Robert Crowell.

History of the town of Essex, 1634 to 1868; with sketches of the soldiers ... online

. (page 1 of 50)
Online LibraryRobert CrowellHistory of the town of Essex, 1634 to 1868; with sketches of the soldiers ... → online text (page 1 of 50)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Gc *^» IL^^






3 1833 01115 2235



L^f J \ ^


To AY 11 of Essex

FROM 1634 TO 18G8,




Sketches of the Soldiers




Press of Samuel Bowles &. Co., Springfield, Mass.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year I8i38, by


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.


— ' ' 1138S93

Most of the readers of this volume will recognize the
first chapter as the " History of Essex (then Chebacco, a
part of Ipswich) from 1634 to 1700," w^hich was published
in 1853.

In the preparation of the rest of the work, as well as of
that first part, it was the author's plan to insert a " few
fancy sketches of domestic, nautical and military life," in
the belief, as he stated in his preface, that since these
" were designed to be true to nature and in accordance
with the history of the times, they would not diminish
the value of the book as a history of the town. The
reader," he added, "will readily distinguish, it is presumed,
between the facts of history and the drapery in which
some of them occasionally appear. Man is no less a
reality for the dress, he may be supposed to have worn,
according to the fashion of his day ; nor is it difficult to
distinguish between the man and his apparel."

It was also his design to introduce as many hiograjyhi-
cal sketches of natives and residents of the town, as could
be obtained ; considering that " the history of towns, is
the history of townsmen, especially when acting for town
or country."

And since some mention of p)uhlic affairs — proceedings
of the government, political movements, military opera-


tions and the like — by which the welfare of the people
was in any way aftected, or in which their leading men
took part, seemed to him essential to a full exhibition of
the history of the town, he aimed to associate its succes-
sive stages with the most important events occmTing in the
colony, the province and the nation, of which it was a part.

It was his intention to close the history with the year
1819, and yet to increase its value as a work of reference,
by appending a chronological record of events from that
year to the date of its publication. At the time of his
death, however, the work was completed no further than
the year 1814, several gaps were still unfilled, and only a
few of the materials were collected and arranged for the
rest of it.

The town, at a meeting held April 1, 1867, voted to
purchase the manuscript for publication, and since that
time efforts have been made by those, into whose posses-
sion it had fallen, to supply deficiencies and to carry out
as fully as possible the plan of the author ; but of neces-
sity the >5f>3ok still has defects, from which it would have
been free, had he himself lived to revise and finish it.

The last chapter, containing the doings of the town with
reference to the war of the rehellion and the sketches of its
soldiers in the Federal army, has been written by Hon.
David Choate. Some of the biographical sketches (pub-
lished originally in the newspapers), the "Walk about
Town," the copious extracts from the records of mar-
riages and deaths, and other facts have also been fur-
nished by him. The whole work, too, has had the benefit
of some revision at his hands, though he is in no way re-
sponsible for its defects.


The book is further indebted for maoy facts to several
other citizens and particularly to Caleb Cogswell, Esq.,
whose researches have contributed much valuable mate-
rial to the sixth chapter.

The author was dependent upon Rev. J. B. Felt's His-
tory of Ipswich for a number of statements, statistics and
dates drawn from ancient documents ; yet the most of
these have been verified and all others have been taken
at first hand from family papers and original records of all
sorts. Some errors of dates will, perhaps, still be found,
arising from unreliable sources of information, from mis-
takes in copying, or from oversight in the reading of the
proof-sheets. Only those who have had experience in
this kind of work can fully appreciate the difficulty of
attaining perfect accuracy in such matters.

