Thomas Bridgman.

The Pilgrims of Boston and their descendants; online

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Inscriptions from tht ll0nttmfnt$


(jIRANARY burial ground, TREMONT STRf^ET



' Time is a river deep and wide :

And while along its banks we stray.
We see our lov'd ones o"er its tide
Sail from our sight, away, away.
♦ • * Wiiere are they sped ?

Beyoud the Eiver.'








Entered according to Act of Cun^'rcss. in lln; year 1856, by


In tlie Clerk's omce of Uic IJistrict Court of the Unte.l ^^tatl•s lor tlie D;>tricl of Massachusetts.


A C C U M r I. 1 6 11 i: 1 1 A L I K K AS A 8 J" A T li S .M AN AND SIMULA I!


Sons of ^fb (tngliiub l^roitcibout tijc lUiuon,







Their brown log huts peered rndely forth,

Mid copse and thicket gray,
AVith fragile tents, that scarcely kept

The mocking storms at bay,
While through the flashing forest wheeled

The savage war-dance wild;
Yet, 'mid these strange and startling scenes,

The Flower of Lincoln smiled.

Months sped their course ; the circling year

Sealed up its finished scroll ;
And happine;*s, with changeless bloom,

Breathed fragrance o'er her soul ;
For, though no costly bdard was there,

Nor gnest in pomp arrayed,
Yet true love made an Eden home

Within that greenwood shade.

But he, alas ! whose touch doth turn

Warm life to icy clay,
Stole on, and from the blanching lip

Kissed the sweet soul away,


And mournful, 'mid the gnarled roots
Of the thicket's broken crown,

To scoop that lady's narrow house.
The grating spade went down.

For her there was no plumed hearse.

No long procession drear.
No requiem from the organ's soul,

Nor velvet-mantled bier,
Though in her own ancestral clime,

A tomb of sculptured fame,
'Neath old cathedral's lofty arch,

Her noble birth might claim.

Yet still she hath a monument

To strike the pensive eye, —
The tender memories of the land

Wherein her ashes lie ;
The holy love that blest Ms heart

Who brought her o'er the tide,
That beamed with sunny glance on him,

When all was dark beside ;

The saintly faith that bore her soul

Where clouds no more are known.
Save by the fruits their tear-drops helped

To ripen round the throne ;
Yes, that pure love, that hallowed faith,

Have reared above her clay
Such monument and epitaph

As may not wear away.

Isaac Johnson, sometimes honored with the name of the Father of /
Boston, was supposed, as we have said, to have been the first person
laid in the King's Chapel Burying-ground. He was one of that inter-


esting band who came with Governor.-: Winthrop anil Dudley, in the
Arabella, and landed at Salem on the 12tli of June, 1(».'>0. In their
early explorations, he was anxious that the region of the "beautiful
Tri-niountain " should be chosen as the site of their future city, when
it contained no habitation, save the lonely cottage of Willia n Black-
stone. This selection was sanctioned, and received, on September 7th
1631, the name of Boston. He was present on this occasion; but soon
after became a tenant of the silent city of the dead. He bore a high
character for energy, liberality, and piety. His death was supposed !<>
have been hastened by deep grief for the loss of his wife, the Lady Ara-
bella Johnson, daughter of the Earl of Lincoln, who, moved by undying
affection, left her native halls of ease and luxury, to follow and cheer
him in a comparative wilderness.


iNTRODDCnON, .....

«_JHemoir of Governor Bowdoin,

Memoir of Lieutenant-Governor Gushing,

Memoir of Governor Bellingham,

Memoir of Governor Dudley,

Memoirs of the Walley P'amily,

Memoir of Governor Leverett,

Memoir of Uriah Cotting,

Memoirs of tlie Ministers of the Old South Church,

Memoir of Dr. Eckley,
v Memoir of the Rev. John Bacon,
V Memoirs of the Amory P'amily,

