Finding Nathaniel Part II
PLAISTOW – Let’s pick up where we left off. After Nathaniel at age 28 received three pounds British from his father’s will and the .75 Caliber Brown Bess Flintlock rifle, he disappeared from any Newbury records.
Interestingly, a Nathaniel suddenly appeared in Falmouth records in 1772, the same year that Patience, his half-sister, died in Falmouth, Maine (formerly Massachusetts Bay Colony) of an unknown illness. It was the same year, 1772, that the American Revolution began brewing in earnest with the formation of “Committees of Correspondence” just 100 miles south, in Boston, by Samuel Adams. These committees were “provisional Patriot emergency governments” to supplant what the British were imposing as royal edicts of King George III.
Late that same year in October 30, 1772, a marriage was performed and recorded by Rev. Samuel Perley in Falmouth between a Nathaniel and a young woman named Mary, daughter of a very wealthy businessman. Maine Historical Society Genealogy records were the key and proved this was Nathaniel of Newbury. Nathaniel built a small home not far from the shoreline near Mary’s parents and all seemed blissful.
One year later, May 29, 1773 son Joseph was born in Falmouth. Note that Nathaniel broke with tradition and named his first born son differently. One might surmise that the English tradition did not sit well with him. It was at that time that colonists were taxed a penny a pound for tea and the “Sons of Liberty” responded by dumping 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. Traditions and taxes brought by the King were being tossed overboard just like the tea.
It was apparent that Nathaniel was a good father, despite the civil unrest, he did not waver in caring for his family. But Falmouth seaport residents and other seaports from Boston North signed a document known as the “Articles of Association” in 1774 which basically said that they would cease to pay the Kings taxes forced upon them and shall cease to import or export to England. Having no soldiers from the King in Falmouth perhaps gave a false sense of safety to its citizens.
It was on February 21, 1775 a beautiful daughter Polly was born. Joseph and Polly had cousins up India Street that were infants of the same age. In July of 1775, the British battled Boston and Minutemen including cousins of Nathaniel under the command of General Washington. It was an irate King George that ordered British Vice- Admiral Samuel Graves to either get Falmouth and other seaports to sign an allegiance to the King, or risk being destroyed.
Under orders, the Vice Admiral ordered Lieutenant Henry Mowat, 41 years old, and his fleet of warships, the 16 gun sloop Canceaux which Lt. Mowat commanded, the Symmetry, Spitfire and the Halifax to retaliate against seaport colonists for disobeying Britain. Mowat had been to Falmouth earlier that year and was captured by Brunswick Militia and sent packing back to Boston. Mowat returns; having loaded to the brim with incendiary shot, cannon balls, grape shot and all the powder, the warships under Mowat’s command arrived in Falmouth Harbor in range of Nathaniel and Mary’s home. A contingent of the warship fleet rowed ashore and came before the town with a proclamation.
The town of Falmouth was informed that it had two hours to evacuate as the warships intend to lay waste the town and its buildings or that they must swear allegiance to King George. Further that they must surrender all of their small arms, powder and any cannon they possess. And for this Mowat would withhold fire. © 2012 End of Part II
(Editor’s Note: Ed Hale resides in Plaistow, with hs family. He is a lifelong genealogy enthusiast. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org).