Thomas Smith.

Extracts from the journals kept by the Rev. Thomas Smith, late pastor of the First Church of Christ in Falmouth, in the county of York, (now Cumberland,) from the year 1720, to the year 1788, with an appendix, containing a variety of other matters online

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Online LibraryThomas SmithExtracts from the journals kept by the Rev. Thomas Smith, late pastor of the First Church of Christ in Falmouth, in the county of York, (now Cumberland,) from the year 1720, to the year 1788, with an appendix, containing a variety of other matters → online text (page 1 of 28)
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3 821.




Astor, Lenox and Tilded^



It has long been known to a number who wejfe
cotemporary with the Rev. Thomas Smith, late
Pastor of the First Church of Christ in Falmouth,
a part of which is now Portland, in the State of
Maine, that he was in the practice of keeping an
Historical Diary. The desire has been expressed
by them and others that it might be published.

When the late Governor Sullivan was writing
his history of Maine, he applied to Mr. Smith for
the use of this Journal in order to complete his
account of the Indian Wars, he. but Mr. Smith
was unwilling to comply with his request, because
the Journal contained a mixture of private matters
not proper to be exposed to public view. It having
come into my possession, I have been induced, with
the consent of his surviving children to make and
print such extracts from it as I thought might be
useful and entertaining to those especially who from
local circumstances would be apt to take a peculiar
interest in the transaction to which they relate.

The Diary commences with the year 1720, and
reaches to the year 1788, a greater length of time
probably, than that during which any similar record
has been kept within the limits of this State.

The matters I here present the public are — 1. No-
tices of such Foreign Events as came to the knowl-


edge of Mr. Smith during that period. — 2. Domestic
Occurrences ; or such as took place in the town of
Falmouth, and its vicinity, from the time of his
coming there in 1725, with marginal notes as to the
particulars of some of the events which are but
slightly mentioned. [These were taken from
Holmes' Annals, and chiefly as he quoted them from
prior writers.] And 3. A view of the life and
character of the deceased. Also a separate account
of the Seasons.

In the selection of these matters I may have been
either more minute or more deficient than another
person would have been, but in faithfulness to that
trust which was confided in me when the Journal
was put into my possession, I could not put it into
another's hands. £ have noticed some things not so
much tor the things themselves as for other reasons,,
which will probably be apparent to the discerning
reader ; and as to the state of the seasons and of the
weather in the different parts of the year, which I
have inserted separately, partly in the words of the
Journalist and partly (for conciseness) in my own.
I would observe that they contain but an abridge-
ment of what is recorded in respect to them. To
have been more particular would have swelled the
work too much, to have been less so would have
rendered this part of it too imperfect, and to have
left it out entirely might have been regretted by
those who wish for an opportunity to compare
former times, in respect thereto, with the present,

and the state of the atmosphere, with the health or
sickness prevailing at the time.

Upon the v/hole, whether the Extracts I have
made will be received with such acceptance as some
who have encouraged their publication may expect,
I will not presume to judge. If they should, in the
perusal of them afford that gratification which has
been contemplated, I shall not regret the time I have
taken to prepare them ; if otherwise, I shall only
regret their publication.

Upon the few additions to these extracts it is not
necessary to observe.

Of the matters which are contained in the Appen-
dix, some notice will be taken in the Preface to that
part of the work. S. F.

July, 1821



Mr. Smith was the eldest son of Thomas Smith, of
Boston, Merchant, (who marri«d Mary Curran, May 9,
1701.) He was born at Boston, March 10, 1701—2 ; he had
three wives. The first was Sarah Ty:sg, a daughter of Col.
Ttng, of Dunstable, whom he married September 12, 1728.
She died Oct. 1,1742. The second was the Widow Jordai^,
of Saco, whom he manied March 1, 1743 — 4. She died
January 3, 1763. The other was the Widow Elizabeth
Wend ALL, whom he married August 10, 1766. She died
(after the deatli of Mr. Smith,) March 16, 1799. By his first
wife, he had eight children, viz. :

1. Thomas born September 19, 1729, who died February
::3, 1729—30.

2. Peter born June 14, 1731— now living.

3. Lucy born February 22, 1733 — 4, who died in June

4. Thomas born September 12, 1735, who died February
10, 1776.

5. William born December 18, 1736, who died October
16, 1754.

6. John born October 14, 1738, who died December 26,

7. Sarah born November 14, 1740 — now living.

8. A Child born Sept. 6, 1742, which died Sept. 14,1742.
By his two other Wives he had no children.






It appears by his Journals of the succeeding years, num-
bered 2, 3, 4, kc. : that Mr. Smith began to keep a journal
this year, but what became of it, I do not know. That for the
next year is the oldest in my possession.


