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Vol. IV. January, February, March, 1898. No. 1.

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The Connecticut Quarterly ;

An Illustrated Magazine

Devoted to the Literature, History, and Picturesque Features
of Connecticut


66 State Street. Courant Building.

George C. Atwell, Editor.



Vol. IV

January, February, March, 1898.

No. I

Frontispieces Nos. I and 2, illustrating " The Wreck of the Fleet- Wing."'

. Drawn by E. A Sherman.
The "Wreck of the Fleet-Wing. lUus. by E. A. Sherman. Herbert Randall.


Middletown. Illustrated.

A Revolutionary Thanksgiving.

The Home of Timothy and Jonathan Edwards. Illus.

Sorrow. Poem. ....

Sabrina's Tea Cups. Story.

Memories of Meriden. Illustrated.

Nerva. Storjr. Part I.

Inspiration. Poem.

Early Text Books in Connecticut. Illustrated.

The Ancient Burying Ground of Hartford. lUus

Among the Litchfield Hills. Illustrated.

Departments. — Book Notices and Reviews.

Publisher's Notes.

Historical Notes.

From the Societies.

Genealogical Department.

Descendants of William Chase of Yarmouth

Grace Irene Chafee.
Charles Doane Bidivell.
Mary Seabury Starr.
Sally Porter Law.
Sarah E. L. Case.
Frances A. Breckenridge
Milo Leon Norton.
Delia B. Ward.
Ellen Brainerd Peck.
Emily S. G. Holcombe.
Edgar Deane.

Copyright, ibQO, bv (jho t_ A 1 v\ LLL \Ai
Entered at the Post Office at Hartford, Conn , as m

.il matter of the second claBS.


The FIRST payment upon shares
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The Connecticut
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Thomas Canfield

..AM) OF

Matthew Camfield,

with a

Genealogy "I
their Descendants
in New Jersey. j


Fred'k A. Canfield. 1


Large 8vo.. bevelled cloth
gilt top. uncut edges ; 2.56
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Ciives history of the family
name back to the year 1086,
with manv quotations from
English records, prior to 1639;
also Coats-of-Arms and Crests.

Thomas Canfield of New
Haven. 1639; Milford, Conn ,
1646-1689. and Matthew Cam-
field of New Haven, 16(0-1652,
Norwalk, 1652-1666. and of
Newark, N J-, 1666-1673. are
the ancestors of most of the
Canfield. Camfield and Camp-
field familii s in America. All
of their descendants bearing
the family name are given to
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tions. More than 2.000 de-
scendants classified and allied
to 450 difterent families are
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Mr Richard Burton has published two small volumes of

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touch' His note is clear and unmisukable; whatever its

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freshness, and individuality of a great deal of Mr. Burton s
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His work is essentially concrete ; he writes of thing
h»nd; he is quickened bv familiar objects and experiem


Octavo. $1.50.
■ Meadow Grass," by Alice Brown, is now. two years and
more after its publication, the best selling book of New
Eneland stories on the market. Of this book the New
York •■ Times " said : " Her simple villagers are pictured
with a graphic skill that is not excelled by any contemporary
writer of New England tales."

MIDDLKWAY. Tales of a New England Village.
By KATE WHITING PATCH. Cloth, Octavo, $1 25
In these sketches and stories Mrs, Patch has drawn not
the New England country folk who have been made so
familiar and so dear to us by the acknowledged masters of
such work, but the people of the villages— the larger vil-
lages • people who do not talk dialect— that is. the dialect
which' has become typical of New England : whose lives
ar.d thoughts are not so tense with supressed emotion, but
who live the more normal and peaceful life— really more rep-
resentative of New England as it is. • She has shown the
joys and sorrows which come to all. and her thorough
knowledge of her field enables her to draw convincing por-
traits which go to the very heart of sympathy ; the reader
follows the course of these villagers' loves and tragedies
and comedies with a feeling that he is of them and with
them, and is the better for the sympathy that has gone from
him to these humble and natural folk into whose life he has
been taken.



