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About Jabez Berry
DAR# A009588-Added by Elwin. C. Nickerson about This Ancestor: Service: NEW YORK Rank: PRIVATE Birth: 2-1-1720 HARWICH BARNSTABLE CO MASSACHUSETTS Death: (POST) 1790 CARMEL DUTCHESS CO NEW YORK Service Source: ROBERTS, NY IN THE REV, PP 149-150 Service Description: 1) COL HENRY LUDENTON, MILITIA. /ECN/ Also Note "BERRY" Family story and Account Below of Uncle Jabez Berry:
Jabez Berry: This gentleman's ancestors were from Ireland and emigrated early to Cape Cod in Massachusetts where the subject of this memoir was born. We have been able to gather but little of this person's early life, previous to his arrival in this country. His ancestors, himself and his descendants were and still are distinguished for their gigantic proportions, muscular frames and great strength.
Jabez Berry came from Cape Cod after he was married and some years before the Revolution and settled on the farm now occupied by Elijah Crane, about one mile north of Lake Mahopac. He was 5 feet 11 inches high in his stocking feet; a large, powerful, robust man with a frame knit together more like iron than bone and capable of the greatest endurance. For his size he was unmatched in strength by any man at that time in the country.
Boxing was one of the amusements of the young men of that day, very fashionable, and as a science is still cultivated. He soon gained great proficiency in it, and before leaving Cape Cod stood number one "solitary and alone" and without a rival.
Some years after settling in this town, a celebrated boxer came to Cape Cod and inquired for one Jabez Berry. On ascertaining that he had removed to this town, he informed one of Berry's intimate friends there that he came to have a match with him and offered to bet that he could flog him. Berry's friend , well-knowing his ability, accepted the wager; and with another person having been chosen as the second of the boasting bully, the three immediately set out for Berry's residence. On reaching it, they found him and his wife at breakfast. The boxer without much ceremony, entered the house and thus accosted Berry. "Are you the man they call Jabez Berry?" "Yes-sir-ree, and always have been" was the reply. "Well, sir," continued the bully "I have come all the way from Cape Cod to flog you." "Ah indeed! If you've come all that distance to pluck a single berry from the bush, you are entitled to a few striking tokens of my regard as a reward for the pains you may suffer before you get back" was the reply. Out they went into the dooryard, where he flogged his Cape Cod antagonist to his heart's content; received half the bet which he applied to curing his antagonist who was unable to resume his journey back for the space of a week.
There was one remarkable trait about him that distinguished him from others who possessed great powers and skills in pugilism; he never made use of it to domineer over the weak and those unable to cope with him nor insult any man from a consciousness that his skill and strength was his protector from punishment. He never was the assailing party nor entered a boxing combat in an angry state of feeling. He enjoyed it with about the same good feeling that he would relate to an amusing anecdote or crack a harmless joke.
He belonged to the church; and if sickness or bad weather did not prevent him, never failed in his attendance for any other cause.
He was commissioned a lieutenant in the militia and rendered great service in guarding this part of the country from the midnight depredations of the cowboys, skinners and Tories.
Jabez Berry possessed a well-balanced mind which kept him from being disconcerted in any emergency. Possessing an amiable and cheerful disposition, he secured the esteem and approbation of all who knew him while his integrity and uprightness of purpose secured him from the tongue of the slanderer. He advocated the cause of his country with a stout heart and a strong arm, and enjoyed the proud satisfaction of seeing all of his sons follow his paternal and patriotic example. He lived many years to enjoy the fruits of the tree of liberty which he had contributed so vigorously to guard. /ECN/