Resided Northampton, Mass until 1680; removed to Westfield, MA; then to Lebanon, CT in 1696. He died there about 1750.
Was farmer and operate grist mill at Westfield, MA and Lebanon, CT. He married Mehitable Miller 15 January 1691, supposedly in Northampton, MA.
One of first settlers of Westfield and first constable of Lebanon, CT, serving in this capacity from 1700 to 1707.
JOSIAH THE FIRST.
JOSIAH DEWEY, Deacon, Sergeant, son of Thomas the settler, bap- tized Oct. lo, 1641, at Windsor, Conn.; d. Sept. 7, 1732, at Lebanon, (^ Conn.; (see cut of tombstone) located at Northampton, Mass., about 1660; learned the carpenter's trade; was granted a homelot, July 15, 1666; freeman same year; selectman in 1668 and before; a church member; had an account at Pynchon's store in Springfield, as per the fol- lowing entry found in the old cash book preserved in Springfield City Library:
Josiah Duee, Dr.
1667 By I Barl. Porke 3I — los wanted, 15 meat & salt yt. is to be abated, . 03—05 — 00
June, 1668. I Barl. flowre 321. To 36 abated is 285 gross, . . 01 — 17 — 00
He was granted land at Westfield in February, 1668, to pay him for build- ing the minister's house and moved there two years later, locating at what is now the east end of Silver street. When Westfield Church was organized, August 27, 1679, each one of the seven foundation men gave in his religious experience; Josiah Dewey brought a letter from Northampton Church as introduction to the new one; was ordained the first deacon December 28, 1692; his son Ebenezer is the first baptism recorded on the old church book under date, 6 month, 31 day, 1679, old style.
The following is really the autobiography of Josiah Dewey up to this time and is entitled " The Relation of Sargt. Josiah Dewey."
The Discovery of what God hath done for my soule to y" praise of his Grace I shall endeavor to lay down as follows:
Being about 13 years old God was pleased to give me some discovery of my miserable state by nature y' I might look to him for grace the I did it veably & unsteadily.
About my i6th year hearing Mr. Benton on that " If y" righteous scarcely be saved where shall y wicked and ungodly appear, " I began to be more affected with mine own State & to be struck with fear of death & wrath & being much perple.xt in myself fearing its approach & my unprepared state for it, I thought if sickness came upon me I would send for y Elders, & desire their prayers for me, hoping that y' prayers of y' faith might availe me much.
In my 17th year God visited me w"" sore sickness & long v/" did greatly exercise my thoughts. But yet I neglecting former resolutions of senaing for the Elders to pray for me & now y* counsels of parents, & christian friends to get an interest in Christ, took some hold upon me. But yet upon my recovery y' delights & valities of youth began to take much w'" me but could not follow them without gripes & galls of conscience & was by restraining grace, brought off thence stout yet 1 put off repentance promising to do it afterwards.
But coming under Mr. Mather's Ministry at Northampton, I met w"" many close convictions, that forced me to private Duties, against w" Satan laid in many excuses as want of time & place, being a servant, yea I vas fnlly convinct y' that must be a great change wrougt in my heart, or else I was like to be a miserable creature.
