Milton’s Ice Harvest of 1906

By Muriel Bristol  (Transcriber) | October 5, 2018

Massachusetts experienced unusually warm weather during the winter of 1906. High temperature records were set that would not be broken for over a century. (There were February days with temperatures ranging as high as 64 degrees). As a result, ice harvests at Massachusetts lakes and ponds fell short of the usual supply.

Some ice dealers looked north to Milton to augment their stacks.

By January 25, the Lynn ice men had given up hopes of securing a crop in the vicinity of that city and began preparations for obtaining their next season’s supplies from New Hampshire. The Lynn Ice Company has houses at Free Pond [Three Ponds?], in Milton, N.H., which will store 20,000 tons. The company has been transporting ice from there to supply its Lynn customers. Z.J. Chase and M.S. Coolidge own land at Milton on which they will build stacks for the ice they may cut there (Cold Storage, February 1906). 

John O. Porter, of the Beverly Ice Company, of Beverly, and Silas Boyes, of the Beverly & Salem Ice Company, went to Milton N.H., last week to arrange for cutting ice. Both of these companies usually get their stocks from Wenham Lake, but the ice at the latter place has not been thick enough for storage. Mr. Boyes’ men have cut some ice 7 inches thick from Wenham Lake, which has been used for present supply. The ice men about Wenham Lake recall the fact that several years ago, when little ice had been obtained there up to the middle of February, a full crop was harvested before the first of April. Mr. Porter is planning to cut from 40,000 to 50,000 tons at Milton, N.H., and will employ 150 men there. He has sent an engine, tools and horses there (Cold Storage, February 1906).

The Beverly Co-operative Ice Company cut some ice nine inches thick last week. The company has been obliged to get ice for present use from Milton N.H. (Cold Storage, March 1906).

The Lynn Ice Company of Z.J. Chase & Son and M.S. Coolidge & Co of Lynn, who cut ice at Milton, N.H., built 11 houses there and had two stacks. No ice was cut by them on ponds near Lynn. They secured 36,000 tons. Their stocks last year aggregated 54,000 tons (Natural Ice, April 1906). 

John O. Porter, of Marblehead, Mass. has filled his ice houses and stacked considerable ice for present use at his ice houses at Milton, N.H. (Cold Storage, April 1906)

Allowing for shrinkage, their stocks will be short about 22,000 tons. Mial W. Chase, of Z.J. Chase & Son, estimates that the ice will cost nearly double what it did last year. The Lynn dealers’ expenses were greatly increased by minor accidents and the high cost of lumber for their houses at Milton. Their work was also much hindered by snow storms. The ice harvested was 16 to 19 inches thick (Natural Ice, June 1906).

George Stackpole, an ice dealer of the Glenmere District of Lynn, fell through a hole in the run at one of the Milton, N.H. ice houses, July 19, and injured his foot so badly that he was obliged to walk with a cane for several days (Cold Storage, August 1906).

The stocks of ice in Lynn are very low. On October 20, M.S. Coolidge disposed of the last of his supply, while the Lynn Ice Company reported bare houses two days before that and the Independent Ice Company gave up selling some days previously. The dealers had been getting ice from Milton, N.H., but the last of that supply was shipped on October 20. Z.J. Chase & Son and G.F. Day & Son were still in evidence at the last report (Cold Storage, November 1906).

The Union Ice Company, of Concord, N.H. is making extensive additions to its plant at Milton, N.H. Over $10,000 are to be expended in the improvements (Cold Storage, November 1906).  

Milton once had a substantial ice industry, of which these accounts represent just an unusual spurt. The John O. Porter mentioned above had a gang of ice cutters working there in 1904 too, with their horse-drawn ice-cutting equipment. Railroad trains, with cars numbering as many as a hundred, shipped ice out of Milton.

Selectman Lucier recalled picking up nails left from where the ice houses, or some of them at least, had once stood at the Town Beach.

References:

Cold Storage and Ice Journal. (1906, February-November). Massachusetts. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=SZYKqxiOw1gC

Milton in the War of 1812

By Muriel Bristol | October 5, 2018

Portsmouth newspapers reported the American defeat at the Battle of Bladensburg (Maryland) and the British capture of Washington, D.C. in late August 1814. In the following week, they published further reports of the British capture of Castine and Belfast, Maine, and actions in upstate New York and the American “Northwest.” British naval vessels were cruising off the coast.

Needless to say, Portsmouth’s government and citizens were “Alarmed.” (Portsmouth was also the NH state capitol).

On Saturday, September 3, the Portsmouth town meeting appointed a Committee of Public Safety, as well as adopting a number of other defensive measures. Fortifications on both the Kittery and Portsmouth sides of the harbor were to be put in a state of readiness and additional fortifications constructed by citizen volunteers.

A requisition, for militia, has been made by Gen. [Henry] Dearborn on the Governor of this state, and, we understand, a competent body of the hardy sons of Newhampshire are to be detached, without delay for our defence. A very few days, we trust, will put us into a posture that shall enable us to give a good account of the enemy, should this place receive a visit from him.

His Excellency Gov. Gilman arrived in town yesterday (NH Gazette, September 6, 1814).

NH Governor John Taylor Gilman (1753-1828) put out an urgent call (or “Alarm”) for militia and Milton responded by sending a company of militiamen under Captain William Courson. Captain Courson’s company became a part of the Fourth Regiment, NH Detached Militia, which was commanded by Lt. Colonel Isaac Waldron of Barrington, NH. (Also known as Waldron’s Command).

The muster roll of that company shows the following names, under date Sept. 11, 1814: Capt. William Courson, [2nd] Lieut. Jeremy Nute, Sergt. John Museron [John Meserve], Sergt. Jacob Nute, Sergt. David M. Courson, Corp. Thomas Wentworth; Musician Benjamin Dare [Benaiah Dore], Musician Lewis Hayes. Private soldiers: Ephraim Wentworth, Thomas Baker, Samuel Nute, Daniel Wentworth, John C. Varney, Ichabod Dodge, James Bragdon, Ezekiel Nute, George Dow, Daniel Hayes, Jr., James Twombly, Henry Miller, James Goodwin, William Downs, John Foss, Hapley Varney, Thomas Chapman, Amos Gerrish, Webster Miller, James Varney, Jr., Ebenezer Adams, John L. Varney, William Gerrish, William Foss, William Burroughs, John Remick, Norton Scates, James Hayes, Dowar Dow, Richard Plumer, Ambrose Tuttle, Nathaniel Pinkham, Isaac Hayes, Aaron Twombly, John Mills, William Drew, James Merrow, Jr., Phineas Wentworth, Beard Plumer, Andrew Dow, Dodivah Plumer, John Boise, Sergt. Patrick Hanscomb, Corp. Joshua Jones, Charles Recker, and Lieut. Hanson Hayes (Scales, 1914).

(The underlined names had appeared also several years earlier as heads of household in the Third (1810) Federal Census of Milton. There would be a tendency for the younger men, the “tick” marks of that census, rather than the older named heads of household to be sent on this adventure).

Major John Anderson (1780-1834) had issued a nationwide notification in late July, regarding the daily rations to be issued in the various military districts. The ration “at any place or place where troops may be stationed, marched, or recruited within the district of Maine or state of Newhampshire and their northern vicinities” was defined:

A ration to consist of one pound and a quarter of beef, eighteen ounces of bread or flour, one gill of rum, whiskey or brandy; and at the rate two quarts of salt, four quarts of vinegar, four pounds of soap, and one pound and a half of candles to every hundred rations (NH Gazette, September 6, 1814).

The rations of salt, vinegar, soap, and candles to be issued to groups of a hundred men were additional company-level rations. A large body of militiamen seems to have encamped outside the town proper at the Portsmouth Plains. Others were detailed to man various fortifications.

