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HISTORY OF EPSOM
By John H. Dolbeer
This town derives its name from a market-town in the county of Surry, England, about sixteen miles from London. It is bounded north by Pittsfield, south by Allenstown, east by Deerfield and Northwood, and west by Chichester and Pembroke, and is twelve miles from Concord.
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 settlements in the town were Charles McCoy, from Londonderry; William Blazo, a Frenchman; Andrew McClary, from Londonderry, in Ireland; and a family by the name of Blake.
McCoy 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 was the first white child born in the town, and she was presented by the proprietors with a tract of land, a portion of which is now owned by her grandson, Lemuel B. Towle. She married a Mr. Wood and lived to an extreme old age.
Samuel Blake, commonly known as Sergeant Blake, was one of the pioneer settlers, coming into town when but fifteen years of age, and began a settlement near where Mr. John Chesley now lives. He purchased his land, more than one hundred acres, near the centre of the town, for ten shillings, and turned in his jack-knife for one shilling of that sum. Mr. Blake had a large family of children, who grew up and married; but at the present writing none of the name remain in town, and but a few of his descendants.
As will be seen by the following document, the town was granted to the tax-payers of Rye, New Castle and Greenland, in 1727, according to the amount of their respective taxes:
"George, By the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith.
"To all People to whom these presents shall come: Greeting:
"Know ye, we, of our especial knowledge and meer motion, for the due encouragement of settling a new plantation, by and with the advice and consent of our council, have given & Granted, and by these Presents, as far as in us lies, do give and grant unto all such of our loving subjects as were inhabitants and free holders in the year one thousand seven hundred and twenty-three, in our town of New Castle and in the Parish of Greenland, both within our Province of Newhampshire, in New England, to be divided among them in proportion to their Respective Rates, which they paid in the year 1723 aforesaid, one tract of Land to be laid out at the head of Nottingham and Northward of land formerly granted to the children of Saml. Allen, decsd., the same to be six miles in Breadth and four miles in Depth, or in such other form as the land ungranted, in that place will admit, so as it contains the same Quantitiy of Land, and the same to be a town corporate by the name of Epsom to the Pursons aforesaid forever. To Have and to Hold and said Tract of Land to said Grantees and their heirs and assigns forever upon the following conditions:
"1st. That they build twenty Dwelling Houses and settle a Family in each within the term of four years, and break up three acres of Ground for each Settlement, and plant or sow the same within four years.
"2d. That a housebe built for the Publick worship of God within the term of six years.
"3d. That One Hundred acres of Land be Reserved for a parsonage, one hundred acres for the first minister of the Gospell and one hundred acres for the Benefit of a School. Provided, Nevertheless, that the Peace with the Indians continue during the aforesd conditions.
"Rendering and paying therefor to us, our heirs and successors, or such other officer or officers as shall be appointed to Receive the same, the annual quit rent or acknowledgement of one pound of good merchantable Hemp in sd town, on the first day of Decembr yearly, for ever, if demanded.
"Reserving also unto us, our heirs and successors, all mast trees growing on said Land, according to an act of Parliment made and provided in that case.
"And for the better order, Rule and Government of the said Town, we, by these Presents, Grant for us, our heirs and successors, unto the aforesd Proprietors, and those that shall inhabit the said Town, that yearly and every year, upon the first Wednesday in May, they may meet at any place within our Province of Newhampshire aforesd, until the settlement of the aforesd Town is perfected, and afterward in the said town, to elect and chuse by the Major part of them constables, Select men and all other Town officers within our aforesd Province have & enjoy, and we appoint our Loving Subjects, Theodore Atkinson, Joshua Foss & Capt. Samuel Weeks to be the selectmen to manage the affairs of the said town for the Present year and untill others are chosen in their Room by the aforesd Proprirs.
"In Testimony whereof we have caused the seal of our said Province to be herewith annexed.
"Witness, John Wentworth, Esq., our Lt. Governor and Commander in Chief in and over our said Province, at our town of Portsmouth, the eighteenth day of May, in the Thirteenth year of our Reign, anno Domini 1727.
"By order of his Hon. The Lt. Gov., with advice of the counsel.
"RICHD. WALDRON, Clerk.
"Province of N hampshire: Recorded in ye 18th Book, pages 479 & 480, this 29th of June, 1732.
"JOSPH PIERCE, Recorder.
"Pd 2s 6d."
By an act of the Provincial Legislature, passed February 21, 1778, the time holding the annual meeting was changed from the first Wednesday of May to the third Wednesday of March.
First Meeting of the Proprietors.At a meeting held by the proprietors of the town of Epsom, at the ferry-house in New Castle, on Monday, December 4th, according to notification in 1727,
"Notification being read, it was put to vote whether the Moderator should be chosen by holding of the hands.
"Voted in the affirmative, the place not being convenient to write votes accordingly.
"Voted, Colo. Shad. Walton be moderator for this meeting.
"Voted, Theodore Atkinson be a clerk of the sd Proprietors until another be Chosen and Sworn in his Room to the faithful discharge of which office he was sworn by Justice Foss.
"3d. That there be Raised thirty pounds in an equal proportion upon the Proprietors according to their Several Rates in 1723.
"4ly. Voted, that Wilm Haines be the Parson appointed to collect the money that shall be Raised in Greenland Parish for the sd service.
"Voted that Willm. Berry be appointed for sd service at Rye.
"Voted that Joshua Simpson be appointed collct. for New Castle.
"Voted that Mr. John Sharborn be Treasurer to the sd Proprat., and have Power to Receive the money that shall be collectred, and to Discharge the several charges, Rendering an act to the proprit. When Required, and that the selectmen's order be sufficient to call for any sum, and to discharge him therefrom.
"Voted, that Mr. Richd. Goss, George Welch, James Philpot, John Blake be a committee to Run the Line of the sd town, and to have five shillings per day while in the service.
"The Propriat. of Epsom Notified by the Selectmen to meet to Chose town officers, and to do any other business for settlement of sd town &c. Dated May ye 1th, 1728.
"The Propriat. Mett according to Notification at the ferry-house in New Castle the 15th day of May, 1728.
"Voted Capt. Jotham Odiorne Modratr.
"Voted Theod. Atkinson continue Clerk for this year.
"Voted Joseph Simpson Clerk for this meeting.
"Voted Theod. Atkinson Selectman for the Parish of New Castle.
"Voted Saml. Weeks for Greenland, Joshua Foss for Rye.
"Voted Joseph Simpson collector of Rates for New Castle, Willm. Harris for Greenland, Saml. Rand for Rye.
Voted James Randall, Danel Lunt and James Seavey be a committtee to Run out the Bounds of the town of Epsom.
"If one or more of them fayl, the Selectmen Hire in their Rooms, and the Charge to be paid by the town, and that the Selectmen are to Raise thirty pounds on the Propriat. Of the town of Epsom, to Defray the charges.
"Voted That the Selectmen may Hire 2 or 3 chain men, if need be, & that they Du it as soon as Possible.
"Town meeting ended.
"JOTHAM ODIORNE, Mod."
FIRST SURVEY OF THE TOWN.
"We whose names are under writen, being appointed and hired by the Selectment of Epsom town to Lay out the sd townshiop of Epsom according to the Charter, have Laid it out & Bounded it as follows, vix., Beginning at Notingham head Line four miles nor westward from Chester Line, at a maple tree marked with Letter N, on the est side for Notingham and Eps., on the west side for Epsom; from thence Runing West North West four miles to a Pitch pine tree, which is one mile west from Sun Cook River; from thence
Runing North Est & By North six miles to a tree westward of Sun Cook River; from thence runing east South east four miles to a Hemlock tree standing by Notingham head Line by a pond called Epsom Pond, with several trees marked by it; from thence Runing South West and by South by Notingham head Line six miles to the Maple tree first mentioned.
"Laid out and bounded this first and Second day of May, one thousand Seven hundred & twenty-nine, by us,
"JOSHUA FOSS, }
"DANIEL LUNT, } Committee.
"JEDIATH WEEKS, }
"EDWARD HALL, Surveyor."
A meeting notified to meet at the ferry-house in New Castle on May 26, 1729, met, and because the proprietors of Epsom who lived in the parish of New Castle had not been properly notified of the meeting, it was adjourned to the court-house in Portsmouth, June 3d following, at eight o'clock in the forenoon.
"Voted Jotham Odiorne, Moderator.
"Voted Joseph Simpson, Selectman for New Castle; Jotham Odiorne, Esq., for Rye; Joshua Brackett for Greenland.
"Upon consideration that sundry persons concerned in the sd town of Epsom hath Refused to pay his Proportion to the Charges a Rising in Giting the Charter and the sd town surveyed & Layd out for prevention whereof, Voted, that any persons that shall Refuse or Neglect to pay their proportion to the charge already due, or that shall, Hereafter, be allowed by the Selectmen and committee to the collectors for the time being, Every such Person shall forfeit his or their Rights, which, when forfeited, shall be exposed to Sail by publick Vandue, after stoping the charges & the sum which ought to be paid by the Parson to the collector according to his List, then the over Plush shall be returned to the Origenell Proprietor.
"Voted That the Selectmen chosen at this meeting be Powered & Directed to call the Last Selectmen to acct, and to settle the same.
"Voted That the Selectmen procure some Idustrus Person to View the sd Land, and to see whare and in what method to lay out their Lots, and whare to settle the town, and to du what they shall think proper for the advancing the settling of the town aforesaid, and to reaise money Sufficient to Defray the Charges thereof upon the Proprat.
"Town meeting ended.
"JOTHAM ODIORNE, Modrat."
At a meeting held at Rye on the 21st of January, 1729, the proprietors.
"Voted, That James Randall, Thomas Berry and Lt. Saml. Wallis be a committee to view and make choice of a place for the senter of the town, and to layout high ways and the Lotts according to the Rates that the Proprietors paid, conformable to the charter."
May 22, 1732, at the court-house, Portsmouth,
"Voted, That there be laid out, at some convenient place in the town suitable for Building a Meeting house & for settling the twenty families accordingly, one thousand acres in fifty-acre Lotts, one Lott to be given to any Person that will settle & will fulfill the Charter so far as relates to building a house and clearing three acres of Land; and Lt. Saml. Wallis, Daniel Lunt, Thomas Berry, Richd. Goss and Willm. Haines be a committee to a Gree with such Parsons as they shall think Proper, to settle on the said Lotts. And `tis hereby determined & voted in the Meeting that the Propriat shall have the Refusall of those Lotts; and if there is not twenty of them appears to take up with those Lotts, on the consideration above, then to be offered and Laid out to any other person that will except the same on the sd consideration.
"Voted, That thirty acres be added to each of the twenty men mentioned in the above vote, to be Laid out in some other part o fthe town, as the Proprietors shall think best, beside the fifty acres above mentioned, to make up each man eighty acres.
"Voted, That each Propriat. Pay, at the drawing his Lott, five shillings and what he is behind in his a Rearages in the Rates formerly Raised."
At a proprietors' meeting, held June 12, 1732, at the house of Daniel Lunt, in Greenland, it was
"Voted, James Marden one of the committee in the Room of Daniel Lunt, who Rufuseth to serve.
"Voted, That the selectmen purches a town Book to enter the Records in.
"Voted, that the twenty men draw the 20 fifty-acre Lotts. Now, at this meeting, the twenty men drew accordingly,James Sevey, No. 1; Richd. Goss, 2; Thos. Berry, 3; Daniel Lunt, 4; Noah Sevey, 5; Willm. Lock, 6; Saml. Dowst, 7; Zach. Berry, 8; Eben. Berry, 9; Solo. Dowst, 10; Saml. Wallis, 11; Willm. Wallis, 12; John Black, 13; Josiah Foss, 14; Simon Knowles, 15; Paul Chapman, 16; Joseph Lock, 17; Jotham Foss, 18; Jediah Weeks, 19; James Marden, 20."
The above-mentioned lots are what were for many years known as the "home-lots," upon the road leading from Deerfield to Epsom Station, by way of the old Centre. The lots were upon either side of the road, and were one hundred and sixty rods in length and fifty rods wide, countaining fifty acres.
It is noticeable that none of that land is owned at the is time by any of the same name as the original proprietors; neither is it by any of their descendants.
At a proprietors' meeting, at the house of Christopher Fredericks, in New Castle, July 4, 1732, it was
"Voted, That there be a committee chosen to Goe to Hampton to see how their Charter is, and to Discourse them about the same.
"Voted, Cpt. Odiorne and Willm. Haines the committee to goe to Hampton & Discorse with Chichester Propriat. & see their charter & to make a Return, and to call on the Secty to know the Date of our Grant of our Charter."
At a proprietors' meeting, at the court-house, Portsmouth, October 16, 1832 [sic], it was
"Voted, That there be Reserved for the use of the Proprietors, to be Divided and Dipsosed of as the Propriat shall hearafter think proper, viz.: all the Land on the North-West side of Suncook River.
"Voted, That the sd town shall be first Laid out in to four Ranges, each one mile deep, Reserving a Road of Four Rods wide between the first and secnd Range, & between the third and fourth, the Ranges to fun the whole Length of the town, the first Range to begin at the south corner.
"Voted, That all the Land not before Reserved and Granted be Laid out on the account of the Propriat, and that they Draw Lotts therefor, the method for the same thus, viz.: Number one to begin at the South end of the first Range, & to be be numbered and Laid out to the Northward till the whole Range be finished; and then to begin at the North end of the Second Range, & to be numbered to the Southward till the Second Range is finished; and then to begin at the 3d Range at the South end & Run toward the North till that Range be finished; and then to begin at the North of the fourth Range and Run to the Southward, still Reserving Roads between as many of the Lotts as may be thot convenient.
"Voted, That there be a meeting-house of thirty foot Long and twenty-four feet wide, Imediately Built at the charge of the Propriat, & that Mr. Joshua Brackett, Mr. Willm Lock & Theod. Atkinson, Esq., be a committee to a Gree for the same with any Parson or Parsons shall do it soonest and cheapest.
"Voted, Each Propriat, before he Draws his Lott, pay into the Selectmen as much money as their several Rates are, by which the town is to be Divided, & likewise to pay all their arearages; other ways they shall not be allowed to Draw.
"J. SIMPSON, Clerk."
In 1732 the selectmen of Epsom received a notice from the selectmen of Nottingham of a desire to "perambulate the bounds." Accordingly, Lieutenant Samuel Wallis, Mr. Richard Goss and Mr. Samuel Weeks were appointed to act with the committee from Nottingham.
"We, whose names are under writen, being appointed and hired by the selectmen of the town of Epsom to perambulate the line, according to bounds, viz.: Beginning at Notingham head Line, four miles North east ward from Chester Line, at a maple tree marked with the letter N, on the East side from Notingham, & Ep. on the West side for Epsom; from thence runing West, North West four miles, to a large pine tree, which is one mile Westward from Suncook River; from thence Runing North East & by North six miles to a tree westward of Suncook River; from thence Runing East, South East four miles, to a Hemlock tree, standing by Notingham head, by a pond called Epsom pond, with several trees marked by it; from thence Runing South west & by South, by Notingham head Line, six miles, to the maple tree first mentioned. Perambulated this twenty-third day of Septeber, one thousand seven hundred and thirty-two.
"SAMUEL WALLIS, }
"RICH'D GOSS, } Committee
"SAML. WEEKS, }
"WALTER BRYANT, Surveyor."
At a proprietors' meeting, held the 6th of November, 1732, a committee was chosen to take a list of the proprietors of Epsom, then living in New Castle, Rye and Greenland, the committee consisting of three persons, one in each of the above places.
Upon the 9th of the same month the above committee reported forty-seven proprietors in New Castle, thirty-three in Rye and sixty-three in Greenland; in all, one hundred and forty-three.
