GATES, Captain George - I27197
Of English origin, the ancestry of this family is traced back to 1327, when there lived Thomas GATES, Esquire, of Higheaster and Thursteubie, County Essex, England. Recognized pedigrees and coat-of-arms bespeak the social station of the family. The Gates family found in early Connecticut history, was "conspicuous for representatives of strong character and moral worth, which elements were transmitted to many of their descendants."
George Gates, of English origin, came to New England as a youth and settled at Hartford, Connecticut where he remained for some years. He was born about 1634, in England, the son of Thomas Gates and Elizabeth Weedon, who were married at Chesham, Bucks, England, 9 Oct. 1617. Some writers place him as a brother of Stephen Gates, of Hingham, Massachusetts. Others disclaim this, but say he had a brother Thomas who came to America with him. It is true there were a number of families of the name in early New England, and all cannot be traced to a common origin. However, George Gates emigrated [at about the age of seventeen, tradition says] to be in the care of Captain Nicholas Olmstead, of Hartford, Connecticut for whom he doubtless worked and whose eldest daughter, Sarah, he subsequently married about 1660. Olmsteds Genealogy, Henry K. Olmstead, 13).
In 1661 he was a "chimney-viewer" in Hartford. With the wide fireplaces of that period and the very primitive methods of fighting fire, it was necessary to most carefully ascertain the conditions of the chimneys, and the task of examining them was considered one of responsibility and trust. An entry on early Hartford records illustrates this: "Several chimneys found defective, wherefore lives and comfort are hazarded and in continual, . . . 8 February 1646."
George Gates became one of the original proprietors of Haddam, Connecticut, then called Thirty Mile Island. The purchase was taken up by twenty-eight persons who moved there either in 1662 or very soon after. Haddam was incorporated in 1668, and East Haddam set off from it in 1734.
The homestead of George Gates and his wife was on the west bank of the Connecticut River. Just north was the lot which had been reserved by the founders for their meeting-house and burying-ground. In this pioneer community and environment George and Sarah Gates set up their new home, and shoulder to shoulder went about the duties incident to that life, solving problems, supporting forward movements, and leaving and impression of good citizenry on the history of the town.
In 1668, George Gates was chosen to represent the plantation of Haddam at the General Court, and for thirty years and more was often reelected to the same position. In 1686 he shared in the division of Metchamodus meadows. As early as 1691 and for as many as twelve years thereafter he was justice of the peace. When the first military company was formed in Haddam, he was elected its captain, which position he continued to hold until October, 1697, when, at his own request, "in consideration of his age and infirmities of body," the General Court released him from further service.
When the enlarging plantation began to settle on the east side of the river, Captain Gates was among the first ones to build there, his house from 1670 to 1685 being in what was called Creek Row. This portion eventually became East Haddam. Our ancestor was one of the eight male members of the first church organized there -- 3 May 1704.
He was early chosen town clerk, "an office which has been competently filled by several of his descendants for so large a share of the time that it seems to have become a 'vested right' of the family."
Almost continually employed in some capacity of public service, Captain Gates spent a long life of usefulness and probity, and gained and held the respect and confidence of his fellow men. Town records show his name followed by the appellation of respect, "Esquire," which was likewise bestowed upon many of his descendants.
Among the many men of today who bear the blood of George Gates, might be mentioned Vice President of the United States Charles Gates Dawes, whose mother, Mary Beman Gates, was a descendant, thus: Mary Beman Gates, Beman Gates, Reverend Aaron Gates, Deacon Aaron Gates, Bezaleel Gates, Joseph Gates, Joseph Gates, Captain George Gates. (First Families of America, Marquis, 1923, 1:228)
Sarah (Olmstead) Gates passed from this life 7 November 1709, and her venerable husband on 12 November 1724, at the age of ninety.
Of the life of George Gates one of his descendants writes thus:
George Gates was reared from youth to manhood among the old Chelmsford [England] parishioners of Thomas Hooker, now unshackled in Hartford and under the impress of that enlightened and powerful mind; and no one can fail to see in the East Haddam Gates families . . . a life direction given by the character and preaching of Thomas Hooker and by the influence of his Hartford flock. There Hooker lived and died as pastor. He stamped an impress, civic and religious, upon the city of Hartford, the state of Connecticut and the Constitution of the United States, that time can never efface.
In going over the interesting inventory of the household effects of George Gates preserved among the Hartford probate records I find among his treasures, besides his Bible, "Eleven Sermon Books.” This fact is extremely significant. The Puritans had few books. Many of them could not read. Their few and costly books were imported from London. The boy George could not have brought them with him. We cannot resist the conclusion that George Gates purchased these books of Puritan sermons wherever he might, out of conscious hunger of mind and soul. If so, he had imagination. He lived in the unseen. Puritan sermons were long, involved, abstract, weighted with fine theological distinctions and sinuosities, dry-as-dust, unreadable to us modems. What an intellectual hunger that could feed on these husks! What an orgy would have been George Gates could he have been turned loose in a modern library! Seven of the descendants of George Gates succeed each other almost in line and cover a total of eighty-three years of service as town clerks. When the townspeople wanted a man, approachable and affable, with legible penman¬ship, with spelling nearly right, and the art of setting down resolutions and recitals of fact in correct and lucid English, they chose one of the Gateses for nearly a hundred years. All this means a hereditary taste for books and the habit of reading handed down from father to son and running in the family. We see it in George Gates and his "Eleven Sermon Books," and this studious tendency is outstanding in many of his descendants to this day.
On the Founders Monument in Hartford eight of our ancestors are named but, though George Gates was there from about 1652 to 1662, his name was not included on that Memorial, probably because of his youth and his removal in 1662 as one of the twenty-eight original proprietors of Haddam.
The only recorded public service rendered by him in Hartford was in 1661 as fire-inspector or marshal, then called "chimney viewer," for the early laws of that town required that all chimneys should be cleaned and in¬spected at stated intervals and that a barrel of water and a ladder should be kept in a convenient place near each home to check a fire readily in its incipiency.
A settlement at Haddam was contemplated in 1660, and on October. 4 of that year a committee was appointed by the General Assembly to view the place and, if it were suitable, to buy lands there from the Indians. For some unexplained reason negotiations were not completed for nearly two years but finally an Indian deed was made on May 20, 1662, conveying lands lying along the Connecticut River for a distance of about six miles and extending about six miles both easterly and westerly from it. The consideration was thirty red coats, worth probably about $100. Settlement was begun on this tract in 1662 and most of the twenty-eight original proprietors were from Hartford.
This locality was first called Thirty Mile Island, from the belief that an island lying within this purchase was that distance from the sea, but the name Haddam was formally applied in 1668. At first the settlers were all located on the west side of the river where each had a house-lot fronting on that stream and an added amount of ground west there from across the highway.
