William Richard Cutter.

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EncyclnpeWa gf Massachusetts

Biographical — Genealogical


Compiled with Assistance of the Following



Former Librarian of Woburn Public Library;
Historian of New England Historic-Genea-
logical Society; Author of "History of Arling-
ton," "Bibliography of Woburn," "History of
the Cutter Family," etc.


Member of American Institute of Architecture,
etc.; Author of "Homes and How to Make
Them," and other popular works; Lecturer,
and frequent contributor to leading magazines
and newspapers.


Librarian of Berkshire Athenaeum and Mu-
seum; Secretary of Berkshire Hi.storical Soci-
ety; Author of "Three Kingdoms;" "World of
Matter;" "Translation into English, Hexameters
of Virgil's Aeneid;" Joint Author "American
Plant Book;" "Barnes' Readers;" "One Thou-
sand Blunders in English."


Member of Connecticut Valley Historical Soci-
ety, and W^estern Hampden Historical Society;
Author of "History of the Town of Westfleld,


Charter Member, ex-President and for fifteen
years Librarian of Worcester Society of Antiq-
uity, and Editor of its Proceedings; Author of
"Ilawson Family Memorial," "The Crane Fam-
ily," in two volumes, "History of 15th Regi-
ment in the Revolution," and Compiler of a
Number of Genealogies of the Prominent Fam-
ilies of Massachusetts. Member of the New
England Historic-Genealogical and other His-
torical Societies.


Clerk and Treasurer of Bostonian Society;
Director of Brookline Historical Society; Sec-
ond Vice-President of Mass. Soc. S. A. R.;
Chairman Membership Com. Mass. Soc. Colo-
nial Wars; Member Board of Managers, Mass.
Soc, War of 1812; Treasurer of Read Soc. for
Genealogical Research.


Ex-President of Essex Institute; Member of
Massachusetts Historical Society; ex-Repre-
sentative and ex-Mayor of Salem.


President of Old Bridgewater Historical Soci-
ety; President of Dyer Family Association.









Both justice and decency require that we should bestow on our forefathers
an honorable remembrance — Thucydides


^ROM the earliest days, when the English first set sturdy foot upon its

soil in Plymouth and Provincetown, Massachusetts, at that time

embracing all New England, in the affairs of the whole Continent has

been a factor to be reckoned with. Problems facing the Pioneers,

equal in importance to any which have since presented themselves,

required and received the very highest order of intelligence in their

solution. From the day of Winthrop, Bradford, and Endicott, the

times have demanded Men; and the Men of Massachusetts, as well as its noble Women,

have been of the sterling sort who met any and all emergencies with courage, fortitude,

sagacity, and a conquering spirit.

As Edward Everett has truly said, "Massachusetts is but a speck, after all, upon the
map of the world ; but her influence has been felt from sea to sea and from pole to pole.'
In this historic treatment of the facts relating to the Men and Women of the State, it is
fitting that the "indomitable spirit" of the Forefathers should appear; and that the same
characteristics with which they fought and conquered the absorbing conditions around
them should prove that there is much in heredity. The same stout spirit which sent
Winthrop to Plymouth, sent Pynchon and Williams forth to find even greater liberty.
They desired most of all to carry out their own plans for self-government and to make
their own codes, independent of the Mother-land. Their earliest care was to encourage
the shipping interests, well realizing that the sea and rivers afforded the first highways
through which the commerce of the world and their communication with the rest of
mankind was to pass. The transportation agitations of to-day are a direct and logical
inheritance from the ancient seaboard. How to get somewhere, and move commodities
to and from elsewhere, are questions which have ever been paramount in the minds of
Massachusetts people. The solution of this one problem of transportation, in the
course of which seemingly unconquerable obstacles were surmounted, together with
their triumphs along all other lines, make the history of the Men and Women of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts as entertaining and as fascinating as any story.

Through the lives of the individuals selected for this work runs a golden thread, —
the unconquerable spirit, — showing without any further proof that theirs is an heredity
of which none need be ashamed. No part of the world has had more weighty problems,
and no other grouping of its inhabitants has met more wisely or manfully the exacting

conditions, or suited itself more sanely to its environments. It is well that Massachu-
setts Men and Women should be proud of their heritage, for no State in the Union has
more reason to feel a just pride in both its progress and achievement. As a great w^riter
and preacher has well said, "The importance of every event in History is to be judged
by its more or less close association with the voyage of the 'Mayflower/ and the immortal
'Compact' drawn up and signed in its cabin." From that distinctly Massachusetts
moment, the basis of the highest law and essential history has had its origin.

