D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

History of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) online

. (page 41 of 118)
Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) → online text (page 41 of 118)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

1830. He enlisted ia Co. E, 32d Regt., in December, 1861, and


re-enlisted at tbo end of bis term of service. lie died in
Plymuuth, while at home on furlough, Aug. 0, 1805, of chronic
diarrhoea! leaving live children and no wile.

Edward Smith was born in Halifax in 1835. lie first enlisted
for three months hi Co. B, leaving Plymouth April 17, 1861,
and again eulisted in Co. £, 23d Regt., Sept. 23, 1861. lie was
captured, with John Taylor and Hiram J. Lanman, of the same
company, at the time Edward D. Brailey was killed. Was after-
wards exchanged, and died at Annapolis in May, 1862. He
was unmarried.

Julm Sylvester was born in Plymouth, Aug. 3U, 1831. lie
enlisted in the 1st Cavalry, was taken prisoner, and died at
Andersonville, Dec. 16, 1S04, leaving a wife and children. His
grave at Andersonville is No. 12,053.

Otis Sears was burn in Plymouth, Dec. 7, 1839. lie enlisted
in Co. G, 38th Kegt., Aug. 12, 1861. lie was slightly wounded
at the battle of Bis land, in Louisiana, and died of chronic
diarrhoea in Plymouth, while on a furlough, Jan. 5, 1864, leaving
a wife and children.

E. Stevona Turner was born in Plymouth, Feb. 21, 1805, and
was a successful ship-master until the war broke out, when, in
1861, he received a commission as acting master in the navy.
He died at Rio Janeiro, Aug. 5, 1864, at the age of fifty-nine,
while in command of store-ship " Relief," bound to East Indies,
lie left a wife and two children,

Frank A. Thomas was born in Plymouth in 1832. He enlisted
in Co. E, 2'Jth Kegt., May 6, 1861, and died at Camp Hamilton,
Sept. 14, 18G2. His body was buried in Plymouth. Ho was

l>avid A. Taylor was born in Warebam, June 19, 1845. He
enlisted in Co. E, 32d Regt., in December, 1861, and ro-enlisted
at the expiration of his term of service. He was never oil duty
on account of sickness, had no furlough except his re-enlist-
meut thirty days' furlough, and was killed near Petersburg,
June 22, 1864, at the age of nineteen, alter four years' service.

Wallace Taylor, father of tho above, was born at East River,
St. Mary's, Sidney Co., N. S., April 13, 1809. He enlisted in
Co. B, 24th Regt., in July, 1801, and died at Newborne, Nov.
23, 1862. lie whs a manner, and left a wife aud three chil-

Charles E. Tillson was born in Plymouth, Sept. 12, 1830. He
enlisted in Co. E, 29th Regt., Feb. 27, 1862; re-enlisted Jan. 1,
1864; was captured at Strawberry Plains, East Tenn., Jan. 23,
before he was mustered as a re-enlisted man, and died at Ander-
sonville, July 14, 1864, leaving a wife and children. His grave
at Andersonville is No. 3828.

Israel II. Thrasher was born in Plymouth, Nov. 23, 1327.
He enlisted in Co. D, 3Sth Kegt., Aug. 4, 1861, and died June
29, 1863, at New Orleans, of wounds received at Port Hudson,
June 14th, leaving a wife and children.

David R. Valler was born in Plymouth in 1346. He enlisted
in Co. I, 58th Regt., Feb. 25, 1864, and went into camp at
Readville. He there became sick with smallpox, and returned
to Plymuuth, his regiment leaving cuuip and going to the front
before hid recovery. He was afterwards sent on to join his
couipuny, but died at Alexandria, Oct. 6, 1364, before he was
mu&tered. He was unmarried.

George E. Wadsworth was born in Plymouth, Jan. 3, 1828.
Ho enlisted iu Co. E, 29th Regt., May 6, 1861, and was pro-
moted corporal June 15, 1862, sergeant Sept. I, 1862, 1st ser-
geant July 1, 1863, and died Aug. 31, 1863, of fever, at Camp
Parks, in Kentucky. He was unmarried.

Charles Wadsworth, brother of George, was born in Plymouth,
July 11, 1832. He was drafted July 24, 1863, and after some
months 1 service at Galloupe's Island, in Boston harbor, was

attached to the 12th Regt. early in 1864, and was captured in
one of Grant's battles on the Peninsula, and died at Salisbury,
N. C, Nov. 29, 1864. He was unmarried.

