On June 8, 1774, Pheba Cummings was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts Bay Colony, a remote outpost in the western wilderness, which had become a town only 9 years earlier.
On July 4, 1776, when Pheba was 2 years old, the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, 271 miles away.
Sometime before 1803, Pheba married Benjamin Haley and moved to Pownal, Vermont, about 7 miles away. If she moved there before 1791, she would have also moved to another country, the Republic of Vermont.
In 1861, the Civil War began. In 1865, her son Josiah Haley was wounded in the battle of Petersburg, Virginia, 534 miles away.
In 1870, her son James Haley was living in Susanville, California, 2830 miles away.
In 1874, her great-grandson Dece Vander Bogart (my grandfather) was born. I like to imagine that her granddaughter Elizabeth brought him the 24 miles from Stephentown, New York for a visit.
On July 4, 1876, perhaps Pheba sat on her porch to watch fireworks as the United States celebrated its Centennial.
On July 5, 1878 (one day after Independence Day) Pheba, aged 104 years and 27 days, died in Pownal, only 7 miles from where she had been born. The United States, which had not even existed when she was born, now contained 38 states and extended to the Pacific Ocean.