Archive for November, 2009

Henry Thoreau Lived @ Parkman House Concord Mass in 1823 – 1844 when he was Writing Drafts of WALDEN POND

November 25, 2009

Henry Thoreau Walden Pond in the Fall Replica Cabin on Walden Pond & Bronze Thoreau Statue

henry david thoreau richest.jpg

Henry’s Dad John perfected the art of making lead pencils The Thoreaus were winding up their affairs in the Parkman house near (but not on) the site of the present Concord Free Public Library building, and getting ready to make other arrangements. “Made pencils in 1844.” Thoreau was preparing to go to Walden Pond to work on his first book, revising and copying the scrappy remains of his 1837-1844 volumes into the Long Book, drafting original passages of narration and description, and incorporating journal entries not originally related to the trip taken by the two brothers.>

John Thoreau, Senior left off teaching school at 6 Cornhill Court in Boston, Henry David Thoreau was taken out of the Boston infant school, and theThoreaus removed from Whitwell’s house on Pinckney Street in Boston to rent the Jonas Hastings house in Concord, built in about 1790, Mr. Parkman’s brick house at the corner of Main Street and Walden Street, William Parkman was born in 1741. In 1788 William Parkman became a deacon of the 1st Parish Church of Concord. (He would serve until 1826). January 26, 1789: At Concord, the Rev. Ezra Ripley united Deacon William Parkman of Concord and Lydia Proctor of Boston in marriage. In 1823 John Thoreau, Senior left off teaching school at 6 Cornhill Court in Boston, David Henry Thoreau was taken out of the Boston infant school, and theThoreaus removed from Whitwell’s house on Pinckney Street in Boston to rent the Jonas Hastings house in Concord, built in about 1790, Deacon William Parkman’s brick house at the corner of Main Street and Walden Street, where the father would go into the pencil-making business of Dunbar & Stow that was making use of graphite that Charles Dunbar had discovered in 1821 near Bristol in New Hampshire, and also take up responsibility for the mill, milldam, race, and pond on Mill Brook just south of the “Milldam” district. Henry David Thoreau began to attend Miss Phœbe Wheeler’s infant school. Here is a later reminisce of this period in the life of the Thoreau family: “Mother reminds me that when we lived at the Parkman house she lost a ruff a yard and a half long and with an edging three yards long to it, which she had laid on the grass to whiten, and, looking for it, she saw a robin tugging at the tape string of a stay on the line. He would repeatedly get it in his mouth, fly off and be brought up when he got to the end of his tether. Miss Ward thereupon tore a fine linen handkerchief into strips and threw them out, and the robin carried them all off. She had no doubt that he took the ruff.”


Meanwhile Concord becomes, some say, the literary capital of America. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, and Nathaniel Hawthorne are the best know of many thinkers and writers in Concord. Visitors from far-off places come to discuss major issues of the day. Transcendentalism develops, and the Concord School of Philosophy is built. Thoreau documents the town’s natural history and geography, and briefly lives in a Walden Pond woodlot surrounded by intensive agriculture. Culture expands in academies, libraries, and lyceums. Voluntary associations proliferate. Women play major roles in town. Abolitionism is active and the underground railroad runs through Concord. Monuments in Monument Square and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery suggest the impact of the Civil War on Concord. #####



Jonas Hastings House built by Deacon William Parkman in 1790 Concord, Mass (house at far right with tree front & center of house) This photograph of Concord Center, taken in about 1865, shows in the distance the Jonas Hastings house belonging to Deacon William Parkman in which the Thoreaus were to reside from 1823 to 1826, at the corner of Main and Walden Streets. As you can see, initially the Hastings corner had projected out into what is now part of Main Street, so that the house would need to be moved backward to allow Main Street to be widened prior to the opening in 1873 of the newly constructed Concord Free Public Library. (The Hastings house would ultimately be taken down to make way for the business block put up by pharmacist John C. Friend in 1892.)


This had been the abode of old Deacon Parkman, a grand- uncle of the late Francis Parkman, the historian, and son of the Westborough clergyman from whom this distinguished family descends. Deacon Parkman was a merchant in Con cord, and lived in what was then a good house. It stood in the middle of the village, where the Public Library now is. The ” Texas ” house was built by Henry Thoreau and his father John ; it was named from a section of the village then called ” Texas,” because a little remote from the churches and schools ; perhaps the same odd fancy that had bestowed the name of “Virginia” on the road of Thoreau s birthplace. The ” Yellow house re-formed ” was a small cottage rebuilt and enlarged by the Thoreaus in 1850 ; in this, on the main street, Henry and his father and mother died. #####>
Some evidence suggests that three structures date to the 1650’s, the Thomas Dane House (47 Lexington Rd.), Edward Bulkeley House (92 Sudbury Rd.) and Parkman Tavern (20 Powder Mill Rd. CONCORD,MASS). Speculation continues that two rooms of the Old Block House (now at 57 Lowell Rd.) might have been the home of Rev. John Jones, a town founder and resident from 1635 to 1644. #####
Letter from Samuel Parkman of Boston to his brother William of Concord. Dad to both Reverend Ebenezer Parkman of Westborough. William Parkman Collection, 1760-1826 Vault A45, Parkman Unit 1 Extent: 23 items. Arrangement: Organized into two series: I. Papers, 1773-1826; II. Wallets, 1760, 1770. Papers arranged chronologically. Biography: William Parkman (1741-1832) was born in Westborough, Massachusetts (the eighth of seventeen children). He worked as a carpenter and surveyor until about 1770, when he moved to Concord, Massachusetts, and purchased a farm. In addition to his work on the farm, he served as deputy sheriff from 1770 to 1795. At this time, his farm also functioned as a tavern specifically for teamsters. In 1778, he was appointed Deacon to the First Church of Concord. In 1795, having moved close to the town center, he became a shopkeeper and postmaster, a position he held until 1810. Meanwhile, William Parkman also served as a Justice of the Peace. From 1798 to 1825, he was a member of the Social Circle in Concord. Parkman had eight children with wife Lydia Adams, to whom he was married from 1766 to 1787. He second wife (1789-1810) was Lydia Proctor. His third wife was Sarah Wheeler, who was the mother-in-law of Parkman’s fifth daughter, Sarah. They remained married from 1811 until William Parkman’s death in 1832. Scope and content: Collection (1760-1826) consists of correspondence, one writ, one receipt, and two wallets. The writ dates from William Parkman’s time as deputy sheriff and relates to the case of Sprague v. Seaver. Parkman’s correspondence consists largely of letters from his brothers, Alexander and Samuel Parkman. The letters describe the financial situation of Alexander Parkman, who is requesting or waiting for money. Samuel Parkman writes to William Parkman about their brother’s debts. Additionally, the letters provide some information about the personal lives of William and Alexander. Related to these letters is a receipt signed by Samuel Parkman acknowledging receipt of $300 from Roger Brown on the account of Alexander Parkman. The collection also contains a letter from J. Wheeler concerning items that William Parkman would like for his shop. The collection also includes one letter from William Parkman’s son William and one from Esek Marsh. (Both involve personal matters.) Accompanying the papers are two leather wallets inscribed by William Parkman: one dated 1760 and one dated 1770. Processed by: Sarah Galligan; finding aid completed 03/01/2012. Container List: Series I: Papers, 1773-1826 (in folder): All letters are addressed to William Parkman in Concord, Mass. Writ to William Parkman as Deputy Sheriff (Case of Sprague vs. Seaver) 1773 July 10. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1796 Nov. 22. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1797 April 15. ALS from J. Wheeler, Boston, Mass., 1805 May 9. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1806 May 17. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1806 Dec. 27. ALS from Samuel Parkman, Boston, Mass., 1807 May 8. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1807 May 9. ALS from Samuel Parkman, Boston, Mass., 1807 May 25. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1807 June 21. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1807 September 12. ALS from Samuel Parkman, Boston, Mass., 1898 January 19. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1808 May 7. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1808 July 12. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1808 September 3. ALS from Alexander Parkman, Westmoreland, N.Y., 1808 December 17. ALS from Samuel Parkman, Boston, Mass., 1809 February 9. ALS from Samuel Parkman, Boston, Mass., 1809 February 18. Receipt signed by Samuel Parkman acknowledging receipt of $300 from Roger Brown on the account of Alexander Parkman, 1808 February 13. ALS from William Parkman, Camden, Maine, to his father William in Concord, Mass., 1818 Sept. 28. ALS from Esek Marsh, Holliston, Mass. 1826 April 8. Series II: Wallets, 1760, 1770 (in artifact box): Wallet inscribed “Wm Parkman 1760.” Wallet inscribed “Wm Parkman 1770.”