Memoir of Governor Sumner,

Names of those deposited in Governor Sumner's Tomb,

Some account of the Ilyslop Family,

Death-bed of Governor Sumner,

Memoir of Dr. Jeremy Belknap,

Letter from Dr. Thaddcus William Hurriss,

Memoir of Edmond Mountfort,

Memoir of Captain Barnabas Pinncy,

Memoirsof the Bass Family,

Letter from Kcv. Dr. Samuel Sewull,

Memoirs of the Sewall Family,

Memoirs of the Parker Family,

Memoir of Arthur Mason,

Memoir of Abraham Perkins,

Edward Bumstead,

Memoir of Elizabeth Poole,

Memoir of Rev. Thomas Baldwin,
Memoir of Elisha Brown,
Memoir of Edward Pierce,



V Memoir of Judge Wadsworth,
Victims of the Boston Massacre,
Memoir of Andrew Johonot,
Memoir of Abraham Lee,
Memoirs of the Hunt P'amily,
Memoirs of the Cabbot Family, .
Memoirs of the Child Family,
Memoirs of the Pemberton Family,

■•' Memoir of William Trask,
Memoir of Peter Fanueil,

V Memoir of General Joseph Warren,
Memoirs of the Russell Family, .
Lines by Mrs. D. Ellen Goodman,
Mem oirs of the Cutler Family, .
Memoirs of the Phillips Family,
Memoirs of the Minot Family,
Memoirs of the Lowell Family,
Memoirs of the Clark Family,
Memoir of Deacon Luther Clark,
Memoirs of the Brattle Family, .
Memoir of Dr. Franklin,
Memoirs of the Holmes Family,
Memoir of Lieutenant James Torrey,
Memoirs of the Hale Family,
Memoir of Lieutenant-Governor Gray,
Memoirs of the Loring Family,
Memorials of the Gushing Family,
Memorials of the Spear Family,
Memorials of the Gray Family,
Memorials of the Codman Family,
Memorial of George Felt, .
Memorial of Rev. John Baily,
Memorial of -Governor Dummer,
Memoir of Governor Haynes,
Memoir of George Blake,

Descendants of Captain William Greenough,
Memoirs of the Tappan Family, .
Memoirs of the Shaw Family,
Memoirs of the Thorndike Family,

V Memoirs of the Palfrey Family,
Memoir of Humphrey Barrett,

7 Memoir of Edmond Grcenleaf,
Memoir of Governor Hancock,
Monument at Bloody Brook,
Memoirs of the Lathrop Family,
Grave of Captain Lathrop, .
Index, ....


In the former publication by the Author of the present volume,
the King's Chapel and Copp's Hill Burial Grounds, with their
ancient monuments and gravestones, have been fully described.
Encouraged by the approbation bestowed upon these works, Mr.
Bridgman has extended his researches to the Granary Burial
Ground, — the third in the list of the ancient cemeteries of
Boston. The present volume is the result of his labors, and
will, we believe, be found not less valuable and curious than its

In the introduction to the former volumes, the general
topics pertinent to a work of this kind have been treated in an
interesting manner. It would be unbecoming on this occasion
to attempt a repetition in diflferent words of what has been so
well said before. Our object in these few preliminary remarks,
is to invite the favorable attention of the public to Mr. Bridg-
man's labors.

For the information of persons not acquainted with the
early history of Boston, it may be stated, that this place
of burial, now in the centre of its population, was formerly
on the outskirts of its inhabited portion. It lies on Tre-


mont Street, between the Tremont House, the Park Street
Church, the Boston Athenaeum, aM some of the most valuable
private houses of Boston, on Park and Beacon Streets. The
space occupied by the burial ground was originally open on the
south-west to the Common, from which it was afterwards sepa-
rated by the erection of the G-ranary and other public buildings.
The Granary was a long wooden building capable of containing
twelve thousand bushels of grain, which was annually laid in,
by a committee chosen for that purpose, to be sold to the poor
at a small advance on the wholesale price. Above the Grranary
on what is now called Park Street, were the Bridewell and
Aims-House. The names of these buildings sufficiently il-
lustrate the change which time has made in the geography of
Boston. At that early period, Copp's Hill was the court end
of the town.

The most striking feature of the Granary Burial Ground,
is the fine row of trees which fronts it on Tremont Street,
eleven in number. These trees are European elms ; less
graceful than the American species, but a most noble and
stately tree, with the advantage of being in leaf five or six
weeks longer than the native variety. These beautiful trees
are said to have been planted by Major Adino Paddock and Mr.
John Ballard in 1*762. * Several of them measure at least ten
feet in circumference, at a distance of four feet from the ground,
though their growth has probably been checked by the pave-
ment of the street and the sidewalk, which has deprived them
of a part of their natural nourishment. This evil has of late
years been remedied as far as practicable. TiU a few years
since the walk under these trees was frequently called " Pad-
dock's Mall."

