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Narrative of Robert Eastburn – Indian Captivities

A Faithful Narrative of the Many Dangers and Sufferings, as well as wonderful and surprising deliverances, of Robert Eastburn, during his late captivity among the Indians. Written by Himself. Published at the earnest request of many persons, for the benefit of the Public. With a recommendatory Preface by the Rev. Gilbert Tennent. Psalms 24, 6, 7, and 193, 2, 4. Philadelphia: Printed. Boston: Reprinted and sold by Green & Russell, opposite the Probate Office in Queen street, 1753. Preface Candid Reader: The author (and subject) of the ensuing narrative (who is a deacon of our church, and has been so for many years) is of such an established good character, that he needs no recommendation of others where he is known; a proof of which was the general joy of the inhabitants of this city, occasioned by his return from a miserable captivity; together with the readiness of divers persons to contribute to the relief of himself and necessitous family, without any request of his, or the least motion of that tendency. But seeing the following sheets are like to spread into many places where he is not known, permit me to say that, upon long acquaintance, I have found him to be a person of candor, integrity, and sincere piety, whose testimony may with safety be depended upon; which give his narrative the greater weight, and may induce to read it with the greater pleasure. The design of it is evidently pious; the matters contained in it and manner of handling them, will, I hope, be esteemed by the impartial to be entertaining and improving. I wish it...

Narrative of the Captivity of Quintin Stockwell – Indian Captivities

Quintin Stockwell, Who was taken at Deerfield, in Massachusetts, by a Party of Inland Indians, in the Year 1677; Communicated in his own Words, and Originally Published by the Eminent Dr. Increase Mather, in the Year 1684. A particular account of the interruption in which Stockwell and others fell into the hands of the Indians will be found in the Book of the Indians, Book iii, p. 97 and 98. Out of twenty-four at that time killed and taken, we learn the names only of these; Quintin Stockwell, John Root, Sergeant Plimpton, Benjamin Stebbins, his wife, Benjamin Waite, and Samuel Russell. Plimpton was burnt in their cruel manner, Root was killed, and Stebbins escaped. Of the others I have learned nothing. In the year 1677, September the 19th, between sunset and dark, the Indians came upon us. I and another man, being together, we ran away at the outcry the Indians made, shouting and shooting at some others of the English that were hard by. We took a swamp that was at hand for our refuge; the enemy espying us so near them, run after us, and shot many guns at us; three guns were discharged upon me, the enemy being within three rods of me, besides many others before that. Being in this swamp, which was miry, I slumped in and fell down, whereupon one of the enemy stepped to me, with his hatchet lifted up to knock me on the head, supposing that I had been wounded and so unfit for any other travel. I, as it happened, had a pistol by me, which, though uncharged, I...

Biographical Sketch of Charles E. Orcutt

Charles E. Orcutt was born in Middletown, Rutland county, Vermont, February 15, 1845. His parents were Erasmus and Philena (Edgerton) Orcutt, natives of Vermont. While our subject was yet an infant his parents removed to Allegany county, New York, and after living there two years the family removed to Massachusetts, and there, in the Deerfield Academy, our subject received his education. After leaving school be worked on a farm until twenty years of age, when he immigrated to Missouri and located at the city of Chillicothe, where he clerked for a number of years in a drug and book store. He established his present drug business in Jamesport in the autumn of 1871 and has since built up a large and prosperous trade. He was appointed postmaster on the 4th of November, 1873, and has discharged the duties of that office efficiently and to the entire satisfaction of the public ever since. He is treasurer of the city of Jamesport and secretary of the Grand River Agricultural, Horticultural and Mechanical Association. Mr. Orcutt was married at Chillicothe, Missouri, in June, 1871, to Miss Tillia Keener, daughter of George Keener, a native of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Orcutt was born at Shreveport, Pennsylvania. The issue of this union is two children: Frederick C. and Ralph E. Mr. Orcutt is a Republican in politics, a thorough business man, and one who is respected and esteemed by all men, irrespective of political...