Mr. Smith entered the College at Cambridge, A. D. 1716,
and having made the study of Hebrew, a part of his employ-
ment, he intended probably to qualify himself as a minister of
the gospel. He took his first degree the present year. He
went frequently to Boston, and other places, but the incidents
he takes notice of through the year are unimportant. He
mentions the names of the following gentlemen as ministers
of the gospel at this time, viz : Thatcher, Sewall, Checkley,
Prince, Webb and Chauncy.*

* In this year, commenced the publication of the Boston Gazette. The second
newspaper published in America. The first was the Boston Netvs-Letter, (a
weekly paper) first published in 1704. The third was the N(xv-England Courant,
commenced in 1721. I have one of these in niy possession, printed January 15,
1726. It was printed by Benjamin Franklin, chiefly on a pica type, ia two
columns, and on half a sheet, of the size of pot writing paper ,^



May 1£. — About this time the small-pox was brought into

£6. — The small-pox began to spread *

July IS. — Fast, on account of the small-pox.

[He mentions the names of several ministers in the vicinity
of Boston, viz : Cook, Appleton, Foxcroft, Gee, Fessenden,
Flint, Waldron, Prentice, Wigglesworth, Cotton and Ward.
The pages of this years journal are somewhat fuller than the
last, but not interesting.]


January 3. — Boston almost clear of the small-pox, and
wholly of inoculation.

February 26.— Town judged to be quite clear of the small-

July 12. — The Indians killed a man and drove the English
into the garrison, and at night, Capt. Starman and others,
killed 16 or 18 of those Indians.

July 26.— War proclaimed with E.Indians.

Oct. 2. — Hot, more so than ever was known before at this

[In September of this year, Mr. Smith preached at Maiden
and Sandwich ; and this see*ns to be the commencement of
his frequent performances afterwards.]


Jajiuary G.— I preached at Bellingham.

7. — The committee of Bellingham was with me to acquaint
me of their call.

16.— There has been nothing like winter yet. This month
xias been the hottest that ever was felt in the country.

* It made great havoc there, and in some of the neighboring towns Inocula-
tion for that disease was now introduced into Xew-Eng!and, and a trial of it
recommended to the physicians, by the Rev. Cotton Mather. All however
declined it, but Doct. Zabdiel Boylston, who adventured to begin with his own
family, and afterwards continued the practice amidst violent opposition. Many
pious people were struck with horror, and were of opinion, that if any of his
patients should die, he ought to be treated as a murderer. The populace was so
enraged, that bis family was hardly safe in his house : and he wasofteii insulte*
in the streets.


Fehruai'y 4. — ^The sharpest weather ever known at this time
of the year.

24. — The greatest storm and highest tide that has been
known in the country.

March £1. — I gave Bellingham an answer.

August 29. — Mr. Foxcroft preached a funeral sermon on
Dr. Mather, who is this day buried.*


January 8. — Doct. Cook, sailed for England, as agent for
this Province.

11. — Visible eclipse of the sun.

12. — The pirates had their trial and all cleared but four.

June 2. — Two pirates were hanged, viz : Archer and

July 23. — Mr. Webb's Lecture turned into a Fast, by rea-
son of the very great drought, every thing being burnt up.

August 10. — Mr. Sewall was chosen President of the


February 26. — Saturday last Capt. Lovell and company,
who sat out the 20th of last month, fell upon a company of
ten Indians, and killed them all.f
March 10. — Dies mea natalis (vicessima tertia.)
April 29. — Mr. Webb's Lecture turned into a Fast, upoo
the account of the war.

*This was Increase Matber, who was President of Harvard College, from 1694
to 1701. He had been a preacher 66 years, and a minister of the same in Boston
62 years. He died in the 85th year of his age. His father, Richard Matber, came
to New-England in 1634, having been silenced by Dr. Neal, Archbishop of York,
and was the last minister of Dorchester, and died in 1669, aged 73. His son,
Cotton r.Iather, a minister of Boston, died in 172?, at the age of sixty-five ; all
eminently, pious and learned men. The last was the author oi Magnalia Ckristl
Americana. The books and tracts which this author published, amounted to 382.
Among his manuscripts was a work which he prepared for publication, entitled
Biblia Americana, or the Scrijiiures of the Old and New Testament illustratecL
" The writing of which" says his biographer " is enough constantly to employ
a man, unless he be a miracle of diligence the half of three score y^ars and ten
allowed us." A catalogue of the 382 books, which he published, is subjoined to
his life.

tSee a particular account of this in the Appendix.


