the fact that no coat-of-arms has been preserved or ever heard of by any member of the family, and from the occupation of the majority of their descendants, it is plausibly conjectured that they were farmers of moderate means and of the middle class.
Tradition further hints that the name of the brother who found a home in Massachusetts
, that he was a farmer, that he lived in Haveril, a township bordering on the south-eastern corner of New Hampshire
, that he prospered there, and died respected by all who knew him at a good old age. So far, tradition.
We now draw from the memory of individuals still living.
The son of Benjamin Greeley
, ‘old Captain Ezekiel
,’ who lived and greatly flourished at Hudson, New Hampshire
, and is well remembered there, and in all the region round about.
The captain was not a military man. He was half lawyer, half farmer.
He was a sharp, cunning, scheming, cool-headed, cold-hearted man, one who lived by his wits, who always got his cases, always succeeded in his plans, always prospered in his speculations, and grew rich without ever doing a day's work in his life.
He is remembered by his grandsons, who saw him in their childhood, as a black-eyed, black-haired, heavy-browed, stern-looking man, of complexion almost as dark—as that of an Indian, and not unlike an Indian in temper.
‘A cross old dog,’ ‘a hard old knot,’ ‘as cunning as Lucifer
,’ are among the complimentary expressions bestowed upon him by his descendants.
‘All he had,’ says one, ‘was at the service of the rich, but he was hard upon the poor.’
‘His religion was nominally Baptist
,’ says another, ‘but really to get money.’
‘He got all he could, and saved all he got,’ chimes in a third.
He died, at the age of sixty-five, with ‘all his teeth sound,’ and worth three hundred acres of good land.
He is spoken of with that sincere respect which, in New England
, seems never to be denied to a very smart
man, who succeeds by strictly legal means in acquiring property, however wanting in principle, however destitute of feeling, that man may be. Happily, the wife of old Captain Ezekiel
was a gentler and better being than her husband.
And, therefore, Zaccheus
, the son of old Captain Ezekiel
, was a gentler and better man than his father.
inherited part of his father's land, and was a farmer all the days of his life.
He was not, it appears, ‘too
fond of work,’ though far more industrious