HISTORY OF NEW LONDON COUNTY, CONNECTICUT,
WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF MANY OF ITS PIONEERS AND PROMINENT MEN.
COMPILED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF D. HAMILTON HURD
J. W. LEWIS & CO., PHILADELPHIA, 1882
PRESS OF J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., PHILADELPHIA
[transcribed by Janece Streig]
CHAPTER XV. NEW LONDON - (Continued). Pages 207 - 215
Commerce-Whaling-The Port of New London-Custom-House-List of Collectors-The Ferry-New London in 1800-Societies-Incorporation of the City-First Charter Election-Officers Elected-Mayors from Organization to Present Time-Schools-The Yellow Fever-The Old Militia-City Hall-Manufactures-Cedar Grove Cemetery-Gas Company-Water-Works.
Commerce (1) [1. By William H. STARR] - WHALING.-As a commercial town, New London became early noted in the colony. Ever sagacious and on the alert, the people were not slow to improve the facilities offered by the natural advantages of the place for engaging in commercial pursuits.
As early as 1659 nine persons were appointed by the General Court, one for each of the small ports in the colony, to enter and record such goods as were subject to customs. John SMITH was appointed custom-master for New London. The office was unimportant in point of fees, as an order of the General Court in 1654 allowed all articles, except wine and liquors, to be received free of duty. Under the term liquors, however, the spirit called rum, which was then a recent product of the English West India Islands, was not included, but strictly prohibited. 2 [2. It is recorded in New London, lib. 3, "that whatsoever Barbadoes liquors, commonly called run, kill-devil, or the like, shall be landed in any place in this jurisdiction, drawne or sould in any vessel lying in any harbor or roade in this commonwealth, shall be all forfeted and confiscated to the commonwealth."-Miss CAULKINS' History, p. 230.] Daniel WETHERILL was subsequently appointed to the office, and was the last person who held it by colonial authority. He was, however, reappointed by the surveyor-general of the plantations, under commission from the Treasury Board of the mother-country, "as deputy collector and searcher for Connecticut" in 1685, the whole colony being thrown into one district for the collection of customs, and held his office about twenty years.
The building of vessels commenced about 1660 by John COIT, or COITE, and was continued by Joseph COIT, Hugh MOULD, John STINESS, and others. The barks "Speedwell," "Hopewell," and "Endeavour" were among the first vessels constructed, and in 1661 the "New London Tryall," the first merchant vessel in the place, was built by John ELDERKIN, and was regarded a remarkable affair, "costing, exclusive of iron-work, spikes, and nails, two hundred pounds." The early coasting trade was principally with Boston. Household goods, clothing, powder, lead, and military accoutrements, also implements of husbandry, were obtained, and returns made in "peltins and wampum." Small vessels and boats trafficked with Long Island, Rhode Island, and elsewhere, and soon the trade extended to New York, and as far as Virginia. Dry hides and buckskins constituted the principal commerce with the latter place. 1 [1. The lease buckskin was to weigh was four pounds and a half. A pound and a half of hides was equal in value to a pound of buckskin, one pound of hides equaled two pounds of old iron, two pounds of hides equaled one pound of old pewter. Here are old iron and old pewter having a fixed value as articles of barter and merchandise!-Miss CAULKINS.] During the year 1660 a circumstance of some note occurred in the town. The ship "Hope," from Malaga, Spain, came into harbor in want of provisions. She had been chartered for Virginia, and was loaded with wine, raisins, and almonds, destined for that port. But her voyage had been long and the weather tempestuous, and the storm-beaten vessel was leaky and obliged to put into this port for repairs. Here cargo was found to be damaged, and the state of affairs in Virginia was not favorable for its shipment to that colony. As the vessel needed "trimming and sheathing," and was required to discharge of the cargo for that purpose, it was sold at New London, and the super-cargo of the vessel, Mr. Robert LOVELAND, became a resident of the town. He entered fully into commercial affairs of the place, and prosecuted a voyage to Newfoundland for the purpose of trade and barter. He afterwards purchased a tract of land at Green Harbor, intending to build wharves and warehouse, and to make it a port of entry for the town. Finding the spot unfavorable for the purpose he abandoned the project, and after a few years died, assigning all his estate, "whether lands, houses, horses, cattle, debts due by book, bill, or bond, either in New England, Virginia, or elsewhere," to Alexander PYGAN.
Commercial relations between New London and Newfoundland were early established. Port, beef, and other provisions were shipped there, and dry fish, and frequently West India produce were taken in return. This trade continued until after 1700.
Between New London and Barbadoes an early commercial intercourse was established. A regular voyage was made twice a year to that island with horses, cattle, beef, port, and frequently pipe staves, which were exchanged for sugar and molasses. This trade was the most lucrative business of the period. Merchants of Hartford, Middletown, and Wethersfield made shipments from this town. Captains from the river towns often took their cargoes at New London. 2 [2. The following receipt shows the comparative value of two prime articles of exchange. "Barbadoes:--I underwrit, do hereby acknowledge to have received of Mr. Jeffrey CHRISTOPHERS one bl. Of port, per account of Mr. Benjamin BREWSTER, the which I have sold for 300 lbs. of sugar.-Elisha SANFORD, Aug. 18, 1671. "True copy of the receipt which was sent back to Barbadoes by Mr. Giles HAMLIN in the ship 'John and James,' Oct. 29, 1671. Charles HILL, Recorder."-Miss CAULKINS' History, p. 235.] In 1666, MOULD and COIT, previously referred to as the leading ship-builders in New London, launched the ship "New London," a seventy-ton vessel, being larger than any vessel heretofore constructed in the place. The "New London" was designated for an employed in European voyages. In 1678 the same builders completed the largest, undoubtedly, of all the vessels built by then, viz., the "John and Hester," of about one hundred tons burden, which made several successful voyages under the command of John and Jonathan PRENTIS, who were part owners of the vessel.
The West India trade assumed quite an important place in New London. On the 26th of June, 1724, six vessels sailed at one time for the West India Islands, all freighted with cargoes of horses, which at that time constituted a principal article of export form the town. Eight years previous, in 1716, mention is made by Miss CAULKINS of a shipment by one vessel of forty-five horses to Barbadoes.
