MACK, Soloman Sr. - I19655

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Soloman MACK



I, SOLOMON MACK, was born in Connecticut, in the town of Lime near the mouth of [the] Connecticut River, September 26, 1735, my parents, Ebenezer and Hannah Huntley.) Ebenezer Mack departed this life in 1777. He went to the door to fetch in a back-log and returned after a fore-stick and instantly dropped down dead on the floor. You may see by this our lives are dependent on a supreme and independent God. Hannah Mack departed this life in 1796 with a long fit of sickness; she experienced the power of God from an early age, with all the good morals of life, and instructing the youth for about thirty years. She died rejoicing and wishing her last moments to come. Rejoicing she went home to meet her Father in the realms of eternal bliss. My parents had a large property and lived in good style. From various misfortunes, and the more complicated evils attendant on the depravity of the sons of men, my parents became poor, and when I was four years old the family, then consisting of five children, were obliged to disperse and throw themselves upon the mercy of an unfeeling and evil world.

I was bound out to a farmer in the neighborhood. As is too commonly the case, I was rather considered as a slave than a member of the family, and, instead of allowing me the privilege of common hospitality and a claim to that kind protection due to the helpless and indigent children, I was treated by my master as his property and not as his fellow mortal; he taught me to work and was very careful that I should have little or no rest. From labor he never taught me to read or spoke to me at all on the subject of religion. His whole attention was taken up on the pursuits of the good things of this world; wealth was his supreme object. I am afraid gold was his God, or rather he never conversed on any other subject, and I must say he lived without God in the world, and to all appearance God was not in his thoughts. I lived with this man (whose name, for many reasons, I did not think proper to mention) until I was 21 years of age lacking 2 months, when a difficulty took place between me and my master, which terminated in our separation . . . at that time.

I, however, at his request returned and fulfilled the indenture; which in consequence of being frequently abused, I had found my indentures in my master's custody, and I burnt them. My mistress was afraid of my commencing a suit against them, she took me aside and told me I was such a fool we could not learn you. I was totally ignorant of divine revelation or anything appertaining to the Christian religion. I was never taught even the principles of common morality and felt no obligation with regard to society and was born as others, like the wild ass's colt. I met with many sore accidents during the years of my minority. I had a terrible fever sore on my leg, which had well nigh proved fatal to my life, which it seems was occasioned by a scald that terminated in a severe fit of sickness. In these trials my master was very kind to me, he procured the best physicians and surgeons and provided everything necessary for my comfort, all which as I suppose that he might again reap the benefit of my labour, for although it was thought for a time that I could not live; yet my master never spoke to me of death, judgment or eternity, nor did he ever to my recollection discover that he himself had any idea that he was made to die, or that he had here no continuing [city], or ever thought of seeking one to come.

Soon after I left my master, I enlisted in the service of my country under the command of Capt. Henry and was annexed to a regiment commanded by Col. Whiting.

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I marched from Connecticut to Fort Edwards; there was a severe battle fought at the half way brook in the year 1755. I had been out [on] a long scout, and I caught a bad cold and was taken sick and remained so all the rest of the winter, and in the spring, 1756, I was carried to Albany in a wagon, where I saw five men hung at one time. I remained sick the biggest part of the summer. I went to Lime and purchased a farm -- in the year 1757, I mustered two teams in the King's service for one season. I then went to Stillwater with the General's baggage. One morning I went out to yoke up as usual and found there was three of my oxen missing; the officer was so angry that he drew his sword to run me through but immediately exclaimed, get thee out three of any you can find; which I accordingly did. Then I went on with the baggage and arrived at Fort Edward; then I returned back after my oxen; when I got about half way I espied at about thirty rods distance, four Indians coming out of the woods with their tomma-hawks, scalping-knives and guns. I was alone, but about twenty rods behind me there was a man by the name of Webster. I saw no other way to save myself only to deceive them by stratagem -- I exclaimed like this -- Rush on! rush on! Brave boys, we'll have the Devils! we'll have the Devils! -- I had no other weapon only a staff; but I ran towards them and the other man appearing in sight, gave them a terrible fright, and I saw them no more, but I am bound to say the grass did not grow under my feet. I hastened to Stillwater and found my oxen; the same night I returned back through the woods. Alone; which was about seven miles, the next morning I was ready to go on my journey again. From thence I went to Lake George. I followed teaming the remainder of the season, but by accident I was taken with the small pox at Albany. I entrusted a man to convey my teams to Litchfield, and gave him 15 dollars for his services. But instead of doing as he agreed, he went twenty miles & sold one team, then went a short distance and left the other. But after I regained my health I went and bought them again and returned to Lime. Soon after I enlisted under Major Spencer, in 1758, and went over the Lakes. There was a severe battle fought; Lord Howe was killed. His bowels were taken out and were buried; his body was embalmed and carried to England. The next day we marched to the breastworks and were obliged to retreat with the loss of five hundred killed and as many more wounded; but I escaped very narrowly by a musket ball passing under my chin, perhaps within half an inch of my neck.

