Tuesday, June 04, 2013


Whenever  I find some record or document online, I do a bit more searching
on Google to see what else I might find about it or the events around it. My
search for more details about John Dunham and Samuel Eddy's dog led me to
Sam Behling's website and this poem. It's by Eddy descendent William
Holden Eddy and originally appeared in the Eddy Family Association Bulletin
in 1934.(Issue #1 Vol XIII, April 1934). I'm reprinting it here with the permission
of the Eddy Family of America. My thanks to Lin Eddy-Hough , the Chair of the
Publications Committee for the Association.

As I mentioned in the previous post, my ancestor John Dunham Jr. and Samuel
Eddy had their differences mediated by neighbors and they seem to have gotten
on better with each other afterward, to the point that they shared the upkeep of
a cow.

Also, Zachariah, Caleb, and Obadiah were Samuel Eddy's sons. 

          An Elegy on the Death of Samuel Eddy's Dog

    To day no lofty strain I sing, of Pilgrims' joy or suffering,
    No tales heroic do I bring to set your minds agog;
    An incident of daily life of bitterness, alas, and strife,
    When rumors sorrowful were rife of Samuel Eddy's dog.

    The breed he sprang from who can name? Mastiff or bull we cannot claim.
    Or trained to seek the fleeting game, in forest or in bog;
    Lurcher or hound, or terrier keen, Spaniel or Porter, greyhound lean,
    Naught do we know of this, I ween, of Samuel Eddy's dog.

    What that dog did we do not know, almost three centuries ago,
    Little indeed the records show, in Plymouth's catalogue.
    But this we read, one summer day stretched cold in death the poor beast lay,
    Poisoned by some fell foe, they say, was Samuel Eddy's dog.

    Of this in truth we may be clear, that all the settlers, far and near
    Spoke words of comfort and of cheer, in friendly dialogue;
    And soothed, as best they could, the woe that had o'ercome its master so,
    And checked the tears that would o'erflow, for Samuel Eddy's dog.

    Think of the grief of Zachariah, of Caleb, sad as Jeremiah,
    And doubtless year-old Obadiah, though somewhat in a fog,
    Upraised his voice in wailing strong, and added to the weeping throng
    Another lamentation strong for Samuel Eddy's dog.

    What was John Dunham's dreadful fate? What punishment did him await?
    Who made the household desolate? What was the epilogue?
    This only, that he sureties gave, than henceforth he would well behave
    For ever after poison crave for Samuel Eddy's dog.

    But later these two men agreed in partnership a cow to feed,
    To satisfy their households' need with milk instead of grog;
    Thus out of evil, good somehow will often come; and so that cow
    Repentance shows and sorrow now, for Samuel Eddy's dog.

    So let us pardon grant to him, and trust he's with the cherubim,
    That man who gave the poison grim, and broke the Decalogue.
    And let us all assembled here in heartfelt sorry drop a tear
    Upon the long forgotten bier of Samuel Eddy's dog.

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