Historical Sketch of Epsom by Curtis in pdf format



Originally published in 1823. Second publishing 1885.

Epsom, a post-town in the county of Merrimack, in latitude 43 degrees 12 rain. North, lies 12 miles East from Concord. It is bounded North by Pittsfield, South by Allenstown, East by Deerfield and Northwood, and West by Chichester and Pembroke. The town is 6 miles long and 4 1/2 broad. It derives its name from a market town in the county of Surry, England, about 16 miles from London.
Epsom was granted to Theodore Atkinson and other inhabitants of New Castle, Rye, and Greenland, on the 18th of May 1727. Theodore Atkinson, Joshua Frost, and Captain Samuel Weeks were authorized by the charter to call the first meeting of the proprietors, which was holden at the ferry-house in New Castle, November 20, 1727. No meeting was holden in the town for the choice of town officers, etc., til 1743. Previous to this time, and afterwards, till 1750, the concerns of the town were transacted by the proprietors at the meetings holden at New Castle and Portsmouth.
There are no records to be found, which show the precise time when the first settlement was commenced. But it appears from various facts, that there was a number of families in town a considerable time before its incorporation.
Among the first, who began settlement in the town were Charles M'Coy from Londonderry; William Blazo, a Frenchman; Andrew M'Clary, grandfather of General Michael M'Clary, from Londonderry in Ireland; one Whitaker, and Samuel Blake, generally called Sergeant Blake.
M'Coy built a house on the North side of what is now called Sanborn's hill; and thence extended his farm by spotting the trees round upon the mountain, which will probably always bear his name. A daughter of his, Mrs. Wood and the first child born in the town, is still living. She is now as nearly as can be ascertained, in her 93d year. Sergeant Blake commenced a settlement not far from McCoy's land now owned by one of his sons. He cam into town at the age of fifteen, several years after which time, his father, Lieutenant Blake, also moved in. For some time after Sergeant Blake came, locations for the best farms might be obtained for little more than paying for the labor of spotting the trees around them. When he made his purchase, he obtained considerably more than the farm now owned by Mr. Samuel Blake, (probably more than 100 acres for ten shillings, and turned in his jackknife for one shilling of that sura. The only place he had for baking, for several years was an oven built upon a flat rock which till lately lay by the road near Mr. Isaac Towle's barn; but is now split and hammered, and forms part of the underpinning of the dwelling house of Samuel Peabody, Esq.
In the early days of the town, the inhabitants were kept in a state of almost continual alarm by the incursions of the Indians. For a considerable time after the settlement was commenced, only the men ventured to remain in the place during the summer season: and then they must keep their arms by them, while they labored on their lands. During the winter, there was much less danger from the Indians. Even long after the men had removed their families into the place, so feeble was their defense against the attacks of their savage neighbors, that when ever any immediate danger was apprehended, they either sent their families away or fled with them to the garrison at Nottingham. At length a house was erected by Captain Andrew McClary within the limits of the town, and near the present residence of Mr. Joseph Lawrence; which was made proof against the assaults of the Indians, being surrounded by a high wooden wall, entered by a heavy, well secured gate. Thither the inhabitants fled at night, whenever danger was apprehended.
The Indians were first attracted to the new settlements in the town by discovering McCoy at Suncook, now Pembroke. This, as nearly as can be ascertained, was in the year 1747. Reports were spread of the depredations of the Indians in various places; and McCoy had heard that they had been seen lurking about the woods at Penacook, now Concord. He went as far as Pembroke; ascertained that they were in the vicinity; was somewhere discovered by them and followed home. They told his wife, whom they afterwards made prisoner, that they looked through cracks around the house, and saw what they had for supper that night. They however did not discover themselves till the second day afterwards. They probably wished to take a little time to learn the strength and preparation of the inhabitants. The next day Mrs. McCoy, attended by their two dogs, went down to see if any of the other families had returned from the garrison. She found no one. On her return, as she was passing the block-house, which stood near the present site of the meeting house, the dogs, which had passed around it, came running back growling and very much excited. Their appearance induced her to make the best of her way home. The Indians afterwards told her that they then lay concealed there and saw the dogs when they came around.
