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Full text of "Major Abner Morse, Esq. of Holliston, Massachusetts"

Gc 

929.2 
M83502P 
1721981 



R-VNOLD^ HI'^TORICAL 
GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 01418 9135 



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1721981 



" He only deserves to be remembered by posterity who 
treasures up and preserves the history of his ancestors." 

Burke. 



Mnltxv Khxxn jHora^, lEaqn 

Born October nth, 1759; died March nth, 1821. 

Great-great-grcat-g-reat-grandson of 
Samuel Morse of Dedham, Mass. 

BY 

His great-grandson 

OlatJtmn MtUtam Slidnttnn Parker, M. S. 



Companion Sons of the American Revolution. 
Companion First Class Order of Indian Wars U. S. A. 
Aide-de-Camp Army and Navy Union U. S. Army. 
Formerly Acting Asst. Surgeon U. S. Army. 
Formerly Surgeon U. vS. Indian vService. 
Member National Committee Indian War Veterans' Ass'n. 
Member Association Military vSurgeons, U. vS. A. 
Member Parker Historical and Genealogical Association. 
Member Connecticut Valley Historical Society, etc. 
Member of the Holliston (Mass.) Historical Society. 



NORTHAMPTON, MASS. 
A. D. 1915. 



Q^ift spirit 0f 7fi* 



" Then marched the brave from rocky steep, 
From mountain river, swift and cold; 
The borders of the stormy deep, 
The vales where gathered waters sleep. 
Sent up the strong and bold." 

" As if the very earth again 

Grew quick with God's creating breath, 

And from the sods of grove and glen, 

Rose ranks of lion-hearted men, 

To battle to the death." 

—Bryant. 



Origin of the Name of Morse 
A. D. nil. 

"Ego Justus Mozz Episeopus" — name of Bishop 
not perpetrated unless in the form of Moss — Norman 
origin — of great antiquity. Camden classed "Morse" 
with local name, probably from Latin — Mors — an S 
added to denote plural. Moss, a seaport of Normandy. 
Name IMoss has a vast range among Saxons on the 
Continent. In England, for long an honoured and 
common name. 

Rt. Rev. Charles Moss, D. D.— Bishop of Bath 
and Wells; his son Bishop of Oxford. Bartholomew 
Moss, ]\I. D. — the foiuider of the lying-in hospital at 
Dublin. John Moss, Esq.— banker of Otterspool. 
The name of Morse also claims a high antiquity. It 
first occurs A. D. 1358 in the reign of Edward III. 
As a journey was about to be undertaken in France 
during a truce with that country and the captivity 
of her King, Edward addressed his order to — "Hugo 
de Mors de conducto pro familiaribus Cardinalis 
Petragoricensis et aliorum. " From the nature of 
this commission and the prevalence of chivalry at the 
time, it is inferred that Hugo was a Knight. In 
Berry's Heraldry occurs the following coat of 
arms:— ''Morse 'Or— a battle ax in pale gu (another 
ppr) between three pellets — crest two battle axes in 
saltier p. p. v. banded with a ehaplet of roses — " 
This coat of arms with the excellent motto — "In Deo, 
non armis, fido" — I trust in God not in arms, has 
been in the family in the south of England nearly 
five hundred years; going back to the date of the 
order of Edward. "All names," says Camden, 
"with de formerly written before them were bor- 



3 



rowed from places." But it has not been ascer- 
tained that any place in England ever bore this hor- 
rible name, the Latin word for ' ' death. ' ' Where then 
was Moss? Of what country was Hugo a native! 
Both words point usi to France, where Hugo for ages 
has been a common and distinguished name, and 
Avhere a dialect of the Latin has become the vernacu- 
lar language of the people and from which they 
Avould have borrowed names for their places. Be- 
sides where would Edward have sought a man of 
qualifications for the trust reposed in Hugo, to con- 
duct a Cardinal with his retinue of English Bishops 
and nobles in a country just overrun by the King's 
troops and full of enmity towards his subjects"? Not 
among Saxons latel.y manumitted, not among the de- 
scendants of Norman barons who by a foreign resi- 
dence of three centuries had lost their acquaintance 
with the language and manners of France, but among 
continental subjects, who were familiar with the in- 
habitants and the dangers of the country to be trav- 
ersed, and over which Edward was asserting a dis- 
puted right to reign. 

If Hugo, then, was a Frenchman, who served the 
hated King of England, this hatred might have ex- 
patriated his family, as France recovered her in- 
dependence, and if the importance of Hugo's com- 
mission, the existence of a coat of arms synchronizing 
with its date, indicate a rank to which pertained 
hereditable possessions. Yet in Burke's History of 
the Extinct Peerages and of the l*eerage and Baron- 
etcy of England, the name of Mors is not to be found. 
His territorial possessions then were situated in some 
other country, and in what country so probable as 
France, the birthplace of the noble families of Eng- 
land and where for three hundred years she has re- 



tained allies and more or less dominion. If neither 
peers or barons of this name have flourished in Eng- 
land, numbers of them have enjoyed landed estates 
and high official stations. John Morse, Esq. is men- 
tioned in early times as Alderman of Hereford," etc 
Memorial of the Morses — By Rev. Abner Morse 

THE MORSES OF MASSACHUSETTS. 

The spirit of '76 which made all the world marvel 
was repeated 1812-1861 and on every occasion since. 
when the nation has needed the protection of its 
devoted sons. In '61, as in '76, our nation was still 
a confederacy of farmers "they left the plough share 
in the mould, their flocks and herds without a fold, 
and mustered in their simple dress for wrongs to seek 
a stern redress." Without disparaging the worth of 
other patriots Avho came at our country's call, the 
bone and sinew, the manhood and honour, and the 
lofty patriotism of this nation were to be found 
among our farmers. 

"The Old New England Society," which some 
claim has been completely broken up, was one of the 
most interesting phenomenon in history. No other 
such body of cultivators of the soil as the New Eng- 
land Colonists were, down to our own day, has ever 
been seen. 

No other men who tilled the ground with their 
own hands have had such an acute and active in- 
telligence, such intense preoccupation with religious 
and moral problems, such a keen sense of the superior 
importance of spiritual things, such reverence for 
learning, such familiarity with and appreciation of 
literature, and such capacity for government by dis- 
cussion. 



