Solomon Mack (1732-1820) Narrative

This forum is for viewing and discussing Marlow's literary efforts. SEE NARRATIVE BY SOLOMON MACK: EARLY MARLOW SETTLER, grandfather of Mormon Founder!

Solomon Mack (1732-1820) Narrative

Postby Loisanne Foster » Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:43 am

[Solomon Mack arrived in Marlow, N.H. from Lyme, Connecticut in 1761 with his wife Lydia (Gates) Mack. Four of their children were born here. He was here in 1772 to sign a petition to extend Marlow's charter (See "Man on Horseback Saves Marlow" under "Marlow History" in this Forum.) along with his brother-in-law, Abisha Tubbs, whom he mentions in his narrative. Solomon's brother, The Reverend Ebenezer Mack, was also here with his family. Eventually Solomon moved his family to Gilsum, NH where he died and is buried. Since it is in the public domain, I have posted below the entire surprising narrative.

To learn more about Solomon Mack and his descendants, look into "Marlow History" in this Forum.]



I, SOLOMON MACK, was born in Connecticut, in the town of Lime near the mouth of [the] Connecticut River, September 26, 1735, my parents, (Ebenezer and Hannah Mack.) Ebenezer Mack departed this life in 1777. He went to the door to fetch in a back-log and returned after a fore-stick and instantly dropped down dead on the floor. You may see by this our lives are dependent on a supreme and independent God. Hannah Mack departed this life in 1796 with a long fit of sickness; she experienced the power of God from an early age, with all the good morals of life, and instructing the youth for about thirty years. She died rejoicing and wishing her last moments to come. Rejoicing she went home to meet her Father in the realms of eternal bliss.

My parents had a large property and lived in good style. From various misfortunes, and the more complicated evils attendant on the depravity of the sons of men, my parents became poor, and when I was four years old the family, then consisting of five children, were obliged to disperse and throw themselves upon the mercy of an unfeeling and evil world. I was bound out to a farmer in the neighborhood. As is too commonly the case, I was rather considered as a slave than a member of the family, and, instead of allowing me the privilege of common hospitality and a claim

to that kind protection due to the helpless and indigent children, I was treated by my master as his property and not as his fellow mortal; he taught me to work and was very careful that I should have little or no rest. From labor he never taught me to read or spoke to me at all on the subject of religion. His whole attention was taken up on the pursuits of the good things of this world; wealth was his supreme object. I am afraid gold was his God, or rather he never conversed on any other subject, and I must say he lived without God in the world, and to all appearance God was not in his thoughts.

I lived with this man (whose name, for many reasons, I did not think proper to mention) until I was 21 years of age lacking 2 months, when a difficulty took place between me and my master, which terminated in our separation [--- ----- ------ ---- ---- ----] at that time. I, however, at his request returned and fulfilled the indenture; which in consequence of being frequently abused, I had found my indentures in my master's custody, and I burnt them. My mistress was afraid of my commencing a suit against them, she took me aside and told me I was such a fool we could not learn you. I was totally ignorant of divine revelation or anything appertaining to the Christian religion. I was never taught even the principles of common morality and felt no obligation with regard to society and was born

as others, like the wild ass's colt. I met with many sore accidents during the years of my minority.

I had a terrible fever sore on my leg, which had well nigh proved fatal to my life, which it seems was occasioned by a scald that terminated in a severe fit of sickness. In these trials my master was very kind to me, he procured the best physicians and surgeons and provided everything necessary for my comfort, all which as I suppose that he might again reap the benefit of my labour, for although it was thought for a time that I could not live; yet my master never spoke to me of death, judgment or eternity, nor did he ever to my recollection discover that he himself had any idea that he was made to die, or that he had here no continuing [city], or ever thought of seeking one to come.

Soon after I left my master, I enlisted in the service of my country under the command of Capt. Henry and was annexed to a regiment commanded by Col. Whiting. I marched from Connecticut to Fort Edwards; there was a severe battle fought at the half way brook in the year 1755.

I had been out [on] a long scout, and I caught a bad cold and was taken sick and remained so all the rest of the winter, and in the spring, 1756, I was carried to Albany in a wahgon, where I saw five men hung at one time. I remained sick the biggest part of the summer. I went

[Compare this page with final ERRATA.] to Lime and purchased a farm -- in the year 1757, I mustered two teams in the King's service for one season. I then went to Stillwater with the General's baggage. One morning I went out to yoke up as usual and found there was three of my oxen missing; the officer was so angry that he drew his sword to run me through but immediately exclaimed, get thee out three of any you can find; which I accordingly did. Then I went on with the baggage and arrived at Fort Edward; then I returned back after my oxen; when I got about half way I espied at about thirty rods distance, four Indians coming out of the woods with their tomma-hawks, scalping-knives and guns. I was alone, but about twenty rods behind me there was a man by the name of Webster. I saw no other way to save myself only to deceive them by stratagem -- I exclaimed like this -- Rush on! rush on! Brave boys, we'll have the Devils! we'll have the Devils! -- I had no other weapon only a staff; but I ran towards them and the other man appearing in sight, gave them a terrible fright, and I saw them no more, but I am bound to say the grass did not grow under my feet.

I hastened to Stillwater and found my oxen; the same night I returned back through the woods. alone; which was about seven miles, the next morning I was ready to go on my journey again. From thence I went to Lake

George. I followed teaming the remainder of the season, but by accident I was taken with the small pox at Albany. I entrusted a man to convey my teams to Litchfield, and gave him 15 dollars for his services. But instead of doing as he agreed, he went twenty miles & sold one team, then went a short distance and left the other. But after I regained my health I went and bought them again and returned to Lime.

Soon after I enlisted under Major Spencer, in 1758, and went over the Lakes. There was a severe battle fought; Lord Howe was killed. His bowels were taken out and were buried; his body was embalmed and carried to England.

The next day we marched to the breastworks and were obliged to retreat with the loss of five hundred killed and as many more wounded; but I escaped very narrowly by a musket ball passing under my chin, perhaps within half an inch of my neck. In this rencountre I had no reflection, only that I thought I had by my good luck escaped a narrow shot. The army returned back to Lake George. A large scouting party of the enemy came round by Skenesborough, at the half-way brook, and cut off a large number of our men and teams. One thousand of our men set out to go to Skenesborough after the enemy; five hundred of them were sent back, and just as we got to South Bay the enemy got out of our reach. --

The enemy went to Ticonderoga & got recruited, they then came after us, we scouted by Wood-Creek. On the 13th day we got to Fort Ann. The sentry came and told me that the enemy was all around us. Major Putnam led out the party. Maj. Rogers bro't up the rear; marched in an Indian path three-quarters of a mile -- the Indians lay in a half-moon; Major Putnam went through their ranks; they fired upon us -- Major Putnam was taken and tied to a tree, and an Indian would have killed him had it not been for a French Lieut. who rescued his life -- the enemy rose like a cloud and fired a volley upon us, and my being in the front brought me into the rear -- I turned little to the right -- the tomahawks and bullets flying around my ears like hail stones, and as I was running, I saw a great wind fall [a] little forward, which seemed impossible for me or any other man to mount, but over I went, and as I ran I looked little one side, where I saw a man wounded, (the Indians close to him) who immediately with my help got into the circle. Gershom Bowley had nine bullets shot thro' his clothes and remained unhurt. Ensign Worcester had nine wounds, scalped and tomahawked, who lived and got well.