The hiographical sketch of the author has been pre-
pared at the suggestion and in accordance with the pub-
licly expressed wish of a number of the citizens of the

E. P. (^OWELL.
Amuekst College, September, 1868.



Biographical Skktcii of the Author, , . • 9


163i — 1700: From thk First Settlement of Ciiebacco to the

close of the Seventeenth Centurv 21


1700 — 1745: To the Division of Chebacco into Two Parishes, 110


1746 — 1771 : To the Reunion of the Tavo Parishes, .... 160


1774 — 1800: To THE Close of the Eighteenth Century, . . . 201


1800 — 1819: To the Incorporation of Chebacco as the Towx

OF Essex, 254


1820 — 1868: Chronological Record of Events, 293


The Doings op the Town with reference to the War of

the Rebellion, with Sketches of the Soldiers, .... 358

" A Walk About Toavn," 436



I. Record of Markiages and Deaths, 454, 460

II. College Graduates and otuer Professional Men, . . 475

III. Representatives and Senators in the Legislature, Town
Clerks, Town Treasurers, Moderators of Annual
Town Meetings and Justices of the Peace, . . 476,477

Index, 479

Biograpliical Sketcli of the Autlior.
— »♦» —

Robert Crowell was born ia Salem, Mass., December 9, 1787.
He was the son of a sea captain, Samuel Crowell, the commander of a
privateer in the Revolutionary War, under a commission from Congress,*
afterwards master of a ship in the East India trade, and who was supposed
to have perished by shipwreck in the Indian Ocean in 1810, at the age of
65. It was not the lot of the subject of this sketch, therefore, to grow up
under the watchful eye and with the guiding hand of a father. His mother,
however, — Mrs. Lydia Woodbury Crowell, — to whose care alone he was thus
of necessity left, was a woman of more than ordinary intelligence, of energy
and discretion and of earnest piety. It was no slight testimony to the fidelity
and wisdom of the early training he received from her, that when he entered
a store on Kilby Street, Boston, at the age of fourteen, on learning that the
clergymen of his own denomination in that city had departed from what he
had been taught to believe was the truth, and were preaching error, he de-
cided to attend public worship at a Baptist church. The published history
of that church mentions "a remarkable revival of religion in it durino- the
first years of the present century." And with that condition of things, it is
not strange that the preaching of its pastor. Rev. Dr. Samuel Stillman, a
man eminent for his piety, and " the most popular pulpit orator of his day," —
to which he thus statedly listened, should have made upon his mind, as he was
wont to declare, religious impressions that were never effaced. Some three
years of laborious service earned him the confidence of his employer and
the promise of a partnership in trade at the age of twenty-one. But a love
of books, and a desire for an education, which had been stimulated by the
excellent schools of his native town, had strengthened rather than diminished
by his separation from studies, and he returned to his home in 1804, to
prepare for college at the Latin Grammar School in Salem, then under the
instruction of Master Daniel Parker.

He had no means for. defraying the cost of a liberal education and was
obliged to set out on his course relying entirely upon himself. School tcacb-

* Captain Crowell's commission as " Commander of the schooner Greyhound, of
forty tuns burthen, and mounting six carriage guns," is dated October, 1779, and
has the signature of John Jay, President of Congress.


intr — the first time at IManchester when he was eighteen years old^irocured
him the necessary funds only in part. But he providentially found a friend
in a neio-hbor, Mr. Joseph Hodges, who loaned him several hundred dollars,
without interest or security, and who was content to wait for its repayment by
installments from the professional salary of his beneficiary.

Entering Dartmouth College in the Autumn of 1807, he was fortunate in
the class which he joined, not so much on account of its numbers, (fifty-four
at graduation,) though it was the largest which graduated at that Institution
during the first sixty-eight years of its history, as because of the character of
some of its members — the real culture of a college student being more vitally
affected by the intellectual ability, the degree of enthusiasm, and the scholar-
ship of the leading men of his class, than by almost any other influences of
his academic life. Of those with whom he was thus brought into the very
intimate relation of class-mate, several have attained high eminence in Church
and State — among them his room-mate, Kev. Dr. Daniel Poor, missionary
in Ceylon for forty years, Rev. Jonathan Curtis, the first scholar of his class
and afterwards a tutor in college, Joel Parker, LL. D., now Professor of Law
in Harvard University, and Hon. Ether Shepley, Chief Justice of the Su-
preme Court of Maine. Many others have been useful and influential in the
various learned professions.