M.idtT.ite in Price. Tliorough in Practice, Fanioii;
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J FRANK W. HALE, ilenerul Mgr., Friwhiin Sq., Boston J

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The design of this historical
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tne "Wolf-hunt," or his first
victory, with fac-simile of the
veritable fiint lock gun that
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The spoon is made by the
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the medallion is an excellent


Coffee, Plain Bowl,

Tea, Plain



Qeo. E. Shaw,


Putnam, Ct.

kS; ,

'3 J

The Connecticut Quarterly.

' Leave not vour native land behind." — Thoreah


Vol. IV. January, February, March, i8g8. No. i.



Illustratfd by H. A. She.

THE sinuous ripples blithely sang,
Light as the heart of May ;
Soft blew^ the breeze from off the shore,

The rainbows in the spray.
The shining cliffs, the dimpled sky.

The laughing face of day.
Exultant life,— all rallied when
The "Fleet -Wing" sailed away.

On sped the ship o'er plangent waves.

Her pennons flying free ;
Past bar and bell-buoy, rock and shoal,

To deep and open sea ;
A gallant captain ruled her helm.

And merry lads had she ;
Guitar and voices rendered night

A mingling melody.


The swift white birds soared
numberless ;
The silver track lay wide 1
So smooth it was the fishers
Their sun-browned seines
And all that night was gossa-
The moonshine and the tide
A-soarkle led the "Fleet Wing"
A queenly spirit-bride.

But lol A stormy petrel came,

Complaining on the light ;
His burnished [wings thrice struck the ropes

In his encircling flight ;
And all the sea grew purple -dark,

The sailors stood alright,
Their pallid lips averred the touch

Had lleft a fateful blight.

A salt -mist settled like a pall,

The halyards creaked, the snow
Mixed with the murky, sobbing sounds,

The ropes flapped to and fro ;
And incantative spirits seemed

To urge the winds to blow;
The " Fleet - Wing " like an elfin rode

The great waves, high and low.


But lurked within the rigging, wet,

The stormy -petrel's blight,
And drearer, darker, closed around

The reeling, rattling night.
The click -clack, swift - sharp - arrowed hail

Fell, mocking the dim light,
And sterner grew the challenge for

Supremacy of right.

Still upon that ridge of darkness

Rode the ship each trembling crest.
Resolute did every sailor

Bare his weather -hardened breast;
More determined, stay and tackle,

More defiant, gust and sleet,
Fiercer, louder, more chaotic

Did the thundering waters meet.

Present, past and future

Centered into one great

force ;
Surf and sea and tide and

Grasped the "Fleet- Wing"

in her course ;
Sleet and rain and gathered

Of the centuries com-
bined ;
Bolt on bolt the lightning

Like the venging fires of



Flash and crash and cant and boom !

Roar and rush and plunge and fume !
Rockets bursting on the gloom !

Curses! Clanging chains! "Make fast!'
" Starboard !" " Aft ! " A sinking mast !

Calls to God upon the blast !
Frenzy — and a void for sleep,

For a hymn the boiling deep.


When the ragged morning dawned

Of the "Fleet -Wing" not a trace;
Not a scar the ocean wore

On its wrinkled face.
Rotting in the slimy ooze

Lies the "Fleet-Wing's" grace.
Hedged by unknown creeping things

Is her burial place-

On the beach the curlews w^histle ;

Near, ihe fishers cast their seines ;
Murmuring Ihe breeze - kissed ripples

Circle as the summer wanes.
Sad eyes fill with deepest meaning

When the moaning surf complains-
Strain to catch some shadowy phantom

On the night -wind's sobbing rains.



Middletown, or Mattabesett, the Indian name by which the town was
first called, was not settled for some time after the Pequot war in 1637,
although there were many settlements along the sound and further up on the
river. One of the causes which concurred to prevent an early settlement here
was the fact that a large Indian tribe, very hostile to the English, existed at
the point where Middletown now stands. Their wigwams stood thick at all
places desirable for settlement. Their great sachem, Sowheag, had his strong-
hold on the high ground, back from the river, and his warriors were clustered
thickly about him. The English were, therefore, naturally unwilling to come
and settle in the vicinity of so formidable a neighbor.

But on Oct. 30, 1646, the General Court appointed a Mr. Phelps to join a
committee for the contemplation of a settlement in Mattabesett. We are not
expressly informed how soon and thoroughly the ground was examined, or the
site for settlement
fixed. The first
few pages of the
town records are
lost, and others are
nearly obliterated;
consequently the
names of persons,
enrolled, who were
preparing to oc-
cupy the land and
put up dwellings,
are not known.
However, rapid
progress was not
made, and it was
not until the year
1650 that actual
settlement was be-
gun. On March

20, of that year, the addition was made of "Samuel Smith, senior, to the com-
mittee about the lands at Mattabeseck, in the roome of James Boosy." This
committee reported that these lands might support fifteen families, but a
greater number than that were soon here. These were settled north and
south from Little River.

In 165 1 the records state: "It is ordered, sentenced and decreed that
Mattabeseck shall bee a Towne, and that they shall make choyce of one of

The Oldest Ho


now standing in Middletown.



theire inhabitants according to order in that state, that so hee may take the
oath of a Constable, the next convenient season."

" It is ordered that Mattabeseck and Norwaulk shall be rated this present
year in theire proporcon, according to the rule of rating in the country, for

theire cattle and
other visible es-
tate, and that Nor-
waulk shall pre-
sent to Mr. Ludlow,
and Mattabeseck
to Mr. Wells, in
each Towne one
inhabitant, to bee
sworn by them
Constables in
theire several

In the autumn
of 1652 the town
was represented in
the General Court,
and in November,
1653, the name
a-ARR I'LACK. Middletown was

given to "the plan-
tation commonly called Mattabeseck." It is probable that the name of Mid-
dletown was given to the township on account of its central location, because
it lay between the towns up the river and Saybrook at its mouth. In 1654 the
number of taxable persons was thirty-one.

Before the commencement of the settlement, a large tract of land com-
prising most of the
township, was giv-
en to Mr. Haynes,
the Governor of
Connecticut, by
Sowheag, for
which a small con-
sideration was giv-
en in return. But
the Indian title
was not wholly ex-
tinguished until
about twelve years
after. Then, Sow-
heag having died
probably, a tract
of land extending
from Wethers-
field ( then including Glastonbury, ) to Haddam, was, for a further and



full consideration, given to vSamuel Wyllys and others acting in behalf of the
town. The original deed was written the 24th of January, 1672, in which the
Indian proprietors of the territory gave " the tract of land within the bounds
of Wethersfield on the north, Haddam on the south, and to run from the great
river the whole breadth toward the east six miles, and from the great river
toward the west so far as the General Court of Connecticut hath granted the
bounds of Middletown shall extend, with all the meadows, pastures, woods,
underwood, stones, quarries, brooks, ponds, rivers, profits, commodities and
appurtenances whatsoever belonging thereunto, unto the said Mr. Samuel
Wyllys, Capt. John Talcott, Mr. James Richards and John Allyn, in behalf of
and for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Middletown, their heirs and


assigns forever." A small tract of land was reserved to remain the possession
of the heirs of Sowheag. The original deed with thirteen Indian signatures
affixed is entered in the old Court Book of records, folio 70, April 5, 1673, by
John Allyn, secretary.

In the district north of the city, now known as Newfield, the Indians held
lands until 1713; and the reservation laid out on Indian Hill, they retained
until 1767, when, having become reduced to a a small number, they sold their
right and united with the Farmington Indians.

The records of the town are so deficient, it is not known who were the
first settlers. The earliest remaining entry on the town books is Feb. 2,
1652, and that is a vote for building a meeting house. From this building as a
centre was laid out, in 1663, the bounds of Middletown, four miles south, five
miles west and three miles east. About this meeting house clustered the



dwellings of most of the settlers, at the upper end of Main street a little
above Washington. A few others settled further south, at the southern end
of Main street, and a portion settled in what is now Cromwell, then called the
" Upper Houses," or North Society. In 1670 there were only fifty-two house-
holders in the town, but thirty-five surnames, those being generally relatives.
With two or three exceptions, these were of English extraction, coming di-
rectly from the British Isle, from towns in the eastern part of IMassachusetts,
or from earlier settled towns in Connecticut.

The increase of population in Middletown was very slow. There was
nothing to invite a rapid immigration here at first. The country was rough,


and the labor of cultivating even small portions of the soil was great. Mar-
kets for that which was prodiiced were distant and difficult to reach. Imports
were small, and were mostly limited to articles of necessity. The colonists
suffered more from privations and hardships than we can calculate. They
had little property and everything to begin anew. At first their dwellings
were wretched, being hardly a shelter from the wind and rain. They had
little furniture, and that of the plainest only. Their clothing was all of rude
home manufacture. They were ine.'cperienced in subduing a forest, deficient
in implements for cultivating the ground, had scarcel}^ any teams, horses,
cattle or sheep. There were but few mechanics among them. An hundred
pound lot was reserved to tempt a blacksmith to come among them, and it was
not until Sept. 1661, that one appeared who pledged himself "to inhabit upon
the land and to do the Townes worck of smithing during the term of four
years, before he shall make sale of it to any other." Examination of the
town records also discovers the fact that "at a towne meeting Feb. 9th, 1658,
Iheer was granted to the shoomecker eagellston a peas of meddow that was



intended for a shoomecker formerly, laying from creaclc to creack bating on
the bogey meddow, as allso a howse lot beyond goodman meller in case not by
and if by then to give him upland answerable to a howse lot and he ingaging
to inhabit it seven year upon it as also doth ingag to indeevour to sut the
towne in his trade for making and mending shoes." They looked to their
clearings and forests for support. From the former they obtained their food
and a few articles for barter ; from the latter, materials for boards, staves and
hoops, which were also bartered for groceries and articles of clothing.

For the next hundred years settlements were made in Westfield, Middle-
field, Portland, then called East Middletown, Middle Haddam, Haddam Neck,
East Hampton and other places.

In 1679 the population was increased sufficiently for the building of a new
meeting house, and on the nth of November of that year "the town by vote


agreed to build a new meeting house, thirty- two feet square, and fifteen feet
between joints." It was erected on Main street, on the east side, about oppo-
site what is now called Liberty street. In this all the inhabitants worshipped
at least twenty-three years, and the greater part of them more than thirty-
five. By 1750 there were five local parishes formed in the township, all of
them Congregational, and a church was organized by the inhabitants of the
first parish of Middletown and Westfield, called a "strict Congregational

The early settlers were a very religious people. All attended public wor-
ship, and before they had a meeting house they worshipped God under the
boughs of a tree. Their first sanctuaries were humble structures, but they
were grateful for the accommodations they afforded. Not long after the set-



tlement commenced, the people employed Mr. Samuel Stow, a native of Con-
cord, Mass., and a graduate of Harvard College, as candidate for minister of
the gospel. He preached to them for some time, but some difficulties arising in
the town respecting him, a vote was passed to discontinue his ministry and
look elsewhere. The difficulties came before the General Court, and a Mr.
Nathaniel Collins was appointed to succeed, and was ordained Nov. 4th, 1668.

In the early settlements of Connecticut, people were assembled for public
worship by the beat of a drum, and the place was guarded by armed men as a
security from attacks by the Indians. The beat of the drum was necessary to
collect the soldiers who acted as guard, and it also collected the congregation.
Mr. Giles Hamlin gave a drum to the town, and never did a chime of bells
sound sweeter. The people did not need it, that they might know the Sabbath

■X^V^Jx (r^jS9i>J^^_,^^w^\ ,j,'X=—-—^

•CI .^^ .^ ^1 ^H^L^>JiffC^K^rlB^>s>


oA-* - '*


'■''■■. ''^'•::\ '■:jx-:,. . VS-M'*' ' ■ " -■


had come. It was on their minds through the week, and before the sun sank
in the west on Saturday, worldly concerns were laid aside that their minds
might be free to keep the day in a holy manner. But this told them when the
time arrived for them to start for the sanctuary, and while there was danger
from the Indians, when they might go in safety. A drum was used in the
Upper Houses more than sixty years after the settlement began.

After the people in Upper and East Middletown had become distinct par-
ishes, they undertook to build a new meeting house much larger than either

Online LibraryWilliam Columbus FerrilThe Connecticut quarterly (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 46)