home page, 19th Century Cape Cod literature

posted November 2003
revised May 2005

Rev. Enoch Pratt
A Comprehensive History, Ecclesiastical and Civil, of Eastham, Wellfleet and Orleans, County of Barnstable, Mass. from 1644 to 1844.
1844. Yarmouth Massachusetts: W. S. Fisher and Co.

       The book is 180 pages plus several pages of title, contents and preface: I have divided it into 20 page blocks for convenience, plus the front material. The blocks overlap a little where necessary so that sentences and context are not broken. I moved most footnotes to parentheses immediately after the referenced statement.

Eastham begins on page 1, Wellfleet on p 110, and Orleans on p 150. There is an additional note about a legal battle over ownership of formerly common lands on p 175. The last section, beginning on page 177, is A brief account of the customs and manner of living in the days of our forefathers.


Title page, table of contents, preface
revised organization: all of Wellfleet, all of Orleans

       Enoch Pratt was born in Middleborough, Massachusetts, on 31 July 1781, and died in Brewster, Massachusetts, 2 February 1860. He was graduated at Brown university in 1803, then studied theology with Dr Kirkland in Boston. He was ordained 28 October 1807 as pastor of the Congregational church at West Barnstable, Massachusetts, where he remained till his resignation in 1837. He moved to Brewster and continued to preach, supplying vacant pulpits, and as agent for Bible societies, distributing the Scriptures through the country. He was a supply minister for the South Wellfleet Congregational Church in 1836 (Deyo, 1890), and served at Eastham Congregational from 1842 to at least 1844 (Pratt, 1844; Deyo, 1890.)
       He was married three times, and had twelve childen - details in my genealogy files.
sources: Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, 1887-1889, via; and Rootsweb file :2715444

       A brief account of the customs and manner of living in the days of our forefathers seems to have been written as a separate essay. I wish there was more context for it - the time frame is not mentioned, and may be a jumble of them. It has been previously posted on the web in several places.

       I scanned the book owned by the University of Hartford, a nice volume. The Presto OCR application does a crappy job with old text, requiring many hours of proofreading and reformatting, and I'm sure there are dozens of errors left. I think some of Pratt's genealogical information is incorrect, but I left it as printed. I incorporated the errata which he noted on p 176, and fixed some trivial typos.

       Should anyone care to correct Pratt's errors, I'll enter them on this page, if referenced. If you report my errors (concerning this text) I'll fix them.

       There were several old handwritten corrections (or imagined corrections) in the book:
[original] >> handwritten
p 24: [Mary], daughter of Constant Southworth >> Mercy
p 28: Richard Higgins, [brother] of the above >> father
p 41: [Samuel] Rich was here about 1665 >> Richard 1681
p 113: Isaac Baker, who married Sarah Rich, daughter of [John] Rich >> Richard
p 136 and 138: B. F [Lombard] >> Lambord
p 142: [Isaiah K. Baker] >> Isaiah R. Baker

       There was another Enoch Pratt, 1808-1896, also born in Middleborough. He made a fortune as an ironmonger in Baltimore, and gave money to establish Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library (inspiring Andrew Carnegie to fund 20 more), and other educational and charitable institutions.