Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
After the Jacobite risings in Scotland in 1715, the clans were let loose upon one another, and the troops of King George were put to live at free quarters in the homes and upon the estates of the Jacobites. Foster and the most conspicuous of the leaders were marched off to London, where they arrived Nov. 9, 1716. When they reached Highgate Hill their arms were tired behind their backs, as if they were cutthroats, their horses were led by foot soldiers, and, greeted with the shouts, scoffs and jeers of the multitude, they came to the city, where the leaders and nobles were sent to the Tower, and those of lesser rank were distributed among the common jails, before being adjudged traitors and sent to their fate.
In 1645 [trans note: date??] the Scottish prisoners were removed for trial, lest their own countrymen should afford them partiality or pity. At one time not less than three hundred and eighty-five were crowded together at Carlisle, and the common men were permitted to cast lots, one in twenty to be tried and hanged, the remainder to be transported. To escape the fate of so many of their countrymen, large numbers came to Pennsylvania.
(I) James Blaine, the first of the name to be found in Pennsylvania, came in 1722, and located on the site of the new city of Carlisle, with a considerable colony, no doubt, from Carlisle, Scotland, where the three hundred and eighty-five mentioned above were submitted to a chance of one in twenty for their lives.
(II) Colonel Ephraim, son of James Blaine, was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1740. He took part with the patriots, and held the rank of commissary-general. He contributed largely of his means to the suffering soldiers at Valley Forge, for which neither he nor his descendants were ever compensated by the American government. He was an intelligent and highly educated man, and was on terms of personal friendship with General Washington. He was brilliant in many ways, but in no way practical as to the care of this world's goods.
(III) James (2), son of Col. Ephraim Blaine, lived in Carlisle.
(IV) Ephraim (2), son of James (2) Blaine, was brought up to mercantile pursuits. He was sent to Paris, France, to gain familiarity with the foreign trade, and on his return established himself in business in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and pursued it successfully during his life.
He married his cousin, Margaret Lyon.
(V) Ephraim Lyon, son of Ephraim and Margaret (Lyon) Blaine, moved to Brownsville, Pennsylvania, and married Maria Gillespie, a granddaughter of Neal Gillespie, who came from the north of Ireland in 1741 to Washington county, Pennsylvania, to which section Ephraim L. Blaine had migrated as a young man. Her father was a Roman Catholic, but her husband was a Presbyterian, and she embraced that faith, and in it brought up their children.
(VI) James Gillespie, son of Ephraim Lyon and Maria (Gillespie) Blaine, was born in West Brownsville, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, Jan. 31, 1830. He there spent his boyhood days, a witness to industrial growth as daily seen in its glass factories, coal-mines, iron-foundries, machine-shops, planing-mills, etc. This threw him in daily and intimate contact with workingmen, and he continute their friend, and the advocate of protection, by the government, of the intersts of home manufactures, thoughout his life. He had his early education at the knee of his father and his maternal grandfather, Neal Gillespie, an educated and cultivated Irish gentleman. He first attended a school conducted by a learned English pedagogue, under whose care he was placed by his father when he was eleven years old. He was thus enables to matriculate at Washingon College in 1845, when only fifteen years old, and he was graduated with the honor of class orator and English salutatorian in 1847, completing his college course in two years, at the age of seventeen. Like manyof the college graduates of his day, he at once engaged in teaching, finding a professorship open for him in the Western Military Istitute, at Blue Lick Springs, Kentucky.
It was while there he met his future wife in the peron of Harriet Standwood, daughter of Jacob and Sally (Caldwell) Stanwood, of Augusta, Maine, to whom he was married in March, 1851. On his thus entering upon the responsibilities of married life, he was receiving but a mere stipend, and Mrs. Blaine returned to her home in Augusta, and he took up the study of law. He went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852, where he was a teacher of the higher branches of English in the Pennsylvania Istitution for the Blind, and in 1854 he went to Augusta, Maine, where he worked for one year on the Kennebec Journal as a reporter, and at once entered upon his brilliant political career.
He was soon editor and part owner of the leading weekly newspaper in Maine, and published as it was from the state capital, it exerted a strong influence. Thrown as he was in the company of the leaders of both parties in the state, he at once made his influence felt in behalf of the new party to be pledged to the abolition of slavery and the cause of temperance. He was strong, not only in the opinions he expressed in the editorial columns of the paper, but he exerted that powerful personal magnetism that became one of his distinguishing traits in his political life while mingling with men. He could read character, remember faces and call every man to whom he was once introduced ever after by name. This attribute gave him immense power, and the people of Maine soon forgot that he was a foreigner within their borders, and they claimed him with much pleasure as a Maine man clear through. If not to the manner born, he was to the manner quickly bred, and the people in the state at once cast about to do him honor and to honor themselves by giving him political and national honors.
