I '7 -7:6 — 1863
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UNUNITED STATES OF AMERICA.;^
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GENERAL JAMES IKISII
A SKETCH OF THE LIFE
GENERAL JAMES IRISH
OF GORHAM, ME.
i 77 6 — i 863
LEE & SHEPARD
DESCENDANTS OF GENERAL JAMES IRISH AND
HIS WIFE REBECCA CHADBOURNE
THIS SHORT SKETCH
IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED
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.
General James Irish Frontispiece ^
Honorable Lyndon Oak 9 "
Mary Gorham Phinney 38 ^
Group (Wife and Daughters or General
Group (General Irish and his Sons) . . 59
A BRIEF SKETCH
GENEALOGY AND PERSONAL HISTORY
OF GENERAL JAMES IRISH, OF
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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-
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-
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.
Through the three following years the inhabitants
fled to the fort whenever threatened by a renewal
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.
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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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
In the winter of 1801 he taught school in
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
" 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
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
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
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
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
lieutenant-colonel of the militia by the governor
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-
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-
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
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-
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.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
agent be concerned directly or indirectly in any pur-
chase of said public land. (Appi'oved Feb. 25,
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
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
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
MARY GORHAM 1'IIIXNEV
First white child born in Gorham, .Maine
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-
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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-
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-
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.
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
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
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 :
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,
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,
m. Mary Dean, b. 1766 ; d. 1853. Five
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 :
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.
7. Patience, 3 b. Jan. 31, 1770 ; d. Dec. 31, 1854.
m. John Davis, b. 1761 ; d. 1845. Nine
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,
m. Martha Blake, b. 1775 ; d. August,
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
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
In 1643 Humphrey purchased a large tract of
land of the Indian sachem, Rowles, at Quamphe-
gan. He married Lucia, the daughter of Mrs.
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
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.
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.
GEN. JAMES IKISll
GENERAL JAMES IRISH AND HIS
* JAMES IRISH/ b. Aug. 18, 1776 ; d. June
m. (1.) Sept. 2, 1798, Rebecca Chadbourne, b.
Berwick, Me., April 9, 1780 ; d. Oct. 5,
1831 ; daughter of Silas Chadbourne, a
(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.
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.
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.
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
(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.
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.
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.
3. Sarah P., 4 b. May 23, 1852 ; d. Sept.
2. Henry Frost, 3 b. June 12, 1826 ; d. July
m. June 23, 1846, Mary B. Wells, and
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,
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 :
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.
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,
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
1. Caroline Marion 4 b. Boston, Feb. 22,
1864 ; d. Jan. 26, 1866.
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
1. Rebecca Irish, 3 b. Sept. 23, 1831 ; d. Feb.
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.
(b) Herbert Thurston, 5 b. Portland,
July 6, 1886.
(c) Alice Small, 5 b. Medford, April 7,
(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,
(g) John Jordan, 5 b. Medford, Oct. 20,
2. Henry Lyndon, 4 ' b. May 19, 1866.
m. June, 1890, Rosa Leona Wetzler, b.
Portland, Sept. 28, 1865, and had :
(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.
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,
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,
2. William Dean? b. Westbrook, Aug. 3,
1868; d. May 30, 1870.
3. Louise Libby? b. Westbrook, May 20,
4. Marion McLellan? b. Portland, Feb.
5. Abbie Maria, 3 b. Oct. 5, 1842 ; d. June
m. (1.) May 14, 1868, Lieut. Wm. W.
(2.) Jan. 15, 1877, Capt. Francis E.
Cummings, of Portland.
6. Martha McLellan, 3 b. Sept. 2, 1844 ; d.
May 5, 1846.
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
1. Sarah Adeline , 4 b. Westbrook, June 14,
2. William Caleb* b. Westbrook, May 16,
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,
2. Frank Atwood, 3 b. Maiden, Mass., Aug.
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,
b. London, Ont., June 20, 1858, and
1. Caroline Elizabeth* b. Brooklyn,
N.Y., Dec. 19, 1879; d. July 24,
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
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,
(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
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
2. Walter Charles, 4 ' b. Garland, May 30,
3. Harry Wallace 4 b. Caribou, May 15,
4. Marion Rebecca 4 b. Presque Isle, April
5. Bay 4 b. Presque Isle, d. July 12, 1885.
6. Noah Johnson 4 b. Presque Isle, June
7. Mary 4 b. Presque Isle, Jan. 8, 1891.
8. Edson L. 4 b. Presque Isle, Feb. 21,
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-
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.
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,
2. Marion McArthur,* b. Washington,
D.C., Nov. 20, 1878 ; d. Aug. 16,
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.
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.
2. James Henry, 3 b. Nov. 24, 1852.
m. Nov. 25, 1880, Jimia H. Sanborn, b.
Rochester, N.H., Oct. 23, 1857, and
1. Philip James? b. Gorham, Dec. 11,
2. Forest a Neil? b. Gorham, Jan. 8, 1885.
3. Hazel Marguerite? b. Gorham, April
4. Chester King? b. Gorham, Aug. 28,
1887 ; d. Dec. 4, 1887.
5. Junia Hobbs? b. Gorham, Jan. 19,
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,
3. Fred Davis, 3 b. April 10, 1857.
Addition- 3 ! Data for
"A Sketch of the life of Gen. James
Irish of C-orham, Me.
by Mrs. William Howes
North Andover, Mass.
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,
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
"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
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 ,
^he children of Asa and Patience (Rankin)
Irish were Dominicus, Mary, Thankful, Nancy,
Martha, Elizabeth, Asa, Susan, Sophronia and