Friday, March 8, 2019

Charles Owen Rogers and Alice Maud Pettingell


1940 Photo Charles Owen Rogers (1864-1941) son of Charles Proctor Rogers (1838-1926) and Cynthia Cheney (1844-1933) and his wife Alice Maud Pettingell (1872) daughter of Henry Rogers Pentingell and Lizzie Ordway.



Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Hot Tidbit: The Sting Operation of Pierce, Colby, Sargent, & Fitts that Ended 17 Year Reign of Newburyport’s “Firebug Choate”


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Newburyport had an infamous arsonist whose flair for fire blazing brought pyromania to a whole new level.  The incendiary, Leonard Choate, aka “Firebug Choate” burned over 150 homes, barns, and buildings.  He orchestrated each inferno carefully and spared nothing sacred. The houses of worship and family properties were among his hottest hits. He stayed off the suspect list for seventeen-years until Mayor Nathaniel Pierce and Newburyport Herald Editor E L Colby executed a sting operation to end his fiery reign.  When authorities bagged the bug the word spread like wildfire, but the story behind his capture is the true scorcher!
What prompted Choate’s mania for fire starting still remains a mystery. It was rumored that he “laughed with a horrid glee” when the fire bells rang and “leaped from rafter to rafter.”  His wife confessed to officials he was overly excited and humored by the tragic blazes and often commented with such statements as: “Don’t they wish they knew who was doing all this”?  or “I wonder if they will ever catch the rascal.”
Leonard Choate (1835-1914) was the son of True Burnham Choate and Mary Pillsbury, both respectable, prominent members in the community. The Choate family were known for ship building, civil leadership, and charitable causes.  Leonard grew up on 3 Oakland Street and when he married he moved to Tying Street with his wife Emmeline Cook and fathered four children.
True Burnham Choate was son of Benjamin Choate (1770 – 1856) and Janne True (1774 – 1854). Mary Pillsbury was the daughter of Stephen Pillsbury and Sally Moody. Benjamin Choate was son of Simeon Choate and Ruth Thompson. Another cousin, Ebenezer Chaote (1748-1801) son of Ebenezer Choate and Elizabeth Greenleaf married Anna Pillsbury (1760-1904), daughter of Enoch Pillsbury and Apphia Currier. (More Genealogy listed after story)
Leonard was a Private in Company A of the Cushing Guards, Massachusetts 8th Regiment and served garrison duty at Fort Parke, Roanoke Island, North Carolina from December 4, 1862 to July 12, 1863. He was discharged on August 7th, 1863. Read More on Choate family members serving in the American Civil War Newburyport and the Civil War  by William Hallett and The City of Newburyport in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865: With the Individual Records of the Soldiers and Sailors who Served to Its Credit, Also the War Records of Many Natives and Residents of the City, Credited to Other Places by George William Creasey.
Right around the time Leonard’s combustible paws began lighting up the Port the city hosted a July 4th celebration (1854) to honor the Sons of the Revolution.  America’s Independence was remembered with a grand procession led by Chief Marshall, Elisha Storey.  Three hundred Merrimack ship-joiners, the “sturdy strong, sturdy, vigorous noble men—the real bone and sinew” were there—-Chase, Moody, Townsend, Westcott, Cheever, Burrill, Emery, Pearson Lunt, and others worthy to claim: “We only arrange and combine the ancient elements of all things.”
The Choate brothers, True and Ezekiel, known as Messrs. T. & E. Choate at Currier’s shipyard displayed a magnificent exhibit to define the master ship builders. The ship (232 feet long on deck, 46 feet beam, and 23 feet deep) was painted by John Burrill & Co., to light water, copper colored, and above entirely black, with the exception of a gilded streak; and on deck light. The iron work—chains, &c, were by Mr. Abner Kenniston, and the anchors by Mr. Henry T. Moody. She had a carved prow—an eagle's head—gilded, on each side of which was her name—Independence—and upon her rounded stern a beautiful spread eagle, holding in his talons a scroll, inscribed—"The Declaration of Independence—1776." The carving was done—most admirably too—by Mr. Joseph Wilson & Son. A miniature cabin to mimic a stately room filled with joiners lodged up high on a wagon drawn by a splendid pair of horses.  Their banner was in the shape of a topsail with a motto in bold letters reading: “Ship Joiners—Excelsior.” The cabin labels reflected their dedication to the trade: “Industry is life,” “No pains, no gains,” “Hope is a workman’s dream,” and “Play not with edge tools.”
