slavery, than did the Garrisonian Abolitionists. His opinion in
substance was, that before Mr. Garrison began his movement
there was a wide spread anti-slavery sentiment all over the North,
which would never accept Mr. Garrison's methods of work, but
kept on in its own way, counting its voters in larger numbers year
l)y year, until at length this sentiment was embodied in the Free-
Soil party, in the Republican party, and finally in the election to
the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. When this end was reached
the South plunged the nation into civil war. To put down that
reliellion, the North took up arms, and found at length that the
way to suppress it was to destroy the system of American Slavery.
But it was difficult to see how the little handful of people who
made up what was technically known as the (Harrison party, could
have had anything but a minor and indirect hand in securing this
Col. Waters was a warm admirer of the talents displayed by
Thomas Blanchard. and was a personal friend of the great in-
ventor. An excellent article on Blanchard was furnished by him
for the Sutton history, giving a brief sketch of his life. He also
wrote a more extended one which was published in Harpers'
Magazine, July, 1881. The article was extensively copied.
Some years later it was republished in the P/iihuh-lpIiia yoi/nial
of Progress, with a portrait of Mr. Blanchard. At one time there
was doubt as to which town, Oxford or Sutton, belonged the honor
of giving birtli to the great inventor. CoL Waters always con-
tended that the honor belonged to the historic old town of Sutton,
and he proved it by documentary evidence. He once said to me that
he met Mr. Blanchard coming from the State House, in Boston,
many years ago, and who- said to him, "I have been up there to
find out where I was born, but I give it up." Subsequent investi-
gation by Col. Waters settled the matter in favor of Sutton.
He preserved and placed on record several anecdotes of Mr.
Blanchard, that would otherwise have been lost. It was his delight
to talk of him and to show that his invention of the eccentric lathe
led to the interchange system. Having myself recently written a
paper on Thomas Blanchard, I furnished Col. Waters with a copy,
and in a letter I received from him after reading my article, he said,
"You need have no fear of extolling his marvellous genius in
mechanics too highly. Few if any inventions have ever been made
which have been applied to so many useful purposes, as his ec-
centric lathe. It has led to what is called the interchange system,
a system which has revolutionized all the workshops in this country,
and for the most part in Europe."
Two extended articles on the Interchange System were written
by Col. Waters, and published in the Boston papers some years
ago. I was recently informed by him, that at one time he was
requested by Gen. Ben^t, Chief of the Ordinance Depart-
ment, at Washington, to write an exhaustive article on the Inter-
change System, for use in that department, and for the general
public. I know it was his intention to have done so. Other
historical articles were furnished by him for the Sutton history,
namely: "North Parish Families," "Gun Making," also one on
"Sutton in the Revolution."
His mother was a daughter of Jonathan Holman, Colonel of
the Sutton Regiment in the Revolution. Col. Holman had also
fought in the French and Indian war. In the mansion of Col.
Waters there is a life size portrait of Col. Holman. Col. Waters
furnished much historical information for the Worcester County
History, and other histories and pubUcations to which his name
is not appended. Probably no man in the Blackstone Valley so
well knew the history of the Blackstone Canal, and water rights
in connection therewith on the busy stream. His advice was often
sought in regard to the great sewer problem, in which he was
much interested. And when some grew impatient with him for
moving in such a careful ifianner, he stood up in presence of his
fellow townsmen and told them it was not advisable to move in a
hasty manner ; that Millbury should not alone try to bear the
brunt of the battle, that other towns should come to their aid.
He also furnished a paper on the " Electric Telegrajjh," and
as it contains much that is historically valuable, I will give the
report of it entire.
"At a monthly meeting of the Millbury Natural History
Society, in 1SS5, Col. Waters read a very interesting paper, in
which he discussed the question as to who was the inventor of
the ' Electric Telegra]:)h,' and showed that the honor had been
unjustly given to S. F. B. Morse. Prof. Morse first took the idea
from Dr. Jackson, of Boston, l)ut being wholly lacking in scientific
knowledge and training, his experiments were wholly unsuccessful.
In his extremity he took Dr. Leonard (lale into council, who
being fully a scientific man, as Morse was not, quickly constructed
the apparatus which made the telegraph instantly a success. Dr.
Gale was enabled to do this by his familiarity with electric science,
and the studies and experiments by Prof. Joseph Henry, late of
the Smithsonian Institution. The real inventors *vere Dr. Jackson,
Prof. Josei)h Henry, and Dr. "Leonard Gale. Morse invented the
dash and dot alphabet, and this was his only real contribution to
the telegraph. To Morse, however, belongs the real credit of
bringing the invention before the public, securing government aid
in the construction of the first line between Washington and Balti-
more, and so accomplishing its commercial success.
"The first line was constructed under the direction of Dr. Gale,
and was entirely successful, and was the infant which has grown
to the monstrous projjortions of a company which now pays
dividends on a capital of $80,000,000.
" Dr. Gale was born in Millbury, where W. R. Cunningham now
lives. He received his early training in the schools of this town.
He was a schoolmate of Col. Waters, and a correspondent during
his college life. He afterwards occupied a professor's chair in
several colleges. He was for many years an examiner in the
Patent Office, at Washington, from which position he was removed
by President Buchanan, because he refused to surrender his anti-
" Col. Waters suggested that the town ought to provide some
suitable memorial to both Dr. Gale and Thomas Blanchard, whose
lives and achievements shed lustre upon the town of Millbury. A
hearty vote of thanks was extended to Col. Waters for his
In 1874, Col. Waters, in company with his wife and two daugh-
ters, visited Constantinople, one of his daughters residing there
being the wife of Prof. E. A. Grosvenor, of Robert College in
that city. He visited many of the principal places in Europe and
the East. In the antiquities of Egypt — the Sphinx, the Pyramids,
etc., he was much interested. On the 14th of March, 1876, he
ascended the great pyramid of Gizeh, 461 feet in height.
In all matters of early history, the primitive manner of doing
work, the ways and customs of the people of the old world, and
all connected therewith, had been a study with him. He wa.s,/>ar
excellence the most thorough antiquarian of his native town. The
opportunity afforded by this visit to the old world was well im-
proved. His mind, already stored with historical facts upon these
places and subjects, was ready to grat*j every idea connected there-
with. The ruins of the old countries were well inspected by him.
He was a man not satisfied with a hasty examination of anything.
A subject was mastered by him to its very bottom. His visit to
Europe and the East was extended over a period of two years
and during that time a valuable fund of information was added to
a mind already well filled. Much of the knowledge there gathered
was found useful to him in later years.
He returned improved in health and spirits, marking out for
himself man)' plans in literary work, in which he was so much
Col. Waters, throughout his busy life, took a great interest in
the affiiirs .of his native town, and in all of the important ques-
tions that came before his fellow citizens he took an active part.
His voice was often heard in their gatherings, in support of meas-
ures he considered for the best interests of the town. He was a
conservative, careful man, and strongly opposed those who sought
to burden the town with heavy debts. In town meeting he was
listened to with close attention; his commanding presence, and
well chosen, forcible language, won the respect of all. Those
op])()sed to him recognized his great abilitiLS and admitted
the honesty of his intentions. If the cause he supported was not
popular, it was enough for him to know that it was just. As a
pnlilic speaker, in his prime, he had few equals. His liberal edu-
cation, great command of language, in his own and other tongues,
his knowledge of many departments of business, law and history,
and a mind stored with information upon so many subjects, gave
him a power that held an audience at will.
The grand old mansi>)n built by his father, in 1829, by his
father's death, came into his possession. The stately trees by
which it is surrounded were planted by his own hands. Grand
and lofty, the solid old structure has well withstood the hand
of time. In this quiet retreat, just removed from the turmoil
of Imsy life, Col. Waters passed the score of years allotted to
him after his business life closed. He said, " I well know what
there is abroad, but after all, give me this, my home."
His library was a chosen retreat for him. There, surrounded
by well-stocked shelves of books, containing the best thoughts of
authors living and dead, he passed much of his time. His pen
was never so busy but that he gladly laid it aside to act the part
of the genial host. And well could he act the part. Rarely have
I met his ecjual. His manner was, once a friend, always a friend.
I think no man could spend an afternoon with him, without be-
coming convinced that his host had a rare gift of intellect, that
he could grasp a subject with a power enjoyed by few men. His
manner was genial and kind, and at once his guest felt at home.
He was quick to detect literary talent. It was to him a pleasure
to assist such as possessed it to famQ and fortune, if it was to be,
and wish them a hearty God-speed. He assisted many such, by
advice and encouragement as to plans and methods of literary work.
His fund of anecdotes was inexhaustible, and often did he draw from
liis resources in this respect, to the delight of all who listened.
His character for honesty and integrity was never questioned.
In all his dealings with those about him, and in his employ, he
acted in a spirit of justice, never forgetting that the poorest man
had his rights. Proud of his ancestry, on both his father's and
mother's side, he yet gave to the humblest his rightful due. But
the grandest element in his character, was his faith in the God of
his fathers, and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. His testimony
living, and his handwriting yet speaking, proclaims his abiding
faith in the book of God's word.
He married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of the late Daniel Hovey,
of Sutton, June 27, 1849. Their children are Isabel Holman,
Lilian Hovey, wife of Prof. E. A. Grosvenor, and Florence
Elizabeth. In all his domestic relations, he was the dutiful son,
the kind husband, the loving father, and the ever genial host. After
a ripe old age, remarkably free from its common infirmities, he
departed this life, Jan. 17, 1887, with "that which should accom-
pany old age, as honor, love, obedience, troops of friends."
At the time of his death he was, with one exception, the oldest
native born citizen of Millbury. His funeral was attended by a
large concourse of his fellow citizens, and many prominent men
from other parts of the State, Rev. Dr. S. G. Buckingham, of Spring-
field, Rev. Stacy Fowler, of Boston, Rev. George A. Putnam, of
Millbury, and his pastor, Rev. John L. Ewell, taking part in the
In closing this sketch of one who played such an important
part in the business, social, political and literary history of Wor-
cester County, I wish to say, it is fitting that this Society should
seek to place on record his achievments, leaving as he does, a
name that shines forth as a bright example, for generations yet
CORRECTION: Page 96, Line 16. Col. Waters married Mary Elizabeth,
daughter of the late Susan (Jacobs) and Daniel Ilovey.
Mr. J. A. Howland spoke pleasantly of Colonel
Waters, and explained that the rupture in the Gar-
risonian party which occurred in 1840, at which
time Colonel Waters left it, was due to the placing
of "a )ouno- Millbury school teacher," — Abby Kelly
— upon one of the committees.
Some discussion on the invention of the electric
telegraph was participated in by the Secretary, and
Messrs. H. M. Smith and Howland.
Mr. F. P. Rice spoke at some length in reply to
the denunciatory remarks of Mr. J. A. Howland, at
the last meeting, on the subject of Hon. Eli Thayer's
lectures before the Society. Mr. Rice said :
"It is safe to say that this puhhcation is the most important
one ever made bv the Society ; it has attracted attention through-
out the cinmtr}', and it has been widely noticed in the pubhc
press, while letters have been received from many eminent men
who strongly commend the pamphlet as a valuable contribution
to history. So far as the criticisms and opinions of the Gar-
risonians are concerned, they occupy in space only a fraction of
the essay ; and the citations from the Liberator, and from letters,
speeches, resolutions, etc., of the Garrisonians, no one can reason-
ably object to, when used, as in this case, to illustrate their
methods and policy. If Mr. Thayer has made statements that
are not true, he is open to correction. But we should not over-
look the great importance of the i)urely historical part of the
"Some have expressed the opinion that the Society ought not
to consider or discuss matters which tend to excite controversy,
but the presentation of any historical subject of moment is sel-
dom unattended by it ; in fact, it is often the case that only by
controversy can we arrive at the truth. In regard to the revival
of dead issues, which may inflame the passions and operate to
create dissension, the Garrisonians are as much to blame as the
other side, for they continue to indulge in taunts and flings to
this day ; as evidenced in the recent republication by a prominent
Abolitionist, of virulent anti-slavery tracts against the church and
Mr. Rice then read portions of letters from Prof.
L. W. Spring, the historian of Kansas ; Hon. Rob-
ert C. Winthrop, Ex-Senators Doohttle and Trum-
bull, Prof, George P. Fisher, Hon, George Ticknor
Curtis, Hon.*George S. Boutwell, Hon. Hannibal
Hamlin, Rev. L. W. Bacon, Hon, John Sherman,
Bishop Huntington, Horace White, Hon. Richard
Mott, Hon. John Bigelow, Rev. E. E. Hale, Sen-
ator Dawes, Rieht Hon. W. E. Gladstone, Prof.
Brooks Adams, and Col. Homer B. Sprague, most
of them expressing cordial approval of Mr. Thayer's
lectures.* Extracts from several prominent journals
*were also read or referred to, which reviewed
favorably the lectures as published by the Society.
Mr. Howland rejoined that it was the spirit of
Mr. Thayer's remarks that he objected to, and that
his abusive epithets and false statements should not
have been printed in the Society's Proceedings.
The discussion was further engaged in by Messrs.
Rice. H. M. Smith. Howland, and Rev. Dr. Perkins.
* Many other letters from distinguished persons have since been received.
The latter said, that while he did not approve Mr.
Thayer's methods of discussion, he was convinced
that his views would be sustained by history. He,
himself, had always been a strong anti-slavery man,
but he had been abused by the Garrisonians as being
pro-slavery, because he did not believe in their man-
ner of opposing the institution.
Special meeting, Tuesday evening, May lo, at
Natural History Hall.
About sixty members and visitors attended.
Rev. Samuel May, of Leicester, read a Review of
Hon. Eli Thayer's lectures on the New England
Emigrant Aid Company, prepared by Oliver John-
son, Esq. This was followed by remarks from Hon.
W. W. Rice and Mr. J. A. Howland. A vote of
thanks to Rev. Mr. May was unanimously passed.*
* The proceedin.ijs of this meeting and Mr. Johnson's Review, have been
]ii"i.itc(l as No. X.W. of the ]')ul)licalions of the Society.
Regular meeting-, Tuesday evening, June 7.
Present : Messrs. Abbot, Brooks, Crane, Cutler,
Dickinson, Estey, Gould, J. A. Howland, Hubbard,
Jackson, Lyford, Lynch, Marvin, G. Maynard,
Meriam, Otis, Parker, Perkins, F. P. Rice, Seagrave,
H. M, Smith, Staples, Stedman, Tucker, C. G.
Wood, Dodge, and nine visitors. — 35.
The Librarian reported 3 1 5 additions since the
Rev. A. P. Marvin, of Lancaster, read his essay
on "The Puritans of Massachusetts Bay," etc. The
paper was followed by some discussion, in which
several engaged. Henry L. Parker, Esq., stated
that he should like to prepare a paper, to be given
at some future meeting, upon the Puritan policy as
viewed from the Church of England standpoint. He
was cordially invited to do so by the President.
Mr. Marvin's paper is here printed in full.
THE PURITANS OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY:
WHO WERE THEY ? WHAT CAUSED THEM TO
LEAVE ENGLAND ? WHY DH) THEY COME
HERE ? WHAT DID THEY DO HERE ?
BY REV. A. P. MARVIN.
No one can understand the history of Massachusetts, and the
character of her institutions, without learning, in the first place,
the character and the designs of the early settlers. The question
is. Who were the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay? Why did they
I'jave England ? \\'hy did they come here ? And what did they
This preliminary question in regard to Puritans and Puritanism
is important, because an error on this point has vitiated much
speaking antl writing in relation to our forefathers and their
Puritans and Pilgrims are often treated as being very different
in design and spirit, and one class has been honored to the dis-
paragement of the other, when they were generically and even
Confining ourselves to English history, there were reformers in
the time of \Viclif, who wrought a great work, which, though sup-
pressed in the reigns of the Lancaster princes, still smouldered in
The Reformation broke out anew in the reign of Henry VIII.,
and, omitting the brief episode of Mary's rule, it made Great
Britain a Protestant country.
The change in religion wrought a change in morals, and in the
standard of Christian experience and living. A class of men
sprang up who demanded an improvement in doctrine, in ritual.
and in church government. They insisted on discarding the
papal rule, and everything in worship that was tainted with
idolatry or superstition. But the Protesters were not all united.
Some were satisfied with throwing off the papal supremacy in
civil and national affairs, while adhering to the papacy as a
hierarchy, and acknowledging the pope of Rome in regard to all
matters ecclesiastical. Another class made a clean breach with
Rome as a ruling power in both church and state. These, at first,
constituted the great Protestant party. But it was soon found
that there was a diversity of opinions in the Protestant ranks.
Some clung to the old as much as possible without reverting to
Roman Catholicism. Others wished to carry the Reformation
further, and hence arose a body of men nicknamed Puritans, in
derision ; but the name has become a titltf of honor.
Puritan is a large term, including several varieties. There were
I, — Puritan Conformists ; 2,— Puritan Non-conformists; 3, — Pu-
ritan Presbyterians and Congregationalists ; and 4, — Puritan Sep-
The Puritan Conformists were those good and godly people
who labored and prayed for a further reformation in the Church
of England, but who strictly complied with the ritual and rubrics,
and carefully avoided any actions which would expose them to
the censure of the government, in relation to ecclesiastical
The Puritan Non-conformists embraced^ those who adhered to
the Church of England ; believed in p' ^^cy • loved t^he prayer
book, and clung to the old church and . .v^i^li-yard as sacred, but
desired to have certain errors expunged from tlie baptismal cere-
mony, and some blemishes removed from other parts of the
service. This party included a large number of churchmen in
the reign of James I., and an increasing number in the time of
The Puritan Presbyterians and Congregationalists or Independ-
ents, rejected the Episcopal government, and the use of the
prayer book, while adhering to the Articles of Faith, in use by the
Church of England. In Scotland, the Presbyterian theory pre-
vailed. It was planted in England in the early years of the
Commonwealth, — particularly in London and Lancashire — but
was generally supplanted by Independency, which included Con-
gregationalists. Baptists, and others, perhaps ; and which was
transplanted to this country.
The Puritan Separatists were the extreme Independents, who,
agreeing with Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Congregationalists
in all important doctrines, and in their view of the Christian life,
yet who came out of the Church of England as apostate, and
refused to hold communion with it as a branch of the church
According to this classification, the poet Herbert was a Puritan
( onformist. He might have rejected the name, when used in the
general sense, which was subject to reproach ; but his strictness
of life, saintliness of deportment, and devotional sentiment, allied
hi;n to the great Puritan body.
A great number of the clergy, in the time of James and Charles,
were Puritan non-conformists, including cjuite a portion of those
who afterwards became pastors in New England. They remained
in the Church of England years after they ceased to conform en-
tirely to the rubrics. Such statesmen as Hampden, Vane, Pym,
Lords Say and Seal, Lord Brook, the f2arl of Warwick, Oliver
Cromwell, and others were non-conforming churchmen of the
Puritan stamp, many years before they came into open conflict
with the authorities of tb^ State church. Some of these never
went to the extremity off- "leaving the old church of their fathers,
though they took up arms'' m favor of the parliament.
Among the Presbyterian Puritans was Richard Baxter; and
among the Congregational Puritans were John Howe and John
Owen. John Bunyan was another, but of the Baptist variety.
John Milton was a Puritan in principle, in purity of life, and in
severity of taste. Some of these withdrew from the national
church, and some were cast out by the act of exclusion, in 1662,
when two thousand Puritan ministers were driven from their
pulpits and parishes.
John Robinson, and probably the larger part of the ministers,
elders and membership of the churches formed in the northeast
of England, in London, and in a few other places, between 1 5 80 and
1620, were Separatists, the very quintessence of Puritanism; in
the words of Robert Hall, the "dissidence of Dissent" ; but
Robinson and his immediate followers, on further inquiry and ex-
perience, receded from their extreme position, and held fellowship
with all Protestant Christians. In this country, Roger Williams,
for a time, was the typical Separatist, and cut loose from commu-
nion, not only with the Episcopai church, but from communion
and joint worship with all the colonists who would not formally
renounce and condemn their former connection with the national
church of England.
By overlooking these distinctions many have fallen into serious
error. It is to be noted also, that many men of historical renown,
passed through several stages of development in the period
between 1580 and 1640. For example, one who was born into a
Catholic family, say in 1560, might become a Protestant at the
age of twenty-five, but of the highest kind of high church stripe.
In the progress of inquiry, and amid the conflict of opinions, be-
come a Puritan conformist, but earnestly desiring reformation in
many particulars ; the next step would be to that of Puri-
tan non-conformity. He did not withdraw from the national
church, nor wish to break away from diocesan Episcopacy, or the
use of the prayer book, or to discard all church vestments ; but