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Re: John Brockett of New Haven
Posted by: Richard Arwen (ID *****2032) Date: August 16, 2005 at 16:54:09
In Reply to: Re: John Brockett of New Haven by Michael Fleming of 575

Michael: Please know that I do not state categorically that John was a servant.
But when the known details are considered without bias, it would not be unreasonable to suppose that he earned his passage by working for someone else who had the money. There is nothing dishonorable about that. (After all, my immigrant Brockett ancestor arrived in VA a generation later as an indentured servant. That, too, was not dishonorable.) As for surveying and laying out the town, we have no firm evidence of that, and good reason to think it was not true. NH records show the following residents who performed surveying and the number of times they were assigned: Rob't Seeley, 25; Jasper Crane, 20, Francis Newman, 18; John Wakeman, 15; Richard Miles, 15; John Brockett, 12. In fact, Crane genealogies claim he and Miles surveyed the town. It is well to recall that surveying was a commonly held talent in the early days of America. George Washington was a surveyor; Abraham Lincoln surveyed Illinois towns up and down the Mississippi in the area where I was born and raised. But neither man is particularly remembered for that service, and it has always puzzled me that so much has been made of the job at NH.
We might better, I think, look at the seating in the meeting hall, which reveals clearly that John Brockett and wife "Goody" were of very modest means and status during the first 25 years of their marriage. Brockett, with education common to his yeoman rank, was a good man and a needed and welcome man in the colony. I suspect he would be astonished at the history people have tried to create for him and would agree that he doesn't need our help making him more than he was. Best wishes.


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