Ironically, among these participants, spectators, and patriotic daughters of the Belleville parish none would have imagined that is was a Choate who was torching their fine city.  In the case of “Firebug Choate” guilty by association never applied.  It was assumed that he “was so largely interested in the welfare of the place he could be guilty of destroying it.” (Springfield Republican)
It was widely known Leonard inherited the families’ unique craft for wood carving, but once he was exposed the annuals excluded him on the list of “self-ennobled mechanics.”  Instead, he is featured as public enemy number one and grand pyre.
In fact, Leonard used his familial talent of wood shaping to set himself far above all arsonist. What the newspapers around the country noted was that his malicious acts were “a perfect art form.”  Although the fire bug mystique gained serious momentum, Leonard’s crafty custom built boxes used to the fires would inevitably provide the evidence to quell his pyro tendencies.
When choosing his victims Leonard never discriminated. His malevolent nature was beyond ruthless. No one was spared from his touch offs which made him even more appealing to curious minds.
On the afternoon of February 17, 1853 Leonard set fire to the store room owned by his grandparents Benjamin Choate and Jane True located on 233-235 Merrimack Street.  The work shed was filled with seasoned lumber and the flames devoured the entire structure.  The sparks ignited the Choate’s home and spread to their neighbors, Benjamin Pickett.  The damage was accessed at 5,000 and although Leonard was due to inherit these proprieties, his need to seethe overtook him.
Additionally, Leonard’s brother, George Albert Choate suffered severe damage to the lungs from the smoke inhalation coupled with the severe frigid cold air he was exposed to while trying to put out the fire. He never recovered and died a few years later of ill health at the age of 25.
From January 1861 to November 29, 1867 Choate was fingered for setting over forty-one fires and the destruction and expense was overwhelming. There are several others he is suspected for setting.  Although he favored hot flame, he fancied blistering snow storms to carry out his pyro passion.  On March 21, 1861 the Old North Congregational Church was targeted during one of the worst blizzards recorded. Joe Callahan, local historian and columnist for the Newburyport News wrote an account entitled “The burning of the North Church 150 years ago” published in the Daily News in 2011.  Callahan noted the difficulty the firemen of Neptune 8 had due to the severe weather conditions. Francis Lunt and Henry Goodwin were on duty that night and lost their lives.
The Lowell Citizen reported that the church had only $5,000 insurance coverage, but the damages totaled between $15,000 to $18,000.  Several relics were lost including a 1795 church bell cast by John Warner the church purchased from Paul Revere.
He burned the Belleville meeting house (January 8, 1867) the First Parish Church of Newbury (January 25, 1868) and attempts were reported on Harris Street and Congress Street churches. The confident fire imp was a bit brazen too. He sent anonymous letter to the fire marshal.  He bragged about the fires he set and taunted him with playful hints on how he was fresh out of boxes, but assured him he would be back in action once he replenished his supplies.
Fires broke out through the city as “Firebug Choate” spread terror and grief. His mania resulted in loss of lives. Fed up with massive destruction and his citizens living in fear, Mayor Nathaniel Pierce decided to launch a full scale war on the firebug. The initial reward the city offered totaled over $10,500, but “no one could get on the “Bugs” tracks. So Mayor Pierce and his buddy Colby formed a committee and commenced one of the biggest sting operations ever. They hired savvy private detectives and doubled the police force.