The home plot of George contained four acres and lay north of and next to that of Joseph Arnold who, in February, 1667, donated a part of his lot as the site for the temporary minister's home. One of the first assignments of land at Haddam had been the setting aside of a portion "for the minister that shal first setle here" and it is described as “Reserved for the minestrie for ever." This evidently was intended to apply to an ordained and com¬paratively permanent minister rather than to the supply whom Arnold planned to accommodate. This man left the town soon after, or perhaps even before, the house was completed, so it was temporarily used for a meeting¬house, but on December 7, following, a decision relative to a permanent building and location was thus voted: "At the same setting it was a Greed and notted by the in habytantes that the settled plas whear the meting houes shall be bilt is at the frunt of the minestryes Lote in the Litell medowe Lying a gainest the eand of the horn Tote of Joseph Arnuld, that now he dwelles in." This plot was also used as a burying-ground. The fact that the church was the center of every community makes it evident that the Gates home was well located. The back lot granted to George was directly west across the high¬way from his house and consisted of five acres. He was identified with this church from its earliest inception. It appears that on November 21, 1670, the building was not yet erected, for on that date a vote was taken "that the toune will bilde a metting-houes" and George was one of "a comitte for ordering of the same" with "full Power to calle out all the inhabytantes to worke about it, a Cording to their proporsiones." In January, 1683, he and Daniel Brainaird were chosen "to goe to new London and speake with Mr. John James in reference to procuring him to be our minester." This first meeting-house was only twenty-four by twenty- eight feet in size.
George was a freeman of Haddam in October, 1669, and served as "Townsman" at that times" and as selectman" in 1681. For some time the inhabitants made no extensive land divisions but held their cultivated fields, pastures and timber lands in common, owning individually only a home-lot and a few other small parcels, one of which was in the "Equal Division" lying on the east side of the river. The location of all the early dwellings upon the west bank, only, of the stream is easily explained by the necessity of mutual protection against the Indian menace, and not until the strength of the community increased was it deemed advisable to divide their strength by occupying the lands across the river. At an early day the division of common lands was under discussion, in 1670 it was resolved upon and on June 13, 1671, it was decided that twenty acres should be laid out to every £100 of estimated valuation of the inhabitants estates. George and another were chosen to appraise all new buildings and to prepare a list as a basis for the apportionments. In this case the individuals drew lots to decide the order of selection of these tracts and George secured second choice. In connection with the valuation of estates, it is interesting to note that a committee ap¬pointed in 1676 to appraise lands in the several towns of the state rated Haddam home-lots at 15s per acre, one quarter of the improved meadow lands at 30s, and the other three-quarters at 20s, and other uplands cleared for tillage at 8s. On this or a similar scale of estimation made June 2, 1688, "GORGE GATS" received meadow land at "Machamoodus" for an estate valued at £109.
A committee including Daniel Brainerd was appointed to "laye out high wayes for townes use they haveing dunne them as heire they stand entred. . . One high way by the south side of GEORGE GATESES lote and by Mr. Batesis lote neare James Wellesis Lote so south and be west tordes the Lote of the widow blachfordes to the end of the boundes ten rods wide... ."
About 1670 a number of the Haddam people, including George Gates and his family, removed to the town land on the east side of the river and built homes in what was called "Creek Row," forming the nucleus of what later became East Haddam. On October 14, 1697, he and his son Joseph and others dwelling in this new location petitioned the General Court that they might become a separate church and call a minister. The Court ap¬pointed a committee to investigate the ability of Haddam to support two ministers and to report the following May. At this time Captain George Gates appeared in Court to prosecute his petition formerly exhibited . . ." but the committee reported adversely and these two groups of settlers re¬mained one religious society until about 1700, when that on the east side was permitted to act as a society" by itself. Beginning with 1704, each did its own business separately and kept distinct records. George and his son Joseph were among the seven constituent members of the new congre¬gation. Apprehensions arose, however, lest this divided action were not thoroughly legal, so in 1710 the town as a whole signed new articles of agree¬ment covering this matter and secured the sanction of the General Court to its decision. This condition continued until May, 1734, when the town was absolutely divided into Haddam and East Haddam conformably to the religious societies. The Gates family is called a "family of deacons" for at least five of its members held this office in the East Haddam church by 1806.
For many years after the settlement of East Haddam the people carried their dead across the river to Haddam for burial. About 1700, a funeral party crossed the cove and the narrow peninsula of Haddam Neck and attempted to pass-over the river, but it had overflowed its banks and the floating ice made the use of boats an impossibility. Slowly and sadly the friends retraced their steps through the snow and buried their dear one in the forest in a romantic spot a little back from the cove. Thus was started the Cove Burial Ground, which continued in use and is now known as Grave Yard Point. It is situated about one and one-half miles north of the landing and contains the graves of many Gates, Ackleys, Brainerds and Cones, including some per¬sons from whom we descend.
George was of great service to his community in a public way, for be¬tween 1668 and 1702 he attended at least fifty-two sessions of the General Assembly as a representative for Haddam, from 1690 to 1698 was com¬missioner from that place, in 1698 was town clerk and 1701 was a Justice of the Peace for Hartford County.
The General Court ordered, May 12, 1698, that William Scovie, who had been wounded in the late "expedition to the eastward," be placed under an able surgeon and maintained at the "countrey charge till he is cured.” Cap¬tain George Gates and Daniel Brainerd were appointed to see that this was done.
Throughout his life George was frequently requested to assist in probate matters. One case in which he witnessed the will and inventoried the estate holds especial interest for us, since it divided the property of Richard Piper, a near neighbor and presumably an unmarried man, among a number of the young people of the community, including two of our ancestors. This document was dated in March, 1677, and contained, among others, bequests to "Sarah Gates Jr., a one year old Heifer," "Susannah Ventrus my Bible," and "John Ackley a mare, of whom the last two were our progenitors. In June, 1681, he witnessed the will of William Clarke and in August, 1681, took the inventory of that man's estate, assisted by William Ventres and John Spencer. On May 13, 1703, George Gates was chairman of a committee acting for Haddam before the General Court. He was called "magistrate" and "the leading public man of the town."
His wife, Sarah (Olmstead) Gates, died in 1709, and tradition says that he lived thereafter with their eldest son, Joseph, who undoubtedly worked the home place until his death in 1711, a dozen years before that of his father. George lived to welcome the advent of sixty grandchildren, and four more were born after his death.
He died November 12, 1724, aged 90, at East Haddam, being the sur¬vivor of the original twenty-eight proprietors of Haddam, and the ad-ministration of his estate was granted January 5, following to his son Thomas. The Court appointed appraisers and at first ordered that the por¬tion of his property already distributed by deed of gift to various heirs be estimated at their value when given, but on March 22, 1724, reversed that requirement to read that they should be appraised at their "present value." On June 1, 1725, the report rendered to the court showed that the heirs had formerly received £986, that debts had been paid amounting to £56, and that there remained for distribution £407, making a total valuation of £1460, which was an especially large property for that time. The estate was finally closed on December 7, 1725.
