N.H.) Manchester Historic Association (Manchester.

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in the Amoskeag district. Dr. Wallace, who founded the First Congrega-
tional Society of this city, formerly preached in Amoskeag and always had
a warm interest in the locality. The manuscript of the historical address
is now in possession of his nephew, Mr. Frederick L. Wallace, and is
reproduced herewith. — Mirror and American.



m



S FAR back as the light of history is thrown, the
place now known as Amoskeag has been one of
interest to the surrounding country. It was the
chief residence of a once powerful tribe of Indians, who
occupied the valley of the Merrimack, from Pawtucket to
the lake. This tribe was known by the general name of
Penacooks, though it had several sub-divisions. Those
whose home was around the falls were the Namaoskeags,
which means fishing place, from Namaos, fish, and auke,
place. Hence our contraction, Amoskeag. When we
speak of Indians and their places of residence we must be
understood as using language with a great degree of
license. The Indian was a roving character; his home was
the wild forest, hunting and fishing were his employments;
for agriculture he had no taste, and resorted to it only as a
dire necessity.

Passaconnaway was the chief of the Penacooks when
the white man came to New England. He was a wonder-
ful man. He caught a glimpse of the future greatness of
his white opponent. History affirms that he met Eliot,
the apostle of the Indians, at Pawtucket. He listened to
159



160 AMOSKEAG IN EARLY PIONEER DAYS

his preaching, afterwards conversed with him about the
Christian's God, and professed a belief in Him. How
much his impressions in regard to the future greatness of
the English were due to the religious instruction thus
received we know not. At any rate, he became convinced
that the Indian was to fade away and the white man take
his place. Hence he advised his people to make friends
with them. His words are truly prophetic:

"The oak will soon break before the whirlwind; it
shivers and shakes even now; soon its trunk will be pros-
trate; the ant and the worm will sport upon it; then think,
my children, of what I say. I commune with the Great
Spirit. He whispers me now: 'Tell your children, peace,
peace, is the only hope of your race. I have given fire and
thunder to the palefaces for weapons. I have made them
plentier than the leaves ot the forest, and still shall they
increase. These meadows they will turn with the plow;
these forests shall fall by the axe; the palefaces shall live
upon your hunting grounds, and make their villages upon
your fishing places.' The Great Spirit says this, and it
must be so. We are few and powerless before them. We
must bend before the storm. The wind blows hard; the
old oak trembles; its branches are gone; its sap is frozen;
it bends; it falls. Peace, peace with the white man is the
command of the Great Spirit, and the wish, the last wish,
of Passaconnaway."

The tribe were so far governed by this advice that they
ever lived on terms of peace with the English. It is said
that Wonnalancet, the son and successor of Passaconnaway,
died here, and that his son, Tahanto, was chief when white
men came to Amoskeag and Concord.

There is something sad in the thought of a nation
passing away. We can sympathize with the sentiment in
the familiar lines of the poet, which he has woven into
the wail of the red man, as he looked for the last time upon
the graves of his fathers, and turned his face toward the
setting sun:



AMOSKEAG IN EARLY PIONEER DAVS 161

"I will go to my tent and lie down in despair;
I will paint me with black and sever my hair;
I will sit on the shore when the hurricane blows,
And reveal to the god of the tempest my woes;
I will weap for a season, on bitterness fed,
For my kindred are gone to the mounds of the dead;
But they died not by hunger or wasting decay —
The steel of the white man has swept them away."

I cannot dismiss this allusion to our Indian history
without acknowledging our indebtednees to the missionary
Eliot. He labored in the valley of the Merrimack, was
often at Pawtucket, visited Nashua, and the late Judge
Bell was of the opinion that he preached at Amoskeag.
At any rate, Passaconnaway was one of his converts, and
probably his desire to live at peace with the English grew
out of this fact. The Indians left this region as a resi-
dence, about 1685, but probably in their wanderings for
fifty years afterwards spent much time about the falls.