Parkman Genealogy – 1986

November 20, 2009



Parkman Genealogy Letter of Introduction (drafted in 1986)



Contents of Letter of Introduction (1986)




My initial letter of introduction & pedigree chart circa 1986 while I Assistant Vice President at DeBartolo Financial Services.

pedigree charts.jpg

Parkman Progenitors totaling 55,599 ancestors in GEDCOM format with Pedigree Charts and Family Groups click on the ParkmanPAF.paf GEDCOM file uploaded:

13 Generation Parkman Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets:*,0,0

Elias Parkman, American Progenitor’s Pedigree Chart and Family Groups link:>

Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common, MA

November 16, 2009




Parkman Bandstand Boston Common Aerial

Boston Back Bay from Boston Common

Parkman Bandstand Boston Common

The Parkman Bandstand was named for one of the Common’s greatest benefactors, George Francis Parkman Jr., who died in 1908 and left $5 million for the care of the Common and other city parks. The bandstand was originally dedicated in 1912 and was restored in 1996. It still hosts small events such as midday concerts, theatrical productions, weddings and speeches (Obama  in 2007). Annually, the Boston Freedom Rally is held at Parkman Bandstand, the second largest rally calling for the reform of marijuana laws in the United States. The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company puts on free plays from Parkman Bandstand, drawing as many as 100,000 theater-lovers into the park every summer.

George Parkman JR bio

Boston Common History & Map_tcm3-30691

Boston Common History Map & brochure produced by the City of Boston link:


George Parkman – pencil sketch

George Parkman donated his townhouse @ 33 Beacon Street, Boston (known as The Parkman House) and $ 5 Million in 1908 to the City of Boston for the perpetual maintenance of the Boston Common. Shortly thereafter the City erected The Parkman Bandstand and The Parkman Plaza consisting of 3 statues both located at the Boston Common which is America’s oldest park established in 1659. George Parkman was a Harvard graduate that was murdered by Harvard Professor Daniel White Webster. It was the first time in American history that circumstantial evidence was used (his ceramic dentures) to convict and hang a man. PBS TV made a documentary about this murder that may be watched on

freedom trail boston


the partnership of historic bostons.png

The Partnership of Historic Bostons:

Parkman House – 33 Beacon St. , Boston, Mass.

November 16, 2009

George Parkman JR bio

The Parkman House, 33 Beacon Street, Boston (also known as the Mayor’s Official Reception Center) was donated by George Parkman (see photos 1-3 above for details). The fourth photo is of Brenda Parkman of The Parkman Cattle Company, Montgomery, AL. The fifth & sixth photos are of The Parkman Line & Parkman Reunion at Robert Parkman’s Rocky Point Farm, Salem, AL 2006 (Daniel & Theresa Parkman are front row @ right side with light blue and black shirts).


The Teeth above of Doctor George Parkman murdered @ Harvard:>

freedom trail boston

Francis Parkman – U.S. Postage Stamp – Author of Oregon Trail & 17 books

November 15, 2009

Francis Parkman Prominent American Series 3 cent US Postage stamp first day of issue 16 Spet 1967.JPG

Francis Parkman Prominent American Series.JPG

Francis Parkman Prominent American Series 2.JPG

He wrote 17 Volumes/Books the most famous was “The Oregon Trail” which was essentially a diary of his trip from Boston to St. Louis with his cousin Shaw and amongst the American Indians.

Here is Wikipedia link:>

Here is a link to Francis Parkman’s Genealogy:>

francis parkman wilburn l schram.jpg


francis parkman . a life of francis parkman by charles haight farnham.jpg

A life of Francis Parkman by Charles Haight Farnham – 426 pages DIGITIZED

St. Botolph Club – Francis Parkman, 1st President & co-Founder – 1880

November 15, 2009

199 Commonwealth Avenue • Boston, Massachusetts 02116

Francis Parkman Memorial, Jamaica Plain, Mass

November 15, 2009

francis parkman.jpg

Francis Parkman’s signature

francis parkman memorial jamaica plain parkman_memorial

This Francis Parkman Memorial now stands where his house foundation once was – Jamaica Plain, MA 

Francis Parkman Memorial, Francis Parkman Drive at Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain, MA:,+Boston,+MA+02130/@42.3162151,-71.1261518,814m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e3790d7f6acb55:0x7897856ace0d84c5!8m2!3d42.3181537!4d-71.1244273

francis parkman house jamaica pond 1894.jpg

Francis Parkman House, Jamaica Pond, Mass 1894

francis parkman house jamaica pond 1894 view from house of pond

view of Jamaica Pond from Francis Parkman house 1894

francis parkman house jamaica pond 1894 2

Francis Parkman house 1894

francis parkman house jamaica pond 1894 3

Francis Parkman house 1894

francis parkman house jamaica pond 1894 from pond st olmstead park.jpg

Jamaica Pond & Olmstead Park  from Pond St. 1894


Parkman Memorial

By Richard Heath

In the great council house stood the wisdom and valor of the confederacy, sachems; tall and stalwart figures limbed like Grecian statues.
Francis Parkman, The Old Regime of Canada

The first design of the Parkman Memorial was an Indian woman and an Indian man carved in deep relief on separate shafts connected by a lintel. This is a full size plaster model of the Indian maiden on display at Chesterwood. the summer home and studio of DC French at Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Photograph by Richard Heath.A majestic Iroquois stands witness on the shores of Jamaica Pond. He emerges from a single shaft of granite twenty feet high. The head and torso are cut deep into the stone while the legs, wrapped in a robe, appear to be the stone itself because of the low-cut relief. His thick left hand holds his robe and the pipe of peace. The stern face is often in shadow; the head is thrown back and his hooded eyes stare into time.

This is the memorial to Francis Parkman, American historian and summertime Jamaica Plain resident. It was designed by Daniel Chester French and carved partly on site in 1906.

Francis Parkman was born on September 16, 1893 on Beacon Hill; he spent his early years at number five Bowdoin Square. Together with the historian William H. Prescott (1796-1859), Parkman introduced American letters to the field of history written in Romantic prose, based on careful research from original manuscripts and documents.

It was as a student at Harvard that Francis Parkman determined to write about the American wilderness – the struggle for power in North America between the empires of Britain and France. “Here it seemed to me,” Parkman wrote in 1886, “the forest drama was more stirring and the forest stage more thronged … the course of the American conflict between France and England [was] the history of the American forest.”

Parkman’s fascination with the American forest was also with its people, the Eastern Woodlands Indian. This led him to read James Fenimore Cooper, the earliest American writer who, in the words of Parkman biographer Mason Wade, “recognized the importance of the Indian and the forest in the development of the nation.” Parkman’s histories took the romanticism of Cooper much further: for the historian, the Indian was a political and military power that had to be understood if the conquest of North America was to be accurately written. In that titanic struggle for continental hegemony – which was a dress rehearsal for the Revolutionary War a decade later – there were three centers of power: the French, the British, and the American Indian, principally the Iroquois Confederacy.

Parkman’s first book in the seven-volume history, Pioneers of France in the New World, was published in 1865, followed two years later by The Jesuits in North America. Jesuits opens with a chapter on the first continental power, titled “Native Tribes.” It is a 47-page study of all facets of American Indian life: tribal divisions, arts, festivals, medicines, women and families, religion, government, and most importantly to Parkman, an examination of the mighty Iroquois. In its struggle with Britain, France enlisted as allies the most significant tribe in the Northeast, the Iroquois. Of all the eastern tribes, the Iroquois were the most politically and militarily organized, and therefore to Parkman, they came closest to resembling the Europeans. This introduction, opening as it does the history of the beginning of New France, recognized that the Indian was the first of the three powers for mastery of North America. The concluding volume, A Half Century of Conflict, was published in 1892, a year before Francis Parkman’s death.

