Whittlesey-WhittelseyFamilyHistory
Genealogy of the Whittlesey-Whittelsey family based upon the 1855 Memorials of the Whittlesey Family, the 1898, 1941 and 1992 Whittelsey/Whittlesey Genealogies along with input from family members. In addition there is information on the Descendants of Seth Savage of Berlin, Connecticut
Additional family lineage of Willis Savage Whittlesey III can be found at cravendescendants.org; brownedescendants.org and frisbiedescendants.org
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Abner WHITTLESEY

Abner WHITTLESEY

Male 1746 - 1821  (75 years)

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  • Name Abner WHITTLESEY  [1
    Born 1 May 1746  Newington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    AFN 16JR-9BV 
    FamilySearch Id L78Q-62R 
    _FSFTID L78Q-62R 
    _UID C780E7A9F66DD5118D2D40D302C101E495BC 
    Died 12 Jul 1821  Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I71  John Whittelsey (1623-1704) Descendants
    Last Modified 15 Aug 2014 

    Father Ancestors Eliphalet WHITTLESEY,   b. 10 May 1714, Newington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jul 1786, Washington, Litchfield, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years) 
    Mother Ancestors Dorothy KELLOGG,   b. 24 Dec 1716, Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Apr 1772, Washington, Litchfield, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Married 16 Dec 1736  Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F32  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Ruth WADSWORTH,   b. Abt 1749, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jul 1830, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Married 1787  Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Ruth WHITTLESEY,   b. 5 Aug 1788, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Mar 1794, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 5 years)
     2. Dolly WHITTLESEY,   b. 26 Nov 1790, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Mar 1794, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 3 years)
    Married: 1x3. Ruth Dolly WHITTLESEY,   b. 13 Jul 1793, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Mar 1841, Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years)
    Family ID F46  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to hide
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1 May 1746 - Newington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1787 - Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 12 Jul 1821 - Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, United States Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Documents
    Abner Whittlesey
1746-1821
    Abner Whittlesey 1746-1821
    This history of the life of Abner Whittlesey was written by Natalie Jenkins Iafolla who is nine generations removed from Eliphalet Whittlesey, #42 in the 1992 W-W Genealogy, father of Abner. Abner, along with his brothers Lemuel, Martin, Asaph and his sister Anna, has been the subject of her historical reviews of their lives. Abner's life is unique in that it provides an insight into a difficult 14 year marriage and the life of a unconventional individual. Very well written.

  • Notes 
    • 137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
      b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
      d. 12 July, 1821;
      m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
      Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
      The Meadows by the Farmington River
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
      Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
      Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
      birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
      provide an opportunity to discuss situational
      intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
      According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
      “farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
      was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
      daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
      One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
      Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
      In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
      otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
      in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
      that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
      beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
      such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
      it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
      girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
      the United States (1855)
      . Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
      Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
      interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
      simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
      Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
      A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
      Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
      Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
      the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
      girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
      common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
      and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
      married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
      1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
      america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
      In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
      engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
      transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
      colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
      carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
      was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
      hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
      religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
      played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
      cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
      husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
      her daughters the household arts”.2
      The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
      a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
      roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
      http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
      Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
      first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
      born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
      1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
      naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
      Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
      on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
      later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
      What happened to the first two children?
      Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
      colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
      actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
      the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
      the process.3
      2
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      3 Image: http://www.beafifer.com/smallpoxcolman.jpg
      One possibility is they fell victim to small pox radiating from Boston during the 1721
      epidemic. The first story about the Wadsworth family, finds Ruth’s Uncle, Dr. Theodore
      Wadsworth (1753-1808) providing protection from smallpox by “variolition” –
      voluntarily receiving a small inoculm and sustaining a localized mild disease. The
      variolator deposited a small quantity of pus from the pock of a patient with mild disease
      into a shallow cut in the arm or leg. The resulting disease was usually localized, and the
      inoculate only mildly ill The patient was contagious for several weeks and had to be
      isolated, as local outbreaks sometimes followed. This process however was very
      controversial at the time, it was declared, “…the procedure to be a heathen practice and a
      clear contravention of divine intent. Angry public debate, filled with recriminations and
      damnations, continued through much of the 1721 epidemic Those opposed to inoculation
      asserted that it infringed on the perergatives of divine providence, and they demanded the
      death penalty for those physicians that willfully practiced inoculation”.4
      Patient names carved into "Hospital Rock".
