Monday, November 23, 2009

Paulisper Fui

There are eight books on the table. Please give them a moment to load. Each will open to an appropriate page. You may have to scroll up or down a bit to find the beginning of the relevant material. Each one adds a bit more understanding to the story behind the poem.

Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & co, 1890.

Sewall, Samuel, Charles Chauncy Sewall, and Samuel Thompson. The History of Woburn, Middlesex County, Mass. from the Grant of Its Territory to Charlestown, in 1640, to the Year 1860. Boston: Wiggin and Lunt, 1868.

Colonial Society of Massachusetts. Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. Boston: The Society, 1895.

Johnson, Edward, and J. Franklin Jameson. Johnson's Wonder-Working Providence, 1628-1651. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910.

Johnson, Edward, and William Frederick Poole. Wonder-Working Providence of Sions Saviour in New England. Andover [Mass.]: W.F. Draper, 1867.

Converse, Charles Allen. Some of the Ancestors and Descendants of Samuel Converse, Jr., Of Thompson Parish, Killingly, Conn.; Major James Convers, of Woburn, Mass.; Hon. Heman Allen, M. C., of Milton and Burlington, Vermont; Captain Jonathan Bixby, Sr. of Killingly, Conn. Boston, Mass: E. Putnam, 1905.

Newhall, Charles Lyman. The Record of My Ancestry. Southbridge: Herald power print, 1899.

Round, Phillip H. By Nature and by Custom Cursed: Transatlantic Civil Discourse and New England Cultural Production, 1620-1660. Civil society (Hanover, N.H.). Hanover, N.H.: Tufts University published by University Press of New England, 1999.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ancestors and Descendants of Richard Higgins

Before reading this article, scroll up one page to see a drawing of Richard Higgins:

New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. XLVI. New York: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1915.

The article below is a continuation of the one above.

New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. XLVII. New York: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1916.

Mrs. Katherine Chapin Higgins disagrees with Monnette about the English origin of Richard Higgins of Plymouth and Eastham. You can read what she has to say in Surname: Higgins at Before My Time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ancient Pear Tree in Eastham

My ninth great-grandfather, Richard Higgins, is mentioned in a poem by Heman Doane. The poem caught the attention of Henry David Thoreau. In Cape Cod, he quoted from the poem and made some comments about it. That subject begins at the bottom of p. 49 if you're in a hurry, but I've opened on the title page because, hey, it's Thoreau. You might want to read your way there.

Thoreau, Henry David. Cape Cod. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co, 1893.

Enoch Pratt included the whole poem in his book, which I've opened to p. 15. Don't take that to mean the rest of the book is not worth reading. It is. Don't miss the last chapter (p. 177) about customs and daily life of our ancestors. Also, searching for "higgins," "cook," and "hopkins" will turn up over fifty references to explore, but be advised: there are two Hopkins branches in my family tree, and both of them have a Stephen, neither of which was Governor Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island. (I mention it here in passing; it's a subject for another day.)

Pratt, Enoch. A Comprehensive History, Ecclesiastical and Civil, of Eastham, Wellfleet and Orleans, County of Barnstable, Mass., from 1644 to 1844. Yarmouth [Mass.]: Published by W.S. Fisher and Co, 1844.

That old pear tree had quite a reputation!

Barber, John Warner. Historical Collections Being a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, &C., Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in Massachusetts : with Geographical Descriptions. Worcester: Warren Lazell, 1844.

All three of these books are worth browsing through.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Anti-Masonic Scandal of 1826

At Project Gutenberg, you can read online or download a plain-text or html version of The Mysteries of Free Masonry, or download a 516 kb PDF version of Morgan's Expose of Free Masonry here. It was over this exposé that William Morgan was said to have been kidnapped and murdered by the Masons. To be honest, I've barely skimmed through it at this point. It seems rather dry. Better to start with a short account of the "excitement" it caused. Scroll down to the third or sixth book below to dip your toe in the waters of one of the hottest cold cases ever. After that, I'm bettin' you'll want more.

Elijah Sedgwick, Jr., a son of my fourth great-grandfather, is named in the Victor Committee on p. 371 of this book, but don't miss the Introduction, which will give you an idea of how highly charged this topic was:

Bernard, David. Light on Masonry: A Collection of All the Most Important Documents on the Subject of Speculative Free Masonry: Embracing the Reports of the Western Committees in Relation to the Abduction of William Morgan...with All the Degrees of the Order Conferred in a Master's Lodge, As Written by Captain William Morgan...By Elder David Bernard. Utica: William Williams, printers, 1829.

Elijah Sedgwick, Jr. (misspelled Sedgewick in this next volume) is named in the dedication on p. iii and again on p. 115 as a member of the Victor Committee:

Southwick, Solomon. A Solemn Warning against Free-Masonry: Addressed to the Young Men of the United States : with an Appendix Containing the Correspondence between Eliphalet Murdock, of Le Roy, Genesee County, N.Y. and the Author, Relating to the Supposed Murder of Mr. Murdock's Father, Through Masonic Vengeance, at Rensselaerville, in the County of Albany, in October, 1803--and Several Other Interesting Matters. Albany: Printed by Geo. Galpin, Office of the National Observer, 1827.

(Incidentally, I notice that another member of the Victor Committee is Samuel Rawson. Elijah Jr. named one of his sons Erastus Rawson Sedgwick (b. 1832). I'm curious to find out what kind of relationship might exist here. Perhaps Rawson was related to Elijah's wife, Esther Bement.)

See p. 109-120 in this volume for an interesting and detailed account of the Morgan story and its political repercussions:

McMaster, John Bach. A History of the People of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1908. (Volume V: 1821-1830)

Almost 50 years after the fact, this book was written about the subject:

Bentley, A. P. History of the Abduction of William Morgan, And the Anti-Masonic Excitement of 1826-30, with Many Details and Incidents Never Before Published. Mt. Pleasent, Ia: Van Cise & Throop, 1874.

An anti-Masonic convention was held in 1830:

United States Anti-masonic Convention, Philadelphia, and Myron Holley. The Proceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, Held at Philadelphia, September 11, 1830. Philadelphia: I.P. Trimble, 1830.

Begin at the bottom of p. 266-270 for another account of the story:

Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

The author of this account is a Freemason:

Morris, Stephen Brent. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry. New York: Alpha Books, 2006.

This account is also by a Freemason:

Morris, Robert. William Morgan. New York: Robert Macoy, Masonic Publisher, 1883.

Although written in 1899, this article seems as highly charged as any:

Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. [Philadelphia]: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1899.

A search for "William Morgan" at Google Books will produce many more volumes on this subject.

Monday, November 2, 2009

U of M Catalog of Officers and Students 1837-1911

Samuel Hopkins Sedgwick and Theron Emmons Sedgwick, p. 865

University of Michigan. General Catalogue of Officers and Students, 1837-1911. Ann Arbor, Mich: The University, 1912.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pequot War Narratives

References to Rev. Samuel Stone: p. 22 (in Mason's narrative), 68 (in Underhill's narrative), 135 (in Gardener's narrative)

Mason, John. Brief History of the Pequot War. Applewood Books, 2009.

A Brief History of the Pequot War was originally published in 1736.