Parkman spent his life on Beacon Hill; in 1865 he moved to 50 Chestnut Street, where he kept a Sioux war bonnet, war clubs, and other Indian relics from his 1848 trip to the great West. In 1852 he bought three acres on Prince Street overlooking Jamaica Pond, and on the crest of the slope he built a summer cottage nestled among trees. In 1874 he rebuilt this house in bracket farmhouse style with truncated gable, bay windows and a veranda. The entrance drive came off Prince Street, and the grounds swept down to the pond where he had a boat dock. Flanking the pathway to the pond were lush flower beds of roses and lilies that he was famous for propagating. Francis Parkman celebrated his 70th birthday at the Jamaica Pond house on September 15, 1893, but less than two months later he died there on November 8, 1893. He was buried on Indian Ridge at Mt. Auburn Cemetery.

In 1875 the Boston Park Commissioners, with the advice of Frederick Law Olmsted, began to plan for a great system of parks for Boston. There was no doubt that Jamaica Pond had to be preserved as a public park because of its unique natural beauty, quickly being lost to icehouses and private estates. By January 1893, 65 acres had been purchased surrounding the pond for a park. Parkman’s estate was included in the acreage, but the city would not take his house and grounds while he was still alive (Parkman was offered $24,300 for his property).

In 1894 a few months after Parkman’s death, his cottage, carriage house and greenhouse were razed and the grading begun for Parkman Drive. The shoreline below the cottage was not changed, but the boat dock was removed. The 555-foot long supporting wall for Parkman Drive was built, and by the end of 1898 the Drive itself and the footpath through the old estate grounds were complete and opened to the public.

In 1895 a committee including Charles Sprague Sargent, founder and first director of the Arnold Arboretum, and Parkman’s eldest daughter Grace Parkman Coolidge, was formed and proposed a memorial to Francis Parkman on the site of his cherished summer home. The American Architect and Building News reported in its April 13, 1896 issue that “friends of the late Mr. Parkman are raising money for a monument … nothing would be more appropriate than such a memorial erected on the very scene of his labors.” It noted that $15,000 had been raised. The committee consulted with Frederick Law Olmsted, then at the end of his great career, for advice on the site. (Olmsted preferred that public art in his parks harmonize with the landscape). The committee turned to the architect Charles McKim (who had just completed the Boston Public Library) to design the memorial, but Mc Kim thought that it was one of sculpture not architecture, and he turned to his friend and library collaborator Daniel Chester French (who had designed the bronze entrance doors to the Library). McKim and French collaborated through several false starts until 1902, when McKim withdrew from the project and French proceeded alone to design the memorial.

Born in 1850 in Exeter, New Hampshire, Daniel Chester French in 1895 was in the forefront of American sculpture, largely for the acclaim he received for the Milmore Memorial of 1893 at Forest Hills Cemetery, and for The Republic, the 65-foot statue at the Court of Honor, which he designed for the 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago. (This is where he first met Charles McKim. French also collaborated with architects on six statuary groups for the Exposition). His first major public sculpture was the iconographic Citizen Soldier – the “Minuteman Statue” – at Concord, Mass. (1875). In 1884 his seated bronze statue of John Harvard was unveiled at Harvard Yard. When he accepted the commission for the Parkman Memorial, French was nearing completion of the John Boyle O’Reilly statue in the Back Bay Fens. Designed with the architect C. Howard Walker, it was placed in 1896 at the corner of the Fenway and Boylston Street. This was the first piece of public statuary in the Olmsted Park system. The Parkman Memorial would be the second.

The Parkman Memorial sculpture is that of an Iroquois sachem staring north across Jamaica Plain. Nothing survives to suggest that any image other than that of an American Indian was proposed to honor Parkman. Francis Parkman himself described what the proper monument should look like and no doubt his daughter Grace pointed out the words in the chapter he wrote on Indian tribes in the Conspiracy of Pontiac (1851): “Some races of men seem molded in wax, soft and feeble… but the Indian is hewn out of rock. It is in the native wilds alone that the Indian must be seen and studied. Thus to depict him is the aim of the ensuing history: and if, from the shades of rock and forest, the savage features should look too grimly forth it is because of the tempestuous clouds of war.”

The basic design we see today of a standing chief set in deep relief in a single block of granite had been roughed out by French by 1901. The concept of the figure emerging literally out of living rock was a unique sculptural style for French and in American sculpture, but it seemed to be almost an intuitive idea for him as he considered the life work of Francis Parkman. Grace Parkman Coolidge approved the bronze relief of her father that French designed and cast for the base of the shaft.

In her 1947 biography of her father, Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973) wrote about the memorial: “In the center [was] a shaft twenty feet in height with a figure of an Indian cut into the stone, the upper part in the round and projecting hardly at all beyond the face of the granite. It was a rather a new idea and very effective.” (D. C. French would carve only one other monument in deep relief, the majestic Melvin Memorial at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, dedicated in 1908 and clearly inspired by the Parkman.) The original design had both a male and female figure standing in deep relief on separate slabs of stone connected by a stone lintel, but this idea was discarded by early 1905 for the single Indian. The model of this was approved in June 1905. The thirty-foot-long foundation for the memorial was dug on the same site as Parkman’s cottage. In 1906 the huge block of gray granite was quarried at Quincy and shipped to Boston to be carved by the master artisan Francesco C. Recchia (1859-1921) in his studio at 359 Boylston Street1. French did the final carving in October 1906, on site after it had been erected, and the memorial was completed on November 20, 1906.

When it was finally erected in 1906 after nine years of effort, the Parkman Memorial was the first public sculpture in Boston to portray a Native American. One has to literally walk up to within a few feet of the monument to see the relief and the name of Francis Parkman. This was certainly the intention; it is a monument more to the achievements of the man, than to the man himself.

In 1912, a second statue using the American Indian was designed by Cyrus Dallin. The Appeal to the Great Spirit, a great equestrian Indian sculpture, was set up at the entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The Parkman Memorial and Appeal to the Great Spirit remain the only two statues to the Native American in Boston to this day. But they are two different Indians: Dallin’s Plains chief astride his exhausted horse is doomed as he lifts his arms for deliverance. But the Iroquois that French carved for the Parkman Memorial is proud and defiant, exactly the way Francis Parkman portrayed the Indian in his histories.

Neglect and vandalism plagued Boston public art in the 1970s, and in 1973 the bronze relief of Francis Parkman was stolen. In September 1988 this writer asked the Henderson Foundation if it would underwrite the restoration of the monument and replace the plaque. In response, Henry Lee, chairman of the Adopt-a-Statue program, visited the Memorial with John Galvin of the Henderson Foundation and Mary Shannon, Executive Secretary of the Boston Art Commission. Funds were approved in 1989 and the granite was cleaned and repointed. Replacing the bronze plaque required skill and ingenuity. The original plaster cast of the plaque was lost, and the only reference was a single photograph in the archives at Chesterwood, the summer home and studio of D. C. French in Stockbridge, Mass. (owned and managed since 1969 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation).

The outline of the original plaque was still plainly visible on the base of the shaft and this was carefully traced. The photograph of the plaster cast was enlarged until it fit exactly the outline drawing. Using that as a reference, Addio de Bascari made a new plaster mold cast by sculptor Robert Shure. The new bronze plaque was installed on September 14, 1990. Mary Shannon guided all the work every step of the way.

The Parkman Memorial did not have a dedication ceremony. To correct that mistake, the Jamaica Plain Historical Society rededicated the Memorial on Francis Parkman’s birthday, September 16, 1990.

The Parkman Memorial in September 1990 shortly after restoration was complete.

The summer house of Francis Parkman from Prince Street. Photograph taken in 1894 shortly before it was razed for Jamaica Park. Courtesy of the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.

The new plaque after installation in September 1990. Photograph by Richard Heath.

