Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole.

History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes online

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major of the Seventh Regiment on the 15th of October, 1861. He went with
his regiment to New York city, thence to Fort Jefferson, Fla., where he served
ably and acceptably as provost marshal, until the regiment moved to Beau-
fort, N. C, where he was seized with fever. He was permitted to go home on
a leave of absence, arriving at his house in a very enfeebled condition, and



died on the 26th of August, 1862, leaving a widow and four children. As a
citizen Major Smith was highly respected and discharged all official and public
duties with intelligence and fidelity. While in the army his promptness,
valor and uniform cheerfulness and kindness to the oflficers and men won for
him the confidence, respect, and affection of all with whom he became as-

Major Daniel Smith

It may be ^ldcIed that he was a selectman in Durham in 1847
and chairman of the board in 1849 and 1851-52. He and his
line of ancestry made four generations wiio held the rank of
major. [See Genealogical Notes on the Smith family.]

Lieut. Stephen Millett Thompson was born in Barnstead, 27
April 1838. In youth he fitted at Phillips Academy, Exeter, for
the sophomore year of Harvard and later studied medicine for
one year. He enlisted in Company E, Thirteenth New Hampshire
Regiment, from Durham at the age of 24. He was mustered in
19 September 1862, as first sergeant, and was promoted to


second lieutenant, lo June 1863. He was wounded severely,
15 June 1864, in the assault on Battery 5, Petersburg, Va.,
and was discharged on account of wounds, 4 October 1864.
He wrote the history of his regiment. After the war he resided
in Providence, R. I., where he died about 1910. [See Genea-
logical Notes on the Thompson family.]

David O. Davis enlisted 30 April 1861 in Company D, Sec-
ond New Hampshire Regiment, at age of 30. He was born at
Alton. He reenlisted 10 May 1861 for three years and was must-
ered in as corporal i June 1861. He was discharged for disabil-
ity, 19 September 1862, near Fairfax Seminary, Va. In August,
1853, he was drafted and assigned to the Fifth New Hampshire
Regiment. He was wounded at Fort Steadman, captured at
Farmville and again discharged for disability after the surrender.
He lived after the war at Durham and was mail carrier and
expressman. Later he removed to Newmarket. [See Genealog-
ical Notes on the Davis family.]

Charles S. Davis, brother of Davis O. Davis, enlisted for three
months, 13 May 1861, and was mustered into Company M of
the New Hampshire Battalion of the First New England Cavalry,
24 December 1861. He was promoted to corporal and discharged
for disability 2^] June 1862. He enlisted for two years in the
navy, 29 October 1864. He was buried in the Albert Young
graveyard in Durham. [See Genealogical Notes.]

George P. Pendergast, born in Durham, enlisted 29 April
1 861, at age of 21, in Company D of the Second New Hampshire
Regiment. He reeinlisted 10 May 1861 for three years and was
killed at the battle of Williamsburg, Pa., 5 May 1862.

Thomas H. Walker was born in Boston, Mass., but enlisted
from Durham, where he was living with his sister, Mrs. James
Monroe Smart, 25 April 1861, at the age of 23. He reenlisted
10 May 1 861 for three years in the Second New Hampshire
Regiment, and was mustered in as sergeant i June 1861. He
was discharged for disability at Washington, D. C, i August
of the same year. He reenlisted 11 September 1861 in Company
K of the Fifth New Hampshire Regiment as sergeant and was
promoted to second lieutenant 15 December 1862, which office
he resigned 11 June 1863. After the war he lived at Hyannis,

Freeman H. Tuttle, son of John Landon Tuttle and wife,


Elizabeth, was born in Durham and enlisted at age of 21 in
Company B of the Second New Hampshire Regiment, 11 May
1 86 1. He was wounded 25 June 1862 at Oak Grove, Va., and
was transferred to the InvaHd Corps 15 August 1863. He was
discharged at Washington, D. C, 10 June 1864. He was living
in Dover in 1907. His Ijrothers, Andrew J. and James H., were
also in the service.

George E. Langley enlisted as a private in Compan\- B of the
First New Hampshire Regiment, at the age of 22. He was
mustered in 2 May 1861 and mustered out 9 August 1861. He
reenlisted in Company K of the First New England Cavalry,
afterward called the First Rhode Island Cavalry, and was mus-
tered in 24 October 1861. He reenlisted 2 January 1864 in
Company K of First New Hampshire Cavalry and w^as promoted
to corporal i July 1865. He was mustered out with his regiment
at Cloud's Hill, Va., 15 July 1865. His brother, Moses B. Lang-
ley, was in Company B of the New Hampshire Heavy Artillery,
mustered in 19 August 1863 and discharged with his regiment ii
September 1865. [See Genealogical Notes on the Langley family.]
George P. Doeg was born in Durham and enlisted at age of
20 in Company D of the Third New Hampshire Regiment,
9 August 1861. He was wounded 18 July 1863 and was dis-
charged by surgeon's certificate of disability 7 November 1863,
at Norris Island, S. C.