When I was entred into a married state I saw myself now under former ingagemnts of attending heart-searching & hearing Mr. Mather on the hearts hardness assert that there was no plague like unto that, I was affrighted thereat & soon after hearing Mr. Eliot (now of Gilford) on a lecture sermon was so awakend as to resolve no longer to delay but to fall to search my own heart. But I found it hard & difficult work to keep my mind to it & sometimes I found that my heart would slip from ye work almost as soon as I was at it. So that I coTild find little rest. But after awhile God discovered ye sin of Pride to me, wch I lest suspected & now in a bewilded condition 1 knew not what to do & advising with my Parents they directed me to Mr. Mather to whom at ye length I forced an attempt & making known to him how it was with I desired his help & direction, who told me I was under ye striving of God's Spirit & after much consell, & incouragm"' told me I must labour to so fachan evill in Sin & such a beauty in holiness, yt if there was no Hell to punish nor heaven to reward I must chuse ye way of Holiness; wch as I mused on, I thot I never shoute attain unto finding my heart so in love with sin, yet finding a thirsting desire after Righteousness I was incouraged by that Mat. 5 blessed are they yt hunger & thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled & as God was going on with me he discovered unto me Sin against Light, & cheifly against Gospel Love in God's Sending his Son to poor Sinners, wch was heart melting consideration Afterwards, as I was alone meditating it pleased God to let a glimpse of his Glory, & of ye Beauty & Excellencie of Jesus Christ & now my heart was much raised & revived hoping now I could choose ye wayes of Christ for ye beauty I Saw therein then going & giving Mr. Mather an account thereof, he incouraged me as being in ye way, c'i: bed me go a lone & strive to se yt all I had been to be nothing & I should finde my heart, either to sink under Discouragmt or to be stout, or to be careless but I could not bear ye thoughts hereof as to think I was so mistaken, but durst not reject this advice wherefore when I was alone I found my heart sin — under discour- agm"' when almost overborn — being thus wounded by this Physician I being desirous to try another; & therefore making my state known to Mr. Eliot, he after many cautious & serious Quotations gave me this advise, to wit, to labour to make deep work & to go deep, & for incouragm"' told me yt I should have ye comfort of it; & by way of direction herein, he advised me to live much in ye observing ye working of corruptions of mine own heart, ye wch indeavouring after I found through grace greatly beneficiall to ye subduing this heart of mine. Hereby I found a bent of heart to sin & continuall boylings, bubblings of corruptions in all my thoughts, words, Duties, & performances, wch made me with shame of heart to loath myself & cry out, oh wretched man that 1 am, who shall delive • me from this body of death but ye following words somewhat relieved n e viz. thank be to God through Jesus Christ. Oh ye swarmes of iniquif.es yt came in upon me beseeging me on every side hereby & now J 'was ashamed of mine own righteousness, I was now carryed out with si :h an indignation against mine own heart, yt many times laying hold on my brest, me thot could I come at it I could even tare out of m)' Body, & cast it away & now I saw I vvas undone, without a saviour & hence ye price :)( Christ was raised in my Lord yet I had hope in yt Christ sd. he came *-j seek such as are a lost. But if I should have a Saviour oh what free G.ace & mercy did that appear, wherefore I resolved to wait upon him if it was to my dying day resolving if I perished I would perish in a way of dutie waiting at ye footstoole of mercy. But a little while after this hearing Mr. Mather upon John 6: 37 all yt ye father hath given me shall come unto me & whosoever comes unto me, I will in no wise cast off, resolved to come unto Christ with earnestness; wch was to believe him, I took as ye voice of Christ to me calling me to believe on him, yet I could find no ability to me a step towards him, & was sorely pincht at heart on this account. But hearing not long after Mr. Eliot on Ps. 119 uphold me by thy word; let not be ashamed of my hopes, show what good Hopes were, I was much revived, rejoycing in hope yt ye Lord had sown ye seeds of grace in my heart & was much lightened of ye load my heart had lain under & ye 4th day after hearing some private christians discoursing of free grace, & an E.xcellent way thereby of out doing Satan by granting all yt Satan could say of or sinfulness & vileness, & yet turning upon him ye conclusion thus & what if Christ will save me, Satan what is that to thee I was greatly raised thereat & going away into ye field & musing thereon, I felt a strong perswasion arise in me of ye Love of God in Christ through ye riches of Grace as made me cry out my Lord & my God, my Saviour & my Redeemer, passing on as it were in a heavenly Rapture & inflamed with these Considerations, on a sudden ye whole face of things seeing to be changed, & I hurd me thoughts as it were these words, a Pardon, a Pardon Christ hath purchased a Pardon. At wch I was astonisht as it were & to think of ye wonderfull Free Grace of God, yt ever a Pardon, & ye manifestation of it should ever be bestowed on such an unworthy sinner, as I was, & now my heart was as it were swallowed up with admiring & praising God yt for sometime, especially in private Duties I could & was strongly persuaded of mine own Salvation so that God with- drawing himself again let me se my own weakness; so that I could not think of ye Psalmist saying thus I said in my Prosperity 1 shall never be moved, but thou hidest thy face & I was troubled. Now ye shewed me ye continual! need I was in of a momentary supply of his Grace. But now I made somewhat hereof to Mr. Mather, he told me that God had told me that God had carryed me through dangerous ways, & set me on ye top of ye Hill & yt my worke was to watch against temptations — & study ye p^omises wherein I found — ing & cheifly in that Mat 11: 28, 29 come unto me &c. ; & in that Hos. 14: 4 I will heale their back sliding & I will love them free for mine is turned away from him & now I began to long after Communion with God in his Ordinances yet having some fear I forbore about halfe a yeare & it pleased God to aflict me that I kept my bed mostly a day or two, wch brought me to consider what God might aim at by it, iS: fearing lest it might be of communion with God & his People I earnest sought God in thee matter desiring that he would be pleased to discover it to me by raising I. e up again; it it pleased God so to answer me, as that within an hour or <:wo I was able to go about my business.
