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Full text of "History of Torrington, Connecticut, from its first settlement in 1737, with biographies and genealogies"

university of 

Connecticut 

libraries 




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History of Torrington, Connecticut 



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HISTORY 



TORRINGTON, 



CONNECTICUT, 



Its First Settlement in 1737, 



BIOGRAPHIES AND GENEALOGIES. 



BV 



REV. SAMUEL ORCUTT, 

Author of the History of Wolcott, Ct. 



ALBANY: 

J. MUNSELL, PRINTER 

1878. 



TO THE 



MEMORY 



FIRST SETTLERS OF TORRINGTON 

2ri)is aj^orft IS Knscn'Oftr 



B Y TH E AUTHOR. 



•' Oft did the harvest to their sidle yield; 

Their furt Oil' oft the stubborn glebe has broke; 
How jocund did they drive their team a-Jield ! 

How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke ' 

For them, no more the blading hearth shall burn. 
Or busy housewife ply her evening care; 

Nor children run to lisp their sire's return. 
Or climb his knee, the envied kiss to share.'' 



PREFACE. 



In presenting this work to the public the author has no apology to 
make except the pleasure he takes in collecting and putting the ma- 
terial in form as a kind of memorial of those who have gone to the 
land from which none ever return. 

History is but the record of the experiences of the past, and ex- 
perience is a teacher to which it is wise to listen. 

The person who is indifferent to the past would be indifferent to 
the well being of those who are gone, if they were living; for those 
who recognize no obligation to father nor mother, nor those gone 
before, are too selfish to properly respect the living, while those who 
recognize such obligation will always delight in the memory of the 
past, and will welcome that which revives such memory. 

As to the completeness of the work it may be said, that, had there 
been a prospect of a small remuneration, six months more of time 
would have been given to it, by which the author could have satisfied 
himself, at least, more fully than is the case at present ; although he 
is well assured that the amount of information here recorded is greater 
than that of most books of the kind published in this country. 

The biographical part of the work was undertaken with a defi- 
nite intention to set forth somewhat the work done by Torrington 
people in other parts of the world as well as in their native town, 
and also to avoid somewhat the complaint frequently urged against 
the dry details of history. 



vi Preface. 

The biography of John Brown, after some progress had been made 
on it, was delivered to F. B. Sanborn Esq., of Concord, Massa- 
chusetts, who being famihar with the subject, and possessing favor- 
able opportunities for the work, has done great honor to the old 
Hero, and to the town where he was boin, and given to the world 
a just and faithful memorial of one whose fame will be celebrated as 
long as American history shall live. The biographies of Samuel J. 
Mills, and his son Samuel J. Mills Jr., are placed in abbreviated 
forms to what was intended, but as they are, they contain as full a 
tribute as was consistent, in view of the many of whom it was pur- 
posed to make some mention. 

The crowded form of the genealogies made it necessary to drop 
out much of the descriptive matter which had been prepared ; and 
they are not quite as full as was intended, for soon after the printing 
began it became evident that the material already collected was more 
than abundant, and though in some i'ew items satisfaction had not 
been obtained yet it became necessary to drop at once all further 
efforts and close the record. 

77^1? Jiithor hereby tenders his most sincere gratitude to all the people^ 
who without exception have seemed anxious to aid the work^ and delighted 
in the prospect of its completion. 

It is but justice to say, that but for the prompt encouragement 
at a certain time, by substantial aid, by one of the citizens of the 
town, although some collections for the work had been previously 
made, the further prosecution would not have been attempted, and 
the book would not have been written by the present author. It is 
also true that but for the very generous price paid for one of the 
books by the Town, the amount of matter printed must have been 
far less or the price of the book considerably increased. 

Thus has been done as much as could be in the brief time allotted 
and the work is sent on its intended mission of reviving the memory 



Preface. vii 

of those gone beyond the veil, and strengthening the heart for the 
future toils of the present life. 

In thus closing all that the author expects to do in making the 
history of Torrington, either as a citizen or writer, the shadows 
gather, as at the close of day, and but for the hope of the future, 
the memory of the work done and the characters which have passed 
under review would leave a sadness, like the low plaintive sound 
of music from afar, or as if waiting the return of those who have 
long been absent, and whose coming, if permitted, would be a joy 
unspeakable. 

The Author. 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



STEEL. 

CoE Brass Co., - - r - - - - - -loi 

Israel Coe, ..__.__.- ^25 

Lyman W. Coe, __-----_- 426 

Henry Migeon, --------- 522 

Elisha Turner, - - - - - - - - -613 

Reuben Cook, --------- 679 

LITHOGRAPH. 

Dr. Samuel Woodward, ------- 1 

John Brown, - - - - - - - - "3'5 

MiLO Burr, ,- " " ' ^^^ 

PHOTO ENGRAVINGS. 

Union Manufacturing Co., .-.--_ gg 

Excelsior Needle Co , - - - - - - - - 107 

M. E. Church, - 113 

Congregational Church, - - - - - - -121 

Naugatuck R. R. Depot, ------- 186 

John Brown House, - - - - - - - -318 

Dr. R. M. Fowler, 439 

Capt. Stephen Fyler, -------- 446 

Mrs. Stephen Fyler, -------- 450 

Dr. E D. Hudson, S°° 

Mrs. E. D. Hudson, 5'° 

Dr. James O. Pond, .-.----- 570 

Fowler Homestead, -------- 691 

Hudson Homestead, -------- 724 

WOOD. 

Falls at Torrington Hollow, ..---- 79 

Wolcottville, --------- 92 

Harper's Ferry, -- 4°° 

Engine House, - - - - - - - - - 4°' 

Orrin L. Hopson, --------- 487 

Frederick J. Seymour, - . - - - . - 601 

Haystack Monument, 557 

Capt. Uri Taylor, - - - - " " " " °'^ 

Mrs Uri Taylor, 77° 

John N. Whiting, -------- 785 




HISTORY OF TORRINGTON 



CHAPTER I. 

THE WINDSOR COMPANY. 

LARGE proportion of the early settlers in Tor- 
rington, came from Windsor, Connecticut, and were de- 
scended from one of the noblest companies of Puritan 
pilgrims that came to America. It had been formed 
mostly from the western counties of England — Devonshire, Dor- 
setshire, and Somersetshire,' early in the spring of 1629, by the ex- 
ertions of the Rev. John White, of Dorchester, whose zeal and la- 
bors fairly entitled him to the appellation of the " great patron of 
New England emigration." 

" Great pains were taken," says the historian,^ "to construct this 
company of such material as should compose a well ordered settle- 
ment, containing all the elements of our independent community. 
Two devoted ministers, Messrs. Warham 3 and Maverick,  were se- 
lected, not only with a view to the spiritual welfare of the plantation, 
but especially that their efforts might bring the Indians to the know- 
ledge of the gospel. Two members of the government, chosen by 
the freemen or the stockholders of the company in London, assistants 
or directors, Messrs, Rosseter and Ludlow, men of character and 
education, were joined to the association, that their counsel and judg- 
ment might aid in preserving order, and founding the social structure 
upon the surest basis. Several gentlemen, past middle life, with 
adult families and good estates, were added. Henry Wclcott, 
Thomas Ford, George Dyer, William Gaylord, William Rockwell, 



' Trumbull. 

^ History of the Town of Dorchester, Mass. History of Windsor, Conn. 

3 Rev. John Warham had been an eminent minister in Exeter, England. 

^Rev. John Maverick was a minister of the Established Church, and resided about forty 
miles from Exeter, England . 

1 



2 History of Torrington. 

and William Phelps, were of this class. But a large portion of act- 
ive, well- trained young men, either just married or without families, 
such as Israel Stoughton, Roger Clap, George Minor, George Hall, 
Richard Collicott, Nathaniel Dunham, and many others of their age, 
were the persons upon whom the more severe trials of anew settlement 
were expected to devolve. Three persons of some military ex- 
perience, viz : Captain John Mason, Captain Richard Southcote, 
and Quarter- Master John Smith, were selected as a suitable appen- 
dage, as forcible resistance from the Indians might render the skill 
and discipline which these gentlemen had acquired under De Vere, 
in the campaign of the palatinate, on the continent, an element of 
safety essential to the enterprise." 

" These godly people," says Roger Clap, one of their number,' 
" resolved to live together, and therefore as they had made choice of 
those two Rev. ser^^ants of God, Mr. John Warham and Mr. John 
Maverick, to be their ministers, so they kept a solemn day of fast- 
ing in the New Hospital in Plymouth, in England ; spending it in 
preaching and praying, where that worthy man of God, Mr. John 
White of Dorchester, in Dorsetshire, was present and preached unto 
us in the fore part of the day, and in the latter part of the day, as the 
people did solemnly make choice of, and call these godly ministers to 
be their officers, so also the Rev. Mr. Warham and Mr. Maverick 
did accept thereof and expressed the same." 

This company of 140 persons sailed from Plymouth in England, 
on the 20th day of March 1630, in the ship Mary and John of 400 
tons burden. Captain Squeb commanding. "So we came," says 
Mr. Clap, "by the hand of God, through the deeps comfortably ; 
having preaching or expounding of the Word of God, every day for 
ten weeks together, by our ministers. On the Lord's day, May the 
30, 1630, their good ship came to anchor, on the New England 
coast." The original destination was the Charles river, but an un- 
fortunate misunderstanding which arose between the captain and 
his passengers, resulted in the latter being summarily put ashore at 
Nantasket, where they were obliged to seek comfort for themselves 
as best they could. After being so discourteously landed by the cap- 
tain, they obtained a boat and proceeded up Charles river, to a place 
since called Watertown where they disembarked but soon after re- 



* Roger Clap's Memoirs. History of Windsor. 



The Windsor Company. 3 

moved to Mattapan and began a settlement which they named Dor- 
chester in honor of the Rev. Mr. White of Dorchester, England. 

The fore-thought and provision for the sustenance of such a com- 
pany in the new world had been very deficient, and hence much 
suffering followed. Roger Clap's picturing of it is very forcible. 

" Oh, the hunger that many suffered and saw no hope in the eye 
of reason to be supplied, only by clams and muscles and fish. We 
did quietly build boats and some went fishing, but bread was, with 
many, a scarce thing, and flesh of all kinds scarce. And in those 
days in our straits, though I cannot say, God sent us a raven to feed 
us as he did the prophet Elijah, yet this I can say to the praise of 
God's glory, that he sent not only poor ravenous Indians which came 
with their baskets of corn on their backs to trade with us, which was 
a good supply unto many, but also ships from Holland and from 
Ireland with provisions, and Indian corn from Virginia, to supply the 
wants of his dear servants in the wilderness, both for food and rai- 
ment. And when the people's wants were great, not only in one 
town but in divers towns, such was the godly wisdom, care and pru- 
dence (not selfishness but self-denial), of our Governor Winthrop 
and his assistants, that when a ship came laden with provisions, 
they did order that the whole cargo should be bought for a general 
stock ; and so accordingly it was, and distribution was made to every 
town, and to every person in each town as every man had need. 
Thus God was pleased to care for his people in times of straits, and 
to fill his servants with food and gladness. Then did all the servants 
of God bless His holy name, and love one another with pure hearts 
fervently." 

This people remained at Dorchester five years, when, in the au- 
tumn of 1635, they determined to remove to Matianuck, afterwards 
Windsor, on the Connecticut river. 

On the fifteenth day of October (1635), the main body of the emi- 
gration, about sixty men, women and children, set forth from Dor- 
chester driving their cattle and swine before them on their long and 
toilsome journey to the valley of the Connecticut. Their house- 
hold furniture, bedding, and winter provisions were sent around by 
water, and it is probable that some of the families also took this 
means of conveyance. " Never before had the forests of America 
witnessed such a scene as this." The compass their only guide 
through the bewildering mazes of the unbroken forests, commencing 
and ending each day's march with songs of praise, and heartfelt 



4 History of Torrington. 

utterances of prayer, which sounded strangely amid these solitudes, 
they pursued their hazardous undertaking. After a wearisome jour- 
ney of two weeks, through swamps and thick forests, over mountains 
and hills, across rivers and many streams of water which were passed 
often with great difficulty and peril, they reached their place of des- 
tination, the Connecticut river ; but before all the company and 
their cattle could be transported across the river, the winter closed 
upon them. Winter setting in unusually early, the river was closed 
on the fifteenth of November, and as yet the vessel containing their 
household goods and provisions had not arrived, nor were there any 
tidings of it. The rude shelter and accommodations, which had 
been provided for themselves and their cattle, proved to be quite in- 
sufficient to protect them against the extreme inclemency of the 
season. They were able to get only a part of their cattle across the 
river, the remainder were left to winter themselves as best they 
could, on the browse of the trees, acorns and roots of the forest. 
At this time (Nov. 26) a party of thirteen, driven by hunger 
and distress, attempted to return to Massachusetts, through the 
woods. One of their number fell thiough the ice and was drowned 
and the remainder would have perished " but that by God's pro- 
vidence, they lighted on an Indian wigwam."' As it was, they 
were ten days in reaching the bay. By the first of December 
the condition of the infant colonies on the river was perilous in 
the extreme. Many were destitute of provisions, those who were 
not, were .unable permanently to relieve their neighbors, and the 
only alternative was to reach their vessel, which was supposed 
to be fast in the ice below. A company of seventy, of all ages 
and both sex, now set out in search, intending doubtless to winter 
on board the vessel. Shelterless and scantily supplied with food, 
they toiled on, day after day, through snows and storms, hoping at 
every turn of the stream to discover the wished for relief. Who can 
picture the sufferings of that painful march, or their inexpressible dis- 
appointment as they approached the sea, in not finding the vessel for 
which they were so anxiously looking. But God, in whom they 
trusted, was not unmindful of His suffering ones. A small vessel, 
the Rebecca, of sixty tons, which had attempted to ascend the river, 
to trade, before the winter set in, had become entangled in the ice, 
twenty miles from the river's mouth. Fortunately, a storm of rain 



* Winthrop's Journal. 



The Windsor Company. 5 

came, which, though it drenched the sufferers, released the vessel, 
which came to their relief, and in five days they reached Boston. 
The few who remained in Connecticut through this fearful winter, 
suffered much, as did their cattle also, from insufficiency of both food 
and shelter. They literally lived on acorns, malt, and grains, with 
what food they could gain by hunting, and such as was given them 
by the Indians. Their losses were very heavy, that of the Dor- 
chester people being as much as £2000 in cattle alone.' 

In the month of March, 1636, Connecticut was set apart as a 
colony, under a commission, granted by the general court of Massa- 
chusetts, " to several .persons to govern the people of Connecticut 
for the space of a year next coming." The commissioners named 
were Roger Ludlow and William Phelps of Windsor; John Steel, 
William Westwood and Andrew Ward of Hartford ; William 
Pyncheon of Springfield ; and William Swain and Henry Smith of 
Wethersfield. 

With the first dawn of spring, April 16, 1636, those brave hearts 
who had survived the toils and exposures of the previous winter, 
again turned undauntedly their footsteps towards Connecticut. They 
comprised the largest part of the Dorchester church, with, as some 
say, their surviving pastor, Mr. Warham.^ Their settlement, at 
Matianuck, was named Dorchester, in honor of the plantation from 
which they had emigrated, which name they retained until 1650 when 
it was changed to Windsor. 

About the same time also, Mr. Pyncheon and others from Rox- 
bury, Mass., settled at Agawam, now the city of Springfield. And 
in June following, came the venerable Hooker, with his companions 
from Cambridge, Mass., who settled at Suckiaug, now the beautiful 
city of Hartford, where a few settlers had " made a goodly beginning 
a little before." Wethersfield had been precariously settled in 1634, 
by a few who " managed to live " through the trying scenes of 
1635-6.3 

Such were the trials, exposures, hardships, and sufferings through 
which the first settlers of Windsor, the ancestors of many of the 



* Winthrop says that those cattle which could not be put over the river, fared well, all 
winter without hay. 

'See note on page 25, Windsor History. 

3 H. R. Stiles's History ol' Windsor, Conn. Trumbull. History of Dorchester. Win- 
throp's Journal. 



6 History of Torrington. 

Torrington people, passed, before they found permanent homes in 
America. A like honor is attached to the descendants of nearly all 
the early settlers of New England. 

A little more than one hundred years after the settlement of 
Windsor, like trials, privations, and hardships began to be endured in 
Torrington, by its first settlers. 




CHAPTER IL 



THE WINDSOR PATENT. 



(^^5^5^^^ HE general court of Connecticut made, in 1686, 
"^ a grant of lands commonly called Western lands, to 

the towns of Hartford and Windsor. These lands were 
said to lie " on the north of Woodbury and Mattatok, 
and on the west of Farmington and Simsbury, to the Massachusetts 
line north, and to run west to Housatunock or Stratford river (pro- 
vided it be not, or part of it, formerly granted to any particular per- 
sons), to make a plantation or village thereon." ^ 

The title to those lands was in dispute until May, 1726,^ when 
the territory was divided, and that part confirmed to Hartford and 
Windsor, embraced the towns of Colebrook, Hartland, Winchester, 
Barkhamsted, Torrington, New Hartford, and Harwinton, making 
an area of 291,806 acres. The territory reserved to the colony 
embraced the towns of Canaan, Norfolk, Cornwall, Goshen, Warren, 
and about two-thirds of Kent, making not far from 120,000 acres. 

In February, 1732, the towns of Hartford and Windsor made a 
division of their lands by which the towns of Hartland, Winchester, 
New Hartford, and the eastern half of Harwinton were conceded to 
Hartford, and the towns of Colebrook, Barkhamsted, Torrington, 
and the western half of Harwinton, to Windsor. 

An act of the general assembly in May, 1732, authorized the 
Windsor Company to divide their lands to the individual owners 
according to their tax list of that year, and this list was the basis for 
all divisions of land made in the town of Torrington. 

The Name of the Town. 

Be it enacted by the Governor^ Council^ and Representatives^ in General 
Court Assembled^ and by the Authority of the same : 

"That the first parcel of land mentioned in said instrument of 
partition containing 20,924 acres, and bounded, south, partly on 



'Colonial Records, vol. 3, 225. 
"Colonial Records, vii, 44. 



8 



History of Torrington. 



Litchfield and partly on land belonging to said patentees in Windsor, 
called the Half Township ; east and north, by land belonging to the 
governor and company of the colony of Connecticut, is hereby named, 
and shall ever hereafter be called and named Torrington."' 

The other three parcels were Barkhamsted, containing 20,531 
acres, Colebrook 18,199 acres, and the west half of Harwinton 9,560 
acres. 

In 1732 the taxable inhabitants of Windsor were divided into seven 
companies, each owning a township, taking their company names after 
the towns they owned. The Torrington company are specified as 
"Matthew Allyn, Roger Wolcott and Samuel Mather, Esq's, and 
others, of the town of Windsor, patentees of Torrington." The 
number of these persons was one hundred and thirty-six, and their 
names and tax list were as follows : 



£ 



Matthew Allen, Esq., 74 

Roger Wolcott, " 123 

Capt. Thomas Stoughton, ... 155 

Alexander Allyn, 47 

Benedict Alford, 35 

Abiel Abot, 41 

Daniel Bissell, Jr., 32 

David Bissell, 115 

Nathaniel Barber, 37 

Josiah Barber, 124 06 

Joseph Barber, 82 

Nicholas Buckland, 61 

Ephraim Bancroft, Jr., .... 66 

Benjamin Barber, 43 

Nathaniel Barber, 21 00 o Stephen Fyler, 



s. 
06 

00 
00 

19 

OS 
00 

16 
10 
12 



08 
07 
00 
18 



d. 

o 
6 

o 
6 

o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
o 



£ ^- 

Isaac Davice, 30 00 

Joseph Elmer, 48 09 

Joseph Elsworth, 21 00 

Joseph Elgar, 26 00 

Thomas Egelston, Jr., . . . 18 00 

Abigail Eno, 25 07 

John Egelston, 77 00 

Mr. John Elliot 28 10 

Benjamin Egelston, Jun., ... 37 16 

Joseph Elsworth, . . 24 15 

James Egelston, 07 00 

Mr. John Fyler, 77 07 

Samuel Fitch, 18 00 

Thomas Fyler, 67 02 



52 02 



Benoni Bissel, 37 

Jeremiah Birge, 47 

Jonathan Bissel, 41 

John C. Cross, 53 

William Cook, 34 

Nathaniel Cook, 55 

John Cook, Jr., 59 

Mary Clark, 32 

Edward Chapman, 06 00 

Jacob Drake, Jr., 03 00 

Abraham Dibble, 38 16 

Joseph Drake, 81 10 



12 
1 1 

00 

05 
00 

01 

19 

00 



o 
o 
o 

9 

o 

o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
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o 



Ebenez'r Fitch, 41 06 

Matthew Grant, 180 10 

Josiah Giylord, 52 14 

Jonathan Gillet, 38 00 

27 00 
00 

05 
10 

00 

00 



Isaac Gillet, 

Francis Griswold, 52 

Daniel Griswold, 82 

John Grayham, 47 

Samuel Gibbs, 30 

Nathaniel Gaylord, 53 



Henry Gibbs, 23 00 

Joseph Griswold, 119 



10 



d. 
o 
o 
o 
o 
o 
a 
o 
o 
o 
6 
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6 
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6 
6 
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» Torrington was a hamlet on the hill called Cookbury Black, in the southern part of 
Devonshire, the southernmost county in England. It was also the name of a village on the 
Torridge river, a few miles north of Cookbury Black. 



The Windsor Patent. 



£ 



s. 

15 

00 

04 

°5 
00 

05 

05 
00 

15 

05 
00 

10 

05 
10 
00 

15 

05 
00 
08 
00 
00 
00 
08 



Eleazer Gaylord, 36 

Thomas Grant's Heirs, 30 

Thomas Grant, 19 

John Griswold, 52 

Nathan GiUet, Jun'r., 18 

Benjamin Gibbs, 45 

Thomas Hoskins, 40 

Anthony Hoskins, 40 

Ebenezer Haydon, 63 

Mary Hoskins, 37 

Elezer Hill, 11 

William Haydon, 16 

Martha Holcomb, 30 

Daniel Haydon, 100 

Zebulon Hoskins, 26 

Ichabod Loomis, 39 

Zachariah Long, 41 

Timothy Loomis, 51 

Stephen Loomis, 38 

Joshua Loomis, 46 

Isaac Loomis, 29 

Moses Loomis, Jun'r., 26 

Job Loomis, 72 

Abraham Loomis, 23 02 

Rebekah Loomis, 72 04 

Jonathan Loomis, 31 00 

Dea. Thomas Marshel, .... 100 07 

Mr. Eliakim Marshel, 94 12 

John Mansfield, 41 i^ 

John Morton, 24 

Edward Moore, 55 

Josiah Moore 54 

David Marshel, 43 

Mr. Will'm Mitchel, 74 

Nathanael Mjore, 24 

Hannah Newberry, 30 

Benjamin Newberry, 25 

Rutli Newberry, 07 

Joseph Newberry, 71 

Jacob Osborn, 44 

Benjamin Osborn, 21 

"Recorded, March the 4th, Anno. Dom., 1733-4, by 
Timothy LooMrs'^ clerk for sd. Torrington proprietors. 
The sum total of Torrington list is X6431, 9s, 5d." 



04 
02 

17 

01 
00 
00 
00 

05 

00 

05 
10 
10 



Samuel Osborn, Jun'r., 71 

John Porter, 04 

William Phelps, 91 

Joseph Porter, 98 

Samuel Pinney, 50 

John Phelps, Sen'r., 11 

Nathanael Pinney 107 

Hez. Porter, 91 

David Phelps, . . . , 26 

Joseph Phelps, 87 

Sergt. Isaac Pinney, 29 

Thomas Phelps, 45 

Hannah Porter, 06 

James Pasco, 24 

Jonathan Pasco, 21 

Samuel Rockwell, 75 

Nathanael Stoughton, 02 

Ebenezer Styles, 23 

Jacob Strong, 79 

Remembrance Sheldon, 51 

Thomas Stoughton, Jun'r., . 30 

Mary Stedman, 03 

John Styles, 22 

Isaac Skinner, 40 

Samuel Strong, 46 

Henry Styles, 71 

Elizabeth Thrall, 16 

Ammi Trumble, 39 

John Thrall, 125 

Simon Wolcott, Jr., 21 

Jed. Watson, 72 

Stephen Winchel, 04 

John Wolcott, 81 

John Winchel, ... . 53 

Robert Westland, 51 

Samuel Wilson, 29 

John Wood, 36 

John Williams, . . 36 

Ebenezer Watson, 72 

John Wilson, 56 



s. 


d. 


00 





14 


6 


12 





°5 





10 





00 





10 





00 





00 





00 





07 





15 





15 





00 





00 





18 





00 





00 





IS 





13 





00 





10 





15 





00 





13 


2 


12 


6 


00 





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me. 



' This Timothy Loomis was an elegant writer, as the Records show. It is a pleasure to 
peruse records 144 years old, that can be read as easily as the best printing. 

2 



lo History of Torrington. 



The Divisions. 



The vote to lay out a proportionate amount of land to each pro- 
prietor, was passed on the lOth of September, 1732, and on the i8th 
of the same month, the committee, appointed for the purpose, pro- 
ceeded to draw the lots for the proprietors, it being supposed that 
this method was the most equitable of any, and that each proprietor 
should be content with what fell to his lot, whether it should be 
rocks or soil. 

An alphabetic list of the proprietor's names was made as given 
above. One hundred and thirty-six numbers written on slips of paper 
were placed in a hat ; ' then the first name on the list called and a 
number taken from the hat and placed to the name called, and thus 
on until the one hundred and thirty-six numbers were taken and 
assigned to the names of the list. This done, another list was made 
in harmony with the order of the number of each lot, one, two, three, 
four, and thus to the last number, and the survey was made accord- 
ins to this second list. The lots were laid half a mile in length, and 
therefore every rod in width made one acre of land. In the first and 
second divisions there was appropriated one acre to the pound of each 
owner's list ; in the third, there was not quite that amount. 

In the first division there was laid out five acres as a meeting 
house plot, and one hundred acres as a ministry lot, and these were 
said to be near the centre of the town. 

The lots for the proprietors, when completed, were all laid in thir- 
teen tiers, except those in the swamp ; one on the south side of the 
town running east and west, the other twelve running north and south, 
and with the highways, covering the whole area of the town except 
the pine timber. The swamp was laid in three tiers of lots running 
north and south. 

The first division was completed in November, 1734, Roger 
Newberry, Joshua Loomis and Nathaniel Pinney being the committee. 
The second, voted to be made in March, 1736, was not completed 
until October, 1742, John Cook, 2d, Joshua Loomis, Roger New- 
berry and Daniel Bissell, Jr., being the committee. 

The third division was voted in October, 1742, and was com- 
pleted in December, 1750. In this division two hundred and twenty 
acres were appropriated for the use of schools in the town. Samuel 



' In the third division the word " hat" is used. 



The Windsor Patent. ii 

Messenger, surveyor, Thomas Marshall and Aaron Loomis were the 
committee, and Rev. Nathaniel Roberts drew the numbers for the 
lots. 

The Pine Timber Division. 

The first name, given in the records to this part of Torrington was 
spruce swamp. Afterwards it was called the pine timber ; then the 
pine timber division, and in 1747 the mast swamp. 

The pine timber was of much value and the proprietors found great 
difficulty in preserving it from the hands of those who had no owner 
ship in it. They appointed various committees to " sue and prose^ 
cute to final judgment" those who should trespass in cutting it. Tht 
trees had grown tall and straight and were very desirable for masts to 
sailing vessels, and were cut and floated down the river for that pur- 
pose. 

There was other timber which the proprietors found important to 
be looked after. They directed " that all the pine, whitewood and 
white ash timber, above fourteen inches in diameter at the stub, stand- 
ing and growing or fallen down, on those places set out for highways 
in the third division, be reserved for the use of the proprietors," and 
the committee appointed was to sell such timber for the advantage 
of the proprietors. 

The expenses of the several surveys were collected by a tax levied 
from the list of the proprietors. 

In the proprietor's meeting of March 6, 1751, it was voted to 
"lease out the mill place with the convenience thereunto, for nine 
hundred and ninety-nine years." Ebenezer Lyman, Jr., Jacob Strong 
and Elijah Gaylord were the committee to lay out the fourth divi- 
sion, and Jacob Strong and Aaron Loomis were to draw the lots. 

They voted to lay a highway through the swamp from north to 
south twenty feet wide, now main street and one from the mill place 
east until it should meet the other road. 

In laying the lots in the swamp they were to begin at the south 
end of the tier on the west side of the road and run north to the end 
of the tier. Then begin at the south end, east of the road running 
to the north, but the lots extending only to the east branch. The 
third tier was laid east of the east branch, from the south end run- 
ning north. 



CHAPTER III. 




FIRST SETTLERS. 
Old Deeds. 

HE oldest deed recorded of Torrington lands was 
dated at Windsor, June 14, 1728, given by Daniel 
Gfiswold, to his "dutiful and obedient son" Nathan 
Griswold, for a right in undivided western lands. 
From this time to the spring of 1735, sixty deeds of rights were 
recorded in the Windsor Company's book. Soon after the survey 
was made and the lots located, the sales became more numerous, and 
were mostly to persons residing in Windsor but in a few cases to per- 
sons residing in other parts of the state. These sixty deeds include 
nearly, if not all, the land sales by the Torrington company previous 
to the rendering of the report of the committee on the first division, 
in November, 1734. 

The first land cleared and cultivated in the town was located ac- 
cording to the following description : — " At a meeting of the pro- 
prietors of Torrington held in Windsor, Feb. 10, 1734, voted 
Lieut. Roger Newberry be a committee, and he is hereby fully em- 
powered in the name of the proprietors to rent out to Josiah Grant 
of Litchfield, about four or five acres of land lying in said Torring- 
ton which is already broken up, as it lieth bounded south on Litch- 
field, and east on Waterbury river, until such time as said proprie- 
tors, Dy their vote shall see cause to call it in." 

One deed, given by Joseph Ellsworth of Litchfield, dated March 
^i, 1734, says lot 77 was a home lot, which meant that it had a 
dwelling house on it, and had been the home of somebody. This 
lot joined Goshen on the west and was about one mile north of 
Litchfield line. Whether Mr. Ellsworth, who was the original 
owner, had lived there, or some one else, before the first division was 
made, is not known. This, so far as is known, was the first house 
put up in the town. In 1738 there was a dwelling on lot 82, half a 
mile north of lot 77, and hence there may have been two or three 
families living in that part of the town as early as 1734, who removed 
into Litchfield or elsewhere before 1737. 



First Settlers. 13 

First Families. 

Ebenezer Lyman, Jr., was the first permanent resident of the town. 
In January 1735, his father Ebenezer Lyman, Esquire, of Durham, 
bought of Job Loomis, lot 108, containing seventy-two acres. This 
lot constituted a part of the farm known ever since, as the Lyman 
place, and upon it was built the fort, in the western part of the town. 
In June of the same year Ebenezer, Jr., bought the half of three 
acres, lot 109 on the corner, and joining lot 108, on the north, and 
erected a dwelling, undoubtedly a log house. In this house was born 
June 16, 1738, so far as known, the first child born in the town, it 
being a daughter and was named Lydia. 

On the fourth day of June, 1737, his father in deeding to him the 
seventy-two acres, says, this son had lately " moved from Durham 
into Torrington," Hence it is evident that he came in the month 
of May, and Mrs. Sarah Lyman was queen of the realm, without a 
rival except in her little daughter Ruth, about a year and a half old. 
In this house, assembled with this family, from one to a half dozen 
young men, on the Sabbath, if not more frequently, during the sum- 
mer of 1737, while they pursued during the week their toilsome work 
of clearing the land to make for themselves homes in the wilder- 
ness. 

On the 24th day of June, 1 740, Ebenezer Lyman Esq., bought 
lot 95, west of his son's lot, containing ninety-one acres, giving for 
it and lot nineteen in the second division and the whole right of 
Hezekiah Porter, two hundred pounds, and settled on the farm with 
his son in 1740, or early in 1741. 

Jonathan Coe of Durham, married Elizabeth Elmer of Wind- 
sor, September 23, 1737, and brought his bride to Torrington, the 
second woman in the town. Mr. Coe had worked in the town two 
summers. He bought on the i8th of March, 1737, lot 107, which 
he still owned, upon which he had probably erected a dwelling dur- 
ing the summer of 1737. This house must have been a log house,' 
and stood about eighty rods south of Ebenezer Lyman, junior's, their 
farms joining. Here were two dwellings in the wilderness — wilder- 
ness in every direction, and almost without end in every direction. 
The nearest place that looked like civilization was Litchfield, about 



> The lumber, for making framed houses in 1740, must have been brought, through the 
forests, from Litchfield or New Hartford. 



14 History of Torrington. 

six miles distant and but few houses had been erected in that town 
before this time, and some of these were at considerable distance from 
the center of the town ; one or two being near the southern boundary 
of Torrington. At this time there were no families residing in 
Goshen ; a few were in Harwinton ; a few in New Hartford ; none 
in Winchester. 

Abel Beach of Durham bought land in company with Jonathan 
Coe, lot 123, containing thirty-one acres, in 1735, where the second 
church was built, at Torrington green. He purchased Mr. Coe's 
half, September 6, 1737, and owned by this purchase a thirty-one 
pound right to all other divisions that might be made. In December, 
1737, he bought of Daniel Bissell, the right of Robert Westland with 
the lot 82, fifty-one acres, a little south of Dea. F. P. Hill's present 
dwelling, it then being a home lot or having a dwelling house on 
it. He married Margaret Pickett of Durham, April 5, 1738, and 
settled in this town. He may have made his home for a year in the 
house on lot 82, as he sold this lot in June, 1739, or he may have 
built him a house on lot 123, in the summer of 1737, and settled on 
it. The place being known unto this day as the Abel Beach place. 

In June, 1739, Daniel Stoughton bought of Abel Beach, lot 82, 
with a dwelling house on it, and made his home in the town, pro- 
bably in that house. Joel Thrall became a settler during the sum- 
mer of 1739, probably on lot 91, the old Thrall place on Goshen 
turnpike, most of which he had purchased of the heirs of John Thrall, 
and the east half he sold the same year to Ebenezer Coe, then of 
Middletown. 

Thus did the work begin, and go forward, so that in October, 1739, 
in their petition for religious privileges the petitioners say there " are 
nine families in the town." It is impossible to say who all these 
families were. The petition signed by twenty-five names, says, these 
names represent "inhabitants and proprietors." Some of these pro- 
prietors were in Windsor, some in Durham, nine families were here. 
These families lived here and grew healthy and strong, if they did 
not grow in the refinements of literature and cultivated society. How 
they arranged the items of the important business of living, will appear 
somewhat in the following pages, and although it cannot be described 
fully, yet it will be seen that they did it successfully. Joseph Allyn, 
who came a little later, worked during the week, rode on horseback 
to Windsor, Saturday, and returned on Monday morning, and all 
people may be assured that he did not start on such a journey after 



First Settlers. 



15 



the sun was three hours high in the morning. It is very probable 
that most of the supplies came from Windsor, and if not by a weekly 
express (which word they did not know in the sense now used), yet 
so frequently that with what they obtained in the wilderness, they 
lived as comfortably, and enjoyed their fare as well as most people 
of the present day. 




CHAPTER IV. 



RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGES, 




The Ecclesiastical Society. 

INCE the pilgrims came to America for the pur- 
pose of securing liberty in religious privileges, and their 
descendants for generations following, regarded these 
privileges as among the first things to be instituted and 
maintained in every place, we are not surprised to find the people of 
Torrington, having effected a settlement of a few families, proceed- 
ing in the work of securing the preaching of the gospel, knowing 
that without it their enterprise would not prosper. They sent a 
memorial to the general assembly, by Daniel Stoughton, in October, 
1739, asking to be organized into a society, and that taxes might be 
imposed for the "support of a gospel ministry," This memorial was 
signed by the following names : 

Jacob Strong, Jr., John Cook, 2d, 

Ebenezer Lyman, Jr., Hezekiah Griswold, 



William Grant, 
Jonathan Coe, 
Daniel Thrall, 
Isaac Higley, 
Joseph Beach, 
Joel Thrall, 
Abel Beach, 
Ebenezer Coe, 
Nathaniel Barber, 
William Cook, 



Daniel Stoughton, 
Joshua Loomis, 
Thomas Stoughton, Jr., 
Jacob Strong, 
William Bartlett, 
Samuel Bartlett, 
Abraham Dibble, Jr., 
Joseph Phelps, 
Aaron Loomis, 
Samuel Phelps. 



Amos Filley, 

Torrington was made a town, with town privileges in Oct., [740, 
and thereby become an ecclesiastical society, and a tax of two pence 
on the pound for the support of preaching, was granted. 

In the next spring another tax of two pence was granted, but 
in the autumn it was changed to three pence on the pound, for 
the purpose of raising a fund towards building a meeting house. 

An extra tax to raise five hundred pounds for the settlement of a 



Religious Privileges. 17 

minister, was also ordered by the assembly, which was a much 
larger amount than many ministers received, if the money was any 
where near par at that time. Another tax was granted in 1744, and 
one in 1750, for the support of the gospel in the town. These 
taxes seem burdensome in repetition and amount, but the people 
were quite willmg to pay them. The first petition states that some 
of the signers lived in Windsor, " but being desirous of having their 
lands improved as fast as possible, they were willing to be taxed." 
It was not altogether the gospel that they desired, but with it they 
could increase the value of their lands ; a kind of thoughtfulness con- 
cerning the gospel that has been exhibited very often since that day, 
and as well in cities as in new parts of the country. Men have often 
admired, and supported the gospel according to the amount of hard 
cash it would return them in a business point of view. Some of these 
memorialists loved the gospel for the sake of the gospel, but others 
were willing to be taxed for the sake of their lands. 

No information is given as to the success of this effort to secure 
the preaching of the gospel before October, 1741, but as Nathaniel 
Roberts was graduated in 1732, and was probably through his theo- 
logical studies before 1739, he may have preached here some time 
before he was settled as pastor. 

The First Church. 

The only records of the organization of the church are those 
written by Mr. Roberts, the first pastor. ' 

He introduces the matter and gives the record thus : " Here I 
shall observe some things concerning the church in Torrington in y' 
county of Hartford. 

" I St. It was first planted October 21, 1 741, by Mr. Graham,' 
Mr. Humphrey,^ Mr. Leavenworth,-* Mr. Bellamy. 5 

" 2d. The first deacon that was chosen was Ebenezer Lyman 



' These Records are still preserved and have been of much value in fixing dates in this 
book, but the writing was at first so fine that after 135 years it is extremely difficult to 
read it, and because of this, several names may not be transcribed correctly. 

^ Rev. John Graham, of Southbury. 

3 Rev. Daniel Humphrey, of Derby. 

4 Rev. Mark Leavenworth, of Waterbury. 

5 Rev. Joseph Bellamy, D.D., of Bethlehem. 

3 



i8 History of Torrington. 

(Sen'r.), and was set apart to the office by prayer, and laying on of 
the hands of the pastor of said church, January i, 1742. 

'' 3d. The first sacrament that ever was administered in the church 
was January 3, 1742, and the communicants who were then members 
of the said church ; the number was seventeen ; Dea. E. Lyman and 
his wife, E. Lyman, Junr., and his wife, E. North and his wife, J. 
Coe and his wife, Jacob Strong and his wife, Abel Beach and his 
wife, Nathaniel Barber and his wife, John Cook and his wife, Asahel 
Strong." 

Thus far he seems to have written at the first entry, after this he 
proceeds as follows, drawing a line across the page between each entry. 

"The second sacrament was administered March 14, 1742, and 
Margaret Thrall y^ wife of Joel Thrall was admitted a member in 
full communion with us. 

" E. Coe and his wife owned their covenant, and were admitted 
members in full communion with us, April 4, 1742. 

"3d sacrament was administered May 27, 1742. 4th sacra- 
ment was administered November 14, 1742, and then Samuel Damon' 
and his wife, Samuel Damon, Jr., and his wife, John Damon and 
wife, Noah Wilson and wife were admitted members in full com- 
munion with us." 

In this manner he continued to record the sacraments and admis- 
sions to the church until a short time before his death ; the last entry 
being thus : 

" 132 sacrament November y*' 13, 1775." 

The record of marriages he commences in the same straight-forward 
manner. 

" Mr. Nathaniel Roberts, pastor of the church in Torrington, was 
married November 22, at night, being 3d day of y^ week in y^ year 

I7+3-" 

"July 8, 1747, I married Isaac Hosford, of Litchfield, to Mind- 
well Loomis, of Torrington." 

" Margaret Roberts, the wife of Nathaniel Roberts, died October 
I, 1747, being y^ 5 day of y^ week." ^ 

" Mr. Nathaniel Roberts, pastor of y'= said church, was married to 
his second wife November y= 7, 1748." 



•This name has been spelled Demon, but the old spelling in the deeds is a instead oi e. 
" This death is recorded among the marriages as here given. Mr. Roberts kept no record 
of deaths. 



Religious Privileges. ig 

In regard to his own marriages he does not tell what his wives' 
names were before marriage, nor where they resided, though he gives 
the number of the day of the week on which the marriage occurred. 
He calls himself Mr. and not Rev., as he does also Mr. Hun)phrey 
and Mr. Bellamy, never using reverend to a minister. Mr. was then 
the aristocratic class name, applied to persons only in certain stations 
in life. 

According to this record, the first marriage ceremony he performed 
was July 8, 1747, over six years after he was ordained, and the next 
one occurred two years and a half afterwards, and therefore, to all 
appearance, marriages were not numerous in Torrington in those days. 

The record of baptisms runs in the same style. 

"January y= 3, 174 1-2, I baptized a child for Isaac Hygly, and 
her name was Susannah." 

"August 29, 1742, I baptized a child for Nathaniel Barber, and 
his name was Nathaniel." ^ 

" September y= 12, 1 742, I baptized a child for William Hosford, 
on his wife's rights, and his name was William." His wife being 
a member of a church, though not of the Torrington church, had a 
right to have her child baptized. If neither father nor mother 
was a member of a church, the child could not be baptized. 

The First Church in Torrington, therefore, was organized 
October 21st, under the name, and the only name it bore for over 
thirty years of The Church of Christ in Torrington. It did not 
have a denominational name until after the death of Mr. Roberts. 
It was sometimes called Presbyterian, as many like churches in the 
state were, but it had no connection with a Presbytery, nor the Pres- 
byterian church. 

It was organized at the house of John Cook, the house yet stand- 
ing and known as deacon John Cook's. Tradition says that Mr. 
Roberts was ordained in Deacon Cook's house. Mr. Roberts says 
the church was organized October 21, 1741, and that he, as the 
pastor of the church, ordained the first deacon, January i, 1742, or 
two months after the organization of the church. It is not probable 
that two meetings of such a nature, one to organize the church and 
another to ordain the minister, would be held within so shrrt a time 
and therefore it is quite clear that the ordination took place at the 
time of the formation of the church, and that the meeting was held 



' Following the name is a star, which indicates that the child died soon after. 



20 History of Torrington. 

in John Cook's house, and the services conducted in a regular form 
by the ministers named by Mr. Roberts. It is also probable that 
Mr. Roberts, being unmarried, was residing with John Cook at 
the time, and remained there until his marriage, two years after- 
wards. ■> 

As to the persons who became members at the organization of the 
church no intimation is given that they had been members elsewhere, 
but the appearance is that they covenanted together verbally, in the 
presence of the ministers named, and were by them declared to be 
a church of Christ in Torrington. 

When this church was organized there was one in Litchfield formed 
nineteen years before ; one in Harwinton three years old, and they 
had had preaching three years before its formation ; one in Goshen, 
organized the previous year ; one in Cornwall one year old ; one in 
New Hartford two years old. 

The ministers in Goshen, New Hartford and Torrington were 
brothers-in-law ; Mr. Heaton and Mr. Roberts having married the 
sisters of Mr. Jonathan Marsh, Jr., of New Hartford, and daughters 
of Rev. Jonathan Marsh, of Windsor. 

Although the church was organized just before the great awaken- 
ing in New England, yet no special religious interest appears to 
have existed in Torrington at that time, nor at any time during Mr. 
Roberts's pastorate. The membership increased gradually, and mostly 
by persons coming into the town. Sometimes a number of persons, 
in the same family, on settling in the town, united with the church, 
as indicated in the following records. 

" May 6, 1744, was our sacrament, and at the same time, Aaron 
Loomis, and Deborah, his wife, and Aaron his son, and Mindwell 
and Esther his daughters, were all received into our church." 

This Esther was only fifteen years old, and this indicates that young 
people were received into the church in those days. 

"July 7, 1754, then Ichabod Loomis, and Dorothy his wife, "William 
Filley and Abiah his wife, Joel Loomis, Isabel, the wife of Abraham 
Loomis, and Jerusha and Isabel, daughters of Abraham Loomis were 
admitted, members in full communion." 

Of most of the persons whom Mr. Roberts recorded, he wrote: 
" owned the covenant, and were received into full communion," but 
of a few he wrote " were received into full communion," not saying 
that they owned the covenant. It is therefore probable that these 
latter were received by commendation from other churches. In one 



Religious Privileges. 21 

case only does he speak of a letter from another church and in that 
case he says the person was commended by the Association of which 
the church was a member. 

The church relation which recognized the right of the baptism 
of children under the -^half-way covenant, was accepted by Mr. 
Roberts and this church, and no difficulty arose from it until after 
his death in 1776. 

The First Meeting House. 

The first recorded act preparatory to the building of a meeting 
house, was the increase of the tax from two to three pence on a 
pound. in 1740, the surplus, after paying the minister's salary, was 
to be placed in the hands of Capt. Joseph Bird, of Litchfield, to 
be " improved by him as best could be " until the inhabitants should 
engage in building the house, when it was to be used for that pur- 
pose. 

In May, 1746, the assembly appointed Ebenezer Marsh and Joseph 
Bird of Litchfield, and Nathaniel Baldwin, of Goshen, a committee 
to locate a site tor a meeting house and report to the next session of 
that body. Upon that report rendered October, 1746, the assembly 
resolved " that the place to build a meeting house in said town, shall 
be about thirty rods northward of the house of Ebenezer Lyman, 
Esq., in the cross highway, which runs east and west, where said 
committee have set up a stake with a large heap of stones about it, 
the sills of said house to enclose said heap of stones." 

In the following winter a frame was erected on this site, thirty 
feet square with eighteen feet posts, under the directions of a com- 
mittee appointed by the town. At this stage of the house some- 
body thought the house too high, and this committee was dismissed 
and another appointed who cut down the posts to eight feet in 
height. A memorial was then carried to the assembly, which 
stopped the proceedings of the town, restored the first committee, 
and ordered the house to be built with eighteen feet posts. An 
execution was granted against the persons who cut down the 
posts of the house and a fine of £21 6s. 5d. imposed upon 
them. These proceedings delayed the building of the house more 
than a year. 

A new memorial was presented in October, 1748, for a change of 
the site ; a committee was appointed to look into the matter and 
report, which they did in May, 1749, and the place was established 



22 History of Torrington. 

at a stake within the south line of a lot belonging to John Whiting, 
between sixty and seventy rods northward of the place which was 
heretofore affixed for a meeting house, so as to include the said stake 
within the sills of the said house. "^ 

The meeting house was built at the place last designated, and was 
standing there in October, 1751, when the road was laid running 
northwest from the meeting house. 

It was a framed building, eigliteen feet posts, and thirty feet square. 
How it was covered is spoken of as a mystery, as something about 
the house gave it the name of the Hemlock church. It was built 
and seated, in the gallery and below, in the simplest manner. It is 
said that the seats were made of slabs, flat side up, with sticks for 
legs. This is tradition. Deacon John Whiting's account book, 
still preserved, tells us that he was engaged at different times for 
many years, to 1 781, in repairing the seats to the meeting house. 
Therefore it is probable that the seats were not stationary, and from 
that reason were soon out of repair. 

In this house minister Roberts preached to the end of his life, 
some twenty-five years from the time it was built. Here the early 
settlers assembled from Sabbath to Sabbath, being seldom absent 
when service was held, unless really sick. The sermon was given 
forenoon and afternoon ; none in the evening. No prayer meet- 
ings during the week, but sometimes preaching service at distant 
school houses, yet not much of this in Mr. Roberts's day. 

It was not obligatory on the saints of those days to run to church 
three times a week in order to keep out of the hands of the evil one 
the rest of the week. Their Sunday preaching, Bible reading and 
catechism lasted at least six days before it was entirely forgotten. ' 

It was supposed to be the duty of the hearers of the Word to exer- 
cise their powers, to study, investigate and apply, intelligently, the 
doctrines, principles and teachings of the sermons they heard, and 
not leave it all to be done by the minister. Then the people were 
thinkers TiS well as hearers; and the sermons were strong with doc- 
trines, principles, rules and laws, intended to set men to thinking.^ 
It is a blundering mistake, as well as an injustice to the fathers and 



' Colonial Records. 

2 The author of this work has in his possession a schedule of questions for study, for seve- 
ral successive weeks, presented by Rev. Daniel Brinsmade, of Washington, Ct., to the 
women of his congregation, in 1760. Many of these questions would trouble a class of 
professors of a theological institute to answer. 



Religious Privileges. 23 

mothers of a century ago, to suppose that, because their heads were 
not filled with the reading of a hundred books a year of thin quality 
though great in quantity, therefore they were no thinkers, and pos- 
sessed but little refinement of sentiment and taste. The intellectual 
faculties were brought into vigorous exercise in those days, in regard 
to all the great questions of life, though in a different form, as well 
as, and as thoroughly as, at the present day. 

Hence to go to church was a glory, an honor, an intellectual pri- 
vilege, and not a drudgery of which they would gladly rid themselves. 
Therefore the church was full, and full morning and afternoon. 
Meeting house life was a part of home life. Sympathy of joys and 
sorrows was to be found and rendered at the house of God ; and it 
was home ; the one great home for all the people. 

When, therefore, the first inhabitants had met in that old hem- 
lock church thirty-five years, under such circumstances, after 
many of the fathers had passed away, and their funerals been attended 
in that house, the place where many of their children were baptized, 
it may well be supposed to have been a place cherished and hallowed 
in the memories of most of the people. That old hemlock church ; 
that first church ; on that high hill, cold in winter, breezy and beau- 
tiful in summer, looking out to the four corners oi the earth from 
old Torrington, was a place long to be remembered. 

Where. do the thousands of the living descendants, of the families 
who used to meet in that church, now meet for worship ? In all 
parts of the United States to the Pacific ocean; in South America, 
on the Sandwich islands ; in the Canadas, and in Europe. 




CHAPTER V. 

IMPROVEMENTS. 

The Fort. 

*^^^;^ UILDING a fort was a work of necessity for the 
iM '-^^/yj, safety of the inhabitants of the town. In October, 1744, 
the town voted thirty-five pounds six shillings and six 
pence, as one-half of the cost of building a fort. It was 
located near Ebenezer Lyman's dwelling, on the west side of the present 
road at that place, and was built of chestnut logs split in halves and 
standing in the ground, rising to the height of about eight feet. The 
object of the fort was, protection to the inhabitants from the ravages 
of the Indians, especially the raids of the Mohawks, which were made 
for the one only purpose of pillage and destruction. The Connecti- 
cut Indians had learned, many years before, to make little trouble for 
the settlers. Various narrations are still repeated about the fright of 
the people ; the haste with which they fled to the fort, leaving nearly 
everything in their homes, and remaining over night and sometimes 
several days, in great anxiety as to their own lives and also the safety 
of their homes. And for a time the settlers sought homes near this 
fort. Several of them owned lots on the east side, but sold them 
and bought on the west side and then brought their families into the 
town near the fort, and others lived on the west side while they 
worked their lands on the east side. 

This fear of the Indians was the greatest disturber of the peace of 
the people in the new settlements. The dread of the wild beasts, 
though no inconsiderable matter, was of little weight compared to the 
terror produced at the report of the coming of the Mohawk Indians. 
The alarm at the approach of the Indians was given by lighting signal 
fires on the hills from Albany eastward as the party advanced. Hence, 
if an accidental fire occurred in the direction of the Hudson river it 
was taken as an alarm fire, and the people hastened to the fort to 
wait until information could be obtained of the cause of the fire. 
This state of society came to an end soon after the close of the 
French war in 1760. The old fort served its purpose as a refuge in 



Improvements. 25 

time of need, was a number of times occupied by the frightened in- 
habitants, for several days at a time ; then gradually tumbled down, 
leaving; nothing but a mound seventy-five feet by one hundred, 
which still marks the place of its once warlike standing. There is 
said to be another mound about three-fourths of a mile westerly 
from the site of this old fort, which marks the place of some fortifi- 
cation, either of the Indians before, or by the first settlers of the town, 

A school house was built within the fort, in 1745 ;^ the first insti- 
tution of learning in the town. In this house religious services were 
held several years. It was probably a framed house and of good size, 
as the only public building in the town at that time. Town meetings, 
very likely, were also held at this house for several years. 

Deacon Cook's house, built in 1740 or 1741, was a framed build- 
ing ; the frame still standing, it having been re-covered several times. 
It is probable that Deacon Lyman's house was a framed building and 
those of Asahel Strong and Jacob Strong on the road south of Mill 
brook, and Israel Everitt's and others on the road west of Deacon 
Cook's, also those of Abel Beach, Aaron Loomis and others on the 
present Goshen road, which were built before 1742.^ The site of the 
first Grant house is in the lot north of Dea. F. P. Hills' present 
dwelling. Joel Thrall's second home, probably, stood some little 
distance south of Dea. F. P. Hills' dwelling, was one of the first 
houses put up in the town and may have been a log house. 

So far as ascertained, the first settler in Torringford was Abraham 
Dibble, or his son Daniel, in 1744 or 5, on the second lot laid out 
from Harwinton line, the place still known as the Dibble place. The 
next settler was Benjamin Bissell, a little north of the Shubael Gris- 
wold place on the east side of the street, where Mr. Bissell kept a 
tavern a number of years. He came probably in 1745. The third 
settler was John Birge, on the present Roswell Birge place. Nehe- 
miah Gaylord made his home opposite Benjamin Bissell's, a little 
north, in a log house first, probably in 1746. Elijah Gaylord settled 
on a farm that included the site of the present Torringford church, 
and the burying ground ; his log house standing in the lot southeast 
of the present church, in 1747. Shubael Griswold built his house 
a little south of Nehemiah Gaylord's in 1754, and made his home 



' Rev. J. A. McKinstry in Manual of the First Church. Dea. L. Wetmore in Wolcott- 
ville Register, 1875. 

* Since writing the above it has been ascertained that nearly all the first dwellings were 
built with logs. 



26 History of Torrington. 

there. He lived on the west side of the town a year or two before 
this house was completed and before he was married. In 1752 or 
1753, John Burr settled on the place long known by his name, and 
Benjamin Matthews came about the same time, with Mr. Burr from 
Farmington ; the others were from Windsor. Soon after this came 
Dea. Jonathan Kelsey and his son Nathan from Woodbury. Between 
1753 and 1760, came Joshua, David, Daniel and Aaron Austin 
from Suffield, some of whom settled on West street ; and Aaron 
Yale from Wallingford, and some others from Windsor, and Samuel 
and Ephraim Durwin from Waterbury. 

Apple Trees. 

Many of the early settlers having been reared in those parts of the 
state where apples had become an important commodity in the en- 
joyment of life, were led, in the early stages of the settlement, to 
give much attention to the planting of this kind of tree. This is 
very evident from the large quantity of apples and cider found here 
in 1770, and afterwards. In 1773, there were four cider mills on 
the west side, and at least one brandy still. An apple orchard would 
not reach any considerable maturity under twenty years, and there- 
fore the planting of such orchards must have been one of the first 
great enterprises of the town. 

Everitt's Mill. 

Israel Everitt had a grist mill on Mill brook, on the site which was 
afterwards occupied by General Sheldon's tannery, afterwards Raphael 
Marshall's. This mill was gone in 1760, and the place is spoken of 
as the old grist mill, and Everitt's mill, and therefore it must have 
been built very early. In 1739, Mr. Everitt sold a piece of land, in 
the hollow west of Deacon Cook's house, upon which was erected a 
tannery, and there may have been a run of stone at that place for 
grinding grain, but the probability is that Mr. Everitt, soon after 1739, 
built the grist mill on Mill brook, and if so it was the first one in the 
town. 

Wilson's Mill. 

One of the great institutions in Torrington for fifty years and more 
was Wilson's mill. 

At their meeting on June 22d, 1743, after the second division of 



Improvements. 27 

lands was made, the proprietors voted that " Thomas Stoughton, 
Jacob Strong and Ebenezer Lyman, Jr., be a committee to lease a 
convenient place for a corn mill in the proprietors' land on Water- 
bury river as shall be needful to accommodate the setting of a mill, 
to some suitable person that will engage to build a corn mill, between 
Lieut. Nathaniel Gaylord's lot and Thomas Stoughton's lot." 

The mill was not built at that time, for a vote of the proprietors 
passed in January, 1757, says a mill lot should be laid out, and that 
this lot with all the privileges thereof should be sold to the highest 
bidder. Accordingly the committee, Jacob Strong, Ebenezer Lyman, 
Jr., and Elijah Gaylord, sold this lease, in the next March, to Amos 
Wilson, " for and during the full term of nine hundred ninety and 
nine years, from and after the date of these presents." The land 
contained in this lease, on the west side of the river was estimated to 
be twenty acres, that on the east side, one acre ; and for this land 
and mill privilege, Amos Wilson paid four hundred and fifty pounds, 
old tenor ; or fifteen hundred dollars. 

In the same month Amos Wilson sold certain parts of this pro- 
perty and formed a stock company ; Amos Wilson, Noah Wilson, 
Jacob Strong, Ashael Strong, Ebenezer Lyman, Jr., and William 
Grant being the stock owners. The mill was built as a saw mill 
and continued such only, so far as is known, for several years. An 
old account book of Amos Wilson is preserved and shows that much 
work was done in this mill. In 1776, is first mentioned the grist 
mill, and from that time until 1794, the accounts of the grist mill 
are regularly recorded, and then a new grist mill is mentioned. The 
owners of this mill changed but seldom. After fifteen or twenty 
years Jacob Strong sold to Samuel Everitt, and some time after this 
Matthew Grant sold to David Soper. When the grist mill was added, 
the proprietors became Amos Wilson, Noah Wilson, Ashael Strong, 
and Noah Wilson Jr. Joseph Taylor bought one share of this mill 
in 1781. 

First Taverns. 

One of the first taverns was erected and kept by Epaphras Sheldon 
a little north of Ebenezer Lyman's, on the east side of the road. 
Mr, Sheldon having received quite a farm from his father and having 
purchased several pieces of land, made his home here about 1760, 
and was of considerable importance as a new settler, and for thirty 
years he was as prominent as any man in the business transactions of 



28 History of Torrington. 

the town, and in social, military and political positions. His tavern 
was the head quarters for most doings of the town. The road run- 
ning north and south past his house was the race course for running 
horses, and the fields near his house were the parade grounds for 
military drill, until after the center of the town became established at 
at the green, after the building of the second meeting house. 

Ephraim Bancroft, lived a little north of Mr. Sheldon's and also 
kept a tavern, but whether it was established as soon as the other is 
not ascertained. In these taverns the people often assembled during 
the Revolution, to learn the news and to discuss the great questions 
then exciting the minds of the people. What anxiety at times filled 
the minds of those thus assembled and how sadly many a man went 
home from those places, to speak of the sad news to an anxious 
mother, and to mourn in a home which once broken couH never be 
made whole. 

Capt. Abel Beach kept a tavern beginning some time before the 
revolutionary war, but at what time he opened his house for public 
entertainment cannot be definitely ascertained. Noah North's ac- 
count book indicates that Capt. Beach had a tavern as early as 1764, 
but he may have kept such a house several years before. 

John Burr, of Farmington, bought in 1751 and in 1752, land 
amounting to over four hundred pounds monev, and settled in the 
town in 1753, on the farm known many years as the Burr place, east 
of Burrville, on the hill. Here Mr. Burr was keeping a tavern in 
1762, and may have opened such a house some years earlier. 

Shubael Griswold built his house on the corner of Torringford 
street and what was afterwards the Torrington turnpike, in 1754, and 
opened it as a tavern about 1757. His son Thaddeus Griswold, con- 
tinued it as a public house many years. 

Benjamin Bissell's tavern, stood a little north of Shubael Griswold's, 
and was kept as a public house some years before the Revolution ; 
and still later David Soper kept a tavern on Torringford street, west 
side, near the first meeting house. 




CHAPTER VI. 

TORRINGTON CHURCH. 

'HE Rev. Nathaniel Roberts closed his ministerial 
and earthly labors on the fourth of March 1776. The 
church under his care had prospered in an ordinary degree 
compared with other churches of the same order in its 
vicinity, and had been conducted on the broadest principles of doc- 
trine and usage for that day. They had a creed and covenant from 
the first organization in 1741, as appears from papers still preserved. 
The discipline of the church had been as carefully attended to as was 
the custom among churches of the time, with the exception of ad- 
ministering baptism to children under the halfway covenant. This 
practice had caused trouble in many churches but none here while 
Mr. Roberts remained. 

Rev. Noah Merwin followed Mr. Roberts in his pastorate, being 
ordained October 25, 1776. He labored here seven years, but no 
account of the prosperity or doings of the church during that time is 
at hand, he having; taken all such records with him when he left the 
place. There is a paper however, which reveals somewhat of a con- 
flicting element in the mind of the second pastor in regard to the 
former practices of the church. According to the date of the paper 
Mr. Merwin delivered these opinions one year after he was dismissed. 
In his declarations he says : "Justifying faith is necessary in order to 
enter into covenant with God ;" that the " sacrament of baptism is as 
sacred an ordinance as that of the Lord's supper ;" that the "■ church 
has no right to prescribe to the ministers who are the proper subjects 
for him to administer the seals unto ;" that the church " has no right 
to blame a minister for refusing to put to vote anything that is con- 
trary to the dictates of his own conscience." 

All these opinions were in conflict with the former practice of the 
church, hence there was a stirring of both good and bad faith. It is 
apparent that the waters were troubled, not to heal but to divide, 
as the reason why Mr. Merwin was invited to return, after his dis- 
mission, and deliver his opinions. It was not an opinion of the peo- 
ple, alone in regard to Mr. Merwin and his services, but in regard 



30 History of Torrington. 

to certain rules of practice in the church, against which the minds of 
a number of the most substantial and faithful members began to be 
strongly exercised and in consequence of these divisions of opinion 
as to church rules, a disaffection had grown up which caused a de- 
ficiency in the treasury of the society as early as 1781, or earlier. 
Individua' notes had been given by various persons to meet Mr. 
Merwin's claims, and the matter was brought to issue in 1782, 
whether the society would pay those notes. Some arrangement was 
effected and Mr. Merwin was paid. This rrruch the papers show. 
^Tradition tells us that Mr. Merwin being paid in continental money 
was unfortunate, in that the revolutionary war closed, peace was de- 
clared, and his money was worthless. He asked that the society 
should make up his loss, they declined, and he requested to be dis- 
missed, which was granted by a regular council November 26, 1783. 
The account book of Deacon Whiting shows that Mr. Merwin 
preached here much of the time during the summer of 1784, residing 
in Cornwall; his preaching services being held in the old church. 

Another paper is preserved, which shows that the defection in 
the church and society was not originated in regard to Mr. Mer- 
win, but through a movement which had troubled many churches 
in Connecticut more than twenty years, in regard to church 
government and practices. In the present case the objection 
raised was that the church in its usages was not strictly Congrega- 
tianal, and therefore was indulging practices which were injurious 
to the cause of religion. The items were, the halfway covenant, 
the authority of a council, and the authority of the minister. 
Mr. Merwin held that when advice had been given by the Consocia- 
tion, by itself or through a council, if the advice was not received 
and obeyed, the Consociation should withdraw fellowship and com- 
munion from such church. The two men who were the leaders 
toward the so-called strict congregational rules, were Benoni Hills 
and Ebenezer Coe ; both, men of sound and discriminating judg- 
ment. These brethren gave to the church in a letter dated May 
15, 1781, their objections to the practices of the church in regard to 
government, and requested letters of dismission. Instead of granting 
the request the church proposed several questions in writing to these 
brethren, the last of which reads thus: "Wherein does this church 
differ from the strict Congregational churches in New England." 
The church desired a mutual council ; these brethren declined doing 
any thing further. Two years passed with this controversy going 



TORRINGTON ChURCH. 3I 

on, during which difficulties arose about paying Mr. Merwin, and 
the church voted, September 2, 1683, that Benoni Hills and Ebe- 
nezer Coe, by leaving us in the manner they have and going to join the 
Separates, have dismissed themselves from us, and therefore are no 
longer of us. This was done two months before Mr. Merwin was 
dismissed. 

Nine days before the meeting of the council to dissolve the pas- 
toral relations of Mr. Merwin the church voted that, " this church has 
nothing to object against the Rev. Mr. Merwin as to his moral cha- 
racter or his ministerial performances since he took a pastoral care 
and charge over us. Nevertheless taking into consideration the 
broken, and divided state of the church and congregation, this church 
on the whole think it best that Mr. Merwin's ministerial relation to 
us and the society be dissolved, and we desire the same solely on 
this account, that we hope it will be for the peace of the society and 
the advancement of religion among us, and for Mr. Merwin's com- 
fort and more extensive usefulness." 

The Rev. Lemuel Haynes was the next minister, commencing 
his labors early in the summer of 1785. He was a talented, devoted 
man, well and favorably received by his ministerial brethern ; but 
African blood flowed in his veins, and there were prejudices existing 
in those days sufficient to make trouble as to this matter, if in all other 
respects there had been peace in the community. After Mr. Haynes 
had preached here a few months there was such rising of courage 
and union of disposition as to secure a combination to support the 
gospel. Forty-six persons covenanted together, not as a society nor 
as a church, but as individuals, that "we will join together in our en- 
deavor to procure steady preaching, and to keep up and maintain the 
public worship of God among ourselves, with a view to the calling 
and settling a gospel minister as soon as God, in his providence shall 
open a door therefor." They agreed to pay according to their list, 
or by subscription, as should be deemed best. From this last item 
it may be seen that a part of the trouble arose from the system of 
taxing every tax-payer for the support of the preaching. 

The subscribers to this agreement dated October 3, 1785, were 

Increase Grant/ William Wilson, Epaphras Loomis, 

Nathaniel Barber, Joseph Blake, Samuel Beach, 

Elihu Cook, Elijah Barber, Hannah Loomis, 



* Lived in the edge of Litchfield. 



32 



History of Torrington. 



Noah Fowler, 
Urijah Cook, 
Joshua Leach, 
Richard Leach, 
Richard Leach, Jr. 
Caleb Leach, 
George Baldwin, 
Jonathan Coe, 
Ebenezer Coe, 
Amos Wilsoa, 
Abijah Wilson, 
Joseph Taylor, 
Lemuel Loomis, 



Asahel Wilcox, 
Noah Wilson, Jr., 
Eli Barber, 
Guy Wolcott, 
Noah Wilson, 
Roger Wilson, 
Oliver Filley, 
Nathaniel Leach, 
Caleb Lyman, 
John Whiting, 
Bushniel Benedict, 
Benoni Hills, 
Wait Beach, 



Elisha Smith, 
Abner Loomis, 
Richard Loomis, 
Moses Loomis, 
Moses Loomis, Jr., 
Adna Beach, 
Isaac Filley, 
Timothy Barber, 
Caleb Munson, 
John Beach, 
Margaret Thrall. 



In November of the same year a meeting of these subscribers was 
held and they appointed a moderator, clerk and treasurer and col- 
lector, in regular order, and voted a tax of " one penny on the pound, 
to be paid in money or the following articles : wheat and peas at five 
shillings a bushel, rye 3s, 6d, per bushel and Indian corn at 2s, 6d 
per bushel." 

In the next March they voted that the committee " invite Mr. 
Lemuel Haynes to preach with us some time longer." That meant 
six months, at the end of which time, September 1786, they voted to 
" invite Mr. Haynes to preach to us the winter coming," and ap- 
pointed a committee to " see that Mr. Haynes be provided for." 

At the same time of the above action, it was voted that " Ensign 
Beach set the Psalm," and that Noah Fowler, Seth Munson and 
Remembrance North be appointed to assist Ensign Beach in setting 
the Psalm." It was abouf this time that singing began to be con- 
ducted by a choir sitting in the gallery, about which there were some 
conflicting feelings that caused some little commotion in the church 
and community, but which soon quieted down, all being convinced 
that the change was an improvement. 

All the records of the doings of the first society, to this time, 1785, 
are missing, and no conjecture as to what became of them is made, 
except they were among the records Mr. Merwin took with him and 
which he refused to return, after being requested to do so. Such 
records would doubtless show much effort on the part of the people 
to improve the singing, as was the custom in most churches in 
those days. There were a large number of excellent singers in the 
society at the time ; families by the dozen in which there were from 
three to a half dozen. Some families could have formed a choir, 
singing four parts, and have had several singers " to spare for their 



ToRRINGTON ChuRCH. ^3 , 

neighbors," if any could be found that were in need. One hundred , 

singers could have been placed in the gallery at one time, that would ^ 

have done honor lo ordinary singing in church, while a full audience  • ' 

would have been left in the body of the church to do congregational ' 

singing. This new departure in singing, from the deacon or deacons i 

in front of the pulpit, to the gallery, took place in the old church in \ \ ^ J 
the spring of 1786. / 

During the summer of 1 786 a meeting house was built as individual ^'.^ 
property and was thus owned about sixteen years, when it was made 
over to the Congregational society, then the established legal bridy. 
It was located a little north of Captain Abel Beach's tavern, at the 
place known for many years afterwards as Torrington green. It was 
two story, having two rows of windows on each side ; one side of the 
house faced the south. The belfry, built a few years after, with a 
high steeple, was on the west end of the building, jutting out from the 
body of the house so far that the west door was on the south side of 
the belfry. There was a door on the south side of the building, and 
one on the east end. One of the conditions on the part of the society 
when iMr. Gillett settled here, in 1792, was that this meeting-house 
should be finished inside. In the Church Manual by Rev. J. A. 
McKinstry, we are told that this steeple was built in 1797, and the 
bell put in and the house thoroughly repaired. As to this bell, 
tradition says that the inhabitants contributed one hundred silver dollars 
which were sent to the maker and the silver put into the bell. 

Meetings were held in the autumn of 1786, and the appearance 
from several papers is that the company who had hired Mr. Haynes, 
removed bodily to the new house as soon as it was ready to be occu- 
pied. Under these circumstances a council of churches was called, 
both parties uniting in the call, and it met November 28, 1786. In 
this meeting an effort was made to prevail with the parties then to 
enter into a union of fellowship and effort, but this failed, and the 
council, after giving advice, dissolved. The rendering of the council 
was that since there was no radical difference between the two 
societies in doctrine or law, the way was open for a union, and that 
both sides should seek such union in the spirit of the religion they 
professed to love; and try to obtain a minister who was in no way 
connected with either party as such, and Rev. Daniel Marsh was 
named as such a man, and suitable for the peculiar place. Soon 
after this, the society at the new church proposed by a committee, 
to the society at the old church, to unite in hiring Mr. Marsh to 

5 



34 



History of Torrington. 




preach, all the time in the new church, or half the time in the new 
and half in the old, changing every two weeks, which offer the old 
society voted to accept, but for some reason it was not carried into effect, 
and Mr. Haynes was invited to preach in the new house during the 
winter, and he continued to preach there until August, 1787. 
Although the business transactions in religious matters, during two 
years, had been conducted in an orderly and civil manner, yet they 
were without authority of the society or church. A number of per- 
sons made an agreement to support the preaching of the gospel and 
the ordinances, and to submit to the decision of a majority of their 
number, and although various names had been applied to these persons, 
they had assumed no titles or formal organization, until the seventh day 
of March, 1787, they put forth certain declarations and principles 
and formed themselves into a regular body or society, under the 
name of the Strict Congregational society, as opposed to what had 
been known and denominated in this town as well as throughout 
Connecticut, the standing order. The peculiar feature of this society 
was that it proceeded upon the voluntary principle in every respect, 
and those who joined it did so by signing the agreement in their own 
1 hand, and such, and none others, were to be taxed for the support of 
\the society. Every statement of these declarations is according to 
the usages and principles of Congregational societies of the present 
day. The following persons signed this paper : 



John Whiting, 
Amos Wilson, 
Samuel Norton, 
Samuel Beach, 
Abner Loomis, 
Caleb Lyman, 
Abel Beach, 
Elisha Smith, 
Abijah Wilson, 
John Morehouse, 
Charles Grant, 
John Beach, 
Timothy Barber, 



Ichabod Loomis, 
Richard Leach, 
Noah Fowler, 
Robert Grannis, 
Adna Beach, 
Caleb Munson, 
Elijah Barber, 
Epaphras Loomis, 
Benoni Loomis, 
Abraham Loomis, 
Wait Beach, 
Seth Holmes, 
Bushniell Benedict, 



Ebenezer Coe, 
Epaphras Loomis, Jr., 
Abel Beach, Jr., 
Benoni Hills, 
Hannah Loomis, 
Jonathan Coe, 
Eli Barber, 
Noah Wilson, 
Noah Wilson, Jr., 
Joseph Taylor, 
Samuel Morehouse, 
Increase Grant, 
Nathaniel Leach. 



On the twenty-second of June, 1787, fifteen persons who had 
been accustomed to meet at the new church, having obtained a state- 
ment of articles of faith and declarations, covenanted together and 
formed themselves into a Congregational church. The articles were 
in the form of that day, the declarations could scarcely be objected 



ToRRINGTON ChURCH. 2S 

to by any Congregational church of the present day. The persons 
so uniting were : 

Benoni Hills, Jo^'" Whiting, Hannah Loomis, 

Abel Beach, Amos Wilson, Keziah Beach, 

Ebenezer Coe, Wait Beach, Mary Hills, 

Increase Grant, Timothy Barber, Martha Beach, 

Samuel Norton, Mary Loomis, Mindwell Grant. 

From a paper drawn, to be presented at the meeting of the council 
in November, 1786, and the several proceedings stated above, it is 
evident that those who formed the new society and church were 
the reliable and faithful members and supporters of the old society 
and church. These persons, headed by Dea. John Whiting, Amos 
Wilson, Ebenezer Coe, and Benoni Hills, had entertained the idea, 
during Mr. Merwin's preaching, and perhaps for many years previous, 
that the halfway covenant was not a gospel method of building up 
the church. While Mr. Merwin was here they sustained him ; when 
he went away they continued to keep up the meetings regularly at 
the old meeting house. The disaffected drew away and went to 
Goshen to worship. Several society meetings were called in regular 
order; and the disaffected came in and voted against nearly alll pro- 
positions of those who remained at the old church.' When it became 
evident that through the regular society meetings nothing could be 
carried forward to sustain the preaching of the gospel, these men, 
true to their covenant agreement, prepared the paper, afterwards 
signed by forty-six names, and hired Mr. Haynes, around whom 
some of the disaffected gathered, with the others, and gave him a com- 
fortable support. Mr. Haynes had not preached long, before, instead 
of persons going to Goshen to hear preaching, the Goshen people 
began to come to hear Mr. Haynes, and it was a matter of some feel- 
ing on the part of the faithful in Goshen that their people would go 
away from home, and especially to hear that colored man preach. 
Although such were the facts, yet the party which claimed to be the 
old church, because they held to Mr. Roberts's view of the halfway 
covenant, resisted the efforts to sustain Mr. Haynes, and would not 
acquiesce with any proposition of union at the new church. The 
Separates, therefore were those who continued to sustain the meetings 



'At one society meeting, regularly called, the disaffected came a little before the usual 
time for commencing the meeting; organized, and voted down the objects for which the 
meeting was called, adjourned the meeting and started home, when they met the other party 
on their way to ihe meeting. 



36 History of Torrington. 

at the old church ; hired Mr. Haynes, and afterward built the new 
meeting house, but believed that none should be admitted to the 
sacraments except those who professed to have become true Christians. 

The change of the site of the church was important, since the 
northern portion of the town had become quite thickly settled, and 
the business transactions were centering more and more at Dr. Hodges' 
store and Capt. Abel Beach's tavern ; and the Noppet people were 
having Baptist preaching in their part of the town. 

It is probable that services were held at the old church frequently, 
if not regularly, from the time the new church was opened until the 
spring of 1 79 1, although no records to this effect have been seen. 
Dea. John Whiting's account book shows that various ministers 
preached in the new church between 1787, and 1791 ; among them 
Mr. Knapp, Mr. Parmlee and Mr. Brinsmade; the last received 
his pay at one time in fifty pounds of iron, valued at nine shillings. 

In the spring of 1791 three ministers, Daniel Brinsmade, Ammi 
R. Robbins, and Samuel J. Mills were called to advise with both 
parties, and if possible effect asettlementof the whole matter, and after 
hearing both sides, they delivered a very dignified reprimand to both 
parties, but it is very evident that the larger portion of the censure 
fell on those who remained at the old church. The effort was 
successful, and the articles of faith and the covenant presented, appear 
to have been accepted, and from this time it is probable that meet- 
ings ceased to be held at the old meeting house. 

In the latter part of the winter of i 792, the Rev. Alexander Gillett 
was invited to preach a few Sabbaths, and on the eighth of March the 
church voted to invite him to become their pastor, and on the twenty- 
second of the same month the society passed a vote to the same 
effect. This invitation Mr. Gillett accepted and was installed May 
23, 1792; Benjamin Trumbull, D.D., and Jonathan Edwards, 
Jr., D.D.^ and other ministers taking part in the services. 

The success of Mr. Gillett, in drawing all the people around him 
in one cooperative brotherhood, was complete. The announcement 
of his acceptance of the pastorship was heralded through the parish 
with great expressions of joy and congratulation; so much so that 
some persons, after the Sabbath services when the acceptance was 
announced, rode in various directions, without stopping for meals, 
to carry the tidings to those who were not at church that day. 

From that time, all strife appears to have been fully forgotten, and 
buried without hope of resurrection. The church prospered. Gradu- 
ally they gathered the scattered influences and powers, and tried to 



TORRINGTON ChURCH. 37 

build the walls which had been to a great extent broken down. But 
t[i£jL£ould not gather all as they once were, for the Methodist people 
had made inroads on the south near Wolcottville, and the Baptists 
had started quite a church at Newfield, and the lost ground could 
not be recovered. Mr. Gillett seeing what was taking place at the 
northeast, poured hot shot from the pulpit, as was the custom then, 
which only made more Baptists ; wherefore, he deserted that line of 
defence, leaving the gunboats to the Baptists safely moored in the 
east branch of the Naugatuck at Newfield, and preached the gospel 
of salvation the more earnestly at Torrington green. The work 
went forward cheeringly. The meeting house was finished inside at 
considerable expense, and the steeple erected according to the best 
Presbyterian style, and a bell placed in it, 

In 1799, came " the great awakening ; " the first that Torrington ' 
had ever known in its first church. The seventeenth of November, 
1799, was a great day, when thirty-three persons, mostly heads of 
families, united with the church ; nine others having done the same 
in September, previous, and seven more followed in the next January. 

In the winter of 1816 there was another large addition to the 
church. In the summer of 1816, that remarkable minister, Asahel 
Nettleton, D.D., assisted Mr. Gillett in preaching and holding 
meetings for three months or more, and the result was the greatest 
religious awakening ever known in that church. His first text 
remembered still, by a boy then sixteen years of age, was : " Where- 
fore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.'" 



' The Rev. John A. McKinstry, in a letter dated June 12, 1844, says of that revival : 
" It extended through the parish, and was quite powerful. Even at this period, when first 
impressions have gone, that revival is called, ' the revival in Torrington,' there having been 
none since of equal extent and power. The subjects of that work, with few exceptions, 
have adorned their profession, and some of them have been, and still are, pillars in the 
church. The influence of this revival upon the church, and upon the community, was in 
a h igh d egree salutary. The work was solemn, and the truths presented, plain and search- 
ing. The true character and condition of the sinner was clearly set before him, and he was 
shown that his only hope was in the sovereign- mercy of God through a crucified Savior. 
The measures adopted were such as were common in this region at that time ; such as the 
ministry of the word on the Sabbath, frequent visitation, personal conversation on the sub- 
ject of religion, and prayer meetings during the week. In personal conversation, Mr. Nettle- 
ton abounded, and many attributed their religious impressions to the truth presented at such 
times. At the communion in November, 1816, the first fruits were gathered into the 
church, and in the January following, several more were added. The number that joined 
at these seasons was about fifty. Others were added at subsequent seasons, but the precise 
number cannot be stated. It is reported, however, that the number of conversions was 
about seventy." (See memoir of Nettleton, page 80.) 



38 History of Torrington. 

Again in 1821, did the Rev. Father Gillett see the prosperity of 
Zion in the addition of twenty at one time to his church. The 
thirty-three years of his labors with this people were years of much 
work and a proportionate amount of success, and must have given 
him great satisfaction during the closing years of life. He closed his 
labors and entered his rest January 19, 1 826, aged seventy-seven years. 

Rev. William R. Gould was pastor of this church five years, his 
labors being divided one or more years with the church in Wolcott- 
ville. He was a good and true minister, but the years had come when 
the people were going from the old homes in Torrington to all parts 
of the country, and the church and congregation were destined to 
grow less instead of increasing. 

The Rev. Milton Huxley was stated supply, or preached without 
being installed, for the term of nine years, after Mr. Gould. He is 
well spoken of, and the church and society kept on its even way 
of growing less in numbers by removals from the parish. 

The next minister was the Rev. John Alexander McKinstry, who 
was ordained pastor October 5, 1842, and continued his labors until 
1857. He was a faithful minister; a man of considerable energy 
and activity ; a steady worker in the Sunday school ; diligent and 
careful in looking after the interests of the church, and in visiting 
public schools. While here he commenced collecting material for 
the history of the town, but the author of this book has not been able 
to obtain any aid from the collections then made except from the 
manual of the Torrington church, which has been a convenience of 
much value. It was during JVIr. McKinstry's pastorate that the old 
meeting house was taken down and another built in its place. Mr. 
McKinstry closed his labors here in the autumn of 1857, ^"^ ^^^ 
settled the next Sabbath after in Harwinton, After this the Rev. 
Charles B. Dye preached as a supply, one year ; and following him 
the Rev. Sylvanus C. Marvin was obtained, and continued four 
years. He is spoken of in high terms of appreciation and remem- 
brance. He left in the spring of i865, and settled in Woodbridge 
near New Haven, where he still remains. 

Rev. Jacob H. Strong was the next minister employed. He 
preached his first sermon here Nov. 12, 1865 ; was not installed, 
but continued to preach four years. He was an acceptable minister, 
and his labors were successful in all respects. It was while he was 
laboring here in the week of the Fourth of July, 1869, that the Rev. 
John D. Potter held a series of meetings with this church. Of this 



ToRRINGTON ChURCH. 



39 



meeting Mr. Strong says : " Considerable religious interest succeeded 
and there were twenty or more hopeful conversions ; twelve united 
with the church." 

Some considerable money had been established as a fund for the 
society, as early as 1815, when the ministry lot was sold for two 
thousand, two hundred dollars, A large proportion of this money 
had been used by the society in various extremities, and Mr. Strong 
engaged in the arduous task of soliciting money to replace what had 
been used and thus keep the fund at its original amount. By great 
perseverance, and the earnest efforts of others, he succeeded, and 
thereby did a good work for the church and society. It was during 
his labors also that the incipient steps were taken which resulted in 
the removal of the meeting house from the green to Torrington hol- 
low. In the beginning of winter in 1869, Mr. Strong removed to 
California, for the health of his family, and the church was supplied 
by the Sabbath, for a year or more. In the autumn of 1872, Rev. 
Michael J. Callan was engaged to preach and continued about a year 
and a half, and considerable religious interest was manifested under his 
labors in the spring of 1874, and several united with the church. 

The author of this book preached for this church over a year, 
commencing in the summer of 1874, and during that time he began 
collecting material for this work. 

Under the labors of the Rev. Charles P. Croft, this church expe- 
rienced in the winter of 1876 and 7, a very general awakening to 
religious interests. Not only were there sixty or more conversions 
but the spirit of remoulding after the gospel, pervaded the whole 
community, and the result was greatly in favor of the perpetuity of 
the life of the old church. 

Officers of the Church. 

Ministers. 

Rev. Nathaniel Roberts, ordained Oct., 1741; died March 4, 1776. 
Rev. Noah Merwin, ordained Oct. 25, 17765 dis. Nov. 26, 1783. 
Rev. Alexander Gillett, ins. May 23, 1792; died Jan. 19, 1826, aged 77. 
Rev. William Ripley Gould, ins. Feb. 28, 1827; dis. Feb. 12, 1832. 
Rev. Milton Huxley, supply 1833 to 1842. 
\ Rev. John A. McKinstry, ord. Oct. 5, 18425 dis. 1857. 
Rev. Charles B. Dye, supply one year. 
Rev. Sylvanus Marvin, supply four years. 
Rev. Jacob H. Strong, " Nov. 12, 1865 to 1869. 
Rev. Michael J. Callan, " one year and a half. 
Rev. Samuel Orcutt, " one year and a half. 
Rev. Charles P. Croft, " autumn of 1876 to 



40 



History of Torrington. 



Ministers Raised. 
Rev. Timothy P. Gillett, Rev. Luther Hart, 

Rev. James Beach, Rev. Abel K. Hinsdale, 

Rev. Miles Grant. 



Ebenezer Lyman, 
John Cook, 
John Whiting, 
Wait Beach, 
Abel Hinsdale, 
DocT. Elijah Lyman, 
Guy Wolcott, 
Marvin Barber, 
Giles Ward, 
Rodney Pierce, 
Lorrain Hinsdale, 
Frederick P. Hills, 
Lyman R. Pond, 





Deacons. 




chosen 1742, died 1762; 


aged 80. 




1755. " 1779. 


" 61. 




1764, " 1820, 


" 92. 




1794, « 1810, 


" 64. 




1802, " 1851, 


« 86. 




1813, " 1819. 






1 8 21, dismissed. 






1822, died 1840, 


aged 44. 




1838, " 1845, 


«' 76. 




1846. 






1850, removed. 






1869. 






•1877. 





Members of the Church. 
Organized Oct. 21, 1 741. 



Ebenezer Lyman, and his wife Experience, 
Ebenezer Lyman Jr., and his wife Sarah, 
Ebenezer North, and his wife Sybil, 
Jonathan Coe, and his wife Elizabeth, 
Jacob Strong, and his wife iVIindwell, 

Margaret Thrall (Joel), 
Ebenezer Coe, and his wife Jane, 
Samuel Damon, and his wife. 



Abel Beach, and his wife Margaret, 
Nathaniel Barber, and his wife Hepziba, 
John Cook, and his wife Rachel, 
Asahel Strong. [Seventeen in number]. 



1742. 



Thomas Stoughton Jr., 

Margaret Roberts (Rev. N.), 
Joseph Beach, and his wife, 
Sarah Grant (Wm.), 
Nathan Beach, 
Elizabeth Thrall (Daniel), 

Hannah Loomis (Aaron). 

Beriah Hills*' and his wife Mary.* 



Samuel Damon Jr., and his wife, 
John Damon, and his wife, 
Anne Wilson (Noah). 

1743- 

Hannah Lyman. 

1744- 

Aaron Loomis, and his wife Deborah, 
Aaron Loomis Jr., 
Mindwell Loomis, 
Esther Loomis. 

1746. 

1747- 



1 All names marked with a star, " owned their covenant and were taken under the watch and care of the 
church," under the halfway covenant, and could have their children baptized, though they were not 
" members in full cemmunion." 



















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TORRINGTON ChURCH. 



41 



Israel Avered, and his wife Abigail, 
Joseph Fowler, 
Amos Wilson, 

Joshua Phelps,* 
Abigail Coe (Thomas), 



1749. 

John Whiting. 
1751. 

John Birge.* 
1752. 

Joseph Drake.* 

1753- 

Hannah Mott (Jonathan). 

1754- 



Samuel Cole [Cowles] and his wife Martha, William Filley and his wife Abiah, 

Timothy Judd and his wife, Joel Loomis, 

David Birge, Isabel Loomis (Abraham), 

Mary Curtiss, Jerusha Loomis, 

Zebulon Curtiss and his mother Mary, and Isabel Loomis (daughters of Abraham), 



his wife Lydia, 
Ichabod Loomis and his wife Dorothy, 

Elizabeth Marshall (Thomas). 

Moses Loomis and his wife Sarah,* 
Epaphras Loomis* and his wife,* 
Samuel Cowles, 



Benjamin Ives,* and his wife R.* 



1755- 



1756. 



Sarah Whiting (John), 
Phebe a slave of Joel Thrall. 



1757- 



Benjamin Whiting* and his wife Esther,* Abner Loomis* and his wife Sarah,* 

Elizabeth Loomis (Joel), Abner Loomis Jun.* and his wife,* 

Noah North and his wife, William Coe* and his wife.* 

1758. 
Charles Mather* and his wife Ruth,* Ephraim Loomis,* 

John Wetmore* and his wife Elizabeth,* Henry Akins* and his wife.* 

1759- 
Asahel North* and his wife Ruth,* Mary Coe (Thomas). 



Aaron Alverd and his wife, 
Noah Brown* and his wife,* 

Mary Cowles, 

Amasa Marshall* and his wife,* 

Martin North* and his wife*, 

Abraham Filley,* and his wife,* 
Joseph Haskins,* and his wife,* 
Ephraim Durwin, and his wife, 
Edward Eggleston,* and his wife,* 
Jabez Gillett,* and his wife,* 

6 



July 6, 1760. 

Adam Mott* and his wife.* 

1761. 

Ebenezer Miller* and his wife,* 
Wife of David Brown. 

1762. 

David Austin,* and his wife,* 
Asahel Wilcox,* and his wife,* 
Samuel Everet,* and his wife,* 
Thomas Curtiss,* and his wife.* 



42 



History of Torrington 



Henry Akins, renewed cov. and reed, in 
Joseph Thrall,* and his wife,* 
The wife of Oliver Coe,* 

Wife of Matthew Grant, 
Eunice Sheldon, 
Epaphras Sheldon, 
Wife of James Bacon, 

Ensign Ephraim Bancroft, 
Joel Wetmore,* and his wife,* 
Experience Beach (dau. of Joseph), 
Robert Coe,* and his wife,* 

Aaron Thrall,* and his wife.* 

Elijah Barber,* and his wife,* 
J. Brown, 

Jonathan Coe Jr.,* and his wife,* 
Wife* of Joseph Blake, 
Abijah Wilson,* and his wife,* 
Timothy Judd Jr., and his wife, 

Elizabeth Allen (Joseph), 
Sarah Whiting,* the younger, 
Lene Mott, 

John Cook Jr.,* 

Caleb Lyman,* and his wife,* 

Job Curtiss* and his wife,* 

Ebenezer North Junr.* and his wife,* 

Elizabeth Agard, 

Margaret Roberts dau. of Rev., 

Abigail Allyn, 

Ann Wilson (dau. of Noah), 



Joseph Taynter* and his wife,* 

Bushniel Benedict, 

Chloe Barber, 

" Ariel," Brace,* and his wife,* 

Wife* of Oliver Cotten, 
John Beach* and his wife,* 



1763. 
full, Ebenezer Smith,* and his wife, 
Elizabeth Allen. 

1764. 

Noah Wilson, Jr.,* and his wife,* 
Eli Loomis,* and his wife,* 
Benjamin Beach,* and his wife.* 

1765. 

Wife* of Thomas Marshall Jr., 
Wife* of William Grant Jr., 
Reuben Thrall,* and his wife. 

1766. 

1767. 
Samuel Deming.* 

1768. 

Aaron Cook,* and his wife Lydia. 
Wife * of Timothy Osband, 
Samuel Beach,* and his wife,* 
Abram Filley. 

1769. 

Samuel Preston,* 
George Miller. 

1770. 

Jerusha Sheldon (Remembrance) , 

Ebenezer Preston, 

Wife* of John Curtiss, 

Vest Not, 

Benjamin Eggleston and his wife,* 

1771. 

John Young* and his wife,* 

1772. 

Levi Thrall* and his wife.* 

^773- 

Friend Thrall.* 

1774. 

Wife* of Shubal Cook. 
1775- 

Noah Fowler* and his wife.* 



TORRINGTON ChURCH. 



43 



The Rev. Noah Merwin, who was pastor from 1776 to 1783, left 
no regular records of the church, but is said to have carried the 
records with him and did not return them though requested so to do 
by the church. 

A slip of paper among the church records contains the following 
names as having been admitted to membership, the date standing 
opposite the last name. 



Feb. 27, 1777. 

Deacon Wait Beach and Huldah his wife, Ashbel North and his wife Ruth, 

Two misses Hurlbut, 

Abner Loomis, 

Benjamin Whiting and Esther his wife, 

Ebenezer Lyman and Anna his wife. 



Sarah Whiting, 

Axa North, 

Lois Wetmore (Samuel), 

Hepzibah Loomis. 



Lucy Smith (Elisha), 
Hannah Thrall (Noah), 

Philomela Marshall (Raphael). 

May 5. 

Nathan Gillett, 
Mrs. Nathan Gillett, 
Sybil Lyman, 
James Beach [Rev.]. 

Sept. I. 
Timothy P. Gillett [Rev.], 
Nathan Gillett Jr., 
Luther Hart [Rev.], 
Ruth Gillett, 
Eleanor Lyman, 
Roxalana Hodges, 
Abigail Wolcott, 
Salome Gillett. 

No-v. 17. 
Eli Richards, 
Sarah Richards, 
Zacheus Gillett, ' 
Guy Wolcott [Deacon], 
Abel Hinsdale [Deacon], 
Mary Hinsdale (Abel), 

Jan. 19. 

Joseph Allyn, Jr., 

David Leach,' 

Esther Johnson (Jacob), 

Hannah Wilson (Noah), 

Abigail Stoddard (Ebenezer), 



No-v. 4, 1792. 

Adah Gillett (Rev. Alexander). 

March 4, 1793. 



1799. 

Rosel Wilson, 

Ruth Wilson (Rosel), 

Benjamin Phelps, 

Lydia Phelps (Benjamin), 

Mary Holbrook (Abijah), 

Mary Thrall (Levi), 

Rebecca Hodges, (widow of Doct.), 

Lucy Loomis, (Moses jr.), 

Asenath Hinsdale (Elisha), 

Mercy Beach (John), 

Jemima Loomis (Benoni), 

Henry Rcw, 

Ebenezer Lyman Jr., 

George Fowler, 

Henry Hart, 

Sabra Loomis, 

Clarissa Loomis, 

Hannah Allyn, 

Rhoda Lyman, 

Sally Wetmore. 

1800. 

Miriam Wetmore (Pomeroy), 
Mehitable Palmer (Harvey). 
No-v. 2. 
Owen Brown, 
Ruth Brown (Owen). 



44 



History of Torrington. 



May 9, 
Lydia Richards (Eli), 

Jan. 19. 
Rebecca Smith (Joseph), 

>{y 3- 

Levi Beach. 



Doct. Elijah Lyman (Dea.), 
Lorinda Lyman (Doct. E.), 

May I. 
Benoni Gillet, 
Phebe Gillet (Benoni), 

May 8. 
Lyman Wetmore, 
Betsey Wetmore (Lyman), 
Giles Ward, 
Eunice Ward (Giles), 
Huldah Cook (Elihu), 
Sabra Wilson (Amos Jr.), 
Amarilla Eggleston (Curtis), 
Anna Foot (Jairus), 
Elizabeth Allyn jr., 
Chloe Loomis, 

No-v. 4. 
James Otis Pond. 



Erastus Hurlbut. 

Nancy Kimberly, widow, 

Joseph Allyn, 

Abel Roberts, 

Giles Whiting, 

Norman Fowler, 

Statira Fowler (Norman), 

Amos Wilson, 

Elzah Cowles, 

Chester Bancroft, 

Rachel Bancroft (Chester), 

Patience Baldwin, widow, 

Hannah Loomis, widow, 

Jerusha Bancroft (Noah), 

Jedidah White (Thomas), 

Sibyl Coe (Abijah), 

Sarah Leach (Ormel), 

Laura Leach (Myron), 

Chloe Mott (Ira), 



1802. 

Eunice Hurlbut (Thomas). 

1803. 
Betsey Beach (Levi). 



1807. 

Sally Roberts (Abel), 
Philomela Bostwick (Wm.), 
Chloe Cowles (Elijah), 
Mrs. Sylvanus Holbrook. 

1808. 

Elizabeth Richards, 
Laura Loomis, 
Sarah Dutton, 
Dotha Johnson, 
Maria Marshall. 

Sept. 
Sarah Wetmore (Joel), 
William Marsh, 
Rocksey Bissell. 

1811. 

July 2. 
Linus Sage Cook, 
Hannah Cook (L. S.). 

1815. 

No-v. 3, 18 1 6. 

Alpha Hodges, 
Sibyl Catlin Fowler, 
Harriet Childs, 
Harriet Whiting, 
Anna Wolcott, 
Rozalena North, 
Phila Marshall, 
Ursula Fowler, 
Eunice Marsh, 
Lucinda Phelps, 
Huldah Loomis, 
Almira Wolcott, 
Flora Coe, 
Pamelia North, 
Aurelia Palmer, 
Hannah Lyman, 
Alzada Barber. 



Russel C. Abernethy, 
Orrel Abernethy (R. C), 
George Lyman, 
Orphelia Lyman (^Geo.), 
Anna Potter (^Nathan), 
Israel Coe, 
Henry Elkanah Hodges, 



Jan. 4. 



Rebecca Whiting. 



May 3. 



Mahitable Jewit, 



TORRINGTON ChuRCH. 

Jan. 5, 1 8 17. 

William H. Whiting, 
Samuel Thrall, 
Marvin Barber, 
Nancy Wetmore, 
Almeda Beach, 
Mindwell Kellogg, 
Henry Wattles. 

1818. 

Erastus Hurlbut, 
Clarissa Hurlbut (Erastus), 
Betsey Hurlbut, 
Anna Hurlbut. 



45 



July I. 
Seth Smith, 
Ebenezer Hills, 
Laurin Thrall, 
Dennis Hart, 
Norman Coe, 
Gilmor Hinsdale, 
Chauncey P. Allyn, 
Abraham Foot, 
Addison Philow, 
Eliza Wilson (Amos), 



Mary Willey, 



Rhoda Fowler (Noah). 



IS2I. 

Harriet Gates, 
Eliza Lyman, 
Anna E. White, 
Nancy E. Coe, 
Hannah Goodwin, 
Hannah Beach, 
Desire Fowler, 
Lois Wilson, 
Mariah Wetmore, 
Lucretia Palmer, 
Electa Loomis. 

1822. 

Eleanor Wolcott. 



Sept. I, 1826. 



1827. , 



Aug. 5. 
Lorrain Wetmore, 

Dea. Lorrain Hinsdale, 
Fanny Loomis, 
Daniel Richards, 
Experience Richards (Daniel), 
Mary A. Whiting (Fred P.), 

Eliza Cowles (Albro), 
Lucy Eggleston, 

Fanny C. Wetmore (Lorrain). 



Amanda Wetmore, 
Amanda Loomis. 

1828. 

Abel K. Hinsdale (Rev.), missionary of A . 

B. C. F. M. at Mosul, 
Mrs. Esther Weeks, 
Eunice Gould. 

1829. 

Susan Rowley (Artemas). 



1830. 



46 



History of Torringto 



N. 



Rachel Whiting, 
Huldah Cook, 
Uri Whiting, 
Emma R. Palmer, 

Sally Wheeler, 
Henry Judd, 
Alexander Gillett, 
Julia Spencer, 
Mehetable Palmer, 
Fanny Hector, 

Lucy Loomis. 

Jerusha Loomis (Horace), 
Harriet H. Huxley (Rev. M.), 

Roxy Hodges. 
Sibyl Coe, 

Caroline Smith (Isaiah). 
Mary Prince (Jairus). 
Louisa North (Phineas). 

Charles Hotchkiss, 
Electa Hotchkiss, 
Phebe S. Allen, 
Rosanna Parmelee, 
Elisha S. Booth, 
Elvira Booth, 

Mary E. McKinstry (Rev.) 

Willard Hodges, 
Frederick P. Hills (Dea.), 

Rebecca A. Whiting, 

Burton T. Cowles, 
Norman B. Buel, 
Russel L. Pond, 
Milo Barber, 



1831. 

Louisa Wetmore, 
Mary Abernethy, 
Orphelia Leach. 

1832. 

Myron Spaulding, 
Almira Palmer, 
Harriet Sage, 
Caroline Sage, 
Nancy Coe. 

1833- 

1835- 

Melinda Whiting. 

1836. 

1837. 

Harriet Whiting. 
1838. 

1840. 
1842. 

1843. 

Harriet Sage (Linus), 
Clarissa Whiting (Geo. L.), 
Rodney Pierce (Dea.), 
Jane Pierce, 
Eliza Barber. 

1844. 

1845- 

Lucy E. Hills. 

1847- 

Aurora J. Hinsdale. 

1849. 

Angeline E. Cowles, 
Helen P. North, 
Emma J. Whiting. 



ToRRINGTON ChURCH. 



47 



Alonzo Whiting, 
Frank L. G. Whiting, 
Loomis B. Beach, 
Warren Goodwin, 
Elvira Goodwin, 
Miles Hart, 

Asa Button, 
Beula Dutton, 
Levi W. Thrall, 
Amelia Thrall, 

Delia C. Hodges, 



1850. . 

Laura Hart (Miles), 
Betsey Hart (Alpha), 
Wealthy E. Hart (Victory), 
Lucy Pond, 
Susan Beach. 



1851. 



Victory C. Hart, 
Arthur M. Kimberly, 
Laura M. Hodges. 



1852. 



Elizabeth Cowles (B. T.). 




CHAPTER VII. 

TORRINGFORD CHURCH. 

The Society. 

^:3^^s=^>j) REACHING services were held by Rev. Nathaniel 
nh Roberts, on the east side of the town, six Sabbaths, in 
1754, and also in 1755, and the next year the preaching 
was measured by the amount they paid to the society. 
The town vote, however, gave them the privilege of having preach- 
ing four months that year, and released them from paying for the 
support of Mr. Roberts. The meetings at this time were held in the 
house of Nehemiah Gaylord and Shubael Griswold. 

In 1757, a petition was sent to the assembly, signed by nineteen 
persons, asking the Uberty to have preaching such part of the year as 
they were able, and to be released from supporting Mr. Roberts. 
The number of families in that part of the town at that time is stated 
to have been about twenty. The following were the petitioners : 

Abraham Dibble, Nehemiah Gaylord, Benjamin Bissell, 

Jonathan Kelsey, David Birge, John Birge, 

Jonathan Gillett, Ebenezer Winchell, Samuel Durwin, 

Joshua Austin, Charles Mather, Thomas Dibble, 

Shubael Griswold, Aaron Yale, Ephraim Dibble. 

Benjamin Matthews, John Burr, 

Nathan Kelsey, Jane Loomis, 

At a meeting held in October 27, 1757, a committee was appointed 
to hire a minister, and a vote was passed to raise ten pounds for de- 
fraying the expense in so doing. 

In April, 1759, the town expressed its willingness by vote that four 
tiers and a half of lots in the eastern part should be made into a so- 
ciety, and in May next, the people asked the general assembly to 
incorporate a society to include these tiers and the western tier in 
New Hartford ; and if this could not be granted, they asked that the 
people might be exempt from paying in New Hartford, and be allowed 
to support preaching in the eastern part of Torrington. They en- 
treated for the privileges of a society, though they were scarcely able 
to support preaching in an honorable manner, if the privilege was 
granted them. This request, however strange it may seem, after a 
hundred years and more are passed, was denied. 



ToRRINGFORD ChuRCH. 49 

In October, 1759, they presented another petition with twenty 
names, stating that there were then in East Torrington twenty-two 
families, and one hundred and sixty-six persons, many of whom were 
small children ; and they asked that they might be exempt from public 
charges, that they may maintain worship among themselves ; this 
request was denied. 

The next spring they renewed this petition, to be exempt from 
public taxes that they might support the gospel among themselves, 
since they could not do both. This petition was long, urgent, and 
eloquent, in presenting the circumstances and facts in the case. They 
represented "their distance from places of worship; the number of 
children and older people who could not go such distances regularly ; 
the expense attending the education of their children, clearing new 
farms, constructing highways, and the many inconveniences of a new 
country, and therefore desired release from public taxes," but they 
did not obtain their request. 

In 1 76 1 New Hartford gave its consent that four miles of the 
west tier of lots might be annexed to East Torrington for the support 
of the gospel. After this full consent of both towns, and their earnest 
entreaties heretofore, they were under the necessity of petitioning the 
assembly at four successive sessions before they obtained their request. 
But it was a matter of great importance to them, and therefore they 
were not to be easily denied, and the truthfulness of the closing 
paragraph of each petition, they most faithfully fulfilled : "as in duty 
'bound your petitioners will ever pray." 

The society was incorporated in October 1763, under the name 
of ToRRiNGFORD^ ; the territory included four and a half tiers of lots 
on the eastern side of the town and the western tier in New Hartford, 
four miles in length. The half of another tier was afterwards added, 
and thus the society continued for many years. 

At the first meeting after the incorporation they say : " the in- 
habitants of '■ Torringford ' (using the society name for the first 
time); being convened together; holden Dec. 21, 1763." They 
seem to use that name with satisfaction, and well they might for they 
had petitioned long enough, to obtain it ; and then they proceed to 
make arrangements for regular meetings and to elect officers for the 
year, who were as follows : 



' Made from the names of the two towns. 



fo History of Torrington. 

Dea. Jonathan Kelsev,^ moderator ; Nehemiah Gaylord, clerk of 
the society ; Dea. Jonathan Kelsey, Samuel Austin and John Birge, 
society committee ; Jabez Gillett, society collector. 

This meeting was adjourned one week when they passed several 
votes which indicated substantial work as a society. 

" Voted to raise money for schooling by rate. 

" Voted to raise a penny and half penny upon the pound for school- 
ing. 

" Voted that those people that live in New Hartford and belong to 
this society, shall have their own money to lay out for schooling 
among themselves. 

" Voted that the society committee shall take the care of, and order 
the schooling. 

" Voted that we will make some preparations this year for building 
a meeting house. 

" Voted that we will build the meeting house forty-eight feet long 
and thirty-eight feet wide. 

'' The vote was then reconsidered and voted to be forty-six feet 
long and thirty-six wide. 

"Voted that the height of the house be left to the judgment of the 
committee. 

" Voted to raise thirty pounds to be paid in boards and shingles 
within a year from this time for the meeting house. 

" Voted that Ebenezer Winchell, Elijah Gaylord, and Lieut. Ben- 
jamin Bissell, shall be a committee to order out the getting oi the 
boards, and shingles, and to receive them for the meeting house. 

"• Voted to raise four pence on the pound in order to support the 
gospel amongst us." 

Such was the beginning of the Torringford society which has con- 
tinued its steady and benevolent work, nearly one hundred and four- 
teen years, during which time it has expended, for the support ot 
the gospel (or the preaching) alone, on an average, four hundred dollars 
a year, or $46,000. 

The Meeting House. 

When the first meeting house was proposed for the west side of 
the town, an agreement was made between the inhabitants, that those 
on the east side need not pay towards the building of the house, pro- 



' Mr. Kelsey had been deacon in Woodbury and hence is called deacon before any church 
was organized in Torringford. 



ToRRINGFORD ChURCH. 5I 

vided they would relinquish all right as to the location, or site, and a 
record of this agreement was entered among the deeds of land, dated in 
1748. The names of persons thus agreeing stand as follows: East 
side : Abraham Dibble, Benjamin Bissell, Nehemiah Gaylord, Elijah 
Gaylord, Gideon Loomis, John Birge, Thomas Dibble. These names 
probably represent nearly all the families east of the swamp at that 
time. 

West side : Noah Wilson, Israel Avered, Moses Loomis, Aaron 
Loomis, Jacob Strong, Ebenezer North, Wm. Grant, Joel Thrall, 
Asahel Strong, Ebenezer Coe, Isaac Higley, Zebulon Curtiss, Thomas 
Stoughton, Joel Loomis, Ebenezer Lyman, Thomas Curtiss, Aaron 
Loomis, Jr., Beriah Hills, Jonathan Coe, Nathaniel Barber, Abel 
Beach, Joseph Fowler, Joseph Beach, Thomas Marshall, Ebenezer 
Lyman, Jr., John Whiting. Why the names of John Cook, Noah 
Wilson, and Abel Beach were not on this paper is not clear, for the 
agreement was such, as to which none, seemingly could object ; and 
therefore, when the east side began to build they had no claim on the 
old church for assistance, because of aid previously rendered. 

The Torringford society, having made some provision towards 
building a meeting house in 1763, voted in Dec, 1764, to "add two 
feet to the length and breadth," and arranged to obtain a committee 
to "pitch the stake, for a site which would accommodate the whole 
society." In June, 1766, they voted to "proceed to build a place 
of worship." In April, 1768, they agreed to "raise the house as 
they could conveniently," and in September of the same year they 
"voted that the annual meeting of the society should be held in the 
church," therefore the house was built in the summer of 1768. In 
October of the same year, they presented a petition to the general 
assembly, showing that the territory of the society embraced about 
ten thousand acres of land, of which about seven thousand belonged 
to non-residents ; that they had erected a church, which was covered ; 
had doors, a floor, convenient benches, and glass windows for the 
lower story ; that they desired to settle a minister as soon as they 
could ; and that the list of the present inhabitants is only two thou- 
sand and eight hundred pounds, and they pray that the assembly 
would grant a tax of three pence per acre for three years on all the 
land in the society, to provide a settlement for the first settling min- 
ister, and if any surplus remains, it should be used toward completing 
the church. The petition was granted. This house stood on the 



£2 History of Torrington. 

highway, on the west side, some fifty rods south of the present church 

edifice. 

In December, 1783, a committee was appointed to consider and 
decide whether the church stands in the right place, and if it did not 
to pitch a stake where it ought to stand, and at the same time, tbey 
voted to raise means to procure material to finish the inside of the 
meeting house. These acts were rescinded afterwards, but in Janu- 
ary, 1785, a tax was laid, payable by the first of June, to finish the 
house. In obedience to this movement considerable work was done 
that summer on the inside of the house but it was not plastered. In 
March, 1788, a committee was appointed to settle with David Soper 
for plastering the church. In December, 1788, a seating committee 
was appointed, and the appointment thereafter was made annually 
while they worshiped in that house. 

The house was painted in 1792, having neither bell nor steeple. 
Repairs went on thus until 181 8, when a stove was placed in the 
house. In 1828, liberty was given to alter the front gallery for the 
singers. In 1835, the thanks of the society were voted unanimously 
to Uriel Tuttle for the use of his organ for the time past, showing 
that in instrumental music they were in advance of many churches 
of that day, and Charles B. Smith and Frederick Phelps were compli- 
mented for their services at the organ, by a vote of thanks from the 
society, and thereby, probably, received a larger salary than they ex- 
pected. 

In 1835, the society voted to build a new house of worship. Long 
had that old house served the purpose of the consecrated place of 
worship to the one only true God. Father Mills the great and grand 
old pastor and preacher was gone to his eternal home. There, in 
that pulpit had he stood more than fifty years, regularly on the Sab- 
bath, to announce the message of good news, the invitations of the 
Son of man, and the ofl^er of endless blessedness, to the congregated 
people. His voice, so familiar to thousands of ears, even outside of 
his own parish, had ceased, and was gone, forever gone. How they 
could thrust that old house aside, with all its sacred memories is a 
wonder, but they did it. Every instinctive rising of the soul in re- 
membrance of the past, utters its protest, and pleads with " Young 
America" to spare that place ; if not for the sake of the grand old 
minister, then for the sake of his son, the missionary prince who 
had worshiped there; and if not because of him, then for the sake 
of the good it had done in the service of that long line of worshipers 



ToRRINGFORD ChuRCH. ^^ 

who, while living, knew no other place of union of prayer, but now 
were gone beyond the confines of earthly temples. 

But no voice could prevail ; a new house must be built, and built 
it was in 1838 and in the early part of 1839, and the society voted 
that it be used for public worship after the third Sunday in May. It 
required an effort of twenty-five years, with the aid of the general 
assembly, to erect and complete the first house of worship, and it 
was in use seventy-one years. It required an effort of three and a 
half years to locate and finish the second house which has been in 
use over thirty- five years. The old church was sold by the piece to 
the highest bidder, and therefore some of the fragments may be seen 
still in Torringford. 

In 1874, the second meeting house was remodeled inside; the old 
pews taken out and slips put in their stead ; the gallery closed up, 
and a place for the choir arranged at the side of the pulpit. The 
pulpit and platform were changed to the most modern style, and thus 
it stands surrounded by such interesting and sacred memories. 

The Burying Ground. 
In December, 1788, the society instructed their committee to take 
a lease of the burying ground from Captain Gaylord, and to have it 
well fenced the next spring " if that was not done by the people by 
spells." This ground was enlarged in 1812, on the east and west 
sides. The deaths noted, during a period of seventy-five years, ending 
with 1 85 1, were six hundred and fifty-two, or an average of nine a 
year ; and the ages of four hundred and three of these were recorded. 
Only one person reached the age of one hundred years ; twelve lived 
ninety years or more ; and one hundred and twenty -six lived seventy 
years. 

The Church. 

The church in Torringford was deprived of all its records in the 
burning of the house of its pastor. Rev. Samuel J. Mills, in 1823, 
in which all of his library and papers were consumed, and therefore 
the items secured as to its early existence and success are gleaned 
from various other sources. 

In the summer of 1763, Rev. Mr. Gould appears to have preached 
a short time, or rather there was a vote to employ him as though he 
were already preaching there. During the year 1764, the society 
was very m^ich exercised in securing the site for the church and 



54 History of Torrington. 

nothing is said by them about preaching only the laying of a tax in 
the autumn of that year. 

The journal of the Rev. Jonathan Marsh Porter, pastor of New 
Hartford at the time, has lately (1877) been deposited in the Con- 
gregational Memorial Hall at Hartford, and in this journal, under the 
head of admission and dismission of members of the church, occurs 
the following : 

" Aug. 5, 1764, Samuel Kelsey and his wife were recommended 
by acts of this church to Christian communion and fellowship at 
Torringford. 

" Aug, 13, 1764. Mary Birge of Torringford was recommended by 
a vote of y^ church to Christian communion at Torringford. 

" Aug. 26, 1 764. Samuel Austin and his wife and y*^ widow of Robert 
Austin were recommended to Christian communion at Torringford." 

The inference from these items is that these persons were dis- 
missed in order to form a church in Torringford ; because they were 
not recommended to a church as was the custom of Mr. Porter in 
other cases, to write. And further, Samuel Kelsey came from Wood- 
bury a few years previous and united with the New Hartford church, 
and would not be likely to come back unless a church was to be 
organized at home. These six persons were all recommended in 
August, 1764, and the probability is, for the purpose of organizing 
the church in the September following. 

In the spring of 1765, Rev. Ebenezer Devenport began to preach 
for this church and society and in July the society appointed a special 
committee to act for the society^ in regard to the settling of Wx. 
Devenport as pastor ; as though there had. already been appointed a 
committee by the church, and if so the church must have been in 
existence some time previous. It is most probable therefore that the 
church was organized in Sept., 1764. 

On Feb. 6, 1769, Mr. Samuel John Mills having preached here, 
the society voted to " give Mr. Mills a probationary call to settle in 
the work of the ministry amongst us ;" and he was accordingly settled 
and ordained pastor June 28, 1769. At this time there was a church 
here, recognized by the Litchfield Association, and to which they 
commended Mr. Mills. 

To Mr. Mills the society voted a " settlement " of two hundred 
pounds, to be paid in three years if he settled among them. His 
salary was made =£55, the first year, to be increased five pound a year 
until it should become seventy pounds, and his fire wood given him 



ToRRINGFORD ChURCH. ^^ 

in addition ; the one-half was to be paid in money, and the other, in 
wheat, rye, and Indian corn at the market price. 

Under his labors the church' prospered, and with its pastor, and 
through him and his son, rose in fame and celebrity, nearly if not 
quite equal to any church in the state, especially as being intimately 
connected with the beginning of missionary enterprises for foreign 
lands. 

Special religious interest was manifested in this church in 1773, 
and 1782 and 1793. The revival of 1799 was of greatest extent, 
and secured greater results of obedience to the gospel than any that 
ever occurred in the community.' There were also revivals in 1806 ; 
in 1816, when sixty joined the church ; in 1821, when as many more 
united ; in 1H27, and 1831, during the labors of Mr. Mills. Before 
Mr. Mills's decease, Mr. Epaphras Goodman was ordained as colleague 
pastor, and there were added to the church, by profession, in 1834, 
twenty-nine; in 1842, twenty-seven; in 1849, sixteen; in 1858, 
twenty-nine; and in 1 867, nineteen. 

In 1835, the church reported two hundred members and this was 
probably the highest number it had attained at any time. In 1849, 
Torringford contained one hundred and twenty families and five hun- 
dred and thirty persons, and since that time has diminished somewhat, 
and therefore the membership of the church has not at any time been 
larger than in 1835. The church has been among the foremost in 
sentiment and effort in the temperance and anti-slavery reforms, and 
has been commendably liberal in its contributions for charitable pur- 
poses. There have been over six hundred members of this church, 
and among them many good men and women, great in heart and 
effort for the ends for which churches are instituted, but it has had 
one member raised within its fold, brought to the light and truth of 
the gospel by its own instrumentality, of whom the remark is emi- 
nently appropriate that for the honor of promoting the cause of 
Christ, this church cannot afford to exchange the name of Samuel J. 
Mills, Jr., on its roll for that of any other Christian benefactor 
America has ever produced.^ But this brightest star in the coronal 
wreath of this church represents only one of many others, who once 
toiled hard and suffered much in the various relations of domestic, 
social, civil, and Christian life, in the community where it was planted. 



' See biography of Father Mills. 

"Rev. Wm. H. Moore, in Torringford centennial. 



56 History of Torrington. 

A Sunday school was organized at the house of Father Mills in 
the summer of 18 16, showing that the pastor and the people were 
ready to accept new as well as old methods of doing good, and this 
spirit and enterprise still continue. 

This vine of the master's planting has been a blessing from gene- 
ration to generation, and has enriched every interest of the people for 
time and eternity, and its faith and fruit have blessed the world. 

The labors of the Rev. Epaphras Goodman from 1822 to 1836, 
were abundant in all good things. " During his pastorate here, he 
did much to raise the standard of education, was forward in the re- 
formatory movements of the day, cooperated effectively with his 
ministerial brethren for the prosperity of religion in the county, and 
had the satisfaction of seeing large numbers added to the church."' 

Officers of the Church. 

Ministers. 

Rev. Mr. Heaton, supply in the autumn of 1760, some months. 

Rev. Ebenezer Devenport, supply from summer of 1764 one year or more. 

Rev. Samuel John Mills, pastor, ordained, . June 28, 1769, . died May 11, 1833. 

Rev. Epaphras Goodman, associate pastor, . Mar. 6, 1822, . . dis. Jan. 12, 1836. 

Rev. Herman L. Vaill, pastor, . . . July 5, 1837, . . " Sept. 29, 1839. 

Rev. Brown Emerson, " . . . . July 21, 1841, . . '' Sept. 24, 1844. 

Rev. John D. Baldwin, supply short time and received a call. 

Rev. William H. Moore pastor, . . . Sept. 30, 1846, . . " Sept. 26, 1854. 

Rev. Stephen Fenn, "... Nov. 16, 1854, . " Sept. 4, 1857. 

Rev. Charles Newman, " ... May 18, 1858, . . " Oct. 28, 1862. 

Rev. Spencer O. Dyer, supply one year. 

Rev. Franklin Noble, pastor, . . . June 7, 1865, . . " Nov. 30,1866. 

Rev. Joseph F. Gaylord, supply two years. 

Rev. Dana M. Walcott, " one year to 1871. 

Rev. Herrick Knight, " from 1872 to 1874. 

Rev. George R. Ferguson, " 1875 to 1877 5 went to Africa as a missionary teacher. 

Ministers Raised in Torringford. 

Rev. Luther Rossiter, son of Newton Rossiter a tanner at Burrville, became an Episcopal 

minister, and his life has been spent at the West. 
Rev. Orange Lyman, see biography. 
Rev. Samuel J. Mills Jr., see biography. 
Rev. Jonathan Miller, see biography. 
Rev. Harvey Loomis, see biography. 
Rev. David Miller, see biography. 
Rev. Stanly Griswold, see biography. 
Rev. Erasmus D. Moore, see biography. 
Rev. Lucius Curtiss, see biography. 
Rev. Warren H. Roberts, Episcopal in 1857 see biography. 



'Torringford centennial. 



TORRINGFORD ChURCH. 



57 



Deacons. 
Jonathan Kelsey, at Woodbury and here, died in 1792 aged 89'years. 
Nehemiah Gaylord, 
Abraham Filley. 
Ebenezer Miller, 
Job Curtiss, 

Ebenezer Miller 2d, appointed in 1807, 
Elizur Curtiss, " 

Ebenezer Rood, " 

Thomas Watson, " 

Thomas A. Miller, " 

Harvey L. Rood, " 

William Watson, " 

Giles L. Gaylord. 
Chester H. Barber. 





• 


" in 1801 " 


80 « 


, 


, 


" in 1814 " 


79 " 




• 


" in 1807 " 


62 " 


in 


1807, 


" in 1842 " 


78 " 




1808, 


resigned in 1843 


died 1868, aged 85 years. 




1826, 


" " 1843, 


" 1851, « 75 " 




1843, 


" " 1855, 


removed to Winsted. 




1843, 


> 


died 1 8 61, aged 55 years 




1855. 








1861. 











List of 




When 


united. 


Adams, Mary, 


. 


