Saturday, April 26, 2014

#14 - Hicks family: Isaac Hicks' Business and Helping Elias Hicks, Post 3

Isaac Hicks Makes $ & Helps Elias Hicks
5th Great Grandfather:  Isaac Hicks and Sarah Doughty
Isaac's father and mother were Samuel Hicks and Phebe Seaman (m.1765) and he had 4 sibilings: Elizabeth, Samuel, Valentine and Phebe.  Isaac Hicks, born 19 Apr 1767 and he died 10 Jan 1820.

Isaac was the eldest son and he trained to be a tailor which was his father’s trade. At the same time,  Isaac supplemented his work by teaching at the Westbury School where he got a stipend of 12 dollars per month (which probably wasn't bad). Isaac wanted a raise, but when he requested it, his request was turned down. 
Westbury Friends School photo 1800s

Yellow area-location of Westbury Friends Meeting & School
In post-revolutionary war era, he decided to take his proximity to New York City. After all, in 1785 New York had become the new nation’s capital: In 1789 George Washington was inaugurated, the first United States Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States each assembled for the first time, and the United States Bill of Rights was drafted in NYC. By 1790 New York was the largest city in the United States. Shipping and commerce was booming.

Taking his savings and borrowing money from family he left Westbury for New York City. In 1789 Isaac Hicks purchased a store on Water Street. He presented the New York (Friends) Meeting with a certificate from Gideon Seaman, the Clerk at the Westbury Friends Meeting. A bit later two of his brothers joined him in this venture. His store sold spices, hardware and dry goods. With the support of local (NYC) Quakers, the business prospered.

Soon after his move Isaac married Sarah Doughty (a local Quaker) on 12 May 12 1790. Sarah Doughty was also a distant relation as she was the daughter of John and Abigail (Hicks) Doughty of Brooklyn. She was born 27 Mar 1768 and she died 3 Aug 1847.  After they wed they moved into a house on Everitt Street in Brooklyn and sold the store.

Isaac worked hard and became a prominent shipper of New York. One of his ships was the first carried the newly adopted flag of the U.S.A. to the Black Sea in Russia. His partners and business associates were mostly other Friends: many such as Willet Seaman, were also Westbury kinfolk. His shipping and commission business was secured by the mutual trust of Quakers in cities such as Liverpool and (London-)Derry, Philadelphia, Savannah, and Nantucket.

Isaac Hicks rarely owned a ship of his own, and sought out Nantucket whalers to become their agents to sell whale oil. He found cargoes for their ships when whaling languished and chartered ships for his own venture cargoes of American products to France, Ireland, and Russia. In an era before banks and fixed currency exchanges made it easy to finance international trade, Hicks spent many of his business hours negotiating bills of exchange with London, Philadelphia and New York firms. 

Biography by Robert A Davison
At the age of 38 he left most of his business affairs in the hands of his brothers and partners and retired to a house he had built for the family in Old Westbury.  At this point he increased his other activities.

In 1813 he volunteered to be his cousin Elias Hicks' companion and "armour-bearer" on the first of four visits together in ministry to Quaker meetings throughout the Eastern states. (Quakers are just normal people and were unable to avoid a schism in their body: Isaac Hick's cousin, Elias Hicks, is considered the main antagonist-or hero-of this separation). Isaac read mainly Quaker books and had sent his ships unarmed to a Europe at war; he had always been active in his local meeting and was Clerk until his death. 
Elias Hicks, cousin & friend
Isaac was one of the original members of the Manumission Society in New York City whose chief aim was to work to help the enslaved escape to safety; it supplied money to help escaping slaves and campaigned against slavery in New York State.  
He tried to help stop “blackbirding” (the kidnapping of escaped or freed slaves who would be re-sold elsewhere).

I'm quite sure he took advantage of the Quaker connections he had made in business in order to raise funds for the African Free School in New York City. In his retirement he increased his efforts with the New York Manumission Society and the African Free School in NY.  In the latter part of the 1700s New York was an important port, trafficking slaves to Savannah. Many of the Quakers-and others-joined in in freeing their own slaves, and in efforts to stop slavery or aid escaped slaves. (More on that in another post).

New York African Free School, New York City
Isaac died young-and his relative and friend, Elias Hicks was present when Isaac died of a heart attack at home. 

Sarah Doughty Hicks, his widow, never remarried, but she lived in the home that is still on Old Westbury Road in Old Westbury. Their eldest son, my 4th great grandfather, John Doughty Hicks (who also married a woman named Sarah) lived in the old house which is now on the Phipps estate.

They had six children, including John Doughty Hicks, my 4th great grandfather:
1 John Doughty Hicks (my 4th great grandfather) -1791-1829.
2 Robert Hicks
3 Benjamin D Hicks
4 Isaac Hicks
5 Elizabeth Hicks
6 Mary Hicks

Next post: John Doughty Hicks / Marianna Hicks / William E Hawxhurst / etc..

Friday, April 25, 2014

#13 - Hicks family on Long Island from Jacob to Samuel, Isaac’s father, Post 2

Hicks Lineage
One of the great difficulties of tracing the Long Island relatives is that they married distant relatives.  This is the final post of the Hicks family with just "bare bones information."

8th Great Grandfather - Jacob Hicks and Hannah Carpenter
Thomas Hicks married twice:  

1st he married Mary Washburn (who died), and 2nd he married  Mary Doughty.
My 8th great grandfather, Jacob Hick
s, was the son of Thomas and his firs
t wife, Mary Washburn.

Jacob Hicks was born in Jun 1669 in Long Island, New York. 
He married Hannah Carpenter (born 1672) in 1690. 
Hannah Carpenter’s father was one of the founders of the Baptists in Rhode Island (which was founded by a Baptist, Roger Williams).  
Hannah died in 1750 and Jacob died Mar 1755 (on Long Island).

So, was Jacob a Quaker?  

