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History of the town of Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts online

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In 1784, he commenced the practice of law at Haver-
hill, Massachusetts, where he died, July 5, 1791. A gen-
tleman who knew him thus speaks of his character :

^^ As a Laicyer, Mr. Thaxter was eminently respected
for those qualifications, the want of which in some of the
profession, has brought a degree of odium upon the whole
^ Order.' A nervous system, too delicate by nature to
withstand the imperious taunts of over-bearing arrogance,
and still more debilitated by disease, disappointed the
expectations which his strong manly style of sentiment
had created, and unhappily rendered him less useful, as
an advocate at the Bar, than as a Counsellor in his Cham-
ber. But he was rich in the less glaring virtues ; hon-
our, integrity, fidelity, and love of peace. These gained
him the esteem and confidence of all.

" As a Map:istrafe he was revered — and the blessing of
the Peace-maker was upon him.

" As a Mrniy he possessed those amiable accomplish-
ments which meliorate and adorn, together with those more
austere virtues, which correct and dignify human nature.
In his nearest connections, he was fervent and affectionate.
In his friendships, warm, sincere, and confidential. In his



132 HISTORY OF HIN'GHAM.

family he was frugal, that, by the exercises of benevo-
lence, he might grarify that disposition of mind, which
was his greatest source of happiness. While the rich
mourn him as the faithful guardian of their property, the
poor bless his memory, as that of a friend.

" His religion was pure — and he evinced his attachment
to it by his punctual attendance on its rites and duties.
Its most happy effects were displayed in his latest hours;
conscious of intentional rectitude, and conscious of his
rapid dissolution, his only anxiety was for his wife and
daughter ; commending them to the care of his friends,
and to the protection of the Almighty, his last moments
were calm and composed. ^The End of that Man was
Peace.'^ "

Peter Hobart, son of Dea. Peter Hobart, was born
July 31, 1750, and graduated at Harvard University, in
1775 ; he settled in Hanover, Massachusetts, as a physi-
cian, where he died.

Daniel Shute, son of Daniel Shute, D. D. was grad-
uated at Harvard University, in 1775 ; and settled in his
native town, as a physician, where he now resides.

Benjamin Lincoln, son of Gen. Benjamin Lincoln,
was born November 1, 1756, and graduated at Harvard
University, in 1777. He is said to have been distin-
guished in a class which contained a Bentley, a Freeman,
a Dawes, and a King. He read law in the office of the
late Lieut. Gov. Lincoln, at Worcester, and commenced
the practice of his profession in Boston ; he there acquired
an honourable reputation, but his flattering hopes of fu-
ture distinction were destroyed by his death, in 1788.



HISTORY OF HINGHA5I. 133

Theodore Lincoln, brother of the preceding, was
graduated at Harvard University, in 1785 ; he now re-
sides in Dennysville, Maine. ^

John Andrews, D. D. son of Joseph Andrews, was
graduated at Harvard University, in 1786 ; he studied
divinity, and was settled in the ministry at Newburyport,
in 1788.

Henry Lincoln, son of William Lincoln, was grad-
uated at Harvard University, in 1786 ; studied divinity,
and was settled in the ministry at Falmouth, Barnstable
County, Massachusetts, in 1790. The connexion be-
tween Mr. Lincoln and the society was dissolved, by
mutual consent, in 1823. He now resides at Nantucket.

Abner Lincoln, son of Nathan Lincoln, was born July
17, 1766, and graduated at Harvard University, in 1788.
He was the first Preceptor of Derby Academy, and
was appointed by the request of Mrs. Derby. He re-
mained in this office for several years ; and many of his
pupils yet recollect with grateful feelings, the amiable
qualities, the happy faculty of teaching, and the perse-
verance with which he devoted himself to the promotion
of their good. The connexion of teacher and pupil is
often productive of agreeable associations in after life,
and frequently a tie of friendship is formed between them,
which is separated only by death. Mr. Lincoln could
number many among his numerous pupils, who retained
a strong feeling of personal regard for him, and from
whom he received the most friendly memorials of their
esteem.

Mr. Lincoln was a magistrate of the county of Ply-
mouth, and frequently presided at the trial of causes.



134 HISTORY OF HINGHAM.

He was distinguished for general intelligence, an easy
and agreeable address, and a practical knowledge of man*
kind. He died, June 10, 1826.

Levi Lincoln', son of Levi Lincoln, was graduated at
Harvard University, in 1789. He studied medicine and
settled in his native town, where he now resides.

