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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minute-men that was formed in the towu about 1774,
and we find at the commencement of hostilities he
was the lieutenant of said company, uuder the com-
mand of Capt. Peleg Wadsworth, and was soou after
called into the service. Wheu the news of the battle
of Lexington reached Kingston he was at work
graving in the ship-yard, a process for cleaning the
bottoms of vessels, and for that purpose it was cus-
tomary to set fire to a tar-barrel and pass it under
the vessel, so as to burn or melt off the old substance
that it was desired to remove. He had just lighted
one and commenced using it, when his brother
James came into the yard with the exciting news.
He passed the burning barrel to another workmau,
and immediately left to join his company. On the
21st of April they marched to attack Balfour's com-
pany at Marshfield, au account of which is given in
the " Annals" on page 263. He received his regular
commission as lieutenant July 1, 1775, and on the
1st of January, 1776, he was commissioned as first
lieutenant. During the siege of Boston he was in
the most exposed camp of the besieging army at
Roxbury, under the command of Col. Thomas, his
fellow-townsman. A few years ago a letter was found,
writteu by him that winter to his sister, Mis. Lurana
Bartlett, wife of Capt. Joseph Bartlett, and it is t lie
only letter known to be in existence that he wrote to
his friends during the whole time of the war. The
letter is here given in full ;

"Cami- at Roxiiuuv, 29 Jan., 177b.

'* Dkar Sisthr, — As I was so unfortunute ua not to .sco you

the lust time I was in Kingston, will by theso few lines, instead

of a personal interview, let you know that my friends uro not

out of mind when out of sight. Can write you uo news uiorc



than tin?, thut I am very well, and our company all but one
soldier, who is very sick. There is great preparation making
here, but can only guess for what purpose. We have had sev-
eral deserters out ot' Boston, but learn no news from theui, ex-
cept that they expect a large reinforcement in the spring, and
then to drive us as they will; but I hope they will be so far
disappointed as that they will be glad to leave Boston before
March. All things remain very peaceable yet, and at times
can hardly believe myself in camp and within cannon-shot of
the enemy. M'e learn there is a large train of artillery, almost
sixty pieces, arrived at Watertown, but I believe you hear
more uewa than we do here. I understand there is more mili-
tia coming down, but I hope the same that came before will
not come again, and believe there's but little danger uf them
from Kingstun. I did intend to have made a visit to Kingston
before this tiuic, which made mo stay su little while when I was
there last, but I have waited, until general orders forbid any
officers going home; but my family I hear are in comfortable
circumstances, so I am noways uneasy about going home at
present. Give my compliments to Capt. Bartlett; tell him I
shall be glad to wait upon him again at Roxbury. So no more
at present, but hope when this unnatural war shall be eoded,
we shall meet in peace, when these light afflictions sball seem
to have been but for a moment. This from your afl'ectionate
and loving brother,

"Seth Dukw,"

After the British evacuated Boston, in March, the
Continental forces gradually marched to New York
and vicinity, and at the close of the year 177G Drew
was at Trenton, and was in active service at the mem-
orable battle there on the night of December 25th.
During that night he left his company for a moment
to ascertain the cause of a mysterious movement
going on in a house, when he was accosted by a sol-
dier, whom he supposed to be an American, but soon
discovered to be a Hessian. He iustantly stepped
back to his ranks, and was as soon fired upon. The
ball just missed him, but took effect upon oue of the
men, Mr. Kimball Kipley (father of the late Daniel
Kipley), woundiug him quite severely. In the au-
tuuiu of 1777 he was at Saratoga, and was in the
front of battle when Gen. Burgoyue surrendered to
Gen. Gates. In June, 177S, he was engaged on the
field at Monmouth, and that battle seemed to leave a
more lasting impression upon his mind than any of
his other experiences in the war. lie ranked as
captain iu the Second Massachusetts Regiment after
Jan. 1, 1777. All through the campaign at West
Point and vicinity in 177^-80 he was in active ser-
vice, and was one of the court-martial that tried
Joshua H. Smith for being an accomplice of Maj.
Andru. He received a major's commission before
the close of the war, and afterwards another raukim'
liiiu as major by brevet, wliich was a mistake, as it
would have ranked him as colonel, but be never cared
to have it rectified, and thus carried the title of major
throughout his life.

