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Dedham (Mass.).

Proceedings at the celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Dedham, Massachusetts, September 21, 1886 online

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A larger brush, a hand more bold,

Should paint the picture of the past,
That when the story once is told,

Each tale, unperishing, may last.
Perchance my sympathies may err,

Yet must I rank as one of those
Who study Cromwell's character,

And not the wart upon his nose.



Therefore, although some other hand

Might many a blemish find, and flaw.
From when thou craved'st the Indian's land

And choused him under form of law,
I see alone the purpose high.

The courage stern, the steadfast aim,
Which strengthening as the years rolled by

Gave us a country and a name.



I see the spirit that awoke

A George's petty tyranny.
Till time was ripe, then snapped the yoke

And made the infant nation free ;
That moved resistless as the flood,

To keep that sacred flame alive,
Unsparing of its dearest blood

From Sixty-one to Sixty-five.



Mother of Towns and Men ! We bow
In filial reverence here to-day.

May years lie lightly on thy brow,

May health and peace be thine alway ;

Be honored centuries hence as now.
We proudly hope, we humbly pray.



208 THE TOWN OF DEDHAM.



III. — Page 12.

CHAPTER XXX.

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS.

In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty-six.

An Act to aiitJiorize the Toimt of Dedham to raise money for the Celebra-
tion of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth An7iiversary of its Incorporation.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in

General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,

as follows: —

Section i. The Town of Dedham is authorized to raise by
taxation a sum of money not exceeding one tenth of one per
centum of the assessed valuation of said town in the year one
thousand eight hundred and eighty-five, for the purpose of cele-
brating the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the incor-
poration of said town, and for publishing the proceedings of
such celebration, erecting tablets or monuments to mark places
and objects of historic interest, and restoring and preserving
any such existing monuments therein.

Section 2. This Act shall take effect upon its passage.

House of Representatives, Feb. 25, 1886.
Passed to be enacted.

J. Q. A, Brackett, Speaker.

In Senate, Feb. 25, 1S86.
Passed to be enacted.

A. E. PiLLSBURY, President.

February 26, 1886.

Approved.

Geo. D. Robinson.



25OTH ANNIVERSARY. 2O9



IV. — Page 36.

Dedham has been well styled a mother town. From her ample
territory at various times have been formed the following named
towns : —

Medfield, incorporated May 23, 165 1 ; Wrentham, incorporated
October 15, 1673; Needham, incorporated November 5, 1711;
Medway, incorporated October 24, 17 13; Bellingham, incorpo-
rated November 27,1719; Walpole, incorporated December 10,
1724; Franklin, incorporated March 2, 1778; Dover, incorpo-
rated July 7, 1784; Norfolk, incorporated February 23, 1870;
Norwood, incorporated February 23, 1872 ; Wellesley, incorpo-
rated April 6, 1881 ; Millis, incorporated February 24, 1885.

Foxborough, incorporated June 10, 1778, and Hyde Park, in-
corporated April 22, 1868, contain a portion of the original
territory of Dedham. Portions of Dedham were annexed to
Dorchester and West Roxbury, and subsequently included within
the limits of Boston. A considerable portion of the present towns
of Natick and Sherborn was included in the original grant to
Dedham. A subsequent grant of land to Dedham in the
Pocumtuck valley was the beginning of the present town of
Deerfield.

v. — Page 66.

In the "Dedham Gazette" of March 26, 1864, appeared the
following article \vritten by Mr. Charles C. Greenwood, of Need-
ham, then, as now, a reliable authority in matters of local
history : —

Mr. Editor, — The following interesting scrap of personal history
is copied from a small slip of paper, yellow with age, which has been
preserved in the family of a descendant of Mrs. Chickering for a cen-
tury and a quarter. Although the author's name does not appear,
there is no mistaking the peculiarly minute and elegant hand of Rev.
Jonathan Townsend, the first minister of this town. It reads thus : —

Needham, July 17, 1737.
This day died here Mrs. Lydia Chickering, in the Eighty-sixth year of her
age. She was born at Dedham, in New England, on July 14, 1652, and
about the year 1671 went up from thence to Hadley, where for the space of



2IO THE TOWN OF DEDHAM.

about a year she waited upon Colonel Whalley and Colonel Goffe (two of
King Charles ists Judges) who had fled thither from the men who had
sought their life. She was the daughter of Capt. Daniel Fisher of Dedham,
one of the Magistrates of this Colony under the Old Charter. Having lived
a virtuous life, she died universally respected, and came to her grave in a
full age, as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.

VI. — Page 78.

The following item is copied from page 10 of Dr. Ames's
Ledger A : —

Israel Everett to Dr. Nath'I Ames, Dr. 1775, April 19th. To
extracting a Bullet from the Cubitus of Israel Everett, Jr.,
which he received at the Battle of Lexington, the first of the
War with Great Britain. 35

To sundry visits and dressings of the wound. I25

VII. — Page 182.

The movement for the preservation of the Powder House in
1859 originated with the members of The Club, — an association
then existing in Dedham, and organized for social and literary
purposes. At that time The Club was composed of the following
members : Dr. Ebenezer P. Burgess, Alfred Hewins, Henry
O. Hildreth, John Lathrop, Dr. Joseph P. Paine, Henry W.
Richards, John D. Runkle, Frank H. Shorey, John C. Shorey,
Carlos Slafter, Josephus G. Taft, Erastus Worthington.

A committee consisting of Henry O. Hildreth, Henry W.
Richards, and John C. Shorey was appointed to make the neces-
sary repairs, which were promptly done at an expense to The
Club of about thirty dollars.

VIII.

Of the men who were prominent in the celebration of the Two
Hundredth Anniversary of the town's incorporation, almost all
have passed away.

Samuel F. Haven, the orator of the occasion, was born in
Dedham, May 7, 1806. He was admitted to Harvard College



25OTH ANNIVERSARY. 211

in the class of 1826, and subsequently took his first degree at
Amherst in that year. He was admitted to the bar in Middlesex
County, and began the practice of the law in Lowell. He was
appointed Librarian of the Antiquarian Society at Worcester,
Sept. 23, 1837, and at once removed to that city, where he
ever afterward resided. He received from Amherst College the
degree of LL.D., and that of A.M. from Harvard College. He
was a valued member of many learned societies. He died at
Worcester on the 5th of September, 1881, at the age of seventy-
five years, four months. Mr. Haven had long been regarded as
one of the most eminent antiquarian and archaeological scholars
in the country.

Hon. Edward Everett, at that time Governor of the State, and
the most eminent of the guests, was of Dedham ancestry, he being
of the sixth generation in direct descent from Richard Evered,
one of the original settlers, who died in 1682. Governor Everett's
father, the Hon. Oliver Everett, was born in Dedham, but his dis-
tinguished son was a native of Dorchester. Edward Everett was
Governor from 1836 to 1840, member of both Houses of Congress,
Minister to England, and President of Harvard College. He died
in Boston, Jan. 15, 1865, at the age of seventy years.

Hon. James Richardson, President of the day, prominent for
many years in legal and political circles, died in Dedham, June 7,
1858, aged eighty-seven.

Hon. Theron Metcalf, one of the Vice-presidents, after
a long and distinguished career as a lawyer and judge, died
in Boston, Nov. 13, 1875, aged ninety-one years and twenty-
eight days.

Hon. William Ellis, Chairman of the Committee of Arrange-
ments, was born in Dedham in 1780, and was for many years the
leading land-surveyor in the county of Norfolk. He was much
occupied in public affairs, having been a Selectman, Representa-
tive eight years, and a member of the Senate for Norfolk County
for three years. He was two years Assistant Justice of the Court
of Sessions, and from 1828 to 1835 a member of the first Board
of County Commissioners for Norfolk County. He died in
Dedham, November 28, 1852, aged seventy-two years.

General Nathaniel Guild, the Chief Marshal, was a native



212 THE TOWN OF DEDHAM.

of Dedham, and for many years prominent in town and mili-
tary affairs. He died in Dedham, August 26, 1845, aged
seventy years.

