Oliver Ayer Roberts.

History of the Military company of the Massachusetts, now called the Ancient and honorable artillery company of Massachusetts. 1637-1888 (Volume 1) online

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house on the Common. He held this place from 1736 to his decease; for Mr. Drake
says, in his History of Boston, p. 749 : "In 1754, the Governor appointed Mr. Michael
Lowell ' to be a keeper of the powder-house in this town,' in place of Capt. William
Salter [1733], deceased." He visited the public schools, with the clergy and selectmen,
while an assessor. March 25, 1735, he subscribed toward the erection of the new work-
house the sum of ten pounds, " to be paid in goods."

May 2, 1739, he made a written proposal to the town, viz. : For tiie sum of twenty
pounds he would plough the ground, and raise the Common, turning the water down the
Common toward the powder-house, and prevent it from running down Winter Street.
He also proposed, for the above sum, to keep the gutter in repair for seven years from
date. The subject was referred to a committee, whose report is not given. He was
active in the militia of Boston, became captain of a Boston company in 1745, and was
fourth sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1735.

The Boston Post-Boy notices his decease, thus : " Capt. William Salter [1733], kept
the powder-house, died Dec. 7, 1753."

Administration was granted on his estate in 1754.

Richard Saltonstall (1733), lawyer, of Haverhill, son of Richard and Mehitai)le
(Wainwright) Saltonstall, was born in Haverhill, June 24, 1703, and graduated at Har-
vard College in 1722. Though a lawyer by profession, he was a "scientific and practical
farmer." He was early interested in the military, and when twenty-si.\ years old was
commissioned as colonel. At the age of thirty-three years he was appointed judge of

William Salter (1733). Authority : Boston Richard Saltonstall (1733). Authoritiks:

Records. Haverhill Rcconls; Bond's Hist, of Watertown.

' Massachusetts Gazelle.


the Superior Court. He held that office from Dec. 29, 1736, to Sept. 14, 1756,
when he resigned. He was one of his Majesty's councillors in 1743, 1744, and 1745.
He was chosen commander of the Artillery Company in 1737, and presided at the first
centennial celebration.

" Judge Saltonstall [1733] ^^'^^ chairman of the committee for settling the boundary
line between Massachusetts and New Hampshire, which had always been in contention,
in 1737." One hundred and fifty years later (1887), it was still unsettled. " He was a
man of talents and learning ; was distinguished for generous and elegant hospitality, and
for his bounteous liberality to the poor. His address was polished, affable, and winning ;
his temper was gentle and benevolent, and he enjoyed the love and esteem of all."

He married, (i) Jan. 6, 1726, Abigail, daughter of Richard Waldron, of Dover;
(2) March 4, 1740, Mary, daughter of John Jekyll, of Boston; (3) Mary, daughter of
Hon. Elisha Cooke (1699).

Col. Saltonstall (1733) died Oct. 20, 1756, after a long illness, and in the fifty-fourth
year of his age.

Habijah Savage (1733), of Boston, son of Lieut -Col. Habijah (1699) and Hannah
(Phillips) (Anderson) Savage, was born Feb. 17, 1704. Thomas (1749) and Arthur
(1738) were brothers of Capt. Habijah (1733). The latter graduated at Harvard
College in 1723. Habijah Savage (1733) was elected constable in 1733, but was
excused. It seems to be the only town office to which he was elected.

He was fourth sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1738.

Ebenezer Swan (1733), school-master, of Boston, son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth
Swan, of Cambridge, was born in Cambridge, March 23, 1704. This family resided at
Menotomy. Mr. Paige, in the History of Cambridge, gives the family of Ebenezer
(1733). By wife, Bathsheba, he had eight children. He died April 23, 1752, and his
wife died Aug. 31, 1793, aged eighty-four years.

Ebenezer Swan (1733) removed to Boston, and Aug. 16, 1738, appearing before
the selectmen, he petitioned " that Liberty may be Granted him to Open a School in
this Town, for Teaching Writing, Arithmetick and Merchants Accounts," which being
considered by them, "Voted That Liberty be Granted Accordingly."

John Symmes (1733), tailor, of Boston, son of Rev. Thomas and Elizabeth
(Blowers) Symmes, of Bradford, was born in Bradford, Feb. 4, 1705-6. Andrew,
brother of Lieut.-Col. John Symmes (1733), joined the Artillery Company in 1734.
His father. Rev. Thomas Symmes, delivered the Artillery election sermon in 1720, and
his uncle. Rev. Thomas Blowers, in 1717. Col. John (1733) became a member of the

t Old South Church, Nov. 3, 1723.

I ■ He was third sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1739, ensign in 1749, lieutenant
in 1752, and captain in 1755 and 1761. March 16, 1747, he was elected constable but
was excused. Lieut.-Col. Symmes (1733) was prominent in military matters in Boston,
passing through the various grades to that of major ; and, on the decease of Lieut.-Col.
Games (1733) of the Boston regiment, he was promoted to the vacancy, holding that
office until his decease, Feb. 23, 1764. He was buried with military honors, one com-
pany and the officers of the regiment preceding the corpse.

I Habijah Savage (1733). Authority: Boston Records.


Daniel Tucker (1733). of Boston, son of Richard and Belhiah Tucker, was born
Oct. 10, 1707, and married, March 5, 1729, Hannah Carey, daughter of James (1723),
and sister of Capt. Jonathan Carey (1740). He does not appear to have ever held any
office in the town nor in the .Artillery Company. He died July 17, 1739, aged thirty-two
years, and was buried in Copp's Hill Burial-Ground.

Edward Vail (1733), baker, of Boston, son of Christopher, was born April 7, 1695.
He married Lydia Woods, March 3, 1714-5. PMward Vail (1733) was elected "hogg-
reeve" of Boston in 1725 and constable for 1731. He was second sergeant of the
Artillery Company in 1739. He died in July, 1749.

William Warner (1733) vvas a distiller in Boston. He married, May 16, 1723,
Mary Mountfort, daughter of John (1697), and granddaughter of Benjamin Mountfort
(1679). He was a constable of Boston in 1728, and Mayas, 1735, gave len pounds
towards the erection of the new workhouse. The only reference to him on the town
books is under date of Sept. 24, 1740, when "Mr. Sutton Byles informs that Mr. Warner
['733]j the distiller, by building a house at the South End, has obstructed a water-
course." He was second sergeant of the Artillery Company in 1738. A William Warner
was captain of the ninth company in the First Massachusetts Regiment, at Louisburg,
in 1745.

Samuel Watts (1733), yeoman, of Chelsea, married (i) Elizabeth , who died

March 16, 1730, aged thirty-two years (gravestone at North Chelsea); and (2)
Hannah Hough, published Oct. 19, 1731. He was elected a fence-viewer for that part
of Boston called Rumney Marsh, now Chelsea, in 17 18 and 1721, and was a surveyor of
highways in 1722. From 17 19 to 1740, he was selected about once in two years to run
the lines between Boston and Lynn, or Maiden, to see, probably, if the bounds had been

July 3, 1728, he_ petitioned the selectmen for a "Tavernars or Innholders" license
at Winnisimmet, which petition was approved and the license was granted. He kept the
Winnisimmet Tavern for a year and a half, when, Feb. 18, 1729, he added to his duties
that of ferryman, by leasing for seven years the Winnisimmet Ferry, at a rent of twenty
pounds per annum. It is to be hoped that he made shorter voyages than his fellow-
ferryman of fifty years afterward, who was one hour ferrying Marquis Chastellux from
Winnisimmet to Mylne Point, making seven tacks from shore to shore. In 1737, Sept. 7,
the ferry lease was exchanged with the selectmen "for its counterpart." The charges
were so small that no one seemed desirous of leasing the ferry, and .Aug. 26, 1741, the
ferry being still in Mr. Watts's (1733) care, the selectmen called him before them, and
he said " he did not expect to pay any rent to the town for the ferry, since his lease
expired." The ferry does not seem to have been re-leased, and Mr. Watts (1733) paid
no rent. Jan. 31, 1757, the selectmen made a "Memo." in their minutes, viz. : to deter-
mine whether Capt. Watts (1733) shall be prosecuted for the rent of Winnisimmet Ferry.
It does not seem to have been determined.

He prospered abundantly. In 1736 and later, he was surety in the sum of five

Daniel Tucker (1733). Authoritv: Boston William Warner (1733). Authority: Bos-
Records, ton Recorils.

Edward Vail (1733)- .•\uthority: Boston Samuel Watts (1733). Authorities: Bos-
Records, ton Records; Mem. Hist, of Boston.


hundred pounds for the collector of taxes at Rumney Marsh. Sept. 21, 1737, he was
one of a committee to address " the Great and General Court for relief in the pay of
members of the Honorable House of Representatives." '

The French, to the number of about one thousand persons, were forced from their
homes in Nova Scotia and assigned to settle in Massachusetts. The General Court
appointed a committee to superintend their dispersion among the people of the colony.
Samuel Watts (1733) was chairman of this committee.

The inhabitants of Rumney Marsh (Chelsea) assembled, by virtue of an act passed
Jan. 8, 1739, to organize a new town on the first Monday of March, 1739. Samuel Watts
(1733) was chosen moderator, and for thirty years was the most prominent man of the
town. He was elected to the Legislature several terms, and in 1741 was elected speaker
of the House of Representatives, but he was negatived by the Governor. He was
elected a member of the council for twenty-two successive years, from 1742 to 1763.
April 6, 174?, he was appointed justice of the inferior Court of Common Pleas, in place
of Anthony Stoddard, deceased, and held that position until his death. He was
appointed justice of the peace June 28, 1734. He was identified with the military, and
became an officer in the Suffolk Regiment. The Artillery Company, not unmindful of
that ability, judgment, and energy by which he passed from the scow ferry-boat to the
council chamber, honored him and itself by electing Capt. Samuel Watts (1733) ensign
in 1735 ^^'^ captain in 1742.

Hon. Samuel Watts (1733) died March 5, 1770, and was buried from the house of
Hon. Benjamin Kent, in Boston.

Jacob Wendell (1733), merchant, of Boston, the ninth child of John and Elizabeth
Wendell, was born in Albany, N. Y., Aug. 5, 1691. Jacob Wendell (i>33) was placed,
while in his minority, under the care of Mr. John Mico (1702), an eminent merchant
in Boston, and was trained up to mercantile business. He afterwards became settled in
Boston as a merchant, and was very prosperous. He was highly respected in the town
and province, and, in addition to many other offices, he was repeatedly employed by the
government in the negotiating of treaties and in exchange of prisoners with the Indians.
He married, Aug. 12, 1714, Sarah Oliver, a daughter of Dr. James Oliver, of Cam-
bridge. The sons of Col. Jacob (1733) and Sarah (Oliver) Wendell were Jacob, John
Mico, and Oliver.

Judge Oliver Wendell, the youngest son, married Mary Jackson, and had Sarah, who
married Rev. Abiel Holmes, and they were the parents of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Margaret, the twelfth child, married William Phillips (1762), whose son, Hon. John
Phillips, was the first mayor of the city of Boston.

Jacob Wendell (1733). Authorities: Bos- and Women with a Violin at A Tavern Dancing

ton Records; MS.of Judge Charles Levi Woodbury; and makeing Merry, upon Our Enlg the house

Boston C(2;eV/f, .Sept. 14, 1761; New Eng. Hist, and the Young Women V\ed, we took Possession of the

Gen. Reg., 1854. Room, havs the Fidler and the Young Men with us

" [Oct. 1, 1750.] Haveing an Invitation from the with the Keg of Sugard Dram, we where very

Gentlemen to Dine at Mr Sheppard's, went Accord- Merry, from thence went to Mr Jacob Wendells

ingly, where was a company of abt 40 gentlemen, [1733] where we where Obliged to Drink Punch

after haveing Dined in a very Elegant manner upon and Wine, and ab' 5 in the morns made our Excit

Turtle, &c. Drank about the Toasts, and Sang a and to Bed." — Journal of Capt. Francis Goe/et,

Number of .Songs, and where Exceeding Merry untill 1746-50, in New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg.,

3 a clock in the Morning, from whence Went upon January, 1870.

the Rake, Going Past the Commons in Our way ' Report of Boston Rec. Com., Vol. XII., pp.