While an undergraduate, his tastes inclined him especially to the study of
the Greek and Latin classics, and mental and moral philosophy. But his
conscientious fidelity in all the studies of the college course, and his eager-
ness to make the most of them as means of discipline and culture, have been
attested not more by some who were his associates then, than by his rank as
a scholar. Of this no more need be recorded than that he was a member of
the Phi Beta Kappa Society, to which only a certain part of each class — the
first third in scholarship — were eligible.

At his graduation in the Summer of 1811, he was at no loss in deciding
upon the profession for which he should study. His Christian life, as he
always afterwards believed, had begun in the Winter of his first year in col-
lege, while he was teaching a school in Reading. The consciousness of his
unfitness to comply with a rule, requiring the daily sessions of the school to
be opened with prayer, compelled him to an immediate and earnest consider-
ation of the subject of personal religion, and led him, through a Divine re-
newal of his character, "to devote himself to God as a penitent believer in
Jesus." Giving evidence of this change he had united with the Tabernacle
Church, of which his mother had for many years been a member, March 10,
1810, and throughout his connection with college had been known as an
active and consistent Christian. He now looked upon the work of the Chris-
tian ministry as both a duty and a privilege for himself. And impaired
health and want of funds forbidding his entering the Theological Seminary at
Andover, he studied divinity with his pastor, Rev. Dr. Samuel Worcester.

Biographical sketch of the author. xi

In 1813, lie received licensure, and in June of that year preached for the
first time in Chebaceo. The pulpit being at that time vacant he -was em-
ployed as stated supply for the remainder of the year. Several months fol-
lowing he spent in Home 3Iissionary labor in Maine, and while in that work
he received, in March, a call from the Church and Parish in Chebaceo, to
become their pastor. His acceptance of this call is dated, " Salem, June
25, 1814," and his ordination took place on Wednesday, the 10th of
following. Of the public exercises on that occasion, some account is given
in this history. The relation thus constituted continued unbroken forty-one
years and terminated with his death by pneumonia, November the 10th,
1855. His funeral was attended at the church on the afternoon of the 13th,
on which occasion a discourse was delivered by Eev. Dr Daniel Fitz of
Ipswich, from Deuteronomy 11:31, and prayer offered by Eev. "Wakefield
Gale of Rockport.

In his domestic life during this long period, there were some experiences
of sorrow which were adapted to discipline him more perfectly for the " min-
istry of consolation," but of which it is fitting that only the briefest mention
should here be made. Married very soon after his settlement, August 29th,
to Miss Hannah H. Frost of Andover, he was deprived of her by death,
December 11, 1818. His second wife. Miss Hannah Choate of Essex to
whom he was united September 2, 1822, died on the 9th of February,
1837. Two children were taken from him in their infancy, and a third —
Washington Choate — at the age of twenty, when a student of medicine and
apparently on the threshold of a life of usefulness.

A ministry of such duration was necessarily the witness of many and great
changes in the community -where its offices were performed. Stretching
beyond the middle of the century from a point so near its beginning, this pas-
torate beheld the erection ofthe parish into a town ; a steady and considera-
ble increase in its population and its business ; its advance in educational
privileges ; its participation in seasons of religious awakening, in the temper-
ance reformation, and in national political excitements ; its growth in intelli-
gence and enterprise, along with the enlargement of the nation, the wonderful
progress of the age in science and the arts, and the origination of almost all
the appliances of an enlightened philanthropy for the benefit of the diseased
and for reclaiming the vicious, as well as for christianizing the heathen. This
term of official service also spanned the life of more than an entire genera-
tion ; so that in his earliest parochial visits the pastor conversed with some
who recollected the burial of Pickering, and had enjoyed the fifty years'
ministry of Cleveland, with not a few who had been old enough to share
in the excitements of the Revolution and had seen the beginning of
the Republic; and in his latest days numbered among his congregation
many whose parents had been reared under his preaching. In this long
series of years he had literally followed to the grave more than eight hundi-ed


of his people. He had officiated at the baptism of two hundred and fifty-six
persons, and united in marriage three hundred and fourteen couples.

