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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employed by Gen. Duncan McArthur to copy the
entries and surveys of the Virginia military bounty
lands in Ohio. In the war of 1812, though without
any military experience, he served as adjutant, judge-
advocate, and, for a short time, as colonel, by appoint-
ment of Governor Meigs. In the battle of Fort Meigs,
one of the most sanguinary of the entire war, he
greatly distinguished himself by his personal bravery.
He was brave even to recklessness, and at one time
during the battle Gen. Harrison cursed him fearfully
for exposing himself so much to the fire of the enemy.
In Gen. Harrison's dispatches to the government,
although there were fifty officers in the garrison that
outranked him, the name of Alexander Bourne was
the fourteenth mentioned for bravery and good con-
duct. In 1814 he was appointed aide-de-camp to
Governor Worthington ; in 1815, adjutant-general of
the State of Ohio, and also to act as inspector-general.
In 1816 he married Helen Mar, daughter of Gen.
Duncan McArthur, who succeeded Geu. Harrison in
the command of the Northwestern army, and was
subsequently Governor of Ohio. Soon after this he
was appointed by Governor Worthington, on the part
of the State of Ohio, to settle the account of public
arms with the government of the United States. In
1818, during the recess of Congress, he was appoiuted
by Presideut Monroe receiver of public money for the
State of Ohio, and the appointment was subsequently
confirmed by the Senate. During this year he wrote
his first communication to Sillimait's Journal iu re-
lation to the prairies and barrens of the Western
country, and subsequently during life was an occa-
sional contributor to our leading scientific journals.
Some of these articles were republished in London.
In 1827 he was appointed by Governor Trimble
commissioner of the Ohio canals, the vacancy being
caused by the death of Governor Worthington. Iu
1827 he was dismissed from the office of receiver of
the public money for the State (an office he had held
for nine years) by President Jackson because he pre-
ferred John Quiucy Adams for President, and would
not change hid flag to save his office. He was a
member of the Historical and Philosophical Society
of Ohio, a corresponding member of the Western
Academy of Natural Sciences at Ciuciunati, an hon-
orary member of the Natural History Society of the



Ohio University, and a corresponding member of the
National Institutes, at Washington, D. C.

What a record for a man who graduated at a district
school in his native town in the year 1804, when dis-
trict schools were held but three months in a year !
In old age he came back to his native town, built
him a plain, substantial residence, and here passed
the evening of his life, respected and venerated by all
who knew him. He passed away peacefully, hope-
fully, and trustingly, Aug. 5, 1849. His manu-
scripts, which have never been published, and were
not designed for publicatiou, show him to have been
a brave soldier, a profound philosopher, a cultured
scholar, an astute theologian, and a devout Christian.

Ebenezer Burgess, D.D. — Ebenezer Burgess,
D.D., was born iD Wareham, April 1, 1790. He
graduated at Brown University in 1809, with a dis-
tinguished rank as a scholar. After graduating at


Brown, he became a tutor in that college, and subse-
quently a professor in the college at Middlebury, Vt.
In connection with Samuel J. Mills, one of the great
founders and originators of American missions, he
sailed, on Nov. 16, 1817, for Africa, under the aus-
pices of the American Colonization Society, became
one of the founders of the colony at Liberia, and was
invited to become its superintendent. He visited
England both going and returning, and was presented
to Macaulay, father of the eminent statesman and
historian, and was cordially received by Wilberforce,
Lord Buthurst, and Lord Ganibier, who expressed
deep interest for the African enterprise.

On his homeward voyage he buried at sea the
heavenly-minded Mills, and arrived alone in his native
land Oct. 22, 1818. Some years after this he mar-
ried the daughter of Lieutenant-Governor William
Phillips. After his settlement in Dedham, Mass., he
was invited to take the presidency of Middlebury Col-
lege, Vt., but declined. On the 30th of July, 1820,
he preached for the first time iu Dedham, and on
March 13, 1821, was ordained pastor of the church
with which he remained connected for forty years.
His decease occurred Dec. 5, 1870. Weeping throngs
dismissed him to heaven with their benedictiou.