* Report of the Trees and Shrubs of Massachusetts, by Mr. George B. EmersoBj
page 301,


But though admirably shack-d iu front by these fiiie trees,
the ancient l)urial ground itself was, till about thirty years
since, destitute of any similar ornament. It has within that
period been greatly embellished by a dense plantation of trees
and shrubbery, made at private expense, under the superin-
tendence of Mr. Andrew Belknap. All the most pleasing
varieties of our forest trees, the maple, the larch, the moun-
tain-ash, the bass-wood, and the willow, are tastefully inter-
mingled with each other. They are grown up to such a si^e
as to afford a delightful shelter to those who come to explore
the moss-covered memorials of the past. Their branches fur-
nish the birds an undisturbed retreat not often found in a
populous city ; and give to the neighboring houses the luxury
of a rural prospect.

" In living green,
Cypress and stately cedar spread their shade
O'er uuforgotten graves, scattering in air
Their grateful odors."

It would be an anticipation of the contents of the following
pages to enumerate the ancient monuments which are contained
in the Granary Burial Ground. Their inscriptions, with the
similar records of the other burial grounds, form no insignificant
portion of the early annals of Boston. Pious and venerable
men, who served the infant colony with fidelity and zeal, are
there rescued from forgetfulness.

" Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply."

There is one of the monuments iu this ancient burial
ground which ought not to pass unnoticed on this occasion,
viz., that which was erected to the memory of Josiah Franklin


and Abiah, his wife, by their son Benjamin Franklin. Josiah
Franklin was a native of the village of Ecton, in Northampton-
shire, in England, and in consequence of the persecutions to which
the Nonconformists were exposed, emigrated to tliis country in
1685, Abiah, whose maiden name was Folger, was from Nan-
tucket, and became the second wife of Josiah, after his settle-
ment in Boston. Four sons and four daughters were born of
this marriage, — Benjamin being the youngest son. The father
died in 1744, at the age of 89 ; the mother in 1752, at the age
of 85. On his visit to his native city of Boston, shortly
afterwards, a marble monument was placed upon their grave
by their illustrious son, with the beautiful inscription which
will be found in its place in the present volume. This simple
monument having fallen into decay, was replaced in 1827 by
a substantial granite obelisk, which will henceforward form
one of the greatest objects of interest in the Granary Burial
Ground. The fragments of the original marble were collected
and placed under the obelisk. By the side of the obelisk
stands the gravestone of Benjamin Franklin, the uncle of the
patriot and statesman.

Beneath a beautiful and luxuriant larch tree, twenty-one
feet within the front wall, and sixty feet south of the Tremont
House, repose the ashes of the citizens of Boston who fell in
State Street, on the ever memorable 5th of March, 1770, the
first victims of the oppressive and tyrannical measures of the
British ministry, which resulted in the American Kevolution,
No stone marks the spot.*

In the tomb of the Minot family, on the southwestern side
of the burial ground, and immediately in the rear of the estate

"^ It is proposed to erect a neat monument to their memory by the compiler of this
volume, should the profits from its sale warrant it, on which will be inscribed their
names, and a suitable epitaph, written by a Boston Antiquarian of the Old School.

[T. B.]


of Dr. John C. Warren, the remains of General Joseph Warren,
the illustrious martyr of Bunker Hill, were deposited in the
spring of 1776. A particular account of their discovery and of
the measures taken for their preservation, will he found in the
following memorandum, kindly communicated for the present
work : —

" Boston, ficpt., 1855.

" The remains of General Warren were buried on Bunker
Hill the morning after 17th June ; the body was stripped
of its clothes and thrown into a pit with that of a butcher, —
the latter was not stripped, his frock and trowsers being of
little value. After the evacuation of Boston in March, 1776, a
funeral oration was delivered by Perez Morton, Esq., in the
Stone Chapel ; — the remains of General Warren were exhumed
for the occasion in the presence of two of his brothers, Dr. John
Warren, and Judge Warren, of Foxboro, and was by them
distinguished, by two facts : —one was, the fixture of the loft-
eye tooth by a gold wire, — the other was, a perforation of the
right side of the head by a bullet ; the place of the wound had
been noticed at the time of the interment by General Winslow,
who, being then a young boy, was permitted by the British
officers to attend for the purpose of distinguishing the body.
Mr. Winslow remarked that three fingers of the right hand
were bloody, as if he had clapped them to the wound.

