Hello, Usher Family Forum:
This one's for history buffs and book-lovers: some miscellaneous links, in no particular order, which I've come across (using only google.com search engine). These are current - on Hezekiah I & II plus John I and the early book-trade; on the historical atmosphere in Bednal/Bethnal Green London, where Hezekiah I and Robert I came from (the Harwoods too - and some of them returned); some possible side-leads, and then a little history behind the Bridget Lisle connection (hermother, Lady Alice Lisle, was beheaded in Boston - wrongfully).These background history links may be of use to some of you.
Separately, am curious about Aaron Usher Jr. (b. 1805), who walked into and across the whole of the IowaTerritory alone, first Usher there. Big, strapping fellow with black beard - married Harriet Brady - and then disappeared from obvious records, apparently. Is said to have gone to California. Any leads? His father is also Aaron Cleveland Usher (I dohave IGI records on both).
Not a genealogist but an Usher and a writer, always interested in (a)history of books and (b) those wonderful true stories. Our long Usher history is full of them.
Kathy Callaway [ggdaughter of Albert Usher; gmother Carrie Usher Wedlock; mother Shirley Joan (Usher)( Wedlock) Callaway; of Minnesota, USA.]
2101 S Hwy 169, Ste 6
Grand Rapids, MN55744-4217
SOME HISTORY LINKS OF POSSIBLE INTEREST:
Hezekiah I is involved with this:
The Bay Psalm Book: first book _______in America:
Cover and text sample of The Bay Psalm Bookcan be viewed at the Library of Congress website:
He was also involved with the first Indian Bible printed in America, in the Algonquian language, and much else...
Important article for first two Hezekiahs and first John, 17th century:
"First Hundred Years of Printing in America"
Innovations, Information, Technology
in the Early Seventeenth-Century:
Cambridge, Massachusetts (1640):
"The first book printed in colonial America was The Whole Book of Psalms, commonly referred to as The Bay Psalm Book. This book was printed by Stephen Day and published by Hezekiah Usher (1615-1676) in 1640. The Bay Psalm Book still stands as a literary monument in early American literature, as it is an early example of the Puritan style in religious writing.
Hezekiah Usher was one of the first publishers and booksellers in colonial Massachusetts. Usher is credited with establishing and furthering the first printing office in Cambridge through his financial support in purchasing paper and other printing supplies..."
Tower Hamlets (Londond) history site - great! (includes Bethnal Green):
Another good history site for the area:
more articles at this site:
The flavor (n.p.i.) of 1600 in Bethnal Green -lst Hezekiah and Robert would have known all about this fellow - may even have met him -he's fascinating. Scroll down to find article, here printed out, found at:
"Pickling Pioneer of Bethnal Green (History)"
"These days, keeping your fruit, veg and meat fresh is easy - you just pop it in the fridge or freezer. As a result, the time-honoured culinary arts of bottling, curing, pickling and salting are performed mainly as a treat for the tastebuds, rather than from hygienic - or economic - necessity.
Go back 400 years though, and things were very different. Keeping the abundant spring and autumn harvests fresh to see people through the long, cold months of winter was a matter of life and death, and throwing food away was a costly luxury. It was to these problems that wealthy Bethnal Green landowner Sir Hugh Platt turned his considerable intellect in the late 1500s.
The son of a successful Hertfordshire brewer, Hugh was also a bright lad, and studied at Cambridge University before coming down to London to study law at Lincoln's Inn. Blessed with an inventive and eccentric streak, Hugh never came to the bar. Instead, he bought a fine country house, Bishops Hall in Bethnal Green, and set about his studies of the cultivation of new and unusual plant varieties.
"It was the time of Elizabeth I and England's emergence as a naval and imperial power. Adventurers such as Sir Francis Drake were coming back from the new colonies with exotic crops such as tobacco and potatoes and Sir Hugh eagerly set about raising these from his East End soil.
He also made wine grown from his own vineyards. But if the new foods the Navy was bringing back were a source of excitement to Sir Hugh, the problem of keeping that same Navy fed sparked his scientific imagination to life. The problem was that ships had never before sailed so far from land, fresh food and clean water. Scurvy and rotten grub were an intractable problem.
In the course of his experiments, Hugh discovered that keeping freshly picked fruit in a vacuum would prolong its life - and so was born the bottling of fruit. He also found that boiling beef in brine would stop the process of decay.
