Cornet Robert Stetson

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Robert Stetson

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Modbury, Devonshire, England
Death: Died in Scituate, Plymouth, MA, USA
Place of Burial: Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Stitson, 1st and Argent Stitson
Husband of Honour Stetson and Mary Hyland
Father of Urith Stetson; Robert Stetson, II; Joseph Stetson, Sr.; Capt Benjamin Stetson; Thomas Stetson, II and 7 others
Brother of Ludovicke Stitson; Anne Stitson; Samuel Stitson; Hugh Stitson; Eleanor Stitson and 3 others

Occupation: "Cornet", Came in 1634. Cornet of the first horse troop in the Plymouth colony. Representative. Built first saw mill in Norwell.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Robert Stetson

Cornet Robert Stetson received a grant of a considerable tract of land 1634, from the Colony Court, on the North River, which constituted his farm. His house was on a beautiful plain near the river. An unfailing and valuable spring, out of which eight generations of the family have been supplied, marks the spot. 'Cornet's Rocks,' in the river east of his farm, are well known to those who navigate the river. He was posessed of considerable wealth, an enterprising and valuable man in th plantation, a deputy to Court, a Cornet of the first light horse corps raised in the Colony, a member of the Council of war, a Colony commissioner for selling the patent line–in short, he lived long and left a good name at last. ... In 1660, and several years subsequent, ‘Cornet Stetson was Commissioner to act for the country in all matters relating to the trade at Kennebec.’ Also, 1665, for his services he had granted to him ‘200 acres south of Mr. Hathaerly’s grant, above Accord pond.’ Colony Record"

Robert was a man of great public spirit, cornet of the first body of horse in Plymouth Colony, was representative 1654-1662, and often afterwards in 1664 a commissioner for settlement of bounds between the Colonies of massachusetts and Plymouth. In this perilous time, of the counil of war, befrore and after the great dangers of Philip’s holtility during which his service was active.2

Since Robert & Honor’s daughter Urith was baptized in England in 1636, they probably did not arrive in New England before then. Robert was appointed one of Scituate’s two constables on 7 Mar 1643, so he probably arrived by 1642.

STETSON WAS BORN IN MODBURY, DEVON ENGLAND,IN 1613, AND BAPTIZED THERE June 18, 1615, A SON OF THOMAS STITSON AND HIS WIFE ARGENT LUKESMORE, WHO WERE MARRIED IN MODBURY MARCH 3, 1605. AFTER 1632 THOMAS STITSON'S FAMILY MOVED TO PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND. NO RECORD CAN BE FOUND AS TO HIS BURIAL PLACE, AND IT IS BELIEVED HE DIED AT BLACK PLAGUE TIME (1627), AND DURING THE SIEGE THE REGISTERS WERE NOT COMPLETE. ROBERT WAS GIVEN A GRANT OF LAND UPON THE NORTH RIVER, SEITUATE, NEW ENGLAND IN 1634. THE REV. JOHN LATHOP WITH ABOUT 30 OF HIS PEOPLE ARRIVED ON THE SHIP GRIFFIS IN 1634 . ROBERT RETURNED TO ENDLAND. MARRIED HONOUR TUCKER MAY 2, 1635, AND RETURNED TO NEW ENGLAND 1636.

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WAS COPIED FROM BOOKLET NO. 6 STETSON KINDRED OF AMERICA PRINTED 1920'S.

ROBERT STETSON, "CORNET OF THE TROOPERS"

BY NELSON M STETSON

THE CAREER OF CORNET ROBERT STETSON OF SCITUATE IS UNIQUE IN THE ANNALS OF PLYMOUTH COLONY AND THE ELEMENT OF ROMANTIC ADVENTURE, RUNNING THROUGH HIS WHOLE LIFE, APPEALS TO EVERYONE. IN 1634 HE MADE HIS APPEARANCE IN SCITUATE AND SOON AFTER WAS GRANTED A LARGE TRACT OF LAND ON THE BANKS OF NORTH RIVER WHERE HE BUILT HIS RUDE HOME AND REARED HIS LARGE FAMILY, BUT HOW AND WHENCE HE CAME IS STILL A MYSTERY.

SO FAR AS CAN BE DISCOVERED NO OTHER PIONEER HAD ESTABLISHED HIMSELF HERE AT THAT EARLY DATE AND IT IS BELIEVED THAT ROBERT STETSON WAS THE FIRST SETTLER WITHIN THE TERRITORY NOW KNOWN AS NORWELL.

THAT ROBERT STETSON WAS ORIGINAL AND ENTERPRISING NO ONE WILL DISPUTE. THESE QUALITIES WHICH HE DISPLAYED FROM THE VERY FIRST ARE CONSPICUOUS ALL THROUGH HIS LONG, BUSY LIFE. WHILE HIS CONTEMPORARIES BUILT THEIR HOMES NEAR THE SETTLEMENT, WHERE THEY MIGHT ENJOY THE FELLOWSHIP OF THEIR FRIENDS IN COMPARATIVE SAFETY, HE STRUCK BOLDLY OUT INTO THE WILDERNESS AND HERE BY THE RIVER, NEAR A BOILING SPRING, ON THE EDGE OF THE MEADOWS, MANY MILES FROM THE SETTLEMENT, CLEARED THE LAND FOR HIS FARM AND BUILT HIS HOME.

ONLY FOURTEEN YEARS BEFORE, THE PILGRIMS AT PLYMOUTH BUILT THEIR HOUSES, WE ARE TOLD, OF LOGS AND COVERED THEM WITH "THATCH." COULD WE HAVE SEEN THE HOUSE THAT ROBERT STETSON BUILT, DOUBTLESS WE WOULD HAVE SEEN A CRUDE LOG HUT, ROOFED WITH THE LONG GRASSES FROM THE MEADOWS. HAVING CHOSEN THIS ISOLATED AND ROMANTIC SPOT BY THE RIVER FOR THEIR HOME, HERE ALONE IN THE FOREST THEY DWELT. ROBERT AND HONOR.

WE DO NOT KNOW THAT THE CORNET WAS CONNECTED WITH ANY CHURCH PREVIOUS TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SECOND CHURCH OF SCITUATE (NOW THE FIRST CHURCH OF NORWELL) BUT REV. WILLIAM WITHERELL, THE FIRST MINISTER, HAVING BEEN ORDAINED THE PREVIOUS MONTH, BAPTIZED ON October 6TH, 1645, THE CORNET'S THREE OLDEST SONS.

WE WONDER HOW ROBERT AND HONOR BROUGHT THESE CHILDREN TO BAPTISM THAT October MORNING. DID THEY FOLLOW THE BRIDLE PATH DOWN THE RIVER, A DISTANCE OF FOUR MILES, ON FOOT, WITH THE LITTLE ONES IN THEIR ARMS? OR DID THEY MAKE THE JOURNEY ON HORSEBACK? MIGHT IT NOT HAVE BEEN THAT ROBERT LAUNCHED HIS RUDE SKIFF AND PADDLED HIS LITTLE FAMILY DOWN THE CROOKED, SLUGGISH STREAM* TO STONY BROOK COVE AND IN THIS WAY BROUGHT HIS FIRST OFFERING TO THE ALTAR OF THE SECOND CHURCH? WE ONLY KNOW THAT THEY WERE BAPTIZED THAT October DAY. JOSEPH, BENJAMIN AND THOMAS, AGED RESPECTIVELY ,6,4 AND 2 YEARS AND THAT FROM THAT DAY TO THIS THERE HAS BEEN NO TIME WHEN A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF THE CORNET'S DESCENDANTS WERE NOT PROMINENTLY CONNECTED WITH THE OLD CHURCH.

