Friday, October 15, 2010

Alexander (2) Jameson

(From The Jamesons in America) With this money ($100 he received from Zuar Eldridge on his 21st birthday) he (Alexander (2) purchased a horse and saddle and not long after went to Irasburgh, Vermont, a "wilderness town," where his next older brother, Thomas, was living. This township was given to Ethan Allen of the "Green Mountain Boys" fame, for military service, and came as an inheritance to Ira Allen, for whom it was named.

Ira Allen
A few farms were sold outright at first, but at a later date the land was leased, every farmer paying rent to Mr. Allen. Mr. Jameson was fortunate in securing one of the first farms. At that time the public highway, afterward the state route to Coventry, Newport, and Canada, was not built, and except for one small clearing it was an unbroken wilderness. But with true pioneer courage, Mr. Jameson set to work clearing away the primeval forest, and on April 16, 1826, he married Sarah Knowles Locke, and took her to a log house in the midst of his few fertile acres. A year later, he built a brick house, in which he lived nearly forty-five years, and where all but the eldest of his children were born. A few years before his death, he sold his farm and removed to the village.

A cool looking dude, with a 2010 hairstyle and duds and
neck gator that would make teens look on in envy

In reviewing his character, we notice among many admirable traits, strict integrity, unceasing industry, conscientiousness, and benevolence. He was a silent man, with a shade of sternness in his manner, but underneath was a rich and gifted nature. With little education, his ability was perhaps more noticeable, and his appreciation of learning was shown by the many sacrifices he made for his children that they might secure mental training. (These sacrifices were evidently made for daughters as well as sons, as can be seen in Laura's literary abilities, selling numerous articles to popular magazines) He was one of the first advocates of temperance in the town...

Vermont Sons of Temperance certificate (1850)
...and the first first to refuse to furnish liquor for a "barn raising." The neighbors said, "You won't get men enough to lift your timbers if you don't furnish the drink." "Then they won't be lifted," was the reply. But the men came, and the barn was raised without rum.
Mr. Jameson was an abolitionist in sentiment...

The underground railway system used by slaves seeking freedom.
Notice the route through northern Vermont and Irasburgh.

...and more than once befriended the poor runaway slaves who took that route toward the North star and freedom.

Depiction of slaves running for their lives and freedom

Bounty advertisement for a runaway slave

Deeds of benevolence were always done without ostentation. In referring to his obituary, we find this testimony: "He was a thorough, practical man in all the relations of life. As a citizen he filled every office to which he was called, " from representative down through the list, with fidelity, but the monument which he reared as a Christian will abide the longest, cherished by a grateful posterity. There is no other man to whom the people of Irasburgh are more indebted for the blessings of religion than to Mr. Jameson. He had a benevolent heart, a large purse, and a liberal hand, and they were never closed to the wants of the church of his choice." He was called an old-fashioned Methodist," but surely the outgrowth of his Christian experience would enrich any age.
In 1863 the devoted wife and mother of eleven children died. Afterward Mr. Jameson married Mrs. Martha Geraldine Clark, by whom he had two children. In October, 1871, he was suddenly translated to the country which is out of sight toward which he had been faithfully and patiently journeying for many years.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where did they all go?

Canandaigua, NY where Alexander (1) died September 14, 1820

After the death of Janet (Jenny) Brown Jameson on March 23, 1803 in Barnet, VT, Alexander (1) shows up next in Lebanon, Grafton Co, NH for the 1810 census with many of his children. "later (he) went to Canandaigua, New York. He married Mrs. Parks. Mr. Jameson died November 17, 1819. Mrs. Jameson died later."(The Jamesons in America) If you are getting confused it is a sign you are paying attention. We now have three different dates for Alexander's (1) death.

Towns in New Hampshire and Vermont in which Jamesons reside in the early 1800's

Hugh Jameson [eldest son of Alexander (1)] was 17 when his mother died (1803). Two years later Hugh married Janet Brock. At the time of the 1810 census they and their 3 children were living a few miles away in Peachum,VT.

Joseph Brown Jameson, the next oldest, went back to Dunbarton, NH for a few years, likely living with relatives there, and then moved back with his immediate family in Lebanon, NH. Daniel, Anna, Sarah and the youngest, William Scott, were all living with their father Alexander (1) in Lebanon, according to the 1810n census.

Our particular interest is Alexander (2) Jameson (Laura Jameson's father). He was the 5th son of Alexander (1) and Jenny Jameson according to E.O. Jameson, taken in by Zuar and Mary (Brown) Eldridge, who were living in Lebanon,j Grafton County, New Hampshire. Mary Eldridge is thought to have been Jenny Jameson's sister and therefore young Alexander's aunt... It is reasonable to assume Alexander (2)was taken in by the Eldridge's immediately after Jenny's death. He eventually moved to Irasburgh, VT, probably about 1820. E.O. Jameson's account reads, "When he [Alexander (2)] was twenty-one, Mr. Eldridge gave him his 'freedom suit' and one hundred dollars. With this money he purchased a horse and saddle and not long after went to Irasburgh, Vermont, a 'wilderness town,' where his next older brother, Thomas, was living."

Freedom Suit

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tragedy comes to Jamesons

Roadside Tavern

( About 1800, Mr. (Alexander (1)) Jameson sold his interest in the family homestead (in Dunbarton) to his brother Daniel, and with his (Alexander's) wife and eight children, the eldest not yet 15 years old, moved to Barnet, Vermont, joining his wife's brothers and sisters who had moved to nearby Peacham a few years earlier.
In 1807, a license (below) was issued to Daniel Jameson (son of Hugh) to keep a tavern "at his dwelling." It is thought that the town's Selectmen had asked the family to open a tavern in the hopes they could drive a nearby "undesirable" tavern out of business. It, one of four such establishments located on the main road running through Dunbarton, became a very popular tavern in those early days.

This tavern license: We the subscribers license Daniel Jameson
to keep a tavern unto his dwelling_____
Dunbarton for the term of one year...

Alexander and his family were in Barnet where their youngest child, William, was born and where his wife, Jenny (Brown) Jameson, died of small pox when the child was just 4 weeks old. There are competing stories about her death as well as what happened to Alexander immediately after. The most romantic of the recounts is offered by E.O. Jameson in The Jamesons in America.

Mr. Jameson's father Alexander Jameson, died under peculiarly sad circumstances, when he (younger Alexander) was a small boy of 5 years. His father was one of the several persons in the down seized with small pox, and was removed, according to old-time custom, to an isolated cabin. His wife, left at home with the young infant, was taken dangerously ill. Hearing of this, and desiring to see her once more, the convalescing husband and father escaped from the 'pest house' and literally dragged himself across the fields to his home, and there, through a window, held his last conversation with her. Both died soon after, and the children found homes among friends and relatives.

This story, at least the death of Alexander, is not supported in any way. The death of Jenny and many others was reported in the newspaper of that time. It is clear from records that the family was dispersed after Jenny's death, though it isn't clear whether Alexander's ill health, the prospect of parenting nine children alone or other circumstances initiated the break up of the family. It appears that Alexander (1) moved to where his brother Hugh, wife and family were living, Canandaigua, Ontario County, NY (west central region) in 1810 and after remarrying, died there in 1820.

Death notice for Alexander Jameson, died September 14, 1820, in the Ontario Register

The story is different and yet the same as the tragedy that struck the Dakin family in Soquel 100 years later. At the death of their wife and mother, the children are cared for by relatives who take them in and raise them as their own. One further similarity. Alexander (2) the son of Jenny and Alexander (1) later named two of his children after the couple that took him in Zuar Eldridge and his wife Mary. Out of similar appreciation, Ruthalee Mauldin named her first child Antheni Alice Mauldin with the nickname of the woman who cared for her like a mother, Ant Hen (Aunt Helen).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

First Social Security

Like cider promised to Hugh and Jane by Alexander and Daniel (

Hugh and his wife, Jane, were both still living November 15, 1782, as appears from the following bond given by their sons, Alexander and Daniel, in consideration of a deed to them of his farm in Dunbarton, NH.

A Bond from Alexander and Daniel Jameson to Hugh Jameson

Know all men by these that we, Alexander Jameson and Daniel Jameson both of Dunbarton in the State of New Hampshire and County of Hillsborough yeomans of joyntly and Severally Bound unto Hugh Jameson of Dunbarton in State and County afore said, Cordwainer, in the Just Sum of a thoughsand Pounds Lawfull money to which Payment well and truly to be made we Bind ower selves Heirs and assigns firmly by these Presents sealed with ower seals this fifteenth Day of November A.D. 1782.

The conditions of the above Bond is such that of the above Bound Alexander Jameson and Daniel Jameson Do we well and Truly Provide and Deliver unto the above named Hugh Jameson and Jane Jameson his wife the following articles that is to say--

Stores of grain and beans (Photo:

firstly to have and Use at their own Discretion the Southwest room in the Dwelling house and Seller under said room and Chamber over said Room with Liberty to Pass from the above Room to Seller and Chamber During there natural life.

Also, to Deliver yearly unto Said Hugh and Jane During there Lives the following articles yearly at their Request, to wit:

Twelve Bushells on Good Indian Corn and Six Bushells of good Rye and one hundred and Eighty wate of Good Pork well salted and sixty wate of good Beef, well salted with a Sufficient Quantity of good Sace such as the farm Produces yearly withy a Sufficient Quantity of Cider as the Farm shall Produce also fifty wate of good flax well Drest such as the farm Produces and Twelve Pounds of good Sheep's wool, and to keep two good Cows for the said Life and in Case of old age or Sickness to find sufficient help to work and all other Things So that they be comfortably Looked after and not Suffer also Suficient Quantey of good fire-wood at the Door Redy Cut for one fire, in Compliance with the above Condition, then the above Bond to be void otherwise to Stand and Remain in full force and Veature.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered in Presents of--

The true intent and meaning of the above Bond is such that if either the above Hugh or Jane his wife Should Die then the one half of all the above articles to be Taken off and not Paid --

Jereh Page

Martha Copp

We know that both Hugh and Jane were alive when they signed the bond and it appears that only Hugh was still alive (and living with Daniel) at the time of the 1790 Federal Census.
On September 23, 1788, Alexander and Danel divided their father's farm. Hugh is mentioned in the division and so is presumed to be still alive, but Jane is not, and so probably was deceased.

It is said that Hugh Jameson aided his third son, Thomas, with his education, at Darmouth College - Class of 1797, in lieu of a stake in the farm.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Alexander Followers Hugh into the Revolution

Alexander's payroll card as a New Hampshire Volunteer after the battles of Bennington and Saratoga

Alexander Jameson (1760-1820) was the first child of Hugh and, his second wife, Jane. He was also the first son born in America to Hugh. Alexander was born in Dunbarton, likely on the homestead, and remained there well after he had a family of his own, having shared the farm with his brother Daniel.

Alexander followed his father into the ranks of the Continental Army (though he enlisted directly into Moore's Regiment of the the New Hampshire Militia). Both father and son could likely and honorably avoided service because it was voluntary and their ages: Hugh was 62 at the time of the Battle of Bunker Hill and Alexander was 17 at the time of the Battles of Saratoga.

As indicated by the Payroll Card (above):
Alexander Jameson
Moore's New Hampshire
(Revolutionary War)
Private and discharged as a private

(other side of card)

J Moore's Regiment N.H.
Alex r Jameson
Appears with rank of Pvt on a
Pay Roll
of a Company of Volunteers commanded by Capt.
John Duncan in Col. Daniel Moore's Regiment,
which marched from Bedford, Sept. 1777, to
join the Northern Continental Army,
(Revolutionary War)
Time of engagement.....Sept....26....,17...
Time of discharge...Oct....25............,17...
Time in the service.....27.......................days.
Rate per month.....L 4, 10
Amount of wages..L 4,....1
Travel from Bedford and Antrim to Beningtown,
135....m. at 3d......L1, 13, 9
Travel home from Saratoga to Bedford and Antrim,
132...m. at 2d....L 1..,2.....
Whole number ......................................................
Number received..................................................
No. due at 8d.........................................................
Whole amount ......................6,.....16,.....9...........

Brigadier General John Stark
John Starks was born in Londonderry, New Hampshire. His father had emigrated from northern Ireland and settled in the New Hampshire frontier where he owned extensive tracts of land and was the original proprietor of Dunbarton (originally called Starkstown)

Alexander Jameson served as a private with Colonel Daniel Moore's Regiment of the New Hampshire Volunteers. "They marched from Bedford, NH, to join the Northern Continental Army at Bennington, VT, for what became the battles of Bennington and Saratoga in 1777. The militia were originally created to protect the colonies from attacks by the French and their Indian allies. They had more at stake than the regular army, since they were protecting their own homes.
Colonel Stark and his men (without either Jameson) were dispatched to aid the militias of Massachusetts, who were trying to keep the British in Boston. When they tried to push out of Boston by attacking the colonists, the colonists fought back at the Battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775).
In July, 1777, Stark was offered a commission as Brigadier General of the New Hampshire militia. He accepted with the stipulation that he would be answerable only to New Hampshire, that is, not the Continental Army. Soon after receiving the commission he was ordered to depart New Hampshire to reinforce the Continental Army at Saratoga, NY. He refused. Instead, he led his men to meet the British at Bennington, VT, where Colonel Frederick Baum with about 500 men were about to attack Bennington storehouses to restock their dwindling supplies.
Gen. Stark sent out men to gather recruits. With about 2200 militiamen (some with their own guns and dressed for tending fields) 1400 from NH, the rest from VT, NY, CT and MA. Catching Colonel Baum and the British commanding General Burgoyne. Both colonel Baum's 500 men and 500 re-enforcements sent hurriedly from Burgoyne were soundly defeated. Not more than 100 escaped.

The battles of Bennington, VT and Saratoga, NY are not far from each other
The loss of soldiers and the inability for General Burgoyne to gain supplies led directly to defeats at the battles of Saratoga and the surrender of Burgoyne.

This map indicates the succession of battles and the sequence which run mostly from north to south. The Battle of Bennington, the Battle of Saratoga
Moore's Regiment (the 9th militia) with Alexander Jameson was called up on September 29 and participated in the last battle of Saratoga, October 7, 1777.

With the surrender of General Burgoyne on October 17 (10 days after the final battle of Saratoga) the regiment was disbanded on October 27, 1777.

The surrender of General Burgoyne to General Gates of the Continental Army.

General John Stark gave to Moore's regiment a brass 4 pounder cannon captured at the Battle of Bennington.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hugh Becomes a New England Patriot

(From Hugh's wife, Christine, likely died in the late 1740s, relatively soon after their arrival in American and the birth of their last child, Molly. It appears that Hugh remarried a half dozen years later in the mid-1750s to Jane McHenry, a Scot like himself. It is likely that he farmed the 150 acres he had purchased in Dunbarton, NH as well as being a shoemaker. Despite, or maybe because of, his previous brush with the law "...he took a prominent part among settlers in public affairs while living in Dunbarton.

"He was one of the foremost in calling meetings of the area's inhabitants and in the transaction of public business. In 1773, Mr. Jameson was chosen costable and town collector." That is, as constable, he was an officer of the peace, with police and minor judicial duties. It was probably a good thing he had some policing authority if he was also a "collector," presumably of taxes. In a small town that likely included treasurer duties.

Revolutionary Flag of New Hampshire, later adopted in a slightly different form as the state flag

Hugh's sense of civic responsibility and political involvement soon took on a deeper commitment. Tensions with the British were mounting . Unlike the Dakin line of the family, these Jamesons threw their allegiance in with their new countrymen. That allegiance was about to be expressed in their participation in the Revolutionary War.

"Hugh Jameson was a Minuteman from Londonderry, New Hampshire and after the battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, although in his early 60s, marched 90 miles to Boston and back under the command of Robert Wilson and Lieutenant Joseph Hogg." By this account it would appear Hugh didn't see any "action," since his cohort arrived after Bunker Hill was fought and then returned to Dunbarton. That is not true of Alexander whose participation in the Revolutionary War we will consider in the next post.

"Hugh Jameson signed the Association Test at Dunbarton, November 25, 1776 which made him an early and bonefide patriot."

The Association Test Signed by Hugh Jameson

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Sheriff Comes after Hugh

A later version of the courthouse at Portsmouth, New Hampshire (Photo: CW Wycoff)

( "In June of 1753, Hugh Jameson and Robert Parinson were summoned into court in Portsmouth, NW, having been sued by Robert Gage of Coleraine, Ulster, Ireland, for not having been paid the monies due per the agreement by Jameson and Parkinson to do so, two years after arriving in America. Although both Hugh Jameson and Robert Parkinson denied owing any money both were found guilty on September 6, 1753 and ordered to pay in the amount of 18 pounds, two shillings and 4 sixpence, new tennor (sic) bills, as damages for both men, including court costs. This was apparently paid as nothing more is (recorded) of this case.

The court summons for Hugh Jameson & Robert Parkinson (Photo: Somejamesons)

"Hugh Jameson arrived in the new world apparently penniless. Documents associated with the above mentioned court case describe how he was nearly pulled off the boat at the very last moment as the ship was actually weighing anchor and about to leave port. Three men arrived unexpectedly demanding money from him. Unable to pay, a collection was taken by several of the other passengers on board to prevent that from happening.