A small river in eastern Massachusetts which empties into the Altantic at the northwestern end of Buzzards Bay, and a town in Hampden County, Mass. Agawam is an Indian word meaning lowland, marsh, or meadow.
(SwGbt: t. 974; 1. 205'; b. 35'; dph. 11'6", dr. 8'4", s. 11 k. cpl. 145; a. 2 100-pdr. r., 4 9" sb., 2 24-par. sb., 1 12-par. r.; cl. Sassacus)
The first Agawam—a double-ended, side-wheel, gunboat built at Portland, Maine, by George W. Lawrenee was laid down in October 1862, launched on 21 April 1863, and commissioned on 9 March 1864, Comdr. Alexander C. Rhind in command.
On 9 December 1863, some three months before Agawam was placed in full commission, Southern agents and sympathizers had boarded the steam packet Chesapeake at New York under the guise of being passengers bound for Portland, Maine. Shortly after midnight on the 7th when the liner had reached a point some 20 miles north of the tip of Cape Cod, these men revealed their formerly concealed side arms and took over the ship, killing her second engineer. From there they took the ship to Canadian waters in the hope that their daring act would provoke Union warships into violating British neutrality and thereby embroil the United States in a war with England.
When word of Chesapeake's capture reached Portland, the deputy collector of customs at that port wired Rear Admiral Francis Hoyt Gregory, the supervisor of construction of all Union warships then being built in private shipyards, informing him of the loss and requesting permission to arm, man, and send out in pursuit the unfinished but seaworthy Agawam. Temporary arms officers, and men for the new warship would come from the revenue cutter James C. Dobbin which had arrived at Portland in July.
The Navy's extant records seem to contain no report of Agawam's chase of Chesapeake, if, indeed, she ever did Join the hunt for the stolen ship. The flurry of Federal correspondence stirred up by the audacious Confederate coup contains both statements maintaining that she did at least get underway and evidence indicating that she did not. Thus, her role in the Chesapeake affair, if any, will remain a mystery unless now unknown documents come to light.
In any case, after being commissioned, Agawam remained in the Portsmouth Navy Yard fitting out until standing down Portsmouth harbor on 17 March. However, she returned to the yard two days later and entered drydock for repairs before heading back to Portland on 18 April.
Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, the steamer finally stood out to sea on 6 May, two days after the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rapidan River to begin General Grant's offensive against Richmond which kept unrelenting pressure on General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia until it was bottled up in the siege of Petersburg and finally forced it to surrender at Appomattox. Agawam would perform most of her Civil War service in support of this drive.
When she was finally deemed ready for active service, the gunboat departed Portland on 6 May only two days after Grant's troops crossed the Rapidan and the day after troops led by Major General Benjamin F. Butler landed on Bermuda Hundred, a large neck of land between the James and its tributary the Appomattox River. This territory was strategically locate3 some 15 miles south of Richmond and about seven miles north of Petersburg probably the last important railroad center remaining in Southern nands. Butler's operation was designed to cut the railroads and to take or, at least, to threaten these vital Confederate cities. General Grant—then General-in-Chief of the United States Army—hoped that Butler's campaign would—as a bare minimum—interrupt the flow of food from the deep south and the west through Richmond to Lee's troops. According to this plan, if Butler did not take the Confederate capital, his operations would draw sign)ficant troops away from Lee's Army, starve it, and so weaken it that the Union force pushing down from the Rapidan would be able to overrun Richmond or link UD with Butler and join in investing these key Southern cities. in any case, even moderate success on Butler's part should quickly end the war.
But moderate success for Butler was not forthcoming. By the time Agawam reached Hampton Roads on 9 May, the Union commander had squandered his initial advantage of surprise by his hesitation to launch vigorous attacks toward his initial objectives, the railroad and the turnpike connecting Petersburg and Richmond. This delay enabled the Confederacy to bring major reinforcement to their previously almost undefended works in the area. Then, the presence of Southern soldiers in the area prompted Butler to remain within strong defensive lines where he could do almost nothing to help the Army of the Potomac as it fought its way toward Richmond in a series of bloody engagements beginning with the Battle of the Wilderness.
Meanwhile, it was the task of the Union Navy to maintain control of the James lest Butler's 30,000 troops at Bermuda Hundred be cut off and annihilated. Agawam reached Hampton Roads on 9 May and two days later stood up the James to join other Union ships in protecting Butler's transports and supply ships which were threatened by torpedoes, shore batteries, and a possible attack by Confederate ironclads which were Iying in the river above the Confederate batteries of Fort Darling at Drewry's Bluff. The danger lurking in the muddy waters of tfie James had recently been emphasized by the sinking of Commodore Jones on the 6th while that side-wheel ferryboat was dragging for Southern torpedoes, or, in 20th century parlance, mines.
On the 14th, Rear Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee, the commander of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, shifted his flag from Malvern to Aqawam since the latter drew less water and thus would enable him to supervise minesweeping operations more closely, and he remained in the new side-wheeler while giving his primary attention to operations in the James during the ensuing month and one-half. Agawam's first combat came at dawn on the l8th when she shelled Confederate forces ". intrenching the heights at Howlett's house, commanding Trent's Reach," a straight stretch of the river flowing east along the northeastern section of Bermuda Hundred. During this time besides serving as the sauadron flagship, she helped to clear the river of mines, was a mobile platform for observation of Confederate activity along both banks of the river, acted as an intelligence and communication clearinghouse, and used her guns to suppress Southern batteries ashore.
From first planning to land a force at Bermuda Hundred General Butler had been fearful that Confederate warshinp might i descend from Richmond and sink his transports and supply ships. Once his troops were actually ashore on the south side of the river, the general's anxiety was intensified by daily rumors reporting that the South was ready to launch just such an offensive. F or instance, late in May, a deserter from the Southern gunboat Hampton warned that ". the enemy have now below Drewrv's Bluff three ironclads, six smaller gunboats, plated with boiler iron . all mounted with torpedoes, and nine fire ships . to attack at as early a moment as practicable ...."
