Oliver N Bacon.

A history of Natick, from its first settlement in 1651 to the present time; with notices of the first white families, and also an account of the centennial celebration, Oct. 16, 1851, Rev. Mr. Hunt's address at the consecration of Dell Park cemetery, &c. .. (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryOliver N BaconA history of Natick, from its first settlement in 1651 to the present time; with notices of the first white families, and also an account of the centennial celebration, Oct. 16, 1851, Rev. Mr. Hunt's address at the consecration of Dell Park cemetery, &c. .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 4 of 22)
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liberal repast addresses were made by several gentlemen. Rev.
George Copway exhibited in his person and in the address he made
a specimen of what a Christianized Indian may be.

Rev. Joseph B. Felt, of Boston, stated the historical facts respect-
ino- the early planting of Plymouth and Massachusetts colonies, to show
why they did not, at an earlier period, enter on the work of convert-
ing the Indians to Christianity.

Lorenzo Sabine, Esq., of Framingham, the historian of the royal-
ists, stated some interesting facts respecting the early settlement of

Rev. Martin Moore, of Boston, the biographer of Eliot, and for
twenty years pastor of the church in Natick, said the inhabitants of
his town knew all he could say on an occasion like this, and had
heard it before. On the 13th of October, 1652, Mr. Eliot, with
divers interpreters, several ministers and laymen, came to Natick to
gather a church. The Indians called this day " Natootomakteache-


sak," the day of asking questions. One statement of Eliot he said
was worthy of remembrance : " I have travelled in the wilderness,"
said he, " from the third to the sixth day of the week without a sin-
gle dry thread in my clothes. At night, I pull off my boots, wring
my stockings, and then lie down on the ground to sleep. I consider
these words of the apostle : ' Endure hardships as a good soldier of
Jesus Christ.' "

While this celebration, the most important that ever occurred in
town, passed off to the entire satisfaction of all concerned, it is be-
lieved its influence will be valuable in causing the name and virtues
of Eliot to be more highly prized, and in fixing the principal facts in
relation to the early settlement of the town more permanently in the
minds of its inhabitants.


Early White Settlers. Act of General Court, erecting Natick into an
English District. Extracts from Records. Town Meetings. Reso-
lution OF Town on Declaration of Independence. Muster Roll of
Natick Company at Bunker Hill. Proprietors of the town in 1719,
IN 1782, IN 180C.

After 1762, vre find the name of no Indian in the list of town offi-
cers. Prior to this, as far back as 1733, they frequently occur,
while, previous to this latter date, they were all Indians.

Thomas Ellis and Thomas Sawin are the first English names which
appear on the proprietors' book as officers of the town. Thomas
Sawin was the first white settler, and was one of four brothers who
came to the United States and settled at the same time, as will be
seen in another part of this work.

The following is the Act of the General Court, erecting the parish
and society of Natick into a district :

"Whereas, the society and parish of Natick, so-called, within the
county of Middlesex, labor under many and great difficulties, by rea-
son of their not being erected into a separate and distinct district.

Therefore, be it enacted by the Governor, Council, and House of
Representatives, That the society and parish of Natick be, and here-
by is, erected into a district by the name of Natick, according to the
boundaries of said parish ; and that the inhabitants of said society and
parish be, and hereby are, invested with all the powers, privileges
and immunities that districts are invested with, agreeably to an act
passed the first year of His Majesty's reign, intitled, ' An act for the
better regulating districts within this Province ; ' Provided, that the
present meeting-house shall not be removed, or any other meeting-
house erected within the same, without the special license of this

The places at which the meetings of t!ie town were warned, in its
early history, were, the meetinghouse at South Natick, the centre
school-house, which stood ou the hill, a few rods to the west of the
house owned by Mr. Daniel Wight, on the old Sherborn road, so-


called, and at private houses, Mr. Samuel Morse's, Stephen Bacon'tj,
&c. While the town was thus organized, we find the record of votes
passed, some of which we transcribe, under their respective dates.

1763. March 31. Voted to finish the galleries and build gal-
lery stairs in the meeting-house.

1765. Sept. 23d. Voted to finish the meeting-house, by a con-
siderable majority.

1767. March 4th. Granted £40 towards finishino; the meeting!;-

1787. February 5th. The last article in the proprietors' book is
in substance as follows : Whereas, there are several small parcels of
broken lands in the proprietee of Natick that are unappropriated, and
not capable of division among the proprietors, who are poor, and un-
able to pay for a survey of the same, and the whole being of small
value : Therefore, voted unanimously, that the clerk to the said pro-
prietors be desired and directed to sign the petition to the General
Court, praying for power to sell the remaining common lands in
Natick, and, after paying charges, subdivide the remaining money
arising from said sale, among the proprietors.

1775. This is an eventful period in the history of the town. Many
of its inhabitants were engaged in the incipient measures of the
revolutionary war. The alarm on the morning of the 19th of April,
caused by the appearance of a body of British troops in Concord,
was sounded by Captain Dudley, of Sudbury, and found all classes
ready for the emergency. Some movement of the kind had been an-
ticipated. News had been sent to Natick about a fortnight before,
that some expedition was soon to be set forward, by the commander
of the forces then occupying Boston, by which the military stores in
Worcester and Concord were to be destroyed.

