GENERAL AND DESCRIPTIVE.
SETTLEMENT OF MIDDLETOWN.
MILL PRIVILEGE GRANTED TO THOMAS MILLER, 1655.
GRANT TO GEORGE DURANT, TOWN BLACKSMITH.
SKETCHES OF THE SETTLERS.
FROM THE TOWN RECORDS.
GROWTH OF THE TOWN.
CENSUS OF 1776.
MIDDLETOWN PROBATE DISTRICT.
THE CUSTOM HOUSE, DISTRICT OF MIDDLETOWN.
ACTION OF MIDDLETOWN CONCERNING THE CONSTITUTION OF 1818.
RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION.
MIDDLETOWN IN THE REVOLUTION.
The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885
J. H. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York
TOWN AND CITY OF MIDDLETOWN.
BY HENRY WHITTEMORE..
[transcribed by Janece Streig]
Middletown originally included the present towns of Chatham, Portland, Cromwell, Middlefield, and a small part of Berlin. It was sixteen miles in length from east to west, and nine in breadth between north and south. As now constituted, it is bounded on the north by Berlin, in Hartford county, Cromwell, and the Connecticut River, which separates it from Portland; on the east by Cromwell and the Connecticut, which also separates it from Chatham; south by Haddam and Durham; and west by Middlefield and Meriden, in New Haven county. Its greatest length from northwest to southeast is about eleven miles, and its average width is about four miles. It includes the city of Middletown.
Like the other towns in the northern portion of Middlesex county, its surface is greatly diversified with mountains, hills, and valleys, and it has but little level land. As in other uneven regions there are here many streams, all of which are affluents of the Connecticut River, and they afford excellent water power, which is extensively utilized for driving the machinery of mills and manufactories. Of these streams there are three principal ones, supplied by small tributaries.
Ferry, or Little River, the largest, rises in Farmington Mountain, passes through the town of Berlin, and, flowing in a southeasterly direction, forms the boundary line between Cromwell and Middletown, entering the Connecticut River at the northern boundary of the city of Middletown.
A branch of this river rises in a spring, eight or ten rods in circumference, at the foot of Bluff Head, the easternmost point of Totoket or Branford Mountain, a little north of the source of a river which runs southerly into the Sound. It takes a course nearly north, runs through Durham and Middlefield, forming the boundary line between the city of Middletown and Staddle Hill District, where it assumes the name of West River, and forms a junction with Little River about a mile from its mouth.
Sumner's Creek has two important branches, viz., Miller's Brook and Pameacha River. The former rises in Miller's Pond in the northeast corner of Durham, pursues a northerly course till it strikes Pameacha River, when it turns eastward and flows thence northward, and empties into the Connecticut River. Pameacha River has its source in hills near the borders of Durham, runs northerly till it strikes Warwick's Brook, where it turns eastward, and passes on between high, rocky banks, to the other branch.
The surface of the country is strikingly and pleasantly undulating and diversified, and the prevailing soil an argillaceous loam, rich and fertile, which reposes generally upon a bed of clay slate rock. The western section of the township embraces the eastern branch of a greenstone range of mountain, being generally a succession, but in some places a continuity of elevated hills. In this district the greenstone constitutes the upper stratum, and it is underlaid by and reposes upon argillaceous schist.
It is traversed in all directions by highways, which, by reason of the unevenness of the surface over which they pass, are irregular and tortuous. Prior to the construction of railroads some of these roads were turnpikes which had supplied means of travel and transportation between this town and others in the interior of the State, and had been links in thoroughfares between distant points. The Middletown and Colchester Turnpike extended eastward, the Middlesex northward and southward, the Middletown, Durham, and New Haven southward, the Middletown and Meriden westward, and the Middletown northwestward. These were important items in public economy and gave to this town the best facilities then known for communication with other towns in the interior of the State and with distant places beyond its boundaries. The establishment of the modern system of thoroughfares has taken from these roads their importance, and within the last thirty years they have all been discontinued.
The principal avenue to and from the outer world in former times was the Connecticut River, but with the development of the great railroad system throughout the country this thoroughfare has dwindled into comparative insignificance, and the railways that pass through the town and intersect at Middletown city are now the great avenues of ingress and egress.
As we search among the tombstones, trying to decipher the inscriptions nearly obliterated by age, for the purpose of obtaining information relative to the original white settlers of this locality, we naturally inquire, Who were the original settlers? Where did they come from? How did the red man acquire his title to the property which he conveyed to the first white settlers for a mere trifle? Much as been written by those who have investigated this subject, but, unfortunately, there is much that still remains in obscurity.
DE FOREST, in his "History of the Indians of Connecticut," says:
"Below Hartford, and stretching to a considerable distance south of Middletown, we find a population which, in after times at least, was known as a distinct tribe, under the name of Wangunks. Their chieftain, SOWHEAG, was sometimes called, by the English, SEQUIN, although the word sachem, a king. When first known to the whites, he resided at Pyquag, or Wethersfield, but afterwards, on account of a quarrel with the settlers, removed to Mattabesset, now Middletown.
"Southwest of the principal seats of the Wangunks, a large extent of country was held by a son of SOWHEAG, names MONTOWESE. The able bodied men in his tribe were only ten in number. His mother must have been the daughter and heiress of some deceased sachem, for it was through her that he obtained his land."
Where the tribe came from, when they came, and from whom descended, is all conjecture. DEFOREST says: "There is strong reason to believe that all the Connecticut clans except the Pequots, were only fragments of one great tribe or confederacy of tribes, the principal branches of which were the Nehantics and the Narragansetts."
SOWHEAG or SEQUIN, as he was called by the English, was chieftain or sachem of the Wangunks. His character has been greatly misrepresented by some modern writers, who lose sight of the fact that he was human, and that his hostility to the whites was provoked by them, they being invariably the aggressors. His name is first mentioned in connection with the settlement of Wethersfield. Before the settlement of Mattabesett commenced, SOWHEAG conveyed to Governor HAYNES, of Connecticut, for a consideration, a large portion of the township. This title was not wholly extinguished until 1762, when the following deed from the Indian proprietors of the town of Middletown was executed:
"This writeing made the twenty fowerth of January 1672 between Sepunnames Joan alias Weekpissick, Machize, Wesumpha, Wamphanch, Spunnoe, Sachamas, Taxxomhuit proprietors of Midleton, alias Mattabesett of the one part, and Mr. Samuel WILLYS, Capt'n John TALLCOTT, Mr. James RICHARDS, & John ALLYN, in behalfe of the inhabitants of Midleton on the other parte, Witnesseth: That the said Sepunnamos Joan alias Weekpissick, Machize, Wesumpsha Wamphanch Spunnoe Sachamos, Taccomhuit, being privy to & well acquainted with SOWHEAG the great Sachem of Mattabesett, his gift of great part of the township of Midleton to the Honored Mr. HAYNES formerly & for a further & full consideration to us now granted & payed by the sayd Mr. Sam'll WILLYS Capt. John TALLCOTT, Mr. James RICHARDS & John ALLYN, have given granted bargained, sould & confirmed & by these presents doe fully & absolutely give, grant & confirm unto the sayd Gent'n all that tract of land, within the foloweing abutments, viz., on Wetherfield bounds on the North, on Haddam bounds on the South, & to run from the Great River the whole bredth towards the East, six miles, & from the Great River towards the West, soe farr as the Generall Court of Connecticutt hath granted the bouwnds of Midleton shall extend. To Have & to Hould the afoarementioned tract of land as it is bounded, with all the meadows pastures woods underwood stones quarries brookes, ponds, rivers, proffits, commodities & appertenanses whatsoever belonging theirunto, unto the sayd Mr. Sam'll WILLYS, Capt. John TALLCOTT, Mr. James RICHARDS, in behalfe and for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Midleton, their heirs and assignes for ever, always provided their be three hundred acres of land within the township of Midleton on the East side of Conecticutt River, layd out, bounded & recorded to be & remain the heirs of SOWHEAG & the Mattabesett Indians and their heirs forever, as also, one parcel of land on the West side of the Conecticutt River, formely layd out to Sawsean shall be recorded & remain to the heirs of the sayd Sawsean forever, any thing in this deed to the contrary notwithstanding, & the foresaid Sepunnamoe Joan alias Weekpissick Machiz Wesumpsha, Wamphanch, Spunnoe, Sachamus aliat Taccomhuit for themselves, doe covenant to & with the sayd Mr. WILLYS, Capt. TALLCOTT Mr. RICHARDS & John ALYN, in behalfe of the inhabitants of Midleton, that they the said Sepunnamos, Joan Machiz Wesumsha & c. have onely full power, goodright & lawful authority to grant, bargayne sell and convay all & singlar, the before hereby granted or mentioned to be granted pr'mises with their & every of their appertenances, according as is above expressed, unto the sayd Mr. WILLYS, Capt'n TALLCOTT, Mr. RICHARDS & John ALYN in behalfe of the inhabitants of Midleton afoarsaid, their heirs and assigns forever, & that they the sayd inhabitants of Midletone shall & may by force & virtue of these pr'sents from time to time & at all times forever hereafter lawfully, peaceably and quietly have, hold use occupy & possesse & enjoy the afoarsayd parcel of land, with all its right members & appurtenances & have, receive & take the rents issues and proffitts theirof, to their own proper use & behoufe forever, without any lett, suit, trouble or disturbance whatsoever of the sayd Sepunnamoe Joan alyas Weekpissick, Machize Wesumpsha, Wamphanch, Spunnoe, Sachamoss Taccombuit, their heirs or assignes or of any other person or persons clayming right by from or under us, or any of us, or by our means, act consent privity or procurement & that free & clear & freely & clearly acquitted exonerated & discharged or otherwise well & sofisently saved & kept harmless by the sayd Sepunnamoe, Joan Machize Wesumpsha, Wamphanch, Spunnoe Sachamoss, Taccomhuuit, their heirs executors & administrators of & from all former & other grnats, gifts, bargaines, salls titles trobles demands & incumbrances whatsoever had made committed suffered or done by the sayd Sepunnamoe Joan Machize Wesumpsha Wamphanch Spunnoe, Sachamose & Tacumhuit.
"In Witness hhareof they have signed, sealed & delivered this writing with their own hands the day & yeare first above written. Singed, sealed & delivered
SEPONNAMOE [L. S.]
In the presence of us as
Joan alias [L. S.]
on the other side
WEEKPISSICK [L. S.]
MAMECHIZE [L. S.]
WESUMPSHA [L. S.]
WAMPHANCH [L. S.]
SPUNNOE [L. S.]
SACHAMAS [L. S.]
TACCUMHUIT [L. S.]
Midleton April the eight on thousand six hundred seventy and three Paskanna Rachiashk, Massekump Robin Pewampsskin with the consent of the natives whoe signed and sealed this deed above written were acknowledged to be interested in this land reserved to them theirin and for themselves, their heires & assignes, did and by these presents doe give, grant & confirm unto the inhabitants of Midleton their heires and assinges forever, all their right title interest in all that trace of land granted by the above written deed unto the sayd inhabitants of Midleton as fully & largely as is expressed in the above written deed as witness our hands the day & yeare first above written Signed sealed and delivered
In the presence of us
PASKANNA [L. S.]
MASSEKUMP [L. S.]
ROBINS [L. S.]
PEWAMPSKIN [L. S.]
RACHIASH [L. S.]
This above written is a true record of the deed of the land within the township of Midleton from the Indian proprietors
Pr me. John HALL Recorder.
Either the death of SOWHEAG occurred in the interim, or his imbecility prevented him from taking any active part in the affairs of his nation.
The reservation on the west side of the river was in the neighborhood of Newfield, where the Indians had had a a cemetery previous to the settlement of the English among them.
The Little River, where the bridge crosses it from the city to Newfield, was the head of navigation for their water craft. They held lands there until 1713.
The Wangunks remained for some time in Middletown and Chatham, living on three separate reservations.
The last sachem but one of the Wangunks was called Doctor ROBBINS. He died previous to 1757. He left a son named Richard RANNEY who was brought up among whites, spoke and wrote the English language, learned the trade of a joiner, and became a professor of religion.
In 1764, while the tribe still numbered between 30 and 40, only two squaws with their three children remained. One of these, Mary CUSCHOY or TIKE, was the blind and aged widow of CUSCHOY, the last sachem of the tribe. She had been for some time supported by the town.
In 1764 a committee appointed for the purpose sold a large part of the lands; and on the first of June, 1765, reported that they had on hand funds to the amount of £163 19s. in Continental bills and about £100 in obligations not collected. As late as 1772, £90 of this had been used for the support of Mary CUSCHOY.
The third religious society of Middletown being desirous of purchasing the land of the Wangunks, who were willing to sell, a committee was appointed in 1765 to sell the land and use the proceeds for the benefit of the proprietors. A portion of this was disposed of, and in 1769 Samuel ASHPO and nine other, then living at Farmington, obtained permission of the Assembly to sell their remaining lands at Wangunk. In 1785 a committee was appointed by the Legislature to collect all the money due on the Indian lands at Wangunk and pay it over to the proprietors who had all left the place.
Middletown was first known by its Indian name, Mattabesett. As early as 1639 the following record was made of the action of the General Court concerning the Indians here:
"The menifold insolencyes that have beene offered of late by the Indians, putt the Court in mind of that w'ch hath beene too long neglected, viz: the execution of justice upon the former murtherers of the English and it was upon serious consideracon and debate thought necessary and accordingly determined, tthat some speedy course be taken herein, and for effecting hereof it was concluded that 100 men be levied and sent down to Mattabesecke, where severall guilty persons reside and haue beene harbored by Soheage, notwithstanding all means by way of persuation haue beene formerly used to him for surrendering them upp into or hands; and it is thought fit that these counsels be imparted to or friends at Quinnipi[ocke] that prvition may be made for the safety of the new plantacons, and upon their joynt consent to prcede or desist."
It appears that, prior to this, some provocation had been given to SOWHEAG and his tribe by the people of Wethersfield, and that some of these Indians had aided the Pequots in an excursion that they made against that town, in which they killed six men and three women, and carried away two girls. SOWHEAG entertained the hostile Pequots, treated the people of Wethersfield in a haughty and insulting manner, refused to give up the murderers, even after the conquest and destruction of the Pequot tribe, and was guilty of hostile acts toward the English; hence this action of the General Court of Connecticut. The New Haven people were notified of this action, but the governor of that colony deemed it expedient to dissuade the Connecticut colony from the execution of its purpose.
Though there were at that time settlements above and below Mattabesset, the hostile attitude of the Indians here prevented the influx of settlers.
Some months prior to the autumn session of the General Court, in 1646, however, it appears probable that steps had been taken toward a settlement here, for at that session Mr. PHELPS was appointed an additional member of a committee, which already existed, for the planting of Mattabesett. What steps were taken by this committee toward the establishment of a settlement is now known. Probably a few immigrants established themselves here, though rapid progress does not appear to have been made, for on the 20th of March 1649/50, the addition was made of "Samuel SMITH, senior, to the committee about the lands at Mattabeseck, in the roome of James BOOSY." This committee reported that these lands might support 15 families, but a greater number than that were soon here. These were settled north and south from Little River, and the records (1651) state:
"It is ordered sentenced and decreed that Mattabeseck shall bee a Towne, and that they shall make choice of one of theire inhabitants, according to order in that case, that so hee may take the oath of a Constable, the next convenient season.
"It is ordered that Mattabeseck and Norwaulk shall be rated this prsent year in theire proporcon, according to the rule of rating in the Country, for theire cattle, and other visible estate, and that Norwaakk shall present to Mr. LUDLOW, and Mattabeseck to Mr. WELLS, in each Towne one inhabitant, to bee sowrne by them Constables iu theire severall Townes."
In the next year it was decreed by the General Court that
"Thomas LORD having engaged to this court to continue his abode in Hartford for the next ensuing yeare, and to improve his best skill amongst the inhabitants of the Townes upon this River within this Jurissdiction, both for setting of bones and otherwise, as at all times, occasions and necessityes may or shal require; This Court doth grant that hee shall bee payd by the Country the sum of fifteene pounds for the said ensuing years, an they doe declare that for euery visit or journeye that hee shall take or make, being sent for to any howse in Hartford twelve pence is reasonable; to any howse in Wyndsor, five shillings; to any howse in Wethersfield, three shillings; to any howse in Farmington, six shillings; to any house in Mattabeseck, eight shillings; (hee haning promised that he will require no more;) an that hee shall be freed for the time aforesaid from watching, warding, and training; but not from finding armes according to laws."
The town was represented in the General Court in the autumn of 1652, and in November 1653, "The General court further approved that the same of the plantation commonly called Mattabeseck, should for time to come be called Middletown." The reason for the selection of this name is know known, but it is thought that it was so named from some town in England from which some of the settlers came, or for which they had a particular regard.
