Friday, August 10, 2012

The Quaker Monument on Shelter Island


This is the transcription of the now illegible words on the steps of the Quaker Monument, given to me by the Friends on Shelter Island.  The transcription was made some years ago of the monument erected in 1884.  The tablets on the top of the monument are inscribed with a memorial to the Sylvester Family, who sheltered the Quakers and were great allies with many Friends both in England and in the New .  I'll transcribe those in another blog post. 

Each step on all four sides of this monument is inscribed
with the following words....
West Top Step – THE PURITAN AND HIS PRIDE
West middle step- OVERCOME BY THE FAITH OF THE QUAKER
West bottom step – GAVE CONCORD AND LEXINGTON AND BUNKER HILL TO HISTORY

South top step – DANIEL GOULD BOUND TO THE GUN CARRIAGE AND LASHED
South middle step – EDWARD WHORTON THE MUCH SCOURGED
South bottom step – CHRISTOPHER HOLDER THE MUTILATED

East top step- LAWRENCE AND CASSANDRA SOUTHWICK
East middle step- DESPOILED IMPRISIONED STARVED WHIPPED BANISHED
East bottom step- WHO FLED HERE TO DIE

North top step – OF THE SUFFERINGS OF CONSCIENCE SAKE OF FRIENDS OF NATHANIEL SYLVESTER MOST OF WHOM SOUGHT SHELTER HERE INCLUDING
North middle step- GEORGE FOX FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF QUAKERS AND OF HIS FOLLOWERS
North bottom step- MARY DYER MARMADUKE STEVENSON AND WILLIAM ROBINSON WILLIAM LEDDRA WHO WERE EXECUTED ON BOSTON COMMON


Named on the Monument, in the order they were listed:

Daniel Gould  - nephew of my 9x great grandmother, Priscilla (Gould) Putnam.  In Boston in 1659 he was sentenced to be whipped 30 times, and told to depart or be imprisoned.

Edward Wharton- arrived with some of the Salem Quakers (including my ancestors the Southwicks, Popes, Trasks and Buffums).  He was whipped for stating that Robinson and Stevenson were unjustly hung.  Before William Leddra was hung in Boston, he attended him in prison and then assisted in giving his body a decent burial.  He was banished from Boston in 1661, went to Rhode Island and then later to Maine as far north as Casco Bay to preach.  He was arrested in New Hampshire in 1663 and sentenced to be scourged in Dover, Hampton and Newbury. In 1664 he was whipped through Boston, Lynn and Salem “By order of Governor Endicott led to the marketplace, bound to the wheels of a great gun, and barbarously whipped with thirty stripes to such a degree, that it was testified that peas might lie in the holes made in his flesh by the knots of the whip.” [Persecutions of Early Quakers in America, Chapter XIV, www.hallvworthington.com/persecutions/part-6.html

Christopher Holder- (about 1631 – after 1676)  Holder arrived in Boston aboard the “Speedwell” on 27 July 1656, but port officials suspected Quakers were on board and searched the vessel.  Governor John Endicott ordered them brought directly to court to be deported back to England.  Holder returned to New England later and went to Sandwich, Massachusetts where he was able to preach his faith for several months.  He went to Salem, to the Congregational Church where Governor Endicott preached and he was captured.  A church member named Samuel Shattuck tried to save him from being arrested, but both were given 30 lashes.  His Salem hosts, Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick were also jailed with him. When Holder returned to Sandwich he was given 33 lashes.  When he tried to go to Boston he was again arrested and his ear was cut off as punishment.  He finally removed to safety in Rhode Island and died there after 1676.

Humphrey Norton- He was imprisoned at New Haven, Connecticut for heresy.  An iron key was place in his mouth during the trial so he could not testify.  His punishment was to be whipped 36 times, branded with the letter H for heresy, fined and banished.  He went to Rhode Island, and then in 1658 tried to go to Plymouth with John Rous where they were arrested upon arrival.  They would not take an oath of allegiance, and so were whipped and banished back to Rhode Island.

John Rous-  Was the son of a wealthy planter in Barbados who joined the Quakers and went to Rhode Island in 1657.  He went to Plymouth in 1658 with Norton, but was treated more leniently because of his father’s influence (he received only 15 lashes to Norton’s 30).  He tried to board a ship in Boston to return to Barbados, but was arrested by Governor Endicott and had his right ear cut off as punishment.  He was released and returned to Barbados and then to England.  He spent his life supporting the Quakers and writing pamphlets.  He used his wealth to influence politics in England in support of the Quakers.

Giles Sylvester- was born at Shelter Island and inherited 4/5ths of his father’s estate.  Perhaps he is labeled “The Champion” on the monument for this statement signed 28 of the 11m, 1659 by Giles Sylvester “Whereas, I am accused to say that all the ministers in New England were worse than witches, I own I said soe, for which I am heartily sorrowful, and owne to bee very inconsiderately spoken and to my folly and wickedness in it, and hope the Lord shall guide my wayes and words to be more circumspent and like to himself.”