The main bosses were Detective Moses Sargent, former Boston Police Chief and his right hand guy William H Fitts, City Marshall of Newbury. The crew members were assigned individual wards and ordered that all citizens be canvassed.  The job was tedious and no stone was to be left un-turned.  Detective Sargent assumed a fake name and was put up in a private apartment.
When it was Leonard’s time to get a comb through the committee asserted that he was clean, but the tenacious Detective Sargent had a few snarls to work out.  Following a hunch Detective Sargent had put Leonard on his suspect list because he was a carpenter and the boxes kept turning up at each scene. But, what really aroused his suspicion were the closed blinds and the locked doors at his shop.
The fires that “failed” left behind some clues that alarmed Detective Sargent. First, a box was recovered at the Harris Street church by Joseph W. Hardy on December 18, 1868 determined that the fire starter was indeed a person that possessed all the “skill, opportunity, tools, and materials,” to produce the fireboxes. The marks left on the boxes were made by a nicked tool which matched with “Leonard’s tools nicked in just a manner as to make a positive identification.”
Also the mahogany shavings which were placed inside the boxes to spark the fires could only be found in one place in Newburyport. Leonard had them in his inventory and it was concluded he used them for incendiary purposes, and no other.
Leonard felt the heat and on Friday, January 22, 1869 he packed up the family and headed out west.  The court records show that his move to Minnesota was deliberate in order to avoid the authorities.  It states he left “secretly and covertly,” but the committee would get a hotter tip that would lead to them right to Leonard’s door.
Within a few weeks of Leonard’s departure another box was recovered from an old factory building. This one was wrapped in a St Paul newspaper. Detective Sargent placed inquiries with the Minnesota post master who informed him that the only subscriber to this particular paper in his area was Mr. Leonard Choate.
Captain Fitts received a letter postmarked “January 11, 1869,” it was from Leonard:
” It was lucky for the city that that old building, corner of Russia and Kent Streets, was torn down recently. Capt. Fitts, we are all out of boxes, but we expect a supply soon from Boston, then look out. Our motive is this–we want some business done here or none at all. Two of us concerned in this business. In firing the old town church we worked five nights in succession, before we got her agoing. The last night we put three gallons of kerosene on the floor; that done the business. No bell rope cut, nothing of the kind; rope was burnt off. We crawled underneath the church. A large hole was found on the stone work on the backside sufficient to let a man crawl under. In setting the Bellville Hotel afire we used two gallons kerosene oil, which accounts for the rapid spread of the flames. When the boxes come, look out. Pro Bono Publico.’
Without delay Detective Sargent and Captain Fitts secured passage to Minnesota and met with J P Mellrath, Chief of Police of St Paul and D. A. Day, Chief of Police Minneapolis. With the cooperation of city and state officials the officers set out to find “FireBug” Choate and take him back home.  It took then four hours of searching before they arrived at a secluded log cabin where Leonard was residing with this family.
When they arrested Leonard on February 26, 1869 all he said to the officials was, “you say so, next thing is for you to prove it.”
However, after he was in custody he lit up and fired off names, dates, times, and locations of fires, stating, “deaths by the rascal who has set those fires.”
On March 8 1869 Police Justice Currier examined hundreds of witnesses and interviewed wood specialist, which most appeared to testify at the trials.
At his sentencing the reports noted Leonhard was unmoved and detached. Judge Ezra Wilkinson presided over Choate’s trial at Lawrence District Court. The attorneys Alfred A. Abbott and Stephen B. Ives appeared for on Lenard’s behalf. The court records investigators noted they searched Leonard’s shed and shop on Tying Street and found materials that “matched the charred remains of what was contended to have been a box by means of which the fire was set, about six inches square on the bottom and about twelve inches high, containing a block of wood perforated with an auger hole of the size of a candle.”