Confident in the ability of his warships, Admiral Lee was eager to meet the Southern squadron and was hopeful that his flotiilla might ascend James past the batteries at Drewry's Bluffand capture Richmond himself the way Farragut had taken New Orleans. As a result, he constantly opposed obstructing the channel. How- early in June, Grant decided to shif-t the Army of the Potomac.from its lines at Cold Harbor across the James to jain Butler in operations against Richmond from the South This plan made Union control of the River even more important and prompted Washington to insist upon blocking the channel. The first stone-laden schooner was sunk on 15 June and the operation continued until Army leaders felt safe from Southern ironclads.
This barrier increased the security of Union shipping on the James and reduced the burden on the Union warships on the river, freeing Admiral Lee to attend to squadron matters elsewhere. As a result, he shifted his flag back to Malvern on the last day of June and returned to Hampton Roads.
Agawam remained upriver where, despite the obstructions she found ample opportunity to use her fighting skills. The presence of the tremendous concentration of Union troops south of Richmond had goaded defenders of the Confederate capital into desperate measures to interrupt Union shipping on the James. The day after Admiral Lee left her, Agawam and Mendota fired on a fortified position inside Four Mile Creek whence Southern five guns had recently fired upon Hunchback and, in the months that followed, frequently engaged batteries hiding along the banks of the strategic stream.
Early in July Lt. George Dewey, the future hero of Manila Bay, relieved Rhind in temporary command of the ship—his first command—but Rhind was back when Agawam fought her most memorable battle. About two hours past noon on 13 August three batteries opened fire on the double-ender almost simultaneously from different locations beginning an engagement which lasted over four hours before dwindling ammumtion forced her to withdraw. During the action, three of Agawam's men were killed and four wounded.
Late in November, boiler trouble forced Agawam downstream for extensive repairs. While the ship was being brought back to fighting trim in the Norfolk Navy Yard, Comdr. Rhind left her temporarily to take command of Louisiana, a steamer which had been selected to perform an unusual and seemingly important task. Rhind took with him a carefully selected group of volunteers from Agawam to man his new ship. They boarded Louisiana at Beaufort, N. C., and took her to waters of Wilmington, N. C. for use as a giant bomb to help reduce the defenses of Fort Fisher which guarded that city, the only major port still open to Confederate blockade runners. After several days of delay because of stormy weather, Rhind took the ship close aboard Fort Fisher on the night of 23 and 24 December 1864. Her crew then set her ablaze, left the ship, and managed to row to safety before Louisiana exploded.
The concussion failed to detonate the Fort Fisher magazine and the ensuing amphibious attack proved to be abortive. The troops who went ashore on Christmas Eve to storm the Southern stronghold reembarked the next day and headed back toward Hampton Roads. Rhind and band of daring volunteers returned to Agawam which was still undergoing repairs.
The work continued through mid-February, and the gunboat finally put to sea on the 16th. She entered Pamlico Sound, N.C. two days later and operated in the island waters of that state through the end of the Civil War.
Following the collapse of the Confederacy, Agawam operated along the Atlantic coast between Florida and the Virginia capes for almost two years. She was decommissioned at Norfolk on 31 March 1867. The ship was sold at auction there on 10 October 1867 to Mr. James Power. No record of her subsequent career has been found.
History of Agwam - History
(AOG-6: dp. 4,355, 1. 310'9", b. 48'6", dr. 15'8" s. 14 k. cpl. 131 a. 4 3", 12 20mm. cl. Patapsco)
The second Agawam (AOG-6) was laid down on 7 September 1942 at Savage, Minn., by Cargill Inc., launched on 6 May 1943 sponsored by Mrs. George F. Jacobs, and commissioned at New Orleans, La., on 18 December 1943, Lt. John W. Foster in command.
After a period of alterations and fitting out, the gasoline tanker left Galveston, Tex., on 24 January 1944, bound for the Pacific. She arrived at Espiritu Santo on 1 March and continued on to Tulagi. As a member of Service Squadron (ServRon) 8, Agawam was based at that island in the Solomons for the next 10 months servicing Allied facilities located throughout the island group.
In September, Agawam began a 27-day availability at Espiritu Santo and resumed her operations at Tulagi on 25 October. The gasoline tanker was detached from ServRon 8 on 28 January 1945 and got underwav yor Lingayen Gulf Philippines. Upon her arrival there on 1 March, she was assigned to Service Force 7th Fleet, and for the next month engaged in routine operations between Manila, Subic Bay, and Lingayen Gulf.
On 1 April, Agawam was transferred, on loan, to the Army for the support of its land-based forces. She delivered aviation and motor gasoline to Army forces for two months in lower Lingayen Gulf and subsequently performed the same services at Manila for three months.
A fortnight after Japan capitulated, the tanker was ordered to Tokyo. Routed via Okinawa, she reached Yokohama on 18 September and spent the next month there fueling Army installations ashore. On 25 October, the ship resorted to Shanghai China, for fueling operations at bases located along the Huang-p'u River. She got underway to return to Japan on 26 November and moored at Nagasaki on the 28th.
The gasoline tanker remained actively engaged in logistic support of the occupation forces in Japan through January 1946. The ship was then returned to Navy custody and got underway on the 28th for the voyage back to the United States.
Upon her arrival at San Pedro, Calif., Agawam entered a shipyard for overhaul. Back in top shape, she sailed for Guam on 1 July and served as a station ship at that island until June 1949. During this period she made voyages to various ports in Japan to Saipan to Iwo Jima, to Shanghai, China and to Truk.
In June 1949, Agawam switched her base of operations to Pearl Harbor. She carried gasoline to Alaska and various islands in the Central Pacific. On 13 November 1953, the tanker sailed for the Philippine Islands and served in that archipelago through April 1954.