Plaster bust of Francis Parkman complete with Roman toga designed and modeled by Martin Milmore. Presented to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in February 1876. Parkman was President of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society from 1874 to 1878 and before that was Chair of the Library Committee for a decade. It was displayed in the Trustees Room at Horticultural Hall where this photograph was taken by Richard Heath in June 1989. Afterwards, it was removed to Wellesley and put in a file room.


francis parkman oregon trail book

The Oregon Trail & The Conspiracy of Pontiac

francis parkman OT map.jpg

Map of the Oregon Trail from Independence, MO to Oregon City, OR

Francis Parkman Oregon Trail painting 1925 by N.C. Wyeth

Oregon Trail painting

francis parkman OT oglala sioux arrows 1846.jpg

Oglala Sioux Indian arrows collected by Francis Parkman in 1846 on Oregon Trail


 francis parkman OT oglala sioux peace pipe 1846.jpg
Oglala Sioux Indian peace pipe collected by Francis Parkman in 1846 on Oregon Trail
francis parkman OT oglala sioux shield 1846.jpg
Oglala Sioux Indian shield collected by Francis Parkman in 1846 on Oregon Trail.
francis parkman OT oglala souix bow 1846.jpg
Oglala Sioux Indian bow collected by Francis Parkman in 1846 on Oregon Trail.
Massachussetts Historical Society has 137 items when you Search: Parkman:
francis parkman writing screen orange paper red ink blind.jpg
Francis Parkman’s writing screen as he was poor eye sight he used orange paper and red ink.
francis parkman OT ShoshonecampforWEB
Oregon Trail Shoshone Indians
francis parkman OT OWDR-ox-drawn-on-the-Oregon-Trail1
Oregon Trail ox driven wagons
francis parkman OT oregon trail
francis parkman grave
Francis Parkman was buried on Indian Ridge at Mt. Auburn Cemetery.


Col. Robert Gould Shaw @ The Boston Common 1863 Civil War

November 15, 2009

glory civil war Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Mass 54th Regiment.jpg


colonel robert gould shaw memorial

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Memorial is directly across Beacon Street from the State Capitol building.

colonel robert gould shaw colorized

Robert Gould SHAW


2nd cousin 5x removed


  • Robert Gould SHAW Honourable


  • Elizabeth Willard PARKMAN




freedom trail boston

colonel robert gould shaw colorized.jpg

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw from the movie “Glory”


Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Storming Fort Wagner, SC
Colonel Robert Gould Shaw died during the Civil War. He was the first American to serve as Colonel of a regiment of 1,000 black soldiers during the Civil War. The penalty was death if caught by the Confederate Soldiers. Shaw’s story was made into a movie called “Glory” staring Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw’s Grandmother was a Parkman, Elizabeth Willard Parkman. Monument designed by Augustus St. Gaudens who designed USA Double Eagle $20 gold coin (see below) – see movie “Glory” (above). This monument is located directly across the street from the gold domed Boston Capital Building.

The second photo is @ the Biltmore, Asheville, NC that was owned by the Vanderbilt’s who were associates of JP Morgan, Carnegie & the Peabody families. Governor Chub Peabody was Gov of Mass in 1962. Chub’s Mother was Mary Parkman Peabody who was jailed during a sit-in @ a racially segregated restaurant in St. Augustine, FL. Later Martin Luther, King, Jr. recognized her efforts.

Agustus St. Gaudens Double Eagle $20 Gold Coin – World Record Holder for a single coin set @ $7.5 million dollars @ auction in 2002. (St. Gaudens was the sculpture and designer of “The Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Memorial @ The Boston Common – above)



Diana, cast by Augustus Saint-Gaudens , located at The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL.

Samuel Parkman (August 22, 1751 – June 11, 1824) and Sarah Rogers had five children: Elizabeth (1785), Francis (1788), George (1790), Samuel (1791), and Daniel (1794). Samuel Parkman had also had six children by his previous marriage to Sarah Shaw.[2] Samuel Parkman, George’s father and family patriarch, had bought up low-lying lands and income properties in Boston’s West End.[3] He also founded and was part owner of the towns of Parkman, Ohio and Parkman, Maine.[4][5] His sons from his first marriage oversaw theOhio properties, while his second set of boys were responsible for the Maineparcel. Samuel’s daughters inherited wealth as well. The most notable was George’s sister Elizabeth Willard Parkman, whose spouse Robert Gould Shaw (1776 – 1853), grandfather of Robert Gould Shaw (October 10, 1837 – July 18, 1863, Union Army colonel during the American Civil War), grew his wife’s share of the fortune to become the senior partner in the most powerful commercial house in a city glutted with the proceeds of the China Trade.[6]

The eleven Parkman scions united in marriage with the Beacon Hill families of Blake, Cabot, Mason, Sturgis, Tilden, and Tuckerman. Of his eleven offspring, Samuel chose George as the one to administer the Parkman estate.[7]>

Boston Common History & Map_tcm3-30691

Boston Common History Map & brochure produced by the City of Boston link:

Beacon Hill's Colonel Robert Gould Shaw by Marion Whitney Smith.jpg

Beacon Hill’s Colonel Robert Gould Shaw:

Digitized book:

colonel robert gould shaw a pictorial history marion whitney smith.jpg


Colonel Robert Gould Shaw – a Pictorial History – His Family Background and Shaw’s Brave Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Infantry & Beacon Hill’s Colonel Robert Gould Shaw by Marion Whitney Smith



Chauncey L. Parkman, Jr. – Civil War Union soldier, died from his wounds received at Spottsylvania, VA.

Birth: 1839
Death: Jun. 3, 1864
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

son of Chauncey L. Parkmanmd. Halifax, Vt. 27 Aug. 1857 Viann B., dau. of Daniel & Susan F. Coller. She d. Athol, 20 Aug. 1863.Child:

1. Flora Viann b. Athol, 13 Sep. 1862

Co. I – 1st Regt. Mass. Heavy Artillery

He enlisted & mustered in at Greenfield, Ma. 23 Nov. 1863.

Chauncey was wounded on his scalp and the left side of his chest on the 19th of May 1864 in a “severe engagement” near Spottsylvania.

He died in Washington D. C. at the Harwood Hospital on 3 Jun. 1864 as a result of those wounds.

Family links:
Chauncey Parkman
Sarah Parkman

Vian B. Coller Parkman (1832 – 1863)

Highland Cemetery
Worcester County
Massachusetts, USA
Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]
Created by: James Bianco
Record added: Dec 13, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 139981647




UN Ambassador, Atlanta Mayor & Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young

November 15, 2009

Andrew Young at the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN 1968

Andrew Young was the pastor of a small country church when he faced down the Ku Klux Klan to organize a voter registration drive in South Georgia. He became the leading negotiator for the national Civil Rights Movement, enduring death threats, beatings and jail time to win for African Americans the rights of full citizenship they were promised by the Constitution, rights they had been long denied. Alongside his friend, Martin Luther King, Jr., he marched through the most dramatic episodes of the great struggle: from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the streets of Birmingham and Selma, and finally to Memphis, where an assassin’s bullet ended Dr King’s life. Young fought on, winning election to the United States House of Representatives, as the first African American to be elected to Congress from the Deep South since Reconstruction. As a Congressman, he supported a little known former Governor of Georgia in his long-shot bid for the Presidency, and when Jimmy Carter became President, he named Andrew Young to serve as his country’s Ambassador to the United Nations. At the UN, Andrew Young maintained his commitment to universal human rights, plunging into the most challenging controversies of the day, including the liberation struggles of Southern Africa and the search for peace in the Middle East. He capped his career in public service with two terms as Mayor of Atlanta. Once again, he proved himself an able negotiator, balancing the interests of the business community with the needs of the city’s poorest citizens, completing the city’s transformation from a battleground of the Civil Rights era to the proud showplace of the modern South. Half a century after the battles of the 1960s, Andrew Young remains an outspoken champion for the rights of all mankind.

Shockingly, the aides-Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson, James Bevel, and Samuel “Billy” Kyles-say that despite witnessing everything that unfolded that evening, “no authority from the Memphis Police, the Tennessee State Police or the FBI have ever asked them a single question.”

Andrew Young @ right closing casket.


Daniel Parkman, Freddie Booker & James Makawa, CEO & Founder of The Africa Channel (Washington DC TAC Comcast launch)>

James Makawa>

James Makawa, Andrew Young & Dikembe Mutombo (NBA & TAC Investors)

Coffin House (1686), Nantucket Island, MA – 1659

November 15, 2009




Jethro Coffin House built in 1686 is Nantucket’s oldest house on Nantucket. It had National Historic designation before lightning struck chimney in 1978.

