was first invited and afterwards, Mr. Joseph Stevens,
both of whom declined. Whilst such negotiations
were in progress, Mr. Symmes died, and the usual
pompous Latin inscription was cut upon his tombstone.
It so happened that Just at this time, Zechariah
Symmes' son, the Rev. Thomas Symmes, who had
been preaching in the neighboring town of Boxford
for some years, was leaving that people. He had
been born in Bradford, in 1678, and graduated at
Harvard in 1698. He had studied at Cambridge five
years after graduating and had preached at Boxford
five or six years, so that the Bradford folks must have
been very familiar with him. He was now about
thirty years old, nearly the same age as his laborious
father when he came to Bradford. Perhaps, as often
happens, he had not been quite appreciated in his
birth-place. June 14, 1708, the town voted to hear
him preach next, then a committee was chosen to go
and invite him to " come and preach for some time,"
then " that he should be again invited," and at last,
November 24. 170S, " Then voted and passed on the
affirmative, that Mr. Thomas Symmes should be or-
dained with all po-sible spede."
This is not surprising, for Mr. Symmes, the second
of Bradford, was a very interesting man. Increase
Mather praised him, who had known him from his
youth. He was attractive personally, from good looks,
high spirit, accomplishments, varied learning, im-
petuosity. He had a fine voice, and was a good
singer. He was hot-tempered and imperious, but
was magnanimous and ready to confess a wrong. One
may suspect he lived a good deal in extremes of high
and low. When he preached the artillery election
sermon, in 1720, which was printed, Eev. Dr. Colman,
of Boston, wrote a preface to it, wherein he said :
" May it prove as profitable in the reading as it was
in the hearing; the preacher was unto us a very lovely
song of one that has a pleasant voice and can play
well on an instrument." The church records bear
witness to his fervor. When there was any notable
Accessions to membership, he broke forth in praise
1 and ascription to God in Latin phrase, which, per-
! haps, some of his people would have thought savored
I of the Romish priesthood and the mass: " Soli Deo
I Triuiii, sit omnis Gloria ! Laus Deo ! Gloria Deo in
Excelsis ! Gloria Christo ! " With so much that was
good, noble and pleasing, he was always in hot water,
says his biographer; "he wanted prudence in the
j economy of his family and a kind, winning manner
I of address with his parishioners. With a better salary
than his neighbors, he lived and died poor, and he
likewise kindled a party spirit in both parishes where
he was settled. One matter in dispute was concerning
church music." In the last particular, Mr. Symmes
was correct in point of taste and doubtless accom-
plished good, but was too hot and rash in his manner
of pushing the controversy.
The church records bear traces of his masterful-
ness, as when it was decided to choose ruling elders
j by which Mr. Symmes probably meant elders that he
j could rule, — " At length I left it to them to choose
one for ye upper end of ye Town (having first de-
clared that if they chose ye two aged Deacons, I
should not comply with it, if they would have no more).
I I then nominated for the Ea-st Eud, etc."
! But when Mr. Symmes died, that good man, so op-
1 posite in character. Rev. John Brow^n, of Haverhill,
who seems to have had a great admiration of him,
preached his funeral sermon and wrote a very inter-
esting account of him. He was buried in the old
cemetery, doubtless in the lot chosen by his father,
j October 10, 1725. In the May before (8th) had befallen
j at Pigwacket the famous fight between Captain
1 Lovewell's men and Paugus' party, in which four
Haverhill men were engaged. Mr. Symmes had
" improved " the occasion and preached a sermon,
which was published, part of the title of which was
" Historical Memorial on the Fight at Pigwacket."
A few years ago a sudden controversy springing up,
upon an antiquarian point, caused the sermon to be
hunted up, and revived the memory of the Bradford
niSTOllY OF ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS.
To this brilliant uiiin succeeded Rev. Joseph Par-
sons, born at Brookfield in 1701, who graduated at
Harvard in 1720; was ordained at Bradford in 1726,
and died here in 1765. There was an excellent
couucil when he was settled, and a "Great Ordination."
Mr. Parsons, too, had his days of glory, when he
preached betore the artillery company and the Gen-
He did not favor Whitetield's preaching, and was
one of the ten Merrimac Valley clergymen who pro
tested to the Boston ministers against his being ad-
mitted to the pulpit.
About the time of Parsons' settlement had come
also the period when the people in the eastern part
of the town, having grown populous, were no longer
willing to go up to the west end to meeting. There
does not seem to have been a great deal of friction,
when it was recognized that the separation was inev-
itable. The East Precinct was incorporated June 17,
1726, and the church was organized June 7, 1727.
