Showing posts with label Parsons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parsons. Show all posts

Thursday, July 3, 2014

John Quincy Adams & Davenport's Newbury MA

In the John Quincy Adam Papers there are a few journal entries mentioning Newbury and the Davenport's.

On March 12 1788 I Dined with Townsend at Mrs. Hooper's. Amory went to Portsmouth on Monday, with several of his friends. They return'd this day to dinner at Davenport's. We called to see them; and sat with them drinking and singing till five o'clock, when they went for Ipswich. I pass'd the evening with Pickman, at Doctor Smith's. Townsend, went there with us, but found himself so unwell, that he went home very early. His cough has return'd, with several disagreeable symptoms. I fear exceedingly, that he is not long for this world.
We play'd whist an hour or two at Dr. Smith's and between 10 and 11. retired.

John Quincy Adams was born in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts in 1767. His early education,which he received from his Father was mainly in the subject of mathematics, languages, and the classics. He graduated from Harvard College in 1787 and studied law in Newburyport, Massachusetts under the guidance of Theophilus Parsons. In 1790 he began the practice of law in Boston. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1802. He left his pipe in Newburyport by Jack Garvey

March 19 1788
The weather was dull, gloomy, and part of the day rainy. Amory invited me to dine with him and Stacey and Azor Orne at Davenport's, but I did not feel inclined that way. I call'd at Mrs. Hooper's in the evening and spent a couple of hours with Townsend. The lads who dined at Davenport's warm'd themselves so well with Madeira, that at about seven o'clock this evening, they all set out upon an expedition to Cape-Ann, to attend a ball there this night. Twenty seven miles in such weather and such roads after seven o'clock at night, to attend a ball, would look extravagant in a common person; but it is quite characteristic of Amory.

November 5 1787 

I attended at the Office. Amory was there. Return'd yesterday from Salem. Townsend went to Boston last week, and has not yet return'd. In the afternoon, we attended the funeral of Mrs. Davenport a sister of Mr. Parsons. She died of a consumption a few days since. Little, and Thomson pass'd an hour with me in the evening, after which, I went with the latter to Mr. Atkins's. Thomson was much affected, on hearing of the death of one of his school-boys; who died of the Scarlet fever, after a very short illness. I cannot write yet in the evening, for want of fire.
Judith Parsons (Theophilus Parsons' sister) was married to Anthony Davenport, son of William Davenport and Sarah Gerrish Davenport.


John Quincy Adams From the original painting by John Singleton Copley, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Autograph from
the Chamberlain collection, Boston Public Library.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Walter Lyman Phelps and his Ancestor Line

From the Archives for Phelps Genealogy Group

Walter Lyman Phelps son of Charles Phelps, was born at South Deerfield, MA December 22, 1858. Charles Phelps

Charles Phelps, son of Timothy Allen Phelps*, was born at Chesterfield, February 19, 1827. About 1854 he removed to Painesville, Ohio, where he resided for about a year and then settled in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. He was a farmer and miller. He ran a grist and saw mill at South Deerfield where he removed in 1856. He was justice of the peace for a number of years, and deacon of the Congregational church for twenty-four years. He removed to East Cleveland, Ohio, in 1895, and died there April 19, 1895. He married, April 27, 1852, Martha P. Bourne, born at Savoy, Massachusetts, January 12, 1831, died in Cleveland, Ohio, April 13, 1898, daughter of Seth Bourne and Phebe Bourne. Grave of Timothy Phelps

Walter L Phelps was educated in the public schools of his native town. He was brought up on a farm and followed farming until 1888, when he became shipping clerk for the Smith Carr Baking Company of Northampton. He was with this concern for eleven years, and purchased the business which he in 1908 combined with the Greenfield Company, which he had established at Greenfield in 1900, and has built up a thriving and successful business. He was an active member of the Second Congregational Church of Greenfield--deacon 1902, was superintendent of the Sunday school for three years and chairman of the building committee when the church was repaired. In politics---Republican. He was a member of Greenfield Club. He married, December 22. 1881, Mary Beaman, born December 11, 1859, adopted daughter of Joseph Beaman and Mary (Coates) Beaman, of South Deerfield.