Home, Surprised a Compy Country Young Men 177, 178.


Col. Wendell (1733) possessed a handsome estate in Oliver Street, where, after
the destructive fire of 1760, he built a brick house. Since the incorporation of the
city, a street leading from Oliver Street, and passing by his place, was named Wendell
Street. His residence, however, was on School Street, opposite King's Chapel, where he
died Sept. 7, 1761, aged seventy years.

The capabihty of Col. Wendell (1733), and the respect in which he was held by his
townsmen, appear from the various duties with which he was intrusted. He was elected
one of the following committees, viz. : to project a scheme for regulating a market,
1732 ; to compute the cost of the proposed market, 1733 ; to oppose the erection of a
new county, out of Suffolk and Middlesex counties, before the General Court, 1733 '• to
assign places in the town for building markets, 1733 ; to select the best places for fortifi-
cations, 1733; to prepare gun-carriages and necessary utensils, 1733; to erect market
houses, 1734 ; to prepare laws for the regulation of porters on the town docks, 1734 ; to
erect a workhouse, 1737; to visit public schools, 1738, 1741, 1745, 1747, 1749, 1750,
17S'. I7S3> 1757. 1758; to prevent shooting of pigeons from the tops of houses, and
soldiers from firing guns in the streets, 1740; to consider what repairs on the almshouse
are necessary, 1741 ; to wait on his Excellency and urge necessary measures to protect
coasting seamen, bringing wood to Boston, from impressment by his Majesty's ships-of-
war in the harbor, 1741 ; to return thanks to Peter Faneuil, Esq., for his gift to the town ;
to consider necessary fortifications, purchase of timber, and the sinking of vessels in the
channel, 1 745 and 1 746 ; to wait on the captain-general in regard to better defences,
1745 and 1746; to obtain twelve gun-carriages, 1746; to regulate Faneuil Hall Market,
1747 ; to consider the petition of King's Chapel for additional ground eastward, 1747 ;
to consider the petition of Middlecott Cooke, 1749 ; to consider and report on additional
assistance in the South Writing-School, and on an allowance for supplying the scholars
with ink, 1753.

He was elected a constable of Boston in 17 17, and auditor of the treasurer's
accounts in 1728 and 1732. He served as an overseer of the poor in 1729-30, and
from 1733 to 1756 inclusive, making a service of twenty-six years. March 10, 1757, the
town voted that " the thanks of the town be and hereby is given to the Hon. Jacob
Wendell Esq, for " his faithful service as overseer of the poor. March 20, 1 734, the
town voted him thanks for his donation of fifty pounds towards erecting markets, and in
1735 he gave the town one hundred pounds toward the erection of a workhouse. It was
on his proposition, in 173S, that the town of Boston was first divided into twelve wards,
the boundaries of which are given, as reported by him, in the Boston town records as
printed by the record commissioners, 1729-42.

May 7, 1733, Col. Wendell (1733) made a motion in town meeting concerning the
waste lands in the province. A petition was prepared, signed by the selectmen, and
presented to the General Court, whereupon the latter granted to the town of Boston
three tracts of land, each six miles square, of the ima])propriated land of the province,
for townships. Sept. 21, 1737, these townships were sold by the selectmen at public
auction, one of which was bought by Col. Wendell (1733) for thirteen hundred and
twenty pounds.

He was one of the council from 1734 to 1760 inclusive ; was a|)pointed special
justice of the Court of Common I'leas, Dec. 29, i 736, and a justice of the peace, .Aug.
28, 1729, and Dec. 29, 1731.

"At the great fire in Boston," in 1760, says Mr. Whitman (1810), "he was a great


sufferer. Large collections were made in other provinces to aid the sufferers. He
refused any part of the contributions. Upon a final dividend among the sufferers, it was
found that there was about sixty pounds left, which could not easily be divided. It
was appropriated to purchase for his daughter, Margaret, an eight-day clock, etc."

Col. Wendell (1733) was lieutenant-colonel of the Boston regiment in 1733-5,
colonel in 1736, and was continued in the latter office until 1743. He was captain of
the Artillery Company in 1735 and 1745, and remained a prominent member until his
decease. He died Sept. 7, 1761, and was buried in his family tomb in the King's
Chapel ground. The officers of the regiment walked in procession before the corpse,
though he was not in commission when he died. The inventory of his real estate
amounted to nearly twelve thousand pounds.

The following obituary appeared in the Boston Gazette of Sept. 14, 1761 : —

"Died here, the Hon. Jacob Wendell, Esq. [1733], who for many years was Overseer
of the Poor, Colonel of the Regiment, one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, and
Council. As a merchant he was early distinguished, not only by the largeness of his
dealings, but also by his probity and honor, which soon created him an extensive repu-
tation in the commercial world ; and, as he had many opportunities of employing the
poor, encouraging the industrious tradesman, and advancing those who were entering
upon the world, so no man could improve such opportunities with greater pleasure. The
indigent and distressed were often and largely relieved by his alms. With great cheer-
fulness he aided every project for the common good.

" His family remember, with the tenderest feelings, how much he endeared himself
in every domestic relation. His friends cannot forget his openness of heart, his readi-
ness to oblige, the freedom and cheerfulness which appeared at his hospitable board.
Through a long course of years, he gave a constant and exemplary attendance upon all
the offices of Christian piety, expressing upon all occasions a regard for everything
relating to it."

John Wendell (1733), merchant, of Boston, son of Abraham and Katrina (DeKey)
Wendell, and nephew of Col. Jacob Wendell (1733), was born in Albany, N. Y., in 1703,
and was baptized in the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, May 2 of that year. He
was educated in Albany, but when young removed with his parents to Boston, where
his father died in 1734. He soon engaged in mercantile affairs, and in due time formed
a partnership with his uncle, Jacob (1733), under the title, Jacob Wendell & Co., and
did an extensive business with foreign ports. The large wholesale warehouse of the
firm was located on Merchants Row, which at that time was the commercial centre of
the East India trade. The firm suffered greatly by the fire, March 20, 1760, which was
so destructive to Boston, sustaining losses from which it was difficult to recover.

Col. Wendell (1733) held few public positions. When elected constable in Boston,
in 1729, he paid the usual fine rather than accept the office. In 1746, he was one of
the committee selected to visit the public schools, and was appointed a justice of the
peace Feb. 7, 1752. He donated, May 25, 1735, thirty pounds towards the erection of
a workhouse, " wherein to employ the idle and indigent belonging to the town." He
was colonel of the Boston regiment, ensign of the Artillery Company in 1734, and its
captain in 1 740.

John Wendell (1733). Authorities: Boston Records; MS. of Judge Charles Levi Woodbury;
New Eng. Hist, and Gen. Reg., 1858.


Col. Wendell (1733) "was a citizen of high standing and respectability, and was
much interested in the advancement of colonial affairs. He was repeatedly commis-
sioned in the military, and was a field-ofificer at the time of his decease." His mansion
stood, in 1760, upon the corner of Queen, now Court, and Treamont — Tremont — streets,
facing upon the latter.

He married, Nov. 10, 1724, Elizabeth Quincy, second daughter of Hon. Edmund
Quincy, of Braintree. Edmund Quincy, Jr., married, in 1725, Eliza Wendell, sister of
Col. John (1733)- Upon the death of his first wife. Col. Wendell (1733) married,
in 175 1, Mercy Skinner, of Marblehead. He died Dec. 15, 1762.

