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In the spring, Royal Grinnell gave to the Rev. Cornelius Irish, then a boy, a long white potato, familiarly called a "Bunker potato." He “ran home as pleased as if he had got fifty dollars.” The potato was forthwith thrust into the fire to be roasted, and shared among the children. But so long had they lived without such a luxury, that they could not wait for it to be cooked. They took it out, and cut off the outside as fast as it was roasted, till the whole was devoured. Meal was dealt out almost as sparingly as medicine; and, when enough could be obtained, the family luxuriated on water-porridge. With the opening of the spring came some relief. Leaves and longtongue" were picked, and, being boiled, were eaten as greens. Shortly afterward came fish, particularly salmon, and starvation ceased to be so terribly formidable as it had been.

Mr. Irish was respected for his integrity and worth. His business increased. He manufactured wooden ware, and, when there was snow, carried it about for sale on a hand-sled. In the winter of 1790–91, he took some of it to Barretts Town. It was bartered for three bushels of rye. As he was returning, a snowstorm came on. He was obliged to abandon his load while on Sunnybec Pond; and, though he succeeded in returning home, it was with extreme difficulty. So vivid is the recollection of his distress when he entered the house, that his children to this day cannot speak of it but with deep emotion.

While in this state of poverty, Mr. Irish was solicited to take a child three or four years old, and was promised fifty acres of land if he would keep him a specified time.

As this seemed to open the only way by which he could obtain land, he accepted the proposal. The child was introduced to the family, wore dresses colored with hemlock-bark, as the other children did, and shared in their trials and poverty. Mr. Irish kept him till he secured the land. Thus he became owner of the farm in the Daggett neighborhood, to which he moved from Bachelor's Mills. The

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lad had good principles instilled into his mind, and had worthy examples to imitate. He afterward went to sea, and became a successful sea-captain. Any person wishing to know more about him may consult Capt. Barnabas Webb, a man of worth and wealth in Thomaston.

1793. May 13, Amy, widow of Benjamin Maxcy, and her daughters, Lydia and Sally Maxcy, with Chloe, wife of Joseph Maxcy, crossed Seven-tree Pond, to attend the funeral of Esther Cummings, at the house of her uncle, Jessa Robbins, where she died. After the funeral, they, with Simeon Wellman of Attleborough, who was an apprentice to Joseph Maxcy, and William Montgomery, got into a boat to return.

As it was leaky and overloaded, the water soon poured in faster than it could be baled out. At a short distance from Hills Point, between it and the house of Philip Robbins, the boat settled down into the water. All on board instinctively rose. Their screams were heard on both sides of the pond, and as far as Christopher Butler's. The boat did not sink, but rolled over. All except Lydia succeeded in getting hold of it. To her, Sally was extending her hand, when Wellman, exceedingly frightened, sprang upon the boat. All again lost their hold; and the females, except Sally, were drowned. By the buoyancy of her clothes, by her repeated and persevering struggles to put her hand on the boat, which was constantly on the roll and often rolled over her, and by breathing from time to time as she got her head above water and her hand on the boat, she succeeded in saving herself, though she sank once. Finally, the two men got hold of one side, and she of the other; and then they sustained themselves till another boat came to their relief, and Capt. Joel Adams took Sally out of the water into it.

The information respecting this distressing event was obtained several years since at an accidental interview with the only surviving female. Since the above was written, her son, the Hon. John DagOn the small population of Union at the time, this tragical event left an indelible impression. It is often spoken of to this day by the elderly people in a manner which indicates the deep feeling which it created. It stands out more prominently in the history of the town than any other casualty before or since. After gett, author of the History of Attleborough, has by particular request furnished a copy of the touching and excellent letter which his mother wrote immediately afterward. It was penned when opportunities for good education were few, by a girl about fourteen years old, in deep affliction, just after being rescued from drowning, and with the corpse of a sister before her.