One hundred and one members were dismissed to
form it. With them went both deacons, and thirty-
three members by the name of Hardy. Eev. William
Balch was the first minister of the Second Church.
He graduated at Harvard in 1724, was ordained in 1728
and died in 1792, aged eighty-eight years. He was
able, simple, benevolent and beloved; but there was
once (about 1744) a storm in his parish, when nine
members of the church declared themselves dissatis-
fied with his preaching on doctrinal points, and ap-
pealed to a neighboring church when their own sus-
tained the pastor. A council was called, which sus-
tained Mr. Balch and the church. Then there was a
pulpit warfare between Mr. Balch and the ministers
of Ipswich and Beverly, in which Mr. Balch was
thought to have sustained himself ably. The result
uf the council was signed by the moderator. Rev.
John Barnard, of Andover. But Mr. Balch was ac-
cused of Arminianism, and had not Mr. Barnard
also the same tendency ? His sons, Edward Barnard
(of Haverhill) and Thomas Barnard (of Newbury
and Salem), as well as his son-in-law. Dr. Tucker (ol
Newbury), and Mr. Balch himself, were all Arminian.
Of the First Church in Bradford, however. Dr. Kings-
bury says: " It has been supposed that the churches
in this valley suflered from false doctrine during the
time of the pastorate of Parsons and Williams. It
was not true of this church. The pastors were faith-
ful in preaching the truth." Undoubtedly, they
When Mr. Balch was about seventy- five years old,
Ebenezer Dutch, of Ipswich, graduated at Dart-
mouth in 1776, was ordained as his colleague in
1779. He was not a man of so much learning and
culture as the earlier Bradford raiuisters, but he was
very ready and taking of speech, and it has even
been said of him that he had " impassioned elo-
He had the valuible but dangerous gift of extem-
poraneous speech. He was eccentric and imprudent
! in his conduct, and, at one time in his career, too
ranch immersed in worldly matters. Tradition says
he was fond of swapping horses ; but Dr. Perry re-
cords that he repented and made a blessed ending:
" He that repenteth and forsaketh his sin, shall find
mercy." Mr. Dutch died in 1813, and then Dr. Per-
ry himself was ordained September 28, 1814. Dr.
Perry was not only a good minister, but a very useful
citizen. His labors in behalf of agriculture, for in-
stance, were marked, and it is believed he received a
prize for an essay on tree culture. He was an early
friend of advanced education, and gave much atten-
tion to the schools of the town.
Rev. David A. Wasson, a graduate of the Theolog-
ical Seminary at Bangor, was ordained as colleague
with Dr. Perry in 1851. Mr. Wasson was a man of
keen and incisive mind and an original thinker. He
had also a native and genuine independence; but he
I was an extreme radical, and had strayed far away
I from Calvinism. The result might easily have been
foreseen. He was not in his proper place, unless he
could carry all the people of his parish with him.
That was impossible. There was a hot controversy.
Mr. Wasson was unmasked, as it w-as probably called.
He resigned, taking a portion of the people with him.
The seceders had an independent society or free
church, but that was not very successful, and Mr.
Wasson soon retired from it. He has recently de-
ceased. Not prosperous in life, he probably had
more original power of mind than any other of the
ministers of Bradford.
The East Parish built its first meeting-house in
j 1726, and its second in 1790.
j There has been a marked difference in the character-
istics of the two parishes of Bradford. The elder has
been invariably prudent, conservative, consistent.
The younger parish, disturbed by two great dissen-
sions, in the time of Balch and the latter days of
Perry, has not been so peaceful. There has been
j schism, separation. There has been a greater tendency
to radicalism. But there has been always a good
I degree of intelligence. The two parishes were sepa-
j rated after two hundred years of municipal life. Grove-
! land was incorporated March 8, 1850. The relations
between the people of the two towns are believed to
be entirely friendly. There are, of course, many ties
of consanguinity and old friendship to unite them.
But yet the separation was wise, and probably it is
I not regretted by any considerable number of persons
j in either place.
CHAPTER CLXVII .
Continued Stori) of Bradford Church.
The fourth pastor of the First Parish was Rev.