Jethro Coffin house Nantucket interior

coffin house nantucket jethro 2

coffin house nantucket jethro 3

coffin house nantucket jethro 4.jpg

coffin house nantucket jethro 5

jethro coffin house interior

1686   Oldest House and Mary Gardner Coffin
This portrait, attributed to the Pollard Limner, depicts Mary Gardner Coffin (1670-1767). Mary Gardner was born on Nantucket and married Jethro Coffin, grandson of Tristram, in 1686. Their home, built later that year, is still standing on Nantucket. Now known as the Oldest House, it is owned and operated by the Nantucket Historical Association. The Coffin/Gardner marriage symbolized the end of an early conflict in Nantucket society involving their families that was known as the “half-share revolt.” John Gardner and Tristram Coffin were key figures in Nantucket’s early governance. Coffin represented the “full-share” men, or original founders of Nantucket, while Gardner was one of a group of tradesmen who came to work on the island but received only half-shares. Bitter debates between the full-share and half-share parties raged on Nantucket about land rights, who could hold public office, and the future directions for the island. A tentative compromise between the two factions was reached in 1678, but it was not until Coffin’s death in 1681 and the eventual marriage of his grandson into the Gardner family that a full resolution of this conflict occurred.


Satellite Aerial of Nantucket



See 1:49 for Jethro Coffin House

Trystram Coffin’s sister, Mary Coffin married Alexander Adams, who’s daughter Elizabeth Adams married William Parkman, parents of Reverend Ebenezer Parkman.

William Parkman (Elizabeth Adams & William Parkman, Mary Coffin & Alexander Adams,  are all 4 buried @ Copp’s Hill Cemetery in Boston).

Trystram, his son, 4 partners and 2 of the Macy’s bought the island of Nantucket from the Mayhews in 1659 for 30 pounds sterling and 2 beaver hats (per the Nantucket Historical Association’s Seal see above = 30 coins & 2 beaver hats). Mary Parkman Coffin’s cousin was Jethro Coffin who built the Jethro Coffin House in 1686 – that is the oldest house on Nantucket. It was on the Registry of National Landmarks until 1987 when it was struck by lightning and burnt enough that when it was repaired with authentic materials and craftsmen it no longer qualified for the Landmark designation. There is a stained glass window in the baptismal font in the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. depicting Rev. Thomas Mayhew, Jr. baptizing an Indian of the Wampanoag Indians. The Nantucket Historical Association sells a book that contains 40,000 posterity/family descendants of the original 8 co-Founders of Nantucket. Herman Melville’s book Moby Dick opens with a scene from a Nantucket Inn/bar owned by a Peter Coffin.

Mayhew baptizing Wampanoag Indian stained glass window Washington DC National Cathedral.JPG

Mayhew baptizing Wampanoag Indian stained glass window Washington DC National Cathedral.

Nantucket whalebone 2007

Nantucket whalebone 2007

Tristram Coffin pedigree chart, family group, photos & history:


About 1658 Tristram became interested in the island of Nantucket forming a company for its purchase and moving there in 1659. It is disputed why Tristram went to Nantucket. The probability is that it came through his acquaintanceship with Thomas Macy a cousin of Thomas Mayhew who owned the island by purchase from the agents of Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Lord Sterling. Thomas Macy was a deputy to the General Court from Salisbury in 1654. Thomas Mayhew was a resident of Watertown, before moving to Martha’s Vineyard, and was a deputy of the General Court from that place. Mayhew who was governor of Martha’s Vineyard probably wanted Nantucket settled and offered the land very cheaply to Coffin, Macy and their associates. The first records of the proceedings in regard to Nantucket were kept at Salisbury but after the island came under the jurisdictin of New York the records were kept at Albany where they are still to be found.

Early in 1659 Tristram went to Martha’s Vineyard where he took Peter Folger the Grandfather of Benjamin Franklin as an interpreter of the Indian language and went to Nantucket to ascertain the temper of the Indians and the capabilities of the island so that he could report to the citizens of Salisbury. At Martha’s Vineyard he entered into preliminary negotiations with Thomas Mayhew for the purchase of the island before visiting it. After his visit to the island he made additional arrangements for its purchase and returned to Salisbury where his report upon the condition of the island, the character of the Indians and the advantages of a change of residence, was laid before his friends and associates. A company was organized for the immediate purchase of the whole island allowing Thomas Mayhew to retain a one-tenth portion with some other reservations. Several meetings of the purchasers were held at Salisbury and general rules for the government of the island were adopted.

“July 2d, 1659- These people after mentioned did buy all right and enterest of the Island of Nantucket that did belong to Sr Ferdinando George and the Lord Sterling, Mr. Richard Vines, Steward, Gentleman to Sir Ferdinando George, and Mr. James Ferrett, Steward to Lord Sterling, which was by them sold unto Mr. Thomas Mayhew, of Marthers Vineyard; these after mentioned did purchas of Mr. Thomas Mayhew these Rights: namely, the pattent Right belonging to the Gentleman aforesaid; and also the piece of Land which Mr. Mayhew did purchass of the Indians at the west end of the Island of Nantucket as by their grant or bill of sale, will largely appear with all the privileges and appurtenances thereof; the aforementioned Purchasers are Tristram Coffin, Senyr, Thomas Macy, Richard Swain, Thomas Barnard, Peter Coffin, Christopher Hussey, Stephen Greenleaf, John Swain, William Pile; the Mr. Thomas Mayhew himself also becom a Twentieth part purchaser so that they… had the Sole Interest, Disposell, power, and privilege of said Island and appurtenances thereof.”(16)

“Bee it known unto all Men by these Presents, that I, Thomas Mayhew, of Martha’s Vineyard, Merchant, doe hereby acknowledge, that I have sould unto Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Richard Swayne, Thomas Bernard, Peter Coffin, Stephen Greenleafe, John Swayne, and William Pike, that Right and Interest I have in ye Land of Nantuckett, by Patent; ye wch Right I bought of James fforrett, Gent. and Steward to ye Lord Sterling, and of Richard Vines sometimes of Sacho, Gent., Steward-Genrll unto Sir Georges, Knight, as by Conveyances under their Hands and Seales doe appeare, ffor them ye aforesaid to Injoy, and their Heyres and Assignes forever, wth all the Priviledges thereunto belonging, for in consideration of ye Sume of Thirty Pounds of Current Pay, unto whomsoever I ye said Thomas Mayhew… shall appoint. And also two Beaver Hatts, one for myselfe, and one for my wife… and to hold one-twentieth Part of all Lands purchased… And in Witness hereof, I have hereunto sett my Hand and Seale this second Day of July, sixteen hundred and fifty-nine.”(17)

“At Salysbury, February, 1659- At a meeting of the purchasers… it was agreed and Determined and approvd as followss, vizt: tht the ten owners will admitt of Ten more partners who shall have equall power and Interest with themselves, and tht either of the purchasers aforementioned shall have liberty to take a partner whome he pleases not being mostly excepted against by the rest. At that meeting Robert Pike was owned partner with Christopher Hussey, Robert Barnard was owned partner with Thomas Barnard, Edward Starbuck was owned to be Thomas Macy’s partner, and Tristram Coffin, jur., partner with Stephen Greenleaf, James Coffin partner with Peter Coffin- at the same meeting it was mutually and unanimously agreed upon… that no man whatsoever shall purchase any land of any of the Indians upon the said iland for his own private or particular use; but whatsoever purchas shall be made, shall be for the general account of the Twenty ownners or purchasers… at the same meeting it was ordered and Determined that there shall be ten other Inhabitants admitted into the Plantation who shall have such accomodation as the Owners or purchasers shall judge meet- as namely necessary tradesman and Seaman.”(18)

“At a meeting of these owners of the Island of Nantucket at Salisbury it was Debatted, and after debatted, determed and concluded, that as ther had ben a former meeting in Salisbury at the House of Benjamin Cambell, in February, 1659, in which meeting orders was made for Prohibiting of any Person from the purchasing any land from any of the Indians upon the Island of Nantucket except for the use of the Twenty owners or purchasers, the Order shall stand Inviolable unalterable as that which also as that which is likely necessary to the continuance of the well being of the place and the Conturary, that which tends to the confusion and Ruine of the whole and the Suverting of the rules and orders allready agreed upon and the depriveing of the said owners of there Just rights and Interest. Also it was ordered at the same meeting that all the Land that is fit for areable land convenient for House lot shall be forthwith measured, that the quantity thereof may be known, which being done, shall be divided by equel preportions, that is to say Four Fifths parts to the owners or purchasers; and the other Fifth unto the Ten other Inhabitants, whereof John Bishop shall have two parts or shares, that is to say of that Fifth part belonging to the Ten Inhabitant. Also at the same meeting it was ordered that Tristram Coffin, Thomas Macy, Edward Starbuck, Thomas Barnard, Peter Folger of Mathers Vineyard, shall have power to measure and lay out said Land according to the above said awder, and whatsoever shall be done and concluded in the said Case by or any three of them, Peter Folger being one, shall be accounted Legall and valid.”(19)

Late in the season of 1659 the first settlers arrived including Thomas Macy and his family, Edward Starbuck, Isaac Coleman, and James Coffin. The first village grew up to the south and east of Capaum Pond where many of the cellar indentations are still visible. Tristram built his home near Capaum Pond and resided there until his death.

