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Salem witchcraft; with an account of Salem village, and a history of opinions on witchcraft and kindred subjects, volume I and II. Upham, Charles Wentworth, 1802-1875

Case Files

SWP No. d1e9960

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IT is necessary, before entering upon the subject of the witchcraft delusion, to give a particular and extended account of the immediate locality where it occurred, and of the community occupying it. This is demanded by justice to the parties concerned, and indispensable to a correct understanding of the transaction. No one, in truth, can rightly appreciate the character of the rural population of the towns first settled in Massachusetts, without tracing it to its origin, and taking into view the policy that regulated the colonization of the country at the start.

“The Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England” possessed, by its charter from James the First, dated Nov. 3, 1620, and renewed by Charles the First, March 4, 1629, the entire sovereignty over all the territory assigned to it. Some few conditions and exceptions were incorporated in the grant, which, in the event, proved to be merely nominal.


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The company, so far as the crown and sovereignty of England were concerned, became absolute owner of the whole territory within its limits, and exercised its powers accordingly. It adopted wise and efficient measures to promote the settlement of the country by emigrants of the best description. It gave to every man who transported himself at his own charge fifty acres of land, and lots, in distinction from farms, to those who should choose to settle and build in towns. In 1628, Captain John Endicott, one of the original patentees, was sent over to superintend the management of affairs on the spot, and carry out the views of the company. On the 30th of April, 1629, the company, by a full and free election, chose said Endicott to be “Governor of the Plantation in the Massachusetts Bay,” to hold office for one year “from the time he shall take the oath,” and gave him instructions for his government. In reference to the disposal of lands, they provided that persons “who were adventurers,” that is, subscribers to the common stock, to the amount of fifty pounds, should have two hundred acres of land, and, at that rate, more or less, “to the intent to build their houses, and to improve their labors thereon.” Adventurers who carried families with them were to have fifty acres for each member of their respective families. Other provisions were made, on the same principles, to meet the case of servants taken over; for each of whom an additional number of acres was to be allowed. If a person should choose “to build on the

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plot of ground where the town is intended to be built,” he was to have half an acre for every fifty pounds subscribed by him to the common stock. A general discretion was given to Endicott and his council to make grants to particular persons, “according to their charge and quality;” having reference always to the ability of the grantee to improve his allotment. Energetic and intelligent men, having able-bodied sons or servants, even if not adventurers, were to be favorably regarded. Endicott carried out these instructions faithfully and judiciously during his brief administration. In the mean time, it had been determined to transfer the charter, and the company bodily, to New England. Upon this being settled, John Winthrop, with others, joined the company, and he was elected its governor on the 29th of October, 1629. On the 12th of June, 1630, he arrived in Salem, and held his first court at Charlestown on the 28th of August.

There was some irregularity in these proceedings. The charter fixed a certain time, “yearly, once in the year, for ever hereafter,” for the election of governor, deputy-governor, and assistants. Matthew Cradock had been elected accordingly, on the 13th of May, 1629, governor of the company “for the year following.” He presided at the General Court of the company when Winthrop was elected governor. There does not appear to have been any formal resignation of his office by Cradock. In point of fact, the charter made no provision for a resignation of office, but only for cases where a vacancy might be occasioned


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by death, or removal by an act of the company. It would have been more regular for the company to have removed Cradock by a formal vote; but the great and weighty matter in which they were engaged prevented their thinking of a mere formality. Cradock had himself conceived the project they had met to carry into effect, and labored to bring it about. He vacated the chair to his successor, on the spot. Still forgetting the provisions of the charter, they declared Winthrop elected “for the ensuing year, to begin on this present day,” the 20th of October, 1629. By the language of the charter, he could only be elected to fill the vacancy “in the room or place” of Cradock; that is, for the residue of the official year established by the express provision of that instrument, namely, until the “last Wednesday in Easter term” ensuing. All usage is in favor of this construction. The terms of the charter are explicit; and, if persons chosen to fill vacancies during the course of a year could thus be commissioned to hold an entire year from the date of their election, the provision fixing a certain day “yearly” for the choice of officers would be utterly nullified. Whether this subsequently occurred to Winthrop and his associates is not known; but, if it did, it was impossible for them to act in conformity to the view now given; for, in the ensuing “last Wednesday of Easter term,” he was at sea, in mid ocean, and the several members of the company dispersed throughout his fleet. When he arrived in Salem, he found Endicott — who, in the records of the

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company before its transfer to New England, is styled “the Governor beyond the seas” — with his year of office not yet expired. The company had not chosen another in his place, and his commission still held good. It was so evident that the vote extending the term of Winthrop's tenure to a year from the day on which he was chosen, Oct. 20, 1629, was illegal, that when that year expired, in October, 1630, no motion was made to proceed to a new election. In the mean time, however, Endicott's year had expired; and, for aught that appears, there was not, for several months, any legal governor or government at all in the colony. When the next “last Wednesday of Easter term” came round, on the 18th of May, 1631, Winthrop was chosen governor, as the record says, “according to the meaning of the patent;” and all went on smoothly afterwards. If the difficulty into which they had got was apprehended by Winthrop, Endicott, or any of their associates, they were wise enough to see that nothing but mischief could arise from taking notice of it; that no human ingenuity could disentangle the snarl; and that all they could do was to wait for the lapse of time to drift them through. The conduct of these two men on the occasion was truly admirable. Endicott welcomed Winthrop with all the honors due to his position as governor; opened his doors to receive him and his family; and manifested the affectionate respect and veneration with which, from his earliest manhood to his dying day, Winthrop ever inspired all men in all circumstances. Winthrop performed

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the ceremony at Endicott's marriage. They each went about his own business, and said nothing of the embarrassments attached to their official titles or powers. After a few months, Winthrop held his courts, as though all was in good shape; and Endicott took his seat as an assistant. They proved themselves sensible, high-minded men, of true public spirit, and friends to each other and to the country, which will for ever honor them both as founders and fathers. They entered into no disputes — and their descendants never should — about which was governor, or which first governor.

The disposal of lands, at the expiration of Endicott's delegated administration, passed back into the hands of the company, and was conducted by the General Court upon the policy established at its meetings in London. On the 3d of March, 1635, the General Court relinquished the control and disposal of lands, within the limits of towns, to the towns themselves. After this, all grants of lands in Salem were made by the people of the town or their own local courts. The original land policy was faithfully adhered to here, as it probably was in the other towns.

The following is a copy of the Act: —

“Whereas particular towns have many things which concern only themselves, and the ordering of their own affairs, and disposing of businesses in their own towns, it is therefore ordered, that the freemen of any town, or the major part of them, shall only have power to dispose of their own lands and woods, with all the privileges and appurtenances of the


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said towns, to grant lots, and make such orders as may concern the well ordering of their own towns, not repugnant to the laws and orders here established by the General Court; as also to lay and penalties for the breach of these orders, and to levy and distress the same, not exceeding the sum of twenty shillings; also to choose their own particular officers, as constables, surveyors of the high-ways, and the like; and because much business is like to ensue to the constables of several towns, by reason they are to make distress, and gather fines, therefore that every town shall have two constables, where there is need, that so their office may not be a burthen unto them, and they may attend more carefully upon the discharge of their office, for which they shall be liable to give their accounts to this court, when they shall be called thereunto.”