5 



Furitanism, as has often been said, missed its 
mark in England, but it came as near realizing its 
ideal as human nature would permit on American 
soil. No student of politics or sociology will in all 
probability, for ages to come, light on an experiment 
in all respects so interesting and so successful as 
Massachusetts and Connecticut were and continued 
to be down to the outbreak of the Civil War. The 
war, Avorking through the tariff and the railroads, 
has broken it up almost as thoroughly as it broke up 
its opposite, slave society, at the South. The disap- 
pearance from the maps of a community more re- 
markable on the whole, for its civic virtues than any 
of the world has seen since the days of ancient 
Greece, has wrung hardly a word of lamentation or 
regret from any of the recognized organs of New 
England opinion. The received notion about the 
matter has apparently been that, as long as New 
England men can be pointed to in New York or at 
the West in places of responsibility in railroads, 
mines, factories or stock broker's offices, nothing 
more need be said by way of apology or regret. 

Such, we have a right to claim, is the just estimate 
of New England farmers. Whatever is best and 
noblest in the American ideas, has received its nur- 
ture in jMassachusetts homes. The influence of the 
"little red school-house" has been felt throughout 
the Avorld. It has made tyranny tremble, and 
thrones totter and fall. It has been the hope of the 
down trodden : the joy of the patriot. Its beneficent 
influence continues up to the present time. The 
tremendous rekindling of the fires of patriotism is 
but the warning which the foes of liberty will do well 
to heed. Those who have spent their days on foreign 
shores understand the meaning of the New England 



home. Two centuries ago, the country hereabouts 
was dotted with the abodes of the men of true hearts 
and sterling" honour, who had come here in the fear 
of God to found a new nation. Among these Ameri- 
can pioneers were such men as Samuel Morse and 
Abraham Parker and their worthy descendants. 

"The first settlers of Dedham were a remarkable 
collection of people. Tradition brings down a high 
character attached to most of the names found on -its 
early records: and their public and private acts fully 
confirm it. Orderly and industrious in their habits, 
they allowed no one to remain in their community who 
was not engaged in some regular occupation. Any 
violation of rules was followed by a penalty; yet the 
most exact strictness was accompanied by equally un- 
ffuling loving kindness. Liberal were they towards 
each other and their neighbors, and public spirited. 
Thrifty were they, husbanding both public and pri- 
vate resources with great economy and industry. 
Above all they possessed a liberal and enlightened 
policy in matters of religion. The Church, severe 
within itself would spend a whole winter in inquiring 
into the qualifications of applicants for admission ; 
rejecting upon the slightest doubt and urging gifts 
and graces by all the subtle tests made use of at that 
fige: yet they molested no one who was not a member, 
for his private opinions. In such a sound and sen- 
sible conmiuuity we find, as might be expected, no 
persecutions, no A\itches, no supernatural occurrences. 
The Church appears not to have been disturbed by 
discontent or factious spirits. Indeed the turbulent 
passions found no aliment here. The plantation 
went on regularly advancing in population and 
wealth. The fruits of religion were exhibited in the 
life but without ostentation and uncharitableness — " 



In the town of Medfield, home lots were assigned 
to Samuel Morse and his sons Daniel and Joseph and 
son-in-law Deacon Bullen. Here he settled with his 
younger son Joseph and erected the hoiise which was 
first fired by the Indians when they, led by King 
Philip, laid that town in ashes, Feb. 21, 1675 (o. s.) 
killing eighteen of the inhabitants. The land is now 
owned by Eliakim Morse of the eighth generation 
descended from him and has never passed out of 
the name. "To the praise of this branch of our 
Family the trace of the site of this house, no profane 
hand has been suffered to obliterate. ' ' 

No ancient records of the Church in Medfield 
exist. Here he lived to behold another pious and 
prosperous community spring up, the first bom of 
Dedham and resembling the parent. And now ad- 
vanced in years and summoned to set his house in 
order, we find the patriarch attended by that excel- 
lent man, the Rev. Ralph Wheelock, who had been 
an eminent non-conformist preacher in England — 
one of the witnesses of his will, Medfield, Anno 
Domini 10 mo 2d, 1654. "I, Samuel Morse, being sick 
and weak in body but of good and perfect memory, 
praised be God therefor, doe make this my last "will 
and testament in a manner as followeth — First I 
bequeath my soul into the hand of a mercyful God 
that gave it with assured hope of everlasting life 
through the gracious merits of my dear Saviour and 
blessed Redeemer, Jesus Christ. And for that little 
estate of outward things which the Lord hath been 
pleased to bestow upon me whether they be movable 
or immovable, as house, lands, cattle, household stuff, 
etc., I will and bequeath them all mito Elizabeth 
Morse, my dear and loving wife, to enjoy, possess, 
etc." — A noble document! His lot and the trace of 



8 



liis house and will can be resurveyed and identified 
by the records originally granted affording a retired 
and commanding prospect for a monument to his 
memor>^ Will it not benefit us and our posterity 
thus to honour him? Or shall we wait for a nobler 
generation, one endowed with more reverence and 
gratitude. Samuel Morse belonged to that class of 
Puritans who strove to separate from the corruption 
of the English Church, yet continued in her com- 
numion until their embarkation for this country. His 
emigration evidently originated in the same circum- 
stances, and was undoubtedly dictated by the same 
well knoAvn motives as the earlier emigrants to New 
England. Wm. Laud, the enemy of the Puritans, 
being elevated to the Primacy of England in 1633, 
a commission was illegally instituted soon after con- 
sisting of a committee of the Priory Council, called 
the Commissioners of Plantations, who, to embarrass 
the Puritans, prohibited the promiscuous passing of 
His Majesty's subjects to this country, requiring 
subsidy men to procure a license, and other persons 
the attestation of two justices before they could em- 
bark. Accordingly, our Puritan sire, Samuel Morse, 
however he might have approbated a different course 
in his sons who were of age, took care, when about 
to remove, to conform to existing laws, as appears 
from the following extract from a M. S., at the Aug- 
mentation office in Roll's Court, Westminster Hall, 
London, transcribed by Judge Savage — "15th of 
April, 1635, these parties, hereafter expressed, are to 
l)e transported to New England imbarked in the In- 
crease, Robert Lee, Master, having taken the oath of 
.'iilegiance and supremacy as being conformable to 
the orders and discipline of the Church of England, 
whereof they brought testimony, per certificate from 



the justices and ministers where their abodes have 
lately been — Samuel Morse, husbandman, aged fifty — 
Elizabeth Morse, wife, aged forty-eight — Joseph 
Morse, aged twenty — " 

