D. Hamilton (Duane Hamilton) Hurd.

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

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ate, and during all this intervening time has been
preaching aud lecturing on the great moral questions
of the day, and at the ripe age of uearly uinety still
resides at Sandwich, Mass.

The two men who aided him in making his escape
from the furious mob still live. One of them has
been a member of the New England Southern Con-
ference of the Methodist Episcopal Church for more
than thirty years ; the other is, as he always has been,
an ornament to the church, aud an houorcd and re-
spected citizen of this town. Holy Writ says, " The
way of the transgressor is hard," but ; ' Them that
honor me, I will honor."



HISTORY OF WAREHAM.



221



Log-Cabin Times of 1840. — Perhaps there was
no county town in New England where party spirit
ran higher than it did in Wareham during the log-
cabin campaign of 1840. On a certain morning of
that eventful year two hundred men started with
teams fur the woods at sunrise, felled the trees, cut
aud hewed the logs, transported them to the desig-
nated spot (a few rods in the rear of the present
Methodist Church edifice), and at sundown of the
same day a large and commodious log cabin was com-
pleted and ready for occupancy. A tall, elegant
liberty-pole was also erected, and the campaign flag
thrown to the breeze. Soon after dark the cabin was
lighted aud a meeting organized, which continued
until one o'clock the uest morning. The meetings
after the formal opening were held almost every
evening, and the excitement and enthusiasm was un-
paralleled. Soon after another log cabin of much
smaller dimensions was built and placed on four
mammoth wheels, in which a company of about
twenty could be comfortably seated, and this strange
vehicle was used mainly in transporting delegations
to meetings in other towns.

Local poets were numerous, the most conspicuous
being John Maxim (" Bemis"), of Carver, Benjamin
Lincoln, and Capt. Nathaniel Crocker, of Wareham.
The poetical hits of the latter were exceedingly happy,
and always produced roars of laughter. Many distin-
guished speakers from abroad were employed, but the
local poet almost invariably followed the orator, and
usually produced the most merriment. An excellent
glee-club added much to the interest of the meetings.
It was composed of the following members : Andrew
Besse, Capt. Timothy Savery, Jr., Hiram Barrows,
Job M. Briggs, James Crocker, Johu W. Crocker, ;
and others. The leader, Andrew Besse, possessed a
wonderful voice. He led the choirs of Wareham for
a quarter of a century, and usually sang soprano, no
one ever making objection to his siuging that part,
for his voice excelled any feminine voice in the town
in sweetness, richness, aud compass. During the
campaign he sang at New Bedford, Boston, and other
places, and always made a sensation. Lowell Musoa
pronounced it the best tenor voice he had ever heard.
Soon after the erection of the log cabin it was found
inadequate to hold the people, whereupon a gallery
was constructed of rough boards to hold the boys,
who were placed under the supervision of Elkanah
Hamlin, who (with a huge Indian war-club that he
obtaiued at oue of the islands of the Pacific Ocean)
had uo difficulty in preserving order among the
juveniles, though when they cheered and stamped
below they did the same above, making a noise



almost deafening, amply sufficient to satisfy the most
ambitious orator. Joseph W. Pope was the jauitor
of the cabin, and, although far advanced in years, no
boy was more sprightly, and his antics in the choruses
of the glee-club convulsed the audience and added
much to the enjoyment. There was one occurrence
during the canvass that produced great excitemeut.
David Nye, Esq., was the Democratic postmaster,
and he, together with his brother, Rev. Jonathan
Nye (who was here on a visit), and their brother-in-
law, Maj. William Barrows, alternated in performing
the duties of the office. On the arrival of a huge
bundle of Whig songs, letter postage amounting to
ten dollars was demanded. The Whigs refused to
take the bundle, and had their revenge. At the
next meeting Capt. Nathaniel Crocker came out with
a fresh song in regard to it. The ten dollars and the
names of " Billy, David, and Jonathan, too," were
happily introduced into the chorus, and sang at the
close of each verse. Whenever the singers reached
the above names, the frolicksome Pope, by voice or
gesture, would imitate so perfectly some persoual
trait or defect of the trio (still keeping time with the
music), that the audience shouted until they were
hoarse.