CORNET STETSON DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE BEEN VERY ACTIVE IN AFFAIRS OF THE CHURCH. IT IS SOMEWHAT DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE THIS PRACTICAL TROOPER ENTERING VERY WARMLY INTO A DISPUTE OVER THE RELATIVE MERITS OF BAPTISM BY SPRINKLING AND BY IMMERSION, BUT WE NOTICE ONE INSTANCE IN WHICH HE ACTS IN HIS USUAL ROLE OF PEACEMAKER WITH A COMMITTEE OF THE CHURCH IN THE INTEREST OF HARMONY. PREVIOUS TO 1654 THERE WAS A CONTINUED CONTROVERSY BETWEEN THE FOLLOWERS OF MR CHAUNCY OF THE FIRST CHURCH AND THE FOLLOWERE OF THE MORE LIBERAL MR WITHERELL OF THE SECOND CHURCH, CHIEFLY OVER THE METHOD OF BAPTISM AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. MR WITHERELL'S LAST LETTER TO MR CHAUNCY IN BEHALF OF THE CHURCH IN 1653 WAS A SPECIAL EFFORT TO BRING ABOUT A RECONCILIATION (SEE COPY OF THIS LETTER, DEAN'S HISTORY OF SCITUATE P 186). THE COMMITTEE WHO SUBSCRIBED THEMSELVES TO THIS LETTER "BY ORDER OF THE CHURCH" AND AS "YOUR BRETHREN IN CHRIST" WERE REV. WM. WITHERELL, ELDER THOMAS KING, EPH'M KEMPTON AND ROBERT STETSON. THE FOLLOWING YEAR MR CHAUNCY RETIRED AND ACCEPTED THE PRESIDENCY OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND THE TWO SOCIETIES BECAME HARMONIOUS.

WE ARE TOLD THAT ROBERT STETSON WAS "ONLY A CORNET" THAT "HE COULDN'T EVEN WRITE HIS NAME." NOW IF THIS BE TRUE - AND THERE SEEMS TO BE NO EVIDENCE THAT IT IS NOT - ISN'T IT REMARKABLE THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CHOSEN REPEATEDLY TO REPRESENT SCITUATE, AT THAT TIME THE WEALTHIEST AND MOST POPULOUS TOWN IN THE COLONY. --PLYMOUTH NOT EXCEPTED--AS THEIR DEPUTY TO THE COLONY COURT AND ALWAYS WITH, OR ALTERNATELY WITH, SUCH MEN AS GEN. CUDWORTH, LT JAMES TORREY AND JOHN CUSHING, WHO WERE AMONG THE BEST EDUCATED MEN IN SCITUATE OR IN THE COLONY? CERTAIN IT IS THAT THEY SHARED THIS HONOR WITH THE UNLETTERED "CORNET OF THE TROOPERS" UNTIL HE HAD SERVED THE TOWN IN THIS CAPACITY FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS: TWICE AS LONG AS ANY OTHER DEPUTY FROM SCITUATE. WE MUST INFER FROM THIS, THAT HE WAS A MAN OF UNUSUAL ABILITY AND THAT HE HAD THE CONFIDENCE OF THE FREEMEN OF SCITUATE. AS LONG AS CORNET STETSON LIVED HE WAS - POSSIBLY WITH ONE EXCEPTION* - THE ONLY DEPUTY CHOSEN TO REPRESENT AT THE COLONY COURT THAT PART OF SCITUATE NOW KNOW AS NORWELL, HANOVER AND THE "TWO MILE" DISTRICT OF MARSHFIELD.

CORNET STETSON WAS OFTEN EMPLOYED BY BOTH TOWN AND COLONY IN THEIR DEALINGS WITH THE INDIANS, THE LAYING OUT OF ROADS AND LAND GRANTS AND IN THE ADJUSTMENT OF DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. FOR MANY YEARS THE NAME OF "CORNET STETSUN" IS THE MOST CONSPICUOUS NAME ON THE SCITUATE RECORDS. THE RECORDS OF SCITUATE'S TOWN MEETINGS PREVIOUS TO 1666 ARE LOST. AFTER THAT DATE THE RECORDS WERE KEPT IN THE BOOK CALLED THE "SCITUATE TOWN MEETING BOOK," AND AT THIS FIRST RECORDED TOWN MEETING, HELD IN 1666, CORNET ROBERT STETSON WAS CHOSEN FIRST SELECTMAN.

THE FOLLOWING YEAR SCITUATE AGAIN "VOTED TO CHOOSE THREE SELECTMEN" AND THE CORNET WAS AGAIN CHOSEN FIRST SELECTMAN (SEE PAGE 14). THESE BOARDS OF SELECTMEN, CHOSEN AT THIS TIME, WERE GIVEN MUCH AUTHORITY BY THE COURT AND AFTER BEING APPROVED BY THE MAGISTRATES, CONSTITUTED A LITTLE COURT COMPLETE IN ITSELF. THEY WERE BOTH JUDGES AND JURORS, WERE GIVEN "POWER TO ISSUE EXECUTIONS AND ENFORCE THEIR JUDGMENT", WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRY ALL CASES INVOLVING NOT OVER FORTY SHILLINGS AND TO SETTLE ALL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TOWNS PEOPLE AND THE INDIANS.

IN July 1646 THE FOLLOWING WAS ENTERED UPON THE COLONY RECORDS:

"UPON COMPLAINT BY SOME OF THE INHABITANTS OF SCITUATE THAT THERE WAS GREAT WANT OF HIGHWAYS TO BE LAYED FORTH AND A FORMER JURY HAVE BEEN EMPANELED TO HAVE DONN THE SAME WHO HAVE NOT YET FOR DIVERS YEARES RECORDED THEIR VERDICT . . . . THE COURT DOTH THEREFORE ORDER THAT A WARRANT SHELL BE DIRECTED TO THE CONSTABLES OF SCITUATE REQUIRING THEM TO CAUSE A SUFFICIENT JURY TO BE EMPANELED BEFORE MR TIMOTHY HATHERLY, WHO UPON THEIR OATHS SHALL LAY FORTH ALL SUCH WAYS WITH AS MUCH CONVENIENCE FOR THE GEN 'ALL AND AS LITTLE P'JUDICE TO THE P'TICULARS AS MAY BE ACCORDING TO THE ACT OF THE COURT (PLYMOUTH. COLONY COURT REC. VOL. II P. 106)

IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ORDER A JURY WAS SOON EMPANELLED BEFORE TIMOTHY HATHERLY WITH CORNET STETSON AS FOREMAN AND WAYS WERE SPEEDILY LAID OUT. AMONG THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THESE WERE THE "TOWNE WAY" OVER PALMERS LOG BRIDGE THROUGH GREENBUSH TO THE HARBOR AND THE "COUNTRY ROAD" FROM "BERSTOWS BRIDGE" (NOW NORTH RIVER BRIDGE) TO HINGHAM.*

WE INSERT A PAGE FROM THE SCITUATE RECORDS IN THE HANDWRITING OF THE TOWN CLERK, LT.. ISAAC BUCK. SEE OPP. PAGE.