In this recounter I had no reflection, only that I thought I had by my good luck escaped a narrow shot. The army returned back to Lake George. A large scouting party of the enemy came round by Skenesborough, at the half-way brook, and cut off a large number of our men and teams. One thousand of our men set out to go to Skenesborough after the enemy; five hundred of them were sent back, and just as we got to South Bay the enemy got out of our reach. - The enemy went to Ticonderoga & got recruited, they then came after us, we scouted by Wood Creek. On the 13th day we got to Fort Ann. The sentry came and told me that the enemy was all around us. Major Putnam led out the party. Maj. Rogers brought up the rear; marched in an Indian path three-quarters of a mile -- the Indians lay in a half-moon; Major Putnam went through their ranks; they fired upon us -- Major Putnam was taken and tied to a tree, and an Indian would have killed him had it not been for a French Lieut. who rescued his life -- the enemy rose like a cloud and fired a volley upon us, and my being in the front brought me into the rear -- I turned little to the right -- the tomahawks and bullets flying around my ears like hail stones, and as I was running, I saw a great wind fall a little forward, which seemed impossible for me or any other man to mount, but over I went, and as I ran I looked little one side, where I saw a man wounded, (the Indians close to him) who immediately with my help got into the circle. Gershom Bowley had nine bullets shot thro' his clothes and remained unhurt. Ensign Worcester had nine wounds, scalped and tomahawked, who lived and got well. The battle commenced in the morning and continued until three o'clock, when they left us. We gathered our dead and wounded up in a ring; there was half of our men killed and wounded and taken. We sent to Fort Edward for relief to help carry our wounded, it being 80 in number; we made biers to carry them, many of whom died on the passage, the distance being 14 miles. I was almost beat out, but I went to Albany after stores and returned to the army. -- From thence I went home, it being in the fall, and tarried through the winter.

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In the Spring, 1754, I set out on another campaign. I went to Crown Point, and there I set up a sutler's shop, which I kept two years by means of a clerk I employed for that purpose, not knowing myself how to write, or read to any amount, what others had written or printed. I lost my Clerk, and not being able properly to adjust accounts, lost what I had accumulated by hard industry for several years, all for the want of youthful education. After leaving the army I accumulated, by industry, a handsome sum of silver and gold. With it I purchased in the town of Granville, sixteen hundred acres of land and paid for it on delivery of the deed, but besides I was to clear a small piece of land on each right and build a log house, but previous to this I married in the year 1761.

I then proceeded into the back country to clear me a farm, soon after I began to work in the woods, but unfortunately cut my leg and lay under the Doctor's care the whole season, which cost me a large sum and well nigh took my life. I underwent every thing but death, but thought nothing of the hand that inflicted the chastisement. My family arrived, and we were in the wilderness and could do no business. Previous to this, however, I freighted a vessel and went to New-York, where I sold my cargo extremely high and returning was overtaken by a gale of wind, my vessel was much damaged, but we made shift and got to Long Island, and there we left the vessel. I arrived at home sometime in the winter, poor enough; the vessel did not arrive till the next spring. Afterwards I broke my wrist, with which I had a great deal of pain and expense; for a long time I was unable to do any labour. Though I still sought to make myself great and happy, in the way I was educated, the Lord would not suffer me to prosper. l was not yet discouraged. Soon after I went to Moudus and learnt of my brother-in-law how to make Salt-Peter; though being a cripple, I went to Old Springfield and Long Meadow to show them the art of making Salt-Peter. I was sent for from town to town; my wages was one dollar per day; this was in our revolutionary war. I then enlisted into the American army. I soon mustered two teams and carried baggage to Skenesborough, I afterwards enlisted into a company of artillery for a short Campaign, but on my return home I was taken sick, as soon as I recovered I went to see my son; he was cutting trees, when unfortunately a tree fell on me and crushed me almost all to pieces; beat the breath out of my body; my son took me up for dead, I however soon recovered, but have not to this day recovered the use of my limbs, which was 34 years ago. I lay sixty days on my back and never moved or turned to one side or the other, the skin was worn off my back from one end to the other. I was then taken by six men in a sheet and moved from time to time for sixty or seventy days more; when I was able to walk by the help of crutches. I had a man to work in a saw-mill, it got out of order, I hobbled down to show him how to mend it, and by accident I fell on the water-wheel and bruised me most horribly. I was indeed helpless and in dreadful pain; confined month after month, unable to help myself, but at last I was restored to health; but being destitute of property, and without my natural strength to get my bread, with a young and dependent family whose daily wants were increasing, and none to administer relief. But strange to relate and unaccountable as it may appear to a thinking mind, I never once thought on the God of my salvation, or looked up to him for blessing or protection; I was stupid and thoughtless.

Owing to my misfortune I could not attend to my contract at Granville, so I lost all my land; however, I regained my strength, so I could walk a little and ride side-ways. Soon after this I was wounded by a limb falling from a tree upon my head, which again nearly deprived me of life. I was carried in wholly unable to help myself. I, however, recovered again; I can say like this, "the time of my departure was not yet come, and there was yet more trouble for me to pass through." I afterwards was taken with a fit, when traveling with an ax under my arm on Winchester hills, the face of the land was covered with ice. I was senseless from one until five P.M. When I came to myself I had my ax still under my arm, I was all covered with blood and much cut & bruised. When I came to my senses I could not tell where I had been, nor where I was going; but by good luck I went right and arrived at the first house, was under the Doctor's care all the winter.

In the next place I fell [sic] seven large trees against another, and very imprudently went to cut away the prop; -- when suddenly the whole fell together, and I in the midst of them, this time I remained unhurt; but thought nothing of the power that protected me, (blind as ever). Soon after I, and my two sons went out a privateering. We ship't aboard a privateer of 114 tons, commanded by Capt. Havens, there was about eighty men on board, we were chased by five British privateers; they drove us in upon Horseneck, where we got some of our guns on shore; we brought them to bear upon the enemy, we exchanged a great many shots; they shattered our vessel and cut away our rigging. The next day our officers went up into town, and five repaired our vessel -- then hauled off from the wharf -- then cast anchor -- every man on board went to their rest except myself, in the month of March and very soon I espied two Row-gallies, two sloops, two schooners; I rallied all hands on deck; they quick obeyed and we weighed anchor; then hauled by the side of the wharf but had only time to get two cannon out on the point of land, and two on the stern of the vessel; this engagement began in the morning -- the enemy gave us a broad-side and where the bullets struck it had the appearance of a furrow made by a plough.