No, according to one writer, Jacob Hicks was  “impressed by the earnestness of the Friends although he, like his father, was a staunch Anglican, serving as a church warden and vestryman of St. George's Church at Hempstead, NY.”
Still, because his wife Hannah Carpenter was the daughter of one of the founders of the Baptist Church in America, she held and was comfortable around Nonconformist views (as opposed to the Anglican/state).  

However, an itinerant Quaker minister named Thomas Chalkely made two visits to the area, he stayed with Jacob and Hannah Hicks. Soon after Chalkely's visits, Jacob ceased to be a vestryman in his Anglican church even though he did not become a Quaker.  Quakers still preached in open fields, and were often openly ridiculed. 
Many nonconformists, not solely but including Quakers, were moved by “visions and revelations.”   One writer says that this “lingering emotionalism disturbed Jacob Hicks, yet he was willing to open his home for a monthly gathering of Friends for worship.”
And records do show Jacob not only allowed nonconformists to stay in his home, but he also allowed monthly meeting for worship in his home.  

One researcher says that Elias Hicks’ father John, who was one of Jacob's sons, [Elias would become a famous Quaker] was greatly influenced by the goings on in Jacob’s house:     "Jacob's son John [grandfather of Elias Hicks] was influenced by the gatherings held..and longed to possess the great joy which came to Friends through their certainty of the forgiveness and love of God...[John] finally joined the Society [of Friends] a few years before the birth of Elias, and became a faithful member of Westbury Monthly Meeting.” 
     Yet another researcher disagrees, saying while “John Hicks and his wife Martha were nominally Friends, but did not seem in any way to take an active part in the Society…”

As far as I can tell they had seven children: six boys and one girl.  Son Benjamin Hicks was my 7th great grandfather.
1 Samuel Hicks  1702 – 1735
2 Stephen Hicks  1704 – 1775
3 Thomas Hicks 1706 – 1776
4 Jacob Hicks 1708 – 1769
5 Sarah Hicks  1710 – 1772
6 John Hicks  1711 – 1789
7 Benjamin Hicks  1713 – 1744 (7th Great Grandfather)

7th Great Grandfather-Benjamin Hicks and Phebe Titus 
Benjamin was the sixth son of Jacob and Hannah Hicks of Rockaway.  
He was born 29 January 29 1713, his will dated 2 April 1743, and proved June 18, 1743.

He married on 2 Dec 1736, Phebe Titus, born  29 Jul 1717 and died 2 Feb 1800 in Westbury, NY.  Phebe was the daughter of Silas and Sarah (Haight) Titus. 
Their children were:
1. Silas Hicks
2. Benjamin
3. Samuel Hicks,
my 6th great grandfather.

At some point Benjamin and/or Samuel Hicks became Friends. 

6th Great Grandfather: Samuel Hicks and Phebe Seaman

Samuel Hicks was born 30 Aug 1741 in Westbury, LI, NY and died 20 Nov 1819 in Westbury, LI, NY at 78 years old. 

Samuel  married a Quaker, and one well-connected to the family: a Seaman. 
Samuel's father died when he was a baby.  Samuel had not only lost a father young, but he also had no inheritance.

He trained to be a tailor and carried on the business “in the rural districts about Westbury and became a prosperous man in his rural community.”
Marriage and Children:  Samuel married 1st on 26 June 1765, Phebe Seaman and had 5 children:
1. Isaac (my 5th great grandfather)
2. Elizabeth
3. Samuel
4. Valentine
5. Phebe

Samuel Remarries:  after Phebe (Seaman) Hicks died and Samuel remarried to a widow: Amy (Shotwell, daughter of Joseph Shotwell) Brooke. They had no children together.
**Next post has photos and stories.**

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#12 - Hicks Family on Long Island, Post 1: Thomas Hicks (not a Quaker)

My 9th great grandfather: Thomas Hicks
The son of John and Herodias (Long) who are subjects of posts (#14 and #13 ).
That Swarthmore College keeps Hicks papers in their archives for research tells you that there are some interesting stories--and likely historical reasons for keeping papers.
This tight-knit agrarian community within an arms’ reach of the most important cities in the colonies/US produced a man who eventually led to one of the Quaker schisms, produced a good many who spoke and wrote for abolition and women’s suffrage, a community which spent a lot of money on adequate schooling and caring for the poor. From them came a famous primitive American artist and something new to me, it had an active "underground railway."
Many Long Island Quakers championed the manumission of slaves, and set the pace in the country for setting their own slaves free. Several of the families and meetings were active in the Underground Railway. One of them was the Hicks family. Several of them were members of the Westbury Friends Meeting (Quakers) and let their enslaved go free after the Revolutionary War. Around 1793 the Hicks family gave land to establish Guinea Town: the first free black community in Old Westbury. Guinea Town became a safe place for many runaways. And by 1830 the community had its own church and school that was built by the Charity Society of the Quakers.*(see source at end of post)

Since there are several stories to be told--and they intermarried, I've devoted the several posts to the Hicks (and related) families (just about all the oldest Long Island families are related to one another in some way).

Never fear, once we get to the early part of the 1800s, I will have more stories and fewer bare facts, However, before delving too deeply into that period in history, this post will trace John Hicks’ descendants who were my direct ancestors.

So what happened to little Thomas, John Hicks’ son, you wonder? He'd moved from Newport, RI to LI with his father, leaving his mother in Rhode Island. Was he a  Quaker? What was his attitude towards them? One researcher [sorry, I lost the citation] wrote:

"...Thomas, [was] a Justice of the Common Pleas Court.
Thomas defended Samuel Bownas, a Quaker in difficulty with the Hempstead churchmen, for attacking their doctrines and ceremonies. This defense, mentioned by [his grandson] Elias with satisfaction in his Journal, introduced the Hicks family to the enthusiastic Quakers then invading Long Island."  You will see their favoring of the Friends warm up in other posts.

As an adult he moved from Hempstead to Flushing (Westbury).

 I've divided the post into his personal history vitals (not included all the children, only his son who was my gr-greandfather), his occupations, his residence, his land disputes (which were quite common) and land sales, and where he is named in other documents (for historians/researchers).

