Sunday, June 26, 2011


Marietta Register, December 28, 1871

Some weeks ago, in noticing the removal of the remains of twenty-seven persons from the original cemetery in Marietta, abandoned seventy years ago, to Oak Grove, we gave some account of Gen. James M. Varnum, who was a distinguished man, and whose remains were then identified.  This paper was sent by Mrs. Beman Gates, to Dracut, Mass., the native place of Gen. Varnum, and drew forth the following reply:

Dracut, Mass., Nov. 21, 1871.

Dear Sir:

The paper which you sent "To any of the name of Varnum," was passed to me on Saturday last.  Please accept my thanks, for nothing could have been more acceptable.  I have made myself acquainted with some part of the history of Gen. James Mitchell Varnum, but the article in your paper poke of some things which I never knew before.  I first became interested in his history by seeing his portrait hung in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, among the Generals of Revolutionary fame.  I found a record of his birth in our town books, traced him to Rhode Island, through the war of the Revolution, and finally to Marietta, where he died.

The Marietta Register that you sent me, says he was born in Dracut, Mass., in 1749.  The town record is that he was born Dec. 17, 1748, and was the son of Samuel and Hannah Varnum.

It is true that the farm on which his great-grandfather settled is still in the family.  The name of his great-grandfather was Samuel, and he came from Wales, settled in Ipswich first, and afterwards removed to Chelmsford, on Merrimack river, opposite of what is now Dracut.  He purchased land of the Indians, in Dracut, and was the first settler.  He named the town Dracut from the name of his native town in Wales.  His son Thomas remained on the parental farm, and the sons that have remained on that farm have all been named Thomas, although the name of Samuel has always been preserved.

The Thomas who is the present owner is a prosperous farmer, and I think the sixth of that name who has owned the farm.  Samuel Varnum, his uncle, resides with him, is a bachelor, and now some 79 years of age.

You will not probably care to read much about the family, but as you took the trouble to send me the paper, I thought you might be interested to know some further facts.  I have for some time been collecting facts, thinking that some time I might publish a history of Dracut.  Thanking you again for your favor, allow me to subscribe myself.

Atkinson C. Varnum.

[To] Beman Gates, Esq.

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