“May the 10th, 1661- At a meeting at Salisbury it was ordered and concluded that the aforementioned parties, vizt: Tristram Coffin, seny., Thomas Macy, Edward Starbuck, Thomas Barnard, Peter Folger, shall also measure and lay out all the rest of the Land, both meadows, Woods and upland, that is convenant to be appropriated within the bounds of the first Plantation; also it is determined that the above mentioned persons, together with Mr. Mayhew, Richard Swain, John Bishop or whatever others of the owners or puchasers that are present, shall have power to Determing what land is convenient to be improved and Laid out, and what should be common or Remain Common, and also, to Lay out the bounds of the Town and record it, provided always that the land being measured, they shall first lay out a convenant quantity of Land with suitable accomodations of all sorts which shall be Particularly reserved for the public use of the Town. Also it was ordered at the same meeting that an authentick Record shall be kept of all that is don about the proseeding and actions about the said Island, both the Island and on the main, untill further orders be taken. At the same meeting it was ordered, that for the particuler apointing which Lot every man shall have it shall be don be casting Lots excepting only those persons that have already taken there Lots, namly, Thomas Macy, Tristram Coffin, Seny., Edward Starbuck and Richard Swain. At the same meeting Robert Pike was appointed to keep the Records concerning the Island of Nantucket at Salisbury, and Thomas Macy to keep the Records at the Island, as in the above said orders expressed at present until further orders be taken by the owners or purchasers.”(20)

At a meeting held at Nantucket, 15 July 1661, of the owners residing there it was agreed that each man choose his house-lot within the limits not previously occupied and that each lot shall contain sixty rods square. Tristram appears to have been allowed to make the first selection:
“Tristram Coffin, Sen., had his house lot layed out at Cappammet, by the aforesaid Lot layers, at Cappamet Harbour head, sixty rods squar, or thereabouts, the east side line part of it bounded by the highway; the south side bounded by a rock southward of the pond; the north by the harbour head; the west side bounded by the lot of Tristram Coffin, Jr., more or less, as it is lay out.”(21)

“Tristram Coffin, Junior, had his house lot layd out by the aforesaid Lot layers at Coppammet, sixty rods squar, or thereabouts, on the east side by the lot of his father, Tristram Coffin, on the south side by the common; on the west by the lot of William Pile, more or less, as it is layed out.”(22)

“The one half of the accomodation to Tristram Coffin, sen., being assigned to Mary Starbuck and Nathaniel Starbuck, Tristram also being present at the place commonly called the Parliament House, Sixty rod square, bounded with the land of Thos. Mayhew on the south; and with the land of James Coffin on the north; and on the east with the land of Stephen Greenleaf; on the west by the common-Same land allowed at the east end with reference to rubbage land, more or less.”(23)

“Tristram Coffin, sen., had an acre of meadow lay out by Edwd Starbuck, Thos. Macy, himself being present, and Peter Folger agreeing thereto, on the neck commonly called Nanna hamak Neck, at the south end of the woodland. At the same time Tristram Coffin, junior, had an acre lot laid out at the same place.”(24)

“Tristram Coffin, Sen., had a twenty acre lot; being a Second Division answerable to the lot laid out in the five pound purchases, thirty rod in breadth, lying a Long from the north side of the house lot of the said Tristram Coffin lot, by Cuppammet head to the sea, more or less.”(25)

“Tristram Coffin, Jr., had twenty acre lot layed out by Tristram Coffin, Edward Starbuck & Peter Folger, answerable to the twenty acres on the five pound purches.”(26)

Tristram was 37 years old upon his arrival in America and 55 years old at the time of his moving to Nantucket. It does not appear that his mother, Joan Coffyn ever lived in Nantucket since she died in Boston in May, 1661. The Rev. Wilson who preached the funeral sermon spoke of her as a woman of extraordinary character. Sewall’s Diary which recorded her death says that he “embalmed her memory”.

For several years after this Tristram, with his sons, held the controlling interest in the Islands he being conceded to be the richest man there except for his son Peter. With his sons he bought the island of Tuckernuck after trying to have his other associates join in the purchase.

“The tenth Day of October, one thousand six hundred fifty and nine; These presents Witness, That I, Thomas Mayhew, of Martin’s Vineyard, Mercht, doe Give, Grant, Bargaine, and Sell, all my Right and Interest in Tuckannuck Island, als Tuckannuckett, which I have had, or ought to have, by Vertue of Patent Right, purchased of ye Lord Stirling’s Agent and of Mr Richard Vines, Agent unto Sir fferdinando George, Knight, unto Tristram Coffin Sr, Peter Coffin, Tristram Coffin Jur, and James Coffin, to them and their Heyres forever, ffor and in consideracon of ye just Sume of six Pounds in Hand paid, and by mee Thomas Mayhew, received in full Satisfaction of ye aforesaid Patent Right, of ye aforesaid Island.”(27)

“This witnesseth that I, Wanochmamack, chife sachem of Nantucket, hath sold unto Mr. Tristram Coffin and Thomas Macy, their heirs and assigns, that whole nack of land called by the Indians, Pacummohquah, being at the east end of Nantucket, for and in consideration of five pounds to be paid to me in English goods or otherwise to my content by the said Tristram Coffin aforesaid at convenient time as shall be demanded. Witness my hand or mark this 22 of June, 1662.”(28)

Tristram assumed the obligation to construct a cornmill, built and maintained it. He employed large numbers of Indians on his land. Benjamin Franklin Folger, the historian of Nantucket, says of him: “The christian character which he exhibited and which he practically illustrated in all the varied circumstances and conditions of that infant colony, is analogous to that which subsequently distinguished the founder of Pennsylvania so that the spirit of the one seemed to be but the counterpart of the other.”

The Indians were divided into bands and sometimes had quarrels among themselves and sometimes were at variance with the settlers. The Indians became troublesome only after they had learned to drink rum. The early court records are mainly devoted to trials, convictions and sentences of Indians to be whipped for getting drunk and for petty larcenies, and of fines imposed upon white men and women for selling rum to Indians. The first General Court for Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard composed of Tristram Coffyn, first chief magistrate of Nantucket and Thomas Mayhew, first chief magistrate of Martha’s Vineyard and two associates from each island enacted a law prohibiting the sale of intoxicating drinks to Indians. The law was occasionally enforced and John Gardner (whose gravestone alone marks the spot where the settlers were first interred) complained to Governor Lovelace, 15 Mar. 1676 that a half barrel of rum had been taken from him by Thomas Macy. Gardner also said that the Indian Sachems stated they would fight if the laws against them were enforced. The letter of Thomas Macy to Governor Lovelace, 9 May 1676 shows the fear of the Indians if strong drink was allowed to be sold to them and he asked the Governor to prohibit any ship coming into the harbor from selling strong drink to Indians: “Sir, concerning the Peace we hitherto enjoy, I cannot imagine it could have bin if strong Liquor had bin among the Indians, as formerly: for my owne yt I have been to ye utmost an opposed of the Trade these 38 yeares, and I verily believe (respecting the Indians) tis the only Ground of the miserable psent Ruine to both Nations; for tis that hath kept them from Civility, they have been the drunken Trade kept all the while like wild Beares and Wolves in the Wildernesse.”(29) It also seems that the Court on one occasion took possession of all the liquor on the island and dispenced it in small quantities to the settlers.