The battle commenced in the morning and continued until three o'clock, when they left us. We gathered our dead and wounded up in a ring; there was half of our men killed and

wounded and taken. We sent to Fort Edward for relief to help carry our wounded, it being 80 in number; we made biers to carry them, many of whom died on the passage, the distance being 14 miles.

I was almost beat out, but I went to Albany after stores and returned to the army. -- From thence I went home, it being in the fall, and tarried through the winter.

In the spring, 1754, I set out on another campaign. I went to Crown Point, and there I set up a sutler's shop, which I kept two years by means of a clerk I employed for that purpose, not knowing myself how to write, or read to any amount, what others had written or printed. I lost my Clerk, and not being able properly to adjust accounts, lost what I had accumulated by hard industry for several years, all for the want of youthful education.

After leaving the army I accumulated, by industry, a handsome sum of silver and gold. With it I purchased in the town of Granville, sixteen hundred acres of land and paid for it on delivery of the deed, but besides I was to clear a small piece of land on each right and build a log house, but previous to this I married in the year 1761.

I then proceeded into the back country to clear me a farm, soon after I began to work in the woods, but unfortunately cut my leg and lay under the Doctor's care the whole season,

which cost me a large sum and well nigh took my life. I underwent every thing but death, but thought nothing of the hand that inflicted the chastisement. My family arrived, and we were in the wilderness and could do no business. Previous to this, however, I freighted a vessel and went to New-York, where I sold my cargo extremely high and returning was overtaken by a gale of wind, my vessel was much damaged, but we made shift and got to Long Island, and there we left the vessel.

I arrived at home sometime in the winter, poor enough; the vessel did not arrive till the next spring. Afterwards I broke my wrist, with which I had a great deal of pain and expense; for a long time I was unable to do any labour. Though I still sought to make myself great and happy, in the way I was educated, the Lord would not suffer me to prosper. l was not yet discouraged. Soon after I went to Moudus and learnt of my brother-in-law how to make Salt-Peter; though being a cripple, I went to Old Springfield and Long Meadow to show them the art of making Salt-Peter. I was sent for from town to town; my wages was one dollar per day; this was in our revolutionary war. I then enlisted into the American army. I soon mustered two teams and carried baggage to Skenesborough, I afterwards enlisted into a company of artillery for a short Campaign, but on my return home

I was taken sick, as soon as I recovered I went to see my son; he was cutting trees, when unfortunately a tree fell on me and crushed me almost all to pieces; beat the breath out of my body; my son took me up for dead, I however soon recovered, but have not to this day recovered the use of my limbs, which was 34 years ago. I lay sixty days on my back and never moved or turned to one side or the other, the skin was worn off my back from one end to the other. I was then taken by six men in a sheet and moved from time to time for sixty or seventy days more; when I was able to walk by the help of crutches. I had a man to work in a saw-mill, it got out of order, I hobbled down to show him how to mend it, and by accident I fell on the water-wheel and bruised me most horribly. I was indeed helpless and in dreadful pain; confined month after month, unable to help myself, but at last I was restored to health; but being destitute of property, and without my natural strength to get my bread, with a young and dependent family whose daily wants were increasing, and none to administer relief. But strange to relate and unaccountable as it may appear to a thinking mind, I never once thought on the God of my salvation, or looked up to him for blessing or protection; I was stupid and thoughtless.

Owing to my misfortune I could not attend to my contract at Granville, so I lost all.

my land; however, I regained my strength, so I could walk a little and ride side-ways. Soon after this I was wounded by a limb falling from a tree upon my head, which again nearly deprived me of life. I was carried in wholly unable to help myself. I, however, recovered again; I can say like this, "the time of my departure was not yet come, and there was yet more trouble for me to pass through."

I afterwards was taken with a fit, when traveling with an ax under my arm on Winchester hills, the face of the land was covered with ice. I was senseless from one until five P. M. When I came to myself I had my ax still under my arm, I was all covered with blood and much cut & bruised. When I came to my senses I could not tell where I had been, nor where I was going; but by good luck I went right and arrived at the first house, was under the Doctor's care all the winter. In the next place I fell [sic] seven large trees against another, and very imprudently went to cut away the prop; -- when suddenly the whole fell together, and I in the midst of them, this time I remained unhurt; but thought nothing of the power that protected me, (blind as ever).

Soon after I, and my two sons went out a privateering. We ship't aboard a privateer of 114 tons, commanded by Capt. Havens, there was about eighty men on board, we

were chased by five British privateers; they drove us in upon Horse-neck, where we got some of our guns on shore; we brought them to bear upon the enemy, we exchanged a great many shots; they shattered our vessel and cut away our rigging. The next day our officers went up into town, and five repaired our vessel -- then hauled off from the wharf -- then cast anchor -- every man on board went to their rest except myself, in the month of March and very soon I espied two Row-gallies, two sloops, two schooners; I rallied all hands on deck; they quick obeyed and we weighed anchor; then hauled by the side of the wharf but had only time to get two cannon out on the point of land, and two on the stern of the vessel; this engagement began in the morning -- the enemy gave us a broad-side and where the bullets struck it had the appearance of a furrow made by a plough. Staddles in gun shot was all cut asunder; one of the row-gallies went round the point of land to hem us in, and they had near ran aground, but with our small arms we killed forty of the enemy. We sent our cabin boys up to a house near the shore with a wounded man. Just as the boys entered the door there came an eighteen pounder into the house, and the woman was frying cakes over the fire. Says the woman to the boys, take the cakes, and I will go down cellar. By our killing so many of the enemy they thought proper to

leave us, pleased enough at the fight; for if we had been taken, what would our punishment have been -- but I thought nothing of futurity, which if I had considered a moment and viewed a watery grave already made, it appears as if I must have shuddered at the thought, my God must have given me some warnings of my danger, but if he did his calls I would not hearken to. The devil had great hold on me and I served him well, but the Lord was with me -- yes, he has supported me to this day through trials and fatigues, but now I feel to sing praises with the celestial bands above. -- How thankful my friends I am to join with christian friends now in my old age; but I must leave this subject.

Next we hoisted sail and made for New London. After the war we freighted a vessel and went to Liverpool and sold our loading and shipt aboard Capt. Foster's and went [on] a fishing voyage. And so I went [on] two [voyages], and the third voyage I was in the cabin when I heard a rout on deck. I sprang up as quick as possible and there being a terrible hurricane as ever I saw in my life, both masts was carried overboard and if they had not we must all have found watery graves; we ought to have been thankful and bless the Lord for it. Our capt. and all hands appeared to be greatly surprised but we was all spared through the tempest, we ought to be thankful to our God for a few moments

for repentance, but we thought nothing of these things.

