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Welcome to our news and history blog!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Obituary: Jabez Mead 1886

Obituary: Jabez Mead

The Greenwich Graphic: April 17, 1886, page 3, col. 3

Another Old Resident Gone

Another one of the old citizens passed away this week, - Mr. Jabez Mead.

His death was not unexpected, for he has been an invalid for two years, though able to be about, often driving to the village himself from his home on the Post Road. For a year and a half Mr. Mead has been unable to lie down, and his sleep and rest were obtained sitting in a chair. Of late it was seen that he was failing and that his end was near. He died Monday night; his age was 77 years.

Jabez Mead was born, Dec. 21st 1808, on the farm, on the Post Road, where he has just died; his father lived there before him, and his grand-father, who was Gen. Mead, of Revolutionary fame, resided only a short distance away, on the farm now occupied by Mr. Tracy, the artist.

Mr. Mead married Marry Hobby, a daughter of Jabez Hobby, and four of their children are now living, -Mrs. Abram Reynolds, Mr. Lyman Mead, Mr. Herman H. Mead, and Mr. Arthur D. Mead; a large number of grand-children, and several great-grand-children.

During his life Mr. Mead held many prominent positions in this community, twice representing his town in the General Assembly; he was for many years town treasurer; he has also been selectman, school visitor and assessor.

He was a man universally liked and respected. Of genial disposition, he held a place in the hearts of the people and all mourn his death. He was a man of broad views, and exceedingly found of travel, and until ill health caused him to remain at home, was accustomed with his wife to take an extended trip almost every year, and being a careful observer, he had a wide knowledge of the country.

His funeral took place from the 2nd Congregational Church, Thursday afternoon, Rev. Mr. Porter officiating. There was a large attendance. The pall bearers were Messrs. Alfred Bell, Isaac H. Mead, Jos. G. Mead, Eliphelet Husted, Alex. Mead and Stephen Peck. The remains were interred in the 2nd Congregational church cemetery. Requiescat in pace.

Obituary: Seaman Mead 1915

Obituary: Seaman Mead

The Greenwich News & Graphic: Friday, July 2, 1915.

Hon. Seaman Mead Died Last Wednesday

Has Been Identified with Greenwich Business and Social Affairs for Many Years--Funeral To-Morrow

Death claimed one of the old residents of Greenwich on Wednesday when Seaman, son of the late Thomas A. and Hannah Seaman Mead, died at his home on West Putnam Avenue, following an illness of a short duration.

The deceased was born in the old Mead homestead in the year 1837. He was a descendant of John Mead, who came to the United States from England in 1635. Amos Mead, the great-grandfather of the deceased, was a surgeon in the French and Indian War and his grandfather, Richard Mead, served in the Revolutionary War.

Mr. Mead's life in Greenwich has been associated with public affairs. He was sent to the General Assembly four times; he served twelve years on the State Board of Agriculture at the St. Louis, Pan-American, Buffalo and Jamestown Expositions; he served on the board of assessors of the Town of Greenwich for twenty-two years; he was a borough assessor for twelve years; chairman of the Republican Town Committee for twelve years; a director of the Greenwich Trust Company and of the Rippowam Manufacturing Company.

The following children survive the deceased: Susan H., Louisa M., Amelia W., Thomas and Seaman M. Mead.

The deceased was born on the Mead homestead which included what is now Edgewood Park, Brookside drive, running down Greenwich Avenue to the point where the St. Mary's Catholic Church now stands. He was reared on that farm and attended schools in the neighborhood, his first teacher being Mr. Loundsberry. Subsequently the deceased attended the Greenwich Academy from which he graduated.

Two years of his life after graduation was spent on the large farm in Stanwich owned by his family. In his agricultural pursuits Mr. Mead was always successful. He ever took deep interest in Agriculture and aided in its advancement throughout the state.

Mr. Mead inherited many of the traits which brought his ancestors into prominence and gave them the distinction they merited. He was of the same religious faith and political complexion as his forefathers. Ever an ardent Republican, he cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hester Bush Mead: An Uncommon Artist?

Originally published Spring/Summer 2001, by Jeffrey Bingham Mead
The southeastern section of Greenwich's Union Cemetery was set aside for the burial of free blacks or African-Americans.
Robert W. Mead deeded the land for the use forever as a burying ground, "The Southern part of Said Lot twenty three is to be Set apart by said Committee for the interment of people of color, and such portion as Said Committee may deem advisable to Sell in burial lots to people of color at a rate not exceeding one cent the Square foot. Lots numbers twelve and thirteen are to be reserved for free ground if required."

One of the worn marble gravestones marks the final resting place of Hester Bush Mead, the daughter of Candice Bush.

Hester's name does not appear in the roster of famous persons in Greenwich history, nor is she listed in Spencer P. Mead's family genealogy book. Hester is the direct descendant of slaves who were emancipated and made free when Connecticut, with her sister New England states, established for all time the abolition of slavery in the late eighteenth century.

Candice Bush, her mother, was a servant in the David Bush household. Mr. Bush, no relation to President Bush or his family, owned what we preserve today as Bush-Holley House, headquarters of the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich. Candice's name appears in David Bush's estate in 1797, and Hester was born there the following year. We believe Hester married a freed black man who was emancipated from the Mead's in Greenwich.

Our primary interest in Hester centers on a mysterious but beautiful watercolor of one of the family ancestral houses. A relative in Massachusetts, who owns the painting, said that this fine example of early American folk art on woven paper was created by a black woman who was employed by the Jabez Mead family and dates from 1840-1860.

The Jabez Mead House, circa 1840, stood at the corner of East Putnam Avenue and Indian Field Road. The farm encompassed all of Milbrook and the lands up to the base of Put's Hill. The house was demolished when East Putnam Avenue was widened in the 1950's.

Could Hester Mead be the mystery artist? It's very possible. We may never know since the work is unsigned, and no written documentation to confirm this has been uncovered.

Hester died on March 2, 1864. Her will in the Greenwich Probate Court leaves her few belongings to her granddaughters Martha and Julia and ordered "good Tomb stones to be put up for herself and her mother."