“Whereas ye Honble Coll: Lovelace, Governour of New Yorke, gave forth his Summons for ye Inhabitants of ye Isle of Nantuckett to make their Appearance before his Honor at New Yorke, either in their own Person or by their Agent, to shew their Claymes in respect to their Standing or Clayme of Interest on ye aforesaid Island. Now wee whose Names are underwritten having intrusted our ffather Tristram Coffin to make Answer for us, Wee doe Empower our ffather Tristram Coffin to act and doe for us wth Regard to our Interest, on ye Isle of Nantuckett and Tuckanuckett. Witness our Hands ye 2d Day of ye fourth Month, sixteen hundred and seventy-one, 1671.” Signed by James, John, Stephen Coffin and Nathaniel Starbuck.(30)

Tristram as the chief magistrate of Nantucket and Thomas Mayhew as chief magistrate of Martha’s Vineyard with two assistants from each island were to constitute a General Court with appellate jurisdiction over both islands.

“Imprimis, Wee humbly propose Liberty for ye Inhabitants to chuse annually a Man or Men to be Chiefe in ye Governmt, and chosen or appointed by his Honor to Stand in place, contantly invested wth Power of Confirmacon by Oath or Engagemt, or otherwise as his Honor shall appoint, one to be Chiefe in ye Cort and to have Magistraticall Power at all times wth regard to ye Peace and other necessary Consideracon.

2ly. Wee take for granted yt ye Lawes of England are Standard of Governmt, soe farre as wee know them, and are suitable to or Condicon not repugnant to ye Lawes of England.

3ly. In Point of carrying on ye Governmt from Time to Time, wee are willing to joyne with or Neighbor Island ye Vineyard, to keep together one Cort every Yeare, one Yeare at or Island, ye next wth them, and Power at Home to End all Cases not exceeding 20lb; And in all cases Liberty of Appeale to ye Genrll Cort in all Actions above 40lb. And in all Actions amounting to ye vallue of 100lb Liberty of Appeale to his Highnesse his Cort at ye Citty of New York; And in Capitall Cases, or such Mattrs as concerne Life, Limbe, or Banishmt. All such cases to be tryed at New Yorke.

4. And feeling ye Indians are numerous among us, Wee propose that or Governmt may Extend to them, and Power to Summon them to our Corts wth respect to Mattrs of Trespass Debt, and other Miscarriages, and Try and Judge them according to Lawes, when published amongst them.

And Lastly, some Military Power committed to us, respecting our Defence, either in respect of Indyans or Strangrs invadeing, &c.”(31)

The town voted to have a harrow for the use of the inhabitants and Tristram was to provide the harrow and he along with Thomas Macy were empowered to see that every man sowed seed “according to order”.

“Francis Lovelace, Esq., &c.: Whereas upon address made unto mee by Mr. Tristram Coffin and Mr. Thomas Macy on ye behalfe of themselves and ye rest of ye inhabitants of Nantuckett Island concerning ye Mannor and Method of Government to be used amongst themselves, and having by ye advice of my councell pitcht upon a way for them; That is to say, That they be governed by a person as Chiefe Magistrate, and two Assistants, ye former to be nominated by myselfe, ye other to be chosen and confirmed by ye inhabitants as in ye instructions sent unto them is more prticularly sett forth. And having conceived a good opinion of ye fitness and capacity of Mr. Tristram Coffin to be ye present Chiefe Magistrate to manage affayres with ye Ayd and good advice of ye Assistants in ye Islands of Nantuckett and Tuckanuckett, I have thought fit to nominate, constitute, and appoint, and by these presents doe hereby nominate, constitute and appoint Mr. Tristram Coffin to be Chief Magistrate of ye said Islands of Nantuckett and Tuckanuckett. In ye management of which said employment hee is to use his best skill and endeavour to preserve his Maties Peace and to keep ye Inhabitants in good Order. And all Persons are hereby required to give ye said Mr. Tristram Coffin such respect and obedience as belongs to a Person invested by commission from authority of his Royall Highness in ye place and employment of a Chiefe Magistrate in ye Islands aforesaid. And hee is duly to observe the Orders and Instructions which are already given forth for ye well governing of ye Place; or such others as from time to time shall hereafter bee given by mee: And for whatsoever ye said Mr. Tristram Coffin shall lawfully Act or Doe in Prosecution of ye Premises, This my Commission which is to bee of fforce until ye 13th day of October, which shall bee in ye yeare of our Lord, 1672, when a new Magistrate is to enter into the employment shall be his sufficient Warrant and Discharge.

Given under my Hand and Seale at fforte James, in New Yorke, this 29th day of June, in ye 22d yeare of his Maties Reigne, Annoq Dni. 1671.”(32)

Between 1675-6 there was a dispute in court between Thomas Macy then chief magistrate and William Worth his son-in-law on one side and John Gardner, Peter Folger and others on the other side. The islanders lined up on one side or the other. The matter was a question of land and superior authority, for Massachusetts vs. New York. Tristram was of Macy’s party and aligned against Gardner although subsequently he again became friends with Gardner.

“Testimony of Tristram Coffin aged 67 years: That on the 6th day of June 1677, the General Court being set in the town of Sherburne, and Capt. John Gardner being brought into Court, and sot down on a chest where I sat, ther being of the members of the Court that spake to him concerning the contmptuous carriages in regard to the King’s authority then and there present, and he accused and brought as a delinquent.

I spake to him and told him I was very sorry that he did not behave himself. The aforesaid Capt. John Gardner replied and said:

‘I know my business and it may be some of these that have meddled with me had better have eaten fier.’
Witnes my hand to the verity of this
Tristram Coffin.”(33)

The feeling for accepting the jurisdiction of Massachusetts instead of New York grew stronger and Governor Andros, who had succeeded Lovelace, again made Tristram governor perhaps in hope of settling the controversy. This commission is on the Nantucket

Records instead of the New York ones:

“Edmund Andros, Esqr., seigneur of Sausmarez, Lieut. & Governour General under his Royall Highnesse James, Duke of Yorke and Albany, &c., of all his Territories in America:
Whereas an undue or illegall returne of the Chief Magistrate of Nantuckett hath been make two yeares successively from thence, the one being by law wholly incapable thereof: Therefore by advice of my Counsell, by vertue of Majesties Letters Pattents, & authority from his Royall Highnesse, I doe hereby in his Majesty’s names, nominate, constitute, and Authorize Mr. Tristram Coffin, Senr., to be Chief Magistrate of the said Island of Nantucket and dependencyes for the ensuing yeare, or further order, in the place and stead of Mr. Thomas Macy, late Chiefe Magistrate, and being thereunto sworn by him, or next in place, to act as Chiefe Magistrate according to Law and lawfull custome and practice, requiring all persons who it may concern, to conform themselves thereunto accordingly.

Given under my hand and seale of the Province of New Yorke, this sixteenth day of September 1677.
E. Andross.”(34)

Tristram held the office of Governor until 1680 when John Gardner was appointed.

