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Johns, Cape Sable and other tribes of Indians inhabiting Nova-Scotia, with their signatures and totems, is given, as also, the names alrixed to the oath of fidelity, obtained by Gov. Phillips from the people of Annapolis Hiver in the winter of 1730.
The book, which is indeed a valuable one, was a present to our Society "from the government of Nova-Scotia." We trust the donation will be appreciated and the favor, when opportunity offers, reciprocated. There is nothing like documents and correct copies of original papers to aid seekers after truth. They ure the nutriment and life of history. Thanks to the Nova-Scotia authorities. They have done a good work, but we hope they will not stop here, for Mr. Akins says :—" There are yet many documents of value and interest among our archives worthy of publication." Bring them forth! A word in this connection might be breathed in behalf of the invaluable docu-' ments in our own State archives. Massachusetts owes it to the world to publish a portion, at least, of her ttco hundred ami thirty-eiyht folio volumes of manuscript papers, arranged by a former President of the N. E. II. & O. Society, Rev. Joseph Harlow Felt, LL.D., on subjects running alphabetically from "Agriculture" to " Witchcraft," as may be seen in the catalogue, ante, vol. ii. pp. 105-107. w. B. T.
Memorial of a Century, embracing a Record of Individuals and Events chiefly in the Early History of Bennington, VI., and its first Church. By Isaac Jennings, Pastor of the Church. Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 59 Washington Street. 1869. pp. 408.
Places, where events have transpired or battles been fought in the revolution which led to the achievement of our national independence, will always be dear to the memory of every patriotic citizen. None in Xew-England are more marked in our history than Lexington, Concord, Charlestown and Bennington; and we hail with pleasure and ■welcome to our library this memorial of a noble inland town by the Rev. Mr. Jennings.
Bennington, in the south-west corner of Vermont, is a beautiful locality, nestling among the Green Mountains, fertile in soil and watered by the lloosick and Walloomscoik rivers. It was one of the earliest settlements in that state, and was chartered January 3, 1749, by Gov. Benning Wentworth of New-Hampshire, with power, when fifty families were there settled, to hold a fair and a market. This township was six miles square and granted to certain parties in sixty-four lots, one of which was reserved for schools, and one lor the minister. In 1761 several families immigrated from Massachusetts and Connecticut, and were soon followed by others; there were no roads here then, and the immigrants travelled on horseback through the woods directed by spotted trees. These industrious and zealous settlers soon cleared up the land and erected log houses; and though in the midst of severe privations and sufferings, yet they built in 1763 a meeting-house which they occupied within two years. It was homely and humble, without steeple or ornament, though with ample galleries; but they laid the foundation of their prosperity on a rock. A church was soon organized, with a goodly number of communicants, under their first pastor, the Rev. Jidediah Dewey. Chapter VIII. contains a sketch of each of the first seven pastors; and indeed the first one hundred and twenty-four pages of the book are almost exclusively devoted to the church history of Bennington.
Few events in the seven years war of the revolution excited more joy in the hearts of an anxious people, or gave more encouragement to our brave and suffering soldiers, than the brilliant battle of Bennington. There was no splendid array of numbers, for only ten or twelve hundred British troops fought with less than eighteen hundred of raw militia; but the result was important, and General Burgoyne felt it; for it paralyzed his plans and he mourned the loss of more than a sixth of the flower of his veteran army. General Washington, in a letter to Putnam, called it "the great stroke struck by Gen. Stark;" Clinton wrote to a friend that after this battle, "not an Indian has been heard of, the scalping knife has ceased;" General Lincoln pronounced it, "a capital blow given to the enemy;" and in his oration at Worcester, July 4, 1833, our late distinguished Edward Everett remarked, this victory, "planned and achieved by Stark, first turned the tide of disaster in the revolutionary war."
An elaborate account of the battle of Bennington is spread before us in Chapter XII. of this interesting work, but a concise summary of it here will neither be1 out of place, nor, we trust, wearisome to the reader; for the great events and battles of the Revolution ought not to he laid away in the sleeping histories of our libraries, but kept alive, and, as it were, pictured and hung up in the chambers of the memory.
General Burgoyne, with an army of veteran troops, exceeding 7000 in number, besides tories and Indians, was encamped July 30, 1777, at Fort Edward—a fortress twentv-five miles from the head of Lake Champlaiii. lie was waiting lor supplies, and
"vol. XXIV. 9*
■was in great want of horses for his dragoons and wheel carriages for the artillery. News was broughthim that in Bennington, Vermont, there was a depository of grain, provisionsand military stores ; and, moreover, a large quantity of wheels and carriages were laid up there for the use of our troops. He then detached Lieut. Col. Baum, a brave German officer, with a body of dragoons, sharpshooters, and artillerists, and two field pieces, making, as it was estimated, about 500 troops, to which 150 (Lossing says 100) Indians were attached, and afterwards 50 chasseurs were added. He ordered him to march to Bennington, and seize the military stores in the block-house, and then scour the country to the banks of the Connecticut, and collect a supply of horses for the service. Lieut. Col. Breyman, with a similar force and two pieces of brass cannon, was • then encamped at Battenhill, twenty-two miles from Bennington, and was required to hold himself ready to assist in the enterprise, if necessary.
Col. Baum encamped at Saratoga, August Uth; on the 13th, marched from Battenhill to Cambridge, and on the 14th reached Van Schaick's mills, at the junction of the river Walloomscoik and White Creek, about two miles from the scene of battle. On the 15th, when it rained hard, he fortified a hill, since called Baum's hill, from three to four hundred feet high and in the midst of some cleared land, and threw up a breastwork with earth and timber. This hill was on the west side of the river, in the town of Hoosick.
The report of this expedition flew over the eastern country, and gloom and despondence pervaded every habitation. The Vermont Council of Safety, which held their sessions at the Catamount tavern in Bennington, and were always at the post of duty, applied for help to Massachusetts and New-Hampshire, and a brigade under Gen. Stark was sent by N. H. to their defence. It was at this time that John Langdon, Speaker of the N. H. Assembly, exhibited a noble instance of patriotism. Seeing the wants and despair and distress of his country, he said, in aid of the cause of freedom, to the assembly, "I have $3000 in hard money; I will pledge my plate for $3000 more. I have seventy hogsheads of Tobago rum, which shall be sold for the most it will bring. They are at the service of the State." He then urged the appointment of Gen. Stark to take charge of the troops, and one of the two brigades was put under his command.
On the Hth Gen. Stark arrived at Bennington with his brigade, seven or eight hundred strong. Next day Col. Symonds, with a body of Berkshire militia, joined him; also volunteers and the Green Mountain boys; so that he was said to have an army of 1,800 men; though poorly equipped, with few bayonets, and chiefly undisciplined raw recruits. The number of troops which Gen. Stark led into the battle field, however, is by no means certain, and different accounts vary from 1,600 to 1,800. The 16th was auspicious after the storm of the day before, and Gen. Stark marched to the battle ground, six or seven miles distant, where Baum was intrenched. With Col. Warner from Manchester, he laid his plans most skilfully and successfully. Immediately on his arrival he sent Col. Nichols with 200 men, by a circuit through the woods to the north of the redoubt on the hill, and Col. Herrick with 300 more to the south and to the rear of the same. Immediately after he discovered that these two detachments had begun to fire, he sent 100 men to storm the intrenchments, and then he sprang into the saddle and, at the head of his troops, dashed onward and followed up the attack with his terrible reserve. This manoeuvre was executed with such celerity and fierceness of onset, that the Hessians soon retreated, and falling into the hands of the detachments on flank and rear, they were disheartened, and few escaped death or captivity. The battle began at 3 P.M., and lasted an hour and a half. The Indians, after howling a warwhoop, were struck with panic, and disappeared in the forest. Col. Breyman, to whom Col. Baum had sent notice to hasten to his relief, from some accidental delay did not arrive on the field of battle until half past four, when the fight was ended. Gen. Stark was overcome with fatigue and exhaustion ; his soldiers were scattered, and, it is said, collecting plunder, which was promised them before the fight. But Col. Warner, whose volunteers fortunately had just reached the field from Manchester, roused him up and they rallied their forces and met the enemy. Neither the deadly fire of these veteran troops, nor the blaze of their artillery, dismayed the New-Hampshire and Green Mountain boys. Hushing like lions on the Hessians, they took and lost and took again their brass cannon and turned them against the foe. In a short time they gained another victory, and a remnant of the two British detachments fled beyond the Hudson to tell the disastrous news to their master.
In the two battles 700 prisoners were captured, with four brass cannon, eight brass drums, and several hundred stand of arms; while 207 of the enemy were left dead on the field. Such was the " Battle of Bennington," fought in Hoosick, an adjacent town, August 16, 1777. Col. Baum, and also Col. Pfister, were fatally wounded and soon after died. They were buried on the bank of the Walloomscoik, without stone or memorial, and the spot of their interment is unknown. Is this right? for they were brave officers, though enemies.
. The long and litigious controversy, touching the grants and land titles from NewYork, has been so fully and admirably elucidated by Gov. Hall in his "Early History of Vermont," already reviewed in an able article in the Register (vol. xxiii. p. 364), that any further discussion in this notice would be superfluous. Gov. Colden, in one year, for patents he illegally issued, received $25,000. Whether he was a bull or a bear, it was a pretty modest fee. One incident deserves notice, in the violent rreasures then offered and manfully resisted. Remember Baker, a land tenant, of Arlington, and his family, at daylight on Sunday morning were seized in his house by John Munro, Esq.. with ten or twelve of his dependents, and forcibly carried off. News reached Burlington. Ten brave mountaineers leaped on their horses, pursued the ruffians and rescued the prisoners from their grasp.
A story is also told, p. 210, of Mrs. Robinson, one of the early settlers whose husband was in England. One night, she and her children were alarmed by a pack of wolves, howling round her log-hut, and trying to get in at the door and windows. She opened the door, and with a shout and a firebrand drove them away. Was not this a Spartan heroine?
Several chapters in this work are devoted to "Personal Notices" of early settlers, and men of distinction in church and state. Genealogies of families and many pleasing anecdotes are introduced. To friends and patriots, and also to professors of our holy religion, such narratives will be exceedingly gratifying. To our Society, which is already enriched with more than three hundred and thirty town histories, this Memorial of Bennington is a valuable accession. Bennington, when the war of the Revolution commenced, had 1,600 inhabitants; by the United States Census of 1860, she had 19,345.
The space allotted for book-notices only allows me to add, that Bennington has several manufactories, and one in particular, of stone and earthern ware, where flint quartz and feldspar are converted into utensils of beauty and strength, and has a deserved celebrity. This book, however, has no index—a sad omission. i, H. S.
A. Memoir of a portion of the Boiling Family in England and Virginia. Printed for private distribution. Richmond, Va. W. H. Wade & Co. 1868. Pp. 68.
This volume, of which only fifty copies were printed, is the fourth of the series of, "historical documents from the Old Dominion," edited by X. H. Wynne, Esq., and printed by Munsell, of Albany.
It is a translation of a memoir written in French, by Robert Boiling, of Chellowe, in 1764, giving particulars of the family history to that date. This document occupies 12 pages, and the rest of the volume is given to notes.
The first of the family who settled in Virginia was Robert Boiling, son of John and Mary Boiling, of Allhallows, Barking, London. He is said to be descended from a family of Boiling, of Boiling Hall, co. York, but with the cheerful disregard of proofs which characterizes most Virginian pedigrees, the writer gives no authorities for the assertion.
Robert' Boiling (b. 26 Dec, 1040) came to Virginia in 10G0, and in 1075 he married Jane Rolfe, daughter of Thomas R., and granddaughter of Pocahontas. By her he had an only son, John* Boiling, of Cobbs (b. 27 Jan., 1070), who m. Mary Kennon, and had one son John,3 and five daughters.
John3 Boiling m. Elizabeth Blair, 1 Aug., 1728, and had five Bons, the third one being Robert4 the writer of the memoir.
The historical sketch is brief and not of any great value, but the notes of Mr. "Wynne are extensive and interesting. The chief value of the book is in the numerous photographs and portraits, being those of Robert Boiling, the emigrant; John his son and Mary Kennan wife of John; John Boiling, jr., and Elizabeth Blair, his •wife; Richard Randolph of Curies and his wife Jane Boiling; Richard Randolph, jr., and Anne Meade his wile; Thomas Boiling and his wife Betty Gay; John "Blair and the Rev. Hugh Blair; William Boiling, and hie wife Mary Randolph, and their daughter Ann Meade Boiling.
We are glad to see a publication like this, as it is a real contribution to our local histories. When our Southern friends abandon their claims to superiority in respect to pedigree and give us facts relative to the early colonists, we are ready to welcome them and to view them with no unfavorable eyes. Mr. Wynne announces that he is preparing a volume concerning the descendants of Pocahontas, and we hope he will make another welcome addition to Virginian history. w. H. W.
Pocahontas and her Companions; a Chapter from the History of the Virginia Company of London. By Rev. Edward D. Neill. Albany. Joel Munsell: 1869. Small 4to. pp. 32.
Vie hardly understand the meaning of this little volume. So nearly as we can discover, the author has collected the earliest notices of Pocahontas, and without making any expression of his own opinions, the render is led to the following conclusions. That Pocahontas was first known as " a well featured but wanton young girl " at Jamestown, that she married an Indian named Kocouin; that John Rolfe came to Virginia with a white wife in KilO; that no writer tells when, where or by what clergyman Rolfe was married to Pocahontas; that John Kolfe died in 1622 (Pocahontas dying in May, 1616), leaving a widow and children, and that it is possible that this was not a third wife.
It would seem then possible that Rolfe was not married to Pocahontas according to the custom of Englishmen at least, and it is certainly clear that there is a mystery about the matter which demands investigation. W. H. w.
Records of some of the Descendants of Thomas Clarke, Plymouth. 1623—
1G97. Compiled by Samuel Clarke. Pp. 43. Records of some of the Descendants of William Curtis, Roxbury, 1G32.
Compiled from the MS. of Miss Catharine P. Curtis, and other
sources, by Samuel C. Clarke. Pp. 29. Records of some of t/te Descendants of John Fuller, Newton, 1644-98.
Compiled from Jackson's History of Newton, and other sources, by Samuel
C. Clarke. Pp. 16. Records of some of the Descendants of Richard Hull, New-Haven, 1639
1662. Compiled by Samuel C. Clarke. Pp. 20.
These four pamphlets all boar the imprint of David Clapp & Son, 1869, and are well printed, carefully prepared and furnished with suitable indices. They are not full histories of the various families, as indeed their size would prove, but within the limits set by the author the work seems well performed. w. H. w.
A Genealogical History of the Descendants of Joseph Peel; who emigrated with his family to this country in. 1638; and Records of his father's and grandfather's family in England; with the Pedigree extending back from son to father for twenty generations, with their coat of arms and copies of wills. Also, an Appendix giving an account of the Boston and Hingham Pecks, the Descendants of John Peck of Mendon, Mass., Deacon Paid of Hartford, Deacon William and Henry of New-Haven, and Joseph of Milford, Conn.; with Portraits of distinguished persons from Steel Engravings. By Ira B. Peck. Printed by Alfred Mudge & Son: Boston, 1808. 8vo. pp. 442.
The copious title-pago ab >ve given will prepare the reader for a very extensive record of the various tiimilies of the name of Peck settled throughout New-England. To analyze the contents of the book, we will say that pp. 15-259 comprise the descendants of Joseph Peek of Hingham, arranged in six parts, each under the head of one of his sons, Joseph, jr., John, Nicholas, Samuel, Nathaniel and Israel. Pp. 267-277 relate to the Boston Peeks; pp. 278-288, to the issue of John Peck of Mendon, 1725. Pp. 289-323 comprise the descendants of Joseph of Milford, Conn.; 324-366, those of Henry of New-Haven ; 367-389, those of Paul of Hartford ; 390-396, those of William of New-Haven. Very thorough indices occupy pp. 404-412.
The portraits are those of Ira B. Beck, William E., Rev. Solomon, Thomas, Benjamin, Dr. Gardner M., Major (Jen., John J.,Bela, George, Rev. Dr. Jesse T., and Miss Helen S.—all of the surname of Peck, and also portraits of Thomas Handasyde Perkins and William Williams, both connected with the family. There is also a representation of the tombstone of Oapt. Samuel Peek, of Rehoboth, who died in 1736, which hears a coat of arms, viz., on a chevron engrailed, three crosses formee.
We may sum up the examination of the book by calling it a very thorough and satisfactory genealogy, ami it is evidently the result of extensive labor.
The greater part of the book is devoted to the posterity of Joseph Peck, of Hingham, who came with his family from Hingham, Eng., as Gushing's record shows. Ho was brother of Rev. Robert Peek, minister at Bingham, Eng., who also came to this country, and the proof seems good that they were sons of Robert Peck, of Beccles, co. Suffolk. In this volume there is given a tabular pedigree of the Pecks ■which purports to be a copy of one in the British Museum, made in 1620 and certified by Henry St. George, Richmond Herald.
If this be correct, John Peck of Wakefield, co. York, in the seventeenth generation from John Peck of Belton, co. York, had six sons, the youngest being Robert, who settled at Beccles, and was the grandfather of the two emigrants. It is certainly to be regretted that the author did not give us more particulars about this pedigree. He should have specified where the original is, by whom compiled, and especially should have printed it as it iB. We are inclined to believe in the authenticity of the descent, but Mr. Peck is evidently not familiar with such topics, and we should prefer to know more about the means of identifying this branch. Had this pedigree been sanctioned by such experts as Mr. Someroy or Col. Chester it would be sufficient, and if either of them did sanction it the author should have stated it. We hope Mr. Peck will favor the readers of this magazine with more particulars.
w. H. w.
Genealogy of the Fitts or Fitz Family in America. By James Hill Fitts, Resident Member of the N. E. Hist Gen. Society. Clinton: Printed by Wm. J. Coulter, Courant Office, 1869. 8vo. pp. 91.
This is a partial record of the descendants of Robert Fitt, one of the early settlers at Salisbury, Mass., who died in 1665, leaving a son Abraham. It is divided into five branches, two given to sons and three to grandsons of Abraham Fitts, and is quite full and exact in regard to dates. The author terms this the foundation of a volume hereafter to be issued. We venture to warn him that ho must give clear proofs if he seeks to connect his ancestor with any English family. We hope he will also avoid errors such as that on page 2, where Richard Fitz Symonds is said to be named after Richard Fitts. Of course there is no such connection. Is the author aware of the common use of Fitz in England in former times as a prefix to, and portion of surnames? w. H. w.
Memorial of John Slafter, with a Genealogical Account of his Descendants, including eight generations. By the Rev. Edmund F. Slafteb, A.M. Privately printed for the family. Boston: Press of Henry W. Dutton & Son. 1869. 8vo. pp. x. and 155.
Although the book is printed for the family, chiefly, we feel at liberty to say that it is a very admirable specimen of what a genealogy should be, and that it reflects great credit upon the author, the well-known clergyman of this city. The record relates to the various branches of the family descended from John Slafter, of Lynn, afterwards a settler in Connecticut. He had ten children, nine of whom have been identified. We agree with Mr. Slafter in considering bis family name to be the same as the old English surname of Slaughter. The change in spelling is a simple and natural one, and we think it is to be preferred to Slater, which has been adopted by some branches. In a note at the end the author gives his reasons for thinking that the Shatter family is descended from the missing son of the emigrant. We consider the argument a strong one, yet we would suggest that in Burke s Armoury we find mention of the family of Shafto of Northumberland, and this name we think might more easily be transmuted into Shqfter than Slafter could.
The illustrations in the book are views of the homestead of Deacon John S. in Norwich, Vt., and the old parsonage at Thetford, Vt., a portrait of John G. Saxe, and a very good one of the author. w. H. W.
An abridged Genealogy of the Olmstead Family of New-England. By
due exactness in dates.
DAmerie, Emery, Amory. Reprinted from the N. E. Hist, and Gen. Register for October, 1869. Boston: David Clapp & Son, printers, 1869. Pp. 6.
For the benefit of collectors we mention this reprint of Mr. Thornton's interesting paper.