1848. 


Addis, Orphenia S., Geo. T., 




<( 


Andrews, Emory A., . 


. 


1843. 


Austin, Nathaniel, . 


, 


1818. 


Austin, Anna (Nath.), . 


, 


(( 


Austin, Margaret Mills, 


. 


1779. 


Austin, Lewis, 


, , 


1818. 


Austin, Rebecca, 


, 


(( 



Bailey, Tamison Blood, . . 1858. 

Bancroft, J. K. Hudson, . . " 

Barber, John, . . . . " 

Barber, Ursula Catlin, . . " 
Barber, John C, ... 1832. 

Barber, Sarah Miller, . . 1821. 

Barber, Chester, . . . 1851. 

Barber, Marilla Birge, . , " 

Barber, Chester H., . . 1843. 

Barber, Maria E. Blake, . . 1845. 

Barber, Willard O. . . . 1849. 

Barber, Sarah Birge, . . . 185 1, 

Barber, Mary E. Wood-ward, . 1 849. 

Barber, Sarah B., . . . 1867. 

Barber, Janette S. Birge, . . 1 849. 

Bates, Mary L. Taylor, . . 1843. 
Battell, William. 
Battell, Sarah Buckingham. 
Beach, Lucy Walling. 

Benedict, Lucina L., . . . 1843. 
Birge, Sally Barber. 

Birge, Simon, . . . . 183 1. 
Birge, Experience Hamlin. 

8 



Members. 

Birge, Sally, 
Birge, Luther, 
Birge, Roswell, 
Birge, AUstyne, 
Birge, Eliza M. Heivit, 
Birge, Nathaniel, 
Birge, Martha A., 
Birge, Sally Barber, 
Birge, Celia M., . 
Birge, Julia Waterman. 
Bissell, Ezekiel. 
Bissell, Ruth De-votion. 
Bissell, Ezekiel Jr. 
Bissell, Lucretia Spencer. 
Bissell, Rhoda Bissell. 
Bissell, Charlotte Birge, 
Bissell, Peter Mills. 
Bissell, Sarah Comstock. 
Bissell, Harriet Curtiss, 
Bissell, Melicent Watson. 
Bissell, Mary S., 
Bissell, Lucius, 
Bissell, Sarah Patton, 
Bissell, Roderick, 
Bissell, Fanny Gaylord, 
Bissell, Esther Ann, 
Blakeslee, Martha E., 
Brace, Mary Ann Loomis, 
Brace, Ellen Ann, 
Bronson, Char. A. Pond, 
Bronson, Mary J. Bissell, 
Burr, Tabitha Loomis. 



When united. 

. 1818. 
« 

. 1843- 
1858. 

. 1861. 

1827. 
. 1858. 

1844. 
. 1867. 



1832. 



1851. 

1837. 
1851. 

1844. 

1859. 

1849. 

1866. 

1848. 

1858. 
« 

1843. 



58 



History of Torrington. 



Burr, Mehitable Loomis. 

Burr, Martha Beach. 

Burr, Fanny Taylor, 

Burr, Uri C, . 

Burr, Sarah Mix, 

Burr, Lucius, 

Burr, Sarah J. Woodruff, 

Burr, George A., 

Burr, Mary A., 

Burr, Milo, 

Burr, Mary Skinner, 

Burr, Lavinia E. Hurlbut, 

Burr, Hiram, 

Burr, Almira Cook. 

Burr, F. Ella, 

Burr, Rufus, 

Burr, Ann S. Hudson, 

Burr, Alonzo, 

Burr, Franklin, 

Burwell, Ellis, 

Calkins, Jane A. Birgc, 
Carr, Clement. 
Carr, Jedediah Pelton. 
Clark, Converse. 
Clark, Almira Burr. 
Cleaveland, S. J. Taylor, 
Cleaveland, Mary, 
Cleaveland, James C, . 
Cleaveland, L. C. Watson, 
Cleaveland, J. R. McD., 
Coe, Caroline Brcivn. 
Coe, Julia E., 
Collier, Henry. 
Colt, Anson. 
Colt, Chloe Gi//ett, 
Colt, Anson Jr., 
Colt, Henry, 
Colt, Chloe Catlin, 
Colt, Geo. R., 
Colt, Margaret E. Grisivold, 
Colt, Luman, 
Cook, Louisa Fuller, 
Cook, Jane M. Hand, 
Cross, Ann, 
Curtiss, Job, Dea. 
Curtiss, Eunice Cowles. 
Curtiss, Elizur, Dea., . 
Curtiss, Naomi Kellog. 
Curtiss, Amanda Steele, 



When united. 


Curtiss, Naomi R. 
Curtiss, Julius. 


When united. 


. 1822. 


Curtiss, Lucius, Rev. 




1858. 


Curtiss, Hermon, 


. 1851. 


• 1843- 


Curtiss, Sophia Stillman, 


1834. 


1849. 


Curtiss, C. Cecelia Stillman, 


. 1852. 


. 1851. 


Curtiss, Eugenia S., 


1850. 


1867. 


Curtiss, Uri, 


. 1801. 


<( 


Curtiss, Mary Adams, 


1817. 


1835. 


Curtiss, Rufus, 


. 1818. 


. 1826. 


Curtiss, Ursula Foiuler. 


- 


1858. 


Curtiss, Jabez G. 




• i835- 


Curtiss, Louisa Wetmore. 






Curtiss, Hannah Drake, 


1803. 


1867. 


Curtiss, Wealthy Parsons. 




. 1831. 


Curtiss, Emily Garnish, . 


. 1847. 


i8ai. 


Curtiss, Hezekiah P., 


• -isss. 


. 1847. 


Curtiss, Amelia Parsons, 


u 


1849. 


Curtiss, Ella A., 


1866. 


. 1841. 








Daily, Harmon, 


. 1843 


1849. 


Daily, Mercy L. Ball, 


i860 




Daily, Ellen E. Bailey, 


. 1843, 




Daniels, Sarah R. Talmadge, 


1834, 




Daniels, Louisa, 


. 1867. 



Deming, Abigail Loomis. 



1858. 


Downs, Edwin, 


1858 


1838. 


Durand, Julia G. 




1837- 


Durand, William, 


• 1843 


« 


Durand, Loanna P. Barber, 


1827 


1867. 








Eggleston, Mary E. Hayden, 


. 1858 


1843- 


Eggleston, Cynthia A., 


1858 




Eggleston, Sophia D., 


« 




Ellsworth, John. 




I8I6. 


Ellsworth, Anna Birge. 




I8I7. 


Ellsworth, Philander. 




1831. 


Elmer, Abiathar. 




« 


Elmer, Kezia Bissell. 




1858. 


Elmer, Peleg, . . . . 


183s 


1858. 


Emerson, Catharine Broivn, . 


. 1842 


1868. 


Engert, Louisa, 


1869 


I8I6. 






I85I. 


Fenn, Sarah Roberts, 


• 1855 


1849. 


Filley, Abraham, Dea. 





Fogg, Sophia C. Hayden, 
Foote, Jane E. Humphrey, 
1799 Freeman, Mary. 

Freeman, Edward H., 
1805. Frisbie, John. 



1831. 
1843- 

1858. 



ToRRINGFORD ChURCH. 



S9 





When united. 


w 


hen united 


Fyler, Sybil. 




Hewitt, Alice M., 


. 1868 






Holcomb, James H., . 


1827 


Gaylord, Nehemiah, Dea. 




Hotchkiss, Laura N. 




Gaylord, Lucy Loomis. 




Hopkins, Anna Palmer, 


. 1865 


Gaylord, Joseph. 




Hopkins, Harvey P., 


1857 


Gaylord, Ruth Bissell. 




Hopkins, Lydia Tanner, . 


« 


Gaylord, Elizah. 




Hopkins, Gertrude W., 


1870 


Gaylord, Margaret Taylor. 




Hudson, Daniel. 




Gaylord, Margaret Bissell. 




Hudson, Mary Coe. 




Gaylord, Giles L., 


. 1833. 


Hudson, Abigail W. 




Gaylord, Pamelia Preston, . 


1838. 


Hungerford, Charlotte Austin. 




Gaylord, Sarah Blake, . 


. 1848. 


Hurlbut, Leonard. 




Gaylord, Hubert L., 


1867. 


Hudson, Daniel Coe. 




Gaylord, Mary L., . 


« 


Hudson, Rhoda Foivler. 




Gaylord, Nancy. 




Hudson, E. D., Dr. 




Gibbs, Abigail W. Hudson. 




Hudson, Martha Turner. 




Gillet.t, Anna Loomis. 




Hudson, Charlotte. 




Gillett, Loraine Filley. 




Hudson, Barzillai, 


. 1816. 


Gillett, Horace. 




Hudson, Content Picket, 


(( 


Gillett, Rachel Austin. 




Humaston, Esther, 




Gillett, Betsey. 




Humphrey, Daniel G. 




Goodwin, Harvey. 




Humphrey, L. Eno. 




Goodwin, Sarah M., 


1867. 


Humphrey, Daniel P., 2d, 


. 1816 


Gould, Rhoda McCoe. 




Humphrey, P. P., Dr., 


1836 


Griswold, Laura Barber. 




Humphrey, Charles G., 


• 1843 


Griswold, Jane Woodford. 




Humphrey, James D., 


1858 


Griswold, Thaddeus, 


. 1826. 


Humphrey, Chloe Watson, 


(C 


Griswold, Margaret Gaylord, 


(( 


Humphrey, Henry B. S., . 


1858 


Griswold, Julia A. Qirtiss, 


. 1834. 


Humphrey, Dorothy Miller, . 


. 1866 


Griswold, Sarah Clari, 


1857. 






Griswold, Isabella Kellogg, 


. 1843. 


Ingraham, Louisa. 




Griswold, Isabella W., 


1866. 






Griswold, Anna M., 


(C 


Johnson, Levi F., 


I83I 


Griswold, Nellie P., 


1867. 


Johnson, Maria Morris, . 


(< 


Gross, Sally Ellsworth. 




Johnson, Daniel. 




Gross, Harvey H. 




Johnson, Jarvis B,, . 


1849 


Gulliver, Fannie W. Curtiss, 


. 1841. 


Johnson, Elizabeth Hill, 


i( 






Johnson, Sarah E., 


1862 


Hall, Gideon, . 


1827. 


Johnson, Levi B., 


. 1867 


Harrison, Richard, 


. 1868. 


Johnson, Emily A., . 


<( 


Hart, Jane Tuttle. 


« 


Johnson, Julia A., 


« 


Hathaway, Msry E. Curtiss, 


. 1834. 


Jones, Nancy Johnson. 




Hathaway, Anna F., . 


1866. 






Hayden, Augustine. 




Kelsey, Jonathan, Dea. 




Hayden, Cicero, . 


. 183I. 






Hayden, Sophia Squires.. . 


« 


Lepian, Jane, . 


i860 


Hayden, Tullius C, 


<< 


Loomis, Hepziba. 




Hayden, Wm. H., . 


1843. 


Loomis, Sally Burr. 




Hayden, Charles H., . 


. 1868. 


Loomis, Fitch. 




Henderson, Ruth Mather. 




Loomis, Mary Bissell. 




Handerson, C. M. Gillett. 




Loomis, MichaeL 





6o 



History of Torrington. 





When united. 


When 


united, 


Loomis, Huldah Loomis. 




Miller, Abigail Bristol, . 


1816 


Loomis, Allen. 




Miller, Harry, .... 


1842 


Loomis, Mary Reed, 


. 1810. 


Miller, Jane F. G., . . . 


« 


Loomis, Aurelia, 


1818. 


Miller, Luther. 




Loomis, Timothy. 




Miller, Harriette L., . 


1867, 


Loomis, Ann Roberts. 




Miller, Luther B., . 


(C 


Loomis, Hannah Curtiss. 




Mills, Esther Robbins, Rev. 




Loomis, Harvey, Rev. 




Mills, Florilla. 




Loomis, Ann Battell, 


. 1826. 


Mills, Samuel J. 2d, Rev., 


1806, 


Loomis, Laura Lyman. 




Mills, Jeremiah. 




Loomis, Timothy 2d. 




Mills, Eleanor Witter. 




Loomis, Chloe Riley, 


1843. 


Mills, Laura. 




Loomis, Philo A. 




Mills, Electa J. Lyman, 


1843, 


Loomis, Mary A. Wation, 


. 1822. 


Miner, Drius D., 


1847, 


Loomis, Cornelius D., 


1836. 


Miner, Mary E. Wadsvvorth, . 


(( 


Loomis, Justice. 




Miner, Mary E., . 


1867, 


Lowrey, Martha A. Miller. 




Miner, Charles, .... 


1858, 


Lyman, David. 




Miner, Martha E. Frost, . 


« 


Lyman, Mary Broivn. 




Miner, John S., . 


1867 


Lyman, Elijah, Dr. 




Miner, Josephine, 


1868, 


Lyman, Norman, Dr. 




Minturn, Hiram. 




Lyman, Orange, Rev. 




Minturn, Huldah Coivles. 




Lyman, John, 


. 1802. 


Mitchell, Maria Thorbum, 


1838, 


Lyman, Salome Maltby, . 


« 


Moore, Erasmus D., Rev. 




Lyman, John B., 


. 1821. 


Moone, Mary E. Redfield, Rev., 


1847, 


Lyman, David N., . 


1831. 


Moone, Jane A. North, 


1849 


Lyman, Sarah E. Stone, 


. 1843. 


Morse, Catharine Mix, 


1848. 


Lyman, John N., 


1858. 


Murray, Warren Brooker, 


1858 


Lyman, Rufus. 




Newell, Almira F. Palmer. 




McCoe, Chloe Phelps. 




Newman, Elizabeth G., Re.v., 


1858, 


McEwen, Sarah Battell. 




Nichols, George, .... 


1793, 


Marsh, Lydia S., . 


. 1843. 


Nichols, Elizabeth Monro, 


(( 


Mather, Oliver Soper. 




Noble, E. Pleasants, Rev., 


1865 


Miller, Ebenezer, Dea. 




North, John H., . . . 


1735 


Miller, Thankful Allen. 




North, Esther Gaylord, . 


<( 


Miller, Loraine Bissell. 




North, Esther Maria, 


1843 


Miller, Ebenezer 2d, Dea. 




North, Sarah G., .... 


1849 


Miller, Dorathy Gaylord. 




Norton, James. 




Miller, Sarah Catlin, . 


1800. 


Norton, Harriet. 





Miller, Maria, 

Miller, Thomas A., Dea., . 

Miller, Mary C. Hudson, 

Miller, Gaylord B., Dr., . 

Miller, Caroline A. Watson, 

Miller, John T., 

Miller, Hobart B., 

Miller, Fanny E. Mather, . 

Miller, Henry, 



1800. 


Norton, Harriet. 




I82I. 






1827.. 


Obookiah, Henry, 


1815, 


I82I. 


Osborn, Esther Strong. 




1849. 






1847. 


Pardee, Isaac S., . 


. i860, 


1849. 


Pardee, Mary L. Crocker, 


1858 


1858. 


Peet, Minta. 




1862. 


Perkins, Watrous. 




I8I6. 


Perkins, Debora Brace. 





TORRINGFORD ChURCH. 



6l 



Phelps, Esther, 
Phelps, C. Augusta H., 
Philips, Caroline A. 
Pierce, Henry D., 
Pierce, Mary, . 
Pond, Philip, 
Pond, Nancy, . 
Pond, Burton, 
Pond, Charlotte Colt, 
Pond, Julius R., . 
Pond, Martha A. Watson, . 
Pratt, Ann A. Root, 
Pratt, Catharine L. Jones, 
Preston, Betsey Gaylord. 

Rand, George D., 
Rand, Martha J., 
Randall, Hannibal, 
Reed, Justus. 
Reed, Elizabeth Loomis. 
Reed, Theodore H., . 
Reed, Sarah S. Wilcox, 
Reed, Laura E. Birge, 
Reed, Hattie A., . 
Richards, Enos S. 
Rider, Irene A., Mrs., 
Roberts, Pelatiah. 
Roberts, Betsey, . 
Robinson, Mary. 
Rockwell, Dency C, 
Rood, Ebenezer. 
Rood, Rhoda Loomis. 
Rood, Ann. 
Rood, Pamelee. 
Rood, Eunice. 
Rood, Rhoda. 
Rood, Calvin. 
Rood, Moses. 
Rood, Ebenezer 2d, Dea., 
Rood, Aurelia A. Loomis. 
Rood, Rufus, . 
Rood, Harvey L., Dea., 
Rood, Susan Humphrey, 
Rood, Abigail Heivit, . 
Rustin, Hiram. 

St. John, Merilla Lyman. 
Seymour, Polly A. Gross. 
Smith, Rhuamah Loomis. 
Smith, Melvin, 



When united. 




When united 


. 1829. 


Smith, Mrs., 


. . 1839 


1843. 


Smith, Henrietta JVinchell, 
Soper, Rachel Cook. 


1849 


. 1858. 


Spaulding, Silas D. 




1868. 


Spaulding Julia A. Button. 




 1843- 


Spencer, Jeremiah, 


. 1858 


(( 


Spencer, Elisheba Goodman. 




. 1838. 


Spencer, Eliza Dutton, 


1839 


1821. 


Steele, Eliza Humphrey ^ . 


. 1831 


. 1858. 


Stoddard, Eli, . 


1851 


1836. 


Stoddard, Olive, 


C( 


. 1843. 


Stone Emily Lyman. 




<< 


Strong, Emerett L. Colt. 





Tallmadge, David, 

1866. Tallmadge, Sarah, . 

" Tallmadge, Hilah, . 

1858. Tallmadge, John Adrian, 

Tallmadge, James B., 

Taylor, Polly. 
i860. Taylor, Ann Wilson. 

1847. Taylor, Emory, 
1858. Taylor, Ann Mather, 

1867. Taylor, Maria, 
Tolles, Joseph. 

1858. Tompkins, Thomas. 

Treadway, Aurelia Gillett, . 
1834. Treadway, Aurelia 2d. 

Turtle, Ruth Wilson. 
1843. Tuttle, Ira. 

Tuttle, Mills. 

Tuttle, Clement. 

Tuttle, his wife. 

Tuttle, Lucy, 

Tuttle, Uriel. 

Tuttle, Cordelia Woodford, 

Tuttle, Adah Hudson, . 

Tuttle, Chloe Colt, . 
1800. Van Allen, Caroline E., 

1836. Wainright, Harriet C. Hayden, 

1850. Wakefield, Ann Fyler. 

1848. Walcott, Dana Mills, . 
1834. Walcott, Elizabeth Billings, 

Watson, Levi. 
Watson, Abigail Ensign. 
Watson, Lucy Olmsted. 
Watson, Huldah. 
Watson, Julia. 
1839. Watson, Wm. Henry, 



1832. 



<( 
<( 



1843. 
1836. 



1833- 
« 

1858. 
1816. 



1841. 

1849. 
1816. 
1821. 
1868. 

1843. 

1870. 
c< 



1849. 



61 



History of Torrington. 





When united. 


When 


united. 


Watson, Ann Moone, . 


. 1822. 


Wetmore, Fanny Austin. 




Watson, Harvey, 


1816. 


Wetmore, Sarepta, 


1841. 


Watson, Sally PFells, . 


. 1808. 


Wilcox, Elias, 


1845. 


Watson, Reuel A., 


1831. 


Wilcox, Florilla A. lVatso?i, 


1816. 


Watson, Milo. 




Wilcox, Charles, 


1866. 


Watson, George. 




Wilcox, Charlotte Hart, 


(1 


Watson, Jane Belden. 




Wilcox, Maria E., . 


<( 


Watson, Thomas, Dea., 


. 1823. 


Wilson, Mary Roberts, 


182a. 


Watson, Emellne Curtiss, . 


1821. 


Wilson, Austa Tallmadge. 




Watson, Charlotte E., . 


. 1851. 


Wilson, Darius. 




Watson, Sarah Gaylord, 


1813. 


Wilson, Clarissa Treadivay. 




Watson, William, Dea., 


. 1824. 


Woodruff", Julia A. Marsh, 


1843. 


Watson, Melissa Cadivell, 


1857. 


Woodward, James G., . 


(( 


Watson, Sarah Jane. 


(( 


Woodward, Catharine M. Steele, . 


1848. 


Wedge, Parintha. 




Woodward, Orpha A. Kellogg, 


1851. 


Wells, Martha. 




Young, Clarinda Lyman, 


1850. 


Wells, Nancy. 









Dissenters. 

In early times all persons owning taxable property were taxed for 
the " support of the gospel." Soon after the revolutionary war this 
law was changed and every man was allowed to choose what society 
or denomination he would support. This law to compel men to 
support the gospel was brought from the Episcopal church of England, 
and was continued so long as England governed this country, but as 
soon as the United States became free the state of Connecticut, and 
probably others also, changed the law and left every man to choose 
for himself, by presenting a certificate to that effect. The law was 
in universal force in England in behalf of the Episcopal church, but 
in this country none were more forward in opposing the law than 
the Episcopalians. In 18 r 8 the law was again changed so that a man 
could withdraw, without supporting any denomination. The record 
made in Torringford concerning the matter is as follows : 

" The certificates of those who have dissented from the established 
society of Torringford were received by the society as follows : 



1788, Daniel Winchel, Churchman. 
1791, Charles Mather, Baptist. 
" Thomas Goodman, " 
" David Miller, " 

" Isaac Goodwin, " 
1793, Stephen Brown, Churchman. 
1795, Samuel Woodward, " 
Josiah Moore, " 

Francis Lyman, Baptist. 



« 



1795, Elihu Olmstead, Methodist. 

1818, Pelatiah Cadwell, no denomination. 

1819, Doct. Samuel Fyler, 
" Ambrose Fyler, 
" Michael Loomis, Jr., 
" Anson Loomis, 
" Ashur Loomis, 
" William Wilson, 
« Curtiss Tuttle, 



David Soper [strict] Congregationalist. 1821, Hiram Winchell, 



(( 
(( 

« 
« 



TORRINGFORD ChURCH. 



63 



1796, 

1797. 
(( 

(( 

1798, 

1799, 
(( 

1800, 

1802, 
« 

« 

1803, 

1804, 
« 

1805, 
1811, 
1815, 
1816, 
(< 



Eleazer Morris, Baptist. 

Brigadier Loomis, " 

Abraliam Tuttle, " 

Roswell Loomis, " 

Isaac Goodwin, Jr., Churchman. 

Roswell Olmstead, Baptist. 

Timothy Humiston, Churchman. 

Hannah Olmstead, " 

John Brooker, Baptist. 

James Cowles, Churchman. 

Elihu Barber, Baptist. 

Augustin Hayden, " 

Solomon Morse, " 

John Evans, " 

Timothy Eggleston, " 

Elias Gilbert, Methodist. 

Stephen Fyler, Baptist. 

Oliver Loomis, Methodist. 

Christopher Wolcott, Churchman. 






« 
<( 



18 1 6, Catlin Bissell, Churchman. 
Durand, 

Isaiah Tuttle, 

Elijah Gaylord, 

Elihu Moore, 

Anson Little, 

Harvey Coe, 

Abiather EUmore, 

Levi Beach, 
1822, Jonathan Ives, 
" Leverette Tuttle, 

1822, Theodore Lee, 
" Russell Burr, 
" Charles Andrus, 

1823, John Ellsworth, 
" Henry Roberts, 

1827, John Hungerford, " 
" Uri Taylor, ' 






<( 

<( 

« 
<< 



< 



CHAPTER VIII. 




BUSINESS CENTERS. 

Cook Street. 

ROM 1740, for twenty years, much of the business of the 
town centered at Dea. Cook's. He was the first town 
clerk, and continued in that office thirty-eight years, 
and was justice of the peace much of that time, be- 
sides serving in several other offices of the town, church and 
society. Haifa mile west of his house at Joseph Fowler's is said to 
have been some sort of mill or tannery, or both. In February, 1 739, 
a stock company was formed of thirteen persons, supposed to have 
been for the purpose of setting up a tannery. The proprietors were ; 
Thomas Thomas and Thomas Hammond of Wethersfield ; David 
Sanford of Milford ; Samuel Phelps of Harwinton ; Dea. Nathaniel 
Hosford, Josiah Walker, Daniel Harris, Joel Parmelee, Timothy 
Hosford, William Hosford, Abram Kilborn, Isaac Bissell Jr., and 
Samuel Kilborn of Litchfield. They purchased the same day, thirty- 
six acres at the south end of the second tier of lots including the 
water privileges on the north side of the road at this place. Four of 
these partners sold their shares to Thomas Thomas, soon after the 
company was formed. It is probable that the first corn mill was 
here, and afterwards was removed to Mill brook, near Ebenezer 
Lyman junior's house. Some of the proprietor's meetings were held 
at Esquire Lyman's and his sons. The town meetings were held, 
most of the time if not all, at the first meeting house until about 1 790. 

The Lyman Street. 
In 1770 a highway was laid by town authority, from the first 
meeting house south to Mill brook. This road had been traveled as 
a highway more than fifteen years, but was not authorized as such 
by the town, it being about half way between two highways. On 
this road, in 1759, Ephraim Bancroft Jr., erected a house, having re- 
ceived sixty-six acres as a present from his father. His house stood 
near the site of the present dwelling of Mr. U. C. Andrus. In the 
same year, Epaphras Sheldon settled on land given him by his father, 



Business Centers. 65 

about forty rods east of the Meeting house. He bought a strip of 
land running from his own through to this highway, lying south of 
and adjoining the Meeting house lot. On this land Mr. Sheldon 
built his tavern, which was for twenty years the place for military 
display and public resort.^ Dea. John Whiting lived at the north end 
of this street, on the west side opposite the Church. Mr. Sheldon's 
house was on the east side, a i'ew rods south, and Lieutenant Ban- 
croft's house further south on the brow of the hill ; and the site of 
Averit's grist mill, in the hollow, a few rods east of the present School 
house. On the west side of this street was the Lyman estate, the 
Fort and the School house, and about sixty rods west (perhaps more) 
was the Brandy still for making cider brandy. Deacon Whiting 
kept what would answer to a small country store of the present day, 
the only one west of Amos Wilson's at that time so far as is known. 
It may not have been dignified with the name of store, but was in 
fact quite a place for the sale of wheat, corn, peas and other grains, 
and salt, tea, sugar, indigo, and a few of such common articles of 
import. About 1773, ^^ ^"•''^ ^ cider mill which was a place of 
great resort to talk the news and drink cider, which perhaps was some- 
thing better than to congregate, and drink stronger water at the 
tavern. 

"Leftenant" Bancroft, as called in that day, and General Epaphras 
Sheldon were very influential men for many years, and would naturally 
draw the public about them, and for this reason in part that street 
became the center of business for the town. They were both inde- 
pendent as to money, but were as unlike in character as two sub- 
stantial men could be. The lieutenant was one of the most reliable 
men ; of good judgment, good executive ability without a fuss ; 
every body's true friend, and highly esteemed. 

The general was a man of many flourishes as his hand writing 
faithfully shows. Yet he was not all flourish, but was a man of de- 
cided value in the community. He had high blood in him and was 
just the man to be a general in time of peace or war. He was clerk 
of the town for sixteen years, and had an important part in almost 
every public interest of the town. He built a tannery, on Mill 
brook, which was continued after his death some years by Raphael 
Marshall, and afterwards by Martin Webster. In revolutionary 



' Since writing the above it is ascertained that Mr. Sheldon bought land of Ephraim Ban- 
croft, just south of Bancroft's house and built his tavern there, where Mr. U. C. Andrus 
now resides. 

9 



66 History of Torrington. 

times, he and Lieut. Bancroft, being military men, supported by the 
Wilsons, Whitings, Cooks, Fowlers, Loomises, Griswolds, Tuttles, 
Austins and a host of others like them from the east side as well as 
the west, were just'the men to carry the town through with high 
honor to itself and triumph to the state and nation. 

Torrington Green. 
When Doctor Elkana Hodges planted his home and store on the 
hill north of Torrington green, 1776, he set in motion the laws of 
trade that were to control the business transactions of the western 
part of the town for fifty years. Captain Abel Beach's tavern could 
not compete with that of Gen. Epaphras Sheldon, but Dr. Hodges's 
store stripped the south hill as clear as the northwest wind sweeps 
the snow from its brow in a furious gale in the winter. First, the 
three stores (and perhaps more) of Dea. Whiting, Capt. Amos Wil- 
son and Noah North, made a balloon disappearance by taking wings 
and lighting on the hill in full subjection to the doctor, for his store 
became, very soon, the only store of the west side. Next the Meet- 
ing house, after a mighty struggle of moral elements, not quite as 
thoroughly modified by grace as could have been desired, yielded to 
 the power of attraction and seated itself at the doctor's feet on the 
green. The military parades and public gatherings centered at 
Abel Beach's tavern and the New Meeting house and Hodges's store. 
Esquire Elisha Smith became town clerk and the business man of the 
town in the room of General Sheldon. The post office was esta- 
blished half a mile east of the green at Harvey Palmer's house, 
on Goshen road before it became a turnpike. The Center school 
house stood on the corner near Mr. Willard Birge's present house, 
/ and the horse racing was performed on the highway, originally six- 
/ teen rods wide, between the School house and the post office. To 
j these must be added Dr. Hodges's potash manufactory at his house 
\ and a brandy distillery further north. In 1792, the hill at the New 
\ Meeting house, was called Brandy hill, whether in consequence of 
the distillery north of Dr. Hodges's or another nearer the site is not 
ascertained.' The Rev. Alexander Gillett purchased his farm of 
Samuel Beach, half a mile north of Dr. Hodges, in 1792, on which 
he resided, until his decease. One man who had been of much im- 
portance in the town for fifteen years, specially during the Revolu- 



^ It is said that Epaphras Loomis brought a barrel of brandy from Windsor to his house 
north of Dr. Hodges, and this first gave the name of Brandy hill. 



Business Centers. 67 

tion, was Daniel Grant, living on the old Grant farm near Goshen 
line. The influence of his energetic life was not felt as much in 
business centers as all over the town, especially the western side. 

Such were the relations of business enterprises and moneyed trans- 
actions, when in the spring of 1797, Dr. Hodges was suddenly re- 
moved from his active and successful life at the early age of fifty 
years. His two sons, Willard and Erastus, one eighteen years of age, 
the other sixteen, took his business, except his profession, and carried 
it forward with decided success, and to the great advantage of the 
community, for many years. The store was continued on the hill 
eight or nine years. Then a store building was erected at the green 
on the west side by Erastus Hodges and the store on the hill vacated. 
Soon after he erected the dwelling house adjoining the store, which 
is still standing, and which was at that time the pride of the town. 
Another upward step in the life of this diligent young man was the 
marrying, on the fifth day of January, i8og, Laura Loomis, daughter 
of Richard Loomis, aaid to have been the most queenly woman then 
living in the town ; and placed her in this new home, queen of the 
situation, but not of his mercantile business. This store drew 
around it other enterprises of advantage and honor to the community. 
Elijah Cowles of New Hartford set up a hat shop in the corner of 
the roads northeast of the store, which in a few years was removed 
to the old house a little west of Mr. Burton T. Cowles's present re- 
sidence. In about 1822, the Academy was built a little south of Mr. 
Hodges's dwelling and was in use a number of years. Afterwards 
another store was erected by Russell C. Abernethy,^ who some years 
after removed to Wolcottville and was a man of much enterprise and 
efficiency in the town. In 1848, the Meeting house, then strong and 
substantial, was taken down and a new one erected of smaller dimen- 
sions, which remained until 1872, when it was removed to Torring- 
ton hollow, where it has been in use since that time. Mr. Alpheus 
Hodges, brother of Erastus, remained on the old homestead on the 
hill and was a farmer of much influence in the town, and highly re- 
spected until his death in 1870. Torrington green is now deserted ; 
a fence is placed along the road on the east side ; the sites of the old 
church and of Capt. Abel Beach's tavern, and the house, once Mr. 
Abernethy's store, are all in the lot east of the highway. One family 
alone, that of the late Col. Levi Hodges, of all who dwelt on that 



' General Abernethy commenced keeping a store at this place about 1803. 



J) 



68 History of Torrington. 

street is left ; and the only nnan representing the name in the town 
is Mr. Levi Hodges, representative to the state legislature in 1877. 
At the north end of this street, still residing in the old homestead, is 
Miss Adah, daughter of the Rev. Alexander Gillett, now in the 
ninetieth year of her age. 

Newfield. 

Some part of Newfield was settled lafer than any portion of the 
town except the pine swamp. Noah North settled in the western 
part quite early, with a few others, and the Fylers came into the 
eastern part about 1780. The territory embraced in the fourth 
school district, before 1800, was called Noppet, taking its name from 
Noppet hill, west of Noah North's dwelling. Abel Beach, son of 
Capt. Abel, went to this hill hunting, and lost his way, and remained 
in the woods over night. He was, afterwards, asked what he did 
when he found he was lost. He said, " I laid down by a log and 
nopped it," Hence the hill on which he took his nap, was called 
Noppet hill, and finally that part of the town was known by the same 
name. About 1803, Junia North resolved that the name should be 
changed, and gave it Newfield instead, which was accepted without 
resistance. 

This Junius North, who was always called Juna and later Uncle 
Juna, kept a tavern where his son Dea. Frederick now resides, and 
was a man of considerable influence. Rev. Mr. Haynes preached 
in this tavern, a number of times in 1786 and 7, and thus supplied 
the demand for meetings in this part of the town. 

There was a small green at Capt. Eli Richards's, opposite the bury- 
ing ground, east side of the road, giving the locality some appearance 
of a public place. The military drill of the Newfield company was 
held at this place before 1800, as this part of the town furnished men 
enough, at that time, for a whole company. Charles Dix had a 
tannery and shoe shop a little north of Capt, Richards's, before_L793, 
/ and sold it to Giles Ward, who continued it some years, Afier- 
/ ward Phineas Reed established one north of the Meeting houses, on 
! the road to Winchester. Henry Davton built a tannery and shoe 
\ shop at Arrow pond, about 1827, which was continued some years. 

Orange Soper had a blacksmith shop a little north of the burying 
ground, where he continued to work until about 1800, when he sold his 
place to Jesse Finch and removed to Vernon, N, Y, There 
<vere several other blacksmith shops in Newfield, and they were kept 



Business Centers. 69 

busy, because in the earlier days nearly all iron used went, first, 
through the blacksmith shops. Nails of ail descriptions were made 
^these shops, and all the chains and irons used by the tarmers^Jbput 
the barns and houses, and farming implements ; also cranes and 
hooks in the fire places to aid in cooking, and the hinges on the doors 
of the dwellings as well as the andirons in the fire place. 

A grist mill was built by David Hart, half a mile north of where_ 
the Churches were afterwards built, which continued some length of 
time. Mr. James Culver was the miller some years. Capt. Salmon 
Bronson of Winchester wanted some dried pumpkin ground, and 
brought it to the mill. Mr. Culver put in the pumpkin to grind ; 
and put in and put in, and none came out. The end of it was, he 
was under the necessity of taking up the stone and digging off the 
pumpkin with the pick. The late Moses Waugh's wagon shop now 
occupies the site, or nearly so, of the old grist mill. 

Saw mills, cider mills, and brandy stills flourished in this part, as 
well as elsewhere in the town. There was also a mill for turning 
wooden bowls, made from whitewood, on the brook half a mile east 
of the corners. For a time, these dishes were used by many people 
for the purpose of eating. Chauncey Humphrey was saddle and 
harness maker here in 1803, when the making of saddles was a much 
larger business than the making of harness ; and Theodore Goodwin 
was the hat maker at the same time. 

The first School house for Newfield district stood on the north 
side of the east and west road, so that when the Waterbury turnpike 
was made, it went between the two chimneys of this house. It was 
built about 1 790, and was large for the accommodation of the School, 
and also to answer the purpose of a meeting house, which it did for 
some twelve or more years. This same Newfield is said to have 
been, for many years, the most populous part of the town. 

About 1830, a store was opened at the corners a little south of the 
churches, but never attained any considerable business or importance. 

Mr. Harlow Fyler lived about one mile east of the Churches and 
about 1830, his large farm presented a scene of busy life. His dairy 
of sixty to eighty cows rolled out a thousand dollars a year. His 
brick yard produced about one hundred thousand of brick a year, and 
one year reached two hundred and fifty thousand. He burned char- 
coal to a great amount, year after year, and kept one and two coopers 
busy making casks for the brass foundery in Wolcottville, and barrels 
and tubs of all descriptions. His apple orchards poured out one 



yo History of Torrington. 

hundred barrels of cider a year frequently and one year it reached 
three hundred barrels. Newfield once ran over with apples and 
cider ; the cider mills were so numerous that the older people do not 
try to tell the number, and several brandy stills were in successful 
operation for more than fifty years. x 

The Baptist Church./ 

Newfield derived, also, considerable-celeiwity from its meeting houses 
and religious movements. It comprised a large farming community 
and a numerous population, and was from two to five miles from any 
meeting house. Two causes led to a necessity for a church in this place. 
The Meeting house of the first society of the town, remained on the 
south hill from four to five miles distant, and although much effort had 
been made to remove it further north, the people of the southwestern 
part resisted severely. Another cause was the fact that Baptist min- 
isters had preached in this region and some of the people had become 
Baptists. While, therefore, the troubles were going on in the first 
church and society, special eff^ort was made in Newfield, in connection 
with the Baptist people of Colebrook, in the summer of 1788, to 
ascertain the propriety of organizing a Baptist church. A meeting 
was held on the first Saturday in September and the matter considered 
in the presence of elders James Bacon and Ashbel Gillett, and dele- 
gates Caleb Case and Abel Gillet, as a council. On the following 
day, meetings were held and two persons baptized. 

The advice of the council, that it was deemed expedient to organ- 
ize a church, was accepted and meetings appointed for the 17th of 
the same month. The account of that meeting is proper to be given 
as recorded in order to show the freedom and openness of the pro- 
ceedings. " [Meeting opened by solemn prayer to God for his bless- 
ing. Brother Stephen Shepard told his experience, and we all spake 
one by one and gave him fellowship, and gave liberty for any body- 
to speak for or against his experience or life Then eight others told 
their experience and came forward in the same manner." These 
were, Stephen Shepard, Aaron Marshall, Silas Fyler, Gideon Smith, 
Esther Beach, Chloe Marshall, Bethesda Brunson, and Rhoda Agard. 
Joseph Drake, desiring the watch of the church submitted himself to 
its disciphne though he did not become a member. About the mid- 
dle of the following November, Elder Gillet baptized Ashbel Bron- 
son, Remembrance North, Judia West and Sabra North and they 
were received into fellowship. On the 8th day of January, 1789, the 
church was recognized by sister churches and taken to their fellow- 



Business Centers. 71 

ship, and the same day Elder Gray baptized Esther Fyler, Jane 
Loomis 2d, Hannah Bronson, Olive Agard. Two days afterward, 
Noah North, Levi Marshall, Norman Shepard, were baptized, and 
on the next day John Fyler, Lemuel Loomis, Elizabeth North, and 
Elizabeth Macomb were received into the church. From this time 
until June, this religious interest continued, preaching being obtained 
by various elders, and baptisms occurring almost weekly. On the 
9th of June a council convened and agreed to the request of the 
church, to ordain Stephen Shepard as an evangelist, and the services 
of this ordination were held the next day in Captain Richards's lot at 
eleven o'clock in the forenoon. The elders present were Isaac Root 
of Warren, James Bacon of Suffrage, Adam Hamelton of Westfield, 
John Hastings of Suffield, and AshbelGillet of Wintonbury. Another 
council was convened with this church on the fifth day of October, 
1790, and on the next day ordained Epaphras Thompson to the work 
of the gospel ministry. Elders present were John Hastings, Suffield ; 
Eliakim Marshall, Windsor ; Isaac Root, Warren ; Ashbel Gillet, 
Wintonbury ; Calvin Hurlbut, Torrington ; Elisha Ransom, Water- 
town ; Jacob Winchell, Springfield. 

Elder Shepard continued to preach much of the time in Newfield 
until 1793, when he removed his family to Sharon, but preached one- 
half of the time in Newfield. The meetings were held frequently at 
the School house, and some times at Noah North's. 

The Baptist Meeting House, 

A paper containing declarations of principles and stipulations of 
association for the purpose of building a Meeting house in Newfield, 
is dated November lOth, 1803, and states that, " We the inhabitants 
of the above named places, subscribers each one for ourselves, being 
persuaded that it is our duty which we owe to ourselves, our families, 
to civil society, whereof we are members, and above all to our God, 
to maintain in some suitable way the public worship of that being in 
whom we profess to believe •, and being of various denominations we 
congratulate the day which we behold in which the powers above 
hath abolished those walls of imposition and prejudice, so that we 
mutually agree to provide a convenient building for the accommoda- 
tion of a worshiping assembly, do hereby form ourselves into a volun- 
tary association by the name of the proprietors of the Free Meeting 
house, mutually agreeing to raise a fund for the purpose of building a 
Meeting house for the use and benefit of all denominations of Christ- 



72 



History of Torrington. 



ians upon the following terms." These terms were in harmony with 
the statements just made ; and the expenses were to be raised by 
stock shares, one hundred and twenty in number at five dollars each ; 
the building to be forty-five feet in length, thirty-five in width, and 
eighteen feet posts. The following names are on the paper as sub- 
scribers, but a portion of the original paper is torn ofl", so that the 
amount given by two or three persons cannot be ascertained. 



Noah North, Baptist, . 

Junia North, " . 

Solomon Loomis, " 

Elihu Barber, " 

Isaac Bellows, " 

Abel Beach, " . 

Randall Shattuck, " 

Levi Munsell, 

Mathew Adams, Episcopalian, 

Oliver Coe, .... 

William Reynolds, 

Charles Richards, 

Moses Richards, Episcopalian, 

Noah Drake, 3d, 

Chauncey Humphrey, a free thinker. 



$50.00 David Eggleston, . 

50.00 Joseph Eggleston, 

15.Q0 Billy Eggleston, 

75.00 David Miller, 

20.00 Bildad Loomis, 

15.00 Samuel Rowley, 

10.00 Roger Coe. 

20.00 John C. Riley. 

5.00 Pomeroy Leach. 

20.00 Benoni Hills. 

15.00 Roger Marshall. 

5.00 Thomas Marshall, 

10.00 Joseph Hoskins, . 

5.00 Fred Case, . 

Ichabod Loomis, 



20.00 
5.00 
5.00 
3.00 

10.00 
5.00 



15.00 
5.00 
5.00 
5.00 
5.00 

10.00 
5.00 
5.00 
5.00 
5.00 
5.00 



i. «." if I don't think right I have a Luke Case, .... 

right to think again," one saddle, 13.00 Noah Drake, Jr., a free thinker, . 

Theodore Goodwin, two felt hats, 2.50. Simeon Richards, . 

Jedidiah Eggleston, . . . 10.00 Simeon Richards, Jr., . 

Linda Eggleston, . . . 5.00 Ira Grant, .... 

Molly Eggleston, . . . 5.00 Moses Drake, .... 

Robert Hurlbut, . . . 10.00 David Eggleston, . 

In 1 8 19, a subscription was raised to repair the house, and again in 
1834 ; and, in 1840, further efforts were made to revive the church 
and improve the Meeting house. Soon after this house was built the 
people began to remove west and the depopulating movement con- 
tinued for many years and it was difficult to keep services regularly, 
even from the beginning. On Monday evening July 5th, 1875, this 
Meeting house, not having been used for a number of years, and being 
in a dilapidated condition was set a fire by irresponsible persons and 
burned to the ground. Deacon Frederick North with a few other 
members of this church still remain as good examples of Christian 
faith and practice. 

The Methodist Church. ^ 

Between 1780 and 1790, Ensign Jonathan Coe, Joseph Haskins 
and others, then living just over the Winchester line, near Newfield, 
became disaffected with the standing or Congregational order and gave 



Business Centers. 73 

adhesion to the Methodists, and after this the circuit preachers held 
service occasionally at Mr. Coe's house. In the autumn of 1808, a 
Methodist camp meeting was held in Canada village, in Goshen, and 
Newfield was largely represented there. Methodism, however, took 
no definite prominence in Newfield uiitil about 1816, when Rev. 
Daniel Coe, a local preacher from Winsted, began to hold regular 
services in the Baptist meeting house. Soon much interest was mani- 
fested ; meetings were multiplied, and quite a number of persons were 
baptized in the brook north of Harlow Fyler's residence. A church 
was organized and Capt. Levi Munsill was appointed class leader. 
The church increased until it numbered about fifty members, and the 
interest became so general that the school children held prayer meet- 
ings in the grove during the intermission of school exercises. Capt. 
Stephen Fyler and his sons Harlow and Juba, the Munsills, Loomises, 
Grants, Thralls, Daytons, and Capt. Asahel Smith and Amasa 
Wade of Winchester, and a number of other families warmly es- 
poused this cause ; and for some years a thriving society existed. 
Besides Daniel Coe, who always manifested a fatherly interest in this 
church, David Miller of Torringford was a frequent early preacher. 
Afterwards, several other ministers are remembered as having preached 
here, viz : Mr. Canfield Cochrane, Billy Hibbard, John Nickerson, 

Morris and Aaron Hill, Washburn, Samuel D. Ferguson, John 

Beach, Gad N. Smith, Col. James Perry, Joseph Toy, Miles N. 
Olmstead and Henry J. Fox. Some of the presiding elders were, 
Nathan and Heman Bangs, Laban Clark, John Lucky, Wash- 
burn, Martindale, Ferguson and Griswold. 

Among the class leaders after Capt. Munsill, were Augustus 
Grant, Archibald Dayton and Chauncey Riggs. 

Several of these ministers resided in Newfield, the circuit beino- at 
first and for many years, a four weeks' circuit, with two ministers 
each preaching in the same place once in four weeks. The other 
minister living in Burlington ; the four preaching places being Bur- 
lington, Newfield, Canada village in Goshen and Cornwall. 

The Methodists and Baptists occupied the Old meeting house on 

alternate Sabbaths, until a Methodist quarterly meeting occurred on 

the Baptist's Sabbath, and was conducted with closed doors, according 

to the custom of those days. Some young men insisted on going into 

this meeting, and finally broke down the door to effect an entrance. 

Much excitement followed. The next quarterly meeting was held 

In Harlow Fyler's wagon house, and a great company gathered for 

the occasion. This occurred in the autumn of i8?2. A meetin? 

10 ^ S 



74 



History of Torrington, 



of the members of this church was held Nov. 26, 1832, when the 
Rev, Heman Bangs, presiding elder, was chosen moderator and Rev. 
Charles Sherman, the pastor, was chosen scribe, and they voted that 
" we deem it expedient to make an effort to build a Meeting house," 
They appointed a committee consisting of Levi Munsill, Harlow 
Fyler, Archibald Dayton, Elihu Barber and Amasa Wade, to fix on 
a site and forward the movement as trustees of the society. Two 
thousand dollars were fixed as the amount to be raised in order to 
make the subscriptions binding. The names and amounts were : 



Stephen Fyler, ^ 
Juba Fyler, V 

Harlow Fyler, J 
Augustus Grant, 
Archibald Dayton, 
Ejihu Barber, 
Orson Barber, 
Joslah Appley, 
Levi Munsill, 
Uriah Burr, 



Moses Drake, . 
Amasa Wade, Jr. 
Joseph Eggleston, 



John Humphrey, 

$750.00 Levi Hurlbut, . 

Bassett Dunbar, . 

200.00 Elkanab Barber, 

100.00 Jonah Dayton, 

250.00 Henry Ward, . 

200.00 Sumner Cooper, . 

50.00 Marcus Munsill, 

150.00 Luman Munsill, 

30.00 Isaac Bronson, 

10.00 Homer H. Wade, 

60.00 Lyman Bronson, 

25.00 Harmon E. Wade, 

10.00 Ebenezer Sexton, 



10.00 

25.00 

25.00 

50.00 

10.00 

5.00 

8.00 

5.00 

5.00 

50.00 

5.00 

10.00 

10.00 

10.00 



The house was built in 1833, ^^'^ seated with slips instead of the 
box pew. 

In November, 1833, a subscription of $195 was raised and a bell 
purchased at Medway, Mass., and ordered sent by water to Hartford, 
but navigation closing, Mr, Harlow Fyler sent his team to Med- 
way, for the bell, which had been shipped to Boston to come by 
water, and the team went to Boston and brought the bell in time for 
the dedication. After a few years of full meetings and general in- 
terest, the cause began to decline ; families were removing from the 
community, almost yearly, some of them going to the far west. A 
debt of four hundred dollars remained on the Meeting house property 
which continued to increase although several efforts were made to 
pay it, until about 1 850, when it was sold to the Advent society, and 
a series of meetings was held by Elders Miles Grant and Matthew- 
son. For a time there was much interest manifested ; the Meeting 
house was filled on the Sabbath, and some meetings were held in the 
Baptist house also, and a Second Advent church organized with 
thirty members, but after ten or twelve years the meetings ceased, 
most of the members went to Wrightville and the Meeting house 
stood unused until 1876, when it was sold and taken down. 



Business Centers. ] ^ 

Now Newfield is lonely, not desolate, but lonely. Ashes are on 
the site of the Baptist house, brick and plastering on that of the 
Methodist house. A little brick school house stands near, where a 
dozen or twenty children meet for education, a small portion of the 
year. 

" Time, whither dost thou flee? 
" I, travel to eternity." 

TORRINGFORD. 

Shubael Griswold's tavern was probably the first institution of a 
public character in Torringford. It is possib.e that it was something 
more than a tavern, for he may have kept articles of merchandise 
answering to a store, such as teas, indigo, sugar, and farm productions, 
as did Amos Wilson, John Whiting, and Noah North, on the west 
side of the town. Not long after Mr. Griswold's tavern became 
established, Benjamin Bissell opened a house of entertainment a little 
further north on Torringford street east side of the road, which was 
in full operation in 1776, for it is stated that during the Revolution, 
the women of the eastern part of the town, whose husbands and sons 
were in the army, asseml)led at this tavern, at certain times, to obtain 
information from, or concerning the soldiers and the army. After- 
wards David Soper kept a tavern near the first Meeting house, which 
he continued a number of years. Another tavern was kept near the 
Greenwoods. 

William Battell of Woodbury, bought ten acres of land adjoining 
Rev. Samuel J. Mills's house, on the south, on the ninth of October, 
1783 ; giving for it three hundred and five pounds. On this land 
he erected a store building, and in it kept a store for many years. 
Mr. Battell was about thirty-five years of age when he settled in 
Torringford, and entered upon his mercantile business with energy 
and good judgment, as is indicated by the location he chose for him- 
self. There was but one store in the town at the time, that being 
Dr. Hodges, on the west side, and Torringford was fast becoming a 
populous region by immigration and the growing up of the young people 
of the families of the first settlers. Dr. Samuel Woodward had re- 
cently established his home here as a practicing physician, and the 
place needed just such a store as Mr. Battell opened to the public, 
and although he was under the necessity of transporting his mer- 
chandise to Hartford and New Haven, at first, with ox carts, yet he 
succeeded well, and his store became the place of a large amount of 
business transactions. He bought and shipped all kinds of farm pro- 



76 History of Torrington. 

/ duce ; grains, butter, cheese, pork, beef, eggs, and flax, and brought in 
I return all the articles usually sold at country stores in those days ; dry 

V goods, including silks and satins, imported broadcloths of costly style, 
groceries, hardware, drugs, shoes and leather. All the various kinds ot 
mercantile goods, that at the present day are found by visiting a dozen 
stores, were then crowded into one, and called a country store. 
Such a store was not complete without a choice variety of wines, 
brandies, and liquors of all kinds ; imported, and of home manufac- 
ture, and this was not all ; the people drank liquors by the gallon and 
barrel, and some of them made themselves drunk, and wallowed in the 
mire like beasts, as well as at the present day. The familiar pretense 
that persons did not become intoxicated and stagger in the streets, swear 
and fight and run horses and carouse, just like drunken men, is too 
shallow to be repeated by intelligent people. It may go for par a thou- 
sand years hence, but not quite yet. It was not a peculiarity of one 
store nor of one community to sell and use intoxicating drinks, but 
was the practice of a great portion of both stores and communities 
throughout the United States, before and many years after the year 
eighteen hundred. Mr. Battell had also a manufactory of potash, 
which was an article of extensive sale in those days. 

He sold his store and the ten acres of land and the potash works, 
to his sons William and Joseph, the latter being in Norfolk, in 1808, 
and probably retired from business life. His son William continued 
the store until about 1830. 

Nathaniel Smith of Milford and later of Bethlehem, came to Tor- 
ringford a young man, and was clerk in the store of William Battell 
three years, when he engaged in the mercantile business for himself 
in a store at Griswold's corners, where he continued until his death, 
in 1854, a period of forty-six years. He married Harriet, the 
daughter of Daniel Winchell, and built and resided in the brick 
house on the west side of the street at that place. He was appointed 
post master in 1812, and held the office without interruption forty- 
two years, a case probably without a parallel in this country, and he 
was a very upright and careful business man, and highly esteemed 
among business men generally, credit in New York and else- 
where being of the highest kind, and for a number of years he did a 
large business, but Wolcottville began to be the market for farmer's 
produce and hence also of mercantile trade, and especially after the 
rail road was established. Therefore Torringford, as to commer- 
Sf^l \ cial life must decline, while the valleys surrounding it should increase. 
Mr. Smith's son, Charles B. Smith, came to Wolcottville as a mer- 



Business Centers. 77 

chant, and the business at the old store was not great during the few 
last years that it was continued. 

Quite an extensive tannery and shoe shop had been conducted in 
the early time of Torringford, on the corner where Nathaniel Smith 
built his brick house, and here also, he set up, in the rear of his 
dwelling, a leach, for the making of potash. 

The brick buildino- a short distance south of the Church was used 
some years, beginning about i860, by Darius Wilson, as a wagon 
and blacksmith shop. He removed to Wolcottville and then west. 
Another wagon shop stood half a mile east, and was a busy place a 
number of years ; several men being regularly employed in making 
wagons, some of which were for the southern market. This shop 
was started about 184.0. 

The Torringford Farmers' Company. 

A people's store was started at or near Greenwoods, at the north 
end of Torringford street, in 1838, and was conducted by Ellis Bur- 
well. 

The capital stock was four thousand dollars, and was held by the 
following persons : 

Uriel Tuttle, Thomas A. Miller, John C. Barber, 

Ellis Burwell, Henry Colt, Anson Colt Jr., 

Barzillai Hudson, Tuttle, Allen Roberts, 

Nelson Roberts, Benjamin Tucker, Leonard Tucker, 

Barton Pond, Daniel G. Humphrey, Uriel Spencer, 

Hiram Burr, Milo Burr, Peleg Elmer. 

Uriel Tuttle, president, and Anson Colt Jr., T. A. Miller, Bar- 
ton Pond, directors. 

All mercantile business has departed from Torringford, and noth- 
ing of the olden times is seen but the farmers and the farming, 
and the post office at Mr. Stanley Griswold's. The Greenwoods 
part of Torringford street was settled later than the southern part, 
but became as enterprising and prosperous after the year 1 800, 
as anypart of the town. The Haydens kept a tavern many years, 
arunfhe Tuttles, Colts, and a number of other families, were as spir- 
ited, energetic and successful, and influential as any in the town. 
David Lyman settled on East street, during the Revolution, or soon 
after, and others became his neighbors on that street. 

Holbrook's Mills. 
Abijah Holbrook came from Bellingham, Mass., to Goshen, and 
in July 1787, bought, in company with Fisk Beach, land of Daniel 




yS History of Torrington. 

Mills of Goshen, at the place on Naugatuck river afterwards known 
as Holbrook's mills, and later as Appley's mills. When Mr. Hol- 
brook and Beach made the purchase, there was a forge, or iron works 
on the land i an attempt having been made to obtain iron from the ore 
found in this region but the quantity obtained was not sufficient to 
encourage this kind of enterprise. Mr. Holbrook and Beach built a 
grist mill and saw mill, and Mr. Holbrook erected the dwelling that 
is now tailing to the ground, a little south of the mill. Its ruins 
show that it was once, more than an ordinary house. Mr. Holbrook 
was a man of wealth, and a " polished gentleman, far in advance of his 
generation in that particular."' Elijah Pond being brother-in-law to 
Mr. Holbrook, removed from Grafton, Massachusetts, about 1790, 
and engaged in the mill, and other enterprises with this brother-in-law, 
and it is thought, they had a purpose or intent to work the foundery in 
connection with the iron mine on Walnut mountain. Sylvanus Hol- 
brook, a nephew of Abijah, came from Massachusetts, very early in the 
present century, and resided some years in the vicinity of his uncle, 
and removed to Goshen where he died. He did a mercantile busi- 
ness in Baltimore which required his absence from home some months 
of each year. 

About the year 1800, Capt. Elisha Hinsdale came from Canaan 
to this place and engaged in the manufacture of scythes and axes, 
and general blacksmithing. Here were made in large quantities, for 
those days, the celebrated clover-leaf scythe, and axes, and were 
carried on wagons to water transportations. Soon after, or about the 
time the Hindsdales came to this place, Josiah Appley became a 
resident, and finally the owner of much of the property of the place. 
He built a grist mill a little north of Holbrook's on the Hall Meadow 
brook. 

Abijah Holbrook died in 1812, and in 1814 his widow Mary sold 
the homestead, grist millandsaw mill toErastus Lyman and Thearon 
Beach of Goshen, for $2, 150, and removed from the place, to western 
New York. In 18 16 Elisha Hindsdale sold his lands to his brother, 
Dea. Abel, and removed west, and from that day all business inter- 
ests in that localitv have taken the down hill course, until onlv one 
old mill building is left, and that looks as if ready to tumble down 
any day. There are two dwellings that are occupied, which are the 
only things that show signs of life except the trees, which grow with 



' So writes Dr. James O. Pond of New York. 




FALLS AT TORRINGTON HOLLOW. 



Business Centers. 79 

a thrift almost surprising to Connecticut people. The little grave- 
yard, lilled with graves, stands on the bank, of the river, and is very 
beautiful because of its quietness, in its almost unbroken solitude, 
where the tumult of the great city will never disturb the ashes that 
rest there, while the wild birds of the woods will sing their marvel- 
ous songs above the dust of some of the noble sons and daughters 
of the honored pilgrims. 

Hart's Hollow. 
About a mile above Holbrook's mills, at a place called Hart's hol- 
low, in the edge of the town of Goshen, quite a business was con- 
ducted in making clocks, about 1820 ; a number of buildings were 
erected and for a time the place assumed considerable importance ; 
and as the natural outlet of the place was through Torrington, the 
place seemed a part of Torrington, and the inhabitants usually at- 
tended Torrington church. 

Torrington Hollow, 

The first name that is now remembered as designating this part of 
the town, was Poverty hollow, a name that never attracted many 
persons to any place, although many have known where such a hol- 
low was situated. Thus things passed for a time until after the build- 
ing of the cotton mill, when it came to be called Cotton hollow ; but 
by some mysterious magic, has so far asserted its majesty as to throw 
off the Cotton, and now stands in the dignity of Torrington hollow j 
the post office, however, has taken to itself the whole honor of the 
town, and is known by the one word, Torrington. 

In February, 18 13, Elijah B. Loomis, of New York, and Elisha 
Loomis and Abner M. Warriner, of Torrington, entered into part- 
nership, and built a mill or factory for the purpose of manufacturing 
cotton, woolen and other goods, at this place. The factory was 
located near the bridge on Goshen turnpike, and was built in 1813. 
The next January, other persons entered the partnership under 
the name of the Torrington Manufacturing Company, and the firm 
consisted of Elisha Loomis, Elijah B. Loomis, Abner M. Warriner, 
John W. Walker, Christopher Pierce, James Green and William 
Dexter ; the stock being eight thousand dollars. 

In the next September it was mortgaged to David Wadhams and 
David Thomas of Goshen, to procure capital to insure success in the 
making of goods. This business enterprise, like the first woolen mill 



8o History of Torrington. 

at Wolcottville, does not appear to have had any great success in 
making money, for it struggled along some years, under disadvantages, 
yet with much apparent effort, but did not prosper. The cot- 
ton was spun in the mill, then sent abroad among the farmers to be 
woven, and although it brought new work to many homes, 
it is doubtful if every one who undertook to weave, made a success 
of it, and with all the difficulties attending the work, there would have 
been no success but for the high price of the cloth, which sold from 
thirty to forty cents per yard. 

A store was also put up in connection with the factory or about 
the same time, and was conducted by Mr. Green. 

In 1827, the cotton factory was sold for debt, and changed hands 
several times until it came into the hands of Erastus Hodges, and as 
he had found success in nearly every enterprise he had undertaken, 
he pushed forward this with money and much energy, and he also 
interested himself largely in the making of clocks aboutthe same time. 
Norris' North engaged in the clock business, about 1820, and 
Mr. Hodges became interested with him, if he was not a part- 
ner. The clocks were made at first in Harvey Palmer's old carding 
machine, then in a part of Ormel Leach's grist mill, and after that 
in a building called the clock factory. Mr. Hodges also took the 
store of James Green, placing his sons in it and in the mill, to give 
them a start in business life. The store was removed to Wolcott- 
ville, previous to 1834, and continued some time by these sons, with 
the aid of their father. 

In 1835, the brass foundery was started by Mr. Hodges and others, 
and the buildings were located below the bridge on the east bank, 
where they are now in a falling condition. This business was started 
with the purpose of making brass kettles by the battery, or hammer- 
ing process ; the preparations for the work were quite ample, and 
an agent was sent to Europe to procure men and machinery, and 
considerable quantity of machinery was shipped from Europe, but 
the vessel was wrecked and all was lost. Calamity and disaster at- 
tended nearly every effort in this undertaking, and after a little time 
the brass business at this place was purchased by Israel Coe, then of 
Wolcottville, engaged in the same enterprise. 

After some years, these buildings were fitted for smelting ore, in 
hope of obtaining nickel, but the metal was not found to exist in suf- 
ficient quantities, or the process of separation was too costly to make 
it profitable to continue the work. 



Business Centers. 8i 

After the business of making clocks was discontinued, a lock fac- 
tory was established, in which George D, Wadhams, Mr. Goodwin 
and Edmund Wooding were interested, and engaged. When the lock 
business was closed, the building was used for making skates until the 
skate company removed. 

In 1869, Chester L. Smith from Litchfield purchased this pro- 
perty, which the skate company had vacated, and commenced the 
manufacture of toys. After one year he began the making of sleds 
for children, which business he continued with success until his de- 
cease in August, 1876. Since then his sons Ralph R. Smith and 
Chester L. Smith have continued the same business. 

It is stated that there was a grist mill some time before the year 
1800, at this place, just below the site of the present bridge, but who 
built this mill and how long it continued its good work of making 
flour is not known. 

Ormel Leach put a run of stone in the saw mill which stood a little 
up the stream, northeast of Wrightville, and continued it two or three 
years, and then built the mill which is now owned by Mr. Willard 
H. Barber at the hollow. This mill has been an important enter- 
prise for many years. Mr. Lucius Leach, son of Ormel, owned and 
conducted it a number of years, making additions and improvements, 
then sold it, with grist mill, saw mill and plaster mill, to Mr. Willard 
H. Barber in 1868, who continues the same with the addition of a 
new building, for a plaster and cider mill. The old saw mill, a little 
below the site of Harvey Palmer's carding mill, has out-lived its 
usefulness, and having nearly tumbled down might be taken for fire 
wood without any great sacrifice. 

Wrightville. 

Wrightville, a cluster of a dozen houses, was the outgrowth of the 
scythe factory, organized in 1852 as a stock company, mostly of 
farmers ; for the purpose of manufacturing scythes and hoes ; with 
a certified stock of six thousand dollars ; the stockholders being Uri 
L. Whiting, Robert Wright, Albro W. Cowles, Rodney Brace, Geo. 
W. Loomis, Daniel A. Grant, Wm. A. Grant, Augustus Grant, 
Daniel Brown, Charles Hotchkiss, Frederick A. Griswold, Phineas 
N:rth, Rodney Pierce. The officers were Phineas North, president, 
with Rodney Brace, Albro W. Cowles, Charles Hotchkiss direct- 
ors. A commodious building was erected of stone, and machinery 

11 



82 History of Torrington. 

for conducting the work in an advantageous manner was placed in 
the building. The work began under favorable circumstances, and 
to all appearances was in successful prosecution for several years. 
Some money was needed above the stock paid in, and in order to 
raise this money, the stockholders signed a paper obligating their 
personal property over or above the stock they severally owned. This 
done the business went on briskly. Much work was done ; scythes 
in large quantities were sold. Some few changes in the ownership 
of stock took place but not such as to- affect the business in any 
respect. Thus things were progressing, when, after a season of good 
success in the sale of the goods produced, the company were reported 
to be heavily in debt, and work was stopped. Further examination 
proved each stockholder liable for several hundred dollars in addition 
to the loss of the stock he held. No business transaction ever had 
the damaging effect on the western part of the town that this break 
down had. Calamities in regard to money have fallen on persons in 
all parts of the town, but there are none heard of, concerning which 
there is any comparison of bitterness expressed, as about the Wright- 
ville scythe manufactory. 

The Carriage Shop. 

About 1854, Mr. Hiram Pulver, having returned from a success- 
ful two or three years' trip to California, established himself in the 
carriage making business, at this place, where he has been found dili- 
gently and constantly engaged since that time, in making and repairing 
carriages and wagons in the most approved style. Such has been his 
reputation for thorough work that his business gradually increased 
until he found it necessary to remove to more commodious quarters, 
and hence erected in 1877, such buildings as were needed in Wol- 
cottville, Wrightville, therefore, will be more than ever deserted, 
and Wolcottville more busy and prosperous. 

Wrightville Church, 
Some time in 1865 or 6, the Second Advent people of Newfield, 
commenced holding meetings quite regularly at Wrightville, and in 
1867 the Meeting house was built. It was a conimodious building, 
equal to the needs ot the congregation, and meetings were con- 
tinued in it and preaching maintained with considerable regularity 
several years. The society was never wealthy, but did what it 



Business Centers. 83 

could, and since the suspension of the scythe shop Wrightville has 
been growing less, and also this church. 



BURRVILLE. 

Elias Gilbert of New Haven bought land at this place, of David 
Soper, in 1812, on the west side of the river. This he sold the 
next year to Isaac Gilbert with " bark house and tan-vats " on it. 
In 1816, Newton Rossiter bought land of David Soper on the east 
side of the river, and in 1817 he bought of Chester Loomis, a ham- 
mer shop, which had been owned by Isaac Gilbert, and was probably 
built by him. In 1818, Mr, Rossiter bought Isaac Gilbert's tan- 
nery, and engaged in the tanning and shoe business extensively, 
and hence the name Rossiterville, by which the place was known a 
number of years. 

In about 1828 or 9, Mr. Rossiter, having exchanged with the 
state of Connecticut, his property at this place for western lands, re- 
moved west. The old tannery is now owned and used by Mr. J. 
M. Burr, as a grist mill and shingle mill. 

Bricks were made at first on Torringford street, near the old 
Burr tavern, and afterwards two or three kilns were established be- 
tween thatplace and the hollow, one of which, near Burrville, is still 
continued by Mr. John M. Burr. The Haydens also on Torring- 
ford street made large quantities of brick. 

While the tannery was in successful progress, Mr. Milo Burr en- 
tered upon the work of reducing the pine timber, then covering 
the valley at this place, to lumber. For this end he had three saw 
mills in full operation a number of years, and the larger part of 
his success in life resulted from this lumber trade. Other enterprises 
he pursued with much energy, and for the hope of public good, the 
enlarging of the place ; but most of these efforts were to his own 
disadvantage, while the pine timber brought some compensation of 
comfort. 

In 1851, he built a dam on the mountain west of the village and 
constructed what is well known as Burr's reservoir ; a most beauti- 
tiful sheet of water, in the woods among the rocky hills. The place 
and scenery are as wild and lonely as any civilized creature could 
wish, except as to extent. Once the dam gave way and the rushing 
waters came down the mountain gorge with such a noise as to give 
warning, and no lives were lost except one little child. The water 



84 History of Torrington. 

in the reservoir is as clean and clear as is ever secured for family 
use, and the people of Burrville can have water with a hundred feet 
pressure in their houses at very little cost. On the brook leading 
from the reservoir to the village, near the latter, Mr. Milo Burr 
built, in 1854, a large building to be used as a manufactory. This 
was occupied some time by Mr. Gale, under the first patent for put- 
ting up condensed milk, by preserving with sugar. He began this 
work at Wolcottville but removed to this place as one reason, be- 
cause of the purity of the water here obtained. He removed to 
Dutchess county, N. Y., where his enterprise is in most successful 
operation, it having become of great importance to the people of large 
cities. 

On Saturday, May 12, 1877, this building was consumed by fire. 

Newton Rossiter, while conducting the tannery kept a small store, 
probably in his own dwelling. Afterwards Captain Milo Burr and 
Beach Baker removed the store building once used at Greenwoods 
street for a people's store to Burrville and Mr. Baker kept a store for 
a short time. Nelson Roberts took this store in 1848, and con- 
ducted it fourteen years, and then sold if to Lewis Johnson, who re- 
mained in it two years, and sold to Mr. E. S. Minor, who is still 
the merchant and rail road agent at the place. There is a post- 
office at the place ; Mr. John M. Burr, post-master. Mr. James 
Tallmadge had a wagon shop here about i860, for a time, when he 
removed to Winsted. 

Daytonville, 

The Organ Factory. 

Jonah Dayton, from Watertown, Ct., came to Torrington when 
a young man, and bought land of David Soper one mile north of 
Wolcottville, in 1809 and 1810, on which he built a house and other 
buildings. Upon the farm he then bought, stand most of the dozen 
dwellings which now compose the place called Daytonville. The 
number of houses does not entitle the place to the name of a village, 
but the business transactions which have taken place there warrant 
the perpetuation of such honor for many years to come. Mr. Dayton 
was a farmer, and in this work made improvements about his home 
until about 1831, when he built a saw mill by which his work was 
considerably increased. In 1834, his son Arvid Dayton, put up a 
building in which he did various kinds of mechanical work a number 
of years, and in this shop he built his first pipe organ in 1840. In 



Business Centers. 85 

1844, a large addition was made to this shop, which has been occu- 
pied since that time as an organ factory. In 1846, he built his first 
reed organ, and thereby was the first to build organs of this kind, 
in America, so far as is known. For twenty years or more he was 
busy, employing a number of hands, in making these instruments ; 
more than five thousand having been sent out to make melody in the 
churches and in the homes of Connecticut and many other states. 

Between 1850 and i860, he made many valuable improvements 
in organs of this kind but being more attentive to the making of per- 
fect instruments than to the retaining the control of his improvements, 
he did not obtain patents on his inventions, and freely exhibited these 
instruments to the one purpose of selling them. The result was that 
other persons, forming companies with large capital, used these im- 
provements, greatly to their own advantage without any profit to 
him. Many of the most finished workmen, employed in the largest 
manufactories in the country learned their trade under Mr. Dayton. 
The "Tuner's Gamut" an invention of Mr. Dayton, for tuning 
these organs is an instrument in general use, and is acknowledged to 
be of very great value in securing perfect harmony in the tones of 
such instruments. 

One patent he has lately obtained, which has brought him some 
appropriate remuneration. 

The Rake Factory. 

Soon after Jonah Dayton settled on his farm, Bassett Dunbar es- 
tablished a shop, a little way up the river, at the old Munn place, 
for making hay-rakes, and fork and hoe handles. This business he 
continued many years. The name B. Dunbar became familiar 
to the people throughout Connecticut, and many other states, by 
being branded on the rake heads and hoe-handles, although few 
persons had any knowledge of the retired place where so far famed 
a man resided. If all the old familiar friends of B. Dunbar 
should come and settle in the region of Wolcottville, a large city 
would at once occupy the Naugatuck valley. Far away to Ohio 
has the name, B. Dunbar, gone, although the man who bore it may 
never have crossed the Hudson river. In our day this would be 
nothing, for the monthly report of the standing of our school children 
goes much further than that, but in that day it was very diff^erent. 

After the making of rakes had ended, Samuel De Forest bought 
this shop and used it in making German silver spoons, and afterwards 
sold it to Lyman Clark, a carpenter and builder, who among other 



86 History of Torrington. 

edifices, built the second Church at Torrington green, in 1848. Mr. 
Clark sold to James Ashborn, who made guitars until the commence- 
ment of the late rebellion when the sale of these instruments ended. 
It was rented for a time for the making of piano covers, and in 1866, 
the Excelsior Needle Company bought it and made needles there 
until their business became too extensive for the size of the building, 
when they removed to Wolcottville. 

This shop is now a saw mill, owned by Frederick Wadhams, with 
a circular saw that will turn out six hundred feet of boards an hour, 
or will run through a log fifteen feet in length, one foot m diameter 
in fifteen seconds, a great change from the old mill which stood 
further up the river, which would allow a man to eat his dinner while 
the saw made the length of the log. 

JuDE Freeman's Mill. 

This saw mill stood a little distance above Bassett Dunbar's shop, 
and was owned by Jude Freeman, a colored man, many years. He 
also owned a large farm on Red mountain on which he resided. 
Jonah Dayton was known to say many times that Mr. Freeman could 
borrow a hundred dollars as readily as any man in town because he 
was as good pay as any body. This mill and mill privilege fell into 
the hands of Elkanah Barber, son of Elihu Barber, who continued the 
old mill, and added a cider mill and a blacksmith shop, but these are 
all gone now except a few old timbers. 

Huntington's Carding Mill. 

William Huntington from Harwinton established a carding mill, 
about half a mile above Daytonville, and a few rods above Elkanah 
Barber's saw mill, about 1829, and here he continued to card wool 
and dress cloth for many years. This property has changed hands 
several times and is now owned by Squire Scoville, and is occupied 
as a saw mill. 

Cook's Saw Mill. 

This mill is below Daytonville, a short distance, and was built 
originally by David Soper, Joseph Gaylord, and John Cook, Jr., 
about or before 1800. It is now owned by the Cook families. 




CHAPTER IX. 

WOLCOTTVILLE. 

How IT Became a Village. 

)HE first business transaction that led the way of 
all others in building Wolcottville as a village, was 
the purchasing by Amos Wilson of the proprietors 
of the town, the mill privileges, on Waterbury river, 
west branch, in March 175 1; the site known since as that of 
Wilson's mill. He was then twenty-five years of age ; had been in 
the town less than a year ; was the owner of fifty acres of land given 
him by his father ; and by this transaction started himself in business 
for life. His brother Noah had been in the town seven or eisht 
years, and was the owner, at this time, of two or three hundred acres 
of land. The next step of progress was the formation of the stock 
company and the building of the mill soon after, probably the same 
year. The company bought at different times various portions of the 
pine timber land, and Noah and Amos Wilson bought for their in- 
dividual possession, strip after strip, as the owners were willing to 
sell, until a considerable part of the pine timber was under their con- 
trol. In October 1752, Amos Wilson married Zerviah Grant, 
daughter of William Grant, one of the proprietors of the mill, a 
transaction with a foresight to business as well as domestic felicity ; 
and made his home west of the mill near the present residence of Mr. 
Burton Patterson. 

The next enterprise of Amos Wilson was, a store and a shoe 
shop. His account book still preserved ' reveals the extent of this 
department of usefulness as well as the work done at the mill. The 
earliest date in this book is 1759, and the book shows that there had 
been another, previous to this, kept by Amos Wilson. 

It was this saw mill that was to clear the pine timber from the 
swamp and open the way for a beautiful village. This timber was 
valuable. Mast swamp has been represented as a worthless piece of 
territory, so much so that the committee in laying out the town could 

' Mr. John W. Brooks, of Wolcottville, told a peddler if he obtained any old books to 
let him see them. Therefore this book is preserved. 



88 History of Torrington. 

scarcely devise a plan to dispose of it, whereas it was reserved dur- 
ing all the other divisions for the reason that it was of such value 
that every proprietor demanded his share in proportion to the amount 
of his list. For twenty years the proprietors, by various committees 
protected the pine timber, and ordered prosecutions in court, even at 
large expense, upon any person who should cut it, and for what 
reason ? Because it was so worthless ? Any of the old proprietors 
would have laughed at the idea. They had houses and barns to 
build ; and they knew that pine lumber was far preferable and more 
durable than hemlock for such purposes, and to suppose t© the con- 
trary is a disparagement of the keen sighted calculations of the fath- 
ers of Torrington. Many of the farmers cut this timber as they 
needed it ; hired the use of Wilson's mill to saw it ; and worked at 
the mill night and day to that end, and then used it at their homes ; 
and after this process had been going on fifty years and more, 
they sold their lots with what remained on them, some of them as 
the deeds show, for sixty dollars and over, per acre. Between 
1790 and 1800, Roger Wilson and Roswell Wilson, bought in com- 
pany and separately, between twenty and thirty of these lots, paying 
the above prices for a number of them. 

A highway through the swamp was laid at the time of the first 
division, in 1734, half a mile north of, and parallel with the Litch- 
field line, and crossed the west branch some distance above Wilson's 
mill, passing eastward a little north of the present Congregational 
parsonage, and was a traveled road very early. It was, indeed, the 
only road through the swamp, for twenty or more years. In 1752, 
a highway was laid through the swamp, near the middle, from 
north to south, twenty feet wide, which is now Main street. In the 
same year another one was laid from the mill place " east, twenty 
feet wide until it comes into the other road." That is now Water 
street. The other highway, known now as South Main street, was 
made at a later date. The first road leading to Waterbury began at the 
west end of the bridge above Wilson's mill, and passed down on the 
south side of the river, crossing the brook below the park, and was 
called the New Haven road. The old Litchfield road came down 
the ravine into the New Haven road near this brook. On the east 
side of the river a highway was laid in 1752, from the Litchfield line 
running north as far as the pine timber division of land. This road 
was extended south into Litchfield and became a traveled road quite 
early, and several dwellings were standing on it before 1800. 



WoLCOTTVILLE. 89 

On the New Haven road there were settlers long before any 
houses were built in Wolcottville. Paul Peck had his hermit's house 
near this road some time before 1776. Samuel Brooker owned his 
hundred acres of land in this vicinity, and built his house near the 
site of Mr. Charles F. Church's present dwelling, about 1785. 
Below this dwelling resided a Mr. Elwell and Solomon Morse. Capt. 
Perkins lived in a house on the site of Mr. Frederick Taylor's present 
homestead. On the Litchfield road, some distance west from the 
New Haven road, were the homes of Thomas Coe, Asahel 
Wilcox, Chester Brooker and others. Some of the land along this 
New Haven road and near the river has been under cultivation 
longer than any in the original town of Torrington. It was in this 
vicinity or up the Litchfield road that Josiah Grant resided in 1734, 
when he hired four or five acres of land then " broken up on Water- 
bury river," within the territory of Torrington. A carding and cloth 
dressing mill was built opposite Wilson's saw mill, on the river at an 
early period. Joseph Blake dressed cloth at this mill many years, 
and is said to have come to the town for this purpose. Amos Wilson's 
account with Mr. Blake begins in 1769, and therefore it is probable 
that the mill was built before that time. This mill was gone in 
1794. It is likely that when it began to decay, Joseph Taylor 
built the one that stood near the rock on the south side of the 
river some fifty rods below Wilson's mill, and that Joseph Blake 
continued to work for Mr. Taylor at this second carding mill, which 
became a flax mill, then a turning mill, and was finally consumed 
by fire. 

Wilson's new grist mill was built in 1794, below and adjoining 
the saw mill, where now the Messrs. Hotchkiss planing mill stands ; 
and the old saw mill continued some years until rebuilt. 

Several dwellings were built very early on the road east of Water- 
bury river, opposite the present Valley Park, and in one of these 
John Brooker and his wife Jerusha, began house keeping after their 
marriage in 1783. They afterwards lived a number of years in the 
house said to have been built by Ambrose Potter, a little east of the 
foundry, now owned by Turner, Seymour and Company. Mr. John 
Brooker built a house where Mr. L. W. Coe's dwelling now stands 
in 1803, which was the first frame raised in Wolcottville. Benoni 
Leach built a house the same summer opposite Mr. Brooker's, east 
side of the Waterbury road, there being a strife as to which house 
should be raised first. Mr. Brooker won the day by about a week. 

12 



90 History of Torrington. 

The night after Mr. Brooker's house was raised, a large company 
of men engaged in raising a high pole ornamented with rams horns 
and the like, and named the place " Orleans village." This is the 
name used in most of the deeds for ten or fifteen years afterwards. 
After Mr. Brooker finished his house, he made it his home for a few 
years only ; keeping it as a tavern. 

Daniel Potter of Johnstown, N. Y., bought in 1804 of Mr. 
Brooker and his wife, land where the Coe furniture store now stands, 
and built a store building on it and a dwelling ; which buildings were 
occupied by his brother Ambrose Potter. When this dwelling was 
raised, one of the sides fell, killing one man and hurting a number of 
others, which fact was indelibly fixed upon the mind of a young girl, 
and hence remembered to the present day. Mr. Potter sold this pro- 
perty to Ephraim Sanford of Newtown, Ct., who took possession and 
went on with the store, and also bought the tavern, and about a 
year after Mr. Sanford was on his way to New Haven with a load of 
cheese ; the horses ran away and he was killed. His executors sold 
the store to Russell Bull and Frederick Robbins of Wethersfield, in 
1808. Mr. Bull, soon after, bought Mr. Robbins's half and con- 
tinued the store a number of years. Ambrose Potter built the tavern 
on the site of the American House, for his brother Daniel and after- 
wards owned and occupied it several years as a a tavern. Between 
1804 and 1 81 2, a number of dwellings were erected in the village, 
and in 1 8 14 the School house which stood on the east side of Main 
street where the present Register printing office stands. 

When John Brooker was making plans to build his house which 
became a public house, Joseph Taylor was arranging to build a tav- 
ern, where the Allen house now stands. His sudden decease in 1802, 
delayed the enterprise for a time, but about 18 19, Mrs. Taylor and 
, her son Uri Taylor completed the house, and thereafter kept it as a 
public house for a number of years. In the winter of 1813, Joseph 
Allyn, Jr., bought the water power and privileges, from Wilson's 
mill to the flax mill, of the following persons, for two hundred and 
eighty dollars. Roswell Wilson, Benjamin Phelps, Norman Wilson, 
Lemuel North, Samuel Beach and his wife Keziah Beach, Joseph 
Allyn, Jonah Allyn, Roger Wilson and Guy Wolcott. He sold it 
in the spring for the same price to Frederick Wolcott of Litchfield, 
and Guy Wolcott of Torrington ; deed dated May 3, 18 13. The 
Wolcotts purchased another plot, below the first, at the same time ; 
and upon this they erected, that year, the woolen mill. They pur- 



Woi.COTTVILLE. 9 1 

chased several other pieces of land giving the ovi'ners until the next 
September to remove the timber. On the day of the raising of the 
woolen mill, the Rev. Alexander Gillet being present as well as a 
large number of the people of the town, proposed that the name of 
the place be changed. In response to which a call was made. 
" What shall we call it ? Name it." He answered, " Wolcott- 
ville ; " and to this all agreed, and Wolcottville it is. 

Its Growth to the Present Time. 

In 1813, Nathan Gillett, who married a daughter of Dea, Guy 
Wolcott, was residing in the house north of the bridge on the west 
side of Main street. This house he built about 1808 or 9, and oc- 
cupied it until 181 7 when he removed west. 

There were two or three houses built on the north side of the 
river, between 1806 and 1810. At the northwest part of the vil- 
lage, there were probably, but two or three dwellings before 1800, 
within the territory now. regarded as Wolcott^'ille. 

In the Ga%etteer of the states of Connecticut and Rhode Is- 
land, printed in 1819, we have the following description of this vil- 
lage. 

" Wolcottville, a village of eighteen houses, has been built 
principally since i8o2, and is an active, flourishing place. Its growth 
has been chiefly owing to the establishment of an extensive woolen 
factory, which now is owned principally by his Excellency, Oliver 
Wolcott. It is one of the largest establishments of the kind in the 
state ; employing about forty workmen, and manufacturing from 
twenty-five to thirty-five yards of broad cloth daily, of an averao-e 
value of six dollars per yard. The cloths made have a substantial 
texture and are manufactured in a style scarcely inferior to the high- 
est finished English cloths." 

Barber's History of Connecticut^ published in 1836, says : " Wol- 
cottville, the principal village in the town of Torrington, is situated 
in a valley near the southern boundary of the town, at the junction 
of the two branches of the Waterbury or Naugatuck river, twenty- 
six miles from Hartford, forty from New Haven, and seventeen 
from the New Haven and Northampton canal at Avon. The vil- 
lage consists of about forty dwelling houses, a handsome Congrega- 
tional church, a three story brick building used as a house of worship 
by various denominations, and also as an academy ; four mercantile 
stores, two taverns, a post office, and an extensive woolen factory. 



92 



History of Torrington. 



(( 



The engraving shows the appearance of the village from the 
Hartford turnpike, looking westward. The Congregational church 
stands at the northern extremity of the village, but owing to the 
limited extent of the engraving, it could not be introduced. The 
brick building used for a house of worship is on the left, over which 
is seen the Litchfield turnpike, passing over the heights westward. 
The woolen factory is the large building with a spire. This factory 
went into operation in 1813. One of the principal owners was the 
late Oliver Wolcott Esq., formerly governor of the state ; the village 
owes its rise principally to this establishment. A short distance 
westward of the factory, an establishment for the manufacture of brass 
is now erecting : it is believed to be the only one of the kind at pre- 
sent in the United States."^ 




View of Wolcottville, Torrington, from the northeast. 

Wolcottville now contains thirty stores of all varieties, two hotels, 
four churches, a town hall, a town clerk's office, a graded school 
building, the granite block, containing Wadam's Hall, a large hall for 
public assemblies ; one bank, two daguerreian galleries, a post office, 
one printing office, issuing a weekly paper, and eight copartnership 



* Barber's Historical Collections. Mr. Dawson, editor of the Historical Magazine, one of 
the most critical works in the United States, writes to Mr. Barber Sept., 1877 : "Your 
Historical Collections are not unknown to me ; and you may rest assured that they are 
worthy of you. Their accuracy are very well known, and they will never cease to be re- 
ferred to. ^ 



WOLCOTTVILLE. 



93 



manufacturing companies employing a capital of seven hundred thou- 
sand dollars. 

Its professional men are, four settled pastors, five practicing phy- 
sicians, and two lawyers. The graded school has a gentleman as 
principal, and six lady teachers. 

It has twenty-two hundred inhabitants ; four hundred children in 
its graded school, and the dwellings extend further on the streets in 
every direction than the old pine swamp did when the town was laid 
into lots for the proprietors. There have been about fifty houses 
built, yearly for two or three years past, and the enterprise of the 
community seems to increase rather than diminish in this direction. 




CHAPTER X. 

WOLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. 

The Woolen Mill. 

T is said that James Wolcott, son of Guy Wolcott, having 
worked in a woolen mill in Middletown, and learned 
much of the business, persuaded his uncle Frederick 

i SamS^ Wolcott to build the woolen mill in Wolcottville, and 
he was the overseer in the construction of the building. At the 
time this mill was built, just before the close of the war of 1813, 
American cloths were high and the prospect of this mill as a money 
making enterprise was good, but the war closing so soon, opened 
the markets to importations, and all manufactories suffered, because 
they could not produce as cheap articles as foreign establishments 
could do. This mill began its work in the autumn of 1813, the work 
comprising spinning, weaving, and cloth dressing, and produced from 
the first, as fine quality of goods as were made in the United States. 

Dr. Christopher Wolcott, brother of Frederick, was superintend- 
ent, or general manager of the mill. He was a very honorable, 
upright, faithful man ; an earnest Methodist ; and he brought a 
number of men of the same faith with him, such as Mr. North, the 
dyer in the mill, afterwards justice of the peace; Thomas Sparks, 
who became a Methodist minister after leaving the place ; Alfred 
French, also a man of influence ; and a Mr. Stillman, who afterwards 
became a Methodist minister. These all, with others, were valuable 
men in the community, and the place began, not only to have the 
appearance of a village, but to give promise of good character in 
morality and religion. The success of the mill in producing goods 
of desirable quality and quantity appears to have been satisfactory, 
but the sale of the cloths was slow and at moderate prices because 
of the influx of foreign productions. The prices at which these 
broad cloths were sold ranged from four to eight dollars, as charged 
to the proprietors and their special friends. 

In 1816 the mill property was mortgaged to Gov. Oliver Wolcott 
of Litchfield, for twenty thousand dollars, presuming, and believing, 
doubtless, that better times would be realized after a few years. 



WOLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. 95 

In 1 82 1 the property was mortgaged to secure a note of forty 
thousand dollars made to the Phoenix Bank of Hartford, or its branch 
at Litchfield. 

In 1825 William E. Russell was in charge of the mill as general 
manager, aided by Joshua Clapp, a capitalist of Boston, which limited 
partnership was continued three years. 

In 1829, the bank took the property, and sold it on June 30th, 
1830, to James Wolcott and Samuel Groves for six thousand dollars, 
and took a mortgage for five thousand in security. Soon after this 
Aaron J. W. Goodwin became interested and engaged in the mill. 

In 1833, John Hungerford and George D. Wadhams became 
stock owners in this mill property, and the enterprise was known 
after that as the Wolcottville manufacturing company. In 1836 a 
two story brick building was erected as a finishing house, on the site 
of the old dye house, or where the Union Manufacturing Company 
are now located. About 1839, Benjamin H. Morse of Litchfield, 
became a stock owner, and superintendent of the mill. Thus the 
woolen mill continued through various changes and disadvantages, 
to produce goods of value, and marketable quality until the autumn 
of 1844, when the old mill, which had been in use thirty-one years, 
was consumed by .fire. The dignity and honor which this first mill 
in Wolcottville conferred on the place in 1836, is most faithfully 
portrayed in an illustration in the Historical Collections of Connecticut ^ 
by John W. Barber of New Haven. 

After the burning of the mill a division of the property was ef- 
fected and a new company formed which took the finishing house 
above the site of the mill, and the others remained and put up a new 
building on the site of the old mill, Mr. Morse remaining in charge 
and being an owner of stock. 

This new mill was fitted as a cotton mill, and to superintend the 
weaving, Allen G. Brady of East Haddam was employed, and under 
his directions the looms were made and the machinery placed in the 
mill ready for work. He went to Litchfield station the next year, 
1846, and fitted and superintended a mill for the Matatuck Manufac- 
turing company, at that place. Benjamin H. Morse was agent for 
both of these mills, havmg been employed by the special desire of 
William Young, who was a large owner of stock in these mills. 
From 1847 ^° '^53? the mill was rented to Mr. Brady much of the 
time. In 1851, the company name was changed from the Wolcott- 
ville Manufacturing Company, to the Torrington Manufacturing 



96 History of Torrington. 

Company, and the owners were Herman Powers of Boston, Wm. 
H. Richardson, George Odiorne, Allen G. Brady, and others. After 
a short time the company sold to Mr. Brady and he in 1853, ^'^^^ 
to Elizur and David Prichard of Waterbury, who established the 
Wolcottville Knitting Company for making drawers, and a variety of 
woolen and worsted goods. In 1854, Ostrom and Welton became 
owners of much of this mill property. After the knitting company 
had run the mill a few years, it stood idle until it was sold to the 
Waterbury Hook and Eye Company. 

The Turner and Seymour Manufacturing Company. 

This company occupy the mill privileges of the first woolen mill 
in the place. Before 1863, this property stood idle for a time, which 
fact being known to the Waterbury Hook and Eye Company, they 
began to consider the feasibility of removing their business to Wol- 
cottville. At the same time the Wadhams Manufacturing Company 
had stopped work, and the buildings were standing idle. This latter 
was a company of more than twenty years' standing. In 1838, it was 
first organized under the title of Wadhams, Webster and Company, 
" for the purpose of manufacturing gilt and other buttons, or any 
articles composed of brass, copper or other metals," and the officers 
were, Russell C. Abernethy, president, and George D. Wadhams, 
Martin Webster and Laurin Wetmore, directors ; the capital stock 
being fourteen thousand dollars. In 1851, after apparently a success- 
ful term of twelve years, a new organization was effected under the 
name of the Wadhams Manufacturing Company, takings the property 
of the old company and adding stock so as to make twenty thousand 
dollars. The stock owners were, George D. Wadhams, Phineas 
North, Demas Coe, Samuel T. Seelye, H. P. Ostrum, J. F. Cal- 
houn, Albert A. Mason, Samuel J. Stocking, William S. Steele, 
Ebenezer Wilson and William DeForest. The building of the old 
company was called the button shop, and it stood east of Main street 
on the old road to Torringford, on the east branch, at what is now 
called the iron foundery. After 185 1, it took the name of the papier 
machie shop, which indicated the character of an additional part of 
the business of the firm ; the making of daguerreotype cases, work 
boxes, writing desks, and other articles made in part or wholly of 
paper. In the beginning of the war this company closed its business. 

Some of the members of the Hook and Eye company at Water- 



WoLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. 97 

bury, formed a company in 1863, called the Seymour Manufacturing 
Company, to be located at Wolcottville ; and these persons were, F. 
J. Seymour, E. Turner, L. W. Coe, S. L. Clark, and J. S. Elton. 
They, with a capital stock of twenty thousand dollars, purchased the 
Wadhams property, or papier machie shop, and continued some of 
the kinds of work which had been done there and added others. 
They made a specialty of brass window trimmings, including a variety 
of articles for hanging window curtains and ornamenting windows. 

In 1864, the Turner and Seymour Manufacturing Company pur- 
chased the knitting mill, or the old cotton mill property ; the build- 
ing standing on the site of the old, or first woolen mill, and trans- 
ferred their hook and eye business from Waterbury to this mill. 

In 1866, these two firms consolidated under the name of Turner 
and Seymour manufacturing company, retaining possession and con- 
tinuing work, in both mills. After a short time an iron foundery was 
erected adjoining the papier machie building where they have con- 
tinued to cast a variety of articles, mostly for household use, includ- 
ing American scissors, of several classes or sizes, ends or fixtures for 
window curtains, and many other items, varying their work accord- 
ing to public demand or invention and use. Their illustrated catalogue 
covers one hundred and twenty pages ; many of which pages are a 
condensed schedule of articles of the same name but varying in size 
or style or adaptability. 

The capital stock is one hundred thousand dollars ; and their sales 
run from two to three hundred thousand dollars a year. They are 
now selling goods at half the price they sold the same article seven 
years ago. 

The wholesale store of this company is at 81 Reade street. New 
York city. 

The present officers are Elisha Turner, president, L. W. Coe, 
treasurer, L. G. Turner, secretary. 

Some description of this firm and the articles they manufactured 
was given in The American Commercial Times^ in 1873, ^"0"^ which 
the following extracts are taken : 

••' The company has two manufactories, one in the very center of 
the village, the other some half a mile distant, but both within a 
short distance of the rail road. The first named is devoted to the 
manufacture of cast and sheet brass goods ; the other to the produc- 
tion of a variety of articles in iron and bronze. About one hundred 
and fifty hands are employed in the two establishments, and both 

13 



98 History of Torrington. 

steam and water are used ; the combined force aggregating one hun- 
dred and twenty-five horse power. The iron foundery requires the 
daily melting of about three tons of the best American iron, which 
is cast into a multiplicity of forms, some being of such delicate shapes 
as to require the services of the most experienced moulders who can 
be obtained. 

" In the main factory, situated on the bank of the Naugatuck river, 
is a great deal of curious and costly machinery for special purposes, 
besides a large number of power presses and drops, with an immense 
and valuable stock of steel dies. At the distance of one hundred 
and fifty feet from the principal factory buildings stands a generator 
for gas, which is forced through the entire establishment by an in- 
genious arrangement of pipes in which water by its natural gravitation 
regulates the pressure and flow of the gas. 

" Among the goods struck from sheet brass we noticed numerous 
patterns of window cornices, curtain bands and loops, and furniture 
ornaments. These goods are very tasteful in design and perfect in 
finish, some being burnished and lacquered, others gilt, silvered or 
bronzed. The cost of dies for this class of goods is very heavy. 

" In the brass foundery are a number of furnaces and a great variety 
of moulds for the manufacture of such goods as curtain fixtures, draw 
pulls, coat and hat hooks, brackets, sash lifts, and fasteners, cornice 
hooks and eyes, etc. Much artistic taste is displayed in the ornament- 
ation of these articles, which are finished in many different shades 
of color, by processes which prevent tarnishing by handling or from 
atmospheric exposure. 

" Many of the above named articles, and a host of others, are cast in 
iron, which seems to be quite extensively used in lieu of brass, such 
have been the improvements in moulding and finishing, and if it were 
not for their liability to break, delicate castings in iron would even 
more largely take the place of the more costly metal. 

" Another specialty with this concern is what might be termed 
upholstery hardware, embracing furniture nails and ornaments, tassel 
hooks, curtain-rings, picture hooks, and some two hundred different 
styles of nails with ornamental heads, for suspending mirrors, picture 
frames and the like ; porcelain and glass, in all colors, are the 
materials chiefly used in the manufacture of these nail heads, and 
many of them are extremely beautiful. 

" The list of goods made from brass wire is very extensive. There 
are some twenty-three machines for making hooks and eyes, of which 



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WOLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. 99 

highly useful articles this concern produces the quarter of all that are 
manufactured in the country. Millions of curtain rings aremadeatthe 
factory, not, as might be supposed, of wire bent and soldered, but 
from sheet meial ; circular disks or rings being stamped out and rhen 
by ingenious dies rolled into hollow circular tubes, perfectly re- 
sembling a solid ring. 

" There are many other special machines ; among them one which 
makes zinc sockets for sash bolts at the rate of 150 gross per day, by 
a single operative. Escutcheon pins, or wire rivets, vest button 
rings, screw rings for picture frames, and a host of other useful articles 
made from wire are among the manufactures of this establishment. 

" In addition to goods of their own production this company are large 
importers of articles of a similar description, and are agents for the 
sale of many prominent hardware items." 



The Union Manufacturing Company. 

This company was organized February 18, 1845, with a capital 
often thousand dollars, and the same day purchased the brick build- 
ing and water privileges, which had been used as a finishing house, 
by the old woolen mill company, and entered upon preparations for 
the manufacture of woolen goods ; the stock holders being John 
Hungerford, president, William R. Slade, superintendent, and secre- 
tary ; and from this time forward, this mill appears to have been 
moderately successful. In 1849 ^^'^ "^'^^ w^s burned and a building 
much larger than the former was erected, and the business conducted 
by^F. N. Holly and William R. Slade as the stock owners, and suc- 
cess rewarded the efforts and skill with which they conducted it. 
In 1856, this building was burned and all that was in it, leaving a 
mass of ruins unseemly and discouraging. Another one was soon 
erected and fitted for the same business, and the work started anew. 
The business was prosperous and in 1859, Jesse B. Rose, Samuel 
Workman and Ransom Holly became stock owners, and the owners 
thus continued until 1873, when the Messrs. Holly retired and others 
became members of the company, in 1867. 

The present owners are Jesse B. Rose, Samuel Workman, 
George D. Workman, Albert Tuttle and James Iredale. Mr. Rose 
came from Plymouth in 1850, and engaged with this company as 
foreman of the carding room, and continued in that relation nearly 



loo History of Torrington. 

fifteen years, when he became a stock owner, and superintendent of 
the manufacturing work. 

Mr. Samuel Workman came to New York, and thence in 1836, 
to this place, having been employed to work in the wool-sorting 
apartment in Wolcottville Manufacturing Company, and has contin- 
ued in the same work to the present time. When the Union com- 
pany started, he engaged with them, and has become largely inte- 
rested in the business. 

Mr. George D. Workman, son of Samuel, is the secretary, treasurer 
and agent of the company, and became stock owner in 1867. 

Mr. Tuttle came from Woodbury in 1858, and was employed as 
finisher of cloth, in which relation he still continues. He became 
stock owner in 1865. Mr. Iredale, formerly from England came 
from Massachusetts, in 1865, and became overseer in the "gig- 
room," or one department of cloth dressing. He became stock 
owner in 1867. 

This company commenced with a stock capital of ten thousand 
dollars, which was increased to fifty thousand, where it has remained. 
The sales of the company amount to two hundred thousand dollars 
annually, which indicates prosperity even in moderate times. The 
capacity of the mill is much greater than that usually attained. The 
main building is one hundred and twenty-two feet by thirty-five, six 
stories high, and has an ell part thirty-five by forty feet, three stories 
high. There is also a wing attached to the main building that is 
eighty-five by thirty feet, one story. The second building is one 
hundred by thirty-eight, two stories and a basement and is used for a 
drying house. The third building is eighty by thirty-five feet, three 
stories high, and is used for office and storage rooms. And besides 
the large water power they have three steam boilers with an engine 
of one hundred horse power. 

At first this company manufactured only plain black doeskin 
cloths, and from this they have varied but little until later years. 
They now make black doeskins, ribbed, and diagonal goods ; all 
single breadth. Seventy-five persons are regularly employed in the 
mill, producing on an average about five hundred yards of cloth per 
day. 

The skill and ingenuity now brought into service in this manu- 
factory, a^ well as others of the same kind, are varied and extensive, 
and can be only intimated by the fact that the wool goes through 
thirty-four distinct processes before it becomes finished cloth. 



WOLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. lOI 

The contrast between the method of making woolen cloth one 
hundred years ago and what is seen in this mill, is quite impressive. 
Instead of a woman passing backward and forward eight feet, twice, 
for one thread of that length a man performing the same journey, 
attends two sets of spindles, and produces six hundred and forty 
threads, all done within the time the woman would occupy, and the 
man having some leisure time to spare. 

The present officers of the company are : Jesse B. Rose, president, 
George D. Workman, secretary, treasurer and agent. The directors 
are; Jesse B. Rose, Samuel Workman, George D. Workman, Albert 
Tuttle and James Iredale. 

The Coe Brass Manufacturing Company. 

The first effort to make brass kettles in America, by the battery 
process, was commenced in Wolcottville in 1834. The old Wilson 
mill privilege and property was purchased, and other lands on the 
south and west side of the river for a dam and a raceway, and for the 
location of buildings. The business was conducted in the name of 
Israel Coe, then of Waterbury, but who removed to Wolcottville. An- 
son G. Phelps of New York city and John Hungerford were associated 
with Mr. Coe, each owning one-third of the stock. The late Israel 
Holmes of Waterbury, had an interest in the business and removed 
to this village, and was the principal manager of the manufacturing 
part of the business. The enterprise included the rolling of brass in 
connection with the making of brass kettles. Christopher Pope, an 
Englishman, was the prime mover in regard to the making of brass 
kettles although he was of no benefit in the end to the business as 
introduced here. 

Mr. Holmes went to England for the purpose of procuring ma- 
chinery and workmen. His efforts in this respect were hindered by 
every possible ingenuity and power of those interested in the same 
kind of manufacturing in that country, but after a time he sent two 
battery-men to Philadelphia, one of whom died the next day after his 
arrival. Subsequently he procured others, and thirty-eight men, 
women and children, in one vessel, arrived in New York. Con- 
siderable trouble was experienced in transporting them, without a rail 
road to Wolcottville. When they were landed here, the mill was 
not ready for operatives, and thereby the troubles were multiplied. 
The men received^ their pay, and having nothing to do, most of them 
gave themselves to dissipation and disquietude of disposition. In the 



I02 History of Torrington. 

mean time Mr. Pope bargained with other parties for a rival concern 
and took three of the men with him. This was, at first, thought to 
be an injury hut eventuated in advantage as these men proved to be 
worthless in this business. However, some of the workmen remained 
and the quick eye and ready hand of Wolcottville Yankees soon 
secured experts in the making of brass kettles. 

The next difficulty which arose was the proportioning or mixing 
of the metal so as to form a compound that could be subjected to the 
hammering and annealing without cracking, and for some years the 
company were under the necessity of importing the metal, ready cast, 
for this purpose. In 184.2, Mr. Coe went to England and obtained 
the right materials and mixture, and thereafter this difficulty was over- 
come. From this time the business in this form would have been 
a great success but for the invention by Hiram Hayden of Water- 
bury, of a new process, called the rolling or spinning process, 
by which a smoother surface, and uniform thickness of the kettle was 
secured. This new method soon superseded the battery business, 
and hence this part of the Wolcottville enterprise was not very pro- 
fitable thereafter. 

The rolling mill part of the business was a success until 1837, 
when by the general suspension of business throughout the country 
many who were indebted to the concern being unable to pay, the 
company were in a strait place, and for a time nearly suspended work 
in the mill. But finally all claims were paid in full and business re- 
sumed and continued with success. 

On the nineteenth of May, 1841, the special copartnership of Israel 
Coe was dissolved and a joint stock company formed under the name 
of the Wolcottville Brass Company, with a capital of fifty-six thou- 
sand dollars, of which Israel Coe, Anson G. Phelps and John Hun- 
gerford were the stockholders, each owning one-third. Israel Coe 
was appointed president, and Lyman W. Coe, secretary and trea- 
surer, and Israel Holmes the general manufacturing manager. In 
1842, Mr. Coe went to Europe and Mr. Hungerford was appointed 
president. In 1843, ^'- Holni^s retired from the company. In 
February, 1844, Israel Coe and L. W. Coe sold their interest in the 
company to Anson G. Phelps, and Mr. I. Coe then retired from the 
brass business. L. W. Coe remained as secretary and treasurer until 
1845, when he resigned, and subsequently was elected secretary and 
treasurer of the Waterbury Brass Company, of which Israel Holmes 
was president. Mr. L. W. Coe then removed to Waterbury where 



WOLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. lOJ 

he resided until 1863, when he purchased the property of the Wol- 
cottville Brass Company, and formed a new company under the name 
of the Coe Brass Company. 

While Mr. Coe was at Waterbury, in March 1848, Mr. Phelps 
sold his interest in this mill to Mr. Hungerford, and Mr. Hunger- 
ford, at different times, transferred portions of the stock to C. P. 
Marks, John Davol, J. H. Bartholomew and Albert A. Mason, and 
others. About 1853, Marks and Davol, being large owners, sold their 
entire interest in this property to J. Hungerford, and he and his fam- 
ily became the owners of nearly all the stock. 

Until 1852, the company-had been moderately successful, but 
from that period to 1863, the property steadily declined in value. 
This decline was owing in part to the decline of the battery pro- 
cess in making kettles, and the great commercial panic, of 1857, in 
which the company were large losers by the failure of their cus- 
tomers, from which they never fully recovered. 

In April 1863, L. W. Coe purchased the entire capital stock, 
paying forty thousand dollars, and thereby became possessed of all 
its franchise and liable for all its debts. The Coe Brass Company 
was formed with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, and the 
mill property and real estate of the old company transferred to the 
new. 

The new company immediately took its position in the front 
ranks of the brass wire and German silver business, and has steadily 
increased its business, until at the present time it is producing more 
pounds of metal than any mill of the kind. It has attained its 
former reputation as a water mill of about one hundred and fifty 
horse power, but has now in addition, four steam engines with a 
capacity of four hundred horse power. Their buildings cover an 
area of about three acres ; the whole mill property includes nineteen 
acres. 

For the past five years it has made a specialty of brass for small 
arms, cartridges, and has had extensive dealings with foreign govern- 
ments tor such metal. The aggregate of this foreign trade has con- 
stituted two-thirds of the productions of the mills. 

The annual aggregate of the business of the company now ex- 
ceeds one and a quarter million dollars. Its present capital is 
three hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars. It employs directly 
from two hundred to two hundred and fifty men, and indirectly sus- 
tains a large proportion of the population of the town. During the 



I04 History of Torrington. 

last three years of financial depression in the country, this mill has 
been under full operation, and some of the time working over time ; 
which fact has not only kept Wolcottville alive, but growing at the 
rate of nearly fifty dwelling houses per year. 

The annual consumption of wood at this mill is two thousand 
cords, and of charcoal fifteen thousand bushels, and of anthracite coal 
two thousand tons. The present officers are L. W. Coe, presi- 
dent ; Edward Turner, vice president ; Charles F. Brooker, secre- 
tary ; Edward F. Coe, treasurer. 

The Coe Furniture Company. 

Furniture was first manufactured in Wolcottville by Luther 
Bissell, begining previous to 1840. All work was then made to 
order, and without machinery of any kind except a circular saw and 
a turning lathe. 

About 1840, a company, consisting of Henry P. Coe, Henry P. 
Ostrum and Benjamin Smith, engaged in this line of business 
in a shop about forty rods east of Main street bridge on the north 
side of the river. After a short time Mr. Smith sold his share 
to the two others. About 1850 Mr. Ostrum sold to his partner 
Henry P. Coe who continued the business with success several years. 
When his sons A. W. Coe and Brothers took the enterprise, before 
i860, they took possession of larger buildings on the south side of 
the river, and began to add the improvements in machinery by which 
their products and sales were greatly increased. This prosperity con- 
tinued until 1870, when the Coe Furniture Company was formed, 
with a capital of twenty thousand dollars, for the purpose of making 
household furniture to be sold mostly at wholesale. The leading 
articles are chamber sets, tables, bureaus, chairs, bedsteads and sofas. 
They make a specialty of walnut, chestnut and ash extension tables. 
They occupy five buildings and a part of the old spoon shop, for 
work shop, storage rooms and sales room. Their sales amount to 
between thirty and forty thousand dollars a year, having exceeded 
this amount in prosperous years. Their goods are shipped to many 
of the principal cities of the eastern and middle states. 

The Carriage Shop. 
The Alvord Carriage Manufactory, built on the east branch of the 
Naugatuck, in 1831, was an enterprise of much importance in the 
place, for ten years or more. It employed one hundred men and 



WOLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. IO5 

did probably the largest business of any company in the town at the 
time. The officers were : Nelson Alvord, president, and Henry 
Hopkins, A. G. Bradford, Charles B. Smith, B. R. Agard, a majority 
of the directors. Thousands of carriages and carrying wagons were 
made, and sold in the southern states. When the war of the rebellion 
came, the end of making of carriages came to this company as well 
as many others in the land. Their spacious shop was afterwards oc- 
cupied by the Redfield and Price spoon company and the manufacture 
of spoons, and German silver and plated ware was continued a number 
of years. 

The building is now unoccupied e. ^z as a storage room for the 
Coe Furniture Company. 

WOLCOTTVILLE HARDWARE MANUFACTURING CoMPANY. 

This company was organized in 1851, for the purpose of "manu- 
facturing, selling and dealing in any and all kinds of wares, goods and 
articles composed of iron, steel, wood, brass, or any articles of which 
these are component parts," and the company, in their work, occupied 
a part of the Alvord Carriage shop. 

The stock owners were ; Wolcottville Brass Company, Norman 
Cady, Gordon W. Quinby, Elezur D. Harrington, Nelson Alvord, 
Geo. D. Wadhams, Henry Hopkins, Charles G. Pond, George N. 
Pond, Virgil C. Goodwin, N. B. Lathrop, Darius Wilson, Edwin 
W. Mosely, and George P. Bissell. 

C. HOTCHKISS AND SoNS. 

The owners of the Wilson's mill property' entered into an agree- 
ment in May 1794, to build a new grist mill below the saw mill, on 
the west side on the site of the old carding mill, but for some 
reason it was not placed there, but was located adjoining the old saw 
mill. The carding mill referred to was built about 1760, probably, 
and in it Joseph Blake did carding of wool and cloth dressing many 
years, and then removed his mill to the rock on the south side of the 
river opposite the present union woolen mill. The owners of the 
new grist mill, which was property now separate from the saw mill, 
were Noah Wilson, Amos Wilson, Joseph Taylor, Martha Wilson, 
widow of William, Roswell Wilson, Joseph Phelps and Joseph 
Allyn. The next year Joseph AUyn bought more of this property, 



' For the earlier history of the property, see chapter on Wolcottville. 

14 



io6 History of Torringto 



N. 



and in 1802 Noah Allyn bought Noah Wilson's part. The Wilsons 
continued to own the larger part of the saw mill some time after the 
new grist mill was built. The owners of the grist mill received their 
income from the mill by using, or running the mill a proportionate 
length of time. The man that owned one-fourth run the mill eight 
days, the one who owned one-eighth run it four days, and thus each 
had his turn, and doubtless made the most of his opportunity. When 
the woolen mill was started and other buildings in the village as a 
consequence, then the old saw mill became of more demand than 
ever, and was kept pretty thoroughly at work, although changing 
owners quite frequently until the brass company purchased the whole 
property, so as to obtain command of the water power and privileges. 
After this Albert Leach bought the property and continued the saw 
mill some few years. About 1850 Clark B. Downs bought the 
property, took down the old grist mill, built another mill for a plaster 
mill, and run it for this purpose a few years, then used it to grind 
soap stone from the quarry in the southwest part of the town. 

In 1857 Dea. Charles Hotchkiss and his son Edward C, purchased 
this property and fitted it for their work as builders, under the name 
of C. Hotchkiss and Son. This name was changed afterwards to 
C. Hotchkiss and Sons in which form it still stands. Mr. Hotchkiss 
had been engaged in building, previous to this, in Wolcottville and 
the country around, more than ten years, but his mill was two miles 
north of Torrington hollow and inconvenient, now he secured this 
mill property and arranged it for all the various parts of a complete 
business of building dwellings, meeting-houses, mills, and the like 
throughout the region. During the twenty years this firm have been 
engaged in this business, with what Mr. Hotchkiss had done pre- 
viously, they have put up a large proportion of the buildings in the 
village, besides doing much work at distances from five to twenty 
miles. They have been middling successful, by unremitting, persever- 
ing toil, and in the late hard times have been nearly as busy as ever 
in their line of work. And although Dea. Hotchkiss, in religious 
doctrines, is a little old fashioned yet he can build a dwelling after the 
most approved new style oi freewill. 

But what changes have taken place since the first saw mill was 
erected on this site. The changes in the appearance of the pine 
swamp, and in the manners and customs of the people and the in- 
troduction of the rail road and telegraph, are not more than the difference 
between the machinery of that first saw mill and the one that now 




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WoLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. I07 

occupies its site. In the late centennial exhibition, nothing was so 
wonderful to all nations as machinery hall ; so it is every where in our 
land, nothing is more wonderful than the machinery, and of that 
which is peculiar, very ingenious and surprising, Wolcottville has a 
large portion. 

The Excelsior Needle Company. 

An invention for reducing steel wire into sewing machine needles 
was exhibited in Wolcottville by Orrin L. Hopson and Heman P. 
Brooks, in the presence of several agents of sewing machine com- 
panies, and upon this exhibition, and further investigation, certain 
men became convinced of the practicability of the patent, and there- 
fore while the agents, for whose special benefit the exhibition was 
made, did not see fit to recommend their companies to purchase the 
patent, on account of the great changes which would be required in 
machinery, the investigation led to the determination of certain par- 
ties in Wolcottville, in connection with the owners of the patent, to 
organize a company for the purpose of making needles by this new 
process, called the cold swaging process, in distinction from the old, 
so called milling process. In reaching this determination, the com- 
pany were aware of the risks they took in the matter, but having 
confidence in the principle contained in the patent, and being willing 
to exercise great perseverance and patience to secure the object de- 
sired, made the venture. 

Accordingly, the company was organized March 2, 1866, with 
twenty thousand dollars capital, and the following persons as direct- 
ors : Achille F. Migeon, president ; Charles Alvord, secretary ; and 
Elisha Turner, James Wooding, George M. Isbell. The superin- 
tendency of the work devolved upon Mr. Isbell until 1869, since 
which time that position has been filled by James Alldis. 

It required great patience and much inventive genius and mechani- 
cal skill to develop and make practical the principle in this patent ; 
and this has not been attained to perfection, but only so far as to 
produce a needle superior to any other process or company in the 
world. This company have already secured several patents on differ- 
ent parts of machinery, invented for the purpose of making needles 
under this patent, and there is a constant study by the mechanics of 
the company, for new applications and constructions to facilitate and 
render perfect the use of the patent. 

To this patent the company owe their success and prosperity as 



io8 History of Torrington. 

manufacturers of needles, for it has been the principal element in 
enabling them to gain their reputation for producing the best needles 
manufactured in this or any country. 

In i86g, finding the building they occupied in Daytonville, much 
too small for their increasing business, they put up the present 
building, and removed their machinery into it in January 1871, hav- 
ing increased their capital stock to twenty-five thousand dollars. 
It stands a little north of the rail road depot, in the western part of 
the village, and is one hundred feet long, twenty-eight feet wide, 
two stories high, having two ells, one for the engine and boiler, 
the other for office and inspecting room. They have a machine 
shop and make and repair all their machinery, which is an item of 
great importance to the company as they are constantly improving 
the construction of their machinery. 

This company has for its customers, all sewing machine compan- 
ies except those who make their own needles. The Wheeler and 
Wilson company of Bridgeport purchase their needles here; the con- 
tract with them for several years having been 150,000 needles per 
month. 

The company have at the inventory of every year between four 
and five millions of needles, or in other words, they carry about 
forty thousand dollars worth of stock the year through. The capa- 
city of the shop is twenty-five thousand per day. The amount of 
sales per year is, one hundred thousand dollars. 

The Cold Swaging Process. 

The first sewing machine needle was made by Elias Howe ' by 
filing a piece of steel wire to the required size and point, and then 
with a small round file, worked in the groove, and by this slow pro- 
cess produced a needle that answered his purpose, as he thought, 
quite well ; but consumers of needles soon became critical and de- 
manded a needle approaching perfection, and that could be produced 
at a low price. 

The next process was to drill a hole in a piece of iron wire of the 
size and length required for the shank, and then drive a steel wire 
into this shank piece, for the blade of the needle. This was a slow 
process and produced a very imperfect needle. 

A third method of making such needles was to grind the wire to 
the proper size of the blade, on grindstones or emery wheels, which 

• The maker of the first practical sewing machine 



WOLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. IO9 

was no improvement on the other methods. A fourth method was 
the turning or milling process. This consisted in passing the wire, 
after being cut to its proper length, through a die, and as it came 
through, revolving rapidly, it came in contact with a tool or knife, 
which removed a necessary amount of material to reduce the wire to 
the size of the blade of the needle. This is the method commonly 
in use, except the new method by the Excelsior company. 

The objection to this last method is that it wastes fifty per cent of 
the material, and by far the most superior part of the material. 
Another objection is, that the knife used, is a delicate instrument, 
and is constantly wearing on the edge, and as it wears, the needles 
increase, or are left larger in size ; and beside this want of uniformity 
the needles are left very rough, and to remedy this, resort is had to 
grinding which also destroys the uniformity. 

The want of uniformity, from whatever cause, results in the im- 
possibility of making the grooves at the eye of the needle exactly op- 
posite, the want of which causes the machine to skip stitches when 
in operation, which is fatal to good work. 

The cold swaging process, reduces the wire without heating, an- 
nealing or grinding or any preparation whatever. The wire being 
cut the proper length, so that there shall be no waste, is introduced 
between two revolving dies, which are brought together, by steam 
power, four thousand times in a minute. The wire may be intro- 
duced fast or slow, at pleasure, but it will be reduced every time to 
the same size, and cannot by any possibility be made less than the 
desired size ; and the needle is left perfectly round and with a smooth 
surface. The needle is made in a very short space of time, and the 
wire is more thoroughly condensed and its strength greatly increased. 

It may be seen at a glance what a saving and perfection are at- 
tained by this simple invention, so simple that it seems a wonder it 
was not adopted a thousand years ago, for other things even, if they 
had no sewing machines. 

There are other machines in this shop, which are of great im- 
portance, and which have been greatly improved by this company. 

The pointing machine is one, and has been greatly improved and 
thus now supersedes hand work entirely ; one man with a machine 
producing five times the work he could have done before. 

The eye finishing machine is another labor saving improvement, 
worked out by this company, doing the same work at one-fourth of 
the old cost. 



no History of Torrington. 

The grooving machine has also been wonderfully improved, and 
patents of these improvements, as well as on all new principles in- 
volved in the machines in use by this company, have been secured. 

In the use of this machine and its accompaniments the company 
have devoted every energy to the one single business of making 
sewing machine needles. 

Much credit is due Mr. Burr Lyon, the inspector of the needles 
of this company, who has occupied this position nearly from the first 
of their work, for the very thorough and successful manner he has 
performed the work of his department. 

Contractor and Builder. 

Henry F. Patterson, a contractor and builder, commenced 
building in Wolcottville in 1872. He erected in 1875 an appropriate 
three story building and established a lumber yard, to which he has 
added two other buildings since. The yard is located in the south- 
west part of the village, near the rail road, and the appearances are 
that he is ready to build the village in that direction until it should 
reach Litchfield. He is brother to Burton C. Patterson, farmer, and 
a native of Cornwall, Ct. 

The Hendey Machine Company. 

Henry J. Hendey and Arthur Hendey, brothers, commenced busi- 
ness in July, 1870, in a small shop, built by themselves on Litch- 
field street ; their motive power being a small rotary steam engine of 
three horse power. The engine was built by one of the brothers, 
about two years previous, at odd times, for amusement during winter 
evenings. This engine is now carefully preserved as a relic of an- 
cient days, a comparison being frequently made between the old and 
the new^ or between ancient days and modern. 

In this shop eighteen by twenty-four feet they commenced the work 
of making and repairing of iron machinery, and in a few months the 
work so increased that they employed one man and a boy. On the 
first of April, 1871, they removed to a a part of the factory known 
as the East Branch Spoon shop, where they continued their work in 
an unostentatious, but very successful manner. Very soon the atten- 
tion of business men was drawn toward the enterprise, who readily 
discovered the promise of success in this line of business, and after 
consultation, a proposition was accepted by the proprietors, to organize 
a joint stock company, and the Hendey Machine Company was es- 



WoLCOTTVILLE MANUFACTURING COMPANIES. Ill 

tablished August 22d, 1874. A new steam power factory was built 
on a site a little south of the mills of the Coe Brass Company, 
and a new steam engine of twenty horse power was placed in it, and 
machinery, such as to greatly increase the business of the company. 
Here this enterprise has continued to the present time, and is now 
one of the most enterprising and successfully managed concerns of 
the kind in the country. New additions to the present building, 
which is thirty by seventy, two story, and crowded with machinery, 
will soon be needed, and erected. Twenty-five men are now employed, 
some of them first class, educated, and skilled in the art of iron work- 
manship ; and the annual product of goods amounts to $40,000. 
The company has agencies, or depots, established in New York, 
Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore, and has filled an order 
of goods for Europe. 

