Wednesday, April 27, 2016

1867 Document Attesting to Good Character of Walter Sargent of Gouldsboro, Maine

January 1, 1867 document wherein the three selectmen and the town clerk of Gouldsboro, Maine, attest to the good character of Walter Sargent, then serving as an Acting Master in the U.S. Navy.

The document takes up one pane of a large sheet of paper folded once.  Folded, it's nearly 10" by 7-3/4".

We the undersigned municipal officers of the town of Gouldsboro, Maine, certify that we have known Walter Sargent (now Act'g Master in U.S. Navy) from his childhood and that he has always sustained an unblemished character and possesses such integrity, industry and moral worth as to merit and secure the interest and esteem of all his townsmen.

B. M. Sargent      )
William Rand      )   Selectmen
Jacob F. Jones    )
H. M. Sowle            Town Clerk

From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions requested]

Walter Sargent may have been the the U. S. Navy Lt. Walter Sargent mentioned in Historical Researches of Gouldsboro, Maine, published by the Daughters of Liberty in 1904, as having perished with others when his vessel went down off the coast of Japan.  The mention didn't include a date, so it's possible that Walter was another of the several Walter Sargents in the Gouldsboro area.

The Walter Sargent in the document was likely the Walter born about 1841 to Samuel H. Sargent and Sarah (Moore) Sargent.  Samuel was the second keeper at the lighthouse at Prospect Harbor, a community on the Gouldsboro peninsula.

B. M. Sargent was presumably Benjamin M. Sargent, born on July 23, 1832 at Gouldsboro, Maine, and the older brother of the Walter Sargent in the previous paragraph.  Benjamin, who died in 1870, is buried with his parents and brother George in the Prospect Harbor Cemetery, in Prospect Harbor.  I don't know if he had married.

William Rand may have been the William Rand who was born September 8, 1818, the son, I believe, of Stephen Rand and Nancy (Adams) Rand.  William's first wife Sophronia (Newman) Rand died in 1864; he then married Mrs. Marian (Pettee) Robinson in 1865.  William, who died in 1911, and his wives and some of his children are buried in the Brookside Cemetery at Winter Harbor, Maine.

Jacob Foster Jones was born March 28, 1826 at Gouldsboro, Maine, the son of Abijah and Catherine Jones.  He married Abigail Spurling, daughter of Thomas and Prudence Spurling.  They had three children.  Both Jacob and Abigail died in 1877.

H. M. Sowle was presumably Hilliard Mayhew Sowle, born January 20, 1803, son of Ebenezer Vose Sowle and Deborah (Mayhew) Sowle.  Hilliard married twice: 1)  Abigail Wilson, who died in 1845; and 2) Flora H. Whitaker, who outlived him.  I believe Hilliard had five children with his first wife, one of them named for him, but that child lived only a few years.  Hilliard, Sr., died in 1882; he is buried at West View Cemetery with his wives and several of his children.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

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