In 1654, the "Persons and Estates" in the town were rated. The number of taxable persons was 31, and the amount of the estates was £2,173.
The following is a list of the settlers in Middletown from 1650 to 1700.
ADKINS, Josiah, 1673; ALLYN, Obadiah, 1670; ALLYN, Thomas, 1650.
BACON, Nathaniel, 1650; BARNES, Thomas, 1671; BIDWELL, Samuel, 1674; BIGGS, William, 1677; BLAKE, John 1677; BLOMFIELD, William, 1650; BOARN, John, 1677; BOW, Alexander, 1660; BROWN, Nathaniel, 1655; BURK, Thomas, 1670.
CHENEY, William, 1655; CLARK, Samuel, 1676; CLEMENTS, Jasper, 1679; COLE, Henry, 1650; COLLINS, Nathaniel, 1664; COLLINS, Samuel, 1665; COOPER, Thomas, 1696; CORNWELL, William, 1650; COTTON, Samuel, 1697.
DOOLITTLE, Samuel, 1693; DURANT, George, 1663.
EGGLESTON, Samuel, 1663; ELTON, John, 1677.
FERMAN, Thomas, 1679; FOSTER, Edward, 1670.
GILBERT, Jonathan, 1672; GILL, John, 1676; GOODALE, Richard, 1671; GRAVES, George, 1650.
HALL, John, 1650, HALL, Richard, 1650; HALL, Samuel, 1650; HAMLIN, GILES, 1650; HANDS, Benjamin, 1678; HARRIS, Daniel, 1653; HARRIS, William, 1650; HIGBY, Edward, 1667; HILL, Thomas, 1678; HOPEWELL, Thomas, 1662; HUBBARD, George, 1650; HULBERT, John, 1669.
JOHNSON, Isaac, 1670; JONES, Francis, 1672; JORDAN, John, 1678.
KIRBY, John, 1653.
LANE, Isaac, 1664; LEWIS, Thomas, 1687; LUCAS, William, 1667.
MARKHAM, Daniel, 1677; MARTIN, Anthony, 1661; MILLER, Thomas, 1650.
PAYNE, John, 1676; PHILLIPS, George, 1680; PRIOR, Daniel, 1696.
RANNEY, Thomas, 1660; ROBERTS, William, 1690; ROCKWELL, Joseph, 1693; ROLLO, Alexander, 1697; RUSSELL, Noadiah, 1686.
SAGE, David, 1662; SAVAGE, John, 1650; SCOVILLE, Arthur, 1671; SHEPARD, Edward, 1687; SMITH, Joseph, 1675; SMITH, William, 1650; SOUTHMAYD, William, 1674; STARR, Comfort, 1673; STANCLIFT, James, 1686; STOCKING, Samuel, 1650; STOW, John, 1667; STOW, Nathaniel, 1676; STOW, Samuel, 1651; STOW, Thomas, 1669; SUMNER, William, 1687.
TAPPIN, James, 1662; TREAT, Matthias, 1659; TURNER, Edward, 1665.
WARD, John, 1664; WARD, William, 1659; WARNER, Andrew, 1667; WARNER, Robert, 1655; WEBSTER, Robert, 1650; WEST, Benjamin, 1698; WETMORE, Thomas, 1650; WHITE, Nathaniel, 1650; WHITMORE, Francis, 1674; WILCOX, John, 1654; WRIGHT, James, 1690.
Of the earliest of these a majority located near the meeting house which stood near the entrance to the old grave-yard, though several settled farther south, on Main street, and some others near the southern end of it. A portion settled in what is now Cromwell, then called the "Upper Houses."
"Middletown Jany 16th 1655.
"The agreement between Thomas MILLER and ye Townsemen of Middletowne in ye Townes behalf as ffolloweth:
"These are to certifie whom it may concerne that if ye said Thomas MILLER engageth to builde a sufficient mill to grind the Townes Corne to have it fitt to Grinde with by the tenth of December next ensuing the date hereof and the Towne is to finde the stone worke and Mill stones fitt for ye mill that is to say one pairs of sufficient mill stones bedded ffitt to work and one spindle and Inke [Link} and six paire of iron hoops four for the shaft and two for the trundle heads and one thousand of double tenns and a sleadge and one dozen of mill bills and a mill chisel and two Gudgins and a brass for the spindle and foure boults for ye Cogg wheel to provide all these in seasonable time that is to say the nails and hoops and Gudgins by the twentie-fourth of June next ensuing the date hereof and the stones and the other part of the Iron worke specified by the --- twnetie nineth of September next ensuing ye date hereof, to bring all in place for him and the said Thomas MILLER engageth for ye Towne that in case ye mill faile and be insufficient by any apparent breack to yt he be discouraged or taken away by death in some short time so that he neglects the Townes work. If that any of these fall out within two years, then the houses and Irone worke remaine the Townes; and the rest of ye mill they shall have Liberty to purchase as indifferent men shall Judge Reasonable between both; and he the said MILLER is content for him and his to Ingage and doth by these presents ingage that if he see cause to sell the mill; the Towne shall have the first proffer,a nd Refusal of it as Indifferent Men Mutually Chosen shall Judge between both, or In case the Towne have Just exceptions, against his heirs, executors and administrators or assigns ye Towne shall have ye forfateing of it as above mentioned and neither he nor any that shall succeed him, shall Leas ye Ground or Grounds to ye Contrary; and this Mill is to bee sett up on the South part Pameccha River thre or fouer schore rods above where the Rivers meet in one. In Witness Whereof ye parties above written have Sett to theyre hands ye day and year above written.
That this is a True Coppie of | In ye name and } Thomas MILLER
The first agreement between | Behalf of ye Towne} His Marke.
Thomas MILLER and the Towns | of Midletowne being}
Men of Midletowne, Respecting the Mill as is} John HALLE Junior.
Above specified according to the True Intent} Robert WARNER.
Of both parties we underwritten the 24th day} Giles HAMLIN.
Of the 10th month 66 Doe TESTIFY- - - - - - }
This is a True Record of the agreement} William WARD."
December 4th 1728 Rockwell Town Clerk
"At a town meeting the 16 of aprall 1663 the town having accepted georg DURANT living in moldin an inhabitant of Middletown do grant to him a hows lot containing fiv acors which leyeth next goodman BOWS lot with five acors adition jeyning to it at the rear of it and also two acors and a thurd of mddow leying in the lon gmedow between sammevell STOCKIN and John CURBEYS, and als ofwr acors of swamp leying a the rear of mr. HAMBLING, between Gargant CORNALL and Goodman ALLIN buting upon the weast riverrit and also won peac of bogey meddow lying between William WARDE and Thomas COWCHIS meddow between the two creackes and also six acors of the pond beginning at mr. STOWS lin with a slip of meddw lying by it on the weast side of it, this six acors of pond and slip of medow lyeth on the east side of great river and on peace of upland containing twenty acors leiing on the east side of the great river and also won peace of upland liing on the hunting hill containing fifty or thre scor acors to be laid owt as the towns committee and Goodman DUDURANT shall judg fit for his conveneyene withowt predijis to the town, which land is to be apart of his proportion of undevided upland.
"At the same town meating Goodman HARRIS, Goodman WETMORE, and Robert WARNER wear appointed to be a comittey with Goodman DEURANT to do this worck.
"george DURNAT also doth ingadg himself to be hear resident the next micelmus, insueing the deat hereof and also to inhabit upon it and to do the towns worck of smithing during the tearm of four years befor he shall mac sale of it to any other.
"This committee being apoynted by the town have laid out to the said georg DURNAT thre scor acors of grownd upon the hunting hill having the rockey river for the bownds northward running from thence a hundred rods southward and four scor and twelve rods the bredth bounded with thre marck treas at thre corners and the southeast corner with a stacke and stons laied by it.
"The town reserving a hors way to the mill in case of nead leaving the gate or bars as they find them."
In a note to his Centennial Address, Dr. FIELD says of these early inhabitants:
"William BLOOMFIELD was from Hartford, and it is said he returned thither; if he did he afterward removed to Long Island. Nathaniel BROWN was from Hartford. He had five children born to him in Middletown, from 1661 to 1669, and it is probable that he died in the last mentioned year. His son, Nathaniel BROWN 2d, lived in this place after him. George GRAVES was from Hartford and returned to that place: while here he was elected twice a representative to the General Court. William MARKUM removed to Hadley, Mass., and there. What became of John MARTIN is not known. William SMITH, who was from Wethersfield, removed to Farmington. Matthias TREAT was also from Wethersfield and died before 1663, having a family which removed from this place. A man by the name of Joseph SMITH died in Rocky Hill in Wethersfield in 1673, who may have been the same person who dwelt a while in the Upper Houses. Robert WEBSTER was from Hartford, son of Gov. John WEBSTER of Hartford, afterward of Hadley. He was the ancestor of the late Noah WEBSTER, LL. D. While here he represented the town almost continually in the General court.
"Inquiries concerning the previous residence or residences of Thomas ALLEN have not been pursued to a satisfactory result.
"Obadiah ALLEN was recommended by the elders of the church in Windsor, which renders it probable that he at least resided in that town for a time. This name is not always spelt with an e, ALLEN; in a town record book it has been spelt, ALYN and ALLYN; on the old church records it is ALLIN.
"Nathaniel BACON probably came directly from England. He was a nephew of Andrew BACON, of Hartford. The family were from Stretton in England, county of Rutland.
"William BRIGGS was from Wethersfield.
"From whence Alexander B. and William CHENEY cane, it is not ascertained. The latter was a representative to the General Court in several instances.
"Jasper CLEMENTS was born in England, about 1614. He died here in 1678, aged 64, leaving property for support of schools in the town.
"Henry COLE married in Hartford in 1646. He was not a land holder there, but may have been a resident. He moved from Middletown to Wallingford soon after 1670; Edward HIGBY purchased part of his property.
"Nathaniel COLLINS, the first settled pastor in Middletown, and his brother, Samuel COLLINS, were from Cambridge, Mass., sons of Dea. --- COLLINS.
"William CORNWALL was an early settler in Hartford, and had five sons, three of whom, John, Samuel, and William, Jr., accompanied him to Middletown. It is said that he died in 1677 an old man.
George DURANT had lived in Malden, Massachusetts, and probably came from that town to this place.
"Samuel EGGLESTON was from Windsor.
"Edward FOSTER; of his previous history I have no information.
"John HALL had been in a family state many years before he left England, and was an early settler both in Hartford and Middletown. His three sons, Richard, Samuel, and John HALL, Jr., probably came to Middletown when he did. He died May 26th 1673; in the 89th year of his age. John HALL, Jr., was a deacon.
"Giles HAMLIN is generally considered as coming here immediately from England. He was born about 1612. He was in the habit of crossing the Atlantic, and was engaged in foreign commerce, partly by himself and party with John PYNCHON, of Springfield, his brother-in-law, John CROW, Jr., who dwelt in Fairfield, and Elder GOODWIN of Hartford, afterward of Farmington. He died in 1689.
"William and Daniel HARRIS came to Middletown from Rowley, Massachusetts.
"George HUBBARD was an early settler in Hartford, and had six sons, Joseph, Daniel, Samuel, George, Nathaniel, and Richard. The two oldest sons settled in Middletown.
"This George HUBBARD was a distinct person from the George HUBBARD who resided in Weathersfield, Milford, and Guilford. The genealogies of their families show this.
"Thomas HUBBARD, who became a settler and proprietor in Middletown, is supposed to have come from Wethersfield, as there was an inhabitant early there of that name. He died in 1671, and whether he was related or not to either of the George HUBBARDs just mentioned is not known.
"John HURLBURT was from Wethersfield, son of Thomas HURLBURT, of that city.
"Isaac JOHNSON was from Roxbury, and recommended from the church there to the church in Middletown.
"John KIRBY, one correspondent states, settled first in Boston, and it may be that he landed there and remained for a short time. Another correspondent says that his first child was born in Hartford, and a third that he had a child born or baptized in Hartford in 1646, but adds that he lived in Wethersfield, and had children born there in 1649 and 1651. From this town he removed to Middletown. In 1654 he owned a house and land in Rowington, Warwickshire, England, and the presumption is that he emigrated first from that place.
"Isaac Lane. I know not from what place he came.
"William LUCAS. There was a William LUCAS at Marblehead in 1648, who may have been the same person that came here. He died in 1690.
"Anthony MARTIN. There was an early settler in Wethersfield by the name of Samuel Martin; but the point has not been investigated, whether Anthony was from that town.
"Thomas MILLER was recommended to the church in Middletown from the church in Rowley.
"Thomas RANNEY is said to have been from Scotland. He was married to Mary HUBBARD, the eldest child of George HUBBARD, of Middletown, in 1659, and had five children, Thomas, John, Joseph, Mary, and Elizabeth. He died January 25th 1713, and was the first person buried in the oldest grave-yard in the Upper Houses.
"David SAGE is said to have been from Wales.
"John SAVAGE married in Hartford in 1653, and may have resided there, though not a proprietor in that place.
"Samuel STOCKING was from Hartford and a son of George STOCKING.
"Samuel STOW, who preached to the people in Middletown some years as a candidate for the ministry, I have very lately been informed by a friend, was not born in Concord, Mass., but in Roxbury, and that he did not live in Concord until after he became a candidate. The probability therefore is that his brother, Thomas STOW, if not his nephew, John STOW, were also born in Roxbury, Mass. Samuel STOW died may 8th 1704.
"James TAPPIN. There was a man named James TAPPAN, married at Guilford to Hannah GARRETT, March 5th 1656. But it is doubtful whether this was the same person that settled in Middletown.
"Edward TURNER was from Milford, and had two or three children baptized there. His wife was recommended to the church in Middletown, from the church in that place.
"John and William WARD are supposed to have been both from Rowley. The former was recommended from the church in that town.
"Andrew, Robert, and John WARNER were sons of Andrew WARNER, who emigrated from Hatfield, Eng., about 1630, who was at Cambridge in 1632, and at Hartford among the early settlers. He was a deacon in Rev. Mr. HOOKER's church and an influential man in that town. He removed to Hadley in 1659, where he died in 1684, at an advanced age. The three sons in Middletown were farmers. Andrew WARNER died January 26th 1682. Robert repeatedly represented the town in the General Court; he died April 10th 1690. John died in 1700. The WARNERs in Chester and Lyme are descendants of Daniel WARNER, one of their brothers.
"Thomas WETMORE is said to have been from Wales. He married a daughter of John HALL, in Hartford, in 1645, and had two or three children baptized there. He died in 1681, aged 66.
"Nathaniel WHITE was from Hartford, a son of John WHITE, of Hartford and Hadley.
"John WILCOX was from Hartford.
The following extracts from the town records give facts relative to the early history of the town which cannot be learned elsewhere. The records which were made prior to 1652 are lost, but they are complete from that time to the present. The first recorded vote of the town, which is given in the history of the First Congregational Church, was for the building of a meeting house.
"March the 14, 1652. By reason of much disorder in and speaking for the futer preventing of disorders, it is agreed that one of the selected townsmen whom they shall apoynt among themselves to propound those things as are spoken at any publike meetings of thair warning, to moderat men in speking, giving liberty to every one that shall desyer to speek.
"ffebru 6, 1653. It was ordered at a town meeting that no man shall fell any timber within in the bounds of the plantation to make sale of it to any one out of the towne, exept that any man shall have liberty to ffaull any timber for his own use or for the use of the towne or else who shall ffuly worke up such timber they get casks or pailes or such like. It is ffurther ordered that no ordered that no man shall have liberty to ffell either tree or trees within the bounds of the town, but shall be bound to worke up such timber within 3 months after the ffeling of it, and if any man shall neglect to work up such timber within the time limited all such timber shall be fforffeit to the town.
"We the inhabitants of Middletown being ffew & having come together with the mutuall approbation of one another wee doe therefore promise one unto another that we will neither buy any ones whole allotments in the place without the consent of the towne or judgment of some court, neither will wee bring in any such inhabitant to suckseed us in case God call any of us to remove our habitation, but they be such whom the towne shall have no just acception against, or shall have the approbation of to magistrates and hereunto wee bind ourselves and our sucksessors upon forfeiture of twenty pounds unto the towne. This order shall stand until the towne see cause to alter the same."
At a meeting of the inhabitants of ---- November the 20, 1662. It is agreed that the townsmen for the tim being shall have the power of the whole to order common occatyons of the towne according of any order of the town requires excepting n the casis following.
