Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Timely Notice to All

Marietta Intelligencer, March 23, 1853

Sayre's Floating Daguerreotype Boat will remain but a short time longer at Marietta. All those wishing to secure one of those perfect likenesses which are so desirable, would do well to call soon, as they may perhaps never have a better opportunity of procuring so desirable a miniature as those procured at the FLOATING ARTIST.

Gentle hints, friendly reader. If you have a mutual friend in whose welfare you feel an interest, and your feelings are reciprocated, that friend will value as a precious memorial your Daguerreotype miniature, if executed in Sayre's superior style at the Floating Artist. If you are still blessed with parents, and no artist's pencil has truly traced the liniments of his or her familiar face or form, you may well set the part of wisdom to advise or persuade them to visit without delay Sayre's Daguerreotype boat and have their likeness taken in his superior style of art. Reflect for a moment how many have lost a Father, a Mother, Sister, Brother or an innocent prattling child, and have not even a shadow of a resemblance to look upon. After the separation, some little toy or a trifling article is often kept for years, and cherished as a token of remembrance. How much more would be one of Sayre's perfect Daguerreotype miniatures of the loved and lost. Reader, perhaps you cannot do a better thing while your mind is upon the subject, than take an hour or two now, and visit the floating Artist. Then you may, at some future period, have reason to feel grateful for these gentle hints from

J. S. Sayre, Daguerreotypist,
Floating Artist
Marietta, March 1, 1853


Wednesday, November 18, 2015


The Marietta Intelligencer, April 8, 1858

The Gun Smith shop of A. C. McGirr was destroyed by fire last night about 2 o'clock a.m.  The loss is supposed to be near seven hundred dollars.  It was, probably, the work of an incendiary.  The shop had been closed, and no fire had been used in the shop during the day.  When the fire was discovered the door was partly open and the bar bent.  The Shop had, doubtless, been opened by burglars.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Peregrine Foster

The Marietta Register, October 1, 1874

One of the Forty-Eight Who Landed in Marietta, Ohio, April 7, 1788

Peregrine Foster was the son of Hon. Jedediah Foster and Dorothy Dwight, of Brookfield, Massachusetts. He was descended in the sixth generation from Reginald Foster, founder of the family in this country. The descent is through the oldest son: 1st, Reginald Foster, first in America; 2d, Abraham, born  in 1622; 3d, Ephraim, born in 1657; 4th Ephraim, Sr., born in 1687; 5th, Jedediah, born in 1726; 6th, Peregrine, born in 1759.

Reginald Foster was descended from Sir Reginald Foster, made Baronet in 1461. He came to Ipswich, Massachusetts, from the West of England, in 1638, with his wife and seven children, four of them sons. One of his daughters married a Story, ancestor of Chief Justice Story.

On his mother's side, Peregrine Foster was descended from John Dwight, ancestor of all who rightfully bear that name in this country. The line of descent is: 1st, John Dwight, first in America, came in 1634 or 1635; 2d, Captain Timothy Dwight, son of John, born in 1629; 3d, Captain Henry Dwight, of Hatfield, Massachusetts, born in 1676; 4th Brigadier General Joseph Dwight, born in 1703; 5th, Dorothy Dwight, born in 1729, married Jedediah Foster in 1749.

John Dwight came from Dedham, England, in 1634 or 1635, and settled in Dedham, Massachusetts. It is said he brought with him a valuable estate, and was a wealthy farmer in Dedham. He was an eminently useful citizen and Christian in that town, and was one of the founders of the Church of Christ gathered there in 1638 for the first time.

President Dwight, of Yale, was one of his descendants. Peregrine Foster married, at Brookfield, July 10th, 1780, widow Polly Bradshaw, daughter of Ebenezer Parkman, of Westboro, Massachusetts. He was a Revolutionary soldier, and was present at the execution of Major Andre, October 2, 1780. He was then twenty-one years old. After the close of the war, he removed to Providence, Rhode Island, where he read and practiced law for a few years with his brother Theodore.

In 1786, Mr. Foster joined the Ohio Company, formed in Massachusetts, under the direction of General Rufus Putnam and General Tupper. At a meeting of the Directors of the Company, held at Bracket's tavern, in Boston, November 23, 1787, it was ordered that four surveyors be employed, under the direction of a superintendent, with twenty-two men to attend them, and to these should be added six boat builders, four house carpenters, one blacksmith, and nine common workmen - making in all forty-eight men - to proceed, in the employ of the Company, to the mouth of the Muskingum, to make a settlement on the Company's lands, and to remain in the employ of the Company until July 1. 

These persons were all subject to the orders of the superintendent, General Rufus Putnam. They were divided into two companies. Twenty-two assembled at Danvers, Massachusetts, early in December. These, under Major Haffield White, formed the advance party. Among them were the boat builders and mechanics. The surveyors and others of the Pioneers met at Hartford early in January 1788, and proceeded, under the charge of General Putnam, to join the advance party, whom they overtook at Simrell's ferry on the Youghiogheny, February 14, 1788.

Mr. Foster joined the second company. The passage over the Alleghenies at that season of the year was very perilous. An unusual amount of snow had fallen that winter. The obstacles in their path were numerous. At Strawsburg the roads became impassable for wagons, and they were obliged to construct sledges to transport their baggage and supplies over the mountains. They, however, arrived without serious lost at Simrell's ferry in February and there joined Major White's party, which had reached that point January 21.

Owing to the severity of the weather, but little progress had been made in the building of the boats which were to convey them from that point to the Muskingum. General Putnam's presence, however, infused new spirit into the Company, and the boats were completed and ready to descend the river by the 2d of April. The large boat was first called by the builders, "Adventure Galley," but was afterwards named the "mayflower." She was, according to Dr. Hildreth's account, "forty-five feet long and twelve wide; estimated burthen fifty tons. Her bow was raking or curved like a galley. She was strongly timbered and covered with deck roof. She was intended to run up stream as well as down, but was unwieldy, and only used a few times on voyages of this kind." Beside this boat there was a flatboat and also three canoes.

With these boats the pioneers, having taken on their stores, provisions, &c., embarked for the mouth of the Muskingum, which they reached April 7, 1788. The morning of April 7th was cloudy and rainy. The banks of the Muskingum were thickly grown with sycamore trees, whose branches, leaning over the river, obscured the outlet, and before they were aware of it, they had passed the upper point, where they intended to land, and were unable to stop, till a short distance below Fort Harmar. The Commander of the Fort sent soldiers and ropes by which they were brought back, and the boats landed about noon at the Point (Marietta) in the Muskingum, a little above its mouth.

Mr. Foster, being one of the surveyors, assisted in laying out the town, to which the name of Marietta was given in honor of the Queen of France.

In June 1788, he returned to his family in Providence, Rhode Island, intending to remove them to Ohio. He was not able to do this immediately, and while delayed, the Indian War broke out, and he did not on that account, go west until 1792. At that time, hearing of some massacres by the Indians in the neighborhood of Marietta, he went to Morgantown, Virginia, now in West Virginia, where he remained for four years, teaching school, and engaging in such other business as he could find. While in Virginia, he was chief Magistrate of his county, Associate Judge in the Court of Common Pleas, and several times Representative to the State Legislature.

July 14th, 1794, he writes from Virginia, "In consequence of a Commission from the Governor of Virginia, appointing me Magistrate for the county of Monongalia, I have now three appointments from the Governor and the General Assembly, not one of which is worth a penny, and as little honor as pay." After the close of the Indian War in 1795, he removed with his family to Belpre, Ohio, where a part of his land was located.

There he improved his farm and built a dwelling house on the banks of the Ohio, nearly opposite the mouth of Little Kanawha. He was one of the Justices of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Ohio, from September 1797, to march 1803, at which time the Territorial Courts were closed by the organization of Courts under the new State Constitution. His associates in that Court during that period were Gilbert Petit, Dudley Woodbridge, Daniel Loring, and Isaac Peirce.

Mr. Foster resided on his farm in Belpre until his death, which occurred August 17, 1804, at the age of 44.

In the year 1808, his widow married William Browning, Esq., a prominent farmer of Belpre, whose farm lay near that of Mr. Foster.

Mr. and Mrs. Browning both died in September 1823.

The children of Peregrine Foster were:

Polly Parkman, born 1781
Seraph Dwight, born 1782
Peregrine Pitt, born 1786
Betsey Marietta, born 1788
Frederick Augustus, born 1791
Theodore Sedgwick, born 1793

Polly Parkman Foster married deacon William Dana of Newport, Ohio. She died 1815, aged 31. She had six children.

Seraph Dwight Foster married John Breck of Boston, afterward of Caswell, Ohio. She died 1806. She left one child.

Peregrine Pitt Foster married Elizabeth Cushing, daughter of Col. Nathaniel Cushing of Belpre. He died February 1815, aged 28, leaving no children. She died at the age of 87, a widow for 49 years.

Betsey Marietta married Stephen Dana of Newport, Ohio, brother of Deacon William Dana, both of whom were sons of Capt. William Dana, of Belpre. She died April 9, 1870, aged 81, for 36 years a widow. They had nine children.

Frederick Augustus Foster married Sarah Arnold of Lancaster, Ohio. She died 1831. He married second wife Elizabeth Wilson of Lancaster. Mr. Frederick Foster is still living in Lancaster and is the only one of this family who survives. He has had nine children, only four of whom are living.

Theodore Sedgwick Foster married Jane Barclay. Died 1825, without children. Mr. Peregrine Foster is described as one "distinguished for uprightness and honor, for his energy and perseverance, and was of fine personal appearance and affable manners."

The above facts were obtained in part from Dr. Hildreth's Pioneer History, and from the Public Records of Washington County, also from the History of the Descendants of John Dwight of Dedham, Mass., by Benjamin Dwight and the Life of General Putnam.



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Campaign Wagers - 1880

The Marietta Times, November 11, 1880:

One of the many queer bets of the campaign was paid on Friday night by Enos Harding wheeling Will Morse in a wheelbarrow from the City Hall in Harmar to the Court House in this city and return.  The Hon. John Irvine, who was a party to the wager, fanned Mr. Morse with three large palm leaf fans, during his fatiguing ride.  The Turner Band escorted them over the bridge, while quite a crowd followed them to their journey's end on this side, where Sheriff Stedman met them and furnished something substantial for the inner man.

Wheeling Register, November 9, 1880:

News from Notes from Parkersburg, W. Va., Nov. 6, 1880

Our city to-day witnessed the closing scenes of a novel procession from Marietta, Ohio, the result of a political wager on the late election.

In the event of the election of Garfield, J. Hill of Marietta, Ohio, agreed to trundle a wheelbarrow filled with shavings, from the Court House at Marietta to the Court House in Parkersburg, W. Va., a distance of 12 miles and according to the terms of the wager, was to make the distance in 3 hours and 29 minutes (329 you know).  

A light wheelbarrow was constructed for the occasion, and accompanied by the other party to the wager, Mr. J. Phlug in a buggy, and with a few friends on foot, they left the starting point, crossing the Ohio river at Williamstown, and down the West Virginia side to Parkersburg.  The hero of the occasion is a small man, rather below medium size, but is certainly possessed of good nerve and indomitable courage to undertake such a trip through the mud and rain.

The Standard brass band of Marietta came down to Parkersburg on a boat, and with quite a number of our citizens, met the hero at the northern end of the city and escorted him to the court house, where they arrived in a drenching rain storm, a few minutes ahead of the specified time, and was received with a rousing cheer.

At this time Col. Jere Hill appeared on the balcony of the Hill House, and in a few well chosen words, bade them welcome to our city and closed with an invitation to the hero of the march and all accompanying friends, to walk over to the Hill House and refresh the inner man, which was accepted, and a vote of thanks tendered their hospitable host.  

The wheelbarrow was on exhibition in the clerk's office for an hour, where it was examined by your correspondent.  It was something after the style of an ordinary wheelbarrow, but very light, and nicely painted, and ornamented with small flags.  Each side bore that single word which struck dismay to the thousands of Democrats on the 3d of November - "defeated."  In the centre stood a small flag staff with the following:  Time 3.29.  After all had partaken of a good dinner at the Hill House and some music by the band, our visitors left for their homes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Supernatural Knocking

The Marietta Intelligencer, February 14, 1850:

Some time since we were requested to publish a detailed account of a mysterious "Knocking at the Door," at nights which alarmed the people of Rochester, N.Y., who attributed it to spiritual agency. Not having much faith, we declined inserting the report of a Committee appointed to investigate the matter, or to notice particularly the statements of the press. The mystery was explained by a learned professor in the American Journal of Science as the effect of the vibration of a dam over which water falls. It turns out, however, to have been a trick played upon the wise ones by some mischievous girls. It was a piece with the mysterious ghost-talkings of some Pugh family in Wood County, Virginia, a few years ago - which most of our readers here-abouts well remember.

Brother Jonathan, Vol. 4, No. 5, Feb. 4, 1843:

The Last Ghost Story - A Mr. Pugh, formerly of Wood county, Va., who died some years ago, is said to have revisited this wicked world within the last two weeks, and every night holds a conversation with his children. We are prepared for any exhibition of credulity and superstition which may be offered us. The success of Mormonism and Millerism makes every thing in that way possible.