Family:Whitney, Marcus Tullius Cicero (1812-1887)

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Marcus Tullius Cicero7 Whitney (Paul6, Timothy5, Jonas4, Moses3, Richard2, John1), son of Paul6 and Dollie (Darwin) Whitney, was born 25 Oct 1812, New Haven, VT, and died 21 Apr 1887, West Derby, VT.

He married firstly, 22 Sep 1836, Middlesex, VT, Hannah Maria Lewis,[1] daughter of William Lewis. She was born 8 Aug 1815, and died 8 Apr 1841.

He married secondly, 20 Aug 1843, North Troy, VT, Betsey W. Hall, daughter of James Hall, Jr.. She was born 23 Jul 1824, and died after 1880.

Sketch of the Life of Marcus T. C. Whitney. -- When the war of 1812 was declared his father, Paul Whitney, was teaching school at Minnisquoi Bay, now Philipsburg, QC. Being an American citizen, he took his family and went to New Haven, VT. There the subject of this sketch was born 25 Oct 1812. At the close of the war his parents moved to Dunham, QC, and there and in Sutton, an adjoining town, his childhood and youth were passed, his father being engaged as principal teacher in the free school at Dunham Flat, QC. In 1831 his father moved to a farm at Bolton Center, QC. The eastern townships of Lower Canada at that time were but little better than a wilderness. The clearings were small and scattered, and the habitations were the log cabins of the pioneers. Game was plentiful, and the savage beasts of the forest were not scarce. Encounters with bears and wolves were frequent. I will mention two in which Mr. Whitney had a part while in his teens. He and an older brother had a two-year-old colt that they wished to turn out in the spring to pasture. As their grass land was all needed for hay for winter use, they thought they would fence in a beaver meadow that lay about a mile from their clearing back in the woods. Early one morning the first of June, they took their axes and went to the meadow to fell a "slash fence" around it. The day was warm, and the work of felling trees was quite hard, and becoming thirsty, he went to the brook for a drink. He quenched his thirst, walked down the brook a short distance, and there, lying in the brook, was a large gray wolf. As soon as the beast saw the boy he snarled at him, trotted off a short distance, and howled. His call was answered from a half dozen different directions. The boys know what that meant, and picked up their axes and ran for home with all the speed they were capable of. The wolves followed them to the edge of the clearing, but were too cowardly to approach any nearer the house in daylight. It was owing to the above fact that the boys escaped, for they had only a few rods the lead when they came out of the woods. The fence was never finished, and the colt had a corner of the clearing near the house to graze in. At another time he was sent to the nearest store for tea and a bottle of alcohol. The "store" was at the "head of the bay," an arm of Memphremagog lake, four miles from his father's, and thick woods all the way. He was in no hurry to start for home, and did not leave the store till dark. The first two miles were quickly traveled, but not so quickly as the last two. For just at the half-way point is a long hill, and at the foot of the hill he was stopped by a low growl in the path just in front of him. Stooping so as to bring the animal between him and the sky overhead, he saw a large bear, standing on his hind feet, ready to "hug" him. He had nothing to defend himself with but a pocket-knife and his quart bottle of alcohol. Taking the knife open in his left hand and the bottle by the neck in his right, he hurled the bottle with all of his strength in the direction of the bear, at the same time shouting at the top of his voice. The bottle hit the bear squarely in the chest, and the surprise was so sudden and complete that he left the path and ran a half dozen rods off into the woods and then stopped. When the bear stopped he started, and he said that he did not believe a man ever ran two miles in the dark through woods so quickly as he made that two miles. The settlers followed the bear all the next day, but he made good his escape.

In April, 1835, he and his brother William left Bolton and went to Middlesex, VT, and hired out as farm-hands to William Lewis. In Nov 1836, he married the daughter of his employer, Hannah Maria Lewis. His wife died 8 Apr 1841, leaving him one child, a daughter, Elmina M. From 1838 to 1842 he drove stage from Montpelier to Saint Albans, by way of Morrisville and Hyde Park, making the trip of fifty miles twice a week. In the latter year he went to North Troy, VT, and went into business there, opening a general store and buying and fitting horses for the Boston market. He used to drive all the way from Troy to Boston, a distance of nearly 300 miles, his drove of 20 or 30 houses following his team after the first day, without a driver. It used to take from 30 to 40 days to make the trip and dispose of the horses, which can be made by rail now in as many hours. On August 20, 1843, he married for his second wife Miss Betsey W., daughter of James Hall, Jr., one of the pioneers of that section of the Missisquoi valley. He followed the business of buying horses for a number of years, but in the spring of 1850 moved on to a farm in that township of Bolton, QC. In June, 1853, he went to California, but the climate did not agree with him, and he returned in November of the same year. He followed the life of a farmer till 1871, when he disposed of his farm and moved to West Derby, VT. There he followed the profession of farrier and veterinary surgeon until about two years before his death, which occurred 21 Apr 1887. At present he is survived by eight children and fifteen grandchildren. Of his father's five sons he was the shortest, and he was six feet in his stockings and weighed 215 pounds. He was an athlete and quite a noted wrestler in his younger days. He resided North Troy and West Derby, VT.

Children of Marcus Tullius Cicero7 and Hannah Maria (Lewis) Whitney:

i. Elmina M.8 Whitney, b. April 1838; m. 8 Apr 1855, Worcester, VT, Stephen W. Bascom.[2] He was b. 20 Apr 1828, Worcester, VT. Children:
a. Willie S. Bascom, b. 13 Jun 1881; resided 327 Pearl St., Manchester, NH.

Children of Marcus J. C.7 and Betsey W. (Hall) Whitney:

ii. Marcus Caryl8 Whitney, b. 14 Sep 1844; unmarried.
iii. Francis Amelia Whitney, b. 11 Feb 1846; m. 1 Jan 1868, Thomas C. Gale; resided Newport, VT. Children:
a. Oscar M. Gale, b. 20 Jan 1869; res. Belleview, FL.
b. Harry L. Gale, b. 17 Jan 1871; res. Newport, VT..
c. Lena R. Gale, b. 13 Jun 1876; d. 14 Aug 1877.
d. Anna M. Gale, b. 10 Feb 1878; d. 23 Jan 1887.
e. Ivah W. Gale, b. 18 Jan 1880; res. Newport, VT..
f. Fannie R. Gale, b. 18 Feb 1882; d. 6 Jan 1887.
g. Pearl A. Gale, b. 16 Mar 1885; res. Newport, VT..
h. Alfred E. Gale, b. 2 Mar 1889; res. Newport, VT..
iv. James Paul Whitney, b. 26 Mar 1847; m. Tinnie M. Drew.
v. Betsey Adaline Whitney, b. 18 Dec 1850, Bolton, QC; m. 20 or 24 Aug 1872, Newport, VT, Hiram Selden Nott, son of Henry S. and Nancy (Hall) Mott;[3] resided West Derby, VT. Children:
a. Amos L. Mott, b. 14 Jun 1873.
b. Roy H. Mott, b. 10 Oct 1875.
c. Archie S. Mott, b. 5 Aug 1877.
d. Harry W. Mott, b. 29 Nov 1884.
e. Winfred E. Mott, b. 5 Mary 1885.
vi. Martin Augustine Whitney, b. 28 Nov 1852; unmarried.
vii. Sarah Porter Whitney, b. 27 Aug 1856; m. Sep 1881, Leon G. Field. Children:
a. Maud S. Field, b. 1 Nov 1883; res. Newport, VT.
viii. Edith Mason Whitney, b. 7 Oct 1862, Newport, VT; m.(1) 31 Dec 1889, VT, Frank Fairchild, b. 23 Apr 1864, Derby, VT, son of Elisha Bartlett & Ellen Mariah (Sias) Fairchild; m.(2) 6 May 1898, Worcester, MA, William H. McLean, b. ca. 1861, Canada, son of Alexander and Margaret (Rief) McLean;[4] resided Manchester, NH.
ix. Marion Idilla Whitney, b. 2 Jul 1868; m. Jun 1888, Archibald N. McLean; resided Manchester, NH.


  • 1840, Middlesex, Washington Co., VT: Marcus Whitney, 1 male 20-29, 1 female 20-29, and 1 female 0-4; 1 engaged in agriculture.
  • 1850: not found. Probably in Bolton, QC.
  • 1860: not found. Probably in Bolton, QC.
  • 1860: son Marcus not found.
  • 1870: not found. Probably in Bolton, QC.
  • 1870: sons Marcus and Martin not found.
  • 1880, Derby, Orleans Co., VT:

M. T. WHITNEY 66 Self M M W VT Horse Doctor MA MA Betsey WHITNEY 55 Wife F M W VT NH NH

471 490 Whitney, Betsey Head W F Jul 1825 74 wid Vermont New Hampshire New Hampshire Owns free house -----, Martin Son W M Nov 1853 46 sgl Canada Eng. Vermont Vermont Immig. unk. 491 Burr, Chastina Head W F May 1829 71 wid Canada Eng. Massachusetts New Hampshire


  • Census records.

1.^  Vermont, Vital Records Index, Marriages.

2.^  Vermont, Vital Records Index, Marriages.

3.^  Vermont, Vital Records Index, Marriages.

4.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 480, page 568.

Copyright © 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2019, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.