Of the prominent actors in the events of that day, only five
survive, namely: Ira Cleveland, Esq., one of the Committee of
Arrangements, and for many years a leading and respected citizen,
now in his eighty-sixth year ; and four of the Aids to the Chief
Marshal, — Ira Russell, in his eighty-second year ; Benjamin
BoYDEN, in his eighty-first year; John D. Colburn of West
Roxbury, in his eighty-fourth year ; and Theodore Metcalf of
Boston, now in his seventy-sixth year. All these gendemen par-
ticipated in the celebration as the invited guests of the town.



IX.



As frequent allusions have been made in preceding

pages of this volume to Worthington's " History of

Dedham," the following sketch of the life of the author
is herewith given : —

Erastus Worthington, the first of the name in Dedham,
was born in Belchertown, Mass., Oct. 8, 1779. He was gradu-
ated at Williams College in the class of 1804. Among his
classmates were Luther Bradish and Henry Dwight Sedgwick of
New York, Judge Samuel Howe of Northampton, and Nathan
Hale of Boston. After his graduation Mr. Worthington was
employed for a time in teaching, and then began the study of
law, which he completed in the office of John Heard, Esq., of
Boston. He was first admitted as an attorney in Boston, but
came to Dedham to reside in 1809. Here he began the practice
of his profession, and was admitted as a Counsellor of the
Supreme Judicial Court in 18 13. He devoted himself exclu-
sively to legal practice until 1825, when the Norfolk Mutual
Fire Insurance Company was organized mainly by his efforts,
and he became its first Secretary. From this time he gradually
withdrew from practice, although as Justice of the Peace he was
the magistrate of the town afterward during his life. In the



25OTH ANNIVERSARY. 213

spring of 1840, by reason of ill health, he was compelled to
resign his office as Secretary, and in the autumn of the same
year he removed with his family to Dayton, Ohio. In the
following spring, however, he returned to Dedham, where he
continued to reside until his death, which occurred from chronic
bronchitis, June 27, 1842. He left a widow and three sons, of
whom Erastus Worthington, now of Dedham, is the youngest.

Mr. Worthington was actively interested in politics as a
Republican during the War of 18 12, and as a Democrat during
the administrations of Jackson and Van Buren. He delivered
an oration in Dedham, July 4, 1809, on "The Recent Measures
of the American Government," which was printed. He was a
member of the General Court from Dedham in 1814 and 1815.
He was also interested in the temperance reform, and was iden-
tified with the anti-slavery movement in its beginning.

In 18 10, Mr. Worthington wrote and published anonymously
an elaborate pamphlet, entitled " An Essay on the Establish-
ment of a Chancery Jurisdiction in Massachusetts." This was
a brief legal treatise, comprehending a general view of the
whole subject ; and upon the excellent authority of the late
Judge Metcalf, who was contemporary in Dedham with Mr.
Worthington, it was the first essay published in the Common-
wealth in favor of the establishment of an equity jurisdiction,
which for a long time was viewed with disfavor by the legal pro-
fession, and which was not fully adopted until i860.

In 1827, Mr. Worthington wrote and published "The History
of Dedham from the Beginning of its Settlement in 1635 ^o
May, 1827." This History was written at a period when but few
town histories had been published, and besides some brief notes
to historical sermons which related to church matters, nothing
had been published concerning the history of Dedham. Mr.
Worthington was the first carefully and intelligently to study the
records of the town and of the churches and parishes in search
of materials for history, and he gathered and preserved such tra-
ditions as were well authenticated sixty years ago. Moreover,
he endeavored to exhibit a faithful view of society in Dedham
in a retrospect of one hundred and ninety years. His History
is not merely a chronicle of events, but these are connected



214 THE TOWN OF DEDHAM.

and treated in the spirit and method of a true historian. The
narrative is concise, comprehensive, and accurate, though not so
exhaustive and minute as in town histories written in more re-
cent times. Mr. Haven, in a note to his centennial address of
1836, accords to Mr. Worthington the credit of first undertaking
to develop the history of the town.



University Press: John Wilson & Son, Cambridge.




University of
Connecticut

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Online LibraryDedham (Mass.)Proceedings at the celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Dedham, Massachusetts, September 21, 1886 → online text (page 13 of 13)