The hands all left her but myself and my son; we stuck fast by the hull, and that night we caught 25 large fish; but by jury masts we worked her into Liverpool -- we went on board another vessel and sailed for Halifax; meanwhile Capt. Foster repaired his schooner and proceeded to Halifax and there he found me; I bought his vessel, and by good fortune I was able to pay the whole purchase except eight pounds. I then took a freight and went to St. John's, and on our return to Halifax we were overtaken by a gale of wind and well nigh lost all hands, vessel and cargo. We however made for Mount desert and obtained it; I was very uneasy about my property, but thought of nothing else. We repaired our vessel and returned to Halifax; this was the first of January, such a day I never saw before nor since; nothing but confusion; almost every sailor was in-toxicated, myself amongst the rest. After I came to myself I reflected a little on such conduct; resolving to amend from such practices, but soon I forgot amidst the bustle of the world.

The next day I sailed up the bay of Fundy and wintered at Hawton. There I made an agreement to take thirty passengers on board (at eight dollars per head) and carried them to New-London and brought them back again in

the spring; so I returned to Halifax and took in a freight of dry goods, and again sailed for Hawton; on our passage we struck on a reef and employed other small vessels to take her loading and carry it to Liverpool harbour and secure it; and then I informed the sundry owners of the circumstance, but I soon got my vessel off again, but it cost me one dollar an hour for each man. The cost being so much, I was obliged to sell her to defray the expenses. Again I was left destitute of property.

I had by this time recovered my health, and was not willing to return empty. I immediately went to work and again obtained the same vessel by honest industry. My next business was to follow coasting, but late in the fall I landed at Salem and was taken very sick; I lay there some weeks when I recovered and returned to my family after an absence of four years, in which time I had not heard from them. I had very little property and my family had been turned out of doors on account of placing confidence in those that I took to be my friends, but by unjust dealing they took hundreds of dollars of my property. When I went from home, I owed John Cordy at Lime one hundred dollars; Nathaniel Peck of Lime owed me one hundred dollars; he gave me a note; I gave that note to John Cordy to pay that debt. Nathaniel Peck went to sea and died. John Cordy [administered] upon Nathaniel

Peck's Estate. Mr. Cordy got just D.26,66 of his debt; Mr. Cordy came up here and asked me if I would let his brother Samuel take the note, I gave him leave. I then drove two yoke of oxen to Samuel M. Cordy, Surry. -- Those oxen with the D.26,66 paid the debt. John Cordy at Lime did not know it, and on his death [bed] he willed me half of the said debt (his widow and son signed the will), likewise, when I was at sea Samuel M. Cordy got all the writings and turned my family out of doors.

This I can prove by Abisha Tubbs, Esq. -- Kind reader, look at the nature of mankind, what they will do for silver and gold, but after all this earth, hard labor and perplexity of mind, I had won nothing and the best of my days were past and gone and had to begin entirely anew. I now thought all was gone, and I did not care whether I lived or died, but however, I went to work and shifted from plan to plan till at length I moved to Tunbridge, in Vermont. On my passage I undertook driving cattle, but by accident I fell and broke my wrist. I walked eight miles before I could get it set, by that time I had gained some property, altho I was all this time a cripple and afflicted with broken bones and sore sicknesses, and some fits. To add to all the rest, I became bail for a number of people, and all that I was bondman for, and took all I had. I had to pay

To add to all the rest, I became bail for a number of people, and all that I was bondman for, and took all I had. I had to pay

every farthing, and it reduced me to poverty again, in advanced age without the means of hiring or anyone to relieve our wants. Who is able or willing to bear our burden.

A few particulars which were forgotten. As I was passing through Woodstock, a number of troopers rode by in haste struck my side, my horse run, and I immediately fell backwards and almost was killed; and I did not recover for a number of months. At another time I fell and broke my shoulder. At another time at Hawton, I was riding in the road a young man in making his obeisance, started my horse and I fell to the ground and was much bruised. At another time at Royalton my horse fell and through the mercy of God my life was spared and not much hurt; at another time I fell in a fit at Tunbridge, and was supported for the benefit of my soul and othersl in the fall of the year 1810, in the 76th year of my age, I was taken with the Rheumatism and confined me all winter in the most extreme pain for most of the time, I under affliction and dispensation of providence, at length began to consider my ways and found myself destitute of knowledge to extol me to enquire. I thought on the best that is recorded in the 11th Chapter of Matthew, and 28th to the 30th verses came to my mind. I asked my wife whether those words were in the Bible or not, she told me they were; that gave me a shock, & very uneasy I was not

knowing where they were. I began to search the bible, but often before this I had trials, but I would not hearken. I had practically said unto God, depart from me I desire not the knowledge of thy ways. I had all my days set at naught his councils and words, I often [slighted] till an advanced age, but now I experienced personal deliverance, yet I had all these number of years been totally blind to the things that belonged to my peace. I had fears and put up prayers before God in this situation. I had incurred, as I thought, the denunciation, I will pour out my fury upon the heathen and upon the families that call not on my name.

My mind was imagining, but agitated I imagined many things; it seemed to me that I saw a bright light in a dark night, when contemplating on my bed which I could not account for, but I thought I heard a voice calling to me again. I thought I saw another light of the same kind, all which I considered as ominous of my own dissolution. I was in distress that sleep departed from my eyes and I literally watered my pillow with tears that I prayed eagerly that God would have mercy on me, that he would relieve me and open the eyes of my understanding, and enable me to call on him as I ought. It brought passages of scripture to my mind, those particular Christ's lamentations over Jerusalem struck me very forcibly to think that often the Lord had

called, and I was stubborn & would not; therefore I [was] left desolate. The whole force of the scripture seemed to be out against me as far as I could learn; my wife was my only instructor: I had never read the bible; nor had I any knowledge of it; could only recollect some taught parts, such as I had heard and laid up for the purpose of ridiculing religious institutions and characters. I however, had my intention; I believe these things have turned to my advantage, but I hope and trust I found mercy; I do believe that God did appear for me and took me out of the horrible pit and mirey clay, and set my feet on the rock of Christ Jesus -- Blessed be the name of Jehovah that I have reason to hope that I have found him of whom the prophets did write and that he has told me all things that ever I did, has enabled me to cast my burthen on the Lord, and to believe that he will sustain me, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

A few words upon the Universal principle -- I have experienced it through the early part of my life, but I say it was like building on sand. A certain learned man built seven years upon it, but upon his death bed he damned the principle, and made this reply, "I shall be damned to all eternity for this principle." He went out of the world smiting his fists almost in despair, and I having no learning, thinking of him

who made me believe it would deceive me. I have tried and reached much after property and several times obtained it, but by misfortunes time after time I lost it. I at length got wholly discouraged of trying to lay up on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal, which put me to thinking something of death and eternity till I thought myself almost a Christian, and was so religious that I once went to talk with a sick man on his death bed. But if the Lord had taken me away with such false hopes, I should have been miserable to all eternity (this is Universalists that I am speaking of) this will not answer; deceived man and woman. Last fall I was again almost a christian, but I found it would not answer to depend on such foundation. Those verses still run in my mind, Mathew, the 11th Chapter and 28th, 29th verses, come unto me all ye that labour and are hevy [sic] laden, and I will give you rest; take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. for my yoke is easy and my burthen is light.

