Family:Whitney, Sedate (1803-1894)

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Sedate7 Whitney (John6, John5, (poss.) Samuel4, John3, Benjamin2, John1), son of Rev. John6 and Lois (Wadsworth) Whitney, was born 7 Feb 1803, Leeds, ME (twin), and died 3 Jan 1894, Searsmont, ME.

He married, 25 Mar 1825, Lincolnville, ME, Dolly Ann Heal/Held/Head/Neal, daughter of Abner and Anna (Young) Heal. She was born 8 Sep 1805, Brighton, ME, and died 9 Dec 1884, Searsmont, ME.

This article appeared in the Boston Daily Globe on Wednesday, February 8, 1893. It has since been re-published in the Republican Journal on Thursday, August 1, 1991 and in abbreviated form in the Maine Genealogical Society's The Maine Seine, Volume 11, Number 3, August 1989. It is quoted in its entirety with headlines.


Camden, Me. Feb. 7, 1893

The oldest man in Camden celebrates his birthday this 8th day of February. The Globe representative has made him a call. He is quite eccentric on the matter of having his picture taken. Says it is against God's law. The second commandment is the one that keeps him from having his picture taken "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, etc."

No amount of argument can convince him. Aside from that the interview was a pleasant one.

"I was born," said he, "in the town of Leeds, Me. of Quaker stock, the youngest son of John Whitney and had a twin sister. My mother, Lois, was a Wadsworth, a relative of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow."

"My grandfather on my mother's side was Sedate Wadsworth, who was pressed into the English army when a boy of 14, and distinguished himself in the battle of Menas. He saw so much of the horrors of war that after coming to this country and settling in the town of Lincolnville, he stood three drafts in the revolutionary war, and hired a substitute each time.

"My brother Joseph enlisted in the war of 1812. I was 10 in the February after he enlisted, on Dec. 14, 1812. The following January he went to Fort Sumner in Portland. He married a girl by the name of Betsy Mains of Georgetown a few months before he enlisted. She was only 15 years old.

"One day she was crying. Mother was weaving and she was quilling. Mother said if she would keep still she would make her some verses. Mother then made the following verses up, on the spur of the moment, and sung them to a tune which she made up as she went along

December the fourteenth, Eighteen hundred near thirteen, We were called in inspection; Our captain lived in Greene. We all did enter the grand list, Agreed to march away, And then we all returned home, Not long there for to stay. On January the fourteenth We all marched down, And entered into Fort Sumner, That stands in Portland town. The weather being very cold, Our lodging being hard, And we poor souls were turned out To stand upon our guard. Oh! Parents and friends, 'Tis but little do you know What poor sailors and soldiers In the war must undergo. Then orders came for marching To the lines of Canaday, Where our main army and Generals do lay. Our friends we leave a weeping, Methinks 'tis very hard, While Federals lay sleeping, Poor soldiers standing guard. A traitor to his country I ever did disdain; I will fight for my country's right While life it does remain. To see my country righted, While life is in my breast, And, when I do depart this life, I hope my soul will rest.

"Mother was weaving all the time she was singing the verses. By the time she was done, the young wife was quite over her crying. I learned the verses, and have sung them over many times.

"I remember when my brother Joseph came home, after Perry's victory on Lake Erie, and the verses about that were made about that time

On the 10th of September, Let us all remember, As long as the globe On her axis does run; The tars and marines On Lake Erie were seen To make the proud flag Of Great Britain come down.

"They tell me that in the September after I was born, in February, my father and mother, each on horseback, father taking me, and mother my twin sister, made the journey from Leeds to Lincolnville to visit Grandfather Wadsworth.

"When we came to Camden there was no road then around by the turnpike, and the only way was to go over the top of the mountain where there was a rough path.

"In some of the steep places mother was so dizzy that she had to get down and walk, while father carried both of us in his arms and drove besides. After I became older I used to sit on the back of the horse behind him, and hold on by taking hold of his queue, which he wore in those days.

"I came to Lincolnville to live when I was one and twenty. Have lived seven years in the town of Le Grange, but the rest of the time in Lincolnville and Searsmont. My occupation has been farming and rock work. I blew out the first rock in Camden on the road from the village up to the Fay farm. Have dug rock in the lime quarries of Camden, Rockland and Thomaston. Have lived largely on milk, and for the past four years nothing but bread and milk.

"I have worked many a day for 50 cents, with 10 children to support. Those were hard times, and in the winter, too, chopping wood. Have only had a doctor twice.

"I draw a pension for my son, Mark L. Whitney, who was killed at Gettysburg.

"My grandfather's name was John Whitney, born in Kittery, Me., a Free Will Baptist preacher, who traveled all through the country.

