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Author of " History of the First Church and Society in Rayiiham ; 

"Genealogy of the King Family;" " History of the Town of 

Raynham ;" "Sketches of the Pilgrims," etc. 



All those tliinofs which are now hehl to be of tlie jjreatest antiquity 
were at one time new : and what we, to-day, liohl up by example, will rank 
hereafter as a precedent. 

— Tacitus. 


The writer, havinof a personal acquaintance with the inhabitants of the 
town of Berkley, and its affairs, continuiuij for a period of more than three- 
quarters of a century, at the requestor friends, has i)repared the followinjj 

In their preparation he has sought to chronicle matters of merely local 
value, in a style and phrasiwloo^y in accord with the importance of the topics 

The Manse, llayiiliam, Ms. 

October 2Gtli, A. D., 1871. 


Anno Reg ni Her/ is Georgii Secimdi Octavo. 
Eiglith ye;ir of the reign of King George IL 

AN xVCT for dividing Towns of Taunton and Dighton, 
erecting a new town there by the name of Berkle^y. 

Whereas the sontlierly part of 'I'aunton and the northerly 
part of Dighton, on the east side of the great ri\er, is compe- 
tently lilled with inhabitants who labor under difficulties by 
I'eason of the remoteness from the jjlaces of jDublic meetings 
in the said towns, and have thereupon made application to this 
Court that they niay be set off" a different and separate parish, 
and be vested with all the powers and privileges that other 
towns in this Province are vested with, 

Be it therefore enacted by his Excellency the Governor, 
Council, and Representatives in General Court assembled, and 
by the authority of tlie s;ime, that the southei'ly })art of Taun- 
ton and northerly part of Dighton, on the east side of the great 
river as hereafter bounded be, and hereby are, set off, constitu- 
ted and erected into a separate and distinct township by the 
name of Berkley. (Then the bounds are given.) And the 
inlial)itants tiiereof be, and hereby are, vested and endowed with 
ecpial powers and privileges and immunities that the inhabi- 
tants of any of the towns within this Province are by law ves- 
ted with. 

Oidy it is to be understood, and the inhabitants of the town 
of Berkley are hereby requested, within the space of two years 
from the publication of this act, to procure and settle a learned 
and oithodox minister, of good conversation, and make provis- 
ion for his comfortable and honorable su})port, and also erect 


and finish a suitable and convenient house for tlie public Wor- 
ship of God, in said town. 

Another proviso in the Act is, that the town shall from time 
to time pay towards the repairs of Weir bridge their ])ropor- 
tion with Taunton, and all arrears of debts. 

April the 18th, 1735. This Bill having been read tlii-ee sev- 
eral times in the House of Representatives passed to be enacted. 

J. QUINCY, Speaka\ 

April 18th, 1735. This bill having been read three several 
times in Council, passed to be enacted. 

T. MASON, Dep. &CIJ. 
By his Excellency the Governor.- — 

I consent to the enacting this Bill. 


This town was named after Bishop Berkeley who resided at 
Newport, R. I., iu 1729-31 and died 1753, and was famous for 
the evangelic benevolence ofliis character and the acuteuess of his 
genius. His mind was ever full of projects for increasing the vir- 
tue and happiness of" his fellow creatures. One was the establish- 
ment of a missionary college in the Bermudas. For that pur- 
pose he came to America and consulted with many of the 
principal men respecting his enterprise. He was Bishop of 
Cloyne in Ireland, and presents one of the rare instances of a 
pi'elate obstinately refusing any furtlier promotion out of pure 
love to his Hock. He was the authoi- of the ATinnte Philoso- 
pher, and other works and poems, among them that well known 
ode, the last stanza of which begins — 

" Westward the course of empire takes its way." 

When he heard that this town had taken his name he dona- 
ted a church organ to it and sent it to Newport. l^ut cei'tain 
of the inhabitants were opposed to instrumental music in 
churches, and money could not be raised to pay the freight, and 
there it remained till some persons claimed it in piayment of 
storage. M:iny years afterwards there were s(mie who would 

not tolerate musical instruments in the choir. When tlie l)as3 
viol first began to be plavecl only in tlie last singing, Mr. Abner 
Burt, a prominent man, would rise and, slamming ilie pew door 
after him, leave the church, and wlien asked why he did so, 
said he would not hear that bull roar. There is no record as 
alleged that the town voted not to receive Bishop Berkeley's gift 
for the reason that it was an invention of the devil to catch 
men's souls. 

The first town meeting in Berkley was held May 13th, 1735, 
at Elkanah Babbitt's house. Gershon Crane was chosen Mod- 
erator, and Abel Burt, Town Clerk. Joseph Burt, John Paul, 
Benaiah Babbit, Selectmen. Tliese and other officers, it was 
voted, should serve without compensation for their labors. 
Two tithing men were chosen. 

At the second town meeting, legally called Oct. 6th, 1735, 
the town voted to hire a " scholar" to preach in the town a 
quarter of a year, and fifty pounds were voted to be raised for 
his support and other p)urpv)ses, and it was voted to employ no 
schoolmaster at present. 

At an adjourned meeting, Oct. 20th, 1735, voted to send for 
Mr. Tobey to come and preach one quarter of a year, and John 
Burt to take the contribution money towards supplying the 
scholar, /. e, minister. 

Yoted to build a meeting house fortj?^ feet long and thirty-four 
feet wide and eighteen feet stud, and that the work of getting 
tind^er and building be divided among the inhabitants equally, 
and each man be allowed four shillings a day, and boys pro- 

At a meeting of the town, Feb., 1735, voted to continue Mr. 
Tobey in tlie work of the ministry. Voted to send to the Gen- 
eral Court requesting them to appoint a committee to come and 
locate the meeting house ; but thirty-one persons protested 
against this and it was not done. Ang., 1736, voted to call Mr. 
TobcN' to the work of the ministr}', on a salary of one hundred 
pounds a yeai", pa[)cr money, and two hundred pounds settle- 
ment. Voted, 1737, to assess £250 to enable Samuel Mirick 
to finish the meetint): house. 



This was done Nov. 2d, 1787, twenty-one days before the 
ordination of their pastor, by Rev. Nathaniel Fisher, Rev. Ben- 
jamin Rnggles, prohablj of Rochester, and Rev. ^I'honias Clapp 
of Taunton, with their delegates. The (.-burcli consisted of the 
following members : 

Rev. Samuel Tobey, Elkanah Babbit, Ebenezer Hathaway, 
Gei-shani Crane, John French, Ebenezer Philips, Jolm Briggs, 
Ephraim Allen. Benjamin Leonard, John Hudson, Josiah Bab- 
bit, Benjamin Babbit, George Babbit, Daniel Axtel, Al^igail 
Burt, Mai-y Philips, Mary Jones, Ho])estill Harvey, Hannah 
French, Experience My rick, Hopestill Wood-^, P]lizabeth Hath- 
away, Mercy Bal)bit, Sarah Biiggs, Abigail Babbit, Dorcas 
Jones, Hopestill Philips, Zippora Allen, Elizalxith Paul, Dor- 
cas Babbit, Witstill Axtell, Phebe Reed, Jemima Hathaway, 
Abigail Burt 2d, 

These thirty four members had belonged to the church in 
Dighton and in Taunton. 'J^hey had been residing foi' some 
years in this new settlement, and to enjoy the pi'ivileges of 
public worship had been in the habit of crossing the river by 
ferry boat to Dighton, or going five miles to Taunton. ''They 
would now have no such lengths to go to wander far abroad." 
On the same day were united with the church fifteen more by 
profession, making the mend,)crs forty-nine, twenty-five males 
and twenty-ibur females. 


Rev. Saniucil Tobey was a native of Sandwich, a graduate of 
Harvard College, 1733, in the twenty -second year of his age, 
August 3, 1736, the people gave him a call to settle with them, 
a young man having scarcely finished his preparatory studies 
for his profession, commencing the duties of it in a new settle- 
ment, among a farming people scattered over a large teri-itory. 
But the people required a minister to instruct them and their 
children. Though their houses are rudely built, the roads 
rough and unfenced, their fields half broken uj) and yielding 
them barely a living, they cannot enjoy the Sabbath or their 

liomes without u man of God among tliem. How welcome he 
was ma)^ be seen by their oli'ering, in tlieir penury, two hundi'ed 
pounds for his settlerat'iit and a liundred for his salai'y per3'ear. 
This he accepted upon tlieir adding the contribution which it 
was usual to take every Sabbath, and stating his salary at twen- 
tj'-six shillings per ounce of silver. 

Thus the people determined to give him a liberal support, 
that he might devote hiniself to his work for their benefit; set- 
tled him f(.)Y life, that he might never wish to change his place, 
and that he might ha\e time, free from care, to improve in all 
useful knowledge. 

Nov. 28, 1737. The ministers officiating in the ordination 
sei-vices were the following: — Rev. Mi-. Billings, Rev. Mr. 
Fisher of Dighton, Rev. Mr. Fessenden, probably of Sandwich, 
and Rev. John Wales of Raynham. Mr. Wales offei-ed pi'ayer, 
Mr. Fessenden preached an excellent sermon from the words in 
Col. 2:5. "Joying and beholding your order." After which 
Mr. Billings gave the charge, Mr. Fisher the right hand of fel- 
lowship, and all was performed, says the brief record, to good 
acce])tance. What a simj)le but noble beginning was this for 
the establishing of divine ordinances where a few years before 
beasts of the wildei'ness and savages held sway. 

Rev, Mr. Tobe)' was niari-ied to Bathsheba Crocker, Sep. 6, 
1738, and Oct 31 they moved into his house, and he writes, 
" Will Goil speak well of the house of his servant for a long 
time to come, and as (or me and my household, we will serve 
the Lo)d." They were Idessed with twelve childi'en, some of 
whom I shall describe further on. The two youngest were 
twins — Paul and Silas. 

The parsonage Mdiich he owned stood a little east of ihe Park, 
facing the south, two stories in front and one in the rear, the 
north roof sloping quite low. This was the style of the best 
houses of that day. President John Adams occupied such an 
one in Quincy before he was President. Mr. Tobey owned 
also a farm of twenty-five or thirty acres which was a great 
help to him and his family. His house was the resort of cleri- 

cal friends, liis doors were open to visitors and sll'angers nnd 
his hospitality always msinilest <ind unstinted. 

As a preacher, he was not brilliant but gi'ave and honest in 
declaring what he believed true and essential. I have seen sev- 
eral who long sat under his preaching. As a '' inaster of assem- 
blies," he was ffrm and impartial. lie was of a fall counte- 
nance and uncommonly engaging in his person and manners. 
All i-eveied him as a man of eminent abilities and of great 
common sense and unaftected appearance, The children not 
only levei'cd but loved him, especially when he came into the 
schools and talked to them as a father. He seemed to i-egard 
all the people not only as his flock but as his children, 

''Jlie structure of his sermons was formal, according to the 
manner of ministers of that time, who made many divisions of 
their subjects and larely went to the opposite extreme noW 
practiced. His style was open and so plain the unlearned could 
understand and remembei' the truths uttei-ed. 

In his devotional exercises in the pulpit he was somewhat 
formal, using nearl}' the same expi-essions in many of his 
prayers. That he was edifying and attractive to the common 
people is evident from the fact that he was highly esteemed in 
his deportment ant! })ublic services foi- nearly three generations, 
and the older he grew the more he was valued. lie usnallv 
rode on horseback, and by some accident he fell and was s(; 
injiii-ed tliat he lived but a short time after, and died Feb. 13, 

Mr. Tobey was the eighth child of Samuel Tobey and Abia, 
liis wife ; born May 8th, 1715. Samuel was the son of Thomas, 
and grandson of ^fhomas Tobe\', senior, the liist of that name 
in ^andwich. 

In 1784, Rev. Daniel l^omlinson was invited to become the 
pastor. The town voted to concur with the churcli and settle 
him on £150 .'^alary. In 1785, Eev, Amos Chase was called by 
the church, and tlie town concuri'cd, and olVered to l)uild him 
a two stoi'y dwelling house, and give him £85 a yeai'. l)Oth 
declin(Hl, probably on account o( the sm:dl salary. 

After a vacancy of six years Rev. Thomas Andres was invi- 


ted to j)i-eacli in this town. A\m\ 17. 17S7, lie eanie and 
preaclied four sabbatiis. In June follo'.ving lie came again and 
tarried four sabbaths more, and received a call to settle, but did 
not, througii distrust of his liealth, venture to give an answer 
until Feb., 1788, which he then did in ihe afBrniative. He was 
ordained 19th March following. '' Bishops of the ordaining 
council" were, Kev. Levi Hart of Preston, Conn., Rev. Dr. Joel 
Benedict of Plainfield, Conn., Rev. Solomon Morgan of Can- 
terbury, Ct., Rev. Ephraim Judson, Taunton, and Rev. John 
Smith, Dighton. Rev. Joel Benedict preached from I.Cor. 4:9. 


was a native of Norwich, Conn., born May 1, 1754. At the 
age of eighteen he enlisted in the army of the Revolution, was 
ii s<^ldier and musician more tli:ni two \ears, was captured and 
confined in the prison ship which lay near Brooklyn, with hun- 
di'eds of others who were li-eated with great cruelty. By some 
lortunate incident he escaped to Long Ishmd, travelled on foot 
the length of it, and then escaped to Connecticut. The perds 
and sufferings of this imprisonment and escape he has descril)ed 
in a little book entitled "The Old Jei'sey Captive," which is 
now out of print, and ought to be ie[)ul;)lislied. 

After recovering his health, he devoted himself to study two 
or three years with Rev. Joel Benedict, in preparation for the 
ministry. By a happy Providence, lie was led to this part of 
Afassachusetts, and was called to the pastorale of the church 
and society, and was settled on the salary of £80, which was. 
perhaps, worth $400, the usual salary of village pastors. But 
afterwards, as paper money greatlv depreciated, it was in- 
creased, though a great portion of it was i)aid in produce at 
market prices. Under his ministration, the population and 
church increased. The people, by the war of the Revolution, 
were much impoverished ; there were no manufactures, except 
what families carried on for themselves, and (arming was al- 
most the only resort. 

