Dad's Memories - VENTURE SMITH

- 10 December 98 - 10 December 98

VENTURE Smith - A Real Haddam Neck Legend 

and Author of

A NARRATIVE -of the- LIFE AND ADVENTURES -of- VENTURE A NATIVE OF AFRICA, But Resident Above Sixty Years in the United States of America RELATED BY HIMSELF 

Originally Printed in 1798

VENTURE'S Story is presented here with commentary from many sources - both print and "web" 

Compiled by R.E. Langdon

EXTRACTS FROM: Yankee Township and Postscripts to Yankee Township, Carl F. Price ... c 1975, by The East Hampton Bicentenial Committee

Rick's Note: Carl Fowler Price (1881 - 1947) was an avid historian and authority on the folklore of East Hampton, Connecticut. Yankee Township - published in 1941, was one of many published works - most dealing with Methodism, Hymnology, and Wesleyan University in Middletown. He Graduated from Wesleyan in 1902 and it was while a student there he first made his acquaintance with East Hampton. He was organist at the Congregational Church in East Hampton (then Chatham). He remained a summer resident for more than 40 years and was engaged in the insurance brokerage business in New York City. The publication of Yankee Township, a collection of 12 "traditions" / 210 pages plus a bibliography of other published works concerning East Hampton, was made possible thru the efforts of "The Citizens' Welfare Club" of East Hampton and profits from the sale of the book dedicated to that organization.

Postscripts to Yankee Township is a collection of selected (?) articles published by Mr. Price (and unnamed others ?) in the "East Hampton News" subsequent to the printing of Yankee Township and contains a few "corrections" as well as many additional short "traditions" associated with East Hampton and this "transpontine region" - 63 postscripts / 335 pages plus an (unattributed) obit "Carl Fowler Price, Yankee Township Author Dies Monday". I assume this obit must have been from "The East Hampton News", because I remember somewhere reading that his New York obit did not mention that he was the author of Yankee Township.

It appears that these postscripts may be presented, more or less, in order as they appeared in the "News", and may have been a regular feature - extending at least to near the time of his death in 1947. Postscript 57 - "From'The Rocks' Eastward" - concerning petitions to divide the area of Middletown East of the Connecticut River into a separate Township, on p 309 says "... for in 1748 the East Hampton Congregational Church was organized, whose bi-centennial is to be celebrated next year." This would date this postscript in 1947. These Postscripts to Yankee Township were published in book form in 1975 by the East Hampton Bicentennial Committee. Postscript 60 - "Village Panic" was apparently not written by Mr. Price as it contains this passage -

This same postscript (57) also yields some additional nuggets concerning this area. -----

... "Thus, as the forest-coverd areas east of "the Rocks" gradually came to be settled, the centrifugal forces that first wrested the whole region away from Middletown's authority, and from time to time divided it into three parishes and two separate townships, were slow in operation, but were finally triumphant."

"The marvel is that they did not proceed further, and divide East Hampton and Middle Haddam into two separate townships, as has sometimes been proposed; or, better still somehow contrive to wrest Haddam Neck from the Town of Haddam and attach it to what is now the Town of East Hampton, to which it is more closely related geographically, postally, historically, etc. Today Haddam is the only instance in the whole course of the Connecticut River, where the river divides a township."

"East Hampton might well declare war against Haddam for the recovery of Haddam Neck irredenta, or at least purchase one of those new-fangled atomic bombs and threaten Haddam into agreeing to cede the peninsula to East Hampton" ...

These thoughts are continued in postscript 63 "Metamorphosis in Nomenclature" ---

... "Before any settlers had located here, this region was considered a part of Middletown. The early Connecticut River towns were established astride the river, which was a more practicable highway for travel than muddy roads. Today, with the development of new townships, the river now separates the townships from each other in all cases, (as Glastonbury - East of the river was separated from Wethersfield - west of the river) except Haddam which by an anomaly still retains the transpontine area of Haddam Neck."

"Thus it came to pass that the Town of Chatham was created in 1767 out of the parishes of East Middletown, East Hampton and only the northern portion of Middle Haddam (which formerly included Haddam Neck). For 148 years it enjoyed the good old name of Chatham until the year 1915." (When by a vote of 126 to 42 a resolution was adopted to change the town name from Chatham to East Hampton.)

This reminds me of a somewhat similar case of a town feud here in Alabama, about 50 miles Northwest of Birmingham on US Hwy 78 where the people of the Town of Guin fought over the phonetic pronounciation of the town name which resulted into a split and establishment of the Town of Guin (to the North) and the Town of Gu Win (to the South).





Postscripts to YANKEE TOWNSHIP


Certain postscripts, or portions thereof, relating to slavery in Connecticut or more specifically - to Venture Smith which are reproduced here are linked here with the associated postscript. - REL

VENTURES STORY (Index Page - 10 Links)

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