"I have five children living Mrs. William Calderwood of Lincolnville, Mrs. Llewellyn Hanson and son Hezekiah in Appleton, and my daughter, with whom I am living, Mrs. J. L. B. Young.

This was his story. He is a fine looking old man, with long white hair, and has memory of events for nearly a century. He looks good for 10 years more."

Children of Sedate7 and Dolly Ann (Heal) Whitney:

i. Dolly Ann8 Whitney, b. ca. 1825, ME, or 1830, Salem, MA; m. 30 May 1855, Salem, MA, Jeremiah Hull of Rockland, ME, b. ca. 1825, son of Hezekiah and Mary (-----) Hull.[1]
ii. Rosanna K. Whitney, b. 9 Nov 1827, Lincolnville, ME; d. 24 Oct 1909, Lincolnville, ME; m. 16 Jan 1858, William Asbury Calderwood, of Lincolnville, ME.
iii. Abner Whitney, b. ca. 1830, ME.
iv. Mary E. Whitney, b. ca. 1833, ME; m. 12 Sep 1853, Rockport, ME, Melville O. Hanson.
v. Lucy W. Whitney, b. ca. 1834-1835, Lincolnville, ME; d. 12 Oct 1915; "of Lincolnville" m. 15 or 18 Sep 1866, Llewellyn Hanson "of Camden",[2] of Lincolnville and Appleton, ME.
vi. Louisa H. Whitney, b. 7 Jun 1834, Lagrange, ME; m.(1) Ephraim Calderwood; m.(2) James Lindsey Bishop Young.
vii. Hezekiah H. Whitney, b. ca. 28 Apr 1836, LaGrange, ME; m. Martha E. Maddox.
viii. Moses H. Whitney, b. ca. 1839, Lincolnville, ME; m. Paulina Z. Wood.
ix. Mark L. Whitney, b. 10 Aug 1843, Lincolnville, ME; killed 3 Jul 1863, Gettysburg PA. Company B, 19th Maine Infantry, Civil War.
x. Louise Ellen "Lois" Whitney, b. 5 Mar 1848, Lincolnville, ME; m. LeRoy Scott Davis.


From a message from Larry Tracy:

Because of other commitments, Nancy and I have been unable to devote but a handful of hours to identify Sedate Whitney's father and grandfather John. A brief documentation follows.

In "Sketches of the History of Camden, Maine" by John D. Locke, 1859 and the later "History of Camden and Rockport, Maine" by Reuel Robinson done in the early years of the twentieth century (in general a repeat of Locke's work), John Whitney is shown to be preaching in Camden village in 1797. A year later the Free Will Baptists organized with "Elder John Whitney, preacher of the Gospel, of the Free-Will Baptist Denomination". It should be noted that Locke's history predates the loss of Camden's records in an 1892 town-wide fire.

As a historical note the Free Will Baptist movement came out of N.H. and was introduced into Maine in the years 1780/81 by Rev. Benjamin Randall. This movement spread quickly having about eight circuit ministers following the decade after John Whitney's ordination in 1785. Rev. Whitney, grandfather to Sedate, was the first to be ordained in the Maine province.

The 1790 census shows John Whitney in the Camden area, one enumeration away from Sedate Wadsworth, whose daughter Lois married Sedate's father John on December 3, 1789. Both were of Camden and are listed in the returns of David Fales, Esq., J.P. of Thomaston which at that time abutted Camden. John seems to have adopted the Quaker beliefs and removed to the Green/Leeds, Maine area where Quaker meeting records show many details regarding his family. These records may be accessed at the Maine State Library and contain some of John's children detailed in Sedate Whitney's interview.

Curiously, John Whitney, minister of the gospel for the Free Will Baptists, is documented as performing one marriage ceremony in Lewiston, Maine and two at Littleboro, Maine [early name of the Greene/Leeds area before incorporation]. These returns are included with others pasted into what has come to be known as the Green Scrapbook. Dates of these marriages are absent, but seem to occur in the mid to latter 1780's. This information can be accessed directly at the Lincoln County Courthouse, Wiscasset, Maine or from "Marriage Returns of Lincoln County, Maine to 1866" published by Picton Press for the Maine Genealogical Society in 2001.

Proprietors' records for the Greene/Leeds area were accessed at the Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine in the manuscript collections and found to contain a 1783 reference to John Whitney in the "Schedule of the Inhabitants of Littleborough". Of interest is the fact that a John Whiting is among the list on two separate dates, 1782 and 1790.

Jeremiah Whitney who is given a birth date of 1766 by those researching his ancestry first appears on Greene records in 1786. This confluence of events and circumstances suggests more in depth research surrounding this area to determine if Jeremiah may be related in some way to the two John Whitneys mentioned in the Boston Globe interview, more specifically, his father.

Further reference to Reverend John Whitney was found in "Free Baptist Cyclopaedia, Historical and Biographical", Free Baptist Cyclopaedia Co., 1889, quoted hereafter following other source material. It can be accessed at the Maine State Library, Augusta, Maine and contains other references to Whitney ministers which include A. L. Whitney, Geo. W. Whitney with brothers, Rev. John and Samuel, Reuben Whitney, Samuel Whitney, and William E. Whitney.

Knowing my interest in the Free Will Baptists, Ken Whitney supplied an additional book title "The History of the Free Will Baptists" by I. D. Stewart, published 1862. Consulting with the Maine State Library reference librarian, the book was located in the manuscript division at the University of Maine. Mrs. Smith at the U.M. library and I compared material contained in each book concerning John Whitney; the only difference seemed to be that the 1862 book presented Rev. Whitney's information in a more diffuse manner. An additional book on this subject at the U.M. library is "History of the Free Will Baptists, a Study in New England Separatism" by Norman Allen Baxter published by the American Baptist Historical Society, Rochester, N.Y., in 1957.

Extract from "Free Will Baptist Cyclopaedia" "WHITNEY, REV. JOHN, of Gouldsboro, Me., went 150 miles to New Durham, N. H., in June 1785, to attend the Q. M., and there related his Christian experience and call to the ministry. The question of his ordination was referred to the next Q. M., when it was decided in the affirmative, and he was ordained at Westport, Sept. 7; Randall himself preached the sermon, Tingley made the consecrating prayer, and Hibbard gave the hand of fellowship. He was the first to be ordained to the ministry in the denomination, and for thirty years he was successful especially in awakening sinners in his evangelistic work. He frequently met with opposition in his preaching tours. He visited the frontier settlements with Tingley the year of his ordination, and souls were saved and a few churches organized. He went to reside at Edgecomb, where a church of twenty members was organized by the aid of Hibbard. In 1787 a remarkable revival was enjoyed by him at Royalsborough. In 1788 he baptized several at Lewiston and visited the "Eastern country". He moved his family to Leeds, where they resided for several years. He organized churches at Canaan, Bristol, and at the present Camden. In 1791, from the revival in Kittery, a church was embodied. In September, 1793, with Randall, Tingley, Hibbard, and Deacon Otis he went from the Y. M. to answer the call for help from the churches in the Sandy River valley. Later he was requested by the Y. M. with Hibbard and two laymen to visit what is now Burnham. He was partly drawn into Lock's plan to form a Christian community with common property in 1800, but he made a public confession and a speedy return. In 1813 he moved to Newfield, and through faithful labors the place of death soon bloomed as a garden. One hundred and fifty were converted during the year. Samuel Burbank, the teacher, with many pupils was among the number."

This biographical sketch certainly places Rev. John Whitney and his family in the Greene/Leeds area in the same time frame that Jeremiah Whitney appears on the record and at the approximate time that a John Whitney is listed as an inhabitant. The fact that he served as minister for 30 years suggests a possible death circa 1815. Last evening, I spoke to Ruth Bridges Ayers who wrote an excellent history of Newfield, Maine, and she reports no record of death or burial exists in that town. She did relate that in 1815 a new minister replaced Rev. John Whitney, ending perhaps a two year tenure.

Sedate Whitney relates that his grandfather John was "born in Kittery". To my knowledge several ancestral possibilities may exist, but certainly not limited to those mentioned here since as we all know, blind roads are frequent. John Whitney [4] was born in the Kittery/York area in 1719, son of John Whitney [3], Benjamin [2], John [1] and to this date data on him remains vague. Briefly, I suspect him to have married Elizabeth Foy, as intentions for a John Whitney appear in the Kittery vitals on January 22, 1742/43. His next appearance in the mid to late 1750's seems to be with brother Benjamin [1725] on Sebascodegan Island, now Harpswell. The location is not too far distant from brother Samuel [1707], a short trip up the New Meadows River. Church records show him with a wife Elizabeth and daughter Charity. From this point nothing is known of John and very little research done. Taking into account the date of 1815 as well as the age of John and his presumed marriage at Kittery, coupled with an active ministry of a person well into his nineties, it is improbable that this John is the father of Jeremiah. It is quite conceivable that a son of John by the same name may have been born in Kittery shortly after John's marriage in 1742 and fit the profile required for Jeremiah s parentage. Noted is the fact that Jeremiah's son John has a middle initial "F" - possibly for Foy?

I would not invest the WRG with the total possibilities of Jeremiah's parentage if I did not mention several other options. First the Studholme Report of 1783 NB/NS, which enumerated settlers along the Saint John River prior to the influx of 22,000 Loyalists and their families who arrived after the Revolutionary War, lists a John Whitney with nine children. He was settled on land that he did not own and undoubtedly had to vacate once the grants to the Loyalists began. No record of John has been found in New Brunswick nor any children there who have not been identified after the 1783 date. Since his suspected brother removed to Beverly, Massachusetts from New Brunswick in 1784, then to Maine during these tumultuous years, John may have done likewise. If this is the case, there are certainly nine Whitney children who remain undocumented. Noted is the fact that the 1790 census for Greene/Leeds has a John Whitney with a substantial family of up to 8 children and a wife. Nancy and I have not pursued this research area, but found in the Dexter, Maine region a number of unknown names, the given names onomastically familiar to this Whitney line, and suspected to have ties with the Samuel and John Whitneys mentioned in this posting.

Samuel Whitney (4) (b. 1707), John (3), Benjamin (2), John (1) is suspected to have other children than the five listed in the Brunswick vitals. Records show that he held the position of deacon in his Congregational church affiliations throughout most of his life. Briefly, there is sufficient latitude to consider John in the Studholme Report as a possible son of Deacon Samuel Whitney and also as Rev. John Whitney.

Secondly, from a different perspective in order to place Jeremiah Whitney into a family unit, consideration should be given to the following, though a more remote possibility. Samuel Whitney Jr. [1732] of Bath and brother Jonathan [1734], sons of Samuel Whitney [4], John [3], Benjamin [2] and John [1], have incomplete documentation of children. Samuel Jr.'s family records were burned in a Bath fire during the 1850's with only three proven children through deeds. There appears to be a large gap between the first and last of his offspring, leaving much room for additional births. Not much is known of Jonathan's children.

Lastly, a John Whitney appears on "The Massachusetts Tax Valuation List of 1771" in Gorham, Maine and again in the Gorham vitals with wife Elizabeth as parents of daughter Mary born January 18, 1766. It is unclear whether these two Johns are one and the same and to my knowledge, neither has been proven to be the son of Nathan who was born Saco/Biddeford, Maine April 4, 1747. Unless someone has fully researched these Johns, the question posed is who he might be. Could it be a coincidence that this John would have a wife Elizabeth as the supposed John Whitney who married Elizabeth Foy from Kittery in 1742, or are they one and the same?

I realize there is much conjecture here, but an attempt has been given to connect the dots from various perspectives. Mrs. Quigg of Bangor, a noted and experienced genealogist, had researched Sedate Whitney's forebearers and that of the Wadsworth line for nearly a score of years. She accomplished much, but never quite placed the ancestry of John Whitney the roving Free Will Baptist minister of the gospel who was ordained in 1785. One of her last considerations was Dr. John Whitney as being the ancestor of Sedate Whitney. Consulting with Ken Whitney, who has adopted Dr. John as a project, he relates that his son John Coffin Whitney, born in the 1750's, died in the 1820's as a sea captain. This fact seems to negate the sought-after Kittery connection.

I believe solving the ancestry of Jeremiah and/or John Whitney holds great promise with a little road work. I have generated a list of possible areas where one may look for new clues or discovery. It was set to note while details were fresh in mind, to be used when time becomes a little less precious than it is at present. Anyone wishing to use the list as a guide in his own research, please contact me. I am always willing to share ideas.

I hope this will stimulate some thought on a difficult conundrum, but equally important is the fact that Sedate Whitney left us an account of his family to ponder and discuss.


Larry Tracy Jr.
Kennebunkport, Maine
[email protected]


316 324 Sedate Whitney 45 M - M.D. $200 Maine Dolly " 44 F - " Dolly A. " 25 F - " Rosannah " 22 F - " Abner " 20 M - Sailor " Mary E. " 17 F - " Louisa " 15 F - " Attended school Hezekiah H. " 14 M - " Attended school Moses " 11 M - " Attended school Mark " 7 M - " Attended school Louis " 1 F - " Lucy " 15 F - " Attended school

363 381 Hanson, Llewellyn 28 M W Farmer $1000 $500 Maine Male citizen over 21 " Lucy 36 F W House Keeper " " Amanda 3 F W " Whitney, Sedate 67 M W Boarding " Male citizen over 21 " Dolly 65 F W " " " Louisa 36 F W House Work "

Sedate WHITNEY 78 Self M M W ME Farmer NS ME Dolly WHITNEY 75 Wife F M W ME Keeping House ME ME


1.^  "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910," from original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004; volume 87, page 232.

2.((note|2}} "Llewellyn Hanson of Camden and Lucy Whitney of Lincolnville, 18 September 1866 in Lincolnville by Rev. J. B. Bean," according to Mosher and Maresh, eds., Marriage Records of Waldo County, Maine prior to 1892 (Camden, ME: Picton Press).

Copyright © 2011, 2016, Robert L. Ward and the Whitney Research Group.