Two Descendant lines from George and Sarah will be highlighted in this document, Joseph & Daniel, the latter is the xxxx to Joseph Smith, Jr. The children of GEORGE and SARAH (OLMSTEAD) GATES, all born at Haddam or East Haddam, were:
- JOSEPH, see following.
- Thomas, b. January 21, 1645; d. April 20, 1734, in his 70th year, at East Haddam; m. October 3, 1692, Hannah Brainerd (DANIEL).
- John, b. April 5, 1668; d. after October 4, 1742; m. ?
- Sarah, b. March 16, 1670; d. about 1712; m., about 1694, Timothy Fuller (Samuel, Matthew).
- Mary, b. March 16, 1674; d. May 12, 1742, at East Haddam; m. there, February 14, 1693, Daniel Cone.
- George , b. August 16, 1677, infirm.
- DANIEL, See Following
- Samuel, b. November 8, 1683; d. July 31, 1737, in his fifty-sixth year; m., about 1710, Esther (doubtless Hungerford whose sister Elizabeth m. his brother). She was b. 1687, bap. October 12, 1712, with her infant child and d. May 15, 1749.
Joseph Gates (George )
Joseph Gates was born November 7, 1662, at Haddam and died March 18, 1711, at East Haddam. He married, probably at that place, about 1694, ELIZABETH HUNGERFORD.
He is infrequently recorded as taking part in public life but he was in full communion with the Haddam Church as early as 1697, and with his father became one of the seven constituent members of the East Haddam Society in 1704, where his wife was baptized on October 7 or 8 of that year. Joseph was a farmer and, as eldest son, would doubtless have inherited the home farm of his father if he had survived the latter. One naturally draws the conclusion that death came rather suddenly to him for he left no will, was under fifty years of age and passed on but a few days before the birth of his youngest daughter. This child, whom his wife named Patience, was baptized when two days old, on March 23, 1712, and was then called the "child of JOSEPH GATES relict."
In addition to the sum of more than £324 received by his heirs in 1725 [from the estate of his father, George], Joseph left an estate valued at £332, the inventory of which was taken by his brother Thomas, Daniel Brainerd and Daniel Cone. The administration was granted on June 2, 1712, to his widow, Elizabeth, and on July 2, 1717, she exhibited an account of her trust, which was allowed, and the property was ordered dis-tributed. She was to receive one-third, Joseph, the eldest son, a double share, and the other children each equal single shares. At this time Captain Thomas Gates was appointed guardian to John, aged 19, and Sarah, aged 17, and their mother, called Elizabeth Gates of Hartford, became guardian of Jonathan, aged 14, Susannah, aged 12, Jacob, aged 9, Samuel aged 9, and Patience, aged 5. It has not been learned whether or not Elizabeth spent the remainder of her life at Hartford but she died November 17, 1759, "in her eighty-ninth year."
The children of JOSEPH and ELIZABETH (HUNGERFORD) GATES, all born at East Haddam, were:
- JOSEPH, see following.
- Elizabeth, b. May 23, 1697; m. Joshua Arnold of Haddam.
- John, b. September 20, 1698; m. Westchester Parish, Colchester, Connecticut, April 19, 1722, Sarah Fuller, his first cousin.
- Sarah, b. August 20, 1700; living 1717 but "probably died before 1735."
- Jonathan, b. December 17, 1703, bap. May 21, 1704; m. July 16, 1747, Susannah Olmstead.
- Susannah, b. September 21, bap. October 15, 1705; d. April 29, 1793; m. December 24, 1730, Stephen Brainerd.
- Jacob, b. July 10, bap. August 10, 1708; d. June 20, 1789, "aged 80" in Millington parish of East Haddam; m. 1st, Thankful (-); m. 2nd, October 13, 1763, Mary Stewart, who d. January 20, 1793, aged fifty-three.
- Samuel, b. March 29, bap. April 2, 1710; d. August 25, 1801; he is said to have m. April 19, 1739, his cousin Esther Gates. Her death is said to have occurred August 26, 1757, and a Samuel Gates [probably this one] m. at Millington April 5, 1764 or 1765, Rachel Willey, dau. of Samuel and Rachel Dutton.
- Patience, b. March 21, bap. March 23, 1712; d. February 22, 1799; m. April 15, 1736, Nathaniel.
Joseph Gates (Joseph, George )
Joseph Gates was born December 28, 1695 or 1696, at East Haddam, baptized July 25, 1697, at Middletown, and died No¬vember 1, 1770, in his seventy-third year, at the former place. He married there January 8, 1718, Hannah Brainerd. He resided in “Creek Row" and was usually called "Sergeant Joseph." A Lieutenant Joseph Gates, found serving in the French and Indian War in the campaign of 1756, was probably this man.
His wife joined the East Haddam Church on November 7, 1725, and he did likewise on March 7, 1730. We of the present day little realize the incon¬veniences endured, yet ignored, by young and old of those times in their faithful worship on the Sabbath. Their physical comfort was but slightly, considered. The sermon in the morning, approximately two hours long, followed by a second one of similar duration in the afternoon, during which appointed officers kept the elders from sleeping and the youth from play or any inattention, required not only patience but endurance as well. The only means of furnishing heat was by the use of foot-stoves which had been brought from home in the morning filled with live coals from the hearth and perhaps replenished between services at the fireplace of someone living near the church. As the congregations grew, their comfort required more accom¬modation than the generosity the few near-by homes could supply, and various towns met this need by action toward the establishment of "Sabba Day" houses, as shown by this measure on January 13, 1737: "Voted to grant liberty to any of the inhabitants of Haddam to build and set up small houses on the common or town land anywhere within the half mile [of the church] for their conveniency and comfort on the Lord's Day provided they in no ways damnifie any highway.” Many of these buildings were un¬doubtedly put up by several families in common; who stored there barrels of cider, loads of wood and other conveniences toward their Sabbath inter¬mission. The "Sabba Day" houses thus became an important factor in the social life of various communities throughout New England. There the mem¬bers of the congregations could thoroughly warm themselves, relax from the close attention required by religious custom, visit discreetly with their neigh¬bors, eat their lunches and fill their foot-stoves. Not only was there much personal restraint within the church during services, but also danger from without, and for forty or fifty years after the formation of Haddam the people carried their firearms when they went to worship.
In 1733, Elias Purple, a minor, chose Joseph Gates as his guardian, and in July, 1740, the latter and others were appointed to take the inventory of the estate of Nathaniel Lord. Joseph was a selectman in 1740 and a farmer by occupation. As trial came to his mother, the widow Elizabeth, in the early loss of her husband just before the birth of her daughter Patience, so deep sorrow came to him in the loss of three young children in less than a week, in 1740, of a fourth child in 1742, and of their mother in 1744. He and his wife, and very probably his children, are said to have been buried in the Cove cemetery.