Joseph Edgerly, born in Durham, enlisted 16 August, 1861,
in Company D of the Third New Hampshire Regiment, at age
of 26. He was discharged at Hilton's Head, S. C, 10 October
1862, by surgeon's certificate of disability. His brother, Charles
E. B. Edgerly, was in Company D of the Thirteenth New Hamp-
shire Regiment. They were sons of Jacob and Elizabeth Edgerly.
John Mendum, l)orn in Lee, enlisted from Durham, where
he was a resident for many years after the war. He enlisted, i
August 1861, in Company D of the Third New Hampshire
Regiment, at age of 34. He was discharged at Hilton's Head,
23 September 1863, for disability by reason of sickness. De-
scribed as five feet, five inches, in height, of dark complexion,
blue eyes and brown hair. He reenlisted in 1863 and served
through the war, having been in many severe battles. He
was mustered out 19 December 1865. He received a pension
for a long time and died at (he Soldiers' Home at Tilton.


Joshua Pinkham was enrolled at Dover, 20 August 1861 and
discharged at Bermuda Hundred, Va., 23 August 1864. He is
described as five feet, nine inches, in height, of dark complexion,
dark eyes and dark hair. His brother, Alphonso Pinkham, died
in the service. [See Genealogical Notes on the Pinkham fa'mily.]
Samuel J. Jones was born in Lee, 29 April 1836. He enHsted,
19 October 1861 for three years in Company H, of the Sixth
New Hampshire Regiment. He was promoted from corporal
to sergeant i April 1865, after having reenlisted 2 January 1864.
He was mustered out 17 July 1865, and resides in Durham.
He married at Newmarket, 22 January 1856, Eliza A. Berry
of Strafford, who was born 5 February 1840. They had children,
Orin F. born 10 January 1857, Marianna born 21 January 1859,
and Samuel born 29 January 1862.

Samuel E. Smith, born at South Andover, Mass., enlisted
from Durham 2 November 1861, at age of 30, for three years
in Company H of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment. He
reenlisted and was mustered in 2 January 1864. Captured i
October 1864 at Poplar Springs Church, Va., and released. He
died of disease at Durham 15 April 1865 and was buried in the
village cemetery. The town records give his wife as Ann, aged
23, and children, Mary 6, George 4, and Cora 2, who became
the wife of Clarence I. Smart of Durham.

James W. Starbird, son of John and Olive (Emerson) Star-
bird, enlisted 30 October 1851, at age of 31, in Company H of
the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment, for three years, and was
discharged for disability 27 November 1862 at Washington,
D. C. Town records say he had wife, Angeline P., aged 27, and
children, Mary 8, Martha 6, and George i.

George W. Palmer, son of Joseph and Rebecca (Leighton)
Leathers, enlisted 9 October 1861 and served over three years.
He was in Company F of the Seventh New Hampshire Regiment,
and was appointed wagoner. He died at Durham 18 March 1905
and was buried in Dover. He had a brother, Henry S. Palmer
in the same company, aged 29, who was promoted from corporal
to sergeant. Another brother, Asa D. Palmer, was in Company
H of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment. Henry S. Palmer
removed to Maine. Their father was a brother to Ezekie^
Leathers, who had sons, Ezekiel, George and Joseph in military
service in the Civil War. All the Durham Palmers had their


surname changed from Leathers to Palmer by the legislature
before the war.

William E. Paul, son of James and Sarah (Jenkins) Paul^
was born in Durham and enlisted 2 September 1862 in Company
K of the Eleventh New Hampshire Regiment, at age of 18. He
was promoted to corporal and transferred to the Veteran Reserve
Corps, I September 1863, from which he was discharged ii
November 1863. He was killed near Shaw's House, Va., 16
January 1864.

Amos M. Smart, son of Enoch and Hannah (Glover) Smart,
enlisted 18 August 1862, at age of 25, in Company K of the
Eleventh New Hampshire Regiment. He died 6 April 1863,
of typhoid fever, at Baltimore, Md., and was buried in the \il-
lage cemetery at Durham.