Biography of Howard Brown Gibbs

HOWARD BROWN GIBBS – In the midst of a lovely forest on an eminence overlooking the Connecticut Valley and the old town of Deerfield, is the school for young boys known as Eaglebrook Lodge, founded and owned by Howard Brown Gibbs. The Gibbs family is an old English family, various branches of which were settled in the counties of Devon, Somerset, Warwick, and Kent, but the Devonshire branch is supposed to be the ancestors of most of the American families of the name. Among the personages bearing the name in England was Robert de Quibe (as the name was then spelled) who was sent by Louis XII as ambassador to Rome and was made a cardinal by Pope Julius II; James A. Gibbes, who was appointed poet laureate in 1667 by Leopold, Emperor of Germany; and Henry Hucks Gibbs, director of the Bank of England, and a member of Parliament for the city of London. In this country such personages as Wolcott Gibbs, professor of chemistry and expert and scientific commissioner to Vienna; Dr. Robert W. Gibbs, of Charlestown, South Carolina, noted scientist and historian; George Gibbs, the mineralogist; James E. A. Gibbs, the inventor; Montgomery B. Gibbs, the eminent jurist and lawyer, and Joseph Willard Gibbs, Jr., professor of mathematics in Yale College, amply continue the renown of the ancient Gibbs family. (I) James Gibbs, grandfather of Howard Brown Gibbs, was born in New Jersey, but removed to New York State, where he died before Mr. Gibbs was born. He was a professional musician. The only child that lived to maturity was Edgar W., of whom further. (II)...

Biography of Samuel Partridge Billings

SAMUEL PARTRIDGE BILLINGS, as deputy collector of internal revenue for Franklin and Hampshire counties, is rendering efficient service in local public office. Mr. Billings traces his descent from Richard Billings, who was in Hartford, Connecticut, with his wife, Margery, in 1640. He removed to Hatfield, Massachusetts, in 1661, and died there March 3, 1679. The line descends through their son, Samuel Billings, who married Sarah Fellows, daughter of Richard and Ursula Fellows. Their son, Samuel Billings, who married Hannah Church. Their son, Fellows Billings, born February 15, 1704, died June 29, 1784; removed to Conway during the Revolutionary War, in which conflict he served with the rank of lieutenant; was representative in 1757, and for ten years following. He married, November 27, 1735, Mary Eastman, daughter of Joseph and Mercy Smith Eastman. Their son, William Billings, of whom further, great-grandfather of Samuel Partridge Billings. William Billings, son of Fellows and Mary (Eastman) Billings, was born July 20, 1744, and died November 8, 1812. He chose the legal profession, and after graduation from Yale College, in 1765, was admitted to the Massachusetts bar. He took an active interest in public offices, serving as justice of the peace and as representative in 1769-70-72. He married Jerusha Williams, daughter of Colonel Israel Williams, of Hatfield, and they had a son Israel, of whom further. Hon. Israel Billings, son of William and Jerusha (Williams) Billings, was born in Conway, Massachusetts, January 12, 1784, and died in Hatfield, Massachusetts, June 4, 1856. He was a graduate of Williams College, and was a lawyer of note, his offices being located in Northampton, though he resided...

Biographical Sketch of Deacon Samuel Childs

(III), Deacon Samuel Childs (as he spelled the name), eldest child of Richard and Elizabeth (Crocker) Child, was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, November; 6, 1679; died in Deerfield, Massachusetts, March 18, 1756. He was a blacksmith and early in life settled in Deerfield, where his, services in that capacity were highly appreciated. As a deacon of the Congregational church and a man of character and influence, he was much esteemed by his fellow townsmen. He was married (first), July 7, 1709, to Hannah Barnard, who died May 16, 1727; married (second), about two years later, Experience , who died May 27, 1744; married (third), June 25, 1750, Sarah “Philip” (Mattoon) Field, widow of Zachariah Field, of Northfield, Massachusetts. She died March 21, 1752. Children: Hannah; Samuel; Asa, mentioned elsewhere; Davis and Jonathan (twins) ; Ebenezer; Elizabeth (died young) ; another Elizabeth, and...