The reflecting student of political science will probably regard this as the most important legislative act in our annals. Towns had existed before, but were scarcely more than local designations, or convenient divisions of the people and territories. This called them into being as depositories and agents of political power in its mightiest efficacy and most vital force. It remitted to the people their original sovereignty. Before, that sovereignty had rested in the hands of a remote central deputation; this returned it to them in their primary capacity, and brought it back, in its most important elements, to their immediate control. It gave them complete possession and absolute power over their own lands, and provided the machinery for managing their own neighborhoods and making and


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executing their own laws in what is, after all, the greatest sphere of government, — that which concerns ordinary, daily, immediate relations. It gave to the people the power to do and determine all that the people can do and determine, by themselves. It created the towns as the solid foundation of the whole political structure of the State, trained the people as in a perpetual school for self-government, and fitted them to be the guardians of republican liberty and order.

Large tracts were granted to men who had the disposition and the means for improving them by opening roads, building bridges, clearing forests, and bringing the surface into a state for cultivation. Men of property, education, and high social position, were thus made to lead the way in developing the agricultural resources of the country, and giving character to the farming interest and class. In cases where men of energy, industry, and intelligence presented themselves, if not adventurers in the common stock, with no other property than their strong arms and resolute wills, particularly if they had able-bodied sons, liberal grants were made. Every one who had received a town lot of half an acre was allowed to relinquish it, receiving, in exchange, a country lot of fifty acres or more. Under this system, a population of a superior order was led out into the forest. Farms quickly spread into the interior, seeking the meadows, occupying the arable land, and especially following up the streams.

I propose to illustrate this by a very particular enumeration of instances, and by details that will give


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us an insight of the personal, domestic, and social elements that constituted the condition of life in the earliest age of New England, particularly in that part of the old township of Salem where the scene of our story is laid. I shall give an account of the persons and families who first settled the region included in, and immediately contiguous to, Salem Village, and whose children and grandchildren were actors or sufers in, or witnesses of, the witchcraft delusion. I am able, by the map, to show the boundaries, to some degree of precision, of their farms, and the spots on or near which their houses stood.

The first grant of land made by the company, after it had got fairly under way, was of six hundred acres to Governor Winthrop, on the 6th of September, 1631, “near his house at Mystic.” The next was to the deputy, Thomas Dudley, on the 5th of June, 1632, of two hundred acres “on the west side of Charles River, over against the new town,” now Cambridge. The next, on the 3d of July, 1632, was three hundred acres to John Endicott. It is described, in the record, as “bounded on the south side with a river, commonly called the Cow House River, on the north side with a river, commonly called the Duck River, on the east with a river, leading up to the two former rivers, known by the name of Wooleston River, and on the west with the main land.” The meaning of the Indian word applied to this territory was “Birchwood.” At the period of the witchcraft delusion, and for some time afterwards, “Cow House River” was


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called “Endicott River.” Subsequently it acquired the name of “Waters River.”

This grant constituted what was called “the Governor Orchard Farm.” In conformity with the policy on which grants were made, Endicott at once proceeded to occupy and improve it, by clearing off the woods, erecting buildings, making roads, and building bridges. His dwelling-house embraced in its view the whole surrounding country, with the arms of the sea. From the more elevated points of his farm, the open sea was in sight. A road was opened by him, from the head of tide water on Duck, now Crane, River, through the Orchard Farm, and round the head of Cow House River, to the town of Salem, in one direction, and to Lynn and Boston in another. A few years afterwards, the town granted him two hundred acres more, contiguous to the western line of the Orchard Farm. After this, and as a part of the transaction, the present Ipswich road was made, and the old road through the Orchard Farm discontinued. This illustrates the policy of the land grants. They were made to persons who had the ability to lay out roads. The present bridge over Crane River was probably built by Endicott and the parties to whom what is now called the Plains, one of the principal villages of Danvers, had been granted. The tract granted by the town was popularly called the “Governor's Plain.” By giving, in this way, large tracts of land to men of means, the country was opened and made accessible to settlers who had no pecuniary ability to incur large


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outlays in the way of general improvements, but had the requisite energy and industry to commence the work of subduing the forest and making farms for themselves. To them, smaller grants were made.

The character of the population, thus aided at the beginning in settling the country, cannot be appreciated without giving some idea of what it was to open the wilderness for occupancy and cultivation. This is a subject which those who have always lived in other than frontier towns do not perhaps understand.

How much of the land had been previously cleared by the aboriginal tribes, it may be somewhat difficult to determine. They were but slightly attached to the soil, had temporary and movable habitations, and no bulky implements or articles of furniture. They were nomadic in their habits. On the coast and its inlets, their light canoes gave easy means of transportation, for their families and all that they possessed, from point to point, and, further inland, over intervening territory, from river to river. They probably seldom attempted, in this part of the country, to clear the rugged and stony uplands. In some instances, they removed the trees from the soft alluvial meadows, although it is probable that in only a very few localities they would have attempted such a persistent and laborious undertaking. There were large salt marshes, and here and there meadows, free from timber. There were spots where fires had swept over the land and the trees disappeared. On such spots they probably planted their corn; the land being made at once fertile


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and easily cultivable, by the effects of the fires. Near large inland sheets of water, having no outlets passable by their canoes, and well stocked with fish, they sometimes had permanent plantations, as at Will's Hill. With such slight exceptions, when the white settler came upon his grant, he found it covered by the primeval wilderness, thickly set with old trees, whose roots, as well as branches, were interlocked firmly with each other, the surface obstructed with tangled and prickly underbrush; the soil broken, and mixed with rocks and stones, — the entire face of the country hilly, rugged, and intersected by swamps and winding streams.

Among all the achievements of human labor and perseverance recorded in history, there is none more herculean than the opening of a New-England forest to cultivation. The fables of antiquity are all suggestive of instruction, and infold wisdom. The earliest inhabitants of every wooded country, who subdued its wilderness, were truly a race of giants.

Let any one try the experiment of felling and eradicating a single tree, and he will begin to approach an estimate of what the first English settler had before him, as he entered upon his work. It was not only a work of the utmost difficulty, calling for the greatest possible exercise of physical toil, strength, patience, and perseverance, but it was a work of years and generations. The axe, swung by muscular arms, could, one by one, fell the trees. There was no machinery to aid in extracting the tough roots, equal, often, in


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size and spread, to the branches. The practice was to level by the axe a portion of the forest, managing so as to have the trees fall inward, early in the season. After the summer had passed, and the fallen timber become dried, fire would be set to the whole tract covered by it. After it had smouldered out, there would be left charred trunks and stumps. The trunks would then be drawn together, piled in heaps, and burned again. Between the blackened stumps, barley or some other grain, and probably corn, would be planted, and the lapse of years waited for, before the roots would be sufficiently decayed to enable oxen with chains to extract them. Then the rocks and stones would have to be removed, before the plough could, to any considerable extent, be applied. As late as 1637, the people of Salem voted twenty acres, to be added within two years to his previous grant, to Richard Hutchinson, upon the condition that he would, in the mean time, “set up ploughing.” The meadow to the eastward of the meeting-house, seen in the headpiece of this Part, probably was the ground where ploughing was thus first “set up.” The plough had undoubtedly been used before in town-lots, and by some of the old planters who had secured favorable open locations along the coves and shores; but it required all this length of time to bring the interior country into a condition for its use.

