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Cleaveland, Nehemiah, 1760-1837

Page history last edited by abrandenburg@mvlc.org 4 years, 11 months ago

Nehemiah Cleaveland was born in Ipswich, MA on August 26, 1760 to John and Mary (Dodge) Cleaveland.

Cleaveland served as a chaplain during the Revolutionary War, continued to study medicine and started practicing as a physician in Topsfield in 1783. (Hurd, p. 975).  He held numerous positions in public office, including Town Selectman, State Senator and judge for Court of Sessions for Essex County.

 

Cleaveland married twice: his first wife Lucy Manning, died without having children.  With his second wife (Experience Lord), he had nine children, three of which died as infants.  Cleaveland died at the age of 76 on February 26, 1837, and is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, in Topsfield. 

 

Fair Topsfield, a poem penned by Cleaveland's son Nehemiah (1796-1877), was the inspiration for the celebration quilt which hangs in the main stairwell of the Topsfield Town Library.

 

Still are the hills of Topsfield fair,
Her valleys rich in beauty rare
As when my childish feet first trod
Her varied ways and knew each sod!

Since then the world I’ve journeyed ‘round
And joyously my pulses bound
As glistening spire and peaceful farms
Smile from the hills’ encircling arms

And though before my yearning eyes
Regretfully the bright day dies
Yet as the glow fades from the hills
A calmer light the valley fills,

So sweet in memory shall abide
The comfort of the eventide
O early home forever dear
Blessed the fate that brought me here!

 

References / Further Reading

Dow, G.F. History of Topsfield, Topsfield, Mass.: Topsfield Historical Society, 1940.  View Library Catalog record; read online at the Internet Archive

 

Hurd, D. H.  History of Essex County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men, (Volume 2), Philadelphia : J. W. Lewis & Co., 1888.
Read online at:  https://archive.org/details/historyofessexco02hurdd

 

"Memoir of Dr. Nehemiah Cleaveland." The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal.  Vol. XX, no. 19 (June 19, 1839).  Accessed online 2/16/2017 on Google Books.

 

Pine Grove Cemetery Plot Cards (available at the Topsfield Town Library)

 

Peabody, Charles.  "A Sketch of Dr. Nehemiah Cleaveland." The Historical Collections of the Topsfield Historical Society, Vol. 1 (1895), p. 35-38.
View Library Catalog record; read online at the Internet Archive

 

 Additional Links

 

Massachusetts Gravestone Photo Project: Nehemiah Cleaveland.  View online at: http://magravestones.org/view.php?id=13547

 

 


Contents

Topsfield Times: A Community and Local History Resource                                                                           NR/WKT

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