"One of his recipes read as follows: "To preserve cowcumbers all the yeere: Take a gallon of faire water and a bottle of verjuice, and a pint of bay salt, and a handful of greene fennel or Dill; boile it a little, and when it is cold put it into a barrel, and then put your cowcumbers into that pickle, and you shall keep all the yeere."
"Drake's saviour Sir Francis Drake, busy with the fitting out of his ship, the Defiance, broke off from his work at Wapping to see Sir Hugh's work at Bethnal Green. The adventurer was so impressed that he took quantities of Platt's salted meats and bottled fruits on his voyage.
He also took Sir Hugh's advice on keeping water fresh - though the addition of powdered brimstone, or sulphur - might not be swallowed quite so easily by today's sailors. Platt also addressed the health problems that the new foodstuffs were causing.
Rich Londoners of the late 1500s were already developing smoker's coughs and rotten teeth from eating too much sugar - Queen Elizabeth's teeth were black from advanced decay according to contemporary reports. Common remedies included rubbing ashes of rosemary or powdered alabaster over the teeth.
"More drastically, a barber would scrape the teeth, then apply aqua fortis (nitric acid) to bleach them white. Sir Hugh, who had now also produced his beauty book, Delights for Ladies (1602), warned that after a few of these treatments "a lady may be forced to borrow a ranke of teeth to eate her dinner, unless her gums do help her the better".
"The book became a 17th century best-seller. He was also ahead of his time in developing an early turkish bath. In his "delicate stove to sweat in", a gentlewoman could "sit or stand in the steam for two hours or more, her head helde above the tubbe". Sir Hugh's authority and knowledge was growing.
"He drew up plans for English agriculture, advocating crop rotation and the use of artificial fertilisers. For his pains, he was knighted in 1605, by James I, for his services as an inventor."
Delightful long ballad which lst Hezekiah and Robert ( and many people from London) would have known or have heard. Full text is here.Written during Elizabethan times and popular for the next couple of hundred years or more -"The Ballad of Bethnal Green," at:
This is known to you:
The Real Houses of Usher:
BOOKSELLING: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
"Early History of American Bookselling
"It is almost impossible to say who was the first publisher, the first printer, or the first bookseller. According to John Tebbel's fascinating history of the trade, A History of Book Publishing in the United States, the separation of printing, publishing, and bookselling did not take place in a significant way until 1825. Until that time, "publishers" often printed and sold their own books.
"Early booksellers were not specialists, either. They imported and exported various goods--including goose feathers, pickled sturgeon, chocolate, Spanish snuff, and even slaves. By 1812, several organizations had attempted to promote American bookselling by offering gold medals for the best books using American paper, American ink, and bindings in American leather.
"But they were helpless when it came to meeting the great national problems of book distribution, especially in the long, bitter struggle over net price. This was the festering sore that divided booksellers and publishers from the beginning. The principle seemed simple enough: it was only elemental fairness that the bookseller should get the same price for a book that was announced by its publisher. That was an idea, however, that was not universally accepted, since it ignored the competitive instinct to make a dollar." (John Tebbel, A History of Book Publishing in the United States)
"The early history of bookselling in America is filled with challenges, some of which are surprisingly similar to the challenges facing booksellers today. In the nineteenth century, as the major publishing houses like Harper & Bros., Putnam & Sons, Dodd, Mead & Co., Chas. Scribner's Sons, and E.P. Dutton & Co. were becoming established, they usually included bookstores in their buildings. The small retailer at the time did not see this as their major competition, primarily because they were struggling with big discounters who sprang up after the Civil War and with subscription or advance orders taken by book salesmen."
"Important Dates in Early Bookselling
1642: Hezekiah Usher was considered father of the trade with his store in Boston."
The James Savage book is now online entire, in alphabetical sections:
"A Genealogical Dictionary ofThe First Settlers of New England,
Tyson - Varleet
By James Savage
"USHER, HEZEKIAH, Cambridge, freem. 14 Mar. 1639, by w. Frances had Hezekiah, b. June 1639; Rebecca; John, 11 Sept. 1643, wh. d. Dec. 1645 in Boston, whither the f. had rem.; Elizabeth 1, bapt. 8 Feb. 1646,[[vol. 4, p. 363]]a. 7 days old; John, b. 17 Apr. 1648; and Sarah, whose date is not found. His w. d. 25 Apr. 1652, and he m. 2 Nov. foll. Elizabeth d. of Rev. Zechariah Symmes, had Hannah, b. 29 Dec. 1653; Zechariah, 26 Dec. 1654; and perhaps more. A third w. Mary, wid. of Peter Butler, d. of William Alford, surv. him, m. Samuel Nowell, outliv. him, and d. 14 Aug. 1693. He was early mem. of the ar. co. rep. for Billerica 1671, 2, 3, d, 14 May 1676. His d. Rebecca m. 1 May 1660, Abraham Brown; and Sarah m. Jonathan Tyng.
"HEZEKIAH, Boston, s. of the preced. m. prob. Dec. 1676, Bridget, wid. of Leonard Hoar, wh. had been Presid. of Harv. Coll. and d. of that lady Alicia, wid. of John Lisle, the regicide, wh. had most cruelly been execut. 2 Sept. preced. thro. infamous abuser of the Stat. against treasons, after the suppress. on Monmouth's rebell. This explains the mean. of Sewall's Diary, where he writes "Mr. Hezekiah Usher's mother behead." This was not a happy m. and she went home 1687, and came not to Boston again during his life. He was of ar. co. 1665, d. at Lynn, 11 July 1696, but Sewall says was bur. 14th in own tomb at Boston. a JOHN, Boston, br. of the preced. m. Elizabeth d. of Peter Lidgett, had only ch. Elizabeth b. 18 June 1669, and by sec. w. Elizabeth d. of Samuel Allen, the royal lieut.-gov. of N. H. had John, b. a. 1699, H. C. 1719; Hezekiah; Elizabeth and Frances. He was, at first, a stationer, and encourag. by the Gen. Ct. prohibit. to all others for 7 yrs. in 1672, publish. the valua. edit. of thee laws of the Col. ar.co. 1673, freem. the same yr. col. of the Boston regim. under Andro's admin. was one of the most trusted counsel. and treasr. of his noble province of all N. E. yet manag. to be on the strong side, rem. to Portsmouth, was in 1692, made lieut.-gov. on N. H. serv. five yrs. and in a later yr. had the same honor for ano. term; rem. back to Mass. and s. at Medford, 5 Sept. 1726. His d. Elizabeth by first w. m. 15 Sept. 1686, David Jeffries, and d. 27 June 1698, leav. 8 ch. The compiler of the Parsons Geneal. In Geneal. Reg. I. 268, mistakes in call. him s. of Heezekiah, by the sec. w.
"ROBERT, New Haven, sw. fidel. 1644, in few yrs. rem. to Stamford, was br. of Hezekiah the first, m. 12 May 1659, Elizabeth wid. of Jeremy Jagger, was constable 1662, rep. 1665 and 7, d. in Sept. or Oct. 1669, leav. good est. to wid. and two ch. Elizabeth b. 1660, and perhaps by a former w. Robert. His inv. was made 26 Oct. 1669, and his will of 21 Sept. preced. dispos. of good est. to ch. in it desiring care of Hezekiah to bring them up. ROBERT, Dunstable, s. of the preced. had John, b. 31 May 1696, and Robert, June 1700, k. in famous Lovewell's fight."
Books were always common in Boston - by the 1730s, Boston had over 30 booksellers, and Boston had had the first publisher in the colonies (and Boston's first bookseller), a man named Hezekiah Usher (1615-1676). Boston also had several newspapers (again, the first newspaper in the colonies). As might be imagined, education and literacy were highly valued skills."
Those Salem witchcraft trials and the later Hezekiah Usher, who was accused (as it turns out, merely political harrassment of a rich merchant> Influential friends spirited him out of the country for a while, probably to Barbados, where printes had to move their presses from time to time from Boston whenBritish taxes pressed too hard):
"By March they began accusing members of the Village Church, and next they began to accuse persons who did not even live in Salem Village.Phillip English, a wealthy shipowner; George Burroughs, who had an estate in England; Hezekiah Usher, a wealthy merchant; the widow of Jacob Sheafe--another wealthy merchant; the wife of Rev. John Hale (but this was squashed because the Rev. Hale had helped start the trials); Captain John Alden, Nathaniel Saltonstall--who had quit the court; and the wife of the Governor, Lady Phips.Now many of these individuals were only accused, and not charged, but it seems that some motive lay behind the accusations.These girls did not know all the persons whom they charged.In fact, when John Alden was brought before them they could not identify him.A man behind one of the girls whispered in her ear and she then identified him.When asked what the man had told her she admitted that he had pointed out Alden, but the identification and accusation stood..."
That most important paper on the earliest Boston Ushers:
First Hundred Years of Printing in America
Tower Hamlets (London East End) roads, Usher:
"Victorian street names" site turned up (Poplar was in current Tower Hamlets Borough, as Bethnal (or Bednal) Green still is:
Usher Road South, St Stephen, Tredegar Road, POPLAR 
Usher Road, Bow E3 
Usher Road, St Paul, POPLAR 
Usher Road, St Stephen, Tredegar Road, POPLAR 
Note: A current London A to Z streetmap book shows one Usher Road still extant.
Local search in Tower Hamlets Library/ historical papers there should turn up connections between our Ushers and these roads.
MISCELLANEOUS LINKSof interest to our Usher family:
Old Books online re: Mass. History for our mob:
King's Chapel, Boston (Hezekiah lst):
(on following articles or messages, use "Find" button typing "Usher"in it:
First books printed in America:
v. important paper:
Mass. State Archives: 2 fascinating little Usher mentions (use your "Find" buttonand type in "Usher" once at this site):
The Bethnal Green connection: Tower Hamlets History site (lovely!):
Articles in same (pictures elsewhere in his site, too):
Our neighbors, also from Bethnal Green (look at their children's names!): the Harwood family:
Letters involving Ushers in the Harwood papers, no doubt? They were
a notable family - and some returned to Bethnal Green.
Relevant Lists - Ships & Passengers:
Those Harwoods again (linked to us):
Fascinating article on John Usher:
Use find button for "Usher" - article on the "Praying Indians" - v. good:
Other Ushers, next century: Juniper Hill, Rhode Island, Cemetery: Large number of 18th century Ushers here: http://www.geniecorner.50megs.com/HTML/Juniper.htmlhttp://www.geniecorner.50megs.com/HTML/Juniper.html
That same Rhode Island line: one of its current stars, Aaron Usher III, has a nice website:
"Usher Family of Iowa"(very useful):
ON BRIDGET LISLE's MOTHER, Lady Alice Lisle. Whole story fascinating. Her lawsuit for wrongful death also online somewhere -but here is:
Story of Duke of Monmouth's Rebellion (reason Alice Lisle lost her head):
"MOYLES COURT in Ellingham is reputed to be haunted by the spirit of Dame Alice Lisle whose home it was. She was 70 years old when she was hanged but must have been extrememly agile as she is supposed to haunt the Inn in Winchester (see The Eclipse Inn) But also her ghost has been seen riding in a driverless coach driven by two headless horses in the Ellingham area"[Note: Hezekiah Usher II or III knew this house: m. Alice Lisle's daughter.] Reason I include this info.: The later Hezekiah married Bridget Lisle, and knew this house - stayed there for a while...
Then, separately, I am:
SEARCHING FOR AARON USHER JR. ( but not very hard). How could anyone not be interested in a man who walked the length of two current states all alone and was first one in your family into Iowa Territory, with a large portion of your family history to follow him? Irresistible.
The record that current info. is based on says Aaron Usher Jr. was born 20 Oct. 1805 in Bainbridge, Chenango Country, New York [Bainbridge was formerly called Jericho or Jerico, say other sites]; m. Harriet Brady, and died "prob. California." No other record online mentions these last two items. I have the IGI citations for both Aaron Cleveland Usher Sr. and Jr. - but what happened to Aaron Jr.? The only other items I've found online so far:
1. http://www.rootsweb.com/~insbags/GraveUV.txthttp://www.rootsweb.com/~insbags/GraveUV.txt: military burials/Indiana:
Grave's Registration Project/South Bend Indiana
(what that "0457" cemetery citation refers to is: http://www.rootsweb.com/~insbags/grave.htmhttp://www.rootsweb.com/~insbags/grave.htm
"0453 - 0457Eutzler Cemetery").No idea.
2. Directly relevant, probably: " Iowa Territorial Census - Demoine County"
"Usher, Aaron1836 Iowa TerritorialDemoine countyPg. 53"
- all it says. Which Aaron is this? Aaron Sr. has clear records - died in Linn Co., Iowa. -
but Aaron Jr., that brave fellow,disappears.
Don't knowwhich Aaron this is, father or son; but interestingly, it is a year before the Black Hawk Transfer, which opened up the Iowa Territory. I wonder - if this is Aaron Jr. - if his walk might have had to do with surveying for that transfer? Possible lead?
Searched for his wife, Harriet Brady - impossible to tell which one; there are many, from many places. But, I think, with all those siblings of his (Aaron Sr. had 13 or 14 children), letters must existbetween them. I think, in addition, that he might turn up if that Black Hawk Transfer is investigated, but it would be a mighty historical dig takingmuch persistence. However, such a man should not be lost from history, let alone ours.