The austere appearance of her marker may be deceiving if it is true that Hester was the mystery artist of the old homestead built long ago.

The will of Hester Mead, daughter of Candice Bush
Book A, Pages 410-411, Probate Court, Greenwich, CT
March 7, 1864

I, Hester Mead of the Town of Greenwich, County of Fairfield and State of Connecticut do now make this my last Will & Testament.
I direct my Executor hereafter named to Collect all my Just dues and pay all my just debts- to cause to be erected a good tomb stone over the grave of my Mother and also one for myself.
I give and bequeath to my granddaughter Martha Mead all my wearing apparrel and bedding and I direct my Executor to deliver them to her at such time or times as he may think best.
I give and bequeath the residue of my Estate after paying my funeral expenses and the cost of the Tomb Stones above named to my two granddaughters Martha Mead & Julia Mead, to them their heirs & assigns forever to be divided between them in the ratio of 2/3 for Martha and 1/3 for Julia and to be paid to them when they shall respectively become of Lawful age. If either of them Shall die before receiving her share then the whole amount Shall be given to the other.
I now constitute and appoint Philander Button Executor of this my Last Will & Testament.
In witnefs whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and seal this 1st day of March AD 1864.
Signed sealed and delivered by the Testatrix to be her last Will and testament in the presence of us who at her request hereunto Subscribe our names as witnefses in her presence and in the presence of each other
March 7, 1864
Clarissa Mead
Julia Button
Lydia M. Button
Hester X Mead
her mark
I hereby Certify that the N.S. Internal revenue Stamp to the amount of 50 ct was affixed to the foregoing instrument & was duly cancelled.
James H. Brush, Judge

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Milo Mead's Will… “with papers pinned on”

by Jeffrey Bingham Mead

Every family, no matter how large or small, has its share of eccentric souls. Milo Mead was no exception. The Greenwich native lived all of his life in the Byram section of town.

His eccentric ways made him something of an enigma in Greenwich. He never married, but died with a substantial amount of land in his name. Over the course of his adult life he deeded plots in the area he named 'New Lebanon.'

Milo Mead’s gravestone is located in the New Burial Grounds Association Cemetery next to the Second Congregational Church, Greenwich.

The piece below comes from the Greenwich News-Graphic shortly after his passing:

The will of Milo Mead of New Lebanon has been placed on Probate at the Probate Court. It has some peculiar features beside that of giving practically the whole property to two mission societies. Several clauses in the original were scratched out, and papers with Milo Mead's signature were pinned over them.

The value of the property is not accurately known, but is supposed to amount to more than $100,000 in real estate bonds and mortgages.

The original will was made on September 4, 1888, and in it Mr. William M. Ritch was named as executor. The will, which is on probate, reads as follows:

I, Milo Mead, of the Town of Greenwich, County of Fairfield, and State of Connecticut, do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following.

1st: I will that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid by the executor hereinafter mentioned.

2nd: I give, devise and bequeath to my brother Charles money sufficient to pay half his claim to his father's estate with interest.

3rd: I give, devise and bequeath to my sister Hannah five hundred dollars.

4th: I give, devise, and bequeath to my brother Mark five hundred dollars.

5th: I give, devise, and bequeath to Agnes S. Smith five hundred dollars.

6th: I give, devise, and bequeath to Agnes Wright, daughter of George Wright, dec'd, two hundred and fifty dollars.

7th: I direct that all of my property be sold by my executor hereinafter named within two years after my death.

8th: I give, devise, and bequeath the remainder after paying my bequests and legacies above mentioned to the American Missionary Association and the American Home Missionary Society, both located in the city of New York, to be divided equally.

9th: I hereby constitute and appoint William M. Ritch executor of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this fourth day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight-hundred and eighty-eight. Signed and declared and sealed by me the said Milo Mead as his last will.

Milo Mead L.S.

And testament in presence of us, who in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names

Sylvester D. Hill

William Talbot

Willis M. Ritch, Jr.

A paper was pinned on clause 3 containing the following: As I have outlived my sister Hannah, I cross off her name as one of the heirs. Milo Mead. The clause was run through with a pen.

Over clause 4 was pinned a paper as follows: As I have outlived my brother Mark I cross off his name as one of the heirs. Milo Mead. The clause was also struck out by the pen.

Over the fifth clause the following was pinned on: Jan. 17, 1900. As I have outlived Agnes S. Smith I this day cross off her name from my will, not from any disregard to her. Milo Mead. The clause was struck out.

Over the witness clause another paper containing the following was pinned: New Lebanon, Sept. 22, 1894. As Agnes Wright is about to be married to Edward C. Fischer I cross her name off my will. Milo Mead.

Still another paper and evidently the latest one was pinned over the attest clause, which read as follows: It is my wish in case of my death, that the Danish Independent Club and Societies of New Lebanon should have plenty of time to pay the mortgage on their building, notwithstanding the limit of two years for the settlement of my estate, in my will, let it run indefinitely according to circumstances by paying the interest. Milo Mead.

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions

Originally published Spring/Summer 2001 by Jeffrey Bingham Mead
America's Second Great Awakening started in the 1790's and went well into the nineteenth century. The cause of foreign missions that sought to spread Christianity worldwide began at this time. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) coordinated mission activities across North America, Polynesia, Asia, and beyond.
Religious enthusiasm was widespread throughout New England, including Greenwich. Religious leaders were at the forefront of communication and culture. Greenwich's nineteenth century citizens were enthusiastic participants and supporters of those causes. They included foreign and domestic missions, abolitionism, temperance, improvements in medical care, women's rights, and education.

Records show that a number of our nineteenth century Mead ancestors were made honorary members of the ABCFM. Their names appear in original editions of The Missionary Herald, a monthly magazine published by the ABCFM itself. Though not all individuals listed were residents of the town, all were made honorary members of the ABCFM by parishes and congregations located in Greenwich, Connecticut. The minimum donation required was $50.