Biographical Sketch of John Sheldon

John, son of Isaac (2) Sheldon, was born December 5. 1658. He settled in Northampton, Massachusetts. He removed to Deerfield and conducted a public house. He was one of the first board of selectmen, ensign of the first military company and captain in 1707. and deacon of the church. He built the old Hoyt house, the door of which, cut by tomahawks and bullets, is preserved in Memorial Hall. In the winter of 1705 he was sent by Governor Dudley on a difficult and dangerous mission to Canada to redeem the captives and returned the following spring with five, two of whom were Hannah, wife of his son, and Esther Williams, daughter of the Deerfield minister. The next winter he was sent again and returned with forty-four redeemed captives of the French and Indians, sailing for home. May 30, 1706, and again with fifty-seven on the brigantine “Hope.” Mr. Williams said of him : “He was a good man and a true servant of the church in Deerfield, who twice took his tedious journey in the winter from New England to Canada on these occasions.” He made a third trip in 1707-08, and returned with seven captives, making a total of one hundred and thirteen that he brought back to their old homes, after the horrors and hardships of captivity. He removed to Hartford. He died in 1734. He married (first) November 5, 1678, Hannah Stebbins, when she was less than fifteen years old, daughter of John Stebbins. She was killed by the Indians. He married (second) in 1708. Elizabeth Pratt, widow. He lived in Northampton until 1684. when...

Biographical Sketch of Ebenezer Sheldon

Ebenezer, son of John Sheldon, was born November 15, 1691. He was captured by Indians in 1704. but returned, and lived in the old Indian House, Deerfield, where he kept a tavern. In 1735 the general court granted to him and his sister Mary three hundred acres of land in consideration of the cost of entertaining Cahuawaga Indians (with whom they had become acquainted during their captivity) on their frequent visits afterwards. In 1744 he sold the Indian House to Jonathan Hoyt, and removed to Fall Town. The first proprietors’ meeting held in the latter town was at his home, October 16, 1740, but no action was taken except that of adjournment. His home was the Lieutenant Sheldon Fort, in the east part of the town, which he had built at his own expense. The province afterwards remitted to him a part of this. He was a man prominent in town affairs, also in the military services of his day, and was known far and near as a most successful Indian fighter. In 1744 he was captain, and later lieutenant. He married, December 3, 1714, Thankful, daughter of Joseph Barnard, who died in 1746: Children : Ebenezer, born October 13, 1715; Remembrance, October 16, 1717, mentioned elsewhere : Thankful, November 5, 17T9; Abner, November 22. 1721; Caleb, a soldier in 1747; Mercy, born July 26, 1724: Amasa, August 27, 1726; Eliakim, July 15, 1728, killed by Indians; Hannah, August 21, 1730; Elijah, November 1, 1733; Elisha, baptized November 10,...

Biographical Sketch of Rememberance Sheldon

Remembrance, son of Lieutenant Ebenezer Sheldon, was born October 16, 1717, died April 31, 1787. In 1749 he was sergeant in the French war, in Israel Williams’ company, also in the same company. December 11, 1755, to October 18, 1756, doing scout duty. He was stationed at Colerain, October 19, 1756, to January 23, 1757, and for his services there received five pounds, eighteen shillings, one pence. His name also appears on John Burk’s enlistment roll, ending November 30, 1758, at which time he had charge of a fort in Fall Town. In 1777 he was on the committee of correspondence, inspection and safety. He was prominent also in civil affairs; April, 1742, he was a member of the committee to lay out highways, selectman five years, town treasurer five years, warden, sealer of weights and measures. He married, May 28, 1744, Mehitable Burke, who was living in Deerfield in 1790. Children: Lydia, born March 30, 1745; Thankful, 1747; Eliakim, baptized September 24, 174–; Elisha Burke, 1752; Cephas, mentioned elsewhere; Persis, baptized October 16, 1757; Mehitable, married Rev. Ransom, of Middlebury, Vermont; Remembrance,...
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