In 1723 "Jeffrey's great ship" was commenced, and launched in October, 1715. Its burden was seven hundred tons, and it was the largest vessel at that time ever built this side of the Atlantic, and excited much interest and attention throughout the colony. New London at that period had acquired a reputation for building large ships. This port is noticed by DOUGLAS, in his history of the British settlements, published previous to 1750, in which he described Connecticut as having eight commercial shipping ports for small crafts; but "all masters," he remarks, "can enter and clear at the port of New London, having a good harbor and deep water." He adds also, "here they build large ships." The commercial enterprises of New London continued to increase, and were generally successful until the British aggressions and the war of the Revolution interrupted and finally closed all its commercial relations.
Collectors of the Port-Custom-House.-The first collector of the port of New London was Gen. Jedediah HUNTINGTON. He was, as before stated, at one time one of Washington's aides and a special favorite under his command. He performed his duties as collector with promptness and fidelity from the close of the Revolutionary war to the second rupture with Great Britain. It is said that at least eight coasters were owned principally at Norwich and New London, and one hundred and fifty sail of merchant vessels entered and cleared at the port of New London. The receipts of the office were from fifty thousand to two hundred thousand dollars annually. Mr. HUNTINGTON performed this large amount of business in a single room, the office being in the second story of a store at the corner of Bank Street and the Parade.
He was succeeded in 1815 by Gen. Thomas H. CUSHING, who held the office until his death in 1822. He had served in the Revolutionary war, and in 1790 held a commission as captain in the army of St. Clair. During the second war with Great Britain, in 1813, he attained the rank of Brigadier-general.
Capt. Richard LAW was appointed his successor, and continued in office eight years, followed by Ingoldsby W, CRAWFORD, eight years; Charles P. LESTER, four years; Wolcott HUNTINGTON, a short term; Lester again until his decease in 1846; after which Thos. MUZZEY and Nicholl FOSDIC, the latter receiving his appointment in 1849. More recently the office has been successively filled by Henry HOBART, J. P. C. MATHER, Edward PRENTIS, George T. MARSHALL, and John A. TIBBITS, the present incumbent.
In 1833 the present fine granite structure on Bank Street was erected by the government as the custom-house for this district, at a cost of thirty thousand dollars. Its accommodations are ample and convenient, quite in contrast with the little cramped-up loft occupied by the early collectors. Its door has peculiar interesting historical associations, being constructed of oak from the old frigate "Constitution," reserved for that purpose.
New London was noted for the early steam navigation of the Sound. In 1816, one year after the close of the war, the first trip from New York was made by the "Connecticut," Capt. BUNKER, on the 28th of September, in twenty-one hours, considered a remarkable and triumphant success in steam navigation at that time. Afterwards she commenced running in regular line to New Haven twice a week, connecting with the "Fulton," at that place for New York. The fare then established to the latter place was nine dollars for each passenger. In 1844 freight-boats propelled by steam were introduced, and have since been very largely employed as propellers in the freight department of the transportation lines between New York and Boston.
New London is also distinguished in this and foreign countries in connection with the early history of steam navigation. Capt. Moses ROGERS, commander, and his brother-in-law, Capt. Stevens ROGERS, sailing-master of the steamship "Savannah," both natives of New London, were the first to navigate a steam-vessel across the Atlantic. Their little ship of three hundred and fifty tons burden sailed from Savannah May 26, 1819, and made the passage to Liverpool in twenty-one days. From Liverpool she proceeded to Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Sweden. Here arrival at each of the ports produced great excitement. The little American steam craft was heralded in the public journals and visited as a wonder of the age. "Bernadotte, King of Sweden, and the Emperor of Russia, with their nobles and public officers, not only came on board to examine the vessel, but tested her performance by short excursions in the neighboring waters." She left Arundel, in Norway, and made her passage back to Savannah in twenty-five days. Capt. Moses ROGERS was presented with an elegant silver tea-urn and other costly gifts by the Emperor of Russia, and Capt. Stevens ROGERS received from Lord Lynddock, an English nobleman, who was a passenger in the steamer from Stockholm to St. Petersburg, a massive gold snuff-box. This is now in the possession of the family.
The whaling business of New London has been one of importance and success. The enterprise, energy, and seamanship of so large a portion of her citizens were important qualifications for this hardy and somewhat perilous occupation. As early as 1647 the General Court at Hartford passed a resolution granting a monopoly and exclusive privilege "for the taking of whale" within its jurisdiction to one Mr. WHITING for seven years.1 [1. "If Mr. WHITING, with any others, shall make trial and prosecute a design for the taking of whale within these liberties, and if upon trial within the term of two year they shall like to go on, no other shall be suffered to interrupt them for the term of seven years." Colonial Records.] We hear nothing further of Mr. WHITING's project, and the probability is that it did not prove a success. It was not unusual, however, that whales were often seen in and outside the Sound, and sometimes were pursued and caught by the hardy fisherman of the place.2 [2. "The whale-fishery on the south side of Long Island has considerably increased. Latterly it has been much neglected. But last winter a number of whales were caught and killed by the inhabitants, who attacked them in boats launched from the shore."-New York Daily Advertiser, published 1802.] At first the only whaling expeditions were small sloops fitted and sent out for a few weeks' voyage, the extent of which rarely or never extended beyond the banks of Newfoundland, but the business increased, and larger vessels and longer voyages became common. After 1770 voyages were made to the Brazil banks, and the number of vessels from various parts employed in the business increased until, in 1775, Nantucket along had one hundred and fifty vessels and two thousand men employed in whaling.3 [3. History of Nantucket.] In 1784 the New London Gazette announced the sailing of the sloop "Rising Sun" on a whaling voyage. In 1794 the ship "Commerce," owned and fitted out at East Haddam, sailed from New London, and in 1800 a small ship called the "Miantonomoh" was sent out by Norwich parties, and sailed from New London and passed around Cape Horn. She was, however, seized at Valparaiso by Spanish authorities and condemned.