He was sent as a delgate to the first Republican National convention in 1856 which nominated John C. Fremont for the presidency of the U. S. On returning from that great convention he expounded the principles of the new party to the waiting people of Maine, none too friendly to the radical cause marked out by the first Republican national platform, in his maiden speech, and its delivery was the signal for sharp divisions and shiftings in politics in the state, and he was acknowledged as the leader of the new party.
He joined the Presbyterian church in Augusta in 1857, his wife being already a member. He sold his interests in the Journal, but continued its connection with the editorial department indefinitely, and removed to Portland and became part owner and editor of the Portland Advertiser. His career as a journalist ended in a blaze of glory, in 1858, when he was elected a representative from the commercial metropolis of the state in the state legislature. He appeared on the floor of the house at an auspicious time. He had abandoned journalsim for the purpose of better representing his constituency, and the great party soon to take up the reigns of government both state and national if legislative halls and to throw into the balance on the side of universal freedom and equal rights the weight of his oratory and the great strength of his personality. He wisely made his way carefully and avoided the meteoric display that was clearly at his command by refusing other than the regular path of promotion offered to any man in the Maine house of representatives. He accepted a place on hard-worked commmittees, and was reluctant to receive even the honors of chairmanship of such committees as thrust on him, but the sessions of 1859 and 1860 had not the mark of his leadership in any pronounced way. In 1858 he accepted the chairmanship of the Republican state committee, and he held that office by the will of the successive state conventions up to 1878. He was speaker of the Maine house of representatives in 1861, and his usefulness and power began to be felt beyond the confines of the adopted state when his party made him its candidate for representative in the U. S. congress at the fall convention in 1862, and he took his seat in the thirty-eighth congress at the opening of its session, Dec. 7, 1863. He spoke to his constituents when he accepted the high honor of being made its candiate, saying: "The great object with us all is to subdue the rebellion speedily, effectually and finally. In our march to that end we must crush all intervening obstacles. If slavery or any other institution stands in the way, it must be removed. Perish all things else, the national life must be saved." These words were pronounced in dark days. The fortunes of war were with the Confederates, and sympathizers in the north were plenty and outspoken. Peace at any price was a popular slogan, and the brave and decisive paragraph that closes our quotation from his speech of acceptance had the true ring, and the people accepted it and the depleted army in the field was rapidly filled up with earnest and determined fighting men. Maine sent out of her bone and sinew the best she could give, and that best did work that made Maine regiments immortal as their deeds became history.
From his short but brilliant speeches on the fllor of congress the inspiration of the framers of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States largely came. The amendment, know by his name, provided for the rehabilitation of state right of any seceding state, which should establish equal suffrage without regard to race and color, was too radical to be at first received with favor, but the poewrs of education set in motion rolled on, and in 1867 both branches of congress recognized his wisdom by adopting the amendment. He served through the forty-first, forty-second, forty-third and forty-fourth congresses, a period of thirteen years, and the house made him its speaker 1869-76.
In congress he was an unflinching advocate of real money, and opposed irrevocably any proposition that proposed to debase the currency. He was not caught in the greenback trap in which so many of his colleagues fell. He claimed for the naturalized citizen of the U. S. every privilege accredited to a native born citizen in every part of the world, even to the extent of making its non-recognition by any nation a just cause for war, and this positive position led to the Anglo-American treaty of 1870. For the six years between 1869 and 1876 his position as speaker gave him little opportunity to join in public debate in which he was so ready and powerful, but at the same time he was enabled to exert a powerful influence in shaping the legislation of congress, and it was only on infrequent yet notable occasions that he left the speaker's chair to take part on the floor of the house. He vacated the chair when the bill to give to General Grant the right to proclaim "martial" law in the southern states and to suspend the habeas corpus act as measures to destroy the much feared Ku-Klux-Klan was before the house, and his vigorous opposition to the bill both on constitutional grounds and as an expedient masure went far towards its defeat.
He opposed the Bland Silver bill, and was in favor of a bimetalic currency and the maintenance of full weight in coining silver. He was favorable to the promotion of the shipping industries of the U. S. by acts of congress, and the subsidizing of line of mail-steamers to the Atlantic ports of South America, in order to stand before the world as equal in liberality and the protection of home interests as were the government of Great Britain and France.