Mr. Andros, purchased a house and a few acics near the 
meeting house, where he lived about twenty years. His first 


wife was Miss Abigail Cutler.- of Killing!}'-, Ct. Here she died, 
leavinghim with nine children, tlie youngest being an infant, of 
a few months. While the funeral services were being performed, 
the cries of the infant wei'c heard, and meltiMl the lai'ge as- 
sembly to tears. He occupied his pulpit while his wife's re- 
mains were at his home laid out foi' burial, and afterwards 
preached her funeral seiinon, which was prinied. In due time 
he looked around to find a mother for his chddren. To lind 
another to fill the v;icant place caused him much ;uixietv and 
prayer. He at length married Sophia, third daughter of Cap- 
tain John Sanford, and Sarah Deane, his wife. From her 
father, who died before her birth, she inherited a farm situated 
two miles south fVom the meeting house, on the Freetown 
Road. She was of amiable character, attractive figure, and 
better educated than most women at tliat (hi\-. She proved 
well qualified for the impoitant station she was to fill. 

From this marriage there were born to them eight children, 
which made a numerous fimily ; all of them arriving at adult 
age. Soon after his second marriage, he sold his residence 
near the meeting house and moved to his wife's farm, the pro- 
ducts of which were of great assistance in the support of his 
family, l^he one-story house was raised to two stories. His 
health, usually feeble, was recruited by morning and evening 
farm exercise. His children were taught to be industrious, and 
were early qualified for active business abroad. Their success 
I shall describe in this historj^ 

When Mr. Andros first settled in Berkley, he had i>ursued 
classical studies only to a limited extent. In a lew years he 
acquired such k-nowledge of the learnecl languages and of the 
general sciences as to enable him to instruct young men in 
their j)reparation for college. His clear and com])i'ehensive 
views of the doctrines of \ho Gospel were appreciated by neigh- 
boring pastors and churches. His style in composition, if it 
had not the polish of later years, showed strong intellectual 
powers, and a vigor and strength of reasoning scarcely sur- 
passed by any. He had not oidy stiulied the best models, but 
by his own genius, as if aided by insjiiration, he laid open 


tlie great truths of the Gospel to the appiehension of his 

The influence he exerted, during a ministry of nearly half a 
century, in raising the standard of education has heen acknow- 
ledged by the people. lie spent much time, tliough without 
pecuniary reward, in visiling the several schools, examining 
teachers and addressing the children, who always regarded him 
with much reverence, and perhaps some fear, (or ministers 
and learned men were not at that day very accessible to the 

Bis pablishcd discourses were qnite numerous ; the funeral 
sermon on the death of his wife and the " Old Jersey Captive" 
have been mentioned. He published a sei'mon on the deatli of 
Capt. John Crane, in 1795; one delivered at the funeral of 
Hon. Samuel Tobe}', in 1823 ; one on ihe death of Caleb 
Hathaway ; one on Pi'ayer, in 1808 ; one preached before the 
xissociation, entitled "The Church Inci-eased by its own Ener- 
gies." He published, in 1818, a p.-imphlet in answer to Eev. Noah 
Worcester's "Bible News," which was republished some time 
afterwards by Samuel T. Armstrong; another pam{)hlet against 
Rev. Jacob N<n-ton, of Weymouth, who wi-ote against "Human 
Creeds.'' He published a small work on "Divine Agency," 
in 1820, against those who appear to be verging towards Hital- 
ism; also four "Discourses on the Prophecies," preached Fast 
da\'S ; and a sermon at the oi-dination of Rev. Benjamin 
W^hitmore, Tiverton, R. I. Besides these he published a small 
volume of six sermons, a sei'mon on Tem|)eiance, one on False 
Philosophy, in 1819, and sevci-al controversial j)ainpldets. 

As a speaker or pulpit oi-atoi-, he was not superior. But as a 
thiidving and reading ])eople consider more what is spoken, 
than who it is that speaks or in what manner it is spoken, so 
he attracted his ln_\ii'ers by the weighty things he uttered. His 
voice was on a high key, and so jucrcing it would till the 
largest auditorium. lie usually ])rearhed Croin notes; but 
when his mind was roused, he could not be confin<?d to them, 
but spoke in what Dr. Campbell calls the " vehement" 



The iin])roveinents and modifications in many points of or' 
tliodoxy d\iring the seventeenth ceiituiy received his approba- 
tion, and seemed to emanate from liis own mind, as may be 
discovei-ed from his writings. lie cc^incided witli the late prin- 
cipal divines of New England, but adhered, as he often said, to 
what he called the Doctrines of the Reformation. He never 
preached that Christ made atonement by his death for the elect 
only, and not for all mankind; or that justifying faith consists 
in one's believing that his sins are forgiven, and that he is one 
of the saved ; or that man, in legeneration, is as passive as a 
child in being born into the world; or that man is unable to 
repent, or that no mere man, since the fall, is able perfectly to 
keep the divine commands. lie is remembered never to have 
believed or preached that the sin of the first man is imputed to 
all his posterity, and that in him all sitmcd, and that each 
brings sin enough into the world to subject him to the loss of 
lieaven. Neither did he preach that Christ's righteousness is 
made over or transferred to believers, but ratlier that he teaches 
us how we may acquii-e the I'ighteousiiess whicli is accejjtable 
by faith and good works. He strenuously enfoi-ced that men 
have the ]K)Wcr of choice, arc responsible for their moral acts, 
that no divine agency operates in men to harden or tempt 
them to sin, but rather to restniin them from it. 

Much of the force of his ju-eaching consisted in the logical 
order of the main points of his discoui-se. His thoughts were 
consecutive, and the force of the argument increased as he pro- 
ceeded from one point to another. This method, with the 
plainness of his style, made it easy for every attentive hearer 
to understand him. The last parts of his discourse were always 
the most striking, as they were in the direct and not tlie ob- 
lique style, and not made to apjily to people anywhere, but to 
those present before him. Ilcncc, he said, in preparing his 
discourses, he considered the wants of those to whom they 
were to be addi-essed. 

lie preached once on "Keeping the heart," in which he 
showed what is meant by it, and by what means it may be 


kept, and when lie appeared to lia\ e exhausted the subject he 
said he \YouId add one thing more, that in order to keep the 
lieart we must give it to God, as He requires; then, for five 
minutes, he pressed this duty so eai'nestly tlie audience were 
profoundl}' silent and attentive, and on going out one said, 
and he doubtless spoke the feeling of others, he could have sat 
there till sundown. Though his appearance in the pulpit was 
far from imposing at the first view, yet his freedom and 
earnestness soon appeared as he proceeded. He soon sur- 
mounted all apparent diffidence. So full of thought and truth 
were his discourses, that they seemed to take the hearers, in- 
stead of tiie hearers taking them. The}' were elaborated with 
much care, revised, and many words and sentences struck out 
before he was satisfied with them. His sei'mons during fifty 
years were numerous, embracing all the doctrines and duties of 
religion. His attainments in this long period weie continually 
increasing, and I have heard him say that his early sermons 
appeared tame and tasteless. 

The chief quality of his style was a singular power of 
thought and appropriate diction, of which he did not seem con- 
scious. No subject seemed new to him or difficult to ex- 
plain, and he seemed to manage all subjects with equal ease. 
A leai'ued scholar who often called on him said he appeare<l to 
have just been investigating the subject of conversation intro- 
duced. He made difficult subjects so plain and easy that an 
ordinary preacher might think he could do the same, but in 
attempting would fail. His sermons had no gloss of embellish- 
ments, nor any profusion of images, nor melotiy of periods 
which might charm an audience. Nor did he seek to add 
weight to them by learned quotations from popular writers. 
He had not room for them, so great was the flow of weighty 
thoughts from his owu mind. 

The plainness of his style was remaikable, for he used pure 
English, never sought for ornaments or metaphors for tiieir 
own sake, and when he used comparisons they were brief and 
not run out into simple })arallelisms. He was never known to 
employ witticisms in his discourses, and nothing that ap- 


proaclied vulgaritj ; notliing that lia<l not tlio stamp of popular 
use, or the authority of sound writers; notliing unfamiliar to 
the common ear. 

During tl'C latter j^art of liis long ministry, tlie pulpit had 
less of a metnpiiysical character than formerly. Sermons of a 
controversial kind have been fewer, and greater attention given 
to Bible studies. Volumes of sermons have been supplanted 
by a greater number of tracts, Mr, Andros always co-operated 
with the rising benevolent societies of tlie da}^, wiiich have 
tended greatly to I'emove the prejudices that formerly kept the 
evangelical denominations too much apart from each other, 
His cliaritable si)irit got the better of his former distrust ot 
those whom he once regarded as schismatical and heretical. 

Though his manner was ungraceful and his pronunciation 
not always precise, his impassioned earnestness overcame these 
defects, and enabled him to imj)ress his audience with the 
emotions whicii thrilled his own bosom. Thus he shone, not 
as a star of the first magnitude, but as a luminary imparting its 
light to many orbs which shone around him. 

As he composed his sermons with rapidity, his handwriting 
was scarcely legible ; but the charactei'istics of his style were 
vigor and animation. There was a condensation of thought 
and terseness of expression which were unabaling. Those who 
attended his preaching understood better than others the pro' 
gress of his reasoning. His manner of handling subjects was 
familiar to them. They readily perceived the working of his 
mind, lie never indulged in dilfuseness nor in husbanding 
his subject, as it is called, but went directly into it, and made 
it luminous as he advanced. When he was told of some one 
who believed he had heard voices or received messages from 
departed friends, he preached a sermon on the calling up of 
Samuel by the witch of Kndor, in which ho refuted the whole 
theory of communing with spirits, and boldly asserted that no 
one ever returned from the invisible world but Jesus Christ, 
and that all statements of receiving messages from departed 
friends are fallacious. 

During his ministry twelve new churches were organized in 


the County of Bristol, and lie liud no little influence in the for- 
mation of most of them, and in the settlement of their pastors, 
who were mostly young men. Without disparaging any of 
his compeers, we may say that he stood eminent among them 
for the soundness of his doctrine and alnlity in contending for 
the true faith. lie published more from the press than all the 
members in tiie two or three associations to which he succes- 
sively belonged. 

There were raised up in the church during his pastorate ten 
ministers, who were pastors of churches ; eight of them were 
graduated at Browai University — a greater number than in any 
other church in the county. 

When the choir fell into some difficulty, as singers are apt 
to, and to(^k their seats below, and thus proclaimed their dis- 
agreement to the whole congregation, Mr. Andros made them 
blush by i-eading the account of Paul and Silas singing at mid"- 
night, and applied the subject in this maimer: "Thus Paul 
and Silas could sing at midnight in prison, though we can have 
no singing at midday, while enjoying our liberty." Then 
Deacon Sanford rose, and in his cieai' voice set the tune, and 
the house echoed to the song\ 

An eminent scholar, whf) received his early training under 
his ministry, William Mason Cornell, S. T. D., editor, Boston, in 
one of his publications says of Mr. Andros, that he can say the 
same of him that Cicero does of the Poet Archias : 

" As far back as m\^ memory extends, and can recall the in- 
cidents of my boyhood, I perceive that he has been to me my 
guide and assistant in undertaking and pursuing the chief 
studies of my life." 

Neither did he indulge in demonstrations against other de- 
nominations which he considered erroneous. Everj^ preacher have his peculiar style and method. He aimed at imitat- 
ing no one ; but in his pulpit exercises appeared to forget him- 
self, and to be absorbed in the subjects which filled his mind. 

Pie possessed the descriptive talent in no small degree, but 
had very little mastery over the tender emotions, and had no 
great skill in tlic delineation of character, except the character 


of ilie natural licart. In this lie excelled every one 1 Lave 
ever heard. He considered every man unrenewed as " dead in 
trespasses and sins." In describing the natural state of man, 
he would use expressions drawn from the word of God, nor 
did lie think any expressions too strong to portray the evil of 
the natural heart. He would say that its deceitfulness cannot 
be fully known by us. He, however, judged tcndeily and 
charitably of all men ; and when I asked him respecting the 
conversion of an individual, he said he did not know men's 
liearts, but waited to see how they lived. He was not a sensa- 
tional preacher, never sought for startling expressions or bold 
metaphors, but let the truth a[)pear in its plainness and sim- 
plicity. Some have said there are no naked truths in Chris- 
tianity ; but that in order to be received by the intelligent or 
refined, they must be dressed in tasteful and eloquent language, 
and receive a finish and embellishment which rhetoric only 
can give. Without this they want the chief signature of div- 
inity. But he thought otherwise, and never studied the gloss 
or drapery which the imagination may throw around such 
truths to make them pleasing. 

He aimed to give efficiency to what he preached by having it 
exert its proper infiuence on his own mind, that with it he 
might impai't to others the sentiments of his own soul. He 
never sought to set forth divine truth tricked out in the garb of 
an artificial rhetoric, or a jjrettiness of style, or in labored sen- 
tences, or with an insipid floridness. His sermons were not 
essays, nor were they obscure, l^ut came from the soul in the 
language of strong fe(ding. Ho laid d<>wii his doeti'ine an<l 
illustrated it under specified heads, that his hearers might re- 
member, '^riius he touched the gi'cat sp)rings ot the soid, lay- 
ing a quick'cuing hand on our love a.ud veneration, our ho})e 
and our joy. 

Since the days ol' l*re>^ident Edwards, theological style has 
become more sneeinet and free li'om \erlH>sity and a more 
lively, vigorous and colored style has obtained. (J<>uld the 
learned student peruse the writings of Mr. Andros, he would 
find many qualities that nevei* can become obvsolete — a clear- 



hess of expression and a singular appropi-iatt-ness between tlic 
language and the lliought ; espeeiall}' would lie see the skillful 
arrangement or plan of his discourses, and that the main points 
W'ere not lost sight of. He was eminent in his devotional 
exercises, es|)ecially in public. 

When he settled in Berkley there was no stipulation made 
with liim by the society tliat he might enjoy a vacation of a 
month or two in the summer to recruit his health and visit his 
friends abioad. When once in a few years he was absent on a 
journey to Connecticut, he almost invariably provided a supply 
for his pulpit without any expense to his people. 

So stnmg was his habit of writing his thoughts ever}' week 
that he practised it after he left the pulpit. When I called on 
him one day he told me he had been revolving in his mind an 
important subject, and had just been writing ii out in a sermon 
which perhaps he should never preach; but it was a relief to 
him to write it. 

He said, when his mind was low and his thoughts grovelling, 
it elevated him to contemplate the works of God, to leflect that 
this diurnal sphei-e, the earth, had been sent forth b}^ him and 
sustained in its revolutions for thousands of years without 
gaining or losing a second of time ; that the Eternal Father had 
his thi-one above millions of rolling worlds like this. No 
miracles were more convincing to him of God's almightiness 
than these facts, which iilled him with profound admiration 
and adoring gratitude. Besides all, he said, to contemplate 
the wondrous })lan of redemption which God had alwa^^s had 
in His mind, which He had been executing by sending His 
Sou into the world, and giving his Holy S{)irit to effectuate 
the redemptive work, impressetl him with exalted views of the 
divine character. Such was his flow of thought and freedom 
of expression in petition and praise, that he was often too long 
in public prayer, and as he Was not wear}', he was unconscious 
that the people were weary standing. He rarely addressed 
Jesus Christ in public devotion, though he spoke of him as 
God, and believed that "in him dwells all the fulness of the 
godhead bodily." 



There was no studied oratory in liis manner. In delivering 
liis earnest thoughts, lie sometimes clinched his hand, and 
would bring it nervously down u{)on tlie desk— never stretched 
out his aim as if conscious of doing it, or as if thitiking of him- 
self, but as if impelled by the thoughts he wished to impress 
on his hearers. 

When preaching at a })rivatc liouse one evening, he touched 
upon the subject of prayer, and, toward the conclusion, being 
wrought up into a calm ecstacy, he stretched out his long 
arms, and with a countenance radiant with a sense of divine 
benevolence, cried as with the voice of a herald, " Come to the 
fountain of living waters; look unto Ilim, and be ye saved;" 
and so went on for some time, uttering the most startling and 
quickening expressions, of which some more than Ibrty j-ears 
afterwards have reminded me. 

He was not a politician in the ordinary sense of the term, 
but a firm supporter of our national politics. It can scarcely 
be said he was of no party, for he advocated peace when our 
government was waging war against Great Britain. Though 
he had suffered every thing but death in the Biitish prison 
ship, he saw the injustice of the war made to help !<' ranee. Ele 
was learless in exposing national wrongs, just as our puljiits 
during the late rebellion s[)akeout freely and plead for national 

During the war of 1812, he, on Fast and Thanksgiving days 
preached against it and against French influences, lie said he 
rejoiced tliat. (xovtM-nor Strong withheld the troops, for if he 
had not, tin,; bones of many of our citizens would be blt*aching 
on the plains of Canada. 

On Fast day it usual to have two public discourses in 
the meeting hi~iuse. One morning of a Fast day Mr. Andros 
preached a sei'tnon wnll lillcd with ])olitical niatlcrs, the war 
under Madison raging, and Kcv. ^Face Slicjiard of Little 
Compton li. 1. who was present, perceived that some of the 
hearers were a little irritn ted. In the aCtei'noon Mr. Shopard 
was invited to the pidpit, and he conuneiiced his sermon thus, 
"You have this morninsj; been receivinsi' instruction on the sub- 


ject of politics, and sucli instruction i\s tlie Bible confirms. I 
sliall now endeavor to clinch the nail wLich lias been driven 
by the master of assemblies." 

During his long ministry in the same parish, he became well 
known through an extensive region of the country. Hence, 
he was often called to attend chuicli councils, and jissist at or- 
dinations. His judgment and advice were sought because he 
well understood the congregational system, and jireferred it, 
though he was on friendly footing with rdl evangelical bodies. 
To the Lord's table he invited all in regular standing, saying 
this is the Lord's table, not ours, and he welccmies all his 
friends. He exhibited a rare example of Christian charity, and 
was free from that narrow-minded jealousy which confines the 
privileges of salvation to its own little coterie. 

It is certain that he not only kept up with the times, but in 
many things in advance of them. This is evident from his 
preaching and his j)ublished writings. Yet no man was ever 
more strenuous for the main doctrines of oxthodox3^ 

It might justly l)e said of him : 

'■ Witli words succinct, yet lull without a fault, 
He said iio more than just the thing he ought." 

He was beneficent sometimes almost to a fault, considerinsT 
his moderate income. The same kindness was shown by him 
to all with whom he transacted business. 

In his family he was always cheerful, considerate, generous 
and indulgent; always praying for the absent, especially those 
exposed to the dangers of the sea. The proof of his good in- 
fiuence in his family was that his children were industrious, 
well educated, intelligent and upright. 

He was very much aliected by the death of his daughter 
Clarisa, A\dio was a very amiable girl. She died of fever 
brought on by sitting near an open window in the meeting 
house. The air blew on her, and she had not courage to rise 
to close the window or change her seat " II was in hci- bridal 
hour, and when fond man pronounced her bliss complete." 
She was as lieautiful as young, and the first of his family 
taken fi'om him. When hei- fair form was let down into the 


grave, lie writlied and trembled as he sat in his carriage, over- 
come with grief. The next sabbath he preached her funeral 
.sermon, in wliicli he described the soul as it leaves the body 
and enters on immortality and the awards of eternity in such 
vivid coloi's as almost to startle some fi'om their scats. That 
consolation which he had often endeavored to administer to 
others in a like case he now found difficult to iippl}^ to himself. 
Greater and better men in weeping over a follen child have 
said, "Would God I had died for thee." For what so afflicts 
the soul, as to see one, flesh of our flesh, "the human f;ice 
divine,'' made in God's image, covei'ed with the clods of earth. 

He was uniformly opposed to putting any confidence in 
dreams, and considered them unreliable. But his daughter 
Clarisa had a remarkable dream, which so impressed her that she 
told it next morning to her fiiends, and said she thought she 
should not go to her school. It was this : she would close her 
school in one week; would then be taken sick, and in one week 
more would die. This was announced to her by some one 
whom she saw in her di-eam ; all which was fulfilled in every 
particular. After this Mr. Andros was never heard to con- 
demn dreams, but seemed to admit that some might be worthy 
of consideration. 

No man was more free fiom superstition or from belief in 
apparitions and spectres, yet, as he was riding home one evening 
and turning the corner near Mr. Abner Burt's, he said that he 
saw as the moon shone through the bi-oken clouds, his wife 
walking a few rods before him, he knew her gait and figure 
and in a few minutes as he w.'is about to speak to her, she van- 
ished like Kuiydice li-om Orpheus. 

In lU'gument or repartee few were equal to him. At a store 
he met a man whose nick-name was " Razor Ben " who thiid':- 
ing he would have a joke with the minister, asked hitn why a 
hog's head was calleil "minister's face," "AVhy; said Mr. 
Andros," it proceeds from the depravit}' of the heart just as 
the term " Kazor Ben " does. 

When lie was criticising a sermon that ha<l a long introduc- 


tion, lie said it was like making the porch larger than the 

When he read Rev. Jacub Norton's pamphlet on Creeds 
which, commencing with many bland expressions, proceeded to 
denounce them, he said it made him think of the prophetic 
beast, which had horns like a lamb but spake like a dragon. 

Some one observed to him how prudent he was in being 
able to support his large family on so small a salary, "yes," he 
replied, "if I can keep my chin above water, it is all I can 

In the westerly part of tlie town was a good lady who went 
by the name of Aunt Brck. On lierpiemises was found a hen's 
egK, on wliich w:is written as if witli indelible ink, this sentence, 
" Woe to the inhabitants of Berkly." Siie thought it portended 
some cnlamity, as it was a time of contention in the town, and 
said she would show it to the minister. As lie soon came that 
way she brought it to him that he might interpi'et it On ex- 
amining it he said, it is not from any heavenly messenger, for 
the woixl Berkley is sj)clled wrong. This reply relieved her 

When Mr. Andros was asked if it was pr()])er for a minister 
to maiTy a woman who was not a professor of religion, he 
said, '' ye.s, if she is not a heaihen>" 

When a baggage wagon loaded with tea chests was overset 
near the '■ rock house ' corner and the neighbors came out to 
give assistance, numbers of them tilled their pockets with tea 
from llie broken chests. The next sal)bath he preached a 
sermon frc-m these words, '"and the barbarous peojdo showed 
Us no small kindness," in which he showed how unkind and 
unjust it was to illlreat persons who have met with misfortunes. 
And though he named no persons, all knew to whom liis dis- 
course applied. 

If there were any impi-oj^rieties in the young in holding 
night assemblies for mirth and jollity, he was sure soon to bring 
out a discourse which would indirectly but plainly enough 
apply to the whole case, though none were arraigned or pointed 


out. In this indirect but faitliful manner lie i-elniked the evil 
practices of the times-. 

Wlien an intoxicated stranger in the giillerv one sabbatli began 
to make disturbance by climbing over from one pew to another, 
Judge Tobey, the warden, rose and requested the constable to 
jjut him out. After this had been done, and quiet was 
restored, Mr. Andros arose and said : I have tor some time 
thought of ])reaching to you on intemperance, but .what you 
liave now witnessed should be equal to a whole discourse on 
the subject. 

It was mentioned to him that some went to the tavern across 
the road on sabbath noon to take a drink, l)ecause they liad a 
headache. " Well," said lie, " 1 should let my head ache a 
long tiaie liefore 1 would do it." It lias been said that all 
ministers and cliurch members were formerly in tlie hahit of 
taking a little, but he was never known to, either on public or 
private occasions. 

Great deference was paid to his judgment and decision in 
all church and sc^ciety matters. AVhen he was coming out of 
the inner door of the meeting house, a young lady was intro- 
duced to him as desirous of l)eing admilted to the communion ; 
he took her by the hand and asked her il she could leave the 
vanities of the world and follow Christ. She said she thought 
she co.dd, " Well,"" said he, "I will propounil you at the close 
of the service." 

When a young man was g<»iiig to pi'each in a neighlioring 
place, someone obsei'ved, he doubted whether thep('oi>le would 
be satislied with him. ''They will not," said he, ''unless he can 
make them believe he knows something." 

lie receiv(Hl the honorai-y degree of A. M. from Brown 
University in 17U0. What PresidentQniiuty o( Ilarvai-dsaid of 
William Wiit, who was never a member of any college, might 
as truly be said of Rev. Mr. Andros, " You are ]>ro()f that a 
college education is not essential to every professional man." 
Mr. Andros was always sensitive in respect to his literary and 
scholarly rejiutation. 

As he was walkinu' home from Boston where he had been to 


attend tlie Annivei'saries, Dr. J. Codinan fell in with him and 
learned Lis straitened cii'cutnstances. A few days afterwards 
the Doctor sent him fifty dollars. He never lettlie narrowness 
of his means distress him but said it stimulated liiin to preach 
better, and he hoped he could say with Paul, " As poor yet 
making many rich," and that he could say of his ministry as 
Goldsmith did of his Muse, "She found me poor and keeps me 
so." Yet he was not really jioor, or involved in debt, but by 
his industry lived comfortably. His library was small, but 
what he had were standard works and were read and well 
understood. He highly valued Milne r's Church History and 
said, ir he had had it at the beginning oC his ministry he 
should much more have ])r()fited by it. The bulky Connuen- 
taries he needed not., for his thorough study of the scriptures 
wdth collateral history supplied their place. He said, when he 
preached on some difficult points in theology, and some did 
not well understand them and made objection, that he had 
one man in his church, meaning Deacon S. who always 
understood them and could defend them. 

When one somewhat skeptical complained to him that if he 
preached such doctrines as he had done his hearers would fall 
off, "No," said he, "they will fdl oft; if I do not preach them." 
He believed that the plain exhibition of the doctrines of the 
gospel was more attractive to people than to preach them [\arlially 
or incompletely. Hence when he was sent as a delegate to 
the Genera! Association and was appointed to preach the As- 
vsociational sei-mon, he took two sermons with him, one some- 
what philosophic and erudite, which he iutendrd to preach 
before ihat learned body, ilie other plain and evangelical. But 
on arriving at the place, and perceiving the divines and others 
to be spiritual and scri})tural people, he laid aside the learned 
sermon he had intended to ])reach, and (h^livered the other. 
He was quite sensitive in regard to certain itinerant preach- 
ers who sometimes came into the outskirts of the town and 
hehl meetings. He considered that such a course led to divi- 
sions in parishes. But when Rev. James Barnaby, a Baptist, 
whose services were highly acceptable, came to visit his^ 


frieruls ill his native town, Mr. Andros always invited liiili tn 
liis pLilpil, 

He liad an appointment to preacli at the liouse of Nathan 
Freiieli. When he arrived there Mrs. Lucy King, a woman of 
great tnciuory and some prejudices gave him a text to preach 
from like tills, " And as ye go, preach, saying the kingdom of 
heaven is at hand, — Ireely ye have received, freely give," 
supposing no doubt it would embarass him. But after a 
moment's mediuition, he arose and })reaclied an excellent ser- 
mon. Sadden occasions like that often quickened his powers 
of invention, 

Thei-e was a time in his ministry when he dwelt much on 
certain points of Calvinism, but longer experience taugiit him 
that many were not by them won to the Saviour. Yet he 
never withheld any truth which he considered evangelicah 
however distasreful to prejudiced minds. 

Every intelligent and sensible Christian knows that a minis-' 
tcr who has pursued his profession for many years, )>reaches 
more from his own experience of divine truth than from books ; 
while the bejzinner has not the extended views that longer 
study and practice will give. 

^JMie exercise ol discipline in his church was strict and mc;int 
to be scriptiual. In 1807 large nund)ers were admitted. In a 
few years there was a sifiing out of eight or ten who were 
false converts. 1 have heard iiini eom])laiu that in the course 
of N cars he iiad hail in his church almost every kiiul orcriini- 
iial, yet it was in fact as a whole, a very spiritual and devoted 

He was strongly oj^poscd to the practice of members remov- 
ing from one church to another for "better edification," and 
when some applied for letters of dismission to go ami unite 
with a Taunton church he contended against it. 

One cold sabb:ith morning, that his family might rid(\ he 
came walking up U) the meeting house clad in a shawl, before 
shawls were much worn by gentlemen, and some tln)Ught it 
was a milled blanket. Not many days afterwards, some of 
the princi[)al women came together and procured for him an 


excellent Lroadcli^tli cloak. He was like many talented men, 
somewhat negligent in liis dress, and could not ])ear to spend 
much time in fitting himself out for public services. 

At funerals, so tender were his sympathies, he found it difh- 
cult to control his emotions, and seemed like Euripe(k\s in the 
di-ama when personating a man who had lost a child, lie grasp- 
ed the urn that contained the ashts of liis own son, and 
poured forth such lamentations as threw the whole theater into 
tears. Yet no man knew better how to present the consola- 
tions of the word of God to the bereaved, for he had often 
been bereaved and could use the motto of the poet Vii-gil, 
^^ Miser riiisen's succarere disco,"— ni\seva\)]e myself, I learn to 
succor the miserable. 

He lived to follow to the narrow house all the ciiurch and 
society w^ho invited him to become their minister. 

As he lived two miles from his meeting liouse he could not 
visit his people as he wished, but when he .heard of any that 
were sick, old or young, he made it a point to see them, and 
many too who never contributed any thing for thesuppoit of the 
ministry. He considered it the great duty of people to attend 
public worship and said, "it was the chief duty of the 
sabbath." When a man who usually attended onlv in the 
forenoon asked him to preach on a certain text, he said he 
would, but perhaps it would be on some afternoon. 

He had such confidence in his people and they in him that 
he could say anything he wished. There were but a few ca- 
))able of ofi'ering prayer, or speaking in meetings to edification, 
not having acquired tlu; habit in their youth. I heard him 
say in a religious meeting he wished those only to take a jxirt 
who were capable. 

He said he wns always glad wlum he could talk to his 
peoj)le, and his "Lecture room talks " were always interesting. 

When he was old he was still esteemed by those who knew 
his worth and faith fulness, as may be inferred from the fol- 
h)wing: A young minister just graduated at Andover, came 
liome and by invitation having preached in his pulpit, a re- 
spectable lady was asked how she liked the young minister. 


"Well," she said, "lie preached quite well for a beginner; 
but, ' no one when he hath drank old wine straightway desir- 
eth tlie new, for he saith the old is better.' " This answer, told 
to the aged pastor, was quite cheei'ing. 

After serving the people in the ministry nearly fifty years he 
resigned, as there were some divisions that caused the calling of 
several councils which unhap[)ily hilled to pi-oduce general 
harmony. He resigned because he thought some were tired 
of him and desired a young pastor. But his old friends gath- 
ered round him anew, and wishing to show him some new 
pi'oof of their respect, chose him representative to the General 
Court, in 1838. 

He nevpr left the church or the sanctnarj', but always at- 
tended on the sabbath when health permitted. 

After his resignation numerous ministers occupied the juilpit. 
Some were .settled f )r a short time. Among those employed, 
I may mention the reverend gentlemen, Messrs. Ebenezer Gay, J. 
U. Parsons, Eichardson, R(jckwell, Gould, Babcock, C. Cham- 
berlain, Smith, Lothrop, Eastman, Davis, Barney. 

It may be determined by the ])resent genei-ation whether the 
.settling and j-emoving of ministers every few years, is more 
beneficial to a religious society than to settle a man for life, 
who, expecting to live and die with his people, will have time 
to impi-ove and instruct them. 

Not long after his i-esignation another altar Avas set up, a new 
church f )rnied by advice of council, as most expedient on ac- 
count of unhappy division, and disagreement, and two young 
ministers were employed to preach to his divided congregation. 
An intelligent lady expressed the sentiments of some when 
she said those young ministers were good men. though they 
had not called at her house, but she doubted whether both 
would fill the place of the old minister. 

Installation exercisca of Mr. John U. Parsons, Miircli 14, 1888. Sermon 
by Rev. E. Miiltby. Cliarjrt', l)y Rev. P. Coll)y. Address to the people, by 
Rev. E. Sanford. Prayer, by liev. Haalis Sanford. 

Mr. Parsons was born at i'arsonslield. Me. Ciraduated at Bowdoin Col- 
lege, 1828. Studied at Andover Seminary, and liceiified 181il, at New York. 


The last da3's of this excellent mnn were tranquil and full 
ofhojie. lie knew he had not lived and labored in vain. It 
was a greater trial to him to resign his pulpit and hiy down his 
profession, than resign his life and l)id larewell to earth. When 
about eighty-seveu he i)ereeived a slight attack of paralysis, 
which in a small degree so affected his speech, that when he 
attempted to utter a word in a sentence, Lc uttered one not 

When we see a statel}^ ship, loaded with costly merchandise, 
cast upon a rocky shoie by the Coi'ce of the waves and the tem- 
pest, a feeling of sadness comes over our minds. How much 
more when we see a man wiio lias been eminent for talent and 
excellent deeds, on whose lips great assemblies have hung for 
many years, disabled and deprived of those j)hysical and men- 
tal powers which once distinguished him, 

As the Saviour ascended with outstretched arms, blessing his 
disciples, so did this man depait. Many have died as philoso- 
phers, but he as a Christian who had fought a good light. 

The monument I'aised in memoi-iam will commemoi'ate for 
centuries his name aud the names of his nnmei'ous family. He 
is worthy of such distinction. No such cost!}' mausoleum as 
this rises iu the town, so beautiful to the eye, so suggestive of 
moral givaiuess and earthly fame. It was erected by his affec- 
tionate children ; and had it beeu given by the town it would 
have been to its honor, and a tcdvcn of the gratitude wddcli it 
owed him. 

Yet he has left a memorial of himself worth more, and \noYQ 
enduring than this splendid marble, and that is, the imi)ress of 
his sentiments and of divine truth, which he made during his 
long ministry, on the minds ot his people, an impress which will 
endure thiough successive geuei-ations to the end of time. 

Says Edmund Duik'C, " 'I'hey who do not treastire up the 
memory of their ancestors do not deserve to be remembered by 
tluur posterity." But what shall be said of those with whom 
it is a matter of indiflerence who their ancestors were, or 
whether they had any. 

In the Ilrst twetity-nine years of his ministry, one hundred 


and tliirty-foiir persons united witli tlic clinrcli, and probaldy 
as m:iny more during the remainder oi' liis pastorate. 'Vhe 
number of baptisms would probably equal if not exceed the 

One day lie baptized in the mectingdiouse moie than fifty 
cliiidren. It was a Ma_y day, on a Sabbatli set ap:ii-t for the 
purpose in 1807. As tlie chilhen wei-e gathered round him, 
he stretched out liis hands and repeated the words of Chi'ist, 
"Suffei- little childi'en to come unto me. " Many were 
moved by those emotions which cause smiles and teai-s at the 
same time, in seeing so many olfered at the baptismal font. It 
seemed to be a scene like that when the children in the temple 
sang "hosanna to the Son of David." Some were infants, but 
man\' were between the ages of five and eight. They looked 
upon the venerable man as their father and guide. Such was 
the love of all for him on that memorable day. 

"Even cliiidren toUowcd with (Midenrinjj wile, 
And plucked liis i;()\vii to sliure the '^nod niiin's smile." 

Wlien he preached in liaynham the ordination sermon of 
Eev. E. Sanford, October 2d, 1828, he wore a clerical gown, 
after the ancient fashion. The audience was very larg'e, but 
his voice was heard distinctly in ever}" part of ir. His sub- 
ject was, " 'J'he peculiar duties of young ])astors." Dr. Park, 
of Brown University, observed, that in })re[)aring tiiat dis- 
coui'se, he must have thought of many things, or he could not 
have made it so clear and Forcible. 

When he delivered the charge to Rev. Chester Isham, liist 
pastoi'of the Triniiarian Ciuirtth, Taunton. L'onard Bat-on, as!<ed 
who that aged man was, and being told, said he had screamed 
out. nioi-e good sense than he had heard in llie same compass for 
a long time. 

In addressing a certain school, he described vcvy graphic- 
ally the doom of liars, and one sdiolai- about twelve years old 
shed tears, AVhen asked afterward why he was so affected, the 
answer was, he had nevei' heard or read any such thing before, 
us he had lived a distance from religious meetings, and he sup- 


posed, lie had told many falsehoods. He aftciwaids became a 
good and honored citizen. 

I asked ]\[r. Andros rcs})ecting some things, w hctlicr it were 
proper to perfoini ihem on the Sabbath: he said, the great, and 
chic^f duty of the Sabbath was to attend public Avorship ; hence 
lie often had a third service on tiie Sabbath at live o'clock, in 
some part of the town. 

A worthy lady died lca\iiig an only daiighlcr in indigent 
circumstances and without a heme. She soon afterwards mar- 
ried a wealth}' and excellent man. I observed to him that I 
wished her mother had> lived K)nger, that .she might know the 
success of her daughter. "0,"said he. "she knows il." licuce 
I infer that he believed that departed friends know the circum- 
stances of those whom they leave behind. 

AVhen a candidate for the ministiy was presenied to the Asso- 
ciation for licensure and was asked by th(; modei'ator if he 
had in wi'iting his ailicles of belief, he said he liad not; but 
as he had recei\c'd his educaiion under ]\[r. Andros" ])rea('hiiig, 
ho had uniformly believed what he preached from the Scri]> 
tures. On this statement the association gave him a license. 

In the theoriesof geologists Mr. A ndros had little oi" no belief, 
but C( nsidered lire ch'chvrations of ]N[oses respecting the crea- 
tion as atrue history. He considei'ed the six cLays of creation as 
literal days, as they are stated to be in the command, ''six days 
shalt thou labor," and not ciic\\ an unlimited period o( many 
millions of years as I'cpresented by Dr. John Mason Good. 
When this sid:)ject was discu.ssed in tlie Association he showed 
how j'idiculous it was to "dig inio flie earth to lind })i'oofs that 
Moses was mistaken in its age," and that rocks and (bssils could 
gi\e a Ijctter histoi'v than divine revelations, yet had he lived 
longer he would have m'xliUcd his opinion and have seen that 
geological systems aie reconcilable with the scriptures. 

In. tiie seimou he preached at the funeral of Miss Fanny Paul, 
he (h'scribed heaven in very glowing coloi's, and towards the 
conclusion said, 'In parting with your fi'iends you need not say 
you know not wheie they go, or where they are, for thev enter 
that world I have described; our sister is there; she is among 


tlie redeemed ; slie lias seen angels ; she is Iicaring tlicni sing; 
and more than all, she behoKls tlie face of him whom she has 
sought iind Joved, and will enjoy forever." Some <in retiring 
said they shonld not fe:ir to dcp;ii-t, they felt heaven to be n.ear, 
they could almost look in. 

When I asked him it he tliought, any were saved who liad no 
knowledge of Christ or divine revelation, he said yes, no donht 
if they loved God, bnt h;id no opportunity to know his Son, 
nnd had a heart to receive him if miide known to them, bnt if 
when made known the}^ rejectx-d him, he saw not how they 
could be fit for heaven, lie said he thought God might make 
men holy when they knew not hy what means they were made 
so, jast as men are often healed of diseases by remedies of which 
they have no knowledge. 

On a slight view his life seemed hard and ascetic, bnt on a closer 
examination it would be seen to blossom continually with ]ia- 
tience and hope, humility ai:d tenderness. He lived for the 
simple ])erformance of duty, not for show or applause, coveting 
neither honor or renown, and generations following will testify 
that for him the path ol'duty was the path of honor. No other 
profession or })osilion in society could have made his life more 
worthy of respect, or more beautiful to the admirer of eminent 
talent. He thanked God that his incomes, lands and estates 
were not great, but sufficient, lie has left a name like a beacon 
light to those who struggle in the ministry and in maintaining 
feilowshij) with heaven, a name foroxer fragrant, acrpiin^l in. 
the humble labors of his profession during half a century, and 
that name in the archangers book is one who loved his flock and 
his fellow men. 


The first was built about the year IToO, and stood at the 
south end of the "Common." It remained about sixty-one 
years, a plain structure witluMit hell, steej)le or lilin<ls. It had 
galleries on three sides fronted with halusters turned in a lathe, 
and the jiews were mostly surrounded with the same kind of 
work. AVhen the house was taken down these frontings were 


sold and used foi- front Ceiiees to houses. Plain and nidc as llii.s 
lionsc would apjicar now, it was equal to the stvlc oCtlic build- 
ings of that, day, and ihough warmed by no stoves, but such 
as women carried in, as hand or foot stoves, yet it was to the 
people a deliuhtful jjlace and on the sabbath was well (IHed by an 
attentive and de\'out assembly. 'J'hen newspapers weie not, 
and books and periodicals were scarce, and Crom the pulpit (;ame 
to tlie people instruction ■ that elevated their minds, and gave 
them subjects of thought for days following. 

'J'he second house alter long del.-iy was built on the same spot 
and was dedicated November 22, 1 798. 'J'he architect was Isaac 
Babbit, o!' Berkley, who built Dighton and Berkley bridge, 
Howland's Ferry bridge. Weir bridge, factories and other edi- 
fices. It liad a tall steeple, the base of which projected seveial 
feet from the in;iin building, a good sounding Ijcll, a loftv jiul- 
pit, a large crowning window behind it, three aisles from the 
entrance dooi's, galleries on three sides, the orchestra opposite 
the pulpit, the floors were uncarpeted, the seats nncushioned. 
The many large windows had neither l)linds nor curtains, ex- 
cepting one or two after many ycai's. There was no carj)et, 
cushioned desk, or soft seat in the pulpit. Two pews werebuilt 
for negroes in a lofty ])osition at the corners above the stairs, 
though never occupied, except Ijy John 'J'erry^ who was as mucli 
bettei' than nianv below him as his seat was above them. After 
this house had stood over fifty years, it was thought to be out 
of style, unsuitable, and dangerous to the health of the people. 
It gave way to a third edihce more elegant, more conunodious 
and which accommodates a large assembly. It stands on the 
same sacred spot where the two others stood. It has a basetneiit 
story making a pleasant ve-try or lecture room. 

The other meeting house called the chapjcl was built to accoiu- 
modate a new church and society, wiiich were seceders from the 
first soeiet}'. They were organized in a regidar way by a coun- 
cil who deemed it advisa!)le on account of divisions which had 
arisen. It has been fwund that a greater number of])cop!e attend 
pui lie woi'ship on the sabbath in the two houses than did be- 
fore in (jiie. The churches have for some time been in good fcl- 


lowsliip. I'licir first pastor was the Eev. Lucins E. Eastman, 
Amherst, 1833. .Their present pastor is Rev. James A. Roharts, 
formei'ly of New Bedford, and previously pastor of a dissenting 

chinch, London. 

The two first meeting houses were used for town meetings, 
and till.' town ofien raised money for repairs on them. But 
when the third house was built, tlie town, by law and decision 
of courts, surrendereil this privilege. 


This town is oblong in shape, extending about seven miles 
along l,he east side of Taunton liver, terminaling at the south 
in :i cape cabed Assonet Neck which lies between Assonet river 
and the 'J\iunton. At the exiivme point of this neck is Con- 
spiracy Tshiiid, so called ])rol)ably from a conspii-acy f )rn!edby 
King Philip against the lirst settlers. The farms bordering on 
the river are rich and ]>roductive, containing Burt's meadows, 
so-called, and nnmeious salt meadows at the south. The town 
is mostly level, but embraces several hills, as Ape's hill at the 
north. Skunk's hill at the etist, and Pliili}) ILithaway's hill near 
the centre. The easterly part borders on the Coiley ri\cr, a 
small mill sti'eam tiihulary to the Taunton ; through this })ai't 
runs the railway to New Bedf ml. 

Ill tlie centre ol the town is a public park or " common " con- 
taiinng about nine acres in the form of a triangle, ])aitlv sur- 
rounded with elms. There are six roads or highwavs radiating 
fi-omthe common into the vaiious j)arts of the town ; surrounding 
it are twelve line dwelling houses, among them arc two churches 
and a school lunise. The town hall stands near the centre. 
Genei'al musters used to be held here, and in ISOo a brigade com- 
prising the militia <;f the county encamped here under command 
of Brigadier Gen. James Williams, of Taunion, (aiher of Chief 
Justice J. M. Williams, L.L.D. Near the ceiiMe of this j^ark 
once stood a windmill (oi- grinding <2rain, granted by the town 
to be built, by S. Tobey, Esq., in 1787 ; but about ISOo it was 
removed, having become old and dangi'rous. Scarcely any 
town in the county can show so pleasant a centre as this. It 


miglit be mode still more pleasant and inviting 1)}' placing move 
trees and sliruhbciy on tlic borders of i.lie roads lliat cnviion it. 

As ancient Sparta consisted of live towns, so this town may 
be considered as containing live villages. ^J'lic nonh is called 
tlie Burt neiglil)orli()od, in v.'liicli arc nnnierons families of tliat 
name, of consi(leral)le wt'alili. Fainiing, nieclianicnl business, 
and trade have ilourislied I here. 

On the river is the Briilge village, near wliere Dighton and 
Berkle)' bridge stood, which was built in IbOd, and removed 
about 1850, having become deleciive, and deemed an ohsirnc- 
tion to navigation. Tiiis village contains nianv enterjuising 
people, lariners, meclianics, navigators, ship builders, traders 
and lisliermen. 

The next village fui'ther dovui the river is Asstmet neck, 
made up mostly of entei'prising Ihrniers, vho excel in raising 
fat cattle and other domestic animals. Le\-i Pierce, a. bachelor, 
owned a large farm at the extreme end of the cape. ITc began 
with nothing, but by industry and })arsiinony acquired a good 
property. He had only his sister, lor some years, to guide his 
liermitage, and after her death was alone except that he liad 
numerous cattle and swine, the latter taking ihe milk of Ids 
cows, for he c(uild (ind no one to manage a dair}'. As he could 
not afford the expense of a new I'oof for liis shanty, he usually 
lodged in his barn when it, I'aincd. In going any distance he 
would carrv his shoes in liis hands I'ather than on his feet, and 
when he wore them would jint, leaves in them tv~; save the ex- 
pense of stockings. AVhen I visited him 1 asked him (or his 
almanac; lie said lie liad nom", nor any book in the house as 
he was nnal)le to read. I nn-ntioned to him that as he had no 
near relati\-es, he could leave his pi-operiy t.o the town foi' ed- 
ucatioual })urposes, or to some benevolent society. lie said he 
thono'ht strano'ers WTre as o-ood to him as his own relatives, 
who seemeil to want wdiat he had lie said he made his first 
earnings by collecting oyster shells in a smali boat or lighter, 
and cari'ying them about (ifieen miles up the ri\-er to tlie fur- 
naces in llavnham. wdier<' they were used in fusing iron. 

The fourth village is in the easterly part of the town, em- 


brnciiig soii-ic dozen houses, situated amid \-crdant meadows and 
fv)rests of i>inc, oak. cedar, walnut and bircli, wliicli once were 
not thought vahiable, but now are considered t!ie best of pro- 

The centre village has been ah-oadj sufficiently described. 
Near tlie meeting house was a ])ound with Idgli walls, about 
two rods square, in which iniscliicvous or sti'ay cattle might be 
confined according to law. In the gate, at oi' near the l)oitoni, 
were stocks in which the autlioiities mii>-ht conlinc the loot of 
the I'efractory ; but none ever had that distinction. Thci'c are 
now one hundred and twenty-lwo dwelling houses in the town, 


In this town a large number have been employed in the com- 
mercial marine, some of whom T may mention. Capt. John San- 
ford, son of John, and grandson of John, the (irst settler of that 
name in Taunton, saileil mostly to the West Indies. My father, 
his cousin, went with him one voyage. His voyages were suc- 
cessful, lie owned two or three farms iu the southeily part of 
the town. He died in 1780, leaving three daughters, Sophia, 
who married Rev. 'J'homas Aiidros; Esther, who married Capt 
John Dillingham, and Sarah, who married Mr. Seth Winsk)w, 
and dying left one daughtei', Sally, who married Ca])t. Daniel 
B.irt; and their only daughter. Sarah Ann, mari'icd the late 
Henry II. I'ox, of Taunton. One of whose sons, William II. 
Fox, Esq., is Judge of the Afunicipal (^ouri, Taunton. 

Capt. Barnabas Crane was an intelligent and distinguished 

From smiiliy old documents latflv eNJui I'ed by Ki-v. ISI. Blsdu-, D.I)., of 
Taunton, it is ascertained wlien sliip liuildinji' Ix'yan on tliin nver. 

Autruat 12, 1G94, in tlie reifjn of William and Mary, Tliouias Hunt, of 
London, contracted with one lireenf-ll lIanov(>r, shi])\vriirlit. to conic to 
New iMijjland for the purpose of building; vessels Altei- six-ndiuir some time 
in the business at Boston, Mr. Hanover came to 'I'auntnn lo imild a vessel 
for a Mr. Coram, for w .ich he was t') receive, haviny; all materiuls furnished 
him, tli(^ sum of £tl current money of New Eu'jland. 'I'his was the first of 
the thousands of vessels that liave plied by sailinjr. rowlnjr or steaminir on 
the 'I'uunton river. The name, career, and final anchora<re of this vessel, 
Bays Dr. Blake, are unknown. It was completed Au<>ust oO, 1098, and was 
fil'tyfour feet kecd and twenty feet beam. 


navigator. He removed to Digliton, then to Oliio, where he 
settled with liis sons on a fine [)hint:ition. 

Capt. Epliraim Freiicli, sen., was l)y long experience better 
acquainted with the Taunton river and the southern coast than 
any other man. He taught numerous yonng men the art of 
navigation, i'rom a treatise by Jolin II. Moore. 

Capt. Jabez Fox Collowu'd the sea some years, and settled on 
a farm near Assonet neck. Capt. Enoch Tobey made Ibreign 
voyages in his father's ships, oiten to Liverpool, and was some 
time successful, but died early. His brother, Silas, graduate 
of Brown University, made voynges to Havana, where he sud- 
denly died of fevt-r. He had married a daughter of Dr. Fuller, 
of Kingston, a physician. IJe left one son, Hon. Edwnrd S. 
Tol)ey, of Boston, president of the Board of Trade, nuMr.bcr of 
numberk'ss benevolent associations, a merchant possessed of 
immense wealth. 

Capr. Seth Burt and his brother, Daniel, made trips to the 
Carohnas. In a storm they were both lost, and all on board 
with them, their vessel beintr shallow and not well ballasted. 

Capt Albert Fi'ench has for years (blh)we<l the southern 
trade, in his own vessels, and always with satisfactory results. 
The sons of Ilev. Thomas Andros, Milton, William, Thomas, 
Benedict, uiv\ Kendrick. have been among the boldest and most 
successful navigators from any of our ports or cities. They 
were well educated, loved the seas, au<l connnanded some of 
the largest shi|)s that sailed out of Providence or New York'. 
'JMiey rarely met with losses. William, however, in entering 
the North sea to ,ljo to Hamburg, encountering one of those 
tempests whirh often ari^e theie. lost both vessel and c:irgo. 
After Com nig Ik. me to New York tlie owners (bund no hiult 
with him, but gave himconnnand of ;uiother ship. He lo^t his 
life some years iifter, at Valparaiso. 'I'homas and ]5en^(lict, 
after a louir lile at sea, died at, home. 

Daniel Sanford, son of Deacon George, bid fair to become a 
courageous and able navigator. He made several foreign voy- 
ages; was then ])ilot of a sttam boat )'lyiiig between Provi- 
dence and New York, Capt. Comstock, commander, and by 


some ficcident was tlirown overboard in the niglit, and was- 

Jonatlian Crane, brother of Col. A. Crane, followed the 
soiitlicrn ti-aile for pome yeai's, and at length contracting- the 
snntiierii fever, came home and died. He was a mosl, atiii;d)le 
young man, a distinguished singer, and played the flute in the 
choir on the snblnith. 

Capt. John Hriggs. son of John, the mason, was a bold hardy 
master of a whale ship, made ])ro(i1al!)le voyages of three years 
in the Pacific ocean ; wonld stand on the bow of a tossing boat 
to hurl the har])oon, conragc supplied thewjint of knowled<je. 

Kumerons ves.-els of various bnrthen have been built in this 
town. Judge 'I'obev built one in 1806 called a ship, it hnving 
three ma^-ts, which the writer saw launched in presenee of hun- 
dreds of people. Henry Cntne built several schooners near 
liis house at the Bi-idge village. Ephi-:iim French, senior,. 
Usuiilly i)uilt every winter a sloop to sell. Oihers were Imilt 
fit Burl's wluirf Bai'zillai ilaihaway built vessels and chartred 
lhein. 7\l:out ti'.e vear 1800 a sloop w;is built a little e;ist of 
Timothy's Hollow, and drawn on trucks over the prairie to tiie 
river, a distance of about a mile. I remember seeing the deep 
tracks ihe trucks made. 

or these there were not many, heenuse of the vicinage of 
T:iunton, the head of navigation. Hon. S, Tobey and son 
ti'iidcnl in liiv goods, al out filly y(;iis. ;;nd iillei' tlxm Abiel 
Ciane. wlio ;ii, length removed his stoj-e to '^Faunton, (^^'eir), 
Simeon Ibirt Inided in West. India goods, and imported them m 
liis own ^■essels. [juther C'ane k( ])t :i store at the Brii'ge \ il- 
lagi', and alter him Kphraim Kreneh, Jr., who was als<> '^^j'own 
Clerk, and died in middle life. These stoies, t-xcepting tie 
last, de.dt in ardent spirits: the temperance i-efoimation not 
having arisen, and most ])eo])le of that time thinking that labor- 
ers needed stimulants. But no town for the last twent}' years 
has been more free from tlieir destructive influence. 'JMiere 
were two taverns ])crhaps down to the year 1825. One was 
kept by Capt. Samuel French, sen. ; the other, near the meeting- 


house, was kept by Ezra Briggs. These inns were tliouglit 
essential, as before the railways were laid, three or four stages 
a day used to j)ass between Taunton and Fall River, and there 
was much travelling in oiher vehicles. 
A post office was not opened in tliis town till about 1824. 


Soon after the town was organized schools were o])ened. One 
teacher only was employed, Koland Gavin, an Englishman, 
who received a stated salary Irom the treasury, about £[o per 
}eni", worth periiaps eighty rix dollars. 

His school was migrattM-y, that is, it was kept about two 
months at a place and in I'otation, at several localities in the 
course of a year or two, in houses or rooms that now would be 
thought mere shanties, yet in general ihey corresponded well 
with other buildings. 

Master Gavin never perfoi'med manual labor but devoted 
. himself wholly to his profession. I have seen some who were 
his pupils. His reputation for learning was something like 
that of Goldsmith's school-master in the "Deserted Village." 

He employed himself chiefly in teaching reading, writing,' 
and ciphering. He would write the ])roblem for the scholar 
in his manuscript book, and the pupil wiien he had solved it 
would write the solution under the question. 

He also taught young men the art of navigation, for which 
he had an extra fee of two dollars. 

As for geographies and grammars, there were none. Dill- 
worth's was the first spelling book, then Webster's, then Abner 
Alden's, which had a long run, and few have imi)rovcd upon it. 

The first book on geography used in schools, was that of Rev. 
J. Morse, D. D., of Charlestown, the father of Professor Morse, 
the telegraph inventor ; and it was used only as a reading book 
by the first class. After a while Blake's and Cumming's geo- 
graphies came in vogue, from which lessons for recital were 

The first gi-ammar was' Alexander's, introduced by Joseph 
Sanford, in this and the neighboring towns where he taught 


Afterwards Webster's or Guriiey's, then Murray's, wliich was 
used together with his English Reader, for niaiij yeai-s. S<>on 
after the Revolution the school district system was oiigintited, 
seven schools were estubhshed, but money enough could not, be 
raised to maintain each more than ten weeks in the winter, and 
the summer school, if any, was supported by contributions in 
part. Yet learning increased in the town. No child grew up 
not a good reader or writer. The less tiieir means, tiie parents 
made gi eater efforts. Penmanship was more cultivated then 
than now, and orthography was so diligently pursued that 
many scholars before leaving school could spell every word in 
Webster'sor Alden's spelling book. 

