improved to condemn us, williout other legal evidence concurring. We hope
the honored court and jury will be so tender of the lives of such as we arc,
who have for many years lived under the unblemished reputation of Chris-
tianity, as not to condemn them without a fair and equal hearing of what
may be said for us, as well as against us. And your poor supplicants shall
be bound always to pray."
To the above, which is taken from " Chandler's American Criminal Trials,"
Mr. C. adds — "After the condemnation of Mary Eastcy, she sent another pe-
tition to the Court, which, as an exhibition of the noblest fortitude, united
with sweetness of temper, dignity, and resignation, as well as of calmness
towards those who had selected so many victims from her family, will be
read with unqualified admiration. When it is recollected that confession was
the sure, if not the only means of obtaining the favor of the Court, this pe-
tition must be regarded as a most affecting appeal by an humble and feeble
woman, about to lay down her life in the cause of truth ; and who, a wife
and a mother, in circumstances of terrible trial, uttered no word of complaint,
but met her fate with a calmness and resignation, which excites the wonder
of all who read her story."
"The humble petition of Mary Eastey, unto his Excellency Sir William
Phipps, and to the honorable judge and bench, now sitting in judicature in
Salem, and the reverend ministers, humbly sheweth : That whereas your poor
and humble petitioner, being condemned to die, doth humbly beg of you to
take it into your judicious and pious consideration, that your poor and hum-
ble petitioner, knowing my own innocency, (blessed be the Lord for it,) and
seeing plainly the wiles and subtilty of my accusers, by myself cannot but
judge charitably of others that are going the same way with myself, if
the Lord step not mightily in. I was confined a whole month on the same
account that I am now condemned for, and then cleared by the afflicted per-
sons, as some of your honors know ; and in two days time I was cried out
upon by them, and have been confined, and now am condemned to die. The
Lord above knows my innocency then, and likewise doth now, as at the great
day will be known to men and angels. I petition to your honors not for my
own life, for I know I must die, and my appointed time is set ; but the
Lord lie knows it is — if it be possible — that no more innocent blood may be
shed ; which undoubtedly cannot be avoided in the way and course you go
on. I question not but your honors do, to the utmost of your powers, in
the discovery and detecting of witchcraft and witches, and would not be guilty
of innoc'ent blood for the world; but by my own innocency I know you are
in the wrong way. The Lord in his infinite mercy direct you in this great
work, if it be his blessed will that no more innocent blood be shed. I would
humbly beg of you, that your honors would be pleased to examine these
afflicted persons strictlj', and keep them apart some time, and likewise to try
some of these confessing witches, I being confident there are several of them
have belied themselves and others, as will appear, if not in this world, I am
sure in the world to come, whither I am going ; and I question not but
yourselves will see an alteration in these things. They say myself and others
have made a league with the devil ; we cannot confess. I know, and the
Lord he knows, as will shortly appear, they believe me, and so I question
not but they do others ; the Lord alone, who is the Searcher of all hearts,
knows, as I shall answer it at the tribunal seat, that I know not the least
thing of witchcraft ; therefore I cannot, I durst not, belie my own soul. I beg
your honors not to deny this my humble petition, from a poor innocent per-
son ; and I question not but the Lord will give a blessing to your endeavors."
The original of the above petition is still in existence ; and various cir-
cumstantial evidence makes it highly probable that it was written by the
NOTE VL— Page 24.
