Samuel A. (Samuel Abbott) Green.

Facts relating to the history of Groton, Massachusetts (Volume 2) online

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and he on June 17, 1863.

The eldest child of Peter and Ann Channing (Huntington) Richards
was Henry Augustus Richards, of whom more later. The next was Dr.
VVoIcott Richards, a graduate of the Yale Medical School in 1825, who
practised medicine for many years in Cincinnati. He married twice
and in his later years lived in Roxbury and Waltham, Mass., and died
in New York City. The third child, Channing Richards, was a mer-
chant, married and lived in Cincinnati, and there died. The fourth
child, Ann Huntington Richards, married Rev. James Woods McLane,
a Presbyterian minister of New York City and Williamsburgh. The
fifth child was Eliza Richards who married James Haughton of Boston,
one of the most charming men I ever met. His firm, Haughton,
Sawyer & Co., was very prominent in the wholesale dry goods busi-
ness. The sixth child, Peter Richards, with a residence in- Brooklyn,
engaged in business in New York City for many years, then retired,
and ended his days in Geneva, N. Y. He married twice. The
seventh child was Hannah Dolbeare Richards, wife of Rev. Ephraim
Lyman of Washington, Conn. She, the last of her generation, is still
living — in Clifton Springs, N. Y. The eighth child was Rev. George
Richards. He was graduated at Yale in 1840, was a tutor there and
Fellow of the University, became pastor of the Winter Street Church
in Boston, then was settled at Bridgeport, Conn., and died at Litch-


field in 1870. The youngest child, Jedediah Huntington Richards,
practised medicine in Cincinnati, but his health was poor and he
returned to the East and died in Washington, Conn.

Henry Augustus Richards, the eldest child, born in New London
November 14, 1801, for some years was engaged in the manufacture
of cottons at Uncasville, Connecticut. His health, however, was not
sufficiently rugged to stand the strain incident to his position, and in
the hope of bettering it, his mill was handed over to Charles Lewis,
son of his uncle James a wealthy resident of New London, and
he undertook the selling of the cotton goods in New York City.
The change proved, however, detrimental, and his physician ordered
a country life and out-of-door living. So he bought a farm in Groton,
Massachusetts, and here came to live in the year 1 841, just after the
death of President Harrison. The estate which he bought had been
previously owned by the father of Margaret Fuller, and in the immediate
neighborhood of the Lawrence Farm. It occupied one of the finest
sites in Groton, on Pleasant Street at the beginning of Farmers' Row.
It is now owned by the Hon. William F. Wharton, formerly Assistant
Secretary of State.

When Mr. Richards 'came t« Groton he brought with him a wife,
five sons and three daughters, and here were born to him another son
and another daughter. The old mansion on Pleasant Street where
Timothy Fuller and his daughter Sarah Margaret had toiled amid
shadows, now was the sunny scene of hospitality, of matronly grace,
and of youthful glee and beauty. The daughters were noted for their
lovely faces and charming manners, and as they grew up it was a dis-
puted point among their admirers as to which one was the hand-
somest. According to my remembrance at a later date than the
Groton days, the young men were chronologically divided in opinion
into sets, each set deciding in favor of that girl whose age was just a
little less than their own. The daughters themselves, however, seem
to have been a unit in their judgment. They agreed with Milton :
" the loveliest of her daughters, Eve," and unanimously awarded the
palm to their mother.

The mother was Julia Ann Haughton, daughter of William and
Olive (Chester) Haughton, and sister of that James Haughton who
married Eliza Richards, as previously mentioned. She was born May
28, 1805 at Montville, Connecticut, and married Mr. Richards on
August 3, 1824 at New London. I never saw her, but her portrait,
painted by her cousin Daniel Huntington, the well-known artist of New
York, graces the home of one of her daughters. Of her charming


personality, her wifely affection and her motherly love, I have heard
ample testimony.

The attractiveness of the Groton home was heightened by the fre-
quent presence of grandfather and grandmother Richards, and also of
the widowed grandmother Haughton, who seemed to find no place so
charming as that where these children were, and who spent her last
years with them.

Mr. and Mrs. Richards united with the Congregational Church, then
under the charge of Rev. Dudley Phelps (Y. C. 1823), and came to
know intimately the family of their pastor. The children were members
of the Sunday School, one or more of the daughters being in the class
taught by Mrs. Mary Woodbury, who quickly won the love and
respect of her pupils. Mrs. Woodbury, before and after the death of
her mother, Mrs. Samuel Lawrence, lived at the Lawrence homestead
where she often gathered the children in entertainments remembered
still with delight. Mrs. Woodbury's sister, Mrs. Eliza Green, had a
pleasant home in the village where the Richards children were made
welcome ; and she too figures largely in the sunny memories of
Groton. Indeed the family seems to have been well liked in the
place, to have found many pleasant acquaintances, and to have
formed some friendships which long survived the shock of separation
and the formation of new ties. All the children, except the young-
est, attended the Lawrence Academy. Here the eldest daughter, in
a class with five young men, was fitted for college by the principal,
Rev. James Means, whom she esteemed a most learned, kind and
efficient teacher.

Of the Groton stories told to me, I repeat one which illustrates
not only the way in which children were then brought up, but also
the curiously persistent cHnging of an unimportant incident in the child-
ish memory. A few years after the arrival of the family, " tall Miss
Butler " (so described to me) paid a formal call, and of course was
received in the best room. Charles and Mary, being at home, were
brought into the parlor and perched on tall ottomans, one on each
side of the fireplace, where they remained during the call perfectly
quiet and apparently unnoticed. But when Miss Butler took her
leave, she said in words remembered to this day: " Mrs. Richards, I
really must tell you how much I admire your mantel ornaments'^

Mr. Richards worked on his farm for eight years, with such appar-
ent benefit to his health that, when his brother Peter offered him
a partnership in the wool business in New York City, he did not hesi-
tate to accept the offer. He sold his farm in 1849, and in 1850 after


living for a year in the house^ which Rev. Mr. Phelps had previously
occupied, the family moved to Greenwich, Conn. Here the father
bought a house and made a new home, going daily to his office in New
York City. But the previous warning of the doctors had been only
too well founded. Mr. Richards' health broke down utterly. The
death of his wife, on August 23, 1853, was a terrible blow to him,
and he followed her two years later, on June 11, 1855. The oldest
son, William Haughton Richards, a Yale graduate of 1850, of fine
mental acquirements and great charm of person, had died at Brooklyn,
N. Y. on May 17, 1855, when he was apparently entering on a career
of success as a lawyer. Thus the care of the family devolved princi-
pally on the second son, Wolcott Augustus Richards, and the eldest
daughter, Julia Augusta. A favorable offer from his uncle James
Haughton caused Mr. Wolcott A. Richards to move to Roxbury,
then a separate city, but now a part of Boston. He took his sisters
with him. His brothers, one by one, found their opportunities in
other places. Greenwich was the last place in which the family were
united in one home.

The oldest son, whose talents were displayed in many directions,
became interested in the history of his ancestors and prepared a
genealogical chart, the data of which have been printed in Morse's
Ancient Puritans, vol. iii : pp. 93-104. I append here the record of
the last generation, preceded by the male line of ancestry.

1. JoHN^ Richards, possibly of Plymouth, Mass. ; of New London,

Conn., before 1660 ; d. 1687. Had 8 children. His oldest son
was :

2. Lieut. John^ Richards, b. 1666, New London; d. Nov. 2,

1720, New London; m. Love Manwaring dau. of Oliver
Manwaring of New London. Had 10 children, His 3rd child
was :

3. Capt. George^ Richards, b. 1695, New London; d. 1750,

New London ; m. Nov. 14, 1716, Esther Hough. Had 6
children. His 3rd child was :

4. Capt. Guv ^ Richards, b. 1722, New London; d. 1782, New

London; m. Jany 18, 1746, Elizabeth Harris. Had 10
children. His oldest child was :

1 This house was built by Mrs. Phelps's father (Benjamin Mark Far-
ley) in the year 1S33, when he first came to Groton to live. It is situated
at the corner of Hollis and Main Streets, and looks to the southward.
At the present time it is owned by Mrs. Daniel Needham.


5. GuY^ Richards, b. 1747, New London; d. 1825, New London;

m. June 17, 1773, Hannah Dolbeare. Had 13 children.
His 4th child was :

6. Peter® Richards, b. 178S, New London; d. June 17, 1863,

Washington, Ct. ; m. Nov. 25, 1800, Anne Channing Hun-
tington, dau. of Gen. Jedediah & Ann (Moore) Huntington,
b. 17S0 ; d. Jany 9, 1857, Washington, Ct. Had 9 children
The oldest was :

7. Henry Augustus '' Richards, b. Nov. 14, 1801, New London ;

d. June II, 1855, Greenwich, Ct.; m. Aug. 3, 1824, New Lon-
don, Julia Ann Haughton, dau. of William & Olive (Chester)
Haughton, b. May 28, 1805, Montville, Ct.; d. Aug. 23, 1853
Greenwich. Had i o children, viz :

Children of Henry Augustus and Julia Ann (Haughton)

Richards :

i, William Haughton, b. 1825 June 5, Uncasville, Ct. ; d. 1855.
May 17, Brooklyn, N. Y. unm.

ii. Wolcott Augustus, b. 1826 Nov. 9, Uncasville; d. 187 1 May 9,
Boston, Mass. ; m. 1862 Sept. 10, Roxbury, Mass. Mary^
Baker Kittredge, dau. of Alvah & Mehitable (Grozier) Kit-
tredge of Roxbury.

iii. Julia Augusta, b. 1828 July 26, Uncasville; d. Sept. 8, 1909,
(Roxbury) Boston, Mass.

iv. Henry Huntington, b. 1830 Feb. 22, New London, Ct. ;
living 1902, California; m. (i) 1872, Laramie City, Wyoming,
Harriet A. Rice; m (2) 1889 New Bedford, Mass. Mrs. Eliza
y. Baker.

V. James Haughton, b. 1831 Dec. 14, New York City; d. i860.
Camp Floyd, Utah, while in the employ of the U. S. Govern-
ment ; U7im.

vi. Anne Channing, b. 1834 Aug. 9, New York City; living 1902
at 50 Moreland Street, (Roxbury) Boston; m. 1858 Sept. 8,
Roxbury, William Porter Kittredge^ son of Alvah & Me-
hitable (Grozier) Kittredge of Roxbury.

vii. Charles Henshaw, b. 1837 Sept. 4, New London; d. 1898
Oct. 6, Portland, Oregon; m. 1872 June 10, San Francisco,
Cal., Mildred Elizabeth Pawley.

viii. Mary I vers, b. 1840 April 28, New York City; living 1902 at


26 Perrin Street (Roxbury) Boston; m. 1863 July i,Eoxbury,
Danforth Comstock Hodges, son of Almon Danforth & Martha
(Comstock) Hodges, of Roxbury.

ix. Adelaide Lewis, b. 1844 Feb 3, Groton, Mass. ; living 1902
at 51 West 38th Street, New York City ; m. 1866 Oct. 10, Bos-
ton, Dr. jfames Woods McLane, son of Rev. James Woods
& Anne Huntington (Richards) McLane. Dr. McLane died
in New York, on November 25, 19 12.

X. Gm^ Richards, b. 1848 Nov. 11, Groton; d. 1858 Nov. 30,

Yours very truly

A. D. Hodges, Jr.
Boston, January, 1902.


The following letter was written to me many years ago by
Mr. Alpheus Richardson, who kept a bookstore and bindery
at the corner of Main and Elm Streets. His business was
carried on in an ell connected with his house. He published
several books, of which the most important were two editions
of the New Testament, one of them appearing in the year
1833, and the other in 1846. Below is given the title of each

Methuen, Sept. 25, 1851.

Dear Friend, — Yours of the 15th was received some days since
stating that you were engaged in collecting all works, etc., published
in Groton. When I resided in town I published two different edi-
tions of testaments ; one a small pocket edition, 32° size, the other a
24° size, which I published 10 or 12 years [ago] ; also a book called
the New Primer, of about 40 pages which I published seven thou-
sand and five hundred ; also a book called the Broken Vase, a narra-
tive of about 70 pages, which is all I published while I was in town,
except several small pamphlets, which is so long since I have forgot-
ten about them. I hope you will succeed in collecting all the matter
published in town and be able to get up quite a catalogue, which


will make it appear that there was something doing in town in former
days as well [as] at present.

Yours truly,

Alpheus Richardson.

P. S. Please to give our best respects to your father and mother
and to all of our inquiring friends ; say to them that we are all well
hoping they enjoy the same.

A. R.

The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ : translated

out of the Original Greek ; and with the former translations

diligently compared and revised. Stereotype edition. Groton,

Mass. Printed and published by Alpheus Richardson. 1833.

i6mo. pp. 335, (i).

The frontispiece is a rude cut representing Christ and little
children ; the following Revelation is " An account of the
Lives, Sufferings, and Martyrdom, of the Apostles and Evan-
gelists," and also " A table of Kindred and Affinity, wherein
whatsoever are related are forbidden in Scripture, and by
our Laws, to marry together."

The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, translated
out of the Original Greek ; and with the former translation dili-
gently compared and revised. Stereotyped by Luther Roby,
Concord, N. H. Groton, Ms. Published by A. Richardson.
1846. i6mo. pp. 254.

Luther Roby, who made the stereotype plates of this later
edition, was the youngest son of James and Lucy (Cutter)
Roby, of Amherst, New Hampshire, where he was born on
January 8, 1801.

During my boyhood these two editions of the Testament
were common, particularly in the public schools where they
were used, but now they are very rarely seen. At that pe-
riod the first exercise of the scholars in the morning was the
reading of one or two verses from the New Testament.

Mr. Richardson took up his abode in the town of Methuen
about the year 1850.



Among my early recollections was a stage-driver, Henry
Lewis Lawrence by name, who drove a coach from Groton
to Lowell and afterward to Fitchburg. He lived in the three-
story building at the south corner of Broad Meadow road
and Main street, opposite to the northerly corner of the com-
mon. Mr. Lawrence was the second son of Daniel Hall and
Kezia (Shattuck) Lawrence, of Pepperell, where he was born
on November 8, 1808. His mother had ten children, who all
lived to grow up to manhood or womanhood, and all but one
was married. His eldest sister, Kezia, was the wife of Moses
Gill of Groton, a well-known innholder, whom many persons
still remember.

The mother died on October 4, 1822 — the day after
giving birth to her tenth child — aged 41 yrs. 6 mos. and
3 days.

On December 20, 1832, Henry L. Lawrence married, at
Westford, Martha H. Leighton of that town ; and they had
three children born at Groton as follows : WiUiam Henry, on
October 14, 1834; George Lewis, on August 14, 1836; Maria
Augusta, on January 9, 1839.

These two boys I knew very well and used to play with
them, though they were somewhat younger than I was. We
went to the same school, old District No. i, which stood op-
posite to the academy grounds. Many years ago Willard
Torrey gave me a list of the scholars that attended this
school in the winter of 1839-40, when he was a school com-
mittee man. At that time Edmund Dana Bancroft was the
teacher, and the paper is printed in the Groton Historical
Series (III. 151). According to this list the salary of the
master was eighteen dollars a month.

Both these boys served in the army during the War of the
Rebellion with great credit to themselves, and for that reason
I write this notice of them.

" Billy" Lawrence, as I used to call the elder of the brothers,
was mustered into the service of the United States on May 25,


1 86 1, as first lieutenant, and was appointed adjutant of the
First Massachusetts Volunteers. On the stafif of General
Hooker, August 23, 1861, major, aide-de-camp, U. S. Volun-
teers, November 10, 1862. Engaged at the battles of Antie-
tam, Lookout Mountain and Peach Tree Creek. Brevet Lieut.
Colonel and Brig. General U. S. Volunteers, March 13, 1865.
Mustered out on July 10, 1866, and died at East Boston on
November 22, 1874.

For some years before his death he held a responsible po-
sition at the Boston Custom House. No native of Groton
during the war reached so high military rank as did Billy

The Fitchburg Daily Sentinel, September 26, 1893, gives
a sketch of George, the younger brother, which is so com-
plete that I send it with no additions. It is a just tribute to
a brave soldier and a worthy man :

Lieut. George L. Lawrence, the first Fitchburg man to enter the
United States service for three years during the late war, died at his
home, 39 Cottage square, this morning, after a wasting illness that ex-
tended over a period of more than ten years.

Lieut. Lawrence was the son of Henry L., and the late Martha H.
(Leighton) Lawrence, and was born at Groton, August 14, 1836.
His parents moved to Fitchburg when he was seven years old, and
he attended the public schools of the town and while quite young he
went to Boston, where he was employed by Liberty Bigelow in the
office of the Grand Junction railroad.

He early developed a taste for military affairs and had been a
member of the Fitchburg Fusiliers and the Boston Fusiliers before
the breaking out of the civil war. He was a resident of Fitchburg
when Fort Sumter was fired upon, but the Fusiliers not being called
immediately into the service, he went to Boston, and on May 23,
1 86 1, was mustered into the United States service as a sergeant of
Co. G, First Massachusetts regiment. His older brother, William H.,
who was afterwards on Gen. Hooker's staff, was first lieutenant in the
same company. George was promoted to second lieutenant, August
30, 1862, and to first lieutenant, July 2, 1863. He served the full
term of three years.

After the expiration of his term of service he resumed his former
position in the office of the Grand Junction railroad. Later, he was


baggagemaster for the B. C. F. & N. B. railroad between Fitchburg
and Providence, and afterwards express messenger on the Fitchburg
railroad between this city and Boston.

Lieut. Lawrence married January 4, 1870, Florence F., widow of
Lieut. Fred H. Sibley and daughter of Harrison Smith, who, with
one son Lewis S., survives him. His aged father and one sister
Mrs. George F. Battles, are also living.

He was one of the bravest soldiers who served in the field and the
seeds of his long illness were undoubtedly sown during the trying
experiences of camp and field. His family mourn a kind and faith-
ful husband and father, and the community loses an honorable and
patriotic citizen.