In such a community did the Patriarch Samuel 
Morse see his exiled sous settled, living in all good- 
fellowship with God's peculiar people, rearing nu- 
merous families in the knovsdedge of that faith for 
the sake of which he had led them forth into the 
wilderness. In the Civil transactions of Dedham, 
he and his sons bore an lionourable part. Besides 
serving as Treasurer he was "townsman" (selectman) 
1640-42, and his elder sons were advanced to office. 
But they were too enterprising and ambitious to set 
up God's ordinances to rest here. They therefore 
united w4th other citizens and proprietors of Dedham 
in petitioning for a new town and this was granted 
by the General Court in 1649 and Medfield sprang 
up and became a thriving community with her meet- 
ing house Church and minister. 

Samuel Morse, Esq., of Dedham, Mass., who was 
born in England in 1585, emigrated to New England 
in 1635, settled in Dedham in 1637, and died at Med- 
field, April 5th, 1654. He sailed from England in 
the good ship Increase, Robt. Lee, master, on the 
15th day of April, 1635, bringing with him his faith- 
ful and beloved wife, Elizabeth, and his sturdy young 
son Joseph, then twenty years of age. 

Samuel IMorse had seven children : John, Daniel, 
Joseph, Abigail, Samuel, Jeremiah and Mary. The 
son Joseph married Hannah Phillips, of Watertown, 
in 1638, and his son, the Hon. Capt. Joseph, mar- 
ried Mehitable Wood, and his son Joseph, bom 
March 25th, 1679, married Miss Prudence Adams, 
daughter of Henrv Adams, and great granddaughter 



of Henry Adams, of Braintree, now Quincy. She 
was born on the 10th of April, 1683. His son Henry- 
was born June 14th, 1703 and died April 5th, 1766. 
He married Sarah, daughter of Joshua and Mary 
Comy Kebby who were married at Woburn, Mass., 
May 24th, 1688. Henry's marriage took place April 
11th, 1725. His son P^zekiel was born October 1st, 
1727 and died March 24th, 1778. He married Reb- 
ecca Cozzens May 22nd, 1750, and died March 11th, 
1821. His son Abner was born October 11th, 1759 
and died March llth, 1821. He married (May 2nd, 
1782) MiUe Leland, who was born July 2nd, ]762 
and died at Medfield, March 15th, 1821. His son 
Elizah was born September 10th, 1785 and died in 
Boston, August 23rd, 1831. Elijah left no son. He 
married in Boston, November 20th, 1817, Mary, 
daughter of Dr. Wm. Jackson, son of Wm. Jackson, 
an Alderman of London, England, and granddaugh- 
ter of Hon. Isaac Rand, M. D., of Boston. 

Joseph Morse and his son, the Hon. Capt. Joseph 
Morse, were men worthy of their ancestors, and oc- 
cupied prominent positions and acquired consider- 
al)le wealth in the communities in which they lived. 
Joseph j\Iorse settled on Dirty Meadow Hill, in 
Shrewsbury, near the estate of the late Deacon Micah 
Leland. He was supposed to possess the best land 
in his township, and left valuable estate — dying at 
the age of 75. Miss Prudence, his wife, was the 
daughter of Henry Adams, of Newfield, and her 
mother was the excellent Prudence Frary, niece of 
Captain Theophilus, Jr., of Boston. Henry Adams, 
the father of Prudence, was the grandson of Henry 
Adams whose remains sleep in honoural)le company at 
Quincy. The son of Henry, Jr., married the sister 
of James Russell, of Charlestown, son-in-law of Gov- 
ernor John Haynes. He was slain by the Indians at 
Newfield, and his wife, Elizabeth, accidentally shot 



the day after. The son of Joseph Morse, Henry, 
settled on the northwest portion of Medway. Uria 
Cutler, his great grandson, occupied the land for 
many years. His great industry and enterprise are 
visible to-day. He served in an expedition destined 
to reduce for the second time the fortress of Louis- 
burg and shared in the perils and glories of a victory 
celebrated by proclamation and thanksgiving through- 
out the Empire. He and his good wife were mem- 
bers of the church in Holliston. He divided his lands 
to his three sons and built each of them a house and 
spacious barn. He was mirthful and high-minded, 
and had moral traits worthy of his true British an- 
cestry. His great physical strength was inherited 
from his ancestors, and is legible still in many of his 
great grandchildren. 

His sou Ezekiel, married Rebecca, granddaughter 
of Abraham Cozzens, of Shrewsbury, and previously 
of Boston, and daughter of Isaac, of Holliston, by 
wife Martha (Haven) Wessan, born at Lynne, April 
11, 1690, daughter of Nathanial and Elizabeth H., 
and granddaughter of Richard Haven, from the west 
of England, about 1644. He. whh his good wife, 
were both members of the Church in Holliston. He 
inherited the paternal homestead. Ezekiel Morse 
was a true patriot and a zealous Whig, and when 
''the regulars broke out of Boston," he was lan- 
guishing with a mortal injury received from the kick 
of a horse, yet wnth patriotic fervor and self-denial, 
he nobly ordered his beloved and only son Abner, 
the subject of this sketch, a lad scarcely sixteen years 
of age, to be harnessed for the field with his father's 
rifle, poM^der horn, etc., and with the dying father's 
love and blessing, he hurried off "to be shot, if need 
be, but not in the back." And his commands were 
most faithfully obeyed. 