John (and Herodias) Hicks’ son, Thomas Hicks:
 Thomas' vitals:
Birth: Probably at Weymouth, Massachusetts about 1641/42
Death: About 1741/42, Little Neck, Long Island, New York (yes, about 100 yrs old)
Moved to Long Island when he was about 2 years old shortly after John Hicks, his father moved there, separating from Herodias (Harod), Thomas’ mother.

Thomas married twice:
He married 1st, sometime after 1658, a Mary Washburn. Note: I’ve found 3 genealogies which differ: this Mary was a Butler married to Mr. Washburn first in CT, while another says that that Washburn was her uncle and her maiden name was Washburn, a third just has her name was “Mary Cornell Washburn”

1st - Mary Washburn (who died) * My 8th great grandfather Jacob Hicks, was the son of Mary Washburn and John Hicks. 

2nd - Mary Doughty in 1677. On 6 July, Thomas Hicks and Mary Doughty got a marriage license in New York.
In 1666, while in his 20s, he bought a patent of land from Governor Nicholls: about 4,000 acres in the vicinity of Little Neck. He built a good house and lived there for many years.

 On 23 November, governor E Andros declared that heretofore, in the time of governor Richard Nicolls, the Neck called Cornbury, or Little Madnans Neck where Captain Thomas Hicks doth reside was adjudged to be in Flushing, since which [time] it hath been found that the part of the land on the said Neck, belonging to Capt. Thomas Hicks is within the bounds of Hempstead, where he hath a considerable interest and is now justice of the peace for that town and Riding.
On 20 October, Thomas Hicks and others were commissioned as justices of the peace for Queens County, Long Island, New York.
 On 20 October, Thomas Hicks was commissioned as sheriff for Queens County, Long Island, New York.
 On 18 October, "Description of a survey of 100 acres of land, lying at Cow Neck, upon Long Island, laid out for Thomas Hicks, senr., by Leonard Beckwith, [with draught,]"
On 5 April, Thomas Hicks posted a list of the inhabitants of Hempstead who could take up 50 acres of land, as did the original proprietors.
 On 16 April, Thomas Hicks posted notice that the major portion of inhabitants of Madnans Neck agreed that no new vacant land would be improved and no more trees would be cut down in the area.
On 25 August, Sr Edmund Andross appointed "as our justice to keep our peace in our county called Queens" Thomas Hicks (and others). Also appointed Thomas Hicks as "Judge of our inferior court of pleas".
A letter from Mr. Van Cortland to Sir Edmund Andros [governor of New York] stated: "It is now nere 17 weekes that I have been forced out off my house, by the violence of Capt'n Laysler," ... so is Mr Hix [in prison] "for not delivering up his Commission as Justice off Peace"
Thomas Hicks was appointed judge in Queens County for a term of 8 years.
On 20 April, Thomas Hicks [Hix] was the judge for the court of common pleas in Queens county, Long Island, New York.
Thomas Hicks was a representative for Queens County to the 8th Colonial Assembly. The Assembly was dissolved May 3, 1702.
Thomas Hicks and others were chosen by vote of freeholders at a town meeting in Hempstead to "run all the lines of our towns bounds".
By vote of the majority of freeholders of Hempstead, the four trustees; William Nicoll, Coll John Jackson, Judge Hicks, and Justice John Tredwell; were to agree with John Keeble for a parcel at Rockaway for the whale men to cut fire wood for "the use of the whalling design".

On 1 January, 1666/67,
governor Richard Nicholls wrote to the constable and overseers of Flushing, Long Island that he was tired of the hearing about the issue of Thomas Hicks and wanted the town to resolve the issue. What had happened: Thomas Hicks and two others had settled on the Neck, which the court of Hempstead had decided to be in Flushing, but Flushing had not laid out accommodations for the men, even though they agreed to pay the charges.
On 14 April "We underwritten Tachapowsha (and other named) Indyans" ... "freely and absolutely sold" to "Elias Doughty, ... Thomas Hicks, Richard Cornell, ... the agents of the freeholders of said Towne, ... the inhabitants of Flushing in general."
Justice Thomas [Hicks] Hukes and Mrs. Mary, his wife, lived with sons Isaac, Benjamin, Charles, William, Stephen, Charet, and daughter Mary in Flushing, Long Island, New York, nine persons besides six servants.
Land Disputes: 
 On 10 June, the council minutes for Long Island affairs reported the [election] returns for constable of Hempstead with 39 votes for Robert Jackson and 34 votes for Simon Seryou. Objection was made by Mr John Hicks [named as Thomas Hicks on the next page] and James Pine, on behalf of others, that many of the votes for Mr. Jackson were from great Neck or Madnans Neck, with only small, divided, parcels of land unrelated to the town of Hempstead, and questioned whether they should be counted equally with ye ancient inhabitants. The council determined that all the inhabitants were freeholders and their votes would count, although a proposal would be considered for them to be in a separate town with officers of their own.
On 19 January, William Haviland wrote to governor Edmund Andros as follows: "May it please your Honour: Whereas it hapens a difference or dispute between Mr. Hicks & Mr. Cornell with myself concerning a tract of land formerly belonging to Mr. Dowtie [Doughty] a full & equal third whereof I have bought of the said Dowtie as by the transport and patent may appear part of which my said purchase or equal third is by the said Mr. Cornell & Mr. Hicks demanded or claimed though it be my right & property, I therefore humbly pray for a fair decision of the said controversy that your honour would be pleased to appoint fit & indifferent persons to measure or survey the whole that each may quietly have & enjoy his right which is the desire of your humble servant.
The 19th of January 79-80.
Will'm Haviland. To his Excellence Sr Edmund Andros, K'nt Seigneur of Sausmaurez, Lieutenant and Governor Gen'l under his Royall Highness of all his Territories in America."

