Century Mass. literature,
posted August 2004, revised Aug 2006
History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts
edited by Simeon L. Deyo.
1890. New York: H. W. Blake & Co
By E. S. Whittemore, Esq.
The Judiciary of the County.—First Courts.—Formation of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.—Revision of the Judiciary.—Courts of the Revolutionary Period.—Early Magistrates.—Judges of the Court of Common Pleas.—Court of County Commissioners.—Probate Courts.—Trial Justices.—The Bar of Barnstable County.—Lawyers, Past and Present.—Law Library Association.—District Courts.
THE history of the Old Colony, as to its judiciary systems, is divided into four periods: that immediately after the coming of the Pilgrims and Puritans at Plymouth, to 1692, when the colonies were united; from this time to the revolutionary period; during this time to its termination, October 19, 1781; and from the surrender of Cornwallis to the present time, which is mostly within the memory of men now living.
As early as 1639, the general court of the Plymouth colony attempted to form a judicial system, but much of it was vague and indefinite in its jurisdiction; the people were obliged to use such materials as they had. The earliest attempt of the court to form an infant judiciary, was to nominate and appoint three men from as many towns in the county, to hear and determine suits and controversies between parties within the townships, whose jurisdiction was not to exceed three pounds. The general court enacted, in the year 1666, that there should be three courts in each year in the county, for the trial of causes by jury, and it was further enacted that no courts of assistants, except the governor, on special occasion see fit to summon such court, and at such court the governor and three of the magistrates at least, must be present at trials. It was also enacted where the amount in controversy was less than forty shillings, it should be tried by a court of selectmen, from the decision of which court an appeal might be taken to the next court of his majesty at Plymouth, provided the appellant furnish security to prosecute such appeal.
Soon after the settlement at Plymouth, the governor and his assistants were constituted a judicial body, and supreme in jurisdiction, and it was substantially a court of appeal, from inferior courts.
In 1685, it became a law in this colony to establish in the three counties of Bristol, Plymouth, and Barnstable, two courts in each county, which should be presided over by three magistrates, residing in their several counties, a majority of whom constituted the requisite number to make a legal decision. Such county courts had the power vested in them to hear, try and determine according to law, all matters, actions, cases and complaints, both civil and criminal, not extending to life, limb or banishment, or matters of divorce.
The same year (1685) the general court passed a law, that Barnstable, Sandwich, Yarmouth and Eastham, the villages of Sippican, Succonesset and Monomoy, should be a county, Barnstable the county town, and said county be called the county of Barnstable, in which should be held two county courts annually at the county town, giving them power to settle and dispose, according to law, the estate of any person dying intestate within the county, to grant letters of administration, and take probate of wills; to make orders about county prisons, highways and bridges, and as occasion should demand, order rates to be made in the several towns to defray county charges.
The general court adopted the common law of England, that a magistrate or any court should have power to determine all such matters of equity in cases or actions that had been under their cognizance as could not be reached by the common law; such as the forfeiture of an obligation, breach of covenants without great damage, or the like matters of apparent equity. But all judgments acknowledged before any two magistrates and the clerk of the court should be good and sufficient in law.
It became a law in 1662, that every town in this colony should choose three or five discreet men annually, who should in June be presented to the general court at Plymouth for appearance, who, after being duly sworn before a magistrate, should have power to hear, try and determine all actions of debt, trespass or damage, and other causes, not exceeding forty shillings in its jurisdiction. This was the court of selectmen, which had four annual sessions. The record dimly shadows the fact that as early as 1640-2 there was established a "Select Court," whose limit of jurisdiction was twenty shillings.
By virtue of the charter of William and Mary, granted in 1691-2, among other rights were, that Massachusetts bay, the colony of New Plymouth, the province of Maine and Nova Scotia were united and made one province, called the province of the Massachusetts bay, which union marked a new order of things in these provinces. This period inaugurated, among other things, a revision of the judiciary, making, changing and revising much of it.
The first session of the general court, under the new charter, met at Boston on June 8, 1692, and continued nineteen days, until June 27,
1692. It was ordered at this first session of the general court, that all the local laws made by the late governor and company of Massachusetts bay and of New Plymouth, not repugnant to the laws of England nor inconsistent with the present constitution and settlement by their majesties' royal charter, do remain and continue in full force in the respective places for which they were made and used until November 10, 1692, excepting in cases where other provision is or shall be made by this court or assembly; and all persons were required to conform themselves accordingly: and the several justices were thereby empowered to the execution of said laws as the magistrates formerly were. On June 28, 1692, an act was passed for holding courts of justice on or before the last Tuesday of July, 1692, to be a general sessions of the peace, held in each county of the province, by the justices of the same county, or three of them at least, who were empowered to hear and determine all matters relating to the conservation of the peace, and whatever was by them cognizable by law; the said justices being approved by the selectmen of each town. "That the sessions of the peace be successively held within the several counties, at the same times and places, as the county courts, or inferior courts of common pleas, are hereinafter appointed to be kept. That they shall hear and determine all civil actions arising or happening within the same, triable at the common law according to former usage. The justices for said court, in the county of Suffolk, shall be appointed and commissioned by the Governor, with advice and consent of the council;— that all writs and attachments shall issue out of the clerk's office of the said several courts, signed by the clerk of such court," and the jurors to serve at said courts, were to be chosen according to former custom, and qualified as was directed in their majesties royal charter. —This act was to continue until other provision be made by the general court or assembly.
An act was passed, November 25, 1692, establishing judicatories and courts of justice within this province, which were similar in their powers and jurisdictions, to those hitherto existing. Their majesties' justices of the peace had jurisdiction of all manner of debts, trespasses and other matters not exceeding forty shillings, wherein the title to land was concerned, from which decisions the defendant had the right of appeal to the next inferior court of common pleas. There were quarter sessions of the peace, by the justices of the peace in the same county, held at specified places, each three months in the county, to hear and determine all matters relating to the conservation of the peace, and punishment of offenders, and all other things cognizable by them according to law.
There was a superior court of judicature extending, in its jurisdiction, over the whole province, having a chief justice and four other
associate justices, three of whom constituted a quorum, having general jurisdiction of causes both civil and criminal. The terms of court were held for the counties of Barnstable, Plymouth and Bristol, at Plymouth on the last Tuesday of February. Wherever this court was held, the justices held a court of assize and general goal delivery. A high court of chancery was held, to hear and determine all matters in equity, which could not be reached by the courts of law. This court was held by the governor, or such other as he might appoint as chancellor, assisted by eight or more of the council. Any party in this court could appeal, wherein the matter in controversy exceeded three hundred pounds sterling.
By the authority of the province charter of William and Mary of 1691-2, power was given to the governor and council to grant the probate of wills, and appoint executors and administrators on estates of deceased persons of this province.
The judiciary system, from the time of the union of the colonies, to the revolutionary period, was substantially the same in spirit, form and general jurisdiction, that existed previous to this time, yet many minor changes it was necessary to make. (See Province Laws Chap. 23, 1699. Chap. 18, 1700. Chap. 5, 1699). At the beginning of the revolutionary period, 1775-6, a court of admiralty was established, to be held at Plymouth,—its judges to be appointed by the majority of the council,—to try the justice of the capture of any vessel brought into either Barnstable, Plymouth, Bristol, Dukes county or Nantucket. Subsequently the jurisdiction of this court was enlarged. The laws relating to the judiciary, after the beginning of the revolutionary period, were enacted to be in full force and virtue until November 1, 1785, by the session held at Boston, November 1, 1779, continuing sundry laws that then existed, and were near expiring, with all and every clause, matter or thing therein respectively.
