Samuel A. (Samuel Abbott) Green.

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

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a Resolve of the Commonwealth. In fact a new word came
into use, now rarely or never heard — seri-culture, the culture
of the silk-worm. Several men in Groton set out on their
farms a large number of mulberry trees, in which they hoped
to enrich themselves as well as the town. I remember that
George Farnsworth on Farmers' Row had one or two fields
of this tree on his land. There was another field nearer the
corner of the road to the Red Bridge ; and one near the
Champney house. There were also a few other specimens in
scattered places that enthusiastic men hoped would be the
source of gain and profit to the owners of land. Perhaps
even now some of these trees, or those grown from their seed,
may be still living.

I am told that the silk industry in the neighborhood of
Northampton is a survival of the attempt made fourscore
years ago to introduce the mulberry tree into this Common-


The following certificates are printed, with other similar
ones, in the " Boston Patriot and Daily Chronicle," June 13,
1818, and were given at the instance of General Henry A. S.
Dearborn, who had written " An Account of the Battle of
Bunker Hill." The Account was first published in " The


Port-FoHo " (Philadelphia) for March, 1818, and was the occa-
sion of some criticism. For the purpose of answering the
strictures the author collected these papers : —

"[No. 13.]"

Certificate of the Rev. Daniel Chaplin, D.D. of Groton, and the
Rev. John Bullard, of Pepperell.

This may certify the public, that we whose names we have
given, were in the habits of intimacy with Col. W. Prescott, of Pep-
perell, a man of the strictest integrity, during most of the period
after he left the revolutionary army until his death ; that at sundry
times in conversation with him about the war, particularly about
the battle of Bunker fiill, so called, he uniformly told us, that Maj.
General Warren came to the Fort on Breed's Hill which had been
formed the night preceding, a little before the British made an
attack on the works ; that he, Col. Prescott, said to General War-
ren, ' I am happy to see you, General,' or using words to the same
effect, ' for you will now take command, and I will obey your
orders, and am relieved.' Said General Warren, to him in reply,
' I have no command here, Col. Prescott, I am a volunteer, I came
to learn actual service.' Prescott said, ' I wish then you would
look at the works we have thrown up, and give your opinion.'
Warren replied, ' you are better acquainted, Col. Prescott, with
military matters than I am.' After which they immediately parted
and met not again. Col. Prescott further informed us repeatedly,
that when a retreat was ordered and commenced, and he was de-
scending the hill, he met General Putnam, and said to him, ' why
did you not support me. General, with your men, as I had reason
to expect, according to agreement?' Putnam answered, *I could
not drive the dogs up.' Prescott pointedly said to him, ' if you
could not drive them up, you might have led them up.' We have
good reason to believe further from declarations of some of
our parishioners, men of respectability, whose veracity cannot be
doubted, who belonged to Col. Prescott's regiment and were pres-
ent through the whole service, that General Putnam was not on
Breed's Hill the night preceding, or on that day, except that just
before the attack was made, he might have gone to the fort and
ordered the tools to be carried off, that they might not fall into the
hands of the enemy in the event of his carrying the works, and
holding the ground, and that he and his men, with Col. Gerrish,


remained on the side of Bunker Hill towards the neck during the
whole action.

Signed, Daniel Chaplin,

John Bullard.

Groton, June 5, 18 18.

"[No. 14.]"
Declaration of Deacon Samuel Lawrence, of Groion.

I, Samuel Lawrence, of Groton, Esquire, testify and say, that I
was at the battle of Bunker Hill, (so called) in Col. William Pres-
cott's regiment ; — that I marched with the Regiment to the point
on Breed's Hill, which was fixed on for a redoubt; that I assisted
in throwing up the breast-work, and in forming a redoubt, under
Col. Prescott, who directed the whole of this operation. — The
work was begun about nine o'clock in the evening of June i6th,
1775. I ^^^^ there the whole time, and continued in the redoubt,
or in the little fort, during the whole battle, until the enemy came
in and a retreat was ordered. General Putnam was not present
either while the works were erecting, not during the battle. I could
see distinctly the rail fence and the troops stationed there during
the battle, but General Putnam was not present as I saw. After
the retreat was ordered, the troops retreated towards Bunker Hill,
and continued over and on the side of the hill (I was on the side
of the hill) towards Charlestown neck.

