Alphadelphia Association, a 1958 Paper by Catherine Livingston

The below history of the Alphadelphia Association by Catherine Livingston is from 1958. Thank you to Nancy Benton for supplying the paper, which I have transcribed.

* * * * *






I wish to express my appreciation for the privilege of reading these interesting and valuable documents which were loaned to me through the generosity of Mrs. F. J. Buckley of Kalamazoo. Mrs. Buckley purchased this material from Ethan Keith and Hannah Towne (nee Keith) who deserve much credit for preserving it all these years.

I obtained the material for this paper from the Day Book, Stock Book, Journal, Ledger and Journal of the Alphadelphia Association. Much information was obtained from reports of committees and correspondence between officials of the Association and interested persons.


In southeastern Michigan in the early 1840’s, a great deal of interest in the socialistic teachings of Fourier was stimulated by Dr. H. R. Schetterly, a resident of Ann Arbor. In consequence a convention was held December 14, 1843 at the school house at the head of Clark’s Lake, Columbia, Jackson County. Fifty-six persons from the counties of Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Conescoe, Jackson, Eaton, Calhoun and Kalamazoo assembled. After a three day session lasting from morning to midnight a skeleton constitution was adopted and a committee was selected to choose a site for a domain.(1)

The committee first visited Union City on December 22, 1843 and reported ample water power from the Coldwater River, beautiful scenery and productive soil. They found they would have to buy much of the land from private individuals at high price. Furthermore they “found that a very unfavorable prejudice existed here against the association, because one had invested his farm in the La Grange Association and could not immediately get it out again, nor get the value of it in money.” (2)

The committee next visited Kalamazoo County and a very enthusiastic report was sent from Galesburg December 27, 1843. The advantages of this location are described by the following report (abridged).

“Your committee arrived here on Saturday, the 23 ult., and rejoice to say that an ardour now exists amount the people in this place for entering into Association which never can be cooled under their

(1) Taken from the Primitive Expounder of Jan. 5, 1844

(2) From the report of the committee (Dr. H. R. Schetterly, John Curtis and Wm. Grant) to the Fourier Convention to be held at Bellvue Jan. 3, 1843


wishes shall have been realized.

The Kalamazoo River is a large and beautiful stream, nine rods wide and five feet deep in the middle, flowing at the rate of about four miles per hour, and with eight feet fall which can be obtained by digging a race. This will propel a hundred run of millstones in the dryest season.

The mansion and manufactories will stand on a beautiful plain, always dry, from fifty to sixty rods wide, being skirted on the south by a range of hillocks about twenty feet and running parallel with the river. The plain above the hillocks extends for miles, being covered with the most thrifty timber your committee ever beheld, consisting of Whitewood, ash, oak, beech, elm and maple. The hard maple being two to three and a half feet in diameter and some of the black walnut are fourteen feet in diameter.

There is a large spring of purest water about a half a mile distant from the place where our mansion will stand, furnishing water sufficient for drinking and culinary purposes, in all our manufactories and the mansion and supplying, besides, our daity with fresh water.

Cobblestones are found in sufficient quantity for foundations and building a dam, easily accessible. Beds of clay and sand exist where excellent brick have been made. There are indications of iron ore on the domain and in its vicinity but no investigation has been made. In fact everything that an association can want is found here except gold beds, sandstone and limestone. Nature seems to have destined this precise spot for such an association as we are about to form. Your committee feel that they are unable adequately to describe the advantages of this location.”


After looking over the amount of water power at Bellevue, the committee decided it was insufficient for the needs of the Association. When these reports were laid before the Convention, Galesburg was the site chosen for the domain.

The constitution was then perfected and adopted, signed by fifty-one members, nearly all fathers of families, respectable and thrifty farmers, mechanics and manufacturers. The officers of the Convention gave notice the Association “will open books to receive subscriptions for membership and stock on the first Monday of February next…during six days.” (3)

The first meeting on the domain was March 21, 1844 at the house of Harvey Keith. Anson De Lamatter was chosen president and Henry H. Rending was chosen secretary. The constitution provided the business of the Association shall be the prosecution of Agriculture, Manufactures, the Mechanic Arts, Commerce, Education, the Arts and Sciences and Domestic Industry, in all their branches.” (4) It also provided, “the Lands, Buildings, Flocks, Herds, Machinery and Implement of every kind shall be represented by stock and divided into shares.” (5) The officers and directors worked tirelessly to carry out these provisions and further the interests of the Association.

From the first the controlling spirit was Dr. Schetterly. He was a small, dark, slender man with dark hair, eyes and complexion. He was very talented as a speaker and soon won his way into the hearts and homes of the old pioneers of Comstock. He pictured the life of healthfulness and enjoyment, of unselfishness, of Spartan fidelity and frugality

(3) From the Primitive Expounder of Jan. 5 1844

(4) From the Constitution of the Alphadelphia Association

(5) Same as above.


that could be had upon accepting the views of Charles Fourier. If it seems difficult to understand how he could influence these old settlers noted for their practical hard sense and shrewd discernment of men and things, it must be remembered their pioneers surroundings fostered this very feeling of brotherhood he advocated. They were already helping one another at raisings, at clearing land, husking corn. They lived as harmonious and happy as if they were members of one family; so when Schetterly came among them, his work was easy. (6) Among the names found on the membership roll are these from this vicinity: Byran Tubbs, Roswell Ransom, E. M. Clapp, Joseph Flanders, Harvey Keith, Wm. Earl and Dr. Ezra Stetson.

The minutes of the early meetings of the Board of Directors is filled with reports of committees on membership and inventories of personal property and appraisals of (unintelligible) (7). By May 2, 1844 the Board takes this report: “Certificates of stock have been issued for 2412 acres amounting to $26,225. We have 70,000 feet of lumber on hand and a sawmill operating day and night. Thirty cows, twelve horse teams, nine yoke of oxen, forty-eight hogs and one hundred and eleven sheep are on the domain. We have nine wagons, ten ploughs. Provisions: twenty-three barrels of pork, thirty-three barrels of flour, 250 pounds of lard, 260 bushels of potatoes and twenty-three tons of hay.” (8)

(6) From an article by (unintelligible) Van Buren in Mich. Pioneer Co.. V. 5

(7) I have examined descriptions in longhand of land turned over to the Assoc. All abstracts covering this property contain a “Trust Deed” between members of the Assoc. and Lyman Tubbs and Harvey Keith who became legal trustees because the Assoc. failed to get a charter.

(8) Report of Board of Directors of A.A. May 2, 1844


While the Directors were gathering people and property into the fold, Schetterly was in Detroit at the state capital attempting to get a charter. In a letter to Harvey Keith and Lyman Tubbs, he said:

“To you it is known I am here a lobby member in behalf of our dear Association. The petitions and memorial were referred to the committee of the house of incorporations and the members are ready to report in our favor…The committee will draft the Act before Monday and then comes the tug of war.”

In spite of his efforts the charter was never granted so Lyman Tubbs and Harvey Keith became legal trustees of the Association, with power to transact business of the Association. The real estate and personal property was appraised by competent judges and given a value of fifty dollars a share. Investments in the Association varied from four thousand dollars down to twenty dollars.

