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Re: Stephen Sewall; Scarborough; 1772-1844
Posted by: Gregory Gebert (ID *****6050) Date: December 20, 2004 at 17:04:22
In Reply to: Re: Stephen Sewall; Scarborough; 1772-1844 by Eben W. Graves of 301

Dear Eben;
Thanks for your input. We track 100% on the Scarborough VR's for Stephen and Mary (Polly) Milliken, and of course, the question is where do we go from here. I am working with the great granddaughter of Joseph Addison Sewall, Caroline Sewall Hanks. Caroline has obtained Joseph Addison's death certificate from Denver, and it lists his parents as Mitchell Sewall and Mary Mildean. I interpret the Mildean as being a misspelling of Milliken. (I question the accuracy of all transcribed records) and I believe the Mitchell to be some kind of a nickname. The Scarborough records suggest otherwise, and I am content that they are correct.
My wife, nee Avis Adella Carter, is a descendant of the immigrant Henry, and her descent doesn't go through the Joseph Addison branch, but rather through the marriage of the blacksmith Benjamin Trott of Woolwich, ME to Mehitable Sewall in revolutionary times.
The "evidence" I have for the fact that Stephen's father was Jonathan Mitchell Sewall is something I picked up on the internet, probably something in a local newspaper.

"Dr. Joseph Addison Sewall, first president of the University of Colorado, who was 85 years old yesterday.

Birthday congratulations from friends throughout the nation have been pouring in upon Dr. Joseph Addison Sewall, who, in 1877, as its first president, with a faculty of three and a student body of nine, opened the State University of Colorado,
Dr. Sewall, who lives at 356 South Broadway, is still vigorous in body and mind, altho he is now 85 years old.
Dr. Sewall retired from the presidency of the state university after ten years of service and subsequently became state chemist, in which position he achieved for the people many reforms in quarters vitally affecting them.

Among Dr. Sewall's New England ancestors was Judge Samuel Sewall, who, in 1692, was a member of the special court that condemned the witches and who, afterwards, read his public recantation in the old South Church, bowed down with mortification and sorrow. In 1761, there was another Judge Sewall--chief justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. In the latter half of the eighteenth century lived Jonathan M. Sewall, Dr. Sewall's grandfather, who, in his "Epilogue to Cato", wrote the oft-repeated couplet: "No pent-up Utica contracts your powers, But the whole boundless continent is yours."
Dr. Sewall was born in Maine, where he followed the practice of medicine in his early career. He removed to Illinois and from his position at the head of the Illinois State Normal University, he was called to Colorado.
As a birthday tribute, John W. Cook, now president of the Illinois institution, a former pupil and teaching associate of Dr. Sewall, wrote a personal eulogy."

The important statement here is that Jonathan M(itchell) Sewall was Joseph Addison Sewall's grandfather lends strong authenticity to the parentage of Stephen to Joseph. I am, like you, convinced that Stephen's father was Jonathan Mitchell Sewall, and I can add something, also from a Google search.
Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Jonathan Mitchel Sewall
New Hampshire

"A lawyer of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, popular in his own day as a verse-writer. His verse is for the most part forgotten, but his song, War and Washington, is yet remembered . . . ." [Oscar Fay Adams, A Dictionary of American Authors 337 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899)]

"Sewall, Jonathan Mitchell . . . lawyer and occasional poet, was born in Salem, Mass., and reared in Portsmouth, N.H. He was a grandnephew of Samuel Sewall the diarist. His parents, Mitchell and Elizabeth (Prince) Sewall, died during his early childhood and he was adopted by a bachelor uncle, Stephen Sewall, chief justice of Massachusetts, who died when Jonathan was twelve years old. Young Sewall is reputed to have been a student at Harvard, although there are no official records of this or any other schooling. After clerking in a store, he studied law in a Portsmouth office, was admitted to the bar, and appointed register of probate for Grafton County, N.H, but it is not known that he ever took office.

He practiced law in Portsmouth until his death and took a prominent part in the civic and literary life of the town. He became well-know as a Revolutionary War poet, and besides achieving a local reputation for appropriate epitaphs, composed a number of laudatory poems to Washington--notably, his Eulogy on the Late General Washington, published in 1800." [Stanley J. Kunitz & Howard Haycraft (eds.), American Authors 1600-1900: A Biographical Dictionary of American Literature 683 (New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1938)]

Sewall studied law under Judge John Pickering of Portsmouth. He is reputed to have been "an extremely modest man, and many of his writings were printed anonymously. Principal among these anonymous productions are a Fourth of July oration, delivered in Portsmouth in 1788, and later printed at the request of the citizens (this was the first Independence Day oration delivered at Portsmouth); and 'The Versification of Washington Farewell Address,' published in 1798. He wrote many epigrams, epilogues, and poems of a political cast, besides his patriotic lyrics. He also wrote paraphrases of Ossian and an 'Eulogy on George Washington,' delivered at St. John's Church, Portsmouth, Dec. 31, 1799.His 'Miscellaneous Poems with Specimens from the Author's Manuscript Version of the Poems of Ossian,' was published in 1801. He was a noted wit and much sought after for his social qualities. It is said that his last years were darkened by intemperance. In politics he was a federalist. Nothing can be learned of his immediate family, except that a daughter survived him. He died at Portsmouth, N.H., Mar. 29, 1808." [2 The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 30 (New York: James T. White & Co., 1901)]
I think it strange that such an historic person should have so little left behind for him, and I think the question right now is what do the records of Portsmouth NH have to say?
Greg Gebert

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