Samuel A. (Samuel Abbott) Green.

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

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lamantabl condison ouer beloued brethren are in & of the sufering
state of religion among them by reson of the long contineued and Exer-
siseing diferences & diuesons where bey their pese and quieat haue bin
ob structed & it is with Extreme sorou and aflicton of sperit wee be
hould the diffrances arision be twene y*" reurend mr dud brodstret and
the disatisfied brethren and other inhabintence be come so wide & grate
as for bid us to hope for such reconcilation betwene them as may of fer
a prouibel prospect of the con tinuance of the relation thay stand in
Each to other comfortablle to either and do therefore beleue it to
be y^ most hopefull Expedaent to their peese and comfort that the
Church of Crist and in haditance of Groton do frely Consent that the
reurend mr dudly bradstt may re moue from them & wee beleue it will
Conduse to his oune Comfort to exsept that liberty when aloued him :
wee furder ad that in order to his pesoble remoue from them it is their
duty to maintaine a Du regard to his iust rits according to thare a
greement with hime upone his setlement with them in the pastorl
offise whilst this be dune wee cannot supepose thay will deel iustly with


him nor comfortably for them selues & to y' prouiding to a nu setl-
ment finely we Judge it the duty of paster and pepel to humbell them
selues under the the [sic] ueru sever and Just & holy prouidence of
God in per miting saton the Enemy of souls so long to inuad & imbors
thare peese & to be uery lavvfuU to in quier into the causes of God
anger & holy indignation manifest in so sore & humdling a dispershon
of prouidence touerds them and we beleue it their duty to beg that
God would shou to Euery of them where in thay haue dun a mis to be
waill it be fore God & to ask importinatly his pardoning marsey throu
the bioud of a gratious & all mity redemer to hear the fait of these
misers of iniquitys which cannot be by ouer most thout full & Cristell
Endeuers Come att lyes where not able to determin but the holy god is
the sercher of all harts beleue it tis the dudy of all parsons concarned
to consider it and to act acording ly that thay may not liue and dye
with out indeuers af ter reconceilaton to God in order to v" ob tainins:
for giuenes it shall be ouer prayer to god that thay may in gods time
which the lord in marsey hasen see a comfortadl eshue of all thare
trobles one the acount of which thay haue bin grat thoughts & serching
of harts we pray that ouer endeuers touers bringing one of such an
ishue may be Exceptable to god whose presence we haue desiered &
whoos rules we haue acordingly to ouer light a lowed & to thos whoo
here Desiered ouer presens with thaare and ouers result one the perticu-
lers laid before us whome we recomend to the mersefull fauer& Conduct
of gracous God and subscrid ouer selues youre serunts for Crists sack

grindall roson mod

John hancock

Josef baxter

John Swift

John Prentis

Thomas Wilder

John houton

Sameuel Stoon

Jonathan boydon

Dauid Ryse mesengers

Sameuell roocit

Josheuh hemingway

Joseph bowman

John Tyeler

[Indorsed] the ad uis. of a Counsill of eldrs &mesingers


According to the answer given to the third Article, the
Council adjourned to meet at Marlborough, on June 18, 1712.
While there is no record extant of what was then done at this
adjourned meeting, the general result of the proceedings, and
the action of the town thereon, may be gathered from the
following entries in the Groton town-records (p. 24) : —

Whereas at A Melting of the Reu'f Elders & messengers lately con-
uened At Grotton april 15 i7i2&at the meting of said Reu'^ Elders &
messengers at Malbro June 18° 1712 upon adiournmen Aduice hath
been giuen to the Reu'! M' dudley Bradstret Pastor of the church in
Grotton & to the church of Christ there that the s'' church & town
should forthwith proseed to dismis the said M' Bradstret from his office
bond & Relation to them as the most probable expedient in their
Judgment to promote their peace & comfurt

In pursuance of the aboue specified Aduice the church of Christt In
Grotton declare and ItMS uoted that the Reud M' dudley Bradstret is
dismised from & is discharged of his pastorall Relation & office Obliga-
tion to the church of Grotton uoted allso that our Bretheren capt
prescot simon stone Jonas prescot ir be desiered & are impowered to
present the aboue written notes of the church to the Inhabitanes of
the town of Grotton for thair concurrence & to joyn with such person
or persons as the town shall appoint to presant these uots & the
towns coucurrence therewith to the Reud M' Bradstret