The constitution provided, “After an amount sufficient to pay the Taxes, Insurance and repairs shall have been deducted from the total income of the Association, one-fourth of the remainder shall be paid to the stockholders and three-fourths to the laborers, annually.” The first year’s work earned a total profit of $6,248.41. This gave $5.68 to the stockholders and $.388 per day to the laborers. Boarding per week came to $.64 and 1/6 per week.

The first year much of the work consisted of farming and building the mansion. This building, twenty feet wide by two hundred feet long and two stories high stood on the present site of the county farm buildings a mile west of Galesburg. All details of work was voted on in Director’s meeting. (9) The laborers were divided into groups according to their pre-

(9) Taken from the day book June 11, 1844, p. 553 (?) Voted, that teamsters of the Assoc. shall not be permitted to change or mismatch any team placed in their hands without the written consent of the superintendent of the farming interest. Also voted, that Mr. Whitcomb be requested to select men to work out the road tax and to invite the Pathmaster to lay out work on the bridge sufficient to repair the railing.


fressions, each having a chairman who recorded the number of hours spent on any task. It was his duty to organize the labor of old men, boys and women with that of an able-bodied man on the same job. (10) The piece work system was adopted upon recommendation of George Eskico (?), a member of the state legislature who was interested in the “defending of the poor and labouring men.” He stated the uncertainty of the quantity of work to be done by each person should be avoided and the sooner a piece work system was adopted the better. He opinioned, “Compliments on work will produce more and better work, also.”

Samuel Denton, another member of the legislature wrote from Ann Arbor, suggesting a group of men work on the railroad which Dr. Schetterly had been promised would locate not more than one-quarter mile from the mansion. (11) Many kinds of work occupied the members. On May 29, 1844 the Board of Directors authorized the secretary to write to Nash Norton of Adrian to see whether he will come to the Domain immediately and go to making brick. Mrs. John Porter of Ann Arbor had experience and was to direct the women in the straw bonnet-making business. (12) Charles Cridlander of Hickory Grove wished to join the association and bring 5000 to 8000 grafts of apple trees as his contribution. A silk manufactory was suggested as a means of gainfully employing the women and children. The management of the interior of the mansion and the flower gardens was superintended by a council of ladies. The day book is filled with items that tell of the varied tasks performed.

(10) See Appendix for interesting hourly ratio of different departments

(11) From Day Book of May 3, 1844, Voted, that a team be sent to Jackson to carry Messers Schetterly, Rending and Mitchell to the railroad at Jackson.

(12) A letter from John Porter gives directions for preparing the straw of winter rye, using only two or three middle joints. It took fifteen hours to make a hat.


The members of the Association enjoyed religious freedom. Rooms were provided for each denomination to conduct services. Further the constitution provided a lot was to be set aside for each denomination when there were enough members to justify the building of a church.

The first school was taught by James Allen Knight on the south side of the river. (13) The children crossed by boat each day. Mr. Avery, the Shaker (?), taught on the north side. The support of free schools was provided for in the constitution, a certain per cent of the dividends making up an educational fund. (14)

Dr. Schetterly worked zealously to spread his views on law reform through (?) the servitude of the laboring class. To this end he planned to set up and pring a newspaper, the “Alphadelphia Tocsin”. After much delay in obtaining a printing press (15), the work was started with Dr. Schetterly and Rev. Richard Thornton as editors. The subscription list was built up by writing postmasters of many towns for possible subscribers. (16) The last issue of the “Tocsin” was published Nov. 12, 1846. Then R. Thornton bought the subscription list for seven dollars to be paid in printing. “The Primitive Expounder” was published at Alphadelphia for a time, also. (17) These papers were given to all members of the state legislature to influence their votes.

(13) From report of committee on school June 3, 1844. Resolved, that this Association build a schoolhouse on the south side of the river on the Tubbs place, said house to be built of boards, twenty feet square, and commence school as soon as house can possibly be built.

(14) See the Constitution in the Appendix. Article III, Sec. 4,5,6,7.

(15) Schetterly, in letter to Harvey Keith, says they can have a printing press from Buffalo for nine months credit by giving the Detroit Free Press as reference. Instructs the secretary to ask Harmon of the Free Press to write Isaac R. Crary (?) of Marshall as to B. Wright’s (agent for Assoc.) responsibility.

(16) Isaiah Butler, Auburn, Mich. ordered one dozen “Tocsin” to notify friends of his daughter’s death.

(17) For every hour’s labor “The Expounder” earns the Assoc. ten cents. From a report on “Expounder” by R. Thornton.


But the affairs of the Association were not running as smoothly as might appear on the surface. James Billings wrote from Ann Arbor, “I fear things are not managed right and honorably at the domain”. Calvin White writes, “the idea around Martin is that the Association was formed for aristocratical and dishonest purposes, and some supposed it to be an infidel get-up and some a universalist concern”. There was much bickering and distrust among certain members. The Council of Arbitration had many trials of theft and dishonesty to settle. A man who got the use of two horses and a carriage for one day by false pretenses was fined thirty-six hours worth of labor. Another fine of seventy-nine hours was imposed by the Council for spreading a false report about a family. Some were accused of taking wheat and tools belonging to the Association for their own use. (18)

Quarrels were frequent and many had withdrawn from the Association by the time the last entry was posted in the day book April 30, 1848. (19) People whose ancestors were members feel the failure was due to poor management and the weakness of human nature. The industrious and conscientious objected to supporting the indolent and greedy.

There are minutes of a meeting held August 1, 1848 for the purpose of disposing of the deeds of the members in attendance. Still later, August 11, 1857, a few members met for the purpose of disposing of the books of the Association as the secretary was moving to Kansas. Between these two dates there is no clue to any activity of the Association. C. L. Keith, H. A. Taylor, C. R. Cridland and D. Taylor attended the last meeting and witnessed this remark, “And thus ended the Alphadelphia Association”.

(18) Dr. Schetterly was convicted of appropriating goods to the amount of two hundred dollars. This item was found in the Day Book: Dr. Schetterly ran away this day, Sunday, June 21, 1846


Report of the committee to organize and equalize Labor

Assuming the farming business as a standard of comparison and eight hours to be a days work, without fixing any definite price per day, we would propose the following inverse rates by which the dividend shall be made on the different departments of labor.

Male Labor Female Labor
Farming 8 Cooking 12
Teaming 10 Housework 12
Carpentry 6 Tailoring 10
Joinery 6 Dressmaking 12
Blacksmithing 6 Common sewing 16
Shoemaking 8 Dairy Work 12
Masonry 6 Washing 8
Gardening 8 Ironing 10
Chopping 7 Nursing 12
Wagon Making 6 Teaching 10
Writing, Clerk 8 Straw-work 16
Physician 8 Spinning 16
Agents 8 Weaving 10
Teaching 6
Sewing 7

We have proposed the above work on the supposition of full and skillful work. In the case of boys and girls and all others not willing or able to do full and skillful work, we recommend the leader of the group to estimate the value of their work and set down hours accordingly.

In order to realize the advantages to be derived from economy, there should be a division of labor.

Let the washing and ironing be all done at one place…If the clothes are all marked and were all washed in one place with the aid of steam and labor-saving machinery, a great economy of time and labor would be realized.

