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e tract extending from Salem on the sea around Cape Ann to the Merrimack River, and to the farthest head thereof, with all the islands lying (the St. Lawrence) was within a hundred miles of the mouth of the Merrimack. It seems to be beyond dispute that this colony of Laconia was earm at Northfield, on the Pemigewassett, or main branch of the Merrimack River. Here he had several children, the youngest of whom was my mo. In 1825, there was springing up on Pawtucket Falls of the Merrimack River, the second great manufacturing town in Massachusetts, Walthamood was held by the Proprietors of the Locks and Canals on the Merrimack River. They sold off this land, and they also sold the water power furnished from the Merrimack River by a dam. This dam was put across at the head of Pawtucket Falls, although the law said that there should occurred in a small academy in the town of Dracut, across the Merrimack River, and the trustees asked me to take charge of the school. For
Benjamnin F. Butler, Butler's Book: Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major-General Benjamin Butler, Chapter 2: early political action and military training. (search)
public service. Upon reflection, however, it seems best that I should pass over for the present my legal experiences before as well as after my public services. These two periods include that portion of my life for whose pursuits I have had the greatest fondness, and I shall describe them in a continuous narrative later on. In the year 1839 I made the acquaintance of Fisher Ames Hildreth, the only son of Dr. Israel Hildreth, of Dracut, a town adjoining Lowell on the north side of Merrimack River. That acquaintance ripened into an affectionate friendship which terminated only with his death thirty years afterwards. Dr. Hildreth had a family of seven children, six of them being daughters. The eldest, Rowena, was married in 1836 at a very early age to Mr. Henry Read, a merchant of Lowell. The two youngest children were then merely schoolgirls. Fisher invited me to the family gathering at the Thanksgiving feast of that year, and there I first met Sarah, the second daughter.