"THE TOWNE CHOSE THREE MEN TO PROSECUTE THIS ORDER, AND THE ORDER BEARING DATE THE 8 OF December 1664 RESPECTING TIMBER.

THE MEN CHOSEN ARE

CAPT. CUDWORTH

CORNET STETSUN

MR TILLDEN

AT A TOWNE MEETING THE 2 DAY OF MAY 1667.

CHOSEN FOR DEPUTIES FOR June CORTE AND THE ADJORMENTE THEREOF

THE MEN CHOSEN ARE CORNET ROBERT STETSUN.

ISACK CHITTENDEN.

CHOSEN FOR CONSTABLES, MIKIELL PEARCE,

WM. BROOKS.

CHOSEN FOR GRAND JURY (?) MEN, MR JOSEPH TILLDEN, JOHN BRYANTE.

CHOSEN FOR SURVIVORS WM. BERSTOW,

FOR THE HIGH WAYS, JOHN ENSINE.

THE TOWNE DID AGREE TO CHOSE THREE SELECT MEN.

THE MEN CHOSEN ARE CORNET ROBERT STETSUN,

MR THOMAS KING,

ISACK CHITTENDEN.

JOHN TURNER JR. IS APPOINTED BY THE TOWNE TO SELL THE OLD GUN BARRELLS THAT ARE IN HIS HANDS."

  • THIS WAS TRUE OF THE RIVER IN THE DAYS OF THE CORNET. FOR AGES THE RIVER HAD MEANDERED THROUGH THE MEADOWS, DODGING THE ISLANDS AND HIDING BEHIND THE SAND DUNES ON THE BEACH, AS THOUGH HESITATING TO GIVE UP ITS WATERS TO THE SEA.

ONE TERRIBLE WINTER'S NIGHT (November 26, 1898) THE OCEAN RUSHED MADLY THROUGH THE NARROW BEACH AND GAVE TO THE RIVER A NEW MOUTH. THE PLACID STREAM WAS CHANGED OVER NIGHT FROM THE "GENTLE RIVER" OF OUR CHILDHOOD DAYS INTO A DEEP, RAPID, BRACKISH TIDE-STREAM. THE TREES ON THE LOW-LANDS, THE GRASSES ON THE MEADOWS AND EVEN THE FISHES WITHIN ITS WATERS HAVE CHANGED AND CENTURIES WILL ELAPSE BEFORE THE ACCUMULATING SANDS WILL AGAIN BRING ABOUT THE ROMANTIC CONDITIONS WHICH PREVAILED IN OUR YOUTH AND IN THE DAYS OF CORNET STETSON.

  • *JOHN BRYANT WHO LIVED JUST BELOW THE 2ND HERRING BROOK WAS DEPUTY IN 1657, ALSO IN 1677 AND 1678, WHEN HE SERVED WITH CORNET STETSON. CAPT. JOSEPH SYLVESTER SERVED IN 1689 AND 1690 AFTER THE CORNET WAS 78 YEARS OF AGE. CAPT. BENJ. STETSON WAS CHOSEN IN 1691.
    • *IN REFERENCE TO THIS "TOWNE WAY" MR FRANCIS LYNDE STETSON OF N. Y. CITY AND MR JOHN B STETSON OF PHILADELPHIA, IN BEHALF OF THE STETSON KINDRED, SUGGESTED TO THE PEOPLE OF NORWELL THAT THEY NEME THIS STREET "STETSON ROAD" IN HONOR OF THEIR EARLIEST SETTLER AND FOREMOST CITIZEN FOR FIFTY YEARS, "IN JUST AND APPROPRAITE RECOGNITION OF HIS SERVICES AS A ROADBUILDER." THIS THE TOWN OF NORWELL UNFORTUNATELY REFUSED TO DO.

LATER THE TOWN OF SCITUATE AS A FITTING TRIBUTE TO THE VETERAN COMMISSIONER VOULNTARILY GAVE THE NAME "CORNET STETSON ROAD" TO THAT PORTION OF THE "TOWN WAY" NOW WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE TOWN OF SCITUATE.

INCIDENTALLY THESE GENTLEMEN WERE PHILANTHROPISTS, MEN OF THE HIGHEST CHARACTER WHOSE ANCESTORS HAD LIVED FOR MANY GENERATIONS IN SCITUATE. JOHN B STETSON DURING HIS LIFETIME GAVE $1,000,000 TO FOUND THE UNIVERSITY AT DELAND, FLORIDA AND MR FRANCIS LYNDE STETSON IN HIS WILL GAVE AMONG OTHER BEQUESTS $3,000,000 TO WILLIAMS COLLEGE, HIS ALMA MATER.

TAKEN FROM THE STETSON BOOK

ROBERT STETSON, SR WAS GIVEN THE TITLE CORNET AND IS ALSO REFERRED TO AS CORNET ROBERT OR THE CORNET.

IN 1938, THE LATE DR LLOYD VERNON BRIGGS, OF BOSTON, PUBLISHED IN THREE VOLUMES THE "HISTORY AND GENEALOGY OF THE BRIGGS FAMILY 1254-1927." HE SPENT CONSIDERABLE TIME IN ENGLAND SEARCHING THE RECORDS FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING THE BRIGGS FAMILY AND THEIR ALLIED FAMILIES.L IT IS THROUGH HIS EFFORTS THAT WE KNOW THE ENGLISH ORIGIN OF 'CORNET ROBERT STETSON' AND HIS WIFE HONOUR (TUCKER) STETSON.

THE FOLLOWING IS TAKEN FROM THE ABOVE MENTIONED GENEALOGY AND FROM THE STETSON KINDRED OF AMERICA PERIODICALS.

CORNET ROBERT STETSON WAS BORN IN MODBURY, DEVONSHIRE, ENGLAND IN 1613, A SON OF THOMAS STITSON AND HIS WIFE ARGENT LUKESMORE. AFTER 1632 THOMAS STITSON'S FAMILY MOVED TO PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND. WHETHER THOMAS STITSON WAS LIVING WHEN THE FAMILY WENT THERE IS NOT KNOWN, AS NO RECORD OF HIS BURIAL HAS BEEN DISCOVERED IN MODBURY OR IN PLYMOUTH. MR BOWER MARSH WRITES: "THERE IS REASON TO BELIEVE THAT A PLAGUE TIME (1626) AND DURING THE SIEGE THE REGISTERS WERE NOT COMPLETE. ARGENT STITSON WAS BURIED AT PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND, AS A WIDOW IN 1643."

ACCORDING TO DEANE, ROBERT (CORNET) STETSON, WAS GIVEN A GRANT OF LAND UPON THE NORTH RIVER, SCITUATE, NEW ENGLAND, (MASSACHUSETTS) IN 1634. ROBERT WOULD HAVE BEEN 21 YEARS OF AGE THAT YEAR, AND MAY HAVE COME TO NEW ENGLAND, AND RECEIVED THAT EARLY GRANT, ALTHOUGH THE OTHER LANDS ALONG THE RIVER, THE "GREATE LOTTES" WERE NOT GRANTED TO THE EARLIEST SETTLERS UNTIL 1636, AT WHICH TIME WILLIAM RICHARDS WAS GRANTED THE LAND ADJOINING ROBERT STETSON'S ON THE NORTH.

THE REV JOHN LOTHROP, WITH ABOUT THIRTY OF HIS PEOPLE, ARRIVED IN THE SHIP GRIFFIN IN 1634. IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT ROBERT (CORNET) STETSON MAY HAVE BEEN OF THIS PARTY, AS OSCAR FRANK STETSON SAYS THAT HIS GRANT ON THE RIVER ADJOINED THOSE MADE LATER TO MR LOTHROP AND TO SAMUEL HOUSE, A MEMBER OF MR LOTHROP'S COMPANY. IF HOWEVER, ROBERT STETSON CAME TO NEW ENGLAND AND RECEIVED A GRANT IN 1634, HE RETURNED TO PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND, WHERE HE MARRIED, 2 MAY 1635, HONOUR TUCKER OF PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND.

ROBERT AND HONOUR (TUCKER) STETSON REMAINED IN PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND FOR A PERIOD AFTER THEIR MARRIAGE, WHERE A DAUGHTER, URITH, WAS BAPTIZED 26 APR 1636, WHO EVIDENTLY DIED IN ENGLAND. HOW LONG THEY REMAINED THERE IS NOT KNOWN, BUT THEY WERE IN SCITUATE, NEW ENGLAND, WHEN THEIR SON JOSEPH WAS BORN IN JUNE, 1639.

THE DATE OF THE DEATH OF HONOUR (TUCKER) STETSON, THE MOTHER OF CORNET ROBERT STETSON'S CHILDREN HAS NOT BEEN FOUND UPON RECORD, BUT SHE IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN LIVING WHEN BOTH WERE MORE THAN THREE SCORE AND TEN YEARS OF AGE. LATE IN LIFE ROBERT MARRIED MRS MARY (HILAND) BRYANT, THIRD WIFE AND WIDOW OF JOHN BRYANT, WHO LIVED ON THE BANKS OF THE SECOND HEDRRING BROOK, ON LAND OCCUPIED BY HAWKE CUSHING AND HIS SON, DEACON THOMAS. MARY HILAND WAS A DAUGHTER OF THOMAS HILAND FROM TENTERDEN, KENT, ONE OF THE EARLY SETTLERS ON KENT STREET, AND AN OLDER SISTER OF SARAH HILAND, WHO MARRIED THOMAS TURNER IN 1652, AND OF RUTH HILAND, THE FIRST WIFE OF THE CORNET'S OLDEST SON, JOSEPH STETSON.

CORNET ROBERT STETSON WAS THE ONLY PIONEER OF NEW ENGLAND BEARING THE NAME STETSON WHO LEFT MALE OFFSPRING. THERE WERE, HOWEVER, AMONG THE EARLY PIONEERS, CONTEMPORARY WITH THE CORNET, TWO OTHERS BEARING THE NEME, I.E. DEACON WILLIAM STETSON OF CHARLESTOWN, 1632, AND VINCENT STETSON OF MILLFORD. OF VINCENT FEW NOTES HAVE BEEN FOUND. HE WAS A MILLFORD IN 1646 AND IN MARBLEHEAD IN 1674. HE RETURNED TO MILLFORD. HE LEFT AT LEAST ONE DAUGHTER, WHO MARRIED GEORGE BARLOW, AND WHOSE POSTERITY IS SCATTERED FAR AND WIDE.

FROM CHARLESTOWN GENEALOGIES AND ESTATES WE GLEAN THAT DEACON WILLIAM STETSON, OR WILL STITSON, AS HE IS SOMETIMES CALLED ON THE RECORDS, WAS AN INHABITANT IN 1632, WAS ADMITTED TO THE CHURCH WITH WIFE, ELIZABETH, IN 1633, WAS DEACON OF THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHARLESTOWN FOR OVER 31 YEARS, MARRIED FOR SECOND WIFE WIDOW MARY (NORTON) HILL AUG 22, 1670. HE DIED APRIL 11, 1691. AS A YOUNG MAN HE KEPT THE FERRY. HE BECAME WEALTHY AND POSSESSED LARGE ESTATES. WE ARE TOLD THAT HE CAME VIA BOSTON, HAD NOT CHILDREN OF HIS OWN, AND IN HIS WILL, PROBATED IN 1692, BEQUEATHED HIS PROPERTY TO EIGHT CHILDREN OF HIS FIRST AND SECOND WIVES "AND TO SARAH JOHNSON WHO NOW DWELS WITH ME." "NEGRO SAMBO SHALL HAVE HIS FREEDOM." HE HAD ACCOUNTS WITH PEOPLE OF BRISTOL, ENGLAND. IT IS ELSEWHERE STATED THAT DEACON WILLIAM STETSON WAS SEVERAL TIME CHOSEN REPRESENTATIVE TO THE GENERAL COURT, THAT HE TOGETHER WITH MAJOR SEDGWICK (LEADER OF THE COLONY FORCES IN THE DUTCH WAR), BUILT THE FIRST MILLS IN CHARLESTOWN, AND WAS ONE OF THE TRUSTEES NAMED IN THE MARRIAGE SETTLEMENT OF MARTHA COYTMORE WHEN SHE MARRIED GOVERNOR WINTHROP. ALTHOUGH THESE TWO, DEACON WILLIAM OF MASS. AND CORNET ROBERT OF PLYMOUTH COLONY, RESEMBLED EACH OTHER IN MANY WAYS, WE HAVE DISCOVERED NO OTHER EVIDENCE OF RELATIONSHIP.

CORNET ROBERT STETSON WAS REPUTED AS UNABLE TO READ AND WRITE. HE IS FIRST MENTIONED IN SCITUATE RECORDS IN 1634. HE CONTINUED TO LIVE THERE UNTIL HIS DEATH AT THE AGE OF 90 YEARS. HE WAS THE EARLIEST SETTLER IN THE SOUTH PART OF THE TOWN WHICH IS NOW KNOW AS NORWELL, AND HE BUILT THE FIRST MILL THERE. INDUCEMENTS WERE OFFERED BY THE TOWN OF SCITUATE TO ANYONE WHO WOULD BUILD A MILL ON THE THIRD HERRING BROOK, AND IN 1656 THE FOLLOWING WAS ENTERED ON THE SCITUATE AND PLYMOUTH COLONY RECORDS: "...WE WHOSE NAMES ARE UNDERWRITTEN DOE TESTIFYE, TESTIFYE THAT WE WERE WITH ROBERT STUTSON AT WORK THE NINTH OF FEBRUARY 1656 TO PROVIDE TIMBER TO BUILD THE SAW MILL THAT THE SAID ROBERT STUTSON HATH BUILT..."

ALTHOUGH, MR HATHERLY AND JOSEPH TILDEN WERE ASSOCIATED WITH CORNET STETSON IN BUILDING THIS SAW MILL ON THE THIRD HERRING BROOK IN 1656, THE RECORDS SEEM TO INDICATE THAT THE CORNET WAS THE PRINCIPLE FACTOR IN THE ENTERPRISE AND EVEN TO THIS DAY THE "CORNETS OLD POND," "CORNET'S MILL" AND "CORNET'S DAM" ARE FAMILIAR TERMS WHEN REFERRING TO THESE LOCALITIES. WE LEARN, HOWEVER, FROM OLD DEEDS AT PLYMOUTH THAT CORNET STETSON IN 1662 SOLD ONE-THIRD PART OF THE MILL, POSSIBLY ALL HE OWNED TO JOSEPH TILDEN. MR TILDEN WAS A RELATIVE OF MR HATHERLY, SETTLED HIS ESTATE AND EVENTUALLY CAME INTO POSSESSION OF THE MILL, AS HIS WIDOW IN SETTLING HIS ESTATE SOLD THE MILL IN 1673 FOR 43 POUNDS.

CORNET STETSON ALSO BUILT THE EARLIEST MILL IN WHAT IS NOW THE TOWN OF HANOVER AT "DRINKWATER," NEAR THE INDIAN HEAD RIVER, BEFORE 1673, PROBABLY IN 1656 WHEN HE RECEIVED THE FIRST GRANT FROM THE COLONY ON THAT RIVER.

IN 1658 THE COLONY COURT REALIZING THAT THE HORSEMEN OF THE VARIOUS TOWNS SHOULD BE ORGANIZED FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE COLONY, ORDERED RAISED A "TROOP OF HORSE" WHICH WAS TO BE "WELL APPOINTED WITH FURNITURE, VIZ., A SADDLE AND CASE OF PATTERNELS FOR EACH HORSE." "PATTERNELS" WERE HUGE PISTOLS CARRIED BY CAVALRY IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. LATER EACH TROOPER WAS ORDERED TO HAVE A SUITABLE HORSE IN CONDITION ALWAYS READY FOR IMMEDIATE SERVICE. GOVERNOR BRADFORD'S SON WILLIAM OF PLYMOUTH WAS COMMISSIONED CAPTAIN OF THIS COMPANY, GOVERNOR PRENCE'S SON-IN-LAW (HIS ONLY SON WAS IN ENGLAND) JOHN FREEMAN OF EASTHAM WAS COMMISSIONED LIEUTENANT AND ROBERT STUDSON OF SCITUATE WAS COMMISSIONED CORNET. THIS AT ONCE BECAME THE MOST VALUABLE COMPANY IN THE COLONY AND CONSISTED OF THREE "SQUADRONS," ONE AT PLYMOUTH UNDER CAPTAIN BRADFORD, ONE AT EASTHAM UNDER LIEUT. FREEMAN, AND ONE A SCITUATE UNDER CORNET STETSON. THE FULL COMPANY MET ONLY ON SPECIAL OCCASIONS AND AT THE ANNUAL TRAININGS.

A GOOD IDEA OF THE DUTIES OF A "CORNET OF HORSE" OF THOSE DAYS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE FOLLOWING COURT ORDERS OF 1667.

"THE COUNCELL OF WARR HAVE DETERMINED THAT DURING ANY APPEARANCE OF DANGER. THE TROOP IN EACH TOWNE BE ORDERED BY THEIR OWNE OFFICERS OR WHERE SUCH ARE NOT, BY SUCH AS ARE OF THE GRAND COUNCELL OF THAT TOWNE, TO BE READY AT ALL TIMES TO GO FORTH AS SCOUTS: UPON DISCOVERY TO CARRY INTELLIGENCE FROM PLACE TO PLACE, AS THERE MAY BE OCCASION, AND TO DO SUCH SERVICED FURTHER AS NEED MAY REQUIRE...THAT IN TIME OF DANGER THE TROOPERS OF PLYMOUTH REPAIRE TO THE GOVERNOR AS HIS GUARD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE". IT WAS, THEN, THEIR DUTY TO BE IN CONSTANT TOUCH WITH EACH OTHER, TO KEEP THEIR LEADERS AND THE TOWNS INFORMED OF ANY SIGNS OF HOSTILITY OR MOVEMENTS OF THE ENEMY. THEY MUST BE GOOD HORSEMEN, WELL MOUNTED, ALERT AND OF GOOD JUDGMENT, MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY FITTED FOR THE POSITION.

FOR TWENTY YEARS ROBERT HELD THE OFFICES OF "CORNET OF THE TROOP OF HORSE" AND ONE OF THE "COUNSELL OF WARR," AND ANNUALLY FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS SCITUATE SENT HIM AS HER REPRESENTATIVE TO THE PLYMOUTH COLONY COURT.

CORNET STETSON WAS OFTEN EMPLOYED BY BOTH TOWN AND COLONY IN THEIR DEALINGS WITH THE INDIANS, THE LAYING OUT OF ROADS AND LAND GRANTS, AND IN THE ADJUSTMENT OF DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. FOR MANY YEARS THE NAME OF "CORNETT STETSUN" IS THE MOST CONSPICUOUS NAME ON THE SCITUATE RECORDS. THE RECORDS OF SCITUATE'S TOWN MEETINGS PREVIOUS TO 1666 ARE LOST. AFTER THAT DATE THE RECORDS WERE KEPT IN THE BOOK CALLED THE "SCITUATE TOWN MEETING BOOK," AND AT THIS FIRST RECORDED TOWN MEETING, HELD IN 1666, CORNET ROBERT STETSON WAS CHOSEN FIRST SELECTMAN.

THE FOLLOWING YEAR SCITUATE AGAIN "VOTED TO CHOOSE THREE SELECTMEN" AND THE CORNET WAS AGAIN CHOSEN FIRST SELECTMAN. THIS BOARD OF SELECTMEN, CHOSEN AT THIS TIME, WAS GIVEN MUCH AUTHORITY BY THE COURT, AND AFTER BEING APPROVED BY THE MAGISTRATES, CONSTITUTED A LITTLE COURT COMPLETE IN ITSELF. THEY WERE BOTH JUDGES AND JURORS, WERE GIVEN "POWER TO ISSUE EXECUTIONS AND ENFORCE THEIR JUDGMENT," WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRY ALL CASES INVOLVING NOT OVER FORTY SHILLINGS, AND TO SETTLE ALL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TOWNSPEOPLE AND THE INDIANS.