Household labor might also be divided to good advantage, which would save the liability of disputes and heartburnings (?) because some may be


thought to be willing to shirk and not do their part.

Groups of spinners should be under the direction of a discreet and skillful leader and all should work in one place until the work is done.

In the ratio set down for the physician we propose to allow him two hours each day to be devoted to professional studies in order the better to prepare him for the practice of medicine in a skillful manner.


Thomas Wheeler
Mr. Ford (absent)



Transcriber’s note: This is all very difficult to read

Box I:
Folder 1 – 1 ms. copy of constitution;
1 printed copy of constitution
1 fragment of constitution;
Folder 2 – Article of Agreement, 6 items
Folders 3-4-5-6 – Correspondence, (?) 1843 to Dec. 1845, 83 items
Folder 7 – Report, Dec. 27, 1843 of the Committee sent out to select a site for the Association
Folder 8 – Roll of original members, March 1844
Folder 9 – Copy of census, May 1844
Folder 10 – Reports of the General Council, 1845 and 1846
Folder 11 – Reports of Committees, 1843-1844, 17 items
Folder 12 – Council of Arbitrarion Report, 1844
Folder 13 – Council of Arbitrarion Reports, 1845-1846, 11 items
Folder 14 – Proposals for membership, general meeting, 1844, 31 items
Folder 15 – Proposals for membership, undated, 2 items
Folder 16 – Agreements to leave, 1845-1847, 10 items
Folder 17 – Appraisals of property of members on joining, 10 items
Folder 18 – Supplementary agreements between members and association on certain items of property, 18 items

Box II:
Folder 1 – Labor record books of individuals’ services;
1 Blacksmith shop record book;
W. A. Taylor Labor Book;
Labor records of association members, May 1845 to June 2?, 1845;
Index of time book;
Labor records of association, April 7, 1844 (? to May 8, 1845 (?);
Roll of female laborers, undated
Folder 2 – Papers on building of mansion, 3 items
Folder 3 – Tocsin accounts, 4 items
Folder 4 – Tocsin subscription list
Folder 5 – Record of stock holdings, 4 items
Folder2 6-7-8-9 – Stock certificates of the Alphadelphia Association, 167 items
Folder 10 – Orders on the council to pay, 1844, 1845, and undated, 17 items
Folder 11 – Receipts, 1844-46 and undated, 23 items
Folder 12 – Treasurer’s Report, March 14, 1846
Folder 13-14-15 – Bills allowed, 1844-1846, 178 items
Folder 16 – Miscellaneous accounts, 16 items
Folder 17 – Miscellaneous papers including minutes of final adjournment May 11, 1857, 6 items



Additional items:

Primitive Expounder, V. ? #5 and #23

Primitive Expounder, extra, Jan 5 1844, containing constitution of Alphadelphia Association

6 bound volumes:
Account Book, 1844-1845, of individual members’ accounts with the association
Day Book, July 24, 1844-April 30, 1848
Labor Records of members of Alphadelphia Association, 1844-1845
Account book, July 23, 1844-Mary 2, 1848
List of stock certificates and fractional certificates and transactions thereof, 1844-1845
Minutes of the Director’s meetings, March 21, 1844-Aug 1, 1844 (plus some accounts and appraisals of property)

April 8, 1959



Report of Committee sent out by (?) to examine and select a domain for the Association

Original minutes of the first annual meeting of Alphadelphia Association

May 2, 1844 Report of the Board of Directors

May 3, 1844 Report of committee on printing press

May 4, 1844 Address of the officers to members and stockholders

May 9, 1844 Interpretation of Constitution by Elron S. Camp

June 3, 1844 Report of committee on business with E. A. Taylor

June 3, 1844 Report of committee on school

June 21, 1844 Report of Welland (?) W. Noyes to Board of Directors

June 21, 1844 Report of C. H. Noyes to Board of Directors

June 27, 1844 Report of E. S. Camp Live stock

July 10, 1844 Report of general agent on business with Sawyer & Hodgeman

July 12, 1844 Report of general agent on business at Allegan

May 30, 1844 Report of general agent on trip to Allegan County

May 30, 1844 Report of engineer on north side

May 30, 1844 Report of engineer on south side

May 30, 1844 Report of committee on cemetery

May 30, 1844 Tabular proposals for membership & stock to Alphadelphia Assoc.

May 30, 1844 Memorandum of appraisal of property on the domain of the Assoc.

May 30, 1844 Report of committee to organize and equalize labor

M.. ? 1845 Amos Wilson’s contract for saw mill

M.. ? 1845 H. R. Schettery’s estimate of cost of digging a (unintelligible) on south side

May 7, 1844 J. Billings’ proposal for an agency for the “Tocsin”

Sept. 1844 Whitford’s report re Ten (unintelligible) baskets

Nov. 1844 Article of agreement to withdraw of requested

Nov. 1844 C. W. Vining’s report of produce used by J. Flanders & L. Tubbs

July 13, 1844 Report of committee on damage to Flanders’ house

1845 Report on printing Expounder by Thornton



Feb. 1845 “Evils of Juris prudence” from D. P. Putter, Dundee to Editor of Tocsin

Dec. 1844 “Moved to Schoolcraft” from Joseph F. Beck, Richland to Editor of Tocsin

Oct. 1845 “Discontinue subscription” from C. H. Persons, Iosco to Editor of Tocsin

Oct. 1845 “Subscription” from Chauncey Adams, Brighton, IN to Editor of Tocsin

Sept. 1845 “Subscription” from John J. Merrill, Springfield, Oakland Co. to J. A. Knight, Galesburg

Mar. 1845 “Delay in Publishing” from D. H. Rowland, Northville to Dr. Schetterly

Mar. 1845 “Purchase of Nash farm” from G. D. Hill, Ann Arbor to Dr. Schetterly

April “Mortgage” from David Reynolds, Aurora, IL to J. W. Cothern, Galesburg

Dec. 1844 “Law reform” from Samuel Denton, Ann Arbor to Schetterly, Galesburg

Nov. 1845 “Subscription” from L. Weed, Auburn to Editor, Tocsin

Dec. 1845 “Doctrine of reform” from S. B. Hooker, Wayland to Editor, Tocsin

Nov. 1845 “Join Assoc”.” from Isaiah Butler, Auburn to J. A. Knight, Galesburg

Oct.? 1845 “Subscriptions” from Leonard Weed, Auburn to Editor, Tocsin

May “Delay in receiving paper” from J. C. Richmond, Farm River to Editor, Tocsin

Aug. 1844 “Publish manuscript” from Samuel Denton, Ann Arbor to Schetterly

Feb. “Subscriptions” from N. J. Daniells, West Bloomfield to Publisher of Tocsin

May “Subscriptions” from L. Smith, Litchfield to Publisher of Tocsin

Feb. 1845 “Ideals of Assoc.” from Abrahm Laing, Raisin to Publisher of Tocsin

Mar. 1845 “Club of subscriptions” from Abiel Silver, Edwardsburg to Publisher of Tocsin

Jan. 1844 “Charter” from Dr. Schatterly, Ann Arbor to Harvey Keith, Galesburg

Feb. 1845 “Subscription” from David R. Noyes, Schoolcraft to R. T. Roice, Galesburg

July 1845 “Join Assoc.” from John J. Merrill, Springfield to J. A. Knight, Galesburg

Jan. 1845 “House rent” from H. A. Moore, Ann Arbor to Schetterly, Galesburg

Mar. 1845 “Penna. property” from Chas. C. Taylor, Ann Arbor to Schetterly

Oct. 1844 “Illness” from Wm. Grant, Springarbor to Schetterly

Nov. 1844 “Printing press” from P. Tabor, Rollin to Schetterly

Oct. 1844 “Mich. Senate” from Samuel Denton, Ann Arbor to Schetterly

June 1845 “Charter” from George Eckles, Detroit to Schetterly



Jan. 1845 Benjiman Wright, Lumber and hardware

April 1844 John Waite, Miscellaneous

April 1845 P. N. Bowman, Physician services

Feb. 1845 Daniel S. Chase, water ?

