"Fragments of Portland's Early History Reviewed by Mr. Nathan Goold."
The Massachusetts Historical Society has lately published the papers of Sir William Pepperrell they have in their possession. In the volume are some items of interest to the history of Portland, as relating to the Louisburg expedition of 1745. We sent Capt. Moses Pearsons's company. In Hon. M. F. King's First Parish Records, page 165, is given a copy of a roll of that company which is in the possession of Hon. Andrew Hawes of Stroudwater, a descendant, which shows forty men and that perhaps may be the full roll, although it has been stated to have had about fifty men. The fortress at Louisburg, Cape Breton, had cost the French about six million of dollars, and Maine has reason to be proud of its part in the capture. The expedition was proposed by Col. William Vaughan of Matinicus and Damariscotta, it was comanded by Gen. William Pepperrell of Kitttery and Maine sent two entire regiments with their officers. Com. Edward Tyng, who at first was appointed to command the fleet, but afterwards was put under the orders of Com. Warren of the royal navy, and particularly distinguished himself during the siege, was a Portland born boy. The first document is a letter from Capt. Pearson under date of Feb. 27, 1744, which was, no doubt, intended for 1744-5, as the war was not declared by France against England until March 15, 1744, and the surender of Louisburg took place June 15, 1745, after a siege of forty six days. The letter is as follows: Falmouth Feb. 27th 1744. Hon'd Sir,-in obedience to your Honor's command. I take this, being the first, opportunity to let you know I got home the 25th instant; since which I have inlisted twelve able-bodyed men. My being from home, Cpt. Nobel, Cpt. Moody, and Cpt. Cuter with some others rolling people I got a full company at Newbury and did not intend to return to Falmouth, but proceed to Boston, induced number of whom I most depended to list with the sd Captens, so that men are not plenty; but I hope within 4 or five days to make up the number thirty or more, and take the first oportunity to Boston. I am Yr. Honours most obedient humble ser't. MOSES PEARSON Pos. Scrip Colonal Waldow at Bideford informed me Cpt. Cuter wold have no commision and incuredge me I had opertunity to take the men he inlisted at Falmouth. If so I shall be able to raise up a company in a short time. I am, Hond Sir, Yours, MS. PEARSON. The Capt. Noble mentioned was James Noble who commanded a company in Col. Samuel Waldo's regiment and was commissioned February 8, 1745. Capt. Moody was in command of a company in the same regiment and was commissioned the next day after Noble. Capt. Cutter was Ammi Rumah Cutter, a captain in Col. Moulton's regiment. He preached at North Yamouth in 1720 but afterward was chief surgeon at Louisburg where he died in March, 1746. He wanted to go as the chief surgeon of the expedition but was unable to secure the position so raised a company of about sixty men and was made their captain. Moses Pearson was the captain of the Tenth company in Col. Pepperrell's First regiment and was commissioned Feb. 6, 1745. George Knight, of Falmouth Neck, was the first lieutenant and James Springer was the ensign. Capt. Pearson remained at Louisburg until 1746 and was the agent of his, and the treasurer of the nine regiments employed in the siege, to receive and distribute the "plunder money." Several of the men's receipts for this money are among the Willis papers in our Public Library. Being a joiner, he was employed in superintending the building of barracks and repairing the fortification. Before the Revolution he lived on Fore street about opposite our Custom House. He left no sons, but six daughters who were the wives of Benjamin Titcomb, Josph Wise, Timothy Pike, Dr. Deane, Daniel Dole and Joshua Freeman. Lieut. George Knight came here from Newbury about 1733 and probably lived at what is now called North Deering. His farm of 60 acres was a mile westerly of the Presumpscot River. He became one of the proprietors of Pearsontown, now Standish, and gave his share to his grandson, Zebulon Knight, in 1775, a short time before his death. Lieut. Knight was a great grandson of John Knight who came from Romsey, England, in the ship James, in 1635, and settled at Newbury. The old saying "blood will tell" is illustrated in the case of George Knight. His son, George Jr., was a Revolutionary soldier, Amos was a soldier, Samuel was a captain in the Revolution and the daughter Hannah, married Capt. Joseph Pride, of Pride's