“ Union, May 16, 1793. “Honored Uncle and Aunt, — It is with great sorrow that I take my pen in hand to inform you of the sudden and unexpected death of my near and dear mamma, and sister Chloe, and sister Lydia. We went to the funeral of one of my dear mates; and, when we were coming back, there were six in the float, viz. my mamma, sister Chloe, and sister Lydia, Simeon Wellman, William Montgomery, and myself. We set out from the shore, expecting to arrive to our house ; but, when we got into the middle of the pond, the wind blowed very hard and the float leaked, and she being loaded very heavy, so that every wave that came ran over the stern into the float, and directly she filled with water, and sunk down even with the water, and turned us all out. Then, oh! the dismal shrieks, the dying groans, which were then heard piercing

the ears of many of my kind neighbors, who all ran to arrest us. But all in vain to some; for mamma, and sister Chloe, and sister Lydia, were floating on the water; they were soon took into the float, all possible care taken and methods tried to bring them to, but all in vain; for vain is the help of man without God's blessing.

“Could I collect my thoughts, I would try to acquaint you further of this solemn transaction. The two men and myself were hold of the float. Sometimes the float was over me, and I got hold again. Through the distinguishing goodness of God, our lives were ransomed from the deep waters.

“Oh! my dear uncle and aunt, how can I paint these lines with grief equal to my conception! My dear mamma and dear sister Chloe were laid by my dear daddy yesterday [in] the house appointed for all living. Lydia wan't found until this day - is now a corpse before me. Oh! my dear uncle and aunt, can you forbear mourning with me, though at a distance? Do pray for me; for I am a sinner, and need the prayers for all God's people. I think my grief being redoubled would sink me as deep as I was sunk in the water, if my heavenly Father did not support me. My daily prayer is to God that I may make a right improvement of all God's dealing with me. You cannot in any measure conceive of the distressed circumstances of this family; my kind brother, bereaved of his nearest and dearest connection — myself, with Hervey and Ama, left without father or mother, full of grief. May God support us, and enable us to be fol

this event, Joseph Maxcy sold the Gay Place, so called, to Gay. In the autumn of 1793, Sally Maxcy returned to Attleborough.


The account of the early inhabitants has now been brought down to a time when it is inexpedient to continue details respecting them. Most of the men had been in the revolutionary war. They had strong arms and stout hearts, and were well qualified to make a beginning in a wilderness. Many of them were devout, practical Christians, who feared God and eschewed evil. Deprivations and trials developed in them and their children a character which is perceptible in the present population. They were strangers to luxuries. In consequence of their isolated situation and the pressure of outward circumstances, they became deeply interested in each other's welfare. Hospitality was unlimited. The guest of one family was by all the others welcomed as a particular friend. The bonds of union were strengthened by many family ties among them. There were common interests in clearing the ground and raising crops, common sufferings when provisions were scarce, and common apprehensions of danger from the enemy at Biguyduce. They hunted and fished, and every one was alive to every other one's successes and perils. So strong was the sympathy, that the little community for many years may be regarded more as one large family than a few scattered inhabitants. If any one had a delicacy — and, in those days, deli

. cacies meant things substantial —if any one killed a bear, an ox, a hog, or a calf, he shared it, by loan or


lowers of Christ, and bear our affliction with patience, as he left us the example; so I conclude myself your sorrowful niece.

Though distant graves divide our dust,

Yet pray the Lord our souls may meet among the just. “Kind uncle, if you please, send me a word of comfort; for my nearest and dearest friends cannot.


otherwise, with his neighbors. Wherever sickness came, all were as ready to serve and to watch, as with a brother or sister. In any misfortune or affliction all sympathized.

When there was a death, each family felt the shock. Every one who could went to the funeral; and in general sorrow, as if a near and dear friend were taken away, the remains were borne to their final resting-place.

In winter, the solitude was broken by the sound of the axe. The wind soughed through the pines. The moon's rays were reflected with a glare from the surface of the pond, which, as the ice cracked, sent forth rumblings during the long night. The fox barked. The owl hooted mournfully. The wolf howled hideously. Neighbors called on each other in the evenings, related their experience in the old French war and the revolutionary war, and their adventures from day to day in hunting moose, bears, and other game. An importance was attached to many incidents which would scarcely demand a passing notice in a different state of society.

And, as they talked, huge fires were kept burning; and on the glowing back-logs it was easy for the imagination to discover animals and men, and a multitude of creatures which never had existence. The wellcaulked and heated log-houses excluded the pinching cold. The people, rough and coarse in manners and language, but with warm hearts, were unacquainted with the artifical wants of the present day. They subsisted on their coarse fare, and had better appetites and greater happiness than are found with kings and queens in gorgeous palaces.

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