David Williams was born in Richmond, Va., March IS, 1841.
He enlisted in Co. E, 29th Regt., May 6, 1801. Ho was taken
prisoner at the battle of Savage Station, Juue 29, 1802, ox-
changed May 10th of the same year, and died at Camp Deuui-
son, Ky., Sept. 14, 1863. He was unmarried.

Benjamin Westgale was born in Plymouth in 1843, and at
the age of eightecu enlisted in Co. E, 23d Regt. He was killed
at the battle of Whitehall, N. C, Dec. 16, 1S62. Unmarried.

John M. Whiting was not a native of Plymouth. He enlisted
in Co. G, 38th Regt., at Plymouth, Aug. 12, 1862, at the ;ige of
twenty-one. He was killed in the Shenandoah Valley, at the
battle of Opequan Creek, Sept. 19, 1864. Unmarried.

John Whitmore was born in Plymouth, and was master of a
vessel at the time he received a commission as acting master
in the navy, in April, 1S62, and died of yellow fever at sea in
August, 1863. He left a wife and children.

The war record of Plymouth would be far from
complete without a statement of its expenditure of
mouey in performing its share of the work of sup-
pressing the Rebellion, The expenditure covers the
several items of equipment, bounties, recruiting ex-
penses, and aid to families of volunteers:

Equipment of Co. E, 29th Regt $1,025.49

Bounties 39,118.68

Recruiting expenses 1,192.81

State aid to families to Feb. 1, I860 50,543.90


From this amount the following disbursements are
to be deducted :

Received from Kingston for bounties $2,300.00

14 « Hingham " " 1,350.00

» » State " " 4H2.15

" " Duxbury, recruiting expenses... IS. 80

" " Plympton, " " 4.65

u " State, State aid 41,237.25


Of this sum, $8000 or thereabouts was reimbursed
by the State iu 1866 for State aid payments in 1865,
leaving $37,422.85 as the approximate estimate of
the war expenditures of the towu, includiug $8787.25,
the sum raised by subscription for the payment of
bounties. The whole number of enlistments was, of
soldiers, 658, and officers and seamen in the navy,

The end of the war closes this narrative, so far as
the general history of Plymouth is concerned. Since
that time little has occurred which it is necessary to
record to make the narrative complete. The business
of the town is prosperous. Its population in 1880 of
7093 had increased about twelve per cent, on that of
6370 in 1875, and a valuation in 1860 of $3,100,000
had increased to $5,500,000 in 1883. There is no
reason to doubt, with its railroad facilities, its harbor
improving year by year under the eye of a paternal
government, its manufacturing interests well estab-



lished and growing, its good hotel accommodations,
its water, its sewage, its gas, its heallhfulness, its in- j
creasing wealth, and its interesting antiquarian asso- i
ciations, that its foundations are substantially laid, i
and its prosperity is assured. The remaining chapter '
will be devoted to the churches, the schools, manu-
facturing establishments, and institutions of the town, i
all of which have a history of their own, aud cannot |
be mingled with a general history without disturbing ;
and obstructing its current.



The birth of the Plymouth Church at Scrooby
and its iufaucy iu Holland were sufficiently described
in the opening chapter of this narrative. The rules
of this church as. to ecclesiastical government have
been described as comprising the following points:
" First, that every church of Christ should consist
only of those who believe in aud obey Him, and that
no church should consist of more members than can
conveniently meet for discipline and worship ; secoud,
that any suitable number have a right to form them-
selves into a distinct church and to choose their own
officers ; third, that these officers are pastors or teach-
ing elders, ruling elders, and deacons; fourth, that
bapti.Mn is to be administered to visible believers and
their infant children, and that the Lord's Supper is
to be received sitting at the table ; fifth, that, besides
the Sabbath and days of thanksgiving and fasting, no
holidays should be recognized, aud that no human
invention should be permitted iu religious affairs."
The Pilgrim Church believed that " every Christian
congregation ought to be governed by its own laws,
irrespective of auy bishops, synods, presbyteries, or
auy ecclesiastical assembly composed of deputies from
different churches." It maintained that the inspired
Scriptures alone contain the true religion, that every
man has a right of judging for himself, of testiug
doctrines by the Scriptures, aud worshiping according
to his construction of them. Its pastors or teaching
elders had the power of overseeing, teaching, aud ad-
ministering the sacraments. Its ruling elders were
required to aid the pastor iu overseeiug and ruling,
aud its deacons had charge of the property of the
church, paid the pastor, supplied the poor, aud miu-
istered at the Lord's table.

It will be remembered that when the Pilgrims left

Holland the majority remained in Leyden with their
pastor, John Robiuson, and the minority went with
their ruling elder, William Brewster. It has so often
been stated by historians that the Pilgrim adventurers
aud the church remaining at Leyden coutinued to be
one church under Robiuson, that some confusing
claims have been made by the First Church in Salem
of precedence in the line of Congregational Churches
in America. But the Pilgrims and the Leyden
Church did not continue one church. The Plymouth
Church was an absolute church by itself. Bradford
says in his history, " The greater number being to
stay, require their pastor to tarry with them, their
elder, Mr. Brewster, to go with the other ; those who
go first to be an absolute church of themselves, as
well as those that stay, with this proviso, that as any
go over or return they shall be reputed as members
without further dismission or testimonial, aud those
who tarry to follow the rest as soon as they can."
This statement of Bradford is further important as
tending to establish the precise position held by
Brewster in the church. Mr. Bancroft calls him
teachiug elder, and is criticised by Dr. Young for
what he claims to be an inaccuracy. Dr. Young
seems to have overlooked the auomalous condition
and relation of the two churches. Although Brew-
ster was chosen ruliug elder in Holland, the entire
independence of the Plymouth Church, which ac-
knowledged him as its only head, while it could not,
perhaps, elevate him to the pastorate without formal
ordination, was undoubtedly sufficient to install him
iu the office of teaching elder, an office without
which, in the absence of a pastor, the church would
have been without an efficient administrator of its
spiritual affairs.

That the church at Plymouth was not considered a
mere branch of the Leyden Church is established by
another circumstance. Robinson did not die until
March 1, 1625, and yet, in 1624, John Lyford was
sent over in the " Charity," with Edward VVinslow,
to be the pastor of the church, and, as appears from
the records, nothing but a want of confidence iu the
man prevented his acceptance. It caunot certainly
be claimed that, under any circumstances, one church
would have had two pastors. Mr. Lyford was sent
by a portion of the merchant adventurers, under
whose auspices the Pilgrims had undertaken their
enterprise, at a time when divisions and dissensions
marked their counsels, who hoped, doubtless, to throw
obstacles in the way of Robinson, whose migration
they were anxious to preveut. This portion appar-
ently used every effort to prevent the permanent es-
tablishment, on this side of the ocean, of a church in-



dependent of the mother establishment. Fortunately,
the selection of Mr. Lyford was a bad one. He was
a man of loose morals, insincere, hypocritical, and,
having a hostile object in view, sought to keep it back
until he had ingratiated himself in the affections of
the colony. But he overacted his part, and through
the mask of his humility and subserviency and piety
the Pilgrims were shrewd enough to see the face of
an enemy. After his rejection ho soon began to cause
trouble in the colony by exciting jealousies among its
members, writing letters to England full of calumni-
ations of its leaders, and assumiug authority by virtue
of his ministerial calling, which he did not rightfully
possess. He was finally charged with his offenses,
and though at first denying them, at length confessed
with tears "that he feared he was a reprobate, and
that his sius were so great that God would not pardon
them ; that he was unsavory salt, and that he had
so wronged them that he could never make them
amends." He soon after left Plymouth aud accepted
an invitation to be the miuister of Cape Ann.

In 1628 a Mr. Rogers was seut over from Eng-
land with Mr. Allerlou, who had goue over on busi-
ness of the colony, aud it is probable that the same
motives inspired his errand which had caused the
mission of Lyford. Bradford sayB, " This year Mr.
Allerton brought over a young man for a minister to
the people here, whether upon his own head or at
the motion of some friends there I well know uot,
but it was without the church's sending; for they
had been so bitten by Mr. Lyford as they desired
to know the person well whom they should invite
auiougst them. His name was Mr. Rogers; but
they perceived upon some trial that he was crazed in
his brain ; so they were fain to be at further charge
to send him back agaiu the next year, and lose all
the charge that was expended in his hither bringing,
which was uot small by Mr. Allerton's account, iu
provisions, apparel, bedding, &c. After his return
he grew t(uite distracted, and Mr. Allerton was much
blamed that he would briug such a man over, they
having charge enough otherwise." It is indeed
strange that such meu as Wiuslow and Allerton
should have been so far deceived by the appearance
of Lyford and Rogers as to give their approval to
their comiug. The issue in both cases clearly proved
that the unfitness of the candidates, aud uot any ill-
founded fastidiousness ou the part of the Pilgrims,
caused their rejection.

Iu 1029, Ralph Smith, who had come over with
Higgiuson in the " Talbot" in that year, became the
first settled minister. Bradford says, " There was
one Mr. Ralfe Smith, and his wife and family, that

came over into the Bay of Massachusetts, and so-
journed at present with some stragliug people that
lived at Nantasket ; there being a boat of this place
putting in there on some occasion, he earnestly de-
sired that they would give him and his passage from
Plymouth, and some such thiugs as they could well
carry ; having before heard that there was likelihood
he tnight procure house room for some time, till he
should resolve to settle there, if he might, or else-
where, as God should dispose ; for he was weary of
being in that uncouth place, and in a poor house
that would ueither keep him nor his goods dry. So
seeing him to be a grave man, and understood he had
been a minister, though they had no order for any
such thing, yet they presumed aud brought him.
He was here accordingly kindly entertained and
housed, and had the rest of his goods aud servants
sent for, and exercised his gifts amongst them, and
afterwards was chosen into the ministry, aud so re-
mained for sundry years." Mr. Smith was a graduate
of the Uuiversity of Cambridge in 1G 13, and proved
himself a man of learning. The anomaly of finding
such a man at a small fishing station, either a spiritual
exile or an emigrant inspired by the spirit of adven-
ture which marked the time, might be paralleled in
our own day by the discovery in Australia and Cali-
fornia, in South America and on our Westeru prairies,
of men representing all stations in English life, seeking
new and broader fields of enterprise.

Mr. Smith remained in the ministry at Plymouth
until 1636, aud, after a further short residence in the
town, removed to Rhode Island, and filially to Boston,
where he died March 11, 1662. From some time iu
the summer of 1631 to the summer of 1633, Roger
Williams was an assistant of Mr. Smith iu his minis-
try. Of the deportment of Mr. Williams during his
short residence in Plymouth, and of the causes of his
removal, sufficient has already been said. He was
probably a native of Wales, aud born between 1599
and 1603, and under the patronage of Sir Edward
Coke was elected a scholar of Sutton's Hospital ( uow
the Charter House) in 1621, was matriculated a pen-
sioner of Pembroke College, Cambridge, in July, 1625,
aud took the degree of Bachelor of Arts iu 1626-27.
His passage from the national church to independent-
ism was attended by sorrows aud struggles. In a let-
ter to Mrs. Sadleir, daughter of Sir Edward Coke, he
said, " Truly it was as bitter as death to me when
Bishop Laud pursued me out of this land, and my
conscience was persuaded against the national church
and ceremonies and bishops, beyoud the conscience of
your dear father. I say it was as bitter as death to
me when I rode Windsor way to take ship at Bristol,



and saw Stoke House, where the blessed man was ;
and I Jurst not acquaint him with uiy conscience and
flight." He left Bristol in the ship " Lyon" in 1G30,
and arrived in Boston in February, 1C30/1. His
career after leaving Plymouth, including his return
to Salem and his retirement to Rhode Island, is
well known, and does not concern this narrative.

Mr. Smith, while living in Plymouth, occupied a
house on the south side of the present Unitarian
meetiug-house and improved lands in Newtields,
granted to hiui as appurtenant to his homestead.
When he removed from Plymouth he couveyed the
house to John Doane, agent of the church, and Mr.
Doane couveyed it to Mr. Smith's successor, John
Rayner. During the pastorate of Mr. Smith the
building on Burial Hill, erected in 1622, serving the
double purpose of a church and a fort, was used as a
place of worship. Prior to 1622, as has already been
stated, it is probable that the common house was used.
As Bradford says, " Mr. Smith laid down bis pastor-
ate partly by his own willingness, as thinking it too
heavy a burden, and partly at the desire and by the
persuasion of others, and the church sought out for
some other, having often been disappointed in their
hopes and desires heretofore. And it pleased the
Lord to send them an able and godly man and of a
meek and humble spirit, sound in the truth and every
way unreprovable in his life and conversation, whom,
alter some time of trial, they chose for their teacher,
the fruits of whose labors they enjoyed many years
with much comfort in peace and good agreement."
This was John Rayner, who became pastor of the
church iu 1G3G. Before that time, however, in 1635,
Edward Winslow went to England, and Bradford
says that "amongst other business that he had to do
in England he had," iu anticipation of Mr. Smith's
separation from the church, " an order to provide and
bring over some able and fit man to be their minister.
And, accordingly, he had procured a godly and a
worthy man, one Mr. Glover ; but it pleased God,
when he was prepared for the voyage, he fell sick of
a fever and died. Afterwards, when he was ready to
come away, he became acquainted with Rev. John
Norton, who was williug to come over, but would not
engage himself to this place otherwise than he should
see occasion when he came here ; and if he liked
better elsewhere, to repay the charge laid out for him
(which came to about seventy pounds) and to be at
his liberty. He stayed about a year with them after
he came over, and was well liked of them and much
desired by them ; but he was invited to Ipswich,
where were many rich and able men and suudry of
his acquaintances, so he went to them and is their