John Milton Mackie. — John Milton Mackie,
au American author, was born in Wareham in 1813.
He was graduated, in 1832, at Brown University, where
he was tutor from 1834 to 1838. In 1845 he pub-
lished a " Life of Godfrey William von Leibnitz," a
" Life of Samuel Gorton," and in 1848 appeared his
" Cosas de Espafia, or going to Madrid via Bar-

Mr. Mackie has been known as a contributor to
the North American Review of a number of articles

on various subjects, principally on German literature
and history. He baa also written a " Life of Schamyl,
the Circassian Chief," and " Life of Tai-Ping-Wang,
Chief of the Chinese Insurrection."

Mr. Mackie has been residing for many years in
Great Barrington, Mass., and has been as successful iu
agricultural pursuits as he was formerly in literary.

Col. Bartlett Murdock. — Col. Bartlett Mur-
dock was a native of Carver, Mass., but came to
Wareham iu his youthful days, and here resided until
his decease. His connection with the iron-works in
different parts of the town makes him a conspicuous
figure in the history of Wareham fifty years ago.
There were but few among the early business men
that did as much for the interests of the place.

He was a man of imposing presence, full of good
humor, an admirable story-teller, and he was beloved
and esteemed by all classes.

He held numerous local offices, and more than once
represented this town in the General Court.

He reared a large family, and some of his sons
have stood, and still stand, high among the merchant
princes of New York City. His death occurred Jan.
20, 1847, at the age of sixty-three.

Joshua B. Tobey. — Joshua Briggs Tobey was,
for a long series of years, one of the leading manu-
facturers of this town. In early life he was engaged
in cotton-manufacturing, in the stone factory at
South Wareham, and his beginning in business was
humble. Afterwards the iron industries occupied
his attention chiefly. By his great ability, good
judgment, keen foresight, and untiring perseverance
he rose steadily, until he stood in the front ranks of
the wealthiest and best business men of Southern
Massachusetts.. His principal business in Wareham
was in iron and the manufacture of cut nails, being
one of the earliest manufacturers of this novel product ;
but in addition to' this he was president of the Ware-
ham Bank for twenty years, and president of the Ware-
ham Savings-Bank for twenty-three years, and it is
no disparagement of others to say that those institu-
tions have never had a more capable or faithful officer.
He was also the president, director, and managing
officer in other parts of the country in railroad and
mining enterprises, and in cotton-factories, iron-manu-
factories, and other industries, with which he was
connected from time to time.

It is worthy of remark that during all the reverses
and pauics that occurred during his life of more than
threescore years he never failed in business, nor
omitted to perform his obligations and undertakings

Besides his great financial tact, and numerous other



qualifications, he excelled as a public speaker in ex-
temporaneous debate, and yet his efforts in this direc-
tion were mostly confined to local topics in the annual
town-meeting. Had he been educated for the bar
he would have ranked among the ablest. He invari-
ably declined every proffered nomination to political
office, but at times held a commission as staff officer
in the militia. He had great fluency of speech and a
pleasing address, and his sound logic, pertinent illus-
trations, apt witticisms, and merciless sarcasm always
entertained, if they did not always carry conviction.

Maj. Tobey, as he was popularly known, was posi-
tive and outspoken in his convictions, a self-reliant, in-
flexible man, a strong ally and a sturdy foe, but always
true, and hence had warm friends and bitter enemies.

When we take into account the enterprise and
efforts which he developed, and the fact that for
many years he gave employment to large numbers of
men, and always paid them what he agreed to, and
that the taxes on his large and varied property went
for the. general good, it must be conceded that he was
a public benefactor.

To favored works and objects which met his
approval he always was liberal in his donations.

He was married, October, 1835, to Susanna K.,
daughter of Isaac Pratt, Esq., of Middleboro', and
four sons were born to them.

His death took place Dec. 25, 1870, at the age of
sixty-three years. He left a vast estate, which since
his decease has been ably managed by his elder sons.

Samuel Trescott Tisdale, Esq. — Among the
names of the manufacturers of this town who have
passed away, prominent stands the name of Samuel
T. Tisdale. He was born in Taunton, Mass., Nov.
7, 1802. In boyhood he was a clerk for Lazell, Per-
kins & Co., at Bridgewater, Mass. At the age of
twenty he came to Wareham, and entered the store of
I. k J. Pratt & Co. as clerk. Here he was highly
esteemed for his courteous manners and high sense of
honor. He was at that time, as ever after, a great
reader and admirer of Shakespeare, and at one time
during his youthful days seriously thought of be-
coming an actor.

One day Mr. Lewis Waters, an old resident of this
town, entered the store, and after passing the saluta-
tions of the day young Tisdale said, " Mr. Waters,
Shakespeare says, ' There is a tide in the affairs of
men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune,'
and I am going to try it. Next week I am going to
New York." His rise was rapid, and in a few years
he had become one of the princely merchants of that
great metropolis. His ventures were so bold as to
frequently startle his partner (the late John Sampson,

Esq.), but were almost invariably successful. During
his early mercantile career in New York City his eye
turned toward (Agawam) East Wareham as a proper
place for iron manufacture, and here, for thirty years,
he carried on a large business for a country town,
making cut nails and, a portion of the time, hollow-
ware, giving employment to hundreds of men.

A large portion of his life was spent at Aguwam,
where he had his country residence, and where he
was always popular with his workmen and with the
citizens generally; and well he might be, for his efforts
were ceaseless and untiring to make it a beautiful
village. Trees were planted, the roads greatly im-
proved, and the tenements he built for his workmeu
bore a neat and inviting aspect. His generosity was
proverbial. He educated several of his nephews and
nieces at Bristol Academy, Taunton, and assisted
many a poor boy and girl in obtaining an education
at other schools, and the poor of the village had a
friend indeed in him. He said on his death bed (in
reply to an interrogation) that he had during his life
expended in making improvements at Agawam five
hundred thousand dollars.

The Rev. Dr. Bellows, who officiated at his funeral
at All Souls' Church, New York City, said, on that
occasion, " I know not what we should have done
at one time (in our financial history as a church) had
it not been for this friend."

Mr. Tisdale was a man of fine literary culture.
His reading was very extensive, and he was perfectly
at home with the best poets and prose writers of this
and past centuries. He knew Shakespeare almost
from lid to lid, and it was a pleasure to listen to his
apt quotations from this (his favorite) author in pri-
vate conversation or read them in his epistolary corre-
spondence. He was a critic of no mean order, and
his review of some recently-published works was
sometimes masterly and always entertaining.

He enjoyed the acquaintance and friendship of the
great Marshfield statesman, Professor Agassiz, Donald
G. Mitchell, and many other noted men.

In the summer of 1851, Mr. Webster and his sou,
Fletcher, spent a week with Mr. Tisdale, at his hos-
pitable residence at Agawam, enjoying, with their
generous host, the pleasures of hunting and fishing
in Plymouth woods aud the waters of Buzzard's Bay.

The following correspondence will explain itself:

Mr. Webtter to Mr. S. T. Tiadale.

"Marshfield, August 2, 1S51 (Saturday morning).

" My dkah Sir, — I send the Alderney heifer to Plymouth,

this morning, to Mr. Hedge's care. With kind treatment and

good keeping, she will be a treasure for ten years. But they

are a delioato race of animals, and cannot endure hunger or ex-



["■■.-iirc Always, unless when the grass is fresh and abundant,
she must have a little meal daily. Her milk is excellent, and
she now gives twelve quarts a day. Her mother gives sixteen,
and she will equal her mother next year.

" So much, my dear sir, for the little Alderney. And now let
me do two things. The first is to renew my thanks for your
hospitality, and that of Mrs. Tisdale and your daughter, during
my very pleasant visit at your house. I hope I shall see the
ladies in New York.

'* The next is to express my regret, and that of Mrs. Webster,
that you could not stay with us some days, as we had expected.
I trust you found your partner on the recovery. With great
regard, and kind remembrance to the ladies, I am, dear sir,
" Yours truly,


The preceding letter was sent to Mr. Fletcher
Webster, with the following from Mr. Tisdale :

"New York, June 21, 1853.

" Mv dear Friend, — I annex a copy of a letter written by
your father a few days after my pleasant visit to Carswell. It
may be new to you. The gift of the ' little Alderney' was as
unexpected as it was agreeable, and thus far has proved a
' treasure' in the milky way. She has been a pet at Agawain
from the day of her arrival there, and to my family and myself
invaluable. Beside her now stands her second self, a yearling
heifer, sired by an Ayrshire bull, the gift of a nobleman in
England to Capt. Ezra Nye, a native of Sandwich, but now
commander of the ' Pacific' steamship, belonging to the Collins
line, which animal, by the way, is now owned by Mr. Lewis
Kinney, of Agawam. Both of these gentlemen are well known
to you, so you will perceive, through the thoughtful and kind
regard of your father, an amply supply of rich milk and an
important breed of cows are destined to be among the provisions
of a small portion of the south side of the Cape.

