Sunday, June 25, 2017

Gardner's Beacon, Vol VII, No 1

This issue of Gardner's Beacon reports on several research activities of the last six months. These will be covered in more detail the next issue of The Gardner Annals (to be published later in 2017).
Vol. VII, No. 1
  • The Old Planters Society - At the first meeting in 1899, Col. Thomas W. Higginson gave an introduction about the motivation which had been summarized by the organizing committee. 
  • The Massachusetts Magazine - The TMM ran from 1908 to 1918. All issues have been digitized. The Gardner Annals provided Table of Contents for the first five Volumes in the issue of December of 2016. In the next issue, the remaining Table of Contents will be covered. 
  • TMM - Contributors - As well, there will be commentary on authors and articles. First up are F.B. Sanborn, Col. Thomas W. Higginson, and Judge Francis M. Thompson. These three were of the 19th century and had remarkable careers. Col. Higginson supported John Brown, brought help to the Territory of Kansas in its pre-Civil War struggles, and led the first colored regiment during the Civil War. He also was a correspondent for The Atlantic and a regularly interchanged mail with Emily Dickinson. Of course, Dr. Frank was central to the theme. His sister, Lucie, reported on meetings of family associations and carried forward work of Sidney Perley.  
Additionally, there is reference to the new URL, namely At this site, we will adapt a new format. While this activity is in process, the old site will be considered heritage (archival). Plus the new site will be the mail handler for the organization (contact - And, this year, we will print the first two volumes of The Gardner Annals with the first three volumes of Gardner's Beacon. We will announce when these are ready to be purchased.


See Vol. VII, No. 1 of Gardner's Beacon for a review of research to date.

Remarks: Modified: 03/03/2019

07/03/2017 -- Forgot to mention Rev. John Wise in the above writeup.

03/03/2019 -- We're building an index via images on our portal to truth.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Gardner Research citation

Until a few days ago, we thought that we were the only defenders of Nathaniel Eaton. Along that line, we, recently, did a post on Nathaniel Eaton and noted his academic accomplishments which were substantial. Yet, he is vilified via Harvard's view related to tales told. Or, so it seems to go. Too, notice that we remark, in the post, about Dr. Frank's ignoring this subject.

Then, very recently, we were contacted by David Danielson Eaton who is a descendant of Nathaniel and is member of The Eaton Families Association (EFA). This group has been at it since 1884 and so will be of interest. Too, they have a connection with descendants of Theophilus Eaton. He was the brother of Nathaniel. We got an update to Nathaniel's Wikipedia page.

As an aside, as the Gardner Research article (next) was being prepared, the Eaton group was writing about Nathaniel (newsletters for members only). We have a copy of an article published by the EFA in defense of Nathaniel (Barbara Fitzsenry The 'New' Etonian (June 2015) "A Discussion of Nathaniel Eaton's Reputation as Seen by History").

This article was not seen prior to the Gardner Research article about Dr. Frank being a descendant: TGA Vol. II, No. I "Benjamin Brown Gardner (and Nathaniel Eaton)" which was published too in TEG 35:1. In our article, we commented that Nathaniel's experience at Harvard needs another look; there have been many posts alluding to this theme.

In a coming TGA, we will reprint parts of the EFA paper. Too, though, we learned that the Gardner Research article had been referenced in an Eaton article in The American Genealogist (see image).

As an aside, many early writers noted that Anna, the daughter of Benoni who was a son of Nathaniel, died young. But, we referenced the notion of H.H. Crapo and the Knapp family that Anna married and had offspring. Too, we have this excerpt from a New Haven meeting in which Anna's information is corrected in pencil: The family of Nathaniel Eaton (at the Boston Library, available via

No doubt, there is a lot to the stories and their provenances. But, it will be good to have Nathaniel get another hearing. Expect this theme to be continued in the near future.

One motivation. This may have been an early witch hunt. Dr. Frank's ancestors can tell us of that. As well, the whole theme applies to today (various ways). To us, it is another example of New England's long reach.


Note (01/06/2022 - see Remarks, this day, for the motivation for the addendum) -- We have seen two The Harvard Crimson ( that were dated 2014 and 2019. We never thought to check further as there were plenty of other fish (gutted?) to fry. Too, we were confirming information about Benoni and lots of other persons of that time and place. Imagine Benoni's life, in Cambridge after his father left first, then his family (who were shipwrecked?). Whatever the tales, the phenomenal aspects are our main interest. But, to be complete, we did a search and found these tales, from the past: 23 September 19405 November 1940, 10 December 1949, 25 September 1979, and 14 February 2007. There are many more links listed by Google to a specific query (the harvard crimson - eaton - pudding - dung); it would be interesting to extend this research (future grant). At least one mentioned the PhD and MD degrees, later extended. There wasn't much on Eaton's Virginia time with a supposed new family. On the other hand, the tale is there. Let's leave this, for now - see Richard Norton Smith's The Harvard Century: The Making of a University to a Nation (1998) and Elizabeth Tucker's Campus Legends: A Handbook (2005) (quote: Goat's dung and mackerel guts rival modern "fast food" legends in the degree of disgust that they inspire. From this account and others, it seems clear that America's first college students enjoyed telling stories that highlighted -- and probably exaggerated -- the most shocking details of their miserable meals at college) which can be previewed. 

Remarks: Modified: 01/06/2022

08/03/2017 -- What is the coolest obscure history fact you know? This question, on Quora, seemed a good place to present some of research findings. Nathaniel's experience is first, since the answer deals with Harvard and its roles. Not to condone bad behavior, however we need to look at this from Nathaniel's side, too. He was highly educated before coming over here. He met up with uncouth youth of the colonies. Now, here is an issue. Do you realize how Captains on ships treated their measly sailors? Not well. One might say torture. Too, slavery has been the norm for mankind for a very long time. Seems to sit well with some cultures, even today, that is, misbehavior there on the part of slavers, of several type. Incidentally, look at how the Puritans handled their misfits. Say, Quakers? The look from now to then, seemingly celebrated each year at the esteemed institution, is (has been) one-sided.

08/09/2017 -- In the School of Tyrannus (2014). Left this comment (Some of the 'apologies' (see latest updates on the Wikipedia page for Nathaniel) may have come from descendants (via Benoni who was left in Cambridge). Over the years, several have researched the matter which, to me (an outsider, and in-law, and johnny-come-lately), does need another look. See thomasgardnerofsalem for an overview.) on the page. There needs to be an engaged discourse.

08/06/2018 -- Added Benoni Eaton, son of Nathaniel Eaton and father of Anna (Eaton) Knapp to WikiTree.

09/27/2018 -- Nathaniel Eaton in the U.S. Christian Encyclopedia.

02/28/2019 -- Corrected a typo.

10/10/2021 -- The Count features in our history of Harvard (a special project dedicated to Nathaniel Eaton). 

01/06/2022 -- Refresh on Eaton (7 Nov 2019), balanced with Dunster (our series on the History of Harvard) who was next. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Judge Francis M. Thompson

Next up is Judge Francis M. Thompson of Greenfield, MA. This post continues our review of editors and contributors to The Massachusetts Magazine (started by Dr. Frank). Earlier, we looked at R.A. Douglas-Litghow, MD, LLDF. B. Sanborn, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Thomas brought troops and supplies to Kansas in 1854 from New England, among other things).

Among other accomplishments, Francis was author of The History of Greenfield (Vol I -, Vol II - We will look at that.

For now, we want to list the articles published in the TMM, in order of their appearance. Both Thomas and Francis were out west prior to the Civil War. Francis spent more time and was a pioneer in Montana. So, there is a lot to cover.

The articles were titled "Reminiscences of Four-Score Years" and started to appear with Volume V.
We will go through these in more detail as they pertain to the westward expansion. The Montana Historical Society Press published Francis' story (2004): A Tenderfoot in Montana. The reprint mentions that the text came out of The Massachusetts Magazine.

Remarks: Modified: 07/08/2022

06/17/2018 -- F. M. will be featured in The Gardner Annals, Vol. IV, No. 1

03/07/2019 -- Added image from this post to the index on our portal to truth.

10/28/2019 -- Mentioned the Judge in a comment at this post: Seeking refuge in the valley

07/08/2022 -- We're adding new material to another post and will link in here. The WikiTree of his father, John Thompson (Thompson-35810). F.M. is the 8th generation

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

We admit being late in writing about Thomas Wentworth Higginson. He was a contributor to, and editor of, the Massachusetts Magazine. Earlier, we looked at R.A. Douglas-Litghow, MD, LLD and F. B. Sanborn.

Today, I saw that several authors, including F.B. and Dr. Frank, had written about Thomas after he died (TMM, Vol. IV (1911), No. 3, pg 139). F.B. noted that he had corresponded with Thomas in regard to a topic that we addressed earlier (Final migration), in a different context. We quoted Cordley's book about the early efforts to found Lawrence, KS. There have been several posts about the long reach of New England into the western part of the country.

F.B. gives us a deeper look at the activity of Thomas in this regard. He helped form the State Kansas Committee. He was an active abolitionist. One motivation was the Charles Sumner attack. Charles was beaten in the Senate by a Southern Representative (1856). Too, Thomas, personally, knew, and admired, John Brown (more on that later). And, events in bleeding Kansas had gotten more violent.

There were several names for the Committee, such as The National Kansas Committee, as reported by The National Magazine, in Vol.17 (1893). Wikipedia does not have a page for this activity which is an oversight to be fixed.

Related material at Territorial Kansas On-line.

Thomas printed his notes and letters (in the New York Tribune) from his 1856 visit to Kanzas. Thomas stopped in several towns and wrote a lot of Lawrence. He gives us a view of the area just prior to the Civil War which ensued, largely, from those events out west.

We will look at all aspects of Thomas' life. He is [almost] a descendant of Thomas Gardner of Salem. Thomas was also first President of The Old Planters Society.
  • Note: 03/07/2022 -- Thomas' grandfather, John (#10, pg 13), married, in 1695, a descendant of Thomas and had six children. She died in 1713. His second wife was the mother of Stephen, father of Thomas. 
Several of the TMM authors had ventured west. For instance, Judge Francis M. Thompson, of Greenfield, MA, toured the west following Lewis and Clark. Too, he was a pioneer of Montana.


We used Col. T. W. Higginson (WikiTree, Higginson-380) as an example of the "Blended family" that was so common. This example comes from the early times and was documented by T. W. himself which we show with these two images. First, we have T. W.'s description of himself. 

 Then, we show the association of two of his great aunts with Harvard men: John Thornton Kirkland and A. Lawrence Lowell.  

Higginson and Harvard

Remarks: Modified: 09/23/2022

06/15/2017 -- Thomas donated his files related to Kansas to the Kansas Historical Society. Story of His Life (1914) by Mary Potter Thacher Higginson. "Kansas and John Brown" from The Writings of Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

07/11/2017 -- In 1929, a plague was put in a park in Lawrence, KS. It lists the names of the members of the first two parties. Thomas W. Higginson arrive two years later.

07/12/2017 -- Sanborn and Higginson were in the Secret Six.

08/13/2017 -- Posts on Lawrence (and surrounds): Trails WestWestward HoBlogging and suchFinal MigrationThomas Wentworth HigginsonKansas and Lawrence.

03/07/2019 -- Added image from this post to the index on our portal to truth.

09/16/2019 -- The Colonel wrote a book on his ancestor, Rev. Francis Higginson, who is buried in the Charter Street Cemetery in Salem, MA.

03/07/2022 -- The WikiTree profile for Thomas W. Higginson (Higginson-380) is fairly complete. 

09/23/2022 -- Added info from Col T.W.'s book about his lineage. There are many Harvard graduates mentioned, both related and of a collateral family. Higginson was old Cambridge University. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sidney at his best

Perley, of course. While working on the next issue of The Gardner Annals, I am looking at The Massachusetts Magazine, The Essex Antiquarian, and others. Too, we are looking at how Lucie M. Gardner picked up Sidney's work.

But, this little article on chimney sweeping got my attention. That, folks, was England and New England.

Please read the article. No need to say anything more.

Remarks: Modified: 06/02/2019 

06/14/2017 -- Sidney's periodical is available for ready at Hathi Trust: The Essex antiquarian : an illustrated ... magazine devoted to the biography, genealogy, history and antiquities of Essex County, Massachusetts.

Sidney last published Oct 1909. The next issue of The Massachusetts Magazine had the first continuation by Lucie.

06/02/2019 - Profile of Sidney on WikiTree.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Franklin Benjamin Sanborn

Earlier, we looked at an author that helped Dr. Frank with his magazine, namely R.A. Douglas-Litghow, MD, LLD. RA was quite prolific.

There are many more, but let's look at F.B. Sanborn (updated the Wiki page with a pointer to the Massachusetts Magazine - See Remarks, 10/09/2022) who popped up as we were looking at, and digging into, the minutes of The Old Planters Society of Salem. In 1916, F.B. gave a talk about Hector St. John, calling him an evasive planter. The story is interesting.
It is interesting that Hector was the namesake of St. Johnsbury, VT through his friend, Ethan Allen.

There will be more in the upcoming issue of The Gardner Annals.

Too, we will bring forward all of the Old Planter Society minutes that we can find.


F.B. was remembered in TMM, Vol. X, No. 4.


The Wikipedia page has been extensively updated so show the huge amount of work accomplished by F.B. Sanborn. We ran into him through his remembrance of Col. TW Higginson. Too, as a graduate of Harvard, we have seen reference to F.B. during our look at the institution, so we will get back to him. For now, we can add a link to his WikiTree information: Sanborn-1542

Remarks: Modified: 11/16/2022

06/14/2017 -- F.B. corresponded with Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

07/12/2017 -- The Significance of Being Frank. ... Sanborn and Higginson were in the Secret Six.

06/04/2018 -- Added the snap from The Massachusetts Magazine Vol. X, No. 4.

03/07/2019 -- Added image from this post to the index on our portal to truth.

10/09/2022 -- Got to love Wikipedia's technology. Mentioned that  F.B.'s page had been updated with information about his writing about Hector St. John plus the talk at the Old Planters Society which has been published in The Massachusetts Magazine. This entry was there from 2017 until 2021 when it was removed via this edit. 
Had thought today to look at this since F.B. was mentioned on the Col. TW Higginson page. The Col and his family were covered in the recent issues of Gardner's Beacon, Vol. XII. No. 2

11/16/2022 -- Research continues; papers arise to awareness. One, of late, that appeared in The American Genealogist, had to do with the family of F. B. It is of interest to us for several reasons. He's a cuz. Too, there were several New Hampshire families involved with the Sanborn family. Then, a link was made from the immigrants to their grandmother. Our first intimation was a reference on WikiTree in a G2G context. We looked then and were intrigued. Then, Gary Boyd Roberts wrote of Sanborn, yesterday, in the context of his Royal Descent book (three vols) which just went to the printer. The post by GBR: Royal News Since the Release of Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, and the United States. Second Edition. As well, today, I put a link to this post on the F.B. Sanborn page on Wikipedia (the Talk page). As an aside, this list of posts references F.B. and his work and life. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Old Planters Society

Thomas Wentworth Higginson was the first President of The Old Planters Society (TOPS) that instituted in 1899. Frank A. Gardner, M.D. was Vice-President. The members list consists of illustrious descendants of the early colonists (see below).

The following documents are found at
In the pamphlet, published June 19, 1900, there is an overview of the society (page 11) and its motivations. We have seen this mentioned elsewhere, but one purpose was educational. And, one focus was to get those here before 1630 included in historical looks, excluding the "Mayflower people." 

The Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. agrees with this view and will carry this forward using The Gardner Annals. The issue for Vol. IV, No. 1 is in preparation.  

In that same section, we find the reading list of the Society. These are on our bibliography, but we will be looking at them again. 

Finally, the pamphlet starts out with a talk by Col. Higginson. It was titled "The Alliance between Pilgrim and Puritan in Massachusetts." The TOPS published many talks which we will document. 

Of note, briefly, though, is that in 1900, Col. Higginson was 77 years of age. Many other members were elderly.

Dr. Frank and his sister were much younger. Too, later, Lucie M. Gardner was Secretary of the TOPS. TOPS published via The Massachusetts Magazine (started printing in 1908) while it was published. Lucie edited a section that was titled "Pilgrims and Planters" that reported on meetings of the TOPS, offered commentary, and gave notice of the activity of other organizations, such as the Balch Family Association and The Gardner Family Association. The TMM ceased publishing in 1918. 


Earlier, we wrote of this group in a post (December 2012): Old Planters, Massachusetts. A corresponding post covered another group (May 2011): Old Planters, Beverly.  

Remarks: Modified: 11/20/2019 

06/14/2017 -- Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Bleeding Kansas. The Massachusetts Magazine (Vol. II, No. 2, pg 117)  reported that it was an official arm of the Old Planters Society.

06/04/2019 -- Sidney on the Old Planters Society via The Massachusetts Magazine

11/20/2019 -- Sidney on the Old Planters in his History of Salem (page 60).  Starting at page 68, Sidney publishes Dr. Frank's look at the early times of the Gardners.