The Founding of Sandwich, NH, 1767

Sandwich, N. H., settled in Nov. 1767

Once upon a time, in the days when History and Tradition seem to have met, there lived on the Isle of Jersey, a boy. He was a French Huguenot, and his name was Eli. His last name was Beede, but he spelled it Bede. He was filled with a great desire to see more of the world than the little island could show him, and so, in 1713, when he was fourteen years old, he hid himself away in the hold of a sailing vessel and came to America. In due time the little ship sailed, and in due time he was discovered and brought before the captain. When the captain, who was prepared to be very stern and severe, saw the boy, he relented and set about to find a task by which he should earn his food. He saw that his grimy fingers were delicate and had be trained to work "the most refined." He had among the articles for the colonial trade, large boxes of stockings knit by English dames. These stockings had become moth-eaten, and the young Eli soon proved that he could mend them to be as good as new. So he paid his passage, and landed safely—tradition says in Boston and tradition says in Portsmouth. He loved the country, and immediately set out to find employment on a farm. He went to Hampton, apprenticed himself to a farmer, and lived with this same farmer until he was 21. Tradition says that his indenture paid whatever remained of his passage money. He had gained a knowledge of farming and decided to go to Kingston, then East Kingston. There he went to work to make a living, and make a living he did.

The very house that he built is still standing. He married Mehitable Sleeper, the first girl born in Kingston, became a member of Mr. Secombe’s church, and trained his children well—four sons and two daughters.

Eighteen farms in three towns were recorded as belonging to him when he died —great flocks and herds—and pots of silver in his cellar.

His second son, Daniel, is the one who interests us most tonight, as he was the one chosen by the proprietors of Sandwich to make the first settlement here.

Sandwich became an entity in the minds of a few people when Oct. 25, 1763, Gov. Benning Wentworth divided a certain tract of land into 72 shares for the following purposes:

1. 2 shares (500 acres) for the Governor.

2. 1 share for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts.

3. 1 share for the glebe of Church of England.

4. 1 share for first settled minister.

5. 1 share for schools.

The remaining 66 shares—1 share each to 66 individuals who became proprietors of the new town. As the time was limited, the proprietors immediately set about to find a leader of the band of Settlers, and they decided that Daniel Beede of Gilmanton was the best person to become father to the enterprise.

He was 38 years old, and his life had proved the he possessed the characteristics which they desired:

Executive qualities in a large degree.

Sound judgment.

Great prudence.

Sterling integrity.

Unfailing hospitality.

Daniel Beede was born in East Kingston, July 21, 1729. His education was very limited. The Bible was the only book allowed in his father’s house. His father attended Mr. Secombe’s church and from this same Mr. Secombe, Daniel received much instruction. Mr. Secombe gave him a spelling book, and Daniel was obliged to hide it as carefully as though he had stolen it. Daniel studied mathematics, trigonometry and practical surveying, the last study training him for the surveying necessary in Sandwich.

Daniel married Jan. 26, 1750, Patience Prescott and settled in Brentwood, where seven children—five sons and two daughters—were born. He then removed to Gilmanton, where, in 1766, his son Cyrus was born. In 1767, he was called to settle Sandwich. As an inducement to come to Sandwich, he was promised 100 acres of land for each of his children—tradition says each of his sons.

Leaving his farm in charge of his second son, Daniel, Jr., he and his wife, Israel Gilman and his wife, fifteen laborers, and Mary Wells, a hired girl, came to Sandwich in Nov., 1767.

We suppose that they came across Lake Winnepesaukee from Gilmanton to Clark’s Landing in Moultonborough Falls. Then they climbed Red Hill that they might decide upon a location for the first house. They decided that what is now know as Wentworth Hill was the most desirable spot, and journeyed thither through unbroken forests, and mires, and swamps. The very same day they reached the top of the hill, they built a log house. Snow fell that night. Daniel Beede took cold and had a fever, and through that long illness, he was cared for by Dr. Rogers of Plymouth, who came across country, his only guide being spotted trees.

We are not told that Daniel’s son Nathan came with the party, but Nathan, himself, claims that he felled the first tree cut in Sandwich. The fact of Nathan’s presence here may explain why Daniel, Jr., a lad of fifteen, was left to attend to the Gilmanton farm.

Five log houses were built in the autumn of 1767, as follows: Daniel Beede, Jeremiah Hilton, Jeremiah Page, David Bean, and John Prescott—all on high land within a comparatively short distance from the present Wentworth hill location. Others were built during the winter. The next great piece of work, after sites were chosen and log houses were built, was the building of roads from house to house.

Then the town must be surveyed, and this was done in 1769 by Daniel Beede. The territory was divided into 4 short and 13 long ranges. A short range contained 6 lots, and a long range from 29 to 31 lots. A plan was drawn, and the town accepted this plan in 1771. This plan is not now in existence—only an imperfect copy.

The first town meeting was held in 1772 in Daniel Beede’s house. He was elected Town Clerk, and served in that capacity twelve years—until 1794. He was elected on the first board of selectmen and served nine times., the last term ending in 1792. He was the first Justice of the Peace, 1775, holding that position until his appointment as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Stafford County. He was Representative with some interruptions for 1775 to 1795. He was Judge from 1795 to 1799, when he resigned to take effect upon his seventieth birthday. In 1775, he was a delegate to the 5th Provincial Congress at Exeter, and a delegate to the first Constitutional Convention in 1791-92. He served the town during his entire life in Sandwich—1767 to 1800. All town meeting were held in his house from 1772 to 1792. Then the town meetings were held in the church, which stood where [omitted in copy].

Daniel Beede built the first mills in town (saw and grist) at the lower end of the village where the ruins now remain. His son Cyrus, and later his grandson Stephen, lived in the house nearby. He had many fights with wolves as he journeyed from his home to these mills. The wolves continued to be a menace to the inhabitants until the "Great Wolf Hunt" in 1830, when "800 warriors of all ages" led by Gen. Johnson D. Quimby killed some, wounded many, and the remainder of the pack fled to the mountains never to return to Sandwich or Tamworth.

When he came to Sandwich in 1767, he brought with him a helper in the housekeeping, Mary Wells. Mary married Benjamin Blanchard, one of the fifteen laborers who came with the party. Later, Dorothy Scribner agree to come to help Mrs. Beede after Daniel promised her that she should marry one of his sons, and the record reads, "Married—July 15, 1770—Nathan Beede and Dolly Scribner."

Daniel Beede built two log houses on Wentworth Hill—and then built a two-story house there, which was torn down, probably in 1853. Dec. 6, 1895, Nathan Beede sold this place to Dr. Asa Crosby, who agreed to pay $3,000.00 for the house and farm. Nathan took Dr. Crosby’s place in East Sandwich, near Cram’s Corner, in part payment. July 16, 1817, Dr. Crosby sold the farm to Dudley Leavitt and Reuben Dearborn (father of the well-known Methodist clergyman), both then of New London, N. H., Aug. 10, 1820. The two-story house built by Daniel Beede was replaced by the present structure about 1853.

The Association Test—which was really a declaration of independence and preceded the National Declaration by some months—was sent by order of the General Congress to the inhabitants of New Hampshire, April 12, 1776. If the cause to which these patriotic citizens pledged themselves had been defeated, they would have been hanged as traitors. 8199 persons in New Hampshire signed it—773 refused to sign. Some of those who refused to sign were Tories; some were Quakers; some had not the courage. Of the 46 voters in Sandwich, 38 signed it. Among that number were Daniel and Daniel, Jr. Nathan and Aaron were Quakers and refused to sign.

Nathan was the first real Quaker in Sandwich. His father Daniel attended that church, but never became a member. "in the after-life, he thanked God that he had preserved his freedom from the discipline and powers of all church governments, and from the restraints and impositions of all sectarians."

Nathan’s son Elijah lived in East Sandwich, where were mills erected by his grandfather, Daniel. Elijah was the father of Parker Beede and also of Anna Beede, who became Mrs. Langdon G. Clark—the mother of George L. Clark, Mrs. Herman Quimby, Mrs. Alonzo McCrillis, Frank M., Selwyn Beede, and Charles, the last mentioned now living in East Sandwich.

Haines Quimby, son of Mrs. Herman Quimby, although descended from Nathan, the Quaker, has enlisted and will soon join the United States Artillery. All honor to his noble spirit.

Nathan died in Sandwich in Aug. 1841.

In the burying ground opposite the present Wentworth house on Wentworth Hill, sleep four generations of the Beede family: Judge Daniel in an unmarked grave; also his son Elijah, who was drowned in Squam Lake in May, 1775; Nathan and his wife Dolly Scribner; Nathan’s son Elisha, his wife Sally Stevens, and their daughter Mary. The white shaft which is seen in the field at the right as one journeys toward Sandwich Lower Corner was erected to the memory of Nathan and Dolly Beede.

"When Daniel died, he left to his children several of the best farms in town, not an acre of them being tainted with dishonest possession."

Daniel, Jr.—Judge Daniel’s second son married Dorothy Hackett, and eleven children made their home a merry one. He was the boy of fifteen who was left to carry on the farm at Gilmanton, take care of the smaller children, and send supplies to his father in Sandwich. He owned the ridge of land at North Sandwich extending from the Leander Pierce place nearly to Durgin’s Mills. He was thrifty and acquired property, although somewhat careless and indolent. This story is told of him. A neighbor of whom he bought potatoes one spring said to him, "How does it happen that you have to buy potatoes? I thought you planted a large acreage in the southwest field." "Well, now you speak of it, I remember that I planted two acres of potatoes in that southwest field, but I entirely forgot to dig them," was Daniel’s reply.

Aaron—Daniel’s third son married Sarah Winslow. There were three children—Elisha, Anne, and Aaron. Elisha was the father of Rev. Hugh Beede, the Congregationalist minister who preached in Sandwich much of his life. Aaron’s daughter Anne married Dr. Moses Hoit, and Aaron Beede Hoit, the famous teacher, was their son. Aaron, whom many of us remember, was the son of Elisha. He married Mary McGaffey and had a large family of children, among who is the Rev. Aaron McGaffey Beede of Bismarck, North Dakota—preacher and poet.

Joshua—fifth son of Daniel married Phebe Culley. Of their three children, Robert, James, and Noah, we have two descendants—daughters of James— Mrs. John Gilman and Mrs. Jesse H. Cork.

Sarah—Daniel’s eldest daughter married Joseph Varney. They bought a farm 2.5 miles east of Meed’s Mills. Joseph bought the farm in 1819. Simeon, his son, moved on to it March 20. 1820, but the farm was not deeded to him until Nov. 19, 1825. He lived there until his death in 1850. Levi, Simeon’s son, went to Canada. There are no Varneys among the voters in the town of Sandwich at the present time.

Mary—Daniel’s second daughter married Richard Varney. They lived on Wentworth Hill, the second farm west of Daniel Beede.

Cyrus—the boy born in Gilmanton in 1766 lived in the lower part of Centre Sandwich village in the house near the Daniel Beede Mills, on the opposite side of the road from the Mills. He married Judith Varney, and their son Stephen was for many years a familiar figure upon the street as he walked from his home below the millpond to his office in the Carroll County Bank building where he filled the position of cashier. He was one of the foremost men of the town—connecting the business of two generations—between which he happened to live. He was a prominent Quaker, as well as businessman. His father Cyrus was not much engaged in public business, but he was a Quaker minister of wide reputation. He was regarded by his brethren in the ministry as one of the ablest and soundest exponents of the doctrines of that denomination in New England. Dr. Charles White said, "When one became acquainted with Cyrus Beede and came to appreciate his intellectual dimensions, his logical grasp of mind, his conversational powers, and high moral elevation, he was sure to concede to him a high rank as a large, liberal, intellectual man." Cyrus also had a sense of humor, and could give keen, incisive replies. Many years ago there was a exhibition of wild animals in town, and Stickney, a somewhat eccentric man, and Cyrus were standing together as the animals went past, when one, a formidable looking creature, attracted their attention. Stickney spoke, "See, Uncle Cyrus! Don’t he look like the very Satan?" Cyrus replied, "Thee doubtless can judge about that much better than I."

He died in Centre Sandwich April 19, 1841, and is buried in the Quaker burying ground just below the village.

Martha—the first child born to Daniel and Patience Beede in Sandwich married Stephen Hoag March 4, 1791, when she was 21 years old. Stephen Hoag was the son of Enoch Hoag, goldsmith, who came from Dover to Sandwich in 1786. Of their thirteen children, Enoch, the youngest son, acquired a national reputation through his intense interest in the problems connected with the Indians. In 1854, he moved from Sandwich to Iowa, and from that state he was appointed by President in 1869, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. After serving the United States Government seven years, he returned to Sandwich, and here he died in 1884, aged 73 years. He is buried near his parents, Martha Beede and Stephen Hoag, another son, who was drowned in Squam Lake Aug. 13, 1855, sleeps in the Quaker burying ground near Durgin’s Mills.

Phebe Beede—another daughter, married John Purington, hatter. There were three children—Patience, who married Gen. Hugh Montgomery; John Wombly Purington, who married Betsey Ambrose; and George. Patience died in Haverhill in 1874, in her 80th year. John Trombly died in Sandwich in 1825. John Purington, the father, and John Tromley, the son are buried in the burying ground on Wentworth Hill. Much valuable information regarding Daniel Beede and his family is preserved in letters written by Phebe Purington and her daughter, Mrs. Patience Montgomery. John Purington died in 1813, and Phebe married Rev. Ross Coon, M.D., of Haverhill, N. H., which explain the fact that she and her daughter, Mrs. Montgomery, died in that town.

Lydia—another daughter married Samuel Tibbetts Nov. 27, 1803. They lived near Judge Daniel’s place, although they were not married until after Daniel’s death. The children, four in number, did not remain in Sandwich.

Of Patience, the youngest child, I have no data beyond the fact that she married Barzillai Hinds Feb. 27, 1795.

From five of Daniel Beede’s nephews and from one niece have descended well-known members of this family—these being the children of Daniel’s brothers, Jonathan and Thomas.

1. From Jonathan’s son Jonathan, who married Anne Winslow, we have among the children his daughters Naomi and Mehitable. Naomi Beede became the wife of Russell Hoag, and by that marriage united again the Beedes and the Hoags. Their children are Susan, Edwin and Elizabeth of Chelsea, and Thomas Hoag of Tamworth.

2. Mehitable Beede, the wonderful teacher, for many years a power in Sandwich—the one who developed many of its fines minds—married Richard Wiggin. Among their children is Hon. George Winslow Wiggin, the President of our Old Home Association of 1917, and the historian of the evening. We all remember Samuel Beede Wiggin, who was, during most of his life, a citizen of this town.

3. From Jonathan’s son John was descended Eli Beede—so tall a man that he was familiarly known as "Old Fo’teen Feet. He is said to have assisted in building to Town House at North Sandwich in 1847, and that he was so tall that he could stand on the ground and shingle at the ridge pole.

4. Jonathan’s son Moses had a son John whose children were well-known to the last generation—Samuel, who went to the Civil War from Sandwich; James, a teacher; and Eunice, who became the wife of Alonzo S. Kimball, a professor in the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. There were other children who did not remain in Sandwich.

5. Moses had a son Samuel who, although his life compassed only 35 years, became a Baptist of power in influence in the councils of the church. He was Editor of the Free Will Baptist newspaper, "The Morning Star." He died in 1834.

6. Moses had a daughter, Hannah Folsom, who married Jeremiah Roberts, and their only child, Abbie Ellen Roberts, became the second wife of Daniel G. Beede, thus uniting two distant branches of the Beede family.

7. Early in Sandwich history, we find the name of John Beede—"Squire John" as he was usually called. He was Daniel’s nephew, son of Daniel’s brother Thomas. After Daniel, Squire John became the foremost man of the town, living on a farm on Squam Lake. Squire John had a son John, who married Mary Way, whose son John Way Beede was for many years a prominent citizen of Meredith. John Way Beede’s son, John Fred, is still living in Meredith, and Eva Beede, John Way’s daughter, is the wife of Rev. Willis P. Odell, D.D., of Brookline.

Squire John and his son John were both Justices of the Peace, and performed many marriages, as the old town records show. They lived on what is known as the J. Edwin Beede place, a farm of nearly 400 acres, which has been the property of that branch of the Beede family from the earliest times. J. Edwin was the son of Squire John’s son Josiah. J. Edwin’s son James, who owns and lives on this same farm, and is the only voter in town at present who bears the name of Beede.

8. Daniel’s niece, Mary, the daughter of this brother Thomas, married Deacon William Weeks, and Thomas Beede Weeks, Daniel Weeks and Ella Weeks are descendants from that union.

9. Daniel’s nephew Jacob, who settled under the mountain of Beede Hill, had a son Thomas, who had four children—Enoch Rogers, Thomas Hoit, Elisa Jane and Daniel Greenleaf. Enoch and Thomas settled in the west about 1850; Eliza Jane married John Smith of West Sandwich. Her daughter Eliza Jane married George Thompson, and their grandson, Guy Thompson, is a credit to Sandwich boys in khaki today.

Thomas Beede’s son, Daniel G. Beede, dwelt among you for nearly eighty years. He loved and worked for Sandwich.

I have found the resting-place of many of Judge Daniel Beede’s descendants—children and grandchildren and those further removed in relationship. Many more must be hidden away in the little wayside burying grounds. I long to find them. I wish we might have a awakened interest born of this 150th anniversary, and have a historical society formed which, among other things, might attend to cutting the bushes and resetting the stones over these neglected graves. Some of these graves are so overgrown with bushes that I had to get a small boy to go into the bushes and read the inscriptions for me, in places where I could not go.

This is a reverent tribute to the lives of those who prepared this beautiful town as a setting for the life work of many of us. Please tell if I have errors in this incomplete record.

May we all aspire to possess the characteristics which made Judge Daniel Beede the choice of the Proprietors of Sandwich:

Executive qualities in a large degree.

Sound judgment.

Great prudence.

Sterling integrity.

Unfailing hospitality.


Centre Sandwich

Aug. 22, 1917

Read at the 150th Anniversary of the settlement of Sandwich, N. H., Aug. 22, 1917,
by the second daughter of Daniel Greenleaf Beede.

Emme Beede Gulliver

Re-keyed into electronic form April 6, 1997 by Earl H. Beede. This copy fully represents the copy in his possession and no changes have been intentionally introduced.

Converted to HTML August 13, 1997 by Jack W. Ralph. The words are the same but the document is formatted a little different than the original.

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