Iu 179b" he was appointed a justice of the peace

by Governor Samuel Adams. On the 15th of Sep-
tember, 1808, he was appointed by Gen. Heury
Dearborn, Secretary of War, an agent to superin-
tend the erection of forts at the Gurnet, in Plymouth
Harbor, and at Fairhaven. He represented the town
in the General Court for the years 179-1-95, 1797,
1803—1, and was the postmaster for many years, and
after his death his widow continued iu the office.
He married Hannah Brewster fa direct descendant
of Elder Brewster), Dec. 3, 1772, who through all
the years of the Revolution during the absence of
her husband, conducted the affairs of her family with
great prudence and foresight, even to the most rigid
economy. Maj. Drew, after returning from the
scenes of war, resumed his old occupation as a ship-
wright, and, after living an honored and useful life,
died peacefully on the 18th day of May, 182-1, in
the seveDty-seventh year of his age. His widow
died April, 1832, aged eighty years.

Four children survived them, — Hannah, born 1776,
married Eli Cook, Esq., and died iu 1861. Seth,
born 1778, well remembered by many of the present
generation as one of the founders, and for many years
a deacon, of the Baptist Church, prominent in all the
reformatory movements in the town, and ready for
every good work. He succeeded his father as mem-
ber of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati,
and was one of its standing committee at the time of
his death. He represented the town iu the General
Court, 1S35, 1837, and 1842. His death took place
Jan. 20, 1854. Sylvia, born 1785, married Thomas
Cushman, and died 1865. Francis, born 1788, and
died Dec. 9, 1S62. He was interested and well in-
formed in regard to the historical affairs of his native
town, and the diary he left lias been of assistance iu
compiling this sketch of the town.

Capt. Hezekiah Ripley was the son of Heze-
kiah and Abigail (Hunt) Ripley, and was born in
Duxbury, 1751. His pareuts afterwards lived and
died in Kingston. He entered the army, and was
soon commissioned as lieutenant iu Bailey's Second
Regiment, June 1, 1777, lieutenant and adjutant,
1780, brigade quartermaster, 1783. His residence
was at the Nook, near the place where John IIow-
land, the Pilgrim, lived, and there he died, Oct. 18,
1841, in his ninetieth year. He married Hannah
Tilden, who died June 17, 1860, aged ninety-lour.
Their children were Joseph T., who died Feb. 27,
1856, aged seventy ; Kenelm, who married Lydia
Otis, and was lost at sea December, 1830, aged
thirty-eight ; George, who died in New York, April
2, 1848, aged fifty-four; Harvey, who died in Cali-
fornia, Aug. 27, 1857, aged fifty; William; Lucia



W., wlio was married to Nathan B. Robbius, of
Plymouth, and died Jan. 19, 1820, aged twenty-
eight ; Marcia, who was married to Charles Otis.

Simeon Sampson. — This distinguished naval com-
mander was a native of Kingston. He was appointed
by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts the first
naval captain in the service, and commanded the brig
" Independence," and afterwards the " Mars,'' both
vessels being built at the Kingston Landing. In
1776 he captured five prizes, but was himself soon
after taken by Capt. Dawson, after a bloody conflict.
He died June 22, 1789, aged fifty-three years.

Lieut. Crocker Sampson was the eldest son
of Cornelius and Desire Sampson, and was born in
Kingstou, April 25, 1749. He entered the army,
and was ranked as ensign of the Fourteenth Massa-
chusetts Regiment, Jan. 1, 1777, and was promoted
to the rank of lieutenant in one of the fifteen bat-
talions, Gamaliel Bradford, colonel, by the resolves of
March 8 and June 28, 1779.

He was treasurer of the town during the years
1804 and 1S05. His death occurred July 7, 1823.
He married Rebecca Hawley, of Barnstable, 1794,
who died June 27, 1844, aged eighty-one and one-
half years. Four children survived them, viz. : Ben-
jamin, died 1832 ; Harriet, born 1797, married
Charles Fish and, second, Charles Adams ; Rebecca,
born 1799, married Mr. Crocker, of Barnstable ;
Lucy, born 1801, removed to California, where she
married Mr. Hobson.