In matteers relating primarily to his own state, he was keenly alive, and when a dual government threatened the state of Maine in 1879, he signified his belief of the purity of the ballot whether in South Carolina or Maine, and he was active in the measures taken to prevent the ursurpation of the powers of government by a minority party.
His voice was raised and his influence exerted in behalf of trans-continental railroads in order to open the abundant riches of the great west, and he encouraged governmental appropriations to an extent that aroused many animosities, and as his interests in this method brought him in close relations with the officials of the many great railroad enterprises of the time, his motives were questioned by his enemies, and even questioned by his friends. This position led to positive accusation of wrongdoing. Especially was this so in 1876, when he was charged with having received $64,000 from the Union Pacific Railroad Company for legislative services rendered, and it was not until he produced letters from the officers of the company declaring that he had never received a dollar from the company for any purpose whatever was the intense tension of public opinion relieved. When, in the case of the Little Rock and Fort Smith railroad, he was accused of having received bonds as a gratuity, and that lands along its route had been sold through the agency of the Union Pacific Company for his benefit, he replied that all the bonds of that company he ever procured he had bought in open market at market prices, and that he was holding them at a pecuniary loss. In the matter of the Kansas Pacific railroad he was charged with receiving bonds as gifts, and that he was a veritable party interested in a suit concenring them in a Kansas court. To this charge he promptly replied by asserting that his brother had been for years a holder of the stock of that road, and that the names had been confounded. All these charges and others of a similar nature led the house of representatives to adopt a resolution to authorize a committee to invest the alleged sale of certain bonds of the Little Rock and Fort Smith railroad to the Union Pacific Company, and the public press saw in it a direct attack on the integrity of Representative Blaine. The committee of investigation ascertained that an extended business correspondence had for many years been carried on between Mr. Blaine and Warren Fisher, a Boston banker, and that some of these letters had fallen into the hands of a confidential clerk named Mulligan, and the clerk was summoned to appear before the committee in Washington. Mr. Blaine, on the arrival of Mulligan, obtained possession of the letters in question, and on the memorable June 5, 1876, he produced them before the house itself, and holding them in his hand, he asserted that the letters were private and that the house had no right to them, at the same time holding them aloft, he shouted in clarion tones that belonged only to Blaine, the orator, and said: "Thank God, I am not ashamed to show them. There is the very original package; and with some sense of humiliation, with a mortification I do not attempt to conceal, with a sense of outrage which I think any man in my position would feel, I invite the confidence of forty-four million of my countrymen while I read these letters from this desk." He read the letters, and with no undue haste, and when he had finished he turned to the speaker and asked if a despatch had been received by the house from Josiah Caldwell, one of the founders of the Fort Smith railroad, who was familiar with the whole transaction, and the speaker gave an evasive answer, to which Mr. Blaine exclaimed " "Within my positive knowledge you received such a dispatch and you have suppressed it." The scene that followed was tremendous, the effect of the charge electric, and the scene that followed tumultuous beyond that recorded of any in the house.
On the Sunday following Mr. Blaine, while on his way to church, and as he entered the portal, was prostrated with extreme heat and his physical condition for a time threatened serious consequences, but he soon recovered, and it was during the same week that the Republican National convention was held, and he was the strongest candidate before the convention, leading all the other candidtes, and lacking but twenty-eight votes of a majority on the seventh ballot. His opponents united, however, to defeat him at this point, and threw their ballots to Rutherford B. Hayes. In the same year Senator Morrill resigned to take his place in the cabinet of President Grant as secretary of the treasury, and Mr. Blaine was elected by the legislauture of Maine U. S. senator to fill the vacancy.
In the state senate he continued to advocate the governmental aid to railroads and steamship lines in behalf of the prosperity and growth of the U. S. Here his powers as a debater and ortor had full scope, and he advocated the measures with no uncertain voice. He supported the party in power in its policy in the south and formed the bill for the exlusion of the Chinese on the grounds of practicing the well being of the native laboring population and the maintenance of a high standard of wages and of living for those who obtained support by unskilled labor. As a U. S. senator he opposed th appointment of an electoral commission to pass upon the validity of the presidential election of 1876, and the grounds of his objection was that congress could not confer upon a commission powers not within the province of the body itself.
His name was again before the Republican National convention in 1880, and his most formidable opponent appeared to be General Grant, who was put forward for the third term. On the first ballot Grant received three hundred and four votes and Blaine two hundred and eighty-four, and after a royal battle of ballots for six days, his friends united with the other opponents of Grant, and on the twenty-sixth ballot nominated James A. Garfield as the party candidate, and when President Garfield made up his cabinet he asked Mr. Blaine to accept the position of secretary of state of the U. S., and he accepted the office. As secretary of state of the U. S. his immediate concern was for the preservation of peace between the independent on the American continent, through a system of arbitration, his primary purpose being to put an end to the war then waging between the republics of Chili and Peru, and having established peace and provided against the recurrence of war to establish commercial relaions between the U. S. and the South American republis that would open a market to the American republic that had been closed since the civil war by a refusal to subsidize American ships and place the country on the same basis as ships carrying the English or French flag, and which were then monopolizing the South American trade. His well-laid plans were frustrted by the assassination of President Garfield and the accession of Vice-president Arthur to the presidency. Mr. Blaine resigned from the cabinet Dec. 19, 1882, and his successor in office reversed the policy pursued by him, and the nations that had accepted Mr. Blaine's invitation to a Universal Peace Congress to assemble in Washington, Nov. 24, 1892, were prompty notified that no such congress would be held.
Mr. Blaine had served his country in the U. S. congress for twenty years and the leisure he gained by his withdrawal from official life was used in preparing a history of the political affairs of government of which he had been so large a part and resulted in: "Twenty Years Congress," published 1884 and 1886.
Meantime the time for the National convention of 1884 rolled around, and the Republican convention convened and Mr. Blaine was a candidate before the convention the third time for the nomination of the highest office in the people's gift, and on the first ballot Mr. Blaine received three hundred and thirty-four and one-half votes, only seventy less than a majority, and on the fourth ballot he received five hundred and forty-one of the eight hundred and thirteen votes cast. Mr. Blaine made a personal canvass of the three doubtful states, New York, Indiana and Ohio. The canvass was phenomenal on account of the bitterness engenered by the method pursued, and the Mulligan letters and the cartoons from the pencil of Th. Nast, in Harper's Weekly, worked his destruction, aided by an unfortuante speech made by a reverend clergyman of New York on the even of the election. Mr. Blaine stood well with the Roman Catholics by reason of its being the faith of his mother, and the vote of Tammany Hall was in no sense certain in its accustomed Democratic majority. New York, on the Saturday before the election, looked favorable to Blaine, and New York was to decide the election. The wealth of Wall Street had gathered around a festive board on that night full of import to the Republican party, and especially to the political success of Blaine. He had overcome the cartoonist, the Mulligan letters, and the other opposition offered by his political enemies. Wealth would cover itself with glory and gain the favor of the future president. Among the speakers at the festive board were men whose weight outside of political parties might be great. Politicians were not called, but the choice of non-politicians on the eve of battle was the fatal mistake. To round out a sentence a Baptist clergyman of renown in closing his speech divided the Democratic party as the party of Rum, Romanism and Rebellion, and the state was lost to Blaine by one thousand six hundred and forty-seven votes, and Grover Cleveland was the next president of the U. S.
In 1888 Mr. Blaine declined to allow his name to be used at the Republican National convention as a candidate, and Cleveland was succeeded, March 4, 1889, by Harrison, and Mr. Blaine came into his cabinet as secretary of state. He at once secured the proposed assembling of a congress of the American republics at Washington, in order to encourage friendly commercial intercourse, and twenty-six nations responded to the call. He pursued a vigorous policy in the interests of the American fisheries and the protection of the sealing industry on the coast of Alaska; favored reciprocity in trade by which it would be in the power of government to admit free of duty staple goods of those nations willing to make proportional concessions in imports upon the products of the U. S., and reciprocity treaties were made with Germany, France, Austro-Hungary, Santo Domingo, Costa Rica, Spain on behalf of Cuba, Brazil, British Guiana and the British West India Islands. His successful administration of the affairs of the state department marked him as a certain successor to Mr. Harrison in the presidential chair, as the nation had great faith in his ability to take the question of protection out of politics by a substitution of an apprently more equitable compromise through reciprocity.
The autumn of 1891, however, brought from him a letter positively withdrawing from the political field. This brought about the renomination of Harrison and the election on a reciprocity platform, and Mr. Blaine's health failing him, he resigned the portfoliio of state June 3, 1892, and during the summer was obliged to abstain from political excitement, and he spent the summer at his home in Maine, returning to Washington at the end of the season. He died in his winter home in the National capital, Jan. 27, 1893.