The magistrates of the earliest courts in the Old Colony, officiated as early as 1640, i.e., Edmund Freeman of Sandwich, Thomas Dimock of Barnstable; and John Crow of Yarmouth. A court was held at Yarmouth June 18, 1642, before Edward Winslow, Myles Standish and Edmund Freeman.
In 1679, a select court was established in each town. Those commissioned to hold them were, in Sandwich, Edmund Freeman, John Blackwell and Thomas Tupper; in Yarmouth, Edmund Howes, Ensign Thacher, Edward Sturgis, John Miller, and Jeremiah Howes; in Barnstable, Joseph Lothrop, James Lewis, and Barnabas Lothrop; and in Eastham, Jonathan Sparrow, Mark Snow, and John Doane. In 1689, Jonathan Sparrow of Eastham and Stephen Skiffe of Sandwich were appointed county judges.
After the union of the colonies, the following is the list of the judges of the court of common pleas of the county of Barnstable:
December 7, 1692, John Freeman, Eastham; December 7, 1692, Bar's Lothrop, Barnstable; December 7, 1692, John Thacher, Yarmouth; December 7, 1692, Stephen Skiffe, Sandwich; March 6, 1695, Jon'n Sparrow, Eastham; July 17, 1699, John Sparrow, Eastham; June 8, 1710, Wm. Bassett, Sandwich; July 5, 1713, Daniel Parker, Barnstable; July 5, 1713, Thomas Payne, Eastham; April, 1715, John Otis, Barnstable; April, 1714, Sam. Annable, Barnstable; July 20, 1711, John Gorham, Barnstable; July 5, 1713, John Doane, Eastham; July 14, 1715, Mela'h Bourne, Sandwich; July 14, 1715, Sam. Sturgis, Barnstable; December 10, 1715, Nath. Freeman, Harwich; November 14, 1721, Jos. Lothrop, Barnstable; March 16, 1722, Jos. Doane, Eastham; December 26, 1727, Ezra Bourne, Sandwich; March 10, 1729, Peter Thacher, Yarmouth; March 10, 1729, Shub'l Baxter, Yarmouth; June 22, 1736, John Thacher, Yarmouth; June 22, 1736, John Davis, Barnstable; December 21, 1739, John Russell, Barnstable; January 27, 1742, Shub. Gorham, Barnstable; January 27, 1742, Dav. Crocker, Barnstable; August 9, 1746, John Otis, Barnstable; February 24, 1763, Roland Cotton, Sandwich; May 9, 1770, Is'c Hinckley, Barnstable; September 13, 1753, Thos. Winslow, Harwich; June 2, 1758, Sylv. Bourne, Barnstable; August 2, 1758, Thos. Smith, Sandwich; December 19, 1758, Row. Robinson, Falmouth; May 23, 1760, Ny's Marston, Barnstable; February 1, 1764, James Otis, Barnstable; February 1, 1764, Edw. Bacon, Barnstable; June 20, 1765, John Gorham, Barnstable.
At the interruption of the revolutionary period the following were known to belong to the common pleas court: Melatiah Bourne, Shearjashub Bourne, David Gorham, Solomon Otis, Kenelm Winslow, David Thacher, Daniel Davis, Joseph Otis, and Richard Bourne.
Immediately following 1774, the appointment of judges was conferred upon the governor alone, and the first appointments in the county were in the names of the "Governor and People of Massachusetts Bay," viz.: October 11, 1775, James Otis, Barnstable; Nath. Freeman, Sandwich; Daniel Davis, Barnstable; and Richard Baxter, Yarmouth. The following appointments were also made : October 13, 1775, Joseph Nye, jr., Sandwich ; March, 27, 1781, Sol. Freeman, Harwich; March 21, 1793, John Davis, Barnstable; June 28, 1799, Ebenezer Bacon, Barnstable; February 11, 1801, David Scudder, Barnstable; February 14, 1803, Sam'l Waterman, Wellfleet; February 20, 1804, Thomas Thacher, Yarmouth ; February 22, 1809, Isaiah L. Green, Barnstable ; February, 1809, Timothy Phinney, Barnstable; August 22, 1809, Wendell Davis, Sandwich.
As session justices for the county (immediately after the circuit court of common pleas was established) Richard Sears of Chatham was commissioned June 10, 1814, and Calvin Tilden of Yarmouth on February 15, 1815.
Since the beginning of this century, the following were appointed judges of the court of common pleas for this county : Nath. Freeman, Sandwich, chief justice; John Davis. Barnstable, chief justice, 1811; Jos. Dimick, Falmouth, chief justice, 1808: James Freeman, Sandwich, justice, 1808; Sam'l Freeman, Eastham, justice, 1811; Isaiah L. Green, Barnstable, justice, 1812; Sol'n Freeman, Brewster, justice, 1812; Richard Sears, Chatham, justice, 1816; Calvin Tilden, Yarmouth, justice, 1816; Sam'l P. Crosswell, Falmouth, justice, 1819; Elijah Cobb, Brewster, justice, 1819 ; Elisha Doane, Yarmouth, justice, 1819; Naler Crocker, Barnstable, special justice, 1822; Melatiah Bourne, Sandwich, special justice, 1822.
The legislature of 1828 abolished the court of sessions and commissioners of highways, and established in their place, a court of county commissioners, since which time this board has been composed as below indicated. The first court of county commissioners was organized in 1828, with Samuel T. Crosswell, Matthew Cobb, and Obed Brooks as commissioners. On the 11th of June, 1835, Jesse Boyden of Sandwich, Michael Collins of Eastham and Alexander Baxter of Yarmouth, having been elected, organized under the statute of the preceding April. Chapter XIV. of the Revised Statutes provided that on and after the first Monday in April, 1838, three commissioners should be chosen every third year to serve three years. In 1838 Jesse Boyden, Michael Collins and Charles Sears were elected;—in 1841, Zenas D. Bassett, Isaac Hardy, and John Newcomb; in 1844 and 1847, Seth Crowell of Dennis, Ebenezer Nye of Falmouth, John Newcomb of Wellfleet; 1850, Seth Crowell, John Doane of Orleans, David K. Akin of Yarmouth ; 1853, John Doane, David K. Akin, and Simeon Dilllngham of Sandwich.
The act of March 11, 1854, directed the commissioners to choose by ballot one of their number to retire in 1854, one in 1855, the other to hold his office until 1856, and provided for the annual election of one commissioner at the general election each year, whose term of office should be three years. In 1855 David H. Smith succeeded David K. Akin, and in 1856 William Hewins succeeded Simeon Dilllngham. In September, 1856, Edward W. Ewer of Sandwich was elected to fill the vacancy of David H. Smith. Since that time the three year terms begin in January. The names of the several commissioners with the year in which their terms began, are as follows : 1857, James Gifford of Provincetown; 1858, Edward W. Ewer of Sandwich ; 1859, Joseph H. Sears of Brewster; 1860, John W. Davis of Wellfleet; 1861 and 1864, Erasmas Gould of Falmouth ; 1862, Joseph H. Sears of Brewster; 1863 and 1869, Daniel Paine of Truro; 1865 to 1883, James S. Howes of Dennis ; 1867 to 1875, Ebenezer S. Whittemore of Sandwich; 1872, Elijah E. Knowles of Eastham ; 1875, Jonathan Higgins of Orleans ;
1876 to 1884, Joshua C. Robinson of Falmouth; 1881, Nathan D. Freeman of Provincetown (died in office); 1886, Solomon E. Hallett of Chatham ; 1888, Samuel Snow of Barnstable; 1888, Isaiah C. Young of Wellfleet, elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of N. D. Freeman, and reelected in 1889, for further term.