Ensign James Sever was the son of Hon. Wil-
liam and Sarah Warren Sever, and was born Nov. 2,
17G1. At the early age of fourteen years he became
much interested in Revolutionary affairs, and was with
Gen. John Thomas awhile in camp at Roxbury, but
during the war ho entered Harvard College, where he
graduated in 1781. He then immediately joined the
army, and continued in the service the remaining two
years of the war. Iu 1798 he was appointed one of
the six post-captains in the United States navy by
President John Adams, and superintended the build-
ing of the frigate " Congress," at Portsmouth, N. H.,
and was afterwards her commander. He retired from
the navy iu 1801, and spent his days iu his native
town, living for many years in the house that was
built by Rev. Mr. Stacy, and stood on the same
grounds where now the residence of Joseph A.
Holmes is situated. In his later years he resided in
the house where his father, Judge Sever, lived, and
there he died Dec. 16, 1845. He married Jaue
Russell, of Plymouth, Feb. 22, 179C, who died 1840.
They had children, — James Warren, born 1797, mar-
ried Elizabeth P. Carter, 1836, graduate Harvard

College, 1817, and afterwards at West Point, where
he was appointed a cadet in the academy, but by the
solicitations of his friends did not accept the appoint-
ment. He then entered the law office of Governor
Levi Lincoln, in Worcester. In October, 1820, he
entered the merchant marine service in the employ of
the house of Thomas H. Perkins, of Boston. Iu
1849 he was elected lieutenaut-colonel of the Inde-
pendent Corps of Cadets in Boston. For many years
he was the recording secretary of the Society of the
Cincinnati, and was elected its president, 1866. His
death occurred in Boston, Jan. 16, 1871. His widow
bequeathed the large sum of one hundred thousand
dollars to Harvard College. The second son, Thomas
Russell, born 1798, died at sea, 1836. Jane Russell,
born 1802, died 1876 ; Elizabeth Parsons, born 1803,
died 1876; Sarah Ann Warren, born 1805.

The following list of men credited to Kingston iu
the Revolutionary war was found among the papers
of Gen. Goodwin, of Plymouth :

Peleg Wadsworth.
Joseph Satnpson.
Robert Cook.
David Bradford.
Joseph Everson.
Benjamin Waterman.
Benjamin Jeffrey.
Samuel Gilbert.
Jack Thompson.
Samuel Mollis.
Andrew Simmons.
Andrew Harlow.
Noah Simmons.
Solomon Wttitten.
John Jones.
Kli-lia Hall.
Seth Drew.
Ebenezer Washburn.
Samuel Gray.
Chandler Bradford.
Seth Everson.
Ebenezer Cobb (3d).
Simeon Hall.
Samuel Everson.
John Williams.
James Bassctt.
Lieut. Simmons.
John Gray.
Jobu Dotey.
Josiah West.
Barsillai Fuller.
Richard Johnson.
Joseph Chamberlain.
James Doten.
Asa Whiting.
Nathan Brewster.
Zadock Cook.
Judah Washburn.
Peleg Bradford.
Enoch Bradford.
Samuel Cole.

Thomus Morton.
Cornelius Drew.
Charles Green.
Samuel Beason.
John Wade.
Mark Marling.
Zcbcdiah Thompson.
Bcujituiiu I'arris.
James Wade.
Ichabod Churchill.
Barsillai Briggs.
Thomas Fish.
Francis Waterman.
Seth Magoon.
William Piatt.
Consider Fuller.
Benjamin Sampson.
Spencer Thomas.
Elisha Washburn.
Noah Bradford.
Samuel Randall.
Abner Holmes.
Noah Prince.
John Cushing.
William Sever.
John McLean.
James Dodge.
Charles King.
Joseph Griffin.
Benjamin Carter.
Matthew Panis.
Jouathun Torrey.
Benjamin Munro.
Josiuh Hatch.
John Tinkham.
Isaac Fish.
Henry Stetson.
James Murdock.
Wally Holmes.
Zndock Thomas.
Simeon Cook.



