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Full text of "A sketch of the life of General James Irish of Gorham, Me. : 1776-1863"

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AMES IRISH 



I '7 -7:6 — 1863 












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GENERAL JAMES IKISII 



A SKETCH OF THE LIFE 



GENERAL JAMES IRISH 



OF GORHAM, ME. 



i 77 6 — i 863 



BY 

LYNDON OAK 



BOSTON 

LEE & SHEPARD 

1 898 



?*1 



3081.3 







TO THE 

DESCENDANTS OF GENERAL JAMES IRISH AND 
HIS WIFE REBECCA CHADBOURNE 

THIS SHORT SKETCH 

IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED 



PREFACE. 



THE writer of the following brief sketch of the 
life of a former citizen of Gorham has been 
aided by Williamson's History of Maine and Judge 
Godfrey's Annals of Bangor. But he is mainly 
indebted to the diary of the subject of the sketch, 
which briefly alludes to some of the more important 
facts in his eventful life. 

Garland, Me., January, 1898. 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 

Page 

General James Irish Frontispiece ^ 

Honorable Lyndon Oak 9 " 

Mary Gorham Phinney 38 ^ 

Group (Wife and Daughters or General 

Irish) 58 

Group (General Irish and his Sons) . . 59 




LYNDON OAK 



A BRIEF SKETCH 



GENEALOGY AND PERSONAL HISTORY 

OF GENERAL JAMES IRISH, OF 

GORHAM, ME. 



A BUSY LIFE. 

/^\ ENERAL IRISH was born in Gorham, Me., 
VX Aug. 18 of the memorable year of 1776, 
and he carried "the spirit of seventy-six" through 
a long and eventful life. 

His grandfather, James Irish, 1 emigrated from 
England about the year 1711, and settled in 
Falmouth, now Portland, Me. In 1738 he 
moved his family to the township now known as 
the town of Gorham, which was then an almost 
unbroken wilderness, the first opening therein 
having been made only two years earlier. He 
had at that time seven children, five sons and two 
daughters. One of the sons was James Irish, Jr., 2 
who was born at Falmouth, Jan. 21, 1736. 
James Irish, Jr., was the father of Gen. James 
Irish, 3 the subject of this sketch. 



On the maternal side the ancestry of General 
Irish is traced through three generations of John 
Phinneys to the John Phinney 1 who emigrated to 
America about the year 1638, and became a mem- 
ber of the Plymouth Colony. His son, John Phin- 
ney, 2 was born at Plymouth in 1638. He married 
Mary Rogers,* a granddaughter of Thomas Rogers, 
who came to America in the " Mayflower " in 
1620. 

About the year 1662 John Phinney : moved to 
Barnstable, Mass., where John Phinney, 3 after- 
wards known as Deacon John Phinney, was born. 
John Phinney, 4 son of Deacon John Phinney, was 
also born in Barnstable, April 8, 1695. 

He became widely known as Capt. John Phin- 
ney, and was the first settler of the town of Gor- 
ham ; he married Martha Coleman and had a large 
family of children, one of whom was Mary Gorham 
Phinney, the first white child born in Gorham. 
The date of her birth was Aug. 24, 1736; she 
married James Irish, Jr., March 10, 1756, and 
became the mother of a large family, the youngest 
of whom was James Irish, known in manhood's 
years as Gen. James Irish. General Irish was the 
seventh generation on his mother's side from 
Thomas Rogers of "Mayflower" memory, through 
Capt. John Phinney, who was a direct descendant 
of Mary Rogers, granddaughter of Thomas Rogers. 

* At the date of the marriage of John Phinney ■ there were living in the 
Colony of Massachusetts three persons of the name of Mary Rogers. Author- 
ities differ as to whether John Phinney 2 married the granddaughter of John 
Rogers, or another Mary Rogers. 

10 



The ancestry of General Irish was of the heroic 
type. The first John Phinney was a man of the 
Puritan stamp, and shared with the Puritans the 
privations and hardships incident to life in a new 
country. 

John Phinney 2 was a soldier in King Philip's 
war, which opened in 1675. and which was one of 
the most desperate and sanguinary wars known in 
the annals of Indian warfare. 

In the year 1724-5 General Irish's grand- 
father, James Irish, 1 was a sergeant in a military 
company which was sent to the Penobscot river 
and bay under the famous Indian fighter, Col. 
Thomas Westbrook. 

In the month of May, 1736, accompanied by 
his son Edmund, fourteen years of age, and 
equipped with those essential factors of advancing 
civilization, the gun and the axe, together with a 
few days' supply of provisions, Capt. John Phin- 
ney (the 4th John) made his way from his home 
in Falmouth up the Presumscot river in a canoe 
to township " Narragansett Number Seven." 

The township had been given to the soldiers of 
King Philip's war and their heirs, as supplement- 
ary compensation for their heroic services in that 
memorable war. Preparations for a few days' 
stay having been hastily made, the sturdy blows 
of the ambitious son, Edmund, sent the first tree 
quivering to the ground ; this was the beginning 
of the first opening in the hitherto unbroken 

forest of the township. 

n 



Later in the season Captain Phinney built a 
small cabin into which he moved his f amity. By 
this act he earned the distinction of having been 
the first settler of the fine old town of Gorham. 
It was in this little cabin that Mary Gorham Phin- 
ney was born. 

Captain Phinney was a man of marked per- 
sonal characteristics : he possessed great muscular 
strength and power of endurance, and a courage 
in which there was no element of fear. Sudden 
exigencies of the most serious character did not 
disturb him. His military experiences and his 
tact in dealing with the Indians, whether peaceful 
or on the warpath, rendered his presence in the 
township a perpetual benediction. His counsels 
were of great service to his neighbors in the com- 
mon affairs of pioneer life, and were especially 
valuable in seasons of difficulty and peril. 

His family bore the toil, privations, and discom- 
forts incident to pioneer life, severe though they 
were, with cheerful fortitude ; if, sometimes, they 
were scantily fed and clothed and the better days 
they hoped for were slow in coming, they still 
maintained their habitual equanimity. 

Other families had from year to year followed 
the Phinney family into the township, until 1745, 
when the little colony numbered eighteen families. 
There had been living in the township also as 
many or more Indians than whites. 

At this juncture the fifth Indian war opened. 
The parties to it were the French, whose strong- 



12 



holds were in Canada, and their allies the Indians, 
on one side, and the English on the other. At 
the near approach of this war the Indians quietly 
withdrew from the colony to Canada. 

During the nine years intervening between the 
settlement of the township and the opening of 
the war the whites and the Indians had been on 
friendly terms ; the white and Indian children 
had roamed through the forests and had engaged 
in youthful pastimes together without fear or re- 
straint. 

This condition of affairs had come to an abrupt 
termination. The Indians had become hostile and 
bloodthirsty, and were ready to return and destroy 
their old neighbors, whose first duty now was to 
provide for the protection of their own lives. 
Under the lead of Captain Phinney a fort was 
built early in the spring of 1745. Nine of the 
eighteen families repaired to the fort for protec- 
tion; eight families went to distant towns for 
safety; and one family, embracing the father, 
mother, and five children, who took the risk of 
remaining away from the fort one day too long, 
against the earnest remonstrances of Captain Phin- 
ney, were all murdered save the mother, who was 
carried captive to Canada, enduring indescribable 
hardships on the way. The nine families who 
went into the fort were obliged to remain in their 
pent-up quarters through four weary, slow-mov- 
ing years, continually on the watch to be in readi- 
ness to repel the attacks of their relentless foes. 

13 



Through the three following years the inhabitants 
fled to the fort whenever threatened by a renewal 
of hostilities. 

John Irish, an uncle of General Irish, was in 
the expedition that captured Louisburg in 1745, 
a place so well adapted both by its site and elabo- 
rate fortifications to repel attacks that it had been 
known as the Gibraltar of America. 

In the year 1777 General Irish's father was 
summoned to service in the Revolutionary war. 
The support of a large family of children now de- 
volved upon the mother, the Mary Gorham Phinney 
of earlier times. She was equal to the emergency ; 
obtaining cotton from a Falmouth merchant, she 
spun and wove it by hand and returned it, receiv- 
ing in payment the difference in value between the 
manufactured article and the raw material. In 
making the exchanges she rode to and from Fal- 
mouth, now Portland, a distance of fourteen miles 
each way, on horseback, over a road that would fill 
the women of the present day with dismay. 

In 1779 General Irish's brother, William, was 
in the expedition that was sent to Penobscot bay 
to aid in the defence of Castine and other places 
in the vicinity against a threatened attack by the 
English. The American forces suffered a disas- 
trous and mortifying defeat. 

There was a great scarcity of provisions in 1780, 
and the General's mother allowanced the members 
of her own family, that she might administer to 
the wants of her neighbors. 

14 



When six years of age General Irish attended 
school for a very brief time, taught by an old 
Englishman, Jonathan Greene ; this was his first 
experience in the school-room. 

In 1786 he attended a short school in his father's 
house, and later in " Benjamin Brown's old corn 
house." And thus, from year to year, when a 
teacher could be secured, and a corner in some shed, 
house, or barn could be obtained, he. with the 
neighbors' children, attended school, where the 
simplest rudiments of education were imperfectly 
taught. 

When ten years of age he became an interested 
listener to the conversations he heard and a reader 
of articles in a newspaper of the times relating to 
political matters, including the administrations of 
Governors Hancock and Bowdoin, the French dep- 
redations upon American commerce, and Shay's 
rebellion. The story of Shay's rebellion made a 
strong impression upon him in consequence of his 
seeing some of the participators in it on their 
return to their homes after it had collapsed. 

In 1788 he attended school at Gorham village, 
taught by Thomas Kinnard, " a celebrated teacher 
of children, who taught from Thomas DilwortKs 
Spelling Book." While felling a tree about this time 
he inflicted a wound upon his ankle which com- 
pelled him to abstain from labor for several months. 
In relating this incident he said : " . . . but as 
Deacon Austin Alden taught school in my father's 
house, I improved this little opportunity." 

15 



He subsequently attended school at the village, 
taught by Salmon Chase, who was afterwards an 
attorney at Portland. Mr. Chase was an uncle of 
the celebrated statesman, Salmon Portland Chase. 
He says of Messrs. Alden and Chase : " They were 
praying schoolmasters." 

In the winter of 1790 he attended a school 
taught by Sylvanus Davis in four private dwell- 
ings successively. This arrangement gave the 
children of the scattered households a much longer 
term of school, and at the same time equalized the 
burden of travel. 