The opening of a wilderness combined circumstances of interest which are not, perhaps, equalled in any other occupation. It is impossible to imagine a


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more exhilarating or invigorating employment. It developed the muscular powers more equally and effectively than any other. The handling of the axe brought into exercise every part of the manly frame. It afforded room for experience and skill, as well as strength; it was an athletic art of the highest kind, and awakened energy, enterprise, and ambition; it was accompanied with sufficient danger to invest it with interest, and demand the most careful judgment and observation. He who best knew how to fell a tree was justly looked upon as the most valuable and the leading man. To bring a tall giant of the woods to the ground was a noble and perilous achievement. As it slowly trembled and tottered to its fall, it was all-important to give it the right direction, so that, as it came down with a thundering crash, it might not be diverted from its expected course by the surrounding trees and their multifarious branches, or its trunk slide off or rebound in an unforeseen manner, scattering fragments and throwing limbs upon the choppers below. Accidents often, deaths sometimes, occurred. A skilful woodman, by a glance at the surrounding trees and their branches, could tell where the tree on which he was about to operate should fall, and bring it unerringly to the ground in the right direction. There was, moreover, danger from lurking savages; and, if the chopper was alone in the deep woods, from the prowling solitary bear, or hungry wolves, which, going in packs, were sometimes formidable. There were elements also, in the work, that awakened

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the finer sentiments. The lonely and solemn woods are God's first temples. They are full of mystic influences; they nourish the poetic nature; they feed the imagination. The air is elastic, and every sound reverberates in broken, strange, and inexplicable intonations. The woods are impregnated with a healthgiving and delightful fragrance nowhere else experienced. All the arts of modern luxury fail to produce an aroma like that which pervades a primitive forest of pines and spruces. Indeed, all trees, in an original wilderness, where they exist in every stage of growth and decay, contribute to this peculiar charm of the woods. It was not only a manly, but a most lively, occupation. When many were working near each other, the echoes of their voices of cheer, of the sharp and ringing tones of their axes, and of the heavy concussions of the falling timber, produced a music that filled the old forests with life, and made labor joyous and refreshing.

The length of time required to prepare a country covered by a wilderness, on a New-England soil, for cultivation, may be estimated by the facts I have stated. A long lapse of years must intervene, after the woods have been felled and their dried trunks and branches burned, before the stumps can be extracted, the land levelled, the stones removed, the plough introduced, or the smooth green fields, which give such beauty to agricultural scenes, be presented. An immense amount of the most exhausting labor must be expended in the process. The world looks with


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wonder on the dykes of Holland, the wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt. I do not hesitate to say that the results produced by the small, scattered population of the American colonies, during their first century, in tearing up a wilderness by its roots, transforming the rocks, with which the surface was covered, into walls, opening roads, building bridges, and making a rough and broken country smooth and level, converting a sterile waste into fertile fields blossoming with verdure and grains and fruitage, is a more wonderful monument of human industry and perseverance than them all. It was a work, not of mere hired laborers, still less of servile minions, but of freemen owning, or winning by their voluntary and cheerful toil, the acres on which they labored, and thus entitling themselves to be the sovereigns of the country they were creating. A few thousands of such men, with such incentives, wrought wonders greater than millions of slaves or serfs ever have accomplished, or ever will.

It was not, therefore, from mere favoritism, or a blind subserviency to men of wealth or station, that such liberal grants of land were made to Winthrop, Dudley, Endicott, and others, but for various wise and good reasons, having the welfare and happiness of the whole people, especially the poorer classes, in view. In illustration of the one now under consideration, a few facts may be presented. They will show the amount of labor required to bring the “Orchard Farm” into cultivation, and which must have been procured


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at a large outlay in money by the proprietor. In the court-files are many curious papers, in the shape of depositions given by witnesses in suits of various kinds, arising from time to time, showing that large numbers of hired men were kept constantly at work. Nov. 10, 1678, Edmund Grover, seventy-eight years old, testified, “that, above forty-five years since, I, this deponent, wrought much upon Governor Endicott's farm, called Orchard, and did, about that time, help to cut and cleave about seven thousand palisadoes, as I remember, and was the first that made improvement thereof, by breaking up of ground and planting of Indian-corn.” The land was granted to Endicott in July, 1632; and the work in which Grover, with others, was engaged, commenced undoubtedly forthwith. Palisadoes were young trees, of about six inches in diameter at the butt, cut into poles of about ten feet in length, sharpened at the larger end, and driven into the ground; those that were split or cloven were used as rails. In this way, lots were fenced in. In some cases, the upright posts were placed close together, as palisades in fortifications, to prevent the escape of domestic animals, and as a safeguard against depredations upon the young cattle, sheep, and poultry, by bears, wolves, foxes, the loup-cervier, or wild-cat, with which the woods were infested. Grover seems to have wrought on the Orchard Farm for a short time. We find, that, a few years after the point to which his testimony goes back, he had a farm of his own. Some wrought there for a longer time, and were permanent

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retainers on the farm. In 1635, the widow Scarlett apprenticed her son Benjamin, then eleven years of age, to Governor Endicott. The following document, recorded in Essex Registry of Deeds, tells his story: —

“To all christian people to whom these presents shall come, I, Benjamin Scarlett of Salem, in New England, sendeth Greeting — Know ye, that I, the said Benjamin Scarlett, having lived as a servant with Mr. John Endicott, Esq. sometimes Governor in New England, and served him near upon thirty years, for, and in consideration whereof, the said Governor Endicott gave unto me, the said Benjamin Scarlett, a certain tract of land, in the year 1650, being about 10 acres, more or less, the which land hath ever since been possessed by me, the said Benjamin Scarlett, and it lyeth at the head of Cow House River, bounded on the north with the land of Mr. Endicott called Orchard Farm, on the South with the high way leading to the salt water, on the West with the road way leading to Salem, on the East with the salt water, which tract of land was given to me, as aforesaid, during my life, and in case I should leave no issue of my body, to give it to such of his posterity as I should see cause to bestow it upon; Know ye, therefore, that I, the said Benjamin Scarlett, for divers considerations me thereunto moving, have given, granted, and by these presents do give and grant, assign, sett over, and bestow the aforesaid tract of land, with all the improvements I have made thereon, both by building, fencing, or otherwise, unto Samuel Endicott, second son to Zerubabel Endicott deceased, and unto Hannah his wife, to have and to hold the said ten acres of land, more or less, with all the privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging, unto the said Samuel


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Endicott and Hannah his wife, to his and her own proper use and behoof forever; and after their decease I give the said tract of land to their son Samuel Endicott. In case he should depart this life without issue, then to be given to the next heir of the said Samuel and Hannah. — In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal. — Dated the ninth of January one thousand six hundred and ninety one. — Benjamin Scarlett, his mark.”

