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 XVIII, PART A.
Hon. Henry P. HAVEN .-Henry Philemon Haven3 was born in Norwich Town, Conn., Feb. 11, 1815. The house stands a quarter of a mile from the First Congregational church, which was organized in 1660. In his veins ran the blood of a Puritan ancestry. His father, Philemon HAVEN, was the grandson of the minister at Wrentham, Mass. Large, portly, handsome, affable, and generous, he was the plain progenitor of one side of the character of his remarkable son. Mrs. Fanny MANWARING (CAULKINS) HAVEN, Henry's mother impressed herself no less unmistakably on the other side. Left a widow for the second time in 1819, the woman of forty-three moulded the boy of four in her own likeness. From her he drew energy, industry, purity, intelligence, inventiveness, domesticity, patriotism, and piety. Under he wing Henry learned how to work. She led him to the font, taught him to sew, kept him indoors after dark, cherished his affection for his little sister. The boy was encouraged to study. He founded a juvenile anti-swearing society. On his brother Robert's leaving home at fifteen, Henry, then eight years old, was ready to keep the garden, already planted. Habits of early rising and unvarying truthfulness became fixed. His teachers at public and select school saw in him a determination to do his best. In rain and shine he was a punctual attendant on the Sunday-school. Thus the course of the boy's Norwich life gilded on fifteen bright years in a frugal hone, and every ripple of it beat with his father's sweetness and his mother's force.
In 1830, Mrs. HAVEN moved to New London. The immediate cause was the appointment of her daughter, Miss Frances Manwaring CAULKINS, to be principal of the female academy in that city. Talking with Robert, who had now ended his Stonington life, he said he didn't know anybody and was homesick. When the boat took the elder brother off he looked back and saw Henry sitting on the wharf crying! Would he have wept could he have known that he was to fit his own vessels from that very wharf as a man? He must soon have brushed away his tears at least. Maj. Thomas W. WILLIAMS was a prominent and philanthropic merchant in New London. Why not apply to him for a place? Without consulting even his mother, he rings the bell and asks if Maj. WILLIAMS wants a boy. "No, no; I don't want any boy," is the gruff answer. He turns to go. His face pleads for him. "Stop! What is your name? Where do you live? Come to the office to-morrow and see if you can find anything to do," is the beginning of his brilliant life in a great whaling-house known all over the world. Ninety dollars was to be his wages the first year. For about one dollar and seventy-five cents a week, or thirty cents a day, Henry made himself to useful he could not be spared. In less than three year, on the book-keeper's resignation, the lad of eighteen applied for the place. "You are too young." "Try me." An the stout-hearted youth did boy's and book-keeper's work together, staying at the store till two A.M. on one occasion and returning at four A.M., till the yearly balance-sheet in January was drawn more easily than ever before. Such ardor and fidelity won. Book-keeper at eighteen, he became confidential clerk at twenty-one, with a salary of five hundred dollars. His Christian employer does not trust him less because he chooses Christian young men for his comrades, and adds to his method, thoroughness, and probity a public confession of Christ in the Second Congregational Church in June, 1835.
In 1838, at the age of twenty-three, Mr. HAVEN became a partner where eight years before he had begun a boy. Maj. WILLIAMS' subsequent service in Congress withdrew his own name from the firm. In 1846 the name ceased to be HAVEN & SMITH and became WILLIAMS & HAVEN, and then WILLIAMS, HAVEN & Co. For nearly forty years the subject of this sketch showed here the qualities of a rare man of affairs. The clerks in his office might think him despotic, but he knew that obedience was the secret of order. Customers might call him hard in bargaining, but he had it for a principle to save that which was least in trade. Acquaintances were sometimes offended at his curt manner when interrupted in his correspondence, but it was the concentration of a strong mind in one channel which wrought out his dispatch. His vast business was pigeon-holed in his brain. Now he was inventive, sending out the first steam-whaler, and from one such voyage, with an outfit of forty thousand dollars, secured after fifteen months a cargo of oil and bone valued at one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Then he was enterprising, establishing a colony of Kanakas at the guano islands in the West Pacific, and opening European as well as American markets, till seventy thousand tons had been shipped. Yet again he was singularly alert and sagacious. In midwinter, the moment the telegram came that Alaska was ceded, he hurried his able and trusty partner, Mr. R. H. CHAPELL, with an experienced and valued captain, Ebenezer MORGAN, to Honolulu, pushing on and out to St. Paul's Island to raise the first American flag and ship forty-five thousand seal-skins to England. IN one part of the world he manifested great caution and thoroughness, as in the charts he had drawn of Kerguelen's Land, which enabled the government expedition to observe the transit of Venus in 1874. In another part of the world he displayed great breadth and liberality, as in the standing orders to his whaling captains to take up and set down the Artic explorers at any point desired by them, and to supply them freely with any stores they needed.
In all the departments of his world-wide ventures Mr. HAVEN was the master not the slave ob business. He had a keen insight into men, and moulded many a captain and sailor for great explorations. He could unbend from the most perplexing negotiations for a chat with a pastor. He could bear losses smilingly. He could scatter gains munificently. With a physique more robust in mid-life than the promise of youth, and a passion for system and toil, he carried others' burdens without changing. He was a bank director and president who looked at the books. He was an administrator of estates requiring exceptional ability. He was president of the New London Northern Railroad Company when a less clear-headed and strong-willed executive might have wrecked it. The young men he trained for mercantile life admired his ease no less than his energy. His executor tells the writer that in all the questions arising since his death never has the paper, or letter, or note been wanting to make everything clear. In him were blended precision and grasp, a poised judgment and a boundless energy seen only in the merchant princes of mankind. The metropolitan bankers and merchants were amazed to find so large a man in so small a town. He had a philosophy of business which was as deep as its lines were wife, its methods swift, and its spirit just.