DEFENCE. The means of defence have been prosecuted in this [Portsmouth] town and neighborhood for the last fortnight with great assiduity. An attack is expected, and a determination to prepare for it and repel it, universally prevails. Several corps of Militia, Infantry and Artillery, have already arrived from the interior, and others are on their march. The Concord Artillery came in last evening. We are happy to learn that it is the intention of the Commander in Chief to command in person. Volunteers, from this and neighboring towns have offered in great numbers, to labor on the forts; and the works there continue to be daily and rapidly strengthening and improving. Sundry companies of volunteers, composed of those who are exempted from military duty by law [Editor’s note: men aged 45 or over], have already been organized, for the purpose of joining in the defence of the town and harbor (NH Gazette, September 13, 1814).

FEMALE PATRIOTISM. – With pleasure we observe, among other instances of patriotism, and much to the honor of the fair sex, that since the existing alarm a number of LADIES have been voluntarily employed at the State-House in this town, in making cannon and musket cartridges for the use of the militia (NH Gazette, September 13, 1814).

By September 20, the Portsmouth newspapers were reporting a British attack on Baltimore, Maryland, and the capture of the fort at Machais, Maine. They announced also that the troops defending Portsmouth were to be paid $10 per month for their service.

On Saturday last [September 24] the Portsmouth Regiment of Militia were under arms. They marched to the Plains, and in the afternoon were joined by the volunteers and detached militia now at this place. The whole presented a martial scene never before witnessed by our citizens; and their correct manoeuvring drew upon them the praise of numerous spectators (NH Gazette, September 27, 1814).

The expected British attack on Portsmouth never materialized and the militia troops called out to face it were discharged to return home at various times between September 24, 2014 and September 29, 1814.

Captain Courson’s Milton militiamen departed with the others, while he himself remained in the service until November 20, 1814.

Peace negotiations had been going on since August and both parties signed the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814.


Captain William Courson (1782-1863)

William Courson was born in NH in 1782. He died in Fort Plain, NY, January 3. 1863. (He is buried in Fort Plain, NY).

William Courson headed a Milton household at the time of the Third (1810) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 26-44 years, one female aged 26-44 years, one female aged 16-25 years, one male aged under-10 years, and three females aged under-10 years. The census taker recorded his household between those of Paul Jewett and Jona. Young on the one side, and those of Daniel Grant and Peter Grant on the other. Benaiah Dore resided nearby.

Courson’s first wife – his Milton wife – appears to have died sometime between 1820 and 1824. He married (2nd) in Yonkers, NY, September 24, 1824, Elizabeth “Eliza” Kniffen. She was born in Westchester County, NY, in 1800. She died in 1884. (She is buried in Fort Plain, NY).

They were residing in Minden, NY, at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census and the NY State Census of 1855. The two sons and a daughter of his second marriage were living with them. (Other family members appear to have remained in Milton).

Mrs. Eliza Courson, widow of William Courson, filed for a bounty land warrant in 1878, after his death in Fort Plain, NY, January 3, 1863. Her claim was based upon his service as a Captain in the NH Militia between September 11, 1814 and November 20, 1814. She herself died “prior to” January 28, 1885.

References:

Find a Grave. (2018, January 21). William Courson. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/186779569

National Archives and Records Administration. (n.d.). Index to the Compiled Military Service Records for the Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1812. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M602, 234 rolls.

NH Gazette. (1814, September 6). Defence of the Town. Portsmouth, NH: NH Gazette.

NH Gazette. (1814, September 6). Notice Is Hereby Given. Portsmouth, NH: NH Gazette.

NH Gazette. (1814, September 13). Defence. Portsmouth, NH: NH Gazette.

NH Gazette. (1814, September 13). Female Patriotism. Portsmouth, NH: NH Gazette.

NH Gazette. (1814, September 27). Untitled. Portsmouth, NH: NH Gazette.

Scales, John. (1914). History of Strafford County. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=nGsjAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA526

Wikipedia. (2018, September 28). Gill (Unit). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gill_(unit)

Wikipedia. (2018, July 26). Henry Dearborn. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Dearborn

Wikipedia. (2017, November 29). John Taylor Gilman. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Taylor_Gilman

Wikipedia. (2018, September 26). War of 1812. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_1812

Milton’s First Postmasters (1818-c1840)

By Muriel Bristol | October 1, 2018

Scales’ History of Strafford County states that

Owing to the destruction of the post-office records and papers by fire, it has been found impossible to determine who was the first postmaster in Milton. John Nutter, however, was the first at Milton Mills, and the post-route was from Emery’s Mills [Shapleigh, ME] through Milton Mills to Middleton, and the mail was carried once in two weeks by a Mr. Home.

Local postal records may have been destroyed, but Federal ones were not. They indicate that Simon Chase became the first postmaster of Milton, NH., in 1818. Lewis Hayes became the first Postmaster of Chestnut Hill, i.e., West Milton, in 1821. John Nutter became the first postmaster of Milton Mills, NH, in 1826.

Many of these men were store-keepers in Milton, West Milton, and Milton Mills, respectively. Two of them were doctors. Dedicated post-office buildings would have been rare. The local post-office often occupied a corner of a local store or office.


Milton Post Office

The Postmasters of Milton, NH, from the first postal establishment in 1818 up into 1840 were Simon Chase, J. Norton Scates, Benjamin Gerrish, James M. Twombly, and Dr. Stephen Drew.

Simon Chase (1818-22)

Simon Chase was born in Berwick, ME, September 30, 1786, son of John and Hannah (Dennett) Chase. He died in Rochester, NH, in 1878. (He is buried in the Rochester Cemetery).

Simon Chase headed a Milton household at the time of the Third (1810) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 16-25 years (himself). The census taker recorded his household between those of Widow Elizabeth Gerrish, Saml. Palmer and Jno. Fisk on the one side, and Nicholas Harford and Gilman Jewett on the other.

He married in Milton, NH, October 28, 1813, Sarah Wingate. She was born in 1794, only child of Enoch and Mary ((Yeaton) (Meserve)) Wingate. She died in Rochester, NH, in 1870. (She is buried in the Rochester Cemetery).

The Post Office Department appointed Simon Chase as Milton’s first Postmaster on March 3, 1818. Prior to his appointment, one assumes that Milton mail came to the Rochester Post Office.

The Milton entries for the Fourth (1820) Federal Census are missing. Simon and Sarah (Wingate) Chase resided in Milton as late as 1823, but had removed to Rochester by 1827.

Simon Chase headed a Rochester household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years (himself), one female aged 40-49 years (Sarah), one female aged 15-19 years, one male aged 5-9 years, one male aged under-5 years, and one female aged under-5 years, and one female aged 60-69 years.

He was engaged in “Commerce” in the Sixth (1840) Federal Census and identified as a merchant in the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. Both in Rochester. While not proof that he kept a store during his Milton years, in which the post office would have operated, it does seem likely.

J. Norton Scates (1822-26)

There appear to have been two John Scates residing in Milton for a time. They do not appear to have been father and son. The younger one (born circa 1790) used the name “J. Norton” or “Norton” to avoid confusion.

A Thomas J. Scates died in Boston, MA, December 21, 1860, aged forty-seven years and three days. His birthplace was given as Milton, NH. By computation, he would have been born there circa December 1813. The parents listed on his Boston death record were Norton (born Milton, NH) and Hannah (born Rochester, NH) Scates.

Norton Scates served in the militia company raised in Milton, NH, in September 1814, for service in Portsmouth, NH, during the War of 1812.

The Post Office Department appointed J. Norton Scates as Milton’s second Postmaster on April 8, 1822.

Norton Scates moved away, probably in 1826, leaving John Scates in possession of the name and Benjamin Gerrish in possession of the postmaster position.

Norton Scates headed a Middleton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years, one female aged 30-39 years, one male aged 20-29 years, one male aged 10-14 years, one male aged 5-9 years, and one female aged 5-9 years.

Norton Scates headed a Dover household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 50-59 years (himself), one female aged 30-39 years, and two females aged 15-19 years. One member of his household was engaged in “Agriculture” as opposed to the other two possibilities of Commerce or Industry.

Norton Scates married (2nd) in Rochester, NH, October 29, 1849, Hannah E. Matthes.

Norton Scates kept a grocery store on Main street in Dover between 1859 and 1867. He lived in the rear of the store.

Hannah E. Scates later claimed a War of 1812 widow’s pension for Norton Scates’s service in Milton’s militia company.

Benjamin Gerrish (1826-27)

The Post Office Department appointed Benjamin Gerrish as Milton’s third Postmaster on April 16, 1826.

Benj. Gerrish headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years (himself), one female aged 30-39 years, two females aged under-5 years, and one female aged 70-79 years. The census taker recorded his household between those of Steph. M. Matthes and Wm. H. Brewster on the one side and Elizabeth Gerrish (aged 60-69 years) and Thos. Wentworth on the other. (This page, number 11 of 18, presumably contains Milton households).

James M. Twombly (1827-37)

James Twombly served in the militia company raised in Milton, NH, in September 1814, for service in Portsmouth, NH, during the War of 1812.

The Post Office Department appointed James M. Twombly as Milton’s fourth Postmaster on September 18, 1827.

J.M. Twombly, W.B. Wiggin, and H. Meserve were Milton selectmen in 1829.

Jas. Twombly headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 50-59 years, one female aged 50-59 years, one male aged 15-19 years, and one female aged 10-14 years. The census taker recorded Twombly’s household between those of Jos. Horne and Matthias Nutter on the one side, and Lydia Twombly and Saml. Clemens on the other. (This page, number 1 of 18, presumably contains Milton households).

J.M. Twombly was again a selectman in 1831, 1832, 1833, 1836, 1840, 1841, and 1842.

James M. Twombly headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years (himself), one female aged 30-39 years, one male aged 20-29 years, one male aged 10-14 years, one female aged 10-14 years, one male aged 5-9 years, and one female aged 5-9 years. Two members of his household were engaged in “Commerce,” as opposed to the other two possibilities of Agriculture or Industry. The census taker recorded Twombly’s household between those of Robert Matthes and Benjamin G. Willey on the one side, and Elizabeth Gerrish and James H. Twombly (aged 40-49 years) on the other side.

Dr. Stephen Drew (1837-40)

Stephen Drew was born in Newfield, ME, September 2, 1791, son of Elijah and Abigail (Claridge) Drew. He died in Milton, NH, February 25, 1872.

He married in Milton, NH, October 26, 1817, Harriet Watson. She was born in Milton, NH, April 9, 1795. She died in Evanston, IL, May 7, 1876.

The NH Medical Society certified Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton, NH, in 1818.

State of New Hampshire. This may certify that we the subscribers, Censors of the New Hampshire Medical Society, have examined Dr. Stephen Drew of Milton in said State, a Candidate for the practice of Physic & Surgery, respecting his skill and knowledge therein, and having found him duly qualified therefor, do, in testimony of our approbation, hereunto subscribe our names at Farmington, this 21st day of July Anno Domini 1818. Asa Crosby, Samuel Pray, Censors of the NH Med Society. Attest, Saml Morril Sec’y.

Stephen Drew headed a Milton Household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years (himself), one female aged 30-39 years (Harriet), one male aged 20-29 years, one female aged 15-19 years, two males aged 10-14 years, one female aged 5-9 years, and one female aged under-5 years.

He was one of twelve Milton justices of the peace in 1835. The Post Office Department appointed him Milton Postmaster on June 17, 1837. He had stood as a surety for the previous postmaster, James M. Twombly, back in 1827.

Stephen Drew headed a Milton Household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years (himself), one female aged 40-49 years (Harriet), two males aged 20-29 years, and two females aged 15-19 years. One member of his household was employed in a learned profession or as an engineer. (He was Milton’s town physician).


Chestnut Hill [West Milton] Post Office

The Postmasters of Chestnut Hill (West Milton), NH, from its establishment in 1821 up through most of the 1840s were Lewis Hayes, Israel Nute, and John Hayes.

Lewis Hayes (1821-1828)

Lewis Hayes was born circa 1793-94, son of Daniel and Eunice (Pinkham) Hayes. He died in Kittery, ME, March 31, 1862, aged sixty-eight years and one month. (He is buried in the Hayes Cemetery in Milton, NH).

Lewis Hayes served as a musician, i.e., a fifer or drummer, in the militia company raised in Milton, NH, in September 1814, for service in Portsmouth, NH, during the War of 1812.

He married in Wolfeboro, NH, August 17, 1820, Sarah Moody Clark, he of Milton and she of Wolfeboro. The Rev. Isaac Townsend officiated at the ceremony. She was born in Wolfeboro, NH, March 23, 1800, daughter of Joseph and Comfort Clark. She died in Kittery, ME, May 12, 1883.

The Post Office Department appointed Lewis Hayes as the first Chestnut Hill [West Milton] Postmaster on March 17, 1821.

Lewis Hayes headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years (himself), one female aged 20-29 years (Sarah), two males aged 5-9 years, one male aged under-5 years, and one female aged under-5 years. The census taker recorded his household between those of Thos. P. Ricker and Danl. Hayes on the one side and Calvin P. Horne and Chas. Horne on the other.

He moved from Milton, first to South Berwick, ME, before 1835, and then on to Kittery, ME, by 1840.

Lewis Hayes headed a Kittery household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years (himself), one female aged 40-49 years (Sarah), one male aged 15-19 years, one male aged 10-14 years, one female aged 10-14 years, one male aged 5-9 years, and one male aged under-5 years. One member of his household was engaged in “Commerce,” as opposed to the other two possibilities of Agriculture or Industry.

Israel Nute (1828-1836)

Israel Nute was born in Milton, NH, circa 1791-92, son of Jotham and Sarah (Twombly) Nute. He died in Milton, NH, February 15, 1836.

He married in the First Congregational Church in Rochester, NH, September 22, 1817, Hannah Fish. She was born in Milton, NH, September 3, 1797, daughter of John and Rebecca (Ober) Fish. She died in Lincoln, ME, September 24, 1874.

The Post Office Department appointed Israel Nute as the second Chestnut Hill [West Milton] Postmaster on August 3, 1828. Jotham Nute and David Nute stood surety for him.

Israel Nute headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male 20-29 years (himself), one female aged 30-39 years (Hannah), one male aged 15-19 years, one male aged 10-14 years, one male 5-9 years, one female aged 5-9 years, one male aged under-5 years, and one female aged 60-69 years. The census taker recorded his household between those of Mary Wingate [widow of Enoch Wingate] and William Matthes on the one side, and Thos. P. Ricker and Danl. Hayes on the other.

Israel Nute was one of twelve Milton justices of the peace in 1835.

Both Israel Nute  and his father, Jotham Nute, died in February 1836. Jotham Nute’s widow received a pension in Portsmouth, NH, for his Revolutionary war service, beginning in September 1836. Israel Nute’s widow moved to Lincoln, ME, before 1840, where she married (2nd), April 28, 1844, Dr. Samuel Forbes.

John Hayes (1836-1847)

John Hayes was born in Milton, NH, circa July 1802, son of Ezekiel and Mehitabel (Gale) Hayes. He died in Milton, NH, May 27, 1847, aged forty-four years, 10 months. (He is buried in the Hayes Cemetery in Milton, NH).

He married January 13, 1825, Sarah Wingate. She was born in Rochester, NH, circa 103, daughter of John and Mary (Cate) Wingate. She died in Rochester, NH, in July 1863.

John Hayes headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 20-29 years (himself), one female aged 20-29 years, one male aged 5-9 years, one male aged under-5 years, and one female aged 5-9 years. The census taker recorded his household between those of Joshua Ray and Ezekiel Hayes on the one side, and Danl. Hayes, Jr., and Beniah Dore on the other.

The Post Office Department appointed John Hayes as the third Chestnut Hill [West Milton] Postmaster on March 19, 1836.

John Hayes headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years (himself), one female aged 30-39 years, one female aged 20-29 years, one male aged 10-14 years, one female aged 10-14 years, one male aged under-5 years, and one female aged under-5 years. The census taker recorded his household between those of Jacob Nute and Hiram Ricker on the one side, and Danl. Hayes, Jr., and Eliphalet F. How on the other. Three members of his household were engaged in “Agriculture,” as opposed to the other two possibilities of Commerce or Industry.


Milton Mills Post Office

The Postmasters of Milton Mills, NH, from its establishment in 1826 up into 1840 were John Nutter and John L. Swinerton.

As mentioned above, a Mr. Homes brought the Milton Mills mail over from Emery’s Mill in Shapleigh, ME, on his way to Middleton, NH. He made the trip every two weeks.

John Nutter (1826-1838, 1841-42)

John Nutter was born circa 1780-89.

John Nutter held the office of Town Moderator for a single year around 1825-26.

The Post Office Department appointed John Nutter as the first Milton Mills Postmaster on November 13, 1826. He held that office from then through March 1837. Dr. John L. Swinerton succeeded him, although he appears to have returned briefly in 1841-42.

John Nutter, T.C. Lyman, and Charles Swasey were selectmen in 1830. He was one of twelve Milton justices of the peace in 1835.

John Nutter headed a Milton household at the time of the Fifth (1830) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 40-49 years (himself), one female aged 30-39 years, and one male aged 15-19 years. The census taker recorded Nutter’s household between those of Eben. Osgood and Mehitable Swasey on the one side, and Lydia Twombly and Obadiah Witham on the other. (This page, number 15 of 18, presumably contains Milton Mills households, as he was the Milton Mills postmaster).

John Nutter headed a Milton household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 50-59 years, one female aged 50-59 years, and one female aged 20-29 years. One member of his household was engaged in “Agriculture,” as opposed to the other two possibilities of Commerce or Industry. The census taker recorded his household between Charles Swasey and Gilman Jewett on the one side and Samuel L. Hart and Ezekiel Merrow on the other.

Dr. John L. Swinerton (1838-41, 1842-43)

John Langdon Swinerton was born in Newfields, ME, June 23, 1805, son of John and Lydia (Dunnell) Swinerton. He died in Wakefield, NH, November 2, 1882, aged seventy-seven years.

He married in Wolfeboro, NH, June 25, 1832, Ann A. Robinson. She was born in Vermont in 1803. She died September 11, 1880.

John L. Swinerton was one of twelve Milton justices of the peace in 1835. The Post Office Department appointed John Swinerton as the second Milton Mills Postmaster on December 13, 1838.

He attended medical classes or lectures at Bowdoin College between February and May 1839.

John L. Swinerton headed a Milton Household at the time of the Sixth (1840) Federal Census. His household included one male aged 30-39 years (himself), one female aged 30-39 years (Ann A.), one males aged 5-99 years, and one female aged under-5 years. One member of his household was employed in a learned profession or as an engineer [physician in 1850]. The census taker recorded his household between those of Bray Sims [trader] and Asa Fox [trader] on the one side, and Alpheus Goodwin [farmer] and Ebenezer Osgood [blacksmith] on the other.

The Post Office Department appointed John Swinerton again as Milton Mills Postmaster on December 15, 1842.

He was living in Milton as late as the Eighth (1860) Federal Census, but he was John L. Swinerton of Union when he paid an annual $1 US Excise tax on his physician’s license in May 1864.

(See Milton Mills’ Dr. John L. Swinerton (1805-1882) for a more complete sketch of Dr. Swinerton).


Federal Registers of 1828, 1833, and 1835

Postmasters were listed also in the official Federal registers of its principal officers and officials. Below are excerpted the entries for Milton and Milton Mills in 1828, 1833, and 1835.

In the register for the year ending June 30, 1828:

Office. County. State. Postmasters. Distance from Washington, State Cap.

Milton, Strafford, N.H. James M. Twombly. 525, 58.

Milton Mills, Strafford, N.H. John Nutter. 549, 44 [Page 74].

For the year ending September 30, 1833:

Persons employed in the General Post Office, with the annual compensation of each.

Chestnut Hill, N.H. Israel Nute. $2.09;

Milton, N.H. James M. Twombly. $9.69;

Milton Mills, N.H. John Nutter, $5.07 [Page 134].

For the year ending September 30, 1835:

Persons employed in the General Post Office, with the annual compensation of each.

Chestnut Hill, N.H. Israel Nute. $1.83;

Milton, N.H. J.M. Twombly. $10.90;

Milton Mills, N.H. John Nutter. $7.51 [Page 20].

Twombly and Nutter held their sinecures during the presidencies of Democratic-Republican President John Quincy Adams (1825-29) and his successors, Democratic presidents Andrew Jackson (1829-37) and Martin Van Buren (1837-41). Postmasters were political appointees in this period. There is a strong likelihood that these men held their offices by virtue of being Democrats. There was a turnover in these offices when Whig presidents William Henry Harrison (1841-41) and John Tyler (1841-45) took office.

Postmasters in New-Hampshire, 1835

Milton, James M. Twombly, (Chestnut Hill,) Israel Nute, (Mills,) John Nutter.

References:

Bowdoin College. (1839). Catalogue of the Officers and Student of Bowdoin College and the Medical School of Maine. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=kXbOAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA11

Doubleday, Anne. (n.d.). Doubleday Postal History. Retrieved from www.doubledaypostalhistory.com/postmaster/NewHampshire/Strafford.pdf

Farmer, John. (1835). The New Hampshire Annual Register and United States Calendar, 1835. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=lugWAAAAYAAJ

Find a Grave. (2016, September 13). John Hayes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/169877327

Find a Grave. (2016, September 13). Lewis Hayes. Retrieved fromwww.findagrave.com/memorial/169872967

Find a Grave. (2012, June 18). Simon Chase. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/92136668/simon-chase

NH Medical Society. (1911). Records of the New Hampshire Medical Society from Its Organization in 1791 to the Year 1854. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=sadXAAAAMAAJ

Scales, John. (1914). History of Strafford County, New Hampshire, and Representative Citizens. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=nGsjAQAAMAAJ

US Post-Master General. (1828, June 1). List of Post-Offices in the United States, with the Names of the Post-Masters, of the Counties and States, to which They Belong; the Distances from the City of Washington, and the Seats of State Capitals, Respectively; Exhibiting the State of Post-Offices, on the 1st of June, 1828. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=4iHiqHCs4ksC

US Department of State. (1833, September 30). Register of All Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September 1833. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=7B5AAAAAYAAJ

US Department of State. (1835, September 30). Register of All Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September 1835. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=Tx9AAAAAYAAJ

Milton’s Dr. Drew (1791-1872)

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | September 30, 2018

I came across the following obituary while doing some Post Office research. Dr. Stephen Drew practiced as Milton’s physician for over fifty years. (He was for a brief time also Postmaster of the Milton Post Office).

OBITUARY OF DR STEPHEN DREW

BY DR HALEY OF MILTON

Dr. Stephen Drew studied medicine with Dr. Ayer of Newfield, Me., attended medical lectures at Harvard University and at other medical colleges, and received his diploma in medicine about the year 1815. He first practiced his profession for more than a year at Conway, in this State, thence he removed to Milton, N.H., where he faithfully and zealously followed his profession until about four years ago, when his strong and almost invincible frame began to yield to the relentless ravages of age and disease. He was in active practice, in this and adjoining towns, fifty-three years. Indeed, he did not entirely cease office practice until a little before his death, March 1872, so we may as well say fifty-seven years in all.

He came to Milton at the same time that Dr. James Farrington went to Rochester. Dr. Pray was also at Rochester, Dr. Hammond at Farmington and Dr. Russell at Wakefield. These fathers in medicine have all passed away most of them long ago. Had Dr. Drew lived until April, 1872, he would have been eighty one years of age. He lived to see his own generation almost all pass away, another enter upon and pass well across the stage of action, and a third generation appear and pass through infancy and childhood into youth and early manhood. 

The Milton of fifty-six years ago was very different from the Milton of to-day. Says a reliable informant: “At that early period the large tract of country over which his visits extended was a wilderness in comparison with to-day. Very few good roads, but many bridle paths, making it necessary for him to perform much of his labor on horseback, subjecting him to much inconvenience and exposure.”

He was eminent as a surgeon, preeminent as a practitioner of medicine. He was honored by his peers and revered by his younger brethren. In many respects, he was a model physician. In a word he was a physician. He brought to his profession a life-long enthusiasm, which kept him, to last, well in the advance of medical knowledge. His extensive experience, keen observation and quick reason him to anticipate many an advance in medical practice. He was studious, energetic, laborious, unwearying.

In the “sick room” he was calm and self-possessed. No ordinary or extraordinary danger or unlooked-for emergency could throw him off his guard. To the full extent of knowledge, resources and skill, he was able to do all [that] could be done for his patients. The results of all his experience, the accumulations of his extensive research, hastened in orderly array to his aid.

Then, too, he was wisely deliberate in his opinions actions, never hasty, inconsiderate or rash. And being prudently cautious in his determinations, he had great firmness in carrying them out. Yet he was liberal in his treatment of those who differed from him. He was willing candidly to weigh the reasons for modes of practice other than his own; and as he sought new light he was ready to welcome it from whatever source.

Another grand qualification in a physician, he was thoroughly trustworthy. The secrets of his patients and of their families, whether directly or indirectly communicated to him, were inviolably safe in his keeping. His own family never knew anything of the secret history of his patients. A wise head, an attentive ear, a sharp and open eye, but a silent tongue.

He was an old-time gentleman, a gentleman through and through, a man of culture in mind and heart and manners, a man whose manhood could not long be concealed.

He was benevolent, that basis quality of character, out of which all true politeness springs, and from which it gets its strength. He was the poor man’s friend, the poor man’s willing servant. He served as faithfully in the abode of poverty as in the mansion of wealth.

He was indeed “the beloved physician.” Into hundreds, thousands of families has he repeatedly entered as a messenger of hope and help. Thousands of lives, by the blessing of God, has he been the means of prolonging. Thousands have been comforted by him in hours of bitter pain and sorrow, or conducted by him through imminent peril. Yea, until this generation, and the generation after, shall all have passed away, he will continue to be in the remembrances and traditions of multitudes, “the beloved PHYSICIAN.”

In his last years he came fully into the light and life of Christ. The very day before his death he spent largely with his Bible and book of prayer. God was preparing him for his speedy exit from the scenes of this life and entrance into the glories of the life everlasting?


See also Milton’s Dr. Stephen Drew (1791-1872).


References:

NH Medical Society. (1873). Transactions of the New Hampshire Medical Society. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=SO8hZwj45UsC&pg=PA115

Milton’s Winter Soldier, Part Two

By Muriel Bristol | September 23, 2018


Continued from Milton’s Winter Soldier, Part One


Mount Independence

Prior to the Declaration of Independence, Mount Independence had a less grandiose name: Rattlesnake Hill.

Two years previously, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys had surprised and captured Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775. He famously did so “In the name of Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.” He was certainly an interesting man. He had rebelled against New York prior to the Revolution. He was a rebel’s rebel. The Revolution just sort of joined him. Guns from Fort Ticonderoga had been sledged to Boston, where they were used to expel the British from that city. Under threat of those guns, mounted on Dorchester heights, the British “evacuated” on their fleet to occupy New York City instead. (Boston celebrates a city government holiday on “Evacuation Day,” which is coincidentally also St. Patrick’s Day).

Fort Ticonderoga had been built by the French in 1755 and had seen better days. It stood on the New York side of the narrow bottom of Lake Champlain at its river outlet. It had been built with an eye to blocking any approach from the south (up the Hudson River from Albany and New York). Its strong defenses were less formidable when approached from the north (down Lake Champlain from Canada).

To improve those defenses, the Colonial forces built an ancillary fortress on Rattlesnake Hill in 1776. That was a sort of hilly semi-peninsula on the Vermont side (modern Orwell, VT) of the lake. They constructed also a rough military road, with log planking and bridges to span wet places, between there and Hubbardton, Vermont, and a pontoon bridge over to Fort Ticonderoga. News of the Declaration of Independence came there on July 18, 1776 and Rattlesnake Hill became Mount Independence.

British General Guy Carleton arrived there from Canada with his army in October 1776. He abandoned this initial invasion attempt when he saw the double-fortressed position with its approximately 12,000 defenders. Most of the Colonial forces dispersed to their homes for the winter not long after. Their enlistments had expired. Only a skeleton force of 2,500 remained to hold the forts over the winter.


The British planned a much more serious invasion attempt for 1777. They hoped to split New England off from the rest of the colonies. To accomplish this, General John Burgoyne’s army would proceed south across Lake Champlain from Canada and General Gage’s army would come north up the Hudson River from New York City. They planned to meet in Albany, control the Hudson River, and thus split the colonies in two.

All three Continental regiments of the New Hampshire Line marched westward from New Hampshire in May 1777 in order to reinforce Fort Ticonderoga’s skeleton garrison. It took them six or seven weeks to get there.

At the head of the Second Regiment, its commander, Colonel Nathan Hale (not the famous spy, but another one from Rindge, NH) rode on horseback with his staff. The Second Regiment’s national and regimental colors flapped in the breeze.

The Regimental and National Flags of the 2nd Regiment, New Hampshire Line

The colors they carried before them had been made in Boston in April 1777. The buff-colored national flag’s ring of thirteen interlocked state rings was based on a Benjamin Franklin design. It had also been used on Continental currency the year before. Its motto “We Are One” appeared in the center of the rings. The blue-colored regimental flag had a shield with “NH 2nd Regt” upon it and a banner or scroll appeared above with the motto “The Glory Not the Prey.” The two cantons were “mocks” or variations on the British Union Jack.

Colonial soldiers and engineers had built encampments for three brigades (enlarged or reinforced regiments) at Mount Independence in 1776.  The defenses in progress there included a large shore battery, with a another horseshoe-shaped battery or citadel above it. They also built storehouses, workshops and had begun a star-shaped picket fort. Some of this work continued in the spring of 1777, including the beginnings of three new batteries along the peninsula’s eastern shore.

Mount Independence was as yet an unarmed and undefended construction project. When the New Hampshire regiments arrived, they joined the skeleton garrison of Fort Ticonderoga.

British General John Burgoyne and his army of 7,800 British and Hessian soldiers arrived soon after at nearby Fort Crown Point on June 30, 1777. It was unoccupied and his presence went unnoticed. He next had his troops drag cannons up onto the summit of Mount Defiance (Sugarloaf Hill), which overlooked both Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. (“Where a goat can go, a man can go; and where a man can go, he can drag a gun.” – British Major General William Phillips, as his men brought cannon to the top of Mount Defiance in 1777). The British occupation of Mount Defiance remained completely unnoticed until July 5, when some British-allied Indians lit a fire there.

The Colonial commander, General St. Clair, was completely surprised. British guns overlooked Fort Ticonderoga now, which made it completely untenable. He had little choice but to order an immediate evacuation of Fort Ticonderoga. The Colonial forces snuck out that night across the pontoon bridge to Mount Independence, under its British guns, and from there down the military log road to Hubbardton. They were headed for the Rutland, Vermont area.

Most of the sick and wounded were taken to bateaux boats at Skenesborough (now Whitehall, New York), while that was still possible. The baggage went there too.

Battle of Hubbardton

Colonel Seth Warner commanded the rear guard covering the Continental retreat toward Rutland, Vermont. His detail included his own Green Mountain Boys and Colonel Hale’s Second New Hampshire regiment. There were also some stragglers from other units, as well as some number of sick and wounded men.

Colonel Warner paused in Hubbardton, Vermont, on July 6, 1777, while the main force escaped down the Castleton road. He set his men to felling trees to make a obstacle of downward-facing branches on Monument Hill and to extend that position on either flank. The British did not appear that day and Colonel Warner decided to spend the night.

The next morning, July 7, at 5:00 AM, Colonel Warner’s pickets spotted approaching British scouts. There was an exchange of gunfire and the scouts retreated. A more substantial British force arrived at the bottom of Monument Hill at 6:30 AM. They attacked and were repulsed.

The British regrouped, attacked again, and were repulsed again. British General Fraser sent now for his Hessians. Meanwhile, his Grenadiers climbed the Pittsford Ridge beyond the Colonial east flank in order to block their escape route down the Castleton road.

The Hessian reinforcements arrived about 8:30 AM and counter-attacked on the Colonial northern flank, where the British were being hard-pressed. The Second’s commander, Col. Hale, and a detachment of seventy Second Regiment men were captured. Colonel Warner decided it was time to go. The Colonials withdrew across the Pittsford Ridge as best they could.

This is considered to have been a British victory, as they held the field when it was all over, but the rear guard had accomplished its mission. They forced the British to stop, deploy their forces, and fight. All of this took time, valuable time. After the battle, British General Fraser gave up his pursuit of the Colonial main body entirely.

The Battle of Hubbardton involved approximately 2,230 troops – 1,000 to 1,200 Americans, 850 British, and 180 Germans fighting for the British. It resulted in the deaths of 41 American, 50 British, and 10 German soldiers. Of the 244 wounded, 96 were American, 134 British, and 14 German. The British took 234 American prisoners. Total casualties, including prisoners, were roughly 27 percent of all participating troops.

Milton’s Private Enoch Wingate was wounded during this rear guard action. Captain Rowell’s next muster roll listed him as one of sixteen men that had been “Missing since July 7th.”

The Second New Hampshire Regiment continued to regard the captured Colonel Hale as its commander. His name headed all their paperwork, until as late as January 1779, when Lt. Colonel George Reid was listed as commander. Hale died in captivity in September 1780.

The fancy Regimental flags also went missing. They had been packed away with the baggage on the bateaux at Skenesborough to go down river. The British got the lot.


And next came Bemis Heights? Yes.


To be continued in Milton’s Winter Soldier, Part Three


References:

Concord Monitor. (2017, May 23). NH Gets Its Flags Back. Retrieved from www.concordmonitor.com/New-Hampshire-Gets-Its-Flags-Back-9404052

CRW Flags. (2018, July 25). Second New Hampshire Regiment, Continental Line. Retrieved from www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/us%5Enhrcl.html

Fort Ticonderoga. (2018). Fort Ticonderoga: America’s Fort. Retrieved from www.fortticonderoga.org/

Fort Ticonderoga. (2018). Mount Defiance. Retrieved from www.fortticonderoga.org/history-and-collections/places/mount-defiance

National Archives. (n.d.) Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls). Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

State of Vermont. (2018). Hubbardton Battlefield. Retrieved from historicsites.vermont.gov/directory/hubbardton/history

State of Vermont. (2018. Hubbardton Battlefield. Post-Visit Exercise: Using Primary Sources to Learn about the Battle. Retrieved from historicsites.vermont.gov/sites/historicsites/files/Documents/directory/hubbardton/Hubbardton%20Battlefield%20Post%20Visit%20Primary%20Sources%20Exercise%5B1%5D.pdf

State of Vermont. (2018). Mount Independence. Retrieved from historicsites.vermont.gov/directory/mount_independence

Wikipedia. (2018, September 16). Ethan Allen. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethan_Allen

Wikipedia. (2018, September 13). Fort Ticonderoga. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Ticonderoga

Wikipedia. (2018, July 20). Mount Defiance (New York). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Defiance_(New_York)

Wikipedia. (2018, June 20). Mount Independence (Vermont). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Independence_(Vermont)

Wikipedia. (2018). Nathan Hale (Colonel). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan_Hale_(colonel)

 

Milton in 1839

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | September 21, 2018


Milton, N.H.

Strafford co. The Salmon Fall river washes its whole E. boundary, a distance of 13 miles; and a branch of the same river crosses, from the S. part of Wakefield, and unites near the centre of the E. Boundary. Teneriffe, a bold and rocky mountain, extends along the E. part of Milton, near which lies Milton pond, of considerable size, connecting with the Salmon Fall river. This town was formerly a part of Rochester, from which it was detached in 1802. It lies 40 miles N.E. from Concord, and 20 N.W. by N. from Dover. Population, 1830, 1,273.


Previous in sequence: Milton in 1823; next in sequence: Milton in 1849


References:

Hayward, John. (1839). The New England Gazetteer. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=O8wTAAAAYAAJ

Milton’s Winter Soldier, Part One

By Muriel Bristol | September 19, 2018

On a warm April day, an older Milton man, Enoch Wingate, stood before Judge Richard Dame in the Strafford Court of Common Pleas in Dover. He had a tale to tell, or, in proper legal parlance, a “declaration” to make.

On this seventh day of April 1818 before me the Subscriber, one of the Judges of the Court of Common pleas for the County of Strafford in the first District in the state of Newhampshire, personally appears Enoch Wingate aged Sixty four years, resident in the town of Milton in the county of Strafford and state of Newhampshire aforesaid, who being by me first affirmed according to law doth on his solemn affirmation make the following declaration in order to obtain the provisions made by the late act of Congress intitled An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval Service of the united states in the revolutionary war.

That the said Enoch Wingate inlisted at Rochester in the state of Newhampshire in the company commanded by Captain William Rowell in the Newhampshire line Second Regiment commanded by Col. Hale in the month of April or May 1777.

That he continued to serve in said Corps in the Service of the United States untill the 22 day of June 1780, when he was discharged from said Service at Dover in the State of Newhampshire having Served three years for which he enlisted.

That he was wounded in retreating from mount Independence, rejoined the army at Bemis heights, was at the taking of Gen. Burgoyne’s Army, marched to Pennsylvania, was in the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, was with General Sullivan in the Indian Country. –

And that he is in reduced Circumstances and stands in need of the assistance of his country for support. And that he has no other evidence of his said service except the discharge hereto annexed.

Solemnly affirmed to be true and declared before me, the day and year aforesaid.

Outside, after court, I caught up with him near a tavern. Sire Wingate, you certainly saw a lot of hard service. I’d like to hear about it. It’s a warm day. Here, have a seat in the shade, let me get you a nice, cool cider.


Enoch Wingate was about twenty-three years old when he walked from the Milton-to-be part of Rochester into Rochester as-is. It was a late April morning in 1777. He probably went to participate in a militia training day. These were festive occasions – a sort of holiday almost – featuring muster gingerbread, hard cider, rum, music, and, of course, some militia drills and training.

Colonel Stephen Evans of the Fourth New Hampshire Militia Regiment sent his sergeants out from Exeter. He wanted men for the New Hampshire Line regiments. The Continental Line was a reorganization of the existing state regiments into Continental regiments. General Washington had sought – begged really – for longer enlistments and a more professional structure.

The New Hampshire Line would consist of three Continental regiments  manned with New Hampshire’s quota of volunteers or, if there were not sufficient volunteers, New Hampshire’s draftees. The older New Hampshire state regiments were the base on which these new regiments would be built. For instance, the 8th New Hampshire Regiment became the core of the new Second Regiment, New Hampshire Line. The new enlistment terms would be for three years, rather than one or less.

Likely, Wingate had read (or heard read) Thomas Paine’s recently-published polemic Common Sense. It began:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. …

The sergeants were persuasive too. The Rochester militiamen had all seen newspapers that told of General Washington’s victories last winter at Trenton and Princeton over the British and their Hessian mercenaries. The sergeants pointed out that most of those soldiers’ enlistments had expired already. Who would now fill the ranks? Who will preserve our liberty? New Hampshire needs you. (And there is that enlistment bounty too – £20).

Wingate was one of the twenty-three Rochester men (and one from Wolfeborough) that enlisted that day. His younger cousin (or brother), Daniel Wingate, Jr., signed up too. Col. Evans recruited for the First Regiment, but the two Wingates ended up in Captain William Rowell’s Eighth Company, in the Second Regiment, New Hampshire Line.

In a week or two, all that they had to settle their affairs and make their goodbyes, they marched. From Rochester, they likely marched next either to Exeter, the capital, or to Portsmouth, where their guns awaited them. The Continental Congress had purchased three thousand French muskets. The Mercury delivered a partial shipment from Nantes, France, to Portsmouth that very same month. Those muskets would be enough to outfit some, if not all, of the New Hampshire Line regiments.

The men called them “Charlesville” muskets, because they were made at the armory in Charleville-Mézières, France. They were the newer model, the 1766 one, not the older 1763 model. (There would be a 1777 model next). They fired a smaller 69-caliber bullet versus the British Brown Bess’ 75-caliber. The ammunition was lighter to carry. The muskets were lighter also than the British Brown Bess muskets while still having good stopping power. They were accurate out to 110 yards against a mass of men. The ramrod had been redesigned. They were long and sleek, with a bayonet way out on the business end.

Wingate’s had a walnut stock and its State, battalion, and serial number were stamped on the barrel: NH 2 B No. – well, forty-one years on, he forgets the exact number – 500 something.


But how came you to be wounded at Mount Independence? For that matter, where is it and what happened there?

Aah, I could tell you something about that, he said, while looking into his empty mug.


To be continued in Milton’s Winter Soldier, Part Two


References:

Colonial Quills. (2012, October 7). Muster Day Gingerbread. Retrieved from colonialquills.blogspot.com/2012/10/muster-day-gingerbread.html

Independence Hall Association. (1999-2018). The Crisis by Thomas Paine. Retrieved from www.ushistory.org/paine/crisis/

National Archives. (n.d.) Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls). Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Society of the Cinncinati. (2010). New Hampshire in the American Revolution. Retrieved from www.societyofthecincinnati.org/pdf/downloads/exhibition_NewHampshire.pdf

Wikipedia. (2018, August 9). Charleville Musket. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleville_musket

Milton and the U.S. Constitution

By S.D. Plissken | September 17, 2018

Today is Constitution Day. Happy Constitution Day!

On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. We encourage all Americans to observe this important day in our nation’s history by attending local events in your area. Celebrate Constitution Day through activities, learning, parades and demonstrations of our Love for the United State of America and the Blessings of Freedom Our Founding Fathers secured for us (Constitutionday.org, 2018).

Did you know that Milton voted against the U.S. Constitution in 1788? Yes, it did. Milton and Farmington were then the Northeast and Northwest parishes of Rochester. And Rochester voted against the proposed U.S. Constitution.

The United States were bound together loosely under the Articles of Confederation from 1778 onwards. By 1787, they were beset by monetary collapse, unrest, and even rebellion. Congress called for a convention in February 1787, to be held in Philadelphia, PA, for the “sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.” The convention opened on May 14, 1787, but could not assemble a quorum until May 25, 1787.

Shay’s Rebellion (1786-87) and other issues convinced a number of convention delegates that a stronger central government was needed. So, the convention wandered off its “sole and express” purpose and produced a complete replacement for the Articles, rather than a revision. (Some historians have described it as a “coup”). Some delegates left in disgust. Others voted against the replacement, but lost to the majority that voted in its favor. That vote took place on September 17, 1787 – now remembered as Constitution Day – and the convention adjourned.

Then began the great debate. Those in favor of the proposed replacement constitution were known as Federalists, while those opposed were known as Anti-Federalists. Much was said on either side and that debate was carried in local newspaper articles (and, as we have noted elsewhere, that which was said was said largely under pseudonyms). Newspapers of that time frequently copied (or “shared”) each other’s articles, so, through that mechanism, the various arguments were very widely seen.

The Constitution is considered now to have been almost divinely inspired. Its creators have been beatified as “the Founding Fathers.” Whatever possessed Rochester (and Milton and Farmington) to vote against it?

Rochester had 2,857 inhabitants (in 1790). It was the 25th largest city or town in the United States. That Rochester count broke down to 730 males aged 16 years or over, 740 males aged under 16 years, 1,386 females, and 1 slave. (The census enumerator (Joseph Hait) had to correct his original spelling of Rogester to Rochester. Oops).

(The last of Rochester’s six double-columned pages has the Milton names; there were about 345 people on that page. No slave. (Editor’s note: This 1790 view of Milton deserves further study)).

But Rochester was an inland city. (Dover is the head of navigation for the Cocheco River). It might have been the 25th largest city or town in the United States, but it was situated inland.

Most New Hampshire people lived inland, and they didn’t expect to benefit from maritime commerce. They didn’t like coastal merchants, either. They opposed the Federalists, because they feared a central government would concentrate power and destroy democracy.

After the Philadelphia convention adjourned and the debate had been joined, Delaware voted (30 (100%) to 0 (0%)) first to ratify on December 7, 1787, followed by Pennsylvania (46 (66.7%) to 23 (33.3%)) on December 12, New Jersey (38 (100%) to 0 (0%)) on December 18, Georgia (26 (100%) to 0 (0%)) on January 2, 1788, and Connecticut (128 (76.2%) to 40 (23.8%)) on January 9, 1788. Those were the easy ones.

Federalist NH Governor John Sullivan knew that the U.S. Constitution was unlikely to pass in New Hampshire. So, he engaged in a little jiggery-pokery. He recalled the state legislature to meet at the capital (then Exeter) in January 1788, when travel was difficult, especially so for delegates from the inland districts of the west and north. That favored the Federalists. That Federalist-packed legislature called for an early convention, in February 1788, while the weather would still be in their favor.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts voted (187 (52.7%) to 168 (47.3%)) sixth to ratify on February 6, 1788.

Despite the weather, strong Anti-Federalist opposition did arise at New Hampshire’s February convention. Many inland towns had bound their delegates in advance to a “no” vote. “Whipping” their votes – browbeating and logrolling – could not work. Elsewhere, New York’s governor came out in opposition. Opposition was building also in Pennsylvania and Virginia. That sustained the NH Anti-Federalist opposition. The Federalists adjourned the convention until June, in order to allow delegates to consult their towns again. They also jiggered the rules to allow state representatives and other Federalist officials to stand as delegates – sort of Super Delegates. And maybe the votes of other states would solve the problem in the meantime.

While they were out, Maryland voted seventh (63 (85.1%) to 11 (14.9%)) to ratify on April 28, 1788, and South Carolina voted eighth (149 (67.1%) to 73 (32.9%)) on May 23, 1788.

New Hampshire’s reconvened convention began to assemble at Concord’s Old North Meeting House on Wednesday, June 18, 1788. Only 90 of the expected delegates had arrived by that first day, 107 arrived by the second day, and 108 by the third day. Five more delegates were expected, but most of them (4-1) were known to be “no” votes. So, the convention voted to ratify without them on Saturday, June 21, 1788. It was not a landslide – 57 voted in favor (54.8%) and 47 voted against (45.2%). (Had they waited for the missing delegates, the result would have been the same, but with a narrower margin: 58 (53.2%) to 51 (46.8%)).

New Hampshire, being the ninth state to ratify, tipped the balance. The U.S. Constitution would go into effect.

After New Hampshire, Virginia voted (89 (53%) to 79 (47%)) to ratify on June 25, 1788, followed by New York (30 (52.6%) to 27 (47.4%)), North Carolina (194 (71.6%) to 77 (28.4%)), and, finally, Rhode Island brought up the rear (34 (51.5%) to 32 (48.5%)).

Vermont’s status remained nebulous. Both New York and New Hampshire claimed it. It was a sort of no-man’s land, outside of the new dispensation. (Persecuted Shay’s rebels found refuge there). It gained admission as the 14th state on March 4, 1791.


Ms. Muriel Bristol contributed to this article.


References:

Constitution Day. (2018). Constitution Day. Retrieved from www.constitutionday.com/

Constitution Society. (2018, September 7). The Anti-Federalist Papers. Retrieved from www.constitution.org/afp.htm

Harris, Emmett. (2014, July 13). Ratification in New Hampshire. Retrieved from www.fsp.org/ratification-new-hampshire/

New England Historical Society. (2018). New Hampshire’s Constitutional Convention Creates a New Nation. Retrieved from www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/new-hampshire-constitutional-convention-creates-nation/

Libby, Orin G. (1894, June). Geographical Distribution of the Vote of the Thirteen States on the Federal Constitution, 1787-8. Retrieved from teachingamericanhistory.org/ratification/libby/#4newhampshire

U.S. Congress. (n.d.). The Federalist Papers. Retrieved from www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers

U.S. Constitution. (2018). New Hampshire’s Ratification. Retrieved from www.usconstitution.net/rat_nh.html

Wikipedia. (2018, August 18). 1790 United States Census. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1790_United_States_Census

Wikipedia. (2018, September 8). Articles of Confederation. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_Confederation

Wikipedia, (2018, July 25). The Anti-Federalist Papers. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Federalist_Papers

Wikipedia. (2018, June 18). Constitution Day (United States). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_Day_(United_States)

Wikipedia. (2018, September 1). The Federalist Papers. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Federalist_Papers

Wikipedia. (2018, June 4). Jiggery-Pokery. Retrieved from en.wiktionary.org/wiki/jiggery-pokery

 

 

Milton Mills in 1864

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | September 15, 2018

An extract from the Farmington Weekly Courier of Friday, February 5, 1864.


A Letter from Milton Mills:

Milton Mills, Jan. 29, 1864 –

I am pleased to know, that someone has the courage  and “goaheaditiveness” to start a paper in this part of the county, and hope it may prove as profitable to its Editor as interesting to its patron.  News in this  (the Northeast) corner of the county, is at this time quite meager.  It is now the sleighing, and the farmers and wood men are busily engaged in carrying to market their surplus stock of wood, which this winter brings them a good round price, compared with the prices of former winters.

Some of the lovers of the “finny tribe” in this locality are enjoying the luxury of fishing upon Horn and Garvin Ponds, for pickerel, these pleasant days, with good “luck,” and this, as you well know, Mr. Editor, is fine sport, when you have plenty of “Tom Cod” for bait, and a “nibble” every now and then from each line.  

Business in this locality is very good, with plenty of work for those disposed to “earn their living by the sweat of their brow” and otherwise.

The flannel Mill of John Townsend, Esq., is now in full blast, (and, by the way, it is reported to be the best woolen mill in New England) and turns out about thirteen thousand yards of flannel per week, which finds a ready sale in Boston, New York and Philadelphia.  There is some prospect of having a new mill, put up the coming season, by our enterprising citizen, Edward Brierly, who is now engaged quite extensively in the printing and finishing of flannels, table covers, balmoral skirts, etc. 

We boast of but four regular stores in our quiet little village, that of Asa Fox & son, Bray C. Simes, John U. Simes and Asa Jewett, all of which are doing a fair  amount of business.  We have beside these, three or four places where groceries, etc., are sold, much to the disadvantage of the regular trade.  There is probably not a village of the size of this in New Hampshire, where so much blacksmith work is done, as in this —  We have now four blacksmiths, (working early and late) and plenty of work for four more.

We are furnished daily, in this out-of-the-way locality, with the Boston morning and evening papers, by our friend Elbridge W. Fox, of the firm of Asa Fox & son, who also has charge of the Express Office of Canney & Co.  

Did I say “this out-of-the-way locality?”  Yes.  Well, it is true in some respects, for we are situated four long miles east of the “head of locomotion” of the Great Falls & Conway Railroad at Union; but thanks to our enterprising Expressmen, Messrs. Canney & Co., we are provided with a good span of “chestnuts” and when once “aboard,” the “ribbons” in the hands of the faithful messenger and careful driver – Asa A. Fox — we are soon there.

One thing, among the many, that we need to give our village a more lively and business like appearance, is a shoe manufacturer; one with means and energy, capable of doing a large business, for we have plenty of good work men in this vicinity that would gladly make shoes for a home manufacturer, rather [than] freight stock from Rochester, Dover, Haverhill and Lynn.

But enough of this.  People are beginning to talk politics, now the conventions are over.  Excuse me, Mr. Editor, you don’t talk politics in your paper, so I will stop.  More Anon.

Vulpes.


N.B. The pseudonym Vulpes is Latin for “Fox.”

For more about the Great Falls & Conway Railroad, see our piece on Milton’s Railroad Line.


References:

Farmington Weekly Courier. (1864, February 5). A Letter from Milton Mills. Farmington, NH

Milton’s Centennial

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | September 14, 2018


MILTON’S CENTENNIAL

Events of the Day

The centennial celebration of the town of Milton, held August 30, 1902, was in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of the first town meeting. This meeting convened at the tavern of Lieut. Elijah Horne, August 30 1802, only a short time after the charter, which gave Milton its independent existence, had been signed by Governor Gilman. This instrument had been granted at the June session of the legislature of New Hampshire at the petition and largely through the efforts of Capt. Beard Plumer, one of the representatives from Rochester, who, with others, felt that the time had come for Milton to sever the ties which bound her to the mother town.

At the annual meeting held in March, 1902, it was voted to celebrate in an appropriate manner the closing of the first century of the town’s existence. An appropriation was made and a general committee selected. As a result of the able and painstaking efforts of this committee, together with those chosen to assist, the observance of the centennial was made eminently fitting to mark the close of the first century of Milton’s history.

Saturday, August 30, 1902, was a beautiful day; there was scarcely a cloud in the sky and the temperature was ideal for the purposes of the occasion. Sunrise was accompanied with the ringing of bells and a cannon salute of thirty-three guns. One hundred guns were fired during the day, a second thirty-three at noon and the remainder at sunset. Although the celebration had practically begun on Friday night with the huge bonfire on the summit of the historic Mt. Teneriffe, it was not until Saturday morning that the guests commenced to arrive in large numbers.

Every incoming train was heavily laden and hundreds came in teams from surrounding towns. It was the largest crowd that Milton ever saw being variously estimated by the press at from seven to ten thousand.

From 8.30 to 10 o’clock field and water sports were held; from 9 to 10 o’clock the Hanson American band of Rochester gave a concert on the Upper square. Then came the street parade. This was a fine feature of the day, including many beautifully trimmed floats and private teams, bicycles, and not a few grotesque and humorous make-ups. The marshal was Major Charles J. Berry, Milton Mills, N.H.; assistant marshal James F. Reynolds, Wakefield, Mass.; aides, Clifford A. Berry and Charles Manser, Milton Mills; Walter Holden, Wakefield, Mass.; Scott Ramsdell, Samuel E. Drew, and Fred S. Hartford, Milton.

Following the parade a good old fashioned New England dinner was served in large tents, on the Nute High School grounds, to over two thousand people. It was at high noon, also, that the new town clock in the Congregational Church was officially started. This was presented to the town of Milton by Mr. Albert O. Mathes of Dover, N.H., as a memorial to the Rev. James Doldt, who was pastor of the Congregational Church from 1850 to 1871.

Promptly at two o’clock the commemorative exercises began in the grove, on the Nute High School grounds, Hon. Elbridge W. Fox, of Milton Mills, Ex-Senator from this district, presiding as President of the day. In addition to those upon the official programme, Mayor Bradley of Rochester spoke in behalf of the mother town and Mr. Edward P. Nichols of Lexington, Mass., treasurer of the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, delivered a short address. The violin used as an accompaniment to the singing was played by Miss Annie B. Kimball, of Milton, while the old violincello which took the place of the church organ in the early days of the town, was restrung and played by Mr. Sumner Hodsdon of Dover, N.H.

One of the most attractive and appropriate features of the day was the collection of antiquities in the old Worcester House, itself past one hundred years in age. These rare and valuable articles, from 75 to 200 or more years old, and gathered from many sources, by Mr. Albert O. Mathes of Dover N.H., were intimately connected with the early history of the town. Many of the interesting buildings in the village had placards placed upon them, giving the date of their erection and other matters of interest. Among these were the following: The home of Dr. Stephen Drew, 1820-1873, built by John Bergin in 1773; the house in which Lewis W. Nute was born; the building formerly the Union meetinghouse, 1838-1859; John Fish’s house, 1794, where was located the first post-office in 1818; the site of the first tavern built in 1787 by Benjamin Palmer; the house of Thomas Leighton, 1810-1860; the site of the house of Gilman Jewett, first town clerk, 1800; the site of the first tannery, owned by John Bergin, 1773.

The celebration was in every respect an unqualified success, and reflected the greatest credit upon all concerned. All of those present, whether natives of the town or friends, felt that the observance was in every way worthy of the occasion and of Milton.


See also Report of the Milton Centennial Committee


References:

Mitchell-Cony Co. (1908). The Town Register Farmington, Milton, Wakefield, Middleton, Brookfield, 1907-8. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=qXwUAAAAYAAJ

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