In 1802 the ship "Dispatch," Howard, was fitted out at New London to cruise in the South Seas after whales, but the voyage was not repeated. In 1805 the "Dauphin" was purchased by Dr. Samuel H. P. LEE, through whose efforts a company was formed and the vessel fitted out for the Brazil banks. She made a successful voyage, and returned with her cargo in June, 1806. After this the business was continued and increased until the embargo, followed by the war of 1812, completely broke up the business.
After the return of peace of the country the West India trade never revived, but in 1819 the whaling interest recommenced under the late Hon. Thomas W. WILLIAMS and Daniel DESHON, who engaged with their characteristic energy in the new enterprise. Messrs. N. & W. W. BILLINGS followed in 1827, and fitted out three ships in the business. These enterprising pioneers in the whaling interest were soon followed by others,--Benjamin BROWN & Sons, MINER, LAWRENCE & Co., PERKINS & SMITH, WILLIAMS & BARNES, Lyman ALLYN, FRINK & PRENTIS, Thomas FITCH (2), E. V. STODDARD, WEAVER, ROGERS & Co., and several others, including WILLIAMS, HAVEN & Co., and recently HAVEN, WILLIAMS & Co., all of whom have contributed largely by their energy and enterprise to the wealth and growth of the city. In 1845 the number of ships, brigs, and other vessels employed was seventy-eight, the tonnage of which exceeded largely that of any other port in the United States, New Bedford only excepted. Many of these vessels made remarkable voyages. That of the "Clematis," Capt. BENJAMIN, fitted out by WILLIAMS & BARNES, which returned in 1841, made her voyage a little less than eleven months, sailed round the globe, and brought home two thousand five hundred and forty-eight barrels of oil,--a voyage worthy of historic record. Of the scores of hardy, enterprising men commanding the numerous vessels engaged in the whaling business we might add very largely, but the foregoing record must suffice. Capt. John RICE, the oldest in commission whaling-captain of the port, died in 1873, at the age of seventy-five years.
The late Hon. H. P. HAVEN, with Richard H. CHAPPELL, were among the first and most active originators of the Alaska Commercial Company, one of the most important and successful enterprises in the country, developing the resources of this newly-acquired territory, and yielding to the government annually two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in rent and royalty. Mr. HAVEN was one of the trustees of the company, and to his influence and efforts may in a good degree be attributed the wise and humane provisions of its lease from the government providing for the education and protection of the native of that remote region.1 [1. The present tonnage employed in the whale and seal-fishing in New London is 1673.56. Thirteen vessels are engaged in the business.] A circumstance of considerable note occurred during the winter of 1855 in connection with the whaling interest of the town. This was the arrival in the harbor of the English ship "Resolute" from the Artic regions, brought in by Capt. James M. BUDDINGTON, of the whale-ship "George Henry," of this port. The "Resolute" was a vessel of six hundred tons burden, stanch and strongly built in England with reference to encountering the hazards of polar navigation, and fitted with special regard for that purpose. She was one of a fleet of five vessels sent out by the British government to search for Sir John FRANKLIN and his crew, under command of Sir Edward BELCHER. The effort, it will be recollected, was unsuccessful. The "Resolute," in the vicinity of Melville Island, was separated from her consorts, became entangled in the ice, and, unable to extricate herself, was soon surrounded by an ice-field hundreds of miles in extent. After remaining in this condition several months, with no prospect of release, she was abandoned by the captain and crew, who returned home in the other vessels of the expedition in safety, leaving their own ship to her fate, imprisoned beyond escape, as they supposed, in the impenetrable ice-fields of the North.
In September, 1855, sixteen months after her abandonment, Capt. BUDDINGTON and his crew found this vessel while in David Straits, and took possession of the abandoned ship. She had drifted at least eleven hundred miles from the place where she had been left by her crew nearly a year and a half previous. Everything on board was precisely in the condition in which they had been left. The furniture of the officers' room was undisturbed. The lamps, bottles, wine-glasses, and other articles stood on the table as they were left after their final parting health was drank, apparently to the discoverers but a few hours previous. In the cabin books lay open just as they were laid down from their last perusal, and everything appeared as thought but left for the briefest absence. Capt. BUDDINGTON transferred a part of his own crew to the abandoned vessel, and after a rough and perilous voyage of about one hundred days brought her safely into New London Harbor. The "Resolute" lay at New London seven months, and was visited by thousands of people from our own and other towns, some far distant, with the greatest interest. The government, however, very properly paid a liberal redemption for her to the rescuers and took possession of the vessel. After having her fully repaired and put in the best condition, she was returned to the British government as a present, under the command of Capt. HARTSTENE, of the United States navy. Capt. HARTSTENE was the officer that in 1853 has been sent to the Polar seas to relieve Capt. KANE, who commanded the "Second General Expedition to the Artic Regions." The Ferry.-The ferry privilege between New London and Groton was first leased to Edward MESSENGER, Nov. 6, 1651, for the period of twenty years. The lease, however, was surrendered in two or three years, and in 1654, Mr. WINTHROP and the townsmen entered into an agreement with Cary LATHAM, granting him a lease of "the ferry over Pequot River at the town of Pequot for fifty years from the twenty-fifth of March, 1655. The said Cary to take 3d. of every passenger for his fare, 6d. for every horse or great beast, and 3d. for a calf or swine; and to have liberty to keep some provisions and some strong liquors or wine for the refreshment of passengers. No English or Indians are to pass over or near the ferry-place that they take pay for; if they do, the said Cary may require it." The ferry is now operated by the Thames Ferry Company, which was organized in 1875. Its present officers are: President, Julius T. SHEPARD; Secretary, Charles W. BUTLER; Treasurer, Frederick H. HARRIS; Directors, Julius T. SHEPARD, Edwin A. DELANO, George W. GODDARD, Leonard SMITH, Frank H. CHAPPELL.