Feb. 23, 1840, at the age of twenty-five, Mr. HAVEN married Miss Elizabeth Lucas DOUGLAS, of Waterford. Already his mother, after several years' absence in Norwich, had returned to New London, and beneath her roof the young couple began their married life. The 30th of April, 1842, Elizabeth, his youngest sister, and the school-girl friend of his wife at Mount Holyoke, died of consumption. That year of sorrow saw its own joy. Before it ended Mr. HAVEN was living in his own home, where wife and mother and his two half-sisters, the Misses CAULKINS, had each their own niche. Here four children were born to him. Here for eighteen years Mr. Richard CHAPELL, afterwards his partner, came and went like a son. No one ever forgot that charmed circle. Punctuality and geniality reigned supreme. The broad face beamed as the verses were recited by each member round the breakfast-table. The hearty laugh rang out at the clerical or denominational sparring in the drawing-room. He brought sunshine with his entrance, with flowers for his mother, with books for his sister, and a picnic for the little folks, with a drive for his beloved wife. The winning tones of his voice made him a delightful talker on a wide range of topics. Thus he refreshed his sympathetic nature after toil at the fountain of love. Men were drawn to him by his patient and tender affectionateness, his provision of intellectual life, his reverence for age, his fellowship with youth irradiating and sanctifying his home. Shadows fell there. The death of his mother, 1854, of his accomplished and lamented half-sister in 1869, his eldest son, Thomas, in 1870, in the morning glow of manly and mercantile partnership, of his comparable wife, fading like the leaf in 1874, spite of care and tears, and scarcely outside his door, of his partners, senior and junior, and his son-in-law, mellowed with a sunset hue the light they could not quench.
Mr. HAVEN seldom spoke of his own meager school advantages, but he did everything that poor children might have better ones. From 1856 till the day of his death he was the chairman of the New London Board of Visitors. In that capacity he at once secured new text-books and more stringent rules for attendance than were known in the former unconsolidated schools. He founded evening schools for those who could not be present at the day schools. He had sole charge of the examination of teachers. If an applicant was not punctual at the appointed hour, no excuse could induce him to rob another of the ensuing hour fixed in his diary. What was his recreation? "Visiting schools" says his executor, to whom I have referred. A more regular and conscientious visitor there could not be. His mathematical questions stimulated the minds of the pupils. His genial stories swayed their manners in the direction of courtesy. What many parents neglect-plain lessons on boyish purity-he attended to with individual scholars in private. At declamation and graduation exercises he was wont to mark each participant. To his rigor at examination he added sympathy for teachers in that work. He honored their calling as a noble one, and they learned to honor it after him. It was his custom to welcome them as a body under his hospitable roof, to meet his colleagues in the city and on the State Board of Education once a year. There the faculty of the State Normal School, of which he was from the first a most efficient trustee and friend, and other distinguished educators were brought in elevating and delightful contact with the teachers of the public schools. With representatives of that State Board he cheerfully and repeatedly canvassed the State on behalf of popular education. His love of historic lore made him thus founder of the New London County Historical Society. His broad and ardent interests in national culture lifted him to the presidency of the American College and Education Society, 1875, as the successor of Hon. William A. BUCKINGHAM. Nay, secretly, he had been an education society himself. He loved to aid worthy young men from the forge or farm to the university, and thence to the Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, or Congregational teaching of the Book of Books. Of these over sixty are known. They were equipped with the best mental and moral furnishing by this born educator,-an educator who as a very little child had visits from a maiden Massachusetts aunt, who used to pray over him and dedicate him to the ministry as they retired to their common chamber. It is gratifying to think how in this respect his commanding public influence is to be perpetuated in the Haven Memorial Library, opposite to the home of Maj. WILLIAMS, his first employer, and C. A. WILLIAMS, the honored son of the same. There the children of all classes and races, who cordially and respectfully saluted him on the streets, will have access to volumes such as his ample brain craved, and motives to usefulness such as his noble life preached.
Already the public spirit of the man has come out to the reader of the foregoing lines. In town-meeting you were also sure to find him defending his darling schools against narrow-minded tax-payers. Some of these addresses were models of persuasiveness in statement and in appeal. The Street came determined to reduce appropriations; they went, having voted them. In 1852 Mr. HAVEN was elected mayor. Says one of his Council, "He was easy and affable in presiding, prompt and efficient in executing plans for the common weal." The same year he went to the General Assembly as representative, acquiring the knowledge and experience which enabled him later to secure the school law already mentioned. When, under his successor in the mayoralty, Hon. J. H. HARRIS, the war of the Rebellion broke out, Mr. HAVEN was among the foremost with voice and purse. His mother was born in 1776. She had been carried out of town when Benedict ARNOLD, the traitor, burnt it, and had never forgotten how the British bayonets glittered in the September sun. From her Mr. HAVEN learned loyalty, and in his conversations with his Sunday-school class and his contributions for raising regiments and the Christian Commission did all that in him lay to secure men and means for preserving the nation's life. Thanks to his public spirit, vessels loaded with stones were brought and sunk in Charleston Harbor. In 1872 he was Presidential elector for Connecticut of Gen. U. S. GRANT, the embodiment of that victorious struggle with secession. The ensuing year the Republican party names him over Hon. H. B. HARRISON, of New Haven, its candidate for Governor. Local pride and disaffection in New Haven defeated him for this his office, which his commercial and educational experience, his practical wisdom and great executive force, his winning address and eloquence so peculiarly fitted him to fill. The defeat was a bitter blow. But to the day of his death Mr. HAVEN remained none the less a broad, active, patriotic citizen, serving the community and commonwealth without stint and without spot. "He was able to do the work of four men; he tried to do the work of seven," was said of him by his pastor, the late Rev. O. E. DAGGETT, D.D., at the obsequies of the wise, upright, humane, incorruptible, indefatigable toiler for country and for God. What he said of the dead Governor BUCKINGHAM, the friend he had seconded and inspirited in the dark days of the war, might then well have been said of himself, "Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel."