By the statute of 1784, probate courts were established, with powers and jurisdiction given by the laws of the commonwealth. The appellate jurisdiction is vested in the supreme judicial courts. By the charter of William and Mary the authority was vested in the governor and council, by which probate officers were appointed in the several counties, exercising a delegated authority, from the decrees of which appeals were taken to the governor and council, who remained the supreme court of probate. Such was the commencement of the probate court as a distinct tribunal. This probate court continued to exercise probate jurisdiction, until county probate courts were established under the state constitution, and the act of 1784, under which the probate courts were first formally established, and which act provided for the holding of a probate court within the several counties, and for the appointment of judges and registers of probate, and transferred the appellate jurisdiction from the governor and council to the supreme judicial court, which is the supreme court of probate. The probate courts thus organized continued to exercise probate jurisdiction until the law of 1858, chapter 93, which abolished the office of judge of probate and provided for the appointment in each county of a suitable person to be judge of probate and judge of the court of insolvency, and be designated the judge of probate and insolvency.
The decrees of the probate court, upon subjects within its jurisdiction, are final, unless appealed from. They cannot be questioned in courts of common law, neither will a writ of error lie to its judgments, nor will certiorari lie from the supreme court; but the illegal decrees of the probate court are nullities, and may be set aside, by plea and proof; but an aggrieved party may appeal to the supreme court of probate, as prescribed by statute. The probate courts for each county have jurisdiction of the probate of the wills, of granting administration of the estates of persons who at the time of their decease, were inhabitants of or resident in the county, and of persons who die out of the Commonwealth leaving estates to be administered within the county; of the appointment of guardians to minors and others; of all matters relating to the estates of such deceased persons and wards; of petitions for the adoption of children, and for the change of names; and of such other matters as have been or may be placed within their jurisdiction by law.
Governor Joseph Dudley in 1702, in consideration of a change in
the charter of 1691, referring to the probate of wills, vesting that power in the governor and council; and finding courts established in the several counties for that purpose, ordered that these courts be continued. The incumbents have been: first, in 1693, Barnabas Lothrop; June 15, 1714, John Otis; December 26, 1727, Melatiah Bourne; January 6, 1740-1, Sylvanus Bourne; February 1, 1764, James Otis; March 27, 1781, Daniel Davis; May 27, 1799, Ebenezer Bacon; January 30, 1800, John Davis; June 8, 1825, Job E. Davis; January 11. 1828, Nymphas Marston; December 18, 1854, George Marston; May 13, 1858, Joseph M. Day; June 14, 1882, Hiram P. Harriman.
The registers of probate have been: in 1693, Joseph Lothrop; August 13, 1702, William Bassett; June 14, 1721, Nathaniel Otis; August 23, 1729, Sylvanus Bourne; January 6, 1740-1, David Gorham; August 28, 1775, Nath. Freeman; January 22, 1823, Abner Davis; March 28, 1836, Timothy Reed; June 29, 1852, Nath'l Hinckley; March 2, 1853, George Marston; December 28, 1854, Joseph M. Day; Rufus S. Pope; June 29, 1858, Charles F. Swift; 1858, Jonathan Higgins; 1874, Charles Thacher, 2d; 1884, Freeman H. Lothrop.
The statute of 1858, Chapter 138, authorized the governor to designate, not exceeding nine justices of the peace, in the county of Barnstable, as trial justices, to try criminal offenders, whose jurisdiction extended to any town in the county. Subsequently their jurisdiction was enlarged by statute of 1877, Chapter 211, which authorized them to have original and concurrent jurisdiction with the superior court of civil actions of contract, tort, or replevin, where the debt or damages demanded or value of property alleged to be detained is more than one hundred and does not exceed three hundred dollars. In other matters, their jurisdiction was coextensive with ordinary municipal and district courts.
Those who have held the office of trial justice, since 1858, in the county, are: Ebenezer Bacon, Barnstable, from 1860 to 1869; Edward W. Ewer, Sandwich, 1858 to 1860; James B. Crocker, Yarmouth, 1858 to 1884; George W. Donaldson, Falmouth, 1858 to 1865; Joseph K. Baker, jr., Dennis, 1859 to 1861; John W. Davis, Wellfleet, 1858 to 1865; Albion S. Dudley, Provincetown, 1858 to 1863; Cyrus Weeks, Harwich, 1858 to 1866; Ebenezer S. Whittemore, Sandwich, 1860 to 1889, and continues; Marshall S. Underwood, Dennis, 1861 to 1882; Isaac Bea, Chatham, 1862 to 1872; Benjamin F. Hutchinson, Provincetown, 1868 to 1870; Theodore F. Bassett, Hyannis, 1868 to 1889 and continues; Smith K. Hopkins, Truro and Barnstable, 1867 to 1889 and continues; Frederick Hebard, Dennis, 1868 to 1869; Richard S. Wood, Falmouth, 1865 to 1875; George T. Wyer, Wellfleet, 1872 to 1889 and continues; Shubael B. Kelley, Harwich Port, 1873 to 1889 and continues; Raymond Ellington, Provincetown, 1875 to 1878; James H. Hopkins,
Provincetown, 1886 to 1888; Charles F. Chamberlayne, Bourne, 1884 to 1889 and continues; George Godfrey, Chatham, 1886 to 1889 and continues; Jonathan Kelley, 2d, Dennis, 1886 to his death in 1889; William D. Foster, Provincetown, 1884 to 1885; Tully Crosby, jr., Brewster, appointed in 1890 and continues; Watson F. Baker, Dennis, 1889, and continues.
The Bar of the County of Barnstable.—The bar can justly claim some of the highest mental lights of the world, and yet what is known of its members, is in a great degree, traditionary. Very few of the transcendent efforts in the forum are reported;—their fame and merit are passing and transitory; and are forgotten by the multitude who heard them. Our great American orator, statesman, and patriot, James Otis, who was born at West Barnstable, February 5, 1725, exhibited the character of one of the purest patriots and eloquent defenders of human rights, that the American continent has produced; —when in the midst (1761) of his duties as advocate general, in defending the writs of assistance, but deeming them illegal and unjust, he immediately resigned.—His argument in this case produced a profound impression. Such was his unselfish love of country, that he has left his impress as an ornament on the column of time.
The finished forensic efforts of Rufus Choate and other eminent American advocates, would adorn the pages of Cicero, and yet much of it has passed into forgetfulness. A few Nestors of the Suffolk bar, occasionally speak of the scintillations of his magnetic mind, and the charm of his speech, yet they add in despair;—" we cannot repeat the effect upon the breathless multitude who heard him, with the indescribable power of a magician." No one is able to rehearse these masterly utterances, or realize the effect upon the enchanted multitude. I well remember how deeply moved was the throng in the courtroom, when he closed his argument for the defense in a capital case, where the life or death of the defendant was depending upon the verdict of that jury; the audience refused to leave the room, before the verdict came in, so deeply were they in sympathy with Mr. Choate's client.
It will be impossible to say much concerning the early members of the bar of the county of Barnstable, since we have very little material relating to them to make up anything approaching the dignity of biography. At this early period of the Pilgrims and some years subsequently, the profession of the law hardly had a name in the Old Colony; very few made the study and practice of the law an exclusive profession; and those who were members of the bar, it is difficult to determine, with any degree of accuracy, until we pass to a later time.