1. That they reseve no new inhabitant into the town without approbation of the body.
2. That they make no levie except it be for expended or to be expended about hearding and ordering of cattelle.
3. That they do not allow any highways already and laid out or lay out highways without the consent of the body.
4. That although they may according to the liberty given them by the body at a publike meeting call the persons and catelle belonging to any inhabitant for the servis of the whole and increase the price any above the ordinary rates alowd in the --- as they shalle see just cause provided ---- not 6d per day to any yet they shall not by vertue of this order the catelle of any ---- employed in any servis belonging to the ---- without the liberties of the towne except ---- undertake in the name of the body to return the catelle so employed in safty to the owners, beside a reasonable allowance for the higher of the same.
5. The townsmen shall not be longer then 28 days most without a set and joynte meeting and oftener if need by of them alltogether to consider of and order the occupyons of the towne committed to them, and to agree upon a tyme or tyms to call the body together to consult and consent of other casis shall occur not left within thair power and if any of them fayll to meet at the tyme appointed hee shall not refuse to pay two shillings sixpence for every such default.
6. No one towns man shall require the servis of any person or cattle without the consent of some of the rest.
"April 27, 1653. It was agreed upon at this present meeting abovesaid that the townsmen for this present yeare insuing shall appoint the time and place of meeting, for all towne meetings warned by them, and at the end of this yeare or before to put it to indifferent men to judge wether it shall be constantly one the south side or whether it shall not be every third tim one the north side."
"March the 10, 1654. It was agreed at a towne meeting that the medow ffenc should stand in the old place where it stood the last yeare. The proportions of men in the ffence comes to acomes to a dayes word and a quarter to an acre; the said ffence is to be sett up by the 25 day of this present month, the dayes works is to pay to the ffenc ar throes.
Willi CORNWELL on day Will HARISS one day
Mr. HAMLIN on day Mtres MARTIN on day
Henery COLE done day Will SMITH one day
Tho ALLEN half a day Tho MILLER one day and a halfe
Mr GOODWINE 3 days Jo WHITE 2 days
George HUBB one day Richa HALL one day
Natha BACON 4 dayes an halfe Robb Webst JOKERBY 4 days
Mr BROWNE 3 dayes George GRAVES one day
Willi MARCUM on day Tho WETTMER halfe a day
Daniel HARRISE halfe a day
"The 14 of Desemb 1654. It is agreed that wee might come orderly together at our towne meetings according to God, that such as come not within an hower of the time appointed shall fforfeit sixe pence unlese they give satisfactory resons to the towns men and if them come not at all they shall fforfeite two shillings unless case of nessecity, or absolute mercy hinder them, the townsmen being satisfied with their resons. Thees fines shall be gathered up by the townsmen and if any shall neetlegt to bring in there fine within 28 dayes of the fforfeiture they shall forfeite to the towne the duble sume and soe to forffeite to shillings a month for not paying these fynes shall be put the townes use."
"September 3, 1655. It is oded alsoe at the same meeting by the inhabitants concerning an agreement that they have made with william SMITH to keep the fery for the yeere insuing to give him a days worke on a hundred pounds and soe through the towne to be required of ye several inhabitants by the townsmen when his is insufficient."
"November 24, 1656 at the same town meeting Thomas ALLIN was chosen to dige the graves, that is to say 5 foot deep and to have 3 sheelings a peese for them."
"March the first, 1657, or 1658. It was granted at the same towne meeting that the woods shall bee fired at the charge of the towne."
"November 26, 1657. at the sam meting the town granted to Thomas the ENDYAN to be an inhabetant among them if they agree on terms."
"ffebuary 3, 1758. Thomas HOPEWELL admitted an inhabitant."
"At a towne meeting November the 27, 1658, it was agreed betweene the towne & Thomas ALLIN about the buring place which is as folloeth, That the sayed Thomas ALLIN is to have the buring place for his uss ten years & at the end of which terme the sayed Thomas ALLIN douth ingage to leave a good sufitient fence of post & rayle not above ten years standing & in the meene time to keep it from any damages done by swine to set his hand provided that the towne have free liberty to bury theer dead and to visit by there graves"
"At a town meeting in Febbieary 9, 1658. theer was granted to the shoomecker EAGELLSTON a peas of meddow that was intended for a shoomecker formerly, leying from cearch to creack buting on the bogey medow as also a howse lot beyond Goodman MELLER in cace not by and if by then to give him upland answerabell to a howse lot and he ingagingto inhabit it seven yeer upon it as also doth ingag to indeevour to sut the town in his tread for making and meding shooese."
"Feabarray 21, 1658. Att the same meeting John HALL jinier was chosene by the towne to be ordinary keepear and he is willing to acksept of it, upon thows conditions that follow, that is to say, if the towns men according to the vote of the town can prevall with Goodman BARNARD of harford for to forbare what he is in his det already, and ad so much as may amownt to the sume of six pounds, the towne allowing Goodman BARNARD for the forbarans of it for one yeare. Otherways he shall take himself then at libourty from that place"
"February 21, 1658. Luke HILL of Winsor admitted an inhabitant.
"December 21, 1658. The towne agreede at a towne meeting with John HALL, Junyer to make a new fery canew 30 foote long and five foote broade within side to bee made of chessnut trees, and for which the towne agreede to give John HALL 4 pounds in coin, hee tomake this canew by the latter end of next march and they then to make there pay."
"Oct 23, 1660. Mr. MARTIN & Alexander BOW admitted inhabitants."
"this fourth of November 1661, the towne considering how needful it is to preserve the timber belonging to them doe therefore order amongst themselves that noe man shal make sale out of the towne any timber of any sort of rift or building or canoos of any sort gotten upon undevided land within foure miles of the mouth of the riveret without liberty from the towne upon forfiture of the same or the valow of it to use of the towne."
"Feby 18, 1661. at the same town meeting the towne gave to Alexander BOW two acors of swamp before the Indian fort hill next to Thomas HOPEWELLS land for on acer of medow."
"May 25, 1661. The inhabitants of Midletowne for ye encouragemt of ye designes of our much honoured governor m Jon WINTHROP for ye discovery of mines & minerals & for ye setting up of such works as shall be needful for ye improvemt of them, doe hereby grant unto our said much honoured governor any profitable mines or minerals yt he shall finde or discover, upon any common land witin ye bounds of our towns, & such woodland as may be conventient for ye same to ye value of 500 or 1000 acres as it may by so, yt it be not nearer than two or 3 miles from ye present dwelling houses of ye towne as ye towne shall judge to be least prejudiciall to themselves for their necessary fire wood, provided that ye towne shall free liberty of commonage as far as our towne bounds goe, until ye improvers shall see good to impropriate ye same into inclosures, provided further yt the said governor & such as may be coimproovers with him will set upon ye worke to improve such mines & minerals as he shall finde with these 5 years, and let us know whether he doth accept of this our grant wthin two yeares, & so it to be to him & his heirs & associates forever, from ye time of their setting up of such work else at two or 6 years end to be in ye liberty of ye towne to grant ye same to any other."
"Feby 23, 1662. David SAGE admitted an inhabitant."
"April 1663. George DURANT admitted an inhabitant."
"March 1, 1633/4. At the same towne meeting it is agreed that a town meeting shal not be accounted of sufficient power to mak acts that shal bind the whole to stand to when the son have ben downe any more then halfe an houre, unless it by by a joynt consent of the whole to continew the meeting longer by reason of necessary ocasion."
"Oct. 25, 1664. Isaack LANE admitted an inhabitant."
"Dec. 9, 1664. John WARD admitted an inhabitant."
"February 22, 1666. at the same towne meeting the town did except of Mr COLLINSES kind proffer to caticise children in such a way as he shall judg to be best."
"October ye 3d 1667. the towne voted ffor a rate of twelve pounds towards gunpouder & leade to be payd in wheate or yt wch is equivalent to wheate, such as have wheate in wheat & others in what they can equivalent, likewise they requested m. Gilles HAMLING to procure ye same upon as reasonable pay as he can, engaging upon notice of his obtaining it to pay this pay above specifyed within a fortnight after his demands of it."
"Ffebeuary 12th 1667. at the same towne meeting the towne reseived Edward HIGBY as an inhabetant on those tearms which follow, two wite, they they will warne him to all town meeting if the towns men have opertunyty to sen dhim word by any going that way to the farme, but not being bound to send any man of porpus to warne him, as also they agree with the said HIGBY tomake a comfortable foot and hors way half way to the farm at meriden hee making the other half next the farm, and at the west river to make and maintain a comfortable footway over that river, and also the towne and hee both agreed to take in his owne farm granted him by the Court as belonging to the towne."
"April 3, 1667. John STOW senior admitted an inhabit."
"April 29, 1669. Thomas STOW addmitted an inhabitant."
"Octr. 11, 1669. It was also at ye same towne meeting granted unto Mr. ADAMS shipwright for building a vessel or vessels this winter liberty to get timber upon the commons & liberty of building place to that they doe not cumber ye passage of carts to ye landing place.
"March the on and twentiety 1670 or 71. The towne voted and agreed to present there request and seek the help of Captayne John TALCOT and Lieftenant John ALIN in these pertiequelers, following
"first, conserning the true proprietours of the plantation whether the present accepted inhabitants are not for to be accounted who are or shal be esteemed inhabiants to whom the propriety of undivided lands belongs unto.
"secondly, conserning the rule of the devision of undevided lands, whither by poll or persons and estats, or by the country list only, or some other way.
"thirdly, whether the whole of undevided lands should be now devided or only what is of present need for common field or feilds and upon what conditions.
"fourthly we heave it with theire worships to draw up an order that may prevent such alienation of lands as may enforce inhabitants upon the place contrary to the mind of the major part.
"the towne having agreed to the leaving of the four pertiequelers on what els may be needful afore specified to thee determination of the honored Captayn TALCOT and Lieftenant ALIN, do agree and ingadge to set downe quietly under what they shall declare to be the rule and advise unto in the formentioned perticquelers, being delivered unto us under there hands and for the furtherance hereof wee doe apoint a Comity whose names are underwritten to inform what is needful.
"the Comity is Ensign WHITE William CHENEY William WARD, John WILCOCKE.
"To the 1st perticuler we say it would have been most adviseable that the question had been stated and the land settled upon the first adventurers to whome this plantation was granted, but seeing hitherto it has been neglected & severall inhabitants since admitted, & settled in this township whoe might possibly loke at the a right in those lands as an inducement to there settlement heare wee judg that the present inhabitants of Midleton whoe now are hous holders & masters of famelyes shall be esteemed the proprietors of the undivided lands within the bounds of this township, they and their heires & successors forever, & noe other, & we advise that their nams be recorded in the toune booke that to these may be no further question about the same."
"To the 2d question, concerning the rule by which those lands undivided should be devided by, we say if the proprietors had been settled at first, then we conceive the same rule by which the first grants were made to the planters should and ought to e attended in all the after divisions, but that being neglected and the difficulty arising wee have according to orr best understanding considered what hath been alleged & sayed to the case & or issue that the undivided lands should be divided to the before stated proprietors or their sucksessors, the one halfe according to the list of estats, made the year past, the other halfe according to the lists of estats which shall be in the years seventy three, only provided that if any proprietor by reason of age or other resaons be left out of the list yet in all divissions he shall receive for his head as other doe.
"To the 3d Whether the whole of the undivided lands shall now be divided, wee send our advice as followeth viz that the towne chuse a committee of three or five of their most able inhabitants to survey the undivided lands & to consider which may be most convenient to be layd out for a common for the towne & what for other improvement whoe shall make returne of their apprehentions about the same to the towne and if nothing therein prove prejuducieall to the towne then then there shall be layd out 9 square miles in the most convenient place or places that can be found to be & remayne a common for the use of the whole towne of Midleton forever, as also that there shall be layd one hundred and fifty acres of land of the most convenient land yet undivided to be and remain forever for the use of the ministry of this towne, the remainder of the undivided lands to be divided amongst the proprietors, the one halfe of it as soon as conveniently may be, the other halfe in the yeare 1674, provided all the lad so layd out both the lands and estaate together with the persons improving those lands shall from time to time forever be liable to pay all ratts and dus for the same to the towne of Midleton as the rest of the inhabitants of the sd twone doe to the 4th pertiqueler, wee offer the following order, for ye preventing of the entertainment of inhabitants it is ordered, with the unanimose consent of the major part of the inhabitants & hous holders of Middleton this 22 of March 1670-1. that whatsoever person or persons that is or shall be possest of any land within this township & shall give, grante, barter or exchange the same to any person that is not an allowed inhabitant or born in this towne, or a legtemat child or born to one of the inhabitants of the sayd towne without the decred consent of the major part of the towne, hee shall forfeit his land so sould or twentye pounds, the one half to the treasur, the other halfe to the pore of sayd towne."
"The names of the proprioters of Middletown with their estats, taken March 22th 1670.
"Mr. Nathaniel COLLINS, his stock & person
with on hundred and fiftie pound state
which the towne granted him land by"
Andrew WARNER his estate in that list 84
Thomas ALYN his estate in the list 103.1
Georg HUBARD his estate in the list 90.1
Thomas WETTMER his estate in the list 125
John HALLE Senior his estate in the list 99
"William CORNWELL Senior, his estate in the list" 100
John CORNWELL his estat 41
Samuel CORNWELL 45
Isacke LANE 30
William LUCAS 42
John WARD 44
Danill HARIS 102 10
Edward TURNER 44
William CORNWELL junior 45
Alexander BOW 45
William HARIS 200
Thomas MILLER 50 10
Thomas STOW 54
Jams TAPPEN 50
William WARD 110 10
William CHINYE 101
Richard HALL 75
Henry COLL 115
Mr Samuell STOW 194
Obediah ALYN 30
Jasper CLEMENTS 98 10
Robert WARNER 87 10
Nathaniel BACON 19
Anthony MARTINE 60 10
David SAGE 68 10
William BIGS 42
Isack JONSON 24
Samuell EGELLSTONE 55 10
Samuell COLLINS 58
Joseph HUBERD 38
Danill HUBARD 24
John STOW 24 10
John HALL junior 26
Ensign WHITE 159 10
Samuell STOCKIN 113 0
Thomas RANY 105
John WARNER 96 10
John WILLCOCKE 140
John HURLLBUTT 26
Samuell HALLE 130
John SAVEDG 129
Thomas HUBARD 61
John CERBYS 88
Georg DURANT 34
Edward FOSTER 26
The list of the estate of the inhabitants of Midleton taken in 73.
Mr. HAMLINS 207
Ensigne WHITE 188 10
Mr. Nathanill COLINS 53 10
Mr. Samll STOW 157
Leftnt. HARIS 139
Sernt. WARD 122
Sarnt. COLLINS 85
Sarnt. CHINY 93 10
Sargt. WARNER 101 10
Deacon STOCKINE 132 10
Deacon ALYNE 95 10
Deacon HALL 109 10
Thomas WETMOR 177 10
Georg HUBARD 132 10
Sernt. CORNWELL 135
John CORNWELL 52 10
Edward FOSTER 30
John WARD 61
William HARIS 163
Edward TURNER 54
Thomas MILER 54
Joseph HUBARD 71 10
Isack LANE 79
Alexander BOW 43
Jams TAPPINE 47
William LUCASE 27
Danill HUBARD 36
Samll CORNWELL 67
John HALL 52
Richard HALL 100
Henery COLLE 155
Jasper CLEMENTS 108
Robert WARNER 98
Nathaniel BACON 117
Obediah ALYNE 39
Widow HUBARD 5
Mr. Thomas STOW 81
Andrew WARNER 82
John STOW 32
Samll. EGELSTONE 55
Edward HIGBY 124 10
John HURLBUT 72
Georg DURNAT 23
Thomas RANY 92
Samll. HALL 115
John SAVEDG 126
Anthony MARTINE 56 10
Isack JONSON 44
John WILLCOCKE 182
David SAGE 77
John KIRBY 147
Arthur SCOVELL 0
William BIGGS 41 10
William CORNWELL 79
"October 27, 1671. Goodman BARNES admitted an inhabitant"
"November 16, 1671. Mr. GOODALE admitted an inhabitant."
"November 16, 1671. John HILL the shooemaker admitted an inhabitant."
"March 8th 1671-2. Samuel BIDWELL adm'd an inhab't."
"March 11, 1672-3 Abram MARTIN admitted an inhabitant."
"March 11, 1672-3 Nathaniel WATSON admitted an inhabitant."
"Augt. 4, 1674 Sargent Sam'll WARD admitted an inhabitant."
"Novr. 9, 1674 Edward HIGBY Sen'r chosen ordinary keeper."
"October 16, 1677. It was ordered by the towne that who soever resaives a border into his hous in this towne, if the boarder remain w'th him when the list is taken hee that bords him shall be ingaged & hereby to pay all the rates which sall com by such border both to sivell & ekcastecall charges in the towne."
"December 30, 1678. John JORDEN admitted an inhabitant."