" The manner which your father adopted, and the delightful
conversation he seemed to revel in, when he gave me this cow, it
would be happiness to recall. As we rose from dinner, taking
my arm, ' Now,' said he, 'you shall see my herd of cows, and
yuu shall tip the horn of the best one in the flock, and I will
t-end it to Agawatu.' Proceeding to u spacious field beyond the
little fish-pond the whole herd were displayed, from which I
selected one with eyes, as he said, like those of a gazelle, and
iu five minutes he uttered a treatise on stock of this description
which seemed to me a digest of the whole race.

" I can never forget it. At some time hereafter I will recall
some of the conversation. I hope that time will come when,
at my own quiet place at Agawam, as before, we may refer to
past scenes and live unew on pleasant memories.

" With much regard, your friend, etc.,

" Samuel T. Tisdale."

On the fly-leaf of a book in Mr. Tisdale's library
may be seen, in his own handwriting, the following:
" The last time I saw Mr. Webster was at my resi-
dence iu New York in July, 1852. The hand of
death was then upon him. After a pleasant inter-
view he arose to leave, and, taking Mrs. Tisdale and
myself by the hand, said, ' If I can do anything for
you in the future command me,' and with courtly
manners left the room. He died in October follow-
ing." Mr. Tisdale died at East Wareham, Dec. 31,
1869, aged sixty-seven years. His death was greatly

lamented, and generations to come will learn of his
virtues and benefactions, for as long as the beautiful
elms planted by his own hand aloug the streets of
Agawam shall wave in the winds of heaven, so long
will his memory be fragrant.

Hon. Thomas Savery. — Thomas Savery was
born at Carver, Mass., Oct. 25, 1787, and was the
son of Peleg and Hannah (Perkins) Savery. He
was married Oct. 30,181-1, to Betsey Shaw (daughter
of Joseph and Lydia Shaw, of Carver), by Benjamin
Ellis, Esq., and in the following July (1S15) moved
to Wareham. Previous to his marriage he was vari-
ously employed, part of the time in getting iron ore
from the ponds to be used in the blast- furnaces in
the vicinity. When the furnaces were in opera-
tion he worked at moulding various culinary articles.
After the blast of the furnaces was stopped, he made
up his miud to make wagon-boxes aud buy the iron,
which he did. He would take his boxes to Belcher-
town and exchange them for carriages. He was
probably the first man to bring aud offer for sale
wagons in the southern part of the State.

During the war of 1812 he worked at moulding
shot and shell. He was twice called off as a minute-
man to guard the coast between Boston aud Plym-
outh ; he was also one of those who came to Wareham
at the time the frigate " Niuirod" was in the bay.

The first four years after his removal to Wareham
he was engaged with others in carrying ou a store
(near where the Wareham Bank now stands), building
and fitting out vessels for cod- and mackerel-iisliing.
The ship-yard was located where the depot now stands.

Mr. Savery sold out this business to Messrs. Nye
& Thompson, and soon after became interested with
I. & J. Pratt & Co. in an air-furnace at Tiho-
net. About 1824 he moved to Agawam, where he
built a cupola-furnace, as at that time it was not un-
derstood how to melt iron with hard coal. About
1825 he was induced to take and run a tavern and
grist-mill, which he did for eleven years. When the
present method of melting iron was discovered he dis-
posed of his cupola, and with others built a store and
furnace. Some years after l\e sold out to Samuel T.
Tisdale, Esq., and was never again in business.

He never liked the selling of distilled liquors,
although, according to the custom of the times, liquor
was sold in all the stores and hotels. Some four or
five years before he gave up the tavern he decided to
abandon the sale of liquors. He had a sigu eight feet
by eight inches suspended about eighteen feet above the
ground (just under the old tavern sign), on which was
inscribed, " No Ardent Spirits Sold Here." This was
a great departure from the customs then prevailing.



He was an ardeat Freemason, and it is said of him
that he clung to Freemasonry as his household di-
vinity, and on all proper occasions stood up boldly in
its defense.

He was much respected, and enjoyed the trust aud
confidence of the citizens of Wareham. Three times
he represented them in the popular branch of the
Legislature, and served with great acceptance and
fidelity eight years as one of the selectmen.