The statement in the text was derived from a written account drawn up
by the Rev. Daniel Gould. I have since obtained the following extract from
the Mass. Records: — "On the 19th August, 1656, John Gould, senr., of Tops-
field, otherwise called Lieut. Gould, was arrested and imprisoned for uttering
wicked and treasonable language — viz., 'If the country was of his mind, they
would keep Salem Court with its former magistrates ; and if the country
would go the rounds, he would make the first, and would go and keep Salem
Court, and would have his company down to do it.' For this he was im-
prisoned in Boston jail, and kept there some time, though unwell. He was
fined £100, and costs of prosecution, and laid under heavy bonds to keep the
Mr. Joshua Coflin has furnished me with several extracts from the Records
of the County Court, which show what some of the charges against Mr. Gil-
bert were. In 1666 he was brought before the Court on a complaint of se-
dition. The language which he used, both in prayer and sermon, as reported
by the witnesses, was certainly rather strong. We find, for instance, such
expressions as the following : — " Christ Jesus should reign, in despite of all the
devil's kings, do what they would." "God hath deceived us. Wee looked
for glorious days in England, Scotland, Ireland, for days of reform, but be-
hold a crooked Providence hath crost our expectation. God hath befooled us
all." "He in prayer begged of God either to forgive the king this perjury,
or to give him repentance for it. It is better to live here poore, and to live
in the wilderness, being covenant keepers, than to sit on the throne, and be
covenant breakers. He begged of God to convert the king and the royal family
for their superstition and idolatry." What was the decision of the Court in
this case does not appear. He was probably let off easily. In 1670 he was
again arraigned on a charge of intemperance. The witnesses were, Sarah
Gould, the wife, undoubtedly, of the brave old Captain John ; Isaac Comings,
senr., and Joanna Towne. The last was in Mr. Gilbert's favor. The testi-
mony is quite minute, and relates only to a single case. This, however, was
sadly disgraceful. He went into the pulpit in a disordered state, which he
betrayed by the confusion of his thoughts, and the clipping of his words, and
especially by forgetting the order of the exercises. First he prayed, then
sung, then prayed again, and again sung ; and so might have gone on inde-
finitely, had not Isaac Comings risen, and begged him to stop.
AsAHEL Huntington was born in Franklin, Ct., March 17, 1761. His pa-
ternal ancestors were among the earliest settlers of Norwich, to which Frank-
lin originally belonged. His grandfather, Dea. Christopher, died at an ad-
vanced age, leaving four sons, Christopher, Theophilus, Elisha, and Barnabas.
The last, a deacon also, was the father of Asahel. He was an active and
influential patriot of the Revolution, and died 1787, aged 59, highly respected
for his moral worth. The maiden name of Mr. H.'s mother, was Anne Wright.
She was born in 1752, and lived to be nearly a hundred years old. Her cha-
racter as a woman and a Christian was one of great excellence. The sons
of this worthy couple, were Barnabas, Azariah, Asahel, Hezekiah, and Gur-
don, all now dead. Two daughters yet live, very old. The paternal estate in
Franklin has descended lineally from the original settler, Christopher, and is
now owned by a son of Azariah.
The subject of this notice, thus born and brought up, made an early pro-
fession of religion, which he illustrated and adorned through life. Having re-
solved to devote himself to the work of the ministry, he prosecuted his stu-
dies, preparatory for college, under the tuition of his pastor, the Rev. Sam-
uel Nott. This venerable man — this relic of a former age — ^yet survives ; and
though nearly a hundred years old, is still minister of the same church and
people. Mr. Huntington was' graduated at Dartmouth College in 1786. The
valedictory oration, then deemed the first of Collegiate honors, was pronounced
by him. In the class where he stood so well, there were several who be-
came eminent. It is sufficient to enumerate Judge Goddard, of Norwich, Ct. ;
Hon. Charles Marsh, of Woodstock, Vt. ; Rev. Dr. Strong, of Randolph, Mass.
As Theological Seminaries were then unknown, Mr. H. pursued his profes-
sional studies under private direction. The Rev. Dr. Backus, of Somers, Ct.,
a divine, and instructor of the highest eminence, was his first teacher. He
concluded his studies under the Rev. Dr. Hart, of Preston, now Griswold,
Ct. On the 12th of November, 1789, he was ordained over the Church and
Society of Topsfield. Dr. Hart preached the ordination sermon.
Here, for nearly twenty-four years, flowed on the even and useful tenor of
his days. With a people not particularly easy to please, he lived in unbro-
ken harmony. He was orthodox in his opinions, but was too discreet to
uro-e them with offensive pertinacity. His preaching was plain, sensible, and
practical. His whole intercourse with his flock was so marked by social ease,
by benevolent solicitude, and by judicious kindness, that he secured their
warmest love, as well as esteem. His instructions were not confined to the
pulpit. Compelled by the straitness of his income, and the wants of a grow-
ing family, he occasionally taught the town school. For several years be-
fore his death, he received into his family pupils from abroad. With what
fidelity and ability he acquitted himself in this relation, many still remember.
The language of affectionate veneration with which, at the late celebration,
Judge Cummins and Mr. Benjamin A. Gould, recalled the name and virtues
of their earliest teacher, will not soon be forgotten by the hundreds who lis-
tened to those glowing words of praise and gratitude.