Jabcz Eaton.
Pelcg Bradford, Jr.
Zeoas Waterman.
Andrew Murdock.
Sylvanus Bradford.

Names of men credited

Antonio Beytes.
George D. Beytes.
Peter Winsor.
Chester II. Fuller.
George S. Thomus.
Cephas Washburn, Jr.
Lciuttol Pratt.
Joseph Pratt.
Edward A. Pratt.
Andrew R. Stranger.
John O'Brien (2d).
James Flynn.
William M. S. Uolmes.
Albert Drew.
John F. Hartin.
Charles F. Washburn.
Henry W. Cushman.
John Washburn.
Dauiel 0. Sherman.
Jairus Howlaud.
Edward Joyce.
George H. Morton.
Patrick O'Brien.
Thomas Southwurth.
Charles Everson.
Patrick Smith.
Francis C. Hill.
John F. Perkins.
Henry Soule, Jr.
John Scollard.
Altheus Brewster.
Melzar A. Foster.
William G. Foster.
Henry S. Holmes.
George L. Churchill.
William F. Holmes.
John A. Chandler.
Benjamin F. Gray.
Allyn Holmes, Jr.
William Kasper.
Jerry McCarty.
Adouiruiu J. Oldham.
Waldo II. Peterson.
Thomas Prince.
Nutbaniel A. Washburn.
Henry Washburn.
James II. Thompson.
Charles H. Thayer.
Charles K. Bryant.
Henry F. Perkins.
Wintlirop H. Mango.
James S. Douley.
Philip M. Washburn.
Charles W. Mitchell.
Harvey 0. Mitchell.
Albion Bradford.
Alexander K. Ripley.
William O'Brien.

Nathaniel King.
Ephruitu Everson.
John Johnson.
Samuel Tupper.
Jacob Fish.

to Kingstou in the war of

Andrew Bird.
Charles Rhodes.
John Robinson.
John Dobbs.
Joseph M. (Jerry.
John Dowden.
Henry Weaver.
James Cornell.
Allen II Gillispio.
James Heeney.
John Green.
Charles J. Foster.
Philip Schroeder.
George W. Keezar.
Charles Nuttall.
Josiah B. Gale.
William H. Winsor.
George Spencer.
George White.
Charles Miller.
John R. Alexander.
Winsluw C. Barnes.
Albert C. Wilson.
Michael Cooley.
Walter Nolan.
Edward Burns.
Michael Clark.
Richard E. Davis.
Lawrence Gatfney.
Otis Parrott.
Michael Dalton.
Foster Willis.
Francis M. Kennedy.
Harvey L. Ransom.
Edwin II. Richardson.
Oscar F. Wixon.
Jobu Murphy.
William Bredch.
James Ryan.
Thomas Charlton.
John Wheeler.
Edmund Reed.
Patrick O'Rourke.
John F. Goldsboro.
William Savery.
Zeph. G. P. Andrews.
Albert Pratt.
Haynes C. Aldrich.
James Heary.
John Hart.
John Anderson.
Samuel Davis.
Henry L. Spooner.
Henry Never.
Charles Brown.
Edward Barnes.
Elijah Knox.
Lawrenco Gusner.

Briggs 0. Keene.
Oliver H. Bryant.
George B. Bryant.
William Soule.
E. Lyman Richardson.
Franklin Reed.
Edmund F. Simmons.
George F. Stetson.
Fred. W. Carter.
George H. Bagnall.
Asa W. Hewett.
Nathaniel J. Foster.
John A. Joyce.
Hugh J. Curran.
Farrell Burns.
Elisha T. French.
Muses M. Chace.
Charles F. Webster.

David D. Babbitt.
Charles H. Barnes.
George II. Cobb.
George Drew (3d).
Harvey B. Gririiu.
Martin L. Harlow.
Perley Haven.
Luther W. Hayward.
George F. Jackson.
James R. McLauthlin.
Oliver C. Porter.
Thomas Smith.
William F. Spooner.
Morton Thompson.
Seranus Thompson.
William S. Sherman.
Columbus Adauts.
Thomas P. Mullen.

Edmund M. Leach.
The following citizens of Kingston died in the ser-
vice, and their names are inscribed on the soldiers'
monument erected in 1883 :

George D. Beytes.
Henry W. Cushman.
Melzar A. Fostor.
Allyn Holmes, Jr.
William Holmes.
Thomas Mullen.
William O'Brien.
Waldo II. Peterson.

Martha Sever died while
wounded soldiers of our army.

Edward A. Pratt.
E. Lyman Richardson.
George Sampson.
George F. Stetson.
Benjamin F. Thayer.
Nathaniel Washburn, Jr.
Benjamin 0. Wilherell.
Harvey L. Ransom.

nursing the sick and



Ship-Building. — This has been one of, if not the
most important of industries of the town from a very
early date, and continued to be so until about I860.
Before the separation from Plymouth, vessels were
built on Jones River and vicinity. As far as is now
known, the first building-yard was that of Mr. Caleb
Stetson's, at Stony Brook " landing-place," a locality
hardly known to the people of the present generation.
It was situated close by the old brick-yard belonging
to the late Deacon Foster, and near to the place
where trees are now growing in the meadow. Per-
sons now living recollect of vessels going there to be
loaded with bricks, but Deacon Foster stated a few
years before his death that it had not been used as a
landing-place for merchandise since the year 17C6,
when a vessel laden with lumber came to the wharf
there, and it was used in building the house of
Nathan Bradford, the same now standing on the
estate of the late Thomas Bailey. In a deed given



iu 1714, a portion of land is described as being
" near to the landing place where Caleb Stetson's
buildiug yard was wont to be," so that probably the
business was carried on elsewhere previous to the
time last mentioned. May 8, 1727, Caleb Stetson
sells part of a vessel to John Brewster, " for and in
consideration of Fifty nine pounds Good aud Lawfull
money of New England, One quarter part of the
Hull or body of a New Deckt Sloop by me built
aud Launched into Jones River, in Kingston, some
time in March last, called the ' Kingston,' Burthen
about Forty One Touns."

About the year 1729 the Drews began ship-build-
ing in the town, in connection with the Stetsons.
Their ancestor, John Drew, who arrived in Plymouth
about 1060, was a ship-builder, and some of his de-
scendants down to the fifth generation have been
engaged in the same business, and always had a repu-
tation iu Duxbury aud Kingston, as well as in Plym-
outh, of being superior workmen. Samuel Drew
was in Duxbury 1713 (where his son, Samuel, who
died in 1800, afterwards lived), but came to Kingston
with his eldest son, Cornelius, at the time before men-
tioned, and died 1739. Cornelius Drew lived until
1762, wheu his sons, William, James, Zenas, Seth,
Abijah, and Cornelius succeeded to the business,
either as owners or builders. During the war of the
Revolution they built the government ships " Mars"
and " Independence."

Stephen Drew, the son of James, was engaged in
the business after 1785. That year he bought of
Elisha Brewster " half of a landing and wharf," and
he sold the same to Joseph Holmes the first part of
this century. Iu Francis Drew's diary it is recorded
that during the year 1806 a ship, brig, schooner, and
sloop were launched at the landing by the different
builders, and in 1807 three brigs aud a schooner were
in process of construction. Mr. Holmes lived to an
advanced age, dying April 8, 1863. Throughout
his long business life there was hardly a year but
that vessels of some kind were being built by him,
niakiug on an average more than one each year for
more than sixty years. A short time before his death a
list of the different vessels that he had built, with their
names, tonnage, etc., was published, and by that we
ascertain that thirteen ships, nine barks, seventeen
brigs, thirty-four schooners, and two sloops were con-
structed, making, in the aggregate, thirteen thousand
four hundred and eleven tons.

Numbers of vessels were also built by Benjamin
Delano, John aud James N. Sever, and Alexander
Holmes, and many of them were constructed by
Lysander Bartlett, Sr. and Jr. The fishing business

was at one period carried on quite extensively, as some
years twenty-three vessels sailed fur the Grand Banks.
Capt. Philip Washburn was engaged iu the business
for many years in succession, and it has been stated
that he passed successively more than fifty of our
uatioual anniversaries on the fishing-banks. It is
many years since this business bugan to decline, and
therefore it is not of any importance at the present

Iron Manufactories. — The art of casting iron ves-
sels in saud, the first work of the kind in the colony,
was introduced in this town by Jeremy Floro, au
Englishman, about 1735. Previously moulds were
made in clay, which made a superior casting, but the
process was slow. Mr. Floro died in Plyuiptou about
1755, aged nearly ninety years.