The actors in those scenes of political strife have
nearly all passed away, and a new generation has
come upon the stage of action ; and it now seems
strange at this day that men could ever have been so
completely carried away by the noise and excitement
of that unique log-cabin and hard-cider campaign.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

Early Pastors of the Congregational Church.
— Rev. Rowland Thatcher. — Rev. Rowland
Thatcher, the first ordained minister of Wareham,
was born in Barnstable. He was a graduate of Har-
vard in 1733, ordained Dec. 26, 1739, and died Feb.
18, 1775. His name is clerical in Massachusetts, —
Mather is hardly more so. He died in office at a
good age, having served the church in this town more
than thirty-five years, and left behind him the fra-
grance of his good name and the fruits of his faithful
labors.

Rev. Josiah Cotton. — Rev. Josiah Cotton, the
second pastor, boro another clerical name of just
celebrity. He was a graduate of Yale, and was or-
dained Nov. 1, 1775. He was a young man of ample
talent and popular address, but less grave in mauuers
and less zealous in spirit than his predecessor. Find-
ing that his ministry was not satisfactory, he resigned
his office May 31, 1779, and subsequently the pro-
fession.



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



Rev. Noble Everett. — Rev. Noble Everett, the
third pastor, was bora in Woodbury. Conn., and a
graduate of Yale in 1772. He was a chaplain in the
Revolutionary army, and was present at the battle of
White Plains. He was ordained in Wareham, Oct.
15, 1782, and died in office Dec. 30, 1819.

He read the Hebrew Scriptures with familiarity,
and was justly esteemed sound in doctrine, prudent
in discipline, and upright in conduct. He was of the
school of the famous Bellamy, earnest and substan-
tial, rather than accurate or conciliating. He dis-
claimed the use of the pen, and depended much on
the impulse of the hour, yet he was often impressive,
both in grave preaching and in earnest prayer.

Under his instruction Ebenezer Burgess, D.D.,
John Mackie, M.D., of Providence, R. I., Andrew
Mackie, M.D., of New Bedford, Mass., both eminent
physicians, Timothy G. Coffin, Esq., so long a shining
light at the Bristol bar, and others were fitted for
college.

Rev. Samuel Nott, Jr. — The subject of this
sketch was a uative of the State of Connecticut.
He was the son of Samuel Nott, D.D., of Franklin,
Conn., and a nephew of the celebrated Eliphalet
Nott, D.D., so long president of Union College,
Schenectady, N. Y. In the year 1808, young Nott,
while studying theology with his father at Franklin,
became deeply impressed with the conviction of his
duty to carry the gospel to the heathen. Adoniram
Judson, Jr., Samuel J. Mills, James Richards, Luther
Rice, and Gordon Hall, all young men of about the
same age, had similar feelings, and in 1809 and 1810
all six were brought providentially together at Ando-
ver, Mass., " and becoming known to each other,
were soon united in bonds of Christian affection.
Henceforward their plans were formed in common.
One leading impulse moved them all. They con-
versed together, they prayed together, aud they
labored together to kindle the missionary flame in
Andover, iu many of the colleges of our country,
and among the churches wherever they were called
to preach. Iu this manner they cultivated the spirit
of self-devotion in their own hearts and were anx-
iously looking for those indications of Divine Provi-
dence which should point out the way in which their
desires might be accomplished." Iu February, 1812,
Samuel Nott, Jr., Gordon Hall, aud Luther Rice
sailed from Philadelphia, and Adouiram Judsou, Jr.,
aud Samuel Newell sailed from Salem, Mass., bound
to Calcutta, — they all having been appointed mission-
aries to India by the American Board of Commis-
sioners for Foreign Missions, — and they were the
first missionaries to foreigu lands that ever left the



shores of America. Thus did this young Christian
hero, " at the age of twenty-three, at the commence-
ment of his ministry, in the strength of his youth
and talent, and when he was earnestly desired as a
pastor in his native land, cheerfully relinquish the
certainty of a pleasant pastorate and all the delights
of home and friends to carry out the one great de-
sire of his heart, which was to preach Christ to the
heathen. At that time, too, niissiouary life was beset
with difficulties, many of which do not uow exist,
nor was it brightened with the hope of revisiting the
beloved native land, which now a missionary may do
with ease.

"Thus he freely gave up all his bright prospects
and went joyfully on his mission to the heathen.

