to Gilsum on the Revolutionary rolls of the State, while the
* Syivanus Hayward.
ijC'Sl Kov.\r. PROVINCE. 277
whole number of men between sixteen and fifty, in 1777, was
only thirty-nine. Seven Gilsiim men served in the war of 18 12,
and seven more volunteered, but were not called for. In the
war of the Rebellion, Gilsum furnished seventy-one men,
twenty-nine of whom were lier own citizens.
A Congregational church was organized here in 1772, but no
minister was secured till 1794, when Rev. Elisha Fish was set-
tled by the tozvn, and remained till his death in 1807. Opposi-
tion to the old system of supporting preaching by public taxa-
tion was very early developed, and after Mr. Fish's death no
minister was settled by the town. The only church in Gilsum
at the present time is the original one above mentioned, now
passing its one hundred and ninth year, with about forty resi-
dent members. A Methodist church, of considerable numbers
and activity, flourished here for some years, but is now dis-
banded. A Christian church was established here about sixty
years since, and numbered many converts, now mostly dispersed
to other churches. A feeble Baptist church was removed here
from Sullivan, but survived only a few years. A branch of the
Mormon church was organized in town in 1S41, numbering
nearly fifty resident members. Some perished on their way to
Utah, and some are now residents of that Territory.
A grist mill and saw-mill was built in 1776. In 1813 Luther
Whitney built a clothing mill on the brook near his father's
house. Seven years later he removed to the village. In 1832
the manufacture of cloth was first undertaken by David Brig-
ham and H. G. Howe. Since then woollen manufactures in va-
rious forms have been the most important industry of the place.
Though Gilsum has sent out almost no men of national reputa-
tion, yet many useful men, and men of considerable local dis-
tinction, are identified with Gilsum history.
^ Lancaster was incorporated on the 5th of July, 1763, and
owes its early settlement, like many other events in the world,
to passion. David Page, Esq., grand uncle of Governor Page,
dissatisfied with the division of the rights in Haverhill, and
having been advised of the extent and fertility of our
■ Joliu W. Weeks.
278 IllSTOKY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. [ ' /^S
"meadows" by some of the survivors of that party of Rogers'
Rangers, who, after the destruction of the village of St. Fran-
cois, reached and passed down the waters of the Connecticut,
being a man of great resolution, resolved to penetrate at once
to the Upper Coos. With this view, in the autumn of 1763, he
sent his son, David Page, Jr., and Emmons Stockwell, to build
a camp, and winter in Lancaster. In the year 1764, David
Page, Esq. ( called by the settlers Governor Page), with his large
family, "moved" to I^ancaster, followed by several young men,
eager to improve, or rather make, their fortune. The best
tracts of land were immediately occupied, and were so pro-
ductive that for many years manure was considered unnecessary,
and was actually thrown over banks and into hollows, where it
would be most out of the way. At this period there was no
settlement between Haverhill and Lancaster, and but few north
of Number Four, now Charlestown. There being no roads, the
settlers suffered inconceivable hardships in transporting their
necessaries, few as they were, being obliged to navigate their
log canoes up and down the "fifteen mile falls," now known to
be twenty miles in length, with a descent of more than three
hundred feet ; and in winter to pass the same dangerous rapids
in sleighs and with ox-teams, frequently falling through the ice,
and sometimes never rising above it. . High water to descend,
and low water to ascend, were thought the most favorable
The first town meeting was held on the i ith of March, 1769.
The first mill was operated by horse power, but so illy con-
structed, that it was little better than the large mortar and
pestle attached to a pole, which was used by many. A " water
mill" was erected, and soon after burnt; another and another
met the same fate. These disasters, with the Revolutionary war,
reduced the settlers to extreme distress. Newcomb Blodgett
and some others being captured by the Indians and carried to
Canada, led to the determination of abandoning the country ;
and for this purpose the settlers collected at the house of
Emmons Stockwell. whose resolution never forsook him, even
for a moment. " Mv family," said he, "and I shan't go." This
WARREN, N H.
IjC'Sl ROVAI. l'KO\IN-CE. 279
remark changed the oi)inion of several families, who remained,
yet with but very few accessions to the end of the great and
On the 7th of January, 1776, Joseph Whipple was chosen to
represent the towns of Lancaster, Northumberland, Dartmouth
( now Jefferson ), Apthorp (merged in other towns ) and Strat-
ford. V^oted to give their representatives "instructions from
time to time." At a subsequent meeting, Joseph Whipple was
again elected to the same office, — a vote of thanks passed for
his past services, and a committee of five was chosen to give
him instructions for the future. Thus was the right of instruc-
tion established to govern the first representative. Near and
soon after the close of the war, several families, who had lost
much of tlieir property during the conflict, migrated to Lan-
caster. Major Jonas Wilder, with a large and highly respectable
family, was of the number. He built a "grist and sawmill."