Staddles in gun shot was all cut asunder; one of the row-gallies went round the point of land to hem us in, and they had near ran aground, but with our small arms we killed forty of the enemy. We sent our cabin boys up to a house near the shore with a wounded man. Just as the boys entered the door there came an eighteen pounder into the house, and the woman was frying cakes over the fire. Says the woman to the boys, take the cakes, and I will go down cellar. By our killing so many of the enemy they thought proper to leave us, pleased enough at the fight; for if we had been taken, what would our punishment have been -- but I thought nothing of futurity, which if I had considered a moment and viewed a watery grave already made, it appears as if I must have shuddered at the thought, my God must have given me some warnings of my danger, but if he did his calls I would not hearken to. The devil had great hold on me and I served him well, but the Lord was with me -- yes, he has supported me to this day through trials and fatigues, but now I feel to sing praises with the celestial bands above. -- How thankful my friends I am to join with christian friends now in my old age; but I must leave this subject.

Next we hoisted sail and made for New London. After the war we freighted a vessel and went to Liverpool and sold our loading and shipt aboard Capt. Foster's and went [on] a fishing voyage. And so I went [on] two [voyages], and the third voyage I was in the cabin when I heard a rout on deck. I sprang up as quick as possible and there being a terrible hurricane as ever I saw in my life, both masts was carried overboard and if they had not we must all have found watery graves; we ought to have been thankful and bless the Lord for it. Our capt. and all hands appeared to be greatly surprised but we was all spared through the tempest, we ought to be thankful to our God for a few moments for repentance, but we thought nothing of these things. The hands all left her but myself and my son; we stuck fast by the hull, and that night we caught 25 large fish; but by jury masts we worked her into Liverpool -- we went on board another vessel and sailed for Halifax; meanwhile Capt. Foster repaired his schooner and proceeded to Halifax and there he found me; I bought his vessel, and by good fortune I was able to pay the whole purchase except eight pounds. I then took a freight and went to St. John's, and on our return to Halifax we were overtaken by a gale of wind and well nigh lost all hands, vessel and cargo. We however made for Mount desert and obtained it; I was very uneasy about my property, but thought of nothing else. We repaired our vessel and returned to Halifax; this was the first of January, such a day I never saw before nor since; nothing but confusion; almost every sailor was intoxicated, myself amongst the rest. After I came to myself I reflected a little on such conduct; resolving to amend from such practices, but soon I forgot amidst the bustle of the world.

The next day I sailed up the bay of Fundy and wintered at Hawton. There I made an agreement to take thirty passengers on board (at eight dollars per head) and carried them to New-London and brought them back again in the spring; so I returned to Halifax and took in a freight of dry goods, and again sailed for Hawton; on our passage we struck on a reef and employed other small vessels to take her loading and carry it to Liverpool harbour and secure it; and then I informed the sundry owners of the circumstance, but I soon got my vessel off again, but it cost me one dollar an hour for each man. The cost being so much, I was obliged to sell her to defray the expenses. Again I was left destitute of property. I had by this time recovered my health, and was not willing to return empty. I immediately went to work and again obtained the same vessel by honest industry. My next business was to follow coasting, but late in the fall I landed at Salem and was taken very sick; I lay there some weeks when I recovered and returned to my family after an absence of four years, in which time I had not heard from them. I had very little property and my family had been turned out of doors on account of placing confidence in those that I took to be my friends, but by unjust dealing they took hundreds of dollars of my property.

When I went from home, I owed John Cordy at Lime one hundred dollars; Nathaniel Peck of Lime owed me one hundred dollars; he gave me a note; I gave that note to John Cordy to pay that debt. Nathaniel Peck went to sea and died. John Cordy [administered] upon Nathaniel Peck's Estate. Mr. Cordy got just D.26,66 of his debt; Mr. Cordy came up here and asked me if I would let his brother Samuel take the note, I gave him leave. I then drove two yoke of oxen to Samuel M. Cordy, Surry. -- Those oxen with the D.26,66 paid the debt. John Cordy at Lime did not know it, and on his death [bed] he willed me half of the said debt (his widow and son signed the will), likewise, when I was at sea Samuel M. Cordy got all the writings and turned my family out of doors. This I can prove by Abisha Tubbs, Esq. -- Kind reader, look at the nature of mankind, what they will do for silver and gold, but after all this earth, hard labor and perplexity of mind, I had won nothing and the best of my days were past and gone and had to begin entirely anew. I now thought all was gone, and I did not care whether I lived or died, but however, I went to work and shifted from plan to plan till at length I moved to Tunbridge, in Vermont. On my passage I undertook driving cattle, but by accident I fell and broke my wrist. I walked eight miles before I could get it set, by that time I had gained some property, altho I was all this time a cripple and afflicted with broken bones and sore sicknesses, and some fits. To add to all the rest, I became bail for a number of people, and all that I was bondman for, and took all I had. I had to pay ... To add to all the rest, I became bail for a number of people, and all that I was bondman for, and took all I had. I had to pay every farthing, and it reduced me to poverty again, in advanced age without the means of hiring or anyone to relieve our wants. Who is able or willing to bear our burden. A few particulars which were forgotten. As I was passing through Woodstock, a number of troopers rode by in haste struck my side, my horse run, and I immediately fell backwards and almost was killed; and I did not recover for a number of months.

At another time I fell and broke my shoulder. At another time at Hawton, I was riding in the road a boy in making his obeisance, started my horse and I fell to the ground and was much bruised. At another time at Royalton my horse fell and through the mercy of God my life was spared and not much hurt; at another time I fell in a fit at Tunbridge, and was supported for the benefit of my soul and others in the fall of the year 1810, in the 76th year of my age, I was taken with the Rheumatism and confined me all winter in the most extreme pain for most of the time, I under affliction and dispensation of providence, at length began to consider my ways and found myself destitute of knowledge to extol me to enquire. I thought on the best that is recorded in the 11th Chapter of Matthew, and 28th to the 30th verses came to my mind. I asked my wife whether those words were in the Bible or not, she told me they were; that gave me a shock, & very uneasy I was not knowing where they were. I began to search the bible, but often before this I had trials, but I would not hearken.

I had practically said unto God, depart from me I desire not the knowledge of thy ways. I had all my days set at naught his councils and words, I often [slighted] till an advanced age, but now I experienced personal deliverance, yet I had all these number of years been totally blind to the things that belonged to my peace. I had fears and put up prayers before God in this situation. I had incurred, as I thought, the denunciation, I will pour out my fury upon the heathen and upon the families that call not on my name. My mind was imagining, but agitated I imagined many things; it seemed to me that I saw a bright light in a dark night, when contemplating on my bed which I could not account for, but I thought I heard a voice calling to me again. I thought I saw another light of the same kind, all which I considered as ominous of my own dissolution. I was in distress that sleep departed from my eyes and I literally watered my pillow with tears that I prayed eagerly that God would have mercy on me, that he would relieve me and open the eyes of my understanding, and enable me to call on him as I ought. It brought passages of scripture to my mind, those particular Christ's lamentations over Jerusalem struck me very forcibly to think that often the Lord had called, and I was stubborn & would not; therefore I [was] left desolate. The whole force of the scripture seemed to be out against me as far as I could learn; my wife was my only instructor: I had never read the bible; nor had I any knowledge of it; could only recollect some taught parts, such as I had heard and laid up for the purpose of ridiculing religious institutions and characters. I however, had my intention; I believe these things have turned to my advantage, but I hope and trust I found mercy; I do believe that God did appear for me and took me out of the horrible pit and mirey clay, and set my feet on the rock of Christ Jesus -- Blessed be the name of Jehovah that I have reason to hope that I have found him of whom the prophets did write and that he has told me all things that ever I did, has enabled me to cast my burden on the Lord, and to believe that he will sustain me, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

A few words upon the Universal principle -- I have experienced it through the early part of my life, but I say it was like building on sand. A certain learned man built seven years upon it, but upon his death bed he damned the principle, and made this reply, "I shall be damned to all eternity for this principle." He went out of the world smiting his fists almost in despair, and I having no learning, thinking of him who made me believe it would deceive me. I have tried and reached much after property and several times obtained it, but by misfortunes time after time I lost it. I at length got wholly discouraged of trying to lay up on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal, which put me to thinking something of death and eternity till I thought myself almost a Christian, and was so religious that I once went to talk with a sick man on his death bed. But if the Lord had taken me away with such false hopes, I should have been miserable to all eternity (this is Universalists that I am speaking of) this will not answer; deceived man and woman.

Last fall I was again almost a christian, but I found it would not answer to depend on such foundation. Those verses still run in my mind, Mathew, the 11th Chapter and 28th, 29th verses, come unto me all ye that labour and are hevy [sic]laden, and I will give you rest; take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. I was so stupid that I did not know whether these words were in the Bible or not; I asked my wife, and she told me they were, and where they were, I then discovered how ignorant and stupid I had been even to a great age, and I saw what offers of mercy I had; but I slighted them.

It brought to my mind Christ's sayings in St. Matthew, 23d chapter and 37th verse: O Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together even as the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Reader, you may think I was in great distress. I could not sleep and took to reading. I was distressed to think how I had abused the Sabbath and had not taken warning from my wife. About midnight I saw a light about a foot from my face as bright as fire; the doors were all shut and no one stirring in the house. I thought by this that I had but a few moments to live, and oh what distress I was in. I prayed that the Lord would have mercy on my soul and deliver me from this horrible pit of sin. I thought myself that I had been such a vile wretch that the Lord would not have mercy on me, and I thought as I had slighted so many warnings from my companion and so abused the Sabbath; but I perceived my body and soul was in danger; oh reader, you may think I was in distress. Another night soon after, I saw another light as bright as the first, at a small distance from my face, and I thought I had but a few moments to live. And not sleeping nights and reading, all day I was in misery; well you may think I was in distress, soul and body. At another time in the dead of the night I was called by my christian name; I arise up to answer to my name. The doors all being shut and the house still, I thought the Lord called, and I had but a moment to live. Oh what a vile wretch I had been. I prayed to the Lord to have mercy on my soul. I called upon the Lord the greatest part of the winter, and towards spring it was reviving and light shined into my soul. I have often thought that the lights which I saw were to show me what a situation I was in.

I had slighted his calls and invitations and warnings from my companion, and what a sandy foundation I was on. The calls, I believe, were for me to return to the Lord who would have mercy on me. All the winter I was laid up with the rheumatism, so that my wife was obliged to help me to bed and up again, but in the spring the Lord appeared to be with me. But for my own satisfaction, I thought like this as I was setting one evening by the fire. I prayed to the Lord, if he was with me, that I might know it by this token -- that my pains might all be eased for that night; and blessed be the Lord, I was entirely free from pain that night, and I rejoiced in the God of my salvation, and found Christ's promises verified that what things soever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive, and found that Christ would fulfill all his promises, and not one jot or tittle would fail; and the Lord so shined light into my soul that everything appeared new and beautiful. Oh how I loved my neighbors; how I loved my enemies -- I could pray for them; every thing appeared delightful. The love of Christ is beautiful; there is more satisfaction to be taken in the enjoyment of Christ one day, than in half a century serving our master, the devil.

You that have children under your care, that have no parents, when you put any thing upon them to do, consider them as your own, that when death overtakes you, you need not fear their apparitions, appearing in your sight, for tyranny and misusage of the fatherless and motherless. Time will come when we shall all be called for, sooner or later, when money cannot buy our breath one moment. Parents, a little caution how to train up your children in the sight of the Lord. Never bid them to do any thing that is out of their power, nor promise them only what you mean to fulfill; set good examples in word, deed, and action. We aged parents have a Father to go to and to guide us if we will but obey and hearken to his calls. How often we hear, but do not obey him; but why? because we will say there is time enough yet, and I have something more to attend to of my worldly business. But how, am I bringing up my children, in the fear of the Lord? I answer no, but in all manner of evils, sabbath breaking, lying, swearing, &c. giving them no counsels from the command of our God. Bless the rising generation with his outpouring from corner to corner. I invite you to hearken to the calls that often presses into your minds, and put it not away for another day. I give you a weak advice; I am almost brought to the ground with sore accidents, and greatly advanced in years. I always lived in sin, an enemy to God till in my seventy-sixth year -- then I began to hearken to these calls -- made alive through the blessedness of Christ -- reconciled to God. Oh! my friends, what views I had -- the love I had to God and my fellow mortals, I cannot express.

The remainder of my days, I mean to spend in my father's service, though a poor cripple; cannot get on or off my horse without help -- I have a love to all: rich and poor, kings and nobles, black and white, come all to Jesus, my friends, come to Jesus and he will in no wise cast you off; oh! come come, how sweet is the love to Jesus -- how beautiful is the love of God. This invitation is from my heart to hear of your repenting and turning to my God. Take no pattern from me for I would not hearken till I arrived to advanced age -- swared from time to time; now I have a love for your souls; now listen to me, though like a child, but shun that path that I used to walk in -- this is the prayer of Solomon Mack.

This is quite a miracle of my daughter in the town of Sunderland in the state of Massachusetts, the wife of Joseph Tuttle, she was sick about one year. At the expiration of her first sickness, the doctor had given her over, and the nurses removed her by the use of sheets, to make her bed, for some days before her recovery. For three days she ate only the yoke of one egg -- she was an anatomy to appearance. Her friends were often weeping around her bed expecting every important moment to be her last. The day before her recovery, the doctor said it was as much impossible to raise her, as it would one from the dead. The night following she dreamed a dream; it was that a sort of wine would cure her, it was immediately brought to her, and she drank it. The next morning she awoke and called to her husband to get up and make a fire -- he arose immediately, but thought she was out of her head; but soon he found to the contrary, quickly she arose up on end in the bed (said the Lord has helped both body and soul) and dressed herself. She then asked for the Psalm book and turned to the 30th Psalm, 2d part (readers look for yourselves) and again she mentioned the 116th first part. Soon after the same morning she went to the house of her father-in-law, which was about ten rods) and back again on her feet her eyes and countenance appeared lively and bright as ever it was in her past life. It was on Thursday following, she went to meeting which was a mile and a half. On the first singing she offered them the 116th Psalm first part. The minister preached an excellent sermon but her exhortation was said to exceed the minister's sermon and on the last singing she turned to the 116th Psalm 2d part. After meeting returned home and after she regained her strength she went about her usual labour, which she moderately followed one or two years, when she was taken down again she grew uneasy and went to her fathers in Gilsum in New Hampshire, and there staid some months; at the same time I had another daughter sick with the consumption and died.

My other daughter grew uneasy and I carried her back again, where she staid part of one summer and she was disconted [sic], and I went after her and got her to Montangue to landlord S_____, I took her out of the carriage and set her in a chair and she instantly died. I immediately got a coffin made and then carried her home. My friends when you read this journal remember your unfortunate friend Solomon Mack, who worried and toiled until an old age, to try to lay up treasures in this world, but the Lord would not suffer me to have it, but now I trust I have treasures laid up that no man can take away, but by the goodness of God through the blood of a bleeding Saviour. Although I am a poor cripple unable to walk much, or even to mount or dismount my horse I hope to serve my God by his assistance to [divine] acceptance, that I may at last leap for joy [to] see his face and hold him fast in my embrace.

Jesus is mine, and I am his; In union we are joined.
Oh how sweet to me it is, To feel my Saviour mine.
My friends, for you I long, That you might happy be;
I long to hear you sing the song, Jesus has died for me.
How short and fleeting are my days, And chiefly spent in sinful ways;
O may those few which now remain Be spent eternal life to gain.
I'm passing through this vale of tears beneath the weight of numerous years, My body maimed;
what have I done Beneath the light of yonder sun. The bloom of life I spent in vain, Some earthly treasures to obtain;
But earthly treasures took their flight,
For which I laboured day and night.
I've ranged the fields of battle o'er
Midst dying groans and cannon's roar;
Whilst death surrounded all the plain,
I'm spared amidst the thousands slain.
I've been preserved by sea and land
By the Almighty's gracious hand,
For causes then unknown to me,:
Which since I trust I'm brought to see.
I hope through grace that God has given
I'm led to seek a place in heaven;
Where sin and pain shall never come,
I hope to find a peaceful home."

In the year 1755, I enlisted under Captain Harris and went to Fort Edwards; there was a large army come from South Bay (now called Skenesborough) upon a scouting party of our men at Halfway Brook: there was a scouting party of the enemy attacked our men, and Kendricks horse was shot under him, and he was killed; when they heard the guns, Gen. Lyman and Col. Johnson had not a log put up. The enemy fought seven miles and killed them all the way; when they got there the breast work was finished. This battle lasted all day; many were killed on both sides; the remainder of the enemy went back to half-ways brook (being seven miles) and refreshed themselves upon their spoil. Then a party of New Hampshire troops come upon them and killed a great number of them. I was married in the year 1759, instead of [1721] -- same page, instead of 1754 -- 1759. Then I went to Crown Point and kept a Suttler's shop 27 [sic, 2?] years. In the year 1757 a large army came from Quebec and took Fort William Henry. The French guarded the prisoners fourteen miles. The blood-thirsty Indians kept breaking in upon the guard and killing them all the way.

Transcriber's Comments

A Narrative [sic] of the Life of Solomon Mack, Containing An Account of the Many Severe Accidents he met with during a long series of years, together with the Extraordinary Manner in which he was converted to the Christian Faith (Windsor [VT]: Printed at the Expense of the Author [1811]). [2]

Solomon Mack was born at Lyme, Connecticut, September 15th, 1732. This date is the one given in Five Colonial Families, Lucy Smith gives the date of birth September 26, 1735. The date of the text is most probably the right one, since Solomon Mack's Narrative states that he left his "master" at twenty-one, to enlist in the service of his country, and describes an engagement with the enemy at Half Way Brook in 1755. If Lucy Smith's date were the right one, it would have been 1756 before Solomon enlisted.

The author of the History of the Town of Gilsum, however, [3] gives Lucy Smith's date for the birth of Solomon Mack. [4]. When misfortune befell his father's family, Solomon was but four years of age. He was apprenticed to a farmer of the neighborhood, and experienced the hardships of an "apprenticed hand"--long hours of incessant toil cold neglect, with no schooling, and but little opportunity for self improvement. Not until he attained his majority was Solomon Mack set free from this semi-bondage. Then he entered the service of his majesty, King George II, the French and Indian War being at its height. He saw active service during the next four years, being in a number of importance engagements with the French and Indians about Lake George; at Fort Edward, Fort William Henry, Ticonderoga and Crown Point. At the last named place in the spring of 1759 Solomon Mack received his discharge; and the same year he married Lydia Gates, the daughter of Daniel Gates of East Haddam, Connecticut.

Lydia was a school teacher. Solomon speaks of her as an "accomplished young woman;" and later in his Narrative justifies the description by a further reference to her in the most complimentary terms, in connection with the rearing of their family. The money that accumulated in Solomon's hands by four years' service in the army was invested in lands in Grandville, Washington County, New York, east of Lake George, and near the Vermont line. Part of the settler's contract was to build a number of log houses on the land he had purchased. About this time Solomon had the misfortune to cut his leg and he was disabled for work throughout the summer. The man whom he employed to build the aforesaid log houses, and whom he paid in advance, absconded with the money, the part of the contract pertaining to building the houses was not fulfilled, and consequently the land with the investment was lost. After this the family settled in Marlow, Cheshire county, New Hampshire. "No other than a desolate, dreary wilderness," is Solomon's description of it, "only four families within forty miles." But here the talents and virtues of Lydia, his wife, shone out. The pair now had four children, and the husband says:

"Here I was thrown into a situation to appreciate more fully the talents and virtues of my excellent wife; for, as our children were deprived of schools, she assumed the charge of their education, and performed the duties of an instructress as none, save a mother, is capable of. Precepts accompanied with examples such as hers, were calculated to make impressions on the minds of the young, never to be calculated to make impressions on the minds of the young, never to be forgotten. She, besides instructing them in the various branches of an ordinary education, was in the habit of calling them together both morning and evening, and teaching them to pray; meanwhile urging upon them the necessity of love towards each other, as well as devotional feeling towards him who made them. In this manner my first children became confirmed in habits of piety, gentleness, and reflection, which afforded great assistance in guiding those who came after them, into the same happy channel. The education of my children would have been more difficult task if they had not inherited much of their mother's excellent disposition."

The passage recalls the lines of Burns: "I've scarce heard aught describ'd sae weel, What generous, manly bosoms feel." This lady, it should be remembered, was the maternal grandmother of Joseph Smith, the Prophet. In 1776 Solomon Mack enlisted in the American army, serving for some time in the land forces, but subsequently with his two sons, Jason and Stephen, he served in a privateering expedition under Captain Havens.

After serving his country for four years he returned to Gilsum, New Hampshire. Owing to exposure and the hardships of his early life Solomon Mack's health failed him in his later years he was feeble and much afflicted with rheumatism. In making journeys about the country in those days he rode on horseback, and for his greater comfort used a woman's saddle-a circumstance pressed into service to emphasize the existence of an "abnormality" in one of the ancestors of Joseph Smith

[5] The circumstances that he was subject to occasional lapses into unconsciousness is made to do service in the same manner. This defect was occasioned by a severe injury in the head caused by a falling tree upon him in middle life; so, too, some hallucinations of extreme old age attended with failing health.

[6] "He served also in the Revolution . . . He was afterwards severely crippled by the falling of a tree and is remembered as riding about town on a side saddle." [7]. Yet this old, Revolutionary soldier, bequeathed to the country, whose liberties and institutions he had risked his life to establish, a noble family. His two sons, Jason and Stephen, both served their country in the American Revolution. Jason, who is described as "a studious and manly boy," was of a religious turn of mind, even in his youth, and became a preacher of the gospel and a social reformer. The chief scene of his activities was in New Brunswick, where he purchased a tract of land upon which he settled some thirty families of the poorer class, and taught them how to become self-supporting; supervising their temporal labors as well a ministering to their spiritual comport. In such labor the greater part of his life was spent.

[8].[9] "Jason Mack, oldest son of Solomon, became a Christian Minister, and preached for many years in Vermont and New York." "Stephen Mack, second son of Solomon enlisted in the Revolutionary army at the age of fourteen, and was promoted to Brigadier General." [10] [11] [Note: Portraits of the past - Patriarch Hill - From the Old Turnpike Road that runs through the property that was once the Solomon Mack farm in Sharon, Vt., a path leads up to a little summit known as Patriarch Hill. The hike to Patriarch Hill is moderately steep and perhaps a mile in length. The summit can also be accessed by four-wheel-drive vehicles. This marker informs visitors that they have reached the summit, a site where four different townships meet. From Patriarch Hill, trees block the same view of the area that was available a century ago, but one can see the top of the Joseph Smith monument that was erected near the site of his birth. - Kenneth Mays.]

The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother Chapter 1 - Edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Protor - A brief sketch is given of the life of Solomon Mack, father of Lucy Mack from his own writings. His early military service. His marriage to Lydia Gates and service in the Revolutionary War. His final devotion to God and family. Oliver Cowdery Home Page revised May 20, 2003 Corrected by Preston Nibley's as follows: The History of Joseph Smith by his mother, Lucy Mack Smith with Notes and Comments by Preston Nibley - Bookcraft Salt Lake City, Utah 1956 Chapter 1- My Father, Solomon Mack, was born in the town of Lyme, New London county, State of Connecticut, September 26, 1735. His father, Ebenezer Mack, was a man of considerable property, and lived in good style, commanding all the attention and respect which are ever shown to those who live in fine circumstances, and habits of strict morality. For a length of time he fully enjoyed the fruits of his industry. But this state of things did not always continue, for a series of misfortunes visited my grandparents, by which they were reduced to that extremity, that a once happy and flourishing family were compelled to disperse, and throw themselves upon the charity of a cold, unfeeling world. My father was taken into the family of a neighboring farmer, where he remained until he was nearly twenty-one years of age, about which time he enlisted in the service of his country. I have a sketch of my father's life, written by himself, in which is detailed an account of his several campaigns, and many of his adventures while in the army. From this I extract the following:

"At the age of twenty-one years, I left my master. Shortly after which I enlisted in the services of my country under the command of Captain Henry, and was annexed to the regiment commanded by Col. Whiting. "From Connecticut, we marched to Fort Edwards, in the state of New York. We were in a severe battle, fought at Half-way Brook in 1755. During this expedition I caught a heavy cold which rendered me unfit for business until the return of warm weather. I was carried the ensuing spring to Albany. "In the year 1757, I had two teams in the King's service, which were employed in carrying the general's baggage. While thus engaged, I went one morning to yoke my tea, but three of my oxen were missing. When this knowledge came to the officer, he was very angry, and drawing his sword, threatened to run it through me. He then ordered me to get three other oxen, which I accordingly did, and proceeded with the baggage to Fort Edwards, and the next day I returned in order to find my missing oxen. "While I was performing this trip, the following circumstance occurred. About half way from Stillwater to Fort Edwards, I espied four Indians nearly thirty rods distant, coming out of the woods; they were armed with scalping knives, tomahawks and guns. I was alone, but about twenty rods behind me was a man by the name of Webster. I saw my danger, and that there was no way to escape, unless I could do it by stratagem; so I rushed upon them, calling in the mean time at the top of my voice, Rush on! rush on my boys! we'll have the devils. The only weapon I had was a walking staf, yet I ran toward them, and as the other man appeared just at that instant, it gave them a terrible fright, and I saw no more of them. "I hastened to Stillwater the next day, as aforementioned, and finding my oxen soon after I arrived there. I returned the same night to Fort Edwards, a distance of seven miles, the whole of which was a dense forest.

"In 1758, I enlisted under Major Spenser, and went immediately over Lake George, with a company who crossed in boats, to the western side, where we had a bloody and hot engagement with the enemy, in which Lord Howe fell at the onset of the battle. His bowels were taken out and buried, but his body was embalmed and carried to England. "The next day we marched to the breastworks, but were unsuccessful, being compelled to retreat with a loss of five hundred men killed and as many more wounded. "In this contest I narrowly escaped--a musket ball passed under my chin with half an inch of my neck. The army then returned to Lake George, and, on its way thither, a large scouting party of the enemy came round by Skeenesborough, and, both men and tems, upon this one thousand to Skeenesborough in pursuit of them; but when we arrived at South Bay, the enemy were entirely out of our reach. "The enemy then marched to Ticonderoga, New York, in order to procure supplies, after the by hastening to Woodcreek, and thence to Fort Ann, where we arrived on the 13th day of the month. We had just reached this place, when the sentry gave information that the enemy was all around us, in consequence of which we were suddenly called to arms. Major Putman led the company, and Major Rogers brought up the rear. We marched but three-quarters of a mile, when we came suddenly upon a company of Indians that were lying in ambush. Major Putman marched his men through their ranks, whereupon the Indians fired, which threw our men into some confusion. Major Putman was captured by the, and would have been killed by an Indian, had he not been rescued by a French lieutenant. "The enemy rose like a cloud, and fired a whole volley upon us, and as I was in the foremost rank, and the tomahawks and bullets flew around me like hail stones. As I was running, I saw not far before me a windfall, which was so high that it appeared to me insurmountable, however, by making great exertion, I succeeded in getting over it. Running a little father, I observed a man who had in this last conflict been badly wounded, and the Indians were close upon him; nevertheless I turned aside for the purpose of assisting him, and succeeded in getting him into the midst of our army, in safety. "In this encounter a man named Gerhsam Bowley, had nine bullets shot through his clothes but received no personal injury. Ensign Worcester received nine wounds, was scalped and tomahawked, notwithstanding which, he lived, and finally recovered.

"The above engagement commenced early in the morning, and continued until about three o'clock p.m., in which half of our men were either killed, wounded or taken prisoners. In consequence of this tremendous slaughter we were compelled to send to Fort Edwards for men, in order to assist in carrying our wounded, which were about eighty in number. "The distance we had to carry them, was nearly fourteen miles. To carry so many thus far, was truly very fatiguing, insomuch that when we arrived at the place of destination, my strength was about exhausted. "I proceeded immediately to Albany, for the purpose of getting supplies, and returned again to the army as soon as circumstances would admit. "Autumn having now arrived, I went home, where I tarried the ensuing winter. "In the spring of 1759, the army marched to Crownpoint, where I received my discharge. In the same year, I became acquainted with an accomplished young woman, a school teacher, by the name of Lydia Gates. She was the daughter of Nathan Gates who was a man of wealth, living in the town of East Haddam, Connecticut. To this young woman I was married shortly after becoming acquainted with her. "Having received a large amount of money for my services in the army, and deeming it prudent to make an investment of the same in real estate, I contracted for the whole town of Granville, in the state of New York. On the execution of the deed, I paid all the money that was required in the stipulation, which stipulation also called for the building of a number of log houses. I accordingly went to work to fulfill this part of the contract, but after laboring a short time, I had the misfortune to cut my leg, which subjected me, during that season to the care of the physician. I hired a man to do the work and paid him in advance, in order to fulfill my part of the contract; but he ran away with the money, without performing the labor, and the consequence was I lost the land altogether.

"In 1761, we moved to the town of Marlow where we remained until we had four children. When we moved there it was no other than a desolate and dreary wilderness. Only four families resided within forty miles. Here I was thrown into a situation to appreciate more fully the talents and virtues of my excellent wife; for, as our children were deprived of schools, she assumed the charge of their education, and performed the duties of an instructress as none save a mother, is capable of. Precepts accompanied with examples such as hers, were calculated to make impression on the minds of the young, never to be forgotten. "She, besides instructing them in the various branches of an ordinary education, was in the habit of calling them together both morning and evening, and teaching them to pray; meanwhile urging upon them the necessity of love toward each other, as well as devotional feelings towards Him who made them. "In this manner my first children became confirmed in habits of piety, gentleness, and reflection, which afforded great assistance in guiding those who came after them, into the same happy channel. The education of my children would have been a more difficult task, if they had not inherited much of their mother's excellent disposition.

"In 1776, I enlisted in the service of my country and was for a considerable length of time in the land forces, after which I went with my two sons, Jason and Stephen, on a privateering expedition, commanded by


Captain Havens. Soon after we set sail, we were driven upon Horseneck. We succeeded, however, in getting some of our guns on shore, and bringing them to bear upon the enemy, so as to exchange many shots with them; yet they so as to exchange many shots with them; yet they cut away our rigging, and left our vessel much shattered. "We then hauled off and cast anchor; but, in a short time we espied two row-gallies, two sloops, and two schooners. We quickly weighed anchor, and hauled to shore again, and had barely time to post four cannon in a position in which they could be used, before a sanguinary contest commenced. The balls from the enemy's guns tore up the ground, butting asunder the saplings in every direction. One of the row-gallies went round a point of land with the vi3ew of hemming us in, but we killed forty of their men, with our small arms, which caused the enemy to abandon their purpose. "My son Stephen, in company with the cabin boys, was sent to a house not far from the shore, with a wounded man. Just as they entered the house, an eighteen-pounder followed them. A woman was engaged in frying cakes, at the time, and being somewhat alarmed, she concluded to retire into the cellar, saying, as she left, that the boys might have the cakes, as she was going below.

"The boys were highly delighted at this, and they went to work cooking and feasting upon the lady's sweet cakes, while the artillery of the contending armies was thundering in their ears, dealing out death and destruction on every hand. At the head of this party of boys, was Stephen Mack, my second son, a bold and fearless stripling of fourteen. "In this contest the enemy was far superior to us in point of numbers, yet we maintained our ground with such valor that they thought it better to leave us, and accordingly did so. Soon after this, we hoisted sail and made for New London. "When the hostilities ceased and peace and tranquility were again restored, we freighted a vessel, which I afterwards purchased; but, in consequence of storms and wrecks, I was compelled to sell her, and was left completely destitute. "I struggled a little longer to obtain property, in making adventures, then returned to my family, after an absence of four years, about penniless. After this I determined to follow phantoms no longer, but devote the rest of my life to the service of God and my family." I shall now lay aside my father's journal, as I have made such extracts as are adapted to my purpose, and take up the history of his children. Notes: 1.The vital records of Lyme, Connecticut, give Solomon's birth as September 15, 1732. Solomon's master may have misrepresented his age to the young child to prolong his service. [12]

Solomon Mack published a brief account of his life in 1811 in which the title page declared the work as A Narrative of the Life of Solomon Mack, Containing as Account of the Many Severe Accidents He met with During a Long Series of Years, Together with the Extraordinary Manner in Which He Was Converted to the Christian Faith .... Winsdor. This forty-eight page pamphlet, published thirty-four years before Mother Smith dictated her own history, may very well have been an influence in Lucy's decision to record in detail her own life and dealings with God.

Solomon indicates in his Narrative that he left his master when he was "21 years of age lacking 2 months." This means that, according to when he thought he was born, he would have left his master in July 1756. He did return and reluctantly fill the last short period of his indenture. The record, however, is somewhat contradictory, as he was fighting in battles in his military service in 1755.

Colonial records indicate Solomon enlisted under Capt. James Harris on September 10, 1755; was discharged on November 24, 1755; and stayed until his discharge on May 29 [13]

This battle was part of the French and Indian War, which lasted from 1754 to 1763.


  2. Ref: The History of the Church pg 18
  3. (Silvanus Hayward--1881)
  4. (p. 357)
  5. The Story of the Mormons, Alexander Linn, MacMillan Company, 1902, ch. ii. The Founder of Mormonism, I. Woodbridge Riley, Dodd, Mead & Co., 1902.)
  6. Founder of Mormonism, Riley, pp. 63-5.
  7. (History of the Town of Gilsum, p. 207)
  8. History of the Prophet Joseph, Lucy Smith, ch. xii
  9. History of the Town of Gilsum, N. H.
  10. p. 207)
  11. Joseph Smith: An American Prophet: Joseph Smith's Forebears, pg. 25 and 26
  12. (See Anderson, Heritage, p. 162.)
  13. see Anderson, Heritage pp. 162-1 63.