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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literally crushed or cut otf for ten feet, and. seeing that she must
probably sink in ten minutes, Capt. Luce took a glance at his
otvn ship, and believing her to be comparatively uninjured, the
boats were cleared, and the first otlicer and six men left with a
boat to board the stranger aud ascertain her damage. The en-
gineers were immediately instructed to put on the steam pumps,
and lour deck-pumps were worked by the passengers and crew.
The ship was at once headed fur the land, and several ineffec-
tual attempts were made to stop the leak by getting sails over
the bows. Finding that the leak was gaining very fast, not-
withstanding the very powerful effortd made- to keep the ship
free, Capt. Luce resolved to get the boats ready, and. have as
many ladies and children in them as possible.

" No sooner, however, had an attempt been made to do this
thuu the tireuien and others rushed into the boats in spite of
all opposition. Seeing this otate of things, the captain ordered
the boats astern to be kept in readiness until order could be
restored, when to his dismay he saw them cut the rope in the
bow, and soon disappear astern in the fog. Another boat was
broken down by persons rushing in at the davits, and many
were precipitated into the sea and drowned. This occurred
while the captain had been engaged in getting the starboard
guard-boat ready. He had placed the second otlicer in charge,
when tlie same scene was enacted as with the first boat. He
then gave orders to the second officer to let go and tow after
the ship, keeping near the stern, to be ready to take the women
and children as soon as the tires were out and the engine should
stop. The quarter-boat was found broken down, but hanging
by one tackle; a rush was made for her also, some fifteen get-
ting in, und, cutting the tackle, were soon out of sight. Not a
seaman was now left on board, nor a carpenter; there were no
tools to assist in building a raft as the only hope, and the only
otlicer left was Mr. Dorian, the third mute, who worked nobly
for the success of all.

"To form a ruft it becauie necessary to get the only remain-
ing boat — a life-boat — into the water. This being accomplished,
Mr. Dorian, the chief officer of the boat, taking care to keep
the oars on board the steamer to prevent those in the boat from
leaving the ship, proceeded to work, still hoping to be able to
get the women and children on board bis boat at last. They had
made considerable progress in collecting spurs when the alarm
was given that the ship was sinking, and the boat was shoved
off without any oars.

u /h an instant after, at about a quarter past jive, P.M., the
*htp went down, carrying every noul on board with her.

" Captain Luce soon found himself on the surface after a
brief struggle with his child in his arms, then aguin found
himself impelled downward to a greater depth, and before
reaching the surface a second time had nearly perished, losing
the huld of his child as be struggled upwards. On thus getting
to the surface of the water once more the most awful and heart-
rending scene presented itself; over two hundred men, women,
und children were struggling together amid pieces of tho wreck,
calling upon ench other for help and imploring God to assist
them. Amid this struggling muss of human beings be dis-
covered his child, and was in the act of trying to save him,
when a portion of the paddle-box came rushing up edgewards,
just grazing the captain's head, and fulling with its whole weight
upon the head of the helpless child. The last sound Captain
Luce heard from his drowning invalid boy was the heart-
rending cry, ' Papa, tell mamma, Good- by !'

u i 'upturn Luce succeeded in getting on the top of the paddle-
box, in company with eleven others; one, however, soon left

for another piece, and others remained until relieved by death.
Those who were left stood in the water up to their knees, the aea
frequently breaking over them; and the suffering party were
soon reduced by death to Captain Luce and one other, who,
alter an exposure of forty-Bix hours, were rescued by the ship
'Cambria,' Captain Russell, bound to Quebec.

"Captain Grann, who was a passenger on board, says the
conduct of Captain Luoe was calm, manly, courageous to the
last; he declared, ' The fate of the ship shall be mine.' Every
possible effort was made by Captain Luee to have the women,
children, and passengers first cared for. Thus, when one of the
men attempted to leave, the captain caught him and tore the
shirt off the man's back to prevent him from going, exclaiming,
' Let the paaienyert go in the boat!' He also seized a kind of
axe, and attempted to prevent the firemen from reaching the
boat; but it was 'every one for himself,' and finally no more
attention was paid to the captain than to any other man on

After this terrible experience Capt. Luce never
sailed upon the " high seas'* again, although he lived
for a quarter of a century afterwards, dying July 9,

His first wife was Mary B. Leonard, a daughter of
Roland Leonard, Esq. She died April 13, 1S3G,
aged twenty-six years, during her husband's absence
on a voyage to England.

His second wife, Elizabeth Fearing, who was a
daughter of William Fearing, Esq., and a grand-
daughter of the brave Gen. Israel Fearing, died
March 29, 1882. They are all buried in the ceme-
tery at Wareham Centre.

Names that must not be Omitted. — Rufus
Lincoln enlisted at the commencement of the Revo-
lutionary war, rose to the rank of captain, and fought
in the battle of Bern is 1 Heights, Princeton, and other
battles. He was at one time taken prisoner and kept
for a long time in a prison near Philadelphia.

Nathan Savcry and John Bourne marched into the
fort at Ticonderoga, under Col. Ethan Allen, when he
demanded its surrender " in the name of the Great
Jehovah and the Continental Congress." They were
also present at the taking of Crown Point.

Lieut. Josiah Smith was a member of the "Soci-
ety of Cincinnati" and one of Washington's life-
guard. He fought in the battles of Saratoga, Mon-
mouth, and Yorktown, and was one of " Mad
Anthony's" forlorn hope that stormed and captured
Stony Point. This brave old soldier

"Sank to rest,
With all his country's honors blest,"

in 1845, at the advanced age of ninety-two, and was
buried with military honors.

William Bates, Esq., in early life so distinguished
himself in the battle of Bladensburg that honorable
mention is made of him in history. He subsequently

.7^ u£. 7^76tsur^-e^



became a Doted instructor of youth, fitting many
young men tor college, filled various local offices with
honor, and at one time ran for the office of Secretary
of State in this commonwealth, but his party ticket
was defeated. His ability, both natural and acquired,
was of a high order.

Seth Leonard performed a feat during the war of
1812 that would have gained him deification among
the ancients. He happened to be in Stonington,
Conn., when the British frigate "Nimrod" attempted
to enter that harbor. Causing an old cannon to be
hastily mounted, he, almost single-handed aud alone,
served it with such precision and effect that the
frigate was obliged to retire to repair damages.
What Israel Fearing did for Fairhaven, Mass., in
the war of the Revolution, Seth Leonard did for
Stonington, Conn., in the war of 1812, — saved it
from destruction.

Capt. John Kendrick was one of the early ex-
plorers of the Northwestern coast, and under his com-
mand the Columbia River was discovered and the
American flag first carried around the world. On old
maps his voyage was represented by a line across the
Pacific and Southern Oceans. He came to his death
by the hand of savage barbarism in the isles of the
Pacific. The house where he long resided in Ware-
ham is iu a good state of preservation.

In " Appleton's Cyclopaedia" it is stated that the
Columbia River was discovered in 1792 by Capt.
Robert Gray ; but an old history, found some years
ago in Burnham's antique book-store, Boston, says it
was discovered prior to that date by Capt. John Ken-
drick, of Wareham.



Frederic Augustus Sawyer, M.D. (Harvard), son
of Deacon Samuel and Eunice (Houghton) Sawyer,
of Sterling, Mass., was born in Sterling, April 4,
1832. His father was born in Sterling, Nov. 13,
1800; was a farmer, and owned and occupied the
same farm that his father and grandfather had be-
fore him. He was a prominent citizen, a man of
sterling integrity, and an exemplary Christian.
Samuel Sawyer was a son of Capt. Ezra and his
wife, Matha (Sawyer) Sawyer. Ezra Sawyer was
bom in Sterling, March 20, 1764, and Mathu, his

wife (daughter of Capt. Samuel and Phebe (Cooper)
Sawyer), born in Second Precinct of Lancaster, Oct.
30, 1772. The lineage of the family is traced still
further back through Capt. Ezra Sawyer (who died
in the Revolutionary war}, born at Second Precinct
of Lancaster Aug. 18, 1730 ; his father, Ezra Saw-
yer, born at Lancaster 1702 ; his father, Nathaniel
Sawyer, born at Lancaster 1670, to Thomas Sawyer,
who emigrated from Lincolnshire (England) to Amer-
ica 1635 or 1636 at about twenty-one years of age,
and was a native of England. Thomas Sawyer re-
sided first at Rowley, Mass., but in 1647 went with
the first proprietors to settle the then new town ot
Lancaster. He was married to Mary Prescott, and
had a family of eleven children, of whom Nathaniel
was the youngest.

Frederic A. Sawyer (representing the seventh
generation of the family in America) received his
early education in the public schools of his native
town, and in Lancaster Academy and Lawrence Acad-
emy, Groton, Mass. He began the study of his pro-
fession in the Tremont Street Medical School, at
Boston, in March, 1853, having in that school for
his instructors the following distinguished physicians
and surgeons : Dra. Jacob Bigelow, D. H. Storer,
O. W. Holmes, J. B. S. Jackson, H. J. Bigelow,
R. M. Hodges, E. H. Clarke, S. Durkee, and Pro-
fessor J. Cooke.

He continued a pupil in the school till March,
1856, except a few months in 1854, when he was in
the office of Drs. P. T. Kendall and T. H. Gage, of
Sterling. During this time he attended the lectures
of the Harvard Medical College, and saw the prac-
tice of the Massachusetts General Hospital. He
graduated as doctor of medicine in the Harvard
Medical School in March, 1856, and in July of the
same year began practice in Sterling, succeeding in
that town the eminent surgeon and physician, Dr.
Thomas H. Gage, of Worcester, Mass. He remained
in his native town in active practice till Juno, 1862,
when he removed to Greenfield, Mass., where he en-
tered into copartnership with his brother-in-law, Dr.
A. C. Deane, whose health had become impaired,
aud continued with him in practice till his removal
to Wareham, in March, 1864 (with the exception of
his service in the army), where for over twenty years
he has had a liberal patronage from the people of
Wareham and surrounding towns. He was admitted
a Fellow of the Massachusetts Medical Society in
March, 1856, and has frequently held the office of
councillor and censor in the Bristol South District
Medical Society, of which he was president in the
years 1883 and 1884. He represented the society as



a delegate to the annual meeting of the American
Medical Association at St. Louis in 1873, and has
since been a permanent member of that association.
He held the office of United States examining sur-
geon for the Pension Bureau eighteen years, from
April, 1864, to April, 1882, wheu he resigned. In
the war of the Rebellion he was appointed acting sur-
geon of Camp Miller, Greenfield, Mass., and was
commissioned surgeon of the Fifty-second Regiment
Massachusetts Volunteers, Oct. 20, 1862, and fol-
lowed its fortunes through its term of service.

The Fifty-second Regiment was recruited in the
counties of Hampshire and Franklin, and organized
at Camp Miller. It proceeded to New York Nov.
19, 1862, and embarked November 29th, and sailed
in the steamer " Illinois," December 2d, for the De-
partment of the Gulf with Banks' expedition, aud
wintered at Baton Rouge, La. It marched to Port
Hudson, and returned in March, 1863, and then
took part in the Teche campaign aud the siege of
Port Hudsou, participating, Juue 14, 1863, in the
assault upon that place. It returned home and was
mustered out in August, 1863, being the first regi-
ment to make the voyage of the Mississippi after that
river had been opened by the capture of Vicksburg
and Port Hudsou. In November, 1863, Dr. Sawyer
was detailed by the surgeon-general of Massachusetts
inspecting surgeon for Franklin County. After his
service in the army he received the following letter
from the surgeon-general :

" Boston, July 23, 1S64.
"It gives me pleasure to state thut Dr. F. A. Sawyer, late
Surgeou 52d Massachusetts Vols., is a regular physician in
good standing and of unblemished reputation. He served with
distinction in the service as Surgeon. He is a gentleman of
thorough professional training, excellent good sense, of pleas-
ant and courteous manners, yet firm in the discharge of any
duty he conscientiously knows to be right.

" VVsr. J. Dale,
" Suryeon-Qetieral."

In politics Dr. Sawyer has been a steadfast Repub-
lican since 1856, at times taking an active part. He
is tolerant in his religious views, and attends the
Episcopal Church.

July 29, 1856, he married Helen Maria Deane,
daughter of the late Dr. Christopher Deane, of Cole-
raiu, Mass., and granddaughter of the late Dr. Sam-
uel Ross, of the same town, by whom he has had four
children, two sons and two daughters, of whom
Charles Packard, Sarah Heleu, aud Fanny Austin
Sawyer are now living.


Fifty years ago the New England country physician
was generally a prominent figure in his locality, and
this seems to have been especially true of the subject
of our sketch.

Perez Fobes Doggett was born in Tuuntou, Mass.,
June 2, 1806. His father was the Rev. Simeon
Doggett, prominent for many years in educational
circles of the Old Colony. His grandfather on his
mother's side was the Rev. Perez Fobes, long pro-
fessor of Philosophy in Brown University, and for
two years its acting president, and back of these two
worthies there seems to have been a long unbiokeu
line of ministerial ancestors.

Doggett's early life seems to have been spent upon
his father's large farm, and his educatiou to have
been largely obtained in his father's library. For two
years we find him in Florida, assisting an older brother
in a mercantile business. Returning thence to New
England, by the well-considered advice of both his
parents, and following his own inclinations, he en-
tered upon the study of medicine with Dr. Usher
Parsons, a distinguished member of the profession,
and in large practice in Providence, R. I. Two years
later he entered at the Jefferson Medical School,
Philadelphia, graduating therefrom after the usual
three-years' course at the age of twenty-five, and soon
after began the practice of his profession in Warehaiu,
Mass. A year later he married Lucy Maria, a daugh-
ter of William Fearing, a successful business man of
his adopted town. Dr. Doggett seems to have sprung
at once into a good practice, and thereafter fur forty-
four years went in and out among his friends, neigh-
bors, and patrons in his own and surrounding towns,
meeting with the success which a man well equipped
for his business may command. Falling at the End
upon the street, a professional call just made, in
apparently full possession of physical and mental
health, and at the age of sixty-nine.

Dr. Doggett was not a brilliant man, and in some
directions he was as simple-minded as a child, but it
is believed few men bring to the study and practice
of their profession more of those peculiar and varied
mental and physical qualifications which help to make
up the true physician or surgeon. Timid and slow
in some departments of life, in everything relating to
his profession he was always on the alert, — quick to
see and prompt to act. Proving himself the well-
trained, patieut, conscientious physician, whose judg-
ment was not often at fault, he also demonstrated by
delicate operations, skillfully performed, that a bril-
liaut surgeou was only concealed by his narrow field
and lack of opportunity.



Not a great deal is known concerning what is now
Pembroke prior to its incorporation. Before 1712
nearly all the territory that the limits of Pembroke
now embrace was Duxbury. The Indian name of
Duxbury was Mattakeeset, but the western part of
what is now Pembroke was generally called Namassa-

In March, 1641, the bounds of Duxbury were
fixed at a court: " Ordered that the bounds of Dux-
burrow Township shall begin where Plymouth bounds
do end ; namely, at a brook falling into Blackwater,
and so along the Massachusetts path to the North
river." This path was the regular line of travel be-
tween the Plymouth and Massachusetts Colonies.
Tradition says it crossed the Indian Head River near
where Clapp's rubber-factory now stands. It was at
this place that James Luddeu, an early settler of Wey-
mouth, acting as guide to Governor Winthrop and
Rev. Mr. Wilson while on their journey to Plymouth
in 1632, took their Honors over the river on his back.
The Governor named it Ludden's Ford. This name
is now Lowden. Namassakeeset was ordered to belonsr


to Duxbury about the year 1658. In 1665, Robiu-
son's Creek was ordered to be the bounds between
Duxbury's laud and Scituate. The land below Rob-
inson's Creek was included in the two-mile purchase
made by Mr. Hatherly and his associates of Scituate
of the Indian chief Josiah Wampatuck. Tradition
says that this stream derived its name from a Robin-
son who lived near it.

The tradition of the Barker family is that in 162S
or 1630, Francis Barker and his brother, who were
among the Plymouth adventurers, took a boat and
coasted along the shore till they came to the North
River, which tbey ascended to near where L. Lefurgey's
mill now stands. They built a house of stones, one
story high and one room. This, with the additions
that have since been made, is the " old garrison house,"
said to be the oldest house in the United States. In
1679 this house was converted into a garrison, and
was fortified with hewed timber. This house has

been occupied by Barkers in direct line from Francis
till the death of Peleg in 1883, — two hundred aod
fifty-three years. The line is Francis, Isaac, Isaac, Jr.
(born about 1660, and a very active business mau
from 1700 to 1730. About 1740, being about eighty
years old, he went to Plymouth to hear Whitefield
preach, and became religiously insane, and was chained
to a sill in the south front room the rest of his life),
Prince, Isaac, and Peleg.

In 1684, Lieut. Robert Barker owned laud at Pud-
ding Brook, at Robinson's Creek, and at North River,
over against a place called Palmer's Landing-place.
In 1693 permission was given to Robert Barker to
build a mill on Pudding Brook at Beaver Dam. This
probably stood where the two piers make out in James
H. West's mill-pond.

James Bushop owned land at Indian Head River
in 1679. He was alive in 1710.

Thomas Bonney had land iu Namassakeeset in 1640,
and William Bouney in 1694 ; William Brett in 1640.
Dolor Davis had a grant of fifty acres in 1640.
He transmitted good blood to his posterity. Three
Governors have descended from him, — John Davis,
John Davis Long, and George D. Robinson.

Stephen Bryant, styled of the Major's Purchase,
married, in Duxbury, Sarah Magoon, Nov. 23, 1710.
He was the progenitor of our honored townsmen,
Martin Bryant, Esq., and William H. H. Bryant, Esq.

In 1701 the town gave Lambert Despard consent
to purchase about fourteen acres of land of an Indian
named Jeremiah. This land was on the Herring
Brook, the site of Foster's mill, and in the vicinity of
the Furnace Pond. Simeon Chandler says that a
curse followed the purchase, and from that day to this no
one has prospered who has owned that mill property.

Mr. Despard sold a portion of it in 1702 to Robert
Barker, Samuel Barker, Franois Barker, Joshua Bar-
ker, and Josiah Barker, all of Duxbury, and Robert
Barker, Jr., and Michael Wanton, of Scituate, with
the privilege of erecting iron-works on the stream
issuing from the Herring Pond at Mattakeeset.




About this time a furnace was built, and castings
made then are still extaut.

Thomas Hayward owned land at Namassakeeset in
1040, also William Kemp and John Kidbye; John
Prince, Jr., in 1G09, Robert Sprout iu 160S.

Capt. Miles Standish owned land here in 1651, and
sold thirty-five acres to Robert Barker. Joseph Rod-
gers had fifty acres of land on North River in 1040.
Samuel Seabury owned land also on North River and
at the Brick- Kilns. John Holmes had a large grant
of land at Robinson's Creek in 1005. Tradition says
he lived at the foot of the hill, opposite the house of
Jonathan J. Simmons, and gave the name to the hill.

Joseph Stockbridge lived near Indian Head River
in 1072, and lived to be one hundred years old.

Abraham Booth had a grant in 1710. This was
what has been known as the " Briggs farm," now
owned by Lot Litchfield. He was a Quaker, and
after the incorporation of the town appears to have
been an active man, a good deal engaged in towu

John Tisdell had a grant of land, which he sold to
William Brett in 1657. He removed to Taunton, and
was murdered by the Indians in 1675.

Stephen Tracy, William Tubbs, Thomas Weyburne,
John Willis, and William Witherell had grants of
land at Namassakeeset about 1640.

The measures which led to the incorporation of
Pembroke will be seen from the following copies of
papers in the 113th volume of the State Archives,
labeled " Towns 2."

In 1711 the inhabitants of the northwestern part
of Duxbury presented the following petition to the
Legislature :

" Whereas we, the inhabitants of the northwest of Duxbury,
commonly called Mattakeeset, are far remote from the meeting-
house and publio worship of God in said town or any other
town, a grievance many of us have for a long time laid under
(though we have done our parts towards the support and
maintenance of the public worship of God in said town, yet by
reason of our remoteness could rarely attend the same) and
many other inconveniences, that do attend our remoteness.

" That now by the blessing of God being increased to a con-
siderable number of families, and the two precincts or neigh-
borhoods, next adjacent to us, viz. : one belonging to the town
of Marshficld, and the othor called the Major's Purchase, whose
inhabitants are in the same condition with ourselves, of re-
motoness from any place of public worship of God amongst
ourselves, and such other conveniences which are necessary
for a town, whereunto we have raised, covered and enolosed a
public meeting-house. We do therefore most humbly pray the
Great and General Court to grunt the said three precincts or
tracts of land, viz. : Mattakeeset, the tract of laud belonging to
MarshBeld, and lying to the southwestward of Mattakeeset, and
the land called the Major's Purchase to be a township, and that
it may be called Brookfield ; that the bounds between Brooktield
and Duxbury muy be from the easterly side of Matthew Keen's

land in a straight line to Pine Brook, where the way goes over
it. The bounds of the whole tract containing the precincts
aforesaid is us followeth, viz., towards the south partly by Dux-
bury and partly by Plymouth and Plympton, and towards tho
west by Bridgewater, and towards the north by East Scituate.

" And forasmuch as the public ministry or ministers of the
said town of Duxbury have been accommodated out of the com-
mon land in said town, and the new meeting-house wholly built
by the products of the sale of some part thereof, wherein we of
Mattakeeset had a good right in proportion as they, though
little benefited thereby by reason of our remoteness, and there-
fore think it just that we should be now accommodated in liko
manner, and therefore humbly pray this Great and General
Court to order such quantity of the said undivided and com-
mon land in the said town of Duxbury to be laid out and ap-
propriated to the use of a successive ministry of the Gospel in
our desired town of Brookfield, and to settle our first miuister

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 54 of 118)