12 




■^^-^^ 



^^^ CUtu.^ iTlcrlM- d^f/^ 



Major Abner Morse, 



Abner Morse, with dutiful haste, joined the pa- 
triots at the front. He was made a drummer in the 
Continental;^, and the first office he ever held was to 
hold a spyglass for Gen. Washington to look through 
at the enemy. He remained with the Army until 
the evacuation of Boston, and re-entered it as a vol- 
unteer for another campaign in Rhode Island, and 
did service elsewhere until the close of the war. De- 
prived of his honoured and beloved father at an early 
age, and exposed as he was in his military career to 
many temptations, it was a wonder that he was able 
to secure good promotion, and to win for himself such 
high positions of honour and trust later in life. He 
I'ose to the appointments of Captain and Major of 
artillery, which he filled with honour. lie had re- 
ceived few literary advantages above those of the 
common district school, and yet he made himself ac- 
quainted with surveying, military engineering, and 
became a neat and accurate draftsman, and was well 
acquainted with municipal law and the law of proc- 
ess. Among the multitude of cases that came before 
him as a magistrate in the space of fourteen years, 
no decision given by him is known to have been re- 
versed by a higher court. He had a ready despatch 
for business, and was much employed in settling es- 
tates and taking care of the bereaved and unfortun- 
ate. He was for twenty years a sort of stereotyped 
moderator of town and parish meetings, serving 
sixty-five times in that capacity. He represented 
Med way three years in the general court, and served 
as selectman fourteen years, and repeatedly as grand- 
juror, etc. He was commonly employed to look af- 



13 



ter tlie interefst of the town in her foreign negotia- 
tions and disputes, and is allowed to have done more 
public business than any of her former citizens. He 
was naturally very excitable, mirthful, social, com- 
bative and persevering. He had a clear and heavy 
voice, a ready flow of words, and for one not early 
trained to public speaking-, uncommon influence in 
debate. He was appointed justice by Governor Sul- 
livan, and reappointed by Governor Strong, and 
again by Governor Brooks, and was an acting magis- 
trate at the time of his death. He was a God-fearing 
Christian man, and his remains sleep in peace beside 
those of his beloved consort in the Churchyard at 
llolliston. 

Major Abner Morse, Esqr., was born October 11th, 
1759; married May 2nd, 1782; marriage intention 
Decemb. 13th. 1781; mar. Miss Mille Leland, born 
July 2nd, 1761 ; died March 15th, 1821. 

JMajor Morse died March 11th, 1821. 

His wife, Millie Leland, was a woman ever be- 
loved and honored in the relations of wife mother, 
neighbor, friend and Christian. Precious and ad- 
monitory be their sacred memories. 

The.y were united on earth, they are together in 
Paradise. "Requiescant in Pace." 

" Wennakeening" Major Abner Morse's home 
( Wennakeening is an Indian name for Lake Win- 
throp and signifies "It is pleasant," in Holliston. 
Massachusetts. This remarkable estate has con- 
stantly remained in a single family since 1659. The 
Indian title came from old Chief Chickatawbut, 
meaning "House Afire," in 1660. renewed finally by 
his grandson Josias, in 1685. 

1st. John Frary grant 1689. Indian purchase 
1660 ; 177 acres. 



14 




r 



.f 




U^ ^mA, 



_J 






2. Prudence Fraiy, (Mrs. Henry Adams) Dec- 
ember 18th, 1679. 

;{. Prudence Adams, (Mrs. Joseph Morse) April 
14th, 1702. 

4. Henry Morse, first actual settler, 1726. 

5. Ezekiel Morse. 

C). Major Abner Morse. 

7. Nabby Morse, (I\Irs. Uriel Cutler) April 
2r)th, 1809. 

8. Uriel Cutler. 

9. Ilenr}'^ Morse Cutler, present proprietor, 
Frary Adams Morse Cutler, 1659. 

"The historic Morse homestead borders on the 
old Indian lake, Wennakeeninii'. It was a popular 
fishing ground, long before white men secured homes 
on its shores. There is abundant evidence of a 
populous Indian village within a gun shot of the 
])resent farm buildings, ^v\\k'\l occu]\y almost the 
site of the original log house— l)uilt by Abner 
Morse's great-grandfather in 1727. 

"The last of the Nipmucks, old Ilendrick, did not 
leave the region till Abner "was well grown up." 
So he was 1)oni on historic soil and the neighborhood 
tales of early pioneer hardships must have kindled 
his imagination frora babyhood. Lake Wcunakeen- 
ing is an attractive sheet of water extending a mile 
from the old Morse lands to the village of Holliston. 

"Squire" (Major Abner) Morse, proprietor of 
the hereditary Morse estate in the early part of the 
nineteenth century, was a respected local magistrate, 
and an active citizen of Medway, a member of the 
g<mera] court from there, and identified with the old 
West Medway Church, though later Avith that of Hol- 
liston, in the church yard of which he is buried." 
Prof. W. Waldo Cutler. 



Many of Major Morse's relatives served in the 
glorious struggle for Independence, and won well 
deserved praise and honour, but no record could be 
more honourable, than that of the young lad, Abner 
Morse, who, inspired by lofty sentiments of patriot- 
ism and heroic devotion and self sacrifiee, went forth, 
amid the perils of war, to do his duty in defence of 
his native country — the noblest offering of manly 
virtue. 

' ' May his soul rest in peace. ' ' 

In examining the military history of Major Abner 
Morse it is interesting to note that he entered upon 
his soldierly career when only sixtee^i years of age! 
It is also worthy of notice that soldiers are apt to 
begin their military careers at a very early age. In 
the War of the Rebellion 231,051 were only sixteen 
years of age or under and 844,891 were seventeen years 
or under; and of those eighteen years of age we find 
the number to be 1,151,438. Nearly three-fourths of 
the United States Army in the War of the Rebellion 
were under twenty-one years of age! 

The writer of this memorial was only sixteen when 
he enlisted at the close of the war and at seventeen 
was in active military service on the Indian frontier. 



i6 










^ ,^ « 



Major Abner Morse's Ancestors and 
Relatives. 



Henry Morse settled on a tract of rough unim- 
proved land in the northwestern part of Medway, 
later annexed to Holliston. In 1726 he built a small 
framed house and in 1736 another two story house 
which in 1849 gave place to that occupied by Cutler. 

The great improvements which he made still at- 
test his industry and enterprise. When his eldest 
son Ezekiel was drafted to join the expedition des- 
tined to reduce for the second time the fortress of 
Louisburg, his wife was expecting confinement before 
his period of service might close. The father, then 
forty-six years old, volunteered to take the son's 
place and shared in the perils and glories of a victory 
celebrated by proclamations and thanksgivings 
throughout the empire. He and his wife were mem- 
bers of the church in Holliston. He divided his 
farm to his three sons and built each of them a house 
and spacious barn. He M^as mirthful and high 
minded and had the moral traits of a true New 
Englander. The great physical strength of his famih' 
he did not transmit, but the type is so legible still in 
his great grandchildren and so perfect in some, that 
it can scarcely fail to be transmitted through other 
generations. 

The Rev. Abner Morse, in his history of Sher- 
born and Holliston, p. 181 — speaks of Captain 
Joseph Morse, son of Joseph of Medfield, as nephew 
of Colonel Morse of Cromwell's Army. This would 
make the first Joseph, born in England, the brother 
of the Colonel. 



17 



Joseph Morse is recorded as having, with his 
brother Daniel, taken the Freeman's oath May 6th, 
1635. He was one of the proprietors of Medfield. 
He died in 1654, after a usefnl and honourable career 
mostly spent near the old homestead. His sons 
settled in Medfield. 

Joseph Morse who settled in Nova Scotia after 
such a romantic career as Commissary General and 
who escaped from the French Prison ship by being 
recaptured by the British Man-o-War — was the 
grandson of Joseph Morse who married Hannah 
Phillips, lie founded a town and named it Amherst 
in honour of his commander, the brave General Am- 
herst of the British Army. 

The father of Henry was Joseph, and his father 
was Hou. Capt. Joseph Morse, a distinguished Indian 
lighter in the battles with King Philip. The father 
of Captain Joseph Morse was also named Joseph and 
his father was Samuel Morse M^ho came to this country 
in 1635. 

Daniel Fisher of Dedham, Avho marched Governor 
Andros through the streets of Boston, his strong 
right hand holding his coat collar was the son-inJaw 
of Samuel Morse. 

Captain Seth Morse, of Westboro', early and long 
i\ leading citizen of that town, met at the head of his 
company the enemy at Concord, April, 1775, and 
rendered further service to his countrj^'s cause in the 
terrible struggle that ensued. 

"By the rude bridge, that arched the flood 
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled, 
Here once the embattled farmers stood 
And fired the shot heard 'round the world." 

Note. — This verse is from Emerson's hymn sung to the 
tune of "Old Hundred" by those present at the dedication of 
the Battle Monument April 19th, 1836. 




The Battle Flag of the Minute-men of Bedford, Mass. 



Hon. Captain Joseph Morse, grandfather of 
Major Abuer Morse, settled in " Boggestow " (In- 
dian name for present town of Sherhorn) about 
1670, on the west side of Charles river. He was 
a distinguished Indian fighter as M'ell as a promi- 
nent citizen in Civil life. During Philip's War Capt. 
Morse was sorely tried and according to tradition his 
eombativeness, largeh' developed by nature, was 
called into action. On that memorable morning 
of P\^b. 21st, 1675-6. when Medfield was assaulted 
by Philip at the head of five hundred warriors, laid 
in ashes and eighteen persons massacred, he was at 
his remote and feeble settlement with a wife near 
confinement and her sister-in-law still nearer, whose 
husband, being on the other side of the river, fell the 
first victim to the fierce tomahawk. The warriors 
were now dancing in fiendish exultation on the west 
side of the river; the only bridge by which they 
could flee to a stronger garrison in Medfield or draw 
relief from thence was on fire, and the two or three 
garrisons of Boggestow consisted of only about ten or 
twelve men each, so that immediate destruction 
seemed before them. The effect of all was the pre- 
mature confinement and death of the sister-in-law, 
and Mrs. Morse subsequently lost her child. They 
deferred their attack, however, until the 6th of May 
when "they met with a notorious repulse at a stone 
house on the margin of Boggestow Pond." In the 
battle with the Indians on the 2d of July, 1676, there 
was near this place a new conflict in the forest near 
Boggestow Pond. So vigorous was Captain Morse's 
attack that a large number of the enemy were killed, 
and the rout was so complete and the chastisement so 
severe that the Indians never dared to show their 
faces in that vicinity again. 

Captain Morse personally commanded in these 



19 



conflicts and by his courage and general good conduct 
won the confidence of the public in him as a merit- 
orious officer. Capt. Morse signed the petition for 
the incorporation of Sherborn in 1674 and was among 
the first received as inhabitants and he subsequently 
enjoyed the confidence of his fellow citizens and re- 
ceived the highest honours in their gifts, however 
humble the 'present sense of the terms by which these 
honours were expressed. He was chosen Captain of 
their only Militia Company, one to treat with a min- 
ister to settle in Sherborn, to build a parsonage, to 
preserve order and obedience to laws and often to 
moderate Town Meetings, serve as selectman, and 
represent Sherborn in the great and General Court 
in Boston ; also to locate roads and divide the com- 
mon lands, objects of paramount interest and impor- 
tance to their infant town and posterity. His name 
very often appears subscribed to important docu- 
ments in neat though heavy characters, always slant- 
ing to the left and it is evident that the public had 
great confidence in his integrity, judgment and in- 
fluence. His remains were interred upon an eminence 
in the ancient but now neglected Burying Grannd in 
the south part of Sherborn. His will is a remarkable 
document giving additional evidence of his manly 
piety and C'hristian courage and uprightness. Tie 
was rich in lands and died in the honour and esteem 
of his fellow citizens, deeply mourned by all who 
Ix'new him. 

In the great crisis in the liberties of the colony 
when Randolph was engaged in those hostile meas- 
ures which resulted in the subversion of the charter, 
and the oppressive administration of Governor An- 
dros who declared the title to lands void and exacted 
heavy sums for the repurchase of them, many were 



20 



discouraged and disposed to submit to the encroach- 
ments of the British Government while others were 
for adhering to the charter according to their con- 
struction of it and leave the event. Here was the 
origin of the two parties — Patriots and Prerogative 
men or Whigs and Tories between whom says Minot 
controversy seldom intermitted, and was never ended 
until the separation of the two countries. Daniel 
Fisher, the ancestor of Fisher Ames, was the repres- 
entative from Uedham, the speaker of the house and 
the leader of the Patriots among the Deputies. He 
Avas one of the four whose impeachment, says Ran- 
dolph, of the Earl of Clarendon, will make the whole 
faction tremble. 

