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Officials in America
JOHN WEBSTER and John Russell may be considered as the founders of Hadley. Mr. Webster was a magistrate of Connecticut
in 1639, and was elected governor in 1656, and sustained that office a number of years; Mr. Russell was a minister
at Wethersfield, in Connecticut. About the year 1660, there was quite an excitement and controversy in the colony
of Connecticut, respecting the qualifications of baptism, church-membership, &c. As the minds of the people
could not be united on these subjects. many, in order to enjoy peace and harmony, thought it best to remove, and
corn-S mence settlements in other places. "The original agreement, or association, for removal, is on record,
dated at Hartford, April 18, 1659. John Webster is the first signer, and about 30 names follow. Mr. Russell and
his people signed another instrument, and his name, at the head of the list, is followed by about 30 of his congregation.
Mr. Russell was installed the first minister of Hadley. He removed to this place in 1659, and Mr. Webster, with
three others of his name, it is believed, the same year." It is stated that these emigrants purchased the
whole territory now included in the towns of Hadley, Hatfield, Granby, and Amherst. The Rev. Isaac Chauncy succeeded
Mr. Russell, in 1695. The next minister was Rev. Chester Williams, who was ordained colleague pastor in 1740-1;
he died 1753, and was succeeded by Rev. Samuel Hopkins, in 1775. Dr. Hopkins was succeeded by Rev. John Woodbridge,
who was ordained colleague in 1810. Rev. John Brown, D. D., the next minister, was installed in 1831. Rev. Ebenezer
Brown was installed pastor of the second church in 1835.
Hadley is a fine agricultural town, and the meadows on the banks of the Connecticut river are some of the best
in New England. Large quantities of broom-corn are annually raised, and the manufacture of brooms is an important
branch of business in this town. The value of brooms manufactured in 1837 was $89,248. There were also 42,300 palm-leaf
hats manufactured, valued at $6,768. Connecticut river, between this town and Northampton, winds about in entirely
opposite directions, and above Northampton village forms a kind of peninsula. On the isthmus, or neck, of this
peninsula, the village of Hadley is situated. it lies mostly on one street, a mile in length, running directly
north and south; is sixteen rods in breadth; is nearly a perfect level; is covered, during the summer, with a rich
verdure abuts at both ends on the river; and yields every 'where a delightful prospect.
The following shows the appearance of the gorge between Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom, as seen from the south end
of the east street in Hadley, looking down the river. Mount Holyoke is seen in the distance, on the left; the mountain
house is just discernible on its summit, with the path leading up to it. Mount Tom is seen still farther to the
south, on the right of the engraving. "In the beginning of April, (1676,) a number of inhabitants of Hadley,
who had gone down the river to Hoccanum, under a small guard, for the purpose of tillage, ventured out some distance
from the guard, and a part to the summit of Mount Holyoke, to view the surrounding country from the peak so noted
at this day. A party of Indians rushed upon them, and killed two of their number on the mount. Deacon Goodman,
having proceeded some distance in a different direction, to view the enclosures of his field, was also killed."
Hadley is situated about 3 miles N. E. of Northampton; it is connected with this town by a covered bridge, which
was erected at a considerable expense, being 1,080 feet in length. It is 88 miles W. of Boston, 3 N. W. of Mount
Holyoke, and 6 N. of South Hadley. Population 1,805. Incorporated a town in 1661.
Hadley is celebrated as being the place of refuge for Goffe and Whalley, two of the judges of Charles I. of England,
called by some "the regicides." Soon after the restoration of monarchy in England, thirty of the judges
who condemned king Charles to death were apprehended and executed as traitors. Among those who made their escape,
were Goffe and Whalley, who arrived at Boston in 1660. They were gentlemen of worth; their appearance and manners
were dignified, commanding universal respect; they were also highly esteemed by the colonists for their unfeigned
piety. Whalley had been a lieutenant-general, and Goffe a major general, in Cromwell's army. An order for their
apprchension, from Charles II., reached New England soon after their arrival. The king's commissioners, eager to
execute this order, compelled the judges to resort to the woods, caves, and other places of concealment; and they
would undoubtedly have been taken, had not the colonists secretly aided and assisted them in their concealments.
