« PreviousContinue »
Middleborough and part of Taunton, where the Rev. Caleb Turner is their settled minister. One precinct, containing part of Middleborough and part of Bridgwater, where the Rev. Mr. Gurney is settled. One other precinct incorporated in March last, containing part of Middleborough, part of Rochester, and part of Freetown. There are also three Baptist societies in said town; one of them destitute of a settled teacher; one under the charge of the Rev. Isaac Backus, the other under the charge of the Rev. Ebenezer Hinds.
This town is now very attentive to schools to educate their youth.
This town is remarkable for a large range of ponds, that lie mostly therein. It is remarked that the pond lying in the southerly part of Rochester, known by the name of Snipatuct pond, being about four miles in circumference, has two streams issuing therefrom, the one running southward, and empties itself into the sea, at Rochester, at a place called Mattapoisett harbour; the other stream, by running about three quarters of a mile, empties into the east Quitiquos pond, which mostly lies in said Middleborough, which unites with the other ponds, from whence Namaskett river ariseth: So that the alewife-fish come into Snipatuct pond from both streams.
This town is natural to corn and rye, which it produces well : Not poor
for grass. A number of good mills, and iron works have been erected. The ponds produce large quantities of iron ore, which is used to great advantage, together with several sorts of fish.
There is on the easterly shore of Assawampsitt pond, on the shore of Betty's-neck, two rocks which have curious marks thereon (supposed to be done by the Indians) which appear like the steppings of a person with naked feet, which settled into the rocks; likewise the prints of a hand on several places, with a number of other marks ; also, there is a rock on a high hill, a little to the eastward of the old stone fishing wear, where there is the print of a person's hand in said rock.
Longevity.] Mrs. Hope Nelson, was born in May, in the year 1677, in the town of Barnstable, or some other town near thereto, on the Cape ; she died the 7th of December, 1782, being one hundred and five years and seven months of age, and was the widow of Thomas Nelson, of said Middleborough. She was a member of a Baptist church, in said
Middlleborough, and partook of the sacrament with the members of said • church, after she was an hundred years of age. She was rational, and possessed of memory and faculties, after she was an hundred, equal to what is common at sixty. Eight years before her death, her living children, or persons which descended from her, amounted to two hundred and fifty-seven, and by the best accounts that have been yet obtained, at her death, her living descendants amounted to about three hundred and thirty-seven.
EMPLOYMENTS.] The most common and general employment of the inhabitants of said town is agriculture, which seems to be increasing; though there are a number of mechanicks. Nailing, or the business of making nails, is carried on largely in the winters, by the farmers and young men, who have but little other business at that season of the year.
SPIRITUOUS LIQUORS.] The use of spirituous liquors does not pre. vail in this town, to that degree it does in many other towns, although there are several persons who have ruined their characters, their families, and property, by the excessive use of spirituous liquors, which have served to destroy their own constitution. The effect that spirits seem to have on the bodies of those sots, seems to deprive them of their natural activity, throws them into a kind of stupor, relaxes their nerves, and sets them into a continual tremor—those are the certain consequences of excessive use of high spirits.
There are three or four neighbourhood libraries, which contain fifty or sixty volumes in each.
There is a society formed by a covenant, for the purpose of gaining in knowledge; their meetings are stated quarterly. They commonly have at each meeting a publick dispute, by two or three members on each side, which are chosen at a meeting before, when the subject of dispute is agreed upon. There are a great number of questions given out by one member, to another, at an early period, to be answered at a future meeting ; by which proceedings, the members of said society make considerable proficiency in husbandry, mathematicks, philosophy, astronomy, &c. The foregoing is presented to the Historical Society, by their humble servant,
NEHEMIAH BENNET. Middleborough, June 14th, 1793. Rev. DR. BELKNAP.
This account was accompanied with an excellent drast, which could receive no improvement, but from a delineation of the roads.
POSTSCRIPT. IN the year 1763, Mr. Shubael Thompson found a land turtle in the north-east part of Middleborough, which by some misfortune had lost one of its feet, and found the following marks on its shell, viz. I. W. 1747—He marked it S. T. 1763, and let it go. It was found again in the year 1773; by Elijah Clap, who marked it E. C. 1773, and let it go. It was found again in the year 1775, by Captain William Shaw, in the month of May, who marked it W. S. 1775. It was found again by said Shaw the same year, in September, about one hundred rods distance from the place where he let it go.
It was found again in the year 1784, by Jonathan Soule, who marked it J. S. 1784, and let it go. It was found again in the year 1790, by Joseph Soule, who marked it J. S. 1790, and let it go. It was found again in the year 1791, by Zenas Smith, who marked it Z. S. 1791, and let it go ; it being the last time it was found ; 44 years from the time the first marks were put on. Presented to the Philological Society, by
THOMAS BENNET, Recording Secr’y. The above is obtained and presented to the Rev. Dr. Belknap, Core responding Secretary to the Historical Society by their humble servant,
BILL OF MORTALITY. With REMARKS ON THE HISTORY OF THE
TOWN OF HARTFORD, IN CONNECTICUT, BY Noah WEBSTER,
BILL OF MORTALITY, in the first and second parishes in HARTFORD, for ten years, beginning March 6th, 1783, and ending March 6th, 1793.
3 5 2 1 4 1 5 3 7 4 4 2 3
Ages. No. 1.Ages. Dead born
34 under one
35 year old,
113 36 1 year old 28 37
18 3 52 209 one halj 53
19 2 54
45 112 262
Under a year more
than Under 2 years f and a
fraction. Under 19 Above 70 ; and a frac
tion. Above 80 1-20th near
ly. Above 90 1-84th.
THE two parishes have contained, on an average, the ten years past, 2500souls. The deaths then are to the number of inbabitants, as I to 59415, or 42 a year, nearly
By comparing this bill of mortality with Dr. Holyoke's bills of mortality in Salem, for 1782 and 1783, the result will be much in favour of the healthiness and longevity of the inhabitants in Hartford, unless some epidemick disease prevailed in Salem during those years. Salem was supposed to contain 9000 souls, at the time these bills were made :The number of deaths in 1782 was 175, and in 1783, 189-total 364. If Salem contained 9000 souls at this time, then in two years the number is 18000, out of which died 364, which is at the rate of 1 to 49, which makes a difference of one sixth in favour of Hartford. Or thus ; total number of inhabitants in Salem for two years, 18000 ; total number in two parishes of Hartford for ten years, 25000. Deaths in Salem, 364 : Then 18000 : 364 : : 25000 : 505.1: the number of deaths in Hartford to be proportioned to those of Salem. But the real number is 419-difference 86, in favour of Hartford. The difference in favour of Hartford is greater, if the deaths of old people only, be taken. Number of deaths in Salem, of persons above seventy years of age, ditto in Hartford 45. But 25000 : 45 : : 18000 : 324, the number in Salem to be in proportion to those of Hartford.
In the third parish in Hartford, there have died, in the last eighteen years, 71 persons above seventy years of
age. That parish has contained, on an average, 1250 souls, or perhaps 1300. This gives I to $!2 that live to seventy years of age and upwards. But in Salem, according to the bills for 1782 and 1783, only 1 in 857 arrives to seventy years of age.
It is however to be observed that two years are not sufficient to determine the longevity of the inhabitants of any town or country ; and it is probable that more accurate accounts, kept through a series of years, may make a material difference in calculations of this kind.
GEOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL. HARTFORD was settled by a company of English people in the year 1636. A few persons from Massachusetts seated themselves at Weathersfield in 1635, but the next year, a congregation from Newtown, now Cambridge, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Stone, removed with all their effects and settled themselves at Hartford. In 1637, New-Haven was planted : About the same time Windsor, Guilford, and Milford, were also settled. From the names of the proprietors of the town of Hartford, now on record, together with traditional accounts, it appears that about one hundred families settled in this town and about the same number in New Haven, Guilford, Milford, Weathersfield, and Windsor. If we suppose five souls to a family and one hundred families in each of these six towns, the original stocks from which have sprung all the
present inhabitants of Connecticut, and the emigrants from the State, consisted of three thousand souls. The present inhabitants are about two hundred and thirty-eight thousand ; but the western parts of Massachusetts, New-Hampshire, Vermont, and the northern and western parts of New York are mostly peopled by emigrants from Connecticut. These are estimated at one hundred thousand souls, at least; three hundred and forty thousand souls, therefore may be considered as the population proceeding from the original stocks of three thousand. The inhabitants therefore have doubled, notwithstanding a long war, and epidemick diseases, once in twenty-four years.
Hartford, since a late division of the town, lies on the west bank of Connecticut River, having Windsor on the north, Weathersfield on the the south, and Farmington on the west. Its extent is six miles square. The population in 1791 was four thousand and ninety, which gives one hundred and thirteen to a square mile. The population of the whole state is fifty-one to a square mile.
No very remarkable occurrences with respect to the Indians, are related in the records of Hartford. The natives in and near the town seem to have been of a pacifick disposition ; but mention is made of fortifications erected in different parts of the town, in 1689 and 1704, rather, it should seen, to guard against distant tribes, than through fear of the neighbouring Indians. The records of the town mention, volume I, folio 5, a purchase of the land from Sunckquasson, the sachem and proprietor, about the year 1636. But the evidence of this purchase being imperfect, a new purchase was made, July 1, 1670, of the Indians ; the deed, which is still on record, counting upon the former purchase.
A patent from the general assembly of the colony of Connecticut, after the union with New-Haven, was made ratifying the purchase and confirming the title of the town, A. D. 1685.
At the time the English settled in this town, the Dutch had a fort and trading house, at the confluence of Mill river and Connecticut river. The Dutch soon relinquished this settlement, and in 1653, all their lands were confiscated by virtue of a commission from the Commonwealth of England to Captain Underhill, and sold. A point of land, which formed a part of their possessions, is still called Dutch point.
Hartford, May, 1793.
The Hon. David
TOPOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF YORK, BY
THE town of York, in the county of York, in the district of
seventy-two from Boston) is maritime place, bounded south-westerly on the town of Kittery, north-westerly on said Kittery, and the town of Berwick, north-easterly on the town of Wells, and south-easterly by the sea, or Atlantick Ocean, to which it adjoins, ex