May 15. — We have an account that this day seHiightjCapt.
Lovell's company had a bloody battle with the Indians.^ The
Captain, Lieutenant and 15 others idlled.

July 2.1. — The forces here went away for Richmond in
order to march to Penobscot.

22. — Twenty-one Indians ran away in the night.

£3. — Fqurteen Indians taken again.

24. — The Commissioners returned to Boston, with two
Penobscot Indians.

August 2. — The two Penobscot Sagamores in here,in Capt.
Saunders, bound home.

9. — Capt. Saunders put a shore the two Sagamores. A
cessation of arms appointed for forty days between us and the
Penobscot Indians.^

10. — Orders came for forces here, to prepare for a march.

Two gentlemen came in here bound to St. Georges, to treat
with the Indians.^

September 16. — News in town of the Indians killing 5 men
at Fort Dummer, and 5 more at the eastward.

20. — The forty days out, that were appointed for a cessation
of arms.

21. — I was invited to go up and preach at Norwich.

October 8. — !\Ty father and brother came in from St. Georges
without the Indians. The Hostage and another Indian ran

2C. — General Thanksgiving.

December IS. — Mr. Whalton brought the contribution for
last Sabbath, £2 Gs.

[In fhe course of this year, Mr. Smith came twice from
Boston, preached at Falmouth seventeen Sabbaths, viz : From
June 27th, to Sept. 5th, and from Nov. 14th- to the end of the
year. During which time he visited the people there and at
Purpooduck ; rode to neighboring places and frequently
diverted himself by gunning and fishing. In December he
attended the ordination of Mr. Jeffries, at Wells ; preached
there and spent about ten days there and in the vicinity.]


January 14. — The forces dismissed.

24. — Yesterday and to day very severe cold. The river
frose over,

31. — Thus far has been a very smart close winter.

February 2a. — Here (with this month) ends the winter. It
has been all along a close and hard a winter as has been

*lbM. jIbJd. flbid.


remembered. There has been good sledding all winter.
Never one thaw.

March 1 0. — Mea natalis 24 : Destinav : Deis precaro.

18. — There has been the best gunning here tliis winter than
has been for some years past.

£2. — Capl. Moody brought two Indians from North-Yar-

23. — The Indians killed two cattle upon their return at
Winnegance, near Arowsick.

26. — It is observable that though the winter has been so
■- ry severe, there has not been any thing like a storm the
whole time.

27. — We had news by an express from his Honor the Lieut.
Governor, that the Penobscot Indians had denied several
ai tides of the peace.

29. — Three persons drowned at Winter Harbor, in a
schooner of Elder Saywards.

»^pril 5. — Three Penobscot Indians came here this evening.

9. — Twenty-six vessels now in the harbor.

13. — The General Court met and sat 21 days upon the
Jesuit's Letter, which he in the name of the Indians, wrote to
the governor last month. They resolved to send them a
further supply.

24. — Saunders came in from Boston with a further supply
for the Indians : for Richmond as well as Georges.

26. — This day the committee acquainted me with the call
of the people generally planting here.

29. — Preached over to Purpoodock.

June 15. — About this time the ratification of the peace was
proposed to be, but put off further by the Indians.

S6. — Capt. Moody, brought me £20, of the town's money.
^*Mr. Walton brought me £10 125. 3d. beinii what was gathered
on 27 Sabbaths. This evening sailed for Boston.

29. — Arrived at Cape Ann, after having put into Piscata-
qua river.

July 13. — This day returned from Boston.

15. — The N. Hampshire gentlemen came here in a brig.

16. — The Massachusetts gentlemen came here in th«
evening, and lie below.

17. (Sunday.)— Mr. Shurtliif pi cached here A. M. Mr.
Fitch, P. M. The gentlemen all at meeting. In the morning
the gentlemen came on shore and made considerable H|_).ear-
ance with their drums and guns. The governor guarded in
pomp to meeting.

22. — The gentlemen spent this week entirely idle, waiting
for the Indians.


£d. — The Indians came here from Penobscot on a message
to the government, and were sent away in the afternoon.

24, (Sunday.)— I preached here A. M. Mr. Tappan P. M.
Mr. Fitch baptised the children, 22 in all, besides an adult
person. Mr. White preached over to Purpoodock, A. M.