As early as 1676, Richard Bourne of Sandwich, Shearjashub Bourne
of Barnstable, and Samuel Prince were conversant with the duties of a lawyer. Hon. Ezra Bourne of Sandwich was by preparation and practice a lawyer as early as 1700. William Bassett, Samuel Jennings and Silas Bourne of Sandwich, were lawyers in their way; and so was Nathaniel Otis of Barnstable, a member of the bar, in fact. With the exception of Ezra Bourne, Hon. Timothy Ruggles was the most able and learned lawyer in the county. He came to Sandwich, not far from the year 1739,—having graduated at Harvard College in 1732.
Hon. Shearjashub Bourne of Barnstable was a man of mark, and during the first years of the republic, he was the representative in congress from this district, during the first, second and third congresses. He was born in Barnstable in 1744, graduated from Harvard College in 1764 and died in 1806. He was a class-mate of Governor Caleb Strong, and other distinguished men. Shearjashub Bourne was a direct descendant of Rev. Richard Bourne of Sandwich, who was one of the most able men who came to Sandwich in 1637, and finally became a useful and devoted missionary to the Indians.
Hon. Lemuel Shaw, chief justice of the supreme judicial court of Massachusetts, from August 31, 1830, to August 23, 1860, died at Boston, March 30, 1861. This illustrious chief justice was born at West Barnstable, January, 9, 1781, the son of Rev. Oakes Shaw, who held here the pastorate for 47 years. The son graduated at Harvard College in the class of 1800, with Judge Story, William E. Channing and other distinguished men. Judge Shaw never practiced law in the county of Barnstable, but he held a broad and secure position in the affections of all the citizens of the Commonwealth, and was the acknowledged chief of its jurists. No man in any period of our history has so deeply impressed his mental power and judicial reasoning upon the people of the Commonwealth, as did Judge Shaw. He was constructive, and yet he was progressive. As has been said, for the high degree of symmetry and harmonious development to be found in the science of the law as administered in our courts, we are largely indebted to his comprehensive and vigorous intellect. He had an abiding sympathy, coupled with broad mental power and minuteness of observation. " His understanding resembles the tent which the fairy Paribanou gave to prince Ahmed. Fold it, and it seems a toy for the hand of a lady. Spread it, and the armies of powerful sultans might repose beneath its shade." His sympathies were deep and broad, which an incident will illustrate. The question was raised whether a heifer calf was exempt from attachment, which caused some merriment at the Bar. Judge Shaw paused and with some emotion said: "Gentlemen, this may seem to you a trifling case, but it is a very important question to a great many poor families."
Hon. Nathaniel Freeman, jr., son of General Nathaniel Freeman of
Sandwich, was born May 1, 1766, and died August 22, 1800, at the age of 35 years. He graduated at Harvard College in the class of 1787, with John Quincy Adams, and other men of ability. He studied and practiced law; but at the age of 30, in 1796, he was elected to the fourth congress, with a unanimous vote, save one. In 1798, he was elected the second time to the fifth congress, and while a member of this body, he died at the age of 35. Nathaniel Freeman, jr., was a person of brilliant mind, and a man of great powers of eloquence for one of his years ; and yet it is hardly known, even in the Old Colony, what an able man he was. His was an untimely death;—what fruit might we not expect from the golden autumn of such a mind !
Hon. Timothy Ruggles was one of the most remarkable lawyers ever connected with the bar of the county of Barnstable; born in Rochester, Mass., He graduated at Harvard College in the class of 1732, before his 24th birthday, in 1739, he became an inhabitant of Sandwich, and he began the practice of law before he came here. He managed to be elected a representative to the provincial legislature from Sandwich. He married Bathsheba Newcomb, a young widow, who was the proprietor of the tavern, and united the profession of the law with that of innkeeper; having personal supervision over both. With all else, he had a decided military bent, and was destined to be distinguished in that direction.—Freeman says, as colonel he led a body of troops to join Sir William Johnson in the expedition against Crown Point in 1755. He was in the battle of Lake George; brigadier general under Lord Amherst; removing to Hardwick, he served several years as representative from that town, two of which he was speaker. He was for a while chief justice of the court of common pleas. In 1765 he was a delegate, with Otis in the colonial convention, and was chosen its president. As a politician, his popularity was fated to wane; the whigs were dissatisfied with his course, and the house of representatives reprimanded him from the speaker's chair. His assurance never for a moment forsook him. As a lawyer he was shrewd and quick of apprehension, and was bold in his conception; in his manners, rude and lordly; artful in his address to the jury; sagacious and well equipped as a demagogue, against whomsoever he was pitted. He was mentioned as a mandamus counsellor in 1774 and proved a decided loyalist. Finding concealment in Boston, until its evacuation, he retired with the British troops to Halifax, where he organized a body of loyal militia refugees to the number of 300. He died in Nova Scotia in 1798, at an advanced age.
This account of Mr. Ruggles is protracted, not because of his eminent goodness, or lack of ability, but for his extended range of vicissitudes in life, and his power to exhibit them with a firm hand and purpose. I will dismiss Mr. Ruggles with an anecdote.—An old lady
witness comes into court at Barnstable, before the chief justice arrives. The court enters with great gravity, finding the old lady in his seat, inquires of her, who gave her his seat. The old lady, pointing to Ruggles, said, "He gave me the seat,"—and after the old lady was removed, the chief justice, turning to Ruggles, firmly demanded of him his reasons for such conduct. His cool and characteristic reply was: "May it please your Honor, I thought that the place for old women."
Hon. Zeno Scudder was born at Barnstable in 1807, and died there June 26, 1857, at the age of 50. Like many of the sons of the Cape, he had a decided inclination to follow the sea; but before he reached the age of 21, he had paralysis of his right limb, causing lameness. This caused him to change his plans. Under the advice of Doctor Nourse of Hollowell, and at Bowdoin College, he pursued the study of medicine, and after completing it found his lameness an impediment to his practice as a physician; not being discouraged, he turned his attention with zeal to the study of the law. His preparatory course was partly pursued at the Dane Law School at Cambridge. He was admitted to the bar in 1836. He first opened an office in Falmouth, but soon after settled in his native town, which was near the centre of business.
By studious application and great industry, he gained and deserved the reputation of being one of the best read, and ablest lawyers in the Commonwealth; and this was supplemented by an honest and high-minded purpose. He was elected to the Massachusetts senate in 1846, and when returned to the same body in 1847, was chosen president. He was elected to the 32d and 33d congresses, but before he took his seat in the 33d, a severe casualty prostrated him, which finally caused his death, to the deep regret of many friends. Mr. Scudder not only had a keen, but a broad and comprehensive mind, capable of grasping great principles. He exhibited this in his masterly speech in congress, August 12, 1852, on the importance of American fisheries. Very few members of congress from the Old Colony were more faithful to the people represented than Zeno Scudder. As a lawyer, he was jealous of the just rights and interests of his clients, but never claimed for them that which was not right, or proper or just. He believed the law to be a noble science, and one of dignity.
Hon. John Reed was born at West Bridgewater in 1781, and died in the same place, in 1860, at the age of 79. He became a resident of Yarmouth in early life, and opened an office for the practice of law, and took high rank. He was once a representative of the legislature from Yarmouth, and was twelve times elected in this district to congress, serving twenty-four years in that body. He was called the " life member." In 1844 he was elected lieutenant governor and was re-elected seven successive years after he returned to Bridge-water.