Samuel Williams, born at Waltham in 1743, graduated
at Harvard 1761, a distinguished mathematical
scholar, and as such, sent with Professor Winthrop to
Newfoundland to observe the transit of Venus. They
sailed in the " Province Sloop," commanded by Cap-
tain Thomas Sanders. Samuel Williams was son of
Wareham Williams, the minister of Waltham, who
was carried off by the savages a captive, with his
father. Rev. John Williams, of Deerfield, the little
boy, Wareham, scrambling through three hundred
miles of Indian trail. Young Williams was ordained
at Bradford, November 20, 1765. He was, therefore,
only twenty-two years of age, and, perhaps, was looked
upon with scorn as a " boy '' by some of the old min-
isters, who had been ordained late in life. Mr.
Barnard, of Haverhill, who, though somewhat heter-
odox, was a man of great dignity of bearing, at the
close of his address in giving the right hand of fellow-
ship, seriously charged the congregation not to en-
courage tipsiness in the evening. " The wisest and
best among us bitterly complain that our days of ordi-
nation are seasons of growing licentiousness."
Notwithstanding his youthfulness, Mr. Williams
was, says Dr. Kingsbury, "eminently useful and
acceptable as a minister." His reputation as a scholar
brought him pupils who reflected credit upon him —
among them. Dr. Barnard and Dr. Prince, the eminent
minister of Salem. His most famous pupil, however,
was Benjamin Thompson, better known by his title ol
Rumford, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, con-
ferred on him by his patron, the King of Bavaria.
Through him, his teacher, Mr. Williams, probably
received German scientific honors.
The Revolutionary troubles were coming on and
Mr. Williams, taking the popular side, was yet pru-
dent and far-seeing. He appreciated the coming
dangers. June 14, 1786, he was dismissed to becom*"
Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy
at Harvard. He received many literary and scien-
tific honors, and, in his retirement, published a valu-
able history of Vermont.
For about forty years in the middle of the eighteenth
century there were negro slaves on the roll of the
Bradford Church — Ctesars, Sciscos, Pegs and Kates.
One is " Argalus, servant of Joseph and Francis
Parsons,'' the minister.
January 14, 1780, the church passed this vote to
release Mr. Williams:
' this churcb, is invited and desired to accept of
il College which is of great importance to the
liis desire, to dismii^s him from his Pastoral re-
June5, 1781, Rev. Jonathan Allen was ordained
his successor. He was of the class of 1774, at Har-
vard, and was thirty-two years old when ordained —
thus redressing the balance which had been disturbed
by his predecessor's youthfulness. He was a man of
great personal dignity, with high ideas of the impor-
tance of the sacred office. He died in Bradford in 1827.
Mr. Allen was known as the " parson," and was the
connecting link between the old regime and the new.
He was fond of dress and was one of the last of the
" cocked-hats," Parson Alden, of Yarmouth, at nine-
ty-two, being the very last. Parson Allen was not so
stern as he looked ; he was jocose and loved a frolic.
j He loved a glass of punch or toddy, too. Dr. Kings-
bury tells an amusing story of his modified advocacy
! of temperance. But that movement, partial as it
was and logically absurd, perhaps accomplished great
good in New England. Men were not yet quite
ready for the doctrine of total abstinence.
It is said that Parson Allen used to love to call his
deacon and go to John Haselline's dance-hall (father
[ of Ann Haseltine Judson, the missionary), to see the
young people dance and disport themselves. But, in
IS06, there was a great revival, and from that time
Parson Allen was a ditierent man. The probability
is, that he was always a conscientious man, with a
high sense of clerical responsibilities, but with a
great love of sociability and reasonable fun. He was
evidently much liked and respected.
It illustrates one phase of his character, that when,
at the first exhibition of Atkinson Academy, 1788-89.
the pupils gave something of a dramatic exhibition,
he criticised it as " profane and obscene." He had
aspirations which he did not carry out. February 17,
1790, he dined with Parson Peabody, of Atkinson,
whose first wife was a sister of Deacon John Hasel-
tine, of Bradford. Parson Peabody wrote in his
diary : " I sang with Brother Allen. He borrowed
my Edwards upon ye hill, and I believe thinks of
writing against Spring."
In the early days of Mr. Allen's pastorate the min-
isters were generally convivial and had a pretty good
time. September 23, 1789, there was a "General
Training' at Bradford. I went into ye field where
they were trooping and training. They made a very
pretty appearance, but exercised but very little.
There was a vast number of people and among them
a number of ministers."
Parson Allen had been a theological pupil of Rev.
Mr. Judson, of Taunton, uncle of Rev. Adouiram
Judson, the missionary to India, who married Mr.
Allen's formerly gay young parishioner, Nancy Hasel-
tine. When, in 1810, the movement began in Brad-
ford Church, at the General Association of Massachu-
setts, which led to the formation of the American
Board, and the marriage of Nancy Haseltine and
Harriet Atwood, of Haverhill, to Judson and Samuel
Newell, Parson Allen was doubtless deeply interested.
