Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society.

Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and ..., Volume 7, Issues 3-4 online

. (page 21 of 23)
Online LibraryLeeds Philosophical and Literary SocietyProceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and ..., Volume 7, Issues 3-4 → online text (page 21 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

New Haven, where she was murdered by the Indians.
Wheelwright, however, whose wife was a sister-in-law to
Mrs. , Hutchinson, always defended her, was banished there-
for, and founded Exeter in New Hampshire. He removed
afterwards to Wells, and having been re-admitted into the
Colony, was still later settled in Salisbury, and died here
Nov. 15, 1679. He was the college classmate and friend of

Digitized by VjOOQIC

Cromwell, and was in England some time during Ihe Pro-

These graves were covered with large, flat, rough stones
lying horizontally and bearing no inscription.

Tlie Seci'etary had alluded to the fact that this was the
first meeting of the Institute ever held in old Norfolk Coun-
ty ; ^ and this brought to the speaker's mind another name,
intimately connected with the history of that County, which
comprised within its limits Hanipton, Haverhill, Salisbury,
Exeter, Dover and Strawberry-bank (now Portsmouth,) and
which was made a separate County in 1643. The name re-
fen-cd to was Thomas Beadbuky, the old Norfolk County
•Recorder and Clerk of the Courts. He was in this country
as early as 1634, married a Mary Perkins, of Ipswich, in 1636,
and afterwards removed to Salisbury, where he remained till
his death, which took place in 1695. His wife, during that
mental epidemic, the witchcraft delusion, which the speaker
thought identical in its nature with- modern spiritualism,
was one of the accused ; but was acquitted chie'fly through
the untiring exertions of her devoted husband and the ear-
nest remonstrance of nearly every person in town, many of
whom had been her ijeighbors for more than fifty years, and
were shocked that so ^ood a mother, wife and neighbor
should be accused of so horrible a crime. She survived her
husband about five years.

Bradbury was one of the leading men of the colony yet no
monument marks his resting place, or that of his wife, and
only a grassy hollow indicates the site of his mansion house,
and no trace remains of the old Court House where he so
many years officiated. His records are to be found in the
Registry of Deeds at Salem. They begin in 1648 and end
in 1691.

The town of Salisbury was famous, as being the place

Digitized by VjOOQIC


whore in 1737 assembled the General Court to confer with the
Legislature of New Hampshire concerning the boundary line
between the two provinces. This boundary line had long
been in dispute, from the fact that the Massachusetts Patent .
described the northern boundary of its grant as on a line run-
ning "three miles north" of the Merrimack river, thus con-
flicting (through ignorance respecting the course of that riv-
er which was supposad to run due east) with the claims of
other grantees. It was finally settled, in 1740, upon it s
present location. We were shown the house/still standing,
in which, it is said, the General Court assembled. The New
Hampshire Legislature sat at the same time in Hampton.

•Before and during the existence of the county of Norfolk,
New Hampshire had been under the dominion of Massachu-
setts, and for many years there was much objection to a
separation of New Hampshire into a distinct province. This
was accomplished, however, in 1680. John Cutt or Cutts
was made the first President and Elias Stilbman the first

Mr. Stileman was from Salem where he had been Clerk of
the Court, Register of Probate, &c. He was one of the earli-
est opponents of a separation from Massachusetts, but not-
withstanding this he rose to the position of Deputy Govern-
or, and, throughout his life, was one of the chief men of the
n^w Province.

The Speaker forbore to mention the names of some men
of great distinction who have lived here in later times, but
would refer to one of his predecessors in office, who had been
brought to mind to-day as the speaker stood looking over the
extensive marshes between the river and some parts of the
town. On those marshes, in Dec. 1722, Daniel Rogers of
Ipswich, then Register of Probate for Essex County, who
had been to Salisbury on some official business, lost his way


Digitized by VjOOQIC


. to the ferry, and, straying about in a blinding snow-storm
till completely exhausted, he fell and expired. His remains
were d<5posited in the old High street burying-ground in Ips-
wich, and his grave stone bears a Latin epitaph indicating
the manner of his death, which may be translated thus : —

The boisterous north wind with unstable force
Bestrains the anxious seamen from their course,
Yet, sun-led through the seas, this northern blast
Impels them to their destined port at last.
So me the Boreal wintry storm has ble st,
Borne by its fury to eternal rest ;
The Sun of Bighteousness attracts my eyes.
And guides me havenward, beyond the skies.

One Moses Gatchel, who lived near the place of his death,
was arrested on suspicion of having murdered him, but no
bill of indictment was found against him by the grand jury.

Much more might be said of the early inhabitants of this
town, — of the exploit of a townsman. Major Robert Pike, one
of the greatest soldiers in our Colonial history, — of the In-
dian troubles, &c.; but the lateness of the hour would not
permit. On a suggestion of the Rev. Mr.. Beaman, the
speaker said he was reminded of a piece of information he
had received to-day, that he knew would be gladly received
by many, and that was the fact that the old church records
which Mr. Newhall, in his excellent " Essex Memorial," —
published in 1835 — declares to have been lost up to the year
1816, are still in existence, in the possession of the Hon. Ca-
leb Cushing at Newburyport, and were, probably, preserved
among the family papers of his ancestor, the Rev. Caleb
Cushing, who was settled over the First Church, in Salis-
bury in 1698, and died here in 1752. It is to be hoped
that this information is correct, as those recoi'ds are of great
historical value.

Wm. C. Binney Esq., of Amesbury, said the people of his
town were happy to receive a visit from the Essex Institute.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


Amesbury bad its Horticultural Society/ which had been in-
stituted, not as as a rival or competitor of the County Socie-
ty, but as a means of developing the resources of the locality.
Tlieir Society had proved a success, and he vrould be glad to
welcome the Institute to their exhibition next Fall. Last
year's exhibition showed that good stone fruit can be raised
in the vicinity, and fine cherries and plums were presented.
The trees manifested little if any effects of canker worms.

Rev. Mr. Beamin of Salem, who had been one of the par-
ty that visited the ancient relics, added to the statement of
Mr. Goodell the fact that he had that day seen the first com-
munion-service of the church in Salisbuiy, two flagons and
a baptismal bason of pewter, procured in London two hun-
dred-years ago. Also, four large folio volumes, of 600 pages
each, of Richard Ba^^ter's practical works, presented to the
"Obngregation of Protestant Dissenters, at Salisbury, in the
county of Essex, in New England, who are at present under
the charge of the Rev. Mr. Caleb Cushing." In the burial-
,ground the following inscriptions were thought worthy of
notice. On one stone : " Here lies interred what was mortal
of ye reverend Mr. James Allen, late teacher of the gospel and
pastor of ye church of Christ in Salisbury, who died March
7, 1695, in the 37th year of his age.'' On the stone of thq
widow of Capt. Wm. Buswell, who died March 6, 1708,
aged 83 years, are these words : " Reader, stand off, and thy
due distance keep ; For in this bed a friend of Christ doth
sleep.'' Mr. Beaman subsequently called attention to a
project started in Amesbury in 1849, to erect a monument
to the memory of Josiah Babtlett, a native ef the town,
who signed the Declaration of American Independence, im-
mediately under the name of John Hancock. Some of the
money has beea subscribed, but more is wanted to enable

Digitized by VjOQQIC


them to commence the undertaking. Two men have offered
$25 each, if eighteen more will subscribe the like sum.

Mr. Beaman presented the following resolutions :
Resolved^ That the thanks of the Institute be presented
to the Agricultural and Horticultural Society of Ainesbury
and Salisbury, and the citizens generally of those towns, for
their very hospitable reception and kind attentions in pro-
viding for the tables and furnishing from sixty to seventy
carriages to enable the company to^ ride over the territory,
and see the scenery and examine into objects of historical
importance. We would mention a few persons, whose
names have come to us as having been especially attentive,
namely — Hon. John G. Whittier, Hon. Thomas J. Clark,
George Turner Esq., Frederick Bagley Esq., Mr. Enoch
Huntington, Mr. Enoch Currier, Deacon A. E. Goodwin,
Hon. Patten Sargent, J. B. Sargent Esq., Hon. Streeter
Evans, Moses True Jr. Esq., Mr, William Proudman,
Major Moses Eaton, William C. Binney Esq., Dr. Josiah B.
Gale, Mr. David L. Dearborn, Mr. Philip Jones, Mr. Seth
Clark, Mr. Joseph N. Clark. To these persons and all
others who have shown us favors, we are under great obliga-
tions, and beg them to accept our gratitude and good


Resolved, That the thanks of the Institute be presented
to the proprietors of the First Congregational Church for

'the use of their very handsome and spacious house for our
public exercises.

Rev. E.'^. WiLLSON of Salem, seconded the resolution
and spoke of the great enjoyment he had derived from his
ride about this beautiful old town. His remarks were in aa
humoi'ous vein and were pleasantly received.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


Tlie resoluirons were unanimously ado)3ted — and the
meeting adjourned to Powow Hill, one of the highest eleva-
tions in the County, affording magnificent views of the
ocean and of the surrounding country far and near.

J. J. H. Gregory of Marblehead has furnished the sketch
of the Topography, &c. of Powow Hill :

To one interested in the study of Geology, Powow Hill
is a very interesting deposit. I riskT^ut little in- saying that
it is one of the largest masses of drift in New England ; in
other words, it is one of the highest hills of its kind in New
England. There are higher hills, and we may grade upward
imtil we pass the invisible point which divddos hills from
mountains, and onward to our highest mountains, but I
much doubt whether we shall find many masses of mere loose
material piled so high as Powow Hill. Most hills of great
height, and all mountains, whether isolated or in chains, as
far as my reading and observations have extended, owe their
height to the solid rock which makes them, or forms their .
nucleus, The rocky mass may not be readily apparent, the
action of the elements through untold cycles having gradu-
ally broken down every projection, and the broken frag-
ments having been still farther broken and decomposed, a
soil has been made, the lowest forms of vegetable life have
spread over the surface, supplying, by their deca) , food for
the higher forms, until, with the lapse of ages, the once bare
rugged ledge has its angles smoothed, and its nakedness
clothed with the trees and shrubs of the forest. Yet the
rocky nucleus will generally outcrop at its apex, gravity
having carried all fragments torn from its hoary head down-
ward. By this process of " degradation," as it is termed,
mountains and hills are gradually reduced in height ; of the
two classes, the drift hills, or in other words, the hills made

Digitized by VjOOQIC


up of loose gravel, must have suffered most- iu their early
years, when unprotected at their tops by soil and herbage.
It is very safe, therefore, to say tlVat Powow Hill was ouce
considerably higher than at present, — ^how much higher it
would require a nicer observation and more accurate math-
ematics than Geology is yet conversant with, to determine.
The origin of Powow Hill was, in brief, thus : — ^Prom
thousands of observations in numberless localities, Geolo-
' gists have arrived at the conclusion that thousands of years
ago a great flood swept down from the North-west, (not
Noah's flood,) covering the earth to the depth of a mile or
more, and, tearing masses of rocks from hills and mountains,
broke up, ground up, and deposited them in masses and
beds over the surface of the earth. This was the origin of
Powow Hill and others of its class.

Why is the soil of this hill so lertile, and so retentive of
moisture to its very top ? Doubtless this question has been
often asked by the visitor, who, climbing with the expecta-
tion of finding but aridity and sterility, has been surprised,
at every step of his advance, to find one of the most fertile
and well watered (and, 1 may add, best tilled.) tract of land
in the township. A moment's examination of those heaps^
of stones thatnndustrious hands have collected from the til-
lage land will explain all. It will be seen that these heaps
are made up, to a great degree, of a variety of clay slate,
which appears to be readily acted on by the elements. The
decomposition of this rock lias given a soil abounding in clay,
aH element which is retentive of moisture. But not only
does this rock give an element to the soil retentive of mois-
ture, but it afibrds a liberal supply of potash and alumina,
and thus makes it fertile.

These piles of stone, with the addition of some sand and
gravel sprinkled in, would serve as very good models of Pow-
ow Hill as it must have appeared when first formed.

Digitized by VjOOQIC




Mayflower — Tuxbmy^s Woods, Salisbury, and several otliex^
. places.

Dogtooth Violet — on the Powow River.

Arethusa — Northwestern side of Great Swamp and in Salis-
bury woods.

Cornus Florida — Bugsmuth Hill, just over the Amessbury
line in South Hampton, N.H.

Rhodora — Salisbury Woods, Plains, and very abundantly
at Pleasant Valley on the Merrimack in Amesbury.

Flowering Raspberry — Whitehall, Amesbury.

Orchis^ white and purple-^GvQSit Swamp, Amesbury.

Wild Lily of the Valley — Woods near the village.

Wild Tiger Lily and small, light and very graceful Ye Horn
Lily — On the Merrimack above Pleasant Valley.

Hare-bells — On the Merrimack banks, Amesbury and Salis-

Ghround Nut — East Salisbury near depot.

Indian Pipe — Great Swamp.

Cardinal Flower — By the Powow River.

Pond Lily — Kimball's Pond.

Fringed Gentian, Closed Gentian — Salisbury (Old Orchard)
and other places, and on Merrimack' River, Amesbury.

Witth Hazel — ^Foot of Powow Hill, and in Woods near the


Cranberries — at Pond, and East Salisbury.

Blueberries — ^very abundant in both towns.

Skckleberries — abundant.

JPkims — Beaph»and Sand-bluffs at Salisbury.

Ground Nuts — East Salisbury.

Gooseberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Rlackberries — cona-

mon in both towns but not very abundant.
Grapes — Several varieties — some of fair quality — none very


Digitized by VjOOQIC



LeucaiithcmuLu vulgarc,
Oldeiilaudia coerulea,
Trifolium prateuse,

" repens,
Potcutilla canadensis,
Ranunculus acris,
Iris versicolor,
Achillea millefolium,
Nuphar advena,
Euphorbia cyparissias,
Trientalis auioricaiia,
Pyrola rotundifolia.
Moneses uniflora,
Sisymbrium benmuliana,
Oxalis stricta,
Kalmia angustiiblia,
Arum triphyllum,
Sparganium eurycarpum,
Linaria canadensis,

Helianthemura canadense,
Cypripedium acaule,
Rosa micrantlia,

" Carolina,
Prunella vulgaris,
Leontodon autumnale,
Cerastium vulgatum,
Geranium maculatum,
Viola cucuUata,
Gaylussacia rcsinosa,
Polytrichum piliferum,
Malva rotundifolia,
Capsella bursa-pastoris,
Hudsonia tomentosa.
Viburnum dcntatum,
Baphanus, raphanistrum,
Sambucus canadensis,
Taraxacum dcns-lconis.

Friday^ Atigust 7, 18G8.

Tni: Field Meeting at Rockport, this day was atteuded
by more than three hundred persons. The weather was de-
lightful, and a better selection of a day could not have been
made to secure comfort and pleasure in exploring the various
interesting localities, which are so abundant in this region.
The granite quarries, breakwaters, beaclies. Pigeon Cove, the
points aflFording splendid sea-views, and other objects of in-
vestigation were duly visited, also the large jmd valuable
Mineralogical collection of Rev. Stillman Barden, compris-
ing not only rich local specimens but rare articles froin
abroad, disclosed its many treasures for the delight and in-
struction of the curious.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


The afternoon meeting was held in the Universalist Church,
of >rhich Rev. Mr. Barden is the pastor, and called to order
at 2 o'clock, by A. C. Goodell, Esq.

The records of the preceding meeting were read, and the
donations were announced as follows :

To the Library — George Perkins ; Canadian Institute at
Toronto ; Redwood Library and Athenaeum ; C. B. Richard-
son, New York ; Mrs. A. G. Browne ; American Academy of
Arts and Science ; American Geographical and Statistical So-
ciety ; Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science ; Boston
Society of Natural History; Editor's British American Mag-
azine ; C. T.' Jackson, Boston, Mass. ; Richard Wheatland ;
H. S. Cox, of Lynn ; E. M. Stone, of Providence ; E. P. Rob-
inson, of Saugus ; Mrs. Mary E. Wheatland ; Horace S.
Traill ; Robert S. Rantoul ; H. M. Brooks ; L. A. H. Latour,
of Montreal, C.E.

To the Cabinets — John Robinson ; Charles P. Nichols ; S,
S. Simonds ; Job Burchstead ; James Bartlett ; John Orne ;
S. Q. Felt ; Abner C. Goodell Jr.; H. M. Brooke ; John C.
Osgood ; Eben Blatchf©rd.

Letters were announced from Trustees of Beverly Public
Library ; Pennsylvania Historical Society ; Trustees of Bos-
ton Public Library ; Maine Historical Society ; Redwood
Library and Athenaeum ; Trustees Newburyport Public li-
brary ; Massachusetts Historical Society ; S. L. Batchelder ;
L. P. Smith; G. W. Skinner of Gloucester; Charles W.
Swasey ; C. M. Tracy of Lynn ; William Meriitt ; W. B.
Rogers of Boston ; Francis Alger of Boston ; A. W. Dodge
of Hamilton ; L. Agassiz of Cambridge ; E. P. Robinson of
Saugus; Long Island Historical Society ; J.E. Oliver of Lynn;
also from the Committee of Arrangements of the Memorial
celebration at Fort Popham, inviting the Institute to attend
^ the public celebration of the 256th anniversary of the
founding of the first English Colony on the shores of New Eng-


Digitized by VjOOQIC


land, Aug. 19, 1607,(0. &.) to take place near the site of
Fort Popham, and the place of the original Port George, at
the mouth of the Kennebec river, in the ancient Province of
Sabina, Aug. 29 1863." This letter was referred to the Pres-
ident and Vice President of the Historical Department, to
take such action as they may deem appropriate.

Mr. GooDELL then requested Hon. Allen W. Dodge, as
Chairman of the Committee on Field Meetings, to take the
Chair. Upon so doing, Mr. Dodge remarked that he had
not seen much himself to comment Upon, but there were
.fliose present who had made different branches of natural
history specialities, and whom he would introduce to the au-
dioBce. He could only say generally that if, as was sometimes
observed, these things were getting to be old stories, provid-
ed only they were good stories they would bear to be re-
peated. When Mr. Tracy tells us of flowers he could see new
beauties in them, and so when the geologists tell us about
rocks and the zoologists about animals. It is a wonder
that we are not attentive enough to see the beauties
and uses of things in nature. Some roam about in the
fields and can not tell any more about plants than they
can about the sermons which they hear in church. We
train some of our faculties — why not the power of obser-
vation ? We ought to cultivate these faculties, and the ob-
ject of the Institute is to encourage people to observe com-
mon things. Theorizing without facts will not answer — we
must get facts und stand on the laws of nature. One of the
most rational employments of the mind is the study of na-

Bey. Mr. Babden of Rockport was then introduced, but
he simply remarked that he would speak by proxy, and, af-
ter exhibiting a splendid specimen of Scapolite and adding
a few comments he called upon Dr. Jackson.

Dr. Chables T. Jackson of Boston responded and made

Digitized by VjOOQIC


some very interesting remarks upon mineralogy. He said
tliat the two great abutments of the arch of society are agri-
culture and mining — all the arts refer back to one of these
two. Mineralogy is the first great division, starting at the
foundation stone. Every thing not vegetable or aninaal is
mineral. The minerals are either in masses or in crystals.
The latter are the flowers. There are six divisions of crys-
tals and each crystal is an individual, governed by a fixed
law, as fixed as in birds or other animsds. The object of s<u«
entific research is to ascertain the laws of nature. — Chemis*
try is the physiology of mineralogy. Too much of mathe-
matics has been dragged into mineralogy — a display of learn* -
ing has injured science. Dr. Jackson paid a very compli-
mentary tribute to local geologists. He said that Lyell in
his famous work on the geology of Italy, instead of relying
upon his own observation trusted to the local geologists.
The local geologist, Dr. J. said, finds many things which a
stranger could not, and if he should ever again receive an
appointment of State geologist, instead of taking as an assis-
tant some politician or person appointed from partisan, family
or friendly motives, he should greatly prefer the help of the
local geologists — the clergyman, physician, or citizen, — such
as are to be found in every place, who had paid especial at-
tention to the geology of their own locality. He said that
Dr. Hitchcock, in his excellent work on the geology of Mas-
sachusetts, had mentioned but one mineral as found in Bock-
port, while the researches of the local geologists had discov-
ered many, which he enumerated ; among these were smoky
quartz, green feldspar, fluorspar, silicate of manganese, small
zircons. Many were in beautiful crystals and may be con-
sidered the flowers of mineralogy. To the labors of Rev.
Mr. Barden, we are largely indebted for making us acquaint-
ed with this interesting locality.

Rev.G. W. Skinner, of Gloucester, who had found the study
of nature intensely charming as well as instructive, said lu|

Digitized by VjOOQIC


bad paid more attention to geology than to mineralogy, and
that the subject of fossils had particularly attracted his no-^
tice, having resided for some time in the vicinity of Trenton,
N. Y., where the Silurian Fossils abound. He gave a brief
account of some of the principal species there found.

Mr. C. M. Tracy of Lynn, being called upon, alluded to-
the favorable impressions he received while listening to a
course of lectures by the first speaker on mineralogy some-
twenty years since ; and to these he attributed no small part
of the interest he now felt in the subject of natural history.
Pleasantly alluding to the remarks of the two speakers wha
had preceded, to the effect that the crystals were the flowers
of the rocks, and the fossils the flowers of rocks of a more re-
cent formation, he said we have here the living flowers, and
the world was not rendered habitable till the rocks were cov-
ered with soil, and clothed with beautiful verdure. He then
described the flowers which had been gathered, in his pleas-
ant and instructive manner. Among these were the beach
pea, a relative of the sweet pea but not of the eatable kind :
the woodbine, or better called the american creeper, which
comes very near being a grape vine : the catbrier, the plague
of our thic&ets and representing to us the true sarsaparilla :
the wild sarsaparilla and the dwarf elder, which do not merit
the name, having no afiinily with the sarsaparilla, but
more with the parsnip and celery : the sweet alder or pep-
perfoush, belonging to the Heath Family but flowering later
than most of its fellows : the checkerberry, belonging to the
same family and well known for its spiciness, but called by
too many names : the seaside golden-rod, one of the show-

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 23

Online LibraryLeeds Philosophical and Literary SocietyProceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and ..., Volume 7, Issues 3-4 → online text (page 21 of 23)