From Western New England Volume 2

The business of the Greenfield Baking Company was first started on Davis Street in 1881. It passed through a number of hands, including C. O. Graves, E. A. Snowman, and C. D. Shaw, before the year 1900. In the fall of that year Walter L. Phelps, who was then employed by the Smith Carr Baking Company, of Northampton, Mass., bought the business in company with a partner, W. G. Hawkes.
In 1902 Mr. Hawkes sold his half interest to Mr. Phelps who assumed control of the company. Under his management the growth of the business was rapid, and new machinery, ovens, etc., were installed to take care of the increased demands.
In the fall of 1908 the controlling interest in the Smith Carr Baking Company, of Northampton, Mass., established in the year 1797, was taken over. The whole business was merged under the title of the Smith Carr Baking Company, although the plant at Greenfield kept its original name. W. L. Phelps was made president of the new corporation and C. K. Graves of Northampton vice-president. Louis A. Phelps became associated with his father as manager of the Greenfield plant, and holds the office of secretary and treasurer.
From The Northestern Reporter Volume 89
Action by Albert R. Willard and others against George H. Wright and others. Verdict for plaintiffs, and defendants except. Exceptions overruled.
O. N. Stoddard and P. H. Ball, for plaintiffs. W. A. Davenport and H. E. Ward, for defendants.

LORING, J. 1. We are of opinion that the presiding judge was right in submitting the case to the jury.
It was admitted that the defendant copartners (three in number) had determined to sell their ice and trucking business, and that they had employed one Carson as a broker to find a purchaser. The plaintiff Willard testified that he met the defendant Wright on the street, at a time which the evidence showed was after this had been done, and that In the conversation between them at that time Wright told Willard that he was going to leave Greenfield and that the Ice and trucking business of the partnership was to be sold; that Willard then asked the defendant to let him have "a chance at it"; that Wright said that he had met Carson and told him he "hoped he could sell It," to which the plaintiff replied that it was customary to let all the brokers "have a chance at It, and the man that makes the sale is entitled to the commission"; that Wright then said, "You bring me a customer and I will pay you a commission;" that Wright then told him the number of horses, "the lot of wagons, and the ice business and thetruck business," and In answer to the plaintiff's question "What is your price," said, "It Inventories at about $15,000." "I would sell the Ice business separate, and I would sell the trucking business separate—$9,000 for the ice business and $6,000 for the trucking business." Willard put these items on paper and entered them on one of his regular forms on the same day.
There was testimony that at some subsequent time one Walter L. Phelps called at the plaintiffs* office about buying a farm, and Willard told him that the defendants' Ice and trucking business was for sale; that Walter L. Phelps then said that he knew of two men looking for business; that Willard asked him to write to them and Phelps said that he would do so. Willard further testified that "later on" he called at Phelps' office to see If he had written to these two persons. After that Walter L. Phelps told Charles S. Phelps' wife, who was then In Greenfield, that the Ice and trucking business was for sale, and she "communicated it" to her husband; and in the words of Walter L., "he caused Charles S. Phelps to be acquainted with the fact that" the defendants' business was for sale.
Charles S. Phelps testified that as soon as he learned of the fact that the business was for sale he called his brother on the telephone, and later came to Greenfield and started to go to the defendants' office with his brother. On the way Willard met them and went with them to the defendants' office. Willard testified that he introduced Charles S. Phelps to Ballou, one of the defendant partners, in these words: "This is Mr. Phelps. He has come to look at your business with the Intention of buying It if it suits him and the price is right." There was evidence that Charles S. Phelps at first tried to buy the one-half of the business owned by the defendant Wright, and finding that he could not do that Interested one Lamb in the matter, and finally that the business was bought by Charles S. Phelps and Lamb for $15,000. There was abundant evidence that Charles S. Phelps and Walter L. Phelps and Charles S. Phelps' wife first learned from the plaintiffs that the ice and trucking business of the defendants was for sale. It appeared that Carson had previously offered the business, to Lamb, but that the price was too large for him alone, and at that time he determined not to buy. There was evidence that Lamb's determination to buy Jointly with Charles S. Phelps came from Walter L. Phelps' having suggested to him (Lamb) the Joint purchase. Lamb testified in answer to the question, "Who did you first talk to in relation to buying out a part of George H. Wright's business?" "I think it was Walter Phelps; * • * Walter L. Phelps." Carson testified that he did not claim a commission. Finally there was testimony that the defendant Wright had said that he
placed the business in the hands of Willard for sale, that the business had been sold, and that "Mr. Willard brought the customer."
There was great conflict in the testimony, but this evidence, if believed, warranted a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs.
The defendants contend that Gleason v. Nelson, 162 Mass. 245, 38 N. E. 497. is fatal to the plaintiffs' claim to a commission. The difficulty in that case was that the information that the property in question was for sale came to the person who ultimately bought through "a third person not employed by Nelson for the purpose or authorized by him to make the communication." But In the case at bar Willard asked Walter L. Phelps to communicate the fact that the business was for sale to the two persons he had in mind, and Walter L. promised so to do. Walter L. therefore was authorized if not employed to communicate the fact to Charles S. Phelps and to Lamb. With respect to Gleason v. Nelson, see Carnes v. Finlgan, 198 Mass. 128, 130, 84 N. E. 324.
The defendants' next contention is that this case comes within Ward v. Fletcher. 124 Mass. 224. That case would be decisive against a claim by Carson for a commission if he had made one. For as it was said In that case, "one broker, who is unsuccessful in effecting a sale, does not become entitled to a commission upon the success of another." The Jury were warranted in finding that the joint purchase by Charles S. Phelps and Lamb was procured through Walter L. Phelps, under his agreement with the plaintiffs to mention the sale of the business to two men who were looking for business.
2. Were it not for the contention of the defendants to the contrary, it would not be necessary to state that the question whether the plaintiffs were the efficient means of bringing the seller and the purchaser together was for the Jury and not for the court.
3. It Is now settled that a broker employed to sell earns his commission when he brings to his principal a customer who is ready, willing and able to buy, and that it is not necessary for him to take part in making the contract of sale in order to entitle himself to a commission. Fltzpatrlck v. Gilson, 176 Mass. 477, 57 N. E. 1000; Taylor v. Schofield, 191 Mass. 1, 77 N. E. 652.
4. In this case it was admitted that all the partners had decided to sell their business. Certainly in such a case it is within the authority of one of the partners to employ a broker to make the sale. See Durgin v. Somers, 117 Mass. 55.
5. Evidence of the arrangement made by Willard with Walter L. Phelps and what was done In pursuance of it was competent to show the fact that the purchasers were procured by the plaintiffs.
Exceptions overruled.

William L Phelps one child, Louis Allen, born February 1. 1884, treasurer of the Smith Carr Baking Company which was incorporated with the Greenfield Baking Company; married, December 22, 1906, Maude C. Warren, born in Stratford, Connecticut, May 30, 1883, daughter of Frederick L. Warren, of Greenfield.

Sibling of Walter Phelps---Martha E Phelps

Obituary of Louis C Phelps and wife Maude Phelps

Ancestor Lines
Charles Phelps--Timothy Phelps
Timothy Phelps--Spencer Phelps (1753-1829) and Theodamy Allen (1755-1841) daughter of Timothy Allen and Rachel Bushnell Allen
Spencer Phelps-Martin Phelps (1723-1795) and Martha Parsons (daughter of Josiah Parsons SR and Sarah Sheldon)
Martin Phelps--Nathaniel Phelps (1692-1747) and Abigal Burnham (1628)
Nathaniel Phelps--Nathaniel Phelps

From The Burham Family Genealogy by Roderick Henry Burnham
1716. Nathaniel Phelps, of Vermont, married Abigail Burnham about the year 1716; he (Nathaniel) was the son of Nathaniel, grandson of Nathaniel—born in England—great-grandson of William, who lived in Northampton.  

From Biographical Sketches of Graduates Yale University  by Franklin Bowditch Dexter

Dr Martin Phelps was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, on January 23, 1757, being the third son and child of Martin Phelps, and grandson of Nathaniel and Abigail (Burnham) Phelps, of Northampton. His mother was Martha, youngest daughter of Josiah and Sarah (Sheldon) Parsons, of Northampton.He studied medicine with Dr. Ebenezer Hunt, of Northampton, and in 1780 began practice in Haverhill, New Hampshire. He was highly regarded there, though making some enemies by his plainness, and in 1790 at the organization of a Congregational church was chosen deacon.
Thence he went in 1796 to Belchertown, in his nativecounty, but his failure to join the village church provoked notice, and he was finally called on by the minister, the Rev. Justus Forward (Yale 1754), and the deacons for his reasons. The two parties to the controversy both rushed into print, and soon after by the desire of the Rev. Aaron Bascom (Harvard 1768), the pastor of the church in Chester, in what is now Hampden County, he removed thither.
In the Chester church Dr. Phelps and Mr. Bascom, being both strong characters, and on opposite sides in politics, did not long agree. After a bitter controversy, which involved the whole community, Dr. Phelps was excommunicated from the church in October, 1808. He was chosen as an Anti-Federalist to represent the town in the State Legislature in 1807 and 1808.
He subsequently renounced infant baptism, and was admitted to the nearest Baptist church, in Hinsdale, in July, 1810. He was instrumental, six months later, in starting a Baptist Society in Chester.
He died in Chester on November 26, 1838, aged nearly 82 years.
He married, on February 28, 1786, Ruth, elder daughter of Samuel and Martha (Hubbert) Ladd, of Haverhill, New Hampshire, who died in Chester on April 16, 1804, in her 33d year. Her children were four daughters and three sons, all of whom survived their father, except the youngest son, who died in infancy.
He next married, on February 5, 1806, Mary Fowler, of Westfield, Massachusetts. By her he had one daughter.
In connection with his excommunication he published :—
A Narrative of the Facts and Proceedings, relative to the Excommunication of Dr. Martin Phelps, by the Rev. Aaron Bascom, and about one third of the Brethren of his Church in Chester. . . . Northampton, 1809.
He also published, over his name :—
Scripture Reasons for Renouncing the Principles of Pedobaptism, and Uniting with the Baptists.—Also, an Appendix, by Elder Abraham Jackson. Northampton, 1811. 
Bittinger, Hist, of Haverhill, 289. ii, 35. Ladd Family, 34. Phelps FamS. Clark, Antiquities of Northampton, ily, i, 183, 299-300. 337. Holland, Hist, of Western Mass., From Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the MA, Volume 3

Nathaniel, son of William (2) Phelps, was born in England about 1627, and came to New England with his father. He settled first in Dorchester and then in Windsor, Connecticut, where he married, September 17, 1650, Elizabeth Copley, of England, a descendant of Copley, the celebrated artist. She died in Northampton, Massachusetts, December 6, 1712. and her will was proved there. 
Nathaniel Phelps resided on the Orton place opposite his father's homestead, which he purchased of his brother Samuel. About 1656-57 he removed to Northampton, Masachusetts, and was one of the first settlers there. He was one of the first deacons of the Northampton church, and occupied his homestead forty-three years. The farm was occupied by his descendants until 1835. It comprised the land which was formerly the site of Miss Margaret Dwight's school, and later the College Institute of J. J. Dudley, and which is now Shady Lawn. The old house stood a few rods north of the present house. On February 8, 1679, he and his sons Nathaniel Jr. and William took the oath of allegiance before Major Pynchon, and May 11, 1681, he was admitted a freeman. He died in Northampton, May 27, 1702, aged seventy-five years.
Children: 1. Mary, born in Windsor, June 21, 1651, married Matthew Closson. 2. Nathaniel, June 2, 1653, mentioned below. 3. Abigail, Windsor, April 5, 1655, died aged one hundred and one years, four months, eleven days; married John Alvord. 4. William, Northampton, June 22, 1657, married Abigail Stebbins. 5. Thomas, Northampton, May 20, 1661, died unmarried. 6. Mercy, Northampton, May 16, 1662, died July 15, 1662.
(V) Deacon Nathaniel (2), son of Nathaniel (1) Phelps, was born in Windsor, Connecticut, June 2, 1653, and removed with his father to Northampton in 1656, where he settled and resided on the homestead. He was a deacon of the church, and took a great interest in town affairs. He died there June 19, 1719. He married, August 11, 1676, Grace Martin, born 1656 in England, died at Northampton, August 2, 1727. There is a tradition that she was engaged to be married to a lover who proved faithless, and she came to New England to join relatives in Hadley. For some reason she could not get to them, and was in danger of being sold to pay her passage money. 
Children, born in Northampton: 1. Grace, born November 11, 1677, died 1677. 2. Nathaniel, November 1. 1678, died May 1, 1690. 3. Samuel, December 18, 1680, married Mary Edwards. 4. Lydia, January 17, 1683, married Mark Warner. 5. Grace, November 10, 1685. married, 1713, Samuel Marshall. 6. Elizabeth, February 19, 1688, married Jonathan Wright. 7. Abigail, November 3, 1690, married John Laughton. 8. Nathaniel, February 13, 1692, mentioned below. 9. Sarah, May 8. 1695, married David Burt. 10. Timothy, 1697, married Abigail Merrick.
( VI) Nathaniel (3),son of Deacon Nathaniel (2) Phelps, was born in Northampton, February 13, 1692, died there October 14, 1747. He
attended the funeral of David Brainard three days before his own death. He was one of the first settlers on South street and is the Nathaniel Phelps who administered the estate of Lieutenant John Phelps, of Westfield. He married (first) in 1716, Abigail Burnam, born 1697, died June 2, 1724 (or August 27, 1727). He married (second) March 27, 1730, Catherine Hickock, widow, of Durham, Connecticut, daughter of John King, of Northampton. She married (third) Gideon Lyman. Children of first wife, born in Northampton: 1. Charles, August 16, 1717, married (first) Dorothy Root; (second) Esther Kneeland. 2. Anne, 1719, died young. 3. Nathaniel, December 13, 1721, married (first) Elizabeth Childs; (second) Rebecca Childs, widow. 4. Martin (twin), December 24, 1723, mentioned below. 5. Anne (twin), December 24, 1723, married Elias Lyman. Children of second wife: 6. Catherine, 1731, married Samuel Parson. 7. Lydia, 1732, married Eleazer Pomeroy. 8. John, baptized October 27, 1734, married Mary Ashley. 9. Mehitable, born July 31, 1736, died same day.

(VII) Martin, son of Nathaniel (3) Phelps, was born in Northampton, December 24, 1723, died November 12, 1795. He settled in Northampton. He served in the revolution. He married Martha Parsons, born 1726, in Chester. Massachusetts, died December 23, 1814. Children, born in Northampton: 1. Martha, June 1, 1751. 2. Spencer, February 2°- 1753- mentioned below. 3. Elizabeth, December 6, 1754. 4. Eliphalet, 1755. 5. Martin, January 23, 1757. 6. Daniel, 1762, married Mary Harris. 7. Andrew, November 12, 1769. married Nancy Clark. 8. Sarah, married Dr. (probably Samuel) Porter and settled in Williamstown. 9. Mehitable, married, 1783, William Stone.
(VIII) Spencer, son of Martin Phelps, was born February 20, 1753, died January or June 24, 1829. He resided in Chesterfield, Massachusetts. He married Theodamy Allen, born November 25. 1755, died November 18, 1841, daughter of Rev. Timothy Allen. Children, born at Chesterfield: I. Spencer, May 24, 1782. married Mary Kenneippe. 2. Timothy Allen. October 9, 1789, mentioned below. 3. Theodamy, June 1, 1793, died June 2, 1795. 4. Theodamy, December 10, 1796, married Rufus Burnell.

(IX) Timothy Allen, son of Spencer Phelps, was born in Chesterfield, Massachusetts, October 9, 1789, died at South Deerfield, July 11, 1860. He served in the general court from Chesterfield before the introduction of railroads, having to go by stages. He settled first in Chesterfield, and removed to South Deerfield. He was a farmer. He married, September 14, 1818, Thankful Cleveland, born May 7, 1787, died July 23, 1864, daughter of Nehemiah and Hannah (Parsons) Cleveland. Children, born in Chesterfield: 1. Fidelia, June 27, 1819, died October 3, 1840. 2. Aurelia, January 30, 1821, died February 4, 1888; married Timothy Bates. 3. Harriet, December 23, 1822. died January 2, 1885; married Sidney E. Bridgeman. 4. Charles, February 19, 1827, mentioned below. 5. Augusta, June 14, 1829. died April 23, 1898, unmarried. 6. Spencer, January 28, 1832, died June 23, 1863, at Port Hudson, Mississippi, in the civil war.
North Hampton Phelps line:
Morris Charles Phelps (1805 - 1876)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Newburyport Woolen Company

From Towle Manufacturing Company, History of Newburyport & Scholfield Wool-Carding Machines

An industry inaugurated by Newburyport capital was located at the falls in Byfield. This was the Newburyport Woolen Company, established in 1794, the first company incorporated for that business in the state, and by some authorities named as the first woolen manufactory in America. The carding and other machines for its equipment were built by Standring, Guppy, & Armstrong, in Newburyport, being set up in "Lord" Timothy Dexter's stable; and were the first made in this country.

From Currier History of Newburyport Volume 2
January 29, 1794, Benjamin Greenleaf, Philip Aubin, William Bartlet, Richard Bartlet, Offin Boardman, jr., Moses Brown, David Coffin, William Coombs, John Coombs, Mark Fitz, Abel Greenleaf, John Greenleaf, Andrew Frothingham, Michael Hodge, Nicholas Johnson, Nathaniel Knapp, Peter Le Breton, Joseph Moulton, Theophilus Parsons, Ebenezer Wheelwright, Edward Wigglesworth and others were incorporated by the name of "The Proprietors of the Newburyport Woolen Manufactory."'

The company purchased about six acres of land, with a water privilege on the Parker river, in Byfield parish, Newbury, and erected a factory there, which was supplied with suitable machinery made by the Schofield Brothers and by Messrs. Guppy & Armstrong in Newburyport. It is said that the company was the first one incorporated for the manufacture of woolen goods in the United States.' The broadcloths, cassimeres, serges and blankets made there were sold by William Bartlet at his store in Newburyport. The business, however, was not financially successful, and Mr. Bartlet bought out the dissatisfied stockholders in 1803. Next year, he sold the property to John Lees, an Englishman, who converted it into a factory for the manufacture of cotton cloth.

The Above is from "Towle Book" A Newburyport philanthropist, Timothy Dexter, contributed the use of his stable. There, beginning in December 1793, the Scholfields built a 24-inch, single-cylinder, wool-carding machine. They completed it early in 1794, the first Scholfield wool-carding machine in America. The group was so impressed that they organized the Newburyport Woolen Manufactory. Arthur was hired as overseer of the carding and John as overseer of the weaving and also as company agent for the purchase of raw wool. A site was chosen on the Parker River in Byfield Parish, Newbury, where a building 100 feet long, about half as wide, and three stories high was constructed. To the new factory were moved the first carding machine, two double-carding machines, as well as spinning, weaving and fulling machines. The carding machines were built by Messrs. Standring, Armstrong, and Guppy, under the Scholfields' immediate direction. All the machinery with the exception of the looms was run by water-power; the weaving was done by hand. The enterprise was in full operation by 1795.

John and Arthur Scholfield (and John's 11-year-old son, James) worked at the Byfield factory for several years. During a wool-buying trip to Connecticut in 1798, John observed a valuable water-power site at the mouth of the Oxoboxo River, in the town (i.e., township) of Montville, Connecticut. Here, the brothers decided, would be a good place to set up their own mill, and on April 19, 1799, they signed a 14-year lease for the water site, a dwelling house, a shop, and 17 acres of land. As soon as arrangements could be completed, Arthur, John, and the latter's family left for Montville.

The Scholfields quite probably did not take any of the textile machinery from the Byfield factory with them to Connecticut—first because the machines were built while the brothers were under hire and so were the property of the sponsors, and second because their knowledge of how to build the machines would have made it unnecessary to incur the inconvenience and expense of transporting machines the hundred odd miles to Montville. However, John Scholfield's sons reported that they had taken a carding engine with them when they moved to Connecticut in 1799 and had later transferred it to a factory in Stonington. The sons claimed that the frame, cylinders, and lags of the machine were made of mahogany and that it had originally been imported from England. However, it would have been most uncommon for a textile machine, even an English one, to have been constructed of mahogany; and having built successful carding machines, the men at Byfield would have found it unnecessary to attempt the virtually impossible feat of importing an English one. If it ever existed and was taken to Connecticut, therefore, this machine was probably not a carding machine manufactured by the Scholfields. It is more probable that the first Scholfield carding machine remained in the Byfield mill as the property of the Newburyport Woolen Manufactory.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Moses Greenleaf settling and creating Maine by Michelle Libby

Sunday, April 28, 2013

To a packed room at the Windham Historical Society, over 40 attendees gathered to hear Holly Hurd, an American & New England Studies graduate student at The University of Southern Maine, present a talk on the life of Moses Greenleaf, who is best known for surveying and settling parts of Maine as well as being the State of Maine’s first mapmaker. The presentation was one of the monthly programs sponsored by the Windham Historical Society.

Hurd works as education coordinator at The Osher Map Library (OML) and Smith Center for Cartographic Education in Portland. To aid in her talk, she showed pictures and text from a book she wrote called “The Moses Greenleaf Primer” released in 2010. Her daughter Lena Champlin illustrated the book.
“Greenleaf was a state-maker of Maine,” said Hurd. 

Moses Greenleaf was born on October 17, 1777. There are no pictures of him, but there is one of his brother, and there is a silhouette of him. He was born in Newburyport, MA. He was good at math and drafting. His father, Captain Moses, knew George Washington and moved the family to the New Gloucester in the District of Maine when Moses, Jr. was 13 years old.  

Moses tried running a store, but once he accumulated $10,000 in debt, which was considerable for the time period, he got rid of the store and became a resident land agent for William Dodd and moved his family to Williamsburg above Bangor, near what is now Milo. 

His job was to settle the area and get people to move there. He built a house and then moved much of the house and his family to the other side of the township to a place called Greenleaf Hill. That house still stands today and Moses and his family are buried in the backyard though no one knows exactly where. 
Greenleaf was a member of the Masons and was the first Master Mason in the Piscataquis Lodge #44, which still exists in Milo.
Greenleaf had a tough job selling Maine when in 1816, there was a foot of snow in June. It was called “The year without a summer” and “eighteen hundred and froze to death.” He began looking for natural resources that could become an industry. He founded Katahdin Iron Works, which provided 50 years of jobs in that region. He also found slate in that area and many homes had/have slate sinks and slate roofs.
The whole time he was exploring and expanding his community, he was investigating, doing extensive correspondence and using existing maps to create his own maps. His first map was published in 1815. 
Maps at that time were made by etching in copper and then rolled with ink and printed. If there was a mistake or a correction to make, the copper was pounded out and re-etched. The first published map of the State of Maine was in 1820 and was a colored map that people bought to hang on their wall. It had nine counties. 

In 1820, Williamsburg became a town and Maine became a state. In 1829, a new version of a state map was released called the “Survey of the State of Maine.” 
Greenleaf was instrumental in getting the mail to Williamsburg, a stage coach to come to town (although it took eight days to get from Wiliamsburg to Boston) and constructing the road from Bangor to Katahdin Iron Works, the current Route 221. 
“He never wanted any of his own fame or reward,” said Hurd at the presentation. Greenleaf died of typhoid fever in 1834 at the age of 56.
Hurd discussed a few maps showing Windham. Each map showed a few different roads through the town. 
Greenleaf was a visionary, although that vision didn’t always jive with reality. He thought that by 1870 Maine would have 933,000 residents, but that took until 1970. He also thought that the State of Maine would be completely settled, but it has never been. Much of Maine belongs to timber companies who use it for the lumber. 
Greenleaf’s maps and guides can be found at OML and some information on maps can be found at Maine Maps
Moses Greenleaf was born 19 May 1755 in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the second son of the Hon. Jonathan Greenleaf and Mary Presbury. His father was a merchant shipbuilder and served on the Committee of Correspondence, Inspection and Safety, and was a delegate to the Provincial Congress held in Cambridge in 1775. In September of 1776, Moses married Lydia Parsons, the youngest daughter of the Rev. Jonathan Parsons, minister of the Presbyterian Church in Newburyport, with whom he had five children. At the outset of the Revolution, Greenleaf enlisted in a company for the defense of the seacoast and was later commissioned as lieutenant of a company in Ebenezer Francis's 11th Massachusetts Regiment. He served at Fort Miller, West Point, Albany and Saratoga (New York), Valley Forge (Pennsylvania), and Bennington (Vermont), among other places, and rose to the rank of captain before resigning from the Continental Army in 1780. At the end of the Revolution, Greenleaf commenced a shipbuilding business. In 1790 he retired to a farm in New Gloucester, Maine, where he died 18 December 1812.


Moses Greenleaf, Maine's first map-maker. A biography: with letters, unpublished manuscripts and a reprint of Mr. Greenleaf's rare paper on Indian place-names, also a bibliography of the maps of Maine; (1902)
Mass History
Map Maker Press Herald