Showing posts with label Decatur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decatur. Show all posts

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dr. John Cutting Berry

John Cutting Berry was born January 16, 1847, in the district of Small Paint, Phippsburg, Sagadahoc County, Maine. He was the son of Stephen Decatur Berry (son of son of Samuel Berry and Hannah Small) and Jane Mary Morse Berry (daughter of Elijah Morse and Ann Morrison). Stephen D Berry married Mary Jane Morse on June 12, 1845.

Deacon Morse
John Cutting Berry was but five years old when his father died, and he and his mother made their home with her father, Deacon Elijah Morse, of Phippsburg, with her brothers, and with a great uncle, Christopher Small. In these homes the boy came under the influence of a strong religious life which did much to shape his character and subsequent career. At the age of seventeen years he united with the church and much of his life since has been devoted to religious and humanitarian work. This Berry line is direct to William Berry settler of Rye Beach NH: The Berry family is of ancient English origin. The best authority gives the derivation of the name as from the word "Bury" or "Borough" (a place of safety, of defense), and the spelling of the name in England, in fact, is more common Bury than Berry.

William Berry, the immigrant ancestor of John Cutting Berry, was in service of Captain William Mason, who was for many years the governor of Portsmouth in the county of Hampshire, whence came the names of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which he founded and owned.By 1632 Mason had become a member of the council for New England, which made all these grants and many more to other persons, and he was expending much money in taking possession of his lands in New Hampshire.

Under the original name of Strawberry Bank this settlement, planned and executed by Mason and his agents among those four dozen pioneers, included all that is now Portsmouth, Rye, New Castle, Newington, and Greenland. In all of these towns later we find descendants of William Berry. The Church of England was established and a pastor in charge, Rev. Richard Gibson, as early as 1640, when all the rest of New England seemed destined to be exclusively Puritan in religion. William Berry was one of the chief men of the colony. When the Glebe Lands were deeded the seals were placed opposite the names of Berry and John Billing, though there were twenty of the early settlers whose names appear on the document, including the governor, Francis Williams, and his assistant, Ambrose Gibbins. This deed, dated 1640, represented a parsonage for the parish and fifty acres of glebe land, twelve of which adjoined the house lot. Some of the land was on Strawberry Bank creek and can doubtless be located by survey today. The property was divided among Mason's creditors and the settlement at Portsmouth was soon in much the same condition as the other settlements of New England.
William Berry received a grant of land on the neck of land on the south side of Little river at Sandy Beach at a town meeting at Strawberry Bank, January, 1648-49. Sandy Beach was the early name for what is now Rye, New Hampshire, but Berry lived only a few years afterward. He died before June, 1654, and his widow Jane married Nathaniel Drake.
William Berry sons Joseph Berry, who was living in the adjacent town of Kittery, Maine, in 1683; and John Berry first settler in the town of Rye, then called Sandy Beach, on his father's grant of land there. He married Susannah----son John, Jr. Berry born January 14, 1659----son George Berry, was born in 1674, at Rye, New Hampshire. He lived at Rye, finally settling at Kittery. He married at Hampton, New Hampshire, January 1, 1702, Deliverance Haley, daughter of Andrew Haley--son Andrew Haley, George m. Deliverance Berry----son Major George born 1706. He removed from Kittery and Falmouth (now Portland), Maine, in 1732. He became the proprietor in Falmouth of Berry's shipyard and was evidently a shipwright by trade. He was major of the regiment of that vicinity in the Indian fights that were frequent during his younger days, and during the French and Indian war in the fifties. He married, January 11, 1726-27, Elizabeth Frink, daughter of George and Rebecca (Skilling) Frink The children of George and Elizabeth Berry were baptized at Kittery--son Lieutenant Thomas B. Berry born at Falmouth, Maine, in 1745. He was an officer in the revolution and late in life drew a pension of twenty dollars a month from the government. He was elected adjutant of Colonel Jacob French's regiment of Bristol and Cumberland counties, and he took part in the siege of Boston. He was stationed on Walnut Hill. Later in the year 1776 he was lieutenant in Captain Richard Mayberry's company of Colonel Ebenezer Francis's regiment. He resided at Brunswick and Portland, Maine, and at Rockland, where he died January 27, 1828, at the age of eighty-three years. He married at Brunswick, Maine, August 15, 1773, Abigail Coombs---son Samuel Berry born at Portland (Falmouth), Maine, May 4, 1774. He was an active, good-natured, brave and energetic man, a mason by trade. He died at Georgetown, May 18, 1851. He married 1 Mary (Polly) Gould; 2 Miss Hubbard, of Massachusetts, who died September 26, 1818; 3 Hannah Small, of Phippsburg, daughter of Samuel Small, a soldier of the revolutionary war----son Stephen Decatur, born September 16, 1818. His mother dying when he was ten days old, Stephen was taken to the home of his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Small, of Meadow Brook, Phippsburg, where he grew to manhood. He early took to the sea and became an active and successful ship-master.  

The Knox Hotel has been in Thomaston since first constructed in 1828 by Joseph Berry for Charles Sampson “to be used for public entertainment.

Hendricks Head Lighthouse was erected on the western side of Southport Island in 1829 by Joseph Berry to guide vessels up the Sheepscot River to the shipbuilding center at Wiscasset Harbor. The original lighthouse, built at a cost of $2,662, consisted of a rectangular stone dwelling with a wooden octagonal tower protruding from one end of its pitched roof. The lantern room was of the old birdcage design, featuring a multitude of small glass panes separated by wide metal muntins. John Upham first lit the tower’s lamps on December 1, 1829.
General Joseph Berry whose ships Stephen Berry sailed, once remarked that Stephen was the most active and efficient man he ever saw on the deck of a ship. He was noted for firmness and kindness in the management of his men, and for whole-hearted friendship and generosity in his relation with friends. He died of cholera at New Orleans, Louisiana, May 24, 1852, at the age of thirty-three years, six months. The enthusiasm and affection with which older people, the friends of his youth and young manhood, now refer to his traits of character, bear testimony to their loyalty- and to his enduring memory. His remains were brought to Maine, and interred in the Georgetown burying, ground. He married Jane Mary Morse, youngest daughter of Deacon Elijah Morse, of Phippsburg, Maine, June 12, 1845. She was a descendant of William Morse, the pioneer settler, who was born in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, in 1608. He and his brother Anthony came to America in 1635 and settled at Newbury, now Newburyport, Massachusetts. A third brother Robert, late of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, came to Boston the year before the immigration of the two other brothers and shortly afterward settled in Newbury also, but removed to New Jersey in 1637. Anthony Morse lived in Newbury till his death in 1686. William Morse married Elizabeth , about 1635, and they had ten children. He died at Newbury, November 29, 1683. Joseph Morse, fourth child of William Morse, was born at Newbury about 1644; married Mary and lived at Newbury until his death, January 15, 1678-79; they had five children. Joseph Morse, second son of Joseph Morse, was born at Newbury, July 26, 1674, and lived there; married Elizabeth Poor and had ten children; was one of the constituent members of the Third Church of Newbury in 1725 and was chosen a member of the Monthly Society by that church December 7, 1727. Daniel Morse, second son of Joseph  and Elizabeth (Poor) Morse, was born at Newbury, March 8, 1694, married Sarah Swain and they had four children. Daniel Morse, third son of Daniel and Sarah (Swain) Morse, was born about 1725-26, and baptized February 25, 1733, at the Third Church in Newbury; he married Margaret McNeil, of Irish descent, and resided in Georgetown. The birth of four children are recorded. Daniel Morse, first son of Daniel and Margaret (McNeil) Morse, was born in Massachusetts; married, 1775. Mary Wyman, of Phippsburg, then Georgetown, and they had eleven children; he owned and lived on the estate known as Morse's Mountain in Phippsburg; he died about 1839; he was a soldier in the revolutionary war. Elijah Morse, third son of Daniel Morse and Mary Wyman Morse, was born in Phippsburg about 1785; married Ann Morrison, who was of Scotch descent, daughter of Moses Morrison, a soldier in the revolution, about 1815; was for many years deacon of the Free Baptist Church of Small Point, Phippsburg--Jane Mary Morse, fifth child of Deacon Elijah Morse was born March 18, 1828, at Morse's Mountain, Phippsburg; married, June 12, 1845, Stephen D. Berry See Binders on Berry
John C Berry attended Monmouth Academy and Bowdoin College medical student. U. S. Marine Hosp., Portland; M.D., Jefferson Med. College., Phila., 1871; post-grad, study. New York, 1885, Vienna, 1894; in. Bath, Me., Apr. 10, 1872, Maria Elizabeth Gove. Apptd. med. missionary by Am. Bd. of Foreign Missions, 1871; served in Japan, 1872-3; introduced many improvements in treatment of diseases and in prison management, established hospitals and training school and was intimately identified with religious, humanitarian and educational movements of Japan for 21 yrs.; resident of Worcester, Mass., since 1896. Ophthalmic and aural surgeon Worcester City Hosp.; visiting ophthalmologist Baldwinvllle Hosp. Cottages; pres. Memorial Home for the Blind. Mem. N. E. Ophthal. Soc, Mass. Med. Soc, Am. Med. Assn., A.B.C.F.M., V.M.C.A. (director.), S.A.R. (vice-president), Worcester Economic Club (president.). Club: Congregational Lived at 7 Highland St., Worcester, Mass.
More About John Cutting Berry, M. D. and Maria Elizabeth Gove: Marriage: April 10, 1872, Bath, Maine.
Children of John Cutting Berry, M. D. and Maria Elizabeth Gove are: Edward Gove Berry, b. January 06, 1874, Kobe, JAPAN, d. January 06, 1874, Kobe, JAPAN. Evelyn Berry, b. April 22, 1876, Kobe, JAPAN, d. January 04, 1877, Kobe, JAPAN.
Katherine Fisk Berry, b. August 31, 1877, Bath, Sagadahoc, ME, d., Worcester, Worcester, MA. Gordon Berry, b. March 07, 1880, Okayama, JAPAN, d. March 17, 1953, Worcestor, Worcester, MA.
Helen Cary Berry, b. November 24, 1882, Okayama, JAPAN, d. June 18, 1960, Wellsley, Norfolk, MA. Almira Field Berry, b. April 17, 1887, Kyoto, JAPAN, d. March 31, 1901, Worcestor, Worcester, MA. From History of Worcester MA Volume 4
Gordon Berry, Physician, son of Dr. John C. Berry and Maria Elizabeth Gove, was born March 7, 1880, in Okayama, Japan, where his parents were then located as members of the Japan Mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. In 1893 he came with them to the United States, where after a preliminary schooling he entered Amherst College, graduating in 1002. Deciding on a medical career he entered the University of Michigan, graduating in 1006. He then carried on the following supplementary study: Assistant in Ophthalmology, University of Michigan (1906-07); house officer in the Worcester City Hospital (1007-08I; aural house surgeon at the Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary (1909-10); nose and throat house officer at the Massachusetts General Hospital (1910-11); assistant in Otology at the Harvard Medical School (1912-14); fellow in Laryngology at the Harvard Medical Graduate School (1914-18). He began the practice of his specialty (ear, nose and throat diseases) in 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he has since been. He is aural and laryngological surgeon to the Memorial Hospital, assistant aural surgeon to the Worcester City Hospital, member of the New England Otological Society, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the American Medical Society: also member of Plymouth Church, of the Congregational Club, the Economic Club, the Worcester Tennis Club, the Worcester Country Club, and the Worcester Club. In November, 1917, he received his commission as captain in the Medical Reserve Corps.

From Gallard's Medical Journal and the American Medical Weekly Volume 35: The Latest Folly.—Medical Instruction In Japan.—A meeting under the auspices of a committee of gentlemen consisting of Bishop Stevens, Dr. D. Hayes Agnew, William Pepper and others, was held in Philadelphia, June 11th, for the purpose of inaugurating a movement looking to the establishment in Japan of a medical college, hospital and training school for nurses. The plan is largely the outcome of the efforts of Dr. John C. Berry, formerly of Maine but for the past 12 years a medical missionary in Japan. Dr. Berry explained the project at length. He estimated that to establish a permanent endowment of one professorship §45,000 would be required! Resolutions were adopted endorsing the project, and in the furtherance of the plan as contemplated a committee was appointed to confer with similar committees in other cities of this country!
From  The Oriental Review, Volume 3, Issue 6  Motosada Zumoto, Masujiro Honda 1913

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Fearless Hero: Captain William Nichols War of 1812

By Melissa Berry Newburyport News

 A fearless hero during the War of 1812

---- — Our ships all in motion once whitened the ocean.
They sailed and returned with cargo
Now doomed to decay, they are fallen a prey
To Jefferson — worms — and Embargo
 — Newburyport Herald 1808

On a recent visit to the Custom House, Michael Mroz and Kevin MacDonald shared riveting tales of the War of 1812 and the Port’s valiant fight for maritime rights against the Brits. Newburyport was particularly distinguished for the bravery and success of its privateers who were “helping to thin out the enemy’s merchant ships.”
Much like the Revolution, this conflict depended on the voluntary service of brave locals. Despite the popularity of privateering during the war for independence, Federalists thought the practice was “unprincipled.” Governor Strong ordered a public fast to protest the war, and the atmosphere was one of angst. MacDonald stressed the impact of the economic crisis caused by the Embargo Act; it crippled the local merchants and the whole Merrimack Valley market hit ground zero. The effect was devastating, and for the first time, soup kitchens rose up to feed the once-prosperous citizens.

The sentiment was universal: “In every seaport there was much distress. Labor was impeded; the most industrious were enforced to idleness; poverty took the place of plenty. Many a noble man became a mere wreck of humanity.” The destitution spread with the “Great Fire” of 1811 that left many homeless as “nearly two hundred and fifty buildings were totally and suddenly consumed.”

Although this privation capped the harbor like a thick fog, a gallant hero “with flashing eyes and lion heart courage” eventually emerged to lift people’s spirits. A vibrant, daredevil seaman born and bred in the Port, Capt. William Nichols sent many of his enemies to Davy Jones’ Locker, while spinning tales of aquatic omnipotence that would put Ulysses to shame.
To the locals, he was “fearless” and, to the Brits, the “Holy Terror.” For his “daring and bravery, he had but few equals,” and he “was suited to become among privateersmen what John Paul Jones is upon naval records.” Mroz calls him the “Indiana Jones” of the briny deep, and he commanded the most advantageous privateer on the Eastern seaboard, the Decatur.
Before the war, the temerarious Nichols enjoyed several adventures on the high seas, and this is, no doubt, why Benjamin Pierce placed him in command of the Decatur. Pierce himself witnessed Nichols’ first stunt on the brig Alert. The Brits captured Nichols, but a crafty plan would turn fates. Nichols had “loaded and concealed a brace of pistols” in preparation for this very moment, and at the magic midnight hour, “he and his companions rose on the British seamen and regained possession of the vessel, securing the hatches over four men in the hold, and sending the rest adrift in a jolly-boat.”
The Vestal again captured the crew and brought them to England. Only confined for a brief interlude, Nichols narrowly escaped by “traversing gardens and leaping hedges,” and then he hopped a coach to London and bumped into the very sergeant he had just busted away from. Nichols responded to his opponent: “Here are three guineas you can have, but never me!” Luckily, the sergeant favored coin and Nichols went free.
Leaving port on Aug. 4, 1812, the Decatur sailed out to make history. Nichols’ first encounter was not with the enemy, but rather a two-hour pursuit with the Constitution, during which he threw off 12 of his 14 guns to out-run her. When this famous quick-fire frigate finally approached, Nichols suspected he would become a prize; however, he was pleased to find Captain Hull wearing an American naval uniform. Nichols tipped Hull off that the Brit frigate Guerriere had indeed given him chase the day before — the very vessel Hull was in hot pursuit of. The next day the Constitution fell in with the Guerriere, and the legend of “Old Ironsides” was born.

Even without guns, Nichols was determined to venture on, but the crew did not share his buoyancy. He mustered around the mutinous lot, “appearing to multiply himself on the eyes of his despondent crew,” while asserting, “You shall be masters of this brig, or I will.” He then flattened the insurgent ringleader with a billet of wood to restore order.
Out of this conflict “rallied some of the bravest spirits of war about him.” That very same day, the Decatur captured two prizes, thus replenishing arms and the crew’s spunk. The Duke of Savoy and the Elizabeth were sent sailing up the Merrimack, conjuring the Port with the vigor of heavy guns and a blazing exposé of 50 flags. No doubt, this Brit vanquisher was a sight for sore eyes!
The story of Capt. William Nichols will be continued tomorrow.
A man 'not born to be shot'
The adventures of Port privateer Captain Nichols continued, and the Decatur’s reputation soared: “Ranging over the ocean, she was known and feared wherever an English flag spread to the breeze.” Nichols was on a spree. After capturing the Duke of Savoy on Aug. 22, he would total nine prizes by Sept. 1, all of great value and well-stocked with guns.
With cargo valued at $400,000, one of Nichols’ biggest scores was the Diana, a ship armed and ordered to Newburyport. Although this stint at sea was a success, the Neptunian exploits had to be suspended — out of 160 original crew members, he had but 27 remaining. He had several prisoners on board as well, including a few British officers.
Nichols set a course for home, but the primordial powers were not yet finished with him. Before long, he was “called upon to meet one of the severest tests of his courage and skill.” This fateful encounter with the Commerce would be a fiery one.
When Nichols asked the few crew remaining if they would fight despite the ominous odds, the “three cheers” response must have given him a potent surge of panache.
Although his “illy armed and feebly manned brig” was up against “an enemy twice her size, double the number of heavy guns and full of men well equipped with small guns,” Nichols rose to the occasion, boldly asserting his “iron will.” While simultaneously manning his vessel and working the guns, Nichols dodged repetitive gunfire from British Captain Watts. Watts directed 14 shots his way, but missed each time, eventually throwing down his musket and swearing: “This man was not born to be shot!”
Ready to take the ship, though Nichols surged forward with just 10 men, the command to “Fire!” shot from his lips “as though he had a hundred men for the work.” In spite of the raging sea and wild wind, the gutsy crew took the lead and seized control of the enemy ship. Remarkably, the Decatur suffered no losses, and Dr. Bricket of Newburyport went on board to tend the wounded. Watts, hit by a cannon ball, met his maker during the night, along with three other British officers. No doubt impressed by his tactical prowess, the remaining crew signed up with Nichols on the spot, and he agreed to share the prize.
On her second cruise out, the Decatur captured prize after prize, but was eventually taken by the Surprise and brought to Barbados. Because of his reputation, Nichols was looked upon with high regard and respect. He was a parolee, rather than a prisoner, until the Vestal showed up. The captain, no doubt remembering the humiliation he suffered during the stunt on the Alert, decided to “get even” and took Nichols prisoner.
As an “uncaged lion would have been safer freight,” a special 5-by-7 wooden crate hosted the “Holy Terror.” They kept Nichols for 34 days, and then held him in a Brit prison. His release finally came after negotiations for an exchange.
Nichols returned home and quickly hit the seas once again in the brig Harpy, with which he “successfully preyed on enemy ships and brought in rich cargos.”

Although a lion heart roared in Nichols, according to his contemporaries, he possessed a warm, watery disposition and “was of tender sensibilities, always exhibiting the greatest affection for his mother and his family.” Even at sea, both foes and comrades noted his “great civility, indulgent lenity, and humane usage.” After Nichols captured his ship, Capt. William Drysdale, grateful for the hospitality while imprisoned, extended an invitation to his home, Stepney Green in London, should Nichols ever be in the area.
Benjamin Pierce, in a letter to Col. Thomas Barclay, the commissioner of prisoners, called him “modest and unassuming, yet brave and decided.” Pierce also noted that Nichols “was strictly moral and sincere; as a husband, parent, and neighbor, tender, indulgent, and affable.”
Later appointed as the Port’s Collector of Customs, Nichols purportedly regretted that “his advanced years did not permit him to engage in the service of the country upon the sea.”
Often referred to as “the forgotten war,” the War of 1812 is still alive and thriving at the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport.
Take a tour, visit Nichols’ portrait and collections, and learn how America won her nationalism and freedom.
Special thanks to USS Constitution Museum historian Matthew Brenckle for his contribution. He notes, “The War of 1812 established America among world nations as major players and not the poor Colonial cousins!”