Grotton July 22 17 12

At a Meting of the Inhabitants of the town of Grotton legalley
warned to consider certain uotes of the church of Christ in Grotton
Refaring to their discharging the Reud : M' dudley Bradstret from his
Pastorall Relation to tham & his office bond to sd church = uoted that
the town doth concur with the uots of the church refering to M' brod-
strets dismission as a boue expresed & that the Inhabitants of sd
Grotton doe release the sd M' Bradstret from the Relation he stands
in to them as their minister

uoted also that Nathanill Woods Ephrim Pare with capt prascot
simon ston Jonas Prascot ir Chosen by the church to present the uotes
to the town at this presant meeting of the Inhabitants be a commitey
on the behalf of the town to presant the uots of the church & town
to the Reud M"^ Bradstret

Grotton July 24

" Proceedings," Massachusetts Historical Society, November 9, 1S99.



The following extract is taken from the printed "Journal Of
the Honorable House of Representatives, Of His Majesty's
Province of Massachusetts-Bay, " under date of April 22,
1746: —

A Petition of Lydia Shapley and Josiah Sartell, Administrators to
the Estate of Capt. Jonathan Shapley late of Groton, deceased, pray-
ing they may be enabled to give one Philip Woolrick of said Grotofi,
a Deed of one third Part of a twenty Xcxo. Lott which the said
Jonathan was obliged to give in his Life time under a Penalty,
but neglected it.

Read and Ordered, That the Prayer of the Petition be granted,
and the Petitioners in their said Capacity are hereby impowred to
give and execute a good Deed of the Land therein mentioned to the
said Philip Woolrick accordingly

A Petition of William Tarbell of Groton, a Soldier wounded in the
Service of the Province, praying a Consideration therefor.

Read and committed to the Gendemen appointed on the Pedtions
of poor Soldiers &c (p. 237).


This gentlemen, who is now under arrest for slave abduction at
Washington, is well known in this vicinity. He is a son of the late
Rev. Dr. Chaplin of Groton, and brother of the late Dr. Chaplin of
Cambridge. He was a lawyer of highly respectable talents. But for
some fifteen years he has chiefly devoted himself to promoting the
abolition movement, by editing or corresponding for papers or deliv-
ering public lectures.

His act, which has brought him under the merciless power of slave-
holding laws, is generally regretted even by most abolitionists —
both on his account, and because it promises to injure rather than
promote his cause. But probably his mind has come into such a
position, that he feels himself happy in being a martyr to such a
cause, and that he judges that he can best promote his cause, by
such a self sacrifice. If so, we may regret that he thinks differenUy


from us ; but we ought to allow him to act on his own convictions.
He is not a weak misguided man, led into difificulties by others ;
and whether we or he has judged best, as to what will promote the
cause of emancipation, time must determine. To us it seems that
such efforts only exasperate the slave power, and do more harm
than good. But if he chooses to give his life, as Mr. Torrey ^ did, to
sustain the opposite opinion, his position as a martyr to that opinion
should disarm all severity of criticism upon him. Prudent men, in
a crisis like this, deprecate every act that tends to make wider the
breach between the north and south. Yet in the compass of God's
plans, the ultraisms of both south and north are embraced as
elements of working out his problems. He will bring order out of
confusion and light out of darkness, and will use the folly as well as
the wisdom of all agents, as the instruments of his purposes. If
then a man of superior talents, like Mr. Chaplin, after studying his
subjects so long, comes to the conclusion that he can best promote
the end of his existence by surrendering himself as a martyr in this
form, we ought not to make him less a martyr by our sympathies,
nor more a martyr by our frowns. He is of age, let him think and
act for himself

"The Puritan Recorder," Boston, August 22, 1850.

William Lawrence Chaplin was the youngest child of
the Reverend Daniel and Susanna (Prescott) Chaplin, and
born at Groton, on October 27, 1796. He began to attend
school at Groton Academy in the year 1S04, then under the
preceptorship of Mr. Butler, and entered Harvard College in
the autumn of 18 19. His name appears in the annual cata-
logue of that institution for four successive years, but he did
not graduate. He stood well in his class, and excelled par-
ticularly in Latin ; and his leaving had no connection either
with his rank or deportment. A " rebellion " broke out in
the college during his Senior year, when thirty-four of his
classmates were dismissed, but he was not in any way impli-
cated. Mr. Chaplin studied law with Judge Dana, of Groton,
and was admitted to the Middlesex bar in June, 1829, but he