Bridge. Capt. Samuel Knight's sons, Stephen, Zebulon and Samuel, Jr., were soldiers of the Revolution and the daughter Mary married Joseph Pride, Jr., another soldier. Stephen went to Otisfield and his son, Samuel, marched in the Otisfield company to Portland in the war of 1812. He was on the staging at Stage Island, in 1825, when it gave way and Abner Lowell was killed. They fell 54 feet and struck on the rocks. Mr. Knight had his spine dislocatd and ever afterwards was bent over. He afterwards fell 20 feet, but he lived until he was 75 years of age. His son, Zebulon Knight served three years in the First Maine Cavalry and a grandson, Samuel W. Knight died in the 30th Maine Regt. and his brother George H. Knight, after serving two years in the 10th Maine Regt. in the Rebellion joined Custer's famous 7th U.S. Cavalry and for five years was in the Indian campaigns in the Northwest, leaving the service just before the massacre when Gen. Custer and his men lost their lives. He is living at Otisfield caring for his aged father, Benjamin W. Knight, who is in his eighty-sixth year, who within a year has sent a contribution to the PRESS. How many more of Lieut. Knight's descendants have served in the army I cannot tell, but this is a sample line. The following document is of considerable interest to the descendants of those named: "List of men in Moses Pearson's company now in Louisburg, the places of their abode and circomstances, Sept. the 17th., 1745. Ensign James Springer, Falmouth, has a wife and several small children, ye oldest very young. Sargent Axel Roberts, Falmouth, an old man, unfit for duty. Sargt. Phillip Hodkins, Falmouth, a large family of young children, his two sons with him. Sargt. Joshua Illesley, Falmouth, a single man, his affairs require him to be at home. Corll. Jon. Emerson, Falmouth, infirm and unfit for duty. Corll. David Woodman, Falmouth (missing words) Joshua Simpson, Falmouth, Ebenezer Lincoln, these three with J. Illsley all come out of one house and belong to one famley. Samll. Clark, Falmouth, his wife and childen in poor curcomstances. James Gilkey, Falmouth, Jos. Thorn, Falmouth, these two out of my famley. J. Thorn, my servant and Gilkey by the year. John Ayer, Falmouth, infirm and not fit for duty. John Anderson, Falmouth, a single man. Jacob Cliffod, Falmouth, sickly and unfit for duty. Moses Gould, Falmouth, apprentice, his master lives in the woods, exposed to the enemy. Moses Hodkins, Falmouth, Samll. Hodkins, Falmouth, sons of Phillip Hodkins above. Samuel Graves, Falmouth, a very man. His poor father (John) wants him very much at home. A true copy MOSES PEARSON Non (Com.) Officers 5. Private men 12." Moses Gould was born Dec. 10, 1727, and was then but 17years, 9 mos. His father was named Moses also, and he was a soldier under Col. Thomas Westbook through the winter of 1724-5. The father was elected a field diver here March 8, 1727, and was made one of the proprietors of the town May 11, 1730, it is thought he lived near Presumpscot Lower Falls as he owned land here. He died before 1738. The son, Moses, was one of the proprietors of Pearsontown in 1752. He had five sisters and one brother. Aaron Gould, who married Sarah Starbird in 1757, and that year was a soldier in Capt. Saml. Skillings' Company. I have never found a descendant of this Gould family. Of the above list of soldiers, Capt. Pearson, James Springer, Philip Hodkins, Saml. Clark, John Anderson, Jacob Clifford, Moses Hodkins, Saml. Hodkins, and Saml. Graves also became proprietors of Standish for their services at Louisburg.
Among the Pepperell papers is a short roll of Capt. Pearson's company, six months after the surrender, they were then the sixth company, and the following is a copy: -Dated Nov. 15, 1745. "Capt. Moses Pearson. Sergt. Philip Hodskins. Sergt. Thos. Illsley Corp. David Woodman. Privates Jeremiah Simson, Ebenezer Linkhorne (Lincoln), James Gilkey, John Anderson, Moses Hodskins, Samuel Hodskins, Jno. Ayers, Abiah Crosby, Jno. Thorn, Saml. Clark Sergts. 2. Copl. 4, Dumr. Pivates 10. Second Lieut. James Springer of Capt. Pearsons company was among those whose affairs required their going to New England, Oct. 17, 1745. Saml. Hodgskins name is among those who voluntered under Capt. Glaizer to attack the Island Battery at the mouth of the harbor of Louisburg in May, 1745, and they stated that they would be ready on a half hour warning. These fragments of our history interested me and perhaps some others may wish to know of their existance. They tell their own story. N. G.
(Portland Daily?) Press, July 29, 1899