Theodore Parker.

Genealogy and biographical notes of John Parker of Lexington and his descendants: Showing his earlier ancestry in America from Dea. Thomas Parker of Reading, Mass., from 1635 to 1893 online

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Online LibraryTheodore ParkerGenealogy and biographical notes of John Parker of Lexington and his descendants: Showing his earlier ancestry in America from Dea. Thomas Parker of Reading, Mass., from 1635 to 1893 → online text (page 17 of 47)
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Lewis Parker of Lancaster and Miss Elizabeth Seaver of Sterl-
ing were m. in Sterling, Nov. 30, 1806." They settled in the
centre of the town. He was a successful builder and overseer
of work on houses. He was also acquainted with the hat
trade, at which business he devoted himself a part of the time.


He was stout in stature and a very good-looking man. He
was sexton, but not a member of the Sterling Church. He
favored the Universalist belief, which at his time was in its
infancy. He was in the War of 181 2. Enlisting as a private
all went well in the company until they sighted the British
troops, upon which their captain fled. The company there-
upon chose Lewis Parker for their captain and placed him at
their head. He was soon promoted to major, the title by
which he was afterwards widely known. It seems that he,
like some of his ancestors, was fearless, and often said that he
would face the enemy if he dropped before them. He was
offered the rank of major-general, which responsible position
and rank of honor he was ready to accept, but his wife urged
him to decline. Their family was already large and she
valued his presence at home as a good influence for the chil-
dren. He spoke of the honor which might thus be conferred
upon him and family, but she replied, "What is honor to
bringing up properly this large family of children?" Other
and doubtless proper precautions could have been taken, but
as they were all attached to their home he graciously yielded.
He was a very hospitable man, having a large circle of friends,
and his house was constantly sheltering or he and family
entertaining a part of them, Mrs. Elizabeth (Seaver) Parker
was a remarkable lady, of conscientious belief and a member
of the Church. Mr. Parker highly appreciated his brothers
and sisters and loved to pay tributes to their memory. He
reverenced his sister Mrs. Green, and never ceased lamenting
over the untimely decease of his brother Gardiner. He d. in
Sterling, July i, 1833, aged 46, and she d. in West Boylston,
at her daughter's farm, Nov. 5, 1859, aged 76 years, 6

Their children were :

225. Caleb Alexander Parker, b. Dec. 34, 1806.

226. Abigail Sawyer Parker, b. Oct. 15, 1S09; m. Jan. 24,
1S30, Joshua Buxton of Lowell.

Evelina Maynard Parker, b. Nov. 23, 181 1 ; d. June 8, 1833, at

227. Elizabeth Margaret Parker, b. Sept. 24, 1813; m.
April zi, 1836, Gilbert H. Howe of Sterling.


228. Sarah Angeline Parker, b. Aug. 13, 1815 ; m. in Sterl-
ing, Nov. 10, 1836, John Phelps of West Boylston.

229. Lewis Livingstone Parker, b. Jan. 7, 181 7. When
quite young, he joined his brother Caleb A. Parker at Jackson,
Miss., where he met with an accident, from which he d. on the
evening of the 23d of Oct., 1841, " from the effects of a fall which
he received in the morning from the giving away of some scaffold-
ing, Mr. Lewis L. Parker of Sterling, Mass., aged 34 yrs. 9 mos.
The deceased has long been known to our community, and his death
is deeply lamented by all who knew him. His amiability and
urbanity of manners, his natural warmth of feeling and correctness
of deportment in all his dealings with his fellow-men endeared
him to a numerous circle of friends, who will long cherish his
memory and mourn his untimely dissolution. When a friend is
stricken down in a moment — in the full bloom of health and young
— while the heart is yet beating high with brilliant anticipations of
the future, relatives and friends have cause indeed to mourn." He
was buried in Jackson, Miss.

