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[p. 34]

Colonel Ebenezer Francis.

The recent dedication of the Bennett Delta recalls the memory of another distinguished soldier who lived at this spot: Ebenezer Francis was born here on December 22, 1743, and baptized on Christmas Day, the following Sunday, and here he lived to manhood, in a house then standing on the northerly side of High street, opposite the easterly end of the delta. This house was afterwards moved to Woburn street and is now standing back from the road on the property of the Oak Grove Cemetery.

Brooks says of his early years that ‘he was studious to gain knowledge, and succeeded beyond most others.’ He moved to Beverly and, in 1766, married Miss Judith Wood, by whom he had four daughters and one son. That son he named Ebenezer, and he became a prominent merchant of Boston.

Colonel Francis had three brothers who became officers in the Revolutionary army and their records reflected credit to their native town.

Ebenezer was commissioned Captain by the Continental Congress July 1, 1775; next year he rose to the rank of Colonel, and commanded a regiment on Dorchester Heights from August to December, 1776. Authorized by Congress, he raised the Eleventh Massachusetts (Continental) regiment, and in January, 1777, marched at its head to Ticonderoga.

Burgoyne had started on his campaign from Canada and arrived at Ticonderoga, which was commanded by General St. Clair, with about three thousand men. The American forces were not sufficient to hold the fort and an adjacent hill (Sugar Loaf) which commanded the position. The British succeeded in dragging guns to the top of this eminence, and on the morning of July 5, 1777, the garrison awoke to the realization that they lay at the mercy of the enemy. As the result of a council of war, an evacuation of the position was decided upon, as soon as possible.

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