In the midst of his strength and usefulness, this truly good man was sud-
denly cut down. He died of the malignant sore throat, April 22d, 1813, after
an illness of four days. The funeral sermon was preached to a weeping au-
dience by his intimate, and long-tried friend. Rev. Isaac Braman, of New
Rowley, who still lives, a venerable octogenarian. This discourse was pub-
lished, and, in connection with it, an unfinished sermon of Mr. Huntington,
written on the very day he was seized with his last sickness. It was from
the text ; " Be ye also ready ; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son
of Man Cometh."
Mr. Huntington was married in 1791, to Alethea Lord, of Pomfret, Ct.
The union was most happy, and was blessed by five children. Of these,
Alethea died the year after her father. Hezekiah died in 1828, and Mary Ann
in 1836. The survivors are Elisha Huntington, M. D., of Lowell, and Asahel
Huntington, Esquire, of Salem — gentlemen well known in Massachusetts, and
MRS. ALETHEA HUNTINGTON.
[From an Obituary Notice in tlie Puritan Recorder.]
"This excellent lady died at the residence of her son, Dr. Eli.sha Hunting-
ton, of Lowell, Aug. 31, 1850, in the 84th year of her age. Mrs. H. was
the daughter of Dr. Elisha Lord, of Pomfret, Ct., a distinguished physician,
and a man of uncommon worth. In 1791, she was married to Rev. Asahel
Huntington. In 1813, her lamented husband closed his useful life by a peace-
ful death, leaving a name still precious to many hearts. Mrs. H. was after-
wards called to bury three of her adult children. Thus was her path marked
with sorrow. It pleased the Lord, having once cast her into the furnace of
affliction, to keep her there during the thirty-seven years of her widowhood.
But she never complained. Meekly bowing to the stroke of divine chastise-
ment, she endeavored to bring her spirit into harmony with that of her
Heavenly Father. She was, indeed, remarkable for the calmness with which
she met the heaviest shocks of adversity.
"Mrs. H. was particularly happy in her relation to the church and people
of Topsfield. There was a blending of dignity and gentleness in her person,
that prepossessed every one in her favor. Her intercourse with the people
was marked by prudence, kindness, and condescension, — by a lively sj'mpathy
in their joys and sorrows, — and by many self-denying labors, to do good among
them. The writer knows not that she ever had an enemy — ^he is certain that
she had many friends. Through all her earthly pilgrimage it was the aim of
this excellent woman to live not unto herself. Her own comforts, and even
wants, were often forgotten in self-denying efforts for the good of others. It
was her pleasure to nurse the sick and minister to the afflicted, and many
living witnesses gratefully recall her fearless and faithful devotion to them in
the hour of suffering and danger.
" In the closing scenes of her life, there were the calmness and peace,
if not the triumphs of Christian faith. Her remains were deposited in the
burying-ground at Topsfield, by the side of that dust, over which she had so
many times shed, during her long widowhood, the tears of fond remem-
" Thus has passed away one more of a most interesting circle of sisters
— lovely in life, happy in the experience and the prospect of death. Three
are in Heaven ; two yet linger on these mortal shores. How soon will they
all be gathered into a happier family than they ever made before ! Alany
sweet songs of Zion have they sung here ; but there they will sing the
sweeter song of Moses and the Lamb."
FROM A MINIATUB.E BY C. FREEMAN^
MJRS,, ALETMiEA MIURTlII^i&TdDK
THE I;EW TORI
AfTOR, LEWC3X AND
After the death of Mr. Huntington, Topsfield remained without a settled
minister for more than seven years. The people were divided, and the spirit
of party was oflen warm and high. After several unsuccessful attempts, the
church and society, in 1820, united upon the Rev. Rodney G. Dennis. Mr.
D., a graduate of Bowdoin College and of the Andover School, held his office
about eight and a half years, when he was dismissed, at his own request.
The Rev. James F. McEwen was installed in 1830. Mr. McE. was born
1793, at East Hartford, Ct., and graduated at Hanover in 1823. He was, for
a short time, settled at Bridport, Vt. He is still kindly remembered in Tops-
field, as a man of good sense and excellent character, whose faithful labors
there were highly prospered. After his dismission, Mr. McE. was settled again
in Rye, N. H. He died in Brattleboro', Vt., April 14, 1850. The present
very acceptable minister. Rev. Anson McLoud, is from Hartford, Ct. He gra-
duated at Yale College, 1838, — at Andover Theol. Sem., 1841, and was or-
dained Dec. 8, in the same j-car.
For 174 years from its incorporation, the whole town formed one ecclesi-
astical society. In consequence, however, of important changes in the law,
and of still more important changes in the notions and habits of the people,
an alteration became necessary. This was effected in 1824, by an act of In-
corporation, creating the Congregational Parish of Topsfield. A Methodist
Episcopal Society was organized in 1830. The house erected in 1831 for its
use, was removed in 1841 to its present location. The preachers, from 1831
to 1850, have been as follows : Rev. Messrs. R. D. Easterbrooks ; Thomas
Stedson; David Culver; H. B. Skinner; G. F. Pool; G. W. Bates; Ches-
ter Field ; L. B. Griffin ; Amos Walton ; Z. B. C. Dunham ; S. J. P. CoU-
yer ; M. P. Webster; John Poulson ; Wm. R. Stone, and K. Atkinson.
About one-fifth of the population are connected with this society.
NOTE IX.— Page 46.
Topsfield is now divided into four school districts. The rude, red structures
of the last century, have, within a few years, been supplanted b}^ neat and
commodious school-houses. In 1828, the Topsfield Academy was established,
and for several years was well sustained. In the following list of those who
have successively taught this school, will be found several names of well-
established reputation. They are Francis Vose ; E. D. Sanborn ; Alfred Pike ;
Benjamin Greenleaf; Asa Farwell ; William F. Kent; Edmund K. Slafter ;
B. O. Marble ; O. Quimby ; Joseph E. Noyes ; Kinsman Atkinson.
NOTE X.— Page 47.
Nkhemiah Cleaveland was the youngest son of Rev. John Cleaveland, of
Ipswich. The latter was born 1722, in Canterbury, Ct. His father's name
was Josiah. His grandfather, Josiah, one of the first settlers of Canterbury,
was a native of \A'obum, Mass. To the place last mentioned came, from
Ipswich, England, while yet a youth, his great grandfather, Moses. This pa-
triarch of the name in America, left a large family, whose descendants have
multiplied and widely spread. The Rev. Mr. Cleaveland was a man of great
energy, ardor, and goodness, and a Christian patriot of the highest stamp.
Repeatedly, at his country's call, he went as a chaplain in her armies, to
scenes of conflict and danger. In 1758, he was in Abercrombie's unsuccessful
expedition against Ticonderoga, and in 1759, he accompanied a body of troops
that went to take possession of Louisburg. In the great strife, that soon
after commenced with England, he took the liveliest interest. WTiile it was
yet a war of words, and odious enactments, and unarmed resistance, — with
earnest voice and pen he contended manfully for freedom and right. With
the first call to arms he again took the field. In 1775, during the siege of
Boston — in 1776, on the Connecticut shore, and in 1778, in New- York and
New- Jersey, he helped to cheer the soldier's heart, and to nerve his arm by
many a fervent prayer, and by exhortations full of courage and hope. This
pious and faithful minister retained to the last, the esteem and affections of
his little flock, among whom he died on his seventy-seventh birthday, in the
His personal labors in the public service were not his only contributions
to the cause Three of his sons, John, Parker, and Nehemiah, were in the
army. John, after having served for some time as a lieutenant, resigned his
commission, studied divinity, and died, 1815, the much-honored minister of
North Wrentham, Mass. Parker, after a term of service as army surgeon at
Cambridge, returned to the practice of his profession, in Rowley, (Byfield
Parish,) where, in 1827, he closed a life of distinguished usefulness. Profes-
sor Cleaveland — a name identified with the fame and with the entire existence
of Bowdoin College, in Maine, — and the Rev. Dr. John P. Cleaveland, of Pro-
Tidence, R. I., are his sons.
The youngest of the above-named brothers first saw something of the
world, during the memorable summer, autumn and winter of 1775. He was
then a tall stripling of sixteen years, — and during the siege of Boston, he
was in attendance upon his father. In 1777 he enlisted in the army, and
continued in the service for nearly a twelvemonth. The remaining years of
his minority were spent at home, in hard toil upon his father's little farm.
\\Tien a boy, he had been encouraged to expect a college education, and it
was the object of his fond desire. But the hardness of the times forbade. He
was no sooner of age, than he proceeded to make up, so far as he could,
VRou \ PORTRAIT BY COLE
under private tuition, his literary deficiencies. Having prosecuted for some
time the study of medicine, with his brother at Byfield, and with Dr. John
Manning, of Ipswich, he entered on the practice at Topsfield in 1783. Here
he found immediate employment, though it was neither extensive, nor lucra-
tive. He soon received a commission as Justice of the Peace, — an office of
some distinction in those days, and was thus led to engage, to a certain ex-
tent, in concerns of a civic character. He became known and highly appre-
ciated as a man of good judgment and prompt business habits, and was much
employed in the public affairs of town and county. He was a politician,
likewise, earnest and ardent. In 1811, he was elected by Federal votes to a
seat in the State Senate. The year following, he failed to be chosen through
the operation of that famous districting act, known ever since as the Gerryman-
der law. But in 1815, the Federalists being again in the ascendant. Dr. C.
was -re-elected, and continued to hold the seat until 1819, when he declined
to be longer a candidate. At that board, around which sat many eminent men,
he was not indeed a debater. But his good judgment, and sound sense, and
solid worth, were neither unappreciated, nor unacknowledged.
In 1814, he was made a Session Justice of the Circuit Court of Common
Pleas. From 1820 to 1822, he was Associate Justice of the Court of Sessions
for Essex County, and in 1823, he was appointed Chief Justice. This station,
the duties of which he discharged with ability and firmness, he retained un-
til 1828, when he retired from all public business. In this year he received
from Harvard University, the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine.
Dr. C. was twice married. His first wife, Lucy, was the eldest dauorhter
of his instructor. Dr. Manning. She died, childless, in 1791, four years after
their marriage. He was again united to Experience, eldest daughter of Dr.
Elisha Lord, of Pomfret, Ct. Of nine children by this connexion, five still
survive. Their mother, a woman venerated and beloved by all, died in 1845.
Dr. Cleaveland was a well-proportioned man, of large stature and command-
ing aspect. His constitution was one of iron strength, and his health, up to his
fiftieth year, was unbroken. From that time he was repeatedly visited with
sickness, and suffered much from one of the most painful of maladies. His
medical practice, however, though sometimes interrupted, was not laid aside,
except that he was compelled to decline night-calls. His declining years,
though less active, were neither unemployed nor unusefui. In professional
visits among the families which had always respected, and which now loved
and revered him ; in counselling and aiding his neighbors — all of whom, when
in doubt or difficulty, sought freely his judicious advice ; in efforts to ad-
vance the church and the community to which he immediately belonged ; and
in contributing to the moral and religious enterprises of the day,— he found suf-
ficient, and ever-welcome occupation. The intervals in this honorable toil,
were agreeably filled by books, and social converse, and by the duties, com-
forts, and affections of home. His setting sun went gently down, — while the
brightness of a better day seemed to glow in the departing orb, and left its
consoling radiance behind.
Dr. Cleaveland died February 26th, 1837, being in his seventy-seventh year.
"Dr. John Mkkki.^m was born in Concord, Mass., studied medicine in
Charlton, and was licensed to practise by the Association of ^^'orcebter Ca.
He married Hannah Jones, of Charlton — a helpmeet true ; commenced prac-
tice in Topsfield, 1783, and continued it until 1817, when he died, aged 5i>.
He left three children — viz., Royal Augustus, his successor in the practice,
and now the only survivor; Frederick J., and Almira. He built and occupied
the house which still stands at the junction of the Ipswich and Haverhill
roads. He died of consumption, having been afflicted with disease for more
than 20 years. Dr. Merriam was an honest man."
Within the last 25 years, Dk. Jeremiah Stone, and Dr. Joseph C. Batch-
elder, practised medicine in Topsfield, each for about a dozen years. Dr. B.
succeeded Dr. S., and has lately yielded his place to Dr. Charles P. French.
NOTE XL— Page 48.
Charles Holmes, Esq., is a son of the late Hon. John Holmes, well known
in Maine and Massachusetts as a lawyer and politician, and for many years
a prominent member of the U. S. Senate.
NOTE Xn.— Page 53.
The following extract from Capt. Gould's journal, has been furnished me
by Miss Hannah F. Gould : —
" Soon after this, (the battle of Lexington,) I enlisted as Sergeant in Capt.
John Baker's Company, Col. Moses Little's Regiment, and marched to Cam-
bridge. On the 17th of June, was ordered on guard at Lcchmere's Point.
Colonel Asa Whitcomb commanded the guard. After the battle had com-
menced some time, the guard was ordered to reinforce the troops on the Hill ;
but when we got on the Nock, we met thcna retreating, yet kept on till we
met Gen. Putnam, (with tent on his horse behind liim,) who spoke to Col.