The proprietors then proceeded to draw their several lots, as follows:
No. 1, Nathaniel White; 2, James Seavey; 3, John Odiorne; 4, Benjamin Ball; 5, Israel Mark; 6, Samuel Haines; 7, John Foss; 8, Joshua Brackett; 9, Zachariah Foss; 10, Jonathan Dockam; 11, Richard Jordan; 12, Samuel Weeks; 13, John Underwood; 14, Robert Avery; 15, John Rindge; 16, Richard Tarleton; 17, Henry Trefethen; 18, Thomas Manneren; 19, John Wilson; 20, Mames Marden; 21, John Othow; 22, Samuel Seavey; 23, John Johnson; 24, John Brackett; 25, Thomas Rand; 26, Alse Clark; 27, Walter Philbrook; 28, Joseph Weeks; 29, Robert Coats; 30, George Wallis; 31, Samuel Haines; 32, Joshua Foss; 33, Mary Randall; 34, Joshua Berry; 35, William Berry; 36, Jeremiah Walford; 37, Samuel Chapman, Samuel Neale, John Hinckson, Samuel Ring; 38, John Card; 39, John Tuckerman; 40, James Berry; 41, Chirstopher Amazeen; 42, Samuel Berry; 43, William Haines; 44, Reuben Mace; 45, John Leach; 46, Nathaniel Berry; 47, Samuel Rand; 48, John Blake; 49, John Philbrook; 50, James Johnson, Ebenezer Johnson; 51, John Yeaton; 52, Elias Philbrook; 53, George Kenston; 54, Joseph Jackson; 55, John Trundy; 56, John Bryant; 57, Jonathan Philbrook; 58, William Wallis Jun.;59, Edward Martin; 60, Daniel Lunt; 61, Sampson Shiefe; 62, William Seavey Jun.; 63, Joseph Simpson; 64, Nehemiah Berry; 65, Joshua Seavey; 66, Samuel Brackett; 67, Robert Goss, Robert Goss, Jun; 68, Samuel Wallis; 69, Samuel Doust; 70, John Johnson; 71, James Chadwick; 72, Christopher Treadwick; 73, Richard Goss; 74, Joshua Weeks; 75, John Frost; 76, Solomon Doust; 77, Barnaby Cruse; 78, James Whiden; 79, James Philpot; 80, Joseph Maloon; 81, John Stevens; 82, Widow Hitches; 83, Nathaniel Rand; 84, Benjamin Parker; 85, Philip Pane; 86, William Kelly; 87, Richard Neale; 88, William Bucknell, Thomas Berry, Isaac Foss; 89, William Perkins, John Berry; 90, Thomas Rand, Jr.; 91, John Youren; 92, Samuel Huggins, Nathaniel Huggins; 93, Foster Trefethen; 94, Colonel
Shadrach Walton; 95, Nathaniel Johnson; 96, Benjamin Seavey, Jr.; 97, Joseph Youren; 98, Mathias Haines; 99, Samuel Frost; 100, Deacon John Cate, William Cate; 101, William Seavey; 102, Ebenezer Berry; 103, Mathias Haines; 104, Benjamin Muserve; 105, John Whiden; 106, Henry Pain; 107, Jonathan Odiorne, Esq.; 108, Walter Abbott; 109, John Sherborn; 110, Joseph Hill; 111, William Wallis; 112, Jonathan Weeks; 113, John Brackett; 114, William Jones; 115, Widow Folsom; 116, William Marden; 117, Nathaniel Wilson; 118, Samuel Davis; 119, Daniel Greenough; 120, Joshua Haines; 121, Samuel Seavey; 122, Hugh Reed; 123, Benjamin Seavey; 124, Captain Samuel Weeks; 125, Theodore Atkinson; 126, James Randall; 127, John Neale; 128, Nathaniel Morrell.
The lots numbered 1 to 41, inclusive, are in the first range upon the easterly side of the town, beginning at Allenstown line; Nos. 42 to 73 are in the second range, beginning at Northwood line; 74 to 107 are in the third range, beginning at the southerly end of the town, and the remainder in the fourth range, numbering from the north.
It appears that there was left after the above lots were laid out two thousand acres in the southerly end of the fourth range, which, with some smaller lots at either end of the twenty lots that were first laid out and known as the "home-lots," were known as common lands.
In response to a petition of the inhabitants of the town, the General Assembly of the province of New Hampshire, in the year 1765, by a special enactment made, gave the town privilege to sell all the common or undivided land in the town, and the money arising from such sale was to be applied to the building of the meeting-house, and John McClary, George Wallis and Ephraim Locke were appointed by said Assembly to advertise and sell the same at public auction, which was done Monday, August 19, 1783.
This common land at the southwestern part of the town was laid out differently from the original lots, being only one-half as long and wide enough to contain one hundred acres. Lot No. 1, in the southwest corner, was sold to John Follensbee; No. 2, the next north, to John Blake; No. 3, Reuben Sanborn; No. 4, Reuben Sanborn; No. 5, John Hubbard; No. 6, Ephraim Locke; No. 7, Andrew McGaffey; No. 8, Andrew McClary; No. 9, Andrew McClary; No. 10, Amos Morrill.
No. 1, in the second range of common lands, being the most southerly lot, was sold to John Follensbee; No. 2, John Follensbee; No. 3, Thomas Bickford; No. 4, Abraham Wallis; No. 5, Nathan Marden; No. 6, Nathan Marden; No. 7, Israel Gilman; No. 8, John McGaffey; No. 9 and No. 10, Amos Morrill; but I find no account of the amount that was received by the town from such sales.
"Voted, January 17, 1733, that the name of the Street from the Meeting-House upward West Street & Down ward to Notingham from sd Meeting-House East Street.
"July ye 16th, 1733, The Propriatormeet according to Notification.
"Voted Theodore Atknison, Esq., Moderator.
"Voted Joseph Simpson, Esq., Messr. Charles Frost, Richd Goss, Saml Wallis, Joshua Brackett, Willm Haines a Committee to Lay out to each Propriar his Lott or Shier of Land in the town of Epsom according to the Rate he paid in the year 1723, and if one or more of the sd committee fail, the selectmen to appoint others in their Room.
"Voted that the committee Doe the Besiness above sd by the first Novemr and make Return by that time.
"Voted that the committee afore sd be Directed & Impowered to Reserve out the sd township as much Land as will be sufficient for the twenty settlers acording to the Vote of the Propriators & to Lay the same out in thirty acre Lotts, Viz., Each of the twenty Settlers thirty acres. Such Reservation to be made where the said Committee shall think proper.
"Voted that the Propriatr of Canterbury be allowed a Road according to the Request of the sd Propriators made to the meeting by Mr Walter Bryant in behalf of the propriators, which Road is to be Laid out four Rods wide thro the sd town of Epsom as near West North West as conveniently as may be to avoid unpasable places, the Propriat of Sd Canterbury to be at the Charge of Laying out said Way.
"December 18, 1733: Voted that the Return of the committee for Laying out the Said Town be axcepted, and that the Town Remain Laid out according to said Direction.
"Voted that the above Committee be allowed and pid the sum of ten shillings p. Day for the time they were Laying out the said town, and the surveyour twelve shillings pr. day for his plot.
"Dec. 19, 1734: Voted that where as Sundry Persons, whithout the Leave or License, got in upon Sundry tracts of Land within this town ship, and have committed Sundry Tresspases upon Sundry of the Propriat perticular shears, which may, if not Prosecuted, prove Detrymentell to the said town; and whereas it will be attended with some considerable charge to Prosecute on any one of theem, which at Present would be to great Burthen for the Prosecutors; therefore voted that in case any of the Propts in whose Shear any trespass is committed will prosecute such trespassers in an action of trespass that it shall be at the charge of the Propriars in proportion to the Land or Shier each Propritor hath in sd town & the Select men for the time being are hereby impowered and Disired to furnish the prosecutor with money for that end.
"Voted, May 26, 1736, That Mr. Joshua Brackett, Willm Haines, Willm Wallis and Elias Philbrook a committee to agree with one or more persones to build a saw mill at Epsom, the undertakers to have the priviledge of supplying the town's people with boards for ten years, who are not to buy of any others till the ten years are expired, and the owners of the mill are to sell the boards at the prices they are sold at in other new towns, provided they keep boards to supply the town's people."
The following is a full copy of the record of the only meeting of the proprietors for the year 1749:
"The Selectmen having notified the propritors And free Holders of the Town of Epsom In the Sd Province of Newhampshire, to meet
at the Corthouse, In Portsmouth, in Sd province, on Wednesday, the third Day of May, 1749.
"The Proprieters mett according to notifycation and Thare `Voted Isaac Libbe, moderator; Joseph Haines, Clark; francis Lock, John Weeks, Samuel Libbe, Selectmen; William Berry, Surver of Hywaes.
"Town meeting ended.
"JOSEPH HAINES, Clark.
"ISAAC LIBBE, Modera'r.
"Aug. 30, 1750: Voted That Doct. John Weeks And Francis Lock Bee a Committe To See whather The men That had the Twenty And 30 Akers Lotes Have Fulfiled Acording to the Charter and agreement."
The following is from the "Historical Sketch of Epsom," by Rev. Jonathan Curtis, published in 1823:
"INCURSIONS OF THE INDIANS.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 this 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, whenever any immediate danger was apprehended, they either sent their families away or fled withthem 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.
"CAPTIVITY OF MRS. MCCOY.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 after. 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 round.
"McCoy, being now strongly suspicious that the Indians were actually in town, determined to set off the next day with his family for the garrision 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 set off next morningMcCoy and his son with their guns, though without ammunition, having fired away what they brought with them in hunting.
"As they were traveling 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 Indiansthree men and a boylay 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 his 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 about 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 their guns were not loaded, and 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 then 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 Christi, went away, and were from some time absent. During heir absence Mrs. McCoy thought of attempting to make her escape. She saw opportunities when she thought she might dispatch the young Indian with the trammel, which, with other things, was left with them, and thus perhaps avoid some strange and barbarous death or 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.
"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 very agreeable disappointment. The kindness she received from them was far greater than she had expected from those who were so often distinguished from 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 their, 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 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 a prize of the bell and left them.
"The ferocity and cruelty of the savages were doubtless very much averted by a friendly, conciliatory 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 inclosures 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 several long, 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 from them, which pleased 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 this he acceded. But in this, finding themselves outdone, they were very 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 at 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 unfrequented 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 a considerable time. Plausawa and Sabatis were finally both killed in time of peace by one of the whites, after a drunken quarrel, and buried near a certain brook in Boscawen.
"MOUNTAINS.The surface of the town is generally uneven,m the land frequently 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 centre of the town.
"Fort Mountain, probably so called from having an eminence near the summit resembling a fort, lies about one mile farther 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 circumstances 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.
"RIVERS.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 is 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 southwesterly, 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 urns; and, proceeding in a pretty direct course westward, near the centre of the town, unites with the river first mentioned.
"PONDS.There are but three in the town, and these are small. Their names are Chestnut, Round and Odiorne's Pond."
The following is found in the Records of the Legislature of 1762:
"PROVINCE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
"To his Exelency Benning Wentworth, Esq.,, Capt. General, Govenour & Commander in Chief in and over his Majesty's Province of New Hampshire, and to the Honable Counceill & house of Representatives now Convened in General Assembly at Portsmouth.
"the Petition of his Majesty's Good Subjects, Inhabitants of the township of Epsom, in said Province, humbly beg leave to remonstrate our Very Poor Distressing circumstances to your Compassion, & Most Earnstly Crave your Pity, and pray your Honours to Relieve us from our unsuportable Burden of Province tax under which we are made to Grone, and Which we think we Cannot Possibly survive Under unless your Honours will be Pleased to Mitigate and free us from.
"Gentlemen our Numbers are Very Small & we are very much Exposed to Losses; our young Cattle, Sheep and Swine are often Destroyed by Wild beasts, and, further, we have Lately Selected a minister among us which we are afraid we shall not be able to Support; by Reason of the Poor circumstances we are now under we are not able to Build a Meeting Hous; that our Minister is obliged to Preach in some of our Dwelling houses; the tax which was Laid on us the Last year many of us were obliged to hire the money to Pay; our Necessities are very Grate by Reason of the Scarcity of Provisions we have been obliged to Lay out all that we have got for years Past & are now much in Debt. this is to entreat your Honours to take of the heavy tax which we now Labour under, & Restore us the money we Paid Last year, & your Petitioners Shall every Pray as in Duty Bound:
"John McClary, George Walles, Nathan Marden, John Black, Ephraim Lock, Reuben Sanborn, Jun., Eliphlet Sanborn, Reuben Sanborn, James Wood, Abraham Lebbee, Abraham Walles, Benjamin Blake, Thomas Blake, Isaac Lebbee, Isaac Lebbee, Jun., Reuben Lebbee, Amos Blaso, Samul Bickford, Samuel Black, Thomas Hins, John Blaso, Ephraim Bery, William Blake, Benson Ham, John MCGaffey, Andrew McClary, Abner Evans.
"In council, June 24th, 1762: Read & ordered to be sent down to the Honble Assembly.
"THEODORE ATKINSON, JUN., Sec."
At a meeting called January 7, 1781, to consult in regard to adopting the plan or form of government that had been prepared by Congress for the government of the people, the matter was referred to a committee consisting of Major Morrill, Mr. Francis Lock, Captain Gray, Lieutenant Locke and Thomas Babb, to make such amendments as they should deem necessary in said plan and report at an adjourned meeting, at which time they presented the following objections, which were adopted by the town:
"1st. The twenty-third article of the bill of rights, as exhibited in said plan, is objected to and inadmissible Because such Laws have been necessary in the present revolution, & may be in the future; Therefore, we submit the making of such Laws to the Legislative power.
"2d article of objection is respecting the qualification of a senator as to estate. Because Interest or Estate, not being the most essential qualification, Therefore a person possessed of Intellectual abilities, which we humbly conceive is most essential, and having a free hold in his own right of one hundred pounds, ought not to be excluded of the priviledge of being elected into office as senator.
"3d article of objection is that of the Delegate or representative selected from the Delegated body as to estate. For the same reason offered to the qualifications of a Senator as proposed in the plan, and that a person possessed of a visible estate of sixty pounds, shall be Capable of being Elected into office as Delegate or representative.
"4th Article of objection is to a Governor's not being eligible of being elected into office for more than three years in seven, according to the proposed plan. Because that a person elected into office for three years successively, whose service shall be found salutory to the publick Weal, is the most Capable of serving as long as he may be found serviceable to the State in said office.
"5th article of Objection is to a person's not having a Voice in the Choice of a Delegate, Representative, Senator or Governor unless possessed of Free hold in his own right of one hundred pounds, according to the proposed plan. Because, according to the first article in the declaration of the rights of the people of the State of New Hampshire, all men are born equally free and Independent. Therefore, all Government of right Originates from the people, and is founded in consent. Therefore, the freeman, with ever so small pecuniary abilities, ought to have an equal Voice in the legislative Choice with him who is possessed of the most accumulated fortune."
There was a lengthy contest with Chichester relative to the boundary line between the towns, which was finally settled by arbitration.
At the annual meeting held March 13, 1810, it was "Voted to accept Joshua Lane of Sanbornton; Samuel Shepard, of Gilmanton; and John Lane, of Candia, a committee to settle the contested line between Epsom and Chichester." And at the following March meeting it was voted to accept the report of the above committee, which established the line as it now is.
Before the building of railroads there was a large amount of travel and teaming through this town from the northern part of New Hampshire and Vermont to Portsmouth, Newburyport and other sea-board towns, and, consequently, a number of inns or taverns were required for the accommodation of the travelers.
The selectmen of the town for 1827 gave license to the following persons to keep an open tavern for one year, each paying two dollars for the privilege: William Yeaton, Jr., Colonel Daniel Cilley, Abel Brown, Samuel Whitney, Robert Knox, Captain Benjamin L. Locke, Captain Simon A. Heath, Joseph Lawrence and Abram W. Marden.
There is no tavern or public-house kept in town at the present time.
Mr. Curtis says: "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."
At the present time there are two saw-mills, three grist-mills, one sash and door manufactory, one box factory and the shoe-factory, all situated upon the Great and Little Suncook Rivers.
In the spring of 1881 the matter of building up some kind of a business that would be of a benefit to the inhabitants of the town was discussed, and on the 4th day of May of that year a company was organized, called the Epsom Shoe-Factory Company, with a capital stock of three thousand dollars, divided into shares of twenty-five dollars each. The stock was soon taken and operations at once begun.
A dam was made across the little Suncook River, near the Free Baptist Church, and a two-story building erected.
The fall of that year the factory was rented to Hill & Puffer, of Lynn, Mass., who at once commenced the making of shoes. Their practice was to take stock from Lynn or other manufacturing towns that was partially fitted and make the shoes.
In 1883, Mr. Hill left the firm, and Mr. Nathan Goss was associated with Mr. Puffer in the business.
In the spring of 1885 they sold out to parties from Haverhill, Mass., and a new firm went into the business, known as Mitchell, Finney & Co.
They are now manufacturing shoes, cutting and making entire.
At present they employ about seventy-five hands and make six cases per day. Their pay-roll for labor is about one hundred dollars per day.
School and Parsonage Lots.In accordance with the requirements of the grant of the town, two lots were set apart and known as the school and parsonage lots. The school lot was located at the westerly end of the "home lots," running from the turnpike up on Sanborn Hill, and was sold June 10, 1815, Captain Gray, B.M. Towle and others being purchasers. The amount realized from such sale, as nearly as can be ascertained from the records, was about twelve hundred dollars, which the town kept as a school fund and divided the interest of it annually among the several school districts according to their valuation.
The parsonage lot was near the "Old Centre," on the southerly side of the highway, on which the building now occupied by Addison Davis are situated, and was formerly known as the "Dr. Dickey place." The lot was sold by vote of the town about 1817, and the Rev. Jonathan Curtis was the purchaser, for one thousand and five dollars, which sum was invested by the town as a parsonage fund, the interest thereof being annually distributed among the several religious societies in town, in proportion to the taxable property of its members.
This was done until about 1848, when the selectmen, first obtaining counsel, decided the same to be unnecessary and refused to distribute the interest of said funds, and they were appropriated to the general expenses of the town.
Soon after this the "Esq. Hersey" farm was purchased for a poor farm. Prior to this the keeping and care of the paupers was annually sold to the person who would do it for the smallest sum. The farm was kept until 1865, when the county built an almshouse and took all the paupers chargeable to them that could conveniently be moved, which left but few to be supported by the town, and the farm was sold to James Yeaton and is now owned by Daniel Yeaton.
The first assessment or inventory that we find recorded was made in 1793, and contains the names of one hundred and seventy-eight persons that were rated as residents and fifty-nine that were non-residents, in which list there were only three that contained any middle letter, although there were several that had Jun., or 2d or 3d attached to their names.
"The land being classed according to its various uses, we find fifteen acres of orcharding, one hundred and fifty-one and one-fourth acres of tillage, five hundred and fifty-eight acres of mowing and eight hundred and nineteen acres of pasture, the remainder being rated as unimproved lands. There were taxed that year sixty-five horses, one hundred and thirty oxen and two hundred and five cows.
At a town-meeting held March 12, 1839, a resolution was introduced by Jonathan Steele, Esq., which was adopted,"that an agent be chosen by the town to receive from the town treasurer and selectmen all the permanent funds belonging to the town, and invest them in some safe institution for the benefit of the town, and pay the interest annually to such parties as the town might direct, vis.: the interest from the parsonage to authorized agents of the several religious societies, and the interest from the school fund to the several prudential committees."
Frederick Sanborn was chosen agent, as above requested, and gave a bond in the sum of twelve thousand dollars for the faithful performance of the trust, Thomas D. Merrill and Samuel Cate being his sureties.
The bond stated the several permanent funds to be as follows: School fund, $1958.28; parsonage fund, $1005; and the surplus revenue, $3079.05,total, $6042.33.
Canterbury Bridge.In the journal of the House of the Provincial Legislature, February 23, 1744, is the following:
"The within Petition read & voted: Provided The Proprietors of the Town of Canterbury Build a Bridge this year sufficient for carts
& carriages to pass & repass on over Suncook River where the way is now cut to travel from Durham to Canterbury & will warrant to maintain the same Bridge for ten years; that then there be paid the said Proprietors the sum of fifty pounds Bills of credit out of the Interest money arising on the 25,000 £ Loan, out of that part of the Interest appropriated for Highways & Discovery of the Country, when so much shall be in the Treasury."
It is supposed that the above must have reference to the first bridge over the Suncook River in Epsom, which was a few rods southwesterly from Charles W. Rand's house, as the road from there westward has always been known as the Canterbury road. After the Portsmouth turnpike became a public road the above bridge and the road from the "Goboro road" (so called), to the Pittsfield road, were discontinued.
Ministerial.May 20, 1742, it was "Voted That there shall be thirty pounds money Raised by the Proprietors & inhabitants for the highering of a minister, that the Gospel may be promoted in the afore sd town of Epsom."
June 8, 1743, "A vote past by the proprietors and Inhabitants of Epsom to Raise forty Pounds Monney for the Support of a minister, that the gospel might be promoted among us."
May 2, 1750, it was "Voted There should be money Raised for the support of the Gospel Fifty Pounds, old tennor."
April 23, 1760, it was "Voted one hundred pounds, old tenor, in money be raised to hire minister or defray charges."
"PROVINCE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
"EPSOM, JUNE 25, 1761.
"At a legal meeting held in Epsom at the house of Capt. Andrew McClary, on thursday, the twenty-fifth of this 1761 instant June, according to notification dated June the 20, the free holders met according to notification and thus
"1. Voted Capt. John McClary moderator.
"2. Voted Mr. John Tucke to be their gospel minister.
"3. Voted one hundred acres of Land as a settlement as the charter allowed 50 acres laid out and the other 50 in some Convenient place, reserving the priviledge for seting of a meeting house and what of this Lot is taken for seting the meeting be made up in the other Lot.
"4. Voted thirty pounds starling as a salary for the first two years, reckoning dolers at the Rate of a 6 pt doler.
"5. Voted That an adition of five pounds be made to sd minister next after the first two years are expired.
"6. Voted That thirty cords of wood be annually cut and hauled to his house.
"7. Voted abraham lebee, Isaac lebee sen., John Blake, george wallis, cap. John mcclary, ephraim Locke, Samuel blake, Left. Eliphlet Sanborn, nathan marden be a committee to present a call to Mr. John tucke.
"8. Voted six hundred pounds, old tenor, towards building a minister's house, to be paid in Labour if he accepts the call.
"Town meeting ended.
"NATHAN MARDEN, Clark."
August 14, 1861, it was "Voted That the meeting house shall stand on the same Lot where the old meeting house formerly stood, at or near the Burying place."
August 12, 1761, it was
"Voted Nathan Marden, George Wallis, ens. Thomas Blake, Ephraim Locke be a committee to provide fro the ordernation and to render account of the same to the Select men.
"Voted that the charge of the ordernation be paid by the town.
"Voted Beniman Blake, benson ham, amos blazo be a committee to assist the constable and tithing men in keeping order on the ordernation day."
The following is a copy of Rev. Mr. Tucke's acceptance of the call to be their first minister:
"To the inhabitants of Epsom:
"Grace, mercy and peace from God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied among you.
"Brethren: It is some time since you gave me a call to the sacred work of the ministry among you in this place, and now I understand by the committee sent to me by you, that you have both renewed and ratified that call and confirmed further offers. And now, after a very serious, mature and most deliberate consideration, and fervent looking-up to Heaven for direction, assistance and God's blessing, and hoping that there is a good prospect of doing good service among you, and in building you up in His most holy faith; I now, confiding in and relying on the strength of divine grace for assistance, as God hath graciously promised His ministers, accept your call to me.
"But, Brethren, I now must say to you, as in 1st Cor. 14: `So hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the Gospel shall live of the Gospel.' Now the very same I expect of and from you as long as God shall be pleased to continue me among you. And while I am with you I earnestly desire and crave your prayers for me as you pray for yourselves. The apostle says, 1st Thess. 5, 25: `Brethren pray for us,' and I hope my prayers to Almighty God will not be wanting for you, while I minister among you, in holy things. I hope by God's grace, on which I wholly rely and depend, to say with the apostle in Colos. 1, 9: `I do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that we might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.'
"I do now subscribe myself,Yours, to serve in the Gospel of our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ,
"Epsom, August 17, 1761."
April 19, 1764, it was
"Voted, that a meeting-house be built in Epsom, the length fifty feet and the bredth forty feet."
"Voted, Isaac Libby, Sen., Thomas Blake, John McClary, George Wallace and Nathan Marden be a committee to carry on the work of said building, and they shall have full power to act and do in behalf of the town in the best manner they can, and take and render accounts to such as shall have authority to demand the same.
"Also, sd committee to vandue of the pews in sd meeting-house or the privilege for sd pews & to take the security for the same."
"Voted, on thousand pounds, O.T., to be paid when sd committee shall call for the same."
We are unable to find any report or account from the above committee.
There was a meeting at the house of Captain Andrew McClary on the 15th day of May, 1764, when twenty-one privileges for pews were sold by auction. We also find that the annual meeting, agreeable to the charter, for the year 1766 was held in the meeting-house, and for the greater part of the time thereafter, while the same remained standing.
It was occupied by the Congregational Church and Society for religious purposes until about 1820, when, other denominations having been organized in town, who claimed the right to hold their meetings there a part of the time; the following votes were passed by the town: November 17, 1819, it was "Voted, that the Toleration Society in Epsom have the use of the meeting-house in said town one-half the time on Sundays until the next annual meeting."
March 14, 1820, it was "Voted, that the town occupy the meeting-house one-half the time on Sundays, and the Congregational Society the other half, until some accommodation be made respecting the same, the Congregational Society to occupy the meeting-house next Sabbath."
There seems to have arisen a difficulty between Rev. Mr. Tucke and his people, for in the records of a meeting held at the meeting-house on Monday, the 13th day of December, 1773, the following vote was passed:
"Voted, that there should be a committee chosen to treat with Mr. Tucke, our minister, respecting some of his proceedings.
"Voted, Capt. Andrew McClary, Doctr Obediah Williams and Jeremiah Prescott to be a committee for that purport."
At a meeting held January 3, 1774, it was
"Voted, that there should be a counsel called to Judge upon and settle the Difficulties Subsisting between the Rev. John Tuck and the Inhabitants of the Town of Epsom.
"Voted, that thr Should be a committee Chosen to act and transact in Behalf of the Inhabitants of said town, Relating to the Difficulties above menchoned, till there is a final Decision and Determination of the above controversies."
"Voted, Capt. Andrew McClary, Dr. Obediah Williams and Amos Morrill should be committee for that purpose."
June 18, 1774, at a meeting called "to see if the Town when assembled will pass a vote to dismiss the Rev. Mr. Tucke from his Pastoral and Ministerial Relation to the Inhabitants of the Town of Epsom, agreeable to the Result of the Counsel Convened in said Epsom, March 15, 1774, by the request of the pastor, church and people," it was
"Voted, the Rev. John Tucke a Dismission from his Pastoral and Ministerial Relation, agreeable to the foregoing Notification.
"Voted, that the Meeting-House shall be shut up till the town Sees Cause to open the Said House again."
July 25, 1774, at a meeting of the inhabitants and voters called for that purpose,
"Voted, there shall be Money raised for preaching.
"Voted, there shall be Six pounds, Lawful Money, raised for preaching.
"Voted, Lieutenant Ephraim Lock to provide a Minister for Said Town, so far as Six pounds will go."
Rev. Benjamin Thurston preached in town about 1779.
On the 19th of July, 1779, the town voted to give him a call, and provided that his salary should be sixty pounds, lawful money, for the first year, sixty-five pounds for the second year, and seventy pounds for the third year, with the use of parsonage and the usual supply of wood, etc. But for some reason, Mr. Thurston declined the call.
March 21, 1781, it was "Voted to raise money enough to Hire eight days' preaching."
After the call had been given Mr. Thurston to settle in the town as their minister it was
"Voted that there be a Parsonage house and barn built upon the Parsonage lands, where it shall be thought most proper, of the following Dimensions, viz.: the House to be 40 by 30 feet, and 2 story high; the barn to be 35 by 30 feet, and our elected Pastor to be consulted as to the finishing the Parsonage House as to convenience.
"Voted that Mr. Thurston be allowed by the town the keeping of one horse, two cows and eight sheep, from the time of his settlement until the Parsonage land, wherever he shall live, will produce hay and grass sufficient for said stock at the expense of the town, allowing six and one-half tons of good English hay to winter the same.
"Voted that Mr. Thurston's salary (provided he accept the call) be sixty pounds, Lawful money, for the first year, sixty-five pounds
for the second year and seventy pounds for the third year, and that to be his stated salary. Computing marchantable Indian corn, @ 3s. pr. Bushel; Rye, @ 4s.; and wheat, @ 6s.; Grass-fed beef @ two pence per lb., and stall-fed beef at 3d. per lb; Pork weighing five, ten or twelve score, at 4d. per lb.; Ditto, from twelve score and upward, 5d. per lb.
"Voted that Mr. Thurston's salary be paid annually, after the following manner, viz.: the full one-half in corn, wheat, Rye, beef and Pork, according to the foregoing stipulated prices; the other half to be paid in the Currency of the United States, which sum shall be computed and allowed annually, according to the prices of Provisions in Genl in Epsom when said salary is to be paid in, which shall be by the twenty-fifth day of December, annually, as long as he shall continue in the ministry in Epsom."
In 1784, Rev. Ebenezer Haseltine accepted a call of the church and town and was ordained.
Mr. Haseltine was a native of Methuen, Mass., a graduate of Dartmouth College, took license to preach from the Grafton Presbytery July 24, 1779. He remained in town till his death, November 10, 1813.
Of him it is said: "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 in consequence of his virtues was respected by all his acquaintances."
After his death the town "Voted to bear the funeral expense and also pay to his widow his salary for the remainder of the year, and the privileges of the parsonage."
About a year after the death of Rev. Mr. Haseltine the church gave Rev. Jonathan Curtis a call to become its pastor, but the town refusing to unite, an organization was formed and chartered known as the "Congregational Religious Society of the Town of Epsom."
The following is a copy of the papers presented to the ordaining council, embracing the call of the church and congregation to Rev. Mr. Curtis, and his answer:
"At a meeting of the Congregational religious Society, in the Town of Epsom, duly holden agreeably to adjournment, on Saturday, the 1st day of October, Anno Domini 1814, the following votes were passed:
"Voted, Josiah Sanborn, Moderator, Pro. Tem.
"Voted, Unamimously, to give Mr. Jonathan Curtis a Call to settle in said Society in the work of the Gospel Ministry.
"Voted, Thomas D. Morrill, Saml. Morrell, Moses Osgood, Joseph Lawrence and Josiah Sanborn a Committee to draught proposals for the temporal support of Mr. Jonathan Curtis, and present the same to the society for their acceptance.
"The Committee made a report, which was unanimously adopted.
"SAML. MORELL, Clerk.
"Epsom, Oct. 5th, 1814."
"To Mr. Jonathan Curtis:
"SIR,The Church and Congregation in the Town of Epsom, embraced by the congregational religious Society in said Town, being earnestly desirous to re-settle the preached Gospel in said Town, and having for some time had an opportunity of acquainting themselves (in some good measure) with your Ministerial and Christian qualifications, are well satisfied that you are possessed of those qualifications which are indispensably necessary in the important Work of the Gospel Ministry. And after mature deliberation, and, as we trust, earnest supplications to Great Head of the Church for divine direction in such an important and interesting transaction, have, without a dissenting voice, voted an Invitation to you to settle with them in said Town as their Gospel Minister; and have also voted the Subscribers a Committee to present you a Call to that Sacred Office, which we do by these presents, together with the annexed proposals for your temporal support should you accept this Call."
"At a Meeting of the Congregational religious Society, in the Town of Epsom, duly holden agreeably to adjournment, on Saturday, the 1st day of October, Anno Domini 1814, the following votes were unanimously passed:
"1st. Voted, That if Mr. Jonathan Curtis should accept a Call to settle in Epsom as the Gospel Minister of the Congregational religious Society in said Town, his stated salary shall be four hundred dollars, to be paid annually from the date of his acceptance of the Call.
"2d. Voted, That the Parsonage Land and Buildings which were occupied by the late Rev. Ebenezer Haseltine shall be occupied by Mr. Jonathan Curtis, should he settle in Epsom during his Ministry in sd Town.
"3d. Voted, That Parsonage Buildings be put and kept in decent repair at the expense of the Society.
"4th. Voted, That Mr. Jonathan Curtis be further allowed twenty cords of good hard fire Wood annually, to be delivered at his House some time in the Fall and Winter.
"Epsom, October 3d, 1814.
"SAML. OSGOOD, }
"LEVI BROWN, } Committee in behalf
"SAML. MORRIL, } of the Ch. &
"BENJ. MOODY, } Congregational
"JOSIAH SANBORN, } religious Society
"THOS. D. MERRILL, } in Epsom."
"DAVID LOCKE, }
"EPSOM, Jany. 14th, 1815.
"To the Committee for the Congregational Religious Society in Epsom:
"GENTLEMEN,A considerable time has elapsed since I had the honor to receive from you an invitation to settle in your Society in
the work of the Gospel Ministry.
"The undertaking presents a situation the most arduous, responsible and important. In this view of it, I hope I have not occupied an unnecessary length of time in consideration. Your proposals I have carefully and seriously considered. The unanimity of your Society, and their arrangements for my support, present a prospect of usefulness which duty forbids me to disregard.
"I accept of your invitation to settle with you in the work of the Gospel Ministry. And if it shall be the appointment of Providence to establish me in that Sacred Profession, let our united prayers ascend to that God who is the great fountain of all wisdom and goodness, that His blessing may attend such a connection,
"With high consideration, I am, Gentlemen,
"Your obedient and humble servant,
"SAML. OSGOOD, }
"LEVI BROWN, } Committee in behalf
"SAML. MORRIL, } of the Ch. &
"BENJ. MOODY, } Congregational
"JOSIAH SANBORN, } religious Society
"THOS. D. MERRILL, } in Epsom."
"DAVID LOCKE, }
Until about 1820 the Congregational Church and Society had the free and undisputed use of the meeting-house that was built by the town; but at this time other denominations had made their appearance in the town, and demanded and obtained the privilege of occupying the meeting-house a portion of the time, so that the Congregationalists were obliged to provide themselves with some other place for worship.
Accordingly, a meeting of the society was called April 10, 1820, at the house of Simon A. Heath, when a committee, consisting of Ira Sanborn, Thomas D. Merrill and James Brown, were appointed "to provide a suitable place to assemble for public worship the ensuing season."
At the annual meeting of the society, held May 1, 1820, the above committee reported "that Captain Heath's Hall is the most proper place for public worship for the present season."
At the same meeting it was also "Voted, that it is expedient to erect a meeting-house in the town of Epsom for the Congregational Society."
At a meeting held the 7th day of May, 1821, the society chose Josiah Sanborn, Thomas D. Merrill and John Cate a committee to meet a committee appointed by the town to effect a settlement of the existing difficulties between the Congregational Society and the town, which committee presented the following report at a meeting of the society held the 27th of April, 1822, which was accepted:
"We, the undersigned committee appointed by the Town of Epsom and the Congregational Society in said Epsom to settle all disputes between said Town and Society respecting the appropriation of the interest arising from the sale of the parsonage in said Town, agree to report and do hereby report that from and after the expiration of six years from the sales of the parsonge aforesaid the said town of Epsom shall, at the expiration of each and every year from and after said time, pay to the wardens of the society their just and equal proportion of the interest aforesaid, according to the inventories of the members thereof, and we do hereby further report that the manner of ascertaining those who for the purpose aforesaid shall be considered members of said society shall be forever after as follows, to wit: The Clerk of said society shall, on or before the first day of April, A.D. 1822, and each and every succeeding year, furnish the selectmen of said Town a certificate under the signature of each individual, who for that year wishes that his proportion of the interest aforesaid should be paid to the wardens of said society certifying that such is their wish, and all individuals so certifying being residents in said Town of Epsom and liable to be and are taxed in said Town, shall be considered members of said society for the purpose aforesaid, and it shall be the duty of the Selectmen of said Town, each and every year from and after the expiration of the term aforesaid, to make an aggregate of the inventories of all the persons so certifying as aforesaid and make a dividend of the interest of the parsonage fund aforesaid in the proportion which the aggregate beras to the inventory of the whole Town, and at or before the expiration of each year pay the same to the wardens aforesaid and take their receipt for the same and the same shall be allowed them by the town. And the said Town of Epsom shall and odes forever hereafter relinquish all claims upon the said society of the wardens thereof for any interest of said fund which they have heretofore received, and the said society shall and does forever hereafter relinquish all claim upon siad Town for any interest which said Town may have or shall have received prior to the expiration of the six years aforesaid, and both of said parties shall forever hereafter be bound to divide said interest in the manner aforesaid , and said soeciety shall not at any time hereafter claim or be entitled to receive any more than their proportion in the manner afresaid, and this agreement, when ratified by said Town of Epsom and said Society, shall then, an dnot till then, be binding on the parties aforesaid.
"Respecting the difficulty between said Town and the said Society abou the meeting-house in said Town, the committee have been anable to agree to any arrangement consistent with the rights of the several pew-owners in said meeting-house; we have therefore agreed to recommend to the pew-owners to meet and endeavor to make some compromise, if possible, among themselves and report to the town.
"JOSIAH SANBORN, } Committee
"THOMAS D. MERRILL, } of
"JOHN CATE, } Society
"HANOVER DICKEY, } Com. of
"JONATHAN STEELE, } Town."
The Congregationalists continued to occupy the old meeting-house a portion of the time until 1845, when they built a church at what was known as Slab City, and the old meeting-house was sold and removed to Concord.
The Rev. Jonathan Curtis remeined with the church until January 1, 1825, when the Rev. A.D. Smith was employed as a stated supply for a year, respecting whose labors among them the society passed a vote of high commendation.
The Rev. A. Burbank was here for a short time in 1827, but on the 1st day of November, 1829, Rev. John M. Putman was installed pastor of the church, and sustained that relation some two and a half years, when he was dismissed at his own request.
Following Mr. Putman, the Rev. Abel Manning was here some two years and the Rev. Francis R. Smith a little longer period, with occasional supplies by different ministers.
January 1, 1837, Rev. Winthrop Fifield commenced preaching here, and so well was he liked by the church and people that a call was given him to settle with them, which he accepted and was ordained the 10th of May, 1837.
Mr. Fifield remained with the church nearly ten years, through the trying period of locating and building a new house of worship, but left very soon after the church was dedicated.
Rev. Rufus A. Putman, a native of Sutton, Mass., and a graduate of Harvard College, was the next minister, being here from September, 1846, to May, 1852.
The following two years the church was occupied only a portion of the time, Revs. M. B. Angier and C. C. Durgin being the supplies.
R. A. Putman and E. H. Blanchard then supplied the pulpit for one year each.
February 22, 1856, a call was given the Rev. J. Ballard to settle with them, which he declined, and the Rev. Charles Willey was engaged as a stated supply. He remained about three years, and was succeeded by Rev. A. B. Peffers, who remained until 1866, and was followed by Rev. George Smith for three years.
Rev. Charles Peabody was the next preacher, and his stay was buy three years.
During the following four years there was only occasional preaching, largely by students from the Theological Seminary.
December 1, 1876, Rev. E C. Cogswell, of Northwood, commenced preaching here Sundays and continued until June, 1881, since which time, with the exception of six months of the summer of 1882, when Rev. L. G. Chase supplied, the church has been without regular Sabbath services. The removals from town and by death have nearly depleted the church membership.
There is a fund of one thousand dollars given by the widow of the late Thomas D. Merrill, the interest of which is to be used for the support of the Congregational preaching in the town of Epsom.
The Free-Will Baptist Church of Epsom.2 This church was organized June, 1824, by Rev. E. Knowlton, of Pittsfield, and Rev. Arthur Coverno, of Strafford, consisting of eight persons, the same number that entered into the Ark of old, and these are their names,Rev. Arthur Coverno, Nathan Bickford, Daniel Philbrick, Ephraim Locke, Lucretia Tarlton, Mary Marden, Elizabeth Currier and Sally Osgood. Rev. Arthur Coverno, under God, was its founder and first pastor, and by his earnest and faithful labors this little band of disciples continued to grow, and its membership increased to fifty that season. It was like Joseph's fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall. Union has very generally prevailed, and the church has been ready to co-operate with the paster in revival effort and benevolent work, and the Lord has often blessed his people with refreshing showers of grace and precious accessions to her numbers. The church has been enterprising and energetic inher labors. She has built two houses of worship,the first in 1833, the latter, larger and more commodious, in 1861. She has a nice country parsonage, with two acres of land, where the pastor finds a pleasant home. The church has taken high ground on the great moral questions of the age. The cause of missions, Sunday-schools, education, freedom, temperance and moral reform have received due attention and encouragement. Some "born in Zion" have been called to preach the everlasting gospel,the Rev. Daniel P. Cilley, of Farmington, long a successful preacher and pastor, now venerable with years; the Rev. James McCutcheon, deceased, for six years pastor of the church; the Rev. John Malvern, of Lynn, Mass., an able and successful minister of Christ; and the Rev. Augustus Towle, Congregationalist, and now in the West, who has worthily magnified the office of gospel ministry. The church has a fund of eight hundred dollars. Mrs. Mercy, widow of Deacon Thomas Bickford, gave four hundred dollars, and David Marden gave three hundred dollars, the annual interest of which is to be used in the support of preaching. The Rev. B. Van Dame, a former pastor of the church, gave one hundred dollars, the
interest of which is to be used to purchase books for Sunday-school, his name to be placed in the books.
The statistics of the church are as follows: Entire membership, 157; number in the Sunday-school, 125; number of volumes in the Sunday-school library, 200.
Since the organization fiftenn brethren have been called to the pastorate of the church, and most of these were young men when they were settled over the church. Their names and order of service are as follows: Rev. Arthur Coverno, James McCutcheon, B. Manson, B. Van Dame, G. P. Ramsey, K. R. Davis, Tobias Foss, M. A. Quimby, Horace Webber, E. Knowles, J. H. Brown, C. E. Haskell, Uriah Chase, Joel Baker and N. A. Avery. The average length of their pastorates has been three years and eight months, and only short intervals have occurred between the dismission and settlement of each pastor, and often one has immediately succeeded the other. The present paster, Rev. M. A. Quimby, has been settled over the church, in all, nearly thirteen years, and the spring of 1885 is the fourth time that he has been called to the pastorate of the church.
The Christian Society.Many of the inhabitants who lived in the southerly part of the town were in the habit of attending church at Allenstown, where there was a church of the Christian denomination.
About the year 1860, Edwin T. Philbrick, then living in that part of Epsom familiarly known as "New Rye," left his forge and anvil, reorganized the old church and was ordained its pastor in the month of August, 1859.
As the larger portion of the attendants at the Sabbath services came from Epsom, and the conveniences at the old Allenstown Church were very poor, it was decided to build a new church edifice, and the summer of 1861 witnessed the building of the Christian meeting-house and the organization of "The First Christian Society of Epsom."
The church was dedicated September 8, 1861, the Rev. A. G. Comings, of Lee, N.H., preaching the dedicatory sermon.
From that time the Christian Church of Allenstown became the First Christian Church of Epsom, with the Rev. E. T. Philbrick as its pastor, who continued in that relation for several years, during which time many additions were made to the church and society. Following Mr. Philbrick, the Rev. J. P. Stinchfield, a Methodist minister, supplied the pulpit for one year, from April 1869.
Rev. Benjamin Dickson, of Wolfborough was the next supply, preaching to them two or three years, and was followed by Rev. M. M. Cleverly, of Lynn, Mass., and he by Rev. George D. Garland, and after him, Rev. James Philipps.
Between the services of the above-named clergymen the pulpit was frequently occupied by different persons for a few Sabbaths at a time.
Since 1881 there has been but little preaching in this church by ministers of the Christian denomination, but the summers of 1881, 1883 and 1884, Rev. E. C. Cogswell, of Northwood, a Congregational minister, occupied the pulpit, and the services were attended by many who formerly attended the Congregational Church in the other part of town.
Physicians.Rev. Mr. Curtis mentions Stephen Swett and J. S. Osborn among the first doctors in town.
We find that Obadiah Williams, from this town, was a surgeon in the Revolutionary War, and the records of the town for 1773 show that Dr. Obadiah Williams, with others, was appointed a committee to treat with the Rev. Mr. Tucke.
Daniel Lawrence Morrill was in practice here in 1799 and 1800; went from here to Goffstown, and in 1825 was Governor of the state.
Samuel Morrill was the next doctor, coming here about 1800, and remaining twenty years, when he removed to Concord, N.H. Dr. Morrill, as will be seen by the list of officers of the town, was prominent in the affairs of the town, having been its clerk nineteen years in succession, and was also clerk of the Congregational Society nearly as long.
Dr. Josiah Crosby came into town upon the removal of Dr. Morrill, and remained here four or five years, and was afterwards in practice in Manchester, where he died a few years since.
He was succeeded by Dr. John Proctor, who was here until about 1840, when Dr. Hanover Dickey, Jr., a native of the town, entered into practice and continued until 1845, when he removed to Lowell, Mass.
Dr. Leonard W. Peabody succeeded Dr. Dickey, and remained here twenty-six years; was town clerk one year, and postmaster ten years. He is now in practice in Henniker, and represents all that town in the Legislature of 1885.
Dr. Sullivan A. Taylor came into town in 1871, and remained here some five years and removed to Concord, but has since located at Gilmanton Iron-Works. Dr. Albon H. French took Dr. Taylor's practice and continued it until 1882, when he sold out to Dr. M. F. Smith, who still remains in town.
Schools.At a meeting held at the house of Captain Andrew McClary, inn-holder, on the 18th day of June, 1765, agreeably to a notification by selectmen, to consult about the building of a school-house, it was
"1. Voted, John McClary, Esq., Moderator.
"2. Voted, that the bigness of sd house, twenty-one in Length & seventeen in breadth."
The meeting then adjourned to the 25th of June inst., at the same place, at which time the following votes were passed:
"1. Voted that the school-house be built on the Lot comonly called the Scool Lot, whare the Select men think proper.
"2. Voted that the cost of sd house be paid in Land or money.
"3. Voted that sd house be bid of at vando.
"Voted Nathan Marden, Vando master, sd house bid of to Ens. Mcgafey, at 312 O.T., to raise bord, shingle, clabord & flore."
A complaint being made to Lieutenant Ephraim Lock, grand juror, that the town had neglected to keep a stated school, a meeting of the inhabitants was called May 22, 1780, at which it was "Voted that the second article in the warrant respecting a school shall be left to the discretion of the selectmen (that is) to reaise what money they may judge necessary for the support of schools the ensuing year." March, 1781, it was "Voted to raise one thousand pounds, Lawful money, in the present currency, for the support of a school the year ensuing." March 26, 1781, it was "Voted That the school House which stands near the meeting house in said Epsom be this day sold at publick vendue to the Highest Bidder, & the purchased sum be appropriated to the use of the town."
"To the Selectmen of the Town of Epsom:
"A number of the Inhabitants of the Western district in Epsom humbly shew_
"That we ever have been & still are desirous to promote public schools in said Town for the Instruction of our children, and of late we have used every exertion in our power to have a suitable school house in the district completed for that design, but every such effort proves abortive, Owing (as we humbly concieve) to some among us, who, from their conduct, seem to demonstrate a total disregard to the best Interests of their families, by depriving their children of the means of Instruction and thereby rendering them, in a great degree, useless members of Society, and by such conduct of theirs, we being classed with them, are decared of that for our children, which we esteem an inestimable blessing.
"This is our greviance, and in this situation we cannot rest easy, to see our numerous offspring, which we are Instrumental of bringing into existence, trained up like so many heathen or brutes in a civilized world, & for such neglect we cannot answer, neither God nor our conscience, and for which they will have good reason to curse rather than bless us. We Therefore Seek to the Town for redress, as we know no other remedy, and pray that a meeting of said Town may be warned as soon as may be, that this our greviance may be considered, and some method adopted & put in Execution that shall remove the Achan out of the camp and give us speedy relief in finishing up the School-house already begun, that a school may be had seasonably for the purpose aforesaid.
"Epsom, 15th of July, 1793.
"James Gray, Geo. Yewrin, Reuben Yewrin, Thomas Bickford, Simeon Towle, Saml Bickford, Sylvanus Moses, Richard Rand, John Prescott, Jerey Prescott, Jr., Abraham Wallace."
In response to the foregoing petition the selectmen called a meeting at the meeting-house in said town, the 5th day of August, at four o'clock in the afternoon, the second article of the warrant being as follows: "To see what method the Town will take to remove the Achan out of the camp," which article was dismissed at the meeting, and ten pounds voted to be raised from the inhabitants of the western district, to be expended in finishing the school-house in said district. "And should there be a surplusage, the same shall be laid out for school-keeping for the benefit of said district the year present."
The division of the town into districts for school purposes was by common consent or an occasional vote of the town until May 19, 1808, when the selectmen were instructed to make such division, "and affix metes and bounds to the same, and make a return thereof to the clerk, to be by him recorded," and was substantially as follows:
District No. 1 contained all that is now comprised within its limits; also that portion of District No. 7 on the turnpike, below Warren Yeaton's, and from Yeaton's to Deerfield line.
District No. 2 contained all on the turnpike from the east side of the New Orchard road to Chichester line, and all north of the turnpike; also from the shoe-factory to "Cyder Brook" (so called), just south of the house of John Spurlin.
District No. 3 was composed of what is now Districts Nos. 3 and 9 (New Rye and the Mountain), and extended to the corner at Short Falls.
District No. 4 contained all on the west side of the Suncook River lying southerly of the turnpike, and from Short Falls bridge to the Mountain District, near the Short Falls post-office.
District No. 5 contained that portion of the "North Road" District northerly from the turnpike, and on the turnpike from the Northwood road to the milepost near Henry Knowles' house, and also what is now united with Pittsfield in forming No. 6.
District No. 6 was the New Orchard District, very nearly as it now exists.
"Whereas, the undersigned were, on the first day of November, 1821, appointed by a vote of the town of Epsom a committee to examine into the propriety of altering the school districts in said town, and report thereon to said town at their annual meeting, in March next; We, therefore, report that in our opinion many individuals are not well convened, and do not have their proportion of the benefit of the school in said town as it is now districted, and that the time may come when an alteration will remedy such evil, but at present we consider it inexpedient to make any alteration.
"Epsom, February 19th, 1825.
"JOSIAH SANBORN, }
"HANOVER DICKEY, } Committee"
"WINTHROP FOWLER, }
In January of 1883 the school-house in District No. 3 was burned, and the following season the district was divided, forming the New Rye and Mountain Districts, the former taking No. 9, the "Fowler District" having been taken off No. 4 a few years before, and numbered eight. In 1851 District No. 10, "Marden's" was taken from No. 2, and there are two union districts,one with Pittsfield, No. 6, and one with Chichester, known as the Union District.
Three new school-houses have been built within the last few years, and the others repaired, so at the present there are nine very good school-houses in the town.
March 15, 1820, it was
"Voted that the money due the Town of Epsom from the Revd Jonathan Curtis, together with all the interest which has accrued on said sum since said debt was contratcted, and all the money which is due the Town aforesaid from the several purchasers of the School lot, so called, together with all the interest on the same not heretofore appropriated, and all other moneys due said Town from the sale of any property belonging to the same, not heretofore appropriated by said Town to a different use, be forever hereafter appropriated for the use and support of a free English Grammar school in said Epsom.
"Voted that Jonathan Steele, Hanover Dickey, Richard Tripp, Thomas D. Merrill and John Chesly be a committee to carry the above vote into effect."
There is no evidence that the above vote was ever carried out.
Although the scholars of the town have never been favored with any special advantages for an education, yet, during the summer of 1854, the town hall was fitted for a school-room by certain interested citizens purchasing the seats that had been removed from Pittsfield Academy to make room for more modern furniture, and the 3d day of August, of that year, Samuel G. Lane, now a prominent lawyer of Concord, began a school which proved to be both interesting and profitable; and for the next six years a school was kept there every autumn, taught by the following persons:
James Webster, now one of the leading teachers of Boston, taught two terms, and the following persons taught one term each: Cyrus O. Brown, George W. Morrill and Thomas M. Chase.
Since then there has occasionally been a school taught by some of our local teachers.
Of the early teachers it is impossible to get any accurate information. Among some old papers we find the following receipt:
"Received two pound Eight Shillings for Eigh weeks' School keeping Over the river, in 1784, by me,
"Epsom, March 8th, 1785."
James Gray is said to have been a school-teacher here before the Revolutionary War, and tradition tells of School-masters Sutton and Casey, and the same authors tell that the former became imporverished in his declining years, and was assisted by the town, and the latter, for some unlawful act, was obliged to leave the town.
At a later period we learn of Thomas D. Merrill, for many years a leading man in town affairs and a successful trader, as a school-master; also "Master Batchelder," noted for the severity of his punishments; "School-master Ham," "Gen. Locke," John Chesley, the Dickeys (Hanover, David and Abram), James Hersey, Esq., Andrew M. Heath and many others.
The following list comprise those sons of Epsom who have received a college education or have become professional men:
Dr. James Babb studied with Dr. Josiah Crosby and succeeded him in his practice. He lived for a time in the parsonage house on the hill, and then built the house now owned by Hosea L. Hilliard, in "Slab City." He left town about 1840, and moved to Manchester. He married Maria, daughter of Captain Bickford Lang.
David Dickey graduated from Dartmouth College, and studied law.
Hanover Dickey graduated from the medical college at Hanover, and practiced in his natvie town until 1845, when he went to Lowell, Mass., where he died in 1873, and was brought back here for burial.
Abram Dickey, also a graduate of Dartmouth Medical School, studied dentistry also, and practiced in Lyme several years, and then removed to Worcester, Mass. While on a visit to Lyme, in 1882, he rode with Dr. Marshall, of that town, into Vermont, and both of them were found droned in a pond, their team being also in the water.
John M. Steele graduated from Dartmouth, class of 1844, became a ninister and went West. He died in New York in 1857.
Joseph W. Tarleton graduated from Dartmouth at about the same time as Mr. Steele, and adopted the same profession, and preached several years at Hooksett and afterwards in Massachusetts. He died at Waverly, Mass., February 27, 1883, aged sixty-six years.
Daniel P. Cilley became a Free-Will Baptist minister, and now lives at Farmington, N.H., suffering from diseases incident to old age.
Jonathan A. Knowles, after farming several years upon the old homestead, felt it his duty to preach the gospel; so he fitted himself at the Methodist Biblical School, at Concord, and was ordained a Free-Will Baptist minister, and preached at Lake village, Manchester, Danbury and other places in New Hampshire.
Silas Green was a prominent minister in the Methodist denomination, and was located at Manchester, Rochester, Salmon Falls and Candia, where he died November 10, 1874.
John Malvern came into town from England when a boy. After working at shoemaking a few years he attended school and entered the ministry. He is now settled over the Free Baptist Church of Lynn, Mass.
Orren S. Sanders, at present one of the leading physicians of Boston, Mass., and Henry Sanders, of Chicago, sons of Colonel Job Sanders, will be remembered by the older residents of the town. They attended school at Pembroke Academy. The former began hi practice in Chichester. The latter was for several years a school-teacher, but afterward studied medicine and went West.
Frank H. Wallace and Andros P. Chesley, both graduates of Dartmouth College, are both in medical practice, the former in Boston, Mass., and the latter in Concord, N. H.
Edwin B. Harvey, a graduate of Wesleyan College, of Middletown, Conn., is a practicing physician of Westboro', Mass. He has been a member of the Massachusetts Legislature from Westboro'.
Charels W. Tarleton, a graduate from Brown University, Providence, R.I., after teaching a few years in Worcester, Mass., was obliged to come home to care for his parents, where he still resides.
Andrew J. Goss, class of 1861, Dartmouth College, became afflicted with asthmatic troubles and went to Florida, and from thence to San Diego, Cal., where he still lives, a great sufferer.
Charles A. Towle graduated from Dartmouth in 1864; studied theology at Andover and Chicago; preached at Sandwich and South Chicago, Ill., at present at Monticello, Iowa.
Walter H. Sanborn, class of 1867, Dartmouth, taught school at Milford, N. H., then went to St. Paul, Minn., studied law and entered practice with his uncle, John B. Sanborn.
Almon F. Cate, of the same class, taught school in the West several years, then went to Manchester, N. H., where he now lives. He is now in business as an architect, contractor and builder.
Harry F. Towle and Edward P. Sanborn graduated from Dartmouth in 1876. The latter went to St. Paul and entered the law-firm with his uncle and brother. The former has been a public teacher. He taught at Hollis, N. H., Abington, Mass., and Yonkers, N. Y. At present he is teaching in Brooklyn, N. Y.
Samuel O. Griffin became a successful physician in Pascoag, R. I., but died suddenly while on a visit to his parental home.
John M. Moses graduated from Dartmouth, and divides his time between teaching and farming. He lives in Northwood, N. H.
John B. Tarleton graduated from Cornell Institute, studied architecture and is in business in Detroit, Mich.
Thomas L. Steele graduated from Dartmouth in 1847, studied law, practiced in New York and is now at Montreal, Canada.
Albert L. Marden graduated from the Medical School at Dartmouth and practices his profession in Vermont.
Summer D. Marden graduated from the same school and is practice in Concord, N. H.
Daniel Lincoln Locke, son of Captain A. C. Locke, took his degrees from a medical school in Vermont and is practicing in his native town.
Willie F. Wallace, son of William Wallace, went West in early life, became a teacher and editor, and afterward returned East and practiced medicine at Epsom, Loudon and Milton.
Henry F. and John B. Sanborn, sons of Deacon Frederick Sanborn, entered college, but did not finish the course. The former returned to the old homestead, became a successful farmer and prominent in town affairs, having represented the town in the Legislature and a member of the State Senate two years; was superintending school committee a long time, and taught several terms of school. He removed to Princeton, Mass., in 1882. John B. studied law, went West, and settled at St. Paul, Minn., where with his two nephews, he has an exten
sive and profitable practice.
Charles H. Griffin, son of Nathan Griffin, and Edward H. Sanders, son of Edward T. Sanders, both died while pursuing their studies at Dartmouth College.
Edward J. Burnham entered Bates College, of Maine, but circumstances prevented his graduating. He learned the printer's trade and now has an important position on the editorial staff of the Manchester Union.
Military History.The patriotism of the citizens of the town has never been called in question.
The events that made the War of the Revolution necessary had aroused the people, and when the battle at Lexington was announced "by a swift rider, blowing a horn, who passed through Nottingham and reached Epsom, it found Captain Andrew McClary plowing in the `old muster-field.' Like Cincinnatus of old, he left the plow in the furrow, and hastened to obey the summons. With little preparation, he seized his saddle-bags, leaped into the saddle, swearing as he left that he would kill one of the devils before he came home!"
"Jocky Fogg," who was his servant in the army, used to speak of his horse as "a large, powerful iron-gray, four-year-old stallion, so exceedingly vicious that no one could mount or govern him except the captain. He could spring upon his back, and, by the power of his arm, govern him with the greatest ease."
He was accompanied by his nephew, the yound and chivalrous Michael McClary, who served with credit four years; Amos Morrill, the first selectmen of the town, lieutenant, then captain, then major, serving in the army four years, with honor to himself and town; also James Gray and Andrew McGaffey, who became officers of distinction, and many more of the sturdy yeomanry of the town.
It is impossible to give a correct list of the men that went from this town into the Revolutionary Army, as the town records give no account of them; and the rolls do not in every case give the residence; while if we depend upon the memory of our oldest inhabitants, we find them unreliable, because some who were in the army went from other places and moved here after the war closed.
The following is as nearly correct as we have been able to obtain:
Major Andrew McClary, killed at battle of Bunker Hill.
William McCrillis, killed at battle of Bunker Hill.
John Wallace, killed at battle of Bunker Hill.
Lieutenant Andrew McGaffey, wounded at battle of Bunker Hill.
Weymouth Wallace, wounded at battle of Bunker Hill.
Adjutant John McClary, died of a wound at Albany.
Ozom Lock, killed at Bennington.
Francis Locke, died at Chimney Point.
Peter Pomp (an African), died at Valley Forge.
Simon Sanborn, died at Chimney Point.
Noah St. Clair, wounded at St. John's.
Captain Amos Morrill. Captain James Gray.
Captain Michael McClary. Ensign Jonathan Chase.
Benjamin Berry, enlisted in Captain Drew's company.
Theophilus Cass, enlisted in Captain Drew's company.
Richard Drowt, enlisted in Captain Drew's company.
John Dwyer, enlisted in Captain Morrill'scompany.
Solomon Chapman, enlisted in Captain Morrill's company.
Moses Lock, enlisted in Captain Morrill's company.
Samuel Lock, enlisted in Captain Morrill's company.
Benjamin Pettengill, enlisted in Captain Morrill's company.
Abraham Pettengill, enlisted in Captain Morrill's company.
Neal McGaffey, enlisted in Captain McClary's company.
Jethro Pettengill, enlisted in Captain Frye's company.
John Bickford. Samuel Goss.
Samuel Bickford. Eliphalet Sanborn.
James Blake. Samuel Lear.
John Jenness. Ephraim Lock.
The following is a copy of votes passed by the town relative to the men in the Revolutionary War. March 21, 1781, it was
"Voted, a Gift or Consderation to each of those soldiers who are engaged during the war in the Continental service for the town of Epsom, five Heifers on the following conditions, according to their continuance in the service of the States, viz.: for three years' service from this date, five of three-year-old heifers; for tow years' service from this date, five of two-year-old Heifers, and for one year's service, five yearlings. But should any or either of these soldiers die or be killed in the service within the term of three years, the heirs of such, upon producing a certificate of the death or deaths of such to the selectmen of Epsom for the time being; shall
receive from said town the aforesaid consideration, computed according to the time of service.
A meeting was called by the selectmen, to be held at the meeting-house the 30th of July, 1781,
"To see what steps the Town will take to procure the remainder of the Town's proportions of Beef for the Continental Army this present year. Whereas, the present selectmen find from experience that the sum already raised in Continental currency for that purpose is altogether insufficient to answer the end;
"Therefore, it is expected that every voter will come properly prepared and be ready to give instructions to the selectmen how to proceed in procuring the residue of sd beef. Experience has taught that silver money is the principle object of those persons that have beef-cattle to dispose of."
At a meeting the following vote was passed:
"This Town's proportion of beef, not yet furnished for the use of the Continental Army for the year current shall be bought on the following conditions, viz.:
"That the present selectmen for the Town be & are hereby Impowered to buy the same, and engage therefore Silver money, Indian corn, rye, wheat or Continental currency at the common exchange; and also it is hereby voted That the price by them given for sd Beef shall be agreeable to the minds of the Town Universal."
At a meeting of the inhabitants of Epsom, duly warned and held November 3, 1794,
"Voted, That the Town of Epsom make up to those soldiers belonging to said Town who are required to goe into the Service of the United States, agreeably to a late requisition of Congress, the sum of eight dollars pr. month, with what is or shall be given by the United States for their actual services.
"That for further encouragement to said soldiers to Inlist, Voted to give to each soldier that shall inlist the sum of two dollars, to be paid at the expiration of eight months from this date, unless they should be called to march sooner; then to be paid the time of marching."
May, 1776, it was
"Voted, That all the men in this Twon that went Down to Cambridge when the Battle was at Concord shall be paid a half a dollar pr. Day while gone."
The following are the men from this town who served in the War of 1812:
Captain Jonathan Godfrey, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Leiutenant Eleck Brown, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Ensign Daniel Goss, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Paul P. Downer, sergeant, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
John Sherburn, sergeant, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
James Sanborn, sergeant, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
John Fales, drummer, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Ezra Allen, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Benjamin Brown, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Greenleaf Brackett, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Samuel P. Cilley, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Jonathan Bartlett, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
David Chapman, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Samuel Cass, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Samuel Goss, Jr., private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Isaac S. Greene, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
John S. Haynes, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Daniel Locke, Jr., private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Daniel Locke, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Ebenezer Barton, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Moses Hanson, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Robert Coleman, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Amos Langley, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
John Rand, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Webster Salter, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
John Sanders (3d), private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Job Sanders, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Reuben Sanborn, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Levi Brown, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Perkins Philbrick, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Thomas Grant, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Simon Philbrick, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Samuel D. Page, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Samuel Hazeltine, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Charles Barton, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
Samuel Yeaton, private, enlisted September 29, 1814, for sixty days.
In Captain Samuel Collins' Company.
Beckford Lang, first lieutenant, enlisted September 12, 1814, for three months.
James Haynes, musician, enlisted September 12, 1814, for three months.
Samuel Chapman, private, enlisted September 12, 1814, for three months.
Benjamin Clarke, private.
Samuel Davis. John Ham, waiter.
Alexander Lear. John Lang, waiter.
In Captain Bradbury Bartlett's Company.
John Griffin and Jonathan Goss.
The following is a list of the men from Epsom who served in the War of Rebellion:
FIRST REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
Joseph R. Cilley, Company H.
SECOND REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
William H. Weeks, Company C; discharged and re-enlisted in Eighteenth Regiment.
William Wallace, Company B; discharged August 5, 1862.
N. Dana Wallace, Company B; captured at Gettysburg.
THIRD REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
Andrew J. Pettengill, Company E.
Andrew M. Weeks, Company E; died of wounds August 2, 1864.
FOURTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
John T. Buzzell, Company E.
George S. Bixby, Company H.
John H. Goodhue, Company H; mising at Deep Run, Va., August 16, 1864.
George H. Hoyt, Company H; ;missing at Deep Run, Va., August 16, 1864.
Albert Hoyt, Company H.
Joseph E. Ham, Company E.
FIFTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
James Dowst, Company I; killed at Antietam, September 17, 1862.
SIXTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
Charles J. Brown, Company I.
Robert Crawford, Company I; died of disease December 11, 1863.
William T. Grant, Company I.
Hiram B. Haynes, died of disease, December 11, 1862.
Ambrose D. Haynes, died of disease, January 23, 1862.
James W. Marden.
William B. Perkins, Company I, died of disease December 25, 1862.
Benjamin F. Robinson, Company I.
Edwin M. Sherburne, Company I.
Joseph Seley, Company I; died of wounds received May 6, 1864.
John H. F. Philbrick, Company I.
John S. Ham, Company I.
John M. Weeks, Company I.
SEVENTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
William Yeaton, Company H.
NINTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
Thomas W. Emerson, Company F; captured May 12, 1864; paroled December 1, 1864.
ELEVENTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
Captain A. C. Locke, Company E.
Benjamin Bickford, Company E.
Samuel Bickford, Company E.
Thomas E. Bickford, Company E; died of wounds November 23, 1864.
Rufus Baker, Company E; wounded December 13, 1862.
Elbridge Bachelder, Company E; wounded October 1, 1864.
David Brown, Company E; died of disease September, 1863.
Jeremiah Burnham, Company E.
William Burnham, Company E.
Charles A. Chapman, Company E; wounded December 13, 1862.
John Cotterell, diead of disease March 26, 1863.
John D. Dow, Company E.
Jefferson A. Edmunds, Company E.
John H. Fife, Company E.
Charles E. Flower, Company E; wounded severely June 12, 1864.
Charles Gordon, Company E; wounded September 30, 1864.
Charles A. Giles, Company E; wounded November 20, 1863.
Charles H. Hall, Company E; wounded December 13, 1862.
Daniel Hall, Company E.
Ebenezer B. Hoyt, Company E.
Henry G. Lake, Company E.
Josiah D. Langley, Company E; wounded December 13, 1862.
Lauren A. Leighton, Company E; died of disease November 25, 1862.
Charles W. Leighton, Company E; wounded slightly May 6, 1864.
Charles Lamprey, Company E; died of disease March 2, 1863.
William S. Morrill, Company E.
Willard B. Moore, Company E; died of wounds May 26, 1864.
Charles Quimby, Company E.
Lucius B. Smith, Company E; died of disease March 17, 1863.
Charles W. Tarleton, Company E.
Edwin A. White, Company E.
Benjamin B. Yeaton, Company E.
Levi G. Young, died of disease December 19, 1862.
Samuel T. Bickford, Company E.
FIFITEENTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
Charles A. Towle, Company D.
Thomas J. Ames, Company D.
John C. Brown, Company D.
Charles A. Brown, Company D.
Walter S. Brackett, Company D; died on his way home.
Calvin D. Johnson, Company D.
George H. Rand, Company D.
EIGHTEENTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS.
Benjamin Carson, Company D.
Jeremy H. Nute, Company D.
William H. Weeks, Company D.
Life Wiggin, Company D.
Stephen B. Bartlett, Company A.
Rufus S. Marden, Company A.
James M. Clark, Company A.
Diah Lovejoy, Company A.
Moses Chamberlain, Company B.
Henry C. Lovejoy, Company E.
Abraham Bickford, in First New Hampshire Cavalry.
Warren W. Lovejoy, in New England Cavalry
George W. Ham, First Regiment, Heavy Artillery.
August 25, 1862, at a special town-meeting, called for that pupose, it was "Voted that the town pay a bounty of three hundred dollars to each of those volunteers that may hereafter be mustered into the United States service to complete the quota of three years' men for the town of Epsom; also Voted one hundred dollars to each nine months' man." September 17th, of the same year, a bounty of three hundred dollars was paid for nine months' men.
May 31, 1864, a bounty of one thousand dollars was paid to volunteers for one year.
PROPRIETORS AND TOWN CLERKS.
1727, Theodore Atkinson; 1728-1729, Theodore Atkinson; 1730, no record; 1731-40, Joseph Simpson; 1741, no record; 1742, Paul Chapman; 1743, Penuel Chapman; 1744, William haines; 1745-48, James Berry; 1749-51, Joseph Haines; 1752-53, Samuel Libbee; 1754-70, Nathan Marden; 1771, James Gray; 1772, Nathan Marden; 1773, Eliphalet Sanborn; 1774, Andrew McClary; 1775-78, Eliphalet Sanborn; 1779, Michael McClary; 1780-84, John Casey; 1785, James Gray; 1786-94, Michael McClary; 1795, SolomonSutton; 1796-98, Michael McClary; 1799-1800, Daniel L. Morrill; 1801-19, Samuel Morrill; 1820-21, John McClary; 1822-23, Michael McClary; 1824-27, James Babb; 1828-33, Benjamin L. Locke; 1834-35, Thomas D. Merrill; 1836-39, Benjamin L. Locke; 1840-47, William Ham, Jr.; 1848-50, Robert Knox, Jr.; 1851-53, Robert Knox; 1854, John Wallace; 1855, John C. Morrill; 1856-58, Alonzo Wallace; 1859-61, William McMurphy; 1862-63, John W. Heath; 1864, Enoch Fogg; 1865-66, Daniel G. Chesley; 1867-69, Henry Knox; 1870, Dr. L.W. Peabody; 1871-72, James Yeaton; 1873-76, Paran Philbrick; 1877-78, Goram R. Worth; 1879-80, Jacob. F. Robinson; 1881-82, Henry S. Knowles; 1883-84, George E. Warren; 1885, Dr. M.F. Smith.
1727. Theodore Atkinson, Joshua Foss, Samuel Weeks.
1728. Theodore Atkinson, Joshua Foss, Samuel Weeks.
1729. Joshua Simpson, Jotham Odiorne, Joshua Brackett.
1730. No record.
1731. Jotham Odiorne, Joseph Simpson, Samuel Weeks.
1732. John Wilson, Daniel Lunt, Samuel Wallis.
1733. John Wilson, Richard Goss, Thomas Berry.
1734. John Wilson, William Haines, Samuel Wallis.
1735. John Wilson, William Haines, Samuel Wallis.
1736. John Wilson, William Haines, Samuel Wallis.
1737. John Wilson, Samuel Wallis, John Blake.
1738. Samuel Wallis, Henry Pain, Ensign Haines.
1739. Samuel Wallis, Henry Pain, Ensign Haines.
1740. Thomas Berry, Samuel Wallis, John Yeaton.
1741. No record.
1742. Andrew McClary, John Blake, Enoch Clark.
1743. Andrew McClary, John Blake, Penuel Chapman.
1744. No record.
1745. Daniel Lunt, Samuel Libbee, Francis Lock.
1746. Francis Lock, Samuel Libbee, Robert Goss.
1747. Francis Lock, Samuel Libbee, Robert Goss.
1748. Francis Lock, Samuel Libbee, Robert Goss.
1749. Francis Lock, John Weeks, Samuel Libbee.
1750. Andrew McClary, John Blake, Samuel Libbee.
1751. Andrew McClary, Nathan Marden, John Blake.
1752. John Libbee, Joshua Berry, Nathan Marden.
1753. John Blake, John Libbee, Nathan Marden.
1754. Andrew McClary, Ephraim Locke, Samuel Libbee.
1755. Andrew McClary, Samuel Libbee, Ephraim Locke.
1756. Andrew McClary, John Blake, John McClary.
1757. No record.
1758. Samuel Blake, Ephraim Locke, Ebenezer Barton.
1759. John McClary, Thomas Blake, Nathan Marden.
1760. John McClary, Nathan Marden, Thomas Blake.
1761. Ephraim Locke, Nathan Marden, John McClary.
1762. Nathan Marden, Benjamin Blake, George Wallis.
1763. John McClary, Ephraim Locke, Nathan Marden.
1764. Isaac Libbee, Jr., Andrew McClary, Samuel Libbee.
1765. Andrew McClary, Isaac Libbee, Samuel Jackson.
1766. Andrew McClary, Samuel Jackson, Reuben Sanborn.
1767. Andrew McClary, Samuel Jackson, Reuben Sanborn.
1768. Andrew McClary, Samuel Jackson, Reuben Sanborn.
1769. Andrew McClary, Samuel Jackson, Benjamin Shepard.
1770. Samuel Jackson, John Cass, Ephraim Locke.
1771. John McClary, Ephraim Locke, John Cass.
1772. Jeremiah Prescott, Eliphlet Sanborn, Benjamin Gooding.
1773. Jeremiah Prescott, Eliphlet Sanborn, Amos Morrill.
1774. Eliphlet Sanborn, Jeremiah Prescott, Amos Morrill.
1775. John McClary, Ephraim Locke, Jeremiah Prescott,
1776. Jeremiah Prescott, Ephraim Locke, John McClary.
1777. Jeremiah Prescott, John Cate, Benjamin Goodin.
1778. Jeremiah Prescott, James Marden, John Cate.
1779. Jeremiah Prescott, John Casey, Samuel Osgood.
1780. John Casey, Thomas Babb, Benjamin Goodin.
1781. Benjamin Goodin, Thomas Babb, John Casey.
1782. Benjamin Goodin, Thomas Babb, John Casey.
1783. Thomas Babb, Jeremiah Prescott, Michael McClary.
1784. Thomas Babb, Jeremiah Prescott, Michael McClary.
1785. Thomas Babb, Jeremiah Prescott, Michael McClary.
1786. Michael McClary. Thomas Babb, James Gray.
1787. Michael McClary. Thomas Babb, James Gray.
1788. George Sanders, James Gray, Michael McClary.
1789. Theophilus Cass, George Sanders, Thomas Babb.
1790. Thomas Babb, George Sanders, Amos Morrill.
1791. Thomas Babb, Amos Morrill, Josiah Sanborn.
1792. Thomas Babb, Amos Morrill, Josiah Sanborn.
1793. Amos Morrill, Josiah Sanborn, Levi Brown.
1794. Levi Brown, Josiah Sanborn, Nicholas Dolbeer.
1795. Solomon Sutton, Levi Brown, Nicholas Dolbeer.
1796. Solomon Sutton, Josiah Sanborn, James H. McClary.
1797. James H. McClary, Josiah Sanborn, George Sanders.
1798. James H. McClary, Josiah Sanborn, George Sanders.
1799. James H. McClary, Josiah Sanborn, Richard Tripp, Jr.
1800. James H. McClary, Josiah Sanborn, Thomas Babb.
1801. James H. McClary, Josiah Sanborn, Thomas Babb.
1802. James H. McClary, Josiah Sanborn, Levi Brown.
1803. Josiah Sanborn, James H. McClary, Levi Brown.
1804. Thomas D. Merrill, James H. McClary, John Dolbeer.
1805. Josiah Sanborn, Thomas Babb, Levi Brown.
1806. Josiah Sanborn, Thomas Babb, Levi Brown.
1807. Josiah Sanborn, Thomas Babb, Levi Brown.
1808. Josiah Sanborn, Levi Brown, Thomas D. Merrill.
1809. Josiah Sanborn, Levi Brown, Richard Tripp, Jr.
1810. Josiah Sanborn, Levi Brown, Richard Tripp, Jr.
1811. Josiah Sanborn, Thomas D. Merrill. Richard Tripp, Jr.
1812. Thomas D. Merrill. Richard Tripp, Jr., Bickford Lang.
1813. Samuel Morrill, Richard Tripp, Bickford Lang.
1814. Samuel Morrill, Richard Tripp, Levi Brown.
1815. Samuel Morrill, Richard Tripp, Levi Brown.
1816. Samuel Morrill, Richard Tripp, Bickford Lang.
1817. Thomas D. Merrill, Samuel Morrill, Hanover Dickey.
1818. Thomas D. Merrill, Samuel Morrill, Bickford Lang.
1819. Hanover Dickey, Thomas D. Merrill, Samuel Morrill.
1820. Hanover Dickey, Thomas D. Merrill, Samuel Morrill.
1821. Hanover Dickey, Richard Tripp, John Bachelder.
1822. Hanover Dickey, Levi Locke, William Ham, Jr.
1823. Hanover Dickey, William Ham, Jr., John Chesley.
1824. Hanover Dickey, Josiah Sanborn, Winthrop Fowler.
1825. Hanover Dickey, Thomas D. Merrill, Josiah Sanborn.
1826. William Ham, Jr., Winthrop Fowler, Hanover Dickey.
1827. Winthrop Fowler, John Cate, William Tarleton, Jr.
1828. Winthrop Fowler, Eliphlet Wiggin, William Tarleton, Jr.
1829. Winthrop Fowler, Eliphlet Wiggin, William Ham, Jr.
1830. Winthrop Fowler, Eliphlet Wiggin, Robert Knox.
1831. Eliphlet Wiggin, William Ham, Jr., Frederick Sanborn.
1832. Eliphlet Wiggin, Nathan Bickford, Frederick Sanborn.
1833. Eliphlet Wiggin, Nathan Bickford, Thomas D. Merrill.
1834. Thomas D. Merrill, William Ham, Jr., Jeremiah Tripp.
1835. Thomas D. Merrill, John Griffin, Jr., Eliphlet Wiggin.
1836. Thomas D. Merrill, Samuel W. Bickford, Greenleaf Brackett.
1837. Thomas D. Merrill, Samuel W. Bickford, Greenleaf Brackett.
1838. Winthrop Fowler, Samuel Wells, Jonathan L. Cilley.
1839. Thomas D. Merrill, Samuel Wells, John Griffin.
1840. Eliphlet Wiggin, Jeremiah Tripp, James Critchet.
1841. Thomas D. Merrill, Jeremiah Tripp, Simeon C. Goss.
1842. Nathan Bickford, Simeon C. Goss, James Sanborn.
1843. Thomas D. Merrill, Thomas Tripp, John Wallace.
1844. Thomas D. Merrill, John Wallace, Newell Brown.
1845. Thomas D. Merrill, Newell Brown, James Martin.
1846. Eliphlet Wiggin, John Griffin, Jr., Joseph S. Dolbeer.
1847. James Martin, Ephraim Locke, Jrl., William Fowler.
1848. James Martin, Ephraim Locke, Jrl., William Fowler.
1849. William Ham, Jonathan L. Cilley, George Sanders.
1850. William Ham, Jonathan L. Cilley, George Sanders.
1851. Jeremiah Tripp, Nathan Griffin, Henry F. Sanborn.
1852. Ephraim Locke, Jr., Robert Knox, Benjamin L. Locke
1853. Ephraim Locke, Jr., Henry F. Sanborn, David M. Knowles.
1854. Ephraim Locke, Jr., Henry F. Sanborn, David M. Knowles.
1855. John Griffin, Jr., James W. Towle, Joseph S. Dolbeer.
1856. Ephraim Locke, Jr., Jonathan C. Sanders, William Goss.
1857. Ephraim Locke, Jr., Jonathan C. Sanders, Samuel Fowler, Jr.
1858. Samuel Fowler, Jr., James Wiggin, Charles C. Doe.
1859. Samuel Martin, William Yeaton, Charles C. Doe.
1860. Samuel Martin, William Yeaton, Franklin Robinson.
1861. Henry Knox, George Sanders, Jr., Franklin Robinson.
1862. Jonathan C. Sanders, Arthur C. Locke, John H. Dolbeer.
1863. Jonathan C. Sanders, George Sanders, Jr., John H. Dolbeer.
1864. Ephraim Locke, Samuel Martin, Warren Tripp.
1865. Henry F. Sanborn, Benjamin G. Howe, Warren Tripp.
1866. Samuel Martin, Samuel Fowler, David M. Philbrick.
1867. Samuel Martin, Samuel Fowler, David M. Philbrick.
1868. Daniel G. Chesley, Daniel T. Cilley, Hanover O. Wells.
1869. Daniel G. Chesley, James Yeaton, Hanover O. Wells.
1870. Ephraim Locke, Henry F. Sanborn, James Yeaton.
1871. Ephraim Locke, Henry F. Sanborn, Oliver Brown.
1872. Samuel Martin, Andrew M. Heath (2d), Hanover O. Wells.
1873. Samuel Martin, Andrew M. Heath (2d), Hanover O. Wells.
1874. Samuel Martin, Andrew S. Evans, David M. Knowles.
1875. Samuel Martin, Andrew S. Evans, David M. Knowles.
1876. Samuel Martin, David M. Knowles, Walter Chesley.
1877. George Sanders, Jr., Warren Tripp, Walter Chesley.
1878. George Sanders, Jr., Warren Tripp, Robert C. Brown.
1879. George Sanders, Jr., Robert C. Brown, James W. Fowler.
1880. Robert C. Brown, James W. Fowler, James Yeaton.
1881. James W. Fowler, James Yeaton, Samuel Quimby.
1882. James W. Fowler, James Yeaton, Samuel Quimby.
1883. Samuel Martin, Samuel Quimby, James H. Tripp.
1884. Samuel Martin, James H. Tripp, Jackson C. Philbrick.
1885. Hanover O. Wells, Jackson C. Philbrick, Christopher S. Heath.
1775, Andew McClary and John McClary; 1776-80, John McClary; 1782, James Gray; 1790-97, Michael McClary; 1798-1803, Josiah Sanborn; 1804, Daniel Cilley; 1805-8, Josiah Sanborn; 1809, Thomas D. Merrill; 1810-18, John McClary; 1819-21, Hanover Dickey; 1822-23, Richard Tripp; 1824-26, William Ham, Jr.; 1827, Thomas D. Merrill; 1828, William Ham, Jr.; 1829, Hanover Dickey; 1830, William Ham, Jr.; 1831, William Tripp; 1832-33, Eliphlet Wiggin; 1834-35, William Ham, Jr.; 1836, Nathan Bickford; 1837, voted not to send; 1838-40, James Martin; 1841, Eliphlet Wiggin; 1842, Hanover Dickey; 1843, John Griffin; 1844, James Martin; 1845, John Wallace; 1846, Eliphlet Wiggin; 1847, John Wallace; 1848-49, James Martin; 1850, Ephraim Locke, Jr.; 1851, John Griffin; 1852, Ephraim Locke, Jr.; 1853, Robert Knox; 1854, Greenleaf Brackett; 1855, Henry F. Sanborn; 1856-57, Gardner W. Piper; 1858, voted not to send; 1859, Samuel Fowler, Jr.; 1860, Samuel Fowler; 1861, Edward H. Goodhue; 1862-63, Henry Knox; 1864-65, Charles C. Doe; 1866-67, George W. Bachelder; 1868-69, Samuel Martin; 1870-71, Alonzo Wallace; 1872-73, William Goss; 1874-75, George Sanders, Jr.; 1876-77, David M. Philbrick; 1878, Andrew J. Silver; 1878, November election, A.J. Silver; 1880, Jacob F. Robinson; 1882, David M. Knowles; 1884, Morrill D. Bickford.
DELEGATES TO CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTIONS.
1788, Captain James Gray; 1791-92, John McClary; 1850, James Martin; 1876, Paran Philbrick.
The following residents of Epsom have been members of the New Hampshire Senate: John McClary, three years (president of the Senate, 1784); Michael McClary, five years; James H. McClary, one year; Josiah Sanborn, three years; John McClary, one year; Henry F. Sanborn, two years.
Population.The number of inhabitants in the town the several years when the census was taken by the United States were as follows: 1767, 194; 1791, 799; 1800, 1034; 1810, 1156; 1820, 1336; 1830, 1418; 1840, 1205; 1850, 1366; 1860, 1216; 1870, 993; 1880, 909.
Postmasters.James H. McClary was postmaster in 1809; Samuel Morrill, 1813; Josiah Crosby, 1819; James Babb, 1824; Robert Knox, 1846; John Wallace, 1853; Leonard W. Peabody, 1862; Captain A.C. Locke, 1869; Dr. L.W. Peabody, 1870; John T. Cotterll, 1872; Henry S. Knowles, 1885.
The post-office was established at Short Falls in 1871 with James B. Tennant postmaster.
Another office was established in town in 1882, at Gossville, and Andrew J. Silver appointed postmaster.
Secret Societies.It is reported that several of the leading men of the town in the early part of the present century were members of the Masonic fraternity, and we find that Michael McClary was Master of the lodge at Nottingham. But we can learn of no such secret organization in the town until about 1854, when the "Americans," or "Know-Nothings," began to hold their mysterious gatherings in the hall over Major Griffin's store, the result of which gatherings was that the town was captured by them at the election in the spring of 1855, electing all the officers; but its life and strength were transient, for at the election the following year they were defeated, and the Democrats successful.
EVERGREEN LODGE, No. 53, I.O.O.F., was organized in the New Rye Church, Friday evening, May 10, 1872, by a delegation of the Grand Lodge of the State, Amos Jones, Grand Master.
The charter members of the lodge were Paran Philbrick, Warren Tripp, James B. Tennant, John H. Fife, and Charles A. Chapman.
It held its meetings in a hall over the store of James B. Tennant for a few years, but finding themselves outgrowing their accommodations, they built the commodious and convenient building that they now occupy, which was dedicated to the purposes and uses of Odd-Fellowship Tuesday evening, September 5, 1876, by the officers of the Grand Lodge, George A. Cummings, Grand Master.
The lodge has received, during the thirteen years of its existence, one hundred members, and lost by death six; has paid more than one thousand dollars for relief, and received upwards of three thousand dollars in the way of fees and dues. The lodge has held a levee every year, which as been fully attended, and has always been a success financially.
The officers of the lodge for the term beginning July 4, 1875, were as follows: James F. Towle, Noble Grand; Morrison S. Bachelder, Vice-Grand; John H. Dolbeer, Recording Secretary; Samuel Martin, Per. Secretary; George W. Lane, Treasurer; William H. Straw, Junior Past Grand. Its meetings are held every Saturday evening.
GOOD TEMPLARS.There have been various temperance organizations in the town from time to time, but their existence has been brief until, on the 22d day of February, 1882, Grand Worthy Chief Templar of the State, George A. Bailey, of Manchester, assisted by officers from Catamount Lodge of Pittsfield, instituted Linwood Lodge, No. 62, I.O.G.T., and installed the following persons as officers for the first term. John T. Winslow, Worthy Chief Templar; Mrs. Mary C. Swain, Vice-Templar; Mrs. Emily G. Bickford, Secretary; John T. Cotterell, Financial Secretary; Mrs. Emma L. Robinson, Treasurer; Rev. N.A. Avery, Chaplain; Albert L. Sanders, Marshal; Lilla A. Robinson, Deputy Marshal; Mrs. Emma F. Winslow, Inside Guardian; Fred. Marden, Outside Guardian; Sadie D. Swain, Right Supporter; Annie M. Marden, Left Supporter; Dr. William Wallace, Past Worthy Chief Templar.
They held their meetings in the town hall until July, 1883, when they moved to Grand Army Hall at Gossville, where they now meet Wednesday evenings.
The lodge has been successful in point of membership; at one time their roll contained the names of over eighty active members, but in the report for the quarter ending August 1, 1885, there were only forty.
Two members only have died since its organization,Goram R. Worth and Willie Edmunds.
GEORGE H. HOYT POST, No. 66, G.A.R., was organized March 14, 1883, by Department Commander John Linnhan, assisted by Assistant Quartermaster General J.H. French, and Officer-of-the-Day Holbrook, all of Pannacook, and by the George W. Gordon Post of Suncook. The following officers were installed, viz.: Charles W. Leighton, Commander; George S. Sanders, Senior Vice-Commander; James W. Marden, Junior Vice-Commander; George H. Haynes, Adjutant; Christopher T. Heath, Quartermaster; Joseph Roderick, Surgeon; Henry E. Dotey, Chaplain; Thomas J. Ames, Outer Guard; George H. Rand, O.M.; Samuel T. Bickford, Quartermaster-Sergeant.
Its first meetings were held in the town hall, but in the summer of 1883, Silver & Robinson enlarged their store building, and finished a hall, which is known as Grand Army Hall, and was dedicated by the post September 20, 1883, in which they have since held their meetings.
The post has had fifty-six different members, and lost only one by death, Comrade Elbridge Bachelder.
It has observed memorial Day, having public services in their post-room, and the memorial services in the cemetery at Gossville, which have been very generally attended by citizens of the town.
At the March meeting in 1885, the sum of fifty dollars was donated by the town to the post for th expenses of Memorial Day. The services of the Gossville Cornet Band were obtained for this day, and the Rev. Mr. Hillman, of Concord, was the orator.
THE RELIEF CORPS was organized in April, 1884, by Mrs. Foster, of Milford, Mrs. Deering, of Chichester, and Mrs. Greene, of Pittsfield, and the following officers installed: Mrs. R.W. Heath, President; Mrs. Jennie Leighton, Senior Vice-President; Miss Lizzie Roberts, Junior Vice-President; Miss Grace Edmonds, Secretary; Miss Ida Leighton, Treasrurer; Mrs. Oldis Dotey, Chaplain; Miss Carrie Yeaton, Conductor; Mrs. Mary Hill,
McCLARY GRANGE, No. 102, PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY, was instituted at Short Falls by George R. Drake, of Pittsfield, District Deputy, October 10, 1884, and the following officers were installed: Warren Tripp, Master; George Sanders, Jr., Overseer; Horace Fowler, Secretary; William Fowler, Treasurer; William Goss, Chaplain.
They meet in the Odd-Fellows' Hall the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.
No historical sketch of Epsom would be complete or satisfactory without more than a passing notice of a family that figured so conspicuously in its early history as did that of the McClarys. From a sketch of the family, printed in the Suncook Valley Times in 1868, the following has been selected by permission of the author, John C. French, Esq.:
Historical NotesTHE McCLARY FAMILY.The old town of Epsom has furnished many worthy men during the past hundred and fifty years, who have held prominent positions of trust and honor in the State and nation; but none stand out in so bold relief, or are more worthy of remembrance, than the McClarys.
In fact, no family in the Suncook Valley fills so large a space in its history or the hearts of the people. For nearly a century the McClarys were the leading, influential men in all our civil, political and military affairs, and were identified with all the important events and measures that received the attention and governed the acts of the successive generations during that long period of time.
There is something mournful in the thought, however, that a family and name once so familiar in our midst is but a record of the past, and that no lineal male descendant is living to inherit the honors so dearly won by a noble ancestry, or to transmit the name to a grateful posterity.
And it is passing strange that so little has been written of preserved concerning their noble deed and many years' service in public life, and that no testimonials are in existence, except public records, to aid in preserving their memories.
We know of no instance in our State, where history has so sadly neglected to do justice to a family which has rendered so efficient service in defending the rights, and promoting the interests of our commonwealth and nation, as in this instance.
The only official effort made to perpetuate the name, as of national interest, has been to honor one of the fortifications of Portsmouth harbor with the name,Fort McClary,and a privateer, which had but a short existence. The name of only one, Major Andrew McClary, appears in our printed histories, while several others of the family are equally deserving of mention.
The early proprietors and settlers of Epsom were of good English stock, though there was a small company of Scotch-Irish from Londonderry who bought lands here about 1738.
Among the number were the McClarys, McCoys, McGaffeys, Dickeys, Wallaces, Knoxs etc.
Among the number who felt the wrongs and oppressions, and sought an asylum for himself and children in the wilderness at Londonderry, was Andrew McClary. He soon died, but two of his sons, Andrew and John, grew to manhood and settled in Epsom, where they carved for themselves a farm and fortune.
By the records, we find that Andrew McClary held town office in 1739, and for eighty-three successive years some members of the family were promoted to positions of trust and power by their townsmen.
This forcibly illustrates the popularity and appreciation of this family by their kinsmen and townsmen.
Epsom, at that time, was a frontier town, with a few scattering pioneers, striving to find a "local habitation and a name" in the unbroken forests.
Theodore Atkinson, a wealthy land-holder, was the leading spirit, among the proprietors, in inducing a few families to push a settlement so far into the woods. None of the adjoining towns were settled till many years afterward. This was nearly thirty years before Chichester, Pittsfield or Barnstead were settled, twenty years before Concord received its present name, twenty years before Northwood and Deerfield were incorporated and thirty-six years before the Revolution.
The first settlement in the Suncook Valley was here, and not a tree was cut between this and the Canadas, and not a clearing, or friendly smoke, or any signs of civilization to break the monotony of the unbounded forest or cheer the loneliness of the early settlers. The sentiment that prompted the line,
"Oh! for a lodge in some vast wilderness,"
could have been here gratified. Meagre, indeed, are the records and traditions concerning these hardy foresters during their many years of border-life, before the Revolution.
Nottingham fort was the nearest neighbor and the asylum for safety.
The Indians frequented the valley, and bears, wildcats, deer and catamounts roamed through the forest undisturbed.
The proprietors built a block-house, or garrison, for refuge in case of danger. It was built near Andrew McClary's, and the old foundation was disturbed last summer by building the new house for Augustus Lord, Esq.
Mrs. McCoy and family were hastening to and had nearly reached this garrison, when captured by the Indians in 1754.
Though the Indians were generally friendly, the inhabitants were greatly annoyed, and the growth of the settlement slow and difficult.
Andrew and John McClary were the leading influential men in all town or military affairs.
During the French and Indian War, commencing in 1756, Epsom was one of the frontier towns; the people lived in fear of the scalping-knife and tomahawk, and suffered by the incursions of the prowling savages.
Garrisons were established at Epsom, Buck Street, Pembroke, and a fort at Canterbury. Government frequently sent small detachments of troops up through this section scouting for the enemy and to protect and encourage the settlers. Captain Andrew McClary was the leading man in this region in all military matters, and rendered the colony efficient service during these perilous times. He had the personal acquaintance of the highest officials of the colony, and such noted fighters and rangers as Stark, Goffe, Rogers, etc.
His name frequently appears on the State records. In 1775 he applied to Governor Wentworth and obtained a company of troop to go in search of the Indians that committed the massacre and captured the McCall family at Salisbury. At another time he obtained a small company to aid in doing garrison duty at Epsom while the Indians were seen lurking about. As an officer, he was ever ready for any exposure or danger, while his men had the most implicit confidence in his ability and integrity. His command was authoritative, and no man refused obedience. In case of an emergency he could swear enough for a battalion, enough to frighten the Penacooks out of the Suncook Valley and cause the Old Scotch Covenanters to hold up their hands in holy horror. He built a one-story frame house, and kept tavern on the height of land on the road leading from Epsom village to Pleasant Pond. The place is now owned by Joseph Lawrence, better known as Lawrence's "musterfield." His home was the common resort of the settlers, proprietors and scouts, and all who had occasion to travel in this direction. Town-meetings were held here until the "new meeting-house" was built, jurors were drawn here for His Majesty's Court, training of His Majesty's soldiers, and many rude frolics and exciting incidents which have long since passed into oblivion, never to be recalled. His wealth increased as well as his popularity. He owned all the land on the north side of the road to the Deerfield line. He had the advantages of a fair English education. He served as town clerk, and his records on the town-books indicate a thorough knowledge of business, a good use of language and a style and beauty of penmanship seldom found at the present day. His last writing on the town-books, the year before he was killed, evinced care, accuracy and precision.
He took a lively interest in the affairs of the colonies, and early espoused the cause of the people against the arbitrary encroachments of the mother-country before the commencement of the Revolutionary War.
His ancestry, education and experience would naturally lead him to take sides with the people in defending their liberties when assailed by British oppression. Frequent meetings were held at his house, and measures taken to co-operate with adjoining towns for mutual rights and protection.
The Seven Years' War, which closed in 1760, had completely aroused the military spirit of the province, and organization, with experienced officers, had been maintained up to the time of the Revolution. A new regiment was then formed, the Twelfth, comprising the towns of Nottingham, Deerfield, Epsom, Northwood, Chichester and Pittsfield. "Coming events cast their shadows before." The people were expecting a serious conflict.
The location of McClary's tavern made it a common resort for the rustic foresters to meet and talk of the difficulties, while the popularity and ability of the jovial landlord rendered him the political and military oracle of the Suncook Valley.
The battle of Lexington, on the 19th of April, 1775, sounded the tocsin to arms. Signals flamed from the hill-tops, and fleet messengers transmitted news from town to town.
The sturdy yeomanry of the Suncook Valley snatched their trusty firelocks and powder-horns, and started for the scene of hostilities with spirits as brave as ever animated a soldier, and with hearts as noble and honest as ever throbbed in the cause of liberty and freedom.
They were governed by one common impulse, and came from blazed paths and crooked roads that wound through the forests and thickets. They were all known to each other as brothers and townsmen. Each soldier represented a household, and they and their cause were commended to the protection of heaven at the morning and evening devotions, and in the service of the Sabbath; donations of food and clothing were freely sent to them by the families at home.
The men from this section reached Nottingham Square about one o'clock, where they found Captain Cilley and Dr. Dearborn, with a company of about sixty men, making, with themselves, about eighty men.
Who would not like to see those mensome with broad-tailed black coats, worsted stockings, three-cornered hats; others in coarse homespun; all with long stockings, knee and shoe buckles, and thick cowhide shoes? Their guns and equipments were as various as their costumes. Some had the old Queen Anne that had done service in the French War; some, long fowling-pieces; some, a fusee; only one had a bayonet. Powder-
horn and shot-pouches took the place of cartridge box.
If we were to choose a subject for a historical painting, we would prefer the scene on Nottingham Square, April 29th, where we paraded the noblest band of patriots that ever left New Hampshire to vindicate her honor and protect her liberties. We would like to hear the roll-call, and see a photograph of these heroes.
Captain Andrew McClary was by common consent the leading spirit of this noble band of patriots, though there was no previous organization.
There is much to be written concerning the achievements and adventures of this distinguished company, and many of the able men composing it, but the most remarkable and thrilling incident in this connection was their famous march to Cambridge.
There is not a parallel in the annals of all the wars in our country, and such wonderful powers of endurance by a whole company of men excites our surprise, as their patriotism does our pride and admiration. No other locality can boast of sending braver hearts or tougher men to aid, by their valor and perseverance, in establishing the boblest republic that ever cheered and blest a prosperous people. This noble Spartan band opened a series of brilliant exploits by performing one of the most remarkable physical feats ever recorded in our nation's history. Dr. Dearborn gives an account of it, and Bancroft a passing notice, and tradiion relates it from generation to generation, but it should be familiar to every son and daughter of New Hampshire as one of the brightest testimonials of our devotion to the cause of freedom and independence.
Accustomed as they were to life in the open air, and trials of strength by long journeys, hunting, trapping and scouting, they knew little of fear and fatigue.
Leaving Nottingham Square at one o'clock in the afternoon, they pushed on at a rapid pace, as if the destiny of the province or hopes of the nation depended upon their alacrity and speed. At Kingston they took a double-quick or "dog-trot," and followed it without halt to Haverhill, crossing the Merrimack River in a ferry-boat at sunset, having made twenty-seven miles in six hours.
But this is not all,they halted at Andover for supper, and then started for a night march, and on the morning on the 21st, at sunrise, they were paraded on Cambridge Common, "spiling for a fight." Those from Epsom had traveled seventy miles in less than twenty-four hours, and the whole company from Nottingham fifty-seven miles in less than twenty hours.
Did bone and muscle ever do better? That was the "spirit of 76;" that was the kind of stuff the men were made of who lived in the Suncook Valley one hundred and ten years ago.
Upon the organization of the New Hampshire troops John Stark was unanimously chosen colonel and Andrew McClary major. Conspicuous for his coolness and bravery, Major McClary moved among the men encouraging and calming them by his own example and word.
When, after a hard fought battle and their ammunition all gone, the American forces were compelled to leave the field, the New Hampshire troops retired in excellent order. They were the last to leave the field, and Major McClary was in the rear maintaining order and discipline.
As the Americans retreated across the neck Major McClary was remarkably animated with the result of the contest. That day's conflict, and the glorious display of valor which had distinguished his country-men, made him sanguine of the result. Having passed the last place of danger, he went back to see if the British were disposed to follow them across the neck, thus exposing himself to danger anew. His men cautioned him against his rashness. "The ball is not yet cast that will kill me," said he, when a random shot from one of the frigates struck a buttonwood tree and, glancing, passed through his abdomen. Throwing his hands above his head, he leaped several feet from the ground and fell forward upon his facedead.
Thus fell Major Andrew McClary, the highest American officer killed at the battle, the handsomest man in the army and the favorite of the New Hampshire troops. His dust still slumbers where it was lain by his sorrowing comrades in Medford, unhonored by any adequate memorial to tell where lies one of the heroes that ushered in the Revolution with such auspicious omens. Major McClary had a splendid physique and soldierly appearance.
With all the bravery of Stark, he possessed greater mental endowments and culture. With the natural ability of Sullivan, he possessed the magic power to incite his men to nobler deeds. With the popularity of Poor, he was more cool and discreet. In fact, he combined more completely than either the elements that tend to make a popular and successful commander, and had his life been spared, he would doubtless have ranked among the most able and noted officers of the Revolution. He married in early life Elizabeth McCrillis, a strong-minded, resolute Scotch-Irish girl, who proved a valuable help-meet and capable mother to his seven children. After her husband's death she kept the farm, tavern and store alone, assisted at first by her husband's partner in business, John Casey, and afterwards by her eldest son, James Harvey. Rumor says she was at one time published to be married to the above-named John Casey, but the match was prevented by the interference of a younger rival and the advice of her friends. After the children had grown up and nineteen years of widowhood, she married Colonel Samuel Osgood in 1794. She died in 1800, aged sixty-seven. The oldest son, James Harvey, was born
in 1762, and as he grew to manhood, continued the business of his father and rendered valuable service to the family. He prescuted an extensive business for those times, having two stores and a potash-factory, besides the farm and tavern.
He was highly respected, exemplary in his habits, early promoted to offices of public trust and honor, which he held for a series of years. He was one of the leading spirits in the organization of the Eighteenth Regiment, and one of its first commanders, afterwards promoted to a brigadier-general of the militia.
He married Betsey Dearborn, of North Hampton, and estimable lady, in 1789, by whom he had six children, but the whole family have gone to their long home except one daughter.
The second son, Andrew, born in 1765, was smart and active; he received a good education, but had a wild, roving inclination. He entered the regular army, was soon promoted to the rank of captain, served for a time on the frontier, and for several years was clerk in the War Department at Washington, where he died in middle life. The third son, John, born in 1767, a man of fine abilities and credit, followed his brother into the regular army, and also rose to the rank of captain, served on the frontier and died at Fort Gibson. he married Abigail Pearson, of Epsom, in 1791; they had one son, Charles, who went to Stanstead, Canada.
The fourth son, William, was a blacksmith by trade; he married Isabel Dickey in 1795, and in company with quite a number of young men from Epsom first settled in Stanstead, Canada.
There were also three daughters.Elizabeth married Captain Simon Heath, well-known in Epsom and vicinity; Margaret married Rev. Mr. Haseltine, who was the pastor of the Congregational Church in Epsom for thirty years; Nancy, the youngest daughter, married John Stevens. No family record or papers have been found to aid in this humble sketch, but we have given many official and well-authenticated facts which are rescued from oblivion, and may be interesting to some of the readers of the times, and may aid the future historian in giving this family more extended mention than they have yet received in our written histories.
But in this connection we earnestly desire to call attention to one great duty yet to be rendered to Major Andrew McClary. The family, town or State have shown little patriotism, gratitude or affection in neglecting to erect some monument or stone to mark his burial-place. He was buried near the encampment of the New Hampshire Brigade at Medford, near some two hundred New Hampshire soldiers who died of disease and wounds.
John McClary was born in Ireland in 1719, and emigrated with his family to America when he was thirteen years old, A.D. 1733. His father and the family settled in Epsom in the year 1738.
John became industrious, methodical and exacting, a stern Presbyterian, as rigid as the old Scotch Covenanters,very different from his jovial, rough, impulsive, convivial brother, Major Andrew.
He had no advantages of schooling; still he possessed a large share of common sense, a strong mind and good judgment.
He early became one of the leading men in Epsom, was chosen moderator and for over forty years was one of the principal officers and advisers in town affairs.
He was justice of the peace under the provincial government, and all cases of litigation in this vicinity came before Esquire John McClary for trial.
He was well versed in Indian affairs, was called out to do scouting duty in the French and Indian War, was a captain of the militia at that time and rose to the rank of colonel before the Revolution.
Though closely connected with the Royal government, he took a decisive stand with the colonists to resist British oppression; and while his brother represented the military spirit of the Suncook Valley, Esquire John represented the civil authority both under monarchical and republican rule.
The towns of Epsom, Allenstown and Chichester (including Pittsfield) were classed together, and Esquire John McClary was annually chosen to represent them at the convention at Exeter. With such men as Colonel Joseph Badger, of Gilmanton, Esquire John Cram, of Pittsfield, and Hall Bergen, of Allenstown as leading spirits, the hardy settlers of the Suncook Valley were true to the cause of independence.
Not a single instance of Toryism is recorded. Esquire John McClary was a prominent member of the first convention to organize a colonial government and afterwards in framing our State government, and was an active member nearly twenty years.
He held the responsible office as one of the Committee of Safety from 1777 to 1783. This committee had power to call out troops at such time and in such numbers as they deemed necessary and expedient.
In 1780 he was elected to the Council, and annually for the four succeeding years. In 1784 he was chosen to the Council and also to the Senate, and served as member of that honorable body three years.
He was tall, erect, commanding, dignified and made an excellent presiding officer.
In early life he was married to Elizabeth Harvey, and Nottingham. She was also born in Ireland, and came to this country in the same ship with the McClarys. They had four children. The oldest son, John McClary, Jr., who had many of the characteristics and promising qualities of his father, entered the army of the Revolution and was
killed at the battle of Saratoga in 1787, while serving as lieutenant in General Whipple's brigade ("Adjutant-General's Report" says Lieutenant Michael, which is an error). The second son, Michael, will be the subject of another sketch. The third son, Andrew, was sent to Dummer Academy to be educated, and died there during the war, aged sixteen. He was buried at Medford, by the side of his uncle, Major Andrew McClary.
They had but one daughter, Mollie, who married Daniel Page, of Deerfield.
Captain John McClary had three sisters, who settled in Epsom, besides his parents and brother Andrew. The eldest, Margaret, married Deacon George Wallace. The second, Jane, married John McGaffy; and the third, Ann married Richard Tripp.
After a long and useful life, he died at the green old age of eighty-two, A.D. 1801.
The McClarys owned a very large landed estate, which was divided into several valuable farms for the sons and daughters. They are of good soil and location, commanding a fine prospect. Esquire John built a one-story house on the south side of the road. The house was enlarged at various times and became a venerable-looking mansion. It is now owned by Michael McClary Steele, of the fifth generation of the McClarys and great-grandson of Esquire John.
The old mansion is a place of peculiar interest. Here, for many years, Esquire John received the friendly and official visits of the leading men of the province. Here civil courts and military tribunals were held, and here, for half a century following, his son, General Michael, dispensed his hospitalities to his townsmen and the distinguished men of the times. Among the number were such as Generals Sullivan, Dearborn, Stark, Governors Gilman, Langdon, Plummer, Smith, etc.
That honorable and distinguished body, the New Hampshire Branch of the Society of the Cincinnati, held three of its annual meetings at this house.
Near by, the huge liberty-pole was erected in 1783, at the close of the Revolution, on the declaration fo peace, when the scattered settlers of the Suncook Valley met to celebrate the happy event which they had so nobly strove to win. Good speeches, good cheer abounded; but "tell it not in Gath," publish it only in the local "Times," the glorious occasion wound up in a glorious drunk.
In fact, no house in the valley, or all the section around, has so many rich historical associations connected with it as the old McClary homestead.
The arrangement of the interior is reverently preserved, and as one passes through its spacious rooms, viewing the relics of the past, and reflects upon the large number of honorable and distinguished men who have met within its walls, reason seems to lose its bounds, and one fancies he is wandering through some ancient baronial hall or old Scottish castle built in the age of chivalry, rather than viewing a spacious farm-house in the dull, quiet, old farming town of Epsom.
GENERAL MICHAEL McCLARY, second son of Esquire John McClary, was born in Epsom in 1753. He received the advantages of a fair education, was a smart, active lad, and, in common with other members of the family, had very decidedly a military turn.
At the age of twenty-three he joing the army, at the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, and was appointed ensign in Captain Henry Dearborn's company, in Stark's regiment. His company, mostly from the Suncook Valley, rendered heroic service at the battle of Bunker Hill. In 1777 he was promoted and made captain in Colonel Scammel's regiment.
He seved four years in the army, taking part in some of the most decisive engagements of the war, and suffered with his men some of the severest privations and fatigues. Many interesting incidents pertaining to his company ought to be published. His soldierly qualities, engaging manners and family connection gave him the acquaintance and friendship of the leading officers of the Revolution, and by a severe experience in the army he gained a thorough knowledge of men and national affairs, which proved of great practical advantage in after-years.
On returning from the army he at once took a prominent position in social and political life, which he held for half a century. He took an active part in the organization of the State government, and being well versed in military affairs and of good executive ability, he was appointed adjutant-general for the State of New Hampshire. He organized that department, and held the office twenty-one consecutive years. In 1796 he was elected Senator, and was a member of that body seven years, and such was his popularity that the votes in Epsom were unanimously in his favor, and nearly so in the adjoining towns.
He was United States marshal for a long time, which, during the last war with England, with the large amount of privateering prosecuted at Portsmouth, was a very responsible office. He was tendered the nomination as candidate for Governor, but declined to accept.
Though well known throughout the State, and with position of honor and trust at his command, his popularity, power and influence in his native town was the most remarkable. He seemed to control the affairs of Epsom with almost universal consent. For over fifty years he seved his townsmen in some capacity, either moderator, town
clerk, representative or auditor. He was decidedly the most popular and influential man that ever lived in town. Said an old Federalist: "If I had a family of children who would obey me as well as the people of Epsom do General McClary, I should be a happy man."
Though once a Federalist, he cast his lot with the Democratic party and carried the town with him almost unanimously. One year, only one Federal vote was thrown.
During the last war with England party feeling ran high, and party lines were clearly drawn. Governor Plummer, through Adjutant-General McClary, called out detachments of the militia without calling together the Council or Legislature, which provoked a great deal of controversy. General McClary procured supplies for the troops, made preparations for the defense of Portsmouth, purchased cannon and munitions of war, but in 1814, when the Federalists rallied and elected John T. Gilman as Governor, General McClary resigned with virtuous indignation his office, which he had filled with credit and ability, and in which capacity he had reviewed every regiment in the State. The town of Epsom strongly supported the war. A full company, under Captain Jonathan Godfrey, volunteered for the defense of Portsmouth.
Michael McClary also did much business as justice of the peace and probate judge. Most of the court business for this vicinity was done at Epsom, and most cases of litigation were brought before him for trial.
He took an active part in organizing the New Hampshire Branch of the Society of the Cincinnati; he was the first treasurer, and held the office twenty-five years. This honorable body of Revolutionary officers met annually on the 4th of July; three of their annual meetings were held at the house of General McClary. This society is worth of more extended mention, and their annual meetings probably called together more noted men than ever assembled on any other occasion in the Suncook Valley. He was also a zealous Free-Mason. As is well known, many of the officers of the Revolution were Masons. While in the army young McClary had met in secret conclave such men as Washington, Lafayette, Sullivan an other brothers of th mystic order, and became an earnest worker in the craft. In connection with other ex-officers, he was instrumental in organizing a lodge at Deerfield, and in honor of General Sullivan, it was named Sullivan Lodge. He was the first Senior Warden of this lodge, and afterwards Worhipful Master.
In appearance General McClary was tall, commanding, well-proportioned and prepossessing. He made a fine appearance as a military officer, either on foot or in the saddle, which, with his position, means and hospitality, rendered him exceedingly popular. He was remarkably affable and engaging in his manners, interesting in conversation, graceful in his movements, convivial in his habits, generous, hospitable and public-spirited, possessing the elements of popularity, though fond of power, and when opposed, displayed some traits not recorded among Christian graces. His acquaintance and correspondence was remarkably extensive, embracing many of the most distinguished men of the country. He married, in 1779, Sally Dearborn, an intelligent, interesting and accomplished lady, daughter of Dr. Dearborn, of Northampton. The marriage was a happy one. They entered company with style and grace, and around their festive board have been many happy meetings of the prominent men of the times.
They had five children that survived the perils of childhood. The oldest son, John, born in 1785, was of great personal beauty and accomplishments. He was early promoted to offices of trust,Representative, Senator and clerkship at Washington. He was killed by a falling building when but thirty-six. He was the most popular and promising young man in this region, and his death caused great demonstrations of grief. The funeral was the largest ever held in the Suncook Valley, and was attended by Rev. Jonathan Curtis, an able divine, especially on funeral occasions.
The second son, Andrew, born in 1787, was also unusually smart and prepossessing, but was wild and roving. He entered the army in the War of 1812, and served as captain. He married Mehitable Duncan, of Concord, in 1813, and had one daughter. Shortly after this event he sailed for Calcutta and was lost at sea.
General McClary also had three daughters of rare attractions. The oldest, Nancy Dearborn, born in 1789, married Samuel Lord, of Portsmouth, whose ability and wealth are well known. One of his sons, Augustus, has purchased a large part of the old McClary estate. The second daughter, Elizabeth Harvey, born in 1791, married Jonathan Steele, a lawyer from Peterborough. They settled on the homestead now owned and occupied by their son, Michael McClary Steele. The third daughter, Mary, born in 1794, married Robert Parker, and is still living in Fitzwilliam.
General McClary and wife both lived to a good old age. The sad fate of their sons fell with crushing and disastrous weight upon the parents, wearing away by inches their life and vitality, and their poignant grief was only assuaged by the grave.
He died in 1825, aged seventy-two, and was buried with his ancestors in the old burying-ground in Epsom, where rests the dust of many heroic dead, whose lives and deeds are fast fading from the memory of passing generations.
The papers following are copies of votes, receipts and other papers that are interesting as curiosities:
"To the Honorable Genl Assembly Convened at Exeter 19th April, 1780:
"The petition of Michael McClary Humbly Sheweth that your petitioner was, by the authority of the State, appointed to the Command of a Company (in Defence of his Country) the eighth of November, 1776, Continued in his command till Sept., 1778. Then, by reason of a bad State of Health, was obliged to resign his command. And Notwithstanding the many Fatigues & hardships he has been obliged to encounter (which has ruined his Constitution), he is by a late resolve of the Genl Assembly deprived of having the depreciated of his wages made good. Therefore prays you would take the matter under your wise Consideration and make the depreciation of his wages good up to the time he left the service.
"And your petitioner as in duty bound will every pray.
The above request was granted April 25, 1780.
A warrant beginning "State of New Hampshire: The Government and People of said State: To the Selectmen of Epsom, in the County of Rockingham, in said State," and issued by M. Weare, President of Council, and John Langdon, Speaker of the House, requiring the said selectmen to notify the legal inhabitants paying taxes in the towns of Epsom, Chichester and Allenstown, to meet at the meeting-house in said Epsom, on Monday, the 8th day of December, 1777, for the purpose of electing one person having a real estate of two hundred pounds, lawful money, to represent them in the General Assembly to be held at Exeter in said State, on the third Wednesday of the same December, was signed by "John Cate, selectman, in behalf of others, who are absent in the service."
At the meeting called as above, Ede Hall Bergen, of Allenstown, was chosen moderator and Colonel John McClary representative.
May 11, 1779, Colonel John McClary was chosen to convene at Concord on the 10th day of June following "for the purpose of forming and laying a permanent plan or system of Government for the future Happiness and well-being of the good people of this State."
March 17, 1779, "Rased $600 for the repair of Highways in labor at three Dollars per day."
August 23, 1779, it was "Voted to send a man to Concord, in this State, to meet in convention in order to regulate the prices of the Necessities of Life; "also "Voted Lieut. Samuel Osgood be appointed for the above purpose."
May 22, 1780, it was "Voted that a committee of safety be chosen for the town of Epsom the ensuing year, whose business it shall be at all times to consult the good and welfare of this Town. Said committee shall consist of the five persons, viz.: Lieut. Benja. Goodwin, John Casey, Capt. Jeremh Prescott, Thomas Babb and Ebenr Wallis."
"State of New Hame, Rockingham, S.S.:
"This may certify that Amos Morrill has within twelve months past wrought in his own Blacksmith Shop in Epsom one Hundred Thousand of Ten penny nails, and that he is Intitled to a bounty agreeable to a law of this State.
"THOMAS BABB, } Select Men
"GEORGE SANDERS, } of Epsom.'
"Epsom, 16th March, 1791."
"Rockingham, S.S., March 16, 1791:
"This May Certify that Amos Morrill has made it appear to me that he has within twelve months past wrought one Hundred Thousand of Ten penny Nails in his own Blacksmith Shop in Epsom.
"Attest: MICHL McCLARY, J.P."
"Aug. 12, 1791.
"Received an order on the Treasurer for five pounds.
"Received of the Selectmen Seven pounds Eight Shllings, it being in full for Seventeen Thousand of Shingles and twenty-three hundred of Boards Delivered att the meeting-house in Jany. 13, 1785.
"Epsom, March 15, 1785."
"Recd of the Selectmen of Epsom an Order on Thos. Babb for one-pound Eight Shillings, which order when paid, will be in full for three thousand of board nails which I Obligated to purchase, and did purchase for said Town.
"Epsom, 8th March, 1785."
"Epsom, October 2, 1783.Received of Michael McClary the sum of five hard dollars for preaching one Sabbath.
"By me OLIVER NOBLE."
"EPSOM, March 13, 1789.
"Received of Mr. Josiah Sanborn, Agent for the town of Epsom for ye year 1788, eight Bushels of Wheat, thirty-nine Bushels
& ¼ of Rye & thirty Bushels of Potatoes,
"Recd per me
£. s. d.
"8 bushels wheat @ 5s . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 0 0
39 ¼ bushels Rye @ 3s. 6d . . . . . . . . . 6 17 4
30 bushels potatoes @ 10d . . . . . . . . . 1 5 0
10 2 4"
"Moses Locke, a Soldier in the Cont. Army for the town of Epsom, Dr.
1781 £ s. d.
March. To cash advanced for sundry supplies for
the support of your family during the year 1780. 819 0 0
March 19, By Cash recd of Mrs. Locke . . . . . . . . . 12 0 0
"Epsom, April 18, 1781.
"JOHN CASEY, } Select Men
"BENJA. GOODWIN, } for Epsom.
"THOMAS BABB, }
"To the Committee on Claims at Exeter."
March 19, 1783, it was "Voted that the boards that are due from individuals in this town shall be recovered and disposed of to the best advantage, and the money converted to the preaching of the Gospel for the year current."
March 17, 1784, it was "Voted to raise forty-five pounds for the support of a school."
March, 1787, it was "Voted that the town of Epsom purchase a cow and lend her to Israel Clifford." A few years later, the town, by vote, ordered the selectmen to sell said cow and use the proceeds towards paying the debts of the town.
March, 1782, it was "Voted to raise one hundred silver dollars for the support of schools."
1 These were of the Arosaguntacook or St. Francis tribe. (See Belknap's "Hist. N.H.," vol. ii., p. 278).
2 Prepared by Rev. M. A. Quimb