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Richard Dexter Genealogy, 1642-1904

Being a history of the descendants of Richard Dexter of Malden, Massachusetts, from the notes of John Haven Dexter and original researches. Richard Dexter, who was admitted an inhabitant of Boston (New England), Feb. 28, 1642, came from within ten miles of the town of Slane, Co. Meath, Ireland, and belonged to a branch of that family of Dexter who were descendants of Richard de Excester, the Lord Justice of Ireland. He, with his wife Bridget, and three or more children, fled to England from the great Irish Massacre of the Protestants which commenced Oct. 27, 1641. When Richard Dexter and family left England and by what vessel, we are unable to state, but he could not have remained there long, as we know he was living at Boston prior to Feb. 28, 1642.

Extreme Perils and Suffering of the Natchez Refugees

During the siege of Pensacola, a series of events, of an interesting and romantic character, began at Natchez, and afterwards ended, with unparalleled sufferings, in the vast Indian wilderness, which extended from thence to the Ogechee River, in the distant province of Georgia. Some citizens of the Natchez district, the most prominent of whom were Philip Alston, Colonel Hutchens, John Alston, Captain Thaddeus Lyman, Thompson Lyman, Jacob Blomont, and Jacob Winfrey, put themselves at the head of a large party of royalists, for the purpose of seizing Fort Panmure, and expelling there from the Spanish troops, who had held it since September, 1780. They had learned that a powerful British fleet was off the Florida coast, whose object was the re-occupation of the country, and, believing that Don Galvez had already been defeated at Pensacola, they resolved immediately to anticipate what they supposed would be the desire of their King. Having assembled a large body of Choctaws, the insurgents assumed a position upon an eminence, above the town of Natchez, in full view of the fort. At night they advanced and planted their artillery so as to bear upon the works; but, when day approached, the Spanish cannonade compelled them to retire. During the succeeding twenty-four hours, the firing continued between the parties. Apr. 29 1781: The commandant sent a flag to Colonel Hutchens, representing the danger of rebellion, and promising the clemency of his government, if the people would disperse, after they should have surrendered the ringleaders. An answer was promised, to be returned the next day. During the interval, the malcontents arrested a man bearing a dispatch...

Hardships of the Early Natchez Emigrants

Taking the reader with us, to the settlements of the distant Natchez region, he will find that emigrants continued to pour in, upon those fertile hills and alluvial bottoms, from all parts of “his majesty’s Atlantic plantations.” Many were the hardships and perils they encountered, in reaching this remote and comparatively uninhabited region. It is believed that the history of one party of these emigrants will enable the reader to understand what kind of hardships and deprivations all the others were forced to undergo. Major General Phineas Lyman, a native of Durham, a graduate of Yale, a distinguished lawyer, and a member of the legislature of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, became commander of the Connecticut forces in 1755. He served with so much distinction, during the Canadian war, that he was invited, by persons high in office, to visit England. He had formed an association composed of his brothers in arms, called the “Military Adventurers,” whose design was, the colonization of a tract of country upon the Mississippi. He sailed to England, as agent for this company, with the sanguine, yet reasonable hope, that the King would make the grant. Arriving there he found, to his astonishment, that land in a wilderness was refused to those who had fought so valiantly for it, and whose contemplated establishment would have formed a barrier against enemies, who might seek to acquire it. In his own country Lyman had never solicited favor, otherwise than by faithful public services. The coolness which he now experienced deeply mortified him — his spirits sank, and he lost all his former energy. Shocked at the degradation...

Biography of Josiah Edwards Dwight

Josiah Edwards Dwight, a member of the noted old New England family to which President Timothy Dwight of Yale College belonged, is one of the leading Concord, N.H. Born in Belchertown, Mass., May 17, 1839, son of Harrison D. and Sophia (Cook) Dwight, he traces his lineage through his mother, also, back to the early days of the New England colonies. On the paternal side his first ancestor to settle in this country was John Dwight, who came from Dedham, England, in 1634, and located in the part of Massachusetts afterward named Dedham. He was the second man of wealth in the settlement, and with eighteen others owned the land comprising later the town of Dedham and about nine surrounding towns. His daughter Mary was the first white child born in the town of Dedham. John Dwight’s son Timothy, from whom the subject of this sketch is directly descended, was born in Dedham, England, in 1629. He inherited the estate and virtues of his father, and was one of the prominent men of his day. A sturdy soldier, he was cornet of a troop in his younger days, and was afterward commander of a company of foot, and is commonly alluded to as Captain Timothy Dwight. His title was no empty honor, for he was engaged in ten expeditions against the Indians; and in 1660 he was one of two agents appointed to treat with the Indians, which they did with satisfactory results. He was for ten years Town Clerk of Dedham, twenty-five years Selectman, and two years Representative to the General Court. Captain Dwight is said to have...

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