Mr. HAVEN was an eminently religious man. He was early impressed by his mother's dedication of him in baptism to her covenant God. The conversion of Miss CAULKINS in 1831, emerging from a deep sense of sin and need of Christ to the light and peace of the new life, touched the boy of sixteen to the quick. He received a note in which was the single word eternity. That mighty thought was with him till he found and confessed the everlasting Son of the Father. But doubt succeeded faith. He went to the superintendent of the Sunday-school and laid bare his hear. "Go to work," was the counsel received. "Where?" "In Waterford," was the reply. "A man is coming in to get some one to start a Sunday school there this very day."
In Waterford, therefore, he began to conduct that Gilead Sunday-school, which was his joy and crown for forty years. To-day a tasteful chapel marks the spot where the young soldier of the cross began the good fight against rum and unbelief. By his invitation perseverance and heroic faith he won more than a hundred souls as trophies of his Redeemer. So tenderly did he plead with little children to accept Christ that one young woman, once hearing him through the partition, saw the glory of God and surrendered herself to His service.
In his admirable volume, "A Model Superintendent," Henry Class TRUMBULL has portrayed Mr. HAVEN's originality in this rural school. What manner of man was he who, unaided and uneducated, established a uniform lesson and a teachers' meeting from the start? His thoroughness crystallized in records, his reverence breathed out in the exercises of worship. There his liturgical fondness-the heritage, perhaps, of the English gentry of Chester-showed itself in Psalms printed expressly for responsive reading. There is Puritan tenacity kept open the school, four miles away, in the dead of winter, though but one teacher and two scholars should attend. Side by side with the Gilead School, Mr. HAVEN carried on the school of the Second Congregational Church from 1858, inspiring all its exercises and membership with his own energy, breadth, order, courtesy, cheerfulness, and charity.
In teachers' Institutes and in international Conventions his love of God's Word and his zeal for Christ's little ones became known. As the first member from the Congregational body on the Committee for the International Lesson, he won the admiration and affection of his associates for his devout regard for inspired truth and his gentle deference to views at variance with his own. Traveling in the railcar at hone, or seated on the banks of beautiful lakes abroad, his familiarity with and delight in Holy Scripture were traits of his single-minded, pure-hearted, rock-ribbed piety. He could recite whole chapters of the Bible by heart. He wrote down every text preached from his pastor.
Mr. HAVEN was a Christian who, like his Master, "went about doing good." You marked the absence of even a mild selfishness. He would travel one hundred miles to attend a merely formal meeting of some trust fund. He refused to have wine on his table when it was prescribed by a physician, and turned down his glass at a dinner on the Pacific coast, were drinking customs were wellnigh universal. He was a friend to the school-boy black and ragged, to the clerk needing capital and cheer, to the widow unable to bury her beloved dead, to the seamen exposed to perils of body, property, and soul. He began the day with secret prayer in his watch-house, looking out on sea and sky. Even so frankly and grandly looked out his whole consistent Christian life as a steward of God's grace to men. As a vice-president of the American Bible Society, he planned to introduce the Russian Bible into Alaska. As a corporate member of the American Board, he bestowed the wisest thought and the most self-sacrificing patience on the problem of the world's redemption. To see him in the prayer-meeting or at the communion-table you would say, "Here is a pillar of the church, a deacon of honest report, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." He was a planet, not a meteor. A heaven-born tack and tenderness made him a fisher of men, both young and old. To see him in the community or in the conference you would say, "Here is a pattern of philanthropy, a mine of benevolence, pouring forth without ostentation and without weariness, even to the third of his income, a systematic stream of tribute to his fellow-men." Said an eminent lawyer, "His will was unique, perpetuating giving, the effort of a man after death to let his works follow him, crystallizing in legal phraseology the very heart of the gospel of the Son of Man." Said a fellow-officer of the church, "He was a model to us all in faith, hope, and charity." Faults he had, and lamented. Enemies might call him proud, opinionated, arbitrary, domineering, for a leonine temperament and a commanding personality are not slain by grace. But his fellow-citizens in city and State, now that he is gone, are beginning to recognize the quality and the reach of his Christian intellect, the sweetness and loveliness of his Christian affections, the magnitude and minuteness of his Christian service up to the hour when, suddenly, in the morning of the Lords' day, April 30, 1876, the could received him out of their sight.
Wednesday afternoon, May 3d, Mr. HAVEN's funeral took place at the Second Congregational church. The members of the Sunday-schools assembled at two and a half P.M. in the chapel which he had planned. Then they filed into the church, leaving the desk bound with sheaves. Through the opened doors waiting crowds surged in till every part of the house not specially reserved was thronged. The relatives then entered, preceded by Dr. DAGGETT, pastor, and Dr. G. Buckingham WILCOX, the former pastor. Following them walked the physicians in attendance, the pall-bearers, and the body-bearers,--the latter of the scholars of Mr. HAVEN's class. On the plate of the walnut casket was the simple inscription, "Henry P. HAVEN, aged 61." "Rest" was the message in the violets of a pillow; "Faithful unto Death" was that of a floral Bible. The pew of the departed was draped with black. His seat next the aisle held a sheaf of wheat and a sickle.