Every State in the Union points with pride to the Massachusetts men and women
within its borders, many of them occupying positions of trust and honor. The interest
in this book may well be limited only by the ocean's expanse.

The work has had editorial supervision by an antiquarian and genealogist of high
standing, Mr. William Richard Cutter, A. M., Historian of the New England Historic-
Genealogical Society, Librarian Emeritus of Woburn Public Library, author. Efficient
aid has also been given by the following named gentlemen : Eugene C. Gardner, mem-
ber of American Institute of Architecture, etc., author ; Harlan Hoge Ballard, A. M.,
Librarian of Berkshire Athenaeum and Museum, Secretary of Berkshire Historical
Society, author; Rev. John H. Lockwood, A. M., member of Connecticut Valley His-
torical Society and Western Hampden Historical Society, author; Hon. Ellery Bicknell
Crane, charter member, ex-President and many years Librarian of the Worcester Soci-
ety of Antiquity and Editor of its Proceedings, member of New England Historic-
Genealogical and other historical societies, author ; Charles French Read, Clerk and
Treasurer of Bostonian Society, director of Brookline Historical Society, and officer and
member of various other historical societies ; Robert Samuel Rantoul, ex-President of
Essex Institute, member of Massachusetts Historical Society; E. Alden Dyer, M. D.,
President of Old Bridgewater Historical Society, and of Dyer Family Association.

If in any case a narrative is incomplete or faulty, the shortcoming is usually ascrib-
able to the paucity of data obtainable, many families being without exact records in their
family line ; while, in some instances, representatives of a given family are at disagree-
ment as to the names of some of their forbears, important dates, etc.

It is confidently believed that the present work will prove a real addition to the
mass of annals concerning important people of Massachusetts, and that, without it, much
valuable information would be inaccessible to the general reader, or irretrievably lost,
owing to the passing away of custodians of family records and the consequent disap-
pearance of material in their possession.




r('a^rn d


ADAMS, Samuel,

Leader in the Revolution.

Samuel Adams has been given the lofty-
title of "The very soul of the Patriot party
in the Revolution." He was a leading
spirit in the first Continental Congress,
and the first to publicly advocate inde-
pendence. His eloquence hastened the
famous Declaration. Great Britain felt his
great force as an opponent, and, realizing
that the colonies could never be brought
into subjection as long as such fearless
advocates of liberty were unrepressed,
exempted two men — Samuel Adams and
John Hancock — from its proffers of for-
giveness to those who might return to
their allegiance.

Samuel Adams was born in Boston,
Massachusetts, September i6, 1722, son
of Samuel and Mary (Fifield) Adams.
His grandfather, John Adams, was a sea
captain, brother of Joseph Adams, of
Braintree, who was grandfather of John
Adams, second President of the United
States, and grandson of Flenry Adams,
the first American ancestor, who came
from Devonshire, England, about 1636,
and built his home near Mount Wollas-
ton, Quincy, Massachusetts. The elder
Samuel Adams was a man of great wealth
for the time, a brewer and ship owner,
and the proprietor of a large estate front-
ing on Boston harbor, on which he built
a palatial mansion. He was a member of
the legislature of the colony, a justice of
the peace, selectman, deacon in the Old
South Church, and a man who com-
manded the respect of his neighbors. He
organized the "caulkers club" of Boston,
made up of influential business men en-
gaged in the shipping business, who met

to determine on the men best fitted for
the office, and from this club was derived
the word "caucus," as applied to political

