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Cushman Family of Norwich Vermont

The Cushman family in New England dates from the year 1621, the first after the landing of the Pilgrims from the Mayflower, when Robert Cushman, who was a prominent leader and organizer of the Plymouth Colony, brought from England the earliest recruits and supplies to the wasted and famishing settlement. A century and a half later Solomon Cushman, a descendant of Robert, in the sixth generation, born at Plympton, Mass., in 1745, having married Sarah Curtis, daughter of Simeon Curtis, at Lebanon, Conn., in 1768, removed to Norwich, probably in company with the Curtis family. Solomon Cushman (afterward known as Captain Solomon) was in those days a famous hunter and marksman, the terror of bears and catamounts. He once shot and killed a deer at a distance of seventy-two rods1. In the war of the Revolution he served three years as lieutenant in the Norwich militia in the campaign of 1777 against Burgoyne, and the following two years on the northern frontier as captain of a company of Rangers in the regiment of Colonel Timothy Bedel of Haverhill, N. H. His health was much broken as a result of his service in the army. In 1784 he removed to Tunbridge, Vt., where he died in 1799, at the age of fifty-four. His son, Benjamin H. Cushman, born in Norwich, recently died at Tunbridge, upwards of ninety years old, and the father of twelve children. Three years after the removal of Captain Solomon Cushman to Tunbridge, another Solomon Cushman, the fifth in descent from Robert Cushman, the Pilgrim ancestor, came to Norwich from Willington, Conn., with his family. He was...

Free Masonry in Norwich Vermont

It does not appear that any Masonic Lodge has ever existed in Norwich. Quite a number of our citizens, however, as might be expected, have at different times belonged to lodges in adjacent towns. In the list of members of Franklin Lodge, established at Hanover, N. H., in 1796, we find the names of the following Norwich men, with the year of their admission: Reuben Hatch, Freegrace Leavitt (1798), William Sumner (1799), Thomas Brigham, Erastus Leavitt, and Moses Hayward (1800), Reuben Partridge, Andrew Dewey, William Little, Levi Richards, Aaron West (1801-1807), Lyman Lewis, Elijah Slafter, Simon Baldwin, Enos Lewis, Jasper Johnson, Noah Lewis (1808), Charles Hutchins, Sewell Gleason (1809), Ephraim Hall, George Olds, Jr., and Pierce Burton (1810), Manly G. Woodbury, Silas Morse, Ammi B. Allen, and Barzilla Bush, Jr. (1813-1820). The roll probably bears other Norwich names that we do not now recognize. The Franklin Lodge was moved to Lebanon in 1821, where it still flourishes. In 1807 and 1808, Doctor Thomas Brigham of Norwich was master of the lodge, who, on his sudden departure from town and abandonment of his family, was promptly expelled therefrom by notice published in the Vermont Journal at Windsor, in April, 1809, ”for immoral conduct unworthy a Mason and a gentleman.” Other Norwich Masons of that time, not of the Franklin Lodge, were Captain Calvin Seaver, Jeremiah Bissell, Ebenezer Spear, 2nd, Lyman Baldwin, and William Leconte. At the height of the Anti-Masonic agitation, about 1830, a great commotion was raised in the North Congregational Church, growing out of the refusal of the majority of the church, led by Deacon Israel Newton, to...

Biography of Alger, William Rounseville

Alger, William Rounseville, son of Nahum and Catherine Sampson (Rounseville) Alger, was born in Freetown, Bristol County, December 28, 1822. He attended the common schools from the age of four to ten, then began to work for a livelihood; he worked five years in a cotton mill at Hookset, N. H., studied attentively in all available house, educating himself in the various branches of an academic course. He attended an academy in Pembroke, N. H., two years, and one year at Lebanon, N. H. He entered the divinity school of Harvard University in 1844, and was graduated in the class of 1847. He was pastor of the Unitarian church in Roxbury, from 1847 to 1855; then settled in Boston until 1873; then four years minister of Church of the Messiah in New York City. He is now engaged in preaching, lecturing and literary work. Mr. Alger was married in Roxbury, in September 1847, to Anne Langdon, daughter of Giles and Abigail Harris (Langdon) Lodge. Of this union were seven children: Henry Lodge, Abby Langdon, Caroline Rounseville, Arthur Martineau, William Ellerton, Philip Rounseville and Anne Langdon. He has held many offices and delivered many addresses in Masonic bodies and lectured for twenty-five years very extensively through the country before lyceums and literary societies. When chaplain of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1863, the prayers he offered were so much appreciated, that the speaker, Hon. Harvey Jewell, had them taken down by a stenographer and the members had them published in a volume entitled “Legislative Prayers,” which passed through several editions. He gave the annual election sermon before the Legislature...

Biography of Solomon Howard Smith

SOLOMON HOWARD SMITH. – Mr. Smith, a most generous and public-spirited citizen, and a pioneer of so early a day as 1832, was born at Lebanon, New Hampshire, December 26, 1809. He came of Revolutionary stock, his maternal grandfather having been a soldier in the war for Independence, and a relative of the Greeley family. His father was an assistant surgeon in the war of 1812, and died at Plattsburgh, New York, in 1813. The boy Solomon was afforded good advantages, receiving his academic education at Norwich, Vermont; and he studied medicine with his uncle, Doctor Haven Foster, not, however, taking a diploma. In 1831, with a number of other adventurous spirits, he went fishing for cod on the Newfoundland banks, and met with good fortune, except that upon the return the schooner was run over by an English packet ship and sunk with cargo and all. Smith and the others were picked up and left at Boston bankrupt, as they were staking their fortune upon the sale of their fish, which they shared alike. At the city in which he found himself, Smith obtained employment as clerk, but in 1832 was moved to cast in his fortune with Captain Wyeth, and build up a great business upon the Pacific coast. The severe journey across the plains and mountains he endured as well as the best, bidding adieu to one after another of the scions of the first Boston families who were in the party, as they turned back, meeting with William Sublette at the rendezvous on Green river, at Pierre’s Hole. On the trip from that point to...

Biographical Sketch of Harold E. Smith

Smith, Harold E.; patent lawyer; born, Lebanon, N. H., May 2, 1882; son of Wilbur F. and Marie Antoinette Sargent Smith; educated, Dartmouth College, A. B., 1903, A. M., 1906; National University Law School, LL. B., 1908; LL. M., 1909; George Washington University, M. P. L., 1909; married, Washington, D. C. Oct. 5, 1909, Annie Stratton; one son; instructor in physics at Dartmouth College, 1903-1906, asst. physicist, National Bureau of Standards, 1906; examiner U. S. Patent Office, 1906-1910; member of firm of Hull & Smith, patent lawyers, junior partner; member Hanover Scientific Ass’n; member Gamma Alpha and Sigma Nu Phi fraternities. Recreations: Canoeing and...

Biographical Sketch of Stephen Gile

Stephen Gile came to Morristown, from Lebanon, N. H., in 1826, and located upon the farm now owned by his son, Eli B. He reared a family of nine children, and died in 1870. His wife died during the same year. Two of their children now reside in the. town, Abigail, wife of James Cross, and S. S., the third selectman of the town. S. S. has also been a justice of the peace several...

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