Agawam then returned to Pearl Harbor and continued operating from that base supporting American installations throughout the Central Pacific. On 22 November 1956, Agawam left Hawaii bound for San Diego, Calif. Upon her arrival, she began a preinactivation overhaul. Agawam was placed out of commission, m reserve, at San Diego on 31 January 1957. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1960, and the ship was transferred to the Maritime Administration, and she was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet and laid up at Olympia Wash. She was sold to Levin Metals in October 1975, presumably for scrapping.
About Wareham, Massachusetts
Wareham, known as the “Gateway to Cape Cod” and located in southeastern Massachusetts, was incorporated in 1739. The eastern part of the town was originally known as the “Agawam Plantation,” which was a portion of the Plymouth Colony and sold to a group of men from Hingham in 1680. The Agawam Plantation includes the areas of Wareham now known as Wareham Center, the Narrows, East Wareham, Great Neck, and Onset. The portion of Wareham known as West Wareham was part of Rochester until 1739. In the 1700s, the area now known as Tihonet was annexed to Wareham from the towns of Carver and Plymouth. Today Wareham enjoys 54 miles of coastline along Buzzards Bay and the numerous rivers, lakes, and ponds.
History of Wareham
From pre-European settlement to the present day, Wareham’s history and development patterns have been determined by opportunities presented from the use of its river and ocean resources and the marshes and uplands that surround them. Wareham has always benefited from its situation at the head of Buzzards Bay where the Agawam and Wankinco Rivers join to form the Wareham River, and from its 57 miles of coastline.
1620 - 1775
The native population retained legal ownership of present-day Wareham until the late-17th century, and utilized the area’s rivers and tidelands for seasonal subsistence. The advent of significant white settlement dates to the conclusion of King Phillip’s War (1675-6), although there is evidence of prior use of Wareham land by overseers based in Plymouth for seasonal use. The public center of Wareham was located around Center Park, then known as Fresh Meadows. Early settlement also centered around Agawam Cemetery on Great Neck, with additional settlements in South Wareham at the junction of the Weweantic River and Mary’s Pond Road. These areas saw continued development through the 18th century. The northeast section of present-day Wareham was largely uninhabited at this time. An economic base was established during this period consisting of agriculture, husbandry, fishing, and light industry, with white settlers gradually disrupting native subsistence patterns. Wareham’s oldest extant house dates to this period, the Burgess House (c. 1680 or c. 1709) on Great Neck Road. Other surviving colonial houses from this period are found along Elm Street, Lincoln Hill and Great Neck Road. The Town of Wareham was officially established on July 10, 1739. Wareham’s territory at that time was created by combining land from Rochester, then known as the Sippican Grants, and from the Agawam Purchase, land that had been leased and then purchased from the Plymouth Proprietors in the late-17th century.
1776 - 1830
From the late-18th into the early-19th century, Wareham’s population grew from under 1,000 to almost 2,000 inhabitants as local manufacturing increased, and as Wareham itself grew in 1827 when Wareham annexed parts of Carver and Plymouth and expanded to its present-day boundary. Wareham’s 19th century economic development was dominated by iron-related manufacturing and maritime industries such as shipbuilding, whaling and fishing, and salt production. Wareham was wellsuited for such development due to a combination of excellent waterpower from the Weweantic, Wankinco, and Agawam Rivers, plentiful bog iron, access to big timber, and protected coastal outlets for trade in iron ore and iron products and other maritime activities. The production of nails and holloware played a large part in Wareham’s economy, beginning in 1819, with rolling mills established by Isaac and Jared Pratt at the present Tremont Nail Factory on the Wankinco, a plant in Tihonet made accessible to tidewaters by a series of canals, the Washington Iron Works on the Weweantic in West Wareham, and a nail factory on the Weweantic in South Wareham. Residential development during the early-19th century was concentrated along major roads such as Elm Street, and on Main and High Streets in the town center. In addition, more modest cottages and worker housing, including double cottages, were constructed, many associated with and in proximity to industrial centers.
1830 - 1870
By the mid-19th century, transportation corridors were improved, including the Sandwich Railroad in 1847 which went through West Wareham, Wareham Center, and East Wareham, with a bridge over the Narrows, which had formerly been served by a ferry. The nail industry reached its peak during this period, as did whaling, and cod and mackerel fisheries. The overall population continued to grow, reaching a 19th century peak, including a large foreign born population, mostly from Ireland. Wareham Historical Commission Wareham Preservation Plan 2007 Residential development of modest cottages continued in the villages of Wareham, with more elaborate examples including large Greek Revival and Italianate houses in Wareham Center, representing the industrial prosperity of the period.
1870 - 1915
Manufacturing, including nails and horseshoes, continued on a more limited basis into the early 20th century, but two new industries emerged at this time, summer tourism and cranberry growing, which would transform elements of Wareham’s landscape. Significant tourism first developed in the form of planned summer communities, most famously the Onset Bay Grove Association, initially founded in the 1870s as a Spiritualist camp-meeting site, and growing into a popular planned summer community of over 1,000 small lots interspersed with communal parks and beaches. Houses were modest Gothic Revival, Stick, and Queen Anne cottages with commercial development around Onset Avenue. The railroad played an important role in the development of Onset as a vacation area, as did a trolley service for local transportation. While coastal areas saw increased residential development, Wareham’s lowlands were being transformed into productive cranberry bogs as the cranberry industry grew into a powerful economic force. One of the earliest known bogs was constructed on White Island, c. 1860, and by the turn-of-the-century when the United Cranberry Company was formed there were 37 growers listed in the town directory, and that number continued to grow. In addition to the bogs themselves, associated industries were developed such as cranberry equipment manufacturing and cranberry preserving.
1915 - 1950
The period after WWI was marked by continued development of summer colonies and planned communities, and a steady increase in year-round population with new in-fill housing in already settled areas. Mass production of the automobile lead to improvement of transportation routes, including upgrades to Route 28 and Cape Cod-New Bedford Highway (Route 6). Economically, cranberry growing continued to mature into a major industry, and construction of the Ocean Spray Cranberry plant on Sandwich Road making Wareham a major distribution center for cranberries. The iron-based and maritime-related industries continued but saw a steady decline due to new technologies and cheaper labor and materials elsewhere.
1950 - Present
The greatest 20th century population increase took place after WWII. Over 2/3 of Wareham’s housing has been built since 1950, some following existing settlement patterns and others in new subdivisions and developments. Today there are approximately 12,000 housing units in Wareham, of which 1/3 are seasonal. The Cranberry Highway emerged as a major retail corridor in the 1950s, reaching it peak in the 1970s as Cape-bound traffic was required to pass though this commercial zone of Route 6. However, the construction of Routes 495/25 bypass and 195 have greatly reduced non-local traffic and business activity. While Wareham’s economic base has shifted to service industries, cranberry growing remains an important economic factor, and cranberry growers control over 30% of Wareham’s 29,940 acres of land. Important reminders of Wareham’s industrial and maritime roots survive, including the Tremont Nail Factory and the Cape Cod Ship Building Company and neighborhoods throughout Wareham reflect its layered history from Onset Village’s Wigwam and many extant Victorian-era cottages to the high-style residences in Wareham Center, and from the rural 18th and 19th century streetscapes of Great Neck and County Roads to the many 20th century planned seasonal communities.
Source Document: Wareham Historical Commission - Wareham Preservation Plan 2007
History of Wareham Massachusetts
In 1838, Silvanus Bourne, Esq., furnished a series of very interesting articles to one of the County papers, concerning the history of this town. He says: The east part of the town, known as the “Agawam purchase,” lay in the township of Plymouth, and the west part belonged to Rochester, until in 1739, these two tracts were incorporated as the town of Wareham, the name being borrowed from an old English town, once of some note. In 1827, Wareham was enlarged by the addition of a slice of Plymouth and Carver, known as Tihonet.
From 1739, until 1824, the people of the West end, and the inhabitants of Agawam, were mutually jealous of each others’ rights, so much 80 that two constables, and two collectors, were always appointed, and even two sets of tax bills were always made.
Agawam probably derives its name from one of the Massachusetts tribes of that name. There are several Agawams in the State, and it is supposed that some one of these was the abiding place of the tribe, and that the others were temporary homes of parts of the same tribe. This tract was leased in 3678, for seven years, and in 1682, was sold by the town of Plymouth, in order to raise funds for building a new meeting-house in that town. The purchasers were ten in number, including John Chubbuck, Samuel Bates and John Fearing.
These early settlers began their colony as though they were a separate nation, laying out a mill lot, pound and grave yard, and would undoubtedly have built a pillory and whipping-post, but Plymouth was careful to reserve in the deed of sale, jurisdiction of the territory. Two lots of land and one of meadow, were reserved for the ministry, in 1701.
The first highway run nearly East and West, crossing the streams at the head of tide water. Other ways led to the house of every settler, some of them open, and some through gates and bars.
The land southerly of Agawam, is indented with many coves, forming numerous peninsulas, or necks, as they are here called. There are also numerous islands, among them Wickett’s, named for the Indian who owned it Ousett, on which the credulous believed money was buried, and where lights were formerly seen on stormy nights, and even the money chest has been seen by curious searchers! Little Bird, Tinis, besides the cluster of islands in Little Harbor. There are two beaches made by the waves of Buzzard’s Bay, and the extensive, flats yield many shell fish. There are several ponds, and numerous valuable streams of water, in this section, among them Red Brook, colored by the iron ore bed over which it passes, and the Agawam River, a valuable manufacturing stream. The wood is mainly pitch-pine.
It is not known at what time the West end of the town was first settled. The lands were granted by the Virginia mode, called shigling. To each proprietor was given a warrant stating that he was entitled to a certain quantity of land. This warrant he could assign or locate it where he pleased, in one or more lots, or in any shape. Of course, all aimed to secure the best land, and one surveyor, not al-ways knowing what another had done, some lots were often more than once covered, which led to litigation and trouble. There were also left many odd strips called gores.
At the time of the incorporation of Wareham, July, 1739, it is not known what its population was. At that time, every town containing forty qualified voters, was entitled to a representative, but for forty years after incorporation, the town voted that they were not qualified to send, and when they wished to be heard at General Court, they sent an Agent instead of a Representative.
In the French War of 1757-8, Wareham sent nine of her citizens to assist m the capture of Cape Breton, and Samuel Besse lost his life there. Five others joined the Northern army, to capture Canada, besides Jo. Joseph, Sol. Joseph and Jabez Wickett, three Indians of the place, who fought against the hostile Indians.
Previous to the Revolutionary war, as early as Jan. 18, 1773, at the request of the town of Boston, a town meeting was held in Wareham to consider of matters of grievances the Provinces were under. Capt. Josiah Carver was moderator. In Feb. 1774, strong resolutions were adopted, insisting upon the rights of British Freedom. In Jan. 1770, they voted to allow every minute man 1s, 4d, per week, and refused to make any tax under the King’s authority, but to pay the Province tax already made to Dr. Andrew. Mackie, with instructions that he keep it till the town otherwise order. On March 17, they voted to purchase six guns for the town, and instructed Nathan Bassett to put the other guns in repair and make bayonets for them.
About the time of the battle of Lexington, it was rumored that the King’s troops were at Marshfield, laying the country waste. Forty minute men immediately left for Plymouth, under the command of Capt. Israel Pearing, Lieuts. Ebenezer Chubbuck and Barnabus Bates.
Eight men served two months eighteen enlisted for six months, and were stationed along shore. During their term of service, they went to an alarm at Nashuana, rowing themselves in two whale boats. Nine -were in the army near Boston, eight months, making thirty-six men sent into service the first year, from a town without voters enough to send a representative. In 1776, eighteen men enlisted, and in 1777, fourteen men enlisted for three years or the war, eight men enlisted for two months, to serve in Rhode Island, and in August, nearly every man in the militia went on the secret expedition to Newport.
In Sep., 1777, the town voted £33 for 100 lbs. of powder, and in Nov., £100 to supply the families of Continental soldiers with such articles as they should need In Sept., 1778, the British burnt the shipping at New Bedford, and our militia turned out under Maj. Israel Fearing, and all concur in saying that he conducted the defenses on the east side of the river, with good judgment and bravery, the fire of his men warding of a night attack. The militia went twice to Falmouth. Sep. 21st, 1780, voted £86. 17s. hard money, for beef to send to the army. Jan. 1781, voted to have a lottery to raise $280, hard money, to raise soldiers with. Eighty-six different individuals did service in the army, 13 of whom died.
During the Revolutionary war, the operations of our patriotic citizens were not confined to the land. Capt. Barzilla Besse went out privateering under a commission from the State, in an armed sloop, and took one prize. He, together with John Gibbs, and some others of his crew, left his vessel at Nantucket, and went on board Capt. Dimmick of Falmouth, as volunteers, in a wood sloop borrowed at that place for the occasion, and running down towards the enemy’s vessel, which was a shaving mill mounting six swivels. Dimmick was ordered 15 to strike he showed submission, but in running under her stern, he put his bowsprit over the enemy’s taffrail, and, calling upon his men, they sprang on board, killed the English captain, and took his vessel in a few minutes.
“Also a 10 gun sloop, named the Hancock, owned by John Carver, Nathan Bassett, and others, was fitted out from this place as a privateer, commanded by James Southard. The first cruise, they went to the West Indies and took two prizes. The second cruise, they took 2 Grand Bank fishermen, both brigs, and brought them into Wareham. “The enemy took from our citizens the schooner Lion, coming from the West Indies, with a load of salt, the schooner Desire, going to Brazil, and a sloop which was built for a privateer, and performed one unsuccessful cruise in that capacity, but was afterwards sent to Turks Island for salt, and was taken while returning.”
In 1781, voted to vendue the colors belonging to the town. This vote is now much to be regretted.
Previous to the war of 1812, commerce flourished and many vessels were built at the Narrows. We had but one man in the regular army, Joseph Saunders, and he was killed at the battle of New Orleans. 13 of our sloops were captured by the enemy, among them: “The sloop Polly, Capt. Barrows, was taken on the 9th of June, 1814, off Westport. The Captain ransomed her for $200, and came home to get the money, leaving Moses Bumpus and James Miller with the British until his return.
“The same day, the sloop Polly was retaken, by a party fitted out from Westport but the two young men, Bumpus and Miller, had been taken on board the brig-of-war, Nimrod, and by their aid, as was sup-posed, in a few days, she run up the Bay to West’s Island here they landed, and took Samuel Besse on board for a pilot, as he says, by force, and compelled him to pilot the brig up the Bay. On the next day, June 13th, she was-seen by Ebenezer Bourne, about nine o’clock A. M., off Mattapoisett, standing up the Bay and at ten, came to an anchor about four miles southerly of Bird Island Light and immediately manned six barges, which formed a line, two abreast. Each barge had a large lateen sail, and was rowed by six oars, double manned, with a fair wind and strong flood tide, and steered for Wareham. Bourne left his work, and ran to his boat, then lying at Crooked River, and sailed across to the lower end of the neck, where he took land, and in twenty minutes from the time he left home, gave information to the Selectmen, then assembled on other business, in the lower house, at the Narrows village. He and they passed quickly through the village, giving the alarm to the citizens, until they arrived at the house of Benjamin Fearing, Esq. Here the Selectmen ordered Maj. William Barrows to assemble the men and prepare their guns as fast as possible, then pass down the Narrows, and they would forward them ammunition as soon as it could be procured from the town stores, “which, were kept by Wadsworth Crocker, Esq. Bourne upon, his first arrival at Fearing’s, meeting with a gentleman, upon a smart horse, bound towards Agawam, requested him to quicken his speed, and stop at the next public house, then kept by Capt. Israel Fearing, and tell him to call out his men, and proceed forthwith to the east side of the Narrows, this the stranger promised, and preformed. Maj. Barrows collected 12 men with arms, which he paraded and the minister, Rev. Noble Everett, came from the Selectmen with a keg of powder, and balls. But while they were loading their guns, Wm. Fearing, Esq., and Jonathan Reed came to the Major, and told him to put his arms and ammunition out of sight, for they had made a treaty with the enemy, and had agreed to spare private property. The guns were hid under Capt. Jeremiah Bumpus’ porch, and the keg of powder left near his house. The British came to the turn of the channel, here set a white flag, and preceded to the lower wharf, where the marines landed, being about 200 in number, paraded on the wharf, and set a sentinel upon the high land back of the village, with orders to let no citizen pass from the village and. about this time. Fearing and Reed approached the enemy with a white handkerchief upon a cane, and made the treaty aforesaid. The enemy then marched up the street, detaching sentries upon the high land, at convenient distances, until they arrived at the Cotton Factory. This, they set on fire by shooting a Congreve rocket into a post in the middle, of the first story, and re-turned, taking the arms and powder at Capt. Bumpus’ house, and threatened to burn the house, if the town stores were not surrendered, which they thought were there.
“About this time, four schooners belonging to Falmouth, and one be-longing to Plymouth, which had put into this port, for Safety, were set on fire by the men left with the barges these, arid the Factory, as they asserted, not being private property. As they passed up, they called at Wm. Fearing’s store, took something to drink, and went into his kitchen, took a brand of fire, and proceeded to his ship-yard, immediately in front of his house, and here set fire to a new brig, nearly finished, upon the stocks, belonging to said Fearing, he remonstrating and reminding them of their treaty, but they asserting that she was built for a privateer, put her well on fire, so that she burnt to ashes. They fired also a ship and brig lying at the wharf, and five sloops, all of which, as well as the Cotton Factory, were put out. Six vessels were not set on fire. ‘ They next took twelve men as hostages, to prevent our citizens from firing upon them and hoisting a white flag, and saying if a gun was fired the host0,ges would be massacred, embarked, having tarried on shore about two hours. About this time, Capt. Israel Fearing assembled 12 men on the opposite side of the Narrows, and showed fight. One of the barges dropped over that way, and the Narrows citizens begged him not to fire, as a treaty tad been made and hostages taken to insure its performance, whereupon he fell back, to watch their further movements, kept his union assembled, but as the hostages were not given up until they passed below him, he did not fire, and the enemy departed in peace, landing our citizens on Cromeset Point. The barges formed a line, fired a Congreve rocket into the air, fired a swivel from the bow of each barge, gave three cheers, and proceeded leisurely to the brig landed Besse upon West’s Island, and the young men at North Falmouth. Besse was taken up and examined before a magistrate, in New Bedford, and acquitted. Miller and Bumpus were examined and committed to prison for further examination and trial and after being imprisoned about three months, were acquitted, and both shipped on board of a privateer, where Bumpus was killed, and Miller lost a leg by a cannon ball. The whole damage done by the expedition as estimated at the time was $25,000.”
The first settled minister was Rowland Thatcher, ordained in 1740, died 1773. His successors have been Josiah Cotton, 1774 Noble Everett, 1784-1820 Daniel Hemmenway, 1821-1828 Samuel Nott, ordained 1829 Homer Barrows, and Rev. T. F. Clary, present pastor. In 1 830, the First Christian Society was formed, but not now in operation. The building on High Street, was purchased by the Catholics, about 1865, and is now occupied by them. In 1830, the M. E. Society was formed, and soon after a church built near the Center. Services have not been held there regularly, of late a good part of the membership being at Agawam, meetings are held there.
In 1780, the town paid their minister $240 per Sabbath in the depreciated currency of the times. The town and parish records have been entered in separate books, since 1828, at which time the present church edifice was erected.
The first school was held in 1741, and the first Temperance Society was formed in Wareham, in 1824.
In 1742, Wareham sent out a colony of more-than 100, which settled in Sharon, Ct. From 1739 to 1829, deer reeves were annually elected, to enforce the laws for the protection of these animals.
Wareham has long been celebrated for its iron and nail manufactories. The first machinery for. making of nails, was introduced by I. & J. Pratt, & Co., in 1822.
In 1822, B. Murdock & Co., built the Washington Iron Works on the Weweantit River. In 1828, a second dam was erected, a half a mile above. In 1827, the “Poles Works” were erected in 1828, the “Tihonet Works,” and in 1836, the “Agawam Works.”
Most of these establishments have been burnt out at various times. The Washington Works, now called Tremont, have lately been re-built in the best style. They are owned by Joshua B. Tobey. The Poles establishment is now owned by the Robinson Iron Co.
Besides the manufacture of nails, much attention has been given to iron casting and iron manufacturing. The “Franconia Works,” on the wharf, below the Narrows, employ a large number of men in mating merchantable iron. S. T. Tisdale, Esq., is at the head of the Agawam Works. The first blast furnace was erected in 1805, on the Weweantit River.
About 1820, the manufacture of hollow ware, in blast furnaces, was the most thriving business in the vicinity, although most of the furnaces were in Carver and Middleboro, yet the ore was brought from New Jersey, and landed at Wareham from thence it was hauled to the different furnaces and the ware returned to Wareham, for shipping. Whole forests of pitch pine timber were felled, and converted into coal to melt the moulton masses with which these various furnaces were continually charged. The introduction of hard coal and pig iron, completely revolutionized this business, and blast furnaces were abandoned.
The manufacture of staves and nail casks has long been an important branch of business. The name of Lewis Kenney, is inseparably connected with this business, and in 18, the first machinery for sawing the staves, was introduced by him, since which time he has added many valuable m.achine8 for sawing.
The first cotton factory here, was built in 1812. In 1816, Curtis Tobey built another, and in 1823, Benjamin Lincoln, added still another factory. Nothing is done in this line now.
The first paper mill was on the Weweantit, built in 1824, by Pardon Tabor. The new paper establishment, near the Tremont depot, was lately erected by Wheelwright & Co., of Boston. This, in 1865, employed 13 hands.
During the Revolutionary war, when salt was in great demand, our people embarked largely in its manufacture, by boiling the sea water in large kettles. From 1806, through the second war with England, great quantities of salt were made by evaporation.
The last, native Indians died about 1830. When their ancestors sold the land here, one of the rights reserved was that of cutting broom-sticks and basket stuff, wherever they chose.
The soil is diluvial, and our people have given much more attention to manufacturing than farming. Formerly there were many good Orchards.
Died in Revolutionary Service From Wareham
List of soldiers and sailors who died in the service of their country, in the late Rebellion:
Geo. H. French, B, 24th, at Beaufort, N. C, Jan. 22d, 1863.
Joseph W. Tinkham, 3rd Reg.
Patrick Grim, K, 28tb Reg’t.
Thomas S. Hatch, C, 18th Reg’t.
James F. Leonard, G, 18th Reg’t.
Wm. Ashton, G, 18th Reg’t.
Samuel Benson, G, 18th Reg’t.
Theodore E. Paddock, G, 18th Reg’t.
Arch. Stringer, G, 18th Reg’t.
Patrick Cox, C, 58th, died Feb. 8th, 1865.
Jas. E. Russie, A, 20th, died in prison.
Stephen S. Russie, A, 24th Reg’t.
Marcus Atwood, 18th Reg’t.
Jas. Backwell, A, 20th, died at Wareham.
Benj. F. Bumpus, A, 20th Reg’t.
Daniel 0. Bumpus, B, 24th Reg’t, Sept. 30th, 1864.
John J. Carrol, A, 26th Reg’t.
Benj. D. Clifton, 20th Reg’t.
John A. Haskins, 6th Battery, died at Washington, D. C. Dec. 6th, 1864.
Joseph Hayden, B, 24th Reg’t.
John D. Manter, B, 3d, at Newbern, N. C.
James Maddigan, A, 20th, at Wareham.
John E. Oldham, at Deep Bottom, Va., Aug. 14th, 1864.
John S. Oldham, B, 3d, Reg’t, died at Newbern, N. C.
Isaac S. Oldham, B, 24th, died at Beaufort, N. C, Feb. 2nd, 1863.
David A. Perry, B, 24th Reg’t.
Daniel Westgate, 1st Battalion, Co. D.
Julian W. Swift, A, 20th, killed at Petersburg.
Horatio G. Harlow, C, 58th, at Libby Prison.
Stephen H. Drew, 58th Reg’t.
Geo. W. Besse, H, 58th, July 2d, 1864.
Geo. H. Loring, A, 20th, at Libby Prison.
History of Agwam - History
The "Long Meddowe"
The forces that drove thousands of English Puritans to the New World in the 1630's - the search for economic security and a godly commonwealth- were in William Pynchon's mind as he sailed up the Connecticut River in 1635. Pynchon, Treasurer of the Massachusetts Bay Company and an experienced fur trader and businessman, was searching for an ideal place to found a trading post and establish a Puritan "plantation". After quietly sailing past meadow lands known to the Indians as "Masacksic", he reached the confluence of the Agawam and Connecticut Rivers.
To Pynchon, it appeared to be the ideal place for his economic and religious foray into the wilderness. It was above the Enfield Falls and thus safe from enemy warships. It provided water access to the Berkshires and the greatly desired beaver. There was enough meadow land to support farms and cattle. After a tentative agreement with the local semi-nomadic Agawam Indians for the purchase of some of their land on the west side of the Connecticut, Pynchon returned to the Boston area to recruit settlers.
When he returned with settlers in 1636, however, he found some angry Indians. The cattle left behind in 1635 had trampled the Indian corn crop, and Pynchon was forced to establish his plantation on the east side of the river. Included in the land purchased by Pynchon was the "Masacksic", Indian for "the long meddowe". When the settlers drew up their compact in the summer of 1636 and agreed upon the religious foundation of their economic enterprise, the "long meddowe" to the south was set aside as a common pasture land, to be used equally by all residents.
For almost a decade the meadows were used in this communal way, but in 1645 the residents of Springfield voted to distribute the land to individual people as farm lots. The ability of the original planting grounds to support an increased population had reached its limit, and the sons of many of the original settlers were reaching maturity and required their own farms. Thus the meadow lands were given to the residents of the southern end of the original downtown Springfield settlement.
Some of this common land, and land still held by the Pynchon family, was used to attract settlers with specific skills or talents needed by a developing community. In this way two people deeply involved in the growth of the "long meddowe" as a distinct part of Springfield were attracted to the area. Benjamin Cooley, an expert weaver of both flax and wool, was given land in both the original settlement and the meadows. Quartermaster George Colton received sizable allotments because of his business expertise. The descendants of these two families would come to dominate not only in the amount of meadow they owned, but also the political life of the "long meddowe" residents.
For two years after these grants in the "long meddowe", the new owners prepared the area for agriculture. A road from Springfield into the meadows was completed, including a small bridge over the Pecousic River, now a stream at the foot of Barney Hill, Forest Park. This road was eventually extended to Warehouse Point to facilitate the movement of supplies and beaver pelts between Springfield and Pynchon's warehouse. The lots were laid out, and fences were begun. Despite the ideals of being a close-knit and religious-minded community, fences soon proved necessary to keep the communal peace, as wandering swine and cattle damaged neighbors' crops.
The first house in the meadows was probably not built before 1649. Most of the lot owners already had homes in Springfield it was only gradually that houses were erected in the meadows. When they were built, the nature of the land prevented their being placed very near each other, although physical closeness was the ideal in a community that was both a frontier settlement and a bible commonwealth. The meadows were dotted with wild cranberry bogs, ponds and swamps, and because of the low-lying nature of the land it was subject to flooding.
Gradually during the 17th century the settlement grew, and by the 1690's there was increasing agitation among the residents for their autonomous community. Religiously and politically the people were still part of the Springfield settlement, but they had to travel three to five miles for the frequent religious services, town meetings and supplies. The high bluff south of downtown Springfield reached almost into the Connecticut River, making the "long meddowe" a distinct geographic entity. The area was still a frontier wilderness, as the attack on Springfield in 1675 during King Philip's War and the massacre of the Keep family near the Pecousic River the following year make clear.
The second and third generation of settlers in the meadows had settled into farming as a way of life, while Springfield had kept the original character intended by Pynchon. It was a thriving commercial enterprise, equally interested in the beaver and the Bible. A disastrous flood in the meadows in 1695 triggered these deeper discontents into a movement to become separate from Springfield.
The meadow residents successfully petitioned in 1703 for permission to move their settlement out of the meadows and up onto the hill. A road was laid out (the present-day Longmeadow Street), and house lots were assigned. The closeness of the houses around the common (the present-day Green) suggests the like-mindedness both economic and religious, of these people. Houses were built over the next few years, and by 1709 the new homes were occupied. The residents then successfully petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to be a separate precinct within Springfield. Since there was little distinction between political and religious institutions in the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, "precinct" status enabled the Longmeadow residents to have their own meeting house and minister. In 1714 work was begun on a meeting house, in the center of the Green, and in 1716 Rev. Stephen Williams was ordained as the first minister of the this new community.
The "long meddowe" had provided an economic base for the people, a source of food, both cultivated and wild, and a relatively safe haven for these Puritan pioneers. While today the role of the meadows in Longmeadow has changed, its legacy is the very accurate Indian name: the "long meddowe".
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History of Ipswich, Massachusetts
Ipswich is a charming and historic town in Massachusetts. It is home to the largest number of historic houses in America and has the oldest double-arch stone bridge in America.
The area was first settled by paleoindians thousands of years ago and was home to the Agawam tribe before being settled by English colonists in the 17 th century.
The following a history of Ipswich, Mass:
- Captain John Smith makes a draft of his map of New England and names Ipswich Agawam. Prince Charles changes the name to Southampton.
- An epidemic in the Native-American villages of New England greatly decimates the native population in Agawam.
- On July 4, the sagamore of Agawam is banished from the colonist’s house for one year.
- On August 8, around 100 Tarrentines attack the Agawam, killing seven men, wounding John and James Sagamore and others, and capturing James’ wife and others.
- In March, Ipswich is settled by John Winthrop Jr and twelve other Massachusetts Bay colonists, including William Clerk, Robert Coles, Thomas Howler, John Biggs, John Gage, Thomas Hardy, William Perkins, John Thorndike and William Sarjeant, who call the settlement Agawam.
- On April 1, the Court of Assistants forbids anyone else to live in the new settlement without their permission, except for the existing 13 settlers.
- On June 11, Thomas Sellen receives permission to become an inhabitant.
- On August 4, Ipswich is incorporated into the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the Court of Assistants and is renamed after Ipswich, England.
- The Old North Burial Ground is established on High Street.
- On June 8, Masconnomet, the leader of the Agawam tribe, sells Ipswich to John Winthrop Jr for 20 pounds.
- In the southwest part of Ipswich, in what is now modern-day Middleton, an Indian plantation exists on a hill called Will Hill, which is named after a local native called William who owned a considerable amount of land in the area.
- The Giddings-Burnham House, a first period Colonial-style house, is constructed by carpenter George Giddings on Argilla Road.
- The Agawam and the other tribes have their guns returned to them, having been taken from them because it was suspected that they were planning to attack the colonists.
- On March 8, Masconomet allows himself and his subjects to be placed under the rule and protection of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and agree to be instructed in the Christian religion.
- A local native named Peckanaminet, alias Ned, sells his eight square miles of land near the Merrimack River to the town for 30 pounds.
- The Ipswich jail is constructed near the meeting house.
- On March 6, the sagamore of the Agawam tribe, Masconomet, dies and is buried on Sagamore Hill in what is now modern-day Hamilton. He was the last Agawam chief to rule there.
- On June 18, the town grants a parcel of land to Masconomet’s widow.
- On March 6, a young man named Robert Cross digs up Masconomet’s remains and carries his skull on a pole through the streets of Ipswich, for reasons unknown. Cross is imprisoned, sent to the stocks, fined and is forced to rebury Masconomet’s body and build a two-foot-tall pile of stones over his grave.
- On March 30, a prisoner escapes from the Ipswich jail, which is the first jail break in American history. He was later recaptured and stated that he escaped because the prison was cold.
- On February 21, the town grants two or three acres of land to Ned.
- The Dr. John Calef House is constructed by Deacon Thomas Knowlton on Poplar Street. It was later occupied by loyalist John Calef in the late 1770s.
- The James Burnham House is constructed on Heartbreak Road.
- The John Whipple house is constructed by Captain John Whipple at the corner of Market Street and Saltonstall Street.
- The town awards a small quantity of land to Ned and his family and to Masconomet’s daughter and her children.
- The Shoreborne Wilson House, a Colonial-style house, is constructed sometime between 1685 and 1692 by local cooper Shoreborne Wilson, on South Main Street.
- On February 18, the town gives Ned, who is about 82 years old, some provisions.
- On December 30, the town gives another native, Robert, some provisions as well.
- The Nathaniel Rust Mansion, a Colonial-style mansion, is constructed on the South Green.
- The Ross Tavern, known at the time as the Lord-Collins house, is constructed in downtown Ipswich.
- In the spring, four women from Ipswich, Elizabeth Howe, Rachel Clinton, Joan Braybrook and her stepdaughter Mehitable, are arrested on charges of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials.
- On July 19, Elizabeth Howe is hanged at Proctor’s Ledge in Salem.
- The Paine-Dodge House, a Colonial-style farmhouse, is constructed by colonist Robert Paine on the Greenwood Farm.
- The town votes to build a new meeting house, about 60 feet long and 60 feet wide, on the “sightly hill top.” The old meeting house nearby is leveled.
- The Isaac Goodale House, a first period Colonial-style house, is constructed about 1700.
- The Thomas Low House, a 2 ½ story Federal-style house, is constructed on Heartbreak Road.
- The House on Labor-In-Vain road, a Colonial-style house, is constructed.
- The Smith House, a Colonial-style house, is constructed sometime between 1720 and 1725 on Argilla Road.
- There are only three remaining families of Native-Americans living in Ipswich. They live in three wigwams at Wigwam Hill. A few years later, they had left Ipswich as well.
- The Benjamin Grant House, a 2 ½ Georgian-style house, is constructed on County Street.
- The Ross Tavern is relocated to the south-east side of Choate Bridge.
Beyond the opportunities for physical growth and skills development, Agawam places central emphasis on creating an environment for discovering and enhancing the personal and interpersonal skills of each camper. Each week, every camper is assigned a “Katiaki” (kah-TIE-a-key) – a goal to work toward that is related to his character, personality, or skills in relating to others. The task of determining and assigning these goals is a major responsibility of the camp staff and is addressed with great care. Equal emphasis is placed on reinforcing positive traits and behaviors, as well as addressing areas of relative weakness.
Frequent feedback is provided to campers and, at the end of the week, the staff gathers to determine if each camper has made a conscientious effort to attain his Katiaki goal. The emphasis is always on the effort, as the goals themselves can often be very challenging. If a camper does work hard on his Katiaki, he is honored publicly in the special candlelight ceremony at the end of our weekly Council Fire. Normally, in excess of two-thirds of our campers are successful each week all are aware of the importance of this highly visible attempt to encourage them to “Be The Best, Whatever You Are.”
The staff and campers of Agawam have recognized the great benefit of the Katiaki system since 1942. Many find it has the most enduring impact of their Agawam Experience.
Find Agawam Property Records
A Agawam Property Records Search locates real estate documents related to property in Agawam, Massachusetts. Public Property Records provide information on land, homes, and commercial properties in Agawam, including titles, property deeds, mortgages, property tax assessment records, and other documents. Several government offices in Agawam and Massachusetts state maintain Property Records, which are a valuable tool for understanding the history of a property, finding property owner information, and evaluating a property as a buyer or seller.