Saturday, March 24, 2018

saturday morning, and my week has just turned into a weekend, since i have finished my chinese class. on saturday mornings, now, i wake up at five a m, eat and shower, and teach about five chinese children writing, online, on zoom, from six to seven. this leaves me, at seven, wide awake, well ahead of the family, but bleary-eyed and sleepless, as the sun rises over the mountains behinds us and begins to shine pink on the white sands off in the west. another cold, dry and dusty spring day here in the mountains, but we know spring is coming, and will soon bloom left and right all around us. late march, and it hasn't started yet. but it's just around the corner, as they say.

in this case i use my free time to delve into the subjects of my research, the mather family, john leverett, robert sedgwick, and a band of unruly puritans who take over boston in the 1600's and set the stage for a boston witch trial, and then nineteen horrible salem witch trials. all the witch trials are horrible, actually. i have no idea how they are directly tied in to my family, but they are. boston was a very small town. the mathers were very important there. my family, young john in particular, who was not my direct ancestor, but who nevertheless carried my name, was right there in boston at the time. in fact, the link between our direct ancestors, and these puritans, including john the governor, is lost right around the time of the witch trials. whoever it was, who didn't document their baby carefully, for whatever reason, went underground in boston, between 1680 and 1695, when these trials took place. it could be that one didn't want to be associated with an out-of-wedlock birth, or that, if it happened, one had to keep it pretty well out of sight. this is my challenge, and, as a result, i've been delving into studies of that era.

i've been somewhat obsessive about this writing, and i haven't even told too many people about it. in the days, i'm a substitute teacher; i hang around with twenty or thirty students, as they either do what the regular teacher has set out for them, or they don't, and i try to make sure that they don't hurt each other, or ruin the furniture, or whatever. sometimes i don't succeed. the principal of the high school comes around to make sure they aren't using their phones; that's a default activity for the vast majority of teenagers. sometimes i feel like telling them, hey, i've found out that my ancestors, or what i'd like to believe are my ancestors, are responsible for signing the document that established the first public school in america, the boston latin school, see below post. and, so the guy i'm named after signs this document, because he's the note-taker for the boston puritan church community, and they hire this guy as a tutor, and he makes his son, whose name i have for a middle name, as the first student. now that son is eighteen at the time, and not inclined to go along with his father's wishes, and so is probably not a great student, and certainly does not go into the study of latin, or the classical texts, or scriptures, but rather buys and sells boats sailing across the atlantic, trading furs and sugar, and whatever they can pick up. he goes to england to jockey for power and influence and get support for occupying forts in what is today nova scotia. he becomes governor of the colony, but his son loses the trail, because his son has children around the time of the witch trials, or maybe it's his sister, but somebody doesn't want too much scrutiny on the nature of these births.

so i've been writing the tales of the family, my family and that of the cottons and mathers and the ministers of that time, and i've neglected my haiku, neglected my stories, neglected my laundry, and the other family business that i should be attending to. i should be practicing music, for example, because the saturday flea markets will start soon and i want to be there, and i want to keep my music alive. i should be going through some of my father's stuff, and emptying out the piled up materials that i'm not doing anything about. i should be using my father's digital camera to make pictures for the next calendars, as i will not be doing jim leverett photography, probably, for a few years, but instead may do a quaker calendar or just a pop art calendar. i should be arranging the back porch so that i can get back there, when i finally haul the last of my dad's stuff out here from my sister's house in las cruces.

but alas, i'm bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived, and have a class, along with my three jobs, to attend to. the class is to get and keep my certification, which i suppose i need if i still want to be a public school teacher. my wife has begun to look at that job as if i am a policeman, expected to be armed and prepared for any craven youth who charges in angry about his grade, with easy access to semi-automatic weapons and every other thing. in other words, she'd rather keep me, to take care of our children and live to see another year. my original plan to become a public school teacher and survive the great depression, caused by trade wars and a system that has to get rid of its corrupt president, may change, as time has simply caught up to me; i'm turning sixty-four, eligible for social security, and not necessarily willing to keep up the good fight to educate our nation's youth. i have eight books, unfinished and in this very computer. i have obsessive need to learn about such things as the case of goody glover, who was hanged in boston in 1688, four years before the salem witch trial, under the watchful eyes of increase and cotton mather, and whose crime seemed to be causing young children to go into fits of hysteria because apparently the power to determine who was a witch and who was not, was invested in them.