The great congregation listened then to the chant, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." The Scripture lesson began with "But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept." Choir and Sunday-schools gave responsively the psalm of Moses, the man of God. The pastor reviewed Mr. HAVEN's career in tender and discriminating words, portraying his rare service in home and school, in commerce and education, in church and State, in life and death. Over the peaceful face he then prayed for the circle of mourners on sea and land. The hymn "Forever with the Lord" ended the service. At the grave, under a cloudy sky, the sympathizing throng sand "I know the promises of God lie open in His word." After the benediction the Sunday-school children passed round the grave, throwing in little bouquets.
His funeral, like his death, was one he would have chosen. It was from the church of granite to associated with his property and prayer. It was amid the tears and tributes of old friends and young, sorrowing that they should see his face no more. It was to the grove of cedars, where lay the sleeping dust of dear ones gone before, in the sure hope, with them, of the resurrection at the last day.
[3. By Rev. J. P. TAYLOR.]
Frances Manwaring CAULKINS, second child of Joshua CAULKINS and Fanny MANWARING, was born in New London, April 26, 1795. On the maternal side the ancestry of Miss CAULKINS can also be traced back to the first settlers of the country. In England the family have long been prominent, with many titles and large landed estates. Sir Ranulphus de MAINWARING, or, as the name was then spelt. MESNILWARIN, was justice of Chester in the reign of Richard I. (1189-1199). Sir William MAINWARING was killed in the streets of Chester, defending it for the king, Oct. 9, 1644. Sir Henry MAINWARING, who died in 1797, among other large estates possessed the manor of Peover, the seat of his ancestors, which is one of the estates described in the Doomsday survey as belonging to Ranulphus. In the church at Over Peover are several monuments, with arms and numerous implements of the MAINWARINGS, among them an alter-tomb to Randal MAINWARING, who died in 1456, and to Margery, his wife. Over Peover was the residence of the family for thirty generations. In 1615, "Sir Henry MAINWARING was at Newfoundland with five good ships."
The first record relating to the MANWARINGS in this country of which we have knowledge bears date Nov. 3, 1664, when Joshua RAYMOND purchased house, home-lot, and other land in New London belonging to "Mr. William THOMSON, missionary to the Indians near New London," for Oliver MANWARING, his brother-in-law.
Whether Oliver MANWARING had then just arrived or had previously been an inhabitant of the colony is unknown. His wife was Hannah, the daughter of Richard RAYMOND, who was made a freeman of Salem, Mass., 1634, afterwards removed to Norwalk, and thence in 1664 to Saybrook. Hannah was baptized at Salem, February, 1643. The date of their marriage is unknown. She united with Mr. BRADSTREET's church in New London in 1671, and four of their children, all daughters, were baptized September 10th in that year. They had ten children. Oliver MANWARING died Nov. 3, 1723, nearly ninety years of age. Hannah died Dec. 18, 1717, aged seventy-four. His will was dated March 15, 1721, and all his children were living at that time. He bequeathed to his grandson, John RICHARDS, among other things "that bond which I had from my nephew, Oliver MANWARING, in England." The MANWARINGS who settled in the vicinity of New London are said to have been noted for sanguine temperament, resolution, impetuosity, and a certain degree of obstinacy. They were lovers of discussion and good cheer. A florid complexion, piercing black eyes, and dark hair were personal traits, which are still represented in their descendants.
During the year 1806, Miss CAULKINS became the pupil of Rev. Joshua WILLIAMS, who taught a select school for young ladies on the green in Norwich Town, and though only eleven years of age, she appreciated and improved the advantages enjoyed under this excellent teacher. He was an accomplished Christian gentleman of fine tastes and literary culture, and she always retained the pleasantest recollections of him, and, indeed, revered his memory. As an illustration of that untiring industry and love for valuable information which characterized her entire life, we may mention that while attending this school, and before she had entered her twelfth year, she patiently wrote out from memory a volume of educational lectures as they were delivered from week to week. The elements of science which she acquired at this time were the foundation of all her future knowledge and attainments in literature; for, with occasional opportunities of instruction from the best teachers, she was yet in a great measure self-taught, and when once aided in the rudiments of a study or language would herself make all the progress she desired. Se was an insatiable reader, and it might almost be said that when she was very young she devoured every book that came within her reach. While she enjoyed fiction and works of a lighter character, her taste for solid reading was early developed, and at eleven years of age she was familiar with the English translation of the Iliad and Odyssey, and the thoughts of the standard English writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries entered into and gave a cast to her expanding mind. The germ of the strong love for historical literature which characterized her later life was seen occasionally in her early years. At one time, when only about ten years old, she was missed while visiting at the house of a relative, and after much search was found seated on an unused loom in the garret, deeply absorbed in the reading the history of Connecticut. As might be expected, such a young person was a great favorite, not only among her juvenile acquaintances, but with older persons, who could appreciate her talents and maturity of mind. Often would her young friends gather around her and beg her to tell them a story; and then, with a sweet and animated countenance, she would commence the recital of some tale of romantic interest, reproduced perhaps from her reading, or not unfrequently drawn from her own imagination. These recitals carried captive her youthful audience, and invariably won their admiration, and frequently their boisterous applause.
In 1811 and '12, Miss Nancy M. HYDE and Miss Lydia HUNTLEY, afterwards Mrs. SIGOURNEY, were teaching a young ladies' school in Norwich, and she enjoyed the superior advantages thus afforded for a time, entering their school in September, 1811. A book written in that school and preserved by her contains her first composition; the subject was "Antiquities." These ladies were both persons of superior literary taste and culture, and doubtless exercised a very favorable influence on her mind. Miss HUNTLEY removed to Hartford in 1815, and married Mr. Charles SIGOURNEY, June 16, 1819, and until her death, June 10, 1865, remained a very warm friend and frequent correspondent of Miss CAULKINS. Miss HYDE died March 26, 1816. A volume of her letters, etc., published after her death, contains a poetical tribute to her memory from her former pupil.