Yet even in this eventful period, and while an attentive spectator of such
constant and important changes, his own ministerial work could admit of very
little variety, and of nothing novel or extraordinary. Most of his time
must be spent in the seclusion of the study. In parochial duties, — religious
conversation, the visitation of the sick and the afflicted, and the burial of the
^ead — there was the same unvarying routine. Each year was a repetition of
the preceding in its regularly recurring services of worship and of preaching ;
and his appearance in public was almost wholly limited to these occasions.
His pulpit was never vacated except from sickness, and bis only deviation
from the round of his ordinary duties consisted in attendance upon meetings
of the Association, and of the Conference and upon Councils. His pastorate,
therefore, like that of most country clergyman, could be characterized by
few incidents of general or striking interest, or even such as would be fitted
of themselves to reveal or illustrate the distinctive traits of his character.

His very steadfastness, however, in this undeviating and limited course of
action certainly indicates that he had a definite plan and purpose in life to which
he constantly adhered. Of the general features of this ideal we may, per-
haps obtain the most correct views, — though at best but glimpses — from some
of his own published discourses ; since the standard of clerical living which
he commends to one entering the profession could hardly be other than the
reflection or echo of his own sentiments, and in his delineation of a com-
pleted ministerial career would be almost unconsciously disclosed those quali-
ties of mind and heart which seemed to himself most excellent, and which
he was ever striving to attain. At the same time in judging of his approach
to the model thus outlined in his own words, the reader must make suitable
allowance for the coloring of the picture ; since near relationship, while it has
the best opportunity of observation, must be incapable of impartial judg-

Apparent on the most casual glance at the life of Dr. Crowell,* is his
conscientious and exclusive surrender to his professional calling as he deemed
it indicated to him by the finger of his Divine Master. That such a devotion
was distinctly contemplated, must be inferred from his reply to the "call"
to the pastorate, which thus closes : — " To you Providence directed me in the
commencement of my ministerial labors. And to you, if I am not deceived,
the same Providence is now calling me for a more permanent residence among
you. This call I would not resist, being confident in this very thing, that if
God has any work forme to do, He can prepare me for it and direct me to it."
His success in realizing this purpose, the language he used respecting a father
in the ministry, perhaps with some abatement, describes : — " He sought to be

* The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by Dartmouth College
in 1850.


a minister and nothing but a minister. He never suffered any other object
to divide or distract his attention. His mind could not indeed be prevented
from ranging through the works of nature that he might see and adore the
wisdom of their Former and gather up truth wherever it was to be obtained,
but he brought all his attainments in knowledge from whatever source de-
rived, and laid them down at Jesus' feet. , Jle was an attentive observer of
the political prospects and changes of the world, and particularly of his own
country which he ardently loved ; but all his observations he brought to bear
upon that Christian ministry to which he was devoted."*

His enthusiasm in theological study was sustained, if not kindled, by this
single aim to be faithful and useful in the work given him to do. It was one
of his strongest convictions that " imbecility and a barren ministry must be
the necessary consequence of a relaxation from studious habits and a reliance
upon what has been already acquired. The itinerant preacher may travel
the country with the same scanty stock with which he commenced, but the
settled abiding pastor must be constantly adding to his fund of knowledge,
if, like the well instructed scribe, he would bring forth out of his treasury
thinjrs new and old." t With the value to the minister of a critical knowl-
edge of the Scriptures in the original, he was deeply impressed. His every-
day life testified to the sincerity and consistency with which he charged the
candidate for this office to " make the searching of the Scriptures a special
study. Be not content," was his injunction, "to read them in any other
language than those in which they were originally written. However excel-
lent the translations in English, yet see for yourself that they are thus faith-
ful, that you may add your testimony to this interesting fact, and prevent if
possible, evil men and seducers from wresting the Scriptures by a false appeal
to the orisinal tongues." He himself read the Hebrew and Greek Testa-
raents systematically and carefully to the end of his life — a practice rare at
his day, even among the graduates of Theological Seminaries. The meaning
of every passage he was to expound and of every chapter to be interpreted
at the monthly meeting of the ministerial association, was thoroughly exam-
ined in the original.