"December 30, 1678. William TOMSON admitted an inhabitant."
"At a towne meeting November 18, 1679. The towne made choyc of Capt'n Danill HARRIS & LEFTEN'nt Nath WHIT and ensine William CHINY to take the wholl of the magesene of the town & pouches and pikes & despose of it in places in the towne whare they see most convenient for the good of the wholl & soe to keepe it, that theire may be an account given as need shall require to the towne. At the same towne meeting it was voated be willing that a belle which is purchased by parte of the inhabitance of the towne and properly belongs to the purchasers theirof & their heirs after them, that if they be willing that the sayd belle shall be hanged up in the meeting house, that now is belonging to the sayd towne whether the towne will as a towne defraye ye charge of the suffisent hanging & fiting to suttable ringing of the sayd belle for the benefite of the towne and to pay yearly the charge of ye ringing at all suttable seasons & so to continue soe longe as ye sayd purchers shall se cause. The towne voated excpted the same abovesayd."
"The proprietors of the bell are these underwritten
Mr. Gills HAMLINE 03 00 00
Ensigne William CHENY 01 00 00
Capt'n Danill HARRIS 00 16 00
John HURLBUT 01 00 00
John WETMOR 00 15 00
John HIGBY 00 10 00
Sam'll BIDELL 01 00 00
Danill HUBARD 00 10 00
Mr. Comfort STAR 00 10 00
John JORDAN 01 00 00
Sarg'nt Sam'll WARD 00 06 06
John BLAKE 00 07 00
Richard HUBARD 00 06 00
Nathanill BROWNE 00 05 00
Isaac LANE 01 00 00
Thomas WETMOR Junior 00 05 00
John HALL junior 00 09 09
Will'm HARRIS 01 00 00
Thomas HILL 00 05 00
Mr. Edward FOSTER 00 10 00
John BROWNE 00 05 00
Nathanill STOW 00 05 00
Danill HARRIS junior 00 10 00
Nathanill HUBARD 00 15 00
Francis WHITMORE 01 00 00
Joseph HUBARD 00 10 00
Samuel WETMOR 00 05 00
John HALL senior 00 10 00
George PHILLIPS 02 00 00
Edward TURNER 00 15 00
Sarnt William WARD 01 06 00
John WARD 01 00 00
Thomas STOW junior 01 00 00
Jams TAPPINE 01 00 00
John CORNELL 00 0 00
Andrew WARNER payd nothing
Samll CORNELL 00 05 00
Samll EGELLSTONE 00 10 03
John STOW junior 00 06 00
Danill MARKHAM 00 14 07½
Sarnt Samll COLLINS 00 09 09
Ichabode STOW 00 01 00
Sarnt Samll STOCKINE 00 05 00
Thomas FERMAN 00 05 00
John GILL 00 03 00
Thomas WARD 00 08 00
William TOMSON 00 08 00
Thomas BACON 00 05 00
Nathanill BACON 01 00 00
John BORNE 00 12 00
Samll HALL junior 00 05 00
Isace JONSON 00 07 00
Thomas HARRIS 00 04 00
Mr. William SOUTHMAYD 00 10 00
Thomas CORNELL 00 04 00
John HAMLINE 00 10 00
Jonathan SMITH 00 05 00
John STOW senior 00 11 00
Jacob CORNELL 00 10 00
Seath WARNER 00 04 00
Richard HALL 00 06 00
John PAYNE 00 02 00
John BACON 00 01 03
Samuel WHITMORE 00 08 00
"Desember 26, 1683. At the same time it was agreed by the towne that in all places wherein the townsmen see caus to clear by cutting bush and see caus to leave trees shadow, that whosoever shall cutt downe or demolish any of the said trees left for shadow without leave from the towns men shall pay five shillings pr tree the on halfe to the towne an the other halfe to the informer and the townsmen to gather the sayd moneys."
"June 30, 1685. At the same towne meeting the towne made choice of these mentioned as patentees for the towne to procuer a patten for the towne according to the Court order. The men are Mr. Gills HAMLINE, Leftnt WHITE & Ensign WARD and Ensigne CHINY & Captn HARRIS and Deacon HALL and Robert WARNER & William HARRIS and Deacon ALYN."
"Whereas the General court of Conecticut Colony have formerly granted unto the proprietors, inhabitants of the town of Midleton in the sayd Colony all those lands both meadows & upland with their uplane with their appurtenances within these abutments following viz. On Weathersfield on the North, & on Farmington bounds, & on the commons on the West & on Hadam bounds on the South & on the wilderness on the East, the bredth is from Wethersfield bounds on the North full fower miles south of the sayd meeting house of Middleton & to run the whole bredth on the west side of Conceticutt River five miles from the sayd North & South lyne & on the East side of Conecticutt full six mile from the sayd river the whole bredth from Weathersfield bounds to Hadam bounds, The sayd lands having been by purchess or otherwise lawfully obtained of the Indian native proprietors & whereas the proprietors inhabitants of Midleton in the Colony of Conecticutt, in New England have made application to the Governor & Company of the sayd Colony of Conecticutt assembled in Court the 25th of May 1685, that they may have a patent for confirmation of the afoarsayd landes to them so purchased & granted to them as afoarsayd & which they stood seized & quietly possessed off, for many years last past, without interruption; now for a more full confirmation of the afoarsayd tracts of land as it is butted & bounded afoarsayd unto the present proprietors of the sayd township of Midleton. Know Yee. Colony That the sayd Governor & Company assembled in Generall Court according to the Seal. Commission and by vertue of the power granted to them by our late soveraigne Lord King Charls the second of blessed memouie in his letters pattings bearing date the twenty third of aprill in the fowerteenth years of his sayd Ma'ties reigne have given & granted, & by these presents, doe give, grant, ratify & confirme unto Mr. Giles HAMLIN, Liuetenant Nathaniel WHITE, Captn Daniel HARRIS ensigne Wm. CHEENY, Ensigne Wm. WARDE, Mr. Wm. HARRIS, Deacon John HALL Deacon Thomas ALLYN, Mr. Robert WARNER & the rest of the sayd present proprietors of the township of Midleton, & theire heires & assignes forever, & to each of them in such the same all that afoaresaid tract of land as it butted & bounded together with all the woods, uplands curable lands, meadows, pastures, ponds, havens portes, waters, rivers, islands, fishings, huntings fowleings mines, minerals, quarries, & precious stones, upon or within the sayd tracts of land with all other profits, and commodities thereunto belonging or in any wis appertaining & doe also grant, unto the afoar named Mr. Giles HAMLIN, Liuetenant Nath WHITE Capt. Daniel HARRIS, Ensigne Wm. CHEENEY, Ensigne Wm. WARD, Mr. Wm. HARRIS, Deacon John HALL, Deacon Thomas ALYN, and Mr. Robert WARNER and the rest of the present proprietors, inhabitants of Middletown, their heirs and assignes forever, that the afoarsayd tracts of land shall be forever hereafter deemed reputed & be an entire township of itself to have and to hold the sayd tracts of land & premises with all & singular their appurtenances, together with the priviledges, immunities & franchizes, herein given & granted, to the sayd Mr. Giles HAMLIN L'nt Nath WHITE, Capt. Daniel HARRIS, Ensigne Wm. CHEENY, Ensigne William WARDE, William HARRIS, Deacon John HALL, Deacon Thomas ALLYN & Mr. Robert WARNER & the rest of the proprietors, inhabitants of Midleton, their heires. & assignes forever, & to the onely proper use & behoofe of the sayd, Mr. Giles HAMLIN, Livetenant Nathaniel WHITE, Capt. Daniel HARRIS Ensigne Wm. CHEENY, Ensigne William WARD William HARRIS, Deacon John HALL, Deacon Thomas ALLYN, & Mr. Robert WARNER & all the other the present proprietors inhabitants of Midleton their heires & assignes forever, according to the tenour of his Ma'ties Manor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent in the Kingdome of England in free and common soceage & not in Capittee, nor by Knights service, they yielding & payeing therefore to our soveraign lord the King, his heires & successors onely the fifth parte of all the oare of gold & silver which from time to time & at all times hereafter shall be there gotten, had, or obteyned in lein of all rents, services, duties & demandes, whatsoever according to charter.
"In Witnesse Whereof we have hereunto caused the seal of the Colony to be hereunto affixed this eleventh day of March, in the years of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty five; six and in the second yeare of the rigne of our Soveraigne Lord James the second of England, Scotland, France & Ireland King, Defender of the Fayth &e,
"Robert TREAT Governor.
"Pr order of the Generall Court of Conecticutt signed pr
"John ALLYN Secrety.
"March 30, 1687, pr order of the Governor & Company of the Colony of Conecticutt, signed pr.
John ALLYN Secyr.
"March 12, 1688. John COTTON admitted an inhabitant.
"January 28, 1691-2. At the sam towne meeting the towne agreed that all towne meetings shall be warned for the future by setine up a paper upon a post appointed for that purpos to be set upon the meeting hous greene and that it shall be set up so long before the meeting as that there may be on publike day between the seting up the said papers and the time of meeting. the said papers to be fairly written and that it shall be specified in the said writings the acation of the said meetings, but if any spesiall occatione be that theire cannot stay so long, then the townsmen shall give warning as formerly before the time of this voat.
"Middletowne September 29th 1692. At a towne meeting the towne did unanimously consent to those proposisions which the elders of New Haven County propounded to those towns in order to seting up of lectuers in the sevrall plantations and hope they shall endeavour the answering those proposishons the towne doth see cause to blesse God and return thanks to the elders for their care and kindness in this matter.
"January 3, 1699, 1700. At the same meetin it was presented to the town that whereas the towne at a town meetin Janry the 24, 1693-4 gave leve to Leftenant ffrancis WHITMOR to irrect and build a substantiall stone bridge over the fery river for carting over & ganging under it, there having been differences arising therefrom, between the town & Leftent WHITMORE by reson of different interpretation of the same, it being now proposed to the town to interperit there one vote, the town does it as follows, yt there was no other but yt thereby he had liberty to try the country & town by a brefe whether there woold be mony enof raysed by fre subscriptions from town & country as he shall think soficient to build such a bridg & pay him for his trouble & charg, that it might be free to town & country forever, then to go on with it, otherwise not to meddle about it any further, this was voted in a full town metin unanimously not one hand against it."
"Att a town meting March the 31, 1704, it was voted that there should be erected one garrison at the newfield, and all the inhabitants on the west side of the west river and on the south side the rivelet shall belong to it. and be assisting in the building and another at the south farm and those that inhabit on the west of the mill river and south of the fulling mill river shall belong to that, and assist in ye building of it, & all the inhabitants on the east side the mill river and on the south side the creek shall erect a third garrison and belong to that. & all on the east side the grate river shall erect another garrison and belong to that. and our neighbors on the north side the rivelet shal erect another garrison and belong to that. all to be don at the charg of the severall persons belonging to ye severall garrisons. & the hows to be garrisoned in the several quarters shall be that which the major part of the severall quarters above mentioned shall agree.
"it was voted at the sam time that for the present there shall be one garrison erected in the town plot at the charg of those that inhabit there, and the hows to be garrisoned where the maj'r part of the inhabitants shall agree.
December 28 1708 John SLEED admitted an inhabitant
" " " Ichabod COAL "
December 28, 1708 John WILLIAMS adm"d an inhab"t
" " " Samuel FRANY
Jany," 5, 1708-9 Deacon Danill MARKHAM adm"d inh"t.
" " " Sargeant John CLARK " "
" " " James WARD " "
" " " Joseph ROCKWELL " "
" " " Hezekiah SUMNER " "
" " " John BEVIN " "
" " " Thomas STEVENS " "
" " " Samuel DOOLITTLE " "
" " " Zaccheus CANDE " "
" " " Samuel COTTON " "
" " " Samuel ROBERTS " "
" " " Jonathan CENTER " "
" " " Edward SHEPARD " "
" " " Benjamin WEST " "
" " " Daniel PRIOR " "
" " " Daniel MARKHAM Junior " "
" " " James MARKHAM " "
" " " John ROBERTS " "
"Decemb'r 26, 1710. John ANDREWS adm'd an inhabitant.
"Jany 1, 1710-11. Thomas BUCK admitted an inhabitant
"Jany 1, 1710-11. Ebenezer SMITH an inhabitant
"Att the same March 22 1708-9 the town by a voate gave liberty to mr. John HAMLIN and Sarg't ffrancis WHITMORE to build a warfe on the north side the crick upon their own charg for their own and the towns benefit for conveniancy of landing and laying of vessels, they exacting wharfage of none but of strangers."
"December 29, 1713. John GAINES admitted an inhabitant.
" " " Robert Collins " " "
" " " Thomas LEWIS " " "
"April 11, 1715. The town by a very full voate did agree that all male persons within the sd town from sixteen years old to sixty shall kill or procure the killing of one duzen of black birds within this present year or pay one shilling money into the town treasury and all persons that shall kill more then duzen or procure the killin of said blackbirds shall be allowed eightpene pr duzen for every duzen; provided those persons are hereby ordered to take an account of the same, and to allow as afore sd and it was futher agreed by voate yt all or any person that shall kill any winged crow and bring in the head to the selectmen as aforesd shall be allowed sixpence pr head by ye sd selectmen, as or in money out of the town treasurey."
"January 11, 1719-20. Samuel GAYLORD admd an inhabt."
"February 8, 1719-20. We the subscribers do petition to the inhabitants of Middletowne that we may improve the land we have encloased at the place called the three mile hile two crops more, and in so dowing you will oblige humble peticioners.
"John STOW, Thos. STOW, Sarg BACON, Sarg STOW, ejamin WETMORE, David STRICKLAND."
"This petion is granted provided the petioners procure & alow to the town flax enuff to make a soficieant ferry roape to reach across the ferry river."
"May 8, 1722. Att the same meeting the town by voate grant to each person that shall kill a fox, within the bounds of Middletowne & and brings the head to the Selectmen or to either of them, to be payed by the town two shillings pr head for every fox head so returned, that is killed in the bounds of sd Midletown."
"December 16, 1723. At the same meeting the town granted to the south farmers the liberty of one acre of land for a burying place where it may be most conveniant between Capt. Wm. HARRISis & Jonathan STEADs land."
"April 1, 1728. At the same town meeting the town accepted or granted to the widow Hope HAULLY liberty to let her dwelling house, that part of it which stands on the highway, to stand so long as the same house stands provided she pay as an acknowledgment one Indian corn pr year so long as the sd house stands.
"Memorandum of the payment of one Indian corn pr year, by the Widow Hope HAWLEY as obliged by her grant.
1729 Recd Per Joseph ROCKWELL, T. Clerk
1730 " " " " " "
1731 " " " " " "
1732 " " " " " "
1733 " " " " " "
1734 " " " " " "
1735 " " Jabez HAMLINE " "
1736 " " Wm. ROCKWELL " "
1737 " " " " " "
1738 " " " " " "
1739 " " " " " "
1740 " " " " " "
1741 " " " " " "
1742 " " " " " "
1743 " " " " " "
1744 " " " " " "
1745 " " " " " "
1746 " " " " " "
1747 " " " " " "
1748 " " " " " "
"The Widow says the house if fell down."
"December 7, 1730, Daniel HUBBARD admitted an inhabitant
"December 7, 1730, Lemuel Lee " " "
"December 21, 1730, Jonathan ALLEN " " "
"December 27, 1731, Att the same meeting the town by vote doe order that a town house shall be built and voated that the dementions of sd house shall be thirty five feet in length and twenty five feet in the breadth and seven feet and a half between joysts between the sill and the plate and Giles HALL Esqr Capt. George PHILLIPS & Leut. Nathll BACON were chose a comtee to take the case and procure the building sd house and by voate the above named comtee are fully empowered to agree with workmen and finish said house, and it was voated that sd house shall be sett att the center of the town at the ston so called."
"May 2, 1732, ATT the same meeting it was voated that the town house shall be setton the place when the last old meeting house stood near to Richard HUBARDS."
"Middletown December ye 25, 1738. We the select men of Middletown upon the request of James MARKHAM, do give our liberty to James MARKHAM to set up rope works near the house where his Father dwelt in the highway, not to hinder or block the highway to the damage of his neighbours & to hold sd privilege while the town shall disannul it. As witness our hand the day and year above named.
Jonathan COLLENS, Selectmen -Joseph SOUTHMAYD
Beniaman ADKINS      Seth WETMORE"
"December 22, 1740. Voted and granted to Jonathan YEMANS, to improve the excise money now in his hand (being between fifty shillings and three pounds.) in providing colours for the train band to which he belongs."