Joseph W. Dame, son of Joseph and Maria, was born in Dur-
ham and enlisted, at age of 18, in Company G of the Eighth
New Hampshire Regiment, 16 December 1861. He was pro-
moted to corporal 15 March 1863. He reenlisted 4 March 1864
and was transferred to Company B, Veteran Battalion, i Janu-
ary 1865. He died at Durham, 18 May 1865.

John H. Doeg was a native of Durham. He enlisted 5 June
1862 in Company A, of the Ninth New Hampshire Regiment,
aged 21. He was discharged at Washington, D. C, 13 November
1862, on surgeon's certificate of disability.

Silas Jenkins was born in Chatham, N. H., 30 March 1840.
He was mustered into Company D of the First Massachusetts
Volunteer Heavy Artillery, 4 April 1862, and was promoted
to corporal 20 October 1863, near Fort Corcoran, Va. He was
mustered out 3 April 1865. Described at enlistment as five
feet, eight inches, in height, of light complexion, blue eyes, and
sandy hair. After the war he lived at Natick, Mass., Greenland,
N. H., and Durham since 1871. [See Genealogical Notes on
the Jenkins family.]

Charles H. Bunker was born in Durham, 24 February 1839,
and enlisted in the nav>', 17 October 1864 for two years, on
the United States ship Vandalia in Portsmouth Harbor. He
acted as assistant ship's cook, or landsman. He was discharged
18 May 1866; was a pensioner and lived on the Mast Road,
dying 25 May 1903. He was son of Ephraim and Dolly (Merrill)


George W. Bunker, brother of Charles H. Bunker, was born
in Durham, 13 October 1836. He also enlisted in the navy,
17 October 1864. He was assigned to the same ship as his brother-
and was mustered out 18 May 1866. He died 29 November

James M. Stevens was a soldier, enlisting from some other
town. He lived in Durham many years and carried the mails,
receiving back pay and pension. The old Kincaid land was
acquired by him and sold to Prof. George H. Whitcher. See
page 153 and genealogy of the Stevens family.

Thus have been brought together, with painstaking research
by Col. Lucien Thompson, some details of the military records
of some of the best known volunteers of Durham. Others
have been noticed in other chapters of this history, or incidentally
mentioned in the Genealogical Notes. Earnest effort has been
made to present the names of all Durham soldiers in the preced-
ing alphabetical list. If any name has been omitted uninten-
tionally no one will regret this more than the writer.


The earliest inhabitants of Oyster River Plantation worshiped
at Dover Neck with all the settlers of ancient Dover, whither
they went in boats. Here Richard Pinkham beat his drum to
call the people to church, and here they listened successively
to Revs. William Leverich, George Burdett, Hanserd Knollys,
Thomas Larkham, and Daniel Maud. All this has been told at
length in Dr. Quint's First Parish of Dover.

An agreement was made, 14 July 165 1, that two ministers
should be employed, at a salary of £50 each. Rev. Daniel Maud
to remain at Dover Neck and another to be called to Oyster
River. April 16, 1655, the town voted that all the rents of the
saw-mills and a tax of two pence in the pound be devoted to
the "comfortable maintenance of the ministry of Dover and
Oyster River." A meeting house was built by Valentine Hill
in 1655, near the oyster bed, on the south side of the river, about
half way between the Falls and the Point. March 30, 1656, the
town voted that "thear shall be a house at Oyster Reuer Billd
neie:r the meeting house for the use of the menestrey, the demen-
shens as foUareth, that is to say 36 feet long, 18 foett Broed, 12
foot in the wall, with too chimneyes and to be seutabley
feneshed." This parsonage was burned by the Indians in 1694.
The breadth of land on which it stood long remained parsonage

Rev. Edward Fletcher served as minister at Oyster River about
one year and returned to England in 1657. He came back to
Boston and died there about 1666.

In 1660 a committee chosen by the town and consisting of
Valentine Hill, Richard Walderne, William Wentworth, Raphfe
hall, Richard Otes, William ffurber, John Danes, Robert Burnom,
William Willyames, and William Robords agreed that Oyster
River should have for support of the ministry there twenty
pounds from the rent of the grant at Lamprell River and two
pence to the pound on taxes raised among its own inhabitants;
that they should call their own minister and that he should be
approved by the town or three elders; that the twenty pounds
should be returned in case Oyster River were four months with-
out a minister, they of Dover doing the like in a similar case;
that fifteen pounds should be paid for preaching at Cochecho in



the winter season; and that Valentine Hill's now dwelling house
at Rocky Point should be within the line of division to Oyster

The Rev. Joseph Hull was preaching at Oyster River in 1662,
as is incidentally learned from Quaker history. How long he
had been there does not appear, and he soon after left for the
Isles of Shoals, where he died in 1665. [See Hull family under
Genealogical Notes.]

There is no record of any preaching at Oyster River for the
next twenty years or so. Meanwhile disputes arose and some
thought that the best way to settle them would be to make
Oyster River a separate township. To this end the following
petition was sent to the General Court of Massachusetts in 1669:

To the much honored General Court assembled at Boston, May 17, 1669,
the humble petition of the inhabetants of Oyster Riuer is as followeth. The
consideration of your prudent and pious care for the carriing on the main end
of planting this colonie, in the settling religion and the promoting the welfare
of souls in evrie part of it subject to your government, doth embolden us (who
are also in some measure sensible of the great end we came into the world for
the advancement of the glory of God in our own salvation) to present this
humble address unto yourselues. It is not unknown unto some of you that
the inhabitants of Dover (of whom for the present we are part) manie years
taking into consideration the intolerable inconvenience of our traveil manie
myles, part by land, part by water, manie times by both, to the publick wor-
ship of God and the necessarie stay of manie of us from publick worship, who
can not undergo the difficulties of travel to it, it was then publickly agreed
and concluded that there should be two ministers at Douer, the one at Oyster
Riuer the other at Douer neck, as appears by a town act bearing date the
fourteenth of the fifth, fifty one, the means of calling and maintaining both
which are one, yet while we continue with them there is noe power improued
on our behalfe to that end, nor have we anie of ourselves, whereby we have a
long time and at present groan under intolerable inconveniences, our minis-
trie being greatly weakened, yea and hazarded thereby, having neither head
nor hand to move in calling when without or settling and maintaining when
obtained, and it being so difficult for us to attend civil meetings there that often
most of us cannot be there, whence we are in danger to be neglected or not
taken care of, nor our affairs so well provided for as if we were a township of
ourselves, we being in all two hundred and twentie souls, near fiftie families,
seventie and odd souldiers, a conuinient number of freemen, humbly request
this honoured Court to grant us that so beneficial! a priuilege of becoming a
township with such bounds as haue been alreadie granted us, or shall be
thought meet by this honored Court, and for this end we have sent John
Woodman, an inhabitant among us, and give him power to join anie with
him, as he shall see meet for ye managing of this our petition and prosecution
of our further reasons committed to him. Should this honoured Court whose
care we know e.xtendeth to us among the rest of this colonie vouchsafe us
favourable answer to this request, whereas now our hands and hearts are
weakened in the work, prouision for the ministree at a stay, the old and young


in families too much neglected, others of good use who would join with us dis-
couraged until we become a township, some readie to leave us if things stand
as they doe, we trust upon your grant you will soon find our number increasing,
our hearts and hands strengthened in the work of God, our care more uigorous,
for an able orthodox minister, our families instructed according to law, our-
selves growing in truth and peace to God's glorie, our content and your good,
and we shall not cease to pray God Almightie for a blessing upon 30U in all
your weightie concerns and subscribe ourselves
Yours in humble obseruance

John Bickford John Mcder

Richard York Thomas Willie

John Danes John Mill

William Beard Thomas Edgerlie

Robert Burnam William Perkinson

Phillip Chesley Benjamin Matthews

Charles Adams Davie Daniel

Steuen Jones Thomas Drew

Walter Matthews Joseph Field

Nicholas Doe Zacharias Field

Vidua Elizabeth Drew John Goddard

John Woodman Matthew Williams

Edward Lcthers James Smith

William Randall James Huckins

William Pitman Robert Watson

Teag Royall Patricke Jemison

Salathiel Denbow James Thomas

Barnard Pope Walter Jacson

Jos Stinson Francis Drew
John Smith

[X. H. Province Papers, \'ol. I, pp. 308-310.]

The only effect of the above petition was that the town voted
to allow the inhabitants of Oyster River to build a meeting
house at their own expense and to appropriate their tax for the
ministry. After 1675 two of the five selectmen were chosen from
Oyster River, and the people had their own minister, paid by the
town from the parish rates. Who preached from 1662 till 1682
is not known. There appears to have been no regular and
settled minister. At the latter date John Buss began his labors
here as minister and physician, having previously served several
years at Wells, Me. His house and library were burned at the
time of the great massacre in 1694. If any early records of the
church existed, they were then destroyed, but there was no
organized church. The following petition throws light on his
ministry and the character of the people:


To His Excellency Sam' Shute Esq' Gov and Comander in chief in and over
his Majesties Province of Newhampshire and the Hon'ble his Majesties
Councell and Representatives convened in General assembly:
The Petition of John Buss of Oyster River most humbly Showeth — That
your Petitioner who for forty years successively has laboured in the work of
the ministry in that place even in the time of the late terrible Indian Warr
when many a score fell by the sword both upon ye right hand & the left, &
several! others forced to flight for want of bread during all which time did
watch ward and scout for the more ease and reliefe of ye Inhabitants; and
notwithstanding that, did constantly exercise in the garrison and one other
every Lords Day as god did enable him — But being now advanced to Seventy
Eight years of age and incompassed w"> a great many infirmities, and unable
to perform the usual Exercise of the Ministry the People have not only calld
another Minister but stopt their hands from my Subsistence, where upon he is
greatly reduced having neither bread to eat nor Sufficient Cloathing to in-
counter the approaching Winter — Wherefore your petitioner most humbly
supplicates that your Excellency, the councill, and Representatives would so
compassionate his miserable circumstances, as to order a competent mainte-
nance during life — And your Petitioner shall ever pray,

John Buss.

It was voted, 8 October 1718, that "the Selectmen of Dover
be advised to do their duty & take care of sd John Buss & supply
him with what he is in necessity of, according to ye law of this
Province; and that the Selectmen of Dover pay him twenty
pounds out of the town stock to be paid quarterly from year to
year." [N. H. Province Papers, Vol. XVII, p. 736.]

The following contract shows when the new meeting house
was built at the Falls, where the Sullivan monument now stands.
The original paper is in the possession of S. H. Shackford, Esq.,
of Boston. The signatures and names of witnesses have been
torn from it:

To all Christian People to whom this Covenantor instrument in writing Shall
Come and appear now Know ye that I John Tomson Sinior off the township
of Dover and Provance of new hempshir do heir by these presence grant Cove-
nant and agree with the parties following that is to say Leu' Jeramiah Burnum
Lef» Abraham Bennick Jonathan Woodman Leu»°' Joseph Davis Stephen
Jones Philip Chesley John Smith Junior of the foresaid towne and provanc I
the forsd John Tomson do by these presenc bind and oblidge me to fram an
meeting house at Oyster river being in Length fortie foots and thirtie six foots
in bredth and twentie footes stude with an Belfree preportionble to the house
And to provyd and haill all the timber to the place appointed and that at or
before the thretie one day of July next ensewing the dait hereof And we the
forsaid parties do heir by these presence bind and oblidg our selves conjunctlie
and severalie to pay or cause to be payed to the forsaid John Tomson the sume
of sevintie three pounds money inConsidderationof the work don by him in the
forsd fram the one half to be payde in money when all the timber is haled and
laid in the place and the other half in money when the frame is fite to be


raised the fram and Belfree being in figiir being lyke the new meet house oflF
Hemptowne And for the trew performanc heir of our hands and sealles this
nynteen day of Janwary one thousand seven hundred and twelve threeteen in
"presenc of these witnesses.

Thus we know just when the first meeting house at Durham
Falls was built and something of its size and appearance. The
location was chosen not without opposition of the people living at
the Point. Indeed, another meeting house was built at the Point
soon after. July 3, 17 19, Francis Mathes deeded to the inhabit-
ants of the lower part of the parish of Oyster River one half of
an acre of land and road thereto two rods wade, on the south
side of the mouth of Oyster River, so long as the same should
be used for public worship. The deed shows that the frame
was then on the lot and was to be erected the next week. [N. H.
Province Deeds, XVI, 104.]

Dr. Quint at one time confused this meeting house at the Point
with the first one built at the oyster bed. He says it stood upon
a knoll on the land owned at the time of his writing by John
Mathes, at the extremity of Durham Point. " It is on the north-
ern side of the road, but a few rods from the water side. It is
exactly north from the Mathes burial place; or rather this burial
place is at the edge of the knoll. The meeting house stood,
doubtless, within four or five rods, northerly of that inclosed burial
ground." This describes the location of the opposition meeting
house at the Point, built in the year 1719. There is no record
that any minister ever preached therein except the Rev. Hugh
Adams, and the frame was taken down some years after, trans-
ported to Portsmouth, and became part of the chapel of Dr.
Buckminster's church, as saith tradition recorded in the Smith

The opposition between the Falls and the Point in the matter
of meeting house and ministry is further shown by the following

Online LibraryEverett Schermerhorn StackpoleHistory of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes → online text (page 15 of 34)