Forges. — In 1751 a forge, or iron-mill, was stand-
ing in the northwestern part of the town, near the
" mouth of Jones River Pond," aud in later years
similar works have existed iu the same neighborhood.
During the second war with England, in 1S14, an-
chors were there made for the ship " Independence"
by Hyde, Holmes & Co. (see " Annals'' of that date).
Farther down the river, in the village of Triphammer,
the well-known anchor-forge has been iu operation
for many years under the management of Jedediah
Holmes, then of George Holmes, Stafford Sturtevant,
and Alexander Holmes, and in latter years of Frank
H. Holmes.

Iron-Works at Stony Brook. — In 1753 a grist-
mill was standing on the site uow occupied by the
rivet-factory built by Caleb Bates a few years since.
Before that date a saw-mill had been erected there,
and it must have been one of the earliest of the kind
in the colony. During the first part of the preseut
century Seth Washburn had water-works on the
same privilege, where he manufactured iron-work for
vessels. At a later period Deacon Seth Drew had
similar works there, aud he was succeeded by his sou,
Job W. Drew, who continued a ship-smith until his
death, Oct. 17, 1869.

Screw-Augers. — It has been claimed that John
Washburn, of this town, who died in 1S01, invented
the screw-auger the latter part of the last century.
Thomas Cushman & Sons engaged in the manufac-
ture of augers for several years at their works on
Smelt Brook, the place now occupied by Cobb &
Drew. Nahuui Bailey and C. P. Drew it Co. tarried
on the business for many years at their respective
works on Stony Brook, and augers are still manufac-
tured at the last-named establishment.

Tacks, Rivets, Etc. — John Washburn iuvented
also cut nails and tacks, but the blauks were cut iu



one machine, and they were then picked up one by
one and put in the places where they were to be
headed. It was reserved fur Jesse Reed, then of
Kingston, to put an improvement upon this first in-
vention, so that the cutting and heading of the uail
was one operation, and that made it a commercial
success. His machines were patented 1809-10-11.
Since then the manufacture of tacks has been one of
the active industries of the town. During the last
forty years the Reeds at the northwest part of the
town, Henry Soule aud J. A. Fuller in the Indian
Pond District, Thomas Russell, Thomas Bicknell,
Cobb it Drew, and Kimball W. Stetson at Second
Brook, have engaged in the busiuess. For a few
years past Cobb & Drew have manufactured tacks
and rivets at Smelt Brook, and the Old Colony Rivet
Company at Stony Brook are at present manufac-
turing rivets.

In the early part of this century there was a fur-
nace or iron foundry in the Indian Pond District, of
which John Faunce was the original proprietor.
After 1S40 the old Baptist meeting-house was con-
verted into a foundry, and it was in operation several
years. At a later period a fouudry was established
on Smelt Brook, where the works of Cobb & Drew
are now situated.

Cotton-Factories. — Jedediah Holmes, Jr., built a
cotton-factory at Triphammer in 1813. It was in
operation until August, 1824, when it was struck by
lightning and entirely consumed.

Johnson, Hyde & Co. erected a cotton-factory near
Adams' mill about 1818. This was destroyed by
fire in March, 1845. Soon after another building
was erected, which was known for twenty-five years
or more as Newcomb's Factory.

Burial-Grounds. — There had been a tradition that
the lot where the Patuxet House now stands was an
Indian burial-place, aud from time to time, for the
past seventy years or more, remains have been found
while excavations were being made, all tending to
show that such was the fact, yet no one had ever sup-
posed, until 1881, that instead of its being a burial-
place for the Indian it might have been the resting-
place of the early colonists who settled about Jones

At that time, while Mr. L. H. Keith was grading
his grounds between his dwelling-house and the Pa-

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 65 of 118)