      Photo: Stephanie Riefe.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html
      In this supplemental article found about the Farmington battle
      with smallpox, Dr. Wadsworth (Ruth’s Uncle) worked in
      conjunction with Dr. Eli Todd and opened a hospital for
      inoculates to languish and recover. There is a large stone that is left of this facility where
      the patients used to sun themselves and carve their names on the rock,
      Near the hospital building was a smooth sunny ledge on which the young patients could
      socialize, and where they picked up messages and packages from home. Of the hundreds
      who must have stayed at the hospital in the years 1792, 1793 and 1794, sixty-six have left
      us their names or initials cut into the ledge. It is smooth, flat and slopes down away from
      the old roadway. Scattered on the rock's surface in an irregular area about 15 by 20 feet,
      the names are barely discernible until a visitor dusts them with flour. Then they emerge,
      like a photographic print materializing in a darkroom pan. The old Settlement Road is
      now abandoned, though it can be traced from the quarry on Route 6 several miles through
      the forest to where it is interrupted by Interstate 84. Along it innumerable fragments of
      trap rock litter the forest floor, and there area a few hints of stone walls. Near the road
      and 1,000 feet from the rock itself, there is a cellar hole lined with mortar less rock and a
      long-abandoned well. These are the only remains so far uncovered that accompany
      Hospital Rock with its carved names recalling a long ago and very different time. It is
      estimated that hundreds of patients were inoculated and spent their recovery at the Todd-
      Wadsworth Smallpox Hospital . Fifty-two of the 66 names carved into the rock include
      first, and sometimes middle, initials, and these patients can be further identified with
      some confidence. Considerable information is available for 26 of them. The known ages
      of the patients ranged from 9 to 33 years.4
      4
      Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
      Image: Jenner. smallpox vaccination in
      1796.
      http://old.lf3.cuni.cz/mikrobiologie/teozak/imun/jenner.gif
      There is no mention of the Whittlesey
      girls on the stone. It is mentioned that
      variolition was a costly procedure,
      perhaps they were too poor. The girls
      are also younger than the article
      mentions the patients were, perhaps they
      were too young for a stay at their Great
      Uncle’s hospital or just too young for vaccination. On the other hand, maybe they died
      from inoculation; Only questions surround this connection of the immediate family
      practicing variolition, and the young two timely deaths. With strong Congregational
      beliefs well documented in his family, perhaps Abner was opposed to inoculation,
      leaving his children to get sick and cause his wife to resent him. Either way, five years
      after this Ruth, surviving the death of her daughters, first files a petition to the Superior
      Court of Connecticut for a divorce from Abner.
      Divorce was available to Connecticut couples on three grounds: adultery, fraudulent
      contract, and willful desertion or providential absence for three or seven years
      respectively. The earliest divorces were apparently granted by the general Court, but in
      1677 the Court of Assistant, later the Superior Court, was given that power….Despite the
      limited provisions of the law, the assembly in 1753 granted a divorce to a woman on the
      grounds that her husband severely abused her, and in another case acquiesced in
      separation and support payments. Divorce was possible then…but it was rare.5
      Whittlesey, Ruth, Farmington,
      petition showing that on
      April 5, 1786, she was
      married to Abner Whittlesey
      who was so brutal & violent
      in his treatment
      of petitioner that she was
      obliged to escape to the
      refuge of her
      father’s house & praying for
      a divorce, guardianship of
      their daughter
      & a due proportion of the
      estate of aforesaid Abner for
      support of
      5
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      petitioner & education of the daughter Differing votes.
      Continued
      Resolve granting petitioner a divorce from Abner
      Whittlesey, guardianship of their daughter & payment of
      $1,OOO for support of petitioner & $1,0OO for use & benefit
      of the daughter. Differing votes Passed, with alterations &
      additions Petition by Abner Whittlesey showing blamable &
      provoking conduct by his former wife, Ruth, stating that
      the alimony is excessive & praying for a new trial. Plea in
      abatement insufficient. Continued. Special grant of a new
      trial in regard to alimony & guardianship of the child.
      Resolve in accordance with the special grant. Resolve
      committing guardianship of aforesaid daughter to such
      person as the court of probate for Farmington district
      shall appoint & requiring petitioner to pay to this
      guardian the money necessary for support of the minor & to
      pay to aforesaid.
      Ruth $1,OO, September 1799-October 1801 II:llO-116
      Perhaps the divorce came about as Abner’s family was very patriotic including many
      sons or his brothers fighting in the Revolutionary War. Ruth’s family is recoded as being
      heroic patriots themselves, her father is listed as a Captain in the public records of
      Connecticut for the year 1761, yet no mention of Abner’s involvement in anything other
      than farming, being delusional and his contested divorce records. The Wadsworth’s were
      very prominent, Ruth’s Great Grandfather was with his brother in the capturing of the
      Charter Oak and hiding it in the legendary tree. As the story goes,
      Two English kings, a royal agent, a colonial hero and a candle-lit room are the figures
      and backdrop in one of the most thrilling chapters of America's legend of liberty. The
      refusal of our early Connecticut leaders to give up the Charter, despite royal order and the
      threat of arms, marked one of the greatest episodes of determined courage in our history.
      The Charter Oak Tree. http://www.colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm
      On October 9, 1662, The General Court of
      Connecticut formally received the Charter won from
      King Charles II by the suave diplomacy of Governor
      John Winthrop, Jr., who had crossed the ocean for the
      purpose. Twenty-five years later, with the succession
      of James II to the throne, Connecticut's troubles began
      6
      CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
      INDEX. Hartford, CT.
      http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
      in earnest… His Majesty's agent, followed up failure of various strategies
      by arriving in Hartford with an armed force to seize the Charter. After
      hours of debate, with the Charter on the table between the opposing
      parties, the candle-lit room suddenly went dark. Moments later when the
      candles were re-lighted, the Charter was gone. Captain Joseph Wadsworth
      is credited with having removed and secreted the Charter in the majestic
      oak on the Wyllys estate…For over a hundred and fifty years, the "charter
      oak" was a prominent and widely recognized Connecticut landmark.