"December 26, 1758. Voted that whereas there hath been some motions and proposals made in the General Assembly & a vote in the house of Representatives proposed that the town of Middletown shall be the place appointed for the meeting and holding the General Assembly at least once a year, on conditions that Middletown will provide a house convenient to meet in, and whereas this town have ordered the town house to be finished, the chimney removed &c, it is not voted and agreed, that there be added to the town house when the Comee shall pull down the chimneys thereof twelve feet in addition to the present length of it and finish it as the rest is to be done."
"December 14, 1767. "Mrs. Mary PELTON appointed key keeper."
"Know all men by these Presents, That Eliot RAWSON of Middletown in the County of Hartford in the State of Connecticut being truly desirous to do every thing in my power to relieve all those that are suffering for their country, for liberty, or for righteoutness sake, do will & determine that my five Africans or Negroes shall be free if they behave well, upon the Selectmens giving a certificate according to law, that Phillis RAWSON shall be free, in six months from the first day of next June, that Duchess RAWSON, Francis RAWSON, Lettice RAWSON & Eva RAWSON, shall be made free at twenty four years of age. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal.
"Middletown June 30, 1780.
"Eliot RAWSON. [SEAL.}
"In presence of Giles MILLER,
Isaac MILLER, Hezekiah HALE.
"Middletown June 30, 1780. Then Eliot RAWSON personally appeared & acknowledged the within instrument to be his free act and deed.
"Coram Isaac MILLER,
"December 29, 1783. Voted that General PARSONS, John DICKINSON Esqr., Mr. Benjamin HENSHAW, Col. BROWN, & Matthew TALCOTT, Esqr., be a com'ee to prepare instructions in the name of this town to their representatives directing them to use their influence in the next assembly to effect a division of Hartford County, and for establishing Middletown for the place of holding the the Court, & also to use their influence to procure the mercantile part of the town of Middletown, to be incorporated into a City, with the powers & privileges prayed for by part of the inhabitants of New Haven, in a memorial now depending in the Assembly, and to prepare a memorial for the aforesaid purpose, and to sign & to deliver the instructions to the representatives in behalf of the town."
"Jany. 13, 1784. Voted that the town consents to the prayer of the memorial of the inhabitants of Worthington on condition that the proposed town take & support such part of the poor of Middletown as the list of that part of Worthington lying in Middletown bears to the list of the town, and that express provision be made for the same, in the bill of form & that the parish lines be not altered thereby." PROCEEDINGS OF THE GENERAL COURT CONCERNING MIDDLETOWN.
The following are miscellaneous extracts from the early records of the proceedings of the General Court concerning Middletown.
"May 1665.-This Court desires and appoints Mr. Samuell WILLIS, Mr. James RICHARDS, Lt. Sam'll WELLS and Samuell BOREMAN to issue the present difference between the inhabitants at Middle Town and the Indians dwelling by the said Towne; and also to settle the bounds of what land they shal see cause in an equitable way to allow to the said Indians at Middle Town. Any three of the above said GENT: have power to issue provided Mr. WILLYS be one.
"October 1667.-This Court grants Mr. Hamlin liberty to retale wine and liqrs to his neighbors at Midleton.
"October 1668.-This Court orders that Midleton ferryman shall have but fower pence for a horss and man for Magistrates and Deputies.
"This Court grants Captn John TALLCOTT & Lnt John ALLYN liberty to take up their former grant of land near the south bownds of Midleton at or near a place called Coginchauge;* [Coginchauge; afterward Durham.] and if they do not judge convenient to take up all their grant there, they may take up halfe of their grant elsewhere; and Ens: WHITE and Wm. CHENEY are appointed to lay it out to them.
"Captn Clarke hauing moued this Court that he might haue confirmed to him his grant in the p[lace where he took it up upon Mattebesett River, the Court haueing heard what hathe been alledged to the case by Farmington as also by Captn CLARKE, doe judg that the true and just right in the sayd land belongs to Captain CLARKE, provided it be not within Farmington's first grant of five miles.
"May 11th 1671.-This Court appoints James STEELE and Sarg't Hugh WELLS to lay out to the Marshall as Capt'n CLARKE's agent or assigne, his land according to his grant in the place where he took it up, at Mattabeset River.
"October 1671.-Midleton hath one barell of powder Windsor stock is 300 lbs. of powder and 100 lbs of lead. New Haven certified that they had their ammunition for their town, according to lawe. Milford ammunition is sufficient, according to lawe. Guilford ammunition is sufficient according to lawe.
"This Court doth impower Capt'n TALLCOTT to take care to preserve the great Artilery that belongs to the Colony at Saybrooke.
"1665.-James WELLS and John CLARKE haueing returned to this Court, under their hands, that they haue layd out to Mr. John BLACKLEACH, of Hartford, his grant of land on the east end of Midleton bownds and abuts on Midleton bownds on the west, and is two hundred rod in length north and south, and on Haddum bownds on the south, and on the commons on the north and east and is one hundred and sixty rods in bredth east and west; Nov. 9, 1674; the Court saw cause to approue of this return and doe confirm the same to the sayd Mr. John BLACKLEACH.
"1677.-Midleton house lotts at 35s pr acre; improved uplands 20s pr acre; on halfe of their meadow at 40s, pr acre, the other halfe at 20s pr acre.
"Daniell HARRIS is by this Court approued and confirmed to be Captain of Midleton Traine-band, and Nath: WHITE, Leiutenant, and Wm. CHEENY, Ensigne of the sayd company, and Samuel STOCKIN, Sarjt.
"September 1675.-The Councill came to an agreement with the Indians of Farmington, Hartford, Wethersfield and Midleton, wherein the Indians ingaged to continue in friendship with the English and to be enemies to their enemies, and to discouer or destroy them &c. And the council ingaged to pay unto them the sayd Indians, 2 yards of cloth for euery head of or enemies they shall take, and 4 yards of cloth for euery person they shall deliuer aliue; as pr the agreement on file, will appeare more at large.
"October 9th 1675.-Joseph HARRIS, Rich'd HUBBERD, John KIRBEY, John HIGBEY, Israel WILLCOX, Nath: WHITE;--These are to appoint you forthw'th to repayre to Midleton, and if Mr. GOODALL's vessel be there, you are to goe on board her and guard her up to Hartford, unless the guard already in her from that towne be shill on board her, and in such case you are to remayne in your towne until Monday next, and then you are to repayre to Hartford for father orders.
"Whereas Indians belonging unto Wethersfield and Wongham have showed their willingness to dwell peaceably in or townes and there to bring their corn for securety, the council doe recommend it to the people at Wethersfield and Midleton upon whose lands the Indians haue planted, that the corn be equally divided upon the lands the Indians haue planted, that the corn be equally divided upon the land where the corn grew, after they haue husked it, and the English to take care of their part and the Indians of what belongs to them, to get it coneyed into the towne for securety.
"May 1676. The constable of Midleton complayneing that he could not rayse their proportion of wheat ordered on their town, it not being to be had there, was by the Councill ordered to rayse what he could upon the inhabitants of Midleton that had wheat, and to grind it and bake into bread and send up to Hartford with all speed.
"August 1676. The Councill sees cause to declare unto all such person or persons, both English and Indians that haue or shall pretend to any right or possession there, upon the sayd deserted or vanquished lands in that country, that all such shall make their application to the government of this colony, for such grants, leave and liberty to take up and possess such and so much as they shall see cause to grant and allowe them; it being both duty to God and or King, and also is or intent and purpose to have it all so layd and disposed as may best advantage religion and the safety of the inhabitants. And whosoever shall presume otherwise to possesse themselves there, may expect to be dealt with all as intruders and contemners of his matie's authority in or hands.
"September 1676. COHAUSE being taken by the Indians between Milford and New Haven, was brought before the Councill, and acknowledged that he had been in several engagements against the English; and was accused by Menowmet that he had wth another Indian shott Wm. HILL; that he with 4 more kild KIRBY of Midleton, between sd Midleton and Wethersfield, upon the rohde; and that he burned Goodman COALE's house; besides other robberies that they have committed. The Councill having heard and examined the sd Cohash, find that he is an open and desperate enemie of the English, and that he was taken in open hostility against us, and so is a child of death, and doe sentence him to suffer the paynes and terrors of death; and that if the Indians see cause to put him to death, they shall doe it forthwith; if not, he shall be shot to death by some English.
"May 10th 1679.-This Court orders that if any swine at Midleton be found on the common, without rings or yoakes, within three miles of Conecticutt River they shall be liable to be pounded, according to former laws respecting swine.
"May 12th 1681.-Henry WAKELY petitioning to this Court to grant him some satisfaction for seruice he did for the colony in or about Mattebeseck, and for some damage he receiued thereby, the Court to issue all complaints and differences in the matter between him and Midleton and the colony, doe see cause to grant him two hundred acres of land prouided he take it up where it may not prejudice any plantation or former grant made by this Court. Captn. MINOR and Lnt. Joseph JUDSON are appointed to lay it out to him according to his grant.
"May 1684.-This Court upon the information they haue receiued that John HOLLYBUTT hath purchased two parcels of land of Andrew WARNER in Midleton, at a place commonly called Wongum, and one parcel by the towne which was sold to pay debts, which he hath receiued and recorded to sayd HOLLYBUTT and deeds made but not signed by said WARNER, doe order and impower the said administrator of the estate of the sd Andrew WARNER to make, signe and acknowledg deeds for the sayd land, that so the sayd land may remain firme to the sayd HALLEBUTT his heires and assignes foreuer.
"October 13th 1687.-This Court grants Mr. Giles HAMLIN three hundred acres of land for a farme, prouided he take it up where it may not prejudise any former grant to any person or plantation.
"This Court grants Mr. Jeremy PECK, Mr. Samuel ANDREWS, Mr. James PEARPOYNT, Mr. Samuell RUSSELL, Mr. James BAYLEY, Mr. Moses NOYSE, Mr. John JAMES, Mr. Noadiah RUSSELL, Mr. Timothy WOODBIRDGE, Mr. Samuel MATHER, Mr. Edward TOMPSON, Mr. John FRAYSOR, Mr. Ciprian NOCCOLS and Ens. Nath. STANLY, two hundred acres of land a piece where they can find it, provided they take it up where it may not prejudice any former grant to any particular person or plantation: and the surveyors of the next plantations to any place where either of those gentn, or Mr. HAMLIN or Mr. John GOODYEAR shall see reason to take up their respective grants are hereby appointed to lay out the same to such of them as shall desire it, they payeing for the same.
"May 1690.-This Court upon the request of Captain HARRIS of Midleton doe release him from his commission of Captain, and grant the traine band priuiledg and liberty to choose a new captain for the s'd company.
"October 1690.-Captain WHITE is confirmed Capt'n of Midleton traine band, and is to be commissionated accordingly, and by reason of some disgust or various apprehensions about the choys of a lieutenant, this Court grant them liberty to goe to a new shoyse of a l'nt, wherein all freedom is to be attended.
"May 1691.-Francis WHITMORE is chosen and appointed L'nt of Midleton train band, and is to be commissioned accordingly.
"May 1696.-Capt. Nathan'll WHITE informing this Court that the souldiers of Midletown had chosen Serg't John HALL to be Ensign of their company, this Court confirmed their choice.
"May 1699.-Upon the motion of the Representative of Midletown, liberty is granted to the trainband in the said town to divide into two companies, upon an equall division.
"October 1696.-This Court grants the one halfe of the countrey rate that shall be levied in Midletown this year to the inhabitants of the said town to be levied and expended forthwith for the promotion and further carrying on the work of building ye bridge over their ferrye river.
"May 1697.-Upon the petition of Ensign CHEENIE, this Court did declare that their true intent in granting the one halfe of the countrey rate to the town of Midletown for the carrying on of the worke of the bridge over the ferry river, was that the said one halfe of the said rate should be delivered to Mr. Francis WHITMORE for his incouragement and to be improved by him for the further carrying on the said worke, for the publick use; and this Court doth hereby impower the s'd Francis WHITMORE to aske, sue for, require, require, recover and receive the same of the constable or constables of the said town or other officers that have any part thereof, or ought to collect the same.
"October 1698.-It is ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that from and after the last day of this present instant, October, he the said Francis WHITMORE, his heirs, execut'rs or assigns, shall and may have and hold the said bridge by him built at Middletown as aforesaid, and shall have an receive the fare of two pence money for each time for horse and man and load, and one pennie a time a single person, unlesse where persons shall otherwise agree, forever, of an from all and every person using and passing over the said bridge from and after the said last day of this instant October aforesaid (except the magistrates and ministers of this Colonie, representatives of the General Assembly, posts and souldiers in the Colonie service), the said Francis WHITMORE reimbursing those p'rticular persons that have freely contributed towards the building of the bridge, and allowing them free passage till the money given by them for that use be repaid, and keeping a sufficient ferrye furnisht with a good boat for the transporting passengers when the waters are so high that there is no passing over the said bridge; the said Francis WHITMORE inguaging to finish the bridge aforesaid within the space of one year after the last of this instant, unlesse by some inevitable providence prevented, and keeping the same always in good repair for safe and comfortable passage.
"May 1697.-Liberty is granted by this Court to any one of the inhabitants of Midletown to purchase of the Indians there inhabiting, claiming propriety of land in Wongunck Meddowe, about one acre of grasse land in the said meddowe.
"May 1698.-This Court grant liberty to the Sunsequaws in Midletown to sell halfe an acre of her land in the said town to some inhabitant there.
May 1711.-Upon consideration of the petition or request of Causchawet, Indian man, and his squaw, and of the Indian squaw, or widow of Mussecuppe, late a sachem deceased, now living or residing at Midleton or Glassenbury, praying for liberty to be granted to them to sell one certain piece or parcel of land to them belonging, of about two acres, lying in Wongung Meadow in Midleton, unto Joseph HOLLISTER of Glassenbury, for the paying a debt which they owe to him; which said piece of land is bounded with wongung Brook on the north, with George STOCKINGS land on the south, with Capt. Nathanael WHITES land on the west, and with Samuell CORNWALLS land on the east: This Assembly do grant liberty to the said Indians to sell the said land to the said Joseph HOLLISTER, and also liberty to the said Joseph HOLLISTER to buy the same; provided it may be done with the consent of the inhabitants of the said town of Middletown.
The population increased steadily, and in 1703 what was from the first known as the Upper Houses (now Cromwell) was set off as a separate parish or society.
Middlefield began to be settled about 1700, and was incorporated as a parish in the autumn of 1744.
The settlement of Westfield commenced about 1720, and in 1766 it became a parish.
The portion of the town that was on the east side of the river did not begin to be settled till about 1700, but in 1714, 31 petitioners were incorporated as the parish of East Middletown.
In 1710 a settlement in Middle Haddam began, and in 1749 a parish was incorporated there.
The increase of the population in Middletown during more than a century after the first settlement was slow. There was then nothing here to invite a rapid immigration. The country was rough, and the labor of subduing the forest and bringing even small portions of the soil under cultivation was great. Markets for that which was produced here were distant and difficult to reach. Imports were small, and were mostly limited to articles of necessity; for the luxuries of the present day were hardly known here two centuries since. The people were self-reliant. Not only was their food the product of their own industry, but the materials for their clothing were produced on their farms, and they were clad in raiment of domestic manufacture. Their implements of husbandry were made by themselves, or by the few mechanics who settled among them, and though simple in their construction, they were well adapted to their uses. In short, every comfort by which they were surrounded was the product of their own industry, and the little wealth which some of them were able to accumulate was the result of their own frugality. Their strong religious convictions had prompted them to seek these then inhospitable forests, and their rigid intolerance of any infraction of their moral code, or system of faith, preserved among them for many generations a simplicity of life which is less prominent in the present cosmopolitan age, and an enforced assent and obedience to the prescribed dogmas of their church which have come to be regarded almost as historical curiosities.
In 1680 one vessel of 70 tons was owned here, and the town had but few merchants.* [See plan in Barber's Hist. Coll., p. 508.] Fifty year later, or in 1730, the place could boast of only two vessels, having a sum of 105 tons, and but few more mercantile establishments.
During the 50 years that preceded the Revolution, Middletown became gradually more and more prosperous. An increasing trade, especially with the West Indies, stimulated agriculture and domestic manufactures, and though the increase of the population was still slow it was more rapid than it had formerly been. Increasing commerce necessitated the building of ships, and this industry was carried on more largely than before at Middletown, as well as at other points on the Connecticut River.
Grist mills had long before banished the primitive wooden mortars and pestles for grinding grain, saw mills had early sprung into existence to furnish lumber in place of the original "split plank and puncheons," and, later, fulling mills, for dressing the home manufactured cloth, had been erected. Carpenters, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, shoemakers, etc., that the pioneers took care to bring with them, had multiplied to meet the requirements of the gradually increasing population; but manufactories had not then come into existence here. During more than a century the people had pursued the even tenor of their way, and their industry and frugality had been rewarded by a prosperity which had supplied their reasonable wants and gratified their moderate ambition.