230. HoLLis Gardner Parker, b. Sept. 30, 1S18; m. Laura
Goodrich of Hartford, Ct.

Mary Anne Capen Parker, b. March 31, 1820; d. in Pittsfield,

March 5, 1834, unm.
Harrison Gray Otis Parker, b. Aug. 18, 1821 ; d. in Jackson,

Miss., unm.
Thomas Sawyer Parker, b. April 15, 1823.
Lucy Parker, b. March 4, 1825.

86. Dr. Amos Parker (HolUs,^ Amos,^ Andrew, '<
yohn,^ Hanaiiiah,^ Thomas^), son of Hollis and Louisa
(Bragg) Parker, was b. in Hubbardston, Oct. 17, 1777 ; m.
Elizabeth Whitney, dau. of the minister at Bolton. He suc-
ceeded to his father's homestead in Shrewsbury, living thereon
during the lifetime of his parents, furnishing them a comforta-
ble abode in their old age. He was known by the people of
Shrewsbury as somewhat eccentric, for instance, it is said that
he buried his small riches in bags around his house and farm
for safe keeping and people are still in watch for "Dr.
Parker's money bags." He finally removed to Bolton,
where in the centre of the town his house still stands
as he put it, and his old furniture, maps, books and pictures
are as they were in his day. In Bolton he became a popular


physician. Dr. Parker was a man of mind. He was well
read and acquired a substantial education. He possessed
a remarkably strong character, he was known as one who
acted upon his own best views and feared not ; was a good
speaker and was one of the tirst to join the temperance move-
ment, in which he took an active part. Dr. Parker was post-
master at Bolton for many years. At one time he was proba-
bly the oldest postmaster in the commonwealth.

Their children were :

Elizabeth Lydia B. Parker, b. July 10, 1809; d. April r, 18S2,

Louisa Jane Parker, b. Jan. 10, 1812; resides in Bolton, unm.
She occupies the old Dr. Parker home located in the town centre.
She preserves its ancient appearance, together with the ancient
furniture, pictures and family treasures as they appeared in her
childhood, when her father was living, making the homestead
seem, as the visitor enters, as if he had stepped back into the iSth

87. ■ Mary Jennison Parker (Hollis,^ Amos,^ Andrezu,'^
yo/ui,^ Hananiah,^ Thomas^), dau. of Hollis and Louisa
(Bragg) Parker, was b. in Hubbardston, July 31, 1780; m.
(i) in Shrewsbury, Jan. i, 1803, Josiah Harrington, b. in
Worcester, Jan. 6, 1780, who came to Shrewsbury from
Worcester when a lad and grew up in the family of John
Rice, Sr. They had Josiah Harrington, Jr., b. in Hubbards-
ton, Sept. 15, 1803. Josiah Harrington, the father, d. in
Hubbardston, Oct. 7, 1803. The son m. Sylvia Smith of
Lancaster, N. H. ; had one son, Edward L. Harrington, b.
in Lancaster, Oct. i, 1836, and she d. there in 1838.
Edward L. served in the Union army during the Civil war.
Both he and liis father are now deceased.

Mrs. Mary (Parker) Harrington m. (2) in Shrewsbury,
April 10, 1805, Asahel, b. Feb. 6, 1775, son of Silas and
Priscilla (Plympton) Allen. He was a cooper and farmer in
Shrewsbury, where they lived up to about 1826, when the
family removed to Lancaster, N. H., and where she d. Feb.
28, 1862. He d. in Berlin, Wis., Oct. 13, 1866, at the home
of his son Waldo.


All the children were b. in Shrewsbury :

1. AsAHEL Plympton Allen, b. May 4, 1806 ; m. Rebecca Bacon

Haven of Boston; resided in Lancaster, N. H., where he
owned a farm ; he d. June 14, 1S84. They had ten children :
]. Frederick M. Allen, b. in Boston, 1832 ; d. Sept. 5,

n. Edward P. Allex, b. in Worcester, 1833 ; resides in

in. Helen R. Allen, b. in Lancaster, N. H., 1835 ; m.

Daniel Sweet of Manchester, N. H.
IV. Sarah E. Allen, b. in Lancaster, N. H., 1837; m.

