Showing posts with label Daniel Davenport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daniel Davenport. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dorchester North Burying Ground

From Dorchester Illustration of the Day by Earl Taylor and adds from Melissa Berry
The North Burying Ground Dorchester, MA 

A receipt for $3 from Daniel Davenport to David Clap for digging a grave for David’s wife Azubah Clap in August 1835. Davenport tolled the bell and furnished the horse for the hearse.

The following is from The Clapp Memorial. Record of the Clapp Family in America Ebenezer Clapp, compiler. Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1876.

David Clapp, oldest son of David and Ruth (Humphreys) Clapp, was born in Dorchester, Nov. 30, 1759, and died there May 15, 1846, in his 87th year. He married, Dec. 9, 1794, Susannah Humphreys, daughter of Henry Humphreys, of Dorchester (who in 1752 married Abigail Clapp, daughter of Ebenezer and Hannah Clapp). Mrs. Susannah Clapp died Jan 27, 1800, and David married second, July 28, 1801, Azubah, daughter of Deacon Jonathan Capen, of Stoughton, born there March 20, 1766. She was a woman of much energy of character, and was ever ready to give assistance when needed among friends and neighbors. She brought with her from her first home the then common household utensils of the hand-loom and spinning-wheel, and for many years after marriage made use of them in supplying cloth for family use. She died in Dorchester, of a cancer, Aug. 10, 1835, aged 69 years.

From article Relics of Ye Olden Times. The Historical Magazine: And Notes and Queries Concerning the Antiquities, History, and Biography of America pics added
The old Dorchester burial ground on the corner of Boston and Stoughton Streets can stately be called the oldest, most historic and most interesting of any burial place in this State, if not in the whole country. It is the oldest, because it contains, or did contain, the oldest tombstone known to exist in America.


Photo by Don Blauvelt This stone stood over the graves of Bernard Capen, who died November 8, 1638, and Mrs. Capen, his wife, who departed this life March 26, 1653.

Bernard Capen House Photo from Dorchester Atheneum
It was found many years since by Mr. George Fowler, who had charge of the grounds, slightly imbedded in some loose earth near the grave, while another stone of slate, with a fac simile of the original inscription, stood and still stands over the oldest known grave in America, and this duplicate is thought to have been erected some time about the beginning of the present century. The original slab, which is of real sandstone, was taken in charge by the Antiquary Society, and is at present on exhibition at the rooms of that society on Somerset Street, Boston. Some would naturally think that the oldest gravestone would be found at Plymouth, but, although the Pilgrims lost many of their number, long before the colonization of Massachusetts Bay by the Puritans, they strove to keep secret from the hostile Indians the true facts of their loss and weakness, and to do this they secretly and quietly buried their dead comrades without leaving behind them either mound or stone. Photo by bill Llott

Mr. Fowler is a jolly old gentleman, who bears his eighty-four years with resignation. He was superintendent of this graveyard for twenty-eight years, being first employed by the town of Dorchester, previous to its annexation to Boston in 1869, and since then by the city of Boston.

Mr. Fowler has had a great many visitors, and particularly on Sundays. Men come with their wives and children to see the old graves and quaint inscriptions, and from showing them around and pointing out those of particular interest, he has come to know the location of each grave so that he can point out any particular one and give the history of the person buried, from one side of the burial ground to the other.

The power of the old gentleman's retentive memory is plainly seen in his reading of epitaphs and inscriptions, written in ye olden time style, while standing at the head of these old tombs. The old Capen grave is situated in the extreme corner of Boston and Stoughton Streets. In this corner arc all the older graves, it being the original burying ground, a great many of the graves being covered with huge slabs of rough stone imbedded in the earth.

"Well," said Mr. Fowler, •' I suppose you'll only laugh at what I am going to tell you now, but it's truth, sir, living truth. When our forefathers first commenced to bury here the wolves used to come at night and dig into the graves for the dead bodies. So whenever anyone was buried a great slab of stone was placed over the grave to prevent the wild animals from getting at the bodies." To the left of the Capen grave, and in a line with it, stand seven slabs of slate, each bearing the name of Capen, the latest date being 1746. The second oldest gravestone in the ground gives no surname to tell who is buried beneath, but simply bears this rather odd inscription:

Abel, his offering accepted is His body to the grave his soule to bliss On October's twentye and no more In the yeare sixteen hundred 44." On the other end of the stone is the following epitaph, which tells that a child is also buried beneath.

                                 "Submite submitted to her heavenly King  Being a flower
                                  of that Eternal Spring Neare three years old she dyed,
                                  in heaven to wate. The year was sixteen hundred 48."

John Foster headstone Photo from Dorchester Historical Society
Next we come to the Foster plot of ground where is buried •• "The Ingenious Mathematician and Printer, Mr. John Foster." John Foster was the first printer of Boston, and died in 1681, at the age of 33. Beside his grave is also buried his father, Hopestill Foster, who died in 1676, and his brother Elisha Foster, who died a year after him.

To the right of Hopestill Foster's grave is the tomb of General Humphrey Atherton, who died in 1661.

On the cover of the tomb, which is of sandstone, is carved the representation of a sword, and the following epitaph:

                               "Heare lyes our Captain and Major of Suffolk was withall
                                 A Godly Magistrate was he and Major General!
                                Two trups of hors with him here came such worth his love did crave
                                Ten companyes of fort also mourning march to his grave
                                Let all that read be sure to keep the faith as he hath done
                                With Christ he lives now crowned, his name was Humphrey Atherton."

A few feet to the left of this is the tomb of Richard Mather, the grandfather to Cotton Mather, who died in 1669.

James Humphry, one of the ruling Elders of the Town of Dorchester " was buried beside him in 1686, it being his wish to be buried in the same grave if there was room.

Gov. William Stoughtn Portrait from Harvard University Collection
Governor Stoughton is another of the old tombs, as he was buried here in 1671, but the tomb was partly rebuilt in 1828 by Harvard College, to which institution he had given considerable money. Photo by Kim G

Other old gravestone names and dates are Miriam Wood, a school teacher, 1653; William Poole, a schoolmaster, in 1682; Clement Topliff, 1672; Parson Flint, "late pastor of ye Church in Dorchester," 1680; and Thomas Joanes, after whom Jones Hill (Pic below) is called, 1678.

This is certainly the only cemetery in America in which there has been a constant and regular interment for 250 years, from 1638 to 1888, for there are still people being buried in this old ground. An interesting grave and monument is that of old " Uncle Daniel Davenport," who was sexton of the burial ground for many years, and dug and completed his own tomb, and had his epitaph written years before his death. He attended 1.135 funerals in his time and dug 735 graves. His son William was sexton from 1848 to 1865, and had buried in that time 1,267 people. Mr. Fowler has broken the record of his predecessors, having buried up to January I, 1890, 1,532.

Mr. Fowler tells many a quaint, odd story, one being of a woman who didn't like the idea of her surviving female relatives wearing her fine dresses when she was gone, and in consequence had the choicest ones in her wardrobe put in the coffin with her.

Another is that of a man whose wife had died and was buried in a temporary grave until such time as he could have another lot set off. After years had elapsed, he married again, and together with his second wife came to see the removal of the coffin of wife number one to the new grave about seven years after her death. When the coffin was taken up, wife number two expressed a great desire to have it opened that she might see the body. Mr. Fowler did not like the idea and told her it would be an offensive sight, but when she had gotten her husband's consent, her wish was complied with. The coffin was opened, and though nothing remained but the skeleton, there shone on one of the fingers a beautiful diamond ring that looked as bright as if it had just come from the jewelers. She looked at it a moment, and then, stating that it was too great a temptation, deliberately took it from what had been the dead woman's finger, and wiping it with her handkerchief placed it on her own finger, where Mr. Fowler saw it displayed on the train a short time ago after the manner of ye traveling man.

While my neighbor Fowler was superintendent of the Dorchester burying ground. Governor Gardner's son called at the grave yard and desired to go into an opened vault. He was given permission and ordered not to touch anything. Soon afterward he was seen leaving the yard with something hidden under his arm. On being questioned, he replied: "It's only a skull; I'm taking it home to study and I'll bring it back again."

Daniel Davenport 1773-1860(pic from Dorchester Historical Society) Sexton in Dorchester 1806-1852 Headstone reads

As Sexton with my spade I learned
To delve beneath the sod,
Where body to the earth returned,
But spirit to its God,
Years rwenty seven this toil I bore,
And midst death's oft was spared;
Seven hundred graves and thirty four
I dug, then mine prepared.
And when at last I too must die,
Some else the Bell will toll;
As here my mortal relics lie,
May Heaven receive my soul.

Book on Old Burial Ground Dorchester
Miller Anderson Histories

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thomas Davenport Inventor & Genealogy

I am adding this post compiled from several sources for My Davenport Group 
Thomas Davenport, inventor, was born in Williamstown, Vt., July 9, 1802; son of Daniel and Hannah (Rice) Davenport Collection Papers a descendant in direct line of the Davenport family conspicuous in the early annals of the New Haven Colony and Thomas Davenport of Dorchester, MA  His father died in 1812, and in 1816 Thomas was apprenticed to a blacksmith with whom he continued until 1823. He acquired his education by committing to memory the contents of a few books as he worked at the forge. He began business for himself in Brandon, Vt., in 1823 and in 1827 he was married to Emily Goss, (pic below) a great-granddaughter of Jonathan Carver, the celebrated American traveller.

In 1833 his attention was drawn to the subject of electro-magnetism by witnessing an exhibition of the power of one of Professor Henry's electro-magnets, at the Penfield iron works, Crown Point, N.Y. He purchased the magnet and on his return home began experimenting. With his one magnet as a model he constructed a number of others, and in a few months, by laboriously working out the principle, common to every successful electric-motor, of repeated changes of magnetic poles, he succeeded in moving a wheel about seven inches in diameter at the rate of thirty revolutions per minute. He improved his invention until he produced a much larger machine which ran with great rapidity, and which he exhibited in 1835 at the Rensselaer institute in Troy, and at the Franklin institute in Philadelphia. Soon afterward he built a small circular railway, the first electric railway on record, which he exhibited in several cities.

In 1837 his invention was patented, and a company was formed in New York city for the manufacture of electro-magnetic engines and the prosecution of further experiments. By the dishonesty of an agent the company failed, and from his own slender resources he continued his experiments. In 1840 he began the publication of a paper called The ElectroMagnet, printed on a press propelled by one of his electric machines. The want of pecuniary means compelled him to suspend operations and in 1842 he returned with his family to his home in Brandon, Vt. Up to 1842 he had built over a hundred machines of different styles and construction. His only source of power was the primary battery and he had practically accomplished all that could be done, until the dynamo came into use forty years later.

                                                    Picture  Thomas Davenport Marker 
In the course of the eighteen years of his labors Davenport's experiments covered a wide field. He early discovered that power might be transmitted to a distance by a wire, and he sent telegraphic messages long before he had ever heard of Professor Morse, whose acquaintance he afterward made in New York. He discovered the helix principle, built some engines on that principle, and had it patented in England. After his return to Vermont he removed to a farm in Salisbury, where he began experimenting in sound as affected by the electric current. He applied the current to the strings of a piano, thus prolonging the tones at the will of the player. For this invention he had just filed his caveat in the U.S. patent office when he was stricken with his last illness. His greatest work, however, was the rotary electric motor, of which Franklin L. Pope in the Electrical Engineer (1896) said: "If this [Davenport's] patent, which expired in February, 1851, were in force today, it is not too much to say that upon a fair judicial construction of its claim, every successful motor now running would be embraced within its scope." Mr. Davenport died in Salisbury, Vt., July 6, 1851.

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor
From Mr H S Davenport, nephew of Thomas Davenport
"Many of his models never left his shop and were but little known even at the time of their construction. They were only made to show to how many uses the power could be applied, and also to work from on a larger scale, if he could get pecuniary aid to do so. The different models which interested me most, at .the several times I was in his shop, were a trip-hammer, a turning lathe and a machine for doubling, twisting and reeling cotton or silk, all at the same time. A circular frame fitted with two intersecting tracks, on which four miniature cork images glided around, he called his "puppet-show." He was naturally of a retiring disposition, but when waked up was very strong in argument. His two favorite subjects were nature and electro-magnetism. He considered magnetism the most important element in the creation of the universe and thought it would be, in its destruction. Magnetism kept the heavenly bodies in their places, and if that failed everything would be turned to chaos. He could see in every rock of the earth the battery of which it was composed. So also in the animal kingdom, the bones, muscles, and blood constituted a complete battery, which exercised a repulsive or attractive force with respect to another organism of the same kind. He was a great lover of fun and exceedingly fond of a joke. On one occasion he received an order from a party in Chicago for half-a-dozen bottles of electricity. He said he knew by the tenor of the letter that it was intended as a joke, and he accordingly replied that he bottled up his wrath for such would-be ignoramuses as he was, but had no electricity for him."

This image shows about two dozen people at the Thomas Davenport Memorial tablet. There are several buildings in the background of the photograph. See HO189 - HO191 for more photos of the tablet. This a treelined street with a sidewalk. There is a car parked on the street. There is a stack of lumber in the foreground.

                                                       From The Indicator Otis
The Vermont Blacksmith Who Invented the Electric Motor
In the little hamlet of Forestdale, Vermont, sixty years ago, one Thomas Davenport made the green hills ring with the rhythmic blows of his hammer on the anvil as he labored as a blacksmith in the most humble circumstances. Only a few weeks ago several of the foremost electrical men of the day. representing the greatest electrical society in the country, and a large number of New Englanders, gathered at the little mountain village to honor the site of the old blacksmith shop, for it was there that Davenport began his electrical discoveries which brought about the motor as we know it today.

Thomas Davenport was born in Williamstown in 1802 and his untimely death occurred at the age of 49 years. Davenport's father died when the lad was barely ten years old and at the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to the blacksmith trade at Forestdale, three miles from Brandon, Vermont. The boy's education was very meager but one day he chanced upon a few scraps from a scientific work treating with the "galvanic magnet" of Henry, and soon after this he secured a magnet and made a battery of his own.
In one corner of the little blacksmith shop Davenport set up a bench for his little laboratory. Here he began his first experiments with electricity which were later to make his name famous throughout the world. From the first his struggles were pathetic and bitter.
Poverty stood as a gigantic barrier between him and success, and upon one occasion it was necessary for his young wife to sacrifice her silk wedding dress to supply insulating material for the new motor. It was a Heavenborn flash of insight which revealed to the young inventor the availability of power from an electro-magnetic source; and, although he had to work entirely with batteries, the generator being still undiscovered, his success in this field was truly wonderful.
When Davenport came upon the scene Faraday and Henry had already done their great work and the principles of the electric generator and the electric motor had been clearly perceived and enunciated. Yet there were no real motors before Davenport's time, and had the dynamo been known his work would have been carried to instant fruition. Davenport and others much later failed because they had no ready source of cheap power, and because the reversibility of the motor was unknown. Energy produced by battery is at least twenty times as costly as that produced by coal through the medium of a steam engine and dynamo. All the electrical parts except telegraphy were held back by the absence of cheap power. When Davenport told the great Joseph Henry that he proposed to build his motors up to one horsepower, the cautious philosopher warned him to "go slow," and hinted that electricity could not compete with steam. 

While a few termed the inventor a crazy crank to try to harness lightning, he was most ably supported by such men as Professor Turner, of Middlebury College; Mr. Ransom Cook, of Saratoga Springs; Mr. Orange A. Smalley, of Forestdale; President Eaton, of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; General Van Rensselaer, of Troy; and Prof. Joseph Henry.It was in the corner of the old blacksmith shop that Davenport produced the first successful electric motor, and even before Vermont had a mile of steam railroad Davenport was successfully operating a model electric road which ran on a circular track, the embryo of the magnificent electric railways of today. 

Davenport's minature electric railway was almost a perfect model of the railway systems now in use. He advocated the central station methods of developing power, using the rails for the return circuit and the motor drive. Ill luck, however, seemed to pursue the inventor to the very day of his death. From Vermont he moved to New York to be nearer the financial centers, for he sorely needed money to carry out his experiments and inventions. Once all his models and apparatus were destroyed by fire and at another time they were lost in a shipwreck. Davenport tried by every known method to raise money for his work. He gave exhibitions and lectured and finally established the first electrical technical journal which was even printed by electricity.
Broken in health and in dire poverty he returned to his native state where he died July 6th, 1851.
Living he struggled against adversity, dying he had not a dollar to his name and for many years his very name was almost forgotten while the entire world was enjoying the fruits of his years of toil and study. Today this modest simple son of Vermont stands forth as one of greatest inventors the world ever saw.—Electric News Service.  Thomas Davenport Grave Pine Hill Cemetery Vermont 

Frances Burchard Wadhams, daughter of William Luman and Emeline Loretta (Cole) Wadhams, was born 2 November, 1838, in Wadhams Mills, N. Y. She was educated at a private school in Essex, N. Y., and at the Smith and Converse Female Seminary in Burlington, Vermont. She married 2 August, 1860, George Daniel Davenport, of Salisbury, Vt. He was born in Brandon, Vt., 22 July, 1832, son of Thomas and Emily (Goss) DavenportPicture of George Daniel Davenport Grave @ Pine Hill Cemetery Vermont

George D. Davenport was prepared for college in Brandon, Vt.. and entered Middlebury College in 1852, graduating in 1856. During his college years he spent his vacations in teaching, and continued in this vocation after graduation. He entered the service of the Government as a volunteer in theFifth Vermont Regiment in 1861, enlisting as Orderly Sergeant of his Company. He was soon promoted to a Lieutenancy, and then to the Captaincy of the same Company. With his regiment, he served in the Army of the Potomac with the Sixth Corps. In the battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864, he received a wound from which he died on the 12th of the same month. He was an able officer and a brave soldier. During the Civil War, Mrs. Davenport lived in Washington, D. C., and was frequently with her husband in camp.

GEORGE DANIEL DAVENPORT, son of Thomas and Emily (Goss) Davenport. Born in Brandon, Vt., July 22, 1832. Prepared for College in Brandon Academy. Principal, Academy, Sherbrooke, Canada, 1857-1858. Professor in Church School for Boys, Hamden, Conn., 1859-1860. Private, Company H, Fifth Regiment, Vermont Volunteers, Sept. 2, 1861; First Sergeant, Sept. 16, 1861; First Lieutenant, Company G, Nov. 22, 1861; Captain, Company B, Dec. 2, 1862-1864. Married Frances Birchard Wadhams, Aug. 2, 1860. Delta Kappa Epsilon. — A. B.[class of 1856] Died on the field from wounds received in the battle of the Wilderness, May 12, 1864. (from the Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont 1800-1915, compiled by Edgar J. Wiley, pub. by Middlebury College, 1917)

Willard Goss Davenport (pic below) born May 9, 1843 died Oct. 14, 1919 in Detroit, Michigan married Mary C. Backus Davenport (1849 - 1931) daughter of Charles Backus and Mary Palmer Mansfield Davenport

The Rector of Emmanuel Parish, Rev. Willard G. Davenport, fought in the Fifth Regiment of Vermont
From Vermont Historical Society
At the close of Dr. Buckham's address, the President of the Society introduced Rev. Willard G. Davenport, as follows:
We are now to listen to a sketch of the life of a Vermonter too little known to fame, though as we shall see, he is entitled to a place in the list of the World's great inventors. I am glad that this Society may have a part in the endeavor to rescue his name from the comparative obscurity which outside of a limited circle has rested upon it. He had two sons who marched to the front in 1861, when the best young life and blood of our State was hurrying to the front to form the living wall which guarded the Union from disruption. One of these, Captain George Davenport of the 5th Vermont, was killed in the bloody battle of the Wilderness. The other, Lieut. W. G. Davenport, was wounded once at Fredericksburg and again in the battle of the Wilderness. After the close of the war he took orders in the Protestant Episcopal Church, and is now the worthy rector of the Church of that denomination in Anacostia, D. C. I have the honor to introduce to you Rev. Mr. Davenport. After Mr. Davenport had finished the reading of his paper, the following resolutions were offered:
By Hon. B. F. Fifield:
Resolved, That the Vermont Historical Society express to Matthew H. Buckham, President of our University, its sincere appreciation of his able, scholarly and discriminating address on the character and work of the late Edward J. Phelps and request him to supply a copy of his address for the purpose of its publication in the Proceedings of the Society.
By F. W. Baldwin Esq.:
Resolved, That the thanks of the Society be and hereby are given to the Rev. Willard G. Davenport for his original and valuable contribution, not only to our local history but also to the history of invention and of science ; and that he be requested, with a view to its publication in the Proceedings, to supply the Society with a copy of his paper on the work of Thomas Davenport of Brandon.
By Mr. J. C. Houghton:
Resolved: That the President appoint a Committee of two members to secure the necessary resolution from the Legislature, now sitting, for the publication of the Proceedings of the Society, including the Address by President Buckham on Edward J. Phelps and the paper by the Rev. Willard G. Davenport on Thomas Davenport of Brandon.

George William Davenport, clergyman; b. Brandon, Vt., Aug. 14, 1870; s. Willard Goss and Mary Converse (Backus) Davenport: ed. Washington (D.C.) High Sch., St. Paul's High Sch., Baltimore, Md.; Hobart Coll.. Geneva, N.Y.; Gen. Theol. Sem., New York: m. Brandon, Vt.. Sept. 24, 1897, Jennie Piatt Briggs. Deacon, 1893, priest, 1896, Episcopal Ch.; in charge St. John the Baptist Ch., Baltimore, 1896; curate St. Matthew's Ch., New York, 1896-7; rector Ch. of the Resurrection, Richmond Hill. N.Y., 1897-1900, Ch. of the Redeemer, Astoria, N.Y., 1900-3, St. James Ch., Danbury, Conn., since 1903; chaplain Coast Arty., C.N.G.: mem. Sch. Bd., Danbury. Republican. Mason. Home: Fairview Av., Danbury, Conn. From Who's who in New England: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men and Women of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut 

Photos from Vermont Historical Society
From William B. Davenport -- Kit # 7181 Thomas of Dorchester Line

Thomas Davenport (abt. 1615 England - 1665 MA) & Mary (abt. 1620 - 1691 MA)

Charles Davenport (1652 MA - 1720 MA) & Waitstill Smith (1658 MA - 1747 MA)
Thomas Davenport (1695 MA - ?) & Mary Woodward (1695 MA - ?)
Lemuel Davenport (1739 CT - 1818 VT) & Deborah Barrows (1739 MA - ?)
Daniel Davenport  (1764 MA - 1812 VT) & Hannah Rice (1767 VT - 1844 VT)
Amos Davenport (1793 VT - 1863 VT) & Lauretta Stockwell (1797 VT - 1885 VT)
George Davenport (1822 VT - 1912 VT) & Eleanor Smith (1830 VT - 1907 VT)

Birge Walter Davenport (1861 VT - 1939 MN) & Wilhelmina G. Swanson (1869 Norway - 1924 MN