It is to be observed, that Governor Endicott had died twenty-six years, and his son Zerubabel seven years, before the date of the foregoing deed. No writings had passed between them in reference to the final disposition Scarlett was conditionally to make of the estate. There were no living witnesses of the original understanding. But the old man was true to the sentiments of honor and gratitude. The master to whom he had been apprenticed in his boyhood had been kind and generous to him, and he was faithful to the letter and spirit of his engagement. He evidently made a point to have the language of the deed as strong as it could be. He did not leave the matter to be settled by a will, but determined to enjoy, while living, the satisfaction of being true to his plighted faith. He was known, in his later years, as “old Ben Scarlett.” He did not feel ashamed to call himself a servant. But humble and unpretending as he was, I feel a pride in rescuing his name from oblivion. Old Ben Scarlett will for ever hold his place among nature's nobles, — honest men.

The extent to which Endicott went in improving his


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lands is shown in the particular department which gave the name to his original grant. In 1648, he bought of Captain Trask two hundred and fifty acres of land, in another locality, giving in exchange five hundred apple-trees, of three years' growth. Such a number of fruit-trees of that age, disposable at so early a period, could only be the result of a great expenditure of labor and money. So many operations going on under his direction and within his premises made his farm a school, in which large numbers were trained to every variety of knowledge needed by an original settler. The subduing of the wilderness; the breaking of the ground; the building of bridges, stone, “palisadoes,” houses, and barns; the processes of planting; the introduction of all suitable articles of culture; the methods best adapted to the preparation of the rugged soil for production; the rearing of abundant orchards and bountiful crops; the smoothing and levelling of lands, and the laying-out of roads, — these were all going at once, and it was quite desirable for young men to work on his farm, before going out deeper into the wilderness to make farms for themselves. There were many besides Grover who availed themselves of the advantage. John Putnam was a large landholder, and an original grantee; but we find his youngest son, John, attached to Endicott's establishment, and working on his farm about the time of his maturity. In a deposition in court, in a land case of disputed boundaries, August, 1705, “John Putnam. Sr., of full age, testifieth and saith that — being a retainer

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in Governor Endicott's family, about fifty years since, and being intimately acquainted with the governor himself and with his son, Mr. Zerubabel Endicott, late of Salem, deceased, who succeeded in his father's right, and lived and died on the farm called Orchard Farm, in Salem — the said Governor Endicott did oftentimes tell this deponent,” &c. The same John Putnam, in a deposition dated 1678, says that he was then fifty years old, and that, thirty-five years before, he was at Mr. Endicott's farm, and went out to a certain place called “Vine Cove,” where he found Mr. Endicott; and he testifies to a conversation that he heard between Mr. Endicott and one of his men, Walter Knight. I mention these things to show that a lad of fifteen, a son of a neighbor of large estate in lands, was an intimate visitor at the Orchard Farm; and that, when he became of age, before entering upon the work of clearing lands of his own, given by his father, he went as “a retainer” to work on the governor's farm. He went as a voluntary laborer, as to a school of agricultural training. This was done on other farms, first occupied by men who had the means and the enterprise to carry on large operations. It gave a high character, in their particular employment, to the first settlers generally.

I cannot leave this subject of Endicott on his farm, without presenting another picture, drawn from a wilderness scene. In 1678, Nathaniel Ingersol, then forty-five years of age, in a deposition sworn to in court, describes an incident that occurred on the eastern


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end of the Townsend Bishop farm as laid out on the map, when he was about eleven years of age. His father, Richard Ingersol, had leased the farm. It was contiguous to Endicott's land, and controversies of boundary arose, which subsequently contributed to aggravate the feuds and passions that were let loose in the fury of the witchcraft proceedings. Nathaniel Ingersol says, —

“This deponent testifieth, that, when my father had fenced in a parcel of land where the wolf-pits now are, the said Governor Endicott came to my father where we were at plough, and said to my father he had fenced in some of the said Governor land. My father replied, then he would remove the fence. No, said Governor Endicott, let it stand; and, when you set up a new fence, we will settle in the bounds.”

This statement is worthy of being preserved, as it illustrates the character of the two men, exhibiting them in a most honorable light. The gentlemanly bearing of each is quite observable. Ingersol manifests an instant willingness to repair a wrong, and set the matter right; Endicott is considerate and obliging on a point where men are most prone to be obstinate and unyielding, — a conflict of land rights: both are courteous, and disposed to accommodate. Endicott was governor of the colony, and a large conterminous landowner; Ingersol was a husbandman, at work with his boys on land into which their labor had incorporated value, and with which, for the time being, he was identified. But Endicott showed no arrogance,


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and assumed no authority; Ingersol manifested no resentment or irritation. If a similar spirit had been everywhere exhibited, the good-will and harmony of neighborhoods would never have been disturbed, and the records of courts reduced to less than half their bulk.

To his dying day, John Endicott retained a lively interest in promoting the welfare of his neighbors in the vicinity of the Orchard Farm.

Father Gabriel Druillettes was sent by the Governor of Canada, in 1650, to Boston, in a diplomatic character, to treat with the Government here. He kept a journal, during his visit, from which the following is an extract: “I went to Salem to speak to the Sieur Indicatt who speaks and understands French well, and is a good friend of the nation, and very desirous to have his children entertain this sentiment. Finding I had no money, he supplied me, and gave me an invitation to the magistrates' table.” Endicott had undoubtedly received a good education. His natural force of character had been brought under the influence of the knowledge prevalent in his day, and invigorated by an experience and aptitude in practical affairs. There is some evidence that he had, in early life, been a surgeon or physician.

He was a captain in the military service before leaving England. Although he was the earliest who bore the title of governor here, having been deputed to exercise that office by the governor and company in England, and subsequently elected to that station


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for a greater length of time than any other person in our history, had been colonel of the Essex militia, commandant of the expedition against the Indians at Block Island, and, for several years, major-general, at the head of the military forces of the colony, the title of captain was attached to him, more or less, from beginning to end; and it is a singular circumstance, that it has adhered to the name to this day. His descendants early manifested a predilection for maritime life. During the first half of the present century, many of them were shipmasters. In our foreign, particularly our East-India, navigation, the title has clung to the name; so much so, that the story is told, that, half a century ago, when American ships arrived at Sumatra or Java, the natives, on approaching or entering the vessels to ascertain the name of the captain, were accustomed to inquire, “Who is the Endicott?” The public station, rank, and influence of Governor Endicott required that he should first be mentioned, in describing the elements that went to form the character of the original agricultural population of this region.

The map shows the farm of Emanuel Downing. The lines are substantially correct, although precise accuracy cannot be claimed for them, as the points mentioned in this and other cases were marked trees, heaps of stones, or other perishable or removable objects, and no survey or plot has come down to us. A collation of conterminous grants or subsequent conveyances, with references in some of them to


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permanent objects, enables us to approximate to a pretty certain conclusion. This gentleman was one of the most distinguished of the early New-England colonists. He was a lawyer of the Inner Temple. He married, in the first instance, a daughter of Sir James Ware, a person of great eminence in the learned lore of his times. His second wife was Lucy, sister of Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts, who was born July 9, 1601. They were married, April 10, 1622. There seems to have been a very strong attachment between Emanuel Downing and his brother Winthrop; and they went together, with their whole heart, into the plan of building up the colony. They devoted to it their fortunes and lives. Downing is supposed to have arrived at Boston in August, 1638, with his family. On the 4th of November, he and his wife were admitted to the Church at Salem. So great had been the value of his services in behalf of the colony, in defending its interests and watching over its welfare before leaving England, that he was welcomed with the utmost cordiality to his new home. His nephew, John Winthrop, Jr., afterwards Governor of Connecticut, was associated with John Endicott to administer to him the freeman's oath. The General Court granted him six hundred acres of land. He was immediately appointed a judge of the local court in Salem, and, for many years, elected one of its two deputies to the General Court. In anticipation of his arrival in the country, the town of Salem, on the 16th of July, granted him five hundred acres. He afterwards

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purchased the farm on which he seems to have lived, for the most part, until he went to England in 1652. The condition of public affairs, and his own connection with them, detained him in the mother much of the latter part of his life. While in this colony, he was indefatigable in his exertions to secure its prosperity. His wealth and time and faculties were liberally and constantly devoted to this end.

The active part taken by Mr. Downing in the affairs of the settlement is illustrated in the following extract from the Salem town records:—

“At a general Town meeting, held the 7th day of the 5th month, 1644 — ordered that two be appointed every Lord's Day, to walk forth in the time of God's worship, to take notice of such as either lye about the meeting house, without attending to the word and ordinances, or that lye at home or in the fields without giving good account thereof, and to take the names of such persons, and to present them to the magistrates, whereby they may be accordingly proceeded against. The names of such as are ordered to this service are for the 1st day, Mr. Stileman and Philip Veren Jr. 2d day, Philip Veren Sr. and Hilliard Veren. 3d day, Mr. Batter and Joshua Veren. 4th day, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Clark. 5th day, Mr. Downing and Robert Molton Sr. 6th day, Robert Molton Jr. and Richard Ingersol. 7th day, John Ingersol and Richard Pettingell. 8th day, William Haynes and Richard Hutchinson. 9th day, John Putnam and John Hathorne. 10th day, Townsend Bishop and Daniel Rea. 11th day, John Porter and Jacob Barney.”


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Each patrol, on concluding its day's service, was to notify the succeeding one; and they were to start on their rounds, severally, from “Goodman Porter's near the Meeting House.”

The men appointed to this service were all leading characters, reliable and energetic persons. It was a singular arrangement, and gives a vivid idea of the state of things at the time. Its design was probably, not merely that expressed in the vote of the town, but also to prevent any disorderly conduct on the part of those not attending public worship, and to give prompt alarm in case of fire or an Indian assault. The population had not then spread out far into the country; and the range of exploration did not much extend beyond the settlement in the town. None but active men, however, could have performed the duty thoroughly, and in all directions, so as to have kept the whole community under strict inspection.

Mr. Downing probably expended liberally his fortune and time in improving his farm, upon which there were, at least, four dwelling-houses prior to 1661, and large numbers of men employed. He was a ready contributor to all public objects. His education had been superior and his attainments in knowledge extensive. He was of an enlightened spirit, and strove to mitigate the severity of the procedures against Antinomians and others. He seems to have had an ingenious and enterprising mind. At a General Court held at Boston, Sept. 6, 1638, it was voted that, “Whereas Emanuel Downing, Esq., hath brought


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over, at his great charges, all things fitting for taking wild fowl by way of duck-coy, this court, being desirous to encourage him and others in such designs as tend to the public good,” &c., orders that liberty shall be given him to set up his duck-coy within the limits of Salem; and all persons are forbidden to molest him in his experiments, by “shooting in any gun within half a mile of the ponds,” where, by the regulations of the town, he shall be allowed to place the decoys. The court afterwards granted to other towns liberty to set up duck-coys, with similar privileges. What was the particular structure of the contrivance, and how far it succeeded in operation, is not known; but the thing shows the spirit of the man. He at once took hold of his farm with energy, and gathered workmen upon it. Winthrop in his journal has this entry, Aug. 2, 1645:—

“Mr. Downing having built a new house at his farm, he being gone to England, and his wife and family gone to the church meeting on the Lord's day, the chimney took fire and burned down the house, and bedding, apparel and household, to the value of 200 pounds.”

This proves that his family resided on the farm; and it indicates, that, when he first occupied it, he had only such a house as could have been seasonably put up at the start, but that a more commodious one had been erected at his leisure: the expression “having built a new house” appears to carry this idea. On his return from England, he undoubtedly built again, and


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had other houses for his workmen and tenants; for we find that one of them, in 1648, was allowed to keep an ordinary, “as Mr. Downing's farm, on the road between Lynn and Ipswich, was a convenient place” for such an accommodation to travellers. Public travel to and from those points goes over that same road to. That it was so early laid out is probably owing to the fact, that such men as Emanuel Downing were on its route, and John Winthrop, Jr., at Ipswich. Downing called his farm “Groton,” in dear remembrance of his wife's ancestral home in “the old country.”

Originally, travel was on a track more interior. The opening of roads did not begin until after the more immediate and necessary operations of erecting houses and bringing the land, on the most available spots near them at the points first settled, under culture. Originally, communication from farm to farm, through the woods, was by marking the trees, — sometimes by burning and blackening spots on their sides, and sometimes by cutting off a piece of the bark. The traveller found his way step by step, following the trees thus marked, or “blazed,” as it was called whichever method had been adopted. When the branches and brush were sufficiently cleared away, horses could be used. At places rendered difficult by large roots, partly above ground, intercepting the passage, or by rough stones, the rider would dismount, and lead the horse. From this, it was called a “bridle-path.” After the way had become sufficiently opened for ox-carts or other vehicles to pass, it would begin to receive the name of a


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road. On reaching a cleared and fenced piece of land, the traveller would cross it, opening and closing gates, or taking down and replacing bars, as the case might be. There were arrangements among the settlers, and, before long, acts of the General Court, regulating the matter. This was the origin of what were called “press-roads,” or “farm-roads,” or “gate-roads.” When a proprietor concluded it to be for his interest to do so, he would fence in the road on both sides where it crossed his land, and remove the gates or bars from each end. Ultimately, the road, if convenient for long travel, would be fenced in for a great distance, and become a permanent “public highway.” In all these stages of progress, it would be called a “highway.” The fee would remain with the several proprietors through whose lands it passed; and, if travel should forsake it for a more eligible route, it would be discontinued, and the road-track, enclosed in the fields to which it originally belonged, be obliterated by the plough. Many of the “highways,” by which the farmers passed over each other's lands to get to the meeting-house or out to public roads, in 1692, have thus disappeared, while some have hardened into permanent public roads used to this day. When thus fully and finally established, it became a “town road,” and if leading some distance into the interior, and through other towns, was called a “country road.” The early name of “path” continued some time in use long after it had got to be worthy of a more pretentious title. The old “Boston Path,” by which the country was originally

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penetrated, long retained that name. It ran through the southern and western part of Salem Village by the Gardners, Popes, Goodales, Flints, Needhams, Swinnertons, Houltons, and so on towards Ipswich and Newbury.

On the 30th of September, 1648, Governor Winthrop, writing to his son John, says “they are well at Salem, and your uncle is now beginning to distil. Mr. Endicott hath found a copper mine in his own ground. Mr. Leader hath tried it. The furnace runs eight tons per week, and their bar iron is as good as Spanish.” Whatever may be thought by some of the logic which infers that “all is well” in Salem, because they are beginning “to distil;” and however little has, as yet, resulted here from the discovery of copper-mines, or the manufacture of iron, the foregoing extract shows the zeal and enthusiasm with which the wealthier settlers were applying themselves to the development of the capabilities of the country.

Mr. Downing seems to have resided permanently on his farm, and to have been identified with the agricultural portion of the community. His house-lot in the town bounded south on Essex Street, extending from Newbury to St. Peter's Street. He may not, perhaps, have built upon it for some time, as it long continued to be called “Downing's Field.” Two of his daughters married sons of Thomas Gardner: Mary married Samuel; and Ann, Joseph. They came into possession of the “Downing Field.” Mary was the mother of John, the progenitor of a large branch of


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the Gardner family. Mr. Downing had another large lot in the town, which, on the 11th of February, 1641, was sold to John Pickering, described in the deed as follows: “All that parcel of ground, lying before the now dwelling-house of the said John Pickering, late in the occupation of John Endicott, Esq., with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging, abutting on the east and south on the river commonly called the South River, and on the west on the land of William Hathorne, and on the north on the Town Common.” The deed is signed by Lucy Downing, and by Edmund Batter, acting for her husband in his absence. On the 10th of February, 1644, he indorsed the transaction as follows: “I do freely agree to the sale of the said Field in Salem, made by my wife to John Pickering: witness my hand,” &c. The attesting witnesses were Samuel Sharpe and William Hathorne. This land was then called “Broad Field.” On his estate, thus enlarged, Pickering, a few years afterwards, built a house, still standing. The estate has remained, or rather so much of it as was attached to the homestead, in that family to this day, and is now owned and occupied by John Pickering, Esq., son of the eminent scholar and philologist of that name, and grandson of Colonel Timothy Pickering, of Revolutionary fame, — the trusted friend of Washington.

Emanuel Downing was the father of Sir George Downing, one of the first class that graduated at Harvard College, — a man of extraordinary talents and wonderful fortunes. After finishing his collegiate


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course, in 1642, he studied divinity, probably under the direction of Hugh Peters; went to the West Indies, acting as chaplain in the vessel; preached and received calls to settle in several places; went on to England; entered the parliamentary service as chaplain to a regiment; was rapidly drawn into notice, and promoted from point to point, until he became scoutmaster in Cromwell's army. This office seems to have combined the functions of inspector and commissary, and head of the reconnoitering department. In 1654, he was married to Frances, sister of Viscount Morpeth, afterwards Earl of Carlisle; thus uniting himself with “the blood of all the Howards,” one of the noblest families in England. The nuptials were celebrated with great pomp, an epithalamium in Latin, &c. All this, within eleven years after he took his degree at Harvard, is surely an extraordinary instance of rising in the world. He was a member of Parliament for Scotland. Cromwell sent him to France on diplomatic business, and his correspondence in Latin from that court was the beginning of a career of great services in that line. He was soon commissioned ambassador to the Hague, then the great court in Europe. Thurlow's state papers show with what marvellous vigilance, activity, and efficiency he conducted, from that centre, the diplomatic affairs of the commonwealth. At the restoration of the monarchy, he made the quickest and the loftiest somersault in all political history. It was done between two days. He saw Charles the Second at the Hague, on his way to England to resume

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his crown: and the man who, up to that moment, had been one of the most zealous supporters of the commonwealth, came out next morning as an equally zealous supporter of the king. He accompanied this wonderful exploit by an act of treachery to three of his old associates, — including Colonel Oakey, in whose regiment he had served as chaplain, — which cost them their lives. He was forthwith knighted, and his commission as ambassador renewed. After a while, he returned to England; went into Parliament from Morpeth, and ever after the exchequer was in his hands. By his knowledge, skill, and ability, he enlarged the financial resources of the country, multiplied its manufactures, and extended its power and wealth. He was probably the original contriver of the policy enforced in the celebrated Navigation Act, having suggested it in Cromwell's time. By that single short act of Parliament, England became the great naval power of the world; her colonial possessions, however widely dispersed, were consolidated into one vast fountain of wealth to the imperial realm; the empire of the seas was fixed on an immovable basis, and the proud Hollander compelled to take down the besom from the mast-head of his high-admiral.

Sir George Downing did one thing in favor of the power of the people, in the British system of government, which may mitigate the resentment of mankind for his execrable seizure and delivery to the royal vengeance of Oakey, Corbett, and Barkstead. He introduced into Parliament and established the principle


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of Specific Appropriations. The House of Commons has, ever since, not only held the keys of the treasury, but the power of controlling expenditures. The fortune of Sir George, on the failure of issue in the third generation, went to the foundation of Downing College, in Cambridge, England. It amounted to one hundred and fifty thousand pounds sterling. It is not improbable, that Downing Street, in London, owes its name to the great diplomatist.

This remarkable man spent his later youth and opening manhood on Salem Farms. In his college vacations and intervals of study, he partook, perhaps, in the labors of the plantation, mingled with the rural population, and shared in their sports. The crack of his fowling-piece re-echoed through the wild woods beyond Procter's Corner; he tended his father's duck at Humphries' Pond, and angled along the clear brooks. It is an observable circumstance, as illustrating the transmission of family traits, that the same ingenious activity and versatility of mind, which led Emanuel Downing, while carrying on the multifarious operations of opening a large farm in the forest, presiding in the local court at Salem, and serving year after year in the General Court as a deputy, to contrive complicated machinery for taking wild fowl and getting up distilleries, re-appeared in his son, on the broader field of the manufactures, finances, and foreign relations of a great nation.

A tract of three hundred acres, next eastward of the Downing farm, was granted to Thomas Read. He


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became a freeman in 1634, was a member of the Salem Church in 1636, received his grant the same year, and was acknowledged as an inhabitant, May 2, 1637. The farm is now occupied and owned by the Hon. Richard S. Rogers. It is a beautiful and commanding situation, and attests the taste of its original proprietor. Mr. Read seems to have had a passion for military affairs. In 1636, he was ensign in a regiment composed of men from Saugus, Ipswich, Newbury, and Salem, of which John Endicott was colonel, and John Winthrop, Jr., lieutenant-colonel. In 1647, he commanded a company. During the civil wars in England, he was attracted back to his native country. He commanded a regiment in 1660, and held his place after the Restoration. He died about 1663.

Our antiquarians were long at a loss to understand a sentence in one of Roger Williams's letters to John Winthrop, Jr., in which he says, “Sir, you were not long since the son of two noble fathers, Mr. John Winthrop and Mr. Hugh Peters.” How John Winthrop, Jr., could be a son of Hugh Peters was the puzzle. Peters was not the father of either of Winthrop's two wives; and there was nothing in any family records or memorials to justify the notion. On the contrary, they absolutely precluded it. By the labors and acumen of the Hon. James Savage and Mr. Charles Deane, of Cambridge, who have no superiors in grappling with such a difficulty, its solution seems, at last, to be reached. “After long fruitless search,” Mr. Savage has expressed a conviction that Mr. Deane has “acquired


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the probable explication.” The clue was thus obtained: Mr. Savage says, “This approach to explanation is gained from `the Life and Death of Hugh Peters, by William Yonge, Dr. Med. London. 1663,' a very curious and more scarce tract.” The facts discovered are that Peters taught a free school at Maldon, in Essex; and that a widow lady with children and an estate of two or three hundred pounds a year befriended him. She was known as “Mistress Read.” Peters married her. The second wife of John Winthrop, Jr., was Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel Read, of Essex. By marrying Mrs. Read, Peters became the step-father of the younger Winthrop's wife; and, by the usage of that day, he would be called Winthrop's father.

A few additional particulars, in reference to Peters and our Salem Read, may shed further light on the subject. While a prisoner in the Tower of London, awaiting the trial which, in a few short days, consigned him to his fate, Peters wrote “A Dying Father's Last Legacy to an only Child,” and delivered it to his daughter just before his execution. This is one of the most admirable productions of genius, wisdom, and affection, anywhere to be found. In it he gives a condensed history of his life, which enables us to settle some questions, which have given rise to conflicting statements, and kept some points in his biography in obscurity. In the first place, the title proves that he had, at the time of his death, no other child. In the course of it, he tells his daughter, that, when he was


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fourteen years of age, his mother, then a widow, removed with him to Cambridge, and connected him with the University there. His elder brother had been sent to Oxford for his education. After residing eight years in Cambridge, he took his Master's degree, and then went up to London, where he was “struck with the sense of his sinful estate by a sermon he heard under Paul's, which was about forty years since, which text was the burden of Dumah or Idumea, and stuck fast. This made me to go into Essex; and after being quieted by another sermon in that country, and the love and labors of Mr. Thomas Hooker, I there preached, there married with a good gentlewoman, till I went to London to ripen my studies, not intending to preach at all.” He then relates the circumstances which subsequently led him again to engage in preaching. He is stated to have been born in 1599: his death was in 1660. Putting together these dates and facts, it becomes evident that he could not have been more than twenty-two years of age when he married “Mistress Read.” The “Last Legacy” shows, not merely in the manner in which he speaks of her, — “a good gentlewoman,” — but, in its express terms, that she was not the mother of the “only child” to whom it was addressed. “Besides your mother,” he states that he had had “a godly wife before.” There is no indication that there were children by the earlier marriage. If there were, they died young. He married, for his second wife, Deliverance Sheffield, at Boston, in March, 1639.


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His first wife, the time of whose death is unknown, had left the children by her former husband in his hands and under his care. He evidently cherished the memory of the “good gentlewoman of Essex” with the tenderest and most sacred affection. She had not only been the dear wife of his youth, but her property placed him above want. No wonder that the strongest attachment existed between him and her children. John Winthrop, Jr., and his wife, called him father, not merely in conformity with custom, being their step-father in point of fact, but with the fondness and devotion of actual children. It was on account of this intimate and endeared connection, and in consideration of the pecuniary benefit he had derived from his marriage to the mother of the younger Winthrop's wife, that he made arrangements, in case he should not return to America, that his Salem property should go to her and her husband. Having married a second wife, and there being issue of said marriage, he would not have alienated so considerable a part of his property from the legal heir without some good and sufficient reason. The foregoing view of the case explains the whole. The solution of the mystery which had enveloped Roger Williams's language is complete. Elizabeth, the daughter of the second marriage, to whom the “Last Legacy” was addressed, was baptized in the First Church at Salem, on the 8th of March, 1640. It does not appear, that, during her subsequent life, there was any intimacy, or even acquaintance, between her and the


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Winthrops, as there was no ground for it, she being in no way connected with them.

May not Thomas Read, of Salem, have been a son of Colonel Read, of Maldon in Essex, and a brother of the wife of the younger Winthrop? Peters says, in the “Last Legacy,” “Many of my acquaintances, going for New England, had engaged me to come to them when they sent, which accordingly I did.” Thomas Read came over some time before him; so did John Winthrop, Jr., and wife. They were the same as children to him. They sent for him, and he came. After it was ascertained and determined that Peters should settle in Salem, Read joined the church here, and became a full inhabitant. Peters located his grant of land in sight of Read's residence, on the next then unappropriated territory, at a distance of about two and a half miles. When Read returned to England, he left his property here in the care of the Winthrops. Wait Winthrop, as the agent and attorney of his heirs, sold it to Daniel Eppes. If, as I conjecture, Thomas Read was a son of Colonel Read, of Essex, his coming here with Peters, and his connection with the Winthrops, are accounted for. His strong predilection for military affairs was natural in a son of a colonel of the English army. It led him back to the mother-country, on the first sound of the great civil war reaching these shores, and raised him to the rank he finally attained. The conjecture that he was a brother of the wife of the younger Winthrop is favored by the fact, that her son, Fitz John Winthrop,


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was a captain in Read's regiment, at the time of the restoration of the Stuarts.

During the short period of the residence of Hugh Peters in America, professional duties, and the extent to which his great talents were called upon in ecclesiastical and political affairs, in all parts of the colony, left him but little opportunity to attend to his twohundred grant. It was to the north of the present village of Danvers Plains, on the eastern side and adjoining to Frost-Fish Brook. The history of this grant confirms the supposition of his particular connection with the family of the younger Winthrop. It seems that it had not been formally laid out by metes and bounds while Peters was here. Owing to this circumstance, perhaps, it escaped confiscation at the time of his condemnation and execution. Some years afterwards, June 4, 1674, a committee of the town laid out the grant “to Mr. Peters.” The record of this transaction says, “The land is in the possession of John Corwin.” Captain John Corwin had married, in May, 1665, Margaret, daughter of John Winthrop, Jr. She survived her husband, and sold the same land, May 22, 1693, to “Henry Brown, Jr., of Salisbury, yeoman.” These facts show that this portion of Mr. Peters's lands did go, according to the agreement when he left America, to the family of John Winthrop, Jr.

Whether he had erected a house on this grant is not known. From his characteristic energy, activity, and promptitude, it is probable that he had begun to clear


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it. In agriculture, as in every thing else, he gave a decisive impulse. It is stated that he had a particular design to attempt the culture of hemp. He introduced many implements of labor, and started new methods of improvement. He disclosed to the producer of agricultural growths the idea of raising what the land was most capable of yielding in abundance, in greater quantities than were needed for local consumption, and finding for the surplus an outside market. He is allowed to have introduced the coasting and foreign trade on an intelligent and organized basis, and to have promoted ship-building and the export of the products of the forests and the fields generally to the Southern plantations, the West Indies, and even more distant points. If he had remained longer in the country, the farming interests, and the settlers in what was afterwards called Salem Village, within which his tract was situated, would have felt his great influence. As it was, he undoubtedly did much to inspire a zeal for improvement. His town residence was on the south-western corner of Essex and Washington Street, then known as “Salem Corner,” where the office of the Horse-railroad Company now is. The lot was a quarter of an acre. Roger Williams probably had resided there, and sold to Peters, who was his successor in the ministry of the First Church, and whose attorney sold it to Benjamin Felton, in 1659. The range of ground included within what are now Washington, Essex, Summer, and Chestnut Streets, and extending to the South River, as it was before any

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dam or mills had been erected over or across it, was a beautiful swell of land, with sloping surfaces, intersected by a creek from near the foot of Chestnut Street to its junction with the South River under the present grade of Mill Street. To the south of the corner, occupied successively by Roger Williams and Hugh Peters, Ralph Fogg, the Lady Deborah Moody, George Corwin, Dr. George Emory, Thomas Ruck, Samuel Skelton, Endicott, Pickering, Downing, and Hathorne, each had lots, extending in order to the foot of what is now Phelps Street. Most, if not all of them, had houses on their lots. Elder Sharp had what was called “Sharp's Field,” bordering on the north side of Essex Street, extending from Washington to North Streets. His house was at the north corner of Lynde and Washington Streets. Edmund Batter, Henry Cook, Dr. Daniel Weld, Stephen Sewall, and Edward Norris, were afterwards on his land. Hugh Peters also owned the lot, consisting of a quarter of an acre, on the north-eastern corner of Essex and Washington Streets, now occupied by what is known as Stearns's Building, and was preparing to erect a house upon it when he was sent to England. His attorney sold it, in 1652, to John Orne, the founder of the family of that name.

The daughter of Mr. Peters came over to America shortly after his death, bringing with her her mother, who, for many years, had been subject to derangement. They were kindly received; and some of his property, particularly a valuable farm in the vicinity


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of Marblehead, which the daughter sold to the American ancestor of the Devereux family, was recovered from the effect of his attainder. She probably soon went back to England, where she spent her days. Papers on file in the county court show that Elizabeth Barker, widow, “daughter of Mr. Hugh Peters,” was living, in March, 1702, in good health, at Deptford, Kent, in the immediate vicinity of London, and had been living there for about forty years.

In consequence, perhaps, of the intimate connection between Mr. Peters and the family of John Winthrop, Jr., the name of the latter is to be added to the cluster of eminent men who, at that time, were drawn to reside in Salem. He was here, it is quite certain, from 1638 to 1641, if not for a longer period. There are indications of his presence as early as March of the former year, when he was appointed with Endicott to administer the freeman's oath to his uncle Downing. On the 25th of the next June, he had liberty to set up a salt-house at Royal Neck, on the east side of Wooleston River. There he erected a dwelling-house and other buildings, as appears by the depositions of sundry persons in a land suit about thirty years afterwards, who state that they worked for him, and were conversant with him there for several years. His first experiments and enterprises in the salt-manufacture, which he subsequently conducted on a very extensive scale in Connecticut, were performed at Royal Neck. His daughter, the widow successively of Antipas Newman and Zerubabel Endicott, in the suit just mentioned,


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recovered possession of that property, comprising forty acres, with the buildings and improvements. In 1646, John Winthrop, Jr., accompanied by a brother of Hugh Peters, Rev. Thomas Peters from Cornwall in England, began a plantation at Pequot River; and Trumbull, in his “History of Connecticut,” says that “Mr. Thomas Peters was the first minister of Saybrook.” The fortunes and families of Hugh Peters and John Winthrop, Jr., seem all along to have been linked together.

Downing, Read, and Peters, three of the original planters of Salem Farms, were drawn back to England and kept there by the engrossing interest which the wonderful revolution then breaking out in that kingdom could not but awaken in such minds as theirs. Here and everywhere, a great check was given to the early progress of the country by the turn of the tide which carried such men back to England, and prevented others from coming over. If the Parliament had not attempted to arrest the usurpations of the crown at that time, and the Stuarts been suffered to establish an absolute monarchy, the eyes and hearts of all free spirits would have remained fixed on America, and a perpetual stream of emigration brought over, for generations and for ever, thousands upon thousands of such men as came at the beginning. The effects that would have been thus produced in America and in England, in accelerating the progress of society here, and sinking it into debasement there; and thereby upon the fortunes of mankind the world


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over, is a subject on which a meditative and philosophical mind may well be exercised.

But, although these men were lost, others are worthy of being enumerated, in forming an estimate of the elements that went to make the character of the people, a chapter in whose history, of awful import, we are preparing ourselves to explore.

Francis Weston was a leading man at the very beginning. In 1634, with Roger Conant and John Holgrave, he represented Salem in the first House of Deputies ever assembled. His land grant was some little distance to the west of the meeting-house of the village. He must have been a person of more than ordinary liberality of spirit; for he discountenanced the intolerance of his age, and kept his mind open to receive truth and light. He did not conceal his sympathy with those who suffered for entertaining Antinomian sentiments. He was ordered to quit the colony in 1638. For the same offence, his wife, who probably had refused to go, was placed in the stocks “two hours at Boston and two at Salem, on a lecture day.” Weston, having ventured back, five years afterwards, was put in irons, and imprisoned to hard labor. But, as he stood to his principles, and there was danger to be apprehended from his influence, he was again driven out of the colony.

Richard Waterman came over from England in 1629, recommended to Governor Endicott by the governor and deputy in London. He was a noted hunter. “His chief employment,” says the letter introducing


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him to Endicott, “will be to get you good venison.” A land grant was assigned him near Davenport's Hill. But he, too, had a spirit that resisted the severe and arbitrary policy of the times. He became a dissenter from the prevalent creed, and sympathized with those who suffered oppression. In 1664, he was brought before the court, condemned to imprisonment, and finally banished. Weston and Waterman subsequently were conspicuous in Rhode-Island affairs. While residing in the village, the latter probably devoted himself to the opening of his land, and the pursuit of game through the forests. I find but one notice of him as connected with public affairs.