" After this solemn ceremony had been accomplished, the
remains were deposited in the Miiiot tomb of the Granary
burying ground. In the year 1824, when the attention of the
public was excited about the Bunker Hill Monument, the
remains were sought for, and, as stated above, discovered. It
was recollected that there had been a great intimacy between
General Warren and the family, of which Judge Minot (the


Author of the History of the Rebellion) was a prominent mem-
ber, and that, in consequence of this friendship, permission was
given to deposit the remains in their tomb. Dr. J. C. Warren
obtained permission to open the tomb, and succeeded in dis-
tinguishing the remains of General Warren by the bullet-hole
in the side of the head, and the decay of the socket of the
left-eye tooth. This tomb is now surrounded by a massive iron
fence bounding on the wall which separates the estate of Dr.
J. C. Warren from the burying ground.

" The relics were then placed in a strong square mahogany
box, with a silver plate containing the name of the departed
patriot, and placed in a very dry tomb under St. Paul's Church,
in 1824. In August, 1855, it being thought expedient to place
these and some other relics in durable stone urns, they were
removed from the wooden to the stone receptacle, with a hope
of preserving them for ages. — On opening the wooden boxes,
the bones were found damp, beginning to decay; requiring
means to arrest the decomposition, and put them in a state
which may preserve them for the veneration of posterity."

Boston, Janua/ry ls«, 1856.

Below is an engraving of a Monument about to be erected in Roxbury, in memory
of John Eliot, the Apostle to the Indians.


I lied at Roxl.ury, May 20th, 1690, in the 86th v.^'ir .,f Ii

■ J-ArJWBf




This cut is an exact copy of the Arms iuscribed on the tablet which
designates the Bowdoin Tomb. When it was originally placed there is
not known. The crest, however, as here given, does not accurately re-
present the crest of the Bowdoin family, which is an Eagle, their motto
being " Ut aquUa codum versus.''^ This may have been, and probably
was, a mere mistake of the stone-cutter ; or, possibly, some branch of the
Bowdoins, in other days and other lands, may have had the Pelican for
their crest.


The Bowdoin family has sometimes been traced back t(/ Baldwin,
Count of Flanders, in 862, and sometimes to Baldwin, King of Jeru-
salem, in 1143, both of whom are said to have spelled their names pre-
cisely as the first emigrant to America spelled his. This first emigrant
was Pierre Badouin, who arrived in Casco Bay, in the then Province of
Maine, in the summer of 1687. He was of an old Huguenot family,
which had long resided in the neighborhood of Rochelle, so well known
to history as the stronghold of Protestantism in France. He had been
driven out from his native land by the fury of that religious persecution for
which Louis XIV. gave the signal, by the revocation of the Edict of Nantz.
Having first sought refuge in Ireland, and having failed to find perma-
nent employment there, he resolved to seek his fortune in the New World.
A physician by education, and having enjoyed at home a handsome estate,
he landed upon the shores of Maine, with a wife and four children, in a
condition of absolute penury. Sir Edmund Andros, then Governor-in-
Chief of New England, granted him, upon his petition, a hundred acres
of land in Casco Bay, within or near the limits of the present city of
Portland, and here he established himself, and commenced his efibrts to
obtain bread for his family. In 1690 he removed to Boston, having
departed from Casco just in time to escape the terrible massacre which
was perpetrated there by the Indians on the 17th of May of that year.
Pierre Bowdoin lived sixteen years after his arrival in Boston. He
died in September, 1706 ; and his widow, Elizabeth, died 18th of
August, 1720, aged seventy-seven years. They left two daughters and
two sons, of whom the younger removed to Virginia, where his descend-
ants are still living.

2. James Bowdoin, the eldest son of the foregoing (the first of that
name in America), must have been born at Rochelle, France, about the
year 1676-7, and was a person of great energy, perseverance, and success.
He commenced life as a mariner, but soon entered upon mercantile busi-
ness, and, by economy and industry, elevated himself to the very first
rank among the merchants of Boston. He was several times elected a
member of the Executive Council of the Colony of Massachusetts, and
at his death, on the eighth of September, 1747 (aged seventy-one years),


he left to his children an estate estimated at from fifty to a hundred
thousand pounds sterling.