The Pequot war occurred before the settlement of Middletown, and that of King Philip when there were only about fifty families here. In Queen Anne's war, at the beginning of the last century, Middletown bore its part, and Nathaniel GILBERT, Benjamin CORNWELL, John ALLEN, Samuel DOOLITTLE, Nathaniel HOBART, Jonathan GILBERT, Waite CORNWELL, Edward BOW, John LANE, Charles BUTLER, Jacob CONTE, Thomas STEVENS, Jacob DOUDE, and Jeremiah LEMAN were volunteers from this place.
In the French wars of 1744 and 1755, which continued for a longer period, it is known that Connecticut furnished a larger proportion of men than any of the other colonies. In the present state of the records the names and number of those from Middletown who were in these wars cannot be ascertained. It is said that many who went never returned, and this is positively asserted of those from Upper Middletown.
An enumeration of the inhabitants of Middletown, taken September 1st 1776, gives the total population as 5,037. Of these, 4,836 were whites and 201 blacks. There were males under 10 years, 736; females under 10 years, 763; males between 10 and 20, 576, all unmarried; females between 10 and 20, 11 married and 600 single; males between 20 and 70, 679 married and 268 single; females between 20 and 70, 706 married and 390 single; males above 70, 38 married and 7 single; females above 70, 23 married and 39 single. There were 588 officers and soldiers in militia rolls: 104 able-bodied men between 16 and 45, not in militia rolls; 202 men in Continental Army; and 5 men "raised for defence of the Colony and now in the Colony." Of the Negroes, 47 were males under 20, 49 females under 20, 62 males above 20, and 43 females above 20.
Representatives.-The town of Middletown has been represented in General court and general Assembly by the following-names persons. The abbreviations M. and O. are used to indicate the May and October sessions, respectively:
William SMITH, Sept. 1652 to Sept. 1653, 1655 M., 1655 O.; John HALL jr., 1653 M.; William CORNWELL, 1654 M., 1664 O.; Thomas WETMORE, Sept. 1654; Robert WEBSTER, Sept. 1653 to May 1655, 1656 M., 1656 O., 1657 O., 1658 O., 1659 M.; Thomas Allen, 1656 M.; George GRAVES, 1657 O.-1658 O.; Samuel STOCKING, 1658 M., 1659 M., 1659 O., 1665 M., 1665 O., 1669 M., 1669 O., 1674 O., 1677 O., 1681 O.; Nathaniel WHITE, 1659 O., 1661 M.-1664 M., 1665 M., 1666 M.,-1667 M., 1668 M.-1672 M., 1673 M., 1674 M.-1678 M., 1679 M.-1684 M., 1685 O.-1687 M., 1689 M.-1694 M., 1695 M.-1696 M., 1697 M.-1710 M.; William CHENEY, 1660 M., 1660 O., 1662 M., 1663 O., 1664 O., 1667 O., 1670 M., 1672 M., 1672 O., 1673 O., 1675 O., 1676 M., 1677 M., 1678 O.-1679 M., 1684 O.-1686 M., 1687 O., 1690 M., 1695 M.,1695 O., 1696 O.; Robert WARNER, 1660 M.-1661 O., 1662 O., 1663 M., 1664 M., 1665 O., 1686 O., 1687 M.; Giles HAMLIN, 1666 M.-1668 O., 1670 O.-1671 O., 1673 M.-1674 M., 1675 M., 1678 M., 1679 O.-1681 M., 1682 M.-1684 M.; Samuel COLLINS, 1672 O.; John GRAVE, 1676 O.; Daniel HARRIS, 1678 O., 1684 O.; William HARRIS, 1687 O.; William WARD, 1689 O., 1711 M., 1712 O.-1713 O.; John HAMLIN, 1690 O.-1693 O.; Nathaniel BIDWELL, 1696 M.; John HALL, 1696 O., 1699 M., 1700 M.-1701 M., 1704 O., 1705 M., 1707 O.-1710 O., 1711 O.; Samuel STOW, 1697 M; Samuel BIDWELL, 1697 O.-1698 O., 1703 O., 1705 O.; William SUMNER, 1801 O.-1703 M.; Thomas WARD, 1706 M.-1707 M., 1711 O., 1712 M.; Edward SHEPARD, 1710 O., 1711 M.; John WARNER, 1712 M.; Joseph ROCKWELL, 1712 O.-1717 M., 1719 M., 1719 O.; William HARRIS, 1714, M.-1715 M., 1720 M.-1721 M., 1722 O., 1728 O.; William SAVAGE, 1715 O.-1716 O., 1718 M.-1721 M., 1722 O.-1725 O., 1726 O.; Samuel HALL, 1717 M.; Izrahiah WETMORE, 1717 O.-1718 O., 1721 O., 1722 M., 1723 M.-1726 O., 1728 M.; John SAGE, 1717 O., 1721 O., 1722 M., 1726 M.; John ANDREWS, 1727 M.-1730 M.; Giles HALL, 1727 M., 1727 O., 1730 M.-1731 M., 1732 O.; Joseph WETMORE, 1729 M; George PHILLIPS, 1729 O., 1730 O.-1732 M., 1733 M.-1738 M., 1740 O.; Jabez HAMLIN, 1731 O., 1732 M., 1733 O., 1734 M., 1735 O.-1758 M., 1766 O.-1773 M.; Thomas ALLYN, 1732 O.; Joseph WHITE, 1733 M.; Nathaniel BACON, 1734, O.; Seth WETMORE, 1738 O., 1740 M., 1741 M.-1743 O., 1744, O.-1747 M., 1748 M.-1750 M., 1753 O., 1754 O.-1756 M., 1757 M., 1757 O., 1758 O.-1766 O., 1768 M.-1769 O., 1770 O., 1771 M.; Thomas JOHNSON, 1739 M., 1739 O., 1744 M.; Return MEIGS, 1747 O.; Joseph SOUTHMAYD, 1750 O.-1753 M.; Joseph WRIGHT, 1754 M.; Michael BURNHAM, 1756 O.; Matthew TALCOTT, 1758 O., 1759 O.-1764 M., 1772 M., 1774 O., 1775 M., 1779 M., 1780 M., 1781 M.-1782 O.; John FISK, 1759 M; Richard ALSOP, 1764 O.-1766 M., 1767 M., 1767 O., 1770 M., 1771 O., 1772 O.-1774 M.; Titus HOSMER, 1773 O.-1778 M.; John DICKINSON, 1775 O., 1776 O., 1778 M., 1778 O., 1779 O., 1780 O., 1781 M.; Comfort SAGE, 1776 M., 1777 M., 1779 M., 1780 M., 1781 O.-1784 O., 1785 O.-1786 O.; Ebenezer BACON, 1778 O., 1779 O., 1780 O., 1783 M., 1783 O., 1785 O.-1786 O., 1789 M., 1798 O., 1799 M., 1800 O.; Samuel H. PARSONS, 1784 M.-1785 M.; George PHILLIPS, 1787 M.-1788 M.; Asher MILLER, 1785 M., 1788 M.-1789 M., 1790 M.-1793 M., 1798 M., 1803 O.-1804 O.; Elijah HUBBARD, 1787 M., 1787 O., 1788 O., 1789 O., 1790 O.-1797 M., 1799 M.-1800 M., 1801 M.-1808 M., 1811 M.-1814 O.; Samuel W. DANA, 1789 O., 1790 M., 1793 O.-1796 O., 1822, 1826; Stephen T. HOSMER, 1797 M., 1800 M.; Andrew CAMPBELL, 1797 O.-1798 O; Amos CHURCH, 1797 O.; John PRATT O., 1806 M.-1808 M., 1809 M., 1809 O.; Jehosaphat STARR, 1800 O., 1801 M.; Enoch Parsons, 1801 O., 1803 M.; Abijah SAVAGE, 1802 M., 1802 O.; Joshua STOW, 1805 M., 1805 O.; Jabez STOCKING, 1808 O., 1815 O., 1816 M.; Lemuel STORRS, 1808 O.; Chauncey WHITTLESEY, 1809 M.-1811 O., 1816 O.; Ebenezer SAGE, 1810 M., 1810 O.; Samuel WETMORE, 1812 M.-1814 M.; Alexander COLLINS, 1814 O.; Elisha COE, 1815 M., 1816 O.-1817 M., 1820.; Arthur W. MAGILL, 1815 M.; Samuel GILL, 1815 O., 1816 M.; Nathan STARR jr., 1817 M.-1818 M.; John ALSOP, 1818 M.-1820, 1823; Hosea GOODRICH, 1818 O.; Seth PADDOCK, 1821; Elisha TREAT, 1821; Josiah SAVAGE, 1822, 1823; Daniel RAND, 1824, 1825; Miner HOTCHKISS, 1824, 1825; Daniel BURROWS, 1826; William L. STORRS, 1827-29, 1834; Elijah PADDOCK, 1827, 1828, 1833; Ebenezer JACKSON jr., 1829-32, 1846; Henry WOODWARD, 1830, 1831; Joseph COE, 1832, 1850; Samuel RUSSELL, 1833, 1846; Jedediah WILCOX, 1834; Stillman K. WIGHTMAN, 1835-37, 1842; William PLUMB 2d, 1835, 1836, 1841; Timothy SAVAGE, 1838; Richard HUBBARD, 1838; Even WILCOX, 1838; Charles WOODWARD, 1839, 1847, 1857; Henry D. SMITH, 1839, 1847; Noah A. PHELPS, 1841; Alexander SAGE, 1842, Daniel M. CROWELL, 1843; Elihu SPENCER, 1844, 1848, 1851, 1855; Alfred HUBBARD, 1844; Edwin STEARNS, 1848, 1849; Earl COOLEY, 1849; Noah H. PHELPS, 1850; Buckley EDWARDS, 1851; Daniel H. CHASE, 1852, 1853; Elisha S. HUBBARD, 1852; Benjamin W. COE, 1853, 1854, 1862; Benjamin DOUGLAS, 1854, 1872; Austin BALDWIN, 1855; Patrick FAGAN, 1856; George W. GUY, 1856, 1870; Osborn COE, 1857; Julius HOTCHKISS, 1858; Alfred HUBBARD, 1858; Ellsworth BURR, 1859; G. W. BACON, 1859; Moses CULVER, 1860; Asa HUBBARD, 1860; Edward A. RUSSELL, 1861; Charles HUBBARD, 1861; Bartlett BENT jr., 1862; Charles C. HUBBARD, 1863; David SAVAGE, 1863; John M. DOUGLAS, 1864, 1865; George S. HUBBARD, 1864; John BARRY, 1865; John H. WATKINSON, 1866; Moses W. TERRILL, 1866; Michael H. GRIFFIN, 1867, 1868; Arthur W. BACON, 1867, 1869, 1870, 1874; George L. TUTTLE, 1868; Edwin SCOVILLE, 1869; Samuel J. STARR, 1871; D. Ward NORTHROP, 1871, 1881, 1882; Abner Roberts, 1872; Joseph W. ALSOP jr., 1873; Ashbel BIDWELL, 1873; James K. GUY, 1874; Charles R. FAGAN, 1875, 1876; George W. ROBERTS, 1875; Daniel STRONG, 1876; Richard H. NEWHALL, 1877; Charles H. WILLIAMS, 1877; William W. WILCOX, 1878; Samuel H. HUBBARD, 1878; Charles R. WOODWARD, 1879; George W. ATKINS, 1879; William W. WILCOX, 1880; S. Otis BARROWS, 1880; James LAWTON, 1881, 1882; Horace R. BUTLER, 1883, 1884; John T. WALSH, 1883; Michael W. LAWTON, 1884.
Town Clerks.-William SMITH, 1650 to November 1656; Robert WEBSTER, November 1656 to November 1661; John HALL, November 1661 to February 1695; John HAMLIN, February 1695 to December 1707; Nathaniel WHITE, March 1695, for a few weeks; Joseph ROCKWELL, December 1707 to January 1735; Jabez HAMLIN, January 1735 to December 1735; William ROCKWELL, December 1735 to death, July 28th 1765; Joseph CLARK, August 20th 1765 to death, April 21st 1778; Bezaleel FISK, May 1778 to September 11797; John FISK, September 1797 to death, February 15th 1847; Thomas G. MATHER, February 1847 to October 1849; Elihu SPENCER, October 1849 to October 1851; Elihu W. N. STARR, October 1851 to October 1865; Charles A. BOARDMAN, October 1865 to October 1866; Elihu W. N. STARR, October 1866, still in office.
This district was formed in 1752, and included Chatham (with the exception of that part lying south of Salmon river), the part of Berlin which at first belonged to Middletown, with Haddam and Durham.
The parts of this district east of the Connecticut were detached from it in 1824, upon the formation of Chatham District.
At the same time the part of Berlin just named, was detached from it upon the formation of the Berlin District.
Haddam was detached from it in 1830, and made a separate district in connection with Haddam Neck.
Middletown District now embraces Middletown, Middlefield, Cromwell, and Durham.
Probate Judges.-Jabez HAMLIN, May 1752 to June 1789; Asher MILLER, June 1789 to June 1793; John DICKINSON, June 1793 to June 1807; Asher MILLER, June 1807 to death, December 24th 1821; vacancy, when Judge Brace officiated; John ALSOP, May 1822 to July 1732; S. K. WIGHTMAN, July 1832 to June 1834; August COOK, June 1834 to June 1835; S. K. WIGHTMAN, June 1835 to June 1838; Samuel COOPER, June 1838 to June 1842; Linus COE, June 1842 to Jun e1844; Samuel COOPER, June 1844 to June 1846; Linus COE, June 1846 to Jun e1847; Samuel COOPER, June 1847 to June 1849; Elihu SPENCER, June 1849 to July 1850; Noah A. PHELPS, July 1850 to July 1852; John H. SUMNER, July 1852 to July 1853; Noah A. PHELPS, July 1853 to July 1854; Dennis SAGE, July 1854 to July 1856; Waldo P. VINAL, July 1856 to July 1864; William T. ELMER, July 1864 to July 1866; E. W. N. STARR, July 1866 to July 1867; Charles G. R. VINAL, July 1867 to July 1868; E. W. M. STARR, July 1868 to July 1872; John L. S. ROBERTS, July 1872 to July 1873; D. Ward NORTHROP, July 1873 to January 1881; Silas A. ROBINSON, January 1881 to January 1883; Eldon B. BIRDSEY, January 1883, now in office.
The oldest persons now living who remember anything about the location of the office state that the earliest place they can remember is the store now occupied by G. E. BURR, on the east side of Main street (No. 100). This certainly is a very old building, having a square roof and dormer windows of an ancient period. From this building it was removed to the brick building on the northwest corner of Washington and Main streets, in which the office continued until the present building was ready for occupancy in 1834.
After a long and bitter controversy as to the site of the Custom House, the present building was put under contract, August 1st 1834, under the supervision of Noah A. PHELPS, the collector, who, having been educated as a lawyer, and possessing much natural ability, was well fitted to manage the business.
The contract was with Barzillai D. SAGE and SAGE & MERRIMAN for the total sum of $12,249, and on the 19th of October 1835, it was reported as thoroughly finished. There having been some alterations one way and the other from the original plan, the total amount paid was $12,289. It was stated to be "a handsome and substantial structure, fire-proof without, and nearly so within," and to have been erected with fidelity and skill.
For all this a bond was taken at the time of contract, that if any latent defect should thereafter appear the contractors should make it good.
The officers at the Custom House are: Augustus PUTDAM, collector; George W. BURKE, special deputy collector; and F. Howard THOMPSON, clerk. The collector and special deputy were appointed in 1869, and have held their respective offices 15 years.
The successive collectors, with dates of their appointments, have been: George PHILLIPS, June 1795; Chauncey WHITTLESEY, December 1797; Alexander WOLCOTT, August 1801; Henry WOLCOTT, July 1828; Noah A. PHELPS, of Hartford, March 1829; Austin BALDWIN, April 1841; Philip SAGE, of Portland, October 1844; William D. STARR, February 1849; Samuel COOPER, June 1849; William D. STARR, April 1853; Samuel BABCOCK, October 1855; Patrick FAGAN, February 1857; Origen UTLEY, May 1861; Augustus PUTNAM, January 1869.
Statement of tonnage at sundry dates: June 30th 1797, 4,509 tons; June 30th 1800, 2,070 tons; June 30th 1810, 5,363 tons; June 30th 1840, 12,193 tons; June 30th 1850, 11,861 tons; June 30th 1860, 15,815 tons; June 30th 1870, 17,128 tons; June 30th 1880, 15,790 tons; June 30th 1882, 116 vessels, 16,840 tons.