The children of JOSEPH and HANNAH (BRAINERD) GATES, all born in East Haddam, were
- Hannah, b. November 16, 1719, bap. November 14, 1725; d. after July 3, 1761; m. March 6, 1745 Ebenezer Spencer.
- Joseph, b. March 28, 1722, bap. November 14, 1725; d. April 17, 1808; m. December 4, 1746, Abigail Fuller.
- Elizabeth, b. August 12, 1724; bap. November 14, 1725; d. September 16, 1802, being recorded as "Pious and Amiable," m. June 20, 1745, Jonah Cone.
- BEZALEEL, see following.
- Susannah, b. November 24, 1730, bap. January 3, 1730; d. May 25, 1742.
- Aaron, b. October 20, bap. October 28, 1733; d. August 14, 1740. Ann, twin with Aaron, d. August 18, 1740.
- David, b. April 18, bap. June 3, 1738; d. August 12, 1740.
Bezaleel Gates (Joseph, Joseph, George )
BEZALEEL GATES was born October 11, 1726, at East Haddam, baptized November 20, following, and died at that place March 28, 1802, in his seventy-fifth year. He married there, February 26, 1749, Mary Brainerd, his first cousin. She joined the church on February 4, 1753.
He was made ensign of the second company or train-band in the 12th Connecticut regiment on May 9, 1771, and his brother Joseph was made lieutenant of the same unit at the same time by the General Assembly. At an East Haddam town meeting held December 7, 1778, he was chosen one of a Committee to provide Such Clothing for the Soldiers in Con¬tinental Service as they are or shall be enabled to: by Resolve of the Assembly or of this own. In addition to his service at home, at least three of his sons, Bezaleels, Aaron and Henry, were actively engaged in warfare, during which Henrys lost his life from disease.
The trying conditions of the Revolutionary period and the way the minds of the people reacted to them are forcibly shown by the following extracts from the East Haddam town record which give a fair picture of the prob¬lems faced and decisions made by Bezaleel Gates and his sons, together with our contemporaneous ancestors in every other family:
At a Town Meeting Legally Warned and held in East Haddam, March 26, 1770. . . . The Inhabitants of the Town of East Haddam in Town meeting. Legally Assembled taking in to consideration the Weighty Dangerous Controversy Subsisting between Great Britain and these Colonies in Point of Right a Con¬troversy big With Consequences of the. Utmost Importance to the Welfare of Both Countries & may Prove the Ruin of Both unless Some happy Means are Devised to prevent it, and amongst the Various Plans proposed & Means Devised None appear More likely to bring the affair to a happy Issue than the Late Vertuous Agreement of the Merchants on the Continent in Regard to the Non Importation of English Goods, almost Universally entered into (except by a growling few Who Justly Deserve the Contempt of Every Honest Man) Which agreement We Heartily approve of and Do greatfully Thank each Vertuous Merchant who has Subscribed the same and Indeed we look upon it as our Sheet Anchor in the present Storm Which seems to hover over us, and therefore are Jealous of everything that has the least appearance of prostrating said agree¬ment and Lately Some reports have been spread of Some of the Merchants in this Town to their on that score Whether true or false we know not and in order to Set that affair in its true Light we think it best to appoint a Com'tt Care¬fully to Inspect into the Conduct of all Sellers and Buyers of English goods and More especially Critically to Examine those Merchants Suspected as aforesaid (if they see cause to Submit to an Examination; and that the Same bee a Stand¬ing Com'tt for said purpose and that they Make Report to this Meeting. . . .
At a Town Meeting Legally Warned and held in East Haddam July the 9th 1770 . . . it Was Voted that the present Selectmen should erect & Build Some Suitable House in Some Suitable place in order to store the Town Stock of Powder Lead &c in at the expense of the Town." At the meeting held September 6th 1770 ". . . it was Voted to colour the Powder House Lately Built White upon the cost of theTown."
And Whereas there has been a late Meeting of Many Principle Merchants of this Colony at Middletown in Which a Plan Was begun Which we Most Heartily approve, and apprehend may be of the Happiest Consequence and in Order to promote & further said Plan We are Unanimously agreed and Do heartily recommend it to two or three from amonghst the Merchants and Farmers in this town to attend their Next meeting at Hartford. . . .
It appears from the record that the above named meeting was adjourned till the "9th day of April at 4 of the Clock afternoon," when "Gibbon Jewet was Chosen a Com'tt with Doctor Thomas Mosely, Dan'l Brainerd, and Jabez Chapman to,Examine the Traders and take Care toInquire if there be any Goods Come into this Town Contrary to the agreement of the Merchants... .
The inhabitants of the Town of East Haddam Legally and in full meeting convened having a Long Time and with the greatest Concern and Attention Observed the Unhappy Dispute Subsisting Between Great Britain and the Colonies relative to the Right of Taxation and with Carefulness and Impartiality harkened to the many Arguments and Reasons offered the Public on the Subject by the most able & Eminent Men in Great Britain and America which Reasons and Arguments of both sides being Duly Weighed the argument against Taxa¬tion appearing so greatly to preponderate That we had not the least Doubt in our Mind but that the Oppressive Taxation Would be Countermanded Especially after Several Petitions & Remonstrances from the Different Colonies in America should have been heard. But to our Great Surprise we find the Authority not only Determined to Continue those Taxes but to treat humble Remonstrances and Petitions Coming from the most faithful and Loyall Subjects as Seditious MutinOus and Enemitous to Good Government therefore think it needless to enter on a further Discussion of the Rights and privileges of those Colonies Since they have been so Judicially Canvassed by the Most Wise and Sensible Men in the Nation Shall Content Our Selves by saying No more than that we find our Rights Privileges and Money Wrested from us & we unjustly oppressed by those Whom the Ties of Nature & Trade urge to be one United and happy People.
Viewing ourselves under these Disfavorable Circumstances our Petitions and Complaint treated with Contempt Insulted by petty officers appointed to Extort what little Cash we have Circulating among us under a pretext of De¬fraying American Charges (which no Doubt of Late are Greatly Increased) by Which Means we are desenabled to Carry on a foreign Trade to any Ad¬vantage. In this Miserable Condition we are led to put in Practice that first Law of Nature, Self Preservation, which can be affected in a Constitutional way only by a Disuse of British and Encouragement of American Manufactories. It is with Pleasure we hear the Laudable Attempts and Resolutions of Several principal Towns in the Several Colonies on the Continent & some in this Colony for the Encouraging American Manufactories more of which we hoped to have Seen that we might have appeared in a more proper Succession but having Earnestly engaged in this affair could not any longer conceal our intentions & Desires for the accomplishing Projections so Beneficial. The Conduct of the Reputable Merchants lately convened at Middletown is Very agreeable to us . . . also Voted . . . a Com'tt of Inspection to see that no Importation is made contrary to the Spirit and Meaning of the non Importation agreement.
Voted and Resolved that we will have no Commercial Connections or Friendly Communications With Such as shall act Contrary to the Non Importation Agreement and that the Inspectors do give Due Notice of any that shall be guilty of S'd Breach Directly or Indirectly in the most public Places in the Town and in the New London Gazette Voted in the affirmative Test.
Dan'l Brainard, Town Clerk at a Town Meeting Legally Warned and held in East Haddam January 5th 1775 .. the Committee of Inspection Chosen November 17, 1774 Made Report Relating to a Complaint that Had been Exhibitted to them by Sundry Inhabitants of Said Town against Doctor Abner Beebee of Said Town for being Inimical to the Liberty of these American Colonies . . . Voted at the Same Meeting that We accept & approve of the Report of the Com'tt Respecting Doctr Abner Beebee and that we shall hold him to be enimical to the Colonies & will Break of all Connections by way of Trade &c. With said Beebee & all those that Shall have any Connection With him as aforesaid untill Said Beebee Shall Comply & Sign the Confession S'd Com'tt Drew for him to sign & then we Will Restore him to his former favor and We Desire S'd Com'tt to Advertise What is Done in the New London Gazette. . . .
At a Town Meeting Legally Warned and Held in East Haddam November the 17th A. D. 1774. . . . This Meeting Taking into Consideration the Asso¬ciation of the General Congress held at Philadelphia on September Past Which is Recommended by the Honorable Representatives of this Colony Do fully Approve of said Association and Voted and Agreed Unanimously that we will Comport therewith and that . . . be a Committee to Inspect Agreeable to the 11th Article in Said Association And also Voted that said Committee Examine & Hear all Complaints Against Any Person or persons that are enemical to the English Constitution and Desire to introduce a more Arbitrary & Tyrannical form of Government Different from What Hath Been Generally Enjoyed since the Revolution Brought about under God by. King William and Queen Mary A. D. 1688 Until the Present Reign and have or shall try to Undermine the Privileges of this Colony; And that said Committee publish to said Town What they Shall find. At a Town Meeting Held in East Haddam on the 24th day of March 1777 . it was ResolvEach to the Other Strictly to adhere to the Law of this State Regarding Prices and that we will Use our joint and Several Influences to Support and Maintain the Same; in our General Spheres and Capacities. We are Sensable we Cannot Vote out a Law of this State But all we Mean is to Shew our Actual Hearty Compliance with the Before one mentioned act, and pledge our Faith. Each to the other to see the same faithfully executed.
At a Town Meeting held in East Haddam January the 6th A.D. 1778 . . . The Article Proposed by Congress of Confederation and Perpetual Union be¬tween The States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhod Island and Providence Plantation: Connecticut: New York: New Jersey: Penselvania: Delaware: Maryland; Virginia: North Carolina: South Carolina and Georgia; Being Repeatedly read and Explained to This Meeting and After due and Mature Consideration-Voted Unanimously That this Meeting does highly approve: of: and Consent to Said Articles: and that this Vote be recorded: and a True Copy thereof: Properly Attested: be Delivered by the Town Clerk to the Representatives-of this Town.
These vigorous resolutions voiced by the elders, including Bezabeel, were valiantly supported by the younger men of the community, among whom were his sons Aaron, Bezaleel, and Henry.
The estate of Bezaleel, amounting to more than $4300, was distributed February 25, 1803 to his children Aaron, Noadiah B., Oliver, Hannah. , Sybil and Esther, and to the heirs of his son Bezaleel and of his daughter Mary (Gates) Spencer, both deceased.
The children of BEZALEEL and MARY (BRAINERD) GATES, all born in East Haddam, were
- Hannah, b. May 24, 1750, bap. April 22, 1753; d. unm. January 10 or 11, 1827, aged seventy-five.
- Bezaleel, b. October 2, 1751; d. January 23 or 24, 1789; m. July 6, 1775, Helen Wilder.
- Harriet, bap. May 22, 1753; not named in father's will; probably d. young.
- AARON-, see following.
- Mary, b. November 9, bap. December 28, 1755; d. before her father; m. Amasas Spencer (Jonathan', Micajah, William, GERRARD).
- Henry, b. September 3o, bap. November 13, 1757; d. of disease in the Revolutionary Army about 1778.
- Sybil, b. March 3, bap. April 20, 1760; d. after April 13, 1821, when she was executrix of her husband's estate; m. January 20, 1808, Amos Dean, son of Seth and Ann (Skinner) Dean
- Noadiah Brainerd, b. December 18, 1761, bap. February 21, 1762; d. May 24 or 27, 1823, aged sixty-one;37 m. June 4, 1787, Mary Balcom of Winchesters. He resided at Barkhamsted and Colchester.
- Esther, b. March 19, bap. May 6, 1764; d. July 28, 1841, aged seventy-seven; m. May 19, 1825, Eli Bigelow (Amasas, David, Johns, Joshua, John)
- Oliver, bap. April 27, 1766; d. after 1797; m. May 4, 1786, Mary Gates (Stephen, Samuel, GEORGE ).
- Huldahs, b. April 24, 1768; d. unm. August 20, 1794, in her twenty-seventh year.
AARON GATES was born August 31, 1753, at East Haddam, baptized April 1, following, and died of pleurisy January 12, 1821, at East Hartland. He married, probably at East Hampton or East Haddam, May 9, 1776, ELIZABETH JOHNSON, called "of East Hampton".
He saw service," as stated above, in the Revolutionary War in the East Haddam, company, commanded" by Eliphalet Holmes, which was called a unit of minute men, although raised in May, 1776.
Aaron Gates (Bezaleel, Joseph, Joseph, George )
AARON was a farmer and removed with his family to East Hartland after 1780 [when his son Aaron was born] and before April 12, 1784, when he purchased land there. He and his wife became members of the church at that place on January 20, 1788, and he was later a deacon of this organization.
There in the western highlands of Connecticut three generations of our Gates ancestors lived. East Hartland, claiming almost the highest elevation in the state, lies on a table-land topping the so-called mountain of that name. It is serenely quiet there, for no railroads are near, but few autos pass, and the town numbers only a few hundred souls. It is said to be the only town in the state which has consistently decreased in population at each succeeding census. The topography is such that the view from there is more extended and far-reaching than perhaps any other in the state. "From the upper deck of the church steeple" of the white meeting-house in which his son AARON preached "may be seen Mount Monadnock, far to the north in the state of New Hampshire; and slightly to the northeast the Tobey Range, and Mounts Tom and Holyoke in Massachusetts . . . To the eastward . . . in the evening the electric lights from the towns of eastern Connecticut vie with the stars . . . To the south-east may be seen some of the . . . church spires of Hartford . . . Far to the .south may be see Mount Carmel . . . guarding the city of New Haven . . " and to the west "through a drop in the western horizon may be seen the Catskill Mountains beyond the Hudson…." The house in which Reverend Aaron lived was burned down in 1912.