."n that now I was hereby so convinced of Duty that I durst no longer delay wherefore I went to ye Elders, & made known my desires to joyn to ye Chch & being joyned I may truly say I have seen God here & there in his Ordii'ances & in his Providences, in his Mercies & in Afflictions. But have gre t cause with shame to bewaile it, that I have made such poor returns for <;uch benefits yt I have done so little for him that hath done so much for me.
The following extracts are taken from deeds in the possession of Miss Amelia J. Fuller, of Columbia, Conn. ; and have taken several prizes as the oldest documents exhibited at State Fairs:
On 24 Feb 1669 Praisever Turner of Northampton and wife Elizabeth, sold to Josiah Duey of same town, a house and land in Northampton bounded northerly by the common highway, westerly by land of said P. Turner, southerly by the Mill river easterly by the land of Timothy Baker about 3 acres with house, orchard, fence etc.
Acknowledged 29 Mch 1670
On 24 Mch 16^ Joseph Jeanes of Northampton sold to Josiah Dewey of Westfield parcel of meadow land bounded on " the highwaies " northerly and southerly the sides lying against the lands of the successors of Richard Lyman westerly and Samuel Laughton easterly. 3 acres.
On Dec 3 1680 Nathaniel Winchel of Winsor and wife Sarah to Josiah
Dewey of Westfield several parcels of land in Westfield all priviledges etc. two parcels lyeth in Westfield meadow east side of the Little River being that alotment which was granted and laidout to Samuel Marshfield now deceased and all that alotment with all outlands belonging to it e-xcept one parcel in the Neck which said N. Winchel has sold to Jedediah Dewey, the two parcels in the meadow are bounded: one of 20 acres lying near the little river bounded by Mr. Taylor's land easterly and John Bisel westerly, running from the great river to the great hill;
Another parcel by the little river is bounded by the land of Josiah Dewey northerly and easterly.
The following extracts from the town records of Westfield go to shew the influential part he at once took in the affairs of the new town:
" At a town meeting held Feb. 8, 1667-8 Granted to Josiah Dewev, by the town, that land that was reserved for a highway by Goodman Gunn's lot in the plain and such other land as may be between this lot and the river or Samuel Taylor's land. Goodman Gunn having just measured the length and breadth; on condition that the said Josiah Dewey doth express it as satisfaction for what he exprest from the town on account of building the minister's house; and that he make and maintain a gate into that field, provided he come and settled in the town again."
In Dec. 1669, the smith, Samuel Taylor, and Josiah Dewey were granted thirty acres and homelots and the remainder of what was laid out for Ser- jeant Stebbins, the twenty acres Joseph Leeds had forfeited and " liberty to take by the west in Newfoundland," (near Crane's Upper Mill) or elsewhere.
The following is interesting as showing the economic condition at this period: The price of corn was fixed at 15 pence, and wheat at 3 shillings 6 pence a bushel. Coin was scarce at this period, although Massachusetts had started a mint in 1652 to coin pine tree shillings, so beaver, wampum and produce passed as currency. Wampum consisted of beads made frona the coils of seashells and sewed to deerskin in the form of belts. A " fadom " of wampum was equal to 60 pence, but the value was liable to vary; furs were second in value, only, to the precious metals. Beaver at 6 shillings a pound was considered a fair exchange for English goods at 30 per cent, profit, with freight added; and accounts were balanced in beaver. In 1662 the colonies ceased to receive wampum as lawful money, but it was in cir- culation as long as the Indian lasted.
Fences were to be made up by March, 1676, and if any neglected to come out and work they were to be fined five shillings; if swine were impounded the owners were to pay twelve pence; in December, 1676, the minister, Mr. Taylor, was allowed 60 pounds for his labors for the year, the rate to be obtained from land.
During King Philip's war Josiah Dewey was sergeant of the guard at Westfisid, and the following is one of the orders to which his name was signed:
" Thes as to Ceartiefie whom itt may Concearn that we whose names are hear under written doe give Leve unto thes tow Solgers George Maninge and William Rodgers to goe to Boston Alsoe from thens to Retturn unto us againe Iff the governor and Counsell hinder not as witness or hands
Aaron Poole (Cook) ) Samuel Loomes l
Josiah Dewey )
Comitey of Malicia. Westfield, August 4th 1676."
He was one of the signers to the remonstrance to the order for the aban- donment of the settlement at Westfield, April 28, 1676. He was also one of those that agreed to fence the Northeast Field at Westfield and carry on the improvement in general; was juror at the adjourned court at Northampton in the same month; the next August his town voted " That Josiah Dewey be a committee to confer with the rest of the house in this county about our bounds;" in November, 1678, it was voted "that Serjant Dewey, Samuel Root, Ebenezer Weller, and David Ashley are chosen to apprise the land of the town; to be paid for their time and what they spend about it; " in January next was one of three " to determine where we shall sit in the meeting house; " was sealer in 1679, " the town having voted to give Mr. Taylor (the minister) every one a day's work, they have chosen David Ashley and Josiah Dewey to call men to that work as they shall see fit; " was appointed with John Sackett, Sr., and David Ashley to lay out and record all highways necessary, February 4, 1690; was selectman of Westfield in 1672, '77, '79, '80, '89, and '94. At the court held in September, 1677, he was "allowed of to be sealer of weights and measures for y* town of Westfield; " was on the coroner's jury in September, 1684, which met to determine the cause of death ot Eleazer Weller, who suicided at Westfield.
The following Westfield men took the freeman's oath September 28, 1680: Thomas Dewey, Jedediah Dewey, John Hanchet, Joseph Pomeroy, Nathn. Weller, Samuel Root, and David Ashley, Mr. Daniel Denton of Springfield, also. In March, 1681, Josiah Dewey complained of Griffeth Joanes, of Springfield, for slander and defamation.
At the adjourned Court held in Northampton March 29, 1676, Josiah Dewey was a juryman. John Gun was presented for contempt of authority and reviling speeches and warned to appear at the next Court. John Lee was to be " whipt on the naked body with 15 strynes " for resisting a constable.
Josiah Dewey was one of the proprietors of Lebanon, Conn., and there in 1695, assisted the first four proprietors, IsLison, Stanton, Brewster, and Burchard, to distribute the homelots and divide the common land. He sold his land at Westfield, April 6, 1696, to Samuel Loomis.
The following, from " Early Lebanon," published in 1S80 by Messrs. Hine and Morgan, gives the events which preceded the settlement of the town:
" Lebanon, and the counties of Tolland and Windham, Conn., were claimed by the Indian chief UNCAS, who, appreciating the bravery of the settlers under Capt. John Mason at the destruction of Mystic fort in 1637, and in order to make friends with them, decided, and did cede to certain ones of them lands.
" Norwich, prior to 1666, had purchased lands, up to the line which divides Franklin and Lebanon.
" In 1663-65, the General Assembly granted to Capt. John Mason, for meritorious services, five hundred acres of land; he selected land in the southwestern part of the town of, now Goshen.