Frances evinced a remarkable aptitude for the acquisition of languages. She enjoyed the advantage of instruction only a short time, but with patient private study she acquired a thorough knowledge of Latin, and was able to read and teach both that language and the French with facility and acceptance. She spent some time in the family of Rev. Levi NELSON, of Lisbon, in 1825, for the special purpose of advancing her knowledge of Latin, and took lessons in the French language of M. ROUX, a native and accomplished teacher of that tongue, who then resided in Norwich. Later in life, while living in New York, she pursued the study of German, and under the instructions of MARONCELLI, an eminent political exile, gained such a knowledge of Italian as enabled her to read Dante and Tasso in the original.
Never having been permitted to look upon the face of her own father, her knowledge of parental affection came only through her step-father, and to him she was tenderly and deservedly attached, and her affection was thoroughly reciprocated. His death, which took place Nov. 12, 1819, left her mother again a widow, with three young children and limited means. Having before this been occasionally employed in teaching small schools, Frances now determined to support herself, and if necessary aid her mother. On the 4th of January, 1820, she opened a select school for young ladies in Norwich Town. As her talent for teaching was developed her scholars increased, and the school acquired an excellent reputation, and was well sustained for nine year. In 1829 she accepted an invitation fro the trustees of the female academy at New London to take charge of that institution. She was invited back to Norwich City, or Chelsea, as it was then called, in 1832, and was principal of the academy there, with a large number of pupils, until the close of the year 1834, when she relinquished finally the duties of a teacher.
During these fifteen years she had under her charge nearly four hundred different young ladies, many of whom are still living and retain a very pleasant remembrance of their school-days and a strong personal attachment to their instructor. Among her pupils were the lamented wives of Senators Jabez HUNTINGTON and William A. BUCKINGHAM, and three daughters of Charles LATHROP, afterwards missionaries to Indian. Very many of her pupils became themselves teachers, and others, as wives of clergymen and lay-men in positions of respectability and honor, have so conducted themselves that, as a teacher, we may say of her, in the words of Scripture, "Let her own works praise her."
The year following the close of her school she spent in visiting her friends and in recreation. In the spring of 1836 she went to New York, and resided in the family of her cousin, David H. NEVINS, until May, 1842, when she removed to New London, and found home in the family of the late Henry P. HAVEN, where she remained until the day of her death.
She early manifested an unusual talent for versification, as well as for prose writing, and although encouraged by the advice and approbation of friends, she declined to thrust herself forward into notice by offering the productions of her pen to the public prints. Among her manuscripts are many fugitive pieces of poetry without date, but evidently written in early life. The first, in apparently the oldest book, is entitled the "Indian Harp," and would do credit to her later year. The fourth in order in this book is a long poem on "Thanksgiving," and the only one dated. This is stated to have been written in 1814. One earlier piece only has been found, and that is on a loose sheet, dated Oct. 26, 1813, and entitled "The Geranium's Complaint."
A considerable portion of the time from 1812 to 1819, while her mother resided in Norwich, she spent pleasantly in the family of her uncle, Christopher MANWARING, at New London. He had recently erected a fine mansion on the beautiful grounds which he had inherited from his ancestors, and was a gentleman of literary taste and cultivation. He was a great admirer of POPE, JOHNSON, and the old English authors. He had a good library, and being of kind and winning manners, it is not strange that a strong mutual attachment grew up between them, and that he became very fond of the society of his niece and proud of her talents. He was a great friend of MADISON and an early admirer of Gen. JACKSON. The first of her writings now known to have been printed appeared in the Connecticut Gazette, April 17, 1816, addressed to the hero of New Orleans. The contributor acknowledges that he stole it from the "fair tyro," and no author's name is attached.
Her contributions to the local papers of New London have been very numerous, and with any striking event in the domestic history of the place, or with the decease of an aged or distinguished persons, its citizens were sure to be favored with an interesting article, in which passing events were so interwoven with previous history as to command the attention of all classes of readers. During the past twenty years quite a number of inhabitants of this city have been able to notice the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage. She was sure to be a welcome guest at all such gatherings, and her congratulatory lines were ever regarded as a golden present. Holding the pen of a ready writer, choice thoughts flowed in chaste and beautiful words, whether n prose or poetry, and it is not too much to say that only her own modesty and humility prevented her from coming before the world and claiming a position among the distinguished writers of the day.
It will be proper, in this connection, to speak of her published works and contributions to the religious and historical literature of the country. During her residence in New York she was intimately acquainted with Rev. Messrs. HALLOCK and COOK, secretaries of the American Tract Society. In 1835 that society published a premium tract, entitled, "Do your Children Reverence the Sabbath?" an the following year, "The Pequot of a Hundred Years," both from her pen, and of which they have issued 1,058,000 copies. She next prepared for them, in 1841, "Children of the Bible," all in verse and original, and in 1846, "Child's Hymn-Book," partly a compilation. In 1847 she furnished the "Tract Primer," one of the most popular and useful books ever published by that society. They have printed 800,000 copies of it in English, and 246,000 have been published in German and other European languages. The society, at a meeting of their publishing committee, April 23, 1849, by vote invited her to prepare a suitable series of books for children and youth, to follow the Primer. In compliance with this request, she furnished six volumes of "Bible Studies," forming an illustrative commentary on the whole Scriptures, and showing accurate scholarship and Biblical research, interesting to the young, but full of valuable information for all who love the Word of God. She was give years (from 1854 to 1859) in preparing this series, and contributed to the society, in 1861, one more work, entitled "Eve and her Daughters," being sketches of the distinguished women of the Bible in verse. She was also, up to the close of her life, a frequent contributor to their "American Messenger," furnishing them, but one week before her death, "The Aged Emigrant," a few verses of poetry, the last line being "A Stepping-stone to heaven."