The Lieut. Governor, with the gentlemen, sailed up the bay;
I was fishing with Mr. Tyng before the door. Whiie the gen-
tlemen are gone, we enjoy ourselves.

29. — This morning the gentlemen returned from Arowsick.
The Indians to tlie number of 40, all of the Penobscot tribe,
came in here. In the afternoon the Congress opened.

31, (Sunday.) — Mr. Temberton and Mr. Welstead, preach-
ed here.

•August 1. — There was a public dinner, at which I dined.

2. — Several days were spent in private treaties, to pave the
way for the public ratifications.

4. — All private conferences were finished this day.

5. — The ratification of the peace was publicly done this
day in the meeting-house.

6. — Some affairs relating to the ratification that were left
unsettled yesterday, were this day finished, and all concluded
with a public dinner.

8. — The New-Hampshire gentlemen sailed.

10. — This week spent in interpreting to the Indians, the
journal of all their actions — and in fully settling some other

12. — The governor and other gentlemen sailed this day for
Boston. Capt. Franklin carried the Indians to St. Georges.
Mr. Welstead stopped here.

September 7. — N. N. E. storm brought into the harbor
about forty large fishing vessels.

17. — Captain Langdon came in here in a large ship.

SO. — This month we have always great numbers of fisher-
men in here.

[Several days of this month Mr. Smith appears to have
spent in bodily exertion, both by land and water, visiting,
dining, fcc. with Mr. Collier, Moody, Jarvis, he]

October 9. — Town meeting to-day. They voted to build
me a house. ^

27. — There is a considerable number of people down here,
to look out for farms, designing to settle here.

28. — This day we had news that the Indians had broken
out and taken a family in Kennebunk, viz. eight women and '
two children, one of the women big with child. Their names
were Dude and Baster.


JsTovember 21. — I sat out this afternoon for Boston.

26. — Arrived in Boston, iiaving lodB in all 124 miles.

December 7. — I sat out for Casco.

22. — Lodged at Mr. JeliVies, Wells.

24. — These two days I spent wholly with Mr. Jeffries in
his chamber.

31. — After some excursions to York, Sec. sat out for Casco.

[At tiie end of the journal for this year is " some account of
the settling of the town of Falmouth, Casco Bay." The diffi-
culty of reading the vvriting of Mr. Smith, by reason of the
very fine letters in which all his^journals are written, is on
this account, rendered much greater, by the leaf in which it is
written, having been wet and torn, and in several places the
writing entirely rubbed out. The following is as much as I
could pick out. It contains the greatest p.ut, and though
impetfect, I think proper to insert it in the form it is, rather
than wholly to oaiit it.]

In the year* '17, a number of men, about 30, petitioned the
General Court for this tract of land, in order to make a set-
tlement of ; who granted their petition, excepting the former
grants. Inhabitants most of the time between their being
*** the town filled but slowly.

When I first came down here, which was the 23d of June,
there were but about 5C families, such as they were, most of
them very poor, by reason of the Indians that kept the people
from their farms ^^* and confined them to garrisons, and
some that were soldiers, that had found wives on the place,
and were mean animals ; and I have been credibly informed
that the men they engaged to come to them, were as bad as
themselves, having a design of building up the town with any
that came and offered ; but the war coming on, purged the
place of many of them, and in their room came others, and
some very good *^^-*. This fall, came down I. Riggs, with
his family, and about the same time J. Sawyer, with his ;
both from Cape-Atm, both very good sort of men, errors ex-
cepted. When I came down, the meeting-house frame w;is
only covered ; but this summer it was handsomely finished
outside. Governor Wentworth giving the glass.

172G. - This spring came in*:o town one Savage, and also one
Stimson and his family,**^ whom the selectmen immediately
warned out of town, as they did several others, just about the
making of peace.

This summer, (peace being concluded) there came from
Cape-Ann, one Davis, a pretty troublesome spark, with his

* Ttija year, except the centurial part of it, seems to have been left a blank.


family. Also one of his wife's brothers, no better than he —
and a little after, another family who was also warned out of
town. Also one Haskell,a sober sort of a man, with his family,
Joljii Sawyer brought here to live.

This fall came Isaac Savage and Mr. Pride, whh their
families — also Mr. White's eldest son, who were sober and
ibrehanded men ; and many persons desiring to settle, and lias

an unspeakable ■^■^** in a new settlement. Now Mr. B ,

!^on and his wife of Piscatawav, proceeding to great Hog
island. *"-■'

This week we had a town meeting to consider of the petition
often several likely men to be admitted inhabitants, and the
matter was left to the selectmen.