One of the victims, Joseph Ackerman, who lost his slaughter house and barn in 1869 testified against Leonard and the prosecutors stated that the box recovered from the fire up at Ackerman’s property had been “lined with zinc and nailed with three kinds of tacks.”  The pine and mahogany shavings and cedar chips were also found with the box, which, with some burnt pieces of old carpet, an old shoe, and the pieces of a broken stone bottle, found at the same place the next morning, were also produced and put in evidence.
The District Attorney and prosecutor, Edgar Jay Sherman wrote in his personal memoirs said he received a letter from the mayor of Newburyport thanking him in behalf of the people for the “splendid manner” in which he had conducted the prosecution.  Sherman said it was one of the most interesting and important cases tried as most of the conviction was based on more circumstantial evidence than hard core.
“Firebug Choate” faced a multitude of charges in many counts.  The Port pyro spent his remaining days locked up. The census show he was an inmate in the Concord State Prison in 1880 and according to John J Currier Leonard was transferred to Bridgewater State Farm in 1900 due to his advanced age and mental state. His wife Emmeline is listed as a widow in a 1910 Census, but Choate passed in 1914.  She passed in 1925 and both are buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.
A big Thanks to Cheryl Follansbee of Newburyport Genealogy Group, the Newburyport Archival Center and the Peabody Essex Museum for research.
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The Merchant-Choate House Ipswich, Massachusetts See Stories From Ipswich blog “Rich in its history, the main section of the house was built in the 1760s for Abraham Choate. He purchased the lot for his home in 1757, in the center of Ipswich, then a busy center of maritime commerce. Choate, a gentleman merchant attached part of an older structure, built about 1710, to his new house. The new home provided enough room for Choate’s eight children.” Featured Smithsonian Tells 200 Years of History Through One House
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Home of Choate Family in Newburyport on 3 Oakland Street built by Timothy Osgood Referenced in The North End Papers page available at the Newburyport Archival Center and Read History 3_oakland_street-newburyport-choate-house
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Sampler Choate, Mary 1801 Newburyport, MA US Teacher Inscriptions: NewburyPort / 1802 / (Starting at the center): Each pleasing art lends softness to our minds / And with our studies, are our lives refin’d / It is the business of education to lop off some little, luxuriant / boughs from the tree of nature, but not to constrain it, that it / cannot vegetate or give to every branch, an unnatural direction. I should prefer the plain, honest awkwardness of a mere, country / girl , to overacted refinement . November 9th / Lest sense be ever in your view, / Nothing is beautiful. that is not true; / The true alone is lovely. / Mary Choate / /From American Samplers Bolton & CO. 1921
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Sarah Choate Sampler 1786 Newburyport MA: Rare Large-Scale Needlework Sampler, Sold at Sotheby’s
Important Americana
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Choate Family Graves Oak Hill Cemetery Newburyport, Essex County Massachusetts Find A Grave Photo
Benjamin Choate son of Simeon and Ruth (Thompson) Choate. was born Dec. 30, 1770, in Salisbury, N. H. He married, April 23, Jane True, daughter of Dudley and Sarah (Evans) True. She was born Oct. 2, 1774, in Salisbury, Mass. They resided in Newburyport, Mass. Mr. Choate died Sept. 15, 1854. Mrs. Choate died Dec. 16, 1856. Children: Ruth b. Jan. 25, 1797; m. Aug. 16, 1S15, Nicholas Blaisdell d. Aug. I, 1833. He was son of Joseph and Nancy Blaisdell. Jane Evans, b. .March 24, 1799; m. April 3, 1822, Ephraim Goodwin : 2nd m. Stephen N. Sargent, Benjamin Evans, b. June 29 1801 m, Harriet Crane: d. Aug. 28, 1858 daughter of Hezekiah and Prudence (Lake) Crane
Dudley, b. Oct. 18, 1803. lie died in infancy, June 4, 1804.
True Burnham, b. June 16, 1805; m. Jan. 27, 1831, Mary Pillsbury daughter of Stephen and Sally (Moody) Pillsbury. She was born Dec. 11, 1809, in Newbury, Mass. They resided at No. 3 Oakland Street, Newburyport, Mass. Mr. Choate died March 2, 1867. Mrs. Choate died Feb. 23, 1889.