Sometimes they found a refuge in a kind of cave, on West Rock, a mountain, about two miles from New Haven, and
at others in the cellars of the houses of their friends; and once they were secreted under a bridge, near New Haven,
while their pursuers crossed it on horseback.
"At or about the time the pursuers came to New Haven, and perhaps a little befor, to prepare the minds of
the people for their reception, the Rev. Mr. Davenuort preached publicly from this text: ISATATT XVI. 3, 4.-' Take
counsel, execute judgment, make thy shaow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts, betray not
him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler.'
This, doubtless, had its effect, and put the whole town upon their guard, and united the people in caution and
"To show the dexterity of the judges at fencing, the following story is told: That while at Boston, there
appeared a fencing-master, who, on a stage erected for the purpose, walked it for several days, challenging and
defying any one to play with him at swords; at length, one of the judges, disguised in a rustic dress, holding
in one hand a cheese, wrapped in a napkin, for a shield, with a broomstick, whose mop he had besmeared with dirty
puddle water as he passed along-thus equipped, he mounted the stage. The fencing-master railed at him for his impudence,
asked him what business he had there, and bid him begone. The judge stood his ground, upon which the gladiator
made a pass at him with his sword, to drive him off-a rencounter ensued- the judge received the sword into the
cheese, and held it until he drew the mop of the broom gently over his mouth, and gave the gentleman a pair of
whiskers. He made another pass, and, plunging his sword a second time, it was caught and held in the cheese, whilst
the mop was drawn gently over his eyes. At a third lunge, it was again caught and held in the cheese, until the
judge had rubbed the broom all over his face. Upon this, the gentleman let fall his small sword, and took up the
broad sword. The judge then said, 'Stop, sir; hitherto, you see, I have only played with you, and not attempted
to harm you ; but if you come at me now with thc broad sword, know that I will certainly take your life.' The firmness
with which he spoke struck the master, who, desisting, exclaimed, 'Who can you be? You must be either Goffe, Whalley
or the devil; for there was no other man in England that could beat me.' "-Stiles' History of the Judges.
After about three years and a half weary pilgrimage at New Haven and its vicinity, they, on October 13, 1664. set
out for Hadley. Travelling in the night only probably with a guide., they were undiscovered, and arrived at the
house of Mr. Russell, the minister of Hadley, after a journey of about 100 miles. The house of this friendly clergyman,
situated on We east side of the main street, near the center of the village, was of two stories, with a kitchen
attached, and ingeniously fitted up for the reception of the judges. The east chamber was assigned for their residence,
from which a door opened into a closet, hack of the chimney, and a secret trap door communicated with an under
closet, from which was a private passage to the cellar, into which it was easy to descend, in case of a search.
Here, unknown to the people of Hadley, excepting to a few confidants and the family of Mr. Russell, the judges
remained fifteen or sixteen years. The dangerous secret of their concealment was known to Peter Tilton, Esq., whose
residence stood on the same side of the street with Mr. Russell's, about half the distance towards the south end
of the village; and here, it is said, the judges occasionally resided. A Mr. Smith, who lived in the northern part
of the village, is said to have occasionally admitted the exiles to his house. Mr. Tilton was frequently at Boston,
being often a member of the general court from Hadley, and through him donations from their friends in England,
and elsewhere, were received by the judges. During his residence in Hadley, Goffe held a correspondence with his
wife in England, under a fictitious name. By one of the letters, dated April 2, 1679, it appears that Whalley had
died some time previously, at Mr. Russell's. He was buried in a sort of tomb, formed of mason work, and covered
with flags of hewn stone, just without the cellar wall of Mr. Russell's house; where his bones were found by Mr.
Gaylord, who built a house on the spot where Mr. Russell's was standing, as late as 1794. Soon after the death
of Whalley, Goffe left Hadley, and travelled to the southward; after which, no certain information of him can be
obtained. There is a tradition, however, that he also died at Hadley, and was buried in the garden or near the
house of Mr. Tilton. Not long after the arrival of the two judges at Hadley, Col. John Dixwell, another of the
judges, joined them at Mr. Russell's, and resided there for a while; he afterward settled down at New Haven, Con.,
under the assumed name of Davids, where he died in 1688-9. It has been conjectured by President Stiles. and others,
that the remains of both Goffe and Whalley were interred near those of Dixwell's, there being monuments near that
of Dixwell's inscribed with the initials of their names.
During Philip's war, in 1676, Ha.dley was attacked on the morning of the 12th of June, by about seven hundred Indians.
"In the preceding night, they approached the town, laid an ambuscade at the southern extremity, and advanced
the main body towards the other, and at day-light the attack was commenced with great spirit; but the English,
turning out, received them at the palisades. The Indians gained possession of a house at the north end of the street,
and fired a barn, but were in a short time driven back with loss. The attack was renewed on other points, arid.
the Indians, though warmly opposed, appeared determined on carrying the place: hut a discharge of a piece of ordnance
checked their fury, and. their ambuscade failing of their object., which was to attack the people who might he
driven from the village, they drew off. Major Talcott, at Northampton, hearing the attack, hurried on, passed the
river, and, joining the Hadley forces, precipitated the Indians into the woods. Only two or three men were lost
by the English; the enemy's was not ascertained." "When the people were in great consternation, and rallying
to oppose the Indians, a man of venerable aspect, differing from the inhabitants in his apparel, appeared, and,
assuming command, arrayed them in the best manner for defence, evincing much knowledge of military tactics, and
by his advice and example continued to animate the men throughout the attack. When the Indians drew off, the stranger
disappeared, and nothing further was heard of him. Who the deliverer was, none could inform or conjecture, but
by supposing, as was common at that day, that Hadley had been saved by its guardian angel. It will be recollected
that at this time the two judges, Whalley and Goffe, were secreted in the village, at the house of the Rev. Mr.
Russell. The supposed angel, then, was no other than Gen. Goffe, who, seeing the village in imminent danger, put
all at risk, left his concealment, mixed with the inhabitants, and animated them to a vigorous defence. Whalley,
then superannuated, probably remained in his secluded chamber."
The following inscriptions were copied from monuments in the grave-yard in this town
REVEREND RUSSELLS REMAINS, WHO FIRST GATHERED, AND FOR 33 YEARS FAITEFULLY GOVERNED THE FLOCK OF CHRIST IN HADLEY,
THE CHEIF SHEPHERD SUDDENLY CALLED HIM OFF TO RECIEVE HIS REWARD, IN THE 66 YEAR OF HIS AGE, DECEMBER 10, 1692.
REBECKAH, MADE BY GOD A MEIT HELP TO MR. JPHN RUSSELL, AND FELLOW LABOURER IN CHRIST'S WORK; A WISE, VERTVOVS,
PIOYS MOTHER IN ISRAEL LYES HERE, IN FULL ASSVRANCE OF A JOYFUL RESURRECTION. SHE DIED IN THE 57 YEAR OF HER AGE,
NOVEMBER 21, 1688.
To the memory of John Webster, Esq., one of the first settlers of Hartford, in Connecticut, who was many years
a magistrate or assistant, & afterwards Deputy Governor of that Colony, & in 1659, with three sons, Robert,
William & Thomas, associated with others in the purchase and settlement of Hadley, where he died in 1665. This
monument is erected, in 1818, by his descendant, Noah Webster, of Amherst.
In memory of Mrs. Sarah Marsh, wife of Ebenezer Marsh, who departed this life January ye 31, 1794, in the 66 year
of her age.
Prudence is an eveness of soul.
A steady temper, which no cares controul,
No passions ruffle, no desires inflame,
Still constant to itself, & still the same.
Here lies the body of the rev. ISAAC CHAUNCY, pastor of the first church in Hadley, who was of a truly peaceable
and catholic spirit, a good scholar, an eloquent orator, an able divine, a lively, pathetic preacher, a burning
and shining light in this candlestick, an exemplary christian, an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile. He departed
this life 2 May, A. D. 1745, ae 74.
Historical Collections Relating to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.