I was so stupid that I did not know whether these words were in the Bible or not; I asked my wife, and she told me they were, and where they were, I then discovered how ignorant and stupid I had been even to a great age, and I saw what offers of mercy I had; but I slighted

them. It brought to my mind Christ's sayings in St. Matthew, 23d chapter and 37th verse: O Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together even as the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Reader, you may think I was in great distress. I could not sleep and took to reading. I was distressed to think how I had abused the Sabbath and had not taken warning from my wife. About midnight I saw a light about a foot from my face as bright as fire; the doors were all shut and no one stirring in the house. I thought by this that I had but a few moments to live, and oh what distress I was in. I prayed that the Lord would have mercy on my soul and deliver me from this horrible pit of sin. I thought myself that I had been such a vile wretch that the Lord would not have mercy on me, and I thought as I had slighted so many warnings from my companion and so abused the Sabbath; but I perceived my body and soul was in danger; oh reader, you may think I was in distress.

Another night soon after, I saw another light as bright as the first, at a small distance from my face, and I thought I had but a few moments to live. And not sleeping nights and reading, all day I was in misery; well you may think I was in distress, soul and body. At another time in the dead of the night I was called

by my christian name; I arise up to answer to my name. The doors all being shut and the house still, I thought the Lord called, and I had but a moment to live. Oh what a vile wretch I had been. I prayed to the Lord to have mercy on my soul. I called upon the Lord the greatest part of the winter, and towards spring it was reviving and light shined into my soul. I have often thought that the lights which I saw were to show me what a situation I was in. I had slighted his calls and invitations and warnings from my companion, and what a sandy foundation I was on. the calls, i believe, were for me to return to the Lord who would havemercy on me.

All winter I was laid up with the rheumatism, so that my wife was obliged to help me to bed and up again, but in the spring the Lord appeared to be with me. But for my own satisfaction, i thoughtlike this as i was setting one evening by the fire. I prayed to the lord, if he was with me, that I might know it by this token - that my pains might be all eased for that night; and blessed be the lord, I was entirely free from pain that night, and I rejoiced in the God of my salvation, and found Christ's promises verified that what things soever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive, and found that christ would fulfill all his promises, not one jot or tittle would fail; and that the lord shined light into my soul that everything appeared new and beautiful. Oh how I loved my neighbors; how I loved my enemies - I could pray for them; everything appeared delightful. The love of Christ is beautiful; there is more satisfaction to be taken in the love of Christ one day than half a century serving our master, the devil. You that have children under your care, that have no parents, when you put anything upon them to do, consider them as your own, that when death overtakes you, you need not fear their apparitions, appearing in your sight, for tyranny and misuasage of the fatherless and motherless. Time will come when we shall all be called for, sooner or later, when the money cannot buy our breath one moment. Parents, a little caution in how youtrain up your children in the sight of the Lord. Never bid them to do anything that is out of their power, nor promise them only what you mean to fulfill; set good examples in word, ded, and action. We aged parents have a Father to go to and to guide us if we will but obey and hearken to his call. How often we hear, but do not obey him; but why? because we say there is time enough yet, and I have something more to attend to of my worldly business. But how am I bringing up my children in the fear of the Lord? I answer no, but in all manner of eveils, sabbath breaking, lying, swearing, etc. giving them no councels from the command of our God. Bless the rising genneration with his outpouring from corner to corner. I invite you to hearken to the calls that often presses into your minds, and put it not away for another day. I give you a weak advice; I am almost brought to the ground with sore accidents, and greatly advanced in years. I always lived in sin, an enemy of God until my seventy-sixth year - then I began to hearken to these calls - made alive through the blessedness of Christ - reconciled to God. Oh! my friends, what views I had - the love I had to God and my fellow mortals I cannot express.
(See next part...)
Last edited by Loisanne Foster on Wed May 17, 2006 11:03 am, edited 13 times in total.
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Hymns: Solomon Mack and His Sister

Postby Loisanne Foster » Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:52 am

Solomon Mack's Narrative (continued)

This invitation is from my heart to hear of your repenting and turning to my God. Take no pattern from me for I would not hearken till I arrived to advanced age -- swared from time to time; now I have a love for your souls; now listen to me, though like a child, but shun that path that I used to walk in -- this is the prayer of SOLOMON MACK.

[Here follows a series of hymns (pages 26 - 42) recalled by Solomon and written by Solomon and his sister, and then miracles and a second conclusion...]

QUITE a miracle of my daughter in the town of Sunderland in the state of Massachusetts, the wife of Joseph Tuttle, she was sick about one year. At the expiration of her first sickness, the doctor had given her over, and the nurses removed her by the use of sheets, to make her bed, for some days before her recovery.
For three days she eat only the yoke of one egg -- she was an anatomy to appearance. Her friends were often weeping around her bed expecting every important moment to be her last.
The day before her recovery, the doctor said it was as much impossible to raise her, as it would one from the dead. The night following she dreamed a dream; it was that a sort of wine would cure her, it was immediately brought to her, and she drank it. The next morning she awoke and called to her husband to get up and make a fire -- he arose immediately, but thought she was out of her head; but soon he found to the contrary, quickly she arose up on end in the bed (said the Lord has helped both body and soul) and dressed herself. She then asked for the Psalm book and turned to the 30th psalm, 2d part (readers look for yourselves) and again she mentioned the 116th first part. Soon after the same morning she went to the house of her father-in-law, *which was about ten rods) and back again on her feet her eyes and countenance appeared lively and bright as ever it was in her past life. It was on Thursday following, she went to meeting which was a mile and a half. On the first singing she offered them the 116th psalm first part. The minister preached an excellent sermon but her exhortation was said to exceed the minister's sermon and on the last singing she turned to the 116th psalm 2d part. After meeting returned

home and after she regained her strength she went about her usual labour, which she moderately followed one or two years, when she was taken down again she grew uneasy and went to her fathers in Gilsum in New0Hampshire, and there staid some months; at the same time I had another daughter sick with the consumption and died. My other daughter grew uneasy and I carried her back again, where she staid part of one summer and she was disconted [sic], and I went after her and got her to Montangue to kandlord S_____, I took her out of the carriage and set her in a chair and she instantly died. I immediately got a coffin made and then carried her home.
My friends when you read this journal remember your unfortunate friend Solomon Mack, who worried and toiled until an old age, to try to lay up treasures in this world, but the Lord would not suffer me to have it, but now I trust I have treasures laid up that no man can take away, but by the goodness of God through the blood of a bleeding Saviour.
Although I am a poor cripple unable to walk much, or even to mount or dismount my horseI hope to serve my God by his assistance to [divine] accceptance, that I may at last leap for joy [to] see his face and hold him fast in my embrace.
Jesus is mine, and I am his;
  In union we are joined.
Oh how sweet to me it is,
  To feel my Saviour mine.
My friends, for you I long,
  That you might happy be;
I long to hear you sing the song,
  Jesus has died for me.

HOW short and fleeting are my days,
  And chiefly spent in sinful ways;
O may those few which now remain
  Be spent eternal life to gain.
I'm passing through this vale of tears
  Beneath the weight of numerous years,
My body maimed; what have I done
  Beneath the light of yonder sun.
The bloom of life I spent in vain
  Some earthly treasures to obtain;
But earthly treasures took their flight,
  For which I laboured day and night.
I've ranged the fields of battle o'er
  Midst dying groans and cannon's roar;
Whilst death surrounded all the plain,
  I'm spared amidst the thousands slain.
For causes then unknown to me,
Which since I trust I'm brought to see.
I hope through grace that God has given
  I'm led to seek a place in heaven;
Where sin and pain shall never come,
  I hope to find a peaceful home.

Last edited by Loisanne Foster on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Loisanne Foster
Site Administrator
Posts: 379
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:17 pm
Location: Marlow, NH

Postby Loisanne Foster » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:50 am

Here are hymns, included in Solomon Mack's Narrative composed by Solomon and his sister (Perhaps there will be more to come about her identity. He had several sisters, including one who lived in Marlow.) :


MY friends, I am on the ocean,
  So sweetly do I sail.
Jesus he is my portion;
  He's given me a pleasant gale.
The bruises sore;
  In harbour soon I'll be,
And see my redeemer there
  That died for you and me.

Psalm for deliverance from great distress.
I WAITED patient on the Lord;
  He bowed to hear my cry,
He saw me resting on his word,
  And brought salvation nigh.
He rais'd me from a horrid pit,
  Where mourning long I lay,
And from my bonds releas'd my feet,
  Deep bonds of mirey clay.
Firm on a rock he made me stand,
  And taught my cheerful tongue
To praise the wonders of his hand,
  In a new thankful song.
I'll spread his works of grace abroad;
  The saints with joy shall hear,
And sinners learn to make my God
  Their only hope and fear.
How many are thy thoughts of love!
  Thy mercies, Lord, how great!
We have not words nor hours enough
  Their numbers to repeat.
When I'm afflicted, poor and low,
  And light and peace depart;
My God beholds my heavy woe,
  And bears me on his heart.

Composed by one of my sisters, to the family, to remind them of Eternity when I am dead and gone; she aims to set forth the willingness of Christ to receive sinners, and her for her children with their companions and grandchildren.

MY Children with their companions dear,
  They are my class to me they're near [s],
My grandchildren are near to my heart,
  Oh! God give them apart.
My Children dear obey the calls,
  The invitation is to you all,
Come, oh! come to Jesus' bow,
  Accept his invitation now.
For [you] I'll plead his bleeding veins,
  That he would purge away your stains,
Jesus I plead thy atoning blood
  To reconcile their souls to God.
Oh! how lovely are his ways,
  Hark and hear what Jesus says,
"My father's justice I satisfied for thee,
  When I hung bleeding on the tree.
Behold the spear that pierc'd my side,
  When for you I freely died;
Come view my bleeding feet and see
  The agony I bore for thee.
To save your souls from satan's chains,
  I give my body to be slain,
For you I pour the bleeding part,
  Sinners now give me your heart.
Sinners what more could I have done?
  I've given my life to ransome yours,
I suffered death upon the cross,
  That your poor souls might ne'er be lost.
Now I'm on my father's throne,
  I plead the merits of my own,
I plead your sins might be forgiven,
  That you might reign with me in Heaven."
Oh! my God if I could be
  I'd bring my children all to thee;
In haste I'd come to make no delay,
  Until I'd borne them all away.
Oh! I would bear them in my arms,
  Where they might view thy bleeding arms,
Saviour, I'd press them to thy breast,
  The souls would find sweet rest.
My Children I will tell you now,
  The labour I have had for you,
My pillow is witness to my tear,
  That I have shed for my Children dear.
Oft times my heart has been in pain,
  That your poor souls might be born again,
That you might taste redeeming love,
  And with your parents reign above.
My busy thoughts my spirits cheer
  I trust I have five babes in glory there,
With their golden harps God's praises sing,
  Hosanna to their heavenly king.
Oh! my glass is almost run,
  'Twill soon be said your mother's gone,
Then I must bid you all adieu,
  With no more groans nor sighs for you.
I am bound to canaan's land,
  I've lifted in Immanuel's band,
Could I be sure to meet you there,
  Joy and peace 'twould give me here.
When my eyes in death are closed,
  Remember those lines I have composed:
Harbor no sighs within your breast,
  Hope and trust my soul's at rest.
When my corpse in my grave is laid,
  Search and see if your peace is made,
Remember the warnings I've given to thee,
  Children prepare to follow me.
Now fare you well my children dear,
  In the hands of God I leave you here;
In silence I shall call on thee,
  Bid you prepare to follow me.

Composed by my sister, on the death of a Grandchild, in the twelfth year of his age.

CHILDREN, with you I feel to mourn,
  With you in your present grief,
Our child to us no more return,
  In Jesus seek relief
I trust he's bowing before his throne,
  Singing redeeming love,
Itf it be so prepare to go,
  Join with your son above.
If he be to glory gone,
  Happy is his employ,
Hosanna there will be his song
  Through all eternity.

Children you'll meet your son again,
  When 'wake from his long sleep.
It was for some wise end,
  To us it is unknown,
Why Jesus took your lovely son,
  Altho' he was his own.
Methinks in silence he does speak,
  His voice is to us all,
Bids us prepare our judge to meet,
  Be ready when he calls.
If your peace with God is made,
  Happy will be the hour,
We may meet our Judge, be not afraid
  Of his extensive power.
That blooming flower your lovely bud,
  From us has took a flight,
We trust he's now praising his God,
  There cloathed in raiment white.
Pity his parents dear,
  Sanctify the rod,
Jesus to thee bring them near,
  Oh with them in thy blood.
Jesus with thee I leave this case,
  With thy father now to plead,
Nor do I doubt thy father's grace,
  He is a friend in time of need,
Oh! my God hear thy Son,
  When he intercedes with thee,

He'll plead the merits of his own,
  Oh set the mourners free.
Now fare you well my children dear,
  Cleanse them O Lord from sin,
When to the throne of grace I go,
  I'll remember them again.

True faith and confidence in Christ.
MY Friends I am happy now,
  My saviour I embrace,
He's made my stugorn heart to bow,
  And sing redeeming grace.
I care not for all the riches that you possess,
  Nor any of your glittering attire.
Now I am leaning on Jesus Breast,
  I have my heart's desire.
I view'd the heavenly mansions above,
  My king he's on his throne,
He stooped to me with smiles of love,
  He tells me I'm his own.
I viewed my saviour there,
  At his Father's right hand he stands,
He told to me I was his heir,
  And I belonged to his heavenly band.
It is through my Saviour's blood,
  That I have grown so bold,
It's reconciled me to my God,
  My joys they can't be told.
When I view'd the heaven;y mansions above.
  My heart did give a leap,
My siul was swimming away in love,
  (Still) for my sins I weep.
When my best friends and I did weep,
  Our discourse together was love,
While I'm lying at his feet,
  He tells me of the days above.
He shows to me the cross,
  Where he himself had died,
I beheld his bleeding hands and feet,
  I viewed his wounded side.
My heart began to melt,
  My eyes, they flowed with tears,
In my soul his dying love, I felt,
  And 'tis driven away my fears.
He took me out of the mirey pit,
  And sat me on a rock,
He told me how he had paid my debt,
  And it has given my soul a shock.