June 1845 S. P. Jewett Dry goods

June 1845 Wm. S. Nead (?) Dry goods and hardware

June 1845 Testus Hall, Hardware

Jan. 1845 Richard McOmber, Work done

Nov. 1844 Chas. R. Cridland, Fruit trees

April 1845 Spencer Mitchell, Household supplies

April 1845 H. P. Pierce, Household goods taken away

Sept. 1844 Samuel Chadwick,Repairing house in Ann Arbor

Sept. 1844 Luke Keith, Lumber

1845 W. W. Noyes, Sawmill

Jan. 1845 Horace Moore, Taxes ($4.35) on house in Ann Arbor

Jan. 1845 I. Ladington (?), Paper for printing

Aug. 1844 Elias Lew, Household supplies

Aug. 1844 H. R. Schetterly, Furniture from H. (?) Clapp

April 1845 W. S. Mead (?), Goods bought at Ann Arbor

July 1844 R. Thornton, Printing

Feb. 1846 Wm. Wallace, Carding

May 1845 Homer Stickney, Freight from Marshall

July 1845 R. Ransom, Goods

Dec. 1844 C. A. Lockhart, Shoeing

Feb. 1845 C. A. Lockhart, Repairing machinery

Oct. 1845 Walbridge, Lumber

Aug. 1845 Denison & Denison, Goods

Sept. 1844 Jacob Miller, Goods

June 1844 Platt Gilbert, Goods


Nov. 1844 S. Percival, Cloth for coat

Oct. 1844 S. Percival, Comstock, Trade dry goods for wheat

Oct. 1844 Chester Buckley, B. Creek, Trade wheat for lamp oil

Oct. 1844 C. W. Vining, Cattle and household goods

Oct. 1844 Seth Wheelock, Tools

April 1846 Caleb Damer, Lumber

Mar. 1845 David Ford, Sawing

April 1844, Gray & Burgess, Dry goods

June 1844 Henry H. Reading, Account of Labor and Goods

Sept. 1844 Tom Flanders, Baskets

Sept. 1844 Joseph Flanders, Grain and lumber

1845 Assoc., postage bill

July 1844 Harvey Keith, Bill of lumber

Nov. 1844 Assoc., Freight on printing press

Sept. 1844 P. H. Whitford, Sale of Flanders’ baskets


H. Becker
Andrew J. Ido
J. W. Cothern
W. S. Kend?
P. H. Whitford
Salmon King
Harvey Keith, Twp. Treas.
H. A. Moore
C. W. Vining
Zenas Nash
Alex Buell
L. Van Dewalker
James N. Parson, Sec. Ins. Co.
G. A. Lockhart
Jewell & Rockwell, Battle Creek
Eli Clinton
Henry Ralph, Twp. Treas. Charleston
Ralph Tuttle, Treas. Comstock
Caleb Kirby


H. G. Pierce
Festus Hall
W. W. Noyes
Leonard Lascomb
James Hozzie
H. B. Hall
F. C. Brooks


Cancelled Certificates

Henry D. Hall
Alfreda Keith
Erastus Weeks
C. W. Vining
Rebecca Hall
Charles Bradford
James Noyes
John Curtis
James Hoxsie
Harvey Keith
F. C. Brooks
Harrison G. Pierce
John A. Knight
Richard McOmber
Charles Bradford
George Owrall (?)
Samuel Hinkle
Wm. Grant
Joseph Patch
N. K. Matthews
Corydan(?) E. Sawyer
Thomas Wheeler
J. T. White
Peter H. Whitford
John Rogers
Amos Wilson
Elias Low
Joseph Flanders
E. Hunt
Isaac Springsted
William Earl
Decatur Holden
Elmon S. Camp
Ezra Briggs
B. D. Arnold
David Ford
Wm. S. Mead
Susan T. Mead
Lyman Tubbs
Joshua Robinson
James Thompson
James L. Earl
Jabes Rogers
Peter Crowhurst
Warren Wilcut
Martha Matthews
Gideon Matthews
Jacob Miller
Horatio N. Tubbs
John C. Walden
Charles B. Cridland
J. C. Brooks
H. A. Taylor



Transcriptionist note: These names were almost impossible to read because of deterioration of typewriter or xerox ink

Cerydan M. SAWYER
Alfleda KEITH
Harvey KEITH
Cornelius W. VINING
Elesta WILCO
Daniel S. SACCO ?
Lucius N. NEWS ?
David FORD
Henry D. HALL
Rebecca HALL
William S. MEAD
Susan T. MEAD
George O. BELL (Note: Impossible to read. May be something like George Owrell on the list of cancelled certificates.)
Erastus WEEKS
William GRANT, Junior
Lyman TUBBS Jr. *
L. S. BLAK—–? *
Samuel S. HINKLE
Laura S. BRADFORD? *
Measer HURS? or Eleaser HUNT? *
James NORSIER? *
Otis McOMBER *
Pliny McOMBER *
Charlotte McOMBER *
Zenas NASH (unintelligible) *
William GOULD *
Thomas W. FISH— *
Charles E. NOYES? * (possibly Chauncy H. Noyes)
John P. B—- ***
Jacob NILLOW? **
Luke KEITH *
Albert ? *
Roswell RANSOM *
James RICHES? *
Jo()? SPRI—— *

* Those with an asterisk don’t appear on the list of cancelled certificates.–jk
** Is not Jacob MILLER who appears higher on the list. *** Perhaps John C. BROOKS on the cancelled certificate list.


The Constitution of the Alphadelphia Association

I have examined the original handwritten document but have abridged it.

The purpose: founding a Foerstic and Industrial Association.


Sec. 6
The capital stock of this association shall be two hundred thousand dollars which may be increased to two million dollars by a majority vote: and shall be divided into shares of fifty dollars each and tenths of a share.

Sec. 9
This Association shall have the power to issues evidences of debt to amount of vie per cent on capital stock.


Sec. 4
Any person may become a stockholder without becoming a member


Sec. 1
After an amount sufficient to pay the taxes, insurance and repairs shall have been deducted from the total income of the Assoc., one fourth of the remainder shall be paid to the stockholders and three fourths to the laborers, annually.

Sec. 2
Dividend due to stock, shall for the first three years be paid in stock certificates, except such stock as shall have been paid in cash.

Sec. 3
This Assoc. shall reward its operatives in proporting to the labor and skill required.

Sec. 4
Whenever the annual dividend on stock shall amount to ten per cent, one per cent of the entire income of the Assoc. shall be deducted. When said dividend shall amount to twenty per cent, two per cent shall be deducted. And when said dividend shall exceed twenty


per cent, an additional sum of ten per cent shall be deducted from such excess which said deductions shall constitute a fund for educational purposes.

Sec. 5
Free schools furnished with suitable apparatus for illustrating the branches taught shall be established…and be maintained throughout the year, on the principle of uniting labor with study and theory with practice.

Sec. 6
Whenever a sufficient amount of funds, arising from the operation of Sec. 4 of this article, shall have been reached, a Seminary of the higher order shall be established, wherein shall be taught in a practical manner all the Arts and Sciences, particularly Mechanics, Chemistry, Agriculture and Manufactures.

Sec. 7
This Assoc. shall provide a public library from the funds created by Sec. 4


Sec. 2
The treasurer shall give security for the faithful performance of his duty.


Sec. 1
Any member that shall be guilty of misconduct may be expelled by a vote of two-thirds of the resident members.


Sec. 1
Every member twenty-one years of age shall have one vote in admitting and expelling members.

Sec. 2
Every male member shall be entitled to one vote in all matters of business.



Stock book
Journal from July 23, 1844 to May 2, 1848
Day Book from July 23, 1844 to April 30, 1848
Time Book
Index to Time Book
Book containing minutes of meetings from Mar. 21, 1844 to Aug. 1, 1844, also appraisals
Ledger of Blake & Keith
Day Book of J. W. and C. L. Keith from July 27, 1853 to Jan. 23, 1854
Day Book of Blake and Keith from Aug. 13, 1852 to July 27, 1853
Account Book in which first entry is “Le Roy April 2, 1831”


Primitive Expounder of Jan. 5, 1844, an extra containing constitution of Association
Primitive Expounder of Jan. 23, 1845, Vo. 1. II, no. 5
Primitive Expounder of July 24, 1845, vol. II, no. 18

Other papers

Original copy of Constitution of Alphadelphia Association
Rules of House of Representatives of State of Michigan

Papers of Council of Arbitration

Aug. 1845 Complaint vs. L. Luscomb and James Thompson
June 17, 1845 Case vs. Richard McOmber
Case of Dr. H. R. Schetterly
Articles of Council of Arbitration

Attached letter

Ann Arbor

April 10, 1959

Mrs. Catherine Livingston
Galesburg, Michigan

Dear Mrs. Livingston:

I was very sorry to have missed seeing you on your visit to the Collections last week. I hope you had time to look through the Alphadelphia materials.

When I visited with you last summer you mentioned that you had done a paper on the Alphadelphia Association. We are very much interested in having a copy of this paper if you have one to spare.

We have not gotten in any additional Alphadelphia material, but we are still looking. I believe I mentioned that we are especially anxious to locate copies of The Tocsin.

I am enclosing a list of stockholders of the Alphadelphia Association. Perhaps you might know some of the descendants of these people who might have copies of The Tocsin or other Alphadelphia material. This list was taken from one of the account books here. It is undoubtedly incomplete as far as listing all members. Many of the names were difficult to make out, which means there are probably misspellings.

I hope you can drop by the Collections again before long.

Sincerely yours,

Robert M. Warner
Field Representative

Alphadelphia Shareholders


The names were difficult to read. Corrections are welcome.

Cerydan M. SAWYER
Alfleda KEITH
Harvey KEITH
Cornelius W. VINING
Elesta WILCO
Daniel S. SACCO ?
Lucius N. NEWS ?
David FORD
Henry D. HALL
Rebecca HALL
William S. MEAD
Susan T. MEAD
George O. BELL (Note: Impossible to read. May be something like George Owrell on the list of cancelled certificates.)
Erastus WEEKS
William GRANT, Junior
Lyman TUBBS Jr. *
L. S. BLAK—–? *
Samuel S. HINKLE
Laura S. BRADFORD? *
Measer HURS? or Eleaser HUNT? *
James NORSIER? *
Otis McOMBER *
Pliny McOMBER *
Charlotte McOMBER *
Zenas NASH (unintelligible) *
William GOULD *
Thomas W. FISH— *
Charles E. NOYES? * (possibly Chauncy H. Noyes)
John P. B—- ***
Jacob NILLOW? **
Luke KEITH *
Albert ? *
Bil CLI— *
Roswell RANSOM *
James RICHES? *
Jo()? SPRI—— *

* Those with an asterisk don’t appear on the list of cancelled certificates.–jk
** Is not Jacob MILLER who appears higher on the list. *** Perhaps John C. BROOKS on the cancelled certificate list.

Transcribed by JMK 2001


First Officers (named 3 Jan 1844):

First President: Dr. H. R. SCHETTERLY
First Vice President: A. DARROW
First Secretary: E. S. CAMP
First Treasurer: John CURTIS
First Directors: G. S. AVERY, Alanson MEECH, Harvey KEITH, William EARL, Dr. Ezra STETSON, William GRANT, Amos PICKET, Alson DELAMATTER, C. W. VINING, Charles MASON, H. B. TEED.

Directors Named March 21, 1844: Spencer MITCHELL, Anson DELAMATTER, John CURTIS, H. G. PIERCE, John WHITE, Henry H. READING, James WEEKS, William S. MEAD, Albert WHITCOMB, Dr. H. R. SCHETTERLY, David FORD, Benjamin WRIGHT.

Below is the document from which I attempted to transcribe the above names. Right click “view image” to see full size.

The Alphadelphia Association

The following article was supplied by Nancy Benton and transcribed by me.

* * * * *


From a History of Kalamazoo Co., MI by Everts and Abbott, published 1880. Graciously supplied by Nancy Benton

“History of Alphadelphia.–The theory of holding property in common was advanced by Pythagoras, and was fully advocated and given to the world by the great Plato in his ‘Republic.’ The idea of man’s living in common with his fellows is essentially primitive. It is certain that man early sought, not only the ‘elixir of life’ and the ‘philosopher’s stone,’ but the ‘golden mean of life’ where labor bestowed her rewards on the true principle of merit, and health, virtue, honor, and happiness followed in her train. The earliest efforts of industry have been to eliminate the evils that beset her path, and to get rid of the ruinous effects of competition, that evil genius of society, by the substitution of a healthy emulation, that labor should ever be honored, and that wealth or capital which she creates should ever be subservient to her. Philosophers have ever striven to find the mode of life that would endow man with the most health and happiness; the poet has sung:

“He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man’s door,
Embittering all his state.’

“From Abraham on the plains of Mamre to the shepherds tending the flocks among the Judean hills, long before ‘they hung their harps on the willows and sat down by the rivers of Babylon and wept,’ all through those periods of history we find a tendency to pastoral communism. Coming down to the middle ages, we find the monks occasionally trying communistic life. And, reaching our own time, we shall have Louis Blanc, Saint-Simon, and Charles Fourier in France, Robert Owen in Scotland,and his son, Robert Dale, in America, giving to the world the theory and practice of what is commonly known as Socialism in Germany, Communism in France, and Fourierismin America. Among these, which essentially are one, are the Alphadelphians and the late co-operationists, with various other theories and theorists.

“Origin of Alphadelphia Association in Comstock.–On the 14th day of December, 1843, pursuant to a call for a convention published in a Primitive Expounder at Ann Arbor, 56 persons from the counties of Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw, Genesee, Jackson, Eaton, Calhoun, and Kalamazoo, assembled in the school-house at the head of Clarke’s Lake, in Columbia, Jackson Co. The object of the convention was to organize and found a domestic and industrial institution. These 56 men, after a laborious session of three days, each session extending from morning to midnight, adopted the outline of a constitution, which was referred to a committee of three, composed of Dr. H. R. SCHETTERLY, James BILLINGS and Franklin PIERCE, for revision and amendment. A committee, consisting of Dr. H. R. SCHETTERLY, John CURTIS, and Wm. GRANT, was appointed to view three places designated by the convention as suitable for a domain. The convention then adjourned to meet at Bellevue, Eaton Co., on the 3rd day of January 1844, when they would receive the reports of said committee on location, and revise, perfect, and adopt their constitution. The committee on location went forth, like those men of old, ‘to spy out the land,’ to select a goodly region suitable for domain. The adjourned convention met on the day appointed, and, after listening to the reports of the committee on location, they chose the southeast quarter of section 23, in the township of Comstock, county of Kalamazoo, as a permanent home, whose advantages the committee set forth in the following terms:

“‘The Kalamazoo River is a large and beautiful stream, 9 rods wide and 5 feet deep in the middle, flowing at the rate of about four miles per hour, and with 8 feet fall, which can be obtained without flowing any land worth mentioning; by digging a race one mile and a half in length, it will propel 100 run of stone in the dryest season. The digging is easy, and may be nearly all done with scrapers and teams.’ They then speak of ‘the places where the mansion and the manufactories will stand, on a beautiful plain, descending gradually towards the river,–a plain 50 to 60 rods wide, skirted on the south by a range of hillocks about 20 feet high, and running parallel with the river. Beyond these, some 10 or 30 rods,is a gentle, undulating plain, extending south, east and west for miles, and being covered with the most thrifty timber your committee ever beheld, consisting of whitewood, black, white and blue ash, white and red oak, two kinds of beech and two of elm, black walnut, soft maple, some cherry and especially hard maple in a large quantity and the best quality. There is a spring, pouring out a barrel of water per minute, one-half a mile from where the mansion and manufactories will stand.’ They say cobble-stone for buildings and dams are plenty on the domain, and sand and clay for making brick in abundance. Iron ore is known to exist on the domain, butits extent is not yet found out. The Michigan Central Railroad will run one and a half miles north of the proposed site of the mansion. They found no cause for fever here; there were only 2 out of 150, in seven years, who died of fever. The soil of the domain is exceedingly fertile and of great variety, consisting of prairie, oak-opening, timbered-and-bottomland along the river, and about 3000 acres of it have been tendered to our association as stock to be appraised at the cash value. Nine hundred acres of this land have been cultivated, and nearly all the rest have been offered in exchange for other improved lands owned by members living at a distance.

“The convention there perfected, engrossed and adopted their constitution, which was signed by 51 members, nearly all fathers of families, and respectable and thrifty farmers, mechanics, and manufacturers. This number might easily have been doubled in Bellevue and vicinity, but the convention thought proper to restrict the membership for the present to those who had taken an active part in the enterprise. The following is a list of the officers elected at this Bellevue convention: President: Dr. H. R. SCHETTERLY, of Ann Arbor; Vice-President, A DARROW, of Bellevue; Secretary, E. S. CAMP, of MARSHALL; Treasurer, John CURTIS, Norville, Jackson Co.; Directors, G. S. AVERY and Alanson MEECH, Bellevue; Harvey KEITH, Wm. EARL, and Dr. Ezra STETSON, Galesburg; Wm. GRANT, sandstone; Amos POCKET, Anson DELAMARTER, and C. W. VINING, Columbia, Jackson Co.; Charles MASON and H. B. TEED, Battle Creek.

“We pass on in our history, and find the next scene laid in the township of Comstock, Kalamazoo, Co. The beginning of the history here consisted of the visit of the committee on location, of whom we have spoken. At that time the pioneers of this part of the county had enlarged their clearings into good farms. They were getting out of the woods, and began to enjoy the fruits of their hard toil in making their improvements. It was at this time, Dec. 23, 1843, that this committee came among them. Dr. H. R. SCHETTERLY was the controlling spirit of this party, as well as of the association. He was a German, and had imbibed the views of Charles Fourier. He was a small, slender man, with dark hair and eyes and complexion; was a man of talent, and an enthusiast on his special theme of Fourierism. With a Burr-like persuasiveness he soon won his way into the confidences, the homes, and the hearts of the old pioneers of Comstock. In the public meetings he held here, he pictured to their imaginations a life as picturesque as a Cooper could draw;–a life of Arcadian healthfulness and enjoyment; of Spartan fidelity and frugality; a life in whose calendar the selfish ‘mine’ and ‘thine’ would not exist, for all would be absorbed in the more humane and harmonious ‘ours’. He was an able and effective speaker, and could use the philosophy, the learning, and logic of Fourier and Owen with most convincing effect upon his bearers. We can imagine the glowing picture he drew of the pastoral and happy life there was in store for his adherents in their future mansion-home on the banks of the beautiful Kalamazoo. Here, surrounded by his wife and dear ones, the pioneer would realize the truth of the poet:

“‘Here, on this fertile, fair domain,
Unvexed with all the cares of gain,
In summer’s heat and winter’s cold,
He fed his flock and penned his fold;
His hours in cheerful labor flew,
Nor strike, nor hate, nor envy knew.’

“From the first appearances of this disciple of Fourier among them the settlers were unusually interested in this new theory of living; and before he had been here three days many of them were enthusiastic Fourierites and anxious to join the association. Viewing the matter in the sober, calm reflection of to-day, we would as soon think of trying to cheat old Professor Playfair by inserting passages of a ‘Fourth-of-July oration’ into the demonstration of a proposition of Euclid as that this little black-haired German Socialist should make Fourierites of such sturdy old pioneers as Lyman TUBBS, Amos WILSON, Harvey KEITH, David FORD, Joseph FLANDERS, Dr. Ezra STETSON, William EARL, Roswell RANSOM, James NOYES, Hannibal TAYLOR, C. L. KEITH, P. H. WHITFORD, and scores of other early settlers, who, like them, were noted for their practical hard sense and shrewd discernment of men and things. But the truth is, the Fourierite came among them just at the right time, for the common hardships and suffering, which all alike had passed through, had established a genuine brotherhood among the old settlers. Their property, although not held in common, caused no envy and created no distinctions. Their condition and surroundings were such as to foster a feeling of brotherhood. They helped each other not only at raisings, but in clearing off their lands, in husking their corn, and through all troubles and over all difficulties. Wherever their aid or kindness could be of any avail, it was cheerfully given. If they were not all poor alike, there was no wealthy class, no special strife or rivalry, but they lived together, in the same community, as harmonious and happy as if they were members of one family; so that when Dr. SCHETTERLY came here to found his domestic and industrial association, which was now called Alphadelphia, he found many of the settlers, if not altogether, almost, Alphadelphians to begin with; and hence his work here was comparatively easy in his school of reform. As evidence of this, we quote the first part of the report of Dr. SCHETTERLY concerning the process of his labors, as one of the committee on location, in Comstock. It is as follows:

“‘Galesburg, Kalamazoo Co., Dec. 27, 1843
“‘TO THE FOURIER CONVENTION TO BE HELD AT BELLEVUE: Your committee arrived here on Saturday evening the 23d ult., and rejoice to say that an ardor now exists among the people in this phase for entering into association which never can be cooled until their wishes shall have been realized. Two meetings have been held, of three hours’ duration each, by your committee, and attended by crowded audiences, and more information is still solicited.’ Farther on he quotes David FORD as saying: ‘No man must oppose a project so fraught with principles calculated to promote the best interests of mankind.’

“Under such favorable auspices, the work of founding an association in Comstock was soon affected. It was first intended to build the mansion on the south side of the river. But the other side was afterwards selected for this purpose. The domain was intended to include the southeast quarter of the township of Comstock. The first year of the organization the association had possession of nearly all of section 23, the west half of 24, and a large part of the north halves of 25 and 26. The first meeting on the domain was held in the house of Harvey KEITH, at eight o’clock A.M., March 21, 1844. The directors were Spencer MITCHELL, Anson DELAMATTER, John CURTIS, H. G. PIERCE, John WHITE, Henry H. READING, James WEEKS, Wm. S. MEAD, Albert WHITCOMB, H. R. SCHETTERLY, David FORD and Benjamin WRIGHT. The name of the association was to be Alphadelphia, or First Brotherhood; its officers, a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and twelve directors. At this first meeting the above directors chose for president Anson DELAMATTER, secretary Henry H. READING, and the association went to work. I cannot find the treasurer’s name, nor the vice-president’s. The meetings were held in the houses of the resident members until the mansion was built.

“The Comstock members lived in their own houses, and those who came from abroad were accommodated with such homes as they could get, until a long shanty was built on the north side of the river, which was occupied as a general ‘tabernacle’ by the new members until the mansion was erected, in the fall of 1844. This building was originally some 20 by 200 feet and 2 stories high.

“The first school was taught by James Allen KNIGHT in a log building on the south side of the river. The pupils lived on the other side of the stream, and crossed it in a boat used for that purpose. Afterwards, Mr. AVERY, the Shaker, taught school on the north side, and was succeeded by Miss Nancy A.TUTTLE who married Levi S. BLAKESLEY, the printer. Miss M. HACHETT also taught school there. They had no lawyer; they settled their difficulties by arbitration, and saved money and much trouble. Philander H. BOWMAN of Jackson, was the physician; James HOXIE, of Bellevue, was the leading carpenter; Leonard LUSCOMB was the tailor; G. O. BALL and John WETHERBEE, the shoemakers; Nelson TUBBS, the blacksmith; and C. L. KEITH the wagon-maker. The editors were Dr. SCHETTERLY and Rev. Richard THORNTON; the printers, Levi S. BLACKESLEY and C. W. SAWYER. The paper was called the Alphadelphia Tocsin. Mr. THORNTON also published the Primitive Expounder, which he had formerly published at Ann Arbor. This was a staunch Universalist journal. Most of the leaders of this movement were Universalists, and the preaching at Alphadelphia was mostly from ministers of that denomination, Revs. R. THORNTON, J. BILLINGS, and E. WHEELER officiating in that capacity generally. They also had preaching from ministers of other denominations. Their constitution says, ‘The religious and political opinions of the members are to be unmolested and inviolate; and no member shall be compelled to support, in any way, any religious worship.’ It further more provides for ‘the support of all resident members whose stock is insufficient to support them, in case of sickness or any other cause.’

“The constitution was explicit and ample on the subject of education, general health, and moral reforms. Any person of good moral character, of twenty-one years of age, could be admitted to membership by a two-thirds vote of the members present, provided he had six months’ provision for the future, or the means to furnish it. They were to reward operatives in proportion to the labor or skill bestowed, and they were to equalize the labor and skill of males and females. The latter could become members at the age of eighteen, by the requisite vote of the members.

“The organization having been thoroughly effected, the mansion built, the property, both personal and real, of every member, having been appraised by competent judges appointed for that purpose, and the amounts entered upon the books of the association as credit to each member for so much stock, at $50 a share, Alphadelphianism was then ready to drive its team afield and turn its first furrow. Then the busy hive of Alphadelphians could go forth to work, each in his or her special vocation; some as farmers, some as housewives, others as doctors, teachers, editors, and printers; some as mechanics, teamsters, tailors, brickmakers, men-of-all-work, till all the professions, trades, callings, talents, skill, and labor of the association that could be made available was turned into its proper field of usefulness. This was the great object for which the organization was effected, to live and work together in harmony, and enjoy the benefits of each other’s society and the fruits of their own labor, like a united happy family. How far they succeeded in accomplishing this their four years’ trial, that ended in a total failure, plainly tells.

“From the old census-list taken by C. L. Keith, in May 1845, I find the number of male and female residents on the domain to be 188. There must have been at this time, counting resident and non-resident members, over 300 in all. The total value of the association’s real estate, as appraised March 9, 1846, by Lyman TUBBS and E. M. CLAPP, of the general council, wasa $43, 897.21. The first death on the domain was that of the son of S. W. VINTON, in 1844. The first marriage was in October, 1845, when Rev. Asa BUSHNELL made one for life our old pioneer friend P. H. WHITFORD and Miss Emeline A. T. WHEELOCK. The Alphadelphia poet, C. H. BRADFORD, sonnetized the happy pair in the columns of the Primitive Expounder, where you will find a poem, on the occasion of their marriage, called the ‘Socialist’s Bride.’ We have heard Mr. WHITFORD remark that he ‘went into the association with a yoke of oxen, and came out with a wife and a buggy.’ We don’t know how valuable the buggy was, but every one of his old friends will say that he left the Alphadelphia domain with a great prize–his estimable wife.

“A large number put their farms into the association; others put in various kinds of property; James NOYES put in his saw-mill, which was valuable in furnishing lumber to the society. That some of them lost much of what they put in; and that others sacrificed a great deal to get their farms back, or in taking ‘what they could get’ as an equivalent for the property they hadbought there; and that some lost all they put in; and that some went away richer than they came,–I believe one and all of these to be true.

“From their first meeting of the domain, March 21, 1844, till the last entry on the journal of the association, April 30, 1848, the presidents were Anson DELAMATTER, Benjamin WRIGHT, Harvey KEITH, Lyman TUBBS and James NOYES. The first entry on the day-book is–

“1844,July 23. Sold to H. G. Pierce.
Two pairs of hose at 2s 6d……….0.63
One spool-stand at 1s. 6d……….. .19
Two spools of thread at 0s. 3d………. . 03

“The last entry is–

“1848, April 30. David Ford, Dr.
To use of Roger’s farm and pasturage……….$40.00

Pioneer Account Mention of James Noyes in the Blackhawk War

This article was provided courtesy of Nancy Benton and transcribed by me. It is a pioneer account with a mention of James Noyes in the Blackhawk War.

* * * * *

Pioneer and Historical Collections

Vol. XXX 1903-1904
Autobiographical Notes concerning E. Lakin Brown who went to Kalamazoo Co. in 1829

Page 454-455.

In the spring of 1832 occurred the Black Hawk war. One night in April, after all were abed, a loud rap was heard at the door, which proved to be by an expressman from White Pigeon, bearing orders for the militia of the county to be called out; the Indians in Illinois had risen and were slaughtering the inhabitants. They had taken some military posts in Chicago, and the whole country was in danger. A gathering was held as soon as possible in the unfinished hotel, and the people from Virginia Corners, and elsewhere in the neighborhood, assembled. Dr. David E. Brown was Colonel of militia, Hosea Huston at Bronson was Major, and Isaac Branes of Gull Prairie was Lieutenant Colonel. The first thing was to send a messenger with the express to Bronson and Gull Prairie. A volunteer was called for to go. As no one else offered, I volunteered. Mr. Elijah Fletcher had a big black stallion which was kept in our barn. I saddled and mountd him and started about midnight, very dark, rode to Bronson, and in front of the store hailed Huston, crying, “The Indians are upon us!” Huston came o the window half dazed. I explained matters to him and went on to Gull Prairie, getting there just at daylight. I left the express with Colonel Barnes, got some breakfast and started home. When I arrived, all the settlers in the neighborhood were collected at Schoolcraft. Addison Smith had been having a pow-wow with old Sagamaw, chief of the Potawatomies in the neighborhood, as it was feared that these Indians might become hostile. I received the formal thanks of Colonel Brown. The men liable to duty were dismissed, with orders to hold themselves in readiness for duty on call. A few days passed and orders came for the Kalamazoo regiment to march at once for Niles. It met at Schoolcraft, organized and started. Captain James Noyes of Gourd neck Prairie and Ephraim Harrison of Prairie Ronde, were captains of the Prairie troops, and there were perhaps two other companies from the north part of the county. Thaddeus Smith went as fifer. Addison Smith had just been appointed postmaster in place of Col. Fellows, so he was exempt. Peter Kniss and I occupied the same tent. One Thomas W. Merrill had been occupying a room in our garret, and had a rifle there. He was away, and I took the rifle, went to the blacksmith’s shop and cast two or three pounds of bullets and was ready for Black Hawk. We went on and reached Niles the second day, and there received notice that the army, under General Jacob Brown, was about to start and had no provisions to spare, and that we were not needed; and we were ordered to return home.

For this experience in war, beside a month’s pay, I afterward received bounty warrants, first for forty acres of land and then for 120 more. The last I exchanged for a gold watch; thus sacrificing to the sentimental what might have been a very pretty property. In coming home I rode part of the way in the baggage-wagon, driven by Mr. John Howard of Dry Prairie, who drove an ox-team to haul cannon balls for Washington’s army at the capture of Cornwallis.

Transcribed by JMK

Family Record of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell Noyes

Courtesy of Nancy Benton

Family Record of James and Rebecca Noyes.

James Noyes was born Nov 17 1771
Died Oct 13 1835
Rebecca Noyes was born Aug 5 1773
Died March 27 1853

James Noyes Jr. was born Sept 14 1793
Elizabeth was born Dec 16 1795. Died July
George W. was born Sept 7 1798. Died Nov. 1826
Rebecca was born July 9 1800. Died Nov 28 1874.
John W. Was born June 14 1802.
Dan Y. was born June 7 1803. Died July 1823.
Eunice was born July 24 1806. Died May 3 1809.
Ward was born Aug 18 1808.
Eunice Second was born Sept 7 1810.
Mary A. Noyes was born Jan 16 1813.
David R. was born Jan 7 1815.
Chauncy H. was born Feb 2 1818.
Eliza A. was born Apr 14 1823.

Jane Noyes. Daughter of Chauncey Noyes. Died Aug 20 1864.

NOTE: I’m unable to read the date of death for Elizabeth here except that it’s in July. I have in my genealogy program that she died Aug 26 1835 and that I got this from a family record. I need to double check her death somehow.


Correspondence of Grace Noyes Pinkerton who was attempting to learn more about the first house of James Noyes in America.

* * * * *


Albert Hale & Co.
35 Congress Street

November 18 1926

Miss Grace Noyes
Alcazar Hotel
39th and Baltimore Streets,
Kansas City, Mo.

My dear Miss Noyes:

Your letter of November 15th to the Newbury port Historical Society has been sent to me by the Postmaster of Newbury port.

The Noyes house to which you refer I assume is the house built by Rev. James Noyes about 1646. A careful investigation makes it evident that the house was built at approximately that time and this is the date which has been generally accepted by historians. As you refer to the year 1648, I shall be interested to know whether you have any records to substantiate that particular date. The house has been continually in the hands of the Noyes family and descendants from the time it was built. These, I believe, have always been of the name of Noyes until the year 1924, when it was purchased by me from the Noyeses. As I, myself, am a descendant of the Noyes family on my mother’s side, it still keeps the house in the hands of the Noyes descendants.

During its long existance the house has been altered in many ways but when I purchased it I endeavored to restored it as far as possible to its original condition and to put it in good repair. I now use it for a summer home and shall be very glad to see you whenever I am there. At the present time a family is living in the back of the house for the winter and if necessary they could show you the other rooms but as I generally request them not to take anybody into the house in my absence, I should rather know, if possible, before you mean to make the call.

Very Truly yours,

Albert Hale

Courtesy of Nancy Benton.

The Alcazar Hotel is still there.

View Larger Map

James Allen Noyes’ Record of James Noyes’ 2nd Marriage

The record of James and Sally Noyes’ children, as written by James Allen Noyes can be observed here.

This document was copied by Carrie Atwell Noyes. I will continue my transcription with the record of children born to James’ second marriage to Susan Waters.

James Noyes was married again about 1839. Children of second marriage.

George W. born May 8. 1840. Died Mar. 3rd 1840
Daniel T. ” ” Sept 11. 1843
Frank ” ” July 4 1845. Died July 28 1871
Mary R. ” ” Mar 7. 1847
John W. ” ” Jan 31. 1849
Minerva ” ” June 191 1851. Died Sept 4 1874
Lunetta ” ” Apr 20 1854. Died Mar 25 1878

Noyes Family Record, 1848

James Noyes born Sept 13 1793
Sally Noyes born Sept. 6 1796 Deceased Aug 10. 1838
Ezra Noyes born July 7 1817. Deceased June 17 1841
Elizabeth Noyes born March 22. 1819. Deceased Sept 11 1850
Ja. Noyes Jur. born July 13. 1821. Deceased Apr. 1823
B. J. Noyes born Oct 4. 1823. Deceased March 6 1843
J A Noyes born Dec 22 1825 (Jan 24 1901)
Margrette Noyes born July 17. 1828. Deceased Feb. 13 1843
Dan Noyes born Nov. 4 1831. Deceased Sept. 10 1835
Delia Noyes born Nov 15 1833. Deceased 1837
Melissa Noyes born Apr. 24 1836.

Springfield Lagrange Co. Indiana June 3 1848
James A. Noyes