The late Jacob Wendell, of Portsmouth, wrote in regard to Col. John Wendell's
(1733) residence : "My grandfather's house in Boston was at the head of Prison Lane,
next to old Deacon Henchman's, at the corner, going to the Common, by Capt. Emery's
estate on Tremont Street. Deacon Henchman's house was later occupied by Rev.
S. K. Lathrop. The prison, as is well remembered by many of the present generation,
stood upon the present site of the Court House, and the part of Court Street extending
by the front of the prison, from Washington Street to Tremont, was called Prison Lane."

Isaac White (1733) was a distiller in Boston. He was third sergeant of the
Artillery Company in 1733. Capt. Isaac White (1733) for over thirty years was very
prominent in the town of Boston. In 1728, he was elected a constable, but paid the
usual fine, declining to serve. He was a measurer of lumber in 1732; overseer of the
poor from 1740 to 1742 inclusive; fireward in 1732, and 1746-50; tithing-man in 1747 ;
viewer of lumber from 1753 to 1759 inclusive, and assessor from 1755 to 1759 inclusive.
He lived on Charter Street, where he had a licensed retail shop in 1738 and in 1749.
Selectmen's records, Nov. 15, 1749: "Capt Steel informs the persons who have lately
purchased Mr. Isaac \\'hites [1733] distill house at the North End, they have made
an encroachment on the town's land there." In 1738, he is called "Mr."; in 1740,
"Lieut."; but afterward, for nearly twenty years, "Capt." April 18, 1740, the select-
men ordered Capt. William Salter (1733), keeper of the powder-house, to deliver one
barrel of gimpowder to Capt. Edward Tyng, and another to Lieut. Isaac ^Vhite (1733),
" to scale the guns," etc.

March 15, 1733, when the committee on fortifications, of which Col. Thomas Fitch
( 1 700) was chairman, was requested to draw and present a plan of the proposed forti-
fications (plan given in Boston town records. City Document No. 66, pp. 64, 65), a
committee, consisting of Jacob Wendell (1733), James Bowdoin, Col. Estes Hatch
(1711), Isaac White (1733), and John Checkley, was chosen to prepare gun-carriages
and everything necessary for mounting the cannon belonging to the town.

In March, 1734-5, as it was desired to plant guns on the end of Long Wharf, a
committee, of which Isaac \\hite (1733) was one, reported that the wharf was much
decayed, worm-eaten, etc., and " the end of the wharf was encumbered by a Crane
house thereon," etc.; whereupon Thomas Fitch (1700), on account of himself and
associates, proprietors of Long Wharf, promised that the end of Long Wharf should be
speedily put in proper condition to plant guns there.

Mr. ^^'hite (1733) was a member of the committee which erected the fortifications
of the town as proposed. Five of the seven members of that committee were members
of the Artillery Company. In March, 1734, he was one of a committee — Capt. Timothy
I Isaac White (1733)- Authority; Boston Records,


Clarke (1702), chairman — to view, consider, and report what streets stand most in
need of paving. In 1741, Capt. White (1733) was chairman of a committee for supply-
ing the town with wood, and of another to view the almshouse and report on the repairs
necessary. His reports, involving large expenditures by the town, were adopted.

The fall of Louisburg in 1745 — a cause of great rejoicing in Boston — was a
serious blow to France. The town of Boston was in constant alarm, fearing an attack by
way of retahation, and the French men-of-war were a constant menace along the coast.
March 10, 1745-6, Mr. Isaac White (1733) moved in town meeting that "the select-
men be desired to wait on his Excellency the captain-general, desiring of him that
three vessels may be purchased, in order to be sunk in such places in the channel as
shall be thought best in case the town should be attacked by an enemy." The various
projects for the town's additional defences, viz., repairing South Battery, erection of
another powder-house, purchase of timber, and sinking of three or more vessels, were

Online LibraryOliver Ayer RobertsHistory of the Military company of the Massachusetts, now called the Ancient and honorable artillery company of Massachusetts. 1637-1888 (Volume 1) → online text (page 67 of 73)