When the news came, early in the morning, the people rapidly as-
sembled on the common, provided themselves with ammunition, and
marched, full of zeal, to attack the British. One of the survivors of
this scene, a short time previous to his death, said that every man
that morning was a minute-man. Two Natick men, Caesar Ferrit,
and his son John, arrived at a house near Lexington, before the British
troops reached it on their return from Concord. From the entry of
the house they discharged their muskets at the Regulars, and then
secreted themselves under the cellar stairs. In passing, several of
the troops entered the house and made diligent though unsuccessful
search for their annoyers.


It is difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain the number of the in-
habitants who were in the war, or to give their names. John Bacon,
the father of Captain David Bacon, before mentioned, fell at Lexing-
ton ; Captain Baldwin, at Bunker Hill ; Captain Joseph Morse, Lieut.
Abel Perry, and Lieut. William Bowden, were all officers in the
revolutionary army. Captain Morse remained in the service till the
year 1799, when he came home an invalid, and died on the 16th of
December of the same year.

The votes of the following year show the determination of the peo-
ple of the town, and indicate a resolution not to be behind more
wealthy places in furnishing men and money.

1776. May 20th. All warrants for town or district meetings, as
they were called, prior to this date were issued in the name and by the
authority of the Government of Great Britain. The warrant bear-
ing the date above was by the authority of the Government of Massa-
chusetts Bay.

At a meeting of June 20, 1776, a resolve, expressive of the views
entertained by the town, on the Declaration of Independence by the
Colonies, was drafted by a Committee, consisting of Rev. Stephen
Badger, Captain John Coolidge, and Daniel Morse, and unanimously

"At a meeting of the town of Natick, legally warned and assem
bled, June 20, 1776. In consequence of a Resolve of the late House
of Representatives being laid before the town, setting forth their
sense of the obligations which lie upon every town in this Colony
solemnly to engage to support, with their lives and fortunes, the Hon-
orable Continental Congress, should said Congress, for the safety of
the American Colonies, come into the measure of declaring them
selves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain,

It was unanimously Voted, that in consideration of the many acts
of the British Parliament, passed in diverse sessions of the same,
within about thirteen years past, relating to said Colonies, especially
those within the two or three last years, by which every idea of mod-
eration, justice, humanity and Christianity is entirely laid aside, and
those principles and measures adopted and pursued which would dis.
grace the most unenlightened and uncivilized tribe of aboriginal
natives, in the most interior part of this extensive continent; and also
in consideration of the glaring impropriety, incapacity and fatal ten-
dency of any State whatever, at the distance of three thousand miles to


legislate for these Colonies, which at the same time are so numerous, so
knowing, and so capable of legislating, or to have a negative upon
those laws which thej in their respective Assemblies and by their
united representation in General Court shall from time to time enact
and establish for themselves ; and for diverse other considerations
which for brevity's sake we omit to mention, — we, the inhabitants of
Natick, in town meeting assembled, do hereby declare, agreeably to
the tenor of the before mentioned Resolve, that should the Honorable
Continental Congress declare these American Colonies independent
of the Kingdom of Great Britain, we will with our lives and fortunes
join with the other inhabitants of this Colony, and with those of the
other Colonies, in supporting them in said measure, which we look
upon to be both important and necessary ; and which, if we may bo
permitted to suggest an opinion, the sooner it is entered into the fewer
difficulties shall we have to conflict with, and the grand objects of
peace, liberty, and safety, will be more likely speedily to be restored
and established in our once happy land.

(Signed) Daniel Morse, Town Clerk."

In February of 1776 a call was made for men to reinforce the
army attempting the conquest of Canada, and in July we find the
town voting seven pounds as an additional sum to the bounty of seven
pounds offered by Government, for men who would engage in it.

The scenes of the 17th of June, 1776, are famihar to all. An
account of them and of the measures which followed them, would be
more appropriate elsewhere than in a history of a town. Suffice it
to say that the British troops, which numbered near three thousand
men, after having been addressed by their general, were marched
directly up the hill on to the American lines, confident of an easy
conquest — the ships cannonading at the same time the redoubt — and
poured in a regular heavy fire. An overwhelming discharge was re-
turned, and in the course of ten minutes the enemy gave way and
retreated in disorder down the hill. After manoeuvring for some
time, the British made a second attack, but with no better fortune.
Our troops waited until they were very near, and then poured in
upon them so fatal a fire that a second time they were forced to

. Reinforced by a company from Boston of fresh troops, they a third
time advanced upon the American lines. Worn out by the fatigue



of the fight, and ammunition failing, a retreat was ordered and brought
off in good order.

Before the events just related a military company had been formed
in Naticlc, and officers chosen for any emergency. A muster-roll of
this company has fallen into my hands, and I give it to readers now
for the first time. It was under the command of Captain James
Mann, in Colonel Samuel Ballard's Regiment, and marched on the
alarm by the Battle of Bunker's Hill. They were all residents of
the town of Natick, and were allowed Id. per mile travelled for their
services, which amounted, for the whole Company, for two days' ser-
vices, to

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Online LibraryOliver N BaconA history of Natick, from its first settlement in 1651 to the present time; with notices of the first white families, and also an account of the centennial celebration, Oct. 16, 1851, Rev. Mr. Hunt's address at the consecration of Dell Park cemetery, &c. .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 4 of 22)