Grieviously oppressed by the administration of 
Andros, and hearing indirectly of the landing of the 
Prince of Orange in England, and the conse(iuent 
revolution of the government there, the people of 
Massachusetts, without waiting for a confirmation, 
determined to take its truth for granted and simul- 
taneously set about accomplishing a revolution of 
their own. On the morning of April 18th, 1689, 
Boston was in arms. The Governor and Council 
were seized and confined, and the old magistrates re- 
instated. The country people came into town in 
such rage and heat as made all tremble to think what 
would follow. Nothing would satisfy them but that 
the Governor must be bound in chains or cords, and 
l)ut ill 8 more secure place; and for their quiet he 
was guarded by them to the fort. Whose hand was 
on the collar of that prisoner leading him through 
the excited crowd, at once securing him from escape, 
and guarding him from outrage? It was the hand 
of Daniel Fisher of Dedham; aye, a second Daniel 
come to Judgment, a son of the farmer, and heir to 



his energetic ardor in the cause of freedom, the son 
of Abigail Morse and a just representative of traits 
characteristic of her father's race for at least five 
si'enerations. 

Major John Morse served two campaigns in the 
War of the Revolution without compensation, and 
contributed to hire three other soldiers, and after 
the war, settled with his father on the homestead in 
Dublin. At the age of twenty-three he was chosen 
to represent Dublin and Marlboro in the legislature 
of New Hampshire, but declined. Subsequently 
and at sundry times he accepted the office from the 
citizens of Dublin, the duties of which he discharged 
with honour to himself and his constituents; and he 
has left a reputation for sound sense, cool delibera- 
tion, strict integrity and promptitude in fulfilling his 
engagements. When the original political parties 
arose he adhered to the administration then be- 
friended by probably nineteen-twentieths of the in- 
telligence, patriotism and moral virtue throughout 
tile bind ; and when the tongue of time shall have 
silenced political slanders, or changed the tune now 
played for office by demagogues, his race may proud- 
ly boast that he was a federalist. He fell when the 
contest of these parties was at its acme, lamented by 
a large circle of friends, and even his bitterest enemies 
wept over his remains. 

Morse, Jedediah, D. D., Univ. of Edinburgh 
1794. clergyman and distinguished geographer, born 
in Woodstock, Conn., August 23rd, 1761, died in New 
Haven, Conn., June 9th, 1826. 

He graduated at Yale Univ., 1785. He was a 
clergyman in the Congregational Church of Charles- 
town, Massachusetts. He was called the ''father" of 
American geography. Dr. Morse was much occupied 



22 



in religious controversy in upholding the Orthodox 
faith in the New England Churches against the as- 
saults of Unitarianism. He was prominent in estab- 
lishing the Theological Seminary at Andover, Mass- 
achusetts. 

He was commissioned by the U. S. Government to 
visit the Indian tribes of the north-A\'est. He was an 
active member of the Massachusetts Historical So- 
ciety and of many other literary and scientific bodies. 

From JOSEPH MORSE descended, 

Jasper Adams, D. D., 

President Geneva College. 
Rev. Dr. Fay, 

President Waterville College, Maine. 
Rev. Dr. Aaron Leland, 

President Theoligical Seminary, So. Carolina,, 
and the Hon. Abbott Lawrence, 

Ambassador to Great Britian. 
The pages of American history show the names 
of Morse and those descended from Samuel Morse in 
the battles of Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, Ti- 
conderoga, and in most of the l)attles of the War of 
the Revolution — 1812, the Mexican War, the War of 
the Rebellion, the Indian Wars, and also the more 
recent wars of the United States. These men have 
])een worthy descendants of their brave and patriotic 
ancestors and have deserved well of their country. 



23 



Elijah Morse, son of Major 
Abner Morse. 



To the old residents of Boston the changes which 
have been made in Somerset Street must bring back 
to memory old times when this section of the city 
was an aristocratic centre. The destruction of so 
many houses must, in spite of the improvement prom- 
ised, cause considerable regret. One house, like a 
iiiant of the forest standing when others have fallen 
or like a rock on the shore resisting the onslaught of 
the waves, was No. 27, the one formerly occupied 
by Elijah Morse, Esq. The house was one of the old 
fashioned kind "built to last," with massive walls 
and large rooms with high ceilings. It was four 
stories in height and could contain within its walls 
a goodly company without seeming overfilled. On 
the ground floor a large arched door like the entrance 
to an Armory opened from the street into a passage- 
way to the court in the rear. This was used for pro- 
vision and supply wagons, there the cows were driven 
liome in the afternoon to yield their wholesome milk. 
Tlie chimneys M^ere massive and suggested wide and 
warm fireplaces. The main entrance to the house 
was up a long flight of stone steps and under a gen- 
erous porch which promised hearty welcome. One 
would recognize in its great good natured appearance 
appropriate place for the legend. 

]\Ir. ]\Torse's estate was very valuable and con- 
tained much of what is now Pemberton Square. Af- 
ter his death the estate, unfortunately for the heirs, 
was sold and of late years it had been known as a 
family hotel. The old house on Somerset Street has 
been the scene of many interesting events, social and 



24 





Residence of Hon. Elijah Morse, A. M. 

Son of Major Abner Morse, 

27 Somerset St., Boston, Mass. 



political, and its old friends regretted seeing it used 
as a hotel, but still more when they were called upon 
to witness its total destruction. It certainly died 
hard and to demolish it required the labor of many 
men for many days. Mr. Morse left a widow and 
four daughters, one of whom married Dr. W. Thorn- 
ton Parker, formerly a prominent physician of South 
Boston. The remains of Elijah Morse rest in the 
tomb No. 81, of Mrs. Anna Jackson, his mother-in- 
law, in the old Granary Burial Ground, Tremont 
Street, Boston. May his soul rest in peace. 

The house, 27 Somerset Street, Boston, was built 
by the Hon. James Lloyd, Jr., L. L. D., soon after 
Somerset Street was laid out early in the present 
century. Mr. Lloyd was United States Senator from 
1808 to 1813 and from 1822 to 1826. He was born 
in Boston in 1769, graduated at Harvard College 
1787 and died in New York City, April 5th, 1831. 
In this house in Somerset Street General Lafayette 
was Mr. Lloyd's guest, June 17th, 1825, the day of 
the celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the 
battle of Bunker Hill — (See Levasseur's Laiavette in 
America, Vol. II, p. 202) Phila, 1829. JLr 21.98: 

Portraits of Senator Lloyd and his brother-in-law, 
the Hon. Samuel Breck of Philadelphia, presented by 
their nephew, the Rev. Chas. Breck, D. D., of Wil- 
mington, Delaware, are in the possession of the New 
England Historical Genealogical Society. 

Senator Lloyd resided in this house until 1827 
when he removed to Philadelphia. The house was 
next occupied by Elijah Morse, Esq., as stated in the 
above article. He was a brother of the Rev. Abner 
Morse, author of the Memorial of the Morses and 
other works. Elijah Morse was born Sept. 10th, 



25 



1785 and was graduated at Brown University 1809, 
A. B. and A. M., and the honoiirary degree of A. M., 
from Harvard 1814. He resided in this house from 
1827 until his death in 1831. 

New England Genealogical Register. 



"Welcome to all within this gate; 
No friend ere came too early. 
None ere stayed too late " 

Its owner was like the house, generous and hospit- 
able. He was a man whose memory will live long 
after his sturdy house, which could easily have lasted 
another century, has tumbled to ruins. Elijah Morse 
was one of the prominent lawyers of Boston in his 
day and was held in loving respect by the honourable 
society of P'ree INIasons of which society he was Dep- 
ute' Grand ^Master and Grand Treasurer for many 
years. He married the daughter of Dr. Wm. Jack- 
son of Edinburgh, a highly esteemed medical man of 
Iioston whose father was for many years one of the 
aldermen of the ancient city. Dr. Jacksx^n's home 
in Boston was the rendezvous of Englishmen visiting 
this country and he entertained with good old English 
hospittdity. In August, 1824, General Lafayette 
was entertained by Governor Eustis in Roxbury and 
later was received by a cavalcade of citizens at the 
town limit and escorted into Boston. The ringing of 
bells, salvos of artillery and discharges of rockets 
made a general hearty welcome for the noble French- 
man. The handsomest horse in Boston was believed 
to be that belonging to Mr. Morse and he was there- 
fore requested to give it up for Lafayette's use, and 
the next best one was ridden by Mr. Morse in the 
cavalcade. 

Clementina Morse Parker was born in Boston the 



26 



29th of April, 1823. She was the daughter of Hon. 
Elijah Morse of Boston, and granddaughter of Wm. 
Jackson, Esq., M. D., son of Wm. Jackson, one of the 
aldermen of London, England. She was married to 
Dr. W. Thornton Parker at Trinity Church, Boston, 
Jan. 8th, 1845, by the Rev. Joseph Clinch. She died 
at the residence of her aunt, Mrs. Emeline Jackson 
Kettell, Dorchester, Mass., the afternoon of Good 
Friday, April 2d, 1858. Requiescat in Pace. 

RIGHT WORSHIPFUL ELIJAH MORSE, A. M. 

DisT. Dep. Grand Master, First District Mass. 

(Son of Hon. Major Morse.) 

Brother Morse was admitted a member of Colum- 
bian Lodge A. P. & A. M., October 15th, 5812. He 
was Senior Deacon in 5813; Junior Warden, 5814; 
and Wor. Master in 5815. On the 2nd of February, 
5815, he resigned the office of Master to accept the 
appointment of Dist. Dep. Grand Master of the 
First District. He held that office during the years 

5815 and 5816. He became Senior Warden of Col- 
innbian Lodge and served in 5817 and 5818. In 

5816 he acted as Marshal of the Lodge. He was ad- 
mitted to membership in St. Andrew's Royal Arch 
Chapter, October 30th, 5816. He was Corresponding 
(h-and Secretary of the Grand Lodge in 5818 and 
5819; Grand Treasurer in 5820, 5821, 5822, 5823, 
5824, 5825 and 5826 : and was Deputy Grand Master 
in 5830. He was born in Medway September 10th, 
5785. He died August 23rd. 5831. On motion voted 
that Bros. Jenkins, Baxter, Appleton, Hills and 
Smith be a committee to consider the subject of a 
new election. Bro. Appleton, Sr., was elected in his 
place, March 2d, 1815. 



27 



IN GRAND LODGE, A. F. & A. M. 

Boston, September 14th, 5831. 
The fonovvino' Resolutions offered by Brother 
Joshua B. Flint, were passed; 

WherExVS it pleased Almighty God since our last 
quarterly Communication to take away by death 
our honoured and beloved Brother Elijah Morse, re- 
cently Deputy Grand IMaster of this Grand Lodge, 
therefore ; 

Resolved that the members of the Grand Lodge 
of ]\Iassachusetts bear in affectionate remembrance 
the virtues and services of our respected brother, 
and that we deeply and sincerely sympathize in the 
bereavement which his family has by this afflictive 
dispensation. 

Resolved that the Altar, Jewels and regalia of 
the (Jrand Lodge be invested with the usual badges 
of mourning for the term of six months, in testimony 
of our sense of the loss sustained by our Institution 
in the death of our late Deputy Grand Master. 

The proceedings of the Lodge will be observed 
From the following extracts from the records of Feb- 
I'uary 2d, 1815. The Right Worshipful Master 
Elijah Morse announced to the Lodge that he had 
l)een honoured by the Most Worshipful Grand Mas- 
ter with an appointment to the office of District 
Deputy Grand Master for the First Masonic District 
in the CommonAvealth of Massachusetts and could 
not constitutionally retain his station as Master of 
Columbian Lodge; and in a very feeling and affec- 
tionate manner he resigned that office from which he 
had no doubt anticipated much pleasure and satis- 
faction, and the Lodge equal profit and respectability. 