The young Samuel Adams enjoyed the
companionship of the best people of Bos-
ton, and was influenced by a rigidly pious
mother. As a boy, he met all the strong
men of the colony who were accustomed
to gather at his father's house, and, as a
listener, early caught the spirit of liberty
that pervaded the atmosphere of the
period. When he entered Harvard Col-
lege he was far advanced in general in-
formation, and was diligent and studious.
He was graduated in 1740, when only
eighteen years old, and at the wish of his
father he entered upon a course in theol-
ogy, expecting to become a clergyman.
This, however, did not suit his views,
and he began to study law, which, at the
wish of his mother, he abandoned to
learn business in a counting room. Upon
arriving at his majority in 1743, he at-
tended the commencement exercises at
Harvard, and there received his degree
as Master of Arts, his thesis being on the
proposition that "it is lawful to resist the
supreme magistrate if the commonwealth
cannot be otherwise preserved." Seated
on the platform during its delivery was
Governor Shirley and the other crown
officials who represented the "supreme
magistrate." Young Adams was a strict
Calvinist, and a zealous member of the
Old South Church. His father gave him
one thousand pounds that he might begin
business for himself, but he lost the whole
amount, a half by a bad loan, and the
other half in his business. Next he joined
his father in carrying on a malt house on


his father's estate on Purchase street.
Plis father died in 1748 and left him one-
third of his estate, in 1749 he married
Elizabeth Checkley, daughter of the min-
ister of the New South religious society
in Summer street, which his father had
been instrumental in founding in 1718.
He continued the business of the malt
house, and this gave rise to the title
"Sammy the Alalster," bestowed upon
him by his political opponents. Massa-
chusetts having issued paper money and
coin having been driven out of circula-
tion, an inflation of prices resulted, at-
tended with disastrous fluctuations. Brit-
ish merchants trading with the colony
complained of the paper currency, and
the people, as represented in the legisla-
ture, opposed the board of trade, which
was sustained by the governor. This con-
dition led to the formation of two bank-
ing companies, the people subscribing for
the stock of the "land bank," or "manu-
factory scheme," which issued one hun-
dred and tifty thousand pounds, redeem-
able in produce after twenty years, and
^Jr. .\dams' father became a large share-
holder. The "silver scheme" was patron-
ized by the merchants, who issued one
hundred and ten thousand pounds in
notes, to be redeemed in silver in ten
years. The land bank stockholders, eight
hundred in number, were influential in
the legislature, and as a political power
caused the removal of Governor Belcher.
The plans of both of these banking com-
panies were frustrated by an act of parlia-
ment that was extended to the colonies,
an old law of England forbidding any
joint stock company having over six
shareholders, and the two banks were
therefore obliged to redeem their script
and suspend business. As the individual
shareholders were personally responsible,
this brought ruin to many of the larger
holders. In 1758 an attempt was made
to seize the Adams estate to satisfy a

claim against his father on account of his
personal liability in the "land bank."
Samuel Adams resisted the attempt, and
held off the levy until the colonial legis-
lature released the directors from per-
sonal liability. In 1756 he was made col-
lector of taxes, and as the payment of
taxes was slow, the delinquency was re-
corded in the Boston town records as
against the collectors, naming the sum to
be nine thousand eight hundred and
seventy-eight pounds. The Tories charged
the deficiency against Adams; and Plutch-
inson, the last royal governor, in his his-
tory of the colony, called it a "defalcation."
In the transactions of the Massachusetts
Historical Society for 1883 a complete
disproval of the charge is recorded. In
1757 Mr. Adams' wife died and left two
children, a son and a daughter. His malt
house was a failure. He had lost his
other property, save only the ancestral
b.ome on Purchase street, and this was
much out of repair.

In this dark hour, he was one of five
men appointed by the town of Boston to
instruct the representatives just elected
to the General Court as to the wishes of
the people of the town of Boston, and
Samuel Adams wrote out America's first
protest against the plan of Lord Gren-
ville for taxing the colonies. Indeed, in
his capacity as clerk of the legislature,
he was the author of nearly all the papers
that were drawn up against impositions
of the British government. The patriot
party found in him its very soul. His
instructions were read before the General
Court on Ma}' 24, 1764, and the original
draft of the document is preserved, hav-
ing been the property of George Ban-
croft, the historian, at the time of his
death. On December 6, 1764, Mr. Adams
was married to Elizabeth Wells.