Faith, Charity and Hope.
Sometimes she's in the valley,
  And that I will not bear,
I fired at her a ralley,
  And drive her away from there.
And when she's on the mountain,

or while she's there she loves,
  The their [sic] she's nearer to the crown.
At this the prisoner said,
  Alack a day and sad she,
My enemies said she,
  No help is here for me.
This I am determined
  A request to my king, I'll send,
He's able to relieve me,
  And break my iron band.
At this she was rewarded,
  And soon did she proceed,
Her request, it soon arrived,
  And help she had with speed.
As soon as she beheld them.
  She leaped for joy,
Saying these men she knew they
  Both were there, 'twas faith and charity.
Of Polion faith demanded,
  The captive again,
Showing him the warrant,
  Received from the king.
As charity, by faith he stood,
  To Polion he replied,
This warrant is sealed with
  Blood it cannot be denied.
Old Polion soon retreated,
  And unbelief did hide,
Faith took the prisoners hands,
The hand and fearful step't aside.
Faith took the captive by the hand,
  And led her from Polion's ground,
Together they rejoiced,
  To Canaan they were bound.
As they were walking,
  Their talk it was love,
Ascribing all the honor,
  To the powers above.
Together they united,
  And sung the victory,
Saying twas our king Imanuel,
  That set this prisoner free.

Confidence in God.

UNTO my God I made my moan,
  He granted my request,
Jesus to me returned
  In him I feel to rest.
Thanks be to God my Saviour he,
  I taste his sweetest love,
He bore my sins on Calvary,
  Now pleads for me above.
Jesus to thee, I give my case,
  With thy Father now to plead,
Nor do I doubt thy Father's grace,
  He's a friend in time of need.
It is thy bleeding charms,
  That now inamor's me,
Jesus clasp me in thy arms,
  Oh! keep me near to thee.

It's thy bleeding veins.
  That makes me now so bold,
Thy blood has purg'd away my stains,
  New joy's to me unfolds.
With thee I feel to be,
  In my Father's family,
In thy Father's family I have a share,
  The thanks I give to thee.

Faith, Charity, and Hope.
OLD unbelief he seized me, and
    dragged me along with him,
His countenance was frowning on me, he
    looked grim,
He told me I'd been treacherous and rebel'd
    against my king,
He would rake up all my character into the
    court he'd bring.
His witnesses were summoned while I stood
    trembling by,
Old Polion was his lawyer he has this case
    to try,
No friend had I around me to plead for my
My heart was fill'd with sorrow and over
    come with grief.

[For] fearful made the first speech trough trembling
    as he stood,
Saying Ive of't told this prisoner his religion
    was not good,
When I forsee her danger it made my heart
    to bleed,
Often times I've counceled her never more
Soon old unbelief his story told which pleas'd
    his lawyer well
He's often tho't thy prisoner her portion was
    in hell,
Her lamps they were not trim'd in them she
    has no oil,
I made her believe she was deceived by satan
    was begiled.
Ive laid my burden at thy feet,
  On thee Ive cast my cares,
Thy [----es] to me was sweet,
  [------- -------- ------- ---lling] there.
[----- ------- -------- ------- ---] from me,
  [----- ----------- -------- -------------]
[----------- ------- ---------- ------- ---]
  [------- ------- ------ ------- ---------]
Satan you [--- ------ ------- ---------]
  Your [w----- ------ ------- ---------]
So I'm leaning on [------ -------- ---]
  Your enmity I [---------- --------- ---]
Saints with all your hearts [----- ---]
  We are bound to canaan's land,
When we took our saviour for our choice,
  We lifted in his hand.
Upon Christ and deliverance,
  Though earthly friends against me turn,
Surely I'll not be grieved,
  I know where I can make my mourn. I here shall be received.
New trials begin to rise,
  In haste I'll run to hire,
With a broken heart and watery eyes,
  I'll beg and plead him:
I'll tell him of my trials here,
  How I'm rejected,
And beg with patience, I might bear,
  Trials when I am afflicted.
When I ask relief from friends below,
  With me they soon grow [weary],
And charging me of what I know,
  From my heart I am not guilty.
My friends above will be my judges,
  With him I am well pleased,
In my breast his [prom---- -----]
  Surely I'm not deceived.
When to this friend I make my mourn,
  With bitter lementations,
He gives me balm for [sound]
  Fitted to my condition.
He shows to me his wounded side,
  Telling to me the glorious story,
How for sinners he had died,
  To bring their souls to glory

On the death of the widow Phebe Miller, composed on her death bed.
[Solomon's oldest sister (born 1728) was named Phebe.]

MY life's a shade, my days decline,
  The Lord is life he'll raise my dust,
These truth's divine, I feel them mine,
  I'm a going to dwell amongst the Just,
My peaceful grace will keep my day,
  Until I meet you all at the last day.
The time has been when I was loth to die,
  Death has now became my choice.
Death is a conquered enemy
  In God, my Saviour, I rejoice,
Those gloomy doubts are gone from me,
  My saviour's nlood has set me free.
The pangs of death is all I dread,
  Dear Saviour, take the sting away,
I'm not afraid for to be dead,
  And leave this lump of clay,
Oh! may I [----- on] a dying bed,
  Free joy will take away this dread.
Farewell my children dear,
  I know you all are near my heart,
The time is now a drawing near;
  That you and I must surely part,
I hope to meet you all above.
  Where we shall sing redeeming love.
Brothers and sisters fare you well,
  I'm now agoing to die,
I feel submitted to God's will,
  I trust my name is written on high.
I trust my sins are all forgiven,
  I hope to rain with you in Heav'n.
Be nigh to them in trials here.
  This world is not their home,
Fill their souls with love and fear,
  In them let murmuring have no room;
Father and mother, they'll have none,
  Be night ti them when I am gone.
Lord give me patience here,
  To wait untill my time is come,
Patiently my pains to bear,
  Then may I go rejoicing home,
[Though] the shades of death be nigh to me,
  My God, my truth is all thee.
Come welcome death your warrant's read.
  I'm prepar'd to die,
Come welcome angels with speed come,
  Convey my soul to God on high,
Come welcome saviour visit me,
  Come sit my soul at liberty.

Back sliders' Return.
MY dearest friend my lovely saviour,
  I want a visit now from thee,
I'm sorry for my past behaviour,
  [I] want a visit from thee.
I'm sorry for my past behaviour,
  That I so oft have strayed from thee,
Let thy blood be appli'd,
  Nothing else can stain, cleanse my sins.
Since for sinners thou hast died,
  I'll pleed thy bleeding veins,
'Tis through thy salvation I ask salvation.
  Jesus I believe thee to be our door.
I hope and trust with expectation,
  To reign with thee forever more,
Do not suffer me to be deceived,
  My God my trust is all in thee.
If I have not in thee believed,
  O Lord make it known to me,
Search my heart in every corner,
  Make me know how vile I be.
Jesus to thee I'll give the honor.
  Jesus the thanks belong to thee.

Christian Victory.
MY God my Saviour here I be,
  Drinking at thy fountain free,
There is no less than when I began,
  Here is enough for every one.

Jesus bring to thy children dear,
  That we may drink together there;
These living streams, can never dry,
  Come Christians, drink your full supply.
Soon ye shall reach that blisful shore,
  Where we shall never thirst more,
There be cloath'd in raiments white,
  In us our saviour will take delight.
We'll make the heavenly arches ring,
  When we are brought before our king,
With saints and angels join above,
  There we'll sing redeeming love.
Angels above, and we believe
  We'll sing his praise as well as you,
Our songs, will yours exceed,
  It was for you Jesus did bleed.
Above your notes our songs will swell,
"Twas Jesus saved our souls from hell.
Jesus bought us with his blood.
Now reconcile your souls to God.

[Here Solomon's miracles are described. (See above.) Here, again, is his ending.]
Jesus is mine, and I am his;
  In union we are joined.
Oh how sweet to me it is,
  To feel my Saviour mine.
My friends, for you I long,
  That you might happy be;
I long to hear you sing the song,
  Jesus has died for me.

HOW short and fleeting are my days,
  And chiefly spent in sinful ways;
O may those few which now remain
  Be spent eternal life to gain.
I'm passing through this vale of tears
  Beneath the weight of numerous years,
My body maimed; what have I done
  Beneath the light of yonder sun.
The bloom of life I spent in vain
  Some earthly treasures to obtain;
But earthly treasures took their flight,
  For which I laboured day and night.
I've ranged the fields of battle o'er
  Midst dying groans and cannon's roar;
Whilst death surrounded all the plain,
  I'm spared amidst the thousands slain.
I've been preserved by sea and land
  By the Almighty's gracious hand,
For causes then unknown to me,
Which since I trust I'm brought to see.
I hope through grace that God has given
  I'm led to seek a place in heaven;
Where sin and pain shall never come,
  I hope to find a peaceful home.

Loisanne Foster
Site Administrator
Posts: 379
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:17 pm
Location: Marlow, NH

A Few Solomon Mack Facts, Speculations, and Questions

Postby Loisanne Foster » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:04 am

Solomon Mack is shown on the records as born in Lyme, CT, the son of The Reverend* Ebenezer Mack and Hannah Huntley Mack, but with conflicting birth dates, Sept. 15,1732 and 1735. While this might be due to a transcription error, there is speculation that the "master" to whom Solomon was indentured as a young child altered the contract so that he could enjoy the benefits of Solomon's labor longer, in which case, Solomon may have been seven years old, and not four as his narrative claims, when he was indentured. In those days, the lot of an indentured servant was little better than that of a slave, but I'll let Solomon elaborate in his own words!

Solomon's sister, Hepzibath, was the wife of Abisha Tubbs who was with Solomon a signer of the 1772 petition for an extension of the Marlow charter. Why did Solomon not mention his family relationship to Ashiba when he named him as a witness to the truth of his story?

If Solomon's father, Ebenezer, was a minister, what happened that he was suddenly so poor that he had to disburse his children as indentured servants? (According to Solomon's narrative, his father didn't die until much, much later, so it wasn't death that impoverished the family.) Perhaps he was in severe conflict with his congregation. Can we get to the bottom of this? Solomon isn't telling. 3.24.06
* Daniel Decker, Social Science teacher at Stevens High School of Claremont, N. H., tells me that in the time period under discussion, "Reverend " was often used as a title of respect, and did not necessarily denote 'a man of the cloth,' as it does today." So there's a good chance that Ebenezer was not a minister after all. There goes that theory!

Why does Solomon not mention Marlow by name in his narrative? Was religion a reason he left? Why does Solomon, who tells all about some things, remain secretive about others?

In those days, according to a law of 1714: "... any town or parish at its meeting might choose a minister and enter a contract for his support, the majority of the townspeople having the controlling voice in this matter. The selectmen were empowered to assses taxes upon all persons within the town or parish for support of the chosen minister." (Revolutionary New Hampshire. Upton, Richard, Francis. Octagon Books. NY. 1971. 208) Early Marlow citizens quarrelled over this for years, unable to agree upon a denomination or minister, so they delayed building a Meeting House. They were still quarreling in 1792 when a Meeting House was proposed and in 1797 when the one we now call Jones Hall was completed. The quarrel continued until at least 1807. There were some from Marlow who chose to attend Meeting in Washington and did not wish to support the Marlow church. Unlike most towns, Marlow established Baptists rather than Congregationalists or "the standing order" first. Methodists and, after awhile, Universalists, were also part of the picture.

In 1807 Silas Mack, Jonathan Mack, and John Mack, among others, protested the views of (Methodist) Paul Dustin who had been called by the town to the pulpit. "...we understand by the creed that said Dustin has exhibited views...which we profess not to believe, therefore his preaching cannot be edifying to us..." Bethuel Miller is said to have been actually arrested for not paying the ministerial tax. ( History of Marlow, New Hampshire.Elgin Jones. 32-33) This is a quick synopsis. The actual events are more like a three-ring circus.

At any rate, in his narrative, Solomon Mack alludes to some quarrel with conventional thought, so one wonders if a quarrel with a rising, newly dominant group led to his departure. It's speculation.

It was not until the Toleration Act of 1819 that such quarreling in many New England towns came to an end. This new law "...provided that no person should be required to contribute to the support of any church of which he was not a member, and that no person should be required to be a member of any church, but could resign upon giving written notice." (Upton, 209) Thus ended the era in which church elders could call citizens to account, for instance to censure them or fine them for cursing or failing to attend Sabbath meeting. We can note in Solomon's story his great remorse at the end of his life for having, in his words, "abused the Sabbath," as well as at least one dig at established religion. He also states that his children received far more effective moral instruction from his wife than at church. There seems to be in his mind ambivalence, turmoil, and anquish on the subject.

Point of interest: Almost all of those Marlow signers of the 1772 petition for renewing Marlow's charter were from Lime [Lyme], Connecticut, and many of them were related to one another. What did those Lyme folks have in common, besides geography, that led them here? Why would anyone decide to avoid the lush, flat Connecticut River Valley and settle in the rough and rocky hills? Marlow's History written by Elgin Jones tells us that Marlow is one of the few N.H. towns that did not establish Congregationalism (also called "the standing order" or "the orthodox belief,") first. Clearly Marlow was not settled by "Go along, get along folks." The more things change, the more they remain the same.

(Added 3.29.06) *My "devil's advocate" at Stevens High School, Dan Decker, suggests that maybe these people headed for the rocky hills because they didn't have the wealth to settle into the broad, green Connecticut River Valley. Besides, no doubt everything below the falls (Read portage.) at Bellows Falls was probably taken.

Given the difficulty of transportation in this region in the late 1700's when most routes were mere bridle paths, isn't it amazing how much Solomon Mack traveled from state to state? Note that Samuel Gustin left Baker's Corner, Marlow, for Portsmouth, N.H. mid-winter, Jan. 12, 1772, with the petition for Governor Wentworth (Portsmouth was our capital then). Were these kinds of trips more typical than we might imagine? How did people equip themslves for these journeys?