" He went to India, he sickened, he came back
with health shattered for life, and with the grievous
disappointment added of being obliged to give up the
work he had so much at heart. Had he not given
up all — the glory of his youth, his strength and
health — to his Lord and Master? Wheu we take
into consideration what he gave up in early youth, —
possessing fine talents, a fine education, laying all at
his Saviour's feet, and going to heathen lauds, in
which, at that time, persecution abounded for Chris-
tian missionaries, — we see the extent of the sacrifice
which he cheerfully made for Christ and the heathen.
" Then came the Christian struggle in his native
land, and with that struggle and ill health the con-
stant remembrance of his great disappuiutment.
But, as Christ's steward, he persevered, feeling sure
that all these trials were sent in mercy by his Heav-
enly Father."

In July, 1829, Mr. Nott was ordained pastor of
the Congregational Church in Wareham, and here
for twenty years labored ardeutly as far as his health
would permit.

In addition to his pulpit and pastoral labors he
found time to write for the press many useful and
instructive volumes. Among these may be named
" The Telescope," " Sermons on the Fowls of the
Air and the Lilies of the Field," aud " Sermons on
Public Worship."

Resigning his pastorate in 1849, he for many
years taught a private school, aud in the year 18G8
he removed from Wareham to Hartford, Coun., to
spend the remnant of his days with one of his sons,
who had long been located in that city.

There was one incident that occurred during Mr.
Nott's residence in Wareham that must not be omitted
from this brief biographical sketch. It occurred in
the year 1845. Dr. Judson, his early friend and
coluborer, after an absence of thirty-three years, had



HISTORY OF WAREHAM.



2l'3



returned to his native land. His name had become
famous throughout the earth. Soon after his arrival
iu Boston a public reception was tendered him at
the Bowdoin Square Church. An immense throng
crowded the spacious edifice, and it was one of the
most affecting meetings ever held in that or any
other city. " The great congregation was moved by
a mighty impulse. Language could not give vent to
emotions which struggled in every bosom. The eye
affected the heart. There he stood among the pastors
of our churches, the long-loved, the toil-worn mis-
sionary ; the man who had been brought before kings
and councils; who had been in bonds, in dungeons,
and in chains ; who had been led away to be put to
death, but by the overruling hand of God had been
preserved ; who, when liberated, returned to his own
company, aud with a fortitude which the terrors of
martyrdom could not shake, love which neither iu-
gratitude, nor cruelty, nor fear could quench, again
set himself patiently and quietly to the work of turn-
ing the deluded Burmans from darkness to light, and
from the power of Satan unto God."

The wife of his youth that accompanied him to
India — that brave, gifted, matchless, Christian hero-
ine — was sleeping uuder the hopia-tree ; and had he
not just come from the burial of his second wife at
St. Helena, a companion as sacred to him as the first,
and, perhaps, not less gifted, who, when almost in
sight of the isle that was to be her burial-place, like
the dying swan, poured forth her sweetest numbers?

Rev. Dr. Sharp, president of the Board of Missions,
and the oldest pastor present, gave the address of
welcome. " During the singing which followed, a
gentleman was seen to pass rapidly up the aisle into
the pulpit, and to embrace Dr. Judson with un-
common warmth and ardor, which was as ardently
reciprocated, while the emotions which lighted up
their countenances gave to silence more than the ex-
pressiveness of language. As the gentleman was a
stranger to the audience, every one appeared deeply
desirous to know who he was. He was soon, how-
ever, introduced as the Rev. Samuel Nott, Jr., the
ouly surviving member, besides Mr. Judson, of that
first compauy of missionaries, five in number, sent
out from this country by the American Board. Sam-
uel Newell, Gordon Hall, and Luther Rice are gone
to their reward. Mr. Nott, after remainiug a few
years in the mission field, was compelled to return to
this country, and is now the pastor of the Congrega-
tional Church in Wareham, Mass. As soon as he
heard of the arrival of Mr. Judson, he set out with
all speed for Boston to greet him, aud hearing that he
was in the Bowdoin Square Church, he had come



there to see and take him by the hand. Being intro-
duced to the audience by Dr. Sharp, with the request
that he would gratify them with a few remarks, he
said he had given the hand of fellowship to his
brother Judson in youth, when they were fellow-
students and fellow-missionaries. ' And,' said he,
' though on our reaching the missionary field he be-
came a Baptist, and I did not, yet I did not withdraw
the hand of fellowship from my brother Judson.'
He spoke of their early conversations on the subject
of missions, and said it was of no importance whether
Adoniram Judson, Jr., or Samuel J. Mills, Jr., was
the first who conceived the enterprise of foreign mis-
sions to the East. Of one thing he was sure : it was
not Samuel Nott, Jr., though he was also sure that
he had thought of it before any one had mentioned
the subject to him. His belief was that the minds
of several had, separately and independently, been
turned to the subject by the spirit of God."