About 1839 he was nominated by a county con-
vention of the Whig party for the office of county
commissioner, aud was not aware that he had been
thought of as a candidate until duly notified of his
nomination. He and the other candidates on the
same ticket were elected, and refused to grant licenses
indiscriminately to stores and inns for the sale of
liquor. He held this office for twelve years in suc-

He was chosen by the Senate and House of 1853
as oue of the Council for Governor Clifford. He
knew nothing about the use of his name in that con-
nection uutil notified of his election. Indeed, it was
his frequent assertion that he never in any way solic-
ited any office that he ever held. In 1854 he was
one of Governor Emory Washburn's Council.

He served many years as justice of the peace, and
was familiarly known among his townsmen as Esquire

After he gave up active business and public life he
occasionally bought and sold woodland, did surveying,
administered on estates, served as referee, wrote deeds,
wills, etc.

His parents were poor, but always respected for
their virtues and uncompromising integrity, which
characteristics were inherited by their children (eight
in number).

His education was what could be obtained by at-
tending the common schools a few weeks in the year.
Although possessed of an ardent desire for a better
education, and in later years regretting his lack of it,
he nevertheless magnanimously waived what few op-
portunities he had in favor of his younger brothers
and sisters. He had a retentive memory and was
very fond of books, and made use of his leisure time
in treasuring up stores of knowledge. He was un-
commonly familiar with the Bible, especially the New
Testament. It is said of him that, at one time, he
could repeat it word for word. It is certainly true
that his wonderful memory enabled him to correct
any misquotation in an instant. This remarkable
tenacity of memory he retained to the very end of
his life.

He was a Universalis! in the best and broadest

sense of the term. During a period of his life in
Agawam he furnished a free hall for temperance lec-
tures and religious meetings, without any regard to
sect. The variety of talent at these meetings was
gTeat. On one occasion a sort of clerical tramp de-
livered a scathing attack upon Univcrsalism, at the
close of which he was approached by Esquire Savery,
who, in his usual quiet way, said that he had given
them " a very smart and ingenious discourse." The
self-styled " Rev." smiled complacently uutil Esquire
Savery remarked, " It is a curious circumstance, but
I have the same in a book, with an answer, and
should be pleased to show it to you," when his air
was very much changed, and he soon left the hall.

He was cool, deliberate, and self-possessed, without
austerity of manner. He was not a person to tell a
good story, although he could enjoy one ; yet he
never laughed or talked very loudly about anything.
He was fond of music, and occasionally played ou the
violin. He was very fond of his dogs, gun, and line,
as much so as his friend Daniel Webster, and when
they were together in their sports their humorous
playfulness would remind one of school children at
recess. One trait of his character was very remark-
able, viz., his power to read men at a glance. Fre-
quently, as new professional meu came to this town
and vicinity, bis opinion of them would be sought,
and the sequel would prove his opinion marvelously

He died of paralysis at his home in East Ware-
ham, May 15, 1873, leaving a widow aud one son.
Both are still living, the former at the advanced age
of ninety-four years.

Capt. James C. Luce. — Capt. James C. Luce,
although not a native of this town, was well knowu
by the citizens of Wareham. Here he married his
two wives, here he spent most of his time between
his early voyages, and here he and his family were

The fearful catastrophe that made his name known
all over the world has not yet faded from the tuiuds
of meu. A graphic account of the terrible disaster,
recently published in Deven'a " Our First Century,"
has brought it freshly to mind. The followiug ex-
tracts are taken from that work :

" Leaving Liverpool, Englaod, on the twentieth of Septem-
ber, 1854, the magnificent steamer ' Arctic,' of the Collins line,
plying between that city and New York, was on the seventh
day out, at noon, while running in a fog, totally engulfed, with
hundreds of souls, millions of treasure, and a heavy mail of in-
calculable value, in consequence of collision with the French
iron screw-steamer ' Vesta.' The 'Arctic' was commanded by
Capt. James C. Luoe. At the time of the collision Capt. Luce
was below, working out the position of the steamer. Ue iuime-



diately ran oa deck, and saw the iron ?teuiner under the star*
board bow, and passing astern, grazing and tearing the guards
in her progress. The bows of the strange vessel seemed to be

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 53 of 118)