Offering a wonderful assemblage of
about 90 letters, various sizes, and many with multiple pages, 1896 – 1930, written
by dozens of descendants in search of and documenting the genealogical lineage originating
from Abraham Newell, who sailed from Ipswich, England, aboard the ship
“Francis,” in 1634, which docked in Roxbury, MA, then part of the Mass Bay
Colony under British rule. The Mass Bay
Colony had been founded only five years before the Newell family arrived. Newell
was 50 at the time when he came with his wife Frances and their four children. He
was an original proprietor of homesteads and orchards in and around Roxbury. He
was also one of the original donors to Roxbury Free School, which became
Roxbury Latin School. The school was
established under a charter from King Charles I of England and is today the
oldest school in continuous existence in North America. Newell died on June 15,
1672. His ancestors would participate in
many significant American events, such as the Revolutionary War, the Boston Tea
Party, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and serve as military governor
of Puerto Rico, the first military governor of the Panama Canal Zone and
organizer of the National Temperance Society.
Some of the writers of these letters are themselves noteworthy, such as GEN. GEORGE W. DAVIS (July 26, 1839 – July 12, 1918), who was a Major General in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, fighting in many important battles including the Battle of Antietam. Davis joined the army as a Quartermaster Sergeant in the 11th CT Regiment in November 1861. His grandfather held the same position during the Revolutionary War. Davis would later become military governor of Puerto Rico and the first military governor of the Panama Canal Zone. When the Spanish-American War broke out, Davis was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Brigade General of Volunteers. Many letters have been written by FREDERICK HAYNES NEWELL (March 5, 1862 – July 5, 1932), who served as the first Director of the United States Reclamation Service. Newell submitted a number of Congressional bills, one of which through the personal efforts of President Theodore Roosevelt, which became the Reclamation Act. He was also Secretary of the National Geographic Society, the American Forestry Association and President of the American Association of Engineers. Newell shares detailed genealogical information and seeks more information from one letter recipient in the form of a questionnaire. In one letter, dated December 20, 1928, he shares his conservative politics: “...I spent two months in the Solid South, -- telling my old time Democratic friends that we did not expect them to be reborn Republicans; we did not care what ticket they voted,--if they cast a ballot for Hoover. They did. Each told me in strict confidence that he would...”
One writer describes Jacob Newell “who would be eighteen years old when he took part in the [Revolutionary War] Battle of Bennington [VT]. He was a private in...Col. Nichol’s Regiment of New Hampshire Militia...which company joined the Northern Continental Army at Bennington and Stillwater in July 1777.” The writer further states, “My father, Eugene Newell, was in the Army of the Rebellion serving something like four years...”
Dozens of ancestors are mentioned. Stephen Newell was a Private in Captain Munro’s Company, Colonel Leonard’s Regiment and served at Ticonderoga in 1777. Jonathan Newell was a Private in Captain Ezra Newhall’s Company at the Lexington Alarm, Colonel James Titcomb’s Regiment. He was also at the Battle of Bunker Hill [noted in other included research]. Eliphalet Newell (born in 1735) was a militiaman in the Revolutionary War, acting as an artillery officer who took part in the Boston Tea Party when patriots dressed in disguise and threw British tea overboard in Boston in protest of British taxes. George Newell lived in Amherst, MA. Samuel Arnold Newell and the children of Lemuel Newell lived in Chicopee Falls. Oliver Newell lived in Taunton and Colrain, MA. Josiah Newell lived in Roxbury. William Whiting Newell, born on September 17, 1807, at South Natick, MA, attended Phillips Academy at Andover, MA, studied at Yale, licensed to preach at Bristol, R.I, installed as pastor at a number of churches and an organizer of the National Temperance Society and Publication House in 1865-66.
B.F. Severance of Greenfield, MA, searched for information about Arnold Newell in a letter written on July 25, 1902. “He was probably a resident of Colrain not far from 1800...Was his death sudden and caused by falling through a bridge...I heard my mother tell of a Newell...[who] was crossing a bridge with cattle and heavily loaded cart. The Bridge gave way and Newell was instantly killed...Can you tell me who this Newell was that met such a tragic death? I have an old King James Bible that was property of Solomon Newell and it is the general opinion that it was brought to this country by the first Newell emigrants...”
Harold Newell Saxton writes on April 13, 1898, “...I have had some correspondence with Joseph S. Saxton, Canton, Ohio, an uncle of Mrs. President McKinley. His forefathers came from Huntington, PA & Frederick County, MD, but am inclined to think they are a branch of the New England Saxtons. So, I think Westfield [MA] can add to its distinctions that of having harbored the ancestors of a President’s wife.”
Some of the letters have been written by historical societies, such as the Sons & Daughters of Pilgrims in Bloomington, IL.
The letters have expected folds, toning and many come with the original covers and postage. A wonderful group documenting the historical significance of this early New England family who arrived during the Colonial period while the future America was still under British rule.
Everything we sell is guaranteed authentic forever to the original buyer. We also offer a 30-day return policy. If you discover a problem or are dissatisfied with an item, please contact us immediately. Our goal is to please every customer. We are pleased to be members of The Manuscript Society, Universal Autograph Collectors Club, The Ephemera Society, the Southern New England Antiquarian Booksellers and the Preferred Autograph Dealers and Auction Houses. [AM 194]