      When it was toppled during an 1857 storm, acorns were collected as
      keepsakes, as were a considerable amount of twigs, leaves, branches and
      lumber.7
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200
      Whittlesey, C.B., (1992).TheWhittlesey-Whittelesey Geneology.Artistic Printing Co. Salt Lake City Utah.
      Whittelsey, H.N. (1855). Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in the United States. Hartford, CT: The Whittlesey Association. From the
      Quintin Publications Collection.
      Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
      CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
      INDEX. Hartford, CT.
      http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
      7
      State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200

      -- MERGED NOTE ------------

      137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
      b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
      d. 12 July, 1821;
      m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
      Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
      The Meadows by the Farmington River
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
      Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
      Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
      birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
      provide an opportunity to discuss situational
      intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
      According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
      “farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
      was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
      daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
      One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
      Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
      In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
      otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
      in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
      that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
      beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
      such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
      it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
      girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
      the United States (1855)
      . Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
      Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
      interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
      simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
      Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
      A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
      Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
      Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
      the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
      girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
      common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
      and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
      married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
      1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
      america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
      In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
      engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
      transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
      colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
      carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
      was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
      hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
      religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
      played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
      cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
      husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
      her daughters the household arts”.2
      The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
      a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
      roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
      http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
      Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
      first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
      born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
      1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
      naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
      Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
      on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
      later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
      What happened to the first two children?
      Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
      colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
      actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
      the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
      the process.3
      2
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      3 Image: http://www.beafifer.com/smallpoxcolman.jpg
      One possibility is they fell victim to small pox radiating from Boston during the 1721
      epidemic. The first story about the Wadsworth family, finds Ruth’s Uncle, Dr. Theodore
      Wadsworth (1753-1808) providing protection from smallpox by “variolition” –
      voluntarily receiving a small inoculm and sustaining a localized mild disease. The
      variolator deposited a small quantity of pus from the pock of a patient with mild disease
      into a shallow cut in the arm or leg. The resulting disease was usually localized, and the
      inoculate only mildly ill The patient was contagious for several weeks and had to be
      isolated, as local outbreaks sometimes followed. This process however was very
      controversial at the time, it was declared, “…the procedure to be a heathen practice and a
      clear contravention of divine intent. Angry public debate, filled with recriminations and
      damnations, continued through much of the 1721 epidemic Those opposed to inoculation
      asserted that it infringed on the perergatives of divine providence, and they demanded the
      death penalty for those physicians that willfully practiced inoculation”.4
      Patient names carved into "Hospital Rock".
      Photo: Stephanie Riefe.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html
      In this supplemental article found about the Farmington battle
      with smallpox, Dr. Wadsworth (Ruth’s Uncle) worked in
      conjunction with Dr. Eli Todd and opened a hospital for
      inoculates to languish and recover. There is a large stone that is left of this facility where
      the patients used to sun themselves and carve their names on the rock,
      Near the hospital building was a smooth sunny ledge on which the young patients could
      socialize, and where they picked up messages and packages from home. Of the hundreds
      who must have stayed at the hospital in the years 1792, 1793 and 1794, sixty-six have left
      us their names or initials cut into the ledge. It is smooth, flat and slopes down away from
      the old roadway. Scattered on the rock's surface in an irregular area about 15 by 20 feet,
      the names are barely discernible until a visitor dusts them with flour. Then they emerge,
      like a photographic print materializing in a darkroom pan. The old Settlement Road is
      now abandoned, though it can be traced from the quarry on Route 6 several miles through
      the forest to where it is interrupted by Interstate 84. Along it innumerable fragments of
      trap rock litter the forest floor, and there area a few hints of stone walls. Near the road
      and 1,000 feet from the rock itself, there is a cellar hole lined with mortar less rock and a
      long-abandoned well. These are the only remains so far uncovered that accompany
      Hospital Rock with its carved names recalling a long ago and very different time. It is
      estimated that hundreds of patients were inoculated and spent their recovery at the Todd-
      Wadsworth Smallpox Hospital . Fifty-two of the 66 names carved into the rock include
      first, and sometimes middle, initials, and these patients can be further identified with
      some confidence. Considerable information is available for 26 of them. The known ages
      of the patients ranged from 9 to 33 years.4
      4
      Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
      Image: Jenner. smallpox vaccination in
      1796.
      http://old.lf3.cuni.cz/mikrobiologie/teozak/imun/jenner.gif
      There is no mention of the Whittlesey
      girls on the stone. It is mentioned that
      variolition was a costly procedure,
      perhaps they were too poor. The girls
      are also younger than the article
      mentions the patients were, perhaps they
      were too young for a stay at their Great
      Uncle’s hospital or just too young for vaccination. On the other hand, maybe they died
      from inoculation; Only questions surround this connection of the immediate family
      practicing variolition, and the young two timely deaths. With strong Congregational
      beliefs well documented in his family, perhaps Abner was opposed to inoculation,
      leaving his children to get sick and cause his wife to resent him. Either way, five years
      after this Ruth, surviving the death of her daughters, first files a petition to the Superior
      Court of Connecticut for a divorce from Abner.
