Lucy Crawford.

The history of the White Mountains, from the first settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket online

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I most needed consolation, and this caused me
sometimes to be irritable which was not e.\a<.-tly
my natural disposition, but I kmiw not how* to
help it tlien. My appetite was gone and I was
attended by a cough and afflicted by raising
great quantities of })hlegm ; my blood was re-
duced, and 1 would have extremes of heat and
cold pass tlirough my veins, one after another.


Sometimes in the morning, I would think I
could get up and should be smart that da}'- ; but
after getting up and only walking in another
room, I would begin to shiver with the cold, and
have to go lo bed again, and have my pillows
warmed and have them placed on my back, and
blankets warmed and put upon me ; in this way
I lived by turns, until I was returning from Con-
way in the Stage, having been dowr on business
in ctmpanywith Dr. Bemis, from Boston, and
some other gentlemen beside him when I was
attacked vritli this complaint, and had, in the
stage, two spasm, which required the strength of
a man to hold me. Tliis sudden and unexpected
shock was below my father's, and I did not then
think 1 should live to get home ; but I meant to
go along as I could. I had the kindest assist-
ance from the gentlemen in the stage, and ar-
rived at home where I soon after had another
spasm. Lucy sent immediately for a Physician,
who arrived and took away a portion of blood,
which soon relieved me. This kind and humane
Dr. Bemis, who was then slaying at my house,
became acquainted with Dr. Eodgers, from New
York, who had previously, before he started,
been directed to put up with me, but was influ-
enced by some other persons to stop with my
neighbor. Dr. Bemis informed Dr. Rodgers of
my situation, and he came to see me, told me
unless I would consent to have an operation, I
could not live long, as the consumption was near
upon me ; said he would go and get his instru-
ments while another Physician who was with him
should stop and make preparations for the sarne^


This, I did not consent lo, neither did I refuse it.
The Doctor returned in a short time, and dua
preparations being made, went up stairs with
them, when the operation was performed. How
estimable is the character of a good Physician,
or of any really good man ! ^Vhile " man's in-
humanity to man makes countless thousands
mourn," so the kind ministrations of man to
man, proves that God gives us in charge of his

I then came down with them and soon found
relief. I now could sit in a chair much better
than for months before. The Doctor came and
dressed my wound several times himself, and
then showed another person how to manage it,
and when he took his leave, I asked him how
much I should pay him ? He said not any thing ;
but he expressed a desire for me to get well ;
and for this act of kindness I am indebted to Dr.
Bemis for his interceding as he did in my be-
half, and Dr. Rodgers, for his assistance. I am
well persuaded, had it not been for them, I should
not now have been here a living man. Times
had now become hard and my creditors who had
waited on me were afraid they should not get
their pay, because my dissolution, as they
thought, was near at hand, and in the course of
the preceding summer, they had come upon m»
like a set of armed men. I turned out all my
personal property, even to the last cow, and some
articles I turned out three times. I was after-
wards informed, but the state of my mind was
such owing to the pain in my head, I was not
sensible of what I did, and in the fall, before I


was able to get about much, a Deputy Sheriff-
came from Lancaster for me to pay a sum of
three hundred dollars, which I was owing the
Bank, and one more demand due a farmer for
about foL'ty dollars, principal ; but as he had
taken care not to have it reduced by interest
and cos;, which he had caused to be doubled, I
told him I had then nothing to pay with,.but de-
sired him to be palient, as they were not suffer-
ing for the money, and they and every other
creditor should have their honest dues,, if they
would only show me lenity. He then left me
after obtaining a promise, on my part, that as
soon as I was able to ride I would go to Lancas-
ter and sec them myself ; and some davs after,
according to promise, I went, and what do you
think these men did ? Why, for want thereof,
took my poor and emaciated body and cast it
into prison. Although a brother of mine and
one of Lucy's, offered to give them bonds for'
my appearance at any time whenever they
should call for me ; but this did not seem to par-
eify them ; they were determined upon other
purposes: their object was money and they re-
fused to take them. I was put in fail and this
place was to me a complete hell upon earth,,
now shut up from air and the society of my be-
loved family. My mind v/as weak and the time
hanging heavily, forced me to reflect on human
nature ; this overcame me, and I was obliged to
call for the advice of physicians and a, nurse.
Here I was attended with a sort of spasms, simi-
lar to the former ones, and was really so unwell
that one of my physicians affectionately told


me he thought I should never pass tlie Gun hill
that was near the burying ground ; that was as
much as to sav I should die. He then asked
me if they should not send for Lucv. I told
him, no ; it was enough for me to be there and
not her. Here they kept me twenty-five days
in this way. I had applied to an Attorney before
I went in to make arrangements for me to take
the benefit of the law, in such cases made and
provided, and when the time arrived they told
me I could not do it, without perjuring myself.
I told them something should be done, for I
would stay there no longer. They then con-
cluded to take our brothers for sureties and let
me o;o home. This added nothins; to their in-
terest, neither did it help them immediately to
their pay. They were secured before. I had
good signers with me on the notes and my farm
was holden, but when a man gets going down
hill, it matters not what shape it is in ; there are
enough standing ready to give him a kick and
hejp him down. They have since got their pay,
but the tanner dares not look me in the face and
say, How do 3''ou do ? but passes by as soon as
convenient ; they will have to answer to their
Judge. As Lucy wrote to him in the most af-
fectionate terms entreating him in the name of
a husband and a father, to go and see me and
advise some means to let me come home, and
sent it by the hand of her son, who handed it to
him ; he read the contents and put the letter in
his pocket, and never came near me, till the day
that I was set at liberty.

Having been for so long a time racked with


pain, and having now tlicsc troubles, 1 did not
seem to get much better of my complaint, and
was advised by some friends and my family to
give up my farm and retire to a more secluded
spot where health might be regained, and ac-
cordingly, for that present time, changed situa-
tions, with a brother of Lucy's, and moved to
Guildhall, in Vermont, the place of our nativity.
Before we left we sent to those men to whom
I had mortgaged my farm, to come and take pos-
session of it, which they did, and I suppose, in a
lawful manner, put up an advertisement in the
house to sell it on the 16th of March, 1837. It
was then subject to two mortgages, uncle Will-
iams' was one and the other was their's. The
amount of their's was to be made known at the
time of sale ; but as it appeared, no one came to
buy, therefore they had the whole management
of the affair to themselves. At this time Lucy
was there and I expressed a regret to leave the
place where we had performed so much hard
labor and had done eveiy thing to make the
mountain scenery to become fashionable, and had
just got in a way to make ourselves comfortable
and to be able to make our friends feel at home.
It was hard to give it all up and let it go into the
hands of others. And one of them made her this
reply, saying, fifty years hence, it will be as
in old time, there would be those rise up who
knew not Joseph, and it would not then be
known who did all these things. They then
rented it for one year, and at the expiration of
that year rented it again to the same man, for
five hundred dollars per annum.


While we were at Guildhall, as there was a
sugar lot on the farm, I thought I would make
sugar that spring, with the help of my little
boys, and as Lucy was always anxious about
mc, when absent, particularly then on account
of my health and misfortunes, I happening one
night to stay away later than usual, she thought
something might have befallen me, as I had only
one boy with me, and after putting her children
to rest, at nine o'clock, took a lantern and steered
for the woods ; but never having been there be-
fore, she lost her way and was actually under
the necessity of calling for help. The boy
having amused himself peeling birch bark, while
I was engaged in boiling sap, we put some of
this dry bark on the end of a pole which was
long, set it on fire, and raised it up so high in
the air that she saw it and then came to us and
stayed until we could all go home together where
we arrived at eleven o'clock.

We remained on this place ten months, where
we raised barely enough to support our family,
and as Lucy's brother must lease our farm at
the mountains, it being put into other hands, he
was then wanting his own to live on, and I went
down the Connecticut river one mile, and en-
gaged a large two story dwelling house, which
was then unoccupied, for the farm had been
rented to its nearest neighbor, and I obtained
the use of it until April, when his lease would
run out. Sometime this winter, a gentleman, by
the name of Jonathan Tucker, Esq., came from
Saco, Maine, who had an execution against the
farm I was then living upon, and the Marshnl -^'


the State came also, and set oil", to this Mr.
Tucker, nearly fifty acres of the best part of the
land, with the barn. This is the very placo
where our Grandmother lived when she had so
much trouble with the Indians. I have tilled the
same ground where their little log cabin used to
stand, which was near the l)ank of the river.
Afterwards, they or others built upon higher
frround. AVhen this land was set otT, I asked
Mr. Tucker if I might have the privilege of im-
proving it ? He told me to slay and do the best
1 could, and if it were redeemed he should have
nothing more to do with it, and the Defendant in
the case had six months for redemption ; if it
were not redeemed, I could have a living from
it. According to human nature, in these days,
reader, how do you think this man let us live
here after the redemption ran out ? I wrote him
an account of our management and asked him
if I might pay the lawyer who had assisted in
obtaining this land ? He said I might. Thus
we lived upon this beautiful farm, while we had
the privilege of raising every kind of grain and
vegetable, such as corn, rye, oats, peas, beans,
potatoes ; and we had a first rate garden, sur-
rounded with currants, gooseberries and plums ;
and as the river went round this meadow in a
semi-circle and made a bow in some places, there
was capital fishing, where my boys could catch
a plenty of pickerel, some trout, dace, eels, &c.
This made quite a market pluce, as these fish
made grand living when cooked with good salt
pork. And here we could send our children to


school, six and seven months in a year. One
whiter we -furnished tlie school with nine scholars,
onr own children, for which we received the
credit of the Committee, for as the law was,
eveiy scholar drew a proportion of the public
money, and the more scholars there were, the
longer the school continued. We likewise had
every privilege which is comnoon in towns, such
as meetings for Divine worship and a good so-
ciety among our own relatives and friends. As
we had always been used to labor ourselves, we
instructed our children when quite young, to
be diligent in whatever they could do ; and this
seemed to be a great help to them as they could
earn their own living, and being accustomed to
work at home, they were not ashamed to go
abroad ; and when they were not at school,
those of them that could be spared from the
farm and dairy, for we had cows and made but-
ter and cheese, could support themselves at home
or abroad, respectably ; while I could do mason
work, as 1 had assisted in helping plaster my own
buildings and learned how to make mortar, and
could, then, spread it well, and I could earn my
dollar per day when I worked at my trade ; and
in this and similar ways, according to the cus-
toms of New England, we lived on this beauti-
fut farm, by paying the taxes and keeping the
buildings in repair, which we consider to be an
act of benevolence from this Mr. Tucker, and
for which we will return our gratitude. There
are but few men in these days who would do so
much even for a relative, without some direct


compensation from him, if nothing more than a
promise, for which he never made me a request.
But llie fifth year a lawyer wlio hved in Lan-
caster, by some means obtained a lease of the
place and we were obliged to give him half wo
raised on this piece of land belonging to Mr,
Tucker. There seemed to be quite a contrast
now, after living in the way just described and
now obliged to go halves with this lawyer, which
did not exactly suit my family, working hard aa
usual, when they had the whole before.

in 1843, I "hired the large three story building,
which was tlien empty, in sight of where we had
lived twenty years, at the mountains, and here
we are at the present time, in 1845.

It may be an iiKiuiry, How these things have
become to be written ? Lucy had been advised
to keep a memorandum of things as they oc-
cun'cd, for there seemed to be something very
extraordinary in our allairs in life, which was an
inducement for her labor, in which she has taken
great pleasure, in order to be able to show the
public our way of trying to tjet a living, by deal-
ing honestly with men, and having a clean con-
science as regards my management with man-
kind. Moreover, the men to whom I had given
up my farm, said they were willing for us to have
it again, by our refunding them whatever they
had paid out, with the interest and cost, provided
Lucy would publish this history, which, after
being published, she could sell and it would be
an assistance ; and as we w ere then retired from
the cares of other people and had nothing but
our own family to look after, &hc found time.


It is the request of some of my friends to have
a genealogy of my father's family. Abel Craw-
lord is now eighty years of age, when this year,
1845, shall have passed away, and he was the
first man that ever rode a horse on the top of
Mount Washington. He was then aged seventy -
five, and is now a well, stout, athletic man, ca-
pable of doing work and business. My mother,
who was Hannah Rosebrook, is in her seventy-
fourth year, enjoying tolerably good health, after
having raised a family of nine children. Eras-
tus, their eldest son, was born in 1791, and grew
up a large, stout and tall man, six feet six inches
high, when standing barefoot, and after he was
twenty-one, he went into the State of New York,
and lived and married, and his wife had two
sons, and then he died there in 1825 ; and these
two sons of his are now nearly the same height
their father was when he was living. Ethan
Allen is my name, and I am fifty-three, with
much better health than when I left the moun-
tains. Stephen was born in 1796, and he died
when he was fifteen years of age, with the con-
sumption. Everett has a wife and four children,
three sons and one daughter, and lives in Jeffer-
son, New Hampshire. Dearborn lives in Ox-
ford, New Hampshire, has a wife who has borne
him ten children, six daughters and four sons.
Thomas J. lives at the Notch House, which I
built in 1S28, with his wife and four children, all
of them daughters. Hannah H. is married to
Nathaniel T.^P. Davis, and they hve in Hart's
Location, with my parents, who have lived there


fifty years ; she has two children, both daugh-
ters. Abel J. has a wife and one child, a son,
and lives in Jefferson, N. H. William H.
Harrison, still lives at home with Mr. Davis, en-
joying life at his ease, without any care 'or trou-
ble of a family, living in a " state of single
blessedness." Uncle William Rosebrook, who
was spoken of in the first part of this history, is
seventy-two years of age, and still lives with us,
enjoying good health. He never was married.
Lucy, my wife, has had ten children, five sons
and five daughters. Harvey Howe, not having
a strong constitution, learned the art of making
wagons, and has gone into the State of Ohio.
Our second son died when an infant. Lucy
Laurilla, Ellen Wile, Eluthera Porter, Ethan,
Stephen, Persis Julia, Placentia Whidden and
William, make out our number.

And now my friends, who have a little time to
spare, or whose health is impaired, come to the
mountains and make us a visit. You will find
us here, and there shall be no pains spared to
make your time pass pleasantly during your stay
with us, either in waiting on you or giving you
all the information in our power, and, as of old,
what we lack in substance we will endeavor to
make up in good will. We gratefully return
our warmest thanks for the public patronage
which we formerly received, while at the moun-
tain ; and w^e still hope by our united exertions
to continue to merit. And when you get to
Conway, if coming in that direction, you will find
excellent treatment in a Temperance House


kept by Colonel Hill, the Postmaster, where you
will have entered the mountain scenery, and
where, in fair weather, you will see the ranges
of hills, or mountains, rising one above another
along the way, and when passing, reflect on the
mighty works of God and think what the labor
of man, in a few years, has accomplished.

The town of Conway, situate about twenty
miles south of the White Mountains, began to be
settled about the year 1776, by emigrants from
Conway, Durham, Lee and the adjoining towns.
The glowing accounts which the hunters gave
of the extensive tracts of interval bordering on
the Saco river, which runs through the same, the
fertility of the soil, the exuberance of its forests,
especially its sugar maples and white pines, to-
gether with its numerous wild animals and fowls,
all conspired to facilitate its settlement. At the
close of the Revolutionary war, in 1783, Con-
way had become more numerously settled than
almost any other inland town, of its age and size,
in New Hampshire. Its early inhabitants, how-
ever, were obliged to endure great hardships in
conveying their furniture and provisions through
a wilderness of sixty miles in extent upon pack-
horses and hand-sleds.

They soon began the lumber business, by
floatino; lo2;s and masts down the Saco to its
mouth, where they received bread stuff and
other necessaries of life in exchange ; the moose
and deer, at the same time, affording them a
tolerably supply of wild meat, and their white
and rock maple trees, an abundance of excellent


sugar. The rivers and ponds were also well
stored with wild geese, ducks and fish, of various
kinds. In consequence of these conveniences,
the rickness of its soil and its healthy climate,
Conway has now become a very pleasant town,
dotted with several handsome villages and con-
taining about two thousand inhabitants.

Colonel David Page, Joshua Heath, Ebenezer
Burbank, John and Josiah Doloff, were the first
' who moved with their families to Conway. They
came by the way of Saco, in the State of Maine,
thence up the river and across Lovewell's Pond,
to the Seven Lots (so called) in Fryeburg,
which town adjoins Conway, and had commenced
settling in 1764, by Moses Ames, Esq. and six
other families.

It was at the head of this pond, whicn lies
about two miles East of Conway, that Capt.
Lovewell and his Company, fought their san-
guinary battle with Capt. Paugusand his Indians,
on the 8th of May, 1725, and in which, both
Commanders and three fourths of their men,
were slain, consisting at the commencement,
of thirty-four Euglishmen and eighty savages.
These Indians belonged to the Pequaket Tribe,
inhabiting the country from the Notch of the
White Mountains to the Great Falls, on the Saco
river, about sixty miles in extent, which has
borne the general name of Pequaket, ever since,,
from that circumstance. The town of Bartlett,
lying between Conway and the Notch of the
White Mountains, originally consisted of several
locations, granted to William Stark, Vere Royce


and others, in consideration of their services as
officers in the French war in Canada. Enoch
Emery, Humphrey Emery and Nathaniel Her-
riman, began their settlement in lower Bartlett,
just befor the commencement of the Revolution-
ary war ; their land being given them by Capt.
Stark, for settling. In 1777, Samuel Willey,
Esq., Daniel Fox and Paul Jills, from Lee, pur-
chased a tract of land, in upper Bartlett, and
commenced clearing the same. Their horses
which they had turned into an adjoining meadow
to graze, became dissatisfied with their new loca-
tion, together with their manner of living, and
started for home. Instead of following the wind-
ings of the Saco in the path they went up, they
struck off in a straight line. In crossing the
first intervening mountain, it is supposed they
became separated and consequently bewildered^
Diligent search was made for them but all in
vain. The next spring a hunter's dog brought
part of a horse's leg into the road in Conway.
From a particular mark on the shoe attached to
the foot, it was ascertained to have belonged to
Mr. Willey's horse. On following the dog's
track, about sixty rods from the road, the carcass
was found. From the appearance of the large
extent of bushes browsed, it was concluded that
the horse lived till some time in March. None
of the rest of the horses were ever heard of.
Mr. Willey, not liking his situation in Bartlett,
sold his land there soon after the loss of his
horse, and purchased an original right in Con-
way, where he lived an independent farmer,


until his death on the 14th of June, 1844, at the
age of ninety-one years — being the last original
male inhabitant of that town. An anecdote of
him is considered worth relating here. Owing
to the scarcity of provisions among the early set-
tlers and the vigilance of the hunters, moose and
deer soon became scarce ; but bears remained
numerous for a long time and are yet somewhat
plenty. These animals often proved an intoler-
able nuisance to the farmers, destroying their
sheep, hogs and other creatures. One night in
the summer of 1800, Mr. Willey was waked
from his sleep by the noise of his sheep running
furiously by his house. Springing from his bed
to a window, he discovered by the light of the
moon, an enormous bear in close pursuit of
them. Calling his eldest son, instantly, then a
stout boy about fourteen years old, they salhed
forth with their gun, and nothing on but their
night clothes, to pursue this fell destroyer. By
this time the sheep had made a turn and were
coming, pell mell, toward the house with the
bear at their heels. Secreting themselves a mo-
ment until the sheep had passed, Mr. Willey
sprang forth with his gun to salute his ursalean
majesty. Old bruin, stopping to see what his
ghostly visitor meant, was instantly fired at and
severely wounded. Mr. Willey and his boy,
with their axes, offered him a closer combat, and
he readily accepted the challenge. After two or
three charges they considered it the better part
of valor to retreat to the house, which they did,
closely pursued by the bear. While they were


in the house reloading their gun, the enraged ani-
mal went round to a back window, through
which he endeavored to enter the house, to be
revenged of his antagonists^ The room adjoining
being dark, and Mrs. Willey supposing the bear
to be on the other side of the house, in attempt-
ing to look out through the window, put her
head within a few inches of his nose. On dis-
covering her perilous situation, she gave one of
those piercing female shrieks which make the

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Online LibraryLucy CrawfordThe history of the White Mountains, from the first settlement of Upper Coos and Pequaket → online text (page 12 of 13)