The first permanent settlement of white men in this
region was by the Scotch-Irish at Nuffield, afterwards
Londonderry, in 1719. This was followed in 1725 by the
English at Penacook, now Concord. Both of these set-
tlements pressed their claims for the possession of the falls
as a fishing place. No doubt it was a prize worthy of an
earnest struggle. Concord claimed it under their grant
from Massachusetts, while the Scotch-Irish founded their
claim on the authority of the New Hampshire province.
The advantage, however, was on the part of the Irish.
Their settlement was nearer, in numbers much larger, and
they had possession. The first settlers in the neighborhood
of the falls came from Londonderry, in 1731. No doubt
the fishing interest was the principal attraction. The shad,
the salmon and the lamper eel, the last of which the late
William Stark so poetically eulogized, were the fish here
caught. If Stark has not very greatly exceeded even poet-
ical license, we may realize the magnitude of the fishing
interest at that day. He says:



162 AMOSKEAG IN EARLY PIONEER DAYS

"From the eels they formed their food in chief;
And eels were called the Derryfield beef;
It was often said that their only care
And their only wish and their only prayer
For the present world and the world to come
Was a string of eels and a jug of rum."

If all this could be said of the eel, we leave some
future poet to extol the value of the shad and the salmon.

Saw and grist mills were built at Amoskeag at a very
early date. But the first interest of sufficient importance
to demand our notice was the digging of the canal. This
was substantially the work of one man — Samuel Blodget.
He was born at Woburn, Mass., April i, 1724, was an
officer under Governor Wentworth, a keeper of the king's
woods, and collector of duties on spirituous liquors. He
came to this neighborhood in 175 1, and bought a farm on
Black Brook, two miles from Amoskeag. He was a man
of great versatility of talent — farmer, merchant, manu-
facturer of potash, lumber dealer, sutler in the army, in
the French and Indian War, went to Europe, and there
was engaged in raising sunken ships, and finally, after hav-
ing accumulated quite a fortune for that day, he returned,
and in May, 1794, when seventy years of age, commenced
the great work of his life — what is known in history as the
Blodget canal around Amoskeag Falls. The work, how-
ever, was attended with many difficulties, and his whole
fortune of thirty or forty thousand dollars was all expended
before it was completed. He then solicited assistance
from his friends, and applied to the legislatures of New
Hampshire and Massachusetts for grants of lotteries to
raise funds, but as late as 1803 he wrote: "It is very painful
indeed to me to reflect on a ten years' ardent exertion, at this
stage of my life, sparing no pains in my power, with the
utmost stretch of invention, to finish this canal, the
expense of 5560,000 already having been devoted to it, and
the work not yet completed."

By continued exertions, however, the canal was com-
pleted in 1807, about the time of Mr. Blodget's death.



AMOSKEA.G IN EARLY PIONEER DAYS 163

This work, when we take into view all the difficulties con-
nected with the prosecution of a new enterprise, stands
almost unrivalled in the history of New England. The
morality of raising money by lotteries, even as a last
resort, is now regarded, certainly by some, as a little
questionable. Still, if any of the conductors of our
charitable fairs should think otherwise, and should wish to
try their luck in a game of chance, I would advertise that
an abundance of Blodget's old tickets remain unsold and
can probably be obtained cheap, and will not cheat the
buyers any more than those of a more recent date.

It is, however, the manufacture of cloth which now
distinguishes, and will for a long time to come, Amoskeag.
The river here falls fifty feet, and the power is immense.
As in the case of the canal, it was a single mind that led
the way in the development of this great enterprise.
Benjamin Pritchard was here the moving power. We first
hear of him as a resident of New Ipswich, and engaged in
manufacturing there. Machinery was used in that town
for spinning cotton by water power in 1803, and was the
first in the state.

Mr. Pritchard paid his last tax in New Ipswich in 1807,
and in March, 1810, we find his mill in operation at Amos-
keag. The property was then owned by a joint stock
company, divided into one hundred shares. At the first
meeting fifty-five shares were sold, of which Mr. Pritchard
took twenty-five. The building which was then erected
was about forty feet square and two stories high. The
only machinery placed in it was for spinning, and the only
machine then used for that purpose was the jenny. This
machine was first put in operation in England in 1767, and
was the earliest improvement on spinning after the one-
thread wheel, doing its work substantially on the same
plan, only instead of one it drew out several threads at the
same time.

The water to carry this machinery at Amoskeag was
from the mill dam of Ephraim and Robert Stevens They



164 AMOSKEAG IN EARLY PIONEER DAYS

gave bonds to the amount of two thousand dollars, as the
obligation reads, to furnish "so much water as shall be
sufificient for carrying an old-fashioned undershot corn mill
at all seasons of the year and at all days in the year, so long
as water is needed for carrying on the manufacturing of
cotton and wool at that place." For this they were to
receive ten dollars annually. Five years later twelve dol-
lars per annum was paid for furnishing water sufficient to
run the Amoskeag cotton and woolen mill.

From iSio to 1819 spinning was the only work done
here. It is interesting to learn how this now simple oper-
ation was then performed. After the cotton was received
it was given out into families, in lots of from fifty to one
hundred pounds, to be picked. This was done by first
whipping the cotton in a rude frame. This whipping
machine was a unique article, perhaps thirty inches square,
across which common cord line was woven at right angles,
leaving spaces of half an inch; on three sides were placed
boards, and the whole raised on posts breast high. On
this the cotton was placed, and whipped with two sticks,
like the common ox goad. This old whipping machine,
operated by a boy, has given place to the picker of our
day.

Some years after the manufacture of yarn was com-
menced, perhaps because the market was more than sup-
plied, the company introduced the weaving of cloth. This
was done on hand looms in the neighborhood. The writer
well recollects having seen the agent of Amoskeag mills,
Jotham Gillis, carrying out yarn for this purpose. It was
before the days of railroads, even before carriages, if we
except the old "one horse shay," and Mr. Gillis was upon
horseback, six miles away, with bundles of yarn tied about
his saddle.

This order of things continued till 18 19, when the
power loom was introduced, only five years after its intro-
duction into the country. The first was put in operation
in Waltham, Mass., by Mr. Adams, the father of Phinehas



AMOSKEAG IN EARLY PIONEER DAYS 165

Adams, the present agent of the Stark Mills, The. loom
had then been in operation in England from twenty to
twenty-five years. No single invention perhaps has ever
wrought such wonders in the civilized world as the power
loom. Strange to say, it was the work of an English
clergyman, the Rev. Dr. Cartwright, who invented it in
1787; and, stranger still, it was accomplished by a man who
had no practical mechanical knowledge, and after the most
skillful mechanics of that day had affirmed, again and
again, that a machine requiring so many different motions
was an impossibility. Such was the opposition to the
introduction of so great a labor-saving machine that the
first successful establishment, containing five hundred
looms, built at Manchester, England, was destroyed by an
exasperated mob in 1790. Alas for human folly! How
vain to resist the march of intellect and progress!

When the power loom was introduced at Amoskeag
the mill was owned and operated by a Mr. Babbitt, who
sold it in 1822 to Olney Robinson of Rhode Island, who
again disposed of it in 1826. So far, from the best infor-
mation I can obtain, manufacturing at Amoskeag had been
substantially a series of failures. Indeed it was an inter-
est of very small value. If we suppose the company
formed in 1810 valued the shares at ^100 each, the whole
was only $10,000. The statement of Hartford Ide, who
came to Amoskeag in 1823, and remained till 1831, is, that
when Mr. Robinson bought he paid for the mill and
machinery, a sawmill and grist mill, the whole water priv-
ilege and several acres of land about two thousand dollars.
At the same period, Mr. Ide affirms, only four looms were
in operation and ten girls employed in the mill.

Mr. Robinson improved the property while he was at
Amoskeag. He made an addition to the old building,
erected a new one, eighty feet by forty, and increased the
value of the property in other respects. But the amount
of manufacturing was but slightly increased till about the
time he left. The enterprise now passed entirely into the



J66 AMOSKEAG IN EARLY PIONEER DAYS

hands of men possessed alike of property, energy and
skill. They were five in number — Messrs. Pitcher and
Slater of Rhode Island, Oliver Dean, Lyman Tiffany and
Willard Sayles of Boston.

A third mill was built at Amoskeag in 1825, and
beyond this little was done for several years, excepting to
prepare for the far more extensive works on the east side
of the river, where spindles were put in operation in 1839.
Within seven years all the mills at Amoskeag were
destroyed by fire, and have never been rebuilt.

It is no part of my present purpose to refer to mat-
ters of so recent date and so near at hand as the manufac-
turing interests of this city. To those outside it looks like
a success. At any rate, it is a controlling interest, out of
which the city of Manchester, with all its interests, has
grown. But while it has been the means of wealth to the
few, has the transfer of manufacturing from the family to
the mill been an advantage to the community.? To settle
this question we need to consider it in various aspects.
First, its growth. The late Frederick G. Stark, who was
agent of the mill at Amoskeag in 181 3, states that for fif-
teen days in succession, in October, there were spun three
hundred and fifty-eight skeins of yarn per day, valued at
twenty-nine dollars and twenty-two cents, amounting to
little more than nine thousand dollars a year. Now the
product of Manchester Mills is over ten million dollars per
annum, of which over three million dollars are paid for labor.
Second, the value of labor. When F. G. Stark made oath
that he would faithfully perform the duties of agent, he was
to receive fifteen dollars per month; whether with this muni-
ficent salary he received board we are not informed;
neither can we say how much the agents of Manchester
Mills are now paid. Just previous to this date we find this
entry upon the books: "Agreed with Mr. Robinson to
build machinery and superintend the business in the fac-
toro for three dollars fifty cents per day, including the
labor of Harvey Robinson, and furnish said Robinson



AMOSKEAG IN EARLY PIONEER DAYS IGT

with suitable board, they finding their own spirits.". At
the same time a Mr. Gushing received one dollar twenty-
five cents per day, finding his own board. The highest
price paid for woman's labor at this time was one dollar
per week. Men in all ordinary employments received from
ten to twelve dollars per month. At the same period com-
mon shirtings and sheetings cost from thirty to forty
cents per yard, and calico from forty to fifty cents per
yard.

We may struggle as hard to live as our fathers did, but
it is because we consume so much more. Our dwellings
are better, modes of traveling superior, while in dress the
quantity and quality have enormously increased. To fur-
nish one season's outfit for a woman with only moderate
pretensions requires a greater outlay than it did for our
fathers to clothe a family, even as numerous as John
Rogers', for a whole year.

In 1813 four cents per pound was paid merely for
picking cotton. Within the last twenty-five years it has
been taken in the bale and manufactured into cloth for the
same price per pound.

Before the power loom went into operation, from eight
to sixteen cents per yard was paid for weaving. Now quite
a good article can be purchased for less money.

But we will pursue this inquiry no farther. The
change has come. Labor-saving machinery has entered
every department of industry, and it will hold its place. It
is the part of true wisdom for men to adapt themselves to
this new order of things, that the blessings flowing from
these great improvements may be secured.



Mm^ 3DoI)n Moot

The Knight of Derryfield

A Fugitive Paper by Hon. Albert Moore Spear, Great-great-
grandson of Major John Moor. Contributed by Mrs. Lina
Moore McKenny.

The following excellent article, reprinted from "The Journal of
American History," possesses especial interest to all descendants of the
first families in our state. — Editor.

He lay upon his dying bed,

His eyes were growing dim;
When with a feeble voice he called

His weeping son to him.

"Weep not, my boy," the veteran said,
"I bow to Heaven's high will;
But quickly from yon antlers bring
The sword of Bunker Hill."

The sword was brought; the soldier's eye

Lit with a sudden flame,
And as he grasped the ancient blade,

He murmnred Warren's name.

Then said, "My boy, I leave you gold,

But what is richer still,
I leave you, mark me, mark me now,

The sword of Bunker Hill.

"Oh, keep that sword," — his accents broke —
A smile and he was dead;
But his withered hand still grasped the blade
Upon that dying bed.

The son remains, the sword remains,

Its glory growing still.
And twenty millions bless that sire

And the sword of Bunker Hill.

168



THE KNIGHT OF DERRYFIELD 169

^^ IVING as we do, surrounded by a mighty ciyiliza-
11 tion, occupying mountain, valley, hill and plain
"^ from sea to sea; traversing space with the speed

of the winds; spanning the oceans with the palaces of the
deep; sending messages with lightning; living amidst these
glories of the twentieth century and the splendor of its
opening days — little do we comprehend the sorrows and
the woes of the dark days when homes were the clearings
in the forest; sustenance the caprice of the season; music
the bay of the roaming beasts; safety the mercy of the
Indian's knife; hope the return of their patriotic brave.

It is of one who knew these hardships that I here
relate — Major John Moor, whose bravery in the American
Revolution won him promotion, and who as a captain in
many battles in the French and Indian War blazed the
path for civilization. The Moor family, of which Major
John was a member, migrated from Scotland to London-
derry, in the north of Ireland, about the year 1616. From
there they came to this country in 1718, and settled in
New Hampshire. The "Town Papers of New Hampshire,"
volume 12, page 429, show that on June 21, 1722, John
Moor and one hundred and seventeen others were granted
a township which they had incorporated by the name of
Londonderry, in honor of the county in Ireland from which
they had emigrated. In religious belief they were Scotch
Presbyterians. The name was originally spelled Moor,
the letter e being omitted, but later generations adopted
the present spelling.

The first record of the name is of one Samuel Moor,
who married Deborah Butterfield and settled in Litchfield,
then called Naticott, New Hampshire. They had six chil-
dren, the second of whom was John. He was born Novem-
ber 28, 1 73 1. He married Margaret (Peggy) Goffe, and
settled in Manchester, New Hampshire, then called Derry-
field. The family of Deborah Butterfield, the mother of
our John Moor, came from a distinguished Norman family
. that arrived in England in the twelfth century, the head of
the family being Robert de Buterville.



170 MAJOR JOHN MOOR

During the French and Indian War, when Colonel
Johnson led 6,000 men against the French, New Hamp-
shire furnished 500, one company being under Captain John
Moor of Derryfield. On the twenty-sixth of August they
arrived at Fort Edward, where Colonel Blanchard, with a
regiment from New Hampshire, was left in charge of the
fort. After this came the Battle of Lake George, in which
the New England sharpshooters did valiant service. In the
French and Indian War he won a reputation for courage
and energy. After the conquest of Canada, he quietly
settled down upon his farm at Cohas Brook.

When the alarm came in 1775, Captain John Moor of
Derryfield led a company of forty-five men to Lexington.
Upon arriving there he found that the British had retired
into Boston. He marched to Cambridge, and on April
twenty-fourth was commissioned by the Massachusetts
Committee of Safety a captain in Stark's regiment.

John Moor's bravery at Bunker Hill makes him a hero
whose name should be illuminated on the rolls of Amer-
ican chivalry. It was he who, with a few New Hampshire
farmers, faced the Welsh Fusileers, the flower of the
British Army, and the famous regiment that had fought
with distinction at Minden, gaining the title of the "Prince
of Wales Regiment."

It was on the morning of June 17, 1775. The Amer-
ican Revolutionists were inviting the king's soldiers to a
test of arms, and, with the spectacular manoeuvering of
the Old World military pageants, the British warrors, vet-
erans of many gallantly won battle-days, moved toward
the audacious Yankee farmers with the precision and cool-
ness of a dress parade, and with the confidence and fear-
lessness born of conflict with greater and more learned
enemies, the grenadiers and light infantry marching in
single file, twelve feet apart, the artillery advancing and
thundering as it advanced, while five battalions, moving
more slowly, approached the fence, breastwork, and
redoubt, forming an oblique line. The best troops of Eng-



THE KNIGHT OF DERRYFIELD 171

land assailed the New Hampshire line, doubtless expect-
ing those half-armed provincials in home-spun clothes
would fly before the nodding plumes and burnished arms
of the light infantry and before the flashing bayonets and
tall caps of the grenadiers.

Behind the fence, upon which they had placed grass to
conceal themselves, lay, still as death. Captain John Moor
and his men from Amoskeag, New Hampshire.

Now and then came a challenging shot from the bril-
liant British pageant, singing over their heads and cutting
the boughs of the apple trees behind them.

Colonel Stark had planted a stake about eighty yards
from the wall and fence, and had given orders to his men
not to fire until the advancing line of the enemy should
reach the stake.

On came the Welsh Fusileers, haughty and defiant.
Still there came no response from the Yankee farmers.

Bang! Bang! Bang! The deadline had been crossed!
Like a storm of thunder and lightning and lead there
burst across their vision a mass of death-dealing flame, so
intense, so continuous, so staggering, that the flower of
England wavered, recoiled, and fell back repulsed.

Again and again they rallied to the attack, only to
again and again back fall blinded, wounded and depleted.
One by one the brave grenadiers and light infantry fell
before the Amoskeag farmers. One by one the gallant
officers staggered to the earth, until broken in heart the
living broke ranks and fled in dismay before the musketry
of the hunters from the New Hampshire forests.

And when the smoke had cleared, ninety-six lifeless
red-coats lay before the feet of Captain John Moor and
his daring patriots, and nearly every officer and aid of
General Howe lay wounded or dead. It is not too much
to assume that if the rest of the American lines had been
defended with equal success the entire British force would
have been driven from the hill or annihilated.


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