The first to be listed was Obadiah Mead in January, 1834. The people of the North Greenwich Congregational Church held a "monthly concert" and raised $100. In June, 1841, Deacon Silas Hervey Mead of North Greenwich (pictured) was made an honorary ABCFM member. The Missionary Herald lists "Miss S. Mead" as contributing $100.

Marcus Mead was next to be listed in the May, 1842 issue of The Missionary Herald. A contribution from "a friend" for $100 is mentioned, though no name is given. In December, 1843, Augustus Mead was constituted an honorary ABCFM member by Miss S. Mead again for another contribution of $100.

In 1817 the women of Greenwich's Second Congregational Church started a "Heathen School Society" which helped to underwrite the costs of missionary-run schools.

Hannah Mead is listed as the "First Directress," and in January, 1845 the School Society gave $100 to constitute her an honorary ABCFM member, according to the Missionary Herald.
The "West Society Ladies," referring to the women of the Second Church, gave $50 to make Rev. Ebenezer Mead an honorary member as stated in the January, 1848 issue. In that same year, Miss Hannah Mead was constituted by "a friend" in May, 1848.
Though not living in town, Luther Mead of Fitchburg, Ohio was made an honorary ABCFM member by Miss S. Mead again. The June, 1848 issue of The Missionary Herald reports a contribution of $100 for this.

The Second Congregational Church gave $139.77 to the ABCFM for Miss Mary Mead to be added to its roster of honorary members in August, 1848. A year later, Miss Mary H. Mead is listed in December, 1849 for a donation of $50, too.

A monthly concert was held in North Greenwich, and Alla, wife of Deacon Obadiah Mead, was constituted an honorary member. The December, 1851 edition of The Missionary Herald states that $226.35 was raised for the ABCFM.

The last four Mead descendants were all members of the North Greenwich Congregational Church. A monthly concert helped make Miss Huldah Mead an ABCFM member in December, 1852. The church contributed $123.25 for Mrs. Harriet S. Mead in January, 1856. 

Civil War Veteran Silas Deliverance Mead was made an ABCFM member in February, 1872, after the church gave $159.33. 

 The last was Hattie A. Mead, who is listed in the February, 1882 edition as being made an ABCFM member for a contribution of $100.33.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Epitaphs on the Gravestones of the Mead Family in Greenwich, Connecticut

Originally published Spring/Summer 2001 by Jeffrey Bingham Mead

If there is any place where time stands still, and where history lies unruffled by the passage of time, it's in a burying ground or cemetery. Calmness, stillness, placidity, and serenity characterize these hallowed settings.

History stands poised by changing trends; the weather-worn stones stand in defiant indifference. Strolling among the graves of our Mead ancestors is a fascinating experience. That's especially true for those seeking to unlock the dim mysteries of our heritage.

Many Mead ancestors are buried in other cemeteries in the Town of Greenwich, Connecticut. A number of these stones are carved with epitaphs. They tell us many things, ranging from particulars about faith in God, tributes to departed loved ones, records of military valor, and much, much more. These have been transcribed from the tombstones, and a few are reproduced here for the enrichment of our family descendants and friends. The name, date of death, and burial site is listed.

Whether the intent is to reinforce moral standards, or record achievements and legacies, epitaphs continue to elicit curiosity. The most expressive and informative inscriptions on Greenwich gravestones voice lament, outline lifetime achievements, teach lessons to the living reader, and offer timely and bewitching warnings from times past.

Lucy, wife of Titus Mead

died April 11, 1804

aged 78 years.

New Burial Grounds Association Cemetery, next to the Second Congregational Church

Here lies a mother kind

A wife most dear;

In her manners mild

Friendship sincere.

Catherine, wife of Jonathan Mead

died May 1, 1841

aged 55 years & 15 days.

Round Hill Cemetery

Dearest Mother thou hast left us

And thy loss we deeply feel

But tis God that hath bereft us

He can all our sorrows heal.

Lewis Mead

died May 7, 1830

aged 30 years, 9 months & 25 days

The Old Burying Ground at North Greenwich

The scene was tranquil and serene

No pain in his look was seen

The Savior smil'd and dispel'd the gloom

And sooth'd his paings to the tomb.

Charity Mead, wife of Joshua Knapp

died November 16, 1842

Knapp Burying Ground, Round Hill

By her integrity, disinterested benevolence, faith and charity, she exemplified the Christian Religion. The death came suddenly she was entirely resigned. Her mind clear and serene, filled with the presence of God, she anticipated meeting her departed friends to enjoy with them the presence of God.

Devoid of envy, selfishness and guile

Resting on Christ with every calm delight

Thro' death's dark vale she passed

without a tear

And faith & hope exchanged for

blissful sight.

Hannah, wife of Darius Mead

died May 5, 1836

aged 65 years, 10 months & 28 days

The North Greenwich Congregational Church Cemetery

Blessed are the dead which die in

the Lord from henceforth.

Be ye also ready for in such an hour

we think not, they Son of man cometh.

Deliverance Mead

died May 3, 1785

67 years

Putnam Cemetery, Greenwich

Oh death! how sudden was thy wait paid

No time allow'd to take a last adieu

This hour in health the next a corpse

was torn from this world his friends

no more to view.

Whitman Mead

Mead Burying Ground, North Greenwich

Died January 29, 1795,aged 29 years.

The body must ascend to earth above

it came by the spirit to God who gave it.

Jared Mead

who perished on the Hudson River

in the sinking of his Schooner the JONATHAN BORAM

by the steamer FRANCIS R. SKIDDY.

Died October 14, 1852, aged 36 years & 3 months

New Burial Grounds Association Cemetery, next to the Second Congregational Church

Husband thou art gone to rest

Thy toils and cares are o'er

And sorrow pain and suffering now

Shall ne'er distress thee more.

Mrs. Keziah Mead, wife of Deacon Abraham Mead

Died April 12, 1826

New Burial Grounds Association Cemetery next to the Second Congregational Church

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord

From henceforth yea saith the Spirit

That they may rest from their labors

And their works do follow them.

Two infant sons of Daniel S. & Huldah Mead

One born April 29, 1838 and died April 30, 1838

The other born January 6, 1842 and died January 9, 1842

New Burial Grounds Association Cemetery next to the Second Congregational Church

Suffer little children to come

Unto me for of such is the

Kingdom of Heaven.

Henry H. Mead

Son of Sanford & Cynthia F. Mead

A member of CO. 1 10th Regt. C.V.,

Having passed through the Battles of Roanoke & New Bern, N.C.

Died of Typhoid Fever at New Bern, N.C. on

April 20, 1862

Aged 21 years, 5 months, 3 days.

New Burial Grounds Association Cemetery next to the Second Congregational Church

Die on the field of battle

Tis noble thus to die

God smiles on valiant soldiers

Their record is on high.

Rise from the field of battle

The Saviours gone before

Who puts his trust in Jesus

Is safe evermore.

Alice, wife of Amos Mead

Died February 17, 1815

Aged 29 years, 11 months, and 7 days

Union Cemetery of the Second Congregational Church

The kindness of her disposition

Endeared her to all her acquaintances

She filled up her life with usefulness and

Duty. Supported her last sickness

With Christian fortitude and had left

In her friends a well grounded hope.

Letters to Paradise: Deacon Silas Hervey Mead and Nineteenth Century Missionaries in the Hawaii Kingdom

by Jeffrey Bingham Mead

In the summer of 1807 in the hills of Massachusetts, a group of Williams College student sought shelter from an oncoming thunderstorm in a haystack. As innocent as that sounds, this meeting would spark the beginnings of the American Foreign Mission Movement.

Half a world away, on the shores of Kelakekua Bay off the Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, a young Hawaiian boy named Opukahaia would swim to an American ship, join its crew, see the world, end up converting to Christianity, receiving a New England education, and die in Cornwall, Connecticut. Opukahaia's death was the catalyst for missionaries to journey to the Hawaiian Islands in the heyday of the Second Great Awakening. History was changed.

The impulse to do good included our nineteenth century Mead ancestors. They participated in local and foreign mission enterprises, believing in perpetuating a Protestant commonwealth that, they hoped, would encompass the world. They founded churches, and corresponded with some of those that left the shores of New England who never returned to the land of their birth.

Perhaps no one in nineteenth-century Greenwich personified the fervor and dedication to that goal than Deacon Silas Hervery Mead of North Greenwich. He was born on December 12, 1796, and later married Harriet, the daughter of Jehiel Mead on January 2, 1816. Until his death on December 14, 1878, his adult life was consecrated to the North Greenwich Congregational Church, of which he was one of the founders and Life-Deacon. He was an ardent abolitionist, temperance man, and kept a keen interest in the cause of foreign missions from his farm near the church. The house he built still stands today.

One of the missionaries he kept in some contact with was Horton Owen Knapp. He was born on March 21, 1813 in the Round Hill section of town. Knapp expressed a desire to go to Hawaii, then known as the Sandwich Islands, on mission work as a teacher. His bride, a requirement of all missionaries, was Charlotte Close.

In Knapp's ‘autograph book’ in which family and friends expressed their farewells in writing, Silas Hervey Mead wrote the following, dated August 1836:

Brother Horton-

We have often met in the same prayer meeting and there united in prayer and praise to our Heavenly Father, and in the same Meeting House and there united in worshipping God, and around the same table there to commemorate the dying love of that Saviour who went about doing good, and has commanded his followers to imitate him in all his imitable perfections, who has commanded go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and who is now risen and is at the right hand of God interceding that sinners may live.

This our meeting together and other things makes your countenance very familiar to me, and really binds you to me in the most tender ties of affection.

But the time is come when our spheres of action must be far distant. You are soon to leave for a heathen land where it seems that your room for labor will be greatly enlarged. And now brother be faithful to the heathen where you go, and do all that you can for their salvation. Be faithful to your own soul and to that God who has said "I will never leave you nor forsake you," and you will find by your own experience that promise verified.

Go Brother, determined to know nothing save Jesus Christ and Him crucified and you will find yourself paid an hundredfold in this life and in the world to come life everlasting.

Perhaps the missionary he kept in most contact with was Amos Starr Cooke. He was born in Danbury, Connecticut, in 1810. He was recruited for mission work by his borther-in-law, Rev. Chauncey Wilcox of the North Greenwich Church, to serve as a teacher. Cooke and his wife taught school in Honolulu for two years before being asked by the alii, or the Hawaiian royal family, to set up and serve as teachers in a special school reserved for the young royals. He was one of the founders of Castle & Cooke, one of Hawaii's "Big Five" conglomerates. Cooke died in 1871.

A letter from Silas Hervey Mead, dated June 8, 1840, was sent to Cooke in Honolulu

I have very unexpectedly received a letter from you, I say unexpectedly because you have been gone so long and I had not received any communication from you. I had given up the hopes of receiving any. But to my almost surprise last week I received your letter of Jan. 13th 1840. I was delighted to have this evidence that you had not forgotten an old friend. I read it over and thought I would sit right down and answer but business has put it off till now. And as I expect to go to New York tomorrow to get Brother Knapp's big fiddle I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to carry it to the Agent so I would now set about writing.

I did think that I would give you my opinion fully on all those questions you propounded but perhaps it is not best it may only make bad worse. You must not think that I am an idle spectator to what is going on in North Greenwich. Let me tell you that it is not easy to see that little church die and placed so that I cannot do anything to help it, that spirit that had commenced a very little before you left has increased ten fold so that now if anything is attempted to build up there is nothing to bad to report about the individual. Sometimes he is accused of boasting, sometimes of robbing God of the glory of the salvation of sinners, sometimes of being a hypocrite, and so on. I believe there is but two sins that Mr. Savage or myself or both of us has been accused of, the one of them is murder and the other drunkenness. I believe every other sin that can be thought on we have been charged with, so you will see that our influence at home is not much, yet I hope we are not idle.

We attended one meeting at Middle Patent and another at North Castle, the one at North Castle has been very interesting. For above a year the number that has attended has been never less than thirty. I should think it would average about fifty.

There has been as we believe one conversion and for the last four months I could spend as much time as I chose in religious conversion with the people in that tract District, there has been many I should think under conviction.

O! Brother you cannot tell how my heart has yearned over these dying souls. The field seemed to me to be already white to the harvest but nobody to reap. They have pretty much given up coming to the meeting house to meeting but now summer has come and we have decided to distribute no more tracts, what will become of them I don't know.

Brother, pray for us that God would teach us what to do and what to speak to that people. Mile Square has been abandoned for some time.

You asked if we forgotten to pray with the deepest humility, I would say that there was a secret prayer meeting held which I attended and in the revival that I mentioned in Brother Knapp's letter all our petitions were granted but one, or in other words all those who we made subjects of prayer were converted as we trust but one. And the last one that was converted I never see nor heard of a more particular answer for while he was determined not to yield nor would he allow that he felt on the subject of his soul salvation, yet some of his friends felt positive he would be converted. And thanks be to God he did not hear prayer and answer in spite of the fellow. So far as Mrs. Mead is concerned she told Mr. Wilcox at the outset she thought herself a Christian but she does not make a public profession of religion.

My class in the Sabbath School numbers five, all profess religion but one. Three were brought in last spring.

And now let me enquire how you are a getting along in the Sandwich Islands. It has seemed to me that you had nothing to trouble you, no professing Christian afraid you would do too much for Christ and so try to spoil what you was doing. But on the contrary each helping the other on in the great work and the best of all God pouring down his spirit and showing his power and goodness and mercy in bringing to repentance multitudes of those around you. What a sight, I almost wished for the wings of an eagle that I might fly to those happy seats. Perhaps you will it is not all (papping) here but you must admit it must be and is and ever will be happiness in the strictest and highest sense of the word to see mankind by tens and hundreds and thousands coming into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

And now Brother I want you should write just as particular to me about the Sandwich Islands as you want me to write about North Greenwich. Write just as though you had written to no one else. If I should read in another letter what you might write to me I should feel as proud of it as though I had never seen it before.

And now Brother Cooke I want you to know yes I feel anxious about the brandy & Roman Catholics, what is to be the result of the outrage committed on the Islands? It seems to me that you need great faith to very persevering in prayer and faithful to that God who is able to deliver, who is able to protect & defend at all time and who has promised to be with you unto the end.

To conclude, I must beg you to pray for me, pray that I may do just exactly what God would have me do, that my will may be wholly bound up in his will.

This from you friend and Brother, Silas H. Mead

On November 24, 1840, Cooke replied to Deacon Silas Hervey Mead:

You have replied so promptly to my first communication that I will improve the present opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of your (Dated June 8th) this day. Yours with one from my niece in New York are the only letters I have received by this opportunity. Mrs. C has received eight, it is generally in that proportion we receive letters from home: Just as our letters were sent to us, I went over to Bro. Knapp's & read your letter to him & one from Jared- also, heard, read four sheets from Sister Knapp's younger sister Sarah.

When others are getting so many letters & I so few I almost resolved I will not write anymore until I receive more returns.

But a convenient opportunity occurs to send & I think perhaps the next arrival will bring me many long communications, so down I sit & inflict a letter, or letters, upon someone. But as yet I have been disappointed, & the fact of your noticing my letter so soon compels me to write now this ( ) especially I am over run with cares: for on Saturday last (21st) Mrs. C. presented me with a little daughter, & I do her works in some things-nurse her & the two children, attend school with our family of twelve, and now getting some letters ready for a vessel that expects to sail this week for New York. We as a mission are much in the same condition that we were last week with the enemy in our midst sowing tones.

But blessed be God, that they were not sown until the wheat had something of a start, & in many cases, had produced good fruit. There has been quite a rush for the new religion, but in many places it is dying away & growing unpopular. In others, however, it is increasing & the issue we know not, except that it is smitten "He shall rule till he hath subdued all nations under his feet." Here at Hon. we mind but little about them, keep the work going, sowing beside all waters, particularly pressing children into schools, circulating the Scriptures. No regards myself I have never fallen with a priest nor with any of their disciples, neither am I anxious to do so, because it would be useless for as a general thing, I believe, those who go after such delusions are those who are given up to believe a lie that they be damned.

Brandy has had unlimited sway through the Islands & has produced its legitimate effects- converting men into demons & women into sluts (They were quite enough so before). But it has enriched the French Consul who has made a fine speck by importing brandy & scattering it all over the various islands- "but his mischief shall return upon his own head, & his violent dealing shall come down upon his own fate." He has been very mute since the arrival of the U.S. Exploring Squadron. Many of the Officers are strong temperance men, especially the two lieuts., Wilkes & Hudson, who have been troubled some with their men getting drunk. They charge it all upon the French Consul & he rather writhes under it.

Indeed, some who encouraged him once are now turned against him. What Louis Philip will say I know not. We are very anxious to hear from France. We hope the vessel now arrived from New York has papers to that effect or we shall expect some by way of Mexico, as a vessel from the Coast is daily expected. Since the arrival of the Squadron, say 10 or 12 weeks since, we have had more quiet times. These two men mentioned above used to go about the streets nights on purpose to see the influence of liquor among us. They were perfectly disgusted & have advised the King & Chiefs to suppress it. The Squadron leave us next week & we shall expect a riot again. We hope Catholicism & Brandy will work their own destruction, but we cannot tell. The King has passed a law prohibiting the manufacture of any vegetable into rum, & I understand the Frenchman's brandy is almost gone.

Perhaps however the Thos. Perkins has brought a new supply. As you remarked in your letter to Brother K., Catholicism & Brandy go nice together. The latter is a powerful Spirit to help in their work of deluding souls. The former was introduced among us in her real garb, under cover of Cannon & ball. But we use no such weapons, tho' ours are mighty through God to the pulling down of Strong holds. God has done great things for his people, & some realize it, but he is ready to do still greater things than these if we will go forward relying alone on his arm for success. He can save by many, or by few, & we hope he will still work a great work for this people, even tho opposed by the "man of sin."

The King has lately issued as law requiring children to go to school, & parents to assist in the support of native teachers.

We hope mush from this. These laws will affect Bro. K's schools more than the one in our hands, I refer to our School of Chief's Children. These children have now been in our family six months. They are happy & contented with us, & are very healthy, which goes far to render our establishment popular among the parents. Some of the parents are very much interested in our school. It is a severe trial to them, however, to be separated as they are from their children, but they are willing a trial should be made, & thus far the trial has exceeded their own most sanguine expectations. The children improve in manner & obedience & their acquisition of the English language, which is one great object in view of starting a school expressly for the children of the King & Chiefs. They are interesting children aside from the fact that they will be the future ( ) of this people. Tho' many of them never knew what it was to have a master, they submit to our authority much more readily than one would expect, brought us as they have been to have their word the law to those about them, tho' they were their parents. I have frequently seen one of the parents ask his son, five years old, if he should do this & that as obsequiously as the meanest servant & now that same boy is as obedient to us. At first he rebelled but when he found he must submit he did it cheerfully, & since he has been one of our most pleasant scholars. The common natives & in most cases the parents look on with astonishment at the authority we have gained over them but it has cost us much ( ) of effort. We were aware when we commenced that we must have their confidence & obedience, or all our efforts to do them good would be nothing. They all go to church twice every Sabbath & have not failed since coming into our family. This was a new thing to them. The great ( ) now is their conversion to God. None of them are pious, but they are daily learning something of God & their obligations to him from the Bible which they read every morning & evening & from which they commit a verse daily to recite in school.

Many of the preceding particulars I have communicated in my letters to S. but you said write as if I had written to no one else. Most of our other missionary operations are in a flourishing condition, especially our boarding schools. The high school at Lahainaluna, Female Seminary at Wailuku, Boarding School for boys at Hilo & a small female boarding school at the same place. Our other schools have been rather low, but the new laws will soon make them all wear a different aspect. O! let there be special prayer at monthly concerts & other places also, for our schools both here & at all missionary stations. Schools are a mighty machine to convert a heathen nation into a civilized & enlightened nation.

Ignorance is the matter of heathenism & all it concomitants evils, temporal & Spiritual. To enlighten a nation the children must be taught. In vain may you hope to enlighten a grown up heathen, or make him any interested in the education of his children. They know not, neither can they be made to know its value. But I must stop. Dear bro., press ahead in your efforts to save souls around you. My love to all who know me in Mile Square (today called Armonk, NY), North Castle, Middle Patent &c & all others.

Mead replied to Cooke on April 17, 1841:

It is not for want of affection, it is not because I have not thought of you, nor is it for want of respect to the cause in which you are engaged that I have not answered the letter that you sent so kindly favored me with, and which favors I should like to have often repeated. You must remember that I am a farmer, and my hands are clumsy, and my business is such that I write but little, and perhaps that is one reason and time flies very, very rapid so that that year is gone like a dream or a tale that is told so I have delayed until now. It has been a hard winter for old people, there has been many deaths among that eldest of persons. I believe as yet there has not been any deaths among our immediate friends, many of them however are not well. Uncle Calvin's health is good yet he is confined to the house pretty much on account of the failure of his limbs yet he comes to meeting some. Aunt Deborah is pretty much confined to her room on account of being worn out with old age.

Mr. Levi is pretty much confined to his room on account of a sore leg, and his wife also with the rheumatism, and so I might go on to mention others. Your father I believe is thought to have his last sickness, all must die, and well is it for those who has lived in preparation for this great event. This is a world of trials especially to the Christian who wants to see his redeemer's cause prosper.

It has seemed to me that you know what it was to be bothered in that respect, for the Lord it seems his (blessed be his name) come down in great power and might and caused your ____ to see his wonderful love and mercy in bringing sinners to repentance. It did seem ________from those islands as ______ only prepared the _______ but in wonderful _____ matters that there _______ the missionary going _______ but since the Brandy _____ are forced upon the Islands you have _______ , but you must remember in the word of God it is said that "when the enemy comes like a flood the Lord will lift up his standard against him" so you need not fear for if you stand by the Lord he will always stand by you. Such a thing is possible that the great goodness of God in bringing such a multitude of sinners to repentance has caused a little speck of pride to find its way into the breast of the missionary, and it was seen necessary that something should be done to remove it, or that joining God's people was so popular that it was necessary that something should be done to keep the church pure, or something else. God's ways are not our ways nor are Hs thoughts our thoughts. All I have got to say is go forward and do your duty with your might and God will be with you.

We have had in America perhaps the greatest commotion that ever existed or can exist without shedding blood in this or any other nation. We as a people felt that we were in the hands of spoilers, and a determination did exist to put them away.

I said in the hands of spoilers, judge for yourself the currency deranged so that it was almost impossible to do business and in four years was spent for the nation twenty eight millions of Dollars of surplus money and beside run the nation into debt forty million not only so but our liberties both civil and religious were at stake. So you see duty called the Christian as well as the Philanthropist into the campaign to give a history of the past year, truly to one that did not witness it is impossible.

There was the last part of last summer and fall meetings held what they called mass meetings where thousands would assemble together, the leading men of the nation would address the people and then appropriate songs would be sung with great effect. I will try to give a faint description of one of those meetings held at Mile Square. The people of Westchester County to prepare for the meeting built a long log cabin at the expense of some three hundred Dollars and also raised a liberty pole. They made seats in front of the cabin for the ladies that they calculated would hold seven hundred, which was filled. They built a scaffold or stand on the outside of the cabin for the music and the speakers.

They had a cannon on the hill south of the cabin which was built on the corner south of Mr. Sutton's where the road crosses Mile Square and ends in the north and south road. Thus prepared the day for the meeting arrived and what then. Astonishing to behold by the middle of the forenoon it was constant coming from all quarters and all directions, all sorts of people of sizes, sexes, politics, complexions, Ministers and people, saint and sinner but no drunkards.

I do not know but I am a little to fast, I believe I did see one person in the field that I thought might have a little liquor in his head and after I had got more than a mile towards home I seen another that is in the habit of getting too much. He did

not show he had too much at this time. This is all the drunkenness that I seen. There was no accident excepting one man had the shafts of his wagon broke while he was putting his horse before it, and that a mile from the cabin the side of the road from that to the cabin with little exception was line with horses and carriages besides fields full of horses and carriages.

Carriages came with banners hoisted, one came with a log cabin on it with many persons in it. When the speakers mounted the stand they had an attentive audience as thick as they could stand and as far as their voice would reach to speak to. The day was fine. They dispersed before night, such a scene I never before witnessed. I do not think there was less than twenty thousand persons present. And now think that there was a reason why such multitudes of the better class, the peaceable class of persons, for they must be of that class ____ have been improper conduct ____ the vanity of man ____ generally called or rather ____.

_____ was elected president by the largest majority ever known when there was no opposition worth naming. He was inaugurated the fourth of March, all was pleased he was the people's man. The fourth of April death seized upon him and he is no numbered with the dead, as what is future we know not. John Tyler now take the chair, if he carries out his principles it will be bad, but if he obeys the dying command of Harrison it will be well, but _______ of room. I must stop.

There is some revivals of religion. One in Hartford & vicinity. New Haven, in college and in other places. With us Darkness reigns. And now Brother Cooke write to me, don't wait for me to write often. This from a friend.

In a letter Cooke penned, dated March 29, 1842, he wrote:

Brother Mead: I have just closed a letter to Abigail & hasten, as I can catch time between schools, to reply to your long & interesting letter of April 17th '44 which came to hand in company with several others, the 5th Feb. Capt Spaulding, who brought your epistle, returns this week in another vessel. My time left for replying to those letters is very short & I must do it in the midst of cares, as you say, or not at all. Please accept them of my few & hasty lines. Your letter spoke of politics & as I was glad to hear of the peaceable meeting held at my old missionary station. You & bro. (S) must take a lesson from it to be as zealous as politicians in their endeavors to make a reformation. I am rejoiced to hear that you continue your meetings at North Castle. Go on, my bro & persevere in your efforts to do good. "The redemption of the soul is precious and it ceaseth forever."

May you be eminently successful in saving many a soul ready to perish. For what do we live, if not, to save souls! And souls are as precious with us as with you & with you as with us. The earth is filled with those who are going down to hell, & you

& I must do our part in reclaiming them. You have a hope that your two beloved children are safe in the ark. Oh may we also have the pleasure of seeing members of our family, bowing not with their bodies only, but with their spirits at our family shrine.

Evening. This far I wrote this noon, our family have now retired, & it is almost 10 o'clock; but I resume my pew to add a few lines. Last night I wrote till midnight & watched some with our sick son the rest of the night. Such a course is wearing.

How do you get along counting the congregation about these days? I have thought you would find it difficult to do so here, where we have more thousands than you do hundreds. By the way, have you got your new road through? And, if so, do you get any more people to meeting? I love, still, to think of you, the people of Mile Square, North Castle, Middle Patent, Round Hill, City, & Mrs. Lounsbury's neighborhood. Does the latter family still continue to come to meeting on the Ridge?

You will probably hear soon, if not already, the stand some of our brethren took, last Spring, on the Anti-Slavery Question.

You said but little in your last about that subject. I hope you are not growing cold in it. It is too important a subject to leave alone; and yet it must not be attended to to the neglect of its accompanying or similar subjects, which now agitate the Christian church. I see by papers &c that some of our good brethren at home are so zealous in the Anti-Slavery cause that it blinds their eyes to the interest of the A.B.C.F.M., A.B. Soc., A.F. Society & similar institutions. "The head" ought not to "say to the hand, I have no need of thee &c." They are all one, & the same thing, to overturn the kingdom of Satan. May you & your neighbors be always ready with your means & your prayers, to help on all the difficult objects of benevolence: as I have no doubt you are doing. Your influence & means are both great. May you become "ruler of ten cities."

A letter rec'd, by bro. Knapp, from you in Dec. gave me the first intelligence of my father's death. Since then I have rec'd particulars from your beloved pastor. A few days ago since bro. K sent me a paper containing an account of Mr. Darius Mead's in less than two months after the death of my aged parent. They both died in years, & in "hope of the glory of God."

May those their children "imitate their virtue & shame their errors." The majority of those we love are gathering on the opposite side of the river, you, & I are, soon, to cross. May we be welcomed by them, & be ready to unite in their song, "Upon Him that loved us," &c.

You spoke of "Catholicism & Brandy." They are doing execution & go, hand in hand, finely. They are Satan's most successful agents. By their agency, he can "transform himself into an angel of light. Light enough to make darkness visible." Some of our laborers are making efforts with the children to enlist them on the side of rejecting all that can intoxicate (Which of course includes tobacco, for it is a notorious fact that natives get drunk on the noxious weed & take it for that very purpose, "to make drunk come." At Honolulu the cold water army of children number 1000. Our new family scholars are about to sign the pledge, while all their patents, or most of them, are notorious drunkards. But I'm happy to mention that news has reached us, today, from Lahaina, on Maui, that the King, from being a beastly drunkard, has signed the tee-total pledge. It sends a thrill of joy through all our ranks. God grant that it may prove a reality which is almost too much to expect.

April 1- Yesterday another brig arrived from Mass. I got no letter. Sister Knapp told me today that she got some. Seven of our Scholars signed the temperance pledge on the 30th, all without knowing that the King had done it. I hope each will be benefited by the example of the other. Old laws on the subject of selling spirits have revised & none can sell without paying a license of $400 a year. Notwithstanding some will take out licenses. It will make Spirits so high that natives cannot afford to but it. The higher the price, the better. Let me hear from you soon. Please remember Mrs. C & myself to Mrs. M., to your children & family- to your Uncle Calvin's family & other neighbors, to the people of Mile Square & N.G. Your brother in Christ, Amos S. Cooke.

The last known letter penned by Silas H. Mead to Amos Starr Cooke is dated November 8, 1842:

Brother Cooke: I received your communication about a week since and thought I would now write you & you may tell Brother Knapp I shall write to him in the course of a month or two. I received his letter the same time I did yours.

You ask about our congregation. I think that it is full one third less than when you was with us, and those that do go to meeting go grumbling. And about the new road that seems to have stopped as well as everything else. You need not look for anything good from us and you will not get disappointed, and if there should be anything good then that will be clear gain.

For my part without change I am completely discouraged. You will say trust in the Lord, that will do, but to presume on God is another thing, but enough of this. I should think there was an appearance that some extra effort was about to be made and if there should be I would hope for the best.

Ever since the Meeting house has been closed against the prayer meeting for the slave we have been going down rapidly.

The subject of Abolition is gaining ground very fast, it was debated in Congress last session in spite of them, for when they put it out of one door the Lord would bring it in at another. For my part I and my family stand very near alone on that subject in our place. Old schoolism reigns with us and of course the customs of the fathers must not be departed from. Yes, I feel that we stand almost alone in almost everything.

Mr. Roys has moved to Berlin and bought him a farm and with others built a shop and works at his trade. Dea. Savage a first rate man has also gone back to Berlin. Mr. Selah Savage has removed his relation to a church in Berlin and I expect the first time I hear from him that he has bought him a place there, and Mr. Eliot Savage, the son of Dea. Savage, is now my help that goes with me to North Castle. He is a fine young man and I fear too much carelessed. His time of apprenticeship with Mr. Wilcox will be out sometime this winter and whether he will then go to Berlin or not I do not know.

I should think they will keep him if they can.

You speak about the Abolitionists. I will here just state that their enemies gave them the name of persons of one idea and I for one will respond to that name. I hope I never shall have any other idea only to do God's Will without distinguishing whether it is popular or not, and that I believe is true respecting the largest part of the Abolitionists that I am acquainted with. You say you are afraid some of the Abolitionists zeal for that object blinds their eyes to other benevolent objects, we often hear that said with us, so often, that it would be impossible for us to sleep. The truth is because we do not go and spend all our strength pushing the car where the most are pushing, then we are slandered. I tell you my friend in a general way show me an Abolitionist, and I will show you a strong Temperance man, and a strong man for keeping the Sabbath, and a strong man for God anyway and every way, a real go ahead Christian. There may be some exceptions, but I should think not many in proportion to the whole. You say you are afraid I am a getting cold on that subject: no my dear friend, nor shall I ever so long as I have the Bible to read, and my powers of reason left me. I have made up my mind not to foul my fingers with it anyway. I'll not vote for it, but against it, nor will I use the products of slave labor as a general thing neither for eating, or wearing, at home or abroad. I must say that (as I do by alcohol) that I am opposed to it at all times and places and for anything and everything. And I would say to you hold on against slavery, it does good. If Mr. Bingham does oppose and point the finger do not mind it, you must expect to be persecuted if you oppose the sin of slavery.

Long before your receiving this Mr. & Mrs. Smith will have reached you and you will of course hear from us and I would here say that we are all well. It makes me feel a little old to get those two little grandchildren in my lap to rock and sing for, but so it is. We are fast approaching the time when we must be called to give an account of all that we do.

And oh! that we may live just as God would have us live, and do just and all God would have us do.

Nov. 9th. The last part of last week our town was set in great commotion. Esbon Huested, Deacon of Horseneck church, failed in his business, perhaps he won't be able to pay one half his liabilities, and the worst of it all is he has used his neighbors names too freely, to what extent I do not exactly know. I should think he has been at it pretty much all summer.

Forge one note & then another take up the first and so on. Whether he meant to be dishonest or not there is a difference of opinion. I should think that he has no money now and I believe today he has given himself up and gone to jail. He commenced first by altering the date of a note from May to August, and there is separately the stile into the meadow as Bunyan says, and now must go into prison, and I doubt very much whether he has a key in his bosom that will unlock any door there. I am told he appears very penitent, says he did not mean to injure anyone, and is sorry he has done as he has.

All this looks well, but there is another side that does not look so well, and I am as yet rather pushed how to make up my opinion whether he is a Christian or hypocrite. I believe it is not best to call him Deacon anymore. I suppose before this his office is taken from him and he suspended from church privileges. Here we can see the propriety of the caution "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."

And now Friend we can see what a fearful thing it is to step out of the path ever so little, for one hair's breath that makes way for more, only a little and he is gone for there seems to be no place to stop, and if he ever does stop it must be break off in the middle.

I wanted to ask a great many questions about your affairs or the affairs at the Islands. I should like to about the schools, about how you are all getting along whether Temperance, truth and every other good thing gets on, your laws, too, &c.

Our country looks dark and dreary. We are under the Chastning hand of the great ruler of the Universe, yet we will not improve by it, but on the contrary grow worse and worse. We as a nation it appears to me are determined to let God know that we van live without Him. And the worst of all, Christians that ought to be the salt of the earth are sanctioning this evil doing. They will say they are not. But is it so, so long as they vote men into office that regards not God. What do you think when the Christian part of the community will throw their influence and votes for a Duelist for Chief Magistrate? A murderer at the head of government, and put there by Christians, too? What must be expect but destruction? The locofoco's I think will gain the ascendancy again, and what then I don't know. And now to close. May the blessings of Our Almighty Father rest on you and yours. And God grant you health and strength and that of your consort and family and grace to do all He would have you do, and finally receive us all to dwell with Him

in glory. Silas H. Mead.

With gratitude...

Our thanks to the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society in Honolulu for its cooperation. The original manuscripts of these and many other letters, journals, and other primary resource materials are preserved, and until several years ago had never been transcribed. Transcribed copies are kept in the William E. Finch Archives of the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich at its Bush-Holley House headquarters in Connecticut.