Henry L. Lawrence, the father, outlived both his sons, and
died at Fitchburg on December 19, 1895, ^t the advanced
age of 87 yrs. i month and 1 1 days.

S. A. G.

"The Groton Landmark," July 8, 191 1.


A STORY of the Civil War, as told by James Joseph O'Brien,
a member of Company B, 26th Massachusetts Infantry, Cap-
tain E. S. Clark, a charter member and first adjutant of
E. S. Clark Post, No. 1 1 5 , G. A. R., of Groton, and Past Com-
mander of George S. Boutwell Post of Ayer, Massachusetts,
about the name of a confederate soldier on the memorial
tablet in Groton.

Near the entrance to the Town Hall there is a large marble
tablet, upon which, in letters of gold, are the names, command,
date, and place of death, of soldiers who enlisted to fill the
quota of the town of Groton. The tablet is the town's me-
morial to its soldier heroes. One of these inscriptions reads
as follows :


Co. B. 26 Mass. Regt

Killed at Winchester, Va.

Sept. 19, 1864.


Early in 1861, when the State of Louisiana seceded, the
port of New Orleans was blockaded, and no one allowed to
leave the city. So a great many Union sympathizers were
caught in the trap, and rushed down the Mississippi River to
Forts Jackson and St. Philip to do garrison duty, sandwiched
in with strong Secessionists, and compelled to work the big
guns against Farragut's ships. After the fleet had passed
the forts, and destroyed the Confederate navy, it proceeded
up the river to New Orleans. The Union men in Fort Jack-
son laid a plot to desert the fort that night; some two or
three hundred of them made a dash at midnight for the
Union lines. When the Secessionists saw what was up,
they gave the alarm. The commanding officer ordered his
men to man the big guns on the parapet, which they did at
once, and expected to blow the Yankee deserters to smith-
ereens. But to their great surprise and dismay every big
gun on the parapet had been safely spiked ; and Timothy
O'Connor and James O'Neill, who led the deserters, marched
to the Union lines bearing a flag of truce (which was a piece
of old mosquito netting), and surrendered to the picket guard
of the 26th Massachusetts Regiment. General Butler paroled
them at once. They might go North if they chose, or enlist
in the Union service. Many of them availed themselves of the
ofl"er to enlist, and Timothy O'Connor and James O'NeiU both
enlisted in the Groton Company, and were credited to the
quota of the town. No name is more deserving to be hon-
ored than that of Timothy O'Connor. I have been asked
why James O'Neill's name is not on the tablet. My answer
to that is he was not killed in battle. At a later period
O'Neill was transferred to the 5th United States Artillery.

Timothy O'Connor's brother John was for several years a
resident of the South before the War, but unlike his brother
Timothy, he was a rabid rebel and enlisted in the Confeder-
ate service, just after Timothy's escape. There was an old
river-boat anchored in the Mississippi River between Algiers
and New Orleans. This boat was used by the Union forces
as a prison for rebel prisoners of war. At this time there were
about two hundred prisoners on the boat. It was the custom


of some of the boys to get a pass to visit the prison-boat.
Timothy O'Connor visited the boat one day, and was greatly
surprised to find his brother John there. Thinking that his
brother might Hke an opportunity to escape, if offered him,
Timothy called him aside and proposed a scheme for him to
go over to the Union side, John heard his brother's plans ;
and when he had finished he soundly berated him for pro-
posing such an idea. Timothy had to make haste to leave
the boat for fear his brother would expose him, as he strongly
announced his allegiance to the Southern cause. An ex-
change of prisoners occurred soon afterward ; and in a severe
engagement, John was killed while fighting for the Confed-
eracy, Timothy was killed at Winchester fighting for the


In Hawley, Mr. Joseph Longley, born in Groton, Mass., Aug.
17, 1744. He was great grandson to William Longley, who, with
a part of his family, were killed at Groton, by the Indians, in 1 684
[1694?] — grandson to John Longley, who was Captain five years
in Canada — and son to Joseph Longley, who was mortally wounded
in the battle and defeat of Fort William Henry, 1758. When 16,
he was in the French war one year and helped to build the stone
barracks at Crown Point, 1760, He was five years in the revolu-
tionary war for Independence. In the first eight months' service,
1775. At Ticonderoga in '76. At the capture of Burgoyne, '77.
In December following, while in the van of 100 volunteers, under
Maj. Hull, pursuing a foraging party, 32 were cut off by the British
cavalry, near Derby, deprived of their blankets, and put in prison
at Philadelphia, where more than half died of cold, hunger, and
disease. In April, '78, he, with others, were put on board a prison

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