“I Tristram Coffin of Nantucket, do for divers good considerations, as Also in regard of my Fatherly affections, do give unto my daughter, Mary Starbuck, the one half of my accomodations of my purchase, on Nantucket Island… 14th 4th mo. 1664.”(35)

This unusual gift to a daughter was probably due to the fact that his sons were all co-purchasers with him in the island. Later he gave to his sons the remainder of his real estate.
“I Tristram Coffin, of Nantucket, Senore, do give… unto my son, Stephen Coffin, the one-half of my land at Cappan, Alies Northam, within the township of Sherborn, situated upon Nantucket Island… all… except… my new dwelling house upon the hill, and my old dwelling house under the hill, by the Erbe garden; now, for and in consideration of the aforesaid premisses, my son, Stephen Coffin, shall always from time to time do the best he can in managing my other half of my lands and accomodation during mine and my wife’s life, and tht he be helpfull to me and his mother in our old age and sickness, what he can:… the fifteenth of the elventh mone, one thousand six hundred and seventy-six.”(36)

“Tristram Coffin, Senior, in the town of Sherborn, on the Island of Nantucket… in regard to my naturall afections unto my son, John Coffin, now of Sherborn, as also for divers other good and Lawful consideration… I… do freely give unto my son, John Coffin… my new Dwelling house, with all other houses Adjoining unto it, and also the whole half share of land and accomodation… to have and to hold forever, imediatly after the Decease of me… and my now wife Dionis Coffin” 3 Dec. 1678.(37)

“I Tristram Coffin of Sherborn… in Regard of my Natural afection unto my Grand Children… give unto every one of them Ten Acres of land to plant or sow English grain on… upon the Island of Tuckernuck… and if they… shall sow their land with english hay seed they shall have liberty to keep four shep upon every acre during their Lifetime… 3d 10th 1678.”(38)

Tristram in 1680 was brought into Court for an infringement of the Admiralty law. A ship having been cast away was salvaged by the people of the Island while he was magistrate and he neglected to make an accounting satisfactory to the Court. He was penalized for the full amount of her estimated value and this after he had parted with all of his property excepting enough for the old age of himself and his wife. The court evidently thought the fine excessive and remitted a part of it, Capt. John Gardner standing his friend in this.

“At a Court of Admiralty, held at the Island of Nantuckett ye twenty-eighth day of August, by his Maties Athority, in the thirty-second Yeare of the Reiagne of our Sovereigne Lord King Charles the Second, and in the Yeare of our Lord on thousand six hundred and eighty.

Present, Captn Cesar Knapton,
Captn Richard Hall,
Mr. John West,
Capt John Gardner, Magistrate.

Mr. Tristram Coffin, late Magistrate, being called to give an Accoumpt of what was saved out of the Rack of a French Ship, cast away on this Island by some of Capt. Bernard Lamoyn’s Men about the latter Part of the Yeare seventy-eight, declared he had formerly given an Accoumpt, which being produced and read, it appeared that thare ware saved out of the said Rack two thousand and sixteen Hydes, which he confesseth are disposed of by his Order, Alowance and Aprobation and by Information given, we valleu at fouer Shillings per Hyde, which amounts toe fouer hundred and three Pound fouer Shillings; and also one Cable and a Pece, likwise sold by the said Tristram Coffin at forty fouer Pounds; and one Sayle at six Pounds ten Shillings; and two Pecis of Hafers at eleven Pounds, and an Ancker at thirteen Pounds; which in all amounts toe fouer hundred seventy-seven Pounds fourteen Shillings, for which no Claime hath bin make according to Law.

This Court tharefore, taking into Consideration the Allowance of Salvage of said Goods, and understanding the Difeculty and Hardship the Savers endured, doe alow on fifth Part thareof for Salvage, according to Law, which amounts toe ninety-five Pounds ten Shillings And for what was disburred by the said Tristram Coffin on Accoumpt of some Duch Prissoners left one the Island, and what was paid by him to William Worth, for his Wound, forty Pound one Shilling. In all, on hundred thirty-five Pounds eleaven Shillings; which being deducted out of the said Sum of fower hundred seventy seaven Pounds fourteen Shillings. They doe adjudge and determine that the said Coffin doe make Payment and Sattisfaction toe the Governor or his Order, on Accoumpt of his Royall Highness to whom by Law it doth appertain the Remainder of the said Sum, being three hundred forty-three Pounds ten Shillings. And as for what Guns or Rigeing or other Things that are undisposed of, toe be apprised and Salvage to be alowed as above, and to be sent to New York for his Royall Highness use, the Salvage toe be lickwise paid by the said Coffin, to be deduckted out of the three hundred fourty-three Pounds ten Shillings. The Court lickewise declare thare Opinion that the said Coffin’s Actings Proceedings in disposing of the said Goods, are contrary to Law.”(39)

“To the Right Honrabell Ser Edmund Andros, Knight, Signeur of Safmaryoe, Lieut. Generall under his Royall Hynes James Duke of York and Albany, and Governor Generall of his Royal Hynes Territorys in America. These present.
Nantuckett, 30th of August, 1680.

Right Honerabell Sir:

My humbell Service presented unto your Excellencye humblie shewing my hartie Sorow yt I should in any way give your Excelency just occasion of Offence, as I now plainly see, in actinge contrary to the Law, as I am convinced I did, throw Ignorance in regard to not beinge acquainted with the maretime Lawes, and yet I humblie intreat your Exclency to consider yt in on Respect my weeackness I hope may bee a littell born with: for I did tender diverse Persons theone halfe to save the other halfe, and I could not get any to doe it: and for the Hides I could not get any to goe but for to tacke all for their Labor, because it was judged by many yt the weare not worth the saving; so I was nesesetated to doe as I did or else the had bin quite lost. Thare fore I humblye intreat your Excelency not to think yt I did it for any bye Respects or selfe Ends; for I doe assure your Excelency yt theare was not any on Person yt did indent with me for any on Shillinge Proffit, only I did tell foure of them yt if I should bee by any cal’d to accot, the should bee accountabell to me. But now the will not owne it and I can not prove it, so I by Law am caust to beare all, only my hop is yt your Excelency will bee pleased out of your Leniency and Favor to me to except of int Money, and Bill is sent for the answeringe of the Judgement of the Court; for had not my Sonn James Coffyn borrowed Money and ingaged for the rest of my Bill, I could not have done it, but must have gone to Prison. Now I humblye intreat your Excelency to heare my loving Nighbor, Capt John Gardner, in my behalfe, and wth your Excelency shall bee pleased to order Concerning the Case, I shall thankfulye except, knowing your Excelency to be a compashonate mercyeful Man. And I hop I shall for Time to com… to be more wiser and doe kept your Excelency’s humbell Sarvant whylst I live to my Power.
Tristram Coffyn.”(40)

The court accepted ?150 in full payment, 6 Nov. 1680.
Less than a year later Tristram died leaving a very small estate as he had given most of it away to his sons and daughter and the fine inflicted by the Court of Admiralty took a large amount of the residue.

“Mr James Coffin, John Coffin, Steven Coffin doe bind ourselves, Joyntly and severally, in the some of an hundred pounds starlinge, to performe the trust in administering on our father’s estate, and to baer the Court harmless according to law.”(41)

“The 8th day of August, 1682, an Inventory being presented to the Court of the estate of Mr. Tristram Coffin, Senior, who departed this life the third day of October, on thousand six hundred eighty one, the Court taking into consideration the present state of the estate, together with the best Information of his mind before his decease: doe order the use of the estate for Ms Dionis Coffin, his widdow, during her life after al Just debts are paid.”(42)

In 1644 Tristram obtained a license to “keep an ordinary, sell wine, and keep a ferry” in Newbury, where the family had moved. In 1647 he got another license to do the same. The pub, “Coffin’s Ordinary,” was run by his wife Dionis; at the time brewing beer was a common occupation for women. In 1653 Dionis was charged with violating a law, passed in 1645, which said that beer could not be sold for more than two pence a quart. Her case was presented and dismissed when she showed that she was putting more malt in her beer than was usual, and that the beer should be sold for a proportionately larger fee. Her pub became known as “the place where the best beer was sold.”
They had the following children:

i James COFFIN was born 12 Aug 1640 and died 5 Sep 1711.
ii Mary COFFIN was born 20 Feb 1644/1645 and died 13 Nov 1717.
iii Stephen COFFIN was born 10 May 1652 and died 14 Nov 1734.
iv Tristram COFFIN was born 1 Feb 1631/1632 and died 4 Feb 1703/1704.
Tristram, h. Dionis (d. Robert Stevens of Brixton), s. Peter [q.v.] of Brixton, co. Devon, Eng., and Joan Thumber, father of Peter, Tristram, Elizabeth, James, John, Deborah, Mary, John, and Stephen, ––– –– , 1605, in England. PR38 (Nantucket VR births, p 337)>

More Nantucket history:


Captain Obed Coffin 1860's Nantucket Historical Assoc

Captain Obed G. Coffin 1860’s

Nantucket Historical Society has 1,495 antique photos of the Coffin family:


Coffin Family History:


Nantucket Founders:


%d bloggers like this: