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[p. 44] Samuel Thompson's farm. Woburn in those days adjoined Medford, and there were ‘a regiment of Thompsons in Woburn.’ One of them, Samuel by name, had a farm just over the line in Upper Medford, and on it, ‘forty or fifty rods south of the black horse tavern,’ was the tree the young Mr. Brooks visited. The real Samuel Thompson farm (on which was the tree grafted from the original Woodpecker tree in Wilmington) was seven miles from Mr. Brooks' home; this only two. ‘It was very old and partly decayed, but bore fruit abundantly.’ He said he ‘climbed it.’ He also tells about the woodpeckers' holes, which he might equally well have found on other trees. Doubtless he thought he had located the tree, mentioned by the governor, on Samuel Thompson's farm in Woburn. Because the fruit resembled the Baldwin, he claimed it as the real Woodpecker tree.

Tewksbury, Burlington, Somerville, and Baldwin (Maine) have claimed the original tree, but the facts would seem to be finally fixed by the letter of Colonel Baldwin to Governor Bowdoin, February 13, 1784, when he sent him a ‘barrel of a particular species of apple which proceeded from a Tree, that originally grew spontaneously in the woods about fourteen miles north of Boston,’ and Colonel Baldwin knew the facts.

Space forbids citing the various arguments in the famous controversy. They were carefully considered by Rev. Leander Thompson of Woburn, in an able article of twenty-four pages, published thirty years ago in the Winchester Record. We commend a careful perusal of this, which includes ‘the Medford claim’ of Mr. Brooks, as showing how easily errors creep into public print, and if unquestioned, into public belief. Also, even refuted, they still come into public notice, as did this one in a public gathering in Medford a year since. This is no reflection on the worthy and respected townsman who repeated it in good faith; nor yet on its original author, who was enthusiastic for Medford—but he claimed too much for her, in this as well as in other ways.

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