Hon. Nymphas Marston, who was born at Barnstable, February 12, 1788, and died there May 2, 1864, graduated at Harvard College in the class of 1807. In 1828 Governor Lincoln appointed him judge of probate, and he served 26 years to 1854, at which time he resigned. Probably no lawyer ever practised in the county of Barnstable, who more completely gained and held the confidence, love and esteem of all the people of the county, than Nymphas Marston. He was always ready to advise a settlement, rather than contend in court; but when he did try a cause, the people believed he was on the side of justice, and he usually won the verdict. He was one of Nature's own advocates; and before the court and jury he was a magician. He was a man of " infinite jest." After defending in court, a client, who was accused of stealing a pig, the jury acquitted him, which greatly surprised the defendant, whereupon he whispered in Mr. Marston's ear: —"What shall I do with the pig ? " Mr. M.'s reply was:—"Eat him, the jury say you did not steal him"!! Mr. Marston could have been elected to almost any office within the gift of the people; but as he often said: " I would rather be Judge of Probate for the county of Barnstable, and protect the rights of its widows and orphans than hold any other office."
Hon. Wendell Davis, was born about 1775, died in Sandwich, December 30, 1830, and was buried in Plymouth. He was admitted to the bar, and settled in Sandwich in 1799. He was a son of Thomas Davis of Plymouth. He was clerk of the Massachusetts senate in 1803-1805, afterwards senator, and several years sheriff of the county of Barnstable, and he held other offices of trust. He practised law and resided in Sandwich about thirty years. He was a lawyer possessed of great natural abilities;—a direct descendent of the Pilgrims: Governor Bradford, Elder Brewster, and Richard Warren. He was a safe and wise counselor, yet seldom appeared in court as an advocate.
Hon. Russell Freeman, the tenth child of General Nathaniel Freeman, was born October 7, 1782, and died in Boston of heart disease in 1842. He was several years collector of customs in New Bedford; representative in the legislature from Sandwich, and one of the executive council. His deafness prevented his practising law at the bar, but he was a lawyer of pronounced abilities, and an able and safe adviser, and one of the most popular men in the Old Colony; coupled with a genial disposition, ready wit, quick perceptions, honorable aims in life, sincere in his friendships, which caused him to be widely known in the Commonwealth, and highly esteemed, and his death universally mourned. On his tombstone, by his direction, is inscribed; ''In meipso nihil; in Christo omne."
Hon. George Marston, born in Barnstable, October 15,1821, died in New Bedford, August 14, 1883; studied law at Cambridge in 1844, and was admitted to the bar in 1845, and practised his profession in Barnstable and New Bedford. During 1853 and 1854 he was register of probate, and from 1855 to 1858, judge of probate of the county of Barnstable. In 1859 he was elected district attorney for the Southern district. Mr. Marston was nominated by the republicans in 1878 for the office of attorney general, to succeed Hon. Charles R. Train, and was elected. He resigned the office of district attorney in order to enter upon the duties of his new office, and was re-elected attorney general, at the successive elections of 1879, 1880 and 1881. He was the only attorney general born in the county of Barnstable. Mr. Marston was by general consent, one of the ablest, and most prominent and influential men in the Old Colony, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of all who knew him. After a few years most men are forgotten by the larger body of the people; not so with George Marston. His life was so filled with the important business of other men throughout the Commonwealth, that his name and fame will be handed down through a series of years. Few other lawyers ever had a better facility in the trial of causes than George Marston; he may be said to have been a great jury lawyer. He had a rich and perennial inspiration of language, and when the odds seemed against him he would turn the tide by the magic of his speech. He was well educated as a lawyer, yet not a graduate of a college;—few graduates, however, could excel, him in common sense and purity of diction. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge would have added no glory or lustre to the fame or breadth of understanding of William Shakspeare. Such men carry universities in their heads.
Hon. John B. D. Cogswell, born at Yarmouth, June 6, 1829, died at Haverhill, June 10, 1889. He graduated at Dartmouth College, in 1845, in high rank, and studied law in the office of Governor Emery Washburn and Senator Hoar, in Worcester. In 1850 he took the degree of LL.B. at Cambridge Law School. He opened an office in Worcester in 1857, and was elected a representative to the legislature. In 1858 he moved to Milwaukee, Wis., and opened an office there. In 1861 and again in 1865 he received the appointment of United States district attorney for the state of Wisconsin by President Lincoln. He returned in 1870 to Yarmouth, and was sent as representative to the state legislature for the years 1871, 1872 and 1873, and elected state senator for the years 1877, 1878 and 1879, and was president of the senate in 1878 and 1879. Mr. Cogswell was a man of unquestioned abilities, coupled with uncommon powers of oratory, and urbanity of manners. 14
Hon. John Doane was born in part of Orleans then embraced within the limits of Eastham, on May 28, 1791, and died March 3, 1881. He was educated at Sandwich Academy, and at Bridgewater; —he studied law with John Reed, and was admitted to the bar in Barnstable about 1818, and practiced for more than half a century. He was representative to the legislature, and in 1830 was first elected state senator, in which office he served three terms with dignity and ability. He was at one time a member of the governor's council. In 1850 and again in 1853 he was elected county commissioner and was thus contemporary in that court with David K. Akin, Seth Crowell and Simeon Dilllngham.
He lived to a ripe old age in the enjoyment of a rare social position, respected and loved by all who knew him, his life work as an adviser, peacemaker and friend more than filling up the measure of man's allotted time. Upon the town in which he resided and upon the public whose interests he sought to serve he made a deep and lasting impression as an honest and sound counselor, who, in all his professional career advised settlements, compromises and concessions instead of litigations in the courts.*
Seth F. Nye of Sandwich was born May 13, 1791, and died September 13, 1856, at the age of 65 years and four months. He was admitted to the bar of the county of Barnstable about 1816, and practiced here for forty years —the whole period of his business life. He held various offices of trust, was representative to the legislature, and a delegate in the convention of 1820, to revise the constitution of the state. He rarely appeared in court as an advocate, but prepared his cases for argument by other counsel. He was a genial person, and one of good sense,—a useful and benevolent citizen, and his death was deeply lamented by those who knew him.
John Walton Davis was born at Wellfleet in 1817, and died at Provincetown in 1880. He was at Amherst College two years, and subsequently graduated from Bowdoin College, Maine. He graduated with distinction, as a fine scholar, at the head of his class. He studied law at Ellsworth, Me., and after being admitted to the bar, practiced at Topham, Me., Boston, Mass., Wellfleet and Provincetown. Mr. Davis held offices of public trust, among which were internal revenue assessor, trial justice, county commissioner, and others. He was a genial and agreeable gentleman, and one who possessed sufficient ability to have filled more important stations in life than he did.
Benjamin F. Hutchinson, came to Provincetown from the county of Essex, (about 1870) and practiced law, jointly with teaching. He was very devoted to the cause of education, and was connected with
* The ancestry and family of Esquire Doane are further noticed in the chapter on Orleans.—Ed.
the school board until his death. He was thoroughly honest, and well equipped in the science of the law; was an expert in drawing legal documents, which bore the test of scrutiny. He rarely appeared in court as an advocate, but prepared his cases for others to argue. He died at Provincetown.
Hon. Simeon N. Small of Yarmouth, was born at Chatham, Mass., but practiced law at Yarmouth and Milwaukee, Wis. He held various public offices before emigrating to the West, among which was judge of the court of insolvency. In 1860, he went to Milwaukee, and built up a large law practice, and accumulated a fortune. Mr. Small was considered an able and good lawyer, and a man of integrity, in whom confidence could be placed. He died in Milwaukee.