In all investigation of religious truth, it was his maxim that one should
"study the scope and end of the Scriptures, and make them his only author-
ity for what he believes and practices. He should draw his whole creed from
this high and sacred source; never bringing to it any human system, however
excellent in itself, or however well sustained by the authority of man, for the
purpose of making the Scriptures accord with it ; but examining everything
in the light of Scripture, and receiving or rejecting it according as it agrees
or disagrees with this unerring standard." t Of his own religious belief, as

* Sermon at tlie funeral of Eev. Dr. Joseph Dana, November 19, 1827.
t Cliarge at the ordination of Rev. J. Taylor, Wenham.
I Ibidem.


thus developed, liis summary of Dr. Dana's would l^e a fair representation.
" In respect to sentiment, lie was a firm believer in those doctrines usually
denominated Calviuistic, and which embrace as cardinal points— the Trinity —
man's native aad entire depravity — regeneration by the special influences of
the Holy Spirit — ^justification by the righteousness of Christ alone — election
•= — the perseverance of the saints — man's free agency and accountability — the
resurrection of the dead-^the final judgment — the eternal misery of the
wicked and the everlasting happiness of the righteous." These truths he
held solely because he found them in the Bible, "to which alone," like his
venerated friend, "he repaired to learn what he should believe and what he
should preach ; and for the truth of them he was remarkable for exhibiting in
all his public discourses Scripture authority."

With such a creed growing out of such a constant and reverent perusal of
the inspired Word of God, as a perfect and authoritative revelation, he could
Hot be guilty of any ambiguity in Ms utterances from the pulpit, or of any
effort to win popularity by the subject matter, or the style of his sermons.
" Ask not," was his admonition to the young preacher, " in the selection of
your subjects for the pulpit, what will please men, but what will please the
great Head of the church, and preach the preaching which he hath bidden
you. Let no consideration of interest or expediency induce you to omit, in
the course of your ministry, any one doctrine or duty of Holy Writ, but
faithfully declare the whole counsel of God." In full accord with this pre-
cept Was his own practice. His characterization of Dr. Dana's sermons was;
in proportion to his ability, applicable to his own. " His statements of divine
truth were full, clear and impressive. His public discourses were rich in
sound instruction and persuasive exhortation, expressed in language simple
and pure, and in a style grave, perspicuous and forcible. " They were noted,"
said Rev. Dr. Fitz in his funeral sermon, " for strength of argument, for depth
of research, and for their direct and solemn appeals to the conscience and
the heart."

Deriving froyi the same Divine source Ms idea of the relative importance
of the various duties devolving on him, he always made the public presenta-
tion' of religious truth from the pulpit paramount to all else. " He ever
felt" — to introduce again his own words to another— " that the first and
most important duty which he owed his people, besides visiting the bereaved,
the sick and dying, was the preparation of thoroughly digested discourses for
the Sabbath."* In his estimation, "no frequency of pastoral visits, no
zeal in the number and continuance of religious meetings, no sacrifice of time
and strength in carrying out plans for the promotion of the great public char-
ities can atone for the neglect of this, the most appropriate and the most
important of all ministerial duties, because God's chosen method of saving
them tliat believe." f Yet ivhile making pastoral duties suhordinate to the
* Charge to Mr. Taylor. f Ibidem.


preaching of the Gospel, his surviving parishoners -will testify " with what
fiifectionate solicitude he watched over their spiritual interests, and how deeply
he sympathized with them in all the vicissitudes of life," rejoicing with
them that rejoiced in the social circle, and at the marriage festivity, and
weeping with them that wept whether in the chamber of sickness or the

Online LibraryRobert CrowellHistory of the town of Essex, 1634 to 1868; with sketches of the soldiers ... → online text (page 1 of 50)