Children
George A., b. July 23, 1832: m. Aug. 14, 1853, Harriet K. Tilton: d. April 16, 1867.
Leonard, b. March 29, 1835;  m. on July 29, 1857, Emmeline Marshall Cook.
Calvin b. Dec. 21, 1836; m. Nov. 23, 1887, Sarah Lizzie Knox daughter of George J. and Susan G. Farnham

Sarah Ann, b. July 5, 1807; m. Dec. 31, 1827, William Teel ; d. Feb. 26, 1874 son of John Teel and Sarah Chase
Ezekiel True, b. Dec. 4, 1809; m. May 11, 1837, Catherine Mace, daughter of William and Catherine Mace d. Nov. 29, 1864
Thomas, b. Nov 14, 1811; m. July 28, 1833, Martha I. Whittier, daughter of Ezekiel and Sally Brown
Mary, b. Jan. 16, 1814. She died in infancy, May 29, 1814.
James, b. May 29, 1815; m. Oct. 25, 1843 Ruth L Babson daughter of Abraham and Lydia Babson, widow of Abraham Somerby
William, b. Sept. 4, 1817; m. April 28, 1839, Mary Hickok daughter of William and Susan Wescott
Stephen Pillsbury, b. Feb. 28, 1820; m Mahala K. Dockum daughter of John and Phebe Kaime
choate1massachusetts-vital-records-to-1850choate3massachusetts-vital-records-to-1850choate4massachusetts-vital-records-to-1850choate2massachusetts-vital-records-to-1850
From Vital Records Book Newburyport Births, Deaths, Marriages recorded Choate/Choat Family
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Death Record Town of Newburyport Emeline M Cook Choate 1925
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  • Cook Descendants – Inlaws and Outlaws Patricia Lumsden.
  • “Important Arrest: An Incendiary caught-A Manis for Arson.” February 1869 Wisconsin Ledger
  • Commonwealth vs. Leonard Choate November 1870 Essex County Court
  • North End Papers 1618-1880, Newburyport, Massachusetts: Development of the North End of the City Oliver B. Merrill & Margaret Peckham Motes Genealogical Publishing Com, 2007.
  • Newburyport Town Records Peabody Essex Museum
  • Sons of Liberty New York Henry B Dawson
  • “The Newburyport Incendiary. Arraignment of Leonard Choate for Arson-Fifteen Separate Charges Against Him-His Mode of Operations” New York Tribune March 3, 1869
  • “Conviction of the Newburyport Firebug” Boston Herald November 1869
  • A Report of the Proceedings on the Occasion, of the Reception of the Sons of Newburyport Resident Aboard, July 4th, 1854, by the City Authorities and the Citizens of Newburyport. Daniel Dana, M H Sargent 1854.
  • History of Newburyport John J Currier
  • The Pillsbury family: being a history of William and Dorothy Pillsbury (or Pilsbery) of Newbury in New England, and their descendants to the eleventh generation David Brainard Pillsbury and Emily A Getchell 1898
  • The Choate Bridge–what a bargain!
  • Choate Island and Rufus Choate
  • Benjamin Choate Inn as mentioned in the New York Times 1986 Article “A MASSACHUSETTS TOWN WHERE HISTORY PREVAILED” See Some Old Inns at Newburyport
  • Annual Obituary Notices of Eminent Persons who Have Died in the United States: For 1857-[1858]. Philip Sampson
  • The Choates in America. 1643-1896 E.O. Jameson