The minister was required by law to examine and 
teachers, and together with a committee to visit schools, gratis, 
as often as desirable. 

After a while a number of eminent tea«hers was raised up 
in the town. Capt. Joseph San ford commenced sooii alter the 
Revolutionar}' War, in wliich he had served over two years, and 
taught thirty-two winters in succession. lie was superior in 
mathematics, algebra, navigation, and in all school studies of 
that day. The aiithrnetics he used were by W^ard, Walch, 
Pike, Adams, Dabol, Temple, and the School Master's Assist- 
ant, which were more inti-icatc than the later books of the kind. 

Col. Adoiiiram Crane was an eminent teacher, who, however, 
used great severity in discipline, and which ten<led rather to 
harden than soften the i-ough sj)irits he had to deal with. 

There were other teachers too numerous to mention ; in the 
Sanford family, six or eight, in the Benj. Crane family as 
many more. These and others took great j)ride in qualifying 
themselves for their office. Some attended the academy at 
Taunton, then under the instruction of Rev. S. Dogget, the fii'st 
preceptor, who had a great influence in raising the standard of 

This town has steadily increased the appropriations for 
schools, though the population has vsomewhat diminished. In 
1858 the population was 924, the appropriation lor schools was 
$750, the valuation $261,405, the school districts seven, num- 


ber of scholars 238. But in 1870 the population was 888, the 
valuation $31(5,002, nuinher of schools six, number of s(.'li()];ir3 
178. But the appi-0])ii;ition for schools was $1,000. Thus it 
appears that though popuhition diminished, the appropriation 
for schools ill twelve years incrcjiscd $250, aihnving to each child 
(or his education per year, $5.(32, which couipares well with 
towns of greater wealth. 

A literary society w;is formed in 1810. which ])osessed Rees' 
Encycloptedia in twenty volumes, and other learned works, 
which were much I'ead by the peo[)le generally. 



Alvan Tobey, B. U. 1799, pastor, N. II., died 1810. 

Sihas Tohey.^ B. U. 1804, died 1817. 

James Barnahy, B. U. 1809, jnastor, narwich. 

James Sandford, B. U. 1812, i)astor Fabius, N. Y., died. .1865. 

John S;inford, B. U. 1812, pastor, South Dennis, died. . .1866. 

Enoch Sanford, B. U. 1820, pastor, Raynhnm. 

Silas Axtel Crane, B. U. 1823, S. T. D. 1855, pastor, E. Green- 

Baalis Snnford, B. U. 1823. pnstor, E. Bridgewater. 

George Hiiihaway. B. L'. 182-1, te;icher at the South. 

William Mason Cornell, B. U. 1827, pastor, Quincy, M. D. 
L L. D. 

Daniel Crane Burt, B. U. 1828, pastor, Acushnet. 

Frederic Au'lros, M. D. at B. U., tw^o ye.irs, never graduated. 

Benjiimin Crane, B. U. two years, an eminent teacher. 

Thomas Tobey Richmond, studied with Rev. A. Cobb, West- 
ville, Taunton, and settled with him, pastor. 

Richard Salter Storrs Andros, editor in New Bedford, ihen 
clerk of Secretaiy of State, then of Collector of Customs, 
Boston, then Deputy Collector, President of Insurance Com- 
j)any, State Street, Boston; api^ointed by Government in 
18()0, to establish Custom at the South. lie died at 
midille age, in 1868, greatly lamented, and was buried near 
the Park in the I'amily enclosure. 


Levi Frencli was a man of general kiiowletlge, thovigli not a 
college graduate, in.sti'ucted young men in fitting for college, 
was pastor at New Salem. He received a degree of A. M. 
froiri Brown University, in 1825. 

Milton Andros, youngest son of Rev. T. Andfos, was a jurist, 
and Assistant District Attorney of the U. S. at Boston. 

Col. Alexander Baxter Crane, Amherst College, 185-1, lawyer, 
N. Y. City. 

Edward Crane, Amiierst College, 1854, M. D,, Paris, France. 

Philip Chester Porter, Amherst College, 1855. 


Jesse Bullock, M. D., who resided in Freetown, liad a large 
practice in this town about the beginning of the present cen- 
tury. Being a justice of the })eace, he sometimes solenniized 

William Carpenter, M. D., was much employed in this town, 
though he resided on the bonlers of" PVeetown. He was emi- 
nent as a temper-ance man ;ind fought successfull}', by his 
addresses in [)ublic and private, against the plague of drunk- 

Fuller, M. D., of Kingston, was settled for a while at the Cen- 
tre, and had he livcl, would have succeeded in his professi(Mi. 
Amos Allen, M. D., who graduated at B. U., IbOl:, studied 
medicine with Dr. Miller, of Franklin, was practicing physician 
in this town many years, and excelled as a surgeon. lie at 
length removed to East 'J'aunton. 

Shadrach Hathaway, M. D., a native of this town, has for 
some years been successfully employed here and in Freetown 
as an intelligent physician. Dr. Job Godh-ey and his son, 
Jonas Godfrey, B. U., 1793, of Taunton, were for many years the 
celebrated and acceptable physicians of this region. 

Dr. Samuel Robinson, a distinguished geologist, born in 
Attleborougli, March, 1783, studied medicine with the cele- 
brated Dr. Nathan Smith, ))rofessor in Dartmouth College, and 
came to this town in 1805, and commenced practice, but he 
remained here only one year. He then moved to a town near 


Elizabeth City, N. C, where lie praciiced twenty years, and 
became a dislinguislied pliysician and sni'geon. An anecdote 
related of liiin shows iiini to have been a benevolent man. 
The leg of a poor man ivquireii amputation, and a surgeon 
couKl not be obtained for want of sufficient compensation. Dr. 
Kobinson hearing of the circnmslance, travelled many miles, 
and performed the operation withont hope of any recompense. 
The wife oC the poor man afterwards having twins, and both 
Sons, named one of them Samuel, and the other Robinson. 


Hon. Samuel Tobey was Justice of the Peace and Senator of 
the Connnonwealtli, and al length one of the judges of the Court 
of Common Pleas. He was the third chihl of Eev. Samuel 
'J'oliey, tlie first minister of the town, and stood high as a man 
of learning, sound judgment, and extensive influence. Ilia 
presence was impressive and commandinii. No one in the town 
was looked upon for fifty years with more respect and rever* 
ence. The wicked stood in fear of him, but tiie good loved 
him, becan.'^e his influence w^as exerted (or the improvement 
and welfare of all. 

When the second meeting house was to be bnilt and there 
Was but one hank in the county, and money was hard to be 
ol)t:dne I) and the people knew not, how to hear the e.\'pense, he 
made tliem lielieve they could do it; sent for freestone to Con- 
necticut for the louiulation, and led on in procuring materials, 
and the house was built* 

His pastor in the discourse at his funeral says of him: 
"Could all his virtues heiuuiinerated and set in a just light, his 
example miglit lorn: serve to put vice and meanness to the blush 
and to gui le and encourng.' tliose who aim to do well. 1 should 
b(! wanting in gratitude did I not honor iiim as one of my 
tnosi generous, laithlul, persevering Iriends. That he was a 
man eminent for a disinterested jiublic spirit all must testify 
who knew him. He took a deep interest, in the welfare of his 
native town. ])nt he wa>! not one of those contracted minds 
who view the interests of their town or parish as tantamount to 


all others. Being convinced of the justice and utility of a 
measure, lie |)\ir.sued it witli a ze:il and linnness that no opposi- 
tion or teniponay ill-snccess could conquer. To this quality is 
owing his success in enterprises deeply involving the welfare 
of the town. The genei-al piosperity of the nation and the 
honor of the g )veniment un ler which he lived, being ()l)jects 
still of greater ningniiude, more deeply engaged his benevolent 
V^ishes and exertions. 

"He w;is honored with various posts in public life from ihe 
dawn of the Rcxoliition till age and inlirmity admonished him 
of the necessity of i^etiienn-nt. Yet he never was an ollice- 
seeker, he knew not, how meanly to stoop to court the suffrage 
of the peojdc. In tlie days of his gi'catest prosperity he alTected 
no luxurious or s})len.lid style of living, yet no man ever made 
liis friends moi'e welcome to his htmse or appeared more delight- 
ed, if they wei'e rendered comfirtnble l)y his hospitality. And 
even in his jiecnniaiy embarassments he did not cease to be 

Apollos ^rol)ey was Justice of the Peace and sometimes had 
criiinnals before him. He was ;i])p(>intcil jud.^e of tlie Court of 
Sess ons, whose business was soniething like tlie present duties 
ol County Coll missioner, to ,L;rant licenses to innhoMei's and reg- 
ulate county iiifiiii-s. He remox'ed to New liedloi'd, and (or 
sevei'iil years was employed constnnily in justice business. 

Simeon Burt was a justice, but, had few occasions to cxei-eise 
the functions of his oriicc, so peaeeful wci'e the times. ;ind the 
people who Iieid the laws in high respect. Simeon < "hase was 
an upri'jht justice, a cai-p<'nter by trade, an exemplarv man, 
Avho lia<l th(^ eonlidence of all who knew him. 

Kphiaim Frcncli, another ju-tice, who afterwards held other 
offices in the town, and dyin^ earh'. was much lamented. 

Bar/adai Crane, Justice of the Pence, was eminent lor his in- 
tegrity and uprightness. As he h;id large mean^, he made use 
of them for ilic gooij of others 

L"vi 1^'rench was anothei' Justice of the ]'eac(; wdio \\'ell un- 
derstood town laws. He- was a survevor and sett led est; ites. 
His knowlcdije t>f statutes concerninu" town matters was much 


ihvoked, and frequently saved to the town the expense of ob* 
taining legal opinions. 

Alpheiis Sanford, a Justice of the Peace and one of tlie six 
sons of Josej^h Sanford, lived in this town till 1887, then mov- 
ed to Taunton, represented that town in the General Court in 
1844. He excelled in building, selling and renting houses. 

William Babbit, a Justice and Selectman, is prominent in the 
business of the town. 


With this honorable class the town has been well furnished 
especially if we include manufacturers and ship builders. The 
first mason, who built many grotesque and bulky chimneys 
was John Sandford, who lived here as early as 1713 on a large 
and rough plantation a mile east of the Common. From him 
five generations have descended, though but few of that name 
now live in tiie town. 

John Briggs was a mason, and performed the mason work 
on the second meetinghouse and in payment took a pew which 
he usually occupied on the sabbath. 

Joseph Sanford learned the trade of him and pursued it 
mostly in Taunton. Three of his six sons learned and follow 
ed the business till about the age of eighteen. 

Of carpenters the number was greater. Elkanah Babbit 
was a noted builder of houses. He lived on a good farm a 
little south of the meeting house. His son Isaac as mentioned 
above was a celebrated and intelligent workman. He settled 
in Dighton. Two other sons, Warren and Benjamin, were 
skilled workmen, but after a while removed from town. 

Simeon Chase built the fine house of the late Barzillai 
Crane, and many others. Alpheus Sanford built the town 
hall. Samuel Phillips and his brother Eeuben, Baalis 
Phillips and John Newhall were builders of houses. 

The principal ship builders were Henry Crane, Ephraim 
French, ISTehemiah Newell, Thomas Burt with numberless 
others in their employment. 

Abner Burt, senior, was a saddler and harness maker for more 
than fifty years, when saddles and pillions were in great 


demand. He lived to a great age. Sis two sons Sliadracli 
and Dean were liatters and carried on the manufacture for 
manj years. Dean was deputy Sheriff' moi'e tlian a quarter of 
of a century, to old age and died in office. 

Of shoe makers there were many. George Sanford, one of 
the best was a cordwainer, that is sewed with tliread. Enoch 
Babbit was an excellent boot maker. The early custom of 
shoemakers was to go once or twice a year to families and 
make or mend as the family required out of materials on hand, 
in the same manner astailoresses circulated through the neigh- 
borhood ; there were no shoe stores in the country villages. 

Those who slaughtered animals sent the hides to the tanner, 
and meat enough to pay for tanning. John Terry was a noted 
shoemaker and removed to Fall Eiver. 

Tisdalc Porter who lived a little north of the meeting house 
was an ingenious blacksmith, made bolts and other iron work 
for ships ; he was from Freetown and married a daughter of 
Hon. S- Tobey. Seth Burt was ai'chitect of Winslow church, 
Taunton. John Perkins and William S. Crane were good 
blacksmiths at the Bridge village. 

Celia Atwood deserves to be mentioned here, a tailoress 
more than fifty years, and extensively useful through the town. 


These have ever been of considerable annual profit to the 
town, which like other towns on the river has had the privi- 
lege of running two seines four days in a week for a certain 
number of weeks. A fishing privilege for the season has 
usually been sold for. $250 or $300. But so much has the 
river been seined and obstructed from Fall Eiver to Middle- 
boro, that the herring have diminished, and the shad nearly 
ceased to run. Legislation to regulate these fisheries has not 
been satisfactory to all. At the southerly part of the town 
are beds of clams and oysters. 


does not possess many occu]\ants since the day of grogshops. 
The number has been gradually diminishing. Those who have 


been unfortunate, by loss of property or bealth, are received 
and cared for so well that one aged inmate said it was called 
the poor house, but she called it the rich house. It was said in 
the first half century after the settlement of the tow^n that there 
were no drunkards, and only one man maintained by the towns 
and that was the minister. 

Mr. N. Gilbert Townsend has had the charge of this esta- 
blishment for many years. 

The annual cost of supporting the poor is about six hundred 
dollars. The Alms House cost $3500, stock $1500, salary of 
the warden $150 yearly. In 1774, the poor were vendued to 
the low^est bidder at about four shillings a week each. 

married educated men and persons of distinction from abroad. 
Daughters of Simeon Burt: Abigail married in 1810, Rev. 
James Barnaby, pastor, Harwich ; Polly mariied William Car- 
penter M. D. of Freetown ; and Clarissa married Mr, Peleg 
Gray, a grocer of New York. 

Polly, daughter of Stephen Burt, married Amos Allen M. D. 
a physician of this toAvn and East Taunton. 

Daughters of Rev. Samuel Tobey: Bathsheba married 
Deacon Gideon Babbit, of Dighton ; Achsah married Roger 
French of Berkley, and of Barnard, Vt 

Daughters of Hon. Samuel Tobey : Bathsheba married Rev. 
Abraham Gushee, pastor Dighton for fifty seven years ; Peddy 
married Thomas Richmond M. D. of Dartmouth. 

Abigail, daughter of Thomas Briggs, married William 
Cornell M. D. father of Rev. William M. Cornell L. L. D., M. 
D., editor, Boston, 

Eleanor, daughter of James Macomber, manied Capt Josej)h 

Sally, daughter of Ebenezer Paul, married, as his fifth wife, 
Capt. Jabez Fox, a navigator and importer. 

Hannah, daughter of Abel Crane, married Apollos Tobey 
Esq., merchant, and for many years representative to General 


Experience, daugliter of Cliristopliei' Paul, Sen., mamed 
Hon. Samuel Tobej, Senator and Judge of Court of Common 

Clarissa, daugliter of D. Dean, married Col. Adoniram Crane, 
an eminent singer and teaclier. 

Emma T, daugliter of Tisdale Porter, married, 182*9, Abiel 
B. Crane Esq. merchant. 

Caroline, daughter of Benjamin Crane, married Hon. Geoi'ge 
P. Marsli, Ambassador irom our Government to Greece, and 
also to Italy. 

Betsy, grand-daughter and adopted daughter of Hon. 
Samuel Tobey, married Joseph Hathaway, agriculturist. 

Jerusha, daugliter of Ezra Chase, married Philip French. 

Eebecca Porter, daughter of Abiel B. Crane, married, 1870, 
Rev. Lucius R. Eastman, Jr., ol Somerville. 

Polly, daughter of Elisha Crane, married Deputy Sheriff 
Dean Burt. 

Daughters of Apollos Tobey Esq. : Eliza mairicd Deacon 
Barzillai Crane Esq., a man of large property ; Cai'oline Amelia, 
married Mr. Abel B. Sanford of Pliiladel))hia. 

Daughters of Dean Burt : Abby, married Rev. Baalis Sanford 
of East Bridgewater, pastor; Rowena, mari-icd Hon. Rodney 
French, Mayor of New Bedford. 

Lora, daughter of Ezra Chase, married Joseph Tisdale, son 
of Hon. Joseph Tisdale, Senator. 

Hopestill, daughter of Elkanah Babbit, married George 
Sanford, Jr. 

Betsy, daughter of Abel Crane, married Rev. Levi Lankton 
of Alstead, N. H. 

Sophia, d. of Capt. Christojihcr Paul, m. Benjamin Crane, 
son of Benjamin, an eminent scholar and teacher, who was 
member of Brown University two years and failed in health. 

Daughters of Rev. Thomas Andros : Lydia married Capt. 
John Dean, of Freetown, 

Priscilla Deanc, married, 1827, Smith Winslow of Fall River, 

Mary, married William Babbit, manufacturer, 

Sarah, married Mr. George F. Butters, horticulturist, Newton. 


Sarali Hastings Fox, adopted daughter of Sluidracli Burt, 
married Thomas C. Dean, merchant and agriculturist. 

Sally, d. of Seth Winslow m. Capt. Dnniel Burt, 1814. 

Daugl iters of Capt. Joseph Saiiford : Eleanor, married Abner 
Pitts, of Taunton, jeweler ; Mary, married Capt Theophilus 
Nickerson, of South Dennis. 

Rebecca, d. of Tisdale Porter, married Samuel Newhall. 

Daughters of Dea. Barzillai Ci'ane : Susan Whitmarsh, m. 
Samuel Breck, a lawyer, now of Bridgewater, graduate of 
Harvard, 1831 ; Irene Lazel, married Thomas C. Nichols M. D. 
of Freetown. 

Sophia, daughter of Capt. John Dean and his wife Sally, 
daughter of John and Esther (Sanford) Dillingham, married 
James Lothrop, of Eaynham, a well-known singer and musician. 


The first society early took measures to cultivate good singing. 
John Paul was appointed chorister and tuner of psalms Jan. 25, 
1737. The class of tunes at first used was that to which Mear, 
St. Martin's and Old Hundred belonged. Then came Billings' 
shrill fleeting tunes which had a long run. Some think his class 
of tunes wrought a great improvement and agreeable variety, 
but they have long since been superseded by the harmonious 
and devotional hymns of the present day June 3, 1773, the 
church voted that Nathaniel Haskins and Simeon Burt should 
assist Shadrach Burt in leading the psalm. 

Dr. Isaac Watt's psalms and hj^mns began to be used in 1788, 
and Azael Hathaway and James Babbit were chosen choristers. 

Nov. 3, 1823, it was voted by the church that Heniy Crane 
be second chorister, — Dea. George Sanford being a])pointed to 
lead w^hen the chuich observe the communion, and the choir 
join with the church. Also that Col. Adoniram Crane be chief 
chorister and that it be left to him to say who shall lead when 
he is absent. He was a noted singer for about thirty years, was 
president of the Beethoven Society, which was composed of the 
best singers of several towns. He sung perhaps for ten years 
in the second Con'l Church of this town. Dea. G. Sanford 


taught singing schools, and Col. Crane succeeded him many 
winters. Stringed instruments were long used. 
Ruling Elders. 

Daniel Axtell 1750 Jacob French 1750 

John Paul 1764 Ebenezer Crane 1789 

Dec. 23. 1798, Barzillai Hathawny was chosen as agent to 
manage the funds of the church. 


Gershom Crane 1737 Daniel Axtell 1737 

Jacob French 1748 John Paul 1748 

Samuel Tubbs 1764 Ebenezer Crane 1764 

Ebenezer Winslow . . . . 1789 Samuel Tobey 1789 

George Sanford 1807 Luther Crane 1807 

Tisdale Briggs 1820 Barzillai Crane 1837 

Thomas C. Dean 1847 James Hathaway 1847 

Jany. 25, 1737. The church met and voted that liberty 
should be granted to persons to be admitted to the church with 
a relation or without as they may see their way clear. 

Jany. 7, 1749. At a church meeting the following vote was 
passed: That if any of the brethren or children of the church 
should allow of frolicking in their houses, or go abroad to frol- 
ick in any other house, they should be deemed offending. That 
if any of the church should neglect to attend at church meet- 
ings without satisfactory reasons given, they should be deemed 

That if any of the church should invite into their house any 
of the separate Baptist teachei's to preach, or follow them 
abroad, they should be deemed offending. 

July 25, 1750. Daniel Axtell and Jacob French were or- 
dained as ruling elders. The ordnining services were perfomied 
by delegates from the churches in Rochester and Freetown. The 
church usually held a lecture monthly. When one had fallen 
into sin and was restored, he was required to make confession, 
and ask forgivness befoi-e the congregation on the sabbath. 


Feb. 16, 1762. Voted to inquire into the reason of Brother 
Pickens for his neglecting special ordinances, and also for his 
attending on Mr. Hind's ministry, who is an anabaptist. Mr. 
Pickens, reasons were that he did not profit bj Mr. Turner's 
ministry, and the church voted that they were not satisfied 
with his reasons. 

Feb. 29, 1816. Voted that Brother Elijah French be admon- 
ished not to attend the meetings of heretical sectarian preachers. 
He being present received the admonition and promised amend- 
ment. Tliis aged brother was a very pious man, and being 
hard of hearing was fond of meetings at dwelling houses. 

Voted also, that Mrs. Polly Hathaway be admonished for the 
same disorderly conduct, as also for absenting herself from the 
communions, and attending a seperate and opposition meeting, 
and for holding heretical opinions of Elias Smith. She being 
present gave some encouragement of reformation and four 
months were given her to consider and reform in respect to 
those chai'ges. 

It is a question whether the venerable pastor was not too 
rigid in some acts of church discipline. These are barely 
specimens ; numerous other instances of little importance are re- 
corded in an almost illegible handwriting. 


This tax was assessed on the inhabitants, like other taxes, 
according to law. It was opposed by those who did not wor- 
ship with the First Society. One man had his horse distrained 
for non-payment of a small ministerial tax, but afterwards it 
was given up as being exempt from such seizure. Another 
man, Zephaniah Jones, was taken by warrant, and lodged in 
jail for refusal to pay such tax, but some friend soon released 
him. It was soon seen that this mode of compelling men to 
support the ministry was impolitic, and not necessary for the 
maintenance of the Church. Hence, in 1820, the law of the 
State was repealed, and the voluntary system of supporting the 
ministry henceforth obtained. 



Tins town wns well represented in tlie army of tlie Uevolu^ 
tion, thougli the popuhition and means were small. Rev. 
Thomns Andros as stated nLove, wns a soldier in the Continen- 
tnl armv. Otdy a few others am I able to give, 

Ezra Chase enlisted in the army of Ehode Island, and being 
wounded in a sham fight drew n pension from 'that State, pay 
able semi-annually so long as he lived. He resided on a farm 
in tlie ensterly part of the town, find his nine chidren, five sons 
andfonr daughters, have long been dead. 

Josiah Macomber, son of James, wns in the Continental army 
over two years. After the war he became non compos mentis, 
and received a pension from 1818, by his guardian. 

Joseph Sanford at the age of eighteen, entered the arni}^, 
served at South Boston and Dorchester Heights, also in Provi- 
deuce, in all about two years; drew a ])ensi()n from 1818 to the 
time of his death, e>:ce]itiug a few years when it was withheld 
from those whose income was more than two hundred dollars 
a year, and after his decease it was paid to his widow by act of 
Congress allowing it to soldiers' widows married previous to 
the year 1795. He was the son of George Sanford, Sen., who 
was in 1756 a lieutenant in the army under command of the 
British General Lord Loudoun, and marched against the French 
at Crown Point and Ticonderoga. This wns the "French War," 
which resulted in the conquest of Canada by the British and 
American forces. Lieut. Sanford was the youngest child of 
JohnSandford and his wife Abigail, daughter of Snmuel Pitts. 

Samuel Paul, William Evnns, and Paul Biiggs, weiT soldiers 
of the Revolution and diew pensions. 

Colond John Hnthaway, fathei" of Barzillai, commanded a 
regiment in the wai', was eminent for his patriotism, had full 
confidence in the success of our ai-ms, and when there was no 
chaplain would ))ray on horseback at the head of his command. 

In 177-1 the town voted that the resolves of the Continental 
Congress be strictly adhered to in every particular, and John 
Hathawav and others were a committee to see that these resolves 


were regarded by the people. 1775. Voted that the tnilitia 
train half a day in a week, and be allowed one shilling; that 
each minute man have five dollars as a bounty if called into 
the service of his couiiliy. 

July 22, 1776. Voted to raise £75 10s., as an additional 
bounty allowed to the soldiers bound to New Fork, and that 
volunteer and drafted soldiers be exempt from paying any part 
of it. 

Feb., 1777. Voted to choose militia officers ; to hire our quota 
required for the Ccmtinental army, and to give each soldier ten 
pounds additional to what is given by the General Court. They 
were to enlist for three years. 

Nov. 24. Voted £234 to be assessed to pay soldier's bounty. 
Feb., 17 78. Voted £620 to pay Continental soldiers. In 
1778, voted £154 12s., for soldiers. Voted £1,320 19s. to pay 
soldiers hired by the town. Sixty-four soldiers at different 
times serving for three months in the army were allowed from 
three to ten pounds each. 

After Independence, the military spirit was dominant. The 
law required trainings in May, and muster in the autumn annu- 
ally. All able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and 
forty-five, were I'equired to attend at a given time and place, 
equiped with gun, ba3^onet, knapsack, cartouch box, and some 
twenty rounds of j)owder and ball. Foi- absence without legal 
excuse two dollars Avas the fine. Every town was required by 
law to have a powder house Avitli a certain amount of powder 
and ammunition to be ready for invasion or war. 

The captain and other officers of the militia wore uniforms 
consisting of a mililar}- hat with feathers; red-faced coats, with 
epauletts of silver fringes ; two-edged sword, or cutlass, with 
silver hilt, and spontoon. 

Abner Burt, Jr., was adjutant many j^ears. Among the 
captains were Samuel French, Sen., and his son, the Senator, 
Joseph Sanford, Christopher Paul, 2d., Freeman Briggs, Griles 
G. Chase, who in the war of 1812, marched his company to New 
Bedford, to defend the coast against the incursions of the British. 
Other captains were Nathaniel Staples, Nathaniel Townsend, 


and Daniel Bnrt. Colonel Jovsepli Sanford, Jr., wlio died in 
1827, at New York City, resided ;it Oswego, N. Y. He was 
the son of Ca}>taiii Josejjh Sanford, of this town. 


One of these is near the Park nnd contains the graves of those 
who first settled the town. Changing a few words we may 
apph' to them a stanza from Gray's Elegy : 

" Here rest their heads upon the lap of earth, 
Brave men to fortune and to fame unknown, 
Fair science frowned not on their humble birth, 
Nor melancholy marked them for its own." 

They were as brave and self-denying men as settled any part 
of the country. It w^as not till within the last fifty years that 
marble could be generally obtained. The ancient gi'aves have 
the bine stone which was prepared by Dea. Ebenezer Winslow, 
the onlj sculptor or stone-cutter in town, and not very skillful. 
The letters are cut so shallow as to be nearly obliterated. But 
in later years great impi'ovements have been made in com- 
memorating the departed. This is proof of increased taste in 
the people, and their respect for deceased friends. Several 
familj^ scpiares are finely enclosed and adorned. 

The two first pastors are buried here. The grave of the Rev. 
Mr. Toby will soon be honored by an aj)})r()]>riatc nnmument to 
be erected b}^ his descendants. 

Another cemetery is situated in the lower part of the town 
in the vicinity of Assonct Neck. Some of the earliest settlers of 
Freetown and Taunton, wqvv l)nried here ; including families of 
Axtel, Briggs, Burt, Crane, Paul, and Winslow. This cemetery 
is well enclosed and presents a ]_)leasing aspect 


James Macomber, died Deceml)er 31, 1803, aged 88 years. 
Racliel Drake, his wile, died December 1, 1809, aged 83 years, 
Lieut. George S;infoid,died February 19, 1820, aged 96 years. 
Sarah Sanford, his danghtei", died Jan., 1845, aged 82 years. 
Bernice Crane, died November, 1830, aged 86 years. 
Joanna Axtel, his wife, died May 5, 1846, aged one hundred 
years, one month and nfteen days. 


Eleanor Maconiber, widow of Capt. Joseph Sanfonl, died 
August 12, 1845, aged 82 vears. 

Rev. Thomas Andros, son of Benjiimin Andros, died Dec. 
80, 1845, aged 86 years. 


ffom the organization of tlie town. The year is given in w])ii,'1i 
tlie\^ were elected : some served several years, having b^en 

Joseph Burt, John Paul, Beiiaiah Babbit, 1735 

Samuel Threslier, Elkanah Babbit, 1736 

Joseph Burt, Thomas Hathaway, 1737 

John French, Benaiah Paul, Ephruim Allen,. . . . 1740 

Abial Atwood, Christopher Paul, Ebenezer) i«^o 

Winslow, f 1^42 

Geivsliom Ci'ane, Joseph Burt, 1747 

Samuel Thrasher. 1751 

George Caswell, Saml. Thrasher, Abel Burt, .... 1752 

Jacob French 1753 

Ebenezer Fi'ench 1760 

Samuel Gilbert 1761 

Samuel Tubbs, El)enezer Paul 1763 

John Ci'ane, Joseph Burt, 1765 

John Hathaway, Shadrach Haskins, 1769 

John Paul, Geo. Caswell 1770 

John Babbit, Israel French, Abel Crane 1773 

James Nichols, Levi French 1777 

Ebenezer Mirick, Stephen Webster, Jed ad i ah ) ^_-^ 

Briggs } 1''8 

Simeon Burt 1782 

Ebenezer Babbit, Nath. Tobey 1786 

Ebenezer Paul, 1790 

James Nichols 1799 

Luther Crane, James Dean 1803 

George Sanford, John Dillingham, George Shove. 1810 

Christopher Paul, Dean Babbit, Apollos Tobey. 1812 

Barzillai Crane, Ephraim French, 1816 

Barzillai Hatiiaway, Shadrach Burt, 1817 


Levi French, Jabez Fox 1823 

Adoniram Crane, Sainl. French 1826 

Henry Crane, Tisdale Porter 1829 

Milton Paul, Tamerlane Burt 1832 

George Briggs, Alplieus Sanford 1835 

Nathaniel Gr. Townsend, Jos. D. Hathaway, .... 1839 

Ephraim French, Saml. Newhall 1840 

Walter D. Nichols, Enoch Boyce, 1849 

Nath. C Townsend, Nathan Chase, Ebenezer ) lor.o 

Williams ( 

Thos. Strange, Thos. C. Dean 1857 

Peter Hathaway, 1849 

William Babbit, Issacher Dickerman 1857 

Benjamin Crane, Benjamin Luther, John C. Crane 1860 

Walter D. Nichols, WiUi am Babbit, Simeon] -[fiRO 

Bi-iggs f 

Thomas C. Dean, 1864 

John D. Babbit, Daniel S. Biiggs 1866 


Abel Bart 1735 Asahel Hathaway 1826 

Ebenezer Winslow . , . 1748 Samuel French, jr 1827 

Geoi'ge Caswell 1751 Adoniram Crime 1830 

Abel Crane 1756 Abiel B. Crane 1833 

John Briggs, jr 1763 Philip K. Porter 1834 

Samuel French 1765 Ephraim French 1835 

Ebenezer Phillips .... 1767 William S. Crane 1840 

Samuel Tobey 1774 George Crane 1849 

Stephen Burt 1790 Ephraim French , 1853 

John Crane 1792 Nathaniel G. Townsend 

Joseph Sanford 1795 Daniel S. Briggs 1863 

Apollos Tobey 1798 Daniel C. Bur^. . .• 1864 

Adoniram Crane 1810 T. Preston Burt 1866 

None were sent fn^m this town during the iii'st forty years, 
on account of the expense, as every town was (d)liged to jiay 
its own representative. Usually, afterwards, one was elected 
onlv once in three or four years. 


Samuel Tobey, jr 1775, 1776 

James Nicliols 1779 

Jolin Babl)it 1788 

Samuel Tol)ey 1784, 1789, 1792, 1794 

Apollos Tohej, 1801, 1803, 1807, 1809, 1811, 1812, 1814. 1819, 

Adoniiatn Crane 1817, 1818 

John Dillingham 1824 

Samuel French 1825, 1826, 1829. 1830, 1835 

Adoniram Crane 1832 

Rev. Tliomas Andi'os 1836 

Tamerlane Burt 1839 

Nathaniel Townsend 1841, 1842, 1843 

Leander Andros 1844 

Samuel Newhall 1845 

Abel Baxter Crane 1851, 1864 

William S. Crane 1859 

William Babbit 1861, 1871 

Giles L. Leach 1852 

Samuel Tobey, mend^er of Convention for forming Consti- 
tution 1779 

Jabez Fox, member of Convention for revising Constitution 1820 

Samuel Fi-ench 1853 

Senators of the Commonwealth from this town, Hon. Samuel 
Tobey, Hon. Samuel French, and Hon. Walter D. jSTichols. 


In 1739, voted that £3 be added to Mr. Tobey's salary. In 
1740, ncjt to give John Townsend anything for collecting 
taxes. Voted to Mr. Tobey £107 salary. For nine months 
school keeping Mr. Benjamin Paul i-eceived from the town nine 
pounds. 1746, voted to Mr. Toby £150 salai-y, also voted to 
build pews in the meeting house this year, to lath and plaster 
below under thegallei'ies, and mend the glass, and voted £160 
for the work ; £200 old tenor to the minister, and dismis.sed the 
article of building a school house. Committee sent to the Gen- 
eral Court to petition that Taunton and not Dighto)i, shall be the 
shire town, as some wished. For sweeping the meeting house, 


Joseph Babbit received from the town £2 15s. To pay for 
schooling £6 were voted in 1750. 

Mr. Tobe^'^s salary [lartly paid in farm produce, vje. four 
shillings per bushel; Indian corn, three shillings four pence; 
beef, two pence per pound ; pork, four pence per pouiul ; flax, 
at nine peiice per pound ; oalc wood, 9s. 4d. pei- cord. 1751, 
voted £5 lawful money for support of schools, voted next year 
£10. John Paul to let the pews in the meeting house and 
every man to give a note to the treasurer payable in one year. 
Pews rented on an average for less than one j)ound. 

Voted for schools in 1755, £18 ; in 1757, £24. 
Voted to join in a lottery with Taunton to raise money to 
clear out Taunton river. 

James Macomber and Christopher Paul having been in his 
Majesty's service, were exempted from taxes. 

Voted 1761, to choose four wardens in the town of Berkley 
in obedience to an act passed by the Greneral Court as a means 
to prevent the profanation of the Lord's day. Voted to Roland 
Gravin four pounds, by reason of his having tr) leave teaching 
and move out of his house on account of the small pox. 

In the eleventh year of King George III, £60 lawful money 
voted to Mr. Tobey. In 1772* the town is to be divided into 
four districts and a school house to be built in each, costing $64. 
May, 22, 1775. Samuel Tobey, Jr., was sent to re|)resent the 
town in the Provincial Congress, at Cambridge, for six months, 
the first representative sent by the town to any State or Provin- 
cial assembly. He was sent also a representative to the Gen- 
eral Court, which met in Watertown. July 19, 1775. £120 
voted for schools 1779. In 1793 voted £300 to pay soldiers, 
and for support of scliools; £300, also to enlarge the meeting 
house by adding fourteen feet. 

In 1795 the two fish privileges sold for £38 eacli. 

Various vagabonds or itinerant j^oor about this time were 
warned, according to li\w, to leave town within fourteen days, 
or they would be proceeded against. 

Voted March 5, 1798, to pay the Eev. Thomas Andros in 
the f(jllowing articles annually, so long as he shall remain in 


tlie work of the Gospel Ministry in said town of Berkley, in 
lieu of $250, which was the original contract, which was as 

follows, viz. : 

s. d. 

52 Bushels of Corn at 3 6 

15 Bushels of Eye at 4 

2 Barrels of Flour at 83 

12 Pounds of Tea at 2 5 

60 Pounds of Sugar at 9 

18 Gallons of Mollasses nt 2 

15 Cords of Wood at 8 

5 Tons of English Hay at 4 8 

3 Bushels of Salt at 3 

400 Pounds^of Beef at 20 

500 Pounds^of Pork at 4 

100 Pounds of Flax at 8 

40 Pounds of Sheep's Wool at 1 6 

6 Pairs of Mens' Shoes at 8 

5 Barrels of Cyder at 6 

200 Pounds of Cheese at 6 

400 Pounds of Butter at . 8 

Which makes ^70 3 

Also $16 and 17 shillings 4 17 


The above articles voted by the town of Berkley at Mr. An- 
di-os' own request in writing. 

1799. Assonet Neck was annexed to Berkley. 

The bell for the second meeting house was purchased by 
subscription. The weight of it was 635 pounds, and the 
whole cost was $276. Forty-eight persons subscribed toward 
its purchase. Samuel Tobey and son paid $41. 

Two fish grounds sold in 1803 for $261 each. 

In 1806 there were 406 children between the age of four and 
twenty years in the common schools. 

The fund given by Elijah Briggs for the support of the min- 


istiy of the first cliurch in Berkley w:is incorporated m 1813, 
and when it, hnd increased to $2,000 the interest was to be ex- 
pended for that purpose. The income of it is now about $150 

Voted, 1819, tliat a stove may be put in the meeting house. 
In 1837 voted tliat the school committee have no compensa- 
tions for their services, 

Aug. 30, 1862. Voted a bounty of $150 for each of the 
soldiers of the town enlisting for the war of the Eebellicm, for 
nine months' service. 

The town officers have managed its finances so well that it 
is now free from debt. 


of towns in Bristol County in the seventeenth and eighteenth 

Taunton Sept. 3, 1639. Bighton Mny 30, 1712. 

Eehoboth June 4, 1645. Easton Dec. 21, 1725. 

Dartmouth June 8, 1664. Raynham. . .April 2, 1731. 

Swansey Oct. 30, 1667. Berkley .... April 18, 1735, 

Freetown July, 1683. Mansfield . ..Ai)ril 26, 1770. 

Attleborough. ..Oct. 19, 1694. New Bedford Feb. 23, 1787. 

Norton June 12, 1711. Westport. . . .July 2. 1787. 

Somerset Feb. 20, 1790. 

In 1800, Berklc}' contained 115 houses and a population of 
1,013, the least of any town in the county. The fifteen towns 
together contained a population of 33,880. 


The " Rock House," which was occupied by Robert San- 
ford, son of Robert and grandson of John Snndfonl, as his 
homestead, was an object of interest. It stood on the summit 
of a rock of broad surface, near the road to New])ort. A cavity 
or hollow in the solid roclc, some six feet deep and ten or 
twelve in width, formed the cellar. The face of the rock sloped 
away, covering al)out a c^uarter of an acre. This house was 
occu]>ie(l about seventy years. No one. can now tell how or 
why the cellar was excavated in this manner, or why one should 


wish to build a liouse many I'ods distant from an_y spring or 
well. The builder sought evidentlj to avoid a sandy founda- 
tion. There is another house, simihir to this, with a cellar cut 
in the rocic, still standing in anothei' part of tlie town. 

Another object of interest, and which iins attracted consider- 
able attention, is a spring on the farm formerly owned by Israel 
Briggs, who, moving to Conway, sold his land to Samuel 
Philips. This is a mineral spring, which bubbles up an inch 
or two above the surface. It continues througli the year, but 
is most active in the warm season. The spring, now surround- 
ed by woods, is situated ou the east side of the road leading to 
Pole plain, or rather Poole plain, as it is written in the old re- 
cords in the Eegister's office, so called possibly after Mistress 
Elizabeth Poole, the spinster foundress of Taunton. 

The " writing rock," in the lower ])art of the town, on the 
Airm of David Dean, sometimes called the Dighton Eock, has 
puzzled the most astute antiquarians. Savans have given four 
inlei'pretations wholly unlike each other; three of them at 
least must be incorrect. The lines and figures still remain just 
what one wishes to call them. General Washington, after ex- 
amining a copy of the inscription in the museum of Harvard 
College, expressed his opinion that it was the work of the 
Indians, having in his early life seen similar wiiting, which 
was unquestionably made by the motives. 

A French writer, in a learned treatise, read in Palis in 1825, 
honored it with the classical name given above. Numerous 
writers have employed folios in descrihing the rock, but it 
should be seen in order to have a correct impression of it. 

Assonet neck, where the (amous rock is situated, was held by 
the Wampanoags, the tribe over which Philip was king, until 
1678, when this territory, conquered from them, was sold by 
the Plymouth government to the town of Taunton for one hun- 
dred and fiftv pounds, and suhsequenily divided among six 
proprietors. Later the neck was included within the limits of 
the town of Dighton ; but since 1735, that jiart of it hounded 
bv Taunton Ilivcr and Assonet Bay was ceded to Berkley. 


In 1680, we find tlie first record of tlie inscription, given by 
Rev. Mr. Danforth, wlio alluded to a tradition existing among 
the oldest Indians — that there came a wooden house and men 
of another country swimming on the River Assonet. Within 
the succeeding one hundred and fifty years there liave been 
taken a dozen or more (h'awings of the rock. Someoftliese 
have been copied in a work, printed at Copenhagen, Denrnai'k, 
in 1837, entitled, " Antiquitates Americance sive Scriplores Septen- 
trioHoles Rerum ante Colunihianarum in America^ etc. 

Some writers state tliat the inscrij^tion is composed of two 
parts — one cut by the Indians, the other by tlie Northmen. 
Tlie latter has been deciphered, and the name of Thorfin, cut 
in Latin letters, plainly to be read. It is stated that the rock 
has been purchased by Mr. N. Arnzen, of Fall River, to be 
presented to the Antiquarian Society at Copenhagen, a weighty 
gift, eleven feet in length and four and a half in height. 











Member of the Old Colony Historical Society ; Corresponding Member of the 

New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and of the State 

Historical Society of Wisconsin, etc. 



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