Isaiah Cushixg, son of Maj. Isaiah Gushing, was born
iPebruary 20, 1777, and graduated at Harvard Universi-
ty, in 1798. He studied medicine, and settled in Maine.
He died a few years since.

Perez Lincoln, son of David Lincoln, was born Jan-
uary 21, 1777, and graduated at Harvard University, in
1798. He studied divinity with the late Dr. Barnes, of
Scituate ; and was settled in the ministry at Gloucester,
Massachusetts, August 3, 1805. He was esteemed a
talented, and promising divine ; but his constitution was
feeble, and the people of his charge enjoyed the benefit
of his ministerial labours for only a few years. He died,
June 13, 1811.

Robert Thaxter, son of Dr. Thomas Thaxter, was
graduated at Harvard University, in 1798 ; and is now
a physician at Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Caleb Rice, son of Col. Nathan Rice, was graduated
at Harvard University, in 1803. He now resides in
Hingham.

Andrews Norton, son of Samuel Norton, Esq. was
graduated at Harvard University, in 1804. He is the
present Professor of Sacred Literature, in that Seminary.



HISTORY OF HINGHAM. 135

Abner Loring, son of Peter Loring, was born July 2 1 ,
1786, and graduated at Harvard University, in 1807. He
read law in the office of Hon. Ebenezer Gay ; and com-
menced the practice of his profession at Dorchester, Mas-
sachusetts. Mr. Loring was well read in his profession,
devoted to business, and possessed of an unexceptionable
character for fairness and integrity. He promised to be-
come an ornament to his profession. But the anticipa-
tions of friendship are not always realized ; and the hopes
of the public are frequently disappointed. Mr. Loring
died, deeply lamented, July 18, 1814.

Daniel Shute, son of Daniel Shute, M. D. was grad-
uated at Harvard University, in 1812 ; and is now a phy-
sician in Hingham.

Henry Ware, Jr. was graduated at Harvard Univer-
sity, in 1812, and is now the Pastor of the Second Con-
gregational Church, in Boston.

Jerome Loring, son of Jonathan Loring, was gradu-
ated at Brown University, in 1813. He now resides in
Delaware.

John Ware, son of Henry Ware, D. D. was gradu-
ated at Harvard University, in 1813 ; and is now a phy-
sician in Boston.

John Thaxter, son of Quincy Thaxter, was born IS'o-
vember 4, 1793, and graduated at Harvard University, in
1814. He read law in the office of Hon. Ebenezer Gay,
at Hingham, and settled in Scituate, where he died, in
J 824.



136 HISTORY OF HIXGHAM.

William Ware, son of Henry Ware, D. D. was grad-
uated at Harvard University, in 1816, and is now pastor
of a Unitarian Church in the City of New York.

Henry Hersey, son of Capt. Laban Hersey, was
graduated at Brown University, in 1820 ; and is now set-
tled in the ministry at Barnstable, 3iassachusetts.

Calvin Lincoln, Jr. was graduated at Harvard Uni-
versity, in 1820 ; and is now settled in the ministry at Fitch-
burg, Massachusetts. He was ordained, June 30, 1824.

Jacob Hersey Loud, son of Thomas Loud, Esq., was
graduated at Brown University, in 1822 ; and is now an
Attorney at Law, in Plymouth^ Massachusetts.

Solo3Ion Lincoln, Jr. was graduated at Brown Uni-
versity, in 1822 ; and is now an Attorney at Law. in
Hingham. JtX d^^^ ^Cd^ .-^-.^.•*>^' /-<^-^ />>^






William Alexander Gordon, son of Dr. William
Gordon, of Hingham, is a native of Newburyport ; was
graduated at Harvard University, in 1826 ; and is now
a medical student in Hingham.



UNDERGRADUATES.

At Harvard University, James Hu3iphrey Wilder,
son of Abiel Wilder.

At Brown University, Charles Gordon, son of Doct.
William Gordon ; and George Bronson, son of the late
Capt. S. Bronson.



HISTORY OF HIXGHAM. 13T

CLERGYMEN OF HINGHAM.

Rev. Joseph Richardson, a native of Billerica, and
a graduate of Dartmouth College, in 1802.

Rev. Nicholas Bowes Whitney, a native of Shirley,
and a graduate of Harvard University, in 1793.

Rev. Charles Brooks, a native of Medford, and a
graduate of Harvard University, in 1816.



COUNSELLOR AT LAW.

Hon. Ebenezer Gay, a graduate of Harvard Univer-
sity, in 1789.