The specialty is a patent metal planter and shaper, on which they 
have received a medal from the American Institute at New York. 
They also attend to the building of all kinds of machinery, from 
drawings, models and patterns ; and their machinery has already ac- 
quired a world-wide reputation. 

The Hardware Company. 

This company was organized January I, 1864, with a capital of 
twelvethousand dollars, and the stock owners were George B. Turrell, 
Franklin Farrell, and Achille F. Migeon. They commenced work 
in the old lock shop in Torrington hollow, formerly occupied by 
Edmund Wooding, where they continued one year and a half, during 
which time they purchased land and water privileges half a mile down 
the Naugatuck and erected commodious buildings about one hundred 
and fifty feet long, and removed into them in the autumn of 1865. 
The leading work at this time was the making of skates of all sizes 
and various styles. In February, 1870, the capital stock was in- 
creased to fifty-two thousand dollars, and in October of the same 
year, they bought of George B. Turrell of New York, a patented 
beer cooler, and increased their capital to one hundred thousand dol- 
lars. The work of making this beer cooler, has constituted a con- 
siderable portion of the business of the company since that time, being 
one important branch of business. 

On Feb. 13, 1872, they bought the skate manufacturing business 
of Frederick Stevens of New York, and increased the capital to 



112 History of Torrington. 

one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and erected a new three story 
building one hundred feet long by forty wide ; thus greatly increasing 
the manufacture of skates, and many other articles have been added 
to the goods produced of iron, wood and leather. 

The company employ, in good times, about one hundred men, using 
both water and steam power, and their sales amount to about one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. 

Their buildings are located at the northwest corner of Wolcott- 
ville, and have been the occasion for the erection of a number of fine 
appearing dwellings in that part of the village. 

The present officers are ; George B, Turrell of New York, pre- 
sident ; Achille F. Migeon, secretary, and J. F. Calhoun, treasurer. 

WOLCOTTVILLE SAVINGS BaNK. 

This bank was organized in 1868 ; with Francis N. Holly, pre- 
sident ; Joseph F. Calhoun, vice president ; Frank L. Hungerford, 
secretary and treasurer. 

No change has taken place in the officers except that Charles F. 
Church, was secretary and treasurer four years, and Isaac W. Brooks 
has filled that office since 1873. 

The amount of deposits, July i, 1877, was $174,218.89. The 
increase in the last four years has been $1 15,965.74. The number 
of depositors July i, 1877, was eight hundred and thirty-four. These 
items speak in behalf of the prosperity of Wolcottvilleand the town, 
with very decided results. 

The business office of this bank is in the granite block, in connec- 
tion with Brooks Brothers, bankers. The present trustees are : 
Francis N. Holly, Eli'sha A. Baldwin, Nelson AUyn, Isaac W. 
Brooks, Joseph F. Calhoun, Lyman W. Coe, and Bradley R. Agard. 

Brooks Brothers, Bankers. 

In June, 1872, John W. Brooks, and his brother Isaac W. 
Brooks, of Goshen, established a bank of discount and deposit, in 
Wolcottville, under the above title. This is the first institution of 
the kind ever started in this town. They occupy the southeast 
' corner of the granite block, on Main street ; are doing a good busi- 
ness y and have, as private bankers, the full confidence of the busi- 
ness community, and by such an institution are supplying a want 
which had been seriously felt for many years. 




M. E. CHURCH, WOLCOTTVILLE, ERECTED IN 1863. 




CHAPTER XL 

THE CHURCHES IN WOLCOTTVILLE. 

The Methodist Church. 

>RS. Ann Taylor, widow of Joseph Taylor, made frequent 
statements in the hearing of her daughter, now Hving, to 
this effect, that a Mr. Bloodgood was the first Metho- 
dist minister that preached in Litchfield county, and that 
he was the first that preached in the vicinity of Wolcottville or the 
town of Torrington. This Mr. Bloodgood, called, invariably in 
those days, " Brother Bloodgood," preached in the house of Abijah 
Wilson about 1787-9;' and Abijah Wilson and his wife became 
Methodists to the great displeasure of his father, Noah Wilson. In 
after years, when Abijah Wilson departed this life, the Rev. Daniel 
Coe of Winsted preached the funeral sermon. In that sermon Mr. 
Coe, who was well acquainted with the history of Methodism in this 
region, confirmed the above statements concerning Mr. Bloodgood, 
and his preaching at Mr. Wilson's house, and the adhesion of several 
families in this community to Methodism, at that time. This is in 
harmony with certain other circumstances which favored the intro- 
duction of religious services by this denomination.^ It was when the 
troubles existed in the first church in Torrington, and as a conse- 
quence, preaching was held only a part of the time in the old meeting 
house on the south hill. The Baptists were organizing a church in 
Newfield, and the Methodists had held some services at Jonathan 
Coe's house near Newfield in Winchester. It would not have been 
like the Methodists, nor any body else, to have kept away under such 



' The Methodist preachers first visited this county about the year 1787. — Litchfield 
Centennial. 

^ The first minister sent into the New England states by a Methodist conference was 
Jesse Lee in 1789, but some of the Methodist ministers had preached in Connecticut pre- 
vious to this date. 

In 1790, the appointments for New England were : Jesse Lee, presiding elder j John 
Bloodgood at Fairfield; John Lee, at New Haven; Nathaniel B. Mills at Hartford; Jesse 
Lee and Daniel Smith at Boston. John Bloodgood joined the conference in 1788, and 
may have preached in Litchfield before this date, as a local preacher. 

15 



114 History of Torrington. 

favoring circumstances. Then were the days when the Methodists 
were represented as " wolves in sheep's clothing," and they in turn 
spoke of the pastors of the standing order, as hireling ministers, 
and educated ministers, but " never converted." Both parties have 
learned better manners, and a larger Christian faith since that day, 
and though occasionally there may occur at the present day little 
spats, they like better trained children keep the matter in their own 
families, and do not proclaim them on the house top. 

Elder Richard Leach, a Baptist minister living on Litchfield road, 
preached in the pine grove, on the eminence now enclosed in Valley 
park, before 1800 ; and it is very probable that the Methodist minis- 
ters held meetings there before that time, and they certainly did soon 
after, and then removed to the School house in the village and the 
grove on the eminence along Prospect street. 

It is therefore very probable that there was a Methodist class 
m existence here not only as early as 1S07,' but possibly twenty 
years before, in this immediate neighborhood ; for it is difficult to 
conceive of two or three such families as Abijah Wilson's and Capt. 
Frisbie's, living in a community, such as was in this vicinity, twenty- 
one or more years without a class meeting. Methodists were not of 
that kind in those days. It would have been as easy for old Paul 
Peck, if he had lived, to have entrapped an alligator in the Pine swamp 
as to have caught a Methodist living twenty years without a class 
meeting in those early days. It is therefore more than probable that 
class meetings were held at Abijah Wilson's, and Capt. Frisbie's and 
other places some years before 1800. Regular preaching by this 
denomination may have been established at the School house in the 
village in 1809 or 10, and from that time greater improvements in 
congregations and church enterprises may have been experienced. 
In 1808, a Methodist camp meeting was held in Canada in Goshen, 
which secured a more prominent influence to that denomination 
throughout this region. 

The ministers who preached at Mr. Coe's, and afterwards at New- 
field, doubtless preached here also. A Mr. Sweet is mentioned as 
one of the early ones. Mr. Laban Clark, celebrated for more than 
fifty years in his denomination, preached here in 1810. Samuel D. 
Ferguson and Elbert Osborn were among the early ones, and two 



' See a Memorial Sermon by Rev. T. D. Littlewood, in the Bridgeport Statidard, May 
17, 1872. 



The Churches in Wolcottville. 115 

by the name of Hill, and Gad N. Smith, Mr. Canfield, Mr. Beach. 
Col. John H. Perry, a man of military education, became a minister, 
and preached here ; became a very influential minister in New York 
and Brooklyn ; went as a colonel of a regiment into the army against 
the late rebellion ; was promoted to a general's commission ; returned 
in safety to his home in Brooklyn. Rev. Ebenezer Washburn is also 
mentioned prominently in regard to the prosperity of this denomina- 
tion in this community. 

The real pastors, however, of Methodist churches in early days, 
were the local preachers. The circuit ministers were preachers, 
traveling on tours that required their absence from each preaching 
place, two, three and four weeks ; and hence the real pastoral work, 
or care for the local churches, fell, in a great measure, on the local 
ministers and class leaders. Such men as Daniel Coe of Winsted, 
and David Miller of Torringford, were the men who preached many 
funeral sermons, visited the sick, supplied vacant places with preach- 
ing at no cost to any one but themselves ; attended many meetings^ 
far and near ; helped in devising the plans and ways and moneys for 
building churches ; as unknown, and yet well known ; and without 
whom many of their churches would never have been or when they 
were, would have been scattered to the four winds never again to be 
gathered. 

Daniel Coe stood on the preacher's stand to exhort at the camp- 
meeting in Goshen in 1808, and his first words were : "Wake up, 
brethren, wake up," And this watchword has built many a church, 
and led scores and thousands of fainting soldiers to final triumph and 
victory. 

A number of families came into Wolcottville soon after the woolen 
mill was started, and united with the Methodist congregation and 
church, who proved themselves true and faithful witnesses, and were 
of much value to the denomination and to the community in reli- 
gious things. But the progress of the enterprise of making woolen 
cloths was not an even course of prosperity, and therefore the for- 
ward movement in the church was impeded, for a number of years. 

The first Methodist meeting house in Wolcottville was built in 
1843, R^v. George Taylor being the pastor at the time. It was a 
commendable structure considering the money strength of the con- 
gregation, and was completed and finally paid for though it took 
years of anxiety and earnest effort. 



ii6 



History of Torringto 



N. 



The ministers who had preached here to that time are mentioned 



in the followinp; order :' 

Laban Clark, 
James Coleman in i8io, 
Arnold Scoville, 
Benjamin Griffin, 
William Swayne, 
Gad Smith, 
Samuel Cochrane, 
Cyrus Culver, 
E. P. Jacobs, 
J. J. Matthias, 
Datus Ensign, 
Ezekiel Canfield, 
Nathan Emery, 
Smith Dayton, 
Ebenezer Washburn, 
John Nixon, 



David Miller, 
Julius Field, 
Daniel Brayton, 
Elbert Osborn, 
Eli Barnett, 
John Lovejoy, 
Bradley Silleck, 
Milo Chamberlain, 
David Stocking, 
John Lucky, 
Richard Hayter, 
Morris Hill, 
David Osborn, 
S. W. Law, 
George Taylor, 
John M. Reid, 
Geo. A. Hubbell, 



Robt. Codling, 
Wm. B. Hoyt, 
S. C. Keeler, 
C. T. Mallory, 
Otis Saxton, 

A. V. R. Abbott, 
Benj. Redford, 

C. W. Powell, 

B. T. Abbott, 
J. Vinton, 

L. W. Abbott, 
S. H. Bray, 
T. D. Littlewood, 
H. L. Judd, 
S. K. Smith. 



James M. Smith, 

From 1843, ^°'' twenty-two years the prosperity of this church 
was steady and prophetic of good. The ministers during this time 
were : G. A. Hubbell, Robert Codling, William B. Hoyt, S. C. 
Keeler, C. T. Mallory, A. V. R. Abbott, C. W. Powell, B. T. 
Abbott and Joseph Vinton. At that time, 1855, the population of 
the village had so increased, through the coming into it of manufac- 
turing enterprises, it was deemed important to enlarge the old Church 
or build a new edifice. After a thorough discussion of this subject 
and looking about for money to meet the expenses, it was decided to 
build a new house. Plans and specifications were prepared by an 
architect and accepted, and a building committee of the following 
persons appointed : Luther Bronson, Letsom T. Wooster, James 
Wooding, Derick N. GofF and Michael Bronson, The house was 
to be eighty feet in length, and fifty feet in width and built of brick. 
The corner stone was laid on the 25th day of May, 1865. The 
house was built and dedicated, and after summing up all expenses it 
was found to have cost twenty-four thousand dollars, and to meet 
this, from all sources, was obtained one-half the sum, leaving a debt 
of twelve thousand dollars. When this enterprise began some mem- 
bers of the congregation were in prosperity in business enterprises, 
and had this continued there would have been little trouble, though 
the edifice cost twice the amount estimated, but a change came, and 



' Mr. Littlewood's sermon. 



The Churches in Wolcottville. 117 

that change brought such a weight of debt as nearly crushed all 
hope. But there was a way out, and that way this struggling church 
found. Led on at last by the Rev. T. D. Littlewood, the debt was 
proclaimed as provided for, and a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving 
held, on the 7th day of April, 1872. The house makes a fine ap- 
pearance and is an honor to the self-sacrificing spirit of all who have 
aided in making it what it is, and in not suffering it to be sold, even 
when there seemed no other way to be pursued. 

In the effx)rt to pay the debt as stated, there was an unfortunate 
misunderstanding in regard to three thousand dollars obtained of the 
M. E. Church Building Fund, which nearly ended in disaster. It 
was supposed by the congregation that this money was a donation, 
and when it was learned that it was to be refunded, the surprise was 
almost a gulf of despair. 

It is true to history to mention also, that when it was proposed to 
build a new church the older members were satisfied with repairing 
the Old Meeting house, while those who had lately come into the 
community and who proposed to contribute considerable money, were 
in favor of a new house and succeeded in having their way. When 
these last three thousand dollars were to be paid, there was scarcely 
one left in the place, of those who were forward in voting for the 
new building. Hence is seen the fidelity and nobleness of heart of 
those who continued to struggle to pay a debt, they all had voted 
against making ; and that, too, after they had once supposed the entire 
debt cancelled. The Rev. H. Q. Judd was pastor during this last 
struggle, and like an old sea captain he steadily sailed to victory and 
an open sea, in the year 1875. 

The following sketches of a few of the ministers of this denomi- 
nation who have been stationed at Wolcottville are secured through 
the favor of Rev. Sidney K. Smith, the present pastor of this church. 

Rev. Laban Clark, D.D. 
Rev. Laban Clark, who preached the first sermon as a Methodist 
minister in Wolcottville, in 1810, being then stationed at Litchfield, 
was born in Haverhill, N. H., July 19, 1778. His early education 
was limited. His parents were rigid Congregationalists and extremely 
Calvinistic, and voung- Clark coming in contact with some earnest 
Wesleyans, while quite young, imbibed their views, and joyfully ac- 
cepted the personal hope of salvation among this people, and ever 
afterward was, in theology and church polity, a Methodist. He joined 



ii8 History of Torrington. 

the New York conference in 1801, having rode on horseback, three 
hundred and forty miles, in order to be present at the session of the 
conference. 

He labored as pastor, or presiding elder, fifty years with marked 
success. His preaching was clear and forcible, presenting more con- 
stantly, the gospel side, rather than the law side of the great question 
of personal salvation. He was constant and untiring in pastoral work 
and ever exhibiting a consecration and devotion to his calling, worthy 
of a minister of the gospel. In 1848, he made his residence at 
Middletown, Connecticut, where he lived respected and venerated, by 
all who knew him, until his decease. 

He was the principal mover in starting and establishing the Wes- 
leyan university at Middletown, Ct., an institution which became 
one of the dearest objects of his life work, and over which he watched 
with the solicitude of a parent for his most endearing child. He 
clung to it with all his characteristic tenacity to the end of his life. 
There was, however, no important interest of his denomination which 
did not share his sympathy and cooperation. He was active in its 
early academic and educational schemes and benevolent plans. He 
was one of the founders of the missionary society of his denomina- 
tion, which was organized at his suggestion, while he was pastor in 
New York, in 1819. His influence in the general conference of his 
church was very important for many years. He was an influential 
member, and died a patriarch of the New York east conference. 
After a long, laborious and successful life career, he died at his home 
in Middletown, November 28, 1868, in the ninety-first year of his 
age ; a venerable and beloved hero of American Methodism. 

Such was the man who, so far as is known, preached the first Me- 
thodist sermon in the immediate village of Wolcottville. 

Rev. J. Morrison Reid, D.D. 
He was a native of New York city, born May 30, 1820 ; and was 
the son of John and Jane Morrison Reid. He is now, and has been 
a number of years, the secretary of the Foreign Missionary Society 
of the M. E. church, located at New York, which is one of the 
most responsible positions in that denomination. His personal re- 
ligious experience began while he was in his fifteenth year. He 
graduated with much honor at the New York university, when in 
his nineteenth year, and five years after, or in 1844, when he was 
twenty-four years of age, he united with the New York conference ; 



The Churches in Wolcottville. 119 

was stationed at Wolcottville, as his first charge, and entered upon 
his life work as a minister. 

Dr. Ried has occupied, as pastor, some of the most important 
churches within the bounds of his conference, with great satisfaction 
to the people and success to the cause. In 1858, he was elected 
president of the Genesee college, in the western part of New York 
state, and while holding that position was elected editor of the 
fVestern Christian Advocate^ in 1864. Four years afterwards he was 
elected editor of the Northwestern Christian Advocate^ at Chicago. 
In 1872, he was elected to the high position, which he still holds, as 
missionary secretary. Dr. Reid in all departments of labor, pastoral, 
educational, editorial and missionary, has had distinguished success, 
but especially in the office he now holds, has he shown his eminent 
qualifications for the confidence reposed in him by the vast constituency 
he serves. 

He is a constant, earnest, toiling minister and worker. He is pos- 
sessed of a manly presence, a fine voice ; and has an earnest, im- 
pressive manner, and therefore has been a very successful advocate 
of the great missionary cause, which he now represents. 

Dr. Reid in writing to Rev. S. H. Smith in 1877, ^^X^ o^ ^'^ labors 
in Wolcottville : " It was my first charge. I went to it from the 
principalship of Mechanics Institute school of New York city. The 
first Church had just then been built, and the grading around it, and 
the blinds and lamps were attended to and obtained by me. The church 
was new and not strong in its membership and efficiency, but after 
all it was a memorable time for dissipating prejudices which abounded 
towards Methodism. I have always thanked God for sending me 
there, and I would like to see it now after all these years that are 
past. I must some time." 

Rev. Horace Q. Judd. 

Rev. Horace Q. Judd was born Feb. 21, 1841, in Bethel, Conn., 
and fitted for college at the Hudson River "institute, and enlisted in 
the 17th Conn, volunteers April, 1862 ; and served three years, 
being in the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and received 
an honorable discharge. He united with the New York east con- 
ference of the M. E. church in the spring of 1870, and was stationed 
at Cornwall Bridge, Ct., and in 1872 was appointed to the M. E. 
church in Wolcottville, where he labored with success and honor 
three years. He was very much liked in the community generally, 



I20 History of Torrington. 

and did a special work in behalf of the church, in his persevering 
efforts by which the last end of a long and wearisome debt was re- 
moved from the church property. 

He is now preaching at Watertown, Ct., with the same steady 
onward success which has marked his life heretofore. 

Rev. Sidney Ketcham Smith, A.M. 

Rev. Mr. Smith is now pastor of the M. E. church, in his third 
year, in Wolcottville. He was born Mar. 14, 1838, at Huntington, 
Long Island, and was the son of Solomon and Abigail Ketcham 
Smith, who were farmers and members of the Presbyterian church. 
When seventeen years of age he was employed, as clerk, in a silk 
Importing house in New York city. He was converted and joined 
the old York street M. E. church of Brooklyn, under the labors of 
Rev. George W. Woodruff, D.D. He soon felt a deep conviction 
to preach the gospel, and whatever his work or engagements this was 
the thought of greatest import to him. 

In preparing for the ministry he studied at the Wesleyan academy, 
Wilbraham, Mass., Wesleyan university, Middletown, Ct., and the 
Biblical institute, Concord, N. H., taking the course, however, in an 
inverted order. Through the advice of enthusiastic friends he en- 
tered at once with slight academic preparation the Biblical institute, 
intending to take only a theological course, but during the first term, 
in view of youth and want of mental training, he determined to take 
also a thorough collegiate course. In seeking advice from the pro- 
fessors, one said ; " Leave at once and go to college, we don't want 
you here." The other quietly replied, "better remain, now you 
are here, brother ; get established in your religious life and theological 
views, then go to college and make it your parish. This latter ad- 
vice became the controlling rule of his life for the next eight years. 
He was graduated at the Biblical institute in 1859; preached one 
year as supply at Southampton, L. I., and entered the Wesleyan 
university in 1861, and was graduated in 1865. 

In the same year he joined the New York east conference and 
was stationed at Middlefield, Conn. In September of that year he 
married Mary F. Barnard of Marlboro, Mass. His successive appoint- 
ments since have been ; Clinton, Simsbury and Wolcottville, all in 
this state. Twice he has been compelled through ill health to tem- 
porarily relinquish the work of the ministry. During the first period 




CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, WOLCOT'IVILLE, ERECTED IN 1867. 



The Churches in Wolcottville. 121 

of rest the parsonage at Middlefield was burned with all his library 
and household goods. 

He is a very acceptable minister, much esteemed in his own church 
and through the whole community, and notwithstanding poor health, 
attends to the labors and interests of his parish with as much success 
as those do ordinarily, who are perfect in health. He is now closing 
his pastorate in the Wolcottville church, having been stationed here 
three successive years. 

The Congregational Church. 

Soon after the Woolen Mill began its manufacturing work, the 
Revs. Alexander Gillett and Samuel J. Mills began to deliver 
lectures, or short sermons in Wolcottville on 

which work they continued a number of years, considering it a part 
of their pastoral and ministerial duty thus to do. As the Methodist 
brethren had not restrained themselves from coming into their parishes 
and preaching, so they judged it not out of order for them to come 
into the Methodist parish and give lectures, and especially when a 
number of their old church members lived here and near the place. 
But these aged ministers were not always to preach. For our sakes 
we are sorry, but for their sakes we are glad. What would thai 
dignified, learned, serious Father Gillett say if he were to come to 
Wolcottville in these later davs ? What would Father Mills say ? 
Perhaps to save them, that their hearts might not be sore vexed with- 
out comfort, they were taken away that they might not see the doings 
of these later days. When, therefore, they were not able to con- 
tinue this extra work, regularly. Parson Jeremiah Hallock from Sims- 
bury came and preached. Mr. Goodman settled in 1822, in 
Torringford, and being younger he helped on the cause in this new 
field of religious enterprise. 

About 1820, the brick building now standing a little way south of 
the American House, was built, and a part of it was to be a union 
meetinghouse. Whether any denominations except the Universalist 
occupied it is not definitely stated. It was used for a time as an 
academy. Thus was the gospel preached in Wolcottville, in one 
place and another, by various ministers of different denominations for 
nearly twenty years, without having an accepted consecrated house 
of worship. 

Under such circumstances Capt. Uri Taylor, son of Joseph, led 

16 



122 History of Torrington. 

the way, others aiding him as best they could, and built the first Con- 
gregational meeting house,; and although Capt. Taylor was building 
committee on his own responsibility, yet with such men around him 
as those who united in organizing the first society he was not alone 
in this work. There was one good thing about this method of build- 
ing a meeting house, they had no contending parties, and clashing of 
judgments, and unending hatred after the house was built. So far as 
history tells us, all were well satisfied, the house was paid for, and 
was a very proper and comfortable house of worship. Mr. Taylor 
gave the site for the house and furnished a large part of the money 
needed in the building, and thus did a noble work. He also built the 
parsonage in the same way, and passed the whole property, of meet- 
ing house and minister's dwelling, into the hands of the society, with- 
out any claims except the reservation of one pew in the Church for 
his descendants as long as they shall choose, or shall be here to oc- 
cupy it. 

This being done, the " Village Society in Torrington was organ- 
ized on the third day of December, 1829, at the house of Captain 
Taylor, and the following persons became members of the society : 

Lyman Wetmore, Elijah Phelps, " Israel Coe, 

'. Uri Taylor, Samuel Beach, Anson Stocking, 

• John Hungerford Jr., Amasa Scoville, Asa G. Adams, 

William Leach, Leverette. Scott, Charles S. Church, 

Joel Hall, Elizur Barber, Arvid Dayton, 

i Daniel S. Rogers, John W. Scoville, Joseph Barritt, 

f' George P. Bissell, David Baldwin, Linus Dunbar, 

Harmon Cook, Samuel Brooker, George P. Roberts, 

George D. Wadhams, William Olcott,  Russell C. Abernethy, 

Luther Bissell, Amos Wilson, William S. Hungerford. 

Lorrain Wetmore, John Cook, 

Soon after this society was formed, the Rev. William R. Gould, 
then pastor of the Torrington church, was em.ployed to preach a 
certain portion of the time for one year, the First society consenting 
to the arrangement. This arrangement continued until February, 
1832, when Mr. Gould was dismissed by council from the Torring- 
ton church, and Wolcottville looked in other directions for preach- 
ing. During the year 1831, the Rev. David Miller and other 
Methodist ministers were employed the portion of time that Mr. 
Gould did not preach here. 

On the thirteenth day of August, 1832, the society voted to give 
the Rev. Hiram P. Arms a call to settle in the work of the gospel 
ministry. But before a pastor could be settled over a church, there 



The Churches in Wolcottville. 123 

must be a church, and the next orderly thing to be done was to 
effect such an organization. This was done, June 11, 1832, ac- 
cording to the order of the denomination, by a committee of the 
Litchfield north consociation, delegated for the purpose. Twenty- 
one persons were recceived by letter and eight by profession of their 

faith, as constituting the church as follows : 

f 

David Baldwin, Lyman Wetmore. 

Mrs. Sarah Baldwin, Mrs. Betsey Wetmore, 

Sarah Ann Baldwin, Lorrain Wetmore, 

Elizur Barber, Mrs. Frances Wetmore, 

Mrs. Polly Barber, Louisa Wetmore, 

Mrs. Lucy Bissell, Amanda Wetmore, 

Ruth Brooks, Leverett Scott, 

Rebecca Goodman, Mrs. Leverett Scott, 

Sarah Hungerford, Sarah Wilcox, 

Mrs. Charlotte Hungerford, Lydia Kimberly, 

Mrs. Elizabeth Eno, Maria S. North, 

Mrs. Ursula Frost, Ruhama Smith, 

Nancy S. Goodman, George D. Wadhams, 

John Hungerford, Mrs. Lucy Wadhams. 
Abigail Taylor, 

The church being thus organized Rev. Hiram P. Arms was in- 
stalled first pastor of this church and society in February 1833, 

The importance and success of this church is set forth in very 
appropriate language by another as follows : 

" During all the years of effort by the people of Wolcottville to 
ensure its rapid growth as a business place, a little band of thoroughly 
earnest Christians were watching, working and praying, with a long- 
tried patience, and a wrestling faith for the establishment of a church 
of Christ, and for such help of the Holy Ghost, as would lift up a 
standard effectually against the abounding wickedness of the place. 
While Christopher Wolcott, the devout and efficient agent of 
Frederick Wolcott, in managing the mill, and other kindred spirits 
which his position enabled him to bring to his aid, were trying to sow 
some good seed, the Methodists were contending nobly for truth and 
righteousness as well ; and the older members of this church speak 
with becoming respect and affection of their fellow disciples of the 
common Master. 

••' From the organization of the church, the mutual action of the 
church and society has been harmonious, and a commendable zeal, 
prudence and liberality has marked their efforts to sustain the ordi- 
nances of religion. Without zealous stickling for mere points of 



124 History of Torrington. 

order in their mutual work, they have accomplished much toward 
the civil, social, educational and religious culture of this community, 
and their out look upon the opening future is full of hope and pro- 
mise. But since the church is an institution of divine appointment, 
and since it is by inspiration called the body of Christ ; it is meet 
and proper that in its relation to other agencies, it should always have 
the precedence without regard to numbers, wealth, or earthly dis- 
tinctions. Any society that does not choose to have this rule ob- 
served is radically defective in its character as an ecclesiastical society ; 
and any church that does not make the fitness of this rule apparent 
fails to execute its high commission." ' 

The settled pastors have been : Hiram P. Arms, Stephen Hubbell, 
Samuel Day, Samuel T. Seelye, Ralph Smith, Edward W. Bacon, 
and Lavalette Perrin, and the following have been stated supplies : 
E. S. Clark, R. M. Chipman, W. L. Adamson, George B. New- 
comb, and others. It will be seen that during the forty-four years 
of its history, this church has had a settled pastor about twenty eight 
and one-half years ; and acting pastor about six and a half years. 

" The benefit of the Home Missionary Society, in this state, is 
realized, to some extent, in the aid this church received, for several 
years from its commencement, making it possible to have a settled 
pastor when otherwise it could not j and giving it strength until it 
acquired strength of its own. 

"The membership of the church has steadily, though slowly in- 
creased in numbers, although its forty-four years of effort and labor 
have been amidst great national struggles and calamities. 

"The Sabbath school, under different forms, with such intervals as 
circumstances have made inevitable, has been sustained from the first. 
Indeed before there was pastor, church or society, Mrs. Charles 
Hungerford maintained such a school, on Sabbath morning and she 
attending service after it at Torringford. From that time forward 
the school has steadily increased until the numbers in it are nearly 
equal to the numbers in the regular service of the congregation. 

" The membership of this church has steadily though slowly in- 
creased in numbers from the first. There have been seasons of 
special religious interest in the community, but no very remarkable 
times of refreshing, such as are on the records of other churches, 
have been experienced by this church. The following are the years 



'Rev. L. Perrin in Centennial sermon, 1876; published. 



The Churches in Wolcottville. 125 

in which ten or more persons were added to the membership of the 
church : 

1834, 13. 1858, 21, 1874, 10, 

1843. ^5. 1867, 39, 1876, 10. 

1852, 34, 1873, 10, 

" Other years of its history have indicated more or less of spiritual 
vigor, but it has not been equipped and furnished as some churches 
are for aggressive work. From its membership of twenty-nine at the 
start it has increased to one hundred and seventy-five, at the present 
time. 

" All the ordinary means of grace have been sustained, and for a 
number of years the plan of Sabbath offerings has been successfully 
maintained, and thereby the benevolent institutions of the times 
receive monthly attention to the noted credit and honor of the congre- 
gation ; the average amount is about eight hundred dollars annually. 

" The service of song, has quite uniformly been rendered to the edi- 
fication and quickening of all true worshipers, and from the be- 
ginning of its history this society has been favored with a specially 
competent choir, who have cheerfully and faithfully sustained this 
important service. 

"This church and society have occupied two, and in a qualified 
sense three houses of worship. This is a matter usually controlled 
by the society, and from the first there have been a few men of 
sound wisdom and high toned morality, worshiping with the church, 
though not members of it, who have infused energy into all the move- 
ments of the society, and enriched its records with many wise and 
liberal acts." ' 

Certain extensive repairs were made on the house of worship, es- 
pecially the upper part of it, in 1844, as to render it, in appearance 
inside, like a new house, and thus was provided what was practically 
the second Meeting house of this society, which served its purpose 
satisfactorily, for the term of twenty years. 

In 1864, the question of reconstructing the Meeting house and 
building or fitting up a conference room was brought before the an- 
nual meeting, and this proved to be the beginning " of that protracted, 
perplexing, and nobly sustained efFortof the society, which, after long 
continued struggles, resulted in the solid, chaste, and truly beautiful 
granite edifice now standing as a Sabbath home. Though *the vicissi- 



» Dr. Perrin in Centennial sermon. 



ii6 



History of Torrington. 



tudes of the enterprise were many, and made doubly burdensome by 
the failure of the contractors, in the early stages of the work, to ful- 
fill their engagements, yet it was carried to completion by the force 
of unyielding purpose and resolution, to the general satisfaction of 
those interested. The contract was taken by a New York firm, for 
the sum of nearly nineteen thousand dollars, and when the last bill 
was paid the sum had increased to over thirty-two thousand dollars ; 
and as in all such cases, those who do most at the commencement, 
are quite certain to do most in the final closing up of indebtedness so 
in this case ; the first were last. It is, therefore, a beautiful monu- 
ment of earnest, wise, and well directed energy in the accomplishment 
of a noble Christian object,"' and will be appreciated for many years 
to come, by those who shall worship there. 

The list of contributors to the new church edifice as given in Dr. 
Perrin's centennial sermon is as follows : 

Lorrain Wetmore, . 



F. N. Holley, . 
Ransom Holley, 
Elisha Turner, . 
Elizur Barber, 
Sidney L. Clark, 
H. S. Barbour, 
N. B. Lathrop, 
P. F. Parsons, 
Charles Hotchkiss, 
E. C. Hotchkiss, 
Mrs. C. A. Hungerford, 
H. B. Alvord, 
Charles Alvord, 
J. W. Cook, . 
B. R. Agard, . 
Chester Brooker, 
S. H. Perkins, 
George W. Church, 
J. A. Newbury, 
J. F. Calhoun, 
Harmon Cook, 
D. L. Hungerford, 
John W. Langdon, 
J. W. Phelps, 
John W. Scoville, 
Benham Barber, 
Henry J. Allen, 
Samuel Brooker, 
Willard Weed, . 



$5,557.00 Dennis Perkins, 

7,015.00 Lewis Cook, 

4,715.00 Mr. Millard, 

2,950.00 W. S. Lewis, 

875.00 N. Alvord, Jr., 

500.00 Nelson Alvord, 

1,035.00 Charles F. Brooker, 

850.00 A. F. Brooker, . 

740.00 Henry Hopkins, 

665.00 Samuel Stocking, 

350.00 George H. Mason, . 

400.00 Erskin Andrus, 

400.00 E. Fellows, 

635.00 Charles J. Battell, 

350.00 T. S. Hanchett, 

665.00 Merritt Marks, 

450.00 Charlotte Royce, . 

200.00 O. Hayward, 

425.00 Wm. Bryant, 

200.00 J. M. Travis, . 

300.00 Samuel Burr, 

225.00 Arthur B. Agard, 

200.00 L. B. Mowry, 

100.00 Amos Gear, 

275.00 Baldwin & Farnham, 

125.00 Giles A. Gaylord, 

200.00 J. M. Camp, 

115.00 Eliasaph Scoville, 

250.00 D. W. Clark, 

1 15.00 J. E. Lewis, 



100.00 

200.00 

250.00 

250.00 

115.00 

70.00 

230.00 

165.00 

165.00 

235.00 

50.00 

50.00 

100.00 

50.00 

115.00 

50.00 

50.00 

50.00 

100.00 

190.00 

25.00 

30.00 

25.00 

25.00 

25.00 

75.00 

25.00 

50.00 

75.00 

10.00 



Dr. Perrin's sermon. 



The Churches in Wolcottville. 



127 



Hobart Churchill, 
Simon Reid, . 
Ferdinand Adt, 
Louis J. Adt, 
Chauncey Mix, 
J. G. Brothwell, . 
Wait B. Wilson, 
C. Ladd & Son, 
W. H. Talcott, 
Willis Curtiss, 
George W. Cook, 
E. M. Judd, 
A. E. Barber, . 
George P. Roberts, 
Louisa North, 
C. F. Church & Co., 
Joel Scoville, 
James E. Noble, 
E. A. Baldwin, 
G. H. Welch, 
J. N. Wetmore, 
James H. Patterson, 
J. L. Carson, 



10.00 


E. H.Holley, 


50,00 


10.00 


William Spittle, 


30.00 


10.00 


F. L. Wadhams, . 


25.00 


10.00 


D. McGregor Means, 


50.00 


30.00 


Wm. H. Lacy, Jr., 


50.00 


30.00 


George H. Fish, 


20.00 


50.00 


E. J. Hopkins, 


20.00 


100.00 


Clark & Wing, 


12.50 


50.00 


E. J. Steele, 


25.00 


75.00 


B. C. & H. S. Patterson, . 


115.00 


50.00 


John Scoville, 


30.00 


200.00 


Theodore Hartman, . 


25.00 


215.00 


W. W. Mix, 


15.00 


615.00 


Daniel B. Joyce, 


50.00 


100.00 


Mrs. R. Dunbar, . 


20.00 


50.00 


Estate E. Eggleston, . 


25.00 


25.00 


F. J. Pierce, 


5.00 


25.00 


D. C. Kilbourn, 


40.00 


290.00 


W. W. Birge, 


15.00 


50.00 


Ladies Society, . 


125.00 


50.00 


Mrs. Mary Hodges, 


25.00 


50.00 






25.00 




$35,724-50 



Rev. Hiram P. Arms, D.D., 

Rev. Stephen Hubbell, . 

Rev. Samuel Day, 

Rev. Samuel T. Seelye, D.D., 

Rev. Ralph Smith, 

Rev. George B. Newcomb, supply. 

Rev. Edward W. Bacon, . 

Rev. Lavallette Perrin, 



Officers and Members. 

Ministers. 
installed Feb. 7, 1833, 



Feb. 29, 1837, . 
Sept. 23, 1840, 
June 17, 1846, . 
March 25, 1656, 

Sept. 29, 1869, 
July 31, 1872. 



dismissed July 6, 1836. 

" Sept. 29, 1839. 

. " June 4, 1845. 

" March 21, 1855. 
. " Sept. 29, 1857. 

" Oct. 31, 1871. 



Ministers Raised. 
Rev. Edward Hungerford, Congregational. Rev. John Barbour, Episcopal 

Deacons. 
Elected. 

Dec. 22, 1822. Addison Palmer, 

March 10, 1836. Nelson Alvord, 

June 29, 1837. Charles Hotchkiss, 

Nov. 7, 1 841. Henry S. Barbour, 

Oct. 31, 1845. Samuel J. Stocking, . 
July 5, 1846. 

Original Members. 

Elizur Barber, 

Polly (Phelps) Barber, 

Mrs. Lucy Bissell, 



Lorrain Wetmore,. 
Silas Humphrey, 
Amasa Scoville, 
Victorianus Clark, 
Leonard Blakeslee, 
Darius Wilson, 



David Baldwin, 

Mrs. Sarah Baldwin, 
Sarah A. Baldwin, 



Elected. 

1851. 
June, 1857. 
March 3, 1861. 
Feb. 15, 1868. 



Feb. 



1868. 



128 



History of Torringto 



N. 



Ruth Brooks, 

Rebecca Goodman, 

Sarah Hungerford, 

Charlotte (Austin) Hungerford, 

Mrs. Elizabeth Eno, 

Mrs. Ursuala Frost, 

Nancy S. Goodman, 

John Hungerford, 

Abigail Taylor, 

Lyman Wetmore, 

Betsey Wetmore (Lyman), 

Lorrain Wetmore, 



Abeling, Julius Wm., . 
Abeling, Auguste (Meelisch), 
Abernethy, Russell C, 
Abernethy Orrel S. (R. C), 
Abernethy, Mary (De Forest), 
Adams, Asa G., 
Adams Olive (A. G.), 
Adams, Diana (Barber), 
Adt, Ferdinand, . 
Adt, Catherine (Harrmann), 
Allen, Laura, 
Allen, Wm. H., 
Allen, Mrs. Wm. H., . 
Alvord, Nelson, 
Alvord, Lavinia (Nelson), 
Alvord, Harriet Taylor, 
Alvord, Hubbell B., . 
Alvord, Mrs. H. B., 
Alvord, Charles, . 
Alvord, Almira Burtis, 
Alvord, Adelaide, Mrs., 
Andrus, Laura M., . 
Andrus, Adeline, . 
Andrus, Nancy, . ' 

Arms, Lucy Ann, 
Atwater, Edward A., 
Atwater, Julia Hills, 

Bacon, Rev. £. W., 
Bacon, Mary Staples, 
Baldwin, David, 
Baldwin, Mrs. David, 
Baldwin, Sarah Ann, 
Baldwin, Amanda Wetmore, 
Baldwin, Elizabeth, 
Balcomb, Julia Brothwell, . 



Frances (Austin) Wetmore (Lorrain), 

Louisa Wetmore, 

Amanda Wetmore, 

Leverette Scott, 

Mrs. Leverette Scott, 

Sarah Wilcox, 

Lydia Kimberly, 

Maria S. North, 

Ruhama Smith, 

George D. Wadhams, 

Lucy Wadhams (Geo. D,). 



Members. 

1874. Barber, Elezur, 

1874. Barber, Polly Phelfs, 

1835. Barber, Dr. A. E., . . 

" Barber, Mrs. Julia A., . 

" Barber, Myron Flbert, . 

1834. Barber, Walter L., . 

" Barber, Hannah yohnsan, 

1 85 1. Barber, Mary, . 

1869. Barber, Mary E., . 

" Barber, Alvin E., 

1833. Barber, Mrs. Athalia, . 

1844. Barber, Anna, . 

" Barber, Hector, 

1841. Barber, Diana Hinman, 

 " Barbour, Henry S., 

1876. Barbour, Parmelia, 

1851. Barbour, John H., 
1857. Barclay, Louisa, 

1852. Barrett, Joseph, 

i860. Bartholomew, Jeremiah H., 

1863. Bartholomew, Mrs. Polly, 

1843. Bates, Nathaniel, 

1852. Bates, Rowani Thorp, 

1869. Beach, Lurandus, 

1833. Beach, Mrs. Harriet, 

1869. Beach, Content, 

" Beach, Mary Leach, 

Beecher, James E., 

" Beers, Horace A., 

" Beers, Carrie Warner, 

1832. Benham, Jane Ann., 

" Bellamy, Angeline Mitchell, 

" Berry, Lucy A., Mrs., . 

" Berry, Fannie M., 

1875. Berg, Theodore, 

1867. Berg, Mrs. Mary, 



I832. 
(( 

1867. 
(( 

1864. 

1867. 

1868. 

1876. 

1858. 

1849. 

1847. 

1835- 
1875. 

1852. 

1853. 
<< 

1867. 
« 

1836. 
1843. 
1841. 

1842. 

1843. 

1836. 

« 

1843. 
1853. 
1867. 

1873. 
(( 

1843. 
1851. 
1861. 
1873. 



The Churches of Wolcottville. 



129 



Berg, Anne, 
Berg, Martha, . 
Berg, Emma (Abeling), . 
Bissell, Lucy Porter, . 
Blakeslee, Leonard, 
Blakeslee Mrs. Rumina, 
Bolster, Cornelia E., 
Bogue, Mrs. Deborah C, . 
Brace, Elizabeth Morgan, 
Brace, Mrs. Pearly, . 
Bradley, Mary Steele, 
Bradley, Elnora M., . 
Bradford, A. G., . 
Briggs, Ellen, . 
Brooks, Ruth, 
Bristol), Chester, 
Brooker, Mary, 
Brooker, Samuel, 
Brooker, Huldah D., 
Brooker, Chester, 
Brooker, Maria L., 
Brooker, Mehitable Tutt/e, . 
Brooker, Marion N., 
Brooker, Francis L., 
Brooker, Julia, 
Brooker, Annie G., . 
Brooker, Julia Seymour, 
Brooker, Ella T., 
Brooker, Arthur S., 
Broo.ker, Maria Seymour, 
Brooker, Charles F., 
Brooker, Mary L., 
Broth well, Addie Ho/comb, 
Buell, Joseph C, 
Buell, Mrs. Mary, 
Burr, Samuel, . 
Burr, Mary Seymour, 
Burr, Lyman S., 
Burr, Mary Fleming, 

Calhoun, Joseph F., . 
Calhoun, Clarissa Cas'we/l, 
Calhoun, Sarah, 
Camp, Jabez M., . 
Camp, Mrs. Mary, . 
Camp, Martha A., 
Camp, Lottie E., 
Camp, Mary F., 
Camp, Wallace H., , 
Carrington, David, 



1873. Carrington, Mrs. Mercia, 

'• Castle, Nancy McCoe, . 

" Castle, Mary E., 

1832. Catlin, Imogene J., 

1842. Chapin, Sarah L., 

" Church, Charles S., 

1865. Church, Oiarlotte Taylor, 

1866. Churchill, Lucy J., 
1841. Chipman, Rev. R. M., 
1834. Chipman, Mrs. Mary K., 
1858. Clark, 

1876. Clark, Victorianus, 

1848. Clark, Mrs. Rhoda B., 

1867. Clark, Elizabeth F., 
1832. Clark, Erwin B., 

1843. Clemens, Hiram, 

1834. Clemens, Fidelia Hotchkiss, 
1852. Coe, Sybel, 

1843. Coe, Israel, 
1867. Coe, Nancy Wetmore, 
1852. Coe, Russell, . 
1862. Coe, Lillie Wheeler, 
1867. Cook, Herman, 

" Cook, Angeline Dare, 

" Cook, John, . 

1876. Cook, Mrs. Lydia, 

1849. Cook, Huldah, 
1867. Cook, Anna, 

" Cook, Margaret Judd, 

1852. Cook, Louisa, 

1867. Cook, George W., . 
" Cook, Mrs. Gertrude, . 
" Cook, Walter H., . 

1835. Cook, Mrs. W. H., 
" Cook, Lucy J., 

1873. Cooper, Mrs. Elizabeth, 

1849. Curtiss, Ursula, 

1872. Curtiss, Worthy, . 

1866. Curtiss, Mrs. Alpha, 

1852. Day, Mrs. Hannah E., 

1 85 1. Daily, Clarissa, 

1868. Daily, Mrs. Lois G., . 

1867. Dayton, Urania Marsh, 
Davidson, Ira A., 
Dunbar, Rhoda, Huntington, 
Dunbar, Adeline L., 

Eggleston, Alexander L., 

1844. Eggleston, Jane, 



1844. 
1863. 
1858. 
1867. 
1846. 
1833. 
1834. 
1864. 

1859. 

i< 

1835. 

1840. 
(( 

1844. 

1872. 

1867. 
<< 

1849. 





« 


. 


1835. 




• 1874- 


. 


1834. 


. 


<( 




1835. 


, 


<c 


. 


I84I. 


. 


. 1842. 


. 


1852. 


. 


. i860. 


, , 


1866. 


. 


. 1866. 


. 


1867. 


, 


« 


, 


« 


. 


. I84I. 


• 


1835. 


. 


. 1883. 


• 


a 




. 1841. 


. 


1842. 


• 


. 1844. 


• 


• 1855. 


. 


. 1867. 


", 


1837. 


• 


. 1858. 


, 


1836. 


. 


• 1853- 



17 



IJO 



History of Torrington. 



Eldredge, Horace S., 
Eldredge, Emogene Cook, 
Elmer, Ann M., 
Elton, Marilla, 
Eno, Elizabeth, 
Everest, Eunice, . 

Fairchild, Jeremiah, 
Fairchild, Mrs. Ruth, . 
Fellows, Ephraim, 
Fellows, Charles L., 
Fellows, Julia Crippin, 
Fenton Harriet Vaill, 
Finn, Theresa Hoffman, 
Fleming, Jennie Taylor, 
Follott, Lewis, 
Follett, Ann, 
Freeman, Olive Mix, 
Freeman, Orinda, 
Frost, Mrs. Ursula, . 
Fyler, Addie Steele, 
Fyler, Mary Vaill, 

Gaylord, Charles A., 

Gaylord, Giles A., . 

Gaylord, Elizabeth Byington, 

Geer, Amos, 

Geer, Eunice Allyn, 

Geer, Amos M., 

Geer, Mrs. Melissa, 

Geer, William, 

Geer, Mrs. Mary, 

Geer, Eliza (Mrs. Allen), 

Goodman, Rebecca, 

Goodman, Nancy S., 

Goodman, Henry, 

Hammond, Harriett Merrill. 
Hammond, George A , 
Hanchett, Thatcher S., 
Hart, Sophia C, 
Haywood, Emily Lee, 
Hayden, Helen, . 
Hill, Mary, 
Hills, Hannah, . 
Hills, Lottie Ulade, . 
Hinman, Mary, 
Holly, Eliza Hotchkiss, 
Holly, Edward H., 
Holly, Lucinda Branson, 



1871. 
(( 

1834. 
1852. 
1832. 
i860. 

1844. 
1847. 
1859. 

1874. 
u 

1876. 
1870. 
1869. 

1843- 
<( 

1834. 
1841. 
1832. 
Z858. 
1872. 

1846. 
1867. 
1869. 
1855- 

1858. 
(( 

(( 



1832 



1835. 



Holly, Mary Sperry, . . . 1865. 

Holcomb, Mary Brunt, . . 1869. 
Holmes, Israel, .... 1835. 

Holmes, Ardelia Coe, . . " 

Hoffman, Charles, . . . 1869. 

Hoffman, Augusta Conrat, . " 

Hopkins, Henry, . . . 1852. 

Hopkins, Sarah fVebster, . 1845. 
Hopkins, Mary (Mrs. Fowler), . 1866. 

Hopkins, Harry P., . . 1857. 

Hopkins, Mrs. Lydia, . . . '' 

Hopkins, Edward J., . . 1870. 

Hopkins, Eleanor Hi//s, . . *' 

Hotchkiss, Charles, . . 1859. 

Hotchkiss, Electa Brace, . . " 

Hotchkiss, Amelia Briggs, . 1864. 

Hotchkiss, Ella Osborn, . . 1870. 

Hotchkiss, Henry S., . . 1841. 

Hotchkiss, Mrs. H. S., . . " 

Hubbard, Betsey TVheeler, . 1 843. 

Hubbell, Martha Stone, . . 1 839. 

Hudson, Daniel C, . . 1838. 

Hudson, Mrs. Rhoda, . . " 

Hudson, Charlotte, ... " 

Humphrey, Silas, . . . 1836. 

Humphrey, Mrs. Mary, . . " 

Humphrey, Evan, . . . i860. 

Hungerford, John, . . . 1832. 

Hungerford, Charlotte Austin, . " 

Hungerford, Sarah, ... " 

Hungerford, Lucinda, . . 1833. 

Hungerford, Elizabeth W., . 1834. 

Hungerford, Helen L., . . 1852. 

Hungerford, Frank L., . . 1867. 

Huntington, Elizabeth, . . 1837. 

Hurlbut, Clark W., . . 1875. 



1842. 


Isbell, Evelina Judson, 


. 1852. 


1858. 






1867. 


Jankson, Roxy Taylor, 


1865. 


1836. 


Jones, Henry W., 


. 1852. 


1867. 


Jones, Mrs. Julia H., 


« 


1876. 


Joyce, Daniel B., 


. 1876. 


1836. 


Joyce, Carolina Dayton, 


i( 


1845. 


Judd, Edward M., 


. 1868. 


1858. 


Judd, Jane Peck, 


(( 


1852. 






I85I. 


Kellogg, Mindwell, 


. 1838. 


1867. 


Kilbourne, Sarah Hopkins, 


1875. 


1873. 


Kimberly, Lydia, 


. 1832. 



The Churches of Wolcottville. 



13' 



Ladd, Jane Byington, 
Lake, Arthur S., 
Lake, Jennie Fox, 
Langdon, John W., 
Langdon, Mary Spencer, 
Langdon, Helen A. (Wheeler), 
Lathrop, Sarah Comstock, 
Lathrop, Caroline C, 
Lathrop, Louisa B. (Chapin), 
Leach, Adaline Mott, 
Leach, Sarah J., 
Lockhart, Jennett, 
Loomis, Ophelia Leach, 
Loomis, Sarah F., 
Loomis, Flora A., 
Loomis, Louisa, 
Lowry, Martha, 
Lyman, Rufuss, . 
Lyon, Jennie Johnson, 

Marks, Mary Hinman, 

Mansfield, Harriet, 

Mason, Albert A., 

Mason, Lucy Stanley, 

Mason, Mary Frost, 

Mason, Kate E. Jeffries, . 

Mather, Sarah Rowbottom, 

Mawson, Mrs. David, 

McCarty, Wm. H., 

McCarty, Jennie yohnson, 

McNeil, Robert, 

McNeil, Margaret Johnston, 

Mills, Henrietta, 

Millard, Helen Mott, 

Millard, Alfred M., 

Millard, Agnes C, . 

Mix, Chauncey, . 

Mix, Abigail Jackins, 

Mix, Willard, 

Mott, Chloe Coe, 

Mott, Chloe, 

Morse, Harriett Pbippani, 

Morse, Martha (Davy), 

Moses, Ellen E., . . , 

Munson, Huldah, 

Munson, Lucretia Palmer, 

Munson, David C, 

Munson, Sarah Holcomh, 

Newcomb, Mrs. Elizabeth, 



1852. 


Noble, James E., . 


1869, 


1872. 


North, Maria S., 


1832. 


(( 


North, Louisa Wetmore, 


(C 


1852. 


Norton, Horatio A., 


1840. 


<< 


Norton, Mrs. Lois, . 


« 


1867. 






1858. 


Olcott, Esther, 


1833- 


1876. 


Oviatt, Mrs. Aloisa, 


1842. 


1858. 


* 




(C 


Palmer, Mehitable, 


1849. 


n 


Palmer, Addison, 


1852. 


1843- 


Palmer, Febe Foivler, . 


« 


1842. 


Palmer, Hayden D., 


1867. 


1852. 


Palmer, Mary Munger, 


1868. 


1858. 


Palmer, Julia M., 


1874. 


1854. 


Palmer, Sarah Be/den, . , 


(( 


1863. 


Parson, Corinthia, 


1834. 


1865. 


Parsons, Phineas F., 


1867. 


1869. 


Parsons, Helen Brotison, 


(( 




Patterson, Polly Gilbert, 


(1 


1852. 


Patterson, Burton, 


« 


1842. 


Patterson, Harriet Beach, 


1872. 


1838. 


Patterson, Henry S., 


1867. 


I84I. 


Payson, Hiram, . 


1847. 


1867. 


Perkins, Sanford H., 


1855. 


<( 


Perkins, Adaline Barber, 


1848 


1869. 


Perrin, Ann Eliza Comstock, 


1872. 


1868. 


Perrin, Bernadotte, 


« 


1874. 


Perrin, Catharine (Lester), 


« 


1< 


Phelps, Mindwell Scoville, 


1849. 


1865. 


Phelps, Augusta E., 


I85I. 


(( 


Phillow, Charlotte, 


1843- 


1835. 


Phippany, Emily, 


1833. 


1852. 


Phippany, William Jr., 


1850. 


1867. 


Phippany, Louisa, 


1848. 


1875. 


Phippany, Orpha R., 


1855. 


1867. 


Pitman, Charles A., 


1875. 


1863. 


Pitman, Sarah George, 


1869. 


1867. 


Porch, William, 


1842. 


1840. 


Preston, Eliza, Van Valkenburg, 


1868. 


1858. 






1848. 






1869. 


Roberts, Geo. P., . 


(( 


1868. 


Roberts, Annis Allyn, . 


« 


1834. 


Robertson, Daniel, . 


1852. 


1864. 


Robertson, James, 


1855. 


1867. 


Robertson, Mrs. James, 


(( 


« 


Robertson, Laura A., . 


1867. 




Rose, Harriet Humphrey, . 


1876. 


1868. 


Rynders, Garrett, 


1872. 



132 



History of Torrington. 



Sage, Harriet, .... 


1834. 


Stocking, Emma O. (Wier), 


. 1867. 


Sammis, Mary Huntington, 


. 1836. 


Stocking, Frank L., 


1874. 


Sanbourn, John, 


1854. 


Stocking, Charlotte C. (Pierce), 


. 1858. 


Sanbourn, Mrs. Huldah, 


(I 


Stocking, Flora, 


1852. 


Sanford, Joel, .... 


1841. 


Stocking, Philo H., 


. 1858. 


Sanford, Mrs. Charity, 


<i 


Stone, Mrs. Mary A., 


1852. 


Sanford, John T., . 


1843. 


Sturtevant, Samuel G., 


. i860. 


Sanford, Mrs. Sally, 


ii 


Sturtevant, Mrs. Anna, 


« 


Sanford, Morris H., ' . 


i860. 


Swift, Solomon E., 


1841. 


Sanford, Mrs. Elizabeth, 


<( 






Scheurer, Katy, 


1867. 


Talcott, Wm. H., . 


1864. 


Scott, Leverette, . 


. 1832. 


Talcott, Emma Munson, 


• 1853. 


Scott, Mrs. Leverett, 


« 


Taylor, Abigail Austin, 


1832. 


Scoville, Amasa, . 


• 1834- 


Taylor, Emeline Scott, . 


• 1843- 


Scoville, Mrs. Lucy C, 


.( 


Thorp, Sarah W., . 


(( 


Scoville, Mrs. Mary, 


« 


Thompson, Harriet Green, 


• 1874- 


Scoville, Mrs. Chloe, 


1849. 


Tillinghast, Henrietta E., . 


1859. 


Scoville, John, 


. 1852. 


Todd, Wm. P., . 


. 1866. 


Scoville, Maria Cat/in, 


(( 


Travis, Eliza Brooker, 


1873- 


Seelye, Maria Gay/ord, 


• 1849- 


Tubbs, Nathan, . 


. 1841. 


Seelye, L. Clark, 


1852. 


Tuttle, Catharine, 


1849. 


Settle, Sabrah Thrall, . 


. 1848. 






Seymour, James H., 


1867. 


Wadhams, Dothia, 


• 1833. 


Seymour, Florilla Hudson, 


 1839. 


Wadhams, George D., 


1832. 


Seymour, Lura Taylor, 


1850. 


Wadhams, Lucy Eno, 


<i 


Seymour, Charlotte (Church), 


. 1867. 


Wadhams, Eliza Thompson, 


1855. 


Skinner, H., .... 


1847. 


Wadhams, Sarah Goodivin, . 


• 1873. 


Smith, Rubama, . 


. 1832. 


Walling, Catharine Foote, . 


1863. 


Smith, Albert H., . 


1852. 


Webster, Marilla M., . 


. 1848. 


Smith, Phebe A., 


. 1842. 


Weed, Willard, 


1867 


Smith, Eliza, 


1864. 


Weed, Harriett Clark, . 


. 1869 


Slade, Eliza Green, 


. 1852. 


Weed, Mary, .... 


1867 


Spencer, Henry C, . 


(1 


Weed, Emma, 


. 1871 


Spencer, Mrs. H. C, . 


(( 


Welch, Susie Agard, 


1874 


Squire, Samuel W., . 


1841. 


Wells, Margaret Johnson, 


(( 


Squire, Mrs. Caroline A., 


<c 


Weston, Margaret Fleming, 


1864 


Stearns, B. B., ... 


1867. 


Wetmore, Lyman, 


. 1832 


Stearns, Mrs. B. B., 


(( 


Wetmore, Mrs. Bessey, 


« 


Steele, William S., . 


1839. 


Wetmore, Lorrain, 


« 


Steele, Caroline Jones, . 


<< 


Wetmore, Frances Austin, 


« 


Steele, Elijah J., . 


. 1867. 


Wetmore, John, . 


. 1869 


Steele, Hannah Skiff, 


(C 


Wheeler, Asa, .... 


1843 


Steele, George B., 


<( 


Wheeler, Mrs. Kezia, . 


u 


Stimpson, Cornelia W., 


1834- 


Wheeler, Ansel, 


1869 


Stocking, Anson, 


• 1833. 


Wheeler, Harriett ^oybniow, 


t( 


Stocking, Mrs. Flora, 


u 


Wheeler, Martha Chidsey, 


<( 


Stocking, Samuel, 


n 


Wheeler, Frank M., . 


. 1874 


Stocking, Marcia, 


a 


Wheeler, Nellie M. (Holly), . 


« 


Stocking, Samuel J., 


. 1851. 


Whiting, Mrs. Anna C, 


. 1867. 


Stocking, Mary Felloius, . 


1858. 


Whiting, Francis Hungerford, 


1852. 



The Churches of Wolcottville. 133 

Wilcox, Sarah, . . . .1832. Wilson, Mrs. Clarissa, . . 1839. 

Wilcox, Harnett, . . . 1833. Wilson, Caroline E., . . . 1850. 

Wilson, Amos, . . . . " Wilson, Mary Wheeler, . . 1843 

Wilson, Mrs. Eliza, ... " Woodford, Isabella Sidde/I, . . 1875. 

Wilson, Darius, .... 1839. Woodford, George E., . . 1876. 

The Episcopal Church. 

Services were held, occasionally in Wolcottville, in accordance 
with the usages of the Protestant Episcopal church, previous to 
1842 ; the ministers so officiating were the rectors of Christ church, 
Harwinton, and of St. Michael's of Litchfield. In that vear the Rev. 
Henry Zell began to officiate regularly in one of the district school 
houses in the village, and to minister to the Episcopalian families 
residing, in the town. 

In February 1843, ^ l^g^l notice was given to all persons desirous 
of organizing a parish to meet for that purpose, in the brick Academy. 
The meeting was held according to the notice ; the Rev. Dr. 
Frederick Holcomb in the chair, and the organization effected, and 
the following constitution adopted,' 

The society took the name and title of Trinity church. Its pur- 
pose was declared to be the worship of Almighty God, agreeable 
to the forms, usages, doctrines, and discipline of the Protestant 
Episcopal church in the United States of America. 

The following persons were the original incorporators of the society : 

Samuel Bradley, Henry B. Richards. Samuel Workman, 

James Gaunt, Rodney Brace, Charles B. Smith, 

M. W. Fyler, James Ashborn, Nelson Alvord, 



'Article ist. The officers of this society shall be two wardens, three vestrymen, a clerk, 
and a treasurer, to be appointed annually on Easter Monday or on some other day in Easter 
week, and the appointment of officers shall always be by ballot. 

Article 2d. The names of the members of the society shall be registered in a book and 
this enrollment shall constitute the legal evidence of membership in the society agreeable to 
the provision of the civil law, which enrollment together with all votes, assertments and all 
other important transactions by this body, whether civil or ecclesiastical, shall be entered and 
properly attested by the clerk. 

Article 3d. As the society is designed to be formed on the principle of voluntary contri- 
bution for the support of the gospel, no tax shall be levied on its members except at a 
special meeting, the object having been specified in the previous warning, nor then except 
by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at such special meeting, which shall always 
be more than one-half of the whole number of votes in the society. 

Article 4th. This constitution shall not be altered except by a majority vote at an annual 
meeting, the alteration having been proposed in writing at least six months before formal 
action is had upon it. 



134 



History of Torrington. 



James R. Coe, 
Benjamin H. Morse, 
James H. Seymour, 



Edward Atkins, 
Charles Cooper, 
Demas Coe, 



Janna B. Phelps, 
James Ogleby, 
Allen G. Brady. 



The officers of the parish elected on the day of its organization 
were: James Gaunt and Benjamin H. Morse, wardens ; James R. 
Coe, Charles Cooper, Samuel Bradley, vestrymen ; Demas Coe, 
treasurer; Benjamin H. Morse clerk. 

This society continued to worship in the brick Academy during the 
summer of 1843, and until their house of worship was completed in 

1844- 

In the latter part of the year 1843, •'^ ^^^ deemed wise and proper 
to move in the direction of building a house of worship, and a sub- 
scription was circulated, dated December 20th, 1843, ^"^ ^^^ ^^^~ 
lowing names and amounts were secured : 



Demas Coe, 
B. H. Morse, 
Charles B. Smith, 
Charles Cooper, . 
Daniel Robertson, 
Henry Coe, 
Samuel Workman, 
L. W. Coe, 
Charles Hollis, 
Trumbull Ives, 
Janna R. Phelps, 
James Palmer, 
Uri Taylor, 
F. L. Taylor, 
Daniel Scoville, 
Albert Bradley, 
Nelson Alvord, 
Eunice Taylor, 
H. B. Richards, 
Albert A. Mason, 
F. M. Holley, 
R. F. Ensign, 
Robert Palmer, 
Benham Barber, 
James H. Seymour, 
Linus Johnson, 
Lyman Wetmore, 
Lucius Foot, 
Charles Scoville, 
Rodney Brace, 
Collins Holcomb, 
Edmund Wooding, 



)i25.oo. Ralph Palmer, 
125.00. S. P. Burr, 
100.00. Edwin B. Webster, 
125.00. Solomon Marsh, 
50.00. O. S. Seymour, 
50.00. Mrs. Parmalee, 
30.00. William Payne, 
30.00. J. G. Beckwith, 
25.00. Wm. Phippeny, . 

25.00. Wm. , 

25.00. G. P. Cowles, 
25.00. J. M. Thompson, 
12.50. Wm. F. Baldwin, 
37.50. Daniel B. Bulkley, 
20.00. Charles Mansfield, 
25.00. Oliver S. Hills, 
50.00. Cash, 
25.00. C. & G. Mason, 
20.00. George Pond, 
20.00. Benj. F. Smith, 
10.00. Luther Bissell, 
20.00. [. W. Cook, 
25.00. Wm. H. Webster, 

5.00. Lyman Clark, 
10.00. Abijah Munn, 
5.00. Joseph Allyn, 
10.00. Alexander Gillett, 
Martin Brooker, 
Chester Brooker, 
Edward Pierpont, 
Amos Gilbert, 
Samuel Brooker Jr., 



5.00. 

5.00. 
25.00. 

5.00. 
10.00. 



5.00. 
30.00. 
20.00. 
10.00. 
20.00. 

5.00. 
10.00. 
10.00. 

5.00. 
10.00. 

5.00. 

5.00. 

3.00. 

5.00. 

5.00. 

5.00. 
26.00. 
20.00. 

5.00. 

3.00. 
10.00. 
10.00. 

5.00. 

5.00. 
15.00. 

3.00. 
10.00. 
10.00. 
10.00. 

5.00. 

5.00. 
10.00. 



The Churches of Wolcottville. 135 

Samuel Williams, . . . S-OO. Wm. S. Pond, . . . 5.00. 

Edward Atkins, . . 10.00. John W. Scoville, . . 5.00. 

Daniel Burns, . . . 3.00. Willis Hubbard, . . 10.00. 

Richard Henisee, . . 3.00. Cash, ..... 50.00. 

Elkanah Barber, . . . 5.00. 

Besides the above amounts, six hundred dollars were obtained from 
other places, largely from Waterbury, making in all about two thou- 
sand dollars. 

In 1844, the edifice of wood now standing on the corner of Water 
and Prospect streets was completed and consecrated by Bishop 
Thomas C. Brownwell, December 4th, 1844. 

On January 6th, 1845, ^^^ Rev. Henry Zell was elected rector 
of the parish, which election he accepted with an annual salary of 
five hundred dollars a year. 

When the House was consecrated there remained some debt against 
it, and to remove this an effort was made in the summer of 1846, 
which seems to have been successful. The same subscription book 
was passed the second time and some of those who had given liberally, 
repeated the amount, some doubled the amount, and likeother churches 
in Wolcottville, they received help from neighboring churches, for 
the following record is made : 



Offerings 


at Stratford, 


. 


$30.00. 


Offerings 


at Christ church Brooklyn, 


97.00 


« 


" Stamford, 


. 


20.00. 




" Dr. Tyng, . 


30.00 


(< 


" Norwalk, 




30.00. 




" Dr. Lewis, 


20.00 


n 


'■ Trinity, N 


:w Haven, 


110.00. 




" Bridgeport, . 


10.00 


a 


" Ascension, 


« 


20.00. 




" New Milford, 


32.00 


it 


" St. Pauls, 


(< a 


58.00. 




" Southport, . 


44.00 



Several subscriptions are donated by men of considerable fame, 
such as James E. English of New Haven and George D. Morgan of 
New York. 

At Easter 1848, Mr. Zell resigned and during the succeeding 
year the rectorship remained vacant, the Revs. Enoch Huntington, 
Abel Nichols and George L. Foot officiating. 

The Rev, David P. Sandford became rector on Easter day 
April 8th, 1849; there being then forty families in the parish, and 
eleven communicants. This relation Mr. Sanford held one year, 
when he resigned, and the Rev. S. V. Berry was in temporary charge 
of the parish a little more than a year. In August 1851, the Rev. 
J. S. Covell became rector and continued until October, 1855. 

The Revs. Ezra Jones and C. B. Seymour, officiated nearly a 
year each, in succession, when the parish was united with Christ 
church, Harwinton, as one cure for one year, the Rev. James Mor- 



136 History of Torrington. 

ton being the rector. On the tenth of October 1858, the Rev. J. 
S. Covell was recalled to the rectorship and remained until 1863, 
when he removed to Huntington, Ct. 

The Rev. David P. Sanford served his second term of office in 
this church commencing in April, 1864, and resigning September 
13th, 1868. During this time the house of worship was considerably 
improved ; a recess, chancel and robing room were constructed, a 
vestry room was added, stained glass put into the windows and other 
improvements were made upon the building. 

In 1868, the Rev. Benjamin Eastwood became the rector, and re- 
mained until 1874, when he removed to Rhode Island. In June 
1874, the Rev. Henry B. Ensworth became rector elect, but re- 
signed in the next December, and removed to Brooklyn, N. Y. 
He is now pastor of St. Mark's chapel New York. 

The Rev. Henry M. Sherman became rector of the parish Sep- 
tember ist, 1876, and is laboring with much energy and success in 
all departments of his office. The house of worship has been re- 
modeled to some extent inside, and repaired so as to have quite a new 
and very agreeable appearance. Prophecy does not belong to history 
but it is quite evident that if the present energy and strength of this 
church are continued it will not be long before it will have a new 
house of worship. 

The present strength of the parish, as represented in figures re- 
ported to the diocesan convention of 1876, is one hundred fami- 
lies, one hundred and one communicants, and one hundred and 
fifteen members in the Sunday school. 

The Catholic Church. 

The first Catholic priest who preached in Wolcottville was Father 
James Fitten, a native of Rhode Island, who preached in 1835, in 
the brick building south of the bridge. 

In 1842, the Rev. John Brady, who was then stationed in Hart- 
ford, began to visit the scattered families of the Catholic faith in this 
community, once a year, holding services in Richard Hennessey's 
house on the west hill. At that time there were only five or six 
families, and a few single persons, to whom he ministered. Father 
Brady has long since gone to his reward in a future life, having per- 
formed many missionarv journeys, without the help of rail roads, to 
minister to his scattered parishioners. The Rev. Father Lynch 
stationed at Bridgeport, succeeded Father Brady and visited occa- 



The Churches of Wolcottville. 137 

slonally, this people about one year. He is also gone to hi? heavenly 
home. He died in Bridgeport, respected by members of all Christian 
denominations. During these first years of occasional visits of min- 
isters, parents frequently carried their children to Hartford to receive 
the sacrament of baptism. 

Durino; these periodic visits the priests usually made their home at 
Mr. Hennessey's house. 

When the Catholic population had considerably increased the Rev. 
Father O'Neil of Waterbury was appointed to minister to them, and 
he continued so to do, about five years. When he first came, ar- 
rangements were made, and he thereafter held services in the brick 
Academy building in Wolcottville. This was the third denomination 
that held meetings in that old Union meeting house and graduated 
into commodious churches. Father O'Neil was the first who visited 
regularly, twice a year, the Catholic people of the town. He also is 
gone to his future happy home. The Rev. Father James Lynch of 
Birmingham followed him in the work of the ministry here. The Rev. 
Father Gillie, the first priest stationed at Winsted, ministered to the 
Catholics of Wolcottville, once a month, and held service in Wad- 
ham's hall. When he was removed Rev. Father Quinn took his 
place for a short time. 

Rev. Father Thomas Hendrican, now bishop of Rhode Island, 
was next in charge at Winsted, and he visited Wolcottville as a mis- 
sion nearly four years. To him succeeded in the space of a few 
years, Revs. Richard O'Gorman, Michael Mangin, Daniel Mullen, 
Philip Sheridan, and Father Leo, each doing his work earnestly for 
the improvement of his people. 

In 1 85 1, Fath^ Michael O'Neil purchased the lot opposite the 
Congregational church on Main street, as a site for a church build- 
ing, and although Father Quinn's labors intervened, yet Father James 
Lynch was the first to move in the matter of taking collections for 
the payment of this lot. He collected over four hundred dollars, and 
had the lot deeded to the Bishop O'Riley, as was the custom at the 
time, but that deed with all others in the state has been transferred 
to the incorporated body according to an act, authorizing the organ- 
ization of Roman Catholic churches. 

Rev. Father Mangin commenced building the Church in the autumn 
of 1859, ^'""^ completed it in July i860, and paid all debts against the 
property, amounting to about three thousand dollars. This building 
was considerably enlarged in 1866, by Father Leo, at an expense of 
fifteen hundred dollars or more. 

18 



138 History of Torrington. 

About the time the Church was built there was considerable preju- 
dice manifested toward the Catholics, and against the building of the 
Church, and whether there were threats made or not, the Catholic 
people felt it necessary for a time to station a watchman at the Church 
during the nights, to give the alarm if an attempt should be made to 
burn the building. This was a decided mistake, if any occasion was 
given for such fear, for if religious liberty is good, then it is as good 
for one as another, and it is not good unless it will apply to all the 
heathen even, as well as Christians. The Catholics are a Christian 
people. But all the disposition, if ever there was any, to hinder the 
success of the Catholic church in the town is thoroughly removed, 
all persons knowing that it is far better for them, as well as all other 
people, to go to church, hear the gospel and obey it, than to neglect 
such duty and privilege. It is also true that the Catholic people know 
that there is no occasion for fear, so long as they do as they hereto- 
fore have done, respect the rights of others as well as their own, and 
that they are now held in respect by those who differ widely from 
them, in religious belief. 

Father Leo, O. S. F., attended this mission about thirteen years. 
He built an addition to the Church, and otherwise beautified it inside 
and outside. In 1870, he purchased from the Coe Brass company 
six acres of land, near the Redfield and Rice manufactory, on the 
east side of the east branch of the Naugatuck river, for the purpose 
of a cemetery. This cemetery was consecrated by the Right Rev. 
Bishop McFarland, while Rev. Father Anaclete, O. S. F., was 
pastor of this place, and superior in Winsted. The cemetery is well 
laid out and kept in proper order ; and the monuments of the Migeon, 
and Whealon families are very beautiful, and a noble honor to the 
departed, and ornament to the community. By way of incident it 
may be mentioned that Father Brady of Hartford, the first missionary 
to this place, baptized all the children of Mr. Henry Migeon, and 
that the first child that Bishop Hendrican ever baptized was Maggie 
Farrell, now Mrs. John Heeley of this village. 

The first resident pastor of this church was Rev. Father Isaiah, 
O. S. F., and who still continues in that office. He was appointed 
by Bishop McFarland, and made his residence here in October 1874. 
He purchased the Patterson property on Prospect street, which is 
fitted up in good style and makes a very pleasant pastor's residence. 

The parish now numbers one hundred and twenty families, seven 
hundred parishioners, six hundred communicants, and one hundred 
and fifteen children and youth in the Sunday school. The annual 



The Churches of Wolcottville. 139 

revenue of the church is about fifteen hundred dollars, which is all 
expended at home except five per cent for the bishop's salary. 

The officers of the corporate body are the bishop, the vicar-general, 
the pastor and two trustees, elected annually by the congregation. 
The following laymen have been so elected : Edward Kelly, Andrew 
Harty, Richard Carroll and William Grant. 

The corporate name is, St. Francis of Assisium church, and the 
by-laws, by which it is governed, were established by the vote of the 
trustees in 1866. 

It will be seen by these items that this church has had a steady 
success according to the increase of numbers in the community of 
those who adhere to its faith. In 1842, there were five or six families 
in the town, or about thirty persons, now they number seven hundred ; 
an average increase of twenty per year. The industry and spirit of 
citzenship of this people, in this town, are recognized even by 
strangers. There are no Irish shanties or dirty looking houses in the 
village or town ; all live in good painted houses, with pleasant yards, 
and no stranger could guess, in which part of the village the Catholics 
live any more than which part the Methodists, or Congregationalists, 
or Episcopalians occupy. This is owing in part to the attention 
which the business men of the place give to this matter ; aiding all 
persons to have pleasant homes, and also, to the enterprise of all the 
citizens in securing this end. Hence Wolcottville is a beautiful vil- 
lage, with no dark spots on it, and this beauty is rapidly increasing to 
the great honor of all its citizens. 

Father Isaiah. 

Father Isaiah, the present pastor of this church, was born April 
24, 1842, in the village of Scanno, in the province of Acquila, Italy. 
His early schooling was obtained under the care of the priest of his 
native village. When fourteen years of age he was received upon 
examination in Latin, Italian, and other studies, into the Passionist 
congregation in the city of Acquila, for the purpose of devoting 
himself continuously to religious observances. When fifteen, he 
was received into the first order of St. Francis ; a ministerial order 
acknowledged by the Roman Catholic church. To this course of 
life his father never gave consent, but still did not impose severe 
obstacles. His christian name was Dominic Piscitelle, but on en- 
tering this order it was changed to Brother Isaiah, and the other 
name entirely lost, and he entered upon his novitiate year of study. 



140 History of Torrington. 

The next year he went to St. Angel, near the Adriatic sea, where 
he remained three years and finished his philosophical and classical 
course. He was then removed to the city of Salmona, or the city of 
Ovid, where he commenced his theological studies. After being 
there but a short time, he was drafted for service in the army of 
Italy, and escaped on foot one hundred miles to the city of Rome, 
which city still remained under the political power of the pope. 
Here he finished his theological course, but being under twenty-five 
years of age he was not eligible to the office of the priesthood except 
by special decree of the pope. This was secured by his superiors, 
and he was accordingly ordained. Consequent upon this ordination 
his name was again changed and became Father Isaiah, according to 
the order of the priesthood in that church. Four months after this 
he was sent by his superiors to America, and arrived in New York, 
in September, 1865. He went to Buffalo and entered upon the 
study of the English language preparatory to the exercising of his 
professional orders in this country. After one year he was sent to 
Winsted, Ct., where he remained two years, and thence to St. Bona- 
venture convent in the western part of Pennsylvania as superior for 
one year. After being engaged in that part of the country, in dif- 
ferent parishes, he was sent in October, 1874, to Wolcottville, and 
settled as pastor of this church. He is well accepted by the people 
of his own parish ; is exerting a beneficial and elevatmg influence 
over them, and is truly respected by the entire community. 



CHAPTER XII. 



EDUCATION. 




HE first settlers located in the southwest part of the town, 
and in that part was the first school ; the School house 
standing on the Lyman farm near Mill brook, and near 
the Fort, and was built in or about 1745. The settle- 
ment of that part of the town during ten years from the building of 
this house was quite rapid, so that in 1756, there were two hundred 
and fifty inhabitants in the town, and most of them were in that part 
of the town. Hence that^SdhooLhouse was soon filled with boys a.nd 
girls, whoJiaye^smce perforrned.very important parts in the history of 
the town. Their descendants have since planted their homes in 
almost every part of the United States, and have honored education_^ 
wherever they have dwelt. Two young ladies, descended from this 
district, kept a select school, of extensive reputation, in the city of^ 
Montreal, Canada, quite a number of years. 

There is a School house still within twenty rods of the site of the 
old one, down by the side of the brook, where from twelve to twenty 
children study a far different series of books than were studied one 
hundred and thirty years ago; but the object is the same, fitting for 
life, and immortality. At this house attend the children of one of 
the Whiting families, the only representative of all the families who 
dwelt there in 1745. 

The records of the first society of the town for fifty-five years are 
lost, and as that society had supervision over all schools within its 
bounds, during that time, the account of the efforts made for the 
education of that generation cannot be very complete. 

The second school was, probably, that of the Brandy hill district, 
and the house (if any separate house was erected) stood near Dr. 
Hodges, store or Abel Beach's tavern ; most probably, some little 
distance north of Dr. Hodges. This school was removed to near 
the site of the present school house, a little north of Mr. Gillett's old 
homestead. Aunt Adah Gillett, still living, honored and esteemed by 
all, and in her ninetieth year, and the daughter of Rev. Father Gillett, 
informs that when her father settled there, that school was full of 



142 History of Torrington. 

young people, numbering seventy or eighty scholars, many of them 
grown up young men and women. 

The third school was in the Wilson district, the house standing at 
the forks of the roads near Joseph, and afterwards, Gilbert Allyn's 
homestead. In this house, in 1771, Isaac Bool was the school 
master, according to records in Capt. Amos Wilson's account book ; 
and the records are so made as to indicate that this man's principal 
business was teaching school. Here, too, for many years attended 
a crowd of young men and women, in the winter time, to complete 
their course of education, and here they graduated. It was all that 
they could do in education, and doing it, they did well. From this 
district the people did not scatter so widely and generally as those of 
the Lyman district ; they stayed by the stuff, especially did they (the 
families of the Wilsons and AUyns), stay by mast swamp, where they 
were very efficient in preparing the way for the flourishing village 
that now occupies its once lordly standing. James Wolcott, one of 
the boys of this district, went to Middletown and learned the trade 
of making woolen cloths, then persuaded his uncle Frederick Wol- 
cott, to build the woolen mill ; and this is the secret of how that 
mill came to be built. ^ 

As near as can be ascertained the fourth school district formed was 
in the valley between Brandy hill (from Abner Loomis's north) and 
the old Noppet hill, the School house standing a little way northeast 
of the Hotchkiss saw mill, north of the bridge over the brook. When 
the eastern part of Newfield became more fully settled, about 1790, 
the School house near the old Thrall place was abandoned and the 
new house built at Newfield corners ; or what was then, on the road 
from the Capt. Richard's place to the Fyler neighborhood. 

This Newfield district was for a time the most populous section 
of the town, and was called the third district in 1830. The School 
house was the largest, probably, in the town, having two spacious fire 
places and chimneys. There were two doors, the east one for the 
girls, the west for the boys, and a " walking-stick " stood at each 
door. If a pupil desired to go out during school hours, and the stick 
stood at the door, he said nothing but went out taking the walking- 
stick with him, and until that stick came back, no other scholar on 
that side of the house could go. There was no recess, except at 
noon, for dinner. 



'Authority ? Aunt Adah Gillett. 



Education. 143 

The seats were slabs with sticks for legs ; and some times when 
these seats were not in use in the house the boys and girls made them 
serve the purpose of sleds for riding down hill on the snow crust. 

When school was out at night, the boys were required to bring in 
snow and make a snow bank around each fireplace so that the fire 
should not roll out on the floor and set the house on fire. 

The pupils were not punctual in attendance at nine o'clock or any 
fixed time. As soon as a few had arrived in the morning the teacher 
began the exercise of reading, which was a large part of the school 
exercises, using the Bible jn a large number of cases as the reading 
book. The geography was used also as a reading book. Writing was 
a leading exercise, occupying a large portion of time. When the 
writing commenced, the teacher began the mending of goose quill 
pens, which constituted a large part of his manual labor, until the 
exercise closed, and the pupil who had attained to the high mechanical 
skill of making a pen was a hero, and was allowed special privileges, 
particularly when pens were wanted. Upon a direct look of a young 
lady across the room, he was allowed to go over that way and mend 
the pen and thus aid the teacher, to be sure, who could not mend 
pens as fast as they became poor. 

Geography was studied in this school from 1800, but what was a 
little peculiar was the holding of night-schools, for the study of 
arithmetic. Spelling was an important study; and exercises in 
curious words, and sentences, were frequent as a kind of elocutionary 
training of which the following is a specimen : " Say, hu-der, hen- 
pen, say, hu-der, brass-clip-per, nip-per, at-las, pe-lia, Williams, en- 
der, ven-der, o-ver, cu-ler, de-lom-i-lom-i-ter." 

Another exercise is also given as taxing the memory as well as the 
ability to spell and pronounce ; a portion of which seems to have 
gone to Winchester, and fell into the hands of that master of stories, 
Mr. John Boyd.' 

A — there's your A. 

BO — there's your Bo, and your Abo. 

MI — there's your Mi, and your Bo-mi, and your A-bo-mi. 

N A — there's your Na, and your Mi-na, and your Bo-mi-na, and your A-bo-mi-na. 

B L E — there's your Ble, and your Na-ble, and your Mi-na-ble, and your Bo-mi-na-ble, 

and your A-bo-mi-na-ble. 
B U M — there's your Bum, and your Ble-bum, and your Na-blebum, and your Mi-na- 

ble-bum, and your Bo-mi-na-ble-bum, and your A-bo-mi-na-ble-bum. 



' Annali of fVinchester, 220. 



144 History of Torrington. 

B L E — there's your Ble, and your Bum-ble, and your Ble-bum-ble, and your Na-ble-bum- 

ble, and your Mi-na-ble-bum-ble, and your Bo-mi-na-ble-bum-ble, and your A-bo- 

mi-na-ble-bum-ble. 
B E E- — there's your Bee, and your Ble-bee, and your Bum-ble-bee, and your Ble-bum- 

ble-bee, and your Na-ble-bum-ble-bee, and your Mi-na-ble-bum-ble-bee, and your Bo- 

mi-na-ble-bum-ble-bee, and your A-bo-mi-na-ble-bum-ble-bee. 

The catches in the repetition of these syllables, was the item of 
attraction, in addition to the puzzle of remembering and speaking the 
words without mistake, or a slip of the tongue. 

Miss Eunice Coe is said to have been the first teacher in this 
School house, she being then about twenty years of age. She was 
the daughter of Jonathan Coe, Jr., and was born in Torrington, but 
lived over the Winchester line with her father at the time of her 
teaching. She married in 1793, Abiel Loomis, and lived and died 
in Winchester. 

In 1799, Harlow Fyler, then but four years of age, was sent to 
this house to school, one day, to make the number of scholars one 
hundred, the highest number ever attained. 

The Middle district was in existence as early as 1784, when 
Amos Wilson delivered several hundred feet of boards at the School 
house and charged them accordingly. That house stood as near 
as can be ascertained at the corner near Mr. Willard Birge's 
dwelling, but some years after stood at Torrington hollow east side 
of the river, and was the building now falling to the gronnd, standing 
on the south side of the old foundery building, at that place. 

A Sixth district was organized before 1795, and included the 
southwest corner of the town, and had also a large school. 

In 1796, these districts were newly arranged and numbered as 
follows : 

First. Lyman District, the northeast corner at Levi Thrall's, now 
Willard Birge's. 

Second. Brandy Hill, house near Mr. Gillett's. 

Third. Newfield, extending east to Still river nearly, and south 
to Caleb Leach's, and within half a mile of Daytonville. 

Fourth. Wilson's. 

Fifth. Southwest. 

Sixth. The Center, or Middle. 

A school house was afterwards built for the Center district at Levi 
Thrall's, at the corner of the roads. 

Four districts now compass nearly all that the six did in 1800, 



Education. 145 

there being in them about ninety scholars instead of five hundred and 
more then, including summer and winter ; for when the schools were 
so full in the winter, the smaller children were not allowed to go. 



TORRINGFORD SiDE OF THE ToWN 

In December 1761, the inhabitants in society meeting voted to 
raise one penny and a half on the list to hire schooling, and ap- 
pointed Lieut. Benjamin Bissell, Ebenezer Winchell and Nehemiah 
Gaylord, school committee.^ The next December, they voted to 
raise the same amount, " a penny half penny on the pound, to hire 
schooling," and in 1763, the same. The next year they voted to 
have '^ two months' schooling the winter ensuing." 

In 1 771, after they had built a Church, though it was not com- 
pleted, and had settled a minister, they gave a little more attention to.>^ 
education, and VoteU that the " north end, above the long causeway, be 
one district for schooling, the ensuing year, and to improve their own 
money," and that " all below the long crossway, be one district." 
They laid a tax as usual, the one-half to be used for winter school 
the other half for summer school. " Voted that Mr. Daniel Hudson 
be school committee and collector for the north district, and that 
Sergt. Ebenezer Winchell, Lt. John Strong and Mr. Josiah Moore 
be a committee for the south district." 

In October 1772, they made three districts. Besides the north 
and south, as the year previous, they voted that " Great hollow and 
East street as far north as Amos Miller's be one district," " Voted 
that the middle district lay out two-thirds of their money in a man's 
school, and that the children who go to a man's school shall not go 
to the woman's school." In the autumn of 1774, four districts were / 
made, and in December they voted, " that there be a school house / 
built in the middle district, near Capt Bissell's house or horse-house ; 
and that Capt. Strong, Capt. Bissel!, Lt. Griswold and Sergt. Ebe- 
nezer Winchell be a committee to build said house." 

In 1770, they voted a tax of four shillings on the pound, for school- 
ing, which large sum was probably owing to the depreciated currency 
with which the tax was to be paid, but even then it is difficult to un- 
derstand the change to such an extreme, and especially when in 1781, 
it was only one and a half penny on the pound. In 1 782, the society 
was divided into four districts, by a " parallel line to the town, across 



' Old Society records. 

19 



146 History of Torrington. 

the society," the tax one penny and a half. It was frequently voted 
in the meetings for society business, that the children who went in 
the winter " should not go in the summer," and this was the practice 
on the west side, although there are no accounts of such votes. The 
changing of the districts continued every few years on the east side 
as on the west. There seems to have been no way to shorten dis- 
tances nor to enlarge the houses, nor equalize the money, nor to ar- 
range other items, so as to meet the wants of all. In 1786, a vote 
was passed that the school money should be divided to the districts 
equally according to the number of scholars in each district between 
four and sixteen years of age. 

The law concerning the business transactions in behalf of schools 
having been changed, the parish met in 1795, and thereafter, as a 
school society, and voted the usual tax, some years from six to eight 
mills and some times one cent on a dollar, it being more frequently 
seven and eight mills. Such amounts of tax, alone for schooling, at the 
present day would make wild confusion in the town. The present 
tax for schooling purposes, is about four and a half mills on the dollar, 
but the state appropriation and other funds returns a part of this sum 
to the town treasury. 

There are now three districts in Torringford ; the south, center 
and north districts. 

Academies. 

There have been four academies in the town. Soon after Rev. 
Epaphras Goodman was settled in Torringford, he leased a large room, 
which had been used for other purposes, fitted it, and opened a select 
school, for advanced pupils, both boys and girls. Such was the en- 
thusiasm with which the people entered into this enterprise that Mr. 
Goodman was compelled to employ an assistant, Mrs. Faxon, which 
gave still greater ambition to the enterprise. The whole society was 
awakened to the effort, and erected a brick building, long known as 
the Torringford academy, and in this building Mr. Goodman con- 
tinued the school while he remained at this place. He employed 
students and graduates from Yale and other colleges, and inspired the 
whole enterprise with his indefatigable devotion to the advantages of 
education. 

When Dr. E. D. Hudson settled in Torringford he cheerefully 
added his influence and energy to the institution and it became a 
boarding school as well as an academy for the community. There 
have been as high as twenty students at a time, from the cities and 



Education. 147 

other states, in attendance on this school. The influence of this 
school was not only felt on the whole community but gave so much 
of a spirit of love of literature and learning as has not yet disappeared 
from the place. 

In regard to this subject and Mr. Goodman's part in it the Tor- 
ringford Centennial thus speaks. 

" The Academy in which he taught was erected in 1823, and stood \ 
a few rods north of the Old church on the opposite side of the street. . 
After being unoccupied several years, it was removed in 1849, ^^^ 
rebuilt as an academy and conference house, and stands opposite the 
Church. The intelligence of the people, and their appreciation of 
education may be shown not only by the fact that they have furnished 
a large number of competent teachers,' men and women, of public 
and private schools, but also by the number of those who have 
obtained a liberal education, or engaged in professional pursuits. 
Torringford has raised, in addition to several successful business 
men, twelve college graduates, five lawyers, ten ministers, eight 
minister's wives, two editors, and twenty-five physicians ; and some of 
these educated men have not only been eminent in their profession, 
but have filled prominent civil, political, and judicial stations." 

Torringford, in connection with the whole county of Litchfield, 
had a large number of men and women of native talent, and whether 
they were in professional life or engaged in the more common pur- 
suits of industry, they have promoted, and developed this spirit of 
education in establishing institutions of learning in different parts of 
the nation, and encouraging general intelligence. 

The part which this society had in rearing and sustaining the 
mission school was such as, of which any community, of the time, 
might well boast. 

The Torrington Academy. 

This institution was erected by the joint efi^ort of several men, 
interested in the higher advantages of education, in about eighteen 
hundred and eighteen or nineteen, and was located at the green, near 
Erastus Hodges, or a little south of the Second Meetinghouse. The 



' Nathaniel Gaylord kept what was termed a grammar school, for a number of successive 
winters, about 1806, and school keeping became a passion, and often over twenty went out 
to teach in the same season ; and Torringford school teachers enjoyed a high reputation in 
the adjoining towns as well as at home. 



148 History of Torrington. ! 

Rev. Herman L. Vaill, while studying theology at Goshen, in 1821, j 

I 

was one of the earliest teachers in this house. The school was con- ! 
tinued with some intervals some twenty-five or thirty years, after 1 
which the building was purchased by the late Sheldon Barber and 
placed at the corner of the roads near his house and used for a work i 
shop. ; 

The Brick Academy, a three story building in Wolcottville south ' 
of the bridge on Main street, was built as a Union meeting house and j 
academy, and was used for both purposes quite a number of years. 
It has been occupied as a manufactory, a store, and a Masonic Hall. 

The Academy on Church street, built about 1859, ^^^ been merged 
into the Union Graded school of the village. 

Wolcottville Public Schools. 

In 1798, the Torringford school society voted that John Brooker 
and Isaac Edgarton might have the use of their own money for school- 
ing ; i. <'., they were at an inconvenient distance from the school 
houses, and therefore might employ a teacher in their own neighbor- 
hood. John Brooker then lived in the house, still standing a little 
east of the papier machie shop, and Isaac Edgarton in the same 
neighborhood, or perhaps further south. The society was very careful 
that this money should be used as designed, for the year previous 
they voted that John Brooker, Isaac Edgarton and Zebulon Curtiss 
might have the use of their own money, if they lay it out in schooling 
their children in other schools and bring a certificate to that eff^ect, 
and the same requisition was made each year. The nearest schools 
were the west district of Torringford and the school in Litchfield, half 
or three-fourths of a mile south of the present village of Wolcottville. 

In 1808, the school society voted that Mrs. Sally Sanford and 
Porter Bissell be annexed to the district in Litchfield. Mrs. Sanford 
then lived near the Coe Furniture store on Litchfield street. 

In 1 8 10, the society voted that " all living west of Eliphalet Eno's 
and belonging to the west district have the use of their own money," 
showing that no district had yet been formed in what is now the 
village. 

In 1812, they stated that the "families of Eliphalet Eno, Heze- 
kiah Eno, Jonathan Ives, Widow Ives, Shelburn Ives, Trumbull 
Ives, and John Cook and sons, are to be annexed to the village dis- 
trict," but the district was not formed until the next year, when 



Education. 149 

they voted the village to be a district, and Uri Taylor was ap- 
pointed the committee and collector, and this was probably the first 
officer of any kind Wolcottville ever had. 

There are no votes for taxes in the village district, which look like 
paying for a school house, and the house having been built in 181 4. 
or 1815, it is quite probable that it was built by volunteer subscrip- 
tions and work, and that Uri Taylor took a large part of this stock, 
as he did in the First Meeting house and parsonage. This house 
stood on the site of the present Register office on Main street. Miss 
Fannie C. Austin, now Mrs. Laurin Wetmore, taught school in 
this house, in 1817 or 18, it being before it was enlarged. As the 
village increased and more room was needed, this house was length- 
ened, to nearly double its original size. Some time after, a brick 
School house was built on Litchfield street, which is still standing a 
little above the railroad, and is used as a dwelling; another was built 
on what is now George street, which is also used now as a dwelling ; 
and another was built on Church street, west side of the rail road. 
The one on George street was two stories and the second story 
was occupied some time as a higher department, or grammar school. 

In 1859, Dea. L. Wetmore gave a valuable and appropriate lot 
on Church street opposite his own residence, as a site for a school 
building, and on this a two story house was erected soon after, and 
was called the Academy, but was used as the higher department of 
the several schools of the village, Lucius Clark was principal of the 
school on George street when the new building was erected. He 
removed his department into the new building and taught there a 
term or two. The following persons succeeded him as principal of 
the academy and having the oversight of the other schools in the 
village : A. E. Barlow, A. B., now, and for many years past, professor 
in Amherst college ; C. B. McClenn, E. A. Paddock, MissHotch- 
kiss, H. M. Morrill A.B., D. M. Means, A.B., and Charles L. 
Fellows. About 1863 and 4, there was a strong desire in the com- 
munity to consolidate the schools, but certain parties who seemed 
opposed to all real improvements, opposed the plan with great 
energy. The contest went on for several years, those persons hav- 
ing large money interests in the manufacturies were most of them in 
favor of the Union graded school. At the time and soon after the 
revival of enterprise in the brass mill in 1863, a number of families 
came in from Waterbury where they already had a free, graded 
school, and their efforts, with those who favored the'plan in Wolcott- 



150 History of Torrington. 

ville, were successful and the consolidation was effected. Then the 
academy building was rearranged and large additions to it built and 
the present commodious edifice secured. The enterprise of public 
school education in this village, has had but faint support as a whole, 
until very recently, and now the most that has been attained is a 
building, partially fitted, but sparingly furnished with apparatus for the 
work of common school education. 

It might be a question worthy of entertainment whether a school 
of such efficiency and grade of studies as would retain in it, boys and 
girls from twelve to sixteen years of age, instead of their being sent 
abroad to obtain a knowledge of those branches, almost universally 
believed to belong to proper common school education should be 
maintained here. It was a great work to reorganize and enter upon 
a graded system of teaching as was done under the supervision of 
Henry M. Morrill, late judge of the court of the city of Waterbury. 
He taught four years, studying law with Esq. H. S. Barbour, and 
secured much efficiency in the schools, but the work was only com- 
menced. Some considerable advancement has been made since the 
beginning, but the spirit that opposed the building of the house, has 
opposed for years, the paying for it until very recently a tax was laid 
to meet the demands, and that same spirit will oppose the furnishing 
of books and apparatus for the school, as is the ordinary method of 
such schools, and that same spirit does send small children by the 
dozen to sit in their seats the whole day without a book or slate or 
scrap of paper with which to work, unless private benevolence fur- 
nishes them. 

The following persons have been teachers in this school during the 
school year ending July i, 1877 : 

Mr. Charles L. Fellows, principal, of Wol- Miss Mary Miller, of Winsted. 

cottville. Mrs. Sarah Coe Fellows, of Wolcottville. 

Miss Gertrude Fenn, of Terryville. Miss Bell A. Waterman, of Torringford. 

Miss Sarah B. Norton, of Goshen. Miss Sarah C. Calhoun, of Wolcottville. 

Miss Linda Woodford, of Avon. Miss Hattie Griswold, of Auburn, Indiana. 

School Funds. 

Besides the usual state funds, common with other towns, Torring- 
ton has had a small local fund amounting to several hundred dollars. 

The school plot, appropriated in 1752, by the proprietors, in the 
third division containing two hundred and twenty acres, was sold, or 
leased for nine hundred and ninety-nine years, in 1772, to Matthew 
Grant, for ^^93, 14^. This money, as near as can be ascertained, was 



Education. 



151 



merged into the bequest of Daniel Grant under the one name of that 
fund. 

The Daniel Grant Fund. 

This was a bequest by Daniel Grant of Torrington in his last 
will, of certain lands, to be sold, or devoted to the support of schools 
in the town. These lands were in the town of New Hartford and 
were supposed at the time to be worth one thousand dollars, but the 
precise amount realized has not been ascertained. 



College Graduates. 



Jonathan Miller, 


of Torringford, 


Yale, 


Stanley Griswold, 


<( 


Yale, 


Joseph Miller, 


« 


Williams, 


Charles I. Battell, 


« 


Yale, 


Harvey Loomis, 


Ct 


Williams, 


Orange Lyman, 


(C 


Williams, 


Samuel J. Mills Jr., 


« 


Williams, 


Rufus Woodward, 


« 


Yale, 


John B. Lyman, 


(( 


Williams, 


Lucius Curtiss, 


« 


Williams, 


Hudson Burr, 


(( 


Yale, 


John T. Miller, 


« 


Yale, 


Warren H. Roberts, 


« 


Kenyon, O., 


Timothy P. Gillett, 


of Torrington, 


Williams, 


James Beach, 


« 


Williams, about 


William F. Hodges, 


« 


Yale, 


Abel Knapp Hinsdale, 


« 


Yale, 


Willard Hodges, 


« 


Yale, 


Alfred North, 


a 


Brown University, 


Elisha Smith Abernethy, 


a 


Yale, 


Rev. Edward Hungerford, 


Wolcottville, 


Yale, 


Rev. John H. Barbour, 


(( 


Trinity, 


Wm. Stone Hubbell, 


(i 


Yale, 



I78I. 

1786. 

1799. 

1808. 

1809. 

1809. 

1809. 

i8i6. 

1825. 

1835- 
1853. 

1854. 
1856. 
1804. 
1804. 
1811. 

1833- 

1845- 
1857 

1825. 

1851. 

1873- 
1858. 




CHAPTER XIII. 

PROFESSIONS AND SOCIETIES. 

Physicians in Torrington. 

R. Thaddeus Austin, son of Andrew Austin of Tor- 
ringford, was born in 1783; studied medicine under 
[aI Dr. Samuel Woodward; practiced in Fayetteville, N. 
^ C, and died Sept. 12th, 181 2, aged 29 years. He was 
much respected by the profession. 

Dr. Erastus Bancroft. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Oliver Bancroft, son of Lt. Ephraim and Esther (Glea- 
son) Bancroft, was born July 22, 1757, in Windsor, and removed 
with his parents to Torrington, when two or three years of age. He 
became a physician and settled in Newtown, Ct., where he continued 
to practice in his profession until advanced in years. He was less 
than medium height, energetic and quick of action ; and is said to 
have been much respected and loved as a physician and a citizen. 
He died at Newtown. 

Dr. Reuben Bancroft, son of Ephraim and Jemima (Loomis) 
Bancroft of Torringford, w^s born Aug. 3, 1794; studied medicine 
under Dr. Elijah Lyman, and settled in Oxford, Chenango co., 
N. Y. 

Dr. Charles R. Bissell, son of Roderick and Fanny (Gaylord), 
Bissell of Torrington was born May 18, 1831 ; studied with his 
brother at Bethlehem and began practice in Berkshire county, Mass. 
He removed to Colorado, Rocky mountains, where he was judge of 
the court some years ; was one year auditor of the state; removed 
to Central City, Colorado. 

Dr. Eliphaz Bissell, son of Eliphaz and Elizabeth (Birge), 
Bissell of Torringford, was born in 1779 ; studied medicine under 
Dr. Samuel Woodward ; settled and practiced as a physician in Ver- 
non, Oneida co., N. Y. ; died by drowning in 1829, aged fifty 
years. He had the reputation of being a talented man. 

Dr. Gaylord G. Bissell, son of Roderick and Fanny (Gaylord) 
Bissell of Torringford, was born Feb. 13, 1824 ; studied medicine 



Professions and Societies. 153 

under Dr. Beckwith of Litchfield ; practiced at Bethlehem, and 
afterwards spent seven years in the Rocky mountains ; was judge of 
a high court in Montana, and for a considerable time was mayor of 
Virginia city, Montana ; and removed to practice medicine at 
Lovillia, Iowa. 

Dr. Hezekiah Bissell, son of Eliphaz, brother of Dr. Eliphaz, 
of Torringford, was born in 1792 ; studied medicine under Dr. Sam- 
uel Woodward ; practiced in Wooster, Ohio, and was for some time 
judge of a high court in that state. 

Dr. John Bissell, son of Ebenezer, was born in Torringford 
about 1770, became a physician and settled in Onondaga co., N. Y., 
and in old age removed to Chicago, 111., where he died in Sept. 1856. 

Dr. William Bostwick, came from Farmington into this town 
as early as 1798, and took the place of Dr. Hodges on the west side 
of the town. In June 1799, he purchased one acre of land across 
the road west of Levi Thrall's, on which he built the house, which 
is the old red house still standing. This property he sold in 1807, to 
Dr. Elijah Lyman, and removed to Vermont, and some time after, 
in attempting to cross Lake Champlain with a sleigh on the ice, was 
drowned. 

The births of three of Dr. Bostwick's children are recorded on the 
town records. 

Dr. Albert M. Calkins, a practicing physician in Wolcottville. 
(See Biography.) 

Dr. Jairus Case, a native of Simsbury, settled in Torringford, 
after Dr. E. D. Hudson left, but soon after removed to Winsted 
and engaged in other pursuits for a time, then removed to Granby. 

Dr. Samuel Childs, son of Timothy Childs, was born in the 
southwest corner of the town, became a physician and practiced some 
few years in Litchfield, then removed to New York city, where he 
resides in wealth and retired life. Mr. Israel Coe met Dr. Childs 
in Europe in 1842, and traveled with him several days. The doctor 
was a man of intelligence and cultivation and of considerable standing 
in New York. 

Dr. Sherman W. Chipman, D.D.S., born in Waterbury ; studied 
with Austin B. Fuller, New Haven ; graduated at the Pennsylvania 
Dental college, February 28, 1874 ; came to Wolcottville, Decem- 
ber 1875, and is a practicing dentist. 

Dr. Elisha Clark, son of Abel Clark of Torringford, studied 

medicine under Dr. Samuel Woodward, and had nearly completed 

his course when he was taken away by disease of the lungs in 18 10. 

20 



1^4 History of Torrington. 

Dr. Erskine Curtiss, son of Truman and Wealthy (Parsons) 
Curtissof Torringford, studied medicine under Dr. Harvey B. Steele 
of W insted, and engaged in the practice of medicine in New Hartford, 

Dr. Isaac Day, a native of Colchester, was a practicing physi- 
cian in Torringford, and in July 1777, was appointed surgeon's 
mate in Col. Samuel Webb's regiment in the Revolution. He 
died in Torringford Sept. 16, 1779, aged 29 years. 

Dr. Parleman Bradley Fowler, a practicing physician in 
Bethlehem, Ct. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Remus Marcus Fowler, a practicing physician of Wash- 
ington, Conn. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Warren R. Fowler, a practicing physician of Washington, 
Conn. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Samuel Fyler, son of Ulysses Fyler of Torringford, was 
born Feb. 11, 1782 ; studied under Dr. Samuel Woodward, com- 
menced practice at Hilton Head, S. C, and died there, age^39 
years. 

Dr. Horace C. Gillett, son of Horace and Rachael (Austin) 
Gillett, was born in 1806 ; studied medicine under Dr. Charles 
Woodward, received the degree of M.D. from Yale college, be- 
gan practice in South Windsor about 1828, and subsequently re- 
moved to Chicago. His name appears in the Roll of Honor ot 
surgeons in the late war, in Yale Catalogue for 1866. 

Dr. Penfield Goodsell, boarded a time with Capt. Amos Wil- 
son, and on October 26, 1791, married Nancy Beach; was, ap- 
parently, a practicing physician a short time in Torrington. 

Dr. Edward W. Hatch was born in Blandford, Hampden Co., 
Mass., Aug. 31, 1818. His parents were Timothy Linus and Sarah 
Walker (Shepard) Hatch. He was graduated at the Berkshire Medi- 
cal college, Pittsfield, Mass., in the class of 1842. He came to 
Torringford in 1843, ^"^ practiced here as a physician about two 
years, the last settled physician in that part of the town. Dr. Hatch 
removed to New Jersey, and married Miss Nancy C. Boies, daughter 
of David Boies, Esq., of Blandford. He practiced as a physician in 
New Jersey until December, 1849, when he removed to Meriden, 
Ct. He was appointed trustee of the State Reform school by the 
legislature of 1858, and in July, 1859 ^as appointed by the trustees 
superintendent of that institution, in which office he became very 
celebrated as one of the very best managers of such institutions in a 
Christian and enlightened sense. 



Professions and Societies. 155 

In 1853, ^^ united with the First Congregational church in Meri- 
den and was an earnest interested Sabbath school man to the close 
of his life. He was well known as an earnest advocate of total ab- 
stinence ; was one of the executive committee of the Connecticut 
Temperance Union, and one of the Board of Directors of the Con- 
necticut Industrial school for girls, established at Middletown. Dr. 
Hatch was a warm and earnest advocate of the Union all through the 
late rebellion. He died suddenly at his home in Meriden. 

Dr. Augustine Hayden, son of Capt. Augustine and Cynthia 
(Fyler) Hayden, was born Sept. 28, 1770 ; studied under Dr. Wm. 
Abernethy, of Harwinton ; practiced medicine in Chatham, N. Y. ; 
died at the residence of his son in Franklinville, N. Y., March 28, 
1838, aged 68 years. He continued in practice until his constitution 
failed, and after that was often called to consult with other physicians 
as to difficult cases. 

Dr. Samuel Hayden, brother of Dr. Augustine, was born in 
1772; studied in Yale college but was not graduated. It is thought 
he studied medicine with Dr. Moses Hayden of Conway, Mass. He 
commenced practice in Windham, Pa., became eminent, was much 
sought in counsel, and followed the profession until disabled by the 
infirmities of age. 

Dr. Thatcher S. Hanchett, physician in Wolcottville. (See 
Biography.) 

Dr. Elkanah Hodges, a practicing physician and merchant in 
Torrington, (See Biography.) 

Dr. Erasmus D. Hudson, a practicing physician in Torringford 
and of New York city. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Philander P. Humphrey, son of Daniel G. and Eliza 
(Burr) Humphrey of Torringford, was born about 1822; studied 
with Dr. Hubbard of New Hartford, and after some practice in New 
England, removed to St. Paul's, Minnesota, near which place he and 
all his family, except one son, were murdered by the Indians in the 
massacre of 1862. 

Dr. George O. Jarvis, practiced medicine and married here ; re- 
moved to Colebrook, and thence to Portland, Ct. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Elijah Lyman, a practicing physician in Torrington and 
Warren. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Norman Lyman, a practicing physician in Glastonbury and 
Warren. (See Biography.) 

Dr. William Marsh was raised in Torrington, west side ; 



156 History of Torrington. 

studied medicine with Dr. Elijah Lyman ; practiced medicine a time in 
Goshen ; was a man of considerable ability, but said to be somewhat 
peculiar ; died young. 

Dr. Allen G. Miller, brother of Willard, studied with Dr. 
Samuel Woodward, and Dr. William Abernethy of Harwinton ; 
settled in Mansfield, O., and died July 30, 1849, ^g^^ 55 y^^rs. 

Dr. Gaylord B. Miller, was born May i, 1797 ; studied with 
his brother Dr. Allen G. Miller, and practiced with him at Mans- 
field, O., and died July 18, 1828, aged 31 years. 

Dr. Gaylord B. Miller, son of Deacon Thomas A, and Mary 
C. (Hudson) Miller, was born July 4, 1831 ; studied with Dr. 
James Welch of Winsted, and attended lectures at Woodstock, 
Vt., Ann Arbor, Mich., and Pittsfield, Mass., commenced practice 
in Harwinton in January, 1852, and removed to Grand Rapids, 
Mich., in January, 1864. 

Dr. Willard Miller, son of Dea. Ebenezer and Thankfull 
(Allen) Miller of Torringford, was born Jan. i, 1788 ; studied with 
Dr. Samuel Woodward ; settled at Vernon, N. Y., and died of 
fever, at Johnstown, N. Y., May 11, 1825, aged 25 years. He 
was on a visit to see a lady to whom he expected to be married. 

Dr. Alfred North, raised in Torrington ; a practicing physi- 
cian in Waterbury, Conn. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Jeremiah W. Phelps, some years a practicing physician in 
Wolcottville. (See Biography.) 

Dr. James O. Pond, a physician in Hartford county and in New 
York city. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Bela St. John, a practicing physician in Wolcottville. 
(See Biography.) 

Dr. Joel Soper, a native of Windsor, was a practicing physician 
in Torringford a few years. 

Dr. Hiram Watson, son of Thomas and Melicent (Wetmore) 
Watson was born Jan. 21, 1802 ; attended lectures at Harvard 
university in 1825; studied with Dr. Charles Woodward ; practiced 
in East Windsor, until June 1854, when he removed to New York 
city, where he resided two years, and then removed to Detroit, 
Mich., where he engaged in manufacturing, and in dealing in west- 
ern lands.' 

Dr. Erastus Darwin Whiting, son of Selah and Sabra Aber- 



' Wation Genealogy , p. 29. 



Professions and Societies. 157 

1 

nethy Whiting, was born in Vernon, N. Y., Dec. 19, 1811, and came 
to Torrington, with his father's family the spring he was three years 
old. He attended the Harwinton academy two years, after which 
attended Rev. Mr. Cooly's private school in Granville, and then spent 
a year in the academy at Westfield, Mass. He commenced his 
studies in medicine with Dr. Andrew Abernethy, his uncle, attended 
his first course of medical lectures at P'airfield, New York, where he 
became acquainted with Emily Bradley, whom he married Nov. 2, 
1837. He was graduated in medicine at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1834 ; 
practiced medicine in Wayne, Ashtabula co., O., two years, where 
he was urged by the citizens to remain, but he removed to Atlas, 
Pike CO., III., in the spring of 1837. He remained in the practice of 
medicine in Pike county twenty-three years, and then removed to 
Taylor's Falls, Min., where he engaged in the lumber bnsiness, which 
he continued fifteen years. He has been a representative in the state 
legislature three times ; traveled one season in Europe, going over 
most ot it ; and returned, and for several years has lived a retired 
life, having a competency of this world's goods. 

Dr. Samuel Woodward, a physician in Torringford. (See Bio- 
graphy.) 

Dr. Samuel B. Woodward, a practicing physician of Wethers- 
field, Conn., and physician in chief of the Mass. Lunatic Asylum. 
(See Biography.) 

Dr. Elijah Woodward, son of Dr. Samuel. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Henry Woodward, a practicing physician in Middletown, 
Conn. (See Biography.) 

Dr. Charles Woodward, a practicing physician in Windsor and 
Middletown, Conn. (See Biography.) 

Women as Physicians. 

There were of such women, two in the town, who became very 
celebrated, and who did a most noble and honorable work, both for 
the comfort and honor of women. 

Mrs. Jacob Johnson, wife of an early settler in the southwestern 
part of the town, married in 1773, was celebrated as a midwife or 
accoucheure, and for remarkable success as such, never having lost 
a patient, in some hundreds of cases. She rode on horseback, keep- 
ing ahorse for the special purpose, and traveling night or day, far and 
near, until Granny Johnson became as thoroughly known and trusted 



158 History of Torrington. 

in her profession, as any physician that was ever in the town. She 
kept an account of the number of cases she had, and the success of 
the patient, and the new comers, and of these last there is at least 
one still living in the town. 

In the midst of her usefulness, and of life, she was taken away by 
death, and then it became a great inquiry, who " will take the place 
of Granny Johnson ? " and in the time of need one was at hand. 

Mrs. HuLDAH Beach, wife of Dea. Wait Beach ; she that was 
Huldah Loomis, daughter of Aaron Loomis, Jr., was the successor 
of iVlrs. Johnson. Her mother was Hannah Hills, daughter of 
Benoni Hills of Massachusetts and Torrington. Mrs. Beach 
became as successful and celebrated as Granny Johnson ; perhaps 
more so as she continued in life to advanced age, and was employed 
in her profession, as long as she could ride, and attend to the 
invitations given her. She was a remarkable woman, having 
a fine personal appearance, of decided dignity, yet marked kindliness. 
Her intellectual strength and ability was perceptible to every one, 
and hence she commanded great respect in all classes of society, 
and won the confidence of the people, so that but few calls were 
made on any other physician, in her profession, on the western side 
of the town. She also rode far and near ; having calls in Win- 
chester, Goshen and Litchfield. 

It has been imagined that since, within the last twenty-five years, 
women have been educated as physicians, that a new era had arrived ; 
but in this there is only the restoration of one of the lost arts, and a 
very decent and proper one it is ; but where is the womanly courage, 
and the noble devotion, in women themselves to occupy such 
positions, to the ennoblement of women in this age ? 

Lawyers in Torrington. 

Joseph Miller, son of Dea. Ebenezer and Thankful (Allen) 
Miller, was born in Torringford Oct. 29, 1779; was graduated at 
Williams college in 1799 ; studied law at Litchfield, and began prac- 
tice in Fairfield ; removed to Winsted about 1806, where he prac- 
ticed until 1834; was a member of the constitutional convention 
in 1818, and represented Wincester in the legislature two or three 
times about 1830 ; removed to Richland, Michigan, in 1834, and de- 
voted himself to agriculture. He was a member of the legislature 
of that state in 1840 and 1841, and died June 29, 1864, aged 85. 



Professions and Societies. 159 

He delivered an oration in Torringford Feb. 22, 1800, commemora- 
tive of Washington. 

Charles T. Battell, son of William and Sarah (Buckingham) 
Battell, was born in Torringford, July 25, 1789 ; was graduated at 
Yale college in 1808 ; studied law at Catskill, N. Y., and spent the 
earlier years of his professional life in the western part of that state. 
He removed to Indiana in 18 19, and lived first at Springfield, and 
was a member of the legislature in 1821, and 1822; resided at 
Evansville, Ind., from 1823 to 1866, and while there he filled with 
honor important public positions, and among them judge of the 
state circuit court. He spent the last two years of his life at 
Cleveland, O., where he died April 12, 1868, aged 78. 

Thomas Grant, son of Matthew and Rosanna (Lee) Grant, 
was born in Torrington in 1806 ; became a lawyer, and commenced 
practice in Oneida county, N. Y., and afterwards went to California 
where he died. 

Hudson Burr, son of Rufus and Ann S. (Hudson) Burr, was 
born in Torringford, Jan. 23, 1830. He was graduated at Yale 
college in 1853 ' ^^^ teacher of languages in Maryland Military 
academy, from September 1853, *-'"^ y^^^i ^"^ then removed to 
Bloomfield, III., December 1854. He was assistant circuit clerk 
for McLean county four years and commenced the practice of law 
in July 1859. ^^ enlisted in the ninety-fourth regiment, Illinois 
volunteers, in August, 1862, and was commissioned adjutant of the 
regiment, in May, 1863, was commissioned captain and assistant 
adjutant general in May, 1 863, and was in the army of the frontier and 
the army of Tennessee. After the war he engaged in the practice 
of the law in the city of Bloomington, in the firm of Williams and 
Burr, and in 1866 and 7, was city attorney in that city. 

John T, Miller, son of Dea. Thomas A. and Mary C. (Hud- 
son) Miller, was born Feb. 28, 1832, in Torringford, was graduated 
at Yale college in 1854. He studied law in Grand Rapids, Mich., 
and in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and began to practice law at Grand 
Rapids, Mich., in March, 1859. 

Henry S. Barbour was born in Canton Conn., August 2d, 
1822. His father was Henry, the son of Jonathan a revolu- 
tionary soldier. His mother was the daughter of Solomon Humph- 
rey, also a revolutionary soldier. She was sister to the Rev. Herman 
Humphrey D.D., president of Amherst college about twenty years. 
Her mother was first cousin to Capt. John Brown, the martyr of 
Harper's Ferry fame. 



i6o History of Torrington. 

He attended some years the academies of Amherst and East 
Hampton, Mass., and studied law with Roger H. Mills, Esq., of 
New Hartford, and in the Yale law school. 

In 1849, he came to Wolcoltville and commenced the practice of 
an attorney at law, and was successful in business and highly esteemed 
in the community. He was elected to various offices in the town ; 
judge of probate, town clerk and treasurer nineteen years, and other 
offices, and was sent to the legislature two terms and was senator 
from the fifteenth district in 1870. He was also elected deacon of 
the Congregational church ; and was a diligent laborer in the Sun- 
day school. He is remembered with much pleasure and cordial 
good feeling by the people of the town. 

In 1870, he removed to Hartford, and entered into the practice of 
law with his brother Herman N. Barbour, since deceased. He was 
largely influenced to this removal for the purpose of the better edu- 
cation of his children. 

Florimond D. Fyler, son of Harlow and Sibyl R. (Tolls) 
Fyler, was born in Newfield in this town Dec. 11, 1834. He at- 
tended school at the Wesleyan academy in Wilbraham, Mass., two 
years. He then accepted the offer to accompany the Illinois state 
scientific survey, under Prof. C D. Wilber, in 1859, ^"^ having 
completed the work returned to Torrington. His health being quite 
poor at this time he was compelled to abandon the purpose of a 
higher course of education ; and he commenced the study of law in 
the office of Judge Gideon Hall at Winsted, where he continued 
as his health would allow until the spring of 1864, when he attended 
Yale law school that term. He was admitted to the bar, in 1864, 
and returned to Yale law school and studied one year and received 
the degree LL.B., July, 1865. In September, 1865, he located in 
Winsted as an attorney at law. He was a member of the legislature 
in the May session of 1872. 

He was elected by the legislature of 1877, judge of the district 
court of Litchfield county for four years from July i, 1877. 

Carson Fyler Drake, son of Chester P. Drake, wa"s born 
Aug. 29, 1857 ; was graduated at Yale law school in June 1877, 
and was admitted to the bar soon after graduation, being under 
twenty-one years of age. His mother was the adopted daughter of 
Harlow Fyler of Newfield. He is assistant librarian in the law 
library at New Haven, where he and his father's family reside. 

William F. Hodges, son of Dr. Elkanah Hodges, was born 



Professions and Societies. i6i 

Aug. 24, 1789; was graduated in Yale college in 1811 ; studied, 
and became a lawyer, and entered upon his profession in Alabama, 
where he died Oct. 10, 1837, aged 48 years. 

NoADiAH Bancroft, son of Noadiah and Jerusha (Loomis) 
Bancroft, was born April 12, 1786 ; became a lawyer and settled in 
his profession in Massachusetts. 

Frank L. Hungerford^ son of John and Charlott (Austin) 
Hungerford, attended the University of Vermont three years ; then 
went to Cambridge law school where he graduated. He was ad- 
mitted to the bar, and practiced law two years in Wolcottville, then 
settled in New Britain in the law practice where he is successfully 
prosecuting his profession. 

Gideon H. Welch, son of James M., and Eliza (Higgins) 
Welch of New Haven, was born Sept. 22, 1844 ; and was grad- 
uated at Yale college in 1868, and in Yale law school in 1870. 
He came to Wolcottville in August 1870, and made his arrange- 
ments for the practice of law in this place, and was admitted to the 
bar in September. He served as city clerk in New Haven while in 
his last year in the law school. His law practice, together with 
the service he renders as town clerk, and in various other rela- 
tions as scribe, school visitor, and treasurer keep him very steadily 
at work winter and summer, and almost day and night. 

Edward A. Kunki.e, was born at East Hartford, Ct., Nov. 5, 
1850 ; was student at Frienwalde and Hittstock college, and Berlin 
university, Prussia. He entered as law student in office of Judges 
Elisha Johnson and Thomas McMannus of Hartford, in 1869, and 
afterwards in 1872, in office of Francis Fellows and Sons of Hart- 
ford, and admitted to practice at law, December term, 1872, of the 
supreme court for Hartford county. He settled in Wolcottville in 
the practice of law in the spring of 1877. 

The Masonic Lodge. 

The charter of the Seneca Lodge, of Free and Accepted Ma- 
sons, was granted June 13, 1817, and the persons who petitioned 
for the charter, and became the chartered members were the follow- 
ing : 

Chauncey Humphrey, Harvey Palmer, 

Samuel Hurlbut, Aaron Smith, 

Leonard Hurlbut, Amos Bradley, 

Drake Mills, Hugh Kearney, 

21 



l62 



History of Torrington. 



William Crum, 
Lemuel Hurlbut 
Truman S. Wetmore, 
John McAlpin, 
Daniel Phelps, Jr., 
William Bunnel, 
Stephen Fyler, 
Joseph D. Humphrey, 
Charles Andrus, 
John Wetmore, ad., 
Elisha Hinsdale, 
Rapheal Marshall, 
Russell C. Abernethy, 



Edward Taylor, 
Samuel Bradley, 
Norman Wilson, 
Israel Coe, 
Christopher Pierce, 
James Green, 
Miles Beach, 
George Lyman, 
Norman Fowler, 
Alanson H. Kimberly, 
Joseph R. Judson, 
Phineas Reed, 
Ichabod Loomis. 



Asahel Smith, 

The lodge was organized and its first meeting held at the house 
of Stephen Fyler, in Newfield, where they continued to meet a little 
over six years. It was desired at [that time to have the lodge meet 
at Wolcottville, but the law of boundaries between the different 
lodges, at that time, made it necessary to go to Newfield, because 
that place was ten miles distant from any other lodge. In July, 
1823, Mr. Harlow Fyler^brought home his bride, and soon after a 
lodge meeting was held at his father's house, where he and his bride 
were living. This lady, still living, describes her impressions of that 
night when she heard the " thunder of the rolling cannon balls and 
the strange noises " as if the air was full of judgments come to tear 
down the house. She says, only one or two lodge meetings were 
held there after she became a resident. Whether the Masons 
dreaded her frown, or whether the laws of boundary were soon 
changed is not reported, but in the autumn of that year, ihey re- 
moved to Wolcottville to Capt. Samuel Bradley's Hall in his hotel, 
now the American House. Here they remained two years, when, 
having fitted a room over what is now the store of Walter S. Lewis 
they removed into it, calling it Seneca Hail. Here they remained 
until Dec. 20, 1833, when they returned to Capt. Bradley's Hall. 
There was no communication of this lodge from June 1833 to De- 
cember 1836, after which they renewed and continued them, until 
1840, and then surrendered the charter to the Grand Lodge. In 
i860, upon the petition of the following persons, the charter was re- 
turned : 



Samuel Burr, 
Russell C. Abernethy, 
Rev. J. F. Covell, 
Allen G. Brady, 



Henry J. Allen Sr., 
William H. Moore, 
George B. Fish, 
Uri Taylor, 



James Palmer, 
Isaac C. Palmer, 
Edward Pierpont, 
James Ashborn. 



Professions and Societies. 163 

They then fitted a room in Capt. Bradley's brick building, and 
named it Masonic Hall, the whole building for a time wearing the 
honor of the name. From this place they removed in April 1863, 
to Lathrop's Hall, where they continued five years, and then located 
in a well furnished room, Masonic Hall, over the hardware store 
of Messrs. Agard and Church, where they still remain. 

The active life of Seneca Lodge has been quiet, honorable and 
harmonious in its internal society enjoyments and work, and as to 
external life, no great excitements or oppositions or emoluments have 
been experienced. There was a time when the first, or old Torring- 
ton church was quite disturbed by the fact of one of its members 
being a mason, but the trouble was quieted in a most admirable way. 

The financial and social standing in the lodge is very creditable 
and satisfactory. The only charter members now living are Israel 
Coe of Bloomfield, N. J., and George Lyman of Wadsworth, 
Ohio. 

The whole number of persons who have been members of this 
lodge, from the first, is three hundred and fourteen. 

The first officers were: Truman S. Wetmore, W. M. ; Russell C. 
Abernethy, S. W. ; John McAlpin, J. W. ; Aaron Smith, Treas.; 
Daniel Phelps Sr., Sec; Carlton Humphrey, S. D. ; Alanson Kim- 
berly, J. D.; Ichabod Loomis, Tyler. 

The present officers are : J. W. Brothwell, W. M. ; Charles 
Alldis, S. W. ; James Bell, J. W. ; James Alldis, Treas. ; O. R. 
Luther, Sec; John D. Bishop, S. D. ; Herman W. Huke, J. D. ; 
Albert L. Tuttle, Tyler. 

The following persons united with the lodge after its organization 
at Newfield and before the surrender of the charter : 

Josiah Smith, .... 5817. Geo. O. Jarvis, . . . 581J 

Orrin Moses, .... " Walton Case, . . . . " 

Elijah Starkweather, 

Eleazer Hawley, ... " Alfred French, .... 5819. 

Ansel Wilson, 

Norris Coe, .... " Edward Lesler, . . . . " 

Fisk Beach, " William North, ... " 

Adna Beach, Jr., 

Stephen Fyler, Jr., 

Benjamin Ely, .... " Seth Wetmore, . . . . " 

James C. Cleveland, 

Benjamin Jenkins, . 

Daniel Tuttle, . . . .5818. Carlton Humphrey, ... " 

Henry Walters, . . . " Roderick Bissell, .... 5820. 

Bassett Dunbar, . 



5817. 


Geo. 0. Jarvis, 


(( 


Walton Case, 


« 


Abiel Taylor, . 


(1 


Alfred French, . 


<( 


Anson Loomis, 


<( 


Edward Lesler, 


« 


William North, 


« 


John Cook, 3d, 


1( 


George Bissell, 


« 


Seth Wetmore, 


(( 


Luman Hinman, 


« 


Norman Hawley, . 


5818. 


Carlton Humphrey, 


a 


Roderick Bissell, . 


(( 


Joshua Hewitt, 



« 
« 



« 



(( 



164 



History of Torrington. 



Horace Ramsey, . 


. 5820. 


Homer Higley, 


<( 


James M. Boyd, . 


« 


Jesse Williams, 


(( 


Prescott Pond, 


« 


Nehemiah Johnson, . 


(< 


Levi Holmes, 


i< 


James Grant, . 


(( 


Timothy Cotton, . 


iC 


Thomas L. Marshall, 


it 


Oliver Coe, . 


(C 


Roger Coe, 


<< 


William Russell, 


. 5821. 


Joseph Lewis, . . ' . 


« 


Henry, . . . . 


(I 


Sanford Palmer, 


( i 


Anson Colt, 


(< 


Roman Watson, 


<( 


Anson Wheeler, . 


(( 


Abner Loomis, 


(( 


Selah Frost, 


. 5822. 


Alvin Loomis, . 


(( 


Nathan W. Hammond, 


. 5823. 


Ethel North, . 


« 


Henry Whitman, 


« 


Edward Pierpont, 


(( 


George W. Buell, 


(( 


James P. Collins, 


« 


Roswell Birge, 


(( 


James H. Seymour, . 


(( 


Uri Taylor, . 


(( 


Norman Kellogg, 


5824. 


Joshua Burton, 


(( 


S. R. Fielding, 


<• 


The following have 


united with 


the charter. 




William Phippany, 


. 5860. 


Clark B. Downs, 


<( 


Rufus W. Gilbert, 


(< 


Charles McNeil, 


u 


Nelson Alvord, Jr., 


« 


Francis M. Hale, 


« 


Dexter W. Clark, 


(< 


Andrew Roberts, 


« 


Edwin A. Berry, . 


(( 


S. G. Sturdevant, 


<( 


Edward C. Hotchkiss, . 


c< 


William J. Palmer, . 


(( 


Julius A. Blakeslee, 


« 

• 


S. H. Perkins, 


f< 


Geo. H., . 


« 



William Phippany, 
Newton, . 
Benjamin Darling, 
John Grant, 
Jeremiah Page, 
William Bissel), 
Ephraim W. Wolcott, 
Norman Coe, . 
John Hungerford, 
Eno Sperry, 
Levi Rogers, 
Thomas Sparks, 
William North, . 
Thomas Moses, 
Nathaniel Smith, . 
Elijah T. Cummings, 
Harlow P. Page, . 
George D. Wadhams, 
Laban M. Oliver, . 
Philip Leddy, . 
Samuel Burr, 
Edward R. Warner, . 
Franklin Hodge, . 
Heman L. Cummings, 
Daniel Richards, . 
Robert Palmer, 
Abel Clark, . 
James Palmer, 
Samuel Foust, 
Benjamin F. Smith, . 
George W. French, 
James H. Scofield, . 
Aaron Gilbert, 



5825. 



« 

(( 
<( 
(( 

« 
« 



5826. 



« 
« 



5828. 
5829. 
5832. 



5839- 
(( 

<( 

« 



the lodge since the restoration of 



Cornelius Bellamy, . 
Rev. Charles W. Powell, 
Wm. T. Spencer, 
Henry M. WoodrufF, 
Joseph F. Calhoun, . 
Willard H. Barbour, 
Lyman Hall, 
D. C. Munson, 
James Humphrey, 
Nelson Roberts, . 
M. H. Sanford, 
O. R. Fyler, 
M. F. Barber, . 
J. Moran, . 
McKenzie_Millard, 



5860. 



5861. 



5862. 



5863. 



• i 



Professions and Societies. 



Nelson W. Coe, 
John Ashborn, 
E. H. Smith, . 
J. H. Balcom, 
Charles W. Smith, . 
William Butler, . 
L. T. Wooster, 
Hayden D. Palmer, 
Henry E. Hotchkiss, 
Edward Leopold, . 
Dwight F. Peck, 
J. Garner Brothwell, 
Rev. David P. Sanford, . 
John Huke, 
James M. Mott, 
Levi W. Thrall, . 
John Smith, 
D. N. Goff, . 
Heman P-. Brooks, . 
George B. Cook, . 
Albert F. Brooker, . 
A. L. Tuttle, 
S. L. Clark, . 
Lyman A. Colt, 
Alson Sanford, 
Joseph Sykes, 
Lewis G. Logan, 
Elisaph Scovill, 
Louis Adt, 
George P. Chapman, 
R. N. Brothwell, 
Oswald Klasche, . 
Virgil R. Bissell, 
Henry A. Church, 
George V'rgil, . 

F. J. Seymour, 
Wm. H. Lacy, Jr., . 
C. P. Drake, 
Henry R. Morrill, . 
A. P. Smith, 

John Workman, 
Andrew Workman, 
J. E. Lewis, 
Wm. H. Brothwell, 
H. J. Hendee, 
Charles Benedict, . 
Burr Lyon, 
Charles R. Welton, 
M. Fowler, 

G. W. Cooke, 

F. L. Hungerford, 






« 



5863. J. H. Jeffrey, 

" A. W. Sperry, . 

" Ferdinand Adt, 

" Hubbard Waldo, 

" John Adt, . 

" Samuel Hodgton, 

5864. James McKenzie, 
D. Alonzo Smith, 
W. C. Hillard, . 
Charles F. Brooker, . 
J. M. Travis, 
Geo. H. Fish, . 
L. G. Turner, 
David Lanagan, 

« W. A. Church, . 

5865. C. H. F. Hoffman, . 
« J. F. Gibbs, . 

" Lorrain Appley,. 

" Rev. Benj. Eastwood, 

" Rodney L. Smith, 
" Horace A. Beers, 

" John Maxwell, 

Fred O. Hills, . 
Charles Houldsworth 
Truman P. Clark, 
Nathan R. Tibbals, 
Joseph W. Brothwell 
John F. Saxty, . 

F. L. Wadhams, . 
Solon G. Dunbar,. 

" Wm. Engert, 

" James L. Carson, 

" E. T. Coe, . 

5866. J. W. Phelps, . 
Robert E. Ensign, 

G. S. Weeks, . 

" Jas. M. Farnham, 

" S. Karrman, 

5867. James Alldis, 

" F. F. Fuessenich, 

« E. F. Weston, 

" Henry Ashley, . 

« H. S. Eldridge, 

" E. S. Minor, 

" Nathan A. Tuttle, 

" Henry H. Rowley, 

" Achille F. Migeon, 

" John M. Burr, 

" Lyman Dunbar, 

" La Van B. Smith, 

" C. R. Bailey, . 









<< 



165 

5867. 
« 
« 

C( 

« 

5868. 
« 

« 

« 
« 
« 
« 
« 
« 

(I 
« 
« 



5869. 
(( 

K 
« 



« 



5870. 
<( 

(( 

(( 

« 

« 

« 

« 



5871. 
(( 

(1 

« 



i66 



History of Torrington. 



L. B. Munson, 
J. A. McDonald, 

B. S. Eastwood, 
Wm. H. Garner, 
John D. Bishop, 
Theodore Hartman, . 
Samuel Tatro, 
Charles Alldis, . 
William J. Morris, 
Charles M. Ladd, 

C. H. Volkman, . 
H. F. HofFman, 

L. Rudolph Prentice, 
James Bell, 
Henry S. Patterson, 
Clemence Hoffman, . 
Harvey Barnes, 



5871. L. M. Jones, 

" James F. Cady, 

" T. S. Hanchett, 

" George H. Cook, . 

" Charles Rhodes, 

" Andrew T. Finn, . 

5872. Henry Barnes, . 

" Thomas J. Alldis, 

'' Frederick Devoe, 

" Burrall Riggs, 

" Ernest T. Huke, 

" William Devoe, 

" Frank A. Cook, 

5873. O. R. Luther, 

" Herman W. Huke, 

" John Davey, 



5873- 



« 
« 



5874- 
(( 

(i 

C( 

« 

« 

5875- 
« 

5877- 



Bands of Music. 

There was a band of martial music organized, and continued 
some years at Torrington, and held its meetings some ot the time at 
Torringford. It is said that Torrington first society appropriated 
money at different times to encourage music by this band, some- 
where about 1820, or earlier. 

A large band of thirty-five persons was organized in Wolcottville 
in the autumn of 1832; persons from all parts of the town, and 
were taught by Mr. Jewitt, who resided in Simsbury. The follow- 
ing are the names of some of the members of this band : 

Arvid Dayton, Dexter Clark, Thomas Moses, Ebenezer Ed, 
wards, Mr. Harding, Goodwin Dana (overseer in the woolen mill), 
Harmon Dayton, Prescott Pond (played the bassoon, was in the old 
Torrington band), William North (son of Norris North the clock- 
maker at Torrington hollow), Joseph North, Judson Smith (was in 
the old Torrington band), Justus Dayton, William Durand, Charles 
B. Smith, Henry Colt, Lorenzo Moses, Oliver Hills. 



Cornet Band. 

The Wolcottville Cornet Band was organized in June i860, and 
consisted of the following persons : 



William Dayton, 
George Workman, 
John Workman, 



Edwin Alvord, 
Mark Bronson, 
Lewis Briggs, 



William Bariclau, 
H. E. Hotchkiss, 
C. L. Fellows, 



Professions and Societies. 167 

C. H. Seymour, Robert Wait,' William Smith, 

Andrew Coe, J. G. Brotliwell, Dexter W. Clark,drum mj. 

Elisaph coville, John Ashborn, 

William Dayton was elected leader of this band, George Work- 
man secretary and treasurer, and C, B. Merrills of Waterbury en- 
gaged as teacher, and under his instruction the first meeting was held 
July 6, i860, and the progress was so rapid that the baud made its 
first public appearance in October of that year, playing for a torch 
light procession of "Wide Awakes." 

In the spring of 1861, the band contributed its share toward stir- 
ing up the patriotic hearts and zeal of the citizens, playing for war 
meetings and the like, and in July 1861, the following named mem- 
bers of the band, enlisted as members of the band of the fourth regi- 
ment (afterward the first artillery) Connecticut volunteers : 

J. G. Brothwell, Mark Bronson, 

Lewis Riggs, H. E. Hotchkiss, 

Charles H. Seymour, D. W. Clark, 

Edwin Alvord, died at Richardson, Va., Folk Berthold. 
March 25, 1862. 

The following resident musicians soon after enlisted : 

Justin Dayton, band master ; Miletus Huxford, Thomas Robert- 
son, who died at Cold Harbor July 9, 1862, while a prisoner ; Rob- 
ert Barclay, Edward Leach, Chauncey Leach, and Warren B. 
Murray. The fourth regiment band, rendezvouzed at Wolcottville 
while recruiting, and consisted of twenty-four men, who were mus- 
tered into service at Hartford July 22, 1 861, and joined the regi- 
ment at Hagerstown, Md., on the 24th of the same month. 

In the mean time William Dayton kept up the organization at 
home. 

John Ashborn also enlisted as a musician of the fourth Pennsyl- 
vania cavalry band and was discharged at the same time of the ist 
artillery band. 

This band having been changed to the first artillery regiment, was 
discharged by act of congress, disbanding volunteer bands, at Har- 
rison's Landing, Va., August 12, 1862, having been in the service 
nearly thirteen months. Upon their return home the Wolcottville 
band was reorganized, and in December 1872, Henry E. Hotchkiss 
chosen leader. This organization was continued until the autumn 
of 1871, when the men being, most of them, very actively engaged 



' Robert Wait soon resigned and Folk Berthold was elected to fill the place. 



i68 History of Torrington. 

in business enterprises, the playing was by mutual consent discon- 
tinued for a time ; the band at this time consisting of the following 
persons : 

Henry E. Hotchkiss, leader, Morris Cook, 

J. G. Brothwell, Joseph Jeffries, 

James Alldis, William Bishop, 

E. S. Steel, Fred Matthews, 

William Dayton, Herman Huke, 

Joseph Brothwell, L. B. Smith, 

William Brothwell, A. E. Workman. 

The present Wolcotville band was organized March 27, 1873, 
and the following were the members : 

Henry E. Hotchkiss, leader, C. H. Johnson, 

Frank W. Buttler, George Lewis, 

L. B. Smith, John D. Bishop, 

Joseph H. Jeffiies, Joseph W. Brothwell, 

Eugene Hotchkiss, William F. Bishop, 

Herman W. Hake, Ed. A. Lacey, 

A. E. Workman, Fred. L. Matthews, 

Frank Oberhausen, William T. Davey, 

William H. Brothwell, Thomas Hendy, 

John A. Jeffries, Morris H. Cook. 

The officers are, Joseph W. Brothwell, president ; A. E. Work- 
man, vice president ; Wm. H. Brothwell, secretary and treasurer ; 
L. B. Smith, assistant leader; and H. E. Hotchkiss, director. 

Upon the organization of the new band, the members of the old 
one dissolved, and turned over their band property to the new one, 
and it has had but few changes since. The following named persons 
have removed from the town : Morris H. Cook, Fred. L. Matthews, 
Thomas Hendy, Ed. A. Lacy, and Frank Oberhausen, and the fol- 
lowing have been added to fill their places : Owen Cummings, Jr., 
Michael Spain, G. Sturman, Mr. Baldwin and Gustav Epstien. 

A large number of men have been connected with these bands at 
various times, besides those whose names appear in the above lists, 
but it being impossible to make the lists complete they are given as 
they stood at certain periods. 




CHAPTER XIV. 

TOPOGRAPHY, ECONOiMIC AND SCIENTIFIC GEO 

LOGY. 

'HE town of Tonington rests on four hills, and the vallej^s 
between them. The eastern boundary of the town lies 
nearly on the ridge of the eastern hill, which descends 
westward about one and a half miles to the valley 
of the eastern branch of the Naugatuck, and that of Still river in 
the northern part of the town. The western hill or Chestnut ridge lies 
on the southwest corner of the town, and slopes northward and east- 
ward to the west branch of the Naugatuck, and extending south 
throuo-h the town of Litchfield. The third hill lies west of Still 
river, and east of the east branch of the Naugatuck, in the shape of 
the letter V, on the north side of the town ; the top part of the letter 
representing the Winchester line, the point of the mountain sloping 
south, extends to Daytonville, and this plateau includes Walnut, 
Observation and Shawngum hills. The fourth hill is oblong in shape, 
lying between the two branches of the Naugatuck ; the southern end 
being called red mountain,' and extends north to Winchester. The 
western branch of the Naugatuck rises in Norfolk ; enters Torring- 
ton near the northwest corner of the town, runs in a southeasterly 
direction and passes into Litchfield a little east of the center of the 
town on Litchfield line. The east branch of the river rises in Win- 
chester ; runs in a southeasterly direction until it unites with the west 
branch near the southern boundary of the town. Still river rises 
about one and a half miles north of Wolcottville, runs northeasterly 
to Winsted in Winchester. 

At the south end of Red mountain, which ends quite abruptly, is 
a valley about one mile wide from east to west, extending south in- 
to the old town of Litchfield where the hills again close up to the 
river, three miles below Wolcottville. Since the change in the 
southern boundary of the town, Torrington includes a large part of 
the valley below the old boundary of Torrington line. The highest 

' Before Torrington was settled, a white man reported that he shot an Indian on this 
mountain. The reason he gave was, that when he saw the Indian he knew if he did not 
shoot the Indian, the Indian would shoot him. Therefore he shot first, and killed him 
and hence the name, Red mountain. 

22 



lyo History of Torrington. 

point of land in the town is Walnut mountain in Newfield, it being 
one thousand three hundred and twelve feet above the ocean level, and 
about six hundred feet above Wolcottville, in iVIain street. Observa- 
tion mountain near Burrville, is one thousand two hundred and sixty- 
one feet above ocean level. Chestnut hill in the southwest part of 
the town is very nearly as high as Walnut mountain ; the difference 
being fifty feet. Torringford is not quite as high as Chestnut 
hill. The view from either of these hills is very picturesque and 
entertaining. From Chestnut hill, looking north and east, the view 
is extended to about twenty-five miles across valleys, and amid a 
number of spurs of mountains or high hills ; from Red mountain the 
view is down the valley of the Naugatuck, and over Litchfield, Har- 
winton and New Hartford hills ; from Torringford the view is ex- 
tended in every direction, and is far superior in extent, variety, and 
pleasantness of landscape, and it is no wonder, that that man, so capa- 
ble of appreciating the view. Father Mills, when he first saw it, 
should have exclaimed, "Here let me live and here let me die." 
Another view is from Perkins's hill, in the edge of Harwinton, look- 
ing over Torrington and parts of Winchester, Goshen and Litch- 
field, and presents, perhaps, the most perfect, quiet landscape scenery 
of fields and patches of woods, spread as upon smooth canvas, grad- 
ually rising from the Naugatuck valley to the horizon, that can be 
found in the state. This remark is made in regard to scenery limited 
to the distance of from fifteen to twenty-five miles. The view from 
Pratt's hill in Winchester is much more extended, but reveals the 
roughness of the country, while that from Perkins's hill is as one con- 
tinned artificial plane ascending to the horizon. 

It is very probable, therefore, that the town has of itself, and in 
connection with the adjoining towns, more interesting and entertain- 
ing scenery than any other in the state. 

The valleys are represented by the Naugatuck river ; the east 
branch and Still river forming that through which the rail road passes 
to Winsted, which was originally called the Shawngum valley, after 
an Indian or an Indian tradition. The valley from Newfield to Day- 
tonville is on the east branch of the Naugatuck. The west branch 
passes from near the northwest corner in a southeasterly direction, 
and the hills on the west side, most of the distance, are steep and 
rocky, and covered with woods ; on the east side there are some cul- 
tivated fields, and along the valley is a little good land. Two brooks 
run down from Goshen to the west branch and are found very en- 
tertaining for visitors in the summer. 



Topography and Geology. 171 

Mill brook rises in the southwestern part of the town, runs 
easterly, then north, then easterly and enters the west branch of 
the river at Torrington hollow. On the bank of this stream, at 
Ebenezer Lyman's, stood the fort and the first school house, and a 
little way below them, the first grist mill ; and afterwards, on the 
same site a tannery. At Harvey Palmer's, now Albro Cowle's is a 
cascade or waterfall of much interest, beauty and wonder. When 
the late Henry Migeon was apprised of this scenery, he took his 
family and a photographer, and went to the place, encamped for the 
day, and gave to theplace the name of little Switzerland^ and ob- 
tained several pictures of the scenery. Along this stream above Mr. 
Cowle's dwelling, is a road called Lover's lane, which is a very 
pleasant drive in the summer, and even in the winter, and the running' 
of the brook over the stones and down the rocks, among the great 
trees which form an almost unbroken shade, gives a beauty and ro- 
mance to the road by which it received its name, so far as is known. 
On the bank of this stream, near the most secluded and shady spot,' 
an aged, and rather eccentric woman made her home. Having re- 
ceived as a gift, an old weaver's loom, she had it transported to 
this place and covered, and in it she lived one summer, keeping a half 
dozen chickens, and selling the eggs, and thus mostly supporting 
herself ; and when winter came she was so unwilling to leave the 
place, saying that being alone in the world, there was no place like 
home, that the neighbors refitted an old cellar place near the old 
loom, where she remained until near the middle of the winter, and 
was then taken in care by the town. Now, also, her house is left 
desolate, and the remains bear a close resemblance to those by the 
score in other parts of the town, which were once fine houses, occu- 
pied^y prosperous and energetic inhabitants. This was probably the 
humblest dwelling ever arranged in the town, but its occupant may 
have a far different station in another state of being. God's poor 
shall not want for a house by and by. 

The west branch is a brook rising near Goshen, and crossing the 
old Matthew Grant farm in two streams, but which uniting at the 
old Abijah Barber place, runs southeast, past the nickel mine and 
unites with Mill brook, before entering the Naugatuck. On this 
stream, near Matthew Grant's house, was a mill or tannery or both. 

Wist pond lies mostly in Goshen, but partly in Torrington, a little 
west of Squabble hill, and from it the water runs east and enters the 
Naugatuck at Drake's mill. On this stream, near the pond, David 
Hart built a grist mill, run it a ievf years, and then sold it a short 
time before the year 1800. 



1/2 History of Torrington. 

There is much beauty and wildness along the streams of the 
town. The beds of the two branches of the riv er, and all the brooks ^ 
of the town, are rock, or boulders of varied sizes, except between 
Daytonville and Burrville, where it is difficult often to tell by any 
motion of the water which way it runs, 
/"x^" When the town was first settled, these hills and valleys were 
' covered with forests of large trees and and much underbrush. The 
evergreen, lofty pine and hemlock, covered the valleys of the 
pine swamp and green woods ; also the hemlock was found along the 
streams, and on some of the hills, but especially along the west 
branch of the Naugatuck. This order of tree furnished a beautiful 
/ verdure, a grateful and healthful fragrance, and no inconsiderable 
i material for commerce •, such as masts for ships, boards, timber, shm- 
gles and bark for tanning. From the hill-tops and slopes, the lordly 
maples stood as monarchs, furnishing for more than a hundred years, 
great quantities of sugar and molasses, without which, many a boy 
would have eaten his meals of dry bread •, and in the days when great 
fireplaces and chimneys were in common use, this maple wood was 
a source of great comfort and cheerfulness to the domestic and social 
circlg^ While the maple logs burned with a charming light in the 
fireplace, the old people told their marvelous stories of Indians, wolves, 
wildcats and witches, until the boys fell asleep in the corner, the state 
of atmosphere often being uncomfortably warm on one side, and cold 
on the other ; and late in the evening when the boys were ordered 
to bed (they did not carry them then) they obeyed hesitatingly 
lest there might be another story they should not hear. 

Next to the maple in size and loftiness was the chestnut tree, 
which flourished quite extensively in nearly every part of the town, 
and was of great value for 4t-s~4i4*it--*ad_tijTlljisr. The hickory and 
butternut trees (indigenous) grew in many portions of the territory ; 
sometimes in groves or clusters, and were invaluable in the mechanic 
arts, while they produced considerable quantities of choice fruit, which 
were greatly relished when served with good cider and appjea... 

The white oak of good quality occurred somewhat rarely and was 
very valuable when obtained. The white ash, black birch, cherry, 
basswood, white wood or tulip tree, abounded more or less in various 
parts of the town, and afforded valuable material for various mechani- 
cal purposes. 

The black oak, the red ash and red oak ; the white birch and 
beach interspersed the other varieties on the low grounds, which with 



7 



Topography and Geology. 173 

the pretty larch, tamarack and hackmatack were valuable only for 
firewood. 

The forests in every part of the town were richly adorned with the 
several varieties of Kalmicr^ or laurel, with their dark leaves, and 
gaudy party-colored flowers in their season, and were so thick as 
often to form jungles impassable by man or beast. These with the 
Cornus^ or boxwood, its branches loaded with beautiful flowers, 
and its auxiliary Aronia^ or shad flower, and bush honey suckle nearly 
complete the list of the trees which covered the whole area of the 
town and constituted the glory of the native forest of Torrington. 

The lower order of shrubs and plants exist in great profusion 
and variety on the hills and in the valleys, ravines, and gorges, 
and contribute much to the interest of the region. In addition to 
their flowers and perfume, they possess important hygienic and medi- 
cinal properties. Much of the distinguished salubrity of the town 
and longevity of its inhabitants may be attributed to the hygienic in- 
fluence of 4ts^lants, shrubs and trees. Its grasses are of a superior 
quality for stimulation and nutrition, and^a'bundant in quantity. 

Valuable medicinal plants abound, viz : Sanguhiar'ia (blood-root),^ 
Eupatorium (bone-set), Prunus Virginiana (wild cherry), Macrotys 
(cohosh) Leontodon (dandelion), Sambucus (elder), Spirea (hardback), 
hellebore^ Jsclepias{m\\]ii~\VGe.d), Mintha (pepper-mint), Hedeoma{'ptnny- 
royal), Phytolacca (poke-weed), Chimaphila (princess-pine), Pyrus 
(quince), Salvia (sage), Aralia (sarsaparilla), Solanum (bitter-sweet), 
Laurus (sasafras), Ictodes (skunk cabbage), Convallaria (solomon seal), 
Aultheria (wintergreen), Rhus glabra (common sumach) Rhus vernix 
(poison sumach) Acorus (sweet flag), Hamamelis (witch hazel). 

The autumnal display of flowers and colored leaves of plants and 
trees is truly gorgeous and wonderful. The richest word picturing 
can give but a faint idea of the great beauty and variety, from the 
top of the tallest tree to the least creeping vines upon the earth. 

Geologic Formations. 

The formation of the town is almost exclusively diluvial. The 
alluvial deposits are limited to the Great swamp, valley of Still riv.er_ 
and Greenwoods, and consists of sediments of the rains and melted 
snows, which take up and carry into the valleys, the finest and richest 
pojtian-^f^-th#~SQiL_ Diluvium occurs in the formation of the larger, 
portion of the area of the town, and constitutes the surface of the 
hills and higher lands ; and its relations_and^ causes jxe_subjects of 



174 History of Torrington. 

varied speculations. The prevalent theory is that the diluvial soil is 
the product of disintegration of its rocky base ; and that its composi- 
tion over the primitive granitic and gneiss foundations, indicates the 
"rock theory." Composed as it is of silicons material, clay, potash, 
magnesia, iron, coarse stones and pebbles, etc., it has been deemed, 
by many, as poverty stricken, or possessing no sustentation for man 
or beast. Yet for agricultural purposes and products, with industrial 
and scientific culture, with admixture of fertilizers, its character for 
productiveness is hardly surpassed by the alluvial soil. The vigorous 
growth of forest trees and apple orchards, afford unmistakable indica- 
tions of the native strength of the diluvium with appropriate fertilizers. 

The hills of Torrington are a continuance of the Hoosac range 
of the Green mountains of western Massachusetts and Vermont, and 
their altitude furnish some of the most pleasing and entertaining 
prospects that can be imagined, or that is often realized. 

The hidden mineral resources of Torrington hills have yet, mostly 
to be discovered and unearthed. That such exist in richness of 
quality cannot be doubted. The indications of their existence are 
so numerousand conclusive, and the evidences so demonstrably mani- 
fest that the practiced observer is at a loss to understand why it is 
that they have not already been revealed. 

A summary of the representative minerals of this town, which 
have been studied, classified, and to some extent furnished to the 
state cabinet, affords some little idea of what may be realized, in 
some not far off future day. The exhibit of specimens of copper, 
is rich and very promising. Specimens of almost pure ore 
(amorphous), others vitrified, and crystalized, of various colors, have 
repeatedly been obtained at the summit of Occident hill (Chestnut 
hill), and afford presumptive evidence of the existence of a rich cop- 
per ore bed in that locality. Tradition says that before the revolu- 
tionary war an English miner discovered this ore bed ; made 
considerable excavations ; obtained valuable products, which he 
shipped for England, he going in the same vessel, and that the ves- 
sel and himself were lost at sea. 

The copper is found in a mica slate ledge and associated with 
quartz distinctively. Some of the specimens are carbonates and of 
beautiful green crystals. The yellow or copper pyrites are also found. 

Marked indications of the existence of iron are abundant in this 
town, but the efforts to obtain it in paying quantities have been so 
slight, or other disastrous circumstances attending the efforts, that 



Topography and Geology. 175 

success has not crowned this mining enterprise. The sulphuret 
ot iron (or iron pyrites), abound to some extent in the northern part 
of the town, but very little effort has been made to develop those 
treasures so as to know whether the results would be economical or 
not. 

Nickel has been found and mined to some considerable extent 
in the hill and on a line continuous and north of the designated cop- 
per mine locality ; blended with copper, iron, and supposed cobalt. 
A copper nickel bed exists in the prevailing quartz and mica slate 
rock of the hill about half a mile west of the site of the second Meet- 
ing house, or Torrington green ; and is owned by Mr. Willard 
PI. Barber who has taken some trouble and been at considerable ex- 
pense latterly to ascertain the value of the mine. The ore is abun- 
dant ; and a few years since extensive buildings were htted at 
Torrington hollow, where considerable effort was made and expense 
incurred to make the enterprise a paying one but that end was 
not reached. Another attempt is now being made by a gentleman 
from Hartford, and to all appearance it promises success. After the 
first process of smelting the result consists of iron, copper and nickel. 
The last is obtained by the chemical destruction of the two former. 

The existence of silver in the Torrington hills has been indicated 
by specimens found in disintegrated quartz and mica slate rock which 
have been carried down the hills by rains and melted snow. A little 
distance north of Wolcottville, and west of the railroad at the foot 
of Horse mountain, a mining shaft has been sunk to some consid- 
erable depth, for silver ore, and although silver was obtained, yet 
the effort to obtain it did not prove economically successful. 

Gneiss and granite rock constitute the firm foundations and 
form of Torrington hills. They exhibit interesting combinations, forms, 
and qualities, and occur in extensive plateau, or table rock and 
enormous boulders, as in Torringford ; or in spurs of mountain 
range, upheavals, abrupt terminal and grotesque ledges, forced and 
stratified gneiss rock, on the north and west sides of the town. /^"^ 

Several varieties of the granite rock occur in the town, much of 
which may be utilized for building and architectural purposes. The 
variety in which the feldspar constitutes a leading ingredient, is 
designated as white granite ; is a beautiful material for building 
purposes, and is extensively quarried at Plymouth, Ct. Another 
variety is constituted by quartz rock, hornblend and epidote blended, 
which is much preferred by many for its grayish aspect, great dura- 



176 History of Torrington. 

bility, and capability of a fine polish. A variety also occurs in which 
the feldspar is of a beautiful flesh color, similar to what occurs in the 
Scotch and California granite, though not in quality or quantity for 
any ecortomical purpose. An uncommon and curious variety oc- 
curs on the way from Wolcottville to Burrville, midway between 
these places, constituted by the feldspar being of a deep red color. 

Steatite, or soap stone, designated by its grayish color, smooth 
soapy feel, and capability of being cut, or wrought with sharp instru- 
ments without injury to them, makes its appearance mostly on Chest- 
nut hill, in the southwestern part of the town. One quarry of this 
stone, nearly on the top of that hill, was worked to a considerable 
depth, and with fair remunerative success, a few years since, and the 
cutting of the stone was conducted in Wolcottville, at the old Wil- 
son's mill. About a mile east of this, near the old Captain Amos 
Wilson place, this stone crops out in considerable proportions. 

The extensive clay beds, which exist in the northeastern section 
of the town, have been utilized in the manufacture of brick, to a 
greater extent and more remuneratively, than any other native ma- 
terial which the town affords. These clay beds being of primitive 
formation, afford opportunity for interesting study, and for economi- 
cal purposes are almost an anomaly. This material for brick is of a 
superior quality, because of the rich color it has by oxidation, and the 
extreme hardness of the brick in consequence of the iron which is 
combined in the clay beds. The evidence of the primitive origin of 
these beds is their proximity to primitive rock, and the impacted 
round pebbles (silicious substance), small stones of brown hematite, 
granite boulders and jasper. 

These beds extend over a considerable area, and have been 
worked many years, by the Hudsons, Haydens and Burrs. 

Many varieties of the quartz rock abound in the town ; some of 
them of uncommon richness and beauty. During the period of more 
than a century since Torrington hills were first inhabited until the na- 
tional centennial, the economical, the psychological, and the scientific 
wealth which this old township affords, have been little known and 
studied, by a people who have been more than ordinarily character- 
ized for industry, schools, intelligence, and moral and scientific at- 
tainments. It is self-evident that the muck rake inspiration has 
been the inciting one, to such a degree, that great nature's constant and 
silent work and beautiful productions from her scientific labtiratory, 
have been viewed, when viewed at all, as of very little account in 



Topography and Geology. 177 

the duties and privileges of the present life. The getting of money, 
has been, and still is in a great measure, the one great object of 
pursuit, while the magnificent gems of nature, which adorned the 
breast plate of Moses and Aaron, and which symbolize the heavenly 
gates of wisdom, purity and simplicity, have been unheeded and left 
by the wayside embedded in impurities. 

Of these gems, we find X.\\t jasper^ the chalcedony^ the sardonyx the 
amethyst^ the beautiful malachite^ the apatite^ of bluish white crystals, 
the agates^ the jet black tourmaline crystals, the epidote^ white and 
grass-green crystals, the laminated mica white, milky, smoky, and 
rose colored quarts ; and also, flesh colored and deep red feldspar ; 
chalcedony, of several varieties ; opal, semi-opal, of many colors and 
forms. The jasper occurs, of fine quality, takes a beautiful polish, 
and has been set for signet rings. Of all the gems thus far discovered 
in Torrington, those of the chalcedonic species excel in colors and 
beauty. They were discovered by Dr. E. D. Hudson in his miner- 
alogical surveys, occurring in quite large boulders, on the slope of 
the Torringford hill, towards Still river, directly west from the Tor- 
ringford Meeting house. They were interspersed along the side hill 
over a considerable area, and firmly impacted in the earth with here 
and there an encrusted, sharp point exposed to observation. When 
they were unearthed, they presented no attractive appearance ; had 
a disintegrated ragged exterior ; were oblong, and from three to four 
feet in length, and some eighteen inches in diameter. Not until 
some ragged point had been detached by the hammer, was the species 
of the mineral discovered to be purely chalcedonic. Heavy blows of 
the sledge hammer, soon revealed in the very heart of the boulder, 
nature's secret laboratory, and her magnificent crystaline products of 
many colors, of the most gorgeous tints, which no human skill could 
imitate. So rich an exhibit of the purest crystals of carnelian as 
these boulders disclose, rarely occur. They were of light pink, flesh, 
and deep blood red colors ; regular crystals of dazzling luster ; also 
botryoidal [grapeform)^ and stalagmites of yellow, green, and white 
colors.^ 

The chalcedony occurs in white and translucent uncrystalized 
masses ; some of it, the agate variety, makes beautiful watch seals, 
signet rings, sleeve buttons and the like ornaments.^ In these boulders. 



'See Prof. Shepard's Report of Geological Sur-vey of Conn., and State Cabinet of Minerals. 
^ Dr. Hudson has several sets of jewelry, made for members of his family, to memorial- 
ize the gems of his native town. They are unique, greatly admired and valuable. 

23 



lyS History of Torrington. 

beautiful specimens of the chrysoprase variety of apple green color 
occur ; also heliotrope, of green and red blended ; the sard and sar- 
doynx, deep red, bluish red, and yellow. The garnet mineral in 
beautiful crystals, and hornblend abound in the primitive rocks of the 
tow^n, especially near the nickel mine, where many fine specimens 
have been found in the bed of the brook a little north from the ex- 
cavations. 

The phenomenal manifestations of the formation of mountain 
range, hills, solidified and stratified rocks, downs, and valleys of 
the town are wonderful and affx)rd an interesting field for study. To 
contemplate the irresistible forces, which must have existed, suffi- 
ciently to rend these rock-bound granite hills ; to heave up their ever- 
lasting foundations, and force upward through their solid structure, 
laminated masses or veins of pure quartz, is sufficient to fill the mind 
with awe and wonder. It becomes evident that the Still river 
and the Naugatuck river, never excavated those valleys through 
which they course ; neither did they form the downs, or conical sand 
hills, which mound-like exist in those valleys and various parts of the 
town. The upheavals which Torrington hills have suffered, in 
common with every portion of the earth, and the marked results of 
some overwhelming deluge, floating its mountain glaciers over the 
hills are distinctly indicated. The angles and bends of the stratified 
laminated gneiss rock of Torrington, and the more solid granite table 
of Torringford, plowed and furrowed by the huge boulders, which 
were carried upon and over them by glaciers, and deposited on the 
north brow and very summit of that hill, aflx)rd demonstrable evidence 
of their origin, and of their geological formation. 

These mammoth granite boulders ; the peculiar and interesting 
chalcedonic boulders along the western slope of Torringford hill, far 
from their original locality ; the vast primitive clay beds, full of 
debris, on its north brow, lead to the irresistible conclusion that 
Torrington was once the scene of an overwhelming deluge ; com- 
pletely submerged ; that vast bodies of ice floated over it, freighted 
with rocks which had been detached from their native beds and left 
isolated upon its topmost hills, and that the current or drift was from 
the north to the south. 

The enormous boulders of sienitic granite which have lain, tor 
ages, strewn and isolated far distant and high above all like forma- 
tions; some near to and in the diluvial clay beds of that hill, and 



Topography and Geology. 179 

others mounted on its highest elevations, indicate the chaotic state 
which existed during the physical formation of western Connecticut, 
and the hills of Litchfield county. 

One of those monumental rocks, is of unusual interest on account 
of its size, shape, position, and location upon the summit of Torring- 
ford hill, at an altitude considerably greater than that of any other 
within several miles distance, except in Winchester and Newfield 
mountain range, which is separated from Torringford by a deep valley. 
It is shaped like a cone, or great hay-stack. It rests upon the table 
rock with some loose stones around and beneath it, and is in its greatest 
diameter about twenty feet, and about twenty-five feet in height. 
It can be seen from many portions of Torringford and from great 
distances ; and has stood as a monument, during untold ages, mutely 
pointing northward to the locality whence it was rudely detached. 
It stands about a half mile due west from the Torringford parsonage. 
The revelations which geology furnishes are well calculated to make 
men humble themselves before the Creator and Ruler of the universe. 
Magnificent and glorious are these granite hills, and the wonderful 
revelations thev make. 

"Who great in search of God and nature grow, 
They l>est the wise Creator's praise declare." 



CHAPTER XV. 
TORRINGTON ROADS. 

The Highways. 



(^^^^^5 HE original town was mapped on the hills and valleys 
^ v^^ '" ^^^ shape of a rhombus, the sides being about six 




miles in length and running twenty-one degrees east 
and north of north and west, as stated in the ori- 
ginal survey. It is found however, by actual survey to vary less 
than this, from the cardinal points. The lots of land, were laid in 
twelve tiers ; one running east and west parallel, and a half a mile 
distant from, the southern boundary, and eleven running north and 
south, with highways between them. 

The first highway was on the eastern boundary four rods wide, 
and is called Torringford East street, and is open and worked nearly 
the whole length of the town. The second is one-half a mile from 
the first and is called Torringfprd street, and is ten rods wide, and 
open the whole length of the town, and connects with South street 
to Winsted. It is the most picturesque and pleasant road, as a whole, 
in the town. The third is half a mile west of the second and is 
called Torringford West street and is open nearly if not quite all the 
way, though in some parts not much used. 

And thus were laid eleven highways, running north and south, 
parallel, the last or most western, being half a mile east of the 
Goshen east line. Another highway was laid from Torringford 
street half a mile from Harwinton line, running west and parallel to 
the southern boundary of the town, ten rods in width. These were 
the original highways^ including what is now Main street and 
Water street, in Wolcottville, and were laid before the lots or farms 
were laid, and hence were never any part of the adjoining farms. 
The roads were taken out or reserved by the proprietors, as their own 
property, in the right of soil and all timber growing upon them. This 
was the original intention, and this the proprietors claimed in law 
and equity until they delivered the books to the town in 1785, or 



ToRRINGTON RoADS. l8l 

fifty-three years after they took charge of these lands. In conse- 
quence of there having been some difference of opinion as to these 
highways, it is proper to insert here the proceedings of the last meet- 
ing of the proprietors as a legal body. Committees had been ap- 
pointed by the proprietors' meeting, and continued as standing 
committees, to prosecute any person who should make encroach- 
ments on the highways, or any who should cut timber on these high- 
ways, and also to sell parts of these highways. 

The Last Meeting. 

" Att a meeting of the proprietors of y^ town of Torrington, held 
in Torrington October the iith day A. D., 1785. 

" Voted that Mr. Benj. Phelps be Moderator of said meeting. 

" Voted that the proprietors impower the town of Torrington to 
exchange their highways, or sell highways for highways, or make 
up lands where wanted, if any in equity, or any ways to act and 
transact, as is necessary and best, as we ourselves could do legally 
in these matters. 

"Voted that moneys due to y^ proprietors, either in money or notes, 
the proprietors' committee shall render an account to y^ town or town 
committee, and give up what remains when s^ committee are called 
to account therefor. 

"Voted that the afores'' committee appointed by the proprietors, re- 
main to act and transact until the town appoint a committee to act 
in their room. 

"Voted that y^ proprietors committee be allowed and excepted as 
now brought in. 

" Voted that y^ proprietors book and accounts be delivered into 
the hands of y^ town. 

"The meeting then being dissolved." 

This shows that the proprietors held then the absolute right of 
soil, and the power to sell for the purpose of highways even or any 
other^ and that these powers were transferred by vote to the town, so 
that whatever power had been vested in them was thereafter pos- 
sessed by the town. 

The proposition thus made, the town accepted and in 1785, ap- 
pointed a committee to " exchange highways where it is necessary, 
and to lease out according to their discretion, and also full power to 
move ofF encroachments where they judge needful." 



1 82 History of Torrington. 

From 1785 to 1826, some forty years, the town acted upon the 
right to sell or dispose of highways as the committees appointed 
deemed expedient and equitable. 

In April, 1826, the town took action upon a suit brought by Elihu 
Barber against Stephen Fyler and John Birge, who as a committee 
for the purpose, had sold a piece of road to the said Barber. The 
action taken was, that the selectmen should obtain advice with Mr. 
Fyler and Birge, as to the legality of the sale. At the same time 
the selectmen were directed to " bring a petition to the next general 
assembly of this state, either by themselves or in connection with 
other towns in this vicinity, to establish the sales of highways, here- 
tofore made by this town." The selectmen obeyed this request and 
the assembly took the following action : 

" Resolved by this assembly, that all sales and conveyances, here- 
tofore made by the town of Torrington, or by their selectmen, or 
committee appointed for that purpose, of any original highways, or 
parts of highways, or reservations for the purpose of highways, laid 
out or reserved in the original survey and laying out of said town by 
the proprietors thereof, in those cases, and those only where such 
sales, deed or conveyances have been made as aforesaid, to persons 
who at the time of such sales or conveyances, were the owners of the 
land adjoining such highways or reservations, so sold or conveyed, as 
aforesaid, and all payments made in consideration of such sales, and 
conveyances, be deemed and taken to be good and valid to all intents 
and purposes. 

" Said town of Torrington be and hereby are fully authorized to 
sell and convey any such original highway, or reservation, or parts 
thereof, remaining unsold as are or may be unnecessary to be used 
for public highways, giving the right of preemption to the adjoining 
proprietors."^ 

Against this enactment, and these claims of ownership by the pro- 
prietors, and the town, for more than one hundred and forty-five 
years, there have been no decisions of the courts so far as is known, 
and therefore the absolute right of soil inheres or remains in the town. 

These original highways were never laid through the farms for the 
only purpose of highways, as in the case of most towns, but were 
reserved for highways, or any other purpose to which the proprietors 
of the town might direct. 



» Pri-vate Laws of Conn., vol. 2, passed May, 1826. 



TORRINGTON RoADS. 1 83 

If these items are facts, then the town owns, not only the right of 
soil, but all timber growing on them naturally or planted on them, 
and all grass, and all the valuable stone, boulders and rocks originally 
belonging to, or lying on these original highways, and until the pro- 
per courts shall judge otherwise, it is difficult to see how persons can 
properly claim any of these items on or in these roads, except by 
suffrage of the town. The one fact that a suit was pending in the 
court, in 1826, when the legislature rendered its judgment as to the 
right of property in these roads, and thereby, apparently, that suit 
was brought to a close, is clear evidence that the courts have no au- 
thority to override the old law and practice of the town. 

The Turnpikes. 

The charter for the Torrington turnpike, from Jared Mills in 
Canton to Litchfield, was granted in May, 1800, and the road was 
surveyed the following summer. Hon. Herman Swift, Sylvester 
Gilbert and Samuel Forbes, were appointed by the assembly to lay out 
the road and make report of their doings. The petition for the road 
was signed by eighty-five names, quite a number of whom were of 
Torringford, very few from the west side of this town. Col. Aaron 
Austin of New Hartford, was agent for the company and he did very 
much to secure the success of the road. 

The charter was surrendered in 1861, and therefore the road was 
in use as a turnpike nearly sixty years. In 1801, the town voted a 
tax of five mills on a dollar to pay the owners for the land taken by 
the turnpike, but refused to build the bridge over Waterbury river, 
for the turnpike company, and the question was carried to court, and 
decision rendered against the town, and they appealed to a higher 
court, and it was decided against them, whereupon they built the 
bridge. This turnpike proved to be of great advantage to the town, 
probably much more than it ever was to the stockholders. 

In 1800, Abijah Holbrook and others sued in the county court 
for a highway, that should go along the west branch near his house, 
or Holbrook's mills, and connect with other roads so as to form a 
through road from Norfolk to Plymouth, and thence to water naviga- 
tion. Mr. Holbrook was interested in the iron forge, and was mak- 
ing efforts to work the iron mine on Walnut mountain in Torrington, 
but the town opposed, and the road was not built then, but by the 
efforts of Israel Coe and others some years after, the road was made 



184 History of Torrington. 

just where Mr. Holbrook desired it, but he no longer needed high- 
ways on the physical earth. 

The Waterbury turnpike was surveyed through in 1 801, or in the 
spring of 1802, and was soon after completed ; the directors were: 
William Leavenworth of Waterbury ; Noah Bronson of Litchfield ; 
Stephen Fyler of Torrington and Reuben Rockwell of Colebrook. 
It came up the old Plymouth road, and went through Newfield to 
Winchester. 

In 1803, the town by vote, instructed their representatives to op- 
pose in the assembly, the petition of Abijah Catlin and others, for a 
highway from near Torringford Meeting house, through Harwinton 
and Bristol, to Southington. 

In 1802, they opposed in the county court, the making of a high- 
way from Cornwall through Goshen, Winchester and Torrington to 
New Hartford. 

The Goshen and Sharon turnpike, was made mostly in 1805, and 
the town, seeing no other way, voted at once, that they would build 
and maintain bridg-es over the following streams, for that road : " The 
Stream east of Messrs. Cook and Soper's saw mill, the east branch 
of Waterbury river northwesterly of said saw mill, Waterbury river 
near Roger Loomis's dwelling house, and the stream near Harvey 
Palmer's, provided the turnpike company agree to have no further 
claim on the town for bridges on said road." 

In 181 3, a report by a committee appointed for the purpose, was 
made to the town, concerning a road to be laid from Torrington 
Meeting house (Erastus Hodges) to Litchfield north line, and in the 
same year there was a petition before the assembly for a turnpike 
road from Winsted to Litchfield, and this town instructed its repre- 
sentatives not to oppose it in the assembly. 

About this time the town was almost crazy on roads. It does not 
appear that the vote in town meeting was ever against any turnpike, 
but against building the bridges for the turnpikes. 

In 1807, the town started out anew on building and repairing roads ; 
made a thorough division into districts; collected and arranged the 
tax lists on every district of roads ; made new assessment of taxes, 
and stirred up quite a business in road making. But it was not all 
voluntary, for the town had been complained of in court, and some- 
thing must be done, but when the work began to move, they scarcely 
knew where to stop. 

The expenses for roads have been and are heavy because of the 



TORRINGTON RoADS. 185 

washing by sudden showers and heavy rains, and the melting of snows, 
and in the carrying away of bridges. 



The Naugatuck Rail Road. 

Mr. Alfred Bishop, then of Bridgeport, first proposed a rail road 
in the Naugatuck valley, and after consultation with various parties 
of leading men who might be interested in such an enterprise, the 
matter was laid before the legislature of Connecticut, and a charter 
granted in the year 1845, which was altered and amended in 1847 
and 1848. The following were the persons named in the grant as 
directors : 

Timothy Dwight, of New Haven, Philo Hurd, Bridgeport, 

Green Kendrick of Waterbury, Alfred B. Brittain of Bridgeport, 

Thomas Burlock of Derby, George L. Schuyler of New York. 
William P. Burrall, Bridgeport, 

The first proposition was a road from Bridgeport to Waterbury, 
the capital stock $800,000, but afterwards it was made $1,200,000, 
to go to Winsted. This amount of stock was afterwards increased 
for furnishing the road with engines, cars and coaches, or rolling 
stock, to $1,500,000. An organization of the company was ef- 
fected in February 1848, and a contract made with Alfred Bishop, 
to build the road complete, and receive in pay $800,000 cash and 
$400,000 in bonds. 

The first officers of the road were : Timothy Dwight, president ; 
Ira Sherman, secretary ; and Horace Nichols, treasurer. 

The profile and survey of the road was prepared, and presented to 
the directors on March 14, 1848 ; which was adopted, and in the 
following April the work was commenced. The contract stipulated 
that the road should be built in the most thorough and durable man- 
ner, with a heavy H rail, similar to that used on the Housatonic 
road, which Mr. Bishop had just completed. 

When the building of the road was assured, application was 
made to the business men along the line of the road, to take stock in 
the road and thus aid in securing money to build it. This they de- 
clined for the reason, probably, that they had no faith in any returns 
from such investment, but offered a bonus, or to give to the company a 
sum of money instead of taking stock. Mr. Bishop named the sum 
of $100,000 but consented to take $75,000, which was raised and 
delivered to the company. In raising this sum, and rendering special 
aid in the construction and completion of the road, Mr. Philo Hurd, 

24 




o 

a, 
u 

c 



h 
H 
O 
o 

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TORRINGTON RoADS. 187 

who was the general agent in all this work, mentions the following 
men, as having been of great service to the road : At Winsted, 
John Boyd, Mr. Bearsley, M. and J. C. Camp, Wm. L. Gilbert, 
George Dudley. 

At Burrville, Milo Burr. At Wolcottville, Geo. D. Wadhams, 
John Hungerford, F. N. Holley, and Wm. R. Slade. At Thomas- 
ton, Seth Thomas, gave $15,000 or more.' At Waterbury, Dea. 
Aaron Benedict, and his son Charles, M. & W. C. Scofield, Green 
Kendrick, John P. Elton, Brown brothers, William Phylo, Almon 
Terrell, Scofield Buckingham, Charles B. Merriman, Norton J. 
Buell, Israel Homes. AtNaugatuck, Milo Lewis, William B. Lewis, 
J. Peck, William C. De Forest, Mr. Goodyear, Josiah Culver. 
At Seymour, Dwight French & Co., George F. De Forest, S. 
Y. Beach, Gen. Clark Wooster. 

At Ansonia, Anson G. Phelps, Thomas Burlock. At Derby 
and Birmingham, John J. Howe, Edward N. Shelton, Henry At- 
water. Fitch Smith, Abraham Hawkins. 

Two men are mentioned by Mr. Hurd as having been very 
influential throughout the valley, in behalf of the road ; George D. 
Wadhams of Wolcottville, and Israel Holmes then of Waterbury, 
but for some years also, of Wolcottville. 

On the fifteenth of May 1849, the first fifteen miles of the road 
was ready for the transaction of business ; on the eleventh of June 
the road was open to Waterbury ; on the twenty-third of July it was 
opened to Plymouth, and on the twenty-fourth day of September 
1849, ^^^ whole road was completed. Mr. Bishop the contractor 
having died in June, the completion was thereby delayed a few days. 

The first time table was issued on the 14th of May 1849, ^"^ ^^^ 
the fourth of July 1849, ^ regular excursion train was run, and 
that time table mentions the following places, beginning at Inchliff's 
bridge and passing Waterville, Waterbury, Naugatuck, Pines 
Bridge, Humphreysville, Ansonia, Derby, Baldwin's Platform, Junc- 
tion, Bridgeport." 

On the twenty-third of July, a time table was issued, the train 
starting at Plymouth. 

On November 15, same year, a time table was issued, naming the 
following stations : Winsted, Rossiterville, Wolcottville, Harwinton, 



'The amounts would have been given, but the books are not in possession of the com- 
pany but kept in New York. 



i88 History of Torrington. 

Plymouth, Waterville, Waterbury, Naugatuck, Humphreysville, 
Ansonia, and Derby. 

No particular change from the first plan of the road was made, 
except at the south end where instead of crossing the Naugatuck 
river at Derby and going direct to Bridgeport, they ran down to the 
New York and New Haven road, and on that to Bridgeport, as at 
present. 

The directors in their first report (1849) ^^Y '■ "" T^^Q road com- 
mences at Winsted, in Litchfield county, about nine miles from the 
north line of the state, and terminates in the town of Milford, near 
the Housatonic river, about twelve miles from New Haven, and five 
from Bridgeport, at which point it intersects with the New York and 
New Haven rail road. It is fifty-five miles in length, and passes 
through the villages of Winsted, Wolcottville, Thomaston, Water- 
ville, the city of Waterbury, Union City, Naugatuck, Seymour, 
Ansonia, Derby and Birmingham, besides several other intermediate 
stations." 

Wolcottville in 1836, contained about forty dwellings, and be- 
tween that time and 1850, there were, probably, not over ten more 
erected, as that was a period of very little growth. When the rail 
road was being constructed in 1848, the capital stock employed in 
Wolcottville in all manufacturing enterprises was about one hundred 
thousand dollars, and the annual sales of products amounted to about 
four hundred thousand dollars. The transportation of products, was 
estimated by Geo. D. Wadhams, John Hungerford and B. H. Morse, 
to be thirty-two thousand tons. In 1853, ^^^ directors, in their re- 
ports say: "Wolcottville is fifty-two miles distant from Bridge- 
port. At this place there have been erected during the past year 
thirty-five dwellings and ten manufacturing establishments and stores. 
The new manufacturing establishments are ; a papier mache, a 
carriage, a hardware, a sawing and planing, a scythe, a woolen 
knitting, and a lock manufactory ; also a tannery. The increased 
value of real estate at this place is estimated by its citizens at seventy- 
five to one hundred per centum." 

At the same time they say of Winsted ; " the additional manu- 
facturing capital invested here since opening the road is about 
$160,000, and over one hundred buildings have been erected during 
the same period." 

Of Waterbury the same report says : " there have been erected 
at this place, during the last three years, from four hundred and fifty 



TORRINGTON RoADS. I 89 

to five hundred dwellings, and the mercantile business of the place 
has nearly quadrupled, and real estate has advanced from four to five 
hundred per cent." 

Besides this increase of business and the value of real estate in the 
village, the rail road has brought within the reach of every farmer in 
the town a market for all the milk he can produce. Some com- 
plaint is made as to prices realized from the milk, and from this cause 
some have given up the business, yet it is a significant fact that a 
number of the most enterprising, successful farmers in the town are 
selling their milk by the rail road. 

While the country all along the line of the road has been greatly 
benefited, it is pleasing to know that the road, as a business enter- 
prise, has been a success, and in every way an honor to the country 
and the men who have conducted it. There has been no repudiation 
of bonds, nor of bills, nor damages from the first day to the present 
time. The president of the New York and New Haven rail road, 
not long since, pronounced it, " one of the best managed roads in the 
country." It must have been or it would have been a lame, one 
horse affair, instead of being one of the most prompt and energetic 
institutions in the state. 

The extra expense in repairs on this road, above that of many 
others, absorbs annually a large per cent of the income. The road 
is built in a narrow valley, and the hills on either side much of the 
distance are very precipitous, and the water rushing down these steeps, 
often carries every thing before it. The clouds some times lower 
down below the tops of the adjacent hills and empty their waters as 
in a flood, and bridges and heavy masonry are carried away, as float- 
ing chips, as was the case in 1875, between Thomaston and Water- 
bury. And also on another occasion when the bridge was carried 
away at Pine brook, a little distance above Thomaston. On this oc- 
casion the workmen on the road above the bridge closed work at six 
o'clock and went down the road over the bridge to Thomaston, 
soon after a heavy shower came along above the bridge, and carried 
away a part of the abutment of the bridge, the bridge remaining in its 
place. When the up train came to Thomaston the workmen took 
a baggage or freight car, which when they came to the bridge went 
into the river and nine out of the sixteen men in the car were drowned. 
Great precaution is taken to have track walkers examine the road 
after showers, but in this case the shower was so confined to a short 
distance on the road and that between the stations, that no appre- 



190 History of Torrington. 

hension was entertained, of any injury to the road. That shower 
was very unusual, as it fell within the distance of one mile on the 
road and in three or four hours, the flood of water was gone and the 
river assumed its natural low water mark. In consequence of this 
abruptness of these rocky hills, the scenery along the road is wild and 
picturesque. At High rock, especially, it is exceedingly wild and 
grand -, equalling in all respects, except height, that of many cele- 
brated places. At Wolcottville the valley widens a little and the 
rise of the hills both east and west is not steep but gradual and 
free from rocks, forming the most beautiful and convenient site for 
a city, of any location in the valley. It is but due credit to say, 
therefore, that the management of this road has been upon honor 
and with a careful eye to expenses as well as incomes. 

The receipts of the road in 1849, were $52,292.04, a little more 
than half the amount of the interest on the capital stock for one year. 
In 1850, it was $145,261.59; in i860, $241, 330.54; in 1870, 
$589,928.62 ; and in 1876, $501,604.86. At Wolcottville the re- 
ceipts of the first month were $250, but since that time have reached 
over $6,000, in a single month, but does not average this amount, 
nor half of it probably. 

It is for the honor of Torrington, as well as every town on the 
line, that this road has been a success and is still enjoying the same 
distinguished honor; and it is also an honor, that this success has 
been attained and is maintained, only by great effort and the most 
skillful management on the part of the officers of the road. 

The present officers : E. F. Bishop, son of the first president, is 
president ; Horace Nichols, secretary and treasurer ; George W. 
Beach, superintendent; Samuel Wilmot, auditor. 

Directors : W. D. Bishop, R. Tomlinson, and E. F. Bishop of 
Bridgeport ; J. G. Wetmore of Winsted ; A. L. Dennis of Newark, 
N. J. ; Henry Bronson and J. B. Robertson of New Haven ; R. 
M. Bassett of Derby, and F. J. Kingsbury of Waterbury. 

The company are completing the work of laying the new steel 
rail the whole length of the line. 

If the road has been a successful enterprise it must have had com- 
petent and honorable men engaged in its business transactions in 
order to secure such an end, for if either of these conditions had been 
wanting the end could not, and would not have been realized. 

It will be interesting, therefore, to look over briefly the business 
life of some of the leaders in this enterprise. 



TORRINGTON RoADS. I9I 



Alfred Bishop. 

Alfred Bishop, first president of the Naugatuck rail road, de- 
scended from Rev, John Bishop, minister in Stamford, and was the 
son of William and Susannah (Scofield) Bishop, and was born in 
Stamford December 21, 1798. At an early age he commenced his 
self reliant career as a teacher in the public schools. After teaching a 
short time he went into New Jersey, with the intention of spending his 
days in farming. While thus employed, he made personal experi- 
ments with his pick axe, shovel, and wheel barrow, from which he 
estimated the cost for removing various masses of earth to different 
distances. In this way he prepared himself for the great work of 
his life, as canal and rail road contractor. Among the public works 
on which he was engaged, and which constitute the best monument 
to his name, are the Morris canal in New Jersey, the great bridge 
over the Raritan, at New Brunswick ; the Housatonic, Berkshire, 
Washington and Saratoga, Naugatuck, and New York and New 
Haven rail roads. 

He removed from New Jersey to Bridgeport, Ct., where he spent 
the remainder of his life. It is not claiming too much for him to say 
that Bridgeport owes much to his enterprise and public spirit. Mr. 
Bishop readily inspired confidence in his plans for public improve- 
ments, and at his call the largest sums were cheerfully supplied. 

But in the tnidst of his extensive operations, and while forming 
plans for still greater works, he was suddenly arrested by his last 
illness. From the first he felt that it would prove fatal ; and now, 
still more than while in health, he displayed his remarkable talents 
in arranging and planning all the details of a complicated operation. 
In the midst of great physical suffering he detailed with minuteness 
the necessary steps for closing all his extensive business arrangements, 
laying out the work for his executors, as he would plan the details of 
an ordinary contract for a rail road. He then, in the same business 
like manner, distributed his large estate. One-quarter of it he dis- 
posed in gratuities, outside of his own family, partly to his more dis- 
tant relatives, partly to his personal friends who had been unfortunate, 
and partly to strictly benevolent uses. 

Mr. Bishop married Mary, daughter of Ethan Ferris of Green- 
wich and had three sons, all born in New Jersey. William D. 
Bishop a graduate of Yale, and president of the New York and New 



192 History of Torrington. i 

Haven rail road ; Edward F. Bishop a graduate of Trinity college, 
Hartford, lives in Bridgeport and is president of the Naugatuck rail 
road. Henry Bishop resides in Bridgeport. 

Philo Hurd. 

Philo Hurd was born in Brookfield, Ct., in 1 795, and was the son 
of a farmer. He is a man of strong physical constitution and energy, 
which he has been heard to say, he gained " by inheritance, and by 
holding the plough among the rocks on the hills of Connecticut." 
He engaged in mercantile pursuits tor a number of years, in New 
York city, in the state of Georgia, and in the city of Bridgeport. 
While conducting business in Bridgeport he was elected sheriff of 
the county, and before his time in this oiEce had expired Mr. Alfred 
Bishop invited him to engage in making rail roads. 

He commenced his rail road work on the Housatonic, in completing 
the road. He was afterward engaged nearly a year and a half on the 
New York and New Haven rail road, assisting Professor Twining in 
locating parts of that road, and in giving deeds and arranging the pre- 
liminaries to that road. 

In the autumn of 1844, he came up the Naugatuck valley on an 
exploration tour, to inspect the localities, and inquire as to the feasi- 
bility of building a road in this valley. His report was so favorable 
that application was made for a charter, which was granted, and Mr. 
Hurd went through the entire valley with the engineers, as overseeing 
agent in locating the road and making the profile and survey. 
Then he went through again, surveyed and measured the land taken 
by the road, gave every deed, settled every claim, of man, widow, 
orphan or child, who owned any of the land, whether those persons 
resided on the road, in Michigan or in California. He has said that 
it seemed to him, that he " had slept, or taken a meal of victuals in 
nearly every house from Bridgeport to Winsted, and that in all this 
work he never had any serious difficulty with any person." 

This last item is remarkable, and proves without a doubt that Mr. 
Hurd must have been a man of unusual good nature, and that he had a 
kindly way of doing business, and that he succeeded in showing that 
the road was for the benefit of every person on the line, as has been 
proved to be the fact, in the development of the enterprise, or he 
would have had serious trouble somewhere. Mr. Hurd speaks with 
decided emphasis of the assistance rendered him by Mr. George D. 



TORRINGTON RoADS. 1 93 

Wadhams of Wolcottville, as being equal to that of any man in the 
valley, except Israel Holmes, then of Waterbury. 

In the construction of the road, Mr. Hurd bought all the material 
along the line, paid all the men employed, and saw every thing 
completed and delivered into the hands of the directors. 

The one great thing that made the work comparatively easy was, 
" the people wanted the road." In 1853, ^^^ ^'^^^ ^^^ been so 
prosperous, and Mr. Hurd's work so acceptable that the company 
made him a present of $1,000. 

By the time the Naugatuck road was finished Mr. Hurd had be- 
come thoroughly a rail road man and very naturally kept in the 
work. He went to Indiana and was engaged some time in finishing 
the rail road from Indianapolis to Peru. Scarcely was he through 
with that when he was invited to engage on the Hudson river road. 
Gov. Morgan was president of that road and Mr. Hurd was made 
vice president. In this office and work he continued some few years. 

When Robert Schuyler failed and the Hudson river road became 
somewhat in trouble Mr. Hurd accepted the presidency of the Har- 
lem rail road, where he continued about three years. 

At this time his health failed. He went to Florida and returned 
no better : went to St. Paul's, and returned no better. He then 
packed his trunk for a longer journey ; sailed for Europe, went to 
Nice, Italy, and there in a short time entirely recovered, and has 
never since had pulmonary difficulty. 

After returning home he engaged a short time on the Delaware, 
Lackawana, and Western rail road, and, after this, with a few items 
in regard to other roads, ceased to be a rail road man. 

He resides at Bridgeport, spending the winters at the south, and is 
still an energetic, cheerful, and agreeable gentleman. 

Horace Nichols. 

Horace Nichols was born in 18 12, in the town of Fairfield, 
Conn., and was a clerk some years in Bridgeport. He became the 
treasurer of the Housatonic railroad in 1840, and has held that office 
since that time. 

When the Naugatuck road was started he was elected secretary 
and treasurer, and has continued therein, a faithful, honorable but 
prompt and energetic officer until the present time. He is unosten- 
tatious, scarcely allowing a notice to be made of him in print ; con- 

25 



194 History of Torrington. 

stant in his attention to business, and therefore greatly successful, and 
merits and receives the esteem of all with whom he is associated. 



George W. Beach. 

George W. Beach was born in 1833, in Humphreysville, now 
Seymour, then in the town of Derby, Ct. His father Sharron Yale 
Beach was of the Wallingford branch of the New Haven family, and 
still resides at Seymour. Soon after the rail road was opened, or 
about 1850, George W., entered the service of the company in the 
capacity of clerk at the depot, and also filling any place or attending 
to any transactions on the road, to which he might be directed. In 
this position, having a natural tendency to observation, he readily 
became in a good degree, familiar with the work, and the men, and 
the methods of executing the work of the road. In 185 1, he was 
placed as second clerk in the office at Waterbury, but was frequently 
sent to various places on the line of the road, and hence, has been 
agent at nearly every station on the road. This very naturally gave 
him an acquaintance with the people, and the interests centering at 
every station, and the requirements necessary to adapt the road to the 
work it had to do as a whole, and as related to each station. 

In 1855, he was appointed agent at Naugatuck, in which position 
he continued until April 1857, when he was called to the conductor- 
ship of a morning and evening passenger train. While in this capacity 
he took charge of the general ticket agency, and thereby became 
more familiar with the general travel on the road, the running of the 
trains, and the efficiency of the men and the machinery of the road. 
In 1861, he was transferred as agent to Waterbury, the point of 
greatest business on the road. 

In September 1868, Charles Waterbury, then superintendent of 
the road, died, and Mr. Beach was appointed, in the following 
November, to this position ; which office he has held to the present 
time, and in which position he has become extensively and favorably 
known to the people along the line of the road and throughout the 
state. 

Mr. Beach is an unpretending, plain, business man, a good specimen 
of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. In his quiet way he 
will direct fifty men in repairing a break or a bridge on the road with 
the least noise, and have the work done and the trains running, in 
the shortest time possible, for such work. 



ToRRINGTON RoADS. I95 

A peculiar qualification of Mr. Beach for the precise position he 
now occupies is that of fore-thought, and fore-sight. It would not 
do in such a position to say " I did not think about it." And then 
when one in such a position thinks he must see at once whether 
the think is practicable and also remunerative. Several occur- 
rences on this road have illustrated these statements within the last 
ten years. 

He is a member of the first Congregational church of Waterbury, 
where he resides ; is superintendent of the Sunday school of that 
church. He is well known as one of the state committee of the Y. 
M. C. A., and was one of the few delegates to the convention in 
New York, which organized the Christian Commission^ for the relief 
of the soldiers during the late war. He represented the town of 
Waterbury in the legislature in 1870 and 1871. 

Alfred Beers. 

Alfred Beers, son of Jonathan Beers, was born at Canaan, Ct., 
Sept. 26, 18 1 7, where he resided with his parents until about five 
years of age, when they removed to Lewisboro, Westchester county, 
N. Y. He continued, after the old style, to work with his father 
until he was twenty-one years of age, but during which time he had, by 
various methods and efforts learned the trade of boot and shoe maker. 

At the age of twenty-three he married Mary E. daughter of Capt. 
Leander Bishop, of Rye, N. Y. 

Mr. Beers resided a time in Shrewsbury, N. J., and removed 
thence to Bridgeport and commenced work as a conductor with the 
Naugatuck railroad company in March, 1851 ; in which position he 
has continued to the present time ; a term of over twenty-six years. 
During this time he has served under all the superintendents who 
have been employed on the road ; Philo Hurd, W. D. Bishop, 
Clapp Spooner, Charles Waterbury, and George W. Beach. The 
distance he has traveled while in this work has been about one 
million miles, or the same as forty times around the world ; and has 
conducted about two millions of passengers over the road in safety 
having never lost the life of a passenger, nor having one seriously 
injured. But in one respect he had the advantage of his brother, 
in the matter of safety, his train running in the middle of the day, 
and his brother's at morning and evening ; and the only serious ac- 
cidents which have occurred on the road were two, both on the up 
train, each in the evening, after a heavy shower of rain. 



196 - History of Torrington. 

Mr. Beers, having been so long connected with the road as con- 
ductor, has become the personal friend (and almost personal 
property) of every body from Long Island sound to the Old Bay 
state, and in traveling it is a matter of about as much satisfaction and 
sense of safety to the public, to see the old conductor, as it is to 
knovi^ there is a steam engine ahead of the train. Indeed his silver 
vi^edding in connection with the road ought to have been celebrated 
two years ago, and thereby given expression to the joyful fact that 
in regard to these " bans hitherto, no man hath put asunder." 

Mr. Beers has six children ; three sons and three daughters. 

His eldest son Leander J., is conductor on the Shore Line rail road, 
and runs from New Haven to New London ; his second son Charles 
W. is mail agent on the Housatonic rail road ; and his third son, 
Alfred B., is an attorney at law, and now judge of the city court of 
Bridgeport. He enlisted in the late war as a private, served three 
years; re-enlisted with the declared determination to do what he 
could to the very last to put down the rebellion. He came out of 
the contest unharmed, and with a captain's commission. Mr. Beers's 
daughters are married ; two residingin Bridgeport and oneinLitchfield. 

He has four grandsons, all of them doubtless if not on the rail road 
are traveling in the " way they should go." 

Mr. Beers resides and is one of the vestrymen of St. Paul's church 
of East Bridgeport, and warden of the borough of West Stratford. 
He is also one of the assessors of the town of Stratford, and also 
grand juror. 

Amos S. Beers. 

Amos S. Beers was born in 1827, in South Salem, New York 
state, and was the son of Jonathan Beers, a farmer. He worked on 
his father's farm until seventeen years of age, when he went to New 
Canaan, where he served his time, three years, as a shoemaker. 
From this place, he went to New York city where he remained as 
clerk in a shoe store two years. 

He engaged in the service of the Naugatuck road in 1854, as fire- 
man, remaining nine months and then left that service. In 1855, 
he was appointed conductor and has thus continued to the present 
time, a period of twenty-two years, and has thereby, as well as his 
older brother, become, if not a part of the incorporate body politic, a 
fixture, so important and so familiar to all the people, that his absence 
from his train, would require a definite explanation from high au- 



TORRINGTON RoADS. I97 

thorities to satisfy the inquiry of the public. He has at different times 
run his train years in succession without losing a trip. 

He understands his business and attends to it, without fear or favor, 
and yet in the demeanor of a true gentleman as well as officer. At- 
tentive in an unusual degree to the sick and disabled who are com- 
pelled to travel, he is decided and thorough in securing perfect order 
and decorum on his train, at all times. 

In the accident which occurred a little above Thomaston, on the 
eleventh of May 1876, by which a coach heavily loaded with pas- 
sengers, was thrown into the river, by the breaking of an axle, he 
manifested such presence of mind in rescuing every person in safety, 
as to secure the approbation of all on the train, and also received a 
present of an elegant gold watch from the company. As to this ac- 
cident he has been heard to say that as he was standing on the plat- 
form and saw the coach (the last in the train) go down the banks, 
although the breaks were already on, ''it seemed to him that the 
train would never stop." Very likely ! persons have sometimes 
lived ages in a moment. 

He also knows the road on which he travels and looks ahead. 
Going down on a morning train, after a shower in the night, he said 
to his engineer, " when you reach such a place, before passing the 
curve, stop, and I will look at the track." The train stopped ; and 
in the waiting the passengers began to be uneasy and wonder what 
crazy fit had come over the engineer, or the conductor, or some 
body. The conductor passed around the curve and there lay a land 
slide covering the whole track. If they had proceeded as usual, 
the whole train must have gone into the river, and a coroner's jury 
would have rendered death to a score or more, caused by a land 
slide. 

Behind a clear intellect is often wanted a heart to feel for humanity. 
Men often see the danger, but having no human sympathy, rush on, 
and a great calamity is the result. A rail road conductor needs a 
heart as well as a clear head ; and also he needs courage to ignore 
the jeers of a thoughtless company who would be the first to condemn 
him if an accident occurred. 

The Naugatuck rail road hitherto has been very fortunate in its 
conductors. 

Mr. Beers's eldest son, Herbert S. Beers, is conductor on the New 
Haven and Ansonia rail road. 

His son Willie H. Beers, is shipping clerk for the Gilbert Clock 
factory at Winsted. 



198 History of Torrington. 



HiLAN M. Rogers. 

HiLAN M. Rogers, was born in Michigan January 10, 1838. 
His father, Orlando Rogers, was born at North East, Dutchess county, 
N. Y., in 1810, and died at Bridgeport, Ct., in 1871. His grand- 
father, Joel Rogers, was born at Fishkill, N. Y., in 1769 or 70, and 
removed to North East, Dutchess co., about 1775, with his father, 
Isaac Rogers, who was born in New Jersey, and removed to Fishkill. 
Mr. H. M. Rogers enlisted in the twentieth regiment Connecticut 
volunteers, in 1862, and was under General Hooker at the battle 
of Chancellorville and under General Mead at Gettysburg, and 
followed the rebel army to the Rapidan. His regiment was soon 
transferred to the army of the Cumberland, and was under General 
Sherman in his grand march through Georgia to the Atlantic and 
northward. At Bentonville, N. C, he was wounded with a minie 
ball through the right thigh, March 19, 1865, in Sherman's last 
battle. He was sent to the hospital in Goldsborough, N. C, and 
thence to Newbern, from there to Fort Schuyler, and arrived at New 
Haven the night before the news of President Lincoln's assassination. 
He was discharged from the New Haven hospital in the latter part 
of June following. 

Mr. Rogers engaged as clerk in the service of the rail road in 1865, 
and was located at Ansonia, where he remained three years, but act- 
ing as agent on the road in different offices. In 1868, he took charge 
of the station at Seymour, where he remained until May 1870, when 
he was made agent at Wolcottville where he has remained since. 

Edward Kelly. 
Edward Kelly came to Wolcottville in 1849, and commenced 
work on the rail road as track repairer, and continued in that work 
one year. He then became baggage master and freight agent at the 
depot, in which position he continued until 1 871, a term of twenty- 
one years. Since that time he has held the position of truck and 
express man, and is about as well known as any other man about 
Wolcottville. Regularly and as faithfully as the days come and go 
he is on his truck or express wagon delivering goods, and although 
he is servant of all yet he rules the town according to the law of a 
certain book he carries, as thoroughly as though he were King 
Edward the First. 




CHAPTER XVI. 

INTEMPERANCE AND TEMPERANCE. 

^HE opinion or judgment of the early settlers of Torring- 
ton was, in common with all the early settlers of New 
England, that spirituous and malt liquors possessed pro- 
perties of beneficence to the human race ; that the race 
had always thus judged, and that it was not only consistent, but also 
in accord with the highest wisdom, thus to use them. Intoxication 
was regarded as not only a wrong use, but a criminal use of a bene- 
ficent gift to man. Under these opinions, liquors of these kinds were 
trom the first brought to this country, and were, so far as skill and 
ability would allow, produced in this country, for the benefit of 
society. The early fathers of Connecticut, judging thus, that a 
proper use was both Christian and wise, proceeded to enact laws to 
restrain and prohibit men from the wrong, or excessive use of these 
drinks, and proposed to treat the excess in this matter, the same as 
any other excess should in their judgment be treated. 

Hence the general court of Connecticut, enacted, in 1650, only 
fourteen years afier the first settlement was made in the colony, the 
following restrictions of the sale of these liquors : 

Innkeepers. 

" For as much as there is a necessary use of houses of common 
entertainment in every commonwealth, and of such as retail wine, 
beer and victuals, yet because there are so many abuses of that law- 
ful liberty, both by persons entertaining and persons entertained, there 
is also need of strict laws and rules to regulate such an employment.' 



'The need of houses of entertainment is seen from the following law made in 1650 : 
" It is ordered by this court and authority thereof, that no master of a family shall give en- 
tertainment or habitation to any young man to sojourn in his family but by the allowance 
of the inhabitants of the town where he dwells under penalty of twenty shillings per week. 
And it is also ordered, that no young man that is neither married nor hath any servant, 
nor is a public officer, shall keep house of himself without the consent of the town for and 
under pain or penalty of twenty shillings a week." — Col. Rec, i, 538. 



200 History of Torrington. 

"It is therefore ordered by this court and authority thereof, that no 
person or persons licensed for common entertainment shall suffer any 
to be drunken or drink excessively, viz : about half a pint of wine 
for one person at a time, or to continue tippling above the space of 
half an hour, or at unseasonable times, or after nine o'clock at night, 
in or about any of their houses on penalty of five shillings for every 
such offence. And every person found drunken, viz: so that he be 
thereby bereaved or disabled in his understanding, appearing in his 
speech or gesture, in any of the said houses or elsewhere, shall for- 
feit ten shillings, four pence ; and for continuing above half an hour 
tippling, two shillings six pence ; and for tippling at unseasonable 
times, or after nine o'clock at night, five shillings, for every offence 
in these particulars, being lawfully convicted thereof; and for want 
of payment, such shall be imprisoned until they pay, or be set in the 
stocks, one hour or more, in some open place, as the weather will 
permit, not exceeding three hours at a time : Provided, notwithstand- 
ing, such licensed persons may entertain sea-faring men or land 
travelers in the night season when they come first on shore, or from 
their journey, for their necessary refreshment, or when they prepare 
for their voyage or journey the next day early [if there] be no dis- 
order amongst them ; and also strangers and other persons in an 
orderly way may continue [in] such houses of common entertain- 
ment during meal times, or upon lawful business what time their 
occasions shall require. 

" And it is also ordered that if any person offend in drunkenness, 
excessive or long drinking, the second time they shall pay double 
fines ; And if they fall into the same offence the third time they 
shall pay treble fines ; and if the parties be not able to pay their 
fines, then he that is found drunk shall be punished by whipping to 
the number of ten stripes, and he that offends by excessive or long 
drinking, shall be put into the stocks, for three hours, when the 
weather may not hazard his life or limbs j and if they offend the 
fourth time they shall be imprisoned until they put in two sufficient 
sureties for their good behavior."' 

From these provisions of law it will be seen that drinking intoxi- 
cating liquors made people drunken from the earliest days of the 
settlement of the colony, and hence the oft repeated remark that the 
people who used to drink liquors, did not get drunk, is historically 
untrue, and that too, in the best of communities. Nearly every man 
and woman who came early to this colony was a professed Christian, 
and yet there were " so many abuses of that lawful liberty," that is, 
so many that " be drunken or drink excessively " that laws were enacted 



' Colonial Records, vol. I, p. 533. Some of the provisions of this section were enacted 
in the court May 25, 1647. 



Intemperance and Temperance. 201 

to restrain men from drunkenness. Not to restrain them from drink- 
ing, for that was thought to be proper and advantageous to health. 

It may be further seen that drunkenness or excess in drinking, or 
"to continue tippling" and lounging about the tavern or inn, was a 
disgrace and dishonor that the community could not, and would not 
suffer to exist, and whatever may be said of the temperance principles 
of those days, they had one principle that they thought something of, 
namely, that drunkenness should not stalk abroad at noon-day, 
and its profanity and obscenity be a matter only of jest and sport for 
young and old through all the streets. 

Another item is worthy of notice ; that the seller and drinker were 
both punished ; they had both committed a trespass against the com- 
munity, and there was manliness enough in the people to see that 
both were properly, and if need be, severely punished : " And if they 
offend the fourth time they shall be imprisoned until they put in two 
sureties for their good behavior." 

Such were the ideas of the people of Connecticut in regard to 
intemperance, nearly one hundred years before Torrington was settled, 
and seventy-five years afterward as well, and there was some virtue 
in law, in those days. And they went further still, and ordered that 
no " innkeeper, victualer, wine drawer, or other, shall deliver any wine, 
nor suffer any to be delivered out of his house, to any which come 
for it, unless they bring a note under the hand of some one master of 
some family and allowed inhabitant of that town." And fearing 
that some interested persons might take advantage of some part of 
these statements, they added : " neither shall any of them sell or draw 
any hot water to any but in case of necessity, and in such moderation 
of quantity as they may have good ground to conceive it may not be 
abused,"' 

In 1659, it was further ordered, " that if any person be found 
drunk, and convicted so to be, in any private house, he shall pay 
twenty shillings for every transgression of this nature, unto the 
public treasury, and the owner of the house where the person is found 
and proved to be made drunk shall pay ten shillings."^ 

As early as 1670, the use of cider and the sale of it, became a 
subject of restriction among the new settlers ; it had been prohibited 



' Col. Rec, vol. I, 535. 
" Ibid, p. 333. 

26 



202 History of Torrington. 

in sale to the Indians in 1660, and in some respects was prohibited 
much earlier than that. 

It is therefore historically true that cider and malt and distilled 
liquors, however pure, have produced drunkenness all along the life, 
or the existence of the American nation, and they have ever been, 
as a beverage, to say the least, a terrible curse, a burning, blighting 
shame on every community, and destroyers without equals, in any 
considerations under the sun. 

It was under this impression, that these drinks, as such, were 
beneficial to the community, that the early settlers of Torrington 
planted their thousands of apple-trees, and built their cider mills and 
brandy stills. Torrington soil grew apple-trees with great rapidity 
and thrift and hence in thirty years after the building of the Fort, the 
town was flooded with apples and cider, and cider brandy. In 1775, 
there must have been from twelve to fifteen cider mills in the town 
at a low estimate, and one brandy still. Not long after this Abner 
Loomis erected another still. Dea. Whiting's account book indicates 
the making by his mill about one hundred barrels a year for ten years 
from 1773. Noah North's, about the same. The number of in- 
habitants in 1774, was 843. There was made then, on a small esti- 
mate, one barrel of cider a year, to every man, woman and child in 
the town. Thrall's brandy still was no small afFair, and Abner 
Loomis's was such that he boasted of its mighty producing power. A 
barrel of brandy was brought from Windsor to the hill, a little north 
of Dr. Hodge's home, and thereby that hill from Capt. Abel Beach's 
north, was called Brandy hill ; but when Abner Loomis's still 
had acquired its majority years, the hill on which his house stood was 
called Brandy hill. It should have been Brandy hill junior, or 
number two. When a frame was raised for a house on the corner 
north of Rev. Alexander Gillett's house, a jug of brandy was thrown 
from the top of the frame, on a heap of stones and thus consecrated 
that hill to the shrine of Brandy. 

A tradition says the first brandy distilled in the town was effected 
by a woman (on some emergency of sickness or calamity), then living 
on the farm now known as the Palmer farm, a mile and a half north- 
east of Wolcottville, and that it was made in a common iron dinner 
pot. A number of old account books, preserved, all, so far as they 
show the progress of intemperance, or the regular use of intoxicating 
drinks as a beverage, agree as to one tiling ; the free use of cider 



Intemperance and Temperance. 203 

from 1760, emerged into the free use of brandy about 1790: the 
difference seeming to be gallons of brandy in the place of barrels 
of cider. Hence brandies and imported wines, and other distilled 
liquors, constituted an important part of the sales in all the stores 
during fifty and more years. And this kind of merchandise bore 
fruit, such as the night after the rasing of John Brooker's house in 
a place called The Horns, but named that night Orleans village,' 
and such scenes as at the anti-slavery mob in Wolcottville in January, 
1837. Without this liquid fire, no such scenes would ever have dis- 
graced this beautiful valley, nor these charming hills. Nor is it quite 
elegant to suggest that it was because of some " rough fellows from 
Harwinton " and some wild cat " fellows from Goshen," who made 
the row ; nor Arabs from the desert. 

When Joseph Taylor was elected to the office of ensign in the 
military company, about 1 790, he gave a dinner, as was enjoined on 
all persons elevated in those days to such distinguished offices. Five 
hundred took dinner the first day in the yard at his house, and those 
who could not attend that day came the next morning. He provided 
for the occasion a barrel, forty or more gallons of liquor, and the 
next morning, in order to treat those who took breakfast, he sent and 
bought nine gallons more. 

And other fruits there have been of this cider graduation into 
brandy, some of them so shameful that no pen has the courage to 
write them, and if written none but a bloated face could read them 
without a blush of horror. 

The young man who, of all in the town, started in life with the 
most money and the fairest prospects, before the year 1800, built a 
tavern and kept it, and died in the poor house. He was not a be- 
sotted drunkard, but even the selling of liquors, tends to poverty. 

A long list of idiotic children appeared in the town in the midst 
and towards the latter part of the brandy period and were an expense 



' The night after the raising of Brooker's house was made hideous by the carousals of the 
crowd who had gathered from far and near to share in the frolic. Persons still living 
speak of it as absolutely fearful, from the noise, profanity, and rowdyism which prevailed. 
A little later, when the tavern was opened, a company of guests from Litchfield, after 
ordering supper, drinks, and other supplies to their full desire, being somewhat inspired by 
what they had received, took the landlord to a third story window, and put him out, head 
foremost, and held him by the heels until he promised to make no charges for their enter- 
tainment. — Rev. Dr. Perrin''s Centennial Sermon, page 12. 



204 History of Torrington. 

to the town for a long list of years. Set this down to the account 
of brandy. 

More than a hundred of the finest sons, of a noble ancestry in this 
town, have gone to the close of life's short day, under a cloud : put 
it down to brandy ! And what sorrow, shame, ruin and death has it 
not perpetrated in* this town ? 

The climax in the production of cider was reached about 1830, 
when one farmer from his own orchards made three hundred barrels 
and more ; since that day cider has been in a glorious decline. 

The time was, also, when there were in great and small from one 
to two score brandy stills in the town, and quite a number of these 
are still standing. Let the traveler, as he passes the farm houses in 
the back parts of the town look around, and if he sees a small out 
house, alittle distance from thedwellings, ordown by the brook, with a 
chimney rising from the roof, put it down as one of the olden time 
brandy stills, and ride on ,• the times he will be mistaken in his judg- 
ment will not be worth counting. 

About the year 1800, there were eleven taverns in the town ; five 
in Torringford, two in Newfield, and four in the southwestern part 
of the town ; two large brandy stills, and two stores where liquors 
were freely sold ; and in 18 10, there were two more taverns, and one 
store added, making eighteen houses for the public and free sale of 
intoxicating drinks. 

Tobacco and Intemperance. 

Tobacco is so intimately allied, in its qualities, effects and social 
relations, with intemperance, that it may properly be denominated, 
its forerunner. All persons who use tobacco do not drink intoxicat- 
ing drinks, but so many do, and so many use tobacco first and then 
come to strong drink in consequence of the appetite created by the 
tobacco, that the weed may very properly be said to be the forerun- 
ner of the drinking, and certainly of the two the drinking is the more 
cleanly and elegant habit until men get into the ditch. It is there- 
fore important for every temperance person, or every person who 
values temperance principles, to weigh well and seriously, whether 
the use of tobacco is not a responsibility so high as to preclude all 
possibility of a safe investment in the matter. 

The history of intemperance is very far from complete with the 
subject of tobacco left out. 

The deleterious effects of the use of tobacco were recognized by 



Intemperance and Temperance. 205 

the fathers in the early settlement of the colony. In the May session 
in 1647, the court considered the subject and made the following 
order : 

" Forasmuch as it is observed that many abuses are committed 
by frequent taking tobacco, it is ordered that no person under the 
age of twenty years, nor any other that hath not already accustomed 
himself to the use thereof, shall take any tobacco until he have 
brought a certificate, under the hand of some who are approved for 
knowledge and skill in physic, that it is useful for him, and also that 
he hath received a license from the court for the same. And for the 
regulating those who either by their former taking it, have to their 
own apprehensions made it necessary to them, or upon due advice are 
persuaded to the use thereof. It is ordered, that no man within this 
colony, after the publication thereof, shall take any tobacco publicly 
in the street, nor shall any take it in the fields or woods, unless when 
they be on their travel or journey at least ten miles, or at the ordinary 
time of repast commonly called dinner, or if it be not then taken, yet 
not above once in the day at most, and then not in company with 
any other. Nor shall any inhabitant in any of the towns within, this 
jurisdiction, take any tobacco in any house in the same town where 
he liveth, with and in company of any more than one who useth and 
drinketh the same weed, with him at the time ; under the penalty of 
six pence for each offence against this order, in any of the particulars 
thereof, to be paid without gain saying, upon conviction by the testi- 
mony of one witness that is without just exception, before any one 
magistrate." 

Thus did the fathers indicate their judgment against the use of 
tobacco, and if the law they enacted could have been carried into 
effect in the practice of the people, it is very possible that a large 
proportion of the drunkenness which has been experienced would 
have been avoided, for the perpetual and universal use of tobacco by 
those who drink liquors as a beverage, is such an acknowledged his- 
torical fact, and that with these, the use of tobacco began first, that 
the voice of history is, if tobacco had not been used, vast multitudes 
of drunkards would never have been drunkards. Tobacco and strong 
drinks are not only associated together in men's mouths, but in a 
large degree in the public markets. Where liquors are sold there, 
always nearly, tobacco is sold, and those who drink liquors are always 
expected to smoke or use tobacco, and those who use tobacco with 
a few exceptions, comparatively, will drink liquors. Then also the 
accompaniments of tobacco selling and using are in a large degree 
the same as those around liquor selling. Very few places used for 
the one purpose of selling liquors can be found without indecent 



2o6 History of Torrington. 

pictures of women, posted so as to be gazed at while the deadly 
poisons are swallowed. It is also well known that during twenty 
years past, the brands of tobacco most sought after have been those 
put up in boxes, on the inside of the covers of which were the highest 
perfected pictures of gay women, scantily dressed. 

Then again, it is almost an impossibility for a lad, or young man to 
learn to use tobacco without learning to swear, or use profane lan- 
guage. It is a legitimate consequence that the tongue, having become 
physically unclean, should become morally the same with comparative 
ease. 

According to the best information obtained tobacco was very little 
used during the first thirty years after the commencement of the 
settling of the town. The account books which reveal the sale of 
tobacco, inform us that the demand for this commodity began to 
prevail about the year, 1770, and then demand for cider increased. 
Men having smoked until thirsty, drank cider to quench the thirst ; 
and thus smoking and drinking became a prevailing custom. At 
first there was very little of the chewing of tobacco ; this was rather 
the consequent of the smoking and drinking. 

When the men had fallen into the prevailing habit of smoking and 
drinking; filling their dwellings with the clouds of smoke and the 
perfumes of both, the women, out of a proper inclination to take part 
in social entertainments, and partly out of self defence, began to take 
part in the smoking, as well as the drinking ; and thus whole families, 
of men and women engaged, especially on social occasions, in smoking 
tobacco as well as drinking cider and stronger drinks. Some women 
chewed tobacco as well as the men, nor was this all, the use of 
tobacco was followed by the use of snufF, especially by the women, 
until many voices retained no natural sound. It used to be said that 
such people talked through their noses, but the fact was that the nose 
became so closed, and thus became a kind of sounding board, for 
throwing out a dull, snufFy sound, that was as unmusical as it was 
unnatural, and hence many persons could not sing because of the use 
of snufi^. 

Another consequence of the use of tobacco and snufi\, was the use 
of opium. The men, after the free use of tobacco and cider, resorted 
to brandy and strong drinks ; the women to the eating of opium ; 
and hence fifty years ago, there was probably a score of times more 
opium taken, for narcotic eff^ects than at the present day, in propor- 
tion to the number of the people in the rural parts of the country. 



Intemperance and Temperance. 207 

The raising of tobacco has been a prolific source to the introduction 
of the habit of using it. Considerable tobacco has been raised in 
Torrington, and that of a very good quality, as reported by those 
who deal in it, but at present very little is here produced ; the reason 
being, not the diminishing of the use of it, but the increase in its pro- 
duction in other parts of the country. 

Temperance Reform. 

The earliest record that has been obtained concerning any reform- 
atory movements in the town on this subject, are recorded in a 
book, kept for that purpose by the Torringford temperance societies, 
and in this book the various stages of the reform are represented in 
the declared objects of the societies, and the pledges which were cir- 
culated and signed at different periods during thirty years. This 
representation is in accordance with the temperance movement 
throughout the town, and the state and nation. 

The active reform movement began here in 1827, headed by Rev. 
Mr. Goodman, although the community had been awaking to the 
subject because of the sermon delivered by the Rev. Dr. Porter of 
Washington, Ct., in r8o6 and Dr. Lyman Beecher's lectures, on the 
prevalence of intemperance, delivered about 18 12, and other public 
discussions of the subject.' 

In Torringford the first society for the promotion of temperance 
was organized in 1827, and the first article gives the following rea- 
sons for the movement : "That intemperance is an evil of alarming 
magnitude, in our country ; which every friend of religion, of hu- 
manity, and of his country, should labor to suppress and prevent. 
That among the causes of this vice are the common use of ardent 
spirits as an auxiliary to labor, or an alleviation from pain ; the com- 
mon practice of presenting it to friends and guests as a necessary ex- 
pression of hospitality or civility, and the practice of drinking it on 
public occasions, in social circles, and on every occasion of slight 



'A temperance movement started, and a pledge was signed in May, 1789, in the town 
of Litchfield, repudiating the use of distilled liquors, by thirty-six gentlemen; and among 
the names annexed to it, were those of Julius Deming, Benjamin Tallmadge, Uriah Tracy, 
Ephraim Kirby, Moses Seymour, Daniel Sheldon, Tapping Reeve, Frederick Wolcott, and 
John Webb {^Litchfield Centennial). The next movement of this kind was in Saratoga 
county, N. Y., in 1808. In 1826, the American Temperance Union was organized in 
Boston. 



2o8 History of Torrington. 

indisposition." Such were the plain, decided and fearless charac- 
terizations of intemperance as a vice, and declarations put forth by 
the Torringford people from the first ; and then they state their judg- 
ment as to what should be done in regard to this great question. 
"That entire abstinence from the use of ardent spirits, except for 
medicinal purposes, is a practice we should therefore rejoice to see 
adopted by the sober and conscientious part of community, as it 
would have, in our opinion, a powerful tendency, both to prevent and 
suppress the evil in question." 

The second article states : " We will consider it our duty to pro- 
pagate these sentiments, and to discourage the evil practices re- 
ferred to." 

This was all the pledge they had in this first society, and to which 
thirty-nine names of the leading men of the community were attached, 
headed by the Rev. Mr. Goodman, 

In June, 1829, they made a little advance in their statements of 
the evils and cure of intemperance and pledged themselves that : " We 
will abstain from the use of distilled spirits, except as a medicine in case 
of bodily infirmity ; that we will not allow the use of them in our 
families nor provide them for the entertainment of our friends, nor 
for persons in our employment, and in all suitable ways we will dis- 
countenance the use of them in the community." This pledge was a 
great and radical change from the usual customs and practices of 
those times, and after forming such a pledge the question readily 
arises, how many signed such an instrument? The answer is as 
wonderful as is was good, just eighty^ all leading and influential men 
of the community. Eighty heads of families (apparently) resolve, in 
the midst of all the old practices and customs, to that day, not to allow 
the use of these drinks, as such, in their homes, nor provide them for 
friends or guests. Eighty families in a farming community like Tor- 
ringford was a sweeping work with but few if any parallels in the 
country. But this was only the beginning for Torringford ; they 
invited speakers to address their society meetings, making them pub- 
lic, or for all to hear, and these speakers were of their own citizens, 
Griswold Woodward, Dr. Samuel B. Woodward, Rev. Mr. Arms 
of Wolcottville, and others, and also speakers from Norfolk, Hart- 
ford and many other places. They voted also, that the children of 
the several school districts should be encouraged to sign the pledge 
with the consent of their parents. The Rev. Mr, Goodman was 
invited to "hold religious meetings at the several school houses of the 
place as often as consistent, for the purpose-of diffusing information on the 



Intemperance and Temperance. 209 

subject of temperance." In 1834, they resolved to offer the pledge 
to the youth of the several schools in the society, the result being 
that of securing a large number of names. At this place in the re- 
cords we discover the name of Dr. E. D. Hudson who at once, 
after settling in Torringford, entered into this work most heartily. 
The next year the society passed a vote to present the pledge to 
every person, not now a member, for signatures. This was making 
clean work of it ; and from this time meetings were held which were 
called monthly meetings; and delegates were frequently sent to the 
county meetings, while reports of the progress of the enterprise were 
frequently made at the Torringford meetings ; so that a lively 
interest was felt and continued from year to year. In these meetings 
it was a custom to call on those persons who were trying to reform 
as well as others, to report as to their success in fulfilling the pledge. 
There was one case as to whom there seems to have been some 
doubt, and when called to make report as to whether he had drank 
any during the past month, gave uniformly the answer, " No more 
than usual." In 1836, they discussed the duty of all temperance 
persons to sign the total abstinence pledge, and in 1839, the pledge 
was revised and made a little more definite in its terms and re-signed 
by two hundred and thirty persons, and under this banner they worked 
in the great cause some four or five years. 

The next form that the work took in this region was the Wash- 
ington temperance society, about the days of the so called Wash- 
ingtonians, or reformed drunkards. The pledge of Torringford 
society states that " we pledge ourselves that we will not use, as a 
beverage, any spirituous or malt liquors, wine or cider." This pledge 
doubtless tried the taith of some and others went away backward to their 
own hurt, but the Torringford people went forward, perfectly willing 
to deny themselves if thereby good might be secured to others, and 
two hundred and fifty signed this total abstinence pledge. Under this 
new banner against wine and cider the strength and courage of the 
people were fully tested, and the victory was never fully proclaimed 
as triumphant, though but for just this specific agitation there might 
have been hundreds of drunkard's graves filled which now must re- 
main empty, forever. 

In 1852, another clause was added to the pledge prohibitory of 
traffic in intoxicating drinks, since which time various temperance or- 
ganizations have been fostered and encouraged, more especially in 
Wolcottville, where there is now one society of the sons of temper- 
ance holding regular meetings. 

27 




CHAPTER XVII. 

SLAVERY AND ANTI-SLAVERY. 

iHE spirit and institution of African slavery were introduced 
to this town by the early settlers, who came from those 
parts where this system had been upheld and practiced 
nearly a century. The first slaves introduced into the 
colonies were sold from a Dutch vessel, which landed twenty at 
Jamestown in Virginia in 1620, and slavery soon came into existence 
in nearly every part of North America, and Indians were enslaved as 
well as negroes. The son of King Philip (Indian) was sold as a 
slave. 

Slavery has existed more than three thousand years, but negro, or 
African slavery, as a distinctive class condition, came into existence 
about 14J5, along the coasts of the Mediterranean sea ; and after 
that, grew into a traffic, of kidnapping and selling for gain. And 
even this trade began to decrease before the discovery of America, 
but after the discovery there arose a demand for this kind of slaves 
in the tropical climate of the new world, and the traffic revived and 
grew to the enormous proportions acknowledged by the history of the 
last century. Slavery existed in Mexico before the discovery by 
Columbus, but it was a very mild form compared with that after- 
wards practiced in the United States. 

In 1553, negro slaves were first sold in England, and for one 
hundred years slavery and the slave trade were accepted in England 
almost without a voice of protest. The Quakers, who arose about 
1660, made the first formidable opposition to the system and to this 
kind of commercial enterprise. The puritans, therefore, who came 
to America had scarcely thought of slavery as improper or wrong, 
either in regard to the master or the enslaved, although they enacted 
severe laws against stealing men.' Also the laws concerning children 
and of apprenticeship in England, and those enacted at first in the 
New England colonies were not far below, in severity, the laws after- 
ward made concerning slavery, and slavery at that day was but little 



« " If any man stealeth a man or mankind, he shall be put to death." — Col. Rec, i, 77. 



Slavery and Anti-Slavery. 211 

more than an apprenticeship.^ Hence it was no great transition from 
apprenticeship to slavery ; and they both run well together more than 
one hundred years. It required no act to permit slavery in the 
colonies because it was thought to be an unquestioned right, if any 
one deemed it expedient or advantageous to exercise it. 

The first act of the Connecticut court appears in 1660; "It is 
ordered by this court, that neither Indians nor negro servants shall 
be required to train, watch or ward, in this colony."^ The next law 
of the kind was made in 1677, and provided that Indians who were 
bound to service and ran away, when captured their masters might 
sell them to be " transported out of the colony." Thus gradually, 
without political purpose or forethought, slavery became a practical 
reality in the colony, so that in 1680, there were thirty persons held 
in servitude by it. And although increased thereafter, it was at a 
slow ratio and never attained any considerable proportions in the state. 
In 1790, there were 2,759 slaves ; the largest number ever attained ; 
at which time the state passed a law providing for gradual emancipa- 
tion, and in 1840 there were but seventeen left in the state. 

The records of the first church in Torrington show that among 
others who united with the church in 1756, was Phebe, colored 
servant of Joel Thrall ; this person was probably a slave. After 
this another slave woman was in the town held by the wives of Dea. 
John Whiting and William and Matthew Grant. These women 
were sisters and their father, Mr. Foster of Meriden, gave this 
woman to them. In later years these families hired Jude Freeman 
to keep this woman by the year, and there was considerable talk 
about the propriety of turning the old woman " out to pasture " 
when she could do no more work. But she had a good home, for 
Jude Freeman was a noble man, though colored. 



' [13.] If any child or children above sixteen years old and of sufficient understanding, 
shall curse or smite their natural father or mother, he or they shall be put to death, unless 
it can be sufficiently testified that the parents have been very unchrlstianly negligent in the 
education of such children, or so provoke them by extreme and cruel correction that they 
have been forced thereunto, to preserve themselves from death or maiming. 

[14.3 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son of sufficient years and understanding, 
viz : sixteen years of age, which will not obey the voice of his father, and that when they 
have chastened him, will not hearken unto them, then may his father and mother, being 
his natural parents, lay hold on him and bring him to the magistrates assembled in court, 
and testify unto them that their son is stubborn and rebellious and will not obey their voice 
and chastisement, but lives in sundry notorious crimes, such a son shall be put to death 

' Col. Rec, I, 349. 



212 History of Torrington. 

About 1787, Abijah Holbrook came from Massachusetts and 
settled in Torrington as a miller. He had two slaves which he after- 
wards made free according to the following paper ; liberty for so 
doing having been secured of the town authorities at the time ; the 
slaves being " about twenty-eight years old," and " desirous of being 
made free," 

Abijah Holbrook's Letter of Emancipation. 

Know all men by these presents that I, Abijah Holbrook of Tor- 
rington, in the county of Litchfield and state of Connecticut, being 
influenced by motives of humanity and benevolence, believing that 
ail mankind by nature are entitled to equal liberty and freedom ; and 
whereas I the said Holbrook agreeable to the laws and customs of 
this state and the owner and possessor of two certain negroes which 
are of that class that are called slaves for Ijfe : viz, Jacob Prince a 
male negro, and Ginne a female, wife of said Jacob ; and whereas 
the said negroes to this time have served me with faithfulness and 
fidelity, and they being now in the prime and vigor of life, and appear 
to be well qualified as to understanding and economy to maintain 
and support themselves by their own industry, and they manifesting 
a great desire to be delivered from slavery and bondage : 

I therefore the said Abijah Holbrook, do by these presents freely 
and absolutely emancipate the said Jacob and Ginne, and they are 
hereby discharged from all authority, title, claim, control and demand 
that I the said Holbrook now have or ever had in or unto the persons 
or services of them the said Jacob and Ginne, and they from and 
after the date hereof shall be entitled to their liberty and freedom, 
and to transact business for themselves, in their own names and for 
their own benefit and use. 

To witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 
i8th day of August A. D. 1798. 

Abijah Holbrook.' 

It has been said so many times, that a multitude have believed it, 
that the Connecticut people freed their slaves not because of motives 
of humanity but for financial reasons only. This paper is a clear 
refutation of this saying. These slaves, healthy and '' in the prime 
and vigor of life," were worth, or would have been to Mr. Holbrook, 
one hundred and fifty dollars per year, for the succeeding twenty 



' Land Record, vol. 6. 



Slavery and Anti-Slavery. 213 

years, or a good three thousand dollars, above all costs. It is very 
evident to the fair minded, therefore, that what Mr. Holbrook says 
was strictly and religiously true, that, "influenced by motives of 
humanity and benevolence ; believing that all mankind are entitled 
to equal liberty and freedom," I " do emancipate the said Jacob and 
Ginne." By this emancipation paper Torrington was practically 
freed from slavery, but the spirit was left to do its work of darkness 
for years to come. As the terrible fire in the forests leaves only 
blackness and falling trees for years to come, so the touch of slavery in 
every land leaves nothing but blackness, and the falling of great men 
as sacrifices to the violated laws of an undying humanity. 



Anti-Slavery. 

In England the Quakers, though few in numbers, continued to 
oppose slavery, though unsupported by other denominations or any 
leading public men until 1789, when Thomas Clarkson and William 
Wilberforce began their efforts for the suppression of the slave traffic. 

The question had already become a topic of discussion and reli- 
gious sentiment in the American colonies, and some of these colo- 
nies remonstrated against the slave trade, but the mother country 
supporting it, they were powerless. The first societies formed in 
this country were abolition^ and were not confined to the northern 
states. The first was organized in Pennsylvania in 1775, Benjamin 
Franklin, president. The New York society was formed in 1785, 
John Jay president and Alexander Hamilton his successor. Similar 
associations were also formed in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, 
Maryland and Virginia. The anti-slavery societies, was the second 
movement against slavery in the United States.' These abolition 
societies continued gradually to multiply, and exerted a beneficial in- 
fluence through the country. In 1827, the general convention met 
in Baltimore, the capital of a slave state. To this convention dele- 
gates or communications were sent from the following abolition 
societies; New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania with four branches, 
Tennessee, West Tennessee, Ohio, Massachusetts two branches, 
Maryland with five branches, Loudon county Virginia, North Caro- 
lina with forty branches, and Delaware.^ 

It will be seen by these statements that the sentiment, both politi- 



' Nenv American Cylcopedia, Wm. Jay's Miscellanaeous Writings on Slavery. 
»Ibid. 



214 History of Torrington. 

cal and religious, of the abolition of slavery, was received and propa- 
gated, more than fifty years, by nearly the whole country, and there 
was no voice against it ; and no one dreamed that it could be a 
matter jof heated discussion. 

In 1828, a society was organized in Virginia, as an anti-abolition 
society, and this was the first formal opposition to abolition exhi- 
bited in the United States. These anti-abolition sentiments soon 
spread through the country, especially through the southern states, 
and became a political power. It is frequently said that the New 
England states rid themselves of slavery for financial reasons, and 
/ not otherwise. It should be remembered that the subject was dis- 
cussed only as a religious and moral subject more than fifty years, and 
that freely throughout the United States, in the pulpits and every- 
where, before it became a political or financial question in any defi- 
nite or general sense. Also the New England and some of the 
middle states had all provided for gradual emancipation before 1828, 
when it became a financial and hence a political question ; and this 
indicates clearly, that the motives were those of humanity and free- 
dom, as Mr. Holbrook of Torrington said in 1798, that the slaves 
were made free in these states. When this work of freedom was 
all completed in the north, but not in the south, then arose the ques- 
tion of the right to discuss the subject, because it had a political 
bearing ; and all the pro-slavery sentiment in the north grew up, or 
was made to grow, in the interest of a political party, and that party 
working preeminently for sectional interests, in the hope of the one 
single end of party success. This was the definite shape this sub- 
ject assumed about 1832. All sentiment in the north against free 
discussion was manufactured for this one end and has been continued 
for the same, by those who were in the secret of the managing power. 
Freedom, free discussion and free obedience to conscience, were the 
great objects for which all New England was settled, but now a de- 
mand for a radical change was made, which must if successful 
inevitably end all these objects, and subject the people to a worse 
tyranny than ever England thought of imposing. 

In i8i9-'20 the opponents of slavery made a strong resistance to 
the admission of Missouri to the Union as a slave state, and were 
defeated. This event was followed by a period of profound repose 
in regard to the whole subject. The publication, by Benjamin 
Lundy, a Quaker, of a small journal at Baltimore entitled Genius 
of Universal Emancipation^ was almost the only visible sign of op- 



Slavery and Anti-Slavery. 215 

position to slavery until William Lloyd Garrison established The 
Liberator in Boston, January i, 1B31, that is, three years after the 
agitation began in the southern states, for the suppression of anti- 
slavery societies, (vi^hich were doing nothing) and the extension of 
slavery. On Jan. i, 1832, the first anti-slavery society, on the 
basis of universal emancipation, was organized in Boston, by twelve 
men, Arnold BufFum, a Quaker, being president. The American 
Anti-Slavery Society was formed in Philadelphia in December 1833, 
Arthur Tappan being its first president. This society and its auxil- 
iaries expressly affirmed that congress had no right to abolish slavery 
in the slave states, and asked for no action on the part of the national 
government that had not, up to that time, been held to be constitu- 
tional by leading men of all parties in every portion of the country. 
They rejected all use of carnal weapons, and announced their 
weapons to be " such only as the moral opposition of purity to moral 
corruption, the destruction of error by the potency of truth, and the 
abolition of slavery by the spirit of repentance." 

In opposition to the southern demand that all discussion should 
cease, and acquiescence to their wishes be granted, the anti-slavery 
societies began to multiply and send forth their publications. 

Such is the simplest outline of historical facts to the time when 
Torrington began to take part in the subject of anti-slavery. Litch- 
field county, at the time, was a ruling county in the state, in several 
respects, and as anti-slavery principles took deepest root in the 
strongest minds as well as to find a lodgment In the lesser, a number 
of persons in the county were invited to meet in Wolcottville in 
January, 1837, for the purpose of organizing a county society. 

When the friends of the cause began to look around for a place 
for the meeting of the convention, they found every church, public 
and private hall, closed against them, and heard whisperings of threat- 
nings against any who might have the noble daring to encounter the 
pro-slavery element of the village and of the town. At this juncture 
a barn was offered for the use of the convention, and it was 
promptly accepted, and fitted for the occasion.' It was not the 
first time that strangers found the shelter in a barn, " because there 
was no room in the inn." In that barn the friends of impartial liberty 
and justice, gathered in goodly numbers ; some of them the most 
reliable and respectable citizens ot Litchfield county. The barn 



'That barn has since been removed, refitted, and is now owned by Dr. Wood. 



2i6 History of Torrington. 

was filled ; the floor, scaffolds, hay-mow and stables. It was an in- 
tense cold day in January, and there was much suffering from the 
severity of the weather. The convention was called to order, and 
Roger S. Mills of New Hartford, appointed chairman. The Rev. 
Daniel Coe of Winsted, offered prayer. After appointing a com- 
mittee to nominate permanent officers, the convention was addressed 
by the Rev. Nathaniel Colver, agent of the American society, and 
others. The county society was then organized and the following 
officers appointed : president, Roger S. Mills : vice presidents, Erastus 
Lyman of Goshen, Gen. Daniel B, Brinsmade of Washington, Gen. 
Uriel Tuttle of Torringford, and Jonathan Coe of Winsted ; secre- 
tary, Rev. R. M. Chipman of Harwinton ; treasurer. Dr. E. D. 
Hudson of Torringford. While thus peacefully engaged, though 
suffering with the cold, and counseling together for the relief of the 
oppressed and the elevation of humanity, a furious mob was collect- 
ing in the village, and elevating their courage for their deeds of 
violence by the intoxicating cup. A class of men from the adjoin- 
ing town, as well as from Torrington, had gathered for the very pur- 
pose of disturbing this meeting if it should attempt to exercise the 
liberties of religious and civil citizens. This mob, after parading the 
streets, making hideous and threatening noises, gathered around the 
barn, and by their deafening shouts, the blowing of horns and the 
ringing the alarm of fire by the bell of the Congregational church, 
and the display of brute force, broke up the meeting, which hastily 
took an adjournment. Then the old puritan spirit was manifested 
by the Torringford people, who offered the use of their meeting- 
house to the convention, and it repaired to that place, and continued 
the session two days. The opposition in Torringford though violent 
was undemonstrative for lack of the mob element and rum ; and 
partially from the fact that the fury of the mob had run its race in 
Wolcottville. When the convention left the barn, the shouts, 
thumping of pans and kettles, and the furious ringing of the church 
bell, characterized pandemonium broken loose. When the people 
were leaving Wolcottville in their sleighs, the entire village seemed 
to be a bedlam. That good man, Dea. Ebenezer Rood, was 
set upon in his sleigh, to over turn him and frighten his horses. 
This excited his righteous indignation, and in a voice of defiance he 
shouted to them : " Rattle your pans, hoot and toot, ring your bells, 
you pesky fools, if it does you any good," then put his horses on a 
run and cleared himself from the gang. 



Slavery and Anti-Slavery. 217 

When the meeting assembled in Torringford it was inspired with 
new life, energy and courage. The beacon fires of liberty and free- 
dom blazed much higher than they would but for the violence mani- 
fested in the village. Deacon Rood's spirit of defiance to the mob, 
took possession of the whole company, and every man and woman, 
enlisted in the cause, gloried in the name of abolitionist, and 
felt annointed for the work of preaching " deliverance to the captives 
in chains." Such was the beginning of anti-slavery agitation, and 
times, in the town where John Brown, " Ossawattomie Brown," 
was born. 

This society, moved now, as well by the sense that despotism had 
come to their own doors, and threatened the very sacredness of 
church and homes, as by the thought of freedom for the slave, pro- 
ceeded to hold monthly meetings throughout the county. These 
meetings were held in barns and sheds, in groves and houses, and 
any where that the people would assemble for such a purpose. It 
raised funds by systematic method ; distributed tracts, books, and pa- 
pers. The state Charter Oak Society was organized in 1838, 
and employed lecturing agents, who besides lecturing, solicited sub- 
scribers to the anti-slavery papers, and scattered anti-slavery litera- 
ture. 

They were opposed everywhere, and yet moved on in their work 
as though every body knew they were right. They were called all 
sorts of opprobrious names ; were proscribed and derided, as " nig- 
ger friends," "disturbers of Israel." Some were unceremoniously 
excommunicated from the churches, for no crime but speaking 
against slavery ; the very thing that many of the fathers had done 
for a hundred years without objection having been made. All ar- 
gument with anti-slavery men started with the Bible, where the 
Quakers started nearly one hundred years before, and this brought 
the question into all the churches as well as committees. 
Some withdrew from the churches because they deemed it sinful to 
hold fellowship with those who voted to uphold a system, acknow- 
ledged to be guilty of more crime than any other system in the 
land. 

The opposition had but one argument ; namely, it offended the 
South; slavery was for their interest. This argument had been 
gradually obtaining adherents, from the time the Constitution of 
the United States was adopted. Before that some of the southern 
states was as much anti-slavery as any in the North. When the 

28 



2i8 History of Torrington. 

South changed, the spirit of proscription began to rise in the North. 
Hence in the first meeting house in Torrington, there was no slave 
pew, nor nigger pew^ but in the second one there were two. 
These pews were located in the gallerv over the stairs, boarded up 
so high, that when the colored people sat in them, they could see no 
part of the congregation, and could be seen by no one in the assem- 
bly. Jacob Prince, after being made a freeman by his master, Abi- 
jah Holbrook, joined the church in Goshen, and then being placed 
in such a seat, and treated in other ways by the same spirit, refused 
to go to church, because, as he said, he was not treated as a brother 
and thereafter held prayer meetings in his own house on the Sab- 
bath. Wiiereupon the Goshen church proceeded to, and did ex- 
communicate him for neglect of duty. This same Jacob is said to 
have been as fine a looking man, head and features, as nearly any one 
in the town, except the color of his skin. 