Frederick Hallett of Yarmouth, studied law about 1862-3 with Judge Day of Barnstable, and was admitted to the bar, and began the practice of the law, with every prospect of brilliant success; but he was soon called to lay down his life's armor, and died at the untimely age of 25 years. He was universally beloved and when he died, Yarmouth, as a town, put on its sincere mourning.*
Charles F. Chamberlayne, son of Rev. N. H. and Hannah S. (Tewksbury) Chamberlain, was born at Cambridge, Mass., November 30, 1855. He prepared at the Cambridge High School and graduated from Harvard College in 1878. He also graduated at Harvard Law School and began practice in Boston. In 1883 he edited the American edition of Best on Evidence, and the following year was appointed trial justice for Barnstable county—a position he held until the office was abolished in 1890.
Tully Crosby, jr., was born in South Boston, August 21, 1841. His parents removed to the Cape three years later, where he was educated in the public schools and at the Hyannis Academy. Afterward he followed the sea until 1875, when he retired and settled in Brewster, where he now resides. He began the study of law in 1883, taking a special course in the Boston University School of Law, under Judge Bennett, was a member of the general court in 1885, serving as clerk of the committee on education, and was admitted to the bar in Barnstable county, October 14, 1887.
Thomas C. Day was born in Barnstable, April 20, 1856. To the excellent advantages of the village school were added those of Adams' Academy, Quincy, Mass., where he graduated in the spring of 1875, after a three years' course. In the fall of 1877, after two years in Harvard College, he entered the law office of his father, Judge Joseph M. Day, then of Barnstable, and in October, 1880, was admitted to
*The succeeding portion of this chapter was not contributed by Mr. Whittemore.— Ed.
practice. He subsequently became, in 1882, partner with him in the present firm of J. M. & T. C. Day, with one office in Barnstable and one in Brockton, Mass., where the senior partner now resides. Mr. Day is a democrat in politics, and although yet young, has been recognized by the party as a capable and popular standard bearer.
Alexander McLellan Goodspeed, born in Falmouth in 1847, a son of Obed, grandson of Walley, and great-grandson of Joseph Goodspeed, was educated in Lawrence Academy, Falmouth, and Phillips' Academy, Andover. He subsequently taught in public schools, and was for several years in the engineer corps of a Western railroad. He began his law training with Marston & Crapo, of New Bedford. He was admitted to the Bristol County bar in March, 1880, and now is established as attorney at law in New Bedford, but has a substantial clientalage at Falmouth.
Judge Hiram Putnam Harriman, of Barnstable county, was born at Groveland, Mass., in the valley of the Merrimac, February 6, 1846. His father, Samuel, was a son of Moses Harriman, and his mother, Sally Adams, was a daughter of Henry Hilliard. Both of these family names have been well known and honorably represented in that part of Essex county for nearly two hundred years, and here on the south bank of the river the now venerable Samuel Harriman has passed in rural peace a long and successful career as an extensive owner and tiller of the soil. The early training of the lad Hiram was in the district school and in a private academy at Groveland, where he improved the brief intervals in which he might be spared from the labors of the farm. He was the youngest of three, and to the teachings of an older sister are attributed much of the love of study and thirst for knowledge which became the mainspring of his higher aspirations. With such a resultant as these circumstances and forces might produce in an enterprising boy of eighteen, intent not only upon a college education, but aspiring to some professional career, he became a student of Phillips' Exeter Academy in February, 1864, entering at the middle of the junior year. In one year and a half he had, by special effort, mastered the Greek and Latin preparatory course, and went up to Dartmouth in June, 1865, where he passed the examination to enter the college. His college life began the following September, and closed with his graduation with the class of 1869; and although he taught three winters during the course he stood sixth in a class of more than sixty. Several of the Cape towns depended, at that period, upon the students of Dartmouth College for their best winter teachers, and it was while a student of this institution that he first became known on the Cape as a teacher two winters in the public schools of Truro. Here by his urbanity of manners and devotion to his work he attained a high position as a teacher and at-
tracted to himself many warm friends, who have shown a pride and interest in his subsequent advancement.
From September, 1869, until the following May he was at Albany, N. Y., completing a course which he began with Blackstone, while teaching the country school at South Truro in the winter of 1867-8. His graduation at the Albany Law School entitled him to admission to practice in New York, and after a short association with J. P. Jones, a prominent lawyer at Haverhill, Mass., he was admitted to the bar of Essex county and removed the same year to Wellfleet—then the terminus of the railroad,—establishing himself on Cape Cod, in the practice of law. There has never been since, nor had there existed for many years before, a better opportunity for a young lawyer of his stamp to obtain a foothold in Barnstable county. Mr. Marston, who for years had a large and profitable practice, had removed to New Bedford; George A. King of Barnstable was gradually dropping his Cape practice and soon gave his whole attention to his Boston business.
Mr. Harriman took an office at Barnstable, and the following year one at Harwich, where the failing health of his friend, Jonathan Higgins, Esq., who advised the step, was making a vacancy for some other member of the bar. At these offices Judge Harriman still pursues his profession. His faithfulness in the management of the causes committed to his care, the perseverance and excellent order in which he prepares his cases for trial, his uniform courtesy to opponents, and his thorough honesty in all matters of his profession, have gradually and successfully advanced him to the head of the bar of this county. On the 14th day of June, 1882, he was appointed to the position he now fills as judge of probate and insolvency for the county of Barnstable. In this important office, by his affability and uniform courtesy toward all classes who have occasion to need his ministrations, he has won the confidence of the people, who are proud of him as an adopted son of Cape Cod. Almost from the first he has had a substantial clientalage. He was counsel for the old Cape Cod railroad until the consolidation, and has since then been retained by the Old Colony company.
While this volume was in course of completion a final decision was reached in the famous Snow-Alley case—the largest suit ever decided in the Commonwealth in an action of tort. Judge Harriman was retained by Mr. Snow in May, 1884, and began laying, in his own thorough manner, the foundation for the prosecution. Mr. Alley employed several of the ablest lawyers in the county—including Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll and Ambrose A. Ranney, and for almost six years they stubbornly contested every issue of fact or law. After three trials at Barnstable a statute was enacted allowing the removal of the case from Barnstable county, where the defendant's counsel alleged that
they could not get justice with Harriman opposing. Four verdicts were reached, and twice the case went to the full bench before the judgment in favor of Judge Harriman's client was paid.
Judge Harriman was married September 25, 1870, to Betsey Franklin, daughter of Captain George W. Nickerson and granddaughter of Dr. Daniel P. Clifford of Chatham, and has since resided at Wellfleet, where he is fully identified with the town's local interests.
Jonathan Higgins, of Orleans, was born there November 21, 1816, and was there educated in the public schools and in the academy. His father, Thomas, was a son of Samuel Higgins, whose father and grandfather each bore the name Jonathan. Mr. Higgins studied law in the probate office with Judge J. M. Day, and in 1858 and three terms thereafter was elected register of probate. He has since devoted his time chiefly to the practice of law. The title, Deacon Higgins, by which he is generally known, alludes to his relation with the Congregational church of Orleans. His deceased wife, Mary, was a daughter of Seth Doane. Of their seven children, Mrs. Captain Alfred Paine, Mrs. O. E. Deane and Hon. George C. Higgins, ex-mayor of Lynn, are the only survivors. The present Mrs. Jonathan Higgins is Ruth, daughter of Joseph Snow.