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Spanish Gold Mystery

This article is transcribed from Boston Globe article written by Willard Francis De Lue (1890-1989) historical writer and editor. Photo with story published December 1951
Salisbury Point----Most of the oldest of this prettiest of Merrimac river villages probably will have forgotten the stories they heard in childhood about the mystery of Spanish Gold. 
But some will remember Ezekiel True*--a great place for Trues in Salisbury town; and if Mr True were around today he could tell them about the Spanish Gold--and also tell them with a twinkle in his eye of how there came to be quite a flurry over it, back 50 years ago. 
Of course, Salisbury Point and neighboring Amesbury Ferry village where different sort of places in the days when the Spanish Gold was buried here. 
How far back that was I don't know; antiquarians would have to tell us that. But it was in the times when there still was a lot of shipping in the Merrimac and when two quiet villages of today were humming with industry. 
From Infant Boat Industry grew along the Merrimack

...Back in the 1800's the Ferry district had more children in its schools and paid more taxes than any other village in Amesbury. 
And about the same time Salisbury Point (annexed to Amesbury in 1836) was the thriving business center of historic old Salisbury town. 
There were shipyards and fish wharves and docks and boat building shops all along the river front. In 1810 42 vessels were built here and in others parts of Amesbury town; and though the building of large vessels fell after the Civil War, in the 1880's there were still seven boat builders at Salisbury Point who between them turned out annually around 2500 dories for the Grand Banks fishing fleets. 
Both the Ferry Village and Salisbury Point have boat shops and yards to this day. But the glorious old times are now only memories-things put down in books.
And though the Ferry does have its hat factory the two villages are mostly just nice residential places that have only taken on a serene contented look.  
*******************************************************************************
An old ironside drawbridge with its gates still hanging hopefully, though it is tight sealed by the unbroken topping on the road leads out from the Ferry village over the tide-swirled river mouth. 
At its easterly end the Point greets the traveler with both piety and patriotism---a white church giving its benediction from one side of the road and a historical monument bringing stirring memories in a little park on the other.
"Alliance Park" runs the inscription on a tablet set in a grassy place in the parks birchen grove. 
Alliance Park see more photos at Amesbury Dedicates Park To Hackett Shipyard July 22 1930

"Near this site in 1771-1778 one of the first frigates of the Confidential Congress, the Alliance was built by William and John Hackett." And it goes on to tell how the park was given to a memorial association by Augustus  N Parry and William E Biddle some 20 years ago. Biddle still lives in a big stuccoed house nearby. 


.....the Hacketts--skillful and conscientious workmen--and William especially was known as one of the smartest ship wrights along the New England coast. So here they fashioned the Alliance and saw it slide into the Merrimac--to become part of John Paul Jones' fleet in European waters, where it took several engagements and was for a time under Jones' command.  
In 1780 the famous Captain John Barry took command of her in Boston harbor, ad she was his ship until it practically sold from under his feet by a frugal Congress in 1785. Image of Captain John Barry An 1801 Gilbert Stuart portrait
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I rang the bell of a house just near the Alliance marker. 
"I am looking for some long time resident of the Point," I explained to the lady who answered.  "Someone who might know where the Blaisdells lived fifty years ago." 
"Now let me think," said she, after she had taken time to get fresh pies out of the oven. "I wonder if Mrs Merrow wouldn't know."
But, it so happened that Mrs Merrow did not. Mrs Merrow--Mrs Daniel B Merrow SR-- did not. And she was puzzled and provoked about it (and about not knowing of the Spanish Gold) because she was born at the Point ad freely confessed to remembering back a few years. Her house is one of the long arc of the white village homes that look out onto the river....
"I will find out about this Blaidell house," said Mrs Merrow. Ad find out, she did, with a little telephoning.  
It was down at the far ed of the Village; so I continued on, interested to look at it. The Blaisdell house was the house with the Spanish Gold. 
The story had its beginning sometime back in the days when shipping lay off in the stream ad seafarers roamed the village streets. Perhaps some local historian can supply all the details of it; for all I know is that a stranger once turned up at Mrs. Adam Wadleigh's sailors boarding house and some how departed again. 
But in after a few years the word got around that the mysterious stranger had hidden a bag of Spanish doubloons in Mrs Wadliegh's cellar.  A lot of digging was done for it but the gold was never uncovered. 
Eventually the house became the property of Captain Joathan Blaisdell, a Civil War veteran of the town. In 1901 it was occupied by his daughter Lavinia. 
Now comes Ezekiel True, called in by Miss Lavinia to make some repairs. And True remembering the gold story, saw a chace to have some fun. 
"See you're working down at Lavinia's," said a friend. 
True said he was, but was a bit more mysterious about it. 
"Just doing a little job there...diggin' around some..."
Later he dropped a few hints about the Spanish gold. 
So the story flew through town, "Lavinia Blasdell's having Zek True digging for gold in her cellar." 
There was so much fuss that it eve made the newspapers. 
Where the road forks to the east ed of town a couple of old square houses stand on the left of it, with a two story boat shop between them.
Lets see now! One of these was the former Wadleigh-Blaisdell House, But which? The gray house beyond the big red middle chimney?
Mrs Merrow had said, "the one before the boat shop. That would be No 4. 
But I'll let the Point people settle that matter to their own satisfaction. And then if the present owner of the treasure ever decides to have a gold-digging party, I'd appreciate an invitation to take a hand in it!
"Ames Wharf on Merrimac River - Salisbury Point". From ebay sale

Plank Road Salisbury, Massachusetts Built in 1866 to cross salt marshes leading to beach. Beach Road was laid over the early planks as remnants have been found during road work. A local legend maintains that a ship that was supposed to go to Newburyport pulled in to Salisbury and hid gold under the plank road. see Essex County Landscape Report


Merrimac Hat Company were Lavania Blaisdell worked.