Just before the battle commenced. General Warren came to the
redoubt. He had on a blue coat and white waistcoat, and I think
a cocked hat, but of this I am not certain — Col. Prescott advanced
to him, said ' he was glad to see him, and hoped he would take
the command.' Gen. Warren replied, ' no — he came to see the
action but not to take command ; that he was only a volunteer on
that day.' Afterwards I saw General Warren shot ; I saw him
when the ball struck him, and from that time until he expired. I
knew General Warren well by sight, and recollected him perfectly
when Col. Prescott offered him the command, and was sorry to see
him so dangerously situated, as I knew him to be a distinguished
character, and thought he ought not to have risked his life without
command on that occasion. No British officer was within forty or
fifty rods of him, from the time the ball struck him, until I saw he



was dead. I have read General Dearborn's account of the battle,
and think it correct, particularly with regard to the occurrences at
the gateway of the redoubt.

(Signed) Samuel Lawrence.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

County of Middlesex, jFime 5, 18 18.

Personally appeared Samuel Lawrence, Esq. and made oath, that
the above declaration by him subscribed, is just and true in all its
parts, according to the best of his knowledge and belief. Before

(Signed) Samuel Dana, Justice of

the Peace throughout said Commonwealth.


Asa Lawrence, mentioned below, commanded one of the
two companies that marched from Groton to Cambridge on
the alarm of April 19, 1775. He was a son of Peleg Law-
rence, and lived on the farm now known as the Governor
Sullivan place. It is situated on the Lowell road and took
its name from James Sullivan, who was afterward Governor
of the Commonwealth. Sullivan was the Justice of the Peace,
who took Lawrence's deposition on February i, 1779.

State of the ) ^^ ^^^ Honourable the Council and

Massachusetts Bay i ^°"^^ °^ Representatives in general

Court assembled.

Humbly shewes Asa Lawrence of Groton in the County of Mid-
dlesex that he was in the Engagement of the 1 7th of June at
Charlestown and there lost goods an account whereof is hereunto
annexed — and that at the Battle of Chelsea he risqued his Life
at the Command of general Putnam to Burn one of the Enemies
armed Vessels and after many attempts he finally effected the same
whereby there was an acquisition of twelve peices of Cannon to the
Public, and also that he served seven weeks in the late Expedition
against Rhode Island as a Volunteer and has never had any reward
for said services or Compensation for his said Losses Wherefore


he prays that a due allowance may be made him for his services
and losses aforesd and he as in duty bound shall ever pray &c

Asa Lawrence
Groton 28th January 1779

A Grant of ;^ioo to Asa Lawrence for Losses sustained at
Bunker Hill May 4 — 1 780 — N° 7 1

The State ot M Bay to Asa Lawrence D' for Loss at Bunker Hill

17th June 1775

To I Gun cSr Bayonet 38

To I Coat 4°/ Blanket 3°/ 3 10

Knapsack & Tumline 12/ 12

7 10

State of )

Masstts Bay J Middlesex ss Feby ist 1779 then the sd Asa
Lawrence appeared and made oath to the Truth of the above
account before me Ja Sullivan Just Peace

Asa Lawrence Petition

Mar. 23. 1780 Coll Gerrish Capt Newton Capt Bonney
Massachusetts Archives, CLXXXIV. 388.


The following " Proceedings " are taken from " The Boston
Evening-Post," January 3, 1774. It will be noticed that the
meeting was held on the day of the Boston Tea- Party.

Proceedi7igs of the Town of Groton.

AT a Meeting of the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the
Town of Groton, assembled at the Public Meeting-House in
said Town, on Thursday Dec. i6th, 1773.

To Consider what is proper for this Town to do relative to the
large quantities of TEA, belonging to the Hon. East-India Com-
pany, arrived and expected to arrive in this Province, subject to an
American Duty.

Chose JAMES PRESCOTT, Esq; Moderator.


Then the Committee of Correspondence for said Town laid before
them a Letter which had been agreed upon by the Committees of
several Towns, to be sent to all the Towns in this Province, in order
to know their minds at this critical Juncture ; and having read the
same, as also the Votes and proceedings of the Town of Boston, at
their late Town Meetings in Nov. last : — The Town came into the
following Resolves and Votes unanimously,

That we highly approve of the Conduct of the Town of Boston at
their late Town Meetings aforesaid, and the several Resolves they
came into, relative to the TEAS sent by the East- India Company to
America. — And as we Esteem the late Act of Parliament for the
benefit of said India Company as an intollerable Grievance, and a
very subtle plan of the Ministry to ensnare and enslave the Ameri-
cans, preferring the Public Happiness to our own private advantage,
We will readily afford all the assistance in our Power, to the Town of
Boston and all other of our opprest American Brethren, and heartily
unite with them in every Constitutional method, to oppose this and
every other scheme that shall appear to us, to be subversive of
American Rights and Liberties, and dishonorary to his Majesty's
Crown and Dignity, at the risque of our Lives and Substance.