* (3.29.06) From reading the scholarly book, The French and Indian Wars. by Edward Hamilton. Doubleday.1962, and comparing it to the locations Solomon mentions, especially during war, I now have a better idea of how he appears almost magically in so many places distant from his home and from one another. Between the Green Mountains and the Adirondack Mountain chain is a water highway running noth and south. There is the Hudson River with its tributary, the Mowhawk. One can follow the Hudon upriver from Albany to Saratoga to Fort Edward. From there it's a twelve mile portage to the southern tip of Lake George, (Fort William Henry). Further up at the base of lake Champlain is Ticonderoga, then Fort St. Frederick and Crown Point. One can follow Lake Champlain all the way to Fort St. John on the Richelieu River and easily reach Montreal on the St. Lawrence, or even arrive eventually at Halifax. (Hamilton. 12-17) The place names that Solomon used are all along this route. It is likely that he used (hired or owned) a batteau, a flat-bottomed boat of 14-20 feet long, especially in transpporting goods (Hamilton. 4-9) or a sled or sledge over the ice which was, no doubt faster. Of course, he had to get to this water highway, and that might have been slow going.

Here's the the kicker: Solomon's mother was Hannah Huntley Mack from Lyme, CT. You Marlow history buffs all know what that means. He is, no doubt, an ancestor of at least half of us.

(Added 3.24.06)
I thought #7 was the kicker. I was wrong. Here's the real kicker: Solomon is the grandfather of the Joseph Smith who established the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. For more details, see "Solomon Mack" under "Marlow History" on this Forum. Solomon's youngest daughter Lucy, mother of THE Joseph Smith, also published several narratives about her family and experiences. We have not yet explored these thoroughly, but watch this spot for more information. THIS IS SO EXCITING!

(*Added 3.29.06) Lucy's writings seem to have been edited in major ways and copyrighted, so we cannot copy portions here. However, I will work on providing links. They do seem most interesting and pertinent to the spirit of the times in Marlow as well as in the outside world.

Since Solomon died in 1820 when his grandson, Joseph Smith was only 15 years old, he never knew in this life what a nation-wide influence his descendant would have, but surely the constant "seeking" of Solomon Mack and his family had a huge influence on what was to come. While this is not news to the Mormons, it is news to us here in Marlow, New Hampshire.
Last edited by Loisanne Foster on Wed May 17, 2006 10:59 am, edited 5 times in total.
Loisanne Foster
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Corrections by Virgil Huntley, genealogist extraordinaire!

Postby Loisanne Foster » Thu Mar 30, 2006 7:50 am

"... I read the interesting tale  by Solomon Mack and find a few errors.  There is no Cordy family in Lyme, CT.  The family is that of John McCurdy one of the wealthiest men in Lyme.   He mentions Hawton at the head of Minas Basin.  This is the Township of Horton, Kings County, where many from Lyme settled:  Beckwiths, Huntleys,   DeWolfes, Miners etc.  I am sure the Rev. Ebenezer Mack is the Ebenezer Mack, Jr. who married Abigail Davis in 1736.   Regards,  Virgil Huntley"

[Virgil Huntley is the gentleman who wrote the Huntley family history, Volumes I - III of which are now in the Marlow Library, Vols. I and III given by Marcia Maloney and Volume II donated by Virgil himself. You might like to know that this year he is celebrating his ninetieth birthday.

(No wonder there are spelling errors in Solomon's narrative. It seems that as a child he was not taught to read and write. He must have learned informally along the way.)

Thank you, Mr. Huntley for your scholarly correcting our information from Solomon!
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Solomon Mack's Age When in Marlow, His Role...

Postby Loisanne Foster » Thu May 04, 2006 10:47 am

If Solomon was born in 1732, he was already 40 years old when Governor Wentworth decided to withdraw Marlow's charter as he believed there were not enough people and progress to justify it. Solomon was 40 when he signed the petition requesting and extension which Samuel Gustin carried on horseback to Portsmouth, then New Hampshire's capital, in 1772. Solomon had been in Marlow for a number of years already at that time. Several of his children had been born here, "one in 1764 and one prior to that date." Elgin Jones in his History of Marlow, New Hampshie admits "that Solomon Mack was the first to build a home here," (12) but dismisses his importance.

Jones wishes instead to give the honor of first settler, Samuel Gustin. "Mack is a roving character, judging from an autobiography of his, the singular thing about it being his silence about his residence in New Hampshire, although he does refer to Abisha Tubbs, an early resident here [his brother-in-law, husband of his sister, Hepsibah]. Mr. Mack was not involved in town affairs, so that, while the honor of being the first resident in town may be Mack's, Mr. Gustin is unquestionably deserving of greater honor for the value of his early leadership." (12-13)

Not so fast, Mr. Jones! Do we really know that Mack was not involved in town affairs? I don't think so. "The Giffin Elm," our town's symbol located near the corner of Baine and Mack Road, was probably a "Liberty Tree" and meeting place for important discussions of all kinds (See "Giffin Elm" under "Giffin Genealogy" in this Forum.) It was located on property once owned by Solomon Mack. We have so few clues from that time period, a sweeping statement about Solomon's lack of invlovement seems uncalled for. It seems clear from Solomon's reference to Abisha in his Narrative that both men were interested in seeing that New Hampshire was properly supplied with gun powder in preparation for the Revolution. Solomon explains that he learned from Abisha how to make salt peter and went from town to town showing each community how it is done. There seems to be a lot more here than meets the eye.

I had expressed elsewhere that Solomon might have left Marlow and not mentioned the place in his narrative due to anger over religious conflicts with non-Baptists who were arriving, but it might also be that he wished to protect people in the area from revelation of their clandestine activities. How secure was the nation in 1810 when Solomon completed his story? Our government was very new, and its success still somewhat in doubt.
The War of 1812 loomed on the horizon. We know from his own words that Solomon, with his sons, had been a privateer (a sort of semi-legalized pirate). Perhaps he needed to "cover his tracks," for the sake of family still in the area such as children still in Gilsum and his brother, The Reverend Ebenezer Mack, and numerous nieces and nephews still in Marlow.

Perhaps Elgin Jones, writing in the early twentieth century and from an "establishment" perspective, could not identify with Solomon Mack. Perhaps Solomon represented to him modes of thought with which he could not agree. While I might not approve of all of his exploits and I personally might not enjoy being in the same room with Solomon, should he appear, I disagree with Jones' dismissive assessment of him.

Not only had Solomon been a hill-farmer. As a privateer, he had fitted out one ship and lost it, then promply financed another one, risking all on his exploits. Talk about "war effort"! He had also been a foot soldier in the French and Indian Wars and Revolutionary War, fighting along side Rogers Rangers and John Stark. He had been an ox-cart sutter, following the American armies with supplies the length and breadth of New England and beyond, from Pennsylvania to Halifax, Nova Scotia. He had served in what today we would see as a National Guard-type role, "trucking" cannon, ammunition, and other supplies by his own ox carts through swamp and over hill and by batteau over waterways. [Mowhawk River > Hudson River > Lake George > Lake Champalin > St. Lawrence River.] We see that both Solomon Mack and the other early Marlow settlers arrived from "Old Saybrook" or Lyme, Conn. Since Solomon preceded them, it is clear whom they were following. Through his life, this Scotsman struggled valiantly through many setbacks and misfortunes, rising up again and again to participate mightily in gaining and maintaining liberty and building a new world. We stand on the bones of men like this who made our world easier than theirs. Far from dismissing him, we should honor him as our first citizen.
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