Public Documents of Massachusetts, Volume 3


Hackett House o the Point from Legendary Locals of Amesbury book published by Margie Walker
*Ezekiel True (1840-1931) son of Samuel True and Mary Adams. He married Mary Currier (1840-1919)
Amesbury Daily News April 13 1931
Willard Francis deLue scrapbook, 1946-1967

Monday, March 4, 2019

Powder Horn of Captain Ebenezer Webster

In 1909 The Boston Globe and several other newspapers across the country featured Colonel Edward Knight Webster (1848-1927) son of Dr. Eliphalet Knight Webster and Emily Webster. The colonel was gifted on Christmas day an old family relic--the powder horn used in the American Revolution by his great grandfather, Ebenezer Webster of Kingston, NH. The horn was given to Col Webster's mother by her uncle, Daniel Webster. This powder horn is at the New Historical Society and was a gift of Edward K. Webster. Also a portrait of Captain Ebenezer Webster is at the society 

In 1909 several articles were published on a powder horn that was in the possession of Edward Knight Webster (1848-1927) son of Dr. Eliphalet Knight Webster and Emily Webster. The powder horn belonged to Captain Ebenezer Webster (1739-1806) son of Ebenezer Webster and Susannah Bachelder. He born in  Kingston, New Hampshire. His second wife, Abigail "Nabby" Eastman (1739-1816) daughter of Roger Eastman and Jerusha Fitts was the mother of Daniel Webster (1782-1852).


Edward's father Dr. Eliphalet Knight Webster son of Josiah Webster (1772-1837) and Emily Knight (1771-1849). He married married his cousin Emily Webster (1809-1882) daughter of Colonel Ebenezer Webster (1787-1861) and Sarah Webster (1784-1811) and she was the niece of Daniel Webster (1782-1852). He was a Dartmouth College graduate (1829) and held a thriving practice for many years. He was also post master and superintendent of schools.


Rev Josiah Webster (1772-1837) son of Nathan Webster (1747-1813) and Elizabeth Clifford (1748-1821). He married Emily Knight (1771-1849) daughter of Eliphaet Knight and Martha Webster. William B. Lapham, Compiler. The New Historical Society has a drawing of Josiah Websters memorial entitled "Mourning." Genealogy of Some of the Descendants of John Webster of Ipswich, Mass, in 1635. Read more at photo attachment Lane Hampton Library




The 1909 articles notes that Captain Ebenezer Webster enlisted as a private in General Jeffrey Amherst regiment known as the "Rogers Rangers" and earned a promotion to captain. The strong, sturdy pioneer Yankee Webster was considered one among the famous brave rangers to have no equals that fought the in the dangerous, "hard and perilous experience." 

In 1763 Ebenezer Webster was listed among the first settlers of Salisbury, New Hampshire (known then as Stevenstown). During the on set of the American Revolution Captain Webster formed a company of 200 men of this area and set out to fight for freedom reporting with his men in Boston. His company would prove a major importance in many battles.
In Dorchester General George Washington consulted with him in regards to the New Hampshire soldiers.
Captain Webster was one of the first to scale the breatwork at Bennington. It was said, "he came out with his swarthy skin so blackened with dust and gun powder that his men hardly knew him."
He stood guard at General Washington's tent at Westpoint the night after Benedict Arnold treason drama. It was recorded that the general spoke these words, "Captain Webster, I believe I can trust you."
The powder horn was carried by Captain Webster during both wars. The horn remained in the guardianship of his son Daniel for over fifty years before given to to Colonel Edward's mother. 
According to Robert Vincent Remini, author of "Daniel Webster: The Man and His Time," Ebenezer Webster was thought to be as tough and rugged as the New Hampshire wilderness he lived in. He was tall, full chested, very hairy with piercing black eyes and a "Roman" nose.  
The Daughters of the American Revolution in Franklin, New Hampshire organized April 16, 1909 the Abigail Webster Chapter and in 1913 they honored Captain Ebenezer and Abigail Webster with a memorial stone.  Also see Women Patriots of the American Revolution: A Biographical Dictionary
In 1913 the Abigail Webster Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter Photo of Grave Marker Erin Bohannon Find A Grave

Photo from "Pembroke" Lianne E. H. Keary
Buntin-Rumford-Webster Chapter NSDAR was chartered on June 21, 2001

 
The story of the Old Elm Tree planted by Ebenezer Webster on the site of Daniel Webster's birthplace photos fron NH National State Park and article published in The Leader Newspaper NH on February 26 1897
Powder Horn Relic Kansas City World Saturday April 3 1909 Page 7


 



This article was from 1977 Post-Star Newspaper





















Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Sanborn Seminary Kingston NH Class of 1935 Now and Then


Benjamin Coates Welch and Mary Ann Holm


Benjamin Coates Welch (1835-1931) son of Richard Welch and Harriet Johnson with wife Mary Ann Holm (1835-1930) daughter of George Holm and Ann Davis
The couple is listed as living on 40 Middle Street, Newburyport and Rolfe's Lane Newbury, Massachusetts in the census and city directory. Children Benjamin Stover Welch married Mary Ella Berry--Lived in Lanconia, New Hampshire, May M Welch married Walter Irvin Perry, and George H Welch married Georgia Colby.

Benjamin enlisted in Newburyport, Massachusetts and mustered in at Yonkers, as Sergeant in Co. B, June 14, 1861. Promoted to First Sergeant, Sept. 3, 1861, to Second Lieutenant, Feb. 5, 1862, and to First Lieutenant, Aug. 7, 1862. Discharged, Mar. 1, 1863. Again enlisted, Mar. 7, 1864, as Private in the 13th Mass. Light Artillery. Promoted to Corporal, Nov. 2, 1864. Discharged, Aug. 1, 1865. He was a member of the St Mark's Masonic Fraternity, and for many years a prominent and influential member of AW Bartlett Post 49, Grand Army of the Republic, but when the Union Veterans Legion was instituted, also served as Adjutant of Encampment No. 79.

Newburyport Daily News and Newburyport Herald Wednesday, January 21st, 1931




Obit January 10 1930 for Mary Ann Holm Welch

Obit May 20, 1897 for Edmund Welch brother of Benjamin Welch

Remembering Solomon Bertram West

Solomon Bertram West (1878-1911) son of William West (1853-1907) and Ella Leavitt (1855-1895) born in New Hampshire.
1st Lieutenant Solomon B. West, 16th U. S. infantry, who perished in a blizzard near Tishou, Alaska, on February 23, was recently transferred to that regiment, having been connected with the 22d infantry from the time of his appointment to the Regular Army, February 2, 1901, until last year, when he went to the 16th infantry. He was a private and sergeant major in the 1st New Hampshire infantry and second lieutenant of the 46th United States volunteers from August 17, 1899, to May 31, 1901. He was a graduate of the Infantry and Cavalry School in 1903 and a native of New Hampshire; 32 years of age. 

A curious incident of Lieutenant West's death is that the wife of a deputy United States marshal, for whom he was making the trail, walked through the blizzard safely into Tishou and reported the fatality. In October, 1905, he commanded one of the detachments under Major McCoy, which ran down and killed Datto Ali, in the Philippines. The datto was strongly in trenched in the swamps, but Lieutenant West with other troops made a hike of more than one hundred miles, penetrated the marshes, took Ali by surprise and killed him. Returning from the Philippines, Lieutenant West went to Alaska with the 22d infantry. When that regiment was brought home last year Lieutenant West was so much attached to the country that he exchanged into the 16th infantry, which was replacing the 22d in Alaska.  His body shipped to Edward B. Leavitt, Chichester, N. H., June 14, 1911. (Army-Navy-Air Force Register and Defense Times, Volume 49)





The Washington Post Washington, District of Columbia Saturday, February 25, 1911