Land Sales:
While in his 20s, he bought a patent of land from Governor Nicholls: about 4,000 acres in the vicinity of Little Neck. He built a good house and lived there for many years.
On 15 January, Thomas Hicks sold to John Treadwell, land called "faire feld hollow" on the southwest side of the town.
On 10 April, Indian deed. Opson son and heyre to Sacpousha, to Richard Cornell Senior and Thomas Hicks Senior, land on Cow Neck. Bounded on the north with land of John West. 1685 April, John Juians of New York, merchant, and Mary his wife, to Gerrardus Beakman of Flatbush, chirurgeon, and Hendrick Ryke of Flatbush, blacksmith, land on Madnan's Neck in Hempstead, No 35, which was laid out to John Hicks. 130 acres.
On 5 November, Thomas Hicks of Cornbury and Mary, his wife, to Edward Stevenson of Newtown. Land on Cow Neck, 100 acres. Bounded as by pattent of Coll. Thomas Dungan November 25 1686.
On 12 December. Deed:28 acres in Merrick
To all Christian People to whom these presence Shall Come Greeting. Know ye yt we thomas & mary hickes of Cornbery necke in ye Jurisdiction of Flushing in Queens County upon Long Island have granted bargained alienated and Sold and do by these presence grant bargain alienate make over Confirm and Sell from us our heirs executors administrators to and assigns unto Jonathan Smith of the towne of hempstead in ye afore sd County and Island his haires executors administrators to and asignes for Ever a Sartaine Lott of meddow containing twenty Eight aceors more or Les as it was Laid out situatte & Lying one Merrick buted and bounded as followeth westerly by Richard Gildersleeve north w'th Little Smith Est by ye Cold Spring River South by the Bay yt Runs betwixt ye meddoe and ye beech with all ye Salt meddoe that Lys on ye west side of ye Cold Springe neck as far as any Salt grese grows with all ye Rightes proffite and Previledges there unto beLonging by vertue of any towne order or other wise for and in Consideration of full Satisfaction to me in hand paid for ye which I ye afore sd thomas hickes doe fuly exonerate aquit ...

Thomas Hicks senior of Cornbery, Long Island, sold to John Tredwell land called "Mr Hickes Neck" that was previously owned by Thomas Hicks's father John Hicks, who owned it by agreement with John Carman senior. 

 On 27 November, Richard Cornell, gent of Cornwell Hall in Queens county sold land in Huntingtowne, Suffolk County, to Thomas Hickes of Hempstead.

His appearance in other documents: 
Thomas Hicks was listed among "persons that are to fense and Inclose Rockoway w'th ye Nomb'r of their gates donn at A full town-meeting the 17th of Aprill 1659."
On 19 October, Robert Ashman of Hempstead sold several tracts to Richard Ellison, including a meadow on the Neck commonly called "Mr Washbornes Neck", bounded on the east by Thomas Hicks.
On 23 March, Thomas Hicks witnessed and recorded a deed between Simon Seren and Thomas Fessee in Hempstead.
On 12 March, Thomas Hicks, clerk, witnessed a deed between Richard Lattin of Huntintowne and John Carman of Hempstead for a lot formerly owned by Thomas forlers [Fowler?].
 In testimony recorded in the Hempstead town records of 1688, Thomas Hicks recalled that as town clerk in 1666, he had heard an agreement made between William Thickstone and William Seadin. 1694
Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Hicks was an overseer for the will of Richard Cornell.
Thomas Hicks was an overseer of the will of Jerwin Rootes.
On 30 December, Thomas Hicks and four others signed "in behalf of ourselves and upwards of two thirds of the freeholders and inhabitants of Queens County on Nassau Island" a letter from New York to the King William III, expressing "lively and gratefull sense, that our Religion and Liberties are in the greatest safety under your auspicious Reign".
Thomas Hicks, perhaps this one or his son, witnessed the will of William Urquehart.
The will of Elizabeth Regnier stated "To Regnier Rushmore, nephew of Thomas Hicks, of Long Island."
On 9 May, a deed by Thomas Hicks of Flushing refers to "my late son Charles Hicks deceased" and "the homestead that the said Charles lately lived upon" and "whereas my said son Charles Hicks" died leaving "one son called Edward an infant of the age of eight years".

 * Additional information sourced: thanks to: The Underground Railroad on Long Island, Friends in Freedom by Kathleen G. Velsor, History Press, 2013

Thursday, April 17, 2014

#11 - John Hicks Makes A New Start & Begins the Hicks Quaker Line On Long Island

“The Hicks family of Long Island, N.Y., is descended from ancestors who arrived in Massachusetts in the 17th century. Thomas Hicks (b. 1640) removed to Long Island where he married Mary Washburn. Their grandchildren became members of the Society of Friends in the mid-18th century. A descendant, Elias Hicks (1748-1830), was an important New York Quaker minister whose preaching precipitated a separation in the Society of Friends in 1827/1828.”- From Swarthmore College
This quote from Swarthmore College is true, but you don’t get a real sense of what kind of condition the founder of the Long Island Hicks branch was in when he arrived.

John Hicks (my 10th great grandfather) had fled Rhode Island probably for work but also to get away from his wife Herodias (my 10th great grandmother and subject of post #13). 

If you want more details on their marriage, read post #13 (the one preceding this one). I’m not sure what emotional state he was in, but both of his children came to Long Island with him. 

In John Hicks’ story, there are two topics I’ll focus on: 

1)  he was often in court--beginning with his 1st wife’s charge of abuse (but for which she never appeared in court) Near the end of his life John finally learned to fight fire with fire.
2) rather ironically--John Hicks settled in a community of English New Englanders who wished to set up one church in their town as the only church to worship in.
John Hicks could never have foreseen that his descendants would be largely comprised of Quakers

John Hicks went to Long Island, partly to escape the embattled marriage he’d had to my 10th great grandmother (Herodias Long, subject of the post #13) and partly probably to escape also the controversy he’d left behind. After all, Herodias did take up with George Gardner soon after they were separated. I can’t imagine he found it very comfortable. 

It started out in London where John Hicks married Herodias Long (she was 14).  John and Herodias quickly got passage to Massachusetts after they were wed. They left MA for Rhode Island where they were “warmly received.” 

In Newport, RI, John’s land grant was never entered into Newport records, but was referenced in a 1640 grant to Robert Stanton, John’s neighbor. His four-acre lots were south of Newport’s harbor. 

At some point after 1640, according to Herodias' later accounts, she said John had abandoned her, going to Long Island, “to the Dutch” and that he had taken what her mother had given her (not specified). 

Hicks did indeed go to the Dutch--where he got paid.

Long Island Land 

It's recorded that John Hicks was named on Flushing’s patent in summer of 1645, but it is likely that he was already there in December 1644.  English were allowed to be there by the Dutch as early as 1641.

In the first official division of land to settlers in 1647 in Hempstead, Long Island given by permission by the Dutch to English to settle, John Hicks is listed as “freeholders” of the town. (Named in the town’s 30 families seeking to settle there from New England in 1641 were John Karman and Robert Fordham-whose last names will appear later.)  

John’s son, Thomas (my 9th great grandfather) was born in Newport, Rhode Island and moved to Long Island when the couple got married (his mother was with/married to George Gardner).  

Thomas Hicks eventually moved to Flushing, Long Island (close to Gravesend and where, coincidentally, lived a John Tilton--whose descendants moved to New Jersey. John Tilton's  descendant Henry Addison Tilton is the subject of post #11).

Divorce, at Long Last
Although John was divorced from Herodias in Rhode Island, he needed a New Netherlands divorce to remarry at all

He finally obtained in 1655 from her in New Netherland, 11 years after his Rhode Island divorce. 
It read: 

"We the councilors of New Netherland having seen and read the request of John Hicks sheriff on Long Island, in which he remonstrates and presents that his wife Hardwood Longh [Heroidas Long] has ran away from him about nine years ago with someone else with whom she has been married and had by him five or six children. His wife having therefore broken the bond of marriage (without him having given any reason thereto) he asks to be qualified and given permission to marry again an honorable young girl or a widow (in accordance with political and ecclesiastical ordinances).”- New York colonial records 

REMARRIAGE (Wife #2) June 1, 1655-John Hicks’ divorce from Herodias obtained and soon afterward he married Florence Fordham Carman. 

Marriage Again-and Court 

Widow Florence Carman (or Karman) was related to two men listed as one of the original freeholders of the town along with John Hicks in 1647.  How she’s related to Robert Fordham, I’m not sure, but she was the widow of John Karman/Carman from that original 1647 list.  

 In April 1661 sons of his late widow (John and Caleb) with their married sister Abigail sued John Hicks in order to obtain their (deceased) father and mother’s possessions and lands, etc:

"Petition. John Carman, Caleb Carman and Benjamin Coe, husband of Abigail Carman, that John Hicks, who married their mother, may be obliged to render an account of the estate; copy to be furnished Mr. Hicks.."

 Indeed, all property and lands should belong to the grown children of the deceased. 

 Poor John Hicks lost a wife and any of the property he was counting on getting. He’d made out poorly on this marriage as well. 

(But apparently, at some point after this John Hicks came to an agreement with John Karman over some of the land-possibly the use of it?) 

REMARRIAGE Wife #3 - John Goes to Court First

The third time's the charm for poor John Hicks; he approached Widow Rachel Starr about marriage. Soon afterwards they both (wisely) decide to enter into a legal contract prior to marriage. 

So January 22, 1662, not surprisingly, John Hicks and Widow Rachel Starr signed what amounts to a prenuptial agreement in Flushing, New York to prevent differences betwixt the adult children of Rachel Starr and John Hicks. 

Quakers VS Townspeople 

Ironically for his descendants-John Hicks sided with the town against the influx of Quakers in the town. Perhaps it was a case of law-fatigue, or if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em? 

In 1658, the town which was settled by New Englanders, was becoming unsettled by the proselyting of Quakers in the town of Hempstead--and the results. 
They acted:

The magistrate, the magistrate’s associates which included John Hicks passed a law in town which was strongly worded with severe penalties: about those who have recently “broke” 

“the Sabbath and neglecting to join with true worship and Srvice of God as we have formerly they have done; Be it therefore ordered that there noe manner of person or persons whatsoever shall henceforth give any Entertaynament or have Any Commerce with those people who are called by us quakers, or shall lodge them in their houses (except they are permitted for one nights lodging in the parish and soe depart Quietly without dispute or debate the next morning) and this is to bee observed in the town and to the uttermost boundaries thereof.” 

Indeed, shortly thereafter two women, Mary Shott and Francis Weeks broke this law and were fined 20 Guilders. 

Ironically, a large number of John Hicks’ descendants who remained on Long Island were Quakers, intermarrying with Quakers, including Elias Hicks who changed the face of Quakerism in the 1800s. 

John Hicks’ Career, briefly

John’s time line appears at the end of this post. 

Briefly: In 1647 he was an adjuster of Indian claims, and on Nov. 26, 1653 John was the delegate from Newtown to a meeting in New Amsterdam with the governor. 

By 1656 he was of Hempstead, where he was a magistrate, delegate and justice of the peace. In 1657 on 4 July, representatives of several Indian groups confirmed that the land of Hempstead, Long Island had been sold in 1643. John Hicks was a witness. 

Now and again he worked on negotiations with the Dutch (as well as English) and Indians of Long Island. 

He was associate magistrate, Justice of the Peace, a walker of fences. Documented are several occasions when he was a delegate to New Netherlands (New York/Manhattan). 

One writer claimed he was “quite wealthy” at the end of his life--but I tend to think that was wealth measured by acreage, mostly. 



• bet. 14 Mar 1636 - 1637- John Hicks married Herodias Long, St. Faith's Underchapel of St. Paul's, London, England

Massachusetts Bay Colony - Weymouth 

• 1637 -residence -Weymouth, MA..
• 14 Sep 1639/40- made a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 

2 Children: 
Hannah Hicks B 1638 
Thomas Hicks B 1639 

Long Island 

1642  John Hicks arrives in Long Island to work for “the Dutch” (from Rhode Island, leaving his wife Herodias behind). 

In Long Island he was active as an adjuster of Indian claims to land.

1645 Granted a patent at Flushing, Queens Co., LI NY. 

On 12 December 1645 John Hicks wrote from Flushing to John Coggeshall at Newport the following: 

"Now for parting what way there is seeing she have carried the matter so subtilly as she have I know not, but if there be anyway to bee used to untie the Knott, wch was at first by man tyed that so the world may be satisfied I am willing thereunto, for the Knot of affection on her part have been untied long since, and her whoredome have freed my conscience on the other part, so I leave myself to yor advice being free to condissend to you advice if ther may be such a way used for the final parting for us."

Seversmith states that she obtained a divorce from Hicks in Rhode Island on 2 December 1643. 

1644/45 - June 1, Divorce granted in Rhode Island to John Hicks, "of Flushing, L.I., from his wife, Harwood Long, on the grounds of her adultery, with leave to Hicks to remarry.

" the Court at New Amsterdam by Governor Peter Stuyvesant. He was a now about 35 years old. 

Oct. 19, 1645 Named on the Dutch patent for Flushing, New Netherland [now New York] , the first patent for Flushing granted by Governor Keift to English emigrants included John Hicks.. 

1647  Adjuster of Indian claims. John is about 38 years old. 

1650 Residence Hempstead, LI, NY Occupation: Magistrate. John is about 41 years old 

1652 John Hicks and two others, unrecorded, were magistrates of Flushing, Long Island. 

1653 Military service, Capt. at Fort Neck NY. 

1653 He is an elected representative from Newtown (Flushing) to Convention called by Governor Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam "to express an opinion as to how "robberies can be stopped". 

1655 - On June 1, 1655 John obtains divorce from Herodias in New Amsterdam, New Netherland, by Gov. Peter Stuyvesant. She had already divorced him in Rhode Island in December 1643. 

1655/56 Marries Florence Fordham Karman. 

John Hicks remarried Florence (Fordham), a widow of John Carman. She was brn abt 1611. 

Florence dies shortly thereafter (in 1655/1656). It’s seven more years before he gets remarried. 

March 12 1656  John Hicks was a witness to articles of agreement between the Indian Sachem Tackapousha and the Governor. 

On July 4 1657 the confirmation by the Indians of the 1643 sale of Hempstead. That is, representatives of several Indian groups confirmed that the land of Hempstead, Long Island had been sold in 1643, John Hicks as a witness. 

1658 Assistant Magistrate and appointed to settle lines with the Indians in Hempstead. 

1658  Although a resident of Hempstead, he still held land in Newtown, NY. as he was involved in a land dispute there with Hendrick Janszen in 1658.

March 14, 1659 he served with a horse and team on a survey party at Hempstead, and in 1659 he was a fence-viewer with John Ellison. 

May 13, 1661 he was appointed magistrate at Hempstead, and he served in that capacity for a considerable number of years. By this time he was rated at 13,360 guilders. 

The Carman (Karman) children of his late wife Florence, sue John for all possessions and lands. The children win. 

 [ April 7: Petition. John Carman, Caleb Carman and Benjamin Coe, husband of Abigail Carman, that John Hicks, who married their mother, may be obliged to render an account of the estate; copy to be furnished Mr. Hicks]. 

1661  John and widow Rachel Starr draw up a pre-nuptial agreement in which all properties of his go to his children upon his death, and all of her property goes to her children upon her death. 

1662  Property granted to John Hicks land “on the west side of Herricks by the town..” 

22 Jan 1662  John marries Widow Rachel Starr (widow of Thomas Starr with whom she had 10 children). John is 53. 

1663  John Hicks is dispatched as a delegate to Hartford from Hempstead to obtain aid from the CT Gen Court against the Dutch. 

The Council was called by Governor Nicoll of New York "to make additions and alterations to existing laws." 

Bet. 1664 - 1665 John Hicks is a representative of Hempstead to the NY Assembly that enacted the "Duke's Laws". 

1666 he was the Justice of the Peace, holding that post until his death. 

April 25 1671  His last service to the town was to "warn the Indians at Rockaway to leave". 

1672  John Hicks dies, about 63 years old. 

 June 14, 1672 Proved at Court of Sessions in Jamaica 
"Being weak in body but sound in understanding," makes son Thomas Hicks his executor, and "he is to pay to my wife Rachel, 100 Pounds in cattle, according to wheat at 5 shillings a bushell." 
Leaves to wife household utensils, "besides her own wearing clothes, and what goods my said wife brought with her to me." 
I leave to each one of my daughter Haviland's children, a colt." 
Leave to daughter Hannah 100 Pounds, one-third in horses and two-thirds in cattle." Legacies to "children of my son Thomas," and to "my son-in-law Josyas Starr." 

The will is also signed by his wife Rachel, "in token of her satisfaction." 
Witnesses, Jonah Fordham, Richard Valentine. 
Proved at Court of Sessions, held in Jamaica, June 14, 1672. Anthony Waters, Clerk. 
Letters of Administration granted to Thomas Hicks, June 17, 1672

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

#10- Herodias Long’s (Sad) Precedents in Rhode Island

Herodias Long - A Category of Her Own
Herodias Long (m. John Hicks), my 10th great grandmother, is a strange duck, indeed. She is a category of her own.

Herodias Long b 1623 in England

~ Married 1st John Hicks,  Mar 1637 in London England (*my 10th great grandfather)
~ Arrived in Massachusetts in  1638
~ 2 children (incl Thomas Hicks, my 9th great grandfather)
~ Divorced from John Hicks in Rhode Island 1644  (John Hicks moves to Long Island)

~ Married (or co-habited with) 2nd, abt 1644 George Gardiner in Rhode Island
~ They have 6 (or 7?) children
~ Separated 1665 in Rhode Island 

~ Married (or not?) 3rd John Porter in 1688 in Rhode Island

~ Died - Not sure, possibly 1722


Herodias’ name is spelled variously Herodious, Herodius, Harwood, Hardwood, Hoorad, Harood, Hardwood Longh. I’ll stick with Herodias Long for consistency.  

I began writing this story with the thought they both were quite young to be married and then off to the new world, but had the hope that John Hicks could have tried harder to keep the marriage together somehow. 

However as I read her life after John Hicks, I began to really wonder what kind of person she was. Though Herodias is lauded as a forward thinking woman, I’m not quite as enthusiastic.  

It began in London: the bubonic plague had hit England and was still raging in 1637 when John Hicks married Herodias Long in London.

She was between 13 and 14 years old when they were wed at the church of St. Faith-Under-Paul’s, London. It’s unclear if it was an approved wedding (whether there was family in attendance). 


Shortly after they wed, they migrated to New England and stayed for 2 ½ years in Weymouth, MA. There John Hicks was probably granted small parcel of land.

But, neither John nor Herodias Hicks were admitted to Weymouth's Puritan church. This was not a good sign. Massachusetts Bay Colony required strict obedience to their own laws--and admittance to the church was not a trivial thing.

Apparently, John and Herodias found life in Massachusetts Bay Colony too confining. They moved to Rhode Island one year after Anne Hutchison was banished there.

Sometime after March 1639, the Hickses are in Newport, RI. By now they are just three years wed and have a daughter Hannah. 

By Sept 1640 John Hicks was made a freeman in Newport (freeman could vote and own land): he now had a title: “Goodman Hicks” rather than “Hicks” or “John.” 1640 was also the year of their son Thomas’ birth--he was my 9th great grandfather.

But a bit later, by 1643, when the children are 5 and 3 years old, their marriage was in shambles. Herodias is just 20 ½ and John is 31 years old.

This portion of a longer transcription of Herodias to local officials shows: (I updated the spelling)

"This witnesseth that in the year 1643, decemb. the 3d/ Harrwood Hicks, wife to John Hicks, made her Complaint to us of Many grievances, & Extreme violence, that her Husband used towards her & etc.” 
[1939 in the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, Volume 70, pg. 116.Transcribed by Josephine C. Frost for her article, "John and Harwood Hicks,"]
As a result, a few months later, in early March 1644, John Hicks came before the Rhode Island General Court to answer his wife’s December abuse complaint.

Hicks paid for this allegation--he was kept in bond--as he was waiting for Herodias to stand before the court to elaborate on her charge at the next hearing: 

“Memo John Hicks of Nuport was bound to ye pease by ye Govr & Mr Easton in a bond of £10 for beating his wife Harwood Hicks and presented [at this] court was ordered to continue in his bond till ye next C[ourt] upon which his wife to come & give evidence concerning ye case.” 
- Rhode Island colonial records


Nothing. In what becomes her pattern, Herodias chose not to appear before the court to testify against John. **Insert song “Love on the Rocks”**
Thus they were separated. They have the dubious distinction of being the first marriage separation in Rhode Island’s history. Rhode Island didn’t yet have divorce laws, but the Governor thought it wiser to separate the couple.

Since the court could make no decision on the matter, so John was free to go--and he did. He left for Long Island.
So, how did John feel about their estrangement?

While in the process of petitioning for a divorce from Herodias (who was in Rl), John when he sent a letter from Flushing, New Netherlands to the Rhode Island magistrate John Coggeshall.
John wrote to Coggeshall on 12 December 1644, [I updated spelling & punctuation below]

“Now for parting what way there is seeing she have carried the matter so subtly as she have I know not, but if there be any way to be used to untie that Knott, which was at the first by man tied that so the world may be satisfied I am willing there unto, for the Knot of affection on her part have been untied long since, and her whoredom have freed my conscience on the other part, so I Leave myself to your advice being free to condescend to your advice if there may be such a way used for the final parting of us."
Translation: “My wife’s sleeping around. We can’t stand each other. Is there any way for me to get a divorce from her?” Strong language.

~ But, to be fair to Herodias, I’d add what is intolerable as abuse today was more common-although frowned on-at that time. Women were to “obey” their husbands and to keep house. 

~ If I had married at her young age to the first eligible man I had a crush on, I could imagine feeling that I’d made a horrible mistake. At 19, I may have been looking for a more prosperous and stable husband myself.

George Gardner (also spelled Gardiner) and Herodias got married--or so they say--and then they take that back. 
According to them, sometime between 1644-46, they simply “appeared before their friends”-  “who declared one night at his house both of them did say before him and his wife that they did take one the other as man and wife.”  
(If it was close to 1644, then it was very close to the time John Hicks and Herodias were battling one another)

Shortly after the alleged marriage-or co-habitation-(1645-46) their first child (of six) was born.

By the time Herodias’ husband John Hicks was granted a divorce from her in New Netherlands in June 1655, she  and George had five children.
Then in 1657-58 - Rebecca, their 6th [some accounts say 7th] and final child was born: her last child is born and her eldest daughter (John’s daughter), Hannah Hicks, turns 20 years old.

~ I try to understand her behavior in light of her times. Without means of support and a job, as a woman today might have sought, she kind of had to stick with George. She needed a livelihood, and it was through her “husband.” 

 ~ Wedding “before friends” was a common for the religious sects such as Quakers (who still exercise it, though more formally). When later on when she disavowed this “wedding” (read on), the colony had come under more formal terms--and I believe that she was seeking a legitimate way to separate from George but keep what little property she had bought while living with him.

Mary Dyer was a friend of Herodias from Newport, RI,  who had gone back to England on a visit and returned to the colonies as a fervent Quaker. When her friend Mary chose to proselytize to the Puritans in Massachusetts, Herodias’ anti-Puritan sentiments were stirred up. In May 1658 Herodias sets out for a trip to Weymouth to protest the anti-Quaker laws in general (bringing with her help to care for their youngest child). 

She was 

“hurried her away the day following, before John Endicott, Governor of Boston, who after abusing her with unsavory language, and much threatening, committed her and the nursemaid unto the Gaoler [jailer] where they received 10 stripes apiece with the threefold cord of their covenant. “
Though many writers dub her as a loyal Quaker (probably because of this), she seemed to adopt the customs and ideals she preferred. 
I haven’t yet found records of her being a member of a meeting in good standing in Rhode Island. Until I do, I agree that she was an enthusiastic defender of Quakers but not a true Quaker.

George Gardiner, her 2nd husband (?) was weighed in the balances and (like John Hicks) he was found wanting.  

Since around 1664-65, King Charles II was on the throne, and the colony was under Royal oversight, and so the officials in Rhode Island had the power to administer divorces, and etc.

Herodias took advantage of this and petitioned officials for a formal separation from George in which she requested support and property (which at the time was owned by the husband). She also requested he not interfere (“molest”) in her life.  

Not so unusual now--but I do wonder why she calls the child “my” child (I updated the punctuation & spelling):

Herodias pleads:

“I was drawn by Georg Gardener to consent to him so far as I did for maintenance yet with much oppression of spirit.  Judging him not to be my husband never being married to him according to the Law of the place. Also, I told him my oppression, and desired [asked] him, [since] seeing that he had that little that I had, and all my Labor, that he would allow me some maintenance, [to] either to live apart from him, or else not to meddle with me; but he have always refused. 

Therefore my humble petition to your honours is that, of that Estate and Labor [the joint wealth and land] he has had of mine he may allow it me, and that house upon my Land I may Enjoy without molestation. And that he may allow me my Child to bring up with maintenance for her, and that he may be restrained from Ever meddling with me or troubling me more.So shall your poor petitioner ever pray for your honors peace and prosperity-- horod Long”

The Court hears her case but focuses first on whether or not they were married.   The people who previously had defended the legitimacy of their marriage by saying they had attended their "marriage before friends" now testify to court (and agree with Herodias) that they were never married (I'm not sure how the question was framed).  

Herodias isn't seeking a marital divorce--she's seeking court-mandated support from George.  
Why she did she-years earlier-adamantly insist that they were wed, and now she says was not but only sought his help?   

The outcome is that the court is convinced that they were not married--but the consequence of this ruling is bitter and unwelcome: Both George and Herodias are fined 20 pounds each (a stiff fine) for co-habiting (and having children).

As a result of this hearing and its outcome on the day of the hearing, officials passed a law to ban cohabitation.  In addition, if you wed without delay would not only be fined, and their children would be declared legitimate. The penalty for breaking the law was steep.
But there is more to this drama!

On the same day of their hearing (Jun. 5, 1665), the wife of a man named John Porter petitioned the court for relief for herself and her children, claiming that her husband had abandoned her.
The court was sympathetic, and deemed that John Porter’s “personal and real estate” be “secured” as if “seized” and “deposited for the relief of his …wife to her Full satisfaction.”

What makes this dramatic? 

The husband John Porter is the same John Porter who had fallen under  the spell of Herodias. He completely abandoned his wife and children to cohabit with her (under the pretext of being his house servant, according to some accounts).

It's not a stretch to say“spell” after all, she can’t be as fetching as she was when she and John Hicks separated 20+ years prior. The facts tell me that Herodias has now had 8 (or 9) children, and is about 42 years old--she’s not a young lady.

Porter was compliant with the court’s demands regarding his wife's support, and within a couple weeks satisfied what the court demanded he do for her.

So, Herodias and Gardiner part ways because, according to Herodias--Gardner had “neglected her” and “would not supply for her pressing needs.”

Porter was a good deal wealthier than Gardner--and a great deal more wealthy than John Hicks. It seems to me that once Herodias had John Porter in her pocket, she no longer needed George as an alleged husband.

Perhaps I'm being harsh: and it was true that Gardiner was a neglectful slouch. 

One researcher  said: “It could be that ‘her pressing needs’ or it may have been the superior attractions of John Porter, with his great lands and his promises to provide support that awakened questions about the legality of her marriage to Gardiner.” Easy to say from our vantage.

~I try to imagine why: some 20 years on and Herodias had added 6 or 7 children to support, and had no wealth of her own. 

Now that the colony has more formal system of governance and oversight, she’s smart to think of her long-term well-being. To endeavor to extract from George’s holdings what she helped him gain (as his common law wife).

~ At the same time, she has possibly realized that she needs to make the most of her quickly fading “capital” (face, figure, charm). 

Her disavowal of George once she's found prosperous and promising John Porter, is its in a base way (that is, insensitive and crude) understandable.  After all, she still has some children at home.

In Oct 1666  both Herodias Long and John Porter are sent separate summons to appear in court for co-habitation.  Neither of them appeared, though Porter sent in his health as an excuse.

In May of the following year, he (1667) once again begged off a court appearance for the same thing due to his bad health.

Again in October 1667 an indictment was made "against Mr. John Porter of Narragansett in the King's Province and Harrud [Herodias] Long, alias Gardiner, for that they are suspected to cohabit and so to live in way of incontinency."  

Finally, in May of the following year [1668], Porter appeared in court and was acquitted, and by October Herodias was similarly charged, and acquitted, as well.

Court records of course don’t provide any details. 

I do wonder if perhaps John Porter had any influence over the outcomes: his business partner William Brenton was also Rhode Island's governor. Though acquitted, Porter and Long were not yet clear: Porter had a wife Margaret.

I'm not certain if John Porter got a divorce from his wife Margaret, but records show that  Herodias began using “Porter” for her last name for legal documents. We don’t know if they were ever married. 

Porter had promised Herodias that he would give large tracts of land to her children--a promise he kept.  Though Porter kept his promise, and her children by Gardner/Gardiner inherited his valuable lands. 

But for some reason (perhaps because they were grown), neither of the children by John Hicks were included in this inheritance. Herodias was pretty selective as to where she would go: I’m fairly certain the Hicks children never saw their mother in Long Island.  

1 Herodias’ date of death (some have said she died at 100, but that’s not clear). 
2 Whether she was legally married to Porter, or Gardiner/Gardner
3 Unknowable: how badly both George Gardiner/Gardner and John Hicks treated her.

[A recent book on Herodias Long, “Rebel Puritan, A Scandalous Life” by Jo Ann Butler; published by Neverest Press, 2013]