February 5, 1812, he preached a sermon at Haverhill
on the occasion of the embarkation of these two young
women as missionaries. The great congregation sang
his hymn beginning, "' Go, ye Heralds of Salvation.''
Parson Allen's finest hymn was composed. Dr. Kings-
bury says, in the revival of 1806,—
"Sinners, will you scorn the message.
Sent in mercy from above?"
sung for the first time in Bradford Church, one of the
HISTORY OF ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS.
most pathetic and winning of all the hymns. Dr.Kings-
liiiiy alludes to the tradition that Whitefield could
make his hearers weep by pronouncing the word,
" Mesopotamia.'' It would be worth something at
tlie end of one of the great revivalist's meetings to
hear recited in that matchless voice, —
After Mr, Allen came Rev. Ira Ingraham, a man
of boldness and clear convictions, who retired speedily
from the pastorate because of the opposition to his
strong advocacy of total abstinence.
Rev. Nathan Munroe is well remembered as a man
of grave appearance yet genial address, of large in-
formation, much respected by his people and the com-
munity at large.
The Bradford Church is still a Puritan Church,
holding fast the old doctrines, if it adopts the modern
ways. It embalms many of the precious historical
memories of the town.
Mention has been made of the first meeting-house,
built in the year 1671. The second was built about 1706.
Both of these stood in the old burying-ground, the
first on the west side, the other east of it. Dr. Spof-
ford, of Groveland, who lived to be past ninety-two,
remembered the foundation of the second.
The third meeting-house, built about 1750 or 17.51,
stood on the common facing the south in front of the
The fourth was dedicated October 8, 1834, on the
site of the present. The fifth, now occupied, was
built in 1848, and dedicated January 10, 1849. There
have been two chapels, the first built about 1838,
located nearly on a line with the front of the present
church and about twenty-five feet west. The second
and present chapel was dedicated November 23, 1879.
The Bradford Church records contain much that is
interesting, and some things that are quaint. Here
are two examples from the time of the first Mr.
Symmes. The first is of the date of 1699.
" 1st, Whether any church member that hath or ehall
tliis church and absolved ou confession, yet shaU through Satan's energy
refnse to own their confession, ought not, ipso facto, be suspended by ye
officer from ye Lord's table, and continuing absent after due meaus
patiently used for their conviction and recovery, to be layeil under the
The thought of the unhappy professor, who, having
made confession and been absolved, is then obliged
to deny his confession of sin, "through Satan's
energy," is worthy of analysis by the gloomy intellect
of Hawthorne. The following is almost too simple for
a smile :
" I gave notice that every cue of ye communicants should come pre-
pared with their money to contribute for ye elements ye next sacrament
day, viz., 11 of 12, 1700.
" It was moved that every Br. that fetcht wiue, should fetch yo bottle
where it was deposited, and return it to ye same place, i. c, seasonably,
Br. Abraham said the best way to sweeten ye botllo was to fill it with
f^n\t water an hour or two, then empty it, and put up the wine."
Following are the names of the eleven pastors, and
the two " ruling elders " of Thomas Svmmes :
1682; died March 22,
Kev. Thomas Symmes, installed December, 1708 ; died October 6, 1725.
Hut. Joseph Parsons, ordained June 8, I7:ili ; died May 4, 1765.
Rev. Sanuiel Williams, ordained November 20, 17ii5 ; dismissed June
Hev, Jonathan Allen, ordained June .5, 1781 ; died March 6 1S27.
Kev. Ira Ingr,ahaui, installed December 1, 1824; dismissed April .i.
Rev. Loammi Ives Ho.xdly, installed October 13, 18.)0; i
nary 3U, 1833.
Kev. Moses 0. Searlo, installed January 30, 1833; dismissed March, 1834.
Rev. Nathan Munroe, ordained February 10, 1836; dismissed January
Kev. James T. McColIom, in.stalled January, 1854; dismissed September
Rev. John D. Kingsbury, installed .Tanuary 11, mm.
David Uasseltine and Richard Hall, not properly chofeu deacons, but
lomlnated to provide elements for the Lord's Supper, November 2, 1862.
John I'enny, Joseph Bailey and Richard Hall, probabfy the first dca-
LiiMilr ii.Hit ~H.,i;,l I. .Hi\ ,11,1 ,<r-i-eant Rlchard Bailey, probably a
oiiiiinii I . M-. I-Vbruary 2, 1713.
St.-i'l ^1 I ' ^ . I liosen January 24, 172.'*.
Thoniiis l'arlt-t.,u, cliosen Oitober :U, 1742.
David Walker, chosen November 28, 1745.
Moses Day, chosen May 1, 1751.
Stephen Kimball, chosen January 18, 1754.
Obadiah Kimball, chosen March 16, 17b2.
Thomas Kimball, chosen April 21, 1767.
Thomas Webster, chosen , 1782.
Richard Walker, chosen April — , 17117.
John Griffin, chosen February — , 1S04.
John Hasseltiue, chosen June IS, 1807.
The first Sunday-school in Bradford was organized
on the second Sabbath in May, 1814, at the " Old
Red School-House," then the only school-house in
the central part of Bradford. About thirty children
were gathered at this first Sunday-school at the close
of tlie afternoon service. The person foremost in the
organization was Miss Mary Haseltine, eldest sister
of Miss Abigail C. Haseltine, afterwards principal of
Bradford Academy. Among her assistants were Mi.ss
Charlotte Gage and Miss Lydia Kimball.
Rev. Ira Ingraham, installed in 1824, took a great
interest in the Sunday-school. After April, 1830,
Deacon William Day,. Mr. Isaac Morse and Mr. Ben-
jamin Greenleaf (probably) were superintendents.
The number of scholars was then probably something
more than one hundred.
The first Sunday-school concert recollected by Mr.
Harrison E. Chadwiclt, was in the old meeting-house
on the common. F.oin 1825 to 1829, Bralford was
the only place in all New England reporting a Sun-
day-school, except some of the colleges. These re-
ports were made to the American Sunday-School
Union at Philadelphia. From 1833 to 1846 reports
were made to the Massachusetts Sabbath-School
Society ; since 1850, to the General Conference.
In 1887 the Sabbath-school connected with Brad-
ford Church contained about three hundred and fifty
members. The amount of money contributed yearly
for its own and benevolent purposes, was about
The Ward Hill school, in the west end of the town,
was regularly organized in September, 1801. At
present, it numbers about one hundred member.-', and
contributes yearly about $75 for its own expenses and
benevolent objects. The original, with the Haseltine
library, numbers about five hundred volumes.
The new parsonage of the Bradford Church was
built in the summer of 1880, at a total cost, including
the land, offG547.58.
The total membership of the church, January 1,
1887, was four hundred and seventeen. In 1880 it
contributed for missionary objects, $207.93.
The following societies were connected with the
church for benevolent work: Woman's Auxiliary of
Foreign Missions, of the American Home Missionary
Society, and Home Missionary Society; Parish Circle
for local work ; Young Ladies' Relief Society ; Bee
Hive (children's) Society.
The total value given by the above societies in
1880, in money, clothing and supplies, was $824.65.
Indians and the Indian Deed — Roads and Schools.
Besides the killing of Thomas Kimball, in 1676,
very little injury was ever done by Indians in the
town of Bradford. When the Indian and French at-
tack was made on Haverhill, in 1708, Nehemiah
Carleton was shot from acro.-s the river. There was
also a tradition that a workman employed in felling
timber on the Haverhill side for the house then build-
ing, and owned in 1820 by Reuben Carlton, was also
shot. But Bradford was protected from Indian at-
tacks by Haverhill on the north and by the river.
Still, there was always alarm and anxiety during the
lime of the Indian attacks, and Bradford soldiers had
to march elsewhere. "Centinels" were stationed in
the town itself.
There were three garrison-houses built at an early
period, one of brick at the west end of the town, near
the place where Rev. John Day's house stood in 1820.
There was one where the parsonage was afterwards
built, opposite the burial-ground. The third garrison
was where Widow Rebecca Foster's house was in 1820,
and this was palisaded,"when they apprehended dan-
ger. The inhabitants often passed the night in these
houses. There was also a block-house on the neck,
near the falls, where the inhabitants watched by
turns, when there were alarms. The Indians some-
times crossed the river near that point, when on their
"Once,'' said Dr. Perry, " there must have been a
considerable settlement of Indians in this town, as
is evident from the number of bones found in and
about the hill near Paul Parker's. The last of those
who resided here was Papahana, who lived to a great
age, in a hut near the mouth of Johnson's Creek; the
people of the last generation knew him well. The
name of the tribe to whom this settlement belonged
is supposed to be the Pawtucket." It is supposed
that in 1038, Masconomet or Mascononio, was fully
satisfied for quit-claiming all his interest in Ipswich
and Rowley. But, at the beginning of the eighteenth