William Richard Cutter.

Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) online

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names returned of Quakers in Lynn for the
year 1703 appear the names of Samuel Col-
lins, Samuel Collins Jr. and John Collins. The
estate of John Collins was valued at ^365
is. 6d. and letters of administration were
granted to the widow, June, 1680. John Col-
lins married, at Lynn, Massachusetts, Abigail
Johnson, daughter of Richard Johnson.
"Richard Johnson came over in 1630 and
lived with Sir Richard Saltonstall at Water-
town. He was admitted freeman in 1637. He
came to Lynn the same year and settled as a
farmer mi the eastern end of the commons,
lie died in 1666, aged 54." Abigail Collins
married (second) March 3, 1681, Thomas
Farrar. The children of John and Abigail
Collins were sixteen, twelve of whom sur-
vived him. Mary (died young), John (died
young), Samuel, Abigail, John, Joseph, Eliza-
beth, Benjamin, Mary, Daniel, Nathaniel,
Hannah, Sarah, Lois, Alice and William
(John), next mentioned.

(III) John (2), youngest child of John
(1) and Abigail (Johnson) Collins, was born
June 28, 1679, and named William. After the
death of his father John and brother John
in the same year, his mother renamed
him John, by which name he was ever
afterward known. John Collins was one
of six persons who bought. May 22,
1710. three thousand acres of wild land in
what is now the northeastern part of the town
of Ilopkinton, Rhode Island. In religious
faith he was a Quaker. He died in Charles-
town, Rhode Island, "20th day, 10th Month,
1755." He married, in Lynn, Massachusetts,
January 13, 1704, Susannah Daggett, daugh-
ter of William and Rebecca Daggett. She was
born in Saco, Maine, 1685, and died at Charles-
town, Rhode Island, "14th day, 1st month,
1753." The history of Richmond, Rhode
Island, contains the following account of her:
"When a small child she was taken to the
wigwam of an Indian chief by his squaw who
found her lost in the woods. Late at night
the chief returned home and told the squaw
of a plan adopted to exterminate the whites.
She cautioned him, saying there was a little
paleface sleeping in a bed of skins in the wig-
wam. The chief then told her the child must
rlie, to which she remonstrated, saying that



she had promised to take her home in the
morning. The chief passed a firebrand over
the face of Susannah, and observing signs of
consciousness, spared her life, and she was
able to afterwards give her friends timely
warning and thwart the plans of the Indians."
The children of John (William) and Susan-
nah were : Rebecca, Hezekiah, Sarah, Jede-
diah. Lydia, John, Ebenezer. Benjamin, Sam-
uel and Abigail.

(IV) Rev. John 13). third son of John
[2) (William) and Susannah (Daggett) Col-
lin^, was born in Charlestown, Rhode Island,
March 21, 1716, and died in Stonington, Oc-
tober 1. 1778. This John Collins was a Quaker
preacher of great power and influence and
ministered to the Friends' church of Rich-
mond, Rhode Island, of which he was one of
the first trustees, and afterwards of the church
of the same sect situate one mile west of the
village of Hopkinton. Frederick Denison
says of him in "Westerly and Its Witnesses,"
"One of the most distinguished speakers in
the Hopkington Meeting was John Collins.
Concerning him a testimony was issued by the
.Monthly Meeting in 1780, from which we
present an extract : 'He was born in the town
then called Westerly ( now Charlestown ) De-
cember 12, 1 7 16. of believing parents, and
when almost twenty-four years of age was
convinced of the blessed truth and became
zealous and circumspect in life and conver-
sation and for truth's sake took up the cross
and denied himself of his former pleasures and
delights. It was not long after his convince-
ment before his mouth was opened to a pub-
lic testimony, wherein although for some vears
he had but few words in meeting, yet his ap-
pearance was both acceptable and edifying to
Friends, and as he proved himself faithful and
diligent in the gift bestowed upon him the
Lord was pleased to enlarge it so that he be-
came an able minister of the Gospel.' He
was an eminent minister and for many years
sat at the head of Xew England Yearly Meet-
ing. 'He was much engaged and took much
pains in endeavoring to have the Africans or
negroes freed from slavery, and often testi-
fied against that wicked practice.' His name
is a precious legacy to Friends." John Collins
married, March 15. 1744, Mehitable Bowen,
born at Rehoboth, Massachusetts. August 22,
1725, daughter of Daniel and Mehitable
(Chaffee) Bowen. Their children were:
John. Susanna, Amos, Benjamin, Samuel,
Sarah, Abigail, Stephen and Ruth.

(V) Amos, second son of Rev. John (3)

and Mehitable (Bowen) Collins, was born in
Charlestown. Rhode Island. July 16, 1749,
died in Stonington, Connecticut, May 22, 1796.
He married, August 10, 1767, at Hopkinton,
Rhode Island, Thankful Clarke, born Novem-
ber 9, 1748, died July 30, 1831. Both hus-
band and wife were buried in the Friends'
yard af Hopkinton. Their children, all born
at Stonington except Abel and Ruth, who
were born in Hopkinton, were: Timothy,
Abel. Isaac, Amos, Susanna, Lydia, William,
John, Ruth, Hannah and Nancy.

( VI ) Lydia, daughter of Amos and
Thankful (Clarke) Collins, was born April
2 9> 1 77&'- married, October 17.1793, John Wil-
bur. (See Wilbur VI).

The Dutch element in America
MILLS has never completely received its

full measure of praise. They
fought bravely in all our wars. The Keystone
state of Pennsylvania owes its position as
much to the thrifty Dutch population as to any
other race. The Dutch have had their share
in filling up the great west, where mighty
states have been carved out of the prairies.
In estimating what we owe to the old Dutch
traders, we must include the influence of Man-
hattan Island on America as a whole; for
Manhattan was principally Dutch. The Dutch
have two presidents on their roll, Van Buren
and a recent occupant of the chair. The Yan-
derbilts and Van Rensselaers were Dutch
people. Mills is not necessarily and ex-
clusively a Dutch name. John Stuart Mills,
who is perhaps the greatest man to bear the
name, was so little of a Dutchman that he was
born of Scotch parentage from the Kirriemuir
district of Scotland. The great Mills in
America have been: Clark Mills, the sculp-
tor, whose commissions included the equestrian
statue of General Jackson ; Hon. Roger 0.
Mills. United States senator from Texas and
author of the Mills bill ; Darius O. Mills, the
philanthropist, who was from Long Island
English stock. The story of the Mills family
which we have now in hand is a legible one
and writ with a free hand.

( I ) Pieter Wauterse Vander Meulen, when
Anglicized was Peter Walbert of the
Mills, which finally became shortened to Peter
Mills, was born in Holland and came to this
country, settling at Windsor, Connecticut.
June 9, 1668, Edward Messenger gave to Peter
twenty acres to build a house on. The same
year Peter sold to Samuel Filley twenty acres
lying in Greenfield. In 1683 Edward Messen-



ger gave to Peter a dwelling house in Windsor.
Peter's name is signed to a petition from the
men of the new church at Windsor to the
general court. He married Dorcas, daughter
of Edward Messenger, in 1666. He died in
1 7 10 and she in 1720. Her will was made
November 21, 17 14, anil probated in 1720.

(II) Captain Peter (2). son of I'ieter (1)
and Dorcas Mills, was born in Windsor in
1668 and died there in 1750. He was a tailor
by trade. He served as captain in the Elling-
ton parish trainbands that marched to the
relief of Boston on the alarm in April, 1775.
He also served in 1779.

'"East Windsor, 31st Aug. 1779-

By an Act of Assembly that constitutes the
Alarm List Capt Mills who bears this, com-
mences private in my Company, and is now
called upon to shoulder his Musquet and stand
Centinel ; — your feelings for Gentlemen who
have worn Commissions, and who have sup-
ported their Caracter with Fidelity and
Honor, and now reduced to his Situation, will
strongly actuate you. I doubt not, to every
principle of favor and Lenity in your power,
and believe me Sir whatever Indulgence is
shown the Bearer will be very gratefully re-
ceived by your most

Hum" Serv't

Ros. Grant.

P. S. — Capt. Mills has not applyd for any
favr Since he was detachd. but chuses rather
anil is also advisd to apply after he arrives
at X. Londn to avoid the Clamor of the people
and keep matters secret — as before

R. G."

He married Joanna Porter in July. 1692.
Children : Ebenezer, Return, Eleazer, Mary
and Sarah. j

(III) Rev. Ebenezer, eldest son of Cap-
tain Peter(2) and Joanna ( Porter) Mills, was
born in Windsor, died in Sandisfield, Massa-
chusetts, in 1792. He graduated from Yale
College in the class of 1738. locating as a
preachei at Haddam and then Simsbury. Con-
necticut, and in 1769 he went to Sandisfield,
where he was a pioneer settler. He was noted
for his wit and extempore rhyming. He mar-
ried Mary, daughter of John Drake, of Sims-
bury. Children: Pelatiah, a lawyer known
as Mills-pro-Rege ; Rev. Gideon, Rev. Jede-
diah, Peter, John, Daniel. Ann and Drake.

(IV) Drake, the last of the eight children
of Rev. Ebenezer and Mary (Drake) Mills,
was born in Sandisfield in 1756 and died there
in 1821. He was a soldier in the revolution-

ary war. He married Sarah Saga. Children:
Peter, John, Otis, a merchant of Charleston,
South Carolina; Drake, a merchant of New
York City ; Sedgwick, Edward, Samuel, Mary,
Theodosia and Sarah, married Hon. Erastus
O. Reach, of Sandisfield; Hannah, married
Colonel Jared Ingersoll, of Pittsfield ; Celestia

I Y ) Hon. John, second of the twelve chil-
dren of Drake and Sarah ( Saga ) Mills, was
born in Sandisfield, December 29, 1787, died
in Springfield, September 8, 1861. He studied
law in the office of Hon. John Phelps, of Gran-
ville, and was admitted to practice in 1812.
lie resided in Southwick and was a leader at
the bar. As a Democrat he was elected to the
Massachusetts senate in 1823-24-25-26-27, and
the last two years was president, a position
which lie discharged with dignity and impar-
tiality. He introduced and carried through a
bill to abolish capital punishment in Massa-
chusetts. In 1820 he was appointed a com-
missioner to settle the boundary line between
Massachusetts and Connecticut. He was the
candidate of the Democracy to run against
Daniel Webster in 1827 for United States
senator. In 1835 he was postmaster of South-
wick under the appointment of President
Jackson, and held the office of United States
district attorney for Massachusetts from 1835
to 1840 under Van Rurcn, when the Whigs
came into power. In 1836 he moved to Spring-
field, Massachusetts, and lived on Howard
street. He was state treasurer in 1843. He
presided at the ratification meetings in Spring-
field in 1844 over the nomination of James
K. Polk. He was one of the commissioners
appointed by President Tyler on the part of
the United States to settle the international
boundary dispute between Maine and Canada,
in which position he showed marked ability.
By 1848 the slavery question was arousing
the political conscience of the country and Mr.
Mills forsook his old party affiliations and
joined the Free Soil party. He presided at
the convention of the new party held in Boston
and was nominated for lieutenant-governor.
As a Free Soiler he was a member of the
house of representatives in 1851. He was
president of the Hampden Agricultural Society
and the Hampden Mutual Fire Insurance
Company. Williams College conferred upon
him the honorary degree of A. M. in 1823.
Mr. Mills was an able lawyer, a forceful
speaker and commanded the respect of both
the bench and bar and. was highly esteemed as
a citizen. He married Emily Foote, daughter



of Colonel Enos Foote. Children : Enos,
John, Isaac and Sarah.

(VI) Isaac, third son of Hon. John and
Emily (Foote) Mills, was born in Southwick,
January 29, 1826, died in Springfield in 1892.
When he was ten years old his father removed
to this city and first had his home on Howard
street. The boy attended the private schools
of Mr. Lawton and Mr. Lombard, where many
leading citizens received their early training.
For a time Mr. Mills also attended Monson
Academy, but he did not graduate from that
school, leaving to enter business as a clerk in
a railroad office at Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Thence he went to Scranton. Pennsylvania, for
a time, but during his early manhood returned
to Springfield to live, becoming junior partner
in the firm of Deane, Packard & Mills, car
builders, who had their shops on the river
bank near the foot of Bridge street, where the
brick tenement block of Eliphalet Trask used
to stand. Mr. Mills entered the- employment
of his father-in-law, who was a coal merchant.
It had been started in 1833 by James Rabb and
had always been located at "the junction of
Court and Water streets, where Mr. Rabb sold
flour, feed and grain. In 1866 Mr. Mills
bought out the entire business which he con-
ducted alone until April I, 1891. Later it was
sold to Richard W. Rice, who had been his
clerk for many years. He was a director in
the "Old Stone Wall Fire Insurance Com-
panv," the Mutual Fire Assurance Company
of Springfield. While Mr. Mills kept out of
politics he always had that interest in affairs
which a good citizen owes to the state. He
was one of those who looked on President
Cleveland as the best public servant of the
time, and in general Mr. Mills of late years
took his choice of candidates. Mr. Mills and
the late Governor Trask, who were always in-
timate, seemed like spared oaks in that quarter
of the town where they had for so many years
done business, and which was once more lively
than it is now. He married Anne L., daugh-
ter of Edmund Palmer, of Springfield, a
prominent man of his day. Children: A son,
who died in infancy: Emily and Elizabeth H.,
who are unmarried and live in the residence
built by their father on Crescent Hill, a pleas-
ant suburb of Springfield.

There has been a certain
WHITTIER advancement in genealogical

study in the last few de-
cades. It is a wholesome fact to note the in-
terest being taken by so many families in the

^tudy of ancestry. To record the history
of preceding generations is a duty each
owes to each. Ripe scholarship and men of
able minds have devoted their time to the
elucidation of its problems and they were
thought not beneath the dignity of men of the
mental caliber of Rev. Dr. A. H. Quint and
Judge Holmes. We come now to an old Quaker
"family who settled at the mouth of the Merri-
mac. Barred from the glory of war, the
Quaker has been uppermost in the triumphs of
peace, in the contemplative life and in litera-
ture. Bayard Taylor was out of a Pennsyl-
vania Quaker family and the Hon. Joseph G.
Cannon, speaker of the National house of rep-
resentatives, was of Quaker parentage from
North Carolina.

( 1 ) Thomas Whittier was born in England
in 1620 and came to this country from South-
ampton in the ship "Confidence" of London,
John Jobson. master. In 1647 he came to
Haverhill, Massachusetts, from Newbury, that
-late, and brought a swarm of bees, the first
in the place. They were willed to him by
Henry Rolfe. brother to John, who was a fel-
low passenger with Thomas from England.
At that time it was no mean legacy. Bees
were not native to America, and the Indians
knew nothing of them. In 1648 the valuation
of Thomas' property was eighty pounds. On
May 30. 165 1. he was appointed by the general
court to run out the bounds of the plantation.
In 1652, in the division of plough-land, he
was granted lot thirteen^of seven and one-half
acres. He was on the petition to the general
court to revoke Pike's sentence. Pike had
been fined and disfranchised for giving vent to
incendiary remarks about the authority of the
governor. Pike was a Quaker exhorter and
the court forbid him to exhort in public his
favorite religion, upon which he made the re-
marks attributed to him. Thomas was ad-
mitted a freeman. May 23. 1666. Thomas
signed the agreement with John Johnson, the
blacksmith of Charlestown, to come to Haver-
hill and pursue his calling. The inhabitants
were in sore need of one and Johnson
was given a gratuity in consideration that he
come and to this Thomas contributed. In
1669 he asked to be excused from serving as
a constable, and was excused on condition that
he find some other suitable person satisfactory
to the authorities to take his place. Offices
were forced upon people in those days. In
1680 he was one of the committee to select a
coadjutor to Rev. Mr. Ward, the minister.
In 1683 he voted to place the new meeting



house on the old site. In 1686 he was lot-
layer, an important office. It was customary
for the nearest neighbors to sleep in the gar-
risons at night, but Thomas, whose Quaker
faith brooked no resistance, always refused to
shelter himself and family beneath its roof.
Relying upon the weapons of his faith, he
left his own house unguarded and unprotected
with palisades and carried with him no
weapons of war. The Indians frequently vis-
ited him and the family often heard them, in
the stillness of the evening, whispering beneath
the windows and saw them peep in upon the
little group of defenseless beings. Friend
Whittier always treated them civily and hos-
pitably and they never molested him or his.
Thomas was one of the snow-shoe men of
171 1. In 171c; the people of the west end of
Haverhill, now Methuen, petitioned to be laid
out as a distinct parish and on this Thomas
appears as a signer. In the fifth division of
land in 1721 he drew l<>t nine. Thomas was
an excellent penman and specimens of his
writing exist today. He married Ruth Green.
Children: Mary, born August 9, 1647; John
(see later); Ruth. August 1. 1651 ; Thomas,
June 12, 1653; Susanna, March 2j, 1656;
Nathaniel. August 11, 1658; Hannah, Septem-
ber 10, 1660; Richard, June 2~, 1663; Eliza-
beth, November 21. 1666; Joseph, from whom
John Greenleaf Whittier descends.

(II) Colonel John, the second of the ten
children of Thomas and Ruth (Green) Whit-
tier, was born in I [averhill, November 24,
1648, died there October 1, 1756. He built a
house in 1660. In 1686 he was accused of
trespassing on the towns land, and in 160,9 he
was on a committee appointed by the town to
see about accepting the new meeting house
and seeing that it was done according to con-
tract. In 171 1 he signed a petition for a
school house to be located near John's house
so "that they might have the benefit of having
their children brought up in learning as well
as the children of those who lived in the cen-
ter of the town."' In 1774 he was town clerk
and rechosen until 1778 when he declined to
serve further. He was a private in Captain
Cogswell's company. Colonel Gerrish's regi-
ment. Whether he was of the same faith of
his father it does not appear but he seems to
have had no scruples about entering the war.
He was afterward promoted to be colonel.

"To the Honorable James Warren Esq.
Speaker. — To be communicated to the Honor-
able House of Representatives at Watertown.
Gentlemen : I have very lately heard that T

am appointed to the command of a Regiment
for the Canada Expedition. I most sincerely
and heartily thank the Honorable Court, for
their repeated Honors done me — and should
gladly have accepted the appointment — were
it not, that my Health of late, has so far
failed me, that at present, I find myself unable
to perform a Journey of Twenty Miles with-
out much difficulty and delay, — notwithstand-
ing my willingness to assist in this (as I ap-
prehend ) just and righteous Cause — yet the
great and constant care of a Regiment and the
Fatigues of such a long Journey, render it im-
possible for me to accept the invitation, with
honor to myself, and any advantage to the
Province, — therefore I trust, that the Hon-
orable Court will justify me. in declining to
accept, at present, of such an appointment.

Gentlemen, That you may have all that
wisdom which is profitable to direct, — and
that the American Arms may be crowned with
Victory and Success, is the Ardent Prayer of
Your most humble and obedient Servant


Haverhill, July 1st, 1776."

In 177<) Colonel Whittier was on the com-
mittee of correspondence and safety. In the
valuation of the property of householders in
lla\erhill in 1 798. the colonel was credited
with one thousand dollars. He married Mary
Hoyt. Children: John, born November 24,
[686; William (sketch below) ; Thomas, Sep-
tember 4, 1693; Abner, September 2, 1695;
David, May 5. 1698; Nathaniel, December 8,
1700; Mary. March 18, 1703.

(Ill) William, the second of the seven
children of John and Mary (Hoyt) Whittier,
was born in Haverhill. He was allowed to
build a pew in "the hind seat of the meeting
house in the west gallery if he promised not
to build so high as to damnify the light of the
windows." In 1719 he signed a petition for a
parsonage house. He was one of the peti-
tioners of the new town of Penacook. now
Concord, New Hampshire, in 1725, but he
seems never to have gone there. He served
in Captain James Sawyer's company and
Colonel James Frye's regiment, and was at
the battle of Bunker Hill, encountering some
hard service. He married Rachel Mitchell.
Children: Abigail, born February 16, 1717 ;
Richard (sketch below) ; Abiah, July 16, 1722;
Mary, May 1, 1727; Rachel, November 7,

( IV) Richard, the second of the five chil-
dren of William and Rachel (Mitchell) Whit-
tier. was born in Methuen. He was one of



the snow-shoe men, who were a large com-
pany of soldiers under the command of Lieu-
tenant Colonel Saltonstall, who kept con-
stantly armed and equipped for every emer-
gency, and that they might be more in readi-
ness they were ordered to have snow shoes
in winter. He married Elizabeth Bodwell.
Children: Ruth, born January 23, 1742;
Elizabeth, October 7, 1743; Abiah, February
22, 1746; Persis, April 23, 1748; Elizabeth,
February 6, 1750; William, September 26,
1752; Richard (sketch below); Daniel Bod-
well; Nathaniel, November 4, 1759; Persis,
March 30. 1761 : Nathaniel, May 18, 1764.

I Y ) Richard (2), the seventh child of
Richard (I) and Elizabeth ('Bodwell) Whit-
tier, was burn in Methuen. He married
Betsey Chase. Their children were : Daniel
Bodwell, Simeon Chase, Dorothy, Richard,
Moses, Asa. Abiah, Moses, Leonard and

(VI) Rufus. the tenth child of Richard
(2) and Betsey (Chase) Whittier, was born
in Methuen, in 1800, died in Chicopee in 1852.
He was agent of the old Perkins Cotton Mill
of Chicopee. He was a Unitarian. He mar-
ried Emiline Currier, of Methuen, Massachu-
setts. Children: Lucien and Lucius (twins),
born September 6, 1835: Nelson (sketch
below) : Emeline Abie, June [6, 1838; Helen,
November 1. 1841 ; Frank and Fannie ( twins ),
June 5, 1843.

(YII) Nelson, son of Rufus and Emeline
( Currier ) Whittier, was born in Methuen in
1836, died in Chicopee, August 14, 1903. He
moved to Chicopee when ten years of age.
He later accepted a position as paymaster with
the Dwight Manufacturing Company. In 1888
he went" to Lowell as agent of the Whittier
Cotton Mills and was made treasurer of the
company later. When the plant, which at one
time was owned by Miss Helen Whittier, was
made into a stock company in which Paul
Butler, of Lowell, was interested, and was re-
moved to Georgia, Mr. Whittier retained his
interest in the company and was continued as
treasurer. About this time he removed to
Chicopee. He was a Republican and select-
man of Chicopee in 1886. He was a Master
Mason and a Unitarian. Always charitable,
he was respected by all who knew him. By
his death a personality was removed that was
always identified with whatever was good and
upright. He married Gertrude Mary Boyden
(see Boyden YII). Mrs. Whittier belongs to
the Molly Yarnnm Chapter of the Daughters
of the American Revolution of Lowell, after-

wards transferred to the Mercy Warren Chap-
ter of Springfield, Massachusetts, also of the
Womans Middlesex Club of Lowell, obtain-
ing her admission thereto through General
Josiah Whitney. They have one child, Walter
Rufus Boyden. who married Miriam, daugh-
ter of Richmond Fletcher, of Lowell, and
they have four children : Paul Fletcher, Syd-
ney Boyden, Roger Knapp and Gertrude
Whittier. Mr. Walter R. B. Whittier is at
present treasurer of the Whittier Cotton

Online LibraryWilliam Richard CutterGenealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts; (Volume 3) → online text (page 25 of 145)