A deep sense of religious obligation pervaded her entire life, and was never lost sight of in her literary labors. An ardent thirst for knowledge, so deep as to amount to an almost insatiable craving, early took possession of her soul, and she could only be satisfied as she gathered and stored up the wisdom of the past. With a deep veneration for the piety and principles of our Puritan forefathers, she loved to linger among the graves and written records of their lives and deeds; and, like "Old Mortality," she recovered many an almost obliterated tombstone and preserved its story from oblivion. Nearly every burial-place in the county was personally examined, and any stone of great age or special interest was faithfully transcribed. Doubtless all these researched into the records of the past, whether in town or church books or on tombstones, were in accordance with her natural tastes; still we believe that something of the feeling which animated Walter SCOTT's hero was every present with her. She would not let the worthy and pious deed pass out of mind, nor allow the good deeds of our ancestors to be forgotten, so far as any labor that she could perform might prevent it.
Something from the mass of historical and genealogical information which he had accumulated was first given to the public in the form of a history of the town of Norwich in 1845. It was a book of 360 pages, with some local illustrations, and was well received and appreciated by the public. In 1852 she published a larger work, "The History of New London," of 672 pages. This was very carefully and thoroughly prepared, and won many commendations from distinguished scholars and antiquarians. IN 1860, some of the volumes of this history being still in sheets, twenty pages were added and bound up with the original book, thus giving eight years' additional records. Her materials having greatly increased since the issue of the first history of Norwich, and the edition being out of print, she rewrote the entire work, and new volume of 700 pages was given to the public in 1866.
Miss CAULKINS was a consistent Christian, and a member of the Congregational Church. She died Feb. 3, 1869.
Acors BARNS.-The genealogical record of the family of Acors BARNS is very readily traced back to the first members of this family in this country, when landed in Salem, Mass., about 1638, coming from the vicinity of the city of Norwich, England. Their names were Joshua, William and CHARLES, probably three brothers. Joshua's name appears among the nine original proprietors of the town of East Hampton, L. I., where he was soon after joined by William and Charles, and they all owned farms. This township was bought in the spring of 1651, from Governor Edward HOPKINS, of the colony of Connecticut, and Governor Theophilus EATON, of the colony of New Haven, for the sum of £30 4s. 8d. sterling. In 1675 Isaac BARNES was born, and tradition says he was the son of William BARNS, who died at East Hampton, Dec. 12, 1698. Isaac BARNS died Aug. 20, 1769, aged ninety-four years. He left a son Isaac, born Jan. 28, 1704, died April 22, 1772. He was the father of six sons and six daughters. The oldest son, Isaac, born July 1, 1738, died in command of a company of provincial troops, at Cape Breton, N. S., during the French and Indian war so called. The next son was Nathaniel, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. He was born at East Hampton, March 18, 1740. Early in life he moved to Westerly, R. I., leaving behind him unsold his real estate. When the Revolutionary war commenced he owned and commanded a privateer, and was fairly successful in his career. He married Elizabeth BROWN, of Westerly, R. I. She was born in 1741, and died March 5, 1826, aged eighty-six years. Her husband died in Charleston, S. C., but the exact date of his death is not known. He had two sons and three daughters. The oldest son, Nathaniel, the father of Arcos BARNS, was born Sept. 12, 1769, and died Oct. 15, 1819. He was a mariner, doing business in the West Indies. He married Miss Nancy PENDLETON, of Westerly, R. I., in 1791. She was born July 22, 1771, and died April 30, 1835. They had four sons and four daughters. The oldest child, Nathaniel, was drowned off Lisbon, Portugal, Oct. 15, 1811, in the nineteenth year of his age, leaving no descendants. Of the remaining seven children, Acors was the oldest male heir of the BARNS family, as is evident from the fact of this family having had handed down to it the original coat of arms, from which they derive the manner of spelling their name as found thereon. The subject of this sketch was born in Westerly, R. I., May 14, 1794, and died, the first of the seven, on the 18th of November, 1862.
Acors BARNS' sole capital in beginning life was industry. His common-school education was finished in his early youth, and the then began the battle for success. His profession was the life of a sailor. It was not long before he owned and commanded a vessel of his own, small in dimensions but nevertheless his own. His business with his craft was trafficking along the coast from Nantucket to New York. His prospects were flattering, to say the least, and life looked bright, but the war of 1812 soon gave a more serious aspect to his business. The risks taken were greater and the profits larger. He was a skillful navigator and had many hairbreadth escapes. On one of his trips along the coast, availing himself of a dense fog to run by the blockading ships of the enemy, he was so unfortunate as to be becalmed in the midst of the squadron, and when the fog lifted he and his vessel were captured by the enemy. He with other prisoners were started for Halifax, Nova Scotia, but finally were put shore on the coast of Massachusetts. He returned home a worse than penniless boy, for he had not paid for his first vessel in full. Some time after this disaster he joined a vessel known as a 'row-galley," and called "Black Nose," the forward half of the boat being black and the after part white. Its armament was the old-fashioned flint-lock musket, which each man furnishing his own with ammunition. Their occupation was skirting along the coast, keeping a sharp lookout for Yankee crafts that had been captured by the enemy and recapture them if possible. They also rendered assistance to their friends when they were pursued by the enemy's boats. At the time Commodore HARDY made his famous descent upon the borough of Stonington, Aug. 9 to 12, 1814, this "row-galley" was the boat that carried the correspondence between the civil authorities of the borough and Commodore HARDY. While the boat would be waiting alongside the ship the crews of each would pass the time n exchanging tart compliments with each other. After the commencement of the bombardment the "row galley" was actively engaged in moving the inhabitants and their household goods up the Pawcatuck River to a place of safety. The result of the gallant defense of Stonington is a matter of history well known to all.
After the close of the war of 1812 Acors BARNS returned to his profession of a sailor. At first he was employed on vessels fitted for the Banks of Newfoundland to catch codfish. Afterwards he commanded vessels whose cargoes of oil and codfish were sent to a foreign market to be sold, generally to Spain or Portugal. In these markets the proceeds of the outward cargo would be invested in dried fruit, and he thus turned his outward cargo into money by selling the cargo of fruit in New York. It was on one of these voyages that he arrived in New York in 1822, during the fearful ravages of the yellow fever, when he found the streets deserted and grown over with grass and weeds. The consignee of his vessel met him at the wharf in the lower part of the city with his horse and chaise and drove to the custom-house, in the village of Greenwich, then far out of town, so far as to be considered safe from the epidemic.
On the 25th of May, 1817, Acors BARNS married Miss Hannah DICKINS, daughter of Tristam and Martha DICKINS, née WILCOX, of Stonington. She was born June 20, 1799, and still survives her husband.
The DICKINS' ancestors are among the early settlers of Block Island, where their descendants are still to be found. Although Lottery Village, in the town of Westerly, was the residence of Acors BARNS, Stonington was his place of business. Here early in life the subject of our sketch became associated in marine adventures with the members of Gen. William WILLIAMS' family, who were part owners in the vessels and cargoes which he managed. Whether selling oil and salt fish in Portugal, or trading the farm produce of his neighbors in Baltimore, Norfolk, and Richmond for wheat or flour, some members of the WILLIAMS family were always interested with him.
In 1819, Maj. Thomas W. WILLIAMS, son of Gen William WILLIAMS, located at New London, and commenced to outfit ships for the whale-fisheries. His success at first was not flattering, but soon the indomitable energy of the master-spirit brought success, and with it an increase of business to such an extent that an assistant was wanted, and the result was that Acors BARNES came to New London April 1, 1827, with his family. He immediately entered into the employ of Maj. Thomas W. WILLIAMS, and remained with him until 1829. During the fall of 1827 he took command of the ship "Chelsea," built by Maj. WILLIAMS and his friends at Norwich, Conn., and made a voyage from New York to New Orleans and back; from New York she sailed under his command as a London packet to that place, and back to New York. After this voyage she was put into the whale-fishery.
In 1829, William WILLIAMS, Jr., and Acors BARNS commenced business by fitting two ships for the whale-fishery, the "Stonington," already in the fishery, and the "Electra," a London packet, bought for the business.
From 1829 to 1832 the above-names firm had no permanent place of business, but leaded office, storage, and wharf accommodations during the time necessary to fit their ships for sea and to dispose of their cargoes. In the spring of 1832 they leased a store and office on Bank Street, and commenced a commission and general merchandising business, as was the custom of all the whaling agents (as they were styled). This year they fitted for sea the "Helvetius," "Stonington," and "Electra." The two latter ships made annual voyages until 1833, when the "Stonington" was sent on a sperm-whale voyage to the Pacific Ocean, where the "Helvetius" had been sent in 1832. This vessel was wrecked on Oahu, one of the Sandwich Islands, but her cargo of five hundred barrels of sperm oil was saved and sent home. In 1833 the first disaster befell the firm. The bark "Ruth and Mary" was lost on Block Island, as she was proceeding to sea, during a dense fog. Some of the material of the vessel, however, was saved, and a large part of the cargo.
In 1836, Thomas W. WILLIAMS (2), son of William WILLIAMS, Jr., became a partner in the firm, and the title was changed to Williams & Barns. In February, 1841, William WILLIAMS, the senior, retired from the firm. In 1847, William H. BARNS, the eldest son of Acors BARNS, was admitted to an interest in the firm. There was no change of the personnel of the firm until 1855, when Thomas W. WILLIAMS (2) died. During the following year a new organization of the firm was made, Henry R. BOND and Charles BARNS becoming partners. Mr. BOND had been a member of William WILLIAMS, Jr.'s family from his youth up. Charles BARNS was the second son of Acors BARNS.
On the 31st of December, 1858, the subject of this sketch withdrew from the firm, leaving the partnership to consist of William H. BARNS, Charles BARNS, and Henry R. BOND, with the title of the firm unchanged, and so it remains to this date.
During the time Acors BARNS was a member of the firm, from 1829 to 1858, a period of thirty years, they owned thirteen ships and barks and two brigs. Of these four were wrecked, two were condemned in foreign ports, and four were sold.
Acors BARNS had other investments enterprises than the whale-fishery. He was a prominent owner in the coasting trade, carried on by a large fleet of sloops and schooners at an early date, and afterwards by propellers. He was one of the projectors of the first propeller line that ran between New York and New London, and at a time when a propeller was looked upon as an experiment. This was in the year 1844. He lived to see sail-vessels to a great extent superseded by propellers.
He was one of the incorporators of the New London Northern Railroad Company, chartered under the name of the New London, Willimantic and Palmer Railroad Company, was elected a director on its organization, and remained in its direction until his death.
In 1852 he, with his friends became the incorporators, under the State Banking Act, of the Bank of Commerce, with a capital of one hundred and seven thousand two hundred dollars. He was elected president on its organization, and held that office until his death.
Acors BARNS was never a merely nominal officer in the directorship to which he was elected, but he attended to and performed the duties of his office to the best of his ability, and his quick comprehension of the matter under discussion always gave weight to his opinion with his co-directors. He was a man of good judgment, a safe counselor, and steadfast friend, well known in the community in which he lived, and he died respected by all who knew him.
Thomas W. WILLIAMS, second son of Gen. William WILLIAMS, of Stonington, Conn. Born Sept. 28, 1789. Educated at Plainfield. Received mercantile training in New York, Russia, and England. Took up residence in New London in 1818. Married Lucretia WOODBRIDGE, daughter of Hon. Elias PERKINS.
In the decadence of general business consequent on the war and the disordered state of affairs in Europe, Mr. WILLIAMS sough to revive and develop the whaling interest, in which some faint attempt had been hitherto made. His energy and tenacity of purpose led to the establishment of this business on the firm basis which added largely to the growth and prosperity of New London, and though, under the operation of natural laws, the business has declined and is now fading out, it yet served its purpose well for the tine, and justified the sagacity and comprehension of the man who saw and utilized its possibilities so well of his town and himself.
In 1838 he was elected member of Congress for this District, and served with ability for two consecutive terms, then withdrawing on his own decision from further official connection with political life. He was one of the promoters of the N. L. & W. R. R., and for many years its first president and strongest supporter. Largely interested in all good works, public or otherwise, which aimed at progress and improvement, he led many and aided all efforts that commended themselves to his judgment as beneficial to the city and State in which he lived.
His political convictions were strongly Whig and Republican, and among his personal friends were numbered the best men of the old party and its worthy successor. Integrity of thought and action, with broad liberal views, based on strong Christian principle, marked his life, and a powerful will, united with energetic determination, emphasized his characteristics. Earnest and truthful, his life was never idle or useless, and he died honored and respected, Dec. 31, 1874.
Nathan BELCHER was born in 1813, in that part of Preston, New London Co., afterwards incorporated as the town of Griswold. His first ancestor in this country was Gregory BELCHER, who came from England in 1634, landing at Boston, and settling in Braintree, Mass. As appears by public records, Gregory's descendants continued to reside in that vicinity until early in the succeeding century, when one of them, Moses, removed to Preston, then but partially settled, and became owner of an extensive tract of land there. He was prominent in the organization of the Second Church of Preston, and represented the town in the General Assembly.
A grandson of his, William, was active in the affairs of the town about the period of the Revolution, and was one of a committee sent by it to Boston to present a contribution of money raised in the town to aid the poor who were suffering through the enforcement of the Boston Port Bill, and also to consult with the authorities there as to the measures necessary to be taken for maintaining the rights of the colonies. When actual hostilities began he joined the Continental army as captain of one of the companies raised in Preston, and served under Col. SELDEN, and afterwards Col. LATIMER, in the battles on Long Island, at White Plains, and around New York. At a later period he became captain in a regiment commanded by Col. (afterwards Gen.) Jedediah HUNTINGTON.
His son, William, father of Nathan, the subject of the present sketch, was a resident of Preston during the early part of his life. In the war of 1812 he commanded a regiment stationed on the Groton side to repel the invasion threatened by the British fleet in Long Island Sound. AT the close of the war he engaged in business at New London, but removed from thence to Norwich, and some years later to the western part of Massachusetts.
The son, Nathan, did not accompany him, but remained with relatives in Griswold, and under their direction attended the academy at Plainfield, and there fitted for college. He graduated at Amherst College in 1832, and afterwards studied law with Samuel INGHAM, of Essex, and at the Harvard Law School; was admitted to the bar in 1836, and commenced practice in Clinton, Conn. Early in 1841 he removed to New London, and in October of the same year married Ann, daughter of Increase WILSON. A few months previous he had relinquished the practice of law and engaged with Mr. WILSON in the manufacture of hardware, and from that time forward give his principal attention to the management of that business. During the succeeding years he occasionally held some local offices and appointments. In 1846 and 1847 was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives, and in 1850 of the State Senate. In 1852 was one of the Presidential electors at large for the State, Governor Thomas H. SEYMOUR being the other, and as such cast his vote for Franklin PIERCE for President. IN 1853 he was chosen representative in Congress for the Third District, and served through the Thirty-third Congress, but declined being a candidate for re-election. Intending to resume business at the close of his term, he had arranged that the manufacturing establishment with which he had been identified, and which until then had been individual property, should be changed into a corporation, and accordingly it commenced operations in 1855 as "The Wilson Manufacturing Company," his father-in-law, Increase WILSON, being the president, and himself the secretary. At the death of Mr. WILSON, in 1861, he succeeded him as president, and remained thus until 1866, when he disposed of most of his interest in the company and retired from its management and from further active business. While he had the principal charge of its affairs the business of the corporation was large and exceptionally prosperous. Since this retirement he has been disinclined to re-enter upon the strife of business or politics, but continues to discharge the duties connection with some positions of trust assumed in earlier life. He has been a director in the Union Bank since 1858, and a trustee of the Buckley School since its incorporation in 1850, and its treasurer since 1876.
He has had two children, a daughter, who died young, and a son, William, a lawyer, and at the present date (1881) judge of probate for the New London district.
In politics Mr. BELCHER has always been a Democrat, but throughout the war he was a firm and outspoken supporter of the Union, and was called upon to preside at the first war-meeting held in New London after the attack upon Sumter.
His religious associations are with the First Congregational Church, in New London, where he has long been a regular attendant, though not a member.
[Continued to Part B]