" In 1666, the General Assembly granted to Rev. James Fitch one hun- dred and twenty acres, adjoining the lands of Capt. John Mason. Subse- quently, Owenece, son and successor of Uncas, gave to the Rev. James Fitch a tract of land five miles long by one mile wide, next to the above tracts of Fitch and Mason and along the Franklin line. Known as ' Fitche's or Mason and Fitche's mile.' "
" Owenece, by deed of Sept. 6, 1692, conveyed to Samuel Mason, and John Stanton of Stonington, and Benjamin Brewster and John Burchard of Norwich, Conn., a tract, called the ' Five Mile Purchase,' adjoining and northwest of the ' Fitch and Mason mile.' This sale was confirmed to fifty- one grantees, from Mason, Stanton, Brewster and Burchard, by the General Assembly, on Jan. 4, 1700. Among those fifty-one grantees are the names of Josiah Dewey, Senr., John Dewey, Nathaniel Dewey, and Josiah Dewey, Jr.
" Adjoining this ' Five Mile Purchase, 'on the north and northwest, was the ' William Clark & Josiah Dewey, Sr." purchase, made by William Clark of Saybrook, Conn., an 1 Josiah Dewey, Sr., of Northampton, Mass., in 1700, of Owenece and Abimelech, Indian chiefs, and descendants of Uncas.
This purchase embraced the northern portion of the town of Lebanon, as it now is, and a part, and perhaps the whole of Columbia.
" The actuail settlement of this plantation of Lebanon began in 1695 and its increase appears to have been rapid. The Clarks, the Deweys, the Trumbulls, Tuppers and the Strongs were among the first settlers.
" The inhabitants held a meeting in 1698, and the earliest record of the settlement of Lebanon was then made. Lebanon was organized as a town in 1700, under permission of the General Court of 1699, and was to have a church and ' orthodoxe minister.' "
The following, taken from the first book of Lebanon town records, shows the bounds of the town as purchased: " Lebanon, January 3d, 1^^^.
At att a Town meeting The worshipful Capt. Samuell Mason Haveing Delivered to the town a Coppie of the original Deed of the five Miles square of Land purchased by him- Selfe and other Gentlemen, of oeneco, and together therewith A confirmation of all the Lands Contained within the said five miles as theirin expressed as also a Confirmation of the Ten lotts Granted to be att the Dispose of Deacon Josiah Dewey & John Woodward, and all other particular grants made by the said Proprietors The Town do a- llow and axcept of what hath bin done by the said Capt. Mason and others the proprietors Respecting the settlement of this place hetherto. This pased by the uenanimous vote of y" town At the same time thay voted and Granted that Deacon Josiah Dewey shall have halfe a lott in Consideration of what charg and trouble he hath, ben at in settling of the place At the same time it was agreed and voated by the towne That the bounds of the said town shall bee as foUoweth, to begin .\t Capt John Masons Norwest Corner tree and from thence to
Run a west Line five Miles and from thence a south southwest line to make a parallel line with Norwich south line & from Thence to Norwich south west corner and from thence bounded by Norwich to the first station these being the bounds agreed to by the Inhabitants with the Consent of the proprietors Wee Doe Desire the General Courts aprobation and Confier- mation of the same — voated.
At a Meeting of the Inhabitants of the Town of Lebanon and With the purchisors of said township in June 1698 Deacon Josiah Dewey o: Mr. John ^Voodward ware opoynted for to Lay out lots in the said town
Samuel Mason Benjamin Brewston John Birchard It Was ordered and apointed at the same meeting that Deacon Josiah Dewey, John Woodward, William Clarke, Edward Colver and Jedediah Strong shall be surveyors or aney Three of them to Lay out the first Division."
The list of homelots from south to north as laid out on the east side the highway is as follows: Thomas Hutchinson, Jed. Strong, Stephen Lee, Caleb Chappeli, V/illiam Clark, John Woodward, Jr., John Dewey, Micah Mudge, Dea. Josiah Dewey, Nathaniel Dewey, John Woodward, Sr., Richard Limon, Samuel Hutchinson, John Hutchinson, Joseph Thomas, John Webster, Joseph Pumery, Josiah Dewey, Jr., John Gilet, Lieut. Exesize Connant, Thomas Root, and Joseph Marsh, Nov. i, 1695; all had signed in Dec, 1697, e.xcept Thomas Root, whose lot went to John Woodward.