3. James Bowdoin, the second son of the foregoing by his second
wife, was born in Boston on the 7th of August, 1726, and was graduated
at Harvard College in 1745. He was engaged for a few years after his
father's death in commercial pursuits, but, being left with an indepen-
dent estate, he soon devoted himself to literature, science, and politics.
During a visit to Philadelphia, when only twenty-four years old, he
became acquainted with Dr. Franklin, then in the maturity of his powers,
and a friendship between them was formed, which was only terminated
by death. Franklin sent Bowdoin, soon afterwards, a copy of all his
Electrical papers, and invited his observations on them. A correspon-
dence was thus opened, which continued during their lives. Some of
Bowdoin's letters on philosophical subjects were sent by Franklin to
Loudon, where they were read at the Eoyal Society, and published in a
volume with his own. Bowdoin was, at a later day, chosen a Fellow of
the Royal Society. He was,* also, among the founders of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the first President of that Associa-
tion. To this Association he bequeathed his large and valuable Library.

Bowdoin entered political life in 1753, as one of the four Represen-
tatives of his native town in the Provincial Legislature of Massachusetts,
and he was re-elected by the people of Boston in 1754 and 1755.
During this service, he was particularly prominent in advocating that
union of the Colonies which was proposed by Franklin at the Albany

In 1757, Bowdoin was elected by the House of Representatives a
member of the Provincial Council, in which Hutchinson says he was
" without a rival " in point of influence and importance. He was styled
by Wedderbum, before the Privy Council in England, '' the leader and
manager of the Council in Massachusetts as Mr. Adams was in the
House." He served the people of Massachusetts in this capacity six-
teen years, and was finally negatived by Governor Gage, by "the
express orders of his Majesty." Hutchinson had forborne to negative
him before upon the ground that *' it would be to no purpose, for he


would be chosen, into the House, and do more mischief there than at
the Council."

In 1774, Bowdoin was elected one of the five Massachusetts Delegates
to the first Continental Congress, at Philadelphia, and nothing but severe
and serious illness prevented him from going; but he accepted the post
of councillor from the Provincial Congress, assembled at Watertown the
same year, and as soon as his health was restored, took his place as
President of that body. In this capacity he continued to preside over
the now independent Commonwealth, from time to time, as his health
permitted, until the summer of 1777. During this period the National
Independence had been declared, and Bowdoin was made chairman of the
committee to superintend its proclamation from the balcony of the Old
State House in Boston.

In 1779, Bowdoin was chosen a Delegate to the Convention which
framed the constitution of Massachusetts, and, on the assembling of
that body, he was elected its President. His position as presiding officer,
however, did not exempt him from the active duties of membership, and,
during the long recess of the convention, he served as chairman of the select
committee by which the original draft of the constitution was prepared.

In 1785, Bowdoin was elected Governor of Massachusetts by the
Legislature, there having been no choice by the people. In 1786, he
was re-elected to the chief magistracy by a large majority of the popu-
lar votes. This was the period of " Shay's Rebellion," when a formidable
body of insurgents systematically interrupted the sessions of the courts
of justice, and arrayed themselves in arms against the constituted author-
ities of the State. Bowdoin administered the government, during this
memorable crisis, with the greatest discretion and firmness, and, by a
vigorous exercise of the whole civil and military power of the common-
wealth, succeeded in suppressing the insurrection, and in restoring peace.
His name will ever be honorably associated with this first great vindica-
tion of law and order within the limits of our American republic.

Governor Bowdoin's last public service to his country was as a mem-
ber of the Massachusetts Convention in 1788, by which the Federal Con-
stitution was ratified, and in the following year he had the happiness of


welcoming beneath his own roof his illustrious friend, General Washing-
ton, on his visit to Boston, as the first President of the United States.

The little remnant of his life was devoted to literary and philoso-
phical pursuits. He died on the 6th of November, 1790, at the age of
sixty-four. His eulogy was pronounced by his friend, Judge Lowell,
by whom his character was thus admirably summed up :

" It may be said that our country has produced many men of as much
genius ; many men of as much learning and knowledge ; many of as mucli
zeal for the liberties of their country ; and many of as great piety and
virtue; but is it not rare, indeed, to find those in whom they have all

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Online LibraryThomas BridgmanThe Pilgrims of Boston and their descendants; → online text (page 1 of 23)