Ralph Goldsmith- Captain Goldsmith was paid $300 by the Quakers in England to set sail in 10 days for Boston “good or no goods” with Friends on board, and also a message from King Charles II to stop hanging the Quakers in the Massachusetts colony.  Samuel Shattuck was on board with the “King’s Missive” and the ship arrived in October 1661. 

Samuel Shattuck-  Samuel Shattuck was a Salem resident who went to England to tell the Quakers of the persecutions going on in Boston.  He was given the “King’s Missive” to deliver to Governor John Endicott, to end the hanging of Quakers.  The story goes that he was arrested upon landing in Boston, and sent to Governor Endicott, where a constable knocked off his hat and told him to bare his head before the Governor.  When Shattuck revealed he was the King’s messenger, Endicott had to bare his head to Shattuck!  This incident has been made into a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier (“The King’s Missive”) and a play by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (“John Endicott”).   Samuel Shattuck is buried in the Charter Street Burying Ground in Salem.   Samuel Shattuck is my 1st cousin 10x removed, his mother was Damaris Sibley (1606 – 1674) sister to Richard Sibley (about 1630 – 1676), my 9x great grandfather.

Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick- My ancestors, who were fined for not attending the Puritan meetings, and arrested when Holder came to Salem.  Their children were sold into slavery for non-payment of the fines.  The elderly couple was banished from Massachusetts, and so they went into exile and removed to the Quaker colony on Shelter Island, off Southold on Long Island.  They arrived in the fall of 1658 and died a few months later in early 1659 of exposure and deprivation.

Nathaniel Sylvester- a royalist, whose wife was the daughter of the accountant for Charles I and Charles II.  He was the first European to settle on Shelter Island in June 1651. Sylvester was a great friend of George Fox, the founder of the Quakers in England.  Fox visited Shelter Island at least once.  Sylvester created a refuge for persecuted Quakers from New England on Shelter Island.

George Fox- (1624-1691) founder of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers.  He traveled all over England as a preacher, and went to North America, including Shelter Island.  He was often persecuted by the authorities for heresy and other charges.  His journal was published after his death.

Mary Dyer – (abt 1611 – 1660) One of the four executed Quakers known as the Boston Martyrs. She repeatedly defied the law banning Quakers in Massachusetts, and kept returning to Boston to preach.  She visited Shelter Island at least twice. She was hanged on Boston Common on 1 June 1660.  Mary Dyer is buried on Boston Common in an unmarked grave.  There is a statue of her in front of the Massachusetts State House, facing Boston Common.

Marmaduke Stevenson- see below

William Robinson-  Stevenson and Robinson arrived in Boston just as a new law imposed the death sentence on Quakers.  They were imprisoned upon arrival.  The court released them and banished them upon pain of death for returning to Massachusetts.  They went to Rhode Island, and were hanged on 27 October 1659 when they returned to Boston.

William Leddra-   A Quaker who arrived in Boston from Barbados and was hanged on 14 March 1661, just before the “Kings’s Missive” arrived that fall stopping the hangings.

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For more information:

Blog post Part 1, A Visit to Shelter Island:
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-visit-to-shelter-island.html 

Persecutions of Early Quakers in America, Chapters VI and XIV, www.hallvworthington.com/persecutions/part-6.html

Quakers and Baptists in Colonial Massachusetts, by Carla Gardiner Pestana, Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Historical Papers on Shelter Island and It’s Presbyterian Church, by Jacob Edward Mallman, 1899 (see page 24 for the quote by Giles Sylvester)

History of the Society of Friends in America, by James Bowden, London, 1850.

History of Salem by Sidney Perley, in three volumes,  1924.   Available on line at this link: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/Perley/

Shelter Island Historical Society – www.shelterisland.org

The Mary Barrett Dyer Blog by Christy K. Robinson at www.marybarrettdyer.blogspot.com

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Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


5 comments:

  1. I really appreciated this story. I had no idea that the Puritans were persecuted. It struck me because my ancestors came over in the "Welcome" with William Penn. Two of my gr grandmothers were Quaker ministers. I wrote a story last January: Church Record Sunday - Quakers

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  2. I also didn't know the Quakers were persecuted. Even worse than the Irish. There are Buffums and Putnams in The Tufts family also, but no Tufts Quakers I have found; although we do take credit for Christian Scientist and Mormon followers. I think the real message here is that America didn't always welcome every religion. Or were they so zealous they brought it on themselves by denouncing others so strongly?

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    1. Tom, if you click on the keyword "Quaker" in the right column here, you will read some horrifying stories about how the Quakers were persecuted in Salem and Boston. The Southwick's story was sad, and so was the story of Deborah Wilson (also from Salem), and the story of the Dover, NH women who were whipped out of town gives me the shivers.

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  3. HAPPY BELATED BLOGOVERSARY TO YOU, HAPPY BELATED BLOGOVERSARY TO YOU, HAPPY BELATED BLOGOVERSARY DEAR HEATHERRRRR, HAPPY BELATED BLOGOVERSARY TO YOUUUUU!

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    1. Thanks, Sheri! That was worth the wait!

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