Bradford family papers  1831-1834
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Biography

Descendants of Governor William Bradford had lived in Duxbury, Massachusetts nearly as long as there had been a Duxbury. Gershom Bradford (1774-1844), was the son of Sarah Alden (1731-1788), and Col. Gamaliel Bradford Jr. (1731-1807), who commanded the 14th Massachusetts regiment of continentals during the Revolutionary War. Duxbury is conveniently located right along Plymouth Bay, and Gershom was a mariner by trade. He married Sarah B. (b.1772), who was probably the daughter of William and Elizabeth Hickling (1745-1827). They had four girls, Maria W[eston?]., Lucia Alden, Elizabeth Hickling, and Charlotte, and a son who only lived for 4 days.

Maria W. Bradford, the eldest girl, married Claudius Bradford on April 12, 1830, and they moved to Cincinnati. On June 6, 1831 Claudius was appointed Professor of Languages at the newly established Woodward High School, which opened that October. Claudius and Maria had a daughter, Sarah Hickling, on October 22, 1831, but she died the following July. Lucia came to Cincinnati to help her sister during her next confinement, and the baby, born in February 1834, was named after her. Claudius resigned his position on April 4, 1835, due to ill health, according to his biography in the Woodward School memorial volume. According to Maria's letters to her mother, there might have been other reasons for his resignation: Samuel Lewis, the principal founder of Woodward School, was a difficult man to work for, Claudius was making $600, which he did not consider a sufficient salary, and Maria missed her native Massachusetts dreadfully.

The correspondence halts in 1834. The Woodward School volume states that the family returned to the east, where Claudius studied for the ministry. He might have taught at a boy's school in Dorchester. Two sons were born, Gershom in 1838, and Laurence in 1842. In 1848 the family was residing in Bridgewater, about 15 miles inland from Duxbury. At some point, probably after 1855 (for he does not appear in the 1855-1856 college catalog), Claudius became a professor at Antioch College in Ohio. He died there on February 2, 1863, after a few months of failing health, and Maria probably returned to Plymouth County.