Joseph Cutting.
V. Mary A. Allen, b. in Lancaster, N. H., 1840; m.

Monroe Green of Shelburne, N. H.
VI. William H. Allen, b. 1842; d. in Washington, D. C,

Feb. 8, 1863.
VII. George L. Allen, b. 1844 ; resides in Wisconsin.
VIII. Maria E. Allen, b. 1846; d. March iS, 1863.
IX. Abbie a. Allen, b. 1850; m. Alonzo Earle.
X. Alice L. Allen, b. 1853 ; m. D. W. Scribner of Port-
land, Me.

2. Lucy Hemenway Allen, b. Feb. 15, 1809; d. in Lancaster,

N. H., April 18, 1842.

3. Daniel Waldo Allen, b. May 17, i8ii ; he studied medicine,

but early in life went west and spent most of his life upon a
farm. By wife Marietta he had the following children :
I. Henry Clay Allen, b. March 5, 1848.
II. Celestia Elizabeth Allen, b. July 10. 1S50; m. Rev.
D. W^. Day of Cleveland, O., and has had four children.
III. Mary Maria Allen, b. Oct. 3, 185 1.
He m. (2) Lellice Boyle, by whom Lucy C. Allen was b.
Sept. 7, 1856.

4. Elizabeth Waldo Allen, b. Aug. 17, 1813 ; d. in Cleveland, O.

88. Silance Pa.rkev (Hollis,^ Amos, ^ Afidreiv,^ Jo/in,^
Hananiah,^ Thomas^), dau. of Hollis and Louisa (Bragg)
Parker, was b. Oct. 17, 1786; m. Oct. 11, 1811, James Hall
of Shrewsbury. He was a builder, and experienced, it is
said, a remarkable occurrence. About the year 1828 he fell
from near the top of the spire upon the roof of a meeting-house
he was building in Sutton, and so indented it, by breaking one


of the rafters, as to obtain lodgment there until relieved. He
was not sensibly injured, but soon went about his work. It is
said, however, that he finally met his death in being struck by
a falling beam. The family removed to Northborough about
1850, and he met his death the year following.
Their children were :

1. Sarah Z. Hall, b. Oct. 3, 1813 ; was school-teacher at North-


2. Louisa A. Hall, b. June 28, 1815.

3. James M. Hall, b. July 22, 1817.

4. Anna P. Hall, b. Nov. 13, 1819.

5. Mary J. Hall, b. Dec. 8, 1821.

6. William E. Hall, b. April 26, 1824.

7. Silence M. Hall, b. April 16, 1832.

89. Betsey Parker (EUsha,^ Afnos,^ Andrew,^ yohn,^
Hananiah,^ Thomas^), dau. of Major Elisha and Sally (Baker)
Parker, was b. March 25, 1782; m. April 25, 1810, Gardner
Paige of Hardwick. They lived in Bakersfield, Vt. She d.
Feb. 23, i860. He d. Nov. 7, 1861.

Their children were :

1. Gardner Addison Paige, b. in Bakersfield, Vt., April 23, i8ii ;

m. May 27, 1S35, Lydia B. Shattuck (b. also April 23, 181 1)
of St. Albans, Vt., dau. of Moses Shattuck of Townshend, Vt.,
and wife Hannah Bingham, a native of Rochester, N. Y.
They removed, 1870, to Milford, Del., where he d. in Nov.,
1888. His widow survives him. Their children were :
I. Seneca Paige, b. 1836 ; d.
II. WoRTHiNGTON Paige, b. 1837 ; d.

III. Reed Paige, b. 1839.

IV. Hannah Paige, b. 1841 ; m. Oaks.

V. Louisa Paige, b. 1842 ; m. Smoot.

VI. Marion Paige, b. 1844; m. Green.

VII. Gardner Paige, b. 1846.
viii. Harris L. Paige, b. 1850.

2. Timothy S. Paige, b. Feb. 18, 1814; d. Oct. 16, 1817.

3. Betsey M. Paige, b. April 5, 1817; m. (i) Dec. 29, 1S42,

Samuel Peckham of Broome, P. Q. ; he d. July 1844, and she
m. (2) Feb. 15, 1S46, C. R. Parker of Lockport, N. Y. (No.
234, page 191). She d. May 7, 1853. She had dau. Mary
Jane Peckham, who d. Aug. 29, 1866, aged 20 years.


4. Elisha Stillman Paige, b. March 18, 1819; m. Betsey Soule

of Fairfield, Vt. They had dau. Maria, now Mrs. Hawaij^an.

5. Mary Ann Lee Paige, b. Feb. 17, 1823; m. Sept. 26, 1849,

Edmund C, son of Ephraim Knight, who was son of Amos,
of Shrewsbury, Vt.. and Philander (Beaman) Knight, dau.
of Sheldon Beaman of Milton, Vt. The family reside in
Stanbridge, Canada. Their children were :
I. Paige Knight, b. Dec. 31, 1S50.

II. Catharine Knight, b. June 17, 1S55 ; m. Sept. 26,
1S77, Ernest M. Lambkin, and has three daughters.

III. David Brown Knight, b. Dec. 20, 1857; m. Dec. 17,

1879, ^^^^ P- Rice, and has two daughters and two sons.

IV. Stillman Paige Knight, b. May 3, i860; m. Jan. i,

1880, Julia Baker, and has two sons.

6. Sarah Jane Paige, b. May 27, 1824; m. Nov. 3, 1868. Henry

Dean of Bakersfield, Vt. They reside in Bakersfield.

91. Elisha Parker (Elisha,^ Amos,= Andrew,'- yohn,^
Haiianiah,^ Thomas^), son of Maj. Elisha and Sally (Baker)
Parker, was b. Nov. 23, 1787: m. 1811, Eunice Dean of
Barnard, Vt. Her parents were early settlers of Barnard from
the town of Hardwick, Mass. He lived in Barnard four years ;
the remainder of his life was passed in Bakersfield, Vt. He
d. April 15. 1847. His widow Eunice d. Sept. 21, 1884.
He was stout in stature, and was blessed with a very hearty,
happy disposition. Horseback riding was his favorite mode
of conveyance and healthful exercise.

Their children were :

231. Elisha H. Parker, b. May 10, 1S18; m. Alvira P. Ferrin.

232. Minerva E. Parker, b. May 13, 1S27 ; m. Josiah Converse,
a native of Brookfield, Mass.

233. Robert D. Parker, b. May 6, 1834; m. Sarah Hawes of
Auburn, Mass.

92. Elijah Parker (Elisha,^ Amos,^ Andreiv,^ yo/m,3
Hananiah,^ T/iomas^), son of Maj. Elisha and Sally (Baker)
Parker, was b. Nov. 23, 1787 ; m. 1810, Rhody, younger
dau. of Dea. Isaac Butler of Fairfield, Vt. She was seventh
in descent from Dea. Richard Butler, whose name first appears
on the records of Cambridge, Mass., in 1632 ; was a freeman


there in 1634, and in 1636 was one of the company who went
through the wilderness with Rev. Samuel Hooker and formed
the settlement at Hartford, Ct. Elijah Parker removed with
his family to New York State and settled in Cambria, where
he d. Feb. 8, 1868. She survived him, her date of death
being Nov. 6, 1873, at Lockport, N. Y. He was most highly
respected by his fellow-citizens.

"Elijah Parker was one of the pioneers of this country; an in-
dustrious, careful, prudent man, and a law-abiding citizen. He
accumulated a competency and lived long in the town of Cambria to
enjoy it — a highly respected and honored member of the community."

All the children were b. in Bakersfield, Vt., except the
youngest :

Cho Laura Parker, d. in infancy.

234. Charles Rollin Parker, b. Jan. 5, 1S14; m. (i) Portia
Adelia Harmon.

235. Cho Augusta Parker, b. Aug. 10, 1S15 ; ni. Silas Hall, a
native of Newburyport, Mass.

236. Caroline Miranda Parker, b. March 16, iSiS ; m. Stephen
Decatur Scovell.

Martha Cornelia Parker, b. Sept. 7, 1823.