minister. About half of the charge was repaid, the
rest he had for the paius he took amongst them." It
appears from this statement that during the last year
of Mr. Smith's service Mr. Norton must have been
acting as an assistant, as the previous extract from
Bradford shows that Mr. Smith gave up his pastorate
iu 163G, and was succeeded in the same year by Mr.
Rayner. Mr. Norton came over iu the ship " Hope-
well," probably with Mr. Winslow. He was born in
Starford, and educated at Peter House, iu the Uni-
versity of Cambridge, where he received his degree
in 1624. After the death of John Cotton he was
called to Boston as his successor in the First Church,
and died in 1663.

The pastorate of Mr. Rayner exteuded from 163G
to 1654. He was a graduate of Magdalen College,
Cambridge, and reckoned an eminent divine. His
pastorate covered the trying period when a removal
to Eosthaui was contemplated, and his patience, for-
bearance, and untiriug spirit did much towards rais-
ing the church from the depressed condition into
which it had fallen. During the second year of his
pastorate, in 1637, the first meeting-house proper
devoted exclusively to religious worship was built.
Its site aud the evidence pointing it out have already
in another chapter been indicated. Nothiug is known
of its dimensions or appearance except that it had a
bell. Its location on the north side of Town Square,
opposite to Market Street, is as completely demon-
strated as anything in history can be which has in-
disputable testimouy to sustain it. From 1638 to
1641, Charles Chauncey was associated with Mr.
Rayuer, having arrived at Plymouth from England
in December, 1G37. Mr. Chauncey was born iu
Yardly, about thirty miles from London, and bap-
tized iu 1592. He was educated at Westminster
school, and took his degree at Cambridge in 1613.
After three years' service Mr. Chauncey removed to
Scituate, from which place, in 1654, he went to Cam-
bridge and became president of Harvard College.
He died in Cambridge iu 1672, at the age of seveuty-
niue. His career iu Plymouth was cut off by a dif-
ference in opinion between him and Mr. Rayner on
the subject of baptism. He held that sprinkling was
unlawful, and that the immersion of the whole body
was essential. The church agreed that immersion
was lawful, but " in this cold country not so con-
venient." They would not agree, however, that
spriukling was unlawful, and expressed themselves
couteut with the adoption by himself aud Mr. Ray-
ner of such method of baptism as each might prefer.
On his refusal of this proposition the matter was
referred to Rev. Ralph Partridge, of Duxbury, to the



church at Boston, and to the churches of Connecticut
and New Haven. Still refusing to be satisfied, his
separation from the church became essential to its
peace. While in Plymouth Mr. Kay iter occupied
the house couveyed to him by John Doaue, the agent
of the church, and which had been previously occu-
pied by Mr. Smith.

At the time of the departure of Mr. Rayner there
were three children of the mother-church at Plym-
outh, those iu Duxbury and Marshfield having had
their birth in 1632, and that in East ham datiug
from 1644. Before the formation of these churches
settlements had begun to be made in these places,
and the number of settlers aud their distance from
Plymouth soon made the establishment of the
churches a necessity. Those who found early set-
tlements iu Duxbury continued for a time their
connection with the chief seat of the colony aud
made it their place of winter residence. In the Old
Colony Records may be found the following entry :

"Anuo 1632, April 2. The names of those which promise to
remove their families to live in the tuwne in the winter time,
that they may the bettor repair to the worship of God.

John Alden,

Capt. Standish,
Jonathan Brewster,
Thomas Prence."

This entry is significant, as at least a partial con-
tradiction of the statement, made without auy appar-
ent foundation, that Miles Standish was a Roman Cath-
olic. It certainly does uot seem probable, if such were
the case, that he would have made any such promise.
It is probable that, the statement had its origin iu
the fact that the Standish family now occupying Dux-
bury Hall, of which the late Sir Francis Standish was
a representative, adhere to the Catholic faith. Sir
Francis spent many years in Spain, aud, whether or
not to that circumstance his religion may have been
due, he preferred the Catholic government of France
to his own as the beneficiary of a gift of Spauish
pictures, known as the Standish gallery, aud forming
part of the collection in the Louvre, in Paris.

In 1654 the miuistry of Mr. Rayner closed, aud

Online LibraryD. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) HurdHistory of Plymouth County, Massachusetts : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men (Volume 2) → online text (page 41 of 118)