About this time he began to manifest a desire to 
cultivate the art of singing. Years earlier he had 
stood by his mother's loom and caught from her 
lips the airs of the old-time hymn-tunes which she 
loved to sing. Persuading some of his school- 
mates to join him, they hired Abial Briggs to 
teach a singing-school for their mutual benefit. 
Money being almost unknown to the common 
people at that time, they paid their teacher in 
pork and meal, the currency of the times. 

When he had reached the age of fifteen years 
his brothers and sisters, with a single exception, 
had left the parental roof. He had enjoyed an 
uninterrupted flow of excellent health from his 
earliest years. He was now strong, confident, 
resolute, and ambitious, and possessed capabilities 
much in advance of his years. His father was a 
man of kind impulses and generous hospitality. 
These traits were abused by a class of shiftless and 

16 



intemperate townsmen, and b} r persons of the same 
character from other towns, travelling to and from 
market. The peace and welfare of the family 
demanded the elimination of such abuse from the 
daily routine of the family experience. To the 
father this task was distasteful ; the son, though 
a boy in years, but a man in size and muscular 
development, believed himself equal to the emer- 
gency. An Irishman who had occupied a spare 
room under the parental roof for some time had 
become an annoyance to the entire family ; refus- 
ing to vacate at the request of the father, he went 
out somewhat abruptly by the free use of the well- 
developed muscle of the son. The father had been 
accustomed to entertain men who passed to and 
from market free of cost. The return for such 
hospitality was, sometimes, abuse by intoxicated 
men ; the son relieved the household from such 
annoyances. 

At the request of the father, and with the 
approval of the mother, he took upon himself the 
entire management of the farm. He was at this 
time fifteen years of age. Provisions were scarce 
and high. His sister, Mrs. Whitney, was burned 
out, and with an insane husband and five children 
sought and obtained the shelter of the old home. 
This added largely to his burdens. 

In the year 1792, in addition to his regular 
farm work, he joined three brothers in the pur- 
chase of a mill-site and the erection of a saw-mill. 
Here he had the misfortune to lose the forefinger 



17 



of the left hand, but lost only one-half day's work 
in consequence of the accident. 

In the years 1793 and 1794 he continued to 
pursue the farming and lumbering business ; these 
were years of severe toil with small returns. 

In 1795 he sold his interest in the mill property 
and engaged in more congenial pursuits. He pur- 
chased books and applied himself to study with 
the purpose of fitting himself to teach during the 
autumn and winter months. His first effort at 
teaching was at Buxton, and his pay five dollars 
per month ; it was a small beginning, but the first 
step towards more lucrative employment. 

In 1796 he was clerk in a store in his native 
town for seven months. 

In 1797 the Congregational church and society 
built a meeting-house, the raising of the frame of 
which was attended with a disastrous accident. 
When one of the broad sides had been raised to 
some distance from the ground the men who were 
lifting lost control of it, and it fell back, killing 
Nathaniel Bowman, the highly-esteemed village 
physician ; James Tryon received injuries from 
which he died the next day. James Irish, the 
father of General Irish, was at first believed to be 
killed, but although severely injured he afterwards 
recovered. 

At the age of twenty-one years General Irish 
was appointed orderly sergeant in Capt. Na- 
thaniel Warren's company of militia, which was 
his first military appointment. His regular busi- 

16 



ness was now farming in summer and teaching in 
autumn and winter. 

In 1798 General Irish was married to Rebecca 
Chadbourne, a daughter of Silas Chadbourne, of 
Berwick, Me. Later in the year he with his wife 
united with the Congregational church, of which 
Rev. Caleb Jewitt was pastor. The following 
winter he taught school in his own town. The 
year 1799 was passed in farming and teaching. 

In the year 1800 an incident occurred which 
led to a broader field of labor. Having engaged 
a school for the winter, he hired an old sailor to 
take care of his stock and prepare wood for his 
fires ; the presence of the sailor in the family gave 
him an opportunity to learn the theory of naviga- 
tion, which he gladly embraced. This was fol- 
lowed by the study of geometry, trigonometry, 
and kindred branches. His services were now 
sought as an instructor in mathematics. He soon 
became a practical surveyor, and was employed in 
his own and neighboring towns to run lines and 
survey lands. The money he earned as surveyor 
enabled him to enlarge and improve his buildings 
and farm. 

In the winter of 1801 he taught school in 
Buxton. 

In 1802 he was employed by Col. Lothrop 
Lewis and Josiah Alden to survey the Isle au 
Haut into lots for settlers. The surveying party 
made the passage to the island on a craft of the 
rudest description, of which one Captain Arey 

19 



" was captain, cook, and all hands." General 
Irish describes the stay at the island as very 
enjoyable. A variety of fish, fresh from the 
water, entered largely into the food supply. Fa- 
vored by fine weather and surrounded by beauti- 
ful scenery, the days glided swiftly by. At the 
completion of their work the party returned as 
they had come. 

In 1803 General Irish moved his sister, Mrs. 
Whitney, into the house he had built for her, to 
take the place of the one that had been burned a 
few years earlier. 

In 1804 he added to his landed estate by the 
purchase of one hundred acres of land in the town 
of Standish. He made additional improvements 
on his buildings, and planted ornamental trees. 

In 1805 his time was occupied in farming, 
teaching, surveying lands, and running lines. He 
enlarged his landed estate by the purchase of forty 
acres of land. 

In 1806 the Gorham Academy building was 
constructed. General Irish contributed to the 
building fund and surveyed the half township of 
land which had been granted to the academy by 
the Legislature of Massachusetts ; this half town- 
ship was situated in what is now the town of 
Woodstock, in Oxford county. 

In 1807 General Irish was commissioned by the 
land commissioners of Massachusetts to locate and 
survey a half township of land in what is now 
known as Aroostook county, which had been 

20 



granted to Limerick Academy by the Legislature 
of Massachusetts. The execution of this work 
required a long and tedious journey. He rode 
from his home in Gorham on horseback, over 
roads of the rudest construction, to Eddington 
Bend on the Penobscot river. Leaving his horse 
at this place, he hired two men to take him up 
the river in a canoe to the mouth of the Matta- 
wamkeag river, thence up the Mattawamkeag to 
the Baskahegan river, down the Baskahegan to 
and across Schoodic lake, thence through Eel 
lake and river to the St. John, and up the lat- 
ter river to Woodstock. From this point the 
party went on foot through the woods to what is 
now Houlton, where they arrived about midnight. 
Here they found three families, the Houlton, 
Cook, and Putnam families, and a carpenter by 
the name of Cary. Trying to obtain admittance 
to the house of Mr. Houlton, they were at first 
repulsed, the family believing that it was a com- 
pany of strolling Indians that were disturbing 
their slumbers. They soon discovered their mis- 
take and hastened to apologize to the tired sur- 
veying party, and to bid them welcome to the 
shelter of their humble cabin. 

Obtaining a supply of bread and raw meat, the 
next morning General Irish and his companions 
proceeded to the locality of their labors, the pres- 
ent town of New Limerick. When the dinner 
hour confronted them, they found, to their great 
disgust, that their appliances for kindling a fire 



21 



had become so much impaired as to be useless. 
They were, therefore, compelled to sit down to 
bread and raw meat, which was their bill of fare 
through the week required to complete the survey. 
They passed the chilly October nights without the 
comfort of a fire. Upon the completion of the 
survey they returned home as they had come. 

In 1808 General Irish employed his time in 
farming, surveying, and teaching. He was com- 
missioned as major in the third regiment of the 
militia, also a justice of the peace. He mentions 
in his journal, as occurrences of the year, the 
depressing effects of the Embargo Act upon busi- 
ness ; the murder of Paul Chadwick, a brother 
surveyor, while surveying lands in what is now 
Windsor, Me. ; the intense excitement that fol- 
lowed this terrible crime ; and the execution in 
Portland of Drew for the murder of a Mr. Parker, 
a former scholar of his. 

General Irish passed the year 1809 in the pur- 
suit of his usual occupations. He congratulates 
himself upon the good condition of his buildings 
and farm. 

The year 1810 brought changes in his affairs. 
Having a large and growing family to support, 
he sold the old homestead that had so long 
sheltered his father and mother, brothers and 
sisters, and himself from infancy to manhood, and 
purchased another farm of larger area, where he 
moved his family on May 1, 1810. The sale of the 
old homestead was to Seth Hersey, of Hingham, 



Mass. The price paid was three thousand dollars, 
a large price for a farm in that vicinity at that 
time. He added to the acreage of the new farm 
by the purchase of more land. He entered with 
characteristic energy upon such changes and im- 
provements as were needed to put the buildings 
and farm in good condition. 

But events of graver significance came in at 
this juncture to disturb the regular current of his 
experiences. 

The war with Great Britain, presaged by the 
embargo of 1808 and the non-intercourse policy 
of the government in 1809, now began to cast its 
ominous shadows over the country. General 
Irish's official relations to the military organiza- 
tions of his vicinity imposed duties upon him that 
engrossed much of his time. In addition to duties 
of a military character, he was commissioned to 
make the usual decennial enumeration of the 
inhabitants of the five towns in Cumberland 
county. He was also employed by certain mer- 
chants of Portland to attend the session of the 
Legislature at Boston, to aid in effecting legislation 
which they desired. 

In 1811 General Irish made extensive repairs 
upon the building she had purchased a year earlier, 
and improvements upon his farm and orchards. 
He was appointed deputy sheriff and jailor of the 
county of Cumberland, but the pressure of other 
duties led him to resign those offices after having 
held them for a brief term. He was commissioned 

23 



lieutenant-colonel of the militia by the governor 
of Massachusetts. 

In September of 1812, war with Great Britain 
having been declared, General Irish called out the 
troops belonging to the second brigade of the 
twelfth division of the militia of Maine for a two 
days' drill and review. The near approach of the 
war which had been so long threatened had greatly 
excited the people, and vast crowds from surround- 
ing towns assembled to witness the review. The 
officer whose duty it was to take command of the 
troops on that occasion failing to appear, General 
Irish performed that duty. 

It was an unusual spectacle. The war-spirit ran 
hio-h. The fine appearance and soldierly bearing 
of the troops called out the plaudits of the multi- 
tude. 

Shortly after General Irish received a more 
signal recognition of the success of the review — 
promotion to the rank of brigadier-general by the 
governor of Massachusetts. 

In 1813 General Irish was appointed assessor 
of the direct tax levied upon the county of Cum- 
berland to aid in the prosecution of the war. 
Establishing an office in Portland, he appointed an 
assistant in each town in the county. 