In May, 1787, Captain John Weeks, for a like reason, came to this
town. At the March meeting in 1789, twenty votes were cast
for State officers ; and even this small number were divided by
important political considerations; twelve friends to popular
rights however prevailed.
In the year 1763 charters were granted with a lavish hand.
Poplin, or Fremont, Alstead, Candia, New Boston, Warren,
Haverhill, Woodstock, Lancaster, Gilsum, Plymouth, Cornish,
and Croydon were incorporated.
Claremont, Weare, Benton, Lincoln, Franconia, Piermont,
Lyndeborough, Raymond, Newington and Unity were incorjior-
ated in 1764.
Claremont was chartered by (ieorge HI., October 26, 1764.
Josiah Willard, Samuel Ashley and si.xty-eight others were the
grantees. It recei\'ed its name from the country-seat of Lord
Clive, an English general. The first settlement was made in
1762 by Moses Spafford and David Lynde. In 1763 and 1766
several other inhabitants arrived. In 1767 a considerable num-
ber of proprietors and others from the towns of Farmington,
Hebron and Colchester, in Connecticut, made settlements in
different parts of the town. The first native of Claremont was
280 HISTORY OF NKW HA.Ml'.->in KE. ['7*^5
l<;iijah, son ot Moses Spafford, who was born in 1763. Aniong^
the early inhabitants to whose enterprise the town was essen-
tially indebted for its prosperity, may be mentioned Samuel
Cole, Esq., who graduated at Yale College in 1731, and was
for many years very useful as an instructor of youth. He died
at an advanced age. Dr. William Sumner, a native of Boston,
who came to this place in 1768 from Hebron, Connecticut, was
a resident several years in Claremont, where he died in March>
1778. Colonel Benjamin Sumner, who was many years a civil
magistrate, died in May, 181 5, aged seventy-eight. Colonel Jo-
seph Waite, who was engaged in the French and Indian war, was
captain of one of Rogers' companies of Rangers, and com-
manded a regiment in the Revolutionary war, died in October,
1776. Captain Joseph Taylor, who was engaged in the Cape
Breton, the French, and the Revolutionary wars, who was, with
one Farwell, taken prisoner by the Indians in the summer of
1755, carried to Canad.a and soUl to the French, returned to
Claremont, and died in March, 1813, at the age of eighty-four.
Hon. Samuel Ashle\' moved to this town in 1782. He was in
the wars of 1745 and 1755. He sustained several civil offices,
and was judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He died i'n
February, 1 792.
At the outbreak of the Revolution the town was tlivided
between the Whigs and Tories, the Loyalists being in a min-
ority. No overt acts on their part having been undertaken,
they lived at peace with their neighbors throughout the war,
although under the watch of a self-appointed Committee of
Safety from among the citizens of Claremont and adjoining
The early inhabitants were about equally divided in their
attachment to Episcopacy and Congregational principles. The
churches of these denominations may be considered as coeval.
At a town meeting held at the house of Thomas Jones, May 9,
1 77 1, it was decided to settle in town a minister of the Gospel.
A committee of three was chosen and instructed to apply to
Mr. Elijah Parsons to come and preach as a candidate; "but if
he fails, to apply to Dr. Wheelock (president of Dartmouth
1765] KOVAI. PKO\'lNCi:. 281
College) for advice who to apply to in his room." The first
minister settled by the Congregational society was Rev. George
Wheaton, who was ordained Feb. 19, 1772.
The first minister of the Episcopal society was Rev. Ranna
Cossit, who sailed for England for holy orders in December,
1772. He was ordained by the Bishop of London, but was
succeeded in 1775 by Rev. Daniel Barber, who continued in the
ministry there until 1818.
The first services were held in the " South School-house," the
meeting-house of that day, which stood on Jarvis hill, in the
west part of the town. It was a frame building covered with
rough boards, furnished with rude benches for seats, and having
•only the ground for a floor. The first meeting-house was built
in 1 79 1, on the road from Claremont village to the Junction,
near the Draper place. It was subsequently enlarged and was
•occupied by the society until 1836, soon after which it was
moved to the village ; it is now a part of the town-house.