1 This allusion is to the Rev. Charles Turner Torrey (1813-1846), of Balti-
more, who was detected in an attempt to aid some slaves to escape from Mary-
land, and was sentenced to a long imprisonment in the state prison, where he
died of consumption on May 9, 1846.


practised his profession for only two or three years. He had
an office for a short time in his native town, but nowhere

In the early days of the anti-slavery agitation, Mr. Chaplin
was a prominent Abolitionist. On August 8, 1850, he was
thrown into prison at Washington, D. C, and treated with
great cruelty and indignity, for helping two run-away slaves
to escape who belonged to Messrs. Toombs and Stephens,
representatives in Congress from Georgia. He was subse-
quently given up to the Maryland authorities, and then con-
fined in the jail at Rockville, the shire-town of Montgomery
County, where he received much kindness. It happened, for-
tunately for him, that the sheriff of this county was a Chris-
tian gentleman, and the jailer a man of good feelings. He
was finally released on very heavy bail, provided by his
friends, and of course forfeited by him under their advice.
A pamphlet was printed soon afterward, giving a full history
of the affair, entitled : The Case | of | William L. Chaplin;
I being | an Appeal [ to all j Respecters of Law and Jus-
tice I against | the cruel and oppressive treatment to which,
under color | of legal proceedings, he has been subjected, in
the I District of Columbia and the State of | Maryland. ||
Boston: Published by the Chaplin Committee, 1851. Oc-
tavo, pages 54.

The following extract is taken from the pamphlet : —

Thus, after an imprisonment of six weeks at Washington, and of
thirteen weeks more at Rockville, was Mr. Chaplin delivered out
of the hands of the Philistines ; not, however, till his friends had
paid for him the enormous ransom of $25,000 (p. 49).

On August 12, 1 85 1, he was married at Glen Haven, New
York, to Theodosia, daughter of Deacon Elias and Betsey
(Green) Gilbert, of Richmond, Ontario County, New York;
and they had two children, — Harriet Lawrence, born on De-
cember 5, 1852, and died on December 21, 1861 ; and Theo-
dosia Gilbert, born on April 11, 1855, who is married to the
Reverend Frederick John Clegg Walton, now of Englevvood,
Illinois. Mrs. Chaplin died at Glen Haven, on April 17,


1855, soon after the birth of her second child; and she is
said to have been a woman lovely in character and noble in
purpose. During Mr. Chaplin's imprisonment she never lost
heart or hope, but bore up bravely under the cruel hardship.
Her husband survived her sixteen years, and died at Cortland,
Cortland County, New York, on April 28, 1871. In speak-
ing of Mr. Chaplin, the Reverend John Todd, D.D., the
colleague and successor of his father at Groton, writes : —

He was the youngest son, — the staff of the old man's age. He
relinquished all hopes and openings in his profession, — the law, —
that he might comfort and support his aged parents on their way to
the grave. Most dutifully did he perform every filial duty till he
had seen his parents laid in the tomb. Dr. James P. Chaplin, of
Cambridge, so successful in the treatment of the insane, was an older
brother ; and his grandfather [great-uncle], Col. Prescott, was a com-
mander at the battle of Bunker Hill {ibid., page 15).

For other notices of Mr. Chaplin and his family, see Vol-
ume I. of the Groton Historical Series, No. XI. (pp. 5, and 19,
20) ; and Volume II. No. XV.


In recent years, within the period of about a decade, four
graduates of Lawrence Academy have died who had reached
a remarkable age. They are as follows : —

Mrs. Sarah (Chaplin) Rockwood, who was born at Groton
on November 8, 1785, and died at Cortland, Cortland County,
N. Y., on November 26, 1889- She attended school at
Groton Academy, as it was then known, in the year 1797.
The date of her birth was duly entered in the town-records,
and the entry corresponds with that in the family Bible. Ac-
cording to the church records she was baptized on November

13. 1785-

Mrs. Sarah (Capell) Gilson, the oldest person in Groton,

died on Sunday (August 24, 1890) at the advanced age of 96

years, 9 months and 2 days. She was a woman of marked


character, full of early reminiscences and with an excellent
memory; her conversation always gave great delight to her
listeners. She attended the Academy in the year 1808.

Abel Blake, of Keene, N. H., who died in that city on De-
cember 22, 1894, aged 99 years and 2 months, was a scholar
at Groton Academy in 1814.

Dr. William Lambert Russell, of Barre, Mass., who died in
that town on May 6, 1899, aged 99 years, 6 months and 8
days, attended the same academy in 18 17, and graduated
from Harvard College in the class of 1826. At the time of
his death he was the oldest graduate of Harvard.


A FARM in Groton, thirty-four miles from Boston, lying on the
post road leading from Boston to Amherst ; being the most pleas-
antly situated (half a mile from the meeting-house) of any in said town.
It contains 20 acres of excellent land, well fruited, a house and barn,
and two wells of water, never known to fail. Apply to Isaac Bowers
of Groton.

"Columbian Centinel " (Boston), Saturday, April 7, 1798.

A fine Chance for a Persoji, who wishes to trade in the Country.


A Beautiful Seat, for a Trader, with a general assortment of
Goods and Utensils, necessary in, and about a Store, in the centre of
the Town of Groton, 34 miles from Boston, on the Post Road from
Boston to Keen — Consisting of one acre & half of excellent Land,
a commodious new Store, 40 feet by 20, two stories high, a good
Cellar under the whole — the upper story is finished and partitioned
into three Chambers, which are very pleasant, & convenient for a
family to live in. A Shed adjoining the Store, 40 feet by 16, con-
venient for a Wood-house, and Stabling, a good Well within ten feet
of the Store, which never fails to yeild the best of Water. A House
26 feet by 14, suitable for a Mechanick's Shop. — And about five or
six hundred pounds worth of W. India, English, Hard Ware, Crockery


Ware, & other Goods ; suitable for the situation, and purchased, all
of which will be sold at prime cost — Two or three hundred pound of
the purchase may be credited two or three years, if the purchaser
should wish. For furthur particulars, apply to the Subscriber, now
trading on the Premises. David Moors. Groton, April lo, 1798.

" Independent Chronicle : and the Universal Advertiser " (Boston), Monday,
April 16, 1798, page 4.


To the honourable his Majesties Justices of the Court of General
Sessions of the Peace To be holden at Charlestown within &' for y.
County of Middlesex on the Second Tuesday of March 17 17/18

Whereas we the Subscribers Selectmen of Groton have been In-
formed that y^ Town of Groton hath been Presented by y': Grand
Jury for want of a School Master which was to have been answered
y*: Last Court but the Presentment afores"* being variously Construed
it was at Length ordered that y': Selectmen of Groton Should be ap-
prized thereof & Certify this Court how many famiUes there is in
our Town Now these are to Certify & Informe Your honours that
There is not one hundred families which are Ratable or able To Con-
tribute anything to y" Publick & we presume the Grand Jury Niver
Intended a Grammar Schoole by said Presentment. And Ever Since
Said Court in December Last we have been Provided with a Schoole
Master To Teach Children To read & Wright as the Law in this Case
provides & Directs. Which Premises being Considered we hope
Groton Will be Discharged from Said Presentment. We have also
appointed M! John Ames to present this to your honours To whom
you may Give Credit

from yo' honours Humble Serv"

Simon Stone "^ c / .» ^

\ Selectmen of

JohnSheple \ ^^^^^^^_

Jonathan BoidenJ
Richard Warner
Joseph Lakin

[Indorsed] Groton Selectmen
Rep'sentation abt
a School

& Done



The following extract is taken from the printed " Journal
Of the Honorable House of Representatives, Of His Majesty's
Province of Massachusetts-Bay," under date of March 6,

1745: —

A Petition of Elizabeth Ames of Groton, Administratrix to the estate
of ^yohn Ames late of said Groton, deceased, shewing her late Husband
became bound to convey a Tract of Land therein mentioned to Caleb
Trowbridge of said Groton, but neglected to do it in his Life time,
praying she may be enabled to execute the Deed, for the Reasons

Read and Ordered, That the Prayer of the Petition be granted, and
that the said Elizabeth Ames be and hereby is impowred to make a
Conveyance of the Lands mentioned in said Petition and Bond, and
that such Conveyance shall be deemed as good and valid in law to all
Intents and Purposes as if the same had been made by her late
Husband Johti Ames in his Life time (p. 197).

Elizabeth Ames, the petitioner, was the widow of John
Ames, who died on July 30, 1743; and he was the son cf
John Ames who was killed by the Indians on July 9, 1724.

Sept. 8, 1903.
Hon. Samuel A. Green,

Mass. Historical Society,
Boston, Mass.

Dear Sir, — Having in mind our conversation in regard to an in-
cident in my early life which does not appear to me to have value,
but which to you appears otherwise, I make a statement in writing of
the principal facts to which that conversation related

My first visit to Boston was made from the town of Lunenburg, in
the year 1828-1829-1830. My memory does not enable me to
make a more specific statement. My father came to Boston with a
one horse wagon load of poultry, chiefly chickens and he gave me
the opportunity to see the city when it contained about 40,000


Our movements were slow, and we spent the first night at Water-
town with a widow lady, known as Madam Coffin, whose husband
had been a member of Congress from Nantucket and whose son
George W. Coffin was for many years State Librarian and Land Agent.
Previous to my father's service in the war, in 1S12, he had lived with
Madam Coffin for five years in charge of her farm. She entertained
us, as it appears to me now, with great consideration. The next day
we went to Boston to Quincy Hall Market, where my father stationed
his wagon at the first stand, on the upper end, southerly side where
the contents of the wagon were sold. During the forenoon, my father
visited the corner grocery store of Joseph Mead on Lyman Place.
Mead had been a boy on a neighboring farm. During my father's
absence I made sale of the poultry and I had the unpleasant sugges-
tion upon my father's return that he thought the receipts had not
equalled the depreciation of poultry in the wagon. His suggestion
was met the next Sunday by the discovery in my trousers pocket of a
two dollar bill which I recollect was embellished, as bills were embel-
lished in those days by a red coloring which extended over a portion
only of the surface.

The following night we spent with a friend of my father's at Newton
Corner and the day following we went to the Brighton Cattle Market,
where my father bought 24 head of cattle, g of them being oxen for
which he paid $250. I aided in driving them home where the cattle
were deposited on the Almshouse farm, of which my father was then
one of the overseers. As you have a few facts of my early life, I will
add that I was for a brief time a salesman in Quincy market and a
drover of cattle on the highway.

Yours very truly,

Geo. S. Boutwelx.


On March 6, 1871, the town by vote shut up the thorough-
fare leading westerly from the neighborhood of Fitch's Bridge,
and at that time for some distance forming the boundary be-
tween Groton and Pepperell. The extreme western end of
this road, which many years ago was the principal thorough-
fare to Townsend, had previously been shut up by public


vote, or fallen into disuse, at a date now unknown to me. A
peculiarity of this highway was that the road lay wholly in
Groton, while the land abutting on the north side was in
Pepperell. The few scattered houses along this road were all
on the north side, so that it had been kept open by the town
for the accommodation of non-residents. Some surprise has
been expressed that it was ever laid out in this manner ; but
the explanation of the anomaly goes back to the time when
Pepperell was set off, on November 26, 1742, as the West
Precinct of Groton. The incorporation of a precinct car-
ried with it only the right to manage their own ecclesiastical
affairs, but not the right to lay out roads or to levy taxes for
that purpose; so that a precinct was still obliged to share
the general expenses of the parent town. In answer to the
petition for the West or Second Precinct of Groton, which is
dated May 26, 1742, the General Court established the Town-
send road as the southern boundary of the precinct, and the
northern side of the road was taken rather than the middle.
At that time the expense of supporting it came equally on
the town and on the new precinct; and the exact line of
division was of no practical importance. When the precinct
became the town of Pepperell, the condition of affairs was al-
tered, but the change does not seem to have been then recog-
nized. The old Townsend road went over Fitch's Bridge, or
rather over the bridge in that immediate neighborhood, which
was of an earlier date than the one half a mile below at what
is now called Paper Mill Village, though the latter was built
very soon afterward.


To Rufus Hazard, a colored person, for extraordinary exertions
and hazard, in attempting to save Samuel Williams, who had sunk in
Squamcook [Sqiiannacook] River. $10.

From " History of the Humane Society of tlie Commonwealth of Massachu-
setts," Boston, 1876, p. 58.



More than eighty years ago during my early boyhood, a
craze struck our good old Commonwealth, in favor of the
mulberry tree. It was thought then that the cultivation of
this tree would encourage the care and growth of the silk-
worm, and thus indirectly be the means of adding another
industry to the occupations of our people. To such an ex-
tent did this feeling go, that the State took part in the move-
ment, and at different times published several manuals under

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Online LibrarySamuel A. (Samuel Abbott) GreenFacts relating to the history of Groton, Massachusetts (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 18)