ATTORNEY AT LAW.

Solomon Lincoln, Jr. a graduate of Brown Univer-
sity, in 1822.



PRACTISING PHYSICIANS.

William Gordon.

Daniel Shute, Jr. Harvard University, 1812.

Robert T. P. Fiske, Harvard University, 1818
13



138 HISTORY OF HINGHAM.

^trtritional J^ioBtapStcal IJCotict^*

The following notices relate to individuals who did not cnjoy the
advantages of a collegiate education.

Daniel Cushixg, the third Town Clerk of Hingham,
and who rendered important services to the town, in that
office, for more than thirty years, merits a more extended
notice than it is practicable to give in this work. He
was a son of Matthew Cushing, and was born in Hing-
ham, England, in 1619. He accompanied his father's
family to this country in 1638, and settled in Hingham.
I find in the old records, that he was frequently chosen
by the inhabitants to transact their most important busi-
ness, on committees, as an assessor, &c. He was a
magistrate ; and as such, was frequently called upon to
settle disputes among the citizens and to preside at the
trial of causes. He often held courts for the trial of the
Indians and others who had violated the laws of the
country ; and from the evidence I have of his mode of
procedure, I should think him unusually correct and in-
telligent for the time in which he lived. Among his pa-
pers, there are preserved perfect accounts of the trial of
actions for slander, libel, assault, trespasses, &.C., which
indicate that he was a judicious and independent magis-
trate. Mr. Cushing was elected to the office of Town
Clerk, in 1669, and retained the office until his decease.
The records during his term of office, are kept with great
care and neatness ; and can be properly valued only by
those who have had occasion to become acquainted with
the early records of our old settlements.

The invaluable services which Mr. Cushing rendered
the public, do not appear to have been properly appreci-



HISTORY OF HINGHAM. 139

ated by his fellow citizens ; indeed, there is a tradition, that
many valuable papers relating to the affairs of the town,
which he had prepared, are now lost, in consequence of
the refusal of the town to make him a proper and reason-
able compensation for them.

Mr. Gushing was a delegate to the General Court, in
1680, and 1682, and was chosen in 1689, a delegate to
the council of safety, but declined the office.

Many of the papers which Mr. Gushing prepared re-
lating to the early history of Hingham, are yet preserved.
His Diary contains notes of some transactions and events,
which are to be found in no other record ; but much of
it is imperfect, and a considerable portion of it is lost.
Mr. Gushing died December 3, 1700.

Abner Hersey, son of James Hersey, and a brother
of Dr. Ezekiel Hersey of this town, was an eminent
physician at Barnstable, Massachusetts. He bequeathed
to Harvard University £500 towards the establishment of
a professorship of the theory and practice of physic.
The first professor in this department was Dr. Water-
house. Dr. Hersey also bequeathed about £500, the
interest of which he directed to be applied annually to
the purchase of religious publications, which should be
distributed in all the towns on Gape God. He directed
what books should be selected for a hundred years ; after
the expiration of which time, the ministers and deacons
of the several towns, to whose care his donation was en-
trusted, were authorized to select any religious books at
their pleasure, excepting on every fourth year, when the
books which he designated, among which were some of
Doddridge's works, were to be distributed forever. This
singular bequest proved to be of much less value than
Dr. Hersey had anticipated ; he seems not to have cou-



140 HISTORY OF HIXGHAM.

sidered the inconvenience of carrying it into execution,
nor to have calculated that the increasing population of a
whole county, could derive but little benefit from his
bequest. In consequence of the trifling advantages ac-
cruing to the several towns mentioned, from this fund^
they made an arrangement, a few years since, for its dis-
tribution among the churches of Barnstable County in
such a manner that it would be an essential benefit to
all : this arrangement was made with the consent of the
heirs of Dr. Hersey. — JUleii^s Bio. Die.

Bexjamix Lincoln. — General Benjamin Lincoln of the
army of the revolution, was a son of Hon. Benjamin Lin-
coln,* of Hingham, and was born January 24, 1 732-3. "j"
The only advantages of early education which he enjoyed
were those afforded by our public schools, and his occu-
pation till he was more than forty years of age, was that
of a farmer. Previously to the revolution he had become
an active and influential citizen. He was elected town
clerk of Hingham, in 1757 ; he was generally placed on
all important committees chosen by the town to consider
the subjects of the controversy between the Colonies and
Great Britain ; he represented Hingham in the General
Court, in 1772, 1773, and 1774, and, as mentioned in the
sketches of the civil history of the town, he was chosen
to attend the Provincial Congress at Concord, Cambridge,
and Watertown. He had been, previously to this date,
commissioned as a magistrate. In the year 1775, he sus*
tained the ofSce of lieutenant colonel of militia, and was
one of the secretaries of the Provincial Congress. In

*See note to page 93.

t In Thacher's Military Journalj it is erroneousiv sioted that Gen.
Lincoln was born " Janur.ry :23d, 0. S. 1733." From Hmgham town
records of births, &c., as above.