In Boston, the news of the passage of
the Stamp Act by the British Parliament
called out determined resistance. Hutch-


inson's house was destroyed, and his fam-
ily barely escaped the infuriated mob.
The General Assembly was to convene
in September, and Samuel Adams again
prepared the instructions for the Boston
members. John Adams had written the
instructions for the Quincy members, and
"The Gazette" printed both documents.
Samuel Adams was elected to a vacancy
in the Assembly on September 27. 1765,
and the da}^ he was sworn in. Bernard,
the royalist governor, prorogued the leg-
islature. In October, 1765. he began his
service in behalf of revolution as the only
remedy for oppression, and advocated it
in the Colonial Assembly continuously
until 1774, when he was sent as a repre-
sentative to the Colonial Congress at
Philadelphia, and there continued the
agitation. All the energies of the man
were poured out in the cause he loved ;
he gave little thought to the accumula-
tion of money, and his was the pure, in-
corruptible patriotism that scorns to ac-
quire it in public office. Most of his life
he was poor. His more frugal wife soon
attended to all money matters, and it was
not tmtil after the death of his only son,
who left him a small property, that he
was in comfortable circumstances. On
the same day of the occurrence of the
"Boston massacre," at the town meeting
held in the Old South meeting house,
March 5, 1770. Mr. Adams, as chairman
of the committee, communicated to Gov-
ernor Hutchinson the demand of the in-
habitants that the troops should be re-
moved from the city. Hutchinson offered
to remove one regiment, and Adams re-
turned through the crowded streets to
the meeting house, quickly passing the
watchword, "both regiments or none,"
and when the vote was demanded, the
five thousand voices shouted "both regi-
ments or none." Adams returned with
the ultimatum of the people, and warned
Hutchinson that if the two regiments

were not removed before nightfall they
remained at his peril, and before the sun
set they were removed to the castle in
the harbor. The people of Massachusetts
next demanded that judges holding office
at the pleasure of the king should be paid
by the crown, and not by the colonies,
and at the same time the judges were
threatened with impeachment if they ac-
cepted a penny from the crown. Adams,
when Hutchinson refused to convene the
legislature to decide the question of the
judges' salaries, proposed "committees of
correspondence" in each town to consult
as to the common welfare. This, legally
a proper act, was virtually an act of revo-
lution, as the governor had no power over
such an organization. Within a month
eighty towns had chosen committees, and
the system, that afterwards extended to
all the colonies, was in operation. It was
by such stages that the revolutionary
government was formed, with Samuel
Adams as the leading spirit.

When the legislature convened at Salem.
June 17, 1774, he locked the doors, put
the key in his pocket, and carried through
his plan for convening a congress of the
colonies at Philadelphia on the first of
."■September. A Tory member, feigning
sickness, was let out, and informed Gov-
ernor Hutchinson, who, however, could
not gain admission to serve a writ to dis-
solve the assembly, and when the busi-
ness at hand was finished, the last Massa-
chusetts legislature under sovereign au-
thority had adjourned sine die. James Bow-
doin, Thomas Gushing. Samuel Adams,
John Adams and Robert Treat Paine
were elected to meet the delegates from
other colonial assemblies in Philadelphia,
and five hundred povmds was appro-
priated to pay their expenses, each town
being assessed according to the tax list.
Gushing, the two Adams and Paine de-
parted from Boston on August 10. 1774.
in a stage coach, Bowdoin being detained


by the illness of his wife. In the first
meeting of the Continental Congress it
was proposed to open the session with
prayer, but this was opposed by John
Jay, an Episcopalian, on the ground that
the members belonging, as they did, to
various sects and denominations, could
not be expected to unite in formal wor-
ship. Samuel Adams replied that he was
no bigot, and could hear a prayer from a
gentleman of piety and virtue, who was
at the same time a friend of his coun-
try ; that he was a stranger in Phila-
delphia, but he had heard that Mr. Duche
deserved that character, and therefore he
moved that Mr. Duche, an Episcopal
clergyman, might be desired to read
prayers to Congress. New York, Vir-
ginia and South Carolina had been dis-
trustful of the extreme policy hereto-
fore pursued by Massachusetts, but this
evidence of friendship from her most
prominent representative disarmed oppo-
sition ; and the delegates from these colo-
nies, mostly Episcopalians, were greatly
pleased, as were those from Pennsyl-
vania, Mr. Duche being the most popular
preacher in Philadelphia. On November
9. 1774. Adams was back in Boston,
organizing and promoting rebellion.

On the fifth anniversary of the Boston
massacre, March 5, 1775, Samuel Adams
presided at a gathering in the Old South
meeting house, and Joseph Warren de-
livered the oration. The city was occu-
pied by eleven regiments of British
troops, and many of the officers were in
the meeting, but Adams' tact as presiding
of^cer prevented an outbreak. In A.pril
followed the expeditions of the British
troops to Concord and Lexington, and the
attempted seizure of the stores gathered
there, which aroused the people, who
successfully drove them back. Adams
and Hancock had departed from Boston
for Philadelphia secretly, as General Gage
had published his instructions from the

British government to arrest Samuel
Adams and "his willing and ready tool,"
John Hancock, and send them over to
London to be tried for high treason. A
plan was made to seize them at Lexing-
ton, April 19, but they were forewarned
by Paul Revere, while stopping at the
house of Rev. Jonas Clark. There was a
guard about the house, and when Revere
rode up to warn the patriot leaders he
was told not to make so much noise.
"Noise !" was his reply, "you'll have noise
enough before long; the Regulars are
coming on." After the warning by Re-
vere, Adams and Hancock went to a
hill, southeast of Mr. Clark's, then well
wooded, and remained until the British
troops had passed on to Concord. They
were afterwards taken to the home of
Madam Jones in Burlington, and from
thence, on a new alarm, they went to
Billerica. While walking in the field,
after hearing the firing at Lexington,
Adams said to one of his companions, "It
is a fine day." "Very pleasant," was the
reply, having reference to the brightness
of the dawning day. "I mean," was the
earnest and prophetic reply, "I mean this
is a glorious day for America." They
made their way to Philadelphia in time
for the second session of Congress, May
10, 1775. Here Adams stood almost alone
in proposing immediate separation from
the mother country. On June 12th Gen-
eral Gage proclaimed pardon "to all per-
sons who should lay down their arms and
return to the duties of peaceful subjects,
excepting only from the benefits of such
pardon, Samuel Adams and John Plan-
cock, whose ofifences are of too flagitious
a nature to admit any other consideration
than that of condign punishment." The
army, hastily gathered around Boston,
and which had done so good service at
Concord and Lexington, was adopted by
Congress through the efforts of Samuel
and John Adams, and on his return home

'tJt e/ia ncoc'h'


he found that the "Territory of Massa-
chusetts Bay" had been founded, and that
he had been made one of the first
eighteen councillors ; shortly after he was
made Secretary of State, and forthwith
he made his home in Cambridge.

On June 17, 1775, was fought the battle
of Bunker Hill, in which General War-
ren was killed; on July 4, 1776, the
Declaration of Independence was signed,
and Samuel Adams "reached the most
triumphant moment of his life." He
aided in framing the State constitution
of Massachusetts in 1780, but hesitated
in accepting the constitution of the United
States as framed in 1787; although he did
not actively oppose it; and in the Massa-
chusetts convention of 1788, having the
document under consideration, he for two
weeks sat silent listening to the argu-
ments of the other members. He then
decided to support it, reserving only the
condition that the new congress should
consider amendments in the nature of a
bill of rights. His decision to act secured
Massachusetts to the Union, and carried
the convention by a vote of one hundred
and eighty-seven yeas to one hundred
and sixty-eight nays. It was this pro-
posed amendment of Samuel Adams that
led to the attaching of the first ten amend-
ments to the constitution as declared in
force December 15, 1791. In 1789 Mr.
Adams was elected Lieutenant-Governor
of Massachusetts, and in 1794 was chosen
its Governor, serving three terms. On
retiring from the executive office of Mas-
sachusetts in 1797, Samuel Adams retired
to private life, taking up his residence on
Winter street, Boston, where he died Oc-
tober 2, 1803.

His only son, Samuel, was educated at
Harvard, graduating with the class of
1771. He then studied medicine with Dr.
Joseph Warren, and served as surgeon
in the Continental army, whereby he so
undermined his health that he died in
Boston in 1788.


r<eader in the Revolution.

To the name of John Hancock attaches
the high distinction of being a very prime
leader in the events leading up to the

Online LibraryWilliam Richard CutterEncyclopedia of Massachusetts, biographical--genealogical (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 61)