(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Biographical Memoir of Rev. John Williams.
First Minister of Deerfield, Massachusetts-
By Stephen W. Williams M.D.
The lives of eminent men are identified with the history
either of the whole, or of a section of the country in which they
have resided. This is peculiarly the case with the subject of
this memoir – Having spent the greater part of his days on the
banks of Connecticut river at a period when the country was
wild & waste & exposed to all the horror of savage warfare,
& having sustained so great a share of the privations &
sufferings of our fathers in planting & establishing the
pleasant country in which we now reside under the banner
of peace of comfort & security. His biography must be ex-
tremely interesting to his descendants & the public.
Mr. John Williams was born at Roxbury, Massachusetts, Dec.
10. 1644. He was son of Deac. Samuel Williams of the same
place & grandson of Mr. Robert Williams, who according
to the best information I can obtain, came from Norwich,
England, & settled at Roxbury in the year 1638, eighteen
years from the time of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth
& eight years from the settlement of Ir ----tain, Shawmut,
or Boston. It appears that at the time of the first settle-
ment of Boston there was but one English inhabitant in Rox-
bury – Eight years after this Mr. Robert Williams arrived & settled
there. We have no correct account of the cause of his leaving
his native land, but it was probably on account of the
religious persecution of the puritans, which at that time
was carried on in England with fiery & unrelenting zeal;
so much so that our ancestors preferred risking their lives
& property in a savage wilderness, far distant from their
native home, to the more savage persecutions of fanatical
bigots. The faithful page of history has informed us of the suf-
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Stephen West Williams was a writer as well as a respected doctor. In addition to an active medical practice in Deerfield, Massachusetts, he gave and wrote speeches on medical subjects including one on medical law. He was also interested in the Williams family history and wrote a history of the family as well as this biography of what was, perhaps, the most famous member of the family, the Rev. John Williams (1664-1729). Reverend Williams was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and came to Deerfield, on the frontier, when he was 22 years old. He was carried to Canada in 1704, returned 2 years later and continued preaching. The Reverend Williams served the people of Deerfield until his death in 1729.
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"Biographical Memoir of Rev. John Williams," by Stephen West Williams.
| author Stephen West Williams, M.D. (1790-1855)
| date c. 1830
| location Deerfield, Massachusetts
| height 12.0"
| width 7.5"
| process/materials manuscript, paper, ink
| item type Personal Documents/Unpublished monograph
| accession # #L99.022
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