In 1814 General Irish's duties as assessor, the 
oversight of his farm, and his response to calls for 
his services as surveyor engrossed his time during 
the early part of the year. Later in the year more 
exciting duties demanded his attention. In Sep- 



24 



teniber a threatened invasion of Portland by the 
British alarmed its citizens, many of whom had 
moved their most valuable effects into neighboring 
towns for safe keeping. The officer upon whom 
the citizens relied to call the troops together to 
protect the town refusing to perform that duty, a 
messenger was sent to Gorham by the committee 
of safety to invoke his immediate presence in town. 
The messenger found the General in the field at 
work with his aged father. Like General Putnam 
of Revolutionary fame he left his work and re- 
paired to the house, where he made hasty prepara- 
tions to respond to the summons. This accom- 
plished, he took hasty leave of his tearful family, 
and mounting his horse started on his hurried 
ride. The parting message of his aged mother, 
Mary Gorham Phinney, was : " Don't be a coward, 
James, don't be a coward ; do your duty like a 
man." Reaching Portland, he called on his supe- 
rior officer for orders to call out his brigade. This 
officer, belonging to the political party which 
opposed the war, refused to grant the desired 
authority. Backed by popular sentiment, General 
Irish promptly issued orders for calling the troops 
into Portland, and in thirty-six hours the full 
brigade of twenty-five hundred men was in camp 
at that place. 

The alarm and anxiety that pervaded Portland 
had reached the neighboring towns, and upon the 
arrival of the troops great crowds of people flocked 
to town. The march of the brigade through the 

25 



streets, with General Irish and staff at its head, 
called forth the most lively enthusiasm. Loud 
cheers came from the crowded streets, from the 
windows of houses and roofs of the buildings. 
The apprehended invasion having happily failed 
of realization, the larger part of the troops was 
dismissed at the end of twenty days. 

Soon after these occurrences General Irish was 
summoned before a court of inquiry to answer to 
the charge of insubordination based upon the act 
of calling out the troops without due authority. 
At the close of a brief examination he was honor- 
ably acquitted. 

He was again appointed principal assessor for 
his district this year. 

In 1815, the war having been terminated, Gen- 
eral Irish returned to his usual occupations. His 
frequent calls to the discharge of duties of a public 
nature led to his abandonment of the business of 
teaching, which had occupied a portion of his time 
yearly for twenty years. 

In 1816 General Irish was detailed to sit upon 
a court of inquiry for the trial of General Blake, 
charged with cowardice at the battle of Hampden 
two years earlier. 

Major-Gene ral Sewall, of Augusta, and Brigadier- 
Generals Irish, of Gorham, and Payson, of Wis- 
casset, composed the court, which was held at the 
old city hall in Bangor. The trial occupied thirty 
days. General Blake was acquitted of the charge 
preferred against him. 

26 



Later the same year he sat on a court of 
inquiry at the same place, before which was 
arraigned, at the instigation of General Blake, 
three of his subordinate officers. While in attend- 
ance at this court the death of his venerated 
father occurred. He was also afflicted later in 
the year by the death of an infant son. 

The year 1816 has been aptly characterized as 
" the year without a summer." The crops were 
disastrously affected throughout New England by 
oft-recurring and destructive frosts. General Irish 
shared light crops with his neighbors. In 1817 
the sun seemed to have regained its power and 
the soil its fertility, and the General rejoiced at 
the abundance of his crops. 

In 1818 he was appointed surveyor of public 
lands, subject to the direction of Col. Lothrop 
Lewis, of Gorham, who was surveyor-general of 
Maine lands by virtue of a commission from the 
State of Massachusetts. In pursuance of his duties 
under this appointment General Irish surveyed 
townships into lots on both sides of the Penobscot 
river above Eddington to Mattenawcook, including 
Oldtown, Milford, Passadumkeag, Bradley, and 
Greenbush. He spent considerable time in the 
survey of roads in Cumberland county for the 
Court of Sessions, and run the famous military 
road to Canada for Massachusetts. 

In 1819 he represented Cumberland county in 
the Senate of Massachusetts ; it was at this session 
of the Legislature that the act was passed providing 

27 



for the separation of the province of Maine from 
the State of Massachusetts. 

By virtue of this act Maine became an inde- 
pendent State in 1820. General Irish was chosen 
one of the delegates from Gorham to attend the 
convention which was called to prepare a constitu- 
tion for the new State. This convention assembled 
at Portland, Oct. 11, 1820, and in due time pre- 
pared a constitution which was subsequently 
adopted by the people. 

The province of Maine having thus become an 
independent State, no political event was ever 
more clearly foreshadowed than that the Hon. 
Wm. King would be its first governor. He had 
long been in public life, was a man of marked 
ability, unswerving integrity, and of irreproach- 
able character. Moreover, he had been the most 
prominent leader in the movement to make the 
province of Maine an independent State. 

Sharing the belief that Mr. King would be the 
governor of the new State, General Irish, in a 
characteristic communication, made application 
to be appointed surveyor-general of the public 
lands ; also one of the commissioners for the 
division of the lands held in common by Massa- 
chusetts and Maine. This communication was 
recently found among the papers of Governor 
King and sent to Ex-Governor Frederic Robie, 
who had been a townsman and neighbor of the 
General. Assuming that the prospective governor 
would desire to know something of the personal 

28 



history of those he might call to fill responsible 
positions, he gave in the communication referred 
to a pretty full account of his early life, includ- 
ing his meagre opportunities for obtaining an 
education, his experience in teaching, in running 
lines and surveying lands, his explorations of 
lands in central and northern Maine, his sitting 
upon courts martial for the trial of certain officers 
charged with neglect of duty in the late war, and 
of his own arraignment before such a court upon 
the charge of calling out his brigade for the de- 
fence of Portland without due authority. He 
suggested to the prospective governor that one of 
the three commissioners to be appointed might 
reasonably be expected to swing his pack and give 
his personal attention to the work of surveying 
lands. 

This formal application bore date March 13, 
1820, and read in part as follows : 

Dear Sir : I congratulate you that, at last, the independ- 
ence of Maine is made certain. It is equally certain, if 
your life is spared (which God grant) , you will take com- 
mand. I have thought it a duty I owed my family, without 
much ceremony or disguise, to make known to you my 
wishes, and I shall have done. Supposing you would always 
wish to know the circumstances and standing of those you 
bring forward, I have, in a very plain way, named a few 
particulars of my life. I now say plainly and honestly I 
want to be appointed one of the commissioners for dividing 
the lands, and also surveyor-general, who might keep the 
Land Office. This you might at first think is asking too 
much, but I think the surveyor-general might also keep the 

29 



Laud Office with very little assistance. I can declare before 
God that T do not ask these favors to gratify any improper 
wishes, but that I might be enabled suitably to educate a 
numerous family, and, at the same time, be useful to my 
country. I rest assured that you will do me justice. I 
would thank you barely to acknowledge the receipt of this. 

I am respectfully yours, 

James Irish. 
To Hon. Wm. King. 

A little more than two weeks later Mr. King 
was elected governor with but little opposition. 
When, however, he came to the appointment of 
surveyor-general, for reasons which he regarded 
as imperative he bestowed this office upon another 
applicant, the Hon. Lothrop Lewis, who also 
was a citizen of Gorham. Colonel Lewis had held 
the office of surveyor-general of lands in the 
province of Maine under the government of Massa- 
chusetts for several years before the Act of Sep- 
aration. Moreover, he was a man of ability, of 
fine personal qualities, large experience in public 
affairs, and had left a good business record. He 
was an uncle of the famous orator, S. S. Prentiss. 

General Irish had performed much service for 
the State under the direction of Colonel Lewis 
before Maine became an independent State, and 
continued such service until the death of the 
latter, two years later. 

In 1820 General Irish was commissioned by the 
governor to go to what is now Aroostook county 
upon a tour of exploration and observation. This 

30 



proved a laborious and dangerous service, inas- 
much as his route led him over the deep snows of 
that region, and upon the ice of streams and rivers 
weakened by March and April suns. He prepared 
a plan of the roads in Cumberland count}' under 
the direction of the county authorities, and was 
commissioned by the United States government 
to make the decennial enumeration of the inhabi- 
tants of several towns of the same county. In 
1821 he served in the lower branch of the Legis- 
lature, being the first on the list of representatives 
to that body from the town of Gorham. He was 
also commissioned justice of the peace and quorum. 

In 1822 he continued the survey of public 
lands under the direction of Colonel Lewis. He 
was this year a prominent candidate of his party for 
the nomination of representative to Congress, but 
failed in a close vote. Upon the death of Colonel 
Lewis, Oct. 9, 1822, he succeeded that gentleman 
in the management of the public lands under the 
policy which had been inaugurated at the organ- 
ization of the State government. In 1823 his 
extensive farming business, together with a good 
share of business for the public, kept him very 
busy. 

At the opening of the year 1824 the manage- 
ment of the public lands had become a subject of 
absorbing interest in the minds of the leading men 
of the State. There were large areas of land 
belonging to the State covered with magnificent 
growths of timber, and threaded by streams upon 



31 



which it could be floated to the mills upon the 
Penobscot, Maine's largest river, and manufactured 
into various descriptions of lumber, and then 
floated to tide-waters ready for distribution to the 
markets of the world. If this timber could be 
preserved for the benefit of the State it had an 
immense prospective value. But previous to the 
Act of Separation the policy of Massachusetts had 
been very lenient towards a class of inhabitants 
who believed that the timber on the public lands 
was lawful plunder, and that if they failed to get 
their share they were not living up to their legiti- 
mate privileges. For this reason these lands had 
annually been divested of large quantities of valu- 
able timber. It was deemed important to arrest 
this practice of plundering. There were also 
large tracts of farming land belonging to the 
State which was equal in quality to the best lands 
of New England. It was believed that a well- 
defined and liberal policy would attract settlers to 
these lands. 

Influenced by these considerations, the Legislat- 
ure of 1824, early in its session, passed an act to 
promote the sale and settlement of public lands. 

The following sections of this act are reprinted 
to show the great responsibilities placed upon the 
land agent : 

Land agent s ECT . io. Be it further enacted, That the Gov- 
appointed; ernor, with the advice of Council, be and hereby is 
bis powers authorized to appoint and commission some discreet 
and duties. ^^ suitable person, as agent to superintend and 

32 



manage the sale and settlement of the public land ; 
and it shall be the duty of said agent to survey or 
cause to be surveyed the townships aforesaid, or 
such of them as, in his judgment, circumstances may, 
from time to time, require. And such agent is 
hereby empowered to make contracts and execute 
deeds in behalf of the State according to the pro- 
visions of this Act ; to receive all money and securi- 
ties accruing to the State from the sale of land, 
timber or grass belonging thereto ; and he shall pay 
in to the Treasurer of the State for the time being, all 
money by him received within six months from the 
time he shall receive the same ; and said agent is 
hereby empowered, and it shall be his duty to sell 
at public auction or private sale all grass growing 
on the public land from year to year ; to take all 
suitable measures for the preservation of the timber 
and grass standing or growing thereon, and to pros- 
ecute in behalf of the State for all trespasses which 
have been or may be made on the same ; and to 
seize and sell at public auction all kinds of lumber 
or grass cut by trespassers, first giving timely notice 
of such sale. 