His family became considerably scattered in the course of time. Although some of his children spent their lives near the old home, his son Aaron, through whom we descend, spent most of his adult life in Massachusetts, as will be shown. Jabez Giddings Gates removed to a point in Michigan about twenty miles west of Detroit, and at least three of the others-Elizabeth, Mary and Huldah - helped to make new homes for themselves and their families in the vicinity of Colesville, Broome County, New York. Of this group, Elizabeth and her husband made that removal between 1821 and 1827, and on March 22 of the latter year they, then of New York, deeded away her inheritance from her father's estate. John remained at East Hartland where he owned a blacksmith shop and a hotel which his wife, "Aunt Debby," maintained "in a very nice house still  in use though built in 1836." He and his brother Samuel were personally and well known to D. N. Gaines, who has been town clerk for more than twenty-five years and who has furnished various details relating to our ancestral families dur¬ing the period when they were resident in that town. The children of AARON and ELIZABETH (JOHNSON) GATES, the first two born in East Haddam and the rest in Hartland, were:
1. Henry, b. May 10 or 11, 1777; d. May 29, 186o; m. June 2, 1803, Cl ara Emmons, dau. of Dr. Jeremiah and Lydia (Ackley) Emmons. 2. AARON, see following. 3. Elizabeth, b. June 29, 1784; d. February 17, 1873, in Broome County, New York; m. November 1, 1804, Reuben Beman (DANIEL, THOMAS, SAMUEL, SAMUEL, SIMON). They removed to the vicinity of Tunnel, Broome County, New York. 4. Mary, b. June 1 or 21, 1786; m. October 5, 1809, George Case, Jr., of Granby, and removed to Broome County, New York. 5. Jabez Giddings, b. June 29, bap. August 9, 1789. He in. at Derby, Connecticut [being recorded as "Gideon Gates"), on October 12, 1812, Lucy Blinn of Wethers¬field, and removed between 1813 and 1816 to the vicinity of Detroit, Michigan. 6. Samuel, b. June 7, 1793; d. September 16, 1864, at East Hartland; m. December 31, 1818, Lucy Cowdrey (Moses, Moses, Nathaniel, Samuel, Nathaniel, William). 7. John, b. December 28, 1795, bap. January 10, 1796; d. June 20, 1883, at Hartland; m. March 18, 1818 or 1819, Deborah, dau. of Jedediah and Deborah (Giddings) Bushnell. 8. Huldah, b. March 10, 14 or 17, 1798 or 1799; m. 1st, October 5, 1815, Tacitus D. Church, son of Abishai and Phebe Church, of Hartland; m. 2nd, probably in New York, November 17, 1851, Gordon L. Beckley.
== Aaron Gates (Aaron, Bezalee, Joseph, Joseph, George ) ==
AARON GATES was born August 12, 1780, at East Haddam, though his birth is recorded at East Hartland, and died April 4, 1850, at Barkhamsted. He married at East Hartland, July 25, 1803, Ruth Beman.
He prepared for college under Reverend Aaron Church, the second pastor at Hartland, who served there from 1773 to 1823 and whom, some years later, Aaron himself succeeded. He attended Williams College, at Williamstown, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, from which institution he graduated in 1804. He and his wife became members of the Hartland Church on November 4 of that year. After studying theology with Dr. Joseph Lathrop, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, he was settled as assistant pastor of the Congre¬gational Church at Montague, in that state, on October 27, 1807, where he remained until December 12, 1827. About 1818 he was active in the establish¬ment of the college at Amherst and by a step-grandson was called one of its founders. In later life, after his return to East Hartland, it was said by that step-grandson that "he used to give $100 of his $400 salary for the sup¬port of that college. Rev. GATES was a preacher of great power . . . and " . . As a minister he was judicious, evangelical and faithful.
In March, 1830, the South Parish of Amherst, Massachusetts, voted to ask him to supply its pulpit for one year at a salary of $300. He accepted and a committee was appointed to "assist Mr. Gates in finding a house to hire. On November 29, 1831, this organization decided to offer him a call to settle there at a salary of $400, and his resultant pastorate continued until 1836 or 1837. From this time until 1841 he supplied the pulpit in East Hartland and for about three years thereafter the one in West Hartland. In that vicinity he was called "Priest Gates, a true parson of the hill country and a man whose example and instruction left a deep impression on the character of his children. He left a competence for his widow and a home in East Hartland which passed to his children and was disposed of by them in 1865. On June 13, 1852, after his death, his widow was dismissed from the West Hartland Church to that at Montague, Massachusetts, where she made her home with her daughter Abigail. A letter, written by her son Beman from Montague on July 27, 1853, to his wife in Marietta, Ohio, when he was visiting his mother, says that the latter had given him the long black silk stockings in which his father, the Reverend Aaron, graduated from Williams College in 1804, "at which time short clothes were in fashion." Ruth (Beman) Gates, widow of Aaron, died in July, 1858, at the home of her son-in-law, Phineas E. Peck, in Colebrook, Connecticut.
The children of AARON and RUTH (BEMAN) GATES, the first two born at Hartland and the rest undoubtedly at Montague; were
- Daniel, bap. October 8, 1804.
- Daniel Beman, b. or bap. May 9 or 11, 1806; d. May 13, 1806.
- Abigail, b. October1808; m. March 20, 1828, Elisha Wright, Jr., and resided at Montague, Massachusetts.
- Aaron, b. October 3, 1810; d. September 17, 1850 or 1851; m. September 5 or 15, 1838, Anna A. Garrett.
- Electa, b. December 18, 1812; m. 1st, June 21, 1834, Ansel Moody; m. 2nd, Novem¬ber 4, 1846, Phineas E. Peck, and resided at Colebrook, Connecticut.
- Truman, b. April 9, 1815; d. May 11, 1821.
- BEMAN, see following.
- Edwin, b. April 15, 1820; d. June 1, 1891, at Hartland; m. 1st, November 1, 1843 or 1845, Susan H. Cornell; m. 2nd; June 16, 1856, Anne H. Cornell.
- Mary, b. August 31, 1822; d. July 7, 1841.
- Amelia, b. October 16, 1825; d. December 21, 1885; m. April 30, 1850, John C. Beach, and resided at Sandisfield, Massachusetts.
- Amanda, twin of Amelia, m. June 3, 1846, Milner Case, and resided at Avon, Con¬necticut.