McCoy, being now strongly suspicious that the Indians were actually in town, determined to set off the next day with his family for the garrison at Nottingham. His family now consisted of himself, his wife and son John. The younger children were still at the garrison. They accordingly secured their house as well as they could, and all set off next morning: -McCoy and his son with their guns, though without ammunition, having fired away what they brought with them in hunting.
As they were travelling a little distance East of the place where the meeting house now stands, Mrs. McCoy fell a little in the rear of the others. This circumstance gave the Indians a favorable opportunity for separating her from her husband and son. The Indians, three men and a boy, lay in ambush near the foot of Marden's hill, not far from the junction of the mountain road with the main road. Here they suffered McCoy and son to pass; but as his wife was passing them they reached from the bushes, and took hold of her, charging her to make no noise, and covering her mouth with their hands, as she cried to her husband for assistance. Her husband, hearing her cries, turned, and was bout coming to her relief. But he no sooner began to advance, than the Indians, expecting probably that he would fire upon them, began to raise their pieces, which she pushed one side, and motioned to her friends to make their escape, knowing that they would doubtless be killed if they approached. They accordingly ran into the woods and made their escape to the garrison. This took place August 21, 1747.
The Indians collected together what booty they could obtain, which consisted of an iron trammel, from Mr. George Wallace's; the apples of the only tree which bore in town, which was in the orchard now owned by Mr. David Griffin, and some other trifling articles, and prepared to set off with their prisoner for Canada.
Before they took their departure, they conveyed Mrs. McCoy to a place near the little Suncook river, where they left her in the care of the young Indian, while the three men, whose names were afterwards ascertained to be Plausawa (1), Sabatis and Christ!, went away, and were for some time absent. During their absence, Mrs. McCoy thought of attempting to make her escape. She saw opportunities, when she thought she might despatch the young Indian with the trummel, which, with other things was left with them, and thus perhaps avoid some strange and barbarous death, or a long and distressing captivity. But, on the other hand, she knew not at what distance the others were. If she attempted to kill her young keeper, she might fail. If she effected her purpose in this, she might be pursued and overtaken by a cruel and revengeful foe, and then some dreadful death would be her certain portion. On the whole, she thought best to endeavor to prepare her mind to bear what might be no more , than a period of savage captivity. Soon, however , the Indians returned, and put an end for the present to all thoughts of escape. From the direction in which they went and returned, and from their smutty appearance, she suspected what their business had been. She told them "she guessed they had been burning her house." Plausawa, who could speak some broken English, informed her they had. (2)
They now commenced their long and tedious journey to Canada, in which the poor captive might well expect that great and complicated suffering would be her lot. She did indeed find the journey fatiguing and her fare scant and precarious. But, in her treatment from the Indians, she experienced a vary agreeable disappointment. The kindness she received from them was far greater then she had expected from those who were so often distinguished for their cruelties. The apples they had gathered they saved for her, giving her one every day. In this way they lasted her as far on the way as Lake Champlain. They gave her the last, as they were crossing that lake in their canoes. This circumstance gave to the tree on which the apples grew the name of "Isabella's tree," her name being Isabella. In many ways did they appear desirous of mitigating the distresses of their prisoner while on their tedious journey. When night came on, and they halted to repose themselves in the dark wilderness, Plausawa, the head man would make a little couch in the leaves a little way from theirs, cover her up with his own blanket; and there she was suffered to sleep undisturbed till morning. When they came to a river, which must be forded, one of them would carry her over on his back. Nothing like insult or indecency did they ever offer her during the whole time she was with them.. They carried her to Canada, and sold her as a servant to a French family, whence, at the close of that war, she returned home. But so comfortable was her condition there, and her husband being a man of rather a rough and violent temper, she declared she never should have thought of attempting the journey home, were it not for the sake of her children.
After the capture of Mrs. McCoy, the Indians frequently visited the town but never committed any very great depredations. The greatest damage they ever did to the property of the inhabitants was the spoiling of all the ox-teams in town. At the time referred to, there were but four yoke of oxen in the place, viz. McCoy's, Captain McClary's, George Wallace's, and Lieutenant Blake's. It was a time of apprehension from the Indians; and the inhabitants had therefore all fled to the garrison at Nottingham. They left their oxen to graze about the woods, with a bell upon one of them. The Indians found them; shot one out of each yoke; took out their tongues, made prize of the bell and left them.
The ferocity and cruelty of the savages were doubtless very much averted by a friendly, conciliating course of conduct in the inhabitants towards them. This was particularly the case in the course pursued by Sergeant Blake. Being himself a curious marksman and an expert hunter, traits of character in their view of the highest order, he soon secured their respect; and, by a course of kind treatment, he secured their friendship to such a degree, that though they had opportunities, they would not injure him even in time of war.
The first he ever saw of them was a company of them making towards his house, through the opening from the top of Sanborn's hill. He fled to the woods and there lay concealed, till they had made a thorough search about his house and enclosures, and had gone off. The next time his visitors came he was constrained to become more acquainted with them and to treat them with more attention. As he was busily engaged towards the close of the day in completing a yard for his cow, the declining sun suddenly threw a long several enormous shadows on the ground before him. He had no sooner turned to see the cause, than he found himself in the company of a number of stately Indians. Seeing his perturbation, they patted him on the head and told him "not to be afraid, for they would not hurt him." They then went with him into his house; and their first business was to search all his bottles to see if he had any "occapee," rum. They then told him they were very hungry, and wanted something to eat. He happened to have a quarter of a bear which he gave them. They took it and threw it whole upon the fire, and very soon began to cut and eat from it half raw. While they were eating, he employed himself in cutting pieces from it and broiling upon a stick for them, which please them very much. After their repast, they wished for the privilege of lying by his fire through the night, which he granted. The next morning, they proposed trying skill with him in firing at a mark. To his he acceded. But in this, finding themselves outdone, they were much astonished and chagrined; nevertheless they highly commended him for his skill, patting him on the head and telling him "if he would go off with them, they would make him their big captain." They used often to call upon him, and his kindness to them they never forgot even in time of war.
Plausawa had a peculiar manner of doubling his lip and producing a very shrill piercing whistle, which might be heard a great distance. At a time when considerable danger was apprehended from the Indians, Blake went off into the woods alone, though considered hazardous, to look for his cow that was missing. As he was passing along by Sinclair's brook, an unfreguented place, northerly from McCoy's mountain; a very loud sharp whistle, which he knew to be Plausawa's suddenly passed through his head like the report of a pistol. The sudden alarm almost raised him from the ground; and, with a very light step, he soon reached home without his cow. In more peaceable times, Plausawa asked him if he did not remember the time, and laughed very much to think how he ran at the fright, and told him the reason for his whistling. "Young Indian," said he, "put up gun to shoot Englishman. Me knock it down, and whistle to start you off." So lasting is their friendship, when treated well. At the close of the wars the Indians built several wigwams near the confluence of Wallace's brook with the Great Suncook. On a little island in this river, near the place called "Short Falls," one of them lived for considerable time. Plausawa and Sabatis were finally both killed in time of peace by one of the whites after a drunken guarrel and buried near a certain brook in Boscawen.
The surface of the town is generally uneven; the land freguently rising into considerable hills. Four of the highest eminences have received the name of mountains.
McCoy's, named after Charles McCoy, one of the first settlers, lies about one mile and a half South from the center of the town.
Fort Mountain, probably so called from having an eminence near the summit, resembling a fort, lies about one mile further in a Southwest direction, and is the highest of the four. This is probably the highest land in the same parallel of latitude between the ocean and Merrimack river. From its summit, in a clear atmosphere, the ocean may be distinctly seen, though distant about thirty miles in a direct line, and for fifteen or twenty miles, the beholder has a very full view of the surrounding country.
Nat's mountain, is situated about half a mile South of the last mentioned one. It was so named from the circumstance, that Nathaniel, one of McCoy's children, who had been lost in the woods while searching for the cows, was found upon it. It is said he was absent several days, and subsisted during that time upon berries; and that, when first discovered, he was disposed to flee from those who came to his relief.
Nottingham mountain, so named from its being crossed by the ancient Nottingham, (now Deerfield) line, lies about half a mile easterly from Fort mountain. In this mountain, on the Deerfield side, is said to be a small cave capable of containing twenty or thirty persons at the same time.
The Great and Little Suncook are the only streams, which deserve the name of rivers. These seldom fail to afford abundant water for the various kinds of machinery that situated upon them. The Great Suncook never fails; though the other does in very dry seasons. The Great Suncook enters the town from the North; and, bending its course South-westerly, unites with the Merrimack at Pembroke. The Little Suncook enters the town from the East, a few rods below the pond of the same name, from which it runs; and proceeding in a pretty direct course West-ward near the center of the town, unites with the river first mentioned.
There are but three in the town, and these are small. Their names are Chestnut, Round and Odiorne's pond.
Under this division may be mentioned the following, viz:
Quartz: This occurs of the common kind, both amorphous and crystallized. That variety called limped quartz is not infrequent. It is sometimes found in beautiful prismatic six-sided crystals as transparent as the purest glass, and terminated generally only at one end by six-sided pyramids, this variety is frequently termed rock crystal. Dr. Crosby has a beautiful crystal of considerable size surrounded on all sides by numerous smaller ones.
Of ferruginous quarts, the varieties yellow and red have been noticed with crystals of the same form with those mentioned above.
Feldspar of the common kind, often occurs in large crystals in a course-grained granite. The crystals are either white or tinged with yellow. The granular variety is sometimes found, especially where the soil is moist.
Mica is very abundantly diffused among the rocks, and often occurs in large crystals.
Schorl is very abundant. Two varieties have been observed. 1, common schorl. Its color is a shining black, and the crystals often very large: 2, Tourmaline. This was found at the foot of Fort mountain, in long, finely striated prismatic crystals, slightly imbedded in a very coarse, rough granite. The color, viewed in the direction of the axis of the prism, is greenish blue; but at the edges of the crystal, where it is translucent, it is green.
Garnets of a small size and pale red color, are often found imbedded in the rocks.
Iron in the form of brown oxide, is found in small quantities. Sulphurate of iron appears to have entered largely into the composition of many of the rocks; but it is most frequently noticed in its decomposed state, forming sulphate of iron, or copperas.
Lead. It is said that the Indians, in one of their visits at Sergeant Blake's , requested him to give them some lead for making balls. He told them he had no lead but he had a mould for running balls. They went away, and after a short time returned with a quantity of ore, from which they extracted considerable of lead. They appeared generally to have lead in abundance, and Sergeant Blake frequently afterwards purchased it of them. They would never tell the particular place where they obtained the ore. They said they got it in Wallace's brook, near which they had several wigwams. This brook rises in McCoy's mountain and runs Northwesterly into the Great Suncook. Col. Prescott once found a small quantity of lead ore in, or near the Great Suncook.
Silver. Some of the aged people relate that after a great freshet, a quantity of silver, of which a spoon was made, was found by one Simonds in a small stream, called Deer brook, which issues from the South side of Fort mountain. It is not known that any has been found since.
The hilly surface of the town, and numerous streams, rendered it very favorable for that kind of machinery which requires the power of water. Within the limits of the town are eight grist mills with twelve runs of stones; ten saw-mills; three carding machines; three clothiers' shops; and four bark mills.
There are within the limits of the town, six taverns and as many stores, at which there is more or less of such business transacted as is commonly connected with similar establishments.
The disease of the inhabitants have generally been such as might be expected to be incident to particular ages and circumstances. I do not learn from any physician who has ever practiced in the town, that a disease which might properly be called epidemic, has ever made its appearance. The town had been settled 30 years before a father of a family died. The first man buried in the oldest grave yard, (that by the meeting-house) was William Blazo. The whole number of deaths during Mr. Haseltine's ministry of 30 years, was 286, making an average of 9 1/2 annually. Average number for 3 years past is 16 3/8. The whole number of deaths during that period is 131. The present population is 1336. A person died a few year since, Mrs. Elizabeth Pitman, whose age lacked but a few days of 100 years. Hon. John McClary, who had filled the office of town clerk, representative and senator, was instantly killed December 13, 1821, by the falling timber, while assisting in the raising of a frame.
The town is divided into seven school districts, in which about 500 dollars are annually expended.
Library. There is a social library in town, consisting of about 100 volumes of books pretty judiciously selected; though not containing the writings of any very late authors or any of these useful periodical publications upon religion, agriculture, etc., which are very desirable for such associations.
Ecclesiastical Summary. Early provision was made for the establishment of religious order, and the instruction of the rising generation. Two of the conditions of the charter were, "That a house be built for the public worship of God within the term of six years:" and, "That one hundred acres of land be reserved for a parsonage, one hundred acres for the first minister of the Gospel, and one hundred for the benefit of the school." A period of 34 years elapsed before a minister was settled. Rev. John Tucke was ordained in the year 1761, and dismissed in 1774. He died while on his way to join the revolutionary army as chaplain. He was a son of Rev. John Tucke, of Gosport, a faithful and much respected minister of the Gospel, and was a graduate of Harvard University. I can find no records of the church during Mr. Tucke's ministry; but the number of the church at the close of his ministry, as nearly as I can ascertain from the aged members, was about twenty.
Five years after the dismission of Mr. Tucke, (in 1779,) Mr. Benjamin Thurston received a call by the church and town to settle as their minister; but he saw fit to answer their call in the negative.
The people remained destitute of the stated ordinances of the Gospel till the year 1784. This year Rev. Ebenezer Haseltine was ordained their pastor by vote of the church and town. The following memoir of Mr. Haseltine I find in a note subjoined to the sermon preached at his funeral by the late Rev. Isaac Smith of Gilmanton. Mr. Smith says of him, "He did not run before he was sent, as is the case with too many of all denominations; but waited till he got satisfaction in his own mind, of his gracious state; and came into the ministry by the regular door, with proper credentials. Mr. Haseltine was born at Methuen, in Massachusetts, October 28, 1755, entered Dartmouth College in 1773, was examined with respect to his qualifications for the Gospel minister, by the Grafton Presbytery; was approved and took licence to preach, July 24, 1779 and was settled in the work of the ministry at Epsom, January 21, 1784. The following sketch of the experimental and religious exercises of mind, which he did previous to his making a public profession, I had, (said Mr. Smith,) from one of his intermit friends. He observes, that in free conversation, Mr. Haseltine gave him the following relation:
"That he had been under serious impressions, at times from his youth; but he had no abiding or effectual convictions until he was a member of the college. At that time he was under a very powerful impression which he termed a law work, and believed that he then experienced regenerating grace. He spake of the deep and solemn sense he had of the entire depravity of the human heart, his utter dependence on the mercy of God for salvation, and his only hope being in and through the merit of the Lord Jesus Christ. That his evidences of a change of heart, which he considered essential to future happiness, were so clear that he was induce to make an open profession of religion and joined the church at Hanover. By this it appears that Mr. Haseltine viewed satisfactory evidence of the new birth, as essentially necessary in order to church membership, or the work of the ministry." Mr. Smith, who was one of his contemporaries, and often a companion with him in the labors and duties of the Gospel, further says of him, "He was sound in the faith; a thorough Calvinist in sentiment. He distinguished clearly the doctrines of grace from those errors which prevail in the present day, and solemnly warned the people against them. The Bible was the man of his counsel; he drew his sermons from that pure source of Divine truth. His discourses were correct, substantial, instructive and evangelical, calculated to edify, strengthen and comfort the real Christian, and at the same time to detect and expose the hollow-hearted, hypocritical professor, and lay before him the danger and certainty of his perishing in that state; also to awaken the careless and secure sinner, to a sense of his sin and misery, and to point out to him the necessity of immediate repentance and faith in the blood of Christ as the only way of escape from the wrath to come."
But a few extract from his sermons may show more clearly the manner in which he viewed and exhibited the doctrines of the gospel. The following extract is from one of his manuscript sermons from the text, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." "Upon man's apostacy from God, he lost his Maker's image and incurred his righteous displeasure, and became an enemy to his Maker, who is the Lord of hosts. The carnal mind is said to be "enmity against God, and is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then says the apostle, they that are in the flesh cannot please God." This carnality of mind appears in pride and haughtiness of spirit, and opposition to the God-exalting and creature-abasing doctrines of the law and gospel, which must be pulled down, before persons will see and be convinced of their deplorable situation by nature, and the necessity of believing in a Savior provided for their relief." Further on he says, "They (the unbelieving Jews) took him (Christ) to be a mere man only. They would not believe that he had the divinity conjoined with his humanity. A belief that there was and is such a person is absolutely necessary, and without such a belief, we can by no means be said to believe on the Son. But, 2dly, (says he) believing on the Son pre-supposes a true sense of our need and necessities, and also a sense of his suitableness to our wants. But, (he adds) 3dly, believing on Christ implies such a faith as makes application of his righteousness to us for justification."
His views respecting the leading doctrines of the Bible may be still more extensively seen from an extract from the printed sermon preached by him at the ordination of Rev. David L. Morril of Goffstown. "The wicked heart, (he observes) will bear very well, to hear that human nature is partially depraved -that the old man wants some patching up -that man cannot guite save himself -that the praise for salvation shall be divided between Christ and the sinner, and perhaps, that Christ shall have the greater part. The corrupt hear can very well bear to hear, that God is a Being, exalted somewhat above man; and, perhaps, that he knows past, present and future events. -But the total moral depravity of the human heart; its total opposition to God; it being entirely destitute of holy, moral exercise; that the carnal mind is enmity against God; is not subject to his law, neither indeed can be ; so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God; that mankind are naturally in a stat of spiritual dath, dead in trespasses and sin; that God is a universal Sovereign, infinite in every perfection and incapable of an increase or decrease of knowledge, or any other perfection, whose plan was laid from eternity; that all the wheels of Divine Providence are moving on in exact regularity and order, for the accomplishment of that perfect eternal plan; that he worketh all things after the counsel of his own will; that all events will terminate in his own glory, or in the clearest way possible, display his own most glorious perfections; the doctrine of personal eternal election; the doctrine of the Divine decrees; the absolute necessity of regeneration, and that this is effected by the special operations of the Divine spirit on the mind of sinners; that the tree must be made good before the fruit can be good - are important truths, revealed in the Bible, which are calculated to afford pain to wicked hearts, because unregenerate persons are opposed to them. These doctrines are so evidently and plainly exhibited in the sacred pages, and if we disbelieve them, we disbelieve the Bible."
Such were his views of the doctrines of Bible.
But while he from time to time, exhibited in his discourses the great leading truths comprised in the foregoing extracts; still these were not dwelt upon to the exclusion of the more practical duties of religion. Upon these he frequently and strongly insisted. Nor was his own example wanting to give them importance and attractiveness. Mr. Smith says of him, in the sermon above referred to, "He not only preached sound doctrine, but insisted on the necessity of experimental and practical religion, as essential in the Christian character; and was himself a bright example of those moral and religious duties he inculcated upon others. He was a man of great modesty and diffidence, unassuming in his carriage among his own people and others; a man of strict integrity and uprightness in all his dealings; a man of a quiet spirit; a promoter of peace and love among all; a man of hospitality and charity so far as his ability permitted; kind and friendly to all mankind; and inconsequence of his virtues, was respected by all his acquaintance." Such is the character given him by one who knew him well.
Two of his sermons were printed; the one above mentioned at the ordination of Mr. Morril, and a sermon addressed to you people. During his ministry, 87 were added to the church; and 363 received the ordinance of baptism.
He was called from his labors by death, November 10, 1813, in the 59th year of his age, and 30th of his ministry.
About one year after the death of Mr. Haseltine, the church invited Rev. Jonathan Curtis to take the pastoral charge of them. In this, the town refused to concur. A religious society was then formed, who expressed their concurrence with the church. Rev. Jonathan Curtis, the present minister, having manifested his acceptance to their call, was accordingly ordained February 22, 1815. At his settlement the church consisted of 50 members. During the first year after this 6 were added to the communion of the church. The next year 11 more were added. In 1817, 16 were added. About this time, God saw fit to awaken, in an unusual degree, the attention of many. Much anxiety was manifested to understand what the Bible requires, and to be where Christians prayed. Nothing, however, like enthusiasm, or tumult was exhibited by those who felt interested in divine things. But the general operations of God's Spirit, were to show the creature, by the light of the sacred word, his sin and danger; to point him to Christ the only deliverer; and to dispose him, humbly, cordially, and than fully to receive him. So extensively were the divine influences experienced (as we may hope in most instances) that the next year, 1818, the church was increased by 47. There were 29 at the same time solemnly covenanting with God and his people. Every year since that revival, there has been some additions, thought some years the number has been small. The whole number added to the church since 1815 is 97. The whole number of members at the present time is 115. Since 1815, parents in the church in imitation of those who brought their children to Christ, when he was on earth, and whose conduct he approved, have brought to the arms of that Savior, with whom they trust their own souls, 101 of their children, to seek for them an interest in the blood of sprinkling; and have solemnly promised to use their best endeavors to train them up for God. The church is very happily united in their religious sentiments, and harmonious in all their ecclesiastical proceedings.
Their views of the great truths of the Bible, are what are generally termed Calvinistick.
The officers acknowledged by the church, for their instructions, regulation and government, are pastors or ministers and deacons. The have now one pastor and two deacons. The latter are Dea. Ira Sanborn and Dea. David Locke. The church has never had any written articles of faith, to which the members have subscribed; though it has always been understood that the Cambridge Platform comprises the substance of their faith and practice, and before admission to the church, the candidates are examined with respect to their doctrinal belief.
The most ancient church covenant which stands on record, and which remains the same with little abridgement, and some verbal alterations is the following:
"We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, apprehending ourselves called of God into the church state of the gospel, do first of all confess ourselves unworthy to be so highly favored of the Lord, and admire that free and rich grace of his, which triumphs over so great unworthiness; and then with an humble reliance on the aids of grace therein promised for those that, in a sense of their inability to do any good thing, do humbly wait on him for all; we now thankfully lay hold on his covenant; and will choose the things that please him.
We declare our serious belief of the Christian religion, as contained in the sacred Scriptures; and, with such a view thereof, as the confession of faith in our churches has exhibited, heartily resolving to conform our lives unto the rules of that holy religion as long as we live in the world, we give up ourselves unto the Lord Jehovah, who is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and avouch him this day to be our God, our Father, our Saviour, and our Leader, and receive him as our portion forever. We give up ourselves unto the blessed Jesus, who is the Lord Jehovah, and adhere to him as the head of his people, in the covenant of grace; and rely on him as our Priest and our prophet, and our King, to bring us to eternal blessedness. We acknowledge our everlasting and indispensable obligations to glorify our God in all the duties of a godly, and sober, and righteous life; and very particularly in the duties of a church state, as a body of people associated for obedience to him in all the ordinances of the gospel; and we thereupon depend upon his gracious assistance for our faithful discharge of the duties thus incumbent on us. We desire and intend (with dependence on his promised and powerful grace,) we engage to walk together as a church of the Lord Jesus Christ in the faith and order of the gospel so far as we shall have the sme revealed to us; conscientiously attending the public worship of God, the sacraments of his new Testament; the discipline of his kingdom, and all his holy instructions in communion with one another; and watching for the avoiding sinful stumbling blocks and contentions, as becomes a people, whom the Lord has bound up together in the bundle of life. At the same time we do also present our offspring with us unto the Lord, purposing with his help, to do our part in the method of religious education, that they may be the Lord's. And all this we do, flying to the blood of the everlasting covenant of the pardon of our many errors, and praying that the glorious Lord, who is the great Shepherd, would prepare and strengthen us for every good work to do his will, working in us that which shall be well pleasing to him, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."
The town is divided into various religious denominations but, except the Congregational, I know not that there has ever been any other church or society formed in the town.
The person here referred to is the father of Gen. Michael McClary. In the early days of the town, he was regarded as one of the most active, useful and virtuous citizens. When his father removed from Londonderry, in Ireland to this country, John was but six years old; and Elizabeth Harvey, who afterwards became his wife, and was from the same place, was but three. Though unassisted by the great advantages of education, which many at this day enjoy; he notwithstanding was honored with a very large share of the public confidence, and that too in the most trying times. Besides sustaining to much acceptance several important offices in the town, he was called by his fellow-citizens, at that period of danger and solicitude, when the provincial Congress was formed, to hold a seat in that important body. He also successively held a seat in the house of representatives, in the council and senate of the state. He was also a man of piety. So exemplary was his Christian walk, that the church elected him to the office of deacon, which he sustained with much faithfulness and credit for many years. He died at the advanced age of 82 years.
Rev. John Tucke,
Rev. Ebenezer Haseltine
Rev. Jonathan Curtis, now in office.
Deacons: George Wallace,
John McClary
Nathan Harden
John Gate
Abraham Locke
Samuel Morril
Ira Sanborn and David Locke now in office.
Stephen Swett
Obadiah Williams
John S. Osborn
David L. Morril, M.D. now in practice in Goffstown
Samuel Morril, now inpractice in Concord
Josiah Crosby, M.D. now in practice in Epsom.
Benjamin Moody, Esq.
Jonathan Steele, Esq., now in practice in Sandwich
Samuel Peabody, Esq., now in practice in Epsom.
John McClary, Esq., afterwards of the counsel and senate.
Capt. Jas Gray,
Gen. Michael McClary, afterwards of the senate.
Josiah Sanborn, Esq., afterwards of the senate.
Major DAniel Cilley
Thomas D. Merrill, Esq.
John McClary, Esq. afterwards of the senate
Hanover Dickey, Esq.
Richard Trippe
John McClary
Michael McClary, throughout the state, now in office in Epsom
James H. McClary
Josiah Sanborn, also of the quorum now in office in Epsom
Samuel Morrill, now in office in Concord
John McClary
Jonathan Steele, now in office in Sandwich
Hanover Dickey
Samuel Peabody, also of the quorum
Thomas D. Merrill Esq., now in office in Epsom
Joseph Simpson Andrew McClary
Paul Chapman Michael McClary
Joseph Haines John Casey
Pennel Chapman Solomon Sutton
James Berry David Morril
Samuel Libbee Samule Morril
Nathan Marden John McClaryril
James Gray Michael McClary
Eliphalet Sanborn
NO. VIII. Names of those belonging to Epsom, who enlisted into the regular army in revolution, with their rank at the time of their discharge.
Benjamin Berry, enlisted in Capt. Drew's company
John Bickford
Samuel Bickford
James Blake,
Theophilus Cass, enlisted in Capt. Morrill's company
Solomon Chapman, enlisted in Capt. Morrill's company
*Ensign Jonathan Chase
Richard Drowt, enlisted in Capt. Morrill's company
*John Dwyer, enlisted on Capt. Morrill's company Capt. James Gray
*Samuel Goss John Jenness
*Samuel Lear
Moses Locke, enlisted in Capt. Morrill's company
Francis Locke, died at Chimney Point
*0zom Lock, killed at Bennington
Samuel Locke, enlisted in Capt. Morrill's company
Major Andrew McClary, killed at Bunker Hill
Capt. Michael McClary
Adj. John McClary, died of a wound at Albany
*William McCrillis killed at Bunker Hill
Lt. Andrew McGaffey, wounded at Bunker Hill
Neal McGaffey, enlistyed in Capt. McClary's company
Major Amos Morrill
*John Mason
Jethro Pettengill, enlisted in Capt. Frye's company
Abraham Pettengill, enlisted in Capt. Morrill's company,
died at Chimney Point
Benjamin Pettengill. enlisted in Capt. Morrill's company Peter Pomp, an African, died at Valley Forge
*Eliphalet Sanborn
Simon Sanborn, died at Chimney Point Noah St. Clair, wounded at St. Johns John Wallace, killed at Bunker Hill Weymouth Wallace, wounded at Bunker Hill
* Names not included on J. Curtis's list but found in other sources. These men may have served from other towns and moved to Epsom following the war, as many families came to Epsom soon after the Revolution. Future research would make this list much more complete.