Joseph Titcomb papers  1861-1869 (bulk 1862-1869)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Eleazar Smith biographical sketch (54 pages) is Thomas A. Dickinson's 1881 transcription of Smith's memoir, originally written in 1828. Smith described his experiences as a militiaman during the Revolutionary War and his work as an inventor and machinist in Medfield and Walpole, Massachusetts.

The first 2 pages consist of Dickinson's introduction to the manuscript, including a history of the original document and the date and place of Dickinson's transcription. A paper laid into these pages describes one of Smith's clocks, which ran until at least 1883. Pages 3-50 contain the transcription; the original manuscript's first 2 pages, lost prior to 1881, are not copied. Smith's biography consists of reminiscences and stories about his professional life, but he also discussed his finances and business relationships with men in Medfield, Walpole, and Boston. He frequently commented on his lifelong affinity for the clocks and other machinery that he repaired and made, and the memoir includes a detailed description of a nail-making machine he created (p. 32). Pages 12-18 pertain to Smith's time in a militia regiment during the Revolution, including his imprisonment on suspicion of counterfeiting and his decision to desert. The biographical sketch is followed by a poem about "General Smith," thought to include contributions by Eleazar Smith (pp. 51-52); brief notes about Mrs. Adams of Medfield, Massachusetts, one of Eleazar Smith's neighbors (p. 53), and a card tooth machine (p. 54); and a copy of Eleazar Smith's epitaph from his grave at the Walpole Rural Cemetery (p. 54).

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