      Divorce was available to Connecticut couples on three grounds: adultery, fraudulent
      contract, and willful desertion or providential absence for three or seven years
      respectively. The earliest divorces were apparently granted by the general Court, but in
      1677 the Court of Assistant, later the Superior Court, was given that power….Despite the
      limited provisions of the law, the assembly in 1753 granted a divorce to a woman on the
      grounds that her husband severely abused her, and in another case acquiesced in
      separation and support payments. Divorce was possible then…but it was rare.5
      Whittlesey, Ruth, Farmington,
      petition showing that on
      April 5, 1786, she was
      married to Abner Whittlesey
      who was so brutal & violent
      in his treatment
      of petitioner that she was
      obliged to escape to the
      refuge of her
      father’s house & praying for
      a divorce, guardianship of
      their daughter
      & a due proportion of the
      estate of aforesaid Abner for
      support of
      5
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      petitioner & education of the daughter Differing votes.
      Continued
      Resolve granting petitioner a divorce from Abner
      Whittlesey, guardianship of their daughter & payment of
      $1,OOO for support of petitioner & $1,0OO for use & benefit
      of the daughter. Differing votes Passed, with alterations &
      additions Petition by Abner Whittlesey showing blamable &
      provoking conduct by his former wife, Ruth, stating that
      the alimony is excessive & praying for a new trial. Plea in
      abatement insufficient. Continued. Special grant of a new
      trial in regard to alimony & guardianship of the child.
      Resolve in accordance with the special grant. Resolve
      committing guardianship of aforesaid daughter to such
      person as the court of probate for Farmington district
      shall appoint & requiring petitioner to pay to this
      guardian the money necessary for support of the minor & to
      pay to aforesaid.
      Ruth $1,OO, September 1799-October 1801 II:llO-116
      Perhaps the divorce came about as Abner’s family was very patriotic including many
      sons or his brothers fighting in the Revolutionary War. Ruth’s family is recoded as being
      heroic patriots themselves, her father is listed as a Captain in the public records of
      Connecticut for the year 1761, yet no mention of Abner’s involvement in anything other
      than farming, being delusional and his contested divorce records. The Wadsworth’s were
      very prominent, Ruth’s Great Grandfather was with his brother in the capturing of the
      Charter Oak and hiding it in the legendary tree. As the story goes,
      Two English kings, a royal agent, a colonial hero and a candle-lit room are the figures
      and backdrop in one of the most thrilling chapters of America's legend of liberty. The
      refusal of our early Connecticut leaders to give up the Charter, despite royal order and the
      threat of arms, marked one of the greatest episodes of determined courage in our history.
      The Charter Oak Tree. http://www.colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm
      On October 9, 1662, The General Court of
      Connecticut formally received the Charter won from
      King Charles II by the suave diplomacy of Governor
      John Winthrop, Jr., who had crossed the ocean for the
      purpose. Twenty-five years later, with the succession
      of James II to the throne, Connecticut's troubles began
      6
      CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
      INDEX. Hartford, CT.
      http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
      in earnest… His Majesty's agent, followed up failure of various strategies
      by arriving in Hartford with an armed force to seize the Charter. After
      hours of debate, with the Charter on the table between the opposing
      parties, the candle-lit room suddenly went dark. Moments later when the
      candles were re-lighted, the Charter was gone. Captain Joseph Wadsworth
      is credited with having removed and secreted the Charter in the majestic
      oak on the Wyllys estate…For over a hundred and fifty years, the "charter
      oak" was a prominent and widely recognized Connecticut landmark.
      When it was toppled during an 1857 storm, acorns were collected as
      keepsakes, as were a considerable amount of twigs, leaves, branches and
      lumber.7
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200
      Whittlesey, C.B., (1992).TheWhittlesey-Whittelesey Geneology.Artistic Printing Co. Salt Lake City Utah.
      Whittelsey, H.N. (1855). Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in the United States. Hartford, CT: The Whittlesey Association. From the
      Quintin Publications Collection.
      Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
      CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
      INDEX. Hartford, CT.
      http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
      7
      State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200

      137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
      b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
      d. 12 July, 1821;
      m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
      Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
      The Meadows by the Farmington River
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
      Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
      Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
      birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
      provide an opportunity to discuss situational
      intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
      According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
      “farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
      was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
      daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
      One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
      Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
      In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
      otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
      in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
      that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
      beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
      such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
      it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
      girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
      the United States (1855)
      . Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
      Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
      interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
      simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
      Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
      A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
      Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
      Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
      the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
      girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
      common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
      and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
      married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
      1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
      america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
      In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
      engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
      transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
      colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
      carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
      was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
      hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
      religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
      played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
      cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
      husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
      her daughters the household arts”.2
      The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
      a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
      roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
      http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
      Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
      first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
      born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
      1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
      naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
      Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
      on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
      later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
      What happened to the first two children?
      Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
      colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
      actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
      the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
      the process.3
      2
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      3 Image: http://www.beafifer.com/smallpoxcolman.jpg
      One possibility is they fell victim to small pox radiating from Boston during the 1721
      epidemic. The first story about the Wadsworth family, finds Ruth’s Uncle, Dr. Theodore
      Wadsworth (1753-1808) providing protection from smallpox by “variolition” –
      voluntarily receiving a small inoculm and sustaining a localized mild disease. The
      variolator deposited a small quantity of pus from the pock of a patient with mild disease
      into a shallow cut in the arm or leg. The resulting disease was usually localized, and the
      inoculate only mildly ill The patient was contagious for several weeks and had to be
      isolated, as local outbreaks sometimes followed. This process however was very
      controversial at the time, it was declared, “…the procedure to be a heathen practice and a
      clear contravention of divine intent. Angry public debate, filled with recriminations and
      damnations, continued through much of the 1721 epidemic Those opposed to inoculation
      asserted that it infringed on the perergatives of divine providence, and they demanded the
      death penalty for those physicians that willfully practiced inoculation”.4
      Patient names carved into "Hospital Rock".
