Maine Historical Society.

Collections of the Maine historical society (Volume 9) online

. (page 1 of 34)
Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 9) → online text (page 1 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


COLLECTIONS



PROCEEDINGS



MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY



SECOND SERIES. VOL. X



PORTLAND
PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY



u



VRESS OF

THE THURSTON PRINT

PORTLAND, MAINE

P.



CONTENTS

Page

The Old Thornton Academy. By George Addison Emery, . 1
Colonel Jonathan Mitchell's Cumberland County Kegiment.

Bagaduce Expedition. By Nathan Goold, . . . 52, 143
A Page of Indian History: The Wiscasset Tragedy. By Rev.

Henry O. Thayer 81

Hallowell Records. Communicated by Dr. W. B. Lapham, . 104, 323

Notes 110

Proceedings Ill, 224, 331

Captain William Ladd, the Apostle of Peace. By John AVitham

Penney, 113

The Rogers Family of Georgetown. No. II. By Hon. Josiah H.

Drummond, 138

The Meeting-house War in New Marblehead. By Samuel T.

Dole, 175

The Indian's Administration of Justice. Sequel to the Wiscas-
set Tragedy. By Rev. Henry O. Thayer, .... 185

York Necrology, 211

William Pitt Fessenden. By Richard Webb, .... 225
Ministry on the Kennebec. Period of the Indian Wars. By Rev.

Henry O. Thayer, 263

The First Occupancy by Europeans of Saccarappa Falls on the
Presumpscot River, now Westbrook. By Leonard B. Chap-
man, 282

Capt. Johnson Moulton's Company. By Nathan Goold, . 300
Extracts from the Old Records of Windham. By Samuel T.

Dole, 308

At the Mouth of the Kennebec, During the Revolution, . 320
Colonel James Scamman's 30th Regiment of Foot. By Nathan

Goold, .3.37

Captain John Wilson and Some Military Matters in Maine in the

War of 1812-15. By Rev. Henry S. Burrage, D. D., . 403

Peleg Tallman. By Walter H. Sturtevant, .... 430

Field Day Excursion, 446

Announcement, . 448

Index 449



ILLUSTRATIONS

Page

Thoiuton Academy Building, Erected in 1888, ... 1 '^

Academy Building, Burned 1848, IS''

Map of Batteries, 52 v^

Trask's Eock, 63*^

William Ladd, ll.s/

Fort George, 143"

Gen. Peleg Wadsworth, 149^

/

W. P. Fessenden, . . 225 V'

Plan of Sacarappy Falls, 288

View of Charlestown in 1775, by Trumbull, .... 349



The Old Thornton Academy



MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTIONS.

THE OLD THORNTON ACADEMY.

BY GEORGE ADDISON EMERY.
Read before the Maine Historical Society, March 11, 1897.

More than one hundred years ago the following
agreement^ was made.

Whereas^ Jeremiah Hill, Esq., Doct. Aaron Porter and Mr.
Matthias Cobb, all of Biddeford in the County of York and Com-
monwealth of Massachusetts :

Have purchased a small piece of land at Saco Falls in said Bidde-
ford and have erected an House thereon suitable and convenient for
an Academy and now propose to give it to the public for that pur-
pose on condition the General Court of said Commonwealth will
grant a corporation for that purpose with such other endowments as
they have given other Academies in this County or Commonwealth
or as they in their wisdom may think fit : — Thei-efore we, the
subscribers to encourage such a laudable undertaking do hereby
engage to pay the said Hill, Porter and Cobb the sums set against
each of our names respectively on the condition and for the pur-
pose aforesaid which sums are to defray the Expenses of Building said
Academy and the remainder as an endowment thereof.
Biddeford Oct. 30, 1792.

Jeremiah Hill, fifteen pounds.

Aaron Porter, fifteen pounds.

Matt'w Cobb, Fifteen Pounds.

Nicholas Smith, Syx pounds.

Nath'l Webster, six pounds.

This was probably the first attempt to establish an
academy in the vicinity of Biddeford and Saco. If the

1 This agreement is in the handwriting of Jeremiah Hill, Esq.

Vol. X. 2



MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.



Commonwealth had granted a corporation to Bidde-
ford, the Society would not hear this account of the
old Saco Academy.

Two academies would not be established in adjoin-
ing towns.

But in 1811 the following petition w^as presented in
the Massachusetts Legislature: —

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of
the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General Court assembled :
January, A. D. 1811. —

The Subscribers respectfully represent that the establishment of an
Academy in the town of Saco in the County of York, for the instruc-
tion of Youth in Science, literature and morals, would be of great
public utility and largely contribute to the happiness of the rising
and future generations : And as they are taught by the constitution
of this Commouwealth, that "Wisdom and knowledge as well as vir-
tue, diifased generally among the body of the people, being neces-
sary for the preservation of their rights and liberties : and as these
depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education
in the various parts of the Country, and among the ditferent orders
of the people, it shall be the duty of Legislatures and magistrates, in
all future periods of this Commonwealth, to cherish the interests of
literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them : "

Therefore the Subscribers respectfully solicit, for the purposes afore-
said, that an academy may be incorporated and established in the
town of Saco, with such powers, privileges and immunities, as have
usually been granted to similar institutions : & with endowment
from the Commonwealth, in aid of the funds subscribed by individ-
uals, as has been commonly bestowed, and such as is contemplated
by the constitution aforesaid, and such as the dignity of the Com-
monweath demands : And as in duty bound will ever pray :
Thos Cutts.
Thos G. Thornton.

Cyrus King. Jona. Cleaves.

Wm. Moody. Ichabod Jordan.



THE OLD THORNTON ACADEMY.



Rich A. Mannus.
Daniel Granger.
Daniel Cleaves.
Reub H. Green.
J. Spring.
Saml Moody,
Danl Cole.
Saml Hartley.
Joshua M. Ciimston.
James Ross.
Sherburne Tilton.
David Buckminister.
Benjn Pike.
Joseph Leland.
Samuel Gillpatrick.



Wm Freeman.
George Thacher.
Samuel Merrill.
John Pike.
William Todd.
Benjamin Patterson.
James Gray.
James Carlisle.
Samuel Dennett.
Noah Hooper.
Stephen Fairfield.
John Smith.
Moses Bradbury.
Edm'd Perkins.
Tristram Hooper.



Nicholas Scamman.

(Filing) Petition of

Thos. Cutts, Esq. and others
for
an Academy
in Saco.



on Academies
23 Jan.
The committee reports that the petitioners have leave to bring in
a bill.

Accepted 2 Feb.

The committee accordingly presented the following
bill: —

Whereas the encouragement of literature in the rising genera-
tion has ever been considered by the wise and good as the basis uj^on
which the safety and happiness of a free people ultimately depend,
and it is made the duty of legislatures and magistrates by the con-
stitution of this Commonwealth to afford such encouragement : and
whereas Thomas Cutts, Esq., and others have petitioned this court



4 MAINE JII.STU1JICAL JSOCIK'IY.

for the establishment of au academy in Saco, in the County of York,
for that pm-pose —

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Repre-
sentatives in General Court, assembled, and by the authority of the
same, That thei-e be, and here])y is established in the town of Saco,
in the County of York, an Academy by the name of Saco Academy,
for the purpose of promoting piety and virtue, and for the education
of youth, in such languages, and such liberal arts and sciences as the
trustees hereafter provided shall order and direct.

Section 2. Be it further enacted that Thomas Cutts, Esq., Thomas
G. Thornton, Esq. Cyrus King, Esq. Daniel Granger, Esq. Daniel
Cleaves, Esq. Joseph Leland, Esq. Hon. Richard Cutts, James
Gray, Esq. Foxwell Cutts, Esq. William Moody, Esq. Dr. Richard
C. Shannon, Capt. Samuel Hartley, Capt. Ichabod Jordan, Major
John Spring and Mr. Jonathan Tucker, be, and they are hereby nom-
inated and appointed Trustees of said Academy and they are hereby
incorporated into a body politick, by the name of the Trustees of Saco
Academy, and they and their successors shall be and continue a body
politick and corporate by the same name forever.

Section 3. Be it further enacted. That the said Thomas Cutts and
others, the Trustees, aforesaid, and their successors be, and they
are hereby made the Visitors, Trustees and Governors, of the said
Academy, in perpetual succession forever, to be continued in the way
and manner hereinafter specified, with full power and authority to
elect such officers of the said Academy as they shall judge necessary
and convenient, and to make and ordain such laws, orders and rules,
not repugnant to the laws of this Commonwealth, for the good gov-
ernment of said Academy, as to them shall seem fit and requisite.

Section 4. Be it further enacted. That the said Trustees and
their successors shall have one common seal, which they may break,
change and renew, from time to time, as they shall see fit : and they
may sue and be sued, in all actions, real, personal and mixed, and
prosecute and defend the same to final judgment and execution, by
the name of the Trustees of Saco Academy, and may appoint an
agent or agents to prosecute or defend such suit or suits.

Section 5. Be it further enacted, That the number of the Trus-
tees aforesaid, shall not at any time be more than fifteen, nor less



THE OLD THORNTON ACADEMY. 5

than nine, five of whom at least shall be necessary to constitute a
quorum for transacting business.

Section 6. Be it further enacted, That Avhen one or more of the
Trustees aforesaid shall die, or resign, or in the judgment of the
major part of the Trustees, shall be rendered incapable by age or
otherwise, of discharging the duties of his office, the Trustees then
surviving may elect one or more persons to fill the vacancy or
vacancies.

Section 7. Be it further enacted, That the Trustees aforesaid and
their successors be, and they are hereby rendered, capable in law,
to take and hold by gift or grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, any
lands, tenements, or other estate, real or personal, which have been
heretofore given or subscribed, or which may hereafter be given or
subscribed for the purpose aforesaid. Provided, The annual income
of said real estate shall not exceed the sum of two thousand dollars,
and the annual income of said personal estate shall not exceed the
sum of five thousand dollars,' and all deeds and instruments which
the said Trustees may lawfully make, shall be sealed with their seal,
and bind the Trustees and their successors and shall be valid in law.

Section 8. Be it further enacted. That there be and hereby is
granted to the said Trustees and to tlieir successors forever, for the
use of said Academy, one half township of six miles square, of the
unappropriated lands belonging to this Commonwealth in the Dis-
trict of Maine (excepting the ten townships on Penobscot River,
lately purchased by the Commonwealth of the Indians, and except-
ing likewise the land lately contracted to be sold to Jackson & Flint :
and which contract is now rescinded) to be laid out and assigned by
the Commissioners for the sale of Eastern lands, under the restric-
tions and reservations made in similar cases, on condition that the
Treasurer of said Trustees shall within three years from the passing
of this act, certify to said Commissioners that the sum of three thou-
sand dollars has been actually raised, and secured : for the endow-
ment of said Academy and appropriated to the use thereof.

Section 9. Be it further enacted. That Thomas Cutts, Esq., be
and he is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint the time and
place for holding the first meeting of said Trustees, and notify them
thereof.

' This limit was repealed, Febniary 12, 1805.



6 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

The records of the House of Representatives read as
follows : —

Monday, Feb. 4, 1811,—

Bill establishing an Academy in the town of Saco and County of
York, — by name of Saco Academy,

Read a third time and on the question whether the bill shall be
passed to be engrossed, — a motion Avas made by Rev. Mr. Foster
of Lyttleton that that section of the bill be stricken out which
makes a grant of land for the endowment of said Academy.

The question being put shall this section stand part of the bill it
was decided in the affirmative, 69 — 63.

It was therefore passed to be engrossed. Sent up for concurrence.

February 9, 1811, the bill was passed by the Senate to
engrossed, and it w^as approved by the governor (B.
Gerry), 16th Feb'y, 1811.

If Representative Foster's motion had prevailed, in
all probability the academy would never have been
opened as there would have been no special induce-
ment to raise |3,000, but fortunately the efforts of
Thomas Cutts and his associate trustees succeeded.

The trustees whose names are mentioned in section
2 of this bill were men of distinction.

Col. Thomas Cutts, the first petitioner and incor-
porator, was one of Saco's best citizens. When a very
young man he was the trusted clerk of Sir William
Pepperrell. He came to Saco in 1757, when about
twenty-one years old with only one hundred dollars,
borrowed of his father, which he repaid as soon as he
was able. He commenced trade in a small store, but
was soon obliged to enlarge his quarters, and by
economy, honesty and strict attention to business

> Edimind Foster.



THE OLD THORNTON ACADEMY. 7

became one of the most eminent merchants in Maine.
He foresaw the advantages of a location on Indian
Island, and bought a small portion and established his
store there. He purchased a large tract of Sir William
Pepperrell and small tracts of others, until he owned the
whole island (which was afterwards called •' Cutts'
Island "), and maintained bridges so that people could
go through Saco and Biddeford without using the ferry.
This directed the tide of travel by his store and his
business increased rapidly. He gradually became
largely interested in shipping, and built a mansion on
high ground on the island (which is still standing) from
which he could see his many vessels coming and going
to all parts of the world. He also owned lumber and
grist mills, and with Josiah Calef, Esq., built an iron
manufactory in which cut nails were made. This was
the first nail factory in Maine, and the first factory on
the island where the York mills now are. Before this
time only wrought nails were made, one at a time, by
blacksmiths. He also owned many farms and large
tracts of land, and it was said he could go to Canada
and sleep in his own house every night. To facili-
tate this large and varied business he, with associ-
ates, organized Saco Bank, and was its first president
When he died he had one hundred and eighty shares
in this bank. He was appointed by the major part of
the Council of Massachusetts Bay, first major of the
third regiment, February 14, 1776, and June 9, 1778, he
was appointed colonel of the same regiment. The
Colonel employed a large number of people to carry on
his enterprises. Many of the old ship captains were



MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.



masters of his vessels. The Colonel was not only a
good business man, but was, as I said, a good citizen.
He was selectman, 1767-69; chairman of the board, 1771;
town treasurer, 1772-94; representative to the Gen-
eral Court, 1780 ; overseer Bowdoin College, 1794-97;
councillor of Massachusetts, 1810. Col. Cutts gave
to the First Parish, when the meetinghouse was built,
a bell, weighing one thousand pounds. He was very
kind to the unfortunate, and when he laid down a bar-
rel of beef or pork for himself, prepared another for
the poor. The Colonel's real estate in this state was
appraised at $96,626.^ He had also thousands of acres of
land in New Hampshire, that he had purchased
of that state. His French claims amounted to $90,000
and his personal estate was $46,165.16 including
one hundred and forty-eight notes at face value.
He advanced to his children, in his lifetime, $83,241.
The Colonel's name must have added srreat weiarht to
the petition for the academy, for he was justly held in
high esteem by the General Court of Massachusetts.
He married Elizabeth Scamman, August 24, 1762. He
died January 10, 1821, aged eighty-four years, nine
months and five days.

Dr. Thomas G. Thornton, the second trustee, came
to Saco from Ipswich, in 1791, bearing a letter
of recommendation from Dr. John Mannino- to Col.
Thomas Cutts. November 26, 1703, he married Sarah,
daughter of Col. Cutts and after a time engaged in mer-
cantile pursuits. He was born, August 31, 1769. His
father was Timothy Thornton of Boston. In 1795,

• From inventory.



THE OLD THORNTON ACADEMY. 9

1796, 1798 and 1803, he was a representative in the
General Court of Massachusetts. He was appointed
United State marshal for Maine in 1803, and discharged
the duties of that office till his death, March 4, 1824.
He died the very day his commission as marshal ex-
pired. He was candidate for Congress at the election
on the first Monday in April, 1823. Neither candidate
was elected at that time and he withdrew his name from
the contest. William Burleigh of South Berwick was
then elected. He was a good friend to the academy
and assisted at a critical period in its history. When
Col. Cutts resigned the presidency of Saco Bank, Mar-
shal Thornton became president in 1811, and continued
in that office till he died. He had a large house in
Saco. President Monroe and Lafayette were enter-
tained at this house. This mansion was converted
into a hotel known as the " Thornton House," after his
death, and was burned January, 1851. This was located
at the corner of Main Street and Thornton Avenue.

Cyrus King, born September 6, 1772, the first
regular attorney in Saco, was a member of the famous
King family of Maine. His brother, WilUam King,
was the first governor of Maine. He was the son of
Richard King of Scarboro. He attended PhilUps Acad-
emy at Andover, entered Columbia College, New York,
in 1790, from whicli he was graduated with the highest
honors of his class. He commenced the study of law
with his brother, Senator Rufus King in New York,
and on his being appointed minister to Great Britian,
went with him as private secretary. He returned home
the next year, and finished reading law in the office of



10 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Chief Justice Mellen, at Biddeford, and was admitted
to the bar in 1797. He was a brilHant advocate, a pol-
ished orator and also a "safe counsellor." He married
October, 1797, Hannah, eldest daughter of Capt. Seth
Storer. Mr. King was elected in 1812, representative
to Congress, defeating Hon. Richard Cutts, the seventh
trustee. He served with distinction four years, return-
ing home March 3, 1817, and died suddenly at Saco,
April 25. He lived in the house on Main Street now
occupied by Mrs. Horace Woodman. Mr. King was
major-general of the sixth division of Massachusetts
militia and was buried with military honors in Saco.
In the funeral procession, led by the Buxton light in-
fantry, marched the trustees, scholars and preceptor
of the academy.

Daniel Granger, was born in 1760 or 1761, mar-
ried, 1792, Mary, daughter ol Col. Tristram Jordan.
He was a soldier in the war of the Eevolution — was
collector of customs in Saco, 1809-29, town treasurer
1822, 1823; school committee, 1816-24; overseer of
the poor, 1810-14 and 1817-20 ; agent of school dis-
trict 1799-1805 and 1806-10, 1813, 1816, moderator
1802-05 and 1815, director of Saco Bank 1812-25. He
was the second collector of the port of Saco, Jeremiah
Hill, Esq., being the first.

He was a merchant and lived in the house now
occupied by Charles W. Shannon, on Main Street. He
removed to Eastport in 1839, and died there, aged
ninety-one years.

Daniel Cleaves, born May 28, 1771, the next
trustee, came from Danvers, in 1790, with a small stock



THE OLD THORNTON ACADEMY. 11

of goods. He formed a partnership with Jonathan
Tucker, the last trustee, which lasted for sixteen years.
He was one of the most successful merchants in this
section. He was a candidate for Congress but was
defeated by Richard Cutts, another trustee. He mar-
ried Sarah, daughter of Parson John Fairfield, April 28,
1795. He was a model treasurer for the academy and
by his persistent efforts procured more than the amount
required by the charter ($3,000), to secure the grant
of land. He obtained $3,825 from eighty-three sub-
scribers. Others were on the committee, but the vote
of the trustees to give Daniel Cleaves seventy-five dol-
lars, indicates that he did most, if not all, the work.
This seventy-five dollars, Mr. Cleaves gave the precep-
tor to purchase maps, etc., for the school. He wrote
a beautiful hand and his accounts are accurately kept.
He died December 9, 1817, aged forty-six years, six
months and eleven days.

Joseph Leland, Esq., the sixth trustee, was for many
years a merchant in Saco. He was born in Mas-
sachusetts, December 30, 1757. He was an ensign
and lieutenant in the Revohitionary war and was in
the battle of Bunker Hill. He was a member of the
Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati. After the war
he came to Phillipsburg, now Hollis, where he carried
on a heavy lumbering and merchandise business at
Hight's Landing on Saco River. He afterwards moved
to Saco, and bought some of the confiscated lots of Sir
William Pepperrell on Main and Middle Streets. He
built the large mansion now occupied by B. F. Hamil-
ton and Mrs. Annie 0. Dennett on Main Street,, also



12 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

the brick house on Middle Street, occupied by John S.
Locke, Esq., iu which hitter house he died. He mar-
ried December 28, 1786, Dorcas, sister of the third
trustee, Cyrus King. He died, May 29, 1839. On his
tombstone is inscribed " A true patriot, An honest
man."

Hon. Richard Cutts, the fifth child of Col. Thomas
Cutts, was born June 28, 1771. His father sent
him to Andover Academy, and he was graduated from
Harvard College in 1790. He read law, then went
abroad in one of his father's vessels and by study and
travel completed his education. In 1801, when twenty-
nine years old, he was elected a member of Congress
and held office twelve years when he was defeated by
Cyrus King, the third trustee. In 1804 he married
Anna Payne, sister of President Madison's wife. June
1813, he was appointed superintendent-general of mil-
itary supplies and served till the war closed. He was,
1817, appointed second comptroller of the treasury un-
til 1829. He died April 7, 1845.i

James Gray was born October 9, 1765. He grad-
uated from Harvard in 1786, was town clerk 1796-
1809, and 1824 till his death, November 14, 1833.
He was selectman 1797-1803 and 1807 and overseer
of the poor 1815 and ]816. '' Gray's Court," in Saco
is named for him.

Fox well Cutts, Esq., born April 7, 1765, was the
oldest son of Col. Thomas Cutts. He was largely
engaged in navigation previous to the war. " His large
and costly ships were profitably employed in freighting

• Rev. Dr. Bui-rage, in first article in Second series, Vol. VIII, Maine Historical
Quarterly, gives an excellent account of Richard Cutts.



THE OLD THORNTON ACADEMY. 13

large cargoes to various parts of the world." Mr. Cutts
built at that period the large mansion house afterwards
occupied by Marshal Thornton. His first wife was
Sarah Scamman. After she died he married Hannah
Dustin Page.^ He died June 6, 1816.

Col. William Moody was born July 10, 1770, He
attended the common district school, but the death
of his father when he was seventeen years of age,
obliged him to go to work as joiner or carpenter. Not-
withstanding his limited education, he represented Saco
in the Legislature eight years, from 1804 to 1812 and
in the Senate from 1812 to 1819 inclusive, and ''he
became by force of native intellect alone, without the
benefit of early education, a prominent and highly use-
ful member of that body. In the convention by which
the constitution of Maine was formed, having been
elected one of the delegates from Saco, Col. Moody
often took part in the debates and was distinguished
for the ease and clearness with which he expressed his
views. He was returned a member of the first Senate
of Maine and presided over its deliberations after the
resignation of Gen. Chandler. About the same time
he was appointed sheriff^ of York County. His death
occurred suddenly, March 15, 1822, while he was in
the midst of life and usefulness and was universally
lamented." ^

Dr. Richard Cutts Shannon was graduated from
Harvard, 1795. Studied medicine with Dr. Jacob Kit-
tredge of Dover, N. H., and was for a time a surgeon

^ A direct descendant of the heroine Hannah Dustin.

* If Col. Moody had not accepted the office of sheriflf he would have been the sec-
ond governor of Maine, as Governor King soon resigned.

* Folsom : History of Saco and Biddeford.



Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 9) → online text (page 1 of 34)