This month I reckoned up the families in town, and found
ihere was 64, such as they were, accounting a man and his
wife a family There are likewise 13 or 14 young men mar-
liigeable, ihat have land in the town and are inhabitants;
and above 33 fighting men.

1727.— Came down here one **^* [something like Morres-
fon] who bought James or John Ballard's place, which Darling
v/as'^*^ who moved away to Black Point. Last month Mr. Saw-
yer and York came here and finished their grist mill, which
svery way answered their expectation. The people, before this,
seat their corn to be ground. A saw mill was also built
upon the same stream. Several of the inhabitants began lo
get logs **'^*^*** and that was the old saw mill that was In-

Eight persons, several of them having families, came here
aRd purchased a tract of land near Pond Cove, of Samuel
Jordan *>^^* with an obligation *- of it ** to stand by one
another in peace or war ; and the first thing they did, built a
garrison for the good of the whole ***^'^****^

One Red(hn came here to build a ship here.

One Woodbin\y and Skipper Dolliver purchased a small
tract of land of ■^**** and were both down here. Woodbury,
a man of great substance, built a handsome house and a barn.

May 3. — The town adinitted 7 persons into the town as
inhabitants, and came into a new method, viz : that every
person admitted from that time, should pay £lO. Mr. Pikr,
Webber, Woodward, Clark and *** built a house and barn ***

Jlugust 9. — A sloop built before my door, was launched to-

15. — The mast ship that loaded here sailed to-d;iy.

17. — The town admitted 23 persons into tiie town, they
paying the £lO.


September 18. — The town admitted 5 persons into the town.
Among others, the town thought it their wisdom to admit a
number of gentlemen that stand their friends : viz. Mr. Shove,
Capt. Walton, Mr. Powell and Lewis. Some of them the
town admitted are substantial men — and Capt. Wheelwright.

People constantly flocking down here to petition for lots.

[A memorandum is made in another part of this year's jour-
nal ; but so illegible as not to be fully understood. All 1 can
gather from it is, as I conceive of it,that this was a township a
number of years before, but taken by Waudghsgad, for the
French and Indians — and that " at this time the town book
was either burnt or carried into Canada, which was an
unspeakable loss," producing disputes between the old and
new proprietors. Some of whom had, or required lands
"over and over again."]


January 2. — I got home to-day, found all things well, tbt
people glad to see me.

3. — I was this evening at a notable supper at Mr. Whal-
tons, with about 19 of the neighbors.

[It seems, then, that large parties are nothing new.]

10. — Separated this day for fasting and prayer. "^

23. — Town meeting to-day. They passed several votes iii
my favor, viz. : To find m« my wood — To clear with me every
6 months — To give me three acres of Land for my Hoi^jse
and Lot — and to clear the 3 acre lot. Yesterday wrote to
Mr. Thacher for my dismission.

29. — (Sunday)— Not a vessel in the harbor, nor one stranger
at meeting : but as many of our own people as ever I saw.

SO. — To-day the people met and cut the timber for my
House, and drew part of it to the spot.

February 1. — Our letters were sent to tlie Churches for
their assistance at the intended ordination.

6. — My father came here in Young Saunders from Boston —
spent the evening with us, and went on board and sailed.

11. — A very cold day indeed, this.

13. — The river froze over this morning — broke away P. M.

29. — Town meeting to-day to settle things about entertain-
ing the ministers, and about building my House.

*So rauch of this Journal as is printed in italics,was on<,nr»\ly written vo
vai€ characters.



March 6. — Sei apart this day for fasting and prayer.

8. — This day I was ordained Minister of the Gospel and
Pastor of the Cliurch. Mr. Mosely made the first prayer —
Mr. Wise prayed and gave the right hand of fellowship —
Mr. Newmarsh gave the Charge, and Mr. Rogers closed witk

9. — My father came here this morning in an Indian canoe.

16. — Col. Westbrook came here.

21. — Col. Westbrook went to Richmond. About this time
Mr. Riddings came down here with a considerable quantity
of goods in order to build a sloop here.

25. — This week I spent very closely in preparation for the

[The pages of his Journal for the rest of the year contain

Online LibraryThomas SmithExtracts from the journals kept by the Rev. Thomas Smith, late pastor of the First Church of Christ in Falmouth, in the county of York, (now Cumberland,) from the year 1720, to the year 1788, with an appendix, containing a variety of other matters → online text (page 1 of 28)