Tuesday, June 28, 2016


            John was one of the leaders of Newry.  He was a major land holder and tax payer.  He had held various offices over the years in the town government.  It is possible that John was not willing to give up his standing in the community and join the Mormon faith.  This is only speculation but the facts as we know them would support this view.  As his family began to emigrate from Newry John continued to stay on.  He paid taxes in 1837 and 1838 as he had since 1811.  It is interesting that on the 1838 tax roll John no longer had any oxen – in fact his total livestock consisted of 1 horse, 2 cows and 1 swine.[1]  Most of his family was now gone and not much livestock was needed or maybe he was making plans for leaving himself.  The following is a list of his elected offices in Newry:

John Carter's Elected Offices While in Newry, Maine
            How long did he stay in Newry?  On 15 Mar 1838 John was elected collector and constable of the town.  He actually called a meeting for 10 Sep 1838 and was present and was paid $1.50 for his expenses in calling the meeting.[2]  At the next meeting on 25 Oct 1838 John was being replaced as collector and constable as he had vacated his office.[3]  Therefore he must have left town sometime after 10 September.  Was Hannah with him?  There is no evidence that she was or wasn’t.  Logic would hold that she was with him and after they heard that the rest of the family in Ohio was leaving for Missouri, it isn’t hard to see that Hannah prevailed on John to move out West to be near them.  If Hannah hadn’t been there, this writer doubts John would have left Maine.  With them were surely Mary Jane and most likely Richard Harrison, as they were the youngest offspring of the family and at this point not married.  

            The fact that they left suddenly can be seen in John's vacating his office and that no record of any land sale has been found.  Records are found for John purchasing in Newry about 262 acres of land by 1809.  In 1816 and 1817 John had previously sold two parcels of land.  Here are the abstracts:

            The first deed is found on Family History Library Film 11617, from the Eastern District of Oxford County, Book 26, p. 136:    Know all men by these presents, that I, John Carter of Newry County of Oxford and State of Massachusetts, Yeoman, in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars paid by Josiah Smith of said Newry, Yeoman…a certain part of a lot of land lying being and situate on the North end of the lot No. Three in the third range containing fifty acres… this twenty seventh day of August in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixteen.  Received November 19th, 1825.[4]

            The second deed was recorded on the next page of the deed book:  Know all men by these presents, that I, John Carter of Newry in the County of Oxford and State of Massachusetts, Yeoman in consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars paid me by Josiah Smith of Newry aforesaid Yeoman…a certain parcel of land situated in the town of Newry on the East side of Bair River part of lots No. two and No. three in the third range of lots on the east side of the river….containing sixty eight acres and three fourths of the same more or less…this Eleventh day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventeen.  Received November 19th, 1825.[5]

            It may have been that John entered into these agreements with Josiah Smith to purchase about half of John’s land but John wasn’t really paid right away.  Since John didn’t record them until 1825 it can be guessed that it took that length of time for Josiah to pay the $300 John was owed.  Even with the sale of this land John still owned between 120 and 130 acres.  What happened to this land when John left Newry?  There is no known answer to that question.  Possibly he left it with Almira Carter Tripp as she and Alvin and their family stayed in Newry for several more years.  In any case John never entered into any deeds of sale upon leaving Newry.

            Our next post will discuss where John went when he left Newry in the Autumn of 1838.

[1] Office of Town Clerk, Newry, Maine, Town Records, 1805 - 1846, op. cit.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Oxford County, Maine, Eastern District, Deeds, 26:136 (Family History Library Film # 11617).

[5] Ibid., p. 137.

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