In 1700, William Clark and Deacon Josiah Dewey, Sr., bought of Oweneco, Abimelech and others a large tract of land north of Lebanon and the " 5 mile purchase," and adjoining it, which they desired and proposed to anne.\ to the Lebanon plantation. This was objected to by Lebanon settlers, from a fear that the Clark and Dewey settlers, uniting with some of the more northerly settlers of their own, would soon be clamorous for a removal of the meeting house nearer to them.
To allay this fear, Clark and Dewey agreed to lay out a street for a village, and for a meeting-house thereon, stating that their purchase was large enough for a society by itself, and that the agreement about the location of the town street and meeting-house should never be violated or disturbed. These terms and conditions were satisfactory: The new tract was annexed to Lebanon, the new street laid out, and a location fixed for a meeting-house upon it; and the place has ever been known as " the village." But this was only the beginning of trouble for the " meeting house on the old location," and after much trouble and litigation it was finally settled by the Supreme Court in 1806, by permitting it to remain in the old place.
.\lthough the plantation of Lebanon was not invested with " Town Privileges," until October, 1700, and could not therefore choose and invest with legal authority, any town officers, yet, as a matter of necessity and in accordance with the custom of the time in other unorganized settlements, they did, in form, choose selectmen or "' townsmen " as they were called, and some other officers. Thus in 1698, May 31, they elected as " towns- men " Deacon Josiah Dewey, John Woodward, Sr., and William Clark. 1699, March 15, the same three men were continued to December and Wm. Holton and John Mason were added. In December, the same year, Deacon Josiah Dewey, John Baldwin, Wm. Holton, Joseph Bradford, and William Clark were chosen as " townsmen."
The Connecticut Assembly, confirmed the agreement of the inhabitants of Windham and Lebanon, for a dividing line, commencing near the mouth of Hoop river, and then to run a straight line to a white oak tree, which is the northeast corner bounds of a tract of land bought by Deacon (Josiah) Dewie, and Mr. William Clerke of Lebanon of Mr. Buckingham and Lieut. Clerk of Saybrook, the tree marked with L D. and W. C, Sept. 23, 1701; and the deeds for lands to the Rev. Mr. Thomas Buckingham, Capt. John Clerk of Saybrook, and others, that were partly on and adjoining land sold by Reverend Mr. Thomas Buckingham and Captain John Clerk of Saybrook, to Deacon Josiah Dewie and William Clerk, both of Lebanon. The said land adjoins the towns of Windham and Lebanon, in Oct., 1704.
The Court confirmed the " Five Mile Purchase " to Samuel Mason, John Burchard, Benjamin Bruster, John Stanton, Richard Lyman, Sr., JOSIAH DEWEY, Sr., — JOSIAH DEWEY, Jr., — JOHN DEWEY, — NA- THANIEL DEWEY, and others to the number of 51, in May, 1705. (See Colonial Records of Conn.)
After this the Deweys sold their original lots and moved to the northern part of the town.
The First Church at Lebanon was organized in 1700, and on the 12th of November, 1700, Josiah Dewey, Sr., received his "dismission " from West- field Church to the one at Lebanon, where he afterwards acted as Deacon; the second society was organized in 1716 and was known as Lebanon North Parish or Lebanon Crank until the town of Columbia was set o5f in 1804. ^^ Josiah Dewey married Nov. 6, 1662, at Northampton, Mass., HEPZIBAH ' LYMAN, dau. of Richard the settler and Hepzibah (Ford, sister of Joanna,
who m. Elder John Strong), all of Northampton; b. , 1644, at Windsor,
Conn.; d. June 4, 1732, in her 89th year at Lebanon, Conn.; joined West- field Church Jan. i, 1680, and dismissed with her husband to Lebanon in November, 1700. (See in the Life of Admiral George Dewey, her line of descent from King Alfred the Great, of England.)
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