The hot steamy weather continued in old Eaton this week and I and Barb spent a pleasant evening or two at Michele Kelly’s house. Michele is lucky enough to have a lawn that butts up to the Eatonbrook or as it was called 200 years ago the “Alderbrook”’. The title was given to it because of the many peg alders (as they are called locally) that grace its winding banks.
The heat has cut the flow of it this year …but not the plush green that lines its banks, and sitting next to it of course, brought thoughts to me of Emily Chubbuck and the many tales she recounted in her early book “The Alderbrook Tales.” Though Emily did marry Andoniram Judson the famous Baptist Missionary to Burma (todays Siam-Thailand) many other young people ventured out from our area to help in the missions… so I thought you would enjoy a bit of that history for this weeks blog. Of interest is the fact that this brook also runs behind our museum that houses much of this early history.
Eaton and its Missionaries
Everyone remembers stories of Eaton’s Emily Chubbuck, the writer who wrote under the pen name “Fanny Forrester,” who married Adoniram Judson and went off to Burma, but what about Andrew Bigelow Morse???
The Reverend Andrew Bigelow Morse was the son of Ellis Morse and grandson of Joseph Morse. In 1849, at the early age of nineteen, Mr. Morse was graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, where his ranking as student admitted him into the scholarship roll of Phi Beta Kappa.
After two years’ experience as principal of a Young Men’s Classical Institute in Albany, N.Y., he entered the Princeton Theological seminary, where he was graduated in 1864. After another two years, part of which was spent in post-graduate work in New York and a part in the service of the church, he and his young wife, commissioned by the Presbyterian board of foreign missions, started for Siam. This was the goal of their ardent ambitions and consecrations.
Once in the field, he threw himself whole-heartedly into the work, but within two years Andrew’s health was shattered and he was ordered home. He continued working for several years on a literary work of permanent value.
Because of his poor health during the Civil War, he was exempt from military service and debarred from the Christian commission. So instead, he spent three years at Washington in the Treasury Department, ministering often in hospital and barracks. In Washington he served in the somewhat famous “Treasury Guard” of which he frequently spoke with a smile.
It is here he also became acquainted with many men who afterward became famous. Among these was the one whom he always mentioned with a great admiration and reverence – the distinguished martyr President Lincoln.
Andrew takes his place of honor with the other young men of Eaton who also went to Siam (Burma) and China, Jonathan Wade and William Dean. **Newspaper stories sent back to Eaton still exist in the Old Town of Eaton Museum.
Judson's Story in video!
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