Mr. Nott, as before remarked in this chapter, re-
paired to the house of his son to spend the evening
of his life, but in less than a year from the time of
his removal from Wareham to Hartford he was called
to his eternal reward. On his gravestone is the
following inscription :

" Rev. Samuel Nott.
Bora in Franklin, September lltb, A.n. 17S8.

Died in Hartford, June 1st, a.d. lsi.'J.

A devoted and faithful Minister of Christ, both

As a Missionary to India and as a

Pastor in his native land.

' Well done, thou good and faithful servant.' "

Gen. Israel Fearing. — During the war of the
Revolution, on the 7th of September, 1778, the
British troops made an attempt to destroy the vil-
lage of Fairhaven, but were bravely repulsed by a
small force, commanded by Maj. Israel Fearing, of
Wareham. The enemy, a day or two previously,
had burned houses and destroyed a large amount of
property at New Bedford. The following is from
Dwight's " Travels," vol. iii. p. 71 : " From New
Bedford they marched around to the head of the
river to Sconticut Point, on the eastern side, leaving
iu their course, for some unknown reason, the villages
of Oxford and Fairhaven. Here they coutiuued till
Monday, and then re-embarked. The following night
a large body of them proceeded up the river, with a
design to finish the work of destruction by burning
Fairhaven. A critical attention to their movements
had convinced the inhabitants that this was their
design, and induced them to prepare for their re-
ception. The militia of the neighboring country had
been summoned to the defense of this village.

'' Their commander was a man far advanced iu



224



HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY.



years. Under the influence of that languor which
at thia period enfeebles both the body and the mind,
he determined that the place must be given up to the
enemy, and that no opposition to their ravages could
be made with any hope of success. This decision of
their officer necessarily spread its benumbing influence
over the militia, and threatened an absolute preven-
tion of all enterprise, and the destruction of this
handsome village.

" Among the officers belonging to the brigade was
Israel Fearing, Esq., a major of one of the regiments.
This gallant young man, observing the torpor which
was spreading among the troops, invited as mauy as
had sufficient spirit to follow him and station them-
selves at the post of danger. Among those who ac-
cepted the invitation was one of the colonels, who of
course became the commandant; but after they had
arrived at Fairhaven, and the night had come on, he
proposed to march the troops back into the country.
He was warmly opposed by Muj. Fearing, and, find-
ing that he could not prevail, prudently retired to a
house three miles distant, where he passed the night
in safety. After the colonel had withdrawn, Maj.
Feariug, who was only thirty years of age, but who
was now commander-in-chief, arranged his men with
activity and skill, and soon perceived the British
approaching. The militia, in the strictest sense raw,
already alarmed by the reluctance of their superior
officers to meet the enemy, and ' naturally judging
that men of years must understand the real state of
the danger better than Maj. Fearing, a mere youth,
were panic-struck at the approach of the enemy, and
instantly withdrew from their post. At this critical
moment, Maj. Fearing, with the decision which awes
meu into a strong sense of duty, rallied them, and,
placing himself in the rear, declared, in a tone which
removed all doubt, that he would kill the first man
whom he found retreating. The resolution of their
chief recalled theirs. With the utmost expedition
he led them to the scene of danger. The British
had already set fire to several stores. Between these
buildings and the rest of the village he stationed his
troops, and ordered them to lie close in profound
silence until the enemy, who were advancing, should
have come so near that no marksman could easily
mistake his object. The orders were punctually
obeyed. When the enemy had arrived within this
distance the Americans arose, and, with a well-
directed fire, gave them a warm and unexpected re-
ception. The British fled instantly to their boats,
and fell down the river with the utmost expedition.
From the quantity of blood fouud the next day in
their line of march, it was supposed that their loss



was considerable. Thus did this heroic youth, in
opposition to his superior officers, preserve Fairhaven,
and merit a statue from its inhabitants."

Maj. Fearing was a man of striking and imposing
personal presence, tall, erect, with courtly mauners,
and a face that in old age retained the freshness of
youth. He rose to the rank of major-general in the
militia, and through life was one of the leading spirits
of the town. He died March 2, 1826, aged seventy-
eight years, and was buried in the cemetery at Ware-
ham Centre. On his tombstone are these lines:

"The brave soldier; the decided Christian ;
He was respected in life, and lamented in death."