Two such pews were in the old church in Torringford, but the 
Rev. Samuel J. Mills (whether as a rebuke to the spirit of cast or 
not is not known) always seated Henry Obookiah, Thomas Hooppo, 
and other tawny brethren of the Sandwich Islands, when they visited 
him from the Cornwall Mission school, in his own pew, in the front 
of the congregation, quite to the dissatisfaction of some even of that 
congregation. 

A Remarkable Occurrence. 

In the early stages of the anti-slavery struggle. Miss Abbey Kelley, 
a young and educated Quakeress of superior talent, and most esti- 
mable character, " felt the spirit moving her " to take part in the 
public discussion of the subject, and came into Connecticut. Dr. 
Hudson was then the general agent for the Connecticut Anti-Slavery 
Society, and she called on him and made known her purpose to speak 
whenever opportunity offered. Dr. Hudson kindly extended to her 
the hand of fellowship in the good cause, and welcomed her to the 
thorny field, and to the home of his wife Martha Turner Hudson, 
to whose companionship he committed her, and secured respectable 
audiences for her at Torringford and other places in adjacent towns. 
This movement was very disturbing to pro-slavery and conservative 
orthodoxy. It occurred after Father Mills's death and after Rev. 
Mr. Goodman was dismissed. From many pulpits in Litchfield 
county she was proclaimed as " that woman Jezebel who calleth her- 
self a prophetess to teach and seduce my servants." The watchman 
of Torringford uttered a cry of distress and requested the women and 



Slavery and Anti-Slavery. 219 

their lords to meet him at the Academy, to receive his testimony and 
instructions concerning the sphere of woman. (" Women obey your 
husbands.") The assemblage was large ; the women filled one side 
of the room, and the men the other, facing them. The minister 
presided, and after solemn preliminaries and the reading of St. Paul's 
epistle, adapted to the occasion, he discoursed vehemently upon the 
duties of woman, her proper sphere ; and the unwomanly, and un- 
warrantable work of woman as a public teacher ; or to address pro- 
miscuous audiences and thus depart from the good old ways of ortho- 
doxy. When he had barely closed his address, as if Providence 
approved his testimony, the decayed timbers in the deep cellar of the 
Academy, which sustained the floor, suddenly gave way on the 
woman's side of the house and the entire floor, and all the women 
were precipitated into the cellar, in one general mass of tangled con- 
fusion, the whole accompanied by screams, groans, and cries ; one 
woman exclaiming, " O Lord forgive us for having attended such a 
wicked meeting ; " a noise almost equal to that of the mob at the 
anti-slavery meeting at Wolcottville. 

Whether the minister of the occasion concluded that the women 
then had attained their appropriate sphere, is not related in the nar- 
ration, but the men, after the dum-astonishment had passed away, 
hastened from on high to drag out their wives, sisters, daughters and 
mothers, with bruised limbs, torn garments and dissatisfied counte- 
nances ; and hastened to their homes, glad to have escaped without 
encountering any worse sphere of action, though this was not exactly 
satisfactory. What precise effect this little episode had on the min- 
ister's mind, or whether he became celebrated as defining woman's 
sphere, or whether he afterwards expanded that lecture into a book, 
is not revealed in the book of Torringford chronicles. 

Prior to the anti-slavery agitation, the inhabitants of Torrington 
and of Litchfield county, and the state of Connecticut as well, had 
suffered a calamitous, moral shock; a sort of aesthetic, volcanic up- 
heaving, by an affair which occurred at the Foreign Mission school 
at Cornwall. This school had been established and mainly sustained 
by Congregational churches, for the purpose of educating the Indians 
and Sandwich Islanders as missionaries to their own people. Two 
young ladies of Cornwall, belonging to the most respectable and best 
educated families, became so perverted in their aesthetic tastes, as to 
choose and dare to marry two of the tawny brethren, with the idea 
of becoming missionaries among the native tribes. The effect was 



220 History of Torrington. 

quite shocking ; almost pestilential. Every class of society was 
thrown into spiritual convulsions. The mission school was threat- 
ened with demolition. Those sons of the forest who had been so 
wicked as to fascinate the belles of Cornwall and make trophies of 
them were compelled to depart sans ceremonie. The school was soon 
after closed or rather driven out of existence, not because it was not 
doing a good work, but because two of the pupils had married two 
girls, which girls wanted to marry them. 

These items are but a faint illustration of the excitements, hard 
feelings, desperate threatenings and silly arguments that were enter- 
tained concerning slavery and anti-slavery. No attempt is here made 
to picture the contest. No human language would be equal to such 
a task ! If the late war of the rebellion could be fully described, 
there would be, in that description, some features of the terrible curse 
set forth somewhat appropriately ; but even then, the half would not 
be told. Now most people see it, and acknowledge the same. No 
effort is here made to sum up on this great subject. Only a few 
items are given as historical facts concerning the efforts on the one 
side in behalf of slavery, and on the other the spirit and courage of 
those who believed slavery to be a sin against God and humanity. 

One thing is strange, that after the terrible sufferings, hardships 
and distresses through which the pilgrim fathers and their early de- 
scendants passed, for the one object and end of religious and political 
freedom, that any body should have supposed that the American 
people could have been compelled, by any means whatever, to put 
their necks under the yoke of slavery and submit to its dictates ! 




CHAPTER XVIII. 
TORRINGTON IN WAR TIMES. 

The American Revolution. 

'HE number of inhabitants in Torrington in 1774, was 
eight hundred and forty-three, of which there were only 
one hundred and thirty-two men, and one hundred and 
thirty-four women over twenty years of age, leaving five 
hundred and seventy-seven persons under twenty years of age, and 
in a great measure dependent on the older people for sustenance, care 
and protection. Besides this, the country was new, and the obtain- 
ing of food and comforts was much more difficult than it would have 
been under other circumstances. It is important to bear these things 
in mind, as we attempt to estimate the struggle through which the 
inhabitants passed in order to obtain their political independence. 

The two military companies in 1774, included one hundred and 
sixty-nine men, or all the men in the town over twenty years of age, 
and thirty-seven under that age. When hostilities commenced at 
Conqord, in this same year, these companies were not called on to 
go to Boston, but were notified to be in readiness at a minute's warn- 
ing. In the autumn session of the assembly of that year, an act was 
passed offering a sum of money to every member of the military com- 
panies of the state that would train twelve half days in the spring of 
the next year ; and the officers were required to report to the justices 
of the town, and they to the assembly and draw the pay. The fol- 
lowing are the reports made from Torrington. The report was 
made by the cleric of the company and addressed : 

"To Captain Amos Wilson, 5th Company of the 17th Regiment in the 
colony of Connecticut ; and to John Cook, and Epaphras Sheldon, Esqrs., 
Justices of the peace, etc. 

"This may certify that the following persons in pursuance of the late act of 
law of the colony, passed October last, respecting the military ; each one has 
trained in his own person according to order as follows: 

Half days. Half days. 

Lieut. Epaphras Loomis, . . 12. Sergt. Eli Loomis, ... 7, 

Sergt. Wait Beach, . . .12. " Benj. Beach, ... 12. 

" Noah Wilson, ... a. " Joseph Blake, . . .8. 



222 



History of Torrington. 



Corp'l Abijah Wilson, . 

Elijah Barber, 

Caleb Lyman, 

Ariel Brace, . 

Dr. Ebenezer Smith, 
Private William Wilson, . 

' Ashbel Bronson, 

* Joshua Leach, 
' Ashbel North, . 
' Abel Beach, Jr., . 

* Asahel North, . 
' Asahel Wilcox, . 
' Benj. Eggleston, . 
' Caleb Leach, 

* Ebenezer North, Jr. . 

* Ebenezer Lyman, 
' Abel Thrall, . 
' Ambros Marshall, 
' Asahel Strong, Jr., 

* Epaphras Sheldon, 
' Elijah Loomis, . 
' Ephraim Loomis, . 
' Epaphras Loomis, Jr., 
' Elisha Smith, 
' Ephraim Bancroft, 
« Friend Thrall, 
' George Miller, . 
' George Allyn, 
' Joseph Eggleston, 
' Joseph Thrall, 
' John Curtiss, 

* John Beach, 
' Josiah Whiting, Jr., . 
' Israel Averitt, Jr., 
' James Leach, 
' John Youngs, 
' James Beach, 
' Joseph Beach, Jr., 
' Levi Thrall, 
' Noah North, 
' Noah Fowler, 
« Noah Thrall, 
' Noadiah Bancroft, 
' Noah Beach, 



Half days. 






Half days. 


12. 


Private Roswrell Coe, 


6. 


II. 


(C 


Roger Wilson, 


12. 


12. 


(i 


Samuel Beach, . 


12. 


lO. 


(( 


Shubael Cook, 


12. 


12. 


C( 


Thomas Marshall, 


lO. 


. 12. 


(< 


Timothy Barber, . 


. 12. 


7- 


IC 


Urijah Cook, 


12. 


8. 


(( 


Wm. Grant, Jr , . 


. II. 


12. 


a 


John Cook, Jr., 


7- 


. 12. 


t( 


Oliver Cotton, 


II. 


12. 


(( 


Daniel Benedict, 


12. 


lO. 


(( 


Daniel Loomis, 


12. 


8. 


<( 


Jacob Johnson, . 


7- 


. 12. 


(t 


Joseph Thompson, 


• ^*.- 


12. 


t( 


Lott Woodruff, . 


12. 


. 12. 


n 


Noah North, Jr., . 


12. 


7- 


« 


Isaac Hull, 


12. 


. 12. 


(( 


Isaiah Tuttle, 


. 12. 


12. 


<< 


Oliver Bancroft, 


12. 


12. 


(< 


John Whiting, Jr., 


12. 


12. 


« 


Christopher Whiting, 


12. 


12. 


<t 


Joel Miller, . 


12. 


12. 


ti 


Benoni Loomis, 


12. 


12. 


ti 


Abner Loomis, Jr., 


12. 


12. 


« 


Charles Thrall, 


12. 


. 12. 


(( 


Abel Stannard, 


3- 


12. 


« 


John Miner, 


12. 


12. 


(( 


Ephraim Loomis, Jr., 


. 12. 


II. 


C( 


Joseph Drake, Sr., 


12. 


• 9- 


« 


Solomon Agard, 


12. 


II. 


(( 


Roger Loomis, . 


12. 


. 12. 


« 


Ebenezer Leach, . 


• 3- 


5- 


<( 


David Alvord, . 


9- 


12. 


« 


Joseph Holmes, 


12. 


12. 


« 


Daniel Murry, . 


4- 


12. 


« 


Pardon Thrall, 


4- 


12. 


(( 


Remembrance Loomis, 


4- 


7- 


(C 


Aaron Marshall, . 


4- 


12. 


<( 


Richard Loomis, 


4- 


II. 


c< 


John Richards, 


• 4- 


12. 


(( 


Joseph Taylor, . 


4. 


12. 


« 


Daniel Grant, 


12. 


12. 


« 


Joel Roberts, 


8. 


12. 









Daniel Grant, Clerk. 



John Cook, | ^^^,,.^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ 

Epaparas Sheldon, > 

Amount £24 6j. 6J. 

Received payment Hartford, July, 1775. 

Capt. Amos Wilson. 

Epaphras Sheldon." 



ToRRINGTON IN WaR TiMES, 



223 



The ToRRiNGFORD Company. 
To Capt. John Strong of the 9th Company of the 17th Regiment. 







Half days. 






Half days. 


Sergt. 


Jesse Cook, 


12. 


Private 


John Birge Jr., 


II. 


(( 


Charles Mather, 


II. 


<( 


Stephen Taylor, 


12. 


« 


Augustus Haydon, 


. 12. 


<( - 


Isaac Austin, 


II. 


(( 


Isaac Goodwin, 


12. 


<( 


Nathaniel Barber, 


5- 


Clerk, 


Zachariah Mather, 


12. 


t< 


Elisha Kelsey, 


12. 


Corpl. 


Daniel Stow, 


12. 


« 


Asaph Atwater, 


• 9- 


« 


Daniel Hudson, 


10. 


<i 


David Norton, 


9- 


(( 


Daniel Dibble, 


10. 


<( 


Daniel Winchell, 


12. 


II 


Roswell Olmstead, 


• 7- 


« 


Return Bissell, 


12. 


. << 


John Gillett, . 


4- 


<i 


John Marsh, . 


II. 


Musician 


Timothy Soper, 


II. 


t ( 


Jesse Spencer, 


12. 


« 


Abraham Filley, . 


4- 


u 


Ebenezer Rood, 


• 9- 


<t 


Ulisus Fyler, 


II. 


« 


Hezekiah Bissell, 


II. 


(< 


Nathaniel Frisbie, 


10. 


(( 


Jonathan Kelsey, 


10, 


Private 


Benj. Bissell Jr., 


12, 


iC 


Ichabod Stark, Jr., 


3- 


(< 


Samuel Austin, 


12. 


<( 


Levi Austin, 


II. 


(( 


Cyrenus Austin, 


12. 


(1 


Samuel Averitt, 


9- 


« 


Joseph Gaylord, 


12. 


ii 


Thomas Matthews, 


12. 


(( 


Elisha Bissell, . 


II. 


i( 


Timothy Kelsey, 


12. 


>( 


Nathaniel Austin, 


12. 


a 


John Standcliff, 


12. 


n 


Abel Clark, 


12. 


<( 


Oliver Bissell, 


12. 


tc 


Comfort Standcliff Jr., 


12. 


i< 


John Spencer, 


12. 


(< 


Asa Loomis, 


. 12. 


a 


Seth Coe, 


12- 


(( 


Joseph Austin, 


12. 


<( 


Simeon Birge, 


12. 


(1 


Thomas Goodman, . 


• 9- 


« 


Joseph Loomis, 


12. 


« 


Dan Austin, 


12. 


iC 


Samuel Kelsey Jr., 


12. 


t< 


Silas White, 


10. 


u 


Andrew D. Austin, 


10. 


(( 


Timothy Gilhtt, . 


10. 


.( 


Daniel Kelsey, 


12. 


>< 


Timothy Loomis, 


12. 


<< 


Benj. Gaylord, 


12. 


<l 


John Burr Jr., 


12. 


(( 


Job Curtiss, 


. 8. 


<c 


Cotton Mather, 


• 9- 


«< 


Amos Miller, 


6. 


l( 


Ebenczer Bissell, . 


II. 


(< 


John Squire, 


3- 


it 


Eliphas Bissell, 


. 12. 


i< 


Samuel Austin, 2d, 


7. 


« 


Ezekiel Bissell Jr., 


12. 


(i 


Abner Ives, 


6. 


« 


Roger Sheldon, 


. 12. 


« 


David Soper, 


3- 


« 


Reuben Burr, 


12. 


t< 


Michael Loomis, 


12. 


<« 


Enos Austin, 


12. 


(i 


Nehemiah Gaylord, 


12. 



John Cook, )^- rtn a r. ^^j 

p^. .>.,„.„ c f Justices of the Peace. Amount £19, 6s. 6d. 

£.PAPHRAS SHELDON. ) 

Received payment, 
John Cook, 
Epaphras Sheldon. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold, as captain, was in the war of the Re- 
volution, as early as 1775, in the northern campaign, as the follow- 



224 History oFj^jTorrington. 

ing receipts will show. These receipts are preserved in the pocket 
of the book in which he kept his journal in the French war, and 
which he used many years afterwards, as an account book. 

" Crownpoint, July 4, 1775. 

Elisha Andrus: Sir. Please to let Benjamin Gaylord have five shil- 
lings, lawful money worth of your stores. Shubael Griswold, Capt.^'' 
" Crownpoint, July 26, 1775. Mr. Andrus, Suttler, Sir: Please to let 
Edward Fuller have of your stores, three shillings lawful money, by order of 

Shubael Griswold, Copt.'' 
"Crownpoint, August 4, 1775. To Mr. Bemus, Suttler: Please to let 
Edward Fuller, have of your stores six shillings, lawful money. 

Shubael Griswold, Capt." 

"Crownpoint Sept. 28, 1775. 

Received of Mr. Jothem Bemus, sixteen shilling and three pence, york 
money, which I desire Capt. Griswold to pay out of my wages, and you will 
oblige, Sir Your's Bushniel Benedict." 

" To Capt. Shubael Griswold: Sir. This is your order to pay Elisha 
Frisbie of Torrington, two pounds money, out of what is due to me for my 
wages in last year's campaign, it being for value received. 
Dated, Farmington the 13th day of March, 1776. 

David Haydon.'* 
James Cowles. 

It is quite evident that a number of Torrington men were in this 
campaign with Capt. Griswold. 

The following paper found in the State Library explains itself, to 
the credit of Torrington : 

" To John Lawrence, Esq., Colony Treasurer for the State of Connecticut : 
Sir, these are to certify that there were forty-one soldiers, that went into the 
service out of the town of Torrington, in the year 1775, whose heads were all 
put into the common lists and county rates made thereon, 18/ per head, which 
by a late act made and provided, they are all abated ; therefore Sir, we desire 
that the same may be credited to our collector, Elisha Smith, the whole thereof 
amounts to the sum of thirty-six pounds, l8i lawful money, etc. 

These from your most humble servants. 
Dated, Torrington 7lh of .April 1777. 

John Cook, ~\ 

Epaphras Sheldon. Vjiutices of the Peace. 

John Strong. J 

Amos Wilson, j ^,j,,,„,„ ,» 

T^ r, > o elect men. 

hPHRAiM Bancroft, j 

In 1775, Goshen sent thirty-nine soldiers. New Hartford fifty-five, 
Cornwall twenty-nine, Harwinton thirty-two. 

Early in August 1776, the aspect of affairs at New York was so 
threatening, that at the urgent request of General Washington, the 
governor and council of Connecticut, ordered the whole of the 



TORRINGTON IN WaR TlMES. 225 

Standing militia, west of the Connecticut river, with two regiments 
on the east side of the river, to march to New York city. This or- 
der took two companies from this town. 

This year the militia of the state were called out five times. 
The defence of New London was met by the eastern part of the 
state ; and that of the western boundary in the autumn, by the west- 
ern towns. Therefore the Torrington companies may not have 
gone more than in the call to New York. 

For the comfort of the militia, when they should go into the ser- 
vice, the assembly directed that each town should provide one tent tor 
every ^1,000 on the list, and Torrington standing ^5,816.15^, was 
required to provide five, if not six tents. Hence, Dea. John Cook, 
then town treasurer, paid one order to the widow Mary Birge, by 
the hand of her son John Birge, for tent cloth, amounting to five 
pounds and six shillings, and also, paid Capt. John Strong, one of 
the selectmen, seven pounds and sixteen shillings lawful money, for 
tent cloth. 

In May 1776, the necessity for regular soldiers who should remain 
in the army became more apparent, and the assembly made the regu- 
lar pay of a private forty shillings, and that of corporals and musicians 
forty-four shillings, and sergeants forty-eight. In December of the 
same year, to raise an army for the following two years, ten pounds 
were offered as a premium or bounty, and the same pay continued ; 
and in 1779, the authorities of this town paid as high as thirty pounds 
for one soldier, for three vears or during- the war. 

Capt. Epaphras Sheldon, of this town, was appointed cap- 
tain in the second, of the six battalions ordered in June 1776, to be 
"raised and marched directly to New York, and there join the Con- 
tinental army." The other officers of this company were ist lieu- 
tenant, John Rockwell; 2d lieutenant, Abner Wilson; ensign, 
Charles Goodwin. In this company were probably two of the sons 
of the captain viz : 

Epaphras, aged twenty years, served his time, returned home, 
and after many years removed to Hannibal, Oswego county, N. Y., 
where he died in 1850, ninety-four years of age. 

Remembrance, nineteen years of age, was taken prisoner by the 
British at Fort Washington ; was poisoned by the water and died in 
January, 1777. 

Wait, son of Capt. Epaphras, served in the war, and must have 
entered the army when fourteen or fifteen years of age ; returned, 
lived in this town and died in 1849, ^g^*^ eighty-four years. 

29 



226 



History of Torringto 



N. 



The captain lived in this town until 1809, when he removed to 
Winchester, where he died in 18 1 2, aged eighty years. 

Elijah Loomis, son of Ichabod, was probably in this company 
and died a prisoner. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold was appointed captain in December, 
1776, with the following officers in his company: Jonathan Mason 
ist lieutenant ; Theodore Catlin, 2d lieutenant; Jesse Buell ensign. 
The men were enlisted from Torringford, Litchfield and Cornwall. 
The pay roll of this company is reported, in the state library, as lost ; 
yet Capt. Griswold made an extra roll, which he placed in the 
pocket of his journal, where it remained to the present, in spite of 
three generations of children, and more than a hundred years of wear 
and tear. It is well preserved, and beautiful to behold, except some 
hawk-eyed pictures, which have been scribbled on it either by sol- 
diers in the army, or those of the household. 

The company marched to Sawpits where it joined the army. 

The Marching Roll of Capt. Griswold's Company, March 4, 1777. 



From Torrington. 
John Burr, 
Seth Coe, 
Charles Roberts, 
Ambrose Fyler, 
Jonathan Miller, 
Asaph Atwater, 
John Birge, 
Isaac Filley, 
Timothy Loomis, 
Ebenezer Bissell, 
Return Bissell, 
Daniel Winchell, 
Frederick Bigelow, 
Cotton Mather, 
Benjamin Frisbie, 
Thomas Skinner, 
Nathaniel Barber, 
Timothy Kelsey, 
Thomas Matthews, 
Stephen Rossiter, 
Elisha Kelsey. 



From Litchfield. 
Stephen Smith, 
Gideon Philips, 
Abel Catlin, 
Simeon Ross, 
Timothy Gibbs, 
Benjamin Stone, 
Ashbel Catlin, 
Calvin Bissell, 
Benjamin Palmer, 
John Way, 
Abner Baldwin, 
Philemon Wilcox, 
Solomon Linsley, 
John Woodruff, 
Enoch Sperry, 
Dyer Cleaveland, 
Enos Bains, 
Solomon Hurson, 
Harris Hopkins, 
Timothy Linsley, 
Joel Taylor, 



John Bissell, 
Solomon Woodruff, 
Philo Woodruff, 
Simeon Gibbs, 
BeJah Benton. 

From Cornwall. 
John Mebbins, 
Samuel Burton, 
Josiah Hopkins, 
Asahel Leet, 
Solomon Johnson, 
Henry Philemor, 
Samuel Emmons, 
Israel Dibble, 
Thomas White, 
Elisha Damon, 
Jernas Wadsworth, 
Joshua Hartshorn, 
Noah Harrison, 
Asa Emmons, 
Jonathan Bell, 
Simeon North. 



The Torringford and Cornwall men marched eighty-five miles, 
and the Litchfield men seventy-five, before reaching the army, on 
which account the former received seven shillings and one pence, 
each, and the latter six shillings and three pence, as traveling ex- 



TORRINGTON IN WaR TiMES. 227 

penses. Tradition says this company was in the northern campaign, 
going to Crown point and Montreal, taking Fort St. Johns, and re- 
turning in the winter, and this agrees with the reports preserved by 
the state. 

Capt. Medad Hills was appointed captain in December, 1776, 
and raised his company from Goshen, Torrington and Winchester, 
with the following officers : Timothy Stanley, lieutenant ; and John 
Dowd, ensign, Capt. Hills resided in Goshen, near the Torrington 
line, and is celebrated for the guns which he made during the war 
more than for the battles he fought ; for the reason that his guns 
have been seen more than his battles have been heard of, although 
he was a brave and honored soldier. He is said to have been in com- 
mand of two companies at the taking of New York city, by the Brit- 
ish and to have conducted himself and men to the honor of his 
country in that perilous time. 

The several volunteer companies of the state this year, were put 
into one regiment and the assembly appointed Noadiah Hooker, col- 
onel ; James Root, lieut. col., and Medad Hills, major. Mr. Hills 
was afterwards appointed colonel. 

The following persons being detached [drafted] in 1777, and paid 
their fines, each, five pounds of money : 

Asahel Wilcox, Samuel Beach, 

Joseph Taylor, William Wilson, 

Isaiah Tuttle, George Baldwin, 

Moses Loomis, Jr., Moses Loomis, for his son, second time, 

Epaphras Loomis, Jr., George Baldwin, 2d draft, 

Roger Wilson, Noadiah Bancroft, 

Ephraim Loomis, Pardon Thrall, 

Thomas Marshall, Ashbel North, 

Noah Fowler, [Samuel] Cummings, 

Arial Brace, Benjamin Beach. 

In addition to these, Capt. Epaphras Loomis reported the fines of 
nine others in 1777. Twenty-three others gave their notes for these 
fines, and paid the notes in 1779, "£115, amounting in all to two hund- 
red and sixty pounds. These funds were used by the town in giving 
extra pay to those who did go, and in hiring other soldiers. Capt. 
Epaphras Loomis's company received of this, forty-six pounds. 

Benjamin Phelps, in January, 1779, " paid two hundred dollars 
for a fine for his son Jonathan, being detached and not going ; £60.'' 

In 1779, the town treasurer paid the following sums for men as 
soldiers. 



228 



History of Torrington. 



"Paid Samuel Roberts for his service in the army £6, \os. Paid an order 
in favor of Noah North for his hiring a man in the service, £io ; to Capt. 
Amos Wilson for his hiring a man, etc., £io ; to Urijah Cook for his hiring 
a man, etc., £io ; to Ebenezer Leach for his service in the army, <£io ; to 
Daniel Grant for money paid for clothing £43, js, 6d ; to Samuel Kelsey for 
his service in the army ; to Bushniel Benedect for cartouch box, £4, 4/ ; 
to Daniel and Abraham Loomis for their hiring a man into the army £10 ; 
to Jabez Gillett for two soldier's blankets, £18 ; to Daniel Waller for his hir- 
ing a man etc., after he was detached, £10 ; to Dea. Miller for two blankets 
for the soldiers £16 ; to Daniel Dibble for a soldier's blanket, £9 ; to Ambrose 
Fyler, a continental soldier, £13 ; to Jabez Gillett for a pot detached for the 
state use £12, l 2/, ; to Abner Loomis, to hire John Dear to go into the service 
in Phelps's boy's room, who paid his fine, £60." 

In 1780, the treasurer received fines as follows: By CoL Sheldon, 
from Ulyses Fyler, Samuel Clark, Clement Tuttle, William Wilson, 
and James Ferguson $216. By Maj. Strong, a fine from Stephen 
, $240. 

In 1 78 1, the following moneys were received. By several notes 
given for fines by those who were detached £^5 each, £35. Also by 
Ebenezer Bissell as fine £ro. Sundry other notes, £5, \']s. 

In 1 78 1, the treasurer of the town paid the following for services 
in the army. 



To Jesse Whiting for three months tour, ..... 

" George Baldwin for cloth blankets, pork, etc., .... 

" Nehemiah Gaylord, Jr., for hiring Brigadore Loomis a tour, 

" Elisha Kelsey for six months tour, ...... 

" Eliphalet Hough, six months tour for Sam. Cummings, . 

" Roger Marshall for six months tour, ...... 

" Timothy Loomis for hiring a man six months tour, 

" Andrew Ely for six months tour, ...... 

" Benjamin Gaylord for a six months tour, .... 

" Asahel Strong conductor of teams, ...... 

" Stanley Griswold for part of three months tour, 

" Capt. Noah Wilson for wheat for the soldiers, .... 

" John Ellsworth for service as a soldier, .... 

" Nathan Sanders for his apprentice in service one summer, . 

" Barber Moore for a six months tour, ....... 30,12,0 

" Elijah Bissell for six months tour, . . . . . . . 36, 0,0 

" Ebenezer North for one iron pot for service, . . . . . .1,80 

" Nathaniel Kelsey, Jr., for part of three months tour, .... 10, o, o 

" Elisha Smith and Samuel Austin, receivers and packers of beef and other 

provisions, 38, 2, o 

" Zachariah Mather, Wait Beach and Abijah Wilson for clothing and trans- 
porting to New Milford, ........ 25, 3, 6 

" John Standcliff for a six months tour, ....... 20, o, o 

" John Ellsworth for part of a six months tour, ..... 20, o, o 



£. s. d. 
10, 8, o 

4, 9> 6 
34,10, o 
34,10,0 
29, 5, 6 
10, 8, o 
20, o, o 

37, 4,0 
20, o, o 

18, 0,0 
10, 0,0 

^, S,° 

5,14,0 

37, 4, o 



TORRINGTON IN WaR TiMES. 229 

£. .1. d. 

To Jared Palmer for part of a three months tour, 5,14,8 

" Noah North for hiring a six months tour, ...... 20, o, o 

" Ensign [Benj.] Whiting tor part of three months tour, . . . . 8, 8, o 

" Daniel Benedict was voted, ao,oo, o 

The following are some of the actions taken in town meeting in 
support of the Revolution ; 

Dec, 1777. "Voted that Abner Marshall, Capt. Noah Wilson, Mr. 
Ebenezer Coe, Sargt. Aaron Austin, and Capt. Shubael Griswold shall be a 
committee to look into the matter, in respect to fines and to do justice and equity 
to them that were fined." 

" Voted that Capt. Abel Beach, Capt. Ebenezer Coe, Capt. Noah Wilson, 
Mr. Aaron Austin, Capr. Benjamin Bissell and Lieut. Nehemiah Gaylord, shall 
be. a committee to get clothing for the Continental soldiers according to an act 
of Assembly, and that the committee give prizes as they judge just and reasonable." 

At a meeting of the town held Jan. 6, 1778, " to try the minds 
of the town, whether they would approve and adopt the articles of 
confederation." " Voted article by article and adopted the ist, id, 
3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th articles, and approved the same by a very clear 
majority. 

"Voted the 8th article upon condition that if that article is to be understood 
onlv to mean that our lands and buildings, etc., are to be estimated according 
to their value for a rule to proportion the United States by and to find what 
each state ought to pay and then left with each state legislature to have liberty 
to tax the people in their own way to raise such sums of money as may be 
ordered from time to time by congress, then we are in the affirmative, but if 
it is to be understood that our taxes are to be raised by lands and buildings and 
improvements only and that must be the mode, then we are in the negative by 
a clear majority.'' 

This point of objection was well taken and indicates the sensitive- 
ness of the fathers, as to the authority of the general government to 
levy taxes directly upon the people. This was one cause of the war 
in England under Cromwell, and was one great cause of the Ame- 
rican Revolution, and the people were too thoroughly educated on the 
subject to take this authority from one party (the king of England) 
and put it into the hands of another (the American congress). Poli- 
tics, in those days meant something. They were not mere party 
squabbles, but questions of law, government and freedom. 

" Articles, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth, are approved bv a 
very clear majority." 

" Voted that the selectmen let those families, whose husbands are in the 
service, have what salt they judge reasonable." " That the widow Preston 
have given to her gratis one bushel of salt, when it comes, as a free gift from 
the town." 



230 History of Torrington. 

" Voted that Nathaniel Barber Jr., Samuel Kelsey Jr., Clerk Roberts, Am- 
bros Fyler, Ebenezer Scovill, Ebenezer Leach, who are now in our service to 
fill our quota, and all those men who will enlist or are detached, have given 
them twenty shillings a month for each month they are in the service, until the 
first day of January next, except those who take the benefit by law provided to 
support their tlimilies " 

"Voted that Lieut. Ebenezer Miller and Ensign Elijah Gaylord, Capt. x'lbel 
Beach, and Mr. Caleb Lyman be a committee to divide to each family the 
town salt according to the number of inhabitants in the town " 

In March 1778, they "voted that Capt. Noah Wilson, Capt. 
Abel Beach, Capt. Ebenezer Coe, Capt. Benjamin Bissell, Mr. 
Aaron Austin and Lieut, Neheiniah Gaylord, shall be a committee 
to provide for those families that are left and whose husbands are in 
the army, as the law directs." " Voted to appoint a committee to 
provide the clothing for our quota, and that the committee divide 
into six districts, and that each district provide their equal proportion, 
and that Lieut. Ebenezer Miller, Mr. Daniel Hudson, Mr. Asahel 
Strong, Mr. Abner Loomis, Ensign Daniel Grant and Mr. Ashbel 
North be a committee to divide and procure their equal proportions 
of clothing." 

In December, 1778, another committee was appointed to procure 
clothing, consisting of George Baldwin, Dr. Elkanah Hodges, Ens. 
Benjamin Whiting, John Wetmore, Ezekiel Bissell Jr., and John 
Birge. 

In September, 1779, a special town meeting was called for the 
purpose and they directed the select men with the committee, to 
borrow money if necessary, to provide clothing and provisions for 
soldiers' families. 

In the next December, at the regular meeting they decided that 
" Daniel Dibble, Reuben Burr, Noah Wilson, Jr., and Ens. Wait 
Beach, be a committee to take care of the soldiers' families the year 
ensuing." And at the same time they appointed Nehemiah Gaylord, 
Jr., Michael Loomis, Elisha Smith, Caleb Lyman, Hewit Hills, Eli 
Richards, a committee to procure clothing for the soldiers for the 
year ensuing. 

On December 4th, 1780, when war matters were looking gloomy, 
and further call had been made for soldiers, the town appointed 
Lieut, Jesse Cook, Ens. Daniel Grant, Lieut. John Burr, Sergeant 
Benjamin Beach, Mr. David Soper, and Mr, Ashbel North, a com- 
mittee to procure men for three years, or during the war to fill one 
quota of the Continental army ; and to leave the matter with the 
committee now appointed, to get the men as reasonable as they can 



ToRRINGTON IN WaR TiMES. 23 I 

and for whatever they do the town will be responsible, and will 
satisfy their contract with those they hire, and satisfy all reasonable 
expenses." 

In this year and in 1781, it required a great effort to procure the 
number of men required of the town, and the votes passed were of a 
very stringent and thorough character so as to meet the demands 
made; extra taxes were levied; authority to borrow money given ; 
Daniel Grant was kept in the saddle collecting taxes almost the year 
round ; ' three special town meetings were held in 1781 ; the town 
was divided into classes or districts and every district must furnish 
the men adjudged to be its proportion ; and the very language in 
which the acts are expressed indicate the extremity to which they 
were driven. Their town meetings were like councils of war rather 
than any thing else ; and on one occasion continued (June 2), in the 
old Torrington meeting house until after dark and they adjourned to 
the house of Ephraim Bancroft to have light to see to record the 
transactions. The great question was how to get men without op- 
pression and injustice, for they say to the committee, '■'■ to make out 
the town quota, in the most equitable way and manner as they possi- 
bly can, to do equal justice," for the drafts fell so heavy that there 
was danger of rebellion, and if not who could be found to arrest a 
man ; take him from his already suffering family and drag him into 
the army. One resolution has the ring of defiance ! " voted that it 
the militia officers neglect to detach three weeks (against the order) 
the town will defend from cost that may arise therefrom." That 
is, they must and would have a little time to do the work assigned. 
This was not all ; when the men were procured, the demands for 
provisions must be met. "Voted that the civil authority and select- 
men, divide the town into four equal classes by the lists and draw 
lots which class shall pay the first month's beef, and so on for the 
four months." This means that the authorities took a man's ox or 
cow, whether he would or not, and sent it to the army, that those sons 
and fathers already there might not starve. For any such thing 
taken, the town always paid a full price, but every ox and cow was 
wanted in the town and were not for sale. 

The year 1782 came, and with it another call for men from this 
town the number being eleven. 

" Voted that the four classes as set out last year he assigned to procure eleven 
men for one year as follows, viz : that the first class be divided into three 



See Biographical sketch. 



232 



History of Torrington. 



classes, each to procure one man ; the second class remain as they were last 
year, to procure two men ; the third class to be divided into three classes, each 
to procure one man ; the fourth class to remain together to procure three men ; 
and that the selectmen first divide and set out by the list ot 1781, into four 
classes or equal parts, as set out last year, and then divide as aforesaid." 

These eleven, were state men, and others must be procured. 

" Voted that the committee above mentioned be a committee to hire what 
men are wanted to fill our quota aforesaid of the Continental army as well as 
the state men." 

This was the last draft they had to meet and well it was, for 
they could not have procured many more soldiers, unless the women 
had volunteered. 

In all the votes of the town there appeared no hesitancy, but 
great cheerfulness in meeting all requirements, as 10 the army and 
the care of the soldier's families at home, in hope of final and lasting 
success in freedom. 

Not an intimation is given on the town records of any person be- 
ing disloyal to the American cause, and as far as can now be judged 
those who took the oath of fidelity to this cause, beginning in 
1777, include all the voters in the town at that time, and onward as 
they became of age or came into the town. That list is a noble 
showing for the town. 

Epaphras Sheldon, as colonel, entered complaint against Mat- 
thew Grant Sen., in May 1777, as an officer in the militia, that he 
neglected and hindered in the exercising of the militia, and he was 
summoned before the assembly, but he took the oath in the next 
September. 

Taxes during the Revolution. 

They were very high, and on account of the scarcity of money 
extremely difficult to pay ; and the actual suffering, consequent, was 
very considerable. 

The town tax in 1775 amounted to X27, u, 7^<5^ for the west side, 
and £14,3^,2^, for the east side, or both, £/\.i^^s, g^d. In 1777, the 
two assessments made amounted to £181, 12^, lO^; or more than four 
times that of 1775. In 1779, they amounted to X308, 45, 2^. In 
1780, the amount in figures was £3054, is, 10^, which they could not 
have paid if the figures represented hard money, but they meant Con- 
tinental money, which was abundant, but worth very little. In [781, 
the twoassessments amounted to £506, 5^,3!^, in state money, which 



TORRINGTON IN WaR TiMES. 233 

money was then becoming the reliable currency, gold]and silver being 
almost unknown, practically. 

In the collection of these taxes, Daniel Grant became a celebrated, 
and almost indispensable man, because of his success in obtaining the 
money, and also in making it as easy as possible for the people. In 
many cases the persons could not raise the money, it being entirely 
beyond their ability. Mr. Grant would take a cow, sell it according 
to law, buy it himself; leave the cow with the family, taking a note 
for three years, at the expiration of which time he was to receive the 
cow with the first calf. This was a great favor to these helpless 
families. Mr. Grant is said to have made some money In this mat- 
ter, and if so it was well earned. He was the banker of the town. 
He accepted wheat and clothing for the army, and attended to the 
exchange, by which the claims for money were satisfied by other 
articles, and when others could not raise the money needed, he did 
it, and took such property (lands or goods) as could be spared ; and 
did the work' with such remarkable equity, that the town by vote in 
town meeting, committed almost the whole matter to him during 
the last four years of the war. No higher praise could be bestowed 
on one man under like circumstances. At the first there were other 
collectors appointed, especially one for the east side ; toward the last 
he was the only one appointed, and in the collection of money 
levied by congress, through the state, he was chosen " grand col- 
lector " showing the confidence placed in him and his ability to man- 
age the matter to the satisfaction, and as far as could be, to the 
comfort of all. 

And finally, many of the notes he took for property were never 
collected, and in his last will he gave a farm to the town for the pur- 
pose of schooling (see his biography). 

The Women of the Revolution, 

They stayed at home. Ah, did not their hearts go with their sons 
and husbands to the battlefield, for seven long years ? Did they not 
suffer more in their anxieties, sympathies and privations at home 
than the men in the field ? What meant the gathering of the women 
once a week at the taverns of Col. Epaphras Sheldon and Capt. Ben- 
jamin Bissell to get some news from the war, but that, there was 
much suffiering and hard fare at home ? But this was not all. In 
1776, when the two militia companies were called away in August, 
who gathered the crops during the next two months ? The women 

30 



234 History of Torringto 



N. 



and the children, for the men were nearly all gone ; one aged lady 
who heard much of these times said lately, " every body went." 
Who was it that did without tea, and cooked the dinners without 
salt, and made pies without sugar, or even molasses, except they 
themselves obtained it from the maple trees of the forest, but the 
women whose hearts were growing sadder every year, and many of 
them, were those whose eyes were dim already, because they should 
see no more those sons, some of them were mere children in years, 
who had gone to the war never to return ? Who was it but the mother 
of Noah Beach's children who for weeks during the war had no 
bread in the house for herself and children, but griddle cakes made of 
buckwheat bran, of which her son said years after, " if they were 
baked from morning until four o'clock in the afternoon they would 
be so sticky that he could not swallow them ? " 

Who spun the wool and wove the cloth, made into the blankets, 
for which the town was credited nine and ten pounds e^ch, in money 
by the state, but the wives of Deacon Miller, Jabez Gillett, Daniel 
Dibble, and many others of the same noble heart and courage ? 
Who pulled the flax, beat off the seed, spun the linen and wove the 
cloth to make the soldiers' tents but such women as widow Mary 
Birge and fifty others who were as patriotic as any general in the 
army. ? < 

In the early part of 178 1, the French army passed through this 
town on their way to join Washington's army near New York, and 
encamped on Torringford street.' 

There was a company of troopers or soldiers on horses, formed 
in this town in 1779 or 80, who took active part in the revolutionary 
service, as the records show that they received pay for such service 
in the same proportion as the other militia companies. Two horse 
pistols are still preserved, and are in the hands of Mr. George Allyn, 
that were a part of the equipment of this company. They were 
made by Medad Hills, and bear his inscription. 



•Jeremiah Spencer, born in Bolton, Ct., February 5, 1770, was taken by his parents 
with five other children to Wyoming. In the summer of 1776, the father died of small 
pox. The two older sons were killed in the battle of Wyoming July 3, 1778, and the 
mother and four surviving children fled from the scene of desolation, on foot for Bolton, 
where they arrived at the end of five weeks, Jeremiah then in his ninth year, making the 
whole journey on foot, without hat, coat or shoes. He removed to Torringford about 1803, 
where he lived until his death. He joined the church on profession, July 4, 1858, in his 
eighty-ninth year, and died Oct. 22, 1863, in his ninety-fourth year. 



TORRINGTON IN WaR TiMES. 235 



Officers and Soldiers. 

Gen. Epaphras Sheldon was lieutenant under Col. Oliver 
Wolcott and afterwards was made major, colonel and general after 
the war. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold was lieutenant in two campaigns in 
the French war in 1758 and 9, and was captain in two campaigns in 
the Revolution. 

Capt. John Strong was captain of the militia and was probably 
in two or three campaigns. 

Capt. Amos Wilson enlisted a company, went to the war but was 
taken ill by sun stroke and returned home. 

Capt. Epaphras Loomis, probably, was elected to Capt. Amos 
Wilson's position, in the commencement of the war, and as captain 
of the Torrington company was in several campaigns with the militia, 
and was afterwards appointed captain of an enlisted company. 

Capt. Noah Wilson was the first captain of a military company 
in the town, and he resigned and his brother Amos was elected in 
his place, and as near as can be ascertained, Amos resigned soon after 
the commencement of the war, and was not in the service long. 

Noah Wilson may have gone in the call for the militia in 1775. 

David Lyman served in the army some time, was honorably dis- 
charged to run a grist mill in New Hartford for the supply of the re- 
volutionary troops ; resided in Torringford a number of years before 
his death. He is said to have been known by the name of General 
Lyman. 

Capt. Jabez Gillett was in the service. 

Dr. Isaac Day, of Torringford, was appointed surgeon's mate in 
the regiment of Col. Webb, in 1777. 

Dr. Oliver Bancroft was in the army. 

Dr. Elkanah Hodges was probably in the army with the militia 
two or three terms when they were called out, as he received pay as 
others. 

Dr. Samuel Woodward was in the army, but probably with the 
militia. 

Capt. Seth Coe was a soldier in the Revolution, enlisting when 
but seventeen, and remaining through the war, and was probably made 
captain in the war. 

Levi Watson was at Danbury when it was burned by the British. 

Thomas Watson was in the state service, which he entered at 



236 



History of Torrington. 



the age of fifteen, and joined the Continental army when but nine- 
teen. 

Shubael Griswold Jr., was an officer in his father's company in 
the Revolution, and afterwards became general of the militia at 
East Hartford. 

Pardon Abbott, from Rhode Island, was a soldier in the Revolu- 
tion ; drew a pension many years ; lived in the old house on the little 
hill below the nickel furnace in Torrington hollow. 

AsAHEL Strong was conductor of teams. 

The following persons are known to have been in the Revolution 
for various lengths of time •, some in the militia and some of them in 
the regular army : 



Oliver Coe, 
Oliver Coe Jr., 
Dr. Oliver Bancroft, 
Nathaniel Barber jr., 
Bushniel Benedict, 
Daniel Benedict, 
Simeon Birge, 
Elijah Bissell, 
John Dear, 
Noah Drake Sen., 
Andrew Ely, 
John StandclifF, 
John Ellsworth, 
Ebenezer Scoville, 



Ambrose Fyler, 
Benjamin Whiting, 
Benjamin Gaylord, 
Jesse Whiting, 
Stanley Griswold, 
Henry Whiting, 
Shubael Griswold Jr., 
Eliphalet Hough, 
Joseph Hoskins Sen., 
Samuel Kelsey, 
Elisha Kelsey, 
Nathaniel Kelsey, 
Samuel Kelsey Jr., 
David Lyman, 



Epaphras Loomis Jr., 
Wait Loomis, 
Elijah Loomis, 
Richard Leach, 
Ebenezer Leach, 
Roger Marshall, 
Barber Moore, 
Jared Palmer, 
Abel Roberts, 
Samuel Roberts, 
Clerk Roberts, 
William Williams, 
Stephen Rowley, 
John Williams. 



The War of the Rebellion. 

The flag of the Union was fired on at Fort Sumter, April 14, 1861, 
and on the 21st of the same month this town issued a call for a special 
meeting to be held on the 27th following, " for the purpose of making 
an appropriation from the treasury of the town to furnish arms and 
clothing to those who might volunteer and be mustered in at the call 
of the president of the United States." At the appointed time the 
meeting voted the sum of four thousand and five hundred dollars, to 
be drawn and appropriated to the designated end by a committee, the 
following named persons being that committee : Bradley R. Agard, 
Francis N. Holly, William R. Slade, Thomas A. Miller, and Harvey 
L. Rood. 

Such was the prompt, decided and substantial manifestation of the 
town in favor of sustaining the Union of the United States, and the 
principles of national freedom. At the annual meeting in the next 



TORRINGTON IN WaR TiMES. I37 

October, they made further provisions for soldiers' families, and for 
any persons who should enlist ; and on Monday July 28, 1862, at a 
special meeting the town voted one hundred dollars bounty to each 
soldier accepted in the service from the town, before the twentieth 
of the next August. Before that time expired another meeting was 
called and the sum of one hundred dollars continued ; and an addi- 
tional fifty dollars offered to those who should enlist, under the call 
for 300,000 men for nine months. On the thirtieth of August, of 
the same year, after a draft had been ordered the town offered two 
hundred dollars bounty to those who should enlist from the town to 
obviate the necessity of carrying the draft into effect, and $7,000 were 
appropriated for this end. 

On the 27th day of July, 1863, a meeting was held, called for the 
purpose of voting three hundred dollars bounty to " such of the citi- 
zens of this town who may be drafted," but no vote to this effect 
was passed, and two subsequent meetings were held before a final 
decision was reached in regard to certain matters of interest, when 
the vote passed to pay every man who should be drafted two hundred 
dollars, and every man who should be drafted and furnish a substitute, 
one hundred and fifty dollars, and the selectmen directed to hire so 
•much money as should be necessary to execute the vote. 

When five hundred thousand men were called for in July, 1864, 
the town voted five thousand dollars to fill the required number of 
soldiers, and in the next month the town gave authority for the select- 
men to borrow so much money as might be necessary for the purpose 
of filling the quota of the town, and gave them power to " use said 
money in such measures as they shall deem best for the object." 
Therefore the selectmen were entrusted with nearly the whole matter, 
which indicates the very great confidence of the town in them, and 
the great pressure the drafts were making upon the people of the 
land. 

All of this may be thought to be well enough and that when men 
are trying to get out of the fight themselves they can afford to sur- 
render a little money to accomplish that end, but this town showed 
its true spirit of honor when, after the war closed, they voted one 
hundred dollars to those soldiers who had not received a bounty, or 
the wives and widows of such soldiers who had been taken prisoners 
or who had died in the service. 

Such is an outline of the acts of the town for the purpose of sus- 
taining the nation's honor in the hour of severe and very great trial, 
in the hope of perpetuating to the generations to follow the great boon 



238 History of Torrington. 

of liberty for which the fathers in the Revolution struggled so marvel- 
ously and successfully, but, to portray the real character of the late 
war as it affected the people of this town as well as others, and follow 
the desolations, privations and sorrows consequent upon the mis- 
fortune of those who by the calamities of war " crossed the dead 
line," would require a book of itself, and such a book, even, would 
be only a faint echo of the past. Were it proper and consistent with 
the circumstances of the author of this book, he would most gladly 
give a month's time, to secure some significant memorial to the noble 
men of this town, who left all, risked all, suffered much, and espe- 
cially those who laid down their lives, for their homes, their friends, 
and their country ; but he is compelled to leave the matter in the one 
effort of trying to make the catalogue of names as complete as it is 
in his power of doing. 

First Regiment Heavy Artillery, C. F. 

Sanford H. Perkins, capt., Co. I, May 23, 1861 ; promoted maj., 14th C. V., June 7, 1862. 
Albert F. Brooker, ist lieut., Co. I, May 23, 1861 ; promoted capt., Co. B, May 23, 1862. 
Edward H. Mix, 2d lieut., Co. I, " " " ist lieut., Co. C, resigned 

Feb. 6, 1862. 
Collis S. Hough, sergt., Co. I, May 23, i86i ; re-enlisted as veteran, Dec. 17, 1863. 
David W. Smith, corporal, Co. I, May 23, 1861 ; discharged May 23, 1864, term expired.* 
King Walbridge, " " " " 

Charles Huxford, " " « " 

Frank R. Brooker, private, 
Wilbur W. Birge, «' 
Edward C. Castle, " 



<< (C 

« « 



<( (( « <( <l 

(t « « <( (< 

<( << 'I I '< « « 



" disability, Sept. 23, 1861. 

" May 23, 1864, term expired. 



Clement Griffin, " " " " died, Nov. 23, 1862, 

Asahel C. Johnson, " " " " re-enjisted as veteran, Feb. 5, 1864. 

James H. Mott, " " " " discharged May 23, 1864, term expired. 

Hayden D. Palmer, " " " " re-enlisted as veteran, Dec. 30, 1863. 

Eber N. Stocking, " ■' " " discharged, disability, Sept. 23, 1861. 

Elisha J. Steele, private, " May, 23, 1861 j re-enlisted as veteran, Dec. 30, 1863. 

Charles W. Smith, " " " « '« " " " Nov. 16, 1863. 

Henry M. Stocking, " « " «' " " « " " " " 

Lambert W. Steele, " « « ' " « " " Dec. 10, 1863. 

Recruits, Company I. 
John Keaton, private, Co. I, April 12, 1862; re-enlisted as veteran, April 19, 1864. 



Second Regiment Heavy Artillery C. V. 

Dr. Jeremiah W. Phelps, ist ast. surgeon, Sept. 5, 1862; resigned, Sept. 15, 1862. 
Jonathan A. Wainwright, chaplain, Sept. 8, 1862; resigned, Jan. 20, 1863. 
Wilbur W. Birge, sergt. maj., July 28, 1862 ; promoted to ist lieut., Co. F, Feb. 6, 1864. 
William T. Spencer, ist lieut., Co. C, July 22, 1862; promoted capt. of Co. K, Aug. 

II, 1863. 
Morris H. Sanford, 2d lieut., Co. C, July 21, 1862; promoted ist lieut., Aug. 11, 1863. 
George K. Hyde, sergt., Co. C, Aug. 25, 1862 , promoted 2d lieut., Co. G, Feb. 6, 1864. 



TORRINGTON IN WaR TiMES. 



239 



« « 



(( << 
(< <( 



July 28, 1862. 
Aug. II, 1862. 

" died, Alexandria, Va., April i, 1863. 



<( (C 

« <c 



« <c 



Orsamus R. Fyler, sergt. Co. C, Aug. 9, 1862 j promoted 2d lieut., Co. I, Feb. 6, 1864. 

David C. Munson, corporal, Co. C, Aug. 4, 1862. 

Albert P. Newberry, corporal, Co. A, Aug. 4, 1862; died in Va., April 14, 1864. 

David J. Thorp, corporal, Co. C, July 28, 1862; killed at Cold Harbor, Va., June I, 1864. 

Martin L. Judd, corporal, Co. C, Aug. 11, 1862. 

William H. Hyde, corporal, Co. C, July 24, 1862; discharged, disability, Aug. 8, 1863. 

John Wilcox, Co. A, died from wounds, June 16, 1864. 

Andrew J. Brooker, Co. A, died from wounds, Oct. 12, 1864. 

Hicks Seaman, musician, Co. C, July 28, 1862. 

Andrew E. Workman, musician, Co. C, Aug. 4, 1862. 

Milo F. Barber, private, Co. C, Aug. 11, 18625 discharged, disability, April 18, 1864. 

Anson F. Balcom, " " " '« «' " died, wounds Va., Sept. 19, 1864. 

Edward M. Balcom, private, Co. C, Aug. 11, 1862. 

John R. Blakeslee, " 

Virgil R. Bissell, " 

Giles A. Come, " 

Orrin H. Cooke, " 

Alfred Calkins, « 

army. 
Edward M. Dunbar, " 
Joseph Durocher, " 

Orlando D. Evans, " 
John Friend, " 

Cornel A. Hammond, " 
Frederick O. Hills, " 
William H. Hart, » 

Harlow S. Johnson. " 

1864. 
James Jukes, " 

John De Lowry, " 

Dennis Murphy, " 

McKenzie Millard, " 
James Moran, " 

Charles E. Morse, " 

Carrel F. North, « 

Alonzo Smith, " 

David J. Thorp, " 

George C. Thompson, " 
Wright Waterhouse, " 
Henry M. Woodruff, " 
Lucien N. Whiting, " 
Harrison Whitney, " 
Milo Young, " 



died at home, disease contracted in 



died, Feb. 28, 1863. 






Aug. 6, 1862. 

July 24, 1862J discharged, Nov. 9, 1862. 

Aug. II, 1862. 

" " " died in hospital, Va., June 24, 1864. 

" " " died at Baltimore, Md., Sept. 23, 



honorably discharged. 



« 


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it 


« it 


il 


« 


l( 


« « 


it 


« 


(< 


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(1 


iC 


Aug. 


4, 1862. 


<( 


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Aug. 


7, 1862. 


« 


It 


Aug. 


II, 1862 


c< 


(t 


Aug. 


14, 1862 


(■ 


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July 


25, 1862. 



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it 


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u 



'« " " killed at Cold Harbor, June i, 1865. 

July 23, 1862. 
July 28, 1862; 

Aug. II, 1862 J died in hospital, N. H., July 22, 1864. 
Aug. 4, 1862. 

it tt It 



Aug. II, 1862; died in hospital, May 14, 1865. 
Charles G. Mason, private, Co. E, July 30, 1862. 
Hubbard E. Tuttle, " " " Aug. 6, 1862. 

Lant Ryan, corporal, Co. K, Aug. 12, 1862. 
Asahel N. Perkins, private, Co. K, Augi. 7, 1862; died, wounds. 

Patrick Farrell, " " « « « « honorably discharged, June I, 1864. 

Enoch G. Warhurst, " '« " Aug. 6, 1862. 

Patrick Peacock, " '< " « " " honorably discharged. 



240 History of Torrington. 

Co. C Recruits. j 

Newton A. Calkins, private, Co. C, Dec. 9, 1863. 1 

John Delowry, " " " Jan. 2, 1864. ' 

William H. Hart, " « " Dec. 28, 1863. 

Andrew Harris, " " " Dec. 23, 1863. \ 

James M. Hayes, " " " Dec. 15, 1863 j died in Va., July 24, 1864. i 

Patrick Kenedy, " " " Feb. 1 1, 1864. 

Lewis A. Luddington, " " " Jan. 5, 1864. 

Jeremiah McCarthy, " « " Dec. 28, 1863 ; killed Va., Sept. 19, 1864. 
Patrick O'Conner, " '< " Dec. 15, 1863. 

Henry W. Ostrum, " " " Dec. 28, 1863. 

George W. Pitrce, " " «• Dec. 15, 1863; killed. Cold Harbor June i, 1864. 

Albert M. Scoville, " " " Dec. 28, 1863 j died, Va., Oct. 19, 1864. 
Horace A. Thompson, private, Co. M., Feb. 12, 1864. 
George H. Wheeler, private, Co. M, Feb. 12, 1864. 

. i 
Second Regiment Infantry, C. V. j 

Henry G. Colt, private, May 7, 1861 j honorably discharged Aug. 7, 1861. | 

George M. Evans, " " « " « " " " ' 

Third Regiment Infantry, C. F. \ 

Allen G. Brady, It. colonel. May 14, i8bi ; honorably discharged Aug. 12, 1861. 
William G. Brady, sergt. major. May 14, 1861; " " Aug. 12, 1861, I 

Joseph P. Reed, private. May 14, i85i ; Rifle Co. F, honorably discharged Aug. 12, 18 61. I 

George M. Evans, private, Nov. 2, 1861 ; Cav. Co. D, re-enlisted as vet., Dec. 17, 1863. 

First Regiment Cavalry Recruits, Co. G. '. 

Nelson Hodges, private, Nov. 30, 1863. 
Cornelius Horgan, " Dec. 22, 1863. ! 

Eighth Regiment Infantry, Co. C. 

Henry H. Riggs, corporal, Sept. 25, 1861. < 

Thomas J. Hubbard, corporal, Oct. 5, 1861 ; re-enlisted veteran, Dec. 24, 1863. 

William H. McCarty, private, Sept. 25, 1861 ; discharged, disability March 4, 1863. 

John Collins, private, Co. F, Sept. 4, 18635 substitute or drafted. ; 

James Churchill, private, Co. I, Sept. 4, 1863; " " " 

John Hern, '• Co. F, Sept. 4, 1863 ; «' '« " ; 

William Matice, " Co. I, Sept. 4, 1863. j 

Frank Miller, " Co. A, Mar. 29, 1864. ! 

Henry C. Woodward, private, Co. I, Feb. 25, 1864.  

Tenth Regiment. 1 

Simon Lathrop, Co. A., killed N. C, Dec. 14, 1862. ] 

Eleventh Regiment Infantry, C. F. Recruits. [ 

'( 

John C. King, private, Mar. 30, 1864; not taken upon the rolls June 30, 1864. ti 

Lewis Dayton, Co. D, killed Sept. 17, 1862. 

Thomas Lackey, private, Co. H, Mar. 30, 1864. 

James McGrath, " Apr. i, 1864. 

George Sinclair, " Co. K, Apr. i, 18645 trans. U. S. navy, Apr. 29, 1864. 



TORRINGTON IN WaR TiMES. 24I 

Michael Welch, private, Co. K, Mar. 30, 1864. 

Henry Williams, " Co. K, Apr. i, 1864. 

Lewis E. Walling, " Co. E, died during the war. 

Thirteenth Regiment Infantry, C. F. 

Hurlbifit C. Hayes, corporal, Co. B., Jan. 11, 1862. 

Charles F. Cleaveland, private, Co. B, Dec. 22, 1861 j died Apr. 8, 1862. 

Edward M. Dunbar, " " " Dec. 2, 1861 ; discharged, disability, June 30, 1862. 

Edward A. Foot, " *' " Jan. 11. 

Frederick E. Hawley, " " " Dec. 22, 1861 ; discharged, disability, Feb. 28, 1863. 

Dennis Hegany, " " " Dec. 22, 1861 ; re-enlisted as veteran, Feb. 8, 1864. 

George E. Hewlett, " " " Dec. 22, 1861 j transf. to ist. La. Regt., Aug. 8, 1862. 

Edward Murphy, " *' " Feb. 20, died Apr. 7, 1862. 

Michael Higany, " " " Feb. 20, re-enlisted as veteran, Feb. 29, 1864. 

Henry A. Hurlbut, Co. G., honorably discharged. 

Fourteenth Regiment Infantry^ C. F. Co. C. 

William Bradshaw, Co. A, died Aug. 16, 1864. 

Edward Carroll, private, July 8, 1862; deserted April 30, 1863. 

Fourteenth Regiment Infantry, C. F. Recruits. 

Frederick Cheever, private, Co. D, Sept. 17, 1863 ,• substitute or drafted. 

Nicholas Deane, " Co C, Sept. 7, 1863 ; " " " supposed prisoner. 

Feb. 6, 1864. 

Ferdinand GrosslofF, " Co. D, Sept. 17, 1863 j deserted to the enemy April 30, 1864. 

John Fitzpatrick, " Co. E, " " " honorably discharged. 

Thomas Rumble " Co. A, Sept. 11, 1863; supposed prisoner Oct., 1863. 

George Smith 2d, " Co. H, Sept. 8, 1863. 

John Suffang, " Co. C, Sept 8,1863. 

Sixteenth Regiment. 

Christopher C. Johnson, Co. E, died in Andersonville prison. 

Seventeenth Regiment Infantry, C. F. 

Allen G. Brady, major, Aug. 29, 1862; discharged, disability, Oct. 2i, 1863. 

Twenty-Second Regiment Infantry, Co. E. 

Riley Dunbar, private, Sept. 20, 1862; honorably discharged July 7, 1863. 

Twenty-Third Regiment Infantry, C. F. 

Henry Barber, Co. A, honorably discharged. 

John Deloury, private, Co. A, Aug. 30, 1862 j honorably discharged Aug. 31, 1862. 

Andrew Barrett, " Co. H, Aug. 22,18625 " " ^"g- 3i> 1863. 

Twenty-Eighth Regiment Infaritry C. F . 
Lucius E. Bissell, corporal, Co. F, Sept. i, 1862. 

Lafayette Bailey, private, " " Aug. 21, 1862 ; honorably discharged Aug. 28, 1863. 
Erwin W. Curtiss, " " " Sept. i, 1862; died May 27, 1863. 

Lewis E. Dailey, " " " Sept. i, 1862; honorably discharged Aug. 28, 1863. 

31 



242 History of Torrington. 



Twenty-Ninth Regiment Infantry, C. V. 

Henry S. Freeman, private, Co. H, March 2, 1864. 

Edward Freeman, Co. C, died in Texas Oct. 13, 1855. 

George Wright, private, Co. I, Dec. 31, 1863. 

Thirtieth Regiment Infantry, C. F. 
Thomas W. Browne, private, Co. F, March 28, 1864; not taken on the rolls June 30, 1864. 

Colored Drafted Men and Substitutes, assigned to Fourteenth Regiment R. I. 

Heavy Artillery. 

Richard Harrison, private, Co. D, Sept. 9, 1863. 

Nelson Harrison, " Co. D, Sept. 9, 1863. 

Hannibal Randall, " Co. D, Aug. 22, 1863 ; died place unknown. 

John N. Smith, Co. B, 21st Mass., died during war. 

Harvey F. Bellamy, Co. B, 21st Mass. 

Russell P. Fellows enlisted at Bristol in Co. K, i6th regiment early in the war, was taken 

prisoner April 20, 1864. 
Harvey Fellows enlisted in Co. C, 25th regiment, was taken prisoner but was exchanged. 




CHAPTER XIX. 

THINGS THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT. 

[MUSEMENTS have been sought by young and old in 
all generations and nations ; the only difference being 
simply as to the kind indulged in. Among the sports 
engaged in for many years in Torrington, were hunting 
matches ; in which the animals and birds killed were counted at a 
certain rate and the side which counted the less number were ob- 
ligated to pay for a good dinner, and treat all round. On one occa- 
sion there was a hunt and the count was to be on the heads of the 
animals killed. Miles Beach being on one side, went into the corn- 
field and caught one or two hundred mice and brought the heads, 
claiming that a head was a head, and should be counted. In this 
transaction, whether he was much of a sportsman or not, he de- 
monstrated that he was a good mouser. 

On another occasion of a hunt, the tails of the animals were to be 
counted. One man shot at a squirrel, cut off his tail and carried it 
to the rendezvous, where it counted all the same, while the squirrel 
went on his way in new fashion. 

Wild Cats. 

These animals seem to have exercised the minds of either the 
young men or the old men or the children, to an extent quite sur- 
prising. During some years before 1800, the town voted fifty cents 
bounty for a wild cat's head, and at that rate the treasurer of the 
town paid for a considerable number of them, but, either to keep ^ 
some lazy fellows hunting, so as to keep them from worse employ- 
ment, or to make believe there were wild cats, or to put the real 
wild cats out of the way, so that the young fellows would not be 
scared in going home nights after seeing the girls, the town offered 
in 1^02, one dollar a head bounty, and in 1806, it offered two dol- 
lars a head. 

A little above Daytonville, on the road to Newfield, east of the 
road is a strange looking hollow called Wild Cat hollow, and it is well 
named if the name indicates a place where wild cats could hide. 



244 History of Torrington. 

The formation is by the upheaval of the rocks, and large stones 
thrown in according to no rule of masonry. 

A Prosecution for Profanity. 

" To Ebenezer Norton, Esq., his majesty's justice of the peace, for Litchfield 

county in Conn. 

Benjamin Whiting, grand juror for said county of Litchfield for the time 
being, and other informing officers for said town and county, on their oath, in 
the name and behalf of our sovereign lord the now king ; complaint and infor- 
mation make against Matthew Grant of Torrington in said county for breach 
of law, for that he, the said Matthew, being at the dwelling house of Epaphras 
Sheldon Esq., and at Mr. Ebenezer Goes, in Torrington, on or about the 21st 
day of January last, past, and several of his majesty's subjects being present, 
the said Matthew did at the aforesaid place, in a very tumultuous and angry 
way and manner, did with a loud voice sware, bv God vainly, rashly and in a 
passion and profanely, and used those vain words following, viz : * The south 
end of Torrington is as bad as hell, and that the Wilsons would all go to hell, 
and that they would go to the devil,' and many other rash and profane words, 
did then and there express in a very wicked way and manner ; all which the 
complainers say, was contrary to the peace of our sovereign lord the king, and 
the law of this colony ; and pray that the said Matthew Grant may be pro- 
ceeded with as the law directs, made and provided in such cases. 

Dated at Torrington this 5th day of March, 1773. 
Joseph Allen, ^ ' Benj. Whiting, ) ^^^^^ 

Joseph Tanter, V Evidence for the king. Noah Wilson, >■ . 

Benjamin Beach, ) Isaac Goodwin, ) ^ ^' 

Ephraim Bancroft, ] Constables. 
Jabez Gillett, j of Torrington." 

On the back of this paper is written the order for Mr. Grant's 
arrest, dated September 23, 1773, or six months after the complaint 
was made, by which time the hot excitement had probably cooled 
down a little. 

Items taken from Mr. William Whiting's account book : 

" Memorandum. Be it remembered that in August, in the old of the 
moon, and the sign in the heart, is the time to cut bushes to kill them and not 
fail." 

" Memorandum of the day that Mr. Nathan Gillett set out for New Con- 
necticut [Ohio] to the town of Morgan." [Year 1801.] 

In those days when a family removed to the then far west it was 
a topic of general conversation, and prayers were offered for them 
in church, and many persons noted the day the family started, and 
for fifty years could tell the day, without having made any memo- 
randum. But about 1815 to 20, such removals became so common 
that memory failed to note the day every one started. One woman 



Things not Left Out. 245 

now living, remembers seeing the emigrant wagons on Litchfield 
turnpike, day after day, moving on slowly toward Litchfield and the 
west, there being some times half a dozen of these wagons in com- 
pany, covered with white canvas ; old fashioned lumber wagons, 
with no springs ; some drawn by horses, some by oxen, some 
by cows. Hundreds of families were on the road from six to eight 
weeks in soing from Connecticut to Ohio. 

" Memorable day this 8th dav of May 1803. There was a snow midleg 
deep. Peach trees were all in bloom. It froze very much two nights. 
Young men sav it will kill the fruit, old men say it will not, and now we 
wait for time to bring forth." 

As to the result we are not informed, which is much to be re- 
gretted. 

" List for the year A. D. 1797- Six acres plough land ; fifty-five acres of 
cleared pasture, twentv-seven acres of bush pasture ; forty acres of wood land." 

This is very much in proportion, as many farms are at the present 
day, after the changes of eighty years. 

" February 20th, A. D. 1802. This day Ira Loomis took a cow for three 
years, and at the end of three years is to return the cow and the oldest calf" 

Squabble Hill. 

At the foot of a certain hill lived a family long ago, in a house, 
now all gone, which family had so much trouble within itself, so 
many squabbles, that the hill has been known ever since by the 
name of Squabble hill, and as in all such cases is a steep hill to 

climb. 

Laconic Correspondence. 

Mr. John Alvord, possessed a somewhat remarkable character, 
not for industry and wealth, but as having read up, surprisingly, the 
history of the ancient philosophers, and as having a great admiration 
for those ancient worthies. While living in Winsted the following 
correspondence transpired between him and Doctor Woodward of 
this town : 

" Mr. John Alvord, 

Sir : In looking over my old notes, I find one signed, John Alvord, dated 
Jan., 1808 ; ten years ago last January. You sir, are one of the philosophers 
and wise men of the day. 1 ask if it is not time to pay it. If you conclude 
it is not, I muse be compelled to submit the matter to other wise men. 

Yours, 

Sam Woodward." 



246 History of Torrington. 

"Dr. SamL Woodward, 

Sir : I this day reed, a line from you, stating that you held a note against 
me, etc. You was also pleased to rank me with the ' philosophers and wise 
men' of the day. I esteem it a high honor to be ranked with the philosophers 
and wise men even of the present day, which fall far short of the philosophy 
of ancient times. We do not expect to wear the ring of Guyges, or the cap 
of Fortunatus at the present day. Philosophy is good, and wisdom is profita- 
ble to direct, but neither will pay debts without money. I have three or four 
times this summer been invited into the company of those wise men you speak 
of, which has drained me of every cent in money I had, and almost every 
resource, and what to do in the present case I cannot tell. 

If sir, you are determined ' to submit the matter to the wise men' you spoke 
of, I think there is no need of crossing the Styx in search of such ancient 
worthies as Minos, Aechus and Rhadamaiithus, they were judges of higher 
matters. But there are a number of the sons of your old friend and honored 
master, Aesculapius, who I think may be ranked with the wisest of men at the 
present day. There is one resides in this place. As you pass by the forge of 
Vulcan, you go a little beyond the leather mill, and just at the left hand of A. 
B. C. college, resides one who / think mav be ranked with the wisest of men 
at the present day. If sir, you will leave your note with him, or any of his 
brethren in office, I will pay it as quick as I can, and confess judgment if you 
desire it. Yours, 

John Alvord." 

The Whipping Post. 

This method of penalty was continued to a later day in Torring- 
ton, than in some other towns, but was resorted to largely, in cases 
of stealing. Mr. Israel Coe, as constable, whipped two men about 
the years 18 17 and 18 ; one for stealing a piece of broadcloth at the 
woolen mill, the other for stealing a silver spoon at Capt. Samuel 
Bradley's. 

" At a justice court holden at Torrington in the county of Litchfield, on the 
15th day of January, 1830, in presence of R. C. Abernethy, justice of the 
peace for said county holding the same. Nelson Fyler of said Torrington was 
brought before said court by virtue of a warrant issued by the said R. C. 
Abernethy, * * on complaint of Luther Cook, grand juror of said Torrington, 
charging the said Nelson Fyler that on the 14th day of Januaiy, 1830, at Tor- 
rington aforesaid, did feloniously take, steal and carry away one certain gold 
finger ring with a stone set therein of the value of five dollars, the proper estate 
of Ransom Hine of said Torrington, against the peace and contrary to the 
form of the statute in such case made and provided, and the s.iid Nelson Fyler 
being put to plead, for plea says he is not guilty in manner and form as in such 
complaint is alleged. And this court having heard the evidence, as well on 
the part of the state as of the said Nelson Fyler, find that the said Nelson Fyler, 
is guilty in manner and in form as in said complaint is alleged, and also find 
that the said ring was, when stolen, of the value of two dollars fifty cents. It 
is therefore considered and adjudged that the said Nelson Fyler pay a fine of 
five dollars to the treasurer of the town of Torrington, together with the costs 



Things not'^Left Out. 247 

of the prosecution, taxed at nine dollars and tliirty cents, and also pay to the 
said Ransom Hine, seven dollars and fifty cents, being treble the value of said 
ring stolen, as aforesaid, and the said Nelson Fyler neglecting and refusing to 
pay said fine and costs, shall be punished by whipping four stripes on his naked 
body and pay the cosis of prosecution, and stand committed till this judgment 
be complied with Russell C. Abernethy, Justice of the Peace." 

The warrant for execution granted and delivered to William 
Leach constable the same day ; but tradition says the prisoner was 
whipped, but on his way to prison escaped from the constable. 

This is said to have been the last case of whipping in the town. 

Wasps. 

Thomas Marshall, living near Winchester in Newfield, while 
gathering hay in the field usually worked without his pantaloons, 
keeping on only one garment, the old fashioned frock. In raking 
hay the old man frequently scolded his sons for leaving the hay, and 
would gather such as they left. One day the boys discovered a 
wasp's nest, and threw some hay on it and left it. Mr. Marshall pass- 
ing near it saw it, and going to it put both arms around it and began 
to walk away. The wasps made war on his legs with great vigor 
and no amount of fleetness, or persuasive influences could dispell 
them until they had nearly killed him. 

This was not the end of the matter, for he proclaimed that if he 
could find who did it he would whip, him severely. After some 
time he obtained this information, but finally gave the boy his choice 
to take a severe whipping or pay a fine of five dollars by doing the 
churning of their large dairy, at ten cents a churning, until the whole 
should be paid. The son knowing too well already, his father's 
ability to use the whip, chose to do the churning on the terms pre- 
scribed, although it took him nearly six months to pay the bill. 

Honest Oxen. 

Samuel Beach was a peculiar man, never answering a straight for- 
ward question, but talked shy in regard to everything. He lived 
west of Wolcottville, half a mile. On a certain occasion, he sold a 
yoke of oxen to Mr. Jerome of New Hartford, as honest and orderly 
oxen, and Mr. Jerome paying him for them, left them until he 
should come for them. After he had sold them Mathew Grant 
came along, and Mr. Beach told him he had sold his oxen. " How 
much did you get ?" In reply Mr. Beach told him, Mr. Grant 



248 History of Torrington. 

said, "you sold them too cheap, I would have given ten dollars more." 
" I'll be boun for it," said uncle Sam, that's too bad. Well if Mr. 
Jerome don't take them you may have them." Upon this Mr. 
Beach made two great pokes and put them on the oxen. When 
Mr. Jerome came for them he inquired : " How is this Mr. Beach, 
you sold the oxen as orderly." ''Well," said uncle Sam, '■'I'll be 
boun for it, they wear masa great pokes, masa great pokes ; and if you 
don't want them you can have the money." Mr. Jerome took his 
money, and Mr. Grant had the cattle. 

This same Mr. Beach sold some pork in Goshen, agreeing that 
the hogs when dressed should weigh two hundred pounds. When 
he delivered them they weighed a little over a hundred each, and he 
was asked, " how is this Mr. Beach, your pigs were to weigh two hun- 
dred a piece." " I said, take one with another, they would weigh 
two hundred." 

Under no questioning or remarks could any one get a straight an- 
swer from him, as efforts were made upon bets to that effect. The 
summer of 18 16, was very cold and the hay crop was very light, 
and in the spring of 1817, there was much anxiety about getting the 
stock through until grass should grow. In the midst of this anxiety 
uncle Sam Beach was taken quite ill, and sent for Doctor "Ban" 
who after examining him said ; " Well, uncle Sam, I can do you no 
good, you will have to go now." His quick reply was; " I'll be 
boun for it, I've got hay enough to carry my cattle through." 

A minister stayed at his house one night and in the morning asked 
him, if he had any request for which he desired prayers. Yes, said 
uncle Sam, " pray that I may get the Castle lot ;" a lot of land he 
had long desired to get. 

Support the Church or go to Jail. 

" To Phineas North of Torrington in the county of Litchfield collector of 
society taxes in the first society in said Torrington Greeting. 
By authority of the State of Connecticut, you are hereby commanded forth- 
with to levy and collect of the persons named in the annexed list or rate bill 
herewith committed to you, each one his several proportion as herein set down 
ot the sum total of such list, being a tax of assessment granted and agreed upon 
by the inhabitants of the said first society of Torrington, regularly assembled 
on the 15th day of August A. D., 1791, being a tax of one cent and five mills 
on the dollar, on the list of said society in the year 1790 ; the other being a 
tax granted and agreed upon by the said inhabitants regularly assembled on the 
7th day of November, A. D., 1791, being a tax of three pence on the pound 
on said list of 1 790. Said taxes were granted and agreed upon for the purpose 
of defraying the necessary charges arising in said society^ and to deliver the sums 



Things not Left Out. 249 

you shall so levy and collect unto the committee of said first society of Tor- 
rington on or before the first day of March next, and if any person or persons 
shall neglect or refuse to make payment of the sum or sums whereat he or they 
are respectively assessed and set in said list or rate bill, you are to distrain the 
goods or chattels of such person or persons and the same dispose of as the law 
directs, returning the overplus (if any be) to the owner or owners, and for 
want of goods and chattels whereon to make distraint you are to take the body 
or bodies of the persons so refusing and him or them commit unto the keeper of 
the gaol of said Litchfield county within the said prison who is hereby com- 
manded to receive and safely keep him or them until he or they pay and satisfy 
the said sum or sums assessed on him or them as aforesaid, together with your 
own fees unless the said assessment or some part thereof be legally abated. 
Dated at Torrington the 25th day of January, A. D., 1792. 

Elisha Smith, 'Justice of the Peace." 



A Sleigh Ride in the Summer. 

Joshua Leach, being a little eccentric, agreed to work through hay- 
ing for Raphael Marshall, at a certain price, on condition that Mr. 
Marshall should take him in his sleigh to the meeting house green, 
a distance of about two miles, when they were done haying ; to which 
he agreed. Accordingly Mr. Marshall put his fine horses before a 
double sleigh, and several strings of bells on his horses, and sat on 
the front seat bundled in over coat, mittens and buffaloes, and Mr. 
Leach sat on the back seat with overcoat and mittens on, and bun- 
dled in buffalo skins. It being a warm day, many people came to 
see the ride, and there was much amusement on the occasion, and 
since that day it has been repeated with much interest as a ridiculous 
performance done for amusement. 

Weddings. 

Weddings were often occasions for noisy, rude, and tumultuous 
engagements, and sometimes the proceedings became destructive to 
property, and disgraceful to civilization and a Christian community, 
but generally when the proceedings were extreme, the matter was 
overlooked because there were so many respectable or influential men 
engaged in it. On such occasions, men, younger and older, would 
collect about the house in the night at nine, ten and twelve o'clock, 
and by blowing of horns, rattling of pans, and firing of guns, make 
such a noise as to be heard two and three miles, and such as to make 
night hideous, and the home wretched with fear ; and such kind of 
enjoyment was sometimes continued until the company were treated 
to a round or two, or three of brandy, and until window lights were 

32 



250 History of Torrington. 

broken, and the people of the house glad to sacrifice almost anything 
out of fear, to be relieved from the presence of such a company. 

When Ezekiel Appley was married several dozen men gathered 
about the house with usual noises. The provisions for the wedding 
guests were on the table in the back kitchen until the ceremony 
should be over when they were to be placed on the table in the front 
room. During the marriage ceremony some of the men crept in at 
the window and passed all the provisions out, and the men out doors 
carried them into the woods at some distance and there ate them, 
leaving not so much as a crumb for the guests in the house. This 
they called sport, and a good joke. And it is customary to speak of 
those men who did such things as having been brought up so well 
and as having such good manners ! 

When Asa Loomis of Torringford was married in June 1778, the 
young men banded together to steal the bride and carry her away 
and keep her until the bridegroom should pay for a supper and brandy 
all. round. The day of the marriage Mr. Loomis was to take his 
bride home, on horseback, the usual method of traveling. After 
starting with his. bride, he was overtaken, by one after another, of 
young men on horseback, until a dozen or two had collected about 
him as if to accompany him on his journey. On a given signal, the 
horses were put into the utmost confusion in front of, and about the 
one the bridal pair were riding. Just then Trumbull Ives, having 
been appointed, seized the bride, drew her to the saddle of his own 
horse, and rode away with all possible speed. The bridegroom was 
a little too expert, in tangles, and escaped the net laid for him and 
gave chase for his bride, while the multitude followed with the pur- 
pose of aiding the man with the bride to make his escape ; but their 
plans failed in part, for the bride was not taken out of Torringford, 
but to the tavern, where supper and liquors were ordered and the 
bride detained until the bridegroom paid the bill. This was not the 
end of the matter ; Mr. Loomis sued the whole company, a long law- 
suit followed ; all the individuals were fined, and it was many years 
before all the fines were paid and the matter ended. 

Jokes. 

Many of the early settlers possessed intellectual qualities corres- 
ponding to their manly forms and vigor of physical constitutions, and 
for want of literary attainments and occupation of the mind, their 
intellectual vigor took the form of oddities, jokes and daring feats of 



Things not Left Out. 251 

physical endurance. They prided themselves in their witty sayings, 
in their muscular toughness, and in how much work they and their 
wives and children could do and not break down. 

This spirit of glory, made them venturesome in the storm, in the 
cold and heat, in places and times of danger, and very often they 
subjected themselves to needless hazard and endurance for the 
purpose of gaining renown, and distinction. They would not indulge 
pride in dress, that to their minds would be a sin, but would encourage 
a double or treble proportion in human muscle and think it quite 
innocent. It is said that one mother wove an immense number of 
yards of tow and linen cloth, the summer before her son was born, 
and the wonderful exhibition of this power of endurance, has been 
spoken of until this day, with honor to the woman, although it nearly 
cost her her life, and her husband thought he might well glory in the 
marvelous strength of his dearly beloved ; all the dearer because she 
could weave a thousand yards a year and receive the money for it. 
This was not a peculiar case, only the woman was peculiarly smart. 

Another illustration is given by the Rev. Grant Powers in his Cen- 
tennial Address in Goshen in 1838. " There arose a spinning match 
among the young married ladies, at the house of Nehemiah Lewis. 
The trial was at the foot-wheel, in spinning linen. The conditions 
were previously defined, and agreed to, viz : They might spin during 
the whole twenty-four hours if they chose. They were to have their 
distaffs prepared for them, and their yarn reeled by others. Upon 
the first trial, at Lewis's house many did well. The wife of Stephen 
Tuttle spun five run, which was equal to two and a half days' labor, 
when on hire. Several others spun four run each ; but Mrs. Tuttle 
came off victor. But this aroused the ambition of some of the 
unmarried ladies, and Lydia Beach, the daughter of Dea. Edmund 
Beach of East street, was the first to come forward, and take up the 
gauntlet. She spun from early dawn to nine o'clock in the evening. 
She had her distaffs prepared, her yarn reeled, and her food put into 
her mouth. She spun in this time, seven run ; three and a half days' 
labor, and took the wreath from the brow of Mrs. Tuttle. Upon 
hearing of the exploit of Miss Beach, the wife of Capt. Isaac Pratt, 
of the south part of the town, came upon the arena. Between early 
dawn and the setting of the sun, she had actually spun six run, but 
at this moment, her husband interfered, and peremptorily forbade her 
proceeding further. She sat down, and wept like a child, when she 
ought to have rejoiced, that she had such a husband, in whose eyes 



252 History of Torrington. 

her future health and happiness were more precious than the brief 
applause which might arise from success in that contest. 

" The hand of Miss Lydia Beach was sought in marriage by the 
young and aspiring Jesse Buell, son of Capt. Jonathan Buell, and she 
was led to the hymenial altar, while her garland was yet fresh upon 
her brow ; but the doting husband was destined to see it wither down 
to the grave, for Lydia never enjoyed health from the hour of her 
triumph." 

The testimony concerning this breaking down of young people 
by hard work, is ample and fully verified by the oldest people now 
living, and much of it was through pride, or ambition to gain renown 
by physical endurance. 

Two young men in Torringford looking out of doors about nine 
o'clock in the evening in the winter, when the snow was nearly two 
feet deep and the weather severely cold, proposed to go to Harwinton 
meeting-house and back, barefooted, and they performed the journey, 
a distance of three or four miles, and then retired for sleep. 

Dear Postage. 

It is said that when postage on a letter was twenty-five cents, to 
be paid by the receiver, a man traveling through Wolcottville stopped 
at a tavern, fed his horse and procured dinner. The dinner did not 
suit him, consisting as he thought of too large a proportion of pork 
and beans. Some two weeks after the landlord received a letter, 
paying for it twenty-five cents, and opening it found only the words : 
'^ pork and beans." Some two weeks after he received another, for 
which he paid an equal sum, while it contained the same words. 
After about two weeks more a third came in the same handwriting, 
whereupon he concluded to let Uncle Sam keep his "pork and beans." 

There having been formal complaint entered against the signer of 
the following paper, he saw fit to make the humble and gracious 
reply as follows : 

" To the Church of Christ in Torrington. 

As a complaint is against me, and as I understand that there is more en- 
tered for being a contentious person, I reply. 

As it respects intemperance I do not wish to palliate or deny that I have 
given occasion to it. As to the other charge, I am innocent of the crime with 
which I am charged. I ask brethren and sisters to cast a mande of charity over 
my failings ; and I ask your forgiveness. 

In return I pledge you my continued prayers. 

Wm. Marsh." 



Things not Left Out. 253 



Estimate of Money. 

A man called Old Whitney was at the raising of the Baptist church 
in Newfield, and when the men were putting up the timbers in the 
top of the frame a pike pole fell with the end having the pointed iron 
in it, first, and this iron grazed Whitney's nose so as to split it ; mak- 
ing quite a wound in the end of it. Whitney looked up and cried 
out, in a somewhat excited manner : " You can't be too damn care- 
ful up there, I would not run such a risk again iov five dollars." 

Levi Holmes was a blacksmith at Newfield four corners. He 
was six feet tall, large frame, and was a powerful man. A stranger 
passing his shop one day inquired the way to Goshen. Mr. Holmes 
gave him the directions very definitely as to the different roads to be 
taken, so that he could go without further directions. After talking 
a little, the man started down the road towards Winsted. After 
getting on some distance, Mr. Holmes started after him, and step- 
ping into the road before the man said : " You inquired the road to 
Goshen." " Yes," said the man, " I wanted to know which way went 
to Goshen, that's all." "Well," said Holmes," you inquired the way 
to Goshen, and now you shall go to Goshen, or I'll drop you." The 
man considered the road to Goshen the safest just then. 

Ben Eggleston, as he was called, was a character in Newfield. On 
one occasion he went to the saw mill a little below this same bridge, 
in the evening while the Marshall boys were sawing lumber, and as 
he came into the mill, which had a floor of only loose boards with 
large spaces between, the old man began to repeat with emphasis to 
the boys ; " Be careful boys, be careful ; dangerous place here, 
dangerous place." Scarcely had he uttered the words of caution to 
others before down he went, through the floor into the water, close 
by the water wheel. One of the men called to the other, "shut the 
gate quick, or uncle Ben will never make any more hob nails." 
The gate was shut and the men took the lantern and went down to 
see what the result was and as they came near the wheel uncle Ben 
was just scrabbling up the bank, dripping with water ; and in a very 
confidential resolute tone said : " Say nothing boys ; say nothing 
boys ! " 

He went to hear a Universalist minister preach in Newfield, and 
took his seat directly in front of the preacher, and while the minister 
was preaching, he kept moving nearer and nearer, and looking him 
directly in the face. When the minister had become quite engaged 



254 History of Torrington. 

in setting forth iiis 'doctrine uncle Ben addressed him in a very serious 
manner: " Do you believe what you preach? " 

At another time a Baptist minister was preaching, and became very 
much in earnest portraying the wickedness of the people, when uncle 
Ben remarked : " Lay it on heavy, we are a wicked people here." 

Ethan Eggleston, son of uncle Ben, was a great hunter and not 
much of a worker. He would stand along the brook and watch a 
muskrat hole all day as patiently as any monument, and with as little 
motion, to get a shot at the animal, and he was a dead shot, too. 

On a certain day he did not get up as usual, but his sisters know- 
ing the rule that he must not be disturbed, let him lie until nearly 
twelve o'clock, when one of them ventured to open the door to his 
room, when lo, there he was lying at full lengtff on the bed, with his 
old musket in one hand and a horse pistol in the other, both aimed 
at a rat hole in the corner of the room where he had seen a rat early 
in the morning. But few men possess such patience and bravery ! 

Marriage a Hundred Years ago, 

Mr. Increase Grant, also called deacon, lived in the edge of Litch- 
field, and became a member of the Torrington church about 1786, 
and not far from that time (perhaps a few years sooner) married Mind- 
well (Lyman), widow of Jacob Strong. A jointure was signed by 
them before marriage by which she was to acquire none of his pro- 
perty, and he none of hers ; only he was to have the use of her's and 
she was to have her living ; which at the present date seems to have 
been a sharp bargain on his part. After a few years she left him and 
went to her home, and after a time, they both being members of the 
same church, the matter became a topic of much discussion, and 
finally a charge was brought against her, because she did not live 
with her husband, for this and nothing else. 

Upon this Samuel Everitt, son-in-law to Mindwell, testified under 
oath, that while Mr. Grant lived with his wife in her house, they 
seemed to live in harmony, but soon after they removed to his 
house, Mr. Grant told him that he was uneasy with his wife, on 
account of her being too free to treat her grand children when they 
came to his house, with victuals and drink. This complaint he 
made several times before he heard any complaint from his mother- 
in-law. Upon this Mr. Everitt purchased flour and put it in her 
house, agreeing to keep her in flour as she might need to make her 
grand children cakes and the like, in hope that that would end the 



Things not Left Out. 255 

difficulty. Living in Colebrook, he had no opportunity to know how 
matters went, until he heard his mother-in-law was in a very low 
state of health, alone at her own house, where he made her a visit, 
and by the use cf medicines and care several days she revived so as 
to be able to go with him to see Mr. Grant. The interview was 
peculiar ; he seemed anxious only to get rid of her, and wanted Mr. 
Everitt to take her to his house in Colebrook (far away) but she 
seemed anxious to remain near him " where she could attend him if he 
should be sick, and where he could do something for her if she 
should be sick." 

Finding how the matter stood Mr. Everitt bound himself in writ- 
ing to see his mother-in-law taken care of, and Mr. Grant bound 
himself to pay a certain sum towards her support. It was after this, 
and while her health was very poor that the complaint was made 
against her before the church. He was a member of the same 
church, but no complaint was entered against him. 

The church took action in the matter and withdrew fellowship 
from her, which only made the matter worse, because some good 
people could not see that she had done wrong. The church then 
asked advice of the Rev. Ami R. Robbins of Norfolk and Rev. 
Samuel J. Mills of Torringford as a committee, or council, and their 
report was rendered September 18, 1794, and as this report reveals 
a number of prevailing religious notions of that day, it is here given 
in full. And it is important to remember that probably there could 
not have been selected, two men of larger benevolence and good will 
towards the erring or unfortunate than these, and therefore the report 
is as liberal as the times would possibly allow. 

"To the Church of Christ in Torrington. 

Beloved Brethren : We the subscribers, being invited by you to hear and 
advise in a maiter of discipline, respecting Mrs. M. Grant, a sister in your 
church ; after duly attending to the case, find it peculiarly complicated and 
difficult. We think you do well to seek for counsel and assistance in a matter 
so uncommon and delicate. We feel in some measure, embarrassed what ad- 
vice to give. But according to the light we at present have, and unless we 
should obtain further knowledge and light in the affair, it appears to us that the 
said Mrs. Grant, notwithstanding her peculiar trials, cannot be fully justified ; 
but has departed from that meekness and Christian spirit which becomes the 
followers of the meek and lowly Jesus; particularly in indulging angry and pas- 
sionate conduct and expressions, tending to irritate and provoke her husband, 
and that however unjustifiable his conduct may be, yet that does not wholly ex- 
culpate her. We think that it would be proper, and suitable for her to make 
suitable reflections ; acknowledge she hath given occasion to her brethren and 
sisters of the church, of stumbling and to be dissatisfied. And upon her man- 



256 History of Torrington. 

ifesting a becoming spirit, and desiring to walk with this church, in fellowship, 
we think they may and ought to restore her with meekness and love. But if 
she should refuse to make such reflections, and in all respects justify her con- 
duct, we think the church cannot consistently receive her; and considering the 
matter so peculiar and extensive in its operations we feel rather incompetent, 
without further light, to advise any further, but are of opinion that it is the 
duty of the church, to call in the aid and assistance of an ecclesiastical council, 
for ' in the multitude of councillors is safety,' and thereby endeavor to obtain 
further advice and direction as to their duty in this unusual and difficult affair. 

a. r. robbins. 

Samuel John Mills." 

At this stage of the case, Rev. Mr. Gillett, as her pastor, asked 
Rev. Samuel J. Mills to see Mrs. Grant and learn what course to 
pursue, and give him advice. Mr. Mills's letter is preserved, and is 
a good representation of the ideas of those days concerning the re- 
sponsibilities of church relations, and is, therefore, here given: 

" Rev. and dear Brother : I have had opportunity with Mrs. Grant and 
find that her leaving the deacon at the time she did was conceived by her to be 
real duty ; that her recovery turned upon it under providence That had she 
not done it, she would [have] been wanting to herself and criminally negligent. 
That she did not then foresee the consequences that such a step which then 
she thought to be duty, and still thinks so, was to issue in a total separation. 
She supposed her retiring for a short time was no breach of the marriage cove- 
nant ; that she might still perform the duties of a wife, after all, and he the 
duties of a husband ; that the fault is not on her side, that things are now cir- 
cumstanced as they are. She feels not however that she is free from fault. She 
is sorry that she threatened to sue the peace against him, and is willing to 
humble herself for it. She supposes no provocation ever so great would justify 
it. She is greatly grieved at being the occasion of grieving the church and 
giving an handle to any whereby to reproach the cause of Christ. She begs 
the compassion of God's church and people, and stands ready publicly to re- 
flect on herself so far as she can be convinced she ought to do it. I feel 
unable to direct or advise further in the matter than I already have. The 
cause of religion, the honor of the Christian church you are very sensible is of 
more consequence than the honor or peace of any individual. If such a settle- 
ment can be made as may secure religion from suffering, it must be an object 
to be desired. If such settlement cannot be made, which on the whole may 
give tolerable satisfaction, then further measures must be pursued. 

Sensible of the embarrassments you, and the church labor under, and desirous 
to contribnte my mite I use this freedom. 

This from your affectionate Brother, 
To Rev. Mr. Gillett, Saml. J. Mllls. 

To be communicated if you 
think expedient. 
Torringford, Sept. 20, 1794." 

In the effort to have this matter settled Rev. Father Mills wrote 
a sort of confession, which is preserved in his hand writing, which 



Things not Left Out. 257 

he thought might be something like what might answer under 
the circumstances. This Mrs. Grant accepted, and also added in 
her own hand writing more than was suggested. 

" I, the subscriber, Mindvvell Grant, a member of the church of Christ in 
Torrington, sensible that the church are dissatisfied with me on account of the 
separation that has taken place between Dea. Grant and myself, and that they 
are apprehensive that I have not been innocent as to measures which have led 
on to this unhappy event, whereby religion is wounded, and the peace of the 
church disturbed ; take this opportunity publicly to acknowledge myself a poor, 
imperfect creature, and to own that under my weak state of body, and weakness 
of mind, with which I w as attended at one time and another, I no doubt mani- 
fested on certain occasions an unsuitable temper ot mind ; said and did things 
which under other circumstances I should not have said or done. I am far 
from justifying myself in all my conduct, or supposing that I can be excused 
from blame. Particularly would I reflect on myself for that expression in re- 
gard to swearing the peace against Deacon Grant ; and for whatever else I 
have said or done, whereby 1 have given just occasion for offense to any." 

The following was added in her own hand. 

** I ask the forgiveness of God and this church, and of all others who are ag- 
grieved, and request the prayers of my Christian brethren and sisters to God, 
that I henceforth conduct as a true and faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, and 
adorn the solemn vocation by which I have been called. 

MiNDWELL Grant. 
N. B. I stand ready also to return again to my husband as soon as a suitable 
door opens for that purpose. M. Grant.'' 

"The above confession made and accepted Sept. 28, 1794. 

Test. Alex. Gillet, Pastor.*' 

Whether right or wrong, the time has gone by when a wife may 
not swear the peace against her husband however dangerous a char- 
acter he may be, without incurring the censure of the church and 
good people; and the time is also gone when the church is held re- 
sponsible for not settling every little or great difficulty, that it is im- 
possible for human beings to settle; but what seems very strange is 
that it does nor seem to have occurred to any of the people at that 
time, that there was a duty for the church to stand by a defenceless 
and helpless victim, if such might have been the case, and take re- 
proach, if reproach should come by defending the right. If this 
woman's life was endangered, which is not questioned in any of these 
papers, then the church should have protected her to the extent of 
its ability in a civilized country. It is not stated that Deacon Grant 
was a brutal man, but a paper is preserved with a number of names 
of citizens attached, attesting to his good character, but life may be 
endangered by neglect, which when known to the person, in a 

33 



258 History of Torrington. 

Christian view is equally criminal with overt acts, and it is very evi- 
dent that she thought her life in danger, and Father Mills does not 
seem to have doubted it. 

/There was a disposition in those days in men to lord it over their 
'wives and families and many a woman has had double work, and 
stinted allowance of food dealt out to her by her lord who growled 
about the house like a bear j and perhaps the matter was so common 
that it was judged to be right. 

A certain man in this town, well known as having but little energy 
to provide for his family while his wife worked like a slave, was often 
/Complaining of his dispepsia and feeble state of health, and his frequent 
(remark to his wife was in the morning after breakfast : " Now Betsey 
you need not cook but a small piece of pork for dinner, for I am 
feeling very poorly and cannot eat much," and then at dinner he 
would eat all the pork himself, leaving his wife and children to do 
the best they could on potatoes and broth. According to the very 
best authorities, tyranny in the family, by the lord thereof, was a 
common vice for ages in New England as well as in Old England. 
The claim that the husband is the head of the wife in government, 

Cis generally met at the present day with silent disgust, while the idea 
that he is the head to provide for, to care for, to protect and defend, 
"is commonly accepted and honored. 

Another case in this town affords some illustration of the old ideas 
of matrimony and the arbitrary conduct of the husband. 

Thomas Marshall, the first of the name in the town, married 
Elizabeth Tudor Oct. 9, 1725 ; she being of French descent and of 
a wealthy family, brought quite a sum of money to Mr. Marshall, 
when he was married. They lived very unhappily many years, and 
in 1762, agreed to a separation, Mr. Marshall giving a certain bond 
to Dea. John Whiting, binding himself to pay to his wife, " twenty- 
six shillings quarterly" for her support. 

In 1766, she brought a complaint of non-fulfillment of this bond, 
and a petition, to the assembly, to authorize the collection of the 
money inasmuch as he had paid only five pounds and three shillings 
in the four years. The legislature ordered that the specified sums 
should be paid to her and that Mr. John Whiting should prosecute 
to obtain said sums if they were not paid ; the arrearages amounting 
at that time to over fourteen pounds. 

In 1767, another petition was prepared by Epaphras Sheldon in her 
behalf, a copy of which, being sent to John Whiting, according to 



Things not Left Out. 259 

law, is preserved, and which shows that only four pounds had been 
paid during the previous year; and asking that some other man be 
appointed in the place of John Whiting as he wholly neglected the 
matter. In this matter Dea. John Cook and Epaphras Sheldon were 
witnesses before the assembly, and among other things Mrs. Marshall 
testified : " A nice little sum I brought him when I was married." 

When Mr. Marshall found that the matter was likely to go into 
other hands for collection than Mr. Whiting's he changed his course 
entirely, and certified to the legislature that he would not pay the 
money only on condition that his wife should return to her home 
and duty ; and upon his manifesting a willingness to have her return, 
the legislature rescinded their former decree, and let the woman do 
whichever she might choose, go home or starve in old age. 

Here, this woman was, really, sent out of her home, and kept out, 
by the husband, who enjoyed all the comforts of that home, much 
of which had been secured by her money, and during five years or 
more she worked in various ways to obtain a living, she being nearly 
seventy years of age, and then was left by the legislature to go back 
to the place where she proved she had been most shamefully treated. 

But what could she do, the4aws then, and they are but little better 
now, protected the husband in most arbitrary assumptions and ^ 
tyrannical rule in the home, and the public sense was against any / 
claims of a wife except submission to the rule of her husband. Un- 
der such circumstances it is not surprising that many women of the 
finest and best mental qualities rejected the relations of married life 
and thereby retained their money and independency. 

Government in the Family. 

It is customary to make invidious comparisons between the gov- ' 
ernment of the family in the olden time and at the present day, and 
conclude that the world is growing worse, at least in this respect, 
instead of better. The manners taught children in the public schools 
are frequently repeated as testimony to the superior training of those 
days over the present. Now, it was a very proper thing, and for- 
tunate that those who received no training at home, but "sit in the 
corner and keep still," and "be seen and not heard" and whose 
" wills had been broken," so they were mere mummies, and who had 
been taught to " keep their mouth shut " except when they said, 
" what ? yes ! no ! Mam I Dad ! old man ! old woman I" besides 



26o History of Torrington. 

the nick-names all round, should be taught so much as to take their 
hats off when meeting people on the highway. 

It is well known that a large proportion of the men were so timid 
and bashful, for want of a little training in manners, and how to be- 
have in good society that they sought to keep out of such society, 
and to find a lower kind, where they would not be laughed at, and 
where oddities and doggerel words and language brought a premium. 

One of the great lawyers of this nation, tells the story that he was 
taught when a boy in the yankee part of the nation, that he wasn't 
any body ; he should be " seen and not heard," and sit in the chim- 
ney corner ; that when through college and his law studies, he was 
so diffident from the effects of this teaching that he could scarcely 
muster courage to commence his professional business, and that he 
had suffered untold distress, thousands of times, even through all his 
life from this same cause ; and yet his name has gone all through the 
land, in honor, as a lawyer. 

One of the Christian laymen, who became celebrated in New 
Haven county, from 1800 to 1830, wrote in his journal, that he 
" had been kept under so at home that when twenty-one years of 
age, he did not dare to speak to any body of his very great desire to 
obtain a liberal education," that if he could have done so, some way 
would probably have opened for that end, and he should not have 
suffered as he did all his life, the mortification of the want of such 
education. 

Much of the civilities between young women and young men 
(they did not have young ladies and young gentlemen, but" gals and 
boys"), were of the rudest kind, and such as they picked up of them- 
selves, and as a whole were rather demoralizing than elevating, 
as the consequences fully reveal, much of which is far beyond the 
delicacy to be retained in a book. A young man in Torringford, 
about the time of the Revolution, invited a young lady to go with 
him to a party ; she declined the invitation, and some years passed 
until she and the same young man met at an evening party, and at 
the close of the entertainment the young lady had no way to return 
home, and the young man offered to take her home on his horse, 
which offer she accepted. When they had journeyed about half the 
distance, the young man dropped his riding whip, and proposed to 
alight and get it, the young lady said she could obtain it with less 
trouble than he, and jumped from the horse with much politeness to 
pick it up and remount, but as soon as she was safely landed, the 



Things not Left Out. 261 

young man threw the pillion she rode on to her, and putting his 
horse on a run left her to travel home in the snow, some mile or 
two, thus settling the account of the mitten some years before. 

It might be that this transaction occurred before the young people 
were taught such excellent manners in public schools. 

We have heard so much about the well trained and well governed 
young men of seventy years ago that we are poorly prepared to learn 
that it was some forty or more of those same model young men who 
crept in the window at Ezekiel Appley's wedding, and stole all the 
provisions prepared for the occasion, and took all into the woods and 
ate it ; having, to be sure, the very great politeness of returning the 
dishes the next day ; and the family were thankful that they did no 
further damage. And it was some thirty of these model fellows in 
Torringford, who stole Asa Loomis's bride and attempted to escape 
from the town with her but failed, and went to the tavern, and had a 
grand supper and liquors and refused to give up the bride until the 
bridegroom should pay the bill. How is it now ? On the third day 
of October 1877, a marriage occurred in Wolcottville, and was held 
in the church, and by voluntary good will an elegant audience was 
in waiting ; the organ played its sweet music (instead of horsefiddles, 
old muskets and the like, of olden time) ; the house was decorated 
in magnificent style with the flowers of numberless gardens and 
conservatories from far and near, making the occasion one of beauty, 
joy and happiness. On the eleventh day of the same month another 
wedding occurred in the Episcopal church, the first being in the 
Congregational, and the house was decorated in most beautiful style, 
by the voluntary good will of a score of young people, and the 
presents to the bride were such as to make the occasion a joy as long 
as her remembrance continues. And these are not isolated cases, 
but the like of which occurs frequently in very humble cottages, in 
the most rural parts of the country, only on a less extensive scale. 

But it is said the children do not conduct as they used to do. 
Indeed they do not. 

There lived a family in this town about sixty years ago, that was a \ 
family of good standing, of considerable property and energy of 
character, and the children have performed very honorable parts in 
life since. The story is told as a real fact that on a certain morning, 
while the father was on his knees praying, the old bunting ram came to / 
the door, which was standing open, and the boys seeing him, made 
certain motions to him which always provoked his fury, and the animal 



262 History of Torrington. 

made for the old man and hit him a solid bunt. This took the old gentle- 
man rather by surprise, and he sprang from his knees as if electrified, 
and remarked, "damn that ram," then kneeling again, finished his 
morning prayers. It would be no risk to venture a thousand dollars 
that no family could now be found in the town, that would treat a 
father, and religion, with such disrespect. 

At Torrington center, or green, fifty years ago, some of these 
model boys who could take off their hats in the highway, and keep 
still in the house in the presence of company, used to exhibit some 
of the perfection of those days around the old academy (new then) 
during singing school nights, where year after year it was almost 
impossible to conduct the school. During one season, after a variety 
of enterprising, ingenious tricks for disturbance, they one evening 
arranged to give the singers pretty thorough attention. Hence 
during the day the windows were all nailed down with a purpose. 
When the audience was well in the exercises of the evening some 
very long goosequills filled with wet and dry powder for the purpose, 
were placed under the doer and set afire. They went into the house, 
and around the house, everywhere filling the house with powder 
smoke and perfumes ; and they kept coming, one after another, as if 
intelligent and yet knov/ing nothing, but to dash on, here and there 
and everywhere, and at the same time red pepper was thrown down 
the stove pipe hole on the stove, which created much suff^ering in the 
efix)rt to breathe. A rush was made, for the door, but it was braced 
shut by great benches and logs outside, which it was impossible to 
remove from the inside. Then gasping for breath they flew to the 
windows only to find them nailed down, and no refuge was left but 
to smash the window glass and get breath. 

In Goshen the same thing was done in the presence of the select- 
men of the town, the society's committee, the constables and justices 
of the peace, who were all assembled to protect the singing school, 
and yet it was broken up and no body could be found who did it. 

If anything half so annoying were to take place to-day, the state 
militia would be called out at once if needed to put an end to it. 
,^ The difference between the past and the present methods of family 
government seems to be, less, much less of the rod ; more love for 
children and parenti,^ and hence, more respectful and heartfelt obe- 
dience, instead of slavish dread of the lash, and hence many more 
young people now become devoted to religious life, benevolent en- 
terprises, and moral culture. The oft repeated complaint about the 



Things not Left Out. 



263 



degeneracy of family government in the present age is a scare-crow 
humbug of the stupidest kind. 

Deacon Guy Wolcott's sons were among the most intelligent, 
enterprising, and industrious in the town, but were celebrated for 
being the most sedate and quiet at home, while abroad, or out in 
company, they were as full of sport and enjoyment as any body. At 
home they were not allowed to have such enjoyment, being trained 
in the strictest manner, and therefore they made up lost time when 
they escaped the watch of the parental eye, and where was there a 
family of any snap in them, but that did the same under like circum- 
stances. And there was another deacon's family still more unfortu- 
nate than Guy Wolcott's. 

In early times when there were few carts in the town Priest Mills 
went to Dea. Gaylord's to borrow a cart, and making his request 
known, the deacon said, he would consent if Miah [his son Nehe- 
miah] would, but he guessed it wanted a band. Nehemiah said he 
would consent, if Jo would, but he guessed it wanted a gripe., and 
Joseph said he would consent if his father would, but he guessed it 
wanted a spike. Mr. Mills went home without the cart, and meet- 
ing a neighbor said : " I've been to Deacon Band's, Miah Gripe's, 
and Jo Spike's to get a cart, but I could not get one." Ever after 
that the deacon and his sons were called Deacon Band, Miah Gripe 
and Jo Spike. But it is hazardous to enter upon the list of nick- 
names, for they are so many, and some of them of such a character 
as to ruin the reputation of any book, to say nothing about the re- 
putation of the town, that the most discreet part of the battle is to 
retire from the field of observation, and suffer oblivion, if the old 
fellow would but do it, to hide forever, the stars of speech, that have 
been the sport of generations, now all gone. 

In nothing was the people of this town peculiar, so far as is known, 
fo r th ey followed in the spirit of education, customs, manners, 
speeches, and the various uses of language and citizenship in a free 
country, as the people of other parts of the state, and New England ; 
and as city fashions and manners and customs are the style at the 
present time, the next historian of the town may have the pleasure 
of recording the peculiarities of city life for the amusement and know- 
ledge of country people. 



CHAPTER XX. 



LISTS OF NAMES, 



Representatives in the State Legislature. 



1762, 


May. 




Oct. 


1763, 


May. 




Oct. 


1764, May. 




Oct. 


1765, 


May. 




Oct. 


1766, 


May. 




Oct. 


1767, 


Jan. 




May. 




Oct. 


1768, 


May. 




Oct. 


1769, 


Jan. 




May. 




Oct. 


1770, 


May. 




Oct. 


1771, 


May. 




Oct. 


1772 


May. 




Oct. 



Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. Jonathan Coe. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 

None from Torrington rec. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Jonathan Coe. 

Mr. Jonathan Coe. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Jonathan Coe. 

Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Noah Wilson. 

Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Noah Wilson. 

Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Noah Wilson. 

Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Noah Wilson. 

Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Noah Wilson. 

Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Noah Marshall. 

Mr Ephraim Bancroft. 

Capt. Amos Wilson. 

Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Ephraim Bancroft. 



1773, May. Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Mr. John Cook. 
Oct. Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 

1774, Jan. Mr. John Cook. 

Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 
May. Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 
Oct. Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Mr. Noah Marshall. 

1775, March. Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Mr. Noah Marshall. 
April. Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Mr. Noah Marshall. 
May. Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Mr. Noah Marshall. 
July. Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 

One vacancy. 
Oct. Mr. John Cook. 

One vacancy. 
Dec. None from Torrington. 

1776, May. Mr. Ephraim Bancroft. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold. 
June. No representatives recorded. 
Oct. Capt. Shubael Griswold. 

Mr. Ephraim Bancroft. 
Nov. Mr. Ephraim Bancroft. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold. 
Dec. Mr. Ephraim Bancroft. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold. 

1777, May. Col. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Capt. Sliubael Griswold. 
Aug. Col. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Cape. Shubael Griswold. 
Oct. Mr. Abner Marshall. 

Mr. John Cook. 

1778, Jan. Mr. Abner Marshall. 

One vacancy. 
Feb. Mr. Abner Marshall. 

One vacancy. 
May. Mr. Abner Marshall. 

Mr. Aaron Austin. 
Oct. Capt. Shubael Griswold. 

Mr. Aaron Austin. 
Dec. Capt. Shubael Griswold. 

Mr. Aaron Austin. 

1779, Apr. None given from Torrington. 



Lists of Names. 



265 



1779 


. May. 




Oct. 


1780 


, Jan. 




Apl. 




May. 




Oct. 




Nov. 


I78I, 


Feb. 




May. 
Oct. 


1782, 


Jan. 




May. 




Oct. 


1783, 


Jan. 
May. 




Oct. 


1784, Jan. 




May. 
Oct. 


1785, 


May. 




Oct. 


1786, 


May. 




Oct. 


1787, 


May. 




Oct. 


1788, 


May. 




Oct. 


1789, 


Jan. 




May. 




Oct. 


1790, 


May. 




Oct. 




Dec. 



Mr. Noah North. 1790, Dec. 

Mr. Abner Marshall. 1791, May. 

Col. Lpaphras Sheldon. 

Mr. Noah North. Oct. 

Col. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Mr. Noah North. 1792, May. 

Col. Elipiiaz Sheldon. 

Mr. Noah North. Oct. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold. 

Mr. Nojh North. '793, May. 

Mr. Noah North. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold. Oct. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold. 

One vacancy. '794' May. 

Mr. Noah North. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold. Oct. 

No representatives recorded. 

Col. Epaphras Sheldon. '795i May. 

One vacancy. 

Col. Epaphras Sheldon. Oct. 

Mr. Abner Marshall. 

Mr. Abner Marshall. '796, May. 

Mr. Aaron Austin. 

Mr. David Grant. Oct. 

Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 

No representatives recorded. '797, May. 

Mr. Noah North. 

Mr. Eliphalet Eno. Oct. 

Col. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Doct. Samuel Woodward. 1798, May. 

Col. Epaphras Sheldon. 

Doct. Samuel Woodward. Oct. 

Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 

Mr Noah North. '899, May. 

Capt. Jabez Gillett. 

Mr. Daniel Grant. Oct. 

Mr. David Soper. 

Gen. Epaphras Sheldon. 1800, May. 

Mr. Samuel Woodward. 

Capt. Amos Wilson. Oct. 

Doct. Samuel Woodward. 

Mr. Elisha Smith. 1801. May, 

Doct. Samuel Woodward. 

Mr. Noah North. Oct. 

Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 

Capt. Amos Wilson. 1802, May. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold. 

Gen'l Epaphras Sheldon. Oct. 

Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 

Mr. Elisha Smith. '803, May. 

Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 

Mr. Elisha Smith. Oct. 

Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 

Mr Elisha Smith. 1804, May. 

Capt. Shubael Griswold. 

Mr. Elisha Smith. Oct. 

Doct. Samuel Woodward. 

Mr. Elisha Smith. 1805, May. 

Doct. Samuel Woodward. 

Mr. Elisha Smith. Oct. 

Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 

Mr. Elisha Smith. 1806, May. 

34 



Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 
Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 
Mr. Shubael Griswold. 
Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 
Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 
Doct. Elkanah Hodges. 
Mr. Eliphalet Eno. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. William Battle. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. Shubael Griswold. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. Shubael Griswold. 
Mr. Seth Wetmore. 
Mr. William Battle. 
Mr. Seth Wetmore. 
One vacancy. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. William Battle. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. William Battle. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. Jabez Gillett. 
Mr. Epaphras Sheldon. 
Mr. Jabez Gillett. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. Jabez Gillett. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr Jabez Gillett. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. Jabez Gillett. 
Mr. Wait Beach. 
Mr. Ebenezer Miller. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. Jabez Gillett. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. Nathaniel Austin. 
Mr. Wait Beach. 
Mr. John Gillett. 
Mr. Phineas North. 
Mr. William Battle. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. William Battell. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. William Battell. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. William Battell. 
Mr. Phineas North. 
Mr. Jabez Gillett. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. Jabez Gillett. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. Jabez Gillett. 
Mr. Phine.is North. 
Mr. William Battell, Jr. 
Mr. Elisha Smith. 
Mr. William Battell, Jr. 
Phineas North. 
William Battell. 
Elisha Hinsdale. 
William Battell. 
Elisha Hinsdale. 



266 



H 



ISTORY OF 



ORRINGTON. 



1806, 


May. 
Oct. 


1807, 


May. 




Oct. 


1808, 


May. 




Oct. 


1809, 


May. 




Oct. 


I8I0, 


May. 




Oct. 


I8II, 


May. 




Oct. 


I8I2, 


May. 




Aug. 




Oct. 


I8I3, 


May. 




Oct. 


1814, 


May. 




Oct. 


1815, 


Ja.n. 




May. 




Oct. 


I8I6, 


May. 




Oct. 


I8I7, 


May. 




Oct. 


I8I8, 


May. 




Oct. 


I8I9. 




1820. 




I82I. 




1822. 





William Battell, Jr. 
Elisha Hinsdale. 
William Battell, Jr. 
Elisha Smith. 
Normjn Griswold. 
Elisha Smith. 
William Battell. 
Elisha Smith. 
William Battell. 
Elisha Smith. 
William Battell. 
Elisha Smith. 
William Battell. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
John Gillett, Jun. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
John Gillett, Jr. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Elisha Smith. 
Norman Griswold. 
Elisha Smith. 
William Batell. 
Elisha Smith. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Elisha Smith. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Erastus Hodges. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Erastus Hodges. 
John Gillett, Jr. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
Wm. Battell. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
John Gillett, Jr. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
John Gillett, Jr. 
Abel Hinsdale. 
Uriel Tuttle. 
Russell C. Abernethy. 
William Battell. 
Russell C. Abernethy. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Russell C. Abernethy. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
William Battell. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
John Gillett, Jr. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
John Gillett, Jr. 
Abel Kinsdale. 
William Battell. 
Elihu Cook. 
John Gillett, Jr. 
Elihu Cook. 
John Gillett, Jr. 
John Gillett, Jr. 
Abel Hinsdale. 
Matthew Grant. 



1822. Samuel Woodward. 

1823. Levi Munsell. 
[ohn Gillett, Jr. 

1824. Levi Munsell. 
Isaac H. Dibble. 

1825. Russell C. Abernethy. 
Isaac H. Dibble. 

1826. Erastus Hodges. 
Uriel Tuttle. 

1827. Erastus Hodges. 
William Battell. 

1828. Russell C. Abernethy. 
William Battell. 

1829. Noah Drake, Jr. 
Horace Gillett. 

1830. Noah Drake, Jr. 
Horace Gillett. 

1831. Asaph Gillett. 
Griswold Woodward. 

1832. Erastus Hodges. 
William Battell. 

1833. Martin Webster. 
Levi Munsell. 

1834. Noah Drake. 
Cicero Hayden. 

1835. Ralph Deming. 
Noah Drake, Jr. 

1836. Zaccheus W. Bissell. 
Giles Whiting. 

1837. Giles Whiting. 
John Gillett. 

1838. Lorrain Thrall. 
Israel Holmes. 

1839. Elkanah H. Hodges. 
Anson Colt, Jr. 

1840. Luman Munsell. 
Anson Colt, Jr. 

1 841. Uri Taylor. 
Luman Munsf;ll. 

1842 Uri Taylor. 

No other recorded. 

1843. Griswold Woodward. 
Asaph Gillett. 

1844. Asaph Gillett. 
Griswold Woodward. 

1845. Lyman W. Coe. 
Dennis Coe. 

1846. Lorrain Hindsale. 
Nelson Roberts. 

1847. Lorrain Hindsale. 
Nelson Roberts. 

1848. Jannah B. Phelps. 
Frederick P. Whiting. 

1849. Jannah B. Phelps. 
Homer F. Thrall. 

1850. Albert Bradley. 
Henry S. Baibour. 

1851. Lewis Whiting. 
John W. Cooke. 

1852. Edmund A. Wooding. 
Leverett Tuttle. 

1853. Noah Drake. 



Lists of Names. 



267 



1853. L. Thompson. 

1854. Noah Drake. 
Henry Hopkins. 

1855. N. Roberts. 

C. A. Winship. 

1856. George P. Bissell. 
Lewis A. Thrall. 

1857. George P. Pissell. 
Lewis A. Thrall. 

1858. Thomas A. Miller. 
Samuel J. Stocking. 

1859. Thomas A. Miller. 
Andrew Roberts. 

i860. Harlow Fyler. 

Francis N. Holley. 

1861. Harvey L. Rood. 
George L. Whiting. 

1862. B. R. Agard. 
Roderick Bissell. 

1863. Alonzo Whiting. 
Henry G. Colt. 

1864. Lauren Wetmore. 
James Ashborn. 

1865. Henry S. Barbour. 
Elijah Woodward. 



1866. O. R. Fyler. 
W. H. Barber. 

1867. Roger C. Barber. 
Elisha Turner. 

1868. Joseph F. Calhoun. 
Thomas A. Starks. 

1869. Charles Hotchkiss. 
Edward B. Birge. 

1870. J. W. Phelps. 
Luther Bronson. 

1871. E. C. Hotchkiss. 
John M. Burr. 

1872. F. J. Seymour. 
Wait B. Wilson. 

1873. Charles McNeil. 
James Alldis. 

1874. Charles McNeil. 
Charles F. Church. 

1875. Charles F. Brooker. 
Edward C. Hotchkiss. 

1876. Charles McNeil. 
John W. Gamwell. 

1877. Levi Hodges. 
Achille F. Migeon. 



Town Clerks. 



Dea. John Cook, 1740 to 1779, 38 yrs. 

Gen. Epaph. Sheldon, 1779 ^° '79S> '5 '' 

Esqr. Elisha Smith, 1795 to 1813, 18 " 



[ohn Gillett, 



!i3 to 1823, 



Russell C. Abernethy, 1823 to 1827, 4 " 

John Gillett, i827toi83i, 4" 

Russell C. Abernethy, i83itoi8 35, 4" 

John Gillett, 1835 to 1837, 2 " 



Russell C. Abernethy, 1837 to 1838 

John Gillett, 1838 to 1844, 

Francis N. Holley, 

Giles A. Gaylord, 

Henry S. Barbour, 

Gideon H. Welch, 

Fred. F. Fuessenich, 



1844 to 1850, 

1850 to 1851, I 

1851 to 1870, 19 
1870 to 1877, 7 
1877. 



I yrs. 

6 " 

6 " 



1777. Epaphras Sheldon. 
Amos Wilson. 
Ephraim Bancroft. 
Shubael Griswold. 
Elijah Gaylord. 

1778. Noah Wilson. 
Shubael Griswold. 
Abner Loomis. 
Noah North. 
Jabez Gillett. 

1779. Ephraim Bancroft. 
John Strong. 
Noah North. 

1780. Epaphras Sheldon. 
Abner Loomis. 
Daniel Hudson. 
Noah North. 
David Soper. 



Selectmen.' 

1781. 



1782. 



1783. 



1784. 