IN JULY, 1646, THE FOLLOWING WAS ENTERED UPON THE COLONY RECORDS:

"UPON COMPLAINT BY SOME OF THE INHABITANTS OF SCITTUATE THAT THERE WAS GREAT WANT OF HEIGHWAYS TO BE LAYED FORTH AND A FORMER JURY HAVE BEEN EMPANELED TO HAVE DONE THE SAME WHO HAVE NOT YET FOR DIVERS YEARS RECORDED THEIR VERDICT...THE COURT DOTH THEREFORE ORDER THAT A WARRANT SHALL BE DIRECTED TO THE CONSTABLES OF SCITTUATE REQUIREING THEM TO CAUSE A SUFFICIENT JURY TO BE EMPANELED BEFORE MR. TIMOTHY HATHERLY, WHO UPON THEIR OATHES SHALL LAY FORTH ALL SUCH WAYES WITH AS MUCH CONVENIENCY FOR THE GEN'ALL AND AS LITTLE P'JUDICE TO THE P'TICULARS AS MAY BE ACCORDING TO THE ACT OF THE COURT."

IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ORDER A JURY WAS SOON EMPANELLED BEFORE TIMOTHY HATHERLY WITH CORNET STETSON AS FOREMAN AND WAYS WERE SPEEDILY LAID OUT. AMONG THE MOST IMPORTANT OF THESE WERE THE "TOWNE WAY" OVER PALMERS LOG BRIDGE THROUGH GREENBUSH TO HT HARBOR, AND THE "COUNTREY ROAD" FROM "BERSTOWS BRIDGE" (NOW NORTH RIVER BRIDGE) TO HINGHAM.

A PAGE FROM THE RECORDS OF SCITUATE WILL READILY SHOW THE IMPORTANCE OF CORNET ROBERT STETSON IN THE OPINION OF HIS FELLOW TOWNSMEN. HE WAS, AT THIS MEETING, CHOSEN ONE OF A SPECIAL COMMITTEE, A DEPUTY TO THE COLONIAL COURT AND ONE OF THE TOWN'S SELECTMEN.

"THE TOWNE CHOSE THREE MEN TO PROSECUTE THIS ORDER, AND THE ORDER BEARING DATE THE 8 OF DECEMBER 1664 RESPECTING TIMBER. THE MEN CHOSEN ARE CAPT. CUDWORTH, CORNET STETSUN, MR THOMAS KING, ISACK CHITTENDEN..."

IN 1665 CORNET STETSON RECEIVED FROM THE COLONY A GRANT OF 200 ACRES OF LAND FOR HIS SERVICES IN SETTLING THE DIFFICULTIES WITH THE INDIANS AT "KENNEBECK PLANTATION," AND DURING PHILIP'S WAR,K ALTHOUGH WELL PAST HIS SIXTIETH YEAR, HE NOT ONLY LED HIS "SQUADRON OF TROOPERS," BUT WAS CHOSEN "TOWN COUNCELL" AND "AGENT FOR THE TOWN" TO PROVIDE CLOTHING, FOOD, AMMUNITION, ETC., "FOR THE SOULGERS" AND HE WAS, WITH GENERAL CUDWORTH, CHOSEN "PRESS MASTER" DURING THAT TIME.

WE ARE TOLD THAT ROBERT STETSON WAS "ONLY A CORNET"; THAT " HE COULDN'T EVEN WRITE HIS NAME." NOW IF THIS BE TRUE AND -THERE SEEMS TO BE NO EVIDENCE THAT IT IS NOT- ISN'T IT REMARKABLE THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CHOSEN REPEATEDLY TO REPRESENT SCITUATE, AT THAT TIME THE WEALTHIEST AND MOST POPULOUS TOWN IN THE COLONY, -PLYMOUTH NOT EXCEPTED-AS THEIR DEPUTY TO THE COLONY COURT, AND ALWAYS WITH, OR ALTERNATELY WITH, SUCH MEN AS GEN. CUDWORTH, LT JAMES TORREY AND JOHN CUSHING, WHO WERE AMONG THE BEST EDUCATED MEN IN SCITUATE OR IN THE COLONY? CERTAIN IT IS THAT THEY SHARED THIS HONOR WITH THE UNLETTERED "CORNET OF THE TROOPERS" UNTIL HE HAD SERVED THE TOWN IN THIS CAPACITY FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS: TWICE AS LONG AS ANY OTHER DEPUTY FROM SCITUATE. WE MUST INFER FROM THIS THAT HE WAS A MAN OF UNUSUAL ABILITY, AND THAT HE HAD THE CONFIDENCE OF THE FREEMEN OF SCITUATE. AS LONG AS CORNET STETSON LIVED HE WAS-POSSIBLY WITH ONE EXCEPTION-THE ONLY DEPUTY CHOSEN TO REPRESENT AT THE COLONY COURT THAT PART OF SCITUATE NOW KNOWN AS NORWELL, HANOVER AND THE "TWO MILE" DISTRICT OF MARSHFIELD.

IN 1668 HE PURCHASED OF THE SACHEM, CHIKATABUTTE, FOR THE COLONY, A TRACT OF LAND AT DRINKWATER, IN HANOVER, CONTAINING 6 SQUARE MILES, A LARGE PORTION OF WHICH HAD ALREADY BEEN GRANTED TO HIM BY THE COLONY COURT.

AT THE BEGINNING OF PHILIP'S WAR THE COLONY SENT HIM WITH OTHER EMINENT MEN TO MOUNT HOPE TO INTERVIEW KING PHILIP IN AN ENDEAVOR TO AVOID THE WAR. HE WAS ALSO CHOSEN WITH THE SAME MEN TO ESTABLISH THE DISPUTED "PATTENT LINE" BETWEEN THE PLYMOUTH COLONY AND THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY.

DURING THE PERIOD IN WHICH CORNET STETSON WAS ACTIVE IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE GOVERNMENT, NEARLY ALL WHO PARTICIPATED WERE CONNECTED BY FAMILY TIES, AND EACH MEMBER OWED HIS PREFERMENT IN SOME MEASURE TO FAMILY CONNECTION AND INFLUENCE, BUT UNLESS HONOR, THE CORNET'S WIFE, WAS OF "ROYAL BLOOD," WE KNOW OF NOTHING EXCEPT CHARACTER, ABILITY (AND QUITE POSSIBLY HIS PERSONALITY) THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE CORNET'S PREFERMENT FOR A PLACE IN THE GOVERNMENT.

WE DO NOT KNOW THAT THE CORNET WAS CONNECTED WITH ANY CHURCH PREVIOUS TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SECOND CHURCH OF SCITUATE (NOW THE FIRST CHURCH OF NORWELL), BUT REV. WILLIAM WITHERELL, THE FIRST MINISTER, HAVING BEEN ORDAINED THE PREVIOUS MONTH, BAPTISED ON OCTOBER 6TH 1645, THE CORNET'S THREE OLDEST SONS.

CORNET STETSON DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE BEEN VERY ACTIVE IN AFFAIRS OF THE CHURCH. IT IS SOMEWHAT DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE THIS PRACTICAL TROOPER ENTERING VERY WARMLY INTO A DISPUTE OVER THE RELATIVE MERITS OF BAPTISM BY SPRINKLING AND BY IMMERSION, BUT WE NOTICE ONE INSTANCE IN WHICH HE ACTS IN HIS USUAL ROLE OF PEACEMAKER WITH A COMMITTEE OF THE CHURCH IN THE INTEREST OF HARMONY. PREVIOUS TO 1654 THERE WAS A CONTINUED CONTROVERSY BETWEEN THE FOLLOWERS OF MR CHAUNCY OF THE FIRST CHURCH, AND THE FOLLOWERS OF THE MORE LIBERAL MR WITHERELL OF THE SECOND CHURCH, CHIEFLY OVER THE METHOD OF BAPTISIM AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. MR WITHERELL'S LAST LETTER TO MR CHAUNCY IN BEHALF OF THE CHURCH IN 1653 WAS A SPECIAL EFFORT TO BRING ABOUT A RECONCILIATION. THE COMMITTEE WHO SUBSCRIBED THEMSELVES TO THIS LETTER "BY ORDER OF THE CHURCH" AND AS "YOUR BRETHREN IN CHRIST" WERE REV. WM. WITHERELL, ELDER THOMAS KING, EPH'M KEMPTON AND ROBERT STETSON. THE FOLLOWING YEARS MR. CHAUNCY RETIRED AND SCCEPTED THE PRESIDENCY OF HARVARD COLLEGE, AND THE TWO SOCIETIES BECAME HARMONIOUS.

"WE OF THE PRESENT TIME CAN HAVE NO CONCEPTION OF THE CONTINUOUS NIGHTMARE UNDER WHICH OUR FOREFATHERS LIVED. EVERY FARMHOUSE IN THOSE DAYS WAS SURROUNDED BY FOREST TREES. BUT IN THOSE DAYS OF INDIAN WARFARE THERE WAS NO KNOWING AT WHAT MOMENT OF NIGHT OR DAY PAINTED WARRIORS MIGHT STEAL FORTH FROM THE FOREST SHADOWS AND BRING TO THE ISOLATED SETTLERS THE SAME HORRIBLE FATE THAT HAD BEEN EXPERIENCED BY SO MANY.

IMAGINE THE STATE OF MIND OF HONOR STETSON WITH HER FAMILY OF CHILDREN LIVING FAR DISTANT FROM NEIGHBORS. IMAGINE ALSO THE DILEMMA OF CORNET STETSON HIMSELF-THE POWERFUL TEMPTATION TO STAY AT HOME TO GUARD HIS LOVED ONES, AND YET HIS SWORN DUTY TO RIDE FORTH AND LEAVE THEM TO TEIR FATE WHILE HE DIRECTED THE DEFENSES OF THE VAST TERRITORY OF SCITUATE STRETCHING FROM THE WESTERN LIMITS OF HANOVER, THROUGH NORWELL, GREENBUSH AND TO THE HARBOR ITSELF. THINK OF THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF DEFENDING SUCH A TERRITORY. THERE WAS A LITTLE GARRISON OF TWELVE MEN AT WHAT IS NOW HANOVER FOUR CORNERS AT BARSTOW'S TAVERN. THERE WAS ANOTHER AT GREENBUSH AND DOUBTLESS ANOTHER AT THE HARBOR, BUT THINK OF THE SCATTERED FARMHOUSES WITH THEIR DEFENSELESS WOMEN AND CHILDREN.

CORNET STETSON OWNED MUCH LAND. HE HAD A FLOURISHING MILL ON THE THIRD HERRING BROOK NEAR THE FOUR CORNERS. HE WAS MUCH IN DEMAND EVERYWHERE, FOR IN THOSE TRYING DAYS THE FATE OF THIS ENTIRE SECTION OF PLYMOUTH COUNTY WAS LITERALLY IN HIS HANDS.

ALL THE AVAILABLE MILITIA, SOME THIRTY MEN, WERE RANGING THE WOODS IN MIDDLEBORO LOOKING FOR THE INDIANS ON THE DREADFUL DAY WHEN THE INDIANS DESCENDED UPON SCITUATE. FROM COLONIAL RECORDS AND PROBABILITIES IN THE CASE THIS IT WHAT HAPPENED:

IN THE EARLY MORNING OF MAY 20, 1676, CORNET STETSON, ASLEEP IN HIS HOUSE, WAS AROUSED BY A MAD CLATTER AT HIS DOOR. A TERROR-STRICKEN MESSENGER CRIED OUT THE DREADFUL TIDINGS THAT THE INDIANS WERE IN POSSESSION OF THE STETSON MILL AT THE HERRING BROOK. AT THAT MOMENT A TELLTALE PILLAR OF SMOKE COULD BE SEEN ABOVE THE TREE TOPS. WITH A HASTY FAREWELL TO HIS WIFE AND THE YOUNGER CHILDREN, THE CORNET FLEW TO HIS BARN, SADDLED HIS HORSE AND SET OFF AT BREAKNECK SPEED UP THE FAMILIAR ROAD TO THE SETTLEMENT.

THAT HE WAS RIDING INTO THE VERY JAWS OF DEATH WAS MORE THAN PROBABLE. THE FRIGHTENED MESSENGER WAS SURE THAT THE ATTACKING PARTY WAS A GREAT MULTITUDE. HE HIMSELF HAD BEEN AWAKENED BY THE CLAMOR OF THEIR ATTACK UPON THE WATCHMEN WHO WERE GUARDING THE MILL. HE HAD SET OFF INSTANTLY TO WARN THE MILITARY COMMANDER WHO WAS ALSO THE OWNER OF THAT MILL.

BEFORE THE CORNET HAD SKIRTED CHURCH HILL, IT WAS APPARENT THAT THE REIGN OF TERROR HAD BEGUN. THE MILL WAS IN FLAMES. THE HOUSE OF JOSEPH SYLVESTER HAD BEEN CAPTURED AND WAS ABOUT TO BE PUT TO THE TORCH. CHARGING DOWN THE ROAD,K THEN LITTLE BETTER THAN A BRIDLE PATH, ROBERT STETSON MADE FOR THE GARRISON AT BARSTOW'S TAVERN AT FOUR CORNERS, WHERE FRIGHTENED FUGITIVES WERE ALREADY SEEKING SANCTUARY. THE SYLVESTERS HAD ESCAPED, FLEEING FROM THEIR HOME AT THE APPROACH OF THE INDIANS.

NOT KNOWING WHAT MOVE WOULD BE UNDERTAKEN NEXT, ROBERT STETSON RESOLVED UPON THE DESPERATE EXPEDIENT OF SALLYING FORTH WITH A MERE HANDFUL OF MEN IN AN ENDEAVOR TO DRIVE THE INDIANS FROM THE SETTLEMENT. IT WAS NOW FULL DAY. LEAVING HIS HORSE AND DEPLOYING HIS LITTLE BAND IN TRUE MILITARY FASHION, THE ATTACKING FORCE DASHED FROM COVER TO COVER, FROM TREES, BUILDINGS, STONE WALLS, ANYTHING THAT COULD AFFORD PROTECTION, UNTIL THEY CAME WITHIN MUSKET SHOT OF THE INVADERS.