Voted, That our most Cordial Thanks be presented to the Inliabit-
ants of the Town of Boston, for their wise, prudent and spirited
Conduct at this alarming Crisis, and for their repeated Vigilance
and unwearied Endeavours, to recover and preserve the Rights and
Liberties of America.

Upon a motion made, Voted unanimously, That the Inhabitants of
this Town, will not buy, sell, or make use of any TEA, while subject
to an American Duty.

Voted, That the Committee of Correspondence for this Town, be
desired to wait upon the several Shop-keepers and Traders, within
this Town, and desire them not to buy, sell or any way dispose of
any TEA while subject to an American duty, as they would avoid the
odium of the Town.

Voted, That the Committee of Correspondence for this Town be
desired to forward an attested Copy of the Proceedings of this
Meeting, to the Committee of Correspondence in the Town of

Voted, That this meeting be dissolved. — And it was accordingly
dissolved. A true Copy, Attested.


70J ii;


AT a Legal Meeting of the Inhabitants of the Town of Groton,
Assembled May 8 th, 1773.
Voted and Chose, jfames Frescott Esq ; Oliver Prescott Esq ; and
jfosiah Sawtell Gent, a Committee of Correspondence for the Town
of Groton, unanimously.

Attest. OLIVER PRESCOTT, Town-Clerk.


Pawtucket, R. I., Sept. 5, i
Dr. S. a. Green:

Dear Sir, — Sometime in the last century there was a pottery

between the Pollard house and my grandfather's house [Major Farns-

worth's] at Groton, on the north side of the road, near where, as I

understand, a new house has been built. It stood, say two hundred

yards easterly from where my grandfather last lived. When I was a

boy the cellar, a part of the old chimney, and great quantities of

brown sherds lay scattered around. Do you know anything about

this industry then carried on? I have forgotten the name of the

potter. He was said to have been a relation of ours, but not a

Farnsworth by name, and to have moved away somewhere. I don't

think I have heard anything about it for fifty years ; but the old

fragments were well known to my childhood.

Very truly yours,

C. B. Farnsworth.


The first brick house in Groton was built by John Park in
the year 1791, and is still standing. It is situated on Park
Street, in that part of the town now Ayer, and in 1832 was
occupied by Nathaniel Stone, according to Mr. Butler's Map
of Groton, then recently published. On the gable, near the
eaves, at the southwest corner of the dwelling, is a small slate
tablet, with a sundial at one end, and this inscription at the
other J. P.



It is said that the late Asa Tarbell's house at West Groton
was the second brick dwelling built within the town. Many
years ago this house was partially destroyed by fire, but sub-
sequently rebuilt. It stands on the banks of the Squannacook
River, near the bridge leading to Shirley.

Stephen Hall. — Some months ago my attention was called to an
old gravestone which stands in the southerly part of Petersham, two
miles or more from the village. When the stone was originally set up,
it was placed near a brook, and in a field at some distance from the
road ; but now the brook has been dammed up, and a highway passes
near the grave, so that the stone stands on the banks of a good-sized
pond, and near the road. The inscription is very rudely cut, and
hard to read, as some of the letters are made wrong, being reversed
in the cutting. The stone itself is a natural slab, about six inches
thick, found in a field and fairly smooth on one side to receive the
epitaph. The inscription reads as follows :

This stone was [rjaised

in mem of M' Stephan

Hall who died Nov- 1 1


A reference to the town-records of Petersham, under date of
March 2, 1 761, shows that Hall belonged to " the Town or District
of Pepperell in the County of Middlesex," and that he was taken sick
with the smallpox in Petersham and had died there, leaving a widow
and several children in poor circumstances. A further reference to
the town-records, under date of May 21, shows that an unsuccessful
attempt was made to collect the sum of fourteen pounds from the
District of Pepperell for the necessary expenses incurred in the case.
Not only did Hall himself have the disease, but his wife and children
also ; and the town had to care for them.

At that period a District did not have all the powers of a Town,
and there was, probably, no authority for the payment of such a claim
as made by the town of Petersham. The nature of Hall's disease
would explain the lonely site of his grave, as in early times it was
thought by some that smallpox could be communicated from the
buried body to living persons.

Among the earliest settlers of Groton was Christopher Hall, who


had land granted to him in December, 1664; and since that time

the family name has been not uncommon in the neighborhood.

Samuel A. Green.
Groton, Mass.

" The New England Historical and Genealogical Register " (LVII. 109, no)
for January, 1903.

In Groton, 30th ult. Louisa, widow of Eleazer Green, 81.
" Boston Daily Advertiser," October 11, 1843.

She was the youngest child of Jacob and Rebecca (Law-
rence) Blanchard, of Groton, where she was born on April
29, 1762. Her Christian name, however, was Lucy, and not
Louisa. On April 6, 1778, she was married to Mr. Green,
who had served in the army at different times during the
Revolution. In my very early boyhood I remember her
as living in the old Richardson tavern, after it had been
given up as a public house, when she was supported by a
small pension received from the Government for her hus-
band's services during the war.


Eighty years ago Groton was the center of a large hop-
growing industry. At that period hops were raised very
generally by the farmers of the neighborhood, and they
formed an important item in the business of the town ; but
this condition of things is now wholly changed. An interest-
ing paper on the subject, written by Governor Boutwell, ap-
pears in Volume I of this work (p. 65).

I am led to write these lines from the fact that fourteen
years ago a record- book came into my possession, which had
been kept by the Massachusetts Hop Company, an organiza-
tion that had its headquarters at Groton, though its life was
short. There may be a few persons now who will remember
such a Company. The records, herewith printed, show the
embers of an industry which at one time was important to


a large section of the Commonwealth, but today has entirely
disappeared from its borders.


Groton 3"^ May 1 83 1

We the Subscribers hop Growers in the State of Massachusetts
thinking that the Picking Cureing and Baging of our hops can be
done to greater perfection than it now is and being desirous to raise
the standard of our hops in Market do agree to form our selves
into a Company for the above purpose and for the disposal of our
hops and we further agree to be governed by the following Rules and
Regulations Viz.


Article i" We will pick our hops clean from stems and leaves and
use our best endeavours to have them perfectly cured.

2^^ They shall be well packed in good baging and no more used
than what is necessary for the strength of the bag.

3^^ The Company shall chuse two Trustees whose duty it shall be
to appoint an Agent to dispose of our hops and receive all monies
from said Agent and make a Divedend of the sum to the Company
monthly during the Season of Sales.

4"" It shall be the duty of the Agent to dispose of our hops either
to the Brewers or others as he may have opportunity and he shall
account to the trustees monthly during the Season of Sales or oftener
if thought necessary by the Trustees.

S"' The hops shall receive the Companies Stamp and when in-
spected shall be left at the inspection Office or at such other place as
the Agent may direct and shall from that time be considered under
his Care,

6* This Agreement we consider binding for one year.

Joseph Blanchard, Clerk

Groton, 5"' May 1831
At a Meeting of the Massachusetts hop Growers called for the pur-
pose of forming a Company organized by choosing

Abel Jewett Moderator
Joseph Blanchard Clerk
Article first voted to form Company
2"'i Voted to accept the Constitution as reported by Committee


3'' Voted to have Company Title and Stamp which should be
called the Massachusetts hop Company

4"" Voted to recommend Oilman Stanley to the Directors for the
Company's Agent

5'*^ Voted and chose Joseph Blanchard and Abel Jewett Directors

and Trustees for the Company

Joseph Blanchard, Clerk


BoxBOROUGH i6"» May 1831
To Oilman Stanley of Charlestown in the County of Middlesex
and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Merchant.

Trusting'in your care and fidelity we do by these presents pursuant
to the power and authority to us granted in and by a Vote of the
Massachusetts hop Company nominate and appoint you to be Agent
unto the said Company for the term of one year with such power as
is by the Constitution of said Company made and provided for their
Agent to be governed by.

Joseph Blanchard
Abel Jewett

Copy Attest

Joseph Blanchard, Clerk

Directors and
Trustees of
the Mass.
. hop Company

Groton Mar. 19* 1832

At a Meeting of the Massachusetts hop Company held in this Town,
for the purpose of making arrangements for the present Year.

i'.' Voted and Chose Joseph Blanchard Moderater

2"! Voted and Chose Richard Hall Clerk

3? Voted that the Company continue for another Year With such
other Persons as wish to become members

4*? Voted to be Governed by the Constitution of the Massachu-
setts hop Company as adopted May 5''- 183 1

5'.' Voted that the Agent may git the Company hops ensured
whenever he thinks necessary

6'^ Voted and Chose Joseph Blanchard Director

7'' Voted and Chose Abel Jewett Director

8'' Voted to recommend Oilman Stanley Agent for the present


Richard Hall, Clerk



BoxBOROUGH March iq*."} 1832
To Gilman Stanley of Charlestown in the County of Middlesex and
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Merchant,

Trusting in your care and fidelity we do by these presents pursuant
to the power and authority to us granted in and by a Vote of the
Massachusetts hop Company nominate and appoint you to be Agent
unto the said Company for the term of one year with such power as
is by the Constitution of said Company made and provided for there
Agent to be governed by.

Joseph Blanchard
Abel Jewett

Copy Attest

Richard Hall, Clerk

' Trustees of the

Groton April ag'."? 1833

At a meeting of the Mass. Hop Company in this town for the chois
of Officers and to transact such other Business as may come before
the Society.

First. Voted and Chose CapV. Abram Prescott Moderator

2^. Voted and Chose Richard Hall Clerk

3 '} Voted to adjourn this Meeting to the twenty-ninth day of May
next at ten o'clock A. M.

May 29 -^ 1833 Met agreeable to adjournment and agree"? to dis-
continue the Society.

Richard Hall, Clerk


Rev. Dr. Edwin A. Bulkley died yesterday in New York. He was
born in Charleston, S. C, in 1826. He was of distinguished New
England ancestry, being a direct descendant of the Rev. Peter Bulk-
ley, who was one of the founders of Concord, Mass., and the first
minister of the historic " First Church " of that place.

Doctor Bulkley was graduated at Yale when eighteen years of age,
in the class of 1844, ^^^ ^t the Union Theological Seminary, New


York, in 1847. The same year he married Catherine F. Oakley, the
daughter of Daniel Oakley, a well-known merchant of New York, and
a leading layman in the earlier annals of the Presbyterian Church.
After temporarily serving a church in Geneva, N. Y., Dr. Bulkley
succeeded Rev. Dr. John Todd as a minister of the Congregational
Church of Groton, Mass., a church of many historic associations.
His active ministry of fifty years was about equally divided between
the church at Groton and the First Presbyterian Churches of Platts-
burg, N. Y., and Rutherford, N. J. He continued pastor emeritus of
the latter church, but since his retirement ten years since had resided
in New York city upon Washington Heights. He is survived by a
wife, two daughters and a son, Edwin M. Bulkley, of the banking firm
of Spencer, Trask & Co.


BULKLEY — Entered into life eternal on Monday, March 25,
from his residence, 479 West i52d street, New York, Rev. Edwin A.
Bulkley, D.D., in the 82d year of his age. The funeral service will
be held on Wednesday, March 27, at 4 p.m., from the North Presby-
terian Church, 155th street, near the Boulevard. (Subway to 157th
street.) Interment at Groton, Mass. Kindly omit flowers.

"Boston Transcript," March 26, 1907.

September 6, 1881.

The peculiar state of the atmosphere on last Tuesday after-
noon (September 6) caused alarm to some of our people. It
was an eventful day, as lamps were lighted up in houses, chick-
ens went home to roost, night-hawks hovered in mid-air, frogs
piped, schools were dismissed, sinners prayed, and the wicked
were full of a sense of guilt. It was so dark that stores were
lighted up, and work was stopped at shops and other places.
Other days similar to this one are on record ; but the pecu-
liarity of September sixth was the yellow hue or tinge which
pervaded everything.

See Volume I. of this work (p. 141) for an account of the
Dark Day of 1780.


The weather bureau will probably furnish an explanation of the
extraordin [ar]y state of the atmosphere yesterday. All day long a
heavy yellow haze hung over the central portion of New England, the
lower atmosphere being comparatively clear. Apparently it was only
a remarkable case of what is known as dry fog^ with the peculiarity of

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Online LibrarySamuel A. (Samuel Abbott) GreenFacts relating to the history of Groton, Massachusetts (Volume 2) → online text (page 9 of 18)