Sect. 11. Be it further enacted, That it shall be Agent to 
the duty of said agent to keep correct plans of all ^^0 laDS 
surveys made as aforesaid, and to transmit copies transmit 
thereof, and of all field notes, to the office of the c ° pie8 f 

thereof and 

Secretary of State as soon as may be after such of field notes 
surveys shall have been made ; and he shall give his t0 offlce of 

J & Secretary of 

personal attendance to all the duties appertaining to state. 
his office as far as practicable ; and he shall have 
power to employ such assistants from time to time 
as he may need, to aid him to carry into effect the 
provisions of this Act, for whose conduct he shall be To employ 
responsible ; and he shall render a fair account of a831B 
all his doings to the Legislature annually, and shall 
receive such compensation for his services as may 

33 



be deemed just and equitable ; aud he shall give 
bond to the Treasurer of the State, for the time 
being, with sufficient surety or sureties, to the satis- 
To give faction of the G-overnor and Council, in the sum of 
$10,000, for the faithful performance of his duties. 
Persons not Sect. 12. Be it further enacted, That no person 
t bea* 51101 SDa ^ ^ e appointed or continued agent for the pur- 
pointed or poses aforesaid, who is or may be concerned directly 
continued Qr j n( jirectly in the lumber business, nor shall said 

agents. •' 

agent be concerned directly or indirectly in any pur- 
chase of said public land. (Appi'oved Feb. 25, 
1824.) 

Under the provisions of this act General Irish 
was appointed land agent, being the first on the 
list of State land agents in Maine. An exami- 
nation of the act will show the great responsi- 
bilities he assumed in accepting this appointment. 
Yet he accepted it in a spirit of courage and con- 
fidence. Although at this time he was nearing 
his fiftieth year, the hardships of his earlier years 
had impaired neither his health nor powers of 
endurance. He was ready for the work before 
him. In the spirit of the suggestion made to 
Mr. King four years earlier he opened an office 
in Portland, placed a clerk therein, and upon the 
opening of the season " swung his pack " and 
plunged into the forests, where he conducted in 
person the running of the exterior lines of town- 
ships and the dividing of townships into lots. 

In 1825 General Irish's duties as land agent 
brought him face to face with grave responsibili- 
ties. The boundary line between Maine and New 

34 



Brunswick had not, at that time, been definitely 
settled. It was, therefore, impossible to determine 
where the jurisdiction of Maine terminated and 
that of New Brunswick began. Fifteen years 
later this uncertainty came near involving the 
United States in a war with Great Britain. The 
fine region of country known as the Madawaska 
region, in the vicinity of our north-eastern boun- 
dary, was claimed both by Maine and New Bruns- 
wick. The government of Maine, believing that 
citizens of New Brunswick were despoiling this 
region of its most valuable timber, ordered the 
land agent to go at once to the disputed territory 
and take possession of it. Early in the autumn of 
1825 General Irish, accompanied by Hon. Geo. 
R. Coffin, land agent of Massachusetts, proceeded 
to execute this order. Upon their arrival at the 
theatre of operations they made investigation rel- 
ative to the amount of timber that had been cut 
upon the Aroostook and Madawaska rivers by 
authority of the government of New Brunswick. 
They posted notices of their readiness to give 
deeds to settlers upon the river St. John, who 
were in possession of one hundred acres of land, 
upon easy terms. In his report to the Legislat- 
ure General Irish said that they found upon the 
St. John two hundred and twenty-two houses, 
with an aggregate population of about 2,000. 
He described the people as being civil, industrious, 
and hospitable, and as deserving the fostering care 
of the government. "Many of these people," he 

35 



said, " had grants of their lands from New Bruns- 
wick, upon the titles of which they placed but little 
value." Among them were many direct descend- 
ants of the ill-fated Acadians, the story of whose 
peaceful lives of happy contentment and subsequent 
brutal treatment by the English is so pathetically 
told in Longfellow's " Evangeline." 

The story of the burning of the dwellings of 
their ancestors, of the destruction of their herds 
and flocks and crops, and of their dispersion 
to colonies widely separated from each other so 
that they might never again congregate on the 
site of the old ancestral homes, and of the terrible 
sufferings that followed, had been handed down 
from family to family, filling the hearts of succes- 
sive generations with unquenchable hatred of the 
English and of English rule. Bancroft, America's 
historian, says — "I know not if the annals of 
the human race bear the record of sorrows so 
wantonly inflicted, so bitter and perennial, as fell 
upon the French inhabitants of Acadia." It is not 
strange that a people whose ancestors had suffered 
so much at the hands of the English were eager to 
accept the protection of the American flag. 

The transactions of the land agents upon the 
disputed territory led to much ill-feeling between 
the two governments. One of the largest pur- 
chasers of land, a Mr. Baker, was shortly after 
arrested and committed to jail by New Brunswick 
officers. The charges preferred against him were 
that he had forbidden the carrying of the British 



mail across land to which he had no valid title, 
that he had hoisted the United States flag thereon in 
defiance of British claims, and that he had sought 
to engage a party in an ancient British settlement 
to transfer the possession thereof to the United 
States. A demand for the release of Mr. Baker 
was followed by a conference between the Ameri- 
can Secretary of State, Hon. Henry Clay, and the 
acting British Minister, Hon. Charles R. Vaughn. 
Mr. Baker was afterwards released on bail. 

There was another serious source of trouble in 
the management of the public lands. Encouraged 
by the lax public sentiment of the times, many per- 
sons had been actively engaged every winter in 
despoiling the forests in the vicinity of the Mata- 
wamkeag and Baskahegan rivers, and at other 
points, of their most valuable timber. 

The land agent had been instructed to protect 
the timber lands. In pursuance of instructions 
agents were sent to ascertain the extent of the 
spoliations of these lands, and the names of the 
despoilers. These agents were met by men in the 
guise of Indians who threatened them with death 
unless they took themselves away without unnec- 
essary delay. They were therefore unable to give 
more than a partial report relating to the purpose 
of their expedition. A sheriff and posse were 
then sent to arrest the plunderers and seize their 
implements. This attempt was unsuccessful. The 
difficulty of dealing with the plunderers was greatly 
enhanced by the misplaced sympathy and encour- 



agement they received from prominent men out- 
side their own ranks, some of whom profited by 
these illicit operations. The contest was now as- 
suming a serious aspect, but the plunderers soon 
learned that there were " blows to take as well as 
blows to give." 

There were large quantities of grass upon the 
public lands which had been cut late in sum- 
mer by the plunderers, to be used in furtherance of 
their unlawful business. Massachusetts had, at 
that time, a joint interest with Maine in these 
lands. By concert of action of the land agents 
of the two States the hay was burned upon the 
ground where it was cut. This blow was as severe 
as it was unexpected, and had the effect to diminish 
largely illicit lumbering. 

In 1825 General Irish removed his family from 
the farm he had owned in a remote section of the 
town to the village of Gorham, where better 
educational opportunities awaited his large family 
of children. This year was made memorable, 
also, by the death of his aged mother, to whom he 
was bound by the most tender affection. She was 
the Mary Gorham Phinney of pioneer memory, 
the first-born of Gorham' s fair daughters. What 
heroic spirits and the memory of what heroic 
deeds are summoned from the shadowy past by 
the magic of her name ! She was a direct descend- 
ant of the old Puritan, John Phinney, — the first 
John, who early joined the historic Plymouth 
Colony, from which emanated the best civilization 

38 




MARY GORHAM 1'IIIXNEV 

First white child born in Gorham, .Maine 
1736-1825 



the world has known. She was the great-grand- 
daughter of John Phinney, the second John, 
one of the little band of soldiers who, in 1675, 
fought the Indians in King Philip's war, one 
of the most sanguinary and relentless wars 
known to Indian warfare in New England. She 
was the granddaughter of the third of this name. 
Deacon John Phinney, who was an honored 
church official. She was the daughter of Capt. 
John Phinney, the first settler of the fine old 
town of Gorham, where his large experience 
and sterling virtues were constant benedictions 
to his neighbors and townsmen in the early 
years of hardship, privation, and peril. Her 
great-grandmother, the wife of the second John 
Phinney, was a descendant of Thomas Rogers, 
who came to America in the "Mayflower." Her 
brother, Edmund Phinney, was a colonel in the 
war of the Revolution, and his regiment was 
the first to enter Boston after its evacuation by 
the British. Her husband's father was a soldier 
in the expedition against the eastern Indians in 
1724. An uncle of her husband, John Irish, was 
at the siege of Louisburg in 1745. Her husband 
was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, also in 
the war of 1812. Her inherited traits were sup- 
plemented by a wide, varied, and remarkable per- 
sonal experience. 

She was born in the shades of the " forest pri- 
meval," unbroken save by the little opening made 
a few weeks earlier by the sturdy blows of her 

39 



father and stalwart brother Edmund, where rested 
the little cabin which sheltered them from the 
rains of summer and the snows of winter, and 
where her little brother John planted the first hill 
of corn ever planted by white hands within the 
limits of the present town of Gorham. The play- 
mates of her childhood, outside her own family, 
were the children of Indian parents, with whom 
she ran after the squirrels, rabbits, and smaller 
animals that frisked about her forest home, with 
childish delight, and avoided the larger animals 
that were a terror to older people. When she 
was nine years old the Indian neighbors, whom 
her parents had warmed and fed, became hostile 
and blood-thirsty through machinations of French 
settlers in Canada. 

With several families her parents sought the 
protection of the fort which the prudent foresight 
of her father, Capt. John Phinney, had caused to 
be built. Here for four years she lived, taking 
her turn in the watch box to give the alarm in 
case an Indian scout was prowling around, or there 
were any visible signs of danger. She assisted in 
moulding bullets and making cartridges, and in 
performing the drudgery of the life they were liv- 
ing. During the three years following the cessa- 
tion of active hostilities the little colony lived in 
constant fear, and the fort continued to be their 
refuge whenever there was danger of a renewal of 
attack. Early in the war of the Revolution her 
husband was summoned to the service of his coun- 

40 



try. During his absence she supported her family 
by spinning and weaving by hand and selling the 
products of her toil at Portland, fourteen miles 
distant from her home, whither she carried them 
over frightful roads on horseback, returning with 
a fresh supply of raw material for the wheel and 
loom. While Mrs. Irish was a woman of the 
heroic type, she possessed the kindlier instincts of 
her sex in large measure. 

