Pages

Thursday, June 18, 2009

STEPHEN GREENLEAF Jr., 9APR 1689 AND A NEW FAMILY MYSTERY

Stephen Greenleaf, Sr. had come to the Bay Colony with his father Edmund Greenleaf
and settled in Newbury, Essex Co. Ma. On 13Nov 1651 he married Elizabeth Coffin,
daughter of Tristram Coffin and Dionis Stevens and his first son, Stephen Greenleaf,
Jr. was born 15Aug 1652.

Stephen Jr. is most often referred to as Captain Greenleaf in the family genealogy and
is termed a "great Indian fighter." I've found several references to his having had a
prominent role in a battle in 1690 in Wells, Maine but as yet I haven't found any
account of the event anywhere else online. However, I have found several documents
dealing with his military career.

The first of these seems to be a report of a conversation he had or overheard with a man
named William Sargeant(Sargent) of Amesbury. This took place during the campaign in
Maine of 1689:

"Testimony of S. Greenleafe Junr
The testimony of Stephen Greenleaf Jun. That on the 8th of Aprill he heard Wm Sargeant
of Ames bury who came lately from the Indians (among whom he had bin a season) to
affirme these things to be told by the Indians.

That the Gouernour had agreed with three nations of Indians besides the Mowhakes to
come downe vpon the English & on the agree mt had given them some money & some coats,

That the Penicook Indians had no designe for warre, but they being in combination with the mowhakes he thought they would be ruled by them, & do as they did.

That he thought that euery day that it was neglected it was too long, & he was affraid that
there would be bloud shed.

That he had done no hurt agt the English, & he was glad he went no farther then Mr Hinks
his house with the post letters, & mr Hinks stopt him,

Divers other words were spoken, but this as farre as he remembers was the substance of
what was spoken
Taken on oath Aprill 9th 1689. before me Jon Woodbridge J. P".

James Phinney Baxter, History of the State of Maine Maine Historical Society
Portland, Me. 1890 pp472-473

I think the "Gouernor" refers to the French Governor of Quebec.

Now what struck me about this testimony was the name of the person that it concerns:
William Sargeant of Amesbury. One of my ancestors is William Sargent of Amesbury and
now I'm wondering if this is him. And if it is, what was he doing spending a season among
the Indians? Noting the April 8th date, then Sargeant had spent the winter, perhaps
trapping or trading for fur with the tribes .

I've found no answers to this as yet. So now I have a new family mystery to solve!

4 comments:

Julie Cahill Tarr said...

Hey Bill,

I have some Greenleaf's in my tree as well, no Stephen or Edmund though. Mine are pretty much in Suffolk and Norflk counties. The family is connected to me through my Webster line (Rebecca Greenleaf married Noah Webster). Wonder if there are any connections to yours?

Bill West said...

Julie,
I think there is a connection. I
need to check "The Genealogy of the
Greenleaf Family" by James Edward
Greenleaf over on Googlebooks later
tonight when I get home from work!

Bill West said...

Julie,
A quick look at that book seems to show that Noah Webster's mom
Rebecca Greenleaf was the daughter of William Greenleaf and descended
from Edmund through Daniel Greenleaf,son of Stephen Greenleaf Sr and brother of Stephen Greenleaf
Jr. SO if that holds up, we're indeed
distant Greenleaf cousins!

Julie Cahill Tarr said...

And now most certainly cousins since we both descend from Stephen Hopkins!