28 



At this interesting- event, the members of Colum- 
bian Lodge actuated by those sentiments which al- 
ways pay just tribute to worth, under whatever cir- 
cumstances, unanimously expressed their feelings in 
the following resolutions: Resolved that while we 
rejoice at the honourable promotion of our Right 
Worshipful Master — while Columbian Lodge joy- 
fully exults at the eminence to which fame hath ex- 
alter her son — we sincerely regret that so bright a 
luminary as this suddenly taken from our temple of 
love, and although our brother in honourably im- 
pelled to quit our baors for more important duties, 
we rejoice that our work will continue to receive his 
inspiration, our meetings his frequent attention and 
ourselves his kind ait'ection. 

Elijah Morse, Esq., gradviated from Brown uni- 
versity with distinguished honours in his class, which 
has furnished such men as Rev. Dr. Ida of Medford 
and Rev. Dr. Burgess of Dedham and others advan- 
tageously known. He commenced the study of law 
with Judge Thatcher of Thomastown, Maine, and 
finished with Timothy Bigelow of Boston, whose office 
and a share of its emoluments passed immediately 
into his hands on being admitted to the bar. He 
married the daughter of Wm. Jackson, M. D., Edin- 
burgh, whose father was one of the aldermen of Lon- 
don and passed his remaining days in Boston in the 
practice of his profession, welcoming numerous ac- 
<|uaintances to the hospitalities of his house. He con- 
sented, at a sacrifice to represent Boston one year in 
the Greneral Court but declined a second nomination. 
He was a member of the City Council at the time of 
his death; and also one of the Standing Committee 
of the Bar with Samuel Hubbard, W. D. Sohier, John 
Pickering, Charles G. Loring, John B. Adon and 



29 



James T. Austin. When his death was reported, a 
special meeting of the Bar was held and a resolution 
adopted to testify their respect for him by attending 
his funeral. This being declined on behalf of his 
family, whereupon it was motioned by John Picker- 
ing, Esq., and voted that the Bar of Suffolk are 
deeply impressed with the lamented decease of their 
late brother Elijah Morse, Esq. His urbanity of 
manner and active usefulness will be testified by 
all, while his zeal and fidelity to his clients will be ap- 
preciated by those who met with him in the walks of 
his profession. Voted that the foregoing resolution 
be transmitted to his family as a testimonial of sin- 
cere sympathy in their loss of a father and a husband 
who united the virtues of private to the energies of 
active life. Attest, Josiah Quincy. 

The generations of Elijah Morse are as follows: 
Abner, the gallant soldier of the Revolution was or- 
dered to go to war by his father when the lad was 
but sixteen years of age. When the regulars broke 
out of Boston, his father Ezekiel was dying. He 
gave his son directions "to be shot if need be, but 
not in the back" and he was obeyed. Ezekiel was a 
devoted Whig. It was his father Henry who forced 
his son to give up to his father the order for his join- 
ing the army. The father insisting upon the sons 
remaining at home while he, Henry Morse served 
faithfully and honourably in the Siege of Louisburg. 

A])ner Morse served throughout the war of the 
Revolution with fidelity and honour. 

Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, L. L. D. (Yale Coll. 
1846.) Founder of the system of electro magnetic 
telegraph. Eldest son of Rev. Dr. Jedediah Morse, 
])orn in Charlestown, Mass., 27th of April, 1791. 



30 



He went to England with Washington Allston and 
studied painting with Benjamin West — exhibited his 
"Dying Hercules" at the Royal Academy in 1813 
and received a prize of a gold medal from the London 
Adelphi for a plaster model of the same. Painted 
a portrait of Lafayette. In 1835 he demonstrated 
the practicability of his invention of the telegraph 
by a model, filed his caveat at the patent office in 1837, 
perfected his invention in 1840 and in 1844, com- 
pleted the first electric telegraph in the United States 
between Baltimore and Washington. The represen- 
tatives of the principal European powers assembled 
in Paris about 1857, presented Mr. Morse with the 
sum of 400,000 francs as a recompense for his inven- 
tion. In 1840, he perfected the Atlantic Telegraph. 
Honours have been showered upon him by European 
Sovereigns. 

Morse, Abner — genealogist, born in Medway, 
Mass., 5th of September, 1793 ; died in Sharon, Mass., 
16th of May, 1865. He was graduated at Brown in 
1816 and at Andover Theological Seminary in 1819. 
After being ordained on Dec. 16th, 1819, he was pas- 
tor of the Congregational Church in Nantucket, 
Mass., until 1822 and later filled pastorates in Sen- 
nett, N. Y., Bound Brook, N. J., and South Bend, 
Indiana. Here he procured a charter for a college 
and applied himself to the study of natural history, 
particularly geology, lecturing on that subject. Sub- 
sequently he delivered a course of scientific lectures 
in various parts of the United States, but finally 
settled in Sharon, Mass., where he devoted himself 
entirely to genealogical pursuits. 

His publications include "Memorial of the 
Morses," (1815) from which most of thi.9 collection 
of Morse history is taken. "Descendants of Law- 



31 



rence Litchfield," 1855. "Genealogy of Early 
Planters in Massachusetts, Boston," 1855. "Gen- 
ealogical Register of Sherborn, Holliston and Med- 
way, Mas«.," 1855. "Descendants of Capt. John 
Grant," 1857. "Descendants of Several Ancient 
Puritans," 3 vol. 1857-60. A genealogical record of 
several families bearing the name of Cutler in the 
United States, issued posthumously, 1867. 

"Lives of great men all remind us 
We can make our lives sublime, 
And, departing leave behind us 
Footprints on the sands of time: — " 

"Footprints, that perhaps another, 
Sailing o'er life's solemn main, 
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, 
Seeing, shall take heart again." 

"Let us, then be up and doing. 
With a heart for any fate; 
Still achieving, still pursuing, 
Learn to labor and to wait." 



WILLIAM THORNTON PARKER, M. D., 
Valley View Great Grandson of 

65 ColumbuB Avenue Major Abner Morse, Esqr 

Northsnipton, Mas>e. 
February, 1915. 



32 




CAPTAIN W. THORNTON PARKER, M. D. 
Aide-de-Camp Army and Navy Union, U. S. A. 



Ji .«'>. j'^ ^^m. 




i'