Nathaniel Cushing Anchorsmith 1795 Pembroke/Hanover Mass

+6 votes
I am researching the history of Barstow Forge in Hanover MA in the 1790's when Mr. Cushing was part owner. He lived on Liberty St. Pembroke, now Hanson. I am specifically looking for paperwork or documents connecting him to the manufacture of the anchors for the USS Constitution made in the Charlestown Navy Yard c.1797. I have exhausted my search on the internet and am now hoping for something to turn up from the private community, the smoking gun.
WikiTree profile: Nathaniel Cushing
in Genealogy Help by Joseph Grecco G2G Crew (310 points)

5 Answers

+4 votes
Contact the " Hanson Historical Society / ' Vital Records of Hanson, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 " they may be of help.

Hope this helps.
by David Selman G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+3 votes
Hi, I just recently linked my "southern Cushing" line to Nathaniel and have adopted several profiles.  The Find A Grave listing for Nathanial has information about the Barstow Forge and anchors.  There is also a book referenced that I haven't had a chance to check out.  I would be interested to find out about this myself.  Cherry
by Cherry Duve G2G6 Mach 6 (69.3k points)
I have done extensive research on the USS Constitution and where the anchors to the frigate were cast. It is generally accepted that they were made in Hanover Mass. and conjecture and legend point to the Curtis Forge on Elm Street at the Pembroke/Hanover line. There is a prominent plaque on the bridge commemorating this. My research indicates that Nathaniel Cushing, because of his connection to the Barstow Forge on State Street at the Hanover/Hanson town line, was most probably contracted to make the anchors for the Constitution. There is one historical document alluding to this event, re: the Christmas eve document requesting anchors for the frigate in Boston. The Constitution was the only frigate being constructed in Boston during this time frame. Complicating this research  was the fact that there was a fire in the War Dept. which destroyed all records and contracts concerning the Constitution. I presented a program to the Hanover Historical Society in 2013 with my findings and hopefully someday Nathaniel Cushing and the Barstows Forge location will receive recognition for producing the anchors for the USS Constitution.
+3 votes
I found that Winterthur library has original letters and documents of Nathaniel that are available for a small copy price.  I found a list on a website that describes the documents.  Also there is a War Department website with letters mentioning him and anchors being purchased.  If you need more details to find them, let me know.  I think my Isaac Cushing was his brother, but am struggling to find proof.  Cherry
by Cherry Duve G2G6 Mach 6 (69.3k points)
+3 votes
My Dad's cousin was the family historian and photographer.  I have somewhere a copy of an article regarding the "Barstow Forge" and it's role in making the anchor(s) for the USS Constitution.  If you haven't found any further info, I can try to find it.
I would love to see the information about the Barstow Forge.  I did prove that his brother was not my Isaac but I did so much research that I am still interested.   I am still researching Cushing family hoping to find my Isaac. Cherry Duve
Linda, in my presentation I spoke of John Tower, 1824-1900. When he became editor of the North River Pioneer, he began an extensive series of articles on the North River and published in the Rockland Standard. These articles are on microfilm and available at the Rockland library. In 1885, in referring to Barstows Forge( the new forge) he wrote "Capt. Barstow was a respectable and enterprising man, and laid the foundation for the business that had been carried on by his descendants and others for over 125 years. Cannon balls were cast here at the time of the revolution and the anchors for the United States Frigate Constitution were made here and carted to Hingham where they were transported to Boston by water. "

After the Barstows sold out to the Salmonds, they together with Nathaniel Cushing and Charles Josselyn controlled the business for 30 years. In 1898 the Rockland Standard published the obituary of Cyrus Josselyn, 1814-1898, he learned the trade of iron moulder, that of his father Charles, who helped forge the anchors of the famous frigate Constitution.

In my view, Cyrus Josselyn did not get this mentioned in his obit without cause. He must have been very proud that his father worked on the anchors of the Constitution. Charles Josselyn may have begun his apprenticeship at the Old Forge on Elm St. as his family were principle owners in the 1780s. The Josselyn family sold out of this forge in 1791 and it transitioned over to the Curtis family. It is thought likely that Charles Josselyn had moved on to Barstows Forge well before then.

Now we have Nathaniel Cushing, great grandson of Capt Joseph Barstow, who founded the New Forge at State and Cross St. There is no doubt this is the same Nathaniel Cushing who associated with Robert Salmond and Charles Josselyn.

In conclusion, in 1795 -1798 there is only one forge at which both Josselyn and Cushing could be associated with, the New Forge on Cross and State St. In South Hanover. There is no doubt the anchors for the USS Constitution were made here.

I hope you enjoy this little blurb of investigative history. If either of these two articles are not what you are referring to, I would be glad to have you forward what you have, if you can locate it.

I can be reached at

Enjoy and be safe.
+3 votes
Did you see my entry from June 6, 2016?  I ordered documents from Winterthur Library.   They have a lot of original documents and make copies at a reasonable cost.   I would be willing to email copies of what I  have if you send your contact information.   The library has an online catalog.  

by Cherry Duve G2G6 Mach 6 (69.3k points)
edited by Cherry Duve
I would appreciate anything refereeing  to Nathaniel Cushing and anchors during the 1790's. I sent to the National Archives years ago at great expense but did not receive any useful information. Thanks, Joe
I looked at the profile again that you referenced.   I am the profile manager but it was one of my early profiles.   An image of one of the documents is attached there.  It is probably one of the best linking  Nathaniel selling anchors to the government.   Please reference Winterthur Library if you use the document.  I'll try to send copies with source info asap.  I also wrote many of the Barstow and Cushing profiles on Wikitree.   If you have things  (with sources) I hope you will join us and help improve them. Cherry Duve


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