Epaphras Sheldon. 
Abner Loomis. 
Amos Wilson. 
Jesse Coolc. 
Jabez Gillett. 
Amos Wilson. 
Jabez Gillett. 
Abner Loomis. 
Shubael Griswold. 
Daniel Grant. 
Amos Wilson. 
David Soper. 
Noah North. 
Jabez Gillett. 
Abner Loomis. 
Elisha Smith. 
David Soper. 
Daniel Grant. 



■'1' In consequence of the loss of the First Book of Records of the town meetings, the 
list before 1777, could not be given. The record of town clerks before that date was ob- 
tained from the town treasurer's book. 



268 



History of Torringtok. 



1784. Austin Haydon. 
Abijah Wilson. 

1785. Amos Wilson. 
Austin Haydon. 
Elisha Smith. 
David Soper. 
Thomas IVIarshall. 

1786. Elisha Smith. 
David Soper. 
Austin Haydon. 
Thomas Marshall. 
Eikanah Hodges. 

1787. Eikanah Hodges. 
Zachariah Mather. 
Abijah Wilson. 
Samuel Austin, 
Stephen Fyler. 

1788. Abijah Wilson. 
Zachariah Mather. 
Caleb Lyman. 
David Soper. 
Stephen Fyler. 

1789. Wait Beach. 
Jabez Gillett. 
Asahel Miller. 

1790. Wait Beach. 
Daniel Dibble. 
George Miller. 

1791. Eikanah Hodges. 
William Battell. 
Seth Wetmore. 
John Gillett. 
Ebenezer Lyman. 

1792. Eikanah Hodges. 
William Battell. 
Seth Wetmore. 
John Gillett. 
Ebenezer Lyman. 

1793. Eikanah Hodges. 
William Battell. 
Seth Wetmore. 
]ohn Gillett. 
Ebenezer Lyman. 

1794. Elisha Smith. 
Nathaniel Austin. 
Seth Wetmore. 
Joseph Gaylord. 
Fhineas North. 

1795. Seth Wetmore. 
Joseph Gaylord. 
Nathaniel Austin. 
Elisha Smith. 
Phineas North. 

1796. Elisha Smith. 
Daniel Dibble. 
Phineas North. 
Joseph Gaylord. 
Stephen Fyler. 

1797. Elisha Smith. 
Daniel Dibble. 
Stephen Fyler. 
Jabez Gillett. 



1797. 
1798. 



1799. 



1802. 
1803. 
1804. 
1805. 
1806. 
1807. 
1808. 
1809. 
1810. 
1811. 
1812. 
1813. 
1814. 
1815. 
1816. 
1817. 



Joseph Phelps. 
Guy Wolcott. 
Nathaniel Austin 
Phineas North. 
Michael Loomis. 
Noah North. 
Elisha Smith. 
John Gillett. 
Noah North. 
Elisha Smith. 
John Gillett. 
Noah North. 
Elisha Smith. 
fohn Gillett. 
Phineas North. 
Elisha Smith. 
John Gillett. 
Phineas North. 
Elisha Smith. 
John Gillett. 
Phineas North. 
Elisha Smith. 
John Gillett. 
Phineas North. 
Elisha Smith. 
John Gillett. 
Phineas North. 
Elisha Smith. 
John Gillett. 
Phineas North. 
Elisha Smith. 
John Gillett. 
Phineas North. 
Elisha Smith. 
Phineas North. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Phineas North. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
William Whiting. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
William Whiting. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
William Whiting. 
Matthew Grant. 
Norman Griswold. 
Elihu Cook. 
Matthew Grant. 
Norman Griswold. 
Elihu Cook. 
Matthew Grant. 
Norman Griswold. 
Elihu Cook. 
Elihu Cook. 
Norman Griswold. 
Matthew Grant. 
Elihu Cook. 
Daniel G. Humphrey. 



Lists of Names. 



269 



1817. Noah Drake, Jr. 

1818. Elihu Cook. 

Daniel G. Humphrey. 
Noah Drake, Jr. 

1819. Elihu Cook. 

Daniel G. Humphrey. 
Noah Drake, Jr. 

1820. Isaac H. Dibble. 
Aaron Smith. 
Barzillai Hudson. 

1821. Benjamin Phelps. 
Barzillai Hudson. 
Asaph Gillett. 
Isaac H. Dibble. 

1822. Asaph Gillett. 
Isaac H. Dibble. 
Benjamin Phelps. 
Barzillai Hudson. 

1823. Asaph Gillett. 
Barzillai Hudson. 
Benjamin Phelps. 
Uriel Tuttle. 

1824. Benjamin Phelps. 
Barzillai Hudson. 
Levi Munsell: 
Uriel Tuttle. 
Levi Munsell. 

1825. Benjamin Phelps. 
Barzillai Hudson. 
Uriel Tuttle. 

1826. Levi Munsell. 
Uriel Tuttle. 
Russell C. Abernethy. 
Uri Taylor. 

1827. Russell Abernethy. 
Uri Taylor. 
Griswold Woodward. 
Noah Drake, Jr. 

1828. Noah Drake, Jr. 
Uri Taylor. 
Martin Webster. 
Griswold Woodward. 

1829. Noah Drake, Jr. 
Demas Coe. 
Martin Webster. 
Griswold Woodward. 

1830. Noah Drake, Jr. 
Martin Webster. 
George Bissell. 
Giiswold Woodward. 

1831. Erastus Hodges. 
Martin Webster. 
Levi Munsell. 
Demas Coe. 

1832. Horace Gillett. 
Erastus Hodges. 
Demas Coe. 
Levi Munsell. 

1833. Erastus Hodges. 
Horace Gillett. 
Noah Drake, Jr. 
Demas Coe. 



1834. Trumbull Ives. 
Russell C. Abernethy. 
Griswold Woodward. 
Noah Drake, Jr. 

1835. Noah Drake, Jr. 
Trumbull Ives. 
Edmund A. Wooding. 
Cicero Hayden. 

1836 Griswold Woodward. 
Noah Drake, Jr. 
Cicero Hayden. 
Edmund A. Wooding. 

1837. Griswold Woodward. 
Lorrain Thrall. 
Milo Burr. 

Marcus Munsell. 

1838. Lorrain Thrall. 
Uri Taylor. 
Marcus Munsell. 
Jannah B. Phelps. 

1839. Frederick P. Whiting. 
Uri Taylor. 

Noah Drake, Jr. 
Jannah B. Phelps. 

1840. Uri Taylor, 
Frederick P. Whiting. 
Jannah B. Phelps. 
Noah Drake, Jr. 

1 841. Barzillai Hudson. 
Uri Whiting. 

1842. Barzillai Hudson. 
Uri Whiting. 

1843. Barzillai Hudson. 
Uri Whiting. 

1844. Barzillai Hudson. 
Nelson Alvord. 
Asaph Gillett. 

1845. Barzillai Hudson. 
Asaph Gillett. 
Nelson Alvord. 

1846. Barzillai Hudson, 
Nelson Alvord. 
Frederick P. Whiting. 

1847. Barzillai Hudson. 
George P. Bissell. 
Frederick P. Whiting. 

1848. Barzillai Hudson. 
George P. Bissell. 
Frederick P. Whiting. 

1849. George P. Bissell. 
Anson Colt. 

1850. Frederick P. Hills. 
Barzillai Hudson. 

1851. Barzillai Hudson. 
Frederick P. Hills. 
Harmon Cook 

1852. Frederick P. Hills. 
Barzillai Hudson. 
Harmon Cook. 

1853. Frederick P. Hills. 
Barzillai Hudson. 
Harmon Cook. 



s \ 



270 
1854. 

1855. 

1856. 

1857. 

1858. 

1859. 

i860. 
I86I. 
1862. 
1863. 
1864. 
1865. 



MiSTORY OF TORRINGTON. 



Barzillai Hudson. 
Frederick P. Hills. 
Ephraim Fellows. 
Harmon Cook. 
Horace Loomis. 
Elijah Woodward. 
Harmon Cook. 
Horace Loomis. 
Elijah Woodward. 
Frederick P. Hills. 
George P. Bissell. 
Elijah Woodward. 
Harmon Cook. 
Levi Hodges. 
Clark B. Downs. 
Harmon Cook. 
Levi Hodges. 
Charles Hotchkiss. 
Levi Hodges. 
Harvey L. Rood. 
Harmon Cook. 
Bradley R. Agard. 
Alonzo Whiting. 
Harvey L. Rood. 
Bradley R. Agard. 
Alonzo Whiting. 
Harvey L. Rood. 
Bradley R. Agard. 
Alonzo Whiting. 
Harvey L. Rood. 
Bradley R. Agard. 
Alonzo Whiting. 
Harvey L. Rood. 
Bradley R. Agard. 
Alonzo Whiting. 
Harvey L. Rood. 



1866. Bradley R. Agard. 
Roger C. Barber. 
Alonzo Whiting. 

1867. Bradley R. Agard. 
Roger C. Barber. 
Alonzo Whiting. 

1868. Bradley R. Agard. 
Alonzo Whiting. 
James G. Woodward. 

1869. Bradley R. Agard. 
Julius Wooding. 
John M. Burr. 

1870. Bradley R. Agard. 
[ulius Wooding. 
John M. Burr. 

1871. Bradley R. Agard. 
John M. Burr. 
Lyman R. Pond. 

1872. Lyman W. Coe. 
Edward B. Birge. 
Julius Wooding. 

1873. Samuel Brooker. 
Wait B. Wilson. 
Edward B. Birge. 

1874. Bradley R. Agard. 
Joseph Newbury. 
John W. Gamwell. 

1875. Bradley R. Agard. 
Joseph A. Newbury. 
|ohn W. Garnwell. 

1876. Bradley R. Agard. 
Joseph A. Newbury. 
John W. Gamwell. 

1877. Bradley R. Agard. 
Elijah Woodward. 
Joseph A. Newbury. 



\ 



Freemen. 
" A list of the names of persons admitted to be freemen of the 
state of Connecticut, in the town of Torrington, with the time when 
they were respectively sworn, after the Declaration of Independence 
of the United states" (town record). 



1777. Epaphras Sheldon. 
Ashbel North. 
Abner Loomis. 
Noah Gleason. 
Elisha Smith. 
Bushniel Benedict. 
Epaphras Sheldon, Jr. 
Benjamin Bissell. 
Joel Loomis. 
Ebenczer Lyman. 
Amos Wihon. 
John Cook, Esq. 
[oseph Drake. 
John Cook, Jr 
Shubael Cook. 
Jabez Gillett. 



1777. Matthew Grant. 
Noah Fowler. 
Benjamin Whiting. 
Abel Beach. 
Levi Thrall. 
Shubael Griswold. 
Jotham Ives, 
[ohn Birge. 
Simeon Richards. 
Jonathan Coe. 
Abner Marshall 
Benjamin Phelps. 
Ebenezer North. 
Samuel Beach. 
Ebenezer North , Jr. 
Ebenezer Coe. 



Lists of Names. 



271 



1777. Elijah Barber. 
John Wetmore. 
Moses Loom's. 
John Whiting. 
Benjamin Beach. 
Joseph Beach. 
Abraham Loomis. 
Abel Beach, Jr. 
Abijah Wilson. 
John Curtiss. 
Salmon Agard. 
Asahel Strong. 
Ephraim Bancroft, Jr. 
Elkanah Hodges. 
Issachar Loomis. 
Epaphras Loomis. 
Nathan Kelsey. 

Eli Loomis. 
Peter Parker. 
David Soper. 
John Strong. 
Caleb Lyman. 
Ephraim Bancroft. 
Daniel Hudson. 
Asahel Wilcox. 
John Burr, Jr. 
Noah Wilson. 
James Bacon. 
Noah North. 
Timothy Loomis. 
Noah Wilson, Jr. 
Joseph Allyn. 

1778. Daniel Dibble. 
Asaph Atwater. 
Asa Foot. 
David Norton. 

1779. Jonathan Kelsey. 
Michael Loomis. 
Roger Wilson. 
William Wilson. 
Noah Beach. 
Fitch Loomis. 
Thomas Matthews. 
Daniel Winchel. 
Samuel Cummins. 
Elisha Bissell. 
Seth Coe. 

Joseph Frisbie. 
Simeon Birge. 
Joseph Loomis. 
Silas Fyler. 
Pardon Thrall. 
George Frazier 
Ambrose Marshall. 
John Stancliff. 
David Goff. 
Ephraim Loomis. 
Thomas Ellsworth. 
Andrew Austin. 
Urijah Cook. 
Richard Leach. 
Elisha Frances. 



1779. 



1780. 



1781. 



1782. 



1783. 



1784. 



1785. 



1786. 



1787. 



1788. 



1789. 
1790. 
1791- 



Caleb Leach. 
Asahel North. 
Aaron Marshall. 
Isaiah I'uttle. 
Bela Camp. 
Thomas Marshall. 
John Richards. 
William Grant, Jr. 
Samuel Cummins. 
George Baldwin. 
Elijah Hurlbut. 
Stephen Taylor. 
Asa Loomis. 
Richard Loomis. 
Oliver Bissell. 
William Phelps. 
Seth Wetmore. 
Eliphalet Austin. 
Asahel Miller. 
Jedidiah Cummins. 
Samuel Woodward. 
Simeon Moore. 
Moses Loomis. 
Elihu Cook. 
Joseph Phelps. 
Richard Leach, Jr. 
Daniel Deming. 
Benoni Hills, Jr. 
Joseph Taylor. 
Joseph Holmes. 
William Whiting 
Daniel Thrall. 
Penfield Goodsell. 
Benoni Leach. 
Norman Griswold. 
William Pierpont. 
John Fyler. 
Samuel Wetmore. 
Ebenezer Miller, Jr. 
Nathan Kelsey, Jr. 
Guy Wolcott. 
Harvey Whiting. 
Elijah Bissell. 
Joel Loomis. 
Epaphras Loomis. 
John Strong, Jr. 
Return Bissell. 
Raphael Marshall. 
Rozel Wilson. 
Ashbel Bronson. 
Seth Holmes. 
Jonathan Phelps. 
Lemuel Loomis. 
Elihu Barber. 
Eli Barber. 
Noadiah Bancroft. 
Phineas North. 
David Leavenworth. 
Jabez Beardsley. 
Charles Dix. 
Abner Coe. 
William Shatiuck, 



Ill 



History of Torrington, 



1794. Nehemiah Gaylord. 
John Brooker. 
Roger Marshall. 
Remembrance North. 
Stephen Hart. 

1795. Russell Burr. 
Thaddeus Griswold. 
Lyman Wetmore. 
David Williams. 
Oliver Coe. 
Harvey Palmer. 

Eli Loomis. 

1796. Daniel Potter. 
Alexander Loomis. 
Miles Beach. 
Pomeroy Wetmore. 
Ira Loomis. 
Joseph Allyn, Jr. 
Giles Whiting. 
James Yale. 
Roger Loomis. 
Barzillai Blake. 
Ebenezer Stoddard. 
Roger Foot. 
Samuel Foot. 
Augustus Humphrey. 
John Barber. 

1797. William Battell. 
Daniel C. Hudson. 
Caleb Johnson. 

1798. Anson Stone. 
Elijah Strong. 
Timothy Humiston. 
George Miller. 
Ambrose Potter. 
Nathaniel Hayden. 
Henry Miller. 
Seymour Bradley. 
Philo Eggleston. 
Jesse Blake. 
Rozel Loomis. 

1799. Luke Hayden. 
Zacheus P. Gillett. 

1800. Hezekiah Durand . 
John Gillett, Jr. 
Aaron Loomis. 
William Bostwick. 
Oliver Allyn. 
Cyrus Loomis. 
Seth Treadway. 
Epiiraim Loomis, Jr. 
Solomon Loomis. 
Bildad Loomis. 
Elias Loomis. 
Samuel Rowley, Jr. 
William Reynolds. 
Benjamin Phelps. 
Pomeroy Leach. 

1801. Job Coe. 
Curtiss Eggleston. 
Benjamin Agard. 
Isaac Edgerton. 



1801. Abel Beach, Jr. 
Wait Loomis. 
Elisha Bissell. 
Moses Richards. 
Elijah Gaylord. 
Horace Gillett. 

1802. Daniel Richards. 
David Eggleston. 
David Miller. 
Jeremiah F. Miller. 
Allen Burr. 
Timo'hy Loomis, Jr. 
Uriel Tuttle. 
Thomas White. 
Amasa Ives. 
Elijah Goodwin. 

Ira Grant. 
Nathan Gillett, Jr. 

1803. Salmon Burr. 
Chester Loomis, 
Orange Soper. 
Jedediah Eggleston. 
Amos Wilson, Jr. 
Samuel Beach, Jr. 
Isaac Bellows. 
Willard Hodges. 
Erastus Hodges. 
Erastus Ives. 
Norman Fowler. 
Beniamin Lindsley. 

1804. Levi Munsell. 
Artemas Phillow. 
Asaph Gillett. 
Bela Hinman. 
Moses Rood, Jr. 
Thomas Hurlbut. 
Shelburn Ives. 
Hezekiah Eno. 
James Eggleston. 

1805. Elisha Loomis. 
Anderson Cone. 
John Rood. 
Abel Roberts. 
James Rowley. 
Ebenezer Rood, Jr. 

1806. Isaac H. Dibble. 
Aaron Rood. 
Elihu Moore. 
Luman Loomis. 
Moses Drake. 
Lazarus Ball. 
Robert Hurlbut. 
Ormel Leach. 
Elijah Pond. 
Ethan Eggleston. 
Ezekiel Apply. 

1807. Levi Beach. 
Aaron Smith. 
Rolland Wilson. 
Harmon Wilson. 
John Beach, Jr. 
Charles Richards. 



Lists of Names. 



273 



1807. Jannah Phelps. 
Julius Beach. 
William Wilson. 
Gilbert AUyn. 
Ebenezer Turrell. 
Benjamin Cowles. 

1808. Nathaniel Gaylord. 
Luther Cook. 
Peter M. Bissell. 
Anan Beach. 
Miles Spencer. 
Asa Shattuck. 

1809. Elisha Bissell. 
David Shattuck. 
Selah Whiting. 

1810. John Cook, Jr. 
Aranda Birge. 
Bassett Dunbar. 
Russell Dayton. 
Uri Whiting. 
Hezekiah Hayden. 

1811. George Lyman. 
Leverett Birge. 

1812. Nathaniel Smith. 
Uri Taylor. 
George Bissell. 
Abiel Taylor. 
Lemuel North. 

1813. Joel Atkins. 
Catlin Bissell. 
Pelatiah Bissell. 
David Birge. 
Clement Carr. 
Cicero Hayden. 
Alvan Loomis. 
Allyn Loomis. 
Noah North. 
Levi Shepard. 

1814. Charles Andrus. 
Elijah Woodward. 
Griswold Woodward. 

1815. Homer F. Thrall. 
Ariel North. 
George W. Thrall. 
Willard North. 
Linus Sage. 
Alpheus Hodges. 
Norris Coe. 
Demas Coe. 
Norman Wilson. 
Daniel Tuttle. 
Giles Gaylord. 
Chester Birge. 
Asa Loomis. 

1816. Abijah Osbon. 
James Wolcott. 
Henry E. Hodges. 
Rodney Brace. 
Joseph Miller. 
Abijah Munn. 
Samuel Seymour. 
Samuel Fyler. 

35 



18 1 6. Fitch Bissell. 
Lewis Austin. 
Stephen Fyler, Jr. 
Prescott Pond. 
Ambrose Fyler. 
William H. Whiting. 
Cyrus Bissell. 
Anson Loomis. 

Elias Gillett. 
George Roberts. 
Reuben Fyler. 

1817. Warren Loomis. 
Alanson H. Kimberly. 
Harlow Fyler. 

Jubal Fyler. 

Orlen Loomis. 

Hiram Loomis. 

George Chase. 

Elisha Apley. 

Lewis Murray. 

Henry Roberts. 

Harlem Brace. 

Henry Dayton. 

Anson Colt, Jr. 

Truman Brace. 

Riley Griswold. 

Arthur Loomis. 

Allyn Miller. 

Edwin Bissell. 

Pelatiah Cadwell, Jr. 

Elizur Wolcott. 
Elijah M. Gaylord. 

David Winchell. 
Moses Bancroft. 
Thomas Hurlbut. 

Hezekiah Drake. 
Rufus Drake. 
Israel Coe. 
Horace Loomis. 
Julius Watkins. 
1818. Michael Loomis, Jr. 
Leverett Tuttle. 
Newton Rossiter. 
Daniel C. Humphrey, Jr. 
Riley Lyman. 
Horace Bancroft. 
Trumbull Ives. 
Joseph Tolls. 
Hiram Winchell. 
Ira Parker. 
Stephen Griswold. 
Henry Gaylord. 
Chester Clark. 
Samuel Addis. 
Ebenezer Winchell. 
Phelps McCoe. 
Horace Mather. 
Chester Bancroft. 
Joseph Holcomb. 
Reuben Loomis. 
Riley Cook. 
Martin Webster. 



274 



History of Torrington. 



1818. John Ellsworth. 
James Leach. 
Samuel Thrall. 
Luman Hinman. 
Marvin Barber. 
Augustus Grant. 
Joseph Eggleston. 
Myron Leach. 
Rial Burr. 

Milo Burr. 
Jeremiah Bown. 
William Leach. 
Porter Bissell. 
Henry F. Osborn. 
Ira Mason. 
John Cook, 4th. 
Joseph Lewis. 
Austin Moses. 
Alfred French. 
Henry Wattles. 
Rufus Moses. 
Horace Loomis. 
Dudley Sulivan. 
Erastus Bancroft. 
John Cook, 3d. 
Chester Johnson. 
Ira Hoyt. 

Christopher Pierce. 
Amasa Scoville. 
Randal Covey. 
Abijah Coe. 
Elijah Pond, Jr. 
Silas White. 
Ransley Birge. 
Samuel H. Foot. 
Matthew Grant. 
Samuel Deliber. 
Warren Bancroft. 
Eaton Ellsworth. 
Nathan Thrall. 
Sylvanus Cook. 
Julius Scoville. 
Sylvester Coe. 
Curtis Tuttle. 
Levi Holmes. 
Benjamin Curtiss. 
John Taylor. 
Luman Carr. 
Ambrose Thorp. 
Roderick Bissell. 
Spencer Garrett. 
Samuel Bartlett. 
Truman Seymour. 

1 819. Amos Northrop. 
Heman Childs. 
Asa Hull. 
Curtiss Tomlinson. 
Sanford Palmer. 
William H. Hurlbut. 
Elihu Barber, Jr. 
Israel Gross. 

James Grant. 



18 1 9. Pelatiah Roberts. 
Grandison Loomis. 
Timothy Cotton. 
Levi Dutton. 
Joshua Leach. 

1820. Truman Merrill. 
Elisha Loomis. 
Leonard Bissell. 
Welcome Clemence. 
Jeremiah Page. 
Benjamin Eggleston. 
James H. Seymour. 
Artemas Rowley. 
Cyrus North. 
James Whiting. 
Charles Woodward. 
George O. Jarvis. 

1821. Horatio Grant. 
Leverett Scott. 
Asahel Coe. 
Frederick P. Whiting. 
Dennis Hart. 
Frederick Rowe. 
Albro Cowles. 
Roswell Birge. 
Christopher Perkins. 
Jabez Gibbs. 
Chauncey Shattuck. 
Joel Wright. 
Reuben Smith. 
Miles Beach, Jr. 
Leonard Griswold. 
Rufus Patchen. 
Lauren Roberts. 
Daniel Richards. 
Uriel Johnson. 
Ralph Dunbar. 
Abner Loomis. 
Henry Allyn, 2d. 
Luther Birge. 
William E. Russell. 

1822. Asahel Howd. 
Joshua Thrall. 
George D. Wadhams. 
Marcus Munsill. 
Willard Barber. 
Lucretius Moore. 
Miles Apley. 

Henry Trowbridge. 
George Beach. 
Abram Loomis. 
Lorrain North. 
Lemuel Loomis, Jr. 
Seth Smith. 
Hiram Phelps. 
David White. 
Andrew Kingsley. 

1823. Marvin Henderson. 
Norman Coe. 
Truman Baldwin. 
Eben M. Hills. 
Lorrain Hinsdale. 



L 



ISTS OF 



N 



AMES. 



275 



1823. Alvan Looinis. 
John Grant. 
Henry Deary. 
John Ostrum. 

1824. William Greer. 
Jonah Dayton. 
Lyman Baldwin, 

De Witt C. Dickinson. 
James H. Hubbard. 
Thomas Cook. 
William H. Masters. 
Minard Van De Bogert. 
Albert Bradley. 
Noel Merrill. 
Joel Ball. 
Harry Bissell. 
Ira Johnson, Jr. 
Abel S. Leach. 
Frederick Spencer. 
Elizur Johnson. 
Phineas North. 
Chauncey Allyn. 
Herman Wilson. 
Hiram J. White. 
Lauren Wetmore. 
Jedediah Munn. 
Martin Sage. 

1825. Ralph P. Judd. 
Randall Shattuck. 
Lyman B. Squires. 
Darius Moore. 
Harvey Goodwin. 
John H. Tuttle. 
Charles Pierpont. 
Hiram Burr. 
Amos Ward. 
Charles M. Lines. 
Charles Clark. 
William Bissell. 
George Boothe. 
Enoch Sperry. 
Frederick North. 

1826. Harvey Ford. 
Samuel Scott. 
Ansel Cook. 
David Fletcher. 
Elijah L Cummins. 
Theodore Leach. 
Heman Wadhams. 
Elkanah Barber. 
Wm. W. Munson. 
Gilman Hinsdale. 
Edmund Phillow. 
Henry Thompson. 
Lewis Miller. 
Converse Clark. 
Thomas More. 
Benjamin Dealing. 
Addison Palmer. 
Hiram Barber. 
William Baldwin. 
H. Alvord. 



1827. Lorrain Moss. 
Garwood H. Beckwith. 
Abner W. Jenkins. 
Leonard H. Goodwin. 
George P. Bissell. 
Wells Fyler. 
Alanson Mitchel. 
Edward Calkins. 
Joshua Brad. 

Albert Grant. 
Ira Thrall. 
Eliphalet Smith. 
Luke Thrall. 
Norman Leach. 
Eber Coe. 
Nathaniel Birge. 
Stephen Smith. 
William Phipany. 
Jairus Case. 

1828. Emery Taylor. 
Luman Munsell. 
Norman Apley. 
Rufus Burr. 
John C. Barber. 
Eber Gibbs. 
Stirling Woodruff. 
Otis Burnham. 
Allyn Roberts 
Edward Denny. 
Harman Cook. 
Harry Miller. 
Hiram A. Pettibone. 
Samuel Spencer. 
Tudor Pease. 
Russell Brooker. 
Thomas A. Miller. 
Henry Colt. 

Elisha S. Abernethy. 
Levi Loomis. 
Horace C. Gillett. 
James Perry. 
Sebo Beach. 

1829. Aurora Morey, 
Hiram Rustin. 
Justus Loomis. 
Rufus Eggleston. 
Charles Johnson. 
Orson Barber 
Allyn Burr. 
Willard Birge. 
Bennett Palmer. 
Ranson P. Ellsworth. 
Anson Williams. 

1830. Frederick B. Wadhams. 
Homer Fowler. 
Sheldon Barber. 
James Harris. 

Nelson Alvord. 
George M. Goodwin. 
Marcus Eggleston. 
Asa E. Perkins. 
Simeon Loomis. 



276 



History of Torrington. 



1830. Giles L. Gaylord. 
Lorrain Smith. 
Augustus J. Taylor. 
Horace Rowley. 
Chester Bristol. 
Lemuel Munson. 
Linus Johnson. 
Lewis Whiting. 
Seth S. Treadway. 
William R. Gould. 
Riley Dunbar. 

1831. David Evans. 
Lewis Sperry. 
Anson Hine. 
Sylvester Hurlbut. 
Robert Pelton. 
William Durand. 
Silas D. Spaulding. 
Nelson Allyn. 
Henry Hungerford. 

1832. Samuel A. Groves. 
Henry Judd. 
James F. Harding. 
Miletus Huxford. 
Charles Smith. 
Hiram Munsell. 
Hiram Bronson. 
Caleb Cone. 
William B. Spencer. 
Dennis Dudley. 
John Frisbie. 
Joseph Allyn, 2d. 
Wait B. Wilson. 
Orrin Hi Hard. 
Edwin Hodges. 
James Raymond. 

1833. Luther Miller. 
Joel Hall. 
Harvey H. Gross. 
Charles Treadway. 
Henry D. Denison. 
Merritt White. 
George Watson. 
David Davids. 
Joseph A. Newberry. 
Elkanah Fox. 
Ebenezer W. Beach. 
Oliver E. Gross. 
Levi Hurlbut. 
Elkanah H. Hodges. 
Lucius Dunbar. 
Tullius C. Hayden. 
Russell Tiffany. 

1834. Ebenezer Sexton. 
Oliver Hamlin. 
Lucius Leach. 
Alfred G. Morgan. 
Asa G. Adams. 
Aaron S. W. Goodwin. 
Charles S. Church. 
Arvid Dayton. 
George L. Whiting. 



1834. Lewis A. Thrall. 
Shaylor F>ler. 
David Tallmadge, Jr. 
Albert Loomis. 
James O'Brian. 
Prosper Merrills. 
John L Bissell. 
Jesse York. 
Horace Thompson. 
Stephen York. 
Harmon Dayton. 
Dennis Phillow. 
Abel K. Hinsdale. 
Richard Sperry. 

1835. William Wedge. 
Henry H. Newell. 
Philo A. Loomis. 
Timothy W. Loomis. 
Charles M. Munson. 
Ephraim Loomis. 
Benj. F. Waugh. 
Levi T. Munsell. 
Ransom A. Dunbar. 
Asa R. Hamlin. 
Milo Winchell. 
Alonzo Whiting. 
Starr Holcomb. 
John W. Scoville. 
John Clark. 

Julius Daily. 

1836. Elijah Starkweather. 
Alpha Rood. 
Edmund Wooding. 
Eber Rinck. 
Lucius Bissell. 
David W. Pond. 
Joseph Barrett. 
Hart H. Belding. 
Nelson Caul. 
Lewis Carrington. 
Nelson Roberts. 
Calvin Rood. 
Henry A. Peet. 
Collins Holcomb. 
Joseph C. Hall. 
Frederick Phelps. 
John M. Thompson, 
Alexander McKenzie. 
Nathan B. Phelps. 
Lorrain B. Rood. 
Spencer A. Terrel. 
Jerome A. Johnson. 
George W. Gross. 
George Canfield. 
Fitch R. Babcock. 
Linus Scovill. 
George Scovill. 
fames Walling. 
Thomas M. Starks. 
Rufus Cone. 
George Leach. 
Alexander A. Gillett. 



Lists of Names. 



277 



1836. Richard W. Griswold, 
Oliver S. Hills. 
Charles H. Judd. 
Joel Scoville. 
Gilbert Mason. 

Joel Loomis. 
Ebenezer Edmons. 

1837. Frank L. Whiting. 
George H. Birge. 
Lorrain Tibbals. 
Joseph Scott. 
Samuel Winchell. 
George Dunbar. 
Larandus Beach. 
Lyman Andrews. 

1838. William F. Hungerford 
Elias E. Oilman. 
Edward Mott. 
William H. Pond. 
Charles S. Mason. 
Lucius H. Foot. 
Frederick L. Taylor. 
Stanley Griswold. 
Henry Jackson. 
Charles Mansfield. 
Frederck W. Brown. 
Wolcott Cook. 

Ansel Cartright. 
 William B. Wilson. 
Peleg Elmore. 
Samuel Bradley, Jr. 
Levi Hodges. 
Julius J. Phelps. 
William H. Leach. 
William F. Foot. 

1839. William W. Waugh. 
Roswell C. Loomis. 
David W. Carrington. 
John M. Cook. 

Buel Austin. 
George H. Mason. 
Lewis Cook. 
Reuben B. Cook. 
Giles M. Smith. 
William S. Pond. 
Allyn A. Clark. 
Timothy E. Miller. 
Nelson Hart. 
Caleb Daniels. 
David N. Lyman. 

1840. Harvey L. Rood. 
Horatio Wilson. 
Henry Hayden. 
Milton Huxley. 
Emory Morris. 
Daniel Robertson. 
Luman Chapman. 
Addison Johnson. 
Emory Loomis. 
William F. Strong. 
Smith A. Harris. 
James H. Perry. 



1840. James H. Tuttle. 
Samuel W. Squires. 
John F. Balker. 
Charles T. Daniels. 
Elliot C. Tallmadge. 
Jonah Allyn, 2d. 
Lester K. Gaines. 
George P. Cowles. 
George W. French. 
James Scofield. 
George W. Pona. 
Aaron Penniston. 
Herbert F. Combs. 
Aralzaman Carr. 
Lyman L. Clark. 
Ira Mott. 

Erastus Lyman. 
George Addis. 
Hyman Buel. . 
David Combs. 
James Grant. 
Charles Cooper. 
James Gardner. 
Patrick Dellahant. 

1841. Edwin C. Drake. 
George F. Seymour. 
Albert M. Westlake. 
Miles Grant. 
Richard Hennisee. 

1842. Ransom W. Castle. 
James Dunwell. 
Nathan Tubbs. 
Bishop Squires. 
George Waugh. 
Charles L. Clark. 
Peter Ranney. 
Joseph L Morris. 
Gerry Winchell. 
Martin Dunbar. 
William W. Webster. 
Lucius Andrews. 
William Chapman. 

1843. Rollin Fyler. 
Uri C. Burr. 
Charles T. Bancroft. 
Walter M. Hungerford. 
Joseph Eaves. 

Frank R. Ensign. 
Warren R. Curtiss. 
Charles F. Scofield. 
George H. Bowne. 
William B. Jones. 
William A. Grant. 
Justus Dayton. 
Matthew H. Grant. 
Daniel A. Grant. 
Crawford Ladd. 
Chester Cadwell. 
Ralph Palmer. 
Benjamin H. Morse. 
George Woodward. 
Joseph Huntington. 



278 



History of Torrington. 



1843. Larenson Wilson. 
Horace Cook. 
Cornelius D. Cook. 
Samuel Day. 
Marshall Grilley. 

1844. Chester R. Adkins. 
Warren Roberts. 
Charles Dayton. 
Scott Baker. 
Chailes HoUis. 
Lucijs B. FoUett. 
William D. Aldrich. 
Tho;nas Long. 
Lewis W. Thrall. 
Samuel Sperry. 
Luther L. Leach. 
John W. Rood. 
Chester Smith. 
Corridon L. Dutton. 
Francis M. Hale. 
George W. Church. 
Elijah Woodward. 
Philander P. Humphrey. 
Rufus Rood. 

Nelson Alvord, 2d 
Stephen Gladding. 
Samuel Weeks. 
Samuel Burr. 
Amos Parsons. 
William L. Boughton. 
James B Tallmadge. 
Henry B. Baker. 
William La Fogg. 
Hiram Lyman. 
Ira Hoyt, Jr. 
Theodore llobbins. 
Edward Hubbard. 
Daniel Brown. 
Julius R. Pond. 
Lorrain Curtiss. 
Homer Johnson. 
Austin N. Hungerford. 
Albert Sedgwick. 
Midian N. Griswold. 

1845. Harvey Dayton. 
Chester Drake. 
Hiram Cobb. 
John R. Sedgwick. 
Henry Hurlbut. 
William O'Rourke. 
Ariel North. 

1846. Charles G. Pond. 
William Cooper. 
Asa Wattles. 

Eli B. Barnes. 
George O Smith. 
Jerome Webster. 
Elijah Witherell. 
Frederick J. Seymour. 
Frederick Perkins. 
James C. Hayden. 
Daniel Burness. 



1846. Frances King. 
George N. Blakeslee. 
Newton Morse. 
Giles W. Smith. 

Ira Brasee. 
Andrew E. Hull. 
Gaylord G. Bissell. 
Hermon Loomis. 
John Youngs. 
Edward Hill. 
Corydon Shepard. 
William R. Loomis. 
Edward Curtiss. 
Elias H. Rood. 

1847. James G. Woodward. 
Samuel T. Seelye. 
Lorenzo E. Gore. 
Daniel Kerby. 
Rufus W. Gillett. 
Ashbell G. Bradford. 
Cornelius Winship. 
Henry P. Ostrum. 
Julius F. Blakeslee. 
Henry L. Smith. 
Albert P. Barber. 
Edward H. Tuttle. 
Charles Gale. 
Anson B. Rice. 
Orrin Potter. 
Lathrop Messenger. 
Ambrose Curtiss. 
Charles Pilgrim. 
Charles Catljn. 
Edward Root. 
William H. Moore. 
McKenzie Millard. 
Robert Wright. 
Warham Curtiss. 
Francis Burr. 
James Green. 
Harlem W. Brace. 

1848. Joseph F. Calhoun. 
George W. Loomis. 
Sheldon Beach. 
Charles N. North. 
Giles D. Aden. 
Cornelius SkitF. 
Benjamin Warner. 
Cyrus Hubbard. 
David Beach. 
George A. Hubbell. 
Henry Davis. 
William M. Bennett. 
Lucius Burr. 
James Roberts. 
John G. Titus. 
Oliver Titus. 
Charles Grant. 
Russell Perkins. 
Rodman O. Pilgrim. 
Lemuel E. Coe. 
Chauncey Porter, Jr. 



Lists of Names. 



279 



1848. Alpheus H. Chickering. 
Mahlon W. Bancroft. 
Luke Barber. 

John N. Whiting. 
Truman Barber. 
Jolin Bennett. 
John C. Gillett. 
Marcus Dayton. 
Joseph Rood. 
Dana L. Hungerford. 
Abiel Taylor. 
Isaac M. Simons. 
Gillett Burr. 
Warren C. Clark. 
George Piatt. 
Lyman R. Pond. 
Martin V. Drake. 
Squire Scoville. 
John A. McKinstry. 
Russell Millard, Jr. 
John Parker. 
Jesse B. Rose. 

1849. Albert H. Smith. ^ 
Edward Thorp. 
George Hurlbut. 
Henry P. Johnson. 



1849. ^^' ^- Cheeseborough. 
Stephen Chase. 

1850. Nathan Benjamin. 
Jeremiah W. Phelps. 

Joseph B. Whiting. 
Edward Rice. 
Lewis S. Smith. 
Harvey E. Bailey. 
Frederick Bailey. 
Franklin Abbott. 
William Moses. 
Henry Kimberly. 
James Birge. 
Eli Welden. 
Fayette Smith. 
Charles W. Cook. 
Benjamin N. Beardslee. 
Alfred Brown. 
Moses Weed. 
John Scoville. 
William Busby. 
Norman Goodwin. 
Willard O. Barber. 
Samuel J. Stocking. 
Alfred Starr. 
Alexander Francis. 



Marriages. 
Recorded by Rev. Nathaniel Roberts. 



Agard, Abigail, to Joshua Parsons of Farmington, April 29, 1762. 

" Elizabeth, to Benoni Hills, Oct. 28, 1773. 

" Hezekiah, of Litchfield, to Abigail Damon, Dec. 17, 1751. 

" Mary, to Oliver Coe, Oct. 7, 1762. 

Sarah, to Friend Thrall, Nov. 23, 1774. 

David, to Elizabeth Wetmore, Sept. 8, 1774. 

Ephraim, to Jemima Loomis, Nov. 2. 1775. 

Esther, to Roswell Coe, April 22, 1766. 

Elijah, to Mary Hills, July 10, 1766. 

Thomas, of Goshen, to Jerusha Loomis, Oct. 24, 1754. 
" William, Jr., to widow Brown, June 16, 1768. 

Bartholomew, Sarah, to Zacharia Leach, Sept. 4, 1769. 



Alvord, 

Bancroft, 
(( 

Barber, 
cc 



Beach, 



« 
<c 



Blake, 

Brace, 

Brown, 

Celsey, 

Coe, 



« 
« 



Abel, Jr., to Esther Peck, March 12, 1774. 
Benjamin, to Abiah Loomis, Aug. 31, 1763. 
Hannah, widow, to Daniel Webb, Nov. 9, 1761. 
Joel of Winchester, to Abiah Filley, Oct. 18, 1757. 
Joseph, Jr., to Ede Cook, Jan. 4, 1776. 
Margaret, to Abijah Wilson, Oct. 5, 1767. 
Rebecca, to Samuel Hurlbut, Dec. i, 1768. 
Wait, of Goshen, to Huldah Loomis, July 9, 1767. 
Joseph, to Marana Grant, Aug. 27, 1767. 
Ariel, to Deborah Loomis, Oct. 15, 1772. 
Widow, to William Barber, June 16, 1768. 
Sarah, to Joseph Frisbie, Oct. 8, 1767. 
Eunice, to Joseph Hoskins, Jr., Aug. 20, 1761. 
Jerusha, to John Lucas, of Goshen, Dec. 5, 1763. 
Mary, to Asahel Wilcox, Sept. 13, 1762. 
Oliver, to Mary Agard, Oct. 7, 1762. 
Robert, to Chloe Thrall, Dec. 26, 1764. 
Roswell. to Esther Bancroft, April 22, 1766. 
Thomas, to Lois Cowles, Oct. 23, 1755. 



28o 



History of Torrington. 



Cook, 
Cowles, 






Damon, 
Eno, 
Everitt, 
FiUey, 



Fowler, 
(( 

Frisbie, 
(< 

Gaylord, 

Gillet, 

Grant, 

« 
« 

HiUs, 
« 

Hosford, 
Hoskins, 
Hurlbut, 



Jewell, 

Judd, 

Kent, 

Leach, 

Lee, 

Lewis, 

Loomis, 



<( 
« 



« 

« 
« 

<( 

Lucas, 

Lyman, 
(< 

« 
« 
« 

Mather, 



Edee, to Joseph Beach, Jan. 4, 1776. 
Rachel, to David Soper, Jan. 26, 1764. 
Amasa, to Lucy North, Feb. 26, 1766. 
Eunice, to Job Curtiss, Jan. 31, 1769. 
Jerusha, to Ebenezer North, Feb. 16, 1769. 
Lois, to Thomas Coe, Oct. 23, 1755. 
Martha, to Thomas Curtiss, Jan. 7, 1762. 
Mindwell, to Timothy Judd, Jan. 15, 1767. 
Samuel, to Sibyl North. 

Abigail, to Hezekiah Agard, of Litchfield, Dec. 17, 1751. 
Abigail, to Martin North, April 2, 1760. 
Samuel, to Mindwell Strong, May 27, 1762. 
Abiah, widow, to Joel Beach of Winchester, Oct. 18, 1757- 
Mary, to John Curtiss, June 5, 1769. 

William, to Dinah Preston, of Winchester, Jan, 13, 1759. 
Mary, to Issachar Loomis, Dec. 10, 1765. 
Noah, to Rhoda Tuttle, Feb. 10, 1774. 
James, of Litchfield, to Mary Gillet, May i, 1754. 
Joseph, to Sarah Celsey, Oct. 8, 1767. 
Suse, to Zechariah Mather, April 20, 1769. 
Mary, to James Frisbie, May i, 1754. 
Martha, to David Jewell, Dec. 6, 1773. 
Marana, to Joseph Blake, Aug. 27, 1767. 
Sarah, to Abner Loomis, July 29, 1757. 
Zerviah, to Amos Wilson, Oct. 18, O. S., 1722. 
Benoni, to Elizabeth Agard, Oct. 28, 1773. 
Mary, to Elijah Barber, July 10, 1779. 
Isaac, of Litchfield, to Mindwell Loomis, July 8, 1747. 
John, of Litchfield, to Mary Loomis, Dec. 10, 1765. 
Joseph, Jr., to Eunice Coe, Aug. 20, 1761. 
Samuel, to Rebecca Beach, Dec. i, 1768. 
Phebe, to George Miller, June 29, 1775. 
David, to Martha Grant, Dec. 6, 1773. 
Timothy, to Mindwell Cowles, Jan. 15, 1767. 
Elizabeth, to Ebenezer Moss, June 10, 1760. 
Hezekiah, to Sarah Bartholomew, Sept. 14, 1769. 
Joseph, of Goshen, to Prudence Curtiss, Jan. 8, 1750. 
Nehemiih, of Goshen, to Esther Lyman, Dec. 30, 1767. 
Abiah, to Benjamin Beach, Aug. 31, 1763. 
Abner, to Sarah Grant, July 29, 1757. 
Deborah, to Ariel Brace, Oct. 15, 1772. 
Dorothy, to Eli Loomis, Nov. 18, 1762. 
Eli, to Dorothy Loomis, Nov. 18, 1762. 
Hannah, to Caleb Lyman, Sept. 28, 1768. 
Huldah, to Wait Beach, July 9, 1767. 
Isabel, to Benjamin Phelps, Oct. 16, 1755. 
Issachar, to Mary Fowler, Dec. 10, 1 7 65. 
Jemima, to Noah North, March 25, 1756. 
Jemima, to Ephraim Bancroft, Nov. 2, 1775. 
Jerusha, to Thomas Barber, of Goshen, Oct. 24, 1754. 
Lucy, to Elisha Smith, Nov. 23, 1773. 
Mary, to John Hoskins, Dec. 10, 1765. 
Mindwell, to Isaac Hosford, July 8, 1747. 
Sarah, to Josiah Whiting, Nov. 2, 1775. 
John, of Goshen, to Jerusha Coe, Dec. 5, 1765. 
Caleb, to H-annah Loomis, Sept. 28, 1768. 
Ebenezer, to Ann Young, Oct. 20, 1774. 
Esther, to Nehemiah Lewis, Dec. 30, 1767. 
Lydia, to Stephen Tuttle, March 23, 1768. 
Ruth, to Asahel North, Jan. 26, 1757. 
Sarah, " the younger, " to Joel Wetmore, Nov 23, 1763. 
Zachariah, to Suse Gaylord, April 20, 1769. 



Lists of Names. 



281 



Marsh, 
Marshall, 

Miller, 

North, 
<{ 

<( 

« 



Parsons, 

Peck, 

Phelps, 

Prciton, 

Roberts, 



« 

Sheffield, 

Smith, 

Soper, 
(( 

Stark, 

Strong, 
(( 

Taylor, 
Thrall, 



Tuttle, 
<< 

(( 

Webb, 
Wet more, 
(< 

Whiting, 
>( 

Wilcox, 

Wilkinson, 

Wilson, 
« 

« 

Young, 



Ambrose, of Litchfield, to Elizabeth Taylor, Oct. 30, 1754. 

Thomas, Jr., to Desire Tuttle, Jan. 30, 1764. 

George, to Phebe Hurlbut, of VVetiieiifield, June 29, 1775. 

Ashbel, to Ruth Lyman, Jan. 26, 1757. 

Ebenezer, Jr., to Jerusha Cawles, Feb. 16, 1769. 

Lucy, to Amasa Cowles, Feb. 25, 1766. 

Martin, to Abigail Eno, April 2, 1760. 

Noah, to Jemima Loomis, March 25, 1756. 

Sibyl to Samuel Cowles, April 14, 1756. 

Joshua ot Farmington, to Abigail Agard, April 29, 1762. 

Esther, to Abel Beach, Jr , March 12, 1774. 

Benjamin, to Isabel Loomis, Oct. 16, 1755. 

Dinah, ot Winchester, to Wm. FiUey, Jan. 13, 1759. 

Rev. Nathaniel, to Margaret, dau. of Rev. J. Marsn of Windsor, Nov. 22, 

1743- 
Rev. Nathaniel, to Esther Loomis, Nov. 7, 1848. 

Eunice, to Jesse Wilkinson, May 17, 1771. 

Mary, to Daniel Thrall, March ii, 1773. 

Elisha, to Lucy Loomis, Nov. 25, 1775. 

David, to Rachel Cook, Jan. 26, 1764. 

Timothy, to Deborah Stark, June, 1766. 

Deborah, to Timothy Soper, June, 1766. 

Asahel, Jr., to Marv Young, Dec. 2, I773. 

Mindwcll, to Samuel Evert, May 27, 1762. 

Elizabeth, to Ambrose Marsh of Litchfield, Oct. 30, 1754. 

Chloe, to Robert Coe, Dec. 26, 1764. 

Daniel, to Mary Sheffield, March 11, 1773. 

Elizabeth, to Joseph Thrall, March 23, 1758. 

Friend, to Sarah Agard, Nov. 23. 1774. 

Joseph, to Elizabeth Thrall, March 23, 1758. 

Levi to Mary Whiting, Nov. 15, 1770. 

Desire, to Thomas Marshall, Jr., Jan. 30, 1764. 

Rhoda, to Noah Fowler, Feb. ic, 1774. 

Stephen, of Goshen, to Lydia Lyman, March 23, 1758. 

Daniel, to widow Hannah Beach, Nov. 9, 1761. 

Joel, to Sarah Lyman the younger, Nov. 23, 1763. 

Elizabeth, to David Alvord, Sept. 8, 1774. 

Josiah, to Sarah Loomis, Nov. 2, 1775. 

Mary, to Levi Thrjll, Nov. 15, 1770. 

Asahel, to Mary Coe, Sept. 13, 1762. 

Jesse, to Eunice R^pberts, May 17, 1 771. 

Amos, to Zerviah Grant, Oct. 16, O. S., 1732. 

Abijah, to iVIargaret Beach, Oct. 5, 1767. 

Noah, Jr., to Hannah Young, Nov. 24, 1763. 

Ann, to Ebenezer Lyman, Oct. 20, 1774. 

Hannah, to Noah Wilson, Nov. 24, 1763. 

Mary, to Asahel Strong, Dec. 2, 1773. 



By Rev. Alexander Gillet. 



Agard, 

Apley, 

AUyn, 
« 

Bates, 

Baldwin, 

Barber, 

BeJch, 

Blake, 

Bronson, 

Bumpers, 

Clark, 



Benjamin, to Rhoda Loomis, April, 7, 1796. 
Ezekiel, to Sally Rood, Feb. 28, 1803. 
Joseph Jr., to Sabra Loomis, Mir. 18, 1801. 
Oliver, to Lucy Loomis, May 7, 1 801. 

,to Polly Kimberly of Winchester, May 31, 1795. 
Samuel, Goshen, to widow Mary Loomis, June, 1792. 
Abijah, to Mary Loomis, March 19, 1795. 
Abel, to " Rocksey " Taylor, March 30, 1797. 
Jesse, to Merilla Loomis, Nov. 29, 1798. 

Salmon, to Mary Wheaton, both of Winchester, Oct. 3, 1800. 
Gladding, to Sarah Judd, in winter of 1792. 
Two, Jan. 21, 1799. 

3G 



282 



History of Torrington. 



Coe, 

Deming, 

Drake, 

Eggleston, 

Fay, 

Foot, 

Gillet, 
« 

Hall, 

Hills, 

Hodges, 

Hudson, 

Hurlbut, 

Johnson, 

Kimberly, 

Loomis, 
« 

« 
(t 
(( 

Lyman, 

Marshall, 

Miller, 

Munsell, 

Philluw, 

Richards, 

Smith, 

Scone, 

«'Stor" 

Strong, 

Thorp, 

Thrall, 

Watson, 

Weltun, 

■Wilson, 
<( 

Wright, 



Abijah, to Sibyl Baldwin, of Goshen, Oct. i8, 1792. 
Job, to Lois Richards, Feb. 2.4. 1801. 
Ichabod of Bristol, to Rebecca Loomis, April 4, 1797. 
John Eason, to Prudence Miner, Dec. 2.2, 1796. 
Edward, to widow Dinah Judd, of Winchester, March, 1802. 
Thaddeus, to Esther Lucas, both of Winchester, Oct. 17, 1793. 
Jared of Goshen, to Anne Wilson, June 19, 1797. 
Nathan, Jr., to Aingail Wolcott, May 26, 1803. 
Timothy P., Rev., to Sally Hodges, Nov. 29, 1808. 
Zacheus Phelps, to Clara Humphrey of Goshen, Dec. 27, 179^- 
David M., of Wallingford, to M.ndwell Beach, Oct. 30, 1799. 
Sech, to Amy Lucas, both of Winchester, Nov. 28, 1798. 
Erastus, to Laura Loomis, Jan. 5, 1809. 
Daniel Coe, to Mary Loomis, Feb 16, 1797. 
Joseph, of Vt., to Rhoda Lyman, Feb. 14. 1803. 
Caleb, to Polly Beach, Dec. 20, 1798. 
Jacob Jr., of Goshen, to Nancy Pond, June 11, 1797. 
Ale.Kander, to Submit Spencer, June, 1 792. 
Asa, to Margaret Loomis, May, 15, 1799- 
Isachar, to Hephziba Loomis, May 6, 1802. 
Ira, to Polly Thrall, July 25, 1793' 
Joel, to Prudence West, May Z3, 1792. 
Wait, to Sarah Stone, Nov., 1796. 
Ebenezer, Jr., to Clarissa Loomis, Nov. 4, 1802. 
Levi, to Polly Gridley, April 19, 1795. 
David, to Hannah, Nov. 29, 1794. 
Levi, to Rachel Marshall, Dec. 8, 1799. 
Artemus, to Louisa Loomis, Dec. 11, 1800. 
Moses, to Naomi Hurlbut, Jan. i, 1800. 
Theodore, of Goshen, to Rhoda Wilson, March, 18, 1795. 

, of Harwinton, to Sarah Hurlbut, Dec. 30, 1800. 
Anson, to Phebe Miller, April 26, 1796. 

Josiah, to Patty Green, of Sharon Mountain, Sept. 29, 1793. 
Samuel, Southington, to Jane Loomis, Oct. 14, 1792. 
Augustus, to Sibyl Taylor, Feb. 19, 1795. 
Thomas, New Hartford, to Mele Wetmore, Jan. i, 1797. 
Jesse, Jr., of Goshen, to Olive Wilson, Jan. 6, 1801. 
Capt. Amos, to widow Hannah Loomis, March 20, 1793. 
Amos, Jr., to Sabrah Griswold of Winchester, Mar. 25, 1801. 
Timothy, of New Hartford, to Triphena Bancroft, May 31, 1798. 



Marriages 


Sept. 


28, 


1820, 


Nov. 


16, 


li 


Oct. 


12, 


u 


Oct. 


18, 


n 


Oct. 


21, 


« 


<( 


^3, 


<l 


Dec. 


5. 


(( 


« 




« 


Feb. 


14, 


I82I, 


Feb. 


6, 


ii 


Mar. 


II, 


li 


Oct. 


3'> 


1820, 


Nov. 


20, 


i( 


« 


27, 


<l 


<( 


23, 


(C 


<( 


29, 


(( 


(1 


30. 


<( 


Dec. 


13, 


« 



Recorded on Town Records. 

Webster Martin and Permela North, by Lyman Beecher. 

Elkannah Ingraham, of Norfolk, and Highla Turrell. 

Gaylord Hayes and Mary Humphrey. 

Cyrus Hubbard, Harwinton, and Aurania Eggleston. 

Rufus Curtiss and Ursula Fowler. 

Jeremiah Bowne and Hannah Ball. 

John Hungerford, Jr. and Charlotte Austin. 

Cyrus North and Lavinia Holmes. 

Thomas Sparks and Betsey Granger. 

Chester Barber, Harwinton, and Marilla Birge. 

Rufus Patchin, Derby, and Clarissa McKenly. 

Daniel G. Humphreys and Eliza Burr. 

Willard North and Lucinda Pelton. 

Orlean Loomis and Ruba North. 

Ira Cole, K.enr, and Lavina Thrall. 

Hiram Griswold, Goshen, and Harriet Whiting. 

Chauncev B. Mix, Northfield, and LucindaFreeman. 

Amos Wilson and Elizabeth Birge, 



Lists of Names. 283 



Dec. 


13. 


1820, 


Feb. 




1821, 


Mar. 


29. 


(( 


Apr. 


27. 


(( 


May 


21, 


« 


Oct. 


14, 


(< 


<t 


^5, 


(< 


Nov. 


6, 


a 


<( 


18, 


<< 


Dec. 


6, 


(< 


Oct 


1 


<( 


Mar. 


19, 


1822. 


June 


5. 


a 


(( 


(( 


(( 


May 


9. 


« 


Nov. 


28, 


(1 


Aug. 


28, 


« 


Dec. 


25. 


(( 


Jan. 


I. 


1823, 


Jan. 


12, 


>( 


Apr. 


7, 


'( 


« 


27, 


(C 


June 


4. 





June 


5. 


(< 


J"iy 


6, 


(< 


J"iy 


3> 


(C 


Aug. 


21, 


(C 


(( 


27, 


(< 


Sept. 


20, 


(( 


Oct. 


I, 


(( 


<( 


18, 


<( 


<( 


26, 


« 


Feb. 


i, 


1824. 


Dec. 


4, 


<( 


Mar. 


22, 


<( 


Apr. 


26, 


(( 


(( 


21, 


(( 


Feb. 


17. 


(( 


Mar. 


II. 


<c 


May 


10, 


<( 


C( 


II, 


<< 


Aug. 


31. 


(( 


Sept. 


^9, 


<( 


Oct. 


3» 


<( 


i< 


26, 


(( 


Sept. 


12, 


u 


Dec. 


22, 


(C 


Jan. 


I, 


1825, 


Jan. 


10, 


<f 


Oct. 


7, 


1824, 


Mar. 


17, 


1825, 


Oct. 


5, 


(C 


Nov. 




-J 


<( 


Oct. 


16, 


(< 


Nov. 


i» 


<( 


May 


3, : 


1826, 


May 


10, 


(< 


Dec. 


II, 


(( 


Sept. 


3, 


<t 


Sept. 


20, 


« 


Sept. 


24, 


C( 


Sept. 


28, 


(( 



« 



Uriel Burr and Esther Curtiss. 
William Brown and Polly Hubbard. 
Hiram Loomis and Abigial Ward. 
Chester Johnson, Harwinton, and Maria Gates. 
James Jones and K'ancy Freeman. 

Minard Van De Bogert and Hilpah Tuttle, Barkhamsted. 
Rial Johnson, Harwinton, and Flora Willey. 
Norman Griswold and Laura Birge. 
Josiah Miller and Harriet Moore. 
Sylvester Spencer and Lucind-. Phelps. 
Darius Willson and Clanissa Treadway. 
Midian Griswold and Lucy North. 
Abel S. Leach and Caroline Gillet. 
Thaddeus Griswold and Margaret T. Gaylord. 
Samuel Thrall and Harriet Wilson. 
George Beach and Mary Deliber. 
John Watkins and Nancy Bissell. 
Pitts Goodwin and Jerusha Fvler. 

Salmon Hunt, Canaan, and Clarissa Bradley of Torrington. 
John Bonnelly and Candace Haydon, both of 
Lyman Leach, Litchfield, and Julia Allyn, of 
John Taylor and Fanny Strong, both of Torrington. 
John Grant, Torrington, and Cynthia Pine, of Southold, L. L 
Lyman Pond, Litchfield, and Lucy Spencer of Torrington. 
HarloAf Fyler and Sibyl Tolls, both of Torrington. 
Oliver Skinner, Torrington, and Charity Fox, Hebron. 
Patrons Perkins and Deborah Brace, both of Torrington. 
John Smith, Winchester, and Esther French, '* 
Daniel Richards, Litchfield, and Experience Leach, Torrington. 
John R. Pitkin and Sophia Thrall, Torrington. 
Reuben Chasc- and Lucy Curtiss, *' 

George Bissell and Sarah Woodruff, Torrington. 
John GiUett, Jr., and Mary Woodward, 
Giles A. Gaylord and Esther Austin. 

William Parmelee, Goshen, and Ann Eliza White, Torrington. 
Miles Beach and Charlotte Bancroft, Torrington. 
Horace Loomis and Permelia Loomis, " 

Henry Aliyn and Ruba Whiting, Torrington. 
Emery Taylor, Bristol, and Harriet Mather, Torrington. 
Ephraim W. Wolcott and Rhoda Leach, Torrington. 
Roderick Bissell and Fanny Gaylord, Torrington. 
Levi Crampton, Goshen, and Elizabeth Munn, Torrington. 
Charles Pierpont and Candace Leach, Torrington. 
David 1. Fuller and Maria Porter, Watertown. 
Hiram Gibbs and Eliza Bascom, Torrington. 
Nathan W. Hammond and Harriet Merrill, Torrington. 
Jannah Demming, Barkhamsted, and Lydia Thorp, Torrington. 
Elkanah Ingraham, Colchester, and Louisa Turrill. 
Sylvester Coe, Torrington, and Caroline Brown, Canton. 
Daniel li. Kimberly and Lydia Brooks. 
Converse Clark, Saybrook, and Almira Burr, Torrington. 
Hiram Winchell and Olive Goodwin, Torrington. 
Ephraim Fellows, Cornwall, and Sabra Roberts, Torrington. 
James Smith, Lexington, N. Y., and Deidama Cornish, Simsbury. 
Gerry Grant and Louisa Whiting, Torrington. 
1826, John H. North, Cornwall, and Esther W. Gaylord, Torrington. 
Lewis Murry and Mary Leach, Torrington. 
Henry Roberts and Betsey Tiffany, Barkhamsted. 
Franklin Hedge, Torrington, and Mary Chamberlain, Middletown. 
Artemas Rowley and Susan Evans, Torrington. 
Nathan Cobb, Torrington, and Eliza Colyer, Burlington. 
Frederick Forbes and Sophia demons, Torrington. 






284 



History of Torrington. 



Nov. 12, 1826, Russell Brooker and Jennett McKenzie, Torrington. 

Thomas Moses and Ann M. BIsscll. 

Joshua Leach and Anna Stodard, Torrington. 

Chester Bristol, N. J., and Mindwell Phelps, Torrington. 

Ral[ih Judd and Urania Cadwell, Torrington. 

Harvey Ford, Winchester, and Mary Ann Drake, Torrington. 

John Whiting, Colebrook, and Rachel Loomis, Torrington. 

Lewis Leffingwell, Goshen, and Maria Miller, Torrington. 

Gilman Hinsdale and Amanda Ward, Torrington. 

Ahnson Loo-, is, Winchester and Sally Richards, Torrington. 

William E. Russell and Emily Bradley, Torrington. 

Rufus Burr, Winchester, and Anna S. Hudson, Torrington. 

Harvey Spier and Mary A. Taylor, Torrington. 

Norman Coe and Nancy Whiting, Torrington. 

Jonathan Whiting, Ma<;3 , and Maria Moore, Torrington. 

Herman Northrop, Winsted, and Fanny White, Torrington. 

Ithiel Emmons and Almira Leach. 

David Sammis and Harriet E. Gibbs, both, of Goshen. 

Oliver E. Gross and Amanda Root Hazen, Torrington. 

Horace Loomis and RoxaUna Loomis. 

Warren Bancroft and Laura Fierpont. 

Albro W. Cowles and El'za Tallmadge. 

Jabez Gibbs and Almira Ball. 

James Whiting and Amelia Allvn, Torrington. 

William Leach and Julia Foot, Torrington. 

Jonathan Willey and Lena Haydon, Torringron. 

Laurin Wetmore and Fanny Austin, " 

Jeremiah H. Phelps, N. Y., and Sarah Leach, Torrington. 
8, 1829, Robert Pelton and Alma Eggleston, Torrington. 

Thomas A. Miller and M iry C. Hudson, Torrington. 

Reuben Hall, Wallingford, and Keziah Beach, Torrington. 

John Oitram and Eliza J. Colby, Goshen. 

Frederick B. Wadhams and Cornelia Phelps, Torrington. 

George D. Wadhams and Lucy S. Abernethy, " 

Timothy Henisee, Torrington, and Milly Johnson, Litchfield. 

Burton Pond, Bristol, and Charlotte Colt, Torrington. 

Abel S. Wetmore, Winchester, and Lucy Hill, Torrington. 

Luther Emmons, Cornwall, and Mary Willey, " 

Stephen Smith and Charlotte Moses, Torrington. 

Seth Coe and Dorcas Kies, Middletown. 

Orson Barber and Roxy A. Eggleston, Torrington. 
Jan. 20, 1830, Jesse Pritchard, Mass , and Eliza Gdlett, Torrington. 

Leverette Tuttle and Chloe Colt, Torrington. 

Bennett Palmer and Morilla Eggleston, Torrington. 

Asahel Coe, Walby, and Maria Wetmore, Torrington. 

Lorenzo Bellamy and Eleanor Freeman, Torrington. 

Frederick North and Harriet Hoyt, Torrington. 

James Southwick and Lois Curtiss. 

Justus Colton, Mass., and Emiline Phelps, Torrington. 

Henry Judd, Litchfield and Hannah Beach, Torrington. 

Jay Benham, Waterburv, and Salina Brace, Torrington. 

Joseph Catlin Hall, and Almira Ann Willey. 

Ninus Waterman and Charlotte Freeman, Torrington. 

Amos Freeman, Torrington, and Sarah E Pomens, Mass. 

Hiram Barber and Roxy Ann Burdick, Torrington. 

Lewis Beach, Goshen, and Almira White, Torrington. 

Spencer Turrel and Jenette Canfield, Torrington. 

Abiel Canfield and Bede Kenna, Torrington. 

Nathaniel Birge and Olive Peck, Torrington. 

Seth S. Treadway and Abigail M. North, Torrington. 

Anson Balcom and Margaret McKenzie. 

Henry A. Perkins, N. Hartford, and Rachel M. Bissell, Torrington. 



Nov. 


15. 


li 


Dec. 


13. 


(( 


May 


I, 


1825 


May 


10, 


<( 


June 


26, 


« 


Jan. 


3, 


1827 


Jan. 


I, 


(( 


Mar. 


i?, 


(( 


Mar. 


20, 


<( 


May 


24, 


<( 


May 


10, 


<( 


Apri 


30. 


(( 


Aug. 


26, 


<( 


Sept. 


19. 


(1 


Sept. 


24, 


1827 


Oct. 


14, 


<( 


(( 


21, 


(< 


Nov. 


12, 


(1 


Jan. 


28, 


1828 


Feb. 


17. 


(f 


Mar. 


5. 


ik 


<c 


17, 


<< 


Apr. 


16, 


(( 


Aug. 


19. 


(> 


Oct. 


2, 


<( 


Sept. 


12, 


« 


Nov. 


II. 


<( 


Apr. 


8, 


1829 


Apr. 


I, 


<( 


May 


19. 


(( 


Aug. 


10, 


<( 


Sept. 


9. 


a 


Dec. 


25. 


<t 


Sept. 


21, 


(( 


Oct. 


6. 


(< 


Nov. 


^4' 


<( 


Oct. 


'9. 


« 


(( 


14, 


(< 


Nov. 


15. 


ii 


Dec. 


8, 


a 


Jan. 


20, 


1830 


Feb. 


10, 


« 


Mar. 


30, 


(( 


June 


2, 


<< 


<< 


28, 


(( 


<( 


14, 


a 


Apr. 


28, 


<i 


Nov. 


I, 


<( 


<( 


10, 


{( 


ti 


20, 


<i 


Oct. 


14, 


(( 


Aug. 


18. 


(I 


Jan. 


9. 


<< 


Dec. 


6, 


« 


Feb. 


27, 


183I, 


Mar. 


10, 


« 


« 


31. 


(( 


May 


8, 


(( 


(( 


22, 


(( 


June 


3. 


(< 


<( 


14, 


i( 



Lists of Names. 285 



July 


II, 


183 


Aug. 


7, 




Sept. 


20, 




<( 


20, 




Oct. 


2, 




Oct. 



-> 




Sept. 


25. 




Oct. 


30, 

T A 





(31, Lurandrus Beach, Dover N. H., and Harriet Burr, Torrington. 

Justus p. Lewis, O., and Polly Ellsworth, Torrington. 

James B. Wiiite, Winchester, and Sally HuJburt, Torrington. 

Charles C. Beers, Goshen, and Emma R. Palmer, Torrington. 

William Hoyt, Wateibury, and Lucy Leach, Torrington. 

William Smith and Adelia Bowton, Waterbury 

David F. Daniels, Pieston, and Laura Sperry, Torrington. 

Henry S. Abbey, Buftalo, and Elizabeth Smith, " 

Sylvester Hurlbut and Mary Hills, " 

" 15, " Joseph Grey, Haddam, and Emiline H. Morgan, '• 
Sept. 25, " Joseph Shires and Laura Leffingwell, *• 

Feb. 16, 1832, Marain Barber and Eliza Whiting, " 

Daniel S. Rogers and Desire B. Fowler, " 

George Goodwin and Sally Weeks, " 

Nelson Allyn and Speedy Birge, " 

Albert B. Wilcox and Mary Munson, " 

Ebenezer Goodwin, N. Hartford, and Hannah Pond, Torrington. 

Joseph Shaw and Artemisia Merrill, Torrington. 

James H. Hurlbut and Elizabeth Brown, Torrington. 

Julius Daily and Lois Wilson, Torrington. 

James Wallen and Clarrissa Johnson, Torrington. 

Phineas North and Louisa Wetmore, " 

John W. Scoville and Martha Wilson, " 

Wilson Munson, Bristol, and Lucretia Palmer, Torrington. 

Benhani Barber, Harwinton, and Mary Wilson, " 

W^ait B. Wilson and Caroline Birge, Torrington. 

Wagar W. Lyman, N. Y., and Adah Shattuck, " 

Joseph B. Lewis, Winsted, and Cardelia CummJngs, " 

John Freeman and Lucina Prince, Torrington. 

Sheldon Barber, and Sally E. Hodges, " 

Elisha Loomis and Ophelia Leach, " 

Hezekiah H. Brace and Mary Ann Loomis, Torrington. 

Mansfield Bunnell, Plymouth, and Sophrona A. Miller, Torrington. 

Jeremiah D. Root and Hannah W. Pond, Torrington. 

Sylvanjs H Pease, Somers, and Emaline Roberts. Torrington. 

William B. Wjlson and Austria Tallmadye, Torrington. 

Harleigh Skinner, Winchester, and Caroline Root, BristoL 

Ebenezer Edmunds and Sarah C. North, Torrington. 

Elias Hatch, Winchester, and Cornelia Foot, " 

Isaac W. Riggs, Middlebury, and Ann Hoyt, " 

Albert Hill, Bristol, and Angeline E. Tiffany, " 

Charles S. Church and Charlotte A. Taylor, '' 

Ebenezer W. Beach apd Lucy Walling, " 

Hiram Johnson, Canaan, and Elizabeth Apley, " 

William Olcott, Harwinton, and Sarah Ann Mather, Torrington. 

Milain Packard, Mass., and Lucy E. Merriman, Torrington. 

Samuel Brooker and Julia A. Seymour, Torrington. 

Lorrain North and Harriet Ford, Torrington. 

Morgan Dudly, Winchester, and Almira Wilson, Torrington. 

Ansel Cook and Sophronia Eggleston, Torrington. 

Merrill White and Ro.\y M. Leach, Torrington. 

Sterling Woodruff and Minerva 1. Bradly, Torrington. 

Willard Birge and Julia Ann Merrill, Torrington. 

Addin Ph-elps and Maria Phelps, Harwinton. 

Albro M. Humphreyville and Harriet Andrews. 

Chauncey Hayden, Vt., and Aurelia Dibble, Torrington. 

Albro Gris'wold and Florilla Cook, Torrington. 

Riley Dunbar and Rhoda Huntington, Torrington. 

Almonson A. Buckland, E. Windsor, and Sarah Northrop, Torrington. 

Henry Newell and Almira Palmer, Torrington. 

Noah Benedict and Harriet A. Curtiss, Winchester. 

Francis Magrannis, Hartford, and Beulah Phelps, Harwinton. 



J. cu. 


iU, 


'°i-f 


April 


17, 


t> 


« 


10, 


<( 


June 


7, 


(< 


May 


31, 


« 


July 


3. 


<< 


Aug. 


IS 


(( 


Sept. 


9, 


<( 


Aug. 


9, 





Sept. 


20, 


(( 


Oct. 


10, 


<c 


<( 


17, 


a 


<( 


21, 


<( 


(t 


27, 


« 


<( 


3, 


<( 






Dec. 


10, 


<( 


Feb. 


6, 


1833, 


Jan. 


6, 


i( 


Apr. 


13, 


(( 


(( 


3, 


<( 


Mar. 


27, 


4C 


Apr. 


24, 


<( 


June 


16, 


« 


July 


7, 


« 


Aug. 


18, 


<c 


Sept. 


t 
-> 


(1 


Oct. 


6, 


(( 


« 


16, 


« 


Nov. 


24, 


(< 


Nov. 


28, 


(( 


« 


28, 


(fc 


Oct. 


5, 


tl 


Oct. 


10, 


c( 


Jan. 


I, 


1834, 


Dec. 


8, 


1833, 


May 


18, 


(< 


« 


4, 


(( 


« 


3, 


a 


(( 


7, 


<( 


C( 


23, 


(1 


Sept. 


I, 


n 


Nov. 


9, 


1833, 


Oct. 


25, 


1834, 


Oct. 


26, 


(( 


i< 


28, 


(C 


Jan. 


4, 


1835, 


« 


30, 


u 


Feb. 


4, 


.( 


<( 


17, 


(< 


Nov. 


5, 


iC 


<i 


I, 


« 



286 History of Torrington. 

Nov. 22, 1835, Samuel Stocking, Warerbury, and Oriel Case, Torrington. 

Apr. 13, " J"'^i Snyder and Laura Johnson, Torrington. 

May 3, " Levi H. Edwards and Sally Fairbanks, Torrington. 

Apr. 22, " Peter A. Gibbs and /'\nn E. Gaylord, Torrington. 

Aug. 22, " Edgar Loomis and Harriet Smith, Tonington. 

Dec. 25, " Samuel Forest and Ann Pickering, Torrington. 

" " " Dennis Chatfield, Waterbury, and Mary Jane JVIatthews, Torrington. 

Jan. 18, 1836, William Munn and Jane E. Long, Torrington. 

" 13, " Edwin Hodges and Jane E. Hickox, Stratford. 

Feb. 2, " Willis Crampton, Farmington, and Pluma Loomis, Torrington. 

Sept. 13, 1835, Gilbert Mason, N. London, and Mary A. Dayton, " 

May 3, 1836, William B. De Forest, Waterown, and Mary L. Abernethy, Torrington. 

'' 4, " Joseph H. Barrett and Maria Stocking, Tonington. 

Apr. 25, " Samuel Wellman, Bethlehem, and Mary McKenzie, Torrington. 

May 22, " Herman Cook and Angelina Dare, Torrington. 

June 5, " Eugene Pardee, Ohio, and Eleanor A. Taylor, Torrington. 

Sept. 14, " Sextus Barnes and Abagail Olmstead, Torrinuton. 

Nov. 2, '' James H. Seymour and Florilla Hudson, Torrington. 

Feb. 29, '• Augustus E. Bissell, Ga., and Millicent W. Watson, Torrington. 

Nov. 23, " Sidney Hayden, Barkhamsted, and Florilla E. Miller, Torringten. 

" " " Jerome B. Woodruff, Litchfield, and Melinda B. Whiting, Torrington. 

Nov. 27, " Harmon Daly and Mercy Ball, Torrington. 

Apr. 19, 1837, Eber N. Gibbs and Abagail W. Hudson, Torrington. 

June 14, " OrviUe Perry, N. Haven, and Elizabeth A. Webster, Torrington. 

July 13, " Daniel Beckley and Lucy Ann Merrill, Windsor. 

" 20, " Hiram Rider and Irena Austin. 

Oct. 14, " Dr. Gustavus G. Field, Guilford, and Laura A. Morse, Torrington. 

" I, " John S. Preston, Harwinton, and Betsey Gaylord, Torrington. 

Nov. 12, " Newton Potter and Caroline Dayton. 

May 13, 1838, Smith Harris, Winchester, and Huldah Loomis, Torrington. 

Oct. 3, 1837, James Gaunt, and Emma Forrest. 

Mar. 4, 1838, Charles Benham and Lois H. Bran. 

May I, " Martin Brooker and Maria Seymour, Torrington. 

July I, " Elias E. Oilman and Charlotte L. Hudson. 

Nov. 14, " Joseph Fenn and Rhoda Cook, Harwinton. 

Mar. 10, 1839, Seth B. St. John and Emily Cartright. 

April 28, " Henry Freeman and Julia A. Phelps, Torrington. 

" 28, " Caleb F. Daniels, Norwich, and Sarah R. Tallmadge, Torrington. 

May 20, " Joshua B. Trowbridge, Danbury, and Amelia Knapp, Canaan. 

July 18, " Merritt S. White, Canaan, and Eliza A. Masters, Torrington. 

" 31, " Charles N. Henderson, N. Hartford, and Caroline M. Gillett, Torrington. 

Sept. 16, " Gilbert G. Wheeler and Betsey A. Wheeler, Torrington. 

Oct. 8, " Milo R. Crane, Sandisfield, and Cordelia S. Waugh, Torrington. 

" 29, " Moses Drake and Ruby Lcomis, Torrington. 

Nov. 17, " Edward Hill, Charlotte, and Eliza Combs, Torrington. 

Mar. 18, 1840, Truman A. Curtiss, New Hartford, and Laura Woodward, Torrington. 

May 20, " Thomas A. Starks and Flora P. Drake, Torrington. 

Aug. 18, " Benoni Bennett, N. Y., and Ursula A. Cook, New York. 

Oct. 12, " Henry R. Seymour, Colebrook, and Ann P. Gross, Torrington. 

" 28, " Eli Terry and Harriet A. Peck. 

Dec. 9, " James Jones and Emily Truman, Torrington. 

Jan. 3, 1841, Eli Phelps and Mary Bishop 

Mar. II, " Frederick Tibbals and Nancy Holmes. 

July 7, •' Theron Bronson and Maria R. Munsell. 

Aug. 22. " George S. Addis and Sarah O. Gross, Torrington. 

Sept. 12, " Emory Loomis and Laura Lyman, Torrington. 

June 30, " Norman A. Wilson, Harwinton, and Harriet L. Griswold, Torrington. 

July 4, " Hezekiah .Johnson, Harwinton, and Flora Mott, Torrington. 

Aug. 23, " Henry P. Coe and Mary E. Bissell, Torrington. 

Sept. 2, " Stephen C. Warner, Naugatuck, and Letitia Combs, " 

Oct. I, " John C. Barber and Sarah Miller, Torrington. 

Oct. 20, " Joseph Woostcr, Goshen, and Adah Roberts, Torrington. 



Lists of Names. 



287 



Nov. 3, 1S41, Lyman W. Coe and Eliza Seymour, Torrington. 

<' " " Bradley R. Agard and Mary Ann Church, Torrington. 

Nov. 28, '■ Charles S. Mason, and Rosetta Bissell, Torrington. 

Dec. 27, " Norris Buckley, and Marian Hart. 

May 3, 1842, Joseph C. Le Gentt, Winchester, and Elizabeth Wilson, Torrington. 

Sept. 5, " Francis Caswell, Plymouth, and Mary Ann Dunbar, Torrington. 

" 22, " Julius Scoville, Litchfield, and Emily Dayton, Torrington. 

Nov. 3, " Luther Bronson, Winchester, and Flora M. Grant, Torrington. 

•' 13, '* Zebulon Merrill, N. Hartford, and Caroline Loomis, " 

" 4, " Ira Huyt, and Helen Roberts, Torrington. 

Oct. 17, " Henry S. Champion, Winsted, and Mary A. Gillett, Torrington. 

Dec. 4, " Orson Barber, and Martha Stark, Torrington. 

" 18, " Aaron Burbank, and Abigail Treadway, Winsted. 

" 20, " Elmore D. Squires, N. Y., and Lucinda C. Leach, Torrington. 

Jan 22, 1843, George Leach, Torrington, and Mary J. Rouse, Litchfield. 

Feb. 3, " William Durand, and Lorana P. Barber. 

June 12, " J'jhn S. Bincrott, E. Windsor, and Juliett Hudson, Torrington. 

" 28, " Norris North, and Eliza Coe, Torrington. 

Aug. I, " Charles S. Freeman, and Lucy A. Freeman, Torrington. 

" ao, " A. P. Kline, N. C and Susan Church, Torrington. 

Sept. 13, " Leroy Milliman, Winsted, and Harriet Dunbar, Torrington. 

" II, 1842, Edmund Wooding, Bristol, and Maria A. Brook?, Torrington. 

" 13, '' Lucius F. Leach, and Adaline M Beardsley, Torrington. 

Oct. 2, " Joseph Gould, Winchester, and Rhoda P. Coe, Torrington. 

Mar. 19, 1843, Virgil Wilson, Harwinton, and Mary G. Wheeler, Torrington. 

Apr. 4, '' George Piatt, Sharon, and Ledelia Curtiss, Goshen. 

May 15, " George P. Roberts, St. Louis, and Annis M. Allyn, Torrington. 

Apr. 17, " Mason W. Fyler, Winsted, and Martha W. Munson, Torrington. • 

Sept. 27, " Benjamin Peterson, and Laura A. Freeman, Torrington. 

Oct. 2, " Chauncey B. Mix, and Abigail Jackins, Torrington. 

Nov. 22, " Orson Brooks, Waterbury, and Louisa Johnson, Torrington. 

Dec. 25, " Myron Stone, and Polly A. Smith, Litchfield. 

" 26, " George H. Carter, Sharon, and Julia Harrison, Milton. 

Mar. 3. 1844. Silas Pardee, Bristol, and Mary Brockett, Waterbury. 

Apr. 18, " Jonathan Rossiter, Harwinton, and Huldah A. Wetmore, Torrington. 

July 14, " Squire Scoville, Litchfield, and Martha M. Dayton, Torrington. 

Sept. 18, " George P. Cowles and Charlotte L. Abernethy, Torrington. 

Oct. 29, " Julius Rogers, and Sarah Leach, Torrington. 

" 23, " George H. Browne and Heloise Bancroft, Torrington. 

Nov. 26, " David Richardson, Prospect, and Anne Fyler, Torrington. 

Jan. 9, 1845, Caleb C. Tracy, Washington, tnd Car line Bowne, Torrington. 

'' 8, " Marshall I. Grilley and Amanda W. Leach, Torrington. 

Feb. 9, " Theodore Robb ns, Norfolk, and Clarissa Hurlbut, Torrington. 

Nov. 6, 1844, Roderick A. White, Truesbury, and Elizabeth Hungertord, Torrington. 

" 12, " Amos Gilbert and Sarah Hollis, Torrington. 

Jan. I, 1845, David Booth, Naugatuck, and Emeline Scott, Litchfield. 

Mar. 30, " Hiram W. Hubbard and Betsey Wheeler, Torrington. 

Apr. 6, " George R. Waugh and Anne Williams, N Britain. 

" 21, " Joseph Allyn and Esther M. Westlake, Torrington. 

" 22, " James B. Tallmadge, and Esther G. Burr, " 

June I, ' Horace Prime and Drusilla Freeman, Torr'ngton. 

July 15, " Lewis S. Svveetand Eliza A. Hurlbut, Torrington. 

Aug. 14, '< William H. Judd, Norfolk, and Marrillia W. Cone, Torrington. 

Sept. 8, " J^j''" ^- Gulliver and Frances W. Curtiss, Torrington. 

" 8, " Henry O. Bjogue and Julia M. Weed, Torrington. 

" 30, " Frederick Giiiwold, Litchfield, and Elizabeth Loomis, Torrington. 

Oct. 23, " Matthew R. Hart, Goshen, and Adaline Chase, Winchester. 

Nov. 4, " Daniel A. Grant and Elmira Eg^leston, Torrington. 

" 9, " Horace L. Cook and Ruth E. Hoyt, Torrington. 

Jan. I, 1846, Charles F. Scoville and Clarissa Spencer, Litchfield. 

" i> " Frances M. Hale and Lydia A. Grant, Torrington. 

" II, " Benjamin Crosk, Torrington, and Adeline Thompson, Waterbury. 



288 History of Torrington. 

Jan. 1 8, 1846, George H. Mason and Lucy Bissell, Torrington. 

" 18, " Hosea Case and Angeline Roberts, " 

Apr. 6, " Samuel C. Hubbard and Merrilla Wells. 

May 24, " James S. Bird, Bethlehem, and Fanny M. Northrop, Torrington. 

Aug 22, 1838, Daniel Robertson and Mary Jane Seymour, Torrington. 

June 21, 1846, Chester Brooker and Piiebe A. Smith, Litchfield. 

July I, " Ezra D. Pratt, Cornwall, and Aurilia A. Rood, Torrington. 

Sept. 29, " George B. Morse and Jane L. Mix, Torrington. 

Oct. 12, " Lewis Bristol, Biookheld, and Mary A. Long, Torrington. 

" 12, " Lorenzo E. Gone and Clarinda Wilcox, Torrington. 

Nov. 3, ♦' Auguat^s Menill, New Hartford, and Adeline Wooding, Torrington. 

Dec. 6, " Christopher Senior, New Britain, and Elizabeth Hollis, Torrington. 

Dec. 23, *' Doct. J. W. Phelps and Charlotte A. Hayden, TorrL-igton. 

" 27, " Augustus F. Pope and Abba L Spencer, Torrington. 

Jan. 7, 1847, Enoch Jahnson and Adaline Palmer, Torrington. 

" 12, " John C. Woodruff, New Hartford, and MariUa Clark. Winchester. 

Feb. 28, " Francis Clark, Winsted, and Mary L Perkins, Winsted. 

Apr. 5, " Augustus Adams, Ohio, and Anna Barber. Torrini;ton. 

" 4, " Abner M. WiUon, Vernon, N. Y., and Mary L. Scoville, Torrington. 

May 26, " Rufus W. Gillett and Charlott M. Smith, Torrington. 

Sept. 19, " Cornelius A. Wiriship and Helen A. Kimberly, Torrington. 

Aug. 22, " Charles Pilguin and Elizabeth M. Smith, Torrington. 

Sept. 19, " Edward R. Hubbard, Winsted, and Tryphena S. Palmer, Litchfield. 

Oct. 2, " Charles F. Bancroft and Emma Eaves, Torrington. 

" 3, " William Harrison and Almira Freeman, Torrington. 

" 17, " James Gilbert, Waterbury, and Lucy M. Royce, Norfolk. 

" 27, " Martin V. Drake and Sally A. Drake, Torrington. 

(No Date. Erastus Simons, Colebrook, and Rosetta M. Simons, Torrington. 

Dec. 24, " Burr Manville, Waterbury, and Jemima I. Forest, Torrington. 1 

" 26, '■ James Asiiborn, Litchfield, and Lucinda Smith, Torrington. 

Jan. II, 1848, Moses M. Weed, Barkhamsted, and Deborah S. Maltby, Torrington. 

'• 30, " Henry Bernard, Winchester, and Joan C. Stone, Litchfield. 

Apr. 3, " Richard Gingeil, Norfolk, and Lucia W. Whiting, Torrington. ' 

" 9, " Burwell Riggs, Torrington, and Emeline Kendall, SufHeld. 4 

May 7, " Hiram Lyman and Julia M. Ostrum, Toriington. 

July 2, " George Blakeslee, Torrington, and Marian Davis, Newtown. 

" 4, '■ NeLon Alvord, Torrington, and Adaline Skiff, New York. '. 

May 4, " A. G. Bradford and Maria Scott. 

" 17, " Edward Root and Jane Barbour. j 

July 12, " Lewis G. Burgess and Eliza L. Hurlbut, Winchester. ' 

" 25, " Elcada Plerpont and Polly Carrington, Torrington. '; 

Aug. 29, *' McKenzie Millard and Ellen E. Munn, " 

Oct. I, " Burritt Tuttle and Catharine Bissell. ' 

" 17, " Harvey L. Rood and Susan M. Humphrey, Guilford. 

Nov. 5, " James Smith and Harriet Maine, Torrington. ' 

" 19, " George W. Church and Eveline B. Lathrop Sheffield. ' 

" 30, " Jonathan Coe, Winsted, and Betsey Wetmore, Torrington. ; 

Dec. 31, " Selden Beach, N. Y., and Mary A. Dunbar, " 

July 8, 1849, Cyrus Hubbard and Harriet Taylor, Torrington. \ 

" " *' Orson Moss, Litchfield, and Eliza Beach, Mass.  

Jan. 16, " Charles Catlin and Anna B. Churchill, Torrington. 

Feb. 27, " Harvey Da) ton, Torrington, and Anna A. Castle, Harwinton. ! 

May 9, " Andrew A. Hull, Burlington, and Sirah J. Burr, Torrington. ; 

" 27, " John L. Wilcox and Chloe L. Strickland, Warren. j 

" " " Hiram Pulver and Jane A. Kimberly, Torrington. " 

Apr. 10, '• George R. Clark and Susan R. Grant, " ; 

" 19, " Merrill Treat and Henrietta M. Taylor, " f 

May, " Horace H. Bunce and Anna Curtiss, " * 

" 14, " William L. Merrill, Waterbury, and Ellen Cleveland, Torrington. . 

" 22, '' Francis D. Farley, Mass , and Rhoda Rood, Torrington. j 

June 23, " Henry L. Smith and Amanda Mitchell, " < 

Sept. 30, " Charles Atwater, Waterbury, and Amanda Merrill, Naugatuck. ,1 



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Lists of Names. 289 

Lucius Emmons, Litchfield, and Almeda 1. Leach, Torrington. 
Robert C. Martin, Goshen, and Laura L. Browne, " 

Russell L. Pond and Francis L. Rouse, Torringon. 
Doct. R. S. Olmstead, Brooklyn, and Charlotte A. Hungerford, Tor. 
Thomas Tibbals, Norfolk, and Charlotte Sperry, Torrington. 
Henry Hurlbut, Torrington, and Helen B. Swan, Springfield. 
Henry D. Robbins, Norfolk, and Caroline Cones, Salsbury. 
Horace \V. Barber, Harwinton, and Jannette S. Birge, Torrington. 
John A. Wainwright, Wisconsin, and Harriet C. Hayden, Torrington. 
Alfred Brown anJ Alicy Leach, Torrington. 
James Wadhams and Ledelia Piatt, Torrington. 
Dr. J. B. Whiting and Frances A. Hungerford, Torrington.' 
Timothy guintin and Mary Thorne, Torrington. 
Levi Caton, N. Hartford, and Fidelia Hart, Torrington. 
William Brown and Roxanna Scott, Goshen. 
Cornelius SkitF, Wmsted, and Ann E. Millard, Torrington. 
John H. Adams and Catharine Jajkins. 
Luther L. Leach and Huldah M. Hart, Torrington. 
Penfitld Burr and Ellen C. Birge, Torrington 

Emery E. Taylor, Glastonbury, and Sarah J. Dutton, Torrington. 
Julius F. Blakeslee and Lucina Pelton, Torrington. 
Chester Callcnder, Salsbury, and Rosetta Brunt, Torrington. 
Lewis R. Butler, Harwinton, and Pearly A. Brace, Torrington. 
John C. Foote, Goshen, and Jane E. Humphrey, Torrington. 
Sanford H. Perkins, N. Britain, and Adaline Barber, Torrington. 
Bradley Bellamy and Angeline E. ^Jitchell, Torrington. 
George W. Elmer, Winchester, and Julia Johnson, Torrington. 
Robcit B. Hughs and Adaline M. Hall, Torrington. 
John A. White, Seymour, and Annis C. Brown, Harwinton. 
Luther G. Hinsdale and Julia A Wooding, Torrington. 
Burwell Carter, Ansonia, and Achsa Tailmadge, Torrington. 
Franklin Abbott, Ansonia, and Angeline E. Cowles, Torrington. 
Talden Stump, Winsted, and Almira Gibbs, Goshen. 
Warren M White, New York, and Flora M. Skiff, Torrington. 
George W. Chapman, Winchester, and Susan R. Starks, Torrington. 
Morris E. Munger, Winsted, and S. A. Hart, N. Hartford. 

Samuel J. Stocking and Mary L. Fellows, Torrington. , 

Lewis Bue!l and Eunice Wooding, Toirington. I 

David Westover, Litchfield, and Emily M. Pond, Torrington. | 

Edwin Leach and ^ ienna T. Spencer, Torrinjton. J 

Joseph W. Loveland, Plainville, and fosephine J. Beach. ) 

Timjthy Root, Plainville. and Mary J. Goodwin, Torrington. 
James L. Dean, Torringtjn, and Alvira McKee, Waterbury. 
Cereno J. Wymin, Nova Scotia, and Elizabeth J. Coe, Torrington. 
Amariah S. Austin, Litchfield, and Mary E. Hine, Plymouth. 

Henry Kimberly, Goshen, and Lucy Hurlbut, Torrington. i 

Ralph P. Moore and Catharine P. North, " ' 

Norman Buell, Litchfield, and Hannah Spencer, " I 

Albert H. Smith, Salsbury, and Antha Crampton, '' ' 

Charles H. Perkins and f'harlotte Buell, Harwinton. 

Alanson A. Woodruff, Litchfield, and Charlotte A. Phillis, Torrington. 
Cornelius Reinders and Elizabeth Whiting, Torrington. 
Omar C. Stocking and Louisa M. Pierce, " 

Nonidan B-;nnett and Mary J. Hart, " 

Lewis H Todd, Plymouth, and Sarah A. Fellows, Torrington. ; 

Levi O. Smith, New Britain, and Martha E. Hollis, Torrington. 1 

Francis H. Parker, Massachusetts, and Sabra Thrall, " 

Orrin H. Cook, Winsted, and Margaret A. Judd, " ! 

John C. Reese, Philadelphia, and Hannah Shipley, " ! 

[ohn C. Gilett, and (ane M. Winchell, Torrington. 
Baldwin Reed, Sharon, and Mary J. Rrice, Harwinton. 
Edward Peters, New Hartford, and Maria Casey, New Hartford. i 



290 



History of Torrington. 



Dec. 10. 1853, George Hurlbut, and Edis Hamilton, Torrington. 

Jan. 1,1854, Giles D. Allen and Mary A Williams, " 

Oct. 9. 1853, Albert Riggs, and Frances C. Williams. 

Feb. 19, 1854, John L. Beach, Plymouth, and Mary E. Leach, Torrington. 

Hicks Seaman, Colebrook, and Cbloe A. Mott, " 

Elias E. Gilman, Haitland, and Sarah Coe, " 

Samuel Sperry and Lucinda A. Hart, " 

Rodney Brace and Arzeline Case, " 

Hudsjn J. Hazen, Waterbury, and Elizabeth M. Kimberly. 

George W. Bullin, Watertown, and Marietta Weldon, Torrington. 

Hudson Burr and Lucy Pelton, Torrington. 

Alvin E. Barber and Julia Birge, Harwinton. 

George Curtiss, Northtield, and Emeline P. Whiting. 

Hugh Lawton and .'Mice Penvvorthy. 

Frederick Cober and Catharine Hartstone. 
21, 1855, William O. Rourk and Mary Cragan, Torrington. 

Frederick Grieder and Maria C Cun, Torrington 

Andrew M. Belcher, R. L, and Mary J. Johnson, Torrington. 

Henry J. Wilmot, N. Hartford and Lucia E. Hotchkiss, Naugatuck. 

John B. Lyman, N. Hartford, and Laura Curtiss, Torrington. 

John M. Gardner, Cornwall and Roxey L. Wh'.ting, Torrington. 

Andrew Mallahan and Elizabeth O'Connel, Torrington. 

William M. Bennett and Diantha Smith, Torrington. 

WiUard O. Barber and Mary Ellen Woodward, Torrington. 

George A. Goudale, N. Britain, and Mary A. Caldwell, Torrington. 

Patsey Duggin and Mary E. Bennett, Torrington. 

Nathan W. Tubbs and Harriett M. Webster, Torrington. 

John Murphy and Margaret Hickey, Torrington. 

Lyman Mather and Roxey Cone, Torrington. 

Samuel Hawkins and Louisa E. Blakeslee, Torrington. 

Uri L. Whiting and Hannah L. Oviatt, Torrington. 

Merritt Bronson, N. Hartford,. and Mary Jane Bissell, Torrington. 

Charles R. Welton and Caroline A. Chandler, Torrington. 

Willard H. Barber and Jane C Wilson, Torrington. 

Walter S. Lewis and Mary J. Wooding, Torrington. 

Warren B. Murray and Aurelia A. Blakeslee, Torrington, 

Egbert Van Dusen and Martha Reed, Torrinaton. 

George H. Bowns and Sarah E. Birdsell, Torrington. 

Joseph Deming, Colebrook, and Charlotte J. North, Torrington. 

Theodore D. Beardsley, Monroe, and Emma J. Whiting, Torrington. 

Edward C. Hotchkiss and Amelia C. Briggs, N. Y. 

Oscar E. Shepard, Mass., and .Mary Hurlbut, Torrington. 

Harvey R. Fellows and Caroline E. Morris, Torrington. 

J. M. Holmes, Waterbury, and Helen J. North, Torrington. 

Seth B. St. John, Sharon and Saloma, M. Lyman, Torrington. 

Michael Dwyer, Torrington, and Mary Grant, Litcfiheld. 

Chauncey Leach and Adeline S. Mott, Torrington. 

Phineas Mix, Harwinton, and Mary Session, Torrington. 

Roger C. Barber and Elizabeth Goodwin, Torrington. 

Dr. John W. Gamwell, III., and L. Jennie North, Torrington. 

Thomas J. Hubbard and Esther E. Chase, Torrington. 

Pliny M. White, Winchester, and Lucy A. Hamilton, Torrington. 
[57, Frederick Thompkins and Caroline A. Blackeslee, " 

Patrick Carrull and Ellen Malay, Torrington. 

Andrew S. Baldwin, Kansas, and Mary E. Burr, " 

Michael Casey and Marcella Nooney, Torrington. 

Calvin Aldrich and Fidelia E. Marble, " 

Harliiw S. Johnson and Alma Jane Hamlin, Torrington. 

Edward J, Langdon, Berlin, and Mary Ann Rogers, Hartford, 

John B. Babcock, Goshen, and Maria Gieen, Salsbury. 

I'each J. Downs and FVancis M. Brown, Torrington. 

William Davis, Jr., Goshen, and Sarah E. Thrall, Torrington. 



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Lists of Names. 291 

David C. Munson, Litchfield, and Sarah A. Holcomb, Torrington. 
Alfred B. Smith, Winchester, and Christina J. Christie, Watertown. 
M ircus Brockway, New Britain, and Adeline M Pond, Torrington. 
John S. Harris, Naugatuck, and Mary Morton, Naugatuck. 
William Moses and Rogenia M. Cone, Torrington. 
Silas D. Crossman and Harriet P. Drake, Goshen. 
Lewis L. Johnson and Mary Malory, Torrington. 
Patrick Doyle and Catherine Kirby, " 

David Strong, Chatham, and Maria C. Colt, Torringtou. 
Dana L. Hungerford and Caroline Grace, " 

Frederick f. Bailey and Catharine A. Snow, " 

William M. Hyde and Eliza M. Ostrum, " 

Richard W. Roberts and Mary E. Johnson, " 

Jacob Klonowski and Margaret Ryan, " 

John M. Wadhams, Goshen, and Myrantha D. Gillett, Torrington. 
Alonzo Smith and Martha Hai^ht, Torrington. 
William Ford and Susan M. Wilson, Torrington. 
Oscar Moses Canton and Amelia Moses, Torrington. 
Edwin F. Townsend, Wis., and Mary Jane Wadhams, Torrington. 
Rev. Jonathan A. Wainwright, N. Y., and Caroline H. Hayden, Tor. 
Edwin Welden, Torrington, and Mary Ann Smith, Bristol. 
Henry H. Barber, Litciifield, and Hannah E. Johnson, Torrington. 
Charles M. Johnson and Amelia Griswold, Torrington. 
Edward M. Balcom and Jane Mason, Torrington. 
Charles O. Baldwin, Harwinton, and Sarah Burr, Torrington. 
Hobart B. Milier and Fannie E. A^ather, Torrington. 
James Ashborn and Maria L. Cook, Torrington. 
Thomas Do\Ie and Fanny McKallan, Litchhcld. 
Theron S. Carroll, Bristol, and Eglrgene Stevens, Bristol. 
John S. Johnson and Harriet L. Freeman, Torrington. 
Julius Garrett, N. Hartford, and Sarah E. Wedge, Litchfield. 
Dr Jeremiah W. Phelps and Mindwell M. Beardslee, Torrington. 
Martin L. Judd, Torrington, and Harriet F. Sanger, Mass. 
Charles L. Hill and Charlotte M. Slade, Torrington. 
Wolcott Little and Mary C. Hart, Torrington. 
Bronson B. Turtle, Naugatuck, and Mary A. Wilcox, Litchfield. 
Sidney G Lant, L. L, and Mary E. Barber, Torrington. 
Anson F. Balcom and Harriet King, Torrington. 
John Kearney and Catharine Tray, Torrington. '. 

George D. Bentley, Goshen, and Sarah L. Blakeslee, Torrington. j 

William O. Mora and Margaret Hagenv, Torrington. i 

Alexander M. Brooker, Litciifield, and Sarah J. Leach, Torrington. i 

Noah Benedict and Julia Williams, Torringtou. ^ 

Thomas Pusey, and Sarah Long, Torrington. I 

George W. Pierce and Carrie M. Westlake, Torrington. 

George Brooks, Goshen, and jMary Main, Torrington. ' 

John D. Coe and Sarah Ann Berry, Toriington. 
Fowler S. Fenn and Margaret E. Coe, Plymouth. 

Selah Steele, Winchester and Eliza Humphrey, Torrington. j 

Hiram T. Coby, Plymouth, and Urena Shevalier, Goshen. I 

Hurlbut C. Hayes and Ann E. Turner, Torrington. , 

George D. Read and Julia A. Sawyer, " j 

Salmon Root, F. Haven, and Caroline Matthews, Plymouth. j 

Freeman Yale, Canaan, and Julia Taylor, Torrington. I 

Florimond D. Fyler and Abigail A. Steele, *' j 

Frederick J. Pierce, Cornwall, and Mary E. Reed, Torrington. 
Asahel L Lyon, Bridgeport, and Louisa Whiting, " 

James Beach, Iowa, and Caroline J. Wilson, " 

Garrett Lynch, Litchfield, and Catharine Downs, Litchfield. 
Stephen L. Wright and Sarah Dingwell, Plymouth. 
Joseph M. Watson, N. Y. city, and Julia A. Wooding, Torrington. 
Nathan S. Bronson, New Haven, and Charlotte A. Pond, " 



292 History of Torrington. 

3, 1861, Frederick Renier, Hartford, and Emeline F. Thrall, Torrington. 
Charles H. Seymour and Mary E. Judd, Torrington. 
Uriel Burr and Fanny Taylor, Torrington. 
Carlton C. Fyler and Louisa R. Barber, Torrington. 
Henry H. Riggs, Harwinton, and Emma J. Smith, Torrington. 
James McDonald and Margaret Dewire, Torrington. 
Charles McNeil, Litchfield, and Seraphina Warner, " 

Andrew Bowns, Torrington, and Almira Gillett, Goshen. 
1862, Ge-jrge Murphey, Norfolk, and Mary A. Wilson, Torrington. 
Samuel Terry, Simsbury, and Annette Goodwin, " 

Leroy W. Wetmore and Lucy Ann Hill, Torrington. 
Jay E. Johnson and Mary A. Starks, " 

George M. Mason, Torrington, and Mary M. Catlin, Litchfield. 
Lewis B. Follett, Ansonia, and Sarah Smith, Torrington. 
Samuel Burr and Mary Robe;tson, Torrington. 
Henry B. S. Humphrey and Henrietta L. Rogers, " 
Milo and Emogene E. Webster, Torrington, 

Carrell F. North and Amelia F. Smith, " 

Wellington A. Rowse and Caroline M. Johnson, Goshen. 
Robert Wright, Torrington, and Amelia Sanders, Canaan. 
Thomas Hayes and Bridget, Dewire, Torrington. 
James Humphrey, Goshen, and Emily T. Pendleton, Norfolk. 
James F. Beach, Winchester, and Harriet A. Starks, Torrington. 
Lorenzo Cleaveland and Maria B. Churchill, Torrington. 
James Whelan and Ana Fannin^', Torrington. 
Willis Bartholomew, Mass., and Triphena Blausett, Sheffield. 
Charles Wm. Lake and Emily Sadley, Torrington. 
Lewis G. Logan and Mary M. Hammond, Torrington. 
Dexter W. Clark and Fanny E. Langdon, Torrington. 
Charles S. Barber and Ellen Jones, Harwinton. 
Lewis Riggs and Charlotte S. Johnson, Torrington. 
Nelson Hodges and Delia Johnson, Torrington. 
Riley B. Johnson and Louisa Bronson, Torrington. 
William H. Dayton and Clara B. Case, Torrington. 
William H. McCarthy and Jennie E. Johnson, Torrington. 
Nelson Harrison and Sarah A. Jones, Torrington. 
Homer C. Allen and Eliza Geer, Torrington. 
George R. Colt and Margaret E. Griswold, Torrington. 
Edward L. Thrall and Julia A. Morris, Torrington. 
Auj;u3tus Pope and Mary J. Cook, Torrington. 
William S. Marvin and Lucy A. Kelsey, Torrington. 
Charles N. Balconi, Torrington, and Nancy Baughn, Winchester. 
Milo Cleveland, Harwinton, and Cynthia A. Eggleston, Torrington. 
Enos N. Marshall and Laura J. Loomis, Torrington. 
Theron D. Luddington and Frances J. Palmer, Goshen. 
Tlieodore H. Reed and Laura E Birge, Torrington. 
Michael Dooley, N. Hartford, and Catharine Fitzgerald, Torrington 
Patrick Moran, Litchfield and Bridget Carr, Torrington. 
Gregory Connor and Ellen Conway, Torrington. 
Edward A. Atwater, Cheshire, and Julia L. Hills, Torrington. 
John Ashborn and Lucella H. Gardner, Torrington. 
John L. Bissell. and Mary Messenger, Torrington. 
Charles L. Fellows, and Julia E. Crippen, Torrington. 
William H. Reed and Emma E. Mason, " 

Henry G. Candee, Naugatuck, and Sarah M Scovill, Litchfield. 
Oliver P. Coe, Litchfield, and Annie Ashborn, Torrington. 
James C. Cleveland and Sarah Judd, New Hartford. 
Nelson W. Coe and Caroline E. Workman, Torrington. 
Dwight Burr and Margaret E. Hamlin, " 

Levi J. Couch and Mary J. Robertson, " 

Lucius Clark, Canaan, and Sarah J. Wright, " 
John W. Cook and Cornelia Beach, Torrington. 



June 


3. 


1861, 


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Lists of Names. 293 



Nov. 3z, 1864, Hobert E. French, Seymour, Mary E. Todd, Torrlngton. 

Dec. 10, " Mathew Ryan, Litclifield, and Catharine Troy, " 

«' 28, " William B. Bryan, Wasliington, and Loretta Gear, " 

" 29, " Albert C. Norton, Waterbury, and Roxy A. North, " 

Jan. 8, 1S65, Patrick Slater and Margaret Bradshaw, " 

Henry F. Bellamy and Julia E. Johnson, " 

John Moir, Stamford, and Matilda Hoffman, " 

William Condray and Lucy Grant. Salsbury. 

Andrew T. Finn, Milford, and Theresa Hjffman, Torrlngton. 

David W. Smith and Hattie M. Todd, " 

John Terry and Susannh A. Adams, " 

Ansel E. Wheeler and Hattie Johnson, '• 

Earnech Forrest, New Britain, and Harriet A. Beardsley, Torington. 

Edward H. Robinson, Ruckville, and Alice B. Smith, " 

Cornelius Hammond and Ellen Sweeney, Torrlngton. 

John H. Wadhams, Illinois, and Mary G. Felton, Torrlngton. 

James H. Mott and Sarah J. Bronson, " 

Michael Hayes and Minifred Cahalan, Torrlngton. 

Maurice Joy and Margaret Whalon, " 

Stephen E. Calkins, New Jersey, and Jane A. Birge, Torrlngton. 

John N. Lyman, Cornwall, and Lydia C. Messenger, Torrlngton. 

George W. Weldon, Winsted, and Sarah J. Hull, Torrlngton. 

Benjamin F. Page and Frances M. Smith, Litchfield. 

Lant and Honora Donovan, Torrlngton. 

Alonzo Barber, Harwinton, and Mary E. Cleaveland, Torrlngton. 

James Moran, Mass., and Dorothy A. Vary, Torrlngton. 

Orsamus K. Fyler and Mary E. V.iill, Torrlngton. 
1866, James S. Workman and Maria L. Clark, " 

John M. Pitcairn, New York city, and Frances E. Clark, Litchfield. 

Nathan B. Phelps and Carrie M. Bancroft, Torrlngton. 

Edward F. Leopold, New Haven, and Carrie J. Huke, Torrlngton. 

Henry N. Princle, Goshen, and Ellen Dugan, " 

John T. Ambler and Rachel M. Wedge, Warren, 

John A. Moore, Colebrook, and Irene H. North, Torrlngton. 

Henry H. Smith, Burlington, and Ellen L. Hart, *' 

Jonas G. French and Fannie M. Nettleton, Milford. 

Charles W. Smith and Emma A. Leach, Torrington. 

George B. Colgrove and Mary E. Hurlbut, Amherst. 

Henry D. Pierce, Ohio, and Charlotte D. Stocking, Torrington. 

Theron S. Waugh, Morris, and Alice S. Welton, Bethlem, 

David Strong and Emerette S. Colt, Chatham. 

Seymour Eldridge, Goshen, and Emmogene Cjok, Torrlngton. 

Edward H. Herring and Tamzen C. Welch, Torrington. 

Eli Hoyt and Frances Cable, Torrington. 

Edward T. Hopkins and Gertrude E. Waterman, Torrington. 

Hiram M. Stark and Irene Drake, Torrington. 

David Shoars, Winchester, and Mary Bailey, Torrington. 

Cassimtr H. Bronson and F. Augusta Palmer, " 

Lather A. Weldon and Mary E. Palmer, " 

William W. Hart and Lydia E. Waugh, " 

W. H. K. Godfrey, Waterbury, and Addie E. Coe, Torrington. 

Frederick Barber and Jennie Resley, Torrington. 

Abel Griswold and Lucy M. Kimberly, Hartford. 

Patrick McElhone and Margaret J. Cleary, Goshen. 

Henry E. Hotchkiss and Jennie M. Brady, Torrington. 

Henry P. Hendey and Clara A. Feussenich, " 

Sherman J. Cables and Jane Johnson, " 

Edwin B. Sanford, Litchfield, and Charlotte Downs, Torrington. 

William H. Garner, Derby, and Martha Workman, « 

S. W. Abbott and Louisa Wadhams, Litchfield. 

John R. Blakeslee, Torrlngton, and Emma E. Hart, Unionville. 

Henry C. Franklin, Merlden, and H. Louisa Smith, Torrington. 



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294 History of Torrington. 



R. Allen Hathaway, Meriden, and Frances J. Parker, Texas. 
Burton W. Hart and Kitchen . 
Davis Peck and Sarah A. Morris, Burlington. 
Curtiss V. Wedge, Litchfield, and Alice E. Johnson, Torrington. 
William H. Farnham, Morris, and Christine G. Robinson, New Britain. 
John W. Foley, Mass., and Winnifred Killune, Boston. 
Roswell Thompson and Helen A. Scoville, Harwinton. 
Henry M. Taylor, Hartford, and Lizzie Foster, Winchester. 
Lewis Goodwin, Hartford, and Emma S. Cole, Warren. 
Frederick Freeman, Torrington, and Julia Sayles, \^ inchester. 
Nathan A. French and Sarah J. Abbott, Litchfield. 
John G. Brothwell and Addie M. Holcomb, Torrington. 
William Jeffrey, England, and Hannah Lawton, Goshen. 
Jesse B. .'lose and Harriet E. Griswold, Torrington. 
Tracy B. Thompson, Bethlem and Addie E. Brewer, Mass. 
Edward C. C stle and Fannie M. Staples, Conn. 
Lyman Dunbar, Torrington, and Catharine King, Mass. 
Melvin H. Granger and Addie Abbott, Conn. 
Patrick A. Smith and Mary A. Moran, Hartford. 

Frederick L. Robertson, Torrington, and Sarah J. Pritchard, Waterbury, 
Sidney S. Boyd and Mary Swift, N. Y. 
George W. Beardsley, Mass., and Charlotte C. Royce. 
Samuel L Reed and Delia Kimberly, Torrington. 
Edward W. Russ and Ella J. Johnson, Torrington. 
Samuel R. Tucker and Marietta Weldon, N. Britain. 
Rollin Wilson and Augusta Evans, Torrington. 
Theodore W. Austin and Elizabeth A. Oviatc. 
George F. Waterhouse and Emeline E. Stearns. 
Eugene Lynch and Margaret Battus. 
Gei>rge W. Wheeler and Eliza E. Turk. 
J. Wolcott Wheeler and Jennie E. Cowles, Torrington. 
Frederick Devoe and Abbie J. Phelps, Torrington. 
Nathan R. Tibbals and Mary J. Mott, Torrington. 
Henry H. Rowley and Chloe L. Grant, Torrington. 
Samuel Carpenter and Mary J. Walling, Torrington. 
Garrett Reinders and Elizabeth Smith, Torrington. 
James Burr and Eliza King. 
James Cullim and Johannah Dewyre. 
Andrew Alender and Elizabeth Scott. 
John A. Beach and Mary J. Barber. 
, 1868, George H. Fish and Carrie A. Sperry. 

Orlando M. Carr and Flora R. Grant, Torrington. 
Robert Palmer and Ellen A Bogart, Torrington. 
John W. Reid and Ella J. Lobdell. 
Charles Carter and Sarah Sayles. 
Henry Nobut and Elizabeth Mason. 
David M. Grant and Paulina Benedict. 
Lewis S. Barnes and Ella C. North, Torrington. 
Richard Harrison and Mary Van Allen, Torrington. 
Patrick Leahy and Honora Gearey, Torrington. 
Albert M. Scott and Sarah E. Van De Bogart, Torrington. 
Hiram Coleman and Fidelia Hotchkiss, Torrington. 
Timothy Dalton and Bridget Cleaiy. 
Charles Judd and Marinda Waugh. 
James Gibson and Margaret Wall. 
Patrick O'Connor and Mary A. McDonald. 
Michael Walsh and Ellen Murphy. 

Ransom P. Ellsworth and Eliza M. Castle, Torrington. 
Philip Dewyre and Mary Gary. 
Paul Rogers and Mary Beach, Torrington. 
8, " Henry Carter and Mary J. Jackson. 

18, " Wilber Hayden and Augusta L. Abbott, Harwinton. 



Jan. 


I, 


1867 


(( 


I, 


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9, 


<( 


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14, 


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18, 


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6, 


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9, 


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Lists of Names. _ 295 



Oct. 18, 1868, Patrick Whealan and Mary Fanning, Torrington. 
James McKenzie and Nellie Feussenich. 
Adam Dillon and Julia Freeman, Torrington. 
Elmar R. Alcott and Addie Johnson, Torrington. 
Warren W. Wilcox and Emily S. Kenecttle. 
George Welden and Julia Bentley. 
Charles McKenzie and Lucy J. Cook, Torrington. 
William A. Stone and Hattie M. Alderman, Torrington. 
Dwight Trask and Emma Robbins. 
John Hogan and Catharine Carroll. 
Urwin C. Stone and Kjte L. Walling. 
1869, Wilbur W. Birge and Julia Waterman, Torrington. 
Henry C. Church and Delia Chase. 
Nathan W. Harden and Alice A. Munger. 
Andrew E. Workman and Helen M. Taylor. 
John Mclnerney and Mary Geary. 
William H. Tuttle and Jane M. Beaney. 
Eugene Brown and Emily Dayton. 
Wilber A. Guild and Jenette J. Kitchen. 
Henry M. Selden and Mrs. F. C. Stone. 
Vincent Belden and Susan E. Perkins. 
G. W. Vail and Ella M. Smith. 
James M. Chatfield and Christina Robertson. 
Hugh McDonald and Maria Dewyre. 
Edward Carroll and Aurelia Carroll. 
Thomas Butler and Catharine Dewyre. 
Henry F. Pomeroy and Carrie E. Birge. 
George P. Bissell and Mary Moses. 
Julius Glusteker and Louisa Friend. 
Edson W. Davis and Anna M. Griswold. 
Charles Walton and Caroline Van Allen. 
Lewis McCrary and EU.n Aables. 
Francis M. Holly and Lucinda R. Hayden. 
1, 1870, James Leakey and Catharine Bomberry. 
John L. Humphrey and Maria L. Grant. 
Hurlbut L. Hayes and Phebe A. Slater. 
Adam Biggel and Anna Hewett. 
Henry C. Franklin and Sarah L. Smith. 
Ernord Benson and Margaret Dewyre. 
Willis Carter and Ellen Sayles. 
Arthur Hendee and Fannie E. Brimble. 
Andrew G. Kitchen and Eliza Hart. 
G. Seymour Weeks and Eliza H. Glazier. 
James McDermet and Bridget ^Lihan. 
Andrew J. Ford and Mary C. Hubbell. 
Louis Ruel and Harriett- S. Palmer. 
Patrick Halpine and Anne Flahly. 
Joseph Brothwell and Adelia M. Piatt. 
James H. Preston and Elizabeth Van Valkenburg. 
Lewis Goodwin and Lurinda Sperry. 
Frederick L. Wadhams and Sarah M. Goodwin. 
Seaman R. Fowl r and Mary J. Hopkins. 
H. Nelson Barrows and Jane Johnson. 
Thomas E. Sanford and Lorinda R. Smith. 
Erastus Eggleston and Ellen Drake. 
Chester A. Woolworth and Mary E. Athurton. 
Lawrence Neary and Mary Barns. 
Frederick H. Hart and Sarah J. Fancher. 
John Egan and Margaret McDonald. 
Lazerne H. Burt and Annie E. Bryant. 
Charles Edward Seymour and Harriet E. Reed. 
William A. Sherman and Louisa Belden. 



« 


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Dec. 


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(( 


Jan. 


20, 


1869, 


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Apr. 


I, 


1869, 


May 


15. 


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296 



History of Torrington. 



Nov. 13, 1870, Patrick Cahill and Catharine Donahue. 
James Hayes and Mary Horan. 
Hubert T. Hart and Sarah L. Saunders. 
I, 1871, Albert W. Camp and L. Augusta Fenn. 
Albert F. Bradley and Emma J. Stiles. 
Lewis Riggs and Julia A. Thrall. 
Edward S. Andrus and Lucy E. Pond. 
William F. Bishop and Mary E. Pond. 
Peter Keltenback and Charlotte Gramm. 
William E. BucJily and Adaline R. Starks. 
William Guerin, and Sarah O'Conner. 
Albert Allen, and Emeline Marsh. 
Andrew D. Noony, and Susan E. Hayden, 
Joseph Hirtile, and Theresa iiohm. 
William C. Willard, and Alice C. Treat. 
Frederick Wilcox, and Lucy Hodges. 
William Hurlburt and Mary Burn. 
F. H. Kellogg and Jerusha Kellogg. 
Henry F. Goodwin and Mary Reader. 
George Weldon and Alice Burnett. 
M. B Pratt and Annie A. Lowe. 
Nelson Beavier and Sarah R. Curtiss. 
Charles Aldiis and Alice F. Matthews. 
Elihu Dayton and Etta Dayton. 
Patrick Harty and Johanna Shay. 
Charles Kelly and Harriet Preston. 
Cornelius Donohue and Maria Dewyre. 
Lucius Emmons and Laura H. Tuttle. 
Christie Siebert and Lizzie Law. 
Clinton E. Lyman and Maria E. Wilcox. 
Thomas J. AUdis and Sarah H. Barbour. 
Edward Smith and Eralzal A. Berry. 
James Learbey and Catharine'Harmon. 
Samuel Bishop and Phebe McCabe. 
Henry A. Weir and Emma O. Stocking. 
Eaton J. Gross and Ella A Curtiss. 
James A. Stewart and Alice Munger. 
Albert Burr and Mary F. Van Vaulkenburg. 
Charles E. Brown and Ella J. Brooker. 
Lucius P. Drake and Adelia J. Brace. 
Frederick R. Matthews and Sarah A. Workman. 
Patrick Fieley and Ellen Gearu. 
Frank M. Wheeler and Helen A. Langdon. 
Frank A. Stone and Martha Gilbert. 
Edwin E. Rose and Maria E. Hamilton. 
John T. Farnham and Ellen L. Cook. 
John Kelly and Bridget Carey. 
James Leahy and Catharine Hannor. 
1873, Joshua Gaylord and Mary E. Williams. 

Charles Goreshank and Amy S. Chamberlain. 
Garett Rcinders and Margaret McGhee. 
Timothy Canty and Mary J. Slater. 
Mortimer B. Hefferman and Bridget Carroll. 
Dwight iNL Allen and Eva C. Johnson. 
Herbert C. Humphrey and Miranda Lattimer. 
William Barford and Sarah J. Curtiss. 
William Flemming and Jemima C. Taylor. 
William S. Bierce and Emerette D. Prindle. 
Thomas Quinn and Anna Dewyre. 
John Mara and Hanora Bray. 
John Burns and Mary McCarthy. 
George H. Atkins and Mary E. Glazier. 



(( 


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Lists of Names. 297 



June 4, 1873, Henry K. Chatfield and Frances D. Southy. 
" " " Horace Burr and Sarah J. Andrews. 

Charles Whitney and Marion M. Brooker. 
Alfred H. Wallace and Rosa A. Palmer. 
Edmund E. Fenn and Mary E. Ransom. 
Gideon H. Welch and Susan C. Agard. 
Edward T. Coe, and Lillie A. Wheeler. 
James Howe, and Kate Dewyre. 
George W. Lewis and Jennie E. Pond. 
John M. Hopson and Isabel Smith. 
George Peck and Alvira Pierpont. 
Patrick Darcy and Hannah Murphy. 
Charles G. Root and Mary F. Griswold. 
Thomas Kearnan and Bridget Mara. 
Albert F. Brooker and Alice M. Cooper. 
Samuel B. Wheeler and Mary E. Baldwin. 
John H. Thomas and Mary Khank. 
George A. Brimble and Grace Snell. 
Henry T. Sharp and Emma Robbins. 
Andrew G. Kitchen and Eliza Hart. 
Charles C. Lester and Catharine Perrin. 
Dr Forest Pittibone and Charlotte V. Matthews. 
John Champion and Hannorah Carey. 
Thomas Looby and Alice Mara. 
Edwin Bierce and Laura E. Bennett. 
Oscar E. Gladwin and Mary E. Cook. 
John Depree and Sarah E. Thomas. 
George S. Clark and Alvira E. Daines. 
Herbert H. Logan and Annie M. Newton. 
Maurice Cook and Margaret E. Doyle. 
George Capell and Martha Wilson. 
Thomas G. Nichols and Ella S. Coe. 
George A. Burr and Mary "A. Grant. 
Francis L. Foote and Julia M Johnson. 
John O. Connell and Maria Madden. 
John W. Gamwell and Frances M. Barber. 
Joseph W. Ryan and Catharine Murphy. 
Henry Kirley and Elizabeth M. Smith. 
Herman F. Hoffman and Clara M. Brown. 
John Sharp and Ann Fanning. 
Harvey Barnes and Imogine Catlin. 
Ale,xander Kelsey and Ellen Kerney. 
John W. Fox and Hattie Fitzpatrick. 
Solon B. Johnson and Maitha Allyn. 
Frank W. Butten and Emma E. Crippen. 
Julius S. Klein and Anna M. Birj. 
Clemence E. Hoffman and Alice D. Knowles. 
William W. Downer and Julia J. Evans. 
William T. Davey and Matilda 0. Morse. 
Frank L. Oberhawser and Mary Carny. 
Samuel A. Andrews and Mary A. Burr. 
James A. Brannan and jSIary A. Dewyre. 
James Gleason and Anna Carey. 
Cornelius Maahan and Johanna Fitzgerald. 
Richard Fitzgerald and Julia Bradshaw. 
George W. Hawver and Clara J-. Granger. 
Henry J. Allen and Mary E. Walling. 
Thomas Batters and Mary O. Brien 
George E. Gilbert and Cornelia H. Sand. 
Dennis Kelly and Bridget Donovan. 
William O'Donnell and Mary Welch. 
Louis Eitel and Louisa Engert. 

38 



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a 


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ii 



298 



History of Torrington. 



Nov. 27, 1874, Julius L. Jorra and Caroline M. Parsons. 

" 30, " Wallace Blakeslee and Alice C. Glazier. 

" 30, " Albert Korrman and Etta Rank. 

Dec. 4, •' George D. Pond and Mary A. Dayley. 

" 14, " Myron H. Hill and Elizabeth M. Barrett. 

•' 21, " Amos F. Butler and Ella A. Cook. 

" 25, " Thomas C. Hendry and Josephine E. Feussenich. 



Baptisms. 



Baptisms by Rev. Nathaniel Roberts. 

Agard, Hezekiah, 
Agard, James, 



Mehitable, October 25, 1752. 

Ann, December 23, 1753. 

Salmon, September 16, 1 744. • 

Elizabeth, April, 12, 1747. 

Chloe, January 23, 1749. 

Sarah, May 6, 1753. 

Joseph, September 14, 1746. 

Mary, December 31, 1858. 

Elizabeth, July 4, 1762. 

Joseph, May 19, 1765. 

Chauncey, December 20, 1767. 

Jonah, June 3, 1770. 

Henry, June 6, 1773. 

Eunice, September 1750. 

Israel, July 19, 1752. 

David, May 8, 1763. 

Daniel, July i, 1764. 

Hannah, July 4, 1762. 

Esther, May 23, 1764^ 

Anna, January 6, 1766. 

Eldad, June 18, 1769. 

Samuel, July 13, 1755. 

Lucy, December 29, 1765. 

Luman, January 18, 1767. 

Olive, January 22, 1769. 

Nathaniel, August 29, 1742. 

Nathaniel, February 19, 1744. ' 

Elijah, May 11, 1746. 

Timothy, November 6, 1748. 

Chloe, April 7, 1 751. 

Lois, July 8, 1753. 

Keziah, November 16, 1755. 

Susa, February 19, 1758. 

Eli, March 29, 1761. 

Ziba, Jemima, twins, August 14, 1763. 
Barber, Nathaniel, Jr. Uriah, Oct. 22, 1769. 
Barnes, Benjamin, Miriam, November 3, 1768. 

John, Patience, twins, September 27, 1767 

Samuel, December 5, 1742. 

Rebecca, May 26, 1745. 

Mary, September 6, 1747. 

John, May 6, 1750. 

James, December 3, 1752. 

Noah, September 14, 1755. 

Martha, January 21, 1759. 

Silas, March 6, 1748. 

Levi, December 23, 1764. 

Ezra, November 2, 1766. 

Miriam, April 22, 1770. 



Agard, John, 
Allyn, Henry, 
AUyn, Joseph, 



Avered, Israel, 
Austin, David, 
Bacon, James, 

Baldwin, Samuel, 
Barber, Elijah, 
Barber, Nathaniel, 



Barnes, f Widow, 
Beach, Abel, 



Beach, Barnibas, 
Beach, Benjamin, 



Lists of Names. 



299 



Beach, Benjamin, 
Beach, Joel, 

Beach, Joseph, 



Beach, John, 

Beach Wait, 

Benedict, Bushnell, 

Benedict, Elisha, 

Benton, Josiah, 
<( (< 

Bissell, Benjamin, 



Bissell, Ezekiel, 
Birge, David, 

Birge, John, 



Blake, Joseph, 



Buel, Joseph, 
Burr, Ariel, 
Burr, John, 



Coe, Asahel. 
Coe, Ebenezer, 



Coe, Jonathan, 

Coe, Jonathan Jr., 
Coe, Oliver, 



Coe, Reuben, 
Coe, Robert, 
Coe, Thomas, 



Coe, William, 
Cook, Aaron, 

Cook, John, 



Benjamin, April 30, 1775. 
Hezekiah, October 16, 1768. 
Jeremiah, June 7, 1772. 
Experience, September 18, 1743. 
Dinah, May 29, 1750. 
Dinah, November 10, 1751. 
Abel, April 30, 1775. 
Miles, May 9, 1773. 
Anna, June 13, 1773. 
Elisha, August 24, 1760. 
Lucinda, April 3, 1767. 
Statira, January 28, 1770. 
Joseph, ]\Iarch 23, 1752. 
Elisha, March 10, 1754. 
Lorenzo, April 22, 1756. 
Keziah, May 8, 1763. 
Elizabeth, June 3, 1754. 
Eunice, April 22, 1756. 
IMary, November 17, 1751. 
Isaac, February 2, 1755. 
Simeon, May 3, 1757. 
Hannah, September 30, 1764. 
Levi, August 2, 1772. 
Seth, April 10, 1768. 
Jesse, August 6, 1769. 
Sarah, July 14, 1770. 
Barzillai, February 28, 1773. 
Joseph, July 29, 1753. 
Jared, June 19, 1774. 
Tabitha, August 4, 1754. 
Russell, January 26, 1762. 
Chloe, September 30, 1764. 
Luther, December 23, 1764. 
Eunice, May 2, 1742. s_ 
Mary, September 9, 1744. ' 
Roswell, September 28, 1746. 
Elizabeth, September 18, 1743.1 
Jerusha, April 6, 1746. 
Martha, January 8, 1749. 
Eunice, December 8, 1750. 
Lucretia, June 22, 1755. 
Lovina, April 10, 1768. 
Roger, June 11, 1775. 
Abner, June 19, 1763. 
Oliver, December 23, 1764. 
Mary, September 12, 1766. 
Justus, January 10, 1768. 
Samuel, August 24, 1755. 
Joel, July 21, 1765. 
Zechariah, December 11, 1757. 
xibigail, January 15, 1759. 
Levi, July 6, 1760. 
Lois, June 6, 1762. 
Mary, June 23, 1765. 
Eunice, August 31, 1766. 

September 1 1, 1768. 
Seth, May 7, 1758. 
Abigail, September 31, 1769. 
Ruth, September I, 1774. 
John, September 4, 1743.. 
Eunice, March 9, 1746. 
Francis, October 25, 1747. 



300 



History of Torrington. 



Cook, John, 



Cook, John, Jr., 

Cook, Joseph, 

Cook, Shubel, 
Cotton, Oliver, 
Cowles, Samuel, 



Cowles, Samuel, Jr., 
Culver, Ephraim, 
Curtiss, Job, 

Curtiss, John, 



Curtiss, Solomon, 
Curtiss, Zebulon, 



Damon, John, 

Deming, Samuel, 
Dibble, Thomas, 
Dowd, David, 
Durwin, Samuel, 
Drake, Joseph, 



Eggleston, Benjamin, 
Eggleston, Edward, 

Everts, Samuel, 
Filley, Abraham, 



Filley, William, 
Fowler, Joseph, 
Fowler, Noah, 
Frisbie, James, 
Frisbie, Theodore, 
Gaylord, Justice, 

Gaylord, Nehemiah, 

Gaylord, Timothy, 
Giles, Warren, 



" Hubael," May 28, 1749. 

Sarah, November 4, 1750. 

Edie, December 3, 1752. 

Urijah, October 20, 1754- 

Susy, November 14, 1756. 

Hannah, April 23, 1758. 

Elihu, May 5, 1761. 

Mary, March 17, 1765. 

Deborah, June 3, 1770. 

John, February 2, 1772. 

Esther, July 13, 1757. 

Anna, May 14, 1759. 

Lucinda, July 24, 1774. 

Esther, January 15, 1775. 

Abigail, June 17, 1753. 

Lois, May i, 1757. 

Zilpha, June 20, 1762. 

Noah, October 21, 1759. , 

Ephraim, February 20, I743.^ 

Zebulon, April 29, 1770. 

Ura, September 18, 177 i. 

Jeremiah, July 26, 1770. 

Huldah, March 8, 1772. 

Junia, Februaiy 28, 1774. 

Lorrain, September 24, 1775- 

Solomon, December, 1762. 

Job, July 7, 1745. 

John, April 17. 1748. 

Lydia, March 8, 1752. 

Elizabeth, June 12, 1743.^/ 

Samuel, July 15, I744.t/'' 

Samuel, December 6, 1767. 

Huldah, June i, 1755. 

Lent, November 22, 1753- 

Asa, June i, 1760. 

Ersula, May 10, 17 52. 

Elizabeth, February 17, 1754. 

Sarah, June 27, 1756. 

Joseph, December 6, 1758. 

John, September 26, 1770. 

Linda, February 16, 1772. 

Esther, July 4, 1762. 

James, June 17, 1764. 

Ezekiel, June 18, 1769. 

Philo, June 16, 1771. 

Mindwell, May 8, 1763. 

Samuel, June 4, 1769. 

Isaac, June 6, 1762. 

Jesse, September 9, 1764. 

Levi, March 31, 1767. 

Rhoda, April 29, 1769. 

Remembrance, August 11, 1754. 

Noah, September 3, 1750. 

Warren, July 29, 1775. 

James, January 26, 1762. 

Luman, January 26, 1762. 

Justice, "I . , ^ /• 

-V . ' V twms August 24, 1760 
Jemima, J o -r; / 

Nehemiah, December, 1754. 

Naomi, May 3, 1757. 

Ruth, November 4, 1753. 

Zebulon, July 3, 1774. 



Lists of Names. 



301 



Gillet, Jabez, 
Gillet, Samuel, 
Goodwin, Isaac, 
Grant, Matthew, 

Grant, William, 



Grant, William Jr., 



Griswold, Shubael, 
Higley, Isaac, 
Hills, B-^riahj 



Hills, John, 



Hills, Medad, 
Hills, Beth, 

Hoskins, Joseph, 



Hosford, Isaac, 

Hosford, William, 
Ives, Benjamin, 
Hough, Ebenezer, 
Judd, James, 
Judd, Timothy, 



Judd, Timothy Jr., 



Judd, Zehiel, 
Kelsey, Nathan, 
Leach, Richard, 



Lee, E , 

Lemberton, Obed, 
Loomis, Aaron, 



Ann, May 8, 1763. 
Samuel, August 25, 17^4. 
Huldah, September 18, 1774. 
Matthew, February 26, 1764. 
Phebe, February 2, 1766. 
William, January 10, 1742. >' 
Daniel, February 5, I744-- 
jNIerana, July 6, 1746. 
Ira, October 20, 1765. 
Triphena, July 3, 1768. 
William, October 4, 1772. 
Ira, August 5, 1774. 
Phebe, June i, 1755. y 

Susannah, January 3, 1741-2. ^ 
Mary, .March 20, 1748. 
Benoni, December 24, 1749. 
Lois, February 2, 1752. 
Chauncey, February 17, 1754- 
Bela, August 22, 1756. 
Roger Eno, March 4, 1759. 
Zimri, April 23, 1763. 
Huldah, August 9, 1767. 
lohn, "I . - ,, 

Esther,r^'"='J""'='^' '766. 
Lauren, August 21, 1768. 
Huit, September 9, 1753- 
Elisha, June 11, 1766. 
Elisha, September 31, 1769. 
Rachel, April 12, 1762. 
Theoda, May 20, 1764. 
Theoda, June 29, 1766. 
Roswell, September 31, 1769. 
Alexander, July 3, 1774. 
Mindwell, September 4, 1748. 
Aaron, January 13, 1752. 
William, September 12, 1742. 
Levi, August 26, 1754. 
Anna, December 8, 1750. 
Rebecca, March 22, 1752. 
Ozias, July 7, 1754. 
Salmon, April 11, 1756. 
Selah, March 10, 1758. 
Oliver, June 28, 1761. 
Orange, August 21, 1763. 
Selah, April 21, 1764. 
Thomas Curtiss, February 7, 1768. 
Asa, September 30, 1770. 
Elnathan, July 3, 1768. 
Lois, April 28, 1771. 
Mindwell, May 22, 1774. 
Lois, February 12, 1769. 
Nathan, JSIay 16, 1762. 
Nathaniel, May 20, 1744.- 
Abigail, January 26, 1746. 
Joshua, "1 . T o 

Caleb [f"""5' J""« '^' '748. 

Tabitha, October 6, 1751. 
Jonas, October 4, 1752. 
Richard, September 29, 1754. 
Mary, April 12, 1747. 
Nathaniel, Feb. 3, 1754. 
Lemuel, May 20, 1744. v 



302 



History of Torrington. 



Loomis, Aaron, 

Loomis, Aaron, Jr., 
Loomis, Abner, 



Loomis, Abraham, Jr 



Loomis, Abram, 

Loomis, Ebenezer, 
Loomis, Epaphras, 



Loomis, Ephraim, 
Loomis, Eli, 



Loomis, Gideon, 
Loomis, Ichabod, 

Loomis, Isachar, 

Loomis, Joel, 

Loomis, Moses, 

Lyman, Ebenezer, Jr., 



Lyman, Caleb, 
Lyon, Jonathan, 
Mather, Charles, 

Matthews, Benjamin, 
Marshall, Amasa, 
Marshall, Noah, 



Marshall, Thos., Jr. 



Huldah, March 6, 1748. 
Deborah, January 13, 1752. 
Lucy, April 25, 1756. 
Aaron, February 6, 1746. 
Hannah, December 14,1746. 
Abner, December 4, 1757. 
Richard, January 15, 1759. 
Sylvia, Jauuary 27, 1760. 
Triphena, November 13, 1763. 
Louisa, August 30, 1772. 
, Benoni, March 5, 1758. 
Mary, December 30, 1759. 
Abraham, August 5, 1764. 
Naomi, September 10, 1769. 
Alexander, July i, 1770. 
Ebenezer, June 6, 1756. 
Remembrance, March 4, 1759. 
Jerusha, March 8, 1761. 
Lorrain, June 15, 1764. 
Wait, November 24, 1765. 
Ava, July 19, 1767. 
Mary, March 6, 1775. 
Ephraim, August 27, 1758. 
Lemuel, November 4, 1764. 
Dorothy, February i, 1 7 67. 
Eli, May 27, 1770. 
Margaret, May 16, 1773. 
Cyrus, September 24, 1775. 
Russell, June 2, 1754. 
Joanna, April 22, 1756. 
Elijah, November 18, 1753. 
Thaddeus, March i, 1767. 
Sybil, July I, 1770. 
Joseph, January 18, 1767. 
Mary, June 30, 1769. 
Ira, September 16, 1770. 
Elizabeth, September-, 1753- 
Hephziba, March 26, 1758, 
Joel, October 5, 1760. 
Sarah, June 6, 1756. 
Jemima, July 16, 1758. 
Moses, October 5, 1760. 
Sybil, May 27, 1742.x, 
Esther, August 1 1, 1745. 
Caleb, May 15, 1748. 
Ebenezer, June 3, 1750. 
Rhoda, July 21, 1754. 
Medad, March 18, 1770. 
Susannah, October 23, 1757. 
Charles, June 18, 1758. 
Charles, May 8, 1763. 
Anna, August 28, 1765-7. 
Eunice, July 12, 1761. 
Noah, November 10, 1754. 
Ambrose, June 6, 1756. 
Elias, February 28, 1758. 
John, June 17, 1759. 
Roswell, August 16, 1761. 
Sarah, July 19, 1767. 
Raphael, July 28, 1765. 
Reuben, Dec. 14, 1766. 
Harvey, July 10, 1768. 



Lists of Names. 



3^3 



Marshall, Thos., Jr., 



Miller, Aaron, 
Miller, Ebenezer, 

Miller, George, 



Moore, Simeon, 



Mott, Adam, 



Mott, Jonathan, 
Meet, Lent, 



North, Ashbel, 
North, Ebenezer, 



North, Eben., Jr., 
North, Martin, 



North, Noah, 
Norton, Samuel, 



Orvis, Eleazer, 
Osbon, Timothy, 



Parmely, Lieut., 
Pettibone, Isaac, 
Pettibone, Lieut., 
Phelps, Benjamin, 



Preston, Ebenezer, 
Preston, Samuel, 

Phelps, Joshua, 
Roberts, ]np\ 



Sarah, July I, 1770. 

Levi, April 26, 1772. 

Roswell, Jan. 9, 1774. 

Thankful, April 27, 1755. 

Jonathan, January 26, 1762. 

Elizabeth), August 11, 1765. 

Phebe, January 15, 1757. 

Joel, February 28, 1758. 

Asahel December 38, 1760. 

Ruth, June 26, 1763. 

David, June 23, 1765. 

Joseph, May 31, 1767. 

Sarah, October i, 1769. 

Chloe, August 28, 1757. 

Philander, June 15, 1759. 

Simeon, April 12, 1761. 

Eldad Barber, October 30, 1763. 

Azubel, 1-/^1 r ^r, 

, . ,' ytwms, October 16, 1768. 
Lucmda, J ' ' ' 

Elizabeth, March 30, 1761. 

Ira, May 20, 1754. 

Lodema, June 18, 1769. 

Simeon, December 23, 1753. 

Samuel, Sept. 31, 1769. 

Josiah, " " 

Mary, « " 

Roxellana, November 25, 1759. 

Phineas, August, 1762. 

Lemuel, December 20, 1767. 

Asahel, May 23, 1743. *■' 

Ebenezer, June 9, 1746. 

Achsah, October 2, 1748. 

Sarah, December 3, 1752. 

Prudence, April 29, 1770. 

Martin, September 13, 1761. 

Abigail, May 23, 1764. 

Lucinda, August 2, 1767. 

Noah, August 15, 1757. 

Remembrance, June 7, 1763. 

Samuel, July 12, 1747. 

Abijah, March 26, 1749. 

Levi, May 28, 1754. 

Samuel, August 24, 1755. 

Justin, October 16, 1768. 

Susannah, July 15, 1770. 

Highly, June 14, 1772. 

Seba, June 19, 1775. 

Seth, April 3, 1768. 

Roswell, August 24, 1760. 

John, August 12, 1750. 

Jerusha, May 16, 1757. 

Joseph, March 30, 1759. 

Isabel, June 21, 1761. 

Jonathan, June 19, 1763. 

Jemima, May 5, 1765. 

Daniel, November i6, 1766. 

Benjamin, June 18, 1769. 

Rebecca, Sept. 18, 1774. 

Martha, July 11, 1773. 

Salmon, «• " " 

Hannah, May 6, 1753. 

Judah, September 28, 1763 



304 



History of Torringtcn. 



Roberts, Joel, 

Roberts, Nath., Rev., 
Roger, Zephaniah, 
Richards, Joel, 
Sheldon, Remem., 
Smith, Ebenezer, 



Strong, Asahel, 



Strong, Jacob, 



Taintor, Joseph, 

Taylor, Zebulon, 

Thompson, Samuel, 
Thrall, Aaron, 

Thrall, Daniel, 
Thrall, Friend, 
Thrall, Joel, 



Thrall, Joseph, 



Thrall, Reuben, 

Thrall, Samuel, 
Tuttle, Isaiah, 

Tuttle, Timothy, 
Tuttla, Stephen, 
Wetmore, Joel, 



Wetmore, John, 



Wetmore, Noah, 
Whiting, Benjamin, 



Esther, July 17, 1768. 
John Loomis, April 25, 1774. 
Margaret, June 21, 1752.. 
Isaac, March 5, 1 87 1. 
Chloe, April 28, 1765. 
Russell, Feb. 23, 1772. 
Ebenezer, August 4, 1763. 
Hannah, Sept. 8, 1765. 
Jesse, January 11, 1767. 
Joseph, July 24, 1774. 
Miles, Oct. 29, 1775. 
Asahel, April 22, 1750. 
Hannah, December 12, 1758. 
Dorcas, March 2, 1758. 
Chloe, December 25, 1763. 
David, June 5, 1768 
Mindwell, August i, 1742.^ 
Experience, August 13, 1743.'' 
Abagail, Feb. 2, 1746. 
Experience, April i, 1750. 
Elizabeth, September 14. 1755. 
Mary, July 15, 1757. 
Benoni (adopted) June 4, 1770. 
Joseph, April 26, 1772. 
Mary, December 12, 1773. 
Zebulon, June 17, 1744. v 
Zebulon, July 10, 1748. 
Sarah, September 10, 1749. 

Roger, March 11, 1767. 

Sabra, March 7, 1769. 

Olive, June 6, 1773. 

Rachel, November 6, 1743.- 

Martha, August 21, 1767. 

Lois, September 5, 1773. 

Augustus, March 13, 1774. 

Aaron, June 6, 1742. >. 

Chloe, April 7, 1745. 

Reuben, March 29, 1747. 

Levi, June 18, 1749. 

Friend, July 19, 1752. 

Noah, May 5, 1754. 

Margaret, February, 1756. 

Pardon, June 16, 1759. 

Daniel, June 5, 1763. 

Nathan, April 29, 1769. 

Amy, April 5, 1772. 

Joseph, May I, 1 774. 

Alexander, March 27, 1768. 

Erastus, July 3, I774' 

Caroline, July 13, 1755. 

Uriah, July 31, 1774. 

Louisa, December 10, 1775. 
Timothy, July 13, 1755. 

Stephen, August 9, 1772. 

Olive, March 10, 1765. 

Ebenezer Lyman, December 28, 176b 
Melicent, January 19, 1772. 
Elizabeth, October 15, 1758. 
.Seth, March 30, 1761. 

Samuel, March 20, 1764. 
Junia, March 30, 1 761. 
William, September 9, 1759. 



Lists of Names. 



305 



Whiting, Benjamin, 
Whiting, John, 



Whiting, Sarah, 
Wilcrx, Asahel, 



Wilcoxon, 



Wilson, Abigail, 
Wilson, Abijah, 
Wilson, Amos, 



Wilson, Asahel, 
Wilson, Ann, 
Wilson, John, 
Wilson, Noah, 



Wilson, Noah Jr., 



Young, John, 



Esther, September 18, 1763. 
Benjamin, February 33, 1766. 
Sarah, December 8, 1750. 
Josiah, August i6, 1752. 
Mary, July 14, 1754. 
Rebecca, February 2, 1757. 
John, July 30, 1758. 
Harvey, November 2, 1760. 
Jesse, February 6, 1763. 
Seth, September 29^ 1765. 
Giles, January 20, 1771. 
Roger, March 28, 1773. 
Phila, July 2, 1769. 
Mary. June 4, 1769. 
Abiathar, May 13, 1 77 1. 
Asahel, May 2, 1773. 
Asenath, September 17, 1775. 
David, July 13, 1755. 
Zenas, May 7, 1768. 
Solomon, November i, 1772. 
William, November 4, 1753. 
Ruth, December 22, 1754. 
Royce, August 8, 1758. 
Roswell, October 8, 1758. 
Roswell, May 19, 1765. 
Sarah, April 10, 1763. 
Climenia, July 28, 1771. 
Huldah, October 2, 1768. 
Edie, January 6, 1745. 
Abijah, January 5, 1747. 
Abiel, January 8, 1749. 
Ann, November 3, 1751. 
William, September 15, 1754. 
Charlotte, October 7, 1Z64. 
Two daughters, January 11, 1767. 
Edie, February 12, 1768. 
Triphena, February, 19, 1769. 
Dilenda, June 16, 1771. 
Mary, June 5, 1774. 
Hannah, December 15, 1771. 
Elizabeth, August 29, 1773. 



List of Post Masters and Date of Appointment. 



Nathaniel Smith, April i, 181 3. 
Nathaniel Smith, February 4, 1826. 
Nathaniel Smith, May 29, 1837. 



Torringford. 

Rufus W. Gillett, December 20, 1854. 
Harvey P. Hopkins, Jan. 12, 1857. 
Stanley Griswold, May 18, 1874. 



Harvey Palmer, March 26, 18 14. 
Harvey Palmer, Dec. 30, 1818. 
Harvey Palmer, May 9, 1837. 
Albro W. Cowles, July 13, 1841. 
Warren Goodwin, Jan. 27, 1848. 
Cornelius A. Winship, May 11, 1850. 
William H. Coe, April 14, 1855. 



Torrington. 

Dudley Davis, Feb. 23, 1857. 
Lucius Leach, Jan. 10, 1859. 
Henry Barnes, March i, 1869. 
Casimer H. Bronson, April 29, 1869. 
Martin B. Pratt, July 22, 1872. 
^'Royal E. Hayes, March 30, 1874. 
Abner H. Wadhams, Sept. 18, 1876. 



39 



3o6 



History of Torrington. 



JVohottmlU 



Samuel Bradley, May 13, 1837. Joseph F. Calhoun, May 16, 1861. 

Orrin B. Freeman, May 22, 1841. Orsamus R. Fyler, June 12, 1866. 

Russell C. Abernethy, Jan. 8, 1845. Orsamus R. Fyler, March 2, 1867. 

Henry B. Richards, July 5, 1851. Orsamus R. Fyler, Feb. 6, 1873. 

Russell C. Abernethy, July 5, 1853. Orsamus R. Fyler, Feb. 3, 1877. 

Burr-ville. 

Nelson Roberts, July 27, 1849. John M. Burr, June 20, 1861. 



BIOGRAPHIES. 



Gen. Russell Catlin Abernethy, 

Son of Doctor William Abernethy of Harwinton, was born Feb. 9, 
1780. In the record which he made of his own family on the town 
records, he says he was from Washington, Ct., when he came to 
Torrington. He had been clerk in a store in New Preston village 
where he learned his trade as a merchant. He married Orrel, 
daughter of Elisha Smith, Esq., Sept. 17, 1803, and about the same 
time started a store near the Meeting house, at Torrington green ; 
Mr. Hodges's store being at that time on the hill north of the green. 
He continued this store until about 1830, when he gave up the mer- 
cantile business, removed to Wolcottville and engaged in manufac- 
turing enterprises, and interested himself more than previously in the 
general interests of the town. In removing from l^orrington, he 
took down his dwelling house which stood a little north of the green, 
and transported it to the village, locating it where it still remains, 
across the street from the Congregational church, north, and which 
is now owned and occupied by Mr. J. F. Calhoun. As near as 
can be ascertained he was justice of the peace about thirty -five years, 
continuing in the office until 1850, when having arrived at the age 
of seventy years he was thereby disqualified for holding the office 
longer, and in that office maintained the honor of a faithful admin- 
istrator of law, and an honorable, upright citizen. He was town 
clerk a number of years, the competition for that office seeming to 
be between him and John Gillett about twenty years, each being 
elected several years, and then the other, the change being made a 
number of times, but finally Mr. Gillett won the race by several 
years. General Abernethy was quite a military man, being well 
qualified for such position by his personal appearance and character, 
and the town had more pride in him in this character than any other, 
though he was highly respected in all others. His personal appear- 
ance was very symmetrical ; being of good height, full form and 
erect. His manners were always those of a gentleman, inherited by 



3o8 History of Torrington. 

family descent, and cultivated always, as being the proper bearing of 
a citizen, and especially a public man of business, but in consequence 
of this courteousness of manner, he was judged by a certain class, 
to be seeking for public iavor at the expense of principle and sub- 
stantial character, and thereby did him most decided injustice. Such 
judgment is founded upon the supposition that a man of true princi- 
ple and honorable character must have the manners of a boor, flout- 
ing his personal prejudices and ill temper against everything and 
everybody, like a spoiled child who was never taught to curb its 
own resentment or ill feeling. Not so with the well bred man, who 
considers that the community has some demands on him in render- 
ing it cheerful, animating, and elevating, and therein such fulfill the 
law of the great teacher, to live for others, not alone for themselves. 
The general's manner was the same at home as elsewhere, and there- 
fore exhibited the real spirit and character of the man, and he had 
his reward in part, although he did not do it for the reward ; for, pro- 
bably, but few men in the town at the time received as much cordial 
good feeling', from the community as he, and at the present time, he 
is spoken of with special admiration by nearly every one. 

In military service he rose to be major general of the state militia, 
and as such, was the delight of the community and the county. His 
soldierly bearing on horseback, his prompt, energetic, and elegant 
manners as a commanding officer, were pleasing and animating to 
those who served under him, and to the multitude who assembled on 
training days to witness the parades. 

It is evident from these facts that there is an inherent sense in 
most persons, that good manners are not only agreeable but of much 
importance, and when cultivated as a duty, and an ennobling princi- 
ple, carry with them a power for good so invaluable, that every citi- 
zen should seek to promote them by all possible ability and cultivation. 
This is the more evident as the oldest people take great pleasure in 
speaking of those persons who manifested these qualities most pro- 
minently in their lives. Mrs. Genera! Sheldon and Ulysses P'yler, 
of the olde:" people, are spoken of in this respect with much enthu- 
siasm. There were doubtless many others, but those who knew 
them well are also departed. General Abernethy manifested more 
specially the ideal old time gentleman more fully, probably, than 
any other of as recent a date as he, and such examples give some 
idea of what many of the pilgrim fathers were in regard to this noble 
quality. 



Biographies. 309 

Rev. Hiram P. Arms, D.D., 

Was born at Windsor, Ct., June i, 1779; a descendant in the fifth 
generation of William Arms of Deerfield, Mass. He was fitted for 
college under John Adams, LL.D., at Philips academy, Mass., and 
after graduation in 1823, studied theology under the instruction of 
Profs. N. W. Taylor, D.D., E. T. Fitch, D.D., and J. W. Gibbs, 
LL.D., and was ordained pastor of the Congregational church at 
Hebron, Ct., June 30, 1830 ; dismissed October 10, 1832, to ac- 
cept a call to Wolcottville, where he was installed February 6, 1833. 
Here he labored with ordinary success three years and was dismissed 
July 6, 1836, to accept a call to the First church in Norwich Town, 
Ct., where he was installed August 3, 1836. Here he has continued 
to labor to the present time, receiving frequent and unmistakable 
evidences of affection and respect from his people. 

On February 20, 1873, being then seventy-three years of age, he 
resigned the active duties of his pastorate, but continued to reside 
among his people as pastor emeritus. During his active pastorate he 
received to membership in the church five hundred and sixty-nine 
members. 

On resting from the active duties of the ministry, his people gene- 
rously gave him a life annuity amounting to near twelve hundred 
dollars, which was invested in the Continental Life Insurance com- 
pany, on the failure of which his people continue generously to pro- 
vide for his wants. 

He has been twice married ; first to Lucy Ann Wadhams of New 
Haven, September 12, 1824. She died July 3, 1837. His second 
wife was Abby Jane Baker of New York, to whom he was married 
September 12, 1858, who is still living. 

Seven children are living ; five sons and two daughters, all married, 
and he is honored in counting in his own family twenty grand child- 
ren. The evening of his life he is passing pleasantly, in a quiet home, 
among a kind and affectionate people, and this evening, it is believed, 
is but the prelude to the morning that shall be. 

Rev. John D. Baldwin 
Was born in North Stonington September 28, 1806; studied at New 
Haven, but was not a graduate ; studied theology at New Haven ; 
was licensed by the New Haven West association in 1833; was 



3IO History of Torrington. 

ordained pastor at West Woodstock, September 3, 1834, and dis- 
missed July 25, 1837 ,• was pastor of North Branford from Jan. 17, 
1838 to July 3, 1844. He preached in Torringford at intervals in 
1845, ^"^ received a call to settle, February 28, 1846, which he de- 
clined. He was pastor at East Putnam from April 2g, 1846, to 
September 17, 1849, when a bronchial difficulty compelled him to 
retire from the ministry. 

He represented Killingly in the legislature of 1849, and as chair- 
man of the committee on education introduced the measure which 
established the Normal school, and was one of the three commis- 
sioners who located and organized it. In 1849 ^^ became owner 
and editor of the Hartford Republican; in 1851, became editor of 
the Boston Commonwealth^ afterwards the Telegraphy and held his posi- 
tion until the summer of 1857. Early in 1859, ^^ purchased the 
Worcester Daily and Weekly Spy^ which he owned many years. He 
was elected to congress from Massachusetts in November 1862; 
was twice rechosen, serving six years, and then declined re-election ; 
but returned to Worcester and engaged still as a journalist. Two 
funeral sermons delivered by him have been printed. He furnished 
articles for the Christian Spectator^ and the North American Review. 
A volume of his productions, entitled Raymond Hill and Other Poems^ 
was published by Ticknor and Fields. His work, Pre-Historic 
Nations^ was published first in London and then in New York. 

Dr. Erastus Bancroft, 
Son of Noadiah and Jerusha (Loomis) Bancroft, was born Oct. 
27, 1782. He studied medicine with Dr. Elijah Lyman, and as a 
student was not considered peculiarly forward or ready in acquiring 
the knowledge of medicine, but made ordinary progress. He com- 
menced practice in Wolcottville in 18 17, and very readily secured 
much confidence in his practice, and though Dr. Jarvis followed 
Dr. E. Lyman, in 18 18, Dr. Bancroft secured so much of the 
patronage of the town, that there seemed to be but little need of 
others, and Dr. Jarvis removed to a larger field. Dr. Bancroft 
proved himself a skillful and successful physician ; especially so in 
the treatment of fevers. He was a man of much common sense, 
relying, not upon old formulas, because thev were old or because 
they were written, but would have his own thinking in spite of pre- 
judices, whims, religion or the "devil." He was the personification 
of neatness, always dressed in his ruffled bosom shirt and other things 



Biographies. 311 

to match. When he rode in his carriage he sat erect, and stylish, 
as if ready for any emergency. He was not large in person but very 
energetic, active, and of quick decision and application. He occupied 
a small building as his office on the south side of the bridge on Main 
street, east of the street, near the river ; the building has been re- 
moved and the office of Mr. Ladd's livery stable occupies the site. 

Dr. Bancroft's good sense took the form of skepticism as to the 
prejudices, v^^himsand notions of the people, and he used, sometimes, 
to indulge himself in laughing at them, when among his most trusted 
friends. He repeated a number of times, a mistake he made when 
he began to practice, which he said was the making of his fame, as 
a physician, among the people. He had made a prescription for a 
patient, in the western part of the town, and supposed the case of no 
danger and but little importance. In the night he was sent for in 
great haste, and he obeyed the summons without delay. He found 
the patient in a very critical condition, and recognized at once that 
it was the medicine he had given through mistake and not the disease. 
He applied his skill with great earnestness, remaining with the patient 
some twelve hours and succeeded in the restoration. This was re- 
ported as a wonderful cure, " and so it was," said the doctor, " damn 
it, I liked to have killed her." 

Another case he had attended some years, sometimes giving a 
little medicine, but generally concluding that all the trouble was in 
the want of energy of the person. This he had tried many times to 
stimulate, and to prevail upon the woman to go at the work of the 
house, and thus forget, and dispel the imaginings of her own mind, 
but all was to no purpose. On being called again, he examined the 
case carefully, saw nothing only as before, and suddenly took a pail 
of water and threw the whole of it on the woman, and rapidly left, 
it being dangerous to stay longer. The woman speedily recovered 
her health. 

The doctor was gentlemanly, considerate, and attentive, yet abrupt, 
peculiar, queer, and sometimes severe to the extent of justice. From 
him the cynics and fault finders sometimes, received their just due ; 
he frequently putting in the words, " devil" or '* damn it," spoken 
very rapidly and as if unknown to himself, but sometimes very ap- 
propriately, if ever allowable. 

A description of the doctor is given in a book called The Shady 
Side^ under the name of Dr. Gale, which some of the doctor's oldest 
acquaintances say is a good representation of him. The scene is 



312 History of Torrington. 

laid at the minister's house where there was real illness, and where a 
number of persons are represented as calling to give their advice and 
" set matters right." 

" Dr. Gale entered as the deacon's wife departed. Finding his patient in 
tears, he turned abruptly back to the kitchen, and ordered Polly to ' call the par- 
son.' A rough man was Dr. Gale ; tempestuous often, yet sensible. Christ- 
ian principles he did not profess, but humane feeling he seldom lacked. 

' Parson Vernon ! ' said he, ' I give it up.' You may get your wife home 
to her father's as soon as possible, if you mean to have her well. / can't cure 
her^^r^. Your religious folks haven't a grain ol sense to spare. A pretty fool 
I make of myself, to come here and order sedatives, and rely on quiet, when 
some old woman, who was made without nerves, will bolt in, and upset it all! ' 
And the doctor went off in a bluster. 

Mrs. Nobles had stopped to report her interview to Mrs. Elton, and the 
two ladies stood a'j the gale as the doctor returned with quickened step. They 
stopped him to ask if there was any thing more alarming at the parsonage. He 
growled a ' no need of any thing more,' which they construed into vexation 
with his patient. Whereupon, they proceeded to lament that ministers should 
take for their wives, such feeble, inefHcient women ; and, especially that Millville 
should be so unfortunate in this respect. 

The doctor was in no gentle mood, and he gave them a blast which they were 
sorry to have provoked. 'Feeble women!' said he; ' feeble women ! What 
makes 'em so ! They've a right to be feeble, with a vengeance! Wonder any 
of 'em live ten years ; pulled about hither and thither, and kept on short al- 
lowance ! You expect her to do half enough to earn her husband's salary, with 
your confounded societies ! It's contrive, and cut, and stitch ; and then you set 
her to praying, and talking, and reforming ; and she must be dragged out here 
and there ; and at home, there's no peace for the calls and the tea-drinkings, 
to say nothing of the fault findings. Mrs. Vernon, now, is not inclined to be 
sickly. Good, fresh constitution, but she's worn and low, and you don't give 
her any chance to get up." 

* But,' interposed Mrs. Nobles, 'you'll allow, doctor, that Mrs. Vernon is very 
nervous ? ' 

'Nervous,' said he, contemptuously, 'I wish the women knew what they 
mean by that. ' 

Mrs. Elton ventured, ' if she had more hopefulness and courage, doctor.' 

' You don't know her,' said the doctor, less fiercely. ' She's none of your 
milk-and-water ladies. She has all the hope and courage there is in the house ;' 
and he turned away. Looking back, however, with a sudden thought ; another 
explosive burst of words followed. ' If I'd been a minister {tio dtitiger), but 
if I had, I'd ha' lived a bachelor all my days, before I'd ha' married a wife 
for the parish. * " 

Mrs. Eliza Curtiss Bassett, 
Daughter of Dea. Job and Eunice (Cowles) Curtiss, married Rev, 
Archibald Bassett, who was born in Derby, March 21, 1772 ; was 
graduated at Yale college in 1796 ; was ordained pastor at Winches- 
ter, May 20, 1801, and dismissed, Aug. 27, 1806 ; was pastor at 



Biographies. 313 

Walton, Delaware county, N. Y., from 1807 to 1810, and resided 
there preaching in the region and helping his brethren in revivals, as 
opportunities were afforded, and died, April 29, 1859, aged ^7 yell's- 
She died Jan. 19, 1868. 

Owen Brown, 
Son of Capt. John and Hannah (Owen) Brown, married Ruth, 
daughter of Gideon Mills at Simsbury, Feb. 11, 1793. He was a 
tanner, and settled in his business in Norfolk, Ct., and removed 
to^^rrington in the spring of 1799, and purchased and settled on 
the place now known as the John Brown place. The dwelling 
house was built in 1776, and is still standing, but unoccupied. It 
was a well built and thoroughly finished house, at the time, being 
ceiled with pine lumber, the beams projecting below the ceiling, but 
planed smooth or cased, so that the whole interior was in its day a 
very comfortable, and good class of dwelling. 

The house is located in the western part of the town, three miles 
from Wolcottville, on a road very little traveled ; six miles from 
Litchfield, and ten from Winsted. The farm is not of an average 
good quality, for the town, is pleasantly located, but very secluded 
from j)ubric travel. The special reason why Mr. Brown bought it, 
seems to have been thjit^as a farm it was cheaper than many others, 
and had on it a brook that he thought would answer for tanning pur- 
poses. On this brook, west of the house some distance, on the north 
side of the east and west road he built his tannery and shoe shop, all 
of^which are now gone. Here he worked at his trade six years, ac- 
quiring considerable reputation, and sustaining high honor as a tanner 
and business man. 

Owen Brown was the fifth in descent from the pilgrim, Peter 

Brown who came to America in the Mayflower in 1620, and 

inherited the puritan character in its genuine traits and purest forms. 

He was a man of keenness of perception and remarkable wit and 
good humor. His brother John, was deacon of the church in New\ 
Hartford many years and was highly esteemed in his office, and as a j 
Christian man. Judge Frederick Brown, another brother, was a man ^ 
of the same noble character, clearness of intellect, and was judge of 
the court a number of years in Hudson, Ohio. 

Owen Brown possessed great firmness of religious character and 
yet great kindness of heart. He never was absent from church as 
illustrated in a remark as he was about to leave the town he made to 

40 




314 History of Torrington. 

Deacon Hinsdale ; " We have met fifty-two times a year, but may 
not meet many more," He removed to Hudson, Ohio, in 1805, and 
after being there a year or two came back on business, and spent the 
night at William Whiting's, a near neighbor. In the morning when 
ready to leave he said : " Neighbor^Whiting, we have loved each other 
i,s brothers and I want our families to know each other when we are 
cold." They shook hands and parted in tears. Mr. Brown was a 
great reader, and thinker, and he often entertained the young men 
while sitting in his shoe shop, by requesting them to read such pieces 
as he selected, and by giving them statements of what he had read. 
While making shoes, he often prevailed with Oliver Bancroft to read, 
^ and it was this reading in Mr. Brown's shop that led him to the love 
of literature, and to become a printer at Hartford where he spent an 
honorable life. 

Mr. Brown was a very upright, honest man as to business transac- 
tions. This, many had occasion to know as his occupation led him 
to dealings with many persons, both near home and at a distance. 

From Torrington he removed to Hudson, Ohio, where he reared 
his children ; among them he that was to be the hero of the nation, 
1 Capt. John Brown, of Kansas and Harper's Ferry fame. In Hudson, 
\Owen Brown lived the same noble, useful, and honorable life. 

In reply to a question by the author of this book the Rev. Doctor 
Fairchild, president of Oberlin college, wrote as follows : 

r " Owen Brown, father of Capt. John, was a trustee of Oberlin college from 

T- •~K,j 1835 to I 844, and then resigned in consequence of his growing infirmities. 

^ — •, He was much esteemed by his associate members for his practical wisdom and 

staunch integrity. He was a man of few words because a painful habit of 

stammering made it ahnost impossible for him to speak, but every word was 

valued. 

His residence was at Hudson, the seat of Western Reserve college. One 

of his daughters, Florilla, afterwards wife of Rev. S. G. Advie, graduated here, 

and went with her husband to Osawatomic, Kansas, in the days of the -first 

settlement of Kansas, and died there in 1865. A son of Owen Brown was 

/ also a student here, several years. John Brown himself, once performed a 

Q. I service tor the college in surveying and reporting on lands given to the college 

mP I in Western Virginia by Gerrit Smith. 




(©msf 



iBlB.©' 



MEMOIR OF JOHN BROWN. 

Though there have been so many men of this name in all parts of 
the world which the Anglo-Saxon race inhabit, it will readily be 
known which one of them merits the great space given him in these 
pages. We tell the story of a man who made his plain name known 
all over the world, and who will be remembered, when it may be 
that Torrington and all its history shall be forgotten, save the single 
fact, that a hero was born there. 

John Brown, of Kansas and Virginia (born at Torrington, May 
9^1800, died at Charlestown, West Va., Dec. 2, 1859), was the 
grandson and namesake of Captain John Brown of West Simsbury, 
a revolutionary officer, who died in the army of Washington. He 
was also the sixth in descent from Peter Brown who came over in 
the Mayflower in 1620. Of the English ancestors of this Peter Brown, 
little is known. He was unmarried when he landed at Plymouth in 
January, 1621, but within the next thirteen years he was twice mar- 
ried, and died (in 1633) leaving four children. This we learn from 
that most unquestionable authority, the History of Plymouth Plant 
atlon left behind him in manuscript, by William Bradford, who 
succeeded Carver in 1621, as governor of the colony, and died in 
1657. Writing about 1650, Bradford savs : " Peter Brown married 
twice. By his first wife he had two children, who are living, and 
both of them married, and one of them hath two children; by his 
second wife he had two more. He died about sixteen years since." 
It is supposed that his first wife was named Martha, and that Mary 
and Priscilla Brown were her daughters, and the two who are men- 
tioned by Bradford as married in 1650. In 1644 they were placed 
in the care of their uncle John Brown, a leading citizen of Duxbury, 
where also Peter Brown settled a few years after landing at Plymouth. 
John Brown did not come over with his brother, but a few years later, 
and out-lived him many years. Peter Brown died in 1633, and his 
inventory of estate was presented on the 14th of October that year. 
He settled ^£15 on his two daughters by the first marriage, Mary and 
Priscilla, and left the remainder, no very large sum, to his widow and 
her children. Of these Peter Brown, born in 1632, was the younger. 



This cccount of John Brown has been prepared by F. B. Sanborn, Esq., of Concord 
Mass., expressely for this work. 



3i6 History of Torrington. 

He was the ancestor of John Brown, and removed from Duxbury to 
Windsor, Conn., at some time between 1650 and 1658, where he 
married Mary the daughter of Jonathan Gillett. 

Peter Brown the Pilgrim, is said to have been a carpenter, but 
from what part of England he came is not known. His home in 
Duxbury was but a few miles from Plymouth, and not far from the 
hill where Miles Standish built his house, and where the Standish 
monument is now seen. Brown was, no doubt, one of the soldiers 
of Standish, in his miniature campaigns against the Indians. He was 
probably one of the Separatists (often called Brownists from another 
person of that name) who lived for some years in Holland with 
Brewster, Bradford and thegood minister of Leyden, John Robinson, 
of whose life and character Bradford gives such graphic sketches. 
The picture drawn of the Leyden pastor might serve very well for 
Captain Brown himself, as we knew him in his Kansas and Virginia 
expeditions, when he had his small band of chosen men about him, 
and was their pastor as well as their commander. Bradford says of 
John Robinson — and so might it have been said two hundred and 
forty years later of John Brown : 

His love was greate towards them, and his care was all ways bente for their 
best good, both for soule and body; for besides his singular abilities, in divine 
things (wherein he excelled), he was also very able to give directions in civil! 
affairs and to foresee dangers and inconveniences; by which means he was 
verv helpful to their outward estates, and so was every way as a common father 
unto them. And none did more offend him than those that were close and 
cleaving to themselves, and retired from the commone good ; as also such as 
would be stiff and rigid in matters of outward order, and invey against the 
evills of others, and yet be remiss in themselves, and not so careful to express a 
vertuous conversation. 

Peter Brown the Pilgrim never lived in Salem, as has sometimes 
been said, nor any where in New England, save in Plymouth, and 
afterwards in Duxbury. His son Peter, who emigrated to Wind- 
sor, Conn., lived to be nearly sixty years old, and died at Windsor, 
March 9, 1692, leaving an estate of X409 to be divided among his 
thirteen children. Of these children, John Brown, born at Windsor, 
Jan. 8, 1668, married Elizabeth Loomis in 1691, and had eleven 
children. Among these were John Brown (born in 1700 and died in 
1790), who was the father and the survivor of the revolutionary, 
captain, John Brown, of West Simsbury. He lived and died in 
Windsor, married Mary Eggleston, and Captain John Brown, just 
mentioned, the grandfather of our hero, was his oldest son, born Nov. 



Biographies. 317 

4, 1728. He married Hannah Owen, of Welsh descent, in 1758. 
Her father was Elijah Owen of Windsor, and her first ancestor in 
this country was John Owen, a Welshman who married in Windsor 
in 1650, just before young Peter Brown came there from Duxbury. 
A few years afterwards an Amsterdam tailor, Peter Miles or Mills, 
came over to Connecticut from Holland, settled in Bloomfield, near 
Windsor, and became the ancestor of John Brown's grandmother, 
Ruth Mills, of West Simsbury. Thus three streams of nationality, 
English, Welsh and Dutch, united in New England to form the 
parentage of John Brown. 

He vyas jhe oldest son of Owen Brown, who was one of the 
eleven children of John Brown, the revolutionary captain and of 
Hannah Owen his wife. This large family was brought up in severe 
poverty by the mother, who lived to see most of her children well 
established in life. One of them became a judge in Ohio, another, 
John Brown of New Hartford, was a man much esteemed in that 
town, and for many years deacon of the church there. One of the 
daughters was the mother of Dr. Humphrey, for some years president 
of Amherst college. Owen Brown was bred to the trade of tanner 
and shoemaker, the same which he taught his son John. He followed 
this trade while living in Torrington, which was his home for only 
five or six years. He was born and bred in Simsbury (what is now 
CantjDn),,_was married there to Ruth Mills, daughter of the old 
minister. Rev. Gideon Mills, on the iith of February, 1793 ; then 
removed to Norfolk, where his oldest child was born, July 5, 1798, 
and from there came to Torrington one year later. He lived in the 
old house, still standing, "a mile northwest of the meeting house," 
which is represented in the accompanying picture. In this house 
John Brown was born, at the date already mentioned, and there his 
brothers Solomon and Oliver Owen Brown were born, in 1802 and 
1804. In 1805 Owen Brown migrated, with his children and others 
of his family, to the Western Reserve of Ohio, and settled in the 
town of Hudson, of which he was one of the principal settlers. In 
that wilderness John Brown spent his childhood and youth, though 
his early recollections extended also to his home in Connecticut. 
This will appear from a very curious paper written by him two 
years before his death, in which he mentions many incidents 
of his childish years. Although it has several times been printed, 
it is due to the reader, who may never have seen it, that a paper 



3i8 



History of Torrington. 



so valuable in itself, and so characteristic of the writer, should here 
be reprinted. It first appeared in Redpath's Life of Brown, published 




BIRTH PLACE OF JOHN BROWN, TORRINGTON, MAY 9, I 80O. 

in Boston in i860, having been placed in Mr. Redpath's hands by 
Mrs. George L, Stearns of Medford, Mass. The lad to whom it was 
addressed was then about twelve years old, and the letter was evi- 
dently written for his amusement and instruction, with no thought 
that it would ever become public. As first printed, and as here re- 
produced, it is spelled, punctuated, and italicized exactly as Captain 
Brown wrote it. If it thus indicates, what was probably true, that 
Brown could spell no better than Claverhouse, and was as regardless 
of " stops and marks " as any old Roman stone-cutter or Greek 
scribe, it also shows what a piquant and forcible style he used, both 
in speech and on paper. It was after hearing this paper read that 
Miss Osgood, of Medford, remarked, " If Captain Brown had not 
been called, in the providence of God, to a very different work, what 
charming stories he could have written for young children !" The 
original manuscript fills six pages of closely written letter-paper, 
without division into paragraphs. It was written during the summer 
when Hugh Forbes was drilling a small company of his men for the 
Virginia campaign, in the western part of Iowa. 



Biographies. 319 

Fragment of an Autobiography. 

Red Rock, Iowa, 11;/^ Ji^h' '^57- 
Mr. Henry L. Stearns 

My Dear Young Friend 

I have not forgotten my promise to write vou ; but my constant care, & 
anxiety have obliged me to put it off a long time. I do not flatter myself that I 
C(2n write anv thing that uill very much interest you: but have concluded to 
send you a short story of a certain boy of my acquaintance : & for convenience 
and shortness of name, I will call him John. His story will be mainly a narra- 
tion of follies and errors ; which it is to be hoped you mnj avoid ; but there is 
one thing connected with it, which will be calculated to encourage any young 
person to persevering effort: & that is the degree of success in accompliihing his 
objects which to a great extent marked the course of this boy throughout my 
entire acquaintance with him ; notwithstanding his moderate capacity ; & still 
more moderate acquirements. 

John was born May 9th 1800, at Torrington, Litchfield Co, Connecticut ; 
of poor but respectable parents : a decendant on the side of his father of one of 
the company of the Mayflower who landed at Plymouth 1620. His mother 
was decended from a man who came at an early period to New England from , 
Amsterdam, in Holland. Both his Father's & his Mother's Fathers served in \ 
the war of the revolution : His Father's Father ; died in a barn at New York 
while in the service, in 1776 

I cannot tell you of any thing in the first Four years of John's life worth 
mentioning save that at that early age he was tempted by Three large Brass 
Pins belonging to a girl who lived in the family & stole them. In this he was 
detected by his Mother; & after having a full day to think of the wrong: re- 
ceived from her a thorough whipping. When he was Five years old his Father 
moved to Ohio ; then a wilderness filled with wild beasts, & Indians. During 
the long journey which was performed in part or mostly with an ox team ; he 
was called on by turns to assist a boy Five years older (who had been adopted 
by his Father & Mother) & learned to think he could accomplish smart things 
iajij'iiing_jthe_Covvs ; and riding the horses. Sometimes he met with Rattle 
Snakes which were very large ; & which some of the company generally managed 
to kill. After getting to Ohio in 1805 he was for some time rather afraid of 
the Indians, & of their Rifles; but this soon wore off: & he used to hang 
about them quite as much as was consistent with good manners ;-& learned a 
trifl e of the ir tdk. His Father learned to dress Deer Skins, & at 6 years old 
John was installed a young Buck Skin — He was perhaps rather observing as 
he ever after remembered the entire process of Deer Skin dressing ; so that he \ 
could at any time dress his own leather such as Squirel, Raccoon, Cat, Wolf \ 
or Dog Skins ; & also learned to make Whip Lashes : which brought him some 
change at times ; & was of considerable service in many ways. — At Six years / 
old John began to be quite a rambler in the wild new country finding birds & 
Squirels, & sometimes a wild Turkey's nest. But about this period he was 
placed in the school of adversity : which my young friend was a most neces- 
sary part of his early training. You may laugh when you come to read about 
it; but these v/trz sore trials to John : whose earthly treasures were very /ezo 
& small. These were the beginning of a severe but mueh needed course of 
discipline which he afterwards was to pass through ; & which it is to be hoped 



320 History of Torrington. 

has learned him before this time that the Heavenly Fatlier sees it best to take 
all the little things out of his hands which he has ever placed in them. When 
John was in his Sixth year a poor Indian boy gave him a Yellow Marble the 
first he had ever seen. This he thought a great deal of; & kept it a good 
while ; but at last he lost it beyond recovery. // took years to heal the wound; 
Sc I think he cried at times about it. About Five months after this he caught a 
young Squirrel tearing off his tail in doing it ; & getting severely bitten at the 
same time himself. He however held to the little bob tail Squirrel ; & finally 
got him perfectly tamed, so that he almost idolized his pet. This too he lost ; 
by its wandering away ; or by getting killed : & for a year or Two John was 
in mourning; and looking at all the Squirrels he could see to try & discover 
Bob tail, if possible. I must not neglect to tell you of a very bad l£ foolish 
habbit to which fohn was somewhat addicted. I mean telling lies : generally 
to screen himself from blame ; or from punishment. He could not well endure 
to be reproached ; & I now think had he been ofteijer encouraged to be entirely 
frank ; by makingfrnnkness a kind of atonement for some of his faults ; he would 
not have been so often guilty of this fault ; nor have been obliged to struggle so 
long in after life with so mean a habit. John was never quarelsonie ; but was 
excessively fond of the hardest Iff roughest kind of plays ; & could never get 
enough [of] them. 

Indeed when for a short time he was sometimes sent to School the opportu- 
nity it afforded to wrestle & Snow ball & run & jump & knock off old seedy 
i wool hats ; offered to him almost the only compensation for the confinement, 
& restraints of school. I need not tell you that with such a feeling & bur litde 
chance of going to school at all : he did not become much of a schollar. He 
would always choose to stay at home & work hard rather than be sent to 
^ school ; & during the warm season might generally be seen barefooted tff bare- 
^-^ headed: with Buck skin Breeches suspended often with one leather strap over 
his shoulder but sometimes with Two. To be sent off through the wilderness 
alone to very considerable distances was particularly his delight ; & in this he 
was often indulged so that by the time he was Twelve years old he was sent off 
more than a Hundred Miles with companies of cattle ; & he would have thought 
his character much injured had he been obliged to be helped in any such job. 
This was a bovish kind of feeling but characteristic however. 

At Eight years old John was left a Motherless boy which loss was complete 
& permanent, for notwithstanding his Father again married to a sensible, inteli- 
gent, & on many accounts a very estimable woman : yet he never addopted her 
in feeling: but continued to pine after his own Mother for years. This op- 
perated very unfavourably uppon him ; as he was both naturally fond of 
females ; & withall extremely diffident; & deprived him of a suitable connect- 
ing link between the different sexes; the want of which might under some 
circumstances have proved his ruin. 

When the war broke out with England, his Father soon commenced fur- 
nishing the troops with beef cattle, the collecting & driving of which afforded 
him some opportunity for the chase (on foot) of wild steers & other cattle 
through the woods. During this war he had some chance to form his own 
boyish judgment of men tif measures: & to become somewhat familiarly ac- 
quainted witji some who have figured before the country since that time. The 
effect of what he saw during the war was to so far disgust him with military 
affairs that he would neither train, or drill ; but paid fines; & got along like a 
Quaker untill his age finally has cleared him of Military duty. 



Biographies 321 

During the war with England a circumstance occurred that in the end made 
him a most determined Abolitionist: & ]ed_ him to declare, or Szvear : 
_Es_e£njiljML^^nihJ^\3yGV\' . He'was staying for a short time with a very gen- 
t leman ly, landlord-once a United States Marshall who held a slave boy near his 
own age very active, intelligent and good feeling; & to whom John was under 
considerable obligation for numerous little acts of kindness. The muster made 
a great ^et_oX John : brought him to table with his first company ; & friends; 
called their attention to every little smart thing he s^id or did : & to tlie^Jact of 
his being more than a hundred miles from home with a company of cattle alone ; 
while the negro boy (who was fully if not more than his equal) was badly 
cfothed, goorlyjed; ^ lodged in cold weather ; IS beaten before his eyes with 
Iron Shovels o^" any other thing that came first to Jiand. This brought [ohn 
to reflect on the wretched ; hopeless condition, o^ Fatherless & Motherless 
sjave children : for such children have neither Fathers nor Mothers to protect, 
& provide for them. He sometimes would raise the question is God their ,J 
Father ? 

.-\t the age of Ten vears an old friend induced him to read a little history ; 
& offered him the free use of a good library ; by ; which he acquired some 
taste for reading : which formed the principle part ot his early education: & 
diverted him in a great measure from bad company. He by this means grew 
to be very fond of the company, & conversaiion of old Sc intelligent persons, 
He_ji€-vcr attempted -to dance in his life ; nor did he._ev_en learn to know one ':-^C\ 
of a pack o^ cards from another. He Jearned nothing of Grammer; nor did ^-^ 
he get at school so much knowledge ot common Arithmetic aj the Four ground 
rules. This will give you some idea of the first Fifteen years of his life; dur- 
JngAvhich timeTieliecame very strong & large of his age & ambitious to per- 
form the full labour of a man ; at almost any kind of hard work. Byxeading 
the lives of great, wise & good men their sayings, andvvriTings ; he grew to 
. adislike^of vain & U-\vo\ous conversation iS persons ; & was often gi early obliged 
by the kind manner in which older & more inteligent persons treated him at 
their houses: & in conversation; which was a great relief on account of his 
extreme bashfulness. r ^'^^^-j-'*^ 

He very early in life became ambitious to excel in doing anything he under- 
took to perform. This kind of feeling I would recommend to all young per- 
sons both jnale iS fejnale : as it will certainly tend to secure admission to the ^ 
company of the^pnore inteligent ; & bearer Dortion of every community. By [■^ 
_alLine.ans endeavor to excel in some lauaatle pursuit. ' — 

I had like to have forgotten to tell you of one of John's misfortunes which 
set rather hard on him while a young bov. He had bv some means perhaps 
by git't of his father become the owner of a little Ewe Lamb which did finely 
tiJUl was^about Two TJiirds grown ; & then sickened & died. This brought 
another protracted mourning season : not that he felt the pecuniary loss so much 
for that was never his disposition; hut-so— strong & earnest were his-atach 
OaeiLtfr. 

John had been taught from earliest childhood to "fear God and keep his"\ 
commandments ; '' & though quite skeptical he had always by turns felt much 
sexious_dou.bLas_Lo his future well being ; & aboutthis time became to some ex- I 
tejit a convert to Christianity & ever after a firm believer in the divine authen-\ /~\ 
ticity of the Bible. With this book he became \'ery familiar, & possessed a ) 7^ 
most unusual memory of its entire contents. 

Now some of the things I ha\e been telling of; were just such as I would 
41 



322 History of Torrington. | 

recommend to you : & I w'^ like to know that you had selected these out ; & i 

adopted them as part oi your own plan of life ; & I wish you to have sof/ie de- \ 

finite plan Many seem Vi have none ; & others never stick to any that they r~\ j 
do form. This was not the case with John. He followed up wiih' t'enaatj^j^J ' 
whatever he set about so long as it answered his general purpose : & hence he^ -^ 
rarely failed in some good decree to effect the things he undertook. This was ''^^ 
_5CL-much— the case that he habitually expected to succeed in his undertaki-ngsX 
With this feeling should be coupled ; the consciousness that our plans are right \ 
in themselves. 1 

During the period I have named John had acquired a kind of ownership to j 

certain animals of some little value but as he had come to understand that the 
title of 7uinors might be a little imperfect: he had recourse to various means in 1 

C-\) prder to secure a more independent ; & perfect right of property. One of those 
^^ means was to exchange with his Father for something of far less value. Another | 

was trading with others persons tor something his Father had never owned. 
Older persons have some times found difficulty with titles. 

F'rom fifteen to Twenty years old, he spent most of his time working at the 
Tanner & Currier's trade keeping Bachelors hall ; & he ofiiciating as Cook ; 
& for most of the time as forman of the establishment under his father. Dur- 
ing this period he found much trouble with some of the bad habits I have j 
mentioned & with some that I have not told you off: his concience urging him 
forward with great power in this matter: bi^t his close attention to liusiness_s^ 
success in its management ; together with the way he got along with a conipany j 
of men, & boys; made him quite a favorite with the serious & more inteligent ' 
portion of older persons. This was so much the case ; & secured for him so j 
many little notices from those he esteemed ; that his vanity was very much fed ] 
by it: & he came forward to manhood quite full of self-conceit ; & sclf-confi- j 
dent; notwithstanding his f;<r//*^/^?^ bashfulness. A younger brother used some- I 
times to remind him of this : & to repeat to him this expression which you may" 
somewhere find, "^■^.King against whom there is no rising up." The habit so j 
early formed of being obeyed rendered him in after life too much disposed to I 
speak in an imperious & dictating way. From Fifteen years & lapward he f elt j 
a good deal of anxiety to learn ; but could only read & studdy a llllle ;__bDth | 
for want of time; & on account of inflammation of the eyes. He however '< 
managed by the help of books to make himself tolerably well acquainted with • 
common arithmetic ; & Surveying ; which he practiced more or less after he j 
was Twenty years old. ^^■aX ' 

At a little past Twenty years led by his own inclination & protnptcd also by ' 

his Father, he married a remarkably plain ; but neat industrious & economical j 

girl; of excellent character ; earnest piety; & good practical common sense ;  

about one year younger than himself. This woman by her mild, frank, &  

more than all else: by her very consistent conduct; acquired & ever while  

she lived maintained a most powerful ; Sc good influence over him. Her plain 
but kind admonitions generally had the right effect ; without arousing his haughty j 

obstinate temper. John began early in life to discover a great liking to fine ! 

(Cattle, Horses, Sheep, & Swine ; & as soon as circumstances would enable him \ 

he began to be a practical Shepherd: it bdng a calling for which in early life j 

he had a kind of enthusiastic longing: wiih the idea that as a business it bid 
fair to afford him the means of carrying out his greatest or principle object. I 
have now given you a kind of general idea of the early life of this boy ; & if i 
I believed it would be worth the trouble ; or afford much interest to any good ' 



Biographies. 323 

feeling person : I might be tempted to tell you something of his course in after 
life ; or manhood. I do not say that I will do It. 

You will discover that in using up my half sheets to save paper • I have writ- 
ten Two pages, so that one does not follow the other as it should. I have no 
time to write it over; h but for unavoidable hindrances in traveling I can 
hardly say when I should have written what I have. With an honest desire 
for your best good, I subscribe myself. Your Friend 

J. Brown. 

P. S. I had like to have forgotten to acknowledge your contribution in aid 
of the cause in which I serve. God Allmighty bless you ; my son. J. B. 

Upon this Autobiography a few remarks may be made. It was 
sent to the son of his friend, the late Major Stearns of Medford, 
Mass., who, as chairman of the Massachusetts Kansas committee, 
had become acquainted with John Brown in 1857, ^"*^ '^^*^ done 
much to promote the objects he then had at heart. When it was 
written, though Brown was then engaged in preparations for his at- 
tack on slavery in Virginia, nothing was known of that scheme by 
Major Stearns or by any of Brown's A4assachusetts friends. The 
contributions made by Harry Stearns and by others "in aid of the 
cause in which I serve," were given to help the oppressed pioneers 
of Kansas whom Brown was then defending. But k^ seems by this 
account of John Brown's childhood and youth, that his hostility to 
slavery began before 1815, when he was in the habit of driving cattle 
long distances in Ohio, for army supplies, during the war with Eng- 
land which began in i8i2. One of the first important events of 
that war was the surrender of Gen. Hull of Massachusetts, with his 
whole force, to the British near Detroit in 18 12. Owen Brown, as 
a beef contractor, was with Hull's army at or just before the surrender, 
accompanied by his son John. The boy, then but twelve years old, 
circulated among the American soldiers and officers and overheard 
many of the conversations in camp concerning Gen. Hull and his 
position. He saw much of Gen. Cass, then a captain under Hull, 
and it is to him, no doubt, that allusion is made as one of those 
" who have figured before the country since that time." Long after- 
ward (in 1857), ^^ ^'^^^ "^^ ^^'^^ ^^ overheard such mutinous con- 
versation from Cass, McArthur, and other officers as would have 
branded them as mutineers, if he could have reported it to the Wash- 
ington authorities, and he had an ill opinion of Cass ever after, on 
account of this incident. He believed that Gen. Hull was forced 
into the false position which led to his surrender by the ill conduct 
of his subordinate officers. 




324 History of Torrington. 

The town of Hudson, and the region about it was the part of Ohio 
familiar to John Brown's boyhood, and the nature of his life at that 
time is well described in the preceding pages. He thus entered early 
upon that long course of special training for his future warfare. A 
most important part of this discipline was his outdoor habit of life, 
and his intimate acquaintance with all that passes in wood and field, 
by day and night. This life in the open air, to which he was bred 
from infancy, gave him a hunter's digestion and the keen senses of 
an Indian warrior. He was remarkably clear sighted and quick of 
ear, and so acute of smell, that he could perceive the frying of dough- 
nuts at a distance of five miles, as he once told me. The life of a 
shepherd — an open air calling — was one, as he says, " for which in 
early life he had a kind of enthusiastic longing." When he became 
a shepherd in after years his eye was so discriminating that if a strange 
sheep got into his flock of two or three thousand, he could select 
the intruder without difficulty. The surveyor's art, in which he 
became expert, was another calling that kept him constantly in the 
\ open air. " As happens usually to men of romantic character," said 
Emerson in 1859, '''' ^'^ fortunes were romantic. A shepherd and 
herdsman, he learned the manners of animals, and knew the secret 
signals by which animals communicate. He made his hard bed on 
the mountains with them ; he learned to drive his flock through 
thickets all but impassable. If he kept sheep, it was with a royal 
mind." Or as Emerson had written in earlier years of another char- 
acter, equally romantic : 

" He trode the unplinted forest floor, whereon 
The all-seeing sun for ages has not shone; 
Where feeds the moose and walks the surly bear, 
And up the tall mast runs the woodpecker, 
Through these green tents, by eldest nature dressed. 
He roamed, content alike with man and beast. 
Where darkness found him he lay glad at night, 
There the red morning touched him with its light. 
The timid it concerns to ask their way. 
And fear what foe in caves and swamps can stray. 
To make no step until the event is known. 
And ills to come as evils past bemoan, 
Not so the wise ; no coward watch he keeps, 
To spy what danger on his pathway creeps, 
Go where he will, the wise man is at home, 
His hearth the earth, his hall the azure dome ; 
Where his clear spirit leads him, there's his road. 
By God's own light illumined and foreshowed." 



Biographies. 325 

John Brown early learned to submit himself to God's guidance in 
all things. He experienced religion at the age of sixteen years, and 
^Ttfiat time joined the Congregational church in Hudson. Not long 
after his mind turned towards the ministry as a profession and he 
began to study with that in view. 

Precisely when this took place I have not learned, but it was the 
occasion of his first return to Connecticut after his emigration with 
his father in 1805. Whether he then revisited Torrington is un- 
certain, but upon making the long journey to New England, perhaps 
in company with his father, he went to take the advive of a parish 
minister who had married an aunt or cousin of Owen Brown, Rev. 
Jeremiah Hallock, then settled at Canton, Ct. By hirr, John Brown 
was advised to fit for college at the school pf his brother, Rev. Moses 
Hallock in Plainfield, Mass. Th e sc hool was at that time famous 
for graduating ministers and missionaries, and the poet Bryant had 
been a student there some years before. Plainfield is the next town 
to Cummington, where Bryant was born, and is not very far from 
Amherst college, where John Brown's uncle. Rev. Dr. Heman 1 
Humph rey, was soon after made president. No doubt the lad's hope' 
was to fit himself at Plainfield and then enter Amherst college — 
working his way by his own effx)rts, as so many young men have 
since done. But he was attacked with inflammation of the eyes, 
which soon became so serious that he was forced to give up study, 
and go back to his father's tan-yard m Hudson, from which he had 
set forth for college. The time spent by him at the Plainfield school 
was short, and there are few reminiscences of him at that period, but 
something may be cited. In December, 1859, Heman Hallock, the 
youngest son of Rev. Moses Hallock, wrote to his brother Gerard 
Hallock, then editor of the New York 'Journal of Commerce^ as 
follows : 

" Your youngest brother does remember John Brown, who studied at our 
house. How long he lived there, or at what period, I do not know. I think 
it must have been at the time of my visits to Plainfield, when I was or had 
been at Amherst academy,' perhaps in 1819 or 1820 I have the name 'John 
Brown' on my list of father's students. It is said that he was a relative of 
Uncle Jeremiah Hallock's wife, and that Uncle J. directed him to Plainfield. 
He was a tall, sedate, dignified voung man, from twenty-two to twenty-five 
years old.'- lie had been a tanner, and relinquished a prosperous business for 



' Afterwards Amherst college. 

= This shows that he appeared older than his years, for he was really only nineteen and 
perhaps not so much. 



326 History of Torrington. 

the purpose of intellectual improvement. He brought with him a piece of 
sole leather about a foot square, which he had himself tanned, for seven years, 
to re-sole his boots. He had also a piece of sheep skin which he had tanned 
and of which he cut some strips, about an eighth of an inch wide, for other 
students to pull upon. Father took one string and, winding it around his 
fingers, said with a triumphant turn of the eye and mouth, ' I shall snap it.' 
The very marked yet kind immovableness of thf; young man's face, on seeing 
father's defeat, father's own look, and the position of people and things in the 
old kitchen, somehow gave me a fixed recollection of this litde incident." 

John Brown set the whole nation a similar task to do in later 
years. The cord that fastened the fortunes of the slave to the destiny 
of the country was placed by him in the hands of the whole people. 
Detendexs of slavery and of th^ " Union as it was," tried to snap it, 
but they failed, and the " marked but kind immovableness" of John 
Brown's face looked down upon their failure, while his soul went 
marching on. The anecdote was characteristic of the man, as are 
most of the stories current about him. 

Soon after Brown's return to Hudson frorn Massachusetts, he 
married his first wife, Dianthe Lusk, who is mentioned, though not 
by name, in the autobiography. The marriage took place June 21, 
1820, and was terminated in August, 1832, when the wife died in 
childbirth. There were six other children of this marriage, the 
eldest of whom, John Brown, Jr., was born July 25, 1821 ; Jason 
Brown was born January 19, 1823, Owen Brown, November 4, 
1824, Ruth (now Mrs. Henry Thompson), February 18, 1829, and 
Frederick Brown, December 21, 1830. The last named son was 
killed at the fight of Osawatomie in Kansas, August 30, 1856. The 
others, who were all in Kansas then with their father, are still living, 
and Owen is the last survivor of the company which invaded Virginia 
in October, 1859. By a second marriage with Mary Anne Day, 
of Meadville, Penn., in 1833, John Brown became the father of 
thirteen children, seven of whom died in childhood, two were slain 
, at Harper's Ferry, and foTir survive. These are Salmon Brown, 
born October 2, 1836; Anne, born September 23, 1843; Sarah 
born September 11, 1846; and Ellen, born September 25, 1854. 
In all, therefore, John Brown was the father of twenty children, of 
Xwhom ten grew to manhood, and eight are still living. 

Having begun thus early to "give hostages of fortune," as Lord 
Bacon says, John Brown devoted himself with diligence to his occu- 
pation, for the support of his young family. He was a tanner and 
f\ \land-surveyor at Hudson until 1826, when he removed to Richmond, 




Biographies. 327 

near Meadville, in Pennsylvania, and there carried on the same voca - \_ 
tions. He remained there until 1835, then removed to Franklin 
Mills, Portage county, Ohio, and there mingled speculation in land 
with his tanning. He lest heavily^i n the pan i c of 1 837, and in 1839 
he seems to have given up tanning, and entered upon a new pursuit, 
that of wool-growing and wool-dealing. In that year he drove a herd lL. \ 
^cattle from Ohio to Connecticut and returned in July, 1839, with - ' 
a few sheep, the nucleus of his great flock. In 1840 he returned to 
Hudson, where his father, Owen Brown, senior, still lived, and there 
engaged largely in sheep-raising. His partner at first was Captain. 
Oviatt of Richfield, a neighboring town, and in 1842, Brown re- 
moyed_to^Ri ch field, 4vii ere he lived for two years, and where his"; 
daughter Anne (who was with him just before the attack on Harper's 
Ferry) was born. Here, too, hejos t four children in less than three , 
weeks — Sarah aged nine j Charles, almost six ; Peter, not quite three 
and Aus^iiTjayear old. Three of these were carried out of his house 
at one funeral, and were buried in the same grave, in September, 
1843. The next year he left this fatal spot, and settled in Akron, 
not far off; whence he removed, in 1846 to Springfield, in Massa- 
chusetts. It was while tending his flocks in Ohio, with his sons and ^ — ^ 
daughters about him, that he first communicated to them his purpose ^ V 
of attacking slavery by force. From that time forward, a period of j «^~^ 
tw^ntjTyeafs, he devoted himself, not exclusively but mainly, to that/^ 
iindertaking, in which he sacrificed his life. At this point, therefore, '^ 
it will be well to pause a moment and see what manner of man John/ -v^^. 
Brown had shown himself to be in the ordinary affairs ofjife. ^^^ 

He was industrious in whatever he undertook, upright and scru- 
pulous in his business transactions, but with a touch of eccentricity, 
which showed itself particularly, his friends thought, in his deeds of 
""charity. While living in Pennsylvania he declined to do military, 
duty, and paid his fine rather^han encourage war by learning the art, ; 
resolving, as Thoreau said in 1859, "■ thaLhe would have nothing to 
do with any war unless it were a war for liberty." He caused the 
arrest of an offender of Pennsylvania, who had done him no injury, 
but was, as Brown thought, a plague to the community, and while 
he was in prison. Brown supplied his wants, and supported his family 
until the trial, out of his own scanty earnings. One of the ap- 
prentices in his tan yard at that time, bears testimony to the singular 
probity of his life. He refused to selLhis leatjier until jhe last ilropX 
of jnpisture had been dried out of it, saying that he " did not mean ) 



72S History of Torrington. 

/I 

to sell his customers water by the pound, and reap an unjust gain." 
'' I have known him from boyhood through manhood," said Mr. 
Qviatt of Richfield, '^ and, he has always been distinguished for his 
truthfulness and integrity ; he has ever been esteemed a very con- 

,jScientious man." Another Ohio acquaintance, who first knew him 
in 1835, says, " Soon after my removal to Akron, he became a client 
of mine, subsequently a resident of the township in which the town 
ot Akron is situated, and during a portion of the time, a member of 
a Bible class taught by me. I always regarded him as a man of more 
than ordinary mental capacity, of very ardent and excitable tem2pTZ- 
ment, of unblemished moral character ; a kind neighbor, a good 
Christian, deeply imbued with religious feelings and sympathies. In_ 
a business point of view, his temperament led him into pecuniary 
difficulties, but I never knew his integrity questioned by any person 

' whatsoever." He brought up his children to read the Bible daily, and 
it was the book of all others with which he was most familiar. " He 

;had such a perfect knowledge of it," says his daughter Ruth, " that 

'when any person was reading it, he would correct the least mistake. 
When he would come home at night, tired out with labor, he would, 
before going to bed, ask some of the family to read chapters (as was 
his usual course, night and morning), and would almost always sav, 
' Read one of David's Psalms.'" He was a singer himself, and 
taught his children to sing psalms and hymns. Among those sung 
most frequently about his fireside altar were, " Blow ye the trumpet 
blow," *■' I'll praise my Maker with my breath," "• With songs and 
honors sounding loud," and "Ah, lovely appearance of death." Bun- 
yan's Pilgrim and Baxter's Saint's Rest were constantly read in his 
family, but the Bible took precedence of every thing. In his will 
he bequeathed a Bible to each of his children, and grandchildren, and 
wrote to his family a few days before his execution, '' I beseech 
you every one to make the Bible your daily and nightly study. 

ijuch was the man, of the best New England blood, of the stock 
of the Plymouth Pilgrims, and bred up like them " in the nurture and 
admonition of the Lord," who was selected by God, -and knew him- 
self to be so chosen, to overthrow the bulwark of oppression in Ame- 
rica. His prayers and meditations from childhood had been leading 
him towards this consecration of himself to a great work, and from 
the year '839 till his death he had no dearer purpose in life than to 
fulfil this mission. He seems to have formed a definite plan of attacking 
slavery in one of its strongholds, by force, as early as 1838^ bjjt his 



Biographies. 'TH 3'^9 

purpose was modified in detail afterward,/ and, no doubt, changed i 

from time to time, as the circumstances of the country changed. It 

is quite probable that, in early life, John Brown, like many other 

Americans, anticipated an uprising of the slaves themselves in large \ 

numbers, such as had taken place in St. Domingo, during the French i 

Revolution. Mr. Elizur Wright,''of Boston (already mentioned as a 1 

schoolmate of John Brown at Tallmadge in Ohio), informs me -that ; 

old Squire Hudson, for whom the town so called in Ohio was named, 1 

and who was the leading man in that section where Brown spent his i 

boyhood, was not only an abolitionist fifty years ago, but that he : 

favored forcible resistance by the slaves. Mr. Wright says that he s 

met Sq uire Hudson, one day in September, 1831, coming from his ^ 

post-office, and reading a newspaper which he had just received, ; 

and which seemed to excite hitii very much as he read it. As Mr. j 

Wright came within hearing, the^old Connecticut Calvinist was ex- ' 

claimmg^' Thank God for that ! I am glad of it. Thank God they 

have risen at Fast !" Inquiring what the news was. Squire Hudson ; 

replied, " Wh y th e slaves have men down in Virginia, and are fightingjjCLVO^-v-'-' . : 

for their freedom as we did for ours. I pray God they may get it."^ '^" ^~-^^ i 

Thisjwasjh^J^Tious '•'■ Southampton tn assa cre " of Ajjgust 23, 1831, 

in which Nat Turner, with six fellow slaves, raised a revolt in South- \ 

ampton county, on the edge of the Dismal Swamp in Virginia, and i 

had killed more than fifty whites, without the loss of a single follower, j 

when his band was dispersed on the 25th of August. Turner him- / 

self escaped arrest for eight weeks longer, but was finally captured . 

October 30, 1831, tried November 5, and hanged November II, ' 

almost exactly twenty-eight years before John Brown's execution, 

December 2, 1859. If the Ohio neighbors of John Brown in 183 1 '■ 

thanked God for Nat Turner's revolt, no wonder that he too should - 

have expected- and favored an armed insurrection. What he did ' 

. . . . 1 

actually engage in, after meditating upon his plans for so many years, j 

was something very different, namely, a partisan warfare, led and . ' 

controlied - by white men, with the purpose and hope of abolishing/ 

slavery, stat_ej)y state, without th_e_hprrors of massacre and insurrec- • \ 

tion which attended the uprising of Turner in Virginia, and,Qf the Hay- ; 

tian negroes in 1791, and which would have followed the remarkable 

plot of Denmark Vesey in South Carolina in 1822 had that well-laid I 

scheme not been frustrated by its discovery, before the time fixed for 

the outbreak. It was the peculiarity of John Brown's final plan,\ 

that he concealed its purpose for years, and until the moment of its 

42 



\ 



330 History of Torrington. 

execution ; that he had so carefully thought out its details as probably 
to insure its success, had he not been providentially led to strike 
the first blow in a place where complete success was impossible; 
and that its execution would have been found as free from the 
traditional horrors of slave insurrections as the best antecedent ar- 
rangements could make it. In fact, it was not an insurrection in 
any sense of the word, but an invasion or foray, similar in its charac- 
ter to that which Garibaldi was to make six months later in Sicily 
for the overthrow of the infamous Bourbon tyranny there. The 
Italian hero succeeded, and became dictator of the island he had con- 
quered ; the American hero failed for the moment, and was put to 
death. But his soul went marching on, and millions of his country- 
men followed in his footsteps two years later, to complete the cam- 
paign in which Brown had led the forlorn hope. As usual, the forlorn 
hope was sacrificed, bu t by ^ thek- death the final victory was won. 

In 1838, when Brown formed his plans for attacking American 
slavery, and even in 1858, when he had organized an armed force 
to carry them out, his scheme would have seemed mere madness to 
most persons. But Brown had the spirit of his ancestors, the Pilgrim 
Fathers, and entered upon his perilous undertaking with deliberate 
resolution, after considering what was to be said for and against it, 
as did the Pilgrims before they set forth from Holland to colonize 
New England. Governor Bradford, one of their bravest leaders 
and their historian, has recorded the arguments for attempting the 
voyage to America, in words which will apply, with very little change, 
either in spelling or of spirit, to the adventure undertaken two cen- 
turies and a half later, by Peter Brown's stalwart descendant, " the 
last of the Puritans." 

" It was answered,'' says Bradford in his History " that all great and honour- 
able actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and must be both enterprised 
and overcome with answerable courages. It was granted the dangers were 
great, but not desperate ; the difficulties were many, but not invincible. For 
though there were manie of them likely, yet thev were not certain ; it might 
be sundrie of the things feared might never befall ; others, by provident care 
and the use of good means might in a great measure be prevented ; and all of 
them, through the help of God, by fortitude and patience might either be borne 
or overcome. True it was that such attempts were not to be made and under- 
taken without good ground and reason; not rashly or lightly as many have done 
for curiosity or hope ot gaine, etc. But their condition was not ordinarie; their 
ends were good and honourable ; their calling lawful! and urgente ; and there- 
fore they might expecte the blessing of God in their proceeding. Yea, though 



Biographies. 331 

they should loose their lives in this action, yet might they have comforte in the 
same, and endeavors would be honourable." 

The world now sees how "honorable" the "endeavors" of 
Bradford and of John Brown were, and what momentous conse- 
quences have followed. For events in history, as all who read history 
know, have their importance measured by final results, rather than 
by their apparent magnitude at the moment. The passage of the 
Rubicon by Caesar (about which Lucan makes so much ado, and 
Plutarch tells one of his striking anecdotes), would have had no 
significance but for the victories that followed it and placed the ad- 
venturous general at the head of the Roman empire. And again, 
the assassination of Caesar, startling and dramatic as it was, had ac- 
tually no historical result, and only serves to mark the date of transi- 
tion in Rome from one form of government to another. The short 
campaign of John Brown in Virginia not only possesses the dramatic 
interest that belongs to a striking event, but will always be worthy of 
note as the beginning of that forcible attack upon a form of slavery and^ 
a political power which within twoyears afterward convulsed the whole 
world with its consequences. It was the first decisive act of an in- 
evitable tragedy, and such were its romantic features that, in the 
lapse of time, it will no doubt be gravely expounded as a myth to 
those who shall read American history some centuries hence. There 
seems to be no reason why John Brown, any more than William 
Tell, should escape this skeptical and generalizing spirit, which trans- 
forms history and even biography into a record of natural science. 
" King Arthur," says a recent Welch writer v/ho resolves history 
into astronomy, "is the Great Bear, and perhaps this constellation, 
being so near the pole, and visibly describing its circle in a small 
space, is the origin of the famous Round Table." Will there come 
a time when the Underground rail road shall be regarded as typical of 
some geologic transition, and the foray at Harper's Ferry pass for the 
legendary symbol of a chemic reaction ? 

John Brown was, indeed, no mythical nor in any respect dubitable 
personage. It was his fortune to play a great part, but no son ot 
Adam was ever less theatrical in his aim, or more ilitensely practical 
in his result. An idealist in spirit, he was a realist in activity, and 
accomplished the grandjask assigned to him with a plain, forthright\ 
sincerity which comports little with the romantic circumstances of 
his life and death. He was easily and naturally great, 

" And, as the greatest only are, 
In his simplicity sublime." 



;^^2 History of Torrington. 

His character needs, therefore, only to be honestly set forth ; not 
to be adorned with epithets and compliments. The chronicle of his 
life is his best monument ; let us now resume this, for the sake of 
pointing out some of the steps by which he prepared himself for the 
last scene of this life, that drew upon him the eyes of all mankind. He 
did not hasten forward towards the achievement of what he had un- 
dertaken, until the fulness of time had come, and he had furnished 
himself with such military and general knowledge as he deemed re- 
quisite to the execution of his plan. He kept it steadily before him 
for twenty years, educated himself and his children for it, and made 
it as much a part of his household discipline as were his prayers at 
morning and evening. Mr. Emerson, indeed, in his speech at Salem, 
a month before Brown's death, fixes a much earlier date than I have 
given for the beginning of his enterprise against slavery in Virginia. 
"It was not a piece of spite or revenge, — a plot of two years or of 
twenty years — but the keeping of an oath made to heaven and earth 
forty-seven years before. Forty-seven years at least, though I in- 
cline to accept his own account of the matter, at Charlestown, 
which makes the date a little older, when he said, ' This was all 
settled millions of years before the world was made.' Mrs. Brown 
told me in i860, that she had known his design and been pledged to 
aid it for more than twenty years; and John Brown himself had said 
in 1857, early in my acquaintance with him, ' I always told her that 
when the time came to fight against slavery, that conflict would be 
the signal for our separation. She made up her mind to have me go 
long before this, and, when I did go, she got ready bandages, and 
medicine for the wounded.'" 

In 1846, while in the midst of his occupations as a wool-grower 
and wool-dealer, John Brown came back to New England for a (cw 
years, and took up his abode at Springfield, in Massachusetts, not 
very far from the first Connecticut home of his ancestors in Wind- 
sor. He went there to reside as one of the wool dealing firm of 
Perkins and Brown, and as the agent of the sheep-farmers and wool- 
merchants^of northern Ohio, whose interests then required, as they 
thought, an agency to stand between them and the wool-manufac- 
turers of New England, to whom they sold their fleeces. The Ohio 
wool-growers fancied that they were fleeced as well as their 
flocks, in the transactions they had with the manufacturers, who 
would buy wool before it was graded, pay for it at the price of a low 
grade, and then sort it so as to bring themselves a large profit, exclu- 



Biographies. ^33 

sive of the process of manufacturing. John Brown undertook to 
prevent this, and with this view, initiated a system of grading wools 
before they passed into the manufacturers' hands. The system after- 
ward prevailed and was successful, but the manufactcrers were too 
powerful then for the western farmer. They bribed his clerk (as he 
always believed), to change the marks of his wool, so that what they 
paid for as a low grade, was really one degree better. This transac- 
tion led to several law suits, one of which was tried in Boston in the 
wi nter of 1852-3 (after Brown had withdrawn from business in 
Springfield and retired to the Adirondac woods), and it went against 
him. The next year he won a similar suit, which was tried in a 
New York court, and Brown always believed he should have won 
in the Boston case, had it been tried upon its merits, and not settled 
by a compromise between the counsel. It is worth noting that the 
judge who held the court at Boston was Caleb Gushing, who was 
just then invited by Franklin Pierce to leave the supreme bench of 
Massachusetts and become attorney-general of the United States, 
and that the counsel against Brown was Rufus Choate. 

While in Springfield John Brown lived in a house in Franklin 
street, a little north of the Boston and Albany rail road. His wool 
warehouses were close by the rail road, and at one time contained a 
great stock of Ohio wool, which had accumulated on his hands while 
he was at variance, as to price and grade of wool, with his New 
England customers. Wishing to make a market for his stock, and be- 
lieving that he could sell it in Europe to advantage, he went abroad • 
in 1848-g, and traversed a considerable part of England and the con- I 
tinent, on business connected with his merchandise, but also, with an/ 
eye to his future carrtpaigns against slavery. He visited wool-markets 
and battle fields in impartial succession, and took notice of the tricks of 
trade and the maneuvers of armies with equal interest. He was then 
noted among wool dealers for the delicacy of his touch in sorting the 
different qualities, and his skill in testing them when submitted to 
him. Give him three samples of wool, one grown in Ohio, another 
in Vermont, and a third in Saxony, and he would distinguish one 
from the other in the dark, by his sense of touch. Some Englishmen, 
during his sojourn abroad, put this power of Brown's to the test, in 
an amusing manner, one evening, in company with several English 
wool dealers, each of whom had brought samples in his pocket. 
Brown was giving his opinion as to the best use to which certain 
.grades and qualities should be put. One of the party very gravely 



334 History of Torrington. 

drew a sample from his pocket, handed it to the Yankee farmer, and 
asked him what he would do with such wool as that. Brown took 
it, and had only to roll it between his fingers to know that it had not 
the minute hooks by which the fibres of wool are attached to each 
other. "Gentlemen," said he, "if you have any machinery in Eng- 
land that will work up dog's hair, I would advise you to put this into 
it." The jocose Briton had sheared a poodle and brought the fleece 
in his pocket, but the laugh went against him when Brown handed 
back his precious sample. His skill in trade was not so great, and 
after trying the mrkets of Europe, he finally sold his Liverpool con- 
signments of wool at a lower price than it would have brought in 
_Springfield. This ill-success, and the expenses of his venture, finally 
ruined his business, and in 1849 ^e gave it up and went to live for 
some years at North Elba, where he was buried. 

In Springfield, from 184610 1849, J^^'^ Brown had the reputation 
of "a quiet and peaceable citizen and a religious man." The late 
Chief Justice Chapman, who said this of him in 1859, ^^^^ wrote at 
the same time ; " Mr. Brown's integrity was never doubted, and he 
was honorable in all his dealings, bu: peculiar in many of hi? notions, 
and adhering to them with great obstinacy. Rev. Mr. Conklin, who 
was settled in the North Congregational church, and who separated 
himself in a great measure from other ministers in Springfield, be- 
cause he thought them culpably indifferent to the sin of slavery, was 
intimate with Brown, and they sympathized in their anti-slavery 
ideas. His bookkeeper tells me that Brown and his eldest son (John 
Brown Jr.), used to discuss slavery by the hour in his counting room, 
and he used to say that it was right for slaves to kill their masters 
and escape." This son, it may be mentioned, came with some of 
the other children to reside in Springfield before his father took up 
his abode there. The sons went on Sundays to the little African 
church, and there formed the acquaintance of a colored man, Thomas 
Thomas by name, a fugitive slave from the eastern shore of Mary- 
land. Learning something of Thomas's history and observing his 
upright and courageous character, they engaged him to work for their 
father when he should come to take charge of the wool business in 
Springfield. This soon happened, and John Brown sent for Thomas, 
and directed him to begin work -at the wool warehouse, as a porter, 
the next morning. " How early shall I come ?" " We begin work 
at seven," was Brown's answer, " but I wish you would come round 
earlier, for I want to talk with you." Thomas went to his work the 



Biographies. j^S 

next morning, between five and six ; found Brown (who was always 
an early riser) waiting at the counting room for him ; and there re- 
ceived, instead of directions for his day's work, an invitation to join 
in Brown's enterprise for the liberation of the slaves, which was 
briefly explained to him, and in which Thomas agreed to join. 
Meantime he was to work in the warehouse, and did so during the 
three years that Brown remained in Springfield. During that time 
he was sent by Brown to look up Madison Washington, the leader 
of the courageous slaves of the vessel Creole, whom Brown wanted 
as a leader among his colored recruits. But Washington, when 
found, proved to be an unfit person for such a responsible place.' 

It was in the hope of enlisting and drilling these colored recruits 
for this company of liberators, that Brown went to live in North 
Elba, among the colored men to whom Gerrit Smith had given land 
among the Adirondac woods in 1848. Mr. Smith (who con- 
tinued to be Brown's friend from their first acquaintance in 1849, 
until his death in Virginia), had inherited from his father landed 
estate in more than three-fourths of the counties of New York. In 
Essex county, among the Adirondac mountains and lakes, he 
owned thousand of acres, and these he off'ered to give away in farms 
of suitable size to such colored men as would live upon the land, 
clear it, and cultivate it. On his return from England in 1849, 
Brown heard of the ofi^er, and soon presented himself, for the first 
time, at the hospitable house of Mr. Smith in Peterboro, where he was 
ever after a welcome visitor. By this time a small colony of colored 
people had gone to North Elba to clear up the forest land given them 
by Mr. Smith, and were braving the hardships of their first year in 
the cold backwoods of northern New York. Brown introduced 
himself to Mr. Smith and made him this proposal: "I am some- 
thing of a pioneer, having grown up among the woods and wild 
Indians of Ohio, and am used to the climate and the wav of life that 
your colony find so trying; I will take one of your farms myself, 
clear it up and plant it, and show my colored neighbors how such 
work should be done ; will give them work as I have occasion, look 
after them in all needful ways, and be a kind of father to them." The 
landlord readily consented to have such a tenant, and Brown soon 



' Thomas Thomas still lives in Springfield, and is now (May, 1877), ^^ he has been for 
some years, the keeper of an eating house near the rail road station. He retains the most 
loyal affection for John Brown, and it is from his own lips that I have had some of the above 
facts concerning Brown in Springfield. • 



2^6 History of Torrington. 

removed his family from Springfield to North Elba, where they re- 
mained for the greater part of the time between 1849 ^"^ 1862, and 
where they lived when John Brown was attacking slavery in Kansas, 
in Missouri and in Virginia, Besides the other inducements which 
this rough and bleak region offered him, he considered it a good place 
of refuge for his wife and younger children, when he should go on 
his campaign, a place where they would not only be safe and inde- 
pendent, but could live frugally and both learn and practice those 
habits of thrifty industry which Brown thought indispensable in 
the training of children When he went there his youngest son, 
Oliver, was ten years old, and his daughters, Anna and Sarah, 
were six and three years old. Ellen, his youngest child, was born 
afterwards. 

In 1849, ^^^ great current of summer and autumn travel, which 

now flows through the Adirondac wilderness every year, had scarcely 

begun to set that way. There were in North Elba few roads, 

schools or churches, and only one or two good farms. The life of a 

settler there was wild pioneer work; the forest was to be cut down, 

I and the land burnt over; the family supplies must be produced 

; mainly in the household itself. The men made their own sugar from 

\ the maple trees, which grew everywhere ; and the women spun and 

Wove garments for both sexes, out of the wool that was sheared from 

the family flock of sheep; cows and especially sheep were the wealth 

of the farmer. As Colonel Higginson mentions, the widow of Oliver 

Brown, after his death at Harper's Ferry in 1859, was considered 

not to be absolutely penniless, because Oliver had left her five sheep, 

valued at ten dollars. Winter lingers in these forests for six months 

-of the year, and in the short summers, neither wheat nor Indian corn 

will come to maturity ; the crops are grass, oats and potatoes, 

a few vegetables, and the fruit of the woods and meadows. 

In the summer, for a few months, this wilderness is charming. 
The mountains rise, grand and beautiful on all sides; the untamed 
forest clothes their slopes and fills up the plains and valleys, save where 
the puny labors of men have here and there rescued a bit of fertile 
land from its gloom. On such spots the houses are built, and 
around them grow the small cultivated crops that can endure the 
climate. The wild fruits are in abundance, the woods (when I first 
saw them in 1857) were full of game, and the streams and lakes of 
fish. But the mode of life is rude and primitive, with noelegance, and 
little that we should call comfort. Many of the dwellings are log cab- 



Biographies. 337 

ins, and in the whole to\ynship of North Elba, there was then scarcely 
a house worth a thousand dollars, or one which was finished throughout. 
Mrs. Brown's house, in 1857, ^^^ ^^^ "^^^ plastered rooms, yet 
two families lived in it, and at my second visit, in February, i860, 
two widowed women besides, whose husbands were killed at Har- 
per's Ferry. I slept on both occasions in a little chamber partitioned 
off with a rude frame-work, but not plastered, the walls only orna- 
mented with a few pictures ; and in winter the snow sifted tlirough 
the roof and fell upon the bed. I arrived at nightfall, on my second 
visit, closely pursued from the shore of Lake Champlain by a snow- 
storm, which murmured and moaned about the chamber all night, 
and in the morning I found a small snow-drift on my coverlet, and 
another on the floor near my bed.' This house had been built by 
John Brown about 1850, and the great rock beside which he lies 
buried, is but a i^ew roJs from its door. 

One of the first things that Brown did in this wilderness was to 
introduce his favorite breed of cattle there, and to exhibit them for a 
prize at the annual cattle show of Essex county in September 1850. 
They were a grade of Devons, and the first improved stock that had 
ever been seen at the county fair. The agricultural society in its an- 
nual report for 1850, said "The appearance upon the grounds of a 
number of very choice and beautiful Devons, from the herd of Mr. 
John Brown, residing in one of our most remote and secluded towns, 
attracted great attention, and added much to the interest of the fair. 
The interest and admiration they excited have attracted public atten- 
tion to the subject, and have already resulted in the introduction of 
several choice animals into this region." The same result on a much 
grander scale, was observed ten years later, when John Brown ex- 
hibited, at the world's fair, specimens of a choicer and bigger breed of 
men than had been seen lately in Virginia or New England. " We 
have no doubt," added the Essex county farmers, " that this infl,uence 
upon the character of our stock will be permanent and decisive." 
Let us hope the same for our country and its men.^ 



'The new-born babe of Oliver Brown (the captain's youngest son, who had been killed 
at Harper's Ferry four months before) died in the house that night, and the poor young 
mother did not long survive. 

^Writing on the 30th day of September, 1850, to an inquiring correspondent, John 
Brown said : " None of my cattle are pure Devons, but a mixture of that and a particular 
favorite stock from Connecticut, a cross of which I much prefer to any pure English cattle 
after many years experience, of different breeds. I was several months in England last season, 
and saw no one stock on any farm, that would average better than my own." 

43 



22^ History of Torrington. 

Another word may here be said, before leaving this period, of 
Brown's journey in Europe in 1848-9. Some letters of his from 
Europe are still in existence, and it is hoped they will soon be pub 
lished. The only other record of his European experiences, so far 
as I know, is that noted down by me from conversations in 1857-8, 
in which he told me about what he chiefly noticed abroad, the agri- 
cultural and military equipment of the countries he visited, and the 
social condition of the people. He thought a standing army the 
greatest curse to a country, because it drained away the best of the 
young men, and left farming and the industrial arts to be managed 
by inferior persons. The German farming, he said, was bad hus- 
bandry, because the farmers there did not live on their land, but in 
villages, and so wasted the natural manures, which ought to go back 
without diminution to the soil. He thought England the best 
cultivated country he had ever seen ; but as we were driving away 
one morning in 1859, ^''oni the country seat of Mr. John JVl. Forbes 
at Milton, near Boston, he told me that he had seen few houses of 
rich men in England so full of beauty and comfort as this, in which 
he had passed the night.' He had followed the military career of 
Napoleon with great interest, and visited some of his battlefields. 
We talked of such things while driving from Concord to Medford, 
to visit Mr. Stearns, one Sunday in April, 1857. ^^ ^'"'^" ^^^'^ ''^^^ 
that he had kept the contest against slavery in mind while traveling 
on the continent, and had made an especial study of the European 
armies and battle-fields. He had examined Napoleon's positions, 
and assured me that ths common military theory of strong places was 
unsound ; that a ravine was in truth more defensible than a hill-top.^ 
So it is, for an army of heroes, as Leonidas demonstrated at 
Thermopylae ; but for ordinary warfare, we may believe that 
Napoleon was right. Brown often witnessed the evolutions of the 
Austrian troops, and declared that they could always be defeated 
(as they have since been in Italy and elsewhere) by soldiers who 
should maneuver more rapidly. Tiie French soldiers he thought 
well drilled, but lacking individual prowess ; for that he gave the 
palm, and justly, to our own countrymen. He returned from Europe 



' Probably he saw few of the castles and seats of the nobility and the richer gentry, which 
are certainly superior to what is seen in New England. 

' As we passed through West Medford he pointed out several such defensible ravines. 



Biographies. 339 

more in love than before with American institutions, and more than 
ever convinced that slavery must be destroyed. He jcam e^back poor, 
for his mercantile ventures had failed ; it was not destined that he 
should grow rich, as he had hoped, and thus be able to aid the op- 
pressed from his abundance. Ever afterwards he accepted cheerfully 
the narrow path of poverty, but gave all his spare time to the work 
he had at heart. 

There is a phase of John Brown's life concerning which much has 
been said, without at all 'exhausting the subject, his efforts in behalf 
of the fugitive slaves who had taken refuge in the north, long before 
the troubles in Kansas began. These efforts were especially active"^ 
after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, when the poor ) 
refugees were in danger of being hunted down, even in New England, / 
and sent back to the bondage from which they had freed themselves 
by courage or cunning. In Januarv, 1851, while Brown was 
nominally a resident of the Adirondac woods, he was at his old home 
in Springfield, and there formed an organization among the colored 
people, many of whom were fugitives, to resist the capture of any 
fugitive, no matter bv what authority. The letter of instructions 
given by Brown at that time to his Springfield " Gileadites," as he 
called them, still exists in his handwriting, and has been once or twice 
printed. It deserves to be cited here, as an authentic document, 
throwing much light on the character and purposes of Brown at that 
time, nearly nine years before his campaign in Virginia. Here it is, 
without the signatures of the forty-five men and women who in 
Springfield had enrolled themselves as liberators or " Gileadites." 

" WORDS OF ADVICE. 

*' Branch of the United States League of Gileadites. Adopted January 15, 
1851, as written and recom7nended by John Brown. 

" 'union is strength.' 

" Nothing so charms the American people as personal bravery. The trial 
for life of one bold and to some extent successful man, for defending his rights 
in good earnest, would arouse more sympathy throughout the nation than the 
accumulated wrongs and sufferings of more than three millions of our submissive 
colored population. We need not mention the Greeks struggling against the 
oppressive Turks, the Poles against Russia, nor the Hungarians against Austria 
and Russia combined, to prove this. No jury can ie found in the Northern 
states that would convict a man for defending his rights to the last extremity. 
This is well understood by Southern Congressmen, who insisted that the right of 
trial by jury should not be granted to the fugitive. Colored people have more 



340 History of Torrington. 

fast friends amongst the whites than they suppose, and would have ten times 
the number they now have were they but half as much in earnest to secure 
their dearest rights as they are to ape the follies and extravagances of their 
white neighbors, and to indulge in idle show, in ease, and in luxury. Just 
think ot the money expended by individuals in your behalf in the past twenty- 
years. Think of the number who have been mobbed and imprisoned on your 
account Have any of you seen the Branded Hand ? Do you remember the 
names of liOvejoy and Torrey ? 

" Should one of your number be arrested, you must collect together as quickly 
as possible, so as to outnumber your adversaries who are taking an active part 
against you. Let no able-bodied man appear on the ground unequipped, or 
with his weapons exposed to view ; let that be understood beforehand. Your 
plans must be known only to yourself, and with the understanding that all 
traitors must die, wherever caught and proven to be guilty. ' Whosoever is 
fearful or afraid, let him return and part early from Mount Gilead.' (Judges, 
vii chap, 3 verse; Deut., xx chap., 8 verse.) Give all cowards an oppor- 
tunity to show it on condition of holding their peace. Du not delay one. moment 
after you are ready ; you zvill lose all your resolution if you do. Let the first blow 
he the signal for all to engage, and when engaged do not do your work by halves ; 
but make clean tuork with your enemies, and be sure you meddle not with any 
others. By going about your business quietly, you will get the job disposed of 
before the number that an uproar would bring together can collect ; and you 
will have the advantage of those who come out against you, for they will be 
wholly unprepared with either equipments or matured plans ; all with them will 
be confusion and terror. Your enemies will be slow to attack you after you 
have done up the work nicely; and, if they should, they will have to encounter 
your white friends as well as you, for you may safely calculate on a division of 
the whites, and may by that means get to an honorable parley. 

" Be firm, determined, and cool ; but let it be understood that you are not to 
be driven to desperation without making it an awful dear job to others as well 
as to you. Give them to know distinctly that those who live in wooden houses 
should not throw fire, and that you are just as able to suffer as your white 
neighbors. J/ter effecting a rescue, if you are assailed, go into the houses of your 
most prominent and influential white friends with your wives, and that will effect- 
ually fasten upon them the suspicion of being connected with you, and will compel 
them to make a co7nmon cause with you, whether they would otherwise live up to 
their profession or not. This would leave them no choice in the matter. Some 
would, doubtless, prove themselves true of their own choice ; others would 
flinch. That would be taking them at their own words. You may make a 
tumult in the court room where a trial is going on by burning gunpowder freely 
in paper packages, if you cannot think of any better way to create a momentary 
alarm, and might possibly give one or more of your enemies a hoist. But in 
such case the prisoner will need to take the hint at once and besiir himself; and 
so should his friends improve the opportunity for a genera] rush. 

" A lasso might possibly be applied to a slave catcher for once with good 

effect. Hold on 10 your weapons, and never be persuaded to leave them, part 

with them, or have them far away from you Standby one another, and by your 

friends, while a drop of blood remains ,- and be hanged, if you tnust, but tell no 

tales out of school. Make no confession. 



Biographies. 



341 



AGREEMENT. 



"As citizens of the United States of America, trusting in a just and merciful 
God, whose spirit and all powerful aid we humbiy implore, we will ever be 
true to thejiag of our beloved country, always acting under it. We whose names 
are hereunto affixed do constitute ourselves a branch of the United States League 
of Gileadites. That we will provide ourselves at once with suitable implements, 
and will aid those who do not possess the means, if any such are disposed to 
join us. We invite every colored person whose heart is engaged in the per- 
formance of our business, whether male or female, old or young. The duty of 
the aged, infirm, and young members of the League shall be to give instant notice 
to all members in case ot an attack upon any of our people. We agree to have 
no officers except a treasurer and secretary pro tern, 'until after some trial of 
courage and talent of able-bodied members shall enable us to elect officers from 
those who shall have rendered the most important services. Nothing but wisdom 
and undaunted courage, efficiency, and general good conduct shall in any way 
influence us in electing our officers." 

Then follows, in the original manuscript, a code of laws or regula- 
tions, such as John Brown, with his methodical, forward-looking mind, 
was in the habit of drawing up whenever he organized anv branch of 
his grand movement against slavery. Some features of this organiza- 
tion strikingly resemble that formed by him in Canada, in May, 1858 
(the Constitution of which was captured, among his papers at Har- 
per's Ferry), especially the agreement that " we will ever be true to 
the flag of our beloved country, always acting under it." This was 
reproduced in the" Provisional Constitution of 1858," the forty-sixth 
article of which reads thus : — 

" Art, XLVL These articles are not for the Overthrow of Government. 
The foregoing articles shall not be construed so as in any way to encourage the 
overthrow of any State Governinent, or of the General Government of tiie 
United States, and look to no dissolution of the Union, but simply to amend- 
ment and repeal, atid our fag shall be the same that our fathers fought under in 
the Revolution." 

This devotion to the flag and the principles of the Revolution, th^ 
latter as set forth in the Declaration of Independence, was fixed and \ 
constant in Captain Brown's mind, as it had been in the hearts of 
his two grandfathers who fought under Washington. He did not 
believe in the possibility of dissolving the Union, would not willingly 
hear it discussed, and once said to me with the most serious emphasis, 
weighing every word as he uttered it (such was his manner), "I be- 
lieve in the Golden Rule and the Declaration of Independence. I 
think they both mean the same thing; and it is better that a whole 
generation should pass ofF the earth, men, women, and children, by 



342 History of Torrington. 

a violent death, than that one jot of either should fail in this country.''^ 
He acted consistently on this principle, though a man of peace from 
his youth up, and inclining to the Quaker habit of not bearing arms 
in time of peace. Writing to his wife at North Elba, from Spring- 
field, about the time he formed his "league " there, in 1851, he 
says: " Since the sending off of Long (a fugitive) from New York, 
I have improved my leisure hours quite busily with colored people 
here, in advising them how to act, and in giving them all the en- 
couragement in my power. They very much need encouragement 
and advice, and some of them are so alarmed that they tell me they 
cannot sleep, on account of either themselves or their wives and 
children. I can only say I think I have been enabled to do some- 
thing to revive their broken spirits. I want all my family to imagine 
themselves in the same dreadful condition." Such was the practical 
way in which he made his exegesis of that text so often on his lips 
and in his heart: "Remember them that are in. bonds as bound 
with them." No occasion was offered of putting in practice his di- 
rections for resisting the seizure of fugitives in Springfield, such as 
occurred soon after in Worcester and Boston, nor does it appear that 
Brown was present at any of the fugitive slave trials which disgrace 
the anmls of Massachusetts, though he was with difficulty prevented 
by his friends in New York, in May, 1854, from going to Boston to 
head a movement for the rescue of Anthony Burns. 

The career of John Brown in Kansas is the most romantic chapter 
in the history of that state, and the services he rendered to the cause 
of freedom there were very important. It will be remembered that 
the great question in Kansas for four or five years was whether the 
new territory, to which the south wished to extend slavery, should 
be settled by anti-slavery men or by slave holders and their negroes. 
John Brown at once saw here was an opportunity for him. Re- 
solved as he was and long had been, to attack slavery in its own 
stronghold, he yet recognized the necessity of first checking its 
growth. He therefore made his arrangements very early to establish 
himself and his stalwart family in Kansas. The repeal of the Mis- 
/ souri compromise, which opened the broad prairies west of the Mis- 
/ souri river to slavery, was finally consummated on the 25th of May, 
V1854. At that time John Brown had seven sons and one son-in-law 
living; the youngest so."!, Oliver, was a boy of fifteen, while Watson 
was but eighteen. These, with Salmon Brown, who still survived, 
were children of the second marriage, and were neither of them mar- 



Biographies. 343 

ried at this date. Of the four sons of the first marriage who were 
then living, two were married and one, Frederick, was engaged to be 
married, Ruth, the eldest daughter, had married Henry Thompson, 
a sturdy farmer of New Hampshire origin, who lived near the Brown 
farm at North Elba. He was in sympathy with Brown's great pur- 
pose, and readily consented to join the family in Kansas. 

In the wintej:_o£ 1854-55 the four older sons of John Brown, 
John, Jason, Owen, and Frederick, living in or near A kron, Ohio, 
made their arrangements to settle in Kansas, then just opened to 
emigrants, and they did establish themselves the next spring in Ly- 
kins county, about eight miles from Osawatomie, a town afterwards 
made famous by their father's defence of it, August 30, 1856. John 
Brown himself did not go to Kansas till the autumn of 1855, and in 
the preceding summer, shortly before he set out to join his sons 
there, he was again in Massachusetts, and saw some of his old friends 
in Springfield, — among them, Thomas, the Maryland fugitive, who 
had engaged with him in the great work nine years before. He ex- 
pressed his belief that the struggle for the liberation of the slaves 
was soon to come on, but does not seem to have made, at that time, 
any special effort to enlist men for service in Kansas. Probably with 
his characteristic caution, he meant first to explore the ground and 
see what was necessary, and what could be done. Nor did he re- 
ceive any of the money which, in 1855 and 1856, was raised in 
Massachusetts for the benefit of the free state men in Kansas, to the 
amount of |i 00,000 and upward. H^jvas aided by a subscription 
in central New York, to which Gerrit Smith contributed, but the 
amount was not large, and he and his family, for the most part, carried 
on their Kansas campaign at their own charges. Before going to ^ 
Kansas he carried back his family, who had been in Ohio with him,  
to his farm .at North Elba, where they remained for several years j ^f~ ) 
after his death. 

From a paper in Brown's hand writing, found at North Elba after 
his death, the biographers of the Brown family have taken these 
particulars of their first setting forth as pioneers towards the state 
which now holds the memory of these men so dear : 

"In 1854 the four eldest sons of John Brown, named John, Jr , Jason, 
Owen and Frederick (all children by a first wife), tlien living in Ohio, de- 
termined to remove to Kansas. John, Jr., sold his place, a very desirable little 
property, near Akron in Summit county. Jason Brown had a very valuable 
collection of grape vines, and also of choice fruit trees which he took up and 



344 History of Torrington. 

shipped in boxes at a heavy cost. The other two sons held no landed property, 
but both were possessed of some valuable stock (as were also the two first named) 
derived from that of their father, which had been often noticed by liberal pre- 
miums, both in the state of New York, and also of Ohio. The two first 
named, John and Jason, had both families. Owen had none. Frederick was 
engaged to be married, and was to return for his wife. 

In consequence of an extreme dearth in 1854, the crops in northern 
Ohio were almost an entire failure, and it was decided by the four 
brothers that the two youngest should take the teams, and entire stock, 
cattle and horses, and move them to southwestern Illinois to winter, and 
to have them on early in the spring of 1855. This was done at a very 
considerable expense, and with some loss or stock to John, Jr., some of 
his best stock having been stolen on the way. The wintering of the animals 
was attended with great expense, and with no litile suffering to the two youngest 
brothers ; one of them, Owen, being to some extent a cripple from childhood, 
by an injury of the right arm ; and Frederick, though a very stout man, was 
subject to periodical sickness for many years, attended with insanity. It has 
been stated that he was idiotic ; nothing could be more false.' He had sub- 
jected himself to a most dreadful surgical operation but a short time before 
starting for Kansas, which had well nigh C05t him his life ; and was but just 
through with his confinement, when he started on his journey, pale and weak. 
They were obliged to husk corn all winter, out of doors, in order to obtain 
fodder for their animals. Salmon Brown, a very strong minor son of the family, 
eighteen years old, was sent forward early in 1855, to assist the two last named, 
and all three arrived in Kansas early in the spring." 

In such patriarchal fashion did the Browns enter the land which 
they were foreordained to defend. These young men were of the 
true stuff, worthy sons of such a sire. As Owen Brown said to me, 
many years afterwards, so the world will say, " I never could dis- 
cover any symptoms of cowardice in any of those boys." All were 
active, enterprising persons, fond of labor, inured to hardship, and 
expecting, as their father had taught them, to earn their living with 
the toil of their own hands. The narrow circumstances of the 
family made it quite necessary that these young men should support 
themselves somewhere. Love of freedom, love of adventure, and 
a desire for independence in fortune combined to tempt the young 
men, while the older brothers acted from a sense of duty. The 
other men of the family, some with their wives, emigrated from time 
to time, and though the whole nine, including Captain Brown, were 
never in Kansas together, yet for a long time the father, with six 
sons and his son-in-law, was there, and they all rallied to the defense 
of Lawrence in May, 1856. John Brown himself went to Kansas 
in the fall of 1855, having already, in the spring of that year, taken 
his wife and infants back to their home in the Adirondac mountains. 



• He doubtless suffered from epilepsy. 



Biographies. 345 

Late in June, 1855, he was present at an anti-slavery convention in 
Syracuse, New York, where money was raised to assist him in 
arming his family in Kansas. He writes to his wife, under date of 
" Syracuse, June 18, 1855," as follows: 

" I reached here on the first day of the convention, and I have reason to 
bless God that I came ; for I have met with a most warm reception from all, 
so far as I know ; and, except by a few sincere, honest peace friends, a most 
hearty approval of my intention of arming my sons and other friends in Kansas. 
I received to day donations amounting to a little over sixty dollars  — twenty 
from Gerrit Smith, five from an old British officer ; others giving smaller sums 
with such earnest and affectionate expressions of their good wishes as did me 
more good than money even. John's two letters wer>: introduced, and read 
with such effect by Gerrit Smith as to draw tears from numerous eyes in the 
great collection of people present. The convention has been one of the most 
interesting meetings I ever attended in my life; and I made a great addition to 
the number of warm-hearted and honest friends." 

Five months after this letter was written, John Brown was quietly 
settled at Osawatomie. He had purchased arms with the money 
given him at Syracuse, rifles and revolvers, and artillery sabres, with 
which they mustered to defend Lawrence in December, 1855. 
Brown and four of his sons drove up to the Free State Hotel in 
Lawrence at that time, " all standing, tall and well armed, in a lumber 
wagon, about the side of which stood rude pikes, made of bayonets 
fastened to poles." This was his first appearance in arms among the 
settlers of Kansas. These men, by no means all heroes, soon dis- 
covered that their new champion had other views than they. He 
was no squatter, but even then " his soul went marching on." He had 
come there to aid his sons and their neighbors against the Missouri 
marauders ; but that was not his main purpose. He saw that Kansas 
was the battle ground between slavery and freedom, and he wanted 
the warfare on the riglit side to be something more than defensive. 
He longed to attack slavery on its own ground, and there destroy it. ] 
The time, he thought, had come to carry out his darling scheme, and 
he made many enemies among the timid " free-state men " by striving 
to do so. 

In the disturbances of 1856 he was very prominent, particularly at 
the fights of Black Jack and Osa.watomie, in both of which he won 
a victory over numbers far superior to his own force. He had en- 
listed a small band of true men, and with these, from May to Sep- 
tember, he ranged the Kansas prairies at intervals, executing justice 
on the oppressors of the people. It was a portion of his band that 

44 



34^ History of Torrington. 

committed the so-called Potawatomie murders in May, 1856, 
but Captain Brown himself was not then present, although he after- 
wards fully justified the act. It has often been said that he took part 
in this deed, but that, he assured me more than once, was not the 
fact. Although he often told his friends the story of the fight at 
Black Jack on the 2d of June, 1856, it does not appear that he has 
left any written account of it. It was one of his most famous en- 
counters, and did much to make his name feared by his enemies the 
slave holders. 

On the 20th of May 1856, the town of Lawrence had been 
pillaged and partially destroyed by several hundred Missourians under 
the command of Sheriff" Jones. On the 23d Brown took the field 
with a small force, and on the night of the 25th some of his party 
committed the so-called Potawatomie murders, without Brown's 
knowledge at the time, but with his subsequent approval. This 
affair exasperated the border ruffians of Missouri, who again made 
an incursion into that part of Kansas where the Brown family lived, 
and succeeded in capturing the two eldest sons, John Brown Jr. and 
Jason. The leader of this raid was one Henry Clay Pate, a Vir- 
ginian, who put heavy irons on his captives, and after keeping them 
in camp for a day or two, handed them over to a body of United 
States dragoons who marched them in chains to the northward, where 
they were imprisoned at Lecompton, after having endured many hard- 
ships on the march. They were lodged in prison at Lecompton on 
the 23d of June, about four weeks after their arrest, and at this time 
John Brown Jr. was insane from the sufferings he had undergone, 
while in the hands of the United States troops. He was at first 
pinioned with a rope, one end of which was held by a mounted dragoon 
with whom he was obliged to keep pace, as the company marched 
rapidly under a hot sun. On reaching Tecumseh, the captives were 
chained two and two, about the ankles, with a common trace chain, 
padlocked at each end, and tightly clasped around the ankle. In this 
condition they were marched thirty miles one day. When Captain 
Brown first visited me at Concord in March T857, ''^ss than a year 
after this, he brought with him the chain his son had worn in this 
march, and told the story at a public meeting in the Town Hall there. 
His own words, describing the arrest, were as follows : " On or about 
the 30th of May 1856, two of my sons, with several others, were 
imprisoned without other crime than opposition to bogus legislation ; 
and most barbarously treated for a time, one (Jason) being held about 



Btographies. 347 

one month, and the other (John) about four months. After this 
arrest, both of them had their houses burned, and all their goods 
consumed by the Missourians. In this burning all the eight (I and 
my six sons and mv son-in-law) suffered loss, and one had his oxen 
stolen in addition. My son John was so affected in his mind by the 
cruelties he endured while wearing this chain, that he became a 
maniac." 

Hearing of the capture of his two eldest sons, though not then aware 
of what indignities they had endured, John Brown with his men started 
in pursuit of the Virginian Captain Pate, who, after giving up his 
prisoners to the dragoons, had encamped, with fifty men, on a small 
stream called the Black Jack creek, near Hickory Point, within the 
present town of Palmyra. This place is in the southeast corner of 
Douglas county (of which Lawrence is the chief town), and is about 
halfway between Lawrence, which the pro-slavery men sacked on 
the 20th of May, 1856, and Osawatomie, which they sacked on the 
7th of June following. Pate had been encamped there a day or two, 
among the "black-jack" oak trees which give a name to the stream, 
when Captain Brown came up with him, on Monday the 2d of June, 
1856. Brown's company consisted of tvy enty-seven men besides 
himself,'and the names of twenty-six of these have been carefully 
preserved.^ He divided them into two parties, and commenced the 
attack with the one party, while the other moved round to get a 
better position. Pate was posted in a strong position, on the slope 
of a ravine, and with a slight defence of wagons in front of him. By 
the division of his forces, however, Captain Brown got him between 
two fires, and without much exposing his own men, harassed the 
enemy with rifle shots, wounded several, and drove a part of them 
down into the ravine. Brown began the attack with spirit, directing 
his men to lie down in the grass so that only their heads and shoulders 
were exposed to the enemy's fire, and to shoot deliberately, taking 
good aim, and not throwing away their fire. In this way the fight was 
kept up for two or three hours, during which about half of Pate's 



They were Samuel T. Shore, Silas More, David Hendricks, Hiram McAllister,- 



Parmely, Silvester Harris, O. A. Carpenter, Augustus Shore, Townsley (of Pota- 

watomie), William B. Hayden, John McWhinney, Montgomery Shore, Elkana Timmons, 
T. Weiner, August Bondy, Hugh McWhinney, Charles Kaiser, Elizur Hill, William David 
B. L. Cochran, Henry Thompson, Elias Basinger, Owen Brown, Frederick Brown Salmon 
Brown, Oliver Brown. The twenty-seventh man's name was forgotten by Captain Brown 
who gave me this'list. 



348 History of Torrington. 

force had run away or been disabled, while two-thirds of Captain 
Brown's company were in good fighting condition. Just at the time 
Captain Brown's son Frederick, a wild, odd youth, who was after- 
wards killed at Osawatomie, left the horses he was guarding in the 
rear, and came upon the top of the hill overlooking the ravine,~be- 
tween the two parties of his father's men, brandishing a huge sword 
and shouting, " Come on ! come on ! the sword of the Lord and 
Gideon ! I have cut off all communication, come on ! " Dismayed 
at the supposed reinforcement, the pro-slavery men now ran away 
faster than ever and Captain Pate thought it necessary to send a flag 
of truce. This he did by hoisting a white handkerchief and sending 
a lieutenant to inquire what all this firing meant. Captain Brown 
met the lieutenant and said, " Are you the captain of this company ? " 
"No." "Then stay with me and send your companion to call the 
captain out ; I will talk with him and not with you." Thus sum- 
moned. Captain Pate himself appeared, saying that he was an officer 
acting under orders of the United States marshal of Kansas, and he 
supposed they did not intend to fight against the United States. He 
was going on in this way when Brown interrupted him, saying — 
" Captain, I understand exactly what you are, and do not want to 
hear any more about it. Have you any proposition to make to me ?" 

"Well, no — that is" — 

" Very well ; I have one to make to you ; you must surrender 
unconditionally." There was no resisting this demand, for Brown, 
taking his pistol in hand, returned with Pate to the camp leading four 
men with him to receive the surrender of the twenty-two men still 
left under Pate's command. They did surrender at once, though 
only eight of Brown's men were in sight at the time, and the twenty- 
three gave themselves up without conditions to Brown and his eight.' 
Twenty-one of these prisoners were unwounded, and might have 
kept up the fight. They surrendered themselves, their twenty-three 
horses, guns, ammunition, wagons, etc., and were marched off as 
prisoners by Brown, who encamped with them on Middle Ottawa 
creek near Prairie City, and about two miles from the present town 
called Baldwin City. Here he fortified himself, and received some 



' The names of "the eight who held out to receive the surrender of Capt. Pate and 
twenty-two men," as given to me in April, 1857, by John Brown, were these; Charles 
Kaiser, Elizur Hill, Wm. David, Hugh McWhinney (seventeen years old), B. L. Cochran, 
Owen Brown, Salmon Brown, Oliver Brown (seventeen years old). Four of the nine were 
Browns therefore, and three of these were afterwards at Harper's Ferry. 



Biographies. 349 

reinforcements — among them, John E. Cook, who was afterwards 
one of his lieutenants at Harper's Ferry. 

The victory of Brown at Black Jack roused the pro-slavery men 
in Missouri and in Kansas to fury, while it stimulated the freemen 
of "Kansas to new efforts. Both parties mustered in large force 
near Palmyra, and on the 5th of June a battle seemed imminent. 
But Col. Sumner, who afterwards, as General Sumner, distinguished 
himself in the civil war, came down with a force of United States 
cavalry and put a stop to hostilities. He also sent for Captain Brown, 
as soon as he heard where he was, desiring an interview. Brown 
left his entrenched camp on the Ottawa, and came into the camp of 
Col. Sumner, who requested him to give up Captain Pate and the 
other prisoners. Brown demurred, unless they were to be tried for 
highway robbery, of which, he said, they had been guilty. Col. 
Sumner told him they had not been properly arrested, and must be 
discharged, but he did not allow the United States marshal, who 
was present, to arrest Captain Brown, and he required the armed men 
on both sides to disperse. He also reprimanded Pate for having as- 
sumed, without proper authority, to range through the country and 
make arrests ; but he allowed him and his men to receive back their 
arms, which were the property of the United States, and were im- 
properly in their possession. Brown and his men returned home, such 
of them as had homes to go to, and for a ftw weeks after June 7, 
there were no serious disturbances. But it was impossible for Brown 
and his sons to devote themselves quietly to farming as they were 
requested to do. Their houses had been burnt, their farms pillaged, 
and two of them held as prisoners. John Brown Jr., was not dis- 
charged from arrest until about the middle of September. In telling 
the story of this summer of 1856, to the Massachusetts legislature, 
on the 18th of February, 1857, when it was proposed to make a 
state appropriation in aid of the Massachusetts men settled in Kansas, 
John Brown said : 

"I with my six sons and a son-in-law, was called out, and traveled, most 
of the way on foot, to try and save Lawrence (May 20 and 2M, and much of 
the way in the night. From that date, neither I nor my sons, nor my son-in- 
law, could do any work about our homes, but lost our whole time until we 
left in October ; except one of my sons, who had a few weeks to devote to the 
care of his own and his brother's family, who were then without a home.' 



' Brown added, with that prosaic love of details which he had ; " I believe it safe to say 
that five hundred free state men lost each one hundred and twenty days, which, at §1.50 
per day, would be, to say nothing of attendant losses, §90,000." This would make the 
services of the eight Browns worth just $1,440 during that period. They were really worth 
millions. 



2S^ History of Torrington. 

From about the 20th of May, hundreds of men, like ourselves, lost their whole 
time, and entirely failed of securing any crop whatever." 

They secured the harvest of freedom in Kansas, however, and 
that was worth more than any other crop, that season. And to no 
man so much as to John Brown was this result due. He was present 
wherever danger threatened and, whenever he was permitted to do so, 
he warded off the danger, or punished the perpetrators of crime. He 
vi^as near Topeka on the 3d and 4th of July 1856, when the free 
state legislature was dispersed by federal dragoons, and was ready 
then, if others had consented, to resist the arbitrary action of the 
federal government. In August, he joined the forces of Gen. James 
A. Lane in northern Kansas, having first carried his wounded son-in- 
law, Henry Thompson, into Iowa to be taken care of. Returning 
from Iowa about the lOth of August, with Gen. Lane, he proceeded 
with him to Lawrence and to Franklin, where there was some skir- 
mishing, and, from the middle of August to the last of September he 
was in the field with his company, fighting the Missourian invaders 
of Kansas. By this time his name had become a terror to them, 
and wherever they were attacked, they believed he was in command. 
In an appeal to the citizens of Lafayette county, Missouri, urging 
them to take horses and guns and march into Kansas, David R. 
Atchison, formerly United States senator from Missouri, wrote as 
follows, under date of August 17, 1856 : 

" On the 6th of August, ihe notorious Brown, with a party of three hundred 
abolitionists, made an attack upon a colony of Georgians ' murdering about two 
hundred and twenty-five souls, one hundred and seventy-five of whom were 
women, children and slaves. Their houses were burnt to the ground, all their 
property stolen, horses, cattle, clothing, money, provisions, all taken away from 
them, and their plows burned lo ashes. 

August 12th, at night, three hundred abolitionists, under this satne Brown, 
attacked the town of Franklin, robbed, plundered and burnt, took all the arms 
in town, broke open and destroyed the post office, captured the old cannon 
"Sacramento" which our gallant Missourians captured in Mexico, and are now 
turning its mouth against our friends 

August 15th, Brown with four hundred abolitionists, mostly Lane's men, 
mounted and armed, attacked Trcadwcll's settlement in Douglas county, num- 
bering about thirty men. They planted the old cannon 'Sacramento' towards 
the colonv and surrounded them." 



' At Battersville, eight miles soutli east of Osawatomie, on an Indian reservation. John 
Brown was at this time in Nebraska. " Preacher Stewart" really commanded the Free 
State men. 



Biographies. 351 

No doubt Brown had his share in some of these attacks, which 
drove some troublesome pro-slavery marauders out of Kansas, but 
which led also to a formidable invasion from Missouri, under Atchison 
and Gen. John W. Reid. The former was routed by Gen. Lane 
on the 31st of August, and returned to Missouri ; the latter also re- 
turned, after a bloody fight with John Brown at Osawatomie, which 
Reid captured and burned, but which he could not hold on account 
of the loss inflicted on him by Brown. It was in this fight that 
Brown received the name of " Osawatomie," by which he was known 
for some years afterwards. One of his questioners at Harper's Ferry, 
after his capture in 1859, said, " Are you Osawatomie Brown ?" '' I 
tried to do my duty there," replied the old hero. He not only did 
his duty in the fight, but soon afterwards wrote an account of it, 
which is so exact that it deserves to be quoted here. 

The Fight of Osawatomie. 

Early in the morning of the 30th of August, the enemy's scouts approached 
to within one mile and a half of the wesiern boundary of the town of Osa- 
watomie. At this place my son Frederick (who was not attached to my force) 
had lodged, with some four other young men from Lawrence, and a young man 
named Garrison, from Middle Creek. 

The scouts, led by a pro-slavery preacher named White, shot my son dead 
in the road, whilst he — as I have since ascertained — supposed them to be 
friendly. At the same time they butchered Mr. Garrison, and badly mangled 
one ot the young men from Lawrence, who came with my son, leaving him 
for dead. 

This was not far from sunrise. I had stopped during the night about two 
and one-half miles from them, and nearly one mile from Osawatomie. I had 
no organized force, but only some twelve or fifteen new recruits, who were 
ordered to leave their preparations for breakfast, and follow me into the town 
as soon as this news was brought to me. 

As I had no means of learning correctly the force of the enemy, I placed 
twelve of the recruits in a log-house, hoping we might be able to defend the 
town. I then gathered some fifteen more men together, whom we armed with 
guns ; and we started in the direction of the enemy. After going a few rods, 
we could see them approaching the town in line of battle, about one-half a 
mile off, upon a hill west of the village. I then gave up all idea of doing 
more than to annoy, from the timber near the town, into which we were 
all retreated, and which was filled with a thick growth of underbrush, but 
had no time to recall the twelve men in the log-house, and so lost their assistance 
in the fight. 

At the point above named I met with Captain Cline, a very active young 
man, who had with him some twelve or fifteen mounted men, and persuaded 
him to go with us into the timber, on the southern shore of the Osage, or 
Maraisdes-Cygnes, a little to the northwest from the village. Here the men, 
numbering not more than thirty in all, were directed to scatter and secrete 



352 History of Torrington. 

themselves as well as they could, and await the approach of the enemy. This 
was done in full view of them (^who must have seen the whole movement), and 
had to be done in the utmost haste. 1 believe Captain Cline and some of his 
men were not even dismounted in the fight, but cannot assert positively. When 
the left wing of the enemy had approached to within common rifle shot, we 
commenced firing ; and very soon threw the northern branch of the enemy's 
line into disorder. This continued some fifteen or twenty minutes, wliich 
gave us an uncommon opportunity to annoy them. Captain Cline and his men 
soon got out ot ammunition, and retired across tlie river. 

After the enemy rallied, we kept up our fire ; until, by the leaving ol one 
and another, we had but six or seven left. We then retired across the river. 

We had one man killed — a Mr. Powers, from Captain Cline's company — 
in the fight. One of my men, a Mr. Partridge, was shot in crossing the river. 
Two or three ot the party, who took part in the fight, are yet missing, and may 
be lost or taken prisoners. Two were wounded, viz: Dr. Updegraff and a 
Mr. Collis. 

I cannot speak in too high terms of them, and of many others 1 have not 
now time to mention. 

One ot my best men, together with myself, was struck with a partially spent 
ball from the enemy, in the commencement of the fight, but we were only 
bruised. The loss 1 refer to is one of my missing men. The loss of the 
enemy, as we learn by the different statements of our own, as well as their 
people, was some thirty-one or two killed, and from forty to fifty wounded. 
After burning the town to ashes, and killing a Mr. Williams they had taken, 
whom neither party claimed, they took a hasty leave, carrying their dead and 
wounded with them. They did not attempt to cross the river, nor to search 
for us, and have not since returned to look over their work. 

I give this in great haste, in the midst of constant interruptions. My second 
son was with me in the fight, and escaped unharmed. This I mention for the 
benefit of his friends. 

Old preacher White, I hear, boasts of having killed my son. Of course he is 
a Hon. 

John Brown. 
Lawrence, Kansas, September 7, 1856. 



In his address before the legislature in the State House at Boston, 
Feb. 18, 1857, Siown added some particulars concerning his son's 
death. He said : '' I have not yet told all I saw in Kansas. I once 
saw three mangled bodies, two of which were dead, and one alive, but 
with twenty bullet and buckshot holes in him, after the two murdered 
men had lain on the ground, to be worked at by flies, for some 
eighteen hours. One of these young men was my oiun son." He 
was not found by his father until the evening of that day, after the 
retreat of the Missouri men. His death was a murder and his mur- 
derer was Martin White a preacher, who was then serving as a soldier 
in what he called "the law and order militia," that is, the Missouri 



Biographies. 2S3 

forces, which, upon entering Kansas, were made a part of the pro- 
slavery territorial militia, by order of Secretary Woodson, himself a 
Missouri man, who was for a (ew days acting governor of Kansas. 
On the I 2th of September, the new governor, Geary of Pennsylvania, 
ordered this invading militia to disband and disperse, but thev did not 
obey, until they a^ain had a taste of John Brown's quality as a com- 
mander. Martin White was afterwards a member' of the pro-slavery 
legislature, and during the session at Lecompton he boasted of the 
killins: of Frederick Brown. On his wav home from the session he 
was himseif waylaid and shot, according to Mr. Redpath. This was 
in the winter after the fight at Osawatomie. The number of the 
pro-slavery men in arms at Osawatomie on the 30th of August was 
about four hundred, while John Brown had just fortv-one men in his 
company. On the 21st anniversary of this fight, in 1877, a monument 
to Brown and his men was consecrated at Osawatomie, and the principal 
speech on the occasion was made by Hon. John J. Ingalls, a senator 
of the United States, from the state of Kansas. 

On the 7th of September, 1855, as the above letter shows, John 
Brown was at Lawrence. He went from there to Topeka, soon 
after, and was on his return from there to the neighborhood of Osa- 
watomie, when another Missouri army invaded Kansas and came up 
to destroy Lawrence. On Sunday the 14th of September, at a time 
when many of the armed men of Lawrence were absent on an expe- 
dition to Hickory Point (where they captured a fort on this same 
Sunday), the people of the town were alarmed by the news "that 2800 
Missourians were marching down upon Lawrence with drums beating 
and with eagles upon their banners." The acttial number, as reported 
by Gov. Geary, who visited their camp at P'ranklin, on Monday the 
15th was 2700, and their leaders were Gen. John W. Reid, David 
R. Atchison, B. F. Stringfellow, etc., — the same who had led the 
invasion three weeks before. The whole number of fighting men in 
Lawrence that Sunday did not exceed 200, and many of them were 
unarmed. But Brown was there and soon made himself known. 
He was asked to take command of the defences of the town and 
though he declined, he did in fact command. Between four and five 
o'clock in the afternoon he assembled the people in the main street, 
and, mounted on a dry -goods box in the midst of them, he made this 
speech, which is reported by one who heard him : 



' From Lykins county. 

4.5 



354 History of Torrington. 

Gentlemen: It is said there are two tliousand five hundred Missourians down 
at Franklin,' and that they will be here in two hours. You can see for your- 
selves the smoke they are making by setting fire to the houses in that town. 
Now is probably the last opportunity you will have of seeing a fight, so that 
you had better do your best. If they should come up and attack us, don't yell 
and make a great noise, but remain perfectly silent and still. Wait till they get 
within- twenty-five yards of you ; get a good object ; be sure you see the ihind- 
sight of your gun ; then fire. A great deal o\ powder and lead and very pre- 
cious time, is wasted by shooting too high. You had better aim at their legs, 
than at iheir heads. In cither case, be sure of the hind-sights of your guns. It 
is from the neglect of this that I myself have so many times escaped ; for, if 
all the bullets that have ever been aimed at me had hit, I should have been as 
full of holes as a riddle." 

After this fitting speech, which reminds one of John Stark at Bun- 
ker Hill and Bennington, Brown sent his small force to the few 
forts and breastworks about the town, and ordered all the men who 
had the far-shooting Sharpe's rifle — then a new weapon — to go out 
upon the prairie, half a mile south ot the town, where by this time the 
invading horsemen could be seen, two miles off. After a halt for 
reconnoitering purposes, the enemy made an advance upon Brown's 
left, and came within half a mile of his advance guard, just as the sun 
was setting. Under cover of the dusk some of them came nearer, 
but the discharge of a few Sharpe's rifles, and the approach of a 
brass twelve pounder cannon, which Brown ordered up to support 
his riflemen, caused the enemy to turn their horses and retreat, with- 
out any further attempt to take the town. Captain Brown's own 
modest accouiit of this affair, in which he saved Lawrence from de- 
struction, is as follows : 

"I know well that on or about the 14th of September, 1856, a large force 
of Missourians and other rufRans, said by Gov. Geary to be two thousand seven 
hundred in number, invaded the territory, burned Franklin, and while the 
smoke of that place was going up behind them, they, on the same day, made 
their appearance in full view of, and within about a mile of Lawrence ; nnd I 
knozo of jio reason why they did not attack that place, except that about one luin- 
drcd free state men volunteered to go otit, and did go out on the open plain 
before the town, and gwc the?n the vffer of a fght ; which, after getting scat- 
tering shots froin our men, they declined, and retreated back towards Franklin. 
/ sazo that zvhole thing. The government troops at this time were at Lecomp- 
ton, a distance of twelve miles only from Lawrence, with Gov. Geary ; and 
yet, notwithstanding runners had been despatched to advise him, in good time, 
of the setting out and approach of the enemy (who had to march some forty 
miles to reach Lawrence), he did not, on that memorable occasion, get a single 
soldier on the ground until the enemy had retreated to Franklin, and been gone 
for more than five hours. This is the way he saved Lawrence." 



* A small town five miles southeast of Lawrence. 



^' 



Biographies. ^^^ 

Being asked who commanded the Lawrence men, Brown at first 
evaded the question, as if he did not understand it ; when asked a 
second time, he repHed, "No one — that he had himself heen re- 
quested to take comm'ind, but refused, and only acted as their adviser." 
It was bv his advice^ however, that the town was saved. When that 
was achieved, its deliverer was hunted out of Kansas by the very troops 
of the federal government which had neglected to prevent the Missouri 
invasion. He left Lawrence for northern Kansas before the 20th of 
September, traveling with his four sons, and with a fugitive slave 
 whom he picked up on the way. The old hero was sick, as he often 
was, and travelled slowly ; appearing to be a land surveyor on a 
journey. He had a light wagon in which he rode, with his surveyor's 
instruments ostentatiously in sight ; a cow was tied behind the wagon, 
and inside, covered up in a blanket, was the fugitive slave. Som.etimes 
he pitched his camp at night near the dragoons who were ordered to 
arrest him, but who little suspected that the formidable fighter was 
so near them in the guise of a feeble old man. At Plymouth, not 
far from the Nebraska border, Mr. Redpath, in one of his journey's 
through the territory, found him lying ill in a log hut, while his four 
sons were camped near by. A few hours after, the dragoons, hearing 
he was so near them, came up to arrest him, but he had crossed the 
border into Nebraska, and was out of their reach. He went forward 
till he came to Tabor in Iowa, not far northeast of Nebraska City, 
and there remained among friends for two or three weeks, in Octo- 
ber and November. In the latter month he reached' Chicago, and 
made himself known to the National Kansas Committee, which then 
had head quarters in that city. Afterwards he traveled eastward, to 
Ohio, to Peterboro, N. Y., where he visited his friend Gerrit Smith, 
to Albany and Springfield, and finally to Boston, where I first saw 
him in the early part of January, 1857. 

As John Brown, in the autumn of 1856, passed northward through 
Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, retreating slowly and painfully out of 
the land he had so stoutly defended, he_ieft ..behind him thexecent 
gcave of one of his six sons, murdered at Osawatomie. Another son 
had been a prisoner and a maniac, driven wild by his hardships ; a 
third son^was shockingly wounded, and so was Henry Thompson, 
the husband of his beloved eldest daughter, Ruth. His whole fam 
had been stripped of their little property, and the father himself was 
'destitute. So scanty was his wardrobe that he wore at Osawatomie 
on the 30th of August the same garments that he had almost worn 




2S^ History of Torrington. 

out in the fight of Black Jack on the 2d of June. He had been 
waging war at his own cost and risk ; and though the anti-slavery 
men of the north had given money by the hundred thousand dollars, 
to aid the Kansas farmers in their fight with slavery, scarcely a dollar 
of this had reached the man who could best have used it. But he 
had made himself known to his countrymen for what he was, and 
began to draw to him that admiration and love which has now become 
his portion forever. Afflictions, though neither light, nor for a moment, 
were working out for him, as the Apostle promises, '•'a far more ex- 
ceeding and eternal weight of glory." Of this he had himself some' 
intimation, vouchsafed him, doubtless, by that Infinite Wisdom, which 
has ordered and foreordained all that eternity can bring to pass. 
'^ After brother John's return from Kansas," said Jeremiah Brown, "■ he 
called on me in Ohio, and 1 urged him to go home to his family and 
attend to his private affairs ; saying that I feared his course would prove 
his own destruction, and that of his boys. He replied that he was 
sorry I did not sympathize with him ; that he knew he was in the 
line of his duty, and must pursue it, though it should destj"oy him and 
his family ; that he was satisfied he was a chosen instrument in the hands 
of God to luar against davery." This faith had sustained him in 
Kansas, and it was to sustain him in his more perilous work hereafter. 
When John Brown first called on me in Boston, in January 1857, 
bringing a letter of introduction from my brother-in-law, Mr. George 
Walker of Springfield, he was in his 57th year, and, though touched 
with age and its infirmities, was still vigorous and active, and of an 
aspect which would have made him distinguished anywhere among 
men who know hew to recognize courage and greatness of mind. 
At that time he was close shaven, and no flowing beard, as in later 
years, softened the force of his firm, wide mouth and his positive chin. 
That beard, long and gray, which nearly all his portraits now show, 
and by which he will be recognized hereafter, added a picturesque 
finish to a face that was in all its features severe and masculine, yet 
with a latent tenderness in them. His eyes were a piercing blue-gray. 
not very large, looking out from under brows 

" Of' dauntless courage and considerate pride." 

His hair was 'dark brown sprinkled with grav, short and bristling, and 
shooting back from a forehead of middle height and breadth ; his nose 
was aquiline, his ears were large, his frame angular, his voice deep and 
metallic, his walk positive and intrepid, though somewhat slow. His 
manner was modest, and in a large company even diffident ; he was by 



Biographies. 



357 



no means fluent of speech, but his words were always to the point, and 
his observations original, direct, and shrewd. His mien was serious 
and patient rather than cheerful ; it betokened the " sad wise valor" 
which Herbert praises ; but, though earnest and almost anxious, it was 
never depressed. In short, he was then, to the eye of insight, what 
he afterwards seemed to the world, a brave and resolved man, con- 
scious of a work laid upon him, and confident that he should ac- 
complish it. His figure was tall, slender and commanding, his bearing 
military, and his garb showed a singular blending of the soldier and 
"the deacon. He had laid aside in Chicago the torn and faded sum- 
mer garments which he wore throughout his campaigns, and I saw 
him at one of those rare periods in his life when his clothes were new. 
He wore a complete suit of brown broadcloth or kerseymere, cut in 
the fashion of a dozen years before, and giving him the air of a re- 
spectable deacon in a rural parish. But instead of a collar he had on 
a high stock of patent leather, such as soldiers used to wear, a gray 
military overcoat with a cape, similar to that afterwards worn in the 
Confederate army, and a fur cap. He was, in fact, a Puritan soldier, 
such as were common enough in Cromwell's day, but have not often 
been seen since. Yet his heart was averse to bloodshed, gentle, ten- 
der and devout. 

It was my privilege, and for a young man of twenty-six certainly 
an undeserved good fortune, to make Captain Brown acquainted with 
famous men who then allowed me the honor of their friendship. I 
took him to the hospitable home of Theodore Parker, in Exeter place 
Boston, where he met William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips ; 
I introduced him to that chivalrous man, the late Dr. Howe ; and a 
few months later I brought him to Concord and made him acquainted 
with Emerson, Thoreau and Alcott. Upon all these men he made 
a profound impression, which several of them have since declared to 
the world, when his fame seemed to need the voice of a friend, and 
before the echoes of his renown silenced the murmurs that the act 
of a hero so often awakens. I find among my papers a letter of Dr. 
Howe's sent me from New York early in 1859, when Howe and 
Theodore Parker were about sailing on that voyage from which only 
one of them returned. It was intended to introduce Brown to our 
friend Mr. John VI. Forbes, but, for some accidental reason was 
never so used, and has never been published. Here it is : 



358 History of Torrington. 

" New York, Feb. 5, '59. 
" Dear Sir : 

It you would like to hear an honest, brave, keen and veteran backwoods- 
man disclose some plans for delivering our lands from the curse of slavery, 
the bearer will do so. 

I think I know him well ; he is of the Puritan militant order. He is an 
enthusiast, yet cool, keen and cautious. He has a marivr's spirit. He will 
ask nothing of you but the pledge that you keep to yourself what he may say. 

Faithfully yours, 

John M. Forbes, Esq. S. 6. Howe." 

"He will ask nothing of you, but the pledge that you keep to your- 
self what he may say." This was, in fact, the attitude of John 
Brown towards his friends after he returned to the eastern states 
from his first Kansas campaign, but should they be moved by what 
he said to give him money, or to enlist in his company, for perpetual 
and active warfare upon slavery, he welcomed the recruit and ex" 
pressed his thanks to the contributor. In 1857, when I first saw 
him, although his Virginia plans were already formed, and had been 
for many years, he said nothing of them, but talked of Missouri and 
Kansas, His immediate purpose was to raise a troop of horse, a 
hundred men, who might retaliate upon Missouri slave-holders for 
the raids they had been making into Kansas. ^C '-' - 

In 1859, when Dr. Howe wrote to Mr. Forbes, Brown had dis- 
closed to a few of us, his Virginia scheme, in all its main features 
though not with full details. But the Missouri plan and the Vir- 
ginia plan were at heart the same, their object being to make slave 
holding unsafe, and to give the slave a chance to fight for his free- 
dom under rigid discipline, and not in the wild tumult of an insur- 
rection. This very policy of John Brown's was adopted in 1861 by 
Gen. Fremont, in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln, and in 1863-4, by 
Secretary Stanton, after pressure from Gov. Andrew of Massachu- 
setts and other earnest men in all parts of the north. It was the 
policy that finally overcame the rebellion, and put an end to the long 
civil war. John Brown led the way in this policy, and the great heart 
of the people, wiser in its impulses than the statesmen in their coun- 
cils, early responded to the appeal that John Brown had made. 
Nothino; else than this made the name and fate of Brown the watch- 
word and rallying song of our armies. Hardly had the civil war 
begun in good earnest, when a regiment of Massachusetts soldiers 
with a son of Daniel Webster at their head, came marching up 
State street (where, ten years before, fugitive slaves were dragged 



Biographies. 359 

back to bondage^ under the flag of the United States), startling the 
echoes of Boston with the new song : 

John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave, 
John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave, 
John Brown's body lies mouldering in the grave, 
But his soul's marching on. 

Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 
Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 
Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 
His soul's marching on. 

John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back, 
And his soul's marching on. 

He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord, 
His soul is marching on." 

The words were wild and rude, nobody knew whence they came, 
nor from what pious soul the devout, militant melody first sounded 
forth; but there they were, the rough, earnest words, the martial air, 
wedded in one strain of popular music and sung by a million voices. 
It was the requiem and the resurrection hymn of a hero, sounding 
from the roused heart of the people, as the forest murmur rises when 
mountain winds stir the branches of oak and pine on a thousand hill- 
tops of New England. 

But I am anticipating the course of history, just as my brave old 
friend did. His special errand to me, in 1857, and to the Massa- 
chusetts Kansas committee, of which I was then secretary, was to 
provide at once for the defence of Kansas by carrying the war into 
the enemy'scountry. During the month of January, and indeed, in a 
few days after he reached Boston, he formed the acquaintance of the 
men there whom he wished to consult, of iMr, George L. Stearns, Dr. 
Cabot, Theodore Parker, Amos A. Lawrence, Judge Russell, Dr. 
Howe, Mr. Garrison, and all who were then conspicuous in maintain- 
ing the cause of the Kansas pioneers. His desire was to obtain control 
of some two hundred Sharpe's rifles, belonging to the Massachusetts 
committee, with which to arm a force of a hundred men for the pur- 
pose of defending Kansas and making excursions, if necessary into 
Missouri and other slave states. Keeping his Virginia plan in mind, 
he yet did not communicate it to any person in Massachusetts for 
more than a year; only taking pains to say that with the arms, 
money, and clothing that he might get for his company, he should 
act on his own responsibility, without taking orders from any com- 



360 History of Torrington. 

mittee. With this understanding, and having great confidence in 
him, the Massachusetts committee, on the 8th of January, 1857, 
gave him an order for taking possession of the two hundred rifles, 
with their belongings, then stored at Tabor, in the southwestern 
part of Iowa. This order did not authorize him to make any use of 
the arms, though it appropriated five hundred dollars for his expenses in 
getting possession of them ; and it was not until April 1 1 , three months 
later, that a vote was passed allowing Captain Brown to sell a hun- 
dred of the rifles to free state inhabitants of Kansas. At the same 
time another sum of live hundred dollars was voted him, to be used 
" for the relief of persons in Kansas." The arms thus placed at 
his disposal were a part of those afterwards carried by him to Haiper's 
Ferry, and, as the true nature of the transaction by which they came, 
honestly, into his possession for use in Virginia, has never been well 
understood, it may here be explained. 

In the winter of 1855-56 a large subscription was collected in 
Boston by Dr. Samuel Cabot and others, expressly for the purchase 
of arms" for Kansas settlers. With this money a hundred Sharpe's 
rifles and some other arms were purchased by Dr. Cabot and for- 
warded to Kansas early in 1856. These, however, were no part of 
the arms of Captain Brown, which were purchased by the Massa- 
chusetts State Kansas Committee in the autumn of 1856, and for- 
warded, through the National Committee, having its head-quarters at 
Chicago, by the Iowa and Nebraska route to Kansas. The two 
hundred rifles never seem to have got farther than Tabor, where they 
were lying when Captain Brown made his exit from Kansas by that 
route, in November. On reaching Chicago, soon after, he appears 
to have made application to Messrs. George W, Dole, J. D. Web- 
ster (afterwards General Webster, of General Grant's stafi^), and 
Henry B. Hurd, the Chicago members of the National Committee, 
for the custody of the rifles at Tabor. This application was not 
granted, perhaps because the committee distrusted Captain Brown, per- 
haps because they recognized the Massachusetts committee as owners 
of the arms. The Chicago committee did afterwards, however, lay 
claim to the control of these rifles ; and one reason for the Massa- 
chusetts vote of January 8, 1857, above alluded to, was to place 
them in the hands of a man who had shown his ability to protect 
whatever was in his custody. Before taking actual possession of 
them, Captain Brown attended a full meeting of the National Com- 
mittee at the Astor House in New York, January 22-25, ^^S7-> ^^^ 



Biographies. 361 

the purpose of securing an appropriation from that committee for his 
company of minute-men; and, in order to settle the question, which 
of the two committees controlled the rifles at Tabor, he made a re- 
quest for those arms as a part of the appropriation. This request was 
vehemently opposed by Mr. Hurd of Chicago, who expressed great 
anxiety lest Brown should make incursions into Missouri or other 
slave states. Mr, F. B. Sanborn, who represented Massachusetts 
at the Astor House meeting, as proxy for Drs. Cabot and Howe, 
supported the application of Captain Brown, which was viewed with 
favor by a majority of the meeting. As a final compromise, it was 
voted that the rifles at Tabor should be restored to the Massachusetts 
committee, to be disposed of as they should think best ; and that an 
appropriation of several thousand dollars, in money and clothing, 
should be made to Captain Brown's company by the National Com- 
mittee. This left the Massachusetts committee at liberty to use 
their own property as they saw fit, and they then gave Captain 
Brown undisputed possession of the arms, subject, however, to 
future votes of the Boston committee. In point of fict, though 
this was not known to the committee till a year later, the rifles were 
brouc^ht from Tabor to Ohio in the year 1857, ^"^ remained tJiere 
till they were sent to Chambersburg by John Brown, Jr., in July, 
1859, for use at Harper's Ferry. During the year 1857, '•he expen- 
ditures of the'Massachusetts committee for the relief of the famine in 
Kansas were very large ; and, as advances of money were made by 
the chairman (Mr. George L. Stearns, a wealthy merchant of Bos- 
ton), much in excess of the current receipts, it was finally voted to 
give him, in reimbursement, most of the property and assets in the 
hands of the committee. Among these, of course, were the two 
hundred rifles, and it was with the consent of Mr. Stearns as owner, 
but without the consent of the committee, that Brown, in 1859, 
carried these rifles to Virginia. 

John Brown remained in Boston and its vicinity during the greater 
part of January and February, 1857, ^"^ ^^^ there again in the early 
weeks of March and of April. On the i8th of February, as above 
mentioned, he made the speech, from which quotations have been 
cited, before a committee of the state legislature to urge that Massa- 
chusetts should vote an appropriation of money in aid of the emigrants 
from the state who had settled in Kansas. It was one of the itvi 
speeches made by him in Massachusetts that year, and was mainly 
read from his manuscript. In March he made his first visit to Con- 

46 



362 History of Torrington. 

cord, where he addressed a large audience in the Town Hall, and 
spoke without notes, in a very impressive and eloquent manner. 
Among his hearers were Mr. R. W. Emerson and iVIr. Henrv D. 
Thoreau, who had met him the preceding day, under circumstances 
that it may be interesting to mention, since both these gentlemen 
were his warm admirers, and took up his cause when he had but few 
champions among the scholars of Massachusetts. Mr. Thoreau's 
noble appeal in his behalf, given at Concord on Sunday evening, 
October 30, 1859, ^"^ repeated at the Tremont Temple in Boston, 
November ist, was the earliest address in his praise to which the 
Massachusetts public listened, as it still is the best ; and it was soon 
followed by Mr. Emerson's famous mention of Brown in a Boston 
lecture as one who had "made the gallows glorious, like the cross," 
and by his speech at the Tremont Temple relief meeting, November 
18, 1859, at which John A. Andrew presided. 

The first occasion of John Brown's visit to Concord was to speak 
at the public meeting just mentioned, in March, 1857, which had 
been called at my request. On the day appointed. Brown went up 
from Boston at noon and dined with Mr. Thoreau, then a member 
of his father's family, and residing not far from the rail road station. 
The two idealists, both of them in revolt against the civil government 
then established in this country, because of its base subservience to 
slavery, found themselves friends from the beginning of their ac- 
quaintance. They sat after dinner, discussing the events of the 
border warfare in Kansas, and Brown's share in them, when, as it 
often happened, Mr. Emerson called at Mr. Thoreau's door on some 
errand to his friend. Thus the three men first met under the same 
roof, and. found that they held the same opinion of what was upper- 
most in the mind of Brown. He did not reveal to them, either then 
or later, his Virginia plans ; but he declared frankly, as he always did, 
his purpose of attacking slavery, wherever it could be reached ; and 
this was the sentiment of his speech at the evening meeting, when 
he told the story of his Kansas life to the grandsons of the men who 
began the war of the Revolution at Concord bridge. He spoke of 
the murder of one of his seven sons, the imprisonment and insanity 
of another ; and as he shook before his audience the chain which his 
free-born son had worn, for no crime but for resisting slavery, his 
words rose to thrilling eloquence, and made a wonderful impression 
on his audience. From that time the Concord people were on his 
side, as they afterwards testified on several occasions. He was again 



Biographies. 363 

in Concord for several days in April, 1857, and on this visit was the 
guest of Mr. Emerson for a day ; from whose house he drove across 
the country to Air. Stearns's house at Medford, one pleasant Sunday 
morning in that April. The journals of Emerson, Thoreau, and, 
two years later, of their friend Bronson Alcott, will bear witness to 
the impression made by Captain Brown on these three founders of a 
school of thought and literature. 

In the latter part of March, 1857, Captain Brown, in company 
with Martin F, Conway, afterwards a member of congress from 
Kansas, and myself, representing the Massachusetts committee, 
met by appointment at the Metropolitan Hotel in New York, and 
proceeded in company to Easton, Pennsylvania, where Mr. Andrew 
H. Reeder, a former governor of Kansas, was living, for the purpose 
of inducing him, if possible, to return to Kansas, and become the 
leader of the free state party there. The journey was undertaken at 
the request of the Massachusetts committee, of which both Brown 
and Conway had been agents. It resulted in nothing, for Governor 
Reeder was unwilling to leave his family and his occupations at Easton 
to engage again in the political contests of Kansas. Captain Brown 
had quite a different conception of his own duty to his family, as 
compared with his duty to the cause in which he had enlisted. 
Although he had been absent from home nearly two years, he re- 
frained from a visit to North Elba, where his family then were, until 
he had arranged all his military affairs in Boston, New York, and 
Connecticut ; and he finally reached his rough mountain home late in 
April. He found his daughter Ellen, whom he had left ?.n infant in 
the cradle, old enough to hear him sing his favorite hymn, " Blow ye 
the trumpet, blow !" to the old tune of Lenox. "■' He sung all his 
own children to sleep with it," writes his daughter Anne, " and some 
of his grandchildren too. He seemed to be very partial to the first 
verse; I think that he applied it to himself. When he was at home 
(I think it was the first time he came from Kansas), he told Ellen 
that he had sung it to all the rest, and must to her too. She was 
afraid to go to him alone " (the poor child had forgotten her father 
in his two years' absence), " so father said that I must sit with her. 
He took Ellen on one knee and me on the other and sung it to us." 

It was on this visit to North Elba that John Brown carried with 
him the old tombstone of his grandfather. Captain John Brown, the 
revolutionary soldier, from the burial place of his family in Canton, 
Connecticut. He caused the name of his murdered son Frederick, 



364 History of Torrington. 

who fell in Kansas, to be carved on this stone, with the date of his 
death, and placed it where he desired his own grave to be, beside a 
huge rock on the hillside where his house stands, giving directions 
that his own name and the date of his death should be inscribed there 
too, when lie should fall, as he expected in the conflict with slavery. 
That stone now marks his grave and tells a story which more costly 
monuments and longer inscriptions could not so well declare. 

Although Capt. Brown spent the winter of 1856-57 in New Eng- 
gland, he did not by any means forget or neglect his family at North 
Elba, but busied himself in securing for them an addition to the two 
farms in the wilderness on which his wife and his married daughter, 
Mrs. Thompson, were then living. Several of his Massachusetts 
friends, chief among whom were Mr. Amos A. Lawrence and Mr. 
Stearns, raised a subscription of $1,000 to purchase one hundred and 
sixty acres of land for division in equal portions between these farms. 
Mr. Stearns contributed $260 to this fund, and Mr. Lawrence about 
the same amount ; these two gentlemen having made up the sum by 
which the original subscription fell short of $1,000. The connec- 
tion of Mr. Lawrence with this transaction, and his personal acquaint- 
ance with Brown in 1857, were afterwards held to imply that he 
had some knowledge of Brown's plans, which was not the case. 
The subscription thus raised was expended in completing the pur- 
chase of the tract in question, originally sold by Gerrit Smith to the 
brothers of Henry Thompson, Brown's son-in-law, but which had 
not been wholly paid for. In August, 1857, as the agent of Messrs. 
Stearns and Lawrence, I visited North Elba, examined the land, paid 
the Thompsons their stipulated price for improvements, and to Mr. 
Smith the remainder of the purchase money ; took the necessary 
deeds and transferred the property to Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Thomp- 
son, according to the terms arranged by Captain Brown in the pre- 
ceding spring. At this time neither Gerrit Smith, nor Mr. Stearns, 
nor myself had any knowledge of Brown's scheme for a campaign in 
Virginia. But that he was preparing for it at that time is clear from 
certain arrangements he had made in Connecticut in this same spring 
of 1857. 

It was at this date that John Brown engaged Mr. Charles Blair of 
Collinsville, to make for him the thousand pikes which he carried to 
Harper's Ferry in 1859. At the senatorial investigation of 1859- 
60, Mr. Blair told the story, and it is curious enough to be given 
here, somewhat abridged. Mr. Blair testified (January 23, i860): 



Biographies. 2^5 

"I knew the late John Brown who was recently executed under the laws of 
Virginia. I made his acquaintance in the early part of 1857, in the latter part 
of February or the fore part of March. He came to our place, Collmsville, 
as I suppose, to visit connections who lived in our town. He himself was 
born, as I have understood, at Torringford, ten miles from there, and some of 
his relatives lived in a town ten miles from our village. He spoke in a public 
hall one evening, and gave an account oi some of his experiences in Kansas, 
and, at the close of the meeting, made an appeal to the audience. After 
stating the wants of many of the free settlers in Kansas, their privations 
and need of clothing, etc., he made an appeal for aid, for the purpose of fur- 
nishing the necessaries of life, as he declared. I think there was no collection 
taken up for him at that time. On the following morning, he was exhibiting 
to some gentlemen who happened to be collected together in a druggist's store, 
some weapons which he claimed to have taken from Captain Pate in Kansas. 
Among them was a two edged dirk, with a blade about eight inches long and 
he remarked that, if he had a lot of those things to attach to poles about six 
feet long, thev would be capital weapons of defence for the settlers of Kansas 
to keep in their log-cabins, to defend themselves against any sudden attack that 
might be made on them.' 

" He turned to me, knowing, as I suppose, that I was engaged in edge-tool 
making, and asked me what I would make them for ; what it would cost to 
make 500 or 1,000 of those things, as he described them. I replied, 
without much consideration, that I would make him ^00 of them for $1.25 
apiece; or, if he wanted 1,000, I thought they might be made for a dollar 
apiece." 

Brown at once contracted for 1,000 of these pikes at one dollar each, 
and Mr, Blair made them for him, doing a part of the work in the spring 
of 1857, and the rest in the summer of 1859, just before the attack 
on Harper's Ferry. They were all along intended to be put in the 
hands of freed slaves, for the defence of the log forts which Brown 
proposed to build in Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, or wherever his 
attack should finally be made. They were sent by Mr. Blair to 
Chambersburg, Pa., early in September, 1859, were taken to the 
Kennedy farm, and a portion of them were carried by Brown's men 
across the Potomac to arm the slaves with. They were paid for in 
the early summer of 1859, w'*^^ money given to Brown by Gerrit 
Smith and George L. Stearns. 

Notwithstanding; the success attendins; some of his efforts in New 
England in the spring of 1857, J°^" Brown failed to raise at that 
time a sufficient sum of money to equip and support his company of 
mounted minute-men, and he left Massachusetts, late in April, much 



' I remember Brown's showing me this knife of Pate's, which he was then in the habit 
of carrying in the leg of his boot, in order that it might not be unpleasantly obvious. It 
was what is jocularly known as an " Arkansas toothpick." 



366 History of Torrington. 

saddened by this failure. Before leaving Boston he wrote a brief 
paper headed " Old Brown's Farewell to the Plymouth Rocks, Bun- 
ker Hill Monuments, Charter Oaks, and Uncle Tom's Cabins," 
in which he says he had been trying, since he came out of Kansas, 
" to secure an outfit, or, in other words, the means of arming and 
thoroughly equipping his regular minute men, who are mixed up with 
the people of Kansas ;" but that he goes back " with a feeling of 
deepest sadness that, after having exhausted his own small means, 
and with his family and his brave men suffered hunger, cold, naked- 
ness, and some of them sickness, wounds, imprisonment in irons, 

with extreme cruel treatment, and others death, he cannot 

secure, amidst all the wealth, luxury, and extravagance of this 
' Heaven-exalted ' people, even the necessary supplies of the common 
soldier." He had formed an elaborate plan for raising and drilling 
such a company of men, and, without the knowledge of his Massa- 
chusetts friends, had engaged an English Garibaldian, Hugh Forbes, 
whom he found giving fencing-lessons in New York, to go out with 
him to Western Iowa, and there train his recruits for service in the 
field against slavery. Disappointed in raising the money he had ex- 
pected. Captain Brown was obliged to cancel his engagement with 
Forbes, who, as the event proved, was a very useless and embarrass- 
ing person. Forbes had traveled from New York to Tabor in Iowa, 
in July and August, 1857, and returned early in November, angry 
and disappointed, to New York, whence he soon began to write 
abusive and threatening letters, denouncing Brown, and speaking of 
his plans in a way that surprised Brown's Massachusetts friends, who 
had never heard of Forbes before, and who knew absolutely nothing 
of the grand scheme for invading Virginia. It may be that this 
quarrel with P'orbes impelled Brown to impart his plans more fully 
to his Massachusetts friends, or a few of them ; at any rate, he did 
so impart them, early in the year 1858, and in a manner which will 
be hereafter related. 

It is to this period of Brown's life that the incident belongs which 
Mr. Redpath alone has commemorated, and which some have 
doubted — his single interview with Charles Sumner in the spring of 
1857. ^'^- Redpath says: 

" I visited Senator Sumner in his house in Hancock street to introduce John 
Brown, then known only as a Kansas captain who had done some service in 
driving back the Southern invaders. The classical orator and the guerilla chief 
then met for the first time, and, I believe, for the only time in their lives. Each 



Biographies. 367 

was impressed with the character of the other, and they talked long and earnestly 
about the struggle in the Far West. 

This I recall ; but 1 wrote down a single sentence only that each of them 
uttered on that topic. 

'No,' said Brown, 'I did not intend ever to settle in Kansas unless I 
happened to find my last home there.* 

' In that case,' rejoined Sumner, * vours, like mine, would be a long home.' 

The senator was suffering from the blows of ihe assassin Brooks, of South 
Carolina, at this time, and lay on his bed during the whole of the interview. 

The talk turned on the assault. Suddenly the old man asked iVlr. Sumner: 

' Have you still the coat ?' 

' Yes,' replied Sumner ; ' it is in that closet. Would you like to see it?' 

' Very much, indeed,' returned the captain. 

Mr. Sumner rose slowly and painfully from his bed, opened a closet door 
and handed the garment to John Brown. I shall never forget that impressive 
picture. Mr. Sumner was bending slightly, and supported himselt by resting 
his liand on the bed, while Captain Brown stood erect as a pillar, holding up 
the blood-smeared coat and intently scanning it. The old man said nothing, 
but his lips were compressed and his eyes shone like polished steel." 

In the autumn of 1857, John Brown was in Western Iowa, and 
wrote from there to his friend Theodore Parker, on the ilth of 
September, enclosing an address to soldiers of the United States 
army on the subject of slavery, which was written by Brown's drill 
master, Hugh Forbes, and was intended to be, as Brown tells Parker, 
" the first number of a series of tracts," for distribution when his 
great work should really^ begin. It was a dull and heavy paper, like 
most that Forbes wrote, and probably Parker caused Brown to know 
what his opinion of it was. In the same letter. Brown says : " My 
particular object in writing is to say that I am in immediate want of 
^500 or $1000, for secret service and no questions asked. I want 
the friends of freedom to 'prove me one herewith.' Will you bring 
this matter before your congregation, or exert your influence in some 
way to have it, or some part of it, raised and put in the hands of 
George L. Stearns Esq., Boston, subject to my order t '' Similar 
letters were sent to Mr. Stearns and to me, but it was not easy in 
that autumn, when business was greatly depressed by the panic of 
1857, to raise money for so indefinite an object. I find that I sent 
him some money, which he received on the 3d of October, and 
others contributed something. But no movement was made before 
winter, nor did he disclose to us his purposes. In January, 1858, 
however, he suddenly left Kansas without the knowledge of his 
friends there, and appeared, in the beginning of February, at the 
house of Frederick Douglass in Rochester, New York. From there 
he wrote, February 2, 1858, to Theodore Parker, George L. Stearns, 



368 History of Torrington. 

F. B. Sanborn, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, asking them to 
aid him in raising a small sum of money to carry out "an important 
measure in which the world has a deep interest," This he tells Mr. 
Parker, is his only errand at the east, and he goes on ; ''I have 
written some of our mutual friends in regard to it, but none of them 
understand my views so well as you do, and I cannot explain with- 
out their committing themselves more than I know of their doing. I 
have heard that Parker Pillsbury, and some others in your quarter, 
hold out ideas similar to those on which I act, but I have no personal 
acquaintance with them, and know nothing of their influence or 
means. Do you think any of our Garrisonian friends, either at Bos- 
ton, Worcester, or in any other place, can be induced to supply a little 
straw " if I will absolute make 'bricks? I must beg of you to con- 
sider this communication strictly confidential, unless you know of 
parties who will feel and act and hold their peace. "^ 

Brown's letters of the same date and for a few weeks after, to 
Col. Higginson and to me, were of a similar tenor, though rather 
•more explicit, but they conveyed no distinct intimation of his plans. 
He wrote to Higginson, February 2, from Rochester: "I am here, 
concealing my whereabouts for good reasons (as I think), not, how- 
ever, from any anxiety about my personal safety. I have been told 
that you are both a true man and a true abolitionist^ and I partly be- 
lieve the whole story. Last fall I undertook to raise from five hun- 
dred to one thousand dollars for secret service^ and succeeded in 
getting five hundred dollars, I now want to get, for the perfecting 
of by far the most important undertaking of my whole life, five hun- 
dred to eight hundred dollars within the next sixty days. I have 
written Rev. Theodore Parker, George L. Stearns, and F. B. San- 
born, Esquires, on the subject, but do not know as either IVIr. 
Stearns or Mr. Sanborn are abolitionists. 1 suppose they are." On 
the 1 2th of February he wrote again in response to a remark in 
Higginson's reply about the Underground rail road in Kansas : " Rail 
road business on a somewhat extended scale is the identical object 
for which I am trying to get means. I have been connected with 
that business, as commonly conducted^ from myl)oyhood, and never let 
an opportunity slip. I have been operating to some purpose the past 
season, but I now have a measure on foot that I feel sure would 
awaken in you something more than a common interest, if you 
could understand it. I have just written my friends G. L. Stearns 



' Weiss's Life of Theodore Parker, vol. ii, pp. 163, 164. 



Biographies. 369 

and F. B. Sanborn, asking them to meet me for consultation at 
Peterboro, N. Y. I am very anxious to have you come along, certain 
as I feel that you will never regret having been one of the council." 
It was inconvenient for any of the persons addressed to take the long 
journey proposed, and on the 13th, I wrote for myself and Mr. 
Stearns, inviting Brown to visit Boston, and offering to pay his traveling 
expenses. To this request Brown replied, February 17th: " It would 
be almost impossible for me to pass through Albany, Springfield, or 
any of those parts, on my way to Boston, and not have it known ; 
and my reasons for keeping quiet are such that, when I left Kansas, 
I kept it from every friend there ; and I suppose it is still understood 
that I am hiding somewhere in the territory; and such will be the 
idea until it comes to be generally known that I am in these parts. 
I want to continue that impression as long as I can, or for the present. 
I want very much to see Mr. Stearns, and also Mr. Parker, and it 
may be that I can before long ; but I must decline accepting your 
kind offer at present, and sorry as I am to do so, ask you both to 
meet me by the middle of next week at the furthest. I wrote Mr. 
Higginson of Worcester to meet me also. It may be he would come 
on with you. My reasons for keeping still are sufficient to keep me 
from seeing my wife and children, much as I long to do so. I will 
endeavor to explain when I see you." This letter was written from 
Rochester. 

Mr. Stearns being still unable to accept this second and pressing 
request from Brown for a meeting at Peterboro, I determined to go, 
and invited Colonel Higginson to join me at Worcester on the 20th. 
In fact I made the journey alone, and reached the place of meeting 
on the evening of Washington's birthday, February 22d. A few 
friends of Brown were there gathered, among them another Massa- 
chusetts man, Mr. Edwin Morton of Plymouth, now of Boston, but 
then residing in the family of Mr. Gerrit Smith as tutor and private 
secretary. In the long winter evening which followed, the whole 
outline of Brown's campaign in Virginia was laid before the little 
council, to the astonishment and almost the dismay of all present. 
The constitution which he had drawn up for the government of his 
men, and such territory as they might occupy, and which was found 
among his papers at the Kennedy farm, was exhibited by Brown, its 
provisions recited and explained, the proposed movements of his men 
indicated, and the middle of May was named as the time of the at- 
tack. To begin this hazardous adventure he asked for but eight 

47 



370 History of Torrington. 

hundred dollars, and would think himself rich with a thousand. Being 
questioned and opposed by his friends, he laid before them in detail 
his methods of organization and fortification ; of settlement in the 
South, if that were possible, and of retreat through the North, if 
necessary ; and his theory of the way in which such an invasion 
would be received in the country at large. He desired from his 
friends a patient hearing of his statements, a candid opinion concern- 
ing them, and, if that were favorable, then that they should co-ope- 
rate with him and persuade others to do so. This was the important 
business which he had to communicate on the anniversary of Wash- 
ington's birthday. 

After what has passed in the last twenty years, no one can picture 
to himself the startling effect of such a plan, heard for the first time 
in the dismal days of Buchanan's administration, when Floyd was 
secretary of war, and Jefferson Davis and Senator Mason omnipo- 
tent in congress. Those who listened to Captain Brown had been 
familiar with the bold plots and counter-plots of the Kansas border, 
and had aided the escape of slaves in various parts of the South. 
But to strike at once at the existence of slavery, by an organized 
force, acting for years, if need be, on the dubious principles of guer- 
illa warfare, and exposed, perhaps, to the whole power of the country, 
was something they had never contemplated. That was the long 
meditated plan of a poor, obscure, old man, uncertain at best of 
another ten years' lease of life, and yet calmly proposing an enter- 
prise which, if successful, might require a whole generation to 
accomplish. His friends listened until late at night, proposing ob- 
jections and raising difficulties, but nothing shook the purpose of the 
old Puritan. To every objection he had an answer ; every difficulty 
had been foreseen and provided for ; the great difficulty of all, the 
apparent hopelessness of undertaking anything so vast with such 
slender means, he met with the words of scripture, " If God be for 
us, who can be against us ? " and ••' Except the Lord keep the city, 
the watchman waketh but in vain." 

To all suggestions of delay until a more favorable time, he would 
reply, " I am nearly sixty years old ; I have desired to do this work 
for many years ; if I do not begin soon, it will be too late for me." 
He had made nearly all his arrangements ; he had so many hundred 
weapons, so many men enlisted, all that he wanted was the small 
sum of money. With that he would open his campaign with the 
spring, and he did not doubt that his enterprise would pay. But 



Biographies. 371 

those who heard him, while they looked upon the success of Brown's 
undertaking as a great blessing and relief to the country, felt also that 
to fail, contending against such odds, might hazard for many years 
the cause of freedom and union. They had not yet fully attained the 
sublime faith of Brown when he said, " A few men in the right, and 
knowing they are right, can overturn a king. Twenty men in the 
Alleghanies could break slavery to pieces in two years." 

On the 23d of February, the discussion was renewed, and, as 
usually happened when he had time enough. Captain Brown began to 
prevail over the objections of his friends. At any rate, they saw that 
they must either stand by him, or leave him to dash himself alone 
against the fortress he was determined to assault. To withhold aid 
would only delay, not prevent him; nothing short of betraying him to the 
enemy would do that. As the sun was setting over the snowy hills of the 
region where we met, I walked for an hour with the principal person 
in our little council of war, leaving Captain Brown to discuss re- 
ligion with an old captain of Wellington's army who, by chance, was 
a guest in the house. My companion, of equal age with Brown, and 
for many years a devoted abolitionist, said, '' You see how it is ; our 
old friend has made up his mind to this course of action, and cannot 
be turned from it. We cannot give him up to die alone ; we must 
stand by him. I will raise so many hundred dollars for him ; you 
must lay the case before your friends in Massachusetts and perhaps 
they will do the same. I see no other way." For myself, I had 
reached the same conclusion, and I engaged to bring the scheme at 
once to the attention of the three Massachusetts men to whom Brown 
had written, and also of Dr. S. G. Howe, who had sometimes favored 
action almost as extreme as this proposed by Brown. 

I returned to Boston on the 25th of February, and on the same 
day communicated the enterprise to Theodore Parker and Colonel 
Higginson. At the suggestion of Parker, Brown, who had gone to 
Brooklyn, New York, was invited to visit Boston secretly, and did 
so the 4th of March, taking a room at the American House, in Hano- 
ver street. He registered himself as "J. Brown," instead of writing 
out the customary "John " in full, and remained for the most part 
in his room (No. 126) during the four days of his stay. Parker was 
one of the first persons to call on him, and promised aid at once. 
He was deeply interested in the project, but not very sanguine of its 
success. He wished to see it tried, believing that it must do good 
even if it failed. John Brown remained at the American House until 



2J2 History of Torrington. 

Monday, March 8th, when he departed for Philadelphia. On the 
Friday, Saturday and Sunday intervening, he had seen at his hotel 
Mr. Parker, Dr. Howe, Mr. Stearns, Mr. Wentworth Higginson 
and two or three other persons. He did not think it prudent to show 
himself at Mr. Parker's Sunday evening reception, on the 7th of 
March, as he had done when he was in Boston the year before ; and 
therefore he wrote Mr. Parker a letter which I carried to him that 
afternoon, and which shall here be copied entire : 

To Rev. Theodore Parker, Boston. 

Boston, Mass., March -jth, 1858. 

My Dear Sir, Since vou know 1 have an almost countless brood of poor 
hungry chickens to " scratch for," you will not reproach me for scratching 
even on the Sabbath. At any rate, I trust God will not. 1 want you to under- 
take to provide a substitute for an address you saw last season, directed to the 
officers and soldiers of the United States army. The ideas contained in that 
address, I of course like, for I furnished the skeleton. I never had the ability 
to clothe those ideas in language at all to satisfy myself ; and I was by no 
means satisfied with the style of that address, and do not know as I can give 
any correct idea of what I want. I will, however, try. 

In the first place it must be short, or it will not be generally read. It must 
be in the simplest or plainest language, without the least affectation of the 
scholar about it, and yet be worded with great clearness, and power. The 
anonymous writer must (in the language of the Paddy) be " afther others, " 
and not " afther himself at all, at all." If the spirit that communicated Frank- 
lin's Poor Richard (or some other good spirit) would dictate, I think it would 
be quite as well employed as the " dear sister spirits " have been for some years 
past. The address should be appropriate, and particularly adapted to the 
peculiar circumstances we anticipate, and should look to the actual change of 
service from that of Satan to the service of God. It should be, in short, a 
most earnest and powerful appeal to men's sense of right and to their feelings of 
humanity. Soldiers are men, and no man can certainly calculate the value and 
importance of getting a single " nail into old Captain Kidd's chest." It should 
be provided before hand, and be readv in advance to distribute, by all persons, 
male and female, who may be disposed to favor the right. 

I also want a similar short address, appropriate to the peculiar circumstances, 
intended for all persons, old and young, male and female, slave-holding and 
non slave holding, to be sent out broadcast over the entire nation. So by 
every male and female prisoner on being set at libertv, and to be read by them 
during confinement. I know that men will listen and reflect too, under such 
circumstances. Persons will hear your anti-slavery lectures and abolition lectures 
when they have become virtuallv slaves themselves. The impressions made 
on prisoners by kindness and plain dealing, instead of barbarous and cruel treat- 
ment, such as they might give, and instead of being slaughtered like wild rep- 
tiles, as they might very naturally expect, are not only powerful but lasting. 
Females are susceptible of being carried away entirely by the kindness of an 



Biographies. 373 

intrepid and magnanimous soldier, even when his bare name was but a terror 
the dav previous. ' 

Now, dear sir, I have told you about as well as I know how, what I am 
anxious at once to secure. Will you write the tracts, or get them written, so 
that I may commence ' Colporteur ?' 

Very respectfully, your friend, 

John Brown. 

P. S. If I should never see you again, please drop me a line (enclosed to 
Stephen Smith, Esq., Lombard St., Philadelphia), at once, saying what you will 
encourage me to expect. You are at liberty to make anv prudent use of this 
to stir up any friend. Yours for the right, 

J. B. 

Probably Brown was not aware how hard was the task imposed 
by these masterly directions in the art of writing. It does not appear 
that Parker, who was then overweighted with work, ever under- 
took to write the tracts desired, or that they were written by any one 
else. Only one such was ever printed. It may be worth mentioning, 
that Parker sent Brown from his library on this Sunday, the report 
of McClellan on the European armies, which was then a new book, 
and was thought likely to be of service to Brown. At the same 
time Brown praised Plutarch's Lives as a book he had read with great 
profit for its military and rnoral lessons, and particularly mentioned 
the life of Sertorius, the Roman commander who so lono- carried on 
a partisan warfare in Spain. He wished to get a few copies of Plu- 
tarch for his men to read in camp, and inquired particularly about 
the best edition. 

Although Brown communicated freely to the persons above named 
his plans of attack and defence in Virginia, it is not known that he 
spoke to more than one person in Boston of his purpose of surpris- 
ing the arsenal and town of Harper's Ferry. Both Dr. Howe and 
Mr. Stearns testified before Mason's committee, in i860, that they 
were ignorant of Brown's plan of attack ; which was true so far as 
the place and manner of beginning the campaign were concerned. 
It is probable that in 1858, Brown had not definitely resolved to 



» A Kansas paper said in 1859 : " At the sacking of Osawatomie, one of the most bit- 
ter pro-slavery men in Lykins county was killed. His name was Ed. Timmons. Some- 
time afterwards, Brown stopped at the log-house where Timmons had lived. His widow 
and children were there, and in great destitution. He inquired into their wants, relieved 
their distresses, and supported them until their friends in Missouri, informed, through 
Brown, of the condition of Mrs. Timmons, had time to come to her and carry her to her 
former home. Mrs. Timmons fully appreciated the great kindness thus shown her, but 
never learned that Captain John Brown was her benefactor. " 



374 History of Torrington. 

seize Harper's Ferry, since, when he spoke of it to the person referred 
to, he put it as a question, and did not seem to have made up his 
mind to a course of action so immediately hazardous. He then 
argued that it would strike great terror into the whole slaveholding 
class to find that an armed force had strength enough to capture a 
place so important and so near Washington ; and it was to inspire 
terror, rather than to possess himself of the arms there, that he then 
proposed to capture the arsenal. It is believed that Theodore 
Parker was aware of this half-formed plan of Brown's, but it was not 
communicated to his men until a year and a half later, or just before 
the attack was actually made. Charles Plummer Tidd, one of 
Brown's men, who escaped from Harper's Ferry, afterwards enlisted 
in a Massachusetts regiment under the name of Plummer, and died 
under Burnside in North Carolina, is authority for this statement. 
He told me that when Brown called his small company together in 
October, 1859, on the Maryland side of the Potomac, and disclosed 
to them his plan for the capture of the town, they all declared that 
it would be fatal to attempt it, and refused to take part in it ; even 
his own sons, except Owen, being unwilling to follow their father 
to what they said would be certain defeat and death. But Brown 
had now decided upon his course, and adhered to it inflexibly ; he 
would make the attack with a single man, if only one man would 
obey him. His sons, finding their father so determined, and know- 
ing how impossible it was to change his purpose, first gave in their 
adhesion ; they believed it to be a fatal scheme, but they would not 
desert him. Gradually all the others came round to the same opin- 
ion, and the attack was made with precisely the result that Brown's 
followers had predicted. It is probable that Tidd's statement was 
true in substance, if not literally. 

On the departure of Brown from Boston in March, 1858, the five 
persons mentioned — Parker, Howe, Higginson, Sanborn and 
Stearns — formed themselves into a secret committee to raise for him 
the money (now set at $1,000) which it was agreed should be raised 
in New England. Each of the five was to raise $100, and as 
much more as he could. Dr. Howe having hopes of securing a larger 
subscription from his friend Mr. George R. Russell. Mr. Stearns 
was made treasurer of the committee, and the small sum judged 
necessary for beginning the enterprise was nearly made up, either in 
money or pledges, before the ist of May, at which time Brown was 
on his way from Iowa to Ohio, with the arms that had been stored 



Biographies. 375 

in Iowa, and with some of his men. He was to enlist others in 
Canada about May 8th, and to strike his first blow in the latter part 
of the same month. On the 28th of April, Brown was in Chicago ; 
on the 2d of May at Chatham, in Canada. But, meanwhile, a for- 
midable obstacle had appeared. Hugh Forbes interposed again, 
writing from Washington, and threatened to disclose the whole plan 
to the republican leaders, and even to the government. 

In these letters of April and May, Forbes insisted that Brown's 
enterprise should stop, that Brown himself should be dismissed as the 
leader of the movement, and Forbes be put in his place ; and these 
demands were accompanied by a threat of making public the whole 
transaction, so far as it had gone. To increase the difficulties of the 
situation, Forbes had evidently learned, from some quarter, of the 
countenance given to Brown, since the 1st of March, by his Boston 
committee. On the 2d of May these letters were submitted to this 
committee, Howe, Parker, Sanborn and Stearns being present, and 
Higginson being informed of them by mail. Parker, Sanborn and 
Stearns at once said that the blow must be deferred till another year, 
and in this opinion Howe partially coincided. Higginson thought 
otherwise, and so did Brown, who declared that he would go for- 
ward, in spite of Forbes and his threats, if the money promised him 
should be furnished. Here, however, another difficulty sprang up. 
Forbes, early in May, carried out his threat so far as to inform Sen- 
ators Hale, Seward and Wilson, and Dr. Bailey, in general terms, of 
Brown's purposes, and Wilson wrote to Dr. Howe, earnestly pro- 
testing against any such demonstration. As the rifles which had been 
purchased by the Massachusetts Kansas committee and intrusted to 
Brown by them were still, so far as Senator Wilson and the public 
knew, the property of that committee (though really, as has been 
explained, the personal property of Mr. Stearns, the chairman), it 
would expose the Kansas committee, who were ignorant of Brown's 
later plans, to suspicions of bad faith, if those arms were used by him 
in any expedition to Virginia. This awkward complication seems 
to have decided Dr. Howe in favor of postponing the attack, and both 
he and Mr. Stearns, as members of the Kansas Committee, wrote 
to Brown that the arms must not be used for the present, except for 
the defence of Kansas. Brown saw that nothing further could then 
be done, and yielded, though with regret, to the postponement. 
About the 20th of May, Mr. Stearns met Brown in New York, and 
arranged that hereafter the custody of the Kansas rifles should he 



376 History of Torrington. 

Brown's, as the agent of Stearns, the real owner, and not of the 
nominal owners, the Kansas committee. On the 24th of May, a 
meeting of the Boston secret committee, with one of the principal 
friends of Brown's plan outside of New England, Mr. Gerrit Smith — 
took place at the Revere House in Boston — Parker, Howe, Sanborn 
and Stearns being present, as before ; and it was agreed that the exe- 
cution of the plan should be postponed till the spring of 1B59. I 
the meantime a larger sum of money — from two to three thousand 
dollars — was to be raised, and Brown was to throw Forbes off his 
track by returning to Kansas and engaging in the defence of the free- 
state men on the border. The alleged property of the Kansas com- 
mittee was to be so transferred as to relieve that committee of all 
responsibility, and the secret committee were, in future, to know 
nothing in detail of Brown's plans. Brown was not himself present 
at this Revere House meeting, but came to Boston the next week, 
and was at the American House May 31st. Here he met all the 
committee, Higginson included ; and, in the two or three days that 
he stayed, the Revere House arrangement was completed. He re- 
ceived the sole custody of the arms which had belonged to the Kan- 
sas committee, and five hundred dollars beside ; was to go to Kansas 
at once, but after that to use his own discretion ; and, though still 
believing the postponement unwise, he left New England in good 
spirits the first week in June. 

He reached Kansas June 26th, with about ten men, and in a week 
or two after was on the border, near the scenes of the Marais des 
Cygnes murders of May 19th, which he has described in one of his 
later letters soon to be cited, but written after he had made his incur- 
sion into Missouri, six months afterwards, and brought off some 
fugitive slaves. In the summer he was occupied with the defence of 
Kansas once more, and with plans for his next year's campaign in 
Virginia. 

On the 28th of June, he wrote me from Lawrence a short letter 
addressed to " F. B. Sanborn and Dear Friends at Boston^ IVorcester^ 

and , " and containing this passage: "I reached Kansas with 

friends, on the 26th inst. ; came here last night, and leave here to- 
day for the neighborhood of late troubles. It seems the troubles are 
not over yet. ... I do hope you will be in earnest now to carry out, 
as soon as possible, the measure proposed in Mr. Sanborn's letter 
inviting me to Boston this last spring." (This was the raising or 
money for a campaign in Virginia in 1859, after the Kansas fighting 



Biographies. 377 

had ended.) " I hope there will be no delay of that matter. Can 
you send me by express, care of E. B. Whitman, Esqr., half a dozen 
or a full dozen whistles, such as I described, at once?" These 
whistles were for use in making signals among his men when in night 
attacks, or amid woody or mountainous regions in the day-time, and 
he had both spoken and written to me about them before. They 
were to be "such as are used by boatswains on ships of war;" 
and Brown thought them of great service. *•' Every ten men ought 
to have one at least." He had also requested me to procure for him 
*' some little articles as marks of distinction," — badges, medals, or 
the like — to be given to his men in token of good conduct. Hap- 
pening to be at Dr. Howe's house in South Boston one day in the 
spring of 1858, the doctor (who was a chevalier of the GreekLegion 
of Honor, for services rendered in the Greek Revolution of 1 820-27), 
had shown me his cross of Malta and other decorations, given by 
the Legion to its members, and some of these seemed to me exactly 
what Brown would want. I therefore made rude sketches of them 
and showed these to Brown, who selected the Maltese cross and one 
or two other designs, as suitable for his badges, but I doubt if they 
were ever used for that purpose. 

How well Brown looked after Kansas matters will be seen by the 
following letter, a very long one for the old soldier to write : 

" Missouri Line (on Kansas Side), 
zoth July, 1858. 
F. B. Sanborn, Esq., and Friends at Boston and Worcester: I am 
here with about ten of my men, located on the same quarter section where the 
terrible murders of the igih May were committed, called the Hamilton or 
Trading Post murders. Deserted faims and dwelHngs lie in all directions for 
some miles along the line, and the remaining inhabitants watch every ap- 
pearance of persons moving about, with anxious jealousy and vigilance. Four 
of the persons wounded or attacked on that occasion are staying zvilh me. 
The blacksmith Snyder, who fought the murderers, with his brorher aud son, 
are of the number. Old Mr. Hargrove, who was terribly wounded at the 
same time, is another. The blacksmith returned here with me, and intends to 
bring back his family on to his claim, within two or three days. A constant 
fear of new troubles seems to p'evail on both sides the line, and on both sides 
are companies of armed men. Any little affair may open the quarrel afresh. 
Two murders and cases of robbery are reported of late. [ have also a man 
with me who fled from his family and farm in Missouri but a day or two since, 
his life being threatened on account of being accused of informing Kansas men 
of the whereabouts of one of the murderers, who was lately taken and brought 
to this side. I have concealed the fact of my presence pretty much, lest it 
should tend to create excitement ; but it is getting leaked out, and will soon be 

48 



378 History of Torrington. 

known to all. As I am not here to seek or secure revenge, I do not mean to 
be the first to reopen the quarrel. How soon it may be raised against me, I 
cannot say, nor am I over-anxious. A portion of my men are in other neigh- 
borhoods. We shall soon be in great want of a small amount in a draft or 
drafts on New York, to feed us. We' cannot work for wages, and provisions 
are not easily obtained on the frontier. 

I cannot refrain from quoting or rather referring to a notice of the terrible 
afFair before alluded to, in an account found in the New York Tribune of May 
31st, dated at Westport, May 21st. The writer says : 'From one of the 
prisoners it was ascertained that a number of persons were stationed at Snyder's, 
a short distance from the Post, a house built in the gorge of two mounds, and 
flanked by rock walls, a fit place for robbers and murderers.' At a spring in 
a rocky ravine stands a very small open blacksmith's shop, made of thin slabs 
from a saw-mill. This is the only building that has ever been known to stand 
there, and in that article is called a ' fortification.' It is to-day just as it was 
the 19th May, — a little pent-up shop, containing Snyder's tools (what have 
not been carried off") all covered with rust, — and had never been thought of 
as a ' fortification ' before the poor man attempted in it his own and his 
brother's and son's defense. I give this as an illustration of the truthfulness of 
that whole account. It should be left to stand while it may last, and should be 
known hereat'ter as Fort Snyder. 

I may contitiue here for some time. Mr. Russell and other friends at New 
Haven assured me before I left that, if the Lecompton abomination should pass 
througli congress, something could be done there to relieve me from a diffi- 
culty I am in, and which they understand. Will not some of my Boston 
friends 'stir up their minds' in the matter.? I do believe they would be 
listened to.' 

You may use this as you think best. Please let friends in New York and at 
North Elba" hear from me. I am not very stout, have much to think of and 
to do, and have but little time or chance Br writing. The weather of late has 
been very hot. I will write you all when I can. 

I believe all honest, sensible Free State men in Kansas consider George Wash- 
ington Brown's Herald of Freedom one of the most mischievous, traitorous 
publications in the whole country. 

July 2.id. Since the previous date, another free state Missourian has been 
over to see us, who reports great excitement on the other side of the line, and 
thai the house of Mr. Bishop (the man who fled to us) was beset during the 
night after he left ; but, on finding he was not there, they left. Yesterday a 
pro-slavery man from West Point (Missouri) came over, professing that he 
wanted to buy Bishop's farm. I think he was a spy. He reported all quiet 



' The allusion here is probably to Brown's contract with Charles Blair of Collinsville, 
the blacksmith who was to make the thousand pikes. Brown had engaged them in 1857, 
and had paid in that year five hundred and fifty of the thousand dollars which the pikes 
were to cost when finished. In 1858, Brown had not been able, for lack of money, to 
complete the payment, and was afraid his contract would be forfeited and the money already 
paid would be lost. He therefore communicated (as I suppose) the facts in the case to Mr. 
Russell, who was then the head of a military school at New Haven, and had some assur- 
ance from him of money to be raised in Connecticut to meet this Connecticut contract. 

' His wife and children. 



Biographies. 379 

on the other side. At present, along this part of the line the free state men 
may be said in some sense to ' possess the field,' but we deem it wise to ' be 
on the alert ' Whether Missouri people are more excited through fear than 
otherwise I am not yet prepared to judge. The blacksmith (Snyder) has got 
his familv back ; also some others have returned, and a few new settlers are 
coming in. Those who fled or were driven off will pretty much lose the 
season. Since we came here, about twenty-five to thirty of Governor Den- 
ver's men have moved a little nearer to the line, I believe. 

August 6th. Have been down with ague since last date, and had no safe way 
of getting off my letter. I had lain every night without shelter, suffering from 
cold rains and heavy dews, together with the oppressive heat of the days. A 
few days since. Governor Denver's officer then in command bravely moved his 
men on to the line, and on the next adjoining claim with us. Several of them 
immediately sought opportunity to tender their service to me secretly. I, how- 
ever, advised them to remain where they were. Soon after I came on the 
line, my right name was reported, but the majority did not credit the report. 

I am getting better. You will know the true result of the election of the 2d 
inst., much sooner than I shall, probably. lam in no place for correct general 
information. May God bless you all. 

Your friend, 

John Brown. 

Inclose in envelope directed to Augustus Wattles, Moneka, Linn County, 
Kansas ; inside direct to S. Morgan." 

Some of the incidents and allusions in the above letter need to be 
further explained. The " Hamilton murders " are better known in 
border story as the Marais des Cygnes Massacre, a tragedy which 
Whittier has celebrated in verse. Near the river named by the old 
French voyageurs of Louisiana "■' The Swan's Marsh " [Marais des 
Cygnes or du Cygne)., in Southern Kansas, was a little settlement of 
northern farmers. As they were planting their fields and fencing 
them in May, 1858, an unprovoked assault was made on them by a 
party from Missouri, under the lead of three brothers named Hamilton, 
from Georgia ; five farmers were killed and five wounded. The 
murderers were not Missourians, but men from farther south, who 
had been in Kansas but v/ere driven out in some of the contests of 
1856—57. They marched over in an armed band from Missouri, 
gathered up their victims from the prairie farms and the lonely roads, 
or took them from their cabins, formed them into a line, and shot 
them down by a platoon discharge. Then the invaders gave out 
word that they meant to shoot all the free state settlers in Linn 
county in the same way. The farmers mustered for defense, in a 
band of two hundred, near the Missouri line, and detailed a company 
of mounted men to stand guard, or to ride up and down the line and 
keep watch of the Hamiltons and their band. When Brown reached 



,> 



380 History of Torrington. 

the spot a month later, he put his own men on guard, and the 
settlers went back to their work. The governor of Kansas, Denver, 
also sent armed men, perhaps United States troops, to keep the 
peace, and it is to these that Brown alludes as having offered to serve 
under him. Brown went to the spot where the massacre took place, 
assuming the name of " Captain Morgan " for the occasion, fortified 
himself, and gave out that he was there to fight or be peaceable as 
the other side might choose ; " they could make him as good a 
neighbor or as bad as they pleased." Gradually his secret came out 
and the terror of his name frightened the enemy away ; the Hamil- 
tons left the neighborhood, and the trouble there ceased. But Brown 
himself fell sick and was obliged to take shelter for a few weeks with 
his friend Wattles, at Moneka. I wrote to him early in July a letter 
which reached him there, and to which he replied as follows : 

OsAWATOMiE, Kansas, lotb September, 
1858. 
Dear Friend, and other Friends — Your kind and very welcome letter of 
the llth July was received a long time since, but I was sick at the time, and 
have been ever since until now ; so that I did not even answer the letters of 
my own family, or any one else, before yesterday, when 1 began to try. I am 
very weak yet, but gaining well. All seems quiet now. I have been down 
about six weeks. As things now look I would say that, if you had not already 
sent forward those little articles,' do not do it. Before I was taken sick there 
seemed to be every prospect of some business very soon ; and there is some 
now that requires doing ; but, under all the circumstances, I think not best to 
send them. 

I have heard nothing direct from Forbes for months, but expect to when I 
get to Lawrence. I have but fourteen regularly employed hands, the most of 
whom are now at common work, and some are sick. Much sickness prevails. 
How we travel m^ij not be best to write. I have often met the ' notorious ' 
Montgomery,^ and think very favorably of him. 

It now looks as though but little business can be accomplished until we get 
oar mill into operation. \ am most anxious about that, and want you to naine 
the earliest date possible, as near as you can learn, when you can have your 
matters gathered up. Do let me hear from you on this point (as soon as consist- 
ent), so that I may have some idea how to arrange my business. Dear friends, 
do be in earnest ; the harvest we shall reap, if we are only up and doing. 

\-^th September, 1858. Yours of the 25th August, containing draft of Mr. 
S. for fifty dollars is received. I am most grateful for it, and to you for your 
kind letter. This would have been sooner mailed but for want of stamps and 
envelopes. I am gaining slowly, but hope to be on my legs soon. Have no 
further news. 

Mailed, September 15th. Still weak. 

Your friend, 

' The boatswain's whistles. 

» This was James Montgomery, one of the bravest partisans on the Kansas border, and 
during the civil war colonel of a black regiment in South Carolina. 



Biographies. 381 

The money which I sent to Brown, as above acknowledged, was 
probably contributed by Gerrit Smith, who, first and last, gave Brown 
or sent him more than a thousand dollars. Most of the smaller sums 
which Brown received during the years 1858-59, I suppose, passed 
through my hands, while the larger sums were paid to him directly 
by Mr. Stearns or other contributors. Most of the correspondence 
on this Virginia business also went through my hands ; it being 
Brown's custom to write one letter to be read by the half dozen 
persons with whom he desired to communicate -, and this letter 
generally (by no means always) coming to me in the first instance. 
My custom was to show it to Mr. Parker and Dr. Howe, when 
they were at home, then to send it to Mr. Stearns, who sometimes 
forwarded it to Colonel Higginson or some more distant correspondent, 
and sometimes returned it to me. It appears that both the letters 
just quoted came back to me in October, 1858, and were by me 
forwarded to Higginson on the 13th of that month. 

Colonel Higginson expressed the hope that the enterprise would 
not be deferred longer that the spring of 1859, ^"^ made some con- 
tribution to the fund, as also did Mr. Parker and the other members 
of the secret committee. No active movement to raise money was 
undertaken, however, until the winter and spring of 1859. 

In December 1858, Brown wishing to show by experiment in 
Missouri what he could do in Virginia, crossed the border from Kan- 
sas with a few men, and brought away a party of slaves, with whom 
he traveled in January and February, 1859, from the border of 
southern Kansas, through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan, 
to Detroit, where he arrived March 12th, and landed his fugitives 
safely in Canada. In the latter part of March, 1859, ^^ ^^^ ^^ 
Cleveland, where he sold publicly the horses he had brought from 
Missouri. While still in Kansas he wrote this striking letter for 
publication in the New York Tribune and other friendly newspapers : 

John Brown's Parallels. 

Trading Post, Kansas, January, 1859. 

Gentlemen : You will greatly oblige a humble friend by allowing the use of 
your columns while I briefly state two parallels, in my poor way. 

Not one year ago eleven quiet citizens of this neighborhood, viz : William 
Robertson, William Colpetzer, Amos Hall, Austin Hall, John Campbell, Asa 
Snvder, Thomas Stilwell, William Hairgrove, Asa Hairgrove, Patrick Ross, 
and B. L. Reed, were gathered up from their work and their homes by an 
armed force under one Hamilton, and without trial or opportunity to speak in 



382 History of Torrington. 

their own defense, were formed into line, and all but one shot — five killed 
and five wounded. One fell unharmed, pretending to be dead. All were left 
for dead. The only crime charged against them was that of being free state 
men. Now, I inquire what action has ever, since the occurrence in May last, 
been taken by cither the president of the United States, the governor of Mis- 
souri, the governor of Kansas, or any of their tools, or by any pro-slavery 
or administration man, to ferret out and punish the perpetrators of this crime? 

Now for the other parallel. On Sunday, December 19, a negro man called 
Jim came over to the Osage settlement, from Missouri, and stated that he 
together with his wife, two children, and another negro man, was to be sold 
within a day or two, and begged for help to get away. On Monday (the fol- 
lowing) night, two small companies were made up 10 go to Missouri and forci- 
bly liberate the five slaves, together with other slaves. One of these companies 
I assumed to direct. We proceeded to the place, surrounded the buildings, 
liberated the slaves, and also took certain property supposed to belong to the 
estate. 

We however learned before leaving, that a portion of the articles we had 
taken belonged to a man living on the plantation as a tenant, and who was sup- 
posed to have no interest in the estate. We promptly returned to him all we 
had taken. We then went to another plantation, where we found five more 
slaves, took some property and two white men. We moved all slowly away 
into the territory for some distance, and then sent the white men back, telling 
them to follow us as soon as they chose to do so. The other company freed 
one female slave, took some property, and, as I am informed, killed one white 
man (the master), who fought against the liberation. 

Now for a comparison. Eleven persons are forcibly restored to tlieir natu- 
ral and inalienable rights, with but one man killed, and all ' hell is stirred from 
beneath.' It is currently reported that the governor of Missouri has made a 
requisition upon the governor of Kansas for the delivery of all such as were 
concerned in the last-named ' dreadful outrage.' The marshal of Kansas is 
said to be collecting a posse of MissTuri (not Kansas) men at West Point, in 
Missouri, a little town about ten miles distant, to 'enforce the laws.' All pro- 
slavery, conservative, free state, and doughface men, and administration tools, 
are filled with holy horror. 

Consider the two cases, and the action of the Administration party. 

Respectfully yours, 

John Brown. 

On the 4th of March, 1859, ^ wrote to a friend thus : " Brown 
was at Tabor (Iowa) on the 19th February, with his stock in fine 
condition, as he says in a letter to G. Smith. He also says he is 
ready with some new men to set his mill in operation, and seems to 
be cominp; east for that purpose. Mr. Smith proposes to raise one 
thousand dollars for him, and to contribute one hundred dollars him- 
self. I think a larger sum ought to be raised, but can we raise so 
much as this ? Brown says he thinks any one of us who talked with 
him might raise the sum if we should set about it ; perhaps this is so, 
but I doubt. As a reward for what he has done, perhaps money 



Biographies. 383 

might be raised for him. At any rate he means to do the work, and 
I expect to hear of him in New York within a few weeks. Dr. 
Howe thinks J. F. and some others, not of our party, would help 
the project if they knew of it." 

Following up this last suggestion, I sounded several anti-slavery 
men of wealth and influence in the spring of 1859, ^"^ ^'^ obtain 
some subscriptions from persons who were willing to give to a brave 
man forcibly interfering with slavery, without inquiring very closely 
what he would do next. But on the other hand I found that Brown's 
manly action in Missouri had made some of our friends more shy of 
him. When he reached Boston in May, he was invited to dine one 
Saturday at the Bird Club, and there for the first time met Senator 
Wilson, afterwards vice-president, who has thus described the inter- 
view : "The last of May, 1859, ^ "^^^ Jo^^n Brown at the Parker 
House in Boston. There were a dozen persons present ; Brown 
came in with somebody, and was introduced to quite a number of 
gentlemen there. I was introduced to him, and he, 1 think, did not 
recollect my name. I stepped aside. In a moment, after speaking 
to somebody else, he came up again, and said to me that he did not 
understand my name when it was mentioned. He then said, in a 
very calm but firm tone, ' I understand you do not approve of my 
course ;' referring, as I supposed, to his going into Missouri and 
getting slaves and running them off. It was said with a great deal of 
firmness of manner, and it was the first salutation after speaking to 
me. I said I did not ; I believed it to be a very great injury to the 
anti-slavery cause ; that I regarded every illegal act, and every im- 
prudent act, as being against it. I said that, if this action had been 
a year or two before, it might have been followed by the invasion of 
Kansas by a large number of excited people on the border, and a 
great many lives might have been lost. He said he thought differ- 
ently, believed he had acted right, and that it would have a good in- 
fluence." If Brown had known Senator Wilson as well as he did 
that Kansas friend who reproved him for the same cause, he would 
have gone further, and given the senator the same answer j " Brown 
called in to see me, in going out of Kansas in 1859, and I censured 
him for going into Missouri and getting those slaves. He said, ' I 
considered the matter well ; you will have no more attacks from Mis- 
souri. I shall now leave Kansas ; probably you will never see me 
again. / consider it my duty to draw the scene of the excitement to some 
other part of the country.'' " In this aim he certainly succeeded. 



384 . History of Torrington, 

Even Dr. Howe who had been concerned in the Greek revolution, 
the French revolution of July, 1 830, and the Polish revolution of 
1 83 1, was distressed, on his return from Cuba in the spring of 1859, 
to rind that Brown had actually been taking the property of slave- 
holders with which to give their escaping slaves an outfit, and for a 
time withdrew his support from the veteran, who chafed greatly at 
this unexpected rebuff. I have an impression that Dr. Howe, on 
his way home from Cuba (whither he accompanied Theodore Parker 
in February, 1858), had journeyed through the Carolinas, and had 
there accepted the splendid hospitality of Wade Hampton and other 
rich planters ; and that it shocked him to think he might have been 
instrumental in giving up to fire and pillage the noble mansions where 
he had been entertained. If so, it was a generous relutance which 
held him back from heartily entering again into John Brown's plans j 
nor did he after 1858 so completely support them as before, although 
he never withdrew from the secret committee, and continued to give 
money to the enterprise. Parker never returned to Boston, but died 
in P'lorence May, i860. He contributed nothing after 1858, nor 
did Higginson give so much, or interest himself so warmly in the 
enterprise after its first postponement. 

All this would have made it more difficult, during 1859, to raise 
the money which Brown needed, had it not been for the munificence 
of Mr. Stearns, who, at each emergency, came forward with his in- 
dispensable gifts. After placing about twelve hundred dollars in 
Brown's hands in the spring and summer of 1859, he still continued 
to aid him in one way and another, until almost the day of the out- 
break, which was delayed by the slowness of Brown's own move- 
ments during the spring and summer of 1859. ^ ^"^ ^^^^ '" °^^ °^ 
my letters, dated "Concord, June 4, 1859 •" " Brown has set out 
on his expedition, having got some eight hundred dollars from all 
sources except from Mr. Stearns, and from hi.Ti the balance of two 

thousand dollars ; Mr. S being a man who, ' having put his hand 

to the plow, turneth not back.' Brown left Boston for Springfield 
and New York on Wednesday morning at 8 : 30, and Mr. Stearns 
has probably gone to New York to-day to make final arrangements 
for him. Brown means to be on the ground as soon as he can, per- 
haps so as to begin by the 4th of July. He could not say where he 
should be for a few weeks, but letters are addressed to him, under 
cover to his son John, Jr., at West Andover, Ohio. This point is 
not far from where Brown will begin, and his son will communicate 



Biographies. 385 

with him. Two of his sons will go with him. He is desirous of 
getting some one to go to Canada and collect recruits for him among 
the fugitives, with Harriet Tubman or alone, as the case may be." 
This letter shows I had then no thought that the attack would be 
made at Harper's Ferry, nor had Mr. Stearns, to whom I was then 
in the habit of talking or writing about the matter every few days. 
I have no doubt he knew as much as I did about the general plan. 
On the 1 8th of August, Brown sent me word from Chambersburg 
that he was again delayed for want of money, and must have three 
hundred dollars, which I undertook to raise for him. On the 4th of 
September I had sent him two hundred dollars, of which Dr. Howe 
gave fifty and Gerrit Smith a hundred ; on the 14th of September, 
I had all but thirty-five dollars of the remaining hundred, Colonel 
Higginson having sent me twenty dollars. I think the balance was 
paid by Mr. Stearns. On the 6th of October — ten days before 
the attack was made — I wrote to Higginson, " The three hundred 
dollars desired has been made up and received. Four or five men 
will be on the ground next week, from these regions and elsewhere." 
These facts were all known to Mr. Stearns, who within a fortnight 
of the outbreak was in consultation with Mr. Lewis Hayden, and 
other colored men of Boston, about forwarding recruits to Brown. I 
think he paid some of the expenses of recruits, but am not certain. 

To the unthinking public, slavery had never seemed more secure, 
or more likely to continue for centuries, than in this very year 1859. 
But Brown and his friends believed that it could be overthrown ; 
that it must be overthrown, and that speedily, else it would destroy the 
nation. Brown did not contemplate insurrection, but partisan war- 
fare, at first on a small scale, then more extensive. Yet he did not 
shrink from the extreme consequences of his position. A man of 
peace for more than fifty years of his life, he nevertheless understood 
that war had its uses, and that there were worse evils than warfare 
for a great principle. He more than once said to me, and doubtless 
said the same to others, " I believe in the Golden Rule and the De- 
claration of Independence ; I think they both mean the same thing ; 
and it is better that a whole generation should pass off^the face of the 
earth — men, women and children — by a violent death, than that 
one jot of either should fail in this country. I mean exactly so sir." 
He also told me that "• he had much considered the matter, and had 
about concluded that forcible separation of the connection between 
master and slave was necessary to fit the blacks for self-government." 

49 



386 History of Torrington. 

First a soldier, then a citizen, was his plan with the liberated slaves. 
" When they stand like men, the nation will respect them," he said ; 
*' it is necessary to teach them this." He looked forward, no doubt, 
to years of conflict, in which the blacks, as in the later years of the 
civil war, would be formed into regiments and brigades and be drilled 
in the whole art of war, as were the black soldiers of Toussaint 
L'Ouverture and Dessalines, in Hayti. But in his more inspired 
moments he foresaw a speedier end to the combat which he began. 
Once he said, " A few men in the right, and knowing they are 
right, can overturn a mighty king. Fifty men, twenty men, in the 
Alleghanies, could break slavery to pieces in two years." Within 
less than three years from the day he crossed the Potomac with his 
twenty men, Abraham Lincoln had made his first proclamation of 
emancipation. Before six years had passed, every one of the four 
million slaves in our country was a free man. 

The Virginia Campaign. 
Until the troubles in Kansas in 1856-7, the world knew nothing 
of John Brown, After that time he was well known, though not 
always kept in mind, until his final adventure in Virginia, and the 
remarkable scenes at the close of his life fastened the attention of 
all men, and made his name as familiar to our countrymen and to 
foreign nations, as are those of Washington and Abraham Lincoln. 
And it was on the banks of Washington's own noble stream, the 
Potomac, and among regions familiar to the great Virginian, that this 
son of Connecticut achieved his highest renown. Robert Harper, 
an English carpenter from the neighborhood of Oxford, who gave 
his name to the romantic spot since known as " Harper's Ferry," 
was a contemporary of Washington, though somewhat older. It was 
then (in 1747), a part of Lord Fairfax's broad Virginia manor, be- 
tween the Potomac and the Rappahannock, in which Washington, at 
the request of his friend and patron Fairfax, first began work as a 
land surveyor. Without waiting for the formality of a survey, Robert 
Harper, who saw the advantages of the situation, determined to buy 
out the squatter's cabin and claim which then occupied the locality, 
paying fifty English guineas for such rights as could be possessed 
under squatter law. In the year 1748, while Washington was ex- 
ploring and surveying the Shenandoah valley. Harper went to Lord 
Fairfax's hunting lodge at Greenway Court (not far off), and obtained 
a patent for the lands he had purchased. Probably the first survey 



Biographies. 387 

of this tract was made by Washington, who also is said to have 
selected the Ferrv, in 1794, as the site of a national armory. The 
scenery of this region has been described by Jefferson in his Notes on 
Virginia^ written shortly before the death of Robert Harper in 1782, 
and presenting the view as it shows itself from Jefferson's rock, 
above the present village of Harper's Ferry. '^' You stand, on a very 
high point of land ; on your right comes up the Shenandoah, having 
ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to find a 
vent ; on your left approaches the Potomac, in quest of a passage 
also. In the moment of their junction they rush together against 
the mountain, rend it asunder, and pass off to the sea. The scene 
is worth a voyage across the Atlantic. Yet here are people who 
have passed their lives within half a dozen miles, and have never 
been to survey these monuments of a war between rivers and moun- 
tains which must have shaken the earth itself to its centre." 

Around this junction of the two rivers, in the sixty years that 
followed the death of Washington, had grown up a village of three 
or four thousand inhabitants. On the northern side of the Potomac 
rise the Maryland Heights almost perpendicular to the river's bank, 
and some thirteen hundred feet above it. The Loudon Heights, across 
the Shenandoah, are lower, but both ridges overtop the hill between 
them, and make it untenable for an army, as was more than once 
demonstrated during the civil war. Yet this hill itself commands all 
below it, and makes the town indefensible against a force occupying 
that position. Therefore when John Brown, on the night of Sun- 
day, October 16, 1859, entered and captured Harper's Ferry, he 
placed himself in a trap where he was sure to be taken, unless he 
should quickly leave it. His purpose, beyond question, was to hold 
the village but a ^ew hours, make such disposal as he should think 
best of the government armory and arsenal there, with its tens of 
thousands of muskets and rifles, get together the principal persons of 
the whole neighborhood to be detained as hostages, and then to 
move forward into the mountains of Virginia, keeping open such com- 
munication as he could, with the mountain region of Maryland and 
so with the northern states. His first mistake (and he made many 
in this choice of his point of attack and his method of warfare) was 
in crossing the Potomac at a place so near the cities of Washington 
and Baltimore, which are distant but sixty and eighty miles respect- 
ively from the bridge over which he marched his men. This bridge 
is used both by the Baltimore and Ohio rail road and by the travelers 



388 History of Torrington. 

along the public highway ; and the only approach to it from the 
Maryland side is by a narrow road under the steep clifF, or by the 
rail road itself. On the Virginia side there are roads leading up from 
the Shenandoah valley, and both up and down the Potomac. Har- 
per's Ferry is indeed the Thermopylae of Virginia. Robert Lee, the 
Hector of the Southern Troy, came here with, soldiers of the national 
army to capture John Brown, in 1859 > ^^ came here again and re- 
peatedly as commander of the Southern armies, during the five years 
that followed. His soldiers and their opponents of the Union army 
canonaded, burnt, pillaged and abandoned the town, which has 
never recovered from the ruin of the war. The armory workshops 
are abandoned, both those beside the Potomac, where Brown fought 
and was captured, and those beside the Shenandoah, where his com- 
rade Kagi fought and was slain. The fine houses of the officers 
who directed the armory work before the war are turned over to the 
directors of a school for the colored people, young and old, almost 
the only thing that flourishes now at Harper's Ferry. The popula- 
tion of the two or three villages crowded together there is but little 
more than half what it was in 1859. 

Brown's attention was turned toward Harper's Ferry and the Vir- 
ginia counties within easy reach, not only by the natural advantages 
of the place, and its historical associations with the heroes of Vir- 
ginia, but also by the number of slaves held there. In the village 
itself there were few^ but in Jeff'erson county there were four thou- 
sand slaves and five hundred free blacks, while the white population 
was but ten thousand ; and within a range of thirty miles from the 
Ferry there were perhaps twenty thousand slaves, of whom four or 
five thousand were capable of bearing arms. Brown may well have 
supposed that out of this population he could obtain the few hundred 
recruits that he desired for the first operations of his Virginia cam- 
paign ; and could he have succeeded in fortifying himself in the Blue 
Ridge, as he proposed, it is quite possible he would have had these 
recruits. A colored clergyman, who heard him unfold his plan in 
1858, at a secret meeting of colored people in one of the western 
cities, reports this version of what he then said: "I design to make 
a few midnight raids upon the plantations, in order to give those who 
are willing among the slaves an opportunity of joining us or escap- 
ing; and it matters little whether we begin with many or few. Hav- 
ing done this for two or three times, until the neighborhood becomes 
alarmed and the generality of the slaves encouraged, we will retire to 



Biographies. 389 

the fastness of the mountains; and, ever and anon, strike unexpected 
though bloodless blows upon the Old Dominion ; in the mean time 
sending away those slaves who may desire to go to the North. We 
shall by this means conquer without bloodshed, awaken the slaves to 
the possibility of escape, and frighten the slaveholders into a desire 
to get rid of slavery." It was the possibility of success in such a 
plan, that so alarmed the slaveholders of the whole South, and caused 
Vallandigham of Ohio to say, as he did a few days after Brown's 
capture, "Certainly it was one of the best planned and best executed 
conspiracies that ever failed." 

Had Brown gone forward as he proposed, he might have secured 
a foothold for his operations, and it is possible that he could not only 
have made slavery insecure, and emancipation desirable, but grad- 
ually have extended forcible emancipation over a large part of the 
South. That this was a perilous undertaking. Brown and his men 
well knew, but they did not believe it hopeless. Thus young Jerry 
Anderson, who was killed by the side of his captain in the engine- 
house at Harper's Ferry, wrote to his brother in Iowa less than three 
weeks before the outbreak, in terms of great confidence. 

" Our mining company will consist of between twenty five and thirty, well 
equipped with tools. You can tell Uncle Dan it will be impossible for me to 
visit him before next spring. If my life is spared, I will be tired of work by 
that time, and I shall visit my relatives and friends in Iowa, if I can get leave 
of absence. At present, I am bound by all that is honorable to continue in 
the course. We go in to win, at all hazards. So if you should hear of a 
failure, it will be after a desperate struggle, and loss of capital on both sides. 
But that is the last of our thoughts. Everything seems to work to our hands, 
and victory will surely perch upon our banner. The old man has had this 
operation in view for twenty years, and last winter^ was just a hint and trial of 
what could be done. This is not a large place, ^ but a precious one to Uncle 
Sam, as he has a great many tools here. I expect (when I start again travel- 
ing) to start at this place and go through the state of Virginia and on south, 
ju5t as circumstances require ; mining and prospecting, and carrying the ore 

with us I suppose this is the last letter I shall write before there is 

something in the wind. Whether I will have a chance of sending letters then 
I do not know, but when I have an opportuuity, I shall improve it. But if 
you don't get any from me, don't take it for granted that I am gone up till 
you know it to be so. I consider my life about as safe in one place as an- 
other." 

This letter shows the smallness of the force with which Brown 



^In Missouri, December 1858, whence he carried oft' a dozen slaves safely to Canada. 
" Harper's Ferry. • 



390 



History of Torringtom. 



intended to begin his work. He would gladly have raised a hundred 
men (or more) for his first operations, but he was quite ready to com- 
mence with thirty, hoping to increase their number by recruits from 
the freed slaves and accessions from the North, both white and 
black. He had several persons at the North engaged to enlist and 
forward recruits, the most active of these being his son, John Brown, 
Jr., then living at West Andover, Ohio. During the summer of 
1859, John Brown, the younger, had visited Boston, and there made 
arrangements for receiving recruits from Massachusetts. 

Only one of the six colored recruits from Massachusetts reached 
Harper's Ferry before the attack, and even he took no part in the 
fight. The others were delayed at home, from one cause or another, 
until the enterprise had failed. The same thing happened with rej 
gard to a few other recruits enlisted by John Brown, Jr., or under 
his direction, while a few persons, who had been counted on to join 
the expedition, at last refused or hesitated to do so. Had it been de- 
layed, as some of the party expected, until the following spring, it is 
possible that the number of men would have been increased to fifty ; 
but probably no more than fifty were at any time pledged to join in this 
particular expedition. Probably it would have been unsafe to trust 
more persons with the secret, which was so often on the point of being 
disclosed, yet never really became public. It would appear from a 
letter of John Brown, Jr., dated September 8, 1859, ^^^"^ ^^ ^^^ ^'^^ 
informed, until early in September, that the attack would be made 
in October. " I had supposed," he writes to Kagi, " that you would 
not think it best to commence opening the coal banks before spring, 
unless circumstances should make it imperative. However, I sup- 
pose the reasons are satisfactory to you." 

The actual force with which Captain Brown undertook his Vir- 
ginia campaign consisted of twenty-three men, including himself; 
but four of these never crossed the Potomac, nor had they all been 
mustered together on the Kennedy farm or elsewhere. Six of them 
were colored men, of whom three were fugitive slaves. In the fol- 
lowing list those who did not cross the river are marked with an as- 
terisk, and the names of the colored men are in italics. Of the whole 
number only one, Owen Brown, now survives. Ten of them were 
killed or died of their wounds in Virginia, seven were hanged, and 
six escaped. Six of the white men were members of the Brown 
family or connected with it by marriage, and five of these died in 
Virginia. The list is as follows : 



Biographies. 



391 



1. John Brown, commander-in-chief; 2. John Henry Kagi, adjutant, and 
second in command; 3. Aaron C.Stevens, captain; 4. Watson Brown, 
captain ; 5. Oliver Brown, captain ; 6. John E. Cook, captain ; 7. Charles 
Plummer Tidd, captain ; 8. William H. Leman, lieutenant ; 9. Albert Haz- 
lett, lieutenant ; 10. Owen Brown,* lieutenant ; 11. Jeremiah G. Anderson, 
lieutenant; 12. Edwin Coppoc, lieutenant ; 13. William Thompson, lieuten- 
ant ; 14. Dauphin Thompson, lieutenant ; 15. Shields Green; 16. Danger- 
field Nezvby ; 17. John J. Copeland ; 18. Oshorn P. Anderson; 19. Lewis 
Leary ; 20. Stewart Taylor; 21. Barclay Coppoc;* 22. Francis Jackson 
Merriam ;* 23. John Anderson.^ 

It will at once be seen that this company was but the skeleton of 
an organization, which it was intended to fill up with recruits gath- 
ered from among the slaves and at the North ; hence the great dis- 
proportion of officers to privates. According to the general orders 
issued by Brown, dated at Harper's Ferry, October 10, 1859, ^ 
week before his capture of the town, his forces were to be divided 
into battalions of four companies, which would contain, when full, 
seventy-two officers and men in each company, or two hundred and 
eighty-eight in the battalion. Provision was made for officering and 
arming the four companies of the first battalion, which, in the event 
of Brown's success, would have been filled up as quickly as possi- 
ble. Each company was to be divided into bands of seven men, 
under a corporal, and every two bands made a section of sixteen 
men, under a sergeant. Until the companies were filled up, the 
commissioned officers seem to have been intended to act as corporals 
and sergeants in these bands and sections, and they did so during the 
engagement at the village and the operations in Maryland and Vir- 
ginia. 

Brown's first appearance in the neighborhood of Harper's Ferry, for 
the purpose of organizing his attack upon the place, was on the 30th 
of June, 1859, when he went down from Chambersburg in Penn- 
sylvania to Hagerstown in Maryland, accompanied by his lieutenant, 
Anderson. They spent the night at a tavern in Hagerstown, and 
there passed for Yankees going through the mountains to search for 
minerals On the 3d of July Brown was at the Ferry with Ander- 
son, and his sons Watson and Oliver, and they spent that night at a 
tavern in Sandy Hook, a hamlet on the Maryland side of the Potomac, 
about a mile below. On the 4th of July they went up the river 
road towards the house of Mr. John C. Unseld, a Maryland slave- 
holder, who lived in Washington county about a mile from the Ferry 
on one of the mountain roads. Between eight and nine o'clock that 



39^ History of Torrington. 

morning, as Mr. Unseld was riding down to the Ferry, he met the 
party strolling along the edge of the mountain. Falling into conver- 
sation with them, in the country fashion, he learned that the old man 
was named Smith, that these were his sons, Watson and Oliver 
Smith, and that the shorter youth was named Anderson. " Well, 
gentlemen," said the Marylander, " I suppose you are out hunting 
minerals, gold and silver, perhaps." " No," said Brown, " we are 
out looking for land. We want to buy land ; we have a little 
money, and want to make it go as far as we can. How much is 
land worth an acre hereabouts ?" Being told that it "ranged from 
fifteen dollars to thirty dollars in that neighborhood," he said, " That 
is high ; I thought I could buy for a dollar or two an acre. " No," 
said the Marylander, "not here ; if you expect to get land for that 
price, you'll have to go farther west, to Kansas, or some of those 
territories where there is congress land. Where are you from !" 
" The northern part of New York state." " What have you fol- 
lowed there ?" " Farming," said Brown ; but the frost had been so 
heavy of late years it had cut off their crops, they could not make 
anything there, so he had sold out, and thought they would come 
farther south and try it awhile. 

Having thus satisfied a natural curiosity, Mr, Unseld rode on, 
and as we may suppose, took his morning dram among his Virginia 
acquaintances. Returning, some hours afterwards, he again met 
Mr. Smith and his young men not far from the same place. " I 
have been looking round your country up here," said he, "and it is 
a very fine country, — a pleasant place, a fine view. The land is 
much better than I expected to find it ; your crops are pretty good." 
As he said this he pointed to where the men had been cutting grain, 
some white men and some negroes at work in the fields, as the cus- 
tom is there. For in Washington county there were few slaves even 
then, and most of the field work was done by whites or free colored 
men.' Brown then asked if any farm in the neighborhood was for 
sale. " Yes, there is a farm four miles up the road here, towards 
Boonsborough, owned by the heirs of Dr. Booth Kennedy ; you can 



' In walking up the valley road to the Kennedy farm in May 1875, a distance of nearly 
five miles, I saw scarcely any negroes cultivating the farms, and but one colored woman 
who was working out-doors; while I saw and talked with several white men plowing or 
planting their own land. It was not very different from this in 1859, for, out of 31,000 
inhabitants of Washington county then, only 1435 were slaves, while 1677 were free col- 
ored persons. 



Biographies. 



393 



buy that." " Can I rent it ?" said Brown ; then turning to his com- 
panions he said, " I thinic we had better rent awhile, until we get 
better acquainted, so that they cannot take advantage of us in the pur- 
chase of land." To this they appeared to assent, and Mr. Unseld 
then said, " Perhaps you can rent the Kennedy farm ; I do not 
know about that, but it is for sale I know." Brown then turned to 
his sons and said, " Boys, as you are not very well, you had better 
go back and tell the landlord at Sandy Hook that Oliver and I shall 
not be there to dinner, but will go on up and see the Kennedy place ; 
however, you can do as you please." Watson Brown looked at An- 
derson and then said, " We will go with you." " Well," said the 
friendly Marylander, '' if you will go on with me up to my house, I 
can then point you the road exactly." Arrived there he invited them 
to take dinner, for by this time it was nearly noon. They thanked him, 
but declined, nor would they accept an invitation to " drink some- 
thing." "Well," said Unseld, "if you must go on, just follow up 
this road along the foot of the mountain ; it is shady and pleasant, 
and you will come out at a church up here about three miles. Then 
you can see the Kennedy house by looking from that church right up 
the road that leads to Boonsborough, or you can go right across and 
get into the county road, and follow that up." Brown sat and talked 
with Unseld for a while, who asked him " what he expected to 
follow, up yonder at Kennedy's ? " adding that Brown " could not 
more than make a living there." " Well," said Brown, " my 
business has been buying up fat cattle and driving them on to the 
state of New York, and we expect to engage in that again." Three 
days later, the genial Unseld, again jogging to or from the Ferry, 
again met the gray-bearded rustic, who said, " Well, I think that 
place will suit me ; now just give me a description where I can find 
the widow Kennedy and the administrator," which Unseld did. A 
few days after, he once more met the new comer, and found Mr. 
Smith had rented the two houses on the Kennedy farm, the farm 
house, about theee hundred yards from the public road on the west 
side, where, as Unseld thought, " it makes a very pretty show for a 
small house," and " the cabin," which stood about as far from the 
road on the east side, " hidden by shrubbery in the summer season, 
pretty much."' For the two houses, pasture for a cow and horse, 



' It was at this cabin, since torn down, that Brown kept his boxes of rifles and pistols, 
after they reached him from Ohio. The pikes from Connecticut, a thousand in number, 
were stored in the loft or attic of the farm house, where Brown and his family lived. 

50 



394 History of Torrington. 

and firewood, from July rill March, Brown paid thirty-five dollars, 
as he took pains to tell Unseld, showing him the receipt of the widow 

Kennedy. 

How was it possible to doubt or mistrust a plain Yankee farmer 
and cattledrover who talked in that way, and had no concealments, 
no tricks, and no airs ? Evidently the Marylander did not once mis- 
trust him; though he rode up to the Kennedy farm nearly every 
week from the middle of July till the first of October. " I just went 
up to talk to the old man," said he to Senator Mason, when telling 
the story before the senate committee, " but sometimes, at the 
request of others, on business about selling him some horses or cows. 
He was in my yard frequently, perhaps four or five times. I would 
always ask him in, but he would never go in, and of course I would 
not go in his house. He often invited me in ; indeed, nearly every 
time I went there he asked me to go in, and remarked to me fre- 
quently, ' we have no chairs for you to sit on, but we have trunks 
and boxes.' I declined going in, but sat on my horse and chatted 
with him." Before the 20th of July he saw there " two females," 
who were Martha, the wife of Oliver Brown, and Anne, the eldest 
unmarried sister of Oliver, then a girl of not quite sixteen years. 
" Twice I went there," says Unseld, "and found none of the men, 
but the two ladies, and I sat there on my horse — there was a high 
porch on the house, and I could sit there and chat with them — and 
then I rode ofF and left them. They told me there were none of the 
men at home, but did not tell me where they were. One time I 
went there and inquired for them, and one of the females answered 
me, ' they are across there at the cabin ; you had better ride over 
and see them.' I replied it did not make any difference, and I would 
not bother them, and I rode back home." 

I quote all this gossip because it pictures, as no description of mine 
could, the quiet and drowsiness of this woodland, primitive, easy- 
going, hard-living population, amid the hills and mountains of Mary- 
land, where John Brown spent the last three months of his free life, 
and gathered his forces for the battle in which he fell. It is a region 
of home-keeping, honest, dull country people ; and so completely 
did Brown make himself one of its denizens, that he was accepted 
as part and parcel of it, even when plotting his most audacious strokes. 
His wifedid not visit him there, but his daughterand daughter-in law — 
a bride of the year before, a widow, a mother, and in her grave with 
her infant beside her when the next winter's snows were falling — 



Biographies. 395 

made his cabin cheerful, and softened with feminine tenderness 
and tact the roush features of their rustic life. Osborn Ander- 
son, who spent the last three weeks before the attack at the 
Kennedy farm, has pictured the impression made upon him, one of 
the despised people of color, by the circle in which he found himself: 
"All the men concerned in the undertaking were on hand when I 
arrived, except Copeland, Leary, and Merriam ; and when all had 
collected, a more earnest, fearless, and determined company of men 
it would be difficult to get together. I saw evidence of strong and 
commanding intellect, high toned morality, and inflexibility of purpose 
in the men, and a profound and holy reverence for God, united to 
the most comprehensive, practical, systematic philanthropy and un- 
doubted bravery, in the patriarch leader. There was no milk and 
water sentimentality, no offensive contempt for the negro while 
working in his cause ; the pulsations of each and every heart beat in 
harmony for the suffering and pleading slave. Every morning when 
the noble old man was at home, he called the family around, read 
from his Bible, and offered to God most fervent and touching suppli- 
cations for all flesh I never heard John Brown pray, that he 

did not make strong appeals to God for the deliverance of the slave. 
This duty over, the men went to the loft [of the farm house], there 

to remain all the day long We were, while the ladies remained, 

often relieved of much of the dullness growing out of restraint, by 
their kindness. We were well supplied with grapes, paw-paws, 
chestnuts, and other small fruits, besides bouquets of fall flowers, 
through their thoughtful consideration." 

Just before Brown expected to begin his campaign, he sent back to 
their mother in the Adirondac wilderness his daughter and daughter- 
in-law, under the escort of his son Oliver, who accompanied them 
as far north as New York. The father soon sent after them this 
touching and most characteristic letter, which he then thought might 
be the last he should write to his wife and family : 

Chambersburg, Pa., October \, 1859. 

Dear Wife and Children all, I parted with Martha and Anne at Har- 
risburg, yesterday, in company with Oliver, on their way home. 1 trust, 
before this reaches you, the women will have arrived safe. I have encourage- 
ment of having fifty dollars or more sent you soon, to help you to get through 
the winter ; and I shall certainly do ^7// in my power for you, and try to com- 
mend you always to the God of my fathers. 

Perhaps you can keep your animals in good condition through the winter on 
potatoes mostly, much cheaper than on any other feed. I think that would 
certainly be the case if the crop '\?, good, and is secured well zwdk in time. 

I sent along four pair blankets, with directions for Martha to have the first 



39^ 



History of Torrington. 



choice, and for Bell, Abbie, and Anne to ^asi lots for a choice in the three 
other pairs. My reason is that I think Martha fairly entitled to particular 
notice." 

To my other daughters I can only send rx\y blessing just now. Anne, I want 
•^ou, first of all, to become a sincere, humble, earnest, and consistent Christian ; 
and then acquire good znd^ efficient business habits. Save this letter to remember 
your father by, Annie. 

You must all send to John hereafter anything you want should get to us, and 
you may be sure we shall all be very anxious to learn everything about your 
welfare. Read the Tribune carefully. It may not always be certainly true, 
however. Begin early to take good care of all your animals, and pinch them 
at the close of the winter, if you must at all. 

God Almighty bless and save you all ! Your affectionate husband and 
father. 

Oliver Brown was not then twenty-one. His next older brother, 
Watson, was just twenty-four, and had been married for three years 
to Isabel Thompson, whose brothers, William and Dauphin Thomp- 
son, like her husband and brother-in-law, were killed at Harper's 
Ferry. In letters to his wife at various dates from September 3d to 
October 14th, Watson Brown wrote thus : 

" I received your letter of September 1 4th, the night the girls got home, which 
I was very glad to get. Oh, Bell, I do want to see you and the little fellow 
[the young child born in the father's absence] very much, but I must wait. 
There was a slave near here whose wife was sold off south the other day, and 
he was found in Thomas Kennedy's orchard, dead, the next morning. Cannot 
come home so long as such things are done here. . . . 

We are all eager for the work and confident of success. There was another 
murder committed near our place the other day, making in all five murders 
and one suicide within five miles of our place since we have lived there ; thev- 
were all slaves, too. . . . Give my regards to all the friends, and keep up good 
courage ; there is a better day a-coming. I can but commend you to yourself 
and your friends, if I should never see you again. Your affectionate husband. 

Watson Brown." 

On Friday, October 14, Watson Brown, waited at Chambers- 
burg until it was late enough to escort the two latest recruits, John 
Copeland and Lewis Leary, from the Pennsylvania line, near Mid- 
dletown, through Maryland to the Kennedy farm, a work which 
must alwavs be done by night, if the recruits were negroes. He 
reached the farm at daybreak on the 15th, bringing the two recruits 
and accompanied by Kagi. On the i6th he and his brothers, Oliver 
and Owen, received their orders from Captain Brown for the night 



» Martha was the wife of Oliver, and was to be confined in March. Bell was the wife 
of Watson, and the sister of William and Dauphin Thompson; Abbie was the wife of 
Salmon Brown, who stayed at home with his mother. 



Biographies. 397 

attack. Owen Brown, with Merriam and Barclay Coppoc, were to 
remain at the farm as a guard till morning, when, upon the arrival 
of horses and men from the Ferry, they were to move the arms by 
wagon-loads to an old school -house, now destroyed, about three 
miles from the Ferry, on the Maryland side. This place had been 
selected a few days before by Captain Brown, and it was in fact 
seized and held by Owen Brown during most of the 17th, while the 
fighting was going on across the Potomac. Watson Brown, with 
Stewart Taylor, was to hold the bridge across the Potomac, and 
Oliver Brown, with William Thompson, the bridge across the 
Shenandoah, a duty which they performed until the morning of the 
17th, when the village of Harper's Ferry was fully in possession ot 
Brown and his men. It was Watson Brown who stopped the train 
for Washington, on the Baltimore and Ohio rail road, not long after 
midnisht on the i6th. Both Watson and Oliver were with their 
father early in the afternoon of the 17th, when he repulsed the sharp 
attack of the Virginia militia, after intrenching himself in the engine 
house, where he was captured on Tuesday morning, the i8th. 
Shortly before noon on Monday, Watson was sent out with a flag 
of truce, in company with Stevens and one of Brown's hostages, 
named Kitzmiller ; was fired upon and severely wounded, but re- 
turned to his father, while Stevens was captured. 

Edwin Coppoc, writing to Captain Brown's wife from his cell in 
Charlestown a month afterward, said : 

" I was with your sons when they fell. Oliver lived but a very few moments 
after he was shot [during the charge of Monday afternoon.] He spoke no 
word, but yielded calmly to his fate. Watson was shot at ten o'clock on 
Monday and died about three o'clock on Wednesday morning. He suffered 
much. Though mortally wounded at ten o'clock, yet at three o'clock Monday 
afternoon he fought bravely against the men who charged on us. When the 
enemy were repulsed, and the excitement of the charge was over, he began to 
sink rapidly. After we were taken prisoners he was placed in the guard-house 
with me. He complained of the hardness of the bench on which he was 
lying. T begged hard for a bed for him, or even a blanket, but could obtain 
none. I took off my coat and placed it under him, and held his head in my 
lap, in which position he died without a groan or struggle.'" 



' When in 1875 I visited Harper's Ferry, I found that it was not known there which ol 
the bodies buried by the Shenandoah was that of Watson Brown, and which was Ander- 
son's. Oliver Brown was not buried at all, but thrust roughly, after death, into a barrel, 
and carried away to the medical college in Winchester. It is said that his body was there 
dissected and treated with insult. At any rate, an attempt made by their mother to obtain 
the bodies of her two sons, in December, 1859, for burial at North Elba, was unsuccessful. 
They have monuments at North Elba, near their father's but their bodies do not lie beside his. 



39^ History of Torrington. 

Before the attack on Harper's Ferry, one of Brown's captains, 
John E. Cook, of Connecticut, had visited the house of Colonel 
Lewis Washington, great-grandson of George Washington, and 
learned where to put his hand upon the sword of Frederick the Great 
and the pistols of Lafayette, presented by them to General Washing- 
ton, and by him transmitted to his brother's descendants. With 
that instinctive sense of his