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Family of Albree.

We can trace this Medford family to Nassau, in the Island of New Providence, the capital of the Bahamas. In 1672, the English government sent Mr. Collingworth to superintend the settlement of that island and its chief city by Englishmen. The attempt succeeded but imperfectly; because the coasts were infested with pirates, and the Spanish were moved by jealousy to check English power. Mr. Collingworth, after a few years, resigned his office in despair; and the government appointed Mr. Clark governor of the island, and gave him means for sustaining himself. The early English settlers were selected for their energy and enterprise; and they fixed on Nassau as their central port. The place grew and flourished; but its Spanish enemies were numerous and bloodthirsty. They made a sudden and warlike descent upon it, and captured the brave Clark; and, in order to show their future intentions, they “roasted the English governor alive.” In one of these barbaric assaults, in 1699, the unoffending inhabitants were put to the sword; and two little children were that day made orphans. One was a boy, named John Albree, who was born in 1688; and the other was his sister, Elizabeth, who was three years younger. The brother lied with his sister to seek protection in a Boston vessel, which was there for cargo. The captain knew that the tragic story of the children was true; and, with the characteristic warmth of a sailor's heart, he took the weeping orphans to his arms, and offered to bring them to Boston and provide for them. They accepted, but wished to get something from their father's house. The captain went to the house; but could find nothing worth taking away, save an old English one-day clock, which the plunderers had spared. That he took; and that clock is now in possession of Misses Elizabeth and Lucy Ann Brooks, in Medford, and will keep time well, although two hundred years old.

Early in the year 1700, John Albree and Elizabeth Albree arrived in Boston, and were tenderly cared for by the family of the captain who brought them. They were put to school, and taught to labor; and, when John was fourteen years old, he was indented as an apprentice, for seven years, to a weaver in Malden. His master found him a silent and thoughtful boy, and made him a good weaver. His sister, at her own request, became an inmate of his master's family. These children annually received, from an unknown hand in New Providence, generous gifts of raw cotton and fruits This cotton had seeds in it; and a gin was sent with which to clear out the seeds. After they became of age, these benefactions ceased. Their father was probably a cotton-planter; hence the son's preference for the trade of cotton-weaver. When he became of age, he moved to Medford. and soon afterwards purchased a small house, which stood on the spot now occupied by the house of Mr. Thatcher Magoun, jun. His sister became his housekeeper. In May, 1711, he married a near relative of Governor Belcher,--Miss Elizabeth Greene, of Boston. When his first child was born, he wished to have it baptized, and named Joseph in honor of its grandfather: but not knowing whether he himself had been baptized, either in England or New Providence, he resolved to ask baptism for himself; and on Sunday, Sept. 6, 1713, he received the rite, and then offered his son. After a few years, he sold his house and garden, and bought a farm of twenty-two acres; which, by three subsequent purchases, was enlarged to one hundred acres. It was much of the farm now occupied by Mr. Peter C. Hall. There was a gristmill upon it, on the west side of Purchase Street, contiguous to the land of Mr. B. L. Swan. He enlarged the mill by an addition of a weaver's shop. Here he worked, and grew comparatively rich. His grandson told us, that, in 1785, the stream that fed the mill failed; and that he then “removed the mill and shop, and filled up the flume.” The house of John, the first settler, was about ten rods north-east of his mill. He was a retired man, with many thoughts and few words: he was a great questioner, and remarkable for his high sense of honor. With the English slowness to adopt, he united the English tenacity in holding fast what he had chosen. He was an active friend of the poor, especially of orphans. He tenderly cherished his sister in his family while she lived. She died unmarried. He had four children,--Joseph, Elizabeth, Ruth, and Susanna. Joseph was the father of Mrs. Jonathan Brooks; Ruth was the mother of Governor Brooks; and Susanna, the mother of Captain John Pratt. The grandsons were called John, in honor of their grandfather, John Albree. Of the first settler's descendants, the only ones who remained in Medford were Mrs. Jonathan Brooks and Governor Brooks; and, through life, they were drawn towards each other by the tenderest ties.

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