His son, William Fearing, Esq., was a prominent
citizen of this town, long engaged in active business,
and amassed considerable wealth. Another son, Is-
rael Fearing, Jr., was " a chip of the old block."
He was captain of a small militia company when the
British invaded Wareham in 1814, and mention is
made of him in a former chapter of this work. He
never feared the face of mortal man.

Gen. Ebenezer Swift. — Ebenezer Swift was
born in Wareham, Oct. 8, 1817. He entered the
United States army as a medical officer in the spring
of 1847, and in August of the same year was pro-
moted to a first lieutenant of his corps. He reported
for duty to Gen. Franklin Pierce at Vera Cruz, and
on the arrival of his division of the army at Puobla
he was assigned to duty as aid to Gen. Lawson at
Gen. Scott's headquarters, and with Capt. Phil
Kearney, who commanded the general's body-guard.
He was present in every battle in which our troops
were engaged on the line from Vera Cruz to the city
of Mexico, except Cerro Gordo. At one time, dur-
ing the battle of Molino del Bey, Gen Worth, who
commanded in person, ordered him to fall back with
our wavering lines, saying, " You are drawing fire
from the eDemy's artillery at Chapultepec." Dr.
Swift, who was earnestly engaged, did not look up
from his work, and, on account of smoke, dust, aud
noise, did not recognize the person addressing him,
aud simply replied, " I will, in a moment, after an-
other amputation, sir." He had not discovered that
our lines had been driven back in some disorder by
the enemy, and that he was exposed to a fire in front
and upon our right flank, while our troops were re-
forming for another charge.

Another incident of a similar nature occurred later
in the same day when his horse was shot while being
held by his orderly.

The above was reported verbally to Geo. Scott,
who personally complimented him in the presence of



HISTORY OF WAREHAM.



225



bis entire staff, and subsequently mentioned him with
favor in his report to the Secretary of War.

He several times commanded troops and posts on
our Indian border ; was military aid to Governor
Walker in our Kansas troubles ; and in the war of
the Rebellion was recommended for promotion for
gallant conduct at the battle of Stone River, in Ten-
nessee, and in other engagements, for all of which he
received three brevet commissions, the highest being
brigadier-general.

During reconstruction South he was for more than
a year mayor of the city of Vicksburg, and also in
performance of other important civil duties.

Gen. Swift is still retained in the service of the
United States and resides at Staten Island, occupying
a mansion that was formerly the home of oue of the
Vanderbilts.

Andrew Mackie, M.D. — Andrew Mackie, M.D.,
was born in Southampton, L. I., July 12, 1742, and
was the son of Dr. John Mackie. He removed to
this town in 1764, in which, and its vicinity, he was
for more than fifty years eminently useful in the prac-
tice of medicine and surgery.

Jan. 10, 1775, the town of Wareham by vote re-
fused to pay any province tax, or even a county tax,
under the king's authority, and paid the province tax
already made and collected to Dr. Andrew Mackie,
with instructions that he keep it subject to the town's
order.

March 18, 1776, he was appointed by the town
one of a Committee of Correspondence, Inspection,
and Safety.

March 2, 1778, he was elected to the same posi-
tion, and again March 8, 1779. He was also one of
ihe army surgeons.

May 13, 1784, he was chosen one of the deacons
of the Congregational Church in Wareham, which
office he filled with great fidelity until his decease.

He was town clerk of Wareham for a period of
thirty-two consecutive years, and throughout his en-
tire life his townsmen had implicit confidence in his
ability and integrity. He died April 27, 1817.

Three of his sons became eminent physicians and
surgeons, — Dr. John Mackie, of Providence, R. I.,
Dr. Peter Mackie, of Wareham, and Dr. Andrew
Mackie, of New Bedford. One of his grandsons, Dr.
John Howell Mackie, is at the present time one of
the leading physicians aud surgeous of New Bedford.

Col. Alexander Bourne. — Alexander Bourne
was born in Wareham, Sept. 11, 17S6. He emi-
grated to Marietta, Ohio, iu 1810, where he found
employment for a while in the office of Judge Paul
Fearing, a uative of this place, for whom the town of
15



Fearing, Washington Co., Ohio, was named. His
work here was surveying and drawing. Judge Fear-
ing kindly loaned him a fine case of drawing instru-
ments that once belonged to the celebrated Blenner-
hassett. Soon after this the auditor of the State
employed him in his office, and pronounced him the
best map-maker in the country. In 1811 he was



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 52 of 118)