to some degree, i see some parallel, in my life as a sub. these kids have a lot of power; in some cases, they use it. if someone gets too nasty with them, they go into paroxysms of tantrums, trying to get out of whatever they dislike (in some cases, group work; in others, writing). if one tries to discipline them or set them straight, they go all the way up, complaining, and saying that we've been unnecessarily harsh. i'm not harsh, i'm simply a sub. having gone through many years of torture myeslf, i'm the last person who would want to make anyone suffer.

but on the other hand, when a young girl brings in a history fair project with the salem witch trials, and pictures and text, all about the nineteen poor souls killed starting in about 1692 in salem, i can hardly contain my desire to start up with them. my ancestors had a feud with cotton mather, i want to say, but they also disappeared into the shadows, about that time. i don't even know, if i'm related to the puritans that started this whole public school deal. i did say that to one girl; i simply told her the story. she looked at me as if she had no clue that the whole witch trial thing was even real. it's real all right, it's just 325 years ago, a little too long ago to remember. real people were there, were involved, and even died. whether we are the same souls, back for another round, or just another hopeless culture, crumbling and angry about it, ready to do the same stuff over again, and inflict our problems on our weakest, most powerless victims, remains to be seen. there are definitely parallels.

i am midway into the book, perhaps thirty pages. it will be halfway done in a while, then i have to go back and fill in the gaps. i am telling the story the best i can. i am putting my ancestors right up against the mathers, and comparing commoners and ministers, the tolerationists and the defenders of puritan homogeneity. in my own world, the leveretts are at least as important as the mathers, though much less is written about them, and, as i've said, some did seem to disappear in the shadows there for a while. three hundred years later, it's time to find them, if i can, and decide for myself what really happened.

the world, and in particular the deadly monotony of classes of kids who refuse to learn anything from a sub, awaits me at the other end, on monday, when the weekend is over. chou

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

so to you puritan scholars out there, let me introduce myself. i was named after the first two leveretts in america, thomas and john, and started out studying them before i tried to figure out exactly how we are related. there is a gap in the genealogy, right in the late 1600's, which i will get to later, but just while i was trying to figure out who thomas and john were, i ran up against the late 1600's, and voila, there's this huge boston witch trial in there, with our friend cotton mather right in the middle of it.

now thomas and john had come over on the same boat as john cotton, and had settled in the same boston with the cottons, and the dudleys, and the bellinghams, and the hutchinsons, and a few other noteworthy families. all were from boston lincolnshire, and ended up in boston massachusetts. no sooner did they arrive than their community was torn up by the anne hutchinson controversy, but the leveretts, after our guy was governor, and quite a big and powerful guy, tended to go underground in the late 1600's as his son had absolutely nothing written about him at all, except that he was a "rather indifferent character." he, however, had a son who was to become president of harvard.

now in this mix comes the cottons. john cotton made his big mistake by turning anne hutchinson out of the colony, for being strong, or a woman, or powerful, or whatever. he sided with the forces of puritan orthodoxy. in the boston witch trial his grandson cotton mather allowed the local puritans to hang an old irish washerwoman, in 1688, fifty years later.. in salem four years after that, the salem witch trials began. john leverett, grandson of the governor and son of the indifferent character, and cotton mather were by now rivals, and this especially showed up at harvard, where john was entrenched, having worked there, and having liberalized the place, whereas increase, who had been president, really would rather have made it more of a divinity-type puritan place. john did not approve of the witch trials, but, being at harvard, had less say over what the local boston authorities chose to do. cotton wanted to replace him as president of harvard; they were a little upset at his reign. harvard was never to go back to its puritan ways.

i write this because i keep coming up with more and more. the dudleys also, old bostonians, were in the middle of it. it all makes such a good story that i want to simply make a book, rather than a genealogy. perhaps i'll make both.

here's the essence of the gap. this indifferent character had his first son john, another son thomas who became the barber of boston, then remarried and slipped off into obscurity in boston, after the father's death in 1679. leverett genealogists somehow figured he had a son out there who was somehow not noticed even after the death of the father and the fact that john and this thomas the barber guy were the only male heirs.

but, besides hudson, john the governor also had six daughters, and they all had interesting stories, and slipped off into the same oblivion that poor hudson was occupying. the city of boston was convulsing in the kind of fear that would make you hang a washerwoman for simply making kids act bonkers. one can imagine how one of these daughters were to feel if she, for example, had a son out of wedlock with someone. and, as it turns out, this is probably possible, and is an angle that i will pursue. because, it is well known, and often said, that we are related to the governor, though not the president of harvard (who had only daughters, but had a much more public life than any of john's daughters, or hudson the indifferent). all of these folks were knocking around in the boston of the late 1600's, when cotton mather was railing about the works of satan being shown in the hysteria of local people come unhinged.

not that that's ever happened to anyone i know.

and by the way, i use all small letters, to signify the informality of just talking, just writing for my own benefit here. i am not proclaiming the absolute truth here as sometimes i find myself wrong later on, and don't even go back to correct the blather. i read, i think, i get my ideas down here, it's like i'm talking to you. this whole blog is full of this stuff. but here i am, out there, pulling this stuff together, and it makes a good story, if nothing else. those too were interesting times. eventually i'll come to the one who walked out of maine, and headed for the wilds of quincy illinois where, lo and behold, they were kicking out the mormons. but this guy, by this time, was a farmer. no use for that city lifestyle, of getting involved in public discourse and local politics. within a couple of generations, they had given up the city altogether, and had even given up going to town to mix in on public questions like what to do with the mormons' bell. that would be the same one that ended up out in iowa, on mormon trek road, and i'll just say now, all that story will come out later, i hope. chou.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

the trail of my family leads up to a guy named william who appeared in 1715, marrying a woman named mary, but we cannot connect him to the illustrious leveretts that included john the governor of massachusetts, and john the president of harvard. there is a gap there, in the late 1660's, when this guy would have been born, and when people somehow slipped into the shadows of the town of boston.

but alas, it turns out that the town of boston had quite some shadows. we all know about the salem witch trials, a ways away from boston, but my reading assured me that salem was an entirely different world than boston, might as well be hundreds of miles away. they both shared the harsh puritan doctrine of increase mather and cotton mather, two people who didn't mind seeing witches hanged, but they shared little else, so my relatives, hidden away in boston as they were, were presumably safe.

but now it seems that boston had its own witch trial, in 1688, four years before salem, and this one also involved the mathers, and, it ended up in the killing of its victim, one ann glover, a washerwoman from ireland, who had been an indentured servant in barbados and had simply found her way to boston, working there. she could not speak very good english, and people were reminded that the mark of a witch is inability to say the lord's prayer. she was accused of bewitching four children, and she was hanged.

alas, this was the town my ancestors lived in. i shudder to think that they knew about it, or were involved in any way. it's kind of creepy, and it's the true forerunner of the salem witch trials; it's the original. it set the pattern.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

it's a fascinating story and i get drawn into it repeatedly. my ancestors picked up and moved from boston lincolnshire to boston massachusetts in 1633. the guy i was named after, thomas, was a puritan gentleman and friend of john cotton's. in the new world they settled in downtown boston, with a farm in muddy river (what is now brookline) and went about life. he put his 16 year old son, john, in the boston latin school, founded in 1635, and he graduated that same year. now that's kind of fishy for several reasons. one, he was already two years in the new world, and had started doing other things. there was no harvard yet (it was to follow in a year or two), so we can presume his education was just temporary, if he had any at all.

the tutor who he was assigned to, philemon, ran off with Wainwright, a follower of anne hutchinson, to become the founder of exeter new hampshire. anne, as you might know, was banished from the colony along with others, for being a little too fanatical. it's hard to discern where the leveretts stood on this issue. my sense is that they were deeply involved in the hiring of philemon, perhaps less so in the hiring of whoever followed, and that, since hutchinson was a neighbor, they were right in the thick of it, whatever they felt.

so john goes out and joins the artillery, and starts a life of business which is to include owning ships (losing one off the coast of virginia), owning and selling lots of land, and becoming governor of the colony. he was a kind of high-profile character; once he got started, he was all over the place, representing massachusetts in england, hocking this king or that, coming back, becoming deputy governor and then governor. but when his son was born in 1640, to hannah, daughter of the draper who was their neighbor and family friend, co-founder of the school, no sign of the son, hudson, being in the school at all. the son was born in 1640; if the school indeed taught kids of all ages, from five on up to eighteen, you'd think he'd be in there 1645-1663 or thereabouts, or maybe somebody noticed that he'd dropped out, or caused a scandal, or whatever, but instead, no sign, like he's been expunged from the books. and maybe he has. it's a mystery.

the odd thing is, his son, another john, who was to go on to become president of harvard, is all over those books. he entered. he graduated. he gave a speech. he did everything. hudson, for some reason, put his son in the school, but not himself.

it's a mystery, perhaps not to be solved. i'll try my best. i suspect philemon, for some reason. you leave those latin scholars at home alone with a young boy, and, you never know. i've had an instinctual gut hatred for latin from the beginning, and now i find all these ancestors who were deep into it. they wrote a catechisme. they wrote "leverett's latin grammar," or some such thing. i should like latin. instead i like languages, and hate latin. and don't really know why. it's like an echo in my soul that has been passed along. there is some bad experience back there, and i'd like to get to the bottom of it.

hudson, somehow, was damaged for life. didn't join the church, didn't even write it down when he had children. didn't live with the ones he had. came into the record books only when he was selling his father's considerable property. he had one son who turned out well, very well, perhaps brought up by the grandparents. one doesn't know about these things, where were they, actually, and who covered for him when he fell? not sure. by the time he died he owed money, in spite of all the money he was given. and they brought him back, to put him in the family grave, with his mother and grandparents, right there at that little cemetery in downtown boston.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

so i've been doing research on these leverett characters, and i've found out several things. one that has blown my mind, and it's taken a few days to get over this, is that the very guy i'm named for, signed the document that established the first public school in the usa. that would be boston latin school, and we're talking 1630's, and mainly, the guy wrote it because he took the minutes for the people of first boston church. he wasn't exactly the inventor, more just the documenter. but if he wrote all this stuff for the church, he didn't write much for himself. his son was governor, well known and well documented, but they didn't leave a whole bunch of personal papers or records. or if they did, maybe they went down in one of the many fires that wracked wood-house boston in the seventeenth century.

public schools are worth saving, that i can tell you, but this post is more about puritan boston of the late sixteen hundreds. that's because, in the later part of the century, is when the records become unclear. names like mary and sarah are interchangeable, and our name leverett is often spelled as leverit, leveret, leueret, leveritt, leueritt, leuerit, or even leavitt though I'm not sure about that one, since there are other people around with that name. it all gets murky in a late-sixteen-hundreds kind of way and we can't prove we're related to this guy at all. more about that later. it's definitely the mystery of the day, for me.

in the late sixteen hundreds boston kept getting worked around and changed, and it's tempting to get into simply the physical aspect of it. king's chapel graveyard is where some of these leveretts are buried, and that's right on tremont street, downtown, with its ancient gravestones poking out of the grass. our leveretts apparently had a fairly large tomb, but one which was virtually buried by weeds when they found it in the 1800's. but the guy who was buried there, hudson, is really the culprit in this drama, because he never joined the church, never became a freeman, and this caused some of his descendants to fall into total obscurity. people keep mentioning his son and that kid's son as "the only male heirs of the governor (his father)" but this can't be true, if our ancestor is somehow connected to his second wife. it can be true, if one of the leverett women had an out-of-wedlock birth, but i'm still not sure how the puritans would handle that, or if it was ever the case that someone just latched onto the name and started using it, a man, for example, who married a leverett woman and simply didn't want to continue his own name. was that possible? we tend to think of these cultures (the puritan one in particular) as somewhat rigid and inflexible, but who am i to say that? it seems my best option here is to investigate every possibility.

so leverett genealogists, more than one of them, have concluded that we are related to the governor through hudson's second wife, she having slipped into obscurity, dying in roxbury in the early seventeen hundreds. did she have children? male children? i don't think we're finished with this story. hudson himself was kind of a rake. he stayed out of church; he didn't live with her; he didn't take care of his children all that well. they're still mad at him for not keeping better track. but maybe he had something on his mind.

my search takes me back to the origins of boston - as my family was one of the original ones that had come from boston, lincolnshire, and thus were hanging around with a crowd of people they'd known before they even arrived. i wouldn't say they were a clique, although they've certainly been accused of that over the years. they were "boston brahmins" and all that. there was a rhyme once, that captured the essence of their snootiness (perpetuated, to some degree, by certain lines of certain families - i'm not sure mine is included here). i tend to distinguish our branch from other branches. we are the northern branch - started in massachusetts, stayed in massachusetts, didn't go anywhere until one of us went up to maine, then fled maine for illinois. but we are also clearly not the saltonstall branch. those saltonstalls were prolific writers and had every right to use the name leverett, but they went their own way while we got buried under an explosion of migration of people from new england to the midwest, about the same time we came out here. i'm trying to close that gap, learn a little more about who we are and what we were, back then. but hudson's my man. the key lies with him, somewhere in that tomb in the king's chapel cemetery.

Monday, February 19, 2018

this guy looks formidable; he was the governor of the colony (john leverett), and quite an important fellow in colonial boston. this picture comes from the boston latin school hall of fame, although he was a student there; it was his father who i'm researching in this regard, because father, thomas, made the notes by which the boston puritans established this first free school. john, one could say, might have been its first victim, but in fact, he was seventeen upon arrival in boston, and was probably freed of the burden.

in those days latin was very important. one was educated, if one knew some. that was what this school was about. john, however, went on to a career of wheeling and dealing, running ships across the sea, etc., and had very little to do with latin, or schooling, as far as i can tell. not sure why he's in the hall of fame; perhaps because of the father. or perhaps this is intended to be the father.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

a convergence of many holidays, and a big rain/snow experience on top of it, has put me at home in my chair. there was valentine's day on wednesday; today is the big chinese new year, which means i don't teach my chinese class. in these two holidays, things are bathed in red and pink; in the elementary school i taught at on wednesday, every single girl was wearing pink or a heart on their shirt. for the chinese, it is the holiday of the year, as far as i know.

then there's president's day, on monday. back in illinois i would call president's day a stray dog holiday. that was because the city and state refused to honor it, since they were stuck on lincoln's birthday, so it did not affect garbage collection, but the feds and the schools honored it, because they had to, so everyone assumed it was a holiday, and put their garbage out a day late. and this caused garbage to be out on the curb six extra days, thus giving the stray dogs a little extra treat.

my old stereotypes and assumptions were that there were lots of sales on presidents' day. stores got tired of having extra clothes sitting around and they would want to clear them out before the summer stocks arrived. but that was back in the days of stores, and back in the days of newspaper flyers which would hold this kind of advertisement. these days, we don't have newspapers, or at least, we don't read them. i would always read the newspapers and skip the flyers anyway, but i remember, i'd have to at least handle them, to throw them away, and even now, they're made of glossy stuff that doesn't burn even when i've burned the whole rest of the newspaper. so, they are quite visible, but, the guy who's making the fire is not the same person who is going down to the stores to shop for clothes. there is a kind of disconnect there.

my research on the life of hudson leverett continues. here's a guy that, born to the guy who was to become governor of the colony, refused to become part of the community by becoming a freeman, and racked up a number of debts, so that at his death his friend benjamin alford had to pay them. they buried him in king chapel, though, with his first wife. this is kind of a mystery to me. his first son, john, was to go on to a life of fame as president of harvard. but then, upon the death of his first wife, he married immediately, and disappeared; we leveretts are hoping that our ancestor was born of this second marriage, and that it was simply unrecorded or hard to find. we have spent a long time searching, too, and come up with nothing.

so there are several signs that he was somewhat indigent, one that they refused to distribute his "estate," since he didn't have any, and another, that they referred to his children as their mother's children, not as his, as if he had no part in their bringing up. but still, if he'd had another son, they would have noticed, i would think. in fact it seems if he'd had any more children, legitimate, of his second marriage, they would have noticed. his father was the governor.

perhaps i should investigate that angle - that, while one's father is governor, one has to go to great lengths to avoid notice, and live one's life.

that's my holiday. i can't help obsessing.

Friday, February 16, 2018

more research on the genealogical situation has put me deep in the late sixteen hundreds, when there were these leveretts kicking around the boston area: roxbury, woburn, medford, scituate, those kinds of places. they were all villages back then; roxbury was actually the suburbs, not yet swallowed up by boston, not yet become "the inner city." on the contrary, it was where the landed folks ended up.

so we have this guy hudson who had a second wife and disappeared off into the gloaming. he was never made a "freeman" in any church, as he wouldn't proclaim that he was saved, and as a result was somewhat locked out of society. he was supposedly an "attorney" but died without assets, without accomplishments really. where did he disappear to? probably roxbury or perhaps medford, as his wife, after his death, died in roxbury. but the question really is, did he have kids? do we know who all his kids were?

leverett genealogists say there was one that fell through the cracks, and he was our ancestor. that's why one of his grandkids walked out of roxbury and up into maine at the age of six, saying he was directly descended from the governor if his father's father's father was hudson then yes, hudson was descended from the governor. but this guy was pretty well hidden. there's no evidence that he existed, that i can find. the kid came out of maine, yes. the kid had started in roxbury, yes. everyone was in roxbury. the place was hopping with leveretts.

there was a daughter, and she, too, disappeared off into the gloaming. you're talking 1670, 1680, 1690 here. if she had a son, out of wedlock, that son, too, would be a leverett, right? and related directly to the governor, right? perhaps this was something leverett genealogists didn't want to face.

lots of research on the era, on colonial massachusetts as it developed in the sixteen hundreds. it's wild stuff. those puritans had street brawls over such things as religion. my guess is that this young leverett fellow was hiding to save his life.

on the other hand, it appears that his son got swept off into the revolution, before his son and the grandson joseph who walked to maine; it's an honorable chain one way or the other. i'd like to write the book so it genuinely honors the line whether it came through an out-of-wedlock birth or what. the two things about the modern day that have changed are that we're a little more accepting of out-of-wedlock births, i hope, and, there's an explosion of personal information that people have put up on the web, in sites like ancestry-dot-com, where everyone can share them. other things: old birth records from suffolk, early new england marriage records, these haven't changed much. the people who dug for them a hundred years ago, and didn't find these guys, turned up most of what there was, in town and elsewhere, leaving me to expect less from ship records, birth records, suffolk records etc. mind you, i don't mind wading through old lists from the sixteen hundreds. it's just that if i can find anything new, and special, and enlightening, it probably won't be there.

it will more likely be in the small things, that have already been found, where we are left to put two and two together, and surmise why the leverett clan survived the late sixteen hundreds, and even came out of it with a young boy, who lived through the revolution, and had a grandson who walked up to maine to become a pioneer.

it's a story of drama, intrigue, and treachery. yet it shouldn't surprise anyone. boston even today is a lively place, all kinds of things going on. and puritan as hell. in that sense, nothing has changed at all.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

so, kind of brooding about my dad, who died about three weeks ago, i've been doing research into the genealogy of the leverett clan. it was always family legend that we were related to the governor of the colony, john leverett, and it was probably through the second wife of hudson, his son.

so i did some research on the puritan ancestors i was named after, thomas and john, and it was intense. they were born in england and came over on the griffin in 1633, among the original settlers of boston, having come from boston england. thomas, the elder puritan and friend of john cotton, was taken straight into the boston church where john cotton was made the pastor. john, his son, was 17 upon arrival in boston, and started hanging out with the artillery boys outside of town, where they did some hard drinking (at least his friend edward gibbons did) and in general opposed the strict puritan orthodoxy of the time.

so the puritans, who had control of boston and various towns and had more and more people coming all the time, wanted the perfect world in the colony and that's where their strict orthodoxy came from. the guys at the artillery, some, like john, who were into trading, sold furs, dealt with various people, and didn't care so much for orthodoxy. they became known as "tolerationists." i'm proud that my ancestor was a tolerationist.

but he was also a wheeler-dealer, a military man, and a man who mixed up military maneuvers with making money. he made plenty of money but more or less neglected his son hudson at home; this got worse when hudson's mom died and he remarried with the daughter of one of his trading partners. hudson became bitter. he didn't succeed in the church. he didn't register his marriages and children very carefully. by the time he married the second time, he'd stopped caring altogether. his oldest son went on to be the president of harvard - more famous, altogether, than his father, but he himself had avoided fame, even avoided being noticed by the church, avoided writing things down. there lie the problem.

his father, remember, sailed the world; lived in england; advocated for capturing forts in nova scotia; became governor of the colony; oversaw the dreadful king philip's war; was buried with great fanfare. his son, john, also went on to fame; he wrote a latin lexicon; he became president of harvard; he had a feud with cotton mather, descendent of john cotton; he changed harvard from a divinity school to a secular one. hudson was surrounded by famous leveretts on both sides.

he, himself, though, seemed to have kids by that second marriage. and lo and behold, somebody just changed the profile of elizabeth gannett, his second wife, right while i was working on it, or rather, in the last couple of weeks. once you put those people there, as children of elizabeth gannett, it becomes real. it looks like she had at least two, john and thomas, with thomas possibly being the famous 'barber of boston' - he too, disliked fame and pressure, and, when he died, there was a messy drunken wake in medford. but there's much confusion here. they have one thomas who was the son of hudson's first wife, with different dates. this other thomas may have been born later, by the second wife, or the first thomas may have been born of the second wife. in any case, hudson's not around, left no record, and it's messy.

somehow i can relate to these two - hudson and the barber - as they simply couldn't compete. when one's father is worldly and rich, and famous, and people are looking at you, what do you do? it's not obvious. we give baggage to our children, and they of course have to live in our shadow, no matter what that looks like.