VII. BEMAN GATES (Aaron, Aaron, Bezaleel, Joseph , Joseph , George ) was born January 5, 1818, at Montague, Massachusetts, and died December 17, 1894, at Marietta, Ohio. He married there, October 20, 1841, Betsey Sibyl Shipman. The very limited salary of his father, the Reverend Aaron, as a Congregational minister created an environment for his large family which was likely to establish habits of prudence, economy and practical good sense. These qualities, appraised at their true value and practiced with discretion, were marked traits of the character of Beman Gates. The atmosphere of this humble but cultured home inspired his youthful mind with the ambition to provide for his future usefulness by proper training and education, but at the same time the limitations of the parental purse interfered with his desire for a collegiate education. He entered Amherst but found it necessary- to leave during his sophomore year to seek employment to provide for his own Support.
He had acquired, in the old Massachusetts home, a graceful accomplish¬ment and it affected his destiny in an important crisis. The family choir, led by his father, and joined in by all its other members, was a prominent feature of their home life as long as they were together. In time, and after due in¬struction, the quality of his performance as a singer became so excellent that the; great composer and instructor, Lowell Mason, assigned him solos in the oratorio "The Messiah" at Boston when he was but nineteen years old. Having earned a small sum of money by teaching school, Beman Gates set out in 1837 with his brother-in-law, Ansel Moody, who was in poor health and hoped that a sojourn in the South would be beneficial. Their objective was New Orleans and their route via the Ohio River. Mr. Moody's health caused them to stop at Marietta for a time, where they were accommodated at the Broughy House on Ohio Street. After a rest they continued their journey but, before they had left Kentucky behind, Mr. Moody's condition became so alarming that they decided to turn back, hoping to reach their Massachusetts home before his death. Another rest at Marietta became im¬perative and Beman whiled away the hours for the sick man by singing and playing the flute. In this way his musical attainments became known and admired. Mr. Moody presently died and was buried in Mound Cemetery, leaving Beman, a youth of nineteen years, alone and almost penniless among strangers. An offer was made him by some of the men of the Congregational Church, including Charles Shipman, to induce, him to remain in Marietta to lead the choir and to teach singing-school; and he, in his loneliness, went up on the Mound near his friend's grave one fine November day to think it over and to decide whether to accept this opening and make Marietta his home, or to return to the East. In later life he told of his communing in that quiet spot, with the view of the distant river showing through the trees, and said that the beauty of the place, combined with the kindness of its people, in¬fluenced him to make it his home. Thus, in 1837, being about twenty years old, he took up his responsibilities in this town. He taught singing-school, worked in the office of the county, and for many years led the choir at the Congregational Church. His correct habits, genial personality, persevering industry and command¬ing abilities attracted immediate attention, and in 1839, when only twenty- one years old, he was invited to assume the editorship of the Marietta Intelligencer, then being established by important interests in that locality. He was naturally fitted for such work and entered into it with the enthusiasm of youth. This newspaper rendered very important service in the campaign of 1840 and, as a result of his work, Beman Gates at once assumed a very responsible and influential position in southeastern Ohio. He continued as its editor for a period of seventeen years and for several of them was its pro¬prietor as well. Owing to lack of mailing facilities, there was at this time no competition by city newspapers, and the Intelligencer served a very wide field. It was published tri-weekly, maintained its regular correspondents in Washington and New York, and exerted an influence which would now seem difficult for us to associate with the idea of a country newspaper. As its editor, he naturally became a leader in thought on public matters and, temperamentally favoring public improvements, he labored actively to bring about the building of railroads in southeastern Ohio. Associating him¬self with a coterie of very able men in Marietta, he became engaged in an enterprise for the building of a railroad from Marietta to Cincinnati. In 1854 he was elected vice-president and superintendent of this company and, dropping the newspaper work, he devoted his entire attention to the building and managing of this line. The panic of 1857 fell suddenly upon the new rail¬road, delayed its completion and-also swept away the accumulations that he had made in the previous twenty years. Associated with him in this railroad work was George B. McClellan, then president of the Ohio and Mississippi Railway Company. Upon McClellan's appointment to the rank of General, and his assumption of the military authority in the West during the Civil War, his greatest difficulty was in securing supplies. General McClellan then telegraphed to Beman Gates to buy and provide food and equipment for his troops. Beman proceeded with his customary energy to carry out this order and, though provided with no other authority than this telegram from General McClellan, he found it sufficient for his purposes. On one occasion he seized a passing Ohio River steamer, loaded it with supplies and sent it up the Great Kanawha River for the use of the troops. This act by a civilian is rare, if not unparalleled, in war. General McClellan later commissioned him as a lieutenant in order to facilitate his services in this work. After an organ¬ized military control had been established, and Beman was relieved of this extraordinary commission, he continued at the request of General McClellan to gather supplies and especially horses, to be sold to the United States, government.
A letter written by Beman from Baltimore on November 25, 1859, to his wife at home discloses two points of interest, namely: his reaction to a con¬cert heard there, and a first-hand report relative to the hanging of John Brown. It said:
"Last evening I attended a concert, but as I did not succeed in getting a seat, I got so completely tired out that I left before it closed . . . I suppose the audience numbered 800. About 100 singers were on the stage. The exercises commenced with Easter Anthem, which was pretty well sung. In the course of the evening a half dozen old fugueing church tunes were sung. The piano was well played,- and it was the only accompaniment, except in a few of the choruses, when some brass instruments were introduced. The time was very perfect, but the enunciation very indistinct. The duetts and quartetts were better performed than the choruses. There was no Alto voice equal to Mrs. Moore's—none that approached it—but there was a Soprano that I wish MARY could have heard. The compass of the voice was not remarkable, but its strength was un¬usual, and its purity exceeded anything I ever heard.
"You can hardly conceive how thoroughly the public mind, hereabouts, is excited by reports that are every hour put in circulation in relation to the Harper's Ferry affair. To-day we hear that another barn was burned in Charles¬town last night. Whether it belonged to a juror in Brown's case (as those previ¬ously burned did) or not, the report does not say.
An acquaintance of mine, who has been at the Ferry most of the time since the first outbreak (no friend of Brown's, either) told me to-day that all these fires were doubtless set by mischievous slaves, who were perhaps countenanced by malicious men who want to see a "general row," or who want to incite the people of the neighborhood to force the prison and lynch the prisoners. He says the excitement there is now so feverish that he shall not be surprised at any hour to hear of violence, and he has no hope that there will be any quiet until after Brown is dead. Nobody seems to care much about the other prisoners, but Old Brown is a decided character,—some insisting that he is a fiend, and others de¬claring that he is a saint. For myself, although I don't approve of his acts, I believe that he stands a much better chance of going from the gallows to Abra¬ham's bosom, than any of his persecutors do of resting in as comfortable a place as purgatory when they die. . "
Beman Gates also became interested in the sale of oil produced so largely in this section and he negotiated in Europe at that very early date (1868) one of the largest sales of lubricating oil ever made from southeastern Ohio. He established the First National Bank of Marietta, Ohio, in 1863, and be¬came its president and continued as such until 1887, when he was succeeded by his son-in-law, W. W. Mills. He served for many years as a trustee of Marietta College.
Enough of his life has been recalled to indicate the important part taken by him in the community and state in which he lived. Successful and prosper¬ous, during the greater part of his life, he was always liberal in his benefactions and generous in his charity towards those less fortunate than himself. He was endowed with quick perception and formed the habit of prompt decision, and was gifted with facile and effective expression of his views.
Beman Gates was a man of tall and impressive figure, with manners very courtly and dignified; was habitually cheerful and even jovial, and was at all times a delightful companion. He built two handsome homes in Marietta and the latter one, erected in 1874, standing in the midst of nine acres of well- kept lawn and field as a fine example of the landscape-gardener's art, was a source of great pride and comfort to him in his declining years.
The children of BEMAN and BETSEY SIBYL (SHIPMAN) GATES, all born at Marietta, Ohio,. Were
I. Mary Beman was b. August 27, 1842, at Marietta, and d. October 28, 1921, at that place. She m. there January 18, 1864, Rurus R. Dawes
II. Charles Beman, b. October 3, 1844; d. May 31, 1864, at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. He joined the 148th Regiment, Ohio Volunteers, in May, 1864, and although only 19 years old was commissioned a first lieutenant. He was injured in a railroad accident on the way to the front and d. before his father and mother could reach him.
III. Betsey Shipman, b. February 26, 1853 d. at Marietta April 22, 1920; m. there, October I2, 1875, William W. Mills.
II. Daniel GATES was born 4 May 1680, at East Haddam, Connecticut, and there married, 1705, Rebecca, daughter of Joseph and Rebecca (Merriam) Dutton, born 13 August 1686, at Reading, Massachusetts. He died 24 November 1761. (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 12:46).
- Daniel, See Following.
- David, born 27 June 1709.
- Rebecca, born 27 June 1711.
- Abigail, born 18 March 1714.
- Joseph, born 7 September 1716.
- Mary, born 29 March 1719.
- Ruth, born 10 August 1721.
- Ephraim, born 18 August 1724.
Daniel GATES, born 5 February 1706, at East Haddam, Connecticut, was a tanner in that portion of East Haddam known as Millington. He was a deacon in the church and a selectman of the town. He married Lydia, daughter of Shubael and Hannah (Crocker) FULLER, born 1 September1709. She survived her husband, dying on 14 August 1778.
He died before 9 March 1776, when his will was proved. In it he mentions his wife Lydia, his sons Joseph, Jesse, Nathan, and Daniel, and his daughters Lydia Mack and Hannah Purple.
East Haddam was established as a separate congregation from the parent town as early as 1700, when there were thirty families on the east side of the river, and the First Congregational Church formed in 1704. In 1734 the town was incorporated, and it has some interesting history.
An old forge located near where the old East Haddam Bank Building stands, was used during the Revolutionary War by Captain James Green, who made guns there. Throughout the struggle the town was very loyal, and contributed many prominent officers to the Colonial Army, as well as arms, men, provisions, and money in liberal measure. Among some of the prominent "sons" of the town were Colonel Joseph Spencer, commissioned major-general in 1776; Honorable Isaac Spencer, for many years treasurer of Connecticut; Honorable Hezekiah Brainerd, the assistant governor, and Reverend David Brainerd, eminent missionary to the Indians. Captain Stephen Cone, Captains Daniel and Jesse Gates, and many other men of the local families gave brilliant service in the colonial and revolutionary struggles, each contributing a manly part to the up building of the State and Nation.
A most interesting spot in East Haddam is the old schoolhouse which stands as a monument to the memory of Nathan Hale, the youthful martyr spy. It was erected about 1720, and became the scene of Nathan's first effort at school-teaching after his graduation from Yale in 1773. (Mack Genealogy, Martin, 2:1416) Thestory of his volunteering to go as a spy to obtain needed information for his beloved commander, General Washington, is well known. He was captured and sentenced to death, and denied, while in custody, by a cruel-hearted officer, the privilege of writing farewell messages to his home-folk and sweetheart, or even the consolation of a Bible. His unfaltering love for his country and his intrepid, fearless spirit were shown in his famous reply when asked if he had a word to say before his execution -- a reply which, spoken in that moment of approaching death, has become an epic in our history: "Only that I regret that I have but one life to give for my country!" His picture is on a current issue of the United States half-cent postage stamps.
As has been stated the first Congregational Church was formed in East Haddam in 1704. The second one was formed in the district of Millington, in 1736. (Early Connecticut Marriages, Frederic W. Bailey, 1:82) It was in these churches that the children of Daniel Gates and his wife Lydia Fuller were baptized, and it was in the Millington Church that their daughter, Lydia Gates, became the wife of Solomon Mack. (Ibid. 1:87)
CHILDREN: (From East Haddam town and church records)
- LYDIA, born 3 September, baptized 29 October, 1732; married Solomon MACK.
- Jesse, born 5 April, baptized 19 May, 1734; married 2 March 1758, Elizabeth, daughter of Theophilus and Deborah (Mack) Lord, who was admitted to the Millington Church (East Haddam), 12 April 1761. They removed to Hartland, Connecticut, where he died 21 February 1808, and she, on 1 November 1819. He was a captain in the Revolutionary War. They were the parents of nine children.
- Nathan, baptized 16 May 1736.
- Daniel, born 24 September 1738; died before the distribution of his father's estate on 8 April 1777, when his heirs are named in his stead.
- Hannah, born 9 September 1744.
- Joseph, baptized 14 February 1747.
Lydia GATES, born 3 September 1732, at East Haddam, Connecticut, was married there, in the Millington Church, 4 January 1759, to Solomon MACK, of Lyme, Connecticut, where he was born 15 September 15 September 1732. (Lyme Vital Records 1:92; Early Connecticut Marriages, Bailey, 1:87).biographical sketch.
- The Ancestry & Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale by Audentia Smith Anderson (1926) & Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines (A Memorial Volume Containing the American Ancestry of Mary Beman (Gates) Dawes) compiled by Mary Walton Ferris
- New England Genealogies, Cutter, 2:883.
- American Ancestry, Hughes, 8:212
- Boston Transcript, 22 September 1924.
- New England Genealogies, Cutter, 2:883
- Connecticut Historical Society Collections 6:103
- History of Haddam, David D. Field, 4.
- Mack Genealogy, Martin, 2:1404-16.
- Field's Haddam, 13
- New England Genealogies, Cutter, 2:883.
- Cutter, 2:883
- Cutter, 2:883
- see Johnson, p. 495
- Genealogical Dictionary of New England, Savage, 2:235; East Haddam Land Records, Book I: 6, 8, 10, 582.
- Fuller Genealogy 1: 42, 43.
- Probate Files in the Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut.