A Romance of old Medford.
By permission the Register presents a romantic story recently published by the Danvers Historical Society, first quoting from Cutter
's History of Arlington
, p. 72:
From a list of funerals in Medford is the following: ‘1775 Apr 21, Mr Henry Putnam slain at Menotomy by the enemy on their retreat from Concord on the 19th inst. He was about 70 years.’
Miss Wild in ‘Medford
in the Revolution,’ styles him ‘a veteran of Louisburg
, . . . though because of age exempt,’ and quotes, ‘he showed his Putnam
spunk and went with the rest.’
When Mr. Henry Putnam was about twenty-two years of age he went from Medford, Mass., into the state of Connecticut, about one hundred miles, at that day a very long journey.
Night coming on, he stopped at a farm house of inviting appearance, in the town of Bolton, and asked for entertainment for himself and horse, as he travelled on horseback.
This request was cordially received, and the hospitalities of the house were freely given him.
In the family circle was Miss Hannah Boardman, the oldest daughter of his host.
Mr. Putnam became interested at once in the young lady, of whom he dreamed much during the night.
In the morning he told the story of his love, and in return Miss Hannah gave her consent to become his wife.
Acting on the principle that ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,’ and the fact that a long ride was between him and his home, he decided to live only in the company of his lady-love.
So he arranged to make her father's house his home until the slow laws of Connecticut would allow the twain to become one; but in due time they were married.
The next morning after the wedding, Mrs. Putnam was presented by her father and friends with a horse, a lady's saddle and other travelling equipment; also two cows and twelve sheep.
Now came the tug of love—separation from home and all its endearments—fond caresses and hearty farewells were exchanged, [p. 78] and the youthful bride of sixteen, with the husband, each mounted on the saddle, took up the march for her new home in the old Bay State, driving the cows and sheep before them.
The above was (as we understand) reprinted in 1877 from information given by the lady herself when about ninety years of age. ‘Henry Putnam
was the youngest son of Deacon Eleazer Putnam
] and sold what was his father's homestead about 1745 to Phinehas Putnam
, the great grandfather of the present occupant.’
A query arises—was the ‘new home in the old Bay State’ to which the bridal party came with cows and sheep in Medford
expedition was in the spring of 1745.
Was the veteran of Louisburg
We are inclined to answer to both queries, Danvers
as he owned property there and was one of the tellers at Danvers March meeting in 1752.
He was taxed in Charlestown 1756-65, and taught school ‘without the neck,’ where he was styled ‘gentleman’ and ‘from Danvers.’
He was in 1763 administrator of the estate of his son John, ‘late of Charlestown,’ and was then called ‘gentleman’ and ‘of Charlestown.’
It has been suggested that he joined in Medford
Danvers minute men who marched from Danvers to Cambridge (i.e. Menotomy or West Cambridge) 16 miles in 4 hours, taking stand in a walled enclosure with a breastwork of shingles, waiting the retreating British.
Genl. Israel Putnam was in the same generation, their fathers being cousins.
This latter gathered from Pulnam Ancestry (1919).