Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Time Capsule

Yesterday, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts opened up a time capsule that was recovered from a cornerstone of the Boston State House building during a water leak in the building last month. The small box weighed 10 pounds and measured 5.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches. The box was buried in 1795 by Samuel Adams, then governor and brewer, Paul Revere, the metalsmith and engraver who overlaid the state dome with copper, and William Scollay, a local developer.
It’s not the first time the capsule was opened. In 1885, when the building was undergoing repairs, it was removed and the artifacts were cleaned, before being reburied. A few items were added to it and the contents of the box were noted in historical records. Last night was the second time, the first in 130 years.
The time capsule contained five folded newspapers that the museum is not sure will be unfolded due to their desire to preserve them. There was one folded title page from the Massachusetts colony records and a paper impression of the Seal of the Commonwealth. There were a collection of coins including half-cent, one-cent, half-dime, 10-cent, and 25-cent pieces. There was a pine tree shilling from 1652 and a copper medal with George Washington on it. Conservationists think the large number of copper coins helped protect the artifacts, all in amazingly good condition, as copper inhibits fungal growth. The final artifact was found at the bottom of the box, a silver plaque possibly inscribed by Revere himself. It commemorates the placement of the cornerstone on July 4, 1795.
On that day, George Washington was our country’s President, and would be for two more years. My own ancestors were heavily invested in America at this time. They were scattered across Massachusetts, Connecticut, trickling into New York. There’s something to the thought for me, that two centuries ago when the box was initially buried, so many of my blood relatives were invested in life in this country.

6x Great-Grandparents:
Thomas Riddle & Rebekah Moulton… of Monson MA.
James Chaffee & Rhoda Cady… of Monson MA.
Wheeler Gillette & Julianna Merchant… of Milford CT.
Alexander Hannah & Mary Calhoun… of Bethlehem CT.
Walter F. Dixon & Annatje Goedemoet… of Mayfield NY.
John Parker & Jane Pearson… of Worchester MA.
Mary Bingham… of Wheatfield NY, widow of Asa Tenney.
Lucretia Cleveland… of Wells VT, widow of Jedidiah Darby.
Patience Thomas… of RI and New London CT, widow of Phillip Tourjee.
Knowles Sears… of Ridgefield CT, widower of Susannah Townsend.
Enoch Bird & Silence Lyon… of Whately MA.

5x Great-Grandparents:
Joseph & Mary Riddle… of Monson MA.
Charles & Deborah Chaffee… of MA.
Eliphal Gillette & Abigail Hannah… of CT.
Gertrude Dixon… of Kinderhook NY. Her future husband was still in Ireland.
William Wicker & Susannah Parker… of Hardwick MA and later Orwell VT.
Abner Whittier, Jr. & Elizabeth Dow… of Amesbury MA and later Danville VT.
James Kittredge & Mary Bailey… of Tewksbury MA.
Daniel Raymond & Lucy Richmond… of Cohocton NY.
Benjamin Eaton & Hepsibah Skiff… of Tolland CT.
Willard Gould & Anne Arnold… of CT, MA, and NY.
Reuben Tenney & Abigail Darby… of Norwich CT.
Phillip & Desire Tourgee… of Kingston RI and Saratoga NY.
Isaac Sears & Abigail Andrews… of Danbury CT and Olcott NY.
David Dutcher & Jane Palmer… of CT and NY.
Edmund Bird & Mary Coleman… of Whately MA.

4x Great-Grandparents:
Pliny Wicker & Chloe Morgan… of Hardwick MA, then VT, then NY.
Simeon Whittier & Dorcas Kittredge… of MA and then Danville VT.
Peter DeLozier & Lucy Raymond… of Clinton CT and Lockport NY.
Joshua Eaton & Lucy Gould… of CT, NY, and MI.
Thomas Targee & Martha Smith… of CT and Monroe County NY.

Image: print of the Boston State House from Moses King’s Handbook of Boston, 1885.

1 comment:

  1. A fascinating read, in terms of both the time capsule and your genealogy discoveries.


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