On the 30th of June 1876, there were 119 sail vessels of 12,682.09 tons; 27 steam vessels of 6,050.03 tons; and 12 barges of 1,960.35 tons. Total, 158 vessels, 20,692.47 tons.
First Steamer in the District.-The old records show that on the 24th of August, 1819, the steamer Enterprise, 104 35/95 tons, took out enrolment No. 41, in the name of James PITKIN of East Hartford, agent of the Connecticut Steamboat Company.
Alexander Wolcott was, at that time, collector.
The first vessel ever documented in the district was the sloop Nancy, of Killingworth, owned by John WILSON and Silas KELSEY, of Killingworth, and Hezekiah HOTCHKISS, of New Haven.
She was new, of forty-nine tons burden; was surveyed by Richard DICKINSON, commanded by Capt. John WILSON, and took her enrolment and license, each numbered "one," June 6th 1795.
Steamers.-The first steamboat documented for the New York line was the Oliver Ellsworth, May 7th 1824. She was new, having just been finished in New York. Her registered tonnage was 227 54/95 tons, and she was owned by the Connecticut river Steamboat Company. She was followed by the Macdonough, 272 72/95 tons, May 12th 1826, Also just built at New York. The Chief Justice Marshall, 314 6/95 tons, was built in New York in 1825, but was not brought here until March 20th 1832, when she was documented by David F. ROBINSON, secretary of the Hartford Steamboat Company. The New England, 261 70/95 tons, came on in 1833; the Bunker Hill, 310 21/95 tons, built at Hartford; in 1842, Globe, 481 05/95 tons, built in New York; in 1844, Bell, 430 04/95 tons, built at new York; in 1845, Hero, 462 35/95 tons, built at New York.
The intervening period was filled by the use of some of Vanderbilt's boats, notably the Water Witch, and the Lexington, afterward burned in Long Island Sound.
The wonder of the time was the palace steamer City of Hartford, (1,306 tons, 1852), which was visited by thousands, who up to that time had never seen such elegance of finish and such magnificent furnishing. This steamer is still running under the name of Capitol City. The other two passenger steamers on the New York line since 1852 were the Granite State (1,187 tons), burned at Goodspeeds in 1883, and the State of New York (1,417 tons), which was rebuilt in 1882, and name changed to City of Springfield.
For the accommodation of small places along the river, the Washington Irving (149 tons), owned by the East Haddam and Hartford Steamboat Company, commenced running in 1855, and after the war of the Rebellion the Silver Star (276 tons), which had been used as a dispatch boat on the James River, took this route and kept it until 1882.
Long Island Route.-In 1850 the Cricket, owned by Joy POST jr., ran from Hartford to New London and Greenport, Long Island. In 1857, the L. Boardman (204 tons), I. T. CLARK, managing owner, took the route, and was followed successively by the Mary Benton (365 tons) in 1861, and the Sunshine (427 tons) in 1864. For ten years this popular and safe boat has run regularly on this route, being commanded first by Captain George W. BATES, and lately by his brother, Hanson A. BATES.
In the "Statistical Account of Middlesex County," by Dr. FIELD, published in 1819, occurs the following:
"The mail has long been carried on the road from Hartford to New Haven through Middletown and Durham in this county. * * * * About the year 1800 a post road was established from Middletown, through Chatham, to East Haddam Landing and thence to New London; and in 1802, another, from Middletown, through Haddam, to Saybrook; but in 1810 these were given up, and a route was established from Middletown to Middle Haddam, Haddam, East Haddam Landing, and thence to Saybrook. The post road from Middletown through Chatham and Hebron, to Windham was established in 1814; that from Middletown through Chatham, to Colchester in 1817; and that from Middletown through the west part of Haddam to Killingworth, the same year."
The post-office at Middletown was established in 1775. The successive postmasters have been: Wensley HOBBY, from 1775 to October 1807; Thaddeus NICHOLS, from October 1807 to April 1815; Joshua STOW, from April 1815 to April 1818; Samuel WILLIAMS, from April 1818 to November 11th 1821; Joshua STOW, from November 1821 to February 20th 1841; E. W. N. STARR, from February 20th 1841 to October 1st 1842; Eli WILCOX, from October 1st 1842 to May 21st 1845; Allen MAY, from May 27th 1845 to June 14th 1849; William WOODWARD, from June 14th 1849 to April 1853; Norman SMITH, from April 1853 to -----' Samuel BABCOCK, jr., from January 1859 to May 15th 1861; Arthur B. CALEF, from May 15th 1861 to June 30th 1869; Bartlett Bent, from July 1st 1869, now in office.
The post-office was first kept in a small building used by Wensley HOBBY as a store, standing on the west side of Main street, on the extreme north part of the lot now occupied by E. B. CHAFFEE. From this time onward the office was in various localities until the evening of March 31st 1841, when it was removed to the northeast corner room on the first floor of the Custom House.
The first almshouse in Middletown was completed and occupied in May 1814. It stood in the southwestern part of the city near Pameacha River. It was a substantial brick building, 40 by 60 feet in size, two stories high in front, and three in the rear and at the ends. It had in the lower story a work room, kitchen, cellar, and dungeon; in the second, two rooms for the steward, a victualling room, and a spare room for occasional uses; in the third, 13 lodging rooms, four of which had fire places. It had also an attic if sufficient size for twenty lodging rooms.
The ground on which this stood, two and one-half acres, cost $800; the buildings, fences, etc., $7,655; and the furniture, $300; a total of $8,755.
Prior to the erection of this almshouse the poor of the town "boarded out" or assisted at their homes.
The town farm was purchased in 1853. This consists of 35 acres in the home farm, and a wood lot of 16 acres. On the farm is a large brick dwelling house, with barns, etc., beautifully situated on the south side of a bend in the Connecticut River, and it adjoins the farm of Connecticut Hospital for the Insane. The premises are under the superintendence of Frederic COOLEY, who has made valuable improvements on the property. The average cost of maintaining the farm amounts to about $2,000 annually.
"At a town meeting of the inhabitants of Middletown held on the first Tuesday of Feby A. D. 1818, the following resolves were unanimously passed. Resolved that in a country like ours where the rulers exercise their power by delegations from the people, it is, we conceive, essential to the preservation of freedom that the public will, constitutionally & deliberately expressed should establish some plain standard to which all may immediately refer, to ascertain the authority of the government, and the rights of the community.
"Resolved, that for this purpose it is highly important that the State of Connecticut be provided with a written Constitution, which shall trace as far as practicable, definite boundaries between the executive, legislative, & judiciary departments, which may erect a barrier against the encroachments of power, or the collisions of party violence & which may secure to the people, the uncontrolled enjoyment of those privileges which they have not, by compact transferred to their temporary rulers.
"Resolved, That the Representatives of the Town in the ensuing General Assembly shall be furnished by the Town Clark, with a copy of these Resolutions and that the aid Representatives be hereby requested to make all due exertions to procure from the Legislature a recommendation for a meeting of delegates from the several towns in this State, in order to prepare a written Constitution, which shall afterwards be presented to the people for their examination.
"Resolved, That we invite the co-operation of the friends of Civil liberty throughout this State.
"Voted, That the foregoing Resolves be published in the Middlesex Gazette.
"At a meeting of the Inhabitants of Middletown duly qualified legally warned & held on the 4th day of July 1818, at 9 'c'lk A. M., Alexander WOLCOTT Esqr & Joshua STOW Esqr, were elected delegates to meet in Convention at the State House in Hartford, on the 4th day of August next, to proceed if they deem it expedient with the other delegates there assembled, to the promotion of a Constitution of Civil Government for the people of this State."
"At a town meeting of the Inhabitants of Middletown qualified to vote in Town or Freemen's meeting legally warned & held on the 4th day of October A. D. at 9 o'ck A. M. for the ratification & approval of the Constitution formed by the Convention it was Voted. That those who are in favor of adopting the Coustitution give a vote, with the word Yes, written thereon; those against with the word No. On counting the votes, Two hundred & fifty voted for the ratification, of sd, Constitution & one hundred & twenty-five voters voted against the ratification of said Constitution.
Dr. FIELD, in 1852, gives the following account of a lead mine in Middletown:
"On the north side of Strait Hills, near Butler's Creek, as it enters the Connecticut River, there is a mine usually called the Lead Mine, which excited a good deal of attention before the American Revolution, and on which foreigners had expended large sums of money. In May 1775, Jabez HAMLIN, Matthew TALCOTT, and Titus HOSMER were appointed a committee to provide stores of lead as they should judge necessary for the use of the Colony, or to take ore raised out of the mine at Middletown and refined and fitted for the use of the Colony. In July following, the Assembly ordered them to work the mine. They did so and put up works for smelting and refining the ore, which were completed about the month of September; and at this time high expectations were raised of providing from it a large amount of lead. In March and July of the following year orders were given upon the committee to furnish quantities of lead for military purposes, and November 5th, 5,140 pounds were reported to be in the hands of the committee, and Capt. Samuel RUSSELL was added to the committee to procure lead for the State and to work the mine. The vein ran northerly toward the river, was followed thirty or forty rods, and in some places was very rich. But the vein being enclosed in granite rock, it was very difficult to get the ore, and as it approached the river it sunk abruptly into the earth. The works, however, were continued until the beginning of 1778, but at a session of the Assembly begun in February of that year a report was made, that the manufacture of said ore was unprofitable to the State. The committee were therefore ordered to discontinue the works after having finished the ore on hand."
This mine was worked as a silver mine short time, about 1852, but was soon abandoned.
In 1726 the General Court,
"Upon consideration of the petition of Izrahiah WETTMORE, of Middletown, showing that there is much need of a ferry to be set up and duly maintained at Middletown, near the warehouses to transport passengers across the river of Connecticut, praying for liberty to set up said ferry. Granted by this assembly, that the said WETTMORE shall have the sole liberty of setting up a ferry at said place of ten years, and that the fare be six pence for man, horse, and load, and three pence for a single man and horse."
A year later, upon the petition of Mr. WETTMORE, the authorized fare was increased to twelve pence for man, horse, and load; and four pence for a single person, or single horse. In May, 1737,
"Upon the memorial of Capt. George PHILIPSE and Jabez HAMLIN Esq., agents for the town of Midletown, praying that the ferry over Connecticut River at Midletown (in the town platt) which was formerly granted to Mr. Izrahiah WETTMORE, should be granted to the town of Midletown, &c., for the reasons assigned in the memorial: This assembly do thereupon grant the said ferry to the said town of Midletown, to be kept by such person or persons as they shall nominate and appoint from time to time to keep and attend to the same; and that this grant shall continue during the pleasure of this assembly. And this assembly do hereby enact that the fare of said ferry for the future shall be as formerly."
In 1742 it was
"* * * * Resolved by this assembly, that the fare of said ferry be nine pence of man, horse and load, and three pence for a single person, in bills of credit of the old tenour or an equivalent in the new ten0uor bills, at all times in the year said ferry is passable and no more; any usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding."
It appears by the town record that on December 9th 1737, it was
"Voted Messrs. George PHILLIPS Nath'n WHITE and Joseph SOUTHMAYD be a com'tee with full power to lease out the ferry against the Town Platt in Middletown (that is ranted to the town) to the highest bidder, he finding himself with Boat, Canoon, &c.: Provided he be a person sufficient to keep said ferry and to pay for the hire of the same, said Com'tee not to lett the same for more than three years at a time, and they to set up notifications on ye sign post at least Ten Days before such bidding appointing the time and place for such bidding."
In May 1821, it was enacted (Section 13, Title 16, Revised Statutes) that
"The ferry across the Connecticut River, between the towns of Middletown and Chatham, shall be maintained exclusively by the Colchester and Chatham Turnpike company; and the said company shall have and possess the said ferry with all its appurtenances and privileges in as full and ample a manner as they were formerly possessed by the town of Middletown," etc.
In June, 1852, the Middletown Ferry Company was incorporated. Section I of the act set forth that
"The ferry across the Connecticut River between the towns of Middletown and Portland, shall be maintained exclusively by the Middletown Ferry Company hereinafter incorporated, and the said company shall have, possess, and enjoy the said ferry with all its appurtenances and privileges in as full and ample a manner, and with the same powers as they have been heretofore possessed and enjoyed by the Colchester and Chatham Turnpike Company, and those claiming under it."
Section 4 names as corporators, Stephen BROOKS, Evan DAVIS, Joseph BACON, and Norman SMITH, "being the present proprietors of the Middletown Ferry under the thirteenth section of the sixteenth title of the Revised Statutes, together with such persons as may be hereafter associated with them," etc.
It is remembered that about 1810 a scow boat was used for taking teams over this ferry, and that passengers were carried in a small row boat. The scow was propelled by oars, and it had sails for use when the wind was favorable. The landing in Middletown was then below where the railroad bridge now is, but it was on a sandy beach which extended for some distance up and down the shore, so that advantage could be taken of the wind and tide in landing. The ferry was then conducted by a Mr. BOWERS, then by Mathew HALING, and afterward by a Mr. SAVAGE. An assistant ferryman during many years was a colored man names Thomas LEWIS, commonly called "Tom."
About 1830 a horse boat was put on the ferry, and then, or soon afterward, William J. FRENCH became the conductor. A few years later this boat was replaced by a larger one, on which four horses could be used instead of two as on the first. Stephen BROOKS and Evan DAVIS succeeded Mr. FRENCH, and continued to conduct it as a horse ferry till 1852, when the Middletown Ferry company was incorporated and the steamboat Mattabesett was placed on it. This was built in New York and its cost was about $15,000. In 1859 a small steam apron ferry boat was place don the ferry as a spare boat to the Mattabesett. It was built by S. GILDERSLEEVE & Sons, and its cost was $3,500. The Mattabesett was used till 1870 when the present steam ferry-boat, the Portland, succeeded it. This was also built by GILDERSLEEVE & sons, and its cost was $30,000.
The first president of the Ferry Company was Stephen BROOKS. The succeeding ones have been Erastus BRAINERD, S. GILDERSLEEVE, Erastus BRAINERD jr., and Henry GILDERSLEEVE, the present president. The capital of the company if $40,000.
The Connecticut River was during nearly two centuries the main avenue of travel and transportation between Middletown and the great centers of trade and population of the country. During apportion of each year, however, communication between this town and distant places was by the more tedious stage routes over common highways. During the first two decades of the present century turnpikes came into existence, and these afforded improved means of travel, and supplied a great desideratum, especially in that portion of each year when the navigation on the river was closed.
The era of railroad came, and the people of Middletown were not slow to discern their prospective utility.
The following record shows the action of the town in the case of the Hartford and New haven Railroad:
"At a special meeting of the Inhabitants of the Town of Middletown held at the Town Hall on the 31st day of Oct'r A. D. 1835, agreeable to notice.
"Charles WOODWARD Esqr. Was chosen Moderator. Voted, That the thanks of this meeting be presented by the Moderator to the President & Engineer of the Hartford & New Haven Rail Road Company for the attention which they have given to the route through Middletown, & the communication they have just made to this meeting on the subject.
"Voted, That William S. CAMP be & he is hereby appointed an agent as proposed & suggested to this meeting by the President of the said Rail Road, at the expense of said Company to see the several proprietors of land on the Railroad route & procure from them, on the best terms for said Company release deeds of such lands as may be wanted for said Rail road."
The New York and Boston Railroad was chartered in 1846, and when the people in Hartford assumed an attitude of hostility to this road, the people in Middletown manifested their interest in the enterprise by their action in town meeting, as shown by the following record:
"At special meeting of the inhabitants of Middletown was held agreeable to notice in the Town Hall on the 25th day of Jan'y A. D. 1847.
"Whereas this Town is deeply interested in the success of the contemplated New York & Boston Rail road, & whereas efforts are now making in Massachusetts & are soon to be made in Rhode Island for extension through a portion of those States to Boston & whereas the people of Hartford in a hostile spirit have given formal notice that they shall petition the next Legislature of our own State to repeal so much of the existing Charter as authorized the erection of a bridge over Connecticut River for the purposes of s'd Railroad & whereas it is perfectly apparent to all that such a bridge will afford ample facilities to the free navigation of said River, & Whereas the increasing demands of the public require immediate action in the premises, we feel sanguine that if decisive steps are now taken, said Road will forthwith be extended to Boston, & said Charter triumphantly sustained & that thereupon a great national inland thoroughfare will be opened from Boston to New York, directly through this town, which for profitable investment, safety at all seasons of the year, shortness of time & distance will defy competition & Whereas at a full convention of delegates from the several towns, along the proposed rout of said road, holden at this place on the 13th instant, said towns were requested to appoint agents whose duty it shall be to act in furtherance of this popular & noble enterprise. It is therefore Resolved, That persons be now appointed as such agents, whose duty it shall be to represent the interests of the Town, in facilitating the extension of said road & in defending said charter, or in acting upon any other matter relative to said road, which may effect the interests of the Town, & so far as consistent with said interests, they shall endeavor to act in accordance with the views of the original Town Railroad Com'ee."
At a special town meeting held April 14th 1851
"The following resolution was passed, the vote being taken by ballot by order of the meeting, yeas 372, nays 176, viz.:
"Resolved, That the Selectmen of this town be directed, and they are hereby required to apply in the name of this town, to the next General Assembly of this State, to be holden at the City of Hartford, for permission to loan the credit of this town, and to issue bonds for the same to an amount not exceeding two hundred thousand dollars to aid the New York & Boston Railroad Company in constructing their road within the limits of this State."
Through all the subsequent struggles of this company, and till the completion of the road, the people of Middletown gave it their support. By taking stock from time to time, and loaning its credit to the company the town contributed toward the construction of the road an aggregate of $897,000.
In the case of the Connecticut Valley Railroad the following extracts from the town records show the action of the town:
"A Special Town Meeting was called to be held in Middletown on Thursday the 14th day of Jan'y 1869, for legal voters of said town to cast their ballots, for or against the following Vote:
"Vote, That Gaston T. HUBBARD be & he is hereby authorized to subscribe, in the name & behalf of the town of Midd'n for fifteen hundred shares of the Stock of the Connecticut Valley Railroad company, at the par value thereof, whenever such Agent shall receive a written notice to do so, signed by all the members of a Committee of five persons to be appointed at a special town meeting hereafter to be called for that purpose. The meeting was held according to notice and when the returns came in from the several voting districts the following was declared to be the aggregate vote, Yes five hundred & seventeen, No Ninety four."
A Special Town meeting was held in Middletown on 1st day of October 1869, when no objection being made to its legality, & after a full discussion the following Vote was passed. Voted, "That a Committee of five persons, be appointed, in accordance with the vote of the special town meeting of the town of Middletown held at the Town Hall on the 14th Day of January A. D. 1869, said Committee to be constituted as follows: Henry G. AUBBARD, Allyn M. COLEGROVE, Samuel BABCOCK, Augustus PUTNAM & Michael H. GRIFFIN."
"Middletown Conn Oct 2, 1869.
"G. T. HUBBARD Esqr. Sir, You are hereby authorized to subscribe for fifteen hundred shares of the Capitol Stock of the Connecticut Valley Rail Road, in conformity with the vote passed at a meeting of the voters of Middletown held at the Town Hall Augt 14, 1869, and the vote passed at a subsequent meeting held at the same place Octr 1st 1869, appointing the undersigned said Committee.
"Henry G. HUBBARD    Aug PUTNAM
Samuel BABCOCK    M. H. GRIFFIN
Allyn M. COLEGROVE."
"I have subscribed to the Capitol Stock of the Connecticut Valley Railroad fifteen hundred shares, in accordance with the above authority this 2d day of Octr 1869.       "Gaston T. HUBBARD.
Agent for the town of Middletown."
It is thus seen that the town contributed toward the construction of these road an aggregate of $1,137,000.
It is hardly necessary to add that the usual course of foreclosure of first mortgages has been followed in the cases of these roads, and that beyond the benefits which these roads afford of increased facilities for travel and transportation the town has received no return for these expenditures.
It is not necessary to rehearse the events which led to the war of the Revolution, for with these almost every one is familiar. It is proposed to give here a brief history, based on such records as are available, of this town in its relation to that important war.
It must be remembered that at the breaking out of the Revolution, Middletown had developed the most prosperous foreign commerce that the town every enjoyed, and that, as a consequence, agriculture and domestic manufactures had a degree of prosperity which they had never before reached. There were few towns, therefore, that felt the calamities of war more keenly than did this. No hesitation, however, was ever manifested by the people in the discharge of what they deemed their patriotic duty. More than a century of self-government, under a charter or constitution which neither threats nor bribes could compel or induce them to relinquish, had so greatly strengthened the independent spirit here, as elsewhere in Connecticut, that, regardless of mercenary considerations, they were ready to resist the first encroachments on their liberties.
When the news of the enactment of the Boston Port Bill, and of the arrival of General GAGE to enforce it was received, the inhabitants of this town, to the number of more than five hundred, assembled and adopted the following resolutions:
"That we will heartily concur in any salutary measurers that may or shall be devised and come into or recommended by a General Congress, from all or most of the Colonies, or by the greater places of trade or commerce on the Continent, or by the inhabitants of this colony, for the preservation of the right of British Americans.
"2. That Messrs Matthew TALCOTT, Richard ALSOP, and Titus HOSMER be our committee of correspondence, whose duty it shall be to collect all such intelligence as may be necessary to enable us to act our part presently and to good effect in the system of America; to communicate such intelligence to others as may be useful to them and the common cause, and in our behalf to co-operate with the committees of other towns in concerting any general plan of proceeding for the good of the whole."
Then non importation and non consumption of British goods was recommended by the Continental Congress and the Colonial Assembly, and it was promptly and heartily concurred in by the people here, as the following record shows:
"December 5, 1774.-Whereas the Continental Congress of Delegates from the British Colonies in America held at the City of Philadelphia on the fifth day of September last, did in behalf of said Colonies, enter into an association for non importation, non exportation, & non consumption as by their Journal appears did in the eleventh article of the same recommend & direct that a committee should be chosen & impowered in every city, town & place in said colonies to inspect the conduct of the inhabitants and see that said association was duly kept & observed, & whereas the House of Representatives of this Colony in their sessions held at New Haven, on the 2d of October last, did resolve that said association ought to be kept & observed, by the inhabitants of this colony, and did recommend it to the several towns in this colony, in their town meetings, to choose committees for the purposes in said eleventh article of said association expressed;
"Voted That Major Matthew TALCOTT, Capt. Philip MORTIMER, Titus HOSMER Esq., Major Jehosaphat STARR, Mr. George PHILLIPS, Capt. Solomon SAGE Joseph FRARY, Capt. Roger RILEY Capt. Nathaniel GILBERT, Capt. Isaac MILLER, Daniel WHITMORE Capt. Stephen Hubbard, Francis CLARK, Capt. Ebenezer JOHNSON, Joel ADKINS, Liut, David TRYON Elijah HUBBARD jr. be a Committee for this town to inspect the conduct of the inhabitants of this town, touching the said association & see the same duly observed & kept, to publish the names of any willful transgressor of said association and generally to do everything necessary to the carrying into execution the association aforesaid, according to the true intent and meaning of said Congress."
The members of this committee, as well as those of the committee of correspondence, were active and efficient in the discharge of their duties, and among the prominent and influential men in the town, who exerted themselves in giving a right direction to public opinion, Titus HOSMER, Esq., was one of the most efficient.
A company of light infantry was formed in Middletown during 1774, and Return Jonathan MEIGS was made its captain. On the receipt of the news of the battle of Lexington, in April 1775, Captain MEIGS marched his company, fully armed and uniformed, to the environs of Boston, where Captain Comfort SAGE, with his troop of artillery had already arrived.
In the same month Samuel Holden PARSONS, whose family resided here during the Revolution, together with several others, undertook the project of surprising and seizing the post of Ticonderoga. The successful execution of this project did much to inspire the patriots here, as well as elsewhere, with confidence.
A lead min in this town had been worked by foreigners, who had expended on it large sums of money. At the commencement of the Revolution it was in possession of Colonel JAMES, a British officer, who had a large quantity of ore ready for exportation. The Government of Connecticut at once seized and smelted this ore for use in the war.
The following extracts from letters of Titus HOSMER to Silas DEANE, Esq., show, among other things, that great expectations were entertained concerning this mine. They also show to what expedients the people were compelled to resort for obtaining the most necessary war materials.
"Middletown, May 22, 1775.
* * * * "Our next object was to provide for our troops; and here you might have been entertained with the various debates, whether the soldiers take their chances to find lodging in deserted houses, barns, and hovels, or whether tents should be provided for them; whether they should have spoons to eat their pease with, pails to draw water, bottles to carry it with them, and many such important subjects; on which the gentlemen on the saving establishment shone with peculiar luster.
"The state of the Lead Mine to this town has likewise engaged our attention. Upon enquiry, we find the ore is plenty and reputed rich, the vein is opened, seven tons of ore now raised and ready for smelting, and any other quantity may be had that may be required. The only desideratum is, how to smelt the ore and the metal. This may unquestionably be done if skillful workmen can be obtained. Mr. WALES who is now at New York, has orders to make enquiry there for such workmen, and gain every information necessary on this subject. If you could give us any light, from enquiries you can make where you are, either with regard to workmen, or the process, you will render an acceptable service to your county, as there can be no reasonable doubt, if we can succeed in refining, that this mine will abundantly supply, not only New England, but all the colonies with lead, in such plenty as to answer every demand of war or peace.
"Our men enter into the service with great ardor. Most of the Captains have enlisted more than their compliment, and some who came too late have brought in, rather than be disappointed of a share in the service. Samuel WEBB is Lieut. In your brothers place. Mr. WHITNEY goes General SPENCER's Quarter Master. Everything out doors is spirit, activity, and determined bravery. The outside of the sepulcher is fair, but within-the Scripture will tell the rest; tho' we have not so many devils as Mary Magdelen had; indeed the Devil of Avarice is all that we have to complain of."
"Middletown, May 29th '75.
"We have resolved to give a bounty of five shillings on a stand of arms complete, and one and sixpence for a gun-lock manufactured in this colony. Also a bounty of ten pounds on every fifty wt of saltpeter and £5 on every 100 lbs. of sulphur manufactured from material found in this Colony, and manufactured here, within one year from the rising of this Assembly. I believe you must be advised of this before, and I only mention them to introduce a request that you would inform yourself as well as you can, at Philadelphia, how the earth impregnated with nitre may be known and distinguished, and by what process the saltpeter is separated; also, how the ore or bed in which Sulphur if found may be known, and how it is separated; which may be of service towards maturing and setting on foot the manufacture of gun-powder. I am informed Sulphur is found in Maryland; if so, perhaps the delegates from that colony may give some intelligence that may be material.:
"Middletown, Nov. 19th 1775.
"KIBBE has discovered a method of combining an alkali with the nitrous acid, and at the same time disengaging and precipitating the oily and heterogeneous matters that prevent the crystallization of the Nitre
"He at present makes it a secret not to be communicated, but for a large reward Major TROOP purchased of him. I bought it of Major TROOP. I am under no injunction to conceal it, and as I have no very sanguine expectations from the Nitre works in this Colony, I will give you the best account of it I can, in hopes it may be of some greater sue where you are than (I fear) it will be here.
* * * *
"Major TROOP and Mr. CHAPMAN had wasted the summer in a number of fruitless experiments, but they practiced upon this plan, since which they have had success. They had before made about 40 lbs. of saltpeter which cost near four months; they have since in about six weeks, made 170 lbs. and continue to turn out about 30 lbs. per week. But 30 lbs a week will not defray their expense, when the bounty expires. The best native earth contains but a small proportion of nitre. Mr. TROOP gave me a particular account of their weekly expenses, as follows:
" 1 Team constantly employed to get earth
2s 10 d. per diem
£0 17 0
"2 men with the team, at 3 s per diem each" 1 16 0
"2 men at the works, at 3 s per diem each" 1 16 0
"4 loads of wood, at 5s" 1 00 0
"Besides the wear and tear of works, utensils,
contingences &c. not less than"
1 00 0 6 09 0
30 lbs. saltpeter at 3s 4 10 0
Net loss per week 1 19 0
"As none of the manufactures of saltpeter in this Colony at present seem to think of attempting any other way of procuring materials for their manufacture but from earth found under barns, &c., I expect they will be given up at the expiration of the Colony's bounty, without wch, in their method they must be accompanied with loss.
"I believe a nitrous compost may be made, by a mixture of animal and vegetable substances, proper earth, ashes, lime, & c. digested and incorporated by putrefaction in a suitable place, which will render the manufacture of saltpeter profitable, independent of the Colony bounty and I am preparing to try the experiment at my works. If this will not, I must give them up with the rest, in the Spring.
"The discovery of this method * * * * was merely accidental, -- tho it appears to be the same with that practiced by the Norwich artist, who demands £500 for his secret. You have my free consent to communicate the above process to any gentlemen to whom it may be useful; but as those here who made the first discovery have been at great expense, and are endeavoring by the sale of their secret to lick themselves whole, I should not chose to have them blown at present by a publication in the newspapers, or otherwise.
"Our Lead works have been kept back by the great rains this month past. In ten days at farthest, I shall be able to inform you how they succeed. The Stamping mill is going and the furnace will begin to blow next week, unless prevented by stormy or cold weather. We are very ignorant here of what is doing with you, and some begin to complain, that the measurers of Congress are very secret. When will a Confederation take place? Shall we not be in danger of falling to pieces soon, if it is delayed? Remember, we know not of the extent of the powers of Congress. Jealousy is easily excited, in many minds, once excited it is not easily conjured down. You may curse my cold that has confined me to-day, for the trouble of the long letter, and thank my want of paper it is no longer-as I have only room to subscribe myself.
Although the people her were, from the first, strongly opposed to the measurers adopted by Great Britain to oppress the colonies, and to force submission to these oppressive acts, and this opposition became stronger as time went on, there were those here who not only doubted the propriety of the course pursued by the colonies, but were strictly and conscientiously loyal to the English government. Toryism, however, never flourished here as it did in those portions of the country where the presence or proximity of the British troops encouraged those who were disaffected toward the American cause. Of the few that were here, some took refuge in Nova Scotia or elsewhere in the King's dominions, and other took care to conceal their real sentiments. Instead of being a place where loyalists might with impunity declare their sentiments it was rather the colony to which they were sent for safe keeping. The tory major of the city of New York, and many other smaller tories were sent hither to be cared for by the people, who were also often called on to bestow kindness and hospitality on those who fled from Long Island to escape the consequences of their patriotism.
The last royal governor of New Jersey was sent by a convention of that State to Governor TRUMBULL, who was requested, in case of his refusal to give his parole, to treat him as a prisoner. He was brought into the State on the day of the Declaration of Independence, and after a few days, by his own request, was sent to Middletown. Here he remained till the people became alarmed because of his presence, and in town meeting took the following action:
"January 7th 1777.-Voted that upon a motion made to this meeting for a committee to remove Gov. FRANKLIN out of this town, Capt. Samuel RUSSELL, Col. Comfort SAGE and Seth WETMORE to be a committee to prefer a petition to his Honor Gov'r TRUMBULL, to remove said Gover'r FRANKLIN from this for safety of this town & State."
It does not appear from any record here that action was taken by Governor TRUMBULL, but the journal of Congress of the 22d of April in that year records the following:
"Congress resolved, That Gov. TRUMBULL be informed that Congress have received undoubted information that William FRANKLIN, late Governor of the State of New Jersey, and now a prisoner in Connecticut, has, since his removal to that State, sedulously employed himself in dispersing among the inhabitants the protection of Lord HOWE and Gen. HOWE, styled the King's Commissioners fro granting pardons, &c., and otherwise aided and abetted the enemies of the United States; and that he be requested to order the said William FRANKLIN, Esq., into close confinement, prohibiting to him the use of pen, ink, and paper, or the access of any person or persons but such as are properly licensed by Governor TRUMBULL."
During 1776 the militia of Connecticut were subjected to five heavy drafts, and in August of that year all the standing militia of the State west of the Connecticut River, were ordered to march to New York city. Instead of the question, who went from Middletown that year? the proper inquiry would be, who did not go? Of officers from this town Comfort SAGE went as a colonel, and General Samuel H. PARSONS, Captain Jabez HAMLIN, who went as an ensign under Captain Return Jonathan MEIGS the previous year, died this year. It is known that the hardships and privations of the militia this year were very great; that many from Middletown suffered severely, an that some died in prison or of cold and hunger. Of those who died in prison, the names are known of James SMITH, Abijah KIRBY, Nathan EDWARDS, and Reuben KIRBY, from Upper Middletown alone. The number from all parts of the town must have been large.
GENERAL AND DESCRIPTIVE.
SETTLEMENT OF MIDDLETOWN.
MILL PRIVILEGE GRANTED TO THOMAS MILLER, 1655.
GRANT TO GEORGE DURANT, TOWN BLACKSMITH.
SKETCHES OF THE SETTLERS.
FROM THE TOWN RECORDS.
GROWTH OF THE TOWN.
CENSUS OF 1776.
MIDDLETOWN PROBATE DISTRICT.
THE CUSTOM HOUSE, DISTRICT OF MIDDLETOWN.
ACTION OF MIDDLETOWN CONCERNING THE CONSTITUTION OF 1818.
RATIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION.
MIDDLETOWN IN THE REVOLUTION.