She was always ready to lend a helping hand to 
neighbors less fortunate than herself, and was 
characterized by a generous hospitality. To 
friends and neighbors overtaken by severe misfort- 
une her door was always open. In a year of 
unusual scarcity of food, although her own larder 
was not overstocked, she put her children on allow- 
ance, that she might relieve the hunger of her 
neighbors' children. 

She lived an exemplary Christian life and bore 
to life's end the love and esteem of all who had 
enjoyed her acquaintance. Her death, at almost 
eighty-nine years of age, carried sadness into the 
households of the whole town. 

The experiences of General Irish in 1826 and 
1827 were, in their main features and purposes, a 
continuation of those of the preceding year. He 
passed his summers and autumns in the explora- 
tion of streams, rivers, and lands over a large area 
of north-eastern Maine. He was still compelled 
to resist inroads upon the timber lands belonging 
to the State. The discharge of this duty subjected 

41 



him to persona] annoyances and peril. The 
burning of the hay the preceding year by his 
direction and that of the land agent of Massachu- 
setts, to cripple the operations of plunderers, was 
made the occasion for the most bitter denunciation. 
It was alleged by his enemies, an allegation 
utterly without foundation, that the destructive 
fires that raged in territory now embraced in the 
counties of Penobscot and Piscataquis had their 
origin in the fires that burned the plunderers' hay 
more than a month earlier. 

In 1828 he was reappointed to the land agency. 
He had at that date been engaged in the dis- 
charge of arduous and exacting duties connected 
with the public lands for an uninterrupted period 
of ten years — two years for the State of Massa- 
chusetts before the Act of Separation, and eight 
years for his native State. Much of this time was 
spent in the depths of the forests of north-eastern 
Maine, exploring streams and rivers, running lines, 
surveying townships and dividing them into lots, 
and in efforts to protect the public lands from 
spoliation by misguided men, who were ready to 
improve their own fortunes by robbing the State. 

The faithful discharge of these duties subjected 
him to exposure, hardships, privations, personal 
peril, and separation from his family, to which he 
was tenderly attached. Moreover, he had matured 
and partially executed plans for establishing in- 
dustries within his own village requiring his pres- 
ence at home. For these and other reasons he 

42 



resigned the land agency in the latter part of the 
year 1828, and devoted himself to the development 
of personal plans. He had long cherished a strong 
desire that his children, as they became of age to 
act for themselves, should establish homes near 
the parental homestead. Four years earlier he 
had hired of Moses Clark a small tannery which 
occupied the site of the present extensive establish- 
ment of the Messrs. Hinckley, and had purchased 
a small stock of hides. His oldest son, Isaac C. 
Irish, who had nearly finished a term of apprentice- 
ship with a Mr. Owen of Portland, had been called 
home to take charge of the business. This had 
increased from year to year, and in 1828 it had 
become an extensive business for the times. A 
larger building was constructed for the accommoda- 
tion of this growing business in 1828. He erected 
another building this year to accommodate various 
manufacturing industries which came within the 
range of his plans. He was this year appointed 
associate-justice of the Court of Sessions in Cumber- 
land county. In 1829 he put into the building 
erected the preceding year two bark-mills, a full- 
ing-mill, a circular saw, a turning-lathe, polishing, 
carding, and shearing machines, and machinery 
for the manufacture of starch. Much to the sur- 
prise of hitherto incredulous neighbors and towns- 
men, this machinery was all moved by a wheel 
twenty-five feet in diameter upon which water was 
thrown from an artificial pond, supplied by several 
brooks that he had diverted from their natural 

43 



channels. In 1830 he visited New York and 
Albany to acquaint himself with improved proc- 
esses of tanning leather. He built a house this 
year for his son Isaac. 

From his earliest business years to 1831 his had 
been a life of successful effort. He now found 
himself approaching the outer circles of a vortex 
which, a little later, engulfed many a worthy 
and hitherto successful business man of Maine. 
In 1831 his losses from insolvent debtors began 
and increased from year to year. He met with a 
severe domestic affliction this same year. His 
home was invaded by a great sorrow. The wife 
of his early manhood, the companion, comforter, 
and counsellor of his maturer years, was removed 
by death. 

Mrs. Irish was a woman of rare excellence, and 
for more than thirty years the sunshine of her 
presence had blessed a happy home. Although 
many eventful years have elapsed since the occur- 
rence of this sorrowful bereavement, remembrances 
of her estimable qualities are still tenderly cher- 
ished in the hearts of her surviving children. In 
the large concourse of sympathizing friends who 
were present at the last sad rites there were no 
more sincere mourners, outside the grief-stricken 
household, than her poorer neighbors, to whom 
her kindly offices had been a constant benediction. 

In 1832 General Irish placed additional machin- 
ery in his factory, and did a more extensive tan- 
ning business than ever before. In 1833 he con- 

44 



fined his efforts to lines of business already estab- 
lished. He did something at running lines, sur- 
veying lands, and kindred employments. He built 
a double tenement house which was afterwards 
occupied by relatives. In 1834 he was appointed 
a commissioner of internal improvements under a 
then recent legislative act. This act was repealed 
at the following session of the Legislature. He 
commenced on a small scale the manufacture of 
carpets, a business which afterwards became an 
important industry. On account of a rise in the 
price of potatoes the manufacture of starch was 
abandoned. 

In 1835 he purchased a very valuable township 
of land known as the Brassua township. He 
built a factory this year for the accommodation 
of the carpet business. In 1836 he purchased an 
interest in three townships of land. He received an 
appointment at the hands of the governor of the 
State to accompany General Wool, of the United 
States army, to the Madawaska region, and aid 
him in the selection of sites for military posts, 
with reference to the possible outcome of trouble 
from the "north-eastern boundary dispute." In 
1837 he carried on a lumbering operation in the 
Brassua township, which resulted in a good degree 
of success. In 1838, by appointment of the gov- 
ernor, he was one of three commissioners to trace 
a section of the line which at that time separated 
Maine from New Brunswick. The other com- 
missioners were John G. Deane and Milford P. 

45 



Norton. In 1839 General Irish continued in the 
lumbering business and the manufacture of carpets, 
but he abandoned several other branches which 
had become unprofitable. His business in 1840 
was a continuation of that of 1839. In 1841 he 
relinquished the carpet business, but continued 
lumbering through this and the following year. 
Fresh losses had come through the failure of 
parties indebted to him. The aggregate of his 
losses had become large. He had made earnest 
and persistent efforts to retrieve his fortunes, but 
was unsuccessful. He was now face to face with 
the stern necessity of surrendering the fruits of 
long-continued and honorable toil, of giving up 
fondly-cherished plans, and of surrendering prop- 
erty which, could he have retained, would have 
left him an ample fortune. This turn in the 
current of his affairs came to him with crushing 
force. His inability to meet his obligations to his 
creditors was followed by a depression of spirit 
from which he never recovered. In 1845 General 
Irish was appointed postmaster at Gorham vil- 
lage — a position he held for a term of four years. 
In 1846 two deeply afflictive events came into 
his personal experience : the death of a favorite 
daughter-in-law, Mrs. Isaac C. Irish, a woman of 
great excellence of character, and his son, James 
H. Irish, a young man whose fine personal qualities 
had made him a favorite of a wide circle of ac- 
quaintances. He had been fitting himself for the 
practice of medicine, a profession for which he was 

46 



believed to have had an especial aptitude. General 
Irish was now seventy years of age, but his long 
companionship with privation, hardship, and toil 
had failed to impair his health or constitution. 
There was still useful labor awaiting his hands, 
which, nothing loth, he entered upon. The York 
and Cumberland railroad was projected about this 
time. There was preliminary work to be provided 
for, which he was well qualified to execute, and he 
was employed in the interests of this road. In 
July, 1846, he obtained a charter for the road from 
the Legislature, which was then in session. He 
indicated the route which was adopted. On Sept. 
7, 1846, the persons named in the legislative act 
met at Alfred and organized by the choice of Gen- 
eral Irish as clerk. In October he conducted the 
corporation over the route of the prospective road, 
and in November and December following he made 
the preliminary survey. This accomplished, nearly 
a year was spent in negotiations with other railroad 
companies. On July 20, 1848, the corporation 
met and perfected their organization and chose a 
board of directors, who, on the 27th of July, met 
and elected General Irish clerk. The ceremony of 
breaking ground as a public announcement that the 
work of construction was to be entered upon at 
once occurred Sept. 4, 1848. On Nov. 15, 1849, 
his official relations to the York and Cumberland 
railroad, now known as the Portland & Rochester 
railroad, terminated. He had now held some pub- 
lic position through a period of nearly fifty years. 



47 



In the line of military promotion he had held 
almost every position, from the lowest to that of 
brigadier-general in the militia of Maine. Among 
the civil offices he had held by election or appoint- 
ment was that of senator in the Massachusetts 
Legislature before the separation of the province 
of Maine from that State. He was a member of the 
convention that framed the constitution of Maine, 
was first on the list of representatives from Gor- 
ham to the Maine Legislature, was twice elected 
to the land agency of Maine, was appointed to 
accompany General Wool to the north-eastern 
boundary of Maine to aid him in the selection of 
sites for military posts, and was appointed on a com- 
mission to trace the line of the north-eastern boun- 
dary of Maine. At the termination of General 
Irish's services for the railroad company, in 1849, 
he had reached the age of seventy-three years. 
He then retired from active business pursuits. 

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS. 

General Irish was a man of striking personal 
presence. He was of full average height, erect in 
figure, of good proportions, and of dignified bear- 
ing. He was the personification of robust manhood. 
He inherited from his ancestors a physical consti- 
tution upon which the exposures and hardships of 
a half century had made no perceptible impression. 
The exacting toil of the farm and mill, the expos- 
ures and hardships of life in the wilderness, far 
from the abodes of civilization, in exploration of 

48 



lakes and rivers, and in locating and surveying 
townships, had failed to interrupt the flow of health 
that had characterized his youth and early man- 
hood. He had never had occasion for the aid of 
a physician until after he had passed the limit of 
four-score years, nor had he allowed a year to 
pass without leaving on record an expression of 
devout thankfulness for a continuation of health 
and strength. 

General Irish was endowed with good powers 
of mind and a large measure of common-sense. 
Although he had received less school instruc- 
tion in his whole life than now falls to the lot 
of the average child of ten years, yet by his 
strength of intellect and force of will he quali- 
fied himself to fill many important and respon- 
sible public positions with honor to himself and 
usefulness to the public. 

General Irish's religious beliefs were of the Puri- 
tanic type. He was a strict observer of the Sab- 
bath and its ordinances, and was always faithful 
to his church obligations. On each return of the 
sacred day he called his children, to whom he was 
most tenderly attached, around him for religious 
instruction. In creed he was Congregationalist. 

He cherished a profound respect for the stern 
virtues of his ancestors, and was earnestly patri- 
otic. He was a friend of education, and for many 
years was a trustee of Gorham Seminary in the 
period of its greatest prosperity. 

In politics General Irish was a Democrat through 



49 



his earlier manhood. In 1840 he supported the 
candidate of the Whig party, Gen. Wm. H. Har- 
rison, for the presidency. Soon after he joined 
the political party that opposed the extension of 
slavery. Upon the organization of the Republican 
party he entered its ranks. He was a public- 
spirited citizen. In the early years of its state- 
hood no citizen of Maine was more largely influ- 
ential than he in impressing its citizens with an 
adequate conception of the value of its timber 
lands, and of the importance of protecting them 
from spoliation. 

He was interested in the prosperity of his native 
town. Before his retirement from the land office 
he had matured plans for the establishment of 
industries in the village of his residence which 
would give employment to numbers of people and 
promote the growth of the town. 

But the financial disasters which, a few years 
later, arrested so many business enterprises in the 
State prevented the execution of his plans. He 
planted with his own hands many of the shade- 
trees that adorn the streets of Gorham village, 
affording its citizens grateful protection from the 
heats of summer. 

From the age of sixteen years, for almost a half 
century, General Irish's life had been character- 
ized by continuous and earnest business activity. 
In 1850, having reached the age of seventy-four 
years, he retired from active business pursuits. 
His earlier manhood had been blessed with unin- 

50 



terrupted prosperity, and his honorable ambitions 
had been gratified. But his business misfortunes, 
which culminated in 1840, had made a radical 
change in the current of his experience. He had 
never recovered from the depression of spirit that 
resulted from his financial reverses. Yet his 
strong constitution withstood the shock, and he 
was favored for some years with a continuation of 
good health. After giving up business pursuits 
he passed much of his time in the several families 
of his children, towards whom the strong attach- 
ments of earlier years had never waned. Such 
visits were to him a great solace, and to his children 
seasons of much enjoyment. But not many years 
had passed before his strong constitution began to 
yield to the pressure of advancing years. Remem- 
brances of former financial misfortunes ati' ected his 
health unfavorably. He was also much disturbed 
by occasional reverses to the loyal arms in the war 
of the Rebellion. 

A few months before his death he said to his 
minister, the Rev. Mr. Strong, " I have no strong 
desire for a continuance of life," but added with 
much earnestness, " I do want to live to see the 
close of this dreadful war." His patriotic instincts 
forsook him only at the end of life. At the open- 
ing of the year 1863 it became apparent that the 
eventful life which had spanned the entire interval 
that separated the Revolutionary war from the 
war of the Rebellion was near its close. On the 
morning of the last Sabbath in March, 1863, Gen- 



si 



eral Irish occupied his accustomed seat in church. 
On his return home at the close of the services he 
complained of feeling unwell. A physician was 
called and medicine administered, but he grew 
more feeble as the days moved on. Tender and 
unwearied attention from his children arrested the 
progress of disease for a brief space. Rallying a 
little, he walked out on the street to the little garden 
plot which in his later years he had cared for with 
a devotion akin to a woman's devotion to an only 
child, and upon whose swelling buds and opening- 
blossoms his eyes had often rested with delight, 
but now for the last time. 

Disease soon resumed its sway and he failed 
rapidly until the end came. On June 30, 1863, 
at the age of eighty-six years, ten months, and 
twelve days, he passed within the veil that sepa- 
rates this from the better life. 



52 



A partial list of the descendants of James Irish, 1 
who emigrated from England about the year 1711, 
and settled at Falmouth (now Portland), Me. In 
1738 he moved to Narragansett No. Seven (now 
Gorham), Me., where he died at the age of about 
fifty years. 

He had six children, John, 2 Joseph, 2 Thomas, 2 
James, Jr., 2 William, 2 and Miriam. 2 John, Thomas, 
and James, Jr., settled in Gorham ; Joseph and 
William in Buckfield ; and Miriam, who married 
Gamaliel Pote, in Falmouth. 

John 2 had six children, born between 1746 and 
1760. 

Thomas' 2 had ten children, Susanna, 3 Isaac, 3 
Benjamin, 3 Jacob, 3 Amy, 3 Abigail, 3 Gamaliel, 3 
Deliverence, 3 Mary, 3 and Elizabeth. 3 He died in 
1832 at the age of ninety-eight years and eight 
months. Amy 3 married Samuel Burnell, of Bald- 
win. She lived to the age of ninety-one years. 

William 2 married Mary McCollister. Their 
children were Thomas, 3 Edmund, 3 Margery, 
Dorcas, 3 Miriam, 3 and Sylvanus. 3 

JAMES, Jr., 2 b. Falmouth, Jan. 28, 1736 ; d. Gor- 
ham, April 1, 1816. 
m. 1756, Mary Gorham Phinney, b. Gorham, 
Aug. 24, 1736 ; d. May 13, 1825. Lived 
in Gorham and had nine children : 

53 



1. Stephen, 3 b. March 24, 1757 ; d. April 7, 1841. 

m. Anna Bangs, b. 1757 ; d. Sept., 1846, 

and had : 
1. Mehitible ; 4 2. Martha ; 4 3. Patience ; 4 
4. Daniel ; 4 5. Dorcas ; 4 6. James. 4 

2. William, 3 b. March 12, 1759 ; d. April 30, 

1815. 
m. Sarah March, b. 1759 ; d. 1849. Had 

only one child : 
1. Phebe. 4 

3. Martha, 3 b. Aug. 28, 1761 ; d. Nov. 10, 1836. 

m. Stephen Whitney, b. 1758; d. 1848. 
Eight children : 

1. Mary; 4 2. Sally; 4 3. Patty; 4 4. 
Miriam ; 4 5. William ; 4 6. Stephen ; 4 
7. Ebenezer; 4 8. Patience. 4 

4. Ebenezer, 3 b. April 5, 1763 ; d. Jan. 7, 1851. 

m. Martha Morton, d. at the age of 68. 

Five children : 
1. Sally; 4 2. Nancy; 4 3. Martha; 4 
4. Stephen ; 4 5. Dolly. 4 

5. Obadiah, 3 b. July 17, 1765; d. April 17, 

1852. 
m. Mary Dean, b. 1766 ; d. 1853. Five 

children : 
1. William; 4 2. Polly; 4 3. Deane ; 4 
4. Desire ; 4 5. John. 4 

6. Mary, 3 b. June 24, 1767 ; d. March 6, 1846. 

m. Timothy Bacon, b. 1762; d. 1849. 
Nine children : 



54 



1. Stephen; 4 2. Martha; 4 3. Sally; 4 
4. Nancy ; 4 5. James ; 4 6. Timothy ; 4 
7. Jonathan; 4 8. Gardiner; 4 9. 
Catharine. 4 

7. Patience, 3 b. Jan. 31, 1770 ; d. Dec. 31, 1854. 

m. John Davis, b. 1761 ; d. 1845. Nine 
children : 

1. Sally; 4 2. Thankful; 4 3. James; 4 
4. Rebecca; 4 5. Temperance; 4 
6. Martha ; 4 7. Mary ; 4 8. Solomon ; 4 
9. Cyrus. 4 

8. Samuel, 3 b. April 8, 1772; d. Sept. 25, 

1825. 
m. Martha Blake, b. 1775 ; d. August, 
1858. 

9. James, 3 b. Aug. 18, 1776; d. June 30, 

1863. Youngest son of James Irish, Jr., 
and Mary Gorham Phinney, known in 
manhood's years as Gen. James Irish. 

The brothers and sisters of General Irish grew 
to manhood and womanhood, and like their ances- 
tors they were a robust and long-lived people. 

The average age of those nine brothers and sis- 
ters was seventy-seven years ; two of the brothers 
died prematurely from accidental causes at the 
ages of fifty-three and fifty-six respectively. Elim- 
inating these figures from the calculations, the 
result will show for the remaining seven an average 
age of eighty-three and three-sevenths years. 

The aggregate of the ages of husbands and 

55 



wives of these nine brothers and sisters, omitting 
the age of a single individual who died at fifty- 
three, will reveal the extraordinary average of 
eighty-five years. General Irish had forty-three 
nephews and nieces on his father's side. 

Rebecca Chadbourne, who married Gen. James 
Irish, was of English descent. 

Capt. John Mason, an associate of Fernando 
Gorges in the proprietorship of certain lands in 
the present States of New Hampshire and Maine, 
landed a company of emigrants at Strawberry 
Beach, now Portsmouth, N.H., on July 4, 1631. 

Soon afterwards he established a colony at 
Newichawanock, now South Berwick, York 
County, Me. Wm. Chadbourne and two sons, 
Win., Jr., and Humphrey, joined this colony, the 
agency of which was soon after given to Hum- 
phrey, who held it until the death of Captain 
Mason. 

In 1643 Humphrey purchased a large tract of 
land of the Indian sachem, Rowles, at Quamphe- 
gan. He married Lucia, the daughter of Mrs. 
Catherine Treworgie. 

In 1667 he died, leaving three sons and four 
daughters, and a large property in lands in what is 
now North and South Berwick and Spruce Creek. 
The eldest son took the name of Humphrey from 
his father. 

This second Humphrey died in 1694, leaving 
at least five children, three sons and two daughters- 
One of these sons, William, was born about 1683. 

56 



At his death he left eleven children, the second of 
whom was Humphrey, afterwards known as Elder 
Humphrey Chadbourne. Judge Benj . Chadbourne, 
a man of note in the history of Berwick and 
adjoining towns, was a brother of Elder Humphrey 
Chadbourne. The latter was born in 1716. He 
married Phebe Hobbs, of Somersworth, N.H., 
and left eleven children. Silas, the fifth child of 
this marriage, was boru in Berwick Aug. 8, 1752. 
A short time previous to the beginning of the 
war of the Revolution he worked as a tailor in the 
town of Gorham, where he married Abigail Crock- 
ett. One of the ten children of this marriage was 
Rebecca Chadbourne, who was born April 9, 1780. 



57 




ISAAC CHADBOURNE 
THADDEUS I'OMKOY 



MARSHALL 
GEN. JAMES IKISll 



FRAKCIS OSGOOD 
JAMES IIENKY 




SOPHRONIA 

ABAGAIL 

REBECCA CHADBOURNE 



-MARY GORHAM 
REBECCA CHADBOURNE 

(Mother) 



AUALINE 
MARTHA 
ELIZABETH 



FAMILY RECORDS 

OP 

GENERAL JAMES IRISH AND HIS 
DESCENDANTS. 



