Thomas Gage.

The history of Rowley, anciently including Bradford, Boxford, and Georgetown, from the year 1639 to the present time online

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THE



HISTORY OF ROWLEY,



ANCIENTLY INCLUDISG



BRADFORD, BOXFORD, AND GEORGETOWN,



FROM THE YEAR 1639 TO THE PRESENT TIME.



By THOMAS GAGE.



ADDRESS,

DELIVERED SEPTEMBER 5,



CELEBRATION OF THE SECOND CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY
OF ITS SETTLEMENT.

By Rev. JAMES BRADFORD.




FERDINAND ANDREWS
1840.



Fn



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1840, by

Thomas Gage,

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts



CAMBRIDGE:

FOLSOM, WELLS, AND THURSTON,

PBINTEKS TO THE UNITERSITT.



PREFACE.



The early history of every town furnishes
many incidents worth preserving. Some of
them may be uninteresting to strangers ; but to
native inhabitants, descendants of the Pilgrim
Fathers, they all have an interest. To preserve
such facts and incidents as are supposed to be
more particularly interesting to the descendants
of the first settlers of the ancient town of Row-
ley, is the object of the following pages.

The 5th day of September, 1839, having been
set apart, in pursuance of a vote of the town, for
the purpose of celebrating the second centennial
anniversary of its settlement, such material facts
were collected, as were judged proper to be in-
corporated into addresses to be delivered on the
occasion. The address, by the Rev. Mr. Brad-
ford, (which makes a part of this volume,) and
another by Thomas E. Payson, Esquire, were
delivered, the latter of which related to the civil
history of the town, which it was very desirable
to have printed, and a request was accordingly



iv PREFACE.

made for this purpose, with which Mr. Payson
did not think best to comply.*

There having been much information collected
at that time, and since, relating to the early his-
tory of the place, it was the wish of the inhab-
itants of the town that something, in addition to
the Address of Mr. Bradford, might be published;
and they having, by vote, granted to the Com-
piler of the ensuing sheets the exclusive right of
publishing this work, he, with diffidence in his
ability for undertaking it, consented to comply
with their desires.

It may, perhaps, be proper to add, that, in its
compilation, the records and files of ancient pa-
pers, of the Colonial, Provincial, and State Gov-
ernments of Massachusetts, of the County Courts,
registry of deeds and of probate, records of the
towns, parishes, churches, and societies of an-
cient Rowley, have all been examined with as
much care and attention as time would permit ;
as also the works of various ancient historians,
as Winthrop, Johnson, Hubbard, Mather, Lech-
ford, Josselyn, Massachusetts Historical Collec-
tions, with other ancient and modern works.

* The following communication is his reply to the request.

" Jlndover, October 1, 1839.
" To Willard Holbrook, Thomas Oage, and Joshua Jewett.

" Gentlemen, — The expression of your thanks for my address
on the 5th ultimo, has been received, together willi your polite request
for a copy for publication. Please accept my thanks for the same ;
but I must respectfully decline having the address published.

" Yours, &c. Thomas E. Pavson."



PREFACE. V

Having thus done what he could to bring out
from the rubbish of years, the historical memen-
tos of his native place, he now presents the col-
lection of them, with his sincere desire, that it
may not be unacceptable to his townsmen and
friends, and that it ma}^ in some measure, be, to
the present and succeeding generations, as an
eminence, from which they may be enabled to
look back upon the generations of their ances-
tors, who have already acted their parts upon
life's stage ; — even to that time, when the ven-
erable Rogers and his company of sixty families
were engaged in erecting log-houses for their
shelter from the storm, in the midst of the then
dense forest which covered the ground, where
the pleasant village of Rowley now stands.

Before we proceed to the work, it is thought
best to notice some of the measures adopted by
the town, relative to their Centennial Celebra-
tion, and also to annex thereto the order of
exercises for that celebration.

At a meeting of the inhabitants, held April
2, 1839, it was voted, That they will set apart
some day, during the present year, for the pur-
pose of celebrating the second centennial anni-
versary of the settlement of the town ; and that
the Rev.Willard Holbrook, Joshua Jewett, Thorn-
as Gage, Thomas Payson, Amos Saunders, Thom-



Vi PREFACE.

as How, Daniel N. Prime, Edward Smith, Rich-
ard Kimball, Benjamin H. Smith, Oliver Blackin-
ton, and Nathaniel Mighill, be a committee, with
instructions, to respectfully invite the inhabitants
of Georgetown, (who have been of us and with
us until lately,) to join w ith us in the celebration,
requesting them to appoint a committee of their
own citizens, to join with the committee of this
town in making all necessary arrangements for
the celebration ; and as the towns of Bradford
and Boxford were originally a part of Rowley,
to invite the inhabitants of those towns, also, to
join in the celebration. The committee were
further instructed to compile, or cause to be
compiled from early history, from the records of
the State, county, and town, and from the rec-
ords of the several ancient churches, once or
now belonging to the town of Rowley, and from
all other available sources, all such matters and
facts, connected with the setdement and history
of the town, as they may think proper ; and to
procure some suitable person, to select there-
from such material matters and facts as he may
deem most interesting and suitable to be incor-
porated into an address, to be by him delivered
on the occasion. The committee were instruct-
ed to appoint a day for the celebration, and to
make all necessary arrangements for the occa-
sion. They subsequently appointed Thursday,



PREFACE. vii

the 5th day of September for the celebration, and
invited the Rev. James Bradford, of Sheffield,
and Thomas E. Payson, Esquire, of Andover, to
deHver each an address on that day. They ac-
cepted the invitation, and performed the duty as-
signed them.

ORDER OF EXERCISES.

1. VOLUNTARY.
By the Band.

2. ANTHEM.
" Praise the Lord." — Comer.

3. READING OF THE SCRIPTURE.

BY REV. ISAAC BRAMAN.

[From a Bible printed in 1611.]
4. SINGING.

BY THE cnoiR»

[A portion of the 107th Psalm, as turned into metre, and
set to a tune in a singing-book printed in 1604. To be
read, line by line, as by Deacons in days of yore. The
reading by Deacon JosnuA Jewett.]

1 Give thanks unto the Lord our God,

for gracious is hee :
And that his mercie hath no ende,
all mortall men may see.

2 Such as the Lord redeemed hath,

with thanks should praise his name;
and show how they fro- foes were freed,
and how he wrought the same.



PREFACE.

3 Hee gathered them foorlh of the lands,
that lay so far about :
From East to West, fro- North to South,
His hand did find them out.

7 And by that way that was most right,
Hee led them like a guide :
That they might to a citie goe,
and there also abide.

37 That they may sow their pleasant land,

and vineyards also plant:
To yeeld them fruit of such encrease,
as none may seem to want.

38 They multiply exceedingly,

the Lord doth bless them so ;
Who doth also their brute beasts make,
by numbers great to grow.

5. PRAYER.

BY REV. WILLARD HOLBROOK.

6. ORIGINAL ODE.

BY DANIEL N. PRIME, OF ROWLEY.

Supreme, eternal God,

Who sits enthroned above.

By whose Almighty power.

The wheels of nature move ;
Oh! wilt Thou deign this day to hear.
Our grateful song and humble prayer.

When in the days of old.

The fatliers of our race

From persecution fled,

To seek a resting place ;
Where they in peace might worship Thee,
From cruel priests and tyrants free.



PREFACE.

Then Thy protecting hand

Did guide tliem safely o'er,

Whilst they the ocean crossed,

To this then desert shore ;
And Rogers, with his little band,
Safely arrived on freedom's land.

Two hundred times our earth

Has run its annual round,

Since on this pleasant plain,

A safe retreat they found ;
And on this spot a church did raise,
And dedicate it to Thy praise.

And ever since that hour,

Here have Thy temples stood,

Here have our fathers met,

To praise the living God !
Whose boundless power and matchless grace,
Created and sustains our race.

And now may we their sons.

While in thy courts this day,

With grateful hearts adore,

With contrite spirits pray ;
That He who was our fathers' friend.
Their children here would still defend.

Through future ages may

Our sons and daughters join,

With cheerful heart and voice.

In worship so divine;
Here Lord remain and bless our race,
Through every age till time shall cease.

7. ECCLESIASTICAL ADDRESS.

BV REV. JAMES BRADFORD, OF SHEFFIELD.



PREFACE.

8. ANTHEM.
" Glory be to God on High." — Mozart.

9. CIVIL ADDRESS.

BY THOMAS E. PAYSON, ESfJ. OF ANDOVER.

10. ORIGINAL ODE.

Air — "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."

BY HON. GEORGE LUNT, OF NEWBURYPORT.

Come, pour to lofty numbers,

Your voices in the strain.
Let every heart that slumbers,

Awake to joy aorain.
The golden dawn returning,

Shall bid our bosoms glow.
For that in heaven burning,

Two hundred years ago.

That day whose wondrous story,

Our fathers oft have told ;
That day whose deepening glory

Let age on age unfold, —
When hoary sire and childhood,

And youths in virgin glow,
Stood underneath the wildwood.

Two hundred years ago.

The frowning forest o'er them, —

The savage foe around, —
And all the hope before them

Within their strong hearts bound,
Yet pilgrims, worn and weary,

They hailed with grateful glow
A desert home so dreary.

Two hundred years ago.

When danger's need was sorest,
They called on Him to save.



PREFACE.

By whom they broke the forest,
And bade the harvests wave ;

Across the wintry ocean,
Or 'mid the fiercer foe,

He calmed each wild commotion
Two hundred years ago.

Their graves are all around us,

In venerable age ;
Their pleasant homes surround us,

A goodly heritage ; —
Yet warmer let each bosom

Its manly thanks bestow
For Freedom's flower, in blossom

Two hundred years ago

11. PRAYER.

BY REV. BENJAMIN GRAFTON.

12. CLOSING ANTHEM.
Hallelujah to the Father." — Beethoven.



ORDER OF PROCESSION, &c.

The following is the order in which the procession formed
upon the common, at eleven o'clock, A. M., and thence pro-
ceeded to the Congregational JMeeting-house, under escort
of a volunteer company of young men belonging to the
town, commanded by Capt. Nathaniel Parley. Music by
Salem Brass Band.

Aid. Chief Marshal (mounted). Aid.

Escort.

Marshal.

President and Vice-Presidents of the Day.

Marshal. Orators and Ofliciating Clergymen. Marshal.



xiJ PREFACE.

Town Oflicers.

Marshal. Invited Guests. Marshal.

Committee of Arrangements.

Clergymen.

Marshal.

National and Slate Officers.

Marshal. Sokliersof the Revolution (in carriages). Marshal.

Marshal.

Marshal. Strangers and Citizens generally. Marshal.

After the services of the Church, the invited guests and
subscribers to the dinner formed a procession under the
same escort, and proceeded to a substantial pavilion, erected
for the purpose upon the common, where from three hun-
dred and fifty to four hundred gentlemen and ladies partook
of a dinner prepared by Edward Smith and John B. Savory,
Esquires. Grace was said at the table by Rev. David T.
Kimball, of Ipswich, and thanks returned by Rev. I^Ir. Den-
nis, Agent of the American Education Society.

After the cloth was removed, various sentiments were
offered, and addresses made, suited to the occasion.

The publisher was called to act as President of the Day,
assisted by Brigadier-General Solomon Low, (who also
acted as Chief Marshal,) Joshua Jewett, and Thomas
Payson, Esquires, as Vice-Presidents.

The pavilion was one hundred and sixty feet long by
twenty-five feet in width, which was, under the direction of
Horatio G. Somerby of Boston, tastefully decorated with
evergreens, pictures, and national banners, blended and
woven together by the ladies in an enchanting man-
ner. The church, in which the public exercises of the
day were performed, was, by the same gentleman, beau-
tifully ornamented in a style that reflected much credit
on his taste and fancy. A broad platform was erect-
ed around the house, for the accommodation of such as



PREFACE. Xiii

could not obtain seats within, and the lower windows so dis-
posed of, as to give those without an opportunity of hearing.

Many antique relics were displayed. In the procession
was an elderly gentleman, with an old lady of eighty-six,
mounted on a pillion, both in full dress of olden time, not
omitting the cocked hat and powdered wig ; also, two young
ladies, one dressed in a full wedding suit, made and worn
on the bridal day of another lady, more than one hundred
years before ; the other in a full wedding-dress of about
seventy years' standing. A man, well acquainted with the
manners and customs of the American Indians, in full In-
dian costume, carrying the pipe and armour of the late
Black [lawk, an Indian chief, was in the procession, and
excited the curiosity of many. In front of the pulpit, in
the meeting-house, was displayed an old weather vane, made
of a thin plate of iron, with the figures, 1697, cut through
it. This was the date of the second meeting-house built
in Rowley, upon the steeple of which, it buffeted many a
storm, and sprung to every wind that blew for more than
half a century. In the pavilion were displayed various ar-
ticles wrought by the Indians, some very ancient books
brought from England by the first settlers of Rowley. A
piece of embroidery of curious workmanship, wrought by
Sarah Phillips, (daughter of the Rev. Samuel Phillips, the
second minister of Rowley,) more than one hundred and
sixty years ago, attracted much attention, and is now owned
by Miss Hannah Perley, the said Sarah Phillips being
grandmother to the said Hannah's grandfather ; and it is
hoped the same will be preserved, and shown at the next
centennial celebration in Rowley. A large armed chair,
with a set of heavy leather-bottomed chairs, supposed to
have been brought from England by the first settlers of the
town, was used at the late centennial dinner.

Is it not desirable, that the events of this memorable fes-
tival should be collected and preserved, and transmitted to
b



Xiv PREFACE.

our descendants, to those who shall occupy our place when
another century shall have passed away 1 Could we have
found any written or printed account of the doings of our
Fathers one hundred years ago, at a first Centennial Obser-
vance of the settlement of the town, with what pleasure
and satisfaction should we have read it, and alluded to it
in this celebration. But alas, none is found ; for none ex-
ists. We should therefore consider ourselves obliged by
duty to see to it, that a third Centennial epoch shall not be
without some account of the doings of the second. And
may the laudable doings of the town, in getting up and sus-
taining this celebration, be a precedent for all coming time.

Some of the regular sentiments or toasts above alluded
to, given out by Amory Holbrook as Toast-Master, with a
few of the volunteer sentiments, here follow, viz.

1st. The memory of our Fathers, — Next to their ho!y
religion, the riche:^t legacy which they have left us.

2d. The Reverend Ezckid Rogers, — Eminent for piety,
for wisdom, and for learning, — one of the earliest benefac-
tors of Harvard College and of the Church ; he was among
the brightest glories of New England's first age.

3d. The Reverend Samuel Phillips. — As founders of our
public schools, as patrons of our benevolent and religious
institutions, as the brightest examples of private charity and
public beneficence, we honor his descendants to this day.

6th. Rogers, Phillips, and Payson, — Choice stones in
the temple of righteousness ; future generations shall rise
up and call them blessed.

9th. The day we celebrate, — Sacred to the great and
good of other times ; we will tell their wonderful story to
our children, that they mny transmit it aga.n to theirs.

Volunteer. By the Honorable Caleb Cushing of New-
buryport. " The foundation stones of New England insti-
tutions, — Religion, Liberty, and Virtue. May they be
eternal in their influence upon all the sons of the Pilgrims.



PREFACE. XV

By a Lady. " The Mothers, Wives, and Daughters of
our Puritan ancestors. — May their bright examples, in
sustaining Religion, Liberty, and Virtue, be eagerly sought
after, and carefully followed by their happy descendants."

Interesting speeches were made by the Honorable Caleb
Gushing, the Honorable Stephen C. Phillips, of Salem, John
P. Hale, Esquire, of Dover, District Attorney of New
Hampshire, and by various other persons.

Communications from various invited guests, who could
not make it convenient to attend, were read by the Toast
Master. Among others, one from his Excellency, Edward
Everett, Governor of the Commonwealth, Hon. Josiah
Quincy, L. L. D., President of Harvard University, Hon.
Daniel A. White, Judge of Probate for Essex County,
Hon. Leverett Saltonstall, of Salem, member of Congress,
Hon. George Lunt, of Newburyport, and Hon. Gayton P.
Osgood, of Andover.

The address by Thomas E. Payson, Esquire, on the civil
history of the town, followed that by Mr. Bradford, In the
introduction of which, Mr. Payson very correctly observed,
that the history of the New England settlements was but a
history of the church; and, of course, his broadest ground
had been previously gone over ; but (as was justly remarked
at the time by one of his hearers) " he executed his task in
excellent style, and wrought up his materials with the hand
of a master. Chaste, elegant, and graceful in its compo-
sition, the delivery was worthy of the style and the subject.
The oration gave evidence of fine taste, and of talents of no
common order. It was matter of regret, that want of time
obliged him to omit a part of his address."

The compiler of this work had a great desire, that Mr.
Payson's address should make a part thereof, and go down
to posterity with it. But Mr. Payson was of opinion, that,
what of civil history he had, in detached parcels, incorpo-
rated into his address, would not very much abridge the



xvi PREFACE.

labor of writing a history of the town, and therefore tliought
it best to withhold the copy.

On the evening of the day following the celebration, one
hundred and sixty young ladies and gentlemen formed a
pic-nic party, and partook of a supper in the pavilion, pro-
vided by the aforenamed Smith and Savory, after which
they proceeded to the completion of what they considered
the unfinished business of the celebration.

The invitation to the citizens of Georgetown was accept-
ed by them in town-meeting, April 8, 1839, when they ap-
pointed the Rev. Isaac Braman, Solomon Nelson, Amos J.
Tenney, George Spofford, Jeremiah Jewett, Ira Stickney,
David Mighill, Jeremiah Russell, and Benjamin Winter, a
committee, to join with the committee of Rowley in making
arrangements for the celebration. A majority of this com-
mittee met several times with the committee of Rowley, and
very cordially cooperated with them in making their ar-
rangements ; which cooperation they continued till a subse-
quent meeting of the town of Georgetown was holden, when
that town, by vote, declined making an appropriation for
defraying any part of the expense of the celebration ; after
which the committee of that town thought it proper for
them to omit further action on the subject. Upon their
withdrawal, the committee of Rowley, by vote, extended an
invitation, with a request, to the committee of Georgetown,
to continue to act with them as before.

Notwithstanding that town declined making an appro-
priation in their corporate capacity, yet some of the citizens
thereof contributed liberally to the object, and took a lively
interest in helping forward the celebration, and aided by
their personal services.

The compiler acknowledges himself to have been greatly
obliged by various ])ersons in the contribution of matter for
this work. To the Rev, Joseph B. Felt, of Boston, and
David Pulsifer, 3d, Esq., of Salem, special acknowledg-
ments are due.



PREFACE. xvii

The Secretary of the Commonweallh, the Register of
Deeds and of Probate in Essex, the Clerks of the Courts in
Suffolk and Essex, the Librarians of various Libraries con-
taining ancient and rare books, have all manifested great
politeness in permitting the compiler to have free access to
the records and books in their respective care.

" Man, through all ages of revolving time,
Unchanging man, in every varying clime,
Deems his own land of every land the pride.
Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside."



CONTENTS.



Mr. Bradford's Address,

(Appendix to Address.)
Ezekiel Rogers,
Samuel Phillips,
Samuel Shepard,
Jeremiah Shepard,
Edward Payson,
Jedidiah Jewett,
John Blydenburgh,
Ebenezer Bradford,
Willard Holbrook,
Deacons in First Church,
James Chandler,
Isaac Braman,
Deacons in Second Church,
Ministers and Deacons of Byfield Parish,
George Leslie, .

Gilbert T. Williams,
First Baptist Churcii and its Ministers,
Second Baptist Church and its Ministers,
First Church in Bradford,
East Church in Bradford,
First Church in Boxford,
Second Church in Boxford,



HISTORY OF ROWLEY.

Plymouth and Massachusetts settled,
Rogers and his Company,
House Lots laid out, ....
Names of First Settlers, .



CONTENTS.



Other House Lots laid out,

Town Boundaries,

Counties first formed,

Military Matters, ....

By-Laws, ....

Other Settlers to 1700,

Gorton and others, " Blasphemous Enemies," &c

Hog-Island Marshes laid out.

Well keeping of the Sabbath,

Freemen's Oath, &,c.

Governors, how elected,

Andros's Usurpation,

New Charter,

Witcljcraft, ....

Indian Hostilities and Military Matters,

Eastern Indians, ....

Port Royal taken,

Canada Expedition,

Goodrich Family killed by Indians,

Military Officers appointed,

French War of 1744,

Massacre of Fort William Henry,

French War, continued,

Peace with France, 17G3,

Stamp Act, and Troubles with England,

Whig Covenant, ....

Recantations of Tories,

Letters from Boston, &.c.

Causes of War, ...

Revolutionary War, Constitution adopted, &c

Expense of the War, and Men furnished by Rowley,

Shays's Insurrection,

Soldiers detached,

Address to President Adams, Resolves, &-c.

War of 1812,

First Parish, ....

New Rowley, or Second Parish, first settled

Byfield Parish, ....

Division of Land with Harvard College,



CONTENTS.



Division of Land among the Parishes,

Merrimack Lands, first settled, laid out, &c.

Village Land, laid out, &lc.

Indian Purchase, Deeds, &c.

Town Clerks,

Representatives,

Graduates,

Physicians,

Schools,

Population,

Taxes and Valuations,

Statistics of Boots and Shoes made.

Town Paupers,

Votes for Governor since 17

Mills,

Hills, Ponds, &c.

Earthquakes,

Dark Day,

Remarkable Preservation,

Bunker Hill Monument,

Destruction by Fire,

Burial Grounds,

Deaths by Casualty, &c. .

Genealogical Register,

People of Color,

Post-Offices and Post-Roads, &c,

Old and New Style,

Annexations, .

Various Items,



AN

ADDRESS,

DELIVERED AT ROWLEY, MASS.,

September 5th, 1839,

at the celebration of the

SECOND CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY

OF THE

SETTLEMENT OF THE TOWN,

EMBRACING ITS

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY FROM THE BEGINNING.
By JAMES BRADFORD,

A :»ATIVE OF B01VLEV, AND PASTOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
IN SHEFFIELD,



To the Rev. James Bradford.
Dear Sir,
The undersigned, in belialf of the Committee of Arrangements for
celebrating the Second Centennial Anniversary of the settlement of
Rowley, hereby express their thanks for your very acceptable Address,
delivered yesterday, and respectfully request of you a copy for publi-
cation.

Signed, WILLARD HOLBROOK,
THOMAS GAGE,
JOSHUA JEWETT.
Rowley, September 6th, 1839.



To the Rev. Willard Holbrook, Thomas Gage, Esquire, and
Deacon Joshua Jewett, acting in behalf of the Committee of Ar-
rangements for celebrating the Second Centennial Anniversary of
the settlement of Rowley.

Gentlemen,
Your communication, expressing your thanks for, and approbation
of, the Jiddiess, which I had the honor of delivering here on the 5th
instant, and requesting a copy for the press, I have received with



Online LibraryThomas GageThe history of Rowley, anciently including Bradford, Boxford, and Georgetown, from the year 1639 to the present time → online text (page 1 of 34)