      Photo: Stephanie Riefe.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html
      In this supplemental article found about the Farmington battle
      with smallpox, Dr. Wadsworth (Ruth’s Uncle) worked in
      conjunction with Dr. Eli Todd and opened a hospital for
      inoculates to languish and recover. There is a large stone that is left of this facility where
      the patients used to sun themselves and carve their names on the rock,
      Near the hospital building was a smooth sunny ledge on which the young patients could
      socialize, and where they picked up messages and packages from home. Of the hundreds
      who must have stayed at the hospital in the years 1792, 1793 and 1794, sixty-six have left
      us their names or initials cut into the ledge. It is smooth, flat and slopes down away from
      the old roadway. Scattered on the rock's surface in an irregular area about 15 by 20 feet,
      the names are barely discernible until a visitor dusts them with flour. Then they emerge,
      like a photographic print materializing in a darkroom pan. The old Settlement Road is
      now abandoned, though it can be traced from the quarry on Route 6 several miles through
      the forest to where it is interrupted by Interstate 84. Along it innumerable fragments of
      trap rock litter the forest floor, and there area a few hints of stone walls. Near the road
      and 1,000 feet from the rock itself, there is a cellar hole lined with mortar less rock and a
      long-abandoned well. These are the only remains so far uncovered that accompany
      Hospital Rock with its carved names recalling a long ago and very different time. It is
      estimated that hundreds of patients were inoculated and spent their recovery at the Todd-
      Wadsworth Smallpox Hospital . Fifty-two of the 66 names carved into the rock include
      first, and sometimes middle, initials, and these patients can be further identified with
      some confidence. Considerable information is available for 26 of them. The known ages
      of the patients ranged from 9 to 33 years.4
      4
      Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
      Image: Jenner. smallpox vaccination in
      1796.
      http://old.lf3.cuni.cz/mikrobiologie/teozak/imun/jenner.gif
      There is no mention of the Whittlesey
      girls on the stone. It is mentioned that
      variolition was a costly procedure,
      perhaps they were too poor. The girls
      are also younger than the article
      mentions the patients were, perhaps they
      were too young for a stay at their Great
      Uncle’s hospital or just too young for vaccination. On the other hand, maybe they died
      from inoculation; Only questions surround this connection of the immediate family
      practicing variolition, and the young two timely deaths. With strong Congregational
      beliefs well documented in his family, perhaps Abner was opposed to inoculation,
      leaving his children to get sick and cause his wife to resent him. Either way, five years
      after this Ruth, surviving the death of her daughters, first files a petition to the Superior
      Court of Connecticut for a divorce from Abner.
      Divorce was available to Connecticut couples on three grounds: adultery, fraudulent
      contract, and willful desertion or providential absence for three or seven years
      respectively. The earliest divorces were apparently granted by the general Court, but in
      1677 the Court of Assistant, later the Superior Court, was given that power….Despite the
      limited provisions of the law, the assembly in 1753 granted a divorce to a woman on the
      grounds that her husband severely abused her, and in another case acquiesced in
      separation and support payments. Divorce was possible then…but it was rare.5
      Whittlesey, Ruth, Farmington,
      petition showing that on
      April 5, 1786, she was
      married to Abner Whittlesey
      who was so brutal & violent
      in his treatment
      of petitioner that she was
      obliged to escape to the
      refuge of her
      father’s house & praying for
      a divorce, guardianship of
      their daughter
      & a due proportion of the
      estate of aforesaid Abner for
      support of
      5
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      petitioner & education of the daughter Differing votes.
      Continued
      Resolve granting petitioner a divorce from Abner
      Whittlesey, guardianship of their daughter & payment of
      $1,OOO for support of petitioner & $1,0OO for use & benefit
      of the daughter. Differing votes Passed, with alterations &
      additions Petition by Abner Whittlesey showing blamable &
      provoking conduct by his former wife, Ruth, stating that
      the alimony is excessive & praying for a new trial. Plea in
      abatement insufficient. Continued. Special grant of a new
      trial in regard to alimony & guardianship of the child.
      Resolve in accordance with the special grant. Resolve
      committing guardianship of aforesaid daughter to such
      person as the court of probate for Farmington district
      shall appoint & requiring petitioner to pay to this
      guardian the money necessary for support of the minor & to
      pay to aforesaid.
      Ruth $1,OO, September 1799-October 1801 II:llO-116
      Perhaps the divorce came about as Abner’s family was very patriotic including many
      sons or his brothers fighting in the Revolutionary War. Ruth’s family is recoded as being
      heroic patriots themselves, her father is listed as a Captain in the public records of
      Connecticut for the year 1761, yet no mention of Abner’s involvement in anything other
      than farming, being delusional and his contested divorce records. The Wadsworth’s were
      very prominent, Ruth’s Great Grandfather was with his brother in the capturing of the
      Charter Oak and hiding it in the legendary tree. As the story goes,
      Two English kings, a royal agent, a colonial hero and a candle-lit room are the figures
      and backdrop in one of the most thrilling chapters of America's legend of liberty. The
      refusal of our early Connecticut leaders to give up the Charter, despite royal order and the
      threat of arms, marked one of the greatest episodes of determined courage in our history.
      The Charter Oak Tree. http://www.colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm
      On October 9, 1662, The General Court of
      Connecticut formally received the Charter won from
      King Charles II by the suave diplomacy of Governor
      John Winthrop, Jr., who had crossed the ocean for the
      purpose. Twenty-five years later, with the succession
      of James II to the throne, Connecticut's troubles began
      6
      CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
      INDEX. Hartford, CT.
      http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
      in earnest… His Majesty's agent, followed up failure of various strategies
      by arriving in Hartford with an armed force to seize the Charter. After
      hours of debate, with the Charter on the table between the opposing
      parties, the candle-lit room suddenly went dark. Moments later when the
      candles were re-lighted, the Charter was gone. Captain Joseph Wadsworth
      is credited with having removed and secreted the Charter in the majestic
      oak on the Wyllys estate…For over a hundred and fifty years, the "charter
      oak" was a prominent and widely recognized Connecticut landmark.
      When it was toppled during an 1857 storm, acorns were collected as
      keepsakes, as were a considerable amount of twigs, leaves, branches and
      lumber.7
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200
      Whittlesey, C.B., (1992).TheWhittlesey-Whittelesey Geneology.Artistic Printing Co. Salt Lake City Utah.
      Whittelsey, H.N. (1855). Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in the United States. Hartford, CT: The Whittlesey Association. From the
      Quintin Publications Collection.
      Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
      CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
      INDEX. Hartford, CT.
      http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
      7
      State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200

      -- MERGED NOTE ------------

      137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
      b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
      d. 12 July, 1821;
      m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
      Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
      The Meadows by the Farmington River
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
      Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
      Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
      birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
      provide an opportunity to discuss situational
      intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
      According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
      “farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
      was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
      daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
      One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
      Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
      In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
      otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
      in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
      that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
      beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
      such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
      it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
      girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
      the United States (1855)
      . Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
      Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
      interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
      simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
      Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
      A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
      Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
      Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
      the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
      girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
      common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
      and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
      married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
      1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
      america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
      In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
      engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
      transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
      colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
      carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
      was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
      hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
      religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
      played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
      cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
      husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
      her daughters the household arts”.2
      The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
      a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
      roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
      http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
      Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
      first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
      born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
      1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
      naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
      Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
      on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
      later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
      What happened to the first two children?
      Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
      colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
      actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
      the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
      the process.3
      2
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      3 Image: http://www.beafifer.com/smallpoxcolman.jpg
      One possibility is they fell victim to small pox radiating from Boston during the 1721
      epidemic. The first story about the Wadsworth family, finds Ruth’s Uncle, Dr. Theodore
      Wadsworth (1753-1808) providing protection from smallpox by “variolition” –
      voluntarily receiving a small inoculm and sustaining a localized mild disease. The
      variolator deposited a small quantity of pus from the pock of a patient with mild disease
      into a shallow cut in the arm or leg. The resulting disease was usually localized, and the
      inoculate only mildly ill The patient was contagious for several weeks and had to be
      isolated, as local outbreaks sometimes followed. This process however was very
      controversial at the time, it was declared, “…the procedure to be a heathen practice and a
      clear contravention of divine intent. Angry public debate, filled with recriminations and
      damnations, continued through much of the 1721 epidemic Those opposed to inoculation
      asserted that it infringed on the perergatives of divine providence, and they demanded the
      death penalty for those physicians that willfully practiced inoculation”.4
      Patient names carved into "Hospital Rock".
      Photo: Stephanie Riefe.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html
      In this supplemental article found about the Farmington battle
      with smallpox, Dr. Wadsworth (Ruth’s Uncle) worked in
      conjunction with Dr. Eli Todd and opened a hospital for
      inoculates to languish and recover. There is a large stone that is left of this facility where
      the patients used to sun themselves and carve their names on the rock,
      Near the hospital building was a smooth sunny ledge on which the young patients could
      socialize, and where they picked up messages and packages from home. Of the hundreds
      who must have stayed at the hospital in the years 1792, 1793 and 1794, sixty-six have left
      us their names or initials cut into the ledge. It is smooth, flat and slopes down away from
      the old roadway. Scattered on the rock's surface in an irregular area about 15 by 20 feet,
      the names are barely discernible until a visitor dusts them with flour. Then they emerge,
      like a photographic print materializing in a darkroom pan. The old Settlement Road is
      now abandoned, though it can be traced from the quarry on Route 6 several miles through
      the forest to where it is interrupted by Interstate 84. Along it innumerable fragments of
      trap rock litter the forest floor, and there area a few hints of stone walls. Near the road
      and 1,000 feet from the rock itself, there is a cellar hole lined with mortar less rock and a
      long-abandoned well. These are the only remains so far uncovered that accompany
      Hospital Rock with its carved names recalling a long ago and very different time. It is
      estimated that hundreds of patients were inoculated and spent their recovery at the Todd-
      Wadsworth Smallpox Hospital . Fifty-two of the 66 names carved into the rock include
      first, and sometimes middle, initials, and these patients can be further identified with
      some confidence. Considerable information is available for 26 of them. The known ages
      of the patients ranged from 9 to 33 years.4
      4
      Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
      Image: Jenner. smallpox vaccination in
      1796.
      http://old.lf3.cuni.cz/mikrobiologie/teozak/imun/jenner.gif
      There is no mention of the Whittlesey
      girls on the stone. It is mentioned that
      variolition was a costly procedure,
      perhaps they were too poor. The girls
      are also younger than the article
      mentions the patients were, perhaps they
      were too young for a stay at their Great
      Uncle’s hospital or just too young for vaccination. On the other hand, maybe they died
      from inoculation; Only questions surround this connection of the immediate family
      practicing variolition, and the young two timely deaths. With strong Congregational
      beliefs well documented in his family, perhaps Abner was opposed to inoculation,
      leaving his children to get sick and cause his wife to resent him. Either way, five years
      after this Ruth, surviving the death of her daughters, first files a petition to the Superior
      Court of Connecticut for a divorce from Abner.
      Divorce was available to Connecticut couples on three grounds: adultery, fraudulent
      contract, and willful desertion or providential absence for three or seven years
      respectively. The earliest divorces were apparently granted by the general Court, but in
      1677 the Court of Assistant, later the Superior Court, was given that power….Despite the
      limited provisions of the law, the assembly in 1753 granted a divorce to a woman on the
      grounds that her husband severely abused her, and in another case acquiesced in
      separation and support payments. Divorce was possible then…but it was rare.5
      Whittlesey, Ruth, Farmington,
      petition showing that on
      April 5, 1786, she was
      married to Abner Whittlesey
      who was so brutal & violent
      in his treatment
      of petitioner that she was
      obliged to escape to the
      refuge of her
      father’s house & praying for
      a divorce, guardianship of
      their daughter
      & a due proportion of the
      estate of aforesaid Abner for
      support of
      5
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      petitioner & education of the daughter Differing votes.
      Continued
      Resolve granting petitioner a divorce from Abner
      Whittlesey, guardianship of their daughter & payment of
      $1,OOO for support of petitioner & $1,0OO for use & benefit
      of the daughter. Differing votes Passed, with alterations &
      additions Petition by Abner Whittlesey showing blamable &
      provoking conduct by his former wife, Ruth, stating that
      the alimony is excessive & praying for a new trial. Plea in
      abatement insufficient. Continued. Special grant of a new
      trial in regard to alimony & guardianship of the child.
      Resolve in accordance with the special grant. Resolve
      committing guardianship of aforesaid daughter to such
      person as the court of probate for Farmington district
      shall appoint & requiring petitioner to pay to this
      guardian the money necessary for support of the minor & to
      pay to aforesaid.
      Ruth $1,OO, September 1799-October 1801 II:llO-116
      Perhaps the divorce came about as Abner’s family was very patriotic including many
      sons or his brothers fighting in the Revolutionary War. Ruth’s family is recoded as being
      heroic patriots themselves, her father is listed as a Captain in the public records of
      Connecticut for the year 1761, yet no mention of Abner’s involvement in anything other
      than farming, being delusional and his contested divorce records. The Wadsworth’s were
      very prominent, Ruth’s Great Grandfather was with his brother in the capturing of the
      Charter Oak and hiding it in the legendary tree. As the story goes,
      Two English kings, a royal agent, a colonial hero and a candle-lit room are the figures
      and backdrop in one of the most thrilling chapters of America's legend of liberty. The
      refusal of our early Connecticut leaders to give up the Charter, despite royal order and the
      threat of arms, marked one of the greatest episodes of determined courage in our history.
      The Charter Oak Tree. http://www.colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm
      On October 9, 1662, The General Court of
      Connecticut formally received the Charter won from
      King Charles II by the suave diplomacy of Governor
      John Winthrop, Jr., who had crossed the ocean for the
      purpose. Twenty-five years later, with the succession
      of James II to the throne, Connecticut's troubles began
      6
      CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
      INDEX. Hartford, CT.
      http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
      in earnest… His Majesty's agent, followed up failure of various strategies
      by arriving in Hartford with an armed force to seize the Charter. After
      hours of debate, with the Charter on the table between the opposing
      parties, the candle-lit room suddenly went dark. Moments later when the
      candles were re-lighted, the Charter was gone. Captain Joseph Wadsworth
      is credited with having removed and secreted the Charter in the majestic
      oak on the Wyllys estate…For over a hundred and fifty years, the "charter
      oak" was a prominent and widely recognized Connecticut landmark.
      When it was toppled during an 1857 storm, acorns were collected as
      keepsakes, as were a considerable amount of twigs, leaves, branches and
      lumber.7
      Taylor, Robert J.1979, Colonial Connecticut. A History. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. USA.
      State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200
      Whittlesey, C.B., (1992).TheWhittlesey-Whittelesey Geneology.Artistic Printing Co. Salt Lake City Utah.
      Whittelsey, H.N. (1855). Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in the United States. Hartford, CT: The Whittlesey Association. From the
      Quintin Publications Collection.
      Farmington Historical Society, The Farmington Historical Society, P.O. Box 1645, Farmington, CT 06034.
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/hospitalrock.html. Site graphics, Copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
      CONNECTICUT ARCHIVES.1967.LOTTERIES AND DIVORCES. SECOND SERIES 1718-1820.TWO VOLUMES AND
      INDEX. Hartford, CT.
      http://cslib.cdmhost.com/ctlibs/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p128501coll3&CISOPTR=227&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
      7
      State of Connecticut Copyright © 2002 - 2009 State of Connecticut: http://www.ct.gov/kids/cwp/view.asp?a=2731&Q=314200

      137. Abner Whittlesey (Eliphalet)
      b. 1 May, 1746; Newington CT.
      d. 12 July, 1821;
      m. 1787; Ruth Wadsworth (Daughter of Hezekiah Wadsworth and Lois Judd of
      Farmington) b. about 1749 Farmington, CT.
      The Meadows by the Farmington River
      http://www.farmingtonhistoricalsociety-ct.org/fh_farmhist_pg1.html
      Abner isn’t surrounded with much information in the
      Whittlesey Genealogy. General facts are offered,
      birth, death, marriage and children’s names. He does
      provide an opportunity to discuss situational
      intrigues in a contemporary colonial framework.
      According to the Genealogy, he was quite simply a
      “farmer”. He married Ruth Wadsworth in 1787, he
      was 41 years old she 38. She gave birth to three
      daughters. The first two of them died in March 1794.
      One daughter, Ruth Dolly did go on to live a long life, get married (to another
      Whittlesey) have eleven children, and die eight days after giving birth in 1841.
      In today’s age of information, some facts close around Abner, that would have
      otherwise been lost to the covert conventions of the day. Abner and Ruth were divorced
      in 1806 after 14 years of marriage; He was 60 and she 57. Divorce in this country, during
      that time, was hard to come by and often stigmatized by society. Yet after a long battle
      beginning in 1799 Abner and Ruth were divorced in 1801. What was the motivation for
      such a spilt in such an unaccommodating time? Was it the low earnings of a farmer? Did
      it have to do with the death of a sizeable portion of the family? What did the Whittlesey
      girls die from? Abner is listed as “deranged” in the Memorial of the Whittlesey Family in
      the United States (1855)
      . Perhaps there was cause in his documented condition.
      Investigating the Wadsworth family opened one story after another, each of them
      interesting and able to stand alone which adds considerable dimension to our otherwise
      simply recorded “farmer” named Abner. Farming in colonial
      Connecticut during this period wasn’t lucrative.
      A statue of a colonial-era couple stands in Portsmouth, New
      Hampshire. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-colonial/6.6.
      Abner and Ruth were in their late thirties and early forties at
      the time of their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, colonial
      girls seldom married in their teens. In fact, it was far more
      common for a colonial woman to marry between the ages of 20
      and 23. The men were often older, though most young men
      married for the first time in their mid to late twenties1.
      1Erickson, J. About Women’s Rights in Colonial America. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570312_womens-rightscolonial-
      america.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art
      In Connecticut, as in other mainland colonies, over 90 percent of the people were
      engaged in agriculture, but scarcity of capital and labor along with inadequate
      transportation kept most farmers at the subsistence level of production. For most of the
      colonial period only those farmers who lived sufficiently near navigable rivers to make
      carting feasible were readily able to send surpluses to towns and ports. The consequence
      was low per capita income….Farmers were poor. Women were expected to work very
      hard, as well as men to promote independence, self interest as well as maintain social and
      religious well being. For women this meant that, “Within the household, the woman
      played a significant economic role in preserving and preparing food, spinning, weaving,
      cleaning, and making soap, candles, and other household necessities. She shared with her
      husband the nurturing of children….and she of course had the responsibility of teaching
      her daughters the household arts”.2
      The Claude Moore Colonial Farm. This 18th century living history farm features self-guided tours through
      a recreated pre-Revolutionary tenant farm. Costumed interpreters portray tenant farmers, and farm animals
      roam the grounds. The park is open April through mid-December.
      http://dc.about.com/od/touristattractions/tp/NorthernVirginiaAttractions.htm
      Either way, they probably had things tough. Subsistence living and sick children. The
      first daughter, named for her mother “Ruth,” was born in 1788. Her sister “Dolly” was
      born two years later and as if on schedule, the arrival of “Ruth Dolly” happened in
      1793. As it is presented, the names are confusing. Why have this intriguing
      naming pattern? One suggestion is that the last child’s name was changed to Ruth
      Dolly in 1794 after the first two die in honorarium. Tragedy strikes this family as
      on March 9 (1794) they loose their oldest daughter, Ruth. Just over two weeks
      later they loose the second born, Dolly, living the only child, an eight month old.
      What happened to the first two children?
      Mather Cotton (1663-1728). Inoculation using the live virus persisted throughout
      colonial days in America, but there was always the risk of succumbing to the
      actual disease. Because inoculees became contagious, most communities outlawed
      the procedure. Curiously, Cotton Mather (of the Salem Witch Trials) supported
      the process.3
      2
      Taylor

  • Sources 
    1. [S17] Book: Genealogy of the Whittlesey-Whittelsey Family, Third Edition.