Smith K. Hopkins was born in Truro, August 12, 1831, a lineal descendant of Stephen Hopkins who came in the Mayflower, through Giles his son, who removed from Plymouth to Yarmouth. Educated in the public schools of Truro and at Truro Academy, under Joshua H. Davis, Esq., now superintendent of schools in Somerville, Mass.; followed the sea from boyhood until twenty-one years of age, then went to Illinois and was in the employment of Josiah Lombard— formerly of Truro —in the real estate business, until 1860. In 1860 returned to Truro to reside. Married in 1855, to Mary A. Hughes, daughter of James Hughes of Truro. Five children: James H., lawyer, of Provincetown; Howard F., editor of Provincetown Advocate; Raymond A., Boston, Mass.; Winthrop Stowell, died in September, 1889; Ethel B., at school. School committee 1862 and 1863. Representative in legislature in 1863. Appointed ensign in U. S. Navy in August, 1863, and served on frigates Savannah, Brooklyn and Fort Jackson during the war. Sent in as prize master of English steamer Let-Her-Rip, a blockade runner captured at Wilmington by the Fort Jackson, and after delivering her to the Admiral at Boston Navy Yard, was appointed temporarily to command the gunboat Jean Sands; subsequently detached and ordered again to the frigate Fort Jackson. Was at both attacks on Fort Fisher by the army and navy in December, 1864, and January, 1865, and participated in the assault on the fort at the time of its capture; recommended for promotion and offered an appointment to be retained
in the navy at the close of the war, but resigned when the war was over. Was one of the selectmen, assessors, etc., of Truro from 1866 to 1874, and chairman from 1871 to 1874. Studied law with B. F. Hutchinson of Provincetown; was admitted to the bar April, 1873. Register of deeds for Barnstable county 1874, 1875, 1876, and has been clerk of the courts for Barnstable county since 1876. Notary public; justice of peace since 1860, and trial justice since 1866. Removed from Truro to Barnstable in 1875.
James Hughes Hopkins, oldest son of Smith K. Hopkins above mentioned, was born in North Truro, February 20, 1861. After attending the public schools of Truro, and the Prescott Grammar School of Somerville, Mass., he graduated from the Somerville High School in 1878, and from Harvard College in 1882. He then taught public schools at North Eastham and at West Barnstable, while continuing the study of law, for which he early evinced a taste and aptitude, and was admitted to the bar at Barnstable in October, 1883. Locating in Provincetown, he has become fully identified with its public interests, holding official positions in the church and the public library. He has been elected special commissioner, one of the commissioners of insolvency, and has been appointed trial justice. Since 1886 he has edited the Provincetown Advocate, as noticed by Mr. Swift in Chapter XIII.
F. H. Lothrop.—The present register of probate and insolvency, is Freeman Hinckley Lothrop of Barnstable, who was born in this village, April 6, 1842. His father Ansel Davis Lothrop7, born 1812, was a son of James Scudder Lothrop6, (Isaac5, General Barnabas4, Barnabas3 born 1686, Captain John2 born here 1644, Rev. John Lothrop1). This illustrious ancestor, Rev. John Lothrop, was born in 1584 and in 1605 graduated from Queen's College, Cambridge, and in 1609 received the degree of A.M. He came to Scituate, Mass., in 1634, whence he came to Barnstable in 1639 and here he built a house, where the Globe Hotel now stands. He lived later in the building now occupied by the Sturgis Library, where he died November 8, 1653. His son Barnabas was first judge of probate here, and another son Joseph, also an ancestor of Freeman H., was the first register of probate and register of deeds. While his family name thus comes from one of the pioneers of old Mattacheese, the mother of Freeman H.—Ruth Hinckley—was a lineal descendant of Plymouth Colony's last illustrious governor, and for two hundred and fifty years the two families have been prominent factors in this town and village.
Freeman H. received his early education in the private and public schools of his native village, and at the age of sixteen started "before the mast" on a merchant voyage to Australia and the East Indies. He afterward made another voyage to Liverpool and Calcutta, return-
ing just after McClellan's defeats in the Peninsula and in season to answer Lincoln's call for nine months' troops. While exempt from military duty, as a seaman in actual service, and before liberal bounties were paid, he volunteered as a private in August, 1862, and on September 12th was enrolled in Company D of the Forty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry. He followed the fortunes of the regiment and participated in the battles of Kinston, Whitehall and Goldsboro', in the first of which he was slightly wounded but not disabled from duty. After that battle he was made a corporal of the company, and was honorably discharged in July, 1863, with the regiment. In September of that year, Mr. Lothrop applied for and obtained a position as master's mate in the navy and was ordered to the Brooklyn Navy Yard for instruction. He was finally ordered to the United States Steamer Agawam, Alexander C. Rhind, commander, for service in the James river, and participated in an engagement at Four Mile Creek in July, 1864, and was in James river at the time of Grant's movements against Petersburg and on the banks of the James. He was promoted to acting ensign in December, 1864. In April, 1865, the Agawam being then at Newberne, N. C, news was received of the surrender of General Lee, and Mr. Lothrop, considering the fighting at an end, immediately tendered his resignation which was accepted in May, 1865. In June following, Mr. Lothrop was married to Hettie Freeman, daughter of Alvah Holway of Sandwich, a member of the Society of Friends. They have had four children : William Freeman, born in September, 1886; Ruth Hinckley, born July, 1868 (married Nath'l B. H. Parker of Hyannis); Joseph Henry, born June, 1870, and Bertha Warren, born in February, 1884, the latter being their only child now living.
In 1886, Mr. Lothrop was offered a position as railway postal clerk between Boston and Orleans, which position he held till September, 1872, when he resigned that office and was soon after called to act as assistant treasurer of the Barnstable Savings Bank, then one of the largest in southeastern Massachusetts. In 1881 he left his position in the bank to accept an appointment to the office of register of probate and insolvency for his native county, to which position he was soon elected and by re-elections has since continued to fill. While in the savings bank he became much interested in reading law, and after studying under the instruction of H. P. Harriman, Esq., was admitted to the bar, April 11, 1884.
As an attorney he gives his attention only to such office practice as does not interfere with his official duties, and the able and faithful discharge of his responsible trust as a record officer has been recognized and appreciated by the public which he serves. History has repeated itself, and to-day we find him carefully con-
tinuing the probate records which an ancestor with remarkable skill and care began as early as 1693.
William P. Reynolds, of Hyannis, was admitted to the bar April 5, 1887. He is a native of Oseola, Tioga county, Pa., where he was born in 1859. There and at Willsboro, Pa., he received his early education and at twenty years of age graduated from Cook Academy, Havanna, N. Y. He entered Amherst College in 1880 and after three years came to Barnstable and resumed the study of law with Judge Joseph M. Day. He taught the Hyannis high school from 1884 to 1888, prosecuting his professional studies during the interim, and until he was admitted to practice in the courts of the Commonwealth. Mr. Reynolds is now the superintendent of schools for Barnstable, and since early in 1889 has been associate editor of the Cape Cod-Item.
Hon. Henry A. Scudder.—In the village of Osterville, where the waters of Vineyard sound wash the southern shore of Cape Cod, a son was born, on the 25th of November, 1819, to Josiah and Hannah (Lovell) Scudder. They gave to him the name of Henry Austin, and the Commonwealth knows him to-day in her political and judicial history as Judge Scudder of Barnstable.
The family name became a part of New England's history in 1635, when John Scudder, who was born in England, came to Charlestown, Mass. In 1640 he removed to Barnstable, where he was admitted a freeman in 1654, and where he died in 1689, leaving a wife, Hannah, and several children. His sister Elizabeth, in 1644, married Samuel, son of Rev. John Lothrop, and removed from Boston to Barnstable the same year. John Scudder, son of John and Hannah, was born in Barnstable. In 1689 he married Elizabeth, daughter of James Hamblin, and afterward removed to Chatham, where he died in March, 1742, and she in the January following. Their son Ebenezer, born in 1696, at Barnstable, married Lydia Cobb in 1725, and died in 1737. Their son Ebenezer, born in Barnstable in 1733, married Rose Delap in 1759, and died June 8, 1818. Their seven children, including Judge Scudder's father, were: Ebenezer, born August 13, 1761; Isaiah, born January 8, 1768; Asa, born July 25, 1771; Elizabeth, born October 12, 1773; Josiah, born November 30, 1775; James D., born October 27, 1779; Thomas D., born January 25, 1782. Of this generation, the youngest was a merchant, Josiah was a farmer, and the other sons followed the sea and became captains.
The children of Josiah Scudder were: Puella L., born December 3, 1800, married George Hinckley, and died August 30, 1885; Josiah, a merchant, born February 12, 1802, married first Sophronia Hawes and second Augusta Hinckley, and died December 29, 1877; Freeman L., a merchant, born March 16, 1805, married Elizabeth Hinckley, and
died December 3, 1832; Zeno, born August 18, 1807, with whose political and professional career the reader is already familiar; Persis,born August 14, 1810, married Joseph W. Crocker, and died April 24, 1844; Edwin, merchant, born September 23, 1815, married Harriet N. Phinney, and died May 25, 1872; Henry A. Scudder, the subject of this sketch, the youngest and the only survivor of the family.
At an early age Henry A. entered the common schools of his native village, and there gained the rudiments of an education. He then followed the example of most of the boys of his acquaintance and went to sea, commencing as he supposed his life work. Not being physically strong, however, and finding that the habits and duties of this life were uncongenial to him, he returned to his home after a period of about one year. He afterwards began a course of study in the Hyannis Academy, his apparent purpose being to qualify himself as a teacher. With this object in view, he continued his studies, teaching from time to time as occasion offered. During this period, through the influence and advice of his teachers, he became greatly interested in the languages and mathematics, and naturally conceived the desire for a college course. Having fitted himself for this he entered Yale College, where he graduated in 1842. He then studied law at Cambridge, was admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1844, and commenced the practice of his profession in Boston, where his wide acquaintance with the people of and from Cape Cod became a pleasure and a source of profit to him.
By 1857 he had won an unquestionable position at the bar. On June 30th of that year he married Nannie B., daughter of Charles B. Tobey, of Nantucket, and became a resident of Dorchester, still continuing his business relations with Boston. Four years later the people of Dorchester expressed their appreciation of their adopted citizen by giving him a seat in the Massachusetts legislature, where he faithfully served the district and the Commonwealth three consecutive years. In 1864 he was a member of the national convention which renominated President Lincoln. In 1869 Governor Claflin promoted him to the bench of the superior court of Massachusetts. In 1872 severe ill health obliged Judge Scudder to resign this office. Since that time he has resided a portion of his life abroad, and has now made Washington his winter home, and his old abode, at Willow Dell, in the village of Marston's Mills, his favorite summer resort.
During more than a quarter of a century, by his activity and uprightness as a lawyer, he impressed the bench and the bar with his keen sensitiveness on questions involving honor, justice and right. Like his brother, Zeno, he believed it ever the duty of the lawyer to add something to the good reputation of the bar. In 1882, when Governor Long tendered him the office of judge of the probate court
for Barnstable county, he declined the position for the same physical cause which compelled his resignation from the bench of the superior court ten years before; a cause so cruel and relentless that it has allowed no respite from that day to the present moment—a misfortune which, although blighting the fairest prospects, has not disturbed the genial spirit of the man; and which it is but justice to Judge Scudder to say he has borne with the greatest fortitude and patience.
Frederick C. Swift was born in Yarmouth, December 13, 1855. He graduated in the Yarmouth high school, read law for three years in the office of Judge Joseph M. Day, and was for two years in the law school of Boston University. He was admitted to the Barnstable county bar in October, 1880, and opened an office in Yarmouth Port. In 1889 he formed a connection with the law firm of Blackmar& Sheldon, 246 Washington street, Boston, reserving one day in the week for Yarmouth clients. In 1880 and 1881, in the absence of his father, C. F. Swift, in the legislature, he was in the editorial charge of the Yarmouth Register. In 1883 he was elected a commissioner of insolvency for Barnstable county, and was twice re-elected. He is also a director of Barnstable County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, secretary of the agricultural society and a member of the board of trustees of the Yarmouth library.
Ebenezer Stowell Whittemore, a member of the Barnstable county bar, from Sandwich, was born at Rindge, N. H., September 4, 1828. While a child, his father, with his family, removed to Illinois. At Elgin and Kalamazoo, he prepared for admission to the University of Michigan. After leaving the university, he entered the Dane Law School, at Cambridge, where he took the degree of LL.B. in 1855, after which he entered the office of C. G. Thomas of Boston, with whom he studied two years. On October 7, 1857, he was admitted to the bar in Suffolk county, on motion of Rufus Choate, and July 19, 1858, he opened an office in Sandwich, where he now (1889) resides. For fifteen years, also, he had an office in Boston. He has held the important position of trial justice of the county of Barnstable for thirty years. He has also held the office of county commissioner for nine years. In 1863 he was nominated for representative by the republicans of the district, but declined. Governor Andrew appointed him in 1862 commissioner to superintend drafting for the county of Barnstable. Mr. Whittemore has always identified himself with the educational and social features of his adopted home. He is an active and welcome addition to our Cape Cod Historical Society, of which he is the vice-president, and has contributed to its proceedings several valuable papers. He has written and delivered numerous lectures and essays for literary societies, and has often been called upon to preside over social, business and literary gatherings, where his urbanity and knowl-
edge of the proceedings governing public bodies have been of great advantage and importance.
The Law Library Association.—Under the statute providing that the attorneys of any county in the Commonwealth may organize as a law library association, such a step was taken by the Barnstable county lawyers early in 1889, and their by-laws were approved at Barnstable by Judge Sherman at the April term of the superior court. Prior to that time the library consisted only of the Massachusetts reports and documents, but in July, 1889, Hon. Henry A. Scudder presented to the association his valuable private law library, which is the nucleus of a collection to be gathered, which will be a credit to the bar and the county. The officers of the association are : Freeman H. Lothrop, librarian; James H. Hopkins, treasurer; and T. C. Day, clerk.
District Courts.—In March, 1890, an act of the legislature abolished the trial justice courts in the county of Barnstable and established two district courts. The first district court of Barnstable has jurisdiction in the towns of Barnstable, Yarmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich, Bourne, and Falmouth, of all civil cases wherein the damages claimed do not exceed three hundred dollars, and of all criminal offences not punishable by imprisonment in the State's Prison. The second district court of Barnstable has jurisdiction over like actions and offences in the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Orleans, Chatham, Brewster, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown. The first district court holds a daily session once a week at Bourne, and at other times at Barnstable. The second district court sits daily once a week at Harwich, and at other times at Provincetown.
Each court has a presiding justice receiving an annual salary of $1,000, and two special justices. The justices hold office during good behavior. The first sessions of the new courts were held on the first Monday of May, 1890. Governor Brackett appointed Wm. P. Reynolds of Hyannis, and James H. Hopkins of Provincetown, justices of the two courts respectively.