Raymond, Conway, Concord, Centre Harbor, Dunbarton,
Hopkinton, Stark, Lee, and Deerfield were incorporated in
Acworth, Bridgewater, Burton, Eaton, Albany, and Farns-
worth were incorporated in i 766.
■■ The town of Wentworth was chartered by Gov. Benning
Went worth in 1766. There were originally sixty grantees or
proprietors, mostly residing in the towns of Kingston, East
Kingston, Hawke (now Danville), and South Hampton, which
•originally included what is now Seabrook, and Salisbury, Mass.
The charter is in the usual form of the charters of those days.
" In the name of George the Third, by the Grace of God, of
Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith,"
etc. A tract of land six miles square was granted, containing
23,040 acres, "out of which an allowance is to be made for high-
ways and unimprovable lands, by rocks, ponds, mountains, and
rivers, 1,040 acres." The land was to be divided into sixty-six
equal shares, and was bounded on the north by Warren, east by
Rumney, south by Dorchester, and west by Orford — and to be
I Hon. J. E. Sargent.
282 HISTORY OK NKW II A M J'SIl IKE. ['7^5
known as the town of Wentworth ; and its inhabitants were de-
clared to be enfranchised with and entitled to all the privi-
leges and immunities which other towns exercise and enjoy.
When the town should consist of fifty families resident therein,
they were to have the liberty of holding two fains therein annu-
ally, and that a market may be opened and kept open one or
more days in each week. Provision is made for the calling of
the first meeting of the proprietors, and the annual meetings
thereafter. " To have and to hold " said granted premises upon
the following conditions : Every grantee shall plant and culti-
vate five acres of land within five years, for every fifty acres
contained in his or their shares or proportions, in said township,
on penalty of forfeiture, etc. All white pine trees in said town-
ship, " fit for masting our Royal Navy," to be preserved and
not to be cut without permission ; upon the division of the lands,
a tract of land as near the centre of the town as may be, to be
marked off as town lots of the contents of one acre, one of
which lots shall be assigned to each proprietor. The rent to
be paid for the same is one ear of English corn per annum ;
and in 1777, on the 2Sth day of December, one shilling procla-
mation money for every hundred acres of land owned by him,
was to be paid by every proprietor and owner to the King, and
in the same ratio for a larger or smaller tract, which was to be
in full of all future rents and services.
Dated November i, 1766.
There was a reservation of five hundred acres in the north-
west corner of the plan of tJie town, marked " B. W. " and
known as the Governor's reservation.
This charter was granted to John Paige, Esq., and fiftv-nine
others. There were five sons of said John Paige, Esq., who
were, with him, grantees and proprietors of the town, namely,
Samuel, Moses, John, Ephraim, and Enoch. They all lived in
Salisbury, Mass., and so far as we know only two of them ever
came to Wentworth. The two younger sons, Ephraim and
Enoch, afterwards settled in Wentworth and died there. Proba-
bly but few of those original proprietors ever saw any part of
the township thus granted to them. We cannot learn that any
1765] K()\.\I, ]'KOVINCE. 283
Others of the whole sixty original proprietors ever settled ia
Wentworth, except Ephraim and Enoch Paige.
John Paige, Esq., the first grantee, was the son of one Onesi-
phorus Paige of Salisbury, Mass., and was born February 21,
1696. He married Mary Winsley, of said Salisbury, April 16,
1 720. They had five sons and several daughters, none of whom,
so far as we know, ever came to Wentworth, except the two
youngest sons as before nientionetl. But they were not among
the first settlers of the town.
During the year 1770 the first settlement was made in town by
David Maxfield, Abel Davis, and Ephraim Lund, and in the
order above named, though all in the same season. David Max-
well settled on the White farm, as it was formerly called, on the
intervale since occupied by Richard Pillsbury and Colonel Joseph
Savage. He lived in town about two years. Abel Davis cleared
a small piece of land and built a log house on the Jonathan
Eames place, so-called, and since occupied by Daniel Eames,.
and now by Amos Rollins. This house was west of the pres-
ent buildings toward the river. He remained in town but a short
time, removing to Vermont. His daughter, Mary Davis, after-
ward came into town and livetl with Enoch Paige's family, and
became the second wife of Ebenezer Gove, one of the early
settlers, about 1780. Ephraim Lund erected a log house on the
east side of the river, near where the red school-house now stands
in District No. i. He resided in town for five or six years, and
then removed to Warren, where he afterward lived and died at
an advanced age.
Ephraim Paige, son of John Paige, Esq., and Mary Paige, of
Salisbury, Mass., was born at said Salisbury, March 16, 1731.
He married Hannah Currier there, and had ten children born
in Salisbury, and then in the summer of 1773 he moved his
family to Wentworth, where he had three more children, mak-
ing thirteen in all — ten daughters and three sons. John Paige,
the eldest son, was born at Salisbury in 1769. Samuel, the sec-
ond son, was born in Wentworth in October, 1773, and is said
to have been the first male child born in the town of Went-
worth. His third son. Currier Paige, was born in Wentworth,
2S4 IIISTOKV Ol" N'l.W ilAMr'SIIIKK. [l/SS
March 29, 1781, and was the youngest of the family. Epliraim
first settled in a log house on the lower end of the intervale,
suice owned by James K. Paige, and afterward occupied as a
town farm, near the brook. The road that then passed up the
west side of the river went east of the village, round the hill
and back of it, to the intervale above.
Salisbury was incorporated in 1767.
1 In the political canvass in our State which closed with the
March election, 1858, it was publicly stated by some of the
speakers that Judge Webster, the father of Hon. Daniel Web-
ster, could neither read nor write. There is sufficient evidence
in Franklin and Salisbury to satisfy the most sceptical that he
could not only read and write, spell and cipher, but he knew
how to lend the means to found a State. Daniel Webster, in
his autobiography, gives a brief but too modest outline of the
life of his father. His acts and works gave him deserved in-
fluence and fame in the region of his home.
Ebenezer Webster was born in Kingston, in 1739. He
resided many years with Major Ebenezer Stevens, an influential
citizen of that town, and one of the .first proprietors of Salisbury.
Salisbury was granted in 1749, and first named Stevenstown, in
honor of Major Stevens. It was incorporated as Salisbury, 1767.
Judge Webster settled in Stevenstown as early as 1761.- Pre-
vious to this time he had served as a soldier in the French war,
and once afterwards. He was married to Mehitable Smith, his
first wife, in 1761. His first two children died while young.
His third child was Susannah, who married John Colby, and
recently died in P'ranklin. He had also, by his first wife, two
sons — David, v/ho died some years since at Stanstead ; and
Joseph, who died in Salisbury. His first wife died in 1774.
Judge Webster again married — Abigail Eastman, in 1774. By
his last wife he had five children, viz.: Mehitable, Abigail (who
married Wm. Hadduck); Ezekiel, born March 11, 1780; Dan-
iel, born January 18, 1782, and Sarah, born in May, 1784, and,
' Hon. George W. Nesmith.
- When Judge Webster first settled in Stevenstown, he was called Ebenezer Webster, Jr. In
1694, Kingston was granted to James Prescott and Ebenezer Webster and others, of Hampton.
He descended from this ancestry.
1765] ROVAI, PRO\'INCE. 285
with his last wife and many of his children, now lies buried in
the graveyard originally taken from the Elms farm. For the
first seven years of his life, after he settled on the farm now
occupied by John Taylor, in Franklin, he lived in a log cabin,
located in the orchard west of the highway, and near Punch
Brook. Then he was able to erect a house of one story, of
about the same figure and size as that now occupied by William
Cross, near said premises. It was in this house that Daniel
Webster was born. In 1784 Judge Webster removed to the
tavern house, near his intervale farm, and occupied that until
1800, when he exchanged his tavern house with William Had-
duck for that where he died.
In 1 761 Captain John Webster, Eliphalet Gale, and Judge
Webster erected the first saw-mill in Stevenstown, on Punch
Brook, on his homestead near his cabin.
In June, 1764, Matthew Pettengill, Stephen Call, and Eben-
ezer Webster were the sole highway surveyors of Stevenstown.
In 1765 the proprietors voted to give Ebenezer Webster and
Benjamin Sanborn two hundred acres of common land, in con-
sideration that they furnish a privilege for a grist mill, erect a
mill and keep it in repair for fifteen years, for the purpose of
grinding the town's corn.
In 1768 Judge Webster was first chosen moderator of a town-
meeting in Salisbury, and he was elected forty-three times after-
wards, at different town meetings in Salisbury, serving in March,
1803, for the last time.
In 1769 he was first elected selectman, and held that office
for the years 1771, '7-. '74. '76, '80, '85, '86 and 1788 ; resigned
it, however, in September, 1776, and performed a six months'
service in the army.
In 1771, 1772, and 1773, he was elected and served in the
ofi[ice of town clerk. In 1778 and '80, he was elected represen-
tative of the classed towns of Salisbury and Boscawen ; also,
for Salisbury, 1790 and '91. He was elected senator for the
years 1785, '86, '88, and '90; Hillsborough county electing two
senators at this time, and Matthew Thornton and Robert Wal-
lace of Henniker served as colleagues, each for two of said
286 HISTORY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. [1/65
years. He was in the senate in 1786, at Exeter, when the
insurgents surrounded the house. His proclamation then was,
"I command you to disperse."
In March, 1778, the town chose Captain Ebenezer Webster
and Captain Matthew Pettengill as delegates to a convention to be
held at Concord, Wednesday, June 10, "for the sole purpose of
forming a permanent plan of government for the future well
being of the good people of this State."
In 1788, January 16, Colonel Webster was elected delegate to
the convention at Exeter, for the purpose of considering the
proposed United States Constitution. A committee was also
chosen by the town to examine said constitution and advise
with said delegate. This committee was composed of Joseph
Bean, Esq., Jonathan Fifield, Esq., Jonathan Cram, Capt.
Wilder, Dea. John Collins, Edward Eastman, John C. Gale,
Capt. Robert Smith, Leonard Judkins, Dea. Jacob True, Lieut.
Bean, Lieut. Severance, and John Smith. At the first meeting
of the convention in February, Colonel Wfebster opposed the
constitution under instructions from his town.
A majority of the convention was found to be opposed to the
adoption of the constitution. The convention adjourned to
Concord, to meet in the succeeding month of June. In the mean-
time Colonel Webster conferred with his constituents, advised
with the committee on the subject, asked the privilege of sup-
porting the constitution, and he was instructed to vote as he
might think proper. His speech, made on this occasion, has
been printed. It did great credit to the head and heart of the
"Mr. President: I have listened to the arguments for and
against the constitution. I am convinced such a government as
that constitution will establish, if adopted, — a government acting
directly on the people of the States, — is necessary for the com-
mon defence and the general welfare. It is the only govern-
ment which will enable us to pay off the national debt, — the
debt which we owe for the Revolution, and which we are bound
in honor fully and fairly to discharge. Beside, I have followed
the lead of Washington through seven years of war, and I have
1767] KOYAL TKOVINCE. 287
never been misled. His name is subscribed to this constitution,
lie will not mislead us now. I shall vote for its adoption."
The constitution was finally adopted in the convention by a
vote of 57 yeas, 47 nays.
Colonel Webster gave his support to the constitution. He
was one of the electors for President when Washington was
first chosen to that office.
In the spring of 1791, Colonel Webster was appointed judge
for the Court of Common Pleas for the county of Hillsborough.
This office he held at the time of his death in April, 1806.
He was one of the magistrates, or justice of the peace, for Hills-
borough county for more than thirty-five years prior to his
Atkinson, Chatham, Campton, and Rumney were incorpo-
rated in 1767; Seabrook, Meredith, Lisbon, Henniker, Sand-
wich, Rindge, and Mason were incorporated in 1768.
Brookline, Surry, and Temple were incorporated in 1769;
Sanbornton and Wolfeborough were incorporated in 1770.
Milan was granted in December, 1771, as Paulsborough, in
honor of Paul Wentworth.
Berlin was granted in December, 1771, as Maynesborough, in
honor of Sir William Mayne of Barbadoes.
The town of Hillsborough was incorporated in November,
1772, there being at that time twenty-two men who were free-
^ In 1 741, contemporary with the running of the boundary
line which separated the province of New Hampshire from
that of Massachusetts, a company was formed in Boston, who
travelled thence through the forests to Hillsborough, and
pitched their tents in its wilderness. This territory had been
formerly granted to Colonel John Hill. The little settlement was
called Hillborough in honor of Colonel Hill; the leading men were
Samuel Gibson, James Lyon, Robert McClure, and James Mc-
CoUey, — the two latter being natives of the north of Ireland.
There was in the little colony a commingling of Puritanism and
Presbyterianism, concentrating in a strong religious feeling.
1 Fmnk H. Tierce.
Hl:?TOKV OF NEW IlAMrSIIIKE.
In proof of this sentiment, among the earliest labors of the
settlers was the erection of a meeting house and a parsonage.
Land was assigned for a grave-yard, in which several members
of the colony were buried. There remains to-day no vestige of
this solitary cemetery. The wife of McColley was the only
female in the settlement, and remained exiled from her sister-
hood for more than a year. Her husband built the first