HISTORY OF IIINGHAM. 141

1776, he was appointed by the council of Massachusetts
a brigadier, and soon after a major general, and he ap-
plied himself assiduously to training and preparing the
militia for actual service.

In October, 1776, he marched with a body of militia,
and joined the main army at New York. The commander
in chief, from a knowledge of his character and merit,
recommended him to Congress as an excellent officer^
and in February following, he was created a major gen-
eral on the continental establishment. For several months
he commanded a detachment of the main army under Gen-
eral Washington, and was placed in situations requiring
the exercise of the utmost vigilance and caution, as well
as firmness and couraore. Having the command of about
five hundred men in an exposed situation near Bound
Brook, through the neglect of the patroles, a large body
of the enemy approached undiscovered within two hun-
dred yards of his quarters ; the General had scarcely
time to mount and leave the house before it was surroun-
ded. He led off his troops however, and made good his
retreat, with the loss of about sixty men killed and woun-
ded. One of his aids with the General's baorffage and



CO



papers fell into the hands of the enemy, as did also three
pieces of artillery. In July, 1777, he was selected by
Washington to join the northern army under the com-
mand of General Gates, to oppose the advance of Bur-
goyne. He took his station at Manchester, in Vermont,
to receive and form the New England militia as they ar-
rived, and to order their march to the rear of the British
army. He detached Colonel Brown with five hundred
men, on the 13th of September, to the landing at lake
George, where he succeeded in surprising the enemy,
and took two hundred batteaux, several gunboats and an

armed sloop j liberated one hundred American prisoners,
13*



142 HISTORY OF HINGHAM,

and captured two hundred and ninety-three of the enemy,
with the loss of only three killed and five wounded. This
enterprize contributed essentially to the glorious event
which followed. Having detached two other parties to
the enemy's posts at Mount Independence and Skenes-
borough, General Lincoln united his remaining force with
the army under General Gates, and was the second in
command. During the sanguinary conflict on the 7th of
October, General Lincoln commanded within the lines,
and at one o'clock the next morning, he marched with his
division to the relief of the troops that had been engaged,
and to occupy the battle ground, the enemy having re-
treated. While on this duty, he rode forward some dis-
tance to reconnoitre, and to order some disposition of his
own troops, when a party of the enemy made an unex-
pected movement, and he approached within musket shot
before he discovered his mistake. A volley of musketry
was discharged at him and his aids, and he received a
wound by which the bones of his leg were badly frac-
tured, and he was obliged to be carried oif the field. The
wound was a formidable one, and the loss of his limb was
for some time apprehended. It became necessary to re-
move a considerable portion of the main bone before he
was removed to Hingham, and under the most painful op-
eration, he is said to have exhibited uncommon firmness
and patience ; he did not entirely recover from this wound
for several years, and it occasioned lameness during the
remainder of his life. General Lincoln afforded very im-
portant assistance in the capture of Burgoyne, though it
was his unfortunate lot, while in active duty, to be disa-
bled before he could participate in the capitulation.

Though the recovery from his wound was not com-
plete, he repaired to head quarters in the following Au-
gust, and was joyfully received by the Commander in



HISTORY OF HINGHAM. 143

Chief. His military reputation was high ; and at the so-
licitation of the delegates of South Carolina and Geor-
gia, he was designated by Congress to take the command
in the southern department. On his arrival at Charleston,
in December, 1778, he found that he had to form an army,
to provide supplies, and to arrange the various depart-
ments, in order to enable him to contend against experi-
enced officers and veteran troops, with any probability of
success. For this, his indefatigable perseverance, and
unconquerable energy were necessary and excellent
qualifications. It is impossible to recount here, all the
military operations in this department, in which the skill,
prudence and courage of General Lincoln were so con-
spicuously displayed.

His answer to the British commander, on one occa-
sion, when summoned to surrender, exhibits the modesty
and firmness of this estimable ofl^icer. '^ Sixty days
(says he) have passed since it has been known that
your intentions against this town were hostile, in which
time has been afforded to abandon it ; but duty and in-
clination point to the propriety of supporting it to the
last extremity."

But circumstances beyond his controul, rendered it
necessary for him to comply with the solicitation of
the inhabitants and of others, to accede to capitula-
tion. With all the judicious and vigorous efforts in his
power, he was requited with the frowns of fortune ; but
he did not in consequence of his ill success, incur the
censure of any ; nor was his judgment or merit called in
question. He stood high in the confidence of the army,
and was esteemed as a zealous patriot and a brave officer.
He still enjoyed the undiminished respect of Congress
and of the Commander in Chief Ramsay and Lee
speak of his conduct in terms of approbation.



144 HISTORY OF HINGHAM.

General Lincoln was admitted to his parole, and in
November following, he was exchanged for Major General
Phillips, a prisoner of the convention at Saratoga.
In the campaign of 1781, General Lincoln commanded
a division under Washington, and at the siege of York-
town, he had his full share of the honour of that brilliant
event. The articles of capitulation stipulated for the
same honour in favour of the surrendering army as had
been granted to the garrison at Charleston. General
Lincoln was appointed to conduct them to the field where
their arms were deposited, and received the customary
submission. His services were particularly mentioned in
the general order of the Commander in Chief

In October, 1781, he was chosen by Congress, Secre-
tary of War, retaining his rank in the army. He contin-
ued in this office two years, and then resigned. On ac-
cepting his resignation, a resolution was adopted in Con-
gress, expressive of their high sense of his perseverance,
fortitude, activity and meritorious services in the field,
as well as of his diligence, fidelity and capacity in the
execution of the ofiice of Secretary of War. After his
resignation. General Lincoln retired to his farm in this
town ; but in 1734, he was chosen one of the commis-
sioners on the part of the State to make a treaty with the
Penobscot Indians. In 1786-7, when the insurrection
of Shays and Day occurred, General Lincoln was ap-
pointed by the governour and council, to command the
detachment of militia consisting of four or five thousand
men, to oppose the progress of the insurgents, and to
compel their submission to the laws. By his address and
energy, the insurrection was happily suppressed without
much bloodshed.

At the May election, in 1787, General Lincoln was
elected lieutenant governour by the Legislature, having



HISTORY OF HINGHAM. 145

had a plurality of votes by the people. He was a mem-
ber of the convention for ratifying the Constitution of the
United States ; and in 1789, he was appointed by Presi-
dent Washington, Collector of the Port of Boston, which
office he retained till about two years before his death.
In 1789, he was appointed one the commissioners to
treat with the Creek Indians, and in 1793, he was one
of the commissioners to effect a peace with the Western
Indians.

General Lincoln, was one of the first members of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member
of the Massachusetts Historical Society, to each of which
he contributed papers for their respective publications.
He received from Harvard University, the degree of
Master of Arts. He was President of the Society of
Cincinnati, from its organization, until his decease.

After his resignation of the office of Collector of Bos-
ton, he lived about two years in retirement, and died
May 8, 1810.

A writer in the Historical CoUectionSj thus speaks of
his character.

" In General Lincoln's character, strength and soft-
ness, the estimable and amiable qualities, were hap-
pily blended. His mind was quick and active, yet dis-
criminating and sound. He displayed a fund of thought
and information derived from select thousiih limited read-
ing, from careful observation of men and things, from
habits of thinking and from conversation. A degree of
enthusiasm or exaltation of feeling on the objects of his
pursuit belonged to his temperament, but it was under
the controul of good sense and sober views. He was pa-
tient and cool in deliberation, in execution prompt and
vigorous. He was conspicuous for plain, strict, inflexible
integrity, united however with prudence, candour, and a



146 HISTORY OF HINGHAM. T

compassionate disposition. As a military commander, he
was judicious, brave, determined, indefatigable. His
distinguished merit in this character was never denied,
while all have not agreed in opinion on some of his plans
in the southern command. Being a soldier of thej-evolu-
tion he had to anticipate the effect of experience, and
might commit mistakes. He was surrounded by difficul-
ties ; he met extraordinary disappointments in his calcu-
lations of supplies and succours. In the principal instances
which issued unfortunately, the storming of Savannah and
the siege of Charleston, he had but a choice of evils ;
and which ever way he decided, the course rejected
would have seemed to many persons more eligible.

*^ He was a Christian of the Antisectarian, Catholic,
or liberal sect. He was firm in his faith, serious and
affectionate in his piety, without superstition, fanaticism
or austerity. He was from early manhood a communi-


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