Sunday, January 18, 2015

Benjamin Brown Gardner

We're working on an article about Benjamin Brown Gardner who was the grandfather of Dr. Frank A. and who was married to Lucy Foster Wilson (see image of tombstone, below). While doing the research, we have started to fill an ahnentafel (see draft).

One name that came up was Nathaniel Eaton (#84) whose story has been told many times and ways; these stories, too, lead to even many more interpretations. So, we will have to weigh in, from the position of descendants.

For now, here is a little preview.
  • Nathaniel was an interesting character who deserves more study. He was the brother of Theophilus Eaton (Deputy Governor of the Eastland Company) and of Samuel Eaton (A.B. Harvard 1649) and a scholar. 
  • He was the “first head of Harvard College; removed from office September 1639, fled to Virginia, ... took degrees of Ph.D. and M.D. at Padua in 1647” and was arrested for debt.  
  • After the move to Virginia in 1640, he sent for his wife and kids; their ship disappeared, and Nathaniel's family never arrived.  
  • Nathaniel's son, Benoni, was left behind, when his mother left for Virginia, in Cambridge under the care of Dea. Chesholme and the Church and has descendants.   
As with many persons who are not around to argue their position, a lot has been said and written without retort or clarification. Per usual, we are gathering all that we can find. However, even in the discovery state, the discussion can proceed.

Remarks: Modified: 04/08/2017

01/21/2015 - All sorts of juxtapositions existed then which can tell us about now (nothing new under the sun?). Nathaniel's life seems a crux of several of these. His accomplishments at the University of Padua denote talent that is beyond the norm. Was his experience "the first witch hunt" as some claim? "Just what are the real tales" and "how we ought to view them?" are still open issues. ... As said, we are gathering all references to Nathaniel that we can find, in order to tell the definitive story (as much as we can, so long after the fact). ... The WSJ, last year, reviewed 'Ebony & Ivy' in which we see that Nathaniel owned a slave who served Harvard students. Too, though, note one student, later, talking of trading slaves from his dorm room. Also, an abolitionist thrown out due to his view in the 1830s? 'Bondage' is the theme, in one sense, as in, are we not all bond servants of something (note: are birds free from the chains of the skyway? - or such, thanks BD). ... One fact? The 400th will be much more interesting than the anniversary a century ago. Have you noticed all of the Magna Charta (800th, this year) mentions coming out of the woodwork? ... Speaking of which: Harvard and Slavery (event).

01/21/2015 -- Nathaniel Knapp, grandson of Benoni Eaton.

01/22/2015 -- Eaton Genealogy. ... Nice writeup on Nathaniel.

01/24/2015 -- February 2015 issue of TEG will have the article on BBG which shows his line to Nathaniel.

02/07/2015 -- In the What-is-new folder, added a mention of a preview of the upcoming TEG issue and of Henry Howland Crapo (Certain Comeoverers Vol II) who is a Nathaniel descendant.

02/27/2015 -- See TEG, Vol. 35, No. 1 (also TGA, Vol. II, No. 1 - pg 6). Discussion continues.

03/12/2015 -- Grave stone, Harmony Grove Cemetery, Dr. Frank's grandmother. See above for her sourced ahnentafel.

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