Amanda Bowdish Parker, b. Oct. 10, 1S25 ; resides at Beach
Ridge, N. Y. To her care and interest is indebted much of ful-
ness of the genealogy of her family as shown in this volume.

237. Isaac Butler Parker, b. Nov. 19, 1S29; m. Clarissa
Gillet of Youngstown, N. Y.

238. Frederic Deforest Parker, b. in Levviston, N. Y., Aug.
10, 1830; m. Helen Nickols of Michigan.

93. Patty Parker (Elisha.^ Amos,^ Andrew,^ John,T>
Hananiah,^ Thomas'), dau. of Maj. Elisha and Sally (Baker)
Parker, was b. in Bakerstield, Vt., May 3, 1790; m. Elijah
Barnes as his second wife.

Her only child was :

I. Elizabeth Martha Barnes, b. April 6, 1S2S. After her
father's death she became a missionary teacher for the Ameri-
can Missionary Association to the Freedmeu in the St)uth,
where she labored 17 years until her health failed her in 1882.



Jan. 18, 18S3, she and Dea. H. M. Stevens of St. Albans, Vt.,
were m. Their m. life was short but very happy. She d.
May 7, 1885.

94. James Sullivan Parker (Eliska,^ Anios,^ Andrew,^
yohn,^ Hananiah,^ Thomas^), son of Maj. Elisha and Sally
(Baker) Parker, was b. in Bakersfield, Vt., Aug. i, 1798.
He m. and had at least one dau., who became Mrs. Sarah E.
Evans and lived in Washington, D. C.

95. Jonas Parker (Elisha,^ Amos,^ Andrczu,'^ yohn,^
Hananiah,^ Thomas^), son of Maj. Elisha and Sally (Baker)
Parker, was b. in Bakersfield, Vt., Sept. 15, 1800; m. Lima
Freeman, b. in Barnard, Vt., Jan. 13, 1802, dau. of Joshua
and Joan Freeman. They first settled in Bakersfield ; removed
to Moretown, Vt. He was a successful builder and a good
farmer. He was well beloved by his associates, and a favorite
with his brethren.

All the children were b. in Bakersfield, Vt. :
S39. Rebecca Ann Parker, b. Sept. 39, 1825 ; m. Langdon
Marshall of Brookfield, Vt.

240. Joshua Freeman Parker, b. Sept. 23, 1827 ; m. Caroline
D. Seabnry.

241. John Cortland Parker, b. March 15, 1831 ; m. Oliva M.
Wheeler of Wallingford, Vt.

242. Lima Joan Parker, b. Aug. 11, 1836; m. April 26, 1S75,
Henry Fullerton of Waitesfield, Vt., and resides in Montpelier, Vt.

96. Abigail Parker ( Ephraim,'^ Amos ,^ Andrew ,^ yo/in,^
Hananiah,- Thomas^), dau. of Ephraim and Abigail (Baker)
Parker, was b. in Fitzwilliam, N. H., March 5, 1796; m.
March 31, 1812, Joshua Worcester of Jafirey, N. H.

Their children were :

1. Ephraim Parker Worcester, b. June 20, 1813 ; m. Nancy

Gage, dau. of Jonathan Gage of JatlVey, N. H. They reside
in Pittsfield.

2. Emeline Parker Worcester, b. July 4, 1815 ; d. Oct. 23,

1886, aged 71. She never married, but for many years was a
successful teacher of schools in Boston until she became too
infirm to teach and then returned to her native place and died
at the residence of her sister Abigail.


3. Abigail Worcester, b. March 30, 1817; m. William Gage,

son of Jonathan Gage of JatiVey, N. H. He d. Sept. 12,
1842, aged 30, and she now lives on the old homestead in Fitz-
vvilliam and successfully carries on the farm by the aid of all
needed help.

4. Joshua Worcester, m. for a second wife Lydia Whipple of

Richmond, N. H., by whom he had tive children, to wit:
I. Milton Worcester.
II. Hannah Worcester.

III. George Albert Worcester.

IV. A child who d. in infancy.
V. Lydia Worcester.

97. Hannah Parker (Nahwn,^ Amos,^ Andrezv,^
yokn,i Hanantah,^ Tkomas"^), dau. of Judge Nahum and
Mary (Deeth) Parker, was b. in Shrewsbury, Dec. 26, 1784;
came to Fitzwilliam, N. H., with her parents in 1786; m.
Luna Foster, Jr., of Fitzwilliam, Feb. 29, 1810. They lived
at Fitzwilliam until 181^, when they removed to Westmoreland,
N. H., and there resided the remainder of their days. She d.
Aug. 7, 1863, aged 79^ years. He d. April 13, 1865.

Their children were :
I. Benjamin Franklin Foster, b. in Fitzwilliam, N. H, in 181 2 ;
m. Sept. 30, 1832, Electa Beebe of Brattleborough, Vt. She
lately d. They lived many years in East Westmoreland, N.
H., and he now resides in Keene, N. H. Children :
I. Amos Parker Foster ; m. Sarah Gale. They reside

in Austin, Texas, and have had two children.
II. Eunice P. Foster ; m. George Abbot, and resides in
Joliet, 111.

III. Adin Foster ; m. Nancy M. Perry, and resides in Gardner.

IV. Ellen D. Foster ; m. Alfred D. Perry, and resides in

Keene, N. H.

V. Addison D. Foster ; m. Malissa Perry. He went to tiie

war of the Rebellion and d. in the service.
VI. Allison D. Foster ; m. Kate Wood, and resides in

Natchez, Miss.
VII. Ella H. Foster ; m. Frederick Wilson, and resides in

Keene, N. H.
VIII. Anson F. Foster; m. Eldora H. Streeter, and resides in
Keene, N. H.


2. Nahum Parker Foster, b. in Fitzwilliam, Feb. lo, 1814; d.

May 9, 187^, aged 61 ; m. Emily Wilber. He was educated
as a physician and took his degree of M.D. at Harvard Uni-
versity, and afterwards became a Baptist preacher, and prac-
ticed both professions with marked success to near the time of
his death. Soon after his marriage he settled (i) at Unity,
N. H., (2) at Cornish Falls, N. H., (3) at Stoughton, Mass.,
(4) at Burlington, Vt., and (5) at Montpelier, Vt. Here he
was two years chaplain of the Legislature. On leaving Mont-
pelier he took a voyage to Europe and visited various places
of note, among which were Palestine, the Dead Sea, the pyra-
mids of Egypt, etc., and on his return settled in New London,
Ct., where he died. He left an estate of $30,000, and one
daughter, who survives him. His wife died at New London
a few years before his own death. He was a skilful doctor
and an impressive preacher and lecturer. He had a most won-
derful prepossessing appearance. He died suddenly in the full
vigor of life from the eftects of poison administered to him by

3. Mary Foster, b. in Westmoreland, N. H., Sept. 4, 1817; m.

Edward R. Winchester, and lived in Westmoreland until his
decease. She is living and has one son.

98. Austin Parker (Nahnm^^ Amos,^ Andrew,'^ yohn,^
Hananiah,^ Thomas'')^ son of Judge Nahum and Mary (Deeth)
Parker, was b. in Fitzwilliam, N. H., Jan. 24, 1787; m.
Susan Martin of Gardner and settled in Westmoreland, N. H.,
and d. there Aug. 7, 1863, aged 76. His wife survived him
a few years. Austin Parker was a good mechanic (a charac-
teristic of the family branch), and was a carpenter as well as
a farmer. He was for a long time surveyor. He was select-
man and justice of the peace.

Their children were :
Marion M. Parker ; now deceased.
Demaris C. Parker ; now deceased.
243. Frederick A. Parker, b. 1822 ; m. Clara M. Hyland of

Westmoreland, N. H.
Norman Parker ; he was killed on the railroad.

99. Amos A. Parker (JVahum,^ Amos,^ Andrew,^ yohn,^
Hananiak.^ Thomas'), son of Judge Nahum and Mary (Deeth)
Parker, was b. in Fitzwilliam, N. H., Oct. 8, 1791. He


AGED liii, Oct. s, 1892.


worked on his father's farm in the east part of the town until
he was about i6 years of age, and not having a robust consti-
tution turned his attention to classical studies and fitted for col-
lege. He was about a year under the tuition of the pastor of
Fitzwilliam, Rev. John Sabin, and then went to the Academy
at Amherst, N. H., and finished at the New Ipswich Acade-
my. He entered the sophomore class at the Universitv of
Vermont, Feb. 3, 181 1, and graduated in 1813. On his
return to his native town he became storekeeper, but soon
went to Virginia, where he staid three years as teacher in
planters' families. Returning to his native State he com-
menced the study of law with James Wilson, senior, at
Keene, and completed his course with Levi Champlain at
Fitzwilliam, and was admitted to the bar of the Superior Court
in 182 1. He commenced the practice of law at Epping, N.
H., and then went to Concord, N. H., where he became editor
of the Nezu Hampshire Statesman. While there he was ap
pointed aid to Governor D. L. Morrill and enjoyed the title of
Colonel. While he was serving in this capacity he had the
pleasure of inviting Gen. Lafayette, then at Boston, to visit
New Hampshire.

He removed to Concord in 1826, and soon after to New
Market. In 183 1 he located in Exeter and Kingston, and in
1836 returned to Fitzwilliam, after an absence of 16 years.

In April, 1879, he went to Glastonbury, Ct., and at that
place and at Hartford he resided until 1888. He returned to
his native town at the advanced age of 98 to spend the
remainder of his days with his son.

These are the outlines of a busy life, and the details would
fill a volume. x\ brief account of his life follows, in which
I have made direct use of the venerable Mr. Parker's man-
uscript, written for this use at an age when we are accustomed
to imagine a man as with one foot in the grave, and never with
the ability to wield the pen with ease, and relate occurrences
with accurate distinctness, yet these lines are the production
of his vigorous intellect and active health at the great age of
99. He says :

" In the first place, it is needful to state I had the good fortune
to have a father of a strong mind, firm convictions, steady in


purpose, and a strict disciplinarian. Although restraint was
sometimes disagreeable and even unreasonable, yet, surely, I
ought to be thankful for all the restraints and teachings of
earl}'- life, for to those I am indebted for the solid foundation
of a long and busy life.

"My father would say, 'Children are not born with knowl-
edge, but only with the capacity to achieve it and the only
way to learn is to think, exercise mind and note passing
events. The great difference found in men is mainly owing
to one man's thinking while others think not, and that there
is no natural connection between ideas and words, and there-
fore words must be learned in order to express our thoughts.'
He would accordingly call me with spelling-book in hand to
his side and teach me hovj to study. Following his careful
instructions I soon found the benefit of it, for I was able to get
my lessons perfect, so that in time I could readily spell all the
words in the spelling-book. In the spelling down exercises I
was always a standing scholar at the close. I gradually mem-
orized all the words in the dictionary, which was of inestima-
ble value to me in after life, as I had no need to look into a
dictionary for spelling or definition." Mr. Parker also often
relates the account of a little experience while still a small boy
which much impressed him. At some entertainment a man
exhibited his ability at memorizing, as each one in his audience
named one object after another until 25 were named, he would
then repeat them in the order named, forward or backward.
Young Amos marvelled at this and so wrote the names down
in order and found the man true to his word. He told the
boy how he did it. to wit : by imagining each of the objects
and placing them in a long row in order as the objects were

Online LibraryTheodore ParkerGenealogy and biographical notes of John Parker of Lexington and his descendants: Showing his earlier ancestry in America from Dea. Thomas Parker of Reading, Mass., from 1635 to 1893 → online text (page 17 of 47)