New London in 1800.-At that time but few comparatively of the present streets were opened. Main Street (then the "town street") extended from Mill Brook on the north, along the west margin of Winthrop's Cove, down to State Street; Water Street (or the beach), from near the present site of CHAPPELL's upper wharf down to the Parade. These were the principal business streets of the town. Bank Street continued along the river-bank south to the SHAW mansion, and was connected with Hempstead Street, one of the earliest laid out streets in the town. These, with some others of lesser note, comprised the entire populated portion of the place. The whole of the rocky ridge extending from the old burial-ground on the north to the present site of the residence of the late Hon. H. P. HAVEN was entirely unoccupied and called Meeting-house Hill. The Congregational church stood alone on its extreme northern limits. West of this ridge very few, if any, dwelling-houses had been erected, and that portion, now a pleasant and important part of the city, was a wild, uncultivated waste. The old fort, the Episcopal church, and two or three other buildings of note occupied the "Parade." The custom-house and residence of the collector were located on Main Street near the "Cove." The almshouse was situated on an open lot near what is now the corner of Truman and Blinman Streets, while the family residences were mostly located at the lower part of the town.
Free and Accepted Masons.1 [1. By C. B. WARE.]-The antiquity of Freemasonry is, in its principles, coeval with the creation, but in its organization as peculiar institution (such as it now exists) we date not trace back farther than the building of King Solomon's temple.
The existence of the order in Tyre at the time of the building of the temple is universally admitted.
The first notice we have of Freemasonry in the United States is in 1729. In the year 1733, "St. John's Grand Lodge" was opened in Boston, having been granted a charter by Lord Viscount MONTACUTT, Grant Master of England.
Tradition informs us that a Masonic lodge existed in New London many years previous to the Revolutionary war, working sometimes in New London and sometimes in Colchester, but there is no recorded proof of the existence of such a lodge, except the following in the history of St. John's Grand Lodge at Boston, Mass., held under date of Jan. 12, 1753, to wit: "The petition of several brethren residing at New London, in the colony of Connecticut, for dispensation to erect a lodge there, was granted." This dispensation was granted by the Right Worshipful Thos. OXNARD, then Provincial Grand Master of New England. There is no further record of either of the forming or workings of this lodge, neither is mention made in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of the State of Connecticut of there being a subordinate lodge in New London until the October session of the Grand Lodge in 1795, when we find the name of Elias PERKINS as a member from Union Lodge, New London.
The original charter of Union Lodge, No. 21, F. and A. M., bears the date of May 20, A.D. 1795, and of Masonry, 5795, being granted upon the application of Amasa LEARNED, Elijah BINGHAM, Elias PERKINS, Lyman LAW, Moses WARREN, William RICHARDS, Richard LAW, Jr., Lemuel LEE, and bore the name of John MIX, Secretary, William JUDD, Grand Master.
The Worshipful Masters have been as follows: 1795, William RICHARDS; 1796-98, Elias PERKINS; 1799, Ebenezer PERKINS; 1800-4, Lyman LAW; 1805-6, Thos. H. RAWSON; 1807-10, James BAXTER; 1811-14, Hubbel BROOKS; 1815-17, John FRENCH (2); 1818-21, Lyman LAW; 1822, Thos. H. CUSHING; 1823, Samuel GREEN; 1824, John FRENCH (2); 1825-26, Dyer T. BRAINARD; 1827, Ephraim H. BABCOCK; 1828, Dyer T. BRAINARD; 1829-30, Lyman LAW; 1831, Wm. F. BRAINARD; 1832, Hezekiah GODDARD; 1833, John FRENCH (2); 1834-36, Joshua HAMILTON; 1837-39, Nathan S. PERKINS; 1840-41, Dyer T. BRAINARD; 1842-44, Elisha DOUGLAS; 1845, Samuel BARRY; 1846-48, Elisha DOUGLAS; 1849, Joshua HAMILTON; 1950-51, Edw. CLARK; 1852, George W. GODDARD; 1853, Aaron E. STONE; 1854, Edward CLARK; 1855-56, Seth SMITH; 1857, James M. LATHAM; 1858, John GORDON; 1859, Wm. W. STARK; 1860-61, Fred. L. ALLEN; 1862-63, David SPRAGUE; 1866, E. B. ROWE; 1867, Philo B. HOVEY; 1868, Joseph F. VODWARKA; 1869-70, Alden W. HEWITT; 1871, Wm. B. TUBBS; 1872-75, Joseph F. VODWARKA; 1876-77, Owen C. WILLIAMS; 1878-79, Dudley B. CHAPMAN.
The officers for 1880 were as follows: Edward E. WINSLOW, W.M.; Henry G. WOODWORTH, S.W.; Philip DEWIRE, J.W.; C. J. SHEPARD, Treas.; C. C. JEFFERY, Sec.; James E. COMSTOCK, S.D.; A. F. ANDERSON, J.D.: Charles BENTLEY, Marshal; Anthony JEROME, Tyler.
Brainard Lodge, No. 102.-The charter of the above lodge was granted June 1st, in the year of our Lord 1867, and of Masonry 5867, upon the petition of Brothers Edward B. ROWE, John H. HEATH, George W. BENTLEY, Charles M. WILCOX, Christopher CULVER, Samuel W. CAULKINS, Benjamin P. WATROUS.
The Past Masters have been Edward B. ROWE, 1867-73; Samuel W. CAULKINS, 1873-74; George W. POTTER, 1874-77; James MCMORAN, Jr., 1877-78; John MILLER, 1878-79; William E. GREENE, 1879-80.
The officers for 1880 were Edward PRENTIS, Jr., M.; Benjamin H. LEE, S.W.; John G. CRUMP, J.W.; Charles W. STRICKLAND, Jr., Treas.; Philip C. DUNFORD, Sec.; L. S. OLMSTEAD, S.D.; Horace H. DABOLL, J.D.; W. A. GAILLARD, S.S.; A. WAGNER, J.S.; Goetz BACHERT, Marshal; John H. BROWN, Tyler; I. W. DOW, L. S. OLMSTEAD, D. D. LATHAM, trustees.
Union Chapter, No. 7, R. A. M.-The charter of Union Chapter, No. 7, was granted to Elpham BUCKLEY as High Priest; James BAXTER, Scribe; Allen KING, King, Sept. 1, 1801, A.L. 5801; but there is no further record of the forming or working of this chapter until 1805, when Union Chapter was represented at a convocation of the Grant Royal Arch Chapter of the State of Connecticut, holden at the city of Hartford, Oct. 9, A.D. 1805.
The proceedings of the Grand Chapter from its organization up to 1855 having never been printed, and as the manuscripts are the only records in the office of the Grand Secretary, it is impossible to trace the connecting links from the time of the charter was granted until that year.
The officers for 1881 were as follows: Companions D. B. CHAPMAN, H. P.; P. B. HOVEY, K.; J. Griffin ELY, Scribe; Edward WINSLOW, C. J.; Orlo ATWOOD, P. S.; Alfred FENWICK, Sec.; Alexander MERRILL, Treas.; John MILLER, R. A. C.; John SALTER, M. 3d V.; C. W. CHURCHILL, M. 2d V.; T. P. BINDLASS, M. 3dV; Anthony JEROME, Tyler.
Cushing Council, NO. 4, R. & S. M.-The council takes its name from Thos. H. CUSHING, Worshipful Grand Master of Union Lodge in 1822, who did much to advance Cryptic Masonry among New London brethren, and through whose teachings was the formation of the above council from a charter granted May 10, A.D. 1855, A.L. 2855, Royal and Select Master, dating from the year in which King Solomon's temple was completed. Royal Arch Masons commence their era with the year in which the second temple was commenced, which was five hundred years before Christ.
The officers for 1881 are Alfred FENWICK, T.I.M.; John MILLER, Rt. I.D.M.; E. WINSLOW, I.P.C.; John SLATER, C.G.; Alex. MERRILL, Comp. Treas.; Chas B. WARE, Comp. Rec.; Orlo ATWOOD, Comp. Cond.; F. P. KENYON, Comp. Steward; Anthony Jerone, Comp. Sen.
Palestine Commandery, No. 4, K. T.-The charter of the Palestine Commandery bears date of May 10, A.D. 1855, A.O. 1123, being granted by the Grand Commandery, but bears only the signature of the Right Eminent Grand Commander.
The officers for 1881 are Sir Knight Philo B. HOVEY, E.C.; Sir Knight Wm. H. TUBBS, C.G.; Sir Knight Wm. H. BENTLEY, Gen.; Sir Knight Chas B. WARE, S.W.; Sir Knight C. W. STRICKLAND, J.W.; Sir Knight F. W. SMITH, Prelate; Sir Knight Alfred FENWICK, Sentinel.
Knight Templar were the most celebrated and powerful of the mediŠval military orders of Christendom. Their origin dates from the early ages of the Christian Church, when a holy veneration for the scenes which had been consecrated by the Founder of our religion led thousands of pious pilgrims to visit Jerusalem, for the purpose of offering up their devotions at the sepulcher of the Lord. But when Palestine was conquered by the Arabs the dangers attending the pilgrimage were eminently increased, and to protect the pious pilgrims (in 1064 not less than seven thousand pilgrims assembled around the tomb of Christ) thus exposed to the plunder and death, a band of noble knights, who had distinguished themselves at the siege of Jerusalem, united in a brotherhood and bound themselves to protect the pilgrims through the passes and defiles of the mountains to the Holy City. The order as it now exists in the United States is a lineal descendant of the ancient order.
There are several Odd-Fellow and other lodges in the city, but we have been unable to secure a history of them.
Incorporation of New London.-New London was incorporated as a city in January, 1784, and the first meeting for the election of officers was held on the 8th of the following March, with Winthrop SALTONSTALL as moderator. The following officers were chosen: Mayor, Richard LAW; Treasurer, Guy RICHARDS; Clerk, John OWEN; Aldermen, John DESHON, David MUMFORD, Winthrop SALTONSTALL, and Thomas SHAW; City Sheriff, Col. Wm. RICHARDS. The city seal is a full-rigged ship with spread sails and the motto Mare Liberum. Richard LAW, the first mayor, continued in office twenty-two years, and Jeremiah G. BRAINARD, his successor, twenty-three years. The following is a list of their successors: Elias PERKING, Coddington BILLINGS, Noyes BILLINGS, Jirah ISHAM, Francis ALLYN, George C. WILSON, Caleb J. ALLEN, Andrew M. FRANK, J. P. C. MATHER, Andrew C. LIPPITT, Henry Pl HAVEN, Jonathan N. HARRIS, Hiram WILLEY, Frederick L. ALLEN, Augustus BRANDEGEE, Thomas M. WALLER, and Robert COIT, the present incumbent.
Schools.-The first mention in the old town-book concerning schools is under date of Dec. 14, 1698, when it was "Voated that the Town Grants one halfe peny in mony upon the List of Estate to be raised for the use of a free schoole that shall teach Children to Reade, Write, and Cypher, and ye Latin Tongue, which School shall be kept two-thirds of the yeare on East side of the river. By Reading is intended such Children as are in their psalters." In 1718 a school-house was built, twenty feet by sixteen, and seven feet between joints, expense defrayed by a town rate. This building, the first school-house in town of which we have any account, stood on what is now the southwest corner of Hempstead and Broad Streets. This spot was then the northeast corner of an ecclesiastical reservation; the street running west had not been opened beyond this point, and the school-house stood at the head of it. When the lot was sold in 1738, the deed expressly mentions that it took in the site of the old school-house. To this school it is understood that girls were not admitted promiscuously with boys, but attended by themselves on certain days of the week, an hour at a time, at the close of the boys' school for the purpose of learning to write.
"Oct. 1, 1716. Voted that Mr. Jeremiah MILLER is well accepted and approved as our School-master." Mr. MILLER graduated at Yale College in 1709. He was engaged as principal of the grammar school in New London in 1714, and continued in that situation for twelve or fifteen years. After this we find the following masters mentioned before 1750: Mr. COLE, in 1733; Allan MULLINS, 1734; Nicholas HALLAM, 1735; Jeremiah CHAPMAN, 1738; Thaddeus BETTS, 1740; Jonathan COPP, 1747.
As early as 1763, Mr. Robert BARTLET, a gentleman of handsome property but no family, bequeathed his entire estate to the town for educational purposes. For several years this estate remained in the hands of trustees. In 1678 the General Assembly passed a law requiring the maintenance of a school to teach children to read and write by every town of thirty families in the colony. In 1698 the town voted a tax for a free school to teach children reading, writing, arithmetic, and the Latin language, and in 1701 a grammar school was established, and the revenue of the BARTLET estate was directed to be used for the benefit of the poor who attended the school. In 1713 the first school-house of which there is any account was built near the present site of the house of the late Hon. H. P. HAVEN, and the school taught there was denominated the "New London Grammar School," which in after-years was changed to the "BARTLET School," or "BARTLET Grammar School." The designation "BARTLET School" was not used until a very recent period. During the whole of the eighteenth century it had no name but "New London Grammar School." The Free Grammar School, located first on Hempstead Street, was afterwards removed and placed in the highway for the convenience of the pupils. Probably not an individual now remains who attended Master OWEN's school in that low, one-story, quaint frame structure. In 1795 this was abandoned, and a large and more commodious brick building erected in the highway south of the court-house. This remained nearly forty years, and was superseded by another and more eligible edifice on Union Street. The two most noted teachers in this school were Master John OWEN and Dr. Ulysses DOW, each of whom occupied the position about forty years. Some of our present citizens will recollect the many eccentricities of Dr. DOW, and his peculiar mode of administering his various prescriptions to his pupils.
The Union School, established in 1774, was intended to furnish facilities for a thorough English education and a classical preparation for college. A building was erected for this purpose on State, near Union Street,1 [1. The present site of the CROCKER House.] the latter of which was not then opened. Its first preceptor, the lamented Nathan HALE, before alluded to, occupied it in 1775.2 [2. Still standing.] After his voluntary enlistment and appointment in the American Army, his successors were Seth WILLISTON, a graduate of Dartmouth College, who afterwards attained celebrity in the ministry; Jacob GURLEY, afterwards a lawyer of note in New London; Ebenezer LEARNED, a graduate of Yale College, then but nineteen years of age; afterwards, Knight, of the Medical College of New Haven; OLMSTEAD, of Yale; MITCHELL, of the University of North Carolina, and others who have since been men of note in the community.
The building was afterwards removed, the land on which it stood was sold, a new charter obtained, and a reorganization took place. A brick building was erected on Huntington Street, and the school flourished for a few years, but in 1850, it was discontinued and the building sold.3 [3. This is now occupied as the Bethel Church.] In 1799 a female academy was incorporated by the Legislature, and a building erected by the proprietors on Green Street. This was continued about thirty years. In 1834 a new and commodious building was erected on Broad Street, and placed under charge of Rev. Daniel HUNTINGTON, and was sustained several years under Mr. H. P. FARNSWORTH, who succeeded him. The school has since been consolidated with all the other district schools of the place, and is sustained by the town, and, under the title of the Young Ladies' High School, maintains an excellent reputation for the intelligence and proficiency of the pupils.
In 1849, Leonard BULKELEY left with trustees a large portion of his estate for purpose of founding a free school for boys, and this fund, increased by the BARTLET, with some subsequent appropriations and other additions, has given the city the fine building and excellent educational institution now occupying the old Town Square. In addition to this, the appropriations of the city for our well-conducted and flourishing district schools amount to eighteen thousand dollars annually.
The Yellow Fever.-That terrible and fatal epidemic, the yellow fever, that swept through many of our most populous cities with such fatal malignity in the autumn of 1798, fell upon New London also. Its ravages were not general throughout the town, but more particularly confined to a district about two hundred rods in extent from north to south, taking the market as a centre. The northern portion of Bank Street suffered the most severely. From the market to Golden Street, a distance of about one hundred rods, Mr. HOLT, the editor of the Bee newspaper, printed at that time, states that, except the few persons that fled at the first alarm, but two persons over twelve years of age of the regular inhabitants escaped the infection. The first case of the disease occurred in August. By the middle of October it began to abate, and by the end of the month entirely disappeared. Near four hundred cases occurred, more than ninety of which proved fatal.
The ravage of the pestilence was at last arrested by the flight of the inhabitants. The place was almost depopulated, and the adjoining towns were almost thrown into a state of alarm and consternation lest the fugitives that found shelter under their roofs should spread the infection through their families. For a few weeks silence and solitude reigned in the deserted streets. Shops were closed, the hum of industry ceased, vessels hovered far away from the harbor, countrymen avoided the place. Even the "mourners ceased to go about the streets," and the funeral rites were performed only by the sexton and his assistants. To those who remained in their houses taking care of the sick it was a sad spectacle to see the frequent hearse bearing away its burden from the door.
Yet there were cheering circumstances in the midst of this general dismay. Humanity was active, charity was open-hearted, benevolence was untiring and self forgetful. The noble members of the health committee never shrank from their duties, but spent their whole time in going from house to house to relieve and assist the sick and necessitous. Dr. S. H. P. LEE, the principal physician of the city, visited and supplied with medicine from thirty to fifty patients daily, and only omitted these services when he had himself a sever but short struggle with the disease, when the gratuitous aid of one or two country physicians in part supplied his place. It was a dreadful scourge for the city, almost entirely suspending its business during the remainder of the year. Since that period, with the exception of a few cases in 1803, this epidemic has been unknown in this place.
The Old Militia.-The following is a list of the members of the first company of infantry of the Third Regiment Connecticut State Militia in 1842. For this list we are indebted to the New London Telegram: "New London, Sept. 9, 1842.
"Sir.-You are hereby directed to give legal warning to all the members of the First Company of Infantry, Third Regiment Connecticut State Militia, to appear armed and equipped, as the law directs, at the store of Anson CHASE, in Golden Street, on Saturday, the 24th day of September, A.D. 1842, at ten o'clock P.M. precisely, for inspection and drill, preparatory to regimental review, and make due return of this order on or before the 20th day of September.
"Also, in pursuance of an order from the colonel of the Third Regiment (Orrin F. SMITH), you are commanded to give legal warning to all the members of said company to appear armed and equipped, as the law directs, near the Presbyterian meeting-house, in the town of Lyme, on Thursday, the 6th day of October, A.D. 1842, at seven o'clock A.M., for regimental inspection, review, and exercise, and make due return of this order on or before the 3d day of October.
"Also, to notify all persons residing in the town of New London between the ages of sixteen and eighteen of their enrollment in the First Company of Infantry, Third Regiment, and make due return of this order on or before the 3d day of October.
"Charles E. HOLT, "Captain First Company of Infantry, to "W. M. SMITH, "O. S. of said Company." "New London, Sept. 20, 1842.
"Sir-In consequence of an order from you, I give legal warning to the following persons named to appear as per militia order.
"(Attest) "Wm. M. SMITH, "O. S. First Comp., Third Regt., Third Brigade, Conn. State Militia, "To Charles E. HOLT, "Capt. First Comp., Third Regt., Third Brigade, Conn. State Militia.
"Sergeants, Franklin POTTER, Henry BISHOP, Wm. B. KIRBY, Wm. BRIGGS, Samuel BARRY, John MCKEELER, John FRINK, Daniel B. HEMPSTEAD, John YOUNG; Corporals, Julius T. SHEPARD, Nathaniel RICHARDS, David LYSCOM, Ephraim CORDNER; Drum, Lucius SPERRY; Fife, John C. DANIELS, John MATTOON; Privates, Thomas RILEY, John MCMORAN, Leonard MCMORAN, James MCMORAN, John T. NICHOLS, David CORNALD, James WILLIS, Joseph ANDERSON, Andrew LAWRENCE, Wm. BISHOP, Abram ANDERSON, Joseph RICHARDS, Charles BOLLES, Wm. W. GREEN, James AUSTIN, Isaac CHAMPLIN, James FENNER, Henry MANNING, George RATHBONE, Lyman WADE, Joseph BAILEY, Samuel LLOYD, Franklin CORNELL, Jared SMITH, Christopher PRINCE, George T. SHEPARD, Wm. STARR, Daniel STARR, Henry HAGAN, T. D. RUDDOCK, Moses DARROW, George P. ROGERS, Wm. B. MCEWEN, James B. HUBBARD, Wm. NORTH, Charles AMES, Luther P. FISHER, Sabin P. SMITH, Stephen BABCOCK, Henry BILL, George DARROW, Albert A. GILLOTT, Lathrop BOYINGTON, James GREENFIELD, John BRANDEGEE, Stephen BUDDINGTON, Perry Green TURNER, Allen PENDLETON, Wm. BOYINGTON, Adam F. PRENTISS, Daniel AYRES, James CROCKER, Mr. CLAFLYN, Elias PERKINS (2), John AMES, John DOUGLASS, Calvin COLVERT, Franklin SKINNER, Alexander SKINNER, James SWEET, Franklin BEEBE, Edwin LAMPHERE, Joseph BISHOP, Franklin GRESON, Gad SMITH, Jacob A. GEER, David WALKER, Charles DENNIS, Ebenezer PAYNE, Nemiah SMITH, Joseph CRUMB, Mr. SWAIN, John FENNEL, John WARREN, John LEWIS, Charles POLLARD, Nelson BALDWIN, Gurdon SMITH, Ezra VERGASON, James MILLER, Wm. B. TATE, Wm. E. PECKHAM, Martin K. CADY, Ansyl CADY, Washington SMITH, C. L. DABOLL, John BROWNELL, Franklin PRESTON, Mr. HOLDRIDGE, Joseph BEEBE, Goodley E. GODFREY, Charles HEMPSTEAD, Leander R. WILLIAMS, Thomas PRENTIS, George HOLMES, Paul A. C. ROGERS, Joshua WHEELER, William CHAPLAIN, Matthew SAUNDERS, Wm. BOLTON, Jr., Jared CHAPPEL, Franklin ROGERS, Mr. LEEDS, Wm. S. WILEY, Edward GARDNER, William MALONEY (2), Elisha FORSYTH, Joseph CHAPMAN, Albert WHIPPLE, Jason BECKWITH, David MAYNARD, Mr. OSBORN, James LAWSON, Miroch BECKWITH, Marvin AMES, Richard FENGAR, William CLARK, Ebenezer ALLEN, John L. CROCKER, Hamilton DANIELS, Henry SMITH, Walter FRENCH, Matthew STILLMAN, President M. ROGERS, Joseph ROGERS, Mr. TUCKER, Thomas M. GINLEY, Asa DAVIS, Chauncey BEECH, Nathan BEELE, Shaw PERKINS, Syral HUGHES, Lewis WILSON, James NICHOLS, Franklin MOORE, Charles ARMSTRONG, Joseph HOWARD, Henry BARKER, Samuel HURLBUT, Jr., Ephraim H. GOFF, John CRYSTAL, Joseph GRAY, John DEARBORN, Francis FOX, Acore SMITH, John SHELLEY, Ebenezer H. WATROUS, Stephen BROWN, Samuel LEPARD, George LEARNED, George COBB, Raymond PENHALLOW, Jr., Charles SQUIRES, Levi TEFT, Orlando ROGERS, James ROGERS, Erastus HUNTLEY, William ROGERS, Mr. TREAT, Mr. STRONG, Richard CROSS, John BULKELY, David HUTCHINSON, Oliver W. ARMSTRONG, John MAYNARD, Caleb KENYON, Caleb BURROWS, William WILSON, William H. CLARK, William BERRY, George STILLMAN, Charles DARROW, James HALL, Oliver SISSON, Benjamin ADAMS, Gurdon JEFFREY, Daniel W. WHIPPLE." "State of Connecticut, "County of New London.
"Be it known, That on the 20th day of September and the 3d day of October, 1842, personally appeared William M. SMITH, and made oath in due form of law that the persons above named were duly warned by him as directed, by leaving a true and attested copy of the original order at their usual place of abode.
"Sworn and subscribed, the day and year mentioned, before me.
"(Attest) "Charles E. HOLT, "Capt. First Comp., Third Regt. Conn. State Militia." City Hall.-The hall of records, completed in 1856, under the supervision of a judicious committee appointed by the town, is a neat and substantial structure, fifty-two by fifty-four feet n size, built of polished freestone, and occupies a very eligible position on the corner of State and Union Streets. The basement affords ample accommodations for the post office in all its departments. The first story, approached by an easy flight of freestone steps, is occupied for the Probate and Police Courts, the office of the water commissioners, and the recorder's office. The other apartments are the very convenient and well-arranged Common Council rooms, occupying the third story, and other public offices. The cost of the building and lot was thirty-three thousand dollars.
Burial-Grounds.-The first burial-place in the town, and the oldest in the county, occupied a plot north of the "meeting-house on the hill." This ancient place of sepulture is still preserved, and its mossy headstones1 [1. A few years since the city authorities built a new wall of inclosure and replaced and reset the fallen headstones, and in a measure renovated this ancient burial-ground.] and crumbling tablets are regarded with deep interest by many of our citizens. The spot will long remain sacred as the peaceful resting-place of the early honored and revered dead of the colony.
The second burial-ground was purchased by tax on the ratable estate of the citizens, and opened in 1793. For several years it was the principal place of interment in the town. Here originally were deposited the remains of Bishop SEABURY, Gen. Jedediah HUNTINGTON, Hon. Richard LAW, Hon. Lyman LAW, Gen. BURBECK, Capt. Elisha HINMAN, Capt. N. FODIC, John F. C. BRAINARD, the lamented poet, and many others of equal note; the most of these, however, have since been removed to Cedar Grove Cemetery, and interments here are now discontinued.
The third ground is located in the outskirts of the city, and is still occupied as a family burial-place.
Cedar Grove Cemetery, about one mile from the city limits, is now the present principal hallowed place of sepulture. This pleasant and retired location was purchased and consecrated to its sacred use in 1851. Its natural beauty, commanding prospect, sequestered dell, quiet lakelet, and shadowing evergreens all combine to render it a most appropriate and hallowed spot, where the loved and departed may peacefully rest beneath its quiet shades. The many monumental tributes of affections, beautiful in design and rich in architectural adornment, already erected give ample evidence of the strong hold that this sacred "garden of the dead" has upon the affections of the inhabitants.
Manufactories.-The manufacturing companies of New London consist mainly of the Albertson & Douglas Machine Company, now Occupying their extensive works on Main Street, and doing a large business in boilers and steamboat machinery and machine-work generally. The Brown Cotton-Gin Company, on Shaw's Neck, incorporated in 1869, engaged exclusively in the cotton-gin business, and noted as turning out some of the most perfect and beautiful gins in the country. The Wilson Manufacturing Company, having a capital of one hundred thousand dollars, with extensive works occupying two full city blocks in the heart of the city, are engaged largely in the manufacture of mowing-machines, brass-work, tools, and other implements.
The Brainerd and Armstrong Company, silk manufacturers, located at No. 1 Water Street, was organized under the laws of the State of Connecticut, Sept. 22, 1879, with a capital of sixty thousand dollars, all paid in, contributed by James P. BRAINERD (of Hartford, Conn.), Benjamin A. ARMSTRONG (of New London), and Leonard O. SMITH (of Philadelphia), in equal sums of twenty thousand dollars. The officers since the date of organization are James P. BRAINERD, president; L. O. SMITH, vice-president; Benjamin A. ARMSTRONG, treasurer. The annual production is valued at three hundred thousand dollars; hand employed at New London, Conn., one hundred and twenty-five. This company is also interested in silk manufacturing at Florence and Leeds, Mass. They have salesrooms, etc., at 469 Broadway, New York; 238 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa.; 35 Sharp Street, Baltimore, Md.; and 4 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Acid Pump and Syphon Company is located in Bank Street, and manufacture Nichols' acid pumps.
The Livesey Manufacturing Company is a new firm engaged in the manufacture of steel-roller bushings and cast-iron sheaves.
Arlo ATWOOD & Son, formerly engaged in making silk-twist, now making trams and organzines.
The Quinnebaug Fertilizer Company is also doing a large business. In addition to the above is the immense establishment of C. D. BOSS & Son (see biography of C. D. BOSS), cracker manufacturers, and the New London Woolen-Mills.
GAS.-The New London Gas Company was incorporated in April, 1853, with a capital of seventy thousand dollars, and the privilege of increasing the same to one hundred thousand dollars. The company obtained from the city exclusive privilege for fifteen years on condition of furnishing fifty lamp-posts and supplying the city with gas at two dollars and fifty cents and individuals four dollars per thousand feet, the price afterwards to be modified according to circumstances.
Water-Works.-In its supply of water for the city for all purposes New London surpasses most New England towns. An act of the General Assembly, passed at the May session in 1871, "To provide the city of New London with pure and wholesome water," was promptly carried into effect by a city appropriation of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in bonds and the appointment of an efficient Board of Commissioners, composed of William H. BARNS, J. T. SHEPARD, Charles M. DABOLL, J. C. LEARNED, and R. H. CHAPELL. Lake Konomoc, a beautiful sheet of water about six miles distant from the city, with about ninety acres of the adjoining lands, was purchased, a massive and substantial dam of earth, concrete, and mason-work constructed, raising the water ten feet above its natural level, and enlarging the lake to two hundred acres, insuring a most abundant supply of water at all times for the city. The works were designed by J. T. FANNING, consulting engineer, and built under the direction of W. H. RICHARDS, civil engineer, who has ever since been in charge. As a bountiful supply for the city for the next half-century it may be said to be inexhaustible. Lake Komomoc's estimated capacity is 600,000,000 gallons; its annual supply is 530,286,000 gallons, or 50 gallons per day each for 29,000 persons. It has a head of from eighty to one hundred ns seventy feet, rendering the city steam fire-engines entirely useless.