IN FACT, THE SMOKE AND FLAMES TOLD WHERE THE INDIANS WERE AT WORK. EVIDENTLY THE SAVAGES WERE DUMBFOUNDED AT THE ATTACK WHEN THEY HAD FANCIED NO RESISTANCE WAS POSSIBLE.

AT ANY RATE, AT THE FIRST ROAR OF MUSKET AND THE WHIR OF BULLETS IN THEIR MIDST THE ENTIRE BAND OF INDIANS SCUDDED FOR COVER, FLEEING IN THE DIRECTION OF THE STETSON SETTLEMENT WHERE THE CORNET AND HIS OLDER CHILDREN RESIDED.

AFTER THEM IN DESPERATE HASTE RACED THE WHITE MEN. TO CORNET STETSON THIS MUST HAVE BEEN A HARROWING HOUR, FOR THE FLEET-FOOTED WARRIORS VANISHED, GOING HE KNEW NOT WHITHER. BUT WHEN HE REACHED HIS OWN HOME HE FOUND NO EVIDENCE THAT THE INDIANS WERE IN THE VICINITY.

CONCLUDING AT LENGTH THAT THE SAVAGES HAD TAKEN THE ROAD TO GREENBUSH, THE VENERABLE MAN, NOW IN HIS SIXTIES, GATHERED ALL THE NEIGHBORHOOD MEN AND BOYS CAPABLE OF BEARING ARMS INTO SKIFFS AND BOATS AND PUSHED ON DOWN THE RIVER. BUT LONG BEFORE THEY REACHED THE SCENE, RISING SMOKE AND THE SOUND OF MUSKET FIRE TOLD THEM THAT THE SAVAGES HAD INDEED TAKEN THE OVERLAND ROUTE AND WERE THEN AHEAD OF THE STETSON PARTY, BUSY AT THEIR DEADLY PURPOSE OF SLAUGHTER AND PILLAGE.

THE BLACKMORE HOMESTEAD, A FEW RODS WEST OF THE ROAD THAT LEADS TO UNION BRIDGE, WAS IN FLAMES. MARAUDING BANDS WERE FIRING OTHER HOUSES, FOR NO LESS THAN TWENTY-ONE DWELLING HOUSES AND BARNS WERE BURNED THAT DAY IN SCITUATE. AMONG THE HOUSES BURNED WAS THAT OF ROBERT STETSON, JR., A SON OF THE CORNET HIMSELF.

THE MAIN BODY OF THE SAVAGES WERE BESIEGING THE STOCKBRIDGE GARRISON ON THE SHORE OF THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET POND TO WHICH A LARGE BODY OF TOWNSPEOPLE HAD FLED FOR PROTECTION. THE GARRISON WERE RETURNING A BRISK FIRE AND WITH OCCASIONAL DEADLY RESULTS. THE INDIANS WERE FIRING UPON THE PLACE WITH GREAT REGULARITY AND ENDEAVORING TO SET IT TO FLAMES. EVERY ATTEMPT TO APPROACH IT WITH FIREBRANDS WAS BEING REPULSED. FLAMING ARROWS WERE BEING MADE USE OF WHEN CORNET STETSON AND HIS LITTLE BAND CAME SCURRYING UP FROM THE RIVER IN A SURPRISE ATTACK UPON THE BESIEGERS.

AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME, LIEUTENANT BUCK ARRIVED ON THE SCENE, PRESUMABLY FROM THE SCITUATE HARBOR SECTION, AND JOINED THE STETSON PARTY IN HARASSING THE INDIANS. SO GREAT WAS THE MULTITUDE OF THE INVADERS, HOWEVER, THAT EVEN THIS FLANK ATTACK COULD NOT DISLODGE THE SAVAGES. THE FIGHT CONTINUED UNTIL NIGHTFALL WHEN THE INDIANS VANISHED AND WERE SEEN NO MORE IN THE TOWN. AMONG THOSE KILLED IN THE FIGHT WERE SIX HEADS OF FAMILIES. MANY WERE SEVERELY WONDED. IT WAS INDEED A SORRY DAY FOR SCITUATE.

CAN WE NOT IMAGINE THE REJOICINGS WHEN CORNET STETSON RETURNED TO THE BOSOM OF HIS FAMILY, AFTER THE MOST EXCITING EXPERIENCE OF HIS LONG AND USEFUL LIFE." (DEAN GLEASON L ARCHER AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF STETSON KINDRED OF AMERICA, INC, AUGUST 20TH, 1932)

AT HIS DEATH, CON=RNET STETSON'S ESTATE SEEMED SMALL, BUT WE SHOULD BE BEAR IN MIND THAT HE WAS NEARLY NINETY YEARS OF AGE AND DOUBTLESS HAD DURING HIS LATER YEARS SPENT A CONSIDERABLE PORTION OF HIS MEANS IN PROVIDING FOR HIMSELF AND FAMILY. MOREOVER HE HAD PREVIOUSLY GIVEN EACH SON A LARGE AND VALUABLE FARM, AND TO CAPT. BENJAMIN, TWO THAT WERE ESPECIALLY DESIRABLE.

-------------------- Known as Cornet Robert Stetson --------------------

http://www.familyorigins.com/users/b/r/o/Christine-E-Brodnax-1/FAMO1-0001/d1506.htm#P100573

Cornet Robert Stetson was born in 1613 in Modbury, Devon, ENGLAND. He died on 1 Feb 1702/3 in Scituate, MA.

When Robert Stetson came to New England is not know. He was granted land in Scituate, MA in 1634 and if he came that early it is speculated that he

came on the "Griffin" in 1633. If he did come that early he returned to England

to marry Honor Tucker, daughter of John Tucker.. He did not appear in NE

recoreds again until 1639.

English home: Modbury, Devon, (12 miles E. of Plymouth), son of Thomas

Stitson, who m. Argent Lukesmore 1605 MOdbury.

From Virkus: Robert Stetson (1613-1703), from Eng. to Scituate, MA 1634;

dep. Gen Ct., 1655, et seq.; mem. Council of War, 1661, 71, 81, Cornet, First

body of Plymouth Horse, press master, 1675-commr. for settling boundary with

colonies of Mass. and Plymouth; m. 2nd Mary----. Parents: Thomas Stetson and Argent Lukesmore.

He was married to Honour Tucker on 12 May 1626 in Plymouth, Devon, England. Children were: Robert Stetson.

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Cornet Robert Stetson's Timeline

1615
June 18, 1615
Modbury, Devonshire, England
1620
February 18, 1620
Modbury, Devonshire, England
1635
May 2, 1635
Age 15
Plymouth,,Devon,England
1636
April 26, 1636
Age 16
Modbury, Devon, , England
1639
June 1639
Age 19
Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States
June 1639
Age 19
United States
1639
Age 18
Scituate, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1641
August 1, 1641
Age 21
Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
1643
December 11, 1643
Age 23
Scituate, (Present Plymouth County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts)
1646
July 12, 1646
Age 26
Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA