithful, prudent and learned pastor of the church of 
Newton, renowned for his ability in preaching and in prayer, distinguished 
for his piety, honored of all for his holy life, and deeply lamented especially 
by his congregation, to whom, being dead, he yet speaketh. Fame will 
proclaim his beloved name far and wide, with a louder and more lasting 
voice than the most enduring marble. Broken, not by age but by sickness, 
he died May 17, 1757, in the sixty-fourth year of his age and the forty-third 
of his ministry. ' 

Mr. Cotton published, in 1729, with other discourses, a sermon 
on the death of his brother, Rev. Nathaniel Cotton (H. C. 1717), 
of Bristol ; in 1734, a sermon at the ordination of his brother, 
Ward Cotton (H. C. 1729), as minister of Hampton ; and in 
1739, four sermons addressed to the young, from Zechariah II : 4, 
"Run, speak to this .young man." 

Mr. Cotton left two slaves, a man and woman. The first, Quar- 
tus, went into the service of the British arm^', and it is not known 


wliat afterwards l3eca,rac of him; the other, Phillis, remained, an 
incumbrance to the estate. 

Two seasons of special religious interest occurred during the 
ministr}' of Mr. Cotton, the first in the years 1727 and 1728, the 
second in 1741 and 1742. From December 31, 1727, to April 21, 
1728, a period of less than four months, fifty were admitted to the 
(thurch. This was a season of awakening also in the churches in 
Boston. It was directly after the great earthquake, which occurred 
October 29, 1727. At that time eighty were admitted to the Old 
South church in Boston. The second season of revival occurred 
in Newton about the 3'ear 1741. From June 28, 1741, to April 4, 
1742, — a space of ten months, — one hundred and four new mem- 
bers were admitted to the church. The influence of such a season 
■of religious interest on the sparse population of the town must 
have been long felt among the people. This was the era of those 
wonderful revivals in the time of President Edwards, which pre- 
vailed in various portions of New England, and especially in the 
region of the, Connecticut River. 

The celebrated preacher. Rev. George Whitefield, about six years 
later visited New England, and preached in Newton "before 
crowded and attentive audiences." He preached November 3, 
1748, in the period of Mr. Cotton, and September 20, 1770, in the 
pastorate of Mr. Meriam. " This was tenda3's before Mr. White- 
field died at Newbm-ypoi-t. His visit to Newton, on the former 
occasion, produced a very happy impression, and numbers became 
interested in the things of religion." In connection with his labors 
at the second visit, some hopeful conversions, and new vigor was 
infused into many a Christian life. The preaching of Mr. White- 
field was the occasion of the springing up of New Light churches, 
so called, in derision, by those who doubtless misunderstood them. 
The doctrine of the new birth, and the obligation of personal faith 
in Christ and individual consecration to God, savored of mysticism 
in tlie view of many. AYhitefield's ministry brought them, as it 
were, a new gospel, — the result of new light from heaven, which 
the converts professed to have received. Multitudes would not 
behove such things, and turned them into ridicule. But one of 
these New Light organizations in Newton was the nursery in which 
the First Baptist church had its germ. 




Although the settlement of Mr. Cotton, as the minister of the 
town, was wholly amicable, the vexed question of the location of 
the meeting-house was not yet solved. The remote inhabitants 
were too conscientious to cut the Gordian knot b}- absenting them- 
selves from wt)rship, as men would have done in modern times. 
Indeed the stringency of the laws forbade such a solution of the 
difficulty. They were moreover sufficiently in earnest in what 
seemed to them a matter of right, to refuse to sit down peaceably 
under what they regarded as oppression. On the 23d of November, 
1714, twenty days subsequent to the ordination, a committee was 
chosen " to look for the most convenient place near the Centre, to 
erect a meeting-house, and also to look out convenient ways 
thereto." This committee reported December 7, 1714, "that there is 
two places proposed to be convenient, viz., one place about forty 
rods south of the centre, and one other place, twenty-seven rods 
nor-west of the centre." The report was accepted by the majority, 
but the question was still a matter of debate. For under date of 
May 13, 1715, we find on record the following vote, which indi- 
cates that the inhabitants despaired of agreement among them- 
selves, and sought the aid of legislative interposition : 

At a towne meeting lawfully warned and regularly assembled, voated by 
the inhabitanc of said towne, that they do freely and fully and absolutely re- 
. fer themselves to the Honorab'll Generall Court to fix a pertickular place by 
a Comraitye, for to erect a meeting house upon for the use of the whole 
towne • the inhabitanc having free liberty to make their pleas for theire sev- 
erall ri"-hts before said Commitye ; and farther, that tliey will sitt downe 
satisfied with what the lionorable Court shall do and confirme ; and that we 
will erect a meeting house upon said place within the terme of five years 
next ensewinge. 



The Selectmen were appointed to petition the General Court to 
appoint a committee, as contemplated in the above vote, and in 
March following, 171G, a committee was selected to treat with 
Mr. Nathaniel Parker* for the land upon which the new meeting- 
house was to be erected. 

The report of the committee was accepted by the General 
Court, and that bod3' ordered " that the meeting-house remain 
where it now is for the space of five years, and then a new meet- 
ing-house be erected in such place near the centre of the town as 
shall be agreed upon." 

On the tenth of April, 1716, at a town meeting appointed to hear the report 
of the committee on the selection of the spot of land for the new meeting- 
house, and to take any further action which might be necessary, for the con- 
firmation of the agreement already entered into, — the town most seriously 
considering the unhappy circumstances they labor under, by reason of the 
overgrowing contentions there has been in the town, about the place or 
places for the public worship of God in said town, and there being little or no 
prospect of its being otherwise without a spirit of condescension and self- 
denial, and also considering the several steps which have been taken for the 
better accommodating the town in said affairs, as by application to the Gen- 
eral Court, the vote of the town on May 13, 1715, and the agreement of the 
inhabitants of the said town at their meeting March 16, 1716, — which agree- 
ment, if fully confirmed, gives the best, if not the only, prospect of settling 
Newtown in love and peace, — the town being therefore desirous to confirm 
said agreement, as much as in them lies, passed the following votes : 

" 1. That the report of the committee is well approved of and accepted 
by the town. 

*' 2. That there shall be a committee fully authorized and impowered, in 
the name and behalf, and to the only use and behoof of said town, to pur- 
chase the acre and a half and twenty rods of land of Mr. Nathaniel Parker, 
that lieth between the house of Jonathan Goddard and William Burrig, upon 
the highest ground on the south side of the field, to set a meeting-house upon, 
for the use of the inhabitants of the whole town, and to take of said Parker a 
sufficient deed, well executed, as soon as may be. 

"3. That there shall be a meeting-house for the public worship of God, 
erected, built and finished in said town, of sufficient dimensions to entertain 
all the inhabitants of said town at the proper cost and charge of the whole 
town, within the term of four years next ensuing the 13th day of May, 1716, 

* Nathaniel Parker married Margaret, daughter of Capt. Noah Wiswall, settled on 
part of the Wiswall land, and bought the house and land formerly owned by Lieut. 
Ebenezer Wiswall, of his three nephews, in 1694. He was an enterprising man, and 
it was to him that John Clark in 1708 sold part of the saw-mill, steam and eel weir, 
wth half an acre of land at Newton Upper Falls. Nathaniel Parker was the son of 
Samuel Parker, of Dedham. He was born March 26, 1670, and died Feb. 28, 1747, 
aged 77. 


the said meeting-house to be set upon the acre and a half and about twenty 
rods of land before mentioned, as it is staked out in the field of said Parker, 
between the house of Jonathan Goddard and William Burrig, in Newton, 
upon the highest ground on the south side of the field. The which meeting- 
house, so set and finished, after the expiration of four years, and in the 
[maimer] now expressed, shall be the only meeting-house for the public 
worship of God within and for the whole town, and the minister for the time 
to conform to this vote accordingly." 

A committee was appointed to lay the action of the town before 
the General Court for their approval, and the Selectmen reported 
that they had " actually laid out and opened a highway, two rods 
wide, for the northerly part of the town to the proposed spot for 
the meeting-house, beginning at the Mill lane, near the head of the 

On the ninth of June, 171G, the committee of the General 
Court viewed the proposed spot on Nathaniel Parker's land, 
"which, in the opinion of the Selectmen, was the most suitable 
spot for accommodating the gi'eatest number of inhabitants, — it 
being about twenty-eight rods south southeast, near a quarter of 
a point east from the centre of the town, according to Joseph 
Burnap's surve}'." . 

In March, 1717, the town voted to build a meeting-house, fift}'- 
seveu (57) feet long, fort^'-five (45) feet wide, and twenty-five (25) 
feet between joints ; also, appointed John Spring, Samuel Trues- 
dale and Captain Thomas Prentice a committee " to procure 
boards, shingles, clapboards, and long timber, such as cannot be 
had in the town." A building committee was appointed, and £200 
were voted at the town meetings in 1717, 1718 and 1720 succes- 
sively^, to commence and carry forward the work. 

While this work was in hand, March 24, 1720, the dwelling- 
house owned and occupied by the Rev. Mr. Cotton was burnt, 
but immediately' rebuilt on the same site. 

To those who live at a period a hundred and sixt}' 3'ears away, 
the contentions of the inhabitants in regard to the location of their 
meeting-house seem unreasonable and puerile. All that was gained 
by them seems to us of little value. The new meeting-house, the 
tliu'd that was built in the town, stood on the same lot which has 
ever since been the site of the First Parish church. And a change 
of location of a little over half a mile was the only issue of all their 
bad blood and ill feeling, their separations, and angry speeches, 
and sharp discussions. 


Voted, to build pews in the new meeting-house, and seats for the boys by 
the side of the house; to have the windows ghvzed with diamond glass, to 
build a porch over the east door, and to sell the old meeting-house. 

In March, 1721, it was "voted that the £200 rate, granted to 
build the meeting-house, be sunk, and not collected ; and in lieu 
thereof, that the town make use of the bills of credit, granted by 
the General Court, to the several towns in the province. Mr. 
Jackson gives the following explanation of these bills of credit : 

Owing to the total failure of the Canada expedition in 1690, the Colony 
issued £50,000 of bills of credit, bearing five per cent, interest, to defray the 
expenses of that disastrous expedition. These were the first of that species 
of paper money which was multiplied to such a ruinous extent at subsequent 

The new meeting-house was read}^ for use b})- the church late in 
the autumn. The first meeting was held in it November 5, 1721. 
Mr. Cotton preached from the text I Kings VI : 11-13, "And the 
word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, Concerning this 
house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes 
and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to 
walk in them, then will I perform my word with thee, which I 
spake unto David thv father : and I will dwell among the children 
of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel." 

Thus Mr. Cotton preached in the old meeting-house about seven 
3'ears, and in the new, about thirt^'-six. This new structure stood 
eighty-four j'ears, and was replaced by another in 1805. 

It is stated in Ripley's History of Waltham that a committee of 
that town were authorized to purchase the old meeting-house of 
Newton at a sum not exceeding eighty pounds ; and that the house 
was purchased and taken down and removed to Waltham in the 
month of October, 1721 ; and there it remained till 1776. 

A committee was chosen in March, 1722, "to seat the new 
meeting-house, according to the people's rates and age." 

After the controversy relating to the location of the meeting- 
house was arranged, it might have been expected that the inhab- 
itants of Newton would settle down, at least for a season, " in love 
and peace." But the}'" had not j^et attained to that which is per- 
fect, and they j^earned again for their ideal. In November, 1722, 
the inhabitants, in town meeting assembled, appointed a committee 
of. seven men with full power to answer the petition and complaint 
of the southerly families of the town at the Great and General 
Assembly, and to act thereupon as they should have occasion. It 


appears from the Records, that in that year the six families in the 
south precinct, which the General Court had allowed to worship 
and pay ministerial taxes in Roxbury, sent a memorial to the 
Court, complaining that Newton had taxed them for the support of 
the ministry in Newton, and sued and imprisoned some of them 
for non-payment. And in December, 1722, a committee of nine 
was appointed to draw up a petition to " the General Court or 
Assembly, to bring on the six famihes that were set off to support 
the ministry in Roxbur3% during the pleasure of the General Court, 
that they may again help to support the ministry in Newton." 

May 10, 1725, the town appointed Richard Ward, ensign John 
Spring, Mr. Nathaniel Longley, Robert Murdoek and Ebenezer 
Stone a committee " to dignif}^ the seats and pews in the meeting- 
house ; " also, voted to have " the town meetings warned by set- 
ting up said warnings upon a post by the meeting-house." 

More than two years passed after the committee was appointed 
as above, with reference to the recovery of the six families who 
elected to attend worship at Roxbur\'. Either the General Court 
were dilatory in their action, or the independent spuits in the 
southern part of the town were dilatory in 3'ielding obedience ; 
for at the town meeting of May 10, 1725, a vote was passed 
"that the Great and General Court be further appUed unto, to 
bring on the six families to support the miuistrj' with us, that have 
been allowed to attend the public worship at Roxbury," — the 
same committee being appointed over this business as before, with 
the addition of Ebenezer Stone, Esq. 

The State seems, about this time, to have had a full treasur}', and 
also a disposition to help the people of the towns by loans of 
mone}', to enable them to develop their territorj^, and to start 
them on a career of prosperit}'. At the town meeting of March .3, 
1728, the town appointed three trustees, to receive and loan 
to the citizens its proportion of sixt}' thousand pounds, granted 
by law b}- the General Court, and to loan it to the inhabitants 
desiring it, no one loan to be less than ten nor more than twent}'- 
five pounds. 

The Record of the town at this time shows how onerous was 
the duty of a constable of Newton, on whom was laid, for many 
years, the burden of collecting the annual taxes ; and a citizen 
elected to that office, if he did not submit to accept, was com- 
pelled to pay a pecuniary mulct. At the meeting in March, 1728, 


Mr. Joseph Jackson was choson constable, but declined the office, 
and " did immediately pay his fine as the law requires." Another 
record shows that the amount of the fine was five pounds. The 
people did not expect their public officers to give their time with- 
out compensation; for they voted, May 12, 1729, to give their 
representative to the General Court the sum of fortj^-five pounds 
six shillings for his ser\ices for the year past. 

At a town meeting held May 12, 175.5, the matter of building a 
new pound was taken up for debate, and it was voted to build a 
new pound with stone, accepting for the purpose Mr. Noah 
Wiswall's ofier of a piece of land, near the house of Mr. Jonathan 
Richardson. It was left to the Selectmen, at a subsequent meet- 
ing, " to dispose of the old pound as they shall thinlj proper." 

"We find the following grave entries in the Town Records under 
their respective dates. We gain some idea of the simple and in- 
expensive habits of the people, by observing that these provisions 
were made when the town was already three-quarters of a century 

March 19, 1759. — Voted, to provide a Cotton Velvet Pali to be used at 

May 11, 1763. — Voted, to let the Velvet Pall to the inhabitants of other 
towns, and that those pgrsons that shall hire said Velvet Pall shall pay half 
a dollar every time it is hired. 

May 13, 1799. — The town was authorized to purchase two hearses for 
the use of the town, when in their opinion the money can with convenience 
be spared out of the Town Treasury. 

A record like the following gives a yivid impression of the sim- 
plicity of the life of the men who walked in these streets a century 
and a quarter ago, and laid the foundations of the conveniences 
we now enjoy ; — men who toiled unselfishly for the public welfare, 
and were willing to accept the lowest compensation for their ser- 
vice, conscious of having discharged a duty which they owed to 
their fellow-citizens : 

March 3, 1760. — ^Voted, that every person shall have liberty to work out 
their highway rate the present year; that every person shall have three 
pence per hour for their labor in said ways the present year ; and there 
shall be allowed for each team that is able to carry a ton weight three pence 
per hour for their labor on said ways. 





At the town-meeting held May 20, 1757, the town voted " to en- 
deavor to raise money by subscription towards defraying the charge 
of the funeral of our late pastor, the Rev. Mr. John Cotton." At the 
same time a committee was appointed to take care that the pulpit 
be supplied. The committee, consisting of Deacon John Stone, 
Deacon Thomas Greenwood, Deacon Ephraim Ward, Henry Gibbs, 
Esq. , and Lieutenant Robert Murdock, was instructed b}^ the town 
" to take care that the pulpit be supplied until the first Monday in 
September next," the supplies to be paid out of the town treasmy 
by order of the Selectmen. 

On the 2 2d of August following, a committee was appointed 
" to agree with a gentleman or gentlemen to preach with us some 
term of time." This " term of time " was afterwards defined, 
"till the first Monda}- of December next." 

At a town meeting held Friday, December 9, 1757, the town 
voted to '* concur with the church in the choice of Mr. Jonas Meriam 
for their gospel minister," and to desire him to supply the pulpit 
until the next town meeting. At a subsequent meeting, Decem- 
ber 26th, the sum of eighty pounds, lawful money, was granted to 
Mr. Meriam for his 3'early salary, — the salary to begin at the time 
of his ordination ; also, to give him firewood j'early from the min- 
isterial wood-lots, and "for his encouragement to settle with us in 
the work of the ministry, in lawful monc}' a sum equal to one thou- 
sand pounds, old tenor." 

It was also voted to record Mr. Meriam's reply to the call of the 
church and town in the Town Records ; and a committee was 
appointed " to treat with Mr. Jonas Meriam, to know in what way 



and manner he would choose to come into town and also to wait 
on him into town accordingh'." 

The above recoi'ds indicate that the church exercised the right of 
primary action in the election of the minister, and that the town, 
as the lower house, concurred with the action of the church, appro- 
priating the necessar}' funds for his support. They also testif}^ to 
the deliberation with which the people proceeded in an affaii' of so 
great importance. Mr. Cotton died May 17, 1757. The vote con- 
firming the choice of Mr. Meriam as his successor was passed 
December 9th, uiore than six months afterwards ; and the ordination 
of Mr. Meriam did not take place till March 22, 1758. At the 
town meeting held thirteen days pre\ious to the ordination, the in- 
habitants voted that " the sum of thirteen pounds, six shillings and 
eight pence be granted and drawn out of the town treasury by the 
Selectmen, and put into the hands of the committee "to defray the 
charges of Mr. Meriam's ordination, — said committee to be account- 

The vote instructing a committee to consult with Mr. Meriam 
as to " the way and manner of his coming into town," which would 
be agreeable to him, indicates a degree of formality to which mod- 
ern times are strangers. It maj^ imply that Mr. Meriam was a 
person paying much regard to punctilios ; and, as the whole town 
had turned out in procession to welcome the coming of his prede- 
cessor, Mr. Cotton, to allow Mr. Meriam to enter the scene of his 
futm-e labors without an}- special demonstrations of respect, might 
have the appearance of an invidious distinction. We find no 
record as to the manner in which he was received by the citizens. 
But the kindness with which he was treated, especially in his day 
of calamity-, and the extended period during Avhich he labored as a 
useful minister among the people, are proofs that he did not lack 
for s^'mpathy or respect. The pomp of a formal reception seems 
to have suited the ideas held by the fathers of the reverence duo 
to the ministr}-. How great the contrast between the reverence 
shown in former times to the sacred profession and the customs of 
our modern life ! 

In that early period, the business of the church and of the town 
was to a considerable extent the same. The interests of the parish 
and the interests of the citizens wei'c not dissevered. The simple 
lives and customs of the people aflforded little occasion for the 
adoption of measures which would be made matter of record. 


Every year was modelled substantially on the plan of the j'ear 
preceding. The machiner}' of life was little jostled by outside 

The burning of the Church Records with Mr. Meriam's house, 
twelve 5-ears after his settlement, leaves us without the means of 
following the events of the early part of his ministr}'. But we 
give these notices of his life and character. 

Mr. Meriam was the fourth minister of Newton, and the last 
who was settled b}' the whole town. He was the son of Jonas 
Meriam, of Lincoln, Mass. ; his grandfather was John Meriam-, 
of Lincoln, and his great grandfather, John Meriam, of Lexington. 
He was born in Lincoln, in 1730, graduated at Harvard University, 
1753, in a class of seventeen, of whom six became ministers, and 
received the degree of Master of Arts in 1757. He was thrice 
married. His first wife (married November, 1758) was Mehitable 
Foxcroft, of Cambridge ; the second (married in 1771) was Jeru- 
sha Fitch, of Brookline ; tiie third, Sarah Chardon, of Boston. 
His only child, Mehitable, born June 5, 1760, married John Ken- 
rick, Esq., of Newton. The first wife died April 22, 1770, aged 
fort}' -seven years, — a month and four days subsequent to the fire 
which consumed his dwelling; the second died in 1776; the 
third wife survived him. After he was married to Miss Fitch, 
her mother became a member of the family at Newton, and brought 
with her a female slave, by name PameUa, whom she had received 
as a present from her son, then residing on the island of Jamaica. 
Mr. Meriam was sorely troubled by the treatment which this 
colored woman received from his mother-in-law. On one occasion, 
seeing Mrs. Fitch strike and otherwise maltreat her, he asked her 
for what price she would sell her slave to him. She answered, 
"A hundred dollars." He at once paid the price, and instantly 
gave Pameliaher freedom. She preferred to remain with him, and 
did so till his death. After this, she went to Little Cambridge 
(Brighton), where she married, and fin all}- died at aA^ery advanced 
age. According to her own testimou}', she was born in Africa, 
stolen from her parents while a child, and carried to Jamaica, 
where she became the propert}^ of Mr. Fitch. The act of 
Mr. Meriam is in harmony with the kind and peaceable character 

* A glimpse of Newton life is found in a vote passed in March, 1769, providing that 
"]Mr. Meriam's wood-cutting be the first Tuesday in October; if foul, the next 
fair day." 


ascribed to him, and marked him, at that early period, as a prac- 
tical abolitionist. 

The fire which consumed Mr. Meriam's house originated, as -jvas 
said, among some corn cobs in the garret, and was discovered 
while the family were at sui:>per. The table around which thej- 
were sitting was taken out of the house with its furniture and 
food disposed upoa it. The table is still in possession of Mrs. 
John Kcnrick, whose father-in-law, Mr. John Kenrick, married 
Mr. Meriam's daughter. 

The burning of Mr. Meriam's house gave to the people of his 
charge an opportunit}', which they cheerfull}' and generall}- em- 
braced, to afford their pastor liberal aid in rebuilding on the same 
site. The new house, after his decease, passed into the hands of 
his successor in the ministrj', the Rev. Dr. Homer, who occupied 
it during his entire lifetime in Newton. It stood on Centre Street, 
midwa}' between the mansions of the Hon. Alden Speare, second 
mayor of the citj' of Newton, and Thomas Nickerson, Esq. The 
two large acacias, still (1880) flourishing, were at the sides of the 
path leading to the front door. The house was removed to a par- 
allel street westward, and was occupied for man}- years as a farm 
house b}' the heirs of Martin Morse, Esq. 

After the burning of the Church Records, Mr. Meriam com- 
menced a new book of Records, supplj'ing the loss of the former, 
as far as possible, thi'ough the memories of official persons and the 
older members of the church. A coimnittee of twelve was ap- 
pointed, " to inquire who are church members, and who have owned 
the covenant, not being in full communion,* to be put on record." 
These twelve members of the committee CA-idently represented 
every localit}' in the town. Undoubtedl}*, at a period when the com- 
munity embraced many sexagenarians, not to say octogenarians, 
and when there was little dispersion of families, the sons general^ 

•These persons were included in the half-way covenant, so called. The early settlers, 
anxious to preserve the purity of the government, allowed none to vote or hold 
political office, except such as were church members, and regular communicants at 
the Lord's Supper. In process of time, there were many excellent persons, of sober 
life and true worth, who, on account of doubts of their own spiritual estate, were too 
conscientious to partake of the sacrament. But their fellow-citizens desired their servi- 
ces in the administration of the government, and thought them as worthy to exercise 
the right of suffrage as church members were. Hence they invented the half-way cove- 
nant, so called, which allowed such persons a condition of qii/cf^i-church membership, 
without requiring them, as if in full communion, to partake of the Lord's Supper. 
And thus they came to enjoy all the rights of citizenship. 


settling near tlieir fathers' homesteads, — this reproduction of the 
church list was very full and accurate. Probably very few, if any, 
names were omitted. 

In 1773, the committee reported the names of seventy-eight 
males and one hundred and thirty females, total two hundred and 
eight, as members in full communion, which were so registered. 
Mr. jMeriam also recorded the names of baptized children, with 
the names of their parents, without date, as given in by parents 
and others, after the Records had been destroj'ed. The number 
of children in this list is eight hundred and fifty-six. 

The above catalogues show, first, that the families of those 
early denizens were, as a general rule, very fruitful. Many of 
them register the names of ten, eleven, or twelve, each, of the 
olive plants which grew around their tables. They show' also that 
the custom of bringing their children to the altar was highly valued 
by the parents, and generally observed. The names of church 
members in the new catalogue, indicate that the same disproportion 
existed in that age as in later times, in the comparative numbers 
of males and females who were church members, the latter being 
nearly double the former. Seven persons are set down as having 
joined the church in 1774, and two in 1777; of the former, the 
last on the list is Pomp, the slave of Mr. Jackson, who is referred 
to in the chapter on the period of the Revolutionary War. 

Dr. Homer says of Mr. Meriam that " he was reputed a scholar 
of considerable talents, and had a happy skill in composition. His 
natural temper was mild and amiable. He was charitable to the 
distressed, with a peculiar tenderness for the reputation of others, 
and studied peace through life." The Hon. William Jackson says 
of him, — "Aged people who attended his ministry state that his 
church prayers were mostly repetitions, being nearly the same, 
Sunday after Sunday and j'ear after year. He spolce rather slowly, 
with a slight uupedmient, was easily persuaded, a man of not much 
influence or force of character, having a quiet and easy tempera- 
ment and a peaceable disposition." He died of consumption 
August 13, 1780, aged fifty years, having borne the sufferings of his 
last sickness with much patience. His pastorate continued twenty- 
two years and five months. His remains rest in a tomb in Boston, 
belonging to the family of Mrs. Meriam, and a monument was 
erected to his memory in Newton. 


A committee of the town was appointed to make provision for 
the fuueral of Mr. Meriaui. Col. Benjamin Hammond lent £19"), 
towards the expenses. The expenses indicated are £60, paid Doa. 
Bowles, " for making a coffin." and £31 paid Joshua Murdock, 
" for half a barrel of beer and half a cord of wood for the fu- 
neral." In the hot month of August, the only use of so much wood 
must have been for culinarv consumption. 

Signs of advancement marked the ministr}^ of Mr. Meriam. The 
new Records imply that the musical taste of the people was begin- 
ning to receive cultivation, and that new sacred tunes were finding 
their way into public worship. Nov. 6, 1770, Samuel Woodward 
and Deacon Stone were appointed choristers. It was also voted 
" that a medium be observed between the old and new tunes. If 
any uneasiness arise with regard to that medium, they may consider 
of it hereafter, if they judge proper, — the chorister to be judge 
for the present." 

About the same time the Deacons Greenwood, Ward and Stone, 
with Mr. Miller and the pastor, were appointed to consider a petition 
respecting the introduction of the version of the Psalms hy Tate 
and Brady, " with the hymns thereto annexed." The committee 
reported in favor of the introduction, and the report was agreed 
to. It was also during this period that it was voted " that trees 
be set out to shade the meeting-house, if an}' persons wUl be so 
generousl}'^ minded as to do it." 

It was while Mr. Meriam was pastor that a movement was com- 
menced and consummated for the establishment of two parishes 
in Newton, the East and the West. As early as 1767, Jonathan 
Williams and others petitioned the town that a sum of money 
might be granted to support preaching in the meeting-house in the 
west part of the town during the winter season. The petition was 
not granted ; but in 1778, eleven 3'-ears later, b}- Act of the Gen- 
eral Court passed in October, the line was drawn, establishing and 
defining the West Parish, — " beginning upon the bank of Charles 
River, at the southeasterly corner of a farm possessed bj- Samuel 
Woodward, thence by a direct line to the southeasterl}'' part of laud 
improved Ijy Daniel Fuller, and to continue the same straight 
course to Watertown line." 

The First Baptist church in Newton, — an event for those 
days, — was organized in July, 1780, about six weeks before Mr. 
Meriam's death. 


Six new pews were built in the First Parish meeting-house in 
1779, slips being removed to make room for them. These pews 
were leased at auction at the March meeting, annuall}-, the rent to 
be paid in Indian corn, not less than half a peck of corn to be 
accepted as a bid, and the corn to be delivered to the Treasurer. 
The first j'ear the amount received was twentj'-two bushels. At 
the next annual meeting, the corn was sold bj'' the Moderator of 
the meeting at auction, in lots, to suit purchasers ; and this custom 
was continued annuall}' till 1797. In 1780, corn sold from $31.50 
to $33.00 per bushel ; and in 1781, for $62.00 per bushel, depre- 
ciated currenc}'. 

In 1782, it sold for 4s. 6d. to 4s. 8d. 
In 1783, it sold for 6s. 6d. to 7s. 3d. 
In 1784, it sold for 3s. Od. to 3s. 3d. 
In 1785, it sold for 3s. 3d. to 3s. Id. 
In 1786, it sold for 4s. 4d. to 4s. 8d. 
In 1787, it sold for 3s. 4d. to 3s. 5d. 
In 1788, it sold for 3s. 6d. to 3s. 9d. 
In 1789, it sold for 2s. lOd. to 3s. 

In 1790, it sold for 3s. 7d. to 3s. lid. 
In 1791, it sold for 3s. Od. to 3s. 2d. 
In 1792, it sold for 2s, 7d. to 2s. 9d- 
In 1793, it sold for 4s. Od. to 4s. 6d. 
In 1794, it sold for 4s. 
In 1795, it sold for 4s. 2d. to 4s. 4d. 
In 179(3, it sold for $1.03 to $1.14. 

In 1797 this corn-rent was discontinued, and pew rents were 
paid in money ever afterwards. 

The events preliminary to the war of the Revolution, the early 
struggles of the colonists against British oppression, the exciting 
town meetings of Newton, the scenes of Lexington, Concord and 
Bunker Hill, and the major part of the acts of that grand period 
in American history which resulted in making the people a free 
and independent nation, — all fall within the hmits of Mr. Meri- 
am's ministry. If he partook, — as doubtless he did partalce, — of 
the spirit of the times, when the people of his parochial charge 
were on fire with patriotism, and man}^ of them stood in the fore- 
front of the conflict, he must have proved himself, — ■ as the minis- 
ters of New England alwa3's have done, — an ardent advocate of 
freedom and the rights of man. His sermons must have stirred 
the soldiers to arms, like the blast of a bugle. He must have 
been a comforter to the afflicted and bereaved, brave and hopeful 
in the hour of discouragement and disaster, ready to endure hard- 
ships with his brethren till the days of darkness were overpast, and 
nobly shown himself not only the Christian minister but the 
Christian patriot. No man could have stood in such a position, 
at such a time, with the clash of arms sounding all around him, 
without feeling the inspiration of the occasion. How gladly would 


we have a few of his sermons, — how gladly would we have more 
profuse specimens of the pulpit eloquence of New England, — 
during that juncture of affairs ! 

During the later years of his pastorate, the health of Mr. Meriam 
had become so enfeebled that he was able to preach but little, and 
the parish were dependent upon various supplies. The follow- 
ing list of the persons who filled the pulpit during Mr. Meriam's 
sickness, and after his decease until the election of a successor, 
with the var}'ing sums i^aid them for their services, is interesting. 
There was apparentl}^ no fixed rate of compensation. Nor can we 
affirm any thing with certainty of the complexion of the theology 
to which the people listened on successive Sabbaths. There was 
at that time no definite Une drawn between orthodoxy and liberal- 
ism. But some of the names of the pulpit supplies, taken in 
connection with the history of their subsequent relations, indicate 
that the hearers did not lack variet}' in theological teaching. 






David Daniels, 


£103. 10s. 


John rrince, 

5 and Fast Day, 



Caleb Gannett, 


40. IDs. 


Pachard Roswell Eliot, 




Edward Sprague, 


21. IGs. 


Levi Whitman, 




Ebenezer Chaplin, 

Fast Day, 



B. Bently, 




Elisha Fiske, 



Dr. Cooper, 


Jacob Coggin, 


Joseph Killbum, 


Mr. Parsons, 


Aaron Smith, 


Moses Damon, 


Samuel Shuttleworth, 


Dr. Langdon, 


Benjamin Guild, 


Eliphali't Porter, 


Mr. MiUer, 


Jonathan Homer, 


Mr. Waters, 


William Greenough. 

The names of several of these " supplies " appear in the Trien- 
nial Catalogue of Harvard University. 

David Daniels, H. U. 1776, d. 1827. He was never ordained. 

John Prince, H U. 1776, distinguished Unitarian minister, at Salem, d. 1836. 

Caleb Gannett, probably H. U. 1763, tutor at Cambridge, d. 1818. 

Richard R. Eliot, H. U. 1774, tutor at Cambridge, d. 1818. 

Edward Sprague, H. U. 1770, d. 1817. 

Levi Whitman, H. U. 1779, d. 1838. 

Joseph Killbum, H. U. 1777, d. 1816. 

Aaron Smith, H. U. 1777, never ordained. 

Samuel Shuttleworth, H. U. 1777, d. 1834. 

Benjamiu Guild, H. U. 1769, tutor at Cambridge, d.l792. 

Jacob Coggin, H. U. 1703, d. 1803, never ordained. 

Dr. Samuel Langdon, H. U. 1740, President H. U.,d. 1797. 

Eliphalet Porter, H. U. 1777, Unitarian pastor, Roxburj', d. 1833. 

WiUiam Greenough, Yale Coll. 1774, Pusto at West Newton, d. 1831. 


Four of these gentlemen were classmates of Dr. Homer, and 
four others must have been at the Universit}' with him. 

This period was one of the crises in the histor}' of the town and 
of the First Parish, marking the beginning of the transition from 
the methods of the fathers to the methods of modern times. 
From this period the parish was distinct from the town, and the 
church from the parish, — the church being a kind of upper house, 
whose jurisdiction was superior, while that of the parish was 
inferior ; but involving the peculiarity that many of the members 
of the upper house were also members of the lower house, and 
might be able to control its measures. But a spirit of harmony 
has generally prevailed. Neither house has taken advantage of 
the other. The same method of church polity, substantially', has 
prevailed among the Congregational churches, including the Bap- 
tists, from that day to this. 




It was sixtj^ years after the first settlement of Cambridge Village 
when the town voted, March 7, 1G98, "to build a school-house as 
soon as thej' can," and the next 3car, " to build a school-house six- 
teen feet by fourteen, before the last of November." Many of the 
fathers of the town, however, had received a respectable education 
in England. The mothers too were doubtless not lacking in intellect 
or attainments. But the school s^'stem of Newton was built up little 
by little. In a rural town, mainly occupied with the bare support 
of life, or the gradual improvement of their estates, the majority 
of the inhabitants felt little need of intellectual culture. For nearly 
a centuiy they had no higher aim than the district school ; and, in 
their early days, even this modicum of literary ojjportunity was 
afforded very sparingh'. For many years, in the Records of the 
"March meeting," for the election of the town officers, it is a 
maikcd fact that the school committee were the last, or nearly the 
last of the office-holders chosen. The hog- reeves, the deer-reeves, 
the sealer of weights and measures, and of leather, the hay-wards, 
the fence-viewers and the " tything-men " were sure to be men- 
tioned as elected and " sworn ; " but in half the 3'ears between 
1706, when the first school committee was chosen, and the year 
1733, the fact of the election of these officers is omitted. A sur- 
vey of the names of the school committees for the first fifty years, 
not to say twice that number, shows also that the people had no 
idea of a plan for the gradual elevation of the schools ; no con- 
ception of a continuous progress ; no sense of the worth of expe- 
rience in the guardians of public education. The names are 


changed so often, and, apparently', so arbitrarily, as to indicate that 
the citizens, in the construction of the school committee, thought 
only of rotation in office, — the policy of giving every man in the 
town a chance to hold office for once in his life, and that this com- 
mittee was, in their estimation, the waste and useless territory, 
where this sj'stem of policy could be experimented on with the least 
public detriment. Those families which lived nearest the Cam- 
bridge grammar school, and had some literary enterprise, might 
have sent their sons thither for higher training ; but for most of 
the citizens, this opportunity must have been beyond the reach 
alike of their means and their ambition. 

A grammar school was early established in Cambridge. Several 
of the first settlers were men of learning who appreciated the 
advantages of education, and determined that the rising generation 
should enjoy them. If the church was the first object of their 
care, the school was the second 

In 1636, when Boston was scarcely six years old, the General 
Court voted four hundred pounds, equal to a year's rate of the 
whole colon}', towards the erection of a " public school or college ; " 
of which two hundred pounds was to be paid the next year, and 
two hundred pounds when the work was finished. An order was 
passed, soon afterwards, that the college should be at Newton, 
"a place very pleasant and accommodate." Part of the land on 
wliich the college and the President's house were built, containing 
two acres and two-thirds, was granted for the pm-pose by the town 
of Cambridge. In November, 1644, an order was passed by the 
General Court, desiring each famil}' to give a peck of corn or a 
shilling in cash to the treasury of the College. In 1647 the State 
of Massachusetts made the support of schools compulsory. 

The grammar school near the College was nearly coeval with 
the existence of the town, and an object of much care aud attention. 
A writer in 1643 remarks, "B3-the side of the College is a fair 
grammar school, for the training up of 3'ouug scholars, aud fitting 
them for academical learning, and as they are judged ripe, they 
may be received into the College." The first law, establishing 
public schools in America, was passed by the General Court of 
Massachusetts, on the 27th of October, 1647. 

In 1665 ever}^ town had a free school, and, if it contained over 
one hundred families, a grammar school ; that is, according to the 
meaning of the authorities, a school where boj's could be fitted for 
the University. 


The " fairo Grammar school h\^ the side of the CoUedge," of 
which Mr. Corlet was master, and in which Mr. EUot, the first 
pastor at Cambridge Village, received the rudiments of his classi- 
cal education, was founded in 1G43, or earlier. Some j^ears later, 
the school received a liberal donation from Edward Hopkins, Gov- 
ernor of Connecticut, who died in 1657. Mr. Hopkins directed 
in his will that after the death of his wife a legac}' of £500 should be 
paid out of his estate in England, " for the upholding and promot- 
ing the Idngdom of the Lord Jesus Christ in these parts of the 
earth." The lady survived him forty-one j'ears. After her 
decease, the pa^onent of the legacy was refused, and a suit to re- 
cover it was instituted in the Court of Chancery. After a number 
of 5'ears the Lord Keeper Harcourt, with the consent of the " Soci- 
ety for Propagating Christianity "and others, decreed that the legacy, 
with interest from the time it was due, amounting in all to about 
£800, should be laid out in the purchase of lands for the benefit of 
Harvard College and the Grammar school at Cambridge. The 
money was received and laid out in purchasing a tract of land 
of the Natick Indians in 1715, to which the General Court after- 
wards added a considerable grant of lands adjacent, the whole 
forming the township in Middlesex count}'', which was named 
Hopkinton, in honor of the donor. 

The town of Cambridge was taxed for this school, in which their 
sons were to be fitted for college, and the inhabitants of Cam- 
bridge Village bore their share. In the proposal made by Cam- 
bridge, to quiet the inhabitants of the Village, in 1672, and which 
the General Court sanctioned in 1673, the Village was required to 
continue to aid in supporting the grammar school, and had an 
equal right to its advantages. But it was many miles away from 
Cambridge Village, and very likely few of the sons of the settlers 
attended the school, and were there fitted for college. Man}^ of 
the families, undoubtedly, taught their children in their own homes. 
Others, probably, neglected it, deeming the subduing of the wil- 
derness more important than literary culture. " The erection of 
the school-house was nearly half a century behind that of the 
meeting-house." But the fact that men were always found capable 
of transacting business in a discreet and orderly manner proves 
that they had both a good share of common sense, and as much lit- 
erar}' culture as then* circumstances rendered necessarj'. 

Before the enactment of the law establishing public schools, the 
Government seems to have taken the initiative in requiring that 


the children should not be allowed to grow up in ignorance. Allu- 
sion is made in the Cambridge Records of 1G4:2 to an order of the 
General Court passed in 1641, "' that the townsmen see to the edu- 
cating of children, and that the town be divided into six parts, 
and a person appointed for each division, to take care of all the 
families it contained." But the matter of public education seems 
to have given the earh' settlers no little anxiety. They were sen- 
sible of its importance, but they saw obstacles difficult to be over- 
come. It seemed to some of them, doubtless, a costty experiment, 
and there were those who hesitated to laj' out money for that 
which had made no demands upon them hitherto for nearly two 
generations, except in the comparatively small tax for the grammar 
school. They foresaw, in free schools, no immediate return in the 
necessary staples of living. The vexed question — " Where shall 
the school-house be placed ? " which has so often agitated later 
times, might well be a difficult one for them to solve, in their pov- 
erty, with their sparse population and scattered homes, and the 
broad geographical area included in their estates. It is interest- 
ing to watch their tentative efforts and resolves, as they felt their 
way trembhngly through the difficulties by which they were encom- 

May, 1G99. — Voted to build a school-house, sixteen feet by fourteen, be- 
fore the last of November.* 

January 1, 1700. — The Selectmen and inhabitants did hire and agree 
with John Staples to continue the keeping of the school four days in a week 
until March, and he to have two shillings per day. 

"Voted, that the school-house be set in the highway, near to Joseph Bart- 
lett's, and that it be finished by the first of October, and agreed with John 
Staples to keep the school one month, four days in a week, for £1 4s. 

But notwithstanding this vote, the school-house seems not to have 
been finished at the appointed date. For on the twenty-fifth of 
November following, the citizens voted " that the Selectmen shall 
hire a room, or place to keep school in, and shall agree with John 
Staples, or some other, to keep and continue the school until the 
town meeting of election in March." 

* A record of a still earlier date, 169G, implies that a movement for a school in the 
town had been previously made, and that the name of John Staples had been used in 
connection with it. " In this year, 1696," says the record, " the town agreed to build 
a school-house, and chose a committee to treat with and persuade John Staples 
(afterwards a worthy deacon of the church) to teach the school. To him they gave, 
agreeably to their day of small things, one shiUing and sixpence per day." 


The various interests which were so difficult to be harmonized a 
few jxars later in regard to the location of the meeting-house, — 
requiring even the help of the General Court, — seem to have delaj'ed 
the erection of the first school-house. It was eas}^ to secure a 
vote to build ; but not so easy to decide where the building should 
stand. It was undoubtedly' with a view to aid in settling this ques- 
tion, that Abraham Jackson gave the town his acre of land, for the 
setting of the school-house upon and other purposes. This gift, 
dated May 14, 1701, perhaps contributed to the decision of the in- 
habitants. For at that same date, they agreed without dissent to 
the following votes : 

Voted, unanimouslj% to build two school-houses, one to be set at the 
meeting-house* seventeen feet square, besides chimney room ; and the other 
near Oak Hill, sixteen feet square, besides chimney room ; twenty-live pounds 
appropriated for both, and the residue to be made up by subscription ; one 
master to be hired to teach, two-thirds of the time at the meeting-house 
school, and one-third of the time at Oak Hill ; and those that send children 
to school shall pay three pence per week for those who learn to read, and four 
pence for those that learn to write and cipher ; and all may send to either 
Bchool as they choose. Capt. Prentice, Lieut. Spring and John Hyde were 
joined with the Selectmen to build the school-houses. 

Voted, that the Selectmen and Ephraim Wheeler, John Hyde, Nathaniel 
Healy and Edward Jackson treat with and persuade John Staples to keep the 
school, and if they cannot, then to use their best discretion to agree with and 
hire some other person. 

John Staples, whose name appears in these votes, was the first 
schoolmaster of Newton. He was a weaver by trade, and came 
to Newton in 1688. His farm was afterwards owned and occupied 
by William Wlswall ; now hj W. C. Strong, Esq. Nothing is 
known of his parentage. He married Mar}' Craft in Newton, Juh' 
24, 1690. They had no children. He was deacon of the church 
many years. Selectman eight 3'ears, from 1701 to 1709, and Town 
Clerk twent3'-one 3'ears, from 1714 to 1734, being the third in that 
office ; a man much respected and esteemed, and his name often 
appears in connection with positions of responsibilit3'. He died 
Nov. 4, 1740, aged 82. He gave b}' his will seventeen acres of 
woodland " for and towards the support of the ministerial fire, 
from 3'ear to year," and £25 to the poor of Newton. He brought 
up two 3'oung men, to whom he showed kindness and in his will 

♦The meeting-house at that time stood in the burying place on Centre Street. Oak 
Hill was, next to this section, the most important and thriving portion of the town. 


gave to one of them, James Pike, £20, and to the other, Joseph 
Lovering, all that was due on a bond from him, both principal and 
interest. He manifested an interest in the training up of a godly 
and learned ministry ; for he made a provision in his will as 
follows : 

John Staples Craft, son of Moses Craft, shall be brought up to learning, so 
far as to fit and prepare him for the ministry of the gospel, if he be capable of 
learning, and is willing to it; but if he cannot learn, or is not willing and 
free to learn, he shall have £400 in money, when he shall come to the age of 
twenty-one years. 

Inspired, perhaps, by the example of Abraham Jackson, 
Jonathan Hyde, senior, in 1702 gave to John Kenrick and others. 
Selectmen of Newton, " half an acre of land near Oak Hill, abut- 
ting ten rods on the Dedham road, and eight rods wide, northwest 
b}^ his own land, for the use and benefit of the school at the 
south part of the town." Mr. F. Jackson says, " This half acre 
of land was sold many years ago, and a small fund accumulated 
from the proceeds, which was divided among the inhabitants of the 
south school district, a few 3'ears since, by vote of the town, pro 
rata, according to the taxes each one paid." A school-house, 
however, has been maintained, ever since that time within a few 
yards of that localit3\ It was here that the Rev. Caleb Blood, 
the first pastor of the First Baptist church, taught school for two 
winters, piecing out an inadequate salary as a minister, by 
instructing the children. 

March 4, 1706, Captain Isaac Williams, Lieutenant John Mason 
and Abraham Jackson were appointed " a Commity to take care 
to provide a schoolmaster for the town this year." These names 
constituted the first school committee. After this a school com- 
mittee was probablj' elected annuall}^ 

These are the earliest records of the town in relation to common 
school education, subsequent to its separation from Cambridge, — 
the beginning of a series of measures which have set the town of 
Newton, in the progress of years, in the front rank of the towns 
of the Commonwealth, and gained for it a meed of praise in the 
grand Industrial Expositions of the world. Similar votes were 
passed in 1707 and 1709. In process of time, John Staples, the first 
schoolmaster, no longer kept school ; but he has left specimens 
both of his chirogi'aphy and orthograph}^, in the discharge of his 
o'flace as Town Clerk, in the Records of Newton. John Brown 


was probably his successor ; for we find two receipts signed by liim 
for his service as schoolmaster, the first dated April 13, 1715, and 
the second, June 26, 1717. 

From this date the citizens of Newton took regular action on 
the question of public schools. Their standards seem to us not 
ver}- elevated ; but they had not the culture and experience of two 
hundred years behind them, nor the wealth and willingness and 
public opinion of the second half of the nineteenth century to 
stimulate and sustain them. 

There were evident^ men among the people, who had progres- 
sive ideas of the importance of education, and who were in advance 
of their age, as the subsequent legislation of the town indicates. 
As early as March 10, 1717-18, the citizens passed these votes : 

Voted, to give ten pounds this present year to the nortlawesterly, west, and 
southwesterly inhabitants " for the promoting of Larning among them, in such 
placies as a Commity hearafter chosen shall appoint ; and to be paid to [such] 
schoolemaster or schoolemasters, as shall teach." 

Voted, that the Selectmen for the time being shall be the said committee, 
as aforesaid. 

In a town whose territory was so extensive and the population 
so scattered, the location of the schools was necessarily an em- 
barrassing question, and the people found no little diflQculty iu 
coming to an amicable decision ; and they seem to have been not 
only dilator}-, but also ungracious, in their attempts to settle it, 
as if the}' dreaded lest their private interests might be compro- 
mised by the decision. March 13, 1720, the proposal was made to 
grant the remote parts of the town twelve pounds annuallj^ to 
promote schooling among themselves, and the proposal was voted 
down ; then, that the grammar school should be kept at the school- 
house near the meeting-house, the present j^ear, — which was also 
voted down ; and, finally, to have the school kept in the school- 
house at the soutli part (Oak Hill) of the town ; and this was 
voted down likewise. 

At this juncture, Mr. Samuel Miller, " promising to find a room 
in his own house to keep the school in, and not charge the town 
anjthing for the use of it," a vote was passed that " the school 
should be kept in the house of the said Mr. Samuel Miller for 
the present year or ensuing yeav." 

Samuel Miller was the son of Joseph Miller, supposed to 
have come into ISewton from Charlestown, and who lived on the 


Stimpson Place, West Parish. Samuel Miller was born Septem- 
ber 24, 1678, and bad three sous and three daughters. . Besides 
this offer of a room in his house for the school, he gave the town, 
in 1726, four rods of land near his house for a school-house. 
He was Selectman in 1743, and died at Worcester, 1759, aged 

The next step was a provision that the people of Oak Hill shall 
enjoy their proportion of schooling at their school-house, accord- 
ing to their proportion of taxes paid ; the northerly and easterly 
parts of the town at the school- house near the meeting-house, on 
the same conditions ; and that the people of the west part shall 
receive twelve pounds ten shillings out of the town treasury' 
towards the building of a school-house within forty rods of the 
house of Samuel Miller, and the inhabitants to enjoy their propor- 
tion of schooling according to their proportion of taxes. 

The following record is interesting. The spelling shows that a 
school was very much needed. It is difficult to conceive how a 
schoolmaster could have allowed such a specimen to go from his 
hand. His teaching must have been better than his practice. 

May 11, 1720. — At a towne meeting appointed by ye Selectmen for to hear 
the pctitision of sundrcy ye inhabitanc on the westerly side of ye towne, for to 
have three seoolehousies in ye towne, and to have theire proportion of scool- 
ing, as also to hear ye request of sundrey of ye inhabitanc to have but one 
schoolhouse to keep ye gramer schoole in; as also, to hear the propesisionj 
of sundrey persons, yt. if the gramer schoole be kept but in one place, yt. 
there should be a consideration granted to ye remoat parts of the towne for 
schooling among themselves. The inhabitanc being lawfully warned by Mr. 
Ephraim Williams, constabll, to meet att the meeting house on said eleventh 
day of May, and being assembled on said day, did iirst trye a voat for three 
schoolehousies ; and was negatived. 

2. Did trye a voate for to have the gramer schoole to be kept but in one 
place, and it was voated to have but one schoolehouse to keep grammer 
schoole in for the towne. 

3. Voated, to grant the remoat parts of ye Towne a consideration for 
schooling among themselves. * 

4. Voated, to choose a Commity to consider whear said one schoolehouse 
should be erected for to keep the gramer schoole in ; as also to consider 
who ye remoat parts of the towne are y t. cannot have ye benifit of but one 
schoole and what alowanc they shall have for schooling among themselves ; 
and to make theire ropoart of what they do agree upon at ye next publick towy 
meeting for confirniation or non-confirraation. And then did choose Lieut. 
Jeraraiah Fuller, Mr. Joseph Ward, Mr. Nathaniell Longley, Mr. Richard 
Ward and Insine Samuel Hides to be the said Comraitey. 

Recorded per me, Joun Staples, Towne Clarke- 


Newton, May 11, 1720. — "Whe whose names are underwritten do enter cure 
dccents aginst this voate of having but one schoolehouse in this towne. 

William Ward, 
Edward Ward, 
Philip White, 
Jonathan' Dicke, 
John Ward, 
Jonathan Willakd, 
William Robeson, 


Job Seger, 
John Child. 
Eliezer Hides, 
Samuel Miller, 

Ephraim Williams, 
Henry Seger, 
John Parker, 
Isaac Williams, 
William Williams, 
Andrew Hall, 
John Hides, 
Robert Goddard, 
Jacob Chamberlin, 
John Parker, 
Joseph Mors, 
Ebenezer AVilson. 

The committee appointed at the town meeting May 11, 1720, 
made report at a town meeting held December 7, 1720, as follows : 

The said Comity did then bring in theire return as followeth, viz. : that 
ye most conveniant places to erect a schoolehouse upon to keep ye gramer 
schoole in is that place of land which ye towne purchased to sett the meeting- 
house upon, or, at ye opening of ye way between the land of Joim Cheaney 
and ye widdow Hannah Hides ; and secondly, to allow ye remote parts of ye 
towne twelve poundes a yeare for schooling among themselves, and yt. it be 
laid out for yt. use ; and tliirdly, did suppose yt. there is about sixty fammlvcs 
yt. are two miles and a halfe from the meeting-house, and about fortv 
fammlyes yt. are about three miles from ye meeting-house. 

The said Comitye's returne was then publickly read more than onst. 

The inhabitanc did then proceed to act and did 

First, voate an axceptanc of ye returne of the Commity. 

Secondly, did debate which of the said two placies to erect a schoolehouse 

And then did voate yt. ye said schoolehouse shall be erected at ye opening 
of the way between the land of John Cheaney and Hannah Hides. 

Per me John Staples, Recorder. 

It is evident that the excitement on this school question ran 
high, and brought out very decided action. At the town meeting, 
held March 13, 1721, after the election of a school committee, the 
town " did tr^-e a voat for ye granting j^e remoat parts of j-e towno 
twelve pounds annualy for schooling amoung themselves so long 
as ye schoole should be kept in one place ; and it was negatived." 

Did trye a voat yt. ye gramer schoole should be kept att the schoolehouse 
by the meeting-house for ye present year ; negatived. 

Did trye to have it kept at ye schoolehouse in ye southerly part of yo 
tov/ne ; and it was negatived. 

March 12, 1722. — Voated, that the schoole shall be kept this yeare two- 
thirdes of ye time at ye meeting-house, and one-third at ye south end of ye 


VoATED, yt. Mr. Edward Ward, Mr. Tliomas Hammond and Mr. Joseph 
Ward are a Commity to provide a schoolemaster for ye yeare ensewing. 

The following j'ear progress was made in the spirit of accom- 
modation. At the March meeting the inhabitants provided bj'' 
vote for three schools, — on the west side of the town one-half the 
year, and at the north and south parts, one-quarter each. In the 
nest 0«tober, a town meeting was held, to debate upon the proper 
location of one or more school-houses. Not finding a public dis- 
cussion of the subject beneficial, the inhabitants appointed a 
committee of six freeholders, " to go alone and debate or consider 
of what they thought best, and to make report to the town." The 
meeting was adjourned for one hour ; and then the committee 
reported that the}' thought best that the school-house should be con- 
tinued at Oak Hill, where it is. 

That the school shouhi be kept tliere one-quarter of the year, and half the 
year at the school-house by the meeting-house, and that a school-house should 
be erected in the westerly part of the town, where it shall be the most con- 
venient to the inhabitants, and that a school shall be kept there one-quarter 
of the year, — the inhabitants of the whole town to have liberty to send 
scholars to any one or all these school-houses, as they shall see reason. 

The inhabitants did not agree to this proposal ; but a petition 
was immediately presented, signed by sixty- three persons, pra3'ing 
that two school-houses might be appointed for the whole town, — 
one being the school at Oak Hill already in use, and the other to 
be erected in the centre of the remaining part of the town, for all 
the rest of the town ; each of the schools to be continued in pro- 
portion to the rates or taxes paid by the inhabitants of the two 
districts respectiveh'. 

Some of the citizens dissented from the plan. But the majority 
voted to grant the request of the petitioners, and to " build a new 
school-house in the centre of the remaining part of the town, Oak 
Hill being excepted." A committee was appointed to determine 
the centre of the remaining part of the town. The school-house 
was to be " 24 foots in length, 18 foots in width, and six foots 
between joints, and to be finished by the first of Ma}' following." 

But in less than two months the inhabitants were dissatisfied 
with this arrangement, and at a town meeting held December 17, 
1723, passed the following votes : 

1. That the south part of the town, from Stake meadow to the South 
Meadow Brook, and tlicrcby to the river, shall enjoy their proportion of the 
schooling at the school-house at Oak Hill, according to the proportion they 
bear in the taxes or town rates. 


2. That the northerly and easterly parts of the town shall enjoy their pro- 
portion of schooling at the school-houpe by the mecting-liouse, according to 
the taxes or to\rn rates of such as shall subscribe to that place. 

3. That tlie towne do grant the westerly inhabitants twelve pounds and 
ten shillings to be drawn out of the town treasury for and towards the build- 
ing of a echool-house within forty rods of the house of Samuel Miller, and 
that they shall enjoy their proportion of schooling there, according to the 
proportion they bear in taxes or town rates of those that shall subscribe to 
that place. And that the inhabitants of the town shall have free liberty of 
sending scholars to any one or to all three of the aforesaid places as they 
shall liave occasion, — any former votes or agreements relating to schooling 

September 5, 1731, a committee was appointed to petition the 
General Com't for a grant of laud, to enable the town to support 
a grammar school. 

In 1733 the Selectmen were authorized to use one of the school- 
houses for a work-house during the recess of the school, thus 
maldng these humble edifices of double utilit3^ In 1742 a vote 
was passed to remove the Centre school-house, by the meeting- 
house, to the Dedham road, and to place it "between the lane that 
comes from Edward Prentice's and Mill Lane, where the commit- 
tee shall order." 

The vexed question of the schools seems now to have rested for 
a season. No further action pertaining to them appears till 
March, 1750, when a committee was appointed to repair the 
meeting-house and the school-houses. 

In the meantime the ideas of the inhabitants in regard to educa- 
tion seem to have been somewhat enlarged. At a town meeting 
held December 4, 1751, we find this action : 

After some debate the question was put whether there should be two more 
schoolmasters provided to keep English schools in town, that there may be a 
school kept at each school-house until the anniversary meeting in March 
next; and it passed in the affirmative. 

Voted, that there should be two men chosen at the southerly part of the 
town and two at the westerly part of the town to provide masters. And then 
the town made choice of Thomas Greenwood, Esq., Captain Jonathan Fuller, 
Lieutenant Robert Murdock and i\Ir. John Wilson. 

Similar action took place November 30, 1752, when the town 
voted to choose a committee to provide two more schoolmasters, 
that schools ma}- be kept in each school-house in the town, until 
the anniversary town meeting in March next. 


The expression, — "two more schoolmasters," — probably does 
not imply an absolute addition of that number to the teaching 
force in the town, but only that two schoolmasters were to be pro- 
vided again this year, as there were two the last 3'ear. Many 
ancient town documents axe not distinguished by exactness in the 
forms of expression, but they are sufficiently plain not to be 

It is interesting to observe the cautious manner in which the 
early inhabitants proceeded in their public business, keeping every- 
thing under careful control, and suffering no important interest to 
be left unprovided for. 

Action similar to that of 1752 was repeated at the town meet- 
ing of October 29, 1753. 

Voted, that there sliall be two more schoohnasters provided to keep Eng- 
lish schools in the town, — 'One to be kejit at the school-house in the westerly 
part of the town ; the other to be kept at the school-house in the southerly 
part of the town, and said schools to be opened on Monday, the 12th day of 
November next, and to continue until the first Monday of March next fol- 

The next year, October 7, 1754:, the question was again proposed 
in town meeting whether there should be " two more schoolmasters 
provided, that so a school ma}' be kept in each school-house from 
the first day of December next to the anniversary' town meeting 
in March next. And it passed in the affirmative." 

For several years beginning with 1744, at the March meeting, 
the town appointed a committee " to provide a Grammar School 
master to keep the Grammar school the ensuing j^ear." It is not 
probable, however, that the town employed the phrase " Grammar 
school " in the sense designed by the Great and General Court, 
namel}'^ a school where the Latin and Greek languages were 
taught, and where young men were fitted for college. And this 
committee seems rather to be the ordinarj' school committee, 
having charge of visiting the common district schools. Possibly 
the terms used were employed unconsciously in such a general 
sense. At any rate, the wisdom of the Legislature ma}' well be 
questioned, in requiring ever}' town in the Commonwealth number- 
ing a hundred families to maintain a school Avhere boys could be 
fitted for college. There was need of men to fill the learned pro- 
fessions ; but there was greater need of stalwart arms to subdue 
the soil, and to meet the exigencies of this young and rugged 


country. And we s^niipathize with the carl}' inhabitants, if the}^ 
endeavored by forms of language to evade the law, or, on account 
of a sense of its lack of timely wisdom, put off compliance with 
its terms. They were wiser than their law-givers. 

The desire for improved facilities in the department of educa- 
tion was evidently on the increase. In 1751 and again in 1753, 
the town had voted to have two more schoolmasters, and at the 
former date, to repair the school-houses. Still, the opportunities 
of instruction were very slender, and unless they enjoyed private 
tuition, the young people must have grown up with little literary 
culture. In 1754, the vote of the town was "to have three schools 
in the town, kept from December first to March meeting." But for 
such as were able to avail themselves of higher opportunities and 
inchned to do so, there was -Judge Fuller's private school, where 
the higher branches of learning were taught, previous to 1760. 
In this school, the germ of the subsequent Fuller Academ}', 
Joseph Ward became an assistant in 1757, when he was only 
twent}^ 3'ears of age, — at the same time teaching, and adding to 
his attainments in advanced studies. In 17G2 the town was pre- 
sented for not setting up a grammar school, as the Laws of Mas- 
sachusetts required, and the vSelectmen were chosen to defend the 
town before the Court. About this time there was a vote, repeated 
from 3'ear to year, that the grammar school should be kept at the 
house of Edward Durant, and after a few j'ears, at " such school- 
house as the committee may determine." In 1763, it was voted 
b^^ the town "to have four districts and four schools, and all to be 
provided with wood." These schools were unequal in duration ; 
that at the " Centre was to continue twenty weeks and two da3^s ; 
Northwest, fourteen weeks and two days ; Oak Hill, ten weeks 
and six days ; Southwest, six weeks and five da^s." This filled 
out the fift3*-two weeks of the 3-ear. 

In 1703 a school was located in the southwest district, and a 
brick builchng 14 b3^ 16 feet square and chimne3' room, was built 
on what is now the triangular lot east of the railroad, between 
Boylston Street and the old road, a little southwesterh' from the late 
Manc3' Thornton's residence (once the Mitchell tavern). The 
house was covered with a hip roof, coming together at a point in 
the centre ; a fireplace about six feet wide and four feet deep, 
with a large chimne3', in which they burned wood four feet long, 
occupied one side of the room. An appropriation of £6 10s. 


defrayed all the expense of teachers, etc., for six weeks and five 
daj'S. This house became very much dilapidated, and the roof so 
leaky, in its later years, that it was not uncommon for the teacher 
to huddle the scholars together under an umbrella or two, to pre- 
vent their getting wet during the summer showers. B}'- a tradi- 
tionar}' blindness, as has been charitabty assumed, our early 
fathers did not see that females required and deserved instruction, 
equally with males ; hence the first provisions for primary schools 
were confined chiefly to boys, and it was not until the j'eai' 1789 
that the law was modified so as to allow girls to attend. Before 
the end of the eighteenth century', in nearly every town in the 
Commonwealth, arrangements were made for the education of 
girls, especially in summer. As late as the 3'ear 1820, however, 
the pubhc schools in Boston admitted girls onlj' from April to 

The appropriations for schools in 1763 were, for the school near 
the meeting-house £19 9s. ; Northwest, £13 lis. ; Oak Hill, 
£10 10s. ; Southwest, £6 10s. Total, £49. 

In 17G6 the town voted £16 to employ a schoolmistress. This 
was the first " woman's school." The same year the town voted 
to have five school districts, west, north, east, south and south- 
west, five school-houses, and one committee man to watch over 
the interests of each school. But it was an evil, that the members 
of the school committee were changed so often. Almost the en- 
tire Board at some periods, was, annuaU}', a new one. Hence 
the system of education must have been conducted without plan, 
the results of the instruction generally meagre, and if high 
scholarship came out of such hap-hazard training, it must have 
been less purposed than accidental. 

The appropriation for schools out of the town treasury for many 
years was £50. In 1774 it was raised to £60; by slow degrees, 
it reached in 1800, £500. 

Besides the public schools, there were places of private instruc- 
tion in Newton. Mr. Ward's school (p. 247) was not the onl}' 
one. In April, 1765, Mr. Charles Pelham, from Boston, bought 
the homestead of the late Rev. John Cotton, and opened a private 
academy in his house. He is said to have been a person of good 
education, and well adapted to his occupation as a teacher. Most 
of his scholars probably came from Boston and other towns. 

In 1791 there were six school districts, the Lower Falls then 
enjoying school privileges. 


The school-houses had hitherto been the property of the several 
districts, having been built wholly or parti}' by funds provided b}' 
the people who expected to enjoy benefit from them. But in 
1794, the town voted to purchase as many of them, with the laud 
appurtenant, as could be obtained on reasonable terms. The 
proprietors of the east school-house estimated their house at £40 ; 
south school-house £90 ; southwest, £100 ; north, £20 ; the pro- 
prietors of the west school-house referred the estimate of theirs to 
the committee appointed by the town. 

In 1796 the town voted that "five stoves be provided to warm 
the school-houses." 

From year to year, extending from 1 795 to 1806 , committees 
were appointed by the town to mature a plan for the regulation 
and government of the schools of the town. In 1802, the 
ministers of the town formed a part of this committee ; but no 
report of any of these committees ever found a place on the 
Town Records. 

The efforts of the school committee to please their constituents 
and of the townsmen to please themselves seem to have been 
unwearied. For more than a century the school committee did 
not venture to act on their official responsibility in directing the 
work of education, and the town did not venture to put the work 
out of their own hands. The latter appointed a committee to 
manage the work, and yet they preferred to manage it themselves. 
Hence there was a constant lack of efficienc3\ The citizens, in 
town meeting assembled, could not properly provide for the inter- 
ests of education without awakening the jealousy of one part of 
the town against another, and for many years the work moved 
feebly. The period of vigor and efficiency came only with the 
introduction of the system of graded schools. 






There was nothing, originally', to give prominence to "West 
Newton above the other villages of the town, except its geographi- 
cal position and the enterprise of its inhabitants. It was no more 
than a fertile portion of a good New England town. But in the 
da3's of stage-coaching, it became a central point of importance 
earl}' in the present centmy. As many as thirty stages made it, at 
one period, a regular stopping-place daily. The academj^ of 
Master Davis and his enterprise and taste did much to bring the 
village, later, intc* prominence. The railroad station planted here 
at the outset in the histor}' of the Boston and Albany Railroad, 
and the persistent influence which persuaded the people of the 
town, after j'ears of resistance, that this was the proper home of 
the town meetings and of all municipal authority, have at last 
secured for "West Newton the position to which it aspired. But 
the first movement towards the development of this part of the 
town was an ecclesiastical one. 

About 1661 Thomas Park, John Fuller and Isaac Williams were 
probably the onh^ settlers in what is now known as A\^est Newton. 
Isaac Williams' house was about thirty rods northeast of the place 
where the AYest Parish meeting-house now stands, near the brook 
(Cheese-cake) . He was a weaver bj' trade, and represented the 
town in the General Court six j'ears, and was a Selectman three 
years. About one hundred 3'ears later the inhabitants began to 
take measures to have occasional preaching in their neighborhood, 
especially in winter. As earl}- as the j'car 1760, meetings were 
held, and a Building Committee was appointed, consisting of 




Thomas Miller, innholder, Jonathan "Williams, j-eoraan, and 
Samuel Hastings, tanner, — who were instructed to solicit contri- 
butions and commence the building of a meeting-house, as soon 
as there should be sufficient encouragement. A minister was hired 
to keep the public school duiing the winter months, and to preach 
on the Sabbath. 

In Juh', 1764, Phineas Bond, of Newton, innholder, in consid- 
eration of £2 8s., conveyed to the Building Committee, their heirs 
and assigns, forever, about eight rods of land, on which to erect 
a meeting-house or houses, — bounding upon the county road, 
and laud of Isaac Williams, and his own land. This deed was 
acknowledged in March, 1780 ; but the meeting-house was 
erected in the summer of 1764. Its dimensions were forty-thi'ee 
feet by thirt}-. 

In 1767, the edifice being finished, Jonathan Williams and 
others in the westerly part of the town requested of the town that 
a reasonable sum of mone^^ should be granted for the support of 
preaching in the new meeting-house ; but the town refused their 
request. They renewed their petition in 1770, 1772, 1773 and 
1774. As often as the petition was rejected, so often they pressed 
their suit afresh ; judging that, according to the parable in the 
New Testament, their importunitj' might obtain for them what 
the justice of their cause failed to secure. The}' also in 1773 
petitioned the General Court for a grant of money from the town 
treasury for the support of preaching for a period of four months. 
This action shows how thoroughly in earnest the people were ; 
though it is difficult to see how the State government could reason- 
ably assume control over the treasury of a town. At length, in 
1778, they petitioned the General Court to be set off as an inde- 
pendent parish, which was granted. The Act of Incorporation, 
passed in October, 1778, describes the dividing line, the uihabi- 
tants on either side of said line being at liberty to belong to 
whichever parish the}' chose, proAdded that the}' made then* elec- 
tion within six months after the passage of the act. 

The first meeting was held in November, 1778, to organize 
under the Act, and the following officers were chosen : 

Jonathan Brown, Aroderator, 

Alexander Shepaud, jr., Clerk. 

Joseph Jackson, Treasurer, 

Phineas Hond, ] 

Jonathan Williams, | 

Dr. Uenjamin Tarker, ^Standing Committee, 

Nathaniel Gueenough, 

Alexander Shei'ard, JR., J 

Col. Nathan Fuller, VoUrcfor, 

Joshua Jaoksox, jr.. Sexton. 


The next year the proprietors of the meeting-house appointed 
Alexander Shepard, jr., Joseph Hyde and Phiueas Bond to give a 
title. to the pews in the meeting-house. William Hoogs gave a 
Book for the Records. 

Everything was now arranged, as to the externals, for the 
worship of God. It remained to la}' the corner-stone of the 
spiritual edifice, which was to be reared. This was done October 
21, 1781, when twentj^-six persons, all but one dismissed from the 
First church in Newton, were organized into the West Parish 
chm-ch. At the pubhc service, Rev. Joseph Jaclcson, of Brook- 
line, preached, the Covenant was read and the members expressed 
their approval, and voted themselves a Congregational church 
according to the Cambridge t*latform, and declared their assent to 
the great or leading doctrines of the General Assembler's Shorter 

The first members of the West Parish church were as follows : 

Joseph Ward, Deacon, 
Joseph Jackson, Deacon, 
Samuel Jackson, 
Joshua Jackson, 
Alexander Shepard, 
Josiah FuUer, jr., 
Joseph Adams, jr. 
Joseph Adams, sen.. Deacon, 
from Brookline church, 
Deborah Woodward, 
Lydia Upham, 
Lois Jackson, 
Ruth DureU, 
Abigail Jackson, 

Samuel Crafts, 
Josiah Fuller, 
Jonathan Fuller, 
Jonathan Williams, 
Samuel Woodward, 
Abigail Fuller, 
Mary Fuller, 
Elizabeth Fuller, 
Experience Ward, 
Lydia Knapp, 
Maiy Adams, 
Elizabeth Shepard, 
Tabitha Miller. 

The following votes describe the principles of the organization : 

Voted, In order to entitle any person to either of the ordinances of the 
Christian Scriptures, namely, baptism and the Lord's Supper, he shall make 
a public confession of religion and dedication of himself to God ; and that 
every person so doing shall be entitled to both ordinances, and may come to 
them without making any other profession of his faith and belief. 

Voted, that all church members be admitted by the major part of the 
votes. Before any person is admitted, his design shall be made known in pub- 
lic by the pastor, two weeks before admission. 

Soon after the new church was organized, a request was pre- 
sented to the First Parish for a part of the communion furniture, 
which is thus reported in the records of that body : 

November 25, 1731. — A request from the Second church in Newton that 
they might have a part of the church vessels appropriated to them, was laid 


before this church; and after some conversation, tlie church voted that the 
deacons deliver up four pewter tankards and one pewter dish, as a present 
from this claurch to the Second church in Newton. 

This vote indicates the frugality of the churches of that period, 
and impUes the day of small things among them. 

The Second church in Boston, of which Mr. Greenough, the 
fli'st pastor in West Newton, was a member, gave the church in 
West Newton a pulpit Bible. Dea. Thomas Greenough, of Bos- 
ton, his father, " presented a christening bason, two flagons and 
two dishes for the communion service. " The church in "West 
Newton also petitioned the First church for a portion of the minis- 
terial wood-lot in the West Parish. 

Mr. William Greenough was unanimously elected the first pas- 
tor, and ordained November 8, 1781. His own pastor, the Rev. 
Dr. John Lothrop, of the Second chm'ch in Boston,* preached on 
the occasion ; Rev. Jacob Gushing, of Waltham, gave the charge, 
and Rev. Joseph Jackson, of Brookline, the right hand of fellow- 
ship. " A small house, and a little handful of people, " said one 
who was present. 

Voted, that brothers Ward, Shepard and the pastor be a committee to form 
a church covenant. Also, that a portion of the Scriptures be read in public 
each Lord's day. 

In the month following, Joseph Ward and Joseph Jackson were 
elected Deacons, 

In 1812 the chm'ch edifice being found insufficient to accommo- 
date the increasing congregation, it was enlarged by an addition of 
twelve feet to the main structure. A large portion of the audience 
room was newly seated, also provided with galleries, anjd other- 

* The churcli edifice of the Second church in Boston was on Middle Street, now 
Hanover Street, between Richmond and Prince, just north of Richmond Street. The 
tall, slender steeple was siu'mounted by a rooster (the emblem of watchfulness), 
whence the church was called by the common people " the cockerel church." At an 
earlier period, this church had enjoyed a golden age under the Mathers. After the 
decease of Dr. Lothrop, its ministers were the Rev. Henry Ware, jr., Ralph Waldo 
Emerson, and the Rev. Chandler Robbins. During the pastorate of the latter, the 
old church editice was demolished, and a more sumptuous structure, with a brown 
stone front, took its place,— the old rooster resuming his position on the apex of 
the steeple. On account of financial embarrassments, the church building was sold, 
and purchased by the First Methodist Society. In a heavy gale, September 15, 186D, 
the steeple toppled over into the street. Sometime later, a less imposing building 
of brick appeared on the same site, having on the front wall a tablet with this 

" The First Meeting House built on this spot A. D. 1721. Rebuilt, 1844. This House 
erected, A. D. 1870." 


wise improved. And on Thanksgiving day, November 2G, of the 
same year, the house was reopened for public worship. 
Mr. Seth Davis writes (1847),— 

The building of a meetiag-house and forming a new society in the West 
Parish was met with violent opposition. Years of contest were spent before 
the Society was incorporated, in 1778. The line of division commenced at 
the southeast corner of the farm of Samuel Woodward at Charles River, and 
from thence in a straight line to the southeast corner of the farm improved by 
Daniel Fuller, and continuing the same course to Watertown line. But such 
were the conflicting views of many citizens, that the act of incorporation was 
accompanied by a proviso, that any person living on either side of the line, 
by leaving his name with the Secretary of the Commonwealth within six 
months, might belong to either parish he should choose. This proviso was re- 
pealed in 1788, and the line between the parishes became unconditional. 
This line, however, was not wholly defined for many years. An attempt was 
made to run the same, commencing at the southwesterly corner; but the 
same spirit which for many years had existed, broke out afresh upon 
some disputed point, in the midst of a winter-squash yard ;* and, the line pass- 
ing over a large squash, — the large end being east, — the parties separated 
with no kind feelings, after giving to the east and west sections tlie nickname 
of ' ' Squash end " and " Bellhack." The latter has become obsolete ; but the 
former is sometimes still applied, in the way of ridicule, to the west portion 
of the town. 

Rev. William Greenough was born in Boston, June 29, 1756, 
entered Yale College at the age of foiu'teen, and graduated with 
the highest honors of his class in 1774. Both as Bachelor and 
Master of Arts he was admitted to an ad euadem degree in Har- 
vard University. His pastorate at Newton, which covered his 
whole public life, was of fifty years and two days. During his 
ministry, one hundred and two members were added to the church, 
an excellent proof of the gradual effects of the gospel, faithfully 
preached. The meeting-house was fortj^ feet long by thuty feet 
wide. It stood a few feet west of the present edifice, and 
"looked like a barn." The building was enlarged and a spire 
added in 1812, f altered and improved in 1831, and again in 1838. 

*The squash yard was at or very near the junction of Pearl Street with Watertowu 
Street, and was then owned by Daniel Fuller. His house was staudiug, but untit ti> 
be occupied, until about 1805. 

tDr. Gilbert says of this enlargement : The meeting-house was turned, the side to 
the street, and twelve feet added, making it forty-two by forty. Also, a porch was 
added, with a belfry, and a gallery put in. The house had windows above and below. 
I counted them, and, taking into the couut the two half circular windows over the 
two front doors, the number was fifty; no blinds; all rattled when the wind blew, 
and when the sun shone, we had no " dim religious light." The galleries were occu- 
pied by boys and girls, or transient people. They were never very full. 


Worship was held iu it for the last time March 26, 1848. It was 
finall}' removed and altered into the Town House at West New- 
ton, which subsequently became the Cit}' Hall. The second 
meeting-house was dedicated March 29, 1848. Rev. Lyman Gil- 
bert preached the dedication sermon, which was afterwards printed, 
from Acts XXVIII : 22, " But we desire to hear of thee what th(ju 
thinkest ; for, as concerning this sect, we know that everywliere 
it is spoken against." At the time of the ordination of Mr. 
Greenough, the parish included not only the village of West New- 
ton, but what is now that part of Waltham south of Charles 
Kiver, North Village, the greater part of Newtouville, Auburn- 
dale, and the Lower Falls. In all this territory there were then 
from fifty-five to sixt}- dwellings. Several famihes asked and re- 
ceived permission to remain with the parent church at the Centre. 
Probabl}' thirty-five or forty families constituted the society'. It 
was near the close of the war of the Revolution. The people 
were poor, and some who wished the enterprise well had serious 
doubts as to its success. We may well admire the determined 
courage, energy and perseverance of Mr. Greenough and the little 
band that carried it thi'ough, in the face of so many obstacles to 
success. His salary was eighty pounds and fifteen cords of wood, 
equivalent to $26 6. GO. 

In 1814, the families living at the Lower Falls, about ten in 
number, united with the Episcopal church then recently formed in 
that village. 

Mr. Greenough's home was on Washington Street. The build- 
ings were afterwards burned. The house was fronted by three 
noble elms, planted there by fond parishioners. 

The ministry of Mr. Greenough covered that period of transi- 
tion in the Congregational churches of Massachusetts, when the 
more liberal element among the members was sifted out, and theol- 
og}^, taught by the pulpit and discussed by the pews, assumed a more 
definite shape. Men, even in the common walks of life, formulated 
their own creeds, and assented with less facility than former I3' to 
what was taught them by then* spiritual guides. The " Bible 
News," of Rev. Noah Worcester, of Brighton, published near the 
commencement of the nineteenth century, — a pamphlet question- 
ing the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, — the controvers}^ arising 
out of the appointment of Dr. Henry Ware, senior, to the Hollis 


Professorship of Divinity in Harvard College, — ^a Unitarian pro- 
fessor to be supported on an " orthodox " foundation, — and the let- 
ters of Dr. Jedediah Morse, of Charlestown, and Miss Hannah 
Adams, in a Boston newspaper, debating this issue between the 
churches and the Corporation of the University, stirred the public 
mind in a way to stimulate thought, and to make the position of 
the ministry'' a more difficult one than in any former period of New 
England history. The pulpit was obliged to allow itself to be 
questioned, in regard to its teachings, b}- the pews, and the time 
had come when the preacher's trumpet must give no " uncertain 
sound." Mr. Greenough's geographical position, in the vicinity of 
Cambridge and Boston, placed him in the very thickest of the 
conflict. But he stood steadfast to the old New England theolog}'. 
The doctrines of the Puritans were the element of his teachings. 

During the same period, also, the new Christian activity spring- 
ing out of the modern missionary enterprise was inaugurated, and 
into tills fresh field of promising interest and toil, Mr. Greenough 
entered with all his heart. The Monthly Concert of Prayer for 
the success of missions was held in his church for j-ears on the 
afternoon of the first Monday of every month, and doubtless seed 
was sown which afterwards brought forth fruit ; for the church in 
West Newton has since had its representatives among Christian 

Says Dr. Gilbert,— 

Father Greenough was once told by an Englishman who had seen John 
Wesley, that he looked like him more than any other man he had ever seen. 
Wesley's lithograph, gown and all, would be a good fit. 

Dr. Gilbert adds, at a later date, — 

On page 681 of Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine for June, I find a litho- 
graph of John Wesley. It is a profile view — all the better as a likeness of 
Father Greenough. The latter told me he used to wear a gown and bands. 
The stock and bands, as here represented, were worn by him at the time of 
my ordination. He was much scandalized that Dr. Jenks came Avithout his 
bands. I do not know whether he ever wore a wig, as here represented [in 
the likeness of Wesley]. But the wig was the fashion of his times. My 
first wife's mother told me that in her younger days all the ministers on 
public occasions used to appear in powdered wigs. 

Mr. Greenough held on to the last to small clothes, shoe and knee buckles ; 
also to the cocked hat, until the boys followed him when he went through the 
streets of Boston. He was six feet tall, and a thin spare man. 


Mr. Greenough died Nov. 10, 1831, fifty years and two days 
from the date of his ordination, aged seventj^-five. He was twice 
mari-ied, first, to Abigail, daughter of Rev. Stephen Badger, of 
Natick ; after her death, to Mrs. Lydia Haskins, of Boston, and 
had four children by the first marriage and five by the second. He 
preached the simple gospel with earnestness and directness, and 
his sowing was not without fruit. When Professors Park, Shedd 
and Stowe were all at Andover, an accidental comparing of notes 
brought out the fact that each of them acknowledged that his first 
impulse towards the ministry was from Mr. Greenough. It is 
thus that the small and feeble churches in the country nurture in 
pietj' and gifts the men who afterwards occupy the high places in 
churches and institutions, and become the liberal benefactors of 
all good works. A rural pastor may seem to hold a sphere of in- 
different importance, but in later times it may be manifest that he 
commanded the head waters of a tide of influence which was des- 
tined to pour infinite blessings upon the world. 

From the recollections of Dr. Gilbert, we have a plan of the old 
meeting-house, as it was when he first saw it. There was a porch 
in front and three windows on each side of the building. The 
pews in the middle of the floor of the house were square, and the 
seats hung on hinges, in the old style. The galleries were very wide 
and steep ; so great was the elevation of the pulpit and the width 
of the gallei'ies, that when the people stood, the minister could not 
see, from the pulpit, the heads of the people on the lower floor in 
the wall pews. The pulpit had been previously rebuilt, after the 
model of the pulpit in a church in Dedham. The plan of the 
house, as furnished by Dr. Gilbert, as it was when he first saw it, 
is ver}^ interesting ; and much value is added to it by the names of 
the persons who occupied nearly every pew in the house. As we 
read them in their order, we seem to see the men and women of 
half a century ago coming back and taking their places, and sitting 
by families to join in the worship of God. And in view of the 
changes which fifty years have wrought, — the children in the places 
of the fathers, the new customs, the names we miss that will no 
more return, — we are led to ask, with vivid feeling, " The fathers, 
where are they ? " 

When Mr. Greenough's ministry had continued nearly half a 
centur3% his age and declining health led him to propose the set- 
tlement of a colleague. In 1827, the Rev. Asahel Bigelow was 


elected colleague pastor, but he declined the call. The follow- 
ing 3'ear, the Rev. Lyman Gilbert, of Middleburj^ Vt., was called 
to the same office, and accepted, and was ordained July 2, 1828. 

The following curious document though it bears a comparatively- 
recent date, belongs in spirit and method to the earlier years of 
New England histoty. It was found among the papers of the late 
Deputy Sheriff, Adolphus Smith, of West Newton. 

To Mr. Adolphus Smith, collector of taxes for the West Precinct in 
Newton : Greeting, — 

In the name of the Commonwealth of Massacliusetts you are required to 
levy and collect of the several persons named in the list herewith committed 
unto you each one his respective portion therein set down of the sum total 
of such list it being four hundred and eighty dollars and eighty-four cents, 
granted by tlie inhabitants of the West Precinct in Newton, at their annual 
meeting, in March last, for paying the Rev. William Greenough his salary, 
and for defraying the contingent charges of the Precinct, the present year, 
and you are to transmit and pay in the same unto Captain James Fuller, 
Treasurer of said Precinct or to his successor in that office, and to complete 
and make up an amount of your collection of the whole sum, on or before 
the first day of November next ; and if any person shall refuse or neglect to 
pay the sum he is assessed in said list, to distrain the goods or chattels of 
such person to the value thereof, and the distress so taken to keep for the 
space of four days at the cost and charge of the owner, and if he shall not pay 
the sum so assessed, within the said four days, then you are to sell at public 
'vedue the distress so taken for the payment thereof with charges ; first giving 
forty-eight hours notice of such sale by posting up advertisements thereof in 
some public place in said Precinct; and the overplus arising from such sale, 
if any there be, besides the sum assessed and the necessary charges of taking 
and keeping the distress, you are immediately to restore to the owner, and 
for want of goods and chattels, whereon to make distress (besides tools or 
implements necessary for his trade or occupation, beasts of the plough neces- 
sary for the cultivation of his improved lands, arras, utensils for housekeep- 
ing necessary for ui)holding life, bedding and apparel necessary for himself 
and family) for the space of twelve days, you arc to take the body of such 
person so refusing or neglecting, and him commit unto the common gaol of 
the County, there to remain until he pay the same, or such part thereof as 
shall not be abated by the assessors for the time being, or the Court of gen- 
eral sessions of the peace for said County. 

Given under our hands and seals this 12th day of July, A. D., 1S28. 

Epiiraim Jackson, ) , 
Jonas Smith, \ Assessors. 





The settlement of Newton Upper Falls owes its origin to the 
water priAd leges on the river Charles. The Indian name of this 
river was Quinobequin. It encircles a large part of Newton, the 
centre of its channel forming the natural boundary on the major 
portion of the northern, western and southern sides. It is a 
winding line, about fifteen miles in length. 

In 1636, the General Court granted to the proprietors of Ded- 
ham the land on the west side of Charles River, now Needham, 
Natick and a part of Sherburne. The same year the proprietors 
of New Town (Cambridge) obtained a grant of the Court of what 
is now Newton and Brighton. These two grants covered all the 
land at the westerl}^ curve of the river Charles, on both sides, sub- 
ject, however, to the title claimed by the Indians, for which the 
proprietors were to pay them an equitable consideration. Both the 
law of the colony and the law of justice demanded this at their hands. 

In accordance with this condition, in April, 1G80, the proprietors 
of Dedham (the west side of the Charles) agreed to give William 
Nehoiden, or Nahaton, a sachem, ten pounds in money, forty shil- 
lings in Indian corn, and forty acres of land, one huudred and 
twenty rods long and fifty-three rods wide, at the Upper Falls on 
Charles River, in exchange for a tract of land seven miles long from 
east to west, and five miles wide, now the township of Deerficld. 
The same year, they gave Maugus, another sachem, eight pounds, 
for his lands at Maugus hill. Thus the Indians acquu-ed their title 
to Natick, Needham and Dedham Island. This covered the first 
of the two grants of the General Court. It is uncertain how or 
when the title of the Indians to Newton and Brighton, — the torri- 



torv embraced in the second grant,— was acquired by tliem. As 
to the extinction of the Indian title to the first grant, we learn 
that in 1639, three years after the action of the GeneraJ Court, the 
same Court appointed Edward Gibbons, one of the Boston depu- 
ties, to agree with the Indians for their lands within the bounds of 
Cambridge, Watertown and Boston. Mr. Gibbons probably suc- 
ceeded in accomplishing the object of his appointment, although 
we have found no report of his doings. As to the extinction of 
the Indian title to the second grant, we find that in January', 1700, 
"William Nahaton, an Indian, of Punkapoag, for twelve pounds, 
convej'ed to Robert Cooke, of Dorchester, hornbreaker, the sur\'iv- 
ing son of Robert Cooke, late of Dorchester, hornbreaker, forty 
acres of land on the west side of Charles River, just above the 
Upper Falls, one hundred and twent}' rods long and fifty-three 
rods wide." Jackson says, " This is the same land which the 
inhabitants of Dedham convej^ed to William Nehoiden* in April 

New Cambridge, New Town or Newton, being, at the date of 
the first grant, a part of Cambridge, the territory bestowed by 
that grant became a part of Newton, and of that portion of it 
afterwards embraced in Newton Upper Falls. 

The first mill on the banks of the Charles in Newton was erected 
b}' Mr. John Clark about 1688, at the Upper Falls (upper 
village) , where the waters of the river fall twenty feet perpendicu- 
larly, and then descend thirt^'-five feet in the coui'se of half a mile. 
The first purchase of land bj^ John Clark, senior, at the Upper 
Falls does not appear upon the public records. Probably he 
bought of the Cambridge proprietors or their assigns, with the in- 
cumbrance of the Indian title, and neglected to record his Deed. 
The mill, as was natural, in a thickly-wooded neighborhood, was a 
saw-inill, and its location, the same which has since been occupied 
by the cotton-mills, below the bridge at the Village. 

The deposition of Ebenezer Ware, an aged man of Needham, 
dated October, 1763, states that in 1693 he knew the eel weir, 
just above the Falls ; and that John Clark, senior, told him that 

♦■William Nehoiden and William Nahaton are undoubtedly the same individual. 
The name is also spelt Ahawton, Nahaton, etc. In the body of the Deed of the Ind- 
ians to the inhabitants of Braintree, 1665, this Indian's name is written Nahanton; 
his signature to the same Deed is " Hahaton." In the Indian Deed of the peninsula 
of Boston, 1685, his name is signed " Hahaton." In his Deed to Robert Cooke, 1701, 
he signed his name " Nahaton." 


he, John Clark, senior, bought all the Indians' right to build mills 
there; and also, that John Clark, jr., told him that his father 
bought the eel weir of the Indians for three pounds lawful money, 
and that the stone walls of the weir were about three feet high from 
the bed of the river, when in repair. The deposition of Sarah 
Tray, an Indian woman, aged about fift}', dated Ma}', 1748, states 
that she had often heard her husband's grandmother saj' that her 
husband, John Maugus, once owned the land on the west side of 
Charles River, at the Upper Falls, and the rock house, which the 
Indians improved, and that her husband, Maugus, had a wigwam 
there, and knew it had been used for forty years for drying fish 
and eels ; — and that the Englishman who built the mills purchased 
the land. 

The care with which the Deed of Nahaton and these Depositions 
were drawn and have been preserved indicates the high value set 
upon the property in the vicinity of the Falls. The Deed and 
Depositions themselves are of sufficient interest and importance to 
claim a place in these Records. 


To all People unto whom these presents shall come. William Nahaton, an 
Indian of Puncapoge, within the County of SufFolke, in the Province of the 
Massachusetts Bay, in New England, — Sendeth Greeting. 

Whereas the Inhabitants of the Towne of Dedham, in the County afores'd, 
on the Fourteenth day of the Second Month, 1680, Granted to the s'd William 
Nahaton and to his heires forever Forty acres of Land, Lying abutting upon 
Charles River towards the Northeast, one hundred and Twenty rodds Long, 
just above the Upper falls, fifty three Rodds in breadth, and abutting upon 
Dedham Land on all other parts, — With Liberty of ffishing att the s'd Wil- 
liam's Weares, Provided he or any of his successors shall not have Liberty 
to sell or dispose of any of the abovesaid Premises to any man without the 
consent of the Selectmen for the Towne of Dedham for the time being, — as by 
the said Towne Grant, reference whereto being had more fully may appeare. 

And whereas the said Selectmen of Dedham for the time being have 
granted unto the s'd William Nahaton their free consent and Liberty to dis- 
pose thereof unto Robert Cooke, of Dorchester, in the County of SufFolke, 
afores'd, Hornebrcaker, the surviving son of Robert Cooke, late of Dorches- 
ter afores'd, Hornebreaker, deceased. 

Now Know Yee that I, the s'd William Nahaton, for and in Consideration 
of the Summe of Twelve Pounds Current money of New England, to me in 
hand well and truely payd att and before the ensealeing and delivery of these 
presents by John Hubbard, of Boston, in the County of SufFolke aforesaid, 
merchant, for account and on behalf of the s'd Robert Cooke, the receipt 
whereof to ffuU content and satisfaction I doo hereby acknowledge, .and 


thereof, and of every part and parcel thereof doo acquitt, exonerate and dis- 
charge the s'd John Hubbard and Robert Cooke and each of them, their and 
each of their heires, Executors, administrators and assignes forever by these 
presents ; Have given, granted, bargained, sold, aliened, enfeoffed, conveyed 
and confirmed, and by these presents Doe ffully, ffreely, cleerly and abso- 
lutely give, grant, bargaine, sell, aliene, enfeoffe, conveye and confirrae unto 
the s'd Robert Cooke, his heires and assignes Forever, All The aforemen- 
tioned fforty Acres of Land Lying within the Towneship of Dedham granted 
unto rae as afores'd, and bounded and described as afores'd. Together with 
all profitts, privilidges, rights, commodityes and appur'ces whatsoever to the 
same belonging or in any wise appertaining. And the revercion and rever- 
cions, remainder and remainders, rents, issues and incomes thereof. And 
also all the Estate, right, title, Interest, Inheritance, use, possession, prop- 
erty, claimc and demand whatsoever of me, the s'd William Nahaton, of, in 
and to y'e same and every part thereof, reserving only out of the above 
granted premises unto me, the s'd William Nahaton, my heires and assignes 
forever, one quarter of an acre of s'd Land for the accomodation of Fishing 
by or neeare unto the afores'd Vfeares, — 

To have and to hold the s'd Forty acres of Land, bounded and discribed 
as afores'd, with the priviledges and appurten'ces thereunto belonging (re- 
serving only as above reserved), unto the s'd Robert Cooke, his heires and 
assigns, To his and their owne sole and proper use and benefitt and behoofe 
forever, absolutely, without any manner of Condition, redemption or revoca- 
tion in anywise. And I, the s'd William Nahaton for me, my heires. Execu- 
tors and Administrators doo hereby covenant, promise, grant and agree to 
and with the s'd Robert Cooke, his heires and assignes, in manner and Form 
following. That is to say. That att the time of the ensealing hereof and untill 
the delivery of these presents, I, the s'd William Nahaton, am true. Sole and 
Lawfull owner of all the aforebargained premises. And stand Lawfully seized 
th-ereof in my owne proper right of a good, sure and Indefeasible Estate of 
Inheritence in ffee Simple, Haveing in myself Full power, good right and 
Lawfull authority to grant, sell, convey and assure the above granted prem- 
isses with the appurt'ces (reserving as above reserved) unto the said Robert 
Cooke, his heires and assignes forever, in manner and Forme afores'd, and 
according to the true Intent and meaneing of these presents. And that the 
s'd Robert Cooke, his heirs and assignes, shall and may by force and virtue 
of these presents, from henceforth and Forever hereafter Lawfully, peacea- 
bly and quietly enter into and upon, have, hold, use, occupy, possess and en- 
joy the abovegranted and bargained premisses, with the appurt'ces, reserving 
only as above reserved, ffree and cleerly acquitted, exonerated and dis- 
charged of and from all and all manner of former and other gifts, grants, 
bargaines, sales, leases, releases, mortgages, joyntures, dowers, judgments, 
executions, entails, forfeitures, seizures, amorciaments, and of and from all 
other titles, troubles, charges and Incumbrances whatsoever. And Further, 
That I, the s'd William Nahaton, for me, my heires. Executors and Admin- 
istrators, and every of us doc liereby covenant and grant to warrant and de- 
fend all the above granted and bargained premisses, Avith the appurt'ces 


thereof (reserving only as above reserved), unto the said Robert Cooke, 
his licires and a^signcs forever, against the Lawful! claimes and demands of 
all and every person and persons whomsoever. In witness whereof, I the 
said William Naliaton, liavc hereunto sett my hand and scale the Twenty- 
ninth day of January anno Dom'i one thousand seven hundred, In the 
Twelfth Yeare of the reigne of King William the Third over England, &c. 

William Nahaton. [seal] 
Signed, Sealed and Delivered in the presence of us 

A Leaniiakd 

Abraham Blanchard 
Eliezeu Moody, set. 
Suffolk ss. Boston, January 29th, 1700. 

The above mentioned William Nahaton, personally appearing before me 
the subscriber, one of his Majesty's Justices of Peace within ye County 
afores'd, acknowledged this Instrument to be his free and voluntary act and 

Epiir. Hunt. 
Memo. It's to be understood That there was formerly a deed given by the 
s'd William Nahaton for the piece of land above mentioned: which deed 
being lost, this was againe given. 

The depositions which follow furnish evidence, in the absence 
of written records, of the possession of the property by the orig- 
inal owners, and of the right of the Indian, to conve}^ it to the 
white proprietor. If Dedhara, b}^ a jnst and righteous transaction, 
honestly extinguished the original Indian title, we have an un- 
broken succession of the titles down to the present time. Need- 
ham was originally a part of Dedham, as was Dover also. As 
late as 1790 Needham was included in the count3'of Suffolk. 

The testimonies which follow, bridge across the civilization of 
one or two centuries and bring us face to face with the dashino" 
waters and the unbroken forests of the red man, and the simple 
manners, the cheap laud and the tenacity of the right of posses- 
sion which characterized the fathers of the town of Newton. 


Stoughton, January ye 4th, 1747. 

The Deposition of Amos Nahaton, of Eighty-two years of age, doth testify 
and say that I well remember my Father, William Nahaton, of Punkapog. 
owned the Great Falls in Charles River, and that he owned the s'd River for 
a great ways above and below s'd Falls, and the Islands and Eell wares in 
s'd River, and that he owned the land against s'd Falls on the West side of 


the River. And I further well remember Above sixty years past, My Father 
sold A peice of land called two acres at the Great fishing place on the West 
side the River for A Gun to John Maugus, of Natick, and that the s'd Maugus 
was to have Liberty to fish at My Father's Wares in s'd River ; and I further 
Testify That when My Father sold A certain Peice of land to Cook or Cook's 
Mother, that he did not then sell Maugusses land nor the Islands nor the 
wares in s'd River; further, I Testify that above sixty years past John 
Maugus and the other Natick Indians were then In the Possession of the 
above two acres, and had Wigwams on s'd land. 

Amos 4* Nahaton. 
Stoughton, Jan'ry ye 4th, 1747. 
The within Deponent, Amos Nahaton, Took his Oath to the within Deposi- 
tion in Perpetuam Rei Memoriam before us — 

Samuel White, Justice of the Peace. 

Quorum Unus. 

Henky Sewall, Justice Peace. 

N. B. The within Deponent at the time of Caption was Esteemed by U3 
to be of Good Judgment and Sound Memory. 

Samuel White, 
Henky Sewall. 


I Sarah Tray, of Natick, of above fifty years of age, do Testify and say 
that I often heard my Husbands's Grandmother Maugus often say that her 
husband, John Maugus did once own that peice of land on the west side of 
Charles River at the fishing place at the upper falls, which the Indians did 
improve, and the Rock House ; and that her Husband Maugus had A Wig- 
wam on s'd piece of Land, and that he gave said land to his Daughter 
Catharine. I further Testify that my Husband's Mother Catharine used to say 
that her Father Maugus gave her the above peice of land, and that my Hus- 
band's Father and she had a Wigwam on s'd land, and lived there ; and I have 
often heard my Mother Catharine say that the English Man that Built the 
Mills purchased the privilidge of the Indians at s'd Falls ; and I further say 
that I well remember that my Mother Catharine and Samuel Abraham used 
to Improve s'd land and the Rock House on s'd land by cutting Wood, mak- 
ing fires, drying fish and Eels for forty years past. 

Sarah -|- Tkay. 
Suffolk, ss. May ye 20th, 1748. 

Sarah Tray, of Natick, Indian, above named, made oath to the truth of the 
above written Deposition in Perpetuam rei memoriam. 

Before us Samuel White, "t Justices of the Peace 
Henry Sewall, / and Quorum unus. 



I Ebenezer Ware, of Needham, in the County of Suffolk, and province of 
the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Yeoman, Testifie and say that above 
Seventy Years ago I knew a certain Ealc-Ware in Charles River, Just above 
the upper falls in said River. I knew said Eal-Ware to be Improv'd above 
Twenty Years; and I further Testifie that about Seventy years ago John 
Clark, Senior, of Newton, Dec'd, told mo he had Bought all the Indians' Right 
at the Upper falls for a Conveniancy to Build Mills thereon ; and furthermore 
I testifie and say that John Clark Junior, Dec'd, Told me that his Father 
Bought the above said Ele ware, and gave three Pounds for the same. The 
said Ele ware was in the River just above the foord way, which I and the 
Nighbours used to Pass over in, and below where the Cart Bridge now 
stands ; and. Furthermore, I testifie and say, as I used to pass by said ware 
frequently, that According to my Best Remembrance, the Stone Walls of said 
Ware was about three feet from the Botom of said River in hight when in Re- 
pare for Fishing; and furthermore, I, for near seventy years Past never 
heard any Person or Persons Lay Clame to said Ware, But the above named 
Clarks and the Owners of the Grist Mill at the upper falls. 

Ebenezbr + Wake. 
Suffolk, ss., Octo'r 21th, 1763. 

The above named Ebenezer Ware mad ©ath to ye truth of ye above Depo- 
sition in Perpetuam rei memoriam. 
Before us, 

Eliph't Poxd, "X Justices of ye Peace 

Isaac Gardner, Jcn'r, / Quorum Unis. 


I Jeremiah Woodcock, of Needham, in the County of Suffolk, and Province 
of Massachusetts Bay, in New England, Yeoman, Testifie and say that 
I knew a Certain Eleware in Charles River, Just above the upper falls in said 
River, I knew said ware improved for several years for fishing; said ware 
was in the River, Just above tlie foordvvay in which I us'd to cross the River 
in. Just below where the Cart Bridge now stands, that according to the Best 
of my Remembrance When in Repare for Fishing, the Walls of said Ware 
were three feet in height ; 

and also I heard Fifty years ago, the Clarks, then of Newton, were then 
the owners of said Eleware. 

Jeremiah Woodcock. 

Suffolk, ss., Octo'r 21st, 1763. 

The above named Jeremiah Woodcock made Oath to the truth of ye above 
Deposition, in Perpetuam rei memoriam. 
Before us, 

Eliph't Pond, "X Justices of ye Peace 

Isaac Gardner, Jun'r, j Quorum uitis. 



Eliakim Cook, of Neadham, in the County of Suffolk, and William Clark 
and Joseph Chaney, of Newton, in the County of Middlesex, all in the Com- 
monwelth of Masactusetts, Living Near the Great Falls Called the upper 
falls in Newtown, Severally testify and say that it is more than Sixty years 
that wee have been Conversant with the River and fishery about said falls, and 
that wee Never New aney Salt water fish to assend above said falls, nor do 
wee Remember Ever to have heard our Predessors say that aney Salt water 
fish did ever assend above said falls. Further we say, and Give it as our 
Opinion, that it is Impracticable for the fish to Assend said falls ever while 
wee consider it in the State of Nature 

Eliakim Cook, 
William Clark, 
Joseph (/Heket. 
Middlesex, ss., February 2, 1790. 

Eliakim Cook, William Clark and Joseph Chaney made Oath to the truth 
of the above Deposition before me. 

John Woodward, yustice of the Peace. 

The eel-wier, so called, aud frequently referred to in the above 
papers, was a dam built b}' the Indians near the yard of the pres- 
ent cotton factory, and extending across the channel of the river 
from the rock to the island. The foundation-stones of this dam can 
still be seen in the bed of the river. The island was formed by a 
supplementary natural channel of the river, which in later times, 
Avas partially filled and partially became the race-wa}' for the water 
that supplies power to the cotton factory, — the latter being erected 
partly on the island as it was, and partly ou the main land or 
shore. By subsequent filling, the island has become part of the 
factory yard, and the indications that it was once an island have 
mainly disappeared, except as the fact is remembered by the older 
residents. The snufi'-mills of General P^lliot, at a later period, 
were erected, not on the island, but on the easterly shore. In 
1798, according to Dr. Homer, this proprietor had three snuff- 
mills, containing twenty mortars. 

John Clark, who built the first mill, was born in Watertown, 
October 13, 1G41. His father, Hugh Clark, removed from Water- 
town to Roxbury, where he died in 1G93. He was probably in 
Newton as early as 1G81. His son John settled in Mudd}' River 
(Brookline) ; but his father convcj-ed to him b}- deed of gift sixty- 
seven acres of land in New Cambridge, in April, 1681, about 
which time the son probabh' removed from Muddy River to his 


new possession. This land was on the easterly side of the Dedham 
Road (Centre Street), adjoining and south of what afterwards 
became the Common in Newton Centre. John Clark died in 1G95, 
aged fift3'-four. In his will he bequeathed to his two sons, John 
and William, V all his lands on the river towards the saw-mill, the 
residue of his property to remain in the hands of his executor, to 
bring np his small children." Eight acres of land at the river, 
with the saw-mill, were appraised at £180. 

Mr. Clark's purchase, on the east side of the river, was ten or 
fifteen years earlier than Cook's purchase of the Indian, William 
Nehoiden, on the west side. 

The saw-mill above referred to, in the progress of years, changed 
owners several limes, and received various additions. In Ma}', 
1708, John Clark convej-ed to Nathaniel Parker one-quarter part 
of the saw-mill, stream, dam and eel-wier, and half an acre of 
land, for twelve pounds, with an open highway fi'om the county 
road to the mill and eel-wier. Soon afterwards, William Clark 
conveyed to Nathaniel Longley one-quarter part of the same. 
And John and William Clark, Nathaniel Parker and Nathaniel 
Longley became the equal owners of the mill, stream and eel-wier ; 
and they added thereto a grist-mill and a fulling-mill. In 1717, 
John Clark convej'ed his quarter of the mills to Nathaniel Parker, 
In 1720, William Clark convej-ed to Noah Parker, son of Na- 
thaniel Parker, one-quarter pai't of the saw-mill, fulling-mill, grist- 
mill and eel-wier, with the stream and dam, for ninety-five pounds. 
The same 3'ear, Nathaniel Longley conveyed his quarter part of 
the same to Noah Parker. 

Nathaniel Parker conve^'ed to liis son, Noah Parker, all his in- 
terest in said mills, being one-half of the same, valued at £150; 
Noah Parker became thus the sole owner of the mills and appur- 
tenances in 1720. In 1725, he conveyed the fulling-mill to Samuel 
Stowell, of Watertown. In 17-47 Nathaniel Parker died, and in 
1768, his son Noah died also. His mills and appurtenances then 
passed into the hands of his son and administrator, Thomas Par- 
ker, who was also one of the constituent members of the First 
Baptist church. Mr. Parker sold the same to Simon Elliot,* of 
Boston, tobacconist, and about thirty-five acres of land, including 

* Mr. Elliot's son, bearing the same name, entered with spirit into the operations at 
Newton ; the latter was a Major General of the militia in SufEolk County. Like his 
father, he was a very enterprising man of business. He died in 1810. 


a dwelling-house, barn, malt-house, etc., for £1,700, in 1778 and 
1782. In addition to the business already established, Mr. Elliot 
erected snuff-mills, besides other enterprises. This new industry, 
with the grist-mill, was continued by him and his son, till the year 
1814. It is said that the business carried on here, in the manu- 
facture of snuff and tobacco, was the most extensive in that line 
in New England. It is from this Mr. Elliot that the name of 
Elliot has impressed itself upon hall, factory and street at the 
Upper Falls, and not, as many suppose, from Rev. John Eliot, the 
missionar}' to the Indians at Nonantum Hill, whose name was dif- 
ferently spelled. 

In 1814, the screw factory, wire-mill, four snuff-mills, annealing 
shop, dwelling-house, etc., were sold to the Elliot Manufacturing 
Compan}-, Frederic Cabot, agent. The record that there were 
four snuff-mills at this spot, at this early date, and so large a busi- 
ness done in the manufacture of tobacco, reveals one of the leaks 
in the domestic economy' of the generation then living. Undoubt- 
edlj', the larger proportion of the product of the mills found its 
way out of town. But the fact of the existence of such an indus- 
try in their immediate neighborhood must have proved a temptation 
to many of the people to indulge in the filthy habit. The entire 
population of Newton in 1810 was onl}^ 1,709. 

In the sale of his propertj' to Elliot, Mr. Parker reserved about 
four acres of land below the Falls, to which he added by purchase 
in 1781, a small lot on the Needham side of the river opposite the 
small island, known as Turtle Island, — upon which the rolling- 
mill was built, — and which he sold to his son-in-law, Mr. Jona- 
than Bixb3'. At this place another dam and saw-mill were erected 
by him in 1783. In 1799 Mr. Bixby sold this estate to the Newton 
Iron Works Company, who built the rolling-mill and commenced 
operations in the j-ear 1800, in charge of JNIr. Rufus Ellis, agent. 
These works have been in operation for many years, and were long 
occupied by the late Mr. Frederick Barden. In 1809, a new fac- 
tory was erected for the purpose of manufacturing cut-nails. The 
same building was afterwards occupied b^' Mr. Newell, as a paper 
mill. The same year (1809) the Worcester Turnpike was con- 
structed, passing directly by the nail and rolling mill, and bridg- 
ing the river at this point. In 1813 this company- built a cotton- 
mill, containing about three thousand spindles, on the Needham 
side of the river, subsequently the site of the grist-mill. The 
cotton-mill was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1850. 


The Elliot Manufacturing Company removed the old mills and 
buildings, constructed a new dam, and, with the assistance of Mr. 
Otis Pettee, who remained with them as mechanical superintendent 
several 5'ears, erected a cotton factory with about six thousand 
spindles for the manufacture of sheeting, and commenced opera- 
tions in the year 1821. In 1824, the same company built another 
large mill for making thread, which was in operation about five 
years, and was then changed to sheetings, making in all about ten 
thousand spindles in the two factories. 

In the spring of 1831, Mr. Pettee left the employ of the Elliot 
INIanufacturing Company, and started a smaU shop for building 
cotton machiner}- on his own account, enlarging from time to time, 
and in 1837 he built a foundry for making iron castings. This work 
called in a large number of families. In 1839 these works were 
destroyed by fire, involving a loss of upwards of $60,000. They 
were rebuilt in 1840 and 1841. 

The Elliot Manufacturing Company, having been unsuccessful 
in their operations, became discouraged; and, unable to agree as 
to what was the best course for them to pursue, at last determined 
to sell aU their property, which they did in the fall of 1840, to Mr. 
Pettee. Large additions were immediately made, with improve- 
ments in machinery, etc., all of which tended to increase the pop- 
ulation. Mr. Pettee was a man of great genius and enterprise, 
and supplied machinery for many manufactories in the United 
States and Mexico. Mr. Pettee, having thus become possessed 
of the property of the Elliot Manufacturing Company, carried on 
the business with untiring energ}' and industry till his death, which 
occurred in February, 1853. Mr. Pettee was one of the warmest 
supporters of the project of building the railroad, passing through 
Newton Centre and Upper Falls, now the New York and New 
England Railroad. He had six sons and three daughters, and died 
aged fift3'-eight. 

In 1821, Mr. Rufus Ellis bought out the Newton Iron Works 
Company, of which he had been the agent, and became the sole 
owner. A new company was formed in 1823, consisting of seven 
persons, who obtained an Act of Incorporation by the name of the 
''Newton Factories," Rufus Ellis, Agent. In 1835, Rufus EUis 
and David Ellis became the sole owners of this property. 

Previous to the year 1800, the business carried on at the Upper 
Falls by water power was small, being three snufi'-mills, a grist- 


mill and saw-mill. Only about six families resided in the place. 
In 1850, there were at the upper dam, one cotton factor}^ with 
about nine thousand spindles, machine shops sufficient to accom- 
modate three hundred workmen, and a steam furnace for iron cast- 
ings, employing about fifteen workmen. At the lower dam, a 
rolling-mill, working about fifteen hundred tons of bar iron into 
various shapes ; a nail factory, making about five hundred tons of 
cut-nails ; a cotton factor}^ (on the Needham side) , with about two 
thousand spindles, and manufacturing about five hundred thousand 
3'ards of cotton cloth annuall}'. There were, at that date, in the 
village about one thousand three hundred inhabitants. 

It is said that at the most flourishing period of the enterprise of 
nail-making at Newton Upper Falls, whole cargoes of nails were 
sent from the factory to Cuba and New Orleans, to be used in the 
manufacture of sugar-boxes. 

The village of Newton Upper Falls has features of great beautj'. 
Half a century ago, the population was mainly American ; but a 
foreign element has taken its place, changing the social status of 
the village, and imperilling that growth which wealth and taste 
might be expected to bring. But many of the most beautiful sites 
for building are yet unoccupied, and undoubtedly a prosperous 
future is assured to this charming locality. 

Newton Lower Falls. — In June, 1703, "John Leverett, Esq., 
convej'ed to John Hubbard, of Roxbury, four acres of land, upon 
Charles Eiver, at the Lower Falls, bounded east by a fortj'-acre 
lot belonging to Harvard College ; west b}' the old path that leads 
to 'the wading place,' formerl}-, the Natick path, and south by 
Charles Eiver," — being the same land which the proprietors of the 
common and undivided lands in Cambridge granted to him, and 
the same which has since been occupied b}' all the mills on the 
Newton side of the river. 

In 1705, John Hubbard, merchant, of Boston, conveyed to his 
son Nathaniel Hubbard, clerk, " one moiet}' of the four-acre lot, 
bounded north bj' the highway and south by the river, together 
with half of the iron works thereon, with two fire hearths and a 
hammer-wheel, which said John Hubbard and Caleb Church, of 
Watertown, are now building in partnership upon said land, with 
as much of the stream as ma}' be necessary for said works, with 
half the dam, flume, head wares, running and going gear, utensils 
and appurtenances to the forge belonging." 


Business b}' water power commenced at Newton Lower Falls in 
1704, l)y the erection of iron works, forge and trip-hammer by Mr. 
Jonathan AYillard. The falls on the Charles River at this point 
are two miles below the Upper Falls ; the water makes two descents, 
the first about sixteen feet, the second about six. There are two 
dams and two bridges. 

In June, 1722, Nathaniel Hubbard, of Dorchester, administrator 
on the estate of his father John Hubbard, who died in 1717, in 
consideration of one hundred and forty pounds, conve^'ed to Jona- 
than Willard, bloomer, of Newton, part of a tract of land pur- 
chased of John Leverett, Esq., with a smith's shop thereon, now in 
possession of said Willard, with the privileges thereto belonging ; 
also, all the title and interest which John Hubbard had to the said 
four acres of land, formerly of said Leverett, bounding south hy 
the river, and north by the highway, with half the iron works 
thereon, two fire hearths, hammer-wheel, dam, head wares, water- 
courses, running and going gear, and utensils of said ironworks. 
Jackson says, " Willard had occupied the smith's shop as a tenant 
several years previous to his purchase and partnership with Hub- 
bard. He was an ingenious, upright and conscientious man, and 
the first Baptist in the town, — the principal man of the iron works 
and of the village of the Lower Falls, for nearly half a century-." 

Jonathan Willard married Sarah Bartlett, December 20, 1708, 
and had eleven children, to all of whom he gave Scripture names» 
Though residing at the Lower Falls, he was baptized in 1729, and 
joined the First Baptist church in Boston. For many 3'ears he 
and his daughter Esther seem to have been alone in that faith. 
He died May 22, 1772, aged ninety-five years. Steadfast in his 
adhesion to his principles, he waited and pra3-ed for the organi- 
zation of a Baptist church in Newton. It came, but not till eight 
years after his decease. 

At different periods, vai'ious kinds of business requiring the aid 
of water power have been carried on, such as iron works, saw- 
mills, grist-mills, snuff'-mills, clothing-mills, leather-mills, paper- 
mills, calico printing, machine shops, etc. But for more than half 
a century, the manufacture of paper has been the leading industr}- 
of the place. Eight or ten paper-mills, in constant operation, 
have supplied the wants of numerous traders, and fed the omnivo- 
rous mouths of the newspaper presses of the neighboring cit}-. 
The names of the eminent Alexander H. Rice, Ex-Governor of the 


Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and of Thomas Rice, one of the 
most distinguished and patriotic citizens of the town, are indisso- 
lubly linked with this business, and with this part of the town. 

The first paper-mill at the Lower Falls was built about 1790, by 
Mr. John Ware, from Sherburne, brother of Rev. Henry "Ware, 
D. D., Professor in Harvard Universit}'. His eldest daughter 
married Dr. Ebenezer Starr, in 1794. Dr. Starr was son of Dr. 
Josiah Starr, of Weston, and a man of note and influence outside 
of his profession. He graduated at Harvard College in 1789, 
settled as a physician at the Lower Falls, was representative two 
years, and died in 1830. 

During the half century that followed Mr. Ware's commence- 
ment in 1790, under the management of the Curtises, the Crehores 
and the Rices, the business was greatly' extended. Formerly the 
work was mostly done by hand, and was slow and laborious. 
By the invention of the Fourdrinier machine in England, the 
capacity to manufacture was greatly enhanced. The first machine 
of the kind ever worked in this country was placed In a mill at 
the Lower Falls. 

It is recorded that paper-making, to a greater or less extent, 
has been carried on at this village for at least a hundred years. 
Mr. Benjamin Neale, long a resident of the -vdllage, stated when 
he was eighty 3^ears of age, that he was engaged in the business 
upwards of fifty j^ears before. At one time the firm of A. C. and 
W. Curtis, of the Lower Falls, supplied the book paper used in 
many parts of the United States. The Crehore mill, still in active 
operation, has produced paper which has had an extensive sale 
thoughout the country. At the Lower Falls, also, there have been 
silk factories, and there are now cloth and hosiery mills, with 
shops for the manufacture of machinery, and other industries. 

According to Mr. Neale, — 

In 1800, there were about eight or ten families in the village of Newton 
Lower Falls. In 1823, there were four hundred and five inhabitants and 
about thirty-three dwelling-houses. In 1837, there were four hundred and 
ninety-three inhabitants, and about eighty-eight families. In 1847, there 
were five hundred and sixty inhabitants and about one hundred and three 
families. In 1850, there were six hundred and twenty-seven inhabitants, about 
one hundred and twenty-one families, and eighty dwelling-houses. In 1870, 
the population was seven hundred and fifty-seven ; in 1872, nine hundred and 



The Old Cemetery on Centre Street. — la imitation of the 
churcli-yards of England, the first cemetery, in Centre Street, 
was around the church. Where the early settlers, living, had 
worshipped, there they would sleep in death. They chose to have 
the sanctuary cast its holy shadows over the places where their 
dust reposed. Deacon John Jackson gave an acre of land for 
the first meeting-house, and for a burying place. 

May 14, 1701, Abraham Jackson, son of Deacon John Jackson, added and 
pave for the setting of the school-house upon, the enlarging of the burying 
place, and the convenience of the training place, an acre more ; which said 
two acres were then laid out and bounded, west and south by the highway, 
east by the land of Isaac Beach ; marked at the southeast corner by stake 
and stones; northeast corner, stake and stones ; north by the land of the said 
Abraham Jackson ; a marked black oak tree near the easterly corner, and a 
white oak tree near the middle by the highway side ; and a white oak at the 
nortliwest corner, by the highway side, " which marks were stated and the 
land measured out, the day and year above written, by Deacon James Trow- 
bridge, Abraham Jackson, Joseph Fuller and Edward Jackson." 

"This valuable gift of two acres of land," says Mr. Jackson, "was the 
southwest corner of a tract of tAventy acres, divided by lot in 1662 to Deacon 
John Jackson, as one of the proprietors of the Common lands of Cambridge, 
and which was then called Chestnut Hill. His son Abraham inherited this 
tract, and was one of the Selectmen when he gave the second acre and 
helped stake it out in 1701." 

In 1717, he conveyed Chestnut Hill to his only son, Captain John Jackson, 
by deed of gift, and described it as follows, namely : " twenty acres at Chest- 
nut Hill, except four acres, which in 1686 he conveyed to Isaac Beach, which 
18 273 


lyeth within the bounds of the same, excepting also the land whereon the 
Meeting House now standeth, so long as the Town shall see cause to improve 
it for the use they now do." 

Capt. John Jackson died in 1755, and his son John, of the fourth genera- 
tion, was the executor of his will. And he set up a claim to a part of this 
ancient gift in 17G5, because it had never been legally conveyed to the town. 
But although the town had no paper title, they nevertheless had the "nine 
points ;" they had been in actual possession of the first acre more than a hun- 
dred years, and cf part of the second acre more than sixty years. But that 
portion of the second acre which lies between the present burying ground and 
Centre Street, was low, sometimes partly covered with water, was unsuitable- 
for graves and none had been dug there. And therefore it was doubtful 
whether the town ever fenced it or had actual possession, or had used it for 
either of the four purposes for which it was given, namely, for a meeting- 
house, burying place, school-house or training place. 

In consequence of the claim of John Jackson, grandson of Abraham, the 
town, at its March meeting, 1765, voted to settle the bounds of the burying- 

At a subsequent town meeting, the same year, the Selectmen reported that 
" they had staked out one and a half acres, where the burying place then was, 
and John Jackson to give a sufficient title to the same, on condition that the 
town fence in the same, and maintain the fence forever." 

By this settlement the town lost half an acre and about twenty rods of the 
original gifts. The remaining portion now measures one acre, three-quarters 
and twenty rods. The ancient donors were not only liberal in their gift, but 
liberal in their measure also, staking out full two and a half acres, and call- 
ing it but two acres. 

From the language of the settlement, we infer that the place was not fenced 
in until after 1765. After it was fenced, the sexton pastured his cattle there- 
in until about the year 1800, and owing to this practice, doubtless, some of 
the gravestones have been displaced, or broken by the cattle, and lost. 

About 1802, the proprietors of the brick tombs on the northwest side pur- 
chased a strip of land one rod wide, adding thereto about nineteen rods, with 
a view of continuing the tombs across that side of the burjdng place. In 
April, 1834, the town purchased of Charles Brackett one acre of land adjoin- 
ing the northeast side of the burying place. The whole contents are now 
three acres, less seven rods. 

In this cemetery are deposited the remains of the honored 
pioneers and settlers of the town. The first tenant of it was, 
probablj', the first wile of John EHot, the carhest pastor of the 
church, — Sarah Willett EUot, daughter of Capt. Thomas Willett, 
of Ptymouth colon}', and first mayor of New York. She died 
April 13, 16G5. The second is thought to have been John Eliot, 
the pastor. Richard Park died in Newton, in 1665, but it is 
uncertain whether he was buried here, or in old Cambridge, his 
former residence. 


On the left hand, as the visitor enters, is the more modern por- 
tion of the cemetery. On the right hand, advancing in line with 
Centre Street, is a large collection of headstones, which mark the 
resting places of the Jacksons, one of the most prolific families in 
the town. Farther along is a tomb facing the road, which has a 
marble door, securely locked, with handles used to remove it. It 
is shaded by a spreading weeping willow, — a slip taken from the 
willow that shadowed the grave of Napoleon, on the island of St. 
Helena, — and over the top stands a red sandstone tablet on pil- 
lars. This is the tomb of Gen. WiUiam Hull. On the table aver 
the tomb are two inscriptions, one to the memory of Capt. Abra- 
ham Hull, who fell in the battle of Bridgewater, Upper Canada, 
in 1814, and the other to the memory- of Abraham Fuller, who was 
successively Representative, Senator, Councillor and Judge. The 
wife of General Hull, who was the daughter of Abraham Fuller, is 
buried here with him. There are no records regarding the earlier 
interments, and little is generally' known about anj', save the most 
distinguished settlers. There are warriors here from the revolu- 
tion, the French and Indian wars, and the rebellion, though a 
hundred years have intervened between the periods of their ex- 
ploits and their deaths. 

Nearly in the centre of the cemetery is the tablet to the memorv 
of John Eliot, erected by the town in 1823, the inscription on 
which is as follows : 

Rev. .John Eliot, A. M., son of the Apostle Eliot, Assistant Indian Mis- 
sionary; first Pastor of the First Church, — ordained on the day of its gather- 
ing, July 20 (Aug. I, N. S.), IGOi; eight years after the forming of a So- 
ciety distinct from Cambridge; Died Oct. 11, IGGS, aged 33. Learned, 
pious and beloved by English and Indians. '" My dying counsel is, secure an 
interest in the Lord Jesus Christ, and this will carry you to tlie world's end." 
As a preacher, lively, accomplished, zealous and acute. He ripened fast for 
heaven, and heaven received his ascending spirit 155 years since. Erected 
by the town, 1823. 

A short distance from the grave of Mr. Eliot, is the marble 
shaft before spoken of (p. 18G). This monument stands near the 
centre of the first acre of land given by John Jackson, senior, on 
the spot where the first meeting-house was erected in 1G60. 

Many of the headstones are covered with a hard, scaly sub- 
stance and mosses, filling up the traces of the letters. Some- 
times several soldiers are buried close l)y each other, members of 


the same famil}', and only the mUitary titles can be deciphered. 
Near the back part of the cemetery a long line of moss-covered 
slate stones marks the graves of twenty-two of the Ward family. 

Among the interesting graves in this cemetery, the following are 
conspicuous : — One of the oldest, — 

Here lies ye body of Edward Jackson, Aged 79 years and 3 months. 
Dec'd June ye 17, 1G81. Repaired 1825 by William, Stephen, Francis, 
George, and Edmund, who descended from Edward (who came from England 

about 1G30) in the line of . Sebas (sea-born), born 1652, Joseph, born 

. 1690, Timothy, born 1726, Timothy, born 1750. All of whom lived and died 
in this town. 

This Edward Jackson was an intimate friend of Elliot, the 
Indian apostle. He was often his companion on his missionary' 
tours among the red men. 

The following is an interesting inscription, — 

The remains of Madam Mary Cotton, Consort of ye late Reverend Mr. 
John Cotton, who died, lamented, Sept. 28, 1761, ^t. 67. Here lie the re- 
mains of Dr. John Cotton, son of the Rev. Mr. John Cotton who died much 
lamented Sept. 6, 1738, aged 29 years. 

This is another, — 

This monument is erected by members of the Eliot Church and Religious 
Society in memory of their late beloved pastor, Rev. Lyman Cutler, who 
died April 18, 1855, aged 28 years. The memory of the just is blessed. 

On a green mound stand side by side two white monuments of 
similar form, which mark the resting-place of the two aged minis- 
ters who labored side by side for nearly half a century, — one, the 
Rev. Dr. Homer, pastor of the First Congregational church ; the 
other, the Rev. Mr. Grafton, pastor of the First Baptist chm'ch. 
The monument over the latter was reared chiefly through the energy 
and perseverance of the late Thomas Edmands, Esq., the author 
of the inscriptions. The expense was met principall}' by sub- 
scriptions, not exceeding one dollar each, from a multitude who 
were glad in this way to do honor to the aged pastor. The memo- 
rial inscription is as follows : 

Rev. Ji>SEPn Grafton, Born in Newport, R. I., June 9, 1757. Died Dec. 
16, 1836, Mt. 79. Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Newton, from June 
18, 1788, until taken from his United People after an Unbroken Communion 
of 48i years. Rom. xii. 

The other monument bears this inscription, — 

Jonathan Homek, D. D., Pastor of the First Church in Newton. Born 
April 15, 1G59, died Aug. 11, 1843. "My only hope is in the mercy of God 


through Christ." Erected by his congregation, as a grateful tribute to the 
many virtues of a devoted pastor, who watched over them with tender interest, 
Christian diligence and parental affection more than sixty years. Also to his 
worthy companion, who exhibited in unusual perfection all the graces of a 

There is a striking epitaph on the tomb of John Kenrick, an 
eminent citizen, and the President of the First Anti-Slavery 
Society. It was written by the late David Lee Child, Esq. 

John Kenrick, Esq., aged 77 years. He was laborious, honest, and frugal. 
Though possessed of wealth, he loved not money, but loved his fellow men ; 
rigidly sparing in self-indulgence, but bountiful to others, he was a bene- 
factor to the needy and unfortunate ; to the funds for the poor of this, his 
native town, and to benevolent Societies and Christian charities everywhere. 
To the Temperance Reformation he was an efficient and devoted friend. 
Early impressed with the unlawfulness, impiety and inhumanity of Slavery, 
and its peculiar incompatibility with republican government, he strove long 
and unassisted to awaken his countrymen to the subject: he wrote often and 
persuasively for the press ; he republished gratuitously the writings of others ; 
and if there had been "ten" like him in these States, the stain of slavery 
would not have darkened another Star in the North American Constellation. 
A fore-runner of Abolition, he was a liberal contributor to the first Society 
formed for that object in our country, and died its presiding officer. He be- 
lieved that goodness consists in doing good, and that the truest homage to 
Almighty God is a reverent imitation of His blessed works. He was born 
November 6, 1755, and died March 28, 1833. 

His grateful children have placed this marble over his remains. 

Here are the names of Hobart and Cotton ; of Dr. King, Judge 
Fuller, General Michael Jackson, Colonel Michael Jackson, Major 
Timothy Jackson, and Hon. William Jackson ; the descendants of 
John Kem'ick, for a half dozen generations ; the old Woodward 
family, and a host of Wards and HjtIbs, original settlers. 

When the new cemetery was opened, near the geographical 
centre of the town, several of the sleepers under these consecrated 
shades were removed to it ; and since that date very few inter- 
ments have taken place here. But the associations of the earliest 
times and of the men who were prominent in them, will render 
this cemetery a hallowed spot forever. 

West Parish Burying Ground. — Col. Nathan Fuller gave to 
the West Parish one acre and a half of land for a burying gi-ound, 
about the time of the settlement of the first minister, the Rev. 
William Greenough. It was situated about sixty rods north of 
the meeting-house. The deed of gift bears date Sept. 21, 1781. 


In consideration of Ixis love and esteem for the Parish, he conveys it to 
their committee, their lieirs and assigns forever, for the sole use and improve- 
ment of the precinct, to be improved only as a burying place, for the reposi- 
tory of the dead in said precinct. Bounded easterly by land of Nathaniel 
Greenough, north and west by land of said Fuller, and south by the town 
way, as the stone fence now standeth. 

Colonel Nathan Fuller also gave £60 to the church and congre- 
gation, in April, 1785. 

The first tenant of the cemetery was a young woman who died 
of small-pox. The inscription on her headstone, which is about 
fifteen inches wide and two feet long, is as follows : 

In memory of Jain Nottige, Daughter of Josiah and Jain Nottige, of 
Boston, who died of ye Small Pox, Nov. 7, 1777, Aged 17 years. 

The first man buried here is John Barber. He kept tavern in 
the West Parish near the meeting-house, and set out the great 
elm tree before it in 1767. His widow married Captain Samuel 
Jenks, father of the late Rev. William Jenks, D. D. 

South Burial Ground. — A meeting of the inhabitants of the 
south part of Newton was held June 21, 1802, to consider the 
matter of laying out a new cemetery, and Edward Mitchell, 
Ebenezer Cheney and Jeremiah Wiswall, jr., chosen a committee 
to purchase a piece of land for that purpose, — bought about three- 
quarters of an acre of land of Capt. David Richardson, near the 
corner of the Dedham and Sherburne roads, since denominated the 
South Burying Ground. Part of this land was divided into 
twenty-nine equal lots for family burial places for the original pro- 
prietors, namely : 

Jonatliaii Bixbj% 
Jonathan Bixby, jr., 
Luke Eartlett, 
Salmon Barney, 
Aaron Cheney, 
Ebenezer Cheney, 
Simon Elliot, 
Edward Hall, 
Samuel Hall, 
Solomon Hall, 
Caleb Kcnrick, 
Edward Mitchell, 
Joseph Parker, 
Jonas Stone, 

Aniasa Winchester, 

Daniel Richards, 

Solomou Richards, 

Aaron Richards, 

Thaddeus Richards, 

James Richards, 

Samuel Parker, 

Jonathan Richardson, 

Benjamin Richardson, 

Ebenezer Richardson, 

Jeremiali Richardson, 

Jeremiah Richardson, jr., 

Jeremiah Wiswall, 

Jeremiah Wiswall, jr., (two lots). 

In 1833, these proprietors sold out to the town, but reserved 
the right to bur^^ in their respective family lots, according to the 
original plan. About the same time, Mr. Amasa Winchester gave 


tfiie town about three-quarters of an acre of land, for the purpose 
of enlarging the cemeter}', being sixty feet on the west line and 
twent}' feet on the north line adjoining. The cemetery contains 
therefore about one acre and a half, situated in a retired nook, 
and is beautifully shaded with evergreens. This cemetery was 
used for mau}^ years chicfl}^ by the families living in and near the 
Upper Falls and the south part of the town (Oak Hill). 

LowEu Falls Cemetery. — In 1813, an Act of Incorporation 
was granted by the General Court to St. Mar^-'s Parish, at the 
Lower Falls. About the same time a valuable lot of two acres of 
land was presented to the corporation, as a site for the church and 
a cemetery, by Samuel Brown, Esq., merchant of Boston. In 
this cemetery sleep the earlier members of the church with their 
families. One of the most interesting, a name from humble life, 
is Zibeon Hooker, a drummer in the Revolutionary war. He was 
born in Sherburne, but spent most of his maturer life in Newton 
Lower Falls, and died there aged about eight}-. He did not shun 
dauger, as we may infer from the tradition that his bass drum in 
the action at Bunker Hill was perforated by a British bullet. 

Much that is interesting may be gathered from a survey of the 
memorials in the old graveyard. Some of the ancient headstones 
stand aslant, or are buried in the earth with the dust of those 
whom they were intended to commemorate. On some of them, 
the letters that enshrine the names of the loved and lost of 
former years, are nearly obliterated. We scrape away the cling- 
ing moss, only to be disappointed, because the inscriptions have 
vanished, or become illegible. From the monuments in the first 
graveyard of Newton, we discover that the hardy pioneers, as 
the result of their simple manners and virtuous and regular lives, lin- 
gered, very generally, to an advanced age. In the following lists 
of two hundred and sixty-two names, we find one who lived to the 
age of 98 years ; one to 95 ; one to 93 ; four to 92 ; two to 91 ; 
one to 90 ; one to 89 ; one to 88 ; five to 87 ; one to 86 ; one to 
85 ; five to 84 ; six to 83 ; five to 82 ; eight to 81 ; one to 80 ; four 
to 79 ; six to 78 ; seven to 77 ; three to 76 ; five to 75 ; two to 74 ; 
seven to 73 ; five to 72 ; two to 71 ; four to 70 ; forty to various 
years among the sixties ; seventy-nine in all, beyond 70 ; one 
hundred and nineteen, — nearly one-half, — who had attained or 
exceeded threescore. Man}^, doubtless, are sleeping in this field 
of graves, over whom no memorial stone was ever raised, and 


their names are consigned to forgetfulness. Many of the earliest 
and most honored inhabitants were committed to the dust, to rest 
with the fathers in the old cemetery' of Cambridge, opposite the 
Halls of the Universit}', djdng before Newton had a distinct 
organization and a corporate name. Some were deposited in 
tombs built for the place of their final repose, and no separate 
memorial of them remains, apart from the designation of the 
ownership of the cr^'pt in which they are concealed. The death roll 
kept in the ancient Records of Newton registers thirty names belong- 
ing to the old families of Cambridge Village, borne by persons 
who died previous to the 3'ear 1G87. In many cases, in this first 
cemeter}^, the name of the head and husband only appears on the 
tombstone, and the other members of the family are not parti cularlj^ 
enumerated. Sometimes, the husband erected a memorial to his 
departed wife or child ; but through age, or change of circum- 
stances, or thi'ough procrastination, or the neglect of executors, 
he who, in his lifetime, kept careful watch and ward over all that 
were his own, was left to the chance of having his resting-place 
kept by faithful memories, or, in a brief period, forgotten. And, 
after two or three generations, the historian seeks it in vain. 
Such is the fate of many who have lived their Uttle day in this 
world, — often, men of note, and useful in their generation ; of 
whom it was said, " how will the world be carried on without 
them ? " Yet in a little while the tide rolls on ; they are gradually' 
missed no more, and finally their memory fades away. But how 
interesting is the catalogue, reproducing, as it does, the names of 
so many who once tilled these broad acres and watched over the 
rising interests of the town, who cleared its forests and marked 
out its streets, who worshipped in its simple church and built its 
earliest dwellings, who lived examples of integrity and honest 
worth, and liave left an inheritance, so rich and beautiful, to their 
posterit}' ! It is a benison to linger among these names and dates, 
and thus to hold communion with the departed. 

The names, ages and dates of death of the early inhabitants of 
a town are a fruitful source of information to the antiquarian. 
The general reader passes them b}^, unread ; but they are often 
among the most suggestive materials of history. We have, for- 
tunately, a catalogue from the' manuscripts of Mr. Ward, which we 
gladly insert. 



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It was a hundred and forty-one years after the first settlement in 
Newton, before an effective movement was made for the formation 
of a Baptist church ; and ninety years before we have any notice 
that any one in the town maintained the views of that denomina- 
tion. Notwithstanding, at an early period there were people in 
Newton of the Baptist persuasion. The first of whom any account 
remains, was Mr. Jonathan Willard, who was baptized December 
7, 1729, and united with the First Baptist church in Boston. Two 
years later. May 7, 1732, Esther Willard, of Newton, was baptized, 
and admitted to the same church. Mr. Willard lived till the age of 
ninetj'-four 3'ears, and "was not a little wondered at on account of 
his religious sentiments." For several years this family seem to 
have been alone. Seventeen years later, July 21, 1749, Noah 
Parker, of Newton, was baptized, and admitted to the Second 
Baptist church in Boston. 

The formal certificate which follows is a carious exhibition of 
the solemnity of the action taken on so grave an occasion. 

Province of the Massachusetts Bay, 

Conformable to a Law of said Province. 
Suffolk, ss. Boston. 

These are to cerlifie the Assessors and Town Clerk of Newton, and all 
others whom it may concern, that the bearer hereof, Noah Parker, of New- 
ton, aforesaid, is in full communion with the Baptist church in Boston, under 
the pastoral care of Mr. Epliraim Bounds, ordained Elder of said church,* 

* Now the Warren Avenue Baptist church. 



and that the said Noah Parker usually and frequently attends the worship 
of God with the brethren of the said church on the Lord's day. — Dated in 
Boston the 21st of August, Anno Domini, 1749, annoque regni regis Georgii 
Secundi Magnae Britanniae, &c. , vicessimo tertio. 

Thomas Boucher, \ Committee appointed 
John Pkoctor, J by the said Church. 
To the Assessors and 
Town Clerk of Newton. 

Boston, November, 1761. 

This may certify whom it may concern, that Mr. Jonathan Willard, of 
Newton, is a member of the Baptist church in Boston. Attest, Jeremiah 
Condy, pastor of said church. 

September 1, 1749, Esther Parker was baptized and admitted 
to the same church; and July 1, 1753, Mrs. Sarah Parker, wife 
of Mr. Noah Parker, having been previously baptized by Dr. 
Thomas Green, of Leicester, was also admitted. David Richard- 
son, having been propounded to the same church, was baptized 
and received a member July 2, 1758. Shortly afterwards other 
Baptists were residing in the town, although the circumstances of 
their baptism and place of membership do not appear. The town 
Records contain an attested certificate, signed by Rev. Mr. Green 
of Leicester, and dated September 9, 1754, affirming that he had 
baptized Messrs. John Hammond, Noah Wiswall, and Thomas 
Parker. The certificate reads thus : 

Newton, Sept. 9, 1754. — This may certify whom it may concern that I, 
Thomas Green, baptized John Hammond, Noah Wiswall, Thomas Parker, all 
of said town. I say, baptized by me, 

Thomas Green, 
Pastor of the Baptist Church of Christ 
at Leicester. 

The year before this. May 14, 1753, Mr. Wiswall and others 
addressed a memorial to the town meeting, praying that they might 
be exempted from papng a ministerial tax for the support of the 
clerg^Tuan of the town, because they were conscientious Baptists, 
and paid a tax elsewhere. The town voted that their petition be 
not granted. Three 3'ears later, March 15, 1756, some of the 
Baptists, it Avould seem, had fallen into arrears in respect to the 
payment of their ministerial rates to the town, hoping that the 
citizens would abate the demand. But the matter, being brought 
up in the town meeting, was summaril}' disposed of. The Records 
state the action of the freemen thus : 


After some debate on the request of John Hammond and others, that they 
might not be rated for the support of the ministry, the question was put, 
Tvhether they should be excused for the time past; and it passed in the 
negative. And then the question was put, whether they should be excused 
for the future ; and it passed in the negative. 

These measures, however, did not check the extension of Bap- 
tist opinions. Candor and charity, exercised towards those who 
had made up their minds from conviction and who were conscien- 
tious in their action, would have been far wiser. But the policy 
of exclusiveness prevailed. 

Seven years after this, a certificate given by his pastor to Mr. 
Joseph Bartlett, of Newtown, defining the position of the latter, 
proves that the Baptists were still under oppression. The certi- 
ficate is as follows : 

Leicester, June 20, 1763. — This may certify all people whom it may con- 
cern, that Joseph Bartlett, of Newtown, doth belong to the Anabaptist church 
of Elder Thomas Green, of Leicester, and is under his pastoral care ; and 
doth desire the privilege the law gives, in being cleared from paying of rates 
to those of other ways of thinking. 'Tis we Avho are chosen by the church 
to give certificate to those. 

Elder Thomas Green, 
Thomas Holman, 
Samuel Gkeen. 

The town Records, eleven 3'ears later, contain a certificate 
addressed to the town, affirming that certain persons therein named, 
ten in number, were " Anti-Pedobaptists," symbolizing in belief with 
persons of that persuasion, and ordinarily worshipping with them. 
The certificate is as follows : 

We the subscribers being chosen a committee by the Society of the people 
called " Anti-Pedobaptists," who meet together for religious worship on the 
Lord's day in Newton, to exhibit a list or lists of the names of such persons as 
belong to said Society or congregation, do certify that .John Dana, John Ken- 
rick, Caleb Whitney, Thomas Parker, Ebenezer Bartlett, Joseph Hyde, 
Nathaniel Parker, Thomas Tolman, Widow Abigail Richardson and Elisha 
Bartlett, do belong to said Society or congregation, and that they do fre- 
quently and usually, when able, attend with us in our meetings for religious 
worship on the Lord's day ; and we do verily believe are, with respect to the 
ordinance of baptism, of the same religious sentiments with us. 

Aug. 12, A. D., 1774, John Dana, "j 

Thomas Parker, >- Committee. 
Joseph Hyde. J 



The strictness of the townsmen began at last to relent. In June, 
1776, the 5^ear of national freedom, James Richards and Edward 
Hall were excused from paying ministerial taxes for the support of 
the minister of the town of the " standing order ; " and four j^ears 
afterwards, 'July 5, 1780, the First Baptist church was formed. 

In the autumn of 1740, Rev. George Whitefield made his first 
visit to New England, and his preaching awakened general inter- 
est ; as a fruit of which, gi-eat attention to religion prevailed for 
several years. The people were aroused from a dead formalism. 
The more spiritual and the newly converted, dissatisfied that per- 
sons showing little or no evidence of personal piety were admitted 
to the Lord's table, desired a purification of the churches, so that 
none should be members but persons making a credible professioa 
of personal faith in Christ. The result of this movement was the 
formation, in several towns, of what were called Separate, or Nevr 
Light churches. This name was given them as a terra of reproach, 
as if they pretended to have received " new light " from heaven. 
A church of this character was formed in Newton, meeting at tha 
house of one of their members, Mr. Nathan Ward, who became 
their pastor. 

Mr. Ward was one of Whitefield's converts in Newton, and the 
grandson of John Ward, senior. Like Jonathan Hyde,* of Brook- 
line, also a convert of Whitefield, he was ordained to the work of 
the ministry in this new connection. But Mr. Ward's authorit}- 
as a minister of the gospel was not conceded by " the standing 
order." Notwithstanding his position as the pastor of an inde- 
pendent chm'ch, his fellow-citizens accorded to him no privileges 

* Jonathan Hyde, great grandson of Dea. Samuel Hyde, was born in Canterbury, 
Conn., whither his father had immigrated. At the age of forty or forty-two, in 1751 , 
Jonathan settled in Brookline, near the boundary line of Newton. He became a 
Baptist, was called a New Light, and was ordained in his own dwelling-house in 
Brookline, in 1751. It was in that year, that, under the influence of a spirit of intol- 
erance, he was warned out of Brookline. The celebrated preacher, Elhanan Win- 
chester, received baptism at his hands. Though without a college education, Mr. 
Hyde is said to have been " an honest, earnest, loud-spoken preacher, and an early 
friend of the First Baptist church in Newton." He was a preacher about thirty 
years, and died June 4, 1787, aged 78. He had three sons born in Canterbury, and one 
in Brookline. 

When it became inconvenient for the New Lights to hold their meetings from house 
to house, HIT. Winchester (the father), who had been made deacon, was assisted by his 
brethren to build a large house, which should contain a hall convenient for their use. 
This house was long known as the " Richards' Hotel." Subsequently it became the 
Sheafe place, and latterly was let to Irish tenants. It is situated near the Denny 
estate, east of Chestnut Hill. (See p. 124.) 


or immunities above those of his unclerical neighbors. The new 
sect met with much opposition. Mr. H^^de was warned to leave 
the town of Brookline, and Mr. "Ward was taxed by the authorities 
of Newton, though the law exempted from taxation all ordained 
clergj^men. Mr. Ward remonstrated against this treatment as un- 
lawful, and sent the following memorial to the citizens assembled 
in town meeting March 3, 1755 : 

Gentlemen : — It hath pleased a sovereign and all wise God, who is wont to 
choose the weak things of the world to confound the wise, as I humbly trust 
and believe, to call me, who am less than the least of all saints, to preach 
his gospel, and also to take the pastoral care of a church in this town, who, some- 
few years past embodied into a church for the carrying on the worship of Gocl 
agreeable to his word and their own consciences ; and I have been, as some 
of you are eye witnesses, ordained, solemnly set apart to the work of the 
gospel miaistry, by prayer and the laying on of hands. And now, gentle- 
men, you well know that it ever hath been the case that those that have been 
ordained to the work of the gospel ministry ever have been freed from all taxes 
or rates, and indeed they are so both by the Divine and civil law. But yet, 
notwithstanding my calling as a minister of God's word and ordinances, the 
assessors of this town have been pleased, since the time of my ordination, 
both to rate my person and assess my estate, which, I apprehend, is not 
their duty to do, nor indeed mine to pay. And now, gentlemen, as it is in 
your power to grant me freedom in this matter, my humble petition and re- 
quest unto you at this time is, that you would free me, together with my 
estate under my particular improvement, from being rated or assessed so 
long as I shall act in this public character, that I may enjoy the like privi- 
leges of this nature as do other ordained ministers. And so doing, you will 
oblige Your most humble servant, 

Nathan Ward. 

Mr. Ward never enjoyed the benefit of a collegiate education. 
But under the impression produced upon his mind b}'' the preach- 
ing of Whitcfleld, he conceived it to be his duty to devote himself 
to the ministry, and he was ordained at Newburyport, Jul}' 11, 
1765, with reference to a pastoral charge at Plymouth, N. H. In 
the winter of 17G3-4, he removed with his family from Newton, 
where he felt that he had been persecuted, to the place where lie 
had been designated to labor. The settlement consisted, at that 
time, of only eight families. A church was organized April 1(), 
1764. Mr. Ward was twice manned, and had thirteen children. 
Five of them died within the space of thirty-six days, four of the 
number being of adult age. He died at Plymouth, N. H., June 
15, 1804, aged eighty-three. 


Soon after the settlement of Mr. "Ward as their pastor in New- 
ton, some of the members became interested to search the Scrip- 
tures in regard to the ordinance of baptism, and many of them 
were baptized on profession of their faith. But they still retained 
their connection with the church, and Mr. Ward retained his Pedo- 
baptist views.. After a time, the majority of the church having 
become Baptists, Mr. Ward, not sharing their belief, retired, hav- 
ing been their pastor about seven years. 

The Baptists continued to assemble on the Lord's daj^, at first 
in dwelling-houses, afterwards in a school-house. Their worship 
was conducted b}' Deacon Jonathan Richardson and Mr. John 
Dana, the father of Nathan Dana, who was afterwards licensed 
by the church, and ordained at Newton, November 20, 1793. 
Whenever they could obtain the service of ministers, it gave them 
great jo}^ ; and several ministers, in the true apostolic spirit, vis- 
ited them. They continued in this manner to maintain worship 
for uearl}' twenty years. 

The beginning of the year 1780 was marked by special religious 
interest in Newton. In the spring of that 3'ear, Mr. Elhanan Win- 
chester, who at a later period preached the doctrine of Universal Res- 
toration, visited the town. His labors were attended with a blessing, 
and several persons, having become hopefuU}' pious, received the 
ordinance of baptism from his hands. Ministers who heard of the 
excitement came and aided in the work. The number of converts 
increased, and the}" were advised to form themselves into a church. 
Preliminar}' meetings were held June 6, 10, 15 and 22, in which a 
statement of their views as to the duties of a church and the rela- 
tions of its individual members was discussed, and drawn up in 
twenty-one articles. It is interesting to note how these intelligent 
men and women, taking nothing upon trust, accepting nothing on 
the strength of education or tradition, sifted every point in their 
church polity, and, in the busiest season of the summer, took time to 
weigh their faith in the balances of the sanctuary, and to bring 
every point to the test of the Divine word. 

On the 6th of June a meeting of the brethren was held at the 
house of Elisha Fuller, " to know each other's minds relative to 
forming a new Baptist church." Rev. Caleb Blood, of Weston, 
was chosen moderator, and Thomas Hastings (of Angler's Cor- 
ner) , clerk. At this and subsequent meetings held hy adjourn- 
ment, the following articles were thoroughly debated, and finally 
agreed upon : 


Voted, The following articles to be necessary to regulate our walk in 
church-state, agreeable to the Word of God : 

"1. We believe that the church of Jesus Clirist, under the gospel, is to 
be made up only of persons wlio arc true believers in Christ ; and that the 
design of God, in having a church in the Avorld, is to show forth !iis declara- 
tive glory, in maintaining his doctrine and worship, for the gathering in of 
his elect, and the mutual edification and comfort of his people. 

" 2. We believe the manner in which God's people ought to come to- 
gether in church-state is by giving each other a verbal declaration of the 
work of God's grace upon their hearts, and the same to be required of all who 
may hereafter join thcra. 

" 3. We believe that there are no officers to be ordained in the church but 
bishops and deacons ; and their character to be as expressed in Timothy, 
third chapter, from the first to the eighth verse. 

" 4. We believe that the work of a bishop is to attend to reading and 
studying the Scriptures, and to preach the Word, and to administer the ordi- 
nances of the gospel, and to stand a leader and overseer in the church. 

" 5. We believe that the work of a deacon is to serve tables, in all things 
that are necessary in the church. 

" 6. We believe that it is the church's duty to support their minister, so 
that he may devote himself to the work to which he is called, and to submit 
to him as a leader. 

" 7. We believe that the manner we ought to support our minister is by a 
freewill offering, and in case of need, by an equality ; and in like manner to 
support all other necessary charges in the church. 

" 8. We believe that there are gifts of exhortation to be improved in the 
church, while by no means we would exclude the right of any brother's 
speaking by way of specialty. 

" 9. We believe that all the gifts of the church ought to be in subjugation 
to each other. 

" 10. We believe that the churches are independent of each other as to 
the power of action, and therefore have power to elect and ordain their own 

"11. We believe that a woman hath no right to act, either in teaching or 
governing the church, while we would by no means exclude them the right 
of unbosoming themselves to the church, either in case of grief or joy. 

" 12. We believe that the cliurcli has a right to call her own members to 
an account, for not attending public worship, sacraments and church meet- 

" 13. We believe that in case of a brother's or sister's absence from the 
public worship and sacraments, it is the minister's duty to visit them and 
inquire into the reason of it. 

" 14. We believe that a brother or sister hath no right to be absent from 
the sacraments, but only in case they themselves, or the church, are trans- 
gressors of the Divine rules. 

" 15. We believe that a private offence is to be brought into the church, 
according to the rule in Matthew, eigliteenth chapter, from tlie fifteenth to 



tlie seventeenth verse; and a public offence to be taken hold of by the 
church as a body. 

" 16. We believe that no case of difficulty may be considered as public, but 
only such as the major part of the church have knowledge of without 

"17. We believe that the church ought to keep all her meetings for set- 
tling difficulties as secret from the world as possible, consistent with evidence. 

" 18. We believe that no brother or sister hath a right to go to law with 
each other, while they remain together in church-state. 

" 19. We believe no brother or sister ought to make any matter of diffi- 
culty with each other, either [as relates to] their practice or principles, ex- 
cept it be contrary to the Word of God. 

" 20. We believe the church ought to support their own poor. 
"21. We believe that any person holding, or not holding, the doctrine of 
laying on of hands upon private persons, ought not to be held as a bar of 

The above articles, it will be perceived, make no mention of 
theological tenets ; but relate only to what was anciently and 
quaintly called " church-building." 

Thirty-nine names, signed to this paper, formed the nucleus of 
the new church. They are as follows : 

Dea. Elliauan Winchester, 

Aaron Winchester, ( 

Daniel Winchester, 

father of the 

) sons of Dea. 
[ Kllianan Win- 
) Chester. 

John Dana, 

Thomas Hastings, sou of Samuel, sen. 

John Shepard, 

William Cheney, jr., 

Henry Winchester, son of Gulliver, 

Edward Hall, 

Aaron HaU, 

Nathan Dana, 

Aaron Dana, 

Esther HaU, 

Elizabeth Hastings, wife of Thomas, 

Olive Bcal, 

Anna Blincowe, 

Elizabeth M. Winchester, ) np^^^pfh^nai 
Sarah Winchester, j ^l^cUesi^r? 

Bevilah Winchester, 

Abigail Wilson, 

Esther Richardson, 

Susanna Parker, 

Lucy Seager, 

Anna Pond, 

Abigail Dana, 

Hannah Hall, 

Hepsibah JefEerd, 

Hannah Morse, 

Dorothy Richards, 

Deliverance Wiswall, 

Polly Cheney, 

Lydia Cheney, 

Abigail Prout, eight years old, 

Sarah Goodspeed, 

Joseph Hyde, 

Gershom Hyde, 

Elizabeth Whitney, 

Noah Wiswall, 

William Cheney. 

Thirty-four names were added to the catalogue in the course of 
five or six weeks, which deserve a place here because they belong 
to the old families of the town, and some of them were prominent 
in the early administration of the church. 



David Bartlett, 
Edward Hall, 
Abigail Merriam, 
Sarah Bartlett, 
Hannah Fuller, 
Jlercy Barton, 
Lyilia Cheney, 
Mary HaU, 
Margaret Griggs, 

Lydia "Winchester, 
l^ois Winchester, 

Dorcas Richardson, 
Thomas Parker, 
Thomas Tollman, 
Eunice Parks, 
Eleanor Dana, 
Rebecca Hammond, 

daught^s of Dea. 
Elhanan Winches- 

Silence Davenport, 
Lucy Shepard, 
Elizabeth Cheney, 
Lucy Richardson, 
Elizabeth Pond, 
Tliomas Griggs, 
Benjamin Park, 
Anna Kenrick, 
Mehitable Wilson, 
Elizabeth Real, 
Esther Fuller, 
Anna Ward, 
Samuel Sampson, 
Elizabeth Richards, 
Hannah Gosson, 
Margaret Hyde, 
Sarah Jackson. 

On Wednesday, July 5, 1780, the members met in the house on 
the east side of the road, opposite Wiswall's Pond, now belonging 
to heirs of Deacon Luther Paul, for the purpose of being publicly 
recognized as a church of Jesus Christ, and the First Baptist 
church in Newton. Four ministers were present, — Rev. Noah 
Aldeu, of BeUingham, Rev. Thomas Gair, of Medfield, Rev. Caleb 
Blood, late of Marlow, N. H., and Rev. Ephraim Bownd, of 
Boston. After having examined and approved the steps taken bj' 
the members, Mr. Alden preached from Acts II: 47, "Praising 
God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added 
to the church daily such as should be saved." "After which, Mr. 
Gair made a prayer, and read over a summary confession of faith, 
— to which thirty-nine persons assented, in the presence of a nu- 
merous congregation. The whole was concluded by an exhorta- 
tion from Mr. Blood." 

The summary declaration of faith, read by Mr. Gair at the 
public exercise, was the same which had been adopted b}- the Sec- 
ond Baptist church in Boston. The same j^ear in which the church 
was organized, it was admitted, on application, into the Warren 
Association, which held its annual meeting at Athol. 

September 21st, it was "voted that Elhanan Winchester be a 
leader in this meeting, and John Dana be a leader in the church, 
until Christ shall raise up one to take his place ; — to have a col- 
lection weekl}', and John Shepard and Thomas Hastings take 
charge of the same ; — to give Noah Wis wall fort}- pounds, quar- 
terly, for the use of his house ; — that Abigail Prout be provided 
ifor, at the expense of the church." 


The first delegates, appointed to the "Warren Association, in 
August, 1780, were Elhauan Winchester, David Bartlett and John 
Shepard. " They stated to tlie Association that the number of 
their church members was seventy, that they were destitute of a 
Pastor, and requested to have a supply of preaching the ensuing 
j-ear." This request must have been presented l)efore Mr. Blood 
had expressed his acceptance of the call made to him on the loth 
of July. 

In December, 1781, Samuel Sampson was chosen clerk, in place 
of Thomas Hastings, and John Shepard was elected deacon. 

The following March, the church voted to " assemble themselves 
in communion of the Lord's Supper, once in ever^' six weeks." 

Thus was the infant barque launched upon the current of the 
world's religions, and a new light kindled amid the darkness. 
After 3'ears of waiting, the principle of freedom in matters of con- 
science was at last so far conceded that the members found them- 
selves recognized by their fellow-townsmen as having the right to 
be. Departing, in some respects, from the faith in which they 
had been educated, they held the same cardinal truths, and were 
ready to endure inconveniences and trials for the sake of the views 
they had espoused. Their study of the Scriptures made them in- 
telligent Christians. In that stern period which had " tried men's 
souls," and in that furnace of political strife from which the nation 
was just emerging, they had learned to think and act for themselves 
in the spirit of independence ; and in their new church relations, 
they felt that they had attained a blessing which rightfully belonged 
to them as freemen of the new republic. Moreover, as the roots 
of a thrifty tree reach out far and wide in search of the elements 
of fertility, so the early members were drawn from a wide range 
of territory, and some even from the adjacent towns. It would 
have been natural to predict for the vigorous bod}-, after so auspi- 
cious beginnings, a pro^Dcrous career. 

The first meeting-house was erected on laud given by Mr. Xoah 
"Wiswall, on the border of Wiswall's Pond, at the easterly part, 
fronting on the road. The vote to build the house is dated Janu- 
ary 17, 1781. The vote of the Society directed that it should be 
thirty-five feet square. In the plan of the Building Committee, 
which was accepted by the Societ}', the dimensions were somewhat 
altered. The plan reported made it forty feet by thirt^'-two, and 
it was calculated that the expense would be about three hundred 


pounds specie, or one thousand dollars. The house, however, was 
not completed at once. The Society manifested the greatest dread 
of accumulating a burdensome debt, and proceeded in the work 
onl}' so far as the means in their hands would warrant them. Dur- 
ing the whole ministry of Rev. Mr. Blood, the interior of the house 
was unfinished. The only seats were rough boards laid upon the 
supports which are denominated by carpenters, horses. The pulpit 
also was a structure of unplaned boards. After the settlement of 
Mr. Grafton, the walls were plastered, and the interior arrangements 
assiuned an air of convenience and comfort. The church at first 
held their meetings in the house of Mr. Wiswall, and often, in mild 
weather, under the noble elms in front of the house. Up to 
August, 1788, a subscription had been five times set on foot for the 
purpose of carrying on the work. A pulpit was built in April, 
1792, at an expense of £14 17s. Id., about 849.50. This, with the 
building of sheds for carriages, and the finishing of the pews in 
the galleries, was the consummation of the work. The whole was 
set in order in April, 1795, fourteen years from the commence- 
ment. The house was enlarged in the summer of 1802 by the 
addition of seventeen feet to the west side, which gave space for 
twenty-four new pews. A committee was appointed in the year 
1782, while the original house was building, to "dignify the pew 
spots," according to the custom of the times. The highest positions 
were assigned to those whose subscriptions to the house had been 
the most liberal ; and no person could have a pew who had sub- 
scribed less than ten pounds.* There were twenty wall pews, and 
four pews "back of the body-seats." 

In January, 1795, a vote was taken to procure a stove to warm 
the meeting-house. t The Society's vote states with great exact- 

*It is an interesting fact, illustrative of the history of the times, that among the 
proprietors of the house, forty-four in number,— all but five bore Scripture names. 
Six bore the name of John ; Ebenezer, Samuel and Thomas, four each ; Aaron, three- 
David, Elisha, Jeremiah and Noah, two each; Daniel, Gershom, James, Josiah, 
Nathan, Simeon, Solomon, Stephen and Thaddeus, one each. The names of females 
were also much more frequently scriptural names than in our own days. Huldah 
seems to have been a favorite appellation. 

tThe people of Newton were not so tardy in providing in this way for their com- 
fort as some of their neighbors. So late as November 14, 1806,— the Federal Street 
Society in Boston,— Dr. Channing's,— by their committee, "Voted that a stove be 
permitted to be placed in the Federal Street church, without expense to the society 
to be erected under the direction of the Church Committee; its use to be discontinued 
at any time when the committee shall direct." Thus the First Baptist church iu 
Newton was eleven years in advance of one of the wealthiest churches iu Boston. 


ness where the stove shall stand, together with the course of the 
stove-pipe, and the " window " where it shall make its exodus from 
the house. The expense of the stove and funnel was £11 13s. lOd., 
— a little less than forty dollars. So important was this article of 
luxury in the view of our fathers, that in the annual engagement 
with the sexton, it was distinctly mentioned, that he was " to take 
care of the meeting-house and the stove." 

Among the earlj^ arrangements of the Societ}', votes occasion- 
ally appear which are interesting, because thej' illustrate the man- 
ners of the times. At the meeting of the Society March 19, 17S2, 
it was voted that " Messieurs John Kenrick, jr., John Wiswall and 
Jeremiah Richardson be choristers for this Societ}', for the present 
year." At the same meeting it was " voted that the singing, in a 
general way, be carried on by reading a line at a time in the fore- 
noon, and a verse at a time in the afternoon." This vote indicates 
the deficiency of hymn-books in the congregation, and, at the same 
time, the latter part of it implies among the worshippers, " in a 
general way," a good degree of familiarity with standard hymns. 

The first vote of the Society connected with the church has 
reference to the securing of a minister, and the second to the erec- 
tion of the meeting-house. The by-laws of the Society are com- 
menced with the following excellent preamble : 

We, the subscribers, members of the First Baptist church and society in 
Newton, taking into consideration the many obligations God in his word has 
laid us under to keep up and support the gospel ministry amongst us, — 
although there has been, and still are, diversity of opinions amongst professing 
Christians respecting the same, yet we are persuaded that reason and the 
word of God plainly dictate that it ought to be done in such a manner that 
one be not eased and another burdened ; also, that the preacher, whoever he 
may be, who shall be set over us, may be so far released from worldly busi- 
ness that he may give himself to study and the care of the flock over which 
he is set. And, in order that those desirable ends may be answered, we do, 
each of us, for ourselves voluntarily agree to the following articles. 

The following is the first article : 

We will each of us contribute in proportion to our ability towards the sup- 
port of the ministry, and pay the same at such time as shall be agreed on by 
this Society. 

The salary of Mr. Blood, the first minister, was small, amount- 
ing only to sixty pounds and " the loose money " contributed on 
Lord's days. For the sake of these casual contributions, the box 
was carried around generall}" on the lower floor every Sabbath, and 


in the gallery once in the month, until the year 1815. After the 
accession of Mr. Grafton, the second pastor, in addition to the sal- 
ary and eight cords of wood, twenty pounds a year were granted 
to the pastor, " in consideration of the enhanced price of the nec- 
essaries of life." The salary of Mr. Grafton was increased from 
time to time, in proportion as the expenses of his family and the 
style of living in successive periods demanded. In addition to his 
salary, several members of the Society purchased " half of the place 
that Mr. Blood used to own," and gave it " to Mr. Grafton as a set- 
tlement." A "settlement" was a present, over and above the 
stipulated salary, given to the minister as a token of good will. 
The amount paid for this settlement was £75 or about $250. 

The Society was incorporated b}' the Legislature of Massachu- 
setts, and the Act of Incorporation signed hy the Governor, Feb- 
ruary 12, 1821. 

Ten clays after its formation, the church voted to invite Mr. 
Caleb Blood to take the pastoral care. In Januar}-, 1781, a com- 
mittee was appointed to request the church at Weston, then under 
the pastoral care of IMr. Blood, to consent that he might preach at 
Newton a part of the time until spring. Mr. Blood soon became 
a resident of Newton, and was pastor till January 24, 1788. To 
aid in his support, he taught the district school at Oak Hill two 
winters. By those who remember him, his preaching is said to 
have been "plain, bold, faithful and able." Though his ministry 
was short, he was much beloved. 

The salary proving inadequate to his necessities, Mr. Blood 
asked a dismission, which was granted. The Records contain an 
official letter to Mr. Blood, communicating to him the action of the 
members on his request, which is highly creditable both to them 
and to him. When Mr. Blood became pastor at Newton, the num- 
ber of members who had been admitted to the church was seventy- 
three ; at his dismission, the number was ninety-two. The num- 
ber of additions was nineteen. His pastorate continued about 
seven years. 

Mr. Blood was born in Charlton, Worcester county, Mass., 
August 18, 1754. In the twent^'-first year of his age, he was 
hopefully converted. It is said that he was impressed with a deep 
sense of his sinfulness while at a ball, in the midst of mirth and 
gaiety. In about eighteen months he commenced preaching and 
was ordained at Marlow, N. H., in 1777, probably as an itinerant. 


He continued here about two years, and then removed to "Weston, 
where he supphed the Baptist church about a year and a lialf. He 
was then pastor at Newton till January, 1788, at Shaftsbury, Vt., 
tiU September, 1807, over the Third Baptist church in Boston 
(Charles Street) till 1810, and the last four 3^ears of his life over 
the First Baptist church at Portland, Me., where he died March 6, 
1814, greatly beloved and lamented. 

Mr. Blood was the author of a controversial work on baptism, 
in the form of a dialogue, between a Baptist and a Pedo-Baptist. 
The charge given by him at the ordination of Rev. Thomas Green, 
in West Cambridge, November 17, 1783, was also printed, in con- 
nection with the ordination sermon of Rev. Thomas Gair, of Med- 

During the ministry of Mr. Blood, an event befell the church 
which proved a serious shock to its growth and prosperity. Rev. 
Elhanan Winchester, the zealous and captivating preacher, through 
whose influence mainly the church had been formed, forsook his 
earlier faith, and adopted the doctrine of universal salvation. He 
was able to carry with him, in his new views, several of the lead- 
ing members of the church. His father. Deacon Elhanan Win- 
chester, a pillar of the church from the beginning, his wife, two sous 
and four daughters embraced the new doctrine of Elhanan, the 
preacher. So also did Thomas Hastings and Samuel Sampson, 
the first two clerks of the church, and others. One after another 
adopted the new doctrine, until fifteen were, in consequence, ex- 
cluded from membership, and the harmony of the church was 
marred for a period of nearty four years. This was the period 
when John Murray, the first avowed Universalist preacher in the 
United States, commenced his labors in Massachusetts. After 
itinerating several years, Mr, Murray established himself in 
Gloucester, Mass., and there the first Universahst Societ}^ in this 
country was organized in 1779, and the first meeting-house erected 
in 1780. Mr. Winchester heard Mr. Murra}^ in Philadelphia, and 
was there converted to his views, and became, next to Mr. Murray, 
the most efficient early preacher of Universalism. Mr. Winchester 
was, at that time, about thirty years of age. 

For the next twenty years, the church felt the efiects of this 
period of trial. The average number of additions was smaller, for 
that length of time, than during any other period of its histor^^ 
Nevertheless, there were years of special prosperity, in that inter- 
val, as in periods both antecedent and subsequent. 


The same month in which Mr. Blood closed his connection with 
the church, Mr. Joseph Grafton, of Providence, R. I., was in- 
vited to visit them. April 10, 1788, he was invited by the Church 
and Society to become their pastor. In the letter containing the 
call, it is said, " For his serving of us in the ministry, we do 
promise to support him in such a manner that he may be free from 
worldly care and anxiety ; and for the first year, we promise him 
the consideration of fifty-five pounds, and to pay it quarter!}' ; and 
after that, to make such further additions, as his necessities require 
and our circumstances will admit of." 

Mr. Grafton wrote an acceptance of this call, dated May 13, 
1788 ; " and, after preaching seventeen Sabbaths, to the satisfaction 
of the church," he was ordained June 18, 1788. The council met 
at Little Cambridge (Brighton). Rev. .John Stanford, of Provi- 
dence, preached the ordination sermon from I. Peter V : 4. 

For nearly half a century, he continued to go out and in among 
his people, as a good shepherd, caring for the sheep. The whole 
number who were admitted to the church during his separate min- 
istry was five hundred and fifty-four. There were onl3'four years, 
during his protracted residence at Newton, in which there were not 
additions to the church. Seasons of special religious interest 
during his pastorate are indicated b}' the number of persons who, 
in various years, were baptized. In 1788, the additions to the 
church were twent}' ; in 1789, eleven; in 1808, sixteen; in 1811, 
fifty-one; in 1812, twenty-eight; in 1813, eighteen; in 1817, 
twent3^-seven ; in 1827, one hundred and two; in 1828, twenty- 
four; in 1832, ninet3'-one. The whole number admitted to the 
church, during his entire ministry, was five hundred and sixtj'- 
seven, — being an average of more than eleven annually. In 
addition to his proper parochial labors, he often preached in the 
open air, his hearers coming from all parts of the sm-rounding 

As an indication of the public estimate of his abiUties and 
sound judgment, — even in points not pertaining to his profession, 
— it may be stated that Mr. Grafton received twenty-nine votes, 
out of the whole number of votes cast by his fellow-townsmen, as 
a member of the Convention for revising the Constitution of Massa- 
chusetts, held in the year 1820. 

Honorable testimony is borne to the estimation in which he was 
held by his brethren, by the numerous ecclesiastical oflSces and 


appointments to which, at various times, he was elected. He was 
Vice-President of the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society 
(now the Massachusetts Baptist Convention) from 1815 to 1825, 
and, after the death of Dr. Baldwin, President. He was appoint- 
ed on the committee of the Evangelical Tract Society in 1817, 
and Trustee of the same from 1823 to 1829. In the early history 
of the Baptist General Convention for Foreign Missions, he was 
one of the committee for the northern section of the Union to 
examine candidates for missionary labor. In 1819, he was a mem- 
ber of the committee of the American Baptist Magazine. He 
was Vice-President of the -Boston Baptist Foreign Missionary 
Society for Boston and vicinity, being elected several times suc- 
cessively for the space of three years each, from the year 1819. 
In 1826 he was elected the first President of the Board of Trus- 
tees of the Newton Theological Institution. He was President, 
successively, of the Norfolk County Foreign Missionary Society, 
and of the Middlesex and Norfolli County JMissionarj^ Societ}'. 
He preached the annual sermon of the "Warren Association at 
Middleborough, in the year 1799, and of the Boston Association, 
at the Charles Street chm'ch in Boston, in 1815 ; and was Modera- 
tor of the latter in the year 1822 at the Second Baptist church iu 
Boston, and iu 182G at South Reading. 

His preaching was eminently simple, obvious and unadorned, 
yet evangelical and effective. His theology was of the order of 
Andrew Fuller's. His texts were chosen from the whole range 
of the Scriptures ; and most of his illustrations he drew from the 
treasure-house of the Divine word. 

Mr. Grafton was thrice married, and had, in all, nine children, 
of whom six died in infancy or childhood. 

At a meeting of the church held July 2, 1805, Mr. Grafton 
asked to be relieved from the responsibilities of the pastoral 
office, generously proposing to relinquish the emoluments of his 
position, and advising the settlement of a young and vigorous 
minister, who would do for the people a service of which the gi'ow- 
ing infirmities of age rendered him incapable. Accordingly a col- 
league pastor was settled with his hearty concurrence. 

The following records are interesting, in " connection witli the 
history of the First Baptist Society, as an illustration of the 
methods and measures of the proprietors of the meeting-house 
nearly three-quarters of a century ago. 


Sale of Pew Lots in the Meeting-House. — The committee chosen by 
the Baptist Society in Newton, at their meeting in August last, to make sale 
of Pew Lots in their meeting-house, have attended that service and report their 
doings as follows, viz. : That they have sold five pew lots in the Women's 
Gallery to the following persons, and for the sura set against their names re- 
spectively ; and liave made and executed good and sufficient Deeds of said 
lots, in behalf of said Society, as follows, viz. : 

Lot No. 1 To David Bartlett, for $10.00 

Lot No. 2 To Samuel Prentiss, for 9.00 

Lot No. 3 To Thomas Hovey, for 9.00 

Lot No. 4 To Benjamin Richardson, for 15.00 

Lot No. 5 To Jonathan Richardson, for 9.50 

Amounting in the whole to $52.50 

and that they have paid the money into the treasury of said Society. 

All which is submitted, 

Stephen Dana, 
John King, 
J. Kenkick, je. 
Newton, April 2, 1802. 

Enlargement of the Meeting-House in 1803-4. — The com- 
mittee appointed by the Baptist Society in Newton, at their meet- 
ing on the ninth day of April, 1804, for the purpose of enlarging 
their meeting-house, and for making sale of the pews built in con- 
sequence of such enlargement, have attended to and completed 
the business of their appointment ; also, have made some necessary 
repairs on the old part of said house, and have paid all the 
demands for work and materials for the same, as follows, viz. : 

Paid Isaac Dana and Joseph Russell, as per contract, $1,101.00 

Paid do. for building three pews in the gallery, 18.00 
Paid do. for removing three pillars in the old part of s'd house, 3.00 

Paid do. for removing studs, &c., in the new part, 3.33 

Paid do. for paint, 1.52 

To cash paid Jacob Weld for painting the outside, 38.50 

Paid Daniel Sanger for whitewashing, G.OO 

Paid Samuel Child for numbering the pews, 1.75 

Paid Aaron Richards for timber, work, &c., IG.OO 

Paid Jacob Weld for painting the inside of the house, 7.72 
Paid Norman Clark for boarding the Painters, and for joist 

and timber for the vestry, &c., 10. 14 

Ihe expenses of the committee at tliree meetings, 2.90 

Whole amount of expense, §1,209.86 



The committee have received the whole of the proceeds of the sale of 
twenty pews built on the lower floor of said house, — which sum, with seven 
dollars received of Benjamin Richardson for a window put into his pew, 
amounted to the sum of twelve hundred and twelve dollars ; which leaves, a 
balance in favor of the Society, the sum of two dollars and fourteen cents. 

Stephen Dana, Aaron Dana, ^ 

John King, Noah King, ! ^ 

Aaron Richards, Ebenezer Richardson, j ^""^"^^ ^^• 
Edavard Mitchell, J 

Newton, April 29, 1805. 





Ebenezer Hovey, 



John Peck, 



Josiah Bacon, 



Amasa Winchester, 



James Hovey, 



Stephen Dana, 



Daniel Richards, Daniel Richards,. jr.. 



J. Mclntyre, 



John Peck, 



John Kenrick, jr., 



Moses Stone, 



John King, 



John Hastings, 



Aaron Richards, 



David Bartlett, 


Salmon Barney, 



Jonathan Bixby, jr., and N. Pettee, 



John Peck, 



Ebenezer Richardson, 



Isaac Dana, 



Norman Clark, 




Received of Benjamin 

Richardson for 

a window put "| 

into his pew, included in the contract with Dana )■ 

& Russell, 




Proceedings of an Annual Meeting. — Annual meeting of the Baptist 
Society in Newton, held at their meeting-house on the 29th of April, 1809. 
First, chose Stephen Dana, Esq., Moderator. 

2. Chose John Kenrick, Esq., Clerk. 

3. Chose Lieut. Ebenezer Richardson, Treasurer. 

4. Voted, That Messrs. Stephen Dana, John Kenrick and Norman Clark 
be the Prudential Committee for the ensuing year. 

5. Voted, Messrs. Stephen Dana, Dea. Hall, Caleb Kenrick, jr., Elisha 
Hyde and Ebenezer Richardson be a committee to average the expenses of 
the Society. 


6. Voted, That James Hovcy be the Collector for the ensuing year. 

7. Voted, .$450 for Mr. Grafton's support the ensuing year, together with 
the land belonging to the Society, and the loose money. 

8. Voted, $20 for contingent expenses. 

0. Voted, That Lieut. Jonathan Richardson collect the money in the 
gallery on the first Lord's day in each month. 

10. Voted, to raise money by subscription to repay the committee what 
they have advanced for building the vestry. 
Meeting dissolved. 


J[oseph3 G[rafton], C[lerk] P[ro] T[em]. 

The pulpit of the old church was high and small, but still it 
■was of sufficient size to accommodate two ministers at one time. 
On the floor of the church were three aisles, the broad aisle and 
two side aisles. Entirely around the auditorium there was a range 
of square pews with turn-up seats, and often the large families 
supplemented the seats by a chair which stood in the middle space 
in the pew. Besides the range of square pews which bordered the 
area, about six other square pews filled the lower part of the broad 
aisle, three on each side. The pulpit was reached by a narrow 
flight of stairs on the left side. The gallery on the left had a 
range of square pews against the wall ; that on the right was filled 
with slips. There was but one entrance to the house, which was 
through a portico on Centre Street. 

The basement story was a single room, but divisible by a swing- 
ing partition, which could be lifted up on its hinges, and secured 
l)y hooks to the ceiling. The space was thus divided into two 
rooms, for the use of candidates on baptismal occasions. A row 
■of fixed seats around the whole extent of the wall, and benches 
without backs filled the remainder of the space. 

In the main auditorium, the pulpit was on the west side of the 
house, opposite the entrance. On this side of the house a projec- 
tion was added when more space was required for the growing 
congregation, and the pulpit was removed back into the new por- 
tion of the house. The stove stood in the broad aisle, nearer to 
the door than it was to the pulpit. Mr. Grafton's pew (the pas- 
tor's) adjoined the pulpit on the north side ; next to him was Henry 
King ; in the northwest corner, Norman Clark ; on the south side 
■of the pulpit and adjoining it, J. Bartlett ; in the southwest corner, 
Mr. Richardson ; in the southeast corner, Thomas Harback ; in 
the northeast corner, Mr. Cook. In the square pews near the foot 


of the broad aisle, Ebeaezer King sat on the right, Seth Davis on 
the left. In front of Ebenezer King was Aaron Richards. Colonel 
Dana occupied the fourth slip from the pulpit on the left (south) , 
Mr. Josiah Bacon, the last. Opposite Mr. Bacon was Deacon 
Noah King, and in front of the latter, John Kenrick, Esq. Jona- 
than Bixby sat half wa}' down the south side of the house, and 
next to him Deacon Stone ; besides these were the famihes which 
bore the names of Parker, Hove}', Seaver, Richardson and Richards. 
On the north side were Deacon Pettee, Edward Hall and others. 
Besides the residents of Newton, were the worshippers who camo 
from Brookline, "VVatertowu, Waltham, Cambridgeport and other 
places. They came conscientiousl}' to worship God, parents and 
children, often by a weary walk of miles, but their seats were 
rarel}' empt}'. No luxurious sanctuary attracted them. No peal- 
ing organ or artistic singing awaited their coming and welcomed 
their approach. They were contented with their plain bare floor 
and uncushioned seats. And in this unadorned sanctuar}' the 
ancient men worshipped, and the word was preached in demonstra- 
tion of the Spirit and with power. Here flocked together inter- 
ested hearers from every part of Newton and from the neighbor- 
ing towns. Here the venerable father Grafton gathered hundreds 
into the church, — stars for his future crown, — most of whom 
have joined him in his heavenly home. Here were laid the foun- 
dations on which later accretions have grown up in the same spirit, 
holding the same faith, and inspired by the same motives. Mod- 
ern luxurj^ has brought the sanctuary into nearer accord with the 
elegances of Christian homes ; but we may well question whether 
in any period for the last hundred 3'ears men have ever excelled 
those early years, in worshipping God in spirit and in truth. 

The following copy of the amount of the ministerial tax assessed 
on the members and property in the First Baptist Society in the 
year 1828 gives an interesting view of the simple daj-s of the 
fathers. The assessors of the Society that j-ear were'Seth Davis, 
Enoch Richards and Peres Lothrop. The whole amouut assessed 
for the current expenses was $511.13. The names appended show 
who were the members of the Society at that date ; and the 
amount of the tax of each indicates their worldly condition. The 
document from which this copy was taken was fiu'nished b}' Seth 
Davis, Esq., who for about thirt}^ 3'ears was clerk and treasm'er of 
the Society. 




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The list of freeholders in the town at various dates brings into 
view the forms of living men who once tilled the fields, and walked 
these streets, and debated at town meetings and worshipped 
together on the Sabbath. The two lists which follow, separated 
by a period of a hundred and nineteen years, indicate the gradual 
growth of the town. The first list numbers sixty-three names ; 
the second, two hundred and eleven. The first belongs to a date 
after the town had become a fixed fact, forty years after the earli- 
est settlement ; the second, to a date after the machinery of the 
government had settled into regularit}' subsequent to the Revo- 



Samuel Hyde, 
Edward Jackson, 
John Parker (east), 
Jonathan Hyde, 
John Fuller, 
Thomas Prentice, 
Daniel Bacon, 
Thomas Wiswall, 
John Ward, 
Thomas Park, 
James Prentice, 
Vincent Druce, 
John Spring, 
Isaac Williams, 
James Trowbridge, 
Ciregory Cook, 
Humphrey Osland, 
John Kenrick, 
Thomas Greenwood, 
Samuel Truesdale, 
Henry Seger, 





Nehemiah Hobart, 
John Mason, 
John Woodward, 
John Clark, 
Joseph Miller, 
William Robinson, 
Abraham Jackson, 
Sehas Jackson, 
John Kenrick, jr., 
Elijnh Kenrick, 
Joseph Bartlett, 
John Smith, 
John Mirick, 
Simon Ong, 
David Meade, 
Neal McDaniel, 
John Alexander, 
Daniel Ray, 
Isaac Beach, 
Peter Stanchet, 
Isaac Bacon, 


















Jacob Bacon, 


Job Hvde, 


John Fuller, jr., 


Samuel Hyde, 2d, son 

Jonathan Fuller, 


of Job, 


Joshua Fuller, 


Samuel Hyde, son of 

Joseph Fuller, 



Jeremiah Fuller, 


Thomas Prentice, 


Xoah Wiswall, 

1 Thomas Prentice, son 

Ebenezer Hammond, 

of James, 

Thomas Hammond, 


John Parker (south) , 


Nathaniel Hyde, 

Stephen Cook, 


Jonathan Hyde, jr., 


Richard Parks, 


John Hyde, 


1 Thomas Parks, jr. 



The folio wiug names, estates and valuations were taken from 
the Books of the Assessors, who were appointed under an Act of 
the Congress of the United States passed in 1798, levying a direct 
tax upon the countiy of two millions of dollars. Principal assessor 
of the District, Artemas Ward ; assistants for Newton, Ebenezer 
Woodward and Joseph Jackson. Property exempted b}^ State 
laws was not to be assessed, nor dwelling-houses of a valuation of 
less than one hundred dollars. Taken October 1, 1798. 

In the list of owners and occupants, the names of tenants are 








Adams Joseph, jr. 

$ 140 


§ 600 

$ 740 

Adams Eoger, 





Adams Smith, 





Bartlett David and Joshua, 





Bartlctt Elisha, 





Blake Joseph, 





Tracy Daniel, 



Downing John, 




Beal Thomas, 





Bixby Jonathan, 





Blanden Francis, heirs, 





Bullough Joseph, 





Boies John, 



Woodcock Nathaniel, 

Cheney Aaron, 








Cheney William, 
CJicnev Ebenezer, 
Child Daniel, 
Coney David, 
Cnrtis Obadiah, 

Comey Ezra, 
Gushing Thomas, 

Hyde William, 
Gushing Edward, 

Norcross Josiah, 
Craft Joseph, 
Cookson Lydia and Betsey, 

Hovey Thomas, Maj., 
Clark Daniel, 
Clark Norman, 
Clark Norman, 
Cook Jonathan, 
Cook Benjamin, 
Cutler Richard, 
Curtis Solomon, 

Curtis Thomas, 
Curtis and Eliot, 

Crane Stephen, 
Collins Matthias, 
Craft Henry, 
Deblois Sarah, 
Davis Aaron, 
Daniels Timothy, 
Durell Peter, 
Durell David, 
Durell John, 
Durant Mary, 

Greenleaf William, 
Durant Thomas, 
Dix Samuel, 
Elliot Simon, 
Elliot Simon, 
Elliot Simon, 
Eustis Thomas, 
Fuller Sarah, 
Fuller Joseph, 
Fuller Josiah, 
Fuller Amariah, 
Fuller Nathan, 
Fuller Edward, 
Fuller Joshua and David, 
Fuller Elener, 
Fuller Joseph, jr.. 
Fuller Nathaniel, 
Grimes James, 

Bartlett Luke, 
Greenough Rev. William, 
Grafton Kev. Joseph, 
Homer Rev. Jonathan, 
Hall Edward, 






$ 140 

$ 390 































































100 ■ 





























































not taxed. 









% 140 















































Hall Samuel, 

^ 350 




Hall Solomon, 





Hyde Thaddeus, 





Hyde John, 





Hyde Elisha, 





Hyde Susanna, 




Hyde Samuel, 





Hyde Mary, 




Hyde Daniel, 





Hyde Amos, 




Hoogs William, 





Hoogs William, jr., 



Hull Gen. William, 





Coolidge Isaac, 





Bell William, 





Stearns Dr. Luther, 





Hammond William, 





Hammond Benjamin and Ben- 

jamin, jr., 





Hammond Thomas, 





Hastings Thomas, 2nd, 





Hastings John, 





Hastings Samuel, 




Hastings Daniel, 





Widow Lois Parker, 



Hastings Daniel, 






Hunnewell Jonathan, 





Jackson Col. Michael, 





Jackson Michael, jr.. 





Jackson Simon, 





Jackson Timothy, 





Jackson Edward, 





Jackson Samuel, 




Jackson Daniel and Joshua, 





Jackson Oliver, 





Jackson Joseph, jr.. 





Jennison Phineas, 





Jarvis Caleb and Bemis Luke, 



King Dr. John, 





King John, jr.. 





King Noah, 



King Henry, 





Kenrick John, 



Kenrick John, jr., 





Kenrick Caleb, 





Kimball Richard, 





Lenox Cornelius, 





Matthews John, 





Munroe Oliver, 




Moore Reuben, 




Glyde Samuel, 

Moore Reuben, 






Murdock Samuel, 






Murdock Robert, 






1 1 



HonsES, ! 





Murdock Elisha, 


$ 150 

52 , 



Murdock Widow Esther, 






Mitchell Edward, 





Marshall Abigail, 





Norcross Josiah, 





NoTcross Nathaniel, 



Neal William, 



Nutting Samuel, 





Parker Samuel, 





Parker Jonathan, 





Parker Joseph, 





Palmer John, 





Park Joshua, 





Park Amasa, 





Prentice Robert, 





Peck John, 





Pigeon John, 





Pigeon Henry, 





Jackson Daniel, 



Pratt Thomas, 





Porter Amasa, 



Rogers John, 





Rogers John, jr., 





Richardson Samuel, 





Richardson Jeremiah, 





Richards Daniel, 





Richards Solomon, 





Richards Aaron, 





Richards Thaddeus, 





Richards James, 




Richardson Ebenezer, 





Richardson David, 





Robinson Bradbury, 

Pritchard Joseph and 

Town Jonathan, 





Robbins Solomon, 





Robbins Eliphalet, 





Stone Dea. David, 





Stone John, heirs of 





Stone Jonas, jr., 





Stone James, 





Stone Ebenezer, 





Shepard Elizabeth, 





Daniels 0., 

Spring Dr. Marshall, 





Jones A., 

Seaverus Elisha, 





Starr Dr. Ebenezer, 



Sniiili Enoch, 





Tolinau I'homas, 





Tr()wl)ridge Edward, 





Trowbridi^e Samuel, 





Thwing Nicholas, 





Torrey Samuel, 





Thwing John, 














Thwing John, jr.. 

$ 215 


$ 886 


Wellington Ebenezer, 





Ward Col. Joseph, 





Parks Nathan 3rd, 





Ward John, 





Ward Samuel, 





White Joseph, 





Wiswall Jeremiah, 





Wiswall William, heirs of, 





Wiswall Jeremiah, jr., 





Wiswall Jeremiah, jr., 



Winchester Amasa, 





AVhittemore J. W. 



Whitney Thaddeus, 





Whitney Timothy, 

Ware John, 





Hooker Z., 

Ware Azariah, 

. 340 


Woodward Ebenezer, 





White Benjamin, 





Welch Michael, 





Ward Joseph, 





Weld Nathaniel, 





Whitney Moses, 




Cheney David, 

Park Nathan 3rd, 




Valuation of houses, 



do. land, 

Acres of land, 


Males in the abov 

e list, 


Total Valuation (as 

Females, do. 



taxed) , 

$ 71,614.00 


We know not on what principle the assessors determined their 
estimates of the value of houses in the town of Newton eighty 
3'ears since. Possibty, they designedly set the value veiy low, 
for the purposes of taxation, compassionating the slender resources 
of their fellow-townsmen and their own. But even if the}' put 
upon this kind of propertj^ no more than a two-thirds valuation, it 
seems to us that the dwellings of the fathers of the town, of the 
fourth generation after its incorporation, were ridiculously cheap. 
According to the above list, there were only two houses in the 
town valued above $2,000, one of them being set at S4,000 and 
the other at $2,450; only eleven above $1,000 ; only thirty-seven 
above $600 ; more than two-thirds of the whole number were val- 


iiecl at less than $500 ; sixtj'-eight, less than $300 ; forty-five less 
than $200 ; seven less than $100. The smallest valuations were 
one house at $80 ; one at $Go ; two at $50 ; two at $40, and one 
i\i $20. The three ministers were not required to pay taxes at all, 
ill this levy, though each of them owned both house and land. 
The largest number of acres of land owned by any individual was 
two hundred and forty-nine ; twenty-seven owned between one 
:ind two hundred ; one hundred and forty-one, less than one hun- 
dred ; four less than twent}^ ; twenty-two less than ten ; thirty-four, 
none at all. Five hundred and thirty-one and a quarter acres 
stood in the names of women. 

Such was the day of small things in the period of the fathers 
of Newton. Thej' had had a continual struggle with the difficul- 
ties incident to a new settlement. They had passed through the 
period of peril, when their territory was scarcely better than an un- 
subdued wilderness, and the exhausting period of the Revolutionary 
war. For many j'ears, while the}' were laying the foundations of 
the infant township, the}' knew, to the full, the hardships of labor 
and povert}'. But they were gradual]}' coming out of the dark- 
ness into a broader and a brighter field. Thanks to their indus- 
trv, thrift and enterprise, — their slender possessions, notwithstand- 
ing all difficulties, had become greatly multiplied, and the few 
thousands they brought with them had grown, even at the modest 
valuation of that earl}' day, to more than half a million. If we 
compare the condition of things in 1639 and 1679, and again at 
the date of the above assessment, and finally at the period in which 
our own lot has been cast, we cannot fail to acknowledge the 
gracious hand of Him who is " wise in counsel and excellent in 
working," and whose " pillar of cloud and of fire " has been, from 
the beginning, om* refuge and defence. 






Newton has honored itself from the beginning by a patriotic and 
military spirit. No call has been made for the defence of the na- 
tional domain, or the national integrity and honor, which the citi- 
zens have not been ready to answer. And many are the bold and 
fearless names, recorded with ferv^ent praise upon her escutcheon. 

It is an indication of the interest felt by the people in militarj' 
affairs that two training-fields were laid out at an early period, 
as elsewhere recorded. (See pp. 91, 113.) These fields were 
adapted, by their respective location, to nurse the militar}' spirit 
of the diflferent parts of the town, gi"ving to the children, east and 
west, opportunities of witnessing military manoeuvres. The first, 
at Newton Centre, nearly two-thirds of the space having been 
given by Jonathan Hyde, and upwards of one-third by Elder Wis- 
wall, or his sons, is known to have been in possession of the town 
since 1711 ; but no deed of the gift is on record. In 1799, a pow- 
der house, which stood about fifty years, was built on the easterlv 
side of it. The second training-field, laid out at Newton\nlle, in 
April, 1735, by Captain Joseph Fuller, was discontinued by the 
town in 1787, and the land reverted to the heirs of the donor. 
Very likel}-, the military furor incident to the Revolutionary war 
having abated, and the government being established on a firm ba- 
sis, the townsmen deemed that one militar}' campus was sufficient, 
and that the other might be devoted without peril, to the pursuits 
of peace. 

A large number of the citizens, when compared with the popu- 
lation of the town, have borne military titles. A catalogue of the 



citizens contained in Mr. Jackson's *' Genealogical Register," which 
reaches to the beginning of the present century', but embraces also 
a few names belonging to a later period, gives two generals, nine 
colonels, three majors, forty-one captains, twenty-one lieutenants 
and eight ensigns. The later histor}' of the town, as shown in the 
records of the recent war, presents no decline in the number or 
the valor of the townsmen. 

In the expedition to the West Indies in 1740, Massachusetts 
sent five hundred men, of whom only fifty returned alive. Of the 
four thousand five hundred men at Louisburg, Massachusetts sent 
three thousand two hundred and fifty, and Newton was not with-, 
out its representative. 

In the war with the French and Indians, some of the men of 
Newton were in hot engagements, and some were slain. Of these, 
some of the most distinguished were .Samuel Jenks, who served 
as a subaltern officer in the campaign of 1758 and 1760 ; Lieuten- 
ant Timothy Jackson, whose wife carried on the farm and herself 
worked on the land, while he was in the arm}" ; Colonel Ephraim 
Jackson, who was also a lieutenant in the same war, and especially 
Colonel Ephraim Williams, the founder of Williams College. He 
displayed uncommon militar}' talents, and was appointed a Cap- 
tain in the Canada service. He had under his command a fort at 
Williamstown, under the protection of which the settlers began 
their improvements. He was shot through the head in the mem- 
orable battle fought with the French and Indians near Lake 
George, in September, 1755. He lived a Ufe of single blessed- 
ness, and died at the age of forty. His will was made on his way 
to join the army, about two months before his death. 

With such antecedents, the people of Newton entered with vigor, 
as might have been expected, into the spirit of the Revolution, 
and contributed liberally, both of life and treasure, to the expenses 
of that great struggle. No town in the Commonwealth can pre- 
sent a more honorable record. The inhabitants recorded their 
protest against the Stamp Act in October, 1765, and followed up 
this movement aftei-wards by a series of acts well calculated to 
prove that they understood the exigencies of the times, and would 
be wanting in no measures which either duty or patriotism de- 
manded. In the progress of the trying events which preceded 
and accompanied the Revolution, the people of Newton, " almost 
to a man," says Mr. Jackson, " made the most heroic and vigor- 


ous efforts to sustain the common cause of the countrj^ from the 
first hour to the last." Ten days before the Stamp Act was to go 
into operation, October 21, 17G5, the town recorded its first pa- 
triotic and revokitionary action in the form of instructions to Cap- 
tain Abraham Fuller, their representative to the General Court. 

Tills first act, as it was the beginning of a series of similar acts, 
was undoubtedly the result of principles early planted, and now 
ready to unfold. It was the legitimate fruit of the seed sown, 
generations before, in the hearts of the Puritan settlers of New 
England. They had not been nursed in toil and self-denial, in 
the spirit of independence, decision and self-reliance in vain. 
And when the oppression from which the}' had fled, now, after 
nearly a century and a half, proposed in a new form to assert its 
power to control them and its right to tax them, tj^ranny found 
them ready to resist. The fathers had taught well the sons whom 
they had brought up ; and the sons showed themselves worthy of 
the energ}', the independence and the faith of such fathers. Eng- 
lish blood and heart, loving sovereignty and scorning to be ruled, 
grandly asserted itself in the long perils and the consuming years 
of hardship which followed. The colonists had right on their side. 
English lawyers and statesmen were compelled by their convic- 
tions to assent to the soundness of the principles maintained by 
the colonists which culminated in the Revolution. And the ends 
which the people sought, steadily pursued, could not fail to be 
crowned at last, b}' the blessing of God, with success. It is with 
the deepest interest that now, after the lapse of more than a cen- 
tury, every American citizen contemplates the weary years of alter- 
nating despondency and hope, the depreciated currenc}', the pov- 
erty of* the people, the lack of resources, the deficiency of men 
who were too few to meet the emergencies, the severity of nat- 
ure, and, at the same time, the willing self-denial and the stern 
decision of the people, and the final triumph of the cause in which 
they were engaged. 

The revolutionary action of the town above referred to is as 
follows : 

At a town meeting held October 21, 1765, Edward Durant, Moderator. 

Voted, the following instructions to their representative (prepared and re- 
ported by Edward Durant and Charles Pelham). 


To Captain Abraham Fuller, Representative of Newton : 

Sir, — At this most important and alarming crisis, when the British-Ameri- 
can subjects are everywhere loudly complaining of arbitrary and unconstitu- 
tional innovations, the town of Newton judge it altogether improper to be 
wholly silent. 

"We therefore, the freeholders and other inhabitants, being legally assem- 
bled in our meeting-house, judge it proper to impart to you our united senti- 
ments, more especially with regard to the Stamp Act, so called, by which a 
very grievous and, we apprehend, unconstitutional tax is laid on the colonies ; 
and, as it is a standing maxim of English liberty that no man shall be taxed 
but with his own consent, so we very well know that we were in no sense 
represented in Parliament when this tax was imposed. 

By the Royal Charter granted to our ancestors, the power of making laws 
for our internal government and of levying taxes is vested in the General 
Assembly ; and by the same charter the inhabitants of this province are en- 
titled to all the rights and privileges of natural, freeborn subjects of Great 
Britain. The most essential rights of British subjects are those of being 
represented in the same body which exercises the power of levying taxes upon 
them, and of having their property tried by juries; wiiereas the unconstitu- 
tional law admits of our properties' being tried by Courts of Admiralt}-, 
without a jury. Consequently this at once destroys the most valuable privi- 
leges of our charter, deprives us of our most essential rights as Britons, and 
greatly weakens the best security of our lives, liberties and estates. 

We therefore think it our indispensable duty, injustice to ourselves and to 
our posterity, as it is our undoubted privilege, to declare our greatest dissatis- 
faction with this law ; and we think it incumbent on you by no means to join 
in any public measure for countenancing and assisting in the execution of 
said Act ; but to use your best endeavors in the General Assembly to have 
the unalienable rights of the people of this province asserted and vindicated, 
and left on public record, that posterity may never have reason to charge those 
of the present times with the guilt of tamely giving them away. 

We further instruct you to take particular care that the best prudence may 
be used in expending the public moneys, that no unaccustomed grant may be 
made to those who serve the government; and we in general recommend to 
your care, that the moneys of the province drawn from the individuals of 
the people, may not be applied to any other purposes under any pretence 
whatever of contingent charges, but what are evidently intended in the act 
for supplying the Treasury. 

VoTKD, that the foregoing instructions be the instructions to the Represen- 
tative of this town, and that he is now enjoined firmly to adhere to the same ; 
also, that the same be recorded in the Town Book, that posterity may see 
and know the great concern the people of this day had for their invaluable 
riglits and privileges and liberties. 

A prominent question, at the commencement of the revolution- 
ary struggle, was whether the Parliament of Great Britain could 
legally impose taxes on the American provinces, which were not 

represented therein, without their consent. Bat in exercising their 


right of supremacy, as they understood it, thej' enacted, besides 
other methods of raising a revenue from the Provinces, the Act 
styled the Stamp Act, with the provision that it should take effect 
November 1, 1765. The Massachusetts House of Representatives 
affirmed the American doctrine October 29, 1765, with special 
reference to this Act, in a series of fourteen Resolutions. "We 
copy three of them. 

III. Resolved, that no man can justly take the property of another 
without his consent ; and tliat upon this original principle, the right of repre- 
sentation in the same body which exercises the power of making laws for 
levying taxes, which is one of the main pillars of the British constitution, is 

XII. Resolved, as a just conclusion from some of the foregoing resolves, 
that all Acts made by any power whatever, other than the General Assembly 
of this Province, imposing taxes on the inhabitants, are infringements of our 
inherent and unalienable rights as men and British subjects, and render void 
the most valuable declarations of our Charter. 

XIII. Resolved, that the extension of the powers of the Court of 
Admiralty within the Province is a most violent infraction of the right of 
trial by juries, — a right which this house, upon the principles of their British 
ancestors, hold most dear and sacred, it being the only security of the lives, 
liberties and properties of his Majesty's subjects here. 

Such were the views solemnly expressed by the General Court, 
and it was not unnatural that the patriotic and liberty-loving citi- 
zens, if the}^ understood only the first rudiments of statesmanship, 
should agree with them. 

Great riots took place in Boston, in consequence of the passage 
of the Stamp Act. Lieutenant Governor Hutchinson's house was 
sacked, and much property was destroyed. The people of New- 
ton, in town meeting assembled, expressed their abhorrence of all 
such acts of outrage and violence, and subsequently instructed 
their Representative to use his influence to have the losses made 
good to the sufferers out of the public treasury or otherwise, " as 
should seem most just and consistent." Thus they showed them- 
selves not only jealous for their own rights, but also for the rights 
of others. 

The passage of the Stamp Act in 1 765 awakened such indigna- 
tion in the American colonies as clearlj- showed that England 
must either change her polic}', or prepare to enforce it at the point 
of the ba^'onet. The violent and protracted struggle following 
the passage of the Act indicated the determined spirit of the colo- 
nists, and was the prologue to the drama of the Revolution. 


On the 31st of October a meeting was held bj' the merchants of 
New York, and it was resolved, — 

1. To import no goods from England until the Stamp Act be repealed. 

2. To immediately countermand all orders sent for spring goods. 

3. To sell no goods from Great Britain on commission. 

More than two hundred merchants signed their names to these 
resolutions. Various popular demonstrations followed, showing 
that the sentiment of the merchants met the approval of the 

The following year the Stamp Act was repealed, causing univer- 
sal joy ; and the popular feeling found expression in the erection, 
by Act of the Legislature, of a leaden equestrian statue of George 
III., on Bowling Green in New York cit3\ But if his Majest}^ 
was pleased with this demonstration, he soon learned that "the 
triumph of the wicked is short." A few years afterward, this 
statue was turned to a purpose which the founders had not dreamed 
of. In the revulsion of feeling which followed the imposition of 
a duty on tea, upon the reception in New York of the " Declara- 
tion of Independence," the horse and rider were dragged from the 
pedestal, broken in pieces, and sent to Litchfield, the residence of 
OUver Wolcott, the patriotic governor of Connecticut, b3' whose 
wife and daughters they were run into thousands of bullets, which 
were distributed among the patriots of the surrounding country. 
With these bullets hundreds of British soldiers were shot during 
the subsequent invasion of Connecticut.* 

In 1767, it was unanimously voted by the townsmen " stricth' to 
adhere to the late regulation respecting funerals, and not to use 
any gloves but what are manufactured here, nor procure any new 
garments upon such occasions, but what shall be absolutely neces- 

Being an economical and prudent people, believing in the protec- 
tion of home manufactures, and no less in the development of home 
industry, and moreover not willing to be dependent on foreign na- 
tions in case of war, at a town meeting held November 13, 17G7, 
they voted unanimously, — 

That this town will take all prudent and legal measures to encourage the 
produce and manufactures of this province, and to lessen the tise of super- 
fluities, and particularly the following enumerated articles imported from 
abroad, viz. : loaf sugar, cordage, anchors, coaches, chaises, and carriages 
*Hon. £. C. Cowdin's speech at Lexington. 



of all sorts, horse furniture, men's and women's hats, men's and women's 
apparel ready made, household furniture, gloves, men's and women's shoes, 
sole leather, shcatlHng, duck, nails, gold and silver, and thread lace of all 
sorts, gold and silver buttons, wrought plate of all sorts, diamond, stone and 
paste ware, snufF, mustard, clocks and watches, silversmiths' and jewelers' 
ware, broadcloths that cost above ten shillings per yard, muffs, furs, tippets, 
and all sorts of millinery ware, starch, women's and children's stays, fire en- 
gines, china ware, silk and cotton, velvets, gauze, pewterer's hollow ware, 
linseed oil, glue, lawns, cambrics, silk of all kinds for garments, malt liquors 
and cheese. 

This action of the citizens was provoked by the Navigation Act, 
so called, of the British Parhament, which restricted home indus- 
try in the colonies, and tended to destroy their commerce. In 
consequence of the passage of this Act, they were not allowed to 
trade with any foreign country, nor export to England their own 
merchandise except in British vessels. Iron abounded in the colo- 
nies, but not an article could be manufactured by the people ; aU 
must be imported. Wool was abundant ; but no cloth could be 
manufactured, except for private use, and not a pound of the raw 
material could be sold from town to town ; but all must be sent to 
England, to be ultimatel}' returned as manufactured cloths, bur- 
dened with heavy duties. Beavers were plenty all along the 
streams ; but no hatter was permitted to have more than two ap- 
prentices, and not a hat could be sold from one colony to another. 
These are specimens of that vast network of restrictions upon 
trade and commerce, in which Great Britain encircled the thirteen 

This was not alone. The Parhament added humiliation to ex- 
tortion. Naval officers, acting under the law, were insolent 
towards colonial vessels. They compelled them to lower then" 
flags in token of homage, fired on them at the slightest provoca- 
tion, and impressed their seamen whenever they chose. 

The Mutiny Act, as it was called, required the inhabitants of 
the colonies to furnish quarters, and to some extent, supplies, for 
all the soldiers that might be sent over from England to oppress 

Newton had not yet become, to any great extent, a manfactur- 
ing town, though something had been done, both at the Upper and 
Lower Falls, to meet the demands of home consumption, for more 
than half a century. But the people understood the principles 

* Hon. E. C. Cowdin's speech at Lexington, April 19, 1875. 


that underlie a free government, and were resolved not to yield 
their rights to a foreign oppressor. 

At a town meeting held September 22, 17G8, the citizens unan- 
imonsty chose Abraham Fuller, to join with others as soon as may 
be, in a Convention to be held in Faneiiil Hall, Boston, in order 
that such measures maj' be consulted and advised, as the peace 
and safet}' of the subjects in the province may require. 

"In the succeeding years, "says Mr. Paige, in his ''History of Cambridge,** 
" the conflict between arbitrary power and the rights and privileges of the 
people became more and more earnest. The British Government insisted on 
its right to bind tlie colonies in all cases, to impose taxes without their con- 
sent, to place over them rulers not of their own choice, to overawe them by 
the presence of foreign troops, and to supersede established laAvs and cus- 
toms by 'Eoyal Instructions.' On the other hand, while the people professed 
loyalty to the Crown, they protested against tliis invasion of their inalienable 
rights as frecborn Englishmen, and indicated a determination to resist to the 
last extremity. Among other methods for the accomplishment of this pur- 
pose, at a town meeting held in Boston, Nov. 2, 1772, upon the motion of 
Samuel Adams it was voted ' that a Committee of Correspondence be ap- 
pointed, to consist of twenty-one persons, to state the rights of the colonies 
and of this province in j)articular, as men, as Christians, and as subjects; to 
communicate and publish the same to the several towns in this province and 
to the world, as the sense of this town, with the infringements and violations 
thereof that have been, or from time to time may be made ; also, requesting 
of each town a free communication of their sentiments on this subject.' 

"At an adjourned meeting, November 20, the report of this committee was 
accepted and ordered to be printed in pamphlet form, and distributed agree- 
ably to the original vote." 

On the fourth of Januaiy, 1772, Edward Durant, Charles Pel- 
ham, Esq., Alexander Shepard, William PhilUps and Noah Plydc 
were chosen a committee " to consider and report what it may 
be proper for the town to do, relating to the present unhappy situ- 
ation this country is reduced to, by some late attacks made on our 
constitutional rights and privileges." 

This committee presented the following brave and earnest report : 

I. We judge it just and expedient, and do recommend it to the town, as a 
testimony of their due sense of the invaluable rights and privileges belonging 
to them, both as men and as members of the British Empire, and as colonists, 
to come into the following resolves : 

Resolved, that no good man can be silent and inactive in the cause of 
liberty at this alarming period, when such arbitrary measures are taken as 
tend to destroy that glorious Constitution which has cost the labors of ages and 
the blood of thousands, and that all who abet tyranny merit the detestation of 
this people and the contempt of mankind. 


Resolved, that we ever did and now do bear true loyalty to the king and 
affection to our brethren in Great Britain, and shall ever contribute, to the 
utmost of our ability, to promote the honor and dignity of the Crown and the 
prosperity of the parent state, as far as may be consistent with our rights and 
privileges as colonists. 

Resolved, that no civil officer, who, properly considered, is a servant of 
the people, can constitutionally or with safety to themselves, be dependent on 
the Crown for his support, — therefore, any grant or grants made by the 
Crown to the Judges of our Superior Court, must naturally, at least here- 
after, tend to destroy all confidence in those Judges, and change the courts 
of justice into engines of slavery. 

Resolved, that all taxation imposed on the inhabitants of the colonies 
without their consent or representation in Parliament, for the purpose- of 
raising a revenue, is unconstitutional and oppressive. 

Resolved, that it is tiie firm opinion of this town that the establishment of 
a Board of Commissioners, with a great number of officers under them at an 
enormous and unnecessary expense, that the large extension of the powers 
of the Courts of Admiralty, whereby the lives and liberties of his Majesty's 
subjects in the colonies are rendered precarious and unsafe, — that the intro- 
ducing and keeping a military force in our metropolis in a time of profound 
peace, to the great disturbance and injury of the people, — that the pro- 
viding for the support of the Governor in any other way than by grants of 
our General Court, thereby rendering him entirely independent of the people 
over whom he presides, — and many other late proceedings of his Majesty's 
ministers, are grievances of which we justly complain, and must, in faith- 
fulness to ourselves and our posterity, continue so to do until they are 

II. We judge it necessary at this time, and do recommend it to the town, 
to give the Representative of the town the following instructions, viz. : 

To Abraham Fuller, Esq., Representative of Newton in General Assembly : 

Sir, — At this alarming era, wlien the British- American subjects are loudly 
complaining of arbitrary and unconstitutional measures and innovations, 
the town of Newton judge it altogether improper to be wholly silent. AVe 
therefore, his Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects, the freeholders and 
other inhabitants of said town, in town meeting legally assembled on Monday, 
the fourth day of January, 1773, by adjournment from the 28th of December 
last, judge it not only proper, but absolutely necessary to impart to you our 
united sentiments, being as on the one hand ever ready to give all due as- 
sistance for encouraging and supporting the exercise of government in a 
constitutional manner, so on the other hand deeply concerned that the rights 
and privileges of British subjects, — that best birthright and noblest inheri- 
tance of mankind, may be securely enjoyed by us and transmitted to our pos- 
terity, — cannot but express how greatly our fears have been increased respect- 
ing the late alarming report, added to the other grievances under which this 
people have for a number of years groaned, viz. : that stipends are affixed, by 
order of the Crown, to the offices of the judges of the Superior Court of 


Judicature of this province; consequently, instead of receiving their salaries 
or support, from annual grants, made by the Great and General Court, as 
heretofore, they are to depend solely on the sovereign -will and pleasure of 
the Crown for their support ; this change we cannot but consider as a most 
important and dangerous change, — creating an undue and unconstitutional 
dependence, quite repugnant to the spirit of the British constitution, and 
which will, we apprehend, lay an unha^jpy foundation for the subverting of 
public justice. 

And we also cannot but take notice how much more hard and grievous it 
is, that when all possible care has been taken by Acts of Parliament and ex- 
press desire even from his present Majesty upon his first accession to the 
throne, to make the judges of England wholly independent of the Crown, 
that the judges of our Superior Court should be rendered absolutely depen- 
dent on the Crown in the important article of salaries, whereby we are thus 
cruelly distinguished from his Majesty's subjects in Great Britain. 

We therefore think it proper to instruct you, our Representative in Gen- 
eral Assembly, that you unite in such measures as shall place the judges of 
the Superior Court of Judicature of this Province upon a constitutional 
basis, and make, when that is done, suitable provision for their sujiport, 
adequate to their merit and station. 

We further instruct you that you use your utmost endeavors that all our 
rights be restored and established as heretofore, and that a decent though 
manly remonstrance be sent to the king, assuring his Majesty that univer- 
sal discontent prevails in America, and nothing will restore harmony and 
insure the attachment of the people to the Crown, but a full restoration of 
all their liberties. 

A circular letter having been received from the Selectmen of 
Boston, in reference to the state of public affairs, soliciting ad- 
vice and cooperation, the foUowing answer was sent by vote of the 

We judge it proper, and think it may answer a good purpose, and so there- 
fore recommend it to the town to return the following answer to a letter of 
20th November last from the town of Boston directed to the Selectmen of 
this town, viz. : 

Gentlemen, — We the freeholders and other inhabitants of the town of 
Newton, in a town meeting legally assembled this day by adjournment, think 
it incumbent on us to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 20th Novem- 
ber last past, directed to the Selectmen of Newton. We greatly applaud 
you, and think ourselves as well as the whole province much obliged to you 
for your generous exertion of that patriotic spirit for which you stand dis- 
tinguished. And however unsuccessful may have been the measures you 
have taken for obtaining redress of sundry grievances of which we justly 
complain, yet as far as in us lies, we would encourage your hearts to perse- 
vere in all legal, loyal, regular and constitutional methods for the redress of 
those grievances we feci, and for preventing those we have reason to fear. 


We are greatly concerned at the report wluch prevails that our judges of tlie 
Circuits are to receive their salaries from home, which must render them de- 
pendent on the Crown, and independent of the people, the natural evil con- 
sequences of which are too obvious and truly alarming. We regret the 
odium cast on the respectable town of Boston as being of a factious spirit, 
and cannot but think that a properly expressed union of sentiment by the 
several towns in the Province, when made known to our most gracious 
Sovereign, must tend to convince him and his ministry that the resentment 
shown on account of the many unconstitutional impositions laid on the coun- 
try in general, and the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in particular, is 
not the ravings of a faction, but the cool, dispassionate and just complainings 
of the generality of his Majesty's dutiful and Icyal subjects in this populous 
Province ; and we cannot but hope would render his Majesty, in his great 
wisdom and goodness, still more disposed to grant us all due relief. To pro- 
mote which valuable purposes, as far as our influence will serve, we have 
passed a number of resolves, and voted instructions to our representative, 
— copies of which are inclosed. We heartily commend the present distressed 
state of this country to the Great and Good King of kings, praying for his 
blessing on and directions to the whole British empire. 

With all due respect and esteem, and in the cause of true liberty, we are. 

Your brethren and most humble servants. 
By order and in behalf of the Town of Newton, 

Abr. Fuller, Tcnun Clerk. 
To the Gentlemen Selectmen of Boston. 

Lastly, we do recommend it to the town, that they order the foregoing re- 
solves and instructions to the Representative and letter to the town of Boston 
to be recorded in the Town Book of Records belonging to the town, that pos- 
terity may see and know the great concern the people of this day had for 
their invaluable rights, privileges and liberties. 

Thus we think we have completed the business committed to us ; and if we 
meet with the approbation of the town, we shall think ourselves amply 

Edward Dorant, 
Alexander Shepard, 
William Phillips, 
Charles Pelham, 
Noah Hide. 






We cannot admire too much the energy and spirit manifested by 
the fathers of the town in the resolutions and instructions quoted 
in the preceding chapter, the cahn, stern determination, the fixed 
resolve, the sober consideration, the sense of justice, the apprecia- 
tion of their rights and privileges, and their concern that they 
should be transmitted, unabridged, to their posterity'. They were 
worthy of the stock from which they came, and worthy to be the 
fathers of such a republic as they delivered to their successors. 
The following years of trial, toil and hardship, the patient endur- 
ance of hunger, cold and poverty, the wasting of their wealth and 
the sacrifice of their lives were a part of the solemn work the^' 
had undertaken ; a portion of the grand enterprise to which they 
had consecrated themselves. We are not surprised that men so 
enhghtened as to the nature of law and right, and the preroga- 
tives which were their inalienable due, should have fought out to 
its issue the battle of freedom. They were equal to the dignity 
of so great an occasion, and worthy to be entrusted with a govern- 
ment which they gradually perfected, and delivered unimpaired to 
their children. 

While the colonists sought on the one hand to discourage luxur}'' 
and extravagance, and to develop home industry, on the other 
hand they prepared cautiously for the sharp struggle that was be- 
fore them, — as a ship of war, while the enemy is drawing near 
and thundering with occasional discharges of cannon, makes 
all snug, in her sails and rigging, and clears her decks for action. 



At a town meeting held December 20, 1773, Charles Pelham, 
Esq., Mr. Edward Durant, Captain .John Woodward, Mr. Joshua 
Hammond, and Dr. John King were chosen a committee to make 
a draft of such measures as they shall think best for the town to 
come into at this emergenc}', and report at the next meeting. 

At the same meeting, Thomas Miller, Captain Ephraim Jackson, 
Phineas Bond, Lieutenant Jeremiah Wiswall, John Palmer, James 
Grimes, Deacon David Stone, Deacon William Bowles, Captain 
Benjamin Hammond, Amariah Fuller, Phineas Cook, Lieutenant 
Michael Jackson, Captain John Woodward, Joseph Chene_y and 
Ensign Samuel Craft, were appointed a Committee of Fifteen 
to confer with the inhabitants of the town as to the expediency 
of leaving off buying, selling or using any of the India teas. 

On the sixth of January-, 1774, the Committee of Five, above 
referred to, reported the following preamble and resolves,* which 
were unanimously adopted by the town : 

The freeholders and other inhabitants of the town of Newton, legally as- 
sembled on Monday, the 20th of December, 1773, and continued by adjourn- 
ment to January G, 1774, taking into consideration the present diflSculty of 
our public afiiiirs, are greatly alarmed at the reiterated attempts of the Par- 
liament of Great Britain to undermine our happy constitution, and deprive 
us of those rights and privileges which we justly claim as men, as members 
of the British Empire, and as chartered colonists. And although we always 
have, and still do, bear true and sincere loyalty and affection to our most 
gracious sovereign, yet we cannot but consider and regret the great and 
undue influence of his ministry both in and out of Parliament, which, espe- 
cially if corrupt and selfish men should be in place, we look upon as a sore 
scourge to the nation and all its dependencies. 

We do therefore, with firmness of mind, on mature deliberation, establish 
the following Resolves, viz. : 

1. That an Act passed in the last sessions of Parliament, empowering the 
Hon. East India Company, to export tea to America, subject to a duty upon 
its arrival in America, is a fresh attack upon our rights, craftily planned by a 
few of our inveterate enemies in the ministry, in order to establish a tax on 
us, plainly contrary to the constitution of England itself, and glaringly re- 
pugnant to our charter ; which we deem a grievance greatly aggravated by the 
cruel partiality therein shown against millions of His Jlajesty's loyal and 
good subjects in America, in favor of a few, very few, opulent subjects in 
Britain. This we cannot brook, and do therefore solemnly bear testimony 
against it. 

*CharlesPelhara, Esq., chairman of the comuiitteef is supposed t&Iiave been the 
author of the resolutions. 


2. That in justice to ourselves, our fellow-colonists and our posterity, we 
cannot, nor will, voluntarily and tamely, submit to this or any tax laid on us 
for the express purpose of raising a revenue, when imposed without our con- 
sent, given by ourselves or our Kepresentatives. 

3. That as part of the Colonies laboring under oppression, we are deter- 
mined to join the rest, in all and every lawful and just method of obtaining 
redress, or preventing the oppression, even to the risk of our lives and for- 

4. That all and every person or persons, who have been, are, or shall be, 
advising or assisting in the aforesaid, or any such acts, or are active or aiding 
in the execution of them, are (so far, at least) inimical to this country, and 
thereby incur our just resentment; in which light we shall view all mer- 
chants, traders and others, who shall henceforth presume to import, or sell, 
any India tea, until the duty we so justly complain of, be taken off. 

6. That we each and every one of us will not, directly or indirectly, by 
ourselves or any for or under us, purchase or use, or suffer to be used in our 
respective families, any India tea, while such tea is subject to a duty payable 
upon its arrival in America; and recommend that a copy hereof be transmit- 
ted to the Committee of Correspondence in Boston. 

6. That a Committee of Correspondence be appointed to confer and cor- 
respond with the committees of any or all our sister towns in the Province, 
as occasion may require. 

We the subscribers, a committee appointed by the town of Newton, to draft 
what might be proper for said town to do in the present exigency of our pub- 
lic affairs, do report the foregoing for the consideration of the town, and do 
further recommend that a copy thereof be transmitted to the committee of 
correspondence in Boston. 

Charles Pelham, 
Edwakd Durant, 
John Woodward, > Committee. 
Joshua Hammond, 
John King, J 

Attested by the Town Clerk, 

Abraham Fuller. 

The committee of correspondence above provided for were 
Edward Durant, William Clark, Captain Jonas Stone, Joshua 
Hammond and Captain John "Woodward. 

It contributed undoubtedly to the unanimity- with which the 
above resolutions were passed, that the famous tea part}^ in Boston 
had taken place but a few days before. On the 16th of Decem- 
ber, 1773, a company of men disguised as Indians boarded three 
British vessels at Liverpool Wharf in Boston, commanded by 
Captains Hall, Bruce and Coffin, broke open with their hatchets 
three hundred and forty-two chests of tea, and in less than four 
hours mingled the whole with the waters of Massachusetts Bay. 


Newton was represented on that occasion by two or more of its 
citizens. One, in particular, who drove a load of wood to market, 
staid very late that day, and was not very willing the next morn- 
ing to explain the cause of his detention. But as tea was found 
in his shoes, it is easy to understand what he had been doing. 
This was Mr. Samuel Hammond, son of Ephraim, then a young 
man twentj'-five j-ears of age, and ripe for such an expedition. 
Samuel's son, Peter Hammond, a centenarian, living in the State 
of Illinois, was invited to be present at Newton's Centennial in 
1876 ; this Peter Hammond died at his home in Geneseo, 111., April 
9, 1878, aged 102 years. His death occurred on his birthda3\ 

A vote was passed, enjoining upon the Committee of Fifteen 
"to lay before the inhabitants of this town a paper or papers, that 
each of said inhabitants may have opportunity to signify it under 
their hands, that they will not bu}^, sell or use any of the India 
teas, until the duties are taken off; — and, such as will not sign, 
to return their names to the town at the adjournment." 

It does not appear that any one refused to sign. The whole 
population were in dead earnest. Men and women alike entered 
into the spirit of the occasion, and, forgetting the ordinary dictates 
of self-love, they combined, like an army with an unbroken front, 
to meet the demands of the hour. How sublime the spectacle of 
a whole community, animated by one spirit, disregarding all sel- 
fish aims, standing shoulder to shoulder for the accomplishment of 
one object, resolved to accept no compromise, taking for their 
motto, " Liberty or Death ! " They resolved to restrict themselves 
first, in the luxuries of life and the delicacies of imported apparel ; 
then, to abbreviate the diet on their tables and to curtail the ele- 
gances of their funerals ; and finally, all went, except the bare 
necessaries for their existence. They subjected themselves to 
hard labor beyond their wont ; and after the}^ had sacrificed nearly 
everything else, fathers and husbands, lovers, brothers and sons 
were laid as a holocaust on the altar of their country. Brave 
men and women ! They deserved the freedom the}- won. Would 
that their posterity might be as worthy as they, of the rich inheri- 
tance ; as grateful for its possession ; as upright and unselfish in 
its maintenance ; as competent to hold it, and as conscientious to 
deliver it, unimpaired, to those who shall come after them ! 

The Stamp Act, the tax on tea and the Boston Port Bill had 
exasperated the people. But the Reconstruction Acts of 1774 
were the crowning measures of British oppression. 


The councillors had been chosen by the people, through their representa- 
tives ; by the new law they were to be appointed by the king, and to hold at 
his pleasure. The superior judges were to hold at the will of the king, and 
to be dependent upon his will for the amount and payment of their salaries ; 
and the inferior judges to be removable by the royal governor at his discretion, 
he himself holding office at the king's will. The sheriffs were to be appointed 
by the royal governor, and also to hold at his will. The juries had been 
selected by the inhabitants of the towns ; they were now to be selected by 
the new sheriffs, more creatures of the royal governor. Offenders against the 
peace and against the lives and persons of our people had been tried here by our 
courts and juries ; and in the memorable case of the soldiers' trial for the firing 
in liing Street [State Street] in March, 1770, we had proved ourselves capable 
of doing justice to our oppressors. By the new act, persons charged with cap- 
ital crimes, and royal officers, civil or military, charged with offences in the 
execution of the royal laws or warrants, could be transferred for trial to Eng- 
land, or to some other of the Colonies. 

But the deepest-reaching provision of the Acts was that aimed at the town 
meetings. Thoy were no longer to be parliaments of free men, to discuss 
matters of public interest, to instruct their representatives, and look to the 
redress of grievances. They were prohibited, except the two annual meet- 
ings of March and May, and were then only to elect officers ; and no other 
meetings could be held unless by the written permission of the royal gov- 
ernor ; and no matters could be considered unless specially sanctioned in the 

'. . . These acts sought a radical revolution, a fundamental reconstruc- 
tion of our ancient political system. They sought to change self-government 
into government by the king, and forborne rule to substitute absolute rule at 
"Westminster and St. James' Palace. They gave the royal governor and his 
council here powers Avhich the king and his council could not exercise in 
Great Britain, — powers from which the British nobles and commons had 
fought out their exemption, and to which they would never submit. The 
British Ammal Register, the best authority of that day on political history, 
says that by this series of Acts against the Colonists they " were deprived of 
the rights they had ever been taught to revere and hold sacred." 

Nor were these Acts mere declarations. They were to be enforced, and 
at once, and absolutely. The Military Acts provided for quartering the 
troops upon the towns. In February, 1775, a resolution of Parliament de- 
clared Massachusetts in rebellion, and pledged the lives and property of 
Englishmen to its suppression. This resolution was little short of a decla- 
ration of war. The instructions of Lord Dartmouth, the secretary of State 
for the Colonies, to General Gage, the royal governor, ran thus : " The sove- 
reignty of the king over the Colonies requires a full and absolute submis- 
sion." Gage writes to Lord Dartmouth, "The time for conciliation, modera- 
tion and reasoning is over. . . . The forces must take the field. Civil 
government is near its end." He advised that the king send twenty thousand 
men to Massachusetts, and with these he would undertake to enforce the new 
system, disarm the colonists, and arrest the chief traitors, and send them to 


London for trial. A force of five thousand regulars was gathered at Boston, 
and more were coming, under distinguished leaders. The Common was oc- 
cupied, tlie Neclc fortified, and Boston was under martial law. General 
Gage Avas authorized to order the troops to fire upon the people. The people, 
by peaceful means and moral coercion, not without intimidation, but without 
bloodshed, prevented the new system of legislature, jurors, judges, and exe- 
cutive officers, going into efiect ; and General Gage attempted to seat the 
judges and the new officers by the troops. The people refused to serve on 
the juries, and few, even of the royalists, dared to accept the offices of judge, 
councillor, or sheriff. The people continued to hold their town meetings, 
and organized county meetings and a Provincial Congress, and Gage resolved 
to disperse them by the bayonets of the regulars. Troops were sent to Sa- 
lem to disperse a meeting ; but they arrived too late. His proclamation for- 
bade the people attending unauthorized meetings, disobedience "to be an- 
swered at their utmost peril." By another proclamation he had ordered the 
arrest and securing for trial of all who might sign or publish, or invite others 
to sign, the covenant of non-importation ; and the troops were to do it. He 
was ordered from home, to take possession of every fort, to seize all military 
stores, arrest and imprison all thought to have committed treason, to repress 
the rebellion by force, and, generally, to substitute more coercive measures 
" without waiting for the aid of the civil magistrates." In short, Massachu- 
setts was placed under martial law, to be enforced by the king's troops ; and 
all for the purpose of changing radically, by imperial power, the fundamental 
institutions of the people, in which they had grown up, which they had wisely, 
safely and justly administered, and on which their liberties depended.* 

Newton was so near to Boston, the head-quarters of the revo- 
lutionary spirit, that its citizens could not fail to feel the pulse- 
beat of freedom, which thrilled in the veins of the capital and was 
transmitted to every corner of ]Massachusetts. Too early for 
telegraphic communication, all the atmosphere seemed charged 
with the spirit of resistance to oppression, which communicated 
itself with electric rapidity and certainty to every inhabitant. And, 
under this influence, from this time the work of preparation to 
resist aggression went forward with terrible decision. The town 
Records, absorbed, as they are, year after j'ear, till the close of 
the war, with matters pertaining to the affairs of the country and 
its defence, remind us of the waters of Niagara, boiling and 
seething in the rapids, before they plunge over the rocks and are 
lost in the abyss below. 

The patriotic report of the Congress for the county of Middle- 
sex, which convened at Concord, August 30 and 31, was adopted 
by the town. John Pigeon was chosen Chairman of a committee 

* Oration of R. H. Dana, jr., at the Lexington Centennial. 


to instruct the town's Representative. John Pigeon and Edward 
Durant were chosen delegates to join the Provincial Congress at 
Concord on the second Tuesday of October following, or at anj' 
other time or place when the Provincial Congress shall meet. The 
Selectmen were required b}^ vote of the town, to use their best 
discretion in providing fire-arms for the poor of the town, who 
were unable to provide for themselves. Januar}' 2, 1775, Abra- 
ham Fuller and Edward Durant were appointed delegates to the 
Provincial Congress to be holden at Cambridge. Two field-pieces, 
donated to the town b}' John Pigeon, were accepted by the town 
with a vote of thanks, and a committee was charged with the duty 
■of obtaining subscriptions to mount the field-pieces. It was also 
voted to raise men to exercise the field-pieces, A committee 
composed of Captain Amariah Fuller, Captain Jeremiah "Wiswall 
■and Major Benjamin Hammond was chosen to enUst thirt^'-two 
men for Minute-men,* and to add as many more as they think 
necessary for oflScers, and that they meet once a week during the 
winter season half a day, for exercise, and all that attend be paid 
eight pence each.f Another committee was chosen "to observe 
^nd see that all resolves and orders of the Continental Congress 
that concern this town be strictly observed." This committee was 
composed of Samuel Crafts, Phineas Cook, Dr. King, Lieutenant 
Joseph Fuller and Captain Jonas Stone, Voted, That the com- 
mittee of correspondence be allowed their pocket expenses. 

In January, 1775, it was "voted that each man of the company 
of Minute-men be paid one shilling for half-da}^ exercising, and 
eight shillings a day for the eight officers, over and above the one 

* This action of the town furnishes the explanation of the fact that Newton had so 
many men engaged in the battles of Lexington and Concord. 

t The Provincial Congress of Massachusetts which assembled at Salem t in October, 
1774, determined upon forcible resistance to the oppressive acts of Parliament, and 
digested a plan for organizing the militia. This plan provided that one-(juarter of 
the whole number enrolled should be arranged by themselves in companies and regi- 
ments, and be in readiness to muster and march at the shortest notice. From this 
circumstance they were called Minute-men. 

t General Thomas Gage, the Royal Governor for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 
had issued writs, dated September 1, 1774, convening the General Court at Salem, on 
the fifth of October ; but dissolved it by a proclamation dated September 28th. The 
members elected to it met notwithstanding; and pursuant to the plan agreed on, re- 
solved themselves into a Provincial Congress. They continued, with several adjourn- 
ments, till December 10th. The second Provincial Congress met February 1, 1775, and 
■dissolved May 29th. 



shilling each ; the Minute-men to train once a week, at the discre- 
tion of the commanding officer." 

This brings the history nearly to the period of the battles of 
Lexington and Concord. 

April 19, 1775,* there were three companies of infantry in 
Newton ; the West company, commanded by Captain Amariah 
Fuller ; the East company, commanded b}' Captain Jeremiah Wis- 
wall ; and a company of Minute-men, raised in 1775, commanded 
by Captain Phineas Cook, all of which were in the battles of that 
day, and marched twenty-eight miles. The rolls of each company 
were returned to the Secretary's office, and sworn to by their com- 
mander as follows : West company, 105 ; East company, 76 ; 
Minute-men, 37 ; total, 218. Besides these, many Newton men, 
not attached to either of these companies, were in the action. In 
the West company were 37 volunteers, called the Alarm List, — • 
men who had passed the age for military duty. Among them 

Capt. Joshua Fuller, 

Aged 72 

Alexander Shepard, 

Aged — 

Dea. Joseph Ward, 

" 69 

Capt. John Woodward, 

" 51 

Capt. E. Jackson, 

" 46 

Joshua Murdock, 

" 54 

Abraham Fuller, 

" 55 

Peter Durell, 

" 56 

Benjamin Eddy, 

" 68 

Thomas Beal, 

" 58 

Joseph Adams, 

" 68 

William Clark, 

" 59 

Thomas Miller, 

" 62 

Henry Seger, 

" 67 

In the East company 


Noah Wiswall, 

Aged 76 

Jonathan Mirick, 

Aged 53 

Ebenezer Parker, 

" 73 

Dea. David Stone, 


Dea. Jonas Stone, 

" 53 

Dea. William Bowles, 


Joshua Hammond, 

" 54 

Dr. John King, 

(c __ 

*We tind the following in the Massachusetts Archives, Book 2G, Page 120. 
Pay roll of the Field and Staff officers of Col. Thomas Gardner's Regiment of INIili- 
tia, who marched in consequence of the alarm on the 19th of April, 1775. 


Thomas Gardner, Colonel, 
Wm. Bond, Lieut Colonel, 
Abijah Brown, 1st Major, 
Benj. Hammond, 2d JNtajor, 
Abner Craft, 1st Adjutant, 
Nathan Fuller, 2d Adjutant, 

















Prospect Hill, Dec. 3, 1775. 

WM. BOND, Lt. Colonel, 


Mr. Noah Wiswall, the oldest man from Newton, was the father 
of Jeremiah, the captain of the East companj'. Two others of 
his sons, Ebenezer and John, and some of his sons-in-law, were 
in the same company. The old veteran could not ho induced tO' 
remain at home, because, as he said, "he wanted to see what the 
bo3's were doing ;" and, when he was shot through the hand b}- a 
bullet, he C00II3' bound it up with his handkerchief and brought 
home the gun of a British soldier who fell in the battle. The 
spirit of the fathers ruled in the children. The spirit of the chil- 
dren was reflected back upon the fathers. The stalwart men of the 
times in their simple way had doubtless often discussed the affairs 
of the country in the presence of the sons. The sons were apt 
scholars under the tuition of such patriots. The meii of New 
England understood the spirit of the times, and rightl}' weighed the 
exigencies of the age. Not mere machines, as the soldiers of 
Europe were taught to be, blindly following their leaders, and not 
knowing for what they were contending, these men had success- 
fully studied the principles of liberty and political rights ;. and 
when the heel of t3Tanny sought to crush them, the spirit in them 
was not eas}' to be repressed. From every town and village, from 
CA'ery field and home they came flocking to the fray, ready to stand, 
to labor, to endure self-denial, and, if need be, to die for the cause 
they had espoused, because thej^ knew it to be a righteous cause. 
How formidable to their adversaries is an army of such men ! 


Jeremiah Wiswall, Captain. 

Joseph Fuller, First Lieutenant. 

Samuel Richardson, Second do. 

Samuel Hyde, Sergeant. 
William Hammond, do. 

John Stone, ' do. 

James Stone, do. 

Benjamin Eddy, Corporal, 
Nathan Robbins, do. 

Thomas Durant, do. 

John Beal, 
David Bartlett, 
Edward Converse, 
Samuel Coggin, 
Caleb Whitney, 

Jessee Jackson, 
Solomon Robbins, 
Simon Chamberlain, 
John Wilson, 
Jolin Jackson, 



Abner "Whitney, 
Jonathan Livermore, 
Phineas Robbins, 
Thaddeus Whitney, 
Samuel Draper, 
John Rogers, jr., 
Timothy Whitney, 
John Ward, jr., 
Phineas Jackson, 
Ezra Dana, 
Samuel Wiswall, 
Henry Parker, 
Ei^hraim Whitney, 
Abraham Parker, 
John Kenrick, 
Ebenezor Greenwood, 
Gershom Hyde, 
Andrew Whiting, 
Caleb Wheaton, 
Elisha Cheney, 
Oliver Fenno, 
Elias Fuller, 
Asa Fuller, 
Allen Durant, 
Aaron Fuller, 
Caleb Parker, 
Nathan Dana, 
Aaron Jackson, 

Ebenezer Wiswall, 
George Teacham, 
John Adams, 
Jonas Stone, 
Daniel Hastings, 
Aaron Richards, 
Amos Stone, 
John Ward, tertius, 
Elisha Hyde, 
Elisha Robbins, 
John Fillebrown, 
David Jackson, 
John Wiswall, 
Thaddeus Jackson, 
Jonas Jackson, 
Simeon Pond, 
Samuel Newall, 
Mr. Noah Wiswall, 

Ebenezer , 

Dea. Jonas Stone, 
Dea. AVilliam Bowles, 
Mr. John Eddy, 
Doct. John King, 
Joshua Hammond, 
Joshua Flagg, 
Jonathan Mirick, 
Thomas Wilson. 

Total, 76. 


Captain Amariah Fuller's Company of West Newton, marched 
from Newton on the 19th April, 1775 ; they marched twenty-eight 
miles and were out four days. 

Amariah Fuller, 
Isaac Jackson, 
Edward Fuller, 
Aaron Muudock, 
Samuel Woodward, 
Joshua Fuller, 
Daniel Hyde, 
Noah Hyde, 
Edmund Trowbridge, 
Daniel White, 
Samuel Murdock, 
Ebenezer Woodward, 


Orderly Sergeant. 









Ephraim Burrage, 
Daniel Fuller, 
Richard Fuller, 
Joseph Bullough, 
Jonathan Bixby, 
Jonathan Shopard, 
Aaron Child, 
William ^Mackintosh, 
Josiah Parker, 
Jonathan Bartlett, 
Daniel Cheney, 
John Greenwood, 
Joseph Adams, jr., 
William Cheney, jr., 
Richard Parks, 
John Shepard, 
Joseph Hyde, jr., 
Roger Adams, 
John Parker, jr., 
Moses Bartlett, 
Smith Adams, 
Samuel Miller, 
John Hastings, 
George Bacon, 
Elisha Murdock, 
Joshua Greenwood, 
Silas Chub, 
JTathaniel Jackson, 

Robert Bull, 
Benjamin Prentice, 
Francis Marshall, 
Jonathan Cook, 
Amos Hyde, 
Jonathan Williams, 
Elisha Seaverns, 
Jonathan Winchester, 
Phineas Bond, 
Peter Durell, jr., 
Samuel Trowbridge, 
Ebenezer Tollman, 
Joseph Davenport, 
Moses Child, 
Josiah Jackson, 
William Park, jr., 
Thomas Bogle, 
Aaron Hastings, 
John Savage, 
Silas Barbour, 
Samuel Parker, 
Nathaniel Segur, 
Jonathan Howard, 
Elisha Bartlett, 
Francis Blanden, jr., 
Thomas Jackson Greenwood, 
Jonathan Brown, 
Samuel Seger. 

Total, 68. 


Joshua Fuller, 
Abraham Fuller, Esq., 
John Brown, 
Norman Clark, 
John Woodward, 
John Fuller, 
Samuel Craft, 
Ephraim Jackson, 
Joseph Ward, 
William Clark, 
Stephen White, 
Thomas Miller, 
Benjamin Eddy, 
Peter Durell, 

Phineas Bond, 
Joshua Murdock, 
Isaac Williams, 
Nathan Morse, 
Joseph Jackson, 
Thomas Tolman, 
Francis Blanden, 
Josiah Knapp, 
Josiah Cook, 
John Bogle, 
John Murdock, 
Gideon Park, 
Enoch Hammond, 
Benjamin Parker, 



Joseph Adams, 
John Margaret, 
Alexander Shepard, 
Henry Soger, 
Thomas Beal, 

Benjamin Adams, 
William Hyde, 
Josiah Child, 
Daniel Hammond. 

Total, 37» 


Eaised about 1773, and disbanded soon after the Lexington Battle^ 

Phineas Cook, 


6 miles, 5 day8» 

John Maeean, 

Lieut. Capt. 28 " 16 " 

Joseph Craft, 

\st. do. 

28 " 6 " 

Caleb Kenrick, 

2nd. do. 

28 " 4 " 

Samuel Jackson, 


28 " 6 " 

John Thwing, 


Aaron Richardson, 


Samuel Guild, 

Charles Winchester, 

Michael Jackson, 

Moses Fuller, 

Elisha Parker, 

Samuel Clark, 

Elisha Fuller, 

Joshua Murdock, 

Joshua Jackson, 

Benjamin Dana, 

John Barber, 

Norman Clark, jr.. 

John Hcaly, 

Moses Craft, 

John Brown, 

Timothy Jackson, 

Joseph White, 

Solomon Richards, 

Daniel Richards, 

Amos Stone, 

Eliphalct Lyon, 

Moses Hyde, 

John Jarvis, 

Edward Jackson, 

Luke Bartlctt, 

This roll is recorded Vol. 12, p. 20. 

Joshua Jackson, jr.. 

Signed by Joshua Marean, Capt. 

Jonathan Clark, 


, and sworn to before Judge 

Robert Prentice, 


Edward Hall, jr., 
Thomas Hammond, 

Daniel Jackson ] Tu^'tVi' witfrtown 

• Such was the roll of honor, furnished from the hearths and 
homes of Newton, as the advance of the arm}!- of freedom. 
They threw theiTiselves into " the imminent, deadly breach," ut- 
terly ignorant how long the conflict would last, or what hardships 
and dangers it might involve. But the}- had counted the cost, 
and, like brave men, were readj' for the sacrifice. How large the 
debt of gratitude we owe them ! And how pressing is the re- 
sponsibility of the children to act worthily of such parentage ! 






The citizens of the American colonies were now thoroughly 
aroused, and New England led the van. The flame which had 
been smothered was secretly gaining strength. The people had 
talked over their grievances for years, in private intercourse. 
But there is a limit to endurance. Now the flame was ready to 
burst forth. England little knew what a storm was gathering in 
her western horizon. But steadil}' and firmly the work went for- 
ward. The British Parliament by their oppressive acts were blow- 
ing the struggling embers into a fierce conflagration. As with the 
tread of armies, the spirit of revolution strode onward. Night 
and day it accumulated force. A few tories, timid and time-serv- 
ing, might have endeavored to resist it. But what is a breast- 
work of osiers against the rushing tori'ent ? What is a veil of 
gauze against a whirlwind? There was undoubtedl}' a period 
when the colonists might have been soothed into compliance with 
the measures of the mother country. A spirit of justice and gen- 
tleness would have wrought mightily, to prevent the breaking up 
of the friendly relations between the two peoples. But that time 
was now past. Voices in all the air demanded relief for the 
oppressed. The red camp-fires of war were kindled, and the 
whole sky was reddened with the flame. 

As the clouds of the Revolution gathered blackness, the citizens 
of Newton took measures still graver than mere resolutions. How 
little could they have foreseen that the opening of the next spring 



would strike the hour for the commencement of that subMme con- 
flict, which was to give to the Western Continent a free and inde- 
pendent nation ! 

At the opening of the war, April 19, 1775, Jeremiah Wiswall 
commanded the East company' ; Amariah Fuller, the West, and 
Phineas Cook, the Minute-men. Besides these, many Newton 
men not attached to either company, and who had passed beyond 
the age for military service, were in the battles of Lexington and 
Concord. The liberty which they loved was at stake, and no 
weariness or infirmity of age could quench the fire of patriotism 
which burned in their bosoms. During the few preceding years, 
galled by the oppi'ession of the British parliament, they had dis- 
cussed, in their simple way, in stores, at firesides, and in their 
town meetings, the condition of aflfairs. The}* had nursed their 
determination to secui'e a government free from injustice, and which 
respected the right of every man to life, liberty and the pursuit 
of happiness. Theh' demand was — " no stamp act — no taxation 
without representation." Unconsciously, perhaps, they had edu- 
cated their children in the principles of a righteous government, 
and prepared them in this emergency manfullj^ to resist the forces 
which were now mo^ang by aggression of arms to subdue them. 
It is no wonder that the}' were eager to see how well their sons 
would illustrate by action the teachings they had received. Had 
the sons fallen in battle, or failed to come up to the requirements 
of so gi'ave an exigency, it would have been no wonder if the 
fathers had shouldered the guns and pressed into the thickest of 
the conflict. 

But the sous had been well trained, and no such necessity 
arose. Many of them had, it is likely, little of the learning of 
the schools. But they had wrought out the problem of a righteous 
government, and were competent to construct and defend it. The}' 
had been nurtured in poverty and hardship ; the flrst century and 
a half of their settlement had been a constant warfare against 
difficulty and trial. And the}' were prepared with a determined 
spirit to meet the stern realities of this bitter strife. They did 
not flinch under the fire, nor retreat from the purpose they had 
formed. With the sons as with the fathers, in action as well as in 
resolve, it was hberty or death. Could they have foreseen how 
long and hard would be the struggle they were initiating, we 
believe they would have stood steadfast to their undertaking. 


The story of Colonel Michael Jackson of Newton, in connec- 
tion with the day of Lexington and Concord, is extremely inter- 
esting. It shows at the same time how much energy had been in- 
fused into the patriots of that important period by the training 
the}^ had passed through, and with how determined and danger- 
ous a foe Britain would have to deal. He was the son of Michael 
Jackson, born December 18, 1734, and therefore about fort}'' 
years old at this time. He had been a Lieutenant in the French 
war. At the opening of the Revolution, he was a private in 
the volunteer company of Minute-men. At the early dawn of 
April 19, 1775, a signal announced that the British troops were 
on their march to Lexington.* The company of Minute-men 
were earl}' on their parade ground, but none of the commissioned 
oflScers were present. The orderly sergeant had formed the com- 
pany, and a motion was made to choose a captain for the da}-. 
Michael Jackson was nominated, and chosen by uplifted hands. 
He immediately stepped from the ranks to the head of the com- 
pany, and, without a word of thanks for the honor, or the sUghtest 
formality, he ordered the compau}- — " Shoulder arms ! Platoons 
to the right, wheel ! Quick time ! Forward, march ! " These few 
words of command were uttered, and the company were on the 
march to join the regiment at Watertown meeting-house. On 
theu' arrival there, the commissioned officers of the regiment were 
found holding a council in the school-house, and he was invited 
to take part in their deliberations. He listened to their discussion, 
but soon obtained the floor. He atlh'med that there was a time 
for all things ; but that the time for talking had passed, and the 
time for fighting had come. "Not now the wag of the tongue, 
but the pull of the trigger." This pro-tempore Captain accused the 
officers of wasting time, through fear of meeting the enemy. He 
told them, if they meant to oppose the march of the British 
troops, to leave the school- house forthwith, and take up their 
march for Lexington. He intended that" his company should take 
the shortest route to get a shot at the British ; and, suiting the 
action to the word, he left the council and took up his march. 
This blunt speech broke up the council, so that there was no con- 
cert of action, and each company was left to act as they chose. 

• This sigual was a volley from cue of John Pigeon's guns, kept In the gun-bouse 
at Newton Centre, near the church. 


Some followed Captain Jackson ; some lingered where they were, 
and some dispersed. Jackson's company came in contact with 
Lord Percy's reserve near Concord village,* and were dispersed 
after exchanging one or two shots. But they soon rallied, and 
formed again in a wood near by, and were joined hj a part of the 
Watertown company. The}^ hung upon the flank and rear of the 
retreating enemy with much effect, until they reached Lechmere 
Point (East Cambridge) at nightfall, and the British regulars took 
boats for Boston. After they had rowed beyond the reach of 
musket shot, this company received the thanks of General Warren, 
upon the field, for their bravery. 

A relative of Colonel Michael Jackson has presented to the 
Newton Public Library, for preservation, his sword, which did 
service at Bunlier Hill and in other contests of the Revolution. 

Soon afterwards Captain Jackson received a Major's commission 
in the Continental army, then quartered at Cambridge, and was 
subsequently promoted to the command of the eighth regiment in 
the Massachusetts line, than whicli no regiment was more distin- 
guished for bravery and good conduct during the war. In an 
action with the British on Montressor's Island, N. Y., Colonel 
Jackson received a severe wound in the thigh b}' a musket-ball, 
from which he never entirely recovered. Lieutenant-Colonel John 
Brooks then took the command of Jackson's regiment, and 
William Hull was major. During the sanguinary battles which 
preceded the surrender of Burgoyne, Jackson's regiment, under 
Colonel Brooks, behaved ver}' gallantly, nearly half the number 
being either killed or wounded. Colonel Jackson died April 10, 
1801, aged sixty-six. The pall-bearers at his funeral were Gen- 
eral Henry Jackson, Dr. Eustis, Colonel Joseph A\^ard, General 

* Colonel Beujainin Hammond is supposed to have been in command of the Newton 
company at this time. His residence at a distance from Newton Centre, in the house 
now owned and occupied by Judge Lowell, and wliich he erected in 1773, accounts 
for his delay. His descendant, Mr. Stephen Hammond, relying on his recollection 
of what be beard in his boyhood, thinks Colonel Benjamin Hammond came up with. 
his company before they reached Concord, and took the command. The following, 
from bis day-book, under date of 1773-5, implies his captaincy, and thus his responsi- 
bility for his company. 

Account of money paid since I bad the command of the Company. 
Towards one new Drum [old tenor] 

Paid to a Drummer 

Paid for Drummers' and Fifers' Dinner 
Paid to Fifers 
Paid to Captain Rigaway for changing drums 














Brooks, General Knox and Joseph Blake. A battalion of infan- 
trj' under Major Chene}^ performed the escort duty, and a company 
of artilleiy fired minute-guns, during the march of the funeral 
procession, — a tribute of respect due to a man who deserved well 
of his country, fought her battles, and bled for her independence, 
lie had five sous and five brothers in the arm}- of the Revolution. 
Samuel Richardson, of Oak Hill, Newton, was first lieutenant of 
the Newton company, on the dtvy of Lexington. He was Select- 
man four 3'ears, being elected in 1777, and died December 25, 
1803, aged seventj-j-ears. 

Besides these brave soldiers and undaunted patriots, was another, 
of equal prowess, a member of another of the old families of Newton, 
and a man who distinguished himself at Bunker Hill and afterwards 
in the military service of the State, taking a very active part in the 
Revolution both with pen and sword. We refer to Colonel Joseph 
Ward. He was a master in one of the public schools of Boston, and 
on the day of the battles of Lexington and Concord, learning that 
the British troops were in motion, left for Newton, where he ob- 
tained a horse and gun, and rode to Concord to animate his coun- 
trymen and get a shot at the British. He greatly- distinguished 
himself on the day of Bunker Hill, where he served as aide-de-camp 
to General Artemas Ward, and held that office until General 
Ward resigned, in December, 1776. He rode over Charlestown 
Neck, tliiough a cross-fire of the enem3''s floatmg batteries, to exe- 
cute an order from General Ward, at which time a broadside was 
fired at him by a British man-of-war. 

He continued to hold important positions in the arm}', and was 
honored b}- receiving the thanks of General Washington in a let- 
ter written to him near the close of the war, in the following terms : 

" You have my thanks for your constant attention to the busi- 
ness of yom* department, the manner of its execution, and your 
ready and faithful compliance with all my orders ; and, I cannot 
help adding, on this occasion, for the zeal you have discovered, at 
all tixues and under all circumstances, to promote the good of the 
service in general, and the great objects of our cause. 

"I am, dear sk, with great regard, 3'our obedient and humble 

George Washington." 

Major Daniel Jackson, also, born in Newton Jul}- 23, 1753, 
€on of Joshua Jackson and Huldah Fuller, his wife, was in the 



battles of Concord and Bunker Hill and at Dorchester Heights, in 
Captain Foster's Company of Artiller}', and sergeant in Captain 
Bryant's Company of Artillery. 

In Chester Abbey, England, hangs the tattered battle flag car- 
ried up Bunker Hill on the 17th of June, 1775. 

Not long after these earliest engagements which opened the grand 
conflict, two new companies were raised in Newton. The war spirit 
found organization, that it might insure efRcienc3^ The brilliant 
exploit of Captain Jackson was suited to a sudden emergenc}' ; 
but steadiness of action was necessar}^, if this struggle was to be 
protracted into years, and to become incorporated into the life of 
the people. Seventy-four men of these companies joined the 
army at Cambridge, March 4, 1776, to serve eight months. The 
following are theu' names, with the names of their several captains 
and colonels. 

FROM MAY 1, 1775. 


Phineas Cook, 
Nathan Fuller, 
Phineas Ash, 
Moses Beal, 
John Beal, 
Phineas Blanden, 
David Colby, 
Daniel Clark, 
Jonathan Clark, 
Samuel Clark, 
Moses Craft, 
Norman Clark, 
Silas Chub, 
Edward Converse, 
William Cheney, 
Timothy Child, 
Samuel Draper, 
Benjamin Dana, 
Peter Durell, 
Joseph Davenport, 
Richard Dana, 
Samuel Eliot, 
Samuel Fuller, 
Thomas Fiske, 
Joseph Gosson, 
Ebenezer Hinds, 
David Hager, 
Jonathan Howard, 
Gershom Hyde, 


Phineas Cook, 
Nathan Fuller, 
Isaac Sherman, 
Edmund Bemis, 
Phineas Cook, 

John Currier, 
Phineas Cook, 

Nathan Fuller, 

Timothy Corey, 

<( (> 

Phineas Cook, 

Nathan Fuller, 
John Currier, 
Abijah C. Child, 
Timothy Corey, 
Ephraim Coney, 
Samuel Kelton, 
« (( 

Phineas Cook, 


Thomas Gardner, 

A. Whitcomb, 
Thomas Gardner, 
<( « 

James Frye, 
Thomas Gardner, 

Samuel Gerrish, 
<( « 

Thomas Gardner, 

Samuel Gerrish, 

John Patterson, 
« « 

Thomas Gardner, 




Thaddeus Hyde, 
Michael Jackson, jr.,Fifer, 
Aaron Jackson, 
Amasa Jackson, Drummer, 
lianicl Jackson, 
David Jackson, 
Nathaniel Jackson, Sergt. 
Phiueas Jackson, Corp. 
Simon Jackson, 
Joshua Jackson, 
Timothy Jackson, 
Thomas Jackson, 
Aaron Jackson, 
Enoch Jackson, 
Jonas Jackson, 
William Jackson, 
Jessee Jackson, 
Daniel J.ackson, 
Eliphalet Lyon, Sergt. 
Joshua Murdock, Corp. 
Samuel Murdock, 
Solomon Newell, 
Samuel Parker, 
Henry Parker, 
Nathaniel Parker, 
Abraham Parker, 
Aaron Richards, 
Aaron Richardson, 
Solomon Richards, 
Nathaniel Seger, 
Amos Stone, 
John Savage, 
Samuel Seger, 
Daniel Upham, 
Ephraim Williams, 
Ebenezer Wiswall, 
Abner Whitney, 
Stephen Whitney, 
Timothy Whitney, 
Ephraim Whiting, 
Jonathan Williams, 
Charles Winchester, 
Jonathan Winchester, 
Andrew Whitney, 
Ebenezer Williams. 


Timothy Corey, 
Phineas Cook, 
Samuel Kelton, 
Benjamin Locke, 

Nathan Fuller, 
Timothy Corey, 


George Gould, 
Phineas Cook, 
Abner Craft, 
Samuel Dunn, 
Phineas Cook, 

Nathan Fuller, 

Phineas Cook, 

<( it 

Benjamin Locke, 
Phineas Cook, 
Nathan Fuller, 
« i< 

Phineas Cook, 

Edward Crafts, 
Timothy Corey. 


Samuel Gerrish, 
Thomas Gardner, 
John Patterson, 
Thomas Gardner, 

Samuel Gerrish, 

R. Gridley, 
Paul D. Sargeant, 
Thomas Gardner, 
<( <( 

Edward Phinney, 
Thomas Gardner, 

R. Gridley, 
Samuel Gerrish. 

Of these seventy-four men, fortj^-eight were in Colonel Thomas 
Gardner's regiment, under Captains Phineas Cook, Nathan Fuller, 
Abner Craft and Benjamin Locke. As this regiment was ordered 
to Bunker Hill as a reinforcement on the 17th of June, 1775, 
these soldiers may undoubtedly be regarded as participants in the 



perils and honors of the dsLj. The following are the names of the 
Newton soldiers in Colonel Gardner's resriraent : 

Phineas Cook, 

Nathan Fuller, 

John Beal, 

Phineas Blanden, 

Daniel Clark, 

Jonathan Clark, 

Samuel Clark, 

Moses Craft, 

Norman Clark, 

Silas Chub, 

Edward Converse, 

William Cheney, 

Benjamin Dana, 

Peter Durell, 

Josejih Davenport, 

Richard Dana, 

Jonathan Howard, 

Gershom Hyde, 

Michael Jackson, jr., Fifer, 

Amasa Jackson, Drummer, 

Daniel Jackson, 

David Jackson, 

Nathaniel Jackson, Sergeant, 

Phineas Jackson, Corporal, 

Simon Jackson, 
Joshua Jackson, 
Timothy Jackson, 
Thomas Jackson, 
Joshua Murdock, Corporal, 
Samuel Murdock, 
Samuel Parker, 
Henry Parker, 
Nathaniel Parker, 
Abraham Parker, 
Aaron Richards, 
Aaron Richardson, 
Solomon Richards, 
Nathaniel Seger, 
Amos Stone, 
John Savage, 
Samuel Seger, 
Daniel Upham, 
Ephraim Williams, 
Ebenezer Wiswall, 
Abner Whitney, 
Stephen Whitney, 
Timothy Whitney, 
Ephraim Whiting. 

In the terrible struggle of the years which followed, it is esti- 
mated that full four hundred and thirtj-, out of Newton's popula- 
tion of not over fourteen hundred, served in the Continental army, 
in the militia, and in the dutj'^ of guarding the captured army of 
General Burgoyne ; two hundred and seventy-five enlisted in the 
Continental army, for a longer or shorter period. 

In August, 1775, Captain Joseph Fuller, of Newton, raised a 
company of uinet3--six men, and marched to Bennington and Lake 
George to oppose Burgoyne. The same year sixty-four men en- 
listed for three years. In 1778 Captain Edward Fuller raised a 
company' of sixtj'-eight men. In 1780 fift^-four men marched, 
to reinforce the Continental arm}'. Jackson saj's in his His- 
tory, " The number of men who served more or less in the Conti- 
nental army and in the militia during the war was about one-third 
of the entire population." Had the war continued longer than it 
did, it seems impossible that Newton should have furnished more 


In the biograph}" of Nathaniel Seger, it is stated that Colonel 
Gardner's regiment, in which he enlisted, in Captain Nathan 
Fuller's company, on the 17th of June was ordered to Bunker Hill 
after the battle had commenced, but did not reach the Hill until 
the retreat had begun. One of the company, James Wall, was 
wounded, and Colonel Gardner was killed. 

Frothingham, in his account of this battle, saj^s, — 

Colonel Gardner, leading on a part of his regiment, was descending Bunker 
Hill, when he received his death wound. Still his men, under Major Jack- 
son, pressed forw.ard, and with Cushing's, Smith's and Washburn's companies, 
of Ward's regiment, and Febiger's party, of Gerrish's regiment, poured be- 
tween Breed's and Bunker Hill a well-directed fire upon the enemy, and gal- 
lantly covered the retreat. After the battle. Colonel Gardner's regiment 
Avas stationed on Prospect Hill. 

When the morning of June 17, 1775, dawned upon the troops, 
the British were not a little surprised to find that the Americans 
had improved the preceding night in throwing up a formidable 
breastwork for their own defence. The}' were not prepared for so 
extraordinary an exhibition of industr}'. And, as " the stars in 
their courses fought against Sisera," so the heavenly bodies helped 
these enterprising soldiers in preparing for the conflict ; for, Provi- 
dentially, the moon was but little past the full, and rose on the 
night of June 16th, at five minutes past eleven. 

We have in Frothingham's Histor}- the following additional no- 
tices of Colonel Gardner and his regiment : 

Thomas Gardner's regiment, of Middlesex county, was commissioned on 
the second of June. William Bond was lieutenant-colonel, and Michael 
Jackson was major. After the British landed, this regiment was stationed 
in the road leading to Lechmere's Point (East Cambridge), and late in the 
day was ordered to Charlestown. On arriving at Bunker Hill, General Put- 
nam ordered part of it to assist in throwing up defences commenced at this 
place. One company went to the rail fence. The greater part, under the 
third attack, advanced towards the redoubt. On the way, Colonel Gardner 
was struck by a ball, which inflicted a mortal wound. While a party was 
carrying him off, he had an affecting interview with his son, a youth of nine- 
teen, who was anxious to aid in bearing him from tiie field. His heroic father 
prohibited him, and ho was borne on a litter of rails over Winter Hill. Here 
he was overtaken by the retreating troops. He raised himself and addressed 
to them cheering words. He lingered until July third, when he died. On 
the fifth he was buried with the honors of war. He was in his fifty-second 
year, and had been a member of the General Court, and of the Provincial 
Congress. He was a true patriot, a brave soldier, and an upright man. 


The die was now cast. These courageous men, not enlisted 
as mere machines, but guided by intelligent purpose, and know- 
ing the merits of the cause for which they contended, were resolved 
to carry out to the end the conflict which was now begun. It 
might subject them to j-ears of suffering, toil and want, to hunger, 
and cold, and death ; but they were actuated by the stern purpose 
to do or die, and to hold out till the right should triumph. 

Though nearlj^ at the beginning of the revolutionary struggle, 
and though years of hardship, toil and self-denial, of want, and 
sorrow and blood followed, the engagements at Concord and Lex- 
ington exerted an important influence on the country, and on the 
whole history of the war. They put nerve and spu'it into the 
brave hearts which had undertaken so solemn and so grand a work. 
The colonists discovered their own power. They learned what 
stuff they and their fellows were made of. Thej^ measured and 
weighed, on this occasion, the men with whom the}' were to con- 
tend in the future. They began to plume their wings for the flight 
which thej' were afterwards to essay. And by the spirit they ex- 
hibited, they not only stimulated one another, but also taught their 
oppressors to respect and fear them. The British loss in killed 
and wounded, in the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775, was 
1,054, of whom 134 were oflficers ; the provincials lost but 419, 
killed and wounded. The Britons entered the engagement with a 
force of 2,500 or 3,000 men; the Americans with onty 1,200. 
The colonists were forced to retreat only because their ammuni- 
tion failed ; but the troops of England did not care to linger till an 
additional supply could reach them. As an evidence of the haste 
with which they retreated, Nathaniel Seger, before alluded to, one 
of the Newton soldiers stationed at Prospect Hill, Somerville, 
after the battle of Bunker Hill, relates the following incident : 

After the British had evacuated Bunker Hill, I with a number of other 
soldiers went to the hill and found bottles on their tables, as though they had 
left in great haste. 

With an eye to the supply of gunpowder, requisite in future en- 
gagements, the citizens in town meeting, March 4, 1776, chose 
Alexander Shepard, jr.. Captain Ephraim Jackson and Mr. John 
Pigeon a committee to use their influence to promote the manu- 
facturing of saltpetre. 

On the 10th of Juty, 1775, the following were all the regiments 
in Cambridge, with the number of men in each. John Pigeon, of 
Vrcst Newton, was commissary-gcnoral of the forces. 


Jonathan Ward, 


James Scammon, 


"William Prescott, 


Thomas Gardner, 


Asa Wliitcomb, 


Jonathan Brewer, 


Ephraim Doolittle, 


B. Buggies Woodbridge, 


James Fry, 


Paul Dudley Sargeant, 


Eichard Gridley, 


Samuel Gerrish, 


John Nixon, 


John Mansfield, 


John Glorer, 


Edmund Phinney, 


John Patterson, 


Moses Little, 


Ebenezer Bridge, 


Thus the whole number of the troops in Cambridge amounted 
to only 8,07G. They were encamped in tents, as far as possible ; 
but when the supply of tents failed, they were sheltered under old 
sails, contributed by the seaport towns. Private houses were util- 
ized as hospitals for the sick. The artillerj' was almost without 
horses, carriages or harness, and the troops had but few baj^onets. 
Washington's first requisition, after he arrived in camp, was for 
one hundred axes. They had no instruments for throwing up 
entrenchments, except such as they could borrow of the neighbor- 
ing farmers. They had, moreover, no flag, and, previous to the 
arrival of Washington, no commander clothed with absolute 

The spirit of patriotism which distinguished Captain Gardner 
in the revolutionary struggle is admirably brought out in a letter 
addressed by him to the Committee of Correspondence in Boston, 
dated "Cambridge, August 12, 1774." It is as follows : 

Feiends and Brethren, — The time is come that every one that has a 
tongue and an arm is called upon by their country to stand forth in its behalf; 
and I consider the call of my country as the call of God, and desire to be all 
obedience to such a call. In obedience thereto, I would administer some 
consolation unto you, by informing you of the glorious union of the good 
people of this Province, both in sentiment and action. I am informed from 
good authority that the Committee of Correspondence for the several towns 
in the county of Worcester have assembled, are in high spirits, and perfectly 
united. The committee for Cambridge and Charlestown are to have a con- 
ference to-morrow, and I trust the whole county of Middlesex will soon be 
assembled by Delegates from the respective towns in said county. I have 
the greatest reason to believe that the people will choose rather to fall glori- 
ously in the cause of their country, than meanly submit to slavery. 

I am, Your friend and brother, 

Thomas Gardner. 

The East and West companies, together with such as had been 
added, numbering together one hundred and thiileen men, were 



marched, at the request of General "Washington , to take possession 
of Dorchester Heights. Their service here was of brief duration ; 
for on the 17th of March, as the almanacs have recorded it from 
that daj' to this, the British troops evacuated the town of Boston. 
One of these companies subsequently marched in the expedition to 


who, at the request of General Washington, marched to take 
possession of Dorchester Heights, 4th of March, 1776, and also 
served five days in Colonel Hatch's Regiment : 

Jeremiah Wiswall, Captain, 

Joseph Fuller, \st Lieutenant, 

Samuel Richardson, 2d Lieutenant, 

Samuel Hyde, Sergeant, 

John Stone, " 

James Stone, " 

Benjamin Eddy, Corporal, 

Nathaniel Robbins, " 

Edward Hall, " 

Elisha Chauncy, Drummer. 

Asa Fuller, Fifer, 

Daniel Richards, 

Andrew Ellis, 

David Bartlett, 

Luke Bartlett, 

John Kenrick, jr., 

Thomas Hammond, 

Samuel Draper, 

John Wiswall, 

James Stone, jr., 

John Rogers, jr., 

Jonatlian Jackson, 

Solomon Richards, 

Aaron Richards, 

Ebenezer Wiswall, 
Aaron Jackson, 
Elisha Hyde, jr., 
Oliver Fenno, 
Amos Stone, 
Ebenezer Greenwood, 
Phineas Jackson, 
John Thwing, 
Jonathan Liverraore, 
Samuel Coggin, 
James Coggin, 
Nathaniel Woodcock, 
Nathan Dane, 
Samuel Hall, 
William Hollis, 
Daniel Hastings, 
Robert Downing, 
Ebenezer Stone, 
John Healy, 
William Wheeler, 
John Wilson, 
John Mare an, 
John Ward, 3rd. 

Total, 47. 


who, at the request of General Washington, marched to take pos- 
session and man the lines on Dorchester Heights, on the 4th of 
March, 1776, and served five days in Colonel Hatch's Regiment: 

Amariah Fuller, Captain, 
Isaac Jackson, \st Lieutenant, 
Edward Fuller, -M Lieutenant, 
Aaron Murdock, Sergeant, 

Samuel Woodward, Sergeant, 
Joshua Fuller, " 

Daniel Hyde, " 

Noah Hyde, Corpora!, 




EdmuiKl Trowbridge, Corporal. 

Daniel White, " 

Samuel Murdock, " 

Ebenezer Woodward, Drummer, 

Samuel Spring, Fifer. 

Daniel Jackson, 

Robert Dairy mple, 

William Upham, jr., 

David Fuller, 

Samuel Fuller, 

Eichard Fuller, 

Thaddeus Spring, 

Jonatlian Shepard, 

Aaron Child, 

Robert Bull, 

Benjamin Prentice, 

Amos Hyde, 

Moses Bartlett, 

Ebenezer Davis, 

John Hastings, 

Ebenezer Williams, 

George Bacon, 

Elisha Murdock, 

Henry Pigeon, 

Joshua Greenwood, 

Phineas Bond, 

John Marean, jr., 

Edmund Seger, 

Moses Child, 

Sept. 12, 1776. 
Capt. Joseph Fuller. 

Joseph Adams, 
John Seaver, 
William Mcintosh, 
Joim Brown, jr., 
David Clark, 
Joseph Fuller, 
John Jarvis, 
Joshua Murdock, jr., 
Samuel Clark, 
Norman Clark, jr., 
Moses Craft, 
Timothy Jackson, 
Edward Jackson, 
William Jackson, 
Enoch Ward, 
Silas Chub, 
John Parker, jr., 
Aaron Jackson, 
William Russell, 
Thomas Bogle, 
Samuel Burrage, jr. , 
Joshua Jackson, 
Benjamin Adams, 
Jonathan Blanden, 
Samuel Seger, 
Jonathan Bartlett, 
Edward Shepard, 
John Bixby, 
Samuel Hammond. 

Signed and sworn by 

John Aveiiy, Deputy Secretary. 

The authorities of Newton instituted a strict guardianship over 
the opinions of the citizens. Without meaning to abridge any 
man's libert}', either of thought or speech, they conceived this 
precaution to be necessary, in view of the exigencies of the times. 
It was highl}' important to the success of their cause to guard 
against the possibility^ of the existence of a traitor in the camp. 
It was known that there were persons in the colonies, who, from 
pecuniary or other motives, did not sympathize with the war. 
But patriotic Newton would have no such men within her borders. 
A tory at heart could not breathe in her air or tread upon her soil. 
A list was made out, of persons whose residence in the town was 
thought to be dangerous to the public safety, and arrangements 
were made for theu* removal. One person, after having been 


examined as to his political views, was adjudged pure from tory 
sentiments, and a committee was appointed to draft a declaration 
for him to sign, which would be satisfactorj' to the town. The 
following votes of the citizens are both curious and interesting. 

Voted, that Alexander Shepard procure and lay before the Court the evi- 
dence til at may be had of inimical disposition towards this or any of the 
United States, of any person belonging to the town, who shall be charged 
by any of the inhabitants of being a person whose residence in this State is 
dangerous to the ijublic peace and safety. 

Voted, to accept the list now exhibited by the Selectmen of such persons, 
who they believe to have been endeavoring to counteract the united strug- 
gles of this and the other United States for the preservation of their liberties 
and privileges. 

Voted, that John Rogers and Joseph BuUough be added to the list 

Voted, that Alexander Shepard, Colonel Hammond and Deacon Bowles 
be a committee to draft a declaration for Mr. John Rogers to sign, to satisfy 
the town. 

Voted, tliat Mr. Rogers be no farther proceeded with, relative to his being 
charged with being inimical to the United States. 

After debate on the fifth article in the Warrant, relative to petitioning the 
General Assembly for removing Morris Spillard and Captain McFall out of 
the town of Newton, — the vote passed in the affirmative; and Alexander 
Shepard, Aaron Richardson and Captain Jeremiah Wiswall were appointed 
a committee for that purpose. 

The citizens were ready to contribute not only their services, 
but also their pecuniary means, as before stated, to promote the 
military glory of the town. Besides the gift of John Pigeon, who 
came into the place a few j-ears before the commencement of the 
Revolution, and was a zealous, liberal and energetic friend of the 
independence of the colonies, several persons loaned the town 
larger or smaller amounts, according to their abilitj^ to pay the 
soldiers in the army. Captain Jeremiah Wiswall led the East com- 
pany of infantry at the commencement .and loaned the town 
£45 ; John Wiswall served in the army and loaned the town, in 
1777, £20; Joseph White loaned £100 ; Deacon John Woodward 
was in the battle of Concord, and loaned £100 ; Samuel Woodward 
was likewise in the battle of Concord, and loaned for the same 
purpose £120, — bold and freedom-loving men, risking for theii" 
country's welfare both their treasure and their blood ! Deacon 
Elhanan Winchester, father of the noted preacher, who gained 


Ms livelihood b}^ the double occupation of agriculture and shoe- 
making, to which he added occasional preaching without pecuniary 
compensation, and amassed some property, exhibited true pa- 
triotism; for he loaned the town £300 in March, 1777, to pay the 

Every item pertaining to our revolutionary history is precious. 
Especially is it a duty and a privilege to record every circumstance 
of that important period, in which the citizens or any citizen of 
Newton acted a prominent part. Dr. Homer, in recording the 
death of Abraham Fuller, Esq., who deceased April 20, 1794, 
after eulogizing his character, relates the following cii'cumstance, 
which is a valuable contribution to the history of the revolution- 
ary conflict. 

To Abraham Fuller, as principal of a committee of the Provincial Con- 
gress at Concord, were committed the papers containing the exact returns of 
the military stores in Massachusetts at the beginning of 1775. Upon the 
recess of the Congress, he first lodged these papers in a cabinet of the room 
which the committee occupied. But, thinking afterwards that the British 
troops might attempt to seize Concord in the absence of the Congress, and 
that these papers, discovering the public deficiency in every article of mili- 
tary apparatus, might fall into their hands, he withdrew them, and brought 
them to his house in Newton. That foresight and judgment for which he 
was ever distinguished and which he displayed in the present instance, was 
extremely fortunate for the country. The cabinet was broken open by a 
British officer on the day of the entrance of the troops into Concord, April 
19, 1775, and great disappointment expressed at missing its expected con- 
tents. Had they fallen into their hands, it Avas his opinion that the knowl- 
edge of the public deficiency might have encouraged the enemy, at this early 
jjeriod of the struggle, to have made such a use of their military force as 
could not have been resisted by the small stock of powder and other articles 
of Avar Avhich the province then contained. He considered the impulse upon 
liis mind to secure those jsapers as one among many Providential interposi- 
tions for the support of the American cause. 




The mutterings of the distant thunder had now been heard for 
more than ten years. Darkness had nearly OA^erspread the politi- 
cal heavens, and a few heavy peals, with sharp flashes of hghtning, 
had given indications of the approach of a heavy, if not a protracted 
storm. The reverberations continued to roll among all the hills, and 
to sweep along thi'ough the peaceful valleys. Men talked seriously 
of the signs of the times, and prepared themselves for solemn and 
determined work. The heavens were not likeh' to be soon clear 
again, and the little band of patriots girded themselves anxiously, 
but with undaunted spirit, for whatever might come. They were 
comparatively few in number and feeble in resources. Struggling, 
from the beginning, against the infelicities of a rigoi'ous climate, a 
stony soil, and an unsubdued wilderness, they had created as yet 
but few of the elements requisite to the conduct of a war. They 
had no army, no navy, no militar}' equipments worthy of the 
name. The power the}^ were to contend against was rich in every 
thing that constitutes national wealth, and entitled to be respected 
on sea and land. England had its trained armies, and skilful and 
experienced generals ; and, above all, maintained, in this conflict, 
the justice of its own cause, and branded the Americans as 
rebels. The colonists had, at this time, no allies, and no cer- 
taint}^ if they should strike for independence, that their independ- 
ence would be recognized by any nation upon earth. They were 
obliged cautiously to feel their way, touching tentatively the public 
pulse, that they might ascertain how far it might be safe to pro- 
ceed towards extreme measures. The members of the Great and 
General Court were brave, and loyal to the interest of the colo- 



nies. But, were not the common people likely to be timid in this 
emergency? Could tlie^- be relied on to furnish strong arms and 
iron hearts? The experiences of Lexington, Concord and Bunker 
Hill had been inspiring and hopeful. But if the war should be 
long and exhausting, if the fields should be left uncultivated and 
the armies without bread, if the country should be gradually bereft 
of its stalwart citizens, and povert}' beco:ne the only portion of its 
widows and orphans, would the people, in view of such a possible 
prospect, stand firm to their convictions ? Were the merchants, 
the tradesmen, and the yeomen of America, in the face of such 
an alternative, sufficiently in earnest to be ready to pledge " their 
lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor" to the cause which 
they had espoused ? This was now the question to be determined. 
Accordingly, on the tenth of May, 1776, the General Court 
passed the following resolution : 

Resolved, as the opinion of this House, that the inhabitants of each town in 
the Colony ought, in full meeting, warned for that purpose, to advise the 
person or persons who shall be chosen to represent them in the next General 
Court, whether, that if the Honorable Congress should, for the safety of 
these Colonies, declare them independent of the kingdom of Great Britain, 
they, the said inhabitants, will solemnly engage with their lives and fortunes 
to support them in the measure. 

In response to this proposition of the General Court, town 
meetings were held during the mouths of May, June, and the 
early part of July, in many, if not in all, of the towns of Massa- 

The meetiug in Boston was held, it is reported, on the 23d of 
May. The meeting in Newton occurred on the 17th of June, the 
first anniversarj' of the daj* rendered memorable by the battle of 
Bunker Hill, and in which Newton had been honored b}- the 
prowess of her citizens. Fitting celebration of such an event ! 
It was the busiest season of the 3'ear. The men could ill spare the 
time from their labors in the field. But the exigency was great. 
They felt that important interests were at stake. The rights of 
freemen, for centuries to come, were of more consequence, in 
their estimation, than the bread of the next harvest. They knew 
that posterity would hold them accountable for their action in such 
an emergency. Grave questions were to be debated, and (!very 
patriot was bound to be at his post. The 17th of June, 177G, 
was, to the citizens of Newton, a day pregnant with the fate of 


coming centuries. In its balances hung quivering the destinies of 
posteritj^ perhaps to the latest generation. Shall the Americans 
be freemen? Or, shall they yield, weakly, to British aggression? 
This was the question. 

Captain John Woodward was Moderator of the meeting. The 
following was the second article of the warrant calling the citizens 
together : 

"that in case the honorable continental congress should, for the 
safety of the american colonies, declare them independent of the 
kingdom of great britain, whether the inhabitants of this town will 
solemnly engage with their lives and fortunes to support them in 
the measure." 

We have no record of the debate. We know not who spoke 
on the question, or how many, — nor how long the discussion con- 
tinued. We cannot tell whether there was timidity, to be inspired 
by courage ; or counter-opinions, to be overcome hj argument ; or 
prudent men, counselling delay, whom the debates stimulated to 
advise immediate action. What would we not give, if stenography 
had preserved to us the burning eloquence of that solemn discus- 
sion? What would we not give, if photography had copied for us 
the knit brows, the determined gait, the undaunted and defiant au' 
of those bold spirits, as they adjourned at the close of that sum- 
mer afternoon, and went home to report to their families what 
" the inhabitants, in town meeting assembled," had agreed upon? 
The Record only enters, with the conciseness of true eloquence, 
these words : 

"After debate, the question was put, and the vote passed 


" Bold and memorable words," says Mr. Hyde, in his Centennial oration, 
" that meant even more than they expressed ! They meant sacrifice of com- 
fort, fortune, home, friends, life, if need be. All these were laid upon the 
altar. Independence ! the right to govern themselves, to make their own 
laws, to choose or appoint their own officers, and to pay them, representation 
or no taxation, in short to enjoy all the rights of freemen; — for these things, 
which they so highly valued, they were ready to pledge their lives and for- 
tunes. That pledge, so solemnly given, was fully redeemed during the long 
and sanguinary struggle for the nation's independence. In winter's snows 
and summer's heats the men of Newton were found, old and young, able and 
disabled, filling the ranks of the little American army. They formed a part 
of nearly every expedition, and were found on nearly every field, from the 
opening battles of Lexington and Concord to the final surrender of Corn- 


wallis at Yorktown. All this the people of Newton did, to redeem the 
pledges they had given, and to drive back from these shores the armies of 
those who sought to deprive them of their God-given rights of freedom. 

"Newton, tlien a little country town, with only about fourteen hundred 
inhabitants, in town meeting assembled, dared to adopt such a vote, at the 
early stages of the war, more than two Avecks before the Declaration of In- 
dependence was given to the country by the Continental Congress at Phila- 
delphia, — when no human eye could foresee the results of the struggle upon 
wliich they had entered; when failure meant, — they knew not what,— suf- 
fering, hardship, imprisonment, banishment, possibly, death for treason. 

"Notwithstanding all, there was no uncertain sound; the bugle blast for 
freedom had been sounded, the first gun fired, the first blood shed. The die 
was cast. Henceforth, — let come what would, — life or death, — liberty was 
the watchword." 

"That solemn and ever memorable vote," says Mr. Jackson, "was not 
meant for show. Those lives and fortunes went along with it, honestlv, 
earnestly and triumphantly, from the first hour to the last of that sanguinary 
struggle for independence. Newton men formed a part of every army and 
expedition, fought in almost every battle and skirmish throughout the con- 
test. Scarce a man in the town, old or young, able or unable, but volun- 
teered, enlisted or was drafted, and served in the ranks of the army from the 
hardest-fought battles, down to the more quiet duty of guarding Burgoyne's 
surrendered army, partly by aged men." 

Undoubtedly, the Stamp duty and the duty on tea were far from 
being the principal causes of the American Revolution. These 
taxes, and kindred acts of oppression on the part of the mother 
countrj', only accelerated an event which was as certain to come to 
pass, as that the boy will become a man. Republican ideas had 
been instilled into the minds of the people by such men as Samuel 
Adams and his co-adjutors, for years previous to the signing of the 
Declaration. He had counselled separation from Great Britain 
and the independence of the United States as earl}- as 1769, and 
would have gladly made the Declaration immediatel}^ after the 
battle of Lexington. " * Taxation ' and ' taxation without repre- 
sentation,' " says Mr. Endicott, " were the watchwords, to some 
considerable extent. But it was not simply the paltry taxes that 
were levied upon the colonies that led to independence. These 
words were but the terms used to signify a certain class of legis- 
lative acts, that were especiall}- aimed at the industrial and mari- 
time interests of the colonies. Mr. Sabine tells us, 'there were no 
less than twenty-nine laws, which restricted and bound down 
colonial industry, hardly one of which, until the passage of the 
Stamp Act, imposed a direct tax. They forbade the use of water- 


falls, the erecting of machinery, of looms and spindles and the 
working of wood and iron. They set the king's aiTows upon trees 
that rotted in the forests.' It was not so much ' direct taxation/ 
■as it was this restrictive policy and legislation, the end and pur- 
pose of which was to keep the colonies as mere tributaries and 
market-places for the trade and manufactures of the mother 
country', and to prevent our merchants from carrying on trade 
with any nation other than Great Britain."* 

The frequency of the town meetings at this period is an indi- 
cation of the feeling of unrest which pervaded the communit}'. 
The citizens were anxious to meet often and discuss the affairs of 
the countr}', and to be read}' for every sudden emergency. At a 
meeting held July 5, 1775, we find this record : 

The question was put whether the town would grant an additional sum to 
the bounty granted by the General Court to each person who shall enlist and 
pass muster as one of Newton's quota for the Canada expedition f; — and the 
vote passed in the aflBirmative. 

Voted, that the sum of £6 6s. 8d. be paid out of the town treasury to each 
person who passeth muster and goeth into the service. 

Voted, that the Treasurer be directed, and is hereby empowered, in be- 
half of the town, to borrow the money to pay the bounty of the soldiers 

Voted, that the Selectmen give orders on the Treasury for the payment of 
£6 Gs. 8d. to each person that shall be one of Newton's quota in the expedi- 
tion towards Canada, that are already ordered by the General Court. 

The Declaration of Ixdependence was adopted by the Con- 
gress in Philadelphia July 4, 1776. The Massachusetts Council 
iumiediately took tlie requisite measures to give publicity to the 
Document by passing the following order : 

In Council, July 17, 1776. 
Ordered, that the Declaration of Independence be printed, and a copy sent 
to the Minister of each Tarish, of every Denomination, within this State, and 
that they severally be required to read the same to their respective Congre- 
gations, as soon as Divine service is ended in the afternoon on the first Lord's 
day after they shall have received it ; and after such publication thereof, to 

* Centennial Oration at Canton, by Hon. Charles Endicott, July 4, 187C. 

t In 1775 Canada was invaded by a body of provincial troops, under General Mont- 
gomery. Montreal was taken, and a gallant, but unsuccessful attempt was made on 
Quebec, in whicli the brave Montgoiuery was killed. Only one shot was tired by the 
British, but by that single shot General Montgomery and two of his aides-de-camp 
lost their lives. 


deliver the said Declaration to the Clerks of their several towns or districts, 
who are hereby required to record the same in their respective Town or Dis- 
trict Books, there to remain as a perpetual Memorial thereof. 
In the name and by order of the Council, 

R. Dekby, jk., President. 
A true copy : Attest John Avery, Dep. Secretary. 

Ill obedience to the above Order, the Declaration of Independ- 
ence was copied into the Town Records, by vote of tlie town, the 
citizens thus adopting it as their own. 

That Newton may receive its due share of honor for the part 
performed by her citizens in the events of that subUme but trying 
period of our history, when these United States were passing from 
a condition of dependence to the condition of a free republic, be 
it i'emembered that one of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration 
of Independence, who was also one of the committee which 
reported it to the Congress, was Roger Sherman, a native of 

The evacuation of Boston hy the British troops on the 17th of 
March. 1776, gave great joy to the Americans. Soon afterwards, 
the American army commenced its march for New York, where they 
arrived on the 14th of April, 1776, and from thence Captain 
Nathan Fuller's company marched with the expedition to Canada. 
In this service, Captain Fuller was promoted to the oflSce of major, 
and much praise is awarded to him for his judgment and bravery 
in that expedition. 

In the hardships and perils of the Revolution, and in patriotic 
spirit, not the men of Newton only, but the women also shared. 
They bore their full proportion in the toils and sufferings by 
which the freedom and prosperity of the republic was so nobly 
and so dearl}^ purchased. In the words of another, — 

While a grateful nation recalls the deeds of the Revolutionary soldiers, 
who a hundred years ago joined a more than doubtful cause, let us not forget 
the women, who bore their share of the toil and suffering. They could not 
follow the soldiers into the field, and become hospital nurses, and members 
of the Sanitary Commission, as their descendants did in the civil war; but 
they stayed at iiome and cultivated the land ; and, when the men returned, 
sick and disabled, tenderly nursed them back to health and strength, or laid 
tliem sadly away under the blue slate-stones, now weather-beaten and moss- 
grown, in neglected burying grounds. 

We have a specimen of what the women could do in the Revolutionary war, 
in the history of Timotliy Jackson, the only son of a widow. When he 
joined the Revolutionary army, he was more than fifty years old. Slie had 


four daughters at home, the eldest being twenty-two, and the youngest twelve 
years of age. The farm then contained about thirty acres, which they must 
cultivate, or starve. They worked on the land, like men and boys. Lucy, 
the eldest, was a noble, vigorous, energetic woman. She could plough and 
mow, and she followed these avocations, leaving the lighter labors of the 
farm to the young and less robust sisters. In this way the family, like many 
another in New England, in those days of suffering, privation and hardship, 
continued to labor on, until Timothy, after experiencing the horrors of prison 
ships, privateering and impressment, reached home, after the battle of Mon- 
mouth, in 1777. 

It is evident that the inhabitants of Newton regarded the 
Declaration of Independence, as tlie act of the whole people, and as 
expressing the opinions and the determinations of each and ever}' 
individual in the town. The copy of it, standing entire on the 
Town Records, is a perpetual memorial of the wisdom and patriot- 
ism of the fathers of the town, and an immortal testimony to thei:- 
enlightened faith. 

How wise was the action of the signers of the Declaration, who 
in this wa}- secured a place for it on the Record Book of every 
town, where it would often meet the eye of every citizen, and 
stimulate the sense of responsibility. 

On the sixth of Januaiy, 1777, a committee was appointed to 
adjust matters in reference to the soldiers' pay, and to consider 
and report how the war should be supported for the future. The 
exigency required men of calm heads and wise decision. Patriot- 
ism was not merel}' a quality to be boasted of by ambitious politi- 
cians. It was not to be sung about on a gala daj^, in melodious 
paeans. It demanded iron nerves and will. It called for wise, 
stead}', patient, self-den3'ing action. 

The report of the committee was as follows : 

January G, 1777. — We the subscribers being a committee chosen by the in- 
habitants of the town of Newton at tiaeir meeting legally assembled on the 
18th of December, 1776, to adjust matters relative to an allowance to soldiers 
for services done in the war since the 19th of April, 1775, — and also to con- 
sider in what manner the war shall be supported by the inhabitants for the 
future, — 

Having attentively attended to the service, and, after the most mature de- 
liberation, the majority of us are of opinion and humbly conceive it to be 
just and equitable that there be paid out of the public treasury of this town 
the several and respective sums to such persons belonging to the town as 
were in the service of their country in the expedition or tours of duty which 
are hereinafter particularly expressed, — excluding sucli as wc think the pay 
was adequate to the service, proportionally with those to which we have 
thought it just to add to their pay, viz. : 


To such as enlisted in the first eight months' service, and attended their 
duty therein, forty shillings each. 

To those who were in the two months' service, in the winter last past, 
twenty shillings each. 

To those who enlisted for the whole year last past, and were ordered to 
march to New York, and from thence to Canada, and attended their duty, 
twenty pounds each. 

To those who enlisted for the year last past, and marched to New York, 
ten pounds each. 

To those who enlisted for the said year, and marched to New York in the 
summer, eight pounds each. 

To those who enlisted for the said year, and marched for Ticonderoga in 
the summer, eiglit pounds each. 

To those who enlisted in Colonel Craft's and Colonel Whitney's regiments, 
to man the lines, three pounds each. 

To those who were drafted and marched to New York for two months, four 
pounds each. 

To those who marched for fourteen weeks, to man the lines, forty shillings 

To those who were drafted for New York for three months, and are now at 
Providence, five pounds each. 

That there be also paid out of the Treasury aforesaid to each and every 
person who has paid money to hire, or encourage soldiers to enlist in any of 
the services, since the 10th of April, 1775, aforesaid, the several and respec- 
tive sums by them disbursed : excepting such a part, if any, that have been 
paid more than the fine required by law. And that such inhabitants as were 
called forth upon any emergency, and were omitted in the Muster Rolls, and 
have not received any pay for their service, they shall be paid in proijortion 
to what others have received who were in the same service ; and that the 
charge of hiring soldiers that shall from time to time be required of this 
town, as their quota or proportion of men, during the present war, shall be 
paid out of the Treasury aforesaid, and grants made from time to time and 
assessed on the polls and estates belonging to the town, for the payment of 
all and every sum that shall be paid for any of the purposes herein before 

Wo also humbly conceive that it would be most expedient for the town to 
choose a committee, to be joined with the commissioned officers of the town 
for the time being, to hire such number of soldiers as shall from time to time 
be required of the town during the present war. 

All which is respectfully submitted. 

Alexander Shepard, 
Col. Benjamin Hammond, 
Ensign Samuel Craft, 
Joseph Jackson, 
Lieut. Samuel Richardson, 
Lieut. Aaron Richardson,. 
Lieut. Joseph Craft, 
Alex.vnder Siiepard, jr. 


This report was amended by giving thirty shillings instead of 
forty shillings to those who manned the lines near Boston in 1776 ; 
and five pounds instead of four to each of the soldiers who were 
drafted and marched to New York for two months, and was then 

Voted, that those commissioned officers who went in the Continental ser- 
vice to New York and thence to Canada the hist year, be paid twenty pounds 
each ; that there be paid to Col. Michael Jackson, for going into the Conti- 
nental service in New York last summer, eight pounds, and to Capt. Edward 
Puller, in the same service, two pounds. 

Although it was a season of comparative poverty and destitu- 
tion, with the people of Newton, their burdens great, their mone}^ 
scarce, and the prospects before them in the immediate future dis- 
mal and discouraging, they were nevertheless liberal in voting the 
necessary supplies to carry on the war, and in subscribing to a 
loan to aid the town. The sums the}^ risked were, probably, at least 
in many cases, in generous proportion to their entire property. 
And in this act they showed that they were men of faith and cour- 
age. Where they could not see, they trusted. And though they 
could not tell through how many weary years the struggle would 
be protracted, nor whether they might not ultimately fail, — relying 
on the justice of their cause and on the God of battles, they deter- 
mined to go forward. 

It is interesting to see how in the great struggle of the country 
to free itself from a foreign yoke, the early settlers rushed to the 
conflict like men who knew no fear, as if regardless of all conse- 
quences to themselves or their families. Several members of the 
same famity, in some instances, buckled on the harness and went 
forth to the fight, — perhaps for mutual protection and succor ; 
perhaps, because the example of patriotism is contagious, and 
when one went, others were unwilling to stay behind ; perhaps, be- 
cause they were alike schooled to love and desire liberty and a free 
country, and alike eager to participate in paying the price by which 
such a blessing was to be won. Thus three sons of Moses Whit- 
ney all died in the army. Three of the sons and some of the sons- 
in-law of Captain Jeremiah Wiswall were in the East Newton 
company in the battle of Lexington. The bravery of the fathers, 
instilled by incessant teaching into the minds of their ofispring, 
was transmitted in a foithful line of succession, and the records 
of that stormy age exhibit, among the Uviug and the dead, 


warriors well entitled to be characterized as "worthy sons of 
worthy sires." 

The wives and mothers and sisters of those times must have 
been true to the spirit of patriotism, or they would not have been 
parted so uncomplainiugl}^ from their natural protectors, that the 
latter might engage heart and hand in the deadly conflict. We 
can almost see them now, in their sparse settlements, living fru- 
gally on their narrow means, and surrounded by their numerous 
and growing families, — shrinking from the sacrifice of those who 
were dearer to them than life, but at the same time consenting, for the 
interest of the public weal, to lay upon the altar of their country their 
fathers, and their brothers, and their husbands. Trul}', thej' were 
worthy mothers of the noble women of the period of our recent 
national struggle, who, in a more delicate age and in a fiercer con- 
test, emulated their example, and through tears and blood trod 
patiently and lovingl}' in their footsteps. All honor to the women 
of Newton, both of the earlier and the later date. Without their 
spirit of courage and self-denial, without their ardent patriotism, 
giving their beloved ones to their countr}- and cheering them on- 
ward in hours of gloom, how difierent might have been the results 
both of the Revolutionaiy war, and of the later conflict, waged in 
behalf of the nation's life ! 

Since the later experience of 1861-5, we are more competent to 
appreciate the efforts and the self-denial of our ancestors in the 
great revolutionary struggle. How diff"erent were their circum- 
stances from our own ! They were comparatively few in number ; 
obtaining a frugal living from fields but recently wrested from the 
wilderness. The arts of war were imperfectly understood. There 
were but few rich men. Even those who had great landed estates 
did not abound in money, and the mone}' which the}' possessed 
was fearfully depreciated in value before the close of the war. 
The entire country was sparselv peopled, and the means of feed- 
ing and paj'ing a large army were not easj' to be secured. The 
personal property in the hands of a few was mostly the fruit of 
slow accumulations and of gi-eat labor ; hence it was a more seri- 
ous thing to part with it than with easily-hoarded gains. Yet our 
Newton ancestors freely gave of their substance, and generously 
voted to raise mone}'' by taxation to suppl}' the wants of the sol- 
diers. Thirty-one names are recorded of those who loaned money 
to the town to pay the heroes in the field. The smallness of the 


sums loaned by some of these persons indicated that they offered 
of their penury, — the fruits of wearing labor, — on the altar of 
their country. Among those who thus supplied " the sinews of 
war," were two colonels, four captains, one lieutenant, one cornet, 
and two females (woman in the war, as lately, so then, an efficient, 
willing, and loving helper) , one of the two a widow, and her offer- 
ing was £13. In 1778, a tax of £3,000 was voted by the town 
towards the expenses of the war. In 1779, the citizens voted a 
tax of £3,000 for raising men and other expenses. In March, 

1780, £30,000 were voted for the same purpose ; in September of 
the same j'ear, £40,000, and in the December following, £100,000. 
Money, ir is true, had greatly depreciated in value ; for in May, 

1781, the town voted to raise £400 in silver, in lieu of £100,000 in 
bills. But this enormous depreciation must have made many poor 
who had once been rich. The loss of life and of the means of 
living was ver}' great during the war, making the heavy taxation 
so much the more burdensome. The entire population in 1775 has 
been estimated at less than 1,400. Yet nearly one in every four 
of the entire population served in the army, and both these and 
the sta^'-at-homes gave at the same time their treasure, their ser- 
vice, and their blood to their suffering countrj'. In comparison 
with the exertion and the sufferings of our fathers, how small 
have been our sacrifices and how insignificant our efforts ! Dur- 
ing the war of the Rebellion, our armies were multiplied a thou- 
sand-fold, as compared with them ; our expenses were gigantic ; 
our battles were as a hundred to one ; our wounded and our slain 
were beyond calculation. Every thing was carried forward on a 
scale suggesting the idea of sublimity. But was not that earlier 
" day of small things," after all, in view of the character and the 
circumstances of the age, more marvellous than the experiences 
of our own times ? 

A writer in the Massachusetts Historical Collections, Vol. 2, 
l^age 239, at the close of a historical journal of the war of the 
Revolution gives the following summary : 

The war being ended, we will now see how the account stands, and we 
shall find the following to be a just statement of it : 

A loss to Great Britain of two large armies, captured by the States, exclu- 
sive of many thousands killed and taken in various actions of the war ; thir- 
teen colonies dismembered from them, and an increase of their national debt, 
in seven years, one hundred and twenty millions. 


The United States have gained independency and the liberty they contended 
for, and find their debt to be less than forty five millions of dollars, — which 
is short of ten millions of pounds sterling (£9,993,424 9s. Gd. sterling). 

The national debt of Great Britain at this period amounts to 240,000,000 
pounds sterling. 

The whole of the American debt is as follows, viz. : 

Foreign debt, - ^7,885,085.00 

Domestic debt - - 34,115,290.00 

Annual interest on both, — foreign at 5 per cent.) o A-ir q-a nn 

domestic G per cent, per annum. / " -,41o,yo6.00 

Total, $44,416,331.00 

This comparison is humiliating to Great Britain, and highly 
honorable to the financiering ability of the statesmen of the 
Revolution. The former had learned, by the enjoyment of wealth, 
to be luxurious and wasteful ; the latter, schooled in want and 
frugality, had learned economy. Their slender resources compelled 
them to make the best use of what they had ; and, taught in this 
stern school, they profited by the jDainful lesson. 

On the fourteenth of March, 1777, the town voted that Phineas 
Bond, Captain Amariah Fuller, Joshua Hammond, Lieutenant 
Jeremiah Wiswall, Samuel Woodward and Dr. John King be a 
committee, to be joined by the commissioned oflicers of the town, 
to hire soldiers, if need be, to go into the wars the ensuing cam- 
paign, being Newton's quota, as cheap as may be, and not give 
more than twenty-four pounds each. Also, that the Town Treas- 
urer borrow, for the purpose aforesaid, the sum of one thousand 
pounds, and deliver it to the aforesaid committee as it shall be 

And on the twentieth of the same month it was voted that such 
as are subjects of the gratuity for former services, who have en- 
listed or shall enlist within ten days from this time into the Con- 
tinental service for Newton, and pass muster, shall receive of the 
Town Treasurer a promissory note on interest for what they are 
entitled to for said service, to be paid in one year, they demandino* 
the same at the Treasury. Also, that £3 be paid by the town, to 
each soldier that lately went to Providence. And, in case any 
more men be called .for, that the commissioned officers and the 
committee be directed to procure soldiers on the best terms they 
can. The town paid faithfully the sums they voted. 





£ s, d. 



s. d. 

Joshua Hammond, 


Col. Michael Jackson, 


Joseph White, 


John Ward, 


Widow Tabitha Miller, 


John Ward, 3rd, 


Cornet Norman Clark, 


Elisha Fuller and 

John Wiswall, 




Dr. John King, 


Oliver Fenno, 


Lieut. Joseph Craft, 


Miss Abigail Stone, 


Aaron Jackson, 


Alex. Shepard, jr., 


Abraham Fuller, 


Col. Nathan Fuller, 


6 8 

April — Benjamin Eddy 

52 13 

Joshua Hammond, 


13 4 

May — Samuel Rich- 

Josiah Hall, 




William Hammond, 


Ephraim Williams, 


Stephen White, 


Capt. Jeremiah Wis- 

Samuel Woodward, 




Joshua Murdock, 


Capt. John Woodward, 


Capt. Abraham Pierce 


Capt. Edward Fuller, 


Elhanan Winchester, 


Thomas Jackson, 





These thii'ty-one lenders, of whom two were women, and all but 
three were in the army, gave to the cause their treasures and, 
their lives. To these are to be added those who loaned smaller 
sums, whose names are not given. 





In the midst of the excitement of war, the citizens were not 
careless of the interests of the State Government. In 1777, the}'' 
elected Abraham Fuller, Esq., Colonel Benjamin Hammond and 
Lieutenant Noah Hyde, a committee to report instructions to their 
representative to the General Court. The instructions were as 
follows : 

To Thomas Parker of Newton, in General Assembly : 

Sir, — In pursuance of a Resolve of the General Court on the fifth of May- 
current, relative to forming a new Constitution of Government, — we, the 
freeholders and other inhabitants of Newton in town meeting legally as- 
sembled, on Thursday, the fifteenth day of May, 1777, judge it proper to im- 
part to you our united sentiments, and instruct you, our representative in 
General Assembly. 

At this alarming crisis, when of necessity it must take up the greatest part 
of ihe time of the General Court to guard and defend the United States 
against the inroads and invasions of our unnatural and inveterate enemies, 
wh'i are using every measure to subjugate and enslave America; that you do 
not neglect the common and ordinary business that is necessary for the im- 
mediate salvation of this State, by attempting to set up a new Constitution of 
Government, so long as the public affairs continue so much embarrassed, and 
while so many of our worthy brethren are abroad, who have a just right to 
have a voice in the acceptance of a new Constitution, unless a great majority 
of the Assembly resolve for that purpose. Then, in that case you are to use 
your utmost endeavors, that the legislative powers be not confined, nor rest 
in less than two branches at least, and that each branch have a free and in- 
dependent exercise of its judgment and a negative voice in the Legislature ; 
for history sufficiently evinces that no Government in any State in the known 



world, where an absolute power has been lodged in one man, or one body of 
men, but that speedily issued in despotism and tyranny. 

We also instruct you not to consent to the making any alteration of the law 
of this State relative to each town's paying its representatives ; and, as the 
Honorable Continental Congress has recommended to this State, with others, 
to keep as near as may be to the Charter Constitution, we also instruct you 
to use your endeavors to conform thereto, until this State hath completed 
another Constitution of Government. 

Abraham Fuller, 

Benjamin Hammond, J- Committee. 

Noah Hide, 


In May, 1778, the town chose Joseph Jackson, Noah Hyde, 
Joseph Hyde, Joseph Ward, William Clark, Ebenezer Bartlett, 
Jonas Stone, Joshua Murdock and John King a committee to 
report to the tovim their opinion of the new Constitution or form of 
government agreed upon by the Convention of the State of Mas- 

In the following month occurs this record : " 

The plan of the Constitution and form of government for the Massachu- 
setts Bay, as proposed by the Convention, having been read, was fully de- 
bated, and the number of voters present being eighty (SO), five (5) approved 
of the Constitution and seventy-five (75) disapproved of it. 

May 1779. — Voted, that a new Constitution or form of government be 
made. Forty-one (41) yeas and five (5) nays. 

Chose Thomas Parker representative, and voted that he be and he hereby 
is instructed to vote for the calling of a State Convention, for the sole pur- 
pose of forming a new Constitution. 

These sturdy politicians, who rejected the former Constitution 
by such an overwhelming vote, were doubtless at last satisfied ; 
for under date of August, 1779, we find this record: 

The proceedings of the late Convention at Concord were read by para- 
graphs to the town, and they voted to approve the same. 

Their satisfaction, however, was of brief duration ; for in Ma}", 
1780, after re-electing Thomas Parker, representative, the town 
*' chose a Committee of Fifteen to consider and report to the town 
the alterations the}^ ma}'' judge necessary in the new form of Gov- 

The first town meeting under the Constitution of Massachusetts 
for the election of State officers, was held September 4, 1780. 

Under the stress of the times, the Convention held at Concord 
adopted an article proposing to limit the price of several articles 


in common use. The citizens of Newton, careful and critical, 
watching every thing pertaining to the public interest, did not 
allow the measure to go into effect without passing judgment upon 
the action of the Convention. Indeed, they had already chosen 
"a committee, to act by themselves or join with a committee of 
other towns, to regulate the prices of sundr}^ articles, agreeable 
to the fifth resolve of the Convention at Concord." 

The proceedings of the late Convention at Concord were read, so far as 
relates to the stipulated prices. 

Voted, to approve all but the prices of potatoes, geese, fowls, turkeys, 
tame ducks, cider, all kinds of wood, coal, and teaming, — which were re- 
ferred for consideration. 

Then the several resolves were read and accepted. 

Two votes on the Town Records have reference to the supply of 
provisions for the army. 

October, 1780. — Chose a committee to purchase the quantity of beef for 
the army, as required of the town by the General Court. 

May, 1781. — Voted, to choose a committee to procure Newton's quota of 
beef to supply the army, as called for by the General Court. 

During the entire period of the war, the inhabitants of Newton 
continued to vote supplies of money, as they were needed. The 
patriotism of the citizens and their hope of the final success of 
their cause gave them courage even in the darkest hours. A few 
of their votes, during the successive years of trial, may be here 
grouped together. 

September 15, 1777. — Voted, that the Treasurer of this town be directed, 
and he is hereby empowered, in the name and behalf of said town, to borrow 
the sum of twelve hundred pounds, and give his note on interest for the same, 
for repaying to the commissioned officers and the committee to procure 
soldiers for the Continental service, and also the sura of six hundred pounds, 
towards procuring soldiers for said service for the future. 

December 8. — Deacon John Woodward, Joshua Murdock, Joseph Jackson, 
Dr. John King and Colonel Nathan Fuller were chosen a committee to make 
effectual provision for the families of the non-commissioned officers and 
privates that have engaged in the Continental service, agreeable to a resolve 
of the General Assembly on the tenth of October last. 

Voted, that the officers and committee should hire men to replace the late 
detachment at Prospect Hill. 

In 1778, the town voted a tax of three thousand pounds, towards 
defraying the town charges of the war. 

£185 19s 



£635 19s 


£4,312 7s 


. 94 10 



4 13 

£4,444 10 


£201 8s, 


123 10 

185 10 


384 1 


£894 19 


£11 12 



A committee appointed in March, 1779, to audit the accounts 
of the military committee, reported as follows : 

Capt. Edward Fuller has received as fines . 

Capt. Joseph Fuller do. do. 

Joshua Hammond has received of the Treasurer 
Lieut. Aaron Richardson do. do. 

Capt. Jeremiah Wiswall do. do 

Col. Benjamin Hammond do. do. 

Total receipts £4,444 10 

Joshua Hammond has paid, of money he collected for taxes 
Col. Nathan Fuller do. do. do. do. 

Capt. Edward Fuller do. ' do. do. do. 

Capt. Joseph Fuller do. do. do. do. 

Remaining in the hands of the committee 

In August, 1779, the inhabitants voted to raise men, agreeable 
to the resolve of the Court, and also to raise £3,000," for raising of 
men and defrajang town charges." 

June 19, 1780, a committee of nine was chosen to raise men for 
the war, as called for by the General Court, and a vote passed, 
appropriating £30,000 to defray the charges thereof, and for the 
use of the town. 

In October of the same year, " chose a committee to pm'chase 
the quantity of beef for the army, as required of the town by the 
General Court." Also in December, " chose a committee of nine- 
teen to raise Newton's quota of men, to fill up the Continental 
army," and voted " a tax of £100,000, old currencj', to defray 
the charges." 

March, 1781. — The Treasurer was authorized to give notes to- 
the soldiers who have enlisted or shall enlist into the Continental 
army for three j^ears, or during the war, 

1781. — Voted, that £400 in silver money be raised, in lieu of £100,000 in, 

Voted, to choose a com:nlttee of five to assist the commissioned officers 
in procuring Newton's quota of militia soldiers, that may be called for by the 
General Court the present summer; and the Treasurer is authorized to give 
notes, in the name and behalf of the town, for that purpose. Also, to procure- 



Newton's quota of beef, as callod for by the General Court, to supply the 
army with. 

September, 1781. — Voted, that £450 silver money be assessed; March, 
1782, a tax of £800; April, 1783, £1,000; March, 1784, £1,500. 

Colonel Benjamin Hammond, of East Newton, bad charge in 
1780-82 of procuring a portion of the necessary quantity of beef 
for the arm3% The following, from \iu day-book, shows who were 
the patriotic citizens who had faith enough in the cause of liberty 
to risk their nionc}'. 

Account of what money I received of the several persons hereafter named, 
to purchase beef for the army, 1780. 

The Hon. Abraham Fuller, Esq., £800 

Mr. Ebenezer Bartlett, 370 10 

Mr. Joshua Flagg, 200 
Dea. David Stone, - 100 
Mr. John Stone, 100 

Mr. David Bartlett, 315 

Mr. Joseph White, 180 

Mr. Joseph Ward (collector), 3,791 4 

Mr. Jonathan Bixby, 300 
Capt. Jeremiah Wiswall (collector)2,717 7 
Mr. Joshua Hammond, 500 

Mr. Ebenezer Greenwood, 114 

Mr. John Stone, 100 

Mr. John Jackson, 336 

Mr. Joseph Jackson, 150 

Capt. Edward Fuller, 225 

Mr. John Jackson, 

Dea. "William Bowles, 

Advanced, myself, 

Mr. Ebenezer Bartlett, 

Capt. Jeremiah Wiswall, 

Mr. Ebenezer Bartlett, 

Capt. Eliphalet Robbins, 

Solomon Robbins, 

Mr. Joseph Ward (collector), 

Dea. David Stone, 

Capt. Joseph Fuller, 

Mr. Joseph Ward (collector). 

Advanced, myself. 


96 19 




Dea. David Stone, 


Capt. Jonas Stone, 


Capt. Wiswall, 


Capt. Wiswall, 

3,582 2 

Advanced, myself. 


Dea. David Stone, 

188 7 10 

£12,761 15 10 

Account of what money I received of the several persons hereafter named, 
to purchase beef for the army, 1781. 

Th6 Hon Abraham Fuller, Esq., 
Town Treasurer, in old cur- 
rency, £5,618 

Advanced, myself, 300 

Of the Town Treasurer, 1,025 

Capt. Joseph Fuller, 300 

Of the Town Treasurer by the 
hand of Col. Fuller, 600 

Capt. Jeremiah Wiswall, 207 6 

May 31, 1782. — Granted an order to Capt. Jeremiah Wiswall for nine 
thousand four hundred and seven pounds, one shilling and four pence (£9,407 
Is. 4d. ) for money advanced to purchase beef for the army. 

That Colonel Hammond was captain of a company appears 
from an entry in his day-book, as follows : 

November 4, 1771. — Trained, and filled up the company with officers, and 
made choice of Samuel Richardson, Samuel Hide, William Hammond, John 


Stone, Sergeants ; Jeremiah Richardson, James Stone, Benjamin Eddy, jr., 
Thomas Durant, Corporals ; William Fuller, Nathaniel Rogers, Durmer 
[drummer] ; John Ward, jr., Clerk. 

Trained, June 4, October 8 and 14, 1772. Fined Coggin, William 

Parker, Nathaniel Robbins, Stephen Hastings, Timothy Whitney, Jackson 
Parker, Nathaniel Parker and Thomas Hastings 6s. each (the last for want 
of arms) ; Simon Charaberlin, John Hall, jr., Aaron Cheney, 2s. each. 

Trained, June 21, 1773. Fined William Parker, Jackson Parker, Thomas 
Hastings, Samuel Knapp, Ebenezer Soger, Joshua Newell, os. each. 

Trained, June 7, 1774. Fined Nathaniel Robbins, George Feacham, Tim- 
othy Whitney, Jackson Parker, Samuel Knapp, Ephraim Whitney, Jonathan 
Rugg, Ephraim Wilson, 5s. each. 

As the pressure of the times increased, the inhabitants felt it 
needful to devise new methods to raise money to meet the expenses 
of the war. They had taxed themselves to the utmost, and still 
the war was not ended. At last, the plan was suggested of seek- 
ing relief by taxing the lands of non-resident proprietors. In 
April, 1785, a committee was appointed on this suggestion, 
Colonel Benjamin Hammond being chairman, who reported as 
follows : 

We the subscribers, chosen by the town to devise ways and means where- 
by the non-resident proprietors of land lying within the town of Newton may 
be subjected to pay their proportional part of the charge of the men raised by 
the seventeen classes made out in the year 1781, in consequence of a previ- 
ous resolve of the General Court for that purpose, and also to hear the 
complaints of said classes respecting the deficiency of individuals of said classes 
who were unable to pay, or otherwise, — and also to hear the request of 
George Feacham, that he may receive certain moneys which he saith he 
had advanced, to hire men to go into the public service, etc., etc., have 
attended to that service, and beg leave to report as follows : 

1. That the town choose a committee to prefer a petition to the General 
Court for liberty to assess the non-resident proprietors of lands lying within 
the town of Newton their proportional part of the real cost of the men pro- 
cured by the seventeen classes made out by the Assessors in 1781, or for the 
average price allowed by the State for said men. 

2. That all those that are inadvertently classed, and at the same time were 
not proper subjects of taxation, and refuse to pay, — that their taxes be abated. 

3. That the class of which the late Phineas Cook (died 1784) was the 
head, be abated as follows : viz., of the deceased Henry Parker's tax 16 
shillings, and of William Park's £4 19s., etc. 

It seems fitting that we should present here the last scene of the 
protracted and glorious conflict. 


The struggle had lasted nearly seven years, and the resources of the 
colonies were well nigh exhausted, when France became an ally to America, 
and transferred her war against Great Britain to these shores. With troops 
and ships and money she came in the nick of time, and speedily brought 
matters to a crisis and the conflict to an end. Reinforced by the Froncli 
forces and fleet, the Americans, under Washington, took heart and hope, and 
organized their campaign of 1781 with great vigor. 

The British under Lord Cornwallis were in the South, devastating Virginia, 
and thither Washington and Lafoyette, with the combined American and 
French forces, marched, supported by the French fleet in Chesapeake Bay 
under Count Rochambeau. Cornwallis, in obedience to orders from Sir Henry 
Clinton at New York, concentrated his forces, to the number of 8,000 men, 
at Yorktown, the fortifications of which were at once increased to great 
strength. He was also supported by several English frigates and smaller 
vessels, which were anchored in York River, between the town and Glouces- 
ter Point on the opposite side. The allied forces to the number of 1G,000 
men, of whom 7,000 were French, approached the town and formally invested 
it in siege operations toward the latter part of September. On the ninth of 
October the first parallel was established and several heavy batteries opened 
on the enemy, dismounting a number of their guns and sinking a frigate, 
with three large transports. A few days afterward, another parallel was 
opened ; but as the working parties were greatly annoyed by an enfilading 
fire from two redoubts, it was resolved to assault them. 

This was accordingly done with great success. The two redoubts were of 
equal strength, and it was determined to attack them, one with an American 
detachment, the other with a French. Lafayette himself led the Americans, 
who carried the post in such splendid style as to excite the admiration and 
emulation of. the French, who carried theirs in like manner. Those two 
works being included in the besieging line, the position of Cornwallis became 
extremely critical. He was cut off from escape by sea by the powerful 
French fleet at the mouth of the river, while he knew that he could not much 
longer maintain the attacks of the allies. In his desperation the British com- 
mander first attempted a sortie on the advanced batteries of the besiegers ; 
but being repulsed, he conceived the desperate scheme of crossing the river 
to Gloucester Point with his whole force and pushing northward by rapid 
marches. But a violent and Providential storm rose before he could perfect 
his plans, and the boats upon which he relied to cross were driven far down 
the river and destroyed. Then, to save useless bloodshed, Cornwallis pro- 
posed to surrender. 

Accordingly on the 19th of October, terms were agreed upon, and the 
British army, to the number of about 7,000, on the same day marched out and 
capitulated to Washington as prisoners of war. The loss of the British dur- 
ing the siege amounted to 550 men, and that of the allies to about 300. 
Some 75 brass and IGO iron cannon, nearly 8,000 stand of arms, 28 regimen- 
tal colors, and a large quantity of munitions of war fell into the hands of 
the victors as spoils, and the glorious success practically decided the conflict 
for independence in favor of the revolutionists. It is said that wiien the news 


reached England and was communicated to Lord North, the Premier, that 
official threw up his hands and exclaimed, " O God, it is all over! " And so 
it proved. But little further fighting took place after the fall of Yorktown, 
and peace was formally declared in the following year. 

The following is a copj' of the parole of Lord Cornwallis, which 
was given by him after he surrendered at Yorktown, October 19, 
1781. The original copy was purchased not long since by the 
State of Massachusetts, from some one in New York, and has 
been placed in the State Library for exhibition. 

I, Charles Earl Cornwallis, Lieutenant-General and Commander of his 
Britannick Majesty's forces, do acknowledge myself a prisoner of war to the 
United States of America ; and, having permission from his Excellency, 
General "Washington, agreeable to capitulation, to proceed to New York and 
Charlcstown, or either, and to Europe, do pledge my faith and word of honor, 
that I will not do or say any thing injurious to the said United States or 
armies thereof or their allies until duly exchanged. I do further promise, 
that whenever required by the Commander-in-chief of the Anerican array* 
or the Commissary of prisoners for the same, I will repair to such place or 
places as they or either of them may require. 

Given under ray hand at Yorktown, 28th day of October, 1781. 


The review, embodied in the foregoing pages, of the proceed- 
ings of Newton, from the passing of the Stamp Act to the close 
of the Revolution, bears testimon}^ to the patriotic spirit of the 
entire population, and shows how great sacrifices they cheerfully 
made to sustain the principles the}' had espoused. 

In 1765, the population of Newton was 1,308 ; in 1790, 1,360. 
During the war many lives were lost, and all the industries bj^ 
which life is sustained were greatly crippled. Many jears would 
doubtless be required to restore things to as prosperous a state as 
before the Revolution. Mr. Jackson estimates that the popula- 
tion in 1775 could not have been less than 1,400. About 430 
Newton men served more or less in the Continental army and in 
the militia during the war. " Deducting from this number those 
who were in the battles of Lexington and Concord, — the East and 
West companies, who, at the request of General Washington, 
marched to man the lines at Dorchester Heights, and served until 
the British troops evacuated Boston, — those who volunteered to 
guard the surrendered troops of General Burgoyne at Cambridge, 
etc., we shaU then have 275 men from Newton, who actually 


^enlisted in the Continental army for a longer or shorter term. Of 
this number, 04 enlisted in January, 1777, for three j'cars or dur- 
ing the war ; and many of the others, then in the army, who did 
not at that time enlist for the war, did nevertheless continue in 
the service to the end of it. 

" The amount of money raised by the town for the purposes of the war 
cannot be computed, for lack of the proper accounts and vouchers, and from 
the depreciation of the currency. But from the abstracts we liave already 
given of the votes of the town, it may be readily seen that very large sums 
of money were raised, and the credit of the town used to its utmost tension, 
for procuring men and money to carry on the war with vigor. From these 
long continued and exhausting exertions, the resources of the country had 
Ijeen drained, heavy debts accumulated, and business and credic prostrated. 
In comparison with the wealth of the present day, the property of the inhabi- 
tants then was paltry in the extreme ; and yet those large sums of money 
Tvere cheerfully voted and soon paid. These Records of the Town," con- 
tinues Mr. Jackson, "and the facts here grouped together will serve to 
prove how fully and at what sacrifices the pledge of 177G was redeemed. 
History, we think, will be searched in vain to find a parallel to the indomita- 
ble and long continued exertion and devotion, which, in common, doubtless, 
with New England generally, the inhabitants of this town exhibited." 

We cannot fail to admire the frequent action of the citizens, in 
town meeting assembled, voting large sums of moneys for the 
purposes of the war. They evidently strained every nerve, volun- 
tarily distressing and impoverishing themselves, that they might 
transmit to their posterity a free, enlightened and prosperous 

It is impossible for us adequately to conceive the trials and dis- 
tresses, and, at the same time, the patriotic ardor of the citizens. 
Enjoying, as we do, to the full, the luxuries of life, with a freedom 
broad as the mind of man can desire, — and a security, under God, 
which seems to us an absolute and immortal inheritance, we try in 
vain to imagine what those early patriots felt and feared. Thej^ 
earned well the glor}^ they won. 

The people of Newton at that period, says Mr. Hyde, " were few in num- 
ber, i)oor, with little available means, the countrj' was new and sparsely 
populated; and added to all, the money during the war was greatly depre- 
ciated. In illustration of this, it is recorded that in 1780 they voted altogether 
£170,000 and the next year £400, in silver, in lieu of £100,000 in bills. We of 
to-day know something by experience of the depreciation incident to a long 
war, but it is little compared with the state of affairs at that time. Yet there 
was no shrinking from duty ; men and women alike loaned of their private 


fortunes, while yet the result hung doubtful in the balance, to supply the 
wants of the soldiers." 

The roster of the army gives the following names of Newton 
men who bore office among their fellow-soldiers : Colonel Joseph 
Ward, aide-de-camp of Major-General Ward ; Michael Jackson, 
Colonel, and William Hull, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 8th Regi- 
ment; Ephraim Jackson, Colonel of the 10th Regiment; Nathan 
Fuller, Lieutenant-Colonel of the 13th Regiment ; seven captains, 
nine lieutenants and two ensigns. Forty-four descendants of 
Edward Jackson, bearing the name of Jackson, were in the 
Revolutionary army from Newton. There were twenty-two bear- 
ing the name of Fuller, sixteen the name of Parker, fifteen of 
Hyde, eleven of Stone, nine of Clarke, six of Seger, etc. Cap- 
tain Henry King, of Newton, was one of the guard at the execu- 
tion of Andre. 

■ The revolutionary troops from Newton were not without a 
representative from the sable sons of Africa. Pomp, the slave 
of Jonathan Jackson, was manumitted two weeks before the pro- 
mulgation of the Declaration of Independence. He enlisted in 
the army as Pomp Jackson, served during the war, and at the 
close received an honorable discharge. He ufterwai^ds settled in 
the town of Andover, a mile west of the Theological Seminary, 
and near a pleasant sheet of water known as " Pomp's Pond ", — 
the vicinity of which was found by the writer of these pages, dur- 
ing the summers of 1830 and 1831, to be peculiarly rich in speci- 
mens of the beautiful and various flora of the New England 

The eyes of the people were open to guard in ever}^ direction 
against any regulation which seemed likely to abridge their free- 
dom or to interfere with their liberties as independent citizens. 
An Act of the Legislatui-e regulating the market in Boston, then 
recently passed, awakened their jealousy, and they proceeded at 
once to take measures for its repeal. At a town meeting held 
August 16, 1784, a committee of three was chosen, "to join with 
a committee from an}' other town or towns in the Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts, to petition the General Court that a late Act, 
entitled, ' An Act for regulating the market in Boston,' may be 
repealed, or to take such other lawful measures that all imposi- 
tions maybe removed that infringe on the liberties and privileges 
of this Commonwealth in consequence of said Act." 



Soldiers who served more or less after the eight moDths had 
expired, — called out in cases of emergency, or otherwise, from 
1776 to the end of- the war : 

Jeremiah Ackers, 
Jonas Adams, 
Xeliemiab Abbott, 
Ricbard Bryan, 
Alexander Burt, 
William Bogle, 
Thomas Boylston, 
Joseph Blandeu, 
John Burridge, 
Simon Burridge, 
Amos Brown, 
Benjamin Clark, 
Moses Child, 
Peter Clarke, 
Francis DeGranville, 
John Durell, 
Jeremiah Donovan, 
John Daniels, 
Peter Durell, 

James Fuller, 
Ephraim Fenno, 
Thomas Fay 
Isaac Greenwood, 
Jonathan Hammond, 
Francis Hoogs, 
Thomas HUl, 
John Hamilton, 
Amasa Jackson, 
William Jackson, 
Phineas Jackson, 
Charles Jackson, 
Samuel Jackson, 
Caleb Jackson, 
Henry King, 
John Marean, Lieut., 
James McCoy, 
John Miller, 
Lvida Maier, 

Thomas Owen, 
Jeremiah Ackers, 
John Park, 
Jonathan Parker, 
Aaron Parker, 
Francis Parker 
Elisha Parker, 
Jackson Parker, 
Nathan Pillsbury, 
Silas Pratt, 

Benjamin Rose, or Ross, 
Isaac Rogers, 
Samuel Spring, 
John Shepard, 
Nicholas Thwing, 
Samuel Wiswall, 
Nehcmiah Wilson, 
Reuben Whitney^ 

Total, 66 

Captain Joseph Fuller, of Newton, raised a company of ninety- 
six, and marched to Bennington, and from thence to Skeensboro', 
thence to Lake George, to oppose the progress of Burgoyne, and 
served from August 4th to November 29, 1777, three and two- 
thirds months. They marched 240 miles. Burgoyne surrendered 
October 17, 1777. The Newton men were 

Joseph Fuller, Captain, 
Benjamin Eddy, 
Jonathan Stone, 
Samuel Spring, 
David Fuller, 
Timothy Flagg, 
Job MiUer, 
Phineas Bond, 
Israel Blackington, 
Peter Durell, 
Gershom Hyde, 

Jessee Jackson, 
Phineas Jackson, 
Caleb Jackson, 
Samuel Jenison, 
Thomas Boylston, 
William Bogle, 
Samuel Marean, 
Samuel Miller, 
Pomp Magus, 
Samuel Jliller, 
Elisha Parker, 

Joseph Parks, 

Asa Robinson, 
John Robbins, 
Nathaniel Seger, 
Samuel Trowbridge, 
Ebenezer Williams, 
Peter Richardson, 
Moses Child, 
Samuel Draper. 

The other sixty-six men were from adjoining towns. August 
17, 1778, Captain Fuller swore to the Roll. 

Captain Edward Fuller raised a companj^, and marched March 
19, and served to April 15, 1778, at Roxbury. 

Edward Fuller, Captain, 
Josiah Capen, Lieut., 
Isaac Hager, do. 
Samuel Hyde, Sergeant, 
Joshua Jackson, do. 
WilUajn Jackson, CorpU, 
Ebenezer Williams, do. 

Oliver Fuller, 
Jonas Mills, 
Edward Shepard, 
John Hall, 
Lemuel Capen, 
WiUiam Marean, 
Thomas Richardson, 

Abraham Parker, 
Joshua Jackson, jr., 
Samuel Hammond, 
Nathan Stone, 
James Downing, 
Joshua Prentice, 
Jonas Child, 



Richard Fuller, 
Amos Hyde, 
George Bacon, 
John Segar, 
Nathan Seger, 
Thomas Fay, 
Ephraim Jackson, 
Samuel Jackson, 

Ebeuezer Stone, 
Simeon Chamberlain, 
John Ilealy, 
Abijah Stowell, 
Nehemiah Wilson, 
Ebeuezer Cheney, 
John "Wiswall, 
Cyrus Pratt, 

Abraham Whitney, 
Jonas Bond. 

Total from Ne^vton, 39 
From other towns, 29 

Total, 68 

Captain Edward Fuller also raarched in September, 1778. 

Edward Fuller, Captain, 
Joseph Craft, Lieut., 
Aaron Murdock, do- 
Edmund Trowbridge, 

Joshua Murdock, do. 
Samuel Spring, Fifer, 
Joseph Adams, 
Roger Adams, 
Jonathan Cook, 
Elias Fuller, 

Noah Hyde, 

Samuel Murdock, 

Ebenezer Williams, 

Silas Stearns, 

Moses Child, 

James Prentice, 

Job Hyde, 

George Brown, 

John Durell, 

Samuel Jackson 

Captain Aaron Richards, 

Richard Fuller, 
John Marean, 
Francis Marshall, 
Edward Fuller, 
John King, 
Thomas Fiske, 
Peter Parker, 
James Stevens, 
Samuel Fuller, 
Daniel Cook. 



On the 17th of October, 1777, General Burgoyne surrendered 
his army, numbering nearty six thousand men, to the Americans. 
This movement created a necessity for troops to do guard dutj' 
over the humbled Regulars, and Captain Joseph Fuller's company 
marched to Cambridge, to guard Burgoyne's captured troops, 
September 2, 1778, — as follows: 

Joseph FuUer, Captain, 
John Marean, Lieut., 
Samuel Hyde, Serjeant, 
James Stone, do. 
Benjamin Eddy, Corp'' I, 
Thomas Hammond, do. 
Asa Fuller, Fifer, 
Edward Converse, 
Thomas Wilson, 
Jonathan Harbach, 
George Feacham, 
John Rogers, jr., 
Jonas Stone, jr., 
Jonathan Jackson, 
Richard Blinkcow, 

John Ward, iertius, 
Edward Hall, 
Samuel Hall, 
John Hyde, 
Phineas Child, 
Thomas Hastings, 
Elisha Hyde, 
Gershom Hyde, 
Francis Blanden, 
Elisha Robbins, 
Moses Stone, 
Samuel Newell, 
Ebenezer Cheney, 
Jonathan Hammond, 
Elisha Parker, 

Jonathan Parker, 
Stephen Winchester, 
Nathaniel Durant, 
Thomas Richardson, 

Samuel Ward, 
Samuel Wiswall, 
Thomas Cheney. 


Newton men who served at West Point nine months from March 
20, 1778 : 

William Bogle, 
Thomas Fay, 
Thomas Boyieston, 

Jonas Blanden, 
John Park, 
Nehemiah Wilson, 

Caleb Jackson, 
Peter Clark, 
Abner Davenport. 

Newton men who enlisted for six months in the Continental 
service from Jul}' 17, 177'J, to January 20, 1780 : 



Nicholas Thwing, 
-Josiah Jackson, Matross, 
Oliver Jackson, da. 
Jonathan Parker, 
Xehemiah Wilson, 
Isaac Greenwood, 
Francis Parker, 
Aaron Perkin, 
Benjamin Clark, 

Jonas Blanden, 
John Park, 
Samuel Jackson, 
Jackson Parker, 
Samuel Spring, Fifer, 
Jona. Jackson, Matross, 
Jonathan Hammond, 
Moses Child, 
Henry King, 

Jonas Adams, 
Francis Hodges, 
Peter Durell, 
Samuel Wiswall, 
Isaac Rogers, 
Nehemiah Abbott, 
Ephraim Fenno. 

These men marched 220 miles, and the roll is certified by Benja- 
min Hammond, William Hammond, Edward Fuller, as Selectmen. 

For a considerable period the troops raised in the several States, 
and which composed the Continental army, had been enlisted only 
for a certain number of months, at the expiration of which they 
were discharged, and new enlistments made. This method being 
found to be very injurious to the service, in September, 1776, 
Congress resolved " to raise a standing army, to consist of about 
75,000 men, to serve for the term of three years, or during the 
war." The respective quotas were ordered to be as follows : 

New Hampshire, 
Rhode Island, 
New York, 
New Jersey, 

As an encouragement to engage in the service, besides a bounty 
of twenty dollars for each man, over and above their wages and 
allowance of rations, thej' were to have lands bestowed on 
them at the conclusion of the war; — the officers in proportion to 
their respective ranks, from 500 to 200 acres, and the non-com- 
missioned officers and soldiers, 100 acres each,* — these lands to 
be provided by the United States. Their pay was to be as follows : 













North Carolina, 



South Carolina, 






Colonel, per month, 


















Drum Major, 


Surgeon's mate, 


Pife Major, 










Regiment Paymaster, 


Drummer and Pifer, 






*By an after resolve. Congress extended the donation of lands to Gener.-a Officers, 
viz., a Major-Gcneral 1,100 acres, a Brigadier-General 750 acres. 



JANUARY 1, 1777. 


PERIOD, &c. 


Samuel Bigelow, 

For the War. 


William Barnard, 



John Barrage, 



Thomas Bogle, 

3 years. 


Jonathan Child, 

For the War. 


Abraham Cole, 



Aaron Child, 


Josiah Davenport, 

For the War. 


Thomas Fitch, 



Prince Goring, 

3 years. 


Daniel Godlip, 

For the War. 

Joseph Gorson, 

3 years. 

Daniel Hunt, 

For the War. 


Thomas Jackson, 

3 years. 


Ephraim Jackson, 


Aaron Jackson, 


Moses Jackson, 

For the War. 

Daniel Jackson, 



Nathan Jackson, 


Charles Jackson, 

3 years. 


Ebenezer Jackson, 



Michael Jackson, 



Amasa Jackson, 



William Jackson, 



Gershom Jackson, 


Nathan Jackson, 


Jonathan Jackson, 


Josiah Jackson, 


Nathan Mendon, 


Jonathan Spencer, 


David Williams, 


Enoch Williams, 


Christopher Kelley, 

Joseph Morse, 

For the War. 

Samuel Miller, 


Benjamin Pierce, 


Colton 2d. 

Jackson Parker, 

3 years. 


Samuel Parker, 

For the War. 


John Parks, 

3 years. 


Anthony Roster, 

For the War. 

Thomas Robinson, 



John ScoUay, 

John Sibley, 

Ebenezer Seger, 

45 mo. 17 d. 


Jonathan Winchester, 

33 mo. 3 d. 

Nathan Willard, 

3 years. Dead. 


Ephraim Williams, 

3 years. 


Obadiah Robertson, 

For the War. 

Tliomas Owen, 

Reuben Whitney, 

John Miller, 




PERIOD, &c. 


Nathaniel Pillsbury, 

For the War. 

John Shepard, 


Loda Maier, 

Jeremiah Ochre, 

Alexander Bent, 

Thomas Hill, 

Benjamin Rose, 

Cvrus Pratt, 

Francis DeGranville, 

James McCoye, 

John Hamilton, 

Oliver Jackson, 

Phineas Jackson, 

The three years of these troops expired, and still the war was 
not ended. More than three years additional were to follow, be- 
fore the consummation. It was well for them that they could not 
see how long was the waj^, and how distant the end. 





Peter Durell, 



Jonathan Jackson, 



Samuel Jackson, 



John Park, 



Jonas Adams, 



Jonathan Hammond, 



Samuel Spring, 



Jonathan Parker, 



Jonas Blanden, 



Josiah Jackson, 



Aaron Parker, 



Benjamin Clark, 


Dark, 6 ft. 2 in. high. 

Ephraim Fenno, 



Henry King, 



Isaac Greenwood, 



Samuel Wiswall, 



Nicholas Thwing, 



Moses Child, 



Isaac Rogers, 



Oliver Jackson, 



Nehomiah Abbott, 



Asa Jackson, 

Nathan Jackson, 

Simon Jackson. 




Joseph Ward, 
Michael Jackson, 
Ephraim Jackson, 
William Hull, 
Nathan Fuller, 
Thomas Hovey, 
Jeremiah Wiswall, 
Amariah Fuller, 
Joseph Fuller, 
Phineas Cook, 
Edward Fuller, 
Simon Jackson, 
John Marean, 
Isaac J.ackson, 
Joseph Craft, 
Samuel Richardson, 
Michael Jackson, jr., 
Daniel Jackson, 
Aaron Murdock, 
Caleb Kenrick, 
Amasa Jackson, 
Ebenezer Jackson, 
Charles Jackson, 


Muster Master, General. 
Eighth Regiment. 
Tenth " 

Eighth '•' 

Thirteenth " 







Ill the foregoing lists are found under the name of 























































































































One each. 

























This record is probably incomplete. 

William Adams, West Newton, 

Charles D. Bartlett, Newton Centre, 

Rev. James F. Clarke, D. D., Boston, 

Isaac F. McLellan, Boston, 

Amasa Craft, Newton Highlands, 

Henry Cross, IMelrose, 

Henry Fuller, Newton, 

Isaac Hagar, Newton L. F., 

Francis Hall, East Cambridge, 

Stephen Hammond, Roxbury, 

George Warren Hanmiond, Boston, 

George Hyde, Newton, 

H. N. Hyde, Newton, 

W. H. Hyde, Newton Highlands, 

Hon. J. F. C. Hyde, Newton Centre, 

Geo. N. Hyde, Colorado, 

John N. Hyde, New York, 

William W. Jackson, Newton L. F., 

John A. Kenrick, Newton Centre, 

Noah S. King, Oak Hill, 

Col. Isaac F. Kingsbury, Newton Centre, 

David Hall, jr., Newton Highlands, 

Francis jSIurdock, Newton, 

Prof. Edwards A. Park, D. D., Andover, 

William Park, Newton, 

Dea. Caleb Parker, Dayton, O., 
Robert Prentice, Newton Highlands, 
Henry Ross, Newton Centre, 
Daniel Stone, Chestnut Hill, 
David Stone, Oak Hill, 
Reuben Stone, Oak Hill, 
Eben. Stone, Oak Hill, 
Thomas Thwing, Boston, 
Almarine Trowbridge, Boston, 
Alpheus Trowbridge, Newton Centre^ 
Asa R. Trowbridge, Newton Centre, 
Stephen W. Trowbridge, Boston, 
William O. Trowbridge, 
Deunis Ward, Spencer, 
George K. Ward, Newton Centre, 
John Ward, Newton Centre, 
Thomas A. Ward, Newton Centre, 
Samuel Ward, Newton Centre, 
Ebenczer D. White, Framingham, 
Joseph White, Newton Centre, 
Arteraas Wiswall, Oak Hill, 
William Wiswall, West Newton, 
William C. Wiswall, Oak Hill, 
Ebenezer Woodward, Newton, 
S. N. Woodward, Newton Highlands. 

Newton Members of Bunker Hill Monument Association. — 
The Bunker Hill Monument Association is composed of the con- 
tributors to the fund for the erection of that memorial shaft. A 
few hundred subscribers gave sums of one hundred dollars and 
more, each. Others gave fift}', twenty-five, or ten, each. Four 
thousand three hundred and twentj^ (4,320) gave five dollars, each. 
Of the latter class were the followiu2r Newton names : 

Kingsbury Allen, 
Josiah Bacon, 
Jonathan Bixby, 
Loring Carpenter, 
Caleb Haskell, 
Osborn Howes, 

William Liverraore, 
John S. Lovell, 
Nathan Pettee, 
Otis Pettee, 
John Richardson, 
G^eorge Sanderson. 

Newton Men, Members of the Massachusetts Cincinnati. — 
The Massachusetts Cincinnati is an Association of gentlemen who 
participated in the war of the Revolution, and theu- direct descend- 
ants. The title of the body is derived fii-om the history of the 


Roman Cincinnatus, who was called from his plough to lead the 
armies of his countrj^, and after the war, returned to his plough 
again. The following catalogue, taken from an authentic list, 
contains the names of those who were natives, or had been resi- 
dents, of Newton, together with a brief biographical notice, chiefly 
restricted to the militaiy history of each. 

1. Alfred Louis Baury, D. D. (Norwich University, 1865), son of Baury 
de Bellerive, admitted 1823 ; vice-president 1853-65 ; president 1865 ; born 
Middletown, Conn., September 14, 1794; died December 26, 1865; ordained 
deacon Protestant Episcopal Cliurch, September 28, 1820 ; priest November 
28, 1822 ; rector of St. Mary's, Newton Lower Falls, 1823-51 ; of St. Mark's, 
Boston, 1855-58. 

2. Frederic Francis Baury, only son of Alfred L. Baury, born 1843; 
admitted 1867 ; volunteer lieutenant U. S. navy during the Rebellion, 
wounded at the capture of Fort Fisher, while leading a company of sailors 
to the assault. 

3. General William Hull, born Derby, Conn., June 24, 1753; died New- 
ton, November 29, 1825; Yale College, 1772; admitted to the bar in 1775; 
commissioned major January 1, 1777 ; lieutenant-colonel of Greaton's (3d) 
regiment, August 12, 1779 ; after the war practised law in Newton ; a leading 
member of the Massachusetts Legislature; major-general of militia, and effi- 
cient in quelling Shays' insurrection, 1786 ; judge of Court of Common Pleas ; 
Governor of Michigan Territory, 1805-14; brigadier-general U. S. A., com- 
manded northwestern army, and surrendered at Detroit, August 15, 1812; 
condemned by court-martial to be shot, but pardoned by President Madison; 
author of a defence of himself, 1814 ; " Campaign of the Northwestern Army," 
1812 ; delivered an oration before the Massachusetts Society of Cincinnati, 
July 4, 1788. 

4. Amasa Jackson, born Newton, June 5, 1765; died New York City; 
commissioned ensign October *30, 1782, in the regiment of his father. Colonel 
Michael Jackson ; afterwards, president of a New York City bank. 

5. Charles Jackson, born Newton, January 4, 1769; died unmarried in 
Georgia, 1801 ; commissioned ensign February 4, 1783, in the regiment of his 
father. Colonel Michael Jackson. 

6. Daniel Jackson, born Newton, July 23, 1753; died Watertown, Mass., 
December 13, 1833; present at Lexington battle; sergeant in Foster's artil- 
lery company at siege of Boston ; in Bryant's company at Fort Washington, 
and for six months a prisoner ; pointed the cannon that destroyed four British 
vessels in the North River, for which service he was promoted to lieutenant ; 
commissioned 1st lieutenant September 12, 1778 ; succeeded to the command 
of the company on the fall of Bryant at Brandywine, where all the officers 
except himself and more than half tlie company were killed or wounded, and 
received the thanks of General Knox for his bravery ; also at Germantown, 
Monmouth, and Yorktown; brevet major at the closeof the war; major U. S. 

^oc. f^cux/yi 



artillery, 1798-1803; warden of Charlestown State prison; vice-president 
Massachusetts Society of Cincinnati, 1832-33. 

7. Daniel Jackson, eldest son of Major Daniel, admitted 1834; born New- 
ton, August 30, 1785 ; died May 31, 1835. 

8. MichaelJackson, born Newton, December 18, 1734; died there, April 
10, 1801; lieutenant in the French war; captain at Lexington; major of 
Gardner's regiment at Bunker Hill ; lieutenant-colonel of Bond's regiment 
at siege of Boston and invasion of Canada ; severely wounded at Montressor's 
Island, N. Y., September 23, 1776; colonel 8th regiment from January 1, 
1777, to the end of the war, in which his five brothers and five sons were 

9. Michael Jackson, jr., born Newton, September 12, 1757; son of 
Colonel Michael, ensign and paymaster in his father's regiment, January 1, 
1777; commissioned lieutenant December 15, 1779. 

10. Simon Jackson, born Newton, November 20, 1760; died there, October 
17, 1818; son of Colonel Michael Jackson, lieutenant in his father's regiment, 
1779; commissioned captain April 12, 1782. 

Thus we have reached the end of the interesting history of the 
connection of the people of Newton with the Eevolutionary war. 
We have seen how prompt, how sehT-denying, how loyal to the 
interests of the republic and of freedom they were, during the 
protracted struggle. Years came, and went. The ordinary affairs 
of life at home proceeded. The citizens and their families lived ; 
they suffered ; they endured disappointment, heart-sickness and 
trial, patiently and without complaint ; and, just as in times of 
peace, they sickened, and died, and were buried. And in God's 
good time, freedom was established on a firm basis. How much do 
we owe to the persistent ardor of our fathers ! How great is our 
obligation to live worthily of them, and to preserve for our children 
that which was so dearly puf chased for ourselves ! 





We have seen that in revolutioaaiy times, it was the custom of 
the town, after the election of a Representative to the Legislature, 
to appoint a committee to draw up a code of instructions in regard 
to the most important public matters. In May, 1786, the Hon. 
Abraham Fuller having been elected Representative, Timothv 
Jackson, Thomas Hastings, Charles Pelham, Dr. John King and 
Colonel Nathan Fuller, were appointed a committee to report in- 
structions. It appears, from the tenor of these instructions, that 
the fathers of Newton found themselves afflicted, not unlike man}' 
of their descendants, owing to a multiplicity of laws. A very 
decided stand was also taken by them against the estabhshment 
of a paper currency. We quote the document in full. 

The Ereeholders and other inhabitants of Newton, in town meeting as- 
sembled, to tlie Hon. Abraham Fuller, Esq. : 
Sir, — AVe having chosen you to represeht us in the Great and General 
Court fur the ensuing year, being sensible of your ability, do place the ut- 
most confidence in your zeal and fidelity for promoting the public good. We 
must therefore acquaint j'ou that we labor under some grievances, which we 
have good right to expect, upon properly representing thera to the Honorable 
General Court, may and will be removed. We find by experience, and dare 
say it is the case with every citizen of the Commonwealth who has occasion 
to appeal to the laws of the land, that we cannot obtain justice, freely, with- 
out being obliged to purchase it, completely and without any denial, promptly 
and without delay, as the Constitution provides. One great cause of this de- 
ficiency, we apprehend to be, the multiplicity and ambiguity of our laws and 
their being blended with the British codes, whereby it becomes impossible 
for the people, in general, to understand them, or to form from them a rul* 
of conduct. 



Another cause is the great number of actions brought to each Court ; from 
these, together with the pernicious practice of many of our lawyers, we 
judge, in great measure, arise delays, frequent appeals, protraction of judg- 
ment, loss of time and travel in attendance, and intolerable expenses on law 
suits ; all which we esteem very great grievances ; so that, unless it be a 
considerable sum in dispute, it is better to lose it, than to seek a recover}^ of 
it at law. 

All which, we humbly conceive, may be remedied, or greatly alleviated, 
by the following, or some similar mode, — viz., 1. By a revision of the laws, 
reducing their bulk, expressing them in the most plain and easy terms, and 
rendering them agreeable to our republican government. Then, let there be 
in each town a court of record, consisting of three or five persons, drawn at 
proper periods out of a box, as jurors are now drawn, to which all civil ac- 
tions shall be brought, the defendant to lodge his plea a sufficient time before 
the sitting of the court, or be defaulted ; the town clerk to grant writs and 
summonses, make up judgments, give out executions and keep the records; 
let there be an appeal from this court to the Supreme Court of judicature. 

2. In cases where dispute arises between persons, and they agree to leave 
it to arbitration, as has been usual heretofore, and specify that agreement in 
writing, the award of such arbitrators to be final, and execution to be issued 
by the town clerk. 

With great regret we receive the idea of a paper currency being estab- 
lished ; having long and often observed and felt the natural evil tendency of 
it to the ruin of many people, — widows and orphans especially, — that we 
cannot but heartily deprecate it. 

We think it would answer a salutary purpose that the yeas and nays in tlie 
Honorable House of Representatives, on every important transaction, might 
be published. 

Now, Sir, we must and do desire and expect your full aid and assistance 
in all these matters, and that you do exert your utmost ability, and use your 
influence in the Honorable House of Representatives, for obtaining such law 
or laws as shall redress or remove the grievances afore recited, in the way 
herein proposed, or any other that may answer the purpose as well. Also, 
in case a paper currency should be proposed, that j'ou do what in you lies to 
prevent its taking place, and that you promote the jiublishing the yeas and 
nays of the House, as before mentioned. 

Further, that you use your influence to prevent the importation and con- 
sumption of many articles of luxury among us, which we view as a very 
great grievance. 

The above instructions to the Representative of the town "were 
designed to mitigate some of the most prominent e^nls under which 
the people were suffering, from the exhausting effects of an eight 
years' war, during whicli the country had been drained by taxation ; 
public credit was nearly extinct ; trade and manufactures lan- 
guished ; paper money was depreciated, and well nigh worthless ; 


and, meanwhile, oppressive debts rested on the nation, the com- 
monwealth, the town, and on the individual citizens. 
Mr. Lincoln, in his " History of "Worcester," says, — 

The first reviving efforts of commerce overstocked the markets with foreign 
luxuries and superfluities, sold to many who trusted to the future to supply 
the means of payment. The temporary Act of 1772, making property a 
tender in discharge of pecuniary contracts, instead of the designed remedial 
effect, enhanced the evils of general insolvency, by postponing collections. 
The outstanding demands of the Royalist refugees, who had been driven from 
large estates and extensive business, enforced with no lenient forbearance, 
came in to increase the embarrassments of the deferred pay-day. At length, 
a flood of suits broke out. 

In 1784, more than two thousand actions were entered in the county of 
"Worcester, then having a population of less than fifty thousand. In 1785, 
seventeen hundred actions were entered in the same county. Lands and 
goods were seized, and sacrificed on sale, when the general difficulties drove 
away purchasers. Amid the universal distress, inflammatory publications, 
seditious and exciting appeals, were circulated among the people. The Con- 
stitution was represented as defective, the administration as corrupt, the laws 
as unequal and unjust. 

In consequence of this state of affairs, in the autumn of 1786, 
bodies of armed men interrupted the proceedings of the count}^ 
courts of justice in several of the counties of Massachusetts. At 
about the same time, the Legislature of New Hampshu-e, where the 
same causes had produced the same spirit of disaffection, was 
surrounded by an armed force, which, however, was finalty dis- 
persed by the citizens of Exeter, in which town the Legislatm-e was 
sitting. This was the origin of the rebellion against the consti- 
tuted government in Massachusetts in 1786, commonly called 
" Shays' Insurrection." 

Daniel Shays had held a captain's commission in the patriot army during 
the Revolution, and liad been a brave and gallant soldier. If not a native of 
Massachusetts, the best part of liis life was spent in that State ; and in the 
State of Massachusetts was the rebellion. Shays was not prominent in the 
first movements of the malcontents ; but, being of a restless disposition and 
a radical turn of mind, they found in him a prompt and hearty leader. The 
rebels were republicans run mad. They complained that the salary of the 
chief officials, and especially that of the Governor, was too high ; that the 
State Senate was aristocratic ; tiiat the lawj'crs were extortionate ; that the 
taxes were too burdensome to be borne, and that money was unnecessarily 
scarce. They demanded the issue of paper money sufficient to meet the 
wants of the suffering people, and that this paper should be made a legal 
tender ; and they also demanded that the General Court should be removed 


from Boston to some place less aristocratic. The General Court was con- 
vened, and an effort made to allay the discontent of the complainants. With 
the experience of worthless paper money in mind, the law-makers would 
issue no more of it ; but the}"^ went so far as to pass an act whereby certain 
arrears of taxes might be paid in produce. 

But tlie recusants would not be satisfied. Bodies of armed men inter- 
rupted the sessions of the courts in several counties, and in the month of 
December, 1786, Shays appeared, with a large force, at Worcester and at 
Springfield, and prevented tlie holding of courts at those places. The 
January following, at the head of fall two thousand armed men, he marched 
to capture the arsenal at Springfield; but the State militia had gathered in 
sufficient force to stop them, and under command of General Shepard they 
gave battle, and put t^ie rebellious host to utter rout. At the first fire of the 
State troops, the insurgents fled in dismay, leaving three dead and one 
wounded, of their number upon the field. 

On the following day they were pursued by an increased force under 
General Lincoln, and nearly two hundred of them taken prisoners, the 
remainder escaping northward. The prompt action of the State authorities 
crushed out the insurrection at once. A free pardon was. offered to such as 
would lay down their arms and return to their allegiance, of which most of 
them took advantage. Fourteen of the chief conspirators wore tried and 
convicted, and sentenced to death, but afterwards pardoned. Daniel Shays 
removed to Sparta, N. Y., where he died at an advanced age, September 29, 
1825. And that was " Shays' rebellion." The following anecdote in connec- 
tion therewith is worth relating : 

Late at night, after the repulse of the insurgents at Ordnance Hill, in their 
advance upon the arsenal. Shays sent a flag of truce to General Shepard, 
requesting that the bodies of five of his men who had been killed in the late 
engagement should be sent to him. The officer who met the flag, and who 
presented the case to his commander, returned to the messenger as follows : 
"Present Captain Shepard's compliments to Captain Shays, and inform him 
that at this time he cannot furnish him with five dead rebels, he having no 
more than four, and one of those not quite dead ; but if Captain Shays will 
please to attack him again. General Shepard will engage to furnish him with 
as many dead as ho shall desire." 

This movement of the persons disaffected towards the govern- 
ment was brought before the town of Newton by a circular letter 
addressed to the Selectmen, dated June 29, 1786, signed by Capt. 
John Nutting, of Pepperell, as chairman of a committee from the 
towns of Groton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend and Ashb}-, invit- 
ing the town to choose a committee to attend a Convention to be 
held at Concord, August 21, 1786, to consult on matters of public 
grievances and embarrassments, and devise a remedj- therefor. 
Whereupon the town voted not to join in the proposed Convention, 
— right loyal then, as ever, both before and since, to the cousti- 


tuted authorities, — and chose a committee to repl}' to Captain 
Nutting's letter, of which committee Colonel William HuU was 

On the twenty-first of August, an answer to Captain Nutting's 
letter was drafted and read to the town. " Then the town voted 
that the Selectmen send the said draft to Mr. John Nutting, afore- 
said, and that Colonel William Hull prepare a copy of the said 
draft to be printed, and that the said draft be inclosed in the Town 
Records." The letter is as follows : 

Newton, August 21, 1786. 
To Captain John Nutting, Cliairman of a Committee from the several towns 
of Groton, Pepperell, Sliirley, Townsend and Ashby : 

SiK, — In consequence of your letter of tlie 29th June last, tliis town has 
been legally assembled for the purpose of considering its contents. After 
deliberately attending to the subject, they have declined your invitation of 
choosing a committee to attend the proposed Convention at Concord, and 
have instructed us to communicate to you the following answer. 

Your letter contains two propositions, — one, to consult on matters of public 
grievances and embarrassments, and tlie other to find out means of redress- 
ing them. We should have been happy, had you been more explicit on the 
subject, and pointed out tlie grievances to which you alluded. The town 
would have been able, after knowing your object, to have judged of the 
propriety of the measure. At present it appears to be involved in uncer- 
tainty; and, although we would not wish to entertain uncharitable sentiments 
of any of our fellow-citizens, yet we are constrained to observe that this 
transaction has created suspicions in our minds rather unfavorable to the 

The particular circumstances of the towns assembled at Groton, and the 
particular time of their meeting induces us to fear that their designs and 
intentions were not altogether coincident with constitutional government. 
We would ask whether either of those towns had complied witii their duty 
in electing representatives to the General Court? AVhether the General 
Court was not sitting at the very time when this meeting was assembled at 
Groton? If those towns labored under any real grievances, why did they 
neglect the x^roper mode of representing them? Why did they not elect 
representatives, point out to them their grievances, and instruct them to use 
their influence in obtaining redress? Have not the General Court been ever 
ready to attend to tlie grievances of every part of the community, when 
decently represented? We conceive they have; and we feel a i)ride in bav- 
in"- the administration of our afRiirs in the hands of men of our own choice, 
who can impose no burdens on us, but fall equally on themselves, and who 
annually depend on us for their seats in our councils. Under the auspices of 
an indulgent Providence, we have been conducted through the dangers of a 
lon<'' and obstinate war. We have obtained the object of our wishes, and have 
safe arrived to the haven of peace. Being totally freed from the influence 



'of any foreign power, we have had an opportunity, as the preamble of the 
Constitution expresses it, of deliberately and peaceabh', without fraud, vio- 
lence or surprise, of ■entering into an original, explicit and solemn compact 
with each other, and of forming a constitution of civil government for our- 
selves and posterity. 

By tliis Constitution the people have the privilege of annually electing 
every branch of the Legislature, which body, being formed, is abundantly 
authorized to remove every real grievance wliich their constituents suffer; 
and we are strongly inclined to believe that had your grievances been real, 
and such as in justice and good faith ought to have been redressed, you 
would have made your application to this constitutional authority. We will 
therefore, as you have left us in the iield of conjecture, endeavor to point 
out, from the best information we have been able to collect, wiiat those griev- 
ances are, for a redress of which you have called the attention of the county; 
and v/e have reduced them to the following heads : 

1st. Public taxes, which are occasioned by the public debt ; and, 2d. The 
payment of private debts, wliich result from private obligations. 

As to public taxes, we cannot by any means consider them as public griev- 
ances; — they are burdens, it is true, which bear heavy upon us, and from 
which we should be happy to be relieved, provided it could be done consist- 
ently with public faith and the obligations we are under to public creditors ; 
but when we consider that we have voluntarily taken upon ourselves these 
burdens, that the debt we have contracted is the price of our freedom and 
independence, we feel ourselves bound by every principle of justice, every 
consideration of policy, and every tie of gratitude, honorably to discharge 
it ; — of justice, because it is the duty of communities, as well as individuals, to 
fulfil those engagements which they have voluntarily entered into ; of policy, 
because experience has taught mankind that honesty is the best policy, and 
that a character for integrity and honor is as necessary to the prosperity of a 
community, as to an individual ; and because the wisest man that ever 
appeared on the theatre of action has declared that " righteousness exalteth a 
nation, but sin is a reproach to any people;" of gratitude, because strangers 
with whom before we had been at enmity, in the hour of our deepest dis- 
tress most disinterestedly stepped in to our assistance, furnished us with 
fleets and armies and every supply which our destitute situation required; 
and their efforts, joined to our own, defeated the most powerful attempts that 
ever were made on the liberties of a people. By these means we have been 
conducted to our present elevated situation, obtained a rank among the 
nations of the world, iwid arrived to glory and independence; and because 
no ample provision is made for those unfortunate men whom we dailv see, 
when we consider the situation of this unfortunate class of our fellow-citi- 
zens and add to the distressed catalogue, the widows and orphans of those 
brave patriots whose bones are scattered over those fields where the freedom 
and liappiness, we now enjoy, were acquired, we cannot expect that Heaven 
will continue its blessings to us, unless we are Iionest and grateful to them. 

In the next place, we are to inquire whether fulfilling those engagements 
which we have entered into with each other is a grievance? Is it a grievance 


to pay those debts we have voluntarily contracted, and for which we have 
received a valuable consideration? Is it a grievance for a man, after having 
had the use of his neighbor's property, to return it to him? Is it a grievance 
that the fruits of a man's industry and labor arc secured to him by the laws 
of the community? Is it a grievance that the idle and profligate are not per- 
mitted to riot on the hard-earned property of the frugal and industrious? Is 
it a grievance that the courts of justice are open to all ranks and classes of 
people? Is it a grievance that the widow and orphan, the aged and infirm 
can recover their rights against those who are dishonest and overbearing? 
Is it a grievance, Mr. Nutting, to you and the people for whom you appear 
to act, that your lives, your freedom and your property are secured to you by 
the laws of your country? If these are grievances, the mildest government 
that ever secured to a people its political riglits is tyranny and oppression. 
To impose grievances must be tyrannical, and if to compel a performance 
of public and private engagements is tyrannical, we confess we do really 
labor under grievances, and really believe you and the people connected 
with you in this business are the proper characters to remove them. 

We hope, however, by this time, you are convinced of the impropriety of 
your proceedings, and will desist from measures which we conceive to be un- 
necessary, if not unwarrantable ; and, instead of assembling a County Con- 
vention, which will have a tendency to create dissension and weaken our 
government, it will conduce infinitely more to the public advantage and our 
own private emolument, peaceably and industriously to pursue our several 
employments, to practise the duties of frugality and economy, and support 
the government under which wc live. In this way we shall soon relieve our- 
selves from our burdens, and be happy at home and respected abroad. In 
this way, we shall preserve the liberties we have acquired, and hand them 
down inviolate, to posterity. By such conduct, indeed, we shall convince 
the world that mankind have wisdom and virtue sufficient to govern them- 
selves, and that nothing can justify the tyranny and oppression which is ex- 
ercised over the greatest part of the human species. But if, on the contrary, 
we are tumultuous and factious, uneasy and restless under so mild a govern- 
ment, and dissatisfied with laws we ourselves have made, we liave reason to 
fear that anarchy and disorder will be the inevitable consequence; that civil 
discords will soon follow, and that it will finally end in tyranny and oppres- 
sion. And while we recollect that more republics have been destroyed by 
factious men and factious measures, than by any other cause, we think it our 
duty and the duty of every good citizen to discountenance every appearance 
of the kind, and to make every possible effort to confirm, strengthen and per- 
petuate the principles of our glorious Constitution. 

This is a brave document, and shows how much real statesman- 
ship existed among the people at this crisis. The citizens of 
Newton were also ready to march to the field in defence of the 
constituted government. For in January, 1787, two meetings 
were held with reference to the existing exigency, at which a 
bounty was offered by the town to every soldier enlisting for the 


requisite term of dut}^ — the bounty to be paid to the vokinteers 
before they should be required to march. 

The patriotic spirit of Newton did not die out, when the occa- 
sion which had called it forth was withdrawn. It was an ever 
living impulse, ready, as soon as any new emergency arose, to 
flame forth afresh. Thus we find under date of May 14, 1798, 
the following action of the town : 

At a general meeting of the freeholders, after the envoys of the 
United States had been denied a hearing by the government of 
France, the following resolutions were adopted : 

1. That the wisdom and justice of our National Government, in their past 
efforts to preserve the neutrality and independence of the United States of 
America meet our warmest approbation. 

2. That, whereas the citizens of this town did at the memorable era when 
the great question of independence was decided by the American people, 
u>iamm(nes/j/p\edgc their lives and fortunes to support the absolute sovereignty 
tliereof, they now respect the solemn pledge, and will exert every power they 
possess to support the Constitution and the Government against the claims 
and aggressions of any foreign power, and all open and secret enemies to the 
Government and people of these United States. 


The people of Newton, before the termination of the Revolu- 
tionary war, interested themselves, as constituent members of a 
free Commonwealth, in the forming of a Constitution for the State. 
A State Convention, assembled for this purpose, agreed upon a form 
of a Constitution on the 28th of February, 1778. It is interest- 
ing to see what was the fate of this Constitution, when submitted 
to the critical examination of the citizens of Newton. On the 
ISth of Ma}', 1778, a Committee of Nine was appointed " to report 
to the town their opinion of said Constitution." An adjourned 
meeting was held June 1st, and under this date we find the follow- 
ing record : 

On the adjournment from May 18th, at a meeting of the male inhabitants 
of the town of Newton who are free, and twenty-one years of age, on the first 
day of June, 1778, the Plan of the Constitution and Form of Government 
for the Massachusetts Bay, as proposed by the Convention February 28, 
1778, having been read, was fully debated; and, the number of voters pres- 
ent being eighty, — five (u) approved of said Constitution and seventy-five 
(75) disapproved of it. 


The subject, however, was not finally' dismissed ; foi' a year later. 
Ma}' 17, 1779, the Representative to the General Court was in- 
structed to vote in favor of " calling a State Convention for the 
sole purpose of forming a New Constitution." 

August 2, 1779, this action of the town on the same subject is 
recorded : 

After the i^roceedings of the late Convention at Concord were read by 
paragraphs to the town, the question was put^for their approbation ; and the 
vote passed in the affirmative. 

The Constitution, after still further emendation, having been 
accepted as the liasis of government of the State, the citizens of 
Xewton held their first meeting under it for the election of Gov- 
ernor and Lieutenant-Governor of the State, and five Senators for 
the county of Middlesex. The importance of this meeting and 
election, as the first after the framing of the Constitution, justifies 
the copying of the entire record. 

At a town meeting of the inhabitants of Newton, duly warned and regu- 
larly assembled on Monday, the 4th day of September, A. D. 1780, qualified 
according to the new frame of government or Constitution to vote for a Gov- 
ernor for the Massachusetts State, Lieut.-Governor for said State, and five 
Senators for the county of Middlesex, — after receiving, sorting and count- 
ing the votes of the said inhabitants for the several officers aforesaid, — the 
number of votes for said officers are as follows, viz. : 

Hon. John Hancock, Esq., had 86 votes to be Governor of said State. 

Hon. Benjamin Lincoln, Esq., had 2G votes ") To be Lieutenant-Governor 
Hon. Azor Orne, Esq., had 25 votes j for said State. 

Hon. Josiah Stone, Esq., had 41 votes, ") 

Abraham Fuller, Esq., 40 

Nathaniel Goriiam, Esq., 40 | 

Oliver Frescott, Esq., 30 

William Stickney, Esq., 23 

Loammi Baldwin, Esq., 15 i ..u o * 

TIT an ™ T) 1 r- r the County 

Mr. 1 liomas Parker, 7 ^ 

For Senators for 

of Middlesex. 

Hon. Eleazer Brooks, Esq., 

Thomiis Plymton, Esq., 2 

Samufl Thatcher, Esq., 2 

Jonas Dix, Esq., 1 

John Woodward, Esq., 1 

Newton's first election of presidential electors. 

December 18, 1788, Newton cast its first vote for two Electors 
of President and Vice-President of the United States, as follows : 




Hon. Francis Dana, Esq , had 9 votes. 
Nathaniel Gorham, Esq , "18 " 
Elbridgo Gerry, Esq., «' 4 «« 

Ebenezer Bridge, Esq., " 1 " 

Duncan Ingraham, Esq., had 1 vote. 
John Brooks, Esq., " 1 " 

William Hull, Esq., "1 " 

Abraham Fuller, Esq., "18 " 

At the same meeting, the citizens brought ia their votes for a 
representative for the District of Middlesex, to serve in the Fed- 
eral Government, — as follows : 

Nathaniel Gorham, Esq., had 20 votes. 
Elbridge Gerry, Esq., " 11 " 

John Brooks, Esq., 
William Hull, Esq., 

had 11 votes. 
" 1 " 

Some curious revelations as to the politics of the town of New- 
ton, and the interest, or lack of interest, shown by the townsmen, 
in the early periods of the Government of Massachusetts, are in- 
dicated by the annual vote in Newton for chief magistrate of the 

The first town meeting under the Constitution of Massachusetts 
for the choice of the first Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and five 
Senators for the county of Middlesex was held, as stated above, 
vSeptember 4, 1780. The vote for this and twenty successive j-ears, 
excepting 1792, of which the record is wanting, is as follows : 




• -M 








Sept. 1780 
April 1781 
" 1782 
" 1783 
" 1784 
" 178.5 
" 178C 
" 1787 

Jolin Hancock, 





James Bowdoin, 
John Hancock, 





Samuel Adams, 


Increase Sumner, 


Caleb Strong, 








All the votes. 
Scattering, 4 
All the votes. 
Scattering, 1 
All the votes. 




John Hancock, 
James Bowdoin, 
Elbridge Gerry, 
James Bowdoin, 

" 1788 

" 1789 

" 1790 
" 1791 
" 1793 
" 1794 
" 1795 
" 1796 
" 1797 
" 1798 
" 1799 

Scattering, 1 

do. 7 

do. 3 

All the votes, 

Mr. Cushing, 12 

Scattering, 8 
do. 8 
do. 12 
do. 2 

Elbridge Gerry, 
Increase Sumner, 
James Sullivan, 

" 1800 

Elbridge Gerry, 

The spu'it of politics sometimes ran high ; sometimes it waxed 
lukewarm. Only four times, in these twenty years, was the vote 
for Governor unanimous. In 1785 few cared to vote at all, and 


their old favorite, John Hancock, received oul}' four votes out of 
the forty that were cast. But in 1787, — the year of tlie adoption 
of the Federal Constitution, — the interest of the people revived 
again, and John Hancock returned to his place in the affections 
of the people. From this time, again, for several years, the towns- 
men gradually showed less and less interest in their privilege as 
freemen to express their opinions at the ballot-box, till 1799 and 
1800, when the general excitement again drew out a strong vote. 
Perhaps as many of the citizens attended the town meeting in 
proportion to the population in those daj's, as is ordinaril}' the case 
* in later times. But there were fewer exciten^nts at that period, 
and the town meeting was a relief from the monotony of common 
life. The people had few topics of common interest to discuss, 
above the range of their ordinary pursuits ; and it would be strange 
if the}' did not discuss the more earnestly the claims of candidates 
for high offices of government. It is strange that the nomination 
of that grand patriot, Samuel Adams, in 1794, did not call out a 
more enthusiastic vote of the people of Newton ; and when the 
name of Elbridge Gerry was on the tickets, it is equally strange 
that all but sixteen voters should desert Mr. Adams for the new 

The contesting parties in those days were Federalists and 



Jefferson's reply to the protest of Cambridge. — war 


REV. 3IR. Grafton's prayer. — town action. 

The "War of 1812. — At the commencemeut of the present 
century, the country was the victim of political disturbances, 
traceable more or less to the disorganizing influence of the French 
revolution and the events resulting therefrom. These disturb- 
ances interfered with the commercial prosperity of the country-. 
Besides this, the embargo proclaimed in December, 1807, followed 
by other hostile measures, culminating in a declaration of war 
against Great Britain in June, 1812, threw the people out of busi- 
ness, and reduced many to absolute want. Real estate depreciated 
in value. Capitalists feared to invest their money in the building 
of houses or stores, and ship-owners, dreading to trust their prop- 
erty to the chances of spohations on the sea, allowed then* vessels 
to rot at the wharves. The mutual dependence of men in social 
and civil life is such that the calamit}'' of one is the calamitj' of all, 
and the whole community was reduced to extremity. In common 
■witli other towns in Massachusetts, Newton was solicited to send a 
petition to the President of the United States, protesting against 
the embargo, and soliciting its removal. It was hoped that a 
united appeal from the commercial and manufacturing centres of 
the country would result in the annulling of laws whose applica- 
tion led only to the discouragement of enterprise and the crippling 
of the most important industries of the nation. A good govern- 
ment is bound to listen to the complaints of its citizens, and, so 
far as possible, to aflTord relief. Mr. Jefferson was then President 
of the United States, and it is perhaps not unnatural that French 



politics should have exercised a preponderating influence in the 
councils of the country. 

As the period connected with the war of 1812 with Great Brit- 
ain drew on, the Town Records show that the citizens of Newton 
were not blind to the state of civil affairs ; and though the war 
was always unpopular with the people of New England, the}' 
understood, nevertheless, the exigencies of the times, and were 
alive to their duties as patriots and as men. They were read}', as 
occasion demanded, to act by themselves or to co-operate with 
others for the welfare of the country. Nothing escaped their 
notice, and they carefully watched every measure which seemed 
likel}' to interfere with the rights of individuals or the prosperity 
of the State. At a town meeting held September 19, 1808, we 
find the following record : 

Voted, that a paper now in the hands of the Selectmen, containing Gen- 
eral Eaton's address to the inhabitants of the town of Brimfield, be read at 
this meeting. 

Upon the receipt of a letter from the Selectmen of tlie town of Boston 
respecting the sending a Petition to the President of the United States, 
requesting that the embargo now existing on commerce might be raised, — 
taking into consideration that, an answer having been received from the 
President, a Petition would prove useless, — 

Voted, that General Ebenezer Chenej-, George W. Coffin, Charles Cool- 
idge, Dr. Ebenezer Starr and John Kenrick, Esq., be appointed a committee to 
draw a Remonstrance, to be forwarded to Congress at their next meeting, 
disapproving of the embargo, and lay the same before the town for their 
acceptance at the adjournment of tliis meeting on the first Monday of 
November next. 

The Selectmen were directed to pubKsh the proceedings of the 
above meeting in one of the Boston newspapers. 

The Remonstrance contemplated in the preceding item was pre- 
sented to the town at the meeting November 7, 1808, and 
accepted, and ordered to be recorded in the Town Book, as 
follows : 

The inhabitants of the Town of Newton, in the County of Middlesex and 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, deeply affected by, and sensible of the 
evils, resulting, not only to themselves, but to the Commonwealth at large 
and all the Northern States, from the present existing laws interdicting the 
commerce of the United States, at a period also when discontent is manifest 
in every countenance, caused by this obnoxious, impolitic and, we think, 
unjustifiable law, passed at tlie first session of the present Congress, — deem 
it a duty they owe to themselves and their posterity, at this alarming crisis,. 


to express their disapprobation of the measure, and most earnestly request its 
immediate repeal. Entortainini^ fears that a continuance of these laws must 
inevitably bring on dissension and breed civil war within our country, we 
have judged it a duty incumbent on us. as citizens of a free and enlightened 
republic, to remonstrate against this measure, tlie constitutionality of which 
is questionable ; for, if to regulate commerce is to abolish it, then may it be 
called constitutional. But we cannot conceive that an annihilation of com- 
merce can be a regulation of it; for if it be abolished, it requires no regula- 
tion. The only powers delegated to Congress on this subject are contained 
in the eighth and ninth sections of the Constitution, viz., " To regulate com- 
merce with foreign nations and among the several States, and with Indian 
tribes, — No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State ; no 
preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to tlie 
ports of one State over those of another ; nor shall vessels bound to or from 
one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another." By the fore- 
going articles, Congress have assumed the power to lay a perpetual or unlim- 
ited restriction on commerce. We are confident that the Framers of the 
Constitution did not intend such a construction of these articles. But we find 
constructions can be put on all things to answer political purposes. We 
were zealous advocates for the adoption of the Federal Constitution, and 
have been its warm supporters, by uniformly voting for men to administer 
it, who, we had reason to think, would discharge their duty with fidelity and 
impartiality, and witii pious care transmit the Constitution, uninfringed, to 
tlieir successors ; and it is with serious alarm we find the spirit of our Con- 
stitution so far violated that intercourse between the States is in any degree 
debarred, and the inhabitants of one State are denied the privilege of sup- 
plying their hungry neighbors of another State with bread, without a permit 
from a favorite of the President, or being shot by soldiers, who, it appears^ 
are not raised to defend the country from foreign insults and aggressions, but 
to teach real Americans submission to poverty and distress by the power of 
lead and the point of the bayonet. 

We consider it the duty of the Representatives of the people to watch over 
and guard the affairs of the nation, and to provide laws for the protection of 
the citizens. The inhabitants of Newton do not conceive it conducive to 
public good or the perpetuation of a republican form of government, for a 
town or any corporate 'Society to meet, and approve or condemn public 
measures, till they are generally understood ; but as the embargo has so 
many months been in the full tide of experiment, and its evils so sensibly 
felt, and its benefits never have been seen, silence in those who consider that 
they are freemen would be criminal, and would no doubt be construed into a 
blind acquiescence in Presidential infallibility. For many years past have 
we been blest with unusual prosperity; our endeavors have been crowned 
with success, and our hearts gladdened. Even in the year seventeen luin- 
dred and ninety-eight, when the French made depredations upon our com- 
merce, we were threatened with tlie pestilence of war, and our conuuerce 
was in the most critical state ; yet a few ships of war and our merchant ships, 
allowed to arm, screened us from our enemies, and obtained a treaty which 


three Envoys Extraordinary could not effect. The state of our affairs was 
equally dark at that period, as before the embargo was laid; yet commerce 
was not in any measure prevented, and our ships sailed with attendant risk 
or tarried at home by voluntary pleasure of the owners. Would not this 
kind of defence have proved more for our interest against the decrees of 
France than the measures adopted? With France we have a treaty, — and 
in open violation of that treaty, they have taken our ships and confiscated 
the property, burnt others under flimsy pretences upon the high seas, and 
by express orders of Bonaparte, and contrary to the laws of nations, have 
openly declared the dominions of Great Britain in a state of blockade, when 
they have no armed ships at libertj'' upon the ocean sufficient to effect the 
blockade of a single port. In defiance of all these and many other attacks, 
we seek revenge by keeping our shipping at home, and build gunboats to 
carry embargo laws into execution ; and after all, we are equally liable to 
a war with France, with less means of protection. We contend that if 
France insists on this usage, we cannot finally avoid a war with her. 

What are our causes of complaint against Britain? They have refused to 
make a treaty with us upon such terras as we demand. The attack on the 
Chesapeake frigate and the Orders of Council are our principal com- 
plaints. Can it be expected for a moment that Britain, who is always in want 
of her mariners, will suffer Americans to hold British sailors? We conceive 
not. Their very existence as a nation depends upon their mariners, to keep 
their Navy in use. We are confident that they will meet our Government in 
any measure that can be arranged for the protection of native Americans, 
and, we have reason to believe, have made proposals to our Government for 
the express purpose. The attack on the Chesapeake was made by an un- 
authorized Admiral, and has been disavowed by Great Britain. The Orders 
of Council, we consider, as intended as a retaliation upon France, and facili- 
tated by our cowardice or tame submission to the French decrees. In few 
instances, however, do we find any captures founded upon the Orders of 
Council. These Orders are removed, so far as relates to Spain and Portugal, 
which clearly proves that they were not intended to operate against the 
country. With France and her allies the}' are still in force ; and will pro- 
bably continue so, until the Decrees of France are rescinded, or disautliorized 
by our Government. Yet, notwithstanding our marked hostilities to Eng- 
land by a non -importation Act and an inland embargo, they appear willing 
to treat us as if the old Treaty was still in existence. 

In viewing the acts of our Government as they relate to belligerent 
nations, we are ready to avow our belief that it is the work of our Adminis- 
tration to wage war with England, in humble compliance with the mandates 
of Bonaparte, and wait only, for the purpose of rendering it popular by pro- 
claiming the crimes of Britain to effect their wishes. Whether the embargo 
was laid on, to avert the fierce anger of the Tyrant of Europe, the upstart 
who aspires at universal dominion, or to make Great Britain more complying, 
it does not appear to have had the desired effect, and its burthens seem to 
rest principally upon the shoulder of Americans. It is not in our power to 
discover the policy of cultivating the friendship of the Emperor of France, 


as those nations who have tamely submitted to his will, and those who have 
resisted his authority and been subdued have shared the same unhappy fate, 
and been deprived of liberty and property. And we cannot possibly con- 
ceive that it would be any real amusement to a President of the United States 
of America to hunt a stag in company with the old King of Spain in a forest 
in France, while his countrymen at home were bleeding for their dearest 

Admitting that Great Britain has committed real aggressions, — can it be 
wise policy, at this critical period of the world, to revenge them, or attempt to 
weaken her power, when it is owing to the noble stand she has taken that any 
nation now retains its liberty; and if the island of Great Britain is subdued, 
the Emperor Napoleon will be Emperor of the world, and every nation of 
the earth pay him tribute, or its subjects fall by the sword. 

"We are not immediately concerned in navigation ; but as commerce is the 
great source through which wo derive the means of our support, as the arti- 
cles of our growth and manufacture are mostly exported to a foreign market, 
we are equally concerned in its welfare with tliose whose resources are ship- 
ping; for, a diminution in value of every article of our growth, and an ad- 
vance in price of every kind of foreign produce and manufacture leave us a 
scanty reliance on the bounties of nature for the comforts of life. We al- 
ways have, and still deem it our duty [to yield obedience] to the laws of our 
country. But such is the unequal and oppressive operation of the embargo, 
tliat we cannot believe that any real, true-hearted American can consider 
passive obedience and non-resistance a virtue. We therefore request that 
Congress will, without delay, remove this unwelcome and distressing measure. 

The reply of President Jefferson to the protest of the citizens 
of the neighboring town of Cambridge will be read with interest. 
The original document is said to be, apparently, an autograph of 
the President, and is preserved in the office of the Citj' Clerk of 

To the inhabitants of the town of Cambridge, in legal town meeting assem- 
bled : 
Your representation and request were received on the 8th inst, and have 
been considered with the attention due to every expression of the sentiments 
and feelings of so respectable a body of my fellow-citizens. No person has 
seen with more concern than myself the inconveniences brought on our 
country in general by the circumstances of the times in which we happen to 
live, — times to which the history of nations presents no parallel. For years 
we have been looking as spectators on our brethren of Europe, afflicted by 
all those evils which necessarily follow an abandonment of the moral rules 
which bind men and nations together. Connected with them in friendship 
and commerce, we have happily so far kept aloof from their calamitous con- 
flicts, by a steady observance of justice towards all, by mucii forbearance and 
multiplied sacrifices. At length, however, all regard to the rights of others 
having been thrown aside, the belligerent jjowers have beset the highway of 


commercial intercourse with edicts, which, taken together, expose our com- 
merce and mariners, under ahnost every destination, a prey to their fleets an^ 
armies. Each party, indeed, would admit our commerce with themselves, 
with the view of associating us in their war against the other. But we have- 
wished war with neither. Under these circumstances were passed the laws of 
which you complain, by those delegated to exercise the powers of legislation! 
for you, with every sympathy of a common interest in exercising them faith- 
fully. In reviewing these measures, therefore, we should advert to the diffi- 
culties out of which a choice was of necessity to be made. To have sub- 
mitted our rightful commerce to prohibitions and tributary exactions from 
others would have been to surrender our independence. To resist tliem by 
arms was war, without consulting the state of things or the choice of the na- 
tion. Tlie alternative preferred by the Legislature, of suspending a com^ 
merce placed under such unexampled difficulties, besides saving to our 
citizens their property and our mariners to their country, has the peculiar 
advantage of giving time to the belligerent nations to revise a conduct as- 
contrary to their interests as it is to our rights. " In the event of such peace 
or suspension of hostilities between the belligerent Powers of Europe, or of 
such a change in their measures affecting neutral commerce as may render 
that of the United States sufficiently safe in the judgment of the President," 
he is authorized to suspend the embargo. But no peace or suspension of 
hostilities, no change of measures affecting neutral commerce, is known to- 
have taken place. The Orders of Enghmd and the Decrees of France and 
Spain, existing at the date of tliese laws, are still unrepealed, so far as we 
know. In Spain, indeed, a contest for the Government appears to have- 
arisen; but of its course or prospects, we have no information on which pru- 
dence would undertake a hasty change in our policy, even were the authority 
of the Executive competent to such a decision. You desire that, in defect 
of such power. Congress may be specially convened. It is unnecessary to- 
examine the evidence or the character of the facts which are supposed to 
dictate such a call ; because you will be sensible, on an attention to dates, 
that tlie legal period of tlieir meeting is as early as, in this extensive countr}', 
they could be fully convened by a special call. I should with great willing- 
ness have executed the wishes of the inhabitants of Cambridge, had peace,, 
or a repeal of the obnoxious Edicts, or other changes, produced the case im 
which alone the laws have given me that authority ; and so many motives of 
justice and interest lead to such changes, that we ought continually to expect 
them. But while these Edicts remain, the Legislature alone can prescribe 

the course to be pursued. 

Tii. Jeffersox. 
Sept. 10, 1788. 

The appeals to the President 3'ielded no relief. The General 
Court sent an addi'ess to the members of Congress, setting forth 
the grievances of the people ; but this produced no better result. 
The National Government was cvidenth' animated by a spirit of 
chronic hostilit}' to England. The embargo-, instead of being: 


removed, was made more stringent. The affairs of the countr}- 
grew more and more desperate. The numerous protests, sent up 
to Congress from every part of New England, were of no avail. 
The growing trade and manufactures of the country, which 
demanded a few years of peace and prosperity for their highest 
development, suffered a disastrous suspension. And all the inter- 
ests of the people drooped under the sad rebuff of these j-ears of 
loss and peril. 

We cannot tell how much influence the remonstrance of the peo- 
ple of Newton had with the federal government, or whether it had 
any. We know, however, that the embargo, so disastrous in its 
working on the foreign commerce of the United States, was 
repealed in 1801). The Americans were indignant at the depre- 
dations on their commerce perpetrated bj' France and England, 
and the claim, set up by the latter, of the right to search American 
vessels for the purpose of impressing British seamen. On account 
of these and other grievances, war was declared against Great 
Britain in June, 1812. 

Several of the .States, and Massachusetts especially, were 
averse to the war. The anti-war party of the Eastern States 
counted a minority, on the decisive vote for the declaration of 
war, of 49 to 79 ; and afterwards continued to protest against the 
measure. In Boston the flags of the shipping were displayed at 
half-mast, in token of mourning on account of the declaration of 
war. In the Southern States, however, the feeling was the oppo- 
site. The main theatres of the engagements of this war, though 
not the only ones, were the Canadian border, the northern lakes 
and the ocean. An army was gathered near the frontier, of 
which General Dearborn was made Commander-in-chief, and the 
list of commanding officers included the names of General Piuck- 
ne}-, IVIajor-General Wilkinson, General Hampton, and General 
Hull, of Newton. The latter was then Governor of the territory 
of Michigan. About two or three weeks after the declaration of 
war, he collected an arm}- of upwards of two thousand troops of 
the line and militia, and crossed the line between the two coun- 
tries, as if he intended to attack Montreal, at the same time pub- 
lishing a proclamation which excited the minds of the British offi- 
cers to a spirit of resistance. But on hearing that the Indians 
had attacked his territory on another point, and that the English 
General Brock, at the head of a respectable force, was near him,. 


he determined to retreat. He was pursued b}'' Brock and besieged 
iu Fort Detroit ; and when the British General was on the point 
of attempting an assault, General Hull, feeling that he was not 
supported by the War Department with an adequate supply of 
troops and ammunition to enable him to sustain such an attack, 
surrendered, with his fort and array. 

The son of General Hull, Captain Abraham Fuller Hull, of the 
ninth United States regiment, was slain during this war in the battle 
of Bridgewater, Canada, July 25, 1813, aged twentj'-eight. 

On land, the advantages of the first campaign rested altogether 
with the British ; but not so on the sea. About the time that Gen- 
eral Hull surrendered at Detroit, Captain Hull, commanding the 
frigate Constitution, engaged the British frigate Guerriere, which 
was forced to surrender, and was burned by the captors. On the 
17th of October, Captain Jones, of the sloop-of-war Wasp, cap- 
tured the British brig Frolic, after an engagement of fortj'-three 
minutes, on the high seas. On the 25th, eight days later, Com- 
modore Decatur, of the frigate United States, captured the Brit- 
ish frigate Macedonian, which was forced to surrender. On the 
29th of December, the Constitution, under Commodore Bain- 
bridge, obtained a victory over the Java, a British frigate of 
thirty-eight guns, in a battle in which the captain of the latter was 
mortally wounded. This action was fought off St. Salvador, 
On the first of Januarj^, the commodore, finding his prize inca- 
pable of being brought in, burned her. During the winter, the 
Hornet, Captain James Lawrence, in an action of fifteen minutes, 
off South America, conquered the British sloop-of-war Peacock. 
The Americans, in the engagements of the war hitherto, were 
generally conquered on land, but victors on the wave. This was 
just the opposite of all their calculations. But from this circum- 
stance they were led to concentrate theii" efforts, as far as possi- 
ble, on the element where their arms had been victorious. 

Captain Lawrence, on his return to Boston, was promoted to 
the command of tlie frigate Chesapeake, which soon afterwards 
had an engagement off the Boston Lighthouse with the British 
frigate Shannon, in which the latter was victorious after fifteen 
minutes' firing. In this engagement Captain Lawrence was mor- 
tally wounded, and died while issuing the heroic order, "Don't 
give up the ship." The uncle of Mrs. Hon. David H. Mason, of 
Newton, William Augustus White, sailing-master of the Chesa- 
peake, lost his life in this engagement. His age was twenty-six. 


We have not the means to follow minutely the events of the war, 
which distracted the country, filled the citizens with apprehen- 
sions, involved heavy expense and important losses, and created 
ill feeling among a people one in their interests, but divided in their 
opinions. The expeditions on the northern borders and on the 
lakes, the victories and defeats, the dishonorable annoyances and 
needless destructions incident to such a period of disaster, though 
the war was comparatively short, made a sad impression on the 
country, never to be forgotten, and inflicted wounds and losses not 
easy to be healed. The destruction of the capitol at AV ashington 
and other public buildings, including the Congressional Library 
and all its treasures, the attacks on Baltimore, Alexandria and 
Plattsburg, and the operations of the invading army along the 
coast of Maine, belong to a history such as, we trust, will never 
be repeated. Happilv, at the darkest hour, when a serious schism 
seemed to menace the union of the States, the distresses were 
arrested by the tidings that a treaty of peace had been signed at 
Ghent in December, 1814. The tidings, however, did not arrive 
till after the battle of New Orleans, January 8, 181.5, in which the 
British army, victorious at Washington, suffered a severe check, 
and the American army felt that their honor on the land had been 
redeemed. On the 17th of Februarj', 1815, the President and 
Senate ratified the treat}^ of Ghent, and North America, with 
Europe, breathed free again from the horrors of war. 

Very little mention is made, b