* JAMES IRISH/ b. Aug. 18, 1776 ; d. June 
30, 1863. 

m. (1.) Sept. 2, 1798, Rebecca Chadbourne, b. 
Berwick, Me., April 9, 1780 ; d. Oct. 5, 
1831 ; daughter of Silas Chadbourne, a 
Revolutionary soldier. 
(2.) Oct. 15, 1832, Louisa Mason, b. Mass., 
Aug. 5, 1789; d. Hallowell, Me., Oct. 3, 
1881. Lived in Gorham, Me., and had 
thirteen children : 
I. SOPHRONIA, 2 b. Gorham, Sept. 5, 1799; 
d. March 31, 1886. 
m. (1.) Nov. 28, 1821, Henry Frost, b. 

1798 ; d. July 13, 1827. 
(2.) Sept. 23, 1829, John Wingate, b. 

April 28, 1799 ; d. Sept. 21, 1858. 
Had two children by first husband, by 
second, eight : 

* Note. — General Irish was of the third generation of Irishes from 
the emigrant James Irish, and through his mother the seventh genera- 
tion from the Pilgrim John Rogers, hut as the purpose here is to give 
his descendants only, it was deemed best to number the generations 
from him as the first. 

59 



1. Elizabeth, 3 b. Gorham, Aug. 4, 1822 ; 

d. May 6, 1848. 
m. Feb. 25, 1845, Theophilus Waterhouse, 
of Standish, Me. 

2. Caroline C., 3 b. Gorham, Aug. 17, 1824. 

3. Rebecca I., 3 b. Oct. 30, 1830; d. Aug. 

14, 1853. 

4. Salome S., 3 b. March 4, 1833. 

m. (1.) July 1, 1852, George J. Prentiss, 

d. June 25, 1864. 
(2.) Jan. 6, 1877, George W. Newbeyin. 
1. Helen Rebecca, 4 ' b. June 7, 1853; d. 
June, 1856. 

5. Heney F. 3 (twin), b. Feb. 28, 1835 ; d. 

California, Nov. 28, 1865. 

6. James I. 3 (twin), b. Feb. 28, 1835; d. 

Feb. 21, 1836. 

7. James I., 3 b. June 4, 1837. 

m. May 18, 1870, Helen Frances Edge- 
comb, b. Nov. 8, 1838, and bad : 
1. Frank Elmer, 4 - b. Jan. 3, 1872. 

m. Jan. 25, 1893, Helen May Buck- 
ner, b. Boston, Sept. 12, 1871, and 
had : 
(a.) Muriel, 5 b. April 23, 1895. 
(6.) Marjorie, 5 b. June 17, 1896. 

8. Mary Gorham, 3 b. March 13, 1840. 

9. Ellen S., 3 b. April 2, 1843. 

10. John Phinney, 3 b. March 7, 1846 ; d. 
Aug. 15, 1849. 



6U 



II. MARY GORHAM/ 2 b. Gorham, July 3, 
1801 ; d. Oct. 31, 1856. 
m. Nov. 26, 1822, Peter Paine, b. Stan- 
dish, Jan. 27, 1795; d. May 12, 1872. 
Lived in Standish, and had : 

1. Sarah Leavitt, 3 b. May 9, 1824 ; d. Oct. 

5, 1852. 
m. Sept. 17, 1846, Ellis B. Usher, of 
Hollis, and had : 

1. Gershom <7., 4 b. April 23, 1848. 

2. Willard E.* b. Jan. 29, 1850 ; d. Oct. 

18, 1853. 

3. Sarah P., 4 b. May 23, 1852 ; d. Sept. 

11, 1853. 

2. Henry Frost, 3 b. June 12, 1826 ; d. July 

14, 1870. 
m. June 23, 1846, Mary B. Wells, and 
had : 

1. Mary M., 4 b. Saco, Jan. 11, 1847. 

2. Mien P., 4 b. Buxton, Jan. 8, 1849 ; d. 

March 7, 1849. 

3. Frank J., 4 b. Portland, March 16, 1850 ; 

d. Aug. 6, 1882. 

4. Henrietta, 4, b. Madison, Wis., March 2, 

1859. 

3. James Irish, 3 b. May 28, 1831. 

m., Nov. 17, 1853, Emiline Hopkinson. 

4. Margaret Haskell, 3 b. June 11, 1834. 
m. April 29, 1860, Orin Wescott, b. Gor- 
ham, Nov. 12, 1826 ; d. Sept. 27, 1891, 
and had : 

61 



1. Jonah iV b. Feb. 2, 1861. 

2. A. Lincoln* b. May 26, 1865. 

3. Alvin S. 4 b. June 6, 1868. 

4. Peter W. 4 b. April 10, 1870. 

5. George H. 4 b. Feb. 29, 1872 ; d. Jan. 

2, 1880. 

5. Josiah, 3 b. Jan. 24, 1836 ; d. Dec. 30, 1860. 

6. Marrett Ingalls, 3 b. April 20, 1840. 

m. June 12, 1864, Aramantha Strout, b. 
Lowell, Mass., June 13, 1846, and had : 

1. Mary Gorham 4 b. Standish, Aug. 28, 

1869. 
m. Jan. 1, 1894, Robt. H. Hoseason. 

2. Charles I. 4 b. Auburn, April 25, 1873 ; 

d. March 26, 1879. 
III. ISAAC CHADBOURNE, 2 b. Gorham, Nov. 
29, 1803 ; d. Portland, Jan. 12, 1887. 
m. Sept. 5, 1830, Maria March, b. Gorham, 
Jan. 21, 1809 ; d. Feb. 21, 1846. Lived 
in Gorham, and had : 

1. Frances Maria, 3 b. Sept. 19, 1831 ; d. 

Dec. 24, 1886. 

2. Harriet Rubery, 3 b. Nov. 13, 1833. 

m. June 12, 1866, Henry P. Lord, of 
Portland ; d. March 22, 1868. 

3. Caroline Augusta, 3 b. June 10, 1837 ; 

d. April 4, 1864. 
m. Dec. 23, 1862, Samuel B. Conly, and 

had : 
1. Caroline Marion 4 b. Boston, Feb. 22, 
1864 ; d. Jan. 26, 1866. 



6? 



IV. ABIGAIL, 2 b. Gorham, Aug. 14, 1806 ; d. 
June 22, 1873. 
m. Dec. 15, 1830, Cornelius Waters, b. 
Goffstown, N.H., Nov. 17, 1795; d. 
Jan. 26, 1880. Lived in Gorham, and 
had : 

1. Rebecca Irish, 3 b. Sept. 23, 1831 ; d. Feb. 

1, 1882. 

2. Mary Louisa, 3 b. Sept. 10, 1833. 

m. June 15, 1858, Samuel Thurston, b. 
Winthrop, Aug. 14, 1825, and had : 

1. Ida Louisa, 4 ' b. Portland, Feb. 4, 1861. 
m. Sept. 25, 1883, John H. Gerrish, 

b. Portland, Oct. 13, 1858, and had : 

(a) Louise Waters, 5 b. Portland, Aug. 

22, 1884. 

(b) Herbert Thurston, 5 b. Portland, 

July 6, 1886. 

(c) Alice Small, 5 b. Medford, April 7, 

1888. 

(d) Mildred Gardner, 5 b. Medford, Jan. 

2, 1890 ; d. Sept. 30, 1890. 

(e) Maurice Sylvester, 5 b. Medford, 

Nov. 30, 1891. 
(/) Ruth Merrill, 5 b. Medford, Sept. 18, 

1893. 
(g) John Jordan, 5 b. Medford, Oct. 20, 

1895. 

2. Henry Lyndon, 4 ' b. May 19, 1866. 

m. June, 1890, Rosa Leona Wetzler, b. 
Portland, Sept. 28, 1865, and had : 

63 



(a) Herbert Leon, 5 b. Aug. 10, 1891. 

(b) Roland Wetzler, 5 b. Feb. 13, 1895. 

3. Ella Waters, 4 b. July 26, 1868. 

4. David Cornelius,* b. April 11, 1870. 

5. Harriet Elisabeth? b. Feb. 14, 1874. 
m. Jan. 5, 1897, Ernest Linwood Small, 

b. May 4, 1872. 

3. Abigail Coedelia, 3 b. June 13, 1837; d. 

Nov. 26, 1877. 

4. James Cornelius, 3 b. May 9, 1840 ; d. 

June 30, 1870. 

5. Reuel Williams, 3 b. Oct. 31, 1842. 

m. June 24, 1868, Emily A. Bentley, b. 

Boston, Oct. 6, 1844, and had : 
1. Herbert Bentley, 4, b. Somerville, Mass., 
Sept. 12, 1870. 

6. Anna Gardner, 3 b. Dec. 6, 1851. 

V. MARTHA, 2 b. Gorham, July 15, 1808; 
d. Portland, July 22, 1884. 
m. Nov. 21, 1833, Bryce M. Edwards, b. 
Gorham, March 25, 1800; d. West- 
brook, April 15, 1871. Lived in West- 
brook, and had : 

1. Lewis Warren, 3 b. Aug. 28, 1834. 

m. (1.) Oct. 15, 1862, Mary Elizabeth 
Brown, b. Westbrook, Aug. 20, 1836 ; 
d. Dec. 5, 1875. 

(2.) Oct. 31, 1888, Harriet E. Raymond, 
b. Westbrook, Oct. 15, 1845. 

2. Adeline Marrett, 3 b. July 8, 1836 ; d. 

Mechanic Falls, April 24, 1876. 

64 



in. June 26, 1859, D. N. McCann, b. 
Poland, Me., Feb. 28, 1828, and had : 

1. Frank Howard? b. Feb. 26, 1863. 

m. June 28, 1893, Arabelle Hall, b. 
Rockland, Me., Feb. 20, 1861. 

2. Carrie Adelaide? b. July 4, 1866. 

3. Catharine Barker, 3 b. Nov. 30, 1837. 
m. Jan. 5, 1864, Fred'k Proctor, b. West- 
brook, and had : 

1. Gertrude L.? b. Westbrook, Sept. 25, 
1864. 

4. Bryce McLellan, 3 b. Sept. 25, 1839. 

m. Jan. 5, 1864, Henrietta Libby, b. Gor- 
ham, April 3, 1843 ; d. Portland, April 
25, 1896, and had: 

1. George Cole, 4 b. Westbrook, Jan. 25, 

1866. 

2. William Dean? b. Westbrook, Aug. 3, 

1868; d. May 30, 1870. 

3. Louise Libby? b. Westbrook, May 20, 

1870. 

4. Marion McLellan? b. Portland, Feb. 

27, 1879. 

5. Abbie Maria, 3 b. Oct. 5, 1842 ; d. June 

4, 1886. 
m. (1.) May 14, 1868, Lieut. Wm. W. 

Dean, U.S.A. 
(2.) Jan. 15, 1877, Capt. Francis E. 

Cummings, of Portland. 

6. Martha McLellan, 3 b. Sept. 2, 1844 ; d. 

May 5, 1846. 

65. 



VI. ADALINE, 2 b. Gorham, Sept. 26, 1810. 

m. Dec. 6, 1832, Wm. Marrett, b. Standish, 
Sept. 5, 1804 ; d. Oct. 3, 1860. Lived 
in Westbrook, and had : 
1. Mary Mussey, 3 b. Sept. 22, 1834; d. 
Jan. 27, 1877. 
m. Aug. 29, 1863, Fabius M. Ray, b. 
Windham, Me., March 30, 1837, and 
had : 

1. Sarah Adeline , 4 b. Westbrook, June 14, 

1866. 

2. William Caleb* b. Westbrook, May 16, 

1871. 
VII. FRANCIS OSGOOD, 2 b. Gorham, Sept. 22, 
1812 ; d. Brooklyn, N.Y., Dec. 16, 1894. 
m. Jan. 11, 1847, Caroline Elizabeth 
Atwood, b. Worcester, Mass., May 1, 
1819 ; d. Brooklyn, N.Y., May 17, 1866, 
and had : 

1. Anna Lamb, 3 b. Boston, Mass., July 17, 

1848; d. Brooklyn, N.Y.. Jan. 27, 
1886. 

2. Frank Atwood, 3 b. Maiden, Mass., Aug. 

7, 1850. 
m. June 27, 1882, Eleanor Stephens, 

b. New York, March 13, 1851, and had : 
1. Marion Eleanor* b. Brooklyn, Feb. 
21, 1886 ;d. Feb. 18, 1891. 

3. Clarence Chadbourne, 3 b. Chelsea, Mass., 

Dec. 10, 1855. 
m. Jan. 11, 1879, Elizabeth J. Cook, 

66 



b. London, Ont., June 20, 1858, and 
had : 

1. Caroline Elizabeth* b. Brooklyn, 

N.Y., Dec. 19, 1879; d. July 24, 
1880. 

2. Alice Frances* b. Brooklyn, N.Y., 

June 13, 1881. 

3. Gertrude Margaret* b. Brooklyn, N.Y., 

Sept. 21, 1886. 

4. Mildred Eose*h. Brooklyn, N.Y., July 

13, 1890. 

5. Elizabeth Atwood* b. Brooklyn, N.Y., 

Dec. 14, 1894. 
VIII. MARSHALL. 2 b. Gorham, Sept. 9, 1814 ; d. 

June 28, 1885. 
m. (1.) Oct. 26, 1846, Martha Fogg, b. 

Gorham, Aug. 19, 1816; d. Oct. 25, 

1872. 
(2.) Dec. 19, 1877, Mary T. McLellan, 

b. Cornish, Me., April 9, 1832; d. 

Westbrook, Sept. 9, 1894. Lived in 

Gorham, and had : 

1. Edwin M., 3 b. June 11, 1848. 

m. July 23, 1873, Mary C. Sperry, b. Ann 

Arbor, Mich., and had : 
1. Emma Gertrude* b. Kalamazoo, Mich., 
Sept. 4, 1874. 

2. Maria M., 3 b. Jan. 24, 1850. 

3. William Marshall, 3 b. March 27, 1855 ; 

d. Jan. 28, 1885. 



IX. JAMES, 2 b. Gorham, June 9, 1816 ; d. June 

20, 1816. 
X. REBECCA CHADBOURNE, 2 b. Gorham, 
Sept. 21, 1817. 
m. Sept. 21, 1846, Lyndon Oak, b. Bosca- 
wen, N.H., Sept. 21, 1816. Lived in 
Garland, Me., and had : 

1. James Hastings, 3 b. Oct. 4, 1849. 

m. May 10, 1874, Adella Estelle Johnson, 
b. Garland, December, 1856 ; d. Had 
eight children : 

1. Lyndon Johnson, 41 b. Garland, March 

18, 1875. 

2. Walter Charles, 4 ' b. Garland, May 30, 

1878. 

3. Harry Wallace 4 b. Caribou, May 15, 

1880. 

4. Marion Rebecca 4 b. Presque Isle, April 

30, 1882. 

5. Bay 4 b. Presque Isle, d. July 12, 1885. 

6. Noah Johnson 4 b. Presque Isle, June 

1, 1889. 

7. Mary 4 b. Presque Isle, Jan. 8, 1891. 

8. Edson L. 4 b. Presque Isle, Feb. 21, 

1892. 

2. John Marshall, 3 b. June 16, 1851. 

m. Jan. 11, 1882, Jennie F. West, b. Ban- 
gor, Sept. 1, 1855. 

3. Grace Elizabeth, 3 b. June 1, 1858. 

m. June 22, 1891, Jacob Parker, b. Mon- 
roe, Me. 

68 



XI. ELIZABETH, 2 b. Gorham, July 29, 1819; 

d. Philadelphia, July 1, 1896. 
m. Dec. 1, 1841, John McArthur, b. Lim- 
ington, Me., May 13, 1806 ; d. Au- 
gusta, Sept. 8, 1870, and had : 
1. Marion Elizabeth, 3 b. Brooks, Me., Aug. 
5, 1844. 
m. Jan. 4, 1872, Charles F. Moore, b. 
Augusta, Dec. 29, 1835, and had : 

1. Elizabeth McArthur,* b. Washington, 

D.C., Nov. 22, 1876; d. July 11, 
1877. 

2. Marion McArthur,* b. Washington, 

D.C., Nov. 20, 1878 ; d. Aug. 16, 
1879. 

3. Malcolm McArthur,* b. Washington, 

D.C., Feb. 8, 1880. 

4. Walter Charles, 4 b. Washington, D.C., 

Oct. 9, 1883. 

XII. JAMES HENRY, 2 b. Gorham, March 11, 

1823 ; d. May 18, 1846. 
XIII. THADDEUS POMROY, 2 b. Gorham, Nov. 
25, 1824. 

m. (1.) Nov. 29, 1848, Ellen A. Davis, b. 
Standish, Me., Feb. 14, 1827 ; d. Gor- 
ham, Oct. 20, 1869. 

(2.) Nov. 23, 1870, Lucy J. Rice, b. Ash- 

burnham, Mass., April 6, 1830. Had 

three children, all born in Garland, Me. : 

1. Elizabeth Roulliet, 3 b. Sept. 8, 1849 ; 

d. March 6, 1865. 

69 



2. James Henry, 3 b. Nov. 24, 1852. 

m. Nov. 25, 1880, Jimia H. Sanborn, b. 
Rochester, N.H., Oct. 23, 1857, and 
had : 

1. Philip James? b. Gorham, Dec. 11, 

1881. 

2. Forest a Neil? b. Gorham, Jan. 8, 1885. 

3. Hazel Marguerite? b. Gorham, April 

2, 1886. 

4. Chester King? b. Gorham, Aug. 28, 

1887 ; d. Dec. 4, 1887. 

5. Junia Hobbs? b. Gorham, Jan. 19, 

1889. 

6. Ellen Davis? b. Gorham, July 1, 1890 ; 

d. Feb. 29, 1892. 

7. Christine? b. Gorham, Nov. 21, 1891. 

8. Robert Jasper? b. Rochester, Dec. 11, 

1897. 

3. Fred Davis, 3 b. April 10, 1857. 



70 



) 



Addition- 3 ! Data for 
"A Sketch of the life of Gen. James 
Irish of C-orham, Me. 

Page 54. 
r 1 

by Mrs. William Howes 
North Andover, Mass. 
May, 1928. 



- 



1 . 



2 

On P. 54 the name of Asa is omitted from the 
list of children of Obadiah and ;,ary Irish. 

"Proof that Asa was the second son or Obadiah 
and Mary Irish may oe found in obadiah Irish's 
old family bible now in the possession of 
Howard Irish 01 Sebago, Maine (P.O. Hillside, 
Me.) 

Photostatic cooie^ of this bible are with 
the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Depend- 
ents, at 9 Walnut Street, Boston, Mass., filed 
with the membership papers of Mrs, William 
Howes, State number 3174. 

The "History of G-orham, Me." by Mc Lei Ian, 
13 . 584 states that Obadiah Irish married Mary 
~)eane Jan. 7, 1790 and moved to Ossinee. 

The "History of Maine" by Williamson", P. 554 
states that the town of Limj-ngton, :.le. was 
called Ossipee nnor to Feb. 9, 1792, when the 
town was incorporated. 

1 he following is a cony o1 a statement oy 
Mrs. Annette (Douglass) Babb, granddaughter 
of Obadiah and l.Iary irish, sworn to before a 
Notary. 



"I was bora Nov, 24, 1840 in Sebago, Me. 
My father was born Sent. 21, 1810 in Limington 
and my mother, Casiah Irish (but -vis generally 
Icno'-vn as Oesire) Tr ?as born °ept. £0, 1809 in 
Limington. They were married April 1, 1835. 

My mother had a brother Asa, who was born 
1793 m Limington, and who married Patience 
Rankin. Obadiah and Mary (Dean) Irish i7 >ere 
the parents of Isa, also my grandparents, ^ho 
live^ and died at the home ot A si Irish on 
Tiger TT ill, which "?ir across the woods from my 
father's home en Peaked Ift # , Sebago, 

I can remember Uncle Asa and '.unt Patience 
well, as grandfather and grandmother lived 
with them. Uncle William was an elder brother 
of Uncle Asa's, I was married to James J. 
£abb June 7, 1862, and I have lived in Sebago, 
3 [e . my entire lif e . " 
( q eal 3igned*-Mrs. Annette Babb. 

Sebago, He. ^ara "'itch. 

7 "otary Public. Nov. 5, 1927, 

r 'hi^ statement is with th membership papers 
of Mrs, William TT o-ves, State No. 3174 at the 



4 
ass. Mayflower rooms, 9 Walnut St., Boston, 
also a cony of the grave stone records of Asa 
Irish and Patience, his wife, showing that Asa 
was born in 1197) and that Patience, his wife, 
was born in 1795. These graves are in Sebago , 
Maine. 

^he children of Asa